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Month: July 2010

The friends and family plan …

The friends and family plan …

So first we celebrated with extended family.

Then our family.

And when you are seven, you want to hang with a few friends too.

So yesterday we took off to Chuck E. Cheese with a few of Jacob’s buddies.

He had seven friends and it was just the right size party.  It was relaxed and fun … and exactly what he wanted.  The thing he was most excited about was going into the Ticket Blaster machine.  The birthday child stands inside and it blows tickets and you get to keep as many as you can catch.  HE. LOVED. IT.

Big fun I tell ya.

Big fun.
I think everyone had a good time …

Even this “big” kid …  🙂

I think my favorite part of the party was when we sat down for pizza and Jacob was surrounded by his very best buddies and he looked at me and said … “can Dad sit by me?”  SO precious.

That Chuck really knows how to throw a party!

We had it glowin’ on …

We had it glowin’ on …

On the way home from Tyler on Saturday we stopped at the glow in the dark mini golf in the Woodlands for Jacob’s “family party”.
But wait …. before we did that, we stopped at McDonald’s for dinner and I still can’t believe we asked someone to take our picture.  In McDonald’s!  I do like this noveau booth though. 
But back to Glow in the Dark golf.  Since it was a party, we all had to sign Jacob’s glow in the dark t-shirt.   And they gave Jacob a glow in the dark necklace … a party favor of sorts.
It was SO fun.  The only rule was that the birthday boy always wins.  Always.  

He even played glow in the dark air hockey …

And just when Jacob thought his family party couldn’t get any better?  Well, we stopped at Baskin Robbins for a Clown Cone on the way home.

And that’s just pure sweetness.  

Which is exactly what Jacob is to our family.  
Pure sweetness with a glow about him that brings us such joy. 

I could eat him up just like a clown cone.

I wear readers now … I’m sure you’ll understand why.

I wear readers now … I’m sure you’ll understand why.

I turned 43 on Friday.  
And as much as I hate to admit it, I think “readers” may be part of my new normal.  When we met my parents, sister and niece in Tyler for dinner Friday night I wore them as a joke.  
But the part of the joke that is totally not funny is that, as it turned out, I could see the menu quite a bit better with them on.  I’d like to thank you in advance for keeping this information to yourself.  
Now clearly, I like to be wished a “Happy Birthday”.  Facebook throws a great party with birthday wishes but I did miss getting phone calls.  So I asked my family wish me a “happy birthday” real live and in person.

They were happy to oblige (that is, if you don’t count Addison who looked at me like I was a nut.)  🙂
My family drove all that way to celebrate my birthday on Friday and Jacob’s birthday on Saturday with us.  We both felt very celebrated.  We enjoyed dinner:
And we had ourselves some laughs …
(Sorry about the yellowish pictures.  Since it was my birthday I could not be held responsible for getting out the good camera from the car … as opposed to my iphone with no flash.)
We came back to the hotel where we opened gifts, had some Crave cupcakes and this guy went swimming …
He got to swim until midnight because then it’s like we exactly share the same birthday.  I love sharing midnight with Jacob.  It’s like a gift I get every year that only gets better and better.
Jacob got to spend the morning shopping with Grandy and Grammy for a birthday present while Bill and I went and picked up the girls from camp.  I love, love, love seeing and hearing what God has done during their time at camp.  Pine Cove is one of my most favorite places in the world and every every year I am moved at the life changing stories that come from camp.  It was good to see these girls … as crazy as ever.
But we had more birthday to celebrate and so we were off to Chick Fil A to meet Grammy and Grandy, Deah and Addison, for Jacob’s birthday lunch.
I know this sweet thang must have been wondering when it would be her turn to celebrate!
I can’t tell you how happy Jacob and I were that she, Deah, Grammy and Grandy made the trip!  You made our day(s) special and we felt very loved.
PS  Remember not to tell anyone I need to wear readers.  It’s our secret.
Laid Back and Relaxed … except for the dancing part …

