Thursday, June 30, 2011

June in Review

So far behind, so little time. It seems like we spent June was spent in some sort of recovery mood. They said that Chris surgery would take a month or two or tweaking , and so it did.

1. Read the Bible. I didn't make much progress here. I only made a little progress into 2 Samuel. But I haven't finished it. Rachel, in effort to get caught up started reporting on Chronicles, which was where we were supposed to be, so I tried to read some of that, but couldn't keep up in either direction. Sigh.

2. Go to Choir. Well, no progress here, they are out for the summer.

3. Join a gym. Well this is downright depressing. No visits to the gym. Exercise has gone out the window. Unless you count going to the zoo. We did that a good few times this month.

4. Take a Photography class. No progress here per se, just that I got some nifty opportunities to take pictures when we went to the zoo.

Couple of my favorites.

When I went with friends, I was able to take a couple pictures of the orchid exhibit as well as the boys.

I didn't used to like orchids much, but thanks to this exhibit, I'm really enjoying them. They also are a lot easier to photograph than children. ;)

And a sweetboy you may know.

This one is Part Tiger. Super strong.

And Sweetboys Submerged, Chris got to bathe with Sam for the first time in weeks.

5. Get the boys Healthy. Sam is doing great, but we did hit a bump with Chris when he got a little constipated. And we had to do some 'bottom medicine' early in the month, and run to the hospital; he had 4 enemas in 2 days. Plus flushes. It was pretty awful. But it all worked...eventually. Now he's got a decent regimen, we're adding one full cap of Miralax to 500 mL of water for his flushes once daily. Hope it continues to work.
Now he's started a Therapy day camp. They are working on some social behavior things, as well as trying to get him potty trained. Ha. But he loves it. We work hard to not call it school, we call it day camp. He loves it. And he hates to leave. But already I've noticed them helping, he can write his whole name.



I told you all that I would post a picture of the After of the vase we made last week. Looks Awesome and I'm taking it over to the house tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yellow thoughts

This week's theme for Crazy Days of Summer was Yellow. But yellow for me this summer has been bittersweet. I have some lovely yellow pictures already from this summer.

Some orchids from the White River gardens Orchid exhibit. Yellow orchids, who knew?

And walking through the gardens I got to see some bees doing their thing in gardens.

Sweet busy little bees.

But like them we seem to be keeping entirely too busy too. Last weekend the boys did a VBS, and we were hardly home. It did give me an opportunity to enjoy some Boy-Free time. But without Eric, it was kind of lonely. I put on jewelry. I rarely do that around the boys, since they like to pull and break my things. Jewelry has become one of those things I don't wear very often unless I know they aren't going to have an easy time of breaking it. Bracelets are a rare occurrence. I felt happy and frivolous.

But then the rest of the week hit, and with it an insane amount of stress about money and the New House, and banks being stupid. I know, this most recent photo doesn't have a lot of yellow on the outside, but there's plenty on the inside. Can't wait to pull the ribbons off the garage, and really declare it ours. If I go into it too much here I'll cry. Suffice it to say the bank is demanding an insane amount of $$ for Closing Costs that we don't have, because we're loaned out to the hilt, and we can't Finish the house (it's all plumbing stuff now) until we $$ to pay the contractors. It's a vicious cycle. So, right now we're waiting on the a. the bank to give us the final draw or some other loan arrangement to be made, and b. the county to declare that we're Certified Occupy-able.

So I find myself taking it day by day. I've placed it all in God's hands. If it be His will that we get this house, it will be to His Glory. If not, well, then he's got something planned, I just don't think I want to know about it right now.

In the mean time, I cherish what is close to me, my Sweetboys.

Chris drew a portrait of me on the driveway. Surely, you can tell that its me, right? Yeah, me neither. Eventually, it got hair. :)

And Sam, he's gotten big enough that he wants to wear his towel, and get out of the tub "All by suff" Just like a big boy. And I'm not ready for my boys to grow up that much just yet.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A VBS weekend

This weekend we experienced something new. New and Refreshing! A Weekend VBS, Vacation Bible School. Eric's parents church had their VBS this weekend, a little something different from the ones we've previously attended. The schedule was Friday evening 6-8, Saturday 9-2, and church time on Sunday morning. I wasn't sure I'd be down with it, but circumstances being what they were (um, that we Still weren't moving), I decided to register Chris.

When I called though, they asked if I was bringing Sam. They know the Fam, and they know Eric and the boys, kind of love small town living sometimes, so they asked, and I told them, "Um, No, he's 2." They didn't care, said that pastor's wife would be working the nursery. OK. So Sam went to VBS Too. That was new. The boys had a great time, got thoroughly exhausted. I thought it would be weird condensing it down to just a weekend, but it wasn't. The church did a great job, things went smoothly, I was impressed. I really enjoyed it. (And not just because I got some much needed time away from the boys.) I wouldn't want all VBSs to go this route, but it was a refreshing change.

