Sunday, December 27, 2009

Another new form of torture...

Torture by health food. Uggh. It's killing our kids! Having to eat roast. And carrots. And potatoes. Where are the pre-wrapped fast food sandwiches? The french fries? The kids' meals?

Yes, Lucas and I have had a few discussions and have decided to really make the commitment to cut out the vast majority of eating out that we do. It has become a habit - a bad habit - based on our schedules and convenience. No excuse. We need to stop throwing away our money on food that is killing us!

So, the last several meals have been at home - home cooked. And our kids are at a loss. Some of the stuff they have actually rather liked. For example, much to my surprise, Meagan actually LIKED the roast tonight, and asked for seconds. However, the carrots did not go over so well, and all three of them stared at their veggies for quite some time. Isaac's trick for eating the meat was to drown it in ketchup. Really. Covered. In ketchup. So when he was finished with the meat, Lucas made him eat the big heaping pile of ketchup as well. Don't think he'll be so liberal with the ketchup next time.

We realize it will be a process. It will take time, and we will have our share of battles while we're making these changes. But it's a battle I would rather fight when our kids are 4, 7, and 8 instead of 12, 15, and 16. I like our chances much better at present. So, we'll bite the bullet, so to speak, and do what we need to do to change what we need to change. And I am willing to bet, at the end of it all, everyone will be alive and well, despite what the children may currently believe.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas...

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas... we definitely did! I will try to get back tomorrow to post some pictures and stories and all that good stuff. I have had a pretty lazy day today - I actually slept in until 11:00 this morning! And believe it or not, when I finally woke up, Isaac and Meagan were still asleep! Isaac didn't wake up until 11:30, and Meagan not 'til 12:00. Nice... I love lazy days - they are few & far between around here for sure.

So other than a trip to Wal-Mart, and a general clean-up of the house (that was disastrous after small group and 2 Christmas celebrations), we have all done very little today. We're getting ready to plop on the couch and watch a movie. I will try to be more productive tomorrow... at least where blogging is concerned if nothing else. See you then!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Baskets

This morning was our church's Christmas Basket outreach. So, the kids and I rolled out of bed early this morning, got ready, and headed over to the church to help assemble baskets to be handed out around our community. At first, they were sort of grumbling about it... 'I don't want to do this; it's boring; blah blah blah' But soon, they got into the whole thing. Sebastian took the list of what needed to go in each basket, and Isaac and Meagan helped fill the orders. It was a great opportunity to remind my children that God has blessed us so very much, and we should take every chance we get to be a blessing to others.

At one point I explained it to Isaac like this: Today we are practicing giving to others. What we practice becomes habit, so let's practice doing good.

Journaling: The kids and I went to the church to help fill Christmas baskets this year. The boys worked together to pack the baskets full. Meagan did her part, too. Here, she and her buddy Pastor Mark are working together.

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Birthday Boy - 7 Years Old!

Our baby boy turned 7 yesterday! Wow! Look how grown up he looks... it's crazy to me to even think about it!
For his birthday, he chose dinner at Applebee's. Well, originally he had picked Chuck-E-Cheese. But we were JUST there about 2 months ago (and Lucas & I can only take so many trips to Chuck's per year... we've had 3 this year.... which is about 2 too many...LOL). So I had told Isaac, if Chuck-E's was what he really wanted, that was fine, but his other option was a different restaurant and a movie date.... so he opted for Applebee's & a movie.

HOWEVER... when we went to pick a movie to see, our choices were basically the Princess and the Frog or Planet 51. Initially I had no objections to either, but as I started reading the parent reviews on both of them, I quickly decided that, at least until Lucas and I have had a chance to preview them both, that neither one was an acceptable option for us to take our kids to see. The Princess and the Frog, apparently, has a bunch of Voodoo and blood sacrifices and consulting spirits from the dead... um, not quite what I would expect from a G-rated Disney movie. And Planet 51 was rated PG for mild Sexual content... like references to "probing of certain body parts that shall remain nameless" and "references to other unmentionable boy parts" - what! What the heck?! All I can say is 'GRRRRR!' How frustrating that I can't just take my kids to see a 'kids' movie and trust that it will have kid-friendly content! Aaaaaah!

