Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pictures

I hate doing posts without pictures, but I have been using my new mini laptop that I got for Christmas and I don't have pictures on here yet. So, hopefully soon I will have more pictures to post, especially from Christmas, etc. I have a fun video too of Elijah as Spiderman on Christmas morning. Speaking of which, I need to get that thing into the wash. There's nothing like wearing a cloth mask with a yucky nose. Blech! Thankfully he chose to wear Buzz Light Year yesterday to the doc instead of Spiderman.

Second Christmas

The kids usually get gift cards for Christmas to Borders and ToysRUs which is fun because they get a second Christmas, but get to do the shopping on their own.

In some ways I think it should actually be referred to as a 3rd Christmas because our first one is when Dan comes home from work the day before Christmas vacation. He brings home bags and bags of goodies that he receives as gifts from parents and teachers and students. They are so generous and it is great fun going through everything. The sweets, oh the sweets. They hang on my hips and I type this, but they are just so yummy!

I digress ...

So, we took the kids out to use their gift cards the other night. Elijah got a cute little train set and Madelyn got a digital camera from TRU. At Borders Madelyn got a few books and Elijah got a whole ton of books. He loves interactive books and at Borders they have that whole section of marked down books which are perfect for what he is interested in. We got Bible Story books with flaps that he can lift, a book where each page is a puzzle and they are all emergency type vehicles (he loves puzzles right now), a Noah's Ark book where you can actually make an ark and play with it, a numbers book that comes with a magna-doodle (perfect), a pop-up book about the insides of our bodies (more on that later), an alphabet book with flash cards (of course, he loves the alphabet), and that might be it. So, all in all a good night for all.

I actually set some of the books for Elijah aside because it will be fun to pull them out later. And, I must say I did pretty well with not trying to steer the kids in the direction of things that I wanted them to buy. If I had my way, .we would have bought the Old Yeller book. I think the book would be better to read than to watch the movie again. Oh, to see that boys face at the end when he has to shoot Old Yeller! Oh, it's awful. I have such a love-hate relationship with that movie.

Okay, anyway, back to the body parts book. Elijah loves it. It actually has an ooey-gooey feeling heart on the front of the book that feels very real so you can see why a boy would be drawn to it. We are flipping through the pages discussing bones, joints, our lungs, and then we get to the stomach and intestines page. Well, I didn't think we were ever going to get past it. Elijah was enthralled. It shows how your stomach processes your food and it travels through your intestines and of course then you poo it out. Fascinating! All of a sudden Elijah thinks he has to go potty and insists I come and watch so I can see how it all works. As much as I hemmed and hawed he wouldn't take no for an answer.

Thankfully, much to his disappointment, he didn't have to poo. I assured him he would be able to the next day. And, don't you know, the next morning first thing, I wake up to him saying, "Mommy, I am going to show you your body parts." Oh goody. At least he wasn't ready to poo.

Potty

So, I wrote about Elijah's favorite animal being a skunk. So, now he has a skunk Webkinz. Well, come to find out he's named him Potty. When Nick asked him what his skunk's name was that was his response, and somehow it seems oddly appropriate.

The Sick Holidays

Well, we are still dealing with illnesses. Madelyn still can't eat a full meal and keep it down. Elijah finally is on an antibiotic. I almost can't remember what he is like without a yucky nose. I feel awful today. I feel like I have a touch of everything we've been exposed to. So, tonight is the 3rd night in a row where we have had to cancel plans :( Huge bummer since we usually spend New Year's with Jess & Jon.

They come over, we eat, play games, kick out the old year (literally, it's quite funny) and welcome in the new one, and they spend the night. We wake up in a fog because we stay up too late, but the kids don't realize that so they wake up just as early as ever. It takes about a week to recover, but it's good fun and worth it because we laugh like crazy well into the night.

Oh, but not this year. No. This year I am hoping to stay awake past ten. Jess & Jon are scrambling to find something else to do to at least get out of the house for a bit today. I am going stir crazy even though there is no place I want to go, nor should I go since I should be done spending money for about 4 mos. Dan seems to be okay even though I am sure he has a bit of cabin fever.

It's okay though. These things happen. We'll just remember this year as the year the stomach bug hit our family and extended families and even friends. We have a lot to be thankful for even in the midst of our latest trials. And, God is good. He never changes no matter what year it is, day it is, trials we are facing ... I love that. What a privilege to serve such an awesome God.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Poor Sick Kiddos

Madelyn threw up last night. It's so sad when the babies are sick. They both have had colds and so for her to now be throwing up is a huge bummer.

She woke me up in the night b/c she threw up in her bed, the same bed Elijah was sharing with her because my in-laws are here sleeping in his room.

Elijah keeps asking why Madelyn is sick and why she threw up 3 times. I told him it's the same reason his nose is so yucky (and he will be going to the doc tomorrow because it's probably a sinus infection, but I didn't tell him that yet). Madelyn thinks that she got it from school, even though it's been almost a week since she's been in school. That's okay though.

So, here I sit on a Sunday morning, not in church, but caring for my sick babies and thinking about the laundry I should be doing.

I don't feel so well myself. I honestly feel like I have a Christmas hangover, not the alcohol induced kind, just the "I'm exhausted" kind. Come to think of it I don't think I've ever had the alcohol induced kind. Hmm. I don't think I am missing much from what I understand.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Few Christmas 2008 Tidbits ...

Madely drew a picture for Santa. It was Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus is a manger, very sweet.


After Santa left us with gifts to open, Elijah said, "I am going to wrap up this gift and see what's inside." I told you he gets his words a little mixed up. He said it again this morning when he saw there were gifts under the tree. I stayed up really late wrapping, but not as late as Dan who was playing a computer game ...


Anyway, Madelyn also made up one line to a song last night. It goes ... "Baby Jesus you are the one ..." She kept singing it over and over to the point Dan and I had it in our heads. It sounded very much like a pop song. Should I be worried?


Elijah was so tired last night and when he gets really tired he gets really crabby and fussy when going to bed. So, to try to calm him down I told him a story. I told him the story of Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus. Well, when I got to the part about them having a baby boy and naming him Jesus he said, "No no no no. They named her Judah." I assured him the baby was a boy and they named him Jesus, and quickly moved on to the part about the star so that we didn't keep debating Jesus' name and gender.

Madelyn was thrilled to finally get a Webkinz. She opened it, checked the foot for a W and immediately hugged Mom-mom in her quiet little excited way.

Elijah received what he is now calling a "man castle." He got a pirate ship and a castle with little knights. When my mom asked him if it was a princess castle he replied no, and that it was a man castle.

Christmas day Beatrice came over for dinner and played games with us, and beat us! Aubrey stopped by too and we made her play games with us too. She's a good sport, and she brought us a pumpkin roll. Yummy.

My mom loved her album that I put together digitally. That's totally my kind of scrapbooking. Dan's parents loved theirs too.

The only part that seemed off about Christmas is not having Shannon and Todd here ... (sigh) ... very sad.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa


Santa came to our house last night. He's really our neighbor Carl. Carl is the neighborhood grandfather. He and his wife Elaine are just wonderful neighbors. They are the ones who you look out your window and you see them snowblowing your driveway. They give out the best treats on Halloween. They are just those neighbors, the ones who make your neighborhood just that much more enjoyable.


Carl totally fits the mold of Santa. I mean his suit is perfect. His personality is perfect. I really think he might be St. Nick reincarnated.

So, he dresses as Santa at Christmas time and visits the children around our block. And, brings them gifts! As much as we love Carl and Elaine, we don't really know them that well so the fact that they give our kids gifts is just so kind of them. Now, my neighbor Kate who I am friends with lives next door to them. They are super close and I am sure Elaine checked in with Kate on ideas for the kids because how else would she have known that a Christmas Morning Barbie is PERFECT for Madelyn? And, not only that, they spelled Madelyn's name correctly. Either way, it was very nice of them to go through the trouble.

So, Santa came. Madelyn, who knows this is all just pretend, told him she wanted a Webkinz bunny (she's getting a horse, but that's okay) and Elijah told him he wanted a snowman (of course).