Sam got to participate with the Preschool group with his big brother. He loved it. I think Sam relished being a big kid for once. Though he had plenty of folks to fawn all over him.

The boys by Pandamania Pete.

Today was their 'Program'. Both boys went up to sing and dance. Sam never does children's sermon at home, so he kind of wandered, and Chris was also pretty wiggly, but they were really adorable singing and dancing with their cousins. Ignore all the bobbing heads, I unwisely sat way in the back, AND forgot my camera today, at least I happened to have the video camera on me, thank goodness. A big long, but still Adorable - Enjoy!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Church Camp

I know, I know, its a lot of pictures. But we had an absolutely amazing opportunity on Thursday to go up and visit our friends the Pfanschmidt Meyaards, and I took a boatload of pictures. I know all three of you, my faithful blog readers, know Amy so I figure what the hey, I'll post the pics.

Confession: I never went to a Church Camp. My sister got to go when she was in high school, but I was a mess in high school, and rarely did anything or associated with anybody. And didn't seriously develop my relationship with God until after I got married. But Eric went to church camp a few summers, and I have countless friends who tell tales of the awesomeness of the church camps of their youth. Topping that list was always Amy. It was actually a dream come true to finally visit this camp of hers. And what a dream.
We were about an hour from lunchtime by the time we arrived, so we went straight to the camp instead of hunting down her place first. It was easy to get find, lots of signs. And beautiful? Oh, slightly hilly, wooded, enclosed, we drove by a lake, over a river. For a city girl like me, getting out into the woods, but still having the benefits of civilization, like hot food, and bathroom plumbing is sheer heaven.

Chris ran out of the car over to Amy and the girls, and they hit the field. There are these little corrals, a couple of them, and the game is called Gaga. Our kids didn't play by the official rules, which blessedly were written on the side, and later I saw a game played by the big kids. But the object is the throw the small ball and bean other kids (like dodgeball) from the knees down. Our kids preferred kicking, although Chris really wanted to just take the ball and run.

And run he did. Being at this camp was so freeing for us. He just Ran. Ran off to find a playground. Ran off to just run with his friends. Seeing his pure joy brought tears to my eyes, and Praises to my heart.

It had probably been months since I was in a place where I could just let Chris go run. He has not been out of my sight or the sight of other capable adults, in ages. Same with Sam, I have to be close, but at this playground, they were safe, there wasn't a pond for them to fall into, or strangers to snatch them. We were safe and sound, and in a wide open space, I could see all around us, and there were big kids doing their own thing. And Chris was having a great time, playing Pirate and Cowboy, and Pirate Cowboy. They had these great log horses. They even had names engraved on them. Chris's was Pokey.

The girls' horse was Bucky, and Bucky always seemed to lead in every race. Chris and even Sam were trying so hard to get Bucky to catch up. He never did though. ;)

Ah yes, the Battle of the Pirates, where all the children had sticks. And the pirates chased the girls up/off the plank. There was a lot of stick sword fighting, but blessedly only one instance of child being hit by stick. Chris got Shay, not even hard enough to make her cry, but I saw it, and he did his time out, and went back in swinging...swinging Nicely. Oddly enough, Chris seemed really well behaved. I had to get strict, but neither of us lost control entirely.

John 17:21 "I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one--as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me." New Living Translation

A Beautiful stained glass window in the lodge, just above the entry into the cafeteria.

As if I wasn't already amazed by all the beauty that surrounded me, I get even more surprised by the dose that suprised me with changes in Chris too. They take Personal Responsibility very seriously here. You set the table, you bring food to the table, share, and you only take as much as you can eat, if you leave too much, it goes to the pigs, into a bucket for the pigs that kids have to take turns taking down the hill to the pigs. If there's no leftovers, no one has to take the bucket. Chris leapt right into the role of helpful child. He started off by grabbing cups and joining his friends in Setting the Table. "This never happens at home."

During lunch (not breakfast or dinner) there's a lot of cheers by the kids, lots of yelling. And during Cheers the kids are allowed to Stand on their chairs. Here's another amazing Chris moment: when he saw some kids get up on their chairs, he said we don't stand on our chairs. Such a good boy! I told him, it was ok if he held Mommy's hand while he was standing to be safe. Which he did. Once it was clear, he was actually fine standing up there, I let go. But he grabbed on to Shay and they sang some little cheer about Not being no stinky critter or something like that. It was so adorable.

