Monday, April 27, 2009

"I trust my parents"

We spent the last two days at an indoor water park with friends who were visiting from out of town. Our oldest son is not a risk taker or adventurer, while our younger son is more of the bungie jumping type. At one point during our first day, Bryan became discouraged because he could not convince Zach to go down "the big slides" with him. Zach would not even consider it. He was content to slide down the 12' slides in the "baby pool", but would not go near the adult slides. As Bryan and I were talking, I said something really wise and deep about loving our children for WHO they are and not what they do or do not do. Bryan absolutely loves our kids this way... He just wants so badly for Zach to live a life that is not ruled by fear.

Our friends had to leave this morning, so it was jut the four of us at the water park today. Luke said he wanted to try one of the big kid slides on the fort (single riders only) and that requird both Mom and Dad. This meant that Zach had to come too. Zach was upset; not wanting to climb up into the fort (he's afraid of heights). But that was part of being in our family today. We all climbed up together. I slid first and then Bryan was going to send Luke down, and would then walk back down with Zach. Much to our surprise, Zach hopped in the slide and came down! From then on, Zach was a sliding maniac today. Every slide. Over and over again. He and Bryan even fell out of their raft once and Zach declared it to be fun and went again!! As he and I were climbing our way up to the tallest slide today, I told him how proud I was and asked what made him change his mind. "I trust my parents."

As I listened to those simple words filled with trust and faith, I was reminded of our Heavenly Father. Throughout our lives, we will all face new opportunities or frightening callings... God wants us to trust our parent - Him. He will always catch us and He never asks us to do anything that He won't equip us to do.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13

Zachary going head-first down the slide!
(take a few mins to listen to the song linked)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Childhood friends

Tonya, Michelle, Marci

You have heard me talk about Marci - it was her mother that took me to church for all those years when I was a little girl. Well, Michelle was our other friend that rounded out our trio. The last time I hung out with Marci and Michelle was probably the summer before the forth grade at the public pool! They are a few years older than me, so by the time I was in the forth grade they were growing out of playing with the "little kid" and moving on to junior high. I loved hanging out with them - they were always so nice to me and I thought they were the coolest!

Well, here we are about 26 years later. It was a great night to spend catching up with some of my very first friends. I look forward to spending a great deal more time together.

Sir Zachary

Today was king and queen day at school. Being the unique individual he is, Zach decided that he wanted to go as a knight. So, last night he and I whipped up this costume. He helped me cut the felt, create a pattern for the cross, pin the pattern on our fabric, cut the cross out, and he stood by the machine as I sewed the cross on - ready to take the pins from me and put them back on the pin cushion. It was certainly a team effort...

Have you ever seen a cuter knight?
He asked his teachers and friends to call him Sir Zachary!

Being A Daddy 101

Out of the blue...

Zach: "When I grow up I want to be a daddy."
Me: "Do you think you know how to be a daddy?"
Zach: (in a high-pitched no-brainer voice) "Yeah, take care of my kids!"

I'm inclined to say that he gets it... It is all about taking care of your kids the way God intended (I added that last part). Zach has such a good daddy. A great role model.

Thank you God for great dads who love their children and take excellent care of them. Amen.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fathers and sons

Three generations - June 2007

I finished It's Better to Build Boys Than Mend Men last night. As I read the book, I kept thinking that this is one that every father should read!

I do not know if it's because of the fact that I am raising two boys, or a product of the close relationship I have with my husband, but I often think about the challenges of being a husband and father. There are a lot of responsibilities that he has that I do not; primarily providing financially, worrying about job security, balancing work and family, and serving as our family's spiritual leader.

In the eight years that we've been together, I have noticed one major difference between Bryan and me. I rarely think twice about talking to him about the things that are weighing heavily on my heart and mind, but he generally considers the "burden" it will be on me before telling me things. Therefore, many things that are on Bryan's mind go unsaid - at least until he's had time to take some of the emotion out of what he's feeling. But he does talk to his dad.

