Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thoughts from Wednesday

1. The past two days have been very cool here....60's and rainy. I actually like this weather, but it is so hard to get used to dressing in layers at the end of July!

2. VBS is approaching fast! My job during the actual week is registration. Right now I am busy making name tags and putting kids in groups who have already registered. Also - The VBS director holds about 2 work days a week so Jaxen and I go as much as we can to help out (a perk of not working outside the home!). Here are a few pictures of the stuff we are making -

It is all still 'in progress' but it is coming along nicely! 
I am having lots of fun with it!

3. After church on Wednesday nights I normally let Jaxen watch part of a movie before bed, to help him "wind down" after all the fun and excitement of church! Last night, this is how I found him when I went to tell him it was bed time -

Cuddled under 2 blankets, holding his cup with his teeth and wearing a hard hat. 
Why not?! 

4. I found out that a little piece of “home” was moving into Watertown. SONIC! This is not my favorite place in the world…but it is a piece of home and I do like their drinks. Since I can’t have a “Bush’s” and still can’t find a place to buy a decent fountain soda…I’m so excited about this Sonic.

Guess when it opens? Monday. How great is that? Except for the fact I will be out of town. Bummer. I was hoping to go, introduce myself, order a wonderfully-delicious fountain soda and proclaim my love. Okay…maybe that is a bit much. But I am very excited!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Random Pics for You to Enjoy!

Here are some random pics from our life the past few weeks…enjoy!

If I ask Jaxen to carry his bag - he does. And I think it is pretty cute. 
Here he is one morning, carrying his bag and milk out to the car...

Finger Painting.
He was not sure about it at first…but finally got the hang of it. 

And either Jaxen wears this red shirt a lot…or the above pictures happened on the same day!
Not sure - Ha!

Our neighbors have told us a couple of times that we could use their pool. 
We finally took them up on the offer one night. 
Jaxen loves to jump in from the side, throw the beach ball…and of course,
have daddy throw him in the air!

The place where Nik went to camp does not have a swimming pool,
so they take the kids to Taughannock Falls one of the days to swim - so cool!
This state park is on my list of places to visit.

I found this parking area at Wegmans in Ithaca, NY - awesome!
(Customer With Child Parking)

This is Jaxen’s finished tie-dyed shirt from camp!

This is kind of a funny picture…it is a half eaten apple from Jaxen. 
You can’t see it here…but Jaxen eats the entire apple. 
Most of the core is already gone - and he finished off the whole thing after this picture!

I found these next few pictures - That is Nik at Kids Camp!

I hope everyone is enjoying their week!

Monday, July 28, 2014


Today I had to say good-bye to some very great friends - The Chandlers.

We met the Chandlers when we lived in Texas...on our very first day there, one of their sons came and mowed our lawn. From that first day, we have loved them. We have had (at some point) all four of their boys in our youth group! 

They moved to New York a little more than 2 years ago, and are now moving on to Missouri. This family has been such a great support to us as we moved and settled into life in New York. Becky and Jim became instant adoptive grandparents and their boys were instant older brothers to Jaxen. They played with him, loved on him and cared for him. They treated Nik and myself pretty good too! We were a part of their family, and they, ours.

The world is so small, I know we never really say "good-bye" because chances are that we will see them again! But it is still hard and sad when friends move away. We just said good-bye to a bunch of amazing people just 4 (short) months ago. I was not really ready to do it again. But I did.

I will miss those people.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Where We Were and Nik Is

We were (and Nik still is) at Kids Camp this week!

I’m sure you are wondering why in the world Nik is at kids camp….Jaxen is not old enough and Nik is the Associate Pastor who works with teens.

It was a bit of a shocker to me too!

There are 5 weeks in a row that some big events in the life of the church are happening:
Week 1 - Junior High Camp (6 days)
Week 2 - Kids Camp (6 days)
Week 3 - Senior High Camp (6 days)
Week 4 - Kingdom Bound (like Rock the Dessert but at a Theme Park) (5 days)
Week 5 - VBS (5 days)

All in a row.

When we were scheduling our summer, Nik was going to be gone for Week 1, 3 and 4. And we both will be very active in in week 5 (VBS). Which does not leave a lot of "Family Time". It was looking to be a busy summer and Nik was going to be away for a good chunk of July. My original plan was to have friends come visit me those weeks! But that didn’t work out - Ha!

