Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We're baaaaaaa-aaaaaaack!

Our trip was wonderful; it was just so amazing to get away for a few days and talk. I highly recommend talking in a relationship...it's definitely underrated. :)

And I'm not sure how excited the boys were to see us when we pulled up. Turns out, grandparents are TONS of fun and exciting stuff happens all day long. So we will see how this week goes. :) It goes without saying though, we are just so thankful for Dave's mom and my parents who were willing to give up parts of their weekend to watch our boys.

So we took tons of pictures with our new Nikon, and so you'll probably get to see a bunch of them on here. We haven't really mastered photo editing yet, much less the actual taking of the photo...so this is a learning experience, folks!

That's all for now...it's late, and I'm still recovering from all the walking we did!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Swimming lessons

Sadie is adjusting nicely to life with us, I think. She sleeps in the garage at night, and during the day she stays in our yard. Her favorite perch is the bench right by the back door, where she can beg us with those sweet kitten eyes to come outside and play with her.

This morning while I mowed the backyard, the boys played in the pool and on the deck. Sadie was so happy to have us out there. Except when she got excessively petted by Simon, that is. She is tolerant, but does not stick around long when he comes around.

For the most part, they are both very gentle with her. I have been mildly surprised to see this, especially given their many other antics. These boys keep me on my toes, that's for sure.

Oh wait a minute...no, Ethan! You can't put the cat in the pool!!!!

It seemed like a good idea, to him anyway... and now we know, Sadie can swim!

Monday, August 20, 2007

My sweet boys

Lots of reasons to celebrate these days

Dave and his twin brother Doug turned 29 on Saturday. Happy birthday, honey! We spent the day as a family, and met up with Doug and Sonja later for shopping on the Plaza and some yummy dinner here.

The boys enjoyed splashing in the fountain outside of the restaurant.

Simon wasn't quite sure why he couldn't just jump in, so he was a little perturbed about being held back.

After dinner we walked to another nearby fountain (these are the BOMB to 2 and 3 year old boys!) for more splashing. So fun!

Happy birthday, guys!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Happy Anniversary to you, ol' blog!

I completely missed my one year anniversary of this blog! I started this blogging adventure last July, and it has been such a fun hobby. I love having an outlet for all the zillions of thoughts swirling around in this head of mine, and it's great to hear what the rest of you have to say too. Getting to keep up with friends and family has been so fun!

Our backyard view...

See how I can spy on Ethan and his friends next door now? I LOVE that the bush is gone!

Si is always left behind...

Speaking of anniversaries, Dave and I celebrated our 5th one last month too, and we're finally taking that trip away together that I mentioned before. We've opted for a long weekend away, and Dave's mom and my parents are graciously keeping our boys for us. Pray that it all goes smoothly!

Our destination is Chicago, and we leave Thursday. Yipee! Dave has major deadlines to meet for work before we leave, so it will be a huge relief to step on that plane and leave work and stress behind us for a few days.

Friday, August 17, 2007

God's work in us

What if God, in His sovereignty, designed marriage and motherhood not just for our happiness, but to make us more holy?

I feel certain I've heard this somewhere before, but as my friend and I were chatting last night, she mentioned this thought to me. And it really made me pause and think. Doesn't it make sense that the Lord would use any circumstance we find ourselves in to mold us into the image of His Son? Isn't that His work? Whether single, married, widowed, bursting at the seams with children, longing for a child, immersed in a career, keeping our homes, or on the mission field... is He not always in the business of making us more holy?

I spent a good portion of the boys' quiet time (Simon takes a nap, Ethan does not) looking up verses about this, and I just love the idea that the Lord is working in me, today, through these seemingly unrelated circumstances of motherhood I find myself in, so that I might be set apart for Him more, that I will desire to do His will more....ultimately, for my profit!

"...that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:27

"being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

"Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness." Hebrews 12:9,10

"who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works." Titus 2:14

As my friend and I discussed, it all boils down to trusting Him to do His work, trusting Him enough to let go of what we think is best for our lives, trusting that He doesn't want to harm us, that His plans are for our profit. No matter what circumstance you find yourself in today. That's the truth of God's Word, and we can cling to it!

"Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." Hebrews 13:20.21

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hot Summer Days

It has been well over 100 degrees every day for the past couple weeks now, and I think I have just about had it! It's not the heat that bothers me so much (although I do start sweating just thinking about going outside), but having to keep my boys contained in this house all day long every day...well, I'm telling you, I may lose my mind before too long. They want to run and jump and do flips and summersaults , and anyone who knows me could tell you, that is *outdoor play* around here. :) No siree, I'm not that fun mom you've heard about who lets her kids jump on the beds or flip over the arms of the couch. You must have heard wrong. Not that it hasn't ever been attempted, but that's another story.

When you can't really go outside and play in the backyard or take a walk or anything else to break up the day, it just feels like the days are longer. So we've been trying to get creative and come up with *activities* to keep our days exciting (and mostly to keep the boys from bouncing off the walls...and that is no exaggeration!). Here's what we've been doing lately:

  • Garage time - the kitten and riding toys make this almost as fun as outside (and at least 10 degrees cooler)
  • Lots of reading library books together on the couch - Ethan's favorite book right now is I'm Not Afraid of Dogs, because just like the boy in the book, he really is. He always giggles a little at the end, when the boy figures out that dogs aren't so bad, and then he snuggles up to me as close as possible, as if maybe he's going to be forced to hold a dog too.
  • Dress up - yeah, I know I have boys, but they enjoy this just as much as girls, I think. Our cowboy and construction worker costumes have been put to good use this week. And there has been lots of galloping in the basement, I can tell you that. "Mom! Watch me! This is how horses run!"
  • Little boy chores - I labeled a spray bottle with Ethan's name and filled it with water and a few squirts of dish soap, and now when I'm cleaning, he gets out his bottle and a rag and helps me clean too. Yesterday he cleaned all the appliances in the kitchen...it was great!
  • Table play - we've gotten out the craft closet supplies a lot recently, from puzzles to playdough, and lots of coloring too. Ethan just recently learned how to cut paper with scissors, a skill which has gotten him in some considerable trouble recently...ahem! That's another story too!
So we're surviving, but barely. Yesterday we joined Shawna and the girls for a morning of waterslide fun in their backyard. It was so nice to be outside and let the boys run off some of their energy.

And we've had lots of friends over for play dates too - Tanya with Kate and Zachary, Sonja with Jake, and of course the Bloom girls, not once but twice. Oh, I guess I can't say that anymore, since there is now a Bloom boy. Ha! :)

So I really shouldn't be complaining, since we've had lots of fun and fellowship recently. Still, today was particularly, shall we say, rowdy, and it just makes me soooooo so ready for fall. For trips to the pumpkin patch, and walks to the park. For bike riding, and for going to the zoo. For jumping in the leaves, and lazy days in the backyard. I truly love being at home with my boys, getting to plan our days around exciting adventures with just the 3 of us. These carefree days won't last forever...I need to remember to cherish them.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

There's a new addition in our family

We adopted a 6 week old mouser kitten this week. She is living in the garage right now, and getting used to her new home. We named her Sadie.

Ethan has been learning how to hold a kitten, and Simon learned a new word..."kitty"! She is sweet so far, and we already love her to pieces.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

This is a fun week!

So this has been an exciting week for deals and couponing. Walgreens is offering some great register rewards on Proctor & Gamble and Novartis products. And paired with coupons, you can get a lot of great household and toiletry products for very little cost, or even free if you have been accumulating store credit on your Walgreens gift card each month. Crystal posts about it here, and there is a slickdeals.com discussion here.

Another amazing deal worth mentioning is KMart's promotion on Duracell batteries and P&G products. There are coupons to be found in the store that say "Buy 1 package of Duracell batteries and 2 Proctor & Gamble products, Get a $10 KMart Gift Card." There is a list of P&G brands on the coupon to choose from, like Crest, Always, Ivory, Gillette, Pantene, Olay, and a few others. The Duracell battery 8 packs (and eligible packs of C's, D's, and 9 volt) are on sale this week for $5.50, plus you can use a $1.50 or $.75 manufacturer's coupon when you buy them. And there are plenty of inexpensive P&G products that you can combine with manufacturer's coupons too. I have found it very easy to spend less than $10.00 each time, and still get the $10 gift card! And the best part about this is, after you buy your first transaction, you can use your $10 gift card to buy your next transaction!!!! So that means, no more money out of pocket! This is being called the best battery stock-up in years!

Don't worry about leaving a little extra money on each gift card you get...once this sale is over (August 13th), you will probably have several gift cards with a couple dollars each on them. Use them to buy things you need next month, or splurge and get some Martha Stewart furnishings for your home! Sounds fun to me!