Whew!! That was a busy weekend....

Well, we've done it. We have finally started working on our home. While the structure is very sound, our home has needed a lot of cosmetic work. So we started working on the boys' room since it's the coldest during the winter. When I say doing some cosmetic work, I mean, A LOT! We stripped the room down to the studs and started over.

Here we are before we started:

The boys were SUCH a big help. Lucas was so stinkin cute...he kept following Daddy around saying "I help, too!! I help!" Here they all are carrying out the end of their bunk bed.

Then onto the smashing. Zachary has been telling us for months that he wants to be a firefighter. I think he found a new calling!! I went to the grocery store to buy some bottled water (which was much needed working in the 87 degree house. Yucko!) and they had some $1 tools there. One of them being this really cool nifty hammer. I figured, what the heck, buy Zachary his own hammer and let him putz around with it right? Well, that would have been awesome but it was SUCH a cheap hammer that within 10 minutes one of the claws fell right off! Zachary hung his head in such sorrow. I felt HORRIBLE! So we were telling him that it's okay, we would buy him another one that was just for him, and when I tried to get him to look at me, he was SOBBING. Just SOBBING because his hammer had broke. He got over it and took his hammer to Grandma and Grandpa's with him, where the head of the hammer promptly fell off! Needless, to say when he came home, Mommy had bought him a new "Zachary-sized" hammer!

Lucas LOVED it too...When he came home on Monday, we had already hung 2 1/2 walls of drywall that he went RUNNING at full speed with a hammer. I felt like I was in slow motion running at him yelling "Nooooooooo...."At the end of our first night of full work, we had stripped the entire room down to the studs. I'm pretty happy with what we accomplished the first couple of days.

More than just getting the room accomplished, I feel like Chuck and I accomplished something else. We accomplished closeness, oneness, a togetherness that we gained from working on OUR home TOGETHER. I felt so complete working there beside him. There was no fights, no questions about why YOU did something wrong. We were a team. It made me feel so good to be working so hard alongside my husband. Chuck had said at one point..."shit Lis, we've been home for 2 whole days with no kids and only had sex once". True...but I felt that by working on our home and pouring our blood, sweat (and there was a lot of sweat), and tears (a little on my part) into this home that we were "together" more than we would have been in bed. It truly warms my heart to think about it and I hope I always look back on that weekend with such fond memories and knowledge that no matter what gets thrown at us, if we approach it as a team, together, we can accomplish anything.


Product Rave!!

For any of you reading with kids about Zachary's age, take note!


First of all, Zachary LOVES playing it. So much so that the *threat* of game time lost will usually get him to act properly. So much so that he'll actually sit still and pretty quiet throughout a resturant dinner (not that we have many of those anymore!). I've been so concerned about him having ADHD and yet he shows a great aptitude to be able to sit still for the Leapster during game time.

Second, he is LEARNING. And learning WAY above his age level. Last week, I was shocked when he and Dory and Marlin were working on addition. And Zachary was doing very well. Well, last night at dinner he surprised us furthur when he started working on multiplication. Yes, that's right. My 4 year old was doing multiplication and got 4 of them right in a row. They use the numbers and pictures! Zachary actually got 6 x 4 = 24 correct!

I'm so proud! But I know that this game system is awesome! There aren't many games for preschoolers out there, but he seems happy doing the same 3 cartridges over and over. And so far, so good. He got it for his birthday and has been *pretty* good about keeping the games together with his game machine!

A big thanks to Jenn (http://mac3mom.blogspot.com/) for raving about them in her blog and giving me the idea to get it for Zachary! It's a HUGE hit!


Dear Zachary

As I look past on your last four years on this earth with your daddy and I, I can’t help but cry. Not from sadness necessarily, (well a little sadness) but also from joy! You’ve grown into our little man instead of being our “baby”. I’m so proud of the things that you have already learned and accomplished! Just within this last year you’ve done so much.

Your first day of pre-school. How proud you were of going to school and being able to be there without Mommy and Daddy. I looked around the room on that first day and saw so many other children clinging, sobbing on their mommy’s or daddy’s pant leg. Yet, off you ran. It made me a little sad. Things were changing. You didn’t need me anymore. But truth is, you did need me. You needed me to allow you to be independent and become your own person yet guide you and mold you into a good person. On the way home, I thought about it and realized that I’m sooo glad you didn’t cling to me. Because it meant that you were secure in the fact that we would be back to get you. Mommy ALWAYS comes back.

You also saw your first day of full-fledge daycare. That scared me. I didn’t want to have someone besides your daddy and me to have influence over you…and maybe, just maybe, to get to know you better than we did. It was a rough few weeks in the beginning considering that you don’t really like change. The other boys didn’t want to allow you into their groups because you were “new”. Yet, now just 6 months later you are friends with everybody. It warms my heart to no end to go and pick you up from preschool and hear everybody in the room say good-bye and at least 2 or 3 of your classmates come running over to give you hugs. It shows me that you are sociable, friendly, and well-adjusted.

We also spent our first summer as a family in our very own home. You loved playing in the kiddie swimming pool and I was definitely one COOL mom when I put the plastic slide in the swimming pool and made a water slide. You got to play on your swingset all year long and I remember you telling me “Thank you SOOO much momma for getting me my swingset. And thank you to Grandma and Grandpa and Daddy too!” I love hearing those words from you. Not because I need the gratification, but because you are growing up appreciating those things that you have and more importantly the people who love you soo much. Over the last year, you have really learned how to express your feelings of gratitude and sympathy and shown that you are a very caring and very sensitive little boy (most of the time! We all have our moments!)

While during the summer, I was the coolest mom ever, during the fall and winter I was “Not your best friend anymore!!!” I thought I would be crushed the first time I heard you say “I hate you” or “you’re not my best friend” and I wasn’t. Do you know why? Because you are not going to like me all the time…but I know that you will always love me, as I love you. We told you “that’s okay, because I don’t need to be your best friend. I do need to be your mom.” You also tried pulling the “well, you can’t come to my party then!” line with us too. That didn’t last long as we explained that unless we were there, there would be no one to pay for the party and therefore no party. You have learned the value of the dollar very quickly, little man!

You learn very quickly. On everything you do. I’m so proud of the fact that you can fully write your name. And yet, I go to school and hear reports that you can’t! Wait a minute, I think, WHY? So your daddy and I discussed the problems with you and come to find out, if you don’t know how to do it, they spend one on one time with you and you adore that. You’ve learned how to manipulate people better than a lot of adults I know! You’ve also tried pulling the “Lucas is setting a bad example” line with me. But as we know, that doesn’t fly! But over the year, you have continually showed your extreme intelligence and fast learning. I was AMAZED the first time I gave you a maze last summer and you looked at it for about 10 seconds and drew a line from the beginning to the end with no mistakes and no instruction. Zachary, you have really developed an aptitude for working out puzzles and problems and I know that that kind of abstract thinking will serve you soooo well in your life.

I know that things have not always been easy this last year. And I know that I have made mistakes. I will continue to make mistakes throughout your life. How do I know? Because I am growing with you. You teach me soo much every single day. Some days I think you teach more than I am teaching you. Having you and raising you has allowed me to grow and become a better mom and person. I love you, Zachary. More than words could ever tell.

Happy 4th Birthday!
I love you.


Happy Birthday Dad!!!

My dad and I have been through a lot together. A lot of heart ache, a lot of stubborn fights, but a lot of joy too.

He was there in the room with me right after I had my first son. Right by my side. He made it home from Oregon with my brother just in time....and knowing my dad drove through the night in order to be there for me.

My dad taught me to be a strong fighter for what I think is right. To stand up for my beliefs. He didn't much like it when I stood up to him though :)

He stood beside me and helped me with my boys when things were rough in my life last fall.

Dad taught me to check my tires and my oil and to drive a stick shift...so that I didn't need to be dependent on a man to do it for me.

And way back when, Dad stood over me and helped me learn to write cursive the year before we learned it in school...and helped me read chapter books. He encouraged that love of learning in me.

I still remember those things. I can never thank you enough for the things you DID do Dad.

I found this picture of me, wearing Dad's shoes. I think I was a bit of a Daddy's girl when I was this little...
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I wanted this song as our "Father-Daughter" dance at our wedding. I ended up allowing Dad to make the song decision...but on my Dad's birthday, I'd like to send out this tribute.

I remember daddy's hands
folded silently in prayer.
And reachin' out to hold me,
when I had a nightmare.
You could read quite a story
in the callous' and lines.
Years of work and worry
had left their mark behind.

I remember daddy's hands

how they held my mama tight.
And patted my back
for something done right.
There are things that I'd forgotten
that I loved about the man.
But I'll always remember
the love in daddy's hands.

Daddy's hands were soft and kind

when I was cryin'.
Daddy's hands were hard as steel
when I'd done wrong.
Daddy's hands weren't always gentle
but I've come to understand.
There was always love in daddy's hands.

I remember daddy's hands

workin' 'til they bled.
Sacrificed unselfishly
just to keep us all fed.
If I could do things over,
I'd live my life again.
And never take for granted
the love in daddy's hands.
~ By Holly Dunn ~


Happy Birthday Lucas!

It's so hard for me to believe that my baby boy has gone from this:

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to this:

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Today my baby turns 2 years old. Some days it seems like it was just yesterday and some days I can't believe that he's ONLY 2 years old.

He's learned SOOO much within those two years!

*Crawling at about 5 1/2 months.
*Cruising by 6 1/2 months.
*Walking at 9 months.
*Climbing soon after :) My boys are definitely monkeys!
*Talking (maybe a little later than some kids)
*How to tattle on his brother, Zachary
*To blame things on brother, too!
*Learning EVERYTHING about this whole wide world we live in.

He's been talking up a storm for the last two months. Every day he says a new word (or ten!) His latest words are "SHARE!" and "Brother". Lucas, you amaze me every day with the words that you use and the way that you use them! Not many two year olds use pronouns in the correct manner...it astounds me daily to hear you refer to yourself not as "Lucas" but as "I".

There's just something about seeing things for the first time through a child's eyes and watching him learn and explore and do....it's just breathtaking.

So I wish you, my baby boy, continued awe at the world forever. Don't quit exploring. Don't quit learning. And don't ever forget who showed you the world for the first time.

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