Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hard economic times require parents to say....


Today I am reading the headlines on FoxNews. The 2 that catch my eye are:
"Wal-mart employee dies after 'Black Friday' shoppers break open door" and
"Toy advertising under fire"

Ok so here is the gist. There is a parental agency petitioning parents to write letters to the toy manufactures to tone down their advertising of their toys to kids via commercials.
The bulk of the article is filled with statements like these:

Unfortunately, I will not be able to purchase many of the toys that my sons have asked for; we simply don't have the money," wrote Todd Helmkamp of Hudson, Ind. "By bombarding them with advertisements ... you are placing parents like me in the unenviable position of having to tell our children that we can't afford the toys you promote."

"It's cruel to dangle irresistible ads for toys and electronics in front of kids — encouraging them to nag for gifts that their parents can't afford," she said. "It's just not fair."

"I had one parent who said she'd prostitute herself to get what her child wants," Almodovar said. "It's heartbreaking. They feel inadequate as parents.

Ok so here is what I say to you parents"

SUCK IT UP. SHUT OFF THE TV if you don't want JR to be overstimulated by the commercials.

How about a lesson in earning something thru WORK?!? or better yet how about learning to say NO.
Stand in front of the mirror and repeat after me "NO" ok try it again (it gets easier with repetition "NO" Ok getting the hang of it yet?)

Here is a tip. Jesus got 3 gifts on that 1st Christmas. It was HIS birthday, the magi were late, and he was GOD for goodness sake!

So take little Johnny aside and give him what you really ought to for Christmas this year. An experience in giving to someone who has LESS than him. Which for most of us would be easy to find!

Ok the headline about the Wal-mart employee dying because of a stampede of rude shoppers with a gimmie-gimmie attitude.

I can't even fluently comment. I need to go vomit. Do we even remember what it is like to not be so selfish? Someone should be showing Veggie Tales "Madame Blueberry" to the line at 2 AM while they wait for the people WORKING (hint hint) to get the doors open.

An Excerpt from the video:
"I thank God for this day, for the sun in the sky, for my mom and my dad, for my piece of apple pie..." "That is what I want., says Madame Blueberry a Happy Heart!" What isle is the happy heart in?

Monday, November 24, 2008

A trip to our favorite gas station

So Caleb and David want to go to the BP after Davids musical (it is already 8:30 on a school night). The responsible mom in me wants to say "NO WAY!" But the kid in me want to say "OK"

The kid wins this time around. I ask what treat they would like. David says "KIT KAT!" and Caleb says:"I want a beef stick please!"

A beef stick? What? A beef stick. Are you kidding me? You want a beef stick? (we don't watch tv so where did he find out about a beef stick?)

I guess he and John and tried one together some time ago. I did not know he had ever had one before, so his request was super funny to me.

Ok Slap into a slim Jim it is. Guess he needs meat!

The BP is 2 and 1/2 blocks from home. But check out this picture. This is how messy Nathan can get in 2 1/2 blocks with a kit kat piece. Imagine seeing that in your rear view mirror. HA!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nathan is already using his manners

Just a short clip of Nathan.
We have been sick and Nathan has caught on that it is polite to cough in your sleeve. Here he is copying me.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

David's 2nd grade musical

David had his 1st class play/musical last week. It included all the Evansville 2nd grade classes. Each class is in a different color shirt. (David's class shirt was pink) I included a 3 1/2 minute clip of the hour long production. I spliced together some of the musical numbers so you could see how many 2nd graders there are in this tiny town (there are 141 2nd graders about 16 or so per class). This music teacher really has things under control for being so outnumbered.

In the first part of the clip you can see just how many kids there are in 2nd grade here in Evansville. The place was standing room only for just the parent/grandparent show last Thursday.

In the beginning of the clip you see David looking around for us. Then later you see him find us and give John a wink and a 'I love you' sign. At the very end you see him give us the "I'm Joe Cool" look.

At the end of the show the music teacher got all teary eyed and said how much fun she has at her job and how much she loves the kids. It was a great experience for David.

