Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Adventures in Gardening

We are going to try to grow a few veggies this year. Last year I joined an organic CSA and hated almost every minute of it. I had to drive across town on a Thursday afternoon after picking up Ethan and by the time we were headed back home we were in 5 o'clock traffic.
On top of that the growing season was poor because of the lack of rain and the farmer rationed what we could purchase. There were weeks that he only had kale, green peppers and collards and although I had $16 a week to spend I could only purchase $4 in peppers because my family wouldn't eat the others. It was not a good investment for us. So this year I am going to try to grow a few things of our own.Mostly peppers and tomatoes for now. But I plan to add a few things later on.We started our seeds this weekend.
We started keeping our yogurt cups and egg cartons to get us started.
The boys are having fun watering their seeds each day after school.
And they are anxiously waiting until something pops through the dirt. And I sure hope something does.
Once the weather moves beyond frost season we will move our seeds outdoors and replant them into straw bales. We picked up 2 bales this weekend, but I am thinking I may need to pick up one or two more.
It may be a complete flop. Who knows? I don't even want to think what I spent last year (money up front) on my CSA membership. I told Chris the other day and I think his heart skipped a beat. Thus far all I have is $20 invested in this project. Add another bale of straw and some seeds and I might peak at $30. I'll keep ya posted as we go. I have high hopes that we will have a couple of pumpkins to call our own come October. :-)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

100 Day

Today was the 100th day of 1st grade and Ms. Eades had all kinds of fun stuff planned for the children. Including making these t shirts.
100 pom poms hot glued to their shirts.

Miscellaneous Ramblings

After several weeks of go go go, I finally feel like we have settled back into our routine. Eliza is back to napping during the day. Owen is back to school 3 days a week and Ethan has settled back into school and soccer on Friday nights. It feels good to settle in. Like your favorite pair of jeans or that first sip of coffee in the morning. This morning I even mopped the floors downstairs. Now that is something to be proud of. It always seems like such an ordeal to mop. Finding the mop is always one thing then trying to keep small feet from pittering around on the wet floor is a completely different event. This morning though I just had Eliza so I thought, let's do this. Of course, I no more than mopped around where she was sitting and she threw her apple juice in the floor. I suppose that is my fault for letting her have juice while I was mopping. But another quick swipe of the mop and all clean again.

Owen received a lego police boat for his birthday and today makes the third day that we have sat in my bed and worked it together. He loves it. I was a little nervous about him sitting still long enough or caring enough to sit and do it but he really does great. And each day we put it together he will say something like "I can't wait for Ethan to see this one." Or "maybe we should wait until Ethan gets home to do it this time." So anyone wondering what to get him, legos are great.

I have been listening to KLOVE in the car since the New Year started (part of my walk a little closer to God resolution). Well, today as I was fixing lunch Owen was singing the chorus to Here I am to Worship by Chris Tomlin:

Here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that You're my God
You're altogether lovely
All together worthy,
All together wonderful to me

I asked him if he learned that song at school during music class and he said, as a matter of fact, no mommy you play it on the radio. Thank you KLOVE for feeding my 5 year old's soul and nourishing this momma.

I recently finished a great book, The Help.
I highly recommend it. The characters in the book draw you into their worlds and make you cheer for them. It takes place in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Era and follows the black help maids and the white families they work for. Really fantastic book!

I have a few books waiting on me at the library that I hope to pick up tomorrow but I have also started a bible study on Tuesday nights again. Crazy Love by Francis Chan.
I read the book last year and thought it was a great book so I am really looking forward to doing the bible study along with it. I am sure I will get something new out of it this time. Francis Chan was a pastor at Cornerstone Church in California up until about 6 months ago or so. He resigned because he felt like the church had become more about people coming to hear him speak rather than to worship God. There are several vidoes of him on youtube that are really great to watch. Here are a few links:

The Awe Factor

Just Stop and Think

Balance Beam

Shut Up

There are so many out there but those are a few of my favorites. I highly recommend listening to him and even better if you have the chance to see him speak in person. I would love to do that.

So that's what's going on with us right now. Busy, but a routine kind of busy which feels good.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We are family.......

