The Kids

The Kids

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jesus And The Wii

The kids favorite thing to do while playing Wii, lately, is to create a bunch of Miis.

Let me explain for the non-Wii readers...a Mii is the character that you create for yourself on Wii.  I thought it was a simple case of each player has their own Mii, but you can actually create as many as you want and make them move around the "room" in funny ways.  Hilarious, if you are a kid. 

Okay, so I find it kind of funny, too.

Anyway, the kids have been making lots of Miis.  Most of them are names of their friends.  Caleb has made numerous Noahs-some on behalf of his little brother and the others named after his friend at school.  He has also made many Calebs.  Shocking, I know.

The other day I heard this conversation while they were eating dinner and plotting out their next adventure in Mii Land...

Caleb:  "I'm going to be a bad character."
Abby:  "But, you can't be the bad character-you are being the king.  Kings are good."
Caleb:  "Well, what about King Harold?  I'm going to be King Harold.  He was bad."
Me (finally chiming in):  "You mean King Herod?"
Caleb:  "Yeah, that's what I said."

From that point on, the conversation somehow got to them discussing how to make a Jesus Wii and how they always wanted Jesus on their team because He's the best and would make them win every game.

Perhaps they should talk with Tim Tebow about that theory.

Seriously, though, I love their never-ending series of thoughts.  I love that they see Jesus as the winner of all.  True, He most likely does not care too much about who wins a game, but He does care about each individual player.  Just as He cares for Abby and Caleb and their attitudes toward how the game is played.

Not too long after this conversation, I heard Caleb say, "Look at my team!  We just won!  I played with Jesus, Noah, and Mommy!"

Sounds like a pretty terrific team.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Store Trip

I told my mom that she should just run into the store while the kids and I waited in the car.

She did not believe me.

So, we ran into the store, in the pouring rain, to grab "a few things."

I decided to put Noah in the fun cart where he could "drive" himself around.  Caleb insisted that he could sit next to him and still fit.  As I finally gave in and put him next to his brother, he looked at me and said, "See-I can fit."

He said this while his knees were squished up to his chin, but whatever.  He made sure that he was right.

Abby then insisted on pushing the cart.  Sure.  Why not?  We only knocked over a few displays.

My pro shoppers started scoping out the place for samples.  The older two enjoyed some juice, while Noah reached for the cup of cereal.  I handed it to him, but kept the spoon.  Well, you would think that I was keeping his lovey from him.  He cried with much drama until I handed him the spoon.  But, genius mom that I am, I took away the cereal.  You see, I understand that Noah trying to use a spoon equals a mess.

Apparently, not holding his precious cereal was a tragedy, so I gave in and let him hold it.  About two seconds later, it all fell on the floor.

I refrained from saying, "I told you so," simply because he would not understand a word that I was saying.

The best was when Noah started crying and I realized that he had unbuckled his seatbelt (no idea how), turned over and his feet were stuck in the bottom of the cart.  I had to remove Caleb first in order to have room to move Noah.  While pulling Caleb out, his shoe got stuck and fell off.


I found myself standing in the middle of the aisle, one kid crying and stuck backwards, with the other kid laying on the floor without a shoe.  A man walked by and I could see him laughing.

I gave up and started laughing, too.

I finally unstuck Noah and sat him properly in his seat.  Went to check-out and who do I see but my junior high home-ec teacher.  Perfect timing.  Clearly, the scene that I had just created showed that I did not listen well in her class.

Finished off the trip by running outside in the rain with Noah continually taking off his hood to drink the rain.

Next time, we are staying in the car.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Thoughts

I have a pile of cookies to make, a ton of laundry to wash, and my house is a disaster after Abby's playdate with the girls in her class yesterday.  But, I need to write!

This busy week and the fact that I am still getting over a never-ending cold has not left me with very much time to just sit and think. 

Oh, and of course I have had to spend way too many minutes of my life updating my Facebook pictures before this whole Timeline thing goes public.  Brilliant idea-let's pick the one week of the year where everyone is running around like crazy, trying to get last minute things done, and pressure them to have their profile updated before Christmas Eve.

I know.  Such priorities that I have in my life.  Such problems.

Anyway, today's topic is The Elf on the Shelf.

Whose bright idea was this?

I never heard of the idea until this year.  Apparently, this lovely tradition involves moving an elf around the house, so that he is found in a different place every day.  The elf is Santa's helper and reports back to him on if everyone is behaving.

Kind of creepy, if you ask me, but I can see the fun in it.  Judging from the numerous Facebook pictures that friends have posted, Mr. Elf can find himself in some pretty interesting places.

So, clearly, my children do not know much about the elf.  But, their neighbor does.  The other day, Abby was playing at their house and said something about not thinking the elf is real.  To keep their five-year old innocent for a little while longer, the mom pulled Abby aside and nicely asked her not to say things like that in front of her daughter, which I completely understand. 

All this time, I was worried about Abby having the magic stolen on the playground by some classmate that has older siblings.  I never thought that she would be the one stealing it from others.

