Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Stuff

Sometimes I get caught in a rut of thinking my kids have a boring life, and maybe I am depriving them of something. However, every time I sit down to do another blog posting, I am always amazed at what fun we have had over the past 2 or 3 months since my last update. The daily grind is a lot of work and can be stressful and/or boring. It is always good for me to sit and survey our videos and photos to remind me of the tremendous blessings in our lives and all of the opportunities that are afforded to us.

A few Tynes family notables:
-The children can eat a whole Papa John’s large sized pizza by themselves.
-We go through at least 7 boxes of cereal a week sometimes more.
-We go through 4 gallons of milk a week.
-We go through 15 – 20 apples, 2 pounds of grapes, and 2 bunches of bananas each week at a bare minimum.
-We go through 3 loaves of bread a week.
-I clip 80 wiggly fingernails and toenails a week.
-Despite all of the sickness going around, we have not had more than a sniffley nose in our house in 8 or 9 months.

-went to her first ballet: Pinocchio, with the Atlanta Ballet. She was totally entranced and jumped up to dance several times during the performance. She still talks about it all of the time.
-is very animated.
-is FINALLY getting over her painful shyness, PTL!
-favorite toys are her Disney princess figurine collection.
-loves to color. We color together as well. She will either color and tell me what I should do or the other way around so our pictures are “twins”. I have an example shown in a picture below.
-would definitely score high in the “Acts of Service” section of the Love Languages test. That and “quality time”.
-Favorite breakfast cereals are Rice Crispies and Lucky Charms.
-Why I spend my days laughing. . . a lot.
Julia -"Mommy will you braid my hair"?
Me- “SURE! Wow! I can't believe you are asking me that.”
Julia-“I want it just one braid like Sarah at church.”
Me-“ Ok, Which Sarah?”
Julia –“The Sarah that pooped in her pants.”
“Mommy, we were late getting back to Jessica’s house because Mr. Anthony and Mrs. Colleen wanted to take a tour of Courtney and Grayson’s new house because they had never seen it before, and they said it was FABULOUS and they liked it a LOT!

-gets overwhelmed at the prospect of any task with more than one step. I can't just ask him to get dressed. I have to start with, "Harrison, take off your jammies. Now, put on your underwear. Now, put on your shorts. . . ".
-LOVES to play pretend super hero games and is constantly asking me to play with him. This used to really overwhelm me because I hated to turn him down so often for other things I had to get done. Plus, I am really terrible at make-believe games like that. I am not very imaginative. Then one day I came up with idea to incorporate his games into what I am doing. Now when Harrison says, "Mommy, let’s play Batman and Batgirl". Instead of saying, "Oh, buddy, I just can't right now". I say, "YES! Let's play Batman and Batgirl go grocery shopping", or "YES! Let's play Cat Woman and Iron Man set the table"! I will tickle him or fake zap him with lasers as I work. It works like a charm.
-favorite toys are whatever he can play with the other kids.
-has begun to throw some fits, which is the first bit of work this kid has been in his life so far.
-would probably score high on the “personal touch” section of the Love Languages test. He likes to hug and cuddle and be tickled.
-favorite breakfast cereals are Chocolate Frosted Mini-Wheats and Lucky Charms.
-hates wet hair. The rest of his body can be dripping wet when he gets dressed, but he agonizes over any, even slightly damp, strand of hair.

-favorite snack? Dryer sheets. . .Yup. I have to carefully fish them out of the piles of clean clothes so he can't rifle through and find them. I can smell dryer sheets on his breath after he eats them.
-Calls all fruit "Bapple". It is a combo of apple and banana.
-Favorite breakfast cereal is Lucky Charms.
-walks through the house with a poll, golf ball, stick etc. muttering "Ow, ow, ow, ow". Then I will hear silence, followed by high pitched screaming from one of the other kids who just got clobbered by his weapon.
-has a large, mostly one syllable vocabulary with a few 2 syllable exceptions like “Mommy, Daddy, Cookie, Kanka (Blanket) caca (cracker) and so forth”. He hasn’t put more than 2 words together and only on a couple of occasions. He is definitely speaking later than my other children, but it is to be expected. The other kids tend to his every whim with even the quietest peep. . . if it were possible for him to make quiet peeps. He’s a noisy boy.
-calls Julia, “JuJah”.
-pats my back while I carry him around.
-drank a few gulps of rubbing alcohol before I caught him. Poison control told me to watch and see if he got drunk. If not he was fine.
-loves to have his teeth brushed.
-got to make his first trip to MN in October for Jeremy and Natalie's band competition. We were only there for 20 hours. It was my first trip there in nearly 5 years. Harrison and Julia have yet to get to MN.
-digs our shoes out of our closets and brings them to us to put on. He definitely knows whose shoes are whose.
-is as hilarious as he is high maintenance. Mr. Personality to the core.
-has 16 teeth. I think I forgot to mention this before, but he had cut all 16 of these teeth, including his one year molars by 12 months old. He eats anything like an old pro.

