Thursday, April 27

Family Devotional Nights

About a year or so ago, Sammy & I attended a Focus on the Family seminar geared toward passing on a Godly heritage to your children. The speaker, Jim Weidmann, talked about the importance of passing on your Christian values and ideals to your children from the start. He gave some great examples and ideas to incorporate into your daily routine. The main idea Sammy & I took home was to start having a family devotional night once a week. The lessons Jim Weidmann presented as examples seemed like so much fun for kids and adults!

So, of course, we procrastinated for about a year, but we have finally committed to setting aside one evening a week for a family devotional. Our first devotional was last week and we discussed the story of David and Goliath. We made slingshots out of socks (I'm so glad I finally discovered something to do with all my socks that are missing a partner!) and shoestrings. We used marshmallows instead of rocks. And, we aimed our marshmallows at stuffed animals the kids lined up along the toybox. Then, after they got bored aiming at the animals, Sammy & I somehow became the target! Marshmallows were flying everywhere & Nicholas was picking them up & stuffing them in his mouth just as fast as he could! The kids had a blast and it really was fun getting to sit down with them for a little while to talk about the Bible.

The lessons Jim talks about in his books are easy and appropriate for small children. I ordered mine off Amazon, but I'm sure they can also be found in a Christian bookstore. If you are creative, then you can probably think of these fun ideas all on your own. But if you are like me and you do not have a creative bone in your body, then I highly recommend these devotional workbooks!

Thursday, April 20

Multiplying Easter Grass

I have vacuumed, at the very least, once a day, EVERY day for the last week and I am still stepping on Easter grass!! Where is it all coming from and how come it won't go away? I think like bunnies, Easter grass must multiply in record numbers and I just can't keep up with it!

Tuesday, April 18

Now what?

What do you do when your 19 month old has pretty much outgrown size 6 diapers? I guess he'll be wearing Pull-Ups for a while, until he is fully trained.

And, speaking of potty training, he has been telling us when he needs to go potty. He'll say, "I poop" and we rush him to the closest toilet. The other day, he told me at Olive Garden, so we ran into their bathrooms & he certainly did need to go! I was so proud of him, but I still don't think we're close to being fully trained. Speaking from experience with the twins, I realize this task can take a while to complete! In the meantime, we'll be stocking up on Pull-Ups!

Easter Sunday

We had a fun Easter Sunday. The kids & I made it to church on time (a miracle!)... we came home & ate a wonderful lunch (that I stuck in the Crockpot at 4 am!)... went to an egg hunt after lunch... set up the pool & went swimming after the egg hunt... then went to a friend's house & played all evening long! It was a busy & fun day!

Best Picture Ever!

It is VERY difficult for me to capture such a precious picture of more than one kid at a time, so I was thrilled when I got this photo on Easter Sunday. I love it!!

Saturday, April 15

Recovery Room

Sammy had a surgical procedure done yesterday in the doctor's office. It took about 45 minutes and he will be inactive for about 48 hours... except when he needs to visit the bathroom or brush his teeth. Otherwise, I am his maid, cook, caretaker and all around go-to person! It's worse than having a 4th kid! However, I did not post about this to complain. I wanted to have this next part in writing, because I will never forgive myself if I forget this...

A few days prior to the surgery, Sammy actually drew up engineering plans on a computer program at work to arrange our bedroom into his "recovery" room. (Since our flood situation, our bedroom has been vacant until we get new carpeting. Still waiting on the good ol' City of Richardson to come through for us!) So, he put down some plastic to cover the bare floors, then laid down an old comforter on top of the plastic to help absorb sound. (It echoes pretty loud in there without any flooring or furniture.) Next, he moved our recliner and all 4 TV trays in there. On one tray, he set up his laptop. On another, he set up his drinks and snacks. On the third, he set up our small television and hooked it up to the cable. On the fourth tray, he set up an XBox system that he borrowed the day before from his brother. It only gets worse...

On Thursday, he came home from work with an extra bag. When I opened the bag to see what was in it, I discovered that he borrowed a projector machine from work to set up in his room. I think the projector is actually having to share tray space with his XBox. Then, he hung up a solid white sheet over our red wall, so he could watch movies on the projector "screen". It's a wonder he hasn't blown a fuse with all the electrical appliances he has plugged into that room!

I commented to him that my recovery from my two surgeries weren't near this elegant or fun! Almost makes me wish I had surgery instead of him... almost, but not quite. But, if I ever do have to endure another surgery, PLEASE remind me about this post. I want a recovery room just like Sammy's!

