September 27, 2008

A boy and his bike (and the brush)

We saw an ad in Craig's List for a bike for Finn. It looked cute and retro, so I gave John the go-ahead. It was only $10, so we decided Finn could pay for it himself. What a deal, right?


When John and Finn came home with the bike, it was ANYTHING but cute and retro. It was ugly and dirty and the training wheels seem very rickety. And definitely NOT retro. More like the 80's if you ask me.

What really gets me, is the orange, yellow and black flames. And the rust dribbling down.
When I complained to John that Finn's bike was a jaloppy, he asked me "Do you always have to have everything all sparkly and new?"

I think he forgot that I did allow Calvin's USED drum set in the house, and quite happily at that. It was in pretty good shape. I certainly don't mind buying used, so long as I am buying something in decent condition. 

And I do think buying one's first bike ought to be a big deal. I distinctly remember my first bike. We spray painted it red, and bought all sorts of red and white checkered BMX-looking accessories. I loved it. I wish I had a picture of it.

Regardless of my disdain for Finny's new old bike, he really seems to like it. As a matter of fact, he thinks he's pretty big stuff right now. Never mind the training wheels...

This evening was so beautiful, we could not resist the call of the wild.

Away we went, stomping around.


There is nothing better than roaming about in the brush with a monster.

September 25, 2008

Parents' Night

We have not taken the boys to Disneyland yet. I can't wait to take them one day. In the meantime, this will just have to suffice.

When I told the boys that Cubby and Sparky would be at AWANA, Finn started talking about how Sparky was going to fly all over the room. I did not want to burst his bubble, but I did try warn him. When we got home, I asked Finn, "Sooo, what did you think of Cubby and Sparky?"

Finn said happily,  "I thought they were silly. I think Sparky was just a person in a costume, because REAL Sparkies fly."

I did try to warn him.

All in all, parents' night was a lot of fun. Here is friend Dylan with his lovely mama Christina.

Finn had been quite the stickler with me all week while we practiced our verses. When I would pause to think for 1 microsecond, he was ALL over me:

"What mommy? Why are you stopping? Don't you remember your verses? Or did you just stop because you had food in your mouth?", he interrogated.

Thankfully, when we got there, I as able to say my verses without putting Finn, and the whole family, to shame.

And he was even more concerned about Calvin. That day, while Calvin was practicing his verse, he kept saying "...Give Him the name OF Jesus...", instead of just "...Give Him the name Jesus..." 

Finn and I both tried to correct Calvin, but the poor thing just shut down and refused to say his verse anymore. Calvin kept saying "I don't know..."

I reassured Calvin that he was saying it just fine.

Finn, on the other had, had no mercy. On the way to drop Calvin off at Cubbies, Finn told John, "We can't let Calvin go in there and say "...Give Him the name OF Jesus..."

I definitely have my work cut out for me. I will have to think of how to get Finn over these hang-ups.

Finn is already coaching Ollie and taking him under his wing. He figures that although it may be too late to save Calvin, he still had a fighting chance with Ollie.

Here is the cubby vest he made for Ollie, complete with Hopper patch.

Here is Ollie, modeling his new look.

Finn also made him a hand bag.

I hope Ollie doesn't crack under all this pressure!

September 22, 2008

birth order

John was listening to Focus on the Family recently and the topic was birth order. Dobson interviewed Kevin Leman, who wrote the Birth Order Book. And Dobson agreed with Leman that the book had merit and was "very relevant to parenting". So as John was telling me about this, I was rolling my eyes(Not at John, at the birth order theory).

You may have heard about it before. The oldest child is the bossy/leader(nearly every American president has been the eldest child), the middle child is laid back/compatible with everyone and the youngest is friendly/outgoing. The reason I was so skeptical, is that there seems to be so many exceptions. For example, my youngest sister Lindsay has middle child characteristics: she is very laid back and can get along with anyone. Older sister Jess does have firstborn leader traits though--as the middle child, I followed her everywhere and copied everything she did. I am the middle child, yet think I am more of a hybrid of sorts. I don't know. I am lousy at self-analysis. 

However, when I look at my 3 boys, I think the birth order theory may prove to be correct. It's probably too soon to tell with Ollie.

Finn is definitely the little bossy leader of this posse.
Here Finn is, ready for take-off.

