Monday, April 23, 2012

Oh! The Difference a Year (or two, or three!) Makes!

The years just keep rolling by without my approval or permission.  I've been blogging for 3 years this month and it's thrilling to look back at what was going on in April over the last few years.  It's been some pretty significant changes each year different and exciting in their own right.  Come take a stroll down bloggity lane with me.  If you've read them before, read them again.  If not, these are probably some of the most significant dates in our lives to this point.  At least until next April when our life changes all over again!
Beware of Nostalgia.  It may make you cry.  It did me.

In 2009 I wrote My first blog ever!  It's probably still my favorite blog, serious one at least.  It was one of the most emotional days of my life and it bleeds patriotism.  I will forever love him for that smile!

One year and a baby later, came April of 2010.
 It is still to this day my self proclaimed The best day of my Life!  I held a sign up as Jason and his unit returned home from war that said "Never Again."  It simply said it all.  He had yet to inform his chain of command but I disregarded that fact because I knew we were done with deployments FOREVER.  I would never again have to experience that kind of worry and it was one of the most freeing thoughts.  Yep, better than weddings and childbirth.  It was hands down, the best day of my life.

Then came last year's reminisce.(Last year, last goodbye.) April 18th, 2011 was the last day I saw him in Army uniform.  It was the day we left the first house we ever owned.  It was the day we said goodbye to the life we'd always known and headed directly into the life we are now living....and LOVING.
 Don't get me wrong.  There are things I will ALWAYS miss about that place and the army life.  It will forever be a part of us.
But it's possibly an understatement to say we love the life we have here.
We both knew we were going to LOVE living in Nashville.  I think we both underestimated that also.  I knew I'd love having Jason home and he knew he would love school at Vanderbilt but I too have become part of the Vanderbilt family and I say regularly that I would have paid twice the exorbitant tuition cost to be a part of this great community.  And that isn't even mentioning the network of friends I've developed here through church at Crosspoint and the Bellevue MOMS club.  I started the networks before we even moved and continue to make lasting friendships here every day.  These girls accept me knowing I won't be here forever but we just live it to the fullest while we are here!

In the here and now, we are finishing the first year in MBA school and preparing for Jason to leave in 2 weeks to work possibly the job of his dreams.  He will be working for Exxon Mobil in downtown Houston, TX.    He's always been interested in gas and oil and it was no surprise when he accepted the internship they offered him.  I'm pretty sure I didn't even have a say in this one.  He's never led us wrong before though so I trust him.  He's headed for BIG things and I'm happy to be by his side.  After summer, we will have 9 more months to soak up the Music City.

Around next April, we will be moving on again to really live out this civilian life.  I plan to enjoy every minute of it and pray every night for happiness (a job near here!), health (another baby... a GIRL baby) and a life fullfilled (thank you, God!).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Positively Petrified

 On the very last day of Spring break we used our membership and took a quick trip to the Nashville Zoo. We (I) packed a picnic lunch and were off to see the animals.  We've been so many times, we each have our favorites.  We talked about what we wanted to do along the way there.  We all agreed we wanted to feed the lorakeets,  it's our favorite thing there.  They land right on your arm and head and will fight for your love (food)!  After we feed the lorakeets, Jackson couldn't wait any longer to enter the dinosaur exhibit that just opened.  It's a paid exhibit so it was a one time thing for us but I knew he would love it and Lincoln was all in too.  We were going to see the dinosaurs.  We prepped Lincoln on the outside with a smaller, non moving dinosaur and even with big scary teeth, he wasn't even a little bit afraid.  We walked the boardwalk to Dino-trek and Lincoln was a little apprehensive but still not afraid.  We viewed the first one and I could visibly see he was scared.  I calmed him and told him it was just a robot and there was nothing to be scared of.  He growled back at it and proclaimed "you are only a robot!"
So on to the next dinosaur.  This one was smaller but it's teeth and roar were much louder.  It was a bit more terrifying just in looks but again I assured him it was only robot.  Then as we waked by with Lincoln trembling, that dinosaur spit a big stream of water ALL over us!  Lincoln lost his little mind with fear, he came up out of that stroller and was climbing my leg with terror.  I picked him up and that child clung to me for the rest of the tour.  By clung I mean something like a tick.  He put his head in the crook of my neck and wouldn't pry his little fingers out of my back.  I couldn't even begin to have him look at another.

