Wednesday, November 23, 2011

a whole lot of nothing.

right now, I have 2 babies dancing on my bed, a husband and a son playing star wars, and a daughter in the bathroom singing to herself.


we pushed aside furniture tonight to clean the floors. not really anything all that unusual, but for the first time I noticed the incredible amount of space available.....with our dining room table shoved up against the window. and I thought how neat it would be to have that much free space in our house, around the table. and then my heart flipped it, and reminded me how sweet it is to have a house filled with little feet, little laughs, and little tater tot-grabbing fingers.

which is what we ate tonight. I was going to make a pinned meal but when I saw that I could do it in the crockpot with virtually no work except dumping things in, I opted for hot dogs, tater tots, and left over chicken. saving the crockpot soup for friday.

speaking of the crockpot, I better hurry up and type because my in-my-head timer is going to beep in 23 minutes-- the time I need to get the slow cooker breakfast going so we can have something yummy to eat in the morning. I am giving the cake flour and PWs perfect pancakes a day off. (oh, but they are perfect. and is it legal to add 1/18th teaspoon more of vanilla to the recipe and proclaim it your own to your children? I am the hero of the pancake, the inventor of tamazing fluffiness, according to them, and don't you dare tell them differently, okay?)

have you seen Ice Age? Jack has. that part in the movie where the tiger plays peekaboo with the baby and ends up scaring the baby into tears. apparently, jack connected with that scene. every day he walks up to evie and does this deep, growly voice "where's the bay-beeeeeeeeee, where's the bay-beeeee? there HE is!" it cracks us all up. because one, the voice. and two, the "he". especially since we have told jack that evie is a she seventeenhudnredthousandandeight times.

my home smells deliciously pumpkiny right now. but not because I am baking. being the only pumpkin pie fan in da house (I hope you read that like I wanted it to sound- if it helps, I had one arm up while typing), there's no sense in making a whole pie. although, my husband is the only fan of chocolate pie in da house, and that doesn't stop him from making a chocolate pie. but anyway. the smell is coming from my yummy candles I ordered from my friend Lauren. you should go order some ginger pumpkin candles and fill up your home with goodness.

did you notice my little blog makeover? Becca got exactly what I tried to explain with words perfectly! If you
are looking for a designer, Becca's your girl! Go check out her site. She does blog designs, and so much more!

evie is down to one binkie. (my computer just converted binkie to pinkie and had I not caught that, y'all would have had an awful visual) BINKIE. she has just one left. not sure I want to go binkie free just yet. and this girl loves that thing. she's like a little bunny. just yesterday a woman stopped us and said "well look at her sucking on that thing. sorta reminds you of that marge simpson."

image found here
Marge? whaaaa????

I'm 95% sure she meant her:

image found here

tomorrow marks 10 years of marriage for Jeremiah and I. TEN YEARS. a decade of loving on and living with this man = a very meaningful THANKSgiving. we are going to celebrate our anniversary on another night because for some reason, we could not find anyone to watch our little people tomorrow evening :)

and now my little marge simpson is pushing my laptop off my thighs so she can get some love. totally worth bailing for.

Happy {early} Thanksgiving friends! 

*yall know I think a post without pictures is like a stewardess flight attendant without nuts. like a baby without cankles. like a leprechaun without his bike. like clipping my kids fingernails without getting an eye injury. tmi again? they JUST GO together. so, just in case marge and maggie weren't  enough, here's a few pictures that have nothing do with any of my words. 


Saturday, November 19, 2011

not nice

I am writing tonight because I’ve got to get something out. It’s a little thing that has sort of manifested in to something  big- at least, bigger than I can sort through without typing it out. So here I am, with my typing fingers on.
I don’t know how else to say this,  but just to say it out.

I got really ticked off at a kid today.

It has been brewing for some time, but today it festered in my belly enough to get me writing it out. A few weeks back I kinda caught the end of an exchange between my child and another child. I overheard a little something that just kind of left me bummed out. That’s best way to put it.

My child had sort of reached out in a very small way and said something and this other child totally blew my child off. It was by “chance” that I heard the brief exchange, but it got me in the gut. Mostly because I saw all over my child’s face the sting of what the other child said.

I don’t want to go into details, but it was pretty minor- like a hey, that was pretty cool what you just did (my child just looking to make a friend) and the response was a ‘whatever’, combined with an obvious eye rolling.

It was maybe 5 seconds long, and barely a blip on the radar. Except for my child’s face.. I tell you, as a mama, it made me sad. I brushed it off – it really was super brief- and didn’t want to place a lot of weight on it. Sometimes kids are just in foul moods and like us adults, it can rub off on others the wrong way.

But I made sure to be a little more watchful.

