Monday, January 30, 2006

Ma'am, Your Kid Needs Help!

At the end of Christian Soldiers (kids' church) on Sunday, David and another 4 year old had to go to the bathroom. So, I take them out and they go into the boys' bathroom. They were in there FOREVER! Finally, Christian Soldiers was over and the other little boys' older brother came out. I asked him if he would go in the bathroom to see if they were okay. So, this boy and his friend go in to check on the little guys.

The friend comes back out and says, "Ma'am, your kid needs help! He is just standing there without his clothes on talking." I could see through the crack in the door, and David is standing there talking to his little friend with his pants and underwear down around his ankles!

I told the boy to please tell David to pull up his pants and to come out of the bathroom. 8 minutes later, David comes strolling out of the bathroom. I asked him what took so long, and he replied, "Braden and I were talking. We haven't talked in a long time!"

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Jesus Loves Me

We went out to eat yesterday after a very hectic Sunday morning at church. Nathan just wasn't in the whispering mood and had to be removed from church twice to be reminded of what it means to whisper. On top of it, Brian was leading singing, which leads to all sorts of conversations about what Daddy is doing, why is he up there, etc.

So, at lunch the dramatic Nathan continues to push the envelope with his ol' mommy dearest. Technically David started it, but the lunch ended with Nathan singing "God is bigger than the boogie man" from one of the VeggieTales over and over and over in his not so quiet voice. While what he is singing is a good thing, as a parent, you must intervene without squelching his growing spirit, right?

Well, this event reminds me of a trip that the boys and I took to Target in Little Rock. Target is a great place in my boys' minds. We don't have one in Searcy and have to drive almost an hour to get to one, so the time at Target is a coveted commodity (mainly by me). So, sometimes the boys will get a special treat at Target... the $1 drink and popcorn combo. I get an extra sack, pour half of the popcorn into the empty bag so each boy has his own bag, and the Target experience is much more enjoyable.

We are toodling along in Target, and the boys are living the high life with their popcorn. Nathan is sooo happy, he decided to break into song. He starts singing "Jesus loves me." I smile and praise him for his singing and song choice, so of course, he does it again... just a little louder. We are on the row with the cards and stationary and people on our row look and smile. Then he sings it again, even louder. People walking to the registers begin to look down our aisle for the singer. We get some smiles and some dirty looks. I am in that spot I mentioned earlier. Singing Jesus loves me is not a bad thing, but parents aren't supposed to let their kids make scenes in know, that "kids should be seen not heard" mentality. (By the way, my kids missed that lesson!) So, I praise Nathan for his beautiful singing and tell him to keep singing but maybe just to sing a little quieter. Well, that was it for Nathan; he began singing Jesus Loves Me in the loudest voice possible. I am rather embarrassed, but don't really want to stop him. It was a very awkward moment for me.

Then this lady comes and says, "I just had to come find the little boy singing about how Jesus loves him. I was over in the ladies clothes and heard him and just had to come see him and to thank you for letting him keep singing it." Any embarrassment that I had flew out the door right then. Nathan kept on singing and I kept on shopping with a big smile on my face. Thank you lady, wherever you are! Thanks for reminding me what my purpose is with my kids. Sometimes I get caught up in the little things that I forget that everything I do and say to my kids is teaching them something. (And just for the record, the lady's clothing section is over half of the store away from where we were! lol!)

In a funny little sidenote, I was telling a friend from church about it later that week. She kept looking at me like I was nuts. When I was done, she just said, "That is so strange... and this was Nathan doing the singing?" I told her yes and she started laughing. She had been listening to the Christian radio station and a woman called in and told about a child singing Jesus loves me at the top of his lungs and that she was so proud that the mom didn't make him stop that she had to find them and tell her. Thanks again lady! You were one of the reasons I let him keep singing. And Nathan, thanks for reminding your mom of the big picture!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Water Fountain

I promised to tell about the water fountain incident yesterday, so here it is. One day a couple of months ago, Brian went to pick up David. The kids were outside playing, and the teacher came over to Brian to talk to him. Now, usually this means that David either did something funny that she wants to share or that David got in trouble for talking or not napping. You have to realize that David is a pretty tame kid at school. He talks... A LOT. That is his big downfall, but he is not a hitter or a bully by any means. After all, he is smart enough to know that he is one of the smaller kids and those bigger kids could take him out!

