Monday, March 31, 2008

Heard While Getting Ready This Morning:

"Hey mom? Dad? I really don't think I'm going to be going outside for recess today. (Rumbling thunder shakes the windows.) It seems there's a lot of participation coming from the sky."

Yes. We are having a great deal of "participation" today, so I drove Cody down the block to the bus stop and let him sit in the van until his bus arrived. We prayed for his day, and as he jumped out of the van to meet the bus, that familiar twinge I felt when I watched him get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten seemed to creep back in. He didn't want to go to school today, and I must admit, I didn't want him to go.

My little man. I do love him so.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Monday's Close at Hand...

I am sitting here looking at the sun beating in the windows, despite the temps in the high thirties and the remaining snow on the ground. We are so anxious for spring to arrive in FULL force. The robins are looking for their nesting sites, the chickadees are contemplating our bird house (they always have to fight with the sparrows for rights to that house), but it's just still too cold to venture outdoors for any length of time.

In spite of the weather, we have had ourselves one of the best breaks we've had in quite some time. We didn't even do anything exotic like go to Florida or Hawaii, but we just really enjoyed one another and our families. Jerry and I celebrated our 8th anniversary this week and some lovely friends from church watched our boys so we could enjoy the afternoon together. We also went to see "Horton Hears a Who" yesterday. The boys loved it...Caden sat so still in his seat (though I'll admit the popcorn and M&Ms seemed to help). It was very cute and we all enjoyed it.

Tomorrow we have a family party where we will celebrate a couple of birthdays (Caden's being one of them), as we wanted to wait until my MIL was feeling better.

All in all, I loved having my family all together (thanks Nanna and Papa for hosting us this week), getting to do some cooking and baking, and just being together without pressure and obligation. It was truly a wonderful, much needed break.

And now, as Monday approaches, I brace myself for the "busy" to continue and await the warmer weather that HAS to be on its way (oh pleeeease, no more snow!). Hope you all have enjoyed your week as much as we have.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Break Needed Indeed

The past few months have brought so much "busy"ness that this break has been such a welcome and wonderful time for us all. We so enjoyed the services at our church over Easter, time with my family out of town, time with our little family to spend together, and much more to come before the end of the week. We are so grateful for the was truly needed!

Several of you have asked me what I decided to do while decorating eggs with the kids in our neighborhood. Thanks to several great ideas, we decided to do Resurrection Eggs as well as a reading of "The Legend of the Easter Egg." It was a great time. Here are the pictures to prove it!
Caden was very excited to open his eggs to find out what was inside! (If you've never done these before, they are an awesome way to clearly tell the Easter story with tangible things little hands can touch and hold.) The kids loved it!

The children in our neighborhood are truly great kids. We enjoy having them around and they all play really well together.

After doing the Resurrection Eggs, we decorated eggs. Aren't these cute? These are the girls' eggs.
We had to occupy Caden with a sucker while we decorated eggs. He's a little too young yet to appreciate the concept of dipping the egg in the dye. In fact, the missing egg you see above is the one he threw into the cup that immediately cracked. Oops!

After eggs, we had a reading of "The Legend of the Easter Egg." The kids were all excited for story time.

Below, we have Cody posing as the "Easter Cowboy" before we left for church. He insisted he wear his cowboy hat for this photo.
Here is Caden at church. I couldn't get him to sit still with Cody to take a picture of the two of them together. I love this picture because he looks like he's praying. "Please God, make my mom stop taking photos!"Cody sang with the kids choir again this year. They were so cute and he did a great job.
Here's a picture of what our stage looked like from the front. This is only center stage, but I thought it looked really cool from where I was sitting.
And finally, the reason we celebrate:

More pictures and stories will follow soon. Hope you're all enjoying your week!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Family Fun

Hello, everyone! I just wanted to check in and say hello. We are with my family for a couple days this week, enjoying our spring break and having a ball together. It's always so good to come back home again.

I hope your Easter was great and that you were reminded afresh how much God loves you and what an incredible thing it was that Christ did for you and for me. It is truly AMAZING love that kept him there upon that cross, and I know I have nothing in my heart but gratitude. I love the remembrance of Good Friday and the joy of Sunday!

I am also checking in to let you know that my dear friend Charity and her family need your prayers once again. Her brother, Dave, has battled lung cancer this past year. In February, he went back in to be checked and was convinced that during the holidays, God had healed him. It turned out that he was right. The doctors did all kinds of tests and found no evidence of cancer remaining in his body. However, last night, he was admitted into the hospital and it was discovered that he has a blood clot on his lung. Please keep him in your prayers right now. We don't know yet what this all means, but we really do covet your prayers for he and his family. I will update you when I know more.

