Monday, March 31, 2008

Our Crazy Day

This was a crazy homeschool day!  This morning was full of errands as we ran to two libraries to look for books containing pictures of Carol Burnett for Allie's "Famous Texans" presentation... Yes, Carol Burnett was born in San Antonio, and that is about the extent of her heritage in this great state.  When we got home from the libraries it was almost nap time for Cooper, but he and Jack got to playing in the back yard which led to watering the plants which led to playing in the water which led to "needing" their swim suits which led to half an hour of fun in the sun followed by a snack.  (photos by Allie)  

Finally, Coop went down for a nap, Allie was reading her literature, and Jack and I were lost somewhere in Roman history  between the Tigris and Euphrates when the town's  tornado sirens went off.  I kind of ignored them for a while then I thought, "I better check on that."  I went and turned the news on, and basically they said, "If you live in Amy's house, you better take cover."  Okay, not really... but they were saying the names of 2 highways that are probably less than 5 miles from here, and that is where the tornado was.  I stayed calm, but I told the kids we might need to get into the closet.  Jack remembered that his new basketball was outside, so he ran out to rescue it then he was on a mission to get the closet prepared in case we had to hole up in there for a while.  Allie & I kept watching the news updates as he would run through the room with arm loads of things, run back out, then a few minutes later run back through again.  When he was done, he said, "Oh!  I better get Cooper a sippy cup."  Mr. Thoughtful!  After a while the storms moved east, and I knew that we were fine.  Later, as I was doing some chores, I walked into my closet and had to chuckle at the things that were in Jack's "save in the case of a storm" stash.
His guitar
His swimsuit
A Webkinz stuffed animal
2 footballs
His new tool box
The Dangerous Book For Boys book
Water Bottles
Animal Crackers
Bugles chips 
$2 in cash
7 Baseball caps
3 pair of shorts
3 T-shirts
His new library book
A blanket
Cooper's sippy cup
He was on his way to get his entire baseball uniform, but I told him that we would be okay without that.  :)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tea Parties & Underoos

Tonight I was arranging some things in my china cabinet, and Cooper noticed my miniature teas sets.  I let him gently play with them beside me as I was working.  He was so cute standing there playing in his Cookie Monster t-shirt and Snoopy underwear... so seriously preparing coffee (hot coffee) and scones (per Corey's request).  He served us over and over again, and I soaked him in.  So thankful for my little one.      

Baseball With The Babies

Last night we watched my niece, Claire, while her mom and dad went on a date. While she was here, Corey and I took all of the kids into the backyard and played some baseball. Well, they played baseball. I played photographer.

My Boys ~

Claire was quite entertained by her cousin ~
Cooper shaggin' balls ~
Just For Fun ~

Lovin' on The Claire Bear ~

Jack collected these "flowers" for me and put them in this matching "vase".  
I LOVE them!
Claire got in on the Flower Fun. ~

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Family Stories

I talked about our tradition of filling Easter Shoes in a previous post but did not know the history of this crazy tradition.  I knew that it came from my grandad's side of the family, but I didn't know where his parents came up with it.  I called him today to find out... and he called his sister to ask her if she knew any more than he did.  The best story that we can come up with is that his mom and dad - the parents of 12 kids - could not afford Easter baskets.  He had not ever even heard of Easter baskets until he was married... but he always remembers getting eggs in his shoes.  They were boiled eggs that his family dyed the night before Easter.  We don't know where his parents came up with the idea of using shoes... my guess is that my Great-Grandma Hennigh was a very creative lady.  You'd have to be to make ends meet with 12 kids! 

This story makes me wish so badly that I knew more about my grandparents' and great-grandparents' history.  I wish that the stories of their childhoods' were recorded.  I wish I had a better memory and could remember every story that they have ever told me.  I wish that I'd asked more questions and they would have thought that one day in the distant future that their little grandaughter, Amy... or any of the other many, many descendants of theirs... might want to know about what I am sure that they viewed as a plain, ordinary life.  I treasure the memories that I do have of my grandparents' stories of their lives... my infant grandad and his mom going to  see the new baby in town... that baby just happened to become his wife less than 20 years later, Grandma riding that horse, Grandad going for walks with his siblings as his mom gave birth at home, the heartbreaking story of his baby sister dying, the story of Pap sleeping in the back of their horse drawn wagon as the horse walked home from town after a weekend night spent visiting with everyone in that small town, the thought of Granny working in that drug store and meeting a young man that she would marry just before he left for the war.  It makes me want to document everything for my kids even more, tell them more stories, leave them a legacy that they understand.  

