In this Post: The importance of one on one time with your kids (our special times with our son), actual St. Patty’s came & we had a fun leprechaun hunt at the park (also Lucky Charms pancakes!), and lastly our pets got a not so professional photo shoot (looks good for an amateur).
Hello dear ones! I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend. It has been chilly here with crazy weather. We had hail last week and that is extremely unusual for March in this area. I’m praying it’ll be sunny and warm on Easter and Michael’s upcoming birthday party. I think everyone is sick of this long winter.
Well, here is a taste of the pet parade pics at the end of this post. Here is Snowball, our guinea pig, in all her glory. She’s enjoying clovers under the trampoline. We have a dog, a cat, a guinea pig, and a mouse. I’d like a chicken but Chris needs convincing. We will see ;). More pics to come but on to the dates with our son.
Sometimes special memories just happen and we may have a camera to capture them. But I find often, that magic takes a bit of planning. Romance may start with a spark and friendships may pop up over night but it takes effort to sustain these things. It seems the longer people live with each other the harder it is to connect. I blog some amazing memories but our life isn’t always like the pictures. There are days that we all sit in the living room on laptops and other electronics and never look each other in the eye. And that’s okay because we don’t let it become our norm…though it easily could become that.
We have to set a standard in our home to eat together and to cherish each other….to look at more than a TV screen. Chris and I have to put aside our selfishness and put each other first. We have a date and focus only on each other. I am with our son, Michael, every day and since we homeschool I (Lord willing) will be with him many more days. Chris works and goes to school. Sometimes we struggle to get by financially and sometimes we struggle for our sanity because life is BUSY. My husband is a vet and war changed us both. We live with that daily though Chris is retired. Chris and I both deal with physical disabilities and pain. Homeschooling takes work and a ton of patience. Some days our heads are barely above water. We live on one income. I say all this not for a pity party because I believe we truly have a beautiful and blessed life…that’s what I capture with my camera…the silver linings of life. I say this because we could choose to focus on the hard parts of life and maybe we do sometimes. We get lost in our own pain but we don’t stay there.
Our family has survived all our hardship (taking care of parents, losing my Dad, deployments to Iraq, infertility etc…) because Jesus lifts our heads out of the sand. He tells us to love when we’d rather be angry and selfish. One of the ways He does this is by family time and special one on one time. Just as Chris and I set aside the pain of life to “live” in the moment together, so we must do that with our son. Because Michael will only be little once. Like I said, I’m with Michael all the time. So often I just want to be alone. But there is a difference between teacher time and just Mommy and Michael time. So Michael and I have date nights where we don’t focus on school and just treasure having fun together. We do this once a month and then Chris has guy time with Michael once a month. We do many family things together in between and Chris and I have date night twice a month. I believe a good marriage is needed for a healthy child. So after the Lord comes my husband and then my son.
I share these memories with you, in hopes that you will be inspired to create memories with your family. You may have to set some things aside to make this happen. Maybe you need to get rid of a few activities that tear you apart. We all have busy lives but we make time for what’s important to us. I learned early in marriage that love and beautiful moments can happen even when you’re thousands of miles from your loved one. It can also happen late at night in a nursing home when your loved one is confined to a bed. You can make memories as long as that person is alive and there is some way of connecting. So enjoy these pics and make your own memories:)!
My date with Michael began early that day. It extended into the afternoon so Chris could have alone time. We spent the day at a fun place that has laser tag and skating. Here’s a pic of Michael skating with a bit of help. He was scared to try at first and he fell a lot. I was proud that with a bit of encouragement he wiped his tears and kept trying.
Laser tag was great. I had never done it before. Normally you hide behind things and shoot at each other. Well, we were the only people there (benefits of homeschool lol) so Michael just chased me in circles for seven minutes! He kept shooting me in the back. Thankfully he got wore out a few times and we stopped to breathe. We finished the day with a dollar movie and a trip to Nana’s.
A couple of weeks later Chris and Michael had there Father-Son time. Chris decided to camp out which was completely free and just as fun as dates that cost money.
Michael helped Chris set up the tent.
They roasted hot dogs over the fire pit. I “encouraged” them to stay outside to eat so I could have the house to myself. They played “worm” with the sleeping bags and went to sleep.
They were nice enough to share a hot dog with me though I didn’t roast it myself. I decided to camp in the living room and set up a nice pallet. I enjoyed some Mommy time and then some time with the Lord. It was nice. I got woke up super early though and Chris climbed under the covers and froze me to death. I sent both of my freezing guys to the bedroom so I could get some sleep and stay warm lol.