He refused to look at these harmless (ha!) babies or even the plant eating Brontosaurus.  He wouldn't walk across the bridge or peek at the famed t-Rex.  He begged to go home, poor baby.  He was DONE with the zoo if it included these beasts.  
I was finally able to pry him loose near then end when we mentioned the sand box with the dinosaur bones.  He got down and started playing in the sand box, then he looked up and saw we were still within seeing distance of the terrible T-Rex and the choke hold started all over again!  I especially love how he puts his hands over his ears so as not to "see" the T-Rex anymore.  When the torture was officially over we all received stamps "just in case" we wanted to go back through.  Lincoln let her know that would not be happening.  When we walked away, Lincoln started chattering...about the dinosaurs.  He talked about the scary ones, the baby ones and the one that spit on him and went "rRrrrrrawr".  You would have thought he had the time of his life in there.  It was all he wanted to discuss.  We made our zoo rounds and stopped by for a merry-go-round ride.  Both boys loved this and I admit, I didn't mind it myself.  I'm kinda a sucker for swings and carousels.  After the carousel, Jackson begged Lincoln to go back through the dinosaurs one more time and believe it or not, he agreed.  I wondered if it would be any different and was almost convinced........until that dinosaur spit on him!  It started the terror all over again and this time, we didn't delay.  Lincoln was begging to leave and I was allowing it.  I was ready to depart anyway and I couldn't handle his pitiful claws any longer.  We sped through right past T-rex and out the front gates of the zoo.  Once we got home, they were both clamoring to tell Jason everything about the dinosaurs before he even asked.  Now, when you ask Lincoln about it, you'd believe it was his absolute favorite part of the whole zoo, possibly a highlight of his short little life.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Break 2012, baby!

 The ol' Spring Break just ain't what it used to be.  No, rewind this train 10 years and you'd have seen me and these boys daddy having ourselves a mighty fine time on the beaches of the Florida Panhandle.  Now, Spring Break is visiting friends that have just given birth to adorable children with my own children in tow.  It's driving 6 hours while listening to kids fight over what to watch on the DVD player that my parents never had for us.  It's hearing "low batteries" on my cell phone, kindle fire and leap pad which were also non-existent in those dark ages of my spring break years.  It's stopping every 2 hours to go to the bathroom and eating snacks out of my cooler because they are "healthier" and "cheaper" than stopping to get fast food.  (Oh, no.  I have officially become my mother.)  I always knew she wasn't half bad!
Yes, yes, Spring break of 2012 was 6 hours of "How many more hours do we have?" from a certain 6 year old who was excited to see his first friend again.
 We spent Spring Break in Portsmouth, OH.  It's a far cry from Panama City, FL but it is right where I wanted to be.  I had an agenda.  My best friend gave birth to her 3rd child and only boy just 4 weeks ago and it was always my plan to arrive just in time for newborn cuddles!  We didn't have any firm plans and it was a good thing.  We quickly learned that while it was possible, it wasn't easy to take 5 kids under 6 ANYWHERE.  We managed a nice picnic at a nearby park but while there we discussed how much easier it would have been to eat lunch at home!  The kids enjoyed it and that's what it's all about, right?  Yeah, that and our sanity or lack thereof.  We tried to kick the older kids into the back yard but that led to bickering 6 year olds.  We played playdoh and I'm pretty sure it had to be thrown away after these 4 got their grubby hands on it.  The bubbles were a huge hit.  The littles continually poured out the bubble solution and asked for more.  Aside from all the fun, the kids were glad to see each other.  Lincoln and Charlotte don't remember each other but they got along so sweetly (most times) and I'm pretty sure Lincoln charmed the socks off my bestie Renee.  True Lincoln style!
We did manage a day with fewer children to hit up the antique shops of  Portsmouth and I got a few treasures.  We also put her wine glasses to use nightly and with one or both of us preggo for the last 3 years, it's been a while!
We had such a good time with these girls (and baby boy!) and can't wait to show them around the Nashville scene this summer.  There just so happens to be a great new park downtown that I'm  making plans for.
And just in case we need a break....I'm calling a babysitter for standby!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Best friends, bathroom words and other deFoor musings

"What came first Jesus or the dinosaurs?"

