Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Today's My Lucky Day!

Leslie just happened to notice something a little different about Briggs this morning. One of his bottom teeth is loose, much to our surprise. This is a first for him and kind of caught us by surprise as well, we really hadn't thought of when this was supposed to start happening. So anyway at first Briggs was kind of startled too and you could tell he was sort of of looking to us for how he should respond. We explained the process to him and tried not to make too big a deal out of it, told him about the tooth fairy, and told him he'd be getting his big boy teeth soon it appeared. Afterwards he ran off to Max and told him "Today's my lucky day!".

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What are you Thankful for?

This past Sunday at our church, Briggs' class made a little craft in which they were instructed to put on it something that they were thankful for. Briggs decided he wanted to show Max that he was thankful for him. Les and I thought that was pretty sweet. They get along and fuss with each other as I'm guessing most brothers do, but it was encouraging to see Briggs express himself that way though. Since Max is still a bit too young to understand or appreciate it, I figured we better capture it in blog space and tell him about it when he's older.

This is probably a good time for a general update. Lets see, Briggs is finished with soccer and starts basketball after Thanksgiving, he seems to be looking forward to it in part because some of his school and soccer friends are also playing. He's all about not losing cards in school right now and prays for the kids that do lose them (discipline stuff) so that they will be better and not lose any. Speaking of praying, he had been praying for seriously like two months solid for his friend Taylor from church. Well really for the baby brother that Taylor was having, he hardly missed a night where he wouldn't pray that the baby would be okay and that it would be sweet and that they would think of a good name for it or something to that effect. Just by accident we ran into Taylor (Les and I had never met him or his parents) at church a couple of weeks ago and the mom had had the baby. We told her the story of Briggs praying for it and she got weepy eyed at how sweet that was. Briggs was really excited to see it and we of course encouraged him on how important prayer is. Pretty cool.

Max is also doing good, well, as good or better than I expect most two year olds would be doing. He gives Leslie a pretty hard time but is pretty well behaved when I'm around, much to her chagrin. He's become a pretty picky eater, it's hard to tell what he will or won't eat, we don't really worry about it though (at least I don't) and he seems to eat when he gets hungry enough. Most recently he's all about some corn on the cob, not off the cob mind you, specifically on the cob or else he's not eating it. And he knocked down a pancake pretty well tonight. His vocabulary is constantly growing and it has that cute two year old mix to it that only Leslie and I seem to be able to translate. He's still all about anything with a ball, throwing, hitting, etc. I bought him a tee-ball tee for him to hit off of, I'll bet he'd spend a solid hour outside just hitting a ball, picking it up and re-hitting it. I took Max to play 9 holes of golf about a month back, that was his first time on the "big" course, he had been out on a par 3 course before. Briggs was in school that day and so it was just Max and I. He teed off on almost every hole and putted almost every hole as well, he missed a nap and I thought he'd be pretty fussy but he did great and as long as we were chasing that little white ball around he was having a blast. They both enjoy golf and I just want to keep it fun, not anymore competitive than they care to be, I'm looking forward to playing many years with the both of them. They've both gotten to where they like to go sleep on my chest while sitting in my recliner on occasion. Last night was pretty tough trying to get both of them to sleep at the same time doing that, but it was fun and I guess I won't be able to do that much longer, at least not without buying a bigger recliner :-).

Robo Blaster NR4000

A few weeks ago Briggs was sent home his very first parent/child project. He was pretty excited about it and after reading the directions Leslie was pretty quick to inform me that this was going to be a Father/Son project... We were given papers with turkey parts (head, wings, etc) drawn on them for you to color and cut out. After that it was up to you to creatively hide the the turkey on or in whatever manner you wanted, a soccer ball, a pumpkin, etc. The directions basically said to be creative. So, I let Briggs pretty much dictate what he wanted and we ran with it.

It started with a pumpkin, then we decided to transform him into a robot pumpkin, next it was a robot pumpkin with an Iron Man chest blaster, then we added a blaster arm, then we added a blaster rocket pack, and finally we put it all on a set of Wall-E type tank tracks. The picture will have to suffice on how it all went together. Briggs proclaimed his name to the Robo Blaster NR4000.

I'm not the most creative or artistic guy in the world but in the eyes of a 5 year old I think I did okay. Briggs was really excited to work on it every chance we got and he was always wanting to add more and more stuff, just today he asked if we could build another robot. I went by a salvage yard to look for truck parts and he said it would be a great place to find robot parts as well :-). Leslie had to help him take it into school on the day it was due, she said one kid immediately exclaimed that he wished that that was his turkey project because it was so cool! Seeing the joy Briggs had working on the project and knowing how much he wants to do well in school was more than enough encouragement (not that I needed much) to make me look forward to many more projects to come. Bring on the baking soda and vinegar volcanoes, or maybe we can make it into a rabid-robo-tank-volcanoe!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Stop Forrest Stop!

