Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review

I'm going to attempt to recap the year in one blog post.  Wish me luck!

In January, Caleb turned two and we celebrated with a cars/trucks party.  We had lots of fun playing and even ate a fun bulldozer cake that Julie made!  Matt went to Snow Camp with the youth group for a long weekend and just about froze to death.  They liked it so much that they're going back this year!

February and March brought more youth group ski trips for Matt and lots of snow!  In fact, we had a really late, unexpected snow storm in March that kept us out of school for several days.  It was a nice break, even if we did have to make it up at the end of the year!  Caleb didn't overly enjoy the snow, so he basically chose the cry the entire time while we required him to have fun.


On April 3rd, Matt and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary.  Matt's schedule forced us to wait until May to go away for the weekend, but we had a great time in the Northern Neck of Virginia.  Our innkeepers were really sweet and very hospitable, but there wasn't a lot to do around in the area!  We did head over to Williamsburg to check out the shops and such.  It was a fun little trip.

June marked the end of the school year and the beginning of Matt's summer trips.  His first one was on a mission's trip to Northern Maine.  They were just 100 yards from Canada and even picked up Canadian phone signals.  This made it difficult for Matt to call Julie at all and with very limited internet access, it made for a loooong week for both of them.  Julie passed the days away at our local beach with Caleb where he was content to play in the sand for several hours at a time--as long as he didn't have to sit in the sand!

July was chocked full of events:  Matt turned 31 on the 12th, we all spent a week helping out at Vacation Bible School at church, Matt headed to Pittsburg for Momentum for a week, and our little family went to Lancaster, PA for an awesome week of fun!  We took Caleb to Dutch Wonderland, which he absolutely loved.  Our "home" for the week was a working dairy farm that was tons of fun.  The highlight of the trip was when Caleb got to bottle feed a tiny calf that he named Lucy Long-Tongue.  It was a great week of memories.

In August, Matt had a week of Absolutely Awesome, which is kind of like VBS for middle schoolers.  Julie tried to cram as much fun into the last few weeks of summer as possible, and she planned a trip to Baltimore to ride the Ducks and go to an Orioles game.  Caleb had won free tickets at the library, and one of the available dates worked perfectly with the trip Julie had already had in the works!  The Ducks were a lot of fun and Caleb was amazed that this boat/bus could ride on land and water.

September meant getting back into a routine.  Caleb was with Matt on Mondays, Mommom on Tuesdays, and Amy on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Fridays were spent at Mom's Morning Out, which is a preschool program at our church.  He thoroughly enjoys it and loves his teachers.  He has learned the Pledge of Allegiance and we are enjoying his stories about school.

October and November were marked with some medical concerns for Caleb.  We were concerned about an intestinal polyp, so he had a colonoscopy done at Johns Hopkins.  The colonoscopy came back fine and we were incredibly impressed with the care Caleb received at JH.  The people there were wonderful and we would highly recommend the hospital to anyone!!  We also had Thanksgiving at our house this year and were able to focus on thankfulness in a new way with Caleb's health fresh on our minds.

December's magic was even more fun this year now that Caleb has an understanding of Santa and Christmas.  We have worked hard to balance the true meaning of Christmas with the fun of Santa Claus and his reindeer.  Caleb received a tractor for Christmas and was incredibly excited about his new toy. 

That brings us to today--the last day of 2009.  It's been a good, full year of memories made with a wonderfully sweet 2 year old.  We're hoping that 2010 will give us new opportunities to love others.  Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

*  I most certainly didn't give my child a lollipop to pacify him when he was distraught over getting a new "big" bed and losing his toddler bed.  I teach my child that disappointment is a fact of life and would never give him a treat to distract him while I took the toddler bed out of his room.

*  In all of the craziness of the holidays, I didn't forget about a 9 a.m. chiropractor's appointment this morning.  I always write my appointments down!

*  Matt didn't tell Caleb that he would get a lollipop if he was good for the dentist.  He didn't suggest to Caleb that the dentist might give him said lollipop for a treat!  Matt certainly realizes that the dentist wouldn't give sugary treats to his patients!

*  When Caleb realized that he had to pedal his new tractor that Santa brought him, he didn't say that he wanted Santa to take it back and bring him a tractor that he didn't have to pedal.  When he saw the box downstairs that Matt hadn't thrown away yet, Caleb didn't exclaim, "Santa brought me another tractor!!"  (Side note:  Caleb is getting used to the pedaling and does like his tractor now!)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Reflections

Tonight is Christmas Eve.  All of the presents are wrapped and put under the tree, Caleb's big presents have been set up, the songs have been sung, the boy is asleep, and I am here taking a quiet moment to write a thoughtful blog post while Matt is stil at church.  All is well....except...

