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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Spring Dinner 2008

Last night was the annual Spring Dinner at the church where I attend MOPS. I was going to hostess a table, but they ended up with too many tables. So I ended up not setting a table, just attending and enjoying for fun. I did a mini-table here at home to show what I was going to do. I'll use it for next year.

God Bless Cheryl who found her Christmas dishes for me to use (in the midst of renovating her kitchen). So mine is the Christmas close up without all the decoration. I was going to set out a childlike nativity (which is why I used a coloring page for my Bible verse).

The other photos are of some of the amazing tables we saw. Wish I had pictures of every table for you. There were 87 different tables. Pay attention to the white birdcage table with the live chicks in the cage. There is also a table with seashell paintings. They had live goldfish at each person's spot. If you look closely in the photo, you'll see it.


I was trying to load the slideshow directly into this blog, but it isn't quite working out for me. Click here to see the pictures of the tables.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Many Outfits of Rebekah (aka Lemonade)

I always knew it took a village to raise a child. However, I didn't know that it takes an overflowing closet of clothes to raise a girl-child. I thought my boys were clothes horses. HA! Doesn't hold a candle to the girly-girl with the strong opinion.

Most days, we stand before Rebekah's closet and dresser so Mademoiselle can pick the outfit of the day. I may try to influence the selection, but I ultimately have no real say in the matter. Sometimes, I have to put my foot down if she wants to wear a fleece outfit with 27 layers on an 85 degree day.

Some of our recent picks are shown below. I found the "Tiaras Make You Taller" shirt last year. She's now grown into it. Then she took such cute photos at Burger King in her crown. Lettuce from Dad & Mom's sandwiches is so YUMMY!!






The "Lemonade" outfit is one Tia (aunt) Renee found around the time Rebekah was born. She held onto it until Christmas so we could wear it this spring and summer. When I was pregnant, everyone would ask the boys what they wanted to name their sister. Nathan chose Lemonade. (nope--not kidding) We kept telling him we would pick our own name, but we liked his input. He started telling everyone, "I don't know what Mommy & Daddy will name my baby sister--but I'm going to call her Lemonade." I slowly purchased all the lemonade clothes I could find in many sizes. She's truly our Lemonade.






I'll try to get the cute puppy clothes (woof) posted later.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sock Hop

School is having "Support Staff Appreciation" this week. Since our support staff "rocks", the school celebrated by having a 50's day with a Sock Hop at the end of the day.

Forgetting that Nathan sometimes needs special attention and explanations, we didn't think to tell him all about a Sock Hop. We knew what it was so go and have fun. He had a REALLY rough morning and didn't want to go to school. He thought this would be something like the talent show where you have to perform a certain act in front of the whole school and he was not prepared. He was beyond explaining to this morning so we told him to behave and tell his teacher (without crying) that he just wanted to watch and not dance. Sean happened to see his para (God bless the support staff) and told her what was up. She took him around by his brother to sit and watch. Once he saw what goes on, he decided to get up and dance.

We got a Happy Gram letting us know that he danced and danced and danced. He was having so much fun he didn't want to stop. Everyone is very proud of him for keeping his emotions in control today and trying a new experience out.


Andrew wanted to put gel in his hair and have a flip. Sean decided he needed a tattoo so they used Sharpies on him to create a heart with MOM on it. Andrew said once the kids saw his 'tattoo', they all started trying to do their own during art class. He's a real trendsetter.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trophy Festival

Andrew participated in the AAA Trophy Festival last weekend. Good news at this festival is everyone gets a trophy. You get either an A, an AA or an AAA. The triple A is the highest level.

Andrew did really well. He gave me permission to go in and listen while he played. We were at a church and he played in the sanctuary on the 8-9 foot concert grand piano. What a beautiful piano and its sound was something else. I was so impressed by his use of dynamics (the loud and soft of it) and his steady tempo (the beat). He did everything his teacher has been hounding him about.

Apparently, the judge agreed with me. Before he played, she asked him if he likes to play the piano and he gave her a very firm YES! When he was done and she gave him his slip with his score, she told him, "Whatever you do--DON'T quit playing." He got a Triple A and a new trophy for the mostly full shelves. As we were leaving, she whispered to me, "He did fantastic." Thank you, I agree!


Congratulations, Andrew!
All the hard work and practice really does pay off!!

