Sunday, March 6, 2011

Good News

I haven't blogged in nearly a year. It's not that I didn't have anything to blog about. With four boys there are plenty of stories to tell. I just don't have time for blogging. But tonight something very news worthy happened. Here is the story in Kevin's words..............................

Exciting news from the Dickey house tonight! Our firstborn, Eli, has been born again! Let me share the story with you...

We came home from church tonight after a long weekend at the annual Dad-N-Lad camp out with the Cub Scouts. It is not unusual for conversations to turn to spiritual matters with Eli, but I could tell that tonight was different. We talked about sin, trusting in Jesus, and what it meant to be a Christian. The attached photo is of a 3"x5" note card on which he was drawing as we talked. If you look carefully, you'll see a dot where two paths divide. He said he had learned that at Kid's Choir, I assume from Mrs. Judy Moore and Mrs. Beth Camp (thank you ladies for your influence in his life). He said Jesus talked about two roads, one was the right way, the other wrong. Also with scriptural accuracy is the relative width of the roads! You'll notice on the narrow road to the left is a lit sign that says, "riht way". I won't apologize for this little saint's spelling, only explain that he is very phonetic. He said that road went to heaven. The other road, much wider, which he labeled with a "wrong way" sign (no lights), he claimed led to hell. He tried to spell it, I think confusing it with "hail" and wrote "Hali". I told him that each of us must decide which of these two paths we will walk, but unfortunately, there aren't any road signs. Jesus leads us on the right path to heaven, but the other path leads to destruction. I asked him how a person gets on the right path. By this time, he is having a difficult time talking as I can tell he is fighting back tears and a broken spirit. He wrote "Crichtin" [Christian] at the top. I asked him what that meant. He went on to draw the stick figure praying, then the arrow curving downward to the baptismal waters (just to the left of the "riht way" sign). I agreed this was all true, and we talked about how all of us are on the wide path leading to destruction, but not because God is mean or wants to hurt us. Rather, our own sin leads us down that road. It is when we decide we no longer want this road, seek forgiveness, turn around, and take the other road leading to Jesus that we find Him there waiting for us. We went on talking more about sin, all the while trying to make it personal, that Eli has this problem too. He knows John 3:16 by heart, so we discussed what that verse meant. When he understood that "all have sinned" from Romans 3:23 meant him, I asked him which road he was on. He quietly pointed to the broad one. "What do you need to do about that?" I asked. He pointed at the praying stick figure. Trying to make it all the more personal, I asked, "Tell me one person Jesus died for." He said, "He died for everybody." I insisted, "Tell me one person Jesus died for." His reply, "Everybody." Again, I quietly asked, "Tell me one person Jesus died for." With reddened face, no longer able to control the tears, he pointed at himself and whispered, "Me." That was all either of us could take (probably you by now too!). Weeping, he crawled up in my lap and prayed for forgiveness, sought repentance, and trusted the Savior. He couldn't talk for some time, but neither could I.

The little card is priceless to us tonight, and I know it will be for him in the coming years. How thankful I am that Jesus doesn't care how well you can spell or draw. He cares only about a tender heart that admits our greatest need and finds it met in Him.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Ssssnake Party

Believe it or not, Eli will turn 7 years old this coming Friday (April 16). We had his birthday party this past weekend because he is in a Geography Fair next weekend.

Eli LOVES birthday parties. He also loves coming up with birthday themes. He begins planning the next year's birthday party pretty much after the wrapping paper from the current year is thrown away! This year he mulled over several ideas but ended up choosing to have a snake theme party. After all, it is his favorite animal. In his prayers, he thanks the Lord for snakes. He checks out books at the library about snakes. He is all about snakes.

One of the books that he checked out at the library had some craft ideas for reptiles and amphibians. From this book, he got the idea to create his own birthday invitations. So we started a birthday invitation sweatshop. He would draw a few everyday over a period of about a week.