...Except that it could be really easy for my thoughts to revert back to an issue that struggles to consume me at times.  That's not what Christmas is about.  In case you haven't heard, it's supposed to be a celebration of the birth of Christ, who was sent here to save us from our sins!  SO, tonight I am choosing to be thankful for everything I do have instead of lamenting over what I don't.  Here goes:

I am incredibly thankful for the gift God gave me just 2 weeks after Christmas 3 years ago.  That little boy gives me more joy than I could have imagined possible.  I love him with every ounce of my being---as is proven by the tears streaming down my face right now!  His laugh lights up my day and he can make me smile like no one else can.

Naturally, I am also thankful for Matt.  (Without him, I couldn't have had Caleb!)  Just kidding!  :)  Seriously though, he is a wonderful husband and father and is always there when I need him.  Most importantly, he puts up with my moods and always apologizes--sometimes without knowing what he did wrong--sometimes without doing anything wrong at all!  He knows me better than anymore.

My family is amazing.  I have grown to love and appreciate them in a new way since Matt and I became parents.  I realize now how much they must have worried about me and how the way they responded to certain situations (like not letting me go to the mall to sing with the choir in middle school without a chaperone!) were just because they loved me and were concerned about my well-being.  They say a parent's love has no bounds, and I'm glad I can reflect on the truthfulness of that statement in my own life.

I am thankful that we are all relatively healthy.  Caleb gave us a scare a few months ago, but God answered prayers and the tests came back clean.  My cousin's son, Jacob, is battling a brain tumor and is currently undergoing radiation therapy in Boston.  They are celebrating Christmas a long way from home, but things are looking good for "our Jacob," as Caleb refers to him!

Along with that, I'm grateful for good insurance!  Say what you want about our public school system, but they definitely do offer us fantastic benefits.  Caleb's bills from Johns Hopkins would have cost us close to $10,000 without insurance.  We paid a mere $70 total in specialties fees and copays. 

Lastly, in this economy, I am thankful that Matt and I both have stable jobs.  While yes, the system is trying to make cut-backs to the budget, the truth is that I will have a teaching job for as long as I want it!  I know so many children whose parents have lost their jobs or aren't getting much work right now, and I can't imagine the stress that might put on a family.

I hope that you will join me in focusing on the thankfulness of the season instead of the I wants and I don't haves that we are all so prone to.

With that...

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night!

Christmas Lights Award Winners!

The highly anticipated results of our Christmas lights prizes:

Well....this was the first year that our picks for BOTH most creative and prettiest weren't home!! We didn't want to leave the award on the door step without explanation, so we went to our second choice house for most creative--on Calvert Blvd.

Then, we went to the second choice for prettiest--not there.

We went to the third choice--not there.

We finally went to our fourth choice and someone came to the door! This house was in King's Creek II and was very tasteful with a cross on the top...just not actually the prettiest. However, his reaction was totally worth it. This guy--named Harry Trueman, I might add---was so ridiculously excited! He couldn't wait to tell his wife and daughter when they got home. It was really cute, and we never let on that he was actually our 4th choice! :)

Our actual first choice for prettiest was in Cherry Lane Farms off of Maraschino.  The first choice for most creative was on Avenue C and totally deserving of the title.  You should definitely check it out!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Smells

I love the smells of Christmas!  Here are some of my favorites:

*  The spicy candles
*  Gingerbread cookies
*  Bread
*  The smell of the air when it snows


What are yours???

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Remember that time we brought snow inside the house?

I'm pretty sure that will be a question I'll have in the future, because I'm thinking we created a memory today. 

We're having a ridiculously big snow storm (blizzard, actually--it's official!) that is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.  It started around 8 p.m. last night and has snowed continuously all day.  The weather is saying it won't end until tomorrow morning...craziness!

Anyway, it's way too windy and deep to go outside and play.  Plus, Caleb hates snow.  Feel free to admire these pitiful shots taken during last year's snow storm!



Since we couldn't go out in the snow, I brought the snow in to us. When I first asked Caleb if he wanted to build a snowman, his instant reply was, "NO!"  Then I told him I'd bring snow inside, and his reaction was, "But Momma, it's going to make the house a mess!"  I assured him that I would keep it neat!

I got a bucket and filled it with snow off of our porch, then laid down some towels in the kitchen and let the boy go to town.  We built a snowman, and then he played for a really long time just like he would in a sand box.  The boy was in heaven...he got to build a snowman and stay warm!