(Oh, and did I mention that he also gets to take a high dosage pain medication without the added stress of wondering how it will affect a nursing baby? I am so envious!!)

Speaking of Easter...

Early last week, I went to Target to pick out the kids Easter clothes. When I got home, I was showing them to the kids and thought that this would be a great teachable moment. So, I began to tell them what Easter was all about... how Jesus rose into Heaven to be with God and how we will also be with God someday. They listened so carefully and seemed like they understood what I was trying to tell them. So, later that evening, at the dinner table, I asked Samuel to tell Daddy what Easter was all about. He responded, "Easter is about new clothes!"

This is why I never pursued a teaching career!

Easter Bunny

A friend was showing me her kids picture with the Easter Bunny and it dawned on me that I'm not even sure my kids know about the Easter Bunny. We always talk about how the Easter Bunny will come to visit on Easter morning & hide the eggs they've decorated, but I don't think they really pay attention to the fact that there could actually be a bunny in their home. I don't think they have ever seen it at the mall or anywhere else the Easter Bunny sets up for photos. And, I have never desired to get a picture of the kids with the Easter Bunny. I guess it's because I never had pictures with it growing up, so I don't really care to have my kids take pictures with an overgrown bunny either. However, once Christmas rolls around, I absolutely HAVE to have a picture of the kids sitting on Santa's lap. And, usually not just any old Santa, but the same one we have used for 3 or 4 years now. I guess that has become a little tradition for our family, so I'm pretty adamant about keeping at it. However, I could really do without seeing all these huge Easter Bunnies in the stores this time of the year. They really remind me of the Were-Rabbit in Wallace & Gromit's movie.

Gotta go start boiling my eggs for the decorating session this evening...

Thursday, April 13

Puzzle Pro

Samuel and Sydney each got a puzzle from one of their friends for their birthday this year and they are really enjoying them. Now, these aren't the typical toddler puzzles, with the wooden board and pegs on each piece. These puzzles are the real deal... where you pull aside all the straight edge pieces first and work from the outside in. Granted, there are only 24 pieces, but it still seems like a huge task for a 4-year old. However, Samuel has mastered his Blues Clues puzzle like a champ! I was talking on the phone today when he kept asking me for help. I told him to wait just a few minutes and I'd help when I got off the phone. So, a few minutes (or more) later when I hung up the phone, I walked over to where he was working on his puzzle and he had all but 2 pieces in place. I was so proud of him! If you think about it, it takes a lot of patience and concentration to complete a puzzle. And, it's so neat to witness those traits in my oldest son.

Now Sydney... that's a whole other story! She still has time. She usually takes a little longer to catch onto certain things, like writing her name, sounding out her letters, completing a puzzle, etc. I have no professional experience to base this on, but I wonder if some teacher down the road might recommend ADD medication for her. I sure hope not and hope that this is just a stage she'll grow out of soon.

In the meantime, we are thrilled to experience this current accomplishment with the kiddos. In fact, Samuel completed the puzzle again tonight with Daddy as his audience. When he put the last piece in place, Sammy showered him with praises, then stood up to get the camera so he could capture the moment on film. However, Samuel had already started destroying his masterpiece in true boy fashion! So typical of my big boy!!

Tuesday, April 11

Happy Easter

After several unsuccessful attempts, this is the best photo I got of all three kids after the fashion show...

Fashion Show & Allergic Reaction

The kids took part in a spring fashion show over the weekend at Toys 'R Us. I supplied about half of the models!! They had tons of fun & really thought that they were hot stuff strutting around in new clothes.

They also got to hug Geoffrey's neck... while it was sitting on the floor of the dressing room! They didn't seem too upset that the rest of his body wasn't attached to his head.

This morning, Sammy took the twins to their 4-year check-up, where they got their last set of shots until the age of 10. They got the MMR vaccine and the Hepatitis A vaccine. I called Sammy on his way home to ask how everything went and he said it all went well, except that Sydney had just finished a severe sneezing attack. He said she was crying because she couldn't catch her breath and her eyes were red and watery. So, I hung up the phone and called the nurse to ask if this might be an allergic reaction to the vaccinations. I left a message, as usual. When Sammy and the kids got home, I took one look at Sydney and almost started crying myself. Her eyes and face were swollen and she had started to break out in a rash along her cheeks and jawline. She looked like a boxer, without the cuts and bruises. It scared the crud out of me! After one more call to her pediatrician (where I made sure I talked to a live person!), Sydney and I rushed back to his office. Thankfully, it was just a typical reaction that Benadryl could control. I am also extremely thankful that her throat didn't swell. I am fully aware that I do not handle emergency situations very well, so I am especially grateful this was not any more serious. What a day!