So, imagine Brian's surprise when the teacher tells him that David was at the water fountain and spit in another kid's face. When Brian told me, my first response was "Are you sure because David doesn't even know how to spit?" But, he did the crime. Mrs. Tammy witnessed it herself. Well, we had to sit down and have one of those long talks with him that involved the words "Lewis boys don't do that" and "it doesn't matter what anyone else does or says, you don't spit at people." Since he did the crime, he had to face the punishment.

A few days later, we took David to school and the victim came in with his grandma. He saw David and said, "Look it's David Lewis. Hey David! Remember when you spit in my face the other day?" Then they went off and played together like best little buddies. And the parents were left there to be embarrassed and offer apologies to the Grandma, who took it like a pro.

So, what did I learn from this event? I could be all philosophical and say, when someone spits in your face, you need to forgive them, which is very true. I also could have learned how the minds of little boys work. However, sometimes you just have to take things at face value. The big lesson I learned is not to stand next to David when he is taking a drink out of the water fountain.

Fun Friday

I have decided to do something a little different with the boys on Fridays. Fridays are my easiest day in terms of work load and school. So, I decided that since David doesn't have to be at preschool on Fridays, I would just keep him home, and we would do really fun things. Some days we might go have adventures, visit the zoo and discovery museum in Little Rock, go to the park, etc. Other days we might stick around home and create masterpieces, bake things to take to people, play outside, or some other really fun thing.

Yesterday was the first fun friday. We were lazy for awhile and watched cartoons and hung out. Then I asked David what he wanted to do all day. He thought for a few minutes and then said this:

"Mom, you know something? I really like school a lot, but sometimes I really miss Nathan. I want to play with him all day. Is that okay?"

THIS is the same kid that will torment the small child just enough to provoke Nathan to hit him and then come tell on him. I had such mixed emotions hearing this. On one side, I just got that warm, fuzzy feeling inside and was thinking, "You are such a little angel!" The other side of me was going, "What have you done with my child?" The warm, fuzzy side won out though. He is such a good kid. They both are. They have their moments, but overall, they are kind, sweet children (except when they spit in other kids' faces at the water fountain -- I will tell that story tomorrow!)

So, we had a lazy day and we just played all day. The boys were vikings, Larry boys, puppies, etc. You name it, they created it and played it. We ended up the night with a showing of VeggieTales Lord of the Beans and David and the Giant Pickle right before bed. What a fun Friday!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

How Shocking!

My children are so easily amused. We were at Sam's the other night. We followed the usual ritual of getting a cart, putting the boys in the cart, and pushing it around the store. The only problem is that we got the demon-possessed cart.

I was pushing the cart, and every time I would touch any part of the metal on the cart, it would shock me. If I touched either of the boys, it would shock both of us. So here I am walking through the store going "Ouch.............Ouch...........Ouch!"

The boys thought this was quite amusing and started touching me so that they would shock me. Then they would just laugh hysterically. They even started playing a version of tag with each other (the best that you can when you are sitting next to each other in the cart). At one point, Nathan leaned over and kissed David and shocked him. David exclaimed, "How Shocking!"

The whole time, Brian is looking at us like we are nuts, so I make him push the cart. (I thought maybe it was my electric personality causing it...okay, I didn't have rubber soled shoes on and I thought I might be the culprit.) It happened to him too and he got us a new cart. So much for fun!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Stand on My Toes

I have so many stories to share right now, but don't want to overwhelm you with a million posts, so I will share one now and post more throughout the rest of the week.

