Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Greatest Show on Earth!

Ah...the Circus...the Greatest Show on Earth! I made a secret vow at a young age that when I grew up and had kids I would take them to the circus every year of their life until they were at least 8 (which is what I think I was at the time). Now, I think I will take my kids every year of their life until they can figure out how to jump from the car on the way. It's a classic event in every child's life...I cannot wait!
However, as the carrying out of my promise to myself begins, I have been very uncertain on how this little adventure will go...the life and perspective of a three year old is so unpredictable! My good friend Christina has a son, Jake, who is Luke's age. Christina and I share the same thoughts on exposing our kids to fun, entertaining events and experiences. We have either separately or together tried all of the following...The Wiggles, The Doodlebops, Sesame Street Live, Santa Train, and Go! Dog! Go! Now, these go well for the most part, but we usually always leave early wondering why we just didn't go to the park for free rather then spending all the money to end up in the "Quiet Room" during the show or enduring the screams of a three year old, "That doggie is scaring me!", at the top of his lungs during the "silent" part of the show or trying to pry your child (Luke) with his fingers in his ears and eyes shut out of a curled up ball. Not sure if we are over ambitious parents or just plain dumb...but here we go again to the circus and what's funny about it is we are SO excited about matter what is to come. That, I think, is the beauty of it all. Will we leave early? Probably. Will our kids get upset? Maybe...but that's OK because it's as much of an adventure for us as it is for them. Maybe this will be the show they "get" and love and remember forever and ever! That's the hope, which is why we keep enduring...
I will say that we have gotten smarter...opening night is half price and we got the cheapest tickets we could...hooray! I have also assured Luke over and over that we are as "far away from the clowns as humanly possible"! He also wanted me to make sure that all the animals will be in, I said they would be for the "most part". Hopefully, no lions will get loose and coming running into the audience as he will be scarred for life. He also informed me that we should probably bring a flashlight for when the lights go out..see, he's learning too....
So keep tuning in to find out how it all turns out!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wii had a Wii party!

We decided that it wasn't enough to just have a Wii...we needed to celebrate it and share it with our friends. Now, if you don't have really should be a must on your things to get. I am a recovered video game could not keep me away from the pacman's, galaga, mario brothers, etc...then they all went 3-D and I couldn't really make heads or tails of it all try as I might. The WII, however, is fantastic! It is so fun and easy, not to mention it gave us a good reason to have people over. Thanks to everyone who came over and enjoyed the night...

Luke's First Job

So, we decided that it was probably time for Luke to have his first family chore.
He was very excited about the whole idea, little does he know that this will be the first of MANY! We said he was "allowed" to pick one of the following: Feed the dogs, Clean the toys in the tub up every night, "Make" his bed or take the plates to the sink and wipe the table.
After much discussion, he decided to do the plates and wipe the table. I was very proud of his decision and excitement. We took out some paper, drew a picture of him and what he would be doing. He meticulously taped it to the door...
As we went over each point of his new job, he looked at me completely serious and said, "What are you going to do now?" HMMMMM? I can think of a few things I can do now that you are taking care of this...
It's been about a month now and he is doing pretty good. When there's something fun going on, he literally throws his stuff in the sink usually splattering ketchup or syrup everywhere (must be his way of giving me "something" to do). Then swipes the table with a towel and runs off. At bath time, he takes a solid 30 minutes to get the job done...after a snails paced walk to the sink, he wipes every nook and cranny of the table...typical, I'm sure.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Brian!

Happy Birthday to my brother-in-law Brian (or "Brownie" if you are talking to Luke)! You're an oldie but a goodie! We know you have not been feeling we hope your "make up birthday party" is a good one! Enjoy....We love you!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Being "That Crazy Family"

Yup, we had a moment today when we were totally "that crazed family" with kids screaming in the middle of the Bagel store. know it well. I was thinking..."what a wonderful picture this is of us all out to eat. We just love each other so's so fantastic!" And it was! We had cream cheese all over...just enjoying the moment. It was quiet...all the people around us enjoying their bagels and newspapers...and then it happened...a three and a half year old realizes that he does not have what his brother has...the dreaded sippy cup battle ensues. He grabs it out of Henry's hand and insists that it's his sippy cup. Henry cuts loose as he probably should at his age...we jump in and try to reason with Luke. Maybe that was the big mistake...trying to reason with a 3 year old. Not sure why we never seem to learn this lesson...maybe we just don't know what will cause the implosion which must be because we think we are reasonably smart people. Jon tries to explain to Luke that he left his cup in the car and he would literally have a drink in two minutes. The screaming continues...Jon actually goes to the car to get the sippy cup in question, but even when he comes back in...the screaming continues as Luke insists that Henry's sippy cup is his. Looking back, we wonder why we just didn't say, "OK, it's yours." That would probably have been much to easy and besides it felt like Luke needed to "learn" something in this situation.
Screaming, crying, screaming...major punisment embarressment as people are LOOKING! I'm imagining that most people are thinking, "Been there done that..." but, then I see the looks on their faces and think, No, they are thinking..."Who is this crazed family and why can't they control their kids? I wish they would leave....". The wonderfulness ends....dern.