I am not sure where he plans on going, but he will most certainly coerce Calvin and Ollie to get on board with him. He is constantly thinking of things to do, and becomes quite intolerant of any insubordinates. Today he was practically in tears, because Calvin would not go "camping" with him. Calvin was reclining on a bench, chin cupped in hand, idly watching el televisor. Finn was throwing a fit, that Calvin would not play his game and proceeded to turn off the tv. He said to me "we have been watching too much tv lately". Bossy little thing.

Here is my middle child.

He is DEFINITELY, without a shadow of a doubt, the laid-back lounger of this house. I wish I were Calvin sometimes. He will never worry about getting good grades. He just doesn't care. As Finn is pouring fastidiously over his AWANA book, Calvin is substituting fake words into his verses and is overall very unconcerned whether he passes his section or not.

I can already see future band practice. Finn will be forcing Calvin to practice with him. Calvin will be late to practice. Or will no-show. Finn will get all aggravated. Should be fun.

The other puzzle piece is Ollie.

If you had told me my youngest child was supposed to be friendly and outgoing 1 month ago, I would have laughed you off the planet. Ollie has been the most temperamental, opinionated, tenacious little thing I have EVER met. He had a throw-down fit over a juice box for almost an hour at Finn's soccer game. However, I think a lot of Ollie's temper has to do with his gums erupting from 2 molars...and the fact that he cannot say many words and must cry to say what he wants.

However, when he is in a good mood and his needs are met, Ollie can be very funny. He will make just about any sound effect to get his brothers to laugh at him. The boys were laughing at Ollie for carrying a toy in his mouth like a bone and then spitting it out. Since they thought it was funny once, Ollie walked around for the next hour or so, with something in his mouth, trying to get brothers to laugh again.

And at Finn's previous soccer game, Ollie walked around everywhere, gazing up at strangers, willing them to talk to him. He even was grabbing middle-aged men by their love-handles(I don't think that was appreciated). Finn and Calvin never gazed at strangers adoringly. It may be too soon to tell with Ollie. And he just recently started getting more friendly(after I cut him off from nursing).

We shall see if this whole birth order thing proves correct for my clan.

Lorie, my boys discovered your fox tails and demolished them to pieces:(

September 20, 2008

creatures of habit and Sparks

For the last couple of weeks, this is pretty much the sight I wake up to EVERY single morning. 

My boys are total creatures of habit. They are obsessed with this living room couch. It is super wide and very comfy. They love to play behind the pillows, which drives me a bit crazy.  But it makes an incredible baptism tank, from what I hear. 

They line up their animals to watch the baptism, every day.

And I found this announcement in their bulletin, for their little congregation....
something about Finn and Calvin and baptize. 

From my room I hear Finn's little voice squeaking "ladies and gentlemen...''

Honestly, I don't really know what they are thinking, and I should probably discuss how special and important baptism is, and how it's not a game. Finn will probably get it.

I'm just so groggy in the morning--the most I can handle that early is helping the boys recite their AWANA verses at breakfast.

Finn is so completely absorbed in Sparkies these days. I am as thrilled as can be that I have a little mini-me, as I was completely devoted to AWANA as a kid. I find Finn's little pictures of Sparky all around the house. 

John practically has to pry me off the premises each time we go to AWANA. And I always return half an hour later, so I can watch the games. Finn once told me "I run faster than my AWANA leader". At first I was a bit confused. Then I realized she must have been helping him run around the circle, because sometimes he gets confused:) 

They are having parent's night at AWANA this coming week, and I am COMPLETELY AS STOKED AS CAN BE. On the way home from AWANA the other night I was raising my hand wildly, telling John "I want to go, I want to go!" He looked at me like I was nuts and said "Go! I want as far away from *this* as possible"(By *this* he was referring to my over-the-top ridiculously, enthusiastic voice). 

I get to say all of Finn's verses for extra AWANA bucks and get to do the games. I will for sure keep you posted. Cuz I'm sure you are dying to hear ALL about it...

September 17, 2008

spider boy

So those pesky defective nitrogen pellets had no intentions of dissolving on their own. So we played outside anyway. My knees felt stingy afterwards, so I guess there is a reason you are not supposed to play in that stuff. John mowed them tonight so hopefully that will do the trick.

I was reminiscing our former backyard days, and I came across some photos from labor day. I remember nagging Finn not to use so much string. But honestly, I don't even know where the string came from. This little project kept Finn occupied for over an hour, so I just let him be.

So here is my little spider, laboriously spinning his web over labor day weekend.

I'm starting to think Finn's soccer uniform is his BFF.

Sigh. Why did I even bother buying him fall clothes??