Monday, December 20, 2010

Month of Memories - December 20th

Add VideoTwo words. Epic. Fail.

Wow... so today's surprise in the Advent calendar was "Family Game Night." I was hoping that this would go better than the last time we played a game as a family a few months ago.

So, the game of choice was Chutes and Ladders. Jon could hardly contain himself with excitement - literally bouncing with glee. Josiah was frustrated because he really had no clue what we were doing. It was a very long 45 minutes between Jon's loud boasting and Josiah's fussing. When Jon was winning, he was giddy and exuberant. And when he lost (to me), he was crushed and bitter.
"Why me!?!?"

Need proof: here it is. And the funny part was how Josiah started bawling just as soon as Jon let it rip. Why Josiah started crying, I have no clue. The sob fest lasted a good 20+ minutes. It is safe to say that it will be months until we try this again.

Even after baths, the tears flowed.

Oh - long day!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Month of Memories - December 14th

So, I am behind on this monthly thing. But you all forgive me, I am certain. :)

Big night for us here. The five of us and Mimi headed to the mall to meet Santa. It had been two years (I think) since we last visited Senor Claus. Here is my sweet Siah in 2007. Isn't he the cutest! Rachel had not yet been exposed to the mall Santa experience. So, as part of today's Advent calendar, we told the boys they could go to see Santa.

The line was l-o-n-g long but we endured. The boys, as you can clearly see, enjoyed it. I will do another post with some of our pictures. They are cute. But Miss Rachel, oh no - she was not having one bit of fun. So, now we finally have the obligatory crying child on Santa photo. Can't wait to scrapbook this one!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Month of Memories - December 9th

Three words that make my boys really happy. Family. Movie. Night. Simple but sweet. Popcorn in hand, the four of us (sorry, baby sister was in bed) convene on the same couch sharing the same blanket and watch a movie.

Tonight's showing was "The Toy That Saved Christmas" by the Veggie Tales. Any chance I get to reinforce that Christmas is not about the many catalogs that arrive daily (and provide way too much viewing pleasure for my boys) and the things they want... I'm in. The songs always crack me up. The one titled "Grumpy Kids" - I so could have written that one. This one is fun too. Take a look see.

I give this movie two thumbs up. Next time we do Family. Movie. Night., it will be to see "It's A Meaningful Life."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Month of Memories - December 8th

I'm going to take advantage of Wordless Wednesday. Here ya go!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Month of Memories - December 7th

You may recall that last Friday was a day of forced rest. It pretty much takes an episode of “stomach emptying” to make us slow down. Though I really (REALLY) do not like stomach bugs of any variety, this was not a bad one. One occurrence, one victim – wham, bam, thank you, ma’am. Had he made it to the bathroom in time and done it when we were home and not the poor dear friend watching the kids – it would have been almost a non-event. So, Friday was not too bad around here. The kids and I stayed in our PJs the entire day. And it felt kind of nice for a change.

So, we are hanging out and I catch Ray Ray playing. Like most things she does, I find this incredibly cute and decide to grab some photos. I’d like to scrapbook a page highlighting her toys. I know I would have gotten a real kick out of seeing pictures of me with my baby dolls and various play things. Here’s what my busy girl did on Friday. Enjoy the cuteness!

Month of Memories - December 6th

Well, I tried to update last night before bed but my battery ran out. I mean that both literally and figuratively. Here’s yesterday’s post today…

I believe the tradition started in 1977. I’d have to scan my mom’s Christmas tree to confirm but I am pretty confident of the year. I’m not sure how my little six-year-old self thought of it. It probably happened something like this: I see an ornament that I liked at Hallmark for my mom. It has the year on it. Said ornament is given as a Christmas present. Same thing happens in 1978 and now, ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a yearly tradition.

