Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

I've been at my mom's since Monday, and it really hasn't stopped raining since. The rain started on our way down here, and it was such a heavy downpour, I asked Ethan to pray for us. About 20 minutes later, a semi completely obliterated another car just a little in front of us. We were at a dead standstill for probably close to half an hour, watching the tow trucks work on removing all the crushed metal from the road. But the Lord kept us safe, and I am so thankful for that!

But what to do when you're at Grandma's and it rains all week? Well, I'm embarrassed to admit it, but we've been to the mall twice! At least it has been 2 different malls. The one we went to today had a huge shooting water fountain in the center of it, which was a big hit with the boys.

Simon couldn't stay away from his duck blanket for very long though.

Ethan did Build-a-Bear and created his very own football-playing "Mr. Giggles".

And Grandma bought toy cell phones for the boys...thanks, Grandma!

We head home tomorrow, but we've had a great time, despite the rain. Sweet dreams, everyone!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

We're feeling better!

Update on us: we are healthy finally! We stayed home all week and just tried to avoid any extra germs....and let the antibiotics work. Thank you for your prayers and for the encouragement. It was kinda lonely there for awhile, and I honestly haven't blogged because I am so bored I can't even think of anything to write about! Sad, isn't it?

I did get back on track with managing my home though. With everything that has been going on this spring, I have felt just a little bit more behind every day. The laundry pile. The toilets. The ring around the tub. The icky inside of that microwave... sigh. It just wasn't pretty. And my husband can attest, I am a much saner person when I have a plan. So since we were watching lots of Dora the Explorer this week, I planted myself on the couch in between my boys and typed out a schedule to keep me on task. If you're familiar with it, I used a format similar to Motivated Moms, in a Word document, and just adjusted it to fit my usual schedule. And it is working so well! I got every bit of laundry done and the toilets are clean...and I had time to read to the boys and fix yummy dinners too!

Are any of the rest of you *schedule* people? Or do you like your freedom? What has been working for all of you homemakers?

Also, Dave is traveling for work this week, so the boys and I decided to visit my mom in Oklahoma for a few days. Ruth and Austin are living here now while Nate is in pilot's training for a few months, so it has been great to spend some time with them before they move to Alaska. Pictures to come!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

To the doctor

Ethan had a really rough night last night. Even with cough medicine, he really can't stop coughing for any amount of time, so he was awake, in and out of our room, almost all night. He still has a high fever, and now he's completely covered with rash all over his trunk and legs. Not fun - for him, or for mom and dad. Everyone's eyes are just a little bloodshot today.

So we got the first available appointment at the doctor's office this morning, and waited.....and waited.....and waited some more. The waiting room was full of people, and I, like the responsible parent that I strive to be, kept my horribly infectious kids away from the play area, much to their dismay.

Finally they called us in, and we saw the nurse practitioner. He was concerned that it was turning into pneumonia, so he ordered a chest xray. Only we were about the 5th in line for that, so we waited another 30 minutes. Sigh.

Ethan went with the nurses all by himself to get his chest xray, while I waited in the room with Simon. When they came back, the nurse was smirking.

"Ethan and I had a good talk," she said. "He says that he is going to have a new baby brother!"

Ethan nodded, turned to me and said, "Can we, Mom? I reeeeeallly want one!"

Oh my word. JUST what I want to be thinking about right now!

2 hours later we headed to Walgreens to fill our prescription for Zithromax and cough medicine. Which, of course, took a half an hour too.

So it was after lunchtime by the time we got home. The boys nibbled at their PB&Js and yogurts, and finally-FINALLY-it was time for them to lay down for a nap. Never has nap time held greater appeal to me. Maybe Mom should nap too. What do you think?!

Picture above is from a month ago, when the boys picnicked on the deck. See how the stain turned out?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hello there

Well, we made it through VBS! The BBQ on Friday night was a big hit; we had LOTS of parents come and stay for the entire night. Ken shared the gospel, and we're praying that seeds will be planted. Dave and I are really excited that we've made connections with some of our neighbors through this. The Lord is working, and of course, we're not surprised.