I have always said one of the best gifts I could give my children is each other.
Oh sure, they fight
they yell
they annoy each other
but they also laugh
they admire
and they love.

One of the biggest lessons I hope to be able to instill in my children is that no matter what may come they will always have each other. When their best friend chooses someone else for the soccer team, when their boyfriend or girlfriend drops them for the next best thing, when everyone else seems to let them down; they will have each other. And as a single child myself, that seems like a pretty amazing gift.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

He's {five}

We spent this weekend at the beach celebrating Owen's 5th birthday.
We stayed at Dunes Village Resort because they have an indoor water park that the boys love.
They spent a lot of time in the lazy river and the hot tubs, but also braved the slides a time or two.
They also have lots of games to play; chess, checkers, pool, foosball, shuffleboard, etc.
Ethan is learning to play chess at school with his friends and he enjoyed trying to teach Owen how to play.
I don't recall the hotel having this playground last year but it was really nice letting them romp around since the weather was so nice.
Ethan chased the birds and Eliza chased Ethan telling him to put his shoes back on. :-)
I love seeing these smiles on my children.
We ate at K&W one night for dinner and there was a little elderly couple sitting next to us with their backs our way. When we got up to leave and the children were putting on their coats the lady said "You have such wonderfully behaved children. They all ate quietly we hardly knew you were there." I admit, I had to look around for a second to make sure she was talking to me. :-) But you know, she was. And they were wonderfully behaved. It might not happened every time we go out to eat, but when it does it is truly a blessing.
As for Owen's birthday, he said it was the best birthday he has ever had.
Most likely he will have a party with his friends next year since he will be in kindergarten, which will be just as fun for him, but I kind of like having my children to myself on their special day.
Some of my best birthday memories are not birthday parties at McDonalds but rather small parties with my family at my grandma Mary's house. My mom used to make my cakes, sometimes Holly Hobby, one year it was a carousel, I believe. Simple goodness.
How does he manage to get cake all the way up his cheek?
I don't get it.
Happy 5th birthday beautiful boy!
I am beyond grateful God blessed me with you. You give our family that little something extra; Daddy calls is oomph, I call it love.
Whatever it is, it is perfect!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

I always dreamed I would have an olive skinned, dark haired, dark eye'd little girl. You know - like me.
Beautiful, yes. But nothing like me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Years Recap

I haven't posted anything about New Years yet although I have been giving it a lot of thought. Chris and I didn't have any big plans for New Year's Eve. I am sure that really shocks many of you (not!). We let the boys stay up and Chris played video games with them until about 11.45. Then they came downstairs and climbed in bed with me. As we watched Dick Clark's Rocking Eve, I had a fleeting thought of is this what New Year's has come to and then as the clock struck midnight, the ball started to drop and I leaned over and kissed my baby boys, I thought, yeah, this is precisely what New Year's has come to. And I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude. I truly didn't want it any other way.

At midnight Chris and I were ready to call it a night and the boys thought the party should rage on. Ethan's comment was "if you really want this to be a party, we need to make some popcorn." It's the simple things. Really.