We did a few science experiments too (gotta keep it educational!).  We put snow in a cup to see what would happen to it (It melted!  Amazing!)  Then we poured it out into the snow and it created a small hole in the hole. I then suggested we try to see what would happen if we poured hot water out into the snow....it created a big hole!!  I love the wonderment of a 2 year old.  Everything is just so amazing to him.  :)

So, let it snow...inside and out!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Size XL

It's amazing how one $7 size XL black coat can make such a difference in a little boy's day.

I noticed that one of my students was coming to school without a coat.  When I asked him about it, he said the only one he has was his grandfather's and it hangs down past his knees.  Having had all three of his sisters, I am familiar with this family's circumstances and knew they couldn't afford to buy him one.

At Walmart that night, I stopped in the boy's clothing section and noticed that some of their coats were on clearance.  For $7, I picked up an XL black coat that I knew would keep him warm.

The next day, I pulled him aside and asked if he would like to have it.  The glimmer in that boy's eyes said it all, and he nodded.  I handed it to him and said that it was his!

Well, did this boy have a fabulous day!  He did all of his work, participated in class, and even did his homework for one of the few times this quarter!  In fact, he didn't have a piece of paper so he wrote the work on the inside of his folder!  I let him sign the Pride Inside Backpack for showing such responsibility, and he got almost all of his points on his daily chart that day.

That afternoon, he went to visit his mentor (another teacher).  He showed her his coat and said, "When Mrs. Leach gave me this coat, I told myself I was going to have the best day ever!" 

...and he did!

I love those warm-your-heart kind of days, don't you? 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ba, ba, ba-ba, ba-ba, ba, ba-ba....

....I wanna be sedated!

That's pretty much how I'm feeling this week because it's just a tad bit crazy here right now.  However, I am maintaining control--for the most part--and trying to manage my time wisely to keep from going over the edge.  So...that doesn't leave a lot of time for blogging. 

I will tell you that Caleb had a fabulous time at Dutch Wonderland with the love of his life.  They held hands pretty much whenever they were in the car, shared toys very nicely, and even had a pretend tea party at the farm house!  It was all very cute!!

I promise, there are many pictures to come....let's just say that I forgot to turn off Sports Mode!  I just need to get through this weekend and I'll load them.  Until then, enjoy this quick story:

We went to visit "our" calves that we fed over the summer.  We knew the numbers and found them fairly quickly.  The one we named Lucy Long-Tongue reached out its loooooong tongue to lick Caleb's hand.  He delightful squealed, "She remembers me!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Heading to Amish Country!

Tomorrow, we'll be heading up to Lancaster for the weekend with our friends Jenn and Steven...and Caleb's girlfriend Emma! 

We're going to Dutch Wonderland for their Winter Wonderland activities, AND we're staying at the same fabulous farm we were at this summer!  Caleb is beyond excited to show the love of his life the farm and amusement park.

So, we're off to spend some quality time with our son's future in-laws!  I'm definitely going to need to take some frame-worthy pictures of the two of them for the wedding table!  :)

Sit!

Tonight, I was giving Becky her pill and told her to sit.  Matt was washing a pan and asked me what I said.  Naturally, I replied, "I said sit."

So what does my husband do?

He sits, of course.

He walks to the kitchen table, pulls out the chair, and sits.

When I just kind of look at him, his next statement is, "Now what?"

And he had no idea why I was laughing.

Poor guy!

But I got a good laugh out of it!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Festival of Trees and Homestead Gardens

We went to Homestead Gardens the day after Thanksgiving to see the big train display that they do each year.  The decorations are all really nice and Caleb loved looking at the train.  His favorite was the "chocolate train" (the Hershey's train). 


The Hospice Festival of Trees was that weekend as well, so we headed there on Saturday with Amy, Owen, and Sara.  We got some nice pictures of the three of them in their Christmas outfits and a few cute ones of Caleb as well.




While walking around the craft show at the Festival of Trees, Caleb spotted Santa all lonesome sitting in his chair.  He gasped and exclaimed, "Santa!"  After we asked if he would like to sit on his lap and tell him what Caleb wanted for Christmas, he ran and jumped on his lap with barely any hesitation!  What did he tell old Santa he wanted?  The Handy Manny work bench and a tractor, of course!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...



As is the Leach family tradition, we decorated our house for Christmas this weekend.  The day after Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite day of the year because I finally get to pull out all of our decorations, unwrap each piece, decide which current decorations will be put away for the season...it just makes me happy!  My favorite part of my favorite day is decorating the tree.  This year was especially fun because Caleb was old enough to help hang ornaments and he loved hearing stories of their history.  He has already asked me several different times to show him the ones he made.

We finished up today with Matt hanging the Christmas lights and Caleb and I putting the personalized window clings on (which thrilled him!!) 

Highlights from our adventures:

*  Finally figuring out how to hang the advent tree Barbara made for us last year after many failed attempts.