I have not yet started the same thing with my children but I have tried to have an ornament a year for them. I like to think that one day the ornament will make its way to their trees. I’ve even started to put initials on the bottoms to prevent any future disagreements. There are a few handmade ornaments that all four of my mom’s kids made since we attended the same grade school. So, we each actually did make the same wreath ornament. Now who’s lovely wreath is on the tree, that is up for debate.

Here are a few of the ornaments for my kids:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Month of Memories - December 5th

It was quite a treat for the kids and me to see JD's portrayal of Joseph in a play about the birth of Jesus. Our church did a fantastic job recreating Bethlehem for the kids with crafts and a play. Loved it. Now, JD, he's quite the thespian. The kids giggled at the sight of Daddy in a robe and sandals standing on the stage. I'm thinking Oscar buzz...

Now of the miracle birth of Jesus Christ, I recall that many a moon ago (well, not really) this blog was titled "Luke 2:19 - before it changed into Party of Five. I will share with you that I find it ironic that the verse I chose for this blog is about how Mary treasures these things in her heart. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. I picked it because, to a certain extent, I'd be sharing my heart's treasures via this blog. Isn't it funny and ironic that I chose a verse about keeping things quiet and in one's heart for something that shares things with anyone who cares to read.

Back to Luke 2. It's the Christmas story. It's wonderful, beautiful and changed my life forever.

Here's a quote I like from a little book I picked up at LifeWay called Celebrate HIS Birth:

The Christ child changed the world forever, and He can do the same for us. On this Christmas day, we, like the shepherds of old, are called to celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus. May we, like those shepherds, leave our fields - wherever they may be - and pause to worship God's priceless gift: His Son.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Month of Memories - December 4th

When I heard the words "brief accumulation" this week on the news, I did not even bother to tell the kids about it. Just didn't think it would actually happen.

Well, I was wrong! We had snow and a good bit of it. Large, puffy flakes of snow gently fell - what a joy it is to see. When I stood and looked into the sky, I felt like I was in a 3-D movie. It got me to wondering if it's true that no two snowflakes are alike. Here's what I found. I love how creative God is. His handiwork is truly amazing.
Notice the shark hats!

So, here are my snow lovers. Even sweet Ray Ray thought it was great fun as she hung out in her swing.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Month of Memories - December 3rd

So today is a pajama day. I type this update in my new, comfy pink polar bear fleece jammies. It may sound very indulgent but I am taking this fashion break for a very good reason. Funny how when life seems super crazy with too many places to go, my children find a sure way to keep us home. Yep, they get sick. And not just sick... the dreaded stomach bug.

Our dear (poor) babysitter called us last night while we were out watching my talented nephew star in his school's production of "The Importance of Being Ernest." bad news was that Jon got sick in his bed and on the way to the bathroom. Oh dear - what is the hourly rate for babysitting a sickly boy???

Thankfully, there was only one "episode" last night and all appears to be well here. So, we are watching movies and playing today. In keeping with the theme of today/most days, I cannot locate the thinga-ma-jig that I need to download the pictures I took today.

On that note... good night.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Month of Memories... December 2nd

The list in my head goes something like this... "Gotta get that Dora doll for the angel tree at the Y. Where can I find it? Does Jon's shirt literally have to be just red for the Christmas play or can he wear a red sweater? Ask teachers about that. What day is it that I get a discount at LifeWay? I wonder if I can get to that shopping day at that Cary school on Friday." and on and on and on. And then the track repeats.

