"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Game Night

Clayton has outgrown the 7pm bedtime, so we have decided that once a week we will have game night with him after Oliver goes to bed. He can pick any game he wants. He has so many new games that we haven't had a chance to play since they require you to be five to play and Oliver just likes to mess the game up when we are trying to play. So, what game does he pick? He first wants to play musical chairs. We tell him that you can't play musical chairs with only three people. We finally changed his mind and he chooses Yahtzee. Out of all of his age appropriate games he picks this one which is not age appropriate. We had a blast playing though. Joel and I had our own little game on the side. I have always ruled this game!! We played this all the time when we were first married. It was fun to include Clayton in this fun, dice rolling challenge. He didn't realize that is was a challenge, but he had fun rolling the dice and counting. It was fun to be able to spend time with just Clayton. We look forward to our next game night!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Nest

Clayton made a discovery in one of our little bitty trees in our backyard--a bird's nest.
It is on the bottom limb and has three little blue eggs with brown spots all over them. Looks like Easter candy to me. I always have candy on the brain!! We are going to keep our eye on these eggs and watch for little babies to hatch.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Beautiful Day

Today was such a beautiful day!! We spent the morning at The Heard Museum. The Heard Museum is perfect for the boys because they have nature trails where they can hunt for sticks, bugs, and animals. They can also run as much as they want and it it close to home. They have a new exhibit on one of the trails. It is Animals of the World and had animals you don't normally see in the zoo.
This is a porcupine.A Squirrel MonkeyA LemurA Walloby
Plus many, many more. We also came across a tiny creek filled with mosquito larvae. Looks like The Heard museum might be any itchy place to visit in a couple of weeks. I knew these were mosquito larvae from an episode of Curious George. So educational!! lolWe found new sticks.....of course there was one stick that caused a fight due to it being the greatest stick on the premises. We also found a little cabin in the woods (little man by the window stood....)Oliver came out of the cabin with a little friend crawling on his jeans.What is that??We found a neat little pond with a bridge...but Oliver thought he should jump in.Don't tell Mr. Sensitive "No"!!...or you will see the classic P-ster face. We all know it so well.Poor P!!
We also saw bees, butterflies, squirrels, smelled the honeysuckles, and threw rocks.What a great day to see nature and all the beautiful things that God has made!!!When we got home, me and Clayton made some leaf art with the leaves we had collected.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Running the Hills-alone!

We had only one child this weekend. Clayton was with his Godmother, Marlene, from Friday until today. We love her!!! It is so quiet around here when we have only one. The house doesn't get messed up as quickly either. Oliver had so much fun playing with Clayton's toys all weekend. In the evenings we like to go on a walk with Oliver in the wagon and Clayton on his big wheel. Towards the end of our walk, the boys like to get out and "run the hills". We have these little tiny hills in our neighborhood...more for landscaping purposes, I think. Last night, Oliver and I went out with the wagon. As soon as we got to the hills, he said "I get out...run". He knew that this was the hill running moment. So, he ran them---alone. It was refreshing having just one child (don't get me wrong, I missed Clayton and love every minute of having two). Clayton is back and I am ready for the week ahead.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A new direction

Me: Clayton, what sport do you want to play?
Clayton: I don't want to play sports. I want to play the banjo!!
Me: That sounds really neat.
Clayton: If I play the banjo really good, do you think I could play in the Springs band?
Daddy: I am sure we could fit a banjo in the Springs band somewhere.

So, Funny!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Is it weird that when Clayton is all snug in his bed, his mother is on his webkinz page trying to earn him more money??? I think it is!!!

It all started innocently. Clayton got grounded from the computer last week for....I can't really remember why at this point. He wasn't as worried about the computer part. He was mostly worried about one little special creature. Stripey. Stripey is a tiger snake that we searched high and low for one day after Mimi and Gongi sent Clayton some money for Easter. It had to be the snake. No other Webkinz would do. ***If you are reading and have no clue what Webkinz are, here is a brief description. You buy the actual stuffed animal in the store, he has a tag with a number on it, you log on to webkinz world and register your pet, then you play with them on a virtual world. They have house, backyard, trampoline, beds, clothes, wallpaper...all purchased (with virtual money) by Clayton. The downfall is that you have to feed them.**** Clayton tends to focus on buying them other things instead. Stripey is our high maintenance Webkinz. He is always at the doctor, always needing to be fed, always needing to be tended to. He always has a thermometer in his mouth and an ice pack on his head. The other guys pretty much take care of themselves.

So, when Clayton was grounded, he was so worried Stripey would die. Tears were streaming thinking of this little guy not making it during his week of grounding. I promised him I would take care of Stripey while he was grounded. I did as promised. I got Stripey in the best health ever!! but, I also got addicted to a game called Tile Towers. So, for any of you mothers out there trying to improve the lives of your children's Webkinz, stay away. Although my Tile Towers score has improved significantly over the past week.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Taking a Stand

The whole family is taking a stand. Three of us are making changes for the better, one for the worst.
Joel is taking a stand against eating poorly. Weight Watchers has begun this week for both of us.