Santa was asking the kids if they had been good this year, and then he turns to Madelyn and says, "Have you been keeping your room clean for Mom and Dad?" Oh my. If he even knew! We just laughed because that is the last thing Madelyn does. So funny. She is a great helper in so many other ways, but her room is the last thing she keeps clean.

So, it was great fun, and we were able to send Santa away with a tin of cookies (not homeade of course, but still yummy) for him and Mrs. Claus.

How great to have Santa come to your house, and not have to go wait in line (not that we would do that anyway, but still) to see some strange Santa. I love our neighborhood.

Did I write on here that when I asked Elijah what his favorite animal is he said a skunk? I said, "No, it isn't!" He assured me it was so he is getting a skunk webkinz. Of course when I went to pick out the webkinz they had just one or two of the other animals, but the skunks were a stack of 5! Now 4 because we took one home. I just love my kids ...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Some Thoughts ...

Shaving your legs is highly overrated, especially in the winter time.

You can save yourself $8 if you have a hair dresser compliment you on your hair color while you are considering coloring it yourself at home.

Dancing around the house is good exercise.

I found my Mariah Carey Christmas CD ... happy me!

I LOVE the week of Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dogs and Poop

What is with dogs and poop?

Daisy feasts on cat poop any time she can. It's so gross. Thankfully we are able to close the door to where the litter box is so it's not often she's able to eat it.

Daisy and I try to go to the corn fields whenever we can. It's great fun, and good exercise. Plus, I feel empowered from it because it is heckin' cold out there, but I'm no wuss! My thighs are frozen by the time I get home, but it's well worth it.

Right at the end of our walk in the fields is a different section of field where Daisy likes to go and now I will call it the Poop Field because this time and the last time we went there Daisy emerges from the area with poop all over her neck. I'm guessing it's deer poop. Nice huh?

It's right at the end of our walk!! Argh. It's okay though. I come home wash her up (which she hates me for) and then she relaxes the rest of the day.

I don't know what's more of a workout though, the walk or washing Daisy. If only I could spend the rest of the day on my bed like Daisy does.

Oh, and I have pictures from our last hike. It was fun, but I can't figure out how to upload them. They are on a different type of card. I keep forgetting to ask Dan at a time when he could help me. I even did a ''field journal" video because I am easily entertained while walking in a cold field. I wanted to get Daisy on video just tearing through the fields like she does. Of course, every time I tried I couldn't get it just right and then ran out of video. Hopefully I'll get all that stuff uploaded soon though. She's so cute!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mixed Up Words

Elijah gets words mixed up, but at least he's trying right?

For instance, he ate a candy cane tonight. He doesn't like minty things so he says, "Ow. My tongue is breathing! Mommy, can I have some milk? My tongue is breathing."

Madelyn then asks, "What does that mean?"

Always the intellectual one, that child is.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Uncle Jim



When my Dad remarried we gained a whole new family, Lisa's family. They are and always have been wonderful. They accepted me and Shannon with open arms and never made us feel as though we didn't belong. Lisa's parents became our Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Jim.




When we would go with my Dad and Lisa we would stay at Uncle Jim and Aunt Dorothy's house. Aunt Dorothy would usually leave us some kind of yummy treat in our room for us to find when we got there. She always made sure we had fun things to do at her house and yummy food to eat while we were there. Uncle Jim was always in charge of the drinks, and was always quick to ask us all about the things we were involved in.




He was a caring man, so kind and thoughtful. He was always great for conversation and he was very very funny.




Alzheimer's is a horrible disease, and Uncle Jim became a victim of it. He would still try to hold conversations with us through the disease and you could sense his frustration of not being able to find the right words to say. Yet he would still try.




One of my fondest memories of one of the last times we saw Uncle Jim is of him playing the piano while the children sat next to him on the bench. Even though the disease was taking over his mind he was still able to play a tune on the piano, and boy could he play. He played with such energy and spirit. The kids loved hearing him that day, as did we.




The Lord took Uncle Jim home yesterday. His symptoms recently got worse and it was a just a matter of weeks. We are rejoicing that he is whole again, yet we grieve because we miss him dearly. He will be spending this Christmas with the very Savior whose birth we celebrate.




Pray for Aunt Dorothy as she says good-bye to her beloved, and for Lisa and Erich who say good-bye to their dad. He truly was a wonderful man.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Elijah ...



I think I could write a story about him every day on here. I feel bad though because it makes me feel like I am neglecting Madelyn. Elijah just comes up with these one-liners though that kill us with laughter, including Madelyn, so I think she'll understand.





I made hot chocolate for us the other night and Elijah being the picky picky picky eater that he is pushes it away and says, "I don't like that hot chocolate. It hurt my feelings."





When Dan was having pictures taken of the inside of his eye Elijah wanted the woman to take a picture of the inside of his belly so he could see all the food broken up in it. He actually wanted to put his belly on the chin rest thinking she could then take the picture. He was pretty sad when we were leaving and we couldn't have her do it.





An older lady at the doc's office gave him a tootsie roll and after he ate it I asked him if it was good and he said, "Yeah. Now I don't feel sick anymore." Um, what?





We had this conversation in Target the other day ...





"Elijah, do you know why we celebrate Christmas?"





"Um, because we decorate for Christmas?" No.





"Because we make snow?" No.





I said, "Because it's Jesus' Birthday!" Then I went on to explain the whole gift giving thing, etc.





Later that night I said, "Elijah, do you remember why we celebrate Christmas?"





"Um, because we decorate for Christmas?" No. I said, "Whose Birthday do we celebrate?"





Madelyn tried to help by sounding out the J for him so he said, "J-j-j-Josh??"





He has an Uncle Josh and a friend Josh. No, neither of those. I reminded him it was Jesus.





"Oh, Jesus!"





I am happy to report though that the next day he was able to remember that we celebrate Christmas because it is Jesus' Birthday. Whew! It only took a full day and a half.





Madelyn, on the other hand, is a sponge. When you give her information she soaks it all in and if she's not sure about it she will ask you to confirm whether it is correct or not. She is my little intellectual. I love it. She is a reader and will have a strong mind of her own. That's a good thing for warding off those pesky adolescent boys when the time comes.





Okay now, remind me that I said she has a strong mind of her own when she is a teenager and thinks she knows everything. Thanks.




Oh, but how can you resist that sweet face?!





Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fix-It Stage

I'm moving out of my sadness phase and into my "Fix-It Stage."

My hubby-hub cannot live on prednisone for the rest of his life so we have to look at other options.

There is a local alternative medicine clinic here that is like the one in GA that we went to. We are going to call them after his IV treatments on Monday and Tuesday. And, we will probably look into an allergist again as well, only NOT Dr. Green who was absolutely horrible. No offense to his family. I'm sure they love him and he is probably a nice husband and father, brother, son, whatever. Our experience with him was not so nice. We basically sat in a little hole of a room while he called us stupid, misguided, misled, foolish, liers (er, well, he kind of said our friend with allergies was lying. oh, and our other friend with an autoimmune disorder was lying), etc.

Okay, I exaggerate, but he was not receptive to our thoughts and ideas.

It was fine though. Well, I wanted to get our $40 co-pay back, but I wanted to get the heck out of his dingy little basement office more. But, we left saying that out of all the doctors we had seen he was the most blatently closed-minded about things. So, we counted our blessings and moved on.

Please pray with us over Dan's health. We need wisdom in dealing with doctors, meds, appts, child-rearing, being good stewards, being faithful Believers, staying in the Word, loving neighbors as ourselves ... oh, I mean, I could go on, but mainly please pray for Dan and his health along with his mental well-being with all of this. We can always use any prayers we can get.

I love this account of Peter being rescued from prison by the angel while the church prayed earnestly for him. Note too how the girl reacts after Peter goes to Mary's house where they were all praying. Can't you just picture it? So much excitement the girl doesn't know what to do with herself, and doesn't even let him in! Sweet Rhoda the servant girl.

