Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for October, 2008

A breath of fresh air in Greenville

12th October 2008

What a great relaxing weekend!  It started when Brian’s mom unexpectedly took the kids Friday evening instead of early Saturday morning before we left for the bike race in South Carolina.  I hardly knew what to do with a quiet, empty house!  I should have vacuumed… but instead I packed, cleaned up and took care of loose ends before we left.  Maybe I’ll get to the vacuuming this week.  Hopefully.  Maybe…

Our trip to Greenville was heavenly.  Quiet time in the car together, just talking and catching up, listening to our own choice of music.  I had lots of things I was hoping to get to work on with the laptop this weekend, magazines to look at, and a couple books to read.  In the end, I dove into a book I’d picked up at the library, Positively False by Floyd Landis about his win and doping controversy in the 2006 Tour de France, and I finished it in less than 24 hours.  I read lots of excerpts to Brian and we had long discussions about the topic of doping.  Obviously, we can’t get away from cycling!

The bike races were good, and Brian’s got details on his blog.  It was heavenly to be kid-less though we said countless times how many times we missed them.  Greenville, SC is a beautiful town, and their “Fall into Greenville Festival” was going on, in addition to the bike races.  I got to visit a very cool store called Go Fish (where they sell local artisans’ handiwork bought through missionaries all over the world).  Last year I bought several Christmas presents, including my own 🙂 . We enjoyed dinner at a great seafood restaurant last night after the race (and I had to go back for lunch today! A yummy shrimp po’ boy with sweet potato fries).   We went to bed SUPER late (due to my reading and Brian’s 2+ episodes of Man vs Wild) and slept SUPER LATE.  We relaxed at a nice coffee shop this morning.  I got to focus on cheering for Brian and taking pictures instead of dividing my attention between the kids and the race.  We took a short side-trip through Brian’s alma mater of Clemson on his old cycling roads on the way home.  The trip back was quiet and relaxing as I finished reading our book aloud, and we listened to a good message by Frances Chan on Christ-Centered Relationships.

It was an awesome weekend that totally refreshed both of us.  I love taking trips and sharing experiences with my kids, but this weekend it was just a great change to be 2 instead of 4 and direct our attentions to each other and ourselves.  What a treat!

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My Life is a Love Song

10th October 2008

A few weeks ago at church, we sang a worship song with the phrase “my life is a love song to you”.   I started to think about what that would look like… if I was really living my life as a love song to the Lord.

What is a love song?  It’s sweet, poignant, tender.  The chords blend together perfectly, harmonies lifting up the melody.  A love song touches your heart, and it gives you a beautiful picture of the loving relationship it describes.

From day to day, I’m not sure I could say my life is a love song.  But over the past few weeks, I’ve been listening to the “chords” of my life, trying to turn them into beautiful melodies for my Savior.  Some days, the harmonies are off, and no one would recognize a love song in the clashing tones.  Most notably, I’ve struggled with Grumpy Mom Syndrome.  Whining kids, interrupted sleep, too much on my plate, and not prioritizing things well are all contributing factors.  I’ve spent a little more time filling up my heart with  God’s word in the morning (or in the carpool line!).  I’m thinking of expressing my love more as I deal with grumpy kids and frequent messes.  My actions to them are a love song… and it’s speaking to their hearts as well as mine.

All this to say I’m a work in progress 🙂

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Last race weekend of the season!

10th October 2008

Tomorrow morning, Brian and I are heading out for the last race weekend of the season in Greenville, SC.  Thanks to my lovley mother-in-law, we’re going by ourselves, and I’m SO EXCITED for a quiet weekend.  The kids will have a blast with Beverly (and Tom, but he’s super busy so mostly it’s her taking care of them) and spending the night at their house.  And we are thoroughly going to enjoy a car ride with no Dora & Diego music, no kicking from the backseat, no endless snack requests, bathroom stops anytime we want or don’t want them (our rule is if the kids are sleeping there’s NO STOPPING), and just some time to enjoy each other’s company.

