Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beginnings and Endings

First Day of School
September 14, 2010

Last Day of School
May 26, 2011

Though its hard to tell, our little man has grown so much this year--in stature, knowledge, curiosity, self-esteem, leadership, and boy-ness! He is our total BOY! He loves to climb and tumble; play legos; pester his older brother; "sitty" his little sister (involving swishing his hand in her hair); snuggle with Mommy; wrestle with Daddy; and overall, just be a gosh darn great kid! He is becoming (a little) more adventurous with foods (because he has to!) and is learning how to resolve conflict with his brothers. He is definitely our peacemaker at times. What a great year he has had!

When describing the year to his teacher he said it was "Super Duper"; his best friend is "all of them"; and to his teacher, Mrs. Kelly, "I love her". Thankfully, the feeling is mutual.

He's our gem of a T! Congrats little man!
We will enjoy his end-of-year performance today followed by a picnic lunch, bounce house, petting zoo, and ice cream party. Not a bad gig for a 4-year-old!

God bless,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cup of Tea?

I warmed some water in the microwave this morning--it was to be a Green Tea morning and I was excited about drinking my favorite tea for a little morning boost. It had been a few days.

I popped the cup in the microwave and away I went...

2 hours and a million microwave reminder beeps later, I finally realized the cup was still sitting in the microwave, now cold. I punched in the numbers again and this time was quick to get the cup after warming. In went the tea bag and down went the cup on the counter to brew...

2 hours and a trip to the preschool to run the end-of-the-year party and back and I finally found that cup of tea still sitting there. Daggone cup of tea! Back in the microwave it went to warm up.

And yet still it sits here, hours later, ignored and overlooked thanks to lunches and legos and little ladies who needed to be put to bed.

I'm almost grossed out by the thought of tea right now, but I will drink this. I will. It is a metaphor for my life right now--I must conquer it! Tea time, anyone? Wish I could beam you here to chat!

God bless and enjoy your tea,

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Night Campout

Even with a set-up like this in the living room...
We are down to one man sleeping in the tent and the rest back in their beds. lol. Has anyone ever had a camp-out (in the backyard, living room, wherever) where everyone makes it through the night? I'd pay money to see it! :)

Still, there's nothing like Friday nights!
Happy weekend,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What Makes My Heart Swell

Mother's Day Teas at school--complete with projects that say, "Mommy is pretty", cards uttering, "I Love You, Mommy", cookies with gobs of icing put on by the kids, hugs and general squeezes, smiles and sweet songs. These are fantastic little celebrations that make my heart swell so!
Little boys dressed in uniform before a game. They are so coordinated and cute. Here's my little RockHound, who steals second base and his mama's heart. (What also makes my heart swell is knowing the money I saved by taking this picture myself, rather than ordering one for $30 through the photography company. How I love frugality!)
Young brothers and sisters, who sit by and idly watch, content and loving. My crew is pretty tolerant and wonderful. Don't these faces make your heart swell? Total mommy love.
"Kindergarten Rocks" concerts where we watch our young man sing and gesture and wiggle. We also watch him during times of silliness with good friends. Ahh, youth. Your enjoyment, M, makes my heart swell, indeed.

Little boys who fall asleep just about anywhere. That's what makes a mama's heart swell. Especially when little boys are content to sleep on a chair with alternating leg jerks that periodically wake him up. This is how I found him and then off to bed he went, carried by a mama who loves him to the moon and back.
Last and definitely least (but still worth mentioning!), a fun, new, decorative organization tool like this one. GG hung it last night--our new mail and key caddy. Thank the good Lord! Does organization make anyone else's heart swell as much as it does mine? I just keep looking at it today and getting giddy all over again. How life is in the little things for me.
Thank you, dear Lord, for an overflowing heart!
**To top off the goodness, we heard fantastic news today that Baby Stefano has gained 2 oz. (which is a lot for a little 2lb'er!) and his parents were able to hold him! He is doing as well as can be expected. Praise God!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Please Join Us in Prayer

About a week ago, GG's cousin's wife began to have complications with her pregnancy (their third child--a boy). On Tuesday, baby Stefano was born at 27 weeks gestation. He is currently 2 lbs., 4 oz. and is struggling to breathe. Both he and mom have infections. If you would, please pray with us for a miracle. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


First comes love...

Then comes marriage...

Then comes baby in the baby carriage... or dog carrier! :)
Then err... deployment... and a joy-filled return 12 months later!
Then the first miracle...
And the second (coupled with law school!)...
And the third...
And finally, the fourth pinky...
And nine years later, we've built this...
The best nine years of my life!
Thank you, my sweet! I'm committed to you every step of the way...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

On This Motherly Journey

I want to thank all of our readers for enduring my more celebratory kid posts lately. I don't know what has come over me as a mother lately other than sheer gratitude for the ability to bear children, watch them grow, contribute to their learning, and help fashion them as little people in the world. What a privilege! There have been many more moments over the last 6 years than I'd like to admit, where I found myself dreading my role, relinquishing responsibility, embarrassed by my children, and overwhelmed by the great responsibility of parenting children who were, by nature, very different from me. Mothering has been the most challenging role I've ever assumed in life.

But as with most things challenging, it is starting to offer more rewards than I ever thought possible. They are the rewards of acts of kindness shared between siblings, obedience the first time, hugs and lovely sentiments offered to me without request, positive feedback from teachers and coaches. These are the gifts of motherhood. These are the occasional pats on the back to a mom for her labor. I guess you could say I'm relishing these moments as a sort of momentary "thank you" in the midst of this tireless journey.

Bringing it all back to reality, I wish I could tell you my kids always made me proud. But they don't. If you had been a fly on the trellis of our patio luncheon on Mother's Day, you would have seen my frustration and embarrassment over my kids' behavior. I never, never, NEVER intend to paint a solely rosy picture of our day to day over here in G-Ville. It takes work, it takes patience, it takes more of GG and I than we'd ever like to admit. We have bad days, hard moments, frustrating times A LOT. Yet I'm convinced if we weather these tough ones in pursuit of the good times and do it all in love, we're coming out on top in the end. It is a marathon journey GG and I are on together as parents and we are committed to working at our family always. Part of that for me, the mom, is absolutely celebrating our good times, the times that make me smile and bring joy to my heart! Because I've fought for these moments... And I know they are the ones we'll remember. Was our Mother's Day outing perfect? Far from it. But did we walk away commenting on the lovely afternoon together? Yes, indeed.

We've got the good, the bad, and the ugly over here in G-Ville too, we're just zooming in on the positive!

As always, keeping' it real,

Monday, May 9, 2011

Piano Man

Back in February, around M's 6th birthday, we decided to take the plunge into music lessons for the little man. A friend of ours has four incredibly musical sons, who now play everything from the piano to the banjo, fiddle, violin, mandolin... you get the picture! And she recommended starting piano in the spring semester of kindergarten year. So away we went!

I have to admit that at first, I wasn't so sure how it was going to go. The teacher didn't either. For the first half of the first lesson, M chattered away about everything from a to z without having any apparent interest in the piano set before him. Mr. Jake said he had misgivings until he pulled out "something for M to sink his teeth in" and from there, we were golden. M hasn't looked back. And he seems to really love it! This is all thrilling because I, too, played piano from kindergarten through eighth grade and pretty much dreaded it the entire time! Oh, what my mother had to endure to get me to practice--I will say, once I sat down and really got to know a piece, I loved it. It was getting to that point that was the real challenge.

So you can imagine my delight that M's playing has gone so well so far. Practicing the piano happens to be one of the few things in our life that I only have to ask him to do once. Before the words are out of my mouth, there he is sitting down to play. Pinch me. Seriously, who's kid is this? :). We practice daily and it involves a LOT of my personal attention which has been a challenge with so many other things going on. I'm making the commitment, though, for M and eventually for ALL of my kids. It will be a labor of love, for sure, but one I'm willing to make to develop their musicality. Mr. Jake is also pleased how things are going--M is making quick progress and is almost already done with his first round of books. Fantastico!

On Saturday M actually had his first recital! He played "My Computer" and "Row Your Boat" by James Bastien. He was the smallest guy there and the most dapper (biased!) dressed in his blue sportcoat, tie, and khakis. Oh, my little piano man! He went to the front and introduced himself with a smile and bravado, "I'm MG and I'll be playing My Computer and...err (eyes rolling to the upper right)..Row Your Boat!". Off he went. After starting out on the wrong note, he stopped and said, "Oops, I think I need to start again... (looking back at his teacher, who gave a nod of approval). The audience was ready to burst into laughter at our adorable little man, he was so precious. He started again and played away without a hiccup. Afterward, we had several people approach M and tell him he needed to teach the other kids how to do a proper introduction. Later, Mr. Jake was so proud, saying M needed to also teach the other kids a lesson on how to "lighten up" and not be so serious. Our little comic. We were bursting with pride for all the right reasons.
It was a G-Ville first and we're glad to check that off the list! M says that next time he's going to be "more braver".

