Friday, January 28, 2011

Snow Fun

This weekend has been such a wonderful treat-we have had nothing on the agenda except church and a birthday party!! After the stress of last week with the weather it was so nice to kick back and enjoy family time at home.

The kids did a lot of playing in the snow because it was actually warm enough to play outside but we still had plenty of snow. Check out how snow-covered our darn driveway was Saturday!

My sneaky little David decided to throw lots of snow balls at me! Friday night I got to go out with a good friend to a Tastefully Simple party (yum yum) and then we went out to eat! It was such a wonderful treat. While I was gone Mike took all three babes to a local high school basketball game. I heard he handled all three beautifully by himself:)

My sweet Hope did not sleep well Friday night so we suspected that her ears were infected. I took her to the pediatrician Saturday morning and sure enough she had a double ear infection. After two doses of a z-pack she is already so much better.

I need to do a whole post sometime soon on "Hopeisms." She is saying the funniest things these days and she is a jabber box at home. Her vocabulary is amazing considering her age. My boys did not talk this early and she knows all of their friends by name:)

She loves the snow!!!

I had such a hard time getting a good group picture with my darn camera and the kids were complaining that the sun was in their eyes! It has been so long since we have had a bright sunny day that they were not used to it!

David is all about hitting anyone he can with a snowball-even Daddy in his work clothes! People think that Mike does not have to work on snow days, but he still goes in early after he makes the snow call and puts a full day in.

My sweet Dave-he has been so affectionate and sweet lately. He did scare us to death at a birthday party today by going to the bathroom and not telling us where he was. Ashley and I could not find him and he was happily sitting on the toilet using the bathroom! Love his independence but I do not love when he scares us to death!
This weekend has been such a treat-I actually took a huge nap Saturday with Hope. We just caught up around the house this weekend. This upcoming weekend we will be going nonstop because our AAU team is cohosting a local tournament to raise funds for our team. It is going to be such fun, but we will definitely work hard keeping the gym going with concessions, ticket sales, and such. Also, our little visitors that were here last week will be coming back to stay with us overnight due to their baby brothers surgery on Tuesday. Please keep praying for little Benji.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stress and Sleepovers

The last few days have been wild around here! We have some friends that have a little boy with DS who is five months old. Bless his heart, he has had some medical issues lately that have landed him back in the hospital. So, his big siblings (ages 1 and 3) have been with us over the past couple of days and even had a sleepover last night!

Hope loves her little vanity set and it was certainly popular with all three little ones!

During the day I had 2 one year olds, and a three year old. They are so well-adjusted and did not mind at all staying here.

Kyle and his friend Caleb really enjoyed hanging out with their littlest boy. Kyle was sooo sweet with him and he really seemed to like Kyle. It was one of the those times that my oldest stepped up big time and was the mature helper:)

Kyle and Caleb even worked on a big puzzle because the kids got out of school early due to.......

SNOW! Yesterday a big winter storm came faster and stronger than anyone expected and the kids got out of school early. The dismissal was stressful and scary for us all and I think my husband got a few extra grey hairs yeseterday. The storm was not expected to come until the afternoon and Mike called school to get out at 11 a.m. Unfortunately the snow came hard and fast starting at 10 a.m. which meant buses were carrying kids home on snow-covered roads. Not good for Mike's stress level. Finally around 3:00 all the kids were safely home and all was well. Poor sweet Mike-he is taking a beating for this one, but he can only make a call based on the weather forecast and yesterday the storm came a few hours earlier than anyone predicted.

So while the kiddos played, I obsessively checked the weather forecast, prayed, checked the weather cams and then prayed some more. Because of the weather, it was one of the longest days of my life.
Then when every bus had made it back safely and all the kiddos were accounted for, Mike came home to some homemade potato soup (I will post the recipe because it was awesome and so easy. If you can chop a potato then you can make this soup) and grilled cheese sandwiches. We fed all five children and then we started putting them to sleep. By 9:30 me and all the children were SOUND asleep!
Today the kiddos are off today for snow day #16 and our little visitors are gone. Please pray for their little baby in the hospital-his name is Benji. He is possibly having surgery over the next few days and their family really could use the prayers.

