Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Love Life Live Lent ~ Week 2

Be More Creative
'Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:  I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who by myself spread out the earth...'
Isaiah 44:24
"God is often described in the Bible in the act of creation.  Over and over again God is portrayed as stretching out the sky like a tent or patiently weaving humanity into live.  God is a God of creativity, and humanity is made in his image.  As we seek to be as God-like as we can, we need to try and copy God's love of bringing things to life, so...be more creative."
Monday's Action:  Make something today, like a cake, a picture, a model, a poem, or a story.
This day was also President's Day, so the kids and I had a day off from school making it very easy to spend some time creating!  We started out by heading to the grocery store where, along with our weekly groceries, we bought a brownie mix so that we could "create" some brownies for Daddy.  (That's how I cook:  boxes, cans, and the freezer isle...though I am learning how to branch out a little more these days!)  We didn't stop creating there though.  That afternoon we sat down with coloring books and crayons and created a picture to send to Grandma!  It was a fun day full of creativity!

Care for the World
'Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father.'
Matthew 10:29
"God didn't just create the world and then walk off and leave it to itself.  He continues to love and care for it.  If God cares for the world so much that he notices when one sparrow dies, just imagine what it must feel like to see us spoiling the planet by using so much more than we need, and leaving litter behind, so...care for the world."
Tuesday's Activity:  Turn off the lights in rooms that no one is using
This was an easy one because we always stress turning off lights to the kids!  I mean Gavin is constantly asking me to lift him up to turn off lights...and then turn them back on...and then turn them back off...  Okay, so it might just be a fun game for him.  But, for Logan...okay, it's probably just a fun game for him to flip the switch, too.  Either way, the point is, as a family we all try to be very conscientious about turning of things like lights and the TV when they're not in use.  I guess it's just our little contribution to the God's world!
Be More Loving
'But Ruth said, "Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you!  Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.'"
Ruth 1:16
"One of the most moving expressions of love in the whole Bible is this one from Ruth.  When Naomi, her mother-in-law, tried to get her to think of herself and leave, Ruth responded with this wonderful pledge of love, loyalty and faithfulness.  We do not know whether Naomi already knew that Ruth loved her, but after it she could be in no doubt.  It is much better to make sure that people know we love them because we have told them, than to assume that they know, so...be more loving."
Wednesday's Activity:  Tell someone you love them
Another easy one!  And how much fun to go out and make a point of saying "I love you" to all the important people in our lives!  Plus, nothing is cuter, or heart-melting, than hearing Gavin and Logan say "I love you."
Be More Curious
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the starts that you have established; what are human beings that you are midful of them...?
Psalm 8:3-4
"In Psalm 8, the Psalmist looks at the world around and is moved to wonder about the place of human beings in such a complex and intricate universe.  Wondering and curiosity are an essential part of human existence and have given rise to some of the most important discoveries, but so often our lives grind on with little time for us to wonder about anything, so...be more curious."
Thursday's Activity:  Give yourself time to wonder about something and see where your curiosity leades you
Since it was a snow day and there was no school, we should have had plenty of time to do this one, but...I kinda spaced it.  At least as far as doing it as a family.  I, personally, have been tackling this particular activity...I'm working on a post about that specifically right now!
Be More Grateful
'Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice.  He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him.'
Luke 17:15-16
"It is easy to forget to be grateful.  In the story in Luke 17, ten lepers were healed but only one of them remembered to come back and say thank you.  No doubt the other nine were too busy enjoying their leprosy-free lives to remember.  However, it is important to be people who are mindful of the good things.  One step towards this is to remember to say thank you more often, so...be more grateful."
Friday's Activity:  Say thank you to someone for who they are or what they do
Thank you's are a staple in our house.  I think "thank you" was probably one of the first two word sentences each of my boys learned.  It is hard to remember to say thank you sometimes...we just get so busy, so wrapped up in our thing.  This was a great opportunity to remind my boys - and myself - why saying thank you, why being grateful, is so very important!
Notice the World Around You
'For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.'
Psalm 92:4
"The world that God has made is a wonderful plance:  full of wonder.  However, we often rush through our lives so fast that we simply do not have the time to notice quite how wonderful it is, in our busyness we miss the many different shades of green, the fowers pushing themselves through damp earth, the birds breaking into song.  The world that God created really is a wonderful pace, so...notice the world around you."
Saturday's Activity:  Walk somewhere today and notice the things around you - birds singing, sun shining or rain splashing!
The winter storm from the previous two days had passed and the sun was shining!  The boys and I decided to ditch the house and head to Springfield.  All along the drive Logan kept pointint out all the trees and fields covered with the ice and snow that had fallen during the storm.  When we got to the mall, there was one entrance that was shaded and still covered in a layer of ice and snow.  Logan was enjoying slip, sliding across it, so of course Gavin wanted in on the action, too.  My first reaction was to hold tight to him, to tell Logan to stop sliding around on purpose, but then I stopped and thought about how ice and snow were meant to be enjoyed too!  So, I set Gavin down and together, all three of us, slid our way into the building.  From there I held one little hand in each of mine as we wandered through the mall enjoying all the sights, sounds, and smells.  God's world is truly a beautiful place!
All quotes came from our Live Life Love Lent book published by www.livelent.net. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Finishing out our first week of Lent...

