Saturday, November 27, 2010

Blue Friday

This weekend we repeated our new tradition of spending our Black Friday Blue Friday at the beach on the day after Thanksgiving. We were expecting freezing cold and dreary weather like we had last year, particularly because it was so cold at our house. But instead we were greeted with clear blue skies and temperate weather. 

We had a relaxing, enjoyable day just spending time with each other and exploring the beaches through a four-year old's and two-year old's eyes. It made our hearts thankful and joyful to spend the day in such a beautiful place. We hope this tradition carries on through the years and helps our boys appreciate God's awesome creation, particularly on the day after our Thanksgiving feast - the holiday which invites us to take stock of all the ways we are blessed and to be thankful to our Creator.

Tommy did a lot of this - he was content to stand and watch the ocean.

Rock climbing is always a favorite part of visiting the beach.

I love these little guys!

Me and my little buddy

Picnic lunch of our Thanksgiving leftovers 

Sleeping in the car after a long day of exploring.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Tommy has been going through some exciting changes since he turned four. One recent change is that he's been drawing people - something he's never seemed to be able to do until now. The first time he drew a person was last week. He brought the paper to me and said, "Look, Mommy, I drew this guy!" The picture  had so much detail (compared to what he usually draws) that I honestly did not believe he drew it! There were other children in the house at the time, so it was possible that another child drew it. I asked the other kids and they confirmed that Tommy was the artist of this masterpiece, which he named, "Pirate". The lines coming from the pirate's face are his beard. I forgot to ask what the wing-like things coming from his middle are supposed to be.

This morning Tommy got excited about doing another drawing. He said, "Mommy, I want to draw Jesus! I need a really really really big piece of paper, because Jesus is really big." So, I rolled out a Tommy-sized piece of our butcher paper, taped it on the floor, and handed him a crayon. This is what he came up with:

According to Tommy, "Jesus is sad because he lost his people." I assume he was referring to the story of Moses and the people of Israel who were enslaved by Pharaoh, a "very bad man" in Tommy's book. But then again, who knows what goes on in that 4-year old mind. Then he drew some people and declared, "Jesus found His people!" I asked, "Why is Jesus still sad?" After some thought, he decided he was sad because he was cold, so he drew him a coat. In case you're wondering, the appendage coming from Jesus' face is his beard.

I love this age!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mornings at Home

In the past few weeks it's been weighing heavily on my mind just how many mornings we're out of the house in a given week. There was really only one morning per week to call our own, and that become our "Stay and Play" day, our sanctuary from our normally busy mornings out of the house. Well, I've been enjoying our SAP days so much that I felt compelled to create more mornings like that. After lots of prayer and discussions with Mark about our schedule, we finally made the decision to cut something out of my schedule. It was a very hard decision, since every single activity I do has so many benefits...they all seemed so vital. In the end, it was Women's Bible Study that I decided to put a hold on. It wasn't an easy choice, since Bible study has been such an important part of my life for the past three years, and I've made so many vital relationships because of the various studies.

Having two straight days at home this week (Wednesday and Thursday) has shown has already shown me why staying home is so important to our family. One thing I realized was lacking in the boys' schedule was large blocks of time in which they could engage in free play - we had only small pockets of time that usually were interrupted by having to shuttle to an activity or prepare for some activity. With our newly free morning, they have the opportunity to play freely - making up games together, chasing each other around the house, or just playing in the mud without having to hear their mother say, "No, don't get dirty! We need to leave soon!" 

It has also provided plenty of teachable moments that normally wouldn't come up because we aren't home long enough for certain behaviors to come out. Having a few mornings at home has given me the opportunity give these behaviors the attention they need.

I hope that I am sharing with my children my contentment with being at home and teaching them to enjoy being in each other's company.

Benji "reading" to Tommy
Early morning Jeep ride
Brother chase
Watching train wheels move
Playing cars in their under-table "cave".
Decorating thank-you cards for his birthday presents (and name-writing practice)
Mud splashing!
Stuck in the mud

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tommy's 4th Birthday

We celebrated Tommy's 4th birthday on Saturday. The festivities started Friday afternoon when Mark took Tommy to the store to pick out his Happy Birthday Cereal, which was Lucky Charms. I hear that he originally picked up a box of generic brand shredded wheat squares, and Mark had to steer him over to the sugary section of cereals. We realized that it's so true that cereal box design is aimed 100% at children, because Tommy chose the brightest, most colorful box available, without even knowing what kind of cereal he was getting. So, he got to partake of his Sugar Bombs Lucky Charms on Saturday morning. (Not surprisingly, he was starving about an hour after breakfast, despite eating two bowls of cereal). 

He got to open his present after breakfast...a refurbished Power Wheels Jeep!

Taking brother out for a test drive. The Jeep goes a little slower than I imagined. We're currently figuring out how to modify it a bit. He drove it around for about an hour and went all over our property. We were very impressed with how well he drives. He actually figured out how to make a 3-point turn all by himself!

After he drove the Jeep around, Tommy and I went to the bookstore to pick out his birthday book (a Richard Scarry book) and to the coffee shop to get a hot chocolate. Then we all went to a birthday party for one of Tommy's friends who, amazingly, has the exact same birthday. After a sugar high, succeeding crash, and a nap, we celebrated our birthday boy with his grandparents, aunt & uncle and cousins with pizza and some seriously blue cupcakes.

Blue! Cupcakes
All festivities, talk of being a "big boy", and presents for Tommy left Benji wondering when his birthday was going to be. Just three more months, little man!