2010 was a wonderful year for our family and I know 2011 holds great things for us too. Here are a few significant things from 2010:
  • Owen turned 4 and is rapidly approaching 5.
  • Owen broke his left tibia.
  • Ethan turned 6 and is growing straight up like a beanstalk.
  • Eliza turned 1! You would think by the third child that turning 1 wouldn't be such an accomplishment but I maintain, the first birthday is more of a celebration of mom and dad than baby. We made it!
  • Ethan started 1st grade and is doing wonderfully.
  • Ethan and Chris joined Y Guides and are thoroughly enjoying themselves.
  • Ethan's reading really took off and he learned how to read to self which he thinks is just amazing.
  • Owen started a church preschool program and often I think he has a stronger grasp of Jesus than even Chris or myself.
  • Eliza learned to walk. Learned a few first words. Learned to climb the stairs.
  • I turned 37 and staring at 38 as I type.
  • Chris turned 36 and still loves being younger than me. Loves to tell the boys this too.
  • Chris received good reports from his cardiologist and his heart is stronger than ever.
  • Here's a biggie! I quit my job and haven't looked back once.
  • Chris started a new job and is loving it.
  • We celebrated 7 years of marriage and the only 7 year itch we get is for each other. I tell Chris all the time, despite our rocky start, God really knew what he was doing, after all. Imagine that. ;-)
I have thought and thought about new years resolutions too. Things I want to do differently and things that I just want to stay the course. Here are the ones from last year and I think each of them were accomplished, at least to some degree:
  • Love deeper.
  • Listen more. Talk less.
  • Appreciate my husband more.
  • Walk closer to God.
  • Play with my children more.
  • Laugh more.
  • Inhale. Exhale. Deeper.
  • And of course, the obligatory, lose this baby weight! :-)
Now for this year:
  • Love deeper. Still.
  • Listen even more. Talk even less.
  • Appreciate my husband even more.
  • Walk even closer to God.
  • Play with my children even more.
  • Laugh even more.
  • Inhale. Exhale. Deeper. More.
  • And continue with the baby weight. :-)
The one thing I am adding is that I want to start volunteering with the boys so I have chosen the Food Bank of Eastern and Central NC. We were supposed to go this past Saturday but Ethan woke up sick so we are going to try again in a couple of weeks. My goal is to go at least once a month. And so far, Ethan is really looking forward to it. I was on the fence about whether or not to take Owen but he heard Ethan and I talking about it and said he could do it too, so why not? We will give it a try.

We had a wonderful sermon yesterday on 1 Peter 3. One thing that stuck out to me was in verse 4:

but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

So this year, I am going to try to display a gentle and quiet spirit. And for any of you who know my dad's side of the family (mainly my grandma Dottie) you will know a gentle and quiet spirit is not something that has ever come natural. :-)

Cheers to 2011!

Owen's Christmas Program

Last Thursday was Owen's Christmas program at school.He did wonderful! He was singing with such joy and excitement!
They sang about five songs and played bells with some of them. We have a video somewhere, but I am not sure where Chris has uploaded it. I will post it though once I track it down.
He was so proud of himself.
And so very excited to see his daddy and sister there watching him.
And I was so very happy to see my precious little one singing songs of joy about a Savior who came to earth and died for our sins so that we would have everlasting life.

After the children sang, the pastor went to the stage and talked to them about Jesus's birthday and what Christmas is all about. He told them the only gift Jesus wants from us for His birthday is our love. That evening when Ethan was home, I overheard Owen telling Ethan that the best gift they could give Jesus was their love. He gets it. He really gets it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day Tripping

Chris has been off all week with us and it has been wonderful! The company he works for closes shop the week after Christmas and gives everyone that week off which is such a great perk. He and I would never think to take the week off and just stay around here, but it has truly been great family time together. Thursday we spent the morning at Marbles Kids Museum.
They have a big pirate ship that the children can climb on and play dress up.
There is a splash station
with all kinds of water toys to play with.
Eliza stayed on the move the entire time we were there. I think she was overwhelmed with all the children and all the things to play with.
I also think she intentionally looks away from the camera when she knows I am there.
Ah, there. But you can tell she looks a little put out with me.
Won't be the last time, I am afraid. :-)
This was her favorite place to play.
She actually played here for about 15 minutes or so.
Complete with mini ambulance and stretcher.
She also loved the aquariums.
Whole Foods Marketplace where she wanted to throw everything in the flooror chew on it.

Meanwhile, back with the boys. They were in a block area and had built these blocks up around themselves like a tower. This picture is me trying to get my camera up high enough to look over the blocks
to see Owen.

After we left the museum we headed to Crabtree Mall for a bit. We had a little box that we could take to the Lego store and fill up with blocks for free the week after Christmas. (Read: We spent so much money at the Lego store they gave us the little box as a token thank you to fill up for "free.") Anyway, they have about 25 or more drawers to pick from, all sorted by color and the boys could grab a handful or this a handful of that until the box was full. The only requirement was that the box had to close properly on it's own. They had a lot of fun choosing which pieces they wanted in their box. Then, of course, a quick drop into the Apple store and back home again.

We have had a great week and hate to see Chris go back to work on Monday although I know with the boys back in school next week I will be ready to get us all back on a schedule.