Month: February 2012

The not bummer road trip adventure

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Have you seen the movie Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer? It’s a great movie. And it’s kinda freaky because it is totally my kids and sister. Red headed, adventurous, unique little girl. Blond headed pesky little brother. Amazing, crazy, coolest aunt in the world.

So a week and a half ago we had a not bummer road trip adventure with my sister. She lives three hours away and so we drove an hour north and she drove two hours south and we met up for an overnight stay. This town also has an awesome children’s museum and we had planned to spend some time there.  Pat decided to come along which we were super excited about because he’s been very busy with work lately!

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures for the first half of our adventure.  We met my sister there around 2:30 pm on Thursday. After checking into the hotel the kids went on a tour of the hotel with Aunt Nellie. Also along for our adventure was friends of my sister and their 2-year old son. All three kids had such a fun time playing together.

We decided to go to the museum on Friday morning and so went swimming Thursday before supper. Unfortunately the hotel didn’t have a hot tub but the pool was really nice.  Angel LOVES to swim and Caleb actually wanted to swim too. Usually he doesn’t want to but we all had fun swimming together.

Around 6:30-7:00 pm we headed out for dinner. We decided to go to a place we hadn’t been to; it was sort of a “fine dining” restaurant. We had looked up the menu online and it wasn’t too expensive so we thought we’d give it a try. We had a super fun time and got completely stuffed!

The kids were pretty wiped out by the time we got back to the hotel and so we just played for awhile before heading to bed. Poor Caleb got stuck sleeping with mom and dad because there wasn’t enough room for him in the other room with Aunt Nellie.

Friday morning we enjoyed a continental breakfast and we might have been the only people with bed head, in bare feet and in pj’s.  We eventually got packed up, ran a few errands and were at the museum by about 11:00 am. The kids were super excited and we all had tons of fun!

(You can tell Patrick had the camera most of the day because there are way too many pictures of me!)

Grocery shopping…

Climbing in the clouds. This thing was a little scary (for the moms)…

Oliver, Angel and Bubba hiding in a tree…

Children of the corn (hee hee)…


Once a band geek, always a band geek. I had to stop in the The Pride of the Dakotas room and take a picture. I was in the Pride when I was in college and despite the fact that I am now a Coyote, I will forever be a Jackrabbit!

(Ok band geek, move along.)

Caleb working on a car…

Pat and Caleb building…

Mama is ready to go home. This was at the end of the day, I promise. (This picture makes me laugh so hard because I was trying to be really creepy and I realize that I was very successful! HA!)

The water room…

Caleb threw this kitty and made that little girl cry.

The best part of the day.  For the kids.  My best part of the day was when we got cupcakes on our way out of town.  Anyway. We went outside and saw the dinosaur.

(Gunner, Lisa, Oliver, Me, Angel, Caleb, Aunt Nellie)

And then the dinosaur got hungry and tried to eat me.

(That was weird.)

It was way past our normal lunch time by the time we got through the museum and so we walked a few blocks to downtown and enjoyed hamburgers at the famous Nick’s Hamburger Shop. Pat has always wanted to eat there and it was super good.  My sister had to head for home after that but the rest of decided to do something really crazy and we went back to the museum to let the kids play a little more!

The adults kids didn’t last long and within about 30 minutes we were on the road for home.  It was a great little road trip and the kids can’t wait for our next not bummer adventure with Aunt Nellie!


We bribe our kids to get them to sleep

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Disclaimer: This post is so long it might put you to sleep.

Some time long ago our kids wouldn’t sleep through the night.  Oh wait. They have never slept through the night. Well anyway, I think at Angel’s 3 year (or maybe it was her 2 year?) well baby check up the doctor recommended the book Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems. We thought it was fabulous and helped tremendously in getting the kids to sleep in their beds.

