Monday, December 29, 2008

Arkansas State Parks...

.. aren't ya glad we got 'em?
We vacationed this weekend at Mt. Nebo (and yes, I call 1 night and 2 days a vacation:). We stayed in a super nice cabin with 2 bedrooms, well actually 3 if you count the closet Piper slept in;)... sorry Sissy. Honestly though the closet was so dark, she had no idea it was a closet:)
The drive up the mountain about did me in.. seriously!! I'm not sure what my issue is. I use to be a daredevil. I can't tell you how many cliffs I've jumped from, I've repelled mountains, gone sky-diving and went to Africa all by myself for goodness sake!! I think it was all the sand on the roads that made the drive up the mountain so scary! It was like I could just picture our car tipping over backwards while we were all suspended from the mountain.. long story short... we made it up the mountain fine, I just probably lost about 10 years of my life and caused Cameron to lose about five of his.
The weather was beautiful! When we arrived at the cabin, we took a walk on a trail. The boys were super excited about hiking on the mountain:). I brought a casserole that I popped in the oven so it was cooking while we were walking. We stayed up late watching movies and playing Monopoly (trying not to brag here BUT I have won the last 2 games of Monopoly over here).
We woke up this morning and had some yummy breakfast and hung out for a while on the mountain. We then drove to Lake Dardenelle and hung out. They have the coolest visitor's center. There are huge aquariums and exhibits that the boys really enjoyed. Tomorrow we plan to go hiking at Wooly Hollow. It's a cheap vacation (did I mention we filled up on gas for $1.25:) but we're having SO much fun:)!!

Fun at the PlAyGrOuNd...

On our trip, we were able to stop by a pretty cool playground. The boys had a blast. Sissy even got in on a little sliding action. Daddy made her raise her hands up, guaranteeing her it would be more fun with her hands up:)
I know most pics are of Parker but #1.. he's just so stinking cute and photogenic #2... Andrew doesn't enjoy getting pictures taken as much as little Parky- Park and the funky bunch.

Happy 8 months Sissy

Today is Piper Jane's 8 month birthday! She's doing a really good job at sitting up and that makes us all happy. Now when I'm holding her and I have to go to the bathroom, I can actually sit her down instead of finding some contraption to sit her in... life is much better now:)

She LOVES her mommy!!! If I'm anywhere around and not holding her or sitting by her, she's NOT happy... it's pretty tiring but extra sweet.

Her brothers love her dearly!! They're pretty good little babysitters when I have to leave the room for a second. Very protective.. I'm sure this is just a sign of things to come:)

We tried some new baby food this weekend that she was not fond of...

We love you Piper Jane and are really enjoying watching you grow!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Morning

Cameron and I stayed up until about 1:30 Christmas Eve. We had dinner with his family that night and didn't get home until late. After reading bedtime stories to the boys, we let them track Santa on the internet to see where he was. They had the best time with this!!! We also let the boys put the Santa key outside since we don't have a chimney. Santa left the boys a present and filled their stockings. He left Parker a new bike (thanks to Craigslist) and Andrew got a pair of skates (thanks to ebay:). They also received a glow station, some craft type things, the new Narnia and a Will the Mighty Warrior devo book. They had a great time!! Cam and I left their Santa presents unwrapped assuming they would come to our room before going into the living room... WRONG.. we were sure snoozing while they were checking out their Santa gifts:). I don't really have any pictures of Piper opening anything because she slept through the whole present opening. Piper got several things from her Grandma's and cousins but not really anything from us. Her brothers picked out a couple of things the other day with Grandmommy. We realized the boys might be sad if her stocking was empty so we put a half empty can of baby puffs in it. hehehe... Andrew opened it and was so excited Santa left something for Sissy. It was so cute!! Although I didn't take tons of pictures of Christmas because I was videoing most of the time. This picture of Sissy was taken with my iPhone at Grandmommy's house. She was wearing one of the bows from the present. She really likes her big bows:).
One of the things Santa left the boys was tic tacs. Uncle Bruce always has orange tic tacs, every Sunday. It was sooo funny. Parker had his tic tacs and bubble gum tucked between his pjs and belly and kept pulling them out saying, "you wanna tic tac?... I'm Uncle Bruce".

