Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Sunny November Day & Grant Walking

Gorgeous Grace

Joyful Jadyn

Grace working on her chalk masterpiece

Jacob working on his masterpiece

Jadyn thinking about making a masterpiece

Check out the amount of chalk on the butt

Working hard AND working together - not a regular occurrence

Jacob and his masterpiece

My BIG guy, Jacob

Grace and her masterpiece

Grant starting to walk

Still trying

Ahhhh, success. Great job Grant!!

Grace - not sure what she is doing

Jacob and Jadyn "horsing" around

Saturday, November 21, 2009

David Davis Mansion

Tom came out to visit us this weekend. I am so glad to have him here! He is such a wonderful friend to us and we are so very blessed to have him in our lives. Today (Saturday) we went out to breakfast, which we always do when we are with Tom. As we were sitting at breakfast, my mind was taken back about 7 or 8 years to when just Greg, Tom and I went to breakfast (Tom was our neighbor when we lived in Milford, shortly after getting married). EVERY Saturday (I think) we all went to breakfast at Dmitri's Coney Island. Then Jacob was born and the 4 of us went. Those were very special times for us. Funny, isn't it? How breakfast could be so special. But it wasn't really the breakfast - it was the company. Being removed from "home" makes the company all the more special. All this to say, I am so thankful for Tom and so glad that we are important enough to him to warrant driving all this way to visit with us. I know I look forward to it, and so do the kids and Greg. Greg and Tom are sitting watching the U of M/Ohio State football game and even this takes me back to all the Saturday afternoons we spent with Tom when we lived in Milford. I have lived a very good life and have so many precious memories. Thank you Lord for that!!

I started this post to talk about our trip to the Davis Mansion, so I should get to that. It was a very interesting tour and a very beautiful house. I really should have lived in the 1700 or 1800's. The first room we went into was the "family room". It was where the family "hung out". Before tv and radio and video games, the family sat in this room and played cards, dominoes, checkers, charades, read aloud and/or wrote letters. It was a beautiful, comfortable room and I was so drawn to it, secretly wishing that my family could "grow up" in a place like that. I guess that is up to me to create. Anyway, the rest of the house was really neat to look through. I was VERY nervous that Jadyn would knock something priceless over, as her hands like to touch everything, especially those things she should not touch. Thankfully, she did a great job of keeping to herself! YAY Jadyn! Before we went into the house, we had to sit in the barn and watch an historical video. The video talked about the Davis family and how they were friends to President Lincoln. There were also Lincoln posters hung all over that children had made. While watching the video, Jacob turned to to and asked, "Did you vote for Lincoln?" I started cracking up, but tried to maintain my composure so I would not deter him from asking me questions like that in the future. I explained to him that I was not alive when Lincoln was president. I guess I did not explain it completely enough because his next question was "Did Grandpa vote for him?" Ummmmm, still not alive then. It was so funny. I love how the mind of a child works. So simple, so pure.

So tomorrow is church and I hope we all will be mightily blessed. I am so excited about this new church. After church, Tom is making his famous chicken wings. Greg has been talking about then for days. so the boys are cooking and then I believe it will be football of some kind. Maybe I'll take a nap. I am just glad to not have to make the meal.

Jacob, Grace and Jadyn in front of the "potty house", on the back side of the David Davis Mansion

Greg and Grant in the "barn", where we watched the movie

Jacob, Grace, Jadyn and Tom watching the movie

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Totally Brainless Day

The other day I had a very "brainless" day. Jadyn, Grant and I were leaving to go to Sam's and I noticed that the garbage men had come, so I turned around to put the cans away. I pulled back into the driveway, got out, put the cans away and got back in the van. I went to put the van in reverse and noticed that I had left the van in drive! Oh my word - if it would have moved even an inch, it would have ended up INSIDE the house! Praise the Lord the van did not move.

Later in the day, I was getting ready to go get Jacob and Grace from the bus. Just before I left, Grant woke up, so I had to take him with me. Oh yeah.....IT WAS POURING, not just a little rain, but a heavy downpour. So I drove to the bus stop and for whatever reason (oh yeah, I was late) I had Grant in the front passenger seat. I turned on a dvd and was watching it with Grant until the bus came. I figured he was watching the movie and would just stay in his seat. Nope. Didn't happen that way. The bus came, I got out with the umbrella and went to get the kids. As I was at the bus, I looked back at Grant and saw him standing up. I was willing him to sit back down but could not go back as the kids were getting off the bus. So when we got back to the van, I was not surprised to find out that Grant had locked the door. I panicked for a second and then thought, I can just run home and get the other keys. So I had to leave Jacob and Grace at the van WITH THE UMBRELLA. By the time I got home I was drenched, but I got the keys and ran back - even wetter now. I tried to unlock the van but then realized that with the van running you cannot unlock the doors without an actual key. My van does not really have a key, it is just a key faub thing. Now I was freaking out. I was thinking, I am going to have to punch the window in (clearly not thinking straight). Then it dawned on me - there was an emergency key built into the key faub. Good thing I was paying attention when the guy gave us the keys when we got our new van. I was able to unlock the van and free Grant (and free my own mind).