Probably the biggest thing in Nathan's world right now is that he is now using the Big Potty. Life will never be the same for him again! :-) Now for those of you that are a little more removed and just don't remember this very well, here is a short reminder of what this entails. EVERY conversation works in some form of the word poopie, potty, flush or OH NO! I will spare you the details of the other conversations. For Nathan, he truly wants to be a BIG boy and wants to go potty standing up. We have just basically bypassed sitting down to go potty. I see this as a plus (with an occasional negative that brings the words OH NO! into the conversation. lol)

So, Nathan likes to stand up. The problem is that the kid is short. He is 3 years old and he wears 18 month pants because his legs are so short. He is just now fitting into 1 pair of 2T pants, and they are slims and are cut shorter. So, you see that this poses a problem for the whole standing up issue. At home, it isn't a problem because he uses a little stool, and that works well. But in public, we don't have the stool to stand on and some of the toilets are just a little too tall. However, he still insists on standing up to go. We were somewhere and I figured out that if he stood on top of my feet that he would still be able to stand up. So, this has become a new thing. Any time we are in public, regardless of the height of the toilet, he asks to "stand on my toes." Well yesterday, I was with him in the bathroom, and I had to go to the bathroom too. Nathan starts saying, "You can stand on my toes mommy." I told him that I was sitting down and didn't need to stand on his toes. He then starts saying over and over, "Mommy stand on my toes! Stand on my toes!" With each time he says it, he just keeps getting louder and louder. At this point, I am starting to get embarrassed. You know how you aren't supposed to give in to your kids, especially when they are yelling at you. Well, I did. I put my toes on top of his toes.

And we wonder why kids are so messed up now days! My child thinks that you have to stand on someone else's feet when you are in a public bathroom. Try explaining that to his teacher at school! (or better yet, the guys in the locker room) Just another thing that will eventually come out in counseling! :-)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Wedding Shoes

So last night, David was asked to be the ring bearer in a wedding. Rachel, a girl that has graduated out of our youth group and is very special to us, stopped by with her fiance to ask him to be in the wedding. I knew about it already and was really excited because David thinks weddings are really cool. Of course, when you expect this grand event, something else always happens. David was being shy and laughing hysterically about everything and anything. Brandon, the fiance, must have thought, "What have we done?" I kept promising things like "He'll be a year older" and "In public he usually isn't this spastic." But all in all, it was a really neat moment, and it reminded me of the wedding shoes story.

We were in a shoe store about 6 months ago. Brian was trying on shoes, and the boys were getting restless. So, the boys and I started walking through the store. We were looking at the women's shoes, and David saw some that were these silver, sparklie high heel shoes. He was very excited and said, "Look mom, you can get these and wear them when you get married." (Now remember I am walking through the store with two small children and people's ears started perking up and they started staring at us.)

So, I say, "David, I already am married." He responds with, "Who are you married to mom?" (Now EVERYONE in earshot distance is staring.) I say, "David, I am married to Daddy. We have been married for a long time!" He says, "Oh yeah, I forgot. Do I have to get married someday?" I said, "You will probably find a girl that you want to marry someday." He responds with, "I don't know about that." He is quiet for a few minutes and then says, "Charissa told me that she was going to marry me." And in a very dejected voice said, "I guess I better go find some shoes to wear when I get married."

I am not sure what it is about getting married and buying shoes that stick out in his little mind. It may have something to do with having watch Cinderella a bunch of times at Grandma Sandy's house during the week of the mission trip to Ogallala. Whatever it is, the boy thinks it is very important to have really nice shoes for a wedding, so we will probably have to go shopping before the wedding next December and pick out some really nice shoes.

And on a side note: the Ring Bearer at our wedding was named David too. Isn't that kind of neat?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Boys are SWEET!

Nathan woke me up this morning by coming into the room and poking me a few times on the arm and saying, "Mommy, wake up! It's today! Daddy is making me waffles. It is a surprise for you!" Normally, I hear the "Mommy wake up! It's today" line somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30 am, but today, my sweet husband got up with the boys and let me sleep until 9:00 am!

