Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Beach Concerts


Last Friday my husband invited me on a date night! So very excited to spend some uniterrupted adult time with my husband. Thoroughly enjoyed the evening at a FREE, outdoor, Christian concert. Thank you BP for oil spill $$$ & Panama City Beach for choosing to host Christian concerts with the $$$.

Jason I are currently in love with the Chipotle Chicken Sandwich from Panera. Enjoyed some sandwiches and Baked Lays on a picnic blanket on the beach with my best friend. Beautiful night.

Ran into Cassie's former college roomie & good friend, Kaylie. Had to snap a pic for Cas.

The weather was perfect.

We enjoyed some Christian & country music from Point of Grace.

They're keyboardist was formerly a lead vocalist from one of my favorite Christian groups, Avalon. He delighted us with a few of Avalon's songs.


Went back for some more great music to one of the best concerts ever. Give it up for some Chris Tomlin led worship on the beach at sunset! Brough the kids along this time & met up with friends.

Loved seeing all different people worshiping our God in such a public place.

Love that the kids were playing to the sound of praise music.

Tomlin can apparently sing How Great is Our God in 10 different languages!  Loved hearing him sing it in a few different languages.  Love that our God is a God to ALL peoples, tribs & tongues.  I can hardly wait to hear the heavenly choir!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

World's Best DAD

Updated Father's Day Shirt


Tried a new Mom's Group last week. So proud of how Ivory shared, behaved, and showed off in general. Thanks for making me look good, kid.

Micah was chill, too.
Ivory looked at me and whispered, "Go play?" Seemed so grown up when she asked me if she could go play with the other kids.

Water Day

Planned for a backyard water day with friends...due to thunderstorms & other commitments our plans were changed a bit. We were glad that Addie was able to come for an indoor play date and that once the weather cleared we did make it out for a little bit of water fun after all.

Ivory *helping* set up for water day.

Reality Blog

Guest blogger for my sister, Debra, today on her blog. Check out her reality blog post on her site then enjoy my take on her idea below:

Back, due to popular demand - er - interest rather, is "the day in the life of a mom". This time, I'm thrilled to introduce a guest blogger, Lee Ann Bennett. Not only is she a talented seamstress, outdoor sport enthusiast, and pastor's wife she's also lucky enough to be my baby sister. *smile* I've asked her to walk us through her day so we can see what a typical day is for another mom. Just in case you thought my life stays busy because my kids are only 14 months apart (true, there is an element of crazy there), my sister is way busier! With out further ado, the reality blog of Lee Ann Bennett & Co.

Ridiculously Early Time of Day
12:15 AM
-Micah wakes up to nurse, goes back to sleep.

5:26 AM
-Repeat of above.

Early Morning
6:45 AM
-Jason & I jump awake to the alarm. I turn it off & roll back over. Kids stay asleep.
-Get up, dress, glug water, sit on front porch swing waiting for Melissa.
-Head out for some laps around the park with Melissa.

7:50 AM-Home.

8:00 AM
-Sort & start laundry.
-Nurse Micah.
-Jason gets Ivory some milk & sets her on the couch watching a movie.
-Wash coffee mugs and start the coffee, prep Ivory’s breakfast
-Move Micah to his swing & Ivory to her high chair while Jason showers & prepares for work.

-Sit down at computer with my bowl of cereal & some coffee and upload videos to facebook to load onto my blog.
[[LOVE this craft center my husband built!]]-Talk with Jason about the day, prepare to grocery shop.
[[Husband taking a quietish 5 before heading to the office]]
[[Sporting the headband I made last night]]
[[Dressed for the day & ready to tackle a big grocery trip:: used bdady money to score this $5 skirt from Kohl's!]]

-Ivory gets in trouble with her dad for pouring milk all over her tray and spreading it in her hair, etc.,
-Micah crying, change his diaper, clothe him, put him in bouncer.
-Scrub Ivory down, comb out the dried milk in her hair, clothe her. Let her pick between the red shoes & the silver sandals. She picks the red shoes. Then the flip-flops. Cries when I tell her they’re not an option because they don’t match. Finally calms down enough to beg to put shoes on, “all by self?” Then cries when she can’t. “Help you, help you?” (translation: “help me”) Finally get her shoes and socks on—mission #50034 accomplished.

