Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Jesus is everywhere!"

I shared a story with my mom's group this morning that I felt the need to share with everyone else. I was getting ready for the group this morning and was in a hurry as usual. As things were spinning out around me I got stressed with trying to get out of the house on time and I just stopped and stared into space for a minute. My adorable Logan looked up at me and said, "Mommy, are you looking at Jesus?" A little stunned I responeded with, "Why do you ask that?" Logan said, "because Jesus is everywhere, mommy." What a wonderful reminder of where my focus should be! It surely wasn't on Jesus at that moment. Logan is very intuitive which means he is often the one who pulls me back into focusing on what I should be. Thank you Logan. Thank you Lord!
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Grammy and Grandpa Johnson visited us this past week just in time for Peyton's birthday. They were able to watch Drew rehearse for his upcoming Church Christmas program, explore the Creative Discovery Museum, and get lots of playtime in as well as celebrate Peyton's upcoming birthday. The children really enjoyed them and were very sad to see them go. Grammy and Grandpa gave Peyton a princess skirt, hair ties, tierra, and a "Fancy Nancy" sticker book for her birthday. She twirled and twirled and loves her sticker book which she calls "itsy bitsy" because she doesn't rememer "Fancy Nancy" which is a new character for her. "Fancy Nancy" is quickly becoming a favorite. Thanks Grammy and Grandpa! We love and miss you.
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Peyton's 3rd Birthday
Peyton had a wonderful birthday. She woke up to snowman donuts and birthday girl jewelery and cards. She opened presents and played for a while with her doting brothers, her "boys." She got lots of "My Little Pony" toys from us and the new "Tinkerbell movie" and some new shoes from Gigi and Papa. We took Peyton, Drew, and Logan to see the new princess movie (thanks gigi!) for the afternoon while Carter slept at home with a babysitter. They adored the movie and did really well. They ate their weight in popcorn and danced along to all of the wonderful music. We came home to meet some friends for pizza and cake and a few more presents. The kids had a great time playing with friends. Our little Peyton is growing up so fast.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hey!!! Yes! It's me! I am blogging!!! I have once again been convicted by friends and family for keeping pictures and stories to ourselves. I have made a web album for you to view by clicking here http://picasaweb.google.com/MandisMunchkins. I will work on the pictures first, then the stories. Enjoy!
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"I'm NOT going outside."

Logan's solution for everything is saying he is "NOT" going to do what ever it is that he actually wants to do. For instance, he said that he wanted to go outside and eat pop-cycles after nap time today. As the clouds rolled in and it started to thunder, I heard a loud knock on his door for me to come check on him in his room. He let me know, with much attitude, "I am NOT going outside after may nap!" He calmly laid back down. Likewise, at meal time when I have put something on his plate that he insists he doesn't like, he runs from the table yelling, "I am NOT going to eat my cheese sandwich!" The cheese sandwich is, or course, what he wanted and the carrots are not.

I searched for an answer to why he insisted on torturing himself when he is unhappy and then it hit me, he is saying these things because he thinks it is getting to me. He is so dependent on my feelings, actions, attitude and approval that he isn't separating his feelings with mine. If it is something that would "hurt" him, then certainly it must "hurt" his mommy too, right? I realized that this is the reason that it makes him furious when I act nonchalant about his tirades. I am not validating his feelings.

So then, how should I handle these outbursts and the adorable, big grinned 3 (almost 4!) year old who causes them? I don't really know. But, I do have a start. I recently went to the local Homeschool Expo and gathered so much information that I haven't totally wrapped my brain around all that I have learned. I came across a wonderful disciplinary tool while I was there that has already made a difference in his attitude and mine! "Wise Words for Moms" by Ginger Plowman is a handy chart "designed for the purpose of aiding you in using the Scriptures to drive out the foolishness 'bound up in the heart of [your] child' (Proverbs 22:15)." This chart lists many common behavior issues, some questions to get even your youngest child to think about their behavior, and the scriptures to get rid of the sinful and bring in the righteousness! I love this chart because it makes me stop and think about the scripture as well. I personally make my children recite the scripture with me or back to me as I am reading it. I am hoping this will help them to memorize it with me.

No more flipping through the scriptures (angrily) as I try and find that right verse to chastise my child with! No more 20 leading questions to try to get my little ones to "think" about their actions. And, hopefully soon, no more "I am NOT's!"

Summer of Sickies

I never write on this. I always say that I will and even come up with ways to do better, but the fact is I just have other priorities. I actually love to write. I have journaled as long as I can remember but it just seems mentally exhausting most days to sit and either hand write or type up what has been happening. A lot of times it isn't even the writing or typing but the process of finding pen and paper or going through the motions of posting.

