Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nerf Gun Wars

For two weeks in a row every single day, Roger, Evan, and Lauren had nerf gun wars. I am not kidding when I say every single day. Evan had a couple of nerf guns already, but Roger went out and bought himself and Evan new fancier guns. Lauren got to use the other guns. It was a lot of fun watching them.

One day Evan set up a trap for Roger to walk into when he got home. Down the hallway he placed spike balls, set up items that would help him battle (Penguins of Madagascar for one), and hid a laser that would trip as Roger walked by. He even made a sign on his flashing crayola board that said Danger Ahead and Keep Out. He had a blast putting it together.

Pinewood Derby 2010

Welcome Roger as my guest blogger to tell you about Saturday's Pinewood Derby (especially the part about the paint on Evan's car)!

Shown above is Evan's car for 2010. He decided that he wanted a car that look like a shark so we cut out the shape and then when asked how to paint it, he said black and green...hmmm didn't think sharks were that color, then he told me he changed his mind. So in an effort to spice it up a bit, I asked if he wanted to make checkers or diamonds on the car. He chose diamonds. I wish that I would have taken a picture prior to "the incident" but we did not. The entire car was in green and black diamonds until we put the weight into the car. We drilled the holes in the side in preparation for some solder as the weight. Did you know that flames and freshly painted cars don't work well together!? As we were melting the solder, the flame got close to the paint and bam, it was on fire. Easy to put out, but it ruined the side of the car. New plan - paint the sides white and black to cover up the ... I mean it was planned all along, black and white on the sides, diamonds on the top! You can also see the red "flames." Well that was planned too after the heat from the solder for the weight up front got to hot and made the paint bubble. I think we managed to mess it up and get it repainted and prepped all by 10:30 the night before the race..."Hey, Evan...we are building your car this summer instead of waiting until next spring!" And the ironic part of the whole ordeal is that Evan received the best paint job trophy this year! Maybe we should mess up more often!

The one with the curved sides is Christian's car, he is one of the other scouts in my Den. He didn't place this year, but got 1st the last two years. The cars that placed were all within 0.01 seconds of each other. Closer races than I remember when I was a scout.

This is Cordell's car. I thought it was pretty cool.

This is Jackson's car, the last boy in my Den. He took a trophy for best style.

Sampling of other cars.

The kids watching the cars come down the track

Do you see Evan's on the far right?

Fastest time for our Bear scouts was 245 miles per hour! It's all about reducing friction and drag...and keeping it from hitting the sides of the rails.

Evan won the trophy for best paint job!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Birthday

I had an uneventful birthday today, but such a sweet one!

When I woke up this morning and headed towards the bathroom I saw on the mirror a message written by Roger that said "Happy 21st Birthday Rebecca! I love you!" He told me later in the day that he was trying to make me feel young. Here's the funny part--I wasn't having a problem feeling young, and in a way the message had the opposite affect. Oh well, I knew he meant well, and it was a sweet thought.

I asked the kids this morning if they knew what today was. Lauren enthusiastically declared that it was pj night at awana. Evan said it was my birthday--they were both correct. They both ran up to me and gave me hugs and kisses. Lauren sang Happy Birthday to me. We stayed in our pjs the entire day.

Roger called and asked if we wanted to meet somewhere for supper. Considering we were wearing pjs to awana, we decided that any restaurant would probably not approve of our clothing so we decided against dinner.

When the kids and I arrived at awana I was greeted by a pot of daisies at the desk that my hubby had dropped off before we arrived as a surprise. Then during praise time the entire awana club sang Happy Birthday to me.

On the way home from awana Evan said he wished I could have a special breakfast tomorrow for my birthday. I asked him if was going to cook it and he said he didn't know how to make pancakes, but he could help me and he would make me a smiley face pancake. I was so touched that he even thought of this and wished he could do it for me!

I also received nice cards, facebook wishes, and a gardening tools set from my in-laws.

What a special day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Things I’ve learned as I approach 39

Yep, I'm turning 39. I'm okay about it, but it's kind of weird, too. I can't believe how fast time flies--that's what gets to me. When you're young, time never goes fast enough, then all of a sudden it does a 180 degree turn and it's going way too fast! I've been thinking about this so much lately, and just wanted to jot down some of the things I've personally learned so far in life. Some of you may have already figured this stuff out and that's great. Others may not have learned some of this yet. These are just my personal realizations and I'm kind of writing them as if to my kids. Here goes:

I can change me, but God can do it better

Love really is everything—it allows you to see people how God wants you to see them; you don’t have to like someone or what they do, but you can still love them because they are a child of God (I'm not talking about evil people)