9:05 AM
-Grab Ivory & walk to the church office to grab Jason’s paycheck. Ivory brightens everyone’s day with smiles, hugs, and cute sayings. Head home.
-Update the blog by posting the videos that completes the post I’ve been working on for 6 days. -Load the kids into the car & head to the bank.
-Make deposits/withdrawals, get financial printout for the husband, inquire about savings account only to realize we’re missing necessary paperwork to start up Ivory & Micah’s savings accounts.
[[This piggy bank from Pa has been through a few battles]]-Head back home to get necessary paperwork. Swing by office to give Jason the bank printout.
-Head back to the bank with paperwork in tow to create savings accounts for Ivory (we’re finally depositing the money you gave us for this purpose, Pam—thanks! =) & Micah. The kind bank loan officer helps me juggle Micah as I sign papers. Micah eventually falls asleep. Ivory behaves beautifully…and begs for a lollipop. I tell her she can get one in a little while if she continues behaving well. She keeps asking. I finally decide the good behavior has been long enough to warrant a sucker…and a little peace.
[[Her excitement over our bank trip was sealed when she got a little backpack with goodies from the bank.]]

Late Morning
10:07 AM
-Call Jason to tell him he needs to visit the bank and sign papers as we head to the Post Office.
-Post Office. Ivory wants to hold the PO box key and walk around trying to open every box in sight. I “borrow” it long enough to get our mail and discover my birthday package from my sweet sister, Debi! I’ll hold myself in suspense and open it on my actual birthday in 8 days. I love good suspense & pleasant surprises!
-Micah’s been asleep since the bank and stays asleep as I load him back into the car. Notice a baby lizard, try to catch it, can’t. Ivory touches the part of her lollipop she has been told not to touch. She gets in trouble, throws a tantrum, I take it. She then throws the PO box key, consequence, go get it, throws again, consequence, go get it, more crying. Load her in carseat. Micah still sleeping. Before getting out of the parking lot Ivory calms down and asks for her new colors (from bank). I pull over hand her crayons & coloring book.
-Find the baby lizard again. This time I’m successful at catching it and depositing it safely back into the outdoors…after it leaps onto my arm.

-Finally on the road. Talk to my mom for a few minutes. Ivory gets upset about something, screams, wakes up Micah. They have a screaming match the rest of the trip. I pull over twice to deal with Ivory & her tantrums. My head is pounding. We spend time praying and thanking Jesus for everything I can think of. Things calm…for a few minutes.
-Arrive at Wal*Mart. Micah still screaming, calms enough to nurse him in the car before heading inside.
[[Now you know why I shop at the Wal*Mart super center. After driving that far I want to go into only one store.]]

11:02 AM
-Load Micah into the baby bjorn (he despises the car seat) & Ivory into the shopping cart. Head inside. Returns, groceries & other miscellaneous items, meet a friend in the deli line, deal with random Ivory tantrums. Micah squirms some, eventually falls asleep. Ivory wants to hold, open, and/or eat everything loaded into the cart. The roast beef the deli lady kindly gives Ivory & the goldfish I cave & let her open staves off Ivory’s pending starvation until the shopping trip ends.

Early Afternoon
12:37 PM
-Ivory & I both have a ravenous appetite by now. Head to Chik-fil-A. Micah screams the entire time we wait in the drive thru line. I’ve never gotten such a strange look from the Chik-fil-A employee at the window, does she think it’s mother cruelty or something?

-The ride home is beyond better. Micah falls asleep within minutes. Ivory & I eat & sing songs. Call & talk with Debi.

1:26 PM-Arrive home, unload groceries. Ivory fussing.

-Change Micah’s diaper.
-Aliya (teenager) arrives to craft some headbands with me. Ivory’s overjoyed & immediately begins leading “Eeya” around.

-Nurse Micah.
-Lay Micah down in his crib. Put cold foods away. Jason comes home for lunch.
-Begin craft projects with Aliya.

-Ivory hangs with us, begins crying when Aliya doesn’t stop working with me to play legos. Goes looking for daddy to play legos. They play legos together for a short time until Jason goes back to work. Ivory hangs with us girls again.

2:21 PM
-Ivory overdue for naptime…very apparent. Won’t calm down for nap. Go in twice to reinforce the necessity of not screaming for nap time. Micah stays asleep through all this (they share a room). She finally quiets down.
-Aliya and I craft headbands.