As I was reading Mr. Cathy's book, I was so grateful for the kind of fathers that Bryan and his dad are. Bryan instinctively does many of the things Truett Cathy writes about; although I'm not sure that Bryan knows the impact these things can have. I think Bryan just emulates his parents, and I am so grateful for their influence on our lives! My in-laws are amazing parents. As I think about Bryan's father, I am touched by his honesty and availability. He has shared a lot of wisdom with me and given me a lot of good advice and encouragement over the years. Since I do not have a father, this is something that is deeply meaningful to me. What a super awesome blessing for Bryan to have had his dad his ENTIRE LIFE! I believe that a close relationship between father and son can have benefits beyond my imagination.

"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me." Mark 9:37

"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Proverbs 22:1

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

Monday, April 20, 2009

Trust according to Truett Cathy

I have a heart for children, especially children who are not getting what they should at home. And I have a heart for those adults who step up and into these children's lives in an effort to make a difference. Mr. Cathy's book It's Better To Build Boys Than Mend Men is wonderful.

He writes about trust in chapter three. "Children who have been lied to by their parents and others they once trusted no longer trust anybody. When they meet you, they will assume you are another liar. Only honesty and time will change them... Trust grows out of generosity - not giving children everything they want, but giving them what they need. 'A generous man will himself be blessed' (Proverbs 22:9). If you are generous with your time, the thing children need most, you will be blessed with their trust."

As a parent, one of my goals has always been to live in the home where my children and their friends want to hang out. This ambition initially came out of my desire to keep my kids safe; however, it has recently occurred to me that this provision might also give other children their only source of love, happiness, care, concern, acceptance and encouragement. The farther I get down this parenting road, the more I see that the things I do not only reach my children, but their friends and peers as well. I don't want to miss a single opportunity to build a child -- boy or girl -- so that there may be less mending needed in adulthood.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


The last few days have seen some pretty impressive milestones...

On Wednesday night, Bryan and I attended kindergarten round-up and enrolled our first born. I thought merely attending the meeting would make me anxious, but I am happy to report that I felt right at home, filled out all the forms required, joined the PTA, paid our enrollment fee and eagerly toured the classrooms and kindergarten pod. It is an amazing school and the staff we met were very approachable. The next day we drove Zach though carloop (not DURING carloop!) and he said, "Great! Looks like what I do at preschool. I'm ready! When do I start?" We are all looking forward to next school year. Zach is going to have so much fun and I'm excited to see what this next season holds for us.

Tonight marks another much-anticipated accomplishment... Luke is officially potty trained AND Zach is sleeping without a pull-up for the first time. Way to go, guys!

Meet Hauler and Big Rob - Luke's prize for no more accidents

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Soccer Saturday

I would not say that Zachary is a competitive person by nature, but he sure looks that way on the soccer field! He wants his team to score goals, and he wants to play as much as possible. He's happy no matter what, but "more goals would be even better!" he announced today. Bryan and I love being on the sidelines cheering on our team. And it's so sweet to hear Luke screaming, "Go, Zachary! Go, go, go!"

Two weeks ago (white team):
He scores a G*O*A*L! (#3)

He's not on the field here, but I love all the smiles on their faces

Does he have an unfair advantage?


Today (green team):
Just having a great time practicing

Friday, April 17, 2009

An abundance of friends

I am simply exhausted right now. I spent the afternoon helping in Zach's class and the evening at a fundraiser event for his school at a local children's museum. It was a really wonderful day.

The kids in class are always a blast. They kept Miss Tonya busy in the block area; building one skyscraper after another. I'm afraid I may be getting pigeon-holed in that job... This was not the first time the teachers have enjoyed watching the kids and me get out every single wooden block and create impressive architectural masterpieces.

Tonight was especially wonderful, as we rarely get to see all of our preschool friends at one time. There is only one other friend in our class this year that we had last year, so it's always great to see the old classmates and reconnect. It seemed as if we knew just about everyone there tonight! I loved watching Zachary with all of his friends - new and old - and seeing Luke get acquainted with the other younger siblings.

The Lego room was everyone's favorite. The museum is in an old school and the Lego room is in what appears to have once been a cafeteria. It's a large room with plenty of space to run around. When the kids weren't building or playing in one of the awesome Lego structures, they were playing tag. It reminded me of my childhood and summer afternoons with my siblings and friends. I didn't take my camera tonight, so I'm committing the images and sounds to memory. It was a wonderfully delightful day!

