Thursday, July 31, 2008

Digital Toddler


Jonathan picked out a book the other day that came with a read-along CD. This seemed like a brilliant idea until we were driving home from Riverside and had to listen to the Thomas the Tank Engine book three times. By the time we got home I realized it was time for my three year old's first Walkman. Later I took Matthew to Kmart for some school clothes and decided to look for some peace and quiet in the form of something with earphones. I found the only Walkman style DVD player there was and grabbed it. It was $20. On the way to the checkstand we passed the MP3 players. They had one with a 1GB harddrive that was also $20. Thinking of all of the CDs I could save from scratches by getting this instead I decided my toddler was going to go digital. You would not believe how excited he is. He listens to his Thomas book and his Mickey Mouse music every chance he gets. The best part is there are no CDs for him to scratch and even if he accidentally erases everything it wouldn't really matter since the CDs are downloaded onto my computer and can be redownloaded (is that a word?) anytime they need to be. This is a great plan. The only problem is now Grace thinks she has been cheated. Is it bad to get a little girl am MP3 player for her second birthday? Let me know what you think.....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jonathan's Swimming Video

video

Jonathan takes Swimming Lessons

Jonathan is having a great time in swimming lessons. Today on the way there he informed me that he learned so much that he could swim all by himself now and didn't need his teacher. I had to convince him that two lessons was not quite enough for a three year old to swim independently.

A Trip to Barnes and Noble


We went to Barnes and Noble this afternoon. This is a majorly exciting event in our household. The kids headed joyfully for the children's section to choose their books. My Aunt Gale came and met us. Grace claimed her as her official reading partner. Grace had to have Aunt Gale read about twenty books before she could decide on one to take home. Jonathan knew exactly which book he wanted and picked it up right away. Unfortunately after about ten seconds he changed his mind about the perfect book and set one down to get another, over and over. Matthew and Nathanael are easier because, well, they can read. So they chose their books fairly easily. The book Nathanael chose was from the teen section and had over a thousand pages. He is very ambitious. It is so much fun to watch children get so excited about new books. They had to look at them in the car all the way home. Grace even got Matthew to read her new book to her before bed tonight. We would be so glad for this love of reading to go on forever in each of our children. The house might get overrun with books but that is okay. I like reading them too. I am afraid, however, that Nathanael's books are getting a little bit too long for me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The case of the disappearing Skittles

There is a mystery afoot. On the kitchen counter is a little bin with Skittles in it. There is a tiny scoop in it that dishes out just a few skittles at a time. Very cute. Well I filled the bin up with the colorful treats and they slowly disappear. Never does a whole handful disapear at a time but just one or two. They slowly dwindle away. Only orange Skittles disappear with any regularity. Who could be taking them? Maybe it is Jason.... no he would only take something chocolate. Nathanael..... hmmm he would only steal red ones. Matthew.... I don't think he would dream of stealing anything. Jonathan and Grace can't reach the counter. Who does that leave? You guessed it. The Skittle stealing Mommy. Oh. I am so embarrassed. But the orange ones really are yummy.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

To Care Beyond Words

You told me that you loved me
And I didn't understand
But then you showed me that you loved me
And that told me so much more
You held my hand and prayed with me
When I fell you picked me up
You smiled when I needed encouragement
And held me when I needed strength
Through it all you've been there for me
And I thank you for all you've done
For showing me that you loved me
And for caring beyond words.
Written on October 16,1993
My senior year of high school
To one of our church youth leaders.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kid Talk

From the mouths of our children:

Nathanael: "The class was interesting and I learned a lot..... but it was loooong. No seriously, it was really long." Said to me after a four hour class at church this morning.

Matthew: "I will blow the bubbles for you. You can be the bubble monster and pop them all." To my Aunt Gale this afternoon.

Jonathan :"Thank you God for food. Please help us to have a good time today and a nice time together and a nice time at Disneyland.... hey mom, when are we going to Disneyland? In Jesus name amen." His prayer at lunch.