And about a week later, I saw practically the same situation unfold again, where my child asked if they could join in on something and the other child turned his back and walked away. I had to bite hard on my tongue to not say “hey kid, that is all kinds of not nice!!!!” because I wanted to let my child sort through it. I am still finding my way here, and this was new territory so I was trying to not make it a big deal. Because I am sure this kind of thing happens more often than I’d like to think. But you see, all my eyes were filled with was the sad all over my child’s face.

Then  today. Same two children. My child calls out the other child’s name, one, two, three times, and is making an effort to say goodbye to him. My child is not even two feet from the other child and is yelling the kid’s name. The kid, finally looks over straight in the eye at my child who is smiling and waving goodbye, then the other child gives him this “why in the flip are you trying to talk to ME?” look.

My child was in front of me, so I didn’t get to see the reaction. But I could feel it. My child didn’t say anything the way home and was real quiet in the car. After we got home and settled in, I went to my child.

Again, I am not really sure what I am supposed to do here. So I sort of just followed my heart. I said I was sorry that some people are not nice, and I said how proud I was of my child, to keep trying to be polite and kind to someone even when they weren’t very kind in return . And then we talked about what to would do if we saw that happen to someone else, saw another friend be ignored and treated not nicely, and  how we come alongside a friend in that situation and be kind enough for both kids combined.

I also said some things that made my stomach curdle just to say. (because my kids are pretty young and I didn’t want to get in to the, ‘some people are just jerks’ talk quite so soon.) That sometimes we run in to people who just don’t want to be friends with us. For whatever reason. And it’s a bummer because those people are missing out on some silly, fun, awesomeness that they won’t get to be a part of when they close the door on that friendship. But that is each person’s choice- we just need to not let that person’s choice bring us down.

If you’ve even made it this far into this , I want to say—I know the whole thing sounds minor and like nothing. And reading it here, it does to me, too. But then. I am the mama, and I saw the sad face. I saw a child just wanting to make a friend, and being brushed off and ignored. And hurt.  This was a first for us.

It got me thinking about a lot. And I guess that is the blessing in this.

What if when I am not looking, that is my child doing that to another? What if my child is the one doling out his friendship like it’s some prized possession? What if when I am not looking or not aware, my child makes another little kid sad?

-Can I also say here, I am not thinking my children are exempt from any of this. I just watched as my child was on the receiving end. I know my children are not perfect…..I know them more than anyone else here on earth and I am not so high on my mama-pride to think that I’ve done such a good job at parenting to make sure they’d never treat people in an unkind way. It makes me just as sour in the belly to think of the fact that my child might have done to this another child at some point. -

I may be over dramatizing here, but it really feels like this is the kind of thing that gets bullying as far as it does. I don’t think kids become bullies over night. I think little things happen and they continue to happen, because nothing is done. (which very much made me question whether or not I should have said something here.)

I’m not trying to vilify this other child. Because it could be any kid, really. We’d all like to think our child would NEVER, but I bet you my fuzzy ugg boots that this kid’s mama would be saying her child would NEVER, too.
I am not sure what to think in all this. I know we don’t have to be friends with everyone. But I think we do have to be kind to them. We don’t have to make our kids play with everyone, invite everyone to their party, and hug or high-five every child. But I think we do need to teach them to at least acknowledge them, maybe even smile and say hi to them.

I don’t get it. And I’m going to say something that might tick some people off, but it’s the truth……the kids that I have seen not being kind to others….so many of them come from “good homes.” Where the kids go to church on Sundays, and Wednesdays, too. They say yes ma’am and no sir, and please and thank you. I am saying that because I sometimes wonder if people think doing these “good” things is enough to immunize their child to this type of excluding behavior.

It’s like we focus so much on their manners and being respectable, that we sort of brush over their hearts. What if when I was teaching my sons and daughters yes please and no thank you, I tell them why we say that. Yes please is not a two choice option to whether or not you’d like  a glass of water. It’s yes, thank you for getting me some water and taking your time to help me out. It’s no, thank you, I don’t want a piece of gum, but that was nice that you were willing to share with me. If someone is waving to you, it shouldn’t be an obligation or a chore to lift your head and your hand and say hello- it’s a blessing that someone else is happy to see your face. We acknowledge that we see them and we let them know we are happy they are there.

I’m not expecting my child to say all that or do all that on every occasion. But I’d love it if that was the sentiment behind what they said and did. If they were genuine and kind and did not reply with the standard response because their mama’s are within earshot. 

You know what else I’d love? I’d love it if my child remembers this little brush off/ignoring/leaving out thing and how it felt. If my child knows that everyone may not be nice and kind in every moment, but that is no reason to change their own hearts. It stings a little, yep, it does, when someone treats you not nicely. But to be able to still smile at the other person after. That’s the kind of stuff that makes me proud. That is living a life that honors Him.

