Thursday, March 31, 2011

Enlightening Dinner Conversations

This video requires a little background (and a disclaimer that the words "pee" and "potty" are used frequently...)

Up until very recently, Amanda has been wearing a diaper at night and every single morning, it was wet.  Soaked.  We discovered that she was peeing in her diaper as soon as we put it on, before she was even asleep.  Once we found that out, we knew it was time to double our efforts to get this kid to go through the night.  Right now Shaun is taking her potty about midnight before he goes to bed and I am taking her at 5 AM when I get up.  (Yes, Shaun and I have always been on different sleep schedules...we make it work).

For several nights in a row, she'd been pitching a fit at midnight when Shaun took her.  The subject (somehow) came up at dinner the other night and Shaun asked her about it.  She started her reply with "Well..." and when she says that a certain way, we know what's coming is most likely going to be epic or at least highly entertaining...or head-spinning.

So for fun, this night we said, "Wait!  Let's roll the camera for this one!"  And here you have a sample of Amanda in all her Amanda-ness.

Please don't judge me for serving boxed mac-n-cheese with hot dogs this night.  I swear, they hardly ever eat it.

Since this midnight screaming. :)

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Its About Perspective

Yesterday afternoon the kids and I ran out to do a couple quick errands...drop books at library and make a deposit at the bank.  Simple.   Except...

As we were heading home a policeman stopped me.  While he was taking his time coming to the car, I was working on calming Avery down.  She was afraid and crying.  Once he came to my window he explained that I cannot make a left hand turn onto the street that I did.  Seriously?  When did that happen?  Its been like that for "a long time" says my fresh-out-of-the-academy police officer.  I refrained from my "listen Sonny....I've lived in this town longer than you've been born" speech and politely said ok.  While he was back in his car writing my ticket, I started talking with the kids, answering the questions that were coming rapid fire.

When I explained that I would (most likely) be getting a ticket,  Avery piped up and said, Well, that's a good thing!  WHY is that a good thing?  Then the people in Japan can have food....cause we'll be buying tickets for them.

Ha!  Well, unfortunately not ALL money we give out goes to such worthy causes as helping people in need.   I was thinking,

Does it count that I photographed a policeman's ball for charity last month?
  Does it count that we just spent the last 20 minutes talking and playing ball with a homeless man who was sitting outside of the library?
Does it count that I had a salad for lunch?

When we got home, they were still talking about it (and no doubt it will come up in conversation often over the next few weeks).  Avery said so the ticket is so people can have food in Japan and China?  I said, well, China is able to take care of themselves, but Japan really needs our help because of the earthquake and tsunami they just had.   Oh, they need clothes because the wave splashed the clothes out of their dressers?

A splash?  Ah, no.  So I pulled up YouTube so they could see the footage for the first time and gain a better understanding of the magnitude of what happened.  After watching a couple minutes of that, I had everything back in perspective again.  Ah...perspective....its a beautiful thing!

Also, later that night the incident provided us a very clear illustration that every action, every choice, comes with a consequence.  And the sooner our children can learn that, the better off they (and their world) will be.  $92 is a cheap price for that lesson.

And...since we live in the day when people do not take personal responsibility for themselves, I'm going to go ahead and blame this one on Mother Nature.  If we were having decent spring-like weather, there's no way those errands would have been done in the car...we would have been on foot.  So there.  Not my fault. :)  But seriously, when did this sign go up??

Be careful how you interpret the world:  It is like that.  ~Erich Heller

Monday, March 28, 2011

Avery The Ballerina

Last week we got to sit in on Avery's dance class.  I wish I could sit in every week, but I know in general kids do better without their parents present and also its a good chance for her to feel some independence.  Instead I sit in the car with the other who are watching Princess and the Pauper while I work until Aiden eventually loses interest in the movie and makes his way up front and adjusts all the settings to his liking.

Avery is a beautiful ballerina and I'm so proud of all the hard work she's done.  I believe this is her fourth year in dance.  When I sit back and watch her (in any setting) I am amazed at what a young lady she is becoming.  She is learning and growing at such fast pace....its a bittersweet marvel.  So, so grateful it gets to be me who's watching it all happen.

Signing off before I start an all-out cry.

 Her loyal fans...

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.
II Thessalonions 1:3

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Project 365, Week 13

We had a good week here...can't believe how unbelievably fast they are flying by!  Also can't believe how unbelievably cold it still is as we approach April.  So thankful for our woodstove and for my manly man who makes it happen.

March 20
First day of Spring!  We enjoyed it with family doing a birthday party for each side.  Shaun's grandfather....
And a whole bunch of us who had a birthday in the first quarter of the year.  Yes, its had to come to that!
 March 21
The kids played for quite a while making a train and then asked me to take a picture.  Aiden was only partly willing to be involved. :)
 March 22
Parent Observation Day at Avery's dance school.  I'll post more this week...she's such a graceful, beautiful dancer (in my unbiased opinion).
 March 23
No picture from today.  I was busy putting the final touches on updating my website.  Check it out!

March 24
We got a package in the mail from a friend that made our day!  Here Amanda is modeling her new hair bow.  And when Aiden saw me taking a picture he ran over and sat right down. :)

A couple days later the girls were telling their cousin about their new gifts from Symeon.  Their cousin asked, "Who's Symeon?"  Amanda said, "He's three.  He just had a birthday." as if that explained everything. :)
 March 25
After dropping Avery off, we went to see my cousin who was in the area for the day.  He is a regional manager for a sporting goods store so we hung out there for a bit.  Aiden went right for the balls and was thrilled when Johnny took it out of the box for him.  Amanda picked out one, too and will be starting soccer soon.  When it came time to leave, Johnny couldn't bear to put the balls back, so he gifted them to the sweet!  They've gotten LOTS of use in the last couple days.