Enjoy the clip

Oh sorry about the Nathan coughing episode half way thru. We are all just now on the mend from being sick for the last 2 weeks. Amazingly David was the only one who did not get it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A simple trip to the library - well not so simple

Why does it have to be so complicated?

All I wanted to do was make good on a promise and take Caleb back to the library so he could play with this puppy toy they have in the kid’s section.

You see last night, many of the items I had requested from the public library were ready for me to pick up. So I ran out after supper, with Caleb only ,to go get the items. I told Caleb before going in that we were not going in to spend the day playing – just get our stuff and get out. He agreed. For the most part he was really great about it. Except then he eye-spied this new puppy in a doghouse toy that has never been there before. He was all over it. I told him that we could come back tomorrow with Olivia if Nathan took an early nap.

Sure enough Nathan took an early nap and Caleb remembered. So off to keep my promise we went.

You know what? The library is only like 8 blocks from here. Amazing what I have to do to get three kiddos out the door for a 45-minute playtime at the local library. Nathan slept thru snack time so I had to bring something for him in case he got hungry. Every needs a juice cup. Olivia took her socks off – now where are they? Caleb has his shoes on the wrong feet. Nathan needs a diaper change. Olivia needs to go potty, Caleb needs to go potty. I need to go potty. Now get jackets on. Olivia’s zipper is stuck. Caleb is frustrated because he can’t get his snaps snapped. Nathan is crying because the stairs are blocked off.

Ok found the socks for Olivia, shoes too. Oh Olivia left the toilet seat up and did not flush. Guess what? While finding her socks and shoes, Nathan goes in there playing in the “water” AUGH! YUCK. Nice.

Ok wash him up. Get the snaps on Caleb. Shoes on everyone’s feet – on the correct feet. Out the door. New porch is slippery – don’t fall!

Oh look snow! No one listens to me they are playing with the snow. Ok. Olivia is in her seat, Caleb in his, Nathan screaming to get into his seat harness (as it is just about EVERY single time he gets in the van – little turd) It has been like 20 minutes to get out the door. Now lets see how long to get out the driveway?

Back up – oh Hi mailman –good thing I looked. Jared (the mailman) is a celebrity in this town – would hate to fess up to being the one who ran him over.

Get to the library. Park van, open doors. Olivia seat belt is not on. I know I put it on her – she says, “I took it off!” Before or after I parked? I ask. She says nothing. Which is code for “whatever I was not suppose to do – yup that is what I did. Aren’t I cute?”

Get in the building. Olivia and Nathan head over to the kitchen play set in the corner. Caleb immediately heads over to the puppy toy in the opposite side of the room. Olivia pushes Nathan over saying this is my kitchen! Jeepers.

No other kids are there so we have the place all to ourselves. Miss Sandy and us, the librarian whom I have known for years. She knows all my kids names and approx. ages and interests. She used to comment about how polite David was (years ago when I only had 1 kid and had time to be nice.)

Boy your kids are getting big she says. No kidding - all they do is eat!

Everyone is happily playing with a toy and then I hear it. Olivia begins to grunt (she is wearing a pull-up because she is supposed to be potty trained) I say, “Do you have to go poop Olivia? The library has a bathroom we can use.” “Nope” she says and proceeds to fill her pants. Now in her defense she has had the most stool issues I have ever seen in a kid. Probably I think this because she is not my kid, but jeez. She doesn’t go for 10 or 11 days, and then she bows out. So her Dr recommend that she gets stool softeners and laxatives daily. Still doesn’t go. I guess all she needs is an inconvenient trip to the library. Because now she is going to go in her pants.

From previous inconvenient poops I have learned a few things about the library bathroom. For one you can hear EVERYTHING going on in there when you are in the children’s section. The toilet auto flushes when it feels like it and it is loud and scary. Frequently there is no soap. Worst of all worsts there is no hand towels just the auto hand dryer that is about as loud as a freight train and is also auto activated by movement. Is now the time I remind myself how unsanitary the bathroom floor is and that there is no lid for the public toilet. Nowhere for Nathan to be while I deal with Olivia’s ordeal? Add eye roll.

