The Sweet Prayers of Children

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  One of the sweetest things that I hear the boys do every night is say their bedtime prayers.  Sometimes, sure, they fly through them half-heartedly, just as I do.  Other times, they pray like they REALLY mean it.  I took a moment the other night to write down the prayers of all three of them.

I’m going to want to remember this when they’re grown!!!

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the boys, enjoying couch time in the morning with Daddy

First, I prayed with Daniel, and he prays in a super, super soft and quiet voice.  Plus he’s two, so I only caught most of what he said, but it went something like this:

Daniel:

“Dear Lord, Thank you my bear.  Mommy.  Caleb and planes.  My daddy go store and mommy read her Bible and Nana.  brothers.  Caleb.  DaddyO.  my daddy.  Brothers.  Amen.”

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Caleb:

“I don’t want to pray!”

Me:  “Caleb, are you giving the devil a foot hold?”  (Judge all you want.  I got this idea from a friend of mine. It’s valid, and it works–really fast.)

Caleb: “Okay!  I’ll pray!!!!!  Thank you for everything we did today.  I wish I had a fish by now.  Amen.”

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Joshua:

“God, I love you.  Thank you for my family.  I hope there will be no school tomorrow because there’s going to be so much snow, which is so exciting.  Amen.”

I think Joshua is the last person in America that still gets excited about snow this winter, but his prayers were answered.  No school on Monday and delayed start on Tuesday.

“But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 19:14

I’ve noticed a lot lately that when I remind my children about how their decisions can have spiritual implications, I see immediate results.  I’m hoping this will place in their hearts a desire to make choices that please God, not just please their parents.  I’ve struggled with that always.  I always wanted to make my parents happy, but the fact is that pleasing people–even your parents–is not the highest calling.

What I mean is that I want my children to have a strong inner moral compass, one that leads them to make godly decisions, whether we like it or not.  They may want to do work in a foreign land, and I may hate that because I would miss them, but I’d rather they choose that dream that God has placed in their heart, than just doing what “mom wants.”

One more darling little story, that took me by surprise, from this morning:  I woke up this morning to Joshua, Caleb, and Daniel dashing into my room.  Joshua and Caleb proclaimed, “Daniel wants to ask Jesus into his heart!!  He does!”

Oh, the sweetness.  Of course, Daniel would say yes to about anything in the world that they ask him to do, but we told them it was so great that they shared Jesus with their brother.

And one rabbit trail I MUST address:

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Just imagine how much all Christians could accomplish if we came together, stopped arguing about things that do not matter that keep us apart, and combined our energy to actually serve God and help people.

What if we stopped arguing about whether or not we are predestined, who wrote the best Bible version, and whose definition of communion is the right one and instead worked together?  When you boil out all that stuff, the heart of the matter is still ONE thing.  There’s just ONE thing that makes an eternal difference in whether or not we are “Christians”.  One.

Jesus.

You either believe in what Jesus did, or you don’t.  He was right, or he was wrong.  All of Christianity hinges on that one little thing, so why have we allowed forces of evil to splinter us?

“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.”  2 Timothy 2:23-25

If only.

My FIRST Award at the New Web Address

  Ta-daaaa!  I have been nominated for my very first award since moving the blog to Stories of our Boys, just a month ago.  Hurray!  A big thank you to naptimethoughts.com, an awesome and wicked-funny blogger, for nominating me! I am tickled pink.

  So these awards have RULES, and I am a rule follower, so here we go:

1.  Thank and link back to your nominator.

2.  Tell 7 random facts about yourself.

3.  Pay it forward to 13 versatile bloggers.

My Facts

For some reason I’m fixated on my younger days for this list:

1. You may already know that I am an Alabama (Roll Tide!) fan, but did you know that I have actually WORN the Big Al costume??  (Thank you, Jason Klein!)Oh, and by the way, that was 13 years, and it’s better left unknown how many pounds, ago.

2.  When I was a little kid, I was a seriously studious little book-worm.  In the first grade, when the other kids would divide up to go to reading groups, I just sat at my desk.  I didn’t have a group.  The teacher would just come by and stick chapter books in my desk.  So you can see why I got so stressed out when they told me my 1st grader was behind in reading!!!  Where did I go wrong???

Don’t worry.  You can rest assured I am helping him get caught up!

3.  I was a book worm of a kid, but I could also be a mean little snot that could also be a liar (we’re talking when I was super young–1st/2nd grade).  So if you have a kid that tells tall tales, hang in there.  I grew out of it, once I got caught a couple of times. I would NEVER lie to anyone now.  I mean, you know, so long as you don’t ask me how much I weigh.  ; )   Okay, I won’t lie to that either, but I sure won’t answer that question.

4. For two years of my childhood, I was always playing in the peanut field behind my house.  Now I have two kids with peanut allergies, and we’re beginning to think I might have an issue with it myself.

5. In the 8th grade, I lost a “manners competition” for being too bossy.  Apparently the polite thing was to let the boy lead.  What can I say?  I was destined to boss around little men.

