Thursday, August 21, 2014

Did I Hear a Niner?

My oldest turned nine yesterday. The funny thing about his birthday being at the end of the summer is that all summer I have told people, "He'll be nine at the end of the summer," when they ask the ages of the kids. Now, the end of the summer is here and it's actually happened. He's nine.

Jon is a fun kid. Sometimes he drives me crazy, but most of the time I count my blessings that I get to be his mom. Here are some of the things I love about this nine year old boy: his sensitive and giving nature, he is a peacemaker, his passion for reading, his honesty, his zeal for life and excitement over new ideas and adventures, his creativity, his unique outlook on things, that he still likes to sit and snuggle with his mama.

We make a big deal about birthdays around here. I think my mom did a good job of making birthdays special for me growing up and I try to do the same with my kids. We don't go overboard with spending tons of money or anything, but we do have a few fun traditions. Some of them are very intentional, and some we have just sort of stumbled into, but all of them are fun in my book. :)

First there's the birthday pancakes in the shape of your new age:
Opening presents from the immediate family before Daddy leaves for work. (I'm pretty sure this one was stumbled into by a birthday that fell on a night Daddy had to work late)
 Jon and Sam hugging after Jon opened his gift from Sam
 Jon's new drum set. Free from friends at church. 
Jon has been asking for drums for about two years now. He has faithfully been taking, and will continue to take, piano lessons, so we are allowing this new addition. We might be crazy, but we are going to get him drum lessons. The drum set will find it's home in a room of the basement, which will get some additional sound proofing SOON. 

On birthdays, our typical rules about screen time and video game time are thrown out the window. Jon got the WipeOut Create and Crash game for Wii and spent several hours creating and playing courses with Sam. 

The birthday kid gets to pick, within reason, what we do for the day and what we eat for dinner. Jon recently realized that you can play WiiU at Target and asked to there on his birthday about a week ago. It cracked me up that playing a game a Target made his list of most fun things to do, but hey, easy enough! He also requested getting a icee/slushy at Target and I decided we could all get them. Funny side note, I specifically remember telling the nurse at Jon's 2 year check up that he had not had lollipops yet, we'd prefer a sticker...and yet here we are with Maggie, not 2 until November, getting to split a slushy with Mom. Funny how things have changed...and the things you will do to keep a little one happy while the bigger ones do their thing. 
 Maggie sipping her slushy at Target
 Jon playing WiiU at Target
We came home for naptime and the bigger boys played Wii at their friend/our neighbor's house for about an hour, then we headed to the pool. Pete met us their with Jon's requested dinner: pizza AND cheesy bread. The cheesy bread was the kicker. We rarely get it, so it was a special treat! :) It turned out to be a pretty nice night, a little cool, but not too bad. My brother, Matt, met us there and we had a lot of fun-so much fun, that I forgot to take any pictures. Speaking of forgetting, I also forgot to bring candles to the pool, so we sang Happy Birthday and ate cupcakes and are going to try to do the candle part tonight.

All in all, it was a pretty fun day for my birthday boy. We ended it with the birthday survey. Last year, I forgot to do it, but we both remembered this year. I love his idea for the last question. Here are his answers:

~What is your name? Jon
~And how old are you? 9
~Does being 9 make you feel? Really, really awesome! (said to the tune of the Lego Movie Song)
~What do you want to learn this year? To play the drums
~What was the best thing about being 8? Riding the Banshee and going to church camp
~What did you do today? Opened presents, played with presents, went to Target, went to the pool and had pizza, cheesy bread and cupcakes
~What was your favorite gift that you received? Drum Set!!
~What is your favorite color? Scarlet Red
~What is your favorite food? Pizza and Ravioli
~Who is your favorite person? Sam
~What grade are you in? Fourth
~What is your favorite thing to do at school? Cursive Handwriting
~What is your favorite game to play? Wipeout on the Wii
~What do you like to do with Daddy? Play with him in the pool
~What do you like to do with Mommy? Snuggle on the couch and read or watch a movie/show
~What do you like to do with Sam? Play Wii
~What do you like to do with Will? Play the game where he chases me and Sam
~What do you like to do with Maggie? Try to get her to smile and carry her around and throw her on the couch
~What’s your favorite thing to do with the whole family? Have a movie night
~What’s your favorite store? Target
~What’s your favorite place to eat? Olive Garden
~What’s your favorite book? hard to narrow it down, Time Warp Trio books
~What’s your favorite song? Speak Life by Toby Mac
~What’s your favorite Bible verse or story? John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
~What do you want to be when you grow up? A website creator who can work from a mobile home and travel all over the country
I love this kid!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Work in Progress

My husband and my oldest, Jon, recently went to church time where the focus was on making your life count. Ironically, while they were gone I was incredibly lazy and watched more t.v. than I'm willing to admit. Towards the end of the week, God grabbed my heart and reminded me that my moments make up my days which make up my life...is this the life I want to live? One of watching this series on Netflix followed by that series on Amazon Prime? I was reading a blog that talked about reading quality books with our kids and how we model for them with our actions. I was reminded that I will never be the kind of woman that I hope to be unless I start making better decisions now. Most of the summer I have spent my kids' nap times watching television. Meanwhile, I have a list of books that I want to read. I have a list of projects I want to complete. I have a list of things I want to do with my kids. We're over half way through July...time to get going.

This week, I determined to use nap time for working on projects or reading books. It was great. Honestly, I did not miss that time in front of the t.v. at all. I read two books in a series that I have been wanting to read and can't wait to start the last one. I accomplished several projects for school in the fall, and I even took the older boys to Kings Island one afternoon while my mom graciously watched the littler two. I still have many projects left on my list, but the feeling of progress is priceless.

I'm realizing the truth in sayings I've heard millions of times before: If you don't have goals, what are you working toward? I am thinking and praying through specific goals for our home and my life. Friends of mine have shared that they talk through family goals with their spouse. I like that idea. I'd also love to sit down with my older two boys individually and set some goals for the school year-not just academic goals but all aspects.

Also, as I realize that I am far from perfect and will most likely stumble again as I travel this path, I love the saying that, "God doesn't call us to perfection, he calls us to obedience." We will fail. Our children will also fail. Am I modeling how to fail graciously? I am I sharing with them my mistakes and how I am trying to overcome them in His strength? Or do I hide those mistakes from them and try to act like I've got it all together? Hopefully, we can graciously grow together as we walk through our days in His grace, mercy and love.