God is good....all the time. Thank goodness He is always paying attention, especially when I am not.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A New Church Home

At last - we have found a home! Since moving to Bloomington, Illinois, we have been searching for a church home. We were going to a church and had gotten pretty plugged in (at least some of us). I was in a Bible study, had attended a ladies retreat, was asked to help with another ladies program, the kids were in choir and really liked the Sunday morning program. Despite all that, Greg and I did not feel comfortable there. Now I am not saying that church is to be a comfortable place, but I do feel like there needs to at least be a welcoming feel there to draw people in. I am not saying that the first church did not have this - they did, but we just did not "feel" that we belonged there. I decided to pray about it, telling God (what He already knew) that I needed to REALLY know. From the first time we entered the new church, I felt at "home". I cannot explain what or why, I just "knew". Each time we have gone there since, the "feelings" have become stronger. Today, after walking out of church, I said to Greg - this is it, this is home. He felt the same way, although I think he felt it before today. The people (and people of all ages - old, young and in the middle) were so welcoming and each time we went back the welcoming continued. It was not a one time thing. This is what I was looking for - a smaller church where people of all ages come together to praise the Lord and grow together, from each other. What is even funny about it is that we go to the "contemporary" service (or EPIC as they call it), and I love to see the older people (and I do mean older) dancing around, arms raised, praising the Lord to what amounts to rock worship music. The pastor there really is led by the Lord to adapt the service to the prompting of the Holy Spirit - which was shown in the service today. This church is not that same Nazarene church I grew up in - yes some is still the same - but much of it is different, and I am happy to call this place home. Thank you Jesus!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Service Project

This morning I went for a walk. While I was walking down my street, I found myself thinking, it would sure be embarrassing if I had toilet paper hanging out the back of my pants. Why? Who knows? But as I turned the corner, I notice a house that had been severely toilet papered. I was so disgusted by this senseless high school prank. I was thinking back to when I had to clean up TP mess from someone who TP'd a friends house and to the time when a kid I went to high school with dropped the transmission in his dad's Taurus while sitting at the end of our driveway, waiting to TP my house. So I hustled back home as fast as I could go and told my family we were going to do a "service project". I explained what had happened and told them we were going to help pick it up. So we grabbed jackets and garbage bags and headed down there. The people who lived there were already out picking up, but seemed glad to have help (since their high school aged kids were still in the house sleeping - never in my household), but I digressed. My kids were eager to get out and get the TP picked up, much to my surprise! They hustled and picked up 4 garbage bags full of TP and plastic forks. The adults in the group kept mentioning what a waste of money this was. The man whose house it was mentioned that they had a birthday party tomorrow and they should just keep and wash the forks for the party. Glad I am not going to that party. Really, they were all thrown away. The work was done really quickly and my kids seemed so proud of all they had accomplished, especially helping other people. Here I thought I was going to teach a lesson and as we got in the car Grace said to me, "Mom, it was really nice to help those people. They would have had a lot of work to do if we would not have helped." Smart kid. I told them all (even Jadyn really got into it) how proud I was of them for going to help people they did not know and for not expecting anything in return. Just the nice feeling of helping someone. What a great morning!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stinky Boy

I asked Jacob if he used soap when he showered tonight. He said "You didn't tell me I needed to use soap". Really? That wasn't something I figured I HAD to tell you, when you were taking a SHOWER!!! Kinda what shower means - USE SOAP!!! Stinky boy. I sure do love him, though.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Goodnight Song

Every night I sing a song to my kids. It goes like this:

Goodnight Jacob, (or Grace or Jadyn or Grant)
Goodnight Jacob,
Goodnight Jacob,
It's time to say goodnight.

Momma loves you,
Momma loves you,
Momma loves you
It's time to say goodnight.

And they love it (so do I)! The girls like to sing along with me and the boys like to be sung to.

Tonight Greg put Grant to bed and as soon as he hit the crib he was crying. I was trying to get the girls ready for bed. I went to the boy's room and told Greg that he needs to be sung to. So I took him out and as soon as I started singing, he relaxed in my arms and started leaning his head towards his crib. It is as though he knows when the song comes it is time for bed.

Later, I was laying in bed with Jacob and he was talking away (like he has been a lot recently - love it too!). Finally I told him he had to go to sleep. He rolled over, lay there for a minute or so, then said (almost sadly) "You didn't sing to me." Oh, that made me sad and happy. Sad that I had not done it and so happy that he looks forward to it every night.

What an absolutely special treasure this song is to my kids and me!!! What's neat about it is that it just happened. I just started singing and this is what came out. I'm not sure if it is a real song that I may have heard somewhere or not, but I know it was placed in my heart by God.