*  Caleb playing with the nutcracker ornaments and calling them buttcrackers.

*  Hanging the window clings with Caleb picking out a snowman to represent Becky and his baby sister (who doesn't exist!)


*  pulling out the Little People nativity set and Caleb's "ooooooh" at the sight of it.

*  the cheers of encouragement for Matt as he struggled to hang the lights

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful 4s

We did Thankful 4s in reading class today.  I drew the outline of a big 4 and had the students write what they are "Thankful 4" inside the 4.  We then punched a hole in it and tied some string to it so that it could be hung on the tree.  Some students used a longer piece so that they could wear them around their neck.  They turned out really cute and the kids were so thoughtful with what they wrote.  We shared after they finished and some of them almost made me tear up!  We're going to be doing them at my house for Thanksgiving too.  :)

I'm thankful 4 you!  :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

A few chuckles...

Last Friday, Caleb learned about Thanksgiving at Mom's Morning Out.  We chatted about what he'd learned on the way home.  According to the boy:

*  The Indians lived in really big tents
*  They helped the piglims catch fish and grow plants
*  The pilgrims came over on a really big flower

---------------------------------------------------------------

Tonight, Matt drove me to the chiropractor.  Caleb asked what the doctor was going to do.  I told him he was going to fix my back.  Of course, the next question was if the doctor would take all of my clothes off.  (um, no, Caleb)  When I assured him that he wouldn't, he then asked what he was going to do to my back.  I told him that he would crack my back.  His question?  "With an egg?"  :)

Pretty clever, if you ask me!

Adam Lambert Disgusts Me

If you happened to catch the AMAs last night, you know what I'm talking about.  If you were asleep (like I was), feel free to google the video and watch it.  It's pretty much everywhere because it has raised so much controversy.  WARNING:  Do NOT watch this with kids around!  It is by far the dirtiest, most vile, creepiest performance I have ever seen--male or female!  I'm not imbedding it on my blog because I don't want anyone thinking I'm condoning it.  GROSS.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Craft Show Season is Upon Us!

Amy and I have had craft shows the last two weekends.  Last week was at St. John Vienny and today's was at Calvert High School.  We've done pretty well at both.

I don't have much to report, because all of my creative energy has been poured into making necklaces!  I have been working most every night to keep up my stock!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and this year, it's at my house!  Hopefully, I'll have something interesting to say soon!

Yeah, I know this is lame.  Sorry!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

This week, I did not call my husband at 6 p.m. while I was still at school to ask him to start the bread machine for me so that I would have bread to take with me for a potluck the next day.  He did not put in twice as much water as was called for.  I didn't not realize it until 9:30 when the bread suddenly collapsed. 

When Caleb was cleansing before his colonoscopy, I didn't give him a lollipop to suck on only to have to dig it out of his mouth because he chewed itCaleb didn't bite me multiple times because he was so angry that I was stealing his lollipop.

Caleb didn't scream "Not again!!!!!!  Never, never, NEVER!!!!!!!!" when I had him sit on the toilet for the 24th time yesterday.  I was not totally at my wit's end trying to stay patient with my oh-so-hungry boy.  I didn't yell at Matt simply because I was frustrated by the day's events.

I didn't resort to hiding behind the cabinet door to sneak a few chips during Caleb's cleanse because I felt so bad for eating in front of him.  I didn't try to hold out until nap time before I ate anything.  I wasn't unsuccessful with this attempt.  I did not find myself wondering how in the world I would get through two days of not eating anything!  Poor Caleb!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lovin'

I'm lovin'...

...this blog. She is such an inspiration, such a fabulous writer, and such a generous person.  I understand why she has one of the most-read blogs on the internet!

...the cuddles I get from my boy in the morning.  He is in a big "mamma" phase right now.

...sugar cookies that are cut into cute shapes.  Not decorated--I like 'em plain!

...making necklaces.  Creating a product that someone else loves really makes me happy.

...sweater weather.  I'll get tired of it soon enough, but right now it's comfy!

...hand-me-downs from friends and family.  Between Amy and Carrie, Caleb is a very well-dressed little boy!

What are you lovin'???

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Vegetarian Day!

Today is my 16 year anniversary of becoming a vegetarian.  I haven't eaten red meat or chicken in over 1/2 of my life, which is pretty crazy to think about.  Of course, just Saturday my grandmother was trying to convince me that her chicken salad sandwiches didn't have that much meat in them!  On a whole, I feel like I'm pretty healthy and work hard at getting enough protein.  Of course, it is questionable as to whether or not all the soy I ate during my pregnancy is what caused Caleb to have a birth defect.  You just can't win!

