Apr 28, 2009

A Story about Two Little Trees

Ninety-two-stinken degrees!!!!!! That's what my thermometer read today! (It even had the word "stinken" in there.) The heat really doesn't bother me. It's the fact that we had SWEATERS on last week that really bugs me. Every year at this time, I ponder deep, life-altering questions like,
"Should I take the winter clothes out of the kids bureaus or leave them in?"
"Is it time to put the plants outside or not." -maybe now is a safe time to tell you, Dad, that your beloved ficus trees didn't like to be put outside just yet. They threw a fit, and now every leaf is off.

I gave them the same tender, watering care that Emma is giving her brothers.

-even when they didn't want to be watered, they were watered...

I smiled at them and told them how much my daddy loved them, and that he would soon be back.

Then the day came when I said, "You must run free outside with the other little trees."

"But Dad has had us for 17 years!" they cried. "We don't want to go outside yet."

"GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY! YOU'RE DROPPIN' LEAVES LIKE NUTTY IN HERE!" I yelled.......I mean... I gently and positively responded.

They didn't like that.

**Really though, they're not dead. They're just taking a little snooze.

Apr 22, 2009

A Surprise Visit!

We had a surprise this weekend. My sister, Krissy, was in Boston for the marathon. When she called and asked if she could take the "T" to come visit us for the afternoon, I said, "No way, jerk." -just a little sister humor for ya. We decided that it would be fun to surprise the kids. I took the little girls with me to pick up Aunty Krissy at the train station. Since they didn't know where we were going, they were full of questions and ideas of where they thought I was taking them. The older children went to church with daddy. They were so surprised when they came home to find Aunty Krissy in the kitchen. (as you'll see in the video)

I made a fun, little movie documenting the whole day. And so, without further adieu, I present the box offic hit, "Aunty Krissy's visit:"

Apr 18, 2009

Color me happy

As I was baking dessert and making hair bows for Easter last weekend, I couldn't help but notice the sea of colors that surrounded me.

Don't they make you happy? Someone told me that the "in" colors for this summer are bright, citrus colors. I noticed that when I was recently shopping at T.J. Max. Next time, you go shopping, take note of all the bright oranges, greens, yellows, and pinks that are out there. Apparently, that is a marketing plan. Those colors were chosen because they are bright, happy colors. They are supposed to boosts people's moral, and hey, in this sluggish economy, who wouldn't want to put on a bright citrus shirt and feel like an orange, right?

Ummm, on second thought, I'll stick to black. It's slimming, and quite frankly that makes me happier than being an orange.

My favorite part of Wizard of Oz was when Dorothy left her ho-hum life of black and white, and stepped into the colorful land of Oz.

I scanned my pictures quickly to find more colors.

Now, see, you're all smiling aren't you?

With the exception of Mom, who is crying right now.

Apr 13, 2009

Mikey's Easter basket

We had planned on having a little Easter egg hunt yesterday but alas, the Easter bunny was puking...apparently, he had one too many Cadbury eggs. So, after dinner tonight, we headed outdoors for the anticipated, once a year Easter egg hunt. I carefully and meticulously hid each egg. The kids waited with giggles around the corner. When I said, "Go!" they tore outta there like race horses! They were running furiously all over the yard, gathering as many eggs as they could and putting them into their baskets. As I stood in the middle of the chaos, I couldn't help but smile at our children's innocent fun. Then, I noticed my baby off on the sidelines. Fun was not written across her face. My little Anna-bannana was crying. She had an empty basket. Before I could get to her, and whisper the secret places of the eggs, otherwise known as treason, I watched Mikey walk over to her. He bent over and said something to her. Then he reached into his basket and took the one and only egg he had found and placed it into her basket. Her tears turned to smiles. He walked away, clueless that I had been watching.
Now, my own eyes were filling up with tears. When the hunt was over, everyone was calculating their eggs. I asked each of the kids how many they had to ensure that all the eggs were found. I looked at Mikey still smiling, holding an empty basket. I said, "Well, tonight's game was not about getting. It was about giving, and Mikey, because you were the best giver, you just inherited all the eggs!" Our other child, Matilda (**name has been changed to protect the innocent**) cried out, "That's not fair!" But I knew...just like Willy Wonka knew when Charlie inherited the whole stinken chocolate factory (I'm still bitter about that. I could have done just as good of a job. And what is up with the oompa-loompas! Aren't there slave laws against that?) Oh sorry, I got sidetracked...I knew that Mikey was going to make another selfless choice. The neat thing was, his brother and sisters knew, too. They put the eggs into his basket with smiles on their faces, knowing that he was going to give them right back, and that's just what he did. He counted them up and gave them back, making sure that everyone had an even amount of eggs in their baskets.

P.S. We're still working on "Matilda"

Apr 10, 2009

Family vs. Wild

Introduction of the woods: My parents moved into this house when I was 16. I have never gone exploring into these woods. I'm guessing it's because dad scared me to death with the "don't ever, ever, ever go outside without mace! There are bears around here" stories. I never did see a bear.... UNTIL last week! We were coming down the hill, and Matt yelled, "BEAR!!" We stopped the car and there it was...a huge, black bear! I was a nervous, sweaty mess!! I didn't have my mace!!! He looked blood thirsty, and he was running away from us, but I think I saw him stop and look at me and say, "I'll get you later."
Dad, I believe you now.

