Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

First I want to wish my husband a Happy Father's Day. You are the best dad for my children that I could ever wish for! I love to see the way their faces light up when they talk about you and play with you. I love to hear you intentionally teach them about life and God in your every day conversations with them. I love knowing how much you love them and they love you. And I love you, too. You really are our hero!

Also, I want to wish my dad a Happy Father's Day. I may not be living in the same state as you anymore, but I'll always be your little girl. Thanks for always loving me and for helping me grow into the woman I have become - especially for making sure I knew how to drive a standard and change a tire. You wouldn't believe how many of my friends can't drive a standard. ;) Seriously, I love you, Dad, and I appreciate all that you have sacrificed and given to me through the years! Thanks for being a wonderful dad and a wonderful PawPaw to the boys!

Finally, I want to wish my father-in-law a Happy Father's Day. You were obviously a great dad to my husband while he was growing up, and he and I both appreciate that. You are still a great dad - giving support, encouragement, and advice to a grown son (at least from my point of view). You are a terrific father-in-law to me and a terrific Grandpa to the boys. We all love you!
Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fun with Ronald at McDonald's

You might remember how our first experience with seeing a "real-live" Ronald McDonald went ... Evan was more interested in his food than Ronald.

from August 2007 - a surprise visit with Ronald in Virginia

Evan got into yesterday's experience much more! This was a planned visit including a show by Ronald. We got there a couple of minutes late, and it got pretty crowded. Evan found a spot to sometimes sit and sometimes stand and to see the show. He seemed pretty captivated! He got called up to "assist" on the last trick. In fact, he was the last volunteer called. He was very excited because he got to hold the biggest wand. (A little background on the trick: There were several colored scarves in the cylinder and the trick was to turn them into the biggest smile. The first assistant was given an itty-bitty magic wand. It didn't work, so Ronald decided they needed a bigger wand. The first assistant got loaded up with bigger wands until she couldn't hold anymore. Another assistant got a big wand, and then Evan was called up to hold the biggest wand. Okay, that was more than a little background, but hopefully the rest of the pictures will make more sense now.)

Evan kept "hitting" Ronald with the stick. Evan will tell you that Ronald did it himself and then said, "Evan, stop hitting me!!"

Evan thought it was hilarious!

All the kids pointed at the cylinder with their wands and everyone said the magic words, "Have a banana!"

It worked! Evan thinks it was because of him and his wand!

He got a prize for helping out with the trick. It was a dinosaur Happy Meal toy from the previous set. He had been looking at those posters and seeing that dinosaur, but we never got one of the Happy Meals. It was the best prize he could have gotten!

They also gave away door prizes and Evan won a gift certificate from The Little Gym! Looks like he will get to take some gymnastics lessons this fall!

You may have noticed that Joel was absent from this post. That's because he was not so involved, at least not in a good way. He sat with me for most of the show, but did watch some of it. By the end he got really tired (I think from his morning at the pool), and he literally fell asleep on the play area floor. I had to wake him up to go take pictures with Ronald. By the time we got there, he decided that he didn't want to take a picture with Ronald after all. So, he didn't. Here are Evan's pictures with Ronald, though. How cute are they!!

Then we went to get a few sandwiches to take home for dinner. All of the kids who met Ronald got an autograph and either a huge bouncy ball or a pinwheel. My boys got bouncy balls, and while we were waiting for our food Joel asked me to open his. What he DIDN'T say was that he wanted me to start it and he wanted to finish it. What he DID DO was throw a fit when I opened it all of the way. He was crawling around the dining room floor, laying down in walkways, screaming and crying, etc. When we started to leave, he crawled to the front door, still screaming. He finally stood up and walked to the car. Once there he wouldn't sit in his seat to get buckled. (Since the van is in the shop, we were in the car with booster seats that use a regular seatbelt.) Once he finally got buckled, he proceeded to unbuckle himself and open the door. So, he got re-buckled, the child lock got set on his door, and we finally left the parking lot. By this time I was hot, sweaty, tired, and IRRITATED!!! I knew it was because he was really tired, but he was completely irrational!! The whole ride home he was trying to unbuckle and Evan was trying to cover up the buckle so that he couldn't. Joel was screaming and crying and hitting at Evan. Evan was quite the trooper and didn't hit him back (I think) and didn't start crying back (which is what he often does). What is so ironic is that before we left, Evan was being completely uncooperative and didn't even want to go. Joel was being an angel and was very excited about it. So, something changed in the car ride or at the show and their attitudes and behaviors completley reversed. What was so difficult was that nothing I said or did to Joel made any difference in his behavior.