When you are using your gifts and talents in life, life is not wasted and it is more joyful

If we can persevere, things will get better even if it takes longer than we want it to

God needs us at our best physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially so that we are at our optimum to do His work; we are all at different levels of these qualities and we must work with what is given to us; this is tough at times

True beauty really is on the inside, but every woman still wants to feel, look, and be told that she is beautiful on the outside (more than just) once in a while

I am still a romantic; still want to feel, and look like a princess; still want to be swept off my feet by my husband (after 21 years as a couple, and almost 15 years of marriage)—romanced, adored, loved, doors opened for me, my hand held, chair pulled out for me, love letters written, poems written, date nights, snuggled up together on the couch, walking hand in hand, sweet things whispered in my ear

You are never too old to learn new things (for me personally that involves technology—I’m still pretty illiterate, but learning all the time)

One of the reasons we go through specific difficult times is so we can better help another person going through the same thing (it never fails, almost immediately after I’ve gone through a trial, someone else I know comes along going through the same thing and I’m able to help them through it better)

When I think of little girls, I think of sweetness—smiles, dancing, singing; when I think of little boys, I think of physical energy—running, building, conquering

A good cry once in a while makes me feel better and it’s a wonderful way to release any kind of emotion—anger, sadness, happiness, etc.

You can’t change the past, you can only try to make the present and future better

You can’t always control your circumstances, but the way you react to them is your choice

The bible is relevant to today’s world; God is awesome, faithful, and true

I will end with one of my all time favorite verses from the Bible: Jeremiah 29:11-14
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” New Living Translation

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snow Days

Within a week and a half we had two good snow falls for the kids to play in. Here was the first day:

Here was the second day:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine's Date Night

Our children's pastor had gone around the church Saturday night and taken some pictures of the chocolate buffet and people at Evangel's date night and posted them on facebook. Here are some of me and Roger:

Helping out in the kitchen to set up:

A wonderful band playing soft jazz music:

The chocolate buffet (These pics were taken early on--the room and tables got more crowded)

See all the goodies on this table, and the choc fountain in the left hand corner? These were on one side of the room--there was a duplicate table on the other side of the room, also!

It was such a nice night! The kids were fed pizza and got to play games and watch movies while we adults had some visiting time with friends!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day

This camera was my Valentine's Day present from Roger.

I got him an Iowa State University Snuggie, but I don't have a pic because I had to order it and it may take 4-6 weeks to get--ridiculous! Anyway, we usually don't exchange gifts, but I wanted to get Roger this gift. I tried to keep it a secret, but considering he has the paypal account info sent to him, and this is how I ordered the snuggie from a store on ebay, he found out about it. Maybe he felt he needed to get me something in return, I don't know, but I'm not going to complain. He knew I had been wanting a new, better camera for ever and this one is great!

Funny, how I had to use my old camera to take a pic of my new one to post on this blog! The kids are constantly asking to use the camera to take pictures, so they get my old one to have fun with.

We also celebrated V Day Saturday night when we got to drop the kids off at church from 5:00-8:00 where they were fed pizza and got to watch movies and play games. Roger and I got to go out to eat, and then return to the church for a humongous chocolate buffet that was absolutely scrumptious. The whole night was wonderful!

Monday, February 15, 2010

2nd Place

This past Saturday was the last Junior Bible Quiz competition for the season. Evan earned a ribbon for 5th highest scorer for the day, so he got to add that to his 3rd place ribbon earned a few months back. But what was totally unexpected to me was his team won the 2nd place trophy for highest scoring team in their division for the season! I was not expecting that at all. Way to go!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Playing Restaurant

I think that Evan and Lauren playing with the kitchen toy will always be one of my favorite memories of them playing together. Every time they do, they have so much fun. They play restaurant and one will be the chef, one will be the server, and then they switch. This time they played they set the kitchen up in Evan's room, and the table and chairs in the hallway. I'm glad I finally got pictures of this because we have now sold this particular table and chair because it was getting too small for the kids. As creative as they get with this activity, I'm confident that they will figure out another way to set up a table and serve their customers. So cute!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Casting Crowns Concert!!!

YYYYYEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!! I got to go see my f-a-v-o-r-i-t-e band in concert last night! I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE fan of Casting Crowns.

They came to Wichita last year but I didn't get to see them, so when I checked their touring schedule this year and saw the closest place for us to go see them was in Oklahoma City, I let Roger know about it and he agreed and we got tickets for the whole family to go. Since my birthday is this month, I considered this my birthday present.

