Saturday, April 21, 2012

In Her Closet

Well, dance recital time is almost here . . . May 5 is the big day.  This will be Hannah Kate's first dance (tap and ballet) recital, and it's even more special because you-know-who will be dancing with her during the Daddy-Daughter tap routine.

Their first practice with the daddy's was last Sunday.  Yes, Seth went.  I'd convinced him that it was no big deal really . . . he'd just stand there while Hannah Kate danced around him.  I still haven't mentioned the big stage, the lights, the 500 or so seats in the audience that will be nearly filled.

I had a meeting at church on Sunday evening so they got home before I did.  The first thing I found out, according to my husband, is that he does not "just stand there."  He actually has "dance steps."  He was so excited about it, as a matter of fact, that he wanted to show me their routine.  But Hannah Kate would have none of it!  She refused to dance with him.  I'm not quite sure what's up with that.  And, furthermore, Seth continued to be so excited about it throughout the week that he was frequently singing the song they are "dancing" to (George Strait's I Wanna Dance With You).  Yes, I am serious.

And, obviously, dancing with Daddy is hard work.  Seth said he was in the kitchen getting supper ready when they got home on Sunday and asked Mason to get Hannah Kate to come downstairs to eat.  A few minutes later, Mason told Seth that he couldn't find her.  So Seth went upstairs to look.  He found her laying on the floor in her closet with the light out.  She was asleep!  Now.  This is a child who hasn't had a nap since she was 18 months old, if that.  Even when I've tried to implement a 30-minute "quiet time" in her room after lunch, it hasn't worked.  And now, after all these years, here she is asleep on the floor in her closet!

Seth grabbed my camera to take a picture.  It isn't the best because he didn't know he needed to adjust the setting for indoor lighting.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First Swim

Well, technically, this wasn't really the first swim. It was more like the 3rd or 4th swim. This was just the first time I had my camera with me.

Friday, April 13, 2012

With Flying Colors

So I went back to the doctor's office yesterday morning for the dreaded 3-hour glucose test. Having nearly starved myself during the past 36 hours, I was surprised when my first reading was 10 points higher than my first reading on Tuesday. Obviously, I was not off to a good start. And then I had to drink twice the amount of that yucky stuff that I did on Tuesday. And then the waiting began.

Hannah Kate and I claimed a small corner of the waiting room and pulled out our coloring books, crayons, books, leap pad, magazines, Bible study lesson . . . because I'm not one for wasting time, particularly when I can multi-task.
An hour later I had my first test. My level had to be lower than 180. It was 150. So far so good. And then we waited for another hour. My second reading had to be lower than 155. It was 130. At that point, the nurse told me I was done and could go home. Leave it to me to question why I didn't need to stay for the third hour of the test . . . it's not like I wanted to . . . but I asked anyway. She said my level was already lower than it needed to be after that third hour and that it was obvious I would pass the test. With flying colors, I might add.

So we packed up our stuff and left, and that was that!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Choo choo! Connor is TWO!

Today is Connor's birthday . . . I can not believe he is two years old! We celebrated last Saturday with a train-themed party.
I love this picture of Connor blowing out his candles. He was so anxious to do so because he thought Mama would give him a piece of cake or a cake pop.
But he was wrong. Mama made him open presents first.
And, finally, it was time for a cake pop!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why I think we're having a boy . . . but he thinks it's a girl!

140. That was the magic number for today. I had my glucose test this morning. All I had to do was be below 140. And can you believe that my level was 140?!? Not below 140. But 140. So that means I have the pleasure of enduring the 3-hour glucose test on Thursday morning. It just might be the end of me.

Although I was very careful about what I ate yesterday, I did drink several glasses of sweet tea. And I probably ate too much Easter candy on Sunday. I should've known better.

After leaving the doctor's office, I felt pretty good so I went to the grocery store. Before I got there, I started feeling . . . well . . . awful. I knew my sugar level was plummeting after having spiked so quickly in such a short period of time. I hadn't had anything to eat in 12 hours since I was required to fast for my test so I ate the granola bar I'd stuffed in my purse. Being the stubborn person I am, I made my way inside the store and grabbed a buggy. I got so dizzy and light-headed that I was hanging onto that buggy for dear life. I'm still not sure how I didn't just fall to the ground. I finally made my way to the cafe at the front of the store and nearly laid down on that table until I thought I could get up. And once I got up, I checked out as quickly as I could . . . grocery shopping not even half done . . . and stopped to grab a sandwich on my way home.

So if that's what happened after the 1-hour test, can you just imagine what might happen after the 3-hour test?! I went through the same thing during my pregnancy with Mason, and I got so sick afterwards that my boss sent me home from work. So I have a feeling that fun times are ahead on Thursday.

