Saturday, August 4, 2012

Super Saturday #6

AAAARRRGGGHHH Mateys! Today we are pirates! The buccaneers built their very own pirate ships out of legos. They also designed their own pirate flags and drew pictures of what they'd look like as pirates.

We played cannonball pop (with balloons), musical islands (variation of musical chairs), and two versions of Attack! In one version each kid has their own pirate ship (an area marked out on the floor) and the other two pirates try to throw cannonballs (wadded up paper) onto the ship. Version two finds us under attack by stuffed pirates and we must defeat them (knock them over) with the cannonballs!

Of course there was a treasure hunt! Captain Mommy found a treasure map and the buccaneers and Captain Daddy followed it. X marks the spot! This was their favorite and when they found the treasure...well, I didn't know pirates could squeal like that! The treasure had a few coins and some pirate fruit snacks.

We ended the day with a trip to Pirate Cove(our local library has a pirate section) where the buccaneers relaxed in their hideout after a long day! G'night Mateys!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Super Saturday #5

Well, after a month long hiatus, Super Saturday is back! We had taken a break to pack, move, and unpack! Now we are happily settled in to our new home, new church, new life, and are slowly easing back into a routine!

Today we went on a jungle safari! I hid small jungle animals throughout the apartment and the kids had to find them and photograph them. We also set up a jungle obstacle course: A blanket as quicksand they had to jump over. Another blanket thrown over some chairs became a bat cave. Green yarn taped in doorways were poisonous vines. Hungry creatures (stuffed animals) also needed to be avoided! At the end of the course they rescued a cute pink baby doll. We played jungle charades and Snakeball (think basketball with a toy snake and a plastic bowl). We also visited "The Wild", that's the name of a children's bookstore downtown! Each kid was able to pick out a new book. Capped off the day with some ice cream which I know has nothing to do with the jungle but it was yummy!

I am having difficulty processing the fact that summer break is almost over. Two more weeks and my boys will be heading to their new school! My mission these next two weeks is to savor every second.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Super Saturday #4

Put on your swimsuit and come to the beach party! We played lots of games at this party:
*Fish-Fish-Shark: A beached up version of duck-duck-goose.
*Beach Bingo
*Musical towels: A beached up version of musical chairs!
*And, of course, we did the Limbo! This was a big hit and we played it for a very long time! It was hilarious watching the different ways they tried to "go low!"

Activities included beach color-by-number pages, a beach word search, a beach word scramble and a design your own surfboard contest! I also pulled out some old school fun in the form of paper dolls. I was surprised how much they enjoyed dressing them up in different summer ensembles. The boys also made their own surfboards out of legos.

We ate some goldfish crackers, lots of fresh fruit, and popsicles! Of course no day at the beach is complete without some actual water so we ended the day at a local spray park. We splashed and played and shot each other with water guns until we were completely drenched! Unfortunately, we had to leave a little sooner than expected. Poor Caleb slipped, fell, and ripped off his entire toenail from his little toe! There were lots of tears and quite a bit of blood. He's fine now after a prescription of mommy cuddles, neosporin, and a CARS band-aid!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Super Saturday #3

This is a top-secret, confidential, for your eyes only blog! Welcome to Spy Training Camp. The day starts with breakfast bombs, then training begins.

1. Spy Preparation: Here the spies received their code names and created their spy name badges. Speedy Tiger (the big boy). Hidden Eagle (the one in the middle). Wild Lightning (baby girl). Every spy needs a good pair of binoculars so my spies designed their own.

2. Laser Training: Probably the most fun part of the day! Spy Mommy created a "laser" course (it was yarn) and my spies had to make it through without touching the lasers. After several tries both boys made it through successfully. Wild Lightning didn't really get it...but she had fun!

3. Bomb Training: The spies had to pass the bomb quickly before it exploded! If they were holding it when it exploded, they had to fall down and yell "I've been caught!" As we all know, a good spy never gets caught!

4. Observation Training: The spies and I took an observation walk. They had to keep their eyes open to find everything on their "spy eyes" list. I also had several "I Spy" books on hand and a spy word search, word scramble, and coloring sheets.

At the end of the day, each spy received a certificate of completion making them official spies! Oh, one more thing, this message will self-destruct in 5 seconds.

A Bit of Independence

Yesterday I took the kids to our public library. After picking our books and a few movies, it was time to play. Caleb and Ellie wanted to play in the "kid's room." Puzzles, legos, crayons, and no one shushing you. Ethan wanted to read. Mommy, very reluctantly, went with the two younger ones and left Ethan to read. A step towards independence. I could see him clearly but it felt like he was so far away. I watched him intently but he didn't look my way once.

It's so hard to let go.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Super Saturday #2

A Very Merry Unbirthday To You! All three children woke up to a balloon tied to their bed with this message on it. Since my children have never seen Alice In Wonderland, we started the day by watching it. The animated Disney version, not the creepy Johnny Depp one! Of course we baked our "unbirthday" cake and ate it! The boys and I played an indoor game of croquet while Eliana cheered us on. Other games included: "Find the Queen of Hearts!" and "I'm Late, I'm Late!" We also had several Alice activity sheets and we created our very own Mad Hatter Hats! The messages, "Eat Me" or "Drink Me" were found on various food and drink items. We had such a nonsense-filled day!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Super Saturday #1

