February 28, 2006

Field Trip

After catching up on my friend Sarah's blog, I remembered that I had wanted to write about our little field trip last week. On Friday Sarah emailed me to ask if the kids and I would want to meet them at our local fire house for a field trip. Since we didn't have anything planned for after our school time that day, I agreed. We had a snack after school activities and then headed over to meet them.

We were told we could just come on in and ask for a tour--no need to schedule because we were such a small group. The guy who did our tour was extremely nice, but Sarah and I agreed that he was not quite cut out to have a pre-school and kindergarten audience. (Sarah's 3 kids are very close in ages to our 3.) He talked mostly to us instead of the kids! But the kids didn't seem to mind or notice. They were just excited to see the ambulence, the firemen's quarters, and of course, the big fire truck. They got to sit in the drivers' seats and climb up and down...basically it was a dream come true for Tobin to be around a big truck and be allowed to climb up himself!

So, even though the tour wasn't as exciting as it possibly could have been (with a more enthusiastic fireman who communicated well with children, say), we enjoyed our time there. It had been about a year and a half since we had our tour of the volunteer fire department house in Maryland. THAT was a great tour, done with our little MOPS group. The firemen there put on their gear piece by piece and explained why they had to wear each bit of it, talked about what fires are like, how to be as safe as possible if caught in a fire, etc. My kids were a little young at the time to appreciate it, though they did enjoy watching the action, I think.

At any rate, the kids were thrilled with their little plastic firefighter hats, and Sarah and I enjoyed a chance to visit after our tour when we went to the nearby park and let the kids run around a bit before heading home for lunch and naps.

February 24, 2006

Colorado Trip

Well, we are finally somewhat back into the swing of things here at home after our whirlwind trip to Colorado for President's Day weekend. We left around 7:15 a.m. on Friday, February 17, which we thought was pretty good! The kids slept all the way up until we were ready to leave. They ate bananas and dry cereal in the van as we headed out. The trip to Vail was a good one overall, though the kids didn't go to sleep until the last hour of our trip! So they were rather tired and cranky the last couple of hundred miles (total distance traveled: 650 miles). But we made it, and they were so excited to see Grandma J and Uncle Joel and Auntie Sarah again. We enjoyed a yummy lasagna dinner when we arrived and then pretty much crashed.

The next day was full of adventure for Charis and Tobin, as it was their first time on skis! Sarah had an infection of some sort and decided to stay back at the condo with Arden and me. It was nice to have some adult company. When the gang returned, we got to hear all about the ski lessons and how the kids did. Charis picked it up well and got good comments on her ski school "report card." Tobin did all right, but he wanted to hold someone's hand each time he went down the hill. That didn't surprise me too much, but no worries...I'm sure next year he'll be ready to fly solo.

Ted's Uncle Rande and Aunt Jo arrived that evening, and we enjoyed dinner together and some Olympic viewing before bedtime. No one in our family slept well that night--we shared the loft, which had a king-sized bed for Ted and me, a hide-away bed for Charis and Tobin, and a pack-n-play for Arden. Tobin was so unbelievably tired that he couldn't fall into a deep enough sleep to stay asleep. He woke about every 45 minutes to an hour. It was probably the combination of being in an unfamiliar bed plus being so over-tired. Needless to say, it was NOT a fun night.

Sunday was a day of rest. I enjoyed getting over to the fitness center and running 3 3/4 miles on the treadmill, the longest run I have had in a long time, if not ever! After I got my shower, Ted, Joel, Sarah, and I went out for lunch, since Rhonda had offered to babysit for us. (Rande and Jo had gone snowboarding/skiing for the day.) We enjoyed our double date and time of conversation before heading back to the condo for more vegging in front of the Olympics. We had another great dinner, pasties that Rande and Jo brought from Montana! For those who don't know, pasties are basically like a pie crust filled with meat and potatoes. [The site I linked to cites Michigan as being famous for them, but they were also a favorite with the miners in Montana, from what I've been told.] Ted's parents provided pasties for our wedding rehearsal dinner, since that was what they also had for their rehearsal dinner. So anytime I get to enjoy a pasty with my hubby, that's a real treat!

On Monday everyone headed back to the slopes...except Tobin, Arden, and me. We spent the day in the condo. I would have loved to have taken them swimming, but we had tried going as a family the evening before, and though they seemed excited, once we arrived at the pool they both clung to my legs and decided they would rather watch Daddy and Charis splash around. Sigh. Furthermore, Arden didn't even have his shoes--they were left in the van--so I couldn't take them out to play in the snow. (Not that I would have really enjoyed doing this, as I really despise being cold! But just to get us out in the fresh air and let them expend some energy so they wouldn't drive me bonkers...I would have endured some cold for that!) To their credit, they did play fairly well considering the circumstances, but I admit I had them sitting in front of a DVD for an hour and 20 minutes so I could eat my own lunch in peace and generally get a break!

Meanwhile, on the slopes, Charis was experiencing her first terror-filled ride on the real mountain. Though she seemed excited to go, like the boys with their swimming experience, once she actually got up high on the mountain, she lost a lot of confidence and ended up skiing down with Grandma J huddled over the top of her. One run was more than enough, and the two of them came back to the condo just in time for a nap. (They got a nap, I mean...and Arden napped, but Tobin and I did not, unfortunately.)

The rest of the crew came back a few hours later, and after a soak in the hot tub, we had a hearty beef stew dinner and watched yet more Olympic action (or soap opera action, as was the case with the ice dancing couples). Charis enjoyed "sewing" with Aunt Jo, who was working on a needlepoint project of some kind and was willing to let Charis help pull the needle through, which thrilled Charis to no end. During the weekend she and Grandma J stitched together a felt flower-shaped purse from a kit Rhonda got for them to work on at the condo together. Charis had also stitched little teddy bears together with Grandma K a few weeks ago, so she is now quite enchanted with needles and thread. (Unfortunately for her, I don't sew and don't really have any interest in learning! Thank goodness she has two grandmas and some aunts who are showing her the fine art!)

We got a much better night of sleep Monday, though still not a "normal" night's sleep. Still, we felt well rested and woke early to pack the van and get us on the road by 9 a.m. It was a quick stay, but everyone had a good time, I think. Our ride home was 100% napless, so we were glad to pull into our garage by 6:30 p.m. Vegas time. After very fast baths and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich dinner, the kids crashed for a really sound sleep, and Ted and I followed shortly after.

The only bad thing about our travels is that somewhere along the way we seem to have picked up a bug. Arden has had a fever the last two days and is very clingy and cranky, while Tobin and Charis (so far fever-free) are coughing and sniffling a lot. We are trying to stay home and get lots of rest so we can truly get back to normal soon!

February 23, 2006

Sweet Words, Bitter Words

We're trying a new thing. This morning Tobin was driving me up the wall with his whining, a vice that has become overwhelming of late. I managed to force a few drops of vinegar down his mouth. Boy, did he hate that! There was much screaming and wailing, but when he calmed down, I was able to talk to him about how yucky his whining sounded, just like the vinegar tasted yucky. He keeps telling me he does not want anymore "whining medicine!" So I of course reply that as long as he remembers not to whine, he won't get any!

As an extra twist, I also talked to the kids about making their words "sweet" and kind (our verse this week is Eph. 4:32--appropriate), and I have cups with their names on them on the counter. For every "sweet" thing I hear them say (i.e. "yes, Mommy" right away when I tell them to do something, or saying kind things to one another), I drop an M&M in the cup. After dinner tonight they get to eat however many M&Ms are in the cup. I will take away M&Ms for disagreeable speech, tattling, etc. And of course, there is always the whining medicine if we need it again. We'll see how this works...

This creative idea brought to you by Lisa Whelchel from her book Creative Correction.

February 15, 2006

A Good Valentine's Day

We actually began our Valentine's celebration on Monday evening, since Ted and I would be out for dinner on the 14th. I made spaghetti with heart-shaped pasta that I found at Cost Plus. The kids loved it! For dessert we had treats that the kids had helped me make during the day, heart-shaped chocolate chip "lollipop" cookies (basically cookies on a popsicle stick). We made a bunch of them for the kids to give to their friends.