Tonight we have our Upwards banquet to celebrate the Upward basketball season!! We did meet some friends at McDonald's for lunch today. The kids ran out their energy and I got some adult conversation with some ladies!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Everyday Moments

There are just times that your kids are so funny and creative that you just cannot stand it! Last night Kyle and David got the idea to have a a sword fight using the sword from David's Armor of God outfit. They assembled quite an outfit for each other!
Dave decked out in this Armor of God plus the elmo bike helmet and super star sunglasses?!
Kyle in a Home Depot apron from Brett's birthday party like five years ago and his STeelers football helmet:)

Hope just being cute:)

Dave did convince her to put the helmet of salvation on! I want to try to remember fun and silly times that the kids had around the house. There were actually no fights during the dress-up and play time which just might be a record for these two.

Also, here is a little glimpse of my singing queen:) We have been taking music classes for almost a year now. She is my shy little girl at class but then comes home with all of our instruments and really belts it out! Ha! Her teacher, Mrs. Rae Ann would be blown away how loud she is singing at home! She barely participates in class, but she takes it all in and sings her lungs out in the car and at home:)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

All Ball All the Time!

It was another basketball packed weekend for the Robinson household. It started Saturday morning with David's last Upward game. Here is coach Daddy and Dave before the game.

David does not wear his glasses for the games, so it looks really odd to me to see him without them! He has loved Upward and has really improved his defense and dribbling. Way to go Dave!
Praying before the game-for some reason David lays on his belly to pray (he is right beside the referee on the right).

After the morning game we had a few hours to rest before heading to a local tournament that Kyle's AAU team was playing in. Here is a sweet moment with Hope and Dave watching Scobby Doo:)

David and Hope really enjoy Kyle's games too because there are lots of siblings to play with. Four of the families on the team have two big boys and then a little girl so Hope has lots of girls to play babies with and there are plenty of boys for Dave to run wild with! Here are Macy, Dave, and Reid!

Abby was sweet and brought her princes and princesses to play with. David had a blast playing with the princes:)

Hope enjoyed Abby's snack of Trix cereal! Thankfully she is a sweet friend and did not mind Hope taking over her snack. David actually took this picture!

Sweet Abby really likes Kyle and she tells him good luck before every game and then gives him a hug afterwards! It is so cute and of course Kyle loves the attention. Check out her pink Steelers jersey!

Hope modeling her Valentine's necklace.

We made it to the finals of the tournament which is super exciting for our team! We played a great team in the finals and really gave them a good game. Here are our boys getting their runner-up trophy.

Our cute team (minus Ian who was sick) posing with their hardware after the game! We spent our whole weekend in a sweaty, loud gym and there is no other place I would rather be than cheering on my boys playing hoops!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Getaway

I had such a wonderful time on my "lil overnighter to Charlottesville. It was amazing to wander around our old stomping grounds without worrying about nap schedules and toddler meltdowns.

My first stop was to Whole Foods for shrimp bisque soup. Not only does it taste amazing, but that soup is pretty special to me. The night before sweet Dave was born I was too tired to cook so we stopped by Whole Foods for some takeout. Mike got sushi and I had the soup. We took it home and watched a movie with Kyle. I remember snuggling on the sofa with my two boys and being so grateful for life. I just remember feeling so thankful for God's blessings.

About eight hours later my labor started with Dave and then we were a family of four! We joked that the shrimp bisque was what got labor going. I was so thankful for that night of takeout and a movie to celebrate or last official night as a family of three. Our life took some crazy turns and spills over the next few months as we immersed ourselves in the world of Down Syndrome.

After Whole Foods and a little shopping I headed down the road to Orange. The last time Mike visited our old house was it was in pretty bad shape, but I was so happy and thrilled to see that someone bought it and fixed it back up!!! This is a wonderful house and I have so many happy happy memories here. I am such a senitmental sap. Obviously the folks that have put so much TLC into the house also think that it is cool to put antiques on the porch, but I was so thankful to see a swimming pool, playground, and picnic table in the yard. It looks like the people that live there are enjoying it as much as we did. I was aching to knock on the door but I really did not want a police escort out of Orange County!

Not clear why this picture is hazy (darn new camera) but here is the front view of the house. I realy loved this house with its beautiful and original hardwood floors and I loved the kitchen cabinets.

The pool and the playground. I t0ok major self control not to knock on the door and meet the folks that have put so much heart into this house. This house deserves the love and TLC that they put into it.