I can’t even tell you how many times our schedule changed, planning these 5 weeks and I’ll save you from a long backstory.

Basically, Nik was not needed as a counselor at the Senior High Camp (and only one of our teens was attending) and the district had NO male sponsors for Kids Camp. So Nik stepped up and offered to go. The lady in charge of Kids Camp (she attends our church) was sweet enough to ask me if Jaxen and I wanted to tag along! Of course we did! That would give us a chance to see Nik some throughout the week, and allow me to see the District Nazarene Campground. She made sure we had our own cabin and off we went Sunday afternoon. much luggage is needed at camp?
3 people, 6 days, plus snacks, bedding and towels. So I guess, a lot!

Can I just say how adorable this 2 year old is?!?
Getting ready for church Sunday. 
We brush teeth, comb hair and put shoes on - all on top of the washer. 

He just learned that he can put his arm all the way through his overalls!

And a selfie before church. 

Once we arrived at camp, Nik gave us a tour!

We spent the rest of the afternoon / evening getting ready for campers!
Oh, and Jaxen gave us a concert :)

Monday morning we ran some errands, getting snacks for the counselors.

That evening Jaxen and I attended part of the service and he had the 
best time during the music, dancing with all the big kids!

Tuesday morning we hung out on the playground. 

And went to craft time!
The 3 boys on the pic are from our church and are a part of Niks group. 
They adore Jaxen!

He made a tie dye shirt. 

Some of the counselors were giving Jaxen a hard time about his hat. 
Not sure why?!?

And then that night, Jaxen and I packed up our stuff and headed home.

From the pics everything looks nice and fun. And in those pictures it was....but I did not take pictures of the ugly scenes from Tuesday....

Including Jaxen not sleeping well either night, not eating because he was too excited about being with the campers, throwing fits when I removed him from places for being disruptive, not listening when I told him something, crying every time Nik walked away from us to attend to his campers, screaming when he wanted to play a game the older kids were....and so on. 

It was really complete chaos. We could never find a balance from hanging out "at camp" and just being there, having fun on our own. I thought it would work, but it just didn't. The kids loved having Jaxen around and I let him hang around some (when it was an appropriate time) but Jaxen could not understand that he could not be with them, or his daddy, the entire time. 

I pretty much decided we needed to come home when I realized I was going to have to keep Jaxen locked in our cabin most of the day to avoid major tantrums and chaos when he saw the kids doing something he couldn't. And with him not sleeping at night...I decided the little bit of time with Nik was not worth it. I was sad. I was enjoying "camp life" again. And this view from my cabin:

Decisions are hard. Especially when you have to try and make the right ones for you and your family...and especially when it is not the decision you want! I'm sure everyone understands that. 

So we are home and I spent Wednesday recovering from the past 24 hours which were completely exhausting! 

I miss Nik but I will see him Saturday when I go back to pick up campers!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Saturday - Nik Came Home!

This was the last day of “Jaxen and Mommy’s Week of (extra) Fun!” Which also means that this is the last day of posts explaining our entire day to you! It has been fun for me to document this time though, and I hope you have enjoyed it as well. But there is no way I can blog this much when Nik has his computer the majority of the time. Or when Nik is actually home. Because I like spending time with him too :)

Our week was fun. Lots of fun. Not everyday went as planned but I achieved my goal: To be intentional about the time I spent with Jaxen and to have (extra) fun with him! And…I also cleaned something everyday and only cooked one meal all week! That was really fun!

Side note: I don’t think I ever really thought about the time it takes to plan a menu, a grocery list (with a pretty tight budget), to do the actual shopping (sometimes at multiple stores), put away food, prep all the snacks and meals the day prior or day of (thawing meat, marinating, cutting fruit…), cooking the meal (although, in the summer we grill a lot), cleaning and doing dishes!!! Whew, that’s a lot of work! That probably made it sound worse than it actually is. I do enjoying doing all that but it was nice to take a break from it. I’m glad that we had enough groceries and leftovers for me not to have to cook or go to the grocery store this week. And…I stayed within my “eat-out budget”! Not cooking is not worth breaking the bank, either :)

That was a long side note. Sorry.

So Saturday went like this…

Jaxen slept in - Woo Hoo!!! Which meant, I got a good handle on packing and doing some chores before he got up. And he was well rested…which meant a happy 2-year old!

