Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Building Project Progress

Thought a few updates are in order for tonight . . .

Machines are being brought into one of the buildings now. Three buildings are up and completely enclosed. There are lights in all of them and heat is going in. 

Steel continues to be erected on the last steel building. Of course, nothing has been accomplished on the Office building. 

These building are HUGE and take a lot of work to build, but soon we will see the "light at the end of the tunnel".

Pictures of the machines:

Randy has been busy getting the machines transferred from storage and putting them together. 

It has been a long haul and we are so grateful for your prayers and encouragement!

a Finalist in a Photo Contest of Over 17,000 Entries

Today our beautiful Katelyn received a letter in the mail. She opened it and began giggling! 

What did it say?

First, she was thanked for entering the 35th Annual College and High School Photography Contest, co-sponsored by Nikon. Apparently, over 17,000 entries were received. One of Katelyn's photos was chosen as a FINALIST! If her photo is chosen as a 1st through 4th place she will be entered into the Nikon's Emerging Photographer's Hall of Fame.

All contest Finalists will be published in the hard cover book College and High School Photography 2015. The next sentence reads: Because you are a finalist, your work will appear in this year's edition. She will receive a copy of the book sometime in June.

This is the photo she entered into the contest:

As you can imagine, our girl is beyond thrilled! The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place will be sent letters by February 9 as to their win. Honorable mention will be awarded to all other finalists.

Congratulations Katelyn! We are so proud of you! I can't even imagine judging over 17,000 entries, but I Know You are a Winner!

Love ya,

Monday, January 26, 2015

Act of Kindness x 4 Boys

This morning we woke to find it snowing and were thrilled!

As we were pulling from the driveway I began talking to the boys about their behavior on Friday. I told them today was going to be different . . . we were going to be helpers to others. Today was garbage day and the timing was perfect to begin our "serving".

I drove down the street with my flashers on as my boys pulled garbage cans from the street to the garage of each neighbor. They were excited and enjoyed being kind and helpful. 

Here are some photos:

Once the boys finished with the last of the cans on our street, we headed in to school. The boys were so excited and chatty with one another. I interrupted their conversation and asked which made them feel better . . . Last Friday's behavior, or today's behavior? They all answered "today's". Another question I asked, "Who were you thinking about on Friday?" They all knew the answer and said, "myself". They also knew who they were thinking about today . . . OTHERS.

As the boys chatted on our way into our little school, they were planning their next act of kindness. Cody thought they should do the garbage cans every Monday. 

This mama was pleased and smiled all the way to school.

Learning by Serving

My boys have been quite a handful lately and at times it is exasperating for the adults in our house. Friday, my boys were horrible during our Chiropractor visit and although I tried to correct them, my correction fell on deaf ears.

I tried to remain calm and not outwardly demonstrate my frustration, disgust or embarrassment. As we walked from the building to our vehicle my words to them were short and to the point. Without looking at any of them, I said: I am extremely upset with all of you at this moment and I do NOT want to hear one word from any of you until we get home. 

Each of them knew they had taken things beyond what was considered acceptable behavior. The entire drive home was silent and I know the wheels in their brains were turning. I drove into our driveway and stopped the SUV before I spoke.

My words were chosen carefully as I told them how disappointed I was with their actions. Unacceptable, Disobedient, and Defiant were three words the boys heard and they knew each word was the correct definition of their behavior.

At that moment, I was not ready to discipline them. No, there was not a grounding, no privileges were revoked, no yelling . . . I did not impose a punishment. Instead, their hands were busy and their bodies active taking care of chores that needed tending. I needed time to process and think.

Saturday went a bit better, until after dinner when the disagreements began. We immediately put a stop to the arguing and separated them for a while. 

Today, the boys were testing one another once again and it sounded a bit like this:

  • Stop looking at me
  • Stop smiling at me 
  • Why are you smiling? M-o-M he is smiling it me because I have to do the dishes.
  • That is MINE . . . D-A-D, he took my Lego pieces. Those were mine and HE KNOWs it.
  • He poked me ~ but he says it is an accident and I know it wasn't!
  • He is feeding the dogs his supper! MOM . . .
  • I am telling because you aren't taking your clothes to the laundry!
  • WHY did you DO that?
  • MOM, did you know that ????? isn't taking his vitamin?
  • MOM, ?????? is downstairs in the basement and HE isn't supposed to be!
  • MOM somebody pee'd on the toilet seat again!
  • He pushed me and I didn't do nothin' to him.
  • He broke my creation.
  • Mom, Mom, Mom, MMMMM--OOOOO--MMMMM!
Yes, it had been a long week and weekend. However, tomorrow they begin LEARNING by SERVING.

Remember, they weren't punished from Friday's episode. The unkind words, arguments and hatefulness will be addressed this week. Tomorrow will be LEARNING by SERVING in Action.

During the course of this week, my four boys will be given the opportunity to stop thinking about themselves. Each day, the boys will find a way to help someone. Sure, they may begin the process by thinking it is fun or they may begin the process by being angry, or they may just find the point of "Learning by Serving" that 
"Life isn't all about me."

They will also:
  • Write about what they learn through serving.
  • Apologize in person to our Chiropractor and Staff about their behavior on Friday.
  • Secretly do something nice for each of their brothers each day. When the "task" has been done and no one knows about it, they will put a small Lego into the designated jar. Each of the boys will have their own color of Lego to use. The goal is to fill the jar with "secret kindness" without being reminded to do so.
Serving someone outside the home may be a bit harder for them. I am sure there are many ways to serve others outside of our home. I have a few suggestions to get them started:
  • Collect fallen sticks from the yard of elderly friends.
  • Clean up doggie poo from various yards.
  • Sit and read to elderly people at a nursing or retirement home.
  • Clean up goose poo from neighbor yards.
  • Pull the neighbors' garbage cans up to their garage on garbage day
I really can't wait to hear what they come up with. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday and Pictures

The sun is shining, music is playing, the kids are chilling . . . It is a Beautiful Saturday.

Cameron helped me tighten up the toilet paper holder and hand towel holder this morning in our 1/2 bath by our laundry and mudd rooms. Last week I posted a few canvases that I had made and ordered through Shutterfly, the last two pictures were put in place today.

We now call this bathroom . . .
The "Memory" bathroom as the pictures are full of sweet memories of the kids when they were smaller.

The furry babes were hungry for scrambled eggs and ham this morning, so I made enough to fill all tummies.

While the scrambled eggs were cooking, I made a dozen baked eggs for breakfast/lunch/snacks for my family. 
They are a HUGE hit in our home!

Here is how to make them . . .

Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.
Break one egg into each circle of the muffin pan.
Season to taste - I simply salt and pepper them.
Put into a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes.
If you prefer runny yolk, 15 minutes or so.
Let them cool and store in a container in the fridge.
Believe me, they won't last long!

Pull out of fridge and heat for 30 - 45 seconds.
Put onto egg mcmuffin, bagel, toast, etc.
You can add favorite toppings prior to heating.


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Our Lives Uncripted is written by me. All pictures are personal and cannot be copied. No portion of this blog can be copied and/or sold. All content copyright JCP, Ourlives-unscripted.blogspot.com All Rights Reserved!

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