Saturday, August 30, 2014

Happy Weekend!

Do you ever look at pictures from a year ago just to remember and see the differences a year makes?  I love to do that!  This picture was last August.  Making s'mores at Grandma & Grandpa's house!  Love it.


Happy Labor Day weekend everybody!  This is the first 3 day weekend my husband has had in years!  Thank you very much, owning-your-own-business!  When you run a gym and you only get paid if you train and everyone for some strange reason wants to work out on their day off, you don't dare shut down for a 3 day weekend!  But now, he works for a company that does close on Labor Day so we are excited for 3 days off!  Also, it's E's first 3 day weekend from school and he's super excited too! 

We don't have anything huge planned.  Just relaxing.  We got some donuts this morning because E immediately got dressed upon waking and when Chris asked, "Was there something you wanted to do?"  he promptly replied, "Get donuts!"  How could Chris say no?

The boys are watching Ninja Turtles and Chris is tackling some project in the garage (I think he's making a guitar...always something with that guy!).  We're having some friends over for a bbq this evening.  And Chris is going to take the boys dove hunting at some point this weekend.  Before you stop following my blog, let me just tell you that Chris is starting to hunt and fish for the purpose of getting free range meat for our family!  We are learning a lot lately about the effects on our health from eating industrialized meat and we are thinking hunting could be a great option for us to not fill our bodies with antibiotics and soy from non-wild animals.  (I realize that sounds quite hippie!  But hey, I'll be honest, we drive a Subaru and we try to eat organic!  Now I've shown my true colors.)


By the by,

Have you checked out the blog Live FabuLESS by Jodi Furman?  I love this blog because she scours the internet every day finding the best deals so you don't have to!  I'm always finding fabulous deals on Amazon from her.  Just today a couple of Transformer Thermoses arrived for my boys, they are super stoked, I'm hoping it will encourage them to drink more water, and I got a great deal on a great brand.  Check her out and you're welcome!


Chow!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Pray

I've learned so much in the past couple of years about the power of prayer.  Are you a praying person?  I've seen God do miracles in response to prayer.  I've been encouraged through prayer.  I've received hope through prayer.  I've received wisdom and inspiration through prayer.  I believe that prayer is powerful.

This week has felt heavy.  All around there seems to be pain and fear and loss.  I don't need to go into details because you feel it, too.  Maybe the loss and pain are directly affecting you this week.  Or maybe, like me, it's a little more indirect.  But either way your heart is breaking. 

We live in a fallen world. 

There is pain, there is disease, there is heartbreak, there are tears, there is loss, there is fear, there are bad guys. 

One of my sons had a dream last night in which bad guys took him.  Earlier this week, one son asked, "Bad guys aren't real, are they, Mommy?"

I ignored his question, in all honesty.  Because they are real.  But I don't want to tell a 4-or-5-year-old that.  I don't want them to be afraid.  Ever.  I want them to trust me and God to protect them.  I want them to take action to make the world a better place and to help other people.  I also want them to come to me when they do feel afraid.  I want to hear about their bad dreams.  I want to comfort them in those times of fear and sadness.

And I think it's the same with God.  He doesn't want us to be afraid.  He wants us to trust Him.  He wants us to help people around us who are hurting.  And He wants us to come to Him, to pray when we feel afraid, distraught, helpless.

So often we say things like, "All we can do is pray" or even, "I want to do more than just pray."  As if it's some last resort or some weak words we throw up at an empty heaven.  I am a total believer in human beings taking action.  I also believe prayer is one of the most important "actions" we take.  God listens to prayer.  That never ceases to amaze.  He hears. 

"I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy." (Psalm 116.1)

It is evident in the Bible that prayer changes things.  That God listens.  He hears the cries of the brokenhearted.  And it moves Him to action.  It even changes His mind at times.  That, my friends, is absolutely incredible.

So today, when we feel helpless, when we feel overwhelmed, let's PRAY.  Let's cry out to God for mercy.  Let's plead with Him.  And let's do this in faith that the Lord hears, that our voices reach Him. 

Let's act too.  Let's actively love each other.

But let's not forget that prayer is powerful, that prayer changes things.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lately

Chris started his new job last week and we are loving the schedule.  After 2 years of owning his own business, leaving for work while the rest of us slept, working split shifts so that he was gone every evening 8-4:30 is feeling dang good!  Being home together as a family every evening is such a blessing and we are really enjoying it.  He is also feeling much more present when he is here because he's not constantly thinking about his business.  When you own your own business, you basically always take work home.  It can become very consuming.  You're always thinking about making ends meet, advertising, social media, connecting with clients, expanding, all that good stuff.  He is so relieved to just show up in the morning, go home in the evening, and not have to think about it.
 
 
 

J-Man is really into making things lately.  This is a birdhouse he concocted all on his own.  He hung pictures on the walls for them, painted it a little, and put flowers on top to attract them.  (I think E actually brought him the flowers and I'm not sure who thought of putting them on top).  Yesterday he was asking me for wires so he could make an invention.  Chris gave him some this morning and little wiry inventions are popping up all over his room, hanging from light switches and doorknobs.  It's pretty cool to see this new interest and creativity forming in him!



