What’s been up with us lately

Sorry we haven’t written and posts lately!  It’s been surprisingly (pleasantly) busy these past couple of weeks!  On August 9th, Thad and Gwennie were the flower girl and flower girl escort in our friend Jennifer’s wedding.  They did AWESOME!  I’ll have Nick post pictures very soon.  They smiled (giant, ear to ear, all teeth smiles!) for the pictures and loved their fancy outfits and walked down the isle smiling the whole way straight to their spots and waited patiently for the bride to be given away and then joined me on the front pew.  It was a very long wedding so we three snuck out during a song so the kids wouldn’t disrupt anything.  After the wedding was a gorgeous reception and Thad nursed a bottle of root beer but it looked kinda funny so people were taking his picture all night long.  Of course he’s NOT camera-shy so he lived it up!  Gwennie flirted with all the guys and we danced the night away!  All it all – it was a HUGE success and a total BLAST!  

The next week (last week I guess – everything’s kind of a blur) was ultra crazy!  On Tuesday I left for a work retreat and spent that night over by Beaver lake.  It’s the first time I’ve been able to do that in 5 years!  I’ve always been either pregnant or nursing – for 5 years!  Anyway, it was a great time but when I got home Wednesday afternoon I only had a couple of hours with the kids before I had to go over to Rogers (about an hour away) for graduate new student orientation and didn’t get home until late.  It was a LOT of work stuff for me in two days but lots of nice (paid!) hours.  Then on Thursday night I babysat for our candidate-at-the-time pastor.  It was a very enjoyable time but missed the kid’s bedtime for the 3rd night in a row.  On Friday the pastor’s kids came to play at our house and Thad and Gwennie made hopefully lifelong friends.  It was fun to see them make new friends that they may have forever.  I took lots of pictures for them to look back at.  Saturday was busy with more church activities with the pastoral candidate and their family.  Sunday was potluck and then we just came home and sat.  Ahh, some quality Olympics-watching time.  That night we got the word that the pastor had been invited and accepted and we are SO excited!  It’s been a long 18 months of searching and lots of search committee meetings for Nick.  Praise the Lord for such a happy ending!  

Now we’re gearing up for another crazy few weeks.  JBU is hopping, new undergrads arrive tomorrow, registration is Saturday!  DaySpring is busier than ever for Nick and on Monday he leaves for Kansas City for a 4 day trip.  Since he works at Quizno’s on weekends and will be on the business trip next week it will be 10 days in a row that he won’t be home to tuck the kids in.  I’m starting to feel like a single parent.  😦  I’m convinced that if we didn’t have the medical expenses that we have, then we wouldn’t still have all this student loan debt.  If only we could win the lottery without having to put the money in to play it!  Okay, pity party over.

Thad started “school” this week here at home.  I’m home-preschooling this fall and he’ll go to a preschool through the high school in the spring.  Gwennie has enjoyed the “school” too. September starts super crazy time for us.  I’ll be back working Wednesday mornings at CCF.  Every other Friday is my mommy Bible study.  Awana will be Sunday nights.  Thad might do soccer on Saturday mornings but that’s still up in the air.  It’s busy but we are very blessed to all be healthy and happy!  Praise the Lord for family, friends, and fun!

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In a funk

So all day today I’ve just been in a FUNK!  It’s the first cloudy/rainy day in weeks (maybe months) and you’d think I’d be excited to not have to water the plants for once and have a break from the oppressive heat but that’s not the case.  My mood has been just funky.  And it took a MAJOR turn for the worse when one of my grad students complained about me.  I avoid confrontation at all costs but this was unavoidable.  In one fell swoop I felt thoroughly inadequate, picked-on, belittled, angry, heart-racing, shaky, accused, etc.  I go years without any complaints, rather thankfulness galore, and then three grad complaints (not all about me) in two weeks.  It was just more than I could handle and it broke this camel’s back.  My funky mood just got funkier!  Despite that mood life goes on and it was time for our usual Thursday morning Wal-Mart run.  I tried to stay as pleasant as possible for the kids and not take any of my frustration out on them.  It’s funny how when you’re in a funk it seems like all you get, everywhere you go, are evil eyes.  I let the kids walk instead of forcing them to ride in the cart and being the sweet little urchins they are, they hopped and pranced around the cart as I walked.  Nobody but me smiled.  In fact I had several people make rude comments about them being out of control and me having my hands full.  UGH!  I thought they were precious – everyone else thought they were awful.  I DON’T CARE!  But it does make me wonder if I can handle any more kids.  I’d love to have up to 4 kids and comments like that sure don’t give me any confidence.  All that to say – well, leaving Wal-Mart my funkier mood just got funkiest!  