God does not care if my child brings home all A’s, has the coolest friends in school, or whacks a ball into center field. That is not the kind of stuff that pleases Him. Being kind, caring about someone else, and coming alongside another person. I want my kids to always remember that is what living a Christ-like life is.

But you know what I’d really, really, really love? (besides a pumpkin spice latte in my hand this very moment.) I’d love it if just maybe you made it this far into my post and maybe my words spark a conversation with your child.  That maybe you insert your child into this story, as either the giver or receiver of this behavior, and you talk about it with your child…..but more than anything else, we just listen. That we don’t praise them for memorizing bible verses but rather we watch as the meaning of these verses sink in. That we do our best to show them that being good doesn’t just mean being mannerful and following the rules….it means giving people the best pieces of our hearts and handing out love and kindness instead of snarky looks and cold shoulders. I am reminded of a passage from Matthew, and I think it is a wonderful one to talk about here. (and so many other places)

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25:40

Monday, November 14, 2011

Old Glory

Last Thursday was the Flag Retirement Ceremony at my kids school. The retired the flag that had been flying for the past five years, since the school's opening, and replaced it with a new one. 

To commemorate the occasion, a Color Guard from the Navy assisted in the taking down, while students sang patriotic songs, and Tyler's class read aloud the book of the month: America's White Table.  The story is touching and is told in a way that younger children can understand some of the sacrifice that our military make. All of this obviously coincided with Veteran's Day. 

A note was sent home a couple weeks ago asking any active duty military parents to come dressed in uniform, and since Tyler had a speaking part, it was even more special that Jeremiah was able to attend. You guys......he never gets to attend anything! Anything!!! He has missed all of the student of the month celebrations where one of his kid's was honored, he has missed all quarterly classroom awards and honor roll ribbons, and holiday parties and fun runs and everything else you can think of. Since my kids have been at elementary school, he has been either deployed or to busy to be allowed a little time away to be at any school function. 

But he made this!

Here are some pictures of the event. I was really impressed. One of my favorite sounds is hearing children sing together, and listening to the precious littles voices singing our Nations's anthem gave me soft chills.



And then the book. Just trust me on this, you should read it. Especially if you are a military family. Most of the children who read an excerpt from the story were military children. In one particular part, tears filled my eyes.


"We push an empty chair to the table for the missing soldiers who are not here....."

The little boy who read that part had no Daddy to stand behind him, because his Daddy is serving in Iraq. I think people sometimes overlook the fact that their are families left behind. More importantly, there are children who are without their mommy or daddy. 



I was so happy that Jeremiah was able to be standing there behind our first little love. But a part of me was heavy with sadness for the little boy who was without a daddy that day.



"That piece of red, white and blue bunting means five thousand years of struggle upwards.  It is the full-grown flower of ages of fighting for liberty.  It is the century plant of human hope in bloom." ~Alvin Owsley

Insta Fri---err, Monday?


I told you a couple weeks ago, didn't I?

I am always just a little bit (okay, A LOT) late to the party.

No matter. I'm partying anyway. So my Insta Friday is just one, two, three days late. My husband doesn't believe in being late. I sometimes wonder if he married the wrong girl. Oh, and this week's excuse for tardiness is the usual (I get side-tracked, I'm not the best at time-management, I have kids, and someone always needs to be changed just as we are on our way out the door), and add in the pre-moving activity of painting the whole darn house. So that is sort of justified, right?


~clockwise from the Clone Trooper~
1-An unexpected Intergalactic trooper sent to oversee the cross walk (fine. and promote the book fair. but mainly to watch over the cross walk.)
2- hide your tooth brushes folks, there's an obsessive cleaner in the mix
3- 4 kids and 2 parents later, our Geo Trax are still going strong
4- apparently, even backs and necks have limits. when I quietly wish for a tiny wee little bit of time to myself, I don't mean this kind of time to myself.


-I get to keep her. that's fun.

1- Doing some fixing up around this joint and this made me wish we didn't have doors. until a mosquito bit me.
2- Spoonfuls of everyones fro yo and walking with her daddy. Doesn't get much better than that, according to Evie.
3- The preparations have begun. And now that it's all spiffy, I don't want to leave.

1- I love walking in a room to see this. Like instant deep sigh.
2- And I love this, too. Him, more than anything.
3- Tried Sherri's sock buns. I probably did it wrong, but it made my hair even larger than normal. which, as you have probably already guessed, is ALL KINDS OF HOTNESS!

