May the force be with you

And all the Catholics in the house say, “And also with you.”  Right?

We had a Star Wars Family Night last Friday.  What is it about little boys and Star Wars?  I swear my boys were fanatics before they had even seen a single movie.  And now that they’ve seen all but episode three, ONE TIME EACH, they literally know every single character name and could pick them out of a line up.  Weird.

Then again, maybe I’m raising geniuses.

Anywho, Star Wars Night…

While Caden was at school Jacob and I whipped up a batch (or three) of Wookie Cookies.    I’m not entirely sure what makes them “Wookie.”  Maybe the cinnamon or extra vanilla, but I told Caden that it was because Chewbacca delivered them to our door.  (Jacob and I also have Caden convinced that the Sparkletts guy is made out of water.  He’s always bummed that he comes when he’s at school.  I guess he’ll find out the truth this summer.)

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Elijah is so cute eating his Wookie Cookie.  My little ewok.

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After our after-school snack, we made our very own light sabers.  One of my good friends made these for the boys last year and we loved them.  a) They don’t break.  b) It’s a weapon that they can’t actually hurt each other with.  Win, win.

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They are very easy to make… and cheap!  I got all the supplies at the 99 cent store for a grand total of $9 and some change.  It’s just pool noodles and duct tape (black and silver.)

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Here’s Caden with his Yoda Ears posing just like the real thing.

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See?

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I know.  The resemblance is uncanny.

I was Princess Leia, of course.  Although the buns look a lot like Ewok ears, so I could’ve gone either way.

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Jacob didn’t dress up, but we decided Geric was Chewbacca because he’s the tallest.  He didn’t dress up either but he walked around making Chewbacca noises.  I almost video taped it for you guys but he wouldn’t let me!  Darn it.

For dinner we had this:

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It’s Han-burgers with Vader taters, trees of Endor, and Yoda Soda.  And then I died because it was all just too cute!!!

After dinner, I had a couple of cute games planned.  One was light saber practice, where we were going to use our new light sabers to keep balloons up in the air.  And then we were goign to play, “Don’t Drop Yoda,” where I was going to have strips of papers with different actions that we had to complete without dropping a little Yoda doll.

BUT, Geric became the hero when we unveiled Star Wars: Episode II, which up until that point, the boys hadn’t seen.  So, we forwent the games and watched a movie instead.

Sidebar:  I totally tried to act all grossed out when Anakin and Queen Amidala were falling in love by saying, “Ewww, close your eyes!  Soooo gross!” and things of that nature.  But Caden pulled the mature card and said, “Mom, stop.  They just like each other, okay?”  Ummmm… okay.  Sorry, son.

Another successful Family night for the DeVincenzos!  I’m getting so good at it, that I wrote an entire book about ’em!  It’s actually already published!  (Crazy, right???)  I’m just waiting to hear back that’s it’s all formatted correctly for the Apple Bookstore and Barnes and Noble.  Hopefully soon you can download 12 fun-filled summer evenings of Family Night goodness to do with your own family.  Yay!

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Don’t forget, Geric and I are going on a missions trip to Honduras in July. If you’d like to support us financially, click here!
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Family Nights: The ebook

I’m SO excited, peeps!  I was up until 1am last night finishing up the writing part of my ebook!!!  Did you hear me… MY ebook!

I’ve been neglecting Jacob all day today (but he just told me that he likes watching TV, so he’s okay) to figure out how to get this baby published.  Fingers crossed and prayers lifted, that it’ll be ready to go and in your nook/kindle/ipad/pdf-formatted by the end of the week.  Eeek!

But until then, here’s a little preview of the cover I made.

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What do you think?

Family Night: Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Hola!  Me llamo Erin.  Tengo cuatro anos de espanol en la escuela y vivo in Honduras para tres meses.  Tambien, I was una maestra para muchos ninos que hablo mucho espanol, pero no hablo espanol muy bien.  No se como conjugate verbs correctly, especially in the past tense.  Que horror!  But I try.