Now we have to keep going strong for two more weeks on these pieces until the district music festival. If he receives a superior rating on his performance AND gets an A on the theory test, he will be invited to the State Music Festival again this fall. We're studying the theory. The practice test this weekend pointed out some weak points that need refreshing in our memory. The Trophy Fest theory test is about a 10 minute affair. Andrew managed to get the practice District Test done in 35 minutes. We plan 45 minutes to 1 hour. Yes, it's THAT difficult.

I've been shot---umm---Tagged!

I was tagged by Cheryl St.John. She's my good friend who is a published author. I think she's closing in on 30 published books. Check out her blog--she's a hoot! We have lots of fun together because she has such a wonderful outlook on life and a deep faith that I admire.

God bless her, but she did the last tag I sent her way, so I feel obligated to return the favor.

Here are the rules:
a. Link to the person who tagged you.
b. Post the rules on your blog.
c. Write six random things about yourself.
d. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
e. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
f. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Six random facts about me:
1. I'm part Lebanese (meaning decendants of the country of Lebanon). And for those of you who haven't seen the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, might I suggest renting it and calling me up. We laughed so hard at this movie that could have been called My Big Fat Lebanese Life!!! I can put names to many of the interesting relatives in the movie.
2. I have a 'thing' about covers. I don't care how hot it is, I really need a blanket to sleep. Usually, I'm too warm when sleeping, but can't live without the blanket. (My theory is my super-cold mother probably never let me sleep without a blanket on. And I am doing my best to train my kids in the same manner. LOL!)
3. My favorite food used to be steak. However, it has changed a bit and now it's Chicken & Dumplings. BTW--that's a tough dish to find in the midwest. Anybody know of a good home cooking place around here??
4. Sean and I met the first day of college. I sat by him in the dining hall because he looked 'safe'. Guess that worked out for me, huh? Oh, just to set the record straight, I wasn't interested in "Just Friends Sean" in a romantic sense. He will tell you that he chased me until I caught him.
5. In High School, my friends and I started our own little group called A.M.A.L.S. I'd tell you what it means, but this blog is rated PG and I'd have to toss in a bad word. Suffice it to say, this was after we'd all been dealt crushing blows by our ex-boyfriends---sort of a, um, well--therapy group specializing in paper products from the bathroom.
6. I had the coolest thing as a kid. It was called a Zoom-cycle. Sort of a plastic motorcycle looking thing for pre-schoolers. We lived at the bottom of a hill on the corner. So I'd go up the hill, pump the handlebars (it revved the motor sound up and gave you a little more speed) and take off down the hill as fast as I could. I'd pump the handles for more speed all the way down the hill. Just when you thought I'd go into the street, hit the stop sign or hit the fire hydrant, I'd throw my weight to round the corner. I'd stop pumping the handles then and keep my feet off the ground to see how far I could get. I believe three houses was my record. Yes, my mother has many grey hairs from these escapdes.

The six lucky ducklings that I'm tagging are:
Sherilyn (because she tagged me last time)

Jennifer (because she tagged Sherilyn who tagged me last time--yes, it's a theme park)

Ann Marie (because I want everyone to go to her blog and keep praying for Coy)

Brenda (because I want her to update her blog with a new post)

Holly's Cakes (because Holly was kind to do my last tag--I don't really think she wants to or will do this one, but I want everyone to check out her cake blog and see the wonderful creations!!! I really, truly love---all of them---but the preggo woman cracks me up.)

Bored Penguin (I don't even personally know Bored Penguin--who might be Todd, but through a comment on Cheryl's blog, I found Bored Penguin's blog. This will make you put a smile on your face. I urge you to read from the bottom up--go back to the first post and follow his trip to China. I promise you will enjoy it!)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cub of the Week

We are so thrilled to have yet ANOTHER Cub of the Week at our house. Nathan was given the Cub of the Week award today. The Character Trait for the month is Trustworthiness and it is symbolized by the color blue. His blue tag says "Trustworthy" on it.

We had the necklace and added the new tag, but when he took it off 'somewhere in this house', we can't find that special somewhere. Not sure if Rebekah took off with it or if Nathan put it in an obscure location.

As soon as we find it, I'll post a photo of Nathan with his new tag. For now, here's my cute Nathan man. Nathan man, have I told you today how much Mommy loves you?!?!?!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's Tax Day

In case you haven't seen the newest IRS EZ-File form, I've put a copy of it here. You'll need to get it postmarked TODAY!


