Archive for September, 2010

Milestone

Connor turned 5 years old on Friday, September 24.  I can’t believe my firstborn is already 5!!!  At the risk of sounding cliche, I’ll admit that the years have “flown by.”  My parents and cousin Howie graciously traveled up to G’ville to help us celebrate this exciting day.

Connor spent the  morning of his birthday busily putting together the Lego fire station that he received from Tim and me.  (He received oodles of new Legos, in addition to a razor scooter, puzzles, activity books, and new Nerf swords.  Thanks to Grammy, Grumpa, Uncle Howie, Grandma, Papa, and Uncle John for all the great presents!)  He was very excited and thankful for all his gifts.  It’s so fun to watch your children open gifts.  The wonder and enthusiasm in their eyes is so infectious.  Connor requested a cheeseburger happy meal from McDonald’s for his special birthday meal.  So much for all my careful food training..hahaha!

In the afternoon, the whole family went bowling at the family-friendly Splitz bowling alley.  The bowling was fun, but the real draw for Connor was the lemonade and the arcade games (mostly ski-ball) where tickets could be earned and then redeemed.  Twenty dollars worth of tokens later, we left with $3 worth of fun prizes after our ticket redemption: plastic handcuffs that were broken before we got home, candy necklaces, a super bouncy ball, a couple of rings for Lucy, and a few individually wrapped swedish fish.

We all enjoyed pizza for dinner and then giant chocolate chip cookie cake (thank you, Publix) to finish the night.  It really was a great day.  Connor spent the entire next day, building the rest of the Lego sets he received.  Here are some pics from the festivities.  Also see our highlights video: 5thBirthdayHighlights

About to blow out the candle

Had to show you the littlest bean too

Opening presents

Addendum

So I thought I should clarify something from my last post, just in case any of my (3) faithful readers were shocked or dismayed.  I did end up explaining to Connor that there aren’t any toys in heaven because Jesus will be there and it will be so amazingly joyful there that we will have no need for toys.  He seemed to take this new information in stride…yay!

I realized that the motivation behind my untruth was keeping Connor and everyone else calm before the looming flu vaccine, since he already seemed a little upset.  I am ashamed at how easily I was able to tell a lie–even a seemingly innocuous one.   The Lord still has so much work to do on me.   Praise the Lord that He is faithful to complete the work He has begun.

Toys in heaven

Most of my posts to date have been little anecdotes of our daily life and some of the fun family activities we’ve shared.  So this one may seem like a slight aberration.  The truth is while I’m tending to the children and trying to check off the items on my never-ending task list, the Lord brings to my mind things to pray for and/or convicts my heart of idolatry and wrong responses (usually to the kids).  And in His grace and humor, He shows me truths about myself through the simple questions of my children and the conversations that follow.  This post is one such example.

While we were at the pediatrician’s office getting our flu vaccines, Connor asked me why we had to get these shots.  I explained that the medicine will prevent us from getting really sick later.  Then I asked him if he knew why people get sick in the first place.  He didn’t know.  I launched into a mini-gospel presentation, beginning with fall, moving to the cross, and ending with our final glorification in heaven.  I described heaven as this amazing place where there would be no more boo-boos, no more mosquito bites, no more crying, no more sadness.  We will all be so happy to be with Jesus.  At this point in my little sermonet (sometimes I get a little carried away in my explanations I admit), Connor’s eyes filled with tears and he said, “But there won’t be any toys in heaven.”

I was stymied for a moment.  What could I say to him to help him understand that the best possible stuff here on earth can’t even compare with being in the presence of God the Trinity and rejoicing in the Savior?  In his childish mind, a place without toys can’t be good.  I don’t know if it was the right thing to say or not, because I guess it’s not true in the strictest sense, but I told him there would be toys.  I want him, even now, to dream of heaven as a desirable and wonderful place.  I hope that as he grows and matures, as the seeds of Bible stories and gospel presentations flower, that he will come to trust and love Jesus as I do and that he will understand that heaven is wonderful because of Christ.  I pray that he will look forward to the day when he can do nothing but praise the Lord, unfettered by the cares of this world.

Later that day, the Lord brought Connor’s question back to mind and gently convicted me.  I am not as transparent or childish as Connor in hoping for toys in heaven.  But I realized that so often, I do not dream of eternity with my Savior and my final glorification with the kind of longing that I should.  I am far too satisfied with life on this earth, thank you very much.  Most days I could not say with Paul “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)  I am so wrapped up in my earthly blessings, that I often mistake those gifts for the Giver Himself.  If I really believe the gospel, I will live more and more in light of eternity.  I pray that God will change my heart to value Christ above all things and to live for Him.  In the words of Mark 9:24, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Turn your eyes upon Jesus; Look full in His wonderful face; And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.

2.4 miles

Thanks to my friend and running buddy Erin, today I ran 2.4 miles outside!  I’m really pumped about this accomplishment because the most I’ve ever run is about 3 miles and that was pre-children.  Side-note: Missy, in case you still check this blog, one of the songs that popped up on my ipod while I was running was Smooth Operator.  It brought back lots of memories…wish I had some Air Supply..haha!

Jax Zoo

This past weekend, our family braved the heat and took a day trip to the Jacksonville Zoo.  Tempers often seem to flare when people are hot and uncomfortable, but I’m happy to report that despite being drenched in sweat (at least the kids and I were–Tim is one of the those blessed people that never seems to look overheated…I almost said “hot” there, but he usually looks hot..hehe..sorry, honey, I couldn’t resist), we really had a fun time and everyone was pretty content.  Tyler was a little champ, sweet and smiley, especially considering he spent most of the day in the stroller.  C and L mostly enjoyed the big animals that they could see clearly like the elephants, rhinos, giraffes (which they got to feed!Feeding the Giraffes), and various monkeys.  They also liked riding the carousel and the train.  They were not impressed by the birds or other furry creatures that were balled up under distant trees asleep.  We ended our day by watching the zookeepers feed the alligators, which was somewhat anti-climactic: we were hoping that whole chickens would be tossed into the pond and the gators would fight each other for them, but it turned out that they get fed “gator chow” (translation: dog food for alligators)…boring.  But we did take advantage of the Shave Ice stand by the alligator pond.  The day ended with all the kiddies running and crawling around the splash park area and cooling off.  splash park link

After we returned and the kids were tucked in bed, Tim and I got to go out on a date.  We had some really good pizza at Piesano’s.  Thanks, Hannah!  It was a really good Saturday.

Look at that long black tongue..yuck!

Daddy and Connor on the train ride

Mommy and Lu on the train

Merry-go-round time

Connor chose a gator!

Tyler's first trip to the zoo