I am off to enjoy the rest of our spring break, celebrate an anniversary, and then get ready to go back to work next week.

I hope you all have a great week, and I'll be back with pictures and stories soon! Many blessings to you all...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thank You Hardly Seems Like Enough

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. ~Isaiah 53:2-6

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals- one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One."
The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."
There was a notice written above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

Luke 23:32-43

Monday, March 17, 2008

We Have Some News and Other Stuff

I know. It's a lame title. But I couldn't think of anything else to write, because, well, I'm tired.

The news is that Caden went "pee pee on da pah-ee" on Saturday morning. There was great rejoicing, a handful of m&m's offered (he calls them "nyum-nyums") as a reward, and we were all ecstatic. We weren't even trying to potty train. We just got the little seat out, plopped him on it, and voila! He did it. We whooped and hollered, called Nanna, and made a big deal of it. He didn't want to put on his diaper after that. We let him wander around like that until he forgot how to pee pee where he's supposed to, and that, as they say, was the end of that. But hey! It was a milestone, and we'll take it!

In other news, Hubby and I got out for a date this past weekend...just because. Well, let's be truthful. I kept telling him he owed me dinner for my birthday (which was in November), and I guess you could say he has now made good on his promise to take me out. ; )

We visited one of my favorite places to go for special occasions. The food is fantastic, and so is the entertainment. I mean, who wouldn't want to see this show at your dinner table?

And I just love that whole smoking onion volcano thing.

We had a very nice time, and although we shared a table with six other people, we were happy to have some time to ourselves. Next week we will celebrate eight years of marriage, and I am reminded over and over again what a blessed girl I am to have such a sweet man to call my own.

Happy Tuesday/St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's Beginning to Feel ALOT Like Springtime

I love to decorate for the seasons and various holidays. My favorites are fall and Christmas, and I have boxes and bins full of cute decorations that I enjoy putting out for my family to enjoy.

But spring. OH SPRING. It seemed you might never come.

And then it arrived in a flourish yesterday. The birds were so noisy. I suppose they were making plans for their spring and summer homes, talking amongst themselves, feeding like they hadn't eaten in months (ahem, little birds, I beg to differ), and entertaining all of us with their songs. My neighbor declared, "I saw a ROBIN today!" Despite the strep throat, Cody, Caden, Ozzie and I ventured outside and we blew bubbles, took a walk around the block, and played on the driveway (every other area was way too muddy and damp). By the time we arrived back home, I felt like I literally had "spring" in my step. None of us wanted to come inside.

Since Easter is in a little over ONE WEEK, I figured it was finally time to pull out my springtime decorations. I just couldn't do it when it was a mere 20 degrees outside and there was still a foot of snow on the ground! We still have quite a bit, but now you can see grass. Oh spring. How I love thee.

And now, a question for my bloggy friends. I need your creativity. I am having several neighborhood children over for egg decorating on Good Friday (their moms don't want to do it this year). Good Friday is usually a day that we remain somewhat somber as we reflect upon Christ's sacrifice, so it feels a little strange to be doing something celebratory like decorating eggs. Our schedule doesn't allow any other time to do it before Easter. So, this question is for you, my bloggy friends. Do you know of a way that I could incorporate the gospel into egg decorating for my kids and our neighborhood kids? I know about the resurrection eggs, but I wanted to try to do something that focused on the true meaning of Easter while we decorated the eggs. I'd love to hear your ideas. Thanks, everyone! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Springtime Strep?

Well, it was bound to happen.

We've spent the entire school year healthy, but apparently it's Cody's turn.

Two weeks ago, he had a nasty cough that was the result of an ear infection. He was running a temperature and wasn't able to rest, so the doc prescribed an antibiotic and he bounced back pretty quickly.

On Sunday, we finished the last of his medicine. Yesterday, in his backpack, a note came home letting us know that cases of strep had been reported in the school. I didn't really think much of it until last night, when Cody woke up complaining of a sore throat.

This morning, he had a fever, so I immediately took him to the doctor to have them do a culture. My mommy's instincts (both mine and my mom's!) were correct: He has strep.

I'm so thankful to have caught it early, since an hour ago, he was running a 102 degree temp and looking at me with tired, red eyes.

