Friday, June 18, 2010

Unbearable Cuteness

Well, yesterday’s post was a little heavy. Today’s is most definitely not.

I think I’ve mentioned before that Tobin loves to sing. We get such a kick out of it. And he has definite favorites. I’ve always said that if I had kids, I’d introduce them to real music because I find kid-targeted music difficult to stomach. There is some really great music out there for kids, and my kids love most of the CDs I like to listen to. One problem I never foresaw: Even the best music is mind-numbing if you have to listen to the same song 18 times in a row.

That said… At least it started as a song I love. The current favorite in my car is “Happiness” by David Crowder. He LOVES THAT SONG. We listen to it 4 times a car ride, until I can’t take it anymore (or until Luke rebels). I still really like the song…but I could use a break.

In Matt’s car, the favorite is “I’m Counting on God.” T was singing it in the bath a couple of nights ago, and I had no idea he knew so many of the words (Matt’s only had the CD for a few weeks, and T doesn’t ride with him very often). It was my lucky night, because T was in the mood not just to sing, but to sing for YOU:

Here are the words (in case you don’t understand his “dialect”):

“Joy unspeakable that won’t go away; Just enough strength to live for today; So I never have to worry what tomorrow will bring; My faith is on solid rock, I’m counting on God.”

Faith like a child. Am I right?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hard lessons all around…

It’s tempting when you’re blogging to only tell the good stories – they’re a lot more fun to write about. And when things happen like 2 weeks ago – when I called Matt in the middle of the day just to cry because I was so tired of being screamed at, pushed, pulled, and climbed on by my precious 3 year old – I didn’t exactly stop to take pictures.

But I don’t want to present a one-sided view of our family. We are not perfect. And I am trying to learn that perfection (mine or my children’s) is not the goal. Good thing, since I’m typing this while T is in the bath – singing a pee-pee butt song at the top of his lungs. Just in case you’re wondering. :)

Also…while many of life’s best lessons are hard, and deeply embarrassing, I want to value the lesson itself – better to be embarrassed in your sin and unkindness than continue in it. And that’s as true for me as it is for my kids. So with that in mind… here are some hard lessons we’ve been learning:

Luke is a very good kid, and we love him just the way he is. However… when it comes to sensitivity, he didn’t come with a large helping. I knew that he would need to grow up in this area – but in many ways, it can be a strength. He’s not naturally fearful or intimidated, and he’s been totally unphased by people who scared the heck out of other kids early in school (the lunch ladies, for example.) I think particularly considering what he lived through in his early years, it’s a really good thing that he’s not a sensitive, easily bruised soul.

On the other hand… he’s learning what happens when you speak without being sensitive to others’ feelings. We’ve had two really hard and hurtful situations to work through with him in the last month. The first: he repeated something that was hurtful, resulting in a whole class full of boys laughing at one of the girls (and his first trip to the principal’s office, which made quite an impression). The second, he said something mean after baseball to one of the boys who’d had a rough game (conveniently forgetting that he’d struck out both times at bat in the same game himself.) We apologized (Luke, and Matt & I, since we know the parents involved in both situations), and I’m really hoping that he remembers how hurt his friends were in both cases. I’m actually praying specifically that he would remember the lesson far longer than either person remembers the hurt. I’m also praying that he’ll learn how to respond when he blows it – because I feel like I’ve spent my whole life concentrating all my effort on not blowing it, rather than learning how to respond well when the inevitable blowing it happens.

That’s probably where my hard lessons are coming in. I’ve known for a while that I’m hard on myself and want to always get everything “right”. But I’m just realizing the extent that I put this demand on my children (mostly Luke, since I don’t yet have that expectation of Tobin.) I really REALLY don’t want to teach him to expend all of his effort on being perfect, never blowing it, getting “it” right (whatever “it” is.) I want him to know the ONE who is perfect, and who has covered him completely. I want him to know that he doesn’t have to always get it right, because “Jesus paid it all.” Of course to experience God’s grace when you blow it, you have to blow it. And we all do. And to show grace to your children, you can’t be embarrassed when they blow it. Or surprised. Or angry.

I’ve been really encouraged by a book I’m reading right now, Grace-based Parenting, by Tim Kimmel. I’ve read a ton of Christian parenting books, but they so often have very good advice that unfortunately brings out the highly controlling, demanding parts of me (I’m sure the problem there is more with me than with the books, in most cases.) I feel like this book, rather than telling me what to do, is helping me to see my own heart. I’m not done with it yet, but so far here’s the bottom line I’m taking away: I’ve been working for a while from the premise that my #1 job as a parent is to teach my children to walk with Jesus and teach them right and wrong. I am now thinking that while those things are important, they’re not my #1 job. #1 is to love Jesus and experience His grace myself, and then to love my children and represent Jesus well to them. I feel a bit remedial even admitting that this is a huge realization for me – I really should already have known this. But it’s been very life-giving and encouraging. Even if at times there are have been hard lessons all around.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

So…apparently we have a pitcher on our hands.