'what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?'  Micah 6:8
"One of the most important words in the Old Testament is the word translated here as kindness.  The problem is tha tthis word is very hard to translate into English.  It means something like faithful, loving kindness: not just a passing 'niceness' but a deep down, on-going love that blossoms regularly into acts of care and thoughtfulness.  As a part of our journey with him, this is what the Lord requires of us, so...care for those in need."
Friday's activity:  Watch the news.  Pray for someone or something you've seen on it.
This activity was a little tough simply because we never watch the news in our house.  Justin and I both catch up on our world happenings through reading rather than watching.  And, I generally just find the news very depressing and sometimes even disturbing.  It's not something I really wanted to expose Logan to, so I modified the activity.  Instead of praying for someone or something from the news, Logan and I sat down and talked about the different people in our everyday lives that we could pray for.  Logan caught on very quickly and asked if that meant he could pray for a friend of his at school that had gotten a bloody nose at school that day and had to go home.  It was so sweet to listen to Logan say a prayer for his school friend!

'God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.'
Genesis 1:31
"God loves the world he created.  In Genesis 1, after God had done each act of creation we are told that 'it was good' and, at the end of the sixth day, when he made humanity and animals we are told that 'it was very good'.  However much human beings have spoilt creation since, we must not forget that God loved the world then, loves it still and wants us to love it too, so...enjoy our world."
Saturday's activity:  Plant some seeds and care for them as they grow.
Oh, boy.  This was a super tough one...only because I have the blackest thumb known to man I'm sure!  But, we went ahead with it anyway.  Our family all went to Walmart together to shop for seeds, dirt, and a pot.  And then we planted.  And now we water and wait each day with excitement!


Since Sunday's sermon was going to focus on the family, our church decided to host a family friendly activity the Saturday night before.  The activity decided on was "movie night"!  We all met at the church at six that night loaded up with popcorn, snacks, and drinks to share.  The kids piled up blankets and pillows in the front of the church - they wanted the best seats in the house!  Then we played the movie Hotel Transylvania on the big screen.  In the end I think all of us grown ups were cracking up more than the kiddos!  It was a great movie and an awesome way to spend time as a family and with friends!