The power of choice and responsibility

Choice and responsibility are two words that could possibly give me hives. Give me a lot of couches to choose from when decorating my living room, and I will leave the store confused and overwhelmed with nothing purchased. Tell me that I'm responsible for five kids at the playground and I'll opt to play in my own fenced-in backyard! But there was a critical point in my life when those two words were empowering, freeing and encouraging.

"I am responsible for my day." Those words hung on my high school counselor's office wall. I was a deep thinker even then, so every time I read those words I was reminded that I would be the one to choose what direction my life would take. Others could only influence me so much... the rest was up to me!

Now, of course I know that God is all-knowing, all-powerful and has the perfect plan and purpose for my life. But in order for God's will to take place, I had to first make the decision to obediently follow him. There have been a lot of disastrous wrong decisions made along my life's journey, but all-in-all, I do believe that one day I will hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cutting the grocery bill

I have been inspired by a couple of my friends who are on a mission to cut their grocery bills in half (and NOT by shipping their kids off to boarding school). I am not a coupon clipper so I always just admired people who were able to cut their grocery bill but decided it was too much of a hassle for my taste... But, when Cori said she saved $300 in two weeks just by shopping smarter (and not even using coupons), I decided it was worth a shot. Cori's method has been to change where she shops, what brands she buys, and sticking to her pre-planned menu. She starts at this Wonder Bread Outlet (where nothing is old or expired!), then goes over to Aldi and finishes at WalMart. To avoid being overly ambitious, I decided to try just one of Cori's new finds - Aldi.

I went there yesterday without the kids and took my time. Since I had a few more errands to run after, I browsed through the refrigerator and freezer sections, but only bought things that could stand sitting in the car for a few hours. It looks like most of the products Aldi carries are their brand and that the few name brand things are basically overstocks that they were able to get for a steal and pass the savings on to their customers. So, a regular Aldi shopper has to be willing to go for their store brand (and since we've tried Target, Price Chopper, and Dillons brands - why not try Aldi's?). Here are some of the prices on the Aldi brand products I bought...

Honeycomb - $1.89
Crispix - $2.19
Wheat thins & club crackers - $1.39/each
Taco seasoning - $.33
5.5 oz containers of parsley, paprika and garlic powder - $1.09/each
4 pk fruit cups - $1.59
Jar of applesauce - $.95
Can of diced tomatoes - $.49
Jar of spaghetti sauce $.99
Cans of green beans, corn and new potatoes - $.49/each
Cream of chicken soup and tomato soup - $.49/each
Oat bran bread (comparable to Sara Lee) - $1.19
BBQ chips - $1.29

So far everything has tasted very good. The store by me is very clean and has a little bit of everything. If you are not satisfied with your Aldi brand product, they offer a double guarantee. They will refund your money and replace the product! There's really no risk. I had expected to find a lot of boxed and canned goods, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that they have dairy, eggs, lunchmeats, cheese, produce, breads and buns, and even some meat and seafood! I would say that Aldi is sort of like a small town grocery store.

Expert Tip: Cash or Debit Cards with a PIN only. Bring your own sacks, and you are the sacker. Also, you need a quarter for the cart, but you get it back when you return it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Friends, mentors, guides...

I have just started reading, "It's Better to Build Boys Than to Mend Men" by S. Truett Cathy. In the introduction, there are parts that speak directly to my heart about the importance of guiding and loving children in the right direction.

On pages 16-18 it is written, "Every child I know who overcame long odds and grew into a responsible adult can point to an individual who stepped into his or her life as a friend, a mentor and a guide.... We are all "chips off the old block". If parents are not trustworthy, they should not expect their children to be trustworthy. Parents who gamble or drink can expect their children to do the same. I often remind parents, 'Don't be too concerned that your children don't listen to you, but be very concerned that they see everything you do.'... A child needs a new model to break the generational cycle, an adult who will show him or her a better way (when parents fail). For some children that better way will be a new way of thinking, and they will need continual positive reinforcement... I hope the thoughts and illustrations in this book help you in particular situations, but the best thing you can do to help a child is follow your instinct and God's leading. Reach out to children sincerely. Reach out in love. Love children into a sense of belonging. Let a child know you care and you're available to talk - to be a friend. Encouage children honestly, reminding them of their strengths and their opportunities. There are no magic words. All you can do is share a bit of yourself, allow God to use you to plant a seed in a child, and pray that it takes root."

