Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Recap

After getting off to a rough start, our week started looking up on Thursday evening at the Cubs game.  Jackson was over his stomach bug and so happy to be able to be back at school and not have to miss his game.

The boys were ready to play the Pirates...

and the girls were there to cheer for them!  (In all actuality, the girls just hung out and ran around, but it's still cute that they wore their Cubs gear!  Maybe one day they'll watch the games.)  They didn't have their best game and ended up with their first tie of the season.  Next up, the Angry Birds!

They took team pictures before the game started on Saturday morning.  Such a fun little group of kids.  They've played together for a long time and this was their last game of the season.
Maddie played the whole first half and did a great job!

She threw the ball in really well a few times...

played good defense...

and was aggressive, too!

Go Maddie, go!

She's got lots of fans, too:)

Lila gave her a big hug...

and then it was tunnel time!  Way to go, Maddie Mae.  We love watching you play!

A few hours later, all of us were at the ball fields again, cheering for the Cubs.  This time they came out swinging and soon enough J man was on 3rd base, ready to run home.

He crossed home plate pretty easily--no need to slide this time!

After another good hit, #32 was back on 3rd base again.

He waited for his teammate to hit the ball and then ran home to score.  Who hoo!!

The Cubs got another big win: 17 - 1.  They played really well and are ready for two more games this week.

Jackson is always happy to see his fans at the game.  His Uncle Scott even drove all the way from Irving to come see him play.  What a lucky little guy.

On Sunday, the fun did not stop coming.  First, we met our friends at church.  Then, we were off to Caleb's birthday party.  We knew it would be pretty elaborate, but really had no idea what to expect.  There was this cool Army bounce house with a basketball goal inside, which is where J spent most of his time.  It might have been understandable, except there was so much else to see and do.

They brought in this fun helicopter, for goodness sake!

And had not one, but two bounce houses--one of which was a seriously long obstacle course!

There was also a DJ, who led the kids in the limbo and even let them to karaoke, too.

Before lunch, J did the obstacle course a few times...

and worked up a good appetite.  The kids were served hot dogs and mac and cheese, while the adults dined on catered Dickey's BBQ.  It was delicious!

After lunch, we went to check out this monster of a cake.  It was really lots of cakes and took up a few tables!  Ships, an airplane, trees, a tank...it was the whole army scene.  Amazing!

Then the kids got to pretend they were driving this army jeep...

and Jackson even got to climb inside a real Army tank!  Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you.  They had a tank at the birthday party.  Unreal!

Jackson and Tucker played inside the tank for a little while, then it was back to bouncing basketball. 

After the party, we went over to a cookout at Memaw and Poppi's house.  We just had the best evening playing and having dinner outside.  It really was a great day.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

This parenting stuff is not for wimps!

This past Sunday we were having a tough time with our oldest.  He was flat out lying to both me and his daddy and we just couldn't let it go.  It felt like we were interrogating a suspect, but after 45 minutes he finally came clean.  And it wasn't even that bad of an act to cop to, either!   But somehow he forgot that I had witnessed him reaching out, grabbing Lila's leg and holding on until she faceplanted on the carpet.  When he got in trouble for it and I asked him why he did that, he immediately started coming up with all kinds of different stories...none of which were the truth.  And boy, oh boy, that was not the right thing to do.  If he had simply said, "Yeah, that was pretty mean of me...I'm sorry, Lila," it would have been the end of it.  But he just wouldn't admit to doing it, so we had to teach him that honesty truly is the best policy!  All of this banter on Sunday morning ended up almost making us late for church, but I'm so glad we made it.  The topic was Maximizing Relationships with your Kids--perfect!  God knew exactly what we needed to hear.


Even this precious boy can make bad choices sometimes:)

The sermon started off with The Parent Rap.  Genius.  Any sermon that begins with that type of comedy has got our full attention, no doubt!  In case you haven't seen it before, here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_NspDWssIY.  Please watch this short video.  It's well worth your time and will make you smile!