On Sunday, the message from the Word was aimed directly at me. God pulls no punches and His word is alive. Here is what the good Lord shared with me and now I will share with you:

41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42

Now I will admit that it's four days since I heard a message at church on this passage. I'm a slow learner, especially when it comes to changing my heart. So, as I scurry about, I hear this softly in my ear (not literally but my heart does stir), "Denise, Denise... you are worried and troubled about many things. This season is about my gift to you. This gift need not be wrapped. I wrapped Him myself in swaddling clothes in a manger. This gift is free though it cost me my only precious son. I know you love me, dear child. So, please stop all this busyness. Think of sweet Mary and the time she spent with me. That, my child, is what your heart and busy mind need today. Come now..."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Month of Memories... December 1st

I just concluded a 30-day Thanksgiving "challenge" on Facebook. I was really surprised and humbled that some people were actually inspired (their own words) by my little writings. So, today I stumble upon something that caught my eye and my heart. In my favorite magazine, Scrapbooks, Etc., they highlighted someone doing an entire scrapbook documenting the month of December. At first, visions of my messy kitchen, half-decorated home came to my mind. And then poured in to my overwhelmed consciousness the gifts that need to be bought (don't even mention wrapping to me today) and my desperate attempt to keep my gym attendance to at least three times a week. So, I thought, "Wow, to have that kind of time..." In my effort to just be real here, I don't have anywhere near that kind of time. You probably do not either.

So, what the heck am I doing today? Yeah, I wanna do this. Like, I really want to do this. I would love for my posts to make their way into a scrapbook but I thought updating my blog was a good first step. I may need encouragement on the way so if you are reading this and enjoy it, send me a note.

Here we go!

December 1. Day one on the Advent calendar I made with my MOPS group last year. As is unfortunately my way too often, the calendar was not ready on December 1st. It was December 5th when I got it up. How do I know the day? Was it that important to me to remember for an entire year? Um, no. Were it not for my oldest son, I'd have no clue about what happened last year.

"Mom, this year can you PLEASE start the Advent calendar on the first of December?? Last year, you did it on the 5th."

Wow, can't catch a break with this kid. Seriously, how does he remember this stuff??!!?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 11/17/2010

So, I guess it's not really wordless but I'll keep it to a minimum. I like this picture. It's my big boy tackling his fears. It's getting back up after you've fallen off your bike. It's not giving up. And I like this picture - a lot.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Get a Bike!

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain

It's been a while coming but the boys hit the road today with bikes. JD and I were really excited to see the boys on their wheels. It was so sweet to see my dear husband getting the bikes ready today. Training wheels, check. Fancy bike helmets, check. Excited little boys, CHECK!

I'd give my big fella very high marks for a new rider. He took to it rather well. I teased him, "Are you sure that you were not practicing this all week? Have you been riding a bike for years?" He giggled and assured me that this was indeed his first day on wheels.

Josiah was a different story. I'd have to give him a passing grade though his attention span and persistence were in limited supply. For a little guy who recently turned 3, I think he did well.

Both boys got their first falls out of the way though neither boy "ate" it. Braking is a bit of a challenge and probably will remain that way for a while.

So, check out my free-wheeling boys!

Monday, September 27, 2010


After too long with no blogging, I am slowly and steadily easing my way back. One of my favorite things was the comarderie of other fabulous bloggers. I really got into all those silly little things we would do. So, I'm back.

Anyway, I have a friend, Sue. She and I went to middle and high school together. She is so witty and fun. I laugh out loud every time I read her blog. And she is very faithful in her updating. Note to self: be more like Sue!

So, Sue receives a MAJOR award and so graciously passed it along to me. I had JD read all the terms of said award and he determined that it is indeed proper and lawful for me to pass this along to other deserving writers and also include the lovely award on my blog. So glad to have him on retainer.

Without further ado, the next round of lovely bloggers...
My Awesome Olive Shoots
A Little Bit of All of It
Grace Upon Grace

Ladies, if you choose to accept this award and do not pass it along and post the lovely image... I will sue you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This week's installment of Wordless Wednesday. I call this photo "Efficiency."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

For the first time ever, I present Wordless Wednesday. Shout out to my high school pal, Sue.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of Preschool Eve

I love this time of year. With the advent of Facebook, I'm able to see everyone's "First Day of Preschool/School" pictures. How adorable and what a fun, big milestone. So, today when Jon went to meet one of his teachers, I was determined to get that same kind of photo. Visions of scrapbooking pages danced in my head!