Laid Back and Relaxed … except for the dancing part …

With only one child this week, we are enjoying a different change of pace.
A much different change of pace.
Last night we decided to go try out a new restaurant near our house called Straits.  We loved it!  It is Singaporean cuisine and we had shrimp pad thai and a steak that was so good. It’s served family style so we shared.  
We ate under a cabana (don’t worry, it had a ceiling fan) and enjoyed a laid back dinner.  The food was incredible and I loved the outdoor seating.  This was our table:
Jacob came along with us and would want you to know he got a new pair of tennis shoes before dinner.
We enjoyed our meal and Jacob enjoyed playing with my iphone while we ate … including taking our picture …
And he did a little relaxing too …
Until he started dancing (it appears he thought he was our dinner entertainment) …

Between you and me, I don’t think Zac Efron has anything to worry about. 
I just didn’t want you to think it was all extreme sports ….

I just didn’t want you to think it was all extreme sports ….

Lots of people ask me about family camp.  Mostly they say .. “is it really fun?”  And trust me, I was skeptical for a few years before we tried it but once we went … well, there was no turning back.  Family Camp has ministered to our family, created some treasured memories and it really and truly has been fun.  And rest assured … it’s not like “camping”.  There is a/c and people who cook and clean for you and take care of your kids … and really, what is there for a mom not to love about all that??!! 

So, we did do zip lines and rock climbing (you can read about it by clicking that link), and some crazy games of ping pong …

Lots of games in our cabin (it was raining … remember!)

and more games in the lodge ..

I even shot my first bow and arrow 

(while it was raining) …

Bill and I did a breakfast trail ride, the kids rode horses and one afternoon Savannah and I did a mother/daughter ride.  This is Jacob when his “cabin” rode:

There was time in the pool (I prefer the lagoon myself .. you know, because that is where the zip line is!) …

There were fun theme nights, like space night …

A Christmas in July celebration:

And after the snow machine blew bubble snowflakes at us, someone decided to dress up like Santa …

It was followed by a live nativity …

There was a talent show where we were told that Jacob was the first person in Crier Creek history to break a board while strutting his tae kwon do stuff…

and Savannah played the piano …

One night Bill and I had a picnic on the front porch of our cabin … which just so happens to look out over a pond.
We had a family devotional each morning where a counselor joined us …
and what would camp be without s’mores?!? 

There was Bible Study (with a speaker session in the mornings for the adults – we studied the life of David and the kids did lessons with their cabins) …

Here is the bottom line of what family camp is for me … a vacation from day to day life, where you get to play with your kids … really play.  And not worry about anything else except perhaps making it to dinner on time.  And, perhaps most importantly, you get to try and live out Deuteronomy 6:7:
  Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates. 
And listen, I totally think if Moses had a bike the scripture would have read … “and when you ride your bikes down the road”.  
So we rode our bikes and grew our faith and swam in pools and did zip lines and had a LOT of fun.

And we drove out of camp counting how many days were left until next year.

And that is when I almost got hit by the train …

And that is when I almost got hit by the train …

OH, it has been a few days!  It’s almost like we’ve been going in circles.

Saturday we went to see the movie “Karate Kid”.  I saw the original so many times in the theater that I lost count and I think the remake is just as good.  Loved it … especially since my tae kwon do kids were so excited about it.

We were waiting for Caroline to get back from her 8th grade “Student Life” conference in Orange Beach, AL.  She arrived home tanned and not rested.

We headed straight to the Olive Garden for a “relaxing” dinner before heading off Sunday morning to take the kids to Pine Cove camp.

And it was relaxing until a plate was accidentally dropped by a waiter.  The plate broke and ending up slicing Savannah’s leg open.  BIG gash … so then we were off to the emergency room.  After a few hours and some glue to hold her leg together, we were back home packing for camp.


Things have been a little “up and down” to say the least …

Please note … I uploaded these videos myself … FROM MY PHONE! … today after my “one on one” Mac tutorial class.  My trainer and I started laughing when the first thing he said was “push the home key on your phone” and I said … “I don’t know where that is”.  We laughed and laughed!  Who knew it could be so fun!

AND, please also note that at the end of this video, I almost get taken out (aka RUN OVER) by the Memorial City mall kids train.  Please notice the trampoline guy trying to warn me.  Hilarious.

