The Kids

The Kids

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Noah The Monkey

Noah takes his afternoon nap in our room.  The pack-n-play is nicely set up in there (okay, so Nick has to trip over it to get to bed each night, but oh well-he survives) and that way Caleb gets rest in his room, Noah gets rest in our room, and I get rest.

Which is very important to the balance of our family.

The other day, however, I heard Noah wake up from his nap and start talking quietly.  I gave him a few minutes to finish waking up when I suddenly realized that I was hearing his voice not through the monitor, but at the top of the stairs.

The little booger somehow got himself out of the pack-n-play.


When I put him down for a nap today, I did not really think about him getting out.  I mean, that was three days ago and I actually forgot about it.  So, I put him down and went downstairs to enjoy a quiet Sunday afternoon with Nick and the Olympics.

It was only a few minutes later when we heard a noise at the top of the stairs.  We yelled, "Who's out of their room?" but heard nothing in reply.  As I was about to yell, "Who is ignoring us?" I saw a toy fall down the stairs.  I walked to the staircase and there he was.  Mr. Noah, almost to the bottom of the stairs.

My emotions were mixed with relief that he did not tumble down the stairs (as he now thinks that he is too cool to climb down on his belly) and diappointment that the pack-n-play was no longer an option for a peaceful afternoon.  I took him back upstairs, arranged the pack-n-play so that it was not near our bed (figured that was how he was crawling out) and tried again.

A few minutes later, I heard our toilet lid slam down.  I went up and there he was, in our bathroom, holding our toothbrushes.

At least the toilet lid was shut.

No idea how the monkey got out of the pack-n-play, but apparently we are done with napping in it.

My third child is always so much fun.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Camp Reflections

Someone commented on here that I need to talk about camp.  Thank you for reminding me.  How quickly I get caught up in life here and let that one amazing week fade into precious memories.

Camp was amazing.  I could say that every year (and probably do), but each year I am always amazed at how it is still powerful and surprising and fresh.  One would think that the routine could get boring.  Seriously-the daily schedule is still the same from when I was a camper in 1988.  True, we actually had F.O.B. then (Flat/Feet On Bunk-naptime after lunch), but it is still on the schedule to this day, just in case. 

The routine may stay the same, but the freshness of the people and the world around us keeps learning.  Actually, I would have to say that it is the Holy Spirit that keeps us learning and renewed.  Without that presence, we are just a bunch of kids and grown-ups (who pretend we are kids) running around on a beautiful piece of property, kind of having fun.

These memories are fun...

And these memories are precious...

I also love how our whole staff works so well together.  It is a beautiful picture of why God makes us different with our own unique qualities.  We need the goofy counselors who keep kids laughing.  We need the quieter ones who listen well to the quieter campers.  We need the dreamers and the organizers.  We need the young ones who are full of energy and the older ones who are full of wisdom.  Somehow, in the midst of this group of random people, God creates something beautiful for His work.

Fun times were had, friendships were made, and spiritual walks were renewed.  Most importantly, the gospel was presented many times through words and music and love.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Noah "The Tornado" Update

Okay, I need to share some enjoyable things about Noah.  I need to do this because I need to remind myself why I enjoy having the little booger around.

It is not even lunch time, yet, and I am already having one of those days.

Sweet Noah is in full force today-lots of screeching and throwing himself on the floor in a fit (oh yes-we will get to the new temper tantrums).  To top it all off, I just finished a load of laundry, opened up the dryer and found that every item was speckled with blue.  After wondering why, I finally found the blue crayon in the washing machine.

Now considering the load of laundry consisted of my clothes and the boy's clothes (and one of Nick's shirts, which was black so he had nothing to complain about), I could narrow the prime suspect down to two persons.  One being the older brother, who quite often leaves crayons lying about in his room.  While throwing his clothes into the hamper, he could have easily thrown a crayon in there without realizing it.

The second (and most likely) suspect would be the little brother.  He thinks he is helping by throwing smaller items into bigger items. 

It is like a treasure hunt every time I look into the garbage can.

Anyway, as I am waiting for the blue clothes to finish washing-again-I need to share fun things that he is currently doing.

Contrary to what you might think with all of the screeching, he does talk a lot now.  Some of his favorite words are:  Mama, Dada, grandpa, grandma, bird, bayoon (balloon), dirt, ruff, boom (broom), mop, ball, and uh oh. 

Some of my favorites are:  Tatu (thank you), papa (please), flowera (flower), waterala (water), and yeah. 

My reasons are that I love that he can finally ask for things nicely and thank me for them.  And I love the sound of flowera and waterala coming from his little mouth.  And when he says "yeah" it is always when I am asking how his day was or if he had fun somewhere.  His answer is always a very high pitched and sweet "yeah!"

The only catch to the papa (please) is that he thinks he can have whatever he wants because he uses that word.  Sorry kid-get used to life.

