The Kids

The Kids

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Another Reason Why I Long For Heaven

I lost a friend today.

When I first met Deb, we were camp counselors together.  It was my first year back to camp after a four year hiatus and I remember thinking, "Great, I'm with one of the older ladies.  This won't be much fun."

(And by older, she was probably the age that I am now)

Anyone who knew Deb knows that I was completely in the wrong in my thinking.

She was so much fun and I can still hear her sweet laughter.  She had a beautiful voice-beautiful.  We spent year after year sitting in the back of the alto section together.  Yes, we should have been sitting among the younger campers (sorry Jayne), but those times together were precious.  Inside jokes were made, stories were shared, and laughter was constant. 

Deb played the guitar and knew how to rock out on it.  However, she refused to learn how to play more than her "Debbie chords."  Anytime that I introduced a new song to our worship evening, she would take one look and would usually say, "Go ahead without me-it doesn't have Debbie chords."

She passed away last night of heart failure.  I got the call while in the grocery store this morning.  My first reaction was shock.  But, when I went to call Nick to tell him the news, I broke down.  In the middle of Kroger. 

Somehow, I managed to finish shopping, with my only motivation being that my children had nothing to eat for lunch until I got home.  Once in the car, however, I let the tears come full force.  The radio automatically came on when I started the car, and by God's impeccable timing, this song was playing...

The radio continued to play song after song with lyrics of Heaven and joy.  Camp songs came on and with every song came memories. 

I know Deb is there, singing with her beautiful alto voice and praising her Savior.

I hope she saves me a seat next to her.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Who's Your Mommy?

Caleb said to me the other day, "I love you mom.  You're the best mom that I've ever had."

While I was of course flattered by his compliment, I just had to ask, "What other moms have you ever had?"

He replied, "Well, there's Izzy's mom and Izzy's dad, Noah's mom, Felicity's mom..."

I just had to ask, didn't I?

Apparently, in the eyes of my five-year old, his friends' moms (and it turns out in some cases, dads) are like moms (and dads) to him, too. 

Well, at least I'm the best.  You know, the person who actually gave birth to him.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tackle

Sometimes Caleb forgets that Noah is slightly smaller than him.  He randomly tackles him to the floor (usually gently) and wrestles with him.  Normally, Noah, being the typical third kid, goes with the flow.  He giggles and eventually fusses if Caleb is annoying him too much.

Yesterday, however, Caleb went a little too far.

I was sitting on the couch, trying to recover from this ridiculous stomach thing, with Noah sitting on the floor next to me.  He was quietly (for once) looking through a book, while Caleb was running around, throwing a football in the air to himself.

All of a sudden, I saw a flash of something running past me and saw Noah hit the floor-hard.

Caleb, in his excitement of the game, completely took out Noah in his efforts to score the winning touchdown.

Have you ever seen the previews for the television show Grimm?  They show a girl running in the woods, she pauses to look at something, and before you can see what takes her, she is gone. 

Or the episode of Frasier, where Niles proposes to Daphne.  As the trumpet player is about the ruin the moment, Frasier tackles him within seconds.

Yeah, it looked a lot like those scenarios.

As I held and rocked my screaming baby, I could tell that Caleb felt awful.  He truly did not see Noah there because his constant apologies were heartfelt.  He kept trying to kiss and hug Noah, who, of course, kept pushing him away. 

All was well thirty seconds later when Noah left my arms, attempting to grab my laptop.  Guess he survived the trauma.

I have a feeling that my life with boys will just get more and more fun the bigger that they get.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Where Is My Sick Day?

When do moms get sick days?  Seriously?

Yes, I have a loving husband who helps out the best that he can while he still works three jobs, one of which has him grading into all hours of the night.  He does great on the basic needs of the kids-he has fed them (with help from being at other homes) and clothed them.  I do not expect him to do all of the routine things that I do around here.

Which is why, as I relunctantly look around my house, it looks like a tornado has gone through it.