Simon was sick all of last week, and now Ethan has a high fever too and.... well, other *symptoms,* if you know what I mean. :) It's looking like we'll be laying low this week, which might be nice (or insane, but I'll keep you posted). I am ready for life to be back to normal, but that doesn't look like it's going to be happening anytime soon.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Friday, June 15, 2007

VBS update

VBS is going well so far. The candy bar bribery incentive program seems to be working, and we've had new kids each night! Most of the kids seem to be listening well, and this despite the fact that we have them in their seats for over an hour. I realized this last night, in amazement, when the kids were still fairly quiet during the skit time and verse memorization right before the game at the end. Maybe high expectations do yield higher results.

I wish I had video of the skit from last night. Joseph was in prison with the butler (Jeremy) and the baker (Todd), and the ad lib was hilarious! And Todd decided to do his part in an Irish/Australian accent, which paired with his Egyptian costume, was a riot!

Ethan has been looking pretty exhausted from all the festivities. This morning he slept until after 9 am, and when he got up, he looked like he had been in a battle with the sheets. :) I asked him if he had been dreaming, and he said, "Yes, I dreamed about cows. Big, fat ones. Like the king did."

(Only we haven't gotten to that part of the story at VBS yet. That's tonight, actually). So I asked, "How did you know about Pharaoh's dreams, Ethan?"

"Um, Mom, it's in my BIBLE!"

I guess I didn't realize that my 3 year old was putting this week's stories together so well!

Keep praying for us, as tonight is the last night. We are having an all-family BBQ and then everyone is invited to stay for the singing/message/skits/verse time. One family from our neighborhood has RSVP'd, and lots of other kids parents are coming too. This is such an opportunity to share the gospel with them! Pray for Ken, that the Holy Spirit would speak through him and win hearts for the Savior.

*Pictures are courtesy of Jere and Reagan. For lots more, check out their site.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

VBS begins!

I've been scarce around here because we've been gearing up for VBS for the past few weeks. We are having it this week, every evening from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm. Most of the preparations took place last week, and Sunday night a bunch of us met at the church to decorate the stage. Ken Miller is speaking about the life of Joseph this week, so we designed the set to look like Canaan and Egypt. Here's a picture of the set.

The camel from last year was revived. It doesn't bob it's head anymore, sadly, but it still looks good! Jere and Jeff also made a paper mache goat for us to use in one of the skits.

Dave wrote a skit for each night, following the life of Joseph. Of course he took some liberties with the text and added a little bit of humor and dramatic effects. :) Joe Hawkinson was cast as Joseph (was there ever any doubt?), and Jere, Jeff, Rex and Dave were 4 of Joseph's 11 brothers. Oh, and Tim was Jacob, Joseph's father. See the coat of many colors I sewed for Joseph?

Lots of fun singing with Joe. A favorite is The Fruit of the Spirit's Not a Coconut...

Ken gives out candy bars to each kid who brings a friend, and also to the friend that they bring. Here's a picture of Ratso, the fat-candy-bar-eating rat who lives inside the basket of candy bars.

Ken is using chalk talk pictures as he speaks. And at the end of each message, he compares Joseph to Jesus and gives the gospel. The messages have really been so excellent and understandable for little hearts! I have found myself very burdened this week for all these kids that have been coming, and have been spending a lot of time praying for their salvation. It's been kind of consuming, really, kind of similar to how you feel on a mission trip or as a camp counselor. Being aware and definitely sensing the spiritual battle going on, as the enemy would seek to detract from the Word of God. We have 3 kids from our neighborhood coming, and I don't think any of them are saved. Pierce, Grace and Tori. Pray for them! And I've invited a co-worker's daughter, so I'm praying that she calls me tomorrow to pick her up. It's encouraging to remember that all of this is the Lord's work, and that He is drawing the kids there and working in their hearts.

