"Love the Lord your God, walk in all His ways, obey His commands, hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and soul." Joshua 22:5

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Will - Ready for School

I was busy working with Josiah on his schoolwork this morning and I guess I just wasn't getting done quick enough to start school with Shepard and Will.  So, I heard Will announce that he was ready for school and I found him at the table...  he had gotten his paper and crayons out and he was busy "working on his school".  Gotta love a go-getter!

My Daffodils

My sweet boys love to pick flowers for me!  The next time I find myself wondering why God chose to give me a family of boys (which I wouldn't really trade for the world!) - and the swords are flying all about me and they are all laughing at boyish body-sounds humor (oh my!), I'm planning to remember how precious it is to get flowers from my boys.  Behind all the boyish rambunctiousness, they really are sweet!  Here's one of the big bouquets that they brought in for me yesterday...  they really worked hard to cut this many flowers!  And they smell soooo good! 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

GKS Prep Day

The truth...  we dread it as much as everyone else!  But, at least it was raining and no one was sad that we were spending the day inside.  It takes a full day to go through all our season's clothes and the toys to decide what we're going to keep and what we're going to sell.  But, at the end of the day it really feels good to have a clean toy closet and a lighter load.  Now just all that tagging...

The process of going through our stuff can be agonizing.  Actually, our day started out very pleasant.  Everyone was getting along so well and I even commented to John that the boys were showing some real character growth in their deference to each other and learning to work together, etc.  And then we started the GKS sort!  Well, I guess the positive way to look at it is that it revealed that there is still much training to do!  We started with the toys.  I asked them if we should turn on some music to make it more fun?  YES!!  At first they wanted Go Fish, but then they all definitely decided they wanted to listen to Geography Songs!  Really?!  Well, who am I to argue with that?  At least they might learn some geography while they work. :)  Will is still young enough that he's just along for the ride in this toy sorting extravaganza...  he mills around and enjoys wrecking havoc on all our piles!  With the other two, there is a big pack rat who can't bear to part with anything and one who sees the value in cleaning out and making some money...  definitely a combination for conflict.  (But more and more we see that the Lord designs it this way so that we can learn to deal with conflict in a way that honors the Lord and builds the relationships in our family...  before we have to face conflict with the world.  So, we had lots of practice today.)  John was my life saver...  he came up with some rules for the big toy sort to help calm the situation.  You know it is a real bummer when your brother decides he's not interested in keeping that toy anymore, but that toy actually belongs to the other brother.  So, they each got a basket (a big one) that they had to fill up with things that they were ready to get rid of.  Josiah got busy...  it was a competition to him...  and with some clever thinking he realized that he could clean out all the baby toys that we don't use any more and fill up his basket quickly without losing too many of his toys. 

Meanwhile, Shepard is busy playing with each toy he picks up oblivious to the fact that his basket is still practically empty.
Every time Shepard got a look inside Josiah's basket there were many tears.  So, the new rule was that they could each put anything they wanted in their basket, but at the end of the sorting they would have an opportunity to come back and reclaim favorite toys with our permission.  Ahhh...  at least Shepard felt some hope again and yes, we did finally get him to put a few more things in his basket.  And at the end of the day, he only took back two toys!!  I know it's hard for a pack rat, but I'm proud of him for overcoming it.  (Now I've just got to hide all the toys we're getting rid of so that he doesn't change his mind! :))

And John, my other pack rat :) decided to start cleaning out the garage today!  Yippee!  He knows how much I cringe to walk through the mess every day.  I really do try not to comment about it... much.  But, I was so proud of all his hard work today and it means so much to me!

While John was working in the garage and the boys were cleaning out toys, I started cleaning out the clothes - with the itunes headphones and a cold bottle of Cream Soda.  Yep, that's the way to do it!

Just a few more things to go through tomorrow and then I'm ready to tag.  So, if you are wondering if it's worth it... YES!  We'd have to go through all our clothes anyway to make room for the new sizes the boys need.  And this is such great practice for them to learn how to maintain orderliness.  And I love seeing empty drawers!! :) 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Family Time, Thumbs Up

We've been working with Will again on sitting on a blanket and learning to not only stay on it, but to also sit quietly.  (He's definitely our chatter box!)  So, most evenings before the kids go to bed, we have Family Time and John reads to us and we eat a snack.  The boys love this tradition and they are quick to help with getting everything set up and the lights dimmed, etc.  During Family Time, Will gets to sit on the blanket and he has been doing really well.  Lately, he has started giving me the thumbs up sign every so often to let me know that he is doing a good job...  it was so cute that I tried to capture a picture of him doing it!

Yesterday I got this picture of the boys all sitting together and playing on the computer.  I really love seeing them all enjoying spending time together!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fort Smith Museum of History

We are finally feeling a little better at our house.  Everyone has had the sick bug...  not fun, but it definitely was not the worst kind of sick bug, just unpleasant, so we are thankful and happy to be feeling better again!

Today - in the middle of March - we are enjoying all the beautiful snow!  There's just something cozy about watching those big flakes drift through the air and the transformation when everything turns white.  Ahhh, God says we can be white as snow...  He covers over all our sin and we can be brilliant like the snow!  Even the ugliest little piece of earth is beautiful when it's all covered up with snow!  Encouraging, isn't it?!

A couple days ago we got to go to the Fort Smith Museum of History with our homeschool group.  It was so much fun!  We learned a lot and enjoyed an ice cream treat and a ride on the trolley downtown.  I have a new appreciation of this town that I now call home. :)  I wish I had more pictures...  and I always regret not bringing my good camera.  But, these phone pics will have to do.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sickness Making the Rounds

We've had a lot of sickness at our house lately.  Josiah got it first and had it the worst...  he ran fevers over 104 for three days, but he is feeling much better now, just a lingering yucky cough and he always has trouble getting over a cough.  Then Shepard got it, but his fever was only high for one day.  At it's peak, he was sitting in the comfy chair wrapped up a in a blanket watching a video (for the second time) and I suggested that he might like to close his eyes and rest.  He answered, "Well, Mom, I really want to watch this show and I just can't be asleep and awake at the same time!"  The next day he was feeling much better, his temp was down to 102 and he said, "Mom, I feel like a human again!"  By that evening he said he was feeling like a "man". :)  I love those precious quotes!  Shepard is back to normal now and feeling good.  But, then Will got it.  He just had a low temp, but then he woke up in the night two nights ago with croup.  Josiah used to get that as a baby, so we knew what to do, but it's still scary.  After several episodes, we finally put Will in bed with us so we could monitor him a little more closely.  He preferred my pillow to John's and he kept spreading out more and more...  that little stinker practically pushed me off the bed! :)  John and I are still hoping that we don't get it and that we're all in good health again soon!

Oh, I've got to tell about one of my favorite new things that the guys are doing now!  In the evening just before the kids go to bed, all the boys crawl up in John's lap and they take turns telling each other knock, knock jokes.  They laugh and laugh and beg for one more round!  The jokes are hilarious...  not because the jokes are always so funny, but because they get so tickled at themselves.  I'm on the sidelines for this activity...  it's for the "guys", but I love just watching them have FUN together!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Will's Lawnmower Love

Will got to sit on the lawnmower today and pretend to drive it...  I've never seen him wear a bigger smile (and he smiles a lot!).  This was pure ecstasy for this little guy!  He gets as excited about riding the lawnmower as Josiah does about playing on the computer!  I love their God-given uniqueness!