Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 30, 2008

Well, we are all pretty much over our colds, which is nice. The friends with whom we were going to have Thanksgiving dinner called first thing Thanksgiving morning to say that their son had a throw-up-virus. So we ended up staying home that day and having bacon and eggs for our Thanksgiving dinner. We also thawed out a turkey and cooked it the following day.

My sister, her two kids and my mom all came over on Thanksgiving evening and spent the night. My niece stayed an extra night and half day with us too. The boys had such fun with everyone here.

My family brought lots of Thanksgiving dinner leftovers to us, including a whole apple pie that my sister had made. She makes the very best apple pie that I have ever eaten. There is only one piece left. We had a very nice visit.

The boys are still napping, but not for long, and the dad just got home with our Christmas tree. Let the fun begin! (Note to self: Hide the stick horses this year!)
Happy belated Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November 26, 2008

I have another cold. The boys seemed to have it a bit but don't seem to be as impacted by it as I am. I felt pretty good yesterday and was able to get a lot done but today I am not feeling well at all. I had thought that this might be a better year for us regarding colds but this is already round two so now I'm not so sure after all.

The husband begins his two weeks of in-service duty at the hospital tomorrow morning so we will not be going to my family's Thanksgiving get together. This means he has to do rounds in the mornings for two weeks straight (including weekends) and then is on call for a big part of each day and for the entire day/night on certain days. It is never a fun time and we are always relieved when it is over.

But, on the bright side, we have been invited to share Thanksgiving dinner with some friends and our kids like to play with their kids so we will all have a good time.

Woops, kids just woke up from nap. Gotta run!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

November 23, 2008

For the first time ever, other than for church directories, we had professional pics taken yesterday evening. Here are the results:

We had a terribly difficult time getting a good picture of the whole family. This was the best we were able to do, after many tries.

They told us to pose like this and it was kind of funny because this was the same pose we had for our engagement picture, which was the first professional picture we had taken together.

I really like this one of my three guys:).

They were not suppose to include the one below but they accidentally did. We bought this grouping of pictures except we had a family photo as the large one on top.

And now for some Christmas pictures of the boys:

Friday, November 21, 2008

November 21, 2008

This is the simple expression the boys used for this situation. My response was a prayer to God, thanking Him for His protection. Both boys were in this jeep. Ben was driving and he drove it up on the little hill next to the driveway which is actually our neighbors yard. I have watched them do this in the past, over and over and over again, without any issues. I was not watching this time when this happened (I had my back to the window and I was breaking the crayons into smaller pieces:) so I am not quite sure how they ended up turning over backwards, end over end.

I am really kind of glad I didn't see it because I know I would have freaked out. They both came running into the house and Nick was kind of whining/crying. I had not seen the car so I didn't know what had happened. The last time I had looked outside, they were taking turns lying on the driveway, while the other one drove in circles around the one lying down. Ben had actually tried running over Nick but the dad had stopped that activity pretty quickly, while they were both still laughing and thinking it was fun sport.

Anyway, it wasn't until I noticed that Ben was only wearing one sock/shoe and his other foot was bare that I realized something was really amiss (it was 27 degrees outside!). I asked "what happened to your other shoe?" and he said "it in the car". I looked up and saw the car upside down on the driveway and was shocked that they were not hurt. Nick was whining/crying because he was scared but he stopped as soon as they were in the house.

Indeed, the shoe was stuck inside the car where the feet go, with the sock still in it. It is a miracle they were not hurt. I am convince it was only because of God's protection.

For those of you who are wondering why our two boys are driving around in a pink and white Barbie jeep, a friend of ours gave it to us. Also, the boys are still in that gender-neutral mode so they have not noticed that it is a girlie jeep. They like driving so much, I'm not so sure it would matter even if they did know it was girlie, although they might want to hide it when they had friends over:).

Bonus picture, since it was on the camera. Nick: "I go to work." Me: "OK, have a nice day honey."

In other news, I had the day off yesterday:). The dad took care of the boys all day and let me have a day to relax, run errands and just enjoy myself. I took a very long, hot shower, did a little shopping (very little), spent some time relaxing and also spent some time at my favorite used book store, searching through the books for the good ones. I enjoy doing this and have found some great deals. Yesterday I found some great books about insects, butterflies, frogs, fish, etc. that are a bit above the boys' level. They love them. We have to do some summarizing and skip some sentences here and there for now but they have wonderful pictures and the boys really like them. They were $1 each and I just had to pay the tax:). I need to take in more books for trade though because I used up all of my trade money yesterday.