I am taking a stand against my lazy self. I will not let the sun go down without stepping my foot in the gym (at least on the days I don't work). My gym membership has been collecting dust over the past several weeks. I had to force myself to go yesterday. Today it was a bit easier.

Clayton is taking a stand against his disobedience. Saturday night, when I was tucking him in bed he said,"I am going to obey tomorrow, and the next day and the next day and the next day and the next....forever. I also want to be kind." I would have liked to believe it, but I am his mother. He woke up the next day and I asked him to put his shoes on. He said,"ok....I mean...Yes ma'am." It started here and it hasn't stopped. I get yes ma'ams all day. He is being kind to his brother, cleaning up after himself, not arguing or complaining. Our days have been so much fun without having to discipline him all day long. I hope this sticks.

Oliver, on the other hand, has taken a stand against napping. He hasn't had a nap in the past two days (his choice, not mine). It has made for an extremely grouchy and emotional two year old. I hope this does not stick.

All in all the Halpin's are moving forward with great attitudes and hopefully healthy bodies.

Cute Picture

Judge Roy Scream

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Six Flags

My parents were so kind to surprise the whole family with six flags passes. After church today, we put on our six flags attire and headed out the door for an afternoon of theme park fun. We met both of my sisters' families out there. We had the best time. Oliver loved the rides in the kiddie land. He screamed every time the ride was over because he didn't want to get off. "want on, want on, want on, ride coasters" is what he would scream. He also was big enough to ride the mini-mine train which is a small roller coaster. He loved it.
Oliver on the swings.
A fun ride with Daddy.
My first roller coaster--mini mine train.
My favorite ride of the day!

Clayton amazed me. He rode all the rides he could for his height requirement. He rode the Judge Roy Scream, the Shockwave, the MineTrain, the big swings, the Conquistador, the Mexican Hat, and the Parachutes. He loved all of them. His least favorite ride in the park, and the scariest he claims is the Cave (not sure what it is called now, but this is what it will always be to me). The Cave is a little boat that takes you through a bugs bunny/yosimite sam scene. Olive rode it and had no problems. Go figure!!
Going up the first hill



Flying High

I can't believe he rode this.

Thank you so much , Nonna and Nonna. We had so much fun. We look forward to many of coaster rides in the near future.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Another new trick

Oliver has had too much time on his hands since the paci has gone away. Luckily the crib escape just happened that one night. But, the next morning I went into his crib to find him naked, diaper in hand, and tee-tee all over the sheets. It appeared as if he had slept this way. Then, the same day, after his nap, he was naked again. After two sheet washings, this was getting a little frustrating. I am very close to going to Target and getting some more pacis. At this moment, a paci habit seems a little better than an escape artist, tinkle artist, and nudist. He even escapes from the zip-up sleepers.
Today, he took his diaper off in his room, came into the den naked, and said "poo-poo". Needless to say, we have a naked, running child with a really dirty bottom, back, and legs and a dirty diaper lying in the middle of his room. After I run him down, clean him up and get a fresh diaper on him, he comes running back in naked. It's hard not to laugh. This happens two more times. Daddy finally steps in with his authoritative daddy voice, and the stripping stops. The rest of the afternoon Oliver kept coming to me pulling at his diaper saying"unt it off". What a nut!!!
I am not really wanting to push him into potty training, but I am really not wanting to clean up tee-tee and poo from the naked jay-bird running around the house either. Duct tape may be in his near future!!!
(I do not have any photos or evidence of this ever happening due to the naked aspect and the no time to get the camera with a naked jay bird running around aspect).

Lost keys

I had a really long day at work yesterday. As soon as work was done, I was so excited to get out of there, although I knew I had so much house cleaning ahead of me when I got home. I walked to my car to find out my keys were lying in the seat with the door locked. My parking lot is not anywhere close to the NICU, so finding my keys in the car after the long walk was a little upsetting. I called my husband and he was so sweet to come and bring the keys to me. He said, " No big deal. Me and the boys wanted to come take you to dinner anyways. " I said," I just really need to be home cleaning the house (I had a brunch for my girlfriends at my house this morning)". He said,"Oh, I need to talk to you about that." I was picturing a huge disaster at the house. The boys didn't have mother's day out today due to the airconditioner being out, so I feared the worst. He said, "I want to blindfold you when you get home and have you go straight to bed....leave the cleaning to me." What???What???? My husband is great and has many strengths, but cleaning is not one of his strengths. I decided to trust him and go straight to bed. I did set the alarm for 6:30 just in case. I got up at 6:30 expecting to have so much to do, and lo and behold......the house was spotless.
What a great husband he is. I often forget to tell him how much he means to me, but he really does go above and beyond. He loves me even through the small things. He never makes a big deal out of a situation...he just comes up with a solution. I love him for that.
I on the other hand, overreact when things don't go just as planned (example: keys locked in car last weekend...not by me). sorry babe!!!
Things learned from locking my keys in my car at work:
1. Look in purse for keys at lunch time, so that Joel has 8 hours to get my keys to me.
2. We really need to pay attention to where our keys are at all time. Two times in one week!!!!! (how do we keep up with our two kids if we can't keep up with our keys?)
3. My husband loves me dearly
4. I love my husband dearly
Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loves the church and gave Himself up for her..."

