Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So, what have I been up to?

If someone knows, could you please tell me!

This is one of those seasons (or weeks at least) that feel like I have been really busy, but I couldn't tell you what I have been doing. One of my friends commented to me on the phone that she hoped that day had been better than the one before. That truly puzzled me for a minute, because I couldn't really remember the one before. Is anybody else there with me?

Well, I can remember a few things that have happened since I posted last and since you are all dying to hear my up-to-the-minute happenings I feel that I should oblige. :)

1. I went on an awesome women's retreat with my church! I think the word "awesome" gets overused a lot these days, and I am not overstating my feelings here. It was a weekend where I was reminded how BIG God is and how much he cares about us, even though we are so little. I got to spend time with a very dear friend from Aggie days, as well as women from my community group. I also got to make many new friends and I know that God was in the middle of it all.

2. I got allergy tested this week. And I found out I have allergies. Okay, so I knew that part already, but it does seem that what I am allergic to has changed. I am also doing some immunology testing and will go back in about a month to see about allergy shots. In the meantime I am taking my meds and hoping to not get another infection. (This fall/winter/spring it seems I have been getting infections every 6-8 weeks.) I also got a vaccine for pneumococcal and my arm is hurting like the dickens! I have new sympathy for my kids when they get vaccines now.

3. Today was the end-of-the-year brunch for my Wednesday morning Bible study group. We have had a great year, and I am sad to see this regular time with this small group come to an end. But I am excited about some new opportunities for Bible study over the summer, and about starting back up with The Amazing Collection in September!

4. The boys are continuing to "steal" sweets from our cabinets and pantries. We have tried various forms of correction, but have failed to find one that works well - at least as far as Evan is concerned. He is able to open the locks and has been caught sneaking the food more recently than Joel. Evan also lies about his involvement which is compounding the problem. I think that the sweets have all been removed from the cabinets at this point. It doesn't get to the heart of the problem, but it should give us a break for a while.

That's about it for now. It's approaching sunset and my brain feels like it is "setting" as well. Good night and sweet dreams!
Friday, April 17, 2009

He's so smart!

It seems that I have been posting more about Joel recently, so I decided to share a little of Evan's recent happenings before I leave for my much anticipated retreat today. Here are some pictures of the handsome little devil in his graduation cap and gown.

While he was playing outside yesterday, he apparently decided that we needed a "sign" on the garage door. He drew this on the door for us with a crayon. I guess that's what happens when I let him play by himself outside.
Thursday, April 16, 2009

Signs of Spring

Straight from our backyard ...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

He is Risen!

Today we got up early to gather with our church family and celebrate Easter. The boys seemed to be in it for the donuts provided to the early birds and the cookies awaiting us at home. We had a beautiful service at church, and have been having a lovely day at home since then. The resurrection cookies were good; we hid some (plastic) eggs in the house; the boys (all three) played with Legos; we watched "The Easter Carol" by VeggieTales; we are now playing again and waiting for some friends to come over.

We hope that you are also enjoying this day, but most importantly that you are able to rejoice in the hope of eternal life - a free gift - made available to you through Christ's death and resurrection.

He is risen indeed!!
Saturday, April 11, 2009

A picture of patience

Today was the re-scheduled annual Jr. Angler Fishing Derby. It was still cold and windy, though, like last year. So, we didn't catch any fish this year either. I will try to take the boys back one day when it warms up. They put 500 pounds of catfish in the pond yesterday, so once it warms up we ought to be able to catch one - right?!?

Even though we didn't catch any fish, we still had fun, as you can see.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sweet and sour

This morning Joel was snuggling with me in my bed when he looked up at me said, "Mommy, when can I marry you?" All those days of struggling with his strong will just faded away when I heard that. Since then, his strong will has reared it's head again, but I am trying to focus on the sweet heart that lies beneath it.

First Joel said he loved me this much (6 fingers raised). Then he said he loved me this much (10 fingers). Then he said he loved me even more, by flashing his 10 fingers a bunch of times. (It was the first time I had seen him flash his fingers like that.)
Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekend update

We had a pretty busy weekend around here. Normally I have lots of things planned, but we just stay home. This weekend we actually did the things I had planned, and had fun!

Saturday morning was our city's Easter egg hunt. The boys were excited to dust the cobwebs off of their Easter baskets and give them a "trial run", so to speak. The eggs were just lying on the ground, but the lawns were divided by age group. Each group went 15 minutes apart. Joel's group was first (0-3 years), but he seemed confused about what to do at first. He just stood there looking at us and the eggs. We finally convinced him to pick up the eggs, but he would show us every one before he put it in his basket. It was like he wanted to make sure what he was doing was okay. He wound up with a respectable nu,ber of eggs, but most importantly, he seemed to have fun by the end of it.

Evan's age group was next (4-6 years) and these kids were more aggressive. (So were the parents, but that can be saved for another post.) Evan got in there and started picking up, but the crowd kind of overwhelmed him toward the end. He had wanted to get more eggs than Joel, but I am not sure if that happened. It was close, and he was a good sport about it.