.... Acts 12 ..... (I highlighted my favorite parts)

4After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.
5So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
6The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists.
8Then the angel said to him, "Put on your clothes and sandals." And Peter did so. "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me," the angel told him. 9Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
11Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating."
12When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14When she recognized Peter's voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, "Peter is at the door!"
15"You're out of your mind," they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, "It must be his angel."
16But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. "Tell James and the brothers about this," he said, and then he left for another place.
18In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter.

My God, who is sovereign, does amazing things. I am going to rest in that tonight.

My Big Boy

I just saw that I had this saved as a draft. I wrote it a week or so ago ....

Elijah can put his shoes on all by himself.



I know. He's 3 1/2. He probably should already be doing that by now. Madelyn was probably doing this at 2, but he's my boy. My baby. And now he's putting his shoes on by himself.



Today he was eating waffles and when I asked him if they were yummy he said, "Yes. I do like them. And you, in fact, are my mommy."

Sadness in My Soul

Do you ever just feel sad? I mean there is sad where you cry and then there is just sadness where you kind of feel like you want to cry, but it just doesn't come. You just need to be sad and can feel it deep into your core.

That's how I feel today.

We found out yesterday that Dan has more swelling in his right eye. He hasn't lost any more vision, but the vein is really swollen. We are to go back in two weeks to see how it is then.

We have had almost 6 months of no vision loss which has been a wonderful respite from the chaos of running off to emergency appointments and then just the regularly scheduled two week appointments.

Dan's doc is close to Philly so it's an hour and fifteen minute drive, a 2 hour wait for the doc and then probably about an hour for the actual appointment if they have to take pics of his eyes, etc.

Don't get me wrong I love that we a great doctor, insurance that covers most of the costs, and many people who care for us enough to take our children in when needed and to pray for us so faithfully to get us through these times. But, I have to admit, it's hard. We have enjoyed the break from so many appointments, but it looks like they will be starting up again.

So, I'm sad. Mostly, I am sad for Dan. No matter what he does it seems his right eye just does not want to keep seeing things. Darn that right eye! Doesn't it know that seeing is a good thing??

Dan has slowly been tapering off of the prednisone which has been wonderful. While prednisone can help in so many awful illnesses, it comes with terrible side effects, none of which will make Dan sad when they go away.

Dan has also been doing monthly IVIg treatments which really seemed to be helping, but now I don't know. He has another treatment next Monday and Tuesday which will be his final treatment. These treatments are extremely expensive ($20-30,000) per treatment. Have they really just been a salve for a time?

So, I guess we'll just continue to take things one day at a time, and see what the different docs say in the coming weeks.

Now, I know that there are much worse situations out there. I mean, immediately I am thinking of families suffering through cancer treatments, the death of a child, a family killed in a terrible accident where only the father survived. Awful, awful things!

Believe me, I praise God for how much He has protected Dan's vision and has allowed him to continue reading, working, driving, etc. He truly has protected us from so much, and I am grateful.

So, even though I am feeling deeply sad from all of this I know that God continues to be faithful, He loves me more than I can understand, He is saddened by all of these things as well, and I find peace in Him while waiting for that day when I will rest in His Glory perfectly.

Until that day I will be sad for a time and will then pick myself up and keep going, doing my best to accomplish the works He has called me to do. What a great God He serve.

....

On a lighter note, my children have been entertaining each other while on the potty. First it was Madelyn. Now Madelyn is entertaining Elijah while he is on the potty. She keeps carrying over Christmas decorations and being silly with them while he giggles like crazy.

We were going to watch a Christmas movie, but they seem to just be having so much fun as they now play in water.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hiking With My Dog

Another dream of mine fulfilled.





I always wanted a dog I could go walking with and not have her leave me. Yesterday Daisy and I hiked through the corn fields near our house. Daisy is a timid dog until you get her out in the wild. She perks up and loves life like crazy.


Since we don't have a fenced in yard I always feel kind of bad that she can't just go out and run around for a while. I try to walk her regularly, but sometimes life gets the best of me and our walks are very short. So I wanted to make it up to her yesterday.


There have been times before that I would try to let Daisy run free and she took off like a fox bit her tail and I was afraid I would never see her again. Yesterday was different though. She's my dog now. We have bonded. I love her and she loves me. We don't want to be separated.


She didn't leave me.


She would run off a little ways, but she always came back.
It made me so happy.

I even tested her by stopping for a bit to see how long it would take for her to come see me. It took a few minutes. We both waited where we were and then finally she came over to me as though she was checking to see what was going on. I had plenty of treats to reward her with too.


Don't you love those stories about dogs who protect their owners in a time of trouble? That's what I envision Daisy doing for us if she ever needed to. I know. I am a total sap when it comes to my animals. I can't help it. I can totally see God's idea of having animals as companions for Adam before Eve came along though. No one greets you as happily as a dog on a regular basis. They live and breathe according to your actions. It's so great and fulfilling.




Granted, I know dogs can drive a person crazy too. Daisy is an exceptional dog, but even she about had her little neck wrung when she got away from me at the school and pooped by the walkway. But, she's doing what dogs do. I know dogs can have terrible habits too like getting into the trash, or chewing things up. My dog Scooter who I grew up with always got into the trash. He was so ornery. We loved him though and believe me he would have protected us if the time came. He bit his fair share of people who weren't even close to attacking us.


All this to say, I love my dog. I really thank God for her. It was so therapeutic for me to be in the fresh COLD air yesterday, hiking through the fields with my puppers. I believe it was for Daisy too, running like the wind, chasing all the smells of deer, squirrels, birds, etc. I need alone time like that at times, and it's much nicer for me to spend it with my dog than to be truly alone in a desolate field.


The funniest thing about this post is that if you ever met or meet Daisy she will probably be very afraid, and you will not be able to imagine her protecting us if she can't even handle dinner guests. But, she is getting better. She doesn't hide when people are here, and she barks like crazy now when people come to our door. She's got a loud bark too which I love. It is intimidating.


And, one night there were people walking outside. The windows were open and I have never heard Daisy growl the way she did. It was great.


Okay, and recently we had a plumber come to the house. Usually when people come I will tell them, "Oh, don't worry about the dog. She's all bark no bite." Then I realized I don't really want people to know that. So, to the plumber I said ... hee hee ... I think this is so funny ... I said, "Oh, don't worry. If we tell her you are okay, she'll think you are okay." As if, with one word she would attack. It's just always a bit unnerving when you have a strange man in your house to do work. I don't like it so I want them to think if they attack me my dog will attack them.


So, that's life with my dog. We may go for another hike today. My shoes got so muddy though and now with the snow it's going to be rediculous in the field. I'll have to wear my boots. I was so sad I forgot my camera yesterday though. We were both so happy!

Daisy on alert in our yard ... isn't she pretty?
Do you know she was scheduled to be put down? A woman rescued her and got her into the Rescue that we adopted her from. I guess this woman will rescue dogs from high kill shelters if she believes they can be a good pet for someone. Daisy came all the way from Kentucky! I can't imagine such a sweet dog being put down, but I am figuring that since she was so fearful they thought she would never be adopted.



Friday, December 5, 2008

Kindness in Youngsters

My girl. My sweet sweet girl.


She wrote a note tonight to a new boy in her class. He actually had to move back from 2nd grade to 1st because he has some learning problems. So, he sits next to Madelyn and apparantly talks during class a lot. This is hard for her to understand because he was in 1st grade before so he should know the rules of first grade. She actually said that. She's my rules girl.

She wrote him a note tonight apologizing to him for ignoring him when he talks to her during class. She said she knows she's not being mean, but it "feels mean."

Okay, this is the part where as a mom I want to grab her and squeeze her until the end of my days ... (a moment, to give myself time to imagine that I could actually do that) ... but I can't. Instead she and I have a nice little chat about how yes, ignoring someone is rude usually, but we can't have discussions with people while our teacher is talking either. I recommended that she do a quiet "sshhh" to him as a reminder to him that they aren't supposed to talk.

Well, her plan is to give him the note tomorrow, sit next to him at lunch, and during lunch tell him that she needs to talk to him during recess.