These races were Brian’s best of the season last year, and there’s also a wonderful fall festival going on in Greenville, besides the beautiful downtown and river walk area.  I’m looking forward to it!  We’ll keep you posted!

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A little bit of messiness

9th October 2008

I had big plans today to get a lot accomplished.  But I, of course, got distracted with picking up the house.  Then I had a friend over for lunch and a Bible Study (thanks, Taylor!!  looking forward to next week!).

This afternoon got away from me, too, but that was because we had some much needed kid-messy-crafting time this afternoon. Man, they love to paint, and I just don’t let them often enough. They were engrossed in it for an HOUR.  Of course with close supervision as I hovered over to keep them from handprinting the couch or my plantation shutters (interesting that I work so hard to get handprints on plates and stuff, but I don’t want them elsewhere in the house.  Hm.  And yes, I could move them away from both the couch and the shutters, but that would be too easy.  And I’d get bored if I didn’t have to hover.  I’m rambling.  Can you tell I’m doing this post late at night? 🙂  )

Anyway, a couple cute photos of my serious little artists.  Josiah sticks his tongue out when he’s really concentrating, but I couldn’t quite get a picture of those moments.  Maybe because they were the moments I needed my hands free to keep him from decorating the wall? 🙂

Analise was very cute as she narrated her picture with each new item she added.  “This is the dragonfly (stamp) going to a party (balloon stamp) in the middle of a rainstorm (lightning stamp) but the sun is going to come out soon… (sunshine stamp).”  Of course, Josiah was narrating, too.  “Wapon da time, da butterfwy… I make a J, Mama!  I make a circle!  Wook!”

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9th October 2008

I’m very glad Josiah’s learning to blow his nose.  It’s so cute when he pulls a Kleenex from the box and puts it over his nose and mouth and makes his little nose-blowing noise.  We’ve succeeded in learning some hygiene around here!  Now, if only he wouldn’t put them back in the box…

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Equal Opportunity Princess Play

9th October 2008

Tuesday the kids were driving me crazy.  They were full of energy, running around the house, yanking on each other’s clothes.  Analise got put in time out twice because she kept not listening to me ask them to calm down.  They were crazy!

As we sat eating dinner, Analise was chatting and told me that they were pretending to be the ugly stepsisters tearing Cinderella’s dress.  Oh!  That makes sense 🙂  Why she didn’t tell me that earlier, I don’t know, but I might have been a lot less grumpy to know they weren’t just trying to drag each other around by the necks of their shirts!

Dinner continued, and Analise took a drink out of her Cinderella cup.

“I be Cinderewwa,” Josiah said. I fought back a laugh at my princess-loving boy.

“I’ll be Belle!” Analise chimed in.

It was Josiah’s turn again.  “I be A-we-wel.”  (that’s Ariel.)

“And I’ll be Aurora!” Analise said.  I couldn’t help laughing out loud now.  Josiah is going to be a good daddy to a little girl some day!

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A short nap

7th October 2008

After we got back from picking Analise up at school today, it was naptime in our house.  Most days, Analise naps on my bed, and I lay down with her until she falls asleep.  Lately, though, she’s been wanting to skip her naps, which I let her do every now and then (and the bonus effect of this is a much quicker, early bedtime!  If we can tolerate the tired, whiney/crying attitude that often crops up in the late afternoon without a nap…)

Today she laid down next to me and said, “Just a short nap, Mama?” 

“Sure,” I said. 

“When can I get up?”

“After you rest, sweetie.”

“How ’bout I decide how long?  I’ll tell you how much time I want to rest for.”

Easy enough, I thought, since she still hasn’t grasped the hours/minutes/time concepts yet.  “Ok.  How long do you want to nap for?”

“Thirty hours, Mama.  How’s that?  I’ll nap for 30 hours.” 

I stifled my laugh.  “Sure thing, sweetie.  That’ll be great.”  That might start getting me caught up on the accumulated sleep debt of 5 years of bad sleep!

Naptime only lasted 30 minutes, but that means bedtime should be a breeze tonight!

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Dalton race weekend pics!