Between her scepticism and her amazing reading skills (she read the teeny-tiny return address on the American Girl Store package that was on the porch when she got home from school-way to ring the bell, delivery guy), it is getting harder and harder to fool her.  I am thinking it almost easier to just tell her the truth to avoid further complications.

If she comes out and asks about Santa again, I will tell her the truth.  The thing is, I could totally see her thinking it is awesome that she knows something that Caleb does not know.

Even in the midst of the this Santa and Elf business, I love that my kids are still excited about the actual reason that we celebrate this holiday.  The birth of our Savior. 

There have been times that we have missed an actual dinner together, especially when Nick is working games at the school.  But, my kids still get out the advent stuff and read the latest page in the book.  They love hearing the story of Jesus' birth and wait for me to light the candle.  They quickly open the calendar to see what picture is next.

It probably helps that my mom gave them an advent book that has a piece of chocolate for every day, but I think that it is their love of Christ that drives them to remember...

Anyway, only a few more days until the big event.  All of the planning and baking and buying will come together.

And in the middle of all of that, a baby was born, changing us forever.

Monday, December 19, 2011

If You Give Me A Muffin

I have lots of thoughts to write about, but as this is the first day that I have felt somewhat healthy, I need time to catch up.

In the meantime, I found this on a friend's facebook page today and thought it was perfect.  I believe it was written by someone named Kathy Fictorie and is based on the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" and such books by Laura Numeroff.


If you give a mom a muffin, she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She'll pour herself some. Her three-year-old will spill the coffee. She'll wipe it up. Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks. She'll remember she has to do laundry. When she puts the laundry in the washer, she'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer. Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper. She will get out a pound of hamburger. She'll look for her cookbook. (101 Things To Make With A Pound Of Hamburger.) The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow. She will look for her checkbook. The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old. She'll smell something funny. She'll change the two-year-old. While she is changing the two-year-old the phone will ring. Her five-year-old will answer and hang up. She'll remember that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee. Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup. She will pour herself some. And chances are, if she has a cup of coffee, her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Yep.  That about sums up my days.  Add on a terrible cold that I am just now getting over and you will understand my exhaustion.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Magic Might Be Gone

While Abby was "helping" Nick hang up Christmas lights a couple of weeks ago, she started having the dreaded conversation. 

No, not that one.  She is only seven. 

She told Nick that sometimes she does not think that Santa Claus is real and that we just buy all of the presents. 

Crap.  The magic is ending.

Nick never confirmed that she was correct, but simply said, "Talk to your mom about it."

Thanks partner.

Thankfully, Abby never brought it up again.  I am hoping that if she does bring it up, that she chooses not to do so in front of Caleb.  At least let him keep the magic a little longer.  In the meantime, she keeps talking about when Santa is coming, made reindeer food to sprinkle on the lawn, and was just this morning asking me what the reindeer's names were.

I remember being very skeptical as a child about the whole thing.  I stopped believing at a rather young age, but kept up appearances to humor my parents.  My life was never shattered by the whole experience-I just grew up.

My brother found out in a fun way.  He wrote his letter to Santa, which my mom said that she mailed.  A few weeks later, he was reaching for something on top of the fridge (don't ask my why or how he was doing this) and found the letter.  My mom tried to cover up by explaining that it was another letter that he wrote and that she really did send the original.

Nice try, Mom.  Billy played along for a little while longer, but the damage was done.  The magic was gone.

If Abby really does pick this year to stop believing, I hope that she is not the kid at school that every parent dreads.  The one who tells all of their precious children that there is no Santa Claus.

Well, I knew this day would come, but I was hoping it would hold out a little longer.  And if Abby finds out, it is only a matter of time before Caleb figures it out, too.

Poor Noah.  He does not stand a chance.

Monday, December 12, 2011


In order to help my loving husband out this morning, I agreed to take the kids to school.  He had an early meeting and lots of grading to do, so I skipped my normally slow Monday morning and hustled to get everyone ready on time.

Caleb was a pure delight.  Three of us were wearing coats and shoes when I realized that he was still eating breakfast in his pajamas.  After "patiently" motivating him to get ready, we finally all walked outside to the already running van.  You see, I was smart and started the van earlier so that it was warm and defrosted for us.

Somehow, when I ran out to start it, I neglected to glance at the backseats. 

As I opened the door with all three kids around me, I realized that I was missing something.  Noah's carseat.


I quickly ran through my options.  Not take the kids to school?  No way.  My head was already spinning from their volumn level.  Borrow another seat from a neighbor?  Perhaps.

Everyone had already gone to school, except for my next door neighbor.  I hesitantly rang his bell, knowing that he was probably asleep since he tends to work at night.  He never answered, so either he was really, really asleep or else he chose to ignore whoever might be crazy enough to ring the bell at 7:52 a.m. 

Then I regretted even drawing his attention to look out the window.  Since I was about to put Noah in the car without a carseat, did I really want my policeman neighbor seeing me in the act of the crime?

Looking around like a criminal, I handed Noah to Abby, who was sitting in the very backseat, and she carefully pulled her seatbelt over herself and her baby brother.  I cautiously drove my kids five minutes down the road to my carpool friend's house to grab their extra carseat.

