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It has been an awful long time since we have had a family fun night, I have been reminded of this by my children.  A lot.  So, I decided this was the week to start!  Only I decided this at about 3:00 yesterday afternoon.  Given the limited time to plan and limited “stuff”, since all of my fun stuff is still hiding away in the boxes that haven’t been unpacked in the garage, I decided on a simple Pajama Party.  We all came to dinner in our PJs and had breakfast for dinner – chocolate chip pancakes!  What Pajama Party would be complete without a pillow fight?

Pillow fight 1Pillow fight 2Pillow fight 3 Pillow fight 4

You’ll notice Noah is quite serious about his pillow-fighting.

After the pillowfight, we curled up with our blankets and pillows and watched a movie, with popcorn of course!

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Weekend Getaway

We had such a great weekend away!  We spent some time at a friend’s cabin and had tons of fun.  There were six families total and it is truly hard to describe the mix.  We are all totally different but when we get together, it just works and hilarity is sure to ensue.  There were times we were just plain silly and laughed til we cried, and other times where we talked for hours over some pretty serious stuff.  The kids got to fish and swim and play and get dirty and just be kids.  It was just a fun weekend spent with people we love.  Despite the fact that I am super exhausted from staying up way too late every night and feel fat from eating WAY too much, my spirit is filled beyond capacity.  Here are a few of the hundreds of pictures I took.

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Tonight’s theme, thanks to some cute little coconut cups I found, was a Luau! We ate Hawaiian chicken, fruit and cheese kabobs, drank some fun little fruity drinks out of our special glasses, and had lots and lots of pineapple. There were chocolate covered coconut macaroons for dessert. After dinner??? We made a volcano! Then had some crazy luau fun with some hula dancing and, of course, the limbo.

The making of a volcano:

Mount Dyer erupts!

Toria dancing the hula:

Daddy’s turn to limbo!

The kids thought it was really funny to lower the bar in the middle of daddy’s turn!

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Today I tackled my sons’ room.  It was a disaster and in dire need of some organization.  It took me all day yesterday and a trip to Ikea to get myself ramped up for this job.  This is what I had to deal with:

But, see, this is rather deceiving because all that you can see is the stuff they left out.  You can’t see all the stuff that was shoved in the closet and under the bed.  In others words, it got worse.  Much worse:

With a huge dose of determination, I rolled up my sleeves and dug in.  Six hours later, yes you read that right, SIX hours later, it looked like this, (cue angelic voices):

We have too much stuff.  Stuff stresses me out.  I spend a good chunk of each day picking up stuff and putting it away.  The same stuff, everyday.  Why do we collect so much stuff?  Why do we think we need so much?  It felt really good to clear a bunch of unnecessary stuff out of that room today.  I pulled out 2 bins of clothes, 2 big bags of toys, and 2 full bags of garbage and my boys are still far from lacking clothes and toys.  It takes me back to that same old struggle of why we are here in surburbia with our green lawns, oversized houses, cars and too much stuff when millions of people don’t even have a roof over their head.  I can go to my kitchen anytime I have the munchies and choose from a pantry full of food and there are people all over the world who go days without eating.  I get annoyed when my kids ask me repeatedly for snacks and there are parents who watch their children starve.  What do you do with that?  How can you even wrap your brain around that?  Yes, I know I should be grateful for what I have and we, as a family, thank God daily for what He provides, but I won’t pretend that we deserve it more than anyone else.  I think we make a huge mistake when we assume superiority on the basis of what we have, or of where we live, for that matter.  I remember in Rick McKinley’s book, A Beautiful Mess, (a book I think everyone should read) he talks about spiritual poverty in the “have-it-all” world and how he was set back by a friend from Rwanda who said he prayed for him because with all of the conveniences we have (doctors, medicine, etc.) it was hard to believe we’d need God on a daily basis and that is hard to be up against.  It’s true!  We let conveniences, plans, schedules, STUFF get in the way!  At least I know I do.  All too often, it is only when those conveniences, plans, schedules and stuff don’t work that I finally turn to God and rely on Him.  Anyone else struggle with this?  Wow, who knew cleaning my sons’ room could lead to this.  I honestly started this post as a “Yeah, me!  Look what I did today!” post.  How perspective can change.  God’s pretty cool that way.

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For a long time now, we have tried to to have one night a week set aside for “Family Night.” This most often happens on Friday night and has generally been a movie night. Lately, it is getting harder and harder to find a movie that we haven’t already seen, so I decided this week to change things up a bit. Now this, like most all my brilliant ideas, was not an original thought. A blog I frequently read, Whittaker Woman, posts often about the family nights she plans, and though I can only dream of being as creative as she is, I did my darndest. So here are some pics from our first ever (named by Toria) Super Duper Family Fun Night: Everything Art

We started with Pizza Palettes.

Our centerpiece, made earlier in the day by the kids and I:

We had “Mushrooms” and Ants on a Log for our veggies:

And what could be more artsy than Sushi?

Although we ate ours for dessert and they consisted not of fish, but of Rice Krispie Treats!

The table was covered in paper and crayons so that we could all demonstrate our own artistic abilities anywhere we wished on the table. After dinner, we tried some bubble art, but unfortunately, it didn’t turn out near as well as I’d hoped. Even though the project was a total flop, it was still fun watching the kids trying their hardest to blow a bunch of bubbles through a straw!

All in all, it was a pretty fun night and by the time it was done, my creative juices were flowing and I’ve started a list of theme ideas for future nights! Stay tuned for future Super Duper Family Fun Night…

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