Thursday, April 18, 2013

Please Touch Museum

This morning, Dave and I woke the boys up a little early and loaded them in the car by 8 o'clock for a surprise trip.  We drove through Dunkin' Donuts for a yummy breakfast treat and made our way to Philly and the Please Touch Museum.  We just kept telling them we were going "someplace special" so they were pretty excited by the time we got there.  And Daddy having the day off of work to play with us was a huge bonus!

 We made it!

 Kaleb pumping gas. . .

 . . .and Jakey pumping gas.  I try to avoid filling my own tank as often as possible but in a few years, I'll never have to do it again!

 Riding the trolly.

 Kaleb the hamster!

Kaleb and Daddy

 Kaleb on the giant turtle.

 Jakey playing the giant piano.

Jakey tapping out some morse code.  Kaleb did really well spelling his name!

 The boys making some music on the "pipe organ".  

 Kaleb is ready to play drums for our worship team!

 Kaleb in the "rain".

 Jakey workin' hard at the construction site.  

Jakob was quite enamored by all the PEZ dispensers. 

 Waiting in line for the carousel.  

Jakob and Daddy on the carousel.  Right after this picture, Jakob moved
to one of the cars because the horse scared him. 

 Kaleb on the carasol.  

 Kaleb and Daddy.

 Kaleb looking through the giant kaleidoscope.  

Daddy giving Jakob a boost so he can see that has "like twenty faces"!

We had a really fun day today!  It is always so much fun to do something super spontaneous.  After we spent the morning at the museum, we got some lunch and made it home by 2 o'clock, just in time for a nice afternoon nap.  We love making these fun memories for our kids!

Monday, April 15, 2013

You know you're a mommy when. . .

My friend Julie has a whole blog dedicated to this very topic but these are just a few of my own personal experiences.  I'm sure there are a ton more all my mommy friends could add to the list.  It's just one more testament to how much life changes when you have kids :)

You know you're a mommy when. . .

. . .your real friends are the ones that listen to you whine about your kids and still love you (and what's more, still love the kid you've just whined about) anyway.  

. . .your house hasn't been truly clean in almost 5 years and you're ok with that because toys and crafts and books and dress up clothes mean happy kids and that's all that really matters.

. . .going to the grocery store alone is a vacation!! 

. . .your favorite kind of jewlery is made with pipe cleaners, plastic beads and pasta.

. . .the main reason your floors get clean is because you can't stand walking on crushed up Cheerios any longer. 

. . .you give up on your before-kids vow to never feed them processed food and will microwave whatever they will put in their cute little mouths.  Crackers and cheese now equal a legitimate meal (or nuggets stuffed with cheese, or corndogs with cheese. . .pretty much anything with cheese!)  

. . .you'd like to think your crafty but when you stop to really think about it, your main specialties are anything with handprints, footprints or toilet paper rolls.

. . .you wish your kids would just sit and watch tv for once so you could TAKE A SHOWER IN PEACE!!

. . .nap time is sacred.  And all your friends know they will probably get your voice mail between the hours of 1 and 4.

. . .you can play Avengers with the best of 'em.

. . .you look forward to being stuck at the train tracks because the wee ones are so excited to see the choo choo!  And school zones aren't a big deal either because, oh my goodness, BUS!!

. . .you tell your two year old to clean up the water he spilled when he was filling the dogs water bowl and you aren't the least bit surprised when he gets down on all fours, sticks out his tongue and licks it up off the floor.

. . .your idea of make up is face lotion and chapstick and your idea of getting dressed up is changing out of your sweatpants.  

. . .you know the theme songs for "Clifford", "Curious George", "Veggie Tales" and many, many other cartoons that you'd just as soon forget.  

. . .you can't even remember the last time you went to the bathroom by yourself.   

Oh, just me?  Ok ;)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Whose Kingdom?

Today is the day before I leave for our church's women's retreat.  I look forward to the retreat all year long.  It is, by far, my favorite women's ministry event I get to help plan.  It is such a nice time to get away from everything that happens at home and enjoy the fellowship and blessing I receive from being with other women.  I commiserate with those in the same life stage as me and I take much comfort from those who are a little further on in life when they tell me that, indeed, "this too shall pass".  