So, I get up and walk out to the kitchen and see two chairs pulled up to the counter. Brian and the boys are taking turns stirring the waffle batter. Life couldn't have been more complete at that moment. You know when you have those moments that just make you feel so blessed. That's what I felt right then.

So, I pitched in and we all made breakfast together. The boys were enthralled with the whole process of cooking eggs and bacon. They kept asking questions about why I was turning the bacon over, why was it changing colors, what the noise was, etc. At one point, David was getting a little frustrated with Nathan and said, "Your being too loud. I can't hear the bacon!" Some people stop to smell the roses. I guess this morning we stopped to smell the bacon! :-)

The conversation at the breakfast table is always so much fun too. Brian and I barely have to say a word because David and Nathan keep the conversation going full force. David filled us in on the latest about all the kids from school. Nathan announced that he wasn't Buzz Lightyear today. (He assumes a new personality on a daily basis.) Then we proceeded to talk about what letters different words started with. A great way to start the last day of a very busy week.

So if you have also had a busy week, be sure to take time to be quiet enough to hear the bacon!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Boys are GROSS -- but Mom WILL Prevail

Okay, I promised David's reason for why people have bad breath. This is not for the faint of heart, so be ready.

David woke up from a nap and was sitting with me in the chair. He was talking to me and was right by my face. He had some pretty bad morning (well...mid-afternoon) breath. Finally, I said, "David, I think you need to go brush your teeth because your breath stinks." So he proceeds to blow in my face. (I know, it's a boy thing -- but it is gross!) Anyway, he then proceeds to say, "I know why my breath stinks." I just wasn't thinking and asked, "Why?" He replied, "Because I must have eaten too many of my boogers." OOOOOOHHHHHHH! Yuckkkkkk! I said, "David, that is yucky. You don't really eat your boogers, do you?" He just smiled and said, "Sometimes, I do. Sometimes I don't."

So you see what I am working with here, don't you? And I have two of them...these creatures that are inherently gross. They were born with it in them, and the joy of their lives is telling their poor mom really gross things!

Little do they know, I have a plan. You see, I have been teaching them about being gentlemen. It all started at church when David was a little bit younger. He started to rush in the door past an older woman, and I grabbed his arm and made him wait. I explained that gentlemen waited for a lady to go in the door first. Then the lesson progressed to include holding the door open for other people, especially women. One Sunday, he held the door open for one of the elderly women at church and she commented on how nice it was that he held the door. He responded with, "That is a gentleman's job." Now we are working on letting girls have the first turn because that's what a gentleman does. This one is a little harder, but we are making progress. Nathan sees David do it and has heard me talk about it, so now he is trying to be a gentleman too. (At least some of the time!)

So, even though those boys have a bit of a gross streak, they still know when to turn on the charm and impress the women with their good manners. Just be sure to watch them at the door at church if you want to see those manners because you may not see them at the dinner table or if there is a booger involved! :-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What's His Name?

Well, we had a big weekend in Branson. We took a group of our teens to an area wide Teen Leadership Conference, and it was a good weekend. I have to brag on our "other kids." The group we took with us were nominated by members of the youth group to go to this leadership conference. Activities like this are always hard in the middle of the school year because everybody has so many school activities going on right now. We had a girl who is the starter on the Varsity Basketball team at her high school who missed a game so that she could go to this and learn how to be a stronger leader for God. We had another guy who missed a Quiz Bowl and others who took time off of work, missed school on Monday and gave up other school activities to be a part of this. How impressive is that! Our teens never cease to amaze me and to teach me so much about being a servant for God.

David and Nathan loved being around the "big kids" this weekend, but most of all, they loved riding in the big, white bus. I am not sure what it is about the church bus, but my kids think that it is the best thing since sliced bread. It is ultimate reward in life. (Man, how great would it be to go back to the days where we were satisfied with a bus ride!)