After he woke up we cuddled.

And then I pretty much let him watch TV and play the entire morning!

About 12:30pm we picked Nik up from the church. It was pretty much the sweetest moment…Jaxen running so hard and fast to Nik when he got out of the car… pretty stinkin’ sweet. And then Nik could not leave Jaxens side all day. (A nice break for me, I might add!)

We took Nik out to lunch, ran to the store and then I let him go home and rest up while I worked on his laundry. It was funny…we unloaded his bag in the kitchen, washed everything, dried it, folded it and put it right back in his bag to leave the next day - It worked well!

We stayed in that night and had steak for dinner. A special treat after a week of camp food!

Friday - Our Last Day Alone

Friday was the day I had a little melt down. I’m just keeping it real! Jaxen did not sleep very long on Thursday night and was therefore super tired and grumpy. He could not figure out what he wanted and nothing made him happy for more than 1 minute. I finally put him down for an early nap and he woke up after only 1 hour. That was not enough time for him. Or me. I still had lots of things to and was hoping to accomplish them this day. Know what I mean?! I decided to lay him back down - and after 45 minutes of trying to get him to nap again... I gave up.

That was about the time Nik called. Yea! (I have only been talking to him sporadically and for a few minutes each time. It had been about 24 hours at this point since I had talked to him…so I was so excited he called). Well, Jaxen would not have it. He cried and screamed and threw tantrums the whole time I was on the phone. Not fun. Once I hung up the phone is when I had my little melt down. I was so mad at Jaxen! First, because of his tiredness and grumpiness the day had not gone at all how I planned. And second, all I wanted to do was talk to Nik. I missed him! And he would not stop throwing fits!

I finally calmed down. Well, kind of. Basically, I have learned when Jaxen and I get in this kind of groove (him hurting my feelings) the best thing is a change of scenery. So we left home. And I went and got a Coke. And then we ran errands. I did them as fast as I could. But it took a couple of hours.

And that is where the picture of the day comes in…

So this picture…It was taken outside of Wal-Mart at our car. But I’m going to try and explain the reason I took this picture…

Inside the store, I was pushing the cart and Jaxen insisted on sitting on top of this cooler. I was nervous at first he would fall off, but I assure you, he was safe. So once he was on the cooler, he put his sunglasses on and was literally waving and talking (in his gibberish) to EVERYONE. I was trying so hard not to laugh! But as I passed people, I could hear them laughing at him! He was a riot! Can you picture it?! I hope so…because it really was so funny. It was almost like he was in a parade - maybe like running for election or something the way he was sweet talking everyone and waving. TOO FUNNY!!!!

And that changed the whole mood of the day and we were both much better! I finished errand running and went to a friends house to eat dessert and let Jaxen play. We were home by 9:30. And thankfully, Jaxen slept in a little on Saturday and I was able to get lots accomplished for our upcoming trip! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Only one picture for you today….

Thursday started out with chores (cleaned upstairs bath and vacuumed upstairs) and then we were back at the church for another VBS prep workday. My main job has been painting murals to hang on the walls. The job itself is not hard…however, having a 2 year old around makes it extremely hard! Thankfully, there is usually a couple of other kids who are there and try to keep Jaxen entertained for me. It works about half the time. The other half, he is sitting right next to me or in my lap while I paint. There have been a few messes. But overall, it has been okay!

We were finished and home by lunch.

Once Jaxen went down for a nap - I started to get overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with all the stuff that needs to happen in the next 3 days. So I started making lists, and planning and working on chores and things that needed to get done…and Jaxen decided to wake up. After only a one hour nap. That was not near long enough for me to get my work done! And then he would not leave me alone once he was awake. He was being very clingy. So I decided no work would happen and we left for our adventure of the day.

We met up with the Chandlers and we went on a hike. The above picture is the only one I have because I didn’t take my phone with me. But I love this picture. Jaxen adores these two boys and they pretty much adore him as well.

On our hike we came to the river and there we spent a ton of time throwing rocks into the water. I think that is now Jaxen’s favorite thing to do. He loved it. Especially when someone would throw a really big rock in, and make a big splash! It was a lot of fun.

After the hike, we went to dinner and then I helped out at their home. They had an inspection Friday  (they are moving soon) and she needed help with a few projects.

