Friday, February 24, 2012

Homework and Prayers

For some reason, this guy and I have been butting heads. 

I think the fact of the matter is that he and I are very much alike.  Mainly, we are both very stubborn and strong willed.  I have felt lately like I have been such a nag with Chad.  It is tricky when he is the only child in school.  He has to get up before the other boys, and he has less control over how his time is spent because he is at school.  What time he does have at home, he still has homework to complete, his room to clean and he needs to help out around the house now and then.  On top of that, I think he is thirsting for more attention.  I've got to work on that.   What attention he does get is mom pestering him to "do" something: get up, get ready, go use the bathroom, do his homework, go to bed.  And because he does not actually "do" any of the thinks I ask when I ask, I have become the nag.  So, earlier this week when he forgot his homework folder at school, and then missed one morning of school feeling sick, I knew it was going to be a royal battle to get him to complete 6 pages of homework in one night.  Don't get me wrong, they are not hard.  He is very smart and capable.  If he just sat and focused, he'd have them done in no time.  But usually, one page a night is a challenge so I knew that six would be torture. 

What actually happened was only by chance.  I had gotten the majority of our dinner in the oven and I had some time with no other commitments.  I called Chad into the kitchen to encourage him to get started on what felt like a mountain of worksheets.  He sat at the counter and I pulled up a chair next to him.  He knew he had my undivided attention.  We made the homework fun.  I'd race him on a question now and then; he'd tell me what color to color a portion of his page; we pretended that the word bank box was a carnival game and hover the pencil above the words until it stopped on the one he had to use next.  Case in point-he got four of the six pages done in just 20 minutes!!!  We finished the last two just after dinner.  I could hear in his voice that he felt important because I was taking time for him.  Real time-not just nagging time.  His behavior has improved in the day or so since then.  I made a little effort that same day to buy him new shoelaces (his work worn out) and an alarm clock (the morning wake-up routine has been driving me nuts) and those two little things on top of mom taking some time for just him seems to have spoken to his little soul that he matters.  That he is valued.  Oh, how I love that kid!  Now, I need to lock this experience into my memory and do better at making it constant. 

Then, there's this little guy.  He is at such a sweet stage!  Sure, he is starting tantrums, and he hits and screams when he can't seem to tell me what he needs, but he is also pretty sweet and so dang cute!  Lately, I have been noticing that when we pray, he seems to be echoing the words that we say. 
So, when the other night at bedtime, instead of me saying his prayer for him, I asked him to say it and I whispered the words into his ear, pausing for him to repeat.  He did it!  Oh, it warmed my heart!  To the point that I had to stop whispering words to him because my heart was so full.  Mostly, he just repeated the last word that I'd say, but he understands what he is doing, and he has the loudest "Amen".  It is so precious to hear someone so little utter heartfelt words to his Heavenly Father. 

Such a darling little boy at a sweet stage. 

These are the payoff moments of motherhood that make it all worth it. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Weekend

  Since both Dave and Chad have Monday (today) off, we decided it would be a good
weekend to head up to visit Dave's family.  The kids are always content just to be able to play with cousins that they don't get to see very often.  But Joan (Dave's mom) is so creative and always has something super fun up her sleeve.  This weekend, we headed "to the movies".  Joan created a concession stand. 

Each of the boys were super excited to spend their tickets to buy the treats they wanted from the concession stand.   
Chad with some of his "loot". 

Greyson was certain to get in on the fun (and treats) with the big boys. 

 Dave brought the projector and we watched "Herbie Rides Again" on the big screen.  (Let me just
say-cinema has sure come a long way in the last 30+ years!)

It was such a fun idea.  Joan even sent each of the boys home with a little Herbie ornament as a souvenir.  Always a fun time. 

The next evening, the grandparents watched all the cousins so that us couples (Dave and I and his sisters and their spouses) could go on a group date.  It's been a long time since I have been on a date with other couples.  Boy, we sure laughed a lot!   I am a big believer in dates-they renew my spirit. 

It's always fun to get away.  And I guess it's always good to get home, and get back to a routine, and kids going to bed at a decent time.   

Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine's Day & 100th Day of School

I will be the first to admit that I am not a Valentine's Day guru.  It's not that I don't like Valentine's day, but I think it is silly that so many people save their affection for this day only.  Why do we need a holiday to tell our loved ones that we love them?  And why do we have to spend money in order to show our love?  None the less, I try to make this day special for my kiddos and my hubby. 