And then it happened.  As we drove home from the store I played on my ipod/radio the instrumental version of Hush Little Baby which I’ve changed the words to and made it Gwennie’s song.  She relaxed so much she almost fell asleep.  Then I played the instrumental version of Rock a Bye Baby and sang Thad’s song (no I won’t sing for you, just the kids).  HE STARTED CRYING!!!!  I’ve sung this song to him at least once a day for 4 and a half years!  Today he heard it with the background music and just lost it!  I had to crack up and ask him what was wrong.  He said that it was just such a special song and he loved it when I sang it to him.  My heart melted!  Funk gone.

Thad’s poem about a bug

“Once upon a time there was a little bug.

He liked to stand on a rug.

One day he saw a little girl.

On her head were lots of curls.

He bit her on the knee.

Because he was a FLEA!”

 

Again, sticking with the bug theme from the library.  This time we had to write a poem about a bug.  Thad came up with the first line all by himself.  Then I encouraged him to come up with a word that rhymed with bug and he said rug.  Then he came up with the second line again all by himself.  The third line was his too and I helped him come up with a word that rhymed with girl.  The 4th line was pretty much all me.  The last two lines were all his though!  I was SO proud!  We had fun doing it too.  Gwennie (the most verbal of us all) stood and watched us like we were speaking a foreign language.  Her expression cracked me up!  Hope you are all enjoying your summers!

Thad’s short story

We’re doing the summer reading program at the local library and it’s all about bugs this summer.  One of the activities we could do was write a short story (about 100 words).  We were given the first sentence and I let Thad take over from there.  I wrote down (as fast as I could) everything he said so this is his story, verbatim:

“When I got home, my pet tarantula was missing.  I couldn’t find the spider!  So I was saying, “Where’s my spider?!”  And I was saying “How about I find it” because it was missing.  And I couldn’t find it.  But then Gwennie found it.  Gwennie found it right on a spider web that was on the ceiling in my room.  It was a purple spider web and it was yucky and all gooey and there was a car on it too and I thought that was so funny and I laughed HARD!  HA!  HA!  HA!  And the spider laughed too.  I said, “Good job finding the spider Gwennie!”  Then I told the spider, “Hello Spider!”  The end.

Disclaimer – This is all PURE fiction!

You know it’s time to get your hair done when…

Thad and I were watching Clifford this morning while we ate our breakfasts and one of the characters told Clifford that he loved Clifford’s red hair.  Here is a bit or our dialogue: Sarah – Thad, I love YOUR red hair!Thad – Mommy, I love your BLACK hair!Sarah – My hair’s not black honey, it’s light brown. Thad (patting his head) – Not on top it isn’t!  I think it’s time to get my roots touched up!  🙂  

