Halloween Fun Continues!

We started our Halloween festivities two weekends ago with the MOMS club Halloween party in which we hosted over forty people in our house. The fun continued this weekend with our church Halloween party, and the carving of our pumpkin.

Elias planted three pumpkin seeds last spring, and we have been watching them grow. We got one really great pumpkin! It was fun to carve it and see the full circle.

P1190912Then we went to our church for the party. We had an astronaut:

P1190931And a pirate:

P1190950The party was a lot of fun, but the boys’ two favorite activities were cookie decorating and the spider ring toss. Elias loved decorating, but refused to try even one bite of the cookie. Simon loved both the decorating and the eating.

P1190942Here are the boys at the spider ring toss.

P1190946

Posted in family | Leave a comment

They Walk The Line

What is it with children and walking the line? You know the line I’m talking about. The line between obedience and disobedience. My children have been exhibiting this characteristic lately, and sometimes I don’t know whether to smile and inwardly laugh at their little brains developing, or sit them down for a long, stern talk.

Elias:

This little one has been leaving his room after bed time in the recent evenings. He wants a drink of water. He needs to go to the bathroom. He wants me or Nathan to come keep him company. Any excuse will do. I spent a long time explaining to him what an “emergency” was. (I basically said it meant he was hurt or needed to use the bathroom). He knew that the only reason he should come out would be for an “emergency.”

So…I put him to bed. A few minutes later…out he comes. He used the bathroom. Back in his room he went. A few minutes later…out he comes. I stared at him from the bottom of the stairs and asked, “What are you doing?”

Pause…pause…pause…

“My toe hurts.”

Simon:

I constantly am on Simon about playing the piano safely. He is constantly using his toys to play the keys. One thing I say often while we are playing downstairs is, “Fingers only! We only play the keys with our fingers!”

This morning I was washing up the breakfast dishes, and came out to find this scene:

P1190961He totally knew he was walking that line, too. Well…he certainly wasn’t playing the keys….but still.

Posted in Kids | 1 Comment

Hilarious Hair Night

P1190992Tonight was hilarious hair night at AWANA. Earlier in the day I was discussing this with Elias as we went out to purchase some hair gel. He got more than a little anxious when I mentioned I was going to make his hair spiky. There were even a couple of tears involved. So…I backed way off telling him that nothing bad was going to happen, and didn’t mention it again.

After dinner, I attacked his hair with a P1190993gel-filled comb, and went to town. He was nervous at first, and kept trying to wipe his head on the couch, but once I explained it to him, and let him see himself in the mirror, he was all for it.

When we got to AWANA, we saw that many people really went all out. There were a lot of mohawks, so I’m glad we went with something different. It was fun to try out something new!

Posted in Kids | Leave a comment

Disney On Ice!

P1190909We decided to take the boys to Disney on Ice for a treat this afternoon. The show is in town for only a couple of days. As we were waiting in line to enter the Moda Center, there were about a thousand little girls in Anna and Elsa dresses. There were some little boys too. We made it to our seats, and the show started. Simon was absolutely entranced. Elias enjoyed it as well, and to tell the truth, Nathan and I had a good time too! The characters “celebrated” many different holidays. It was fun seeing the boys so interested in the show.

P1190911By the time we got home, it was past 6pm, and we needed to get dinner quick! Elias kept saying he really wanted a picnic, but seeing as we were in the middle of a wind storm which caused large branches from the neighbors trees to fall onto our house and driveway, we couldn’t go outside. I suggested we have a picnic in the living room instead. Elias went for the idea, and we had a fun time eating together on our living room rug. I let the boys choose whatever they wanted to eat for dinner. Elias had toast, cheese, banana, and fruit leather. Simon had grilled cheese, grapes, white cheddar mac and cheese, and graham crackers.

Call me crazy, but there was one point of our afternoon where I just was almost in tears. (And no…it wasn’t all the lights and music and smoke causing it). I just felt so lucky to be able to take my kids to fun shows. I felt so lucky to have a free evening where we can all be together eating dinner on the living room floor. I hope these are the days the boys remember some day.

Posted in family | Leave a comment

The Haircut

Well….it’s happened. The dreaded hair cut. I’ve been holding on to Simon’s curls for as long as I can, but even I had to admit that his hair was getting a little too long and ratty. It was time to get the little boy hair cut.

The funny part is, that I had no plans to get the hair cut, but last Tuesday after we dropped Elias off at preschool, Simon and I had about an hour to kill before his tiny jumpers class. It all of a sudden occurred to me that I could get his hair cut, and surprise Nathan. We went to Pig Tails and Crew Cuts because I’ve heard from other moms that it’s a fun place to go. They even have a little first hair cut package with a picture and a little baggy for his locks of hair.

