This is a picure of Griff from one year ago this week. Can't believe how much he has changed!

I'm feeling change creep up on me in a lot of ways...and I like it. Really. Well, for starters, I've changed some things up on my blog and that is always fun. I've added just a few things on the sidebar in the last couple of days. But these are just minor things.

Fall is coming! Woo hoo! Can you feel it? I can't quite smell it in the air yet, but I sure can feel it. We are no longer experiencing hot, hot days. This is nice, but I'm wishing that we could just get to the eighties. I know, I'm so demanding! But our big change comes tomorrow morning. Seven a.m., to be exact.

My cousins children, "T" & "B" will join us tomorrow! They will be in my care during work hours, Monday through Friday. I can't tell you how excited I am. We've been looking forward to this all summer. We had a trial day last Monday and it went fantastic...all four of the kids were great. Heck, I even took them out to the park and Wal-Mart!! I don't even like to bring one child to that darn store but there is something about the power of numbers that sure helps the situation...and maybe the fact that B is five and a girl:)

I expect to have days when I'll want to throw an adult tantrum and pull my hair out. I know they'll come. But I have those days now...when I want to run away and stop being mom. I know I'm not alone in this:) But I view this opportunity as a true gift...I am so sure that this is the thing for us. Last Monday I felt such confirmation while the kids were over. It was busy and loud, at times, but I felt such a peace and so in my element. I can't wait for tomorrow!

And this brings me to the next change (of plans)...no former preschool for Parker this fall. I had gone back and forth all summer and was leaning toward yes until the day I had all of the kids. Things felt so right at home and Parker was definitely experiencing some of the social aspects of school. I decided last week that Parker didn't need to go this year because many of the aspects of preschool that I was excited about are now going to be met at home. Also, the thought of packing of all of the kids for drop-off and pick-up and coordinating that with B's kindergarten schedule was daunting.

So, all that to say, we'll be doing a little bit of school at home...since we'll basically have a preschool here with a 1, 2, 3, and 5 year old! Academically speaking, let's just say I was one of those annoying, overly ambitious, first time moms and I taught Parker just about everything before he was one and a half. Okay, not everything, but enough that I now think he is smarter than his teacher. I've learned my lesson...I haven't even started to teach Griffin anything like that...he's just going to be a kid for a while:)

Oh, and another thing...Parker will start SoccerTots later in the fall...can't wait!


sometimes this is true...

Tara brought this magnet home to me from Kansas! Those KS women know how to have a sense of humor. Funny thing is, I really do enjoy housework sometimes:)


no more rules!

I used to think I was such a rules person. I thought I liked them. I really did. You know, because rules are safe. And as a mom, I thought I liked them even more. Until fairly recently. I've gone through a transformation of sorts as far as my parenting style and expectations for myself. While it may not seem obvious to onlookers, I know by the peace I have in my heart and mind. Let me explain.....

I used to make rules that I told myself were really goals or guidelines to help me be a more successful at my job. For example:

I will read 20 books to Parker everyday. (20 books? Geesh...)
We will do flashcards for numbers and letters everyday
And an art project everyday
The kids will eat from the major food groups at each meal
We will memorize a bible verse each week
I will get up every morning at 5:30 to do my devotional
I will work out 5x's a week
And I even had a schedule in the kitchen for our day. I cringe when I write that.

Seriously, the list could go on and on and on....blah! It is really embarrassing to me now. While some of those things aren't unreasonable, I was viewing my virtual list as a checklist! I was bound by these "guidelines" and realized that I failed every single day. Failure, failure, failure. I told myself that all of the time.

But here is the thing...I really am not a list person. I'm no type A whatsoever. My personality is very laid back, go with the flow. I follow my instincts, do what I feel, that sort of thing. And when I do...things work. My head works:) I like some routine, but I am so not a schedule person. I was just not working with my idea of what I was supposed to be doing. Does that even make a bit of sense? And most of all, I hated being a failure and being bound by my made-up rules.

Then something happened. I really wish I remembered what I was reading at the time or who influenced me or whatever, but I don't. I really wish I had blogged about things I was learning. A lot of what I've learned about this past year has dealt with freedom...at least I remember that much. But maybe it was more of a slow change and I'm just now realizing what happened.