He came up with the design all by himself. The two snakes fighting on the left are a king cobra and a common garter snake! Hummm....I wonder who will win?

Of course, a snake party isn't complete with out a big snake cake. This snake had three different flavors --Red Velvet, Chocolate Fudge, and White.

The Birthday Boy!

Seth was attacked by the snake cake!

The fun part...opening presents!

I am having hard time believing that my babies are growing up so fast. But it has been fun watching them all grow up. Eli is really turning into a sweet boy. He is constantly thinking about others. He is a very good big brother and takes his responsibilities seriously. He loves hanging out with his Dad but he loves snuggling with his Mommy. He also loves being in Cub Scouts. He takes the Cub Scout "Leave No Trace" guidelines seriously and is found picking up trash in parking lots as we go into stores. He still likes to dress up and get into character when he plays. He is still OCD about Star Wars and probably always will be. Eli's little heart is beginning to ripen to the gospel as he learns and understands more about what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross. Eli has decided that he is going into the army to be a veterinarian and to tell people about God. As far as school goes, Eli loves to read, he loves the state study we are doing, math is a love it or leave it type subject, and spelling.....well it brings out the ugly side of Eli (which in turn can bring out the ugly side of Mom too)!

I am so thankful that the Lord blessed our family 7 years ago with a little red headed baby boy! What a blessing he has been.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spoke too soon

I spoke too soon.

After I posted the blog post on Seth sleeping in this new bed, we started having trouble again. Take for instance last night/this morning.

At 4:30 AM, I heard Seth squealing. At first, I thought it was a dream. But after a couple of squeals, I realized it was REAL life. The little booger was in Eli and Luke's room trying to wake them up. I walked in the room, it was pitch dark and called him. He giggled and walked to me. I started taking him back to his room and heard voices. The TV was on. I turned it off last night before I went to bed. Seth had walked in there and turned it on before venturing into his brother's room. I guess he thinks he might need to order some infomercial gadgets! I put him in bed with us after turning off the tv and finding a pacie and his dog. For the next hour and a half, I wrestled with him trying to get him to go to sleep and stay asleep.

A couple of nights before, Kevin woke up to let Newt, our dog, out. He said Seth was in the living room playing Eli's leapster. He put him back to bed and Seth stayed there.

So what do we do? Any suggestions from the three people that read this blog? Dr. D told me at Seth's 2 year old well visit, that his 2 1/2 year old is still in a crib. They have had trouble with him climbing out. But they found a crib tent to put over the crib to keep him safely in the crib. I wonder if they make such a thing for toddler beds? I am going to google it right now!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Seth takes a leap

Seth took a leap...literally.....out of the crib! One night a couple of weeks ago, Kevin came in late. I had already put Seth down for the night. Seth wasn't quite asleep when Kevin came in. Seth started getting excited when he heard Kevin's truck and then again when he heard the front door open. Kevin peeped into Seth's room said hi and he told Seth to lay down and go to sleep. Later on, we (Kevin, Eli, Luke, and I) were in the living room just hanging out before the older boys went to bed. We could hear Seth in his room. He was jabbering and walking around in his bed. We were all minding our own business and then all of a sudden we hear a loud THUMP and the sound of cries wailing from Seth's bedroom. I jump up and go in there and found Seth on the floor. He checked out fine. Nothing broke, cut or damaged. Just needed some TLC from his mom and dad.

Up until then, Seth was sleeping in the crib and Silas was in the cradle in our room. We really didn't have a plan on what we were going to do when Silas out grew the cradle. I know. I know. We have had 13 months (9 month in utero and 4 months since Silas was born) to get a game plan together. But we couldn't decided what to do. Two cribs, one crib and a toddler bed, one crib and a twin bed, one crib and bunk beds (for the future). Seth little leaping episode was the push we needed to make a decision. Seth's room is the smallest room in the house so whatever we decided it had to fit in there.

