Sunday, November 28, 2010

So much to be thankful for

Well, I am going to try to recap the last few days without writing several pages.  I tend to be wordy and detailed when I am recalling events.  I want to try to capture events without being too lengthy with my posts.  It was great to have my parents and my sister and her family at our house this year for Thanksgiving!  I really like having family visit.  The boys loved spending time with their grandparents, and aunt and uncle, and had a blast playing with their cousins.  When family visits the house is filled with love and laughter!  Everyone arrived on Wednesday and settled in.  Thursday morning Mom, Angela, and I started cooking.  We had discussed what we would have ahead of time and each had our dishes that we wanted to prepare.  The kids were having fun playing at the house, but since we weren't planning to have our big meal until 5:00 we knew that it might seem like a long time to them if they didn't get out of the house for a little while.  Okay yes, we thought some peace and quiet for a little while might be nice for us as well.    Dinner ended up being closer to 6:00, but it was well worth the wait!  After dinner we went to the Gwinnett Fairgrounds to see a Christmas light show that we had read about in the newspaper.  When we got there we were directed to turn our radios to a certain station and the music for the light show was played.  The lights were synchronized to the music perfectly and it was really neat.  After the light show we parked and got some cotton candy and hot chocolate.  William and I went on a train ride with the kids.  It was basically a tractor pulling something that kind of looked like a train and basically did circles in the parking lot.  The kids enjoyed it, but it was kind of comical.  Santa Claus was also at the light show, but the kids didn't seem to eager to sit on his lap so we decided that we would do that another time.  Friday Mom, Ang, and I decided to check out the Black Friday sales.  We like to shop and appreciate a bargain, but were not willing to get up at the crack of dawn to stand in lines.  We left about 10:00 with no big agenda other than just looking around and enjoying a mother-daughter day.  We each got a little bit accomplished as well.  Saturday about noon we met our friend Sara who is a photographer at park to have her take our picture.  We have never taken a professional big family picture and thought it would be nice to have.  The sun was shining, but it was only in the high 40s and windy so we were pretty cold.  Of course it was hard to get all the kids to look at the camera and smile at the same time, but the kids did well and there were some pictures that turned out very nice.  After the photo session the boys and I took my dad to the airport and Mom and the Cliffords went to IKEA where we met them after the airport.  After a long afternoon and evening at the IKEA the kids were tired, but Isaac said something about roasting marshmallows.  Well, I had forgotten, but of course Isaac hadn't.  When we went to the light show some people were roasting marshmallows and Terry promised the kids that we would do that at our house one night.  So, Terry made good on his promise.  While we were at IKEA Terry went to Walmart and got marshmallows and coals.  We set up a fire on a small grill on our back patio and the kids were delighted!  My mom and the Clifford went home after lunch today.  It was really a great 5 days with family!  As I am sitting here typing and thinking about our time together I am finding that it is hard to put into words how much we enjoy being together and the memories that we made.  It is really fun to watch all the kids personalities grow.  We were constantly commenting on something one of them said or did.  We always love being together, but it was especially nice to be together for Thanksgiving.  In Bible class this morning Terry had us share what we are thankful for and as he said we could go on and on and on about all our blessings!  I am thankful for so much, but right now I am thinking about all our wonderful family, those we were just with and those we weren't with, but are always in our hearts.  I will be posting pictures soon.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Furlough days aren't all bad