Simon got to sit in and drive a taxi, and watch part of Toy Story as he lost the curls. I didn’t get emotional or anything….but he does look a lot older now. The lighting in the pictures is horrible and hard to see, but I’m sure there will be better pictures coming up in future posts about other family adventures. Here he is with his new “do.” The hair is still curly, but not really long enough to form real ringlets as it was doing. It’s ok. It’s all about the phases when they are this age. The phase of the ringlets is over. We’re moving on.

P1190895 P1190898

Posted in Kids | Leave a comment

Snapshots From The Week

A picture may say 1000 words, but sometimes written word just does the trick in preserving memories. Occasionally I just like to write about small moments or snapshots of our days, because I may not remember them in the years to come, but those small moments are really the fabric of our lives right now.

Here are a few snapshots from our week:

Going on a Leaf Hunt

Nathan always tells me I’m not allowed to purchase books from the preschool book orders because we already have too many books. It’s true. We do have a lot of books. But I don’t think you can ever have too many. It’s one of the few areas where I go against his wishes. In September, I ordered a few dollars worth of books, one of which was Going on a Leaf Hunt.

One afternoon this week, I was reading this book to the boys (who love it by the way), and Elias exclaimed, “Let’s go on a leaf hunt!” We got on our boots and our rain coats and we started tromping down the street looking at all of the leaves. Elias and I definitely have different tastes in leaves. He picked up a lot of brown crumpled up leaves on big long sticks. I tended to pick bright yellows and reds. As we headed up a hill in our neighborhood, Elias yelled, “we’re going up a mountain!”

As we were returning to our house, arms full of leaves (and sticks) I watched some of the passengers in the cars driving by. They were all looking at my boys, wide smiles on their faces. I felt so lucky to be their mommy, and I really cherished the time with them. While having young boys is tough sometimes, they won’t want to go on leaf hunts with me forever.

Since that day we have been on a number of leaf hunts, but none stick in my mind quite as much as that first.

The Blessing

We say a blessing before (or at least at the beginning of) dinner each evening. Usually we let Elias choose who says the blessing. Sometimes he chooses Nathan or myself, but sometimes he chooses himself.

One of Elias’ blessings this week:

Heavenly Father, I don’t know Lord…..(something I couldn’t understand)…..and please bless help Nana to come here tomorrow and bless Ama and Baba and Uncle Jared and Audrey. Amen.

I thanked Elias for his blessing and told him how nice it was that he was thinking about family members. I also told him that I think about family members a lot too.

His response:

“Actually. I’m thinking about the government and the Dodgers.”

Bedtime Antics

Some nights Elias goes through his bed time routine and lays down, closes his eyes, and falls asleep. Many nights however, he has entered the phase of the bed time antics. He gets up and wants a drink of water or lays in the hallway. This evening he had to go to the bathroom. He did his business, and before he left the room said, “I love you toilet.”

 

 

Posted in Kids | Leave a comment

The Moustache

I’ve made it no secret that I prefer Nathan not to have a moustache. Moustaches are so prickly and yucky. I always tell him when he gives me a hard time that I am going to put a piece of sand paper on my upper lip and see how much he enjoys kissing me. It’s all a joke between us, but I’ve received a triumph beyond measure in the last couple of days.

You see…Simon is learning all of his body parts. He’s not necessarily saying all the words yet, but he definitely knows them. If you ask him to point to nose or eyes or hair or neck or chin, etc, he can do so. The other day, Nathan was playing the body part game with Simon, and Simon was correctly pointing out Nathan’s ears and eyes. Then, out of nowhere, Simon pointed to Nathan’s upper lip and said, “Owie! owie! owie!”

It was awesome.

I guess I may have taken it too far talking about how Nathan’s moustache hairs are scratchy!

Posted in Kids | 1 Comment

What Have I Always Said Is The Most Important Thing?

For those of you who haven’t watched Arrested Development, the title of this post is a kind of running joke on the show. All that aside, though, I just want to say that I value my family so much!

This evening we got together for a family celebration of Elias’ 4th birthday. His birthday was actually a couple of weeks ago, but today was the first time we could get everyone together. We actually have quite a large contingent in the northwest now. Fifteen people all together!

This morning when I told Elias that we were going to celebrate his birthday with our family, he was very excited because he thought he was going to turn five. I had to explain that his fifth birthday is actually still a very long time away, and we are really just celebrating his fourth birthday again. I don’t know if I ever convinced him, but he walked around telling people he is four all day so I guess he at least got that part.

I don’t have any pictures of the celebration because my camera was out of batteries, but sometimes it is nice to just sit back and enjoy and make memories rather than standing behind a camera.

My heart was just so full tonight, and it wasn’t because the house was crowded. I am so thankful for the laughter and the conversation and just being together. We went out to dinner, then came back to our house for presents, the annual birthday slideshow, and dessert (homemade apple pie and chocolate cupcakes!). Elias just loved being with everyone. He had the whole night down to a tight schedule, making sure we fit in present opening (first of course) and singing and blowing out birthday candles.

