Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Baby.

I have totally coddled Charlie. I've been treating him like he's perpetually two years old or something. Charlie even classifies himself as a baby.  But no...he'll be four in September. 

Some of my excessive pampering, I believe, is partially because of his speech delay. But now that he's starting to become more verbal and able to use his words, I'm realizing just how smart and capable he is. 

This kid knows exactly what's going on.

Last night, a commercial came on for this silly Pocket Pal thing. Charlie began jumping up and down insisting that he wants "needs" one. Jimmy, in a rightfully harsh tone, said, "Well, if you even want us to think about getting you one of those, you better start cleaning stuff up around here first."

I chuckled under my breath. Because Mommy knows just how impossible that is. I mean, our "baby"--he doesn't even know how to clean anything. After all, he's a master mess maker.

Then all of a sudden, a miracle happened in front of my unsuspecting eyes. Charlie sprung up from the couch, and magically began putting his toys away. And then he began picking up our throw pillows and putting them back on the couch--the same pillows he typically hurls off the couch on a daily basis. Today he was even at the kitchen sink attempting to hand wash the dishes and sweeping the floors because our house is "yuck yuck."

Yeah...this little stinker's been playing me like a fiddle.

Game on, baby-no-more. And the anti's been upped: Cleaner house. Plus potty training. Equals Pocket Pal.

Bring it, Char Char. And you might just get two Pocket Pals before it's all over.

Pocket Pals - Doggie - Product ImagePocket Pals - Doggie - Product Image

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bible Camp 2013

Finally, summer has arrived at the Murphy household.

Last week was our annual Bible Camp at SVF, and--once again--I was in charge of the snack session.  It always proves to be a blessing heading up that post, but it definitely comes with lots of planning, time, grocery trips (thanks, Jimmy:), and for a short-fused gal like me...there was some added stress planning a menu for ninety kids, even with the Holy Spirit behind me!

Madi was in a group with lots of her besties. It was a great week for her. And Charlie...he was a champ!  He was in the playroom all week, from 8:30 to 12:00. I was fearful that after day one, he would stage a protest, but was quite clear that he was all in, and he enjoyed every day! 


I am sad to say that, because I was totally preoccupied with the whole shebang, I neglected to take one single picture of the kids. Bad Mama.

This year's theme was about Service. I was a bit late with menu planning this year due to the end of school activities, but with the help of my trusty and creative Christian sister, Carrie, we sat down one afternoon and came up with a much better plan than the "Bible Camp in a box" had provided, so I thought I'd share our little snack ideas, in case any of y'all want to incorporate these messages some way, somehow into your summer fun.

Monday - Serve Family
We used a waffle cone as a basket to represent our families which hold us, protect us, and unite us. We filled them with a portable yogurt to represent our faith which binds us together and sustains us. And we added pieces of fruit (strawberries, grapes, blueberries, bananas) to represent the different members of our families.

Tuesday - Serve Friends
The kids walked through a buffet-style line with a partner (friend) and made their plate for them. It was a creative way to get the kids to get to know each other and to truly serve their friends! The buffet was filled with various snack items including chocolate goldfish (sweet), Chex mix (salty), cheese cubes (cheesy), orange slices and grapes (fruity), carrots (crunchy), raisins and Fig Newtons (chewy), popcorn (fluffy), and pickles (sour).

Wednesday - Serve Neighbors
We talked about how neighbors, in the Biblical sense, are not necessarily the people who live next door.  A neighbor could be the mailman, or a homeless person, or an unknown kid at school, and while people may appear funny looking to us or different on the outside, they may be really beautiful on the inside. We drew a parallel with fruits that God made using a pineapple, a kiwi, and a lychee nut, and I asked the kids to step out of their comfort zone, as if they were meeting a new neighbor, and to try something new that they hadn't tried before. We gave them a variety of fruits to choose from, and they placed them on a bamboo skewer to represent God's love running through us as neighbors (raspberries, pineapple, kiwi, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, dates and lychee fruit). I was pleasantly surprised at how many of the kids did, indeed, step out of their comfort zone and tried new things! 