I thought it would be awesome to have un noche de espanol during our Cinco de Mayo celebrations, but no one else in this house speaks as well as I do.  And that’s saying something, folks.  So I just threw in my favorite spanish phrases from time to time.  Senora Funk (mi maestra de espanol en la escuela secondaria) would be proud… and she would probably call Geric a tortuga, because he tends to do things at a slower pace than most.

We actually celebrated Cinco de Mayo on quatro de mayo.  The boys had a tickets to an Angels game on Cinco de Mayo so the celebrations had to take place a day early.

And I don’t know if you know the history of Cinco de Mayo and why it’s actually celebrated more in the United States than in Mexico, but I read up on it.  You should too.  Que interesante!

Jacob and I started the day off early while Elijah was napping and Caden was at school  We prepared our dessert… mexican brownies, that turned out asi, asi.  Not my favorite.  Even forgot to take a picture of the end product.

The boys worked together to make a pinata out of a paper bag,

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and Caden helped me make our first batch of homemade tortillas!  They were super easy to make, but if I do it again I think I’ll invest in a tortilla press, just for kicks.

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For dinner we ate Chipotle Bean Burritos.  Que delicioso!  We found a bunch of funny cheap dress up supplies at the party store (a sombrero, a flower for my hair, maracas, and a mustache) AND for our beverage… Margaritas!  I made them virgin margaritas, so the boys could have some too!

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The best part was Saturday morning when I asked Jacob what he wanted for breakfast and he said he wanted a margarita with his oatmeal.  Perhaps I should’ve changed the name… ay ay ay!

After dinner we went out back and hit the pinata.  (Just a side note: Elijah had a meltdown right before dinner, so he did not partake of family night.  Pobrecito.)  I didn’t want to fill it with candy, so I had let them each pick a toy from the toy section at the grocery store earlier that day.

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After the pinata fun, we went inside for a mexican hat dance.  So fun!  And so funny!  It started out with just some normal bailando, pero…

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Jacob got tired…

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and Caden chaneled his inner Billy Elliot!

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This one I’m saving for his senior yearbook!

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Oh, the hilarity!

Elijah woke up just in time to bust a move… although I think he thought the maracas were microphones.

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All in all, another fun family night!  To see the rest of our family nights, click here.  Feel free to steal one, I promise you will have a good time.  Que bueno!  

Claro que si!  

Adios amigos!

Hasta la vista!

Okay, seriously, bye!

 

 

Reasons to Stop Blogging… even though I never really will

Where in the world have I been?

It’s been way too long since a blog post, I realize.  And I was contemplating just giving it up altogether.

My reasons?

Well, for some reason, this blog puts pressure on me.  I can’t explain it.  But when I write something I’m putting myself “out there” and if no one comments, then I think I suck.  Or if it’s really good and I get a lot of comments, I feel like “how am I going to top that?”

And then there’s the whole idea of strangers reading my blog.  And honestly, complete strangers don’t bother me.  The mommies from other states or whatever.  That’s fine.  It’s the people who I kinda know that might find me through facebook or mutual friends and then they’re reading my blog and watching me live my life and not leaving comments, so I don’t really know they are there, but they are.  Like a stalker.  That I kinda know.  Okay I’m talking about ex-boyfriends.  It freaks me out that ex-boyfriends might be reading my blog!  We cut ties, people!  I don’t want contact.  Especially if they aren’t owning up to their stalking ways.  I don’t even know if they really are stalking me, but just the thought that they might be, freaks me out!  I mean, honestly, I’m totally stalkable material, right?  Right?

I sound crazy, right? But that’s not news.  Really.  Ya’ll knew I was crazy.

Then there’s the thought that strangers (not ex-boyfriends or mommies from other states, but weirdos) are really reading about my kids.  It’s just kinda weird.  And Oprah has gotten me all paranoid that there’s a child molester around every corner.  Which according to the Megan’s Law website, there kinda IS!  What if there’s someone reading my blog that IS a child molester and they’re printing out pictures of my kids like that one guy on Desperate Housewives who had that kid shrine in his basement.  *shiver me timbers*  Or the guy from Silence of the Lambs.  What if there’s a freak like the guy from Silence of the Lambs reading my blog?!?!  Then what?  Huh?  Then what?

