Monthly Archives: August 2014

A day with wilson

Friday ended up being “Wilson Day” because Faith was at school all day, I didn’t have to work and I only had the boys. I don’t typically feel that I give wilson his fair share of my time so yesterday I did lots of “Wilson things”.

We started the day with a water gun fight at 8:30am. We filled the super soakers and chased each other around the car.  We snuck up on each other and quirted water on the other person. We both ended up completely soaking wet. It was pretty fun.

At 10:00am I dropped Miller off at my parents’ house and took Wilson over to his preschool so that he could see his classroom for next year. He found his cubby and his name tag at the table right away. Some of his friends were there from last year so he went right to playing with them. His teacher is Miss Keri whom we love because she was Faith’s teacher a few years ago. Deep down I wish that I could keep Wilson at home with me like I did with Faith. He has only one more year before he is off to kindergarten and then he will be going to school everyday for the next twelve years. I would love to spend Tuesdays with him and then bring him with me to Bible study on Thursday mornings, but I can’t. His school requires that he go four days this year. Whenever I consider changing his schedule I feel unsettled about it and know that keeping him at home is not what he wants, but what I want. Wilson loves school and he really enjoys being with his friends. I know he wants to be with me but I can’t keep him entertained like he needs to be entertained. Tom says that I should just enjoy my time with Miller, which I will do, but I can’t help but feel guilty that I should be spending more time with Wilson too.  We will start the school year as planned and change it if needed.

After meeting his teacher, Wilson and I left to go and pick up Miller.  Wilson asked me if I would drop him off at the top of my mom’s street so that he could run down to her house by himself.    He has been wanting to do a lot of things on his own lately.  I have been letting him go by himself to our neighbors house around the corner.  He feels so proud of himself when doing something alone that he deems as “grown up”.  We walked this same neighbors dog last week and Wilson really liked being the one in charge of the dog and taking responsibility.  I am trying to encourage this behavior as much as possible because I believe that it is helping him in other areas of his life as well.  So, in order to help him grow up, I dropped him off at the top of the street and let him run the half-mile down to my parents’ house.  Now, just so you don’t think I let him run on a busy street for a half-mile, I have to clarify that it is a long street that dead ends and has little to no cars driving on it at all.   After a few minutes of his being gone, I drove slowly towards the house until I saw him and then I stopped long enough for him to make it to the house all by himself.  I consider myself a pretty cool mom for doing that!

After we picked up Miller, we went to Sardis Park which is right next to his school.  We drove to the playground, spent a few minutes on the playground, and then walked through the woods back to the parking lot of his school.  He played on the dry mulch piles, walked through other woods by himself and then he discovered the long trailer bed with nothing on it.  This flat trailer bed served as our “ship”.  Wilson worked very hard dragging logs up onto the trailer.  He then started piling up the mulch.  Once again, it was all about Wilson so I played in the baking hot sun in the parking lot doing whatever it was that he wanted to do.  It was nice spending that time with him and doing something different.  Eventually we did go play on the playground for a little while since it was in the shade.

After we got home we had another water gun fight.  He chased me around the yard squirting water on me and Miller.  It was great because I could actually squirt him back (sometimes in the face) and he didn’t mind at all.  He loved it!

Because Wilson got his “love bucket” filled all day, he let me take a nap on the couch.  I put Miller down for a nap and then snuck out to the couch for a little nap of my own.  Wilson came into the house, got a squirt bottle full of water, and went out to wash the porch windows.  He never once came over to wake me up or ask me to get him something.  He just entertained himself.  It was fabulous!!  In the end, Tom’s dad came in and let Wilson watch a TV show so that I could sleep a bit longer.  I love a good nap and generally need one.

I truly enjoyed playing with Wilson and doing the things that he loves to do.   It was nice to do some different things as well, I am getting a bit bored with sword fighting.  Wilson is growing up fast and I know that he needs some “Mommy time” every once in a while.  It typically takes a lot of energy to play the games that Wilson wants to play so I am glad that I had the energy and the dedication to focus on him for a day.


Knights Baseball

The Charlotte Knights are the city’s minor league baseball team. This year the new uptown stadium opened. We decided that we needed to get to a game before the season ended next week. As you can see, waiting until the last minute is not uncommon in our family. What is also not uncommon is inviting the Youngs to go with us. We do so many things together that Sidney says that she doesn’t even need to have her own blog because she is getting it all documented through me. Glad to help, Sidney!