As economic times are hard and everyone is trying to find ways to cut corners to save money, school systems are cutting days off the school calendar.  The down side is obvious, a cut in pay, but the upside is more time with family which I love and in my opinion you can't put a dollar amount on!  Due to fewer school days, Terry and I have the whole week off for Thanksgiving this year.  Since we are both so busy during the school year we always have a long list of things that we want to get done given a free day or two.  On the top of Terry's list was cleaning out the garage which has become more of a storage for junk then cars.  So, on Monday I took care of the kids until 2 so he could sleep in and then clean out the garage. Then I took off for a while and looked around at the mall.  I wanted to see if I could find a new top for myself for the family picture we are going to take on Friday as well as possibly buy a Christmas gift or two.  I found a sweater that I may or may not wear for the picture, got a Christmas present for a family member (I can't let out any secrets) and got a Christmas present for Isaac.  His present I can talk about since he can't read yet and therefore won't be reading this.  I am having a lot of fun thinking of ideas for him this year because there is so much he can do and so many things he likes.  Of course I can't get him everything he points to in all the catalogs that come in the mail, but one thing that he has consistently asked for lately is an Ironman mask and glove.  The funny thing is that he has never seen the movie and doesn't even know who the character is, but since it is a popular thing right now he has seen it often in stores and catalogs and I guess something about it attracts him.  I had  a moment where I thought I don't really want to get this for him, but once again I had to remind myself that it is not about me.  My thoughts quickly turned to how excited he would be to get this so I put it in my shopping cart.  Today it was my turn to sleep which was a real treat.  My two main goals today were to clean and to go to Walmart to get all that we would need for Thanksgiving and for the next few days.  I asked Terry to take the boys somewhere for a couple hours so I could really clean.  He took them to an inflatable place at Discovery Mills Mall.  It was wonderful to have the house to myself where I could concentrate on cleaning.  The 2 1/2 hrs that they were gone went by so quickly!  I didn't get all my cleaning done, but I did get a lot accomplished and I appreciate Terry so much for taking them!  He is always so great to take care of the boys if I need to run errands or if I need him to take them somewhere so I can get stuff done.  He is an awesome husband and daddy and I am so blessed!  When they got back it was nap time for the boys and time for me to run to Walmart.  When I got home I unloaded the groceries and made dinner while Terry and the boys continued to play.  After dinner I cleaned a little more, but also got in some play time.  It has been a busy couple of days, but we amongst our busyness we have also spent some time playing together.  Last night it was fun to watch as Terry and Hayden chased each other around.  Terry would hide behind corners and Hayden would laugh.  This morning the boys and I played hide and seek.  I hope we get the whole week off again next year!
Tomorrow Mom, Dad, and the Cliffords arrive and I am so excited!  This is the first Thanksgiving at our house.  It will be so great to all be together!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Recap of the week

