Monthly Archives: August 2013

70 Degrees in August?

It has been unseasonably cool this summer.  It is usually at least 90 degrees from June until October.  In summers past, we have gone to the playground from 8:00am – 10:00am and then had to spend the rest of the day inside because it was so hot.  This summer it has hardly been 90 degrees at all!  I don’t know if it is because of all the rain that we got throughout June or if this is just how it is this summer.   I can definitely say that there has never been a week of 70 degree weather in August!  I have had all of the house windows open today and that never happens. Today was so cool that we couldn’t go to the pool.  I wanted to take the kids to the playground, but they wanted to stay home…so we did.  We spent the morning in the drive way having a picnic and riding bikes.  The kids also ran the loop through the circle drive way and up the road.  they like for me to cheer them on as they race.  “Go, Violet, Go!  Go, Dash, Go!”  They like to pretend that we are the Incredibles.  (Wilson’s nick name is “Dash”)

I brought out my good camera and they took turns taking pictures with it.  Wilson took a lot of still life pictures of blueberries and bananas while Faith took more action shots of Miller and Wilson running away.  We really had fun together.

Then we went inside to paint.  Faith had a bucket of shells from the beach and she wanted to paint them.  She painted most of them pink, but there were other colors mixed in as well. Wilson and Miller painted too.  They painted paper and their hands.  :)

Once again, I am trying to enjoy my time at home with the kids.  We had fun again today.  Of course by about 2:30pm I was tired and getting cranky.  I had already worked and played for six hours.  I guess that is my max.  Luckily, Elliot invited them over to his house to play for the afternoon.  This made me realize that them going to school will be a good thing.  We can have fun together from 1:00pm until bedtime around 8:00pm.  That is still a full seven hours together!  I will still have many, many hours of fun in the afternoons while enjoying some quiet time either by myself or with Miller in the mornings.  Things will be just fine!

Kindergarten Hot Dog Round Up

Faith’s new school, Covenant Day, is doing a great job of welcoming the new kindergarteners and their families. Faith gets mail from them all of the time. We have received bumper stickers, license plates, a backpack name tag, a letter from her teacher, and then there was a dinner for the kindergarten families Tuesday night. The hot dog dinner was in the middle school gym. When we arrived, Faith was given a name tag with her name and a picture of a boot on it. The boot meant that she was in Mrs. Butlers class. We could recognize the other kids in her class because they also had a boot on their name tags. Brilliant!

All of the kids were nervous when they arrived. Most clutched onto Mommy and Daddy in the beginning, but by the end of the dinner most of the kids were running around the gym or playing with the Legos and Playdough that was supplied. Faith was also able to meet Mrs. Butler and her assistant, Mrs. Townsend. They were both super nice. They gave Faith a blue t-shirt that says “Covenant” on it. She has been wearing it as a night shirt for the last two days. She still cries sometimes when she talks about going to school. She cried yesterday, said that she was nervous, and that she had never been away from me before. It was sweet that she wanted to be with me still. It makes me feel good, but I know that she is going to love kindergarten even more. I am excited for her as well!

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A Productive Tuesday

We haven’t had many “stay at home Tuesdays” this summer. We have either been at play dates, the pool, or at Faith’s gymnastics class each Tuesday. Today I decided that we needed to stay home.

After breakfast the kids ran off to play. They went into Faiths room and came out wearing this…

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Faith had on Wilson’s clothes and wilson had on faiths dress, panties, silly head band and a purse. It was hilarious!!

After that I opened an email about a kids art contest. Faith was to make a collage that was similar to one that the artist Romare Bearen would make. First she drew her own picture. Then she cut out pieces that she could glue to paper so that it was similar to the one that she had drawn. She worked very hard on it. Wilson cut and glued as well.

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Here is her picture.  She is going to add some people to it so that it will be more like Romare’s.