Her note says, "To ______, Sorry I have it been listening to you. From Madelyn." It's written on a little (I mean little) post it note in the shape of an M. She even folded it up, but then unfolded it so it could stick in her folder.

A heart of gold I tell ya. I just love her so much it hurts.

Meanwhile, I keep getting notes from the teachers about homework issues Madelyn has that are honestly, completely my fault. UGH. When do study halls start because Madelyn will be so much better off when she is able to her homework without me sticking my nose in it.

To encourage her to do her makeup work from being sick I sat down with her and did the same work on a sheet of paper myself. Well, I paid no attention to directions and as a result she had a few things to do over. I just told her how I thought it was supposed to be done, and of course it was all wrong.

Today I get an e-mail that she didn't do the work she was supposed to do over break. I throw papers away. I had no clue there was homework to be done over break.

I didn't send the snowman in after break. I thought it was just something for them to do over break. Yet another e-mail.

And, we have no idea where her spelling sheet went Monday. Madelyn said she saw it in her cubby at school. I honestly never saw it, but who knows I probably threw it away before my eyes caught a glimpse. I actually did ask Madelyn about it and could have sworn she said she did it at school. She later said that she said she needed to do it. Either way, it's gone, I got an e-mail, we worked it out.

Ugh. I am struggling in the homework department. Thankfully Madelyn does well enough in school that the teachers seem to realize it's unusual. I just pray it's the same for Elijah when it's his turn. Oy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ugh, Mornings Like This

Woke up late. Scrambling to get the kids out the door. Daisy was anxious to go out so I just let her come with us.

Well, at the school she decided she would jump out of the car and roam around the parking lot, etc. Finally, she decided to poop right next to the walkway up to the school so I was able to get her collar so that when she was done I could walk her back to the car.

Thankfully we were a few minutes late to school so there wasn't the normal bus and car traffic there usually is.

Won't Dan be thrilled when he finds out our dog pooped on his school's front lawn. I did have a plastic bag in the car that I was able to use to clean it up? OH! EW! I just realized I still have a bag of poo in my car! ... Gotta go ...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Why ...

did I dream this?



I went to dinner at a friend from high school's house. When we sat down to eat they passed around matching pairs of red shorts that we were all to put on to encourage unity (or something I never quite figured it out). But, two of us realized that the sizes were a bit off. So, they decided it was okay to stick with what we had on already. Thank goodness!



Odd isn't it? They seemed to have a lot of money and it made me wonder if that was a new thing that was done among the wealthy. The funny thing is that the shorts were wrinkled like they had just been in a bag or something just waiting for the next dinner party.



Weird.

Thanksgiving Vacation

LOVED IT!



We had such a great time with family. We went to Western PA to visit Dan's family. Susan and Josh came too and we had a baby shower for Susan. Good times!



Here are some highlights ...



We decorated onesies for Baby Daisy (Susan's unborn baby). It was loads of fun. Madelyn did two. Here are pictures ...




We played games. We played In A Pickle and relationships were tense for a while. By the end we all realized it was just a game and we were fine with still being in the same room with each other. We also played Go to the Head of the Class. I haven't played that in 20 years probably. Good times, especially since I was the teacher. Dan won (no surprise there). We joke and say he beat us sleeping because he had his head down the whole time and seemed to skip each grade. He's just so smart! We started with the Senior questions then slowly worked our way down to the beginner questions. We just don't know what states the different bowling tournaments take place! You do what you gotta do.



Elijah spent a lot of time on the potty, by choice. He, for some reason, loved kickin' back on Grandma and Grand-dad's potty. One time I went in and he had Grand-dad's teeth in his hands. I just hear him saying, "Hm, teeth" as he walked around the bathroom. When I would tell him it was time to get off he would say, "Please mommy I still need to go poopy!" As if he hadn't been in the bathroom for ten minutes already.



The kids had a great time with their cousins. They are such sweet kids. I love them so much. They were so great with my kids too. Robbie Jr. got his driver's license. That was fun. It was neat to see his sisters be so excited for him too.



There's more, but I'll leave it here for now ...

Monday, November 24, 2008

I knew I had another one ...

Last night I dreamed that my neighbor (her name is Kate too) got a bear as a pet and wanted to keep it. The problem was we were on the road with a ... wait for it ... a traveling softball team. That's right. We were semi-pro or something ... not really. I don't know where the softball thing came from.

Anyway, she had it in a cage and was trying to hide it from people, but we had to feed it quite regularly to keep it quiet. It wasn't working out so well because we were supposed to be with the team, but were sneaking off to grocery stores to find food and things for the bear.

We got caught a few times. The one time police were involved. That was scary, and I started to think to myself, "Why am I helping her hide this animal when I don't want a bear. I don't think she should have a bear (because it's only going to get big and eat her!), and it's just not really conducive to our situation of traveling with this team, not to mention her husband was with us. It's husbands' jobs to do crazy things like that for their wives!"

Soon after I started thinking that, the coach and assistant who kept busting us and reporting us decided she could keep it and we wouldn't have to keep sneaking around after all. Go figure.

I'm exhausted ...

Dreams

Ugh. The dreams I have had lately have been so vivid and frustrating and funny all at the same time. No wonder I am so tired lately.

A few examples ...

I met Tim McGraw and his wife, but I couldn't remember her name! I was their hostess for some event and even though I was trying to avoid saying her name I couldn't. She finally corrected me and told me that wasn't her name. Not only that, my dear friend Kerry LOVES Tim McGraw (and I mean LOVE). So, Tim was very cool and was fine with the fact that I was trying to call Kerry on my cell so she could talk to him (yeah because I'm a nice friend like that). So, while Tim was cool and seemed to appreciate all I was doing for them, his wife Faith (I now remember her name) wasn't so fond of me. I can't say I blame her.

I also dreamed that we lived in a duplex (a connected double house) next to friends of ours we know through the school. Thankfully her husband in my dream was not the same husband in real life. Her husband in real life is very nice. The one in my dream, not so much. He kept going in and taking my kids out of their beds after I would put them to bed! He would take them over to his yard and let them play! A little creepy and very much annoying, especially since he denied it when I confronted him. I did confront him too. I woke myself up because I was a little loud about it. I couldn't get the words out either. Do you ever have those dreams where you want to yell at someone, but you can't get your voice loud enough or get the words just right? I hate that. I woke myself up twice trying to yell at him to keep his paws off my kids. I was really creeped out, and his wife refused to believe me. It went on and on and on. I knew we were going to have to move.

This is just a sample of my dreams lately. My nights have been full of activity and not any of it productive, mostly frustrating and the kind where you wake up wondering if it really happened or if you just dreamed it. Thankfully, so far they have just been dreams.

Yikes.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Not So Smart ...

I totally missed a baby shower that I could have gone to that I thought I couldn't go to, but I could have. Argh.

Thanksgiving is throwing me off this year. It's usually this weekend so when I got the invite to the baby shower I thought we would be away. I still planned to RSVP and send a gift with someone else I knew who was going though.

Well, the invite was a handmade one, really cute, and apparently Elijah loved it too because I found him carrying it around a few times. Well, out of sight, out of mind, until I was cleaning Madelyn's room on Friday. What do I find? The invite. I thought, "Oh, I missed the RSVP date, but I'll still try to get a gift for the shower."

Well, yesterday I saw that Stephanie (who the shower was for) posted on FB that she had a great time at the shower, etc. WHAT??? I could not believe it. Did I have plans yesterday? No. Could I have made it to the shower? Yes. All I did was grocery shop yesterday! Ugh. Stephanie doesn't live nearby so it's not the kind of thing where I can just drop in and say hi with a gift sometime.

Such a bummer. But, you know who was happy? Dan. Why? Because he read my blog the other night. So, what does he say, "I guess I'm not the only forgetful one in the house now am I?"

Ugh.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Flashback

Elijah is very much into locking doors now. So, I'll go upstairs to see what he is doing and he'll be in his room with the door locked. Thankfully, when we moved in we replaced all of the door knobs and so we have keys to unlock the doors. It is very annoying though.