As a recipient of many blessed seeds, I can tell you that this sort of investment can change the life of a child! I cannot imagine who I would be without the countless teachers, scout leaders, friends' parents and other various adults in my church who impacted my life. My heart overflows with gratitude and admiration for those who take the time to invest in the lives of children.

But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are like these children." Matthew 19:14

Easter around our place

Our Easter celebrations began with Zach's class party on Wednesday. I had the pleasure of dying a few dozen eggs with a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds. Only one spilled cup of dye, so I'd say we did pretty good. It was certainly a popular activity among the kids! Zach and his friends also made egg crafts by gluing dyed coconut onto egg cutouts, and the other involved glitter glue and foam crosses. There were also games and of course an Easter egg hunt on the playground!

On Saturday, we met Grandpa and some friends out for bunch at a dinosaur-themed restaurant. We had a great time!!

Zach & Luke taking in the restaurant's sights and sounds

Luke is scared of the simulated volcano

Zach wouldn't go near the Easter bunny, but Grandpa coaxed
Luke into an apprehensive photo.

The boys and their friend look for Dorie

Luke has finally warmed up to the Easter bunny and the "Easter dinosaur" (also known as the restaurant's mascot).

Our family

Having a great day!

From the looks on their faces, I'd say they're up to something!

It was threatening to rain on Sunday morning, but I insisted on an outdoor egg hunt. After church, Bryan dropped me off at home while he took the kids around the neighborhood "to look for the Easter bunny". Zach knows the Easter bunny is not real, but he played along for Luke's sake... When they got home, they discovered that the elusive Easter bunny had hidden eggs in our front yard! They eagerly searched for eggs and once Zach and I were inside the house alone he said, "Thanks for the Easter egg hunt, Mom. Did the Easter bunny at least help you shop for the eggs?" So... What do you think? Does Zach believe in the Easter bunny or not?

From our family to yours
As we celebrated with chocolate bunnies, candy-filled eggs and brunch with dinos and a bunny, we frequently discussed the tremendous gift that we received on Easter 2000 years ago.

"He was handed over to die because of our sins, and He was raised to life to make us right with God." Romans 4:25

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Colorado, here we come!

Just a quick post to say WE BOOKED OUR SUMMER VACATION! I felt that deciding on a destination and then finding lodging for five was a daunting task. (We are thrilled to have Grandpa joining us for our trip!) We wanted something more spacious than a hotel room, updated and clean, conveniently located and within our budget. I searched until everything began to blur together... Then I found these helpful sites!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Colorado bound?

I have spent the last two days scouring the web looking for a log cabin or adorable cottage to rent for a week in June or July. We have considered a few different parts of the country, but keep coming back to Colorado. We have heard great things about Estes Park, so that is what we are considering right now. (Estes Park & surrounding areas)

My brain cannot handle one more minute of internet browsing, so I thought I'd see if anyone has any ideas... We require indoor plumbing, a modern kitchen, sleeping for five, clean and well-maintained. Did I mention affordable?

Do you know anyone or have you stayed in a great little place that you'd care to share? We don't have our heart set on Estes Park (yet), so we're open to other Colorado suggestions.

We are dreaming of fishing, hiking, and exploring this summer... I think we'll all love it! Every time Luke walks by the computer he says, "Is that our vocation? Is that the Spooky Mountains?" (Smokey Mountains)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

For love of the game

When Bryan was Luke's age, his family had season tickets to the Royals. Bryan did not fidget in his seat or goof around in the stands; he was glued to the game! He was not interested in foam fingers or devouring hot dogs... He knew and understood the rules of the game and that's what mattered at Royals Stadium. He loves baseball! As the 2009 baseball season gets started, I can't help thinking about my husband as a young child, dreaming of one day playing Major League Baseball. That was not to be (bad shoulder and wrist), but he was a great ball player in his day.

circa 1980

circa 1991

Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack!

