Sunday, March 28, 2010

Holy Week

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday (as I am sure most of you knew that already), the first day of Holy Week (great week to give up pacies huh?). The children in the church paraded down the aisle at the beginning of the service during the first hymn waving palm branches. The branches were typically used to welcome in kings and royalty, which was perfectly fitting for Jesus! Drake did a great job and held up his branch perfectly, where as Hunty, being in the midst of his 3's, decided to mope down the aisle.

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in the appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross."
Philippians 2:5-8

I found this quote on a website where I was trying to find activities to do during Holy Week so that we spent more time talking about Jesus rather than Easter Egg hunts (which we have 3 to go to) and the Easter bunny. But this quote was also in our Bulletin this past Sunday morning and I just thought it was such a humbling reminder of the nature of Easter, of Jesus, and a model of how to live.

Sunday afternoon the boys cut out some palm leaves and we placed them around our Easter tree to be the centerpiece where we ate. It also was neat to talk about Jesus riding on a donkey walking on all the palm leaves and so significant that Jesus picked such a humble animal to ride on.

was to represent the "Cleansing of the Temple"
Jesus went into the temple to worship and found men selling animals for sacrifices. These men were taking advantage of the people who needed to buy them by selling them in the temple courtyard to make money off the sacrifices:

"Jesus became very angry and said, It is written, 'My house will be called a house of prayer.' but you have made it a den of thieves. Jesus made a whip and drove out the vendors and their animals. He overturned their stalls and buckets of money."

This day was based on 1 Cor. 3:16, 6:18 and 2 Cor.6:16. About how our bodies are temples too and Jesus dwells within us. We also talked about how the Temple was to be a house of prayer, not a market or a place of "chaos." The website suggested we make soft pretzels as a reminded of our arms folded in prayer. There was a lot of "kneading" going on when we did that which the boys liked, and the pretzels actually turned out pretty good!

If you ever want to make any here is the recipe:
(it made about 10)
1 package yeast
1 1/2 cups of hot water
1/3 cup brown sugar
5 cups of flour
• Heat oven to 465 degrees.

• Boil 11/2 cups of water. Mix dry ingredients. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups of hot water to dry ingredients and stir. Add only enough to make a soft dough.On a lightly floured surface, kneed the dough for 5 minutes. Cover and let rise 10 minutes.

• Grease 2 cookie sheets. Take about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll it into *snake.* Shape it into a pretzel and place on the cookie sheet. Let rise one more time for about 5 to 10 minutes.

• Bring to boil in a large pan 6 cups of water. Carefully lower each pretzel into the boiling water. Allow to boil for about 45 seconds. Lift the pretzel out and place on the cookie sheet again. After each pretzel has been boiled,sprinkle with salt and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Tuesday we talked about Jesus Teaching at the Temple and based on Mark 12:28-34

When one of the teachers asked Jesus which commandment was the most important, Jesus replies:
Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.

What a reminder of Jesus himself. While we are still sinners, God showed his love more than ever by sending Christ who died for us!

Wednesday represents a Sweet Smelling Sacrifice at the home of Mary and Martha from John 12:1-7

Martha and Mary were friends of Jesus and their brother, Lazarus, was the one Jesus rose from the dead so they wanted to thank him with a special dinner. They ate at Simon's home, the leper that Jesus healed, so between Lazarus and Simon there was much to celebrate! Little did they know a few days later Jesus would die.

Tomorrow is the day of the Passover meal, the Seder Meal, which Kyle and I will go to before the Maundy Thursday service, and then of course Good Friday.

Overall, it has been a little difficult to discuss these things with the boys because they are so young I am not sure how much they are actually grasping. Especially since this is the week that Hunter has decided to start saying "poopy poopy" over and over again while were are saying the blessing at dinner (he has now been told that it is disrespectful and he would get a spanking if he kept doing that)

However, what I do know, is that hopefully they will take more from Easter than their Easter baskets and candy.
And on a lighter note, Drake was singing a song after dinner tonight that I could hear as Kyle and were finishing up and putting the dishes away. The few lines that I caught from it were
"I am going to my bird house. I have to get my Bible and a pillow" I was laughing so hard because he actually took one of the pillows off the couch and some random book that was sitting out and took it to the glider outside and sat there with them continuing to sing. Oh, and he was naked too.

Now, as for a pacie update. It is going okay. We let them each pick out a new toy at Target on Sunday as we discussed not having anymore pacies. (we have tried Pacie Fairy before, as well as mailing them to AM, our niece and it all goes well until the actual act and then they are a mess, so we HAD to just do it cold turkey.) Hunter picked out this plastic train set that you can put together on the floor (do we really need anymore trains???), which he has asked me several times if I would take it back to Target so he could have his pacie back...

And Drake picked out a helicopter.

They both have asked for the pacies a lot, but it is getting a little better I think. Last night seemed to be the worst in terms of going to bed, but we are not on day 3 and I was told to give it 4 days, so we shall see!!!!

Oh, one more thing...Hunter's pacies have created a gap between his top teeth and bottom teeth which should (and will hopefully) go back to normal over the next few months, assuming we do not let him have the pacie anymore. I asked him to smile, which of course he would not do, so this is him biting his teeth all the way down together now. Hopefully I will track it over the next several months and we will see them come together!

12 Step Program for Toddlers

Our names are Hunter and Drake Armstrong.
And we are addicted to pacies.