The other thing was....before all my kids went to bed I prayed with them collectively. After I sang to Jacob tonight, I was trying to leave his room (to spend a few minutes with Greg) and Jacob said "Pray with me". Just that simply. How my heart was filled with joy. He wanted his own prayer - Jacob's prayer, about Jacob. I don't care what he wanted to pray about - it was the fact that he wanted me to go to the Lord WITH him.

All praise to my Lord Jesus!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bedtime with Jacob

Tonight was exhilarating! I was laying in bed with Jacob, and was so tired and wanted to go to sleep, but I knew I had 3 loads of laundry to fold. So I sang to Jacob, rubbed his back and told him I was going to go do my work. He said "do it tomorrow, lay with me and talk to me", and I thought "yeah, the laundry will be there tomorrow, Jacob will not always want me to lay in bed with him with his arms around my head". So I stayed and he asked me if I knew Arthur Lapel (?) - I said no. He told me that he was the author and illustrator of the book he read today and that this man also wrote the Frog and Toad books. It was just an amazing time. Thing is, we do it every night. It was just that tonight I really appreciated what was going on. As I lay there looking at Jacob, I was amazed at how much he looks like Scott did at 7. It was almost eerie. I even asked him what his name was, he thought I was weird. Great night though.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Recent Activities

This morning for church I put both girls hair in hot rollers. This is the outcome.

Jadyn is such an interesting bird. Yesterday we were all at the park and we happened to lose Grant's cup. Greg started walking around looking for it and told me to drive around and pick him up. So I started to drive around and Jadyn was yelling at me, telling me not to leave her daddy. "I will get out of my seat and punch you in the face!" Whoa - who is this kid? And where did she learn to talk like such a mean brute? Everyday at naptime she asks me to "squeeze her guts out".

Grant is almost walking. For the last couple of days he has been trying to go back and forth between Grace and I. He is almost there. I think he will be walking by Thanksgiving. What a thanksgiving blessing that would be! Grant has been knocking himself around a bit lately. This morning he pulled the vacuum on his face (the blood mark), last night he fell into the coffee table (the black eye) and a couple days ago he banged into something I cannot remember (the bruise on the forehead).

Grace and Jacob have been working hard in art. Here are some of their creations:

Grace's Self Portrait

Jacob's Interpretation of the Music

Jacob has been teaching Grant some new tricks (see below pictures) - maybe this is where the mystery bruise came from?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Halloween 2009

Halloween 2009 was spent in Bloomington, Illinois. It was about 50 degrees and very windy. Grandpa and Grandma Boss were here visiting. Grandpa stayed home and Grandma drove the van alongside us and eventually (actually near the beginning) had Grant on her lap and Dad trick-or-treated for Grant (as if we needed the candy). All in all a fun night.

The timid group getting ready to go.

The bunch (minus Grant who was screeching from the car because he wanted to be there) under the scary blow-up thing.

Just a cute little "Tigger"

In action

Checking out the loot. Notice who is sitting on the top of the pile.


Just reading a magazine, relaxing after a bath

Grandpa teaching Grant how to drink from a gallon jug - a necessary ability

Jacob teaching Grant how to do some stunts

Grant practicing what he has learned

Some more practice

Some more instruction

A very tired little boy

The Babysitter

Last night was Greg and my 10th anniversary. Needless to say, we were not on the cruise that we planned to go on 10 years ago. But we did go out to dinner. We did encounter a new experience though. Last night was the first night since we have had kids that we left them with a babysitter. Samantha is a sophomore at ISU studying elementary education and I met her working in the nursery at church. She seemed nice and OK, so we ventured out. I was a nervous wreck almost the whole time. I called my mom on the way to dinner and asked her to pray for my kids. She said she would and that she would pray for me too. Samantha arrived on time, so Greg was comfortable. So we went to dinner at Biaggi's (yum) and because we had no kids to care for, we were done within an hour. I was ready to go home, but Greg said we could not just go home after an hour - he said we had to be gone at least 2, preferably 2.5 hours. So guess where we went? The library. How fitting since we met at the "library" 13 years ago. So we checked out some books and dvds, then went home. Praise the Lord - my kids were alive! Ok, I knew they would be, but I survived the night and my kids loved Samantha!!!! Good news for me. When Greg was driving home from work, he was talking to a friend who told him that he would want to go home right after dinner and when Greg asked why, his friend reminded him that he would be PAYING for the babysitter and wouldn't want to spend all that money.

As I was putting the girls to bed they were telling me about Samantha. What they did, what she talked to them about, etc. Grace was asking me about college (because Samantha is in college). I told her that when you are in college you live at the school, away from home, unless you go to community college. Terror struck her face when I said that. She immediately said that she wanted to go to the one where you stayed at home. She DID NOT want to live at school, away from home. I told her that was fine, but that the time may someday come when she will not want to be at home anymore. In fact, it will come. And I told her that this too was OK. She is certainly my little homebody. She never wants to do anything away from home. I never knew I was so interesting.