Late Afternoon
3:37 PM
-Ivory’s crying. Tell her it’s not quite time to wake up & go back to sleep (a good nap = apx. 2 hours).

4:05 PM-Ivory never went back to sleep and I tell Aliya she can get her up. Micah wakes up, too. Aliya holds them while we finish up.

-Nurse Micah. Aliya leaves while I’m nursing.
-Ivory cries. “Ivory sad. I sad.” Why? “Aliya go home. Ivory sad.” (her new favorite line when anything upsetting or disappointing happens) She’s very upset and pulls on Micah’s leg. Consequences are difficult to enforce while nursing. But, we manage.
-Put Micah in bouncer.
-Put Ivory in her high chair with pretzels per her request.
-Change washloads.

-Diaper both children.
-Change Ivory’s clothes so she can be ready to play outside with Caleb and Zeke who are coming over in a little over an hour. I’m thinking jeans, she wants the purple tutu. It’s in the wash. She settles for the green tutu.
-Green tutu is too small. “Hurt, it hurt!” “Pink tutu? Pink tutu.” Pink tutu it is.

-Put Ivory on the couch & plan to put Ernie (Sesame Street) on, but Ivory decides she wants to watch Cars. We settle for Cars. And the balloons on the ground. And milk. My child’s demanding. We’re working on that. Give her all of the above & chicken from lunch she never ate.
-Micah screaming…pacifier.
-Begin cleaning up for babysitting in one hour.

-Give Micah his paci.
-Clean more.
-Need-hy-dra-tion. Paci.
-Change myself into more kid friendly clothes. Shirt smells…must be from the load of laundry that sat in the washer a few hours too long. Maybe a few squirts of body spray will help cover the musty smell?

Early Evening
5:05 PM-Jason’s home! False alarm. Has to run Chester (teenager) home & talk with his parents about the Unwithered Institute.
-Put Micah in the swing (hope it will make him happier).
-Ivory “helps” put a few groceries away & wash dishes.

-Clean the major water mess Ivory makes while spraying water all over the sink area & floor. Disicpline. Try to convince Ivory there is soap on her washcloth, see the bubbles? Micah crying. Try to convince Ivory to actually WASH the dishes not just play. Throws spoon twice. Consequences. Time out if you don’t stop crying. Crying finally stops. We begin making progress.
-I can finally see my sink again!
-Micah fussing…pacifier.
-Babysitting plans changed. Betty Jo texts that her kids just fell asleep so she won’t be bringing them by after all.
-Micah won’t stop crying! Need to start dinner. Try the bouncer again…works for approximately 2 minutes. More crying.
-Jason arrives home. Hallelujah—back-up! He walks in asking what he can do to help—how I love this man, let me count the ways. He takes on Micah. Ivory wanders back and forth between the two of us.
-Ivory has another major meltdown.
-Ivory goes back to Cars and the couch for more snack.
-Jason tries calming Micah while taking care of finances.
-I finish putting away the groceries & change wash loads.

-My head is pounding with hunger. Start dinner.

Quick & Easy--from Rachael Ray.

[[Try adding noodles this time for something a little more substantial.]]
- Ivory begs to get down from the couch. She sees me snag her blankie for the wash and begins whining. Two more Ivory meltdowns to handle. Micah still fussing—so out of character for our little man.
-Ivory comes in the kitchen begging to help. She grabs a piece of onion—I snag it quickly & wash her hands before she touches her eyes. She begins grabbing and asking questions constantly.
-Jason takes the kids outside. Sweet peace! …for 2 minutes.
-Soup finished on the stove, bread (bread = 1 heel + 1 hotdog bun…trying to use up what’s about to go bad…and forgot readymade garlic bread at the store—my bread machine died) in toaster oven.
-Nurse Micah.
-Jason finishes up the bread.
-Ivory begging for juice.
-Lay Micah down.

-Dinner ready!

-Ivory tells us mommy should be the one who prays…pretty much like she tries to tell us how to do *everything*--including what door we enter the house, which car we should drive, and when we should/shouldn’t sing/speak. Jason prays. Cool some soup for Ivory in the freezer. She spins her spoon in an annoying manner but is waiting so patiently and happily I say nothing. Jason and I steal a few minutes of adult conversation. Turn Cars off. Eat.

-Ivory licks the table like a dog. Reprimand. Doesn’t want to eat. Realize it’s too spicy for her. Rinse the meat & pasta. She makes a “happy bowl” in a wink & asks for more. Wash some grapes. Happy bowl #2. More grapes.

