Friday, May 30, 2008

"mountain"- biking :)

This evening we got to do something Brian has been hoping to do for a LONG time. We have some friends that own a large amount of farm land that Brian has had the opportunity to go four-wheeling on and biking once.

Being a mountain boy, he would love to be out in the midle of no-where on his bike... just exploring!! But with three kiddies and an out-of-shape wife, he doesn't often get to "sneak away" often:)

This afternoon we did..... TOGETHER!!!

We hit a few snags.....

mostly having to do with Anna having training wheels:)

1. Her training wheels kept getting stuck in the sand.... so we had to ditch the bike on the trail

2. Where can a 4-yr old ride??? So Brian held her for a bit, but pulling the trailer was a little too tough for me, especially in the sandy parts:)

Well... this is how we ended up enjoying the rest of our ride:) Anna loved riding in the back on the trailer... I'm sure there are signs that kid shouldn't ride in the back pocket.... but what do you do in the middle of a bike ride in the middle of fields???? At least she was wearing the helmet:)

dirty Little Kids

I once had a younger single friend say that she wasn't ever going to have children because they were soo messy....... I remember thinking, "How messy can kids really be?" Besides her comment being completely opposite of my beliefs and views of the joy of families, I've quickly learned how messy kids can be:) Especially my little boy, who can find and make a mess just about anywhere, anytime, with anything ......

And this picture just shows you it's not only little boys that can make messes:)

I would not trade the kids for anything.... I've learned that there's no mess that washing machines, hoses and the bathtub (ohh, and the Magic Eraser) can't handle:) So enjoy the messy moments, too!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Piano for Preschoolers Contest

Anyway, I've been on a giveaway craze lately.... this is one of the last ones I found that really appealed to the homeschooling-Mommy I want-to-be:)

It's a program called Piano for Preschoolers...... anyway, I read through it some and it's something to look into.... defiantly to sign-up to possibly win:) Here's where you can check out the contest!

Why I Fold My Laundry at Night!!!

Lydia decided she needed to use some of my folded laundry today:) I thought this was too cute not to video and blog... of course ;)

The beginning of the video is the cutest and funniest part, but I left the rest because I was pretty surprised with how long she stayed busy with the dishcloths. At one point she looks like she is trying to fold the dishcloth and put it back in the pile;)

NO boogies were really used in the filming of this video. And no dishcloths were soiled, either:)

***BTW... did you hear the Sesame Street in the background?? The kids had turned it on while I was on the phone and I just left it, it gave me a chance to fold laundry, right?

Encouraging Blogger

I'm not sure how I stumbled onto this new blog I've been reading, but I have and it's been SOOO encouraging to me!!! The mom has five little girls (the youngest being just a month or so old). But her heart's desire is to train these little girl's hearts and lead them to the Lord...... what a blessing to read some of her struggles and suggestions.

Her post today was encouraging to all those training and raising little ones..... Parental Authority. It's encouraging to have another Mom with similar goals and one that shares that it's not easy:)

The Last Tadpole is now a Froggie

This tadpole has been the biggest tadpole and is now our "biggest" frog. He's very, very fast.... our ADD frog!!! But the fun part of him being soo big is that his coloring and markings are very bright and clear versus our little frog that just looks brown:)

I'm waiting for our Grammie to come and see our frogs and then I think it will be time for them to find a new home. The kids really like the frogs so I might be keeping the frogs for a little longer than expected..... the kids will actually hold them now and are pretty gentle considering how old they are:)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lydia, Our Lydia

Our little Lydia is a piece of work.... I'm not sure if I've mentioned this one the blog before... but we're not sure if she is busyer than Christopher and Anna or if it's just that we have her along with two others. I thought Christopher was a climber.... Lydia truly keeps up with Christopher and Anna. And I know I've had to get her off the kitchen table a LOT more than I had to for Christopher!

My sister commented yesterday how quickly Lydia usually obeys us. And she does "usually" obey pretty quickly (she has her stubborn moments as well). But she is the youngest and she has two very good teachers :) They show her how to obey, how not-to-obey and what happens when you don't obey!

Here is a sweet picture of Lydia in Anna's bed "reading" Anna's Bible. Of course she had climbed up into the bed herself, it was the first time I had seen her do it!