I remeber when the drama department did this particular story as a one-act play.  I went to see it with a boyfriend at the time and left the gym confused.  I didn't get it.  I mean really - why shouldn't the older son be angry?  Why should the father just 'reward' the younger son like that for bad behavior?  I thought the entire story was ridiculous!  And then I promptly forgot all about it...
...Until about seven years later when I attended a Thanksgiving church service at Journey Christian Church.  I had only just started going to church there; honestly, I had really just started going to church regularly period.  And I remember that my now mother-in-law stood up, read the story of the prodigal son, and then explained what it meant to her.  And I got it.  Finally!  And I realized how much I loved that story.  It quickly became one of my favorites.
On Sunday, our Pastor told the story of the prodigal son again (Luke 15).  I didn't think I had anything new to learn about this tale, but I did!  First of all, I learned that the word 'prodigal' has two definitions:  wasteful (like the son) and extravagant.  Our Pastor went on to put the story in the context of the time period it was written in, the rules and customs that were upheld then.  At that point it became clear that the father's love for his son, for his family, was extravagant!  The story was as much about the extravagant father as it was about the wasteful son.  It is about the importance of forgiveness over "being right", about the importance of reconcilliation over pride.  It is about the importance of holding a family together.
After all our family has been through in the past year, this sermon struck such a deep cord with in me.  It was a confirmation from God that all the hard and painful growing and working Justin and I have done was exactly what God meant for us! 
This first week of Lent has been such a growing - and rewarding - experience for me, for my children, for my family as a whole.  I look forward to continuing it!
Quotes are all from the creators of Live Life Love Lent at www.livelent.net

Valentine's Day ~ the good and the bad

Valentine's Day does not rank high on my list of favorite holidays.  In fact, if you asked me to list only my favorite holidays, it wouldn't make the cut at all.  It's not that I hate it or think it is stupid or anything like that.  Really, I don't think much of anything about it at all.  The reason for that can probably be summed up pretty quickly:
  1. Valentine's Day was not a big deal in our house growing up.  Sure, my parents always did a little something for us - usually a little heart shaped box of candy that I was always excited to get.  I don't really remember them making a big deal out of it as far as giving to one another.  I vaguely remember boxes of candy???  It was a holiday.  We recognized it simply and moved on.
  2. Until I started dating Justin when I was 18, I never had a "boyfriend" on Valentine's Day.  Seriously, I always managed to break up with them before the "Big Day" or not start dating them until after. 
  3. Justin isn't into Valentine's Day, so we just have never really done anything.  Because it's not a huge deal to me, it has never bothered me that we don't celebrate.  Though he did start bringing me home chocolate covered strawberries on the day a couple of years ago and that seems to be a sticking tradition...
Then I had a children.  When Logan was three and half (old enough to start to "get it"), I started trying to do a little something for the boys (Gavin was only six months the first year).  That was the year the holiday landed on a weekend, so I tried to make a special dinner and each boy received a stuffed animal (pillow pet for Logan, teething animal for Gavin).  And, it's stayed simple like that since then (to be honest, I can't remember what I did for the boys last year...I'd have to go look it up in a photo album...).

This year I had bigger plans for Valentine's Day...and they pretty much all fell through due to a complete lack of time (we have been soooo busy lately!).  I had plans for the boys to help me make cute, home-made valentines for their day care and school friends.  In the end we got a couple of boxes from the store:  Jack the Neverland Pirates for Gavin and Angry Birds for Logan.  We then threw them together right before bedtime Monday night (Logan was supposed to have his at school ASAP).  I would like to say it was fun and enjoyable, but really, I was tired and stressed and snapped at my boys one too many times...  In the end though, we got through it.  I was able to relax, and we had a good rhythm going when it was all said and done.  And the boys did have fun.

As for this year's "little" Valentine's Day gift?  We bought the boys a power-wheel.  In my defense, I bought it from my friend Erin whose girls had outgrown it, so its not like I went completely crazy.  The boys actually got it almost an entire week early, too, because I mean, how do you hide a power-wheel?  They're big! 

Unfortunetly, the weather hasn't been cooperating so they haven't been able to drive it around since the day they got it.  Can't wait for better weather and more outside fun!

This also means that I didn't have anything to give the boys on the actual holiday.  I didn't want to get them any other gifts, because c'mon!  They got a power-wheel!  They didn't need anything else!  I also didn't want to get them any goodies because I knew they would get plenty from their day care/school parties.  Despite all these logical reasons, I was still feeling guilty about not having anything for them that day...until my mom called the day before to let me know there was a package from her and Dad on the way.... 