On Valentine's Day, after our school time, we loaded up the van and went to a play group party. The kids made cute little crafts, and then we enjoyed a fun lunch, including heart-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids and a potluck lunch for the moms. After lunch the kids exchanged their Valentine's goodies, and it was a flurry of activity! Charis loved passing out the stamped lunch sacks with our cookie treats and her special stamped and colored Valentine's cards for each of the kids. She wrote "Love, Charis" on the insides and the name of each child on the envelope by herself--that was our handwriting practice for Monday. :-)

At home we read a couple of Valentine books I had checked out from the library last week--I'm amazed there were any left! Plus they kids watched the Peanuts Valentine special on DVD, also courtesy of our local library.

Nap time went well--no one slept, but the boys were definitely obedient, so I didn't mind them not sleeping. I peeked in on Arden a couple of times, and he was sitting up in his crib with his blanket completely covering his head. He was so quiet and still I wondered if he had fallen asleep while sitting up! Later I saw him lying down, still with the blanket over his head, and I decided that he must have fallen asleep like that. I determined to get a picture of him and then remove the blanket carefully, but by the time I got back to his room, he was sitting up again, still with the blanket on! As it turned out, he had pooped in his diaper, so no wonder he hadn't fallen asleep! I guess he has learned the lesson to be quiet and STAY in his crib during nap time, but I wish I had thought to go in and sniff! If I had caught the diaper earlier, he may well have napped.

Anyway, after "nap time," I packed the kids a sack dinner to take to church. It was a scheduled "Parent Partner Date Night," and Ted and I took advantage of it! Volunteers in the pre-school department are called Parent Partners. Each Sunday or Wednesday evening we help in a pre-school class, we get a punch on a card. Every four punches gets us a free date night, and date nights are scheduled once a month (sometimes twice a month). Since I volunteer during the 11:45 Sunday morning service every week, I get a free date night for us every month! We drop the kids off at church by 5:30 and pick them up no later than 9 p.m. The kids have a blast--sometimes they wear pajamas and slippers, and they love eating their dinner there for some reason. I guess partly because they get cool things like fruit snacks that we don't have too often!

After the kids were settled at church, Ted and I drove closer to downtown Vegas to pick up his snowboard, which he had dropped off to get tuned up and waxed in preparation for our upcoming trip to Colorado. Close to the ski shop is a Greek restaurant, Opa!, which we have wanted to try ever since we first passed it.

It was definitely a wonderful dining experience! We began by splitting an appetizer, tiropitakia, which is crispy filo dough wrapped around feta cheese, served hot. Oh, my! This was fabulous! We probably would have had hummus, since we both love that, but I had just made hummus and Arabic rice a few days ago, so we opted to try something different, and I'm glad we did. Then I had a village salad (fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, feta cheese, and Greek olives) and Ted had avgolemono, which is an egg and lemon chicken soup with rice. We split the combination entree, which included roast leg of lamb, mousaka (eggplant with potato and ground beef), dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice, ground meat, and herbs), meatballs, vegetables, and potatoes. I especially liked the mousaka, though everything was good.

We exchanged our Valentine gifts after the main course. I got Ted a mushy book by Gregory Lang titled Why I Love You: 100 Reasons. When I saw it in the store, I cried in the aisle as I read it. (Obviously I'm still dealing with hormones!) I could have written every one of those reasons to Ted, so I bought the book and wrote little notes in it throughout to personalize it a bit more.

Lest my gift be perceived as too mushy, I also got another book, Dave Barry's Money Secrets (Like: Why Is There a Giant Eyeball on the Dollar?). Since we are huge Dave Barry fans, I thought it would be fun for me to read out loud while we make the long drive to Colorado.

Ted got me what looks to be a fun, um, game (!) called "Canoodle." Good thing we're married! ;-)

Of course, a fabulous Greek dinner wouldn't be complete without some live music! We enjoyed some instrumental music while we savored the baklava, quite possibly a little bit of heaven here on earth. Then two Greek men came out to sing. They had wonderful voices that blended well, so it didn't matter much that we couldn't understand a word of what they said beyond "Opa!"