So, I felt AWFUL because first I talked him out of Chuck-E-Cheese in exchange for a movie. Then I had to tell him no movie. Uggh! But we found a good compromise so that the whole night wasn't a total bust. We had a Blockbuster card good for 2 rentals, 2 20-oz Coke's and a big tub of popcorn for $12. So we went to Blockbuster after dinner, and he got to pick out two movies. So we came home and watched G-Force as a family, and the kids chowed on the big tub of popcorn. We also told him that when Alvin & the Chipmunks comes out, we'll try to go see that, since we had to miss his movie date. HOPEFULLY that one's content is safe enough and I won't have to break another deal!

At any rate, he seemed to enjoy himself. He's pretty laid-back when it comes to that stuff, so he just sort of rolled with the punches and had fun at whatever we were doing. I think he just enjoyed having the time together as a family... and getting presents never hurts! :)

Getting Scrappy

Yesterday was the last day of school until 2010! It was also Isaac's birthday (which means school birthday treats, provided by Mom), and Sebastian's class Christmas party, so the boys each had a special treat of sorts for their last day (plus, Isaac got to do show & tell, where he shared the light-up snowman that was on his birthday cake, so he was thrilled!).

When the boys got off the bus, they were buzzing with the excitement of a few weeks off of school. Like always, Lucas and I asked them how their days were. To our surprise, Sebastian informed us that he got in a fight on the playground. The story went something like this:

He & his friend Harley (and maybe a few other kids) were playing some game that involved having snowballs. They had made a bunch of snowballs that they were collecting into a pile. Well, apparently, some other kid was playing a different game that involved snowballs as well. That other kid came over and accused Sebastian of stealing his snow (pause to laugh at this's Michigan...there's PLENTY more where that came from!)... anyway... so the kid proceeded to kick and punch Sebastian. To which Sebastian replied with punches of his own. In comes Harley, who just started going at the kid (in Sebastian's defense, of course), leaving him with a bloody nose (at least according to Sebastian's retelling of the story). Eventually, the teacher split them up and sent the other kid to go scoop snow in another corner of the playground... problem solved.

After further discussion, we learned that this was not, in fact, his first fist fight at school. Nope, it was his second. He didn't really go into details about the first. Whatever. I didn't ask. He's a boy. It's bred in them. Life goes on.

Isaac's birthday party

Last weekend was Isaac's birthday party for family and friends. Grandma's & Grandpa's (and Aunt Suzie) came, and so did a few of our friends. He had a great time (I always worry because his birthday is so close to Christmas - it's hard for people to find time for a birthday party in mid-December). This year he wanted to have a snowman birthday party. So, snowmen we did! Grandma made the most adorable snowmen cupcakes using marshmallows, gumdrops, candy sprinkles and peppermints. Adorable! He had lots of friends over, and they played all afternoon! He was as happy as could be. He had a great birthday!

I did this layout of a C.U.T.E. picture I got of the cupcakes. Are these not the cutest things you've ever seen?! Love them! I was so super excited that this picture turned out so well!

Journaling: Snowman cupcakes for Isaac's 7th birthday party. Made with love by: Grandma H.

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Song Tree

Over Thanksgiving, Grandma & Grandpa H. gave the kids each a singing Christmas character as an early gift. Meagan got a pink snowman lady who sings 'Santa Baby.' Sebastian got a sledding reindeer (moose?) who sings some sleigh ride song, and Isaac got a Christmas tree who sings, 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.'

They all LOVED them, but Isaac was enthralled! He carried his tree around everywhere. He even got all 3 of them together and played 'singing band' by making them all sing at the same time (that sounded ever-so-interesting, let me tell you!). It is always amazing to me the things that kids latch onto. He just absolutely loved his tree!

Journaling: Isaac's early gift from Grandma & Grandpa H. was a singing Christmas tree. "Rockin' around the Christmas Tree" is the song of choice. Isaac couldn't have been happier - he carried it around all night & played 'singing band' with his tree, Meg's snow-girl, and Bas's sledding moose.

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Gallery Update

As life so often does, it has once again stolen away my free time, keeping me from being able to update my blog like I would like. To say the least, it has been a rough two weeks. Thankfully, things are turning around, and getting back on the right track.

In my blogging absence, I have missed sharing several layouts with here I go, trying to get caught up...

This layout I did way back at the end of November. Just never got around to sharing. These pictures are of Isaac, and were taken last October (2008).

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Christmas Eve 2008
I took so many pictures last Christmas. These were some of my favorites. Don't you just love Sebastian's expression?! Priceless!

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Merry & Bright
As with every Christmas, we (make that I) took a ton of pictures of our Christmas with Grandma & Grandpa H. last year. Many of them didn't turn out very well, but I tried to choose a few that turned out okay.

Journaling: Christmas with Grandma & Grandpa H. came a little late this year because of work schedules. We actually celebrated on New Year's Eve. Still, we were blessed to have them with us, no matter what the date. Time with family is so very precious. You always have a blast, and they LOVE seeing you open your gifts. '08

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Snow Joy

These pictures of Meagan were taken just a few weeks ago, during our first snow of any consequence. She went out in her new hat & gloves from Grandma and had a blast eating big hand-fulls of fresh snow. I just can't believe how old she looks in these pictures! She doesn't even look like my baby girl any more!

Journaling: The snow on the ground was too much to resist. You just had to get out in it and take your first big bite!

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Friday, December 11, 2009

His own Sense of Style

Just an FYI...

Isaac opted to wear baseball pants to school today. A detail that completely escaped my attention. He must have had his snow pants on over them before I saw him dressed. Nice. So he had on pants that came down to his knees. In Michigan. In 14 degree weather. His teacher must think we are crazy!

The Muppets Crash & Burn

Recently, we activated a 2-week trial of Netflix through our PlayStation 3. It lets you do the whole Netflix thing (you know, get movies through the mail & send them back when you're done), and it also lets you download certain movies instantly & watch them on the PlayStation. Well, yesterday evening, we didn't have anything going on, so Lucas loaded up a Pokemon movie for the kids to watch. They were ecstatic, and sat through the whole thing. Loved it!

This morning, Lucas decided to give Meagan a dose of the shows WE grew up on, so he played (or started to play) The Muppets Take Manhattan. She sat for a minute, trying to figure out what the heck was happening. Then she said, "I only like the frog guy. The rest of them are dumb. Can I watch Pokemon now?" Lucas tried a few more times to capture her interest with the Muppets, but she just wasn't having it. "No Daddy, I'm done now. I wanna watch Pokemon."

Nice. The 80's version of kids' movies totally crashed & burned... I wonder if she would like the Muppet Babies??? I may have to look into that.

Friday, December 4, 2009

So Proud of our Gymnast

Yesterday at the gym, I was talking to the receptionist to schedule something for Sebastian. I gave her his first name and some other info. As she was finishing up, she said, 'What's the last name?' I told her, and she said, "OH! He's all over the newsletter this month!" So she gave me a copy of the latest Twistars Newsletter, and sure enough, Sebastian was in there a couple of times - once because he was the new points champion for his team with 89 points, and once because he learned a new bonus skill on floor. So cool! He was excited to see his name in the news, and we were so proud of his hard work and progress!

You Stress Me Out!

Every Thursday, in order to get to Meagan's gymnastics practice on time (or close to it), I pick the kids up from school. First Meagan, then the boys (so that they miss as little of school as possible... ends up being only the last 15 minutes of the day).

Anyway, yesterday, I picked Meagan up a little behind schedule. To make up time, I thought I would avoid the stop lights of downtown, so I took some side roads instead. As I turned down the third side road, Meagan says to me, "Mommy, you know, you stress me out!"

(Laughing to myself) "Why is that, honey?"

"Because you always take the wrong roads! It just stresses me out!"

"I'm not on the wrong road, honey. We're just going a different way."

"Well, I think you still stress me out!"

We continued driving... As we turned onto the road the school is on, and the school came into view, she shouts, "Mom!! Look!! You FOUND the right road! Good job!"

As if I just accidentally stumbled upon the right road. She is hilarious!