Monday, August 31, 2009

One Down and Many More to Go

On Friday, we received the first week of homework assignments for Colton's class. Don't get too worked up. It's not so much. He has to read a book three nights a week and turn in this poster with the standard 'all about me' questions on it. He worked hard coloring, cutting and writing the answers with Daddy and had all of his homework done before dinner Friday night.

Some answers to the prompts:
-My favorite food - PIZZA
-My favorite animal - WOLF
-My favorite book - DINOSAUR CATCH (Mommy is not sure what this is)
-My wish - be a FOOTBALL PLAYER FOR TEXAS TECH (these Aggies are praying hard against this one, although from the looks of it A&M football will not have recovered by the time he gets there)
-What I like most about out school - MASCOT PANTHERS
-What I do well - HIGH DIVE (he sure is fearless up there!)

Great job Colton!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Technology Rocks

Technology has come so far and it makes my life so much easier. I found this great website for a Care Calendar that lets you electronically schedule things like meals and yard mowing for people in your circle of friends that are in need during times like illness, arrival of new baby, or just a stressful time. You email the calendar link to people you know who are willing to sign up, they sign up and then it sends them email reminders and all the info they need. I just used it today to set up meals for a friend that had a baby this weekend. So easy!

Unplanned is often best

My personality likes spreadsheets, lists, organization, bins, planners, to have everything mapped out, structure and that's just not how my life always happens. We are busy in general and Lino life can be hectic at times. This past week was no exception with the addition of kindergarten. We had our regular activites throughout the week and then we had rain. Yes, I know some of you haven't seen any of that in a while, but we saw close to 2 inches fall over the last 7 days at our house. Those two inches provided some of the best unplanned fun we've had in a while. The four kids and I loaded into the van from gymnastics in an almost terrential downpour and we were soaked to the bones. So when we arrived at home, Daddy joined us for some good old-fashioned playing in the rain. My schedule was messed up, but there was laughter all around. The guys threw the baseball. The girls stomped in puddles. The little snake didn't make it across the road. The clothes were dripping. The smiles were big.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

All Systems Go

The Lino house is at all systems go. It's Saturday evening, the clothes are ironed, the hair bows are at the ready, and there is good sleep to be had.....all to be better prepared for worship in the morning. Sundays are always challenging for my house and those of most other believers I know. I am determined that Satan is not going to have a heyday in our lives tomorrow morning. I am shooting for a calm morning, not rushed and with happy hearts for all of the little people and Mommy. Can't wait for worship! Good night.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Best Friend!

The trusty old crock pot is my new best friend now that we have entered the world of big school. I spent an hour last night looking at recipes online that will make things a little easier for me. I plan on using it at least two days a week if not more. So far this week, I used it on Monday and Wednesday and one recipe did not work out well at all. Well, it was edible, but not good. So I will scratch it from the list and keep looking for new ideas. If you have any ideas or recipes that I just must try, I would love to have them.

Is it really that different?

How is it possible that oatmeal at lunch really tastes different than oatmeal at breakfast? As I type, the four year old is sitting at the lunch table. She made a choice this morning that she did not want to eat her oatmeal. She really wanted all of the samples at the grocery store earlier this morning. She really does not like it when everyone else gets tasty snacks and treats without her. So she has the oatmeal bowl in front of her again for lunch. I did warm it up a bit. Did she eat it? Of course she did. She inhaled it. It didn't taste different. She just did not want to see that oatmeal again for dinner and she wanted what everyone else was eating. I feel certain that the oatmeal for breakfast next week will taste just fine.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

As Cute as She Can Be and Still...

Disclaimer: I know the grandparents may not like me saying some of this, but it’s true and I don’t write all of this just for me but in hopes of others being encouraged or at least being able to laugh at life a little.

I will forever remember Cassidy as being our little snuggle-bug. She is the one little Lino that loves to cuddle and be with Mommy. She needs me. She gives great hugs. She also knows how to push my buttons.

Each day is not the same with Cassidy. There are perfectly harmonious days. But there are days when she can out scream any two year old out there and outlast any frazzled mom out there. There are daunting days. There are days filled with tears - hers and mine. There are days I wish I could hold her until she falls asleep instead of listening to her sob on the other side of the door. (Before I get emails that I should not let her cry: she is working the system and can turn the tears off as soon as the door is opened.) We have had those days when at the end I felt like she won. But we have had many more days when the parents win.

For us to win requires a large amount of patience and even more consistency. Reproof, correction and training is exhausting. It is a purposeful task given to us as the parents. This is one of the things I awake each morning for. I love that this is the 'job' that I have been given the privilege of going to every day and night. I was called to this long before Cassidy was my given to my care. In all her cuteness and in all her 'moments' she is the perfect child for us.

I trust Cassidy and I will both one day look back on these 'almost two' days and know we are both better for them. Thank you Lord for entrusting our dear Cassidy to us.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We Did Survive

As a mom, my mind wanders frequently down paths (or spaghetti noodles) that really are ‘what-ifs’ and pretty much out of my control. While kindergarten quickly approached, I not only fretted over Colton going off on his own and becoming independent, but also one of his best buddies, his playmate, his every present sidekick, his sassy shadow, his cheerleader, his sometime bothersome little sister – Campbell Jade. Colton was only 17 months old when she was born so it seems they have just always been together. Just yesterday at the gym, a stranger asked me if they are twins. Colton is several inches taller than her, but it is something that I am often asked.

