Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Spooktacular

Have I mentioned how much I love the ages of our kids right now? I got so hyped up about Halloween this year! All three of the kids get it this year. We've had fun talking about it, planning costumes, and counting down the days to the big night.

This year I decided to do a full-out Halloween dinner menu for the kids. I knew I would do "Mummy Dogs" for the main dish and "Boo Cups" for dessert, but I was stumped for sides. I found an idea online about cutting potato slices with cookie cutters and frying them, so I tried it but had very low expectations. Can I just say, YUM? We had pumpkin- and acorn-shaped "french fries," and they turned out great! And Adam, our creative one, asked if we could cut green peppers to look like jack-o-lanterns. What a cute idea! Thanks, Adam!

With their tummies full, the kids were ready to put on their costumes and go trick-or-treating. If you're wondering why their faces look so sad and unexcited, so am I. ??? Seriously, they look like the dog just died or something.

Ninjas brandishing their swords

Libby wearing her Raggedy Ann costume (taken off her life-sized doll!)

And...HOW CUTE IS THIS? Since we have two life-sized Raggedy Ann dolls, Libby and Ella were both able to dress up in the outfits! Libby is wearing 2010 Raggedy Ann, and Ella is wearing 1976 Raggedy Ann, which I wore for Halloween when I was two! I could just gobble these two up.

Favorite quote of the night?

Me: Libby, what did you get for Halloween?
Libby: Scared!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Preparations

Making candy necklaces with pumpkin charms...

The results...
Libby gnawed on her pumpkin charm and made it unusable for the neckace...

Adam's necklace...

Andrew's necklace...

Happy Pumpkin, Scar-Face, and Fangs


Friday, October 29, 2010

A Tale of Two Two-Year-Olds

When I was two, I was an only child. I lived on a quiet cul-de-sac with my mom and dad. My mom wore rockin' orange-printed bellbottoms (I'm betting polyester). I rode a little red tricycle. It was just my speed.

Oh, and my mom dressed me like a Cold War-era Eastern bloc grandmother. But I digress.

Now I have a little two-year-old of my own. She has two big brothers. She lives on a very lively cul-de-sac that is absolutely crawling with kids -- mostly boys. Her mom wears a standard uniform of crew-neck cotton tee shirts (long-sleeved in winter!), jeans, and flats.

But a little red tricycle is way too tame for this two-year-old. She prefers to ride her big brother's big red bike. It's the only way to keep up with "the guys."

She's amazingly good at it!

I bet in 30 years she'll be making cracks about how her mom dressed her, though.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Would You Love Me If...?

A few years ago, I was talking with one of the (many) extremely wise older ladies in our church about raising kids. She was telling me how she and her husband used to play a game with their kids every night at bedtime. The kids would ask, "Would you love me if I..." and make up scenarios that would test a parent's love. And my friend and her husband would assure the children that, yes, they would love them in and through any circumstance.

I was just telling Steve last night that the boys are getting to the age where it might be a good idea to do that. I envisioned Andrew coming up with some real imaginary humdingers. Steve and I would talk with him about consequences and sorrow over poor choices but ultimately assure Andrew that we will always love him, no matter what. We would be Noble Parents! Andrew and Adam would be Rooted and Grounded in the Assurance of Their Parents' Love!

Tonight the dinner menu was grilled Hawaiian pork kebabs with red onion and pineapple over rice. I expected fits from the kids as anything that does not begin with "Macaroni and Cheese" is usually challenged. But when they saw the shish kebab skewers, their faces lit up. Dinner on a stick! Brilliant. (Note to self: look for ways to serve meatloaf and mashed potatoes on skewers...) The kids dug right in and ate well. I was sitting in a rather dazed feeling of bliss that dinner had gone over so smashingly when Steve interrupted my dreamlike haze by yelling, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

Andrew had carved his name in the table with the shish kebab skewer. And because what Andrew does, Adam must had Adam.

So tonight (after Steve and I heartily conveyed our feelings about carving furniture with skewers, took away dessert, and sent the boys to their rooms), we got to introduce "Would You Still Love Me If...(I carved your table with a shish kebab skewer)?" at bedtime and assure the boys that we do still love them.

