Sunday, May 15, 2011

Zoo Field Trips

At the end of the school year is when most of the schools around here take their field trips to the zoo. The zoo is very crowded during the last month of school. I was able to go with Finn and his Kindergarten class on their zoo field trip. His teacher let him and his best friend Xavier go with me. They are the best of friends and inseparable!
They were alot of fun. At one point, Xavier found a lady bug and Finn found a rollie pollie. They played with them for at least 20 minutes! Finn let his rollie pollie go. Xavier carried his lady bug around for the rest of our time at the zoo.
 Finn's class went to the zoo on a Tuesday. Tuesdays happen to be feeding day at the zoo! I love the zoo and looking at all the creatures there. How often do you get to be that close to some of God's creatures? If you don't know what feeding day at the zoo entails, take a look!
Yes, that is a big snake eating a rat. Now you know exactly what I mean when I say feeding day.

I guess the snake in this cage wasn't hungry or it could have been choosing to share. That is a cockroach eating a mouse. Gross! I know I didn't have to post that picture, but I did anyway. Gotta keep my blog interesting, right?
The next week, on Thursday, Piper's 1st grade class took their field trip to the zoo. Her teacher let her pick two friends to go with me. She picked Gustavo and Jasreal (Jazz). They wanted me to take their picture by the sign. Seven got in the picture too.
Then I told them to do a silly picture. I also let Rilian be in this picture. I have to remind myself that he isn't a baby anymore. He does notice things and does want to take part. 
I love how the zoo lets the peacock have free reign. He was just walking around.  
Last fall, the lions had cubs. I think she had five. We went to see them the first day that they were on display. They were adorable! I could have watched them play for hours!
The cubs aren't so little anymore, but they are still cute. Gustavo was looking at one of the cubs.
This caterpillar is near the lion exhibit. My kids always like to sit on it and want me to take their picture. Piper and Gustavo got on. Then Seven got on the very back. 
Piper and Gustavo are just friends, but according to Piper, they are going to date in high school. She used to not want any kids. She said they are alot of work. I guess when you have 3 younger brothers, it sure looks that way! Then one day recently she told me Gustavo wants to have kids when they get married, so she has changed her mind and wants to have kids someday. The other day, she told me, "Gustavo said he is going to kiss me in high school."  Oh, the joys of being a parent!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

There's a Bug!

I love how excited Rilian gets about life sometimes. He is so interested in everyday things. Have you ever noticed how babies, toddlers, and even preschoolers get so excited about the little things in life? But if you think about it, it shouldn't be a surprise. They have only seen the world for a few months or just a few years. We, as adults, have been seeing the world for several years, decades in fact. We often take for granted God's wonderful world and all the living things in it.

One day, Rilian saw a bug on the floor. Apparently, he has seen people kill bugs before because he was really trying to kill it. It's funny to see him working really hard to kill it and see if it is dead, and then look scared when it is still alive!
Then Seven sits on the bug. I don't know if it was intentional or unintentional, but Rilian is VERY concerned!
If you couldn't understand what Rilian was saying, he was telling Seven that he was sitting on a bug and it was going to bite him. Then Seven jumped up, acting like the bug bit him, and Rilian realized it didn't bite him. If you're wondering what "paper thing" Seven was asking about, he got a bug catcher for his birthday that had a paper in it with pictures of different bugs. Seven likes to look at it and see what bugs he has seen from the paper. He was wanting to see if the bug on the floor was on his paper so he could know what kind of bug it was and check it off that he had seen that kind of bug.

Rilian was so curious about this bug! He called it an ant, but he is still learning what the different bugs are called. He just turned two years old a couple of months ago. Give the kid a break! At least he was able to identify it as a specific bug, even if it was the wrong type of bug.
This bug kept his attention for a long time. He just watched and watched, occasionally trying to kill it. Notice how he got upset when Seven tried to run it over with the hula hoop? 

If you want to know what the bug really looked like, here is a close up.

I think Rilian was torn as to how he should feel about the bug. He really wanted to watch it, but at the same time, felt the need to kill it. I think he truly cared about the bug. I don't know that he understood why he was supposed to kill it, he had just seen others kill bugs, I bet that is what he thought he was supposed to do. When he wasn't able to kill it, he just watched it. 

My kids love Rollie Pollies. You know the bugs that curl up into a little ball when they get scared? They love to find them and collect them. One day while they were swimming at Granny's house, there happened to be Rollie Pollies on the cement near the pool. I don't know if my kids put them there or why they were there. Anyway, Rilian was very concerned about the Rollie Pollies that were in the water that had splashed out of the pool and onto the cement. He was so upset because he thought the water was going to hurt them. We had to tell him that they were ok and the water wasn't going to hurt them. It was quite humorous!

Book Review: Please Stop Laughing at Me...

I got this book from to review. You can request books for free to review. It looked like an interesting book to read.

"Please Stop Laughing at Me..." by Jodee Blanco is an easy read. When I say easy read, I mean it is the kind of book that is hard to put down because you don't want to stop reading. Jodee was bullied all throughout her school days. In this book, she relives those days for you to see how much she was bullied. I don't doubt that young people are bullied to the extent that Jodee was bullied. I am sure it happens more than some people realize. Jodee was bullied for standing up for what it right. She lost friends for standing up for what was right.  It seemed that Jodee would start off the school year "on the right track" to having friends, but as soon as she stood up for what was right, she lost friends and got bullied, even to the point of being beaten up more than once. I had a hard time feeling sorry for her because I had a hard time believing that absolutely no one would want to be her friend for standing up for what is right. Were there seriously not any other students in her school that had the same morals as she did?

