Friday, October 30, 2009

Third Son

I knew that my third son, Joshua, was going to naturally be a bit crazy from the get-go because, well, he's a third boy. I mean, he's got two older brothers running around doing all sorts of fun things that he innately wants to do and he has just had to sit back and watch for the last year. Now, he feels he can exert a bit of his own independence and he has helped himself right into the mix. When everyone else is wrestling, Joshua is right in there rolling around. He wants to go outside when his brothers do and he wants to do whatever they are doing.

But this I couldn't believe. A couple of weeks ago, we went to a place called Pumped which is full of bounce houses and huge slides. Here are all of the boys going up the slide.

Joshua had no problem whatsoever going down the slide with Daddy and laughed the whole way down. So, we decided to send him down with Isaac since he was just begging to let Joshy ride on his lap.

No fear and he liked it quite well thank you very much. So Steve somehow convinced me to send him down all by himself. I thought he'd just freak out. The slide is at least 50 feet high. Well, I think the picture speaks for itself.

I don't even want to know what a fourth boy would be like. Watch out world. Here Josh comes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

San Luis Obispo-How we Love Thee!!

This last week we had the great opportunity to visit the Weeks in San Luis Obispo before participating in AGO's annual football tournament over the weekend. Matt, Debbi and their children were very close to Steve and me while we lived in San Luis Obispo and so we love to take some time when we can to go and visit. Whenever we come over the Cuesta Grade into SLO, we just miss it so much!! We spent so many wonderful years there. So it's good to still be able to visit and get our SLO fix for awhile. The boys and I went down on Tuesday and Steve met us there late Friday night. We had a wonderful time and did so many things (even though the boys were sick with a cold!!) They were troopers.

Here are some highlights:
-Walks with friends
-Bali's frozen yogurt, chocolate swirl with "sprinklers",
-Visits to the park complete with a picnic
-Using our new Cars stamps
-Playing in the backyard with swords
-Walking downtown and seeing the train station
-Farmer's Market...Downtown Brown, huge prize winning pumpkins and a tour of the firetruck
-San Luis Obispo High School's Homecoming Parade-by far the favorite
-Playing at Miss Megan's house with all of her fun blocks and toys! Thanks Megan!
-Eating donuts for breakfast with Grandpa Matt
-Going to the Pismo Dunes and watching Daddy and his college buddies beat Zeta Alum (UCSB AGO's alumni team) Go Kappa Alum!!
-Eating pizza stix at Pizza Solo (my three boys can take down a whole serving of them...I think they like them a lot!)
-Seeing lots and lots of friends (although we missed seeing some due to the boys' cold and not wanting to infect other little kids but, we still got to see many)

We are so grateful to be home but we had the best time in San Luis Obispo!! Thanks Weeks family for hosting us all week. We can't wait to come back and visit again sometime!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Startin' Em Early

Recently, there was a hilarious conversation that occurred in my car on the way to school. One of the boys started talking about getting married someday and becoming a Daddy. All the boys chimed in with their own little responses to marrying a girl someday. They haven't gotten to the "girls are yucky stage" yet so their little ideas about having a family of their own were so cute. All of them wanted to marry a pretty girl (it starts young) and all of them wanted to be a Dad.

One thing I really try and instill in my boys is a respect for how hard their Dad works for them and how his work provides for our family. It's my hope that they will appreciate and want to emulate their Dad in this area some day when they have families of their own. We actually talk about this a lot. On this particular day, since I was getting such great conversation out of them, I wanted to see what the boys in the car would say about their Dads and working. I gently turned the conversation that direction and started asking the boys if they knew why their Dad worked so hard. One of the boys in the car, without skipping a beat said, "So I can spend money!" I just died laughing and thought to myself, I must remember to tell his mom (who is one of my close friends) his comment. I knew what he meant--that his Dad worked so that they could have money to spend on things like food, shelter and clothes. Believe me, none of us are rich that live out here so I know that he, or his mom rather, isn't just out blowing the dough Daddy brought in. But his response was just so, so funny.

