Sunday, June 28, 2009

Testosterone X 6

A month after Luke's 6th birthday, we finally had his party!

You can see below why I called this post "Testosterone X 6."
Six 6-year old boys at Luke's 6th birthday party.

Luke wanted a Tech Deck birthday party. In case you don't know, Tech Decks are little fingerboard toys that kids can do tricks with.

The good thing about Tech Decks? No road rash!We set up a skatepark using his Tech Deck skateboard ramps. The boys had way more fun playing in the skatepark than I imagined they would. I thought it would be one of those things that lasts 5 minutes and then they start running like wild maniacs around the house. I guess beginning the party by giving each boy his own Tech Deck skateboard helped with that. (We blew up about 30 balloons and put Tech Decks in 6 of them. The boys had to bust open the balloons to find a Tech Deck skateboard. They loved this noise and chaos- Luke's idea!)

If you look carefully at the boy in the foreground, you can see his little Tech Deck skateboard flying through the air doing some cool trick. Luke found these grind rails on You Tube. I know, I can't believe that a then 5 year old could surf You Tube (with me watching over his shoulder!!!) and discover a tutorial on how to make a grind rail (what's a grind rail anyway???) using a wood block and a drawer pull from Home Depot.

But find it he did, so we made our trip to Home Depot and my ever so handy husband put drilled holes and put them together. We gave the boys sharpies and they spent about 15-20 minutes decorating their own grind rail to take home later.

It was amazing how totally cool they thought this was.

It's also amazing how cool they thought it was when the boy in the top right hand corner of the photo belched. See Luke laughing hysterically? Opening presents was great fun for Luke. After that, they did all begin running around like wild maniacs, but I didn't stop them.

After all, how often does my boy get to just revel in his testosterone?

Here is our sweaty and stinky boy getting his picture taken by his skateboarding birthday cake from Reasors after running around like a wild maniac.

After all that spitting, burping, running, crashing and burning, you can see on his sweet, little face that he still gets super excited about blowing out the candles on his birthday cake.

And that made this estrogen-laden momma very, very happy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Man Could Dance (Updated)

"Kings of pop and Angels of television are not immune to death." - Rena

I couldn't said it have better than my friend Rena. Check out her blog entry today.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Quilting Lessons

I don't think it gets any more precious than this: My 97 going-on-98 year old Granny teaching Kami to sew a quilt.

And I mean REALLY teaching her (with a ton more patience than I would have!)

Granny was down in the nitty gritty, fixing the thread and resetting the bobbin. Sitting with her at the sewing machine for 2+ hours, guiding Kami's little hands and thoughts as Kami stitched her miniature quilt squares into bigger blocks.

(As an aside is it an amazing thing that my granny can still see well enough to put that thread through that tiny eye of the needle?
That alone can be maddening at times!)

I was only at Granny's house for a few minutes... I dropped Kami off and called Granny about an hour later to see how the sewing was going.
Me: Hey Granny! How's it going?

Gran: Well, it's going OK. Kamryn is sewing and I'm ripping out.

Me: What?

Gran: Well, when she makes mistakes, and she's going to, I just rip it out for her. It's going to take her some time to get the hang of it. It's certainly not going to help her if I do it for her! She's got to do it herself to learn it.

Me: Thanks for taking the time to help her, Granny!

Gran: Honey, that's all I got anymore is time. Happy to do it!
hours: 2
quilt squares: 10
memories with Great Grandma: absolutely precious

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Heart Faces - Week 24 (BOYS!)

I really do heart this face, as ornery as it is.

Notice kool-aid mustache, sweaty hairline, and squinting left eye... focusing on intended target for his green water balloon.

What could be more boyish?

I Heart Faces website for more faces of ornery boys.

Text Messages to God

During my freshman year of high school, one Brad Camp, Younglife leader, told us that praying was like talking on the phone. You just pick up the receiver and talk to God. The difference is you never have to hang up. That really stuck with me.

Back then, 20+ years ago, cell phones were only on the Jetsons. Who could have imagined text messages to God then? Call me crazy. That is exactly what I've been doing.