Because we waited until the last minute to buy the tickets, we had to settle for seats on the hill behind the score board. I wasn’t too impressed with the cheap seats at the new field. Eventually we got to sit on a closer hill, and then in the end we just sat down in the good seats after the game began to clear out. It was a school night, but that didn’t deter us from waiting until the end of the game so that the kids could run the bases.  They will talk about that until next season.

I knew that Homer was signing baseball paraphernalia in the store during the sixth inning so we walked over to find him.  Of course, I wasn’t going to buy anything and stand in line like all of the other families, but Homer was nice enough to turn around and say “hello” to the kids for a minute anyway. Here are all the kids with Homer the Dragon….



Bobby, Sidney, Tom, me and Wilson up on the hill….



Here is Wilson and Faith after running the bases….and yes, they wear their green swim necklaces at all times and everywhere they go…..



Tom and Miller after running the bases….Miller tripped and fell on the way to second base and did not enjoy the rest of the running…..



After leaving the stadium, we walked through Romare Bearden Park which is right across the street.  It is a beautiful park with a floor that makes noise when you step on it and a waterfall with multicolored lights.  The kids (and Grandpa) could walk behind the waterfall and stand without getting too wet.  Grandpa actually led the way!  Eventually, the boys did just walk right through the water and got soaking wet.  It may have been late on a school night but we couldn’t deny the kids their fun.



I just loved this picture of the waterfalls in front of the city scape…



I am so glad that we decided to go to the baseball game.  It was a fun night, the weather was gorgeous and we got to do something new and different to keep life exciting.

Tom’s Dad Visits

Toms dad, Tom Jr, visits us a few times each year. This time he came to us because he was recuperating from an illness and needed to relax and rest. In hind sight, I find this a bit ironic since we have the craziest household with three children running around in it. I do believe that he did have that chance to rest while at the same time visiting with us and the kids. He has gotten a lot of quality time with faith and wilson. Wilson went to Walmart with Grandpa one morning for over two hours. They came out of the store riding on one of those motorized scooters that the kids are always wanting to ride…..and with a dozen doughnuts. Faith ran errands with him another day just so she could be with him.

On Wednesday we all went out to dinner at a Japanese buffet restaurant. It was amazingly large. It probably had twelve buffet tables with food on it. The kids loved the goldfish in the indoor pond and got to try crab legs for the first time (although the preferred the fries and chicken skewers). Here we are at dinner…..


As usual, I had some chores that needed to be done around the house that Tom Jr. always offers to help me with when he visits. This time the major job to be completed was to install the new microwave above the stove. It had been sitting untouched for over six weeks and it was time to get that baby running. Tom Jr. worked on it intermittently for a few days and then yesterday he and I worked together to drill the holes and get it up. We laughed so hard while doing it. We drilled the holes wrong twice before getting it right. We also had a stool, four books, a giant pot and a level holding up the microwave while we worked. Here he is with our contraption while drilling a set of holes.


Tom’s dad, AKA Grandpa, will be with us until Sunday after church. So far we have had an entertaining and pleasant visit with him while he has also had time to himself to relax. I know that the kids have really enjoyed it as well.

Wilson’s Green Necklace

Wilson is a strong swimmer, almost better than his big sister. Tom and I have been wanting him to take the swim test to earn his green necklace before the summer ended. If he didn’t take it now, he would have to relearn some of his skills at the beginning of next year. Today we promised Wilson ice cream if he took the test. He practiced his treading water for a few minutes in order to prepare. He actually started singing while treading water, almost as if he were mocking the skill. He had it in the bag!

Now this is where the story really begins to show Wilson’s personality and age. He is such an enigma to me sometimes. He didn’t want to take the test until the life guard said that Tom could swim next to him. Then he jumped into the water without a thought and was ready to go. He swam across the pool and even tried to do the correct stroke with his arms. He rested a bit and then treaded water for the full minute. He even kept his ears above the water for part of the time, which is difficult. The lifeguard pronounced that he passed and we all cheered. Wilson smiled while we congratulated him but he quickly started to cry because he didn’t want to give back his yellow necklace in exchange for the new green one. Thankfully the lifeguard was very kind and said that he could wear both. I took a picture of wilson with his new necklace and he looked like this….