I’m not the type of mommy blogger that is all discreet and only shows pictures of the back of my kids heads or makes up names for my kids like “Peter Pan” and “Simba,” because frankly there just aren’t enough cute male Disney characters, unless I start naming them after mice and ducks.  But if you sit and think about this stuff for too long, it’s just a wee bit freaky, right?

The world is a scary, scary place.

Alright, maybe not that scary, but still…

And finally, my kids are getting older.  I mean, my oldest is in kindergarten, but I have thought about how he’s going to feel one day if he reads my blog.  Is he going to be embarrassed about some of the stuff I’ve shared?  Or will he think it’s funny, as we all think it is, right?  Will he feel like we’re laughing with him, or at him?   It’s one thing to talk about my almost-5-year-old who still defiantly wets his pants on facebook to my 337 close and personal friends (haha) but putting it out in the blogosphere… kinda embarrassing… but maybe that’ll teach him to stop peeing in his pants, for heaven’s sake!

So, anywho, that’s what I’ve been thinking about and that’s why I’ve been gone for so long.

But it’s nice that some of you have facebooked me and said you’ve missed me, and the others that have “liked” that comment… that’s nice.  Those little blue “thumbs up” really make me feel special.

So, I’ll be back.  Me, Peter Pan, Simba, Nemo, and Sulley have a lot of updates to tell you all about.

I think I’ll adopt the name Mrs. Incredible for myself… for obvious reasons.

The Candle of Hope: Family Night

Last year, we started a new family tradition of celebrating the season of advent, or the weeks that lead up to Christmas.

No, we’re not Catholic, but they’ve got some good traditions over there in their fancy churches.

Anywho, last year we got through three weeks and then I had to go throw a wrench in the plan and have a baby.  That put an end to the family nights for awhile.  This year, I am determined to family night it for all four weeks!

So, last night was the first candle in our advent candle holder. (We have a candle holder and not a wreath.)  It’s the candle of hope that symbolizes the hope the people had for the coming of a Savior, Jesus.

So, to start things off, yesterday afternoon I gathered the boys on the rug, and took their picture… because they’re so darn cute.  Right?

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Then we talked about how before Jesus was born, God had said that He was sending a Savior to the world and how the people were waiting, and hoping for that Savior to arrive.  I taught them Micah 7:7 from the New Living Translation as a memory verse (with hand motions that I made up to help them remember) and then we read the story of another man in the Bible who had hope in God, Daniel.  We read the story of Daniel and the lion’s den out of Jacob’s kid Bible and they were really into it.

Next, we did a little craft.  We made lion masks to help us remember that because Daniel hoped in God (not in himself or the king or the other men) God honored him by sending His angels and closing the mouths of the lions!

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Here’s the finished products.  Elijah was a little scared of the masks.  I don’t blame him.  They look a little more like cannibal warrior masks, than lions.  Maybe?

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Next, we prepared dessert for the night, zebra cake!

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We figured if the lions couldn’t eat Daniel, they were probably pretty hungry, so we needed to feed them lion food.  You know, zebras and stuff. I found this cake mix with chocolate and white cake in the same box, but you could easily buy a box of each and make it yourself.  Just prepare each batter and then take a 1/4 measuring cup and alternate scooping chocolate and white cake into the bottom of cake pan.  It should end up looking like a bulls eye, like this.

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We frosted the outside to make it look extra zebra-ish…

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and the inside looked really cool when it was finished!

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For dinner we ate meat, because those poor lions were starving.

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After dinner we talked about how Jesus is our hope for everything!  He is our hope for forgiveness (John 1:29), our hope for freedom (Romans 8:2), our hope for salvation (John 14:6), and our hope for all we need (Matthew 6:33.)  Then we worked together to make a poster titled “DeVincenzo Family Hopes for 2012” where we wrote out all our hopes for the upcoming year.

