Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What are you thankful for?

Thanks to my sister-in-law Erin, our family now has a new, so far successful, way of dealing with life. She recently blogged about how they are dealing with the "I want" bug in their home. Every time one of the boys says "I want", they have to come up with something that they're thankful for. She shared how it has changed the conversations in their house and the attitudes of the whole family. (Check out their blog via our link!)

The "Michigan" Crisps have been doing this same thing, and we have added some other times to share thankfulness. For instance, after Olivia gets out of time out for hitting her sitter, she's got to tell me one thing that she's thankful for about Esther. And when Garrett was complaining about his dinner, because he HATES chicken, I asked him to share something he was thankful for. Here's how the conversation went:
Garrett: "NO, I don't want to!"
Mom: "Ok, you can go to time-out and while you're there think about something to be thankful for and share it with us then."
Garrett: "Ok, ok, I'm thankful for JESUS!" He says very angrily.
Mom: "OH, Buddy, He's a great thing to be thankful for! Why are you thankful for Jesus?"
Garrett: "Because He's in my heart." He says with conviction.

Back up to his seat he went and didn't complain about his dinner again. He didn't even fight eating it after that! Then we all took turns giving thanks. So a big THANKS to Erin for sharing a great idea in parenting.

Now some recent shots of the kids.

Garrett at the Salem Co. Pancake Breakfast. It was put on by the fire dept. and the kids had a great time touring the firehouse. Right after this shot was taken Garrett fell like a ton of bricks because the suit was so heavy. I wished I had the video camera!

Olivia enjoying more "inside" fun from her cousins.

I think she needs a barrette.

Gideon enjoying dinner. He's crawling as of Monday. When he gets really good I'll get a video of it. Right now we don't get much time on our card - so it would be hard to get.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day and more. . .

We had a relaxing day at home to celebrate Father's Day. We didn't do anything really exciting - we don't like to make too big a deal of all the "card" holidays. The kids were thankful for "happy father's day" in their prayers, it was really cute. Here are some cute shots of the kids in the last week.

Gideon shows us how well he can turn around and get on all fours in his bouncy seat. I guess we need to buckle him in from now on.

Olivia helps Gid balance on his feet.

Garrett doing his 'butt' dance.

Es wanted her picture taken this way - she refused to put a shirt on, oh well.

On to more interesting news, Josh broke his pinkie toe on Friday. He was moving a ladder in the sanctuary and accidentally kicked it. I thought you'd like to see all the pretty colors that it's turned as of today. Nice, hu?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Why I love being a stay at home mom

I have to admit, this has been a tough week. We have VBS at church and I'm in charge of crafts. This means getting up and out of the house by 8:30 - which is new to all of us. This also means that for 4 hours, every day this week, I've got 25-35 kids that I'm instructing and hearing. Hearing them is the tough part for me because although I have four, loud children, I also have a routine at home every morning that gives me time to myself. This week I have to wait until nap time to get a "noise break". Today that didn't happen, Gideon didn't want to take a nap and neither did Olivia (she only naps two days a week, if she needs it, which she did). I called Josh 'fried' from the top of my head to the tips of my toes and he came home to relieve me. He stayed with the kids while I walked the dogs, in silence!

I say all of that to say this, even on the toughest of days, like today, I wouldn't change it for anything. I would hate to miss watching Garrett entertain Gideon by getting in his face than dramatically falling to the ground saying, "OWWW, you got me in the face!" And then hear Gideon laugh hysterically. I always want to be the one who kisses their boo-boos, listens to their frustrations about not being able to play because she broke her ankle, and watches them 'boogie board' in the pool. I want to be the one who hears their prayer requests every night and prays with them. I want to be the first one to hear child like faith from my kids, like last night after we tucked Garrett in, said, "You know what? We don't know what Esther's prayer request is, but Jesus always does." I don't want to miss the times when my kids are selfless, like yesterday when Olivia decided she wanted to give her friend her wallet, just because. Or like today when Olivia was doing her crafts, didn't even hesitate to let her friends paint one for themselves. I don't want to miss the snuggles after they get up from their naps. I want to be the one who overhears them playing teacher in their room.

Olivia: "OK, Can everyone say Olivia?"
Garrett: "Olivia."
Esther: "La."
Olivia: "Can everyone say Miss Olivia?"
Garrett: "Miss Olivia."
Esther: "La."
Olivia: "Good Job!"

I know it's silly. But I'm glad that I'm the one in on the silliness! After the day I've had, I'm glad that I have these things to look back on and smile and be thankful that my life is full of craziness and lots and lots of love!

My little "Bean"!

We did let Olivia try the pool the other day, with bags over her cast. It still got wet, which it can do, we just had to blow-dry the inside. It's a lot of work, but worth it to see her smile.

Speaking of smile. . . seriously!

I know, I know, he's going to hate this picture when he's older - but he's the one who pulled the "old man" waistline!

All lined up and ready for their mug-shot.

Olivia isn't scared to walk on her cast anymore, but still hesitates to do it. She gets places a lot faster by hopping. We are showing her tough love and hopefully it will pay off.

Another "old man" waistline for you. This time while pulling his pants further up, he was trying to pick his wedgie at the same time - what a goober. And yes, that is a watch on his ankle. He definitely keeps us laughing.