Thursday - Serve Community
The Bible story was Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10, so we chose to use examples of "transformation" and change of heart. We used a dry noodle as an example to show something that is, in one form, very hard, dry, and brittle. But when soaked in water, the noodle transforms into something soft, pliable, and good--just like humans when they have Jesus in their hearts! So, the kids enjoyed bowls of pasta for their snack. In addition, in keeping with the "community" theme, I talked about how one chocolate morsel is good, right? But when put one morsel together with lots of other chocolate morsels in cookie dough, it transforms into something much, much better. This was my "Plan B" from making banana bread out of rotten, mushy bananas. I had no idea that it was virtually impossible to find a loaf of banana bread at this time of year in Florida, and I needed ten of them. The cookies were a much easier choice!

Friday - Serve Jesus
We focused on the Holy Spirit for the lesson, and the snack. We discussed praying for the Holy Spirit's guidance, and I shared a prayer that someone had once given to me, "Light a fire in my heart with the kindle of your love." The kids built an "edible fire pit"--pretty much a soft taco--using a tortilla as the base with turkey meat, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, red peppers, and salsa as the kindle for their fires. They got the message, but Friday was kinda chaotic after a full week of Bible Camp. Yeah...I pretty much just stopped talking and let them eat!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Boo Boo & Ya Ya

A couple of weeks ago, we were blessed by a visit from my S-I-L, Kathy (affectionately known at "Ya Ya" by the kids) and our niece, Kelsey (affectionately known as "Boo Boo" by the kids). They flew in so we could all celebrate Murphy's graduation together.

Kathy and Kelsey don't make it down from Michigan often, nor do we make a trip often make to see them. So, we treasure our precious time together, and this visit was no exception.

Kathy actually arrived when Madi and I were at Girl Scout camp. It worked out great because it gave Aunt Kathy a couple of days to bond with Charlie one-on-one. They had a blast. By the time Madi and I entered the picture again, it was clear that Aunt Kathy and Charlie were tight. Madi has always adored her Aunt Kathy, so they picked up right where they left off, too.

Despite ugly weather, we enjoyed family time, hanging out, sharing our love of good food, and even some pool time.

Kelsey's time with us was limited to the weekend. She's a sophomore at Michigan State now, and it's amazing how she's transformed into this beautiful young woman. Kelsey always has been a beautiful person, but each year seems to add another layer of charm. I can't wait to see how God works in her life, and what good things she'll do. She's already in a nursing program to specialize in Hospice care. That ministry obviously takes a very special person.

We just received word that Kelsey's going to come back for a few weeks this summer. Apparently, she misses all of us already:)  We miss her, too, so we are totally psyched that we will get more time with her!

Here are some photos from our time together. You can kinda tell which ones were taken by the little man...


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hello Summer.

Maybe it's this sinus infection that I'm fighting--or the dismal weather here lately--but I found myself feeling rather melancholy this morning. 

As thrilled as I've been to "ring in" Summer break, I'm kinda sad about the end of the school year.

Since Jimmy was around this morning, I took the opportunity to head over to the school one last time this year to hug the kids and Mrs. Barganier. 

As I walked to the classroom, I actually began weeping. Weird. 

But understandable, I suppose, because we had such a great year. Let me repeat that, because it's worth repeating.

We had such a great year.

I never expected to be a "Room Mom." Guess there's a first for everything. That position certainly wasn't in the plan, but when I stepped up to give our teacher an hour a week (and no one else was readily available to help), I was assigned the title.  

Thanks to the support from my husband, parents, neighbors (Ruby), and friends (Ruby), I was able to watch Madi's face light up like a Christmas tree whenever I entered the classroom. I participated in class parties, field trips, and performed weekly administrative duties to help out. It was such a blessing. All of it. Mrs. Barganier is such a lovely person, and all of Madi's classmates are so adorable. I've really grown to love them all. 

Madi's done so well this year. The girl is gifted in so many areas, and it is wonderful to see her excel in a classroom where she's being challenged daily, and fully embraces the knowledge she's being fed. 

In that regard, the apple fell pretty far from the tree (thank God)!

Bye Bye, first grade. We'll miss you.

Madi with one of the best teachers ever :)