The weekend was a little tough with the boys out of their routine. Nathan was in somewhat of an anti-social mood. Whenever most of the other youth ministers' kids would come up to him, he would stick his arm straight out at them and push the laser on his "Buzz Lightyear" arm. I guess he was trying to zap them out of his personal space or something.

There was one little boy that David and Nathan both played with while we were there. He was a little younger than Nathan. David kept asking me what his name was and I kept telling him that I didn't know. I asked a few of the other youth ministers' wives, and they did not know either. So, the next time David asked me, I told him to just ask the little boy. So David went over to the little boy and asked him what his name was. The boy said something. David looked rather puzzled and said, "What did you say?" The boy said it again. This process repeated about 3 more times. Finally, David came back to me and said, "His name is Escoochular." What a kid!

Be sure to check tomorrow's post for David's reason for why people get bad breath! Until then, have a very blessed day!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Jesus Come Down!

Going to church with our two boys is always an adventure. You know how you see the cute little family with the little kids who sit quietly through church and color in their sweet little coloring books and look all angelic as they listen to the preacher from the age of 18 months. Well, not in this family! Our row looks more like a bomb has exploded with the ever changing out of toys to occupy the boys or an occasional fight over a toy which leads to Brian and I whispering (you know the parental whisper that includes unintelligible words and accidental spitting every now and again) threats of removing them from church to "talk" to them.

While David is usually pretty tame during church and usually only has to be reminded that he needs to quietly act out his great stories with his sticker people or toys that he has brought to church, Nathan is just plain loud. He likes for people to know what he is thinking and prefers to do it in a semi-yell volume. Before prayers, I generally pray that God show mercy on us and put it on the heart of the person praying to end his prayer quickly. The reason I do this is because of the fact that Nathan will try to end the prayer for the person if it goes a little longer than he thinks it should. At the beginning of the prayer, he will bow his head and fold his hands and will even look like one of those angelic kids I talked about earlier. Then, he begins to get a little restless. Pretty soon, in a loud voice, he starts saying, "In Jesus' name we pray, Amen!" He says it over and over until the prayer ends or he is "removed" from church.

One other story stands out as the best prayer moment though. Somebody was praying, and Nathan was diligently listening to the prayer. The man thanked God for Jesus coming down to earth to die for us, etc, and Nathan begins yelling, "COME DOWN JESUS! JESUS COME DOWN!"

Imagine the horror! Imagine the stares! was more like... imagine the laughter. As the parent you are supposed to hold it together and shush the loud child, but all I could do was get extremely tickled and try my best to get him quiet without him seeing how funny I thought the whole thing was.

Oh, he may be loud, but he is a great kid. By the time he graduates from high school, he may be able to sit quietly through church. Until then, he will provide me with some good posts and a good laugh (when he's not around!).

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The book of Philippians

Well, this is the beginning of my journal about our family. As an update for those who haven't seen us in awhile, David is 4 and Nathan turned 3 in December. They are busy boys and keep us running. They are full of fun ideas, cute sayings and mischievous pranks, which is why I want to keep this blog. I want to remember these days, and this is a way that I can do that and also share them with family and friends.

I will start off the blog with a neat little story from the other day. David came home from his Pre-K school where they have been studying stories from the book of Philippians. I was upstairs and heard David and Nathan having a deep discussion about my Bible, which they had found in the living room.

This is what I heard David say:

Nathan, this is the book of Philippians. The book of Philippians tells you everything that God wants you to know. There are also maps in the book of Philippians. They help you in case you get lost. See Nathan, this is where you are, but this is where God wants you to go. The book of Philippians tells you where God wants you to go and also tells you that God will be with you while you follow the map. So rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.

Isn't it something when a four year old gets it better than we do! I challenge you to sit down and read Philippians today and see where it is that God wants you to go. Have a blessed day!

P.S. Oh yeah, and don't forget to rejoice!