14 July 2010

The Fourth

What a fantastic weekend! Started with a full day of Tyler-esque celebration...he turned three! We met at the park in the morning for the kids' party, and then we had a family party that evening at Brian and Janet's house. The boys had fun eating, playing and opening gifts together.
I feel like 40 years from now, I'll take a picture just like this, and it won't look that different. 
Noah loved so many of Parker and Tyler's toys.
Parker and Noah chilling together watching Veggie Tales.  Parker is an amazing big cousin. He's so sweet and nurturing with Noah. Such a good kid.
Noah and Tyler are playing the piano together. Tyler was singing "Jesus Loves Me."  Noah thinks Tyler is hilarious and wants to do all the things he does.  The two of them seem like they have similar personalities.  Risk-taking, strong willed, hilarious little boys! They're going to be so much trouble when they're teens. I just can't think about that yet.
Aunt J thinks Noah has musician potential. She said that most little kids just bang on the piano, but Noah was hitting keys individually.  That made me excited! I want him to love music, and so far it seems like he's on that path.  Aunt J was teaching Noah "Jesus Loves Me" on the piano.
On Sunday, the Fourth, we spent the morning in church and the afternoon on the lake. Noah loves to "drive boat," which he talks about ALL the time! That and "drive cart," (driving the golf cart).  He jumped off of the swim deck into the lake with little reservation, and then fell asleep on the way back to the dock. He had a blast! That is one lucky kid to have one set of grandparents who live on the lake and the other set who live at the beach.
A little Allstate boat insurance PR!
This is Noah's face of exuberance! It could be confused with a face of extreme unhappiness, but I assure you, he is having the time of his life!
Falling asleep with Nana.
We had taken a break from the water to let Noah rest and to make dinner, and then we headed back down to the lake to see the fireworks from the boat. Since I've know Matt, whenever we are in close proximity to his family on the Fourth, we go out on the boat to see the fireworks. We are surrounded by thousands of other boats, whose lights shine like little stars across the water. The twenty minute firework show goes off literally right over our heads, and once it's over all the boats share a celebratory honking of the horns! It's such a wonderful way to spend the night. Sadly, Noah fell asleep 5 seconds before the first firework went off. He was worn out from the day. I tried to wake him up, but he wasn't having it, and he slept on Nana for the rest of the evening.
Before falling asleep though, he enjoyed the boat ride out to the show.
The next day, Brian, Janet and the boys joined us at the lake. We swam, boated, and skied.  It was quite the exciting day, because Parker and Tyler skied with Brian for the first time, Janet got up on skies for the first time, and Noah jumped off the dock for the first time (which is a 2-3 foot jump) into the water (with either Matt or I waiting for him of course)! We were so proud of his progress! He can blow bubbles and kick his legs. Hopefully he'll be swimming by next summer. And, it was really fun to watch our nephews brave up to the idea of skiing, because since before we had Noah, we've talked about teaching him early, and seeing Parker and Tyler do it made me anxious for watching my own little guy out on the water!  Anyway, I don't have any pictures of this fun day because my camera was full. Such a bummer.  
Great weekend!

12 July 2010


Right now, I feel like I'm earning about a D+  at my "job." I feel like there are a hundred things I NEED to be doing, but that I'm not doing.  Not just that I need to be doing, but that I WANT to be doing.  I'm a total idealist, however, I'm not holding myself accountable to those standards that I've set. I'm not keeping my house as tidy as I'd like (and I'm sure the Mr. would like), I'm not teaching Noah his flashcards, I'm not doing enough projects with him, I'm not experimenting in the kitchen much at all, I'm not planning our meals, I haven't cleaned out my closets and files (which has been on my to do list for at least 6 months now), I'm not spending much time sewing, I'm not spending enough time exercising, I'm falling behind on my blog (which is my journal for our family and Noah, so kind of important!), I'm not finding and cutting coupons, I'm not reading my Bible, I'm not reading child development books...WHAT is my problem, and what the heck AM I doing?

Remember my post about stay at home moms, not staying at home? Well, I've decided that I've got to actually spend more time at home. My Noah is developing so fast right now. He's such a sponge, and I'm finding that even though I'm "home" I'm letting so many other distractions get in the way.  I'm so frustrated with myself sometimes. My mind, my will and my heart don't seem to work too well together.