The Pastor began by quoting Proverbs 22:6 which says, "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

He then pointed out that even though parenthood brings some of our greatest joys, it can also feel like a never-ending journey.  He said, "the days are really long, but the years are short."  So very true!  Sometimes it's all I can do just to make it through the day, but then we get to Lila's or Jackson's birthday and I wonder, where did the last year go?  Seems like their birthdays are coming faster and faster.  Jackson (my baby!) is about to finish Kindergarten. Good grief!  The truth is that our time with our kids is fleeting and our influence over them is fading.  Tear.  Sad, but true.   

So, what can we do to maximize this precious relationship that we have with them? 

1.  Seek to know your kids
     The pace of your life will determine the quality of your parenting.  I felt like he was speaking directly to me.  I feel like all I do is run, run, run some days and when it's all said and done, the truth is that my kids get less quality time with me.  Even though I may be doing things FOR them, I haven't been doing enough WITH them.  This week I've really tried to have more quality time with them--we've played board games, colored, done play-doh, etc.  And I've put my cell phone out of sight.  They deserve to fill like they are #1 in my life.

     He said that parents need to stop and ask their kids real questions.  How are you?  How can I pray for you?  Genuinely make an effort to know what is going on in their lives.  I think we'd all be amazed at how much goes on in their heads if we just slowed down and took the time to ask.  I'm going to work on this, too, and am looking forward to getting to know my kids even better.

2.  Teach
     Faith is more caught than taught.  What does that mean?  Well, it basically means that reading the bible with our kids is good, and so is taking them to church.  But, they will learn so much more by watching what we do.  His example was of a dad who always did his daily devotional alone, in his study.  One day he decided to move it into the kitchen so that his kids could see him reading his bible every day.  Such a small move, but I bet it had a huge impact on his kids.  Our kids are watching everything that we do and our actions speak louder than anything we ever say.  Yes mom, yet another thing you were right about!

3.  Expand their influences
     The pastor said that kids who have adults in their lives that model Godly behavior, are much more likely to follow God once they leave home.  This means it's so important for our kids to have other influential people in their lives who pass on their faith--it could be grandparents, sunday school teachers, coaches.  These adults have the chance to make a huge impact on the kids they are around.  We should strive to surround our kids with more people like this.  I am so thankful that both of my kids got to attend a christian pre-school, but a little sad that they don't get any of that in public school. 

4.  Pray for them
     "God, you gave them to me, and they belong to you."  So simple and so true.  We need God and our kids do, too.  Our pastor reminded us how important it is to remember to be loving, gracious and merciful to our kids, just as God is to us. I should print that last part out and post it on my fridge!  I will try my best every day to be loving, gracious and merciful to my kids.  Even when they trip their little sister and then lie about it:)

Parenting is a learning experience for everyone.  I am a work in progress, but hopefully I am learning more and more each day and giving my kids the best I can.  That's all I can ask for. 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Camp In

Jackson got this really cool tent from Memaw and Poppi for Christmas.  We've yet to set it up in the backyard, but this past weekend decided that we didn't have to wait for perfect weather--we could just let the kids have a Camp In!

It didn't take Daddo long to put up this big tent in the playroom.  The kids were so excited!

We put down all of the comforters and then more blankets to make it softer and then found their softest blankets to snuggle with for the night. 

After a few tickle attacks from Dad, it was lights out.  If only it were that simple!  Even though Lila said she was all about sleeping in the tent, what she really meant was that she wanted me in there, too.  So, I sat in the tent, holding her hand at first, but finally snuggling in between her and Maddie.  The kids were exhausted from a fun night of baseball, followed by some friends hanging out at our house afterwards, that I was sure they would all fall asleep as soon as their eyes closed.  Not so fast!  First, the nightlight was too bright for J's liking, so I hopped up and took it out of the wall.  Then, it was too hot, so I had to unzip the tent, crawl out, and go turn on the fan.  Then, J needed some water, so he got out to get himself a drink.  For some strange reason he brought it back into the tent and Madison knocked it over, getting some of his bedding a little wet.  I was beginning to think this was going to be a total failure of an idea.  After we got everything dry, though, and Lila finally got still, all was quiet.  It only took 45 minutes! The best part is that all 3 kids actually slept in the tent the entire night.  AMAZING!  Why can't Lila do that in her own bed??! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Look at them grow!

Since the girls' birthdays are so close we just did their check-ups together this year.  They were so happy to go see Dr. Betty and tell her all of the things they know.

