Monday, March 30, 2009

Picking up the Pace. . .

Life has seriously picked up the pace on our family lately. Most of this is due to the Easter Musical at our church ~ lots of practices, lots and lots of practices. And, since Erik, Erik Daniel and I are all in the musical, the entire family goes to every rehearsal. Every year follows the same pattern beginning in the fall. Fall is Erik's most busy season ~ football games on some Thursday nights (Jr. College) and every Friday night (High school). Then, Basketball season hits, and it is less busy because there are far less injuries on the basketball court than on the football field. Then after basketball season is the Easter musical, and after the Easter musical, it is time to rest easy for a few months!! Yay!!! I can't wait! We are almost there!
Here are a few snapshots from our weekend. . .
Does Erik look like Jesus? He has been growing his beard and hair for several months now!
Joshua dressed himself like his Daddy on his own. It only took me like 2 hours to notice that he had changed his clothes to be twinkies with Daddy. I'm seriously not observant. Anyway, they are cute with their little Carolina shirts and Hoosier shorts. Some might not appreciate the combination, but I rather like it ~ my heritage meets my man. A marriage made in heaven!
And, speaking of basketball. . .
It is almost time for Final Four Weekend!!! Woo hoo! I cannot tell you how hard I cheered for MSU ~ almost as hard as I did for UNC. Except I didn't really cheer for UNC because we were in Easter Musical practice. :-( So, my sweet mommy kept me posted on the game by texting me every few minutes with updates. My heart raced every single time I felt my cell phone vibrate! I like Izzo, and I had to route for the Big 10! Yay, for them! But, honestly I hate to see anybody lose this late in the dance. I felt especially sorry for Louisville because I really thought they were going to win it all, and I know that they did, too.
Enough already. . .
Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE little boys!!!! I do! I absolutely adore them!!!! And, here is one reason why. . .
I mean, really, Superman in a diaper on a tractor in red cowboy boots! It just doesn't get anymore little boy than that! And, I LOVE little boys!!!!!!
I picked up these pjs for Lijah at Wally world the other day, and he, of course, wanted to put them on immediately! They even have a velcro-on cape! How adorable! I think his big brothers were jealous, but it didn't come in their sizes!!!!
Oh, and this week Erik's brother's family is coming to visit! So, I'll be back next week sometime! I will have 8 children and 4 adults under my roof this week!! Crazy fun! But, shhhhh, don't tell my boys! I'm surprising them! I can't wait to see their faces when that their sweet cousins have come for a visit!!!!!!!!!!
And, I'll end with a picture of JCT. . .

Monday, March 23, 2009

Snapshots of the morning. . .

Here we go, back at it once again! After a week of play, I woke up this morning ready to get our life back into some kind of working order.


Yeah, right.
Everything in me wants to throw my hands up and not even attempt to work until the kids are out of the way, and I can truly focus on the task at hand. But, because that realistically won't happen for years, I have to learn to do things in tiny bite sized increments. And, that is hard for this all or nothing girl ~ especially when my home is completely 100% out of control.

Out. Of. Control.

Lest you think I am exaggerating, may I show you what my laundry room looks like this morning. . .



Pretty bad, huh? Just wait it gets worse ~ check this out. . .








The counters I use to fold and sort 6 family members (3 of which are boys who play in the dirt, mud, and sand :-) worth of laundry on top of ~ yeah, like where did they go? I'm determined to find them this week!


It makes me want to scream, but I am helpless to fix it because I have so many other responsibilities which come first. Having a play week last week was fun, but I am going to pay for it this week!



But, it was still worth it, and I'd do it all over again if I could!!!


Anyway, on a more positive note, look at these cuties watching early morning cartoons. . .






And, this is how I attempted to do my Bible study this morning. . .



Is it any wonder that I am a week behind in my homework?

But, he is an awfully cute distraction wouldn't you say?

Elijah is one of those children who eats everything in sight. And, what I mean by that is. . . if you put 5 grape halves in front of him, he will put all 5 in his mouth at one time. He knows no limits. So, I have to feed him bite by bite. I can put, at most, 3 goldfish on his tray at one time or he will fill his mouth until he gags. So, now that I am solid feeding Erik Daniel, lunch looks like this (except imagine me sitting on the end of the bench feeding one cheeto to Lijah, then one spoon full to Erik Daniel, then one more cheeto to Lijah, then one more spoon full. . . you get the idea!). . .