Friday, April 18, 2008

End in Sight

Photography by clayton

I was sitting with the family at dinner tonight at Taco Bueno (Clayton's idea since he knows it is one of my favs). I was really enjoying being with them after two really long days at work. The boys were being so silly...including the big one (their daddy).
I said to them "I don't know when I will ever figure you boys out."
Clayton said,"Oh, don't worry, you will."
I said,"Really? When?" (curiosity has gotten me now)
He said,"This summer."(with confidence)
Wow!!! I have been praying for God to guide me daily on how to raise these boys. It is difficult at times because they are so different from me. I am also outnumbered and experiencing the toilet seat up at all times. Although Clayton has stated that I will have them figured out this summer, I know it will never happen, but I love the fact that they are who they are. God made them specifically for me and for this family. I find comfort in the fact that He has entrusted me to raise them. He knew that even though I may not know all of the boy things and what makes a boy tick, he gave them to me knowing that I could love them no matter what, that I could find the perfect nightlite to get rid of the monster's in a certain boys room, and that I wouldn't get upset over rain puddle jumping and mud pit making. I love them through and through. If God chose to give me another boy one day, I would be overjoyed!!
And for all of you who have a house full of boys, or even those with just a husband, I will let you know the secret if it is revealed to me this summer. LOL!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Great Escape

Tonight we had our first growth group in our home. I thought I could have Clayton in his room watching a movie, and put Oliver to bed. Oliver wanted to stay with Clayton and watch a movie, so I kindly let him. They looked so cute together.
Then, Oliver decided it would be fun to run around and talk and well...it was a little distracting. I decided to go ahead and put him in bed. Then, the strangest thing happened. We could hear little feet running down the hall, and then Oliver is a part of the bible study again. What?? Did Clayton get him out??? This is what happened.
It didn't happen just once....it happened over and over and over again. Life as we know it is over!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hot Tub Fun

Since it was such a nice evening, we headed over to Nonna and Nonae's house for a swim in the hot tub. Oliver was a little unsure at first, but finally got the hang of it. Clayton loves the water and stayed in the hot tub until he felt something slippery on the bottom of the hot tub. He said he thought it was an eel. It ended up being a dead lizard. Poor guy! We can't wait until it is warm enough to get in the pool.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A YUMMY Dessert

I made banana pudding this weekend. I got the recipe from Bake or Break . It was super easy and really good. I noticed when I was shopping that there are fat free options to all of the ingredients. I chose the full fat indgredients. I was having people over, so I wanted the dessert to be at it's best. After indulging in the pudding, we had fun bowling, boxing, and playing tennis on the wii. It was our post-pudding work-0ut.


Today's sermon was on addiction. The first fill in the blank on the sermon notes was to name your addiction. I worried for the rest of the sermon that I couldn't figure out what to put in that blank. The whole sermon, I thought of how much I love sweets...could that be my addiction? How about addiction to HGtv? No....Well, I continued to worry throughout the day. Why can't I come up with something. I know I have something. If I can't figure out, I can't let it go. As I worried about getting the house clean, and making dessert for our newcomers luncheon, I continued to pray about what my addiction may be. It was finally revealed to me. I am addicted to worrying. The question was.....WHAT HAS MASTERED YOU?
…for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him… 2 Peter 2:19
This is my something. I have been mastered by worrying...sometimes so much that it is exhausting. I worry about our finances, so much that I calculate and recalculate our budget several times a week. I worry about my children, so much that I lay awake at night wondering if I am raising them the right way. I worry about the way I look and what people think of me. I worry when I am at work that I am not doing a good job.....you get the point. I worry about EVERYTHING. I have tried to be better about being in the word everyday and having a better prayer life, but I hold on to this one thing. It would be so freeing to let it go. It would be so freeing to give all of my baggage to the Lord. I know I can do it. "Everything is permissible for me ‑‑ but I will not be mastered by anything."
1 Corinthians 6:12

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kindergarten Round-up

We hit a huge milestone today. Kindergarten registration. I can't believe this day has come. I am not sure how we got from this........to this......
Before we went, I reminded Clayton that we had registration today. We were in the car and I started to cry just thinking about sending my baby to Kindergarten. I asked him how he felt about kindergarten. He said,"I am just so nervous. I really don't want to be away from my mommy everyday. I am sad and really nervous." I assured him that he would love it. I actually feel the same way....sad and really nervous. I don't want to be away from my Clayton everyday. I will miss so much.
As we walked into the school, I had a lump in my throat, trying to hold back the tears. I had to remind myself....this is only registration. I will save the tears for the actual day. The hard part is realizing that I can't stop him from growing up. The good thing is that Clayton will love kindergarten, he will love meeting new friends, he will love learning. I think I will have a harder time adjusting.
I will still have Mr. P at home. This picture is funny because in the past week, Oliver does exactly what Clayton does. He copies what he says and what he does. If Clayton lays down on the floor, Oliver lays right next to him. He looks up to his brother so much. So, of course, Oliver wanted a picture in front of the school sign, just like brother.