Problem solved!

When we got home this afternoon, they had a big old box to open full of Valentine's Day goodies!

The rest of the evening was pretty much business as usual, which for a Thursday night means FUN!  On Thursday's I meet with my Bible study group at the church and the boys come a long and play while we meet.  Their Mimi is a part of the group, and lately she's been bringing them each a treat.  Valentine's Day was no exception!  They each got a little heart shaped box of candy that they got to eat after they finished off their Happy Meals (another treat for the evening).

Justin got home early that night (9:00, and yes, that's early for a Thursday night), and he came baring my favorite gift:  Godiva chocolate covered strawberries!  I ended the evening snacking on deliciousness and cuddling on the couch.

So, Valentine's Day may not make my list of favorite holidays, it may even annoy me sometimes (a.k.a. making valentines for school this year annoyed me), but in the end, as always, it turned out to be a pretty great day.  I'm always thankful to get to spend quality time with the people I love best - that's always worth celebrating!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Thursday ~ Be more giving

'When the steward tasted the water that had become wine...[he] said..., "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after teh guests have become drunk.  But you have kept the good wine until now."
~John 2:9-10
"God is overwhelmingly generous.  A wonderful story in John's Gospel, about a wedding at Cana, tells of how they ran out of wine and how Jesus made them some more - six stone jars or around 480 litres worth.  The point is that Jesus could have given them just what they needed but chose instead to be overwhelmingly generation.  Christians are called to follow Jesus and to be people of generosity, so be more giving..."
Action:  Get a jar and put your small change into it each day.  At the end of Lent give it to a charity.
All that above there doesn't come from me, it comes from the Love Life Live Lent booklets that our Pastor handed out in church on Sunday.  (Visit livelent.net for more infor if you'd like!)  Obviously, each day has a Bible verse, mini lesson, and action/activity to complete.  I thought yesterday's was perfect, considering it was also Valentine's Day - a day that is easy to get wrapped up in the receiving and to forget about the giving.

Being Valentine's Day, it was a pretty fun and crazy day for my kiddos.  They had parties at day care and school and came home with lots of goodies and cards.  Once home, there was a big box from Grandma and Grandpa waiting for them full of more Valentines goodies! 
After all of this generous givng from others, I thought it was a good time to introduce the day's activity - an activity about giving to others.  I had Logan run and get his "dino" bank while I grabbed the basket full of change from my desk.  I started out by first giving Logan his quarter for the day (he gets a quarter everytime he has a blue day at school), and he put it into his bank.  Then came the giving part...
Now for some background information:
We have a place called the Pregnancy Support Center in town.  It's a pretty amazing program that provides a wide variety of resources and services for those who are expecting a child.  Each year at about this time, they do their "baby bottle" fundraiser, something our church has participated in for quite a few years now.  Each family takes home a baby bottle and then has the opportunity to pray for one baby by name and also to fill the bottle up with money.  It can be change, bills, or even a check.  We then return the bottles to church and our Pastor takes them back to the center.  This year we took a bottle home with the intention of involving Logan and Gavin in the process.  This activity in giving seemed the perfect opportunity!
Okay, now back to the story:
So, there we were, all three of us sitting on the floor with a "dino" bank, a basket of coins, and a mostly empty baby bottle (I had already started the process of putting spare change in).  I read the little booklet to the boys, and we discussed being generous.  Then, I dumped out the entire basket of change and told them that we were going to put all of the "silver" coins into the baby bottle.  Gavin jumped right into this one.  After all it was a game!  A fun game!  (Hey, he's two - money has no meaning.  Yet...)  Logan was a little more hesitatnt at first.
He picked up a bright, shinny penny and asked, "Mom, can I put this one in my dino bank?"
I replied, "No, first we're going to put all of the silver coins into the baby bottle.  Then, if there's still room, we're going to add the pennies.  We're going to give all of this money to help a baby named Hayden, and other babies like him."
He thought about it for a minute and then asked, "Even the quarters?"
"The quarters go in first, because they're worth the most."
He thought about it a little more, and then said, "Okay.  I'll give him the quarters.  Then he can use them to buy things in the machines at Walmart."
"And his parents will be able to help him buy other things that he needs."
"Yeah!  That would be good!" 
And, just like that he was off!  He found each and every single silver coin in the bunch and put them in that baby bottle.  And when all the silver ones were gone, he didn't even hesitate - just started dropping pennies in, too!  It wasn't long before the bottle was full...and there was still a substantial pile of pennies on the floor.

