Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fly Lady

I have had a difficult time keeping on top of things - moving in, unpacking, fixing things with our work-in-progress of a house, in addition to the never-ending every day cleaning and meals. A friend recommended the "Fly Lady" website so I signed up for it yesterday. Today I read something I LOVED that I just had to share for you mothers out there (written by Fly Lady). It helped me see things differently and gave me a much-needed (and much-appreciated) attitude adjustment!

"Each day we continue to do the same things over again; Washing clothes, doing dishes, Folding clothes, dusting and sweeping floors. It is a never-ending procession of things that need done. When you look at these chores as work, you start to dread doing them. Change your attitude from work to blessing. When you do things for your family and to your home to help your family, you are giving them tender loving care. I like to call this blessing our home.

As you pick up a dish to wash it, be thankful that you have had food to feed your growing babies and nourish your bodies. As you fold that unending pile of laundry, your hand loves each and every member of
your family. Let go of the martyred attitude and nurture your family with love and kindness."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day Out With Thomas

Thanks to a very generous Oma and Opa (Thank you!!), Grins thoroughly enjoyed a Day Out With Thomas Father & Son (& little sister) Date for his birthday this year! We gave him the option of going with Mommy or Daddy, and he (of course) chose Daddy! But, being the ever-caring brother he is, he asked if his sisters could go as well. We explained that we only had 2 tickets; one for him, and one for a parent, but he insisted on Wiggles joining when he realized she wouldn't need a ticket. And, since he had a point and was trying to share, we couldn't argue with that! (Angel was disappointed but enjoyed a special Mommy-Daughter day!)

After getting a card in the mail with the money for his tickets, Grins asked us every day "Is today my day with Thomas?" So when the big day arrived, he could hardly believe it! After a looooong drive to the Boothbay Railroad, he was beside himself with excitement. (Notice him running up to the park with his arms in the air! And Wiggles running after him, as usual.)
Grins was thrilled to see a "real, live Thomas" the tank engine - and even more excited that he got to ride on him! But the train ride was only the beginning....

The Thomas ride was hard to beat, but Grins also really enjoyed the 'mini train' ride (pulled by a tractor, and the hay ride.

Wiggle was most delighted by her "Thomas tickow" (Thomas sticker aka temporary tattoo). After they placed it on her arm, she walked around for the rest of the day saying "wook at my Thomas arm".... she wanted to be pushed on the swing on her 'thomas arm' and insisted on showing it to anyone who would look. Who needs an $18 ticket when you can get $1 pack of temporary tattoos anywhere? :)
Of course, a bouncy house is always a good way to expend some extra energy....and if said bouncy looks like Thomas, what more can a kid ask for?

All in all, I think it is safe to say that a fun time was had by all in attendance, and this is a birthday present Grins will remember for years to come! Thank you again, Oma & Opa! Wish you could have been here to see him enjoy it! :)

Monday, August 09, 2010

My Little Man

Dear Grins,
I can't believe how much you've grown! SLOW DOWN! How I wish I could go back to you as the happiest baby on the block - patient, happy, content and giggly. Of course, then I would miss the big boy you have become.

You are such a gem. What would I do without you, my son? You are the calm one between your spirited sisters. Yet you remain so sensitive, always stroking me gently, giving me kisses, and making sure everyone is happy. You are ever the peacemaker, always giving in when you and your (usually older) sister are arguing over something. "(Angel), you can have this seat if you want it, I'll choose another one." You have your own opinions about things, but making peace is more important to you than getting your way. Even today you gave Angel half of your brand new silly bands, because she wanted them. Now that's love!

(Grins, 3 yrs old)

You are quite the ball of energy! I love seeing you RUN back and forth, around and around in the house. And the way you hold your hands up when you run is just too cute! You do enjoy your pedicures (since I won't paint your fingernails!) and do occasionally dress up, but you are certainly a BOY, through and through! You love Dinosaurs, Cars, Trucks, Batman, Spiderman, and all things sports. You want to be a Pilot when you grow up. You love helping Daddy build and fix things. Everything turns into a weapon or a 'whacker' (sticks/etc used to hit anything - and everything - around you.) And you can already outrun your (older) sister!
(Grins, 2 yrs old, with Teddy)

You are growing up in other ways as well! You still love Puppy, Blankie and Teddy, but you no longer require them to sleep. And you are really becoming courageous! For example, you are (finally!) willing to use public restrooms with 'black eyes' (automatic motion-detected flushers) as long as I cover up the 'black eye'. This is a big step! You also have a keen eye for right vs. wrong, but you love everyone. "Oops! He's drinking coffee." or "Uh-oh, that (shirt-less) man forgot his modesty." or, my personal favorite, "Oops, she's 'cigaretting'!" "But Jesus said love everyone so I still love them."

(Grins, 1 yr old)

You love your family so much, and will do anything to protect your sisters from any possible threat (such as a bee, a spider, or someone 'being mean'). You told me the other day "I love my family SO much! Even more than food!" That's when I knew things were serious! :)

(Grins, 1 day old)

You are such a joy! You have the most infectious giggle, and I LOVE your dimples when you smile. Please, my son, remember who you are. Treasure your meekness, your gentleness, and the love you have in your heart. These characteristics will serve you well.

I love you, my sweet 4 year old!

Love, Mommy

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Us!

9 years ago today I married my best friend and sweetheart. I thought our first year of marriage was wonderful, but that was only the beginning! The Mr. has been the picture of a (nearly) perfect husband from day one and, though we've had our ups and downs like any couple, things just keep getting better!