If at any point in June something reminds you of the Meyer family and you wonder, “Hmmmm, I wonder what those crazy Meyers are doing”, the answer is probably: They are at a baseball game. The College World Series starts next week, which we are SO blessed to get to be a part of, thanks to the generosity of Matt’s parents, George and Renae. And Luke’s baseball season started the third week of May – he had 4 games that last 2 weeks of school (all of them 8pm-10pm games…more on that later.)

Things I’m thankful for:

  • We love baseball.
  • Tobin is SO MUCH EASIER to have along this year. Last year (and the year before) was exhausting, chasing him around, trying to keep him from eating rocks for 2 hours straight, losing him constantly (don’t worry – when in doubt, he’s at the water fountain.)
  • We’re having a much better season so far. They won their first 2 games, tying their win record from last season (that’s right – last summer, they won TWO games. It was a little discouraging for them.)
  • The boys (Luke included) are really working hard, and you can see how much they have improved, both in fielding and batting. We have some really good players (mostly the same group as last year, they’ve just hit their stride this year or something.)
  • We have a lot of 8pm games. We were concerned about this schedule at the beginning of the season, particularly since we were still getting up early for school that first 2 weeks. Then last Friday we had our first 6pm game. It was scorching hot. So we decided 8pm games rock. I just need to start remembering the bug spray.
  • Luke’s is having an unfortunate streak as far as batting is concerned (he’s been walked on twice, and struck out 3x in his last few games.) BUT…he is pitching like a madman. He’s pitched 4 innings so far, and no one has scored on him…only a couple folks even made it on base. He got the game ball from the first game, which brought him home about a foot taller that night – he was so proud.

Here’s some video footage I took the last time he pitched. This is both innings, edited together – just the strike outs. There were a fair number of balls, but that’s no fun to watch. The only thing I don’t like about this video is that you can hear me the whole time because I can’t film silently. At one point I even say, “Hot Diggedy Dog”, which is proof that I’m watching too much Kid TV (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, for those of you without kids. We don’t get the Disney Channel, but you can watch some of their programming online…it’s Tobin’s favorite!) I might have edited that out though…

It’s quite long… feel free to not watch if you’re not related to us. :) This is mostly for Uncle Jon and the rest of our out of town family!!


I’ve never used Vimeo to share before… the upload is way easier than YouTube (and vimeo feels less pervy). I had to change some privacy settings…but I’m pretty sure this will work. Let me know if you can’t see the video! (If you’re getting this in email, I’m pretty sure you’ll have to go to the website to watch the video.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One last thing from Soccer Camp…

I’ve talked a lot about how much fun Luke had at British Soccer camp. But I forgot to mention how much Tobin enjoyed it also. He talked about it all week long, and everywhere we drove, he asked, “Is this the way to soccer camp?”

He loves soccer and can’t wait until it’s his turn to play. Last week Luke set up the cones and they played in the living room for a loooooong time (I encouraged them to go outside, but it was either blazing hot or pouring rain – that’s the only kind of weather we had last week.) They’ve done this before – but this time, Luke taught Tobin how to be the goalie.

Remember that next time you’re in a hard goal-tending situation: When in danger, just pick up and move the goal! :)

You know, it gets pretty noisy (and sometimes doesn’t smell very pleasant), but I really do love living with these boys!


Matt teases me…but I get the kids a first day of summer present every year, which we give to them the first day after school is over. I love to celebrate, and I love making things special. We don’t spend a lot, and we don’t buy our kids toys/non-necessities very often, if at all, except as birthday/Christmas presents. So I feel just fine about getting them a few treats for the summer. Are you wondering why Matt would tease me? He says I’ll use any excuse for a celebration and a present – valentine’s presents, Easter presents, St. Patrick’s day presents, May Day presents, and now a summer present! For the record, I do get treats for Valentine’s and Easter (but just candy usually), and have never in my life bought a St. Patrick’s Day or May Day gift (I don’t even celebrate May Day because I’d never heard of it before I moved to Nebraska – except maybe in Little House on the Prairie.) He’s all talk – I know he loves it too. :)
Anyway… I got us a new sprinkler, because ours was from before Matt & I got married, and has been destroyed over the years. I got Luke mostly books – a new Bible study he & Matt are going to work on together, the latest in a series he’s loved reading, and Star Wars trivia book that he’s been wanting for months (that retails for $30…but which I got on for under FIVE, including shipping. I’m pretty impressed with myself.) For Tobin, I got some sand toys and a bubble gun.
We went to a graduation party for my friend Ashley last month, and someone had bubble guns for the kids to play with – boy was THAT a hit! And he has LOVED having one of his own.
Bubble Gun 013 Bubble Gun 010 Bubble Gun 011 Bubble Gun 012
You know who likes bubbles almost as much as Tobin?
Bubble Gun 009 Bubble Gun 003  Bubble Gun 005   Bubble Gun 008