I'm thinking about planning a little romantic getaway with Chris sometime in the near future.  We've been talking about it for a while.  We haven't gotten away just the two of us for more than one night since we became parents 4 years ago.  Our last romantic getaway was for our 5th anniversary two years ago and it was only one night.  I know this isn't terrible or anything, but 2 nights away together sounds amazing!  So I'm scouring Travelzoo hoping to find a great deal somewhere.



That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Siblings



Sibling rivalry.  Ugh.  It's high around here, people. 

In case you're new around here, my boys are 6 months apart in age.  Since J-Man joined our family as a toddler, he and E have sort of been twins, but sort of not.  I think over the years they have come to sort of view themselves as twins, they think they're the same age, they do everything together, they are always with each other.  People used to ask them so often if they were twins that they went through a phase of telling people they were.  When we met someone new they'd say, "We're twins!"  J-Man gets very upset when E's birthday comes around because E turns the next year older before he does and I think that shocks him every year.  It's a reminder that he's younger when he forgot he was.

So with E starting kindergarten this year we've had our share of jealousy and rivalry.  We decided to start J-Man in kindergarten next year because we feel like it would be nice for them to be in separate grades and to sort of have their own thing.  We're hoping that eventually it will cut down on their sense of competition with each other.  (I know some adoptive families choose to go the other way with this and "twin" their kids and I think that's a wonderful way to go, too!  This is just what we chose for our family.)  Also, because of where J-Man's birthday falls, he could start "transitional kindergarten this year, but he could also wait until next year.

The school year started with a lot of jealousy from both boys.  E was jealous that J-Man got to stay home with mom.  J-Man was jealous that E got to go to school.  So I switched things up a bit and started really emphasizing to J-Man that we would get to have super special Mommy and J-Man time while E was at school.  I started planning park trips, letting him get treats, etc., just trying to get him less jealous of E. 

I think it worked too well!  Now J-Man loves our special time so much that he doesn't want to pick E up from school each day.  He wishes E would be gone more so we could have more special time.  And he's quite vocal about it!  Lord have mercy!

So what are your fabulous anti sibling rivalry strategies?  How do you appease your kids when they don't get to do the same things? 

I could use some help!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sweet Goings


Good Monday morning, ya'll!  Hop on over to Sweet Goings to read my guest post on the days you wish you had a reset button!

I hope you all have a good day and give out at least one high five!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kindergarten

 
 
This guy started kindergarten last week!  We went to a consignment sale a few weeks ago and told him he could pick out a shirt for the first day of school.  He said he wanted a superhero shirt so I scoured the racks, pointing out every superhero shirt I could find.  None would suffice.  But then I showed him this shirt and he was sold.  Why?  I have no idea.
 
The night before school started I had him try it on just to be positive it fit and I asked if that was what he wanted to wear for his first day.
 
"Let me look in the mirror.  If I look TOO handsome, then I'm going to say yes." 
 
Who is this kid?
 
On the way out the door he grabbed these sunglasses, which I will say completely finish the look.
 

 
Sometimes your kids surprise you. 
 
I'm happy to report that school is going well so far and we are now 6 days in.  He fluctuates between, "I love school!" and "I don't like school."  As far as I can tell he loves the snacks and his teacher.  But he still wishes he could stay home with Mom and J-Man.  I'll take it.
 
 
Tell us how your first day of school went.  What are your kids liking and not liking so far?
 


Friday, August 15, 2014

diversity or lack thereof



We were driving to the library yesterday and E asked, "Mommy, why are most people beige?" 

Kick to the stomach, right?

I said something about people being all different colors, some are beige, some are brown, some are dark brown, some are vanilla, some are chocolate, some are caramel.

"But I don't see very many brown people."  Fail.

We live in a place that is 46% Hispanic, 43% white, but only 1.2% black.  It's something we have struggled with.  This is where we grew up and it's where our families live.  We love being close to family and our kids love being close to family.  But 1.2% is pretty bad.

I take comfort in the fact that our city is mostly Hispanic.  I read an article a while back.  The writer interviewed black middle school students about fitting in with different races and who they hang out with.  One girl said that there aren't really any black kids at her school, but there are a lot of Hispanic kids so she doesn't feel like the only one.  Basically she said that she felt more like she fit in because there were other kids with brown skin, even if they weren't African-American.  I hope my kids can feel the same way.

We're white people raising black kids.  We don't want them to feel isolated or different.  We want them to feel safe, loved, like they belong, like they fit in.  We want them to feel confident in who they are and what they look like. 

I don't totally know how to do all of that.  Truth be told, I pretty much don't know.  I have some ideas, I've done some research, I've mulled it over quite a bit.  But I still don't really know.

I don't know what's most important in where we raise our kids.  Essentially this is a struggle for all parents, isn't it?  Where do we raise our family and what is most important to us in that decision? 

I don't want my son thinking there aren't very many brown people in the world. 

A friend of mine, who is black and decided to raise her kids here, told me that she feels it's okay to live in a place without a lot of black people as long as there is a city with black people somewhere close and you can go to that city sometimes.  For us, there is a big city about 45 minutes away that is pretty diverse. 

Is that enough?  I don't know.

Sometimes those conversations pop up with my son and it just stings.  I don't want him to feel the way he does.  I don't want to fail him in that way.

What are your thoughts?  Do you live in a place where you and/or your children are minorities?  How do you help your kids in that?  Or do you purposefully live in a place that is diverse? 


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