Thanks for the information today Grandad.  I loved talking to you on the phone... and I am sorry that Charlie stole your eggs on that Easter long ago.  :)    

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Are We Ready For Underoos?

Yesterday's trip to Ikea might have inspired young Cooper to jump on the "Potty Train" one more time.  Last summer, we took a stab at potty training (see here)  and didn't do so well, so I put it on the back burner with plans to revisit the issue when Coop was closer to 3.  Well, yesterday at Ikea Jack got to go to the indoor play-place while I shopped, and much to Cooper's dismay... he did not.  They have a no diapers rule there.  So as I checked Jack in, Cooper sat in his stroller yelling hostily, "I have underwear on my bottom!" (when in fact he was wearing a diaper).  I explained to him that he could go play at the play-place when he got potty trained, and we have talked a lot about it since then.  So, this morning he said, "Mommy, I want to potty train."  I excitedly said, "Okay."  He followed with, "Is it big?"  I was confused.  He asked again, "Is it big?"  I said, "Is what big?"  He answered, "The Potty Train."....Oh!!!!  I thought sure... if you want to imagine that, go right ahead.  Whatever gets you out of diapers and on to the potty.  Then he ran into the bathroom, looked at his little potty, and exclaimed, "Is this my Potty Train?!?!" So, it looks like the window of opportunity is opening.  I am just not sure if I am ready to do what it takes to make it happen.  I am still up to my eyeballs in boxes, so the thought of adding anymore mess or chaos to my life right now is a bit daunting.  I am sure that updates will follow if we in fact jump aboard again any time soon... followed by another trip to Ikea.  :) 

A Question For My Readers...

... doesn't that make me sound famous?  :)

I have not had a list of my family's & friend's (those I really know and those I don't) blogs on mine up to this point, but I am considering adding one now.  If you would like to/ wouldn't mind being on my blogroll, would you leave me a quick comment and let me know that it is okay with you for me to add you.  If you don't want to be on the list, that is fine.  Thanks!

Monday, March 24, 2008

My New Favorite Song

Thanks to my cyber-friend, Krista, I found this great song today.  If I was more technical I would get the video on my blog... for now, here is the link to it.  It is an amazing song that I am sure that most people can relate to at some point in their Christian walk.  For me, that time is now.  Thanks Krista!

I Love Ikea!

The kids and I went to Ikea this afternoon to finish up our Spring Break activities.  From the Family Friendly Parking that is right by the front door, to the kids' play-place (Jack enjoyed that for the first time), to the great organizing and decorating ideas, to the the beds and tunnels and rocking horses and chairs for the kids to look at, sit on, and climb through, to the dirt cheap bins of things that I really do need (I finally got a funnel for my kitchen!  A 2 pack for .99!!!), to the snack bar with the pretty-good food and fabulous ice (you know me and my ice...), to the tv playing cartoons for the kids to watch (while I cleaned out my purse at a snack bar table), to the "as-is" furniture section, to the family restroom.... I love it all.  It was cheap, fun, and entertaining afternoon for us (We were there at least 3 hours!), and we had fun just leisurely shopping and being together.

Now, we are home and need to start to get ready to go back to school tomorrow.  Eeek!  I am ready for summer break!  

Easter Evening

I don't have much to say about it, really.  It just seemed right to have an "evening" post since I had a "morning" and "afternoon" post.  :)

After the napping and movie watching... 
*I finished my book.  (I love and hate that experience every time it happens.  I want to complete it and move on, but I want to take the characters with me.)  
*Corey & Allie played cards, Jack played on the computer, Cooper made a mess of some sort... I can't remember, and I played with pictures on my computer and worked on dinner.  
*Corey made a fire outside. He and the big kids planted veggies, I pulled weeds, and Cooper played baseball (with his clothes on... see post below).
*We ate Easter dinner.  (Roast, Potatoes, Carrots, Asparagus, Rolls, Allie's Fluff)
*The kids and I watched part of Oprah's Big Give.
*Jack & Corey played Battleship.
*I put the baby to bed, and cleaned up dinner. 
*Corey put boxes in the attic.
*I unloaded 4 boxes!!!
*We vegged on our respective computers.
*Corey went to bed.  I couldn't sleep.  I blogged.
*I think I'll go try to doze now... goodnight.