So this week, while I have only one child at home, I am going to do my best to form complete thoughts (MUCH easier when four children aren’t talking at once!) and to avoid kid trains at the mall!!

Wish me luck!

Slip Sliding (and snoozing) the Summer Away …

Slip Sliding (and snoozing) the Summer Away …

I took Caroline to run a few errands on Sunday and when I came home I found this:

Savannah was slipping …

and Jacob was sliding …

the summer away.
And the one in charge?
Well, he was snoozin’.
I think they were all having a good time! 

Slip, Slidin’ and Snoozin’ makes for a super summer day!
Things have changed.

Things have changed.

For starters, Jacob has a “faux” hawk.

The Presbyterians gave it to him. 

At Vacation Bible School.

They are cool like that.  
The other cool thing is that they start their VBS at 9:30 … which works very well with my laid back summer schedule.  No alarms to set, no rushing … it’s beautiful!

So around here this week Jacob and Savannah are enjoying VBS, Babs and I are hanging out in the mornings together, our family discovered “one free game a day” bowling which has been a big hit and Caroline has gone to Alabama for an 8th grade beach retreat with our church.
But the big news is that I got an iphone!

It is life changing!  I currently have more “words with friends” games going than should be allowed. “Word nerd” you might call me.  It is seriously addicting.

AND … last, but not least, I took my first “one on one” training session at the Apple store today.  I guess that makes me an “Apple nerd” too.  I bought my computer two years ago (still in love with it!), and decided it was time to see how much I don’t know about how it works.

I’m hoping that changes too!  

Rain Rain Go Away …

Rain Rain Go Away …

or there is just no telling what color Savannah’s fingernail polish will be today.

It’s true.  

My cousin emailed me yesterday and said he liked Savannah’s pink/purple fingernail polish combination in this picture.

I told you it rained a lot at camp.  So much so that she ended up with this pink polka dot combo by the end of the week.  It was one of many “inside” activities.

And since we’ve been home?

Well it’s continued to rain.

And we’ve played Monopoly, read books,  and made cupcakes in ice cream cones.

As you can see, some kids like them plain, others like them with icing.

And keeping up with which child likes them which way on any given day of the week is just one of the many ways I spend my free time.

They did like them though … in fact Savannah had one of each kind … which is exactly why I can’t ever keep up with who likes what.  Just when I think I have them figured out they go and eat “one of each, please.”

Anyway … much more rain and we’ll have to change her fingernail polish again.
I’m running out of indoor activities around here!
OH yes I did …

OH yes I did …

Camp was such a blast.  

The rain bands from the hurricane last week hit camp:
And although it changed camp somewhat, we still got to do quite a bit.

Like this:

Zip lined right straight into the lagoon:

Oh yes I did.
Jacob went down it too.

Cowabunga dude.

He and I zip lined across land too.  Together this time.

Bless Jacob’s “sweet little jump off a five story building with his mama” little heart.

There are pictures of both Jacob and I coming down the zipline individually.  Below is Jacob’s picture.  I’ll just say that my picture was a bit unflattering and leave it at that.  🙂

If you think we were the only brave ones in our family, you’d be wrong.

The girls (and Jacob) did something called the breath taker.  I know they call it that because when a mama watches her babies free fall from WAY up … they can’t breathe.  The kids loved it. 

Fear. Less.

That’s what I call my kids.

Up and down they went … over and over.

Savannah climbs walls like no one I have ever seen.

Jacob believes he can fly.

Caroline did something called the Pamper Pole.  I don’t think I need to explain why I didn’t do it.  Here she is climbing the pole:
Ringing the bell (please look closely at her face … I wish I could enlarge it … FEAR … but then again she WAS jumping off a power pole they say you should wear Pampers on!):

She might be the bravest person I know.

You may have noticed that one person is missing from these photos.

Yes, Bill.

Not so brave.

Actually, “cautious” is a better description.

Or, as he said … “wanting to give everyone as many turns as they wanted”.  

He prefers “lower impact, less extreme” things like fishing.

In fact, rocket making was about as “Xtreme” sports as Bill got:

I guess there’s always next year!