"Please Stop Laughing at Me..." did not really give any advice as to how to stop being bullied if you are being bullied. It basically, just went through Jodee's school days from her first year through graduation and she retold all the times she was bullied. At the end of the book, she attends her 10 year high school reunion and "lets go of her past" and forgives all her peers who bullied her when she was in school. Today, she is a successful person and gives workshops on how to stop bullies.

Based on this, I don't know that I could recommend this book. If you are just wanting a book to read about a girl who grows up being bullied, then this is a great book to read. If you want a book to read that gives advice on how to stop being bullied, I don't know that this is the book you are looking for. If you are being bullied, this book will let you know that there are others out there being bullied too and what it is like to live in their shoes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

7 = 4

On Monday, April 11, 2011, Seven turned 4 years old! For some reason, it was harder for me to believe that Seven was turning 4, than when my youngest child turned 2 years old back in February. You would think it would be the other way around. Well, my little genius will be starting preschool in August. Boy is his teacher's world about to change! She doesn't know what is coming her way in a few months.

I love Seven! I love the rest of my children, too, but this post is all about Seven and his birthday party. If you haven't met Seven Kalik Voss, you are definitely missing something in your life! If you ever want to know what you are missing, let me know and I may just take you up on that offer.

Seven has an incredible memory! He is like an elephant when it comes to remembering things. Piper's birthday is a month after Seven's birthday. Piper was looking through a cupcake book to see what kind of "cake" she wanted for her birthday last May. Note I did say LAST May, as in last year, 2010. Seven just happened to be looking through the book with Piper and saw some alien cupcakes. He decided then, an entire year ago, that he wanted them for his birthday this year. they are.
This is a close up and a side view. And yes, they were made by the infamous, Jeremy Voss! They are in space ships.
The final and finished product, complete with Seven's "4" candle.
When trying to decide what to do for Seven's birthday party or even where to have it, we were driving down the road one day and the kids happened to see an air castle in someone's yard. It suddenly dawned on me how much Seven liked the tiger one at the West Texas Fair and Rodeo, that I should see about renting one for his birthday. I called around to the different places in town that rent air castles and after making several phone calls, I decided to rent a lion air castle from Fun In The Air Inflatables. I kept it a secret from the kids, though. If it the weather was too windy or rainy, we would not be able to set up the air castle. I did not want the kids to be disappointed, so they had no clue it was coming until it actually arrived! God had mercy on me that day and the weather was perfect for the air castle! I was so thankful because I did not really have a backup plan. The air castle was the entertainment for Seven's party. And I will have to say, it was the most relaxing birthday party I've ever been in charge of. It was so nice to just sit and let the kids be. I didn't have to keep them entertained doing different activities, the lion took care of it all.

Piper, Seven, and Rilian are checking it out as it is being set up.
Seven realizes it is going to be a lion, with a slide coming out of its mouth!
Ta da! Seven decided to do a walk around and check it out.
The jumping area was in the back of the lion. Rilian was just sitting there because he wasn't quite sure about it yet.
There was also a cool climbing wall up into the lion's mouth which lead to the slide. Seven was climbing up. I don't think Rilian ever did, but he looked like he was at least interested.
Piper was the first to go down the slide.
Then Finn, Mr. Joe Cool.
And, of course, Seven had a turn too. He actually had more than one turn, but this is the only picture I captured of him. 
As we were getting ready to light Seven's candle, he showed us which alien cupcake he wanted to eat.
Happy Birthday, to you...make a wish, Seven!
And a still shot of us singing to the birthday boy...
Dig in kids! 
Present time!
A "How to Train Your Dragon" action figure...
A bug catcher with a field guide to help you know what bugs you have caught. Seven LOVES being outside!
Snakes! We had stuffed 6 rubber snakes inside the bug catcher.
A Gone Fishin' Game...He really wanted this game! Thanks Nanny and Papa Bud!
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader AND a box of Reese's Pieces. Seven's love of Reese's Pieces proves that he is definitely my son!
I'm not exactly sure what this creature is. Some of my kids call it an alien, some of them call it a monkey, and some of them call it an alien monkey. Regardless of what it is, it has a pretty neat idea behind it. Anyone remember the Gloworms? This creature has the same basic idea...he lights up so you won't be scared at night in your bed. He comes with a cute story that tells you that you can squeeze his tummy to turn on his light when you get scared at night. It also comes with a certificate of bravery. Check out their website.
Are you starting to see a theme with his presents? Here is another snake.
Seven is a boy and one of the things he said wanted for his birthday was snakes. I think he definitely got snakes!
He even got a snake magnifying glass!
I  put on my Sevens shirt to celebrate my Seven that day. My shirt isn't really for my son, although I don't know how many people have asked me that. If you haven't heard about Sevens Ministry, you should check them out. It is run by our friends Benny and Niki Nowell. They are amazing people with an amazing heart! I thought it would be fun to wear my Sevens shirt for Seven's birthday party and Jeremy decided to join in the fun too. So, we had to take a picture of it :)
Happy Birthday Seven! I feel blessed to be your mom. You are an amazing little boy! You are so full of life and happiness and laughter and humor. You are very intelligent. I am excited to see what God has planned for your life!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Years Are Short

Even though times may be hard right now, with having four children in four years, I need to remind myself that this time will go by quickly. Soon my kids will all be graduated and be living on their own. Soon you say? Yes, soon. Even though my youngest is 2 years old and my oldest is 6 and in 1st grade, I know it need to remember that it will quickly pass. Soon, it will all be memories. It makes me sad to think that my children are growing up and won't be so little for long. This video reminds me of that.
Dear Lord, please help me to remember that my children will only be little for a short time. Help me to cherish these moments. Help me to make it through the frustrations, the tears, and come what may. Help me to be the best mom I can be. I love my kids and I thank you for entrusting them to me. Thank you Lord for my four little blessings!