Monday, April 14, 2008

Pizza Girl

If a picture says one-thousand words, I've got a novel started here. Rebekah, the pizza girl, does not choose to eat pizza in the socially accepted manner. She doesn't even eat it crust first as Pizza Hut advertises to us.
Rebekah chooses to turn the pizza up and down with the toppings facing her. She then eats from the toppings down--thereby creating a giant mess on her face. Eventually, she eats a hole straight through the pizza and eventually widens the hole to eat almost the whole thing.

The Beauty Mark under her eye is really pizza sauce. If you click on any of the photos, they will enlarge so you can see the crumbs, sauce, etc. all over her face.












Friday, April 11, 2008

Chocolate Yum!


Yesterday, I bribed the boys. They really want to go to the Air & Space Museum, but I don't want to go without daddy to help me out. I knew we'd go today and it was supposed to snow this morning. (It did--nothing stuck, but how disgusting in SPRING!) I knew driving a half hour in snow wouldn't make mommy any happier about going.


I told them if we could go later this month with dad, we'd have "Craft Time" yesterday while Rebekah napped. We made super bouncy balls and Nathan made window clings with his Crayola FX kit. They had a great time.


While they worked, I tried out a new recipe that came in the free Kraft magazine everyone gets. They had a recipe called Double Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake. I just had to give it a try. Oh my, it's so yummy I could eat the whole thing!

Here's their photo and mine. Mine may not be quite as pretty, but I thought I did a pretty good job.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Milestone Achieved

Rebekah has achieved a new milestone this week. I started at nap time last Friday putting her in her crib awake and then I sat in the doorway and read until she went to sleep. Sean camped out Friday night in the hall with Nathan's flashlight/lantern he got for his birthday (thanks Tyler) for an HOUR until she fell asleep.

I know you may wonder why we had to go through this. Sum it up to bad parenting--but we knew we were being bad parents at the time. We knew it was our last baby and she would always fall asleep on us. It's so comforting to snuggle a warm little person and just hold them while they sleep, therefore we never broke ourselves.

Lately, Rebekah has been a pill at bedtime and can't get comfortable on us. We knew it was time and with some days off school, knew if she screamed all night that the boys could sleep in.

Funny thing happened on the way to the "Cry it out" method. She just laid down after nap/bedtime on Friday and hardly even fusses. We insist she takes two of her babies (can be dolls or stuffed animals) to bed with her and we put one on either side. She now has a water cup in her bed (like big brothers do) so that's a hot item. With a baby on each side, she MUST lay down so the babies can be covered by her blanket. She's such a good mommy to her babies and doesn't want them to be cold so she'll lay down and make sure they have covers. We leave and that's usually the end of it. Sometimes a Mommy or Daddy tossed out--but we just tell her, "Goodnight, Rebekah," and won't go back in the room.

Here's a picture of my successful sleeper. What a big girl!

Zoo Fun



I took all three kiddos to the zoo yesterday. We had a lot of fun. It started off VERY cold (just barely above freezing) when we arrived. But by the time we left, the sun was out, it was getting HOT (well, for here it was warm) and we had to ditch our coats because we were sweating. I think it finally hit 45 degrees.

We saw some things we don't normally go to. Did the Dome, the Cat House (tee hee), Nursery and the pavilion with the bugs and classrooms. The kids voted for the pavilion---Andrew loves the thing where you whisper from across the room and you can hear it. Nathan loves the Jeep and Rebekah loves to sit in the Jeep and tell everyone "MINE".

We left the zoo after only a couple hours so we could go to Godfather's Buffet for lunch. We talked the manager into giving us some "Monkey Bread" which isn't normally on the buffet. They made a small pan for me & the kids. To prove how much we love Monkey Bread, we were able to eat the entire pan before we left. I think we could have seriously damaged another pan if opportunity would have presented itself.


Above Andrew poses in front of some large cat. The Jaguar looks at Rebekah like she might be lunch.
We had a fantastic time--but the zoo exhausts mom beyond words. I found it to be an exhausting experience BEFORE we had kids. With kids in tow, I can't take it very long before I'm done. Then we usually rush home so mom can get a nap. She really needs one after the zoo.
Below is Nathan having a face off with a Lion. Good thing glass separates the two of them.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Five for Seven!


Thrilled to report the five of us have been healthy with no signs of illness for seven CONSECUTIVE days. This is the longest consecutive stretch we've had since Christmas Eve. Praise the Lord!!!