In other news, today is also a bit bittersweet for me, as today it has been 4 years since my dear friend Lisa died.  I still miss her and wish she were still teaching right next door to me.  I have her picture on my wall and marvel all of the time at the fact that this picture was taken just a few days before she died.  BUT, the last thing Lisa wanted was to be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, so in some ways I think this is the way she wanted it to happen.  I miss her though!

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm Thinking About....

...Jacob a lot today.  His surgery to hopefully remove the rest of his brain tumor will be at 7 a.m. Seattle time (10 a.m. our time).  Caleb wants to send him a courage blanket so that he can be brave!

...job sharing and how badly I want the best of both world.

...MOPS and longing for a unified group of women who are similar places in life.

...Christmas and the fact that I can't find my mom's presents!  I am the kind of person that won't rest until all of my shopping is done.  I don't like it hanging over my head.

...all the germs floating around and hoping that bringing Caleb to the Fall Festival at my school tonight is not a mistake.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Praying for Jacob

Tomorrow is Jacob's second big surgery to hopefully remove the rest of his tumor.  This will be a long surgery of at least 6 hours, so we'll be praying hard for him all day long tomorrow.  We love you Jacob!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

*  I did not majorly hesitate before taking a piece of Communion Bread because of the possibility of major germs all over my piece.  I did not lean over and suggest to Matt that next month we need to sit up front so that we get "first pick."

*  I didn't use an entire can of Lysol in my coat closets at school this week.  I am not completely grossed out with the thought that they are only cleaned twice a year.  I did not send Matt to the store tonight while I was tutoring to buy me more Lysol.

*  The Grinch did not manage to steal Halloween from my candy-loving niece.  She was not so completely freaked out by a teenager dressed up like this hated cartoon character that she refused to even enter the gym where our Fall Festival was being held.  She did not cower under the table for the duration of the party.  I was not annoyed at all with the Grinch for scaring little children!

*  After making a good attempt to go potty and earning a piece of candy from his Halloween loot, Caleb didn't lick the last of the chocolate off of his fingers and jump up, announcing, "I'm going to try some more!  You go get me another piece of candy!"  He was not at all disappointed when I told him that he would have to actually go in order to earn anymore of his precious stash.

*  I am not almost completely done with my Christmas shopping and now itching to start wrapping presents.  In the past, I certainly haven't spent Halloweens wrapping gifts!  That would be way too early, so I'm not at all feeling the pressure to begin.  I don't think I'll start tomorrow night...and I'm not at all looking forward to it with eager anticipation! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Hoots

At our church Fall Festival last night, one of the most talked-about costumes was The Grinch.  Who talked about it the most?  Caleb and Sara.  Here's why...

Sara and Caleb were innocently playing in the toddler play area with me while Amy took Owen to some of the older kid activities.  Suddenly, Sara spots the Grinch and started FREAKING out!!!  She froze and began to scream and cry uncontrollably.  Naturally, Caleb followed suit.  I couldn't move either one of them, and we were starting to draw a crowd.  I called Amy on her cell to get her help.

Once we managed to get the kids out of the gym, poor Sara refused to go back in.  In fact, every time she caught sight of the Grinch, a fresh batch of screams and tears ensued.  She wasn't the only one though; the Grinch managed to frighten several kids that night.

Thankfully, Caleb settled down after I got him away from Sara.  I ended up taking Caleb and Owen around to play the games while Amy sat out in the lobby with Sara, who cowered under the table for the rest of the party.  Poor girl...you know she must have been scared if she gave up the opportunity to get candy!

Caleb did seem to enjoy it though, and is especially loving the candy.  I offered that he could have one piece if he gave pooping a good try.  After a taste of a delicious candy bar, my boy jumped up and announced, "I'm going to go try a little harder!"  Imagine his disappointment when I told him that he would not be getting another piece of candy... :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Our Feelings About Halloween

You may choose to agree or disagree, but these are our feelings on Halloween!

Halloween in itself is not evil.  What some people choose to do on Halloween may be evil, but Halloween in itself is a harmless day where kids are given permission to dress up and stuff their faces with candy. 

Some people choose to get drunk.  Some people choose to vandalize other people's houses.  Some people choose to spend time with their families.  Some people choose to go to church parties.  Whatever people choose to do is their choice.  People's choices should not deem an entire holiday evil.

Now, you all probably know that Matt is the youth pastor at our church.  I'm sure some people have strong feelings about Halloween.  Do we dress up?  Yep!  Do we trick-or-treat?  Sure do!  Do we/will we dress Caleb in scary or gory costumes?  No.  We do have limits.  He can be cute or funny, but not vulgar.  This isn't an issue now, but I'm sure it will be as he gets older.  Our school doesn't dress up anymore, so it may not be quite as big a deal.