This is the part where I totally underestimated my kids.

I thought they would think of all concrete things, like “I hope for new legos!” or “I hope for a fast bike!”  Things like that.  So, I decided to start them off and said, “I hope for a fun vacation so we can spend fun time together as a family.”  (A little concrete thinking, mixed with a little abstract, right?)  Then Jacob said, “I have one!  I hope Lauren gets healed this year!”  Tears.  Lauren’s doing great with her new heart but she has been in and out of the hospital with low white blood cell counts and low platelets and getting sick and getting better, and we’ve been praying for her everyday, and it just overwhelmed me that she was the first thing my 4-year-old thought of when we were thinking of our hopes for the new year.  We must be doing something right. 

Here’s our finished poster.

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Then we lit our candle of hope.

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So, far this is my most favorite family tradition!  What’s your favorite family tradition during the holidays?

Crossroads

I’m pretty sure this is going to end up a verbal vomit-ish post, because I feel like I have all these thoughts swarming around in my brain, and I just need an outlet to get them all out.

Thank God for this here blog.

I feel like we’re at a crossroads.

Have I said that before?  I feel like I’ve said that before.  But this time I really, really mean it.  Really.  I don’t know how to explain it except to say that it’s a stirring in my heart that won’t go away.  I know that sounds hyper-spiritual (especially if you’re not the spiritual type, but deal.  Mm, kay?)

We’re just in this weird place where everything is up in the air and every time I think it’s going to settle down, it doesn’t.

A month ago, I honestly felt like our life was spinning out of control.  I was so stressed out that I got a cold sore.  That is how you know Erin is stressed out.  Ignore her words of being okay and “giving it to God.”  If you see a huge disgusting growth on her lip, she’s stressed. Hug her.  Just avoid the cold sore.  They are highly contagious.

Anyway, here I was with my cold sore, thinking that our house was going to auction, we didn’t have enough income to go anywhere but my mom and dads (which would be perfectly acceptable in any other country but America, by the way) and it felt like there was no way out.  Then things started falling into place.  The bank postponed foreclosure and was looking at approving us for a short sale.  I interviewed for a job and it went really well.  Geric started applying at churches, feeling he was ready to get back into ministry.  We were on a path.  It was good.  New directions.  Yay.

But now the bank is silent again, taking their sweet time and having us jump through short sale hoops.  The awesome interview I had has also led to silence, actually an email a few weeks ago saying that the candidates would know by the end of the week, and then silence.  I’m taking that as a no.  Silence from the churches Geric has applied for and questions in his mind… is he too old to be a youth pastor???

And now everything is up in the air again.

And I’m praying my cold sore doesn’t come back.

I feel like God keeps taking us to this place.  And I’m really trying to figure out what it is that He’s teaching me, because I’m sure once I do He’ll lead me out of here, right?  Right, God?  I’m talking to you, Big Guy. 

But then it crossed my mind this morning as I was doing my quiet time, that maybe God keeps bringing us here to this place, because he has other plans for us.

Okay, here comes the crazy. 

I’ve always felt drawn to missions.  After my first trip to Mexico (when I was in junior high) I wrote in my journal that I wanted to win a million dollars so I could give it to the people we met.  I remember feeling like I wanted to give up everything and GO!  And I did almost every summer.  My senior trip wasn’t a wild party in Cancun or Hawaii, it was a two week mission trip to Honduras.  After college, I was directionless, and my first thought was, I should be a missionary, and it felt right.  I remember sitting on a hill at the park, and it was just right.  And I did.  I packed up my stuff and moved to Honduras… to endure the hardest three months of my life.

And then I met Geric.  I met him right before he left to go be a part of YWAM (Youth with a Mission) in Australia.  He came home after his trip and ended up going back to work in Indonesia.  And when he came back from there we really got to know each other when we were on the first missions outreach team at our church together.  And then you have to take into account the place where we fell in love… on a missions trip to Mexico.  I remember (once again) sitting on a hill and watching him dig out steps to the front of a house that we had just built and thinking, “I’m gonna marry that guy.”  And lo and behold,  I did.