We haven't done a ton this summer because majority of our summer has been spent sick. The kids have had random fevers, colds, and virus's all summer long so we have spent most of our time indoors watching movies (that the kids are definitely tired of) and trying to stay sane with through the cabin fever. I think the most frustrating thing is that the well children have to stay in when they obviously feel fine while I nurse the sickies back to health. We have colored lots of pictures, played lots of games, again - watched lots of movies, and spent lots of time cuddling on the couch under a mound of blankets whether it is 80 or 99 degrees outside.
On the days that we have all been well, we have had a blast. We have spent many mornings in the little pool and sprinkler in the backyard. We have gotten ice-cream from the ice-cream truck, complete with loud obnoxious music. We have had visitors come and go. We have gone to the Aquarium and the Children's Discovery Museum. And, our latest thing to enjoy is going to the YMCA. They have a great indoor play gym and outside play area with fit classes for the kids. We have gone to the Y pool (only when Pete is home!) so the kids can learn to swim. So, the summer is not lost and we still have a few weeks left.

My prayer for today is that the Lord will guide us in enjoying our time indoors and that our family will all be well for an extended period of time soon.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Carter's First Birthday

I can't believe my baby is one!
He had his first donut for breakfast.  He didn't like it much.  He thought it was too sticky.
Here are the kids waiting to help Carter open his gifts.
Peyton's turn helping and Carter making his "say cheese" face.
Logan helping.
Carter had a wonderful birthday!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Drew's 5th Birthday

Drew's Birthday Weekend!
We had a great time taking Drew and the rest of the family to Florida for his fifth birthday. We had a jam packed, extra long weekend. We drove down on Saturday. We went to church with my parents Sunday morning and then to Orlando to visit my sister Katy and her husband Jason. Jason let us tour the fire station (he's a firefighter) and the kids really had a ball. They got to sit in the trucks, play with the lights and sirens, and they got little fire hats. Thanks Uncle Jason! The kids also had a great time running amuck in Aunt Katy's house. Hopefully we left your house in tact Aunt Katy!

Monday, we went to a new park in Lakeland that was simply awesome. It was completely fenced and was huge with fun equipment for all ages. We will definately be going there again. Then, we were off to downtown Disney for Drew's birthday party. We went to LegoLand and the kids enjoyed racing their lego cars and looking at all of the big Lego creations. My mom picked out some pirate legos for Drew's birthday gift. Age five opens up a whole new world of toys and interests!

We went to the Rainforest Cafe for Drew's party. My mom and Bob, my sister Samantha and her friend Adalaide, and my sister Katy and her husband Jason were able to join us. Drew felt special to have family there. We had a great time eating, opening gifts, and having cake. Of course, the Rainforest Cafe staff brought out our Thomas Carnival cake and sang a birthday song to Drew. The storm part of the restaurant's theme frightened the kids a little at first, but they soon saw it as fun and loved the animals and plants all around.

After dinner, the kids rode on the small train and the carousel.
We went to Once Upon A Toy Store where the kids have so much fun seeing all of their favorite characters in one place. Aunt Katy and Uncle Jason's gift to Drew (and the other munchkins) was to fill 2 boxes full of Mr. Potato Head parts. They have had so much fun with all of those pieces!!
Thursday was our big Disney day. We left Peyton and Carter (sorry guys) with my mom, Bob, and Sam while Pete, Drew, Logan and I went to Magic Kingdom. We didn't tell the boys where we were going (they wouldn't have truly understood anyway) until we were in the parks and they started seeing the Disney signs. This is where Drew's being able to read makes surprises difficult. But they didn't really understand where we were until we were in the park itself. This made the long way especially fun, exciting, and memorable. They thought everything was "it" and "it" was great! Drew had read about several "lands" so everything became a "land."  We passed "train land," "parking lot land," "hotel land," and even a "dirt land" where they were doing construction (now every construction site is an exciting "dirt land.")

After we parked, we had to ride the tram from the parking lot to the front entrance. They got to ride a "train!" Then, Drew got a special birthday ticket and button with his name on it (more on the button later.) Next, was the Monorail. Another "train!" The others on the monorail with us commented that we could just ride around the park on the rail and they wouldn't know the difference!