We decided on option 2 - a crib and a toddler bed. So the Saturday after Seth's failed attempts of flying, we went to buy a toddler bed. I am glad we went with that option because anything else was going to be too big for the room. We actually had to move the glider rocker out of the room.

The blanket and pillow case Granna made and gave to Seth for his birthday matches the bed perfectly!

This little boy is even still in his sleep. He needs a king size toddler bed to have enough real estate for all of his tossing and turning.

Funny story about his first couple of nights in the bed...

It was late Sunday night when Kevin finally got it together. The "Made in Vietnam 25 minute project" was actually closer to 2.5 hours. Maybe not quit that long but it was late none the less. Seth fell asleep in the pack and play while Kevin was working on the bed. So when we got it all situated in the room, we picked Seth up and put him in the bed. Kevin went and sat in his chair to unwind before he went to bed.

If you know anything about Kevin's sleeping habits, you know that Kevin + recliner + after 8 pm = Kevin asleep in the recliner. Actually the recliner is the X factor that can be any variable in the equation...couch, floor, etc.... But I digress..

So Kevin falls asleep in the recliner and stays there for the night. At 4:30 in the morning a little 2 year old wakes him up by climbing into his lap.

The second night in the toddler bed, a girl from church spent the night with us to go to work with Kevin since it was Spring Break. Hannah loves going to the sale barn with Kevin so anytime she is out of school she tries to work with Kevin. Hannah was sleeping on the couch in the living room and at 3 am Seth wakes her up by beating on her with both of his hands.

Now at this point, I wonder if he is going to stay in bed a whole night.

Night #3 ...

We made sure all doors were securely locked before we went to bed. I told Kevin that either he or I probably needed to sleep in the living room instead of the bedroom just to intercept Seth in the wee hours. But we didn't. Several things (children and animals) that night caused me to wake up and get out of bed. Each time I got out of bed I check on Seth. I think the second time I woke up, I actually found Seth asleep on the floor. I picked him up and put him back in bed. That is as far as he ventured that night.

Since then (knock on wood) he has stayed in his bed all night long. We do have to wait until he is good and tired before we can put him to bed. If he isn't nearly on the verge of falling asleep, he will get out of his bed and start playing with his toys. The music to his toys alarm us that he is up and playing and not asleep. So those drive you crazy noisy toys do have a purpose other than driving adults bonkers!

Seth is a little stinker for sure but he is a sweet stinker!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

4 months already!

It is hard to believe but Silas is 4 months old this week. He is such a joy to have around. The big brothers adore him. Seth will find one of Silas' pacies laying around and say "Baby" and take it to him. Silas likes his pacies but he has grown fonder of his fingers in recent weeks. Now you can find him with two fingers in his mouth and pacie laying on his shoulder. **Sigh** While he looks sweet sucking his fingers, you can not throw away fingers like you can pacifers. I will have to consult my Aunt Donita on how she finally broke my cousin, Andy, from sucking his thumb.
Andy was very, very, very fond of his thumb.

I took Silas for his 4 month well visit on Tuesday of this week. He weighed 13.3 pounds which put him in about the 20th percentile for his age. He was in the 75 percentile in length measuring in at 25 3/4 inches long. Dr. DeLisi suggested that we start feeding him rice cereal. I was a little surprised because he told me with Seth that they were now recommending starting solid foods at 6 months. Dr. D said that the rice cereal might "beef him up". When Silas was born, he weighed 9 lbs 12 oz. -- 4 ounces short of being a 10 pounder. If you would have told me that day that we were going to have to "beef him up", I would have laughed in your face!

As developmental milestones, Silas is doing good in some areas and lacking in others.

On the good side we have:
  • Silas has discovered that the Good Lord has given him hands. He loves to look and play with hands.
  • He has also discovered that those same hands can grasp things. He loves grabbing at this toys on his play mat.
  • He also "talks" and interacts with us. If you talk to him he will flash his million dollar smile at you.

I love playing with my hands. They are really neat!