Crazy, right?

Because missions are scary.

Honestly, I don’t want to go.

I don’t want to drag my kids to God-knows-where to do God-knows-what.  And raise them to be weird missionary kids.  (No offense Carrie.) I don’t want them to be in a place that’s considered “dangerous.”  I don’t want to take them away from their extended family only to see them once or twice a year for a couple of weeks.  That one seriously breaks my heart. I don’t want to be forced to learn another language, because that’s really hard.  I don’t want to meet new people who are nothing like me and my American ways, and then try to be their friend.

But at the same time, I love Jesus.  And I’ve come to realize that the only reason I’m here on this planet is to serve Him and glorify Him.  And all I really want to do is run hard after Him and His will for my life.

I haven’t even talked to Geric about all of this, although I know he would have our suitcases packed in 10.2 seconds if I told him I wanted to go.  Go where?  Another unknown.

Now that I’ve typed this I want to delete it.  Because I feel like now you’re all going to hold me to it.  Like if I see you out on the streets (out on the streets???  That made me laugh.) But if I do see you out on the streets I feel like you’re going to come up to me and ask when I’m leaving and where I’m going, or if I wussed out.  Don’t do that, k?

I told you in the beginning, this is all a bunch of verbal vomit that may or may not lead to action.

So, yeah, we’re at a crossroads.

 

Happy Birthday Caden

I can’t believe that six years have gone by.  No, six years have flown by since the day you were born.  Crazy.  Because I remember it like it was yesterday.

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I had done the whole “dress rehearsal” thing at the hospital the day before, and they had sent me home where I spent the whole day walking around the neighborhood with your Maw and your Auntie B.  But nothing happened until early the next morning.  I made really, really, really sure you were coming this time before I woke up Daddy and we drove to the hospital.  And 13 hours later (after some excruciating pain, that I swear I am not holding against you) you changed my life forever.

Not only were you born on my birthday, so I had a birthday present that could never be topped, but you completely shattered the world I once knew, in a good way of course.  You are my first-born.  You are the kid that made me a mommy, my best role in my whole life.  The one that will never be topped.  In the days after you were born, nothing else mattered, except our little family.

And you were perfect.  I had no idea (because you were all I knew) but you were such a good baby.  You rarely cried, and you even put yourself on a schedule… that I took all the credit for.  Don’t worry, your brothers both made me see that it was actually all you, and not me at all.

You’ve always been a Momma’s Boy.  From the get go. You always liked me the best.  (It’s true!)  I said it was because I was the one that fed you, but I think we just have a special bond.  Probably because for a good twenty months while Daddy was working, it was just me and you.

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Then your brother came along.  And at first you had a rough time with that.  To be perfectly honest, I was a little scared to leave the two of you in the same room while I ran to the bathroom, because you had a bit of a jealousy streak.  But eventually, you realized that he was a pretty fun guy.

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And now, he’s your best friend.  I’m sure of it.

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Caden, you have a heart of gold, my son.  Can you be impulsive?  Yes.  Can you get excitable and aggressive?  Of course.  But overall, you are our protector.  You never run too far away from mommy, and I don’t think you’re afraid you’ll get lost, I think it’s because you want to keep your eye on me.  You always know where you brother is at all times.  You never forget to pray for your friends and family.  You help your little buddies out on the playground when they are too small.  You have such a big heart, Monkey.  And I love that about you!

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You are also our little adventurer!  You definitely lead the way in the imagination arena around here.

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Swing sets are pirate ships, bunk beds are caves, and bikes are motorcycles that you ride to China!  Your mind is so creative!

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And your artistic abilities cannot be beat.  You have made me some of the most beautiful paintings and drawings.  If it wasn’t for you, I would have just a boring old white refrigerator.