I was recently asked this question driving to church one evening by my 6 year old.  I asked him to choose his own answer.  He chose Jesus.  We've got to work on the timing of our history and maybe a touch on the Trinity.
These are a collection of the latest musings from the deFoor boys.  They were collected over the past month or so for your reading pleasure and to insure I'd never forget some of the funny things they say.  Enjoy!

From the eldest (Jason jr):

On a recent trip to Home Depot, we were gathering materials for a project when we spotted the latest spring flowers.  We each decided which ones were the prettiest.  He must have been in a super sweet mood when he said " You always pick out the prettiest flowers mom."  "I'm sorry they all died."
We then had a discussion about how annuals require planting each year vs perennials keep coming back when you think they are dead.  He thought and then deducted, "So those kind are kind of like Zombies (they come back from the dead)?"  Sure, son.

We were having a little lesson in keeping our hands to ourselves and minding our own business.  I was confirming that's what they must do in school with Jackson when he said, "Yeah, Lincoln, Hominy don't play that!" 
 Hominy?  really?  What does my child know about hominy?

Jackson and his dad are best friends.  Since he could speak, he's been brainwashing that boy into claiming him as his best friend.  Well, it's worked.  Jackson is always proclaiming his dad as his best friend but it's not easy for tenderhearted Jackson.  He has a hard time when I act upset about the whole "best friend" thing.  We were alone in the car recently and he said, "Mom, you can be my best friend!"  I was melting and said "thanks, Jackson!"  A few minutes passed as I gloated in best friend style he finally confessed, "Mom, I'm not really your best friend, I'm still Dad's.  I just don't want to hurt your feelings so I'll say I'm yours when I'm with you and then I'll really be Dad's."  

Jackson was recently chowing down on some infamous girl scout cookies.  Mid bite he told Jason and I, "those girls make some good cookies!!"
Indeed they do Jackson, indeed they do!

After studying the presidents in school during February and hearing a little about the primaries at home, Jackson was full of questions.  He asked his dad, "How old do you have to be to become president?"  Jason said he thought it was 35.  Jackson said, "Dad, I think you'd make a great president."  
Later that same night while bathing, Jackson was still pondering the question of the future presidency (aren't we all!) when he finally came to a conclusion.  He said "Mom, I've decided I'm going to vote for Barak Obama."  I was very intrested to discover his reasoning so I inquired. His reply: "Well, he's already been the president for 8 years(?) AND he's still alive (as opposed to all the dead presidents he's been studying, Washington, Lincoln, etc.)"  I guess that's as good a reason as any.  He's still alive.

I rarely have sick kids but a couple of weeks ago, I surely did.  I got a call from Jackson's school that he was in the office crying and had a small fever.  I knew right away that if he had any fever at all, he was sick.  I think he may have only had a fever one other time in his 6 years of life!  I picked him up and he was warm and claimed his throat hurt.  I immediately called his doctor to rule out strep.  I had that a few years ago and I don't mess around with it.  Before we got home, he was sick to his stomach.  Luckily, I live like a vagabond out of my car and had a lunch sack lined with napkins readily available to save my car from disaster.  We were in and out of the doctor in an hour and he called the antibiotics into publix for me.  Did you know that publix has FREE antibiotics.  Apparently, it's common practice now but I see it as a genius marketing strategy.  You see, they said it would be free and ready in about 20 minutes.  Do you have any idea how much money you can drop on things you didn't even know you needed inside Publix in 20 minutes.  $40, in my case anyway.  And I'm a conservative, on sale shopper.  Free antibiotics, my foot.  They know you're not just gonna stand there and wait for it.  They might as well say come back when you've spent your weekly grocery allowance.
But thanks for the "free" antibiotics.  I had a well child the very next day!