I thought this game was supposed to be hypothetical.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Our Next House

Adam has apparently been experiencing some dissatisfaction with some of the major constants in his life. First, it was the car. Lately, Adam has been obsessed with houses.

For a while he was fascinated with "those short houses" (ranch-style homes). Who lives in them? Can they stand up inside? Do they have bedrooms? Do they have food? Do they have toys? I don't know where Adam came up with these thoughts, but he was quite concerned. Our friend Tiffany graciously offered Adam a tour of her spacious, high-ceilinged, one-story home so that Adam could satisfy himself that they were not living in some kind of vinyl-sided beaver dam. (Thanks, Tiffany!)

Adam's recent conversation has centered around "our next house." I had no idea our current house was so unacceptable. But next time we go house shopping, Adam has some ideas about what we will need to look for.

  • It will have a front porch. (OK by me.)
  • The front porch will be double-storied. (That gets a little tougher...really, Adam, you think I'm going to let you anywhere NEAR a second-story porch? I would never sleep another wink.)
  • It will have Christmas and Halloween lights up all year round. (No comment.)
  • There will be a movie theater. (Poppa Jon...???)
  • The house will have candles. (Yeah, right. File this one with the second-story porch. Another of those "Adam + ________ = certain disaster" things.)
  • And there will be a new dog. (Well, maybe a little black lab puppy...)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

3 Ninjas

The Smoke Dragon Ninja

The Fire Dragon Ninja

Together, they are a force to be reckoned with. OK, OK, I can't stand it. They are a force with which to be reckoned.

But both quake in the presence of...

The Hairbow Dragon Ninja

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Three Houses

Not much time for blogging lately. After eight straight days of fevers, respiratory infections, and croup the other week, our pirates and little petunia are all back at school and doing well.

I've had the privilege over the last couple weeks to visit the homes of three families very close to our hearts.

The first home was the scene of a celebration. After many, many months of waiting and an extended trip to a Peruvian orphanage, our friends welcomed home two adorable little boys. Mom, Dad, two older sisters, and a grandfather were there with faces glowing when my children and I arrived. The house was loud and happy. The boys don't speak English yet, but that did not stop them from trading silly bands and laughing and playing with my boys. In my halting nonexistent Spanish, I tried to welcome the boys and tell them how glad we all were that they were finally here. The little one skipped out to my car with me and poked his head into the dishes I had brought for dinner, parroting my English words with a big smile: Apples! Green Beans! I could've just scooped him up and nuzzled him. I know his new family must do that a lot.

The second home was also celebrating, in a quieter way, the birth of a new little sister. This is baby number four, but somehow there was still the hush that is always present when there's a new baby in the house. Big brother (Andrew's BFF Josh) was radiant with quiet excitement. The younger ones were climbing all over, pointing out the baby's features: Eyes! Nose! Baby! Mom and Dad were exhausted but joyful. No way to get the older kids to nap every time a new baby naps. I know. I've tried. How wonderful to share in the excitement and sweetness of a precious little newborn and to give thanks for her safe arrival.

The third home was very still. Our dear friend, a husband and father of two, suddenly received a very grave diagnosis a couple weeks ago. A few Sundays ago we were chatting with him in the halls at church. Today he lies in a hospice bed, suffering. Very soon this faithful man, loved by God and loved by us, will be home with God, who will wipe every tear from his eye. He will suffer no longer. In the meantime, a family is stunned and grieving even as they cling to this hope.

All these visits, one pretty much on top of the other. So much life...just happening. Trying to process all the joy and sorrow is overwhelming. More than ever this week, in these homes and in ours, in every situation, the Lord is near (Philippians 4:5).

If you are reading this, would you please pray for these families? God knows their names and their specific needs.

  • Benjamin & Christian and their new family
  • Baby Erin and her family
  • Kofi, his wife, and children
  • And in a fourth house in another state, too far for us to drop in for a visit, Steve's uncle has also received a very serious medical diagnosis. Please pray for Brian and his wife.