Can't tell you how thrilled I am to have everyone healthy! To tell you that it's been a long few months for Dr. Mom is the understatement of the year.
I feel the need to shout--THANK YOU LORD FOR HEALTH AND HEALING!!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Nathan's Photo Creations


Ah ha--if you want to find out something about your computer, ask the 10 year old. He showed me in 10 seconds where Nathan's pictures are hiding at.

Nathan uses the Disney Pix software to merge backgrounds and the 'stamp' feature to stamp what he wants into the background. He chooses not to mess with actual photos.

Here are a few of his creations:


















Finally, here is my FAVORITE Nathan Photo Creation. It's Cookie Monster and he made it by himself. Way to go, Nathan!! Cookie is saying, "Me Cookie!!!!!!"

Monday, April 07, 2008

Andrew's Pictures

Andrew's new digital camera (the one from Christmas) comes with a special Disney Pix software. He can 'create' some cool photos. He's been playing with it and here are a few of the creations he made. Nathan is working on the software, too, but he doesn't use photos. He likes the Disney background and the 'stamps' you can put on the photos. Why put in a photo when there are backgrounds and stamps?? I haven't figured out how to download Nathan's creations yet. I'll post them if I ever figure it out.




Photo above he captioned: "Drama Queens--Sharpay and Rebekah".









Sunday, April 06, 2008

What 'Crusts' in your life need to be cut?

This is an article I wrote for our April MOPS newsletter. I think it's a good reminder for all of us. Hope you enjoy. (BTW--didn't our newsletter coordinator find the most perfect photo for this?)

I was one of those moms who swore she’d NEVER cut the crust off. Learn to eat everything—waste not, want not—and all those things I’ve been taught. Then a few months ago, a teacher friend of mine was talking about bread crusts and how she doesn’t understand what the crust issue is about. My friend had a profound insight for me. Bread crust has no nutritional value. It’s a texture issue, not a nutritional lapse as a parent.

Believe it or not, that comment said flippantly struck a deep resonating chord within me. My middle child will throw away over half a sandwich because he will not eat within an inch of the dreaded crust. When I started cutting crusts off his sandwiches (and trust me, I can cut within millimeters of crust), he began eating every bite I gave him.

To my chagrin, I discovered that crusts aren’t the only things I hang onto. In my daily focus of getting my to do list done, I sometimes overlook the bigger picture. If crusts are only a texture issue, what other things do I needlessly force onto my children? I’ve started trying to look at the bigger picture of life. Sometimes I’m hanging onto a standard or a rule because it’s the way I was raised or because it gets my to do’s checked off. When I look at the bigger picture of my children’s life, I realize some things I hang onto need to be released.

If cutting a crust means my child eats 95% instead of 45% of a sandwich, isn’t a crust a good thing to let go of? I no longer feel like I’m spoiling him, I’m really giving him more to eat. I’ve looked at and relaxed some other rules I held dear. And in my own relaxing of things that might have been a little unreasonable, my children are finding more space to grow. They are able to voice their opinions and concerns to a mom who tries to listen, instead of giving a knee-jerk response based on the rules of how she was raised.

So while crusts were the catalyst, I’ve realized the issue isn’t the crust, it’s my own hang-ups. If my children don’t have freedom in my home to question things they find unfair, how can I expect them to question situations in life (or laws or work policies) that are unfair? I hope you’ll take some time ask yourself which crusts in your life need to be cut out—then start trimming.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

MOPS Day Out





Every mom needs a break now and then. What better way than to go to a fun place with you MOPS friends? We went to Art Chicks and had a blast. We got to dress up in fun hats, stoles, boas, jewelry, gloves, etc. and have a wonderful lunch (that we did not cook).




After lunch, we had photo time, then we got to sing and dance and walk the red carpet. It's a "No Boys Allowed" zone--but we snuck two pint-sized boys in. LOL! The bathroom is totally an undersea theme. The kissy fish with big lips is one of many painted on the walls. They created a border by gluing shells, sand and starfish to the wall. Very cool.




After lunch and the red carpet, we got to stroll through town and visit the little boutique shops. Too much fun for a gaggle of girls. It was such a beautiful day, we just all had fun in the sun and being girls for a time.
Check out the baby (boy) with the pink feathered 'mullet' hat on his head. So funny!!!

Enjoy the pics--we had some crazy fun! (Sean's favorite is "Miss Congeniality" holding a baby. He laughed so hard at the irony of that--but we made her wear it because she REALLY WAS a Miss Congeniality in a pageant in her younger years.)
Finally, here's a little video of us on the Red Carpet doing the Hokey Pokey.

video
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