Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Here are a few photos of the kids playing in the snow yesterday.  We got 4-5 inches.  When we were out playing we also got some more sleet/ice pellets.  The kids were undeterred.  You can see Lily with the snow fort that we built together.

The bad news is that we're all kind of shut in now.  Lily had the flu yesterday afternoon and threw up close to 10 times.  She still doesn't feel real great today.  Now Amanda has an upset stomach.

Meanwhile, since we're about out of diapers we decided to start potty training Noah.  So far he has had 3 accidents in one day plus.  I'm really hoping that today is the day he finally puts poo-poo in the potty.  Cleaning up underpants with poop really is no fun.  The good news is that it is cold out and I have a "dirty bucket" out on the deck.

Friday, January 29, 2010

New Milestone

Amanda tells me that Lily has discovered a new form of communication. Lily said, "Thanks a lot, mommy." Amanda was a little confused, so she asked Lily what she was thanking her for. Lily explained, "I'm not really thanking you."

Our little Peanut has discovered sarcasm. On one hand, I'm very proud as this is kind of sophisticated for a 6 year-old girl. On the other, I dread what lies ahead.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Lily got some new sheets for her bed tonight.  They are kind of a jersey cotton and are best described as the color of pink lemonade.  She is very excited about this.

She is also excited about having a clock radio in her room.  She has Amanda's old alarm clock that used to be in Noah's room.  I put her little clock in Noah's room so that I would know what time it is when I'm in there, so that Lily would know the time when she sleeps in there, and so that Noah can eventually know when the first number is "7" (he's not that far off).  Tonight I found the local Christian radio station on it and she heard it for a few seconds.  She is very excited about the prospect of it waking her up tomorrow morning at 7:00.

We'll see how long the novelty lasts, but anything to get her up promptly on a school day is good.  It hasn't been so easy lately.

Start Me Up

Last night began the spring semester for me.  I have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as a class that is a directed study which meets when we decide it will meet.  Amanda said that the kids were good last night, which was an answer to prayer for me at least.

Noah keeps saying that he has these dreams.  He frequently dreams of going bowling.  The funny thing is that when Amanda got to church yesterday for her small group they were setting up a play bowling set.  Noah was very happy about that.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Worth a Try

Amanda had a fairly easy morning yesterday with Lily staying at Ruby's house.  However, we did try something that ended up causing some stress.  Noah woke up pretty dry, so we thought it would be a good idea to have him go to the potty.  All this caused was about 10 minutes of screaming.  We eventually had to give up.  I suggested it this morning and he didn't like the idea today either.  He's OK with going potty at bedtime, but not so much first thing in the morning.

Noah is like a little John Bunyan in that he keeps telling us about these dreams he has.  Lately he has been dreaming of going bowling.  We keep telling him that we will go bowling as soon as he puts poo-poo in the potty.  He likes the idea of going bowling, but isn't so sure about the potty part.

The good news is that he is still doing well with his new bed.  The bad news is that he is running out of diapers and we are going to have to make some decisions soon.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Today is one of those seemingly-random teacher workdays that Wake County schedules periodically.  That means Lily got a three-day weekend.  The Assistant Principal in charge of Friday's assembly made a little joke about how all the students' parents would be thrilled to have them around for an extra day.  Right.

The good news is that Lily got invited to sleep over at her friend Ruby's house.  Ruby is Lily's ballet teacher's daughter.  We really like that family and are thrilled to have Lily spend some time with Ruby.  The only problem is that they are both older sisters and tend to fight a bit.  However, it should go fairly well.

Meanwhile, Noah settled down just fine in his big-boy bed.  I've turned the covers down and took the pillow away so it is basically just like being in his crib.  He did more of his usual singing last night, but it didn't sound like he got up and walked around any.  I don't think he has quite made the connection that he can do that.  Plus, I always tell him to stay in his bed.  So far, so good.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Furniture Moving

We had some big changes yesterday.  I took Lily's single bed apart and moved the pieces up to the attic.  She got the queen bed that was in Noah's room along with the nightstand.  The dresser will follow once we get up the gumption for that.