We do go trick-or-treating, but we also go to our church's fall festival.  This is a HUGE event where kids get TONS of candy, play lots of games, go on hayrides, and play on inflatables.  It's one of the biggest events in our county, and it's all free!  What an awesome outreach to our community.  While we don't encourage vulgar costumes and hope that people will be sensitive to the fact that we are a church, we do not turn anyone away.  Matt teaches a short lesson every 1/2 an hour to any kids who want to join them, and they get information about our church.

Don't hate Halloween--embrace it as a way to share Christ with others!!

...and that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday



We're praying for you, Jacob!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

*  I do not have an insane amount of kids out every day with the same symptoms:  high fever, nasty cough, and body aches.  I do not at all assume that this is Swine Flu and that it is all over our school.  I have not been having my students take a squirt of hand sanitizer every 10 minutes in order to try to keep the germs down.  What's more, I certainly didn't have my reading kids use disinfectant wipes to wipe off all of their folders and notebooks and the inside of their desks!  That would be over the top...

*  I was not secretly thankful that this Sunday was not Communion so that I didn't feel obligated to take a piece of the bread that many other not-so-clean hands had already touched.  The thought of next week being the first Sunday of the month (Communion Sunday) doesn't gross me out and cause me to shudder.  I'm not seriously considering not taking Communion.

*  I did not have to give Caleb an emergency bath on Saturday because he had smeared poop all over his chest and stomach.  I didn't find out about this by his matter-of-fact, "There's poop on my body!" announcement.  What's more, I didn't refuse to carry him to the bath tub and instead demand that he march into his bathroom with his hands in the air so that he wouldn't touch anything with his poopy fingers.

*  While shopping for our Operation Christmas Child gifts this year, I did not actually pull a wool hat off of the shelf and suggest that we put that in the shoe box.  These gifts are for children in warm climates like Africa, so they have no use for such items.  Matt didn't get a huge laugh out of it, either!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Swine Flu

There is Swine Flu all over our school.  There are 2 confirmed cases in my class alone, but a bunch of kids have been absent.  I had 5 missing this morning!  Unfortunately, my day at school was cut very short when I got a phone call at about 9:05 from my sister saying Caleb had thrown up all over her. 

Lovely.  Poor Amy!

I got some things together and came right home (Amy was dropping Sara off at school when it happened, which is even better!)  It wasn't totally unexpected because I thought Caleb felt a bit warm this morning but he didn't register having a fever and was acting okay. 

Even now, he's sitting next to me in bed singing the Hokey Pokey and using his sick bucket as a drum (don't worry, he hasn't used the sick bucket yet!!) telling me that a little treat would make him feel better.  As long as he can sing, he must be doing okay!  :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Carving, Cousins, Canoes, and Caleb

We have been carving pumpkins like crazy around here!  We went to the pumpkin patch last week and each chose a pumpkin that suited us.  We carved one a night and finished up on Wednesday.  Each one is very unique, and Caleb even had the grand idea of using my broken stem as my pumpkins funky nose!  They all turned out great!  Owen and Sara are spending the night tonight and we bought three small pumpkins for them to carve.  Can you believe they've never carved pumpkins before???  They thoroughly enjoyed themselves and even found the toasted seeds as tasty as Caleb and I have! 

As most of you know, my cousin's son Jacob (almost exactly Caleb's age) is battling a brain tumor.  After one big surgery to remove part of the tumor and multiple smaller surgeries, Jacob will have the second surgery to hopefully remove the rest of the tumor in the beginning of November.  My cousin, his wife, and their other two children (one being a newborn!) have just gotten an apartment to stay in after being at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle for quite sometime.  Please pray for this brave little boy and his family!

It has been raining for three days straight here with virtually no stopping.  I'm starting to feel a tad bit like Noah's wife and am wondering if we will need to take a canoe to church tomorrow!  It has made for a rather dreary long weekend, and several of our plans were foiled.  However, the recent turn of events has kept my mind off of the weather.

Which leads me to my next C:  Caleb.  Without going into a ton of detail, Caleb is going to be going to Hopkins for some medical tests.  It's hard because he feels absolutely fine and is hating all of this poking, prodding, and invading his personal space, but he is having a few issues that need to be taken care of.  I spent the better part of yesterday on the phone with our pediatrician, Hopkins scheduling, and concerned family members.  No matter what the doctors choose to do, I can pretty much assure you that none of them will be pleasant. Please pray for my sweet boy because I hate to see him miserable.  While Caleb's situation is nowhere near as severe as Jacob's, I have a new appreciation for what my cousin is going through!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Call Me a Fireman...