Madison brought one of the twins along to the doctor's office.  She said two was too many to handle, so she had to leave the brother at home! 

They both weighed on the big scale and got their height measured, too.

Lila is slowing down a little bit, but she's still on the tall end.
She was 31 lbs (50%) and 38 inches (75%).

They both had their blood pressure taken and even though they were pretty different, the nurse said they were still in the acceptable range.  Lila's was 93/67 and Maddie was 109/50.  She said Maddie's top number was probably high because she had so many ants in her pants that morning!  Thank goodness she was able to sit still long enough to do the hearing test, which she passed with flying colors.  Madison then moved on to the vision test and did perfect on that as well.  Next year Lila Lou will get to do both of those cool tests.

Lila told Dr. Betty her full name, how old she is and when her birthday is, too.  Dr. Betty was very impressed with how clearly she speaks and the long sentences and big words she uses.  She identified all of the colors correctly, as well as all of the shapes.  She was able to draw a circle, but didn't quite get the triangle or square.  She can write "Lil" and just needs the "a" to complete her first name.  She knows her ABC's perfectly and can tell you the sounds of them, too.  (Although I'd like to think I'm responsible for that, I credit LeapFrog for that knowledge! We do read lots of ABC books, though, so maybe I'm selling myself short a little bit.)  She can count to 12, then starts counting by twos until she gets to 20.  Lila told the doctor that she lives in Murphy, Texas, but she doesn't know her address or phone number yet. 

What does 3 year old "Big Girl" Lila like to do?

She loves to dance, sing, play with Barbies and baby dolls.  She loves the games Mother May I? and Hide-and-go-seek.  She loves to change Barbie's clothes and really likes to set up weddings for all of them to attend.  She can dress herself and still likes for me to do her hair.  She's a girly girl for sure, and will put on some lipgloss and paint her nails if given the chance!   I love it:)

She loves all of the princesses, but her favorites are Sleeping Beauty and Ariel.  She had a blast seeing them at Disney On Ice.  She likes movies, too, especially The Little Rascals, Rio, Finding Nemo and Ernest Goes to Camp.  She can do a mean Ernest impersonation and even imitates the goofy chef from the movie, too.  It's so funny!

Her favorite cartoons are Jake and the Neverland Pirates, the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Dora.

Lila goes to school twice a week and has fun there every time, although she might not always want me to leave!  She just got a new teacher and I'm so excited about all the neat things she's going to get to do with her.  She loves going to gym with Miss Angie, where she runs laps and plays games, and always comes home with a stamp on her hand when she's been to library.  She tells me the stamp is for "being a good student." Love it.

She has been potty trained for about 6 months now and is almost ready to start wearing panties to sleep in at night, too.  Where did my baby go?!

She loves jumping on the trampoline and practicing her toe touches and seat drops.  She likes riding her new bike and is doing really well on it.  We've yet to have an accident--yay!  She likes kicking the soccer ball with her brother and never complains a bit about going to all of his baseball and soccer and basketball practices.  She's one of his biggest fans!

She likes reading books to me that she knows by heart, especially her Take-a-long Bible.  She prays every night before dinner and again before she goes to sleep.  She really does have a kind and sweet heart and is always thinking about others who are not feeling well.  We found out about a baby who has been very sick in ICU and she has been praying for her every night, unprompted, ever since.  She even asked me if we could get her a baby present and picked out a lovie and snuggly socks that we sent to the hospital. 

Lila's still a mama's girl, but she loves rough-housing with her daddy and giving her brother hugs, too.  She always has such a good time with all of her grandparents and she and Madison are the best of friends.  Her friends at school are B, Calley, Tanishkha and Brooklyn.  Outside of school she loves to hang with Cowen, Sawyer, Chloe and Carter, and the Pointer sisters.

She's a good eater and is one of the only 3 year olds I know that likes salad.  If I order one at a restaurant, she will ask, "where's my salad?" so I've just started ordering her one, too!  She loves her some Mexican food, and queso and guacamole top that list.  She still drinks milk or OJ for breakfast, likes all breakfast foods including cheesy eggs, cereal, oatmeal, cinnamon rolls, waffles, poptarts, etc.  She's a lot like me in her extreme love for breakfast.  She has a sandwich, chips and yogurt for lunch, and is pretty good about eating whatever I make for dinner.  Much easier to please than her brother, for sure! 