Coats are left laying on the floor (not just the entry way, either, but in all rooms of the house) and clean dishes are still in the dishwasher while the dirty ones are piling up on the table, counter and a few in the sink.  Toys are everywhere.  Everywhere.  And my personal favorite-the laundry.

Ah, yes, the laundry.  There has been a clean load in the dryer for two days now.  I have been tempted to hit the dewrinkle cycle, but know that if I am honest with myself, I will not be folding it promptly anytime soon.  As for the dirty clothes, they are in every room of the house and, funny enough, not in the actual hampers that are in every bedroom. 

I make it so easy for them.  I really do.

As I sit here, finally getting on this laptop for the first time in days, relieved to be over the chills and desperately trying to ignore the stomach cramps, I can hear Noah.

Oh, sweet Noah.  I usually like the kid.  Today-not so much.

He has been on this kick for awhile where he saves his pooping for the middle of his nap.  Okay, so he probably is not planning it (although, sometimes I think he is), but the last few days, it has not happened just once, but twice.  Per nap.

Today, he did it twice this morning, then dropped his lovey on purpose, prompting him to scream like he was being tortured.  When he was out of the crib, he pooped up his back.

Seriously?  I thought we were past the infant stage.  Oh, that's right-kids like to bring back those fun phases for when their moms are on their last bit of energy.

So, I ask again-when do moms get sick days?  I do not remember my mom ever having one, so I guess they do not exist.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Our Cruise

Our cruise was lovely.  Truly lovely.

Left out of Miami, went to Coco Cay, Nassau, then back to Miami.  Beautiful weather-just warm enough to lay in the sun, and the constant breeze kept it perfect.

Best of all, was our time together.  Just conversation without being interrupted by our precious children.  And not just the children, but life in general.  There was something freeing about not having an internet connection and cell reception. 

When we were still docked in Miami, our phones would not stop.  Nick kept getting texts and emails from students and the substitute about the most random things.  I could not wait to turn those phones off.

It was like being on a long date with no checking of the time to relieve the sitter.  I often found myself checking the time and then realizing that it did not matter. 

My favorite place that we went to was Coco Cay.  When we first arrived, we wondered what on earth we were looking at.  It was a mile long island that did not seem like much.  Once we were there, though, we loved it.  We explored the island on our own (instead of paying a bunch of money for a tour guide) and my favorite place that we found was this little bench.

For those on the cruise who stuck by the tourist area, they missed this gem.  We sat there for awhile, just talking and watching the waves crash up against the rocks.  Just sitting there, with no place to go.  I thought I was dreaming.

Now we are home and back to life.  My first full day back, Abby stayed home sick from school, Caleb had an accident in his pants (thanks to Miralax) and Noah was crabby.  Nick went straight back to work, not getting home until 10pm from working the basketball games. 

Maybe we can plan our next cruise to celebrate 10 1/2 years of marriage?  No?  Too soon?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Caleb The Scholar

Back from the Bahamas.  Drove home from the airport in a downpour of rain.  Back to real life.

More about that later.

For today, just had to share a Caleb story. 

He was doing homework (he is a preschooler and gets an assignment about four times a year) and when asked to write what he will do when he is bigger, he wrote, "Football."

I could not believe that he knew how to write that word without any help from me.  Then again, he enjoys sports center as much as his dad, so I should not be surprised.  Regardless, I praised him for such a great job on his spelling and writing.  I asked him, "How did you know how to write that?"

He shrugged and said, "I just thunk."

So, my brilliant son who knew how to spell football on his own just had to "thunk" about it to know the answer.

Oh, Caleb.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fearless Noah

Just a fun video to leave you with as Nick and I go out of town for our anniversary. 

video

Yes, I let him do this a few times and recorded it.  Yes, I am a bad mom.  But, look at how happy he is.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Abby The Author

Today's story is brought to you by Miss Abigail Grace Rosenfeldt, 1st grade author.

"Abby R's Dinosaur...