Now, for those beloved temper tantrums.  Whoever thinks that children are born perfect never actually had a child.  It is inherently flowing through their little bodies to know how to throw a temper tantrum.  And they know how to do it well.

When Noah does not get his way (which is quite often) he flings himself to the floor and burst into tears.  At which point I continue about my business and ignore him.

My personal favorite fit so far has to be when we were at King's Island, waiting in line for a ride.  Noah kept trying to cut in line (I don't blame him, really) and every time that I held him back, he got angry.  He finally went to fling himself to the ground, but then realized that he was on hard cement.  He slowly got down on his hands and knees, lowered himself to the ground and carefully laid himself on his tummy.

He then looked at me as if to say, "See?"

I could go on about this blessed child, but he is currently climbing on top of my couch to reach the ipod so that he can rip it out of the ipod player. 

Time to make some lunch and tame the beast.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Car History

Most of Nick's students drive to school in some pretty nice cars.  It seems that once a student turns 16, their wealthy parents decide it is time to buy them their own brand new vehicle.  Good for them and hopefully they are thankful.

However, even when we are super rich someday (you know, with our education and ministry degrees), I refuse to buy my kids a brand new car.  I might help them out with their purchase of a used one, but I believe there is value in earning that first car on one's own.

As our super cool mini-van has been paid off for awhile and while Nick has just inherited his grandpa's cadillac, it got me to thinking about some of the interesting cars we have owned.

Let us start with my first car-a chevy station wagon.  Not the big family ones, but the little cute ones.

Yes, they can be cute.

I bought it at a used car lot and my parents helped me out.  I worked in the camp kitchen all summer to earn that car.  It got me to work and back and eventually spent some time at college.  Many memories were had in the wagon and it survived a lot.  I can still picture flying over the train tracks by camp, driving through a huge thunderstorm and pulling over because the wipers were not good enough, and my personal favorite-running out of wiper fluid while driving over freshly salted roads.  That required stopping every few miles to throw snow on the window so that I could see.

With laughter the entire time.

Eventually my little station wagon saw its last day when I was driving home and the head gasket blew.  That was fun.  Nothing like driving and suddenly having steam fly up in your face, blinding you from the road.

Ah, memories.

Nick's first car was just as awesome.  It was a chevy as well and was just as classy.  The highlight of this car was a wire that poked up through the front passenger's seat.  Nick had carefully placed some duct tape over it, but every so often, it would break through, thus ripping the pants of the lucky passenger.

The first time that Nick and I went out on a date, my favorite khakis fell victim to the wire.  (That was also the night where he dropped pizza on my lap-twice.  And I still kept dating him.)  At one point, Nick kept a poll on his blog of who ruined their pants on his seat-I think the number was around ten.

My second car was free.  It was a subaru wagon (again with the station wagon).  It ran fine, but eventually found its end.  Perhaps it was because I was a youth leader at the time and kids kept piling in and out of it and abused it.

Nick had a mercury topaz for awhile, which led to the jeep cherokee.  I think that was his favorite vehicle.  He had bought it from a friend and it served our family well for awhile.  Abby came home from the hospital in that jeep.  It did have one little quirk, though. 

The hood liked to randomly pop up.  You know, so that you would be driving down the road and all of the sudden your only view is the hood.  It was super safe and fun.

My favorite car was my chevy cavalier.  A little two-door, fun car, that was actually my first car that involved a car payment.  The interior lasted as long as it could, but again, I was a youth leader with kids crawling in and out of it.  I think the plastic around the seatbelt was the first to go-tall senior high boys should not be allowed to crawl into the back of a two-door car.

Eventually the cavalier became Nick's car that he ran untill its death.  It was kind of sad to see my cute, girly car become the boy car full of wrappers, golf clubs and baseball gloves.

Once we traded in the jeep for the van, that has been our family car.  Six and a half years later and it's still plugging away.  True, we have had to fix a few things that started breaking the month it was paid off, but it is still here and faithful to our family.

Until this past week, Nick has been driving a plymouth neon.  It served him well as a go to and from work car, but eventually the noises were getting too loud and the shaking was getting too strong.  Thankfully, Nick was blessed with his grandpa's cadillac and it just might be the nicest car he has ever owned.

What am I saying, "might?"  Look at the list above and clearly the caddy is the best.  Nick actually has air-conditioning and a smooth ride-that has never happened before.  And-our entire family can fit in it! 

Still, even though we are blessed with good cars right now, I still love the memories of the old ones.  We would not have such memories if we were given brand new cars that lack character.

Yes, I am calling the "non-air-conditioned, roof flying up, tires falling off, pants ripping" cars full of character.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Calebisms Again

Everyone can always use some Calebisms...

While driving home from PA yesterday, we stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom.

(That is because my kids conveniently need to go about two miles after we pass the rest stops-every time.)

This particular gas station had a Subway connected to it. 

Gas station with "fresh food."  Always wondered about that one.

