Monday, February 28, 2011

Two Photos

I hope to write more tomorrow if I can get myself out of bed. In the meantime, here are two cute photos.

The first is of Lily after she read all 50 of her Battle of the Books books.

This is Noah after falling asleep while playing Wii. You know he's tired when he falls asleep playing Wii.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Getting Bugged

Lily was up at 6:30 this morning because she saw a bug in her room. She happened to wake up and since she had turned on her night light she was able to see a bug on the wall. Amanda was up to do her exercise video and told Lily to go to our room to sleep. The weather has been warming up and we have spotted some tree roaches in the house already. I have not had a chance to spray yet. These things happen.

After I put Lily to bed I was sitting in the basement doing some homework when I heard the telltale sound of Lily's feet running through the main floor. I knew what was coming. She saw the bug again. I came up with her and grabbed a tissue ready to do battle with a big tree roach. After all, those things are quick and tough to kill without making a big splat.

Lily told me that the bug was still on the wall and it was behind a small wicker bookshelf she has. I was starting to plot my strategy because the last thing I wanted was for the tree roach to end up in the closet, under the bed, or some other difficult to reach place.

It turns out all that all the fuss was for a 1/2 inch long silverfish.  She hates bugs of all sorts. I just wish that her reaction was proportional to the size of the bug. Then again, when she does see a roach in her room it will likely sound like something out of a slasher movie.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Seen and Heard

We've had a few funny moments lately that I thought would combine for a good blog post. First, one evening Amanda couldn't quite make out what Noah was singing in his room. Turns out it was this song.

Yesterday Amanda had her contemporary Christian station going on Pandora. Nevertheless, Noah was doing some disco moves to whatever song was playing. Apparently the disco channel Amanda plays is having some effect on him.

When I got home from work today Amanda was putting the finishing touches on dinner and a pie she baked for me. Noah and Lily were "playing" in the living room, which really meant that they were play fighting. Lily pushed Noah down and he started to cry. This was not really such a bad thing since they were play fighting. When we asked Lily to come into the kitchen and tell us what happened she said, "Noah got pushed down." I can't think of a better use of the passive voice than that.

Overall, things are pretty good. We're enjoying my reading week from seminary. I'm taking Friday off this week so I can get a few things done.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Soccer Game

One of Noah's friends from preschool has a brother Lily's age who recently had an appendectomy. We volunteered to watch Noah's friend Scott to help them out for a few hours. He came over around 10:00 and we took advantage of the beautiful day.

First, I took Lily to the grocery to get some picnic supplies. She really didn't want to go and I ended up having to bribe her with Cheetos. That's a little bit sad for me since she used to be my faithful companion. That mantle has fallen to Noah and I don't know how long it will last, but I'm going to keep at it.

Once we had our supplies we went over to North Cary Park for our picnic. Everyone enjoyed the picnic and fortunately Noah forgot that I told him we could bring juice boxes. Then the kids played in the playground for a while. After they got bored with that we moved up to the soccer fields. They chased the ball around for a while and then moved back to the playground.

I don't know about how Scott was, but Noah was ready to sleep at 7:00 last night. Lily was too for that matter. More soccer, we say!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

All You Need

Amanda volunteered in the 3 year-old room for the second service tonight, which meant that we had to take two cars. Lily rode with her in the Civic while I drove Noah in the van. The girls listened to the Beatles' "All You Need is Love," and Lily had an insightful comment. She noted that love is really important, but if you don't have Jesus then you don't have true love.

My seven year-old is thinking about Beatles' songs through a theological lens. That warms my heart to no end.

Get What You Deserve

Noah confused Amanda recently with a question about his birthday. He said that he wants to have "deservings" at his party. She had no idea what he was talking about. She thought maybe he meant desserts, but that was not what he meant. It turns out that he was hoping for the party favors that you blow and they go from being all curled up to extended. Ideally, they would be noisemakers.

We have no idea where he got the term "deservings" from, but it was kind of cute. Noah doesn't always express himself very well. It's getting better though!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Smashing Time

Noah had his friend Reid over this morning as part of the Wednesday morning playdate exchange Amanda has with a friend. Today was a little different than usual. Lately they have been playing a game where they climb into Noah's top bunk and then scream until Amanda gets them down. They're sort of like cats that way. Today they changed the game a bit. This time they climbed up there and then threw Noah's bobblehead dolls onto the floor. It looks like Super Grady is going to need knee surgery kind of like real life. Pronk isn't looking so good either, but he may be OK after a stint on the DL and only playing 4 or 5 games/week.

They then came downstairs and proceeded to dismantle Noah's new bowling set. Hopefully I can repair it. I have not done any serious triage because once I start I won't want to stop. It's not conducive to unwinding after class.

As the coup de grace, they used buckets to get all the water out of the sandbox. This would normally be a good thing, but they ended up soaked. It was not Amanda's best babysitting experience.

These are the kinds of things that 3 1/2 year-old boys do. Fortunately, they didn't go after anything really valuable. I might not find this all quite as amusing if they smashed a guitar, for example. I'm just glad that Noah has yet to get into fire. Those days are coming.