So here's why I think we're having a boy:
  • I failed my glucose test today. I also failed it when I was pregnant with Mason but not Hannah Kate.
  • I now have cankles. Again, this was a trademark of mine during the pregnancy with Mason but not with Hannah Kate. This has to be the most unattractive thing about this pregnancy! Ugh!
  • I dreamed the other night that the baby was born. Yep . . . a boy! And you would know that I couldn't see the baby at first . . . so I asked Seth what it was . . . and he said a girl. I was shocked. And then he grins and says, "Just kidding." The doctor holds the baby up, and he's definitely a he.
  • And there's that fortune from my PF Chang's fortune cookie a couple of months ago . . .
And here's why Seth thinks we're having a girl:
  • The all-day morning sickness that tortured my body for 16 weeks was also a trademark of my pregnancy with Hannah Kate but not Mason.
But I have to be honest . . . the suspense is killing me! I'm dying to know if we're having a boy or a girl! Have I mentioned that July can't get here soon enough?!

So other than the fact that I bombed (well, not really . . . I mean, my number was 140 but it might as well have been 1,400) my glucose test today (and then the nurse later called to tell me that she had my blood test results, which also show I'm anemic . . . did I mention this, too, happened during my pregnancy with Mason but not Hannah Kate?), everything else is just fine, and baby is healthy! The heart rate today was 155 BPM. At 25 weeks pregnant, I've gained only nine pounds, which is really good for me. But . . . trust me . . . you can't tell. It looks like so much more than that. I look so huge and swollen in the Easter pictures Seth took of me and the children. So those are not likely blog material. But anyway. I'll go back for another appointment in two weeks. Yes, it's that time already. But I feel like I've been pregnant for forever. And I'm fairly certain that I'm over it!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Easter Fun

So today we had a lot of Easter fun. It all started with the Easter egg hunt at church.
After the egg hunt, we came home and dyed eggs. This year we tried something different . . . glitter eggs! Those were my favorites. I think we'll be doing more of them next year.
Mason and Hannah Kate were so excited about Easter this year. It seems the secular expressions of the day overwhelm the TRUE meaning of the day. So even though we have a lot of fun with eggs and baskets and such (I'll tell you a secret: We don't do the Easter Bunny!), we've made it a priority to teach our children what Easter is REALLY about. Easter means that Jesus is alive! That simple fact has changed the world, has changed lives. And there are some super fun ways to teach Christ's death, burial and resurrection to young children in a way that they will understand, remember and even be excited about what Easter is all about! Trust me . . . they don't even miss the bunny! So I'm going to share some of our Easter traditions.

Resurrection Eggs
Resurrections eggs are a fun, visual way to tell the Biblical account of the events of the Holy Week. There are twelve eggs, and each egg contains something in it that symbolizes a part of the resurrection story. The last egg is actually empty because Christ's tomb was empty on the third day. Mason and Hannah Kate love opening up each egg to find what's inside. I've also used these in my Sunday School class and Wednesday night kids' Bible study at church. Resurrection Eggs can be purchased here.

Resurrection Rolls
In addition to the Resurrection Eggs, I also did this last Wednesday during our kids' Bible study. And we do these at home, too. Mason and Hannah Kate absolutely love it! This is another really fun, visual, interactive way to tell the Biblical account of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. You'll need:

1 package crescent rolls
1/2 stick melted butter
large marshmallows
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the cinnamon and sugar.
  • Give each child a triangle of crescent roll dough. The crescent roll represents the linen cloth that Jesus was wrapped in. Matthew 27:59
  • Give each child a marshmallow. This represents Jesus.
  • Dip the marshmallow in the melted butter. This represents the oils of embalming. John 19:39
  • Dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon sugar mixture. This represents the spices used to anoint the body of Jesus. John 19:40
  • Wrap the coated marshmallow tightly in the crescent roll, being careful to bring the sides up and seal the marshmallow inside. This represents the wrapping of Jesus' body after He died. John 19:40
  • Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. The oven represents the tomb. John 19:41-42
  • When the rolls have cooled slightly, the children can open their rolls and discover that Jesus is no longer there. HE IS RISEN! The marshmallow has melted, and the crescent roll is puffed up, but, like the tomb, it is empty! Matthew 28:1-9
We've also made the Resurrection Cookies, but my children prefer the rolls. This is probably because the cookies are more of a shortbread cookie, a little "bland" for their tastebuds. They really pour on the cinnamon sugar when we make the Resurrection Rolls. The Resurrection Cookies have the same concept, but you also have the opportunity to crush pecans with a wooden spoon, which represents Jesus being beaten by the Roman soldiers after he was arrested. That's definitely fun for little ones to do. Here's the recipe and corresponding Bible verses for the Resurrection Cookies.