Shortly after we started potty training and the kids were never able to make it through the night without waking up to go potty. And Angel is a crazy light sleeper and her legs always hurt and she always needs to be close to mom and dad.  We kinda just surrendered and allowed them to get in bed with us when they woke up thinking that we didn’t care where they slept as long as they slept. Unfortunately Angel is also the world’s most restless sleeper.  A few weeks ago I awoke to feel her legs wrapped around my neck.  And I am totally serious.  

Also a few weeks ago in our couple’s Bible study group we were talking about this and how the lack of sleep negatively affects our marriages.  We received great encouragement from our friends and we also decided that we needed to get back to being mean parents who make their kids sleep in their beds all night. Since both kids are able to hold it all night long most nights we brushed up on the suggestions from the sleep book and started a new routine a week ago Sunday night.

I worked Sunday night and got home about 12:45 am. At about 1:00 am they started waking up. One of the tools from this book is to use a baby gate so that the kids still have their own space – they don’t necessary even have to stay in their beds – but they need to understand that they stay in their “space” after bedtime. The first night was tough. I would go down and console them and give hugs and kisses and then go back upstairs. You are supposed to let them cry for a certain period of time depending on how old they are and then go back down and do the whole routine again. Eventually they get the hint that you are serious. It only took us about 2 hours for them to finally realize mommy was serious and they fell asleep about 3:30 am.

Monday night we sat down with the kids and Pat explained to them a little more about the gate. He told them it wasn’t because they were naughty but that it’s important that everyone sleeps in their own beds. And sometimes when we wake up in the middle of the night that it’s easy to forget to stay in our bed. So when they see they gate they can remember and go back to their bed and go to sleep.

We also thought we needed a few more tools to help encourage them. With the kids help we talked about everything we do before bedtime and I made each of them a poster. 1. Go potty. 2. Brush teeth. 3. Put pj’s on. 4. Have devotion and prayer with mommy and daddy. 5. Read books in bed. 6. Lights out. Sleep all night in bed. 7. Get present in the morning!

It was pretty fun Monday night because we would ask them what was next and they’d run over to their poster and tell us. It definitely made bedtime more fun for them then us yelling about what they need to do.

The present thing was something I thought of when I went to Wally World Monday night to get dog food. They had a bunch of their junk accessories and small toys on sale for $.25. So I decided to create a bribe present box and we told the kids that every morning they’ll get to pick out a prize if they stayed in their room all night.  I ended up spending about $25 and we have enough stuff to last at least two weeks so I think that was a pretty good investment. The presents are things like stickers, candy, small toys, glow sticks, jewelry and lip gloss for Angel, trucks for Bubba, gum, etc.  And of course I let them look at and admire every thing before putting it up on the counter.

Another thing with the book is that while you are “training” the kids to learn to sleep in their room all night you move back their bedtime so they are super tired and fall asleep right away. At 9:00 pm we started getting ready for bed and were done with our list by about 9:45 pm. When I asked them what number 6 was Angel yelled, “Lights out!”, turned off her light and by the time I finished tucking in Caleb she was already asleep. Caleb wasn’t far behind. It was certainly later than normal for bedtime but so much more peaceful than normal also.

The kids slept until 4:00 am! OH. MY. WORD. I seriously do not think we’ve gotten 6 straight hours of sleep in 4 years. Except I couldn’t sleep so didn’t go to bed til 11:30 pm. But still, even 4.5-5 hours is amazing!  At 4:00 am they both woke up and called to me from the gate. Surprisingly they weren’t crying. Caleb needed a kleenex and Angel asked if it was time to get up. I explained that it was too early and that we would tell them when it was morning. They both went back to bed and Angel slept til 6:30 am and Caleb til 7:30 am.

Tuesday night was again a pleasant bedtime ritual as the kids were excited to tell us what was next on the list.  They both slept until 3:00 am and then woke up and yelled for me at the gate. I went down and gave them a kiss and reminded them they need to sleep in their beds if they want a present in the morning. Angel ran back to her room. Caleb wasn’t so sure and it took a little coaxing but eventually he went back.  They both slept until 7:30 am. WOW!

