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Thursday, April 22, 2010

A sad day at Recess

Yesterday, Jon David and Luke were getting ready to go to Awana (some friends invited them last wk, and they are loving it!) As he was on the way out the door, Jon David informed me that the title of this chapter was a "happy day at Awana" or something like that. I asked him what he meant, and he told me that sometimes, he has a book about his life in his head. He said that yesterday's chapter was a "sad day at recess". There is a little girl in his class that he has really loved playing with. But for the past week or so, she is playing with another little girl who does not want to let Jon David in their "club." He wishes that he could be in their club. So sad! I hate this kind of stuff!! The Mama bear in me comes out... Oh well, he is handling it really well. Don often has to tell me to put my claws away. :) I have tried to tell him that sometimes little girls are like that--they just want to be with other girls, etc... He has moved on... He seems generally very happy at school, and that I often forget to write down all of the good stuff too. He is friends with a lot of kids in his class. He does really well on his school work. I am so proud of him.
He had a soccer game tonight, and did very well! It was a little bit of an adventure for me: Don had an evening class, so I had to take all three boys by myself--oh, and the snack for the team! But they did really well. Thankfully, Caleb was pretty chilled out. And Luke ran around and played with some other boys his age.

JD is in the bottom left. I think if you click on the pic, you can see it better--maybe.

On a side note, Spring has been so wonderful here! We have had a smattering of days in the low 80s, but mostly 70s, and some 60s, an occasional chilly low 60s/high 50s. Pretty perfect, really. We have been playing outside a lot more. Jon David and Luke are enjoying tossing the football with their daddy around in the backyard. And Caleb loves to be wherever we are. :)

Little boys' prayers

Luke and I were talking the other day. He was trying to wrap his mind around the fact that God never makes mistakes. He said: "I don't want to mess up. I want to be just like God."

Jon David scraped his belly on a tree branch yesterday. At bed time, he thanked God that it felt better, but said that he needed some "God power" to make it all the way better. :)

They both (with Jon David's leadership) have been praying the following:

"God, I want to be just like You."
Tonight, Luke added "I want to be in heaven with you."
Jon David (and then Luke--during his prayer :) :God, will you let me know when it is OK for me to be baptized? But if you don't want to answer my prayer, you don't have to. You can do whatever you want to."

I cried.

Caleb is 8 months!

Some last few snapshots of Caleb at seven months. He is officially 8 months old now--today, in fact. Caleb has reached several mile stones during this seventh month. These include him being able to sit up on his own; rocking back and forth on his hands and knees on occasion; eating finger foods such as cheerios--and animal crackers; playing with a variety of toys--still loves putting them in his mouth; holding the bottle on his own; scooting on his belly (backwards so far).
As you can see, he LOVES his brother, Luke. Of course, he also LOVES Jon David. But since Luke is home more during the day, it is pretty cool to watch their relationship blossom. Luke is absolutely precious with him. He cheers him up if he is sad, he plays with him, he is incredibly helpful. And he will stay in his room and play quietly while I nurse him. Luke is almost angelic sometimes. He is such a good, sweet child. He has developed a feisty side, to be sure. :) But he a precious one.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cottontail and game face!

Easter Sunday was exactly a week ago. Somehow, Jon David and Luke forgot about the Easter bunny. Jon David has believed in the Easter Bunny for quite some time. In fact, I think his belief in the Easter bunny paved the way for his belief in Santa, and not the other way around. Blame the forgetting on all of the wonderful distractions we had while Mimomo and BePops were here, the multiple egg hunts in the back yard, and Mom providing stuffed plastic eggs early.
The day that Mom and Dad left, I had an egg hunt with them while Don was out studying. We have two egg cartons with "Christian Easter Eggs." They are pretty cool. They are called "Resurection Eggs," and all twelve together tell the Easter story. You may have heard of them. They are an example of an effort to re-incorporate Jesus into the secularization of the Easter holiday. I'm sure that many of you would find grounds for hours of excellent philosophizing on this matter. Knock yourself out.
Anyway, the cool thing about having two sets of eggs goes w/out explanation when you have two boys on the hunt. When they gathered all of the eggs, we talked about them. Jon David especially seemed to enjoy this. It was pretty cool to hear them both recount what the eggs' contents meant again before bed that night.
Jon David has enjoyed hunting for Easter eggs for almost his whole life. When he was a toddler, we used to let him play with them year round. We finally would put them away b/c we felt like he needed a break from them.
By the way, Jon David told me this last year, and I might have even blogged about it: one of the main reasons he likes Easter is b/c the Easter bunny usually brings him something "about God" --like a bible or bible story book. I love that he loves this.
Well, how could the "Easter Bunny" resist keeping this going? So "he" decided that it was time for Jon David to have a bible of his own, not just an illustrated bible story book.
It was a little sad to see him bring his miniature bible into the family room sometimes if we were having a bible reading, and for him to say "Oh, it's in the Old Testament." Which meant--well, I can't look it up b/c my bible only has NT.
Of course, the Easter Bunny had no plans to leave Luke out, so when we found some adventure bibles on sale at the Christian book store, we were sold--or actually, the bibles were--haha.
The next morning, the boys woke up casually and played around or watched TV like they always did (easter baskets hidden in the family room and all!). When Don got up, I told him that they were clueless. We got the video camera out and tried to capture the moment:
By the way, I didn't realize how much Luke is licking his fingers here!!! It was just after breakfast, and I think he had just finished eating waffles and syrup. I should have had him wash his hands. In our haste, I think we forgot... obviously.