When the boys are a little older and a bit more reliable about being nice to books, I'm sure we will be getting the majority of our books from the library. But, for now, having this as a resource has been such a blessing.

We are having a beautiful, sunny, cold fall day here today. I am glad it is finally getting cold. It doesn't seem like Thanksgiving time when it is not cold. Hope you are having a beautiful fall day as well!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008 Part 2

So I have been wondering how to handle Nick's reluctance to let me show him how to hold a pencil or crayon. I have offered to show him many times and he always says no. He gets upset with me if I try to get him to let me show him.

One day this week, he finally let me show him one time, only because I was talking about how he will have to learn to hold his pencil correctly so he can learn to write like daddy. Any time I talk about being like daddy, I get his attention pretty quickly. Even so, as adamant as he has been about not wanting me to show him, I was surprised that he let me show him even with the daddy-carrot. After I showed him, he only tried it for a couple of minutes before switching back to his fist-grip on the crayon.

 Everything I have read says to make sure they learn to hold it correctly from the beginning so I am starting to get a bit concerned about this and wondering if I need to start forcing the issue (if you want to write/color, you have to try to hold the crayon correctly?). He loves to color and draw (scribble) and cut and paste and all that and I have not wanted to curtail his interest so I have not pushed the issue up until now.

I read somewhere that one way to get a child to hold a crayon correctly is to break the crayons so they are so short that they can only hold it with their finger tips, much like holding a small piece of chalk to write on a chalk board. So, when they were not around, I broke all of their crayons:). I really didn't think they would even notice, as they had already broken some of them. Nick did notice right away and mentioned it to me several times over the following days, which was funny. I don't think I broke them into small enough pieces though because he can still hold most of them in his fist-grip.

He is a very strong willed child and I often wonder, if I have this much trouble just getting him to let me show him how to hold a crayon, what is it going to be like homeschooling this child? I think I have my work cut out for me. Also, if potty training him is any indication of how homeschooling is going to go, I'm in big trouble.

November 19, 2008

The great news of the day is that the dad is back. Yay!!! I am so relieved he is home. He left very early in the morning, before I was up, last Friday and came back this evening so he was gone the better part of six days. In retrospect, I should have hired our babysitter to come over for a few hours one day and give me a break.

I don't sleep well when he is gone, so that does not help my situation. By today, I was really really tired. So today was a special day, as I told the boys. I let them watch three videos; two before nap and one after. By the time they finished that, the fence guys had finished putting up our new fence so the boys could once again go outside and play without me having to be out there with them. It was wonderful because we had an absolutely beautiful day here today. I think it got up to somewhere in the mid-70's. The boys had not been able to play outside without an adult being out there with them for a couple of weeks so this was just wonderful for all of us. God must have known that I really needed this today.

When the dad got home, he took us all out to eat for dinner. When we got back, he took the boys upstairs to play and now he is putting them to bed. So I have had a very peaceful evening and I am going to go to bed early. I am looking forward to getting out by myself for a bit tomorrow and doing some errands. The dad is off work the next two days so we have a nice four day weekend ahead of us to get back into our groove.

I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week. Time is going by so quickly and the boys are growing and changing so fast. They have been singing the Jingle Bells song lately and I'm not sure where they heard it. They sing: "Jingle bells. Jingle bells. Hey!" It cracks me up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008 Part 2 promised.

Nick asking Ben what he wants for Christmas. They were at the mall with the dad the other day and Nick sat on Santa's lap for the first time ever. Ben was scared so he watched, although I assured him that lots of little kids are scared of Santa.

They dressed up as cowboys for Halloween. I ended up eating most of their candy:).

November 18, 2008

Today's gas prices here are $1.68 per gallon. I notice this and comment on it so often when we pass by the local gas station that the boys will now comment on before I do if I forget. It's funny because they make up numbers that make no sense. They do this also when they step on the scales to weight themselves. They are so funny.

We went to the aquarium today and bought a year membership for our whole family for $85. I thought that was pretty good, considering it would have cost around $35 for me and the boys to go one time. They had added a lot of stuff since I had last been there and they had some really fun things for kids. We pet some sting rays and small sharks, which was an interesting and fun experience. Very cool place where I am sure we will be visiting often, since it is pretty close to our house.

The dad comes back tomorrow and we are all looking forward to that very much. We have all missed him a lot. When we were saying prayers last night, I asked the boys what they wanted to pray for. N immediately said he wanted to pray for daddy to come home and then B said he wanted to pray for daddy to come home too. I'm glad I saved the aquarium visit until today because I think it took their minds off missing dad for a while and gave us something very fun to do to pass the time.