I’ve done several posts gearing up for St. Patty’s. Well, it finally came and we had a lovely day with some humorous memories (to Chris: flying ticks he he he). Our morning started with green pancakes with lucky charms added to them. I used my Dad’s blue ribbon pancake recipe found here at the end of this post:
I just added food coloring and the Lucky Charms.
Michael wore his leprechaun beard.
Remember the leprechaun trap in my Crafty Monday post? Well, it worked! This toilet paper tube leprechaun has been with our family for a year or two. Michael knows it’s all pretend but we have fun with it.
We’ve got into the tradition of watching “Behind the Waterfall” during St. Patty’s. It’s a lovely family film about a “leprechaun” or angel (you decide) and how he helps three troubled children. Michael also made this pot of gold that says “Who is worth more to you than gold?” He drew a pic of his friend Liam :).
Michael made this pic at church as a reminder to store his treasure in heaven. Cute!
We explored a bit and picnicked in a place off the beaten path. That’s where the “flying ticks” came in to play. No worries…no harm done. Then we headed to what’s becoming a favorite spot. You may recognize this park from other posts I’ve done.
We took Tessa, our dog, with us. I printed out St. Patty’s facts and fun sayings and hid them (along with foam shamrocks) so they would make a path to the pot of gold near the waterfall.
We usually do some sort of treasure hunt. You may remember that one year the “gold” was at the end of an obstacle course and Michael had to drive out the “snakes” like St. Patty did out of Ireland. We also had a pretty kewl paper chain rainbow. Post here: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/happy-st-patricks-day/
Michael finding the shamrocks…
Chris wanted me to take this “awesome” picture of his jeep lol :). My guy… *rolling eyes*
This paper was about a fun one about tricky leprechauns.
Tessa says the water is too tempting!
We found the leprechaun and his pot of gold!
And he has cookies! Woot!
The guys had some fun…
Now, for the pet parade 🙂. Sometimes our pets need one on one time too and that’s hard when you have so many. Tessa (dog) and Chester (cat) force themselves on us. Snowball (guinea pig) and Cinderella (mouse) have to be taken out or we may forget they are there.
Snowball is fat. She can’t even wear a guinea pig harness. I worry about her obesity so I’m trying to get her outside where she can walk a bit. The trampoline is a great place because it has barely any ants under it, it’s shaded, and I can keep her within the circle. Snowball enjoys being outside but mainly so she can eat clover…sigh.
Snowball giving us her best side.
Cinderella is super timid and you can tell she was bred in a cage. I’m trying to get her to use her brain because mice are smart. She needs a challenging obstacle course. The poor mouse has a terrible anxiety disorder and often shivers, grooms herself like she has ocd, and has an upset tummy when she’s held. I was able to get her to do some climbing but she preferred the safety of my hand.
“What’s this green stuff?” ~Cinderella
“This is WAY too high up! Maybe if I wash my hands I’ll feel better…”
Tessa is spoiled and gets away with everything. She’s super sweet but hiding the cats food is not beneath her. She gets very jealous which we realized when she pooped in Michael’s nursery when we brought him home. She still treats Michael like a pup and groans when she’s annoyed.
Chester is our crazy black cat who acts bipolar since he was fixed. One minute he is overly affectionate and very vocal (he’s part Siamese). The next minute he’s attacking us and destroying things. He seriously needs a psychologist. Now that he’s fixed and an indoor kitty we have to put him on a leash to go outside. He hates the leash but the nearby road is too dangerous.
One day Nana came over (Mom in the swing) and Michael read his book on the trampoline. We took all the animals outside. We hooked the kitty’s leash to the trampoline and he watched the guinea pig romp about.
Zoom in on this pic. You can see both the guinea pig and the mouse. The cat is so wishing he was free to eat the mouse. Chester has broken things trying to get into the mouse’s cage. Interesting note: Chester (cat) will eat a salad if it has Ranch dressing on it. I’m finding he will eat many things…that are on my plate. I set Cinderella on Snowball’s back just to see what would happen. Snowball freaked out a bit. She is just as annoyed with the mouse as Tessa is annoyed with all the other animals and child (she was hear first right? lol).
Will Snowball lose some pounds? Will Cinderella become an Olympic mouse? Will Chester and Tessa ever get over their psychological issues? Tune in to my blog and maybe we will find out.
Well, God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover
PS: Thanks for reading and the sweet comments and likes. They make my day.
Prepping for St. Patty’s:
St. Patty’s Celebration with Homeschool group: