March 21, 2009

Spiderman has moved in!

This is what Jacob wears regularly now, pretty much every day, actually! It's so too small it's obscene! He was so excited about his "Web Blaster" he made out of Kid K'nex, and he wanted me to put in on my blog to show Aunt Candace. I guess he thinks she's the one who reads it. :)

I think I can tell the little boy is just plain ole' growing up. He's tiring of his Thomas stuff and wanting to fight, shoot, and attack all day long. I know there will be days where he still wants to play with Thomas, but for the most part, superheroes are what it's all about for now. He has a birthday coming up and said, "All I want for my birthday is Spider man, Spider man, Spider man. Nothing else." Lol!

I have to say he reminds me sooooooooo much of my brother, Matt, some days! (This can bring mixed emotions when I remember my childhood with him!) Often times I'll glance at Jacob and see Matt looking back at me. I notice this most often when Jacob is across the yard in the sandbox, when he's hot and sweaty, and especially when he squints in the sun.

Then I see Matt's personality in Jacob when Jacob asks, "What's so fun about that?" I don't remember Matt using that exact phrase, but I do remember about Matt that all he ever wanted to do was play, play, play! Jacob just wants to have fun and not be interrupted to do anything else.

And this week in particular I've been reminded of Matt constantly as Jacob is correcting his lisp. Matt had a lisp and anyone in our family will remember him doing his exercises when he was this age (and not being very happy about it!!). So I've been encouraging Jacob off and on recently to be working on it, especially since Christmas. Well, this week he's just decided to focus on it really hard and is getting it right almost all the time now! He's just working so hard at it and I'm very proud of him! (Not to mention very thankful that we've been able to correct it on our own without speech therapy!)

And the last place I see Matt in Jacob... ummmm, when he antagonizes Mattie. He walks by and picks just to pick, hits her just to hit, gets her to chase him, then runs away and slams the door in her face just to make her scream at him! It's so irritating! (I will say, however, that Mattie has a mean streak about her and gets Jacob back in a totally different way, no bones about it!)

Just in case anyone wonders, now that Matt and I are grown we love each other dearly! Even though he can still make my blood boil in half a second flat when he grabs my ankles as I walk up the stairs...

I didn't really mean for this post to be about Matt, but I do have one really funny story... One day Jacob and I were in WalMart and Jacob said, "Look Mommy! It's Uncle Matt!" He was insistent even though I knew Uncle Matt was in New Jersey where he lived. I finally said, "Where's Uncle Matt?" Jacob pointed him out... the model on the Hanes underwear package!! Ha! I told Matt at least he thought he picked a good looking guy to think it was him.

Edited... I had to add one more way Jacob is reminding me of Matt as a little boy. He's whistling non-stop!! Anyone in our family will remember this, but when Matt learned to whistle he did it constantly, incessantly, without ceasing... you get the picture! And that's exactly what Jacob is doing now. I even hear him whistling when he gets up to go potty in the middle of the night! The funny part is that at first the only sound he could make was the one you'd imagine when you picture a guy looking at a good looking girl, sorry for that example. You probably know exactly what I'm talking about. Obviously that wasn't Jacob's thought, it was all he knew, but we did get some funny looks more than once at first!!

March 13, 2009

Before and After

So I've said on here a number of times that we've been repainting our house. "Staging" is the big thing these days when one is selling a property. The house had a lot of color, and since it's been on the market for awhile our realtors felt like it was time to neutralize in hopes that it might draw some interest. Well, it has been quite a project... about 3000 sq feet of the house has been repainted since mid-January. We used up about 25 gallons of paint if that gives you any indication of what we've done! We hired a painter to do the paneling because of the oil based primer and ended up having to fire him, because he was making a mess with it. So he did get the primer done, but Robert took some time off and my dad came down to finish it ourselves. There were 16 doors and windows, so it was no small task... the exact reason we hadn't done it yet!

Dining Room

Living Room

Master Bedroom

Kids' Bedroom

Now for the paneling... the major transformation!

Stairway in entry

Upstairs hall... this is one of the most distinctively different areas because the lighting isn't great in this spot.

Den (play room/computer/school room) I've wanted to paint those bookshelves white for a long time! Not to mention they needed some de-cluttering.

I was sad to take my time line down. I haven't put it back up, but if I do it will be in a different spot. Probably on the wall to the left of where I'm standing (to take this shot) because it won't be visually cluttering there. Actually, I'll probably do that this week as we're learning about the Civil War and I really need to get that on the time line so Jacob has some perspective.

This is the short little hallway with our downstairs bedrooms and bathroom. I walk through this several times a day and think I'm in someone else's house because it's so fresh and bright now!

All in all, we love the paneling painted. It's fresh, bright and updated. I miss some color, though I have learned that one can have boring walls and add color with lampshades, throws, curtains and pillows. And Robert confessed he liked the neutral rooms. (He's always told me to paint however I wanted because I was the one home all the time. :) ) So whenever we end up in a new house, I guess we'll go neutral. Hopefully not all together, though.

Staging complete!!! Now someone just pleeeeeeeaze come buy our house!

Leading worship and Loving each other

In October I wasn't even sure I was going to go to our annual women's retreat. I just didn't feel 100% good about it, or 50% actually! But I'm on our women's council (which I love) so I felt compelled to keep praying about it. As we were sitting in one meeting and discussing the need for someone to lead worship, without thinking at all about myself I said, "You know, it could be someone who plays guitar. It doesn't necessarily have to be a piano player."

Never should have said that! By the end of the meeting I felt like I was supposed to do it! Totally not expecting that one... So I told our leader I'd pray about it (and get my guitar out to see if I had a clue what to do after 6 or 8 years of not playing!). I came home that night and played for more than 2 hours... worked blisters on my fingers and had my own little church! It was great!

So I committed to do it nervously, but knowing that if God wanted me to do it, He'd make it work! I started praying right then about which songs He would have me do (as they needed to be in the right keys to play!) and from the very beginning had 7 or 8 that stayed in my mind. After that I'd look for and practice more, but in the end I stuck with the original ones. And in the long run they ended up being absolutely perfect for the weekend. I chose the song you hear playing (or click below if your reading without being at my site) for our theme song which turned out to be exactly what we needed... to just believe what we knew to be true. It's one of my all time favorites.

We Believe In God - Amy Grant

In the long run it turned out to be a great experience. I loved doing it! God gave me the confidence with just the right amount of anxiety needed to keep me humble, and after the first worship set my anxiety was gone enough that I could worship too. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.


Our speaker was Sharon Hoffman. She was so friendly! Quite honestly, one would have thought she'd known us all for years! She had great messages for us each session as well.

Sharon Hoffman (speaker), Janet (our Women's Director and a treasured friend of mine) and me

During one part of a session, she spoke on loving our husbands. She gave us a sheet that looked like this:
_____ is patient, _____ is kind. _____ does not envy, _____ does not boast, _____ is not proud. _____ is not rude, _____ is not self-seeking, _____ is not easily angered, _____ keeps no record of wrongs. _____ does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. _____ always protects, _____ always trusts, _____ always hopes, _____ always preserves.

Then she had us read it, filling in the blanks with our own name.
Melissa is patient, Melissa is kind. Melissa does not envy, ... you get the idea. Her general point at that moment was in loving our husbands, but I was hung up on how I was behaving toward Jacob. He and I had had a few hard days, especially the morning before I left. I was feeling badly about leaving even. But as I read my name in that paragraph I realized there were so many areas in which I was lacking... being patient, kind, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, always protects... and felt very convicted that I needed to be more of these in my interactions with him. At that moment I couldn't wait to get home and apologize to him. I asked God to let me get home safely and protect us both until I could get with him and do what I needed to do.