Next stop was this building. This is the middle school where Mike worked as a principal. It has since been turned into the school board office. I went inside and saw many many old coworkers and friends. I was so warmly greeted and it made my day to see the people that Mike and I both worked with. The superintendent heard that there was a visitor in the building and wanted to meet me-I guess my loud laughter caught his attention!:)

And then I met my ladies for a wonderful dinner. I honestly cannot remember how my food tasted because I was so into my conversation and visiting that I just didn't pay attention to the food-it was secondary to my company. These three ladies were a very big part of my life when I lived there. Lynne (in the cool grey sweater) was pregnant with her daughter, Anne when I was expecting Kyle. Anne was her third and Kyle was my first so you can just imagine how many franctic calls I made to her house asking about baby poop, nursing schedules, and fevers. She is exceptionally wise and I just enjoy her company so much. When the doctor told us that David had DS, she was one of the first calls I made. I remember just blurting out "umm can you pray because this baby may have DS." She showed up in my hospital room the next day to visit and said the most amazing prayer over my son. I do not remember the specific words she said, but all I remember is how it made me feel.
Tracy (in the orange sweater) was Kyle's kindermuzik teacher and Mothers Day Out teacher. She is a gifted musician and an amazing and genuine person. I adore her and we went on a very amazing road trip together to see Beth Moore:) Sabrina (in the pink) has a sweet boy a month older than Kyle and she was my running around pal. We went on many excusions together all over Central Virginia trying to entertain our sweet but rambuctious boys. We had a four hour dinner together and I loved every minute of it.

On my way home I stopped off in Radford at my Mom's to pick up Hope and found her in curlers!! They had played beauty parlor and evidently my daughter loves having rollers in her hair! She did well without us and enjoyed grandparent (and great grandmother) attention while I was gone.
The main reason for my trip was my doctor's appointment. Mike and I have both had bouts of skin cancer in the last five years so we are pretty religious about visiting the dermatologist for head-to-toe checks. There was a place on my face that I was concerned about and the dermatologist said it was nothing to worry about. He did remove a mole on my back (ouch) and I have to return in February to have a cyst removed. I walked out of there feeling on cloud nine because he found nothing suspicious! I celebrated with a burger and fries at Five Guys!
It was a sweet reunion when I returned today. The boys were actually out of school due to snow, so Mike took off from work to hang with them today. They went to lunch, went by Mike's office, and even stopped by the barber shop.
Despite missing the kiddos, I really enjoyed my little trip. I actually got scared in my hotel room alone and I made myself feel better by pulling a big chair in front of the door-I know I am weird:) I even took a picture of my silliness and sent it to Mike so he too could laugh at me! I was so excited to sleep in a bed all alone in the quiet, but frankly I could not sleep well at all. It really is hard to sleep alone when you are used to your hubbie and various children in your bed:)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Character Building

I so should be cleaning my house right now, but my mind is all over the place and I just felt that sitting at the computer typing may help me clear my head.

Lately I have been super focused on character building in my children-I desperately want (even more than a new camera) for my children to have Godly values and use them daily. Being a mom for nine years now I have seen and witnessed some great kids who have not been taught how to behave. I have also witnessed my own children display inappropriate behavior which has hit home the lesson for me that character building should be a HUGE priority for us parents.

This world is moving at such a fast pace that simple things like reading to your children, taking them to the library, and even taking small moments through the day to teach quality character traits has gone by the wayside. Please do not think I am being judgmental-I am including myself in this trap. We as parents want to give our children EVERYTHING and allow them to participate in EVERYTHING so we spend all our time chasing our tails and forgetting the small important lessons that need to be taught-such as humility, forgiveness, empathy, compassion, and helping a neighbor in need.

I love my children but they can on a regular basis act like entitled brats that want more of everything. I know it is our job to train them up so we have dug out the devotional book, added bible reading to our devotionals, and I am scouring the internet for more character-building tips. I am consumed with this right now. I do not want "busyness" to be an excuse for having bratty children. It will not happen on my watch.

I know it is not popular, but we are training my children to say "yes mam" and "no mam" and I am scouring for opportunities for my children to serve OTHERS. I do not want my children to have such a sense of entitlement that they are unwilling ot help a neighbor in need. Kyle volunteered at a camp this past summer for special needs children and he will be back this summer to volunteer again. I want to find an opportunity for David to volunteer-maybe the nursing home? I am going to check about opportunities for him as well.