Park Weather

We've had a wonderful Christmas break so far. Cameron is off almost the entire 2 weeks that I'm off so that's been wonderful! The day after Christmas we decided to go to the park to let the boys ride their bikes. Parker got a new bike for Christmas:) He was super excited!! Parker is literally a breath of fresh air!! He is the MOST excitable person I've ever seen. His body gets physically overwhelmed with joy and he shakes all over! It's so funny. He was overjoyed with every toy. I still need to upload pics and video to post about our Christmas day, just haven't had time yet:).
Our mornings have been filled with sleeping in!!! Piper wakes up at 6:30ish and eats and then straight back to bed she goes until around 9:00. It's been fabulous. Parker is usually the only one up in the house. Andrew comes and snuggles mommy until I get up. Cam and I have gotten very spoiled on all this sleep:).
Here are some pics from the park taken with my iPhone, so they're a little fuzzy. As you can tell, Andrew never slowed down enough to get a good pic, he was just a blur the whole time we were there:).

Monday, December 22, 2008

This is what I've been waiting for...

she's sitting up SO well. Today she has probably sat on the ground, without falling, for a few hours. I've been waiting for her to sit so we could get some cute pictures of her:). The pictures turned out really good BUT she was a little cranky. It was right before bedtime. The last one is one of my favs because she's starting to get huffy puffy, as Parker would say:). She really is such a joy!!

They're so much fun...

We've had a wonderful morning! I told the boys we would have an award ceremony:) this morning and we also made some crafts out of some of Sissy's old Baby Puff treat containers. Both boys had the best time and Sissy had fun emptying one of the containers;). The boys LOVE craft time. Since our school is a green school, they're always making crafts out of "trash" so I'm trying to come up with new "trash" crafts we can make. We have a recycle box and I've been digging through it trying to come up with ideas. The boys are the KING recyclers. They love it. After we made our crafts they whispered to each other they wanted to clean the house for mommy:). They kept walking around picking up trash saying, "this goes in the trash can and THIS goes in the recycle box". They were also cracking me up when they were picking up the dirty clothes. I heard Andrew say, "no, Parker... you have to smell it to make sure it's dirty". He then took a big whiff of some of Sissy's pants and went "shooowey, yea, that's dirty".

The Wise Men:)

Cameron built a nice manger for Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. The boys have enjoyed it:). I'm hoping to go out Christmas morning and read about the birth of Christ as a family inside our little manger, all bundled up of course;). The boys are excited about Santa Claus. Uncle Bruce got us a cool little Elf that we hide every night for the boys to find every morning. The story of Elf is that he'll go back before Christmas and tell Santa how the boys have been. They love getting up every morning to find the elf. It's a lot of fun for them. Although they enjoy Santa and the Elf, they really do know that the real meaning of Christmas is Jesus. They know that the Elf is "pretend" watching them but they know that God sees them ALL the time, EVERYWHERE. They're at a wonderful age right now and this Christmas has been the best so far for our family.
What a gift we've all been given! It just brings tears to my eyes to think of that special night years ago when God sent us a Savior!!!

All I want for Christmas...

Andrew lost his first tooth Thursday night. Cameron took all the kiddos up to the sports center to play while I had a Christmas program at school. Andrew and Parker were wrestling around and bumped heads and Andrew's tongue pushed his tooth out. Parker totally took credit for it and said, "you're welcome Andrew". It was so sweet!! The tooth fairy came that night and left Andrew $1.35.

Play date with Grandmommy

Grandmommy always takes her grandkids on a play date when they turn 5. Andrew got to go on his this past Saturday. He was really looking forward to it and talked about it all week:). They went to Marketplace to have lunch and then afterwards Grandmommy came and picked up Parker and took them both Christmas shopping. She's brave, being that it was the Saturday before Christmas!! They got to pick out presents for Piper, daddy and mommy. They are very excited about their presents. I'm impressed with their abilities to keep secrets, too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hoola Hoop Mania

We found our video camera. It's been MIA for a few months now. It was actually left in the bag we took on our beach vacation (Woolly Hollow:). This video is of the boys playing on the Wii Fit. It was SO funny! They were trying to Hoola Hoop :). At the end of the video, Andrew is running. I think we may need to get a defibrillator if he sticks with the running;).
Cam wouldn't let me video him hoola hooping :(. I can't imagine why not... :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Are we going to the North Pole?