Family Fall Update

Here’s a quick update on each of the four of us (as written by Sarah)…  

THAD – I figured it out and Thad has FIVE different Sunday School-type lessons each week.  He’s only 3!  We have CCF on Wednesday mornings where I teach his class, every other Friday morning is Mothering Matters, Sunday morning we have kid’s church (I teach that too) followed by actual Sunday school, and Sunday nights is AWANA.  Sheesh!  I’ve tried a million ways to cut something out but just can’t seem to figure it out.  I get paid for CCF so that’s definitely not getting cut out, I enjoy getting out for Mothering Matters, and he loves AWANA and church is church.  Oh well.  You’d think the poor kid’s churched out but he seems to be fine with it all.  At least MM is only every other week.  This week we’re all going to a pumpkin patch.  That’ll be fun!  On Thursday mornings we’ve been going to the library for story time and he’s doing a GREAT job of sitting still and listening.  Even Gwen’s getting in to it now.  She so looks up to Thad and wants to do whatever he’s doing.  Thad had a very bad case of the giggles this afternoon.  I think it was a combination of his fun personality and no nap today.  He just laughed his head off at anything and everything.  He belly laughed the whole way through our dinner prayer.  We could barely understand anything he said all night.  I don’t think I can explain this well in words but if you can only imagine cute Thad laughing uncontrollably for like four hours straight.  We couldn’t help but crack up along with him.  He was very obedient and sweet and just giggly!  He rhymed everything too which made him laugh even harder.  The rhyming thing reminded me of the big dude from the Princess Bride.  I can tell you the exact moment the giggles started too – when he told my mom that his poop smelled like elephant poop and she cracked up and it was all downhill from there.  What a ham!

 

GWEN – Gwen has a giant green welt on her head and she wears it proudly.  She fell over backwards while climbing up a slide at the playground.  In turning around during the fall her hands didn’t make the turn and her head hit the playground equipment first.  We then went on to library story time and her booboo got bigger, and bigger, and bigger.  It was HUGE by the time we left and everyone was asking about it.  It finally stopped growing and has turned a lovely shade of puce.  To counteract Thad’s giggles tonight, Gwen was all fire.  She could not seem to get anything to go her way and her way of expressing her displeasure is to pinch.  And I mean PINCH!  She is so feisty and pinches hard.  We try to ignore it but tonight she pinched everything she could find so she got in trouble a few times.  She is learning that throwing herself down on the ground for a tantrum produces zero result so she’s stopping that some.  Tonight she grabbed one of Nick’s photography magazines and stomped over to the tile and threw it down as hard as she could just to see if that would do anything.  It didn’t.  So she went back to pinching.  She slept super well today and is usually just a total sweetheart so I’m not sure what the deal was tonight.  Thad never really went through any “terrible twos” but I’m thinking girls will be a totally different story.  She still obsesses over animals and just can’t get enough of our dogs.  She talking a whole lot more and signing more clearly too.  She said “cookie” tonight!  She said it so clearly and was so proud.  Lately she’s been super clingy to me and her favorite word is definitely “Mama.”  I think all these activities during the week are too much for a 16-month old.  She’s not as into them as Thad is.  So for now I pretty much let her stay with me and enjoy having her cling to me.  I know it won’t last so I’m enjoying it while I can.

 

NICK – I don’t want to speak for him but he’s doing very well!  He’s thoroughly enjoying being a senior designer and salary employee.  So nice not to have to clock in any more.  Nick and Thad went to a U of A football game with my folks about a week ago and that was a lot of fun for them.  He’s still loving his iPhone.  Life is simple and good!

 Papa and Thad at UofA game

SARAH – Well, my schedule is like Thad’s, kinda crazy but all good.  I just finished a book called Fifth Chinese Daughter and it was very good.  It made me so thankful that I had loving, affectionate parents and makes me want to be even more so with my kids.  On the other hand, it also drove home the importance of respecting my parents and continuing to teach my kids to respect us and all elders.  I was just thinking this week how happy I am and how thankful I am for everything with which the Lord has blessed me.  I love my life!  Nick and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary next May!  We’re trying to see if we can save enough for a third honeymoon to somewhere tropical.  We went to the Smokey mtns for our first honeymoon and Italy for our 5th anniversary/2nd honeymoon.  This time we considered London or NYC but decided we want the kids to see those too so we’ll make those family vacations when the kids are bigger.  We decided that sitting all day on a beach, just listening to the waves hit the sand and wading in the turquoise waters every now and then sounded heavenly.  We’ll see if our tax refund will allow for that.  “Tropical” might end up being the water park in Branson or our baby pool in the backyard!  🙂