He gave me that chance and I had a chance to talk to Jacob Sunday afternoon. I read him the scripture and showed him specifically where I was failing him and asked for his forgiveness. Jacob didn't know what I was talking about, but said he'd forgive me. Since then God has given me a very difference spirit toward Jacob. I certainly haven't been without sin since then, but I have been much more patient and positive with him. Not just in my speech, but I feel more patient and positive toward him.

All in all it was a great weekend, but that conviction was my nugget of truth that I needed.

One idea Sharon mentioned regarding our speech and general demeanor was to behave as if we were leaving ribbons behind us. Well, that sounds pretty ridiculous in an isolated sentence, but in her talk it was great! If you were there it will make sense...

Jacob loves colorful things, so one thing I'd like to implement is a system that allows all of us to encourage others toward kindness, in our speech specifically. I'm going to get two vases and a bunch of black and colored buttons. When one uses an unkind voice or commits an unkind action, anyone in the house is allowed to put a black button in the jar. And when one uses a kind voice or does something kind, anyone is allowed to put a colorful button in the other jar. This will give Jacob an opportunity to keep me in check in a respectful way and give all of us something to do to work together toward kindness and sweet speech. And when we reach a certain point with our colorful buttons, we'll have a family reward of some sort.

I haven't gotten to this yet, but we have been talking a lot through 1 Cor 13 and some other verses about encouraging each other toward love and good deeds. It's been good time and has been a very good reminder for me.

This is my great friend, Jessica, with me. I met Jessica at last year's retreat and we were quick friends. I'm so thankful for her and the good things her friendship has brought to my life!

March 11, 2009

Mattie's Shoplifting Experience

Ha! Mattie and I were down at the outlets last night and I got to the counter at Old Navy to pay and found flip flops I didn't want. I put them up on the counter and said, "Oh, I don't need these. I'm sorry!" He said, "those aren't ours... they're from Carter's!" OOPS!

So I head to carter's and foolishly return them, thankfully Holly was working (though I don't know many shoplifting adults who would return their successfully shoplifted goods). I asked Mattie why she put them in the stroller and she said, "I think they're cute and I can't find my pink flip flops."

Then we go get in the car and I found a t-shirt (a "rock-n-roll one Mattie called it) in the basket of the stroller too! So I went back to Carter's again...

Guess it's time for some instruction in how we shop.

March 06, 2009

What my Kids Think - Edited at end

This was good for a chuckle this morning... I promise this will be the last one of these nonsense question and answer things. It's just that I don't have the leftover brainpower right now to write anything original!

Answers written exactly as Jacob (almost 7) answered:

1. What is something mommy always says to you?
I love you.

2. What makes mommy happy?
Making stuff for you.

3. What makes mommy sad?
When I disobey.

4. How does your mommy make you laugh?
I don't know. You don't usually make me laugh.

5. What was your mommy like as a child?
I don't know. You can ask Gramma Linda.

6. How old is your mommy?

7. How tall is your mommy?
I need a tape measure.

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
I would suggest do things with me.

9. What does your mommy do when you're not around?
I don't know because I'm not around!

10. If your mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
I don't know.

11. What is your mommy really good at?
Cooking and washing dishes. Oh, and walking on the treadmill with those weights!

12. What is your mommy not very good at?
Playing war games.

13. What does your mommy do for a job?
Well, you do chores around the house.

14.What is your mommy's favorite food?
My guess is pizza.

15.What makes you proud of your mommy?
I'm proud of you for getting a lot of stuff painted.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Now this is a toughie!

17. What do you and your mommy do together?

18. How are you and your mommy the same?
We both have blonde hair.

19. How are you and your mommy different?
You're a woman who's a grown-up and I'm a boy who's a kid.

20. How do you know your mommy loves you?
Because sometimes you do things for me and you hug me and kiss me.

21. Where is your mommy's favorite place to go?
Choir practice.

Ten minutes later Jacob thoughtlessly hit Mattie in the face twice while he was spinning around with his arms outstretched. He didn't stop after the first time (when I told him to).
He says angrily, "You should add to your questions 'What makes Mommy mad?' cause this obviously does!"