My heart ached some for Campbell. I didn’t want her to miss him too much. I didn’t want her to sit in his bean bag all day in her cheerleading uniform waiting for him to come home so she could root on his team. I wanted her to be independent too. I wanted her to be the big kid. Not that she is not already bossy, but I wanted her to be the responsible older child while Colton was away. After all, she has two little sisters that will watch her every move.

Of course my ‘what-ifs’ were just that……..and God had it all in control. Campbell has had a wonderful two days without her bubba. Right now, I can only think of a handful of times that they have ever been separated since they were old enough to know they were separated. She has not asked when he is coming home. She has played very well with her next sister….teaching her the many things you can play with your baby doll. Teaching her several girl things that she just cannot play with her older brother. Boys don’t do those things!

She does love that boy, though……..sitting in the car pool line waiting for Colton today I heard from the back of the van: “Raise your hand if you miss bubba.” Cam’s hand went high, Cass joined in….and mom, too.

I can already think of more of these transitions Campbell will have – each time he leaves a school just one year ahead of her. I hope they all go this well.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"It was Awesome!"

Mom: "Colton, how was the first day?"

Colton: "It was awesome!"

Just what a mom wants to hear on the first day of kindergarten. We are off to a great start.

Highlights of the first day:
-knows the name of some new friends in his class
-saw some old friends at recess
-didn't finish his lunch
-had circle time where they did math (11 boys plus 9 girls equals 20)
-likes his teacher
-wants to go back!

We are thankful to the Lord for such a wonderful day. Everyone is sleeping now (all four little people) and resting up for a new day.

The Day Has Come

It has been an actioned packed day at the Lino house and it is not even lunch time. Well everyday seems to be action packed with four small children, but this morning was also packed with emotions and lots of excitement. Mom and Dad started pretty early, but it was Colton that really got the ball rolling. You see, he is big now, he is independent, he is confident, and he is ready. We dropped our oldest child off at kindergarten today.

Colton came bounding down the stairs at ten after six this morning! We weren't expecting to see him up that early but he climbed up on the bed for some morning tv with dad and was grinning from ear to ear. So excited. Just thrilled to run off to big school. We went through our morning routine, which if you have not heard is very organized and runs very smoothly.

The babysitter arrived for the three little girls - I mean, really, who wants to see the new kindergarten mom arrive with her husband, kindergartner, preschooler plus a double stroller with two more little ones roll into the already packed, chaotic school on the first day? Off we went - Mom, Dad and Colton.

Earlier this year as we were thinking ahead to kindergarten, we really felt like the Lord was drawing us to a particular school for Colton. It wasn't the school we were zoned for in the old house. It's not the school we are zoned for in the new house. It's just another school. The Lord saw fit to have Colton at this school - Pine Forest Elementary. We are excited to see how the Lord is going to mold Colton through the experiences he has at PFE. His teacher is Mrs. Dees and we have heard wonderful things about her already. Although we have been praying for her for quite some time, it is so nice to finally have a name and a face to pray for specifically.

Colton was very chatty on the way to school......about snow - when he last saw snow, when Chloe might see snow, just snow. Not sure why snow was on his mind, but it was. He bounded out of the truck and walked right in the building with Dad. He hesitated for just a split second when he entered the classroom and then he was on his way. No tears. Just excitement and looks on his face that said 'I know what I am doing - this is no big deal.' I had my camera and held back the tears behind the lens. I did not cry.
I really don't think the morning could have gone better. I am praying that his day goes just the same. More on Mom's day with the girls later.

This day was inevitable and it is exciting in so many ways. The heart strings are pulled tight. We have worked diligently for five and a half years to prepare him for this day. He is ready.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

No Crying She Makes

I will have many memories of Chloe's first ten weeks of life.......but one I would like to forget is the continual screaming every time she is put in her car seat. While most babies love their car seats and sleep peacefully for hours in it, Chloe has never liked hers. She screams and I mean screaming like she is terrified or in pain from start to finish. In the house. In the van. In the stroller. No matter where the car seat is, if she is in it she is screaming. It did not make for relaxing road trips or short rides to Sunday morning worship. I was to the point of dreading going anywhere because of the tension that would ensue from any experience in the car seat. The older children learned very quickly to remain almost silent anytime we got in the van so that the noise level would not be any worse while Mommy was driving.

Well, after some 'internet research' and unscientific polls, I tried the swaddling approach. I use the kiddopotamus swaddling blanket that is made to fit the five point harness of her carseat. I buckle her in and wrap her tight like a sausage. Taaaaa daaaaaaa! Quiet baby. Sleeping baby - for hours. Content, looking around baby while we drive to church, the store and any other errand I feel like running that day. It has been a little over a week and the swaddling has made all the difference. The tension has eased and Mommy is very happy!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Orange Tumbleweed

Campbell is now four and is really enjoying her gymnastics class. The gym has relocated to a brand new facility and there is a designated room just for her class. She gets to do all 4 of the Olympic events on equipment just her size. The tumble tramp is her favorite, though. Her little personality really comes to light in this class. She is very quiet, obeys the rules and really does not care to see others breaking the rules! Thank you to Pops and Nana for her new leotard. Despite our best efforts, the girl loves orange.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blessings of Family

Today, I am so thankful for our extended family and that we are fortunate enough to share our lives with them. The Lord has given to us the luxury of having loving grandparetns for our kids who all live within a 3 hour drive from us. We also have cousins, aunts & uncles who live close enough to visit. Recently, we saw the Leffler cousins and let Chloe meet her only living great-grandparents, Sylvia Hinton and Julia Parker. I have such sweet memories of them both!

We had a wonderful visit with the family and returned home just in time to meet up with Daddy for Get in the Game Sunday. Our family of six is getting into a routine and enjoying the last days of summer.
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