There was some unexpected entertainment throughout the evening...two little girls at a table near us kept leaving their table to go to the dance floor in front of the stage. One was about 2 or 3 years old, with dark curly hair and an adorable Valentine outfit. The other was probably 5, VERY chubby, but completely uninhibited! The girls danced and twirled to the music and gasped in delight when the spotlights came on, apparently thinking they were going to be stars! But this is when the singers came out, so the girls scooted to the edge of the dance floor.

Later, however, they got more involved...when the belly dancer came out! At this point Ted and I were more than ready to get our bill so we could pay and leave, but as we had to wait and ask our server for the bill, we were kind of stuck there. Our table was right at the corner of the dance floor, so we had probably a better view than we really needed! The gal was sweet to the little girls, though, and encouraged them to get up and dance, which was totally hilarious because they had no idea what they were doing! I told Ted that if he buys me an outfit like the belly dancer was wearing, I'll learn to belly dance for him. Ha!

We left the restaurant feeling very full and sleepy! It was fun to just relax and talk over a 2 1/2 hour dinner. I think the last time we did that was on the Alaskan cruise! All in all, it was a fun Valentine's Day.

Princess of Egypt

Where do my kids come up with these things?! It is after school time, and I am catching up on some correspondence while the children play (very well, I might add) together upstairs. Charis just ran down to show me her outfit--her Disney princess nightgown and tiara--and informed me she is the Princess of Egypt. I asked if Tobin was the Prince of Egypt. "No," she said. "Arden is the Prince of Egypt." Right behind Charis came Tobin, wearing a Sesame Street t-shirt.

"I'm the Elmo of Egypt!" he proudly announced. Now THAT'S a title you don't hear often. :-)

February 13, 2006

Olympic Time!

It's hard to believe these are the third Winter Olympic Games Ted and I have enjoyed together, all of them in different states! (Come to think of it, the summer games we watched were in completely different states as well! Imagine, 5 states in 8 1/2 years of marriage!) We are huge suckers when it comes to the games, both summer and winter. At any other time we would not be glued to our televisions, but from the Opening Ceremonies to the Closing Ceremonies, we enjoy every minute we can of the gritty athleticism and heart-tugging emotional stories behind the athletes who compete.

And now we have children old enough to somewhat understand what's going on and enjoy the games with us! This has been a delight. They did not see the Opening Ceremonies with us, which began at 8 p.m. our time and found Ted and me nodding off well before the finish. (I think this is the first torch-lighting ceremony we have missed!) However, the last few evenings we have all piled on the couch to watch such things as ski jumping, snowboarding, ice skating, and downhill racing. Charis and Tobin are especially excited, seeing as how our trip to Colorado is coming up soon and they will be taking ski lessons for the first time. When they watch the amazing things the Olympic athletes do on their skis, their eyes get very big, and they ask, "Can I do that, Daddy?!"

Charis' favorite thing to watch (no surprise here) is figure skating. In January Ted took her on a daddy/daughter date to see Finding Nemo on Ice. She fell in love with ice skating and now "skates" around the house in her sock feet, draping blankets around her and waving them the way she saw the skaters carrying cloth for the Disney ice show. She frequently spins with her arms over her head, bending her knees and then straightening up to make it appear that she is spinning exactly the way she watched the performers spin. The costumes she suddenly appears in are rather comical, and I really need to get the camera out. Usually they include some combination of her doll clothing!

Tobin and Arden seem to share a favorite event as well: the snowboarding half-pipe competition! They watched the preliminary rounds last night (Ted and I stayed up to see the Flying Tomato do his gold medal celebration run), and each time one of the guys would do a trick in the air, the boys would shout, "WOW!" So we began hearing WOWs every 5 seconds, and while cute at first, it did get a bit irritating when we were trying to hear the commentary! But hey, they're kids, and it's their first Olympic games. :-)

One great thing about having the kids watch with us is that it is GREAT incentive for them to nap! Arden has been doing well on that issue--we are going on maybe 10 days in a row of him napping with NO crib-climbing incidents. Tobin and Charis, however, are not known for their napping abilities. But, when told that the Olympics are on after their normal bedtime, BUT they can stay up and watch some of the action IF they take a nap...well, let's just say we are training some champion nappers this week! Maybe they'll continue after the games are over?! I won't hold my breath!