I finally had it last night after spending hours of searching for a pacie in our house when Kyle was at a Predators game that I have officially decided today is the day we say goodbye.
It is going to be ugly and I am going to need your prayers if you think about it.
This is going to be a looooong week. UHG!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Break 2010 (Part Dos)

SO I am picking up from where I last left off...last Thursday morning we left the lake and Grammie and Pop came back to Nashville with us. We stopped in Birmingham at the Discovery Center which was so much fun for the boys!
We started off in the rain making machine...Hunter and I are sticking our hands in it, while Drake jumped in and out a time or 2.

We then went to see the dinosaurs and the spot where they could "dig" for bones. My 2 boys, particularly Drake, really loved it.(they are there in the middle with the white T-shirts. Drake has a long sleeved red shirt underneath and Hunter has a long sleeved blue shirt underneath

Drake found some goggles and completely unprompted proceeded to put them on. So typical Drake! p.s. This is just one of several ADORABLE shirts Aunt Jenny made the boys!!!

Hunter had fun going down the big piano

and on the crane you could pedal around in a circle

But finally found his home at the train table (I think he is going to be a train conductor when he grows up. I already feel sorry for his wife)

Drake found the golf which kept him occupied for quite some time as well. He only got sidetracked when he decided to go knock down a tower that 2 girls made taller than they were out of Lego's. But was I MORTIFIED!!! Drake had a blast doing it and fortunately for me, the girls were older and their mother was gracious. Thanks heavens they just laughed! Because I wanted to cry!

THEN the boys discovered this machine that was suppose to transport "bricks" (made of Styrofoam) on a conveyor belt and then hoist them back up with some sort of contraption...but MY children thought it would be nice if they went through the conveyor belt. I think the next few pictures need no captions...

Oh me...SIGH...

We then went down into the little mini aquarium where the boys got to pet a baby shark and see sting rays and fish.

I really just like the fact that the hoody on the guy in the picture says "COOGI" (really?... Is he trying to say Gucci? really?)

Hunter putting his arm around the fish. Awww, he makes friends so nicely!

We left Birmingham and thank goodness Grammie was riding with me because it took up 4 1/2 hours to get from Birmingham to Nashville (should only take 3 at the most!) because of a sink hole on I-65. But we finally got home about 8 that night. Hunter kept asking Grammie if she would come and play at his house and so needless to say they were so excited they were still there when they woke up in the morning. The spent a lot of time on the bed that Grammie and Pop were sleeping in "reading the Bible."

And as usual, a lot of time doing puzzles. We were able to cook-out Friday and Saturday nights because the weather was so nice!

On Saturday morning we went to Loveless and there was a bit of a wait but fortunately there was a little entertainment.
Tractors are ALWAYS a hit

As are ghosts...

And singers too...

Drake was telling the guitar player that he was 2 in this picture (very important information that he needed to know)

And then Saturday afternoon Kyle and Pop took the boys to play some soccer while Grammie stayed at home with me fixing the boys Easter outfits while I got dinner ready. All in all it was a wonderful break!!

And then finishing with some playing on the playground

Hunter giving the "hang loose dude" sign.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Break 2010 (Part 1)

Well it is just so silly that pre-school and Mothers Day Out have Spring Break...but, it does however, give us a fabulous excuse to go to the lake and see Grammie and Pop. And to make it even sweeter, we got to see Aunt Jenny and Sweet little Anne Morgan too! These were some higlights of our little trip:

D-man loving on AM a liiiitle more than he needs too.

Gee...wonder where Drake gets it from?

I meeaaannn...seriously? Do you want to squeeze AM as hard as I do?

The picture above was pre fashion show. Grammie recently made some gorgeous dresses for AM and it was like having a baby doll and getting to see her try on clothes. It was so much fun!!!
1st dress...gorgeous!

This one may be my favorite so far, but really they are all just precious!

Dress number 3

After dress number 3 AM spotted some of out Lightning McQueen Cars, she was quite intrigued and had to crawl to get one!

Dress number 4...LOVE the buttons in the front! (AM still didn't want to give up the car so she kept on a chewing and looking while she was being dressed).

Meanwhile, the boys had enough of the dress nonsense so they went to go play ball with Grammie.

Next morning, Hunty is king of the sandpile!

Meanwhile...Drake and his usual "monmower" ride with Pop.

All the dogs waiting on me to throw the ball...again...and again...and again...

Hunty and I move down by the water where the dogs really like to play fetch.

Then Drake comes down to join us

I just love this picture of AM asleep on the floor...that bottom in the air is just too cute!!!

After dinner one night Drake found Sophie's dress up stuff...and let me tell you, that boys looooves him some heels. And he wanted Sophie to join him. Please notice the red sparkly heels on my massive 2 year old, and the fact that he is trying to put some of Grammie's heels on AM as well.

And then he holds her and says "Lets Go Walk!"...oh my sweet boy!

Once he realized AM was not walking anywhere, he decided to vacuum the house...the kitchen...(I know, sweet outfit with the batman t, diaper and heels...nothing like it!)

...and a bathroom...

...and the laundry room...

...And finally decided to park it at the table to do some play-dough. Nice.

The boys had a blast on the horse all week

We rode into Montgomery to go see Great (or "Grape" as my children call her) She always has fun toys for the boys to play with and Hunter even told me he wanted to go play at Grape's tomorrow morning.

And the boys got several turns cutting Pop's hair (and then I had to touch up Pop's hair and give my 2 wild boys haircuts as well...but that was not quite as interesting!)

Thursday morning Grammie and Pop and I all packed up and headed up to Nashville to see Kyle (Part 2 coming soon!).
HAPPY BIRTHDAY POP!!!!!!!! We are so thankful for you and so glad we got to celebrate with you this weekend!!! We love you!