Well, we proceeded to get ready for church. Somehow, as we were on our way out the door, bibles in tow, the Easter Bunny got brought up. Luke asked the question directly "is the Easter Bunny real?" Don answered, well, "No." Oh well, in case they didn't know, the cat -- or bunny, as it were-- is now out of the bag. We decided that it is still fun to pretend. :)
Happy late Easter!

And now for soccer season. I hope to post more on this later. Here are the boys after their first games. Don said that they did great! (It's a bit tricky making evening games with Caleb sometimes).

Here they are w/dirty faces, eating a snack.

And here, hmmm... The three stooges? The three musketeers?

Caleb looks hilarious here. He looks like he is posing. One for all!

Poor Luke. Sometimes, being a middle kid just stinks. Jon David thinks he is so smart. Caleb: oblivious--thankfully.

And all for one. Ay ay ay! Luke is such a good sport! Man, it's pics like these that make me wanna swat Jon David's hiny--how do you spell that, btw??!

And sweet Caleb Thomas cut a tooth yesterday! He is also sitting up so well on his own now. Still LOVES playing with Jon David and Luke. Daddy makes him laugh, too! Oh, well, yea, Mommy too. ;)

More seven month pics:

Here some five year old smile for ya!! Handsome boy, and handsome Daddy!

Luke and Jon David enjoying one of Luke's gifts: a light bright cube!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Enter stage right:

Yes, you guessed right: Mimomo and BePops! Ahhhh. Good times. OK, let's begin. It was Spring Break for Jon David and Luke. OH yes, double your pleasure, double your fun. We really had so much fun, that it went by as quickly as a week at church camp.

They arrived on Monday night. So Tuesday morning, we woke up to fun, fun, fun. Much holding Caleb, game playing, just, well, good times.

That evening Jon David had soccer practice, and Mom and I went shopping!! I am now a JCPenney's fan. I must say, as reluctant as I am to shop there, this is the second time that I have found cute clothes at great prices! And JC, if you would like to pay me for this add, that is fine with me. :)

We introduced BePops to the wii. Here he is bowling. :)

I am just noticing Luke's sweet hand on Mom's leg in this pic. And um, yea, those are star wars stickers on his shirt.

On Wednesday, Mom and Dad took the two older boys to the Lexington Children's Museum. The boys had a blast, of course! Don and I enjoyed our time, and while Don studied, I took Caleb on a walk out in the newly arrived Spring weather. It was as if Mom and Dad brought Spring with them when they came. I felt new life welling up withing me--cheesy, I know, but man, what a winter.

After everyone but Caleb and me went to Luke's soccer practice that night, Don and I went out to dinner. By the way, Luke has an exceptionally great soccer coach this year: Don Caulley! Both of them really seem to be enjoying it.
Don adn I shared a sea food pasta dish for dinner. Yum!

On Thursday, Mom and Dad walked the boys up to Main Street where the soda shop/pizza place/drug store is. Caleb and I joined them later. The chocolate shakes at Taste Buds are delicious!

If you are wondering if we have traveled back in time here in Wilmore, we often wonder the same thing. :)

Below, Caleb is in the high chair playing with plastic Easter eggs. I thought his oversized hat and fleece looked hilarious.

That night we all went to Jon David's soccer practice. Jon David seems to be enjoying soccer a lot more than he did last year. It is fun to watch him. Both boys have already played their first game of the season, and done well. Most of all, they both really enjoy playing. Yay!

Friday came and went all too quickly. Mom and Dad helped me get the entire house clean, and then we all went to a local park to meet some of our seminary friends for a cook-out. It was fun for them to meet Mom and Dad.
So before we knew it, it was Saturday... The boys had one more thing to look forward to: opening their birthday presents from BePops and Mimomo (Jon David was all too thrilled to receive his early):

But new Star Wars toys and all, nothing quite takes the place of Grandparents.
So after a final putting Caleb to bed, there were hugs and some tears, and suddently, it was back to our little fivesome. And then Don went to study, so we were a foursome again.
Me and the three musketeers.

In Jon David' prayer that day, he told God that he was sad about Mimomo and BePops leaving, and asked if God would please help him with that. Broke my heart.

Luke turned five on the day of their departure, and I must say, the boy has almost gotten too big for his britches. He has great moments of holding doors open for me, claiming he can do it w/his pinky toe nail -- hehe. He also helped me clean up the kitchen recently, which made my morning. But the extra arguing, extra reluctance to obey, and extra excuses, I'm not such a big fan of. We had a little argument the other morning after he spilled his milk. First of all, he was pretty embarrassed about it, so he cried. I tried to comfort him, saying that it was not big deal (Luke can't stand to mess up like this, so I'm sure that his newfound five-year-oldness didn't help his feelings of failure). But when he came out with "well, aren't you going to get me some more?" and then when I told him I was just going to do water, he then said that he just wasn't going to drink anything then... Hmmm. My tolerance for his hurt feelings plummeted fast. It took a while for him to land his big-head ship. But he did, after some much needed cuddle time with Mommy (I am NOT ready to give up cuddle time in honor of him turning 5), and a few more tears.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Star Wars to Luke :)

I think the post title pretty much sums up Luke's party, but I'll try to hit the highlights. I decided to go out of my comfort zone for once and make my own party cake. Now I made a cake last year for Luke's party, as you might recall, but it was super basic: cake mix in a 13x9, with icing and writing on the top, complete with a few star wars figures--the following picture might jog your memory:)

This year, I thought I would branch out a bit. Still used the cake mix, but with a little twist. I found the idea on the internet. It was more work than I thought it would be, and made a huge mess, but it was fun.
I think Luke got a kick out of it.

We were able to use the seminary gym, which was a huge blessing. I also have a friend who TOTALLY hooked me up with almost ALL of the party supplies that I used. She had had a star wars birthday party for her five year old earlier in the year, and so she graciously passed on many things to me. There was much lightsabering, padawaning, eating, and just plain partying. I had bought pool noodles from Walmart, cut them in half and transformed them into lightsabers for each child to have (an idea that I shamelessly stole from this same party supply friend).

We hunted for hollocrons (bits of information important to Jedi? This is from the Clone Wars cartoon, not the classic movies). These were plastic Easter eggs stuffed with one or two stickers from Star Wars the Clone Wars (cartoon), and covered in aluminum foil (again, an idea from my friend). We also played pin the galactical army battle sticker on the planet (I know, this is a little far fetched, but the game was given to me, poster, stickers and all... So how could I not use it!)
We finished off with an obstacle course. Jon David and another first grader who attended the party were going to be sith lords bopping the kids with balloons at the end of the course. I tried to help them. Have you ever tried to bop someone with a balloon? Not much bopping involved. It was hard to keep them from flying everywhere. So this ended in the kids running around, up and down the bleachers, and whacking the balloons. Well, there are worse things right? I think they enjoyed using the force to battle against the dangerous black and blue balloons. :)
Unfortunately, I was so busy orchestrating, that I didn't take any pictures of the games. :( And Don was driving around Wilmore trying to get Caleb to go to sleep, and didn't even arrive until the games were ending I think. He took complete charge of the baby that afternoon. Feeding, sleeping, etc... On days like these, I really feel like we are teammates. Love it!
It was a sight for sore eyes when I looked up at one point and saw some heart warming faces smiling peacefully at me, as if to say "chill out sis, reinforcements are here." David and Eryn had driven in for the party.

(above: a not-so-great pic of Dave and Jon David dueling with the pool noodle light sabers.)
The next thing I knew, David was entertaining the birthday guests, and Eryn was holding Caleb. It was wonderful.

As a matter of fact, later, when the cake and refreshments were served, and everyone was feeling quite refreshed, one of the moms asked me if she could hire David for her next party. :) He was leading the children in a round of "which character of star wars...?" or some such little boy wonderfulness.

Oh! I almost forgot: each child also received a jedi smock of sorts. My friend once again came through and gave me plenty of her left-over pre-cut jedi clothes, complete with a matching belt. It was a simple rectangle cut out of brown cloth, with a hole in the middle for the head. But it went a long way with the six young padawans!
We had one token girl. I thought it was so cute that Luke wanted to invite her--she is in his class at school. We had a little tiara for her to wear (and as you might have guessed, this too was provided by my unnamed friend).

Below: vintage David--humming a catchy little tune which immediately settled Caleb into such an intensely enthralling stare, that it was impossible for me to resist attempting to catch it on camera:

And the gifts, of course... They were all huge hits!

Now, the following photo might be quickly glazed over at first glance. But the story behind it gives it depth. Jon David had wrapped up a bracelet that he had received for a prize at his school's Spring Fling earlier in the month. He did the wrapping all by himself. And sweet Luke seemed thrilled to receive it, placing it on his arm immediately--even though he opened it on the tail end of numerous star wars ships and figures. I treasure these small moments of brotherly love. :)

Here, Luke, although sporting a goofy look, is wearing Jon David's gift on his arm:

Upon returning home, the celebration continued with gift opening and assembling and hours of playing. And a little basketball watching. :)

Here are a few Caleb highlights, and snapshots from the visit w/Dave and Eryn:

Above: the airplane move!

He loves his Daddy!!

And his aunt and uncle!

(Caleb: 7 mo)

Luke James Caulley, my sweet five year old: you rock!


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