And then I thought you know what, it's so important that they get it now. So many men in their 20s and even older don't get it. I have a responsibility as a Christian mom to raise my sons to take responsibility now and not later. It's now that they learn this stuff so that it's second nature to them as they grow older. So much of who they are now is who they will be in fifteen to twenty years. So I better not delay, let days slip by or think that if I'm not intentional about it, they'll just know it later on. They must be taught. Their Dad is their example and teacher, but I must be like his second, encouraging, pointing things out and most of all respecting his position. Respect will speak volumes. If I can get that part down, I'll be halfway there.

The other day Isaac said to me, "Mom, when I am big like Dad, I'll have my own family and I won't live at your house anymore." And with a little twinkle in his eye he said, "And you'll miss me!!" I hadn't told him that but, I think he just realized it out on his own. And I really was glad he had said it even though thinking of him all grown up did make me a bit sad. Nevertheless, even though he's young, he's getting it. And it's so important for him to understand that when he's a man, he'll need to take responsibility for himself and for a family and that this responsibility is God-given and good.

So I'm startin' em early. And I'm praying for their future wives. And I'm asking God for the grace to bring them up right, so that they'll be strong men of God who can face the world, knowing that God has made them to care for their family and to conquer what comes their way with His help. I pray that God will cover us and give grace for the mountain of mistakes we'll make and the hope that they'll still get it on the other end in spite of ourselves. However, if I don't try and teach them now, how will they ever know?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rainy Day Ideas

So today marked the beginning of rainy season. Early in the morning I heard the familiar pitter-patter on my roof and smiled before drifting back to sleep. I love the rain. Nevertheless, rain or general nasty weather and little children can be challenging. Although we really don't get that much bad weather, it always makes me thankful for the sun and getting outside. My boys usually need to get outside everyday to run off some energy and so, being indoors all day causes for some definite creativity. I'm sure if I had to do it more often, I'd be better at it. But since I'm not, I'll list all of the things we've found to do on rainy days and you list your own. It'll be sort of a swap. Maybe if enough of us chime in with ideas, it'll get us through the winter cheerfully!!

Rainy Day Ideas:

Crash Pile: I stole this from the Femina Blog (which you should check out if you don't already read it. It's on my blogroll). Basically, you pile all sorts of pillows and blankets on top of each other and let your kids run wild crashing into it full speed. My boys absolutely love this and usually work up quite a sweat.

Bake cookies, bread or anything that sounds wonderful!

Build a fort with blankets, family room furniture and chairs and then read books by flashlight

Color or other craft stuff. Any ideas?

Do puzzles

Extended bath play time

Music time: usually this consists of us singing through songs and learning new ones.

Dance Party: dancing like crazies to any sort of music. My boys' favorite is Sing, Sing, Sing which is a very fast swing song. I happen to like it a lot myself too.

Play Simon Says or another game that the little ones can understand and play. My oldest loves board games but his younger brothers still can't play too much. Caleb can do a few with help. Any other game ideas?

Anything else? I'd love to hear what you do to pass the time!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Well, my oldest child learned the very hard lesson of payback this very morning. And very unsuspectingly I might add. It all started early. Earlier than everyone was even up. I woke up late, which is extremely unusual for me. Normally, I'm up with the sun regardless of how much sleep I had the night before. I usually rise just fine (I just end up falling asleep early on the couch). I'm definitely a morning person. But anyway, for whatever reason, I was up 45 minutes later than usual and I ran in to get the baby. He was waiting quietly for me (WOW!) and I grabbed him and nursed him. Then the other two got up and before I knew it, I was running very behind. I quickly made my husband coffee, sent him out the door and proceeded to try and make up for lost time. Fridays I clean house and so I generally try to have a few things done before Josh takes his morning nap like vacuuming. As I'm prepping to vacuum there is a knock at the door.

Hmmmm....interesting. Who could be knocking on my door at 7:45 am? I opened the door and there stood a wide-eyed teenage girl who very timidly asked me if I knew whose dog it was she was holding by the collar. I immediately recognized my neighbor's dog and resolved to help her get him back home abandoning all of my housework and putting myself even further behind. But what to do? With Josh on one hip (I don't trust all three of them in the house by themselves), I quickly gave orders to Isaac to man the house while I ran to bring the crazy dog home.