Grace: "Rosie, Posie, Fall down." Trying to get Jonathan to play Ring around the Rosies with her.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Avoiding Bedtime



Grace really hates naptime. Unfortunately, she knows how to get out of bed. No amount of spanking or toy-taking away seems to convince her to stay in her bed. Only when she is truly exhausted beyond everything will she stay in her bed long enough to fall asleep. Here she is hiding in her closet and then in my closet when she is supposed to be taking a nap. At not even two years old she definately is not really ready to give up naptime but she refuses to stay still long enough to fall asleep. Then if we go anywhere in the evenings she ends up falling asleep in the car which only makes the bedtime ritual harder. We moved her into a big girl bed because she climbs out of her crib and we were afraid she was going to get hurt. Any ideas on how to get a stubborn little kid to fall asleep?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Missy and the Bubbles

Missy was playing ball. At least until she discovered the bubbles. They are great fun to pop!

video

Grace and Grace

videoHere is Grace and a friend from church, also named Grace having tons of fun on the giant slide. Grace is fearless.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Friendly Prayer

Thank you God for my friend tonight. I love having someone who listens to everything I have to say without judging or feeling like she has to come up with an answer for every problem. One who realizes that you are the only one with all of the answers. Thank you for allowing me to share a piece of myself with her and allowing her to share some of her concerns with me as well. Please keep me faithful in praying for her as I am sure she will attempt to do the same. Father I just ask that we give you glory in our responses to whatever answers you may choose to give us. May there never be a time that we cease to praise you for all that you are and all that you do. Forgive me for relying on myself for so many things. Help me to fully rely on you and to trust that your will is always correct. In your son's most precious name I pray, Amen.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer of Monopoly

I think I will have to declare this the summer of Monopoly. Our family owns Monopoly in several different versions:
  • Star Wars Monopoly- This was Jason's doing
  • Disney monopoly- Much more my taste
  • Monopoly Here and Now- a strange version that I intensely dislike because they changed the value of all of the money and it is hard to figure out what you owe.
  • Monopoly- The original game that started the craze

This summer the boys, Nathanael and Matthew have gotten really into Monopoly. Almost every day there is bargaining going on and trades being made. It is a really good game because it requires math skills as well as careful bargaining. It is not so good, however when you have a little boy like Matthew. As long as he is winning everything is fine. But if he isn't winning there is much crying involved. Any of you who know Matthew realize he cries at the drop of a hat anyway and Monopoly seems to really bring this out in him. One day he was sobbing hysterically and when I came in to find out why, he said "I don't have enough money to pay for his hotel and he keeps telling me I have to come up with the money!" Sob, sob! Oh, come on.... everyone knows that when you can't afford the hotel room that you have to mortgage, sell houses or convince the other person to buy some of your property. He, however seems to think that all you have to do is cry louder. I can't tell you how many times I have told them to just put the game away since they can't get along. Poor Nathanael never actually gets to complete winning a game. So if the boys ever ask to play Monopoly with you.... beware. You are getting yourself in the middle of things that very seldom end well. Maybe next summer should be the summer of tic-tac-toe or go fish.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Four Kids Again

Our niece Annie spent the week with us. She went to Vacation Bible school with us and had lots of fun playing mostly with Jonathan at our house. We took her to meet up with her family yesterday. Now Grace is back to being the only girl. Annie wasn't especially noisy but still I kind of miss her voice telling me silly things about having to think happy thoughts so you can have happy dreams. It was kind of fun having another little girl to do hair for. She and Grace both looked so cute in their ponytails and braids. Grace is not impressed with having her room back to herself. She was much easier to put to bed when she had a roommate. Now there is no one to giggle with late into the night. Poor Grace. But I don't feel sorry enough for her to want another daughter. Four kids are enough to keep up with. Maybe I will just have to borrow my nieces more often. One at a time of course.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Too Much Ziploc

I always buy Ziploc bags at Costco. When you have four children you go through lots of them. I get sandwich size, quart and gallon. Well, a month or so ago I thought we were getting low on sandwich bags and bought a new box. Then today we went to Costco again. They had a coupon for, you guessed it, Ziploc bags. I thought we needed gallon size but Nathanael said, no we are out of sandwich size. I thought I had just bought some but hey there was a coupon so I got them. I get home and look in the garage, where I store Costco goods like paper plates and, well, Ziploc bags. Sure enough, I had bought sandwich size last month. To make things worse, I hadn't needed them then. We already had almost a full Costco box of them. Since each box has five hundred bags in it, we now have almost fifteen hundred sandwich bags. It looks like a sandwich bag store in my garage. I might have to sell off some of my Christmas decorations in order to fit all of the sandwich bags in the garage. Or maybe I can figure out a way to use sandwich bags as Christmas decorations, or presents. Yes, that is it. Next time I decide to go to Costco, someone needs to remind me that I don't need sandwich bags and probably never will. Sorry if you are in my extended family because it looks like you are getting sandwich bags for Christmas this year.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Big Trouble