I looked at the boys and told them that because they had been generous first that they could keep the rest of the money in the dino bank.  They were excited to start dropping pennies into the dino bank, but all the while Logan was going on and on about how excited he was to have shared with another baby!  It was a total melt-my-heart moment! 
I love that this Lent activity took a day that could have been one all about receiving and turned it into a day that was also about giving. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

February Gifts

249.  debt paid off
250.  lazy Saturdays at home
251.  children napping peacefully through the afternoon
252.  reading a chapter book with Logan
253.  bowls of birthday cake ice cream
254.  building a puzzle piece by piece with Logan
255.  a family game of Sorry
256.  One Thousand Gifts book study
257.  late nights writing, pen to paper
258.  Super Bowl Sunday on the couch with Justin
259.  fresh coat of nail polish
260.  a teacher that does care
261.  words of encouragement after a difficult day
262.  laughter to ease the stress
263.  after class phone calls from Justin just to say "Hey"
264.  a flu shot to protect
265.  breathing treatments to heal
266.  Surprise!  Husband home early from work
267.  family walks in afternoon sunshine
268.  smell of bread baked fresh
269.  red-orange orb, sun setting behind the tree line
270.  legos and cars spread across the floor
271.  a TV gone blank and silent
272.  long, good phone conversations with Mom
273.  pink-gold sunrise reflected off silver-metal barn roof
274.  Logan's blue day
275.  a gym membership and trainer
276.  faces filled with joy when riding their "four wheeler"

277.  Logan's helpful hands
278.  clean bathrooms
279.  a book to inspire
280.  flowers picked out and given to me as a gift from Logan
281.  chopping vegetables in the morning for a crock pot dinner
282.  the lingering smell of onions, carrots, and potatoes on my hands, noticed during prayer time at church
283.  Nooma videos that inspire me in new ways every time I watch
284.  Celebrating Shrove Tuesday with pancakes and church friends
285.  squeals of glee from the boys at the sight of falling snow
286.  snow falling in the yellow glow of a street light
287.  small foot prints tracked in snow
288.  Pond, glass smooth, reflecting back a sky colored with sunrise
289.  wooded areas painted in white by fresh snow fall

290.  Ash Wednesday church service
291.  sweet smell of ashes, cross-shaped on my forehead
292.  "I miss you" ~ late night phone call
293.  calming effect of inentional prayer
294.  the generosity of my children
295.  a gift ~ red strawberries covered by sweet chocolate