Needless to say, we left...but not without a the end I was carrying screaming kids out of the restaurant like possessed sacks of potatoes. As I went, I was mouthing the words, "I'm so sorry, so sorry" to all the people enjoying their most fantastic quiet breakfast and Sunday paper. I had to put Henry down at the front of the restaurant...which gave Luke his opportunity to wriggle free. He ran back through the restaurant screaming, "I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE!"...upside, at least he wasn't screaming "HELP ME!" So, we wrangled the kids in the car...literally. Started down the road...the crying stopped as if nothing happened. We went home and made pirate hats...all is well, but what in the world?
Of course, I wonder what type of parent I am...where is all the wisdom I have been praying for? What just happened here? Of course, I realize it's all normal for the most part. But I can't help but wonder what God is showing me in all of this, because there has to be a lesson. The only thing that comes to mind is that I once was a toddler Christian. I've come a long way...He had to drag me kicking and screaming from situations, relationships and much more and thank God he did. So maybe that's the wisdom parents we need to model our parenting skills from Him. Which is why we have to drag our kids out of situations like that no matter how judged or embarressed we may's the best for everyone. They may not know for a very long time the benefit of it all, but it's there and they will know...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Who Let the Dogs Out?!

Our "other" dog...

ROAR! scary.

Merriwether's 40th Birthday at the Rock Barn

"At twenty we worry about what others think of us; at forty we don't care about what others think of us; at sixty we discover they haven't been thinking about us at all."
I'm not really sure who to give credit for this quote, but it really is true. That's the beauty of 40 and getting older in general. Ok, do you hear me? Trying to make "aging" fantastic and it is of course...although, I wouldn't go so far as to say, I miss my 20's...I just wish I was "older" in my 20's. Anyway...we spent Merriwether's 40th birthday at the Rock Barn spa. It was a fantastic day. We spent it with Kathlene, her sister, and our two best friends from jr high/high school, Candy and Traci. We had great conversation and tons of laughter which is how it is no matter where we are when we are together.
As most of you know, I think that Merriwether is the most wonderful person I have ever met. She has been my best friend more years then not, if that makes sense...some of my favorite things about her is that she just knows how to be a great friend, she listens with her heart and never judges, she tells great stories and laughs at the drop of a hat (cries to, but we won't go there). She had a great day and I'm so happy I could be apart of it!

Here she is getting not only ONE blue box (and you all know the one) but TWO!

Remember that thing I said about crying....that would be what's going on here. For those of you that wrote cards, verses, memories and'll be happy to know she was so happy, she cried...she was extremely touched as you can see.

Me and Mer...BFF (HA!)

A word about the cake...not was it one of the more beautiful cakes I have seen, it was delicious. It was made by Traci's (shown above) personal chef (as I like to think of the person that made it)...It was the perfect topper to a perfect day!
Happy Birthday Mer...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Luke's First Gymnastics Class

So we convinced Luke that since "Daniel Cook" tried gymnastics that maybe he should try it too. Tonight was the first class and he LOVED it. He told me last night that he would absolutely not be jumping into the foam pool like Daniel did, but he did it and it turned out to be his favorite part. His teacher is "Miss Boo" and we thought she was great...

I don't think that Jon and I quite understand what exactly we have begun here...I'm sure this will be the first of many times we stand and cheer on the sidelines...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Hooray for 39...not to much going on here, just a normal birthday. With the exception, of course, that my husband ever so tactfully reminded me that in just 365 days, I will be 40. Nice.
Actually, I am looking forward to's going to be a great year.

Ringing in 2008, I must be getting ready to turn 39 (or 80) because we definitely did not "ring in the new year" nor did we even see the ball drop...Jon and I were both in bed around, say...9:30. Sad, but true. However, we did enjoy a late afternoon with the kids along with some very good pizza and our favorite Dean and Deluca salad. Not to mention, the 136 times we "got" to watch the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious section of Mary Poppins as the kids danced and sang to their hearts content. Not too bad, but not explosive by any stretch of the imagination.

As I think about our 2008 resolutions it's impossible for me not to reflect on 2007...what a fantastic year. Not sure how many people know this but 2007, from a Christian perspective, was known as the "Year of the Open Door". My first thought had been...what wonderful things will happen to us...I can't wait til the end of the year to look back on all the "big bangs" that happened. I must say, we did not have a lot of "big bangs", but the doors have been flung wide open in so many ways. We are poised and set for all the "big bangs" in years to come. I don't want to bore anyone with specifics, but let's just say, it's been a great year not only for me, but for so many people that I know!

2008 resolutions have not come easy for me this year...maybe because our resolution as a family is to slow down and just "be". Enjoy the moment rather then rushing to create the moment. I could recite some really random one's like, "buy a carpet for the green room" or "make sure the toys are organized in their specific bins all year long" but what good would that do. I believe that our biggest goal is to learn to truly pray as a family...part of the slowing down is allowing ourselves to do that...

Cheers to 2007...Happy 2008!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Christmas 2007

Welcome to our blog and our first posting.
Christmas 2007 was absolutely wonderful. A great way to end a fantastic year! We had several Christmas' this year. We, hopefully, started a new tradition with the Barnes family by celebrating Christmas the weekend before the 25th. Jon, Luke, Henry and I spent the night and woke up to a fantastic "early visit from Santa!" So fun! Then we spent Christmas Eve with the Gordon's...Kerry and her family were up from Florida for the first time in several years! We had the first full family picture in 6 years. It was wonderful!

Luke and Henry think they had the greatest Christmas ever, but really, Jon and I had the greatest Christmas ever just watching them do their thing. It's amazing how the 'believing' comes completely back to you when you watch through the eyes of your children.

Lastly, I want to comment about something I heard on the radio in regard to the commercialization of Christmas. Every year, I get more and more upset about how early the Christmas decorations come out and how "Christ" seems to be removed from Christmas. But, I happened to be listening to the radio early one morning and one of the radio guests, Ace Collins, said the most profound words I think I have ever heard in regard to the matter and I paraphrase..."the greatest evangelical witnessing tool is the commercialization of Christmas, because if you barely scratch the surface, you find Jesus..." Wow! So, when you get upset, just remember that everything that "seems" off, He will make it right.