On the needs work side we have;
  • Can not hold up head while on his belly
  • Does not push up with his arms while on his belly.
  • Rolling over --- well that is iffy -- he has rolled over once but now he just rolls to his side and stays there. If he gets a little too close to rolling over, he cries!

This is belly time........
He cries for a few seconds and then he finds his fingers and off to dreamland he goes. I contacted Ms. Sallie from ECI, she has worked with Seth, about Silas not being able to hold up his head while on his belly. She told me a couple of things to try to encourage him to hold his head up while on his belly. (And didn't I tell you the pacie would be pitched to the side and the fingers in the mouth.)

Promoted to the big bed!
This week we moved Silas out of the cradle in our room into the crib. Look for an upcoming post on Seth's new digs!

Many times Kevin and I look at each other and just shake our heads in amazement of what God has done. We are truly amazed at just how good the Lord has been to us by blessing us with four boys. Kevin asked me recently if I ever imagined having four boys with him when we first started dating. The answer, of course, is no. I never dreamed of anything as wonderful as this!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Our Tiger Cub

This past fall, we signed Eli up for Cub Scouts. We had avoided getting him involved in organized activities up until now. He really isn't interested in sports enough to play in any organized leagues. Plus, he got his athletic ability from his mom and dad.......which isn't a good thing! We thought that he would enjoy Cub Scouts plus he could gain lots of great experiences and leadership skills through scouts. So when School Night for Scouting came around we signed him up. Little did we know how much Eli and the rest of the family would enjoy it. Nor did we know that Kevin would end up signing himself up to be a Den Leader!

Luke doesn't think it is fair that he can not be in Cub Scouts. He is counting the days until he can join!

The first den meeting of the year.

We were right... Eli LOVES Cub Scouts! He looks forward to the twice a month den meetings and the once a month pack meetings. He loves all the activities.

We found out that Eli is quite the salesman. When it was time to sale popcorn for scouts, my goal was to sale $500. Our pack will pay for one camping trip during the year for each scout that sales over $500. So when I heard free camping, I was motivated! But Eli was motivated beyond $500. He wanted to earn a telescope by selling over $1100 in popcorn. So we hit the streets and started selling. And I am happy to report, Eli earned his telescope! He was actually one of the top 5 salesmen in the pack. Three of the top five sellers came from Eli's den!

At the November pack meeting, Eli earned his Bobcat badge. This is the first badge that a Cub Scout earns. To earn this badge the scouts have to learn and memorize several things about Cub Scouts, like the motto and cub scout hand shake just to name a couple.

Kevin pinning Eli's Bobcat badge on. They pin the badges on upside down and the scouts can not turn in right side up until he does a good deed.

Part of Den 6 - Eli's den

Because all of the scouts worked hard and met the pack's goal in selling popcorn, the scouts got to throw pies in the faces of their leaders! Here is Eli throwing a pie at his daddy. To better illustrate his athletic ability, when Eli first threw the pie at Kevin, he missed him completely and hit an innocent bystander!

In January, Pinewood Derby fever hit our family. Eli, Kevin, and Luke began designing the Pinewood Derby cars. Luke was able to participate by entering the Outlaw Division. This is a division for non-Cub Scouts. After working on the cars for a couple of weeks, Kevin made a rule for our household... you have to be 4 years old before you can have a Pinewood Derby car! He wanted to put off have to make 4 cars as long as possible. When Eli is in his last year of cub scouts (5th grade), Kevin will have to make 4 Pinewood Derby cars!

Our races were held on Saturday, January 23. Eli's car came in 4th place in the Tiger Den Division. There were 12 cars that entered that division. Luke's car came in DL --Dead Last-- in the Outlaw division. His car didn't weigh near enough. Kevin learned a lot on what makes a good racer and what doesn't by watching and helping run the race! He took notes for next year!

Eli and Luke with their cars and participation ribbons. They didn't win any races or win any of the showmanship awards but they still had fun making their dream cars!

Eli's car
He is into GI Joe and Army things now. He wanted his derby car to be an army tank.