He remained grumpy for the next thirty minutes of the pool time. Tom tried to get wilson to go down the slides at the pool, which are not tall nor are they fast, but he wouldn’t do it. He cried the whole time. It is so baffling to me that he can be strong and brave yet also cry and be afraid of a simple little slide. We did finally realize that his fear came from the super fast slide that he went down at the other YMCA a few weeks ago. In the end, he finally jumped in the pool and played right before we left.

I have learned over the last year that wilson will not do anything until he is mentally ready, even though he is clearly physically ready. He could ride a two wheeled bike when he was three years old, but only did it once and then wouldn’t try again until a year later. He could have passed the swim test a month ago but didn’t want to, and even today we had to bribe him to do it. I honestly can’t complain, I have a four year old riding a two wheeler and passing the green necklace swim test. Those are great accomplishments. I just need to remember that inside that tough exterior is a little four year old boy who has little four year old fears.

I am proud of Wilson and his green necklace. In the end, he was proud too. I told him how excited Grandma and DaDa would be to hear the news. He called them to tell of his great feat which cheered him up. The ice cream didn’t hurt either. :).

Here he is during ice cream…



Chore chart

Like most moms, I struggle with getting my kids to do the simplest of chores without them complaining or having me to ask them repetitively to do them. I don’t even ask that much of them in a daily basis. I want decent tables manners, toys picked up, teeth brushed and homework done. That isn’t too much to ask.

While I was at Doug and Jacqueline’s house last week, I saw a chore chart that Jacqueline had made for the boys. As I do with many of Jacqueline’s ideas: I copied it. I have tried to have chore charts before but with little success; mostly due to my inability to follow through. This time, I decided, it would be different. I made the chore chart, hung it in a very visible space, created a reward system ( sort of) and went for it. Here it is…..


Today I knew that faith was getting close to her first reward so she and I went to the Dollar Tree to buy incentives. I spent $25 on junk rewards for the three kids. I think it will be worth it. I am hoping to train them to do the things I want done, and then eventually have them do it for free. We will see if it works. I sure hope so. I am tired of the complaining and pulling of teeth to do the simplest of tasks.

Of the three children, Faith is doing the best and is the most consistent and motivated. I told her that she needed to have three check marks in each category in order to receive a reward. She worked very hard today to complete the requirements. Of course she kept waking me up from my nap on the couch to ask me questions about the chart. I think I may have given in to a few of her requests so that I could sleep. I don’t think I even understood half of the questions, but honestly, who cares! She did it!

Out of the box of toys she chose the small pack of gum as her reward. Probably the best pick to motivate the boys because they both wanted some. She was generous enough to share.

I decided upon the chore chart for two reasons: I wanted to the kids to have better table manners and I wanted Faith to practice her reading each day without complaint. So far, that has worked. I am hoping to get Wilson to practice his handwriting as well. He is my next target, now that Faith is progressing nicely.

I have been doing the chart for only four days now, but I see a significant improvement in their ability. I even created on chore to be “smile and say OK”. That one was for Wilson. I really just need him to agree with me and do whatever it is that I ask. Just smile and say “Ok”. So far, he is doing better. I plan to stick with this chart until I run out of incentives and rewards. By then, I hope that all of these chores and attitudes have become habits. Only time will tell.

Summer is ending

Summer vacation is drawing to a close very quickly. Faith starts school next Tuesday and I start teaching the week after that. To say that I am NOT excited is an understatement. I love being at home with my kids with nothing to do. I love sleeping a little later in the mornings and slowly waking up while the kids watch tv. I love hearing the kids play and laugh. I love spending time with them without an agenda. The sound of laughter in the house, it brings me joy. I know that there will plenty of time for that after school starts but it will be different. There will be homework to do, lunches to make and school uniforms to wash….and lots of getting up early. Argh!

Last night I found of alist of things that I wanted to do with the kids this summer. We had done most of the things on the list, but we hadn’t gone to the airport observation lot to watch the planes take off. I decided that today would be the day! The kids spent most of the day at my moms while I relaxed at the coffee shop, read a magazine, ate lunch at home by myself and then tried to organize home videos….yes, I had a gloriously quiet and peaceful day. :). Thanks Mom and Dad! (As much as I don’t want school to start, I still love having my Mondays and Wednesdays free to do what I need or want to do).