Like many of you, I pray throughout my days, whispering up little prayers of praise and requests for guidance and protection.

But I found there is something oddly satisfying and possibly therapeutic about typing out a text message to God. After all, prayers seems to be whisked off into the vast universe much like my text messages are. Where do they go? How do they get there? It's kind of all on faith. One difference isthat I see text messages charged on my bill at the end of the month, but God doesn't accept cash, check or credit card. Kinda amazing how free prayer is, huh? I know God hears my prayers, whether I pick up my prayer "phone" or my cell phone.

But lately, with adrenaline coursing through my body on a 24/7 cycle (stress!), the text messages slow me down and I say exactly what I want to say, purposefully. Even if it is in text message slang. Dear God, U r so gr8, so powrfl, & awesm. U hve r future n ur hands.

He gets it.

Want to try it? Just make that God is in your network of friends. ;-)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Three Words

You've heard the question asked before.

What would your obituary say about you?

Kanakuk family camp gave me something a little different to think about, however.

One night, Will Cunningham, the camp director, told us that his father's gravestone reads three words:

"He was kind."

That got me to thinking about how my life may be defined in one word.

One simple word.

Yes, I am a much more complex being than that.
However, if there was one word from the dictionary to be said about me, what would it be?

Right off the bat, I like "Anne was Kind" too. It has a certain ring to it. But am I that kind of kind? The kind of kind that sees every person through the eyes of Christ, consistently puts self 2nd and is defined by my altruistic spirit towards them. Not quite.

I'd love it to be "Anne was Organized," but after last night's debacle, there's no shot at that. Just suffice it to say that our family had gone to Luke's baseball game at 6:00 that was actually at 7:45, while at the same time, guests were arriving at our house for Luke's birthday party because I had mistakenly sent out the invitation for the wrong day. Nope. Anne is Organized is not going to fly.

Then, I think it could definitely go in the other direction.
I could be described as "Anne was Frustrated," "Anne was Envious," "Anne was Inconsistent" or "Anne was Conflicted." Or if you ask my kids, they may say "Anne was a Raving, Screaming Lunatic." Ok, that is more than one word.

Yikes what if I were
Anne was Hungry
Anne was Eating
Anne was Chocolate

That's a definite possibility.

It's easy for me to figure it out for others....
Katie was Passionate
Ida was Blessed
Chere was Insightful
Linda was Achieving
Ashley was Devoted
Laura was Sunshine
Lori was Simply Wonderful (woops, 2 words there)
Nicole was Crazy (just kidding girl, you know I LOVE you!)

I think I've got a shot at being
Anne was Focused (once I get my mind on something, I can knock it out of the park!)
Anne was Creative (probably one of my favorite things in the world - creativity)
Anne was Emotional (my blessing and my curse)

But seriously, could I qualify for even one fruit of the spirit?
Loving, Joyful, Peaceful, Patient, Gentle, Good, Faithful, Self-Controlled????

It's something to think about. What 3 words describe you?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kanakuk Family Kamp - Day 7

Day 7 consisted of a breakfast farewell, during which we watched our cool Term 2 video and after which we took about a thousand, cheesy pictures.

But this is the only photo I am going to post for the last day.

Because THIS is what changed Tom's mind.
Well, maybe it had something to do with the amazing-zipline-cool-ropes-course-good-food-airconditioned-rooms-amazing-beauty-sports-oriented place we were in.

But on the drive home... I asked him... what did it for you? What "converted" you, so to speak? Because though on day 2, I still saw shades of skepticism, by day 4, I could see that not only had that vanished, but it was a replaced by a genuine enjoyment and engagement in these places and these people.

His answer? I want my kids to be like those kids.

Even though he may not tell you this (he is the strong, silent type), I will tell you that Tom developed more connections and relationships than I did! As we were walking out, it was Tom giving hugs and high fives way more me. He saw in those Kanakuk counselors and staff qualities that he admired, and respected and their interest in serving the families at K-Kauai was fantastic and unique.

The picture only serves to drive home his point.

Would we do it again? Absolutely. Just wish you could go with us next time!