Thanks for sharing in my joy about my kids. They are God's gifts to me and I couldn't pick a better brood (whines and all).

God bless all mothers yesterday and today (especially our Gramz and Mimi!!)--Mother's Day post to come...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sports Short

G-ville's All-Stars have been hard at work this past week...

After pictures on Saturday, this guy went on to score four goals in his soccer game! To see how his playing has progressed from fall to spring is really exciting--ball handling, fast breaks, etc. What fun to watch!! I'm so glad T has had the chance to shine on his own! It's tough living with a (dominant) big brother so close in age. ;)

Meanwhile, big brother, M, added his own three goals to the mix in his soccer game that day. He then rocked the t-ball world Tuesday with two great hits past short stop! He was our little lefty slugger, for sure, even garnering some praise from people on the other team. The most important thing to M was "Mom, I got them in the air!" Life is in the little things, no question.

Every time we finish, I ask the boys, "Did you have a good time?" And the answer is always a resounding, "YES!"

And that's what it's all about. Fun and good sportsmanship.
Love it. So proud of my guys.

God bless,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter Catch-up

Oh Heavens! The last week was such a blur... Sorry I've been distant!

I thought of sitting down and posting so many times. Then I got so far behind in general, I abandoned all aspirations and just attempted to make it through to the weekend! Nothing about the week was especially burdensome or overwhelming, it was just a week in the life which means it was the usual nuts. ;)

MG finished it out with some days of high fever, but we're keeping our prayer up that today is the end of it. She's started to rub her ears, though, so it looks like we'll be back at the doc's office for an ear check. We were already there Tuesday for an ear check following a 10-day round of antibiotics for a double ear infection with a perforated eardrum. Perhaps she's going to be my ear kid??? I had pretty infection-prone ears growing up, so I guess she's my girl. Poor thing.

Harkening back to last Sunday, we had a fabulous Easter celebration. I'll let the pictures do the story-telling...
G Fam Easter 2011
(literally the LAST shot in 20 that had everyone looking and happy!)

Our little Easter belle

Gearing up for the 2011 hunt--200 eggs strong

The aftermath--I cannot begin to describe the quantity of candy we have! Thanks Mim/Pop for the spoiling! We are set for desserts 'til at least Autumn. lol

After a delicious brunch, egg hunting, and an MG nap, we headed to our town's Easter Promenade, where the people parade up and down the street. It was such fun. We elected not to bring the double stroller--BAD decision. The kids were pooped after our walk from the car to the parade! Shux! We would have brought it but we were going to be late to Easter Mass and miss getting seats. We chose timeliness over later preparedness... Thankfully, the first 20 minutes were the worst and the kids really did rally. Everyone ended up having a great time.
Walking from the car to the event--I already see pink cheeks!
Isn't everyone so happy? :) Look how the kids are hanging on poor Daddy! lol And this was taken within the first 15 minutes of being there. ha!

MG weathered it great, complete with umbrella shade.

Popsicles later were just the ticket!

A quick nap was too.

Daddy and daughter--my sweet sunshines!

We held off on egg-dyeing until a few days later. There is only so much you can pack into one day! The boys and I were a bit disappointed this year because our dye never really took to the eggs. We waited and waited and waited... And all we really got was a whole lot of pastel! I want to get back to the swirly dye we used to use as kids--does anyone know if that still exists? It made for MUCH better eggs!
Yes, my children are sitting on the table. Special times = special privileges.

Apparently egg-dyeing doesn't require pants either. Fun times.

And that, my friends, is our Easter re-cap. What a blessed day. Thanks be to God for His glorious gift of his Son. We are forever changed. Alleluia!

After we say our usual bedtime prayer, we've been opening the floor for each family member to offer thanks and special requests to God. You can imagine how tickled we were as we heard (unprompted) "Thank you, God, for Jesus' death on the cross" in both M and T's list of prayers one night. It has remained since. Too sweet.

I pray we are always mindful of His glorious gift.
Easter blessings to you!
God bless,
Lilypie First Birthday tickers