Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mom, I Have A Secret!

We have a friend around our house named Lyle. Lyle the Swordfish. Do you know him?

Lyle made his appearance before our kids were conceived. Sometimes I would have a hard time falling asleep at night and Jon made up stories about a swordfish named Lyle to help me wind down.

About a year and a half ago Jon started telling the boys stories about Lyle. One of the first stories about Lyle was about how Lyle learned all his letters in a contest and the prize was to get ice cream. Lyle, of course shares his ice cream with all of his classmates.

Every once in a while Isaac likes to whisper to me, "Mom, when I learn all my letters I'm going to get ice cream!". Apparently Lyle has been a big motivator to Isaac to learn his letters. He has been interested in learning his letters for about a year now.

Truth be told, he does know all his letters. If you write the alphabet down and quiz him on the letters he knows them all. Occasionally he gets M and N confused but he gets it right a majority of the time. I haven't told him that he gets ice cream yet.

Now that he knows all his uppercase letters we are working on the lowercase letters too. We have started working on writing and surprisingly he is doing pretty good. I have started making the letters in a connect-the-dot sort of way so he can connect the dots to make the letters. He talks himself through the letter drawing. It is very cute.

He is very proud of his progress and it is so much fun for him when we write words that he chooses. On this particular day he wanted to practice writing the names of Planet Heroes.

Here he is saying "CHEESE!". When Spring comes we will be taking him to get that ice cream!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Be More Green!

I have had an idea for a while now to have a weekly post on how you can be a little more environmentally friendly.

My first post on the topic is about those dumb plastic bags we all have coming out of our ears. The most recent thing I have done to be more green is bought reusable grocery bags to eliminate plastic bag use. If you read this website you will be shocked at how many of these bags are used every year and the effect on our environment. If you spend $20-30 (possibly less depending on where you buy them) on reusable grocery bags you will be part of helping save our environment. And you will be contributing for a healthy future for our children and grandchildren!

Target, Whole Foods, Walmart and lots of other stores sell these bags. You can take them to the mall or the grocery store!

One trick to remembering to take them with you to the store is to leave them in your car or by the door you leave to go shopping!

Friday, February 22, 2008


I have a snaggletooth baby! Graham's first tooth popped through yesterday.

When he was 3 months old he got the raised "bumps" but I knew the teeth would come in a few months. I noticed a few weeks ago that one of his gums on the bottom was higher than the bottom. I kept feeling everyday to see if anything was happening and then I noticed his gums turning white and knew the tooth was on its way.

Well, it is here! Thankfully he didn't seem bothered by it. Whew!

He is so ready to start solids but I am going to wait until he is 6 month old--in 9 days. I can't believe that he will be 6 months old already. It has gone by fast!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

All 3 Boys

Here is a picture of each of the boys all around the same age. What do you notice? I gave you the pictures in different sizes so you could compare them a little differently. Thoughts?

Graham's hair cut

Here it is! I think I cut off 2 or 3 inches in some places in the back. He looks so much more like a little boy. I don't think people will continue to ask if he is a girl now! The second picture looks a little ratty in the back but he had been playing laying down on his back so it got all tangled. It isn't a salon haircut or anything but we all think it looks a little better.

Happy Valentine's Day!

If you were at our house we would have shared our special cake treats with you! Ewan and I made these together. He did a fabulous job decorating and dipping the cakes in icing. Hope you had a special day!


After we went sledding Jon and Ewan stayed outside to make a snowman while I went inside to cook dinner. They were very creative with their decorations. Beer bottle caps and a glass jar. Whatever works!


Here are the sledding pictures we took. We had soooooo much fun. We went to our neighbor's yard to slide down their hill. We realized that you don't have to have a huge hill to have fun sledding. Plus, for the boys first time sledding we didn't want to freak them out to much. Isaac even had fun doing it a few times. Now that's saying something!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pictures and What Not

Here is Graham's 5 month old picture. I measured him at home and did a little guessing on his weight. When we went to his well visit he was 17# 11oz. and 28 inches long.