A few days prior to our deciding to get back into kids sleep in own bed mode, I purchased this clock for Angel. A friend had told me about it last year but it’s pretty expensive and so we didn’t buy it. Well I broke down and bought it and it arrived on Wednesday. Angel was pretty excited about it and we showed her how it’s yellow during the day, turns blue when it’s bedtime and then in the morning when it’s time to get out of bed it turns yellow and sings a wake up song.

Wednesday night was similar to Tuesday night. They woke up once around 3-4 am but went right back to bed. Again, Caleb struggling a little more than Angel. I’m not getting too worked up about it though because he’s been so sick lately and he’s just an emotional wreck!  Thursday morning her new clock was set to go off at 7:00 am. At 7:40 am she finally came upstairs so excited that her clock had turned yellow. I can’t believe it took her 40 minutes to wake up!

The best news of all? Thursday night she slept straight through the night. Not one little peep. I’m not sure if she was just extra tired or what. But she did tell Daddy, “I layed there and layed there and layed there with my eyes open all night!” She’s so funny.

Unfortunately Caleb had a pretty rough night Thursday night. He woke up at 3:00 am and again at 3:30 am and climbed over the gate. Little stinker. I broke down a little and let him sleep on the couch then but he knew he wasn’t going to get a present in the morning and he chose the closeness of mom and dad over the present. Again, I hope it’s all because of him being sick because usually he’s a really sound sleeper.

Friday night was a little rough. They were both up quite a few times.  The other thing with this clock is it has music or music/white noise or white noise. We put it on white noise and I think that has helped Angel. Well I worked Friday night and Pat didn’t realize I had set it on the white noise. He went down and heard it and thought it was static and not working and so he unplugged it! I’m not sure if that was why she was up so much Friday night or not.

Saturday and Sunday nights Caleb slept all night but Angel wet the bed both nights. Saturday night it was at 5:00 am so I just let her come to our bed. Sunday night when it happened I changed the sheets and made her go back in her bed. I’m wondering if she’s doing it on purpose so she can come to our bed? I hate to think that but she is one smart cookie.

We cannot yet declare that our kids are sleeping through the night. But we are doing so much better than a few weeks ago. I’m so thankful for the extra sleep. I can’t believe what a difference it makes. Not only in me but also in Angel. Did you notice her amazing smiles in this post? I know we’ll have setbacks but I’m hopeful that we’re at the beginning of a really good thing!

Snow day, silly day, paint with celery day, and my dad almost cut his arm off day

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First things first.

Yes, my dad tried to cut his arm off today.

Well I suppose tried isn’t the right word. He was trying to cut a trophy column and I guess he kinda missed.  My mom sent all us kids a text saying they were at the hospital cause dad cut his arm with a saw but he’s ok. Praise Jesus.  Yes. Praise Jesus indeed. Angel was quite distraught about Papa cutting his arm. In fact when Pat got home from work she told him that Papa cut his arm off! So I had to ask my mom to send a picture so we could assure Angel that Papa still had his arm.

If you don’t think big cuts are cool, you might want to turn away.

Whew. Arm intact!

Ouch. That’s gotta hurt. Thankfully it all turned out ok! I guess that’s easy for me to say, I’m not in excruciating pain, huh.  Well, if you don’t mind, say a prayer for my dad!

In other non-life threatening news, we had a busy day today.  I was suppose to work but since there were two Call Reps scheduled I was able to call in and use vacation time. We’re all still not 100% healthy and so I thought it’d be good to have a night of good rest.

It was silly day at Angel’s school. She rocked silly day.

And here she is actually being silly. Cause I guess dressed up silly isn’t enough!

After school we went out to eat for lunch. We might have gotten a few weird looks.

And it snowed today! The kids were so excited. Around 4:00 we were going a little stir crazy and so I thought I’d try my hand at snow blowing the driveway. Pat had shown me how to use the snow blower before but I’ve never actually done it. Thankfully I didn’t hurt anyone and the kids had a blast playing outside.  And I did wonder if it was a good idea to go outside with all of us still getting healthy, but considering how sick everyone has been the past few months, I’m thinking there’s more germs in my house than outside!