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It was fun to hang out with them at the house. I realized that I missed staying at home with them. I have also come to realize that this phase of our lives is about to end. Faith will be starting kindergarten next week and Wilson will be starting preschool after Labor Day. The days of playing together at the house all day will be over. Yes, there will be summers together, but that will be different. Don’t get me wrong, staying at home all day with them can be stressful and physically and mentally draining. It will be very nice to have more time to myself, but I will miss spending that time with them. I always get a little sad when I realize that things are going to change and the kids are growing up. I am trying to enjoy my last week at home with the three of them – so far we are doing a great job!

Dutch Wonderland Fun

We decided that the kids needed one more day of exhausting fun and excitement before we headed back to Charlotte. We decided that they need to go to Dutch Wonderland! (I have no idea why it is called this because there is nothing Dutch about it. Maybe a few statues of Dutch people, but that is it.) Overall, I give Dutch Wonderland a 9 out of 10. It was great! I only deducted a point because I rarely give 10s and because it does cost about $40 per person/kid to get in. However, it was worth every penny.

Because Faith, Wilson and Miller are all less than six years old and 45 inches tall, there aren’t many rides that they can go on at other amusement parks. This place, however, is geared specifically for kids under 7. A perfect example is the brass band that was walking around playing music. They were playing the song “ABC” by the Jackson Five. Then they stopped playing and asked everyone to sing along with them. They started singing, “A,B,C,D,E,F,G…” A song that almost every child knows. It was perfect!

 

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Faith was able to go on her first roller coaster ride. She was the only one tall enough to ride the biggest and fastest one there. It looked pretty scary and fun for a kid her age. She and Tom went on it twice. She was so excited! While they did that, Wilson, Miller and I watched a water show entitled, “A Dragon’s Tale”. We never actually saw a dragon, but there was a sword fight, bad guys, water being splashed at us, fun music, and two diving boards that displayed incredible dives.

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Miller really only went on four of the rides, but he could have done more. I just didn’t stand in line for them. He was perfectly content riding the Merry-Go-Round and the Bulldozer ride. He cried and screamed when he had to get off of the rides. I was amazed that he rode the bulldozer ride a second time without Wilson. He didn’t mind a bit. (It went very slow)

 

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After riding a good number of rides, we went to the splash ground. There wasn’t any deep water there (probably so that no one could drown), but it had lots of water squirting up from the ground, water guns, and small water slides. There was one giant water slide that the bigger kids rode with Tom. Miller could have ridden it but he fell asleep while waiting in line. We decided that it must be time to get into the car and drive home. We will definitely be going back to Dutch Wonderland next summer. The kids loved it and we were able to have a lot of fun as a family doing things that we normally were not able to do.

When we asked the kids what their favorite part of the day was Wilson said it was the show and Faith said it was meeting the princess…..

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Chocolate World

Today we drove to Hershey to go to Chocolate World. Chocolate World has a free ride that the kids enjoy and they get a small chocolate bar at the end of the ride. Alexis, Aunt Kim and her boyfriend Dallas came with us. The kids love to see the street lights shaped like Hershey Kisses. Faith asked if we could move there so that she could eat chocolate everyday!

We were going to let Faith, Alexis and Wilson make their own candy bar but the scheduled time would have been too late. Instead we went in the free ride again. faith was very excited about this. It just goes to show that kids really only need small treats and surprises. They are so easily pleased.

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Harrisburg, PA

A couple of times each year we drive the eight hours up to Harrisburg to see toms family. The kids do pretty well during the trip. This year was no exception. We were able to drive five hours before we even stopped for lunch. Miller fell asleep so we just kept driving until he woke up. Chicfila is the preferred stop for lunch. They have good fast food and a fun play land. We were there for over an hour while the kids ran off some of their energy.

We arrived at Toms moms house to visit for a while before going to the hotel. Tom has so many rewards points that we are able to stay at the Sheraton for free. This is a great hotel! It has two giant swimming pools-one inside and one out. The kids have been swimming each night and day. It is fun to get away together as a family.