-Texting and dealing with teenager struggles (my husband’s a youth pastor) throughout dinner. Jason calls a teenager to resolve some of these struggles.

7:17 PM
-Head to local store to snag some local grocery deals. Ivory decides she wants to go with me. Micah still asleep. Ivory decides after getting in the car she doesn’t want to go to the store after all. We stick with her former decision and she goes anyway amidst protests. Ivory is very good at the store. She’s sweet and friendly to the cashier showing her good manners with thank yous and goodnights.

-Arrive home to an upset & very awake Micah.
-Change the last wash load. Put away groceries. Prep morning coffee. Put away dishes. Close blinds. Open bedroom door Ivory closes then asks me to open. Wash dinner dishes.
-Kids play happily with daddy…for a few minutes.
-Ivory begging for Mommy’s attention. Mommy’s been too busy today, need to stop & give her my full attention for at least 5 minutes. Wrap things up in the kitchen & tell her to pick out a book for us to read together. Prediction: Shapes book. Dead on. The girl loves her shapes book & ABCs books.
[[Ivory reading her shapes book containing pop-out shapes.]]
7:55 PM
-Tummy relief drops for fussy Micah. We finally see a smile.
-Ivory & I read together. Change her diaper & put on her favorite princess pjs from gama. Ivory disobeys when I ask her not to touch something. More discipline.
-Micah finally happy for a few moments.
-Jason makes his second phone call to deal with teenage troubles.
-Micah fussing.
-Ivory crying. Time for bedtime—so ready for bedtime. Tantrum about bedtime. Climb in bed Ivory. Throws herself on the floor. Discipline. Finally climbs in bed. Upset over lost bear. Can’t find back up bear. Upset that blue blankie (favorite) is in wash. Only have pink blankie.

-Promise Ivory that if she’ll stop crying Mommy will lay in bed with her for a few minutes. Climb into bed as the crying ceases. Try bringing Micah with me…he won’t get comfortable or quiet. Jason gets off the phone and takes Micah.
-Ivory and I have some quiet alone time together for the first time today. We sing & sign the ABCs 6 times. She quotes John 3:16. We pray. I tell her I need to go. “Snuggle, Mommy!” This girl knows how to get to this Momma. We snuggle, sing ABCs again, sing Jesus Loves the Little Children. She learns to sign red. I need to go, Ivory…”Mommy, snuggle!” We snuggle a little bit more and I finally make myself get up before I fall asleep right there.
-Go to the office to grab Jason’s laptop for blogging.
-Give Micah a suppository (been 7 days since last bowel movement...TMI?) & bath.
-Fold laundry while Jason finishes up the bath & dresses Micah.

Late Evening
9:00 PM
-Nurse Micah. Fold some laundry with Jason.

-Lay Micah down.

-Grab a quick shower in preparation for Mom’s group tomorrow morning. My sweet husband folds laundry while I’m showering. Get out and finish up folding laundry. Will put it away tomorrow.

-Sit down to watch Monk & Human Target while blogging.

11:32 PM
-Check the front & back door to be sure they’re locked.
-Turn off lights.
-Check on Ivory one more time.

-Lights out. Spend time catching up with my husband.

-Before falling asleep I think about what I hope to do better at tomorrow: Quiet time, more focused attention with each child, possibly a nap?
-Can’t hold eyes open any longer…drift off to sleep and pray I’ll actually wake up when the alarm goes off at 6 for my Abs workout with Mrs. Robin…
[[Oh, and maybe soon I’ll actually update this picture to include Micah…]]
Aliya once told me that living in my brain for a day would make her tired. Normally it really doesn’t. Today, after recording all this, it made me tired, too—not the act of recording, but realizing all I do in a day. Today was especially crazy. We do enjoy many quiet, very fun days at home or doing other fun activities. This week is just very fully and busy and there was a lot to get done on this particular Monday. Our life seems to ebb and flow with busyness tides. I’m learning to simply enjoy the ride and not long for yesterday or wish for tomorrow. I love the seasons of bustling activity, but I also appreciate the days of quiet simplicity. I’m grateful for the family and life God has blessed me with and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

*I purposely did not edit out any messes in the pictures or experiences in our day (I’d normally try to edit/hide) to strive for transparency and reality as much as possible.