My dinosaur's name is Sophie.  Sophie is a Triseratops.  She is my best friend.  She takes care of my family.  If Caleb is bad or I am bad, it uses its horns and hits us in our back for a punishment.  Sophie likes to play outside.  Me and Caleb like to play with her.  We like to play hide and seek.  She is the nicest dinosaur I have ever met.  She is very gentle and kind.  We don't have a car, because we have Sophie to take us to school.  Sophie only likes to play with me because I found her egg and my voice was the first voice she ever heard.  She is very pretty.  She is pink with purple spots all over it.  She loves me and I love her.  If someone said dinosaurs are extintet (extinct), Sophie gets mad and hits them hard with her horns.  I like to play with her at recess and so does evry one else.  We get on her back and Sophie spins around and around like a merr-go-round.  Her favorite coler is pink.  Her favorite food is 'pink'berries.  The end."

Apart from the part about being hit in the back with horns for punishment (I swear, we do not do that in this house), I found this to be a rather pleasant story.  I could see the influence of other stories that she has read ("Danny and the Dinosaur, mostly) which just makes my day. 

There have been nights where I am going to bed and she is still reading.  I hate having to tell my child to stop reading, but I also hate dragging her crabby butt out of bed in the morning.  I hope her passion for reading never leaves.

I also hope that her teacher does not think we beat our children in the back for punishment.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tammy's Cookies

Okay, so I did not come up with this recipe, but anyone who comes our house or invites us to theirs expects "Tammy's Cookies."  Truthfully, my best friend passed on this recipe to me and I have no idea where she got it from, but here is a recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies-ever.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks of butter
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 small package of instant pudding (vanilla or chocolate-I usually use
          vanilla)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 package of chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375.  Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.  Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and pudding mix.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Slowly add flour mixture.  Then add chocolate chips.  Drop by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes then cool on a wire rack.

Now, others have used this recipe from me and claimed that I am keeping a secret ingredient from them.  I promise you, I am not.  This is the exact way that I make the cookies.  A couple of things that work for me that might work for you...

-I was given one of my favorite bridal gifts ten years ago-my Kitchen Aid.  Best mixer in the world.
-Use butter!  Some of you may want to use margarine...butter is always best for baking.
-I take my cookies out of the oven pretty much at 8 minutes.  That works best for our stove.  Sometimes I let them cook on the sheet for a few extra seconds.

Enjoy :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Giving All

Our church is starting a new church plant, which we are a part of.  It is going to be a multi-ethnic church, which I will gradually be writing about over the next few months.

As we were driving home from the first meeting the other day, I was explaining to Abby how this whole church plant thing works.  In her eyes, she was just hanging out with kids her age, most of whom she knew from our church already, on an extra day of the week.

I explained how we will continue to meet in homes for awhile, then, hopefully in the fall, we will have a building to use.  I told her how all of us that are meeting right now, will be responsible for paying the pastor and for the use of a building and how eventually, we will have money for our own church building.  It just takes time and faith.

Sweet Abby thought for a second and said, "Well, I have $1.50 in my piggy bank.  I could give that to help pay for everything."

What was that story about the woman who gave everything she had?  She did not have much, but it was all that she had and it showed her faith being stronger than anyone else.  Hmm.

Okay, Lord, you got me again.  Way to use my children to remind me of my own lack of faith.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ten Years

Today marks ten years of marriage.  Ten years.  I could have sworn that I just said yes to the dress a few weeks ago, but apparently it was over ten years ago.

While reflecting on the past decade, I thought I would share some of the things that I have learned about myself and about Nick.

Ten things I have learned about Nick...

1.  He does not know what the hamper is for, even though it is right next to where he throws his dirty laundry.
2.  The little frustrations in life make him crazy, while he handles huge problems with ease.
3.  He will put his family first, above everything-even football.
4.  He needs respect.  Every argument that I can think of came down to him not feeling respected.  And yes, people who argue can still be happily married for ten years.
5.  His passion for other cultures and all people grows with each year.
6.  He desperately needs a man cave.
7.  He is a great writer who needs to do it more.  Ideas are bubbling out of him and need to be heard.
8.  He conveniently likes the fatty parts of meat that I dislike and loves leftovers that I would normally throw out.
9.  He still manages to surprise me with sweet gestures, like flowers, spa gift certificates, or cleaning up after dinner.
10.  He has made an amazing dad.

