Grandma gave Dan his childhood trumpet, and the kids took immense pleasure in tooting it.
One of my best friends had a birthday party for her son, and Jackson and I crashed it. Gina had fantastic games and such creative ideas. Sometimes I watch her when she’s on her game (as a mommy and also as a star volunteer at our church), and I am incredibly grateful that God makes people who love kids. The thought of devising and making all those games for my son’s birthday party hurts my head!
We rotated lots of furniture throughout our house in April. I blame it on Santa for bringing a Wii to our house at Christmas! We upgraded TVs, which meant rearranging furniture and being creative with our living space. This desk I used in our craft room/dining room went to Katie’s room, and I inherited the old TV armoire as my new desk. Katie is thrilled with her new desk, and I like mine too!
One of the kindest compliments I’ve ever received is when my friend Laura hired me to give her son photography lessons. It was an Advent-Conspiracy-type birthday gift for him – a gift of presence and not stuff. It took us months to find a date that would work for our schedules, but Max and I finally met up at the local butterfly house and talked cameras for 2 hours. It was FUUUUUN! (Yes, I am a photography geek!)
And this photo represents one of the most extravagant gifts I’ve ever been given: cooking lessons from my friend Joe. (Here’s one of the other most extravagant!) His family is on a special diet because of food allergies, and I was bemoaning the fact that I can’t eat any “good” food anymore. He invited me to his house, where he showed me the contents of his entire pantry. He handed me a hand-written recipe book of all the meals he has developed for his family. Next, we drove to TWO nearby grocery stores and found ingredients for dishes that would taste good AND be safe for my gluten/corn/dairy-free dietary needs. The kicker? Joe wouldn’t let me pay for the groceries. Then he spent three hours of his own time showing me how to cook each of these meals, then sent me home with ALL the meals to fill my refrigerator. When I got in the car and left his house, I cried all the way home. It unravels me to think that my friend would give me such a generous, unselfish gift.
Jackson decided to make a Summer To Do list. He wants to go swimming, sleep in the tent, have a sleep over, fishing with his Poppy and cousin Adam, have his babysitter Genevieve over, play sports, do karate (caroty! ha!), throw the baseball with Daddy, see his cousins Hannah and Peyton, fireworks, and bugs.
Jackson spent the $10 Walmart gift card that Mama Lucy and Papa John sent for his birthday. I told him he could buy goldfish, so he combined a little other money and bought five of them PLUS a fishbowl and accessories. A day later, one fish died. Two days later, another fish died. By May, only one fish remained. It’s not looking good for him either!
Katie hit a BIG milestone in April. In her school, 4th and 5th graders can earn responsibility lanyards if they have good behavior. She has been trying all year to earn one, but has been a little too *social* so far. But, finally, she came home one day and gave me the news: she got a lanyard! We jumped and hollered, and had a special dinner that night to celebrate too. It was a big day!
Katie got the spring cleaning bug. We were cleaning the house for visitors, and she was working on cleaning the guest bathroom. Next thing I know, she had moved to the laundry room and started organizing it as well. The entire room was dismantled and reorganized by the time she was done. Oh, how I LOVE that girl!
Dan and I got bit by the organizing bug too. We spent a good 4 hours in our basement, cleaning piles we have slowly accumulated over the last year. We took two carloads to the trash and to donate. It felt SO good to do that!
Father’s Day – and Mother’s Day! – came a bit early in our house. I was planning to buy Dan this hand blender he’d been wanting for a while, and then he came home from Costco with it one day. Stinker! A few days later, I was putting something in the trunk of his car and he scoffed at me and said, “Oh, no. You found it!” I had no idea what he was talking about, until he pointed to the blender I’d put on my wish list. The funny thing is I wouldn’t have seen it if he hadn’t pointed it out! I’m oblivious sometimes, y’all!