I told Andrew and Parker this morning that we were going to go see Santa and get our picture with him. Andrew said, "Are we going to the North Pole?". My good ole pal Diana found Santa for us and gave us the heads up to where he was. The boys had never met Mrs. Claus before so it was an extra special treat. Parker was really shy and didn't want to sit with Santa until mommy did :./ SO... we had a family portrait made with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Piper was giving her usual "you're a stranger" face until she got a good glimpse of Santa and then she melted into tears. All in all, it was a wonderful visit to the North Pole.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Too funny not to share

I found this video on John Rosemond's website and thought it was too funny not to share. John calls it the MicroManaging Mom Song :)

Also, Piper rode like a big girl in the cart at Target this weekend. She was so cute. She had the most serious look the entire time and held on for dear life:).

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Can't wait to read this..

John Piper has a new book coming out. I love John Piper's books, although they do take me FOREVER to read and not just because of my lack of time but because his writing is so deep I have to read and reread and then still don't fully "get" it all.
I've pasted a review of the book below. It looks amazing!
“Have I been born again?" is not a question to be answered hastily. In John Piper's new book, Finally Alive, expect to be challenged. Piper strips away our complacency, arguing that many people falsely believe they are Christians. He begins by arguing that many who claim to be "born again" today are actually not, and that statistics demonstrating that so-called born again Christians are morally indistinguishable from unbelievers only demonstrate that many who think they have been regenerated actually are still on their way to hell.

Have you carefully examined yourself lately to see if YOU are truly saved? Being wrong about this issue will have eternal consequences and Jesus warned us that there will be those in that day who will have thought they were his followers but actually were not:
Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’"
By examining the Bible’s teaching on the new birth, John Piper shows us how to be certain our faith is genuine. Because no issue could be more critical, I believe this is the most important book Piper has written. It could be the most important book outside of the Bible that you or your loved one will ever read. I was privileged to have the opportunity to read this prior to launch and it moved me profoundly, challenging me once more to be sure of my own salvation and to appreciate more fully what God has done for me.

Relaxing Saturday

Ahhh... a moment of silence. Parker and Piper are sleeping. Andrew is out helping daddy clean the garage.
This morning I took Parker and Andrew on a play date at Chick-fil-a. They were really excited about it :). Before we left, Andrew said he had a fortune cookie and the note said that he and Parker would get some ice cream to celebrate their play date :). They were very good and enjoyed playing with the other kids.
Last week we started giving the boys an allowance. We've been using the Tessy and Tab sheets and they're GREAT! They each have a chart with their family contributions listed as well as jobs listed. They have the opportunity to earn $1.00 a day (a quarter for each job). Their jobs include making their beds, picking up toys, putting up clothes and getting ready for bed on time. They get paid right before bed every night and they're always SUPER excited. Before we began this, we told them that since they'll have their own money, mommy and daddy will no longer buy
"things" for them. They would have to save their money to buy what they "wanted". We explained what type of things mommy and daddy would provide but all of their wants will have to come from their money. They are both saving up for bicycle helmets:). They're so excited about it. They made 75 cents the first night and Parker said, "do we have enough for our helmets?" They both have over $6.00 right now so it won't be long. They also have to save 20% of their money (they already have an account at the credit union so they'll go deposit some monthly) and they will give at least 10%. Andrew said he wants to give his to the kids in Africa :) so we may just add it to our sponsor child.
This week was Andrew's first week to be back home... bless Mrs. Mindy :). I'm sure it's a lot more work for her to keep them together. They are excited about being together again though. They do well together for the most part but sometimes get a little rowdy OR get a little mean. Parker is so excited to have Andrew back home. Every morning before I leave he says, "is Andrew staying home today?" I am so relieved that we decided to keep Andrew home and start him in Kindergarten next year. As a mom, I was really worried about sending him when he was still 4 and so much younger but being there and observing I felt confident that he definitely would benefit from being home. My main concern for him was being the youngest when he was older. I had no idea how much younger he would be than everyone. About 1/2 of his class is 6 already (most of them are older b/c their parents kept them home a year) and there's only one other child that is within 5 months of his age.