I could go on all day about what I love about The Mr. and our marriage, but due to lack of time because of the beautiful life we've created together :) I'm going to keep it short and sweet:

9 Things I love about The Mr.

1. He is an amazing father. Our children adore him, and I adore watching him with them!

2. He is the most supportive husband I've ever known. He supports my every whim, even the silly ones, without even rolling his eyes! :)

3. He is so gentle. He has never once raised his voice at me.

4. He is the hardest worker I have ever known. This is saying something, because I was raised by 2 incredibly industrious parents, so I know hard work when I see it!

5. He is incredibly strong. Seriously. As in, several people have asked him if he takes some sort of supplement (or steroids). No joke.

6. He loves the Lord. He cares far more about pleasing God than man.

7. He is so patient. With everyone, but especially with me.

8. He is constantly trying to better himself. Spiritually, academically, physically, etc. Amazing!

9. He is gorgeous. I know, petty, but let's be honest, my husband is a looker! (I have even had several friends comment on this fact so I know I'm not just biased!)

Thank you for the past 9 years, our beautiful children, and our incredible life together. I love you. Here's to 99 more!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Enjoying the Casco Bay

Some new friends invited us to go boating on the Casco Bay with them and we had a BLAST! The kids had never been boating before, at least as far as I can remember, and this was definitely an eye opener for them! Speed boats are windy and bumpy - so it took a little while for them to warm up to the idea (note Grins' face and Wiggles clinging to me for dear life!) At first they (especially the younger 2) were shouting "Stop! Let's go back! Scary!" and so on. But I finally distracted them by pointing out the buoys - and once Wiggles started saying "booo-eeeee" none of us could stop laughing, and even Grins loosened up and started enjoying the ride.

We started at Cousins Island and went around the bay. We saw seals, lighthouses, other islands, and were just headed back around when we hit a sandbar (oops!), resulting in lots of loud noises and jolts. After a moment of panic and Grins freaking out, he suddenly shouted "Wait! We won't drown! We're on sand! It's OK!" It was so cute! Fortunately our 'Captain' did an excellent job maneuvering us out of the sand bar and we made it home safely, and with the boat in one piece! :)

We love living so near the beautiful ocean!!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


I have a love-hate relationship with the humidity here. I hate that it makes a warm day seem unbearably hot and sticky. But love that it makes Wiggles' hair do this:
So somehow, it's worth the mugginess. :)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Way too much fun with the scanner

Today as I was scanning some documents, I left the room momentarily and the kids (including my oldest child, the Mr.) started playing around. When I returned, I found some interesting scans....

Slumber Parties

When the Mr. is on call (read=overnight shift at the hospital), Angel and Grins and I have 'slumber parties' - which essentially involves the 3 of us all going to bed - in my bed - together. This makes for extra stories, lots of snuggles, plenty of giggles....and, eventually, me sleeping in one of their beds because of how MUCH they move around at night! This is how I found them, the morning of our last 'slumber party':

Sunday, August 01, 2010

the Miss Independence-s

Although it's August now, we have two young girls who still insist on celebrating their own personal independence each and every day. It is delightful. (Grins does too, in his own ways, but his sisters seem a bit more adamant about it at times. He is our agreeable peace-maker most of the time!)

Angel, who is 5 and will be entering Kindergarten in just a couple of months, no longer needs help reading at all! During our morning devotionals we help each child read a verse of scripture. It never occurred to us to have Angel do it on her own because we assumed the scriptures would be 'too difficult'. But a couple of weeks ago, Angel just began reading her verse before we could even start. She got through even the longest of words without so much as a second thought, and the Mr. and I looked at one another with tear-filled eyes as we realized how much our baby has grown. Now she's just a regular old reader, as if she's been reading her entire life. She devours every book she can find, and is particularly helpful at reading books to her younger siblings if I need to get dinner on the table. She is often asking "Mommy, why does that sign say ----?" or "What does ----- mean?" I am amazed and proud and a little bit sad all at the same time. Would that I could make time stand still, I love my children so much and am enjoying them and this stage in their lives, so signs of progress are bittersweet. But I'm pleased with her nonetheless.

Aside from the reading, Angel's writing and artistic abilities are flowering as well. Several weeks ago we wrote letters to "Uncle Adam" - our brother/uncle who is busy serving a full time mission for our church. She insisted on writing a letter herself:

For those of you not fluent in Kindergarten-ese, this: "To Umkul Abum Hav u gr8 (clock) techyng at pypels (house)is" read this: "To Uncle Adam, Have a great time teaching at peoples houses." I love her creativity! :)

Wiggles, on the other hand, is busy asserting her independence in other ways. When I try to do anything for her (from helping brush her teeth to getting her dressed to helping her down the stairs) she insists "No! Self!" (meaning: No, I want to do this myself!") I try to allow for her independence but must be more vigilant about keeping my eye on her while doing so; the other day she pulled a big box of crayons off the counter, resulting in crayons all over the floor. I said "(Wiggles), let's clean the crayons up!" and began putting the crayons back in the box. "No! Self!" she demanded, so I left her and the crayons while I went to start breakfast. I didn't give it another thought (you'd think I would have considered the danger of crayons by now, having 2 older children!) until a moment later when I noticed the silence...(silence + an 18 mo old= MESS!) I ran to check on her and this is what I found:

In case you can't tell, that's black crayon ALL over my lovely, new, hardwood floors. And Wiggles eating the crayon. And smiling. And this picture only shows about 1/3 of the damage. Thank goodness crayon rubs off or I would have been crying instead of taking a picture.

I love my girls and I know their independent spirits will serve them well in life!