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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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SDFFN 4

It was Blindfold Night!  The kids wore blindfolds throughout dinner.  (The adults got a pass to help out where needed.)  The kids were silly and we had lots of fun, but it also provided an opportunity to talk about people with “different abilities” and the obstacles they overcome.  It also was a good chance to be thankful for things we take for granted, like our sight! 

Alden was a sport, but tended to cheat!

Alden was a sport, but tended to cheat!

After dinner, I gave each of the kids, still blindfolded, some paper and a pen and instructed them to draw a picture.  I had them draw a scene with a house, a person by the house, a cat, a dog, the sun, clouds, etc.

The artwork!

The artwork!

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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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SDFFN 3

Everything’s all messed up!!  This week, I’ll admit, I didn’t put a lot of thought or effort into planning our Family Fun Night.  We are going out of town tomorrow so our normal night didn’t work out and I just didn’t get around to planning something until today at, gasp, 5:00pm.  So, I stole borrowed from the creative genius of Heather Whittaker’s Backwards Night and threw together a crazy messed up meal!  The table was set with all the dishes upside down, the chairs were all backwards, we drank “7-downs” and, of course, we ate dessert first!

Upside-down cupcakes

A 7-“down”

Toria digging into dessert first

Alden taking his sweet time

Noah, in the spirit of the evening, ate his upside-down

We didn’t have any backwards, upside-down, inside-out or otherwise activities planned, so we just went outside and had an impromptu waterfight, because, well, you just can’t go wrong with one of those!

It took Alden a little while to get what he was supposed to do with the water bottle.  Guess he was thirsty!

Man down!  Man down! Noah took full advantage! The happy, drippy bunch

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Makes for a pretty good weekend! Saturday we got to hang out with the youth group leaders and a few of the teens at the beach. Yesterday our small group got together for a BBQ. Then last night, 6 people from our church were baptized in a local lake. What a cool sight to see people professing their love of Jesus in the middle of a city park and then getting baptized in the lake!


My Monkeys:


They do come by it naturally, though. Here is Daddy Monkey, scaling a tree:

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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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