Our family cheers on the Royals at their Open House event in 2007. Tomorrow we will root from the comfort of our living room.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mental illness

At least once every day, I think about how my life has been affected by mental illness. Most days they are sad but fleeting thoughts; however, I have not been able to shake this one since last night. I happened to tune into 90210 halfway through, right as they were revealing that one of their main characters has Bipolar Disorder. Watching this young girl on TV reminded me so much of someone who has had a tremendous impact on my life; much of it not good at all. I think what struck me so deeply was that this girl on TV was exactly like the person in my life.

It grieves my heart that mental illness has taken away someone who should be an integral part of my life. I teach in my support groups that forgiveness does not require reconciliation (especially when the relationship continues to be abusive and dangerous), but deep down I can't help feeling like I've just walked away. I know I tried desperately to make the relationship work - Lord knows I did - but it just seems so cold and heartless to walk away from someone who is mentally ill. The person in my life has been on and off meds for decades and (when stabilized) repeatedly decided to go off the meds, leading right back into manic depression. Even while on the meds, this person made horrible choices, was grossly negligent and abusive, and allowed others to abuse me for years. I know this person is responsible for their horrible and inexcusable actions, but I continue to love, grieve, wish it could be different, and occasionally blame myself for not finding a way to make our relationship work.

I have no answers. I am just a little overwhelmed with sadness as I'm reminded of this significant loss in my life.

John 8:32 says, "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free."

But, what is the truth here? How much effort is enough on behalf of the victim of someone with mental illness? Obviously this is something I need to be praying about and not just thinking about while carpooling or showering.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A child's journal

This is what I found in Zachary's backpack yesterday. The children are allowed to write or draw anything they want in their journals during small group time, and this is what Zachary had "in his heart" (his words). I pray that this is not just something he has learned and will one day forget (like algebra was for me), but a truth that he will hold onto forever.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Trucks & Big Rigs for Kids

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Contact your local child advocacy center to learn about events taking place in your community.

Here is one that sounds like loads of fun. Trucks and Big Rigs for Kids! Have you ever wondered what the inside of that big rig or tractor looks like? Bring your children (and your husband!) out to Theatre in the Park to meet and greet trucks, tractors, construction and city vehicles up close. Crawl, climb and sit in the driver's seat with real life operators of these vehicles. This four hour event only costs $4 per person and is free for children 12 and under. Proceeds go to child abuse prevention, education and treatment programs in our community.

April 25, 2009
10am - 2pm
Theatre in the Park

Time well spent

I have recently become a weekly volunteer in Zach's classroom. I have been in class for every party he's had, but this weekly gig is really awesome! As I worked in class on that very first Friday I kept thinking, "every parent should spend time in their child's classroom." I am so grateful that Zach's school allows me to come every Friday and that Bryan's job affords me the priveledge of staying home full-time. These years are flying by so very quickly and I'm thrilled to be able to see so much of it first-hand.

I want to share just a few of the ways that I've been blessed by volunteering:

As Miss J. started the day off with class meeting and a story, I realized just how differently she reads a book as compared to how I read. This is only one of the many instances where I've picked up great ideas while observing the teachers and kids. They are teaching me too!

As a parent of only two children (both of whom are boys), it is so fun to see the wide range of children, personalities, behaviors, interests, etc. that exist in the world. At my house I never hear, "Miss Tonya, come into my kitchen and meet my 14 babies while I tell you all about High School Musical." Imaginations run wild in young children, and from what I can tell, there really are differences between boys and girls (as a tom-boy myself I would never have agreed to that statement before seeing it in Zach's class).

I have loved getting to know my son's teachers. This is probably unusual, but I consider them to be wonderful friends. I don't expect that's going to happen in grade school when there are 20 other kids in class, but I will still make every effort to get to know them.

I love spending time with Zach's friends. It's pretty easy to get to know the kids when you spend a few hours a week with them, but it's impossible when you just drop-off and pick-up at the door. When I came to pick-up today (my week to carpool, but not my day in the classroom), all the kids had high-fives for me and, with an enormous grin, one little boy said, "Are you staying with us today?" I guess he didn't realize that there were only ten minutes left of class!