Lydia is also our snuggliest baby.... she just LOVES to snuggle!! Lately though we've seen a stronger attachment to her blanket. She wants to take it out of her bed in the morning and snuggle a few extra minutes when she first wakes up:) It's sweet. This morning she slept late, when I finally went to check on her at 8:50am she was laying awake in her bed rubbing the satin ribbon on her blanket... taking her time to wake up!

You're soo Cute....

Christopher is a charmer....... he can be a little devious or defiant one moment, then you discipline and he's snuggly and sweet. That pretty much describes our days, at least for the last few weeks:)

This morning we were having some sweet moments and I said to him, " Christopher, you're soo cute, do you know why you're soo cute?"

He answered back to me smiling and confident, "Cause I go to church!!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Tuesday Birthday "party #2"

We got out the pool and took out the water guns.......

Singing "Happy Birthday" to Anna with friends and family:)
Like those new shades:)
Really out of focus....but the babies were loving the bubbles and I'm soo slow with the camera:)
We enjoyed our day with Aunt Jaclyn and Uncle Carson!!
Although I realized that I didn't get many pics of Andrea's crew.... they did come and help us celebrate:)

Our Week-long Celebration Started Today

Anna has been having an extended birthday this started 1 week early when we celebrated with Grandma and Grandaddy :) And then Monday, Memorial Day, Uncle Scott and Miss Beatriz came for the evening to have dinner and give some gifts.....

It's always funny to see which gifts the kids are drawn to. Uncle Scott brought a hat and Dance Pad for Anna and a Rocket Launcher for Christopher. Hmm... inside the kids liked stepping on the Dance Pad but I think with three sets of feet, the Pad was a little confused... or maybe we were:) But as soon as we were outside the Rocket Launcher became the HIT....we all had fun with it:)

And while we were outside we had friends/neighbors drop by with some more gifts for the kids.... this just is one example of how blessed we are in this community.... everyone is soo sweet and gracious to us AND our kids!!!

Ohhh, and before I forget this milestone, Anna received her first Barbie:) Already!!! Anyway, she's been calling the Barbie Mama Mirabelle which is just soo funny because Mama Mirabelle is a fictional elephant on a kids National Geographic cartoon.

Our Anna is 4!!!!!!

Well I finally got my little photo collection together for Anna!!! It's been very sweet going through all my digital photos ( we got a digital camera when Anna was 6months old, so there is a very big photo gap..... we have plenty of hard copies of little cute baby pictures)!!!

It's really LONG..... just a warning :)

Happy 4th Birthday, Sweetie!!!
We LOVE you!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day

Remember to take some time today to think about the men who have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms. And ALSO pray for their families (wives, husbands, parents and children) who have also sacrificed MUCH!!!
Thank YOU!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Snapshots of our Saturday

Yes, we attempted some potty training this morning.... looks like I need to do a little more training before the "Big Boy" pants stay out!!!

Spaghetti Face!!

Good 'Ole Lydia Cheese-ing

We played for a while with our little frog....Christopher caught him over and over...
Once I thought the little guy was a goner but he was just playing dead or staying still so Chris couldn't see him!!
Even Anna held the frog today!!
And tried to catch the last tadpole:) He was too fast to get a picture of...
Fun picture where you can see the frog's details.....
it just got sunny all of a sudden

Daddy riding around Lydia
Anna and Christopher riding around
(we do a lot of bike riding each day!!!!)
Anna riding and singing
....hopefully she'll be a little more coordinated than her mother:)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Family Biking

Our new favorite thing to do together!!!!!

The Difference in Just ONE Day

I've been deciding how to share about my day with Christopher YESTERDAY.....I didn't want to complain, but share the challenges of motherhood!!! Yes, challenge was the "word of the day" yesterday.

We'd had pretty normal morning, minus a little stubborness on Christopher's part. While I was packing lunch I let Christopher and Anna play in the kitchen with their "peas" and some "beads". Anyway, Christopher started to scatter them and I got his attention and remined that he'd be cleaning up any messes he had made (which is reseasonable for him right up one thing at a time).