Did This Happen "Real?"

A question Charis and Tobin have been asking a lot lately is, "Did this happen real?" They mean, is it just a story or a movie, or did it really happen? As we read stories for school time, we always have to establish our frame of reference. This is a fairy tale--it didn't really happen. Or, this is from the Bible--it really DID happen! And then there are some in-between things that I have a hard time answering. Did Johnny Appleseed exist the way he is depicted in A Treasury of Children's Literature? Did George Washington really chop down that cherry tree?! Good heavens! Even Mommy doesn't know if that "happened real!"

It's been interesting to see them thinking about things in light of fact vs. fiction, truth and reality vs. fantasy and fairy tale. Even more interesting is how they carry these questions over from school time to life in general. Tobin asked if the football games of late happened real. Charis wants to know if the Olympics happened real. It's difficult to explain when you think about it--yes, these are real people, doing real things, in a real place, but it just happens to be shown on TV, which is where the kids usually see things that AREN'T real, i.e. Veggie Tales and other children's movies.

I guess as they grow older they will establish their own internal frame of reference. I just pray that they will be discerning when it comes to serious issues of truth, when they are challenged by those who don't believe the stories in the Bible "happened real." I pray they will grow strong in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that in the future they will be able to answer the questions that THEY receive.

February 10, 2006

Running in the Garage

Today I learned that it is possible for me to run on our treadmill (which is out in the garage) for half an hour while my children play together without killing one another! This is a first! Usually I have to stop in the middle of my workout to play the referee! Perhaps they are getting used to this, though I only do a treadmill run maybe once every week or two at the most, because I despise being a slave to a machine. Still, there are mornings when I just cannot pull myself out of bed, yet I know that I need to do some kind of exercise, and so we head to the garage after school is over. I pull the van out and park it in the driveway, and then, with the front garage door closed and the back door open so the kids can go to the backyard as well, I run while the children play on their bikes, wagons, cars, whatever.

Arden loves riding what we call the Flintstone car--you know, where the kid gets in, pulls the door shut, and shuffles around like the Flintstones. However, he has absolutely NO sense of control and just loves to make noises and swirl around so that he actually looks like he is riding a bumper car! This is highly amusing to Arden, but not so cute to Charis and Tobin, who feel the impact of Arden's recklessness every so often. Today I prepped them for this, reminding them that he is still learning how to control his vehicle (I will NOT be the one to teach this person to drive a real car!) and doesn't realize that he needs to check his rearview mirror before backing up. :-) Though we had a few moments when I thought I might have to ditch my workout, Charis and Tobin did a great job of patiently working around their psycho-driver brother!

And I? Well, not to brag or anything (ha!), but I managed to run 3 miles in 30 minutes and burned 415 calories! Woohoo! (Sarah, that takes care of those chocolate-frosted graham crackers from yesterday!!)

February 07, 2006

Random Thoughts

The last few days seem to have flown by. Ted didn't go snowboarding on Saturday (the first weekend in awhile he hasn't gone), so it was nice to sleep in a bit and have him home in the morning, particularly since we decided to purchase a new washing machine after our old one was having problems with the spinning cycle--again. We had it fixed for the same problem roughly a year ago, and for what we paid the repairman, we decided that perhaps we should have just gotten a new machine! Rather than mess with it again, we just got another washer. (Yay, Stampin' Up!, for giving us extra money for expenses like these!)

So, Ted picked up the new machine on Saturday, installed it, and did all the laundry! I'm sure I did some useful stuff, too, but I can't think of what it was, other than I know I got in a 3-mile run. :-)

On Sunday Arden took an early nap, and then we went to our small group leaders' house for the Super Bowl game. I took some hot spinach dip and sourdough bread, plus a cherry ambrosia cheese ball and graham crackers. We enjoyed other appetizers (chips, hot wings, tortilla roll-ups...), and then as the game was coming to an end (around 6:30 p.m. our time), our hostess had a fried chicken dinner ready for us, complete with mashed potatoes and gravy and corn on the cob! The kids had a thoroughly great time running around with the other children. In fact, Tobin was having so much fun he decided to paint the K's carpet!!! Somehow he had gotten into their craft closet upstairs and painted the whiteboard easel green, spilling some on the carpet! I was mortified! Thank the Lord the paint was water-based and came out almost completely, and the hostess assured me that her steam cleaner would probably take the rest out. Tobin really lucked out on that one, though he was definitely disciplined at their house and later on at ours!

Anyway, we enjoyed the game, being fairly neutral, since our Broncos were beaten. Ted kept lamenting that the Steelers should have played the same way against Denver that they played against Seattle in the first half, thinking that Denver would have beaten them!

Yesterday the kids and I went to church for my MOPS meeting. The boys both conked out during nap time with NO problems! Wow--I was amazed! They had a good 1 1/2-2 hour nap each, and Charis and I enjoyed some time together while they were sleeping. She worked on a beaded bracelet and necklace while I stamped some thank you cards.

Today we had our "normal" school schedule. Things went smoothly (I even vacuumed and mopped, a chore that desperately needed to be done!), so after we finished our Sonlight reading, we covered the table with newspaper and the kids painted. It was Arden's first time to paint! I am fairly anal and have a hard time letting kids be kids and get messy, so I don't always think to paint or do other potentially messy activities. So I was glad we had some extra time today AND that I thought of the idea without Charis or Tobin begging to paint! They were quite pleased with their handiwork, and I know they will enjoy showing off to Daddy when he comes home.

I just peeked on the boys (it's supposed to be nap time), and wonder of wonders, Arden is asleep in his crib! Perhaps he has gotten used to the idea that he must stay in bed and sleep when we tell him to! I will be quite amazed if this trend continues. This is the fourth day in a row he has obeyed during nap time! Ted and I were remembering our struggles with Tobin during naps at this age. (He still gives us difficulties, even when we just require an hour "rest time" with a timer! In fact, I can still hear him thumping on the bed upstairs!) Then Ted reminded me about the book issue. We spent literally months training Tobin not to touch the books on our bookcases. Nothing seemed to phase him, and while he might leave them for awhile, the next day he would be right back at it, touching, pulling, ripping covers, and so on. FINALLY he got to the point where he just wasn't interested in them anymore.

Arden went through a similar phase, but so much shorter! It was maybe 2-3 weeks? I don't remember--all I know is that we did have to work on training him, but all of a sudden, it seemed he either just got it, or else he didn't really care anymore! Ted wonders if that is an indication that Arden's personality is more compliant, that he'll not give us trouble with nap time since we've been so consistent and firm that he MUST stay in bed, lie down, and sleep. From other things we've observed, I would not be too surprised if that proves to be true, and if it does, hallelujah, and praise the Lord! But I'm prepared to take it on a day-by-day basis and remind both of our sons that I'm the mom whenever I need to!

February 03, 2006

Nap Time Happenings

When I last posted, I mentioned the difficult time we've been having, particularly with Arden. I think it was the day I actually posted that this happened. After getting into trouble for climbing out of his crib three times, Arden didn't seem to be phased at all. I decided to make things hurt a bit more and took away his Blankie, shutting the door behind me. Since we put one of the doorknob covers on the inside of the boys' door, Arden was furious! He screamed and cried, but I held out and didn't take the blanket back. After awhile, his sobs began to subside, and he got quieter. I kept wondering what was going on. The last time I had shut him in his room I found him jumping on Tobin's bed! I decided to just wait it out, hoping that perhaps he would give up and go back into his bed. I thought I had taken all of the toys out of the room, but as I discovered later, that was not the case. When I realized it had been really quiet for at least 15 minutes, I decided to sneak a peek. I carefully opened the door--no response. I stuck my head in the room and found several little Lincoln Log towers that Arden had built on the floor by his crib, with the rest of the pieces strewn about the room. Hmmm. Guess I missed those! But the funniest thing was discovering that he had indeed gone to sleep, but not in his crib! He was sacked out on Tobin's bed, with his feet hanging off the edge! He must have been absolutely exhausted to fall asleep like that! I know he was, since he had not napped for several days in a row and on top of that had been getting up earlier than usual.

Yesterday, however, Arden actually did fall asleep in his crib, without escaping once! It took him about 1 hour and 15 minutes to finally fall asleep, but he stayed very quiet, singing songs to himself and babbling softly, until he finally conked out. I had high hopes for today. The first time I checked on him, I heard him talking and peeked my head around the corner. He was sitting up in his crib, with Mr. Tiger on his Blankie. Arden was wagging his finger at Mr. Tiger and saying something would happen "if you don't wie down and take a nap!" I don't know what the threat was...he looked up, saw me and immediately dove down onto the blanket himself! I encouraged him to do just what he had told Mr. Tiger and came back downstairs. Unfortunately, 10 minutes later, he was pattering around in the play area, so I have once again confiscated the blanket and shut his door. He didn't cry for long, so perhaps he had a backup plan in mind! We'll see later on!

[As a follow-up, just about the same thing happened today as happened in the above picture. There were no Lincoln Logs around this time, but he had obviously gotten out of bed again, since he was sound asleep on Tobin's bed again! I guess we have one child who will fall asleep when he really needs to. Tobin and Charis always kept themselves awake when they didn't want to take a nap!]

I haven't posted many pictures lately, so I decided to put a recent one on of all the kids with Grandma K when she was here a couple of weeks ago. Though we did snap two shots, I just had to post this one with Tobin picking his nose. :-) It really was the better of the two as far as facial expressions anyway!

February 01, 2006

A Bit of Levity

The title of my blog is "Joy in the Journey," so, lest people think I'm wallowing in deep, serious thoughts all the time these days, I decided it was time for a little humor.

My boys have been giving me challenges this week...well, the last couple of weeks, I guess. Arden recently learned how to climb out of his crib, and that has caused major problems during nap time and bed time. We are getting better at bedtime, but naps are still difficult. In fact, he has gone from napping consistently every day 2-3 hours (pre-monkey days) to napping MAYBE 2-3 times per week. And if/when he does nap, it is usually because 1) I park myself right outside his door with a book (my only chance to read, it seems!), acting the part of the Nap Police or 2) he is so tired that he can't help but fall asleep. Still, it usually takes at LEAST an hour before he's ready to settle down and obey.

Not to be outdone, Tobin has decided to stir things up a bit himself during nap time, so I am usually traveling back and forth between the boys' room (where Arden's crib is) and my room (where Tobin naps), up and down the stairs as I scramble to answer the phone and then return to my Nap Police post, etc. I admit there have been days I just give up and lock Arden in his room, figuring that with all the toys now in the play area instead of on their built-in shelves, he will either get bored and go to sleep or at least decide that it's not worth it to keep crying!

To his credit, Tobin usually cooperates during nap time. I often make use of a timer, telling him that if he lies quietly for an hour, he can get up and play when the timer rings. However, there are days when we know we'll be out in the evening (such as for our small group Bible study), and we HIGHLY encourage naps on those days for everyone's sanity! Yesterday he did GREAT. Today I caught him playing with one of our candles, hanging upside down off the edge of our bed. Sigh.

Anyway, with the challenges the boys have been presenting, I'm thankful for the reminder of the joy that they are to me when they say something completely unexpected that makes me laugh. I still giggle when I think of these quotes, both said yesterday morning.

Tobin, trying to recall one of his AWANA verses for this week, which is supposed to say, "I am wonderfully made," grasped the concept of the verse but couldn't seem to come up with the long word in the middle.

"I am..." he screwed up his face, thinking. "I am...beautiful!!"

Later that morning, when changing Arden's poopy diaper, I was trying to prompt him to think about the potty (even though I admit my efforts in that direction have been few). Usually we talk about how pee and poop are supposed to go in the potty. However, Arden had a different response to my question. "Where do we want poopy to go?" I asked.

"To go away!" he said confidently.

Boys. Gotta love 'em!