Read to Me

We had a dream come true Sunday morning. When Noah goes into his class at church they give the parents a sheet that explains the lesson and where you can find it in the Bible. It even gives page numbers for The Beginner's Bible, which is what Lily got as a gift when she graduated from preschool. Lily noticed this Sunday morning and decided to look up Noah's passage. However, they didn't get through it before breakfast was ready.

It thrilled me to hear them excitedly go back upstairs to read after breakfast. In fact, Noah was yelling, "read the Bible to me, Lily!" That's music to our ears.

Amanda said that last night Noah was saying some of the words on the page she read. Apparently he is starting to really learn his Big Picture Story Bible. This is good because he doesn't seem to be listening when we read it. There is a page that explains how Jesus was foreshadowed throughout the Old Testament. When I ask him to point out Jesus he typically just points to the outlines of each illustration and says, "circle, circle, circle..." He seems to be getting it though.

This is one of those times where it feels like our intentionality with reading the Bible to the kids is paying off. Connecting the dots will be the Holy Spirit's work, but at least we're pointing them in the right direction.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Walk in the Park

We enjoyed some absolutely beautiful weather yesterday, so we decided to take a little hike as a family. We went down to Harris Lake and hiked on the peninsula trail. Of course, I couldn't stop singing this song once I saw the cooling tower at the power plant. I did my best to keep it to myself as much as possible. That or Amanda was just wisely ignoring me.

The kids also really enjoyed the playground there, though Lily started to shut down when the equipment got overrun with boys. She tends to do that when things get a little loud and crazy. That's just as well though. I'm not sure that I want Lily to be really excited about playing around crazy boys.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Coronation Ceremony

This was a big week for Lily as she has completed all 50 books for the Battle of the Books. This means that she read the book, filled out a very brief report, and then took a comprehension test on one of the computers at school. For a reward she got the remaining keys for her keychain (big laminated paper keys for every 5 books) and a gold crown made from a wire Christmas garland. She was very happy to join her three other classmates as those who have finished all 50 books.

This is all fun, but the important thing is that Lily's reading skills have vastly improved. The Battle of the Books was part of it, but the requirement to read 20 minutes each night has also helped. Lily is turning into a very capable little reader. We knew that this day would come eventually.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

(Nearly) Wasted Trip

Yesterday was a big day for Amanda, Lily, and me as we planned on attending the Winter Jam concert in Greensboro. I got things arranged so that Uncle Bill and Aunt Tiff would watch Noah for the night and the three of us would head out to Greensboro as we did with Fayetteville last year. We had a fine trip and enjoyed some Chick-Fil-A in the car.

As we got near the Coliseum we ran into the expected traffic. I knew that we had some problems when I saw the "Lot Full" sign before the parking lot. We ended up parking on the street (something I may do in the future) and when I asked one of the police directing traffic if I was OK in my spot he gave me some bad news. The concert was already sold out. They don't do pre-sales for these concerts, so you just have to pay your $10 at the door. Apparently there were folks camped out since 11:30 in the morning for a show where the doors opened at 5:00.

To salvage the evening we took Lily to the nearby mall for dessert and a little gift. We got treats at the Nestle Toll House store and Lily got a "mood bracelet" in the shape of a heart with an L on it at Justice. It had been a while since the last time I was at a mall at 6:00 PM on a Saturday evening.  I am in no hurry to repeat the experience. Guess what? Teenagers are still thoughtless, rude, and inappropriately-dressed. And they travel in swarms too.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Frantic Morning

Amanda had a crazy morning today. She had to get the kids ready for school, get dinner ready in the Crock-Pot, and then do some fancy driving. She had to take Noah to preschool, drop his carseat off with Aunt Nat, and then head over to Clayton for a meeting with some friends. Then she had to do the whole thing in reverse in the afternoon. It was a little nuts.

Fortunately, the afternoon was better. The only negative was having to discipline Noah for climbing up on the dining room table. He was playing on the laptop and eventually decided to climb out of his seat and put both knees on the table. He didn't fall. It's a good thing too since it is still very evident where he fell last week. His head has had enough knocks for a while.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sleepy Boy

Noah has been acting a little tired lately. On Monday Amanda found him on the couch asleep with a Wii controller in his hand. That's certainly unlike him as the Wii usually keeps him riveted and excited. Then yesterday he put himself to bed after dinner. He went up to his room and Amanda found him at 6:30 asleep on his bed with a lit flashlight in his hand. He woke up around 9:00, so Amanda changed him and had him go potty.

You can imagine my surprise when I came home from class, saw that the light was on upstairs, and heard a little voice say "hi" in response to my hello.  He was pretty jazzed up when I found him, but he did go to sleep once we put him to bed.

Amanda and I are both going to be sleepy today because of the wind we had last night. It was rattling one of our shutters that I clearly need to screw down. It also was banging the branches of a tree into the side of our house. I ended up giving up and getting up at 4:00 since I wasn't going to sleep anyway. I have had a nice morning with leisurely time to read my Bible and go running. I figured that I'd better since I'm going to need a nap at lunchtime.