On Saturday, we went to this lame not incredibly-well planned Fall Festival at a local church.  Besides the fact that you had to pay for all of the events, there just wasn't much to do.  Plus, they gave out NO candy!!  It just wasn't quite like the Fall Festival I'm used to...

One positive note is that they did have the Saint Leonard Fire Department there to do demonstrations and let the kids look in the fire truck, which Caleb enjoyed.  Now, the SLFD isn't exactly known for its speediness to calls, but it is becoming very well-known for one thing:  it's fabulous outdoor country music concerts.  They have had Alan Jackson, Little Big Town, Kellie Pickler, etc.  A lot of big names have made their way down to our teeny town that is lacking even its own grocery store.

Anyway, this is how the conversation went:

Fireman: (after finishing his demonstration)  "So, that's how the fire truck works.  Any questions?"

Caleb raises his hand while perched on top of Matt's shoulders.

Fireman:  "Yes, little boy?"

Caleb:  "When is the next concert?"


Does this mean my kid is ADD, or is it that he is incredibly intelligent to be able to put together that this man works at the same firehouse where the concerts are held?  Not sure yet...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

*  Caleb did not ask me what infidelity meant this weekend in the car.  He certainly did not gain this new vocabulary word from a song Matt played on his iPod.  We are much more vigilant about what we let our son listen to and would never fill his mind with such filth. 

*  My answer to Caleb's question about the definition of infidelity most definitely wasn't it's when you aren't very nice to the person you love.  I am completely honest with him and do not try to get out of awkward conversations by giving a vague and not-completely-true definition.

*  In a ploy to try to get Caleb to fall asleep in the car, Matt did not convince him that he had painted pictures on the inside of our son's eyelids.  Caleb totally didn't buy it like a champ and end up falling asleep almost immediately!

*  While eating apple fries at Bob Evans tonight, Matt did not try to force feed Caleb in order to get him to eat caramel.  Caleb didn't completely refuse to eat it and end up throwing a big tantrum.  I did not think this was absolutely ridiculous and proceed to fuss at Matt for making Caleb eat something like that when he didn't want to.  We don't often fight over how to handle Caleb's eating habits.  We're a united front in every aspect of parenting.

Proud Parent of a Pottying Preschooler

How's that for some alliteration?!?  (I'm teaching elements of poetry right now, so I have alliteration on the brain!)

Disclaimer:  This post is totally about the art of pooping and the celebrating that comes after.  If you are not interested in hearing about the potty habits of my two year old, please stop reading at this time.

Caleb has really turned a corner in this pottying adventure.  Two and a half weeks ago, Matt did the same thing we've been doing since June--he put Caleb on the potty to try to poop.  For some reason, Caleb finally decided that it was time to actually go...and he did!  They called and left a message on my cell while I was at school.  Matt was so excited that he lifted Caleb over his head and ran around screaming doing what Caleb called a parade. 

Well, the parade must have worked because the next day, he did it again...and again, and again!  In fact, he has only pooped once in his pants since that fateful day (well, he did poop while he was sleeping twice, but we don't count that at this point.  We only count waking hours!)

We started out giving him two prizes each time (we'd been stockpiling since June and didn't have much of a reason to give him a prize, so we had a lot!) but those prizes dwindled quickly when the Pooping Machine started going.  He goes at least twice, and sometimes three times a day!  We've cut it back to one prize and are making those smaller prizes or no-cost privileges.  He doesn't seem to mind and is quite content with the little cars that he gets.  Last night, he got a small Lightning McQueen car that fits in the new Mac car wash truck he got at a yard sale on Saturday! 

Anyway, he's not perfect yet, but he's getting there!  We're feeling a million times better about potty training these days.  We just needed the glimmer of hope!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Snickers

Here are a few stories to make you chuckle...

*  On the way home from Isaac's birthday party on Friday night, we were trying to get Caleb to fall asleep.  Matt convinced him that he had painted pictures on the inside of Caleb's eye lids, but the only way to see them was to close his eyes.  When Caleb obeyed, he shouted, "I see them!" with glee...and then fell asleep pretty soon after that!! :)

* Yesterday Caleb and I went to a few yard sales.  I've started having him take some of his money from his piggy bank to encourage coin recognition and understanding of a value of a dollar (or quarter, as the case may be!)  He found a set of stacking cars for 10 cents that are made for young children and wanted to buy them, but I told him that he was too old for them.  He immediately decided that Emma really wanted them, so he bought them for her with his own money!  I'm not sure that Emma will really want a set of boyish-looking cars, but it was a nice gesture.  A love token, if you will.... :)

*  Last night in the car we were listening to Dashboard Confessional, one of Matt's favorite bands.  They aren't Christian, but they don't cuss or anything and are relatively calm.  We had just finished "Screaming Infidelities," which is not a screaming song at all, when Caleb innocently asked, "What's infidelity?"  Um...conversations I had NOT planned to have with my two year old!!  Wanna know my answer?  "It's when you are not very nice to the person you love."  He seemed content with that.  I told Matt he is seriously going to have to watch what we listen to so that we don't have anymore of those awkward moments!