Friday, April 7

Evil Spiderman

Apparently, Spiderman has joined the dark side...

Another boo-boo...

I should have knocked on wood before posting about Nick's injuries. When I got home this evening, the kids wanted to play "Duck Duck Goose". So, we all sat down, including Nicholas, who likes to pat everyone's head and declare them the "goosh". When it was my turn to be the "goose", I touched Nick's forehead & felt a huge knot. After closer inspection, I noticed a large bruise & knot on the top of his forehead. Sammy informed me that while I was gone, he dived headfirst off the kitchen chair onto the tile floor. OUCH!! I'm should just go ahead and register with the closest ER so they can have our information on file. (Now, I really am knocking on wood!)

Bloomin' Roses!

My rose bush is in full bloom and I LOVE it! I get so excited when I see a beautiful rose blooming because it means that another year has gone by and I have managed to keep it alive! That is quite an accomplishment for me. I have a gorgeous pink rose bush on one side of the house and a yellow rose bush on the opposite side. (Shouldn't there be a law requring all Texans to have a yellow rose bush??) I'm hoping to add one or two more this spring. Seems that this might be one plant I can't kill!

Thursday, April 6


I am convinced if we shaved Nick's hair off, his bald head would be covered with bruises! The poor kid falls ALL the time and bumps his head the majority of those times. Presently, he has a skinned knee, a scab on his foot, a scrape on the palm of his hand and a bruised finger from our walk this morning. If he were bald, I'm sure CPS would be knocking on our door as I type this! Poor little guy...

Wednesday, April 5


(I couldn't resist adding this picture of Nick & his nose at 6 months.)

Nicholas is fascinated with noses now. He says the word "nose" in a very nasally sort of way. HA! That seems a little ironic! (Or would it be redundant?) But, it's really cute watching him say it. He crinkles up his little pug nose while making the "n" sound. Too cute!

Yesterday, while Sammy & Samuel were getting haircuts, Sydney, Nick & I were sitting in the waiting area, looking at the magazines & the pictures on the wall. Nicholas started pointing to each nose on each hair model plastered on the wall. However, it wasn't enough to just look... he had to physically touch the picture of each nose. So, here I am, inside of SuperCuts, hoisting my hefty son up to each picture so he could touch each nose with his stubby little finger. I'm sure we got several strange looks. However, that's still better than listening to him throw a fit because he couldn't reach them.

Despite the strangeness of it all, I sure do love these quirky stages!

Monday, April 3

Time Change, Inside Man & More

First of all, we still have not recovered from losing that hour Sunday morning! I don't know why losing an hour is so hard on us, but from what my mom says, it's always been tough on me. I need more hours in the day, not less! Hopefully, tonight will be better for all of us.

Sammy & I saw Inside Man the other evening. We both enjoyed it. However, I LOVED the theme song for it. It's called "Chaiyya Chaiyya Bollywood Joint" and it's a really excellent song! I'm usually not a huge fan of Indian music, but I would download this in a heartbeat, if I could. Unfortunately, iTunes doesn't offer it for sale as a single & I'm really not interested in the entire soundtrack. There were several requests on the iTunes site to download this one song only, so maybe they will soon offer it by itself.

The kids talked about baby chicks today at school. They were telling me all about them on the way home and eventually, we got around to singing "Old Macdonald". We sang about chicks, cows, horses and pigs. On the 5th verse, I asked the kids what else lived on a farm. While they were thinking, I suggested sheep. Samuel replied, "Sheep don't live on a farm. They live in Heaven with Jesus." So, I asked him where a lamb lived & he told me that lambs lived on a farm, so we were able to sing about them on Old Macdonald's farm. It's funny to see how their little minds work.

Lastly, I am really enjoying saving money by playing the Grocery Game! I got LOADS of cleaning supplies last night, several freezer meals that Sammy can take to work and other necessities. My original total was $150 something... after my Tom Thumb discount card, my total went down to $80 something... then after all my coupons, my total went down to $61!! I saved 59% of my total bill! How awesome is that? Plus, I got lots of cleaning supplies and dental products at rock bottom prices, so we are stocked up on those! I'm finally hitting the point where I just need to maintain my pantry. I've built up my stockpile and I'm able to use what I have in there. Mostly, I really enjoy the saving money part!! Who wouldn't?!?

Gotta run... another tea party is in full swing & my attendance is demanded!