However, I have to laugh because every year the day before the retreat and the day that I actually leave for the retreat are some of the most trying days I have with the boys all week.  Every year I inevitably think "Is this really worth it?  Maybe I should just stay home".  The first year this happened, I was almost serious about staying home.  Now, 4 or 5 years later, I know that it is most definitely worth it and I need to just suck it up. 

The boys didn't alter the traditional behavior this year at all.  Trying to do laundry, clean, run to the grocery and just generally get the house in order for my weekend away was challenging, to say the least.  I think this is the way it supposed to be for us mommas before we leave the kiddos so that we remember to make the most of our time away.  In the midst of the craziness this morning, I came across this old blog post about avoiding mommy burnout.  Number 19 really struck a chord with me:

When you feel your stress levels rising because of your task
list, take five to ten of those critical minutes and “go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret” (Matthew 6:6). Completing your task list with Godward joy and worship and peace means the difference between tasks that make His Kingdom come… and tasks that make your kingdom come.

I had to do that today.  I actually told Kaleb that Mommy needed a time out.  He said "doo dooo doo doot" and pretended to set the timer (like I do on my phone or the microwave when it's his turn for a time out), then the boys left me alone for a few minutes to get myself together.  After that, we were able to go about our day much more calmly and lovingly. 

I never want my boys to think that I'm getting everything done at home just so that I can go and spend time away from them.  Yes, I want them to know that mommy needs this time with her friends but I also want them to experience me living in the moment with them, even when they are, let's face it, a little bit annoying. I want them to know that everything we do, even chores, we do for the furtherance of God's kingdom.  Their every day experiences and the way that I deal with them in the midst of the every day challenges are to be done for the glory of God and His kingdom.

In this post is a really good list of ways to avoid mommy burnout.  I would highly suggest reading the list and seeing where God speaks to you today.  Each of them have had some relevance in my life at one time or another.   

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pioneer Clubs Closing Program

Since Kaleb is 4, he got to go to Pioneer Clubs at our church this year.  Tonight was the closing program and it was so fun to see Kaleb singing all the songs with his friends.  I'm so thankful for his Scooters teachers, Miss Chris and Miss Jill, and the Pioneer Clubs leader, Miss Pam.  He sometimes says he doesn't want to go when it's initially time for his class but he always has a fun time and has learned so much!

The Scooters class is heavily occupied by rowdy boys.  Here is Kaleb with two of his friends, Connor and Owen, making funny faces.

First they sang a fun song that they did in a round.  It has so many different verses I have no idea what it's called but it's so cute!

Then they sang "Jesus' Love is Bubbling Over" and did their pledge and verse.

And finally, each group sang their own song.  The Scooters sang "Who is the King of the Jungle".  Each of the kids made a craft to contribute to the song.  Some made animals and some made letters.  Kaleb was in charge of the "U" and he was totally on his mark, if you ask me.  Proud momma right here!   

I think my favorite part is that the 
kids inadvertently spelled "S - E - J - U - S".

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Happy Easter!

Easter was kind of crazy this year!  We crammed a lot of activities into a short day.  It was fun but we were definitely exhausted by the time we got back home! 

The kids at our church have been practicing this song for a couple months now.  I'm so proud of all of them and how well they did!

Kaleb and his friends singing "My Redeemer Lives" for
special music during the Easter service.  

My favorite part is the second chorus when Kaleb is doing hand motions.  We're pretty sure that the leader was directing them in a way she hadn't done during practice and he thought it was some new choreography he was supposed to be trying.  So cute!!

Right after church, we headed to Dave's parents' house to spend the afternoon with that whole side of the family.  It's always good to get all the cousins together and they had so much fun doing the egg hunt and decorating eggs.  Memor even got a little crafty and made resurrection rolls with the kids.  

Jakey looking for eggs.

Kaleb looking for eggs.

Even daddy got in on the action!

A picture of all 4 grandsons. . .smiling!!

Kaleb sponge painting eggs.

 Tante Karen helping Jakob see if the "tomb" is empty.

We didn't really get new outfits or anything for Easter but figured it was as good a time as any to try and get a nice picture of the boys together.

Happy Easter!! Love Kaleb, Jakob, Hulk and Batman