So, lately when I take Daisy out or run to get the mail I have been making sure to unlock the main door just in case Elijah decides to close it behind me. This has caused me to have this flashback ...





When Madelyn was around a year old she locked me out of the house. I had gone out back with Liezl, our miniature schnauzer we had at the time. I heard the main door close behind me and got that sinking feeling in my stomach because I realized my little child was now closed inside of my house. I had no way of getting to her.





Our house in MD was a ranch so our windows were close to the ground. I was always very careful to keep them locked. So, now that I was locked out I was regretting being so on top of things. None of our neighbors had a key, and the best part is I was in my pjs. The pjs I had on were not warm fuzzy full coverage pjs. No. They were the little shorts, clingy shirt type pjs because it was warm out (thankfully!). And, you guessed it, no bra. So, the idea of going to a neighbors house in that attire was not appealing, especially the family next door who homeschooled and had young boys.





What was I to do? I remembered for some reason that the front living room window might be unlocked. We had a bench on our back deck so I carried that to the front of the house, set it under our living room window, and praise the good Lord above that it was unlocked. It was a little tricky climbing in, what with the fact that I am vertically challenged and was wearing the short pj shorts, but I did it.





Madelyn, in the meantime, had just continued playing on the floor like she had been and just sort of looked at me curiously as I awkwardly fell through the font window onto our couch. I knew under that front window was the best place for the couch.




How could this sweet little face do such a thing to her mama?




Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Little Huggers

We had story time this morning.

When Madelyn went to story time she would sit there quietly enjoying the story. She saw no need to participate in the songs and dances they did. She would sit them out.

Elijah, well, he's different. We are usually just a minute or so late even though we live the closest, but this morning he decided to use the potty right as we should be walking out the door. Anyway, when he gets to the rug he will usually announce that he's there and then sit on the cloud with the number 3 on it. Why? Because he is 3! He announced that the first few times as well.

Then he talks his way through the rest of story time. Today was about getting sticky and taking bubble baths. When they were pretending to wash he told Miss Barb she wasn't washing she was "rubbing her tummy!"

Okay, but the best part is when a little girl named Meadow comes over and sits down next to Elijah. Remember this is while Miss Barb is reading a book to the children. Meadow sits down, looks at Elijah and says, "Hi!" Elijah smiles and says, "Hi." Reaches over, puts his arm around her, then pulls her in and kisses her on the cheek!

"HEY!" yells Meadow and then she marches right back over to where her mom is.

A minute later Meadow came back. The same thing happens. He kisses her and then she heads back over to mom.

A minute later, again. Three times before she stops going to Elijah and goes to another little girl.

It was so funny! Her mom and I were cracking up silently watching all of this play out.

He's a little hugger though. If you see Elijah, chances are he will want to hug you. That's why Jessica tries to hug him every time she sees him because as she says, "He just seems like he wants one." And, he does :o)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Life With Dan

I wouldn't change it for the world.




I love my husband. He truly is my best friend and makes me laugh regularly. He's the best. He is so loving, giving, caring, gentle, funny, strong, logical, and forgetful. Very forgetful.






He has come a long way though. He has really made an effort to figure out ways to remember things like when I call him at work and ask him to pick something up on his way home. He will write a sticky note and put it on his steering wheel. So, now it's just a matter of remembering the sticky note. There have been many times when he has pulled into the driveway only to realize he forgot to do something and drove back to do it. Remembering things is just not one of his strongsuits.






He is so smart though. Ask him the Gettysburg Address and he can give you all the details, maybe even word for word. He knows names of Senators, Presidents, even our state leaders. He knows the Bible, theology, philosophy, and sports, even though he doesn't really follow sports.






He is just one smart man. I can read an article and two minutes later try to tell Dan about it. I'll have already forgotten the names of the people. I'll get the basic premise, but the details are hard to remember for me. Not Dan. He is smart as a whip!







Keeping track of his wallet is another story. Even our extended family knows how he is with this. He is not the typical man who carries his wallet in his back pocket. He'll put it all kinds of places.







There have been a few times when we went away that he forgot some important things like his bag, the whole bag. He left it on our bed. We had to go shopping for clothes for him because we were going to a baptism where he needed to wear something other than athletic pants and sneakers. He forgot his suit once when we were going to a wedding, another last minute shopping spree. He went to DC overnight and forgot his wallet. Just yesterday he packed to go away and he told me last night he packed tan pants, but brought the wrong sports jacket with him so he has no coat or anything while he's there. Not to mention I had to take an important piece of clothing to him that I found lying on the bed after he left.






Last week I was waiting for something from his school's secretary. I kept asking Dan throughout the week, but he didn't know anything about it. Finally, after a week I asked the secretary. Turns out she gave them to Dan a week before. She set it on his desk and he put it in his bag and had no recollection of anything. There was one time he gave me a bridal shower invite 3 months after the shower. Someone gave it to him at school and it never got to me.



He'll clean out his bag and we'll find money or gift cards that people have given to him as gifts that he forgot about.



You just have to laugh. It is pretty funny. He is the perfect example of an absent-minded professor. He is brilliant, yet can't remember the simple things. I love it. I wonder if George Washington was the same way. Did Martha get frustrated with him because he would pack to go away, but then she'd find he didn't pack underwear?





Still, I am a better person because of Dan. So what I've probably missed out on a few other events because I never got the invite. We've been together since my freshmen year of college, and I truly have learned so much from him. I just do my best to help him remember. Isn't that what a "helpmate" is for?




Dan with a sleepy face Christmas morning ... (sigh)

... makes my heart go pitter-pat ...



Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Kitchen Floor! Yippee!!

HOORAY!!!!!! I am getting a new kitchen floor today!!!! YIPPEE!!!



Have you seen my current kitchen floor? It's atrocious, especially since I have refused to mop it for the last few weeks because I know a new floor is coming.



You may be grossed out by that statement, but I can honestly tell you that a good mop job on the current kitchen floor makes no difference. It still looks horrible. I don't enjoy cleaning and I especially don't enjoy it when you cannot enjoy the end result because it looks no different. I do vacuum it quite regularly though because if I didn't we would be knee deep in dog hair, but that's besides the point.



I honestly don't even know what the original color of the floor was. It's original to the house. Our house was built in 1985, 23 years ago. Lanoleum just doesn't stay pretty for that long.



I like our house. There are very few things I would change if I could, but overall I really like our house. I think it suits us perfectly. The only thing I have not liked about our house is the kitchen floor. This wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't in the kitchen for the majority of my waking hours. But, every day there it is looking dirty, gross, and outdated, screaming at me for an update. A friend of mine even commented after we moved in that she thought it was just dirty. Nope, just faded and looked dirty all the time.

I have pictures, but I'm at the library right now so I'll have to post them later.

In the meantime, my new floor is being installed as I type this and I really do believe I may hug the man when he's all finished. Then I will just sit or lie on the floor for a while soaking in the newness and cleanliness of it all.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another fun evening ...

Poor Elijah has a sinus infection :( I hate when the babes are sick. I know all mothers do, but I still have to say it.

I had a 4:30 appointment for him to see the doctor. We didn't get out of there until 5:15. We still needed to pick up his meds, hit Walmart, etc. so poor Dan was on his own for dinner before his meeting tonight.

I don't know what it is about the evening hours, but the conversations are the best! On our way to Walmart I asked the kids what they wanted for Christmas. Madelyn says a Webkin and Elijah says a snowman.

"Do you want a stuffed snowman?" I asked.

"That sounds like a good idea because then you won't get cold when you hug it!," says Madelyn.

"I want one that is made out of snow and jelly." ... Yeah, that's what he said. Won't that be a bear to wrap!

We then went to Walmart and thankfully found a winter coat for Madelyn. It's been on my list of things to do for about 2 weeks now. I've looked. We just haven't found the right one. I do over think these things. I'll admit it, but when I know I am going to have to be looking at this coat for the next few months in the dead of winter when life is generally just a little harder, I want it to be the right coat. Okay? Okay. (Do I have issues?)