Meanwhile, Noah got his bunk beds set up.  Amanda was extremely helpful in getting this put together as the top bunk was still assembled from when we bought it on craigslist.  Lily helped too.

Noah slept great in it for both naptime and all night last night.  He was very resistant at naptime, but not so much at bedtime.  We were a little worried that he would be running around his room all night, but that didn't happen.  In fact, he seemed to get quiet more quickly in his new bed than he does in his crib.

Lily loves playing up on the top bunk.  She even was able to almost read the sticker that says the top bunk is not for children under 6.  It's not a problem for Noah now because he is afraid to climb more than one or two rungs on the side.  I suspect the day is coming when we'll hear him crying up there because he got himself stuck.  I'm pretty confident that with the rails he will not fall off the side though.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Major Award

I took a couple of school function hours today to see Lily receive a major award at school.  She was the "Koalaty Mathematician."  It was tough for Amanda to get close enough for a good photo, but here you can see her standing up in front of the assembly with her certificate.  We knew that this was coming, but kept it a secret from her.  She looked genuinely surprised, but she also looked very hopeful when they started announcing the names.

Of course, as the dad who plays blackjack with his little mathematician, I couldn't be any more proud.  We plan to use her Mimi's Cafe gift certificate tonight to celebrate.  I would be shocked if Lily did not get pancakes.

The Music Man

Noah is turning into quite the musicial guy. He seems to have an affinity for the drums and can actually beat out a pretty good rhythm. When we sing "Thank You Jesus" (tune of Frere Jacques) before meals sometimes he hits the table with his fork to the beat. He has better rhythm than Lily did at this age.

He loves to sing as well. Last night as he was supposed to be sleeping we heard him singing in his crib. His current favorite is "I've Been Working on the Railroad," with "Clementine" a close second. His favorite part of "Railroad" is the fee-fi-fiddie-eye-oh part. He has also been known to spontaneously break into a rendition of "Happy Birthday" or the alphabet.

Now that Amanda is getting the basics of the bass guitar down our little Partridge Family band is starting to come together. We can get Noah on the drums, Amanda on the bass, and I will play the guitar. We just need to get Lily playing the piano. Or she can just dance, which is what she wants to do anyway.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


We finally used my birthday present yesterday. Amanda had to go to a meeting at church, so I had the kids. It was a little interesting getting the wood chopped and things set up, but Noah behaved well enough and Lily was a good help. I got the fire set up and away we went.

The wood I have is not the best, but once it dried out a bit we had a nice little fire. It did not hold the kids' attention for very long, but they did enjoy it while they were outside. I sat on the steps and played the harmonica. Noah can't get enough "Clementine."

The best part was when I first lit the paper and still had the porch light on. Noah saw the smoke go up and he said, "It's a choo-choo train! It's like Thomas!" They didn't think it was quite as much fun when the paper burned down and we just had a small wood fire going. I think it will be better next time.

The good news is that Noah is still talking about it today. I am glad to have someone to whom I can pass the torch someday.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sunny Day

We've just enjoyed two days of very nice weather.  Yesterday was in the low 60s and today was near 60.  Amanda took Noah to the park today.  I asked him about it when I was changing him this evening and he told me that he had fun and that he went down the slide.  There may have been a fall on his knees at some point, but I'll have to ask Amanda about that just because it was hard to understand him.  It clearly was not a big deal, but he thought it was worth mentioning.

Sadly, this little warm burst is drawing to a close with a cold and rainy front moving in tonight.  Nevertheless, it was fun while it lasted.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hope for Haiti

Our church is very actively involved in ministry to Haiti.  We've built a school and a hospital.  I don't know if they're still standing, but the point is that we were involved in Haiti long before the earthquake and we will be long afterwards too.

The Hope for Haiti Foundation had a fundraiser at a local restaurant yesterday.  Amanda was pretty wiped out, so I took the kids.  We had a nice time listening to the music.  It was pretty much the same show that Lily and I saw a few months ago, but that was just fine with me.  It was nice to be able to hear some excellent live music in a smoke-free environment surrounded by people we know.

Unfortunately, Noah started getting pretty antsy and we had to go.  I was going to take them up to the mall for a treat to kill a little more time before bed, but I had an idea when I hit Peace street.  I hung a right and we went to the Krispy Kreme for some evening doughnuts.  We still went up to the mall, but everything was closed down for the night.  It was still good to let Noah do some running.  He actually went to sleep pretty quickly last night.

On a serious note, if you've been looking for a good organization to support in the Haitian relief efforts, I think ours qualifies.  We have a Haitian on staff at our church and our pastor told us about a conversation they had this week after the earthquake.  He asked Jean why he thought Haiti was still such a mess despite the fact that Haiti receives more international aid than any other country.  Jean's response was that it was because people just give money and the Haitians don't learn how to support themselves.  Our goal is to break that cycles as much as we can.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I apologize for the blog being quiet all week.  I've been in class every night and updating the blog just has not happened.

Once a month my seminary puts on an event called the "Shepherds Wives Fellowship" (for Shepherds Theological Seminary).  Amanda has been going this year and has enjoyed them.  The problem is that this time she needed childcare.  Noah hung out in some flavor of preschool nursery, but all that was available for Lily was choir practice, which she joined.

Amanda asked her afterwards how it was.  She said it was "kind of boring."  The problem was that "they don't do songs like they do at our church.  You can't dance to these songs."

Apparently Lily is not a hymn kind of girl.  Nevertheless, she did survive.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Little Pill

Last night was the first for my week-long class.  I will be in class from 6-10 every night, though fortunately we will get out before 9:30 most nights as our professor turns into a pumpkin in the late evening.  I can relate to that.

Fortunately, I was able to work from home yesterday and have dinner with the family.  Things went pretty well until I left at 5:30.  Then Amanda tells me that the kids did not behave so well.  Noah is in his full terrible two glory.  Lily was probably still tired from Saturday night.

The good news is that Amanda will have today broken up a bit with her small group.  Hopefully this evening will be a better one.  I'm trying to make a point of seeing the kids in the morning so that I have some contact.  They tend to get a little unruly otherwise.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Making Music

As I write this I am working from home in the basement.  Noah is getting into things here in the basement and Amanda is upstairs practicing her bass guitar.  We actually played together last night and it was pretty good.  She is on the road to being Hope's first female bassist now.  It won't be long before she is imitating the chops from some of the masters.

We're on the road to having our own little family band.  We need to get Lily on the keyboard and Noah seems like a natural on the drums.  He can keep a beat when we sing before meals.  Lily really wants a violin and I'm planning on using that as a motivator for her to learn piano.  If she gets proficient at the piano she can get a violin.  We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Winter Jam

Amanda and I took Lily to Winter Jam last night, courtesy of Uncle Bill and Aunt Tiff watching Noah for us.  We had an easy drive down to Fayetteville and enjoyed "lupper" at Cracker Barrel.  It was different having just Lily with us.  She is very good at a restaurant.  It's easy to lose sight of that sometimes when dealing with a squirmy 2 year-old.

The concert was excellent.  Unfortunately, Lily started to peter out about halfway through.  The Newsboys had a couple of dancers and Lily wasn't even interested in watching them.  You know that something is wrong when Lily doesn't want to watch girls dance (incidentally, they did a good job of making the dancing tasteful).  She was impressed by the stagecraft put on by the Newsboys, as were Amanda and I.  At least one reader of this blog is likely to see the show, so I won't ruin the surprise other than to say that you should get your expectations high.