Esther's hair is looking really good here, because she thought she'd try shampooing it herself, dry. Yet another moment I wouldn't want to miss.

What a handsome guy - that smile makes all the screaming this afternoon forgivable.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Olivia Update

Today was the day to get Olivia's new cast and we were all a little unsure how it would all go. The ER doctor told us that she'd have a full leg cast and need crutches. But when we got to the orthopedist he said she'd only needed a boot cast and that she could walk on it. She has not walked on it yet, not b/c of pain, but because she's worried about losing her balance and falling. We will continue to encourage her to walk on it and hopefully she will be by Monday (VBS starts Monday at church).

Family life, although always changing, has seen a major shift in our house this week. Garrett is quietly, and in his own time, stepping up as the leader and helper. Tuesday morning he thought it would be fun to entertain Olivia by wrestling with a stuffed Elmo toy, and it was funny. He's gotten Olivia more glasses of water than I can count, all without prodding from mom or dad. He and Esther have been seen playing together, without fighting, on numerous occasions. And this evening, as we were trying to get Olivia to walk her clothes to her hamper (without success), Garrett ran over, got the clothes and took them for her. What a great guy! Sometimes I wonder if we ever get through to him, but these times remind me that he is growing into a great little man!

We are so thankful that she ONLY broke her leg, and are thankful for a perspective in life that makes this trial not even worth complaining about. We are praying that she heals correctly and quickly. She goes back on July 9th and we are praying that he will see NO REASON to not take her cast off. The reason for this prayer is that on July 13th we are leaving for vacation at the Jersey shore, and we would love to have her be able to be in the sand and water without a cast to think about. Thank you for all your love and prayers.

Waiting on the Doc. He was really nice and quick. Our appointment was at 10:00. We got there early to fill out paper work and they got us back to see him early. We were walking out at 10:12!

Not too much bruising, sorry Uncle J.

Purple was the color of choice.

Of course Gideon was along for the ride - he's such a good baby!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Not A Good Dad!

So, here is the story. Jess was at the office today, while I stayed at home with the kids. I was inside the house and they were outside, when all of a sudden I here a screaming child and Garrett is running to tell me that Olivia had wrecked her bike in the road. Now at this point, I know that everything is going to be alright and that Olivia just scratched her knee or her elbow. The problem at that time was that she was in the middle of the road and I didn't want anyone to run her over. (Now for any of you that don't know, our road is the road less traveled. There has to be a reason for someone to come driving down our road, so I wasn't too concerned.) I yell to her to worry about her scrapes later and that she needs to get out of the middle of the road. She doesn't obey. So I walk out there to see exactly what has happened. She tells me that while she was trying to show Garrett how fast her bike was that she was turning and that the bike had slid out from underneath her. She tells me that she thinks the bike had ran over her leg. Now for those of you that know Olivia, we all know that she overreacts at times and I am thinking that she is just selling me something here. I tell her to get up. She says she can't. So I pick her up in one arm and pick her bike up in the other. I carried her into the house and sit her down on the couch. I proceed to check her out to see where the pain is and I'm assuming that it is nothing, so I tell her to stand up on it and walk it off. When I have her stand up, she screams out that it hurts and starts crying again. I am beside myself. How did I end up with such a sissy as a daughter? (By the way, if you have ever seen me get hurt you know how big of a girl I can be, so there is no question of where she gets it from!) I called Jess and told her what had happen, and I get short with her because I'm tired of listening to Olivia cry about her leg and I want Jess to come home so I can get on with my day. Jess was blogging at the time and tells me that she will be home after she is done. With that I say something to the effect of, "I understand, you have better things to do than to help your hurting daughter!" ( Yea, I suck as a husband too!!!! I laid a guilt trip on her!!!! I'm horrible.) At this point, I am getting a little more worried about Olivia because she won't stop whining about her leg and I told her that she may have to go to the doctor to have her leg looked at. Now here is the kicker, the last time that O went to the doctor was for her check up for kindergarten. While there she had to have blood drawn and I knew that she wouldn't want to go there, so she starts telling me that she is not going to go to the Dr. When Jess got home, I told her what was going on, that I thought that if O wasn't going to walk on it, then one of us (by that I mean Jess) will have to take her to the Dr., or the ER.
Jess ended up taking her and Gideon to the ER and all this time I'm praying that it is only a sprain. By now, I know that it is serious enough that I'm starting to writhe in my own self pity because of how bad a dad I have been! Jess called me later on to tell me that they took x-rays and the outcome was that we have a daughter with a fracture in her tibia. They have put her into a temporary cast and on Friday they will be putting her into a fiberglass cast. This is my story of how I'm not a good dad!

Here is Olivia cheesing it up for the camera with her new cast! Even in pain (which I think is minimal) she is still ready for a close up!

Here she is cheesing it up from another angle.

Here is what I'm sure the rest of the summer holds. She has to be in the fiberglass cast for 6 weeks!!! I'm so sorry Liv!!!!

Big Boy and Fun in the sun

Gideon is getting so big! He's cut his two bottom teeth and is sitting independently. When I went in to get him this morning he was on all fours in his crib - like he was going to crawl right out!

I think this picture looks just like my baby pictures!

Liv and Garrett getting warm on the deck after swimming. They laid there for 10 minutes!

Es cleaning the pool.

Always ready for a photo op.

Two peas in a pod!