-favorite part of the Pinocchio Ballet we took him and Julia to? “When it was over.”
-turned 6 on October 24th. . . gulp.
-"Mommy, a wasp fell out of my dream and onto my pillow".
-"Mommy, every time I lay down my skull hurts.” (This means “I have a headache”).
-lost his 4th tooth in September.
-favorite cereal is Chocolate Delight Special K.
-last month when a car pulled out in front of me, Evan and I both said, “Dude” in unison as I put on the brakes.
-really hates it when I sing.
-favorite toys are transformers and Legos.
-would probably be a “personal touch” on the Love Languages test as well as “gifts”.
-went through a period of several months or even the past year or more where he has been completely, exhaustingly, insatiable. He wanted and wanted and wanted stuff all day long, and when he got it he was ungrateful and wanted more. Our house is full to the brim with toys and our life is busy with fun experiences, but he was obsessed with what we still didn’t have and what he still wanted to do. I have been harping and harping on him about the fact that we have so much and so many people in this world really have almost nothing. I just couldn’t get him to understand or be grateful. The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for me was when we did about 20 great things one day like a hay ride, corn maze, inflatable jumpy things, fed farm animals and dinner out, and he followed up by whining about still more things he wanted to do and claiming we never did anything for him. I decided that the next day we were going to deprive him of every kind of luxury we could and work him hard. He wasn’t allowed even mayo on his sandwich or anything to drink but water or any toys to play with at all. I thought maybe it would help if he got to experience nothing but the very basics in survival for a day and work some long hours to make the money needed to put an Operation Christmas Child box together to send to severely disadvantaged African children.

This was an interesting experience. I have a few pictures below of him working his tail off. I really thought this day would be horrible and that he would whine and complain, but he didn’t. He and I worked side-by-side, got a ton done, and he did it completely without complaint. When he asked for mayo on his sandwich, and I said no because mayo was a luxury, he shut up and ate it anyway. I never caught him trying to play with toys or dodge out of this experience at all. We talked a lot about how he could still be grateful for clean water to drink, a healthy body, a mom and a dad who love him, relative safety and so forth.

I would say it went pretty well. The two of us got a lot done while we talked. We bonded, and in the end I found it wasn't nearly as dreadful as I thought it would be. At the end of the night he was still answering that a new Transformer would make him happy, but he also was jumping around and excited about all of the toys he did have and was excited to play with them again the next day. I told him he could go back to life as normal the next day as long as when he asked for something he was respectful of my answer and tried to be grateful for what he already has.

He has developed a concern for children who really have nothing or live lives full of abuse and daily hard work. He was also really excited that he worked to help another boy with the money he earned for the Christmas Child box. We may need to have another day or two like this in the future, but in the past few weeks since we did this he has been doing much, much better.

A side benefit to Evan’s day of depravity is that Harrison and Julia learned a lot too. They wanted to play with Evan so they invented a game with a few small pumpkins and a cardboard box so he could play too. They had a blast without a single toy. I praised them for making do with what they had and having fun with it.

This video is of Evan working hard in the yard to earn his money for the Operation Christmas Child box.

Typical Tynes family dinner madness.

Eli is mooing like a cow on our dairy farm tour hay ride in October with the hilarious tour guide.

Everyone buckled in? Evan? Check! Julia? Check! Harrison? Check! Eli? Check! Cybertron Primus? Great! Let's go.

He insisted on wearing this pair of Julia's shoes for a couple of days.

I honestly don't know how to explain this one. Those are diapers on his feet and socks on his face. All of the kids are gathered around in the middle of some crazy game.

These wild turkeys are sortof like pets. We feed them and they hang around all day mostly unconcerned with us unless one of the kids tries to chase them.

We went to a movie in the park one night.

Evan came home from church one Sunday wanting to make "the armor of God". This is what he came up with. . .

. . .and Julia copied.

Grandpa came over after work one night to get his grandkid fix.

Uncle Tony came to visit!

The kids had LOTS of circus fun with Uncle Tony.

Eli and I got to spend 20 hours in MN for Jeremy and Natalie's band competition! It was very cold for a self-proclaimed, true-blooded, southerner like myself.

I definitely wanted a picture of Eli, Quin, and Aaron admiring the ever-famous Mary statue in a white, painted, tire in Grandma and Grandpa Ringsmuth's back yard.

We loved getting to spend a few minutes with Grandma and Grandpa Ringsmuth! Such a blessing!

We got to see several family members who were able to make the last minute trek to have dinner with us. Another great blessing for me!! (Left to Right: Janete, Jonathan, Linda, Angie, Beth, Steve, Caroline, Joshua, Emily) More family we saw didn't get pictured, like aunt Laura and other cousins.

This is me, so, incredibly, happily entering the church where Jeremy and Natalie's band competition was. This trip was a very special, last minute gift from my hubby.

My first snuggles with my beautiful, first niece, Lauren Rochelle Ringsmuth.

Julia loves to throw high society teas for her dolls and stuffed animals.

Crazy hat night at AWANA. These balloon hats were a last minute idea of mine. . .from God. I was scrambling.

Evan's picture is the second one up from the bottom on the far right side of this cross in our children's department at church. I thought it was neat.