I need to find time to write more often.  I really want to capture our daily life and reflect on as many moments as possible.  The problem is finding the time and the energy.  There are usually so many things that I want to get done during the day that I put off writing until the boys are in bed.  By the time the boys are in bed I either have things that I still want to get done before I go to bed and/or I don't have the energy to write.  I enjoy writing, but it is a process for me that takes time to think through.  Enough ramblings about that.
This past week was a good week, but difficult because Hayden has been sick since Tuesday and Isaac also had a day on Wednesday that he ran a low fever and wasn't feeling well.  Hayden really started having a yucky nose on Monday, but by Tuesday he was definitely sick.  Tori said he had a hard day and was just coughing and puny.  Wednesday morning Isaac woke up and felt warm and complained of his head hurting which he never does so I knew something was up.  I took his temperature and it was 100. something so I decided to keep him home from school.  Throughout the day he ran a low fever between 100  and 101 and complained of his arm and leg hurting.  I guess he was just achy from the fever.  Hayden continued to cough and have a yucky nose and ran a fever at about 100.  Since the boys both had a low fever I decided that I better stay home from work on Thursday.  Thursday Isaac wasn't quite 100%, but he was much better.  Neither one of them ran a fever, but Hayden was still coughing.  I debated and debated about whether to take Hayden to the doctor.  I have this debate with myself every time the boys are sick!  I know that it is probably just a cold that has to run its course, but then again I don't know for sure and question whether it could also be an ear infection or something else that is treatable.  I just hate feeling like I can't do anything to help them to feel better and if there is even a slight chance that something can be done I want to take them in.  Well, Thursday morning I made an appointment for Hayden for 11:30 and then at 10:00 I cancelled it because I had decided that it was probably just a cold that they couldn't do anything for and he had been acting better as the morning went on.  Well, when he woke up from his nap at 11:00 he seemed worse!  I decided I would just wait and see how he was before thinking about making another appt.  I decided to take the boys to Discover Mills Mall because I just needed to get out of the house.  I don't know if that was the best thing to do, but I decided that since they weren't running fevers and weren't going to be interacting with other kids it would be okay.  Since Hayden wasn't getting any better and if anything seemed worse I took him to the doctor on Friday.  Before going to the doctor though we stopped at Isaac's preschool for their Thanksgiving lunch.  Again I debated about whether to do this since Hayden had a pretty nasty cough, but didn't want to not be there for Isaac and decided I would keep Hayden in his stroller.  Isaac seemed happy to see us and we enjoyed having lunch together.   Then Hayden and I dashed off to the doctor which luckily is just down the street from Isaac's preschool.  As I originally suspected, the nurse practitioner said that Hayden had a cold that just needed to run its course.  She said he didn't have an ear infection and his lungs were clear.  I was thankful that he was okay, but not happy that there wasn't much I could do to help him feel better.  Saturday morning Isaac and Terry made their weekly run to Walmart and went to SAMS as well.  Have I mentioned that I love that they do the weekly grocery shopping each Saturday?  While Hayden took his morning nap I started cleaning out the van.  I got some junk cleaned out, but I didn't get a chance to finish before Hayden woke up.  He hasn't been napping long because his coughing wakes him up.  The rest of my day consisted of cooking.  Our Bible class had a potluck after church this morning so Saturday I made a macaroni salad and an apple caramel cake.  Then I made a lasagna for dinner.
Okay, so now we are up to date.  We took Hayden to Bible class with us this morning because I didn't want him to cough on all the other little ones.  He and I sat in the back while Terry taught and he was pretty good. He wasn't loud, but he just never stopped moving!  He is a very active little boy even when he doesn't feel well!  After church our class had a potluck.  I always enjoy potlucks however it was a little bit of a struggle with Hayden not feeling well and being tired by this time.  Hayden had woken up a couple times in the middle of the night so I was tired as well.  So, on the way home I told Terry and the boys that I wanted a long nap for my birthday and that is just what I did. As soon as we got home Terry took the boys outside and I laid down.    It is very unusual that I take a long nap and it was very nice!  After dinner we went to PF Changs for my birthday.  I love their calamari, the honey shrimp, and the banana spring rolls for dessert!  Hayden was fussy at times, but Terry was sweet and took both boys outside towards the end of the meal so I could have some peace and quiet and order dessert.  Once we got home Terry and the boys gave me a card with a homemade gift card in it good as any store.  Gotta love that!  It was a good birthday.
So, this past week wasn't real exciting and it has been difficult at times because Hayden doesn't feel well and it shows!  But this week is going to be wonderful!  Hayden I'm sure will start to feel better, Terry and I have the whole week off from work, and mom and dad and the Cliffords are coming Wednesday for Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Soaking It All In

I am enjoying taking it easy this Saturday morning.  I have a million things to do, but for now I am just going to take it easy and enjoy our two precious boys!  This morning started with my early riser getting up at 6:20 which is actually sleeping in a little for him.  He ate breakfast and then we played in the playroom as we always do.  As soon as Hayden hears daddy or Isaac coming down the stairs he gets so excited.  Isaac was first this morning at 6:50.  As Isaac started walking toward the playroom Hayden ran to him and gave him a hug.  He loves his big brother!  After Isaac ate breakfast we played in the family room.  At one point Isaac said to Hayden "I will always take care of you Hayden"  Later he told Hayden that when we go camping that they will be in the same room and he will take care of him.  They have their share of fights, but it is great to see how much they love each other!  After we played for awhile Isaac decided to make pictures for those who will be coming to his birthday party.  He wanted to write their names on each one so I helped him with how to spell each name and write each letter.  He knows how to write some letters (A,T, L, I, O, M, C, S, H, J), but still has a lot to learn.  I love that he is so eager to learn.  Daddy came downstairs about 8:00 and the boys were delighted to see him!  They both wanted to help him make coffee.  Terry usually plays with the boys in the mornings and then takes Isaac with him to Walmart, but this morning he has a deacon's meeting.  I am very proud to say that Terry was recently asked to be a deacon at our church.  I am very blessed to have two precious little boys and a wonderful husband!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hayden's words & Rockets