6th October 2008

Enjoy the glimpse of our weekend!

Playing at the playground during the bike race…

A rare, sweet moment of being siblings.  There are VERY FEW pictures like this one.  Makes my heart burst 🙂

Brian leading one of the early laps in the race.

The finish sprint.  Brian’s got the red helmet just to the right of center.   More photos and his race report on his blog.

From last week.  I just got a new short haircut, and Analise was dressed in her pink and brown rodeo attire (essentially boots and braids 🙂 ).  She didn’t get the whole self-timer photo concept.

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Weekend in Review

5th October 2008

Friday evening, Brian and I got to go out with our friends, Lennie & Kim, for yummy Mexican and a relaxing dessert evening at church.  I’m so lucky to have a good babysitter in the family 🙂  It’s a real treat to not have to deal with dinner and bedtime AND be out with adult conversation and company!

Saturday morning we had homemade waffles, and then the kids and I headed out for a walk in the lovely cooler weather (at least cooler to us… 60’s in the mid-morning!).  We walked all the way to the bridge and fed the fish, and collected acorns on the way home.  Then we hurriedly got ourselves ready for family pictures with Brian’s parents and brother.  Um, that didn’t go so well.  Analise was grumpy and she said she “couldn’t smile because she couldn’t remember how”.

We had good naps, and then we joined Brian for a quick trip to the bike shop.  Somehow, we ended up picking up ice cream before we heded home for dinner.  Hm 🙂  I had invited Brian’s parents over for spaghetti and homemade breadsticks, the usual pre-race fare.

Today, we headed to church to work in the kids’ classroom for the early service.  We headed straight from church up the Interstate to Brian’s bike race in Dalton, GA.  The 3-hour trip seemed much longer, as the kids were not entertained by anything… not food, music, coloring, movies, books or toys.  We were all very happy to arrive at the quiet downtown race course!

This was the perfect bike race setup for me with the kids.  They had a bouncy house, and Analise and Josiah were nearly the only kids bouncing, for more than an hour.  They were thrilled.  We snacked on animal crackers from the “racer hospitality tent”, as we headed over to watch the race.  The course was short, and located on a nice little park that more than entertained the kids for the whole 40 minute race. Brian did great – 4th place!  I’m sure he’ll write more on his cycling blog.

After the race, we picked up dinner for the kids and Brian, while we headed down the road to Rome, GA where I was going to meet a friend.  Darby and I had a great time catching up at a burger place.  It was a nice addition for me in a  busy day.  Not surprisingly, the kids were happy to stay in the car watching movies and resting after their bouncy-busy-play day, while Brian worked on the laptop with them.

The trip home wasn’t nearly as long, as the kids were asleep the whole way.  Whew!  We were only gone 11 hours, but it felt like the whole weekend!

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The Tenacious Josiah

2nd October 2008

More funny-ness from my boy.

At dinner, we were having this Crockpot Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Coconut Milk, and both kids had chicken and rice to eat.  Josiah also had carrots.  Two days ago, he opened the fridge, took out the bag of whole raw carrots, and started eating one, telling me, “I wike cawots, Mama!  I wike cawots!”  And after I washed and peeled it, he munched on carrot sticks all afternoon.

Tonight, though, he pushed them away, and said, “I don WIKE cawots.”

“Josiah, you liked carrots yesterday!  Try your carrot.”

“I don WIKE cawots, Mama!” he said, as he pushed them away.

I nudged him towards his chicken.  “Have some chicken, Josiah.  And some rice.”  A couple seconds later, he pushed his plate away, and said vehemently, “I WON’T give up, Mama! I WON’t give up!”

Brian and I were chuckling under our breath, and Josiah kept saying, “I WON’T give up! I WON’T give up!”

After about 10 repetitions of his battle cry, we were laughing out loud.  We weren’t sure what it was he wouldn’t give up on, but he wasn’t going to back down!

Later, at bedtime, I called him into his room to get ready.  “I WON’T give up, Mama!  I WON’T give up!”  He’s going to be a tenacious little man!

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