Oh, and the bowl on Elijah's tray is full of peanut butter. He likes to dip his goldfish in peanut butter. If you could zoom in and look closely at Elijah, you would see that he has pb covering his hands, face, and hair! Ahhhhh!
Such is life with little ones!


Learning to coexist. . .



That is what I call these pictures. If Erik Daniel hopes to learn to crawl one day, then these two little men must learn to be in close proximity. Up until now, I have done everything in my power to keep Elijah as far as possible from Erik Daniel. Elijah is, how do I say this?

Wild.

Crazy.

Unpredictable.


So, when you think of it, will you please say a prayer for Erik Daniel's safety.


Thanks.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Break 2009





I have four baskets filled to overflowing with clean folded laundry in them sitting in my bedroom just waiting to be put away. . . they have been waiting for several days now. I have been much too busy having fun to pay them any mind. This past week was Joshua's Spring Break and much fun was had by all! Oh, how we enjoyed having him home all day with nothing to do but play! My house is a wreck, but it was well worth it! I'd do it all over again! Although, I am beginning to get that overwhelmed feeling as I look around at the clutter and dirt that have taken over my home this week ~ not to mention the fact that the downstairs toys are not in the appropriate baskets ~ and that drives me crazy!

Here is a little summary of the fun things we did at home this week. . .


Water painting. . .





This is something we do a lot in the summer, but it is much too cold to play with water in the winter. So, needless to say, we haven't done it in a while, and the boys were entertained with it for a very long time!

Can you see the joy on Lijah's face! Nothing makes him happier than being one of "the big boys." He loves the fact that more and more he is able to do things right alongside his big brothers!! He was so proud of himself that he was almost giddy!And, what, you might ask, did Erik Daniel do while they painted? He was just happy to be there! He spent most of the week in our little umbrella stroller watching his big brothers play! Excellent entertainment!





We stayed outside almost all day every single day. This was our first week of spring weather, and I enjoyed it tremendously!





One day (I can't remember which ~ they all kind of run together now!) Joshua, JCT, and I had a picnic lunch after the two baby boys went down for afternoon naps!



This is what our packed picnic basket looked like. . .




Yes, that is Larry the Cucumber in whitey tightys. I put in the Veggie's Sumo movie Tuesday morning because it has a little cartoon story about the life of St. Patrick. The boys didn't think a whole about St. Patrick, but it did renew an interest in their veggietales toys. The underwear are Joshua's way of dressing Larry like the Italian Scallion Sumo wrestler in the movie/book.

Here they are enjoying the backyard picnic. . .


Erik's lilies are coming back to life! Yay!



And, after dinner Tuesday night, I made homemade green vanilla ice cream, and the boys thought it was fun to watch the green ice cream churn!





Then, on Wednesday the boys discovered and claimed a new pet. . . Wormie.





All week we ate on these yummy banana bread muffins. . .







We had a little bit of our own March Madness. . .










And, once again Erik Daniel sat calmly by watching his big brothers. . .

The boys took a bubble bath for fun one afternoon! And, for the first time Elijah was not afraid of the bubbles!!
They also spent a lot of time playing in the pile of sand the brick layers left after building our new mailbox. It was kind of like a beach!


Notice that Joshua has on Duke shorts. His UNC loving Daddy actually bought these for him on one of his basketball trips with Sean. Erik says that he wants his boys to be their own people, to think for themselves and not just like the teams that Daddy likes. Quite mature, don't you think?? Actually, I think secretly Daddy might like Duke just a little. But, he would just say that it is respect for their program and especially a respect for their coach. (I just received approval from Erik to keep this paragraph! :-))

Boy, did I get sidetracked! Anyway, back to the sand. . .


Sweet toes. I keep wondering when my precious little boys' feet will not be cute to me anymore!

It was such a fun week! I am going to be a sad Mama come Monday.

And, what better way to end this post, but with another picture of what my sweet Erik Daniel did this week. . .

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

May I Have This Dance?

It is that time of year again! March Madness, Baby!!


I drew up our chalkboard bracket yesterday because the madness begins today. . .