Hayden will be 17 mths old in two days and still has a very limited vocabulary.  What he can say is mama, dada, and uh-oh.  He also says Isaac, but I don't know if anyone that didn't know us would know what he was saying.  He can also tell you what a sheep says and what a dog says, but I guess those aren't technically words.   He is pretty good at saying the beginning sounds of words.  If you tell him to day ball, he will say ba, or dog is da, but I am pretty conservative when I count the actual number of words he can say.  I don't want to rush time because I know that before I know it he will be asking to borrow the car, but we are all getting a little eager for him to learn at least a few words.  There is mutual frustration when he can't express what he wants, doesn't want, or how he feels.  His frustration is expressed in quite the loud scream at times.  When I got home from work today I was quite surprised to find out that he had said two words together!  Tori's mom stopped over and when Tori saw her mom at the door she said "Tessa's nana is here!"  and Hayden said "Tessa's nana".  We tried to get him to say it again, but of course he wouldn't.  I was sorry that I missed it, but was glad to hear that he is starting to say more words.

One of our weekly traditions is to go out to eat before church on Wednesday nights.  Nothing fancy, just fast food, but it is one less night that I have to cook and it is convenient.  Terry usually works late on Wednesdays and then meets us somewhere.  We take turns picking the restaurant.  Terry's back and shoulder have been bothering him lately and he recently felt a knot in his back so he decided to go to a chiropractor.  The appointment wasn't until 5:00 and took awhile so he wasn't able to meet us tonight.  It was my turn to pick the restaurant tonight and I picked McDonalds so that the boys could play before we ate.  On the way there Isaac pointed to the sky and said  "Look Mom, a Rocket!"  I told him that I thought it was a plane, but he assured me it was a rocket.  I decided not to argue with him.  I thought he's a 3 yr old little boy, of course that's a rocket and how fun that is!    As we drove along he saw more and more and kept pointing them out, so excited and I got excited with him. :)

Isaac's wheels are always spinning, he is always thinking about something and I love that about him!  Just as I was starting to write this blog entry he came into our room (Terry had just put him to bed about 10 minutes prior) and said "When you eat fish, what about their eyes?"  I explained that you don't eat the eyes and he then responded "So, do you just throw them back in the water?"  As much as I wanted him to get back in bed and go to sleep I couldn't help but smile at his questions.  I wonder why he started thinking about fish?  So many things to ponder, I hope he never stops!