Kanakuk Family Kamp - Day 6

This was one of the highlights of the week. At breakfast, a congo line of kitchen staff comes out singing this crazy song about "Magic Orange Juice." The girl in front is holding a tray with a coconut in the middle. Then the counselors stand up one by one and say these hilarious things like "One time I drank magic orange juice, and you know what happened? I got into a staring contest with the statue of liberty and I WON!!!" Needless to say, Luke and other kids his age were WIDE EYED at the hilarious tales they were telling. Here comes the fun part. They announced that one person would be able to drink magic orange juice if he or she had a sticky note under their chair. Guess where it was? Under Luke's chair! So he got the coconut full of yummy magic orange juice, and got to stand up on stage while everyone sang and clapped. This picture is a recreation; I didn't take my camera to breakfast on Day 6. Darn! The funny part is that a big rain came through that morning. A hard pounding rain with lots of wind. Later, after the rain had cleared, one of the counselors asked Luke, "Hey Luke, what did magic orange juice help you do?" "STOP the RAIN!" he responded without missing a beat. Everyone got a good laugh out of that.

Ahhh.... just as we are getting comfortable and have found our groove, the week is winding down. This is our final full day at the K-Kauai, and it began with praise and worship at The Reef. Praise and Worship time is one of my very favorite parts of the week!Kami sat by her sweet friend Kristina.And Luke and Molly became great friends the last couple of days!
But the challenges were not over! It was free day, so we rushed over to Diamond Head for one last shot at the ropes.
Kami climbed the ladder to the platform and took a flying jump at the trapeze (see the tiny white matchstick looking thing?) She didn't catch it, but I was proud she tried!
The game room became big for the kids towards the end of the week. Whereas at the beginning of the week, we kind of accompanied the kids everywhere, by this time, they felt comfortable going by themselves. We may join them later or pick them up on the way to dinner.
Day 6 was school color day. Here you see a mix of the Blue and Gold and Maroon and Black.
They called Night 6 Maui-Kablowie; it was a full night of Olympic activities deejayed by some of the funniest guys there. We had a blast competing in all the activities.
This could be the worst picture I've ever taken, but I had to include it because you can see the grand finale activity that Tom participated in... down a P, B and J covered with whipped cream and chocolate sauce and then swim a lap around the lazy river. Tom is on the left. The guy he beat is on the right.
The crowd reacts as Tom beats his competitors!!!! (with a Christian spirit, of course...)

Wow, we can't believe that tomorrow we are driving back home. We all stay out late and visit. We won't be sad until tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Kanakuk Family Kamp - Day 5

Wow. Day 5 is here. And we are up early (6 AM!) for the Hillbilly Lobster Hunt. This was BY OUR CHOICE though!

Let me explain: K-Kauai schedules two excursions for each family. You get to pick what your family would like to do. We actually got three excursions. One was Diamond Head on Day 2. Two was the Hillbilly Lobster Hunt on Day 5. The third, also on Day 5, was skiing and tubing on the lake!

But first, see what we saw early that morning. Here are our "native" tourguides who took us over to hunt crawdads.
Kami caught a crawdad!And back on the campgrounds were the hillbillies who fixed us an amazing country breakfast. They were a lot of fun. The hillbilly on the left is actually the director of the camp, Will Cunningham!Going out on the lake as a family was glorious fun!Tom said he hadn't skied in years, but he looks pretty studly to me! Alex was our boat driver. We were in good hands!What a goober!!! :-) He takes after me.Later that night, we had the Gospel Walk. This was a more serious night, not as wild, but definitely one of my favorites. Ellie with yet another person who she's bonded with... getting ready to start our walk around the property with several other families.We had a "peek" into the life of 4 other families as presented by the Kanakuk staff. They represented common attitudes and actions that are accepted as "normal," but go against God's way. This was a young girl who had an attitude with her mom.And a family of four driving to church with squabbling and frustration. That one was pretty apropos!After each skit came the silent message in the form of a poster. Simple yet strong messages. Afterwards, Will gave a message. It was geared to audiences from 2 to 102, and he talked about how Jesus is your life jacket. When you jump into a river, if your lifejacket is in the boat, it will not help you. You must put it on and let it protect you.Nick sat with us as we enjoyed the message, the praise and worship and the army of lightning bugs that sparkled in our presence.The ending of the day was perfect for Luke as his final act was a late night miniature golf game with Dad!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Kanakuk Family Kamp - Day 4

Let me tell you a little about how our days went at K-Kauai.
Here is the schedule for Day 4 that was given to us when we checked in:

6:30 Muscle Beach open (for those who wanted to get up early and workout. I wasn't among them. It is also the location of the very few TVs on the island)

7:30 Bamboo Bean open (the Bamboo Bean was the oh so hip snack shop with coffees and smoothies and treats and board games. We never made it this early.)