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ash Wednesday ~ Say Sorry

'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'
~Matthew 3:2
'Repent' is one of those "church" words that gets thrown around a lot, and I think it often gets misunderstood.  Even worse, I think it's one of those words that gets used all to often as a knife to cut others down, to make them feel ashamed and less than.  I don't for one second believe that Jesus ever meant for the word 'repent' - a word he used again and again in the Gospels - to be used that way. 
'Repent' simply means changing your mind, turning and facing a new direction.  Before anyone can change the direction of ones action, one must first admit that a change needs to happen!  Jesus didn't want us to just acknowledge the wrongs we had done though, He wanted us to apologize, to say "I'm sorry" to God and to others we had hurt along the way.  He wanted us to experience forgiveness, to be able to face the future free of the guilt of pat actions.  He wants to forgive us!  'Repent' is a pretty awesome and straight forward word when put into that context!  And for our Live Life Love Lent project, it was the word of the day.
You see, yesterday was Ash Wednesday.  Unlike Shrove Tuesday, I've actually heard of Ash Wednesday.  In fact, I've known about Ash Wednesday for as long as I can remember.  But, knowing about it doesn't mean I ever really partcipated in it.  I vaguely remember maybe going to a service in college once, but I'm not sure if I actually did or if I'm just remembering others actually doing it (because they mark your forehead with a cross it's pretty easy to pick out those who went to the service that day).  Either way, I haven't participated in a service since starting to attend our church here in MO.
Just like knowing about Ash Wednesday doesn't mean I participated in it, participating in it doesn't actually mean I understand the purpose.  I really, really felt drawn to this year's service, but I didn't want to go in blind.  After all, how much can something really mean to a person if they don't understand it?  And I not only wanted to attend the service, I wanted it to mean something to me.  So, I did a little research...
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent.  Since Lent was traditionally a time to prepare for Baptism, it makes sense that much of the forty days was focused on recognizing and apologizing (repenting) for the mistakes and poor choices made in the past.  While Lent may not necessarily mean that people are preparing for a Baptism these days (for instance, our church does Baptisms in September), it still is a time for believers to focus on God, to draw nearer to Him.  One of the best ways to do that is to say sorry!  To ask for forgiveness!  To be forgiven!
Love Life Live Lent published this description of Ash Wednesday:
In biblical times, people covered their heads with ashes, or wore sackcloth (a type of rough cloth) as a sign of being sorry for the things they had done wrong.
Traditonally,on Ash Wednesday Christians had a cross-shape marked in ashes on their foreheads...Being marked with a cross in ash is a sign of wanting to turn away from wrong things.  It is also a reminder that every life ends. 
After my teensy bit of research, I felt ready, prepared, to attend our Ash Wednesday service, to recieve a cross of ash on my forehead.  I went into that service knowing exactly what I was sorry for and exactly what I want to spend the next forty days focusing on.
After work, I picked the boys up and we went out for dinner at Subway. 

Logan was very excited to get to church.  He kept telling me to check the time - he wanted to make sure we weren't late.  I guess he was really afraid that we were going to miss it, though I don't know why - I'm hardly ever late to anything!  In fact, I'm an early arriver!  As it was, Logan inhaled his food and impatiently waited for Gavin and I to catch up!
After that we headed over to a local church for the Ash Wednesday service.  And we were early.  Really early.  We had eaten dinner in record time thanks to Logan's enthusiasm!  Being early turned out to be a nice thing though.  We got first pick on seats and time to relax before the service started.  Gavin was especially thrilled because he got to watch the male vocalist (our neighbor in fact) warm up for his special music that evening.  Gavin was entranced the entire time - he loves all things musical!  It wasn't long before more people showed up, including friends of ours who have children.  Before we knew it, all of the kids (except Gavin - he needed to stay to watch the music!) were off in the children's room playing.
I loved every minute of the - even though I had to corral a squirmy two year old the entire time (he refused to leave my side).  It was a joint service between our church and our "sister" church in town, so it was a blending of traditional and contemporary.  The most powerful moment really was taking communion and having the cross drawn on my forehead with ashes.  There's just no describing the feeling that overcame me in that moment! 
On the car ride home, Logan and talked about today's "activity" from our Love Life Live Lent booklet.  The activity was "Think about something you have done wrong and say sorry for it."  Gavin, not really being a talker yet didn't have much to say on this one, but Logan didn't even seem to have to stop and think about it.  He immediately said, "I'm sorry for all the times I played in school instead of working."  This actually really made me happy. 
You see, Logan has really been struggling in school with little behavior issues, and we have been drilling and drilling him and punishing and punishing him and rewarding and rewarding him.  I just wasn't really sure how much it was sinking in, yet last night I saw evidence of all the work we have done as a family to tackle this issue, and it felt so good!  After all, I've prayed and prayed about what has been going on.  Prayed for Logan, prayed for myself as a mother, Justin as a father, our family unit as a whole.  This, along with the success Logan has been having all week, just seemed like such a testament to God's faithfulness! 
I shared with Logan what I was sorry for, too.  After all, if I'm expecting him to fess up I should too, right?!  There are a lot of things I'm sorry for, most of which his little five year old mind probably wouldn't really get, so I chose to share one that I thought he could really relate to.  I told him that I was sorry that when I get angry that I choose to yell instead of speak in a calm voice.  I told him that I was working as hard to change that as he was working to do better in school.  We talked about it for a little bit, and at the end of the conversation he said, "Mommy, I forgive you."  It was too sweet, and pretty amazing to get to talk like this with my child!
I'm just loving this entire process so much already.  It is really bringing my family closer together and closer to God.  I'm looking forward to what the rest of this Lent season brings us!