Actually, it is our evenings when we miss him the most, since he is normally at work during the days. Yesterday evening, after we had finished dinner and I had cleaned up, I hung out on the couch and let them both climb all over me for a while. They love doing that. I was lying down and they took turns lying down on top of me, face up. I would put their arms up high, near my head, and tell them to hold on so they wouldn't fall off the plane. When they had their arms up high and they were kind of holding on to my head, I would tickle them under their arms and on their sides. They would laugh so hard and start wiggling until they fell off onto the floor or, as they say, into the "man hole". They thought this was so funny and so we did this over and over again. Then we went upstairs to play for the last thirty minutes or so before bed. So we filled our evening pretty well and we all had lots of laughs.

Just one more evening and then most of tomorrow before the dad will be back and life will get back to normal. I think he said he would be home around dinner time tomorrow.

Here are a couple of pictures but I have a bunch more to load, which I will do sometime soon.

The first two pictures are of the boys playing ambulance.

Here is a picture of the boys preparing to help the dad blow out his birthday candles. Happy Birthday honey! Don't they all look like they are drooling over the cake?? They were:).

And these last two pictures are of N's birthday party. He wanted B to help him blow out his candles and open his gifts. It was very cute and nice, since N help B on B's birthday too.

Monday, November 17, 2008

November 17, 2008

Little Nick is always walking around singing a song. This child loves to sing. One of the songs on the car CD player that we often hear goes "Behold! Behold! I stand at the door and knock, knock, knock".

I had a real good laugh yesterday when I overheard Nick, as he was playing nearby. He was singing "Hee Ho! Hee Ho! (humming) knock, knock, knock".

Another funny thing that happened yesterday is that I accidentally pushed the panic button on my key faub thingy, just as the boys were getting into the van, while it was still sitting in the garage. I had my hands full as I was trying to lock the door to the house and also open the side doors on the van for the boys and I was not looking at which button I was pushing. It startled us all and I quickly turned it off, as the boys stood there looking at me with these huge eyes. I was laughing because it really was a funny moment but it took them a couple of minutes, with me explaining what happened and apologizing, before they saw the humor of it and laughed with me. Later in the day we were again preparing to leave the house and Ben said to me "no honk at me mommy". It took me a second to realize what he was referring to and then we both had a good laugh.

And, last but certainly not least, was an incident that happened the other day, about which I was not a happy camper at the time. It took me a few minutes after the clean up before I was able to laugh about it. The boys had been playing with playdough and we were getting ready to eat so I sent Nick off to wash his hands because he had it all over him. The boys are not quite trustworthy in the bathroom yet, but we are working on it, so I normally wait a little while before I head in to make sure they have not done anything they shouldn't and to clean up the mess they have inevitably made. I heard Ben head that way, saying he needed to go to the bathroom, so I headed that way a couple of minutes later.

I had quite a surprise when I walked into the bathroom. Ben had indeed gone to the potty and was now bottomless, wearing only his shirt. He and Nick were both standing on the little stool at the sink and they were playing in the water. Nick had pulled up the stopper to the sink and was running water into the sink, which was full and overflowing. The water was running all over the counter top and onto the floor all around the cabinet, which is one of those cabinets that is made to look like a piece of furniture so the water was streaming down to the floor from all sides.

I have never liked the sink in that bathroom. It is one of those little, bitty tiny ones and the prior owners probably had to pay extra for this fashionable tiny round sink but it is really too small and the boys always make a mess when they wash their hands in that sink. Because it is so small, it also fills up way too fast, which was not something that had crossed my mind before:).

I am way behind on posting pictures. I loaded up pics from my camera today but am very tired this evening. Hopefully I can put some up tomorrow. The dad is in Puerto Rico, left last Friday and will return home on Wednesday, so I have been quite busy the past few days. Also, I never sleep well when he is gone so I am a bit sleep deprived too.

Now, off to bed with me. Good night.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

November 9, 2008

Today I noticed that the price of gasoline here is now $1.78. Isn't this amazing?

Makes me kind of wish I had a long trip to take somewhere. My husband is going to Puerto Rico soon. We had initially planned to go with him but decided not to when gas prices sky rocketed and our grocery bill went up along with it...ever conscious of the budget we are:).

