Monday, June 28, 2010

Sweet friends

Had dinner with Kobi and Dave and the kids again last night.  I remembered to take my camera with me this time!

While Ian is only 13 months older than Luke and nearly 2 years younger than Zach, he will only be a year behind Zach in school, and two years ahead of Luke.  Right now he seems equally wedged between our boys, but I would imagine that by this time next year he will seem light years older than Luke.  Weird how school makes such an enormous difference in a child's personality.

We stepped outside to take these few pictures.

I don't know why, but Kobi suddenly wanted to do cartwheels.  Perhaps it was feeling the grass between her toes?  The rest of us shrugged our shoulders and said, "Why not?" and then in a flash we remembered why.  Sutures.  Then she forgot again and started to point those sweet toes, arms positioned above her head for that cartwheel.  We stopped her, again.  

The Kobi we've known for over 20 years has clearly not changed.  Cancer may reside insider her body, but it has not taken over her life.  She's a living, thriving, life-loving, enthusiastic woman.  Love her.  Just as soon as we can, we'll do cartwheels together again.

Praying for Kobi and family.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

America's Got Talent

My kids are fun.  They have vivid imaginations, limitless energy and potential, and generally a lot of confidence.

Recently they have been putting on their own America's Got Talent shows.  In the driveway.

Sit back.  Relax.  Enjoy the show.



Picking up Ladder-Golf balls with his feet


Touching toes

Throwing tennis balls on the roof

Join us next time for Dancing With The Stars.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Friends. Science. Art. Swimming. Legos.

Yesterday was a fun day!  One of the boys' friends arrived at 9:30am.  We had him till 5:15pm, so we were able to pack a lot into our day.

First...  A trip to the science museum.  We've all been here dozens of times, but it never gets old.

This was the inspiration for the week's art project.

Next, we drove through McD's on our way to the art museum.  We inhaled our food in the van - where it was air conditioned! 

My friend is a librarian at the museum and she was planning to walk through the modern art building with us.  She'd forgotten that the museum isn't open to the public on Mondays or Tuesdays though!  She was able to take us in through the employee entrance, and gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of the art library.  After that she got permission from security to walk us through the modern art building.  Cool.  We had the museum all to ourselves!

I was too busy chatting to take pictures.  I hadn't seen her since high school...unless you count Facebook.  I found these images online.  Just a small sampling of the pieces we enjoyed at the museum.

I'm thinking that this awesome horse is becoming inspiration for a project.  It's mud and driftwood.  Sounds like something little boys would love.  A trip into the woods or along a lake to find usable wood??  A daytrip that would get us up close and personal with some horses?  Who do I know that has horses???


Before we left the museum, we sat at a picnic table and attempted to do another project inspired by Deep Space Sparkle.  It was too windy, so we decided to pick it back up at home.  But, by the time we reached our home, the bigger boys had lost interest in the project.  Luke was still totally in!  I'd told him that it would be a bit like a puzzle.  Being a die-hard puzzler and creative lover of art, he was hooked at the word "puzzle"...way back at the museum.  So, the bigger boys ran off to play while Luke and I enjoyed Art Tuesday.  Gotta love a tissue paper dino, modern art style!

He is just so cute.  So fun.  So creative.  So interested in all things art.  I love that about him!  It's a God-given ability and love...certainly not something he caught from his parents.

Can you guess which one is mine and which is his?

We headed to the pool after art...  They swam.  Jumped.  Dove for sticks & rings.  Had a snack.

Headed back home just in time to change clothes and play with Legos for a few minutes before our friend's mom came to pick him up.

It was a great day!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Making intentional progress

I was serious when I said I wanted to be intentional about how we spent our summer.  When I told my husband, I was pleased to discover that we were on the same page...about something we hadn't even yet discussed!  Evidently, he's as wise as Lori.

Our schedule was still pretty packed when I came across Lori's post.  We had to get through VBS.  VBS keeps us busy every year between the end of school and the actual week of VBS.  Teaching VBS requires prep time -- lesson plans and planning meetings, that sort of thing.

VBS was last week and we had a wonderful time.  However, one thing became glaringly obviously during that fun-filled, rushed week.  We needed to get super intentional with Zach about listening to adults and showing respect.  The only adults he was butting heads with were, thankfully, his parents.  He was struggling with his desire to interject whenever we'd discipline Luke.  When asked to quiet down, he'd ignore the request and just keep being rowdy.  When asked to do something he didn't want to do, he'd moan and groan and drop to his knees in protest.  He was beginning to use unacceptable words and would taunt and tease his little brother.  He was following along with misbehaving friends, rather than obeying what he knows to be right and acceptable behavior.  He was even beginning to be dishonest.  He was not making wise choices.  We have since removed all TV, movies, video games, and even friends that are not rated G.  We talked long and hard about how each of us has to make a difficult decision when it comes to taking in unsavory information.  Do we take it in and act on it, or do we choose to control our behavior and maintain good character?  He understands; however, he "hates being six - making the right choices is just soooo hard!"  In just the few days since our talk and removal of bad influences, we've seen quite a change in behavior.  I'm sure he'll get some of those more "grown up" things back before long; but it will be clear to everyone that grown up things come with the expectation to behave with more maturity and accountability.

Another thing we've gotten intentional about is time spent with friends.  We want our children to understand the value of meaningful friendships.  We also want our home to be the place the kids want to be!  So, we've got weekly playdates set up.  Lots of swimming, science museums, blueberry picking, a July 4th party, art days, petting zoos, etc...  Fun stuff!

Art days...  My kids are loving it!  At least one day each week we do an art project.  Tomorrow we will be doing our third project in ten days!  This one will be in response to our trip to the science museum tomorrow morning.  My goal is really to inspire creativity in my children, while having fun, and making memories.  We are definitely accomplishing the latter two...only time will tell if their creativity is being nurtured.

My husband was all over this intentional business too...  With our behavioral issues in mind, he ordered Family Devotions 2.  We've just started it so I can't really vouch for how good the book is, but I'm enjoying this time spent with our family around the dinner table each night.  I love seeing my husband leading his family spiritually.  I pray the boys will take this with them into their adult lives and become godly men like their father.

As we've functioned intentionally these last few days, a peace and joy has transcended upon our home.  The kids know what fun things to expect next.  They also know what we are expecting of them!  Next...  I am trying to figure out how to introduce specific chores.  They are good about picking up their rooms when told to, but I think it's about time for them to have greater responsibilities around the house.  I just don't know what that looks like yet!  Any ideas?  I'm all ears.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Our week in pictures - VBS 2010


3 year olds

3rd graders

Other friends

We were deliriously happy and exhausted by the time noon rolled around on Friday!  Thanks to all of our friends at VBS for such a wonderful week.