I added this picture because I love this outfit and thought he looked cute!

I borrowed a friend's book on how to cut hair and went and bought some scissors, a cape, a comb, and spray bottle. It cost less than it did to go to the barber shop. All 3 boys got a haircut. I don't have pictures of Graham's haircut yet but I will post it soon. It was a little harder than the instructions made it out to be but easier than before when I had tried to cut it on my own. I was pleased with the results.

Today we are getting at least 5+" of snow. This is what I was expecting a lot more of in Pittsburgh but so far this is the first real dumping of snow. Ewan and I shoveled the sidewalk and threw snow at each other. The snow was really powdery so it didn't make very good snowballs. I think we will go sledding later this afternoon when Jon gets home from school. Hopefully I'll get some pictures then!

This is just to give you an idea how thick the snow is. It snowed all night and until about 12:45 this afternoon. I think it is supposed to start again later this afternoon.

It was fun to put on our snow boots and tool around in the snow though. Isaac stayed inside while we had snow fun. He didn't know what he was missing!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Raising a Pastor's Kid

[Amelia told me to post this story...]

Recently, after seeing the need in the pre-school Sunday School at church, I threw my hat in the ring and offered to help. What they seemed to need more than anything was for someone to play guitar and lead a singing worship time for them during the Sunday School hour. So, guess what I do now? I play the guitar and sing songs with the kids during the Sunday School hour!

It's actually a really cool set up because the church has this mini-chapel in the upstairs with a little cloister wall making a little narthex/nave setup. There's even a little altar with candles, an offering plate, a podium for singing, preaching, or reading the word, a mini-cross for a processional, little pews and even little kneeling pads. Very cool. Anyway, the kids come up. They file in somewhat quietly. Then, one of the kids gets to be the crucifer and all the kids stand and watch as they bring the cross down front, then I lead some singing, and the lady I partner with she reads the Scriptures and takes prayer requests (a preschool version of "prayers for the people") and then there is a recessional where I lead a final song. Oh, yah, I always bless them before they go, too.

Anyway, Ewan and Isaac are in there together. Boy, is that interesting! Watching your kids be themselves when its not just you and them. But, it's not a totally unaffected situation. They know I'm there and that changes their behavior, too. Isaac is a wiggle-worm and can't sit still in his seat. He actually acts more distracted and moody than if I wasn't there. And even though at home he's our "dancing pro" and "singing man," at church, he's silent. At first, Ewan was barely affected. He came in with his ever-present "friends" and was just excited by the whole thing. He always has prayer requests and always wants to do everything - he wants to be the crucifer and take the offering, etc.

But last week, Ewan was acting different. He got to come with me early and set-up rather than going to his class and then coming up with them. (Mommy and Isaac and Graham were all sick at home, so we were just going up and doing Daddy's thing and then coming home.) He didn't want to go to his class and when they all came in he stayed in the "narthex" and watched through the cloister wall as everyone else sang. He was basically sulking even though I knew deep-down he wanted to participate.

Afterward, I sat down with him.
"Ewan, why didn't you want to go to your class?"
"I just don't want to."
"Ewan, how come you didn't come and sing and sit with your friends?"
"I don't know."
Internally, I was praying and trying to feel what he might be feeling. (He and I are pretty similar emotionally so this isn't that hard a task.) After a moment of looking at him and praying, I felt an insight...
"Ewan, do you not like it when Daddy leads the singing because you don't like to share Daddy with the other kids?"
"Uh-huh." (True acknowledgment.)
"Hmm...I can understand that. You know, Daddy used to have to do that when I was a boy." [He always likes, "When I was a boy" examples.] "Pa-pa used to have to lead meetings at church and I didn't like it sometimes because I wanted it to be the same as when we were together just the two of us and I didn't like it being different."
Silence, but listening.
"You know buddy, I know it's hard to share Daddy with others, but this is what God has asked us to do as a family and I think you'll get to see that there are parts about it that are pretty cool. But most importantly, I want you to know that every time Daddy is up front, YOU are still my very special son. No one else gets to be my son...JUST YOU. Okay?"
(Still a little unsure) "Okay."
"Come on, let's go home. Do you want to push the special button to turn out the lights? Ooo, and let's ride the elevator!"
(A little more excited) "Yah!"
(One of the perks of being a PK: You get to play with the stuff in the church after everyone leaves!)
Lord, I know it would be easier for me not to serve and for my boys to get to relate to me in just one mode instead of two, but help us, Lord. Help me to always communicate to them that though they are "in the crowd" that they are never just "part of the crowd." Amen.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I Got a Kiss!