A Few More Easter Photos

I love these too much to not post them.  Here are a few more pictures from our Easter...  Fast forward if you've had too much.  :)

Cooper & Allie ~
My Man ~ 

Laughing With My Girlie ~
I love Jack's face in this one.  
We had just gotten startled and were laughing about it. ~
Me & My Baby ~
Allie and Cooper truly are buddies.  I love when they talk like this. ~
All Boy!  
Even in his Easter clothes, he was picking up sticks and rocks. ~
Love this one! ~
Coop loves his daddy!
I adore this picture of Jackson!
My Beauty ~

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Afternoon

Jack getting ready to go out for the big egg hunt ~
Ready, Set, Go ~
Hunting Eggs ~

Showing off their loot ~

Okay, Daddy told Cooper to take off his Easter clothes so he could play outside... I am not sure that this is what he meant.  :) 

Easter Shoes

My whole life my family has had a tradition of leaving our Easter shoes (sometimes new, sometimes not) out with our baskets on the night before Easter for the Easter Bunny to fill. I remember as a child excitedly placing my basket on the kitchen table with my shoes beside it (at just the right angle) each "Easter Eve". As I got older, I realized that no one that I knew had the same tradition with their shoes... I have no idea where that tradition came from. (I need to ask my grandparents.) Anyway... Corey and I are big tradition-people. We love them. Our kids love them. They connect us and give us a legacy and an identity... even if it is a bit unorthadox. :) So, here is one of the many many traditions that we have and love... What are some of your family's Easter tradions?

Easter Morning

~~~ Happy Easter! ~~~
Our family has had a great day so far. When the kids woke up, they had fun going through their baskets and seeing what the Easter Bunny had brought then we all got ready and went to church to truly celebrate Easter. After church we went to a little treed area with a fountain to explore a bit and try to get some good photos of the kids. We decided to have our big home-cooked meal for dinner, so for lunch we went out for Chinese food (How Eastery, huh?) then came home for an egg hunt in the backyard (pictures to follow) followed by a nap and/or a movie (no pictures to follow). It has been a good, relaxing day... different from all Easters before, but good. We are learning about flexibility while still incorporating our traditions during this crazy stage of life. I am proud of my little family for going with the flow even when it different than what we are used to.

Now... I am off to take that nap while my boiled eggs cool. We still have egg dying, cooking, and game playing to fit into this holiday. :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Haircuts Make Me Happy

Just had to share...

I think that getting my hair washed at the beauty shop (Are they still called that?) is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, and having no gray (for the first time in way too long) is a super-great bonus!  

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Break - The First Half

The kids are on Spring Break this week... and it is a much needed break!  The first half of our Spring Break has been filled with a visit from my sister-in-law and niece, Adrielle and Skyler.  It was great to have them here - we swapped kids and took turns going out for special events, made a few trips to baby stores to get ready for the arrival of Chloe Grace (which is only a few weeks away!), went to Going Bonkers (a new kids' play place in town that is enormous and fun) with cousin-Claire & Emmie too , went to the airport to welcome Gibbie home from a mission trip to Spain, unpacked a few boxes, attempted to start some scrapbooks for the babies, and just did life together for a few days (errands, grocery store, playing at home, preparing meals then cleaning them up, etc.).  

My kids love all of their cousins!  Coop and Sky have always had a special relationship as they were born just 9 days apart.  It has been a very special blessing raising them "together".  It was so fun to watch Skyler run into Cooper's room each morning that she was here saying, "Hi Coop!"  (Unfortunately, she had to learn that not all people are morning-people like her.)  As they have gotten older, they have definitely discovered a few "terrific two" issues to work through, but all-in-all they love each other like crazy!  Within minutes of her departure today, Cooper said again, "Skyler is my gril."  The big kids love Skyler too!  Jack perfected the art of reverse psychology on her this week as he tricked her into giving him kisses and he tried to teach her how to play tackle football. Allie and Sky share a love for flip-flops and dolls, and as always - Allie was a great right-hand-man to have around with the little ones. 
Adrielle and I had a great time being together too.  We always enjoy brainstorming life with two-year-olds and life in general.  She is a great mom!  I am lucky to have her for a sister-in-law... and my brother is really luck to have her a wife and mommy to his girls!  I love her!

Now, I'm off for a quick nap to kick off Part 2 of Spring Break.  The big kids have a list of "goals" for the week they we need to get to work on.  Things like going to the movies, going shopping, having sleep-overs, going to 6 Flags....  I've got to get rested up.

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