Friday, July 29, 2011

No Recession for the Tooth Fairy

She's got to pay her bills, too!  Christopher lost both front teeth within 5 days of each other. Lucky for Miss Fairy, he doesn't have any more that are even close to loose. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dinner Survival

With Chris gone this week, I find that it is the everyday things that tend to get my boys into trouble.  It seems that when I do anything "simple" (go to the bathroom, make a meal, etc.) that is when the disagreements begin. Monkey Man is in his terrible two's stage and into everything, so the minute my back is turned and I am at the stove, he is at his finest. 

Wears. Me. Out.

Not wanting to order out, I had to come up with something.  I needed something they could "help" make so my eyes were on all things at once.  Tada: Pita Pizzas!!!  Who knew something so easy could make them so happy!

This is Aiden's first time "cooking."  He started out putting the cheese and pepperoni carefully on the pizza.

He was very pleased with himself for dumping all the pepperoni on at one time.  He found something funny about a mound of pepperonis and the shocked look on my face. Thankfully, he did not mind giving up some of those for his brother's pizza.

There are so many ways that I see myself in Christopher, both good and bad. Just like me, this child can be very particular in placing things properly and carefully, though not in all things does he do this. All of his pepperonis had to be in a perfect circles and touching.  Never mind, I'm not like that at all!  (ok maybe a little)

And the yummy goodness:

Fifteen minutes. Great dinner. No fits or meltdowns.  That's' my kind of dinner!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Overflow of the Heart

Well, the time has come. Now is the time when I take a moment to not post cutie pie pictures, but lay my heart out there a bit.  I have had a conviction here of late, and I know it is time for me to address my heart issue.  I have tried to ignore it; pray about it, though admittedly not with a heart to change.  So, now I lay it out there in hopes that you will pray along with me, learn with me, and maybe share your heart as well.

For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Mathew 12:34

How many times have we heard that, taken it in, and then pushed it to the back of our minds?  Or maybe we think that verse applies to only those who are trying to hurt others with their words, rudeness or other ugliness that lives inside of other people's hearts, but never our own.  Sunday, our Pastor mentioned this Scripture in reference to speaking truth and not hurting others with gossip or slander.  And honestly,that is how I had always taken that verse as well. But something else remained with me long after we had left church.

Sunday, God gave a tug on my heart regarding this passage.  You see, my heart attitude is not one of gossip or ill intent towards others.  Not to say that I don't sin in those areas ever (sarcasm and I used to be very close friends), but the hurtful flow from my mouth came in a different form.  It was mostly directed to two precious beings that are the closest to me.

Let me explain. See these two blessings? It is to them that my mouth does not always flow with what my heart truly feels, that they are my blessings, deeply loved and a joy in my life.

God has drawn my heart and my ears to hear the sounds that actually come out of my mouth on a daily basis. And what did I hear?  Not as much love, compassion, patience and kindness as I had thought *hoped*.  Instead, the voice that flowed from my heart sounded a lot like frustration, impatience, and irritation. And not just with my words, but my tone and my body language, too.

Sometimes I justified it with, "that's the millionth time today I've said that," or "I just didn't get good rest, so I am too tired to deal with that right now."  Justification always, always equals wrong thinking!!!

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

The question I had to ask is what am I teaching them?  That is okay to be impatient and frustrated if you have a good excuse. Not a good lesson to hold onto. With all my heart, I want to teach them about love, about God's grace and mercy, and about His love that is so perfect it never messes up. But how will they hear me?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

We've all heard it. Christian or not, it has been read and recited countless times.  And how many times has that remained in our hearts?  It used to be when I started feeling frustrated, I would recite it, or pray it and it would help for a little while.  Last week, while in my quiet time, Jerry Bridges talked about this very issue in The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges.  In an effort to make this passage living and active, he changed the verses to action statements (the ones I felt applied to our home are below):

I am patient with you because I love you.
I am kind to you because I love you and want to help you.
I am not rude because I love you and care about your feelings.
I am not easily angered by you because I love you and want to overlook your offenses.
I do not keep a record of your wrongs because I love you, and "love covers a multitude of sins."
Jerry Bridges, The Discipline of Grace, pg 39

That is how I want to love these boys and what I want to be the overflow from my heart. And with the Scripture from Terry, and the reminder of putting 1 Corinthians 13 into practice, I now pray with a heart that deeply desires to change, a heart that wants to please God first, and teach my children about His amazing love! It won't be easy to undo, but I know it is possible. If you see me, keep me accountable, ask how its going, or remind me I'm not alone. I will definitely need it!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Vacation Part 2

For the third and fourth days of our New York vacation, we headed to Cooperstown, the birthplace of baseball.  The timing for this trip couldn't have been more perfect as Christopher has decided that baseball is his number one favorite sport!
The Hall of Fame was fantastic and we took our time, 5 hours, going through everything.  So much to learn, see and play with.  Aiden loved his time there too, climbing on "stadium seats", pushing buttons and running at every possible opportunity.  He has his own love for baseball!

From the famous Cows on Parade sculptures. Even though it is the Yankees cow, it was still cool to be welcomed to the museum by this beautiful bovine (mildly reminiscent of Stephenville).

The oldest baseball!  Over 115 years old.

Christopher's favorite team! I could just see his little mind picturing his jersey and glove hanging in that locker. 

The car had to be moved every 2 hours, so we had a little time to be silly outside while Chris took care of that. These two are never very far from each other!

Aiden found a nice, Aiden-sized patch of shade to enjoy his snack in.  
He looks more like a little boy everyday; the "baby" is fading fast!

Our future MVP!  

And just because he has to follow in brother's footsteps:

Batting practice.

After the busy day, Aiden crashed within minutes of getting back in the car.  Baseball is hard  work and so much fun! 

 We finished up the next morning watching a game at Double day field, where baseball was invented.  The two boys soaked up America's pastime and it was hard to leave. Thankfully, they can recreate that everyday in our front yard; and they usually do!

And sometimes we don't even get pants on first!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Vacation Part 1

Last week, our family was blessed with a short, but sweet, vacation to the Adirondacks and Cooperstown.  We love getting away and seeing new parts of New England, and of course, making a Food Network tour of some of the best eats wasn't bad either.

In true Harrist fashion, we packed the car high, hey, you need a lot of junk when traveling with kids, and headed out towards Lake George, NY.  The drive was beautiful. Lots of hills and small towns (and port-a-potties, gross!) to enjoy along the way. We saw so many places to go back to someday without the kiddos for some fun of our own.

 The lake was absolutely breathtaking!  There were steamer ships ready to give tours, parasailing adventures, kayaks, boats and lots of sunshine.  When we first got there, the number of tourists hanging out downtown was a little overwhelming, but since it was Sunday, we practically had the place to ourselves after dinner and in the early morning.  

 Next it was time for the number one activity of the Lake George area:  Mini Golf!  It was Aiden's first time out so Daddy gave him a few pointers along the way.  Of course, after a few holes, he decided he knew the game and refused any help from there on out, something he learned from big brother, I'm sure.

 Christopher tried to give me his best Pirate "Aaarrrggg" while waiting by the "jail." 

At some point, Aiden ran off with Chris' club (above), so he had to make do. Thankfully he got it back after this hole, or he may have been stuck like that for awhile. 

And what would any Harrist vacation be with out ice cream, and lots of it!?  New England is known for its countless ice cream stands that serve amazing concoctions.  We definitely  partook of a few.

The Footlong Sundae

 What great Daddy wouldn't share?

The aftermath of an ice cream that was thoroughly enjoyed.