Summer break is (almost!) upon us. This year I'm trying something new: Super Saturdays. Each Saturday will have a theme and our activities that day will revolve around that theme. My boys woke up to a note telling them to look under their pillows for today's theme which was pajama party day. Everyone wore pajamas for the entire day (except Eliana. She got a new Dora swimsuit yesterday, tried it on this morning and refused to take it off!) Breakfast was pancakes, lunch was pb&j toast sandwiches, fruit, and yogurt, and for supper we ate blueberry muffins and cereal. Polar Express played in the Schoonmaker bed-in theatre. Games were sprinkled in throughout the day; teddy bear toss, pillow pass, sleeping bag races, and "what am I dreaming?" charades. Quiet time was spent reading in a fort made of blankets. To end the day we sat in circle and took turns adding to a bedtime story I started. Here's a preview:
Me: Once upon a time there was a princess and two brave knights. They were lost in a forest of purple trees and they were hungry!
Caleb: They tried to get out of the forest but they just went deeper until the didn't even know if they were still alive!
Ethan: Then they saw a shadow on a big rock. The knights whipped out their shields and the scaredy princess hid behind the knights. It was a giant duck!
Ellie: He had no brains!
It was a comfy, cuddly, laid-back kind of day!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Overwhelmed Mommy

This morning I sat in a pew at our church and felt overwhelmed. We served on staff at this church many years ago and after a season away, we returned here for a time of healing and restoration. Eight years ago today, in this church, our Pastor closed the mother's day service by praying for couples who were struggling with infertility. For anyone who doesn't know our story, we hoped and dreamed and prayed for seven years to be parents. I was told by doctors that I would never conceive without medical help. After years of failed procedures, medicines, and a drained savings account, we had come to the end of ourselves. We walked forward that day and were prayed for. Three months later we were blessed to stand before that congregation of people who had prayed for us, cried with us, encouraged us and tell them that I was expecting a miracle. God had healed me. I was pregnant with no medical intervention, just Divine intervention! This morning I walked memory lane. I remembered the years of devastation and disappointment. I remembered the years of wanting to skip church on mother's day because I was so sad. I remembered the pages of promises, prophetic words, and scriptures God had given over those years. I remembered the moment the Dr.'s office called to confirm what I already suspected. The joy, the tears, the feel of my babies the first time they were placed into my arms. I looked into the faces of my three beautiful miracles and I was overwhelmed.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunger Games (An Unpopular View)

I have no doubt that what I am about to write here may cause some controversy among my friends. I have agonized and prayed about this post for 3 days. Which brings me to this moment.

Up until about a week ago, I knew nothing about The Hunger Games. I have not seen the movie or read the book. However, after seeing dozens and dozens of posts on Facebook about it I decided to do some research. What I found disturbed and shook me to the point where I felt I could not be silent. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which 24 children (ages 12-18) are chosen to compete in a televised event in which they battle to the death. This is horrifying. I'm sure there are other layers to the story but in everything I've read over the past 48 hours, the battle is the main thrust. I cannot imagine being entertained by such a vicious idea. More than that, I cannot imagine God, the creator of man, sitting in a movie theatre being entertained by a movie that is based on violence and the destruction of man.

Hunger Games director Gary Ross says, "Is it violent? Yes. Do we back off from what it is? No, we don't."

"Which is why it's still terribly hard to read the book or watch the movie at times. The career tributes are older kids from the richer districts who are trained from childhood to kill, and several of them decide to team up and hunt the remaining kids. We see them kill as a pack—delivering quick stabs with a knife and a spear—laughing as they call out encouragements to one another. We see a large teen snap another boy's neck. A dead teen is shown with an arrow in his chest, and a poisoned girl lies dead on the ground, her skin a light shade of blue. We see "news" footage of a boy swinging a blood-covered brick." (From

The novel ranked in fifth place on the American Library Association's list of most banned books for 2010, the reasons being it was "sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence."

I also read many reviews that were positive but even in those the violence was mentioned over and over. I have to be honest here, it breaks my heart that this is what our society is watching and enjoying! Have we truly become so calloused, so desensitized? I do not believe this is what God wants from His people! To sit and enjoy and pay to watch the very things His word says we are to stay away from! We are to be in this world, but not of this world. And what kind of world is it when assault and murder are considered acceptable entertainment?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Theology 652

Yesterday we were driving home when Ethan suddenly declared that he saw "God's glory." The sun's rays were shining down from behind a large fluffy cloud. Then he said that we were going to drive right into God's glory! Caleb said, "Mom. God is healing someone right now!" Love it. I want to be warmed by God's rays of glory!

On the way to school a few days ago Ethan told me, "Mom. I asked Amelia if she loves Jesus and she said yes. That's when I decided she would be my girlfriend. Because you told me the Bible says we can't marry people who don't love Jesus!" Caleb replied, "I better ask my girlfriend, Emma if she loves Jesus. If she says no, I'm just going to have to break up with her."

Eliana's nightly prayer: "Jesus, help me not to cry. Protect my dreams, my heart and my body. Bless Daddy, Mommy, Ellie, Caleb, & Ethan. In Jesus name, Amen." Sometimes she also prays for all her baby dolls, her bed, the pictures on her walls, her puzzles...

"Mom. Joey (name has been changed to protect the innocent) is my enemy but I am going to give him the best Valentine card I can find. That way God can see me loving my enemy."

I love the daily questions and interpretations of Christianity and the Bible. I love that they love Jesus. I pray for wisdom to teach them how to live each day to the fullest, surrendered to Jesus, showing love, and unyielding in their faith. And I write it all down so I'll never forget the journey!

(For those of you wondering about the 652; my kids are 6, 5, and 2!)