6. I grew up calling a “dinner knife” a “butter knife.”  To this day, I cannot bring myself to call the butter knife a dinner knife.

7.  I once hit a bully (a boy one) in the head with my purse.  My purse had a very solid ice pack inside of it.  The bully never bothered us again, and I think it was my dad’s proudest day.

13 Wonderfully Versatile Bloggers!!

If you’re looking for a great blog to read, you should check these out!

1.  psychowith6.com  This is currently my favorite.  Dr. Mel rocks.

2. aboyagirlandthemarinecorps.com  I have learned a LOT about blogging from her series on the subject!

3. lowveldlife wildlife pictures from South Africa.  The boys are so happy!

4. nobeautyqueen my old roomate!  There is nothing she will not say.

5.  blog.joshjamie.com  Jamie always sets such a great example of what motherhood should look like!

6. wearethatfamily Great Christian website!  Loved the article to moms of little ones!

7. godgiveusaheart amazingly sweet!!!

8. thediaryofarealhousewife  love her Friday Favorites!!

9. Misadventures of Doofy Dizee kindred spirit

10. survivingtoddlerhood.com She has good food!!!

11. bakedbree  More good food!!

12. The Farmer’s Daughter love her nostalgic posts!

13. last but NOT least… Speculations from South Florida  another mom I know I could learn a lot from!

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Not the puddle!!!….Eh, go ahead….

Feb. 2013. Dan’s annual puddle stompin’

Today it was finally warm.  Really, really warm!  I was so excited.  I promptly rolled out our amazing double jogger and we headed out for a good little 1 mile walk.

I thought, “Hey, this stroller is so amazing it can do ANYTHING!”  It can– sort of– it plowed right over snow hills easily….except I might have been a little over eager b/c I flattened a tire.  (Alan, will you please fix that for me??  Thank you!)  Check out this stroller:

I just can’t say enough good things about having a good double jogging stroller!  The difference between pushing this and pushing our small-wheeled tandem stroller is night and day!  If you have two littles, it really is a MUST.  We got ours for free from our neighbors.

I know.  You wish you had our neighbors….Well, we’re moving in June, so maybe you can!  Alan, please don’t forget to put some air in the tires for me, thanks!

  Caleb, Dan, and I ended up playing at the park for a long time today while Joshua did “after school sports”.  Ya’ll, I’ve never dropped the ball so badly.  Our little Caleb has no great love for any sport or musical instrument.  He only asks to do Mad Science.  Mad Science every time it’s offered.  Caleb LOVES to participate in any sort of science experiment, and he just loves things that explode, fly, turn colors, whatever.

  I procrastinated signing Caleb up for Mad Science until three days before it started, and guess what……it was full.  Completely, devastatingly full.  Oh, Caleb, baby, Mom is soo so so sorry!!!!  I want to make it up to him so badly!

  You can bet when Caleb asked to go to the park after school, he didn’t meet any resistance from me!  Even when Dan inserted himself into a big puddle and jumped up and down in it.  I decided we were in for the long haul.  Dan could get muddy from head to toe–and he did–but we were staying at the park for Caleb.

Don’t worry.  I did not let muddy Dan touch my beautiful yellow stroller.  He happily walked home:  stomping in puddles, climbing snow ‘mountains’, and throwing snow into puddles alllll the way home.  It took us forever to walk 1/4 of a mile.

(I think the puddle jumping was good for Dan too.  Honestly, do kids always have to be clean and neat??  I think not.  Let the kids play, I say!)

  I took a cute pic of muddy Dan to share with you, but I guess I accidentally deleted it on my phone.  Oops.  We’ll just have to settle for last year’s similar picture!

  I remember four years ago, we had a similar warm, wet day.  We had just moved up to the DC area, and I let Joshua and Caleb do the puddle stomping thing then too.  You should have seen the looks I got from our neighbors.  They were so disgusted I would let my children do such a thing.  Oy.  I will always be an advocate for letting kids get out and have fun.  I think this is what childhood should be about, don’t you!?  Those are my best memories:  digging a hole to ‘get to China’, climbing trees, riding bikes, building forts, and making mud pies.  Okay, I lied.  I never liked mud…but I claim my right to be girly on that issue!

 It’s really important to us that our boys spend lots of time outdoors, and less time doing this:

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That was the infamous Christmas road trip ER visit.  Dan had strep throat, and they gave him all the popsicles he could eat.

We also love to take the boys to new and exciting places, like the helicopter museum in south Alabama:

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Alan and Caleb went to the Aviation Museum at Ft. Rucker over Christmas break, and Caleb LOVED it.

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I posted one photo of this the other day.  My dad, amazingly enough, let Caleb and Joshua take turns driving his scooter.  They also tied these little cars to the back of it, making a train.

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Darth Dan

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Basketball!!

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sweetness

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Go Blue Raptors!

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eh-hem!  Ya’ll are not watching your brothers play!!!

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Go, Xavier, go!

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Dan, testing the limits on the “Don’t go past the line” rule…..oh, they do love to test the limits!

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