I've been thinking about this for a few days now, and working on small things here and there. (I have to list a few good things now, to balance out the tirade of confessions above!) On Saturday, I made Noah popsicles and I let him help me. He poured the mixture into the cups and then he stuck the sticks in. He really did! Instead of shooing him away, I pulled up a chair to the counter, let him stand on it and help me.  He was so happy and proud, and I felt the same afterward. I was in no hurry and the counter is easily cleaned, so why not? He also likes to put clothes in the dryer, so I enlisted his help today! I can tell he gets a great sense of accomplishment from these small tasks.  I also made it a point to do some scripture reading this morning.  After having been a Christian for most of my life, I should know my Bible and my God much better than I do. This admission is heart breaking to actually see in words, but it's true, and I've got to stop feeling bad about it and make a change...a consistent change.  And, on a lighter note, rather than leaving clean clothes on my bed to be folded at another time, I thought of  my mom and her super organized ways, and folded them before doing anything else. A small thing, but it felt good!

I have to keep working on this. Our weeks are filled with so many good things, mainly hanging out with our friends doing various activities, and I don't want to push that aside either. How to balance???
I'm not really sure why I'm writing all of this on this forum. I think many of us want to be better at what we do, so perhaps I'm looking for comfort in others.  I don't want to be a lone ranger; the only one making a D+ at my job!
I want to live my life with purpose and not just say on Fridays, "wow, that week went by fast." Noah slept with us last night, and I looked over at his peaceful face many times and thought, one day he's going to be a man.  I'm sure I'll have some regrets about what I could or should have done, but mostly I want to be able to think that I did everything with him to the fullest of the abilities God has given me.

UPDATE: After reflecting on this post last night, I had an additional thought. This is not the first time I've felt this way, but I think I haven't been able to make consistent changes because I'm relying on my own strength to do it.  I can't do anything I want to do on my own. I'm way too unreliable. I think the Lord is teaching me that I need to put my dependence on Him and not on myself.  Darrin preached this weekend on 1 Thessalonians, and one of the verses says that "we are not trying to please men, but God who tests our hearts."  Although, I'm taking that exact verse a bit out of context, it still speaks to me, because I feel like I've been trying to be the woman I want to be, rather than who God wants me to be. I don't think there is anything wrong with my ambitions and honestly, I believe that the way I want to be falls in line with who God has intended me to be. But the question is, who am I doing it for? Myself? My friends? My family? Not good enough. Everything I do for myself and others should ultimately and firstly be in service to my God. For some reason this is hard to keep at the forefront, but it is so much more motivating when I can remember it! After all, He is the one who gave me my friends and family and any ability I might have. I'll keep thinking on this...

Florida Wrap Up

First of all, let me just tell you that I can't get these pictures in order to save my life, and I'm too annoyed with dealing with them to delete them and start anew! So, they will just have to be out of order!

The second half of our trip to Florida was just as fun as the first. We visited the beach again, and we also went to this amazing kids' water park called, Coconut Cove.  We will definitely be back there on future trips. Noah played hard for almost 4 hours straight.  Unfortunately, Grams and I were following Noah around the whole time, and a camera would have gotten wet, so I have no pictures from that afternoon.  But, it was so cool!

On this trip, Grams taught Noah how to make a fish face, and we both worked on getting him to hold his breath...both cracked us up! Noah also collected shells for his cousins, Parker and Tyler, at the beach.  He played more on his "water slide" with Pops, and he had a good time with some new toys that Grams bought him, especially his farm.  One night was particularly memorable...Pops was putting Noah to bed, they were reading through Noah's little Bible, and they turned to the story of David and Goliath.  Noah, pointed and said "Goliath" as if this story was one he had read a thousand times! Pops was a little blown away, and I was a proud proud mama!

Grams and Pops both tried to help in getting Noah to say "please," but they had about as much luck as we've had. And that would be none. Noah also decided to call Pops "Papa" the WHOLE time. Not once did he say his name correctly. And he totally can, because he's called him Pops for months now. Stinker! Oh, and to top off the negative behavior list I seem to have going here, Noah starting hitting, a lot.  (Which has since curbed quite a bit, thankfully!) That is one stubborn little boy we have.

On to the out of order pictures!