Monday, June 14, 2010

Doughboys with David…

I’ve had several folks ask what Doughboys are, since I’ve mentioned them multiple times on Facebook. They are a little piece of paradise, and have almost obliterated S’mores as the campfire treat for our family. Our friend Dan grew up making them, and we have doughboys every chance we get for a fire with the college group.

Specifically… They are canned buttermilk biscuits (Pillsbury, the cheapo store brand does not work as well), which you – one at a time - wind around the top of a wooden dowel (once it’s used this way, it is a “doughboy stick”.) You roast it slowly over hot coals (flames are too hot) until it’s golden brown. And this is when it gets good: When it’s done enough to slide off the doughboy stick, you drop it into melted butter, and then cover it with cinnamon/sugar. And then you die from Yumminess.

Despite the raging heat, we had a fire in our fire pit Friday night so that we could introduce David to doughboys on our last night with him.

 Doughboys with David 001 Doughboys with David 002 Doughboys with David 003  

Doughboys with David 006

Of course they were a hit, because who wouldn’t like buttery – cinnamony – dough? Unfortunately, he probably can’t have them in his homeland, since in the UK, biscuits are cookies, and they don’t pop out of a can. But they sure are good.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Crumpets and tea and football

British Soccer 009 Last week we had our last hurrah in Soccer for the year: British Soccer Camp. Our YMCA hosts Challenger British Soccer, a week long camp coached by British soccer coaches. This is our third year doing the camp, and it’s by far the best sports camp we’ve participated in. The coaches are super enthusiastic, and they make the week really fun. Each camper is placed on a world cup team (Luke was Brazil this year),  and they gain points all week both through games and sportsmanship, as well as silly activities. Luke’s favorite: Crazy Drink day – everyone is supposed to make their own drink for the coaches to try. Luke’s concoction this year was a Mountain Dew base, with baking cocoa, Tabasco, ketchup, British Soccer 004vinegar and salt, among other things. Then he added baking soda – but it was fizzing and fitzing so much in the fridge that we made him dump it out (Matt did the dumping, and it exploded all over our sink when he opened it.) He mixed up the same thing – minus the baking soda – the next morning and took that to camp. Only one coach was willing to try it, and he said it was horrid, made his eyes water. So I guess that was a success :).

British Soccer 001 We had the extra fun this week of hosting one of the coaches: Our new British friend David. The boys loved having him around. Tobin keeps talking about “David’s country”, although I’m not sure he understands what a country is. :)  David was a great guest, and even took it in stride when he got home from the evening camp to find our house full of college students. Unfortunately this happened on dress-up-your-coach day, so he walked into a room full of strangers with make up on.  It was fun to have even more British in our week. Luke always spends this week saying things like “brilliant!” and calling everyone “mate”. Now we had a guest who, when it was time to say good night, said, “Well, I think I’ll have a bit of a lay-in, night!”

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Coming soon…

I’m about to post several updates to go up over the next week… Soccer Camp… Baseball (which, in June, is the almost always going to be the answer to the question, “What are the Meyers doing?”)…some hard (but very good) growing up lessons…general summer silliness…and almost unbearable cuteness from our littlest joy boy.

In the meantime (and speaking of our littlest): Here’s what he’s doing right now as I’m blogging (thanks to the wonder of a laptop & wireless internet, I’m sitting on the front step as he’s painting.):

 Sidewalk Chalk Paint 001 Sidewalk Chalk Paint 002

That’s homemade sidewalk chalk paint: 1/4 c water, 1/4 c cornstarch, and a few drops of food coloring per container. And it washes right off with the hose (according to the gal from whom I got the recipe – one of my favorite bloggers – I haven’t actually tried to wash it off yet.) I hope it hoses off the painter himself, since he ended up painting his body even more than the sidewalk…

Of course he’s moved on from the painting now. Since I started writing this short update (and uploading pictures from my camera, which is a longer process since there’s lots of video) he has: Painted the sidewalk, painted himself, noticed our neighbor Mike cleaning out his car & asked 10 questions, gotten the mail directly from the mailman’s hand, blown bubbles, and asked for a pail from the garage shelf so he could gather up as many rocks as he can carry. It’s busy being 3…

(and in case you’re wondering where my other two joys are… M & L are downstairs having a FIFA championship on the Wii as we wait for the USv.UK World Cup game to begin.)