Apr 22, 2008

The Storm

We have had some figurative and literal storms pass through the house these past few days. The literal storm was a nice Spring thunder storm. Now they definitely didn't qualify as a "Southern" storm but there was some thunder and lightening. The rain washed the pollen away and left a sweet smell in the air. And the thunder scared our little guy right out of his bed. Sunday night Gabriel came running into our room around midnight. And he runs. He doesn't call for me he just hops out of bed and sprints into my room. I awoke to the sound of little feet flying toward me at a high rate of speed. Once I recovered from my minor heart attack I heard his little voice say "mom, I'm so scared". I asked why and he replied "because of the funder". It was so cute. So I did what my mom did for me - I let him sleep on the floor next to my bed. (The big difference from Gabriel's overnights compared to mine are Gabriel gets to sleep on the old crib mattress that I keep under my bed, complete with a sheet, pillow and blankets. When I crashed on the floor in my mom's room I got the floor . . . the hard wood floor.) It didn't take long for Gabe to get comfortable in his bed. I watched as he lay there feeling safer just by being in our presence. I hope this isn't the last time he runs to me to protect him from the funder.
The other "storm" that hit our house this week was more destructive than the rain and wind. This "storm" caused two lights to blow out, the dishwasher to break, the dryer to start screaming, and the headlight in the van to go out. What is up with that? All that in less than a full week! To top things off, today Eli broke his mini-blinds, the cat puked on the floor and when our landlord came to look at the dishwasher he informed us that when he put in the wood floor he basically blocked the dishwasher from being able to be pulled out. In order to fix the dishwasher they might have to tear out the floor in the kitchen. April showers . . .

Apr 20, 2008

This past week.

As it turns out rubber bouncy balls can be a little dangerous. We had a super rubber bouncy ball - very close in size to a golf ball - take on a glass of water. The rubber ball won. Shards of glass flew everywhere, water spilled all over the floor, kids were crying, and dad was yelling. We are going to stick to the little rubber balls from now on.

Last weekend Matt, the boys and I drove up to NYC to watch a Mets game in Shea stadium. This is a big deal. You don't know it yet, but read on and you'll find out why. Matt has been a Mets fan as long as he can remember watching baseball. Long story short, his step-dad was from New Jersey and loved the Mets. Matt became a fan and has been faithful through their many losing years. Although Matt has watched the Mets play in Atlanta and in DC, he had never watched them play on their home turf until this past weekend. Not only was he going to watch the Mets play at home but he made it to a game in time to see them play at Shea stadium. It is being torn down at the end of this season so it was very important for Matt to see the Mets play this season.
We dressed the boys in their Mets best, Matt picked out which jersey he would wear, and I wore my Darryl Strawberry throwback jersey. (It is mine because it is too small for Matt and it is apparently really cool. Every time I wear it to the game people shout "Strawberry" or "Daaaarrrrryyyyllll". I guess he was a legend - in Mets terms). So anyway, we were in the stadium eating our peanuts and hot dogs and time finally came for the game to begin. The national anthem began to play and Matt had tears in his eyes. He was realizing a dream! It isn't a life changing dream, but had we not been stationed here in DC this one probably wouldn't have come true. No matter how big or small the dream, it is still really special to be with someone when they have one come true.
After the game we met up with my parents who had flown into New York to see the city. Matt and dad went to another game on Sunday while mom and I took the kids into the city. The kids rode the ferris wheel inside ToysRus at Times Square, were amazed by the amount of chocolate at the Hershey store, ate pizza, and played in Central Park. We also took them to FAO Schwartz where they had a chance to play the big floor piano like the one seen on the movie "Big".
We drove back home late Sunday night and then spent the next few days seeing some sights in DC. I have lived here for almost 3 years and this week was the first time I took a tour of the Capitol, watched and listened to arguments at the Supreme Court, and took a walk through the Library of Congress.
Eli also started t-ball games this week. Even if you don't have a kid playing t-ball, go watch a game. They are an hour of pure fun, free, entertainment. Eli has so much fun playing and we have really enjoyed watching him.

Seriously, the last time I mention Spain.

I was a little concerned that you wouldn't really grasp just how small our rental car in Spain was so when I recently found this picture, I knew it would give you a great idea! Our car is the little red one on the far left. The car third from the left is a Nissan Sentra.
To see the image larger, just click on the picture.

Apr 6, 2008

Bubbles and Rubber Balls

It really doesn't matter how old the kids are - in the event of a boredom crisis bust out the bubbles and/or those little whacky balls and you are guaranteed a good time.
You think I'm kidding? I have witnessed miracles take place upon bringing out bubbles. Easter weekend Matt and I were working in the nursery during the 6pm service. It turned out to be a bad call on our part. The kids were completely melting down. At one point I had two little girls screaming in my lap and neither was willing to have anyone else touch them. Then out of the cupboard came an automatic bubble blower. And the room went silent until the little ones could catch their breath from the last wail and begin a round of squeals and laughter. Oh, those bubbles saved us. A few months ago I was working with the kids in Restoration, a ministry of our church. The kids that attend are mostly between 5-9 with a few younger and older. One night the kids were rowdy and uninterested in any planned activities when I brought down a bin of bubbles. These kids didn't exactly squeal the same way as the little ones did but they were equally entertained. My tests may not be scientific, but I still declare it is fact.
There is just something thrilling about blowing bubbles, watching them float away, and trying to catch them or pop them. My boys have never stopped blowing bubbles because they were tired of it. Our bubble episodes always end in the bubble container spilling or me getting tired of watching the boys play in them.
The same is true with the wacky ball when introduced in a non-carpeted environment. The ball can bounce for days and the kids are more than willing to see how high, how far, and how random a spot that ball can land. We have little wacky balls all over the house. At first, I'm a little irritated when they find a ball and start bouncing it all over. Then, I remember it is virtually impossible to do any harm with one of those little guys and I enjoy the sound of laughter that erupts when the ball manages to hit every wall in the house in under 5 seconds. It is even worth the slight irritation I feel when being pegged by one square in the forehead. When we move, I'm sure I'll harvest a collection from on top of cabinets and under furniture.
So, if you are having a rough day, don't feel guilty just get out the bubbles!