Wisdom from the Young one, One big adorable mischievous MESS:

Lincoln could otherwise be known as the gum bandit.  We are in the process of looking up gum detox facilities for this gum hoarder.  It's like he has a gum radar.  He can see it/smell it from a mile away.  He can find it in a purse when you didn't even know you had gum.  He's quick as lightening and before you know it, he's chewing away on gum you didn't allow him to have.  When it's on my watch, the gum he didn't ask for goes directly in the garbage.  Sometimes Most times it hasn't even lost it's flavor before I catch him.  Lately he's been known to hid while partaking in the forbidden fruit flavored wax.  I called him from downstairs and he didn't answer.  That was my sign.  As I walk downstairs from the shower I see tiny bits of evidence(gum paper)  and as I continue to call him he bounces out from behind my glider rocker with the unmistakable scent of gum on his breath.  When I go to secure the crime scene, I find he has spit out his gum on my floor in fear of being caught.  He wasn't just caught.  He was going to gum jail.

After a recent stay at the YMCA, Lincoln emptied the mulch out of his shoes into my floorboard.  I asked what he was doing with his shoes off and he exclaimed, "I've got playground in muah SHOES!"

It was good while it lasted.  Lincoln is nearly 3 years old and has always loved his crib but he has recently learned how to climb out of it.  He's long been capable of doing so but he's pretty content in there with his fishy music box and his bank (blanket).  Lately he's been rising extra early and I can no longer ignore the "Mommy" cries he calls because now they are in my face demanding breakfast.

I was getting Lincoln out of the car one day and he asked me,
L:  "Mom, Did you poot?"
Me: "No, son, I didn't"
L: "Mom, Seriously?"
(for the record, I absolutely did not!)
We get a lot of what we call "bathroom talk".  I claim it's boys but there is something so appealing about saying words that only belong in a bathroom.  This is one of those times he's pushing the envelope to see how far he can go before spending 5 minutes in the bathroom.

His new favorite word-"Perfect!"
Lincoln how's your milk?  "Perfect"
Lincoln, how did you sleep? "Perfect"
How does your dinner look? "Perfect"

Before church, I was asking him "Lincoln, who are you going to see today at church?"
He replies, "God!"
I think he's got the right idea.

Also at church, my mom and dads church, we observed a baptism service.  He and Jackson were intrigued by the baptistry.  I overheard him telling Jackson, "That up there, that's where Jesus lives in the water."
Who knew, Jesus lived in the water.  I wonder if he thinks it's like his own private pool.

Now most of you won't really care much about this video but to the people mentioned in it, it is priceless!  And I feel confident that we should continue to save for Lincoln's college education.  There is no singing talent imbeded in those lungs.  But it sure is cute!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

That's what it's all about!

Not a word was heard at the tomb that day.
Just shuffling of soldiers feet as they guarded the grave.
One day, two days, three days had past.
Could it be that Jesus breathed his last?

Could it be that his Father had forsaken him?
Turned his back on his son, dispising our sin.
Oh hell seemed to whisper, "Just forget it, He's dead."
Then the Father looked down to his son and he said..

Arise, My love.
Arise, My love.
The grave no longer has a hold on you
No more death sting
No more suffering love.

Tomorrow is Easter.  It's always been a big deal in my family and it's never been about the eggs and the candy. Although I'm sure as a child, I made that a pretty big deal.  I'm happy to have grown up in a Christian home.  I've been going to church my whole life, not just on Easter.  But Easter was special.  We dressed up, we made photos and we always heard the Easter story.  I've always "got it" but as many a mother will tell you, it wasn't until I had my own children that I really GOT IT.  The sacrifice God made for us is placed on a whole new level when we have a child of our own to love and just try to imagine what he went through... for us.  Big, fat disappointing sinners like US.  I know that I am unworthy, yet he loves me still.  Easter gives us HOPE.  A hope that I've needed lately.  Just one tragedy after another keep reminding me that this life is short and FULL of trouble.  Thank you Lord for your Hope.  One day, all these things shall pass and the One that rose again will meet us in the air.  Oh what a joyous reunion that will be!

This week, the boys and I planted a resurrection garden.  It was the cutest idea but it was full of meaning.  At least for Jackson.  He fully understood what each part of the garden was.  He even told me about the robbers on the crosses on each side of Jesus.
I'm so excited to celebrate the Risen Savior tomorrow.  It's a Hope that I cling to and a reminder that I need to reflect on more often.

Laid behind a stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose
Trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all

Folks, THAT is what it's all about!