Luke's car
Luke first wanted a Cheetah but then decided that he wanted his car to be a dinosaur. I really think his car turned out looking really good!

All the cars in the Tiger Cub Division.

The cars in the Outlaw Division.

Eli's car racing. His car is the one on the far right track.

Luke's car racing. The Dinosaur is on the far left track.

The Tiger Cubs getting their ribbons and awards.

Luke decided to hand his ribbon in his ear!

This past weekend, our Cub Scout pack had their Blue and Gold Banquet. At this banquet, the scouts who have completed all of their achievements get their rank badge. The 5th graders also graduate from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts at the banquet. That was really neat to watch them cross over from being a Cub Scout and to becoming a Boy Scout. They walked into a tent with their Webalo II neckerchief on and walked out of the tent with their Boy Scout neckerchief on.

Eli and rest of his den members completed their achievements that are required in the Tiger Cub rank. At the banquet they were given their Tiger Cub badge! So he is an offical Tiger Cub now! Granna, Big Daddy, Nana, and Papa were able to come to the banquet. They enjoyed getting to see him get his Tiger Cub badge.

Eli and I walked up to get his badge and when we turned around, Luke had decided he wanted in on the action! We call Luke the Junior Tiger Cub.

Luke checking out Eli's new Tiger Cub badge after I pinned it on him. Eli has already completed his good deed, so he can now put his Tiger Cub badge on right side up.

US Representative, Louie Gohmert, was the keynote speaker at the banquet. Rep. Gohmert is an Eagle Scout himself. He was kind enough to take pictures with a lot of the scouts. I guess that is part of being a politician -- kissing babies, shaking hands, and having pictures made with constituents.

We are very proud of Eli and his accomplishments. He really enjoys Cub Scouts and so do we. It is really a family affair. If all the boys join Cub Scouts, we will have many, many, many, many more years to enjoy all the fun!! And we will have LOTS of popcorn to sell!

Monday, March 1, 2010

2 years old already!

It is hard to believe that our little preemie baby, Seth Benjamin, is now 2 years old! Where does time go? Looking at Seth today you could not tell that he started out so frail and small. God is so good! Seth has overcome his weight issues. Today he weighs about 30 lbs (give or take a pound or two). With the help of Early Childhood Intervention (ECI), he has overcome his physical delays. He took his first steps in August at 17 months. Now he doesn't walk, he RUNS everywhere! His language is improving with a little help as well. His vocabulary is expanding by the day. We are working on 2 word phrases with him now. Seth has his one year evaluation with ECI on Tuesday of this week. His case manager, Ms. Sallie, and his speech pathologist, Ms. Shelly, will be doing his evaluation.
Seth LOVES animals and LOVES making animal sounds. He started with just a few farm animals but now he has all sorts of animals he loves to imitate. He loves to play in his brothers' room. They don't like him playing in their room because they have to clean up after him! He loves looking at books. You know when Seth has been in Eli and Luke's room, when all the books are on the floor. He still has to have his pacifer. Our other boys had thrown their pacifers away by the age of 2. But Seth (and mommy and daddy) are addicted to it! We had him taking it just at nap times but the month of February has been a sickly month for the Dickey household. So Seth got his pacie more when he was sick and when Mommy didn't feel good. So now we will have to start the weaning process again! Seth is a bundle of joy and a bundle of energy! Everyone who is around him for very long always makes comments on how busy he is. He is never in one place for very long. Like I said earlier, he runs now....he doesn't walk!

We had a Barnyard themed party this past Saturday with family and a few friends. Seth enjoyed getting lots of attention.

The birthday boy with his party hat on. I knew he had too many pictures made with his party hat on, when he put one on Sunday afternoon and looked at me and said "Say Cheese"!

Luke's horns finally showing up! I knew they were there somewhere!

Karis and her Dora doll

The Barnyard Cake

I think he enjoyed the cake!

If you want Seth to be still for something, you have to strap him in!