Sleeping is an area that Lila could improve on, no doubt!  Although she has a very nice room and super comfy bed, with precious princess sheets and comforter, she much prefers to sleep on a palette in our bedroom.  This can last all night, altough most of the time she ends up in our bed by 2am or sooner.  She's a snuggler and it's tough to tell her no.  She's just so sweet about wanting to cuddle with her mama.  And ya know, if this is the only thing that I think she needs to work on, I'd say we're doing pretty good.

We love you to the moon and back, Lila Grace.  Forever and always.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week at NSLC

After a friend moved away suddenly, I agreed to take over Teacher Appreciation week at the girls' school.  I knew that it was going to be a fun project and was so happy to be able to give back to the teachers.  They really do such a wonderful job with all of the kids and we wanted to make them feel the love.  I'm pretty sure we succeeded!  Not only did we have a theme every day, we also had so many gift cards donated by parents that we did a raffle of 5 per day.  In addition, we had three big raffle prizes for the teachers including Brighton, Ann Taylor Loft and Chick-Fil-A gift cards, so we kept the fun going!

The mom in charge of decorations did a fantastic job!  She brought in all sizes of chalk boards and filled them with cute sayings.

She made these vases out of number 2 pencils and filled the vases with sunflowers.  Love it!  We kicked off the week with Sweets and Treats.  I knew just who to call when it came to needing baked goods--my super talented sister-in-law, Lyndsie!  She baked the most precious cupcakes and the teachers LOVED them.  She did chocolate, vanilla, red velvet and lemon and they were delicious!

On Monday, the teachers got to choose a gift card from the little tree (made by another mom) and take a cupcake with them.   We also ordered pizza from Napoli's for lunch and they gave us a nice discount--bonus!

Fun decor in the teacher breakroom.

Tuesday morning the teachers were treated to breakfast and coffee.  Parent volunteers brought in coffee cake, donuts, fruit, sausage rolls and Starbucks donated coffee and hot tea thanks to parent contact!

They had quite the spread:)

Wednesday morning had such a fun theme--Mini Thanks for All You Do!

Parents donated miniature candy and I made these fun little candy bags for each teacher to have.

Chick-Fil-A donated 4 large trays of chicken minis and parents also brought in miniature cookies for the teachers to enjoy. 

Thursday we kept the fun going with even more goodies.  A parent hooked up every teacher by getting them a certificate at McDonald's that will allow them one premium coffee per month for a whole year

Another parent ordered these fun to-go cups and monogrammed them with each teacher's first initial.  Thanks, Mandy, they loved them!  Their last treat for the day was dessert catered by Marble Slab, which gave us a good discount, too.  Yay!


We ended the week today by going back to How Sweet It Is Bakeshop, aka, Mrs. Lyndsie Hays.  She made these ADORABLE green and red personalized cookies.  The apples and crayons were so very cute and they just topped off the week for sure.

We catered Jimmy John's sandwiches for lunch and they got to enjoy their cookies for dessert. I had so many teachers thank me for everything that we did for them this week.  They were so appreciative.  It was a big week, for sure, but I'm so glad that we made it special for them. 
Goodness knows, they deserve it! 







Gettin' Down with Chuck E. Cheese

Since Wednesday was Madison's actual birthday, we met her at Chuck E Cheese to celebrate after school.

These three munchkins were thrilled to have the place all to themselves, and so were Gigi and I!  Lila started off by riding this horse and did it no less than 10 times!  I think we've got a little cowgirl on our hands:) 

Then we got a real treat when Chuck E. came out to say hi to all the kids.  He even stopped for a picture with the birthday girl--how cool!

Cue the music, it's time to boogie down.  To the left, to the left, to the right, to the right...this girl was all over the dance!

When the song was over, Chuck E gave our free tickets.  So fun.

Even though J didn't dance the first time, he still gave the big mouse props for all those free tickets.

We played lots more games and were pleasantly surprised that they had added some fun new ones, too.  Right as we were about to leave, though, they started the song for all the kids to come dance with Chuck E.  Look closely...who do you see joining in this time?  That's right--Jackson Hays was cuttin' a rug!  If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I don't think I would have believed it.  Good times!

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