The coat from last year (and the year before that) was a little small on her this year. The sleeves were showing way too much of her arms, but she loves the coat and was even showing a little resistance tonight at getting a new one. She doesn't like to try things on either so I think that was part of it too. I finally told her she didn't have to get a coat and that I would try to find something cute for myself then. She changed her mind.

So, I had it in my head that her current coat was size 5T. So, naturally, I'm looking at size 4/5 and 6 to see which fit her best. Well, they were all so big and bulky on her. She wears a size 6 pant, but the coats just seemed so broad on her at the shoulders. I didn't know what to do because I didn't want to buy her a new coat from the toddler section that would already be small on her.

Finally, I looked at the size of the coat she had been wearing, and well, let's just say it wasn't a 5T. It was size 3T!! My daughter is 6 years old wearing a size 3T coat. Oh my. I could not believe it. She probably should not have even been wearing the coat last year! I don't know. We were laughing about it though.

It all worked out because we ventured over to the Toddlers section and found some cute coats that fit her really well, size 5T, and best of all it only cost $18. The Girls section had coats for $35!

Madelyn is thrilled too because it has Sleeping Beauty on it. It is a pretty coat. It's pink with some yellow. I'll post a picture when I get one of her in it. She can't wait to wear it to school tomorrow. She even said she would wear it for the rest of her life if she could, but changed her mind when she realized she would be really hot in it at the beach.

She even made a comment about how happy and excited I would be if it were my new coat. Too funny.

We then ate a healthy dinner at McDonald's. We went inside and ate which is always a treat for them. The worst part about that was there was a tv in there showing cartoons. Do restaurants think I don't want to engage my children when we go out to eat, or to the grocery store, or anywhere for that matter. Do we really need tv every where we go?? I hate that. So, we sat and ate and I pretty much just watched my kids eat while zoned into the muted tv showing some horrible cartoon. I would have moved, but I realized the other side of the room was showing Fox News with soldiers making some raid on a place with huge machine guns, etc. Oh well.

It was still a fun evening with the kiddos.

Side note: I don't know what it is about Sleeping Beauty, but Madelyn really likes her. I mean all the girl did was get cursed, prick her finger, and then sleep for 100 years until a prince woke her up. I asked Madelyn tonight why she liked her so much and she said, "She's a princess." Plain and simple. It's a good thing she likes her because that was the only princess coat in her size.

She used to love Cinderella when she first became interested in princesses, and we do talk about the attributes of the different princesses. Cinderella is responsible, always doing her duties even though she doesn't want to. Belle is the smart one because she reads all the time. Jasmine just needs to wear more clothes, and there's just not much to say about Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. Ariel is terribly disobedient, but girls love her. On election day first grade held an election for the best princess and Ariel won.

I take Madelyn's friend Jadah home with us once a week, and she happen to come home with us on election day. They were telling me about the princess election and how they both voted for Ariel. Then Jadah says, "Poor Cinderella only got 2 votes."

"That's a shame," I said. "She's the responsible one. Ariel is so disobedient."

"She's independent," says Jadah.

"i.e. rebellious and disobedient. Her father tells her not to do things and she goes ahead and does them anyway. Not to mention she gave up her voice for a boy! Her voice!"

"OH! Now we understand sweet mother," they said in unison. "We see your wisdom and will change our ways."

Okay, not really, but I can dream can't I?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dads


I love Dads who are more than willing to care for the children while the mom goes out. And, I love moms who can totally relax in these situations even though they know that things won't be done quite the way they would want them to be.

I like to think I'm that kind of mom, but there are times when I do just shake my head.

Times ... like these ...

I think it was the night I ran over to the library to pick up a book or something before they closed. Dan got bed time started.

When I arrived home and went upstairs to Madelyn's room what do I find? Dan and Madelyn lying on her bed reading while Elijah stood in Madelyn's dormer COLORING ON THE WALL WITH A MARKER!!!

I freaked out.

I said, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? YOU DON'T COLOR ON THE WALL!!!" Poor Elijah starts crying because he was just "drawing a ghost," and Dan says ... (I still can't believe he said this) ... "Madelyn said they could." ... That's right. I'll give it a minute to sink in. I sure needed that minute for it to sink in after he said it.

I think I stammered and stuttered before I was able to get out a "WHAT???" I half expected Dan to pull out a marker of his own and show me the pretty picture he was able to color on the wall! Just kidding, but that would have been funny.

Come to find out, Madelyn thought it was okay to color on the wall because the markers are washable so you can easily wipe them off after you are done.

Okay. Now I am understanding the logic, along with why I had been finding towels with what looked like ink or paint on them.

The problem is that not all of her markers are washable and neither she or Elijah will know which ones are or aren't as they are coloring. So, I made this point clear to them, along with telling them they were forbidden to color on the walls.

A few days later what do I find? A little stick person drawn in black above Madelyn's bed with smears around it like she had tried to wash it off.

She was on restriction for a week.

But, the cute part is that later she tried her darndest to wash it off. She was singing the whole time. I thought she had been playing upstairs because she was singing away, but when she came down she said she had been trying to wash the wall. She said, "I used so much soap and so much water and only a little was able to come off." I said, "Well, how 'bout we just don't color on the walls anymore. Deal?" "Deal." She had learned her lesson.

Okay, back to Dads. A few weeks ago when I went away to GA I came home to a messy house. That's okay. It took a bit to get it back together, but my kids were healthy, fed, and safe. At one point I said to Madelyn, "Have you brushed your teeth?"


She hesitated. Dan just stops and looks at her. She looks at him. Then after a moment he says, "We talked about it." ... Oh my.


It's okay though. Dan is wonderful with the kids. He is like the "fun uncle" only he's their Dad. The kids have so much fun with him, especially at times like yesterday when he is making up a song about having broken legs. Madelyn loved it so much he had to sing it for me later in the car so I could hear it which then started a whole series of made up songs from all of us. Elijah's song just consisted of weird noises and happy squirms.


So what if he doesn't brush their teeth for 3 days (bleh, bleck, shiver) I know he is loving on them like crazy, taking them to the park (of course letting them do more dare devil things than I would, but that's okay), feeding them lunch (even if it is 3 pm), reading to them, talking with them, and teaching them about stars or something with technical words I don't even know the meaning to. He's their Dad who gets loads of joy from spending time with them.


I praise God regularly for providing me with such a wonderful husband and father to my children, and I am going to do my best to let him take care of them the way he wants to when he has them all to himself. They will be blessed from the time as much as he will. And, I'll try to not bring up the tooth brushing thing years from now when we have to start dealing with cavities ;o)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Night Out

Last week the kids and I went out to see Hannah's topiary display at a local cafe.

We had so much fun. The kids were in great moods and were cracking me up, mainly Madelyn.



Dan was at a board meeting and didn't make it home before the meeting so when we were leaving Madelyn asked where he was. I told her he had a meeting and wouldn't be home.

"Sad huh?" (I said in a sad voice)

"Mommy, he doesn't read to you at night!" As if I shouldn't be upset he wasn't coming home :)

We got to West Reading and were waiting to cross the road to the cafe. For some reason the light wasn't telling us we could walk so we waited extra long. Madelyn started hailing a cab, cracking herself up. She said, "I don't see any taxis!" So Elijah then joins the fun, "I don't see any taxis either!" They thought they were so funny.

We still needed to eat dinner so on our way home we stopped at Panera Bread. I LOVE their creamy tomato soup (which reminds me I want to find a recipe for that) so while I waited for the food Madelyn went to the bathroom. I peeked in on her at one point to make sure she was okay (I hate sending my children into public restrooms alone) and went back to waiting for the food.

When she came out she said that a voice in the bathroom scared her. I realized she was referring to the man who announces when the food is ready. You can hear the announcement in the bathroom as well. I said, "Oh, I know. You can hear it in the bathroom too. It probably caught you off guard didn't it?"

"Yeah ... (pause) ... But, Mommy, it really scared me because it came on every time I started to sing." Ah, I love my girl.