A night with loving family can sure wash away all the stresses and worries of life.

Posted in family, Kids | 1 Comment

Awana Cubbies!

P1190835I first heard of Awana when I was in college. One of my good friends, Erin, loved Awana growing up, and I believe she is still involved as a leader today. In case you’ve never heard of it, you can find out more here, but basically it is a non denominational Bible club for little kids in which they memorize verses, sing songs, hear stories, puppet shows, do crafts, and make friends. I always thought it would be cool for my kids to do something like that. Although I read the Bible, and had Bible stories and verses read to me growing up, I never memorized verses, and decided it was something I wanted my kids to learn how to do.

I tried on my own to help Elias memorize verses, but I never knew how to make them toddler friendly enough. That project faded into nothing along with many other of my ideas.

One day last spring I was driving home from the vet and saw a big sign hanging on a church in Bethany about Awana. I was immediately interested and started looking into it. There are ten or so churches in the Beaverton/Hillsboro area that offer the club. Unfortunately, it was something we’d have to wait to the start of the school year for. In July, I registered Elias for Awana at the nearest club at Harvest Community Church in Hillsboro. He’s gone three times (tonight will be his fourth) and he really likes it.

The first night he was really nervous because it was a new place with new kids, and he cried pretty hard when I dropped him off. But the leaders were very helpful and comforted him, and when I came to pick him up he was very happy and wanted to go back. The next two times he went we had no problems.

Elias has memorized three verses and the cubbies motto so far. He is one proud boy. I’m glad that he has another community now which will help him grow in faith and life.

Posted in family | 1 Comment

Our Four Year Old!

Today was Elias’ 4th birthday. For some reason, four doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. But the thought that I will have a five year old on my hands only one year from now really freaks me out!

It is amazing to think how much Elias has changed in the last year. He really has grown and matured a lot. One year ago he was still in diapers. He was not able to express himself nearly as well. He cried almost every time I forced him to interact with other kids his age. He had hardly even touched Simon. He had so many issues that worried me. Now he is potty trained, his language is amazing, and he is a confident little boy who loves school and his friends (and his brother I might add!) It is times like this I just have to stop and be so thankful for everything that is going so well, and embrace what is not because I love this little boy for who he is and not who I want him to be.

This morning when I started to hear Elias stirring, I went into his room and found him laying in his rocking chair as normal. I leaned over and gave him a birthday hug and kiss. I told him happy birthday and that I love him and that he is four now. He smiled and stretched and said, “Is it time for school yet?” I was looking for more of an “I love you too” or a “yeah I’m four!” but “Is it time for school yet” will do. I’m so glad he loves it!

We got ready for preschool. I snapped a picture of Elias before we left. Simon kept yelling “cheese! cheese!” in the background so I let him be in the picture too.

P1190838

Because it was Elias’ birthday, he got to be snack boy and bring a special treat. He also got to be the special helper. Mrs. Kimball gave him a special hat to wear. Simon and I left him at school knowing he was in good hands. When we got home, I took a picture of him in his special hat.

P1190843From there we had just a normal afternoon at home. We had lunch. We did quiet time. I let Elias watch a little bit of Toy Story 3. Then Daddy got home a little bit early because he had worked late yesterday. We decided to let Elias open his presents from us and from his Aunt and Uncle as well as his teacher!

P1190845After he opened his presents, we told him he had time to play with one before we had to leave for our birthday activities. He chose the tennis racket. Elias kept trying to use it like a baseball bat so we’ll have to let him watch some tennis or take him to the tennis courts. But he had fun just experimenting!

P1190854Next we hurried off to the swimming pool. We arrived a bit late due to late afternoon traffic so the front desk lady even let us in for free! What a birthday treat! Elias absolutely loves swimming and had a blast.

After swimming, we took Elias out to Red Robin. He had his standard: grilled cheese and apples.

P1190858Simon is such a ham. As I was trying to take pictures of the birthday boy, he kept saying “cheese!” so I had to get one of him too.

P1190859The people at Red Robin sang to Elias. He seemed a little nervous about all the attention.

P1190860Elias doesn’t actually like ice cream…or whipped cream…and I’m sure he would have liked the chocolate sauce but he refused to try any. So Nathan, Simon, and I ate the sundae, and Elias ate some M&M’s I had in the diaper bag.

When we got home, Elias had some mail waiting for him! He received cards from Uncle Greg and Auntie Shaina, Great Grandma Smith, and Nana!

P1190863Elias had been asking about blowing out birthday candles all day. So just before bath and bed time, we got out the candles. I didn’t make any cupcakes or anything because he had some at his party with his friends, but I thought he should get something a little special. I stuck four candles in a piece of bread just so they would stay, and got him two hershey kisses. He enjoyed our birthday serenade and happily blew out the candles.

P1190867I love this boy!

Posted in family | Leave a comment