1- Good friends + funny conversations + campfire + loads of kids running wild = another something I will miss
2- Her "I was just sorta naughty, but it's okay when you're little and cute, right?" face.
3- I like that I live in a place where stop lights (or go lights, in this case) hang on wires. -for the safety patrol, I was a passenger, not the driver


Happy Insta (fill in the blank)________day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jack's Grand Slam Party!

I opened this up to get my writing on and noticed that this is my 250th post! Oh my wow! It's a sweet coincidence
that this post is about Jack's 3rd birthday party, considering I started a blog to share what was on my heart and mind as  we learned more about Jack's genetic condition.

You know that old saying "It never takes up as much space on paper as it does in your head".....well, I started writing here to test that theory. And almost 2 and a half year laters, all I can say is- WORD.

Back to the here and now.

Jack's birthday party was on his actual birthday this year, which was a Friday evening. I was worried because we had rain and thunder in our forecast, and Jack's party was at Kavanaugh Park on the base. I didn't really have a back-up plan, except maybe huddling under the covered area and stuffing our faces with cake. Which, now that I think about it, it's too bad it didn't sprinkle for at least a little bit.

This was one of my favorite birthday parties. It was pretty low key, we had great company, there was room for the kids to run and play and get their crazies out, but most importantly- my husband was right by my side! Yippy for husband's being home!

Jack wanted his party to be about baseball and firetrucks. We flipped a coin and baseball won. Except not. I chose baseball because I thought I could get away with buying the least amount of things. We had a bouncy house, which has nothing to do with baseball at all. But he is three and he really, really, really wanted a "bou-see hass".

To all who came out to celebrate our little guy-- thank you!!! We had a blast and we love how our friends love on our kiddos. I am blessed with friends who come early to set up, arrange gummy cups in the shape of a "J", and stay well into mosquito witching hour to help us clean up. Thank you friends-- y'all are the BEST!

The lowdown on the party stuff is below all the pictures!


His big birthday present was his big boy set of wheels! He loves his bike! I think it's the first big thing he has gotten that is all his own! He put on his big brother's old Tow Mater helmet but decided he needs a new one because it messes up his 'do.


Evie was a little ticked that she was the only one without a ride. So she let me know it.


See. This is her "Not impressed, people" face. (Sidenote: do you know how thrilled I was that I gathered enough hair to hold a clip AND she left it in for more than three minutes?!?!)


This was what we served all the babies. And those straws just make me so happy.


Guess what was in these bags? I'll give you 3 chances.


These adorable striped bags had peanuts. They were perfect!


Oh gosh, could you just die from the cute? Those little striped cups!! OH gosh!! And one of my sweet friends took it upon herself to arrange these in a "J". I love having friends that think of things like that!


Cracker JACKs (hehehe) for everyone and paper sack goodie bags. You can read below where I downloaded the template for the baseball circles from.


The boy bags had Cracker JACKs (am I the only one getting a kick out of that?), a pack of Topps baseball cards, Fun Dip, and some other little goodies. The girls had Cracker JACKs, Lip Smackers, mini nail polish, and other goodies. And for the babies, it was Teddy Grahams and Buddy Fruits.


The cake, from Publix, adorned with a Braves baseball, of course, because that is his big brother's team!


I don't know who those hooligans are up on top of that little bus. Another child, that will remain anonymous, was at least wise enough to jump when he saw the lady with the camera coming.


This is so them. Tyler, carefully making his way down one step at a time and asking if he was good. And then Kaiti, who, in her flimsy little flip flops, just jumped right off when I told them to get down.


A bou-see hass, A BOU-SEE HASS!!!


Lexy went in to jump with Jack so he wouldn't be alone.


Sweet girl!


And where Lexy went, Kaiti followed!


Okay, so I may have put my camera down for the bulk of the party. Meaning all of it. And then I remembered it when it was time to open presents. It was also pretty dark by then, so the pictures I got are a little ehhhhhh.


He had so much fun!!!!


Look at the curls! Love these kiddos!


Straws, striped bags, and striped cups from Shop Sweet Lulu!

Bounce House reserved from MWR Mayport.

Popcorn Bags, table cloths, cups from The Dollar Tree.

Baseball Birthday Circles on Treat Bags can be found HERE!

I used the Lomo and Vivid 2 actions for photos from The Coffee Shop Blog (awesome site!!!!)


Needless to say, this little boy had a Grand Slam Birthday. (it ain't easy being cheesy folks.)

Thanks to all who came out and loved on our Jack! We had a wonderful time and realized driving away how much we are going to miss this place!

Elyse, Sarah, and Wendy-- you girls are awesome for helping me get everything going! And Dan and Al are pretty awesome for staying to help us take everything down, too!

And for anyone who thinks I am a have-it-together mom, here you go......

What kind of woman forgets candles for her son's birthday cake?!?!?

NOT ME!!!!


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