As I was saying…I packed up dinner, picked up the kids and headed to the airport. The Charlotte airport is west of town so it takes about thirty minutes to get there. The kids couldn’t wait. As we approached they started seeing the planes flying low over head and were getting very excited. We finally arrived at the observation lot. It was on a hill towards the end of the runway. I was going for a roof to block the shade and maybe some bleachers but there was only grass and benches. We arrived at 4:30 which must be the best time to go because there was an endless line of planes waiting to take off. The kids were amazed by the size and volume of the planes – at least for the first eight or so. After that, they were already getting bored. I had packed dinner so we brought out the food and blanket and sat down to eat. As usual, no one ate anything. I swear my kids must be starving, but they never eat. They eat like little birds. Wilson and miller ended up having more fun splashing water at each other with the water bottles. Miller was running in circles as Wilson shook the water bottle at him. It looked like Miller was running through the sprinklers. We laughed a lot and enjoyed being outdoors together until wilson got bit by ants. Then miller got bit by ants. The final straw was when Wilson was stung by a wasp that just flew up and stung him on the hand. He freaked out! He started screaming and said that he wanted to leave. All three kids ran to the car, jumped in, and closed the doors so that no more insects could harm them. I was left to clean up the food and blanket and then return to the car with a screaming Wilson. I have to give Wilson credit though, this was his third bee sting of the summer and all he requires is a band-aid. After the band-aid is on, he forgets about the sting moments later. It is quite amazing really.

We did have fun, despite all of the tragedy at the end. The kids were amazed by the planes and we got to do something new and exciting before the summer ended. Here we are half way through the trip…



Dutch Wonderland and Doug’s

Our trip to Pennsylvania would not be complete without a trip to Dutch Wonderland.  This was our second visit and it was just as much fun as the first.  The entire park is geared towards children under the age of ten.  There are rides for kids as young as Miller and roller coasters for the older kids.  I went on the biggest roller coaster with Faith, wilson and Jordan and it was fast and very fun. I loved it as much as the kids.  Unfortunately, we put Miller on the “turtle ride”, which is like a Tilt-a-Whirl, a bit too early in the day and he was terrified.  I think it ruined him for the rest of the day.  He wouldn’t go on anything faster than this very slow bulldozer ride or the Merry-Go-Round.  He still had fun.



Last year wilson and I went to see the diving show called, “A Dragon’s Tale.”  He loved it and we got a little bit splashed by the divers.  We decided to go back again this year to see this show and another one called, “The Frog Prince.”  The first show was so much fun that we went back thirty minutes later to see the other one.  The first five rows of the bleachers are appropriately called the “soak zone.”  We sat in the front row both times.  We got splashed pretty well during the first show, but we definitely got “soaked” during the second show.  I didn’t dry out for the rest of the day.  Here is the stage, the pool and the two diving boards.  There is a latter that goes up another thirty feet up in the air where one crazy diver dives off at the end of the show….



Here we are after the second show….absolutely soaking wet….



We took Jordan with us to the park this year.  She was a great help!  Having her there meant that I didn’t have to get completely nauseous on all of the rides that went around and around in circles.  It became big joke that I would have thrown up on whatever ride they all just got off, complete with actions and maybe sound effects.  Because there is a two year age difference between our kids, it was nice to be able to pair off during the day.  Tom took Wilson, I took Miller, and Jordan took Faith to the appropriate rides and then we would all meet up again.  We really had a great day.  Here are some pictures of the kids on their age appropriate rides….








After Dutch Wonderland, the day was not over.  We drove an hour and a half to Ellicott City to visit Doug, Jacqueline and the kids.  We didn’t get there until after 7:00pm, due to the fact that we didn’t want to leave the park and because Tom ran out of gas.  LOL!  Yes, at 51 years old he still runs out of gas.  😉

The kids played until midnight while the adults hung out talking and drinking tequila.  It was a lot of fun.  The next morning we walked around town with them and had doughnuts.  It was really wonderful seeing Doug’s family again.  I had a great time and I know that the kids did.  I only took one picture while at Doug’s house.  This is of the kids running around in the giant bus in the kitchen….