For the kids, the best part is seeing their other relative that they don’t see very often. Faith stays glued to Cousin Alexis side. MaMaw gets to see the kids play.

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Love Does….

At the retreat this past weekend we studied the book, “Love Does”.  It is a book that covers the 20 terms in the Bible that precede the words “one another”.   Before we went away for the weekend we had to take a short online test to see how we scored in the various categories.  After each category add the words “to one another”.  The scores are rated 1-5 with 5 being the highest.  Here are my scores….

BE DEVOTED   4.8

BE KIND  4.8

OFFER HOSPITALITY  4.5

GREET  4.3

LIVE IN PEACE  4.3

ADMONISH  4.3

CARRY BURDENS  4.0

ACCEPT  3.5

ENCOURAGE  3.5

HONOR   3.5

SERVE  3.5

COMFORT   3.5

PREFER  3.3

CONFESS YOUR SINS  2.5

WAIT FOR  2.5

SPUR TO GOOD DEEDS  2.5

CARE FOR  2.5

PRAY FOR  2.3

FORGIVE  2.3

I was not very surprised at the results.  I knew that I was not very good at forgiving, waiting, preferring (letting others have their way instead of mine), comforting and saying that I was wrong (confessing sins).  Those were not a surprise at all.  I guess I was more surprised at what I am good at:   being kind, being devoted, greeting others, hospitality.  I am sure that some people said that they were good at everything while I am someone who rarely gives myself a 5.  I think that 1s and 5s have to be very obvious and extreme.

Luckily for me, we studied most of the ones that I need to improve upon.  One that really struck me was “wait for one another”.  I know that I am impatient.  The only reason I know that I am impatient is because Tom is patient.  When I am hurried to get somewhere and someone is slowing me down I get annoyed.  Tom just keeps going along and waits calmly for the person.  I want to get to where I am going on time and before I miss something.  One of the examples in the book was waiting for our children, specifically sitting with them if they are scared and want our attention.  I realized that I am impatient when I put the kids to bed.  Sometimes they want me to lay with them, but I want to go have my one hour of free time and watch TV.  I drop them in bed and run off to do what I want to do.  I realized that I should take the extra minute to give them the attention that they need.  I did that tonight with Faith.  She was hugging my neck and wanted me to lay with her.  I changed my pace and laid in her bed with her instead of leaving.  She will only be five years old a little longer and eventually she won’t want me to lay with her.  I need to take advantage of it while I can.  Tonight, I “waited”.

As for admitting I am wrong…..that will be a much slower process.  I don’t know where I got this characteristic, but it is a strong one.  I will admit that I am wrong to some people, but to Tom, rarely.  Maybe it is because I also have a hard time forgiving him for past wrongs.  I think that the two of those go hand in hand.  No wonder I scored poorly on both. Forgive, and the confessing will come naturally afterwards.  I see confessing my wrongs as a weakness.  It means the other person has the upper hand.  They have something that they can hold against you and over you. Once again, forgiveness and confession go hand in hand.  Without forgiveness, there would be no more confessions.  Who wants to say that they made a mistake if no one is willing to forgive them and will hold it over their head forever?  I am not sure where I got this from.  As the test and the book pointed out:  I need to change this part of me.

On a lighter note:  I am pretty good at greeting others (chatty conversation), being kind, and helping out a friend.  I know that I am good at hospitality because I will let anyone come into my house, regardless of the cleanliness of it.  It may not be clean, but I will welcome you in and chat it up with you.  I will also watch anyones kids at the same house.  As I said, I am good at some things and not so good at others.

It was an eye opening quiz.  I enjoyed taking it and seeing the results.  I will definitely work on the things that need work.  I think that we can all use some improvements in one area or another.  We are all an evolving and changing work.  We are all trying to improve upon ourselves and letting God improve us.  It is the work of God within us that makes us strive to be better.

Want to take the test?  www.loveoneanotherbook.com