Now, it is my turn to scare the bologna outta these kids and put into them a healthy fear of THE WOODS. (cue scary music)

The boys have been begging Joel to take them on a hike. Their "boys only hike" morphed into a "family hike" when Joel hollered up the stairs, "Who wants to go for a hike?" The two boys dropped their playstation remotes and were in front of Joel in a flash. Both of them wearing their trusty, bright orange hunter's caps. Then, a little girl's voice yelled downstairs, "I wanna come!" "ME TOO!" chimed in another girly voice. And then the last of the girls..."WAIT FOR ME, DADDY! I'm coming!!!"

Annie was more than thrilled that it wasn't a "boys only" activity.

She held Daddy's hand the entire walk.

It was cold. It was cloudy. It was slightly rainy, but that didn't stop us.

47 seconds into the walk, Mikey was suffering from hypothermia. Matt heroically gave him his coat. The family pushed on...through the rain, through the cold. We persevered.

We stopped to inspect the mushrooms growing down the side of the tree.

Hm. Interesting. Could we survive on these out here in the wilderness?

Our family trudged up the long, winding, rocky trail, dodging deer droppings. The only thing you could hear was heavy breathers and the crunching of leaves under our tiresome legs. (I could have sworn I heard a den of bears discussing whether we had mace or not.)

Finally, through the trees, we could see the meadow, and could it be!? Yes, yes, it was!..... HOME! off in the distance!

I felt a sense of accomplishment, a sense of "I did it-ness" a sense of, "we'd better have cream because I really want a cup of coffee."

I looked at my crew of mountain climbers. "WE DID IT, KIDS! WE DID IT! We hiked 147 feet, with no food, no water...even lack of adequate clothing."

We are the mountain folk. Fear us.

Apr 6, 2009

He didn't need that tail anyways.

A few months ago, Emma got a new fish. She named him/her???..hmmm, come to think of it, I have no idea what the gender of her beta fish is.....Well, with a name like, "Star," I guess it could be either. Anyways, several weeks ago, Star's tail disappeared. This is the case of Star's missing tail.

Apr 2, 2009

Our Totally Awesome Teen Activity

We had a teen activity at our house this past weekend. We started off with pizza....as all good, Christian teen activities do. :)

The best part of the night was after dinner when we went outside to have bike races. Joel did something cruel to them. He said, "How many of you have ever been dirt biking?" Their eyes were like saucers, and surely they must have thought that this was going to be the ABSOLUTE coolest teen activity EVER!!! Then we brought out the bikes. Did I mention that the bikes belonged to Emma and Annie? We explained to our daring teens that in our household, it's "Safety First" therefore, they needed to protect their heads and eyes.

Rules of bike racing:
1. Must ride down the driveway, go around Emma, and come back.
2. Helmet and goggles on at all times
3. Rear-end planted on the bike seat at all times. (no standing up and running with your bike)

And the race was on! I can not even begin to tell you how hilarious it was! I couldn't even hold the camera straight.

Josh, I beg of you to ride for us at the next family gathering!!! (That boy is a giant, and he seriously almost knocked out his team mates with his knees jutting out of that tiny bike.)

You can't have a teen activity without the involvement of whipped cream. We served up a nice, juicy piece of bubblegum on paper plates. Then, it was covered in whipped cream. The goal of this game was to get your piece of gum, (naturally, with the hands behind the back) and blow a bubble.

I learned something new about my niece, Allison. SHE HATES WHIPPED CREAM!

Upon hearing this, her loving uncle gave her a pile full of the dreadful cream. I think Josh enjoyed that.

On your mark, get set........FACE SPLAT

It was Hubba Bubba gum, so it did take a while to chew.

Way to go, Allie! You took one for your team!

We teach our children the importance of manners like: using the proper utensils at the dinner table, make sure to wipe your face with your napkin. So, this activity confused Annie and Emma a little.

Later in the evening, Joel brought out a HUGE tote. It was full of love letters that we have written to each other. We have saved every single letter that we wrote to each other throughout our dating relationship.

He told the kids that in order to have a true, loving relationship that is meaningful and lasting, you need to communicate. He likened it to our relationship with God. Our goal should be to know Him more, to understand what God loves and what pleases Him, and then do it. How can we understand more about God? -through the Bible. He already knows us. The Bible tells us that He formed us from the beginning. We need to teach our kids how to communicate to God through prayer, and then listen as He communicates back to us, through His Word. Relationships are important. Every day, we are either contributing a building block to make them stronger or taking one away. God's Word also tells us that when Jesus was asked what was the most important commandment, he replied, " YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This is the great and foremost commandment." -Matthew 22:36-38

May our goal as Christians be to know Him more, (Phil. 3:10) and teach our children to do the same.