As the boys get older their personality differences become more and more apparent. Ewan is full of extra hugs and kisses for mommy and daddy. He likes to give kisses before bedtime and even just because he is feeling lovey dovey. He often will run up to me and give me a hug and tell me he loves me. Out of the blue. If he thinks I am wearing a pretty outfit he hugs me and says he thinks I look pretty. Melts your heart, doesn't it?

Isaac on the other hand likes to receive hugs and kisses but he prefers to hand out touch by putting his feet on you or leaning on you while he is sitting next to you at the dinner table. The funny thing is that I don't think he is aware that he does that. It seems that if he is feeling close to someone he will stand on their feet. We have considered putting him at the end of the table so we can't lean on me while he eats. I appreciate his sentiment but it is kind of hard to eat when he is leaning and pulling on my arm--not to mention the stains that radiate from his hands and land on my shirts. If anyone were to look closely my shirts have more stains on the right sleeve due to all the lovin' my right arm gets during dinner. Occasionally while we are reading books at bedtime he will rest his head on my chest and that always feels sweet.

Isaac does not give kisses. He does not give hugs regularly. When Jon comes home from school he will run to daddy and give a hug but that is it. If you ask Isaac for a kiss he leans his cheek out so YOU kiss him but not the other way around or he tells you no.

Well, the other day we were playing a fun game of pull the cushions off the couch and lay all over them on the floor. Graham was sleeping so Ewan, Isaac, and I played "sleep" on the floor and crawl on mommy while she tickles any exposed tummies. Isaac was laying next to me and he leaned over and gave me a kiss. HE gave ME a kiss! It felt like one of the sweetest kisses I have had in a while! I realized then at how rare it is for Isaac to actually give kisses (which led me to thinking about what I am writing in this post). It astounded me that I was the recipient. And I was thankful. That happened on Thursday this past week and I am still thinking about how special it felt in that moment. Sigh.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Opinion Poll

I love it when I go out and see this sign when I need to stop in at a store because it's guaranteed close parking. For any new mom it is nice to not have to walk very far or haul the baby bucket (infant carrier) very far to the store. Especially when it is cold. Babies R' Us has them at every store. One of the grocery stores we frequent has them and today we were at the mall the the mall had some parking for new moms. It was full of course but it made me smile to see it.

Jon pointed it out as we were looking for a parking spot and I wondered aloud if Graham and I don't qualify as a "new mom and baby" anymore since he is 5 months old. Jon's thought was that as long as you have the baby in the bucket it is acceptable to park in those spots. I think he is probably right but I feel like I might get some dirty looks if I parked in one of the special spots and someone saw us.

What do you think? When should mom's give up the luxury parking?

Friday, February 01, 2008


I have mentioned before that the bean selection here in PA is not as good as the bean selection in Texas. There are 10+ varieties of baked beans but you can't get any Ranch Style beans and even the black bean selection is small. I needed a can of Cannelini or Great Northern beans for a soup recipe this week. I chose the only brand they had available even though I have never heard of it. I should have known.....

When you buy a can of beans with this picture on the front:

You don't expect to get this on the inside:

Pastey Bean Slime

EWWWWWWWWWW!!!!! I don't think I had much "Luck" with Luck's brand of beans!