Friday, October 28, 2011

Piss-a-pippi River Mussem

 First off, we are HUGE Cardinals fans in this house, even our dogs get in on the action.  The boys were decked out in their Cardinals gear today in preparation for tonight's big game! GO Cards!
 The boys didn't have school today so as promised we headed up to Dubuque to the Piss-a-pippi River Mussem (also known as the Mississippi River Museum) We spent the greater part of today exploring and learning about the mighty Mississippi.


 The highlight of the trip was the 3D Dinosaur movie. Baylor was in heaven and said it was one of the best days of his life.  Brody was scared out of his drawers. He kept taking his glasses off and then putting them on again...off...on...off...on....He wasn't a fan of three dimensional pterydachtals flying at him.



 Baylor and I playing with shadows :)



I shot this photo right before the sun went down today, there was some beautiful clouds.  I love Iowa in the fall! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pinball








(Checking out the scary clown haunted barn at Bloomsbury) 

This kid never stops. Never slows down. Never tires. He is like a human pinball, bouncing from one activity to the next.

 I saw a shirt the other day that Brody needs to wear that read, "My parents are exhausted."

Amen.

Parent teacher conferences were this week and both boys are doing great.  Brody loves preschool and is right on target, knows all his letters and most of his numbers, along with writing his name and drawing stick figures with boobies.  He needs to work on colors (anyone know of a simple test to see if your kid is colorblind, I really think Brody might be!) and his birthday/address.  We got to go on a field trip yesterday to Bloomsbury Farm with his preschool class....I was more exhausted than he was!

Baylor is doing well too, he is finally adjusting to being at school all day and is making some new friends.  His drawings included dinosaurs, bloody battle scenes, hunting scenes and attack scenes.  All boy, all the time. We're going to work on punctuation and sentence structure at home, along with simple math patterns.  Unlike his mother, he said he loves math and is pretty good at it.  I love hearing about what he learns at school, but think it is so very important to work with your kids at home.  Learning is constant and it involves lots of time, patience and energy.  You have to be willing to get a little dirty (and let them get dirty) in the process.  This makes the teacher's job easier! It helps that we have great teachers and that we stay in communication with them about anything and everything.  Too often, I hear of parents complaining about this and that, when really all they need to do is GO TALK TO THE TEACHER.  Don't expect the teachers to do everything for you.

On a completely different note, our brass band will be competing at the US Open Brass Band Championships in St.Charles, Illinois the first weekend of November.  We're very excited, but along with excitement comes hours of practice.  I am very blessed to be part of a group of very talented musicians.  Most of them are so dedicated by their love for music that they bring their horns to work with them to practice over their lunch hour.  You may call it nerdy, we call it devotion.  They come from all walks of life and all professions......from band directors to IT people to engineers to teachers to sales to garbage men to stay at home mamas.  We don't get paid, we don't get instruments....the only perk we get is being part of one big dysfunctional family that comes together to make beautiful music.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  So if you're in the Chicago area and want to see us perform, you can go here: http://usopenbrass.org/ or visit our other website: easterniowabrassband.com.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Parent like you mean it.


Being a parent means you give up most of your rights, freedoms and privacy when that slimy little of screaming flesh is plopped on to your chest.  There are no give backs or do-overs. There are no instructional cds to watch or YouTube videos on how to properly raise your child. You are thrust into a world that is no longer about you, into a world of trying to hang on for dear life hoping that your kid won't end up needing therapy.  You aren't allowed to pee alone anymore and you get less and less sleep, but it's all worth it.

Having six years of parenting under my belt, I consider myself to be quite the professional (I kid) One of the most important lessons that I have learned in those six years that have flown by at the speed of light is being intentional with your kids.  Parenting with a purpose.

Treating each day as a new experience to learn and taking every moment to show them how much you love them.  Oh, and there is this little thing called talking.....or communication! You can't get by in life by assuming they will learn life lessons somewhere else.  We love our teachers dearly,  but they are not raising your kids.  YOU are raising your kids.  That means you are going to have to be responsible.  I know it can be a hard thing to do sometimes, but it's worth it.  I want my kids to feel like they can talk to me about anything at any time, and being open, honest and intentional is part of that comfort.

Want your kids not to have sex until marriage? Here's a thought. You talk to them about it.  Want them to learn who created the heavens and the earth and is responsible for the awesomeness that we live in? Yup, you're going to have to speak here too.  Want them to stop punching Johnny in the face and being disrespectful to adults? Get out of the chair and discipline like you mean it.....with intention and consistency! You want them to date someone who loves the Lord and treats them with respect and yet you say it's "none of your business." Oh...it's your business alright.  Parent like you mean it.

It breaks my heart when I get to work at the school and see kids treating each other and teachers with disrespect.  It also breaks my heart that they are so needy for attention, just to get anyone to listen to them or to hug them.  Every child deserves to be loved.  Every child also deserves to be parented and taught and disciplined, but unfortunately it doesn't always work out that way.

I was lucky enough to be raised my some pretty awesome people who made it their job to be the best parents.  They didn't always make the grade but I knew that they loved me even when they had to ground me for a month. I seriously think I was grounded for half of my childhood.....just for opening my big mouth.  The told me the rules, told me what they expected and helped me realize that it wasn't about ME.  They were intentional and purposeful in their parenting.  I can't thank them enough.

I don't want anyone to misread what I'm saying or take it the wrong way (I am far from a parenting expert!) I just want to encourage you (whether you're a parent or not) to live your life with intent and purpose.  It's not about YOU.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's that time of year.....

 The boys and I visited the local pumpkin patch and picked out our pumpkins for the season.  Mine is the awesome green one.


 Love these boys! Don't love that they shared their lovely germies with me.  Cough-a-palooza at our house!
 Nothing says fall like leaves and the occasional hand creeping out of it......



 Brody needed some help getting his shoes down from the porch......our friend James, who happens to be almost 7 feet, helped them get up there and his roomie Chad helped them get down.
I know, I know....if it looks like I took a picture of a picture....you're right. I'm so redneck. My scanner is broken and I wanted to show off this cute photo of Baylor with his awesome coach :)


We've still been super busy with activities and shuttling kiddos around.  I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't get any better.  Sorry for the lack of blogging, I'm sure you have all been on pins and needles for the next spectacular literary work from yours truly. Sorry to keep you waiting.