And my kid ate! Grilled cheese. (He never eats grilled cheese at home.) Both kids ate. And as a superbly awesome added bonus, when they brought dessert around, it was Push Pops. I think it had probably been a good decade since I had a push pop. Pretty sure the boys had never had one. So they each got one. I tried to share, but they'd have none of it. They got coated in blissful orange goo, and it was great.

Even Sam. Baby's first Push Pop. His lap was a gooey mess, and he was getting so mad at me for trying to clean him up. But it was Good.

The moral of the story here is: if you give a bunch of kids a lot of sugar, say in the form of orange push pops, then you have let them Run.

From the Lodge, we headed out over to Amy's house. It's beautiful out there. I think Chris was there all of 2 seconds before he found the girls' room (which Amy had told me was over the top pink, but I actually love it!) and he hopped up to the top of the bunkbeds. Oh he's going to love living on the top bunk in our new house too.
But Baby Liam needed a nap, so we took the yahoos outside.

This is the view as the boys play on their front porch. How Peaceful is this?! Cornfields as far as the eye can see. The state road is about 1/2 mile up by the trees, if you look closely you can see a truck. But she's got rocking chairs on the porch for everyone, I could've sat and rocked, watching the boys play All Day. No lake to worry about them falling into or street to worry about them getting hit by cars. The kids don't have the stamina to walk all the way up to the highway. Gorgeous, and Relaxing, and Quiet. Yeah, I could live there too.

I'm not the only one that enjoys the rocking chairs. Bryn was showing Chris how it was done.

Next thing I know Shay and Chris are parked on the couch watching the original Care Bears movie. "Nicolas....." and Amy and I were consulting on all things Glee. She really is a fount of information and a great giver of CDs. She made me a soundtrack from the concert we went to, I listened to it all the way home.

When Liam woke up, he and Sam played sweetly for about 10 minutes before it was clear Sam needed a nap. SuperSam made it 4 p.m. with no nap, he was out cold 5 minutes down the road.

But what a great visit. And what a beautiful place. I totally could see why God called them to be there. Ben had a peace about him, as he had lunch with us (I know right, In the middle of the day!) and was smiling, and I hadn't them all that happy in a very very long time. I miss them terribly, but I am so comforted to see for myself how wonderful their new life at the camp is, and I am comforted that God laid the path, and provided for them, and though it was a hard decision for them to make to move their, it was definitely the Right one.

And hey, now we get to go visit any time we want. And I know where I can crash when my boys are old enough to go to camp. And I can't wait until they are old enough to go to Camp too!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Weird Wednesday

I was going for a Wordless Wednesday, but just have too much to say. Today, I dropped Chris off at his Summer Therapy Day Camp, and Sam and I continued on to the zoo. He asked me yesterday, "I want to go to the Z-O-O." So I thought, what the hey, it's free to us now. And for once it wasn't raining, just cloudy, until the end of our trip. So let's go!
So we did. Gotta tell you though. It was Weird to go to the Zoo with only Sam. I've never done that. Before Sam, we'd go with just Chris, but never Without Chris. It felt weird.

It felt weird to go see the "Sea Roars" what Chris used to call Sea Lions, I still call them Sea Roars, but Sam doesn't get it.

He did wave hello to the sea lions, because the big guy was doing a lot of talking to us. Lots of great seal barks.

It was weird not having Chris around to demand what we see next, and freak out when we didn't ride the train. It was like a whole different child. One who wanted to run, but blessedly didn't go too far. One content to sit and watch lemurs while we ate. But when he did want something he wasn't silent. Come On Mom, Hurry Up!

We met up with some friends, though 9 months apart, they are almost the same size. Sam and Nathanael were chock full of Cuteness today. Check them checking out the bouncing baby giraffe in the back of the trees, the baby swung his neck around to get momentum to jump a little bit, get a little speed to catch up with his fam. All these little yahoos were so adorable.

Meeting Maria the Meerkat. I can't even tell you how long its been since we saw the meerkats in the desert exhibit, but for once Sam wasn't entirely terrified of someone in costume.

Weird, but all in all, a very successful day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mom's Night Out

Three Letters: MNO. Mom's Night Out! It's become my haven, my place of sanity, and being around people who 'Get It' makes it that much more valuable. Tonight my girlfriend Amy and I joined up with the CPCC Mom 2 Mom group at Pottery By You tonight. I'd never been before, but I'm SO going to be going back!

It was so therapeutic to chat, and paint, and get all crafty and creative, all at the same time. I picked a rectangular vase, and I painted it to go in our new kitchen. I guess I've been reduced to Art around our house usually involves crayons and takes 10 minutes or less. So this was a real treat!

Our gals had a great time, brought snacks, and everybody's projects were so beautiful and unique. It's going to be so neat to see them all Fired Up!

My final project...Before. I'll post the After when I get it next week.