I giggled and said, "You are a little song bird." She smiled and hugged me so everything was alright again.

Madelyn sings ALL the time.



A friend of ours was at the school one day last year. She went into the bathroom and heard a little girl singing away in the bathroom only to realize it was Madelyn. She does have a happy little heart.

So, it was fun to realize she was going to sing at Panera Bread in the bathroom too.

Overall, just a fun time hanging out. I love to hear what's on the kids' minds in the car when there is no radio on and they tell me their thoughts on things. Apparantly, Elijah loves to ride in the car when it's dark out, and Madelyn does not like long car rides no matter what time of day it is.



If only I could bottle up these conversations, keeping their little voices exactly as they are now. Time just goes by way to quickly.

Silly kids ...

That's sidewalk chalk on their faces. They were "clowns."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Animals

I love animals. Most people I know know that about me.

So, look at this video ...



I just want to hug and squeeze this cat. He is so fluffy and seeing his legs and tail all sprawled out when he slides across the floor is so adorable! I love it.

So, the other night at Bible Study we got on the subject of animals. I won't go into all the details, but it had to do with should we kill animals. Is it biblical to kill animals?

This is what I learned ... God created the animals for fellowship. The animals lived in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Actually, it seems that God made the animals for Adam to have some company, but then made woman because let's face it, what would this world be without women right? ;)

So, it wasn't until Adam and Eve sinned that animals were killed to provide covering for them. Animals were then affected by the fall of man into sinfulness.

I also learned that the lambs that were slain for the Passover were in the people's house for 4 days before they were slain. This gave time for the family to bond with the animals before having to slaughter it to show the sadness of having to sacrifice for the sake of our sins. That would be devastating. Can you imagine?

I came home and discussed all of this with Dan. I told him this gave me a new perspective on animals to which he replied, "As if you need that." I really don't. I still cry over my poor little Liezl dog who we had to have put to sleep. Ugh. I hate reliving those days. I know. She was "just a dog," but really, they do become a part of your family. You can't deny that, and she was so sweet!

Now I have Daisy whom I just love like crazy. If I could clone her, I would. I want to have her forever!

Think about it. Animals were created for our fellowship. Studies have shown that people who own pets live longer. It is therapeutic for people to sit and pet an animal. That's why taking animals into hospitals and nursing homes is so beneficial for the patients.

I love coming home and being greeted by my excited dog. She is always so happy to see me. My cats love to sit on my lap any chance they can. I love it and they love it to.

Dan is right. I didn't need this new perspective. It's making me think twice about eating meat, and I want to get a rabbit for Madelyn. When I was looking for a dog to adopt she kept saying she wanted a rabbit, and she still says that. So far Dan is saying no which is probably good. I can just imagine what my mom is saying too if she is reading this.

That doesn't mean I won't keep trying for Madelyn :)

History

I love that our country just had such a huge day in our history. I love the fact that we have our first black president. I love that so many people were inspired to vote. I loved hearing about the 109 year old woman born in 1899 who never thought "colored people" would see this day.


I just wish his beliefs were a little (okay a lot) more in line with what I believe. I also wish I was able to vote in this election.



Elijah on the other hand will always be able to say that he voted in one of the most historic elections of our time. That's right. He pushed the vote button before I was even able to finish voting. Thankfully, I had already pushed the button for who I wanted for president. I was just going to push the button for Attorney General when I heard a long beep. I was done voting. (sigh) Why do they put the "vote" button right at eye level for little children?


That's my boy!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dreams

I always have had very vivid crazy dreams that I can usually remember.

Last night was no different. I also fell asleep extremely early so it allowed for some extra dream footage.

I played a game of cards with Jack Nicholson, and one of the waitresses at the bar (I don't even hang out at bars) told me she would pay me $50 to introduce her to him (as if he and I were buddies). But, I did and she gave me $50.

I also hung out with Sarah Palin and her family at the house they were staying in. They were all very busy with campaign activities so I didn't get to know any of them particularly well, but it was fun to observe.

I dreamed that Obama won the election, but it seems he was celebrating a bit early because the day wasn't over yet and there were people set up all over the city doing election coverage.

This is the kicker. A Larry King type guy was set up on a street corner doing his tv show. The tv monitor he had was full of apples. I tried to sneak over and get one out to eat it. He yelled at me so I said I would just go home and eat one of the ones I picked the other day.

Now, I haven't gone apple picking, but apparantly this is something that's been on my mind because at Sarah Palin's house I was struck by the fact that they had a fresh bushel of apples that they had picked. I wondered how they were able to fit that in being they have been campaigning so much lately.

Anyway, later in my dream I walked back by Larry King's show and I thought it would be funny to try to toss my apple core into where the monitor was filled with apples. I totally missed, twice, but since he had received such a hard time from people who witnessed him get mad at me he just chuckled at the fact I was back throwing apple cores at him. Pretty funny.

Crazy, but I love dreams. Sometimes they are creepy. Most of the time for me they are funny.

A few weeks ago I dreamed that my neighbor was pregnant and then Sunday she came over and said she was pregnant! So fun!!

Yes, dreams are fun.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Redeemer Lives ...

Do you ever go to church and feel like the Pastor is talking directly to you? Thankfully, this morning wasn't a conviction kind of deal. It was actually really really cool.

God has been teaching me a whole lot lately which is so great. I am doing a Bible Study on the book of John. I'm doing it both online and with a couple local groups here. It truly has been an amazing experience.

First of all, I love Jesus. Studying Him so thoroughly has been such a great experience. He is just amazing. Words just don't even do Him justice. The way He loves people, heals people, talks to people, and shows emotion is just very moving, truly striking in so many ways.

So, through this study I was led to a passage that speaks about our journey of sanctification. I don't believe Christians are mindful about that enough. Christianity is not just a "hey I prayed the prayer I'm goin' to heaven" kind of thing. It is a journey.

If you are a Believer, can't you look back on your life and see how far God has brought you? That is sanctification, the process of making one holy, being cleansed, made new. What a gift!

So, this morning in church the pastor was speaking about prayer and making a point to pray more for the kingdom instead of just praying for healing or safety. I think part of this is praying for ours and other's sanctification. He touched on that too.

Also, a friend recommended a book recently that she thought I should read. He referred to that book this morning!

Just yesterday I was in Philippians 1 reading these verses ...

21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
22But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.
23But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;

I love these verses. I starred them in my Bible after reading them yesterday. For those of you who know me well, you probably know I am very much so looking forward to being in glory with Jesus (see verse at bottom of my blog). Now I don't have a death wish, but I know where I'm going and I can't wait to get there! At the same time I know there is work to be done here and typically God doesn't give us the easy way out so I do my best to keep plugging away with the tasks given me here on earth.

Well, guess what the passage was this morning in church ... That's right. Philippians 1.

Loved it! It was so fun!! I thought, "Wow God. You just never cease to amaze me." I was so thankful to God for using this man to just confirm and add to the things He has already been teaching me.

Studying God's Word and learning His truths are so filling. That's the only way to describe it. After sitting down and doing my inductive Bible study I walk away feeling filled. After discussion time with our weekly group I feel filled. After times like this morning in church I get the same feeling. It is the best feeling in the world knowing that my God is alive and well. He loves me, teaches me, and is ever faithful, even when I am not. Praise God for that.

O God,
Thou hast taught me that Christ has all fullness and so all plenitude of the Spirit, that all fullness I lack in myself is in him, for his people, not for himself alone, he having perfect knowledge, grace, righteousness,
to make me see, to make me righteous, to give me fullness;
that it is my duty, out of a sense of emptiness,
to go to Christ, possess, enjoy his fullness as mine,
as if I had it in myself, because it is for me in him;
that when I do this I am full of the Spirit,
as a fish that has got from the shore to the sea
and has all fullness of waters to move in,
for when faith fills me, then I am full;
that this is the way to be filled with the Spirit, like Stephen,
first faith, then fullness, for this way makes me most empty,
and so most fit for the Spirit to fill.
Thou has taught me that the finding of this treasure of all grace
in the field of Christ begets strength, joy, glory, and renders all graces alive.
Help me to delight more in what I receive from Christ,
more in that fullness which is in him, the fountain of all his glory.
Let me not think to receive the Spirit from him as a 'thing'
apart from finding, drinking, being filled with him.
To this end, O God, do thou establish me in Christ,
settle me, give me a being there, assure me with certainty that all this is mine, for this only will fill my heart with joy and peace."
~ FULLNESS IN CHRIST, The Valley of Vision

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween

I don't know if you can see him, but Elijah carried a Woody doll around with him all night.