The boys wanted to wear jerseys yesterday. And, I thought this picture was appropriate because, after all, the Hoosiers were not invited to the dance this year.

But, JCT is really just being silly. He doesn't know that his team wasn't invited. Let's not tell him, okay? There will always be next year, you know?

I have a feeling that this time of year will only get more and more fun as the years go on and the boys get more and more into watching sports! Filling out brackets is just a little fun, friendly family competition! Enjoy the madness!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Circus Life

My life is a circus, but that is another story for another day! Have I ever mentioned the fact that I love little boys? I do. I love them very much. I love them a little more every single day. And, I love big boys, too, specifically my father-in-love who hooked Erik and I up with wireless internet this past weekend. So, I am typing this while sitting in our big leather chair with my feet propped up on the ottoman sipping Bifferdoodle from one of my favorite mugs! Does life get any better? Oh, yes, yes it does! I forgot to add that my sweet little muscle man is sleeping on the couch a few feet from me! Goodness, I love him! We are still doing the nap on the couch routine. It works for us. He doesn't like to be alone in his room during naptime, and I like to be where he is. So, this arrangement works quite well for us. The two little boys are napping, as well, leaving the homestead quiet, peaceful, and rejuvenating for mama!

Today, JCT's preschool had a circus party! The children dressed up, played carnival games, watched a circus movie, and ate popcorn, hot dogs, and cotton candy! JCT had a blast! He dressed up as a muscle man! I got a pair of pantyhose, a little boy, and some poly-fil mixed them all together, and this is what I got. . .

We made weights out of two painted and stuffed boxes, and we used a roll of wrapping paper for the bar. He loved it! I tried to talk him into letting me draw a tattoo on his upper arm. I was thinking a heart with "MOM" written inside it, but he would have nothing to do with it! No tattoos for this little muscle man. I guess I should be glad about that!

Anyway, on to the party. . . .

Here is a picture of his teacher. . .You will never guess who the star of the circus was???

Elijah! Everyone always wants to see little Lijah when we come! And, this is why I wear Erik Daniel in the kangaroo pouch! It keeps him out of the reach of sweet little preschool hands!
Here is JCT and little clown, Jada, watching the circus movie!

And, here are a sweet pair of opposites!

Afton, the delicate, beautiful ribbon dancer. . .

And, JCT, the rough, tough muscle man. . .

I wasn't planning on making JCT take a nap today in hopes of an early bedtime. But, after lunch he asked if he could, "sleep with my muscles on?" I assumed that this meant the little man needed a nap. And, after a couple of songs my big, strong, tough muscle man of a little boy fell fast asleep in my arms. He may look big and tough, but underneath it all he is still my precious baby boy. . .

And, I will probably type those same words when he comes home from college and falls fast asleep on the couch. . . Always my precious baby boy. . .

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Summer in the Wintertime. . .

And, this is what our little snowman looked like yesterday morning. . .


Sad for him.

And, sad for me, too. I just wish that we could have more days like Sunday ~ unexpected days of rest and home~time for the whole family! Ahhh. . .

Anyway, the morning of the great snow I put on an episode of Little Bill for the boys. And, in this particular episode, the kids were snowed in and had cabin fever. They came up with the idea of having Summer in the winter. They dressed in summer clothes and sang a silly little song that stuck with me. "Summertime, summertime, summer in the wintertime!"

And, that is what I decided to do last night. I gave the boys their bath early, so that we would have one less thing to do in the evening hours, and after they had their bath, I let them choose clothes from their summer clothes bins. I can't tell you how fun they thought this was. . . And, they sang the song from Little Bill over and over and over as they paraded down the stairs in their swim trunks, t-shirts, and sunglasses. Then, I changed into a summer skirt and shirt. And, we waited for Daddy with great anticipation! He came in, and was quickly made aware of the seasonal change that had taken place in our home during the late afternoon hours. I had the burger meat out and ready for him to season and grill - on the stovetop grill, of course. I think it was thirty something degrees outside at the time!
Then, we ate our little dinner of fresh fruit, cheeseburgers, and potato chips! The boys loved it!

Even Erik Daniel got into all the fun!


And, for dessert, what else??

Strawberry shortcake!!



