Obstacle Course Fun!

One recent sunny day I constructed an obstacle course for the boys. I got the idea by reading a fellow Yahoo Grouper's blog last summer.

This was not a winning game (as John likes to ask) and each boy began the obstacle course by riding in one of their cars around the patio table:

Then they had to load a variety of different sized balls into their little plastic wheel barrow and push it down, around the tree, and back, dumping the balls out as they arrived back where they started:

Next, they jumped through the rungs on the ladder (and believe it or not there were no injuries!):

Sat in both chairs (and it was hilarious - they really sat in the chairs for awhile instead of racing to the next section!):

Tossed the birdie golf balls from one hula hoop to the next:

Through a football over the tree branch:

Went across the monkey bars:

Climbed up the stairs to the castle:

And went down any of the three slides they wanted to:

They had a blast and went through the course probably five or six times each - and they slept very well that night too!

04/10/11 - The Boys Dedication

Aren't they too cute!!

Let me say that it was quite surreal to be the one dedicating their children to the Lord today at church rather than the one praying for those who are dedicating their children!

What is child dedication?
· It is not salvation for the child, rather we are asking the Lord’s blessing on the child and the parents, dedicating both to the Lord.
· It is done in the context of the church family before the Lord; we stand as witnesses and committed supporters of these children and their parents.

Why do we do this?
· The Bible gives us examples (in both the Old Testament and the New Testament) and instruction to do so.
· Hannah brought her young son Samuel to be dedicated to the Lord.
· Joseph and Mary brought the infant Jesus to the temple.
· As an adult, Jesus modeled the blessing of young children.

Mark 10:13-16 (NLT)
13One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so He could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering Him. 14When Jesus saw what was happening, He was angry with His disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16Then He took the children in His arms and placed His hands on their heads and blessed them.

PASTOR TO THE CONGREGATION: Dear brothers and sisters, the family is a divine institution ordained by God from the beginning of time. Children are a heritage of the Lord committed by Him to their parents for care, protection, and training for His glory.

These parents now bring before the Lord the treasure that He has entrusted to them, their sons and daughters. In so doing they publicly affirm their responsibility for the nurture and training of this child in the ways of righteousness and godliness in the Lord.
(Thank You Lord for our friends and family, those able to attend and those who were not, who have prayed and continue to pray for our family!!)

PASTOR TO PARENTS: Do you promise before God and these witnesses that you will strive, with God’s help and guidance, to love and raise this little one in an environment to know and serve Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord? Will you also strive to train him / her to love the Lord with all his / her heart, soul, mind, and strength, making use of all the helps God has given you in the family and in the church? If so, please declare, “We do.” (Lord, thank You for these two precious boys You have entrusted to our care. Make me a woman after Your own heart. Help me each day to teach the boys to love You and love others.)

PASTOR TO THE CONGREGATION: Do you, fellow followers of Jesus Christ, commit before God and these parents to uphold with high honor the sacred institution of the family? Do you also promise, as their brothers and sisters in Christ, to strive to encourage, help and support these parents as they seek to follow God’s design for their marriage and for the rearing of their children? If so, please declare, “We do.”

ACT OF DEDICATION: In the name of the Lord Jesus we present these children to God, to His protection, and to His saving and sanctifying grace.

This was an amazing day and experience! We had a brunch celebration afterwards at our house. It was so fun to visit and celebrate with everyone!! And Mike pointed out later in the evening, everyone at the church for the dedication were also at the airport to welcome us home last year - what a full circle we have come!!

Reading Times

Hidden Treasures

I put out these little boxes as part of my Easter decorations. They sit on the kitchen table and one morning during breakfast, John noticed them and asked about them. He wondered if there was anything inside them and I told him no, they were just decorations. He still wanted to look inside and as he did, he told me - Mommy-a, you could hide something inside for us! These showed up the next day.

There have also been bookmarks, Little Debbie Easter cakes, and suckers. And I'll be kind of sad when I put them away with the Easter decorations!

They still love their box!

It was movie theatre day - we closed the curtains and the boys settled into their box:

Singing the ABCs while Playing Dress Up

The boys love to play dress up and LOVE to have video of themselves taken. You'll notice Ryan begin to run around the table in the middle of this song and just whiz from left to right in front of the camera - this is total Ryan fashion!

Playing Croquette

On a recent warmish day, I decided to get the croquette game out. It was interesting to say the least! Neither boy wanted help (shocker!) nor wanted to listen to our advice on how to hold the mallet or swing it (another shocker!): Ryan also had trouble waiting his turn:

But they LOVED it!! Ryan didn't quite make it to the end of the game but John asked for the next several days if we could get it out again. I said I think we need to have a croquette party this summer!!

Follow Up Note: We've played the game once since this first time. Ryan attention was held long enough to complete the whole game, John's swing is improving, we allow the boys two turns to our one as they are still learning, and I won the game again!

04/04/11 - Ryan's First Day of Preschool

Ryan recently qualified for our school district's pre-kindergarten program. If you know Ryan, you know he drops a lot of his beginning consonant sounds and is missing some sounds all together which makes him difficult at times to understand. We also discovered around Christmas time, he wasn't understanding as much of the English language as we had thought. So we signed him up for testing in our school district in March. He scored low (they actually used the word deficit which was a bit challenging for this Mommy heart!) in speech (we weren't surprised), problem solving (not too big of a surprise if you have trouble understanding the language), and motor, particularly balance issues (this was a surprise). So he was recommended for an immediate educational placement. And he started the week after Spring Break, Monday through Thursday, 2 and 1/2 hours each afternoon. Here we are waiting for the school bus: Check out that big scab on his chin - he jumped into a tree (maybe there is a bit more of a balance issue!):
Aren't they so cute! (John has been such a TREMENDOUS sport about Ryan getting to ride the school bus before him - yeah John!!):
Getting on the bus:
Heading toward school:
I am so thankful for our school district and Ryan being able to gain the skills he needs to thrive! I am so thankful that the process to get him in was relatively easy - some more paperwork and a physical. I am so thankful that there is no cost! But let me share that my first reaction to hearing the recommendation for immediate placement was, "Oh, no, I'm not supposed to have to give him up yet!" My heart and plans had Ryan at home with me until next fall and it took about a week to get over that! But God is so good - He loving came along side me. He is showing me that even though my plans weren't necessarily bad, His were better and it's okay when plans change. He will never leave me nor forsake me. And I had so many friends praying for my heart as I sent Ryan off to school on that first day. He was so excited, I had to ask him to turn around on the bus to get a picture! And he is SO PROUD of his school and his backpack (thank you Target for having back packs in the middle of the year!) and his "preschool guys." He loves preschool and is excited to hear he gets to go again each day.

My cup continues to run over.