When the time to clean up the mess came he wasn't a happy camper..... he had to be corrected MANY, MANY times.... I even helped him by sweeping the peas near him and then helping him put some in the bowl (call it re-focusing). When I wasn't looking he'd DUMP the bowl, so they would be scattered all over the floor again. Anyway, when I stepped out of the situation for the second I was able to calm down, take a picture, call my friends to say I'd be running late to the park and decide to "win" the battle.

Before getting out of the van I reminded the kids about how to play nicely (ie "be sweet", "don't throw sand or mulch"). They played well but after lunch Christopher started throwing sand at one of the younger babies. When saw it, I quickly told him to come to me so I could handle it in another place away from the other families...... did he come immediately??? Nope, he ran around the picnic area causing a scene. He ended up needing "some" help getting to the private place and was screaming before I even got to him. Once he and I finished he came out, apologized and then ran back to playing like normal.

I just get so tired of having to constantly discipline the kids, especially when it's about things that we've been through already!!! And it's hard to discipline when they even buck the discipline.....
And I know I have a little boy on my hands, but they still have to be civil and they can be soo sweet...... they can obey and often do :)

But I was reminded of the verses that say...... (rough paraphrases)

*The Father loves whom He disciplines
*Spare the rod, hate the child
*NO discipline is pleasant at the time

But I remind myself that this is the time to teach, train and discipline them!!! SO that is what i need to do

We had a good evening with our friends last night. Andrea posted some fun pictures from our evening.

But today was totally different. Sure I had to correct Christopher a couple of times...but he listened up and obeyed the FIRST time. As I was dressed him for bed, we realized that he didn't need any extra measures!! And he beamed when Brian and I thanked him for such a good day:)

Here is the kids at the table as we did a little work this morning:)

Another Computer Guru (in training)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tadpole Update

We have new froggies!!!!

I have been amazed at how fast their little arms pop out!!! Really!!! We'll check them in the morning and they'll have a little arm stub on one side and then after lunch there is an arm!!!!

Look at that dirty and still a-little-pudgy hand!! Priceless.......

Who Naps at Your House???

Dora is currently napping at ours ;)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Christopher Riding the Big bike and writing?

Grandma and Grandaddy got Christopher a bike when they last visited, so he could keep up with Anna and b/c the Little Red Tricycle was little. Anyway, I told Grandma during our visit last week that Christopher had started to ride the bigger bike on the driveway (not for longer distances). But that it was really funny because he has to move soo far to each side to stay on the pedals.... well I caught it on video today..........

**** He usually wears his helmet, but I was being a slacker..... ********

This is totally unrelated to bike riding, but Christopher is writing his letters backwards, like his "P"s look like "q"s..... he's all of 2 yrs old and wring letters, so I'm thankful that he is experimenting. And he recognizes them both ways:) Has anyone ever heard of this? And what do I do to help him?

Late Night Snacking

The kids got some lollipops from our post office man the other day.... I hadn't given them the chance to eat them yet. But of course my kids are soo silly:)

Christopher devoured his lollipop..... he was soo excited to finally get it. He is my SWEET tooth.... he'll eat almost anything that is sweet!!! Unfortunately he takes after me.... I'll eat something I really am indifferent to just because I want something sweet.....

My girls are totally different (like their Daddy)..... they won't eat something unless they really like it, whether it is sweet or not. Anna has not finished cookies because she wants more plain pasta.....

Anyway, so the kids were starting to enjoy their lollipops and Daddy came into the kitchen and popped popcorn...... the girls literally dropped their lollipops on the (newly scrubbed) kitchen floor in order to get some popcorn (air-popped, no seasoning)!!!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Guarding Little Hearts and Minds, While They're Young

Just today I had some reminders of another aspect of my role as a parent. We watch over soo much of what our children are exposed to. With food allergies I'm watching what my children eat. One reason is for safety (defensive) and another reason is to make sure they are getting what their little bodies need!! Today I was listing what Lydia had consumed and calculating how much calcium she is actually getting (since she is still NOT drinking soymilk).

But while taking a mental break I let the kids turn on the TV... PBS Kids. All of a sudden Christopher just started bawling .... It was a totally different cry than just annoyance with his sister or frustration over something....he was clearly emotional over something.

Mr Rogers was on and one of the puppets in the Land of Make-Believe was upset and crying as well......although I can assure you that Christopher's tears were much more believable and bigger!!! I don't think what he was watching was harmful or unappropriated, but obviously Christopher was disturbed by it.