Now rewind a couple of days. I'm in my backyard hanging clothes on the line, and the older boys are playing outside. I hear barking- lots of barking. I realize that there are a couple of holes in the fence that need mending and that my boys are "feeding" the dogs dirt through the broken slats in the fence. The dogs are going nuts and my kids are loving it. I quickly realize that my boys don't know it, but that they're riling the dogs up and teasing them. We talk about being kind and gentle with animals and how it's not nice to tease. They promise to leave the dogs alone from now on.

Flash back to this morning. I've got one of the dogs and we're all three of us, myself, Josh and the timid high school girl who I could hardly get to say two words to me on our little hike (and I tried!), heading to put him back in his yard and get on with the day. Mission accomplished. The girl and I part and I make it back to my own house to see Isaac is standing outside. He said he was looking for me. Hmmm...disobedience. I had told him to stay inside. Nevertheless, before I could even talk to him about that, the dog comes bounding through the fence (we soon learned that it would be very difficult to try and keep him penned up) and makes a beeline straight for Isaac.

Okay, I've got the baby and I see the dog coming. He starts jumping and Isaac very quickly gets hysterical. I'm at a complete loss as to what to do. I've got Josh and if I put him down, then the dog will get him and he's totally helpless. At least Isaac is a bit more able to handle himself against the dog. Now, mind you, the dog wasn't upset, he was just playing but Isaac wasn't having any of it. So, with Josh in my arms, I proceed to try and get Isaac away from the dog. I'm barking orders at him to run (stupid, I know but I could hardly think!) good thing he didn't listen that time. Different ideas about what to do are running through my mind all at once but I'm not coming up with anything brilliant. I'm just trying to fend off the dog with my feet, we're all dancing around helplessly and my oldest child is screaming at the top of his lungs.

Meanwhile, of course this is all going on right before school starts and cars are streaming into the parking lot at record speed. I don't know how long we were dancing out there like crazies before I got the gumption to just pick Isaac up as well and make a run for it. But it had been quite some time and I KNOW we were a spectacle. Just wonderful. I'm sure this is what my husband heard in his first period class. "Wow, Mr. Dauphin. Is your family okay? I saw your wife running in circles with a dog chasing her and your kids were screaming!" I'm surprised he hasn't called to check on us yet. But this I know, Isaac learned very quickly to treat animals with respect because you never know when they might show up for a little payback.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm Sold!

I have been flabbergasted as to how little I've missed my dryer. I thought I'd last a week and here I am going on six weeks and I have three very small children who go through clothes like movie stars do money!! Here are my top ten reasons why I love my clothesline. I'm not here to say that everyone must do it, but I wanted to write about why I love doing it!!

10 Reasons Why I Love My Clothesline

1. It's so, so easy to do and it didn't cost me a cent.

2. The sun helps to bleach out stubborn stains! I've been so surprised at how many old stains have faded or disappeared after being hung out on the clothesline.

3. I'm much less stressed doing laundry this way. I can't do my laundry quite as fast which just means that it's not all log-jammed on my couch screaming at me, "Fold me!! Fold me!!" It's amazing how I feel like I can keep up with the laundry so much better now even though the clothesline isn't quite as efficient as my dryer!

4. It makes all of my clothes smell so fresh!

5. My kids play happily outside while I do the laundry.

6. I get necessary sorting and folding done as I hang the clothes up and take them down. I sort socks and hang them up together so that I can just ball them up when they come down. I fold everything as it comes off. I come into my house with the clothes folded and it's only taken me an extra five minutes to do so!

7. I'm saving energy.

8. It's good exercise. Need I say more?

9. It gives me a glimpse of past generations and how they lived. It makes me feel more connected to history. I know, I know, there I go being all "romantic" again.

10. I absolutely LOVE seeing all of my little one's clothes, especially their little jeans hanging out on the fence next to my husband's. I can't explain it but, it just really warms my heart.