Thursday, October 25, 2012

Red Ribbon Week

This week was Red Ribbon Week at the boys' school. They raise awareness about drug and alcohol abuse by doing "fun and crazy" things each day.

Monday was.....CRAZY HAIR day!  It might be hard to see, but the boys--with Daddy's and Mommy's help--had lots of spikes colored with blue and black hair gel and spray.

This, in case you were wondering, is their crazy face!

Today was "nerd" day. The kids...okay, Mommy and Daddy too...had a lot of fun with this one!

It seems a little crazy to me to bring drug and alcohol awareness to a grade school, but the way they go about teaching it IS working. An example from our very own household:

{Last night, Ethan had been complaining of an "ouchy" throat.}
Ethan: "Mommy, I think I need medicine. That grape kind."
Me: "Okay, buddy. Let's go get some."
Ethan: "Mommy, if I take drugs when I am not really sick, I could die."

I could see the wheels turning. He wasn't really sure if he was "sick enough" to take medicine. It opened up a door of opportunity, and I was able to explain things to him in more detail.

I don't always love having my kids in a public school because of the things that they are exposed to at such a young age, but I am truly thankful for each and every opportunity like this one.  I pray for the boys each and every day, and I know that God loves them even more than I ever could--and that He wants a relationship with them, too! He wants them to grow in their faith and make responsible, sound decisions for what is right. 

I'm thankful for a good school that works with me, as a parent, to teach my kids valuable life lessons!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Last day of birthday week!

Sunday, the 14th, was Cameron's actual seventh birthday. After church, we came home and did a kid's favorite thing to do on their special day: open presents!

First up was one of those rectangular, flat pieces of paper. My kids have received enough of these to know that they usually contain some dollar bills inside! Cam had already opened up one that contained a check (THANK YOU GREAT GRAM!!) and now, it was time for a second one!

Cameron wasn't the only one excited to see what was inside....

I love to watch them now, as they are older....they love to count the money themselves!

Thank you Grandma Jane!

Then, his favorite character from Star Wars ....

....and his favorite super heroes!

Cameron is such a special, unique child. A few months ago, I got new dishes--Fiestaware. I have been wanting them for a while, and took a lot of time picking out just the colors I liked. When I got the dishes, all three of the boys picked out "their" colors. Ethan picked the red, Colin picked--his favorite--turquoise, but Cameron was distressed. He wanted the color black, but I hadn't chosen to buy the black. (Mommy wanted COLOR!) So each night, he picks a color to eat on, while the other two boys eat on "theirs"--but it's just never "his color".

So, for his birthday, guess what color of Fiestaware he got as his very own?! 
It was so cute to see him react that way over a place setting--he was thrilled!
(And he has eaten on it every. meal. since!!)

He also asked for and received a new fire truck/fire boat Lego set (which he built the very 
next night--all by himself! I remember the day when he needed my help with that....*sniff*)

And the pièce de résistance ....a new Urlacher jersey!

Lola and Daddy, enjoying the present-opening

After presents, we headed to Cameron's choice--Texas Roadhouse--for dinner.
He was allowed his choice of drink. He did not, as you can see by the dark straw, 
choose Sprite like Mommy had hoped. *giggle* He reveled in that Coke, boy! Enjoying it 
while he can....he knew it would probably be another year before he tastes it again!

After the meal, the waitress made him sit on the "horse" and the restaurant sang him "Happy Birthday"

He was embarrassed, as usual....

....but CUTE as ever!!

Now, after several full days of birthday celebrations,  Cam's partying is officially over;
but another boy in our house has his special day coming soon--Colin turns nine on Halloween!

So thankful for my first October birthday boy and looking forward to celebrating the next one in just a few short days!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Annual tree photos

Two weeks ago, I began my annual quest for "tree pictures" for the kids. I took these shots on a Sunday after church, and liked them, but I didn't love them.

Our tree was starting to turn, but just wasn't there quite yet; the leaves were beginning to yellow, but weren't exactly the color I wanted. Plus, the day was grayish, not as sunny as I would have liked....combine those couple of things together, and I just didn't get the shots I quite wanted (even though I really liked them!)

Colin, just a few days from being nine years old

Ethan, five and a half

Cameron, just turned seven years old

Lola, two and a half

Did I say I really liked them? I did! I just did not love love love them like I was hoping to.