Why not just ask them to pick up the kids in the first place?  Because they were all home sick with the flu.  Yep.

Finally got a state-certified carseat in my car, got the kids to school, then stoppped at Nick's school to get Noah's carseat from his car.  Oh yeah, did I not mention that is where the carseat was? 

The only consolation to my guilt as I drove Noah for five minutes without the proper safety seat was that for years, no one ever used carseats.  And somehow, babies survived.  So, that makes it okay what I did today, right?

Sorry Noah, you are such the third kid.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Christmas Season

Whew.  I am finally sitting down to write on here after a ridiculously busy week. 

Why does everything have to happen in December?  Yes, it's Christmas, but must we pile everything into this month?

I am not complaining-all of the things that have occupied our time have been great.  Going to the Andrew Peterson concert.  Writing out Christmas cards.  Buying gifts.  Going to Nick's work party.

I should clarify Nick's work party.  Because he teaches for a school that the late Carl Lindner helped to start, every year we get invited to the huge Lindner Christmas party.  It is our one night a year where we can pretend that we live a luxurious life.

We also had our annual Christmas party last night.  We started hosting it the year after those of us who left our former church suddenly found ourselves banned from the original friend Christmas party.  Apparently, when you stop attending a church, you are no longer allowed to be friends with people who go there.  Sure.  That sounds like the body of Christ.

Anyway, I love opening up our home to our friends and family to celebrate this season.  I love the Christmas lights, the candles, the laughter, the food, the traditions.

With still many things to get done and attend before Christmas morning arrives, my heart is still full thinking of why we are celebrating this holiday.  Even if the perfect gifts are not bought or if sick kids mess up our plans, we will still celebrate because our Savior was born.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Irony Of Dates

Our family has always had fun with dates.

On my side, my grandma, my mom, my brother and I all have our birthdays on the 24th of a month. My dad and my grandpa were born on the 19th of a month.  My parents were born in '55, I was born in '77 and my brother was born in '88, all double digit years. 

On Nick's side, he and his mom were born on the 13th of a month, while his dad and sister were born on the 5th of a month.

And, of course, there are our children.  All born the same week of October.  Add on Noah being born on 10/10/10, and we are pretty much some kind of freak show.

Even our child who we lost had a special due date.  July 10th.  That was the first day of camp that year and also a due date of a friend of mine.  Even though we never got to meet that child, Noah arrived exactly three months after the due date.

All of this leads me to not be surprised at today's date.  Exactly two years ago, we lost our third child.  Tonight, we went to the Andrew Peterson Christmas concert that we attend every year.  Ironically, the first time that I heard Andrew Peterson sing was when he opened for Caedmon's Call at Grove City College about thirteen years ago.  He sang a song called, "Lullaby" about the child that he and his wife had recently lost.  I remember thinking, "How awful.  I cannot imagine going through something like that."

Little did I know that that song would someday be a comfort to me. 

Tonight was a comfort to me as well.  In the midst of a sad day, I was able to celebrate the amazing love story of Christ, the hero who came to save us.  The prince who has rescued his lost love.  He makes all things new and I long to see Him and our child someday.
We took Abby to the concert this year, which she greatly enjoyed.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Noah Update

Is it possible that a fourteen-month old could already be in the terrible-twos stage?

No?  It is only going to get worse?  Terrific.

Noah apparently thinks that he deserves everything that he sees.  That includes anything hooked up to an outlet, everyone's food, every cleaning product under the sink, my laptop, every remote and all of the buttons on the side of the tv.  When I say no and squeeze his hand, it then becomes a fun challenge.

And I would love to know when the screeching will end.  I am seriously thinking of investing in a set of earplugs. 

Noah has developed this method of screeching to get my attention, then speaking sweetly when I look at him.  If he just spoke sweetly to begin with, I would be a much nicer mommy.  Instead, the screeching turns me into a person who wants to throw her precious son out the window.

Noah does have his good moments, though.  He is a super happy kid who loves to smile and laugh.  He eats anything put in front of him.  He goes with the flow of our busy life and was very laid back about spending time out of town last week.  I could have lived without the screeching on the 300 mile car ride, but oh well...

He is also becoming quite the little talker.  His favorite thing to say?  "What's that?"  Over and over and over again.  He also says, "I touch."  He says that line with a devious look as he watches my reaction. 

And when my reaction is "No," as it often is, the screeching starts again.

Now that he is such a professional walker, Noah seems to have developed this independent attitude.  When I am picking up Caleb from school or listening to Abby's class recite their memory verses, he thinks that he can walk anywhere in the school and touch anything that he pleases.  My apologies to any student who might have found their class work that was hanging in the hallway suddenly destroyed.   Even when I am holding him, his feet are constantly going.

At least he is understanding us a lot more now.  When I tell him to get something, he does it.  When he is asked what a dog says, he replies, "Ruff."  Of course, that is what every animal says according to Noah.  When I tell him "No," he understands enough to grin at me before going back to whatever trouble he was in.

I am so very tired.

Still, in the midst of the never-ending chaos that my little tornado brings to our home, he is still a treasure.  He is almost fourteen-months old and I cannot believe how quickly that has happened.