The Heacock Flock

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm free now!

June 8th was Josie's birthday.  I walked into her bedroom and kissed her good morning.  I played with her hair and I whispered: "Josie today's your birthday!  Happy birthday sweet girl."  She happily replied:
"I'm free now!"

I didn't have the heart to correct her.  The tradition in our house is to have a birthday breakfast and your choice for dinner.  She chose chocolate chip pampakes.  With syrup on top.  She always wears a headband on her head when she eats pancakes to keep the syrup out of her hair.  It's hilarious!

She had a wonderful day and it was beautiful outside, just like the day she was born.  I still remember washing dishes at our old house on Thurston Rd.  We just ate chicken enchiladas and I was standing at the sink when my water broke.  She was only 4 days overdue!  We were planning on going for a family walk with Jamon but instead we called grandma & papa and Jamon went and had a sleepover, while we went to the hospital.  Flash forward 3 years....I'm standing in the kitchen washing dishes and soaking up the moment of watching this little wild hair girl eat her chocolate chip pampakes.  I love this moment.  I love this time with her.

Anyway, to celebrate we had a Strawberry Shortcake birthday. However, the only thing Josie knows about Strawberry Shortcake is off of one coloring book that coupled with her love of strawberries and there you go!  I made her a light pink tutu, embellished with applqiue a strawberry t-shirt and the birthday girl was ready.  Aunt Jennifer made an awesome pinata for her and her friends.  I was stuck on a cake idea until my friend Hollan reminded me of cake pops!  Cake pops are all over the blog world.  I made some strawberry shaped cake pops and we enjoyed real strawberry shortcake, strawberry lemonade, chocolate dipped strawberries and cake pops!  We said thank you to our friends and sent them home with a bag full of candy and their own strawberry plant to enjoy!  It was a great way to celebrate Josie turning three or "free" as she would say. 

We are blessed beyond belief with amazing family and friends.  I am thankful my kids have such loving & involved grandparents and great-grandparents and friends that have invested so much time into the lives of our kids.  It's a neat thing.

This is Jolie not Josie...just a cute picture of little sister at the party. 

Aunt Jennifer's strawberry pinata...isn't she talented!

Cake Pops!

I could chocolate dipped strawberries every day. 

The birthday girl gets the first swing!

And it didn't take very long to break it open. 

Josie and Grandma Angie...just a year ago Josie called her "G". 

Chasing the goats. 

Jamon turns 5!

It's hard to believe that Jamon is 5.  Before I had kids I thought that five-year-olds seemed so old.  And now I have a 5 year old.  Hard to believe.  It's so cliche to say, but I still remember being overdue.  Very overdue.  I remember being induced at 6 a.m. at McKenzie Willamette Hospital.  It was beautiful outside.  And at 6:12p.m. Jamon Lee Heacock changed my life forever.  I never could have imagined the boy he's become today and it's exciting to see the man he's becoming. 

At 5 years old, Jamon loves to practice basketball.  He could dribble and shoot for hours.  It amazes me at his personal drive to meet a challenge.  It's a neat quality to see in a child and I am thrilled when I see him accomplish a goal.  For example, he has been practicing for a few weeks at the monkey bars.  Finally, one day he spent about 20 minutes trying. That's a long time on monkey bars!  Finally he made it all the way across and the look of pride on his face almost brought tears to my eyes.  Anyway, other than playing outside, Jamon is a voracious reader.  He will read anything:  cereal boxes, cards, food labels, books, mail, street signs etc.  It's very exciting.

So this morning I woke Jamon up and said:  "Good morning.  It's your birthday!"
Jamon replied,  "It is?  I made it!"
I didn't know there was any doubt, but nonetheless he made it to 5.  His Aunt Jennifer asked him he grew any and he very seriously said:  "I think a little."

Jamon looks up to his dad and Papas more than anything else.  They are amazing role models.  I think there are few things that are more important to a child than a strong relationship with their father and I am so blessed that Jamon has very involved Papas and a Great-Grandpa (Papa Jack).  Jamon loves hunting and camouflage.  Thus, we had a hunting party.  I made orange felt safety vests and the cake pops were green and brown.  Jeremiah and cousin Jim hid ducks in the trees and set up the deer that Uncle Josh made.  The kids put on their safety vests and went hunting around our backyard and shot wooden guns with rubber bands.  It was so much fun.

Before today's party I was reminiscing about each of Jamon's birthday parties.  How much he's changed and matured each year and the way he continues to impress me.  He is so intelligent, kind-hearted, determined and the best big brother to Josie and Jolie.  He is a natural leader.  He is a good friend to others.  He is responsible. He loves reading his bible and does not hesitate to tell others about Jesus.  Jamon is keeping me accountable, encouraging me to know Jesus better, and is showing me how much fun motherhood can be.  All this from a 5 year old. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed aka AWANA

I cannot believe I have not blogged about AWANA's before! Jamon started going to AWANA at our church Springfield Faith Center this past year in 2010.  It is on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:15 pm. When Jamon first started going, he told his Grandma Angie & Grandma Jo that he goes to AWANA's, it sounded like he said "iguana's", so his Aunt Jennifer & Grandma Jo like to tease him about "iguanas."  Jamon indigently responds, "it's AAAWANA" with a major emphasis on the A!

