Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mr. Clean

Ah, finally! After Justin telling me that Jonah and James needed more chores, I decided to teach them how to do their own laundry. Up to this point, they knew how to sort, fold and put away (a.k.a. smash into their dresser). Today they learned how to sort their dirty clothes, take them to the laundry room, put in the detergent and turn on the washing machine. Then they learned how to transfer the clothes to the dryer and turn the dryer on. Jonah's excitement over this new responsibility led him in an attempt to wash just two socks by themselves, but that load (set on "super large capacity") was thwarted when I explained to him that we only wash full loads because we have to pay for the water. His response? "Awwwwww!!!!"

After I supervised their first load of laundry Jonah continued on his own and he washed and dried three more loads. James "opted out" after the first load. Now that they have to wash their own clothes, I have a feeling that Jonah will be changing his outfits every hour while James will be wearing the same thing for weeks to come.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Me & Mr. Dean

Hope you "stumble" across this, Mr. Dean. If you need yet ANOTHER grey shirt/black shorts/dress shoes with no socks outfit, you know whom to call.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vacation Bible School

VBS is this week and the theme is superheroes from the Bible. Josephine and I are serving and all the boys are having a blast. Jack and Jed get lots of attention in the nursery. Jonah and James get crafts, worship and study time. Josephine is my helper - Just like old times. All of us return home after lunch happy but very tired.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Remodeling - Before Renovations

Updates since the last blog...

OK, so it's been a while. Here's what has happened since the last blog entry:

Justin - finished the school year and found out that after 9 years of teaching @ Manzanita Elementary School he's being moved to another school in the same district. Thing is, it's possible that a teacher released from that school could be placed @ Manzanita if enrollment increases. Lame. Justin, however, has moved on to his summer project of renovating 2 of the 3 bathrooms and the kitchen in our house with the help of a contractor friend. Good thing Justin wasn't already tired from the past school year or the renovations would be REALLY exhausting.

Josephine - turned 37 in April and doesn't feel much different.

Jonah - promoted from 2nd to 3rd grade. He and his baseball team the Buccaneers reached the championship finals only to lose to an undefeated team. Jonah has lost two front teeth on the bottom and two front teeth on the top and is looking like a big boy now. However, he has yet to master riding a two wheeler - call that his "summer project".

James - turned 5 in June and celebrated with a Star Wars party, complete with pool-noodle light sabers. He is glad the school year is over, but he said his fave subject was math. He screamed like a banshee when he got his tuberculosis test at his 5-year physical and was thankful he didn't have to get any "real shots". Mommy and the entire clinic were glad, too.

Jedidiah - started walking, then running in April. Talks like there's no tomorrow and one of his favorite things is to count to 10 and say "Go!" when his daddy says "Ready? Set?" Jed has also developed a fondness for pool-noodle light sabers, if only to use them to activate the ice maker and water dispenser on the fridge.

Jack - coming along slowly, though more talkative than before. He's almost walking but is still perfectly happy crawling. He loves to play with cars and trucks (reminiscent of baby Jonah), but his fave thing of all is a few minutes of rocking chair time before bed.

Rolfe - still big, still playful. He's now taking two medications for thyroid and immune system issues. He's still quite handsome for an over-the-hill 9 year old German Shepherd.

Only 4 days into summer and this season has already shown to be quite a busy one. The twins will be receiving speech therapy and Jed will start physical therapy in July as their occupational therapy, infant playtime and Jack's physical therapy continue. Jonah and James start swim lessons next week and will hopefully be pool-safe by the end of summer. Rolfe looks forward to his walks with alpha male and spends the rest of the day napping. Justin and Josephine are still surviving. By the Lord's grace they are finding joy in their life with 4 (5) rambunctious, fun, loving and unique sons.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jedidiah and Jack!

Two years ago I was in a hospital room, freshly wounded yet heavily medicated following the most invasive and most miraculous procedure of my life. You guessed it - Jedidiah and Jack were born. Justin and I have experienced so many emotional extremes since their birth, from complete exhaustion to complete joy. Time has not flown in this house of four sons - we have felt every hour of every moment. But that is a blessing. The dark circles under our eyes is proof of our presence for all the important and not-so-important milestones, like when Jack barked at Rolfe for the first time or when Jed took his first steps.