*  As usual, Caleb woke up at 6 a.m. today.  He climbed into bed with us for a few more minutes until Matt's alarm went off to get ready to go to church (he goes to the early service, but we go to the late service).  Matt told Caleb to be quiet and lay still.  When Caleb started whispering to me, Matt repeated that he needed to be quiet.  Caleb's whispered reply:  "I am being quiet!"  I think he got Matt on a technicality...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Isaac!

A year ago today, the wife of a friend of mine from college gave birth to a sweet little boy named Isaac.  Isaac lived for 16 wonderful minutes and most definitely knew the love of his parents in that short time he was on this side of heaven.  Stacy and Spencer knew beforehand that Isaac was a sick baby, but they prayed for a miracle right up until the day of the C-section. 

Spencer and Stacy have been really open about their experience, and Stacy wrote a heartfelt blog today sharing about how she is dealing with the emotions of the day.  They are an amazingly strong couple.  Check it out and maybe leave them a little love!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Falling into Fall


Playing in the bucket at Emma's birthday party


Silly string fun at Uncle Ronnie's party
                                                               


Trying on his halloween costume--HEEHAW cowboy!


Playing at the church's anniversary celebration


A year later, he still loves this pumpkin.


"If you smile nicely, I'll let you take a picture with my camera!"


Giving his pumpkin a kiss.


I love the colors in this picture.


Roasting marshmallows for Paw Paw's birthday.

Wordless Wednesday


Monday Mwwwaaaaahhhhhhs :)

It's all I could think of that was alliterative...it technically should be Friday Funnies, but it's not Friday...so we're going with this one!

Caleb:  Mommy, do you have a penis?

Me:  No.

Caleb:  I want to see it.  Where is it?

Me:  Well, you're going to be looking a long time because it's not there.  I don't have one.

Caleb:  (sadly) Ooooh.  You need to go to the store and buy one.

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Caleb:  (on the way to his room for nap time)  I'm taking my girls to bed with me.

Matt:  WHAT????

Caleb:  (holding up his 2 stuffed toys) I'm taking my girls to bed with me!

------------------------------------

Caleb:  (randomly in the car)  Emma is my favorite baby.

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Caleb:  Do you like my farmer truck, Momma?

Me:  You're what?

Caleb:  (holding up his armored truck) My farmer truck!

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From the mouths of babes....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

I haven't done this in a few weeks.  I've started one each week, but deleted what I'd written because I didn't have anything really great to include.  This week, I have a few!

*  No, I definitely was not asked by my son if I had a fuzzy butt this morning.  That would be totally weird.  (FYI:  no, I do not!)

*  Caleb did not decide out of the blue that he would start going poop on the potty.  He didn't very willingly just go on Wednesday morning with Matt and then act like he'd been doing it all his life.  He hasn't turned a major corner in potty training and made our lives very happy!

*  We certainly don't do a parade whenever Caleb goes poop.  Matt hasn't carried him over his head each time running through the house screaming WOOOOOOOO---HOOOOOOOOO every time he does the deed.  That would be a little over the top.

*  Caleb doesn't ask us if we're going to do the parade each time he goes to sit on the potty!

*  Matt certainly doesn't read the exact same magazine each time as he happened to be reading the first time Caleb went poop because he feels that it somehow brings him good luck.  That would just be weird and totally false.

Last, but certainly not least...

*  Caleb did not ask me the other day if I had a penis.  When I said no, his reply cetainly wasn't that I needed to go to the store and buy one.  We don't have a strange son...really...  :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Preschool


Caleb is officially a preschooler!  He is attending a program called Mom's Morning Out at our church on Fridays and is loving it.  He adores his teacher and my sister is the assistant, so he is in very good hands!














The anti-social boy has been a little slow to join the group and actively participate, but he did join everyone else during Circle Time last week.  He didn't actually participate, but we're doing baby steps!

Apparently, he didn't care for the lunch I packed him on his first day.  He kept trying to steal the other kids' chips.  That next week, Caleb and I went to the grocery store and picked out some lunch choices for him.  He now has a basket of healthy (but tasty!) snacks from which he can choose!


I'm a Gleek







I admit it.  I absolutely LOVE this new show Glee on Fox.  It is hysterical, and I'm not one to laugh out loud at television. The most I normally do is chuckle a bit, but I can either identify with or connect someone I know to every character on that show.  If you haven't become a Gleek yet, take the plunge!