So, that's why these pictures are getting posted today instead of last night. I was still pretty irritated about the while thing. I feel much better today, even though I got up with Joel at 2am because he was awake and in the kitchen eating. Actually, Steve got up first and took care of the kitchen. Then I went into Joel's room to try to get him back to sleep. Eventually, I went back to my own bed. From there I caught Joel trying to leave his room MANY times, but he finally went back to sleep.

So, today I am less irritated and able to write about it. I just hope that BOTH of the boys are behaving well for their dad at the waterpark.
Monday, June 15, 2009

A Food Wasteland

I thought we were making progress. I thought our 3-year-old was learning to be truthful and to not sneak food that had not been "approved". Apparently I was wrong. It seems that we had made progress in removing the opportunity for such behaviors, but not the desire for wrong-doing. We were able to manipulate the behavior, but not the heart behind it. And really, that is what this is all about. I want for my child to come to me when he is hungry so that I can give him good, healthy food that will nourish him and please him. I want for him to trust that I have his best interests at heart, instead of recklessly pursuing his own course.

Hmmm ... that sounds familiar for some reason. Oh yes, now I remember.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." - Isaiah 55:8,9

So, as I survey the wasteland that my 3-year-old has created (empty Jell-o packages, white melting chips covered in Jell-o powder, and caramels in various states of wrapping - and unwrapping) it reminds me to evaluate my own life. What wastelands have I created? What good things (like Jell-o packets) have I wasted because I tried to use them my own way, instead of the Father's way? But what is even more amazing is how the Father continues to love, mold, and "work everything for my good". (Romans 8:28) What peace exists in knowing that I can rest in His provision and power. What growth occurs when I actually do that!

It is very similar to a song that I love by Downhere. It is entitled "All at War" and is from the Ending is Beginning cd. Here are a couple of the verses and the chorus.
I was born depraved but created for the divine
With death in my bones, in my heart eternal life
I'd love for Eden, but I'd kill for Rome
I'm native in a land that is not my home

It's justice and mercy, the old dichotomies
All along the front lines of my heart in both doubt and belief
The sinner and saint, the old arch enemies
All at war in me

You are the beginning, and You are the end
Into your great reversal, I am born again
A beautiful redemption, You leverage even sin
In me your final victory, I know You'll win

This post was submitted to the June Write-away Contest at Scribbit.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


That was how I felt when I got home last night. Let me give a brief summary of my day - left the house at 8:45am with both kids in tow and returned at 7:00pm with two wide-awake boys. One of them took a 5-minute nap in the car but other than that, they were awake and we were on the go the entire day. What did I do all day, you ask? The answer - Bible study, shopping, playdate with friends, testing and figuring out the details of the crafts for VBS during playdate, trip to a sprayground, 2-hour trip to Ikea, and then a 45-minute drive home when I had to tell the kids to stop talking to me so that I could focus on driving (and not falling asleep). Evan added that I had to focus on driving so that I wouldn't have a wreck. Whew! That may not sound like a lot, but I am also still recovering from the sinus infection/bronchitis so I was exhausted!

BUT - I am so thankful that we did all of that yesterday! My friend and co-crafter, Kerri, was a HUGE help with the VBS crafts and I am so thankful that I do not have this job alone! We discovered some issues with some of the crafts that we will have to work through, so it was a very successful adventure. I think our kids enjoyed being our guniea pigs, too. After we figured out how to do the crafts and how to instruct them, we let the older kids do them. Our older kids will be in the younger age group at VBS, so this let us see if the kids would be able to do them and how long they would take. I know my boys enjoyed playing with her kids, too. All night they kept asking when we could go back to their house. Another reason I am glad we did that yesterday is because it is storming today and I am staying in the house!

And one funny story from Ikea - as we were walking to our van to leave, we walked under the (huge) IKEA lettering on the side of the building. Joel said, "What does that say, Mommy?" Since he knew we had spent the last two hours in Ikea, I asked him what he thought it said. He replied, "Michael Phelps?" Obviously my boys are still fascinated with Michael Phelps. And I had a nice chuckle on the drive home.

And now here are some pictures of the boys from the sprayground. Because pictures make every post more fun, right?!?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Doin' the monkey!

that's what Evan calls this move

Joel is swinging from the rope. By the time I got a picture he was needing to use the tree limb for leverage, too.
Thursday, June 4, 2009

This and that - in pictures

an example of what our living room often looks like - the boys rearrange the furniture to make airplanes, spaceships, buses, etc. (notice that the cushions are propped up and the pillows are laying down on the loveseat)

Joel is being a really scary monster here - complete with sounds, but I didn't get the camcorder out for it

Joel got this really nice cut/scrape on his nose, and he doesn't know how. I don't think anyone knows. He also likes to do funny faces for pictures.
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