The highlight of the show was Third Day, but unfortunately Lily decided that she had enough by then.  She claimed that she didn't fall asleep during the show, but Amanda's lap and my shoulder know better.  Trying to get her coat on after the show was a challenge.  She stayed awake until we got out of the parking lot, but fell asleep fairly quickly once we got on the highway.  We all ended up going to bed after midnight.  I'm tired now, but it was well worth it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wet Day

It's hard to say exactly what happened overnight.  There was a prediction of up to 1 inch of snow.  Little accumulation was expected.  When we went to bed the schools had not yet announced a delay, but as of this morning they are on a 2 hour delay.

I took a walk this morning. It's actually warmer than it has been as the temperature is in the mid 30s.  Everything is wet, but there is nothing frozen on the ground.  I guess the good news is that Lily's body thinks that it's a school day and she is sleeping in accordingly.  That's good because tomorrow is going to be a very big day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Beach Pics

Here are a couple of photos from the recent trip to Florida.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Day Back

When I asked Lily how her first day back was she said that it was pretty good.  I asked her what made it good and she said it was because almost everyone stayed on green all day.  Every student has a card that starts off green.  If they misbehave the colors work their way to red.  There are consequences with each turn as well.  Lily has been on green every day so far, though she has had a couple of close calls.

I wonder if this has a correlation?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back at It

Yesterday ended up being what has become one of our fairly regular Sundays. One exception is that the kids slept in. Noah didn’t get up until after 8:00 and Lily slept in until 9:00. In fact, I had to wake her. I made pancakes for breakfast as I usually do on Sundays. When I first tried to get Lily up I just said her name. She picked her head up and then snuggled tighter in the covers in a clear move of trying to sleep longer. Then I told her that there were chocolate chip pancakes downstairs and she perked right up. Funny how that works.

I took Noah grocery shopping, came home, had lunch, and then played LEGO Indiana Jones all afternoon with Lily. Meanwhile, Amanda convalesced a bit after the trip. Noah has decided that he doesn’t like cold wind, but he enjoys any opportunity to wear his heavy red coat and mittens.

Nothing too remarkable about the day, but that was fine with me. It was good to have everyone back.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Home Safe

Amanda and the kids got home at around 8:15 last night.  That means that they were on the road for approximately 12 hours.  It was a very long day, but the kids reportedly behaved well.  The biggest problem was Lily spilling Chex Mix all over the place.  She's going to bundle up and vacuum that today.

Why does she need to bundle up?  They are predicting that we will not get above freezing for several days, possibly not until Friday.  I realize that many of you reading this will just shrug your shoulders, but that's a big deal in these parts.  The good news is that Noah will get to wear the red coat he loves so much as well as the mittens.  He's already asked that we have a fire too.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

On the Road

I got a call from Amanda at 11:15.  The good news is that they were in Georgia, but the bad news was that I-95 was like a parking lot.  I couldn't check it when I spoke to her, but I found on Google Maps that there is indeed very thick traffic for a stretch of I-95 in Georgia, but the rest should be smooth-sailing.  They may not make it home for dinner, but they should be in tonight.  I'm really looking forward to seeing them.

On a positive note, Christmas is taken down here at the Chamberlain house.  It feels like "real" Christmas to me because it is pretty chilly out there.  We're not supposed to get above freezing for several days and it is also a bit breezy.  A little bit of this from time to time makes us appreciate when it is in the 40s for most of the winter.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Coming Home

I got to talk to Amanda today.  They are visiting at the Haight-Pierce compound in Homosassa.  It sounds like they are doing well.  Noah is addicted to banging on the drums.  Apparently he misses me and keeps asking when they are going home.  It's nice to be missed.

I've enjoyed the solitude here and have got a lot done, but I'm definitely ready for them to come back.  I plan to take the kids on errands Sunday so that Amanda can have a little quiet time.  I don't thinks she's had much of that this week.

I got to babysit Brenna last night while Bill and Tiffany went out on a date.  She was as good as gold for me, which was nice.  It was a good reminder of how much I like being a daddy.  Being an uncle is fun too, but it's not quite the same. I guess Solomon knew what he was talking about when he wrote the passage that the Byrds made famous.   There is a time for breaks and a time to be the one to clean up after dinner.