I feel better now. Getting my thoughts out and strategizing a plan always helps me when I feel overwhelmed with something. I want my children to have strong work ethic-my husband was blessed to have that as a child. I will let you know how it goes as we focus this time on building a Godly character. I have found some new websites and I got a great magazine at the library today on service opportunities:)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Divide And Conquer

The name of the game this past weekend was divide and conquer!! Mike and Kyle went to Knoxville for a swim meet and I took David and Hope to Radford so that David could go visit.....

The Hokie Bird! Virginia Tech played Wake Forest in basketball and so we went to the game with Pops, Chad and clayton. Poor Clayton was scared to death that the Hokie Bird was going to come see us, but we kept reassuring him that the Hokie bird would stay on the court. Late in the first half we looked up and the Hokie Bird was actually about 5 feet away from us! Neither Clayton nor David wanted a picture with him and Clayton made sure he kept his eye out for him the whole time! I am not sure why both of these boys are scared of costumed characters, but they are.

David had such a fun time that late in the second quarter he snuggled up next to Pops and fell sound asleep. Bless his heart:)

Earlier in the day we bought David some new shoes and he was so excited when he realized that Uncle Chad had some just like it!

Clayton and David. Chad sat between them and they were so cute and excited. David cheered every cheer and Clayton sang every song:) The game was actually kind of boring (because Tech beat them) but we had fun with these two!

After church Sunday our friend, Caroline had a skating party and while we waited on Kyle and Mike to come home we went and celebrated her ninth birthday!! Hope got some Tinkerbell skates for Christmas so Mommy skated with her-talk about a back breaker:)

Handsome Dave before church Sunday morning.

Sweet Hope before church:) I just bought this dress for her and I would LOVE to learn how to sew church dresses for her like this. By the time I would have time to learn to sew like this then I would probably have grandchildren! Ha! I am super excited that this is big on her so she can wear it next fall also!

These pictures have nothing to do with this post, but I wanted to share them. Our AAU team is super blessed to have two ladies that have professional photography equipment and take pictures for us! These are the two that Angel got of Kyle at our last tournament. It makes me so happy to have good pictures of my kids "in action" and it also makes me suffer with camera envy:)

I love this face-I love that he is finally not scared to go after those jump balls and even accumulate a foul or two! He is so ruled bound that he was so nervous about getting a foul! Ha! This weekend was super full to the brim with fun. The snow for now has melted on the roads and the kids went back to school today!! Kyle was sad about going back today, but I keep reminding him that each day we go the closer to summer break we get!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Spring Break in January!

Amazingly the kiddos have been out of school ALL week this week due to snow. We have had some cold temperatures and lots of inches of snow. I really have no idea how much we have gotten because of drifting. Yesterday Hope had a well check and I bundled all three up and off to the doctor we went. Hope had a great checkup-she is 32 inches tall and weighs 23.4 pounds. Poor baby got three shots, but we are catching up on her immunizations.

Since yesterday was spent running errands and doctor appointments on white roads, today we loaded up our friends and went on a road trip!

How cute is a car full of kiddos excited to head to Chuck E Cheese?!!
I am annoyed at this camera and I am annoyed that this cute picture of Hope is sideways, but anyway, here is sweet girl on my blackberry. All the kids in the car either had a Nintendo DS or an Ipod and at the time the Vreader and all other techo gadgets were being used, so Hope screamed for "da backburry."

This picture is also sideways (darn new camera) but Dave loved the street hoops game! He had such a great time today-we really went for him because he has asked to go there since the summer and we are just now getting around to it.

This girl is so brave and she and David and Macy took turns riding this horse! She wasn't scared and her new phrase is "dude it" which means let me do it myself now!

Kyle shot hoops a million times!

David at the end realized that by dancing in front of this camera he could get on the big screen and I had to drag him away from it to go home. He is definitely my music man/entertainer!
We had such a fun day out with friends on this cold, snowy day. Our roads are finally showing some pavement and the forecast for next week looks like we may get to pack up the backpacks for school again. I have honestly enjoyed this week with my kids-Hope is going to have withdrawal AGAIN when her two big brothers head back to school.
We have a busy weekend with a big swim meet for Kyle, Upward basketball for David, and two birthday parties! After suffering from cabin fever for once I am excited that our calendar is so jammed packed for the weekend!