Here one moment, gone the next

One of the cool things that happened on Shrove Tuesday that I forgot to mention was....


Yup!  You heard me!  We got some snow.  Some snow that actaully stuck to the ground!  At least for a moment...

When we left the pancake dinner at church Tuesday night it was snowing.  Giant, fluffy, wet flakes of snow.  The boys were so excited!  The kept yelling out, "It's snowing" and trying to run through it as we walked to the car (very difficult to do since none of it was sticking to the ground).

Later that night, after we tucked the boys into bed, Justin and I just sat watching the snow fall in the glow of the street lights.  At this point, it was snowing enough to start covering the roof tops, trees, and grass.  I'm sure all over Lebanon their were teachers and students hoping for a snow day the next day!

The next morning, the kids and I looked out the window and were amazed by how much fresh, white snow can transform a drab winter day into a sparkling winter wonderland!  Now, there wasn't that much snow - probably only about an inch, but it was piled just perfectly on tree branches, fences, roof tops, and the grass.

Since the roads were completely clear (it had just been way to warm for the snow to stick), there was no snow day.  We had to get up, get dressed, and rock on with the morning as usual.  Knowing that the temperature was supposed to hit 52 that day, I knew the snow wouldn't last.  I made sure to get the boys out of the house a little early so that they could at least walk through the snow for a few minutes.  Logan promptly laid down and made a snow angel after I told him not to effectively covering himself in snow!  Justin took a broom to him though, so the problem was quickly solved.  The biggest problem was actual wrestling the kids into the car.  Big surprise - they didn't want to go!  There was snow to play in!  I didn't blame them.  It was so beautiful out with the sun slowly starting to rise and reflect off all that beautiful white - I just wanted to grab my camera and walk around with the boys snapping pictures all morning long!

But, we went to day care/school/work.  Along the way, we "ooohhed" and "ahhhed" over all the sights.  At one point even Gavin commented, "Mommy!  Pretty tree!"  I had to content myself with my camera phone and pictures taken while *gulp* driving.

These next three were sent to me by Justin.  It seems he likes to take pictures while driving, too....

Like I said, the temperature was supposed to get up into the fifties, so the snow wasn't going to last the day (which secretly - or maybe not so secretly - is one of the things I love about living in MO).  Sure enough, it was gone by the time the kids and I got home for the day, so there was no going out to play in it (which did actually make me feel bummed for the boys - I'm not a total scrooge!).  It was nice to at least get to enjoy it for a few hours anyway!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

While I'm at work...

Text from awesome babysitter: 
Gavin is baking potato heads.  he took all the parts off them and put them in the cabinet.  He had several before I noticed he was taking them out and putting them in the baby bed.  Once he got them all in the bed, he took a spoon and stirred them.  :-)


Awesome babysitter:
Then he put them all back in.  Maybe twice baked potatoes?

Dang!  He's just too funny!

Awesome babysitter:
he is.  He's moved them back and forth at least 5 times.  Cracks me up!

Haha!  He's always good for entertainment!


Awesome babysitter:
Potato rotisserie?

I can't believe he's still playing with them!


Awesome babysitter:
This is what cooking potatoes all day does to you :-)


And that is how I can stand to not be a stay at home mom.  The secret is an awesome babysitter and a super happy kiddo.