The concert started at 7:00 with doors opening at 6:00. We left the house at 1:00 and stopped for gas and snacks before hitting the road. We arrived in OK City about 4:00, found the church where the concert was at and then found a restaurant for dinner. There were about 5 huge tour buses parked in the parking lot. Roger kept saying we should go knock on the doors and see if anyone would open up so we could say hi LOL! He was even willing to drive closer to the buses so I could get a picture of all of them, but I was a little nervous to do that because of all the police cars around--I didn't want them to pull us over like we were doing something wrong.

Okay, I was so excited about this concert that at dinner I have to admit I kept checking out the restaurant (which was so close to the church)in hopes that maybe band members were eating there too. Nope, no sign of anyone, but we did discover that Lauren had a very, very loose tooth that was ready to be pulled out. She refused to let us take it out at the restaurant so once we got back to the church we tried to get her to take it out by herself which was unsuccessful, so Roger tried and Lauren wanted him to, but then would get scared. Finally, I had to put the camera down, hold her arms and we had to make her open her mouth and Roger pulled it. After all the drama she was now happy and excited that she lost another tooth (I don't remember how many she has lost now).

It was now 5:30 and we saw people entering the church so we joined the crowd and stood in line ready to go find our seats. We did not have assigned seats, we just had to go up the balcony and find seats wherever. I had prayed that God would help us find the best seats possible for our family. Once we got up to the balcony, we ended up in a section that was slightly to the right of being centered to the stage, and decided to sit on the end of the back row. We figured this was the best place because the kids could stand in the aisle or behind the pew, we would not have to walk over people's legs as we headed to the bathrooms, and if people in front of us stood up, the kids could take off their shoes and stand on the pew cushions. It ended up being the best place for us to sit--yay God for answering my prayer. We also sat by some very nice people who were surprised to hear we drove down from Wichita for the concert.

We waited an hour for the concert to begin, but it passed quickly. The first opening act was Caleb. Didn't know anything about him, but then two young men took the stage and their names were Caleb and Will Chapman--Steven Curtis Chapman's sons! They did a great job singing 3 songs and shared personal testimonies and stories. During intermission, Evan and Lauren got to have their picture taken with them. Caleb and Will were so nice and gave high fives to Evan, shook Lauren's hands, asked them their names, and were just really friendly.

After Caleb came Kutless. I have to admit I've only heard a few songs from them on the radio. They did sing their popular song "That's What Faith Can Do", as well as about 3 or 4 other songs. They were good! I think we need to invest in a few CDs from them.

After Kutless of course came Casting Crowns! I wasn't sure what to expect from this concert. I kept telling Roger I hope they sing some of their older songs because we hadn't even bought the new CD yet that was the basis of this tour, so we wouldn't be able to sing along to most of the concert. Not to worry, they sang p-l-e-n-t-y of their older songs and we had no problem singing and dancing along!

All along I kept telling Roger I hope they sing Lifesong. That is my all time favorite song from Casting Crowns. It is the name of our homeschool, included in our family blog name, and the song that represents how I want to live my life for God. It was the last song they sang, and I could tell this song meant just as much to other people as it did to me, because the crowd errupted! Everyone was singing, dancing, and worshiping! I'm getting chills just typing about it now. If you want to hear this song, it is above in my blog playlist, as well as I Know You're There which is another one of my favorites from CC and they sang that one as well!

The concert was done at 10:30. There was quite a line for autographs and picture taking with Kutless, and I don't even know for sure if Casting Crowns was going to give picture opportunities with fans, but we needed to head home. We rolled into the driveway at 1:00 am.

After all was said and done, this was THE best birthday present I've ever had. My family got to share in a dream of mine--yes, seeing Casting Crowns in concert was a dream of mine and one of those things I put on "my list of things I want to do during my life." The kids loved it. Lauren could not stop dancing, and Evan kept saying "I love this concert. It's the best!" Roger wasn't all that keen on going in the first place, but it was fun to see him sing, dance, clap, and worship Jesus with everyone else. He had just as much fun as me and the kids. I know he was glad he came. In fact, he said that we could always go see them again if they tour next year! In a way I'm glad we didn't go to last year's concert, because I got to hear all of my favorite past Casting Crowns songs, plus their new ones. Roger surprised me by buying the new CC cd, plus a concert t-shirt!

As I was catching up on facebook this morning, I noticed that K-Love had a post about next year's Christian cruise. I was just interested in what the dates were, so I clicked on the link and who's faces should be on the site as one of the groups that would be aboard the cruise--you guessed it: Casting Crowns! Roger said I better get a job if I want to go on that. Well, that won't be happening, so I guess I'll just pray that the next time they tour they will actually come to Wichita!