Yesterday while Parker was getting ready, he grabbed some socks out of the drawer and apparently there were three folded together. He was a little perplexed and held all three up and said, "WHAT.... do I have three feet?" Park is always good for a laugh:)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

An apple for the teacher...

One of my old students emailed me on facebook tonight and it was SO sweet. I had asked about his grades and this was his response:
about my grades, well i have all A's except in one or two classes, but other then that there good. Oh.. and my GPA is last time i checked a 3.7, but all i know is that its not no lower then a 3.5, hasnt been since iv been in high school.And while i am talking about school and good grades, if u have not of made me do my homework when i had to, or study for my test when i had one, then i prabably would still be goofin off and not taking school seriousely. So i just also wanted to tell u thank u for getting on to me and making me do everything even thought i somtimes did not want to.
... a little background about this kid. School does NOT come easy for him, he literally works his tail off! He has matured so much since I met him a few years ago. We butted heads almost daily in the beginning. Slowly he came around and really wanted to learn. I taught him a few methods to help with his study skills and he amazed me over and over again with his hard work and determination. I'm so proud of him! When I go watch high school football games, he's the number one reason I'm there!

Consequences and Secret Millionaires

Some days I feel I'm saying, "Stop Andrew/Parker".. all day. They really are pretty good kids but sometimes choose to deliberately disobey. Cam and I are brainstorming consequences for them. We're big fans of John Rosemond and his deal is that you need to make consequences memorable. I've heard several of his examples for older kids (door off the hinges, early bed time, etc) but what type of consequences are memorable for a 5 year old? I'm really wanting to teach them to obey the first time and to not continually get onto them for the same thing. Anyone have any good consequences that are memorable that have worked for you and your family? and yes, we do spank when we need to but we're also looking for other ideas.

A new show called Secret Millionaire came on tonight on Fox. Ugghhh... it is SO good!! I love this kind of show. It's all about millionaires living a week in poverty. I just LOVE it!! The millionaires then choose some people they would like to give $100,000 to. It was so neat to see their eyes open to how different their lives are. You MUST watch it next time it's on....

Parker funnies:
The other night I was cutting up some meat and sliced my finger open badly (I even made a trip to the ER). While I was running water over it, Parker came up and started to cry and said, "mommy, I thought grown ups knew how to use knives". How cute! :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy 7 month Piper Jane

Piper Jane is 7 months today. She is definitely going through some major stranger danger right now. My cousin Amy and her husband Brian came to stay a few days and Piper was not about to let them see her smile. It was so funny. She is such a momma's girl. She did actually warm up to Brian and Amy not long before they left but it took quite some time. Today we decorated our tree. The kids had a great time. The boys were SO excited to put up all the ornaments. Mrs. Mindy made some with them last year and they were really excited to get those out and hang them up again:). I took a couple of pics of Piper by the tree. She's doing pretty good at sitting up.
We all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We loved spending time with Amy and Brian. Amy and I went shopping on Black Friday and got a Wii Fit. It's been super fun! I told Cam I'm gonna be "bowed up from the flo up".. hehe.. just kidding but it is QUITE the workout!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A little bit of everything..

Things have been pretty busy around here.. I've had tons I've wanted to blog about but no time to do it.

Today I took Piper for her 6 month visit (even though she's really almost 7 months:). Poor little thing, she did NOT like those shots! She's had a tough night tonight. The doc says she's still pretty tall. On a 6 month scale, she would be at the 95th %tile in height. Since she's almost 7 months I asked what she would be on the 7 month scale and it was still about 85th. Isn't that just crazy?

Andrew has a loose tooth:( How depressing is that?? I'm praying that it will grow new roots and stick around a while longer. I don't think I can handle my baby losing a tooth already. I told him I was sad it was loose because that means he's growing up. He said, "It's okay if I get a grown up tooth, I can still come to your bed and snuggle you, can't I?" Bless his heart!! He's a keeper!