It was a reminder to me of how sensitive and mold-able these little guys are. And how I (as their Mom) need to be always on guard to protect and guide them.

I know some may think we've over protective when it comes to movies, shows, etc with our kids. But I remember how Anna tried to watch a Disney movie and was scared silly in the first few minutes!! Why have something that is supposed to fun and entertainment scare them (or make them worry)?
Brian and I went to a movie while we were on vacation last week. The movie itself was ok, but the previews really disturbed me. What we call entertainment and what we are feed through media can be soo TRASHY!! Violence and sexual scenes and jokes are rampant.....

I'm not so eager to have my kids exposed to these things so soon. There are soo many things I would love to have their little hearts and minds dwell on than what I see in many forms of children's videos, movies and shows. So my kids don't have a clue who Hannah Montana is...... by the time they go to college it totally won't matter :)

Let us be sure to guard our children's hearts and minds, while we can....while they're young.

"Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things . " Philippians 4:8

And this is just proof that I do let my kids watch TV :) They love to snack and to watch a video:) Probably get it from their Daddy who loves a good movie and a late-night snack:)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Learning Days

Both kids wanted to work on puzzles this morning (it had been a while since we'd had them out). Anna worked hard on the States puzzle. She was givent his puzzle when she was 2....and I totally thought it was "too advanced" for her. Boy, was I wrong.... she took off with it, played with it for weeks and soon after was able to put it together by herself!!!

After Anna finished putting together for the second time, she let Christopher have a try and "helped" him along;) This is such a comforting reminder to me that even though I'm busier now with three kids, the kids still get plenty of attention and "help" with projects (like puzzles)... from each other:)

Finally, I've mentioned before how impressed I've been with the Leap Frog Learning DVDs!!! The other day the kids and were practicing some of the letters using the little Leap Frog Letter/phonics song and we heard Lydia.... Here's what we actually caught today!!

Learning from Seasoned Parents

I'm sure many have seen videos, TV clips or Discovery Health shows of the Duggars. Anyway, after their latest appearance on the Today Show, I decided to search their site for "words of wisdom" concerning discipline. I love learning how other parents handle things and things I can incorporate into my house to make our home peaceful, loving, fun and God-honoring.

So in my search I saw that they recently posted their "Duggar House Guidelines":

  1. Always use soft words, even when you don’t feel well.
  2. Always display kind actions, even if you have been mistreated.
  3. Show joyful attitudes even when no one is looking.
  4. Have sincere motives with no thought of self-gain.
  5. Think pure thoughts.
  6. Always give a good report of others. Never talebear unless physical harm will come to someone. Use Matthew 18.
  7. Never raise a hand to hit.
  8. Never raise a foot to kick.
  9. Never raise an object to throw.
  10. Never raise a voice to yell.
  11. Never raise an eye to scowl.
  12. Use one toy/activity at a time.
  13. Never let the sun go down on your wrath. (Don’t go to bed angry or guilty)
  14. Amendment J.O.Y. - Make serving your family a priority.
    Put Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.
Anyway, I always notice how well-mannered all their children are.... not just those 20 minutes but also through the waiting and such (as the Toady Show crew always complements them on their manners and how clean they leave the "guest room"). It's very cool to see how they guide their children......

Sunday, May 18, 2008

NO - Hands

Can anyone say "100% Boy"????

Enjoying the Moments

After church this afternoon while we were getting lunch ready we let the kids play outside. First I was out snapping pictures and then Brian came out and rode them around while I finished the lunch preparations:)

What a difference our "pre-lunch" time was today.... usually on Sunday afternoons the kids are fussy....they fuss with us, with each other, with their toys. We actually video taped it one time because it was sooo crazy (thank goodness they're getting older so it's getting a little better).
Finally, we eat and put them to bed!!!

But today we got to enjoy with them, laugh, let them run off any extra energy and I got to finish preparations in peace watching them have fun in the yard. Even lunch went a little smoother, with Anna actually trying(and enjoying) mashed potatoes!!!

As you can see everyone is well.... I'm still mentally giving the "virus" a few days before I'm going to consider us "virus free". But for now the vomit bucket is in the closet:) Yay!!