Once we got home, I had to give Jaxen a bath because the amount of dirt and rocks on that kid (and in his hair) were unbelievable. He finally got to bed at 9pm and I quickly went outside to mow the grass. It needed it and good thing it’s not a big yard, because it was getting dark on me!

It was a fun day…but there is just a lot to do between now and Sunday. Nik gets home Saturday afternoon and 24 hours later, we all load up and will be out of town the whole next week! I’ll share more later on that. I have to go now and get busy!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Wednesday, Hearing Evaluation, and Other Thoughts

Well, I had to break my “no cooking plan" while Nik is gone. Jaxen loves spaghetti (Nik, not so much) and we had all the ingredients…so I fixed that for dinner Wednesday night. I’m not sure you can really even call it “cooking”. No prep work. Takes 10 minutes. But there is dishes…so maybe.

I ran into one of my neighbors and she knew Nik was out of town and offered me some leftover steak. Score! Hopefully, that means I only have to break my plan once!

The rest of my plans have been going great….I have cleaned something each day, and have done one fun thing (out of the house) each day.

Wednesday was a busy day and so this had to count as our fun outside activity..

Watching the big trucks scoop and dump dirt!

We helped with VBS that morning and then had to go to a hearing exam for Jaxen. Afterward, while walking to the car, we saw this construction happening. Jaxen was thrilled with watching. I was thrilled he was so excited! Even passerby’s commented on how excited he was. One old man walking by even said “One day he will tell his kids he watched this building go up!” Not sure about that…but he was sweet to stop and talk to us!

After nap and dinner we headed to church!

This kid. He cracks me up! This was on our walk/ride home from church. 
And I have to say…so glad we bought this wagon! 
It has been so handy. And Jaxen loves it!

So - Jaxen’s Hearing Evaluation went well. I was not concerned with his hearing, but the speech therapist did say that sometimes there can be fluid and buildup in an ear that makes them hear everything “mumbled” and that can delay speech. That was not the case. No fluid, no buildup and Jaxen passed all the tests with flying colors. He can hear. His ears are not a connection to his speech. Good to know.

I know that I am home with Jaxen everyday and things shouldn’t be much different while Nik is gone - but this week has given me a chance to be more intentional and focused on him. I like that. So often he is kind of in the “background” with everything else going on and this week has been so much fun, fully concentrating on him. I like to think of this week as “Jaxen and Mommy’s Week of (extra) Fun!” Hahaha! Something like that!

So far, so good! And I just have to say…Isn’t it amazing when God pours out extra grace and patience and love when you need it the most? Single-parenting is not easy. But I totally feel God’s presence this week and I feel myself needing and being supplied with God’s “extras"! Thank you.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tuesday - More Fun

And the fun continues this week...

I took Jaxen to the movies Tuesday morning!
Bad picture…but this was us right before the movie started. He was excited!

During the movie. 
He was focused. Didn’t even finish his milk or fruit snacks…
and if you know my kid, that is a big deal. He loves fruit snacks!

 After the movie, we ate in the mall food court…pizza.

That evening, I needed to get some exercise in and so we walked up to the park.
And then I let Jaxen play. We left when the big kids were playing tag and 
stopped looking out for the little ones. But he was wiped when we left - he had played hard!

Side note: Remember the picture on the left (back in April)? 
Jaxen finally likes walks again (see right picture).

Another Side note: I am not normally a fan of camo-clothing….
but I cannot get over how cute these camo shorts are on Jaxen! 

Swinging - he only likes this until he sees other kids playing on something different. 
Then he is done!

 Cute boy, in cute shorts!

Tired from all the running around (I was tired too!)
It is hard to keep up with him on this playground!

Going down the slide before we headed home!

Also…Remember how I told you about his new blanket attachment? Well, I don’t think there is any issue there. Yesterday I decided to wash it. So I snuck it away when he was not looking. He went down for a nap without it and when I put him to bed, I gave him a different blanket and he took it. No problem. Glad it did not become a bigger deal than it was!

And…I’m tired. Just sayin’. The first night Nik was gone, I slept good. The second night…not so much. I heard noises. It was a long, restless night! The third night (last night) was okay. Good sleep, just not enough of it!

P.S. I hope you are enjoying all the blog posts this week! I know I am blowing some of you away with how much I am posting (verses the 2-3 times a week posts I had been doing). This is what happens when Nik leaves his computer at home. Don’t get used to it, though!