Dave and I talk ahead of time and always agree on not spending a bunch of money.  I think that by talking this through ahead of time, we know what the expectations are, for ourselves and each other. That way, there are no disappointments.  I told Dave he could spend $5 on me (he bought me one gerber daisy-my favorite flower.  Perfect!)  I don't want to feel forgotten, but it doesn't take much to show your love.  I gave Dave some Rolo dynamite I saw on Pineterest-Rolos are one of his favorite candies (then again, what candy isn't Dave's favorite?)

For breakfast, I made heart-shaped waffles with pink-Orange Julius.  Sadly, Chad woke up at 6am throwing up, so he never even got to enjoy any of it.  He was so worried about missing his class party.  I emailed his teacher to check on what time they would start, and he luckily, he was keeping food down by then and was able to go. 

I remember Valentine's day as a kid being a BIG deal!  And I remember LOVING going through each of those Valentine's I'd get from all of my friends at school.  Sure enough, that was the first thing Chad did when he got home from school-go through each card.  I'm sure glad he was able to go. 

I have to do a quick write up on 100's day because my littler boys were so cute.  The schools all make a HUGE deal out of the 100th day of school, and one of the things Chad's class did was have a 100's snack.  Each child brought 100 of one item to school to share and then got to share and enjoy the snack.  Chad brought home a gallon Ziploc bag with what was left of his treat, and both Greyson and Tyler were so jealous.  Greyson promptly went to the drawer where I keep my baggies, pulled on out and said, "treat, treat." 
This is he and Tyler eating their "100's day" treat.  Once I gave Greyson his bag full of marshmallows and Nilla wafers, he went and got a book of him as a baby and sat to read it while he enjoyed his snack.  So cute! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

One on One

I know this is not a wonderful picture, but it represents a memory that I never want to forget.  It was taken with my phone; the one I wrote about back HERE.  Hence the quality of the photo. 

On Friday afternoon, my nephew called to ask if Chad could come and play.  My sister in law happened to be out running an errand and offered to stop by and pick Chad up to take him to her home to play.  Of course, when she arrived, Tyler wanted to come along and she consented.  That just left me and Greyson.  I had big plans for the 1 1/2 hours I had with just the two of us.  Unfortunately, none of those plans were fun for Greyson, but rather, productive for me.  I immediately left for the car to begin running the errands I needed to.  I was honestly ecstatic at the thought of running errands with only one in tow.  Any mom knows that when you are used to three, one is EASY! 

Before I could get Greyson in the car, he had found the stroller in the garage and was chanting, "Walk, walk, walk." I knew this was one of those times when my errands could wait, and so I buckled him into the stroller and off we went for a brief walk.  We stopped at a neighbors home for a few minutes, and as we left, Greyson began walking toward the park next door.  Again, I knew that a few moments of play were far more important than any errand I might have to run, and so off we went.  That's when I snapped the above photo.  I was so captured by Greyson's grin.  He giggled and smiled.  He loved every minute-and that's all it took . . . minutes.  We walked back home, me pushing an empty stroller and he bobbing up and down the sidewalk, one foot on the curb and one on the road.  I was still able to run my errand and get back in time. 

The thing is, he and I don't get much one on one time.  I remember how it was with Chad.  He and I were buddies.  We went everywhere, just the two of us.  But with three kiddos, Greyson is usually the one I leave at home every time I get a chance.  As silly as that picture is, I want to remember the time that Greyson and I got to be together, just the two of us, one on one. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dave's Birthday!

Dave had a birthday a few weeks ago.  Birthdays are different when you have had more of them than you can remember.  Still, we try around here to make them special.  They boys each chose a gift they wanted to give to daddy and we went and shopped for them together.  Chad chose to give him an antenna for his car (he has not had radio due to the lack of an antenna since he got the car nearly 18 months ago) and Tyler got him a book.  It was cute to see how much ownership they each had for the gift they had chosen.  Tyler carried that book out of the store like it was a treasure box! 

In addition, the boys and I made Dave a candy bar bouquet.  Dave is a candy connoisseur and his boys are following closely in his footsteps.  Chad kept asking if we were going to have any extra candies.  I had to remind him that we had bought them just for daddy and we had just enough. 
 This is how it turned out.  We set it on the table for him first thing on his birthday.  The day itself was pretty low key-we had church and Dave had meetings beforehand.  But, we had a little get together afterward with my parents and my brother and his family.  It's always fun to get together. 
 Tyler LOVED helping dad open each of his gifts.  This is the box with Tyler's book in it.  He was pretty excited for dad to see it. 
 And my mom made him a homemade loaf of white bread. 
Dave rarely has a traditional cake, and this year was no different.  He asked for a raspberry cheesecake, which I would pick over a cake, any day!  

I'm sure lucky to have such a wonderful hubby!  He is such a hard worker and a great dad. 
Happy Birthday Dave!  I love you! 

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