Ten things I have learned about myself...

1.  I am always right.  I never realized it before, but Nick has told me this many times so it must be true.
2.  I am not as patient as I thought I was.
3.  I have a knack for making yummy chocolate chip cookies, which my husband could eat every day.
4.  I used to think that I would make an amazing wife and whoever got me was lucky.  Now, each year makes me more aware of how selfish I can be.  Thankfully, Nick still lives in some kind of bubble world where he still finds me amazing.
5.  I do not need jewerly or candy (well, candy does help sometimes) to make me happy-when my husband helps me clean up after dinner or makes the bed, my heart soars.
6.  Took me long enough to realize this, but I have this deep need to feel appreciated.
7.  There is absolutely no way I could have delivered three babies (especially that Noah-what was that amazingly quick birth about?) without Nick by my side, being the sweetest man in the world, even though I was cursing at him.
8.  I am glad that I am a morning person and he is a night person-even married couples need some alone, quiet time at some point.
9.  Even though I think I know best and always have the correct ideas on how to do things, God gently reminds me that Nick has a pretty smart plan as well.
10.  I am so glad that I married my best friend.

Happy 10 Year Anniversary, Nick.  We have moved twice, changed jobs, lost friends and made new ones, delivered three babies and lost one, and have counted on each other through it all.  The conversations have never stopped and I look forward to what we talk about for the next ten years. 

I love you.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Boys Vs. Girls

So far, I have raised my children the same.  I give them the same love, I feed them the same food, they have the same rules to follow.  Yet, the difference between Abby and Caleb is simply amazing.

Let's take a look at our house when it is time to get ready to do anything.

I open the doors to both bedrooms, turn off the fans, and turn on the lights.

Abby takes about a second to wake up, then bounces out of bed, goes to the bathroom, and heads down to breakfast.

Caleb covers his head with his blankets, moans, and rolls over to fall back asleep.  It then takes the work of two parents to coax, sometimes threaten, him out of bed.  He then skips the whole bathroom routine (no idea how) and drags his feet to breakfast.

Abby eats her breakfast quickly, then runs upstairs to get dressed, brush her hair and her teeth.  She hurries back downstairs to look for her shoes and coat.

While Abby is looking for her shoes and coat, Caleb is still at the table, halfway done with his cereal.  When he eventually finishes, he drags his feet upstairs and just looks at his clothes that are laid out for him.

After looking at them for a couple of minutes, then hearing my threatening voice, he starts getting dressed.  This takes awhile because he has to stop and play with every item that he sees around his room in the midst of changing his clothes.  I am not kidding.  Yesterday, I was "helping" him get dressed, i.e. standing there to keep him on task, when I watched the following...

He took off his pajama bottoms, put on his underwear, but decided that they did not fit right.  He threw them on the floor, then put them in the drawer when I reminded him where they go, took out another pair, but also grabbed a toy on his dresser and started playing with it.  I reminded him to put on his underwear, he did, then his pants, then he walked over for another toy before I had to remind him that his pajama top was still on.  He laughed, started to take off his pajama top, then left it on top of his head for awhile since it made a funny hat.  Hilarious.  By some miracle he finally changed his shirt, then made his way to the bathroom to brush his teeth, pausing only three times to pick up more toys.

Meanwhile, Abby was downstairs, fully dressed with coat and shoes, backpack on and ready to go.

My personal favorite was last night.  He went to his room to get his pajamas on for bed.  Noah followed him and by the time I got to their room, this is what I saw...

Caleb had pulled his pants and underwear down, but not completely off, because he had got distracted by his new remote controlled car.  The car had gone under his bed so both he and Noah were on their knees, looking under the bed.  Again, he had his pants and underwear down to his ankles.  He was bent over.  With his butt to me.