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Your favorite place to be is in the water.  You started swimming when you were three years old, and you’ve never looked back!  You do back flips off the diving board and you swim in the ocean, when the waves are small enough.  Mommy and Daddy were both swimmers, so it makes sense that you’re a little fish too.

Then…

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and now…

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When Elijah came along, you could not be more thrilled.  You still had a hard time sharing me with one more kid, but you and Elijah had a special something between you two from the start.  You loved to sit on the couch and hold him and you’d ask me all these questions about him.  Once he was a little more alert, you could make him laugh like no one else around here!  He loves you!  When he wakes up from his nap, if you walk in to his room first, his face lights up and his bounces up and down in his crib.  I have no worries that he will eventually fit right in to the little posse you and Jacob have already started.

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I love you with all my heart, Caden Matthew, but you know you have a little bit of a naughty streak to you, as well.  You are a destroyer, which I think just comes with having testosterone running through your veins.  But you have been known to get in to things that I never would have imagined a child would ever get in to… like this…

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and this.

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I can’t forget the special relationship you have with Daddy.  You guys definitely do “man things” together that mommy has no part of.  You like to help Daddy with yard work,

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and you like to wrestle together, and try to conquer super Mario brothers together.  Lately, the two of you have been playing baseball together (with Jacob, too) and you are becoming quite the little athlete!  I love going to your games and cheering for you!

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One more special guy in your life has to be Pop.  I know this might hut Maw’s feelings, (sorry, Maw) but Pop is definitely your favorite.  Don’t believe me?  Remember THIS?  I don’t know if it’s because you’re the first or it’s because you’re the first boy (poor Pop only had girls!) but you guys love each other a lot!  Your relationship with Pop is one of the biggest reasons Mommy frowns when Daddy talks about moving to Australia.  Crazy, Daddy!

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Well, my Caden-boy, I love you more than words can say.  You amaze me everyday and I am truly, truly blessed that God picked me to be your mommy.  I know that He has big plans for you!  He has a destiny for you that is so great and so awesome, and I know that you’re going to run full force for it!  I know that you are growing into an amazing boy who will one day be an amazing man, and I am so blessed that I get to watch it all unfold.

Happy birthday, Caden!

Are You Ready to Rumble???

Do you have sons?  Let’s talk for a sec.  What is with all the wrestling???  It’s a boy thing, right?  I grew up in a house with sisters and I don’t remember us doing any wrestling, but boys could wrestle morning, noon, and night.  And sometimes they do.

Unless there’s blood.

Then I stop it.

Last week, I decided to make the most of all the physical contact and we did a wrestling family night!

During the day the craft was pretty simple (for the boys.)  They made up wrestling names, that sounded very macho and intimidating and drew posters.

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And then we decided to draw mustaches on their faces with washable crayola markers. I don’t know why. Don’t ask.

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I, on the other hand, grabbed a couple of old piece of fabric I had used as table clothes for a luau party and a hot glue gun and whipped up a couple of wrestling outfits.  (It’s seriously amazing what can be done with a hot glue gun.  Can I get an Amen?)

So, here is Caden the Snake with his coach, Daddy.

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And here is Jacob the Giant with his coach, Elijah.

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I got to be the “round girl.”  Geric I discussed the possibility of me wearing a bikini and heels as I paraded around the living room holding “round” signs above my head… but we decided against it.  I feel like the baggage my boys have to carry into therapy is getting kinda heavy already, so it’s time to be choosy about what else we’re adding to it, you know?  So here I am (fully clothed) holding a round sign.

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Round 1 *DING* was thumb wrestling.

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Caden was victorious!  Those pesky fine motor skills, Jacob.  Soon enough yours will be strengthened, my son.

Round 2 *DING* was arm wrestling.

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After some coaching from Geric, Jacob was able to pin Caden a couple of times.  So we called this round a tie.

Next we took a small break for dinner.  We went Asian for dinner. (Gotta love the frozen section at Trader Joe’s!)

