sweet prayer

I've been praying with Sam before bed for a couple of years now.  he never wants to pray, but always wants me to pray for him - kind of like storytime, he just has to have it before bed.   lately I've been pushing him to do it, not forcing him, more like insisting.  I tell him 'God wants to hear whatever it is you have to say.'

so tonight I ask him to pray, and without resistance or my help, he says -
Dear God,
thank you for this world
thank you for all the kids
and I pray for our new house

for me, it just pulls on my heartstrings to hear such sincerity from my little man.  sometimes you just wonder what your children are thinking, and as the good book says, out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.  aaawwwww, I love it!  yep, it's mushy mommy stuff.   I was kind of surprised he didn't thank God for all the candy he got tonight trick-or-treating!

S is for ...

I meant to do this awhile ago. it's one of those let-me-tell-you-about-myself games. so 10 S's about me ...

1. Sam - he is my first born son. he changed my world completely. I do my best not to "live through" my kids, but he is definitely my world while he still lets me. he just turned 4 years old, so how much longer will I get kisses, hugs, and hand holding? I hope forever.

2. Sunrise/Sunset - this is my favorite time of day. I'm rarely up for the sunrise; I was more in the first few months of having babies, but whenever possible, I sleep! a sunset is great to watch, especially over the ocean - gorgeous.

3. Silly - being silly means you're having fun and enjoying life. getting silly used to mean get high or have a few drinks - shame on me! - but now it's playing with the kids, not paying attention to what time it is, and just living in the moment. we all need more of this!

4. super-mom - I stay at home with my kids and I do love it. I'm incredibly blessed to be able to, and I never want to take that for granted. I will always take pointers from other super-moms; we need each other! if I could, I would do homeschool with Sam, do crafts and science experiments, bake [healthy] treats, read books with Elliott, do this blog, run my errands, have dinner ready at 6pm, while maintaining our nursing schedule, keeping the house clean and finishing my degree with night classes, every single day. I know I'm forgetting a couple things on that list. I'm good at multi-tasking, but I'm not quite super-mom ... that's ok.

5. scents - I LOVE the smell when you walk into a bakery; that very first sniff ... YUM! I also love fresh cut grass, fresh mountain air, my 2 perfumes - Beautiful by Estee Lauder and Baby Grace by Philosophy, I love the way babies smell, home-cooked meals, THANKSGIVING, cookies in the oven, most candle scents - although there are some very disgusting ones! and dryer sheets in the dryer.

6. Savior - my savior Jesus. what more is there to say about that?!

7. sales - I love finding deals, and I really love getting steals. when I have the time to dig - meaning when I can get out without my kids - I like thrift stores and garage sales, but the clearance racks at Target will do too!

8. sandals - easy to slip on and off; the perfect summer shoe is a flip-flop.

9. soda - something about Diet Pepsi is so yummy. I like Coke but not Diet Coke, I dislike Pepsi, but not Diet Pepsi. strange, huh?

10. sweets - last but certainly not least; my sweet tooth will make me do things I wouldn't normally do! I LOVE milk chocolate, anything ooey-gooey chocolatey is ok with me. there is a limit - those death by chocolate desserts are usually too much for me ... after a few bites that is!

let me know if you'd like a letter to do this too; I'll give you a good one.

homeschooling II

so with our new location, homeschool might not be as necessary as I thought.  CA does not have good schools; poor ratings, low budget, children with too much attitude ... ok, that last one is mine ... but the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, right?
in CO, the public schools are in the top 5 (I think), top 10 for sure.  so being in a place that has qualified schools, is there a need to homeschool anymore?

one of my main concerns is including God in every area of life, including my kids' education, which is something I can easily do at home.  I think God should be taught at home, and not necessarily at school.  there is too much left to interpretation, which is where people usually disagree.  we would stick to what the bible says, and honestly, I wouldn't trust any school 100% to do just that.
also to homeschool Sam, it would keep him and I close(r).  I miss him already and he's not even in preschool.  he's growing up so fast - cliche I know.  but while I'm with Elliott, usually nursing, I think of the bond we are creating.  it's still there with Sam, but only when he comes for it, so it's not constant anymore.  yes, it's selfish.  he's only 4, and it's just SO hard to let go already.
I think Sam would benefit from both methods.  homeschool would offer him lessons at his own pace, in his own style, on our terms.  public school would help in socially, which is something he needs.  he's always been a loner.  he loves people, but it seems he doesn't have a great first impression on kids.  it seems he thinks the way him and daddy play is the way you play with everyone - their silly made-up games, wrestling, or with our inside jokes.  he needs a bit more exposure.

ugh ... what's a mom to do?! 