Fast forward to yesterday. Another Sunday, right after church; and a gorgeous sun-filled day! AHH!! The beauty of fall had smacked our wonderful tree, and now, now I got my pictures!

Colin (who can stop growing any day now....)

Cameron (with the official toothless grin)

Ethan (oh....melt my heart)

and Lolee girl. My darling daughter....

.....(laughing at her Daddy) who, as much as I tried....

.....I could not pick a favorite of these three shots!

(And, it's a good thing I didn't wait one more day....because 
after a wind/rainstorm this morning, this is what my tree looks like today!)

Friday, October 19, 2012

All you ever wanted to know about my soccer players

I am, most always, behind the camera.

Last weekend, at our soccer games, my hubby (and a good friend) took my place so that I could have a few precious pictures WITH my children.

I am so grateful!

We have just had the best time at the fields this year, and I have been thankful for the fun and for the character development that soccer has produced in our boys.  Many folks aren't familiar with the real, true "football" but fall in love once they play, coach, or watch their kids. It is a wonderful team sport and I would encourage everyone to try it at least once! 

Lola and I have had a ball together on the sidelines each and every week, yelling for our boys!

Little Cameron--who doesn't look the most thrilled in the picture--is generally one very happy soccer player!  He has had an amazing year. Cam is naturally athletic, but is not the greatest distance runner.  He does struggle with endurance a bit (and soccer is mostly running and all about endurance!) He was placed (by Shane, who is his coach) at the goalie position this year, and he and his defense have not allowed one single goal all season long. Considering he is the only goalie in the league (across EVERY age group, up to 14-year-olds, both girls and boys) who has managed to pull that off, I am a pretty proud goalie-momma!!

His team is currently 6-0, with 2 games to be played this weekend.

Oh, Ethan. This boy brings such determination to the field. He is, like his brothers, naturally athletic--yet he is very different from them.  Ethan is a passer, which is so rare at this age. He is so lucky to have brothers (and his Daddy) who are older to help teach him skills that are far beyond his level.  He has a knowledge and feel for the is SO fun to watch him! He doesn't score as much as his brothers did at this age. He seems to have a real feel for defense, and usually hangs back a bit--so he has stopped quite a few opposing goals, which is great!

He has had a winning season, as well: 5-0.

Colin. My little star. Of course, all our children are stars in our eyes, right? Colin also has a natural athletic ability--which, of course, we believe was given by a God (to all three of our boys!) who loves him so very much. He usually plays mid-field, which means he can go as far forward as he needs to and also can assist on defense when needed. He has scored several times, assisted many others, and also stopped a few goals. This is his first year at the U10 level, and he has definitely risen to the challenge. 

His team is also 6-0, with two more games to go this weekend.

10 years ago, I could have never imagined being as blessed as I am today.  There are many, many hard days in which I struggle, thinking:
"I can't do this!"
"I am not Mom enough!"
"Their needs are too much!"
"I am not the parent I need to be for them!"
"Why do I fail so much more than I succeed?!"

But I know that my walk as a mother, a daughter, a wife, and most importantly a child of 
the King is a process.  It is two steps forward, one and seven eighths step back, correct?! 
I will keep plugging along, each new day that comes to me.

Because they are worth it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A birthday visit from the Grandparents!

The weekend before Cameron's birthday celebration began with a trip to his school, we had a wonderful visit from Grandpa and Grandma 'Nette!

We had a very fun weekend full or soccer, presents, and laughter.  I grabbed a couple of shots of the crew after church on Sunday:

Grandpa, Grandma and all the kiddos

Grandpa and the boys

Awww. Grandma 'Nette and Lolee girl. I just love this picture! 
Grandma had Lola's hair so pretty!

After church, we came home and had some pre-birthday birthday cake! 
Cameron loved the NFL logo ..... even if it did have a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness on it! LOL

Big breath--this kid had NO trouble getting all seven of those candles out!

Enjoying some yummy cake....

.....some enjoying more AT ONE TIME than others. :)

Then, it was on to some present-opening! That brought a big smile.

Grandma and Grandpa got Cameron his very own Nintendo DS and a couple of games. 

He is the last boy to get one, and MAN was he excited!

Later that night, our friends joined us at a local Mexican restaurant for some MORE birthday fun. 
I tell ya--this kid celebrated his birthday about a half a dozen times!

The kids got to play along with the "band"....

....and sing "Happy birthday" yet again!!

And, like a good little boy.....

....he made sure that one sundae had five spoons.