Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Back from Vacation

John and I took a trip (alone!) to celebrate our 15 year anniversary.

We traveled to the Smokey Mountains near Knoxville TN. We left the kids Thursday morning and did not return until Sunday evening. What a blast! We have not left the kids this long ever, and this was the first time we left for more than 2 days without kids since David was born.

Pictures are coming soon. But we drove there at the best time. The fall colors were really beautiful and the Smokey Mountains were Majestic this time of year. I love a good road trip. Too bad we have to go thru Chicago - no wonder they didn 't win the Olympic bid. Driving there is a nightmare.

We rented a 1400 Square foot 2 bed 2 bath log cabin with an amazing over the tree tops view of the Smokey Mountains. The cabin had a fireplace, pool table, Foosball, 2 decks and a 4 man hot tub on the second deck looking out to the mountains. It was just what the doctor ordered.

We connected with an old Air Force buddy who lives near by, got to meet his wife and enjoyed 5 hours of great company and great food.

We rented the 2010 Chevy Camero, yellow, and decked out like the Transformers movie. SWEET RIDE! We even had a 7 year old boy run up to us asking to take a picture. It was giddy fun.

We did a lot of hot tub time, but also went horseback riding thru the Smokey Mountains, forging a little stream and riding past wild turkeys all around the beautiful colors of Autumn. It rained and we were soaking wet, but we didn't care.

John made me breakfast in bed and cooked Steak Fajitas for me for one of the suppers. It was so quiet and peaceful. A beautiful time to celebrate our 15 years.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our anniversary

It is our 15 year wedding anniversary. Can you believe that. This Thanksgiving it will be 20 years since we met. What a pip!

I was fretting over my grey hair recently and in response John said it was great - my grey hair that is. When I asked why is grey hair great?!? He replyed that it just meant we were growing old together and that was great. Wasn't that about the best response to your wifes grey hair a guy could say? Wonder what he would have up his sleeve for "Does this make me look fat?"

We have really been blessed. We have experienced:

more richer than poorer
more health than sickness
more good times than bad

and we are blessed beyond measure. Thank you God.

Update on Nathan

Nathan is changing like the leaves on our beautiful silver maple tree out front.

Day by day,BOOM another baby trait gone.

You know how good ice cream is on a hot summer day? How those last few bites are just the best because you savor it the most knowing it will be gone soon? Well that is how I have been with Nathan lately.Savoring the last of it.

I just gave him a super short buzz cut and it aged him 6 months I swear. His head and face are less and less baby looking more and more looking like David. His neck seems longer and his body is more like a bean pole.

Every day his language skills jump to the next level. His temper is still EXPLOSIVE but he gets calmed down much quicker with words than before (especially if those words include do you want a spanking?)

His "cup of tea" battle cry is over - I won.

God has graciously renewed my fascination with my children. Probably because I am getting more sleep. Allowing me to have more energy. Or maybe it is indeed that savoring of the last toddlerhood in this home.

Whoever said it was boring to be a stay home mom wasn't paying attention to the amazing things going on all around them. Probably because they were tired and looking for their cup of coffee.

Now that Autumn (or rather winter) is here, we are spending more time inside. Nathan is really an outdoors guy so I am not sure how this will go. He is my sports kid. Always wants to play catch, play baseball, or do whatever the big boys are doing.

He is getting ready to potty train. He even lifts his shirt and stands at the tree like he is peeing on it. That is what his brothers are doing so that is what he must do. It is funny. I am not pushing potty skills yet. He is fascinated by watching the boys go standing up and yells and waves "bye bye pee pee" when the toilet is flushed. Then laughs and laughs.

So that is what is new here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Update on Caleb

What a difference having the older brother in school makes. Caleb actually gets a word in edgewise sometimes. Between David talking non stop and Nathan demanding whatever he wants, poor Caleb is always interrupted. Not so when David is at school.

Caleb's biggest new development is his reading. We are continuing on the hooked on phonics. His light bulb is truing on more and more. He is farther than David was at this age and is already able to read over 50 words. That program is worth gold - GOLD I tell ya!

The boy is built like grandpa Art and he hasn't had a life of hauling bricks. Look out girls, the boy is going to be a lady killer. The hair is turning dark and thick, like the Baierl side, the dimple is mischievously cute and the mind is sharp as a whip! He is a nonconformist. During Cubbies (AWANA) he is a lone spirit. Little fart doesn't care one bit if he his not doing as he is told. He is going to be the one who has incomplete assignments but passes the school tests, just watch. He will understand and know the school stuff but he won't tell you that, nor will he conform to the expectations of the class teacher. The homework will be incomplete and he won't care a bit. That will blow David's mind. I can see it now :"Aren't you David Baierls' brother?" To which he will grin his dimple and say some remark like "No" just to send them in search of the school records scratching their heads.

While doing our bible stories at night he is constantly a body in motion. But he hears the whole thing and answers all the questions so you know he is listening. I think he likes not conforming and then being able to "show us up" by actually knowing what we are talking about. A part of me really likes this - after all I loved the fact that John was a rebel, Mr long hair. (clearly the "get good grades" didn't matter one bit in how successful John has turned out in life. Ha! Take that!)

One more thing about Caleb. The dude is a mirror. If you ever wanted to hear or see what I was saying or doing at home you just need to see or hear Caleb. His responses to Olivia or Nathan when I am in the other room are to the T my words and inflections. Thankfully this is mostly good, but ever once in a while you will see me cringe at this. It keeps me in check because I can really be sarcastic and he is getting this negative trait from me. It is like God pulling a mirror up to you when you are the least ready to look. I gotta work on that. Quick.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Update on David

It has been a while since I posted. The days are busy as always. Time keeps on tickin'

The last few weeks I have been tyring to be even more intentional in reaching the spirits of the kids. For whatever reason I have really been sensing the "growing up" of the boys more and more.

David is now in T and T at AWANA. This seems almost unreal to me that my boy is a 3rd grader and in the big boy club at AWANA. His verses and sections are MUCH harder. He rarely needs me for anything at home anymore. He was a very inviting young boy who was always asking for me to play with him but now he is moving on to bigger and better things.

I was really struck this week at how tall he is and just how long his legs are. I pulled out all the winter clothes and was smiling at the outfits Nathan now wears and comparing them to the size of Davids jeans. My goodness. Remember that roly poly 99 percentile chub a lump baby? When did he become Mr. Lean Bean? I have been here the whole time but man Kapow you blink and they are half way to being a man.

His character is really developing nicely. I am so proud of him. Lately at bedtime I get to hear him "realizing" daily truths about the world around him. The last few weeks he has told me mostly about the kids in his class and what he thinks about them and their families. He as told John and I about how he notices whose parents are fighting, whose kids are unsupervised and allowed to say and do bad things, and whose homes are calm or chaotic. He told me that at lunch a boy wanted to trade snacks with David but the lunchroom supervisor said they could not do this. The boy told David "She isn't looking now -lets trade" but he said no because he knew God was looking and he was being tempted to disobey.

We had a parent teacher conference for the first semester and he is getting all A's except in spelling where he has a B. He is reading in the 5th grade instructional level. Oh and his handwriting is sloppy (there is no grade for this) no surprise there, ever read mine? Sorry kid you got that from mom.

He is a social butterfly, inviting the new kids in his class (1 moved from Alaska 1 moved from California) to playdates and asking us to write notes to welcome them to Evansville. Clearly he has no self image issues.

So just as Dr Dobsons book on bringing up boys says, David is really in the blissful period of parenting a school ager. No toddler battles no adolescent wars.