Due to the friendly stomach bug (friendly as in the fact that everyone but Rachel got it) that visited us, Jon missed the chance to meet his teachers last week. I was really looking forward to this and thought it would help ease some of his first day jitters. Preschool is a whole new thing for him/us and since he's not known for embracing change, I was looking for anything to ease the transition.

Thankfully, one of his two teachers made a special trip to the school today to meet us. Miss Laura is her name and I really like her. Anyway, back to the picture...

Here's what I got. Yep. That's right. That's my boy. Not quite the cherub-like expression that seems to be on everyone else's kids' faces. >Sigh<

If he had his druthers, he'd wear his PJs all day, eat his morning snack (preferably Toy Story treats) at 10-zero-zero, watch a few shark shows, have "nap" time of reading from 1:15 - 2:15 and then play more trains. He'd do this every day if we let him. Lather, rinse, repeat... basically. I actually do think he'll like some parts of preschool. He is already planning some of his Show & Tell items. There's a cool playground. Mimi can come watch his Christmas program. But, goodness - there will certainly be opportunities for him to be stretched.
And to be fair to him, who isn't nervous going somewhere new, meeting new people, etc.? I get a little anxious depending upon the situation. He said to me today, "I'm nervous." and with a little less tact, "I wish it were 200 days ago."

I should have known better. Mine is the son who has pictures from his soccer "game" where his face is in the net. Think I'm kidding... I''m not.

Stay tuned... I promise to report back on Day One.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Siah Sam - Happy Birthday!

Siah Sam... oh my sweet boy, you are three! I want to pay tribute to you and these exciting three years of your life. In trying to come up with words to adequately describe you, I fall short. You are completely unique. I think of expressions like, "Si is just a mess!" and I mean that in the sweet way that we in the South use it, a term of endearment. You are intense, physical, determined and funny. You absolutely adore your big brother and try your hardest to do everything that he does (the good AND the bad!). And Ray Ray has stolen your heart and you find her completely irresistible. It's almost like you find it physically uncomfortable to not have your hands on her. Lucky for you, she goes along with it most of the time. You both fascinate and scare her.

You are part baby and part big boy. You remind me of Linus the way you hold your blankee in a certain way to your nose with one hand while the other hand moves about in your hair. You like to cuddle and even like to be like "like a baby, Mama!" Those times are not that common and I'm happy to hold you. You will always be my baby boy.

Yet I see you growing up and becoming a "real" boy. You want action. You want adventure. You want YOUR way. Ah, to be a boy!

I sometimes laugh and say that God must have thought things pretty boring around here and He, in His perfect wisdom, gave us a Siah. We adore you, Birthday Boy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

To Infinity and Beyond!!

It's completely irresistible. I'm weak to it, I really am. To see my children's faces filled with wonder and awe. It's a good thing that I am limited by the need to buy groceries for the family and have the lights turn on. I see so many things that I want to get my children.

Yes, I know that my best gifts to my children are not things at all. I get that - I really do. I also am very aware that our Heavenly father is the giver of ALL good gifts and His gifts do not break, get dusty or go out of style. No gift could ever be greater than the gift of eternal life and a hope and a future! Can I get an amen??

So, ALL that being said... am I the only one who gets REALLY excited about giving special toys to our little ones? Surely I am not based upon the toy rooms that we visit.

Today was one such day. And off we went to Toys R Expensive and found the mac daddy of toys. Yes, they both now have talking Buzz Lightyear toys. "To infinity and beyond" is about the only sound coming from their room this nap time. (Today was a special treat by bringing a toy - a talking one no less - to bed. I will likely regret this decision when dealing with overly tired boys this evening.)