This is a back post from an event that happened a couple of months ago and that Leslie wanted me to capture. It was on a night when she had to teach and that I had both boys to myself. I took them to our favorite park to let them burn some energy before heading home. It was a nice night and there are always lots of people there. On this particular night there was a middle school track team out practicing on the cross county track that loops around the park.

Briggs noticed all of the older kids running and asked if he could go run with them. I said sure without hesitation based on me having never seen him run more than 100 yards non-stop and assuming he would not go "too" far. The kids were lining up on a start line chalked up in the field and as I was playing with Max, I watched Briggs walk up to the older kids and strike up conversation in his nonchalant way that he has. They were smiling and talking and thought it was cute I think. The kids were running in groups of three or four and Briggs was going to go off with the last group.

This park has two parks, volleyball courts, and two ponds, one of pretty good size and the track runs all the way around it, I'm guessing it's a couple of miles at least for one loop. The distance will be a factor in a minute. So anyways, I watch with a little pride and curiosity as Briggs' group starts. You could tell immediately that this was a distance run because as Briggs burst out at full speed ahead, the other kids took off in a good jogging pace. As I'm watching Briggs in his full sprint I start thinking about how far he'll go until he stops and comes back. There were a few good markers in his path, trees, posts, etc., none of which he apparently cared to call a stopping point however. My curiosity goes up another notch into tingling gut mode as I start asking myself the uncomfortable question of whether or not he's going to stop, ever. When he crossed about the 250 yard mark my tingling gut notches up to "oh sheesh now I have to get him" mode. SO, I grab Max, put him on my shoulders, and start jogging after Briggs as he's got about 300 yards on me now and hasn't paused or looked back for a second.

For the first 40 yards Max was having a blast riding on Dad's shoulders like a horse. After that though I'm pretty sure he got nauseous from the commotion and wanted me to carry him in my arms. I can't think of another time in my life when I've tried to makeup 200 yards on someone I'm chasing while toting 25 pounds in my arms without busting into a full sprint, but it was probably one of the most challenging exercises I've had to do since college soccer. At this point Briggs has reached a tree line that the trail runs through and I'm thinking, okay surely he'll think better of going through the woods, he did pause for a brief few seconds but continued on after seeing the other kids trotting through as well. So, on my chase goes.

I decide to go around the trees and try to cut him off on the other side where the trail comes out. In the midst of swapping a freaked out Max from arm to arm I catch a whiff of something... I think to myself, surely, SURELY Max has not had a stinky diaper during the one time in my life I'm trying to catch up to my oldest son running at full gallop away from me. I thought wrong on a lot of occasions that day. So, with stinky child in arm I decide it can't get much worse and continue on, starting to run out of breath after about 3/4's of a mile. FINALLY Briggs comes out on the other side of the woods, I'm in ear shot and start hollering at him. He stops, looks up as if the voice of God is calling him, looks around like a lost bird, doesn't look backward though, and continues on. Me and stinky sprint on a little further and I holler some more, FINALLY AGAIN he stops, this time he looks back, and after I get his attention by wildly waving my arms he starts to head back toward us. I put stinky down and catch my breath.

I can't remember what he said exactly when I asked him what he was thinking, I think it was something along the lines of "I don't know, I was just running" and then he went on about how thirsty he was. I scolded him a little and stressed how unsafe it was to get that far away, and took a good bit of the blame myself for not pre-job briefing him before he started. So me, stinky, and thirsty made the trek back to the car with thirsty wanting me to carry him because he was so tired. I carried both of them for a little way and made them walk after that. We got to the car, I changed out a ginormous diaper and we finally headed home. Once we got home and got settled, all three of us didn't have any problem going to sleep. I'll give him credit, he did run farther and harder than I'd ever seen him. Thank God it ended well. Les got a great laugh out of it. Lesson learned, the hard way.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Pictures

They are growing so fast and we don't want to miss capturing a minute of it! I (Leslie) have been challenged to pray more for my children. I have been convicted that I do not pray for them nearly as much as I should, when it should be a high priority. I recently found this on another blog (like I have time to read about people I don't even know, but it's so fun , I don't do it alot and helps encourage me).

