Main Pic

Main Pic

February 18, 2013

A case of the way!

Happy President's Day. Today we did not talk about or learn about presidents, unfortunately, but we did enjoy our day off with a Playdoh date at home. I'm just going to be honest with you; I don't really like Playdoh,  especially after the hubs and I spent a couple hours Sunday cleaning and organizing our main living area. When I think back on all the times I have brought the Playdoh out (I'm ashamed to admit I can count them on two hands), it is normally because I feel guilty for depriving my children of childhood memories that involve little bits of colorful clay, impossible not to mix in with other colors, pressed into the carpet under the kitchen table (hmm...side note...maybe I shouldn't have a rug under our kitchen table.) Anyway, today was one of those "I feel guilty for neglecting you to clean up and organize your toys yesterday so I am going to let you destroy my hard work by bringing out the messiest yet most coveted toy on the planet and this will prove my love for you." It was a success!
Coley decided to hang in his undies all day and this is a totally normal occurrence around here. He strips down into his knickers pretty much the minute he gets home from school and would rather live this way than be bothered with clothing, aside from a cape. He will rock the cape. And it always reminds me of this popular meme that I discovered on Facebook recently.    

Coley is just one awesome kid and I respect his style. It will be incredibly interesting to see how this specific character trait develops as he gets older!  
One could not commence Playdoh time without 3D glasses.


We followed up our Playdoh party with a dance party. These boys really know how to break it down, no inhibitions!


I was pretty proud of lunch and that my 4 year old ate everything on his plate. Recently he went through a "I will only eat mac 'n cheese for every meal or Cinnamon Toast Crunch and if you try and add anything healthy to it, I would rather not eat but cry that I am hungry for an hour" stage. He has been doing better and I think soup is the reason and he must be going through a growth spurt. This kid is opposed to healthy food unless you put it all in soup. Which I do, several times per week. So we ate leftover soup and gluten free bagels with cream cheese, garlic powder, fresh spinach leaves and shredded cheese on top. Broiled for five minutes, served with apple slices.

A long time ago I bought the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman after several friends recommended it to me. It is written by a marriage counselor who took 12 years of notes on the differences couples faced and found there are five main areas, or "love languages" we each speak or understand and this is the way we are most comfortable expressing our love and having love expressed back to us. So I asked Justin if he would be interested in taking an online quiz to determine which "love language" he falls into. Not surprisingly, we each fell into the category we assumed we would before even taking the quiz. I am kind of ashamed of mine: Acts of Service. The description below says it all.
I was wondering why yesterday I felt so happy and loving towards my man.  He took it upon himself during chore time to organize and declutter a bunch of stuff in our family room and help get the house clean because he knows it helps me going into the week.  We are going to read the book to learn more about  how we can fill up each other's "love tanks." Ya, hubby had fun with that one.
And on that note, wishing you all a wonderful week! I'm going to report back about J. and I and how we are doing speaking each other's love languages :)

February 14, 2013


"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." -Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Where there is love, there is life" -Mahatma Gandhi
"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."
-Mother Teresa

"A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love."  -Max Muller
 "Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along." Romans 13:8

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do...but how much love we put in that action." -Mother Teresa


Love begins at home. I have been reminded of that so much lately, this simple yet profound truth that what we cultivate at home will have an impact on the world.
I only need to look at my children to know this. I am raising little people who shine their spirits into the world and they make a difference.
Youthful, passionate, thirsting for knowledge and discovery, loving and honest, my boys bring me a world which I have long forgotten and struggle to remember. A world where the smallest and simplest of things fill up the heart if you only let it.
 A banner on the fireplace with hearts that they painted, proudly and with joy.

We look at the banner and it reminds us not that we need pretty things to make us happy, but that we need what it represents: the togetherness a mama and her children experience in the act of letting go of the day's worries and making time and space for painting; bright watercolors hitting white pages...transformation. Love manifested.

Ever since becoming a mama, Valentine's Day has been one of my favorite holidays aside from birthdays because I am filled up when I can shower my children with love. For $5 in supplies I transformed their breakfast area into a love pit-stop. A place to find happiness before heading out into the world. I heard their squeals all the way upstairs when they came bounding down for the day.
"It REALLY IS VALENTINE's DAY!!!" my 4-year old shouted to his brother.  

Heart shaped sandwiches packed in the lunchbox, bags of handmade valentines lovingly tucked in backpacks and dressed all in red, I squeezed my boys extra hard this morning and told them that I love them every day just this much, but today is special because they will see people all around them celebrating love, too, and that is a REALLY cool thing to see. I told them to tell their teachers and bus drivers thank you for loving them and I put them on the bus with tears of joy. I was filled up with love by 8 am.

The saying that goes something like "if you want to experience love, then love someone else" or "if you want to feel happy, make someone else happy first" is imprinted in my heart. I want to make others happy. I want to stop thinking so much about how life is affecting ME, and I want to reach out and give someone else something that THEY need.
You can start right at home or right wherever you are. You can give the best of yourself to your family and friends, colleagues or strangers FIRST and not expect anything in return.   Daily grace is here right now within reach, and there is always the choice to love.
I choose love.
Happy Valentine's Day. You are loved!!

February 12, 2013

We love weekends!

Sunday we had warmish weather and my husband and I were going a little stir crazy being inside, so we decided to tell the kids we were going on an adventure but we couldn't tell them where because it was a surprise. We did this for the excitement but more so because if we tell them we are going somewhere and we don't end up going, well I bet you can guess what happens. We just decided to get in the car and drive.
No adventure can begin without a stop to our favorite weekend restaurant where kids eat free, Steak and Shake. Classic photo ops with the paper hats, ketchup faces, and root beer floats. This was also the beginning of something my husband and I found quite funny with my youngest Colten. He drank that entire milkshake pretty much on his own....more to come on that.



Next we took them to a little waterfall that I remembered being much larger and more dangerous than it is now. They have built a deck walkway that takes you to the falls. When I was in high school, we used to have to scale some hills, climb over slippery rocks and walk through the stream to get to the waterfall. Not  exactly sure how we would have managed this with two little boys, so I was glad that we could safely travel to the waterfall seeing as how I had worn my TOMS. (Not the best rock climbing shoes.)

And here is where it gets funny. Small child, downed root beer float equals sugar rush and LOTS of energy. Run Colten Run.

Until things got a little slippery, then it was hold tight to Daddy's hand.

Kid was nuts. Sliding all around on the ice and laughing hysterically. High on morsels of ice cream and soda. We were just waiting for the crash to come...

Photo bombing his big brother.

I had a feeling that one quick stop to the waterfall, which my oldest exclaimed was not even that cool, would not be enough for the small wild child so we hit up the zoo an hour before they closed on the way home.
And I don't know what I was thinking in giving in to their requests for hot chocolate after the little one was already buzzing from his milkshake,  but I was feeling a little wild myself, so heck with it. Sugar up baby!

 "ET phone home!"

 Yep, darting every which way. I couldn't keep up with him.

Right before this he grabbed the Gorilla's nipples and thought it was hysterical.

You can see the scheming right through the bushes.

Taking off for some more running. Still waiting for the crash....

#2 joined in on the action. They ran over to some vending machines and spent five minutes pushing random buttons and laughing insanely.

Needless to say, the crash did not happen. He did not fall asleep in the car or even in the last few hours before bed while we chilled on the couch and watched a movie. He did, however, sleep all night in his bed that night and woke up talking all about root beer floats and hot chocolate the next morning.

We love weekends!