They had some booths and games set up and we played a few of those before leaving. Joel was excited to see all of the area "mascots" again (like the Chick-fil-a cow). Evan really liked the games. They both had a great time in the bounce house, but Evan's visit was a little shorter. The man in charge let Joel in as the last kid in the group. Joel was doing well, and all of a sudden he started looking sad. He finally told us he wanted Evan with him. The man didn't realize they were brothers, or he would have let Evan in earlier. Thankfully, Evan didn't complain that he didn't get as long to jump.

We couldn't stay too long because Evan and I had an important date planned. We went to an exhibition game at the Ballpark in Arlington to watch the Rangers v. the Royals. It was his first game and he really enjoyed it! He watched the whole thing. Okay, at least we stayed for the whole game. He missed the batter splitting his bat on a hit because he was looking around. It's a big place and a cool stadium, so that is understandable. He did learn where the ball and strike counter was and kept watch of that for most of the game. He also had fun playing in the kids' zone area before the game. He won some baseball cards and a new Rangers hat for me. (I guess it was a giveaway from a previous year, and it was not a child's size hat.) We had fun and I think we will try to go to some more games this summer.

After the game I took him to dinner at IHOP. He has been before, but he didn't remember it. He got a Rooty Jr. breakfast and LOVED it! Apparently I have created another IHOP monster (like me), because yesterday he was asking when we could go back.

After that, we went home. He got to spend some time playing Legos with Joel and Steve before bedtime. I don't know what else Evan could have asked for in a day!

Sunday we went to church. Afterwards Steve and I had a meeting. We all got to eat pizza there before the boys went back to play and the meeting started. After the meeting, I took Evan to a pool party for one of his classmates. It was an indoor pool, but it was still pretty cold. He had fun, but I think he was pretty exhausted by the end of the day. I know that I was!!
Friday, April 3, 2009


We haven't taken pictures in the bluebonnets since Evan was a baby. I finally got some pictures this year. In years past, the only spots that I had seen were on the side of the highway. This year I saw this beautiful field on my way to church, so we headed back there today. The boys had fun running around the field. I about lost my mind trying to keep them from stepping on the bluebonnets. But, we got the pictures and in the end I think we all had fun. Hope that you enjoy these pictures of the state flower of Texas (and the boys, too)!
Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fun with picture editing

from the playground yesterday. I thought the first one looked better until I saw it here. I'll just have to experiment some more, I guess.

from the yard today - I like these better, myself.
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Choppy waters or smooth sailing?

I don't know what it's been in your neck of the woods, but around here we have been having choppy waters lately. We have been going through some "boundary-testing" with Joel this week and that pretty much says it all. Except - that I thought Evan was strong-willed and Joel was compliant - until Joel turned 3.

So, this week has been hard because I have felt utterly exhausted, out of ideas, at the point of tears, etc. Plus, Steve had some big deadlines and a huge presentation, so he has been working later than normal, too. By the time he got home Monday night, I was ready to run for the hills. Actually, I did stick around to talk to him for a little, but when he started discussing making dinner and letting the boys back in the house I decided it was time to leave.

So, to relax myself, I got some shopping done that would be almost impossible with Joel. I also had a relaxing dinner at McAlister's. The best part of that however, was the time I spent there reading in Proverbs.

(The weekly Bible study that I attend at church is called The Amazing Collection and it is different from anything I have done before. Each week we study one book of the Bible, and we are going from Genesis to Revelation. At our church it takes 3 years to complete the entire study with the group. This study is designed for women and it's purpose is to give an overview of each book. We learn about its place in history, it's theme, it's major characters, etc., but also how all of the books fit together to form a cohesive collection.)

So, this past week we were studying Proverbs. I realized that I had neglected really studying or reading this book for many years. I think that I was biased against it because I knew the end of Solomon - he did not end his life well or wisely. So, although he was the wisest man on earth I didn't really feel the need to read what he had to say. What I realized this week, however, and I feel sheepish admitting that it has taken me this long to realize this, is that God still gave this wisdom to Solomon. God found it important enough to be included in the scriptures. Hello! So, this past week I began studying as I have every other week. By Monday, I was desperately wanting to read this book to see if I could find any wisdom for the trouble I was facing with Joel. I certainly found lots of wisdom to apply in many areas of my life! What a balm this book was to my soul Monday night!

I woke up refreshed Tuesday morning, and it was the beginning of a good day. By bedtime, Joel had started pushing some boundaries again. This night, I was able to calmly lay down beside him in bed, and help him calm down until he fell asleep. I truly believe that being in the word and being in prayer helped Joel have a better start to the day and helped me to deal with him better, too.

Joel is still testing, but not as much as he did on Monday. I still get upset, but so far I haven't gotten as frustrated as I was Monday. We have had a lot of fun together the last couple of days. We had a picnic lunch at the playground at church after Bible study yesterday. Today we played out in the yard for a little, too. It got very windy, so we decided to come in. Now he is "reading" books to himself - and to me. So, while the winds are picking up outside, we are having smoother sailing inside, thanks to the power of God in our lives.
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