After, I took the kids to the mall playscape for Amanda and Aiden could socialize with the parents play with the other kids.
 March 26
A cousin sleepover...always a big hit!
Linking up with Sara this week!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Songs and Quotes

This post may seem random, but in fact I think there is a certain theme throughout...

For several nights the girls had been bugging us to do a family movie night.  Finally last night Shaun searched for something suitable for all five of us to watch together and came upon Little House on the Prairie.  Perfect, right?  Wrong.

At first, the girls were fairly unimpressed.  There was quite a bit of dialogue and it was slow moving.  Plus we tuned in about 10 minutes late, so we weren't sure what happened at the beginning.  About mid way through they were at attention, just in time for a suicide attempt by Mr. Edwards that got dragged out for about 10 minutes with the duhn-duhn-duhn music going.

Nice.  Nothing like having to explain what suicide is to your 4 & 5 year old.  The fact that Charles prayed twice during the episode did not cancel it out for me, though the girls were quite surprised that Mr. Ingalls knows God.

It sometimes can take me a long time to really listen to and learn all the words to a song.  I guess my kids have inherited that from me...

Here's how the song actually goes...

Gimme that girl with her hair in a mess
Sleepy little smile with her head on my chest
That's the you that I like best
Gimme that girl

And here's what I heard Amanda singing...

Give me that girl with some hair on her chest.

Here's how the song that my dad (Pop) wrote actually goes...

He's not here, he is risen.  Why do you seek the living with the dead?  He's not here, he is risen...he rose just like he said.

And here's how I heard Amanda singing it...

He's not here, he's in prison.  Why do you seek the living with the dead?  He's not here, he is risen...he rose just like he's dead.

Then I overheard her say, See Avery?  Pop's songs are bad.

The other day we were praying together and after I said Amen, she said how come Pop and Kiki say Ah-men instead of A-men.  After I thought about it for a second, I realized she must be talking about at their church, after saying The Lord's Prayer.  I explained this to her, she thought about it for a moment and then said, Well...Pop and Kiki say Ah-men because they think God likes them better.

Amanda's had a cold for a few days and she was sniffling like a mad woman in the backseat of the car.  Instead of saying, Would you please stop that incessant sniffling, I lovingly said, Manda, Manda, how you feelin', Girl?  To which she replied, I feel like I have insects in my belly.  What?!?!

There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground.
Leviticus 11:21

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

First Week of Spring

This is what our five-day, first-week-of-Spring forecast looks like.  I'm not feeling the love today, so if anyone would like to comment here what they love about the snow, it would be so helpful to me!

In the meantime, I'm going to happily relive last week when we were in the 70s.  The kids spent the day outside and busied themselves with things kids should do.  What fun!

Always good to start with a bathing suit...just in case.

 Aiden still straggles behind, so when he got outside, he had to find his sisters.
 The first order of business was to make a yummy picnic lunch.  Looks pretty healthy, all except for the shingles part.
 Then they got to finding "friends", or fellas, as they call the worms and such that they dig up.

 Aiden couldn't be troubled with all that silly child's play, what with all the work he had to do.

 Must be getting warm...or not...the weather actually doesn't really have much bearing on wardrobe decisions.
 New activities and new outfits were in order for after lunch and naps.

 Surprisingly enough, this did not end badly.

Spring, we are ready for you whenever you get here.  We promise to get the most use out of you that we possibly can.  In the meantime, I am making a decision today, that I will rejoice and be glad in and thankful for this day.

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Hebrews 10:35, 36

Monday, March 21, 2011

Birthday Celebrations

This was a busy birthday weekend!  We began on Saturday night with a surprise party for my BIL Nathan who was turning 30.  It was a "The Office" themed party and his friends really got into it.

Then on Sunday afternoon, we went to Shaun's grandfather's house to celebrate with him.  He had four of his grandchildren and four of his great-grandchildren with him.  We are thankful for every chance we have to see him.

Side story: his son-in-law (who we don't see very often) is a police officer.  He was there, wearing a boot cast because he broke his leg.    He and Amanda had a fun time together and she kept calling him "the guy with the black leg".  Later, on the way home, Amanda was telling us about something "the guy with the black leg" did that was so silly.  Shaun said, "You know, that guy is a police officer".   Then they did the no he's not, yes he is back and forth for a bit.  Finally, incredulously,  Amanda asked, "Well...what is he doing in a family??"  :)

From there, we went to my sister's house to do some more birthday celebrating.  Now that my parent's little family of six as grown to 27 and counting, we have started doing quarterly birthday parties.  Here's the Q1 crew:

Bobbi got special treatment because he turned 60 the day before.  Special, as in he got to have his face painted. :)
 I like to get a cousin picture when they are all together.
And here is the new decade club.  All of these will have or have had a "big" birthday in 2011.  I'll leave you to guess which decade. :)
And here's just a couple fun ones from the evening.  Our family is far from perfect, but I sure am thankful we are functional enough to all be in the same room occasionally and enjoy each others company.  We are blessed!

Aiden was NOT into hitting the pinata.  I think he was disturbed that we were destroying a perfectly good ball. :)
 Amanda didn't have a problem with it though.
 And this picture of Avery makes me laugh.   She is girl-ly!
We missed you, Kiki!  I feel bad that you were sick and couldn't come, especially since you most likely got that bug from my kids!

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, 
   the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Psalm 33:11