Halloween is the perfect opportunity to tell how completely opposite my children are. Madelyn, my quiet and reserved girl, walks up to a house, picks out candy and quietly says, "thank you." Elijah goes up to a house saying, "TRICK OR TREAT! I'm Buzz Light Year! Madelyn is Princess Beauty (aka Sleeping Beauty)! THANK YOU!" After each house he would say, "We can keep going!" Whereas Madelyn would say, "Are we going home now?"




Madelyn was so excited after school to go trick-or-treating, but when it comes right down to it she really doesn't like all the interaction with strange neighbors. Dan feels exactly the same way. Madelyn wants the candy so she's willing to do it, but she's much happy staying at home (in her domain) and handing out candy. Elijah would probably still be going around to different houses if we let him.




Elijah did like passing out candy too though. When kids would start walking up to our door he would say, "People are coming! People are coming!" He would give them candy, but often times he would get distracted by the scary costumes. He would then just stare and blindly reach for their candy. Eventually the kids would get candy in their bags. He would then clap his hands and wave good-bye. It was pretty funny to watch. He cried when we ran out of candy to give out, but I told him he could eat some of his once he went inside. He got over it really quickly.





Madelyn on the other hand got cold in her dress so she ended up getting warm pjs on and wrapped up in a blanket to sit outside. It didn't help that at the beginning of the night she fell as skinned her knee pretty good. That put a damper on her evening. She's happy to have all the candy though.

All in all it was a fun evening.


Friday, October 31, 2008

5:30 AM Wake Up Call With Spiderman

Again, Elijah woke up very early. I hear the fridge open and he starts his usual routine of getting out all of his yogurt containers even though he will only eat 1 or 2.




I go out to see what he is doing and he has 4 yogurts lined up on the table. Then he wants two spoons. I don't know why, but he usually will have multiple spoons now when he eats yogurt. I guess it's just more fun.




When he starts to eat the yogurt he says, "I'm going to stick his head in!" He pulls the spoon out and says, "Ah, he has pie all over his face! I'm going to eat it!"


I am telling you when Elijah wakes up in the morning he is so chipper and full of joy no matter what time it is. He is the only one in our family who is a morning person, but it's great because while the rest of us are just trying to get ourselves together we can't help but smile because Elijah is there saying something sweet or funny.


I notice Elijah is shivering. It has gotten quite cold here lately. The poor boy needs some more warm clothes. I go to the laundry room to look for a sweatshirt or something warmer than what he has on. I find a bag of hand-me-down clothes that someone gave me and what do I find?? A spider man sweatshirt with a hood no less!

Elijah loves spider man. He has only seen pictures of spider man on the dvd covers we have, but somehow he now really likes the idea of spider man. Every time he puts his jacket on he says he's like spider man and then he puts the hood up. I don't know. He just came up with that.


I knew he would be thrilled when I showed him the sweatshirt, and he was. I put it on him and he didn't take it off for two days! I love how such simple things can make children so happy.


We spent the rest of the morning snuggling and drawing letters on the magna-doodle until it was time to get Madelyn up. It was early, but it was worth it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Daisy Buries Her Treats ...


...in the house.

It is difficult, but she manages to find ways.
I have found bones under the bed, in corners, and now this ...


Notice the claw marks as if she was really burying her bone.

What is the bone buried under you ask ...


Why it's the arm of our desk chair of course! It seems to fall off at times, especially when the kids play on the computer. The screw gets loose and next thing we find it on the floor.
Apparantly it made the perfect hiding tool for Daisy.


But, how could you ever get upset with this sweet face?








Wednesday, October 29, 2008

4 AM Wake Up Call From Elijah

He was having trouble with the letter R.



That's right. At 4 AM he was practicing drawing his letters on his magna-doodle, and he always gets stuck on the letter R.



So, he comes into our room dragging the magna-doodle, climbs onto our bed, and says, "Mommy, I need help with the letter R."



I look at the clock and cannot believe it is 4 AM. The light is on in the living room and obviously Elijah has been up long enough to practice each letter leading up to the letter R. And, he erases each letter before moving on to the next one.



I then inform him that it is way too early for me to help him with his letter. His response, "Okay." He walks back out to the living room to continue on his own.



I don't know what happened between then and 6 AM when he crawled into our bed and went back to sleep.



I now wonder what else has gone on in the middle of the night that I don't even know about. Elijah is known now for waking up and helping himself to his soy yogurt. He will eat as many as his little heart desires if we don't wake up in time to limit him.



In some ways this is nice. You know, a little independance is okay. In other ways this is a little scary.

Who doesn't love a peaceful boy reading a book though?

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm Still Learning

Notice the dog ...


I caved.

But, on a different note, I totally dropped the ball. You know I've only been a parent for 6 years so I'm still trying to figure out how to handle the whole surprise aspect of gift-giving now that my oldest is old enough to figure some things out.


I remember the days fondly of being able to shop for Christmas gifts with her in the cart!


So, I mentioned the ugly stuffed dog in the last post and how I would end up at Marshalls to get it right? Well, that's exactly what I did. I also went to Ross to buy the husband pillow that will go nicely in her dormer. I was so proud of myself for doing Christmas shopping early.


I did soften on the dog though because I started to think I would just say that she was able to get it because she had some other birthday money she could use.

My original plan was to drop the stuff off at home and hide it so that she didn't see it, but I ran out of time. I put the pillow in the back of the car because I figured she never looks back there anyway.

It was fun because when I picked her up at school I put the dog in her seat so when she got in she would see it right away. She was so happy. Madelyn is very reserved so you don't get the big reaction. You get a very happy face and a quiet kind of excited sound, and it's very sweet. It's like it takes a bit to sink in.

The whole way home we talked about the dog. The dog was dancing. The dog was missing her friends, but looking forward to making new friends. The dog was getting lots of hugs. It was very cute.

Meanwhile, Elijah is sleeping through all of this.


We get home and I tell Madelyn that I'm going to take Elijah in and then come back for my purse and things. She is getting her backpack and things together to get out. When I was walking in the house I saw the package that her Aunt Pam sent her (an angel pillow just like the one I had when I was little - so sweet!) had come in the mail.

So, when I come back out I yell, "Madelyn, you have a package here too!"
To which she says, "I saw my other surprise too!"

Um ... "What?"

"My other surprise! I saw it in the back! ... The pillow!?!"

uh-oh.

"Um ... (nervous laugh) ... YOU WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO SEE THAT!!" The little stinker.

She just giggles.

"That was supposed to be for Christmas!"

More giggles. "I saw it!"
So, now I have no early Christmas gifts. Madelyn has 3 more Birthday gifts, and I'm not sure how Dan is going to take all of this. I'm just glad we didn't give her the desk we wanted to give her for her Birthday. That will definitely wait until Christmas, but I am going to have to hide it REALLY well. Hopefully, I've learned that lesson now. Oy.

The best part was that Madelyn and I giggled the rest of the afternoon. She was so happy to have a late b-day and early Christmas that involved 3 new things. She was dancing with the pillows, hugging the pillows and the dog, saying goofy things, giggling and giggling and giggling some more. It was all just really funny and fun.
And, Elijah was still sleeping.
I mean, how cute is this girl and her dog (Spottie is her name).



UPDATE: So, as the night went on Madelyn seemed to just gain more an more energy. It's not every day she gets 3 new things at once! I really am not the type of mom who just buys my kids things all the time so even a dollar store item is a special treat. She literally did 100 laps back and forth across the kitchen after dinner.