I'm a little depressed Dancing with the Stars is over:(. Cam and I LOVE that show... and it's inspired a lot of new dance moves for us. I promised Anna a video of one of our latest moves but we seriously cannot find our video camera. I really need to declutter... anyway.. back to dancing with the stars. Cam said tonight, "Maybe we can become dancing pros so we can be on dancing with the stars". I told him we had a better chance of starring in a hit movie and becoming a star than we did becoming dancing pros.

We have officially become a Wii family.. I told you it's been busy around here. Anywho... my back muscles and arm muscles (yes, I have muscles) are KILLING me! That boxing is serious business. I definitely get WAY too involved. I honestly feel as though I'm in the ring. My cousin Amy and her husband Brian are coming to stay for Thanksgiving and I can't wait to whoop up on them.. well, and visit and spend a lovely Thanksgiving together.

I'll leave you with pics I took of Sissy while she rolled around the floor... the first one is the look she gives strangers. She's a little apprehensive toward people she isn't around a lot... but the second picture is the look she has when she sees MOMMY:).

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm just saying...

Praise the Lord for Puff's Kleenex with lotion! Owweee.. my nose is killing me. Yesterday I could NOT swallow, today I can NOT breathe! I've been achy and sick all day... contemplating missing work tomorrow.
It's been wild around here lately... we've had visitors and no I'm not talking brown recluse.. I'm talking a mouse. YIKES. I haven't slept well for about 5 nights because it's made it's home in my night stand. Darn it! It always has a party at night and wakes me up... I dreamed last night it was in my bed. I told Cam I was sleeping on the couch if we didn't catch it. As Piper and I were laying on my bed watching Dancing with the Stars, I see it run across the bathroom floor. Cam put out two glue pads and sure enough about 5 minutes later that little stinker had ran onto one. This was what I wanted, right... I should be relieved b/c I'll be able to sleep tonight... yea right, if I can ever get the picture of that sweet little mouse struggling on that glue board out of my head. Ugghhh... it was horrible! Cam was against taking it to the vet :(... poor little Stuart Little.

On a funnier note... today in my 5th grade Math class a boy said, "Mrs. Wallace, have you heard the song Don't Blink by Trace Adkins?" I said, "Oh my, yes, that song is SO sad"... he said, "whatever... I've been blinking as much as I can and it's not working". I couldn't help but laugh...

On an even funnier note... tonight during my misery I began to read our Kleenex box. Now, unfortunately this wasn't the Puffs Plus. I only have the good stuff at school:(. This was some sort of Kleenex that supposedly kills germs. I was a little intrigued so I began to read the box. It was telling what type of germs it exterminates and then I read that it takes 15 to kill the blasted germs. I'm thinking, "seriously though who leaves dirty Kleenexes lying around for 15 minutes, I mean just throw the thing away". Well... I guess I chuckled too soon. I saw Piper gnawing on something and sure enough it was that germ killer Kleenex and then I got to thinking "Oh no, it's only been about 13 minutes"... sorry Piper!

Okay, another side note... Parker just went #2 and when he was finished he said, "I'm finished and it's quite big". I mean really, what 3 year old says that?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

2 for 1..

I just had to snap a pic with my phone of our first bag of recycled trash. Since I work at a Green school, we have recycle trailers on site all the time so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to start recycling. Cam thinks I'm a little overboard because I'm policing what he throws in the regular trash now but come on now, if we're gonna save the earth, let's save the earth:).
I had Cam put the trash bag by our "I am thankful for" tree so I could upload a 2 for 1 pic. I got this idea from Krista, although I'm sure her tree looks much better than ours:)... I'm hoping to start a tradition where we'll always put our tree up on Cam's birthday (Nov 3) and then take it down the day after Thanksgiving. I'm going to keep our leaves so we can look back on them later. It's been fun. We make our leaves at dinner time and sometimes when I have forgotten the boys have reminded me.
I've been sick today with a SORE throat. Tonight I made some Wassil and we all sat at the table with our coffee cups and wassil. It reminded me of a time when I worked at the Christian Book Store with my dear friend Lanna. On Saturdays before Christmas we would serve wassil so they had it written on the calendar, along with the names of the workers who were to work that day. I remember Lanna seeing the calendar and asking "Who is Wassil, did we hire somebody?" :)... ahhh.. I always think of Lanna when I drink Wassil:).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Frozen smiles..