He is currently snoozing away on the couch. Poor baby!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Cody: Hey mom! Do you know what I am?
Me: Uh....well, gee. I'm not really sure.
Cody: I'm a Husband. And I bring home the bacon!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Life of the Party

Okay, so I promise this is my last post about this weekend's festivities. I had to include some of the other things (and people) that made the weekend so fun and memorable!

Cody played a small "concert" for the family. They hadn't heard him play his violin yet, so I know they enjoyed getting to hear him for the first time. Later that night, my mom and I sat down at the piano and pulled out all kinds of sheet music where we sang for the next couple of hours. I'm not sure how the rest of the group felt about our melodious music, but we sure enjoyed giving our recital! (You sounded great, mom!)
Caden had lots of helpers when he opened his presents. Here is my niece Mackenzie helping him with her family's gift. Ah, a George book. How appropriate for my Curious Caden! (Thanks Aunt Mimi and Uncle "G-G"!)
Look at those cute cousins...they are such a sweet group and they love playing with each other, which makes it even more fun for us adults! A little funny story...on Sunday, after we had gone to church and had lunch, all of us (minus the kids, of course), crashed on my mom and dad's super-size couch and took a snooze (that time change is killer!). At one point, I heard the oldest cousin, Cassidy, tell the other kids that "the grown-ups are all taking a nap!" They all entertained themselves and let us rest for a little while. : ) Here they are breaking in all of Caden's new art supplies.
Here's Caden playing a game shoes?
And finally, here he is breaking in his new Blue DVD. I think he likes it. How 'bout you??

Nanna, "Pappy", Mimi, GG, Cass, and Kenz, thanks for an awesome weekend. These posts have been dedicated to you. We are so thankful for every one of you and for all you did to make the weekend so special. Can't wait to see you again in a couple of weeks! Stay tuned for a HILARIOUS Wordless Wednesday. : )

Monday, March 10, 2008

So our weekend with family was great fun, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time together. When we arrived, we walked in and saw this all set up by my mom. We celebrated four birthdays: Jerry, Caden, my sister Kari, and my niece Cassidy. They each had their own set of balloons (or baboons as Caden calls them), but it was primarily a Blue's Clues birthday!
Caden enjoyed opening his presents, but you'd never know it since he was soooo tired (no nap that day!). Thankfully, he was very congenial and easy to be around. Who said TWO was TERRIBLE? I love this expression on his face...he got four handy dandy notebooks, and boy was he excited!

And here's the cake. I ordered a pan on ebay (unfortunately Blues Clues is going "out", but we managed to find several things online for the celebration. My friend Diane and I made the cake, but I give her most of the credit. I helped with the frosting.
The cake was enjoyed by all, but most especially by the two year-old! I loved watching him eat every last bite of that cake and ice cream!

Well, that's all for today, but you can expect more pictures soon. There's still more to share!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Dear Caden....

I cannot believe two years have passed and that you have been a part of our family for that long! It seems like yesterday that your mommy, daddy, Nanna, and Auntie Kari were welcoming you into the world two years ago today! I don't know if I have ever worked as hard as I did that day to bring you into the world, but as hard as it was, I would do it all over again to have you be a part of our family.

You have changed so much, and it is such a joy watching you grow. You are the sweetest boy, and you are becoming such a character. You know what you want and you're not afraid to use your spunk to get it. You love to laugh and have fun. You enjoy music and dancing around the living room or kitchen with your daddy or me. You especially love when we sing "This Little Light of Mine" before bed. My favorite times with you are before nap and bedtime when we rock and I sing you "our" song. I love how you always want to hold mine or daddy's hands when we rock you or hold you, especially after a long nap.

You love your family. Daddy and brother are your best buds, and you get so much joy on your face when you see them walk in the door after a long day. You love to cuddle, hug, and give wet kisses to all of us (even Ozzie...when he'll let you close enough, that is!). Cuddle time gets shorter and shorter these days, for you have much to do and see every day! I have learned to stop and cherish these times, because I know all too well how quickly the time passes, and I want to eat up every last bit of "baby" that exists in your rapidly growing two year-old body!

Caden, I pray that God continues to grow you into a strong and sweet man, with a tender heart for people, a heart that desires to serve Him, and a thirst to know all you can about Him. I promise to pray for you daily, and mostly I pray that God would equip me to be a mom that would lead you and guide you through the joys and storms of life, just like my own mom has.
We love you so much, sweet baby boy (I'll call you baby as long as you'll let me!), and I wish you, this 9th day of March, a very,VERY happy birthday.