I don't want my boys to be lovers of things. I want their joy to come from the only true source of peace and joy. I think we do a pretty good job of instilling that. And then there are days like today when a plastic toy makes two brothers VERY happy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Our little lamb

I realize that I've not yet written of my sweet daughter, Rachel. It's because I honestly don't know how to put into words the joy that she is to our family. I could go on and on... and on and on about her. We're THAT crazy about her. Alas, I need to give her some love on this blog. Here goes...

Her name is Rachel Shiloh. Her name was decided upon 8 years ago while my husband was courting me. We both liked the name Rachel and he introduced me to Shiloh. Rachel means "little lamb" and Shiloh means "place of peace." Both are Old Testament names which goes along with our other children's names. I love that they can open God's word and find their names. That is cool to me.

So, I think she quite favors a Kewpie doll. She's got these huge blue eyes with eyelashes that perfectly curl. Am I the only one who sees this resemblance?

Oh - and here is a Kewpie doll from a few years ago..

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A brother in need.

(Unrelated picture but I like it.)

Proverbs 17:17 He that is a friend loveth at all times: and a brother is proved in distress.

Here's the scene...

Josiah spots some dirt from shoes outside the kitchen door leading to the garage. He indignantly announced that Jon was the culprit and to make matters worse - Jon did it "on purpose!!!" So said Josiah. Jon was not able to properly respond to the accusation as he was sitting in the car after having buckled himself in while awaiting the rest of us. So, he did all that he could do. He yelled.

No sooner had Josiah heard the wails he determined that something was wrong. "Jooown! I'm coming!" To make sure that I knew what was happening, he quickly came to me. "Mom, Jown is in trouble. My brudder is in trouble! I will help him!" Josiah pleads with me to hurry and get his shoes on.

Jon yells again, probably still annoyed that Josiah tried to frame him.

Yikes, thinks Josiah! This must be serious! Josiah turns to Rachel, "Rachel, my brudder, Jown, is in trouble! I must go to him! Jown - I'm coming!!"

Moral of the story -it's okay to sell out your brother, but you must quickly come to his rescue whenever he needs you. It's what best friends do.

Sunday, April 25, 2010



If you were in a 5-mile radius of our house yesterday and heard wailing and gnashing of teeth, it was just our boys getting haircuts on the back patio. For weeks, JD has wanted to give the boys a buzz cut - especially Josiah with all that thick hair. And Saturday was the day...

For you loyal readers, you may remember my attempt at playing hairdresser about a year and a half ago. I can't believe that all 3 of my fellas trusted me enough to give them hair cuts. Yeah, um - not so good. So, when my sweet husband offered to try, I was more than happy to hand over the clippers.

Bless their sweet hearts, they both really did want to like getting it done and I could see they were mentally gearing up for this. I think as Daddy's technique improves and he becomes much faster, it will go better. This picture of Jon David melts my heart because I know how hard he is trying to remain positive though not liking any of this. He's able to keep up this facade for about 3 minutes.

It took about 30 minutes and the added incentive (not really a bribe) of Goodberry's ice cream as a treat after dinner to pull this thing off. So, while Daddy is buzzing away, I could be seen with their hair flying all around me doing whatever I could to help the boys sit still so JD could finish. I remember reasoning with Jon, "You will have half of your hair cut and look really silly, Jon. Just be still and Daddy will be done in a minute." To keep them happy, I dug deep into my bag of tricks. For Josiah, he was happy with yet another rendition of "God is bigger than the boogie man" and Jon required the "twinkle twinkle" little ditty as well as a few songs from The Polar Express.

At the peak of agony, I regret to say that I was too busy consoling the boys to capture their angst. But here are a few shots before the wheels completely came off the bus.
When all was said and done, it was time for a quick wash down to get rid of the hair and lunch. They were tired and this was the best I could get for an after shot.


I give JD a lot of credit for pulling off this operation and for helping us be thrifty. He did a great job and it's harder than it looks to just shave off hair. This was definitely one of the times when Daddy is much better at something than Mommy. I was there with the assist and we got through it. We like the the way the boys look and they do too.