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Saturday, May 3, 2014

My Boys on a Campout

There is this fabulous tradition for the men at our church. Each spring they have a father-son campout on the church property. Yesterday afternoon, lots of the dads (mostly with young sons) set up tents in the empty (large) lot, build a big ol' fire, haul in heavy machinery for fun, and prepare for a night of excitement! This year was Zeke's first year getting to go!!! I think I was just as happy for the guys as they were that they got to spend a whole night with their Daddy doing guy stuff. They cooked out on the fire, ate lots of junk food, played music, drank soda and lots of sugar-filled juice drinks, shot automatic weapons (thanks to Jacob Talor and his SWAT awesomeness!), dug with a REAL life excavator (thanks to Josh Beer and the company he works for), played ball with the other boys, rode in tractors, messed around with their flashlights, slept in sleeping bags on the ground, woke up filthy and smelling like smoke. Basically, it was little boy paradise! They were so completely exausted and over-stimulated that when I brought them home in the morning (Manny had to leave early for work so my Dad stepped in for the breakfast part of the shindig) they went straight into a hot bath which left the tub a dingy brown and into BED again! They both slept for nearly 3 hours! This campout really is one of the highlights of their year and I'm so very happy that Manny was able to take them. We weren't sure due to his work schedule, but the Lord provided the way. I love that he's making these kind of memories with them. They will treasure them. Before they left, after the car was all packed with camping provisions, I took a few photos of the guys ready to head out. Elijah asked me so sweetly if he can have a copy of the photos with their Daddy so he can always remember this awesome campout! Of course! Those pics are going in the "special things box" for sure!

Here are some pictures I took of them before they left. Manny did take some w/his phone too, but I don't have those.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Dinos

For a few years I've been thinking about doing this Elf on a Shelf for the boys. But the more I look at it, the creepier he seems to me. But this year there was a thing floating around the interwebs of a family who had "Dinovember", in which the kids' plastic dinos did pretty much the same thing the Elf does at Christmas time. You know, getting into stuff, making messes, and causing mischief while the kids sleep. So I ventured to do the same for my boys this year. I picked up plastic dinosaurs at Wal-mart for a buck a piece on black Friday. Then started collecting ideas for what these guys would be doing during their stay at our house.

We made their introduction on St. Nick's day with the gifting of the boys' stockings. In them, they each received a new pair of gloves (just in time because it snowed that morning), a pack of orange bubble gum, and a surprise from their new friends, the Christmas Dinos. The Dinos had left a letter for the boys explaining how they would be up to mischief each night while they sleep and they would find them in the mornings. They also made a Christmas countdown chain for the boys to put together and hang. I LOVED the excitement on their faces when they discovered these surprises! They were so genuinely thrilled at such a small gesture!

So here's a recap (in photos) of some of the shenanigans the Dinos were up to as we counted down to Christmas 2013.
Busted sneaking candy from the dish!
Riding the Christmas Train around Grandma's tree!
Making a huge mess with the boys' cereal! And helping themselves to some!
Defacing our family photos! (Elijah COULD NOT STAND to see this! He cried. Then he insisted that we clean the picture frames immediately!)

Constructed a Trio Block City on the kitchen table!
Colored Christmas pictures in the boys' new coloring books!
Played Chutes & Ladders
Worked Puzzles!
Stole candy canes off the tree and ate them!
Rode Zeke's tricicle outside. It was freezing so they wore their scarves which Grandma Debby made them!
Helped Mom make coffee in the morning!
Made a mess helping wrap Christmas gifts!
Watched a Movie and ate popcorn.
Played in the snow, went sledding, had a bonfire and roasted marshmallows!
This was one of the most fun Christmas traditions we've done yet. I loved planning it and sneaking downstairs while the boys were sleeping to get it all ready. And I loved seeing their happy faces each morning when they discovered the Dinos!  We'll definately be repeating the Dino tradition next year!

Monday, December 2, 2013


A few nights ago, while I was washing dishes and my boys were looking for some entertainment, I introduced them to the joys of percussion.
Armed with only 2 sets of chopsticks, a muffin tin turned upside-down, and a few cups, they performed concert after concert for each other in the stairwell while I kept busy in the kitchen.

It went like this: Zeke, seated on the bottom step w/his "instruments" a few steps above, would tap the chopsticks together and count off "a one, two, free, four", then bang, clang, and clink his way through one musical number then another. When he felt finished, he'd turn to Elijah (who had been seated in a little chair beside the stairs) and say "Now you cwap fo me Yai-jah!" At which time Elijah would clap politely and say a few kind words like "nice job Zeke" or "Woohoo". Zeke would then turn and wave, saying "fank you, fank you, fank you". And on and on it went. They took turns, switching places, alternatively clapping and cheering for each other.
45 minutes later, Elijah was tired of the routine but Ezekiel was not. So he employed Manny as his new audience member. And the pattern repeated again.

And that is how I kept the children out of my hair while I cleaned the kitchen. {I wish I had a photo, but my hands were soapy.}

The End.