To the rest of to come tomorrow of our big birthday celebration this weekend!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Cat Tales

Not sure if I ever mentioned it, but we are the owners of two cats. I've had the cats longer than I've been married, and they've always been really nice feline friends. They've always been very friendly and cuddly lap cats.

But then recently, they started doing some unmentionable things around the house. I believe that they started "acting out" because they used to have full reign over the house...that is, until the dog arrived a couple years ago. We also found out that Cody has sensitivities to cat dander, and so we knew we had to do something.

I finally hit my patience threshold last week, when one of the cats decided that the litterbox was in the basket with the clean laundry. It was definitely time for them to go. I just couldn't take it anymore. I spent most of Wednesday calling around the area trying to find a suitable place for these two cats to go. I found a no-kill shelter who promised to keep the cats together and take good care of them.

I was fine until they escorted us into a room to say good-bye yesterday. The guilt I felt for doing this to them after all the time they'd spent with us was overwhelming. I know they're just cats. But they've been OUR cats. Caden said, "bye-bye kitties," and with that, they were gone.

We answered a barrage of questions and finally it was time to leave with our empty cat carriers. I pulled it together in time to get Cody off the bus, and he hardly mentioned the cats. I think that he forgot what we were doing that day.

Then, before bed, he walked into the bathroom where we kept their food, water, and litterbox. As soon as Cody saw the food sitting there, and no cats, he lost it. We both dissolved into a heap of tears on the bathroom floor. I couldn't hold it in anymore.

I know. If you're not a cat lover this probably seems a bit foolish. But I feel an odd sort of emptiness with them not with us anymore. Once again, the guilt of what they were doing, how they were feeling, and questions of whether or not we did the right thing were swimming in my emotional mind.

I still worry about them, even as I sit here. Are they scared? Have they calmed down? Are they being treated well? Will they find a good home, or will they live out the rest of their days in cages?

For now, I have to believe that some nice people will soon welcome Max and Peachy into their home, and that they'll bounce back to themselves (minus the unmentionable behaviors, of course) in no time.

Thanks for reading this post. If you're not a cat-lover, I especially thank you. :-)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'm Tired.

Cody is finally feeling better (thanks to antibiotics and sleepy-time cough syrup) so he's been sleeping like a baby. Caden, on the other hand, has decided it's his turn to do the drippy nose and cough thing, so now I'm waking up with him on a regular basis.

It's an interesting thing, motherhood. Remember the days pre-pregnancy and pre-children when you could sleep 'til 10 a.m., wake up and go right back to sleep, sleep soundly and peacefully for hours at a time, and close your eyes without any crying or interruption?

Well, those days are long gone...for about seven years now if you count my first pregnancy. And suddenly, I have become incapable of going back to sleep if I have to be up for more than five minutes. This causes me to lie next to my comatose husband (who most of the time has no idea a child was up and crying in the middle of the night), toss and turn, begin thinking (never good once that starts), and then finally get up and head downstairs to lie on the couch, flipping channels, watching paid programming that has absolutely no relevance to my life whatsoever, and then finally falling asleep sometime between the Magic Bullet and Floam infomercials.

All of that is to say this: I'm tired.

But it reminds me of a book I love, which I recently introduced to Caden, entitled "Love You Forever." That mom never tires of rocking her babies in the middle of the night. What a great picture of a mother's love. Someday, these boys will be big and strong, tending to themselves in the middle of the night. Someday, I won't have little ones crying out for mommy in the night, needing to be rocked, held, and tended to. Someday, I won't find myself rocking my little ones "back and forth, back and forth."

I guess being tired isn't so bad after all.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Who Doesn't Love a Restaurant Where You Can Draw on the Tablecloths?

Here's our family photo. I've decidedI look very tired. Perhaps this is just how it is when you are in the throes of motherhood?
Here's the birthday boy with his new kickboxing gloves.
Here's Caden eating parmesan cheese and working on his artistic masterpiece at the table. He did very well...until his food was gone. Then he wanted to run around the restaurant.

Guess what Cody had for dinner?
Our waiter misunderstood who was having the birthday. Here's the birthday boy with Cody's ice cream sundae...and of course, he had helpers to blow out the candles!

Afterward, there was just enough time to play cowboys and robbers.Just kidding. I only added this picture because I thought it was so cute!

Have a great week, everyone!