Needless to say, I am bummed because I have never been there before and would have enjoyed going. Maybe I need to take the boys on a trip while he is gone:). The bright side is that he is off work this coming week, as we had planned to take some vacation time together in Puerto Rico before his conference began.

We will be celebrating Nick's birthday this week. He will be turning three years old and he is as cute as the dickens:). Nick is quite the strong willed child and often has me scratching my head as to how to keep him in line. Nonetheless, every time we drop him off or pick him up at his Sunday School class, we always receive rave reviews on how wonderfully behaved both our sons are and what a delight they are to have in class. It warms my heart, although I sometimes wonder if we are talking about the same children:). I guess it means we must be doing something right, although all the credit must go to God because I am constantly praying that he will smooth over and correct all of the many mistakes I make every day.

I'm not sure if I mentioned that we joined a new church that is closer to our house. The pastor teaches precept upon precept and it is absolutely wonderful. I learn so much. I love the Wednesday night meeting because it is a much smaller group and we all sit around large tables in the fellowship hall while he teaches in the front of the room. He really knows his Bible and can explain the Hebrew and Greek meaning of words and he has such a friendly, warm way about him. Additionally, everyone we have met at this church is also very friendly and warm and we really like the Sunday class we have joined. We already knew three different couples who have also recently joined, which is wonderful too. We switched churches just when the boys would have had to move up to a new class at the old church, so it turned out to be good timing. They really like this church and have never cried when we left them. They just missed the cut off for the children's choir so we will wait a year for that but I think they will really enjoy it when the time comes. I have also joined a ladies Bible study class on Monday mornings. They provide child care and the boys really enjoy going too. The dad will be playing a part in the Christmas play they will be putting on soon and he is enjoying the practices. It has definitely been a blessing to our entire family and since it is so much closer to our house, we can participate more often, more easily.

We have some fun stuff coming up. Nick's birthday next week and then having fun with the dad while he is off work and then we have a play date scheduled this week and another one the week after and a sleep over play date while the dad is gone. My friend who lives near by is going to bring her twin girls over to play and they are going to sleep over one night, which will be fun. And then hopefully we will also see some family while the dad is gone and we might go to the children's museum and the aquarium. I am going to think of some fun things to do so the week will go by quickly. I am always a bit off when he is gone because our schedule revolves around his schedule. When he is gone, I never know what day it is, as they all seem the same. So, we will try to do some fun things and stay busy.

I need to post some pictures soon. We are going to have to buy a new camera, as our seems to be flaking out a bit. That's all for now. Boys are asleep so I need to enjoy my free time:).

Friday, November 07, 2008

November 7, 2008

This morning I noticed gas was $1.83 per gallon. I waited to fill up because I had heard on the news one day that they normally lower it on Friday's. This evening it was $1.81 per gallon. You just have to wonder how low it will go and for how long it will stay low. I will enjoy it and appreciate it while it lasts.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

November 6, 2008

Yes, gas where we live is now $1.85 per gallon. Is that awesome or what? Every day that I drive by a gas station and notice that the price of gas has fallen again I laugh and give a big cheer. The boys think I am crazy:).

We went to the farm today to see Papa, Mimi, aunts, uncles and cousins. My niece was there with her two little girls. The youngest is only 3 months old and it was the first time I had seen her. She is such a cutie and we all had fun holding her and playing with her. My niece's other daughter turned two over the summer and she is a cutie too. She is talking so well now and she is so tall. She is taller than both of my sons, younger by almost 6 months, and my sons are both in the 80 to 90 percentile range on height....and she is taller.

Anyway, the boys had a great time playing with everyone. A bunch of us drove out in one of the fields and picked up a bunch of pecans from under the trees. They have so many, they don't know what to do with them all. We really need to go back and get more of those. They are delicious. The boys had fun picking up pecans and also eating them. They each had two rides on Papa's four-wheeler. Nick even got to cross the creek on the four-wheeler, which was exciting. They also each got to go on a long tractor ride, which they loved. I was in the house and could hear the horn on the tractor beeping the whole time they were riding around out in the field and around the pond.

We also had a wonderful meal of homemade stew, delicious bread rolls and a fantastic dessert, all cooked and prepared by Mimi. I ate too much but it sure was yummy. The boys enjoyed all of it too.

Both boys fell asleep on the way home, which was much needed. Overall, we had a wonderful day out on the farm. I really love this time of year. Today we had clear blue skies, lots of sun and wind and it was just a bit chilly....a perfect fall day.

And all the better when we are paying $1.85 per gallon of gasoline:). We had better enjoy it while it lasts because it probably won't last long.