I don't have a list anymore. None of that junk above is allowed in my head...I have a "no rules" policy. Sometimes my old rules creep up on my and I just brush them away now. I just do the best I can...I allow myself to mother in my unique way....and move on to the next day. I feel like myself now. I'm still learning (and always will be) but I feel more freedom to be the me God has designed me to be. And it is so good.


Kristen & John



So yeah, I got a little bit bored with the old look and decided to change it up a bit. I'm still working on it but I just felt like it needed a little jump start:) What do you think?

around here...

Just some stuff to say in no particular order...

*We had a girls night on Wednesday with my mom, Kels, and Andi. Lovely dinner, good conversation, and then...
*Bought some pink pants at the GAP. And I love them. Kels talked me out of the green ones. She said they were a little bright for me. Hmmm...
*Oh, and then we went to see Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. It was really good and fun. However...
*After the movie, as we were walking out....I'm not sure what happened but I totally fell over! I think UP the stairs. There were other loopy things I did that night but I can't remember.
*Tara (my super-great friend) just returned home from a month in Kansas. I'm sure she was busy busy and happy to be with her family, but I sure have missed her!
*My boys take baths as a mid-day activity when we're not out and about. Does anyone else do that? I mean, it isn't to get the clean again, just to have some water fun. They love it!
*No one ever told me how practically 90% of parenting is about food. Food, food, food....all the time.
*Speaking of, I bought the cookbook Deceptively Delicious and I'm really enjoying it. Adding pureed veggies to foods sure shouldn't substitute offering them to kiddos, but it is great insurance. Heck, I don't even eat enough vegetables so it is good for me too.
*I really like dinosaurs. I don't know tons about them, but I am so excited that my boys love them so that I can learn more. I love being a mama of boys. I like experiencing all of these new things. I was so girly as a little one, you wouldn't even believe it!
*But it has been a long time since I was a girl in kindergarten...can anyone give me some good ideas re: what little girls like to do. I start watching my cousin's children very soon. Eeek!
*Oh, how I love the Olympics. It is a good thing they're only for two weeks because I am watching so much TV. I love so many of the events. I can get into almost anything...except ping pong.
*We had such a great visit with our friends last weekend. They came over here and we took them to the lake, spent some time at Greenbluff and the park and just enjoyed their company. Oh, and the kids got along so great. We actually got to hang out as adults this time and that was just the best! And I'll put up some pictures soon. I didn't really get any good ones but Aleah got some amazing shots!
*One of our very good family friends is getting married this weekend! And Parker is the ring bearer!! Ooohh, it is going to be a fun weekend!
*This wedding has brought a sister of the bride back into town. This sister was my very best friend while we were growing up and (because of a long and confusing story) I hadn't seen her in over six years! A small group of us got together on Monday. It was so fun and strange how we clicked back into our familiar roles. I really wish I had a picture!
*But you can be sure I'll post plenty of pictures from the wedding and my little man in his tux...oh my!


Why Watch?

I am going batty. Okay, so if I had a job that paid and gave sick days and all that fun stuff, I would seriously be taking a mental health day. They are driving me insane. "They"=mylovelytwoboys :) I know it probably happened gradually, but it seems as though Parker and Griffin each learned a new word today and are using it proficiently.

Griffin's new word is "watch". Actually, it comes out "OTCH!!!", but I get the idea. Watch...as in:

"Watch me throw food!"
"Watch me eat this dirt!"
"Watch me run and trip!"
"Watch me bounce my head on the floor!"

And I have to admit, Parker's new favorite new word to use is not as cute. Really, not as cute. It was the first time, but after a few thousand repetitions, it loses the cuteness. One word...why?

Me: Parker, it is time to go home now.
P: Why?
Me: Because it is time to go home.
P: Why is it home?
Me: Because it is the house Daddy and I chose.
P: Why did you choose it.
Me: Because it is green:)
P: Why is it green?
Me: Because green is pretty...
P: What?
Me: You heard me
P: Why
Me: What?!!!
P: Why?

He also really likes what, who, where, when and uses them in the wrong way sometimes. Ugh.


another adventure

Remember this trip? And this trip in '06? Well, it is time for our annual "camping" trip with our friends from across the mountains. And this time, we're doing something a little bit different but we'll still be together--which is the idea:) We're looking forward to maybe spending more time talking and less time chasing after kiddos. Hmmm...I'm not sure if that is possible, but I'm sure we'll have fun! Be back with pictures soon! I guess I better get that camera battery charged...

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