Ok so it has to get done. We all go in together. No exaggeration the hand dryer goes on and off 9 times. The toilet flushes 6 but Praise God there is Soap!

Nathan crawls all over the DISGUSTING floor, gets to the toilet 3 times during the ordeal. Caleb is covering his ears from the noise and standing there with body tense and teeth clenched. Guess what I don’t have in with all my stuff? That's right folks. No extra pull-up or underwear for Olivia. Ok, well you get to go commando kiddo. Hope you like the breeze. In the days when I only had 1 kid this would have meant the end of our trip to the library. But not today. That is what you get for telling me “nope” and then pooping your pants. We go back in the kid’s section and finish our play date with the library and go home when we planned. After all, I have to get my times worth. I should at least be able to be out of the house as long as it took to get out of it!

As I drive home I smile to myself and hear the song Pastor Bartz talked about months ago. “You’re gonna miss this” Yup and I will probably never forget it either.

Monday, November 17, 2008

David takes his 1st communion

For some time I have been talking to David about what Holy Communion is. In our church you must be able to look back at a time in your life when you asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. You don’t need to be a member, but you do need to understand that the elements of the bread and wine (grape juice) are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus and that he willingly sacrificed his sinless self to pay the penalty of our sins, so we don’t have to.

John serves the elements of communion to those who are elderly or disabled or who are unable to come forward because they are serving the children downstairs or are simply unable to walk up to the communion table. So David has had a lot of questions about what dad is doing, in the past. I have been wondering for some time when David would want to partake in Holy Communion since he has indeed asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior and fully understands what this means.

Well Sunday, November 2nd, David decided he wanted to participate in taking Holy Communion. I asked him some questions to make sure he knew what he was doing and this was not just snack time. He gave me a look like “No kidding mom – geez!” I felt bad about saying that after the look he gave me. Like I insulted him for even suggesting that was a thought he might have. When we walked up together he was all like the big man getting his 1st taste of being an adult. He was very respectful and proud.
Afterwards he asked if everyone who was in line has asked Jesus to be his or her Savior? I said yes. So he smiled real big and said: “So they will all be in heaven with us some day?” Yep. He was so excited about that. He just loved it

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Parent Teacher Conference

We had our very 1st parent teacher conference this past week.

I hope all of the conferences we go to over the years have as glowing of a report as this 1st one.

Mrs. Wade had all good things to say about David. She said it was hard to watch David realize bit by bit that the world isn’t as kind as he once thought. (This was one of the big reasons we put David in school – for him to learn some of the hard social lessons now before he gets to middle school) David has such a sensitive spirit and Mrs. Wade said he is so kind and polite. David was the very 1st home-schooled kid Mrs. Wade has had so far and I am happy to say she must have a good 1st experience with David. What teacher doesn’t like a rule follower?

His test scores are WAY above the classes (which we knew a long time ago) but now we have documented teacher confirmation of this. David is the youngest kid in the class and he is #1 in all 3 of the catagories.

His Math score is 191.
(Class average is 175, Evansville district 2nd grade is 179 and National 2nd grade average is 180)
His Reading score is 188.
(Class average is 163, Evansville district 2nd grade is 171 and National 2nd grade average is 180)
His Language score is 185.
(Class average is 158, Evansville district 2nd grade is 175 and National 2nd grade average is 181)

I tell you I sure have a lot of respect for Mrs. Wade and the work she does everyday. She has 16 kids (11 boys) who range from beginning 1st grade reading to 3rd grade reading. Her class is low for the district average and the district is below the national average. So who was it that told me WI has such GREAT public schools and that Evansville school district was so grand? I would think that by the 2nd grade you should be able to read – don’t you?

John and I went to David’s class a few weeks ago to hear them read to us their “Spooky Halloween Stories” It was painstaking to listen to them struggle thru reading a one page story that they wrote themselves. Maybe 4 kids in the class could actually read them fluently. (They should know what word comes next because they wrote it! Plus they practiced it all week in preparation for the event)

Now his 1st public school experience has already met the goals we had for him (none of which were educational, they were all social this year) He has already had his first fight at school, he figured out how to deal with the class bully and has learned how to raise his hand, wait his turn and help those who need extra help. He learned how to let others lead and has had a teacher who was not his parent.

So far so good.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Playing with the neighbor boys

We are blessed to have 3 boys right across the street from us. Boys with manners and great parents. Bonus!

When I was a girl there was only 3 kids in the whole 4 block neighborhood. David has 3 contemporaries that we approve of, right across the street. Davids world is so full of blessings.

When it got cold this month (it actually snowed already here in October) we had 2 of the neighbor boys into the house to play a game of Candyland.

Now, this is not the Candyland board game we had as kids. It is an interactive, move your body DVD. (thanks hionis family for lending it to us).

I captured this really funny clip. Enjoy.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Playing in the leaves

This cute clip is of Olivia (my daycare girl) Caleb and Nathan enjoying our leaf pile in the front yard. It so captures how much fun it is to be a child.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sucker for the middle child

I was not a middle child. I was the baby. So it is not because I am "projecting my past"that I write this next post.

My Caleb has my heart strings in the palm of his hand (not that my other kids don’t also). I am just a sucker for the underdog.

Yesterday, I opened another savings account just for the boys. I have been holding on to some money gifts for them for some time. Problem is, I needed to go into the bank, not just the drive thru. No big deal right – well maybe if you don’t have 3 kids in tow and visible candy machines at a BORING bank that has a forever line. (add eye roll)

So as I make my deposit, I realize I have a LARGE gift for David, an almost as large gift for Nathan and the big NOTHING for Caleb. That is NOT because he spent it on toys or anything. It is just that both my other boys have someone “Special” that takes an added interest in their lives besides their parents. But Caleb does not. (these "Special people are not sponsors or God parents or anything else of the like, nor are those relationships something we initiated. They are simply spontaneous wonderful relationships that God gifted to my 2 boys)

Now before I continue, let me be sure I emphasis that Caleb is well covered on the clothes, toys and love department from his Grandpa Paul (who actually is Santa for those of you who don’t believe) and from us of course. Maybe it is just me, but Caleb seems to be the one who is forgotten (when one of them is forgotten that is).

I can recall 3 times in the last month where someone at our church or our IMMEDIATE family forgot his name (but not the other 2) or asked us about David and Nathan but not Caleb. I actually had a family member say “ok, so now you have David and Nathan right?" At first I blew it off, but I am beginning to wonder what it is about Caleb that makes him so forgettable. He is certainly NOT shy nor QUIET. Is it because David was the 1st and Nathan is new that Caleb isn't in the memory?

It actually took 2 years for him to get added to our family in our church directory and has yet to have his birthday put on their distributed calendar (although Nathan’s and David’s is there) yes I told them about it.

Then today I get in the mail a card that is addressed to David and Nathan. It is a cute Halloween card that has a few bucks in it. Some for David and some for Nathan. But you guessed it, none for Caleb. UHMMM don’t want to seem ungrateful or anything but it is pretty hard to explain to him now that he is 3 and understands he is being left out. (Where is mine?) This isn't the 1st time Caleb was missed in the holiday card thing, actually it was the 3rd. But neither of my other 2 have been missed. Weird.

You know what? This post sounds like I am ungrateful. I really am not. I just feel so bad for the kid. He doesn't notice that people forget his name or that his birthday or picture was missed, but I do.

Maybe I need to change my heart and attitude, I will pray about that. But in the interim I am going to be busy making sure Caleb isn’t left feeling like the forgotten middle child.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Nathan my sports boy

Nathan does not yet walk on his own, but for months now he has been kicking a ball. He would spend most of the day walking with your fingers if you would let him, especially if you gave him a ball to kick.

He does not yet say mama, but he does say throw and kick. (very clearly I might add). So here is a quick clip of him playing soccer before he can walk and baseball before he can stand.