I strapped 2 squirmy kids to their chairs with belts during school one day and told them we were riding the Magic School Bus.

Feeding a calf on our dairy farm tour.

This built in jumping "pillow" was at the dairy farm we toured.

This 10 acre corn maze was also at the dairy farm. The kids loved this.

Here is Evan working hard on our day of depravity and reflection on our blessings.

This is the pumpkin store game they came up with on Evan's day of depravity to make up for the fact that he couldn't play with toys. They had a blast.

She loves to hobble around the house in my boots.

We go on lots of science walks around the neighborhood and explore different aspects of nature. One of the kids' favorite activities is kicking massive, nuisance ant hills and then jumping back to watch a million ants work frantically to repair the damage. I don't feel badly because it is only a matter of time before the owners of the lot will come out and dump poison on the hill.

Everything is a jungle gym to him.

Evan's 6th birthday party following a couple of hours of wild play at a gymnastics center. None of those pictures turned out very well, but I have a few pictures of the place in my last blog update of cousin Quin's visit.

You can see the top of Julia's tutu hairbow at the Pinocchio ballet with the Atlanta Ballet. She was totally mesmerized.

We all dressed up for the Ballet. Evan's very fake smile was because he was miserable through every moment but when Pinocchio's nose grew.

"That is what daddy's are for" is my mantra when they try to get me to wrestle.

All of my children sit on different registers around the house on colder days. Sometimes I can't find Eli around the house, and it's because he is unusually, quietly, warming his back side behind the kitchen table.

Our water main broke one morning and was pouring into our basement. I do have to say, it was almost worth it when, while we were frantically working on the mess, Eli comes strutting in with a pool noodle ready for some basement flood fun.

Every meal gets rubbed straight into his hair.

So many good times are had back by our creek. It's a family member.

I hadn't heard a peep from him in several minutes after breakfast one morning, which is very unusual for him, so I went looking. This is how I found him.

This little balloon-blower-upper-thingy I found for $1 at target has saved my life.

Sleeping Beauty gets her face painted at our church's fall festival.

The photographer at the fall festival gave us one shot for this photo. I am just telling people that this is simply an artistic display of emotions they are demonstrating. Joy, confusion, grief, concern. . . they are fine young actors, is all.

Blue's Clues Sweety Petey.

He always goes back to this very spot to scribble on the wall whenever he finds a pen.
This was soooo sweet I had to take a picture. . .

. . .but somehow it turned into this. . . .

. . . which turned into this before I intervened.

This was me just before heading out for my first time ever trick-or-treating. I was a nervous wreck. Maybe we would end up worshing the devil?

But NO! We had a BLAST! I loved getting to meet some new neighbors and the kids got to practice their manners. It was awesome, and I look forward to next year.

Yeah, he has to wear these goulashes as often as I will let him.

Evan was working hard even a week later to earn his Operation Christmas Child money.

We are hiking in Kennesaw Mountain National Park behind our house again. This was Eli's first time getting out of the backpack to join the hike. I love this picture.

Julia's has really gotten into making "jewlery" with beads. I went from zero jewlery to more than I know what to do with in like a month.

Don't bother him when he working through lunch.

Harrison's coloring skills are developing.

The kids enjoy some TV time with Daddy before I cart them off to bed.

These are our "twin" unicorns. She picked the colors and showed me what to do on my picture. We did this after I put the boys to bed one night so we could have some girl time.

Evan's hard earned Operation Christmas Child box with the goodies and necessities he bought at walmart, pictures, and a letter he wrote as part of our writing lesson for school one day.

He lost his 4th tooth in September. The bottom two teeth are already nearly completely grown in now.

Julia tried to electrocute herself with this spoon and cord while we visited in the kitchen. The loud pop sound and subsequent spark storm that followed shook us both up. She was totally fine. The same cannot be said of the spoon, cord, or the ketchup streaked outlet cover.

Man, did our yard ever get flooded during the Atlanta flooding situation in September. I posted a video of the raging river our creak turned into just below this blog update. We were very blessed that it never quite made it to the house.

The kids watched the flooding and worried. We prayed a lot that day.

However, the fun in the mud puddle the flooding left behind the next day made it ALL worth it.

Evan and Mommy's traditional birthday cake bake.

He had so much fun playing baseball this year on the days the fields weren't flooded.

Stephen did such a great job taking pictures of the boys playing baseball.

"Serious business, here, Mom".

Actually, this is how Harrison spent 95% of his time with his baseball team. . . playing in the dirt.

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Julia dances for Grandma.


  1. You always have great post! It is so much fun watching you guys grow up. Eli looks so much like his Dad too. Kara is currently into the same things as Julia including the dancing and princess thing. Brody appears to have the same interest as your boys as he loves being outside doing things.

    You guys are awesome parents so keep up the good work. The Lord will bless all the love you put into your family.

  2. LOVED the pics. I had a ton of faves, so I don't think I could mention them all. Actually, I'll try. I think the halloween pic of you and then the subsequent ones of relief was awesome. OH and BTW- when in the HECK was tony here???