As soon as we walked into the gas station/sandwich shop, Caleb said, "Hmm, what's that smell?  I want to buy that smell."

Love that kid.

He has also gone overboard in his excitement with sharing his room with his brother again.  Since he was at his grammy's house all week while Noah stayed home, I really do think they missed each other.  They have these fun moments together before falling asleep that are pretty hilarious to listen to through the monitor.  Many times I find Caleb asleep on the floor next to the crib, because he fell asleep while playing with Noah.

Tonight, I was able to hear the following announcements from upstairs...

"Noah, stop crying.  I'm just going potty and I will be right back!"

"Mom, Noah took off his diaper and it's poopy."

"Mom, mom!  Noah just said his name!  He said, 'Noooo Ahhhh!'"

"Hey mom, guess what?  Noah just did a headstand in his crib!"

Okay, so maybe the kid was stalling, but still, it is pretty fun to hear him talk about his little brother.

Well, it was not fun to clean up the poop, but that is just life.

Pictures Of Camp

Ah, civilization.

Bug free shower, king-sized bed, washing machine and dryer, central air...pretty sweet.

However, a week at camp with showering with bugs, a small cot to sleep on, dirty laundry piling up and only the breeze from the lake to keep us cool-still pretty sweet.

It was another amazing week at Camp Lambec Music Camp.  Lives were changed and challenged, friendships were renewed and fun was had.  Althought I am sleep deprived and sore in my old age, every second of it was worth it.

I have stories to tell and fun memories to share, but for now, I will simply share with pictures.

My best friend's girls

Overlooking Lake Erie


Some of my favorite people

Best friend Lisa

Our future campers

Friday, July 6, 2012

My Best Friend

As I sit here and procrastinate on the remainder of my camp packing, I keep thinking back on my years at Lambec.

My life has been blessed by the people that I have met there.  No matter the years that go by or the paths that our lives have taken, anyone who has spent time there has a forever connection.

My personal favorite Lambec person is my best friend, Lisa.  We me in 1995 when we were both working on the permanent staff.

I remember being so excited about working there all summer, but did feel a little nervous about not knowing a single person on the staff.  As I walked up to my cabin, this very sweet girl came out, welcomed me in, offered to share a room and introduced herself as Lisa.

For the past seventeen years, we have shared so many fun times, heartbreak over romances gone wrong, inside jokes, wedding plans, loss of family members, birth of babies, miscarriages, and heart to heart talks. 

We drove the ladies of David's Bridal crazy as we finished fittings for our wedding dresses and maid of honor dresses at the same time because you know we just had to get married within a few months of each other.  We made impromptu trips to camp in the dead of winter-just because we felt like it.  Our husbands get along great and our kids play together at every reunion.  We even have shared delivery stories of barely making it to the hospital before our babies made an appearance.

When I took around Lambec, I see Lisa.  I see so many memories of our summers on staff and they all make me smile.

What is so awesome this year is that she is volunteering as the camp nurse this week.

Not only do I get to go to camp for a week, but I get to enjoy it with my best friend again.

Now, if we could only remember where we buried that time capsule seventeen years ago.  Might have to do some digging this week.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Musings Before Camp

This past week has been spent getting Mary Kay orders together, having my first Thirty-One party and getting my act together on that part of the online business, while doing laundry and packing for camp. 

Oh, and I think I made dinners, read books with my kids and was a supportive wife at some point, too.

I have no idea how women work full time and still come home to be a mom and wife.  It is beyond my understanding.

Anyway, camp is in two days.  I am slowly packing for it and checking off my list.  Yes, I need a packing list for camp.  I take the most random things that I have to remind myself of it all.

For example, I currently have (in one of my thirty-one totes!) paper towels, my camera, my Bible, prayer journal, club time songbook of chords, an air freshener, chalk, empty 2 liter bottles, tissues, dryer sheets, and snacks.  And the tote is ready to go next to a box of Christmas lights.

Apart from the fact that the tote is awesome and holds all of that stuff with room to spare, it also gives a great example of the random packing that is involved with camp.

I am really looking forward to this upcoming week.  However, I will also be feeling the loss of two people.

One is my awesome friend, Deb.  She is the friend who passed away this past winter and who I will miss dearly at camp.  She was my choir buddy, always sitting next to me in the alto section.  Even as I have listened to this year's choir music, some of it makes me sad because I can totally see her dancing to it or telling me how much she loves a particular song. 

I will also be thinking of our little baby that would have been two years old on the 10th.  It is amazing to me how quickly time goes by-I can remember the heartache of losing our child like it was yesterday, but here it is, over two years later.  The pain that comes with what could be a bitter week is softened by the surrounding of dear friends in an amazing place.  I know that as I wake up on the 10th and remember my child, I will also awaken to friends singing their praises to God in His beautiful creation. 

And I will know that my baby and Deb are in Heaven, praising Him with us.