And last... Zach is on cloud nine every time his father or I walk into the school building. It just makes his day for us to take the time to be a part of his school experience! As long as we can indulge him, we will do just that.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Back to Oz

Since today got off to a rainy start, we decided to head back out to visit the Wizard of Oz exhibit again (our kids could play there for hours and not get sick of it). At noon on Saturdays, Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and the Scarecrow arrive for photo ops and to say hello to the kids.

Luke and I meet our new Oz friends

A quick pic and a death grip on Mom

Zach watched them from afar - in his pic they are saying, "Hi, Zach!"

Cowardly Lion, Dorothy & Toto, Tin Man and the Scarecrow

This is as close as Zach would get - doesn't he look thrilled?

Zach preferred to watch the fountains

Back in Oz - Luke

Back in Oz - Zach

Pint-sized Photog

At 2 1/2, Luke is quiet the photographer... Of course, for every picture like these (following) there are about 10 blurry pics that are unrecognizable. Not bad for a first-time photog though!

Daddy - bending down to get into the area where Luke was aiming.

Apollo - chillin' in his bed

Zachary - my guess is he's watching TV

A great self-portrait of Luke and Daddy

Like the first pic, this would have been a waist-down
shot if I hadn't bent over

I think the kid's got talent. What do you think?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Beginning reader

Zach loves learning to read... As we were out playing in the front yard on Wednesday morning, we decided to practice some words. He is getting better everyday at sounding them out rather than trying to guess based on the first letter and the picture on the page! We're so proud. Way to go, Buddy. We love you!

Sometimes you've just gotta cry

Our family has been keeping up a difficult schedule for the past six weeks or so. Bryan is working a lot of overtime and we are all feeling it. We are physically and emotionally exhausted. A few nights ago I crawled into bed and just felt like crying. At the top of the complaint list would be that I miss having Bryan around, being alone with the kids so much is taxing, and I miss spending time alone, with my girlfriends, and alone with Bryan.

Yesterday, Bryan and the boys were in the living room together when Zach just quietly started crying. He was never able to tell Bryan why. When I asked him about it later, he still couldn't say. As Luke's nap time was approaching today, Zach was on edge. I told him that I thought he needed to get some rest too, and he burst into tears. He was sobbing. And sobbing. Bryan, Zach and I crawled into bed together and I asked him to talk to us about what was wrong. Zach then explained that he didn't want to tell us why he was crying because it was silly and he thought we'd laugh. After we convinced him that we wouldn't laugh or think he was silly, he sat up on his knees, looked us in the face and said, "I'm just crying because I can't always get my way. If everything was always my way, we'd go broke!" How's that for grown-up talk coming out of a five year old? We let him cry as much as he needed to cry... And once he'd calmed down, I was able to tell him that, "Frankly, Mommy wanted to cry the other night because she couldn't have her way. I think it's natural to feel angry, upset and sad when we can't have our way." He asked what I want to have my way. "Well, I would like for Daddy to work his normal old 40 hour week schedule. I would like for Daddy to be home with us for dinner every night. And I would like for Daddy to be here all weekend again. Mommy misses Daddy. And I know that you and Luke miss Daddy, and that Daddy misses us, and it makes me a little sad and a little frustrated that it can't just be changed because we want it to be changed." Then we asked Zach what he would like to be his way. "Well, first I would like some super heroes." We talked about that for a minute and negotiated some ways that we could make that happen. "Then, I would like my own computer." He did not like our response to that. Not gonna happen, buddy. "I would also like a room or a backyard where I can play super hero all the time." We talked about how he already uses the backyard, the play structure, tire swing, etc. to play super heroes, but he said he wants a permanent obstacle course set up. We said that we could not do a permanent obstacle course, but we would be delighted to set one up and let it stay for a few days and have friends over to play in it. ("Like my Star Wars birthday party, Mom.") And last.... "I would like my room painted into a super hero room." That is also not going to happen (his current bedroom theme isn't a year old), but we said we might do something small.

Once we were done crying and talking, Zach felt much better and was noticeably happier. I found it interesting, as I recognized my five year old son's behavior in me... disappointed, sad and frustrated that things are not going my way. At all times, but especially when times are tough, I am so grateful to have wonderfully loving and compassionate family and friends surrounding me. Sometimes we just really need a safe place to cry...