The twins celebrated their birthday today in an age-appropriate manner. They found a box of Honey Nut Cheerios and opened it up - I discovered both of them sitting like little islands in the midst of a Cheerio ocean in the kitchen. With mouths full of cereal, they thought it was hilarious. Then they whined all through dinner at Pick Up Stix despite the new Blue's Clues DVD playing on the portable DVD player. Then they completed the day tearing apart and smashing their birthday cupcakes.

So 731 days ago I was recovering and unknowingly getting my last chance at rest before our official start as a family of 6. Every now and then, when I see or feel my C-section scar, I remember that feeling of fear for the lives of the twins. But today I also chalk it up as evidence of a life more blessed than it was 732 days ago.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Jedidiah and Jack! We love you!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Go Buccaneers!

Jonah had his first T-ball game today - well, it was really a scrimmage, but considering he got all dressed up in his uniform with his new cleats, it might as well have been a "real" game. He'd been looking forward to this day since the first day of practice. He got a piece of the ball his first time at bat, got a hit the second time, and struck out the third time. Thank God he was having fun and managed to pay attention to the game and to what his coach was saying (how many of you remember the story of him chasing his shadow during his soccer game when he was 4?). I saw pleasure in his Daddy's eyes when Jonah exhibited a fair amount of athleticism, and Mommy was pleased at how cute he looked. As we embark on another extracurricular adventure, I pray that the excitement we all felt today will last as long as Jonah's desire to play - and I pray that he can reuse his uniform next season 'cause it wasn't cheap!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Justin!

Today is Justin's birthday. We celebrated a little early last night when I tried to surprise him by having my family over for dinner. Even though the surprise didn't work out, we still had a great time celebrating another year with plenty of lemon cake to go around. Then Justin continued his "celebration" into the wee hours of the morning - he still had to complete the report cards for his students to be handed out today. So he started his actual birthday on 3 hours of sleep, but hopefully enjoyed a nice end to it after watching "The Empire Strikes Back" with all of us together.

I came across a verse today that I assigned to James for his writing practice, but I believe it's an accurate description of Justin, especially for today:

"But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day". Proverbs 4:18

In the words of the Hallmark card I gave him, he is a strong, supportive source of love and encouragement to me and our sons. The path he takes is difficult but devoted to God, and he wears his faith on his sleeve for all to see. Though he and I know that life could be easier, his faithfulness becomes stronger every day and helps to brighten my own way, moment by moment, "unto the perfect day". I am blessed to be with him another year, and having Justin as my husband makes me feel like the perfect day has already arrived.

Happy Birthday, Justin!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Apple Apple

Just the other day I was watching some Asian channel. There were two Japanese chefs cooking something that had to do with apples and one said to the other in a heavy Japanese accent: "Apple. Just like the first word we learned in English school!" Well, today began Jedidiah's "English school" because he said apple. Aaaaa-pple! I guess it sounds more like "ah-poh", but it counts! A smidgen of progress in his language skills, but progress nonetheless. Now I can't wait to hear him utter "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis".

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spelling Test

Regardless of my mood, school has to get done. No question. But that doesn't mean that my mood doesn't affect the school day, because it does. It really does. Take for example Jonah's spelling test last week. I tell him the word, use it in a sentence so he understands the meaning, then I repeat the word and he writes it down. Here are the words and my sentences for the last test:

1. loudest - Mommy is the loudest when she is yelling.
2. eaten - I wish you had eaten your breakfast in less than one hour.
3. kindly - Kindly write down this word fast so we can get to the next word already.
4. lunches - Mommy makes everyone's lunches and doesn't hear "Thank You" from anybody.
5. faster - Please finish your work faster and don't dilly-dally.
6. helper - It would be nice if I had a helper to help me take care of all you kids.
7. classes - Sometimes Mommy thinks it would be better if you took classes at a public school.
8. dishes - No matter how often I wash, there is always a sink full of dishes.
9. sleepy - Mommy does so much work around here it's no wonder she's sleepy at 8:00.
10. biggest - I have the biggest headache right now.
11. frozen - Sometimes it seems like your brain is frozen because it takes you so long to do your work.
12. slowly - Please do not write slowly but quickly. And get it right.
13. every - Every time I ask you to do something I have to ask you again and that makes me angry.
14. houses - Ours is one of the messiest houses on our street.
15. very - Mommy is very, very. very tired.
16. frosty - Mommy can be frosty but it also means when there's ice on the cars or on the grass.
17. taken - I should have taken two Tylenol this morning.
18. washes - Who washes clothes in this house? You don't. I do.
19. softly - You have a problem walking softly down the hallway when the babies are asleep.
20. winner - The winner is the one who doesn't have four kids.

Jonah got 100%.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Walkie Talkie

Jed took his first steps today. God is so good.

Back To The Future

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love 80's music. It was a major decade for me - I turned 8 in 1980 and 18 in 1990, so it should be no surprise that my kids have been exposed to a healthy amount of 80's stuff. Jonah and James have made me proud by spontaneously humming the chorus to "Save A Prayer" and, as you may have read earlier, they enjoy wearing bandannas a la Axel.

The twins don't disappoint, either. Jedidiah always chooses a new toy to take to bed for naptime. Today he chose an unsolved Rubik's Cube. I said to myself "If that thing is solved when I come get him after naptime..." Well, it wasn't, which means the Cube will stay unsolved until one of my brothers comes over.

Which reminds me that I need to make an appointment for the twins to get their first haircuts. Their fine hair has grown into mullets in the last 23 months and I've never liked that haircut. Rather than pump my bangs to complete the family look, I'll make the appointment. Hey, I don't love the 80's THAT much.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sweet Child Of Mine

James has recently added a new piece to his wardrobe: the bandanna. He wears it when we play rock songs on the iPod, during meals and when he is just chillin'. Well, we just checked on him and he has fallen asleep with the headband on.

James' similarities to Axel don't stop there. He's also pale, moody and on occasion self-absorbed. But if James ends up making millions and uses some of that money to take care of his parents then long live that bandanna.

Nightmares (x5)

Poor Josephine had to deal with 5 males waking up at different times last night due to nightmares. Jonah and James have night terrors when they don't nap. Jack and Jedidiah are sick and felt obligated to join in. Daddy, the leader of the pack, also woke up shouting something like "WHAT!" in his wife's direction.

When asked about her night last night she replied, "LOVED IT."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Jonah Plus One Minus One

For Jonah, this holiday season was one celebration after another. On December 23, we visited his Nana and Papa, so he and his brothers received a gift bag full of the usual toys, books, art supplies, and clothing. On Christmas Day, we spent a nice quiet day at home in our pajamas enjoying the presents we had given to one another. On December 30, we celebrated Christmas with the Lopez family, and experienced a delightful present frenzy, hosted by my brother and sister-in-law. At our family's New Year's Eve party, we had a white elephant gift exchange (from which I walked away with a new CD player). Jonah's birthday is January 2, and on the actual day we had a party, so - you guessed it- more presents. He requested that it be a Guitar Hero party, so he and his titas and uncles and cousins and friends strummed (or toggled?) away to the likes of "Beat It" and "Eye of the Tiger". So now we have a 7 year old son, but the excitement surrounding him doesn't end there...

To celebrate gaining another year, Jonah lost his first baby tooth today. What a symbol of leaving behind his toddler days. An adult tooth had already erupted behind one of the bottom front teeth (may our sons' dentist Dr. Snaer forgive me for not knowing the tooth's official name), so the baby one in front of it has been quite wiggly for the past month. Wouldn't you know it - Justin and I weren't in the dining room with Jonah when he screamed "Mommy! Daddy!". With thoughts of some kind of accident and pictures of a bloody mess in my head, we rounded the corner to find Jonah with a toothless grin and an incisor (THAT'S the word!) in his hand. He was unable to contain his excitement as much as I was unable to contain my relief!

So after one 7 year old's birthday celebration and a baby tooth in his memory book, we're already off to a great start for 2009!