I think the boys really enjoyed it! We may just do this every winter while they are young!


Sunday, March 01, 2009

God is SNOW sweet. . .

Yesterday (Saturday) afternoon Erik and I sat down and went over our schedule for Sunday. Just talking about it totally bummed me out. I don't like to be busy, but this is what the day looked like. . . Get up, get ready for church, go to church, come home, fix lunch, eat lunch, put boys down for naps, Erik - go for a jog, Erin - prepare for Moms in Touch, Erik - shower get ready and go to Easter drama practice, Erin - stay with boys, feed boys, get boys ready to go back to church, take boys to church nursery and go to Moms in Touch, meet up with Erik and go to evening service, Erik - take boys home and put them to bed, Erin - stay for extra choir rehearsal. Ugghhh. . .

Fast forward a few hours, and we had Elijah already in bed. The big boys were sitting at the kitchen table getting some games out and ready for us to play while I popped popcorn and Erik leashed Rain. Erik and Rain walked out the backdoor. Moments later Erik came back in and said, "Boys, get your shoes on and come outside! There is something I want you to see!" I couldn't think of what it could be! So, I ran to get my shoes and coat, too! And, when we stepped out of the back door, we saw it ~ an amazing, beautiful nighttime snow! It was windy and the snowflakes blew all about as they made their way to earth!

We all came back inside our nice warm home, and we sat around the table with hot popcorn and fun games. And, I couldn't help feeling all warm and cozy and wonderful inside as we played two games of Go Fish, 3 games of Bingo, and 1 game of Dominoes. A little bit later we put the boys to bed and closed down the house, turned off the lights, checked doors, etc., and by this time the snow had stopped completely. And, I went to bed thinking about a bazillion other things. . .

Erik woke up at 6:30, and, thus, did I. A few minutes after Erik left the bed, I heard the pitter patter of sweet little feet on the steps and then their sweet whispery voices entered my room. I pretended to be asleep until Joshua said. . .

"Mommy, remember that day last year when we woke up and there was snow everywhere ~ covering everything. Well, it's like that again outside!"

My eyes popped open! Yay! I love snow, and occasionally I try to talk my husband into moving us a little farther north so that we can have more than one snow day a year!!!

But, the best news of the day came a few minutes later when Erik's friend, the youth pastor at our church, called to let Erik know that church had been cancelled ~ morning and evening services and all activities!! Such a sweet surprise! A day at home, snowed in, with nothing to do but sip coffee and play with our sweet boys!!!

I was pumped! I put on this shirt. . .

Because, ya'll, life is good when you get to play in the snow and sip coffee and rest and enjoy your sweet family ~ especially when you weren't expecting to be able to do any of those things!!!!
And, as I sipped coffee, I looked out at this winter wonderland. . .





I think some scientists believe that this is actually what happened to the dinosaurs????

Oh, just kidding, but they look so cute all covered in snow! Poor little guys were left outside!


The first thing we did was put on an episode of Little Bill about being snowed in while I made a big breakfast! Erik called it "French toast with snow on top. . ."


And, after we ate we got everybody dressed, bundled, and ready to PLAY! For some reason my boys have only two interests when it comes to playing in the snow. . .

#1 Making snow angels. . .



#2 Snowball Fighting! They aren't in the snow five minutes before the balls begin to fly. . .


And, it isn't just the little boys that love it. . .

Their Daddy has taught them well, but he is still the king of the snowball fights. . .

Last year Elijah couldn't walk, so this was his first time to make footprints and touch and play with the snow. He loved it!!!


Snow hands ~ how fun!!!


And, JCT, well, he loved the snow the most. . . He kept saying, "Tell me that it will snow again one day, Mommy. Tell me that it will." And, also, "Mommy, when the snow melts, can we go swimming?" Uhhhh. No. We need the temps to go up about 60 degrees first.

Our humble snowman. . .
And, Erik Daniel, well, he just stayed warm in his little kangaroo pouch and enjoyed watching his big brothers play!


And, when we came in, we made snow cream!!! Snow, snow fun!!!

Yum!


What a day! It was immeasurably more than I could have asked for or imagined! I was expecting a crazy, busy day, but instead I got a slow, fun, playful snow day!!!! Thank You, my sweet, sweet God!


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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.

 

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