I am in big trouble this week. About a month ago Pastor Bret gave our Colossians class tons of homework to complete. I, the procrastinator that I am, did about a third of it and then put it aside for three weeks. After all, why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? An entire month to do the homework seemed like plenty of time. So now there are only a few days until our class (it is on Wednesday Night) and I have tons of work to do. Anyone who knew me from college days would think that shouldn't be a problem. I could always put off a paper until the last minute and then the final day research and write a fifteen page paper and get an A. No problem. Unfortunately this could be a little bit more of a problem. Nathanael, who is nine, is taking the class with me so he needs help with the homework. So even though I read and write at the speed of lightning (well, fast anyway) I can't speed through. So tomorrow when Nathanael wakes up we had better get started. Otherwise, we will both be in big trouble. (I guess we will be anyway since Pastor Bret reads this blog I believe, although he has never signed the guestbook.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nathanael and Matthew in Swimming Lessons

video

Annie


This week Annie, our beautiful, blue eyed, silly, funny, crazy, five-year-old niece is visiting so she can go to Vacation Bible School with us. I thought her parents might enjoy seeing some of the pictures I took of her this morning.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

102 Visits but Few Guests

I added a counter to my blog. This counter says there have been 102 visits to my blog in just over a week and that was by 39 different people. This is kind of cool since I don't think 39 people I know have been onto it. Therefore, a majority of the visitors have been complete strangers. Makes me kind of want to be careful about what I write.

Another interesting thing is that when I added the counter I also added a guestbook. I posted the first comment and my mother has posted twice. Other than that only two of my friends have signed it. Does that mean the strangers that visit sites are unwilling to even give a first name and hometown? Very interesting. So if you are one of my friends and visit my site, please sign the guestbook so I know how many of you there are. And if you are a stranger to me, sign it anyway because it would be cool to know who reads my blog. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sandals

Grace needed a new pair of sandals. Now if she had been any of her brothers that would just mean a trip to Walmart or Payless but Grace has a very deep foot. (top to bottom, not wide). So it meant a trip to the Stride Right Outlet in cabazon. I showed her the cute white ones and the little booger insisted on pink. Then we headed to the checkstand. There were some cute little croc like shoes on sale for only ten dollars so I showed her the purple ones. They were adorable. She was slightly agreeable until she saw they also came in bright pink. She just had to have them. Since they were on sale I got her the purple ones too......... now how will I convince her to ever put them on?

Three Years Old

Jonathan is three. Some people would say that was great because it means the terrible twos are over. I however, firmly believe that two year olds are just testing their limits and three year olds know the limits but choose to be defiant anyway. So, Jonathan is very three. He gets mad and screams even though he knows screaming will just lead to punishment. He also loves to fake cry when he doesn't get his way.

The other day we were in the car and Jonathan didn't get his way about something. He began to cry loudly, although there were no tears involved. Grace, being almost two decides to copy him. She begins to fake cry.... loudly. Jonathan instantly stops crying and glares at his sister. He sternly tells her "GRACE, you cannot cry when I am crying!" Apparently they are supposed to take turns crying.

Three year olds are not all bad, however. It is an amazing age of discovery. Every little thing is fascinating when you are three. Jonathan is thrilled by chocolate milk, Mickey Mouse, and getting to go to the big boy class instead of the nursery. One day when he wanted to go to big class the nursery worker took him to Pastor James, the children's pastor. Pastor James said he could go to big class if he could obey the teacher. Now every Sunday after church Jonathan announces that he had fun in big class and that he OOOOOOOOOOOObeyed.