Lovely.

I looked to my left at Abby's room.  Her pajamas were on, teeth brushed, and she was sitting at her vanity, brushing her hair.

Oh sweet Abby, please do not go to college and leave me alone with these boys.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Just Another Family Road Trip

I was almost asleep in the car, with my thoughts literally saying, "Hmm, I won't have much to write about for this trip home-it's been kind of boring," when we heard the sound.

We were crossing the bridge that always signifies our "only a half an hour to home" mark when we heard a loud sound.  Everything was kind of bumpy, but since the bridge is currently under construction, we figured that it was the road.  Then we made it across the bridge and still heard the sound.  It finally occurred to us that we had a flat tire.

It is really fun to be crossing a bridge with nothing but construction walls on the side of the highway in sight while having a flat tire.

Thankfully, within seconds of realizing what was going on, there was a rest stop.  We quickly pulled in, jumped out to assess the damage, and could not believe what we saw. 

Where on earth had our tire gone?

As the wind almost whipped the doors off the van, we set to work.  And by "we" I mean "Nick."  I learned how to change a tire back when I first got my driver's license.  Never had to do it since, so you can imagine my expertise.  It ranks right up there with my ability to drive a standard.

Since we had never used our spare tire in the six years that we have owned the van, we just assumed that it was in the back.  You know, under all of the loot that I had just jammed in there so carefully.  While Nick jacked up the van, I started emptying all of the bags of toys, suitcases, the laundry bag and, of course, the huge box that held our new rotisserie. 

I threw it all onto the front seats, except for that blessed rotisserie box-there was no way that thing was going to fit anywhere else.  Unless I wanted little Noah to hold it.  Nick and I finally looked in the back and found a problem. 

There was no tire.  And no place where a tire should be.

So, after six years of owning this van, I pulled out the owner's manual (which was not easy to do since the glove compartment was blocked by all the above-mentioned bags) to find out where the tire could be.  We finally found it under the van (sure) and used the proper tool to get it out.

Now, let me mention that in the midst of all of this, I fully expected Nick to lose it.  He was supposed to meet his friend who had amazing tickets to the Bengals game that afternoon.  These magical tickets gave them permission to hang out on the field before the game and to sit in the Macy's skybox.  Since this little delay was pretty much ruining his chances of getting on the field, I figured he would be upset.

However, Nick was actually enjoying himself.  He was so proud of himself that he remembered how to change a tire that he ignored the fact that he was cold, tired (four hours of sleep for us the night before) and late for a big game.  He just kept talking about how his family is so much more important than a game.

I felt like checking his forehead to see if he was feeling okay. 

We finally got the tire changed, the van loaded back up (no idea how we managed to put the remains of the tire in the zero space that we had left) and made it to the next exit with a gas station.  Since the spare tire had sat around for six years, it was not the fullest.  Unfortunately, the gas station that we found had a broken air pump.  No problem-there was another gas station across the street.

Put the money in and realized that that one was broken, too.  Not only was it broken, but the little air that was left in the tire was disappearing.  I went in to speak with the attendant to find out if they could fix it or at least offer some advice.  She had no idea, but as I was walking out, a guy walking out at the same time said, "Hey, I have an air pump for you."

He walked over to his Uhaul to find it, with Nick running over to find out why I was following a strange man to his car.  Thankfully, that worked and we were on our way-again.

Many back roads later, we were two minutes from home when I looked back and saw that Noah had fallen asleep.  You know, after not sleeping for six hours.  Unbelievable.

Someone mentioned to me that the first day of the year is an idea of how the rest of it will go.  Hmm.

Okay, so we had a rough ride home.  But, it could have been worse.  Think about it-we were only a half hour from home instead of being made to drive for hours on a spare tire.  We found a gas station that was open on a holiday.  The guy with the air pump just happened to be there at the same time.  Yes, it was windy, but not icy and the rain held off until after we started driving again.  And no one was hurt when the tire blew-ON A BRIDGE.

If our year is going to be like this, that would be okay with me.