Monday, November 8, 2010



What a wonderful blessing to be able to rest and reflect!  That is what I was able to do this past weekend!  A few months ago God placed it on my heart to plan a ladies retreat for our Bible class.  I knew that this was something I needed and was sure that many others needed some time away from their busy lives to relax.  So, 11 of us spent the weekend in Mineral Bluff (by Blue Ridge), GA.    Nine of us arrived at the cabin Friday evening.  We all had a little bit of trouble finding the cabin as we were traveling on narrow roads, through the woods, in the dark to an unmarked cabin, but we eventually all made it safely.  We joked that it was like a scene from a Halloween movie.  After everyone arrived we played Two truths and a Lie.  We learned a little bit more about each other and enjoyed some laughs.  After our game, Cynthia our wonderful mentor and friend lead us in a devotional time.  We first spent some time singing together which I love to do.  I don't consider myself a great singer, but I enjoy it nonetheless.  Cynthia told us that she wanted to be mom to us this weekend and for us to be the children.  She then told us that she wanted to read us a couple stories.  She had us first put our pjs on and then she had us take turns giving each other massages as she read.  One of the stories she read urged us to disregard what other think of us and to fully embrace God's love for us.  After the devotional we sat around and talked, and talked, and talked some more.   There is something so great about talking to friends who are at the same stage of life, share the same values, and experience similar struggles.  It was 3am when I finally went to bed.  It is funny because I dread being woken up in the middle of the night, but yet I gladly stayed up til the middle of the night to share stories and enjoy this rare moment.  Saturday morning we leisurely started the day with breakfast and then another devotional by Cynthia.  She spoke to us about the only 7 verses in the Bible that specifically speak to women.  Of course there are many verses that speak to how all Christians should live, but she pointed out that there are only 7 that specifically speak to women.  After the devotional we had lunch and then we went to a spa in Blue Ridge.  I wanted everyone to have some free time on Saturday to go and do whatever they wanted to do.  I had looked up some different things to do in the area and told the ladies what I had found.  I told them that they might want to go shopping or go hiking to a waterfall or enjoy some time at a spa.  When I mentioned the spa this seemed to interest everyone.  As moms and wives we rarely take the time to pamper ourselves so this was the perfect thing to do during our weekend to relax.  Some got a massage, some got a manicure, and some got a pedicure.  It was a small place, but the people who worked there were very nice and accommodating.  Since this was a small business it took awhile to fit us all in and we ended going straight to dinner from the spa.  I had looked at different restaurant possibilities online and then Cynthia told me that she had a friend that lived in the area and could recommend some restaurants.  Serenity Garden Cafe was one of the places she mentioned.  There were a couple other restaurants mentioned as well, but they were more expensive and we wanted to make sure where we went was affordable for everyone.  Well, unfortunately the restaurant was not good.  Our first red flag was when the waitress mentioned that many of the items on the menu were frozen and not made fresh.  Two people ordered Chicken Cordon Bleu and it was burnt on the outside and pink on the inside!  I ordered shrimp scampi and it did not have much flavor.  We mentioned rolls because we had not received them yet, and when she brought them out they were burnt and pitiful looking!  I couldn't believe she actually brought those rolls to us!  I felt badly that the service and food were so poor, but everyone was very nice about it and chalked it up to a memory we could laugh about.  After we got back to the cabin we had another devotional.  We talked more about the scriptures for women and Cynthia also told us about a book called  The Lies Women Believe.  She read the lies and many of them started good conversation about how we struggle with these.  This night the devotional went in many different directions, was heart wrenching at times, but was wonderful.  Cynthia has raised two wonderful children, has been through a lot in her life, and has a lot of wisdom to share.  I also found that we all have a lot of helpful insight to share with each other.  Some did not stay up quite as late this second night, but of course I did.  I just love to talk!  Sunday morning we once again took our time getting up, getting ready, and having breakfast.  We then spent some time in worship together.  We sang, had communion together, and listened to Cynthia read what God has to say about discipline in our family, patience, and prayer.  After worship we presented Cynthia with a gift for leading our devotional times and for everything she did to help with the retreat.  The ladies then presented me with a gift as well.  This was a nice, unexpected surprise that I really appreciated.  Then Hong set up her camera so we could get a group picture.  I think we all wanted to capture this weekend with a picture we could look back on.  We then ate lunch together and then packed up and headed home.  I thought about stopping at some places on my way home, but decided I was too eager to see Terry and the boys.  When I got home Isaac and Hayden were both napping.  Isaac seemed happy to see me when I woke him up and I shared some fudge with him that I had bought in Blue Ridge.  When I woke Hayden up he was happy to see me, but then wanted daddy.  I enjoyed hearing about their weekend and was happy that things seemed to go so smoothly.  Terry is such a great daddy and he did a great job flying solo for the weekend.  I was quite impressed that on top of watching two active boys he got some dishes done, laundry folded, and papers organized!