Jamon loves it.  Josie can't wait to go and Jolie doesn't even know what she's in for.  Kids as young as three come play games, learn bible verses, sing songs and learn about the Lord.  They have a workbook that gets signed off and the say their verse to a leader.  Sometimes when they say their verse they get a badge on their vest!  Jamon loved the badges, loved the "homework", loved the games.  He would come home and practice the games from AWANA.  He started bringing his bible with him every Wednesday for the chance to go up to the front and hold a flag.  The program is incredible and I am amazed at how many bible verses he knows in his heart.  I cannot help but think of Psalms 119:11 that says:  "I have hidden your word in my heart so that I might not sin against you."

He brought his bible so he got to go to the front &hold a sign for the pledges. 

Josie volunteered to be an usher at Jamon's award ceremony.  It was one of the biggest collection nights-who could refuse her?

Jamon knew every word of the songs, however, he stood there with his hands at his sides the whole time! 

Hands are still down because that's what his teacher said to do! 

He is so cute! 

He loved getting an certificate! 

That's the face of a kid who LOVES the Lord!

He brings a smile to my face! 

More family camp

I knew when I was writing my last post that there was more to family camp than what I could recall.  I found my digital camera and then I remembered.  A really fun part of family camp is "field games."  It's basically a time when families are formed into groups for different relay games.  It includes running down and around a cone inside an inner tube, chariots race, spinning around a baseball bat etc.  The finale is throwing shaving cream and soaked horse food at one another...who knew the two combined would be that much fun?  Josie cried when Jeremiah barely dabbed her cheek with shaving cream.  Jamon and Brady got right into it.  I do think Jeremiah, Ryan and Victoria had the most fun.  It was a great time together with our family and good family friends. 

Look at these cute kids!  They are ready to go play some field games.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Washington Family Ranch Family Camp

First of all, we are still here...we have been really busy!  The month of May was a whirlwind.  It seemed like after Mother's Day time just flew by.  I had every intention of blogging more frequently to prevent the flood of posts but time got away from me and here I am.  Oh well.  So, after Mother's Day was Jeremiah's Grandma Jo's birthday, then my birthday and then Memorial Day weekend.  In between those two weeks Jeremiah built me two huge raised beds for our garden (more on this to come), and I celebrated the last year in my twenties by purchasing some anti-wrinkle cream.  I have to  mention that Jamon woke me up on my birthday by saying:  "Good morning mom.  Happy Birthday, I will love you forever." That made my day. 

Anyway, after the celebrations were through, we made our way to Antelope, Oregon for Young Life's Family Camp.  Washington Family Ranch is impressive.  It's in the desert and there is an appeal to leaving the daily busyness and finding solitude with your family.  There were approximately 700 people at this camp from all over Oregon and SW Washington.  We were fortunate enough to go with the Michel's and in our cabin were four adults and five small children.  Much to my surprise, the kids slept so well!  It was a great vacation.  It was so fun to be around families who were dealing with the same daily issues of nap times, cleaning high chairs, telling your kids no more treats before dinner, and all the other little fires we put out everyday.  We really enjoyed having the Michel family and the Jarvis family with us.

I think the highlight for me was the last night, the carnival night.  It literally ended with a large firework display!  It was so sweet to hear Jolie point to the fireworks and say:  "liiiight."  Jamon commented on every firework and Josie stood there with her fingers in each ear because she was scared.  In two and a half days of camp, the kids enjoyed horseback riding, club, skits, the pool, ice cream cones, hikes, indoor rec center, obstacle courses with a foam pit, more ice cream, a carnival and sno cones!  It was a good time had by all. 
Both times Josie ordered the pink ice cream which meant strawberry. 

Jolie LOVED rainbow sherbet!  Who can blame her? 

Jamon will always choose mint chocolate chip!   

This is carnival night!  Look at that sky! 

It all began in a garden

Last year was our first year at a garden.  A real vegetable garden.  This year, we decided to move our garden because it was too shaded and we had some deer trample through it a few times.  In the middle of May Jeremiah built two huge raised beds.  One is dedicated solely to pole beans.  The other is a variety of lettuce starts, lettuce seeds, broccoli, carrot seeds, three tomato plants, and a zucchini at the end.  I actually just enjoyed the first harvest of my lettuce for lunch a few days ago.

In an attempt to keep cats out of our beds, I have been advised to put water jugs or plastic jugs filled half way or so with water in the corners.  I'm not sure if its the reflection of the water that the cats don't like, but whatever it is it's working.

I'm excited to enjoy the fruit of our labor and the kids love watering!  Our garden and flowers never go thirsty with Jamon & Josie around.  I know that I was not meant to live sixty years ago, I could never make it "living off the land."  This is our small way of sustainable living and teaching our kids some valuable life lessons....