Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Taking a break from play

Micah's a "Koalaty" Kid!

Nutella face

If you've watched the video, you know that the title of this blog is the sound that Jacob thinks our hearts make :-) He just love to "Doc McStuffins" everyone! (Doc McStuffins is a popular cartoon about a little girl who treats her stuffed animals like patients and mends their boo boos.) If nothing else, it has helped him be a lot less afraid of going to the doctor.

Micah received his special t-shirt this week for collecting Koalaty (read:quality) points all year. The kids earn these points by turning in completed homework (yes, kindergarteners have this!), listening to the teacher, helping others, and completing reading assignments at home. He was so proud to bring this home. At the end of the year, if they get 500 points, they get a trophy. He loves the one he got last year and displays it on his dresser at home. He is on target to get another one! Micah has been chosen to play Humpty Dumpty in the school production "Lemonade!" in March. He is pumped about his role and practices his lines every night. (Is that a twinge of pride I see on Daddy's face? :-)) We have to come up with a costume for him, which should be interesting. Micah's still dealing with bronchitis and is on another antibiotic. We're really hoping this will do the trick for him.

Jacob has entered the "I do it!" stage of toddlerhood. This has proved frustrating at times, but at least we remember this is a stage and a healthy part of him becoming more independent. This morning he was fighting me about climbing up in his car seat. But I told him that "Doc McStuffins" was needed--stat--at the school to treat some patients. That did the trick :-)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

An Extra Christmas

Here are a few pictures of the cherubs playing with some surprise gifts that arrived yesterday! Thank you, Aunt Joyce and Uncle Randy! We spent the evening putting together Lego sets and taking the elephant out of the truck and putting the elephant into the truck. And taking the elephant out of the get the idea :-) One nice thing about being far away from family is that at the holidays we seem to celebrate over and over again.

We are now back at work and school full tilt since today is the first day of class for the college students. Dan is beginning auditions/planning for the spring musical that he will be directing this year, Guys & Dolls. And I am looking forward to meeting our new dept. boss who is likely start in February. The kids are both doing well, although Micah has a chest cold right now that he is fighting. It doesn't seem to be keeping him down, though. He is looking forward to a "community helpers" dress-up day on Friday where the kids can pretend to be working at variety of different occupations. Yesterday, Micah brought home a picture he had drawn of me holding something and standing in front of a large green rectangle. I asked him to tell me about what he had drawn and he said it was me, mowing the lawn. That cracked me up since I have yet to mow the lawn. What an imagination!

In AWANA, the kindergarteners are completing that religious rite of passage, memorizing the books of the Bible. They sent the kids home with a CD that plays a song to help them remember all of the titles. We've been playing the catchy song while the boys play in Micah's room so he can sing along to it when he wants to. What I didn't realize was that Jacob was also picking up on the words. At dinner, I heard him humming the song and then singing the last word at each phrase, which sounds kinda like this...hmmm...John. hmmm hmmmm.  "(Ro) 'Mans" hmmm. hmmm. " (Ephe)'S(i)ans". Well, I guess it's never too early  to familiarize yourself with the Good Book :-)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Christmas celebration

Meet Micah Man and the Jake-a-nator

opening stockings at our Christmas in AR

Jacob learns to ride his first bike!

Micah checks out his scooter with light-up wheels

"I'm not too sure about these tea blossoms, Grammy."

"Ok, now I think they're cool."

Catching snowflakes

You can take the boy out of AR...

A gift from Santa

Christmas morning!

Grammy steals some sugar

Aunt Helen explains the wonders of the fireplace.

The DE crowd visits!

Pop Pop and Micah draft a design at the DE children's museum

Jacob works on a vehicle

Shauna and Matthew - the cute engaged couple!

The boys watch their cookies for Santa baking on Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas to all!

As you might have guessed, these photos are a bit out of order, but that's ok :-)

I never thought I'd say this, but there is a silver lining from last Christmas, when we missed our flight and had to drive to WI and all of that. It's helped us be more flexible with our holiday plans and expectations, and that's priceless when it comes to surviving and enjoying holidays with kids! Yes, some of us got sick during the break. Yes, some of us might have had a teeny-tiny meltdown on the plane (I'm looking at you, Jacob). No, we did not get snow to play in. No, all of the holiday get-togethers that had been planned did not all happen. But some of them did. And we were all healthy for the plane ride home. And we all maintained our sanity while doing that. What's more, there were lots of moments when we enjoyed each other, had a great time with the family and friends we did get to see, and made happy memories. To the best of my ability, I tried to take a note from Dan's book and live more in the moment last week, which is pretty difficult for a planner like myself. Instead of focusing on what we didn't get to do, I just tried to enjoy things as they came.  I found that overall, the week was more enjoyable. Life is peppered with ups and downs. It's hard when your in the down times, but it sure makes the whole meal taste better in the end because you appreciate those ups all the more. Knowing that the downs will pass, as the ups do, makes them bearable. And you have to love the present-ness of kids. Micah had patiently waited all week for snow to fall. One afternoon, we got a small flurry, which prompted an immediate trip outside in hat and coat to "play" in it. As I looked on, silently disappointed for his sake that there wasn't more to the snowfall, Micah said, "You know what? I had a wish and it came true. I wished for snow." A huge smile was on his face.

Whenever people sing that Christmas song about the "bleak mid-winter", I always think about January. December has Christmas with all of its expectation and excitement, but January is about returning to "normal"--taking down the lights, returning to work, and for us, saying goodbye to people we love. I have to admit, it's a little depressing to come back to our house at the end of it all. But instead of dwelling on the fact that it may be a long while before we see our family again, I resolve to appreciate the moments as they come: little boys who are excited about flurries, a beautiful new wreath to hang on our front door, the hope of seeing Christ, not just some day in glory, but in a new way every day. I wish you all a flavor-full new year.