I love my three year old dearly. You never know what he is going to do or say next. This is not to say that I don't look forward to him being four, which as we discovered with his two big brothers, is a much easier age. For now I suppose we should love the age of discovery and realize the age of defiance will pass, as long as it is dealt with properly.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Prayer for Nathanael

Nathanael is truly struggling with giving his life to God. The Holy Spirit is moving greatly in his life. He loves going the adult MIT class that is an in depth inductive study of Colossians. He loves the Young Theologians Bible Study for boys his age he goes to. He is learning to love finding out all he can about God and his Word. He has not, however given his life completely to God and asked Christ to cleanse him from his sins and take control. I am asking all of you who continually read this blog to pray for him and that he will choose to give God glory through his life. I know God is working in his life and that God can do anything. Just pray that Nathanael will be receptive to his word. Especially this week as we have VBS which will clearly explain the Gospel once again. Please just pray for Nathanael in this coming week. By the way, I had him read this post and told him I would also let him read any comments anyone posted, so if you are praying for him, let him know.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Susie and Grace

My Brother, David came over tonight. His daughter Susie is only a couple of months older than Grace. This is the two girls playing peek a boo at La Casa Vieja. They had finished eating all their quesadillas and decided to entertain themselves. Sorry about the bar in the background.
video

Missy






We went to the shelter to pick out another dog. We took three of our children with us. (Jonathan was hanging out at Terry's house.) We spent a couple of hours looking at dogs and visiting with them. There was one kennel with two Pomeranians in it. If you happen to know the breed you will know that they are small and fluffy. Grace looks in the kennel and says "Meeeeow Meeeeow." I said "No Grace, they are dogs. Woof Woof." She looks into the next kennel and sees a big dog. She says "Woof Woof". Then she points at the pomeranians again and says "Meeeeow, Meeeeow". There was no convincing her that they were not cats. Can you tell we are not small dog people? She did have a point though. They did kind of look like cats.
By the way, we ended up with a beautiful golden retriever mix named Missy. Don't know what she is mixed with. She is four years old and housebroken. The kids love her. She got out on the first night but I will save that for another post.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Almost Ten Years Ago






Our baby boy, Nathanael almost ten years ago. Didn't Jason and I look like babies too?

Entertainment


We have this amazing form of entertainment at our house. It is called Geotrax, by Fisher Price. It started out as a little track for Matthew's second birthday and has grown into a huge empire of tracks, buildings and vehicles. The boys have laundry baskets under the bunk beds (luckily it is a high bed so there is lots of room). They now have four baskets full of them and are always asking for more. What I like is that it entertains them all, from the one year old who knows how to put tracks together but can't figure out how to make a complete circle to a nine year old who creates entire cities. It entertains four kids for hours without any computers, video game systems or television. Such a happy toy. My favorite. If you have children, you should really start your collection now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Snowflake in July

I saw it tonight, a snowflake in July. Okay, so there were lots of snowflakes and they were made out of paper but doesn't the idea of snow make you feel cooler anyway? We were hanging out at Briget's when a couple of the boys, Matthew and Elijah, decided to make paper snowflakes. This of course made Jonathan long to make one too. Since he is unable to operate scissors on his own yet (he is only three remember) I decided to help him make one. This one turned in to lots of very creative patterned snowflakes littering Briget's table. Such fun. Then Jamie had to try it too. I wonder if Briget will feel cool tomorrow when she has to pick up all the tiny pieces that accidentally got dropped from the table. Hmmmm. Maybe she will make us start having our Monday night hang out sessions at my house instead.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

In N Out

We went to In N Out the other day for lunch. Yummy! The food came and we all started eating. After Jason had eaten about half of his food, he looked over at Matthew, who is seven. Matthew hadn't eaten a bite. He was just sitting quietly and watching everyone eat. Jason asked Matthew why he wasn't eating and Matthew responded "I can't eat. We didn't say the prayer yet!" We always pray before we eat. I couldn't believe we forgot. I also can't believe Matthew let his food get cold rather than saying anything. Then again, he isn't the most talkative little guy ever. What a good little kid. I think we should keep him.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Hallway

I wrote this in my freshman year of high school for an English assignment

I walk slowly down the dark hallway
I hear something
I turn....nothing
The darkness envelops me
I feel a chill yet no windows are visible
The hallway goes forever into nothing
How far can I walk, what awaits me?
I see a slight movement....a light shines
What's there? What is the light?
I walk on, terrified
"Who's there?" I call into the darkness, or to the light
No answer, nothing
My slow steady walk continues
I'm almost there, the light is near
Here, the light, the end of my search
I turn and look into the light
What's in there?
Even as I watch the light dims
I find myself looking into another hallway
Darkness prevails again
My search continues
I walk slowly down the dark hallway....