We had a little meltdown when we first entered the Magic Kingdom, in large part due to being way overtired and I think they were a little overwhelmed. Drew's feet were tired before we were halfway to the park and he wanted a stroller. Then, we got a double, which was really small and the boys did not want to share. (I personally don't blame them.) Next time, we know that each child should get there own stroller. Live and learn. They snapped out of it when we came to the Tea Cup ride. Only then, we got through the line and Drew had to go to the bathroom. So, Pete took Drew and I rode the first ride of the day with Logan. I think it was the best time he had even had up to that point.
When Pete and Drew came back, we all decided to ride again together. Then, it was the most fun that either had had up to that point. Pete got it to spin a lot faster than I did so they got a little scared at one point, but it was the fun kind of scared.
We went to the Indy Ride next and I rode with Drew while Pete rode behind us with Logan. Drew tried hard to steer but it was very hard (it was hard for me too) but he had a lot of fun. He did want it to go faster. Am I raising a thrill junky? I hope not!
Our next stop was "Toon Town" and we went inside "Minnie's House." They thought it was great to see all of the character's pictures on the walls, and the interactive kitchen was a hit with Drew.
The boys wanted to ride Goofy's Barnyard ride. There was a long wait, but the boys were mostly patient and enjoyed all of the things to look at in line. I had Logan with me this time and Pete had Drew. This ride wasn't much of a hit with Logan as he kept screaming, "not fun, not fun, not fun" the entire ride. After, he said it was too scarey. Drew screamed and was scared but loved it and said it was the fun kind of scared. Now, they have riden thier first roller coaster.
The boys went on "Donald's Boat," in "Mickey's House," and played in a play area before we stood in the very long line to meet Mickey and Minnie. Those Disney people are smart though, they stuck it indoors with a big movie screen of cartoons. The boys were awestruck when they finally were in view of them. They got thier autographs in their books and had thier picture taken. That was very exciting. Drew still talks about meeting them.
We had a quick lunch before we went to the Mickey's PhilharMagic.  The boys really enjoyed it but Logan refused to wear the 3D glasses.  He was scared at the things coming at him.  Then, on to my all time favorite ride, "It's A Small World." Drew really liked this one and wanted my to take pictures of everything! He tried to figure out the different lands as we went through. I guess he is a sucker for itty bitty things like his mom.

Winnie the Pooh was next and I think Logan liked this one more than Drew.
After the Winnie the Pooh ride, we stopped to listen to the street performers. They recognized Drew's birthday (from his button) and played "Happy Birthday" for him. By the end of the song, a few other birthday kids had come up and he added thier names to the song. Drew beamed with pride. I think this was the first real time that Drew realized that his button had power. He held the botton out for everyone to see. There is a permanent, large hole and the fabric is stretched out where he had his button from pulling it out to be in more plain view. He got a huge, proud grin everytime someone noticed it was his birthday (which was an aweful lot!)
We let the boys play at the Pooh's play area.  They ran around and got some energy out.  
Dumbo was next.  The boys had a snack while I waited in a very long line.  It was worth the wait.  They really loved it and wanted to go again!  We chose not to stand in the line again but to head to another side of the park to see other things.  But not until they played on the Dumbo statue.
We went on the Buzz Lightyear Ride next.  I think this was a favorite for both of the boys.  Logan and I were in one car and Pete and Drew were behind us.  (Pete and I switched off throughout the day so that we would both get to experience things with both.)  Our car could turn all the way around so we could turn and "shoot" each other.  They loved "helping" Buzz get the bad guy Zorg.  Buzz was waiting outside to greet his "junior rangers" when the ride was over.
Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor was next.  The boys didn't really get as much out of this one.  They enjoyed it at the beginning because they love Monster's Inc, but they didn't really get the humor.  It was a nice break for them to sit down inside though.  Pete and I thought it was hilarious and were amazed at the animation.  It was amazing that they could change the animation based on what the people in the audience did.  We still don't understand how, but it was cool.  You actually started believing the characters were real.

We took them on the Astro Orbiter but it was really high and a little scary for them.

We went to Peter Pan's Flight next.  They really enjoyed this since has always been a favorite.  What is it with boys and Pirates?

We took a dinner break at Pinocchio's Tavern.  Then it was off to the last ride of the night and possibly the overall favorite.  Pirates of the Caribbean.  They loved it!!  I was sure they were going to be scared, but they had a ball.  It was a great ride to end that part of the night.

We had a long walk back to the castle and the boys fought part of the time and played the other.  We should have gotten two singles instead of the double.  Same price, separate space.  Live and learn.
We settled in front of the castle for the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.  They really enjoyed this.

We had a long walk back through the park to get to the monorail and parking lot tram but the boys were troopers.  They were extremely exhausted, but they had enough excitement to get them to the car and changed into their pj's.  They were hungry so we stopped to get them a snack right outside the park.  They were asleep about 5 minutes later.
What a wonderful weekend.