After the message, Rex does a memory verse with the kids. And then they head outside for games. Monday night we played water balloon volleyball and a water balloon toss.

Simon thought water balloons were for eating!

Snack time!

I was encouraged by this devotional by Elizabeth Elliott in my inbox yesterday:

Sometimes a hope or desire lays hold on one with such power that it becomes almost burdensome, even though the thing is a delight to contemplate. The ordinary business of life must be attended to, but this thing carries a lot of weight in soul, mind, and heart. It has a strong pull. And when you are carrying a heavy weight, you have to compensate in order to keep your balance. The best means to spiritual equilibrium, I find, is to look repeatedly at the things which are not seen, that is, at things which are eternal. What Evelyn Underhill calls "the pressure of the Divine Charity" forever urges me forward, counteracting the pressure of my emotions and human desires, reminding me with great patience and great persistence that this thing--this love, this longing, this huge desire--is the very thing God Himself gave, in order that I might have "somewhat to offer." He will see to it that it does not come to nothing, provided we lay it before Him, put it at his disposal.

Lord, all that I long for is known to you,
my sighing is no secret from you...
I put my trust in you, Yahweh,
and leave you to answer for me, Lord my God.
--(Ps 38:9, 15 JB)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Play zone

Recently we moved the train table up into Ethan's room to make a little play zone. We rotate the toys that are on it and store the rest in his closet. This way, every month or so, it's like getting new toys!

Simon has found a new way to use the table though. I walked in on him the other day doing this.

I love how his shirt is the EXACT same color as the table, as if I planned it or something. And although you may not believe me due to earlier confessions, I most certainly did not!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Swimming Lessons in the Freezing Cold and Other Tortures

Ethan and his dear friend Cam have had swim lessons the last two weeks. Before this, Ethan was basically terrified of putting his face in the water, and lo and behold, after 2 weeks and $52, he can grab something off the bottom of the pool with his eyes open! I guess swim lessons are worth the $$.

Both weeks were cool, lots of rain, but we pressed on. Ethan wouldn't dream of missing!

Here's what they teach you at swim lessons when you're 3 1/2:
Keep your bottom glued to the stair (this one was hard!)

Let's blow our bubbles! Get your eyelashes wet!

Seated dives

Doesn't this smile look like my brother Michael?

Jump off the diving board into teacher's arms

Reaching arms

Open your eyes in the water and retrieve plastic animals off the bottom of the pool

...while the teacher pushes you down.

Things a mother just DOESN'T want to know...

Today the boys came in from wrestling around in the living room. I didn't hear any shrieks or cries, so I assumed that all was well.

Ethan: "Mom! We were playing Body Bite!"

And I actually replied: "Ethan, please don't play Body Bite," as calmly as I could. Yes. Yes, I did.

Long haired boys

Here are some pics of our trip to the zoo when my parents were here a few weeks ago. These are my last recorded pictures of Ethan before we chopped his hair off. I think I really miss it. :(

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Dear Diary...

Wow, it's been awhile, hasn't it? This is like one of those journals that you have as a kid, and you come back to it a year later or something and realize how lame it was that you only wrote like 3, maybe 4, entries. Dear Diary, sorry it's been so long since I wrote...

Ah, well, life is busy, isn't it? And the month of May is always crazier than most, I think. Graduations, weddings, lots of traveling. And throw in a garage sale, too, because that's what we did. :) A two day, 11 family, extravaganza. It was fun and profitable, but very exhausting. We're recuperating now.

So I have lots to say and plenty to blog about, but not much time on my hands these days. Dave and I are getting ready for VBS next week, so more to come on that. Our theme is the life of Joseph, and I have the fabric to make Joseph Hawkinson his very own "coat of many colors." Exciting!

Any stage decorating ideas for our theme?