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I know what you’re thinking… Chinese food???  Wrestling???  I don’t get the connection.  Stayed tuned for round four.

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Just as cute in a headband!

Round 3 *DING* was good-old-fashioned-pin-you-to-the-mat wrestling.  And let me tell you, this was the most fun.  Seriously.  I think the boys thought I had lost my marbles when I actually encouraged them to wrestle, but they had so much fun.  And I realized that I need to relax a little on the wrestling thing.  There were times during this round that I was sure that Jacob was going to get hurt and burst into tears, but I think he had more fun than Caden!

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See how excited Jacob is!

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Then Daddy joined in.  He couldn’t help it.  It’s in his y chromosomal tendencies.

Round 4 *DING* was sumo wrestling!  (Get the dinner connection now????  I realize that sumo wrestling is actually from Japan, while our dinner originated in China, but they’re all from the same continent, okay?)

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Hilarious, right?

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This was by far the funniest round!

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Elijah felt left out so he got in the action when the boys took their sumo outfits off.

After the wrestling was over we headed down to Cherry on Top for some frozen yogurt, which has absolutely nothing to do with wrestling, but gosh darn it, it’s good!

Oh, and before I go, there’s a new link on the sidebar of my homepage.   (If you click HERE you’ll get back to my homepage.)  Anyway, I made a button that says “Family Nights” so you can find all the Family Nights we’ve done in one simple location.

You’re welcome.

Now go have a family night!

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Goodbye Summer Family Night

I was looking through my blog a few weeks ago and I realized that I was a way better mom before I had three kids.

Truth.

I’ve heard it from a lot of mommies.  Two is doable, manageable, one-on-one team formations.  Three?  Three throws you over the edge.  I have heard though that if you can get to three and survive, then four, five, six, and so on, are no big deal.  Just throw ’em on the pile!  (Not that I will be testing out that theory.  Rest assured, I will not.  But that’s what I’ve heard.)

Anywho, Elijah has only had one Family Night with us, because my mothering skillz have been less than stellar.  But I have decided to put a stop to that.

Family Nights are back in full effect!

We’ve had two already and I plan on posting them once-a-week-ish.  (Don’t hold me to it, k?)

Here’s our first.

I decided that since school was in full swing, we should say goodbye to summer.  I also thought saying goodbye would make the terrible heat go away, and it did work for a few days, but now it’s back.  Dreadful, I tell you.

Anyway, the afternoon craft was twofold.  First the boys painted a picture of their favorite part of summer.

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Here’s their finished products.

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Caden painted his Cousin Kristyn who spent the night at our house a few times.  Jacob painted himself.

The conversation went like this:

Me: “What did you paint Jacob?”

Jacob:  “Me!”

Me:  “You’re your favorite part of summer?”

Jacob:  “Yeah.”

Oh, if we could all have such great self-esteem.

It came out later (after some coaxing from Caden) that while it is a picture of Jacob, he is roasting marshmallows at Maw and Pop’s house, so he got the concept.  😉

The second part of the afternoon craft was writing a letter to Summer saying goodbye.  I wrote it (obviously) and then they went on a sight word hunt and found different words that I called out.  They had fun with that.

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Next we started dinner prep.  We decided we had to use the BBQ so it was chicken and veggie kabobs, brown rice, fruit salad, and homemade ice cream for dessert.  (Yum, yum!)

Here are the boys helping me chop the fruit for the fruit salad.

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And here is our spread.  How about a collective, “Mmmmmmmmmm!”

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For our activity we went swimming in the pool (that is slightly green… but nothing as bad as the actual ocean so I don’t really feel bad.)

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I found some water balloons to fill up and we had a little water balloon fight.  I seemed to be the target most of the time.

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And here is a picture of the whole family.  Now a collective, “Awwwwwww!”

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After our fun in the sun, we came inside, got ready for bed and had some yummy, yummy cookies n cream chocolate chip ice cream.  I didn’t get a picture.  I was too busy licking my bowl.

Now, go out and have your own family night this week!

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