Anyway, it's a guideline for praying Scripture over your children seven times a day for seven days, but hopefully it will be something I continue to do. I did it with Max this morning by putting my hand on him and praying the prayer out loud while he was eating breakfast and he hugged me and smiled and said "amen." He totally knew I was praying for him. We all know how important it is to read to your child, or to give them good nutrition, or praise, but how much more should we do the things that make an eternal difference in the life of our children. So, here it is:

1. When they wake up: "Let the morning bring (child's name) word of your unfailing love, for he (or her) has put his trust in You. Show him the way he should go, for to you he lifts up his soul." Adapted from Psalm 143:8
2. When they are getting dressed: "Therefore as God's chosen child, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Lord, help him bear with others and forgive whatever grievances he has against others. Help him forgive as the Lord forgave him. And over all these virtues, help him put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Adapted from Colossians 3:12-14
3. While they are eating: "Teach (child's name) the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Teach him that he can do everything through Him who gives him strength." Adapted from Phillipians 4:12-13
4. When they go out of the house: "(Name), do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing, perfect will." Adapted from Romans 12:2
5. While they are taking a bath: "Lord, give (name) clean hands and a pure heart, and let him not lift his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Let him receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. Let him be part of a generation of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob." Adapted from Psalm 24:4-6
6. When they are going to bed: "The Lord your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Adapted from Zephaniah 3:17
7. While they are sleeping: "I pray that (name) will do everything without complaining or arguing, so that he may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which he shines like a star in the universe as he holds out the word of life- in order that he may boast on the day of Christ that he did not run or labor for nothing." Adapted from Phillipians 2:14-16

I want to pray these same things over myself, over my husband.

Although come to think of it, Rod might look at me pretty funny if I stand in front of the shower while he is taking a bath and pray for him to have clean hands.....and I'm pretty much snoring while he is getting dressed...........I never cook him breakfast....................hmmm...maybe I could find other verses to pray for him. And he could pray for me to be a better wife who cooks him breakfast once in a while!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Recognitions, Mysteries and Pin the face on the Jack-o-lantern

It's time for an update on Briggs' school. A few weeks ago he became the "Mystery Student of the Week." Each week a student is chosen from each class based on who has displayed the character trait of the week. Briggs was chosen for showing determination. He was so excited and his certificate with his picture is displayed in the hallway at school. He has also received several "recognitions" for good handwriting, independent reading, and good behavior. A couple of weeks ago I (mom) ate lunch with him at school. He had told everyone that I was coming and had saved a seat for me. I felt like a celebrity! He was so excited to eat with me, especially getting to have extra chicken nuggets off of my tray. I tried to savor every minute because I know the day will come when he will not want to be seen with me at school. His class had a Halloween party and I went to help with the activities. The kids had a great time making trick or treat bags, eating and playing pin the face on the jack-o-lantern.

Monday, November 3, 2008

You've Got to Earn a Spot on the Bench

Samantha, Morgan, Camryn, Patrick, Brent, "Coach", Briggs (he wasn't mad, I don't know what that face is about?) = Team Dragons

Well, another soccer season has come and gone. I really do enjoy it, somewhat, it's not my favorite, but it's always fun to see the kids enjoy themselves and learn new skills. For the most part I'm just thankful to God that I'm in a job where I have the time to coach or help out at his school and stuff.

Briggs was pretty young for this age group but a little too old for the one below, but he did great, mostly. He and the other youngest kid had a hard time maintaining focus for a whole game and so I let them ride the bench almost as much as they wanted, but encouraged them to get out and help their team. Leslie reminded me of my least favorite but most infamous moment, the one as it turns out we actually have pictures of.

One game in particular Briggs was being especially ummm nonchalant and I yanked him (not literally) from the game. When he got over there I was pretty hard on him about how he had to help his team and not just mess around out there. In my coach voice (which isn't very nice) I told him that he was going to sit on the bench until he was ready to get out there and get after it, and if he didn't get out there and try his best then he was going to sit on the ground and have to earn a spot on the bench. I'm sort of sad to say that that sent him over the edge and he went to the other end of the bench by himself and broke into his Hulk crying. Which is him really trying very hard not to cry and turning that emotion into anger. In the pictures you can see where I consoled him after that and we hugged it out. This took place around our third game of the season, out of about ten. I can honestly say that we didn't have many problems with him not trying during the rest of that game or the rest of the season for that matter. And thankfully I didn't have to give him or anyone else on the team my "you're going to have to earn a spot on the bench" speech.

It was a fun season, I think we'll be hitting the big three sports for Briggs here on out but I'm sure I'll be starting Max off in soccer and it's looking like tee ball as well already. That boy loves to hit him some balls. I bought a real rubber tee for him to hit off of at the house and he's all about it. So far he's into ball stuff as much or more than Briggs has ever been, and man what an arm. Thankfully Les has learned to be into all this boy stuff and we're all able to have a good time year around. Next up, basketball...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wolverine and Donald Duck

The boys had a great time trick or treating, and yes, Max did wear his costume (it was touch and go for a while). Although it was not quite the same as the craziness of Grove Park Halloweens, we had fun trick or treating with Uncle Scott and then going to eat BBQ with the boys in their costumes. Max got a lollipop at the first house and had to have it immediately. By the time we were finished, his lips were purple and his hands sticky. Good times!