Hi Jo Jo. He loves the snow!

Brrr. Time to go inside and have hot chocolate!

Today was also paint with celery day. On Monday when we were in the doctor’s office for Caleb, I read in the Family Fun magazine about paining flowers with the bottom of celery. You cut off all the stalks and the shape looks exactly like a flower. Well turns out we made supper for church on Wednesday night and we used celery and so I just kept the ends.

It didn’t turn out as good as I thought. Probably because I didn’t have a big thing of paint so we had to first brush the celery and then press it on the paper. The kids had fun though.

We had a busy, fun and somewhat scary day today. It was a really good day though because I got almost 8 hours of sleep last night! But you’ll have to come back next week to learn more about that!

Let’s do everything

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Music soothes my soul. When our life is chaotic and everyone is frazzled I often turn on the radio to KNWC or KLOV and it brings calm.  It brings my focus back to God and His Word and Truth.

I heard Do Everything by Steven Curtis Chapman the other day for the first time.  I seriously love this song. Not only is it a good dancing song, but most of all, the message is amazing.

Especially the first verse.  Except for the coloring the lips part. I can’t remember the last time I wore lip stick. Too busy kissing my husband ya know, so what’s the point.

Well anyway, as I was saying, this song is such a great encouragement to me. I think regardless of what our role in life is, it’s easy to get discouraged that we’re not doing enough. Or we can be tricked into thinking that if we’re not doing something really “flashy” then it’s of less importance.

I know that when I’m washing the kids sheets for the fourth day in a row or making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch again, I sometimes wonder if there isn’t more to this thing we call life. Shouldn’t I be doing more? Isn’t there something more important?  And I think back on my days and most days I feel like I have accomplished absolutely nothing.  And yet all that stuff I consider nothing, is everything God can use.

Everything we do, we can do it to bring glory to God. Every decision I make and every person I come in contact with and every single minute with my husband and my kiddos is an opportunity to be used of God.

So today, let’s do everything. No, not everything. In fact, let’s stop doing everything. But everything we do, let’s do it for the glory of God!  (Wow, that was a little confusing and totally awesome all at the same time!)

Your picking up toys on the living room floor for the 15th time today 
Matching up socks 
Sweeping up lost cheerios that got away 

You put a baby on your hip 
Color on your lips and head out the door 

While I may not know you, 
I bet I know you 
Wonder sometimes, does it matter at all? 

Well let me remind you, it all matters just as long 
As you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you, 
Cause he made you, 
To do 
Every little thing that you do 
To bring a smile to His face 
Tell the story of grace 
With every move that you make 
And every little thing you do 

Maybe your that guy with the suit and tie 
Maybe your shirt says your name 

You may be hooking up mergers 
Cooking up burgers 
But at the end of the day 

Little stuff 
Big stuff 
In between stuff 
God sees it all the same 

While I may not know you 
I bet I know you 
Wonder sometimes, does it matter at all? 

Well let me remind you, it all matters just as long 
As you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you, 
Cause he made you 
To do 
Every little thing that you do 
To bring a smile to His face 
Tell the story of grace 
With every move that you make 
And every thing you do 

Maybe your sitting in math class 
Or maybe on a mission in the Congo 
Or maybe your working at the office 
Singing along with the radio 

Maybe your dining at a 5-star 
Or feeding orphans in the Myanmar 
Anywhere and everywhere that you are 

Whatever you do 
It all matters 
So do what you do 
Don’t ever forget 

To do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you, 
Cause He made you 
To do 
Every little thing that you do 
To bring a smile to His face 
And tell the story of grace 

As you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you, 
Cause he made you 
To do 
Every little thing that you do 
To bring a smile to His face 
And tell the story of grace 
With every move that you make 
And every little thing you do 

In every little thing you do 
In every little thing you do