Mason and Hannah Kate each have their own Bibles, and we have a family devotional time and read a Bible story every night before they go to bed. We started doing this when Mason was about 18 months old. We have several children's Bibles, but these are my favorites:

Mason absolutely LOVES his Bible! There are lots of Old and New Testament stories in here, and they are so easy to read and understand. This Bible is also full of colorful pictures. It's super easy to read the Bible stories about Jesus' triumphal entry, the Last Supper and Jesus' arrest, death, burial and resurrection from this Bible while using the Resurrection Eggs at the same time.
And, of course, Hannah Kate wanted her own Bible. She also wanted a pink Bible. It took some doing, but I finally found this one that she loves. It's such a sweet Bible. It, too, contains Old and New Testament stories but not as many of them as The Beginner's Bible.
I highly recommend this Bible for older children. I highly recommend this Bible for adults, too! I absolutely LOVE it. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and it's written like nothing else I've ever read in a children's Bible. Jesus' name is weaved into every story in this Bible, even the Old Testament stories. You just have to read it for yourself to understand.
Because, you see, for me as a mommy and a child of God . . . this is what it's all about:

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. ~Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Friday, April 06, 2012

A Very Good Friday Indeed

What thou, my Lord, has suffered
was all for sinners' gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here i fall, my Savior!
'Tis i deserve thy place;
Look on me with thy favor,
vouchsafe to me thy grace.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

C is for Connor

I've heard it said that all good things must come to an end. Nearly two years ago we opened our home to a 9-week old while his Mommy and Daddy were at work each day. Connor very quickly became a part of our family and was doted on by everyone. And now, two years later, he has "graduated" to daycare. Connor's final day with us was last Friday. And, of course, we had to make it count. So I let Mason skip school, and we spent the day at the zoo. They were all so excited!
Their favorite is the tiger exhibit. The tigers were actually walking around this day instead of laying down asleep like they usually are. There is a huge slab of plexiglass that you can stand in front of to see the tigers. At one point, one of the tigers started walking directly toward the glass and got right up to it. Connor took off running! It really was funny. And then they had to pose in the tiger cage.
We enjoyed all of the colorful birds, especially the peacock that was roaming free. I was really hoping we would have an opportunity to see him spread his tail feathers, but we didn't.
The Louisiana swamp exhibit was another favorite.
Hannah Kate's favorite is the pink flamingos. She wanted her picture with them, but Mason didn't want to be in a picture with pink birds.
They have a wonderful playground at the zoo, and we had it all to ourselves for awhile.
And, of course, they can't resist the revolving water globe.
So after three hours of walking the zoo, we are all nearing a meltdown.
But we had to ride the train. They were all so excited. But, again, we were in meltdown mode so there was little to no cooperation for anymore pictures.
Before we said our final goodbye's, I had one more gift for Connor. I made an ABC book for him entitled "C is for CONNOR: The Story of Our Life with You." I used many of my favorite pictures from our two years together and managed to come up with a special word and matching pictures for nearly every letter in the alphabet. We also gave him a kids' Bible.
We've missed Connor this week. Hannah Kate reminded me about six times today how much she misses him. I keep reminding her that we'll see him at church. And maybe one day he can play "hookie" from daycare and spend the day with us again.

In the meantime, people have asked me what I'm going to do with myself. Well, let's just say I don't have a problem finding things to do! This week I worked in my vegetable garden, planted summer flowers in my pots and flower garden, put out five bales of pine straw, moved my wedding and Christmas china to the buffet and china cabinet in the dining room, rearranged and reorganized all of the cabinets in my kitchen, washed the windows (inside and out) . . . and that's only the beginning! My next project is to refinish four of the front doors. And I still need to finish my vegetable garden.

If that isn't enough, there's always some sort of excitement around here. Mason's fish died this week. We got him last Easter. I guess that's good for a fish. I remember asking the sales associate at the pet store how long we could expect the fish to last, and she said two years or so. Unfortunately, Mason was the one to find him. It wasn't as traumatic as I thought it might be, but I was sort of unsure about how to deal with the situation. So I just let Mason lead the conversation. It wasn't much of a conversation and pretty much ended when I told him he could pick out a new fish if he wanted. He was happy with that and then went outside to play. As for me . . . well, I couldn't figure out what to do with a dead fish. So I put him in a plastic bag and put him in the refrigerator until I could talk to Seth about it. Putting him in the garbage didn't seem like the right thing to do. And burying him in the backyard did seem a bit ridiculous to me. It wasn't until I talked to Seth later that night that he asked me why I just didn't flush him down the toilet. That's what I couldn't think of . . . I knew there was something you were supposed to do with your dead beta fish!

And I also didn't mention that on the same day the fish died, there was a snake in the bale of hay I was putting out, and my thumb landed on said snake. Normally, I would yell for my husband at this point and take off running. But he wasn't here. So I ran to grab the rake because I didn't want to spread the pine straw with my hands, and I was really hoping I could find it, but I never did. So during the conversation about the dead fish, I tell Seth about the snake. He asks me, "Well, were you paying attention to what you were doing after that?"

Now, what do you think?!?

Monday, April 02, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday, Jones!

I can not believe this sweet boy is two years old today! He celebrated with a Mickey Mouse-themed birthday party last Saturday.
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday, dear Jones!
Happy birthday to you!