One of the things I reflected on this past weekend is that I want to be a calmer mom.  I really want to try to keep my cool when the boys misbehave and not lose my temper and yell.  I also want to start each day by reading a scripture.  Some of the ladies talked about doing this and many of us talked about that how we are feeling sets the tone for how the day will go.  I know that if I spend even just a few minutes each morning reading God's word and talking with him I will be a better wife and mom.  I also want to work on being less critical of myself and of Terry.  I think Terry is an awesome, Godly husband and daddy, but for some reason being critical of myself (something I have always been) seems to transfer to being critical of him at times.  I am so thankful that myself and so many ladies were able to go on this retreat, that everything went smoothly and everyone had a good time, that I was able to get to know these wonderful women a little bit more, and that I feel reenergized to be the best mom and wife I can be!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Frankenstein and the Lion

          Well, I had planned to blog Sunday night after my little Frankstein and Lion got to bed, but I just didn't have it in me for two reasons. One is because my throat is still hurting!  I had fun with Terry and the boys despite my sore throat, but it is rather frustrating that it hasn't gotten any better.  I am going to go to the doctor this afternoon.  The other reason is because my primary focus this week is putting the final touches on our class ladies retreat which is this weekend (I will blog more about that another day).  So, here I am a couple days after Halloween, but better late than never, right!
          A few weeks ago the boys and I put up some Halloween decorations.  I am like a kid by the way when it comes to holidays!  :)  Christmas is my favorite, but I like them all.  It is such a treat to view the fun through your children's eyes.  So, we were putting up some window stickers and Isaac asked who this one guy was.  I explained to him that his name was Frankenstein and it was then that Isaac declared that he wanted to be Frankenstein for Halloween!  It is kind of ironic because Isaac doesn't like scary things, but our Frankenstein decoration was smiling and wasn't scary to Isaac so he didn't know any different.  I wasn't thrilled about his choice of costumes and tried to get him to think of other things that he might want to be, but he was determined to be Frankenstein.  Sometimes I have ideas about what the boys should do on different occasions, but I have to remind myself that it is not about what I want.  I need to embrace what they want to do and enjoy it with them.  I wasn't thrilled with the Frankenstein costumes I saw online (there were none in the stores I went to), but I ordered the one that I thought looked the best.  Isaac's costume actually turned out to be really cute!  I painted his fingernails orange as he requested (the Frankenstein on our decoration had orange fingernails) and painted his face green.  I also put some cardboard in the hood of his costume to make his head look more square.  Hayden was a lion.  This is probably the last year that we will be able to use one of Isaac's old costumes for Hayden.  Next year he will probably have an opinion about what he wants to be.  If not, you will see another little Frankstein :)  Hayden was an adorable lion!  He even let me color his nose brown and give him some whiskers.  I didn't know if he would keep the costume on, but he kept it on the whole time.
             Sunday afternoon we went to trunk or treat at Campus.  They had games, lines of cars the kids could go trick or treating at, and an inflatable.  The boys had a great time and it was fun enjoying the afternoon as a family.  Hayden really got into collecting candy.  He wasn't shy at all and he always made sure he had one piece of candy in each hand.  When I first started taking the candy from him to put in the bag he got upset, but then he quickly understood that when I did this that meant that he could go and get more candy!  I loved seeing all the cute kids and their great costumes!  I admire those who can make their own costumes and/or come up with something truly unique.  After we got home, had dinner, and rested I took the boys to a few neighbors' houses while Terry stayed home to hand out candy.  By the end of the night we had Tons of candy and two very worn out little boys!  What a fun day!

Lets Go!

Ready for Trunk or Treat!

Two very tired little boys!