8:30 Breakfast in Hale Olina (the dining hall) and by the way, this isn't your typical camp food. Oh no. Let's just say I didn't skip a meal! Yummy!

9:30 Drop kids off at Low Tide (morning activities)

9:40 Adults Only - Worship and Speaker (again, the Merrills spoke. They talked about parenting which was my favorite topic of the week. I need all the help I can get!)

11:00 Adults Only - Break

12:15 Pick up kids at Jungle Dome

12:30 Lunch

1:15 Pool, Bean and Jumping Pillow open
Naptime for kids 0-2 in the Ala Moana (child care)

2:15 High Tide - afternoon activities with family
Hana Bay - upper pool open
Sunset Cove - lower waterpark open (lazy river and water slides!)
Arts and Crafts
BB Guns
Reservations only for Diamond Head (ropes course) and Pontoon Boats on Lake Taneycomo

5:00 High Tide Ends

6:00 Dinner

This particular day was Parent's Night Out. Kids had dinner with their friends/counselors and the parents all had a candlelight dinner with kabobs and shrimp and good company. Afterwards, they took parents to Branson Landing for a little night out. This was the only evening we spent away from the kids. I enjoyed it, but glad it was just one night. We always had so much fun with the kids and the crazy activities they planned for us.

9:30 Pick kids up

After that, we usually played a late night game of miniature golf, visited the Bean, or if you were Ellie, you caught frogs with your friends.

There was no official "lights out" time, but we usually hit the sack by about 10:30.

I fell off of my picture taking duty, at least as far as our daily activities were concerned. Apparently, however, I thought it was a good day to take pictures of the scenery. So enjoy the beauty of the "island."

Kanakuk Family Kamp - Day 3

Well, it was the beginning of day three of our experience at K-Kauai.

We were having fun, BUT I could still see a teeny bit of "I can't believe we still have 5 days left of this" in Tom's eyes. Everytime the staff broke out into a silly, cheesy song, I kind of cringed.

There is one thing Tom has none of, and that is cheese.

We began our day with breakfast at 8:30. And at breakfast, they served a lot of cheese.

If someone has a birthday, the whole staff stands up and dances to this crazy fun song. (below)
Of course, the kids loved it. I thought it was pretty cool myself. It grew on Tom. It really did.

After our session with Mark and Susan Merrill (marriage), we had a little adult free time and then picked the kids up from their activities.

After lunch, we headed down to the "lower fields" for the activities of our choice. Kami, (Ms. I Want To Take On a Challenge) wanted to try the jumping off of brand new 31 foot platform. She has this expression on her face because the water was COLD. They said it was around 47 degrees cold. Would she do it?
Tom climbed the ladder.and jumped!And after a few, long minutes, Kami did it too! Did I do it? Absolutely NOT!!!! I attempted a cannonball off a 3 foot high diving board about 3 years ago and I think it almost killed me. I am almost positive I got a concussion.The celebration picture. On the left is Will Cunningham, the director of K-Kauai. On the right was one of our buddies, Nick.

More water fun! This is the new slide at Hana Bay.Luke rocketing off the slide.Scooter taught Luke a little archery.It didn't take him long to get it!Night 3 was the Rave. We all wore neon; as they said, "If it isn't neon, it should'nt BE ON!" It was a totally fun night! The music, the dancing, the skits; it was all tons of fun. I even noticed Tom tapping his toe a little.
The rave ended with some awesome praise and worship.And finally, Ellie and Clare caught a frog. That pretty much covers it for Day 3!!!