I'm taking advantage of the free photo book from Snapfish and wanted to get a family photo for the book.... SO I thought we could go take a couple today. We were literally out there for a total of 3 minutes and about froze! The wind was FIERCE!! So, it wasn't a good idea but I did get a couple of decent pictures. We'll try again when the temp is out of the 40's :).

I think Parker looks like Marky- Mark here with his hat on:)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Geez Louise...

I need to plan something upbeat and fun to do the next time the CMA's are on. The past two years I've just happened to come across it while flipping the remote and end up crying like a baby! Last year it was Kellie Pickler's song about her daddy and this year Carrie Underwood had a horribly sad song. Then that guy that sings Honkey tonk badonk a donk... okay, I really don't know that song but I have heard it and am still shocked that there's really a song named that... anyway... he sang a song called "You're gonna miss this"... OH ... MY... Goodness!!! How depressing! Of course I just had to be folding tiny clothes in the floor and started crying thinking how much I am going to miss folding these sweet clothes.. especially those super hero pajamas. After I rewound both songs with DVR Cam threatened to steal the remote or pull the plug:).

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Greetings from Africa

I met a dear friend when I taught in Rwanda. His name is Andrew. He was a teacher in the class I taught. He just recently got email and has been emailing me a couple of times a month. I just love to hear from him. It always takes me back to my time in Rwanda. It really puts things into perspective for me. He told me that his sister just passed away because she was ill. It broke my heart for him. I know he and his family have suffered greatly from illnesses. When I told him that I was teaching in an elementary school and Andrew was with me, he asked me if Parker and Piper stayed home alone. Imagine that... and I totally understand the question because it's the norm in Rwanda but can you imagine a 3 year old home alone?
Here is a picture he sent me. He is studying computers right now in school.
Dear Lord... Please be with Andrew. Help him to have success in his studies and be able to find a job to help support his family. I pray for his health and the health of his family. My heart breaks for the people of Rwanda and the struggles they face daily but I find comfort in the fact that You are sovereign and in complete control. Thank you so much for all that you've taught me through my friendship with Andrew. I pray that our friendship will last for many years to come.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fall Pics

Here are some pics I've taken over the past couple of weeks but am just now taking time to upload. Parker and Andrew had a great time trick or treating this year. Andrew was the "Red Ranger" and Park was "Buzz Likeyear:)". It's so great that they're still young and naive... they still have almost all of their candy left. Cam and I told them they could have 3 pieces a day... so for about 3 days they went by that rule and have kind of forgotten about it:). The rest of the pics are from Cam's mother's house. She has a beautiful yellow tree out front. As soon as Andrew saw it he said, "Is it FALL?" :)
Speaking of... we're keeping Andrew home after Thanksgiving and having him start Kindergarten next year. I've been a little uneasy with him being in Kindergarten because he's the youngest there and not just by a little bit but most are already 6 or just about to be 6 and Andrew just turned 5. I talked to his teacher and the principal and they both think logically he should stay because he's doing well academically and socially but they both understand my concerns as a mommy:). Andrew is super excited about staying home (he likes Kindergarten and has never complained but would really like to be home, too:). Parker is pretty pumped, too! Mrs. Mindy is going to continue to homeschool him with the curriculum she was using last year. It's really been a great experience for him and he's really enjoyed it but I'd feel much more comfortable with him being one of the older kids instead of the youngest. Another thing that played a huge role in our decision was that this year there are tons of boys. Andrew has 18 kids in his class and 12 are boys. All of our Kindergarten classes are that way this year and it concerned us for Andrew when he's older. I also think Andrew will be entirely too young at the age of 17 to leave his mommy:( and for sure will need another year... or maybe it's me that will need another year:).