Monday, May 19, 2014

Cherry Point Air Show

On Friday we headed to a local military base for a community event! We thought it involved lots of planes and fireworks, if we lasted long enough into the evening.

When we got there, we were pleasantly surprised by all of the military personnel and vehicles they had out on display. Our kids were soo excited.... so excited it was hard to keep up with which vehicle they were in.




The kids had a blast climbing through the vehicles! But what impressed me was the military staff there helping! To have a dozen or so wild kids climbing through these tanks and hummers, boats and helicopters... they were soo calm and patient! They gladly answered the kids questions and handed them down to parents.

I kind of chuckled a few times when these men were soo very outnumbered by kids and were looking around them to see exactly how many kids they actually were "tending" to at one time. The kids were loud. Climbing in and out! Pushing every button they could possibly reach.

These men (and women) impressed me! Sure, there were some that you could tell they weren't comfortable with all the kiddos. But most just were really professional, easy to talk to and seemed to almost enjoy the kids... almost:)

Chris was in "his element"!!!

He's talked already about being in the military. And most of his drawings include war/fighting scenes. He definitely has a compassionate and serving heart as well.... in some ways, I saw him fitting well into the group of men and women that I saw that night. Surprisingly he's pretty good with younger children, too!

And yes, we did see some planes;)




And fireworks, too!

Thankfully, it turned out to be a beautiful night (actually chilly!) and a wonderful opportunity for our children to have their sphere of knowledge broadened a little more. Reading the signs and seeing in what areas/conflicts some of the planes, helicopters and tanks have served was also cool and tied into our current history lessons. As well as meeting and speaking to many Marines as they happily explored through the vehicles.


And I left with a feeling of gratitude towards our military... in this case the Marines!
 And proud to be a sibling of a Marine Corp veteran as well! 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Nate's 4th Birthday!!

IMG_6040While the blog has remained quiet, we've been no where close to quiet around here!!

One of the most anticipated dates in our house is May 1st!! Nate has been able to remember his birth date for months now asking us, "How many days until May 1st?" And celebrate we did:)

It's been a little bittersweet this year.... 4 is soo old! He's not a baby any longer which means we don't have any babies in the house anymore:/

Nate is full of personality!!  FULL to the max:) He gets tons of comments has he roller skates with our home school group because of all of his expressions and antics.

And his little mouth gets him in soo much trouble (and causes us to giggle when he's not looking)! I think it has to do with his name and being the youngest who is determined to be heard. Oh and he is a loud talker... he has three volumes- loud, louder and off! Thankfully at church we've had enough experience now for him to "try" to whisper!

Speaking of church, he has come a long way in attending his class. When we first started attending our church (after moving) Nate wouldn't even go into his class. We had to sit outside the class... and sometimes he'd go in for snack time... sometimes! Brian sat with him during Sunday school and then I had him for Service (sometimes in the sanctuary and sometimes not!). We've kept our kids with us in Service for most of their lives... so we're used to packing "quiet activities" and snack. And thankfully Nate has finally adjusted and the last few months I haven't had to leave. He is also happily attending his Sunday School and Wednesday night classes with this momma with him... but he's talking now with his teachers/friends, playing without me at his side and I've actually have left him alone in class for a few minutes... small victories! But I am soo grateful for the teachers of his classes that have welcomed me and have been so sweet to Nate as he adjusts.
We also had a hard couple of months during the 3's! He was literally attached to me and seemed very angry/frustrated when I couldn't meet his needs immediately. I am thankful for my gracious friends who would try to appease him when I couldn't, or endured the fussing with us. They reminded me that it was a "season"! And they were right... I loved him, was firm with him and soon it was in the past. Wish all season would pass as simply:)

It has been soo cool seeing Nate just blend in with the older kids at home and during home school group meetings/outings! He wants to keep up with the older kids soo bad.... so he does;) In fact, he's been riding his bike with two wheels for months just needing help getting started and don't you know on his birthday day he jumped on and went! Alone! All around! Just as fast as the others!

He's big enough to keep up and small enough to still climb into my lap! And sometimes I get 100 kisses:)

Celebrate we did... simply this year!

First we had an early meal with Grandma and Grandaddy since we were down visiting just days before May 1st. Nate was taken to Walmart to pick out a gift. We thought for sure that he'd choose some Legos, but he surprised us all by picking out a new bicycle helmet which he really did need;)

Then we came home and quickly got in a lunch party before his friend left for a grandparent visit. We had the whole family over for a simple lunch on the Wednesday before his birthday. I hated rushing it but it was the friend he had said over and over that he wanted to come over ti eat his cake;)

On Nate's birthday, the girls made muffins for breakfast. We did a little school in the morning! I introduced him to the chore chart... he was excited. And it's time for him to start getting into morning routines;) He spent a lot of time outside riding his bike with his new helmet! Soon it was time for pizza making and a family dinner!

Simple, sweet, low stress and we got to enjoy our time together!

One of my most memorable conversations with him on his birthday was when he asked, "Do they [his siblings] have to obey me now because I am 4?"

Me: They obey Mommy, Daddy and God, not you. But you can help them do the right things and they can listen to your help.

Nate: "When I am 10, do I have to obey you and Daddy anymore?"

Me: "In the Bible it says to honor your parents. That means you need to obey them when you are growing up and respect them when you are a grown up. "

Nate: "Wreeally. Oh, come on, people!"

There was an older man in earshot and I could hear him chuckling;) Just a normal conversation with Nate trying to figure it all out;)

Nate's  Stats
Nate is  39.5 inches tall and weighs 37.5  lbs!

Nate wears 3T and 4T... kind of in between sizes so he tends to wear both. And he also has a couple of t-shirts that are hand-me-downs from Chris a little early:/ But he usually thinks Chris is really cool and love to wear anything that Chris would have worn:)

Schooling is very simple (and lately sporadic). It often consists of reading books from Before Five In a Row, doing an activity or two, working on a page of a pre-reader (beginning sounds practice), a game and then he's about done. 15-20 minutes:) And then while I work with the older kids he does puzzles, plays with Duplos, Legos, Lincoln Logs, draws/cuts/glues.... stays busy and content until his tummy starts rumbling for lunch!

His favorites:

Color : Blue
Food : Pizza
Treat:  Chocolate Break-up
Subject: Cutting with Scissors
Animal: Baby Elephant or Dinosaur , Jack (our dog)
Do inside: Train track, Puzzles
Outside Activity: Play Soldiers in Woods, Ride his Bike (Horse)
Toys: Legos, Big Firetruck, Noisy Motorcycle
Restaurant: Deadwood
Book: anything about Tools, Dinosaurs
Movie: Letter Factory, Cars
TV Show: Leave It to Beaver, Handy Manny, Bob the Builder, Calliou

Goals for his 4th year: Play soccer on a team

When you ask him what he wants to be when he "grows up" he'll respond "a giant"!

Happy Birthday to 
our silly, crazy, funny, still snuggly
 4 yr old!!