all in the family

so I sort of feel like a child again as we are temporarily living at my hubby's parents house.  even though I have my own children with me here, I still ask for permission about things.  funny and strange.
along with us (4 adults) are 5 children, and their ages are 9, 6, 4, 3, 5 mos.  someone always needs something, often one of them is crying, and if one has something, the rest must have it too.  it's a madhouse at times.
Elliott is too young to have a clue, but Sam has been surrounded by 3 girls and I'm beginning to see the effects of this.  now I don't know if it's these girls specifically, or if it's girls in general, but they whine constantly.  they seemed to have learned whining gets them what they want ... sugar and spice my ass!  Sam has picked up on that and if it's one thing I can't stand, it's whining!  so now, the girls whine and get what they want, Sam whines and he [eventually] gets in trouble.
of course he doesn't get it, even if you try to explain it to him ... which is another thing; with girls you can talk it out.  boys don't respond too well to that, unless is short, sweet, and to the point.  I'm always trying to think of good one or two liners for Sam to understand.  it's much harder than it sounds.
it's strange for me that my in-laws have 3 little girls; my hubby's sisters (1/2 sisters if you're wondering how it happened that way).  the Grimm's are definitely not your standard or normal family tree.  
so do I treat my in-laws more like peers - as in we're both parenting little children - or do I treat them as my parents - as in honor your mother and father (treat your in-laws as your own)?  I guess I'm having a hard time doing both.  even if they were my peers, I wouldn't know how to start that conversation - I don't agree with how your handle your kids.  to me, it seems the same as punishing other people's kids; it's just not allowed.
of course I love these girls.  Sam has a great time with them and of course they LOVE  the baby.  it'll be good for my boys to have these girls around.  they will be good friends, or rather, more like siblings than aunties.  it will be great that they get to grow up together.  one big happy family!

reminders of home

I don't know how many of you read this regularly ... but here's an update.

my family and I have moved to Colorado.  our time in California has ended, for many reasons, so we're here for a fresh start.  hubby's family is here in Colorado Springs, and we've invaded their home for a couple of weeks until our new house is available on November 1st.  we'll be renting in the same neighborhood, that way, we'll have babysitters!

the drive here was beautiful.  it took us a full 2 days, but we had to go 55-60 the whole way with our big u-haul.  Utah looks like you're driving through the Grand Canyon ... I've never actually been there (I want to go) but it looks just like the pictures I've seen.  I took some pictures during the drive, but I cannot post those until I get unpacked and find the battery charger for my camera.

we've been here just a few days and it feels good.  I grew up in Illinois and Wisconsin, so it feels good to be in the mid-west again.  there are little, subtle differences, but for me, it's meaningful in some way.
* coming in the fall, the leaves are changing colors.  I've forgotten how bright the colors can be, even different from northern California.  bright yellow, ruby reds, shades of orange; a few trees are naked already.  in fact, there was snow the night before last ... and it was still there this morning!  I'm glad to be in a place that will have 4 distinctive seasons again.
*  I've forgotten all about basements.  we've been looking at tons of houses lately, some have finished basements.  finished or not, they're so cool to have.  if for nothing else, extra storage, something California homes do not have!
* I was so sick of stucco houses.  that is all southern California has, and they all look the same.  at least here, people can choose COLOR siding if they want.  very few houses here are stucco.
* mid-west people love to decorate, not always done well, but it's overall more festive out here.  christmas should be cool.
* I know greed is a worldwide sin, but people are just so darn nice here.  there are places where greed is much more common ... like southern California.  there is just so many people there, so competition is constantly in the air.  it feels good to get away from that being the norm.

I'm sure there is more ... this is what I can think of for now.
when I get unpacked, I'll post pictures of our new surroundings.  stay tuned.

4 years ago ...

oh my, has it really been 4 years?!  my first born turns 4 today and I couldn't be more proud of him. sooooooo much has happened since he has come into my life ... for him and for me.  truly, where has the time gone?!

a few things haven't changed -
his laugh!  he's got a chuckle that comes from his gut.  I love to hear that gut-busting kind of laugh from people, but when kids do that, and better yet when mine does it, it's so contagious.  I love it!  he is definitely a funny-man; just loves to be silly. 
he was born part-monkey!  he climbed out of his crib at 15 months and hasn't stopped since.  at about 18 months he got 11 stitches from a climbing adventure, but of course, it didn't phase him one bit.  no fear.
he's always been very independent.  so curious about everything; loves to experiment. he's going to be some kind of engineer one day.

it's amazing the many transformations children make - from newborn to toddler, and now toddler to kid.  Sam is now speaking clearly and in full sentences, becoming very opinionated and expressing himself, learning to read and write, becoming his own person.  God is at work!

since we weren't having a party this year, we were going to go to Disneyland.  the Santa Ana winds kicked in today, and if you don't know, it's soooooo windy you can't walk down the street!  so instead we went bowling and had birthday cake at home.  our gift to him was a big boy bike with training wheels and helmet.  he's in love!

he's a great kid and a true blessing to me.

a growing nose

yesterday was like any other.  Sam wants to play, eat, watch videos, do a craft, just have fun.  we do this everyday, and it IS fun.  sometimes he gets a bit obsessed with his videos, he just wants to be a couch potato sometimes, and honestly, sometimes I let him.  yesterday he kept asking and asking and asking to watch a second one... of course when that happens the answer is always no, he doesn't seem to understand that his nagging is not the way to get what he wants.

also Sam is starting to lie to me ....ME!  it's usually when he goes potty, because now he can go totally by himself.  I let him do his thing and he comes out to tell me about it.  but I always catch him - did you wipe?  did you flush?  did you wash your hands?  he always says yes, like a good boy,  but I'm skeptical about the wipe, I didn't hear a flush or the sink turn on for washing hands.  the boy is fibbing!

so I talk to him about it and try to reinforce in his brain how God commands us not to lie no matter what.   I tell him "God doesn't like liars, God says to always tell the truth" and his response was "ok mom.  God also says that I should watch a video today"

nice try kid!