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DSC00058, originally uploaded by charlieaevans.

Click this picture of Sammy about to get creamed by a shovel full of snow to see the rest of them.

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We have another huge snow here in Virginia!  It’s crazy…snowed all night and we could end up with 10 – 14 inches by tonight.  Here’s the view from our front porch right now (7 a.m.):

I’m sure we will have lots of fun outside, and you can expect to see more pictures like this soon:

Happy Saturday, everyone!!!

Tonight we were having dinner and engaged in a family discussion about this proverb:  Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (Proverbs 16:24)

I was telling the boys that saying nice things to people makes them feel good, like eating honey. Sammy as pretty engaged in the conversation and he even gave some good examples of nice things we can say to people (Thank you for dinner Mommy, I like you, lets play together, etc.). Eli was listening but not participating, so I asked him for an example. He responded, “Punch you”. I told him that was not a nice thing and to try again try again, to which he replied, “Penis”.

Now, to provide a little background, he’s been randomly yelling the word penis at home and in public for weeks now. Honestly I’m not sure where he got the idea, but once he saw the reaction it gets from older ladies in the frozen food aisle in the grocery store he was hooked. We’ve been disciplining him for it, but he’s been pretty stubborn about it.

In light of the passage we were discussing, I thought it would be appropriate to build on the simile and give the boys a picture of the relation between spoken words and taste. I told Eli, “You know you aren’t allowed to say that word like that, don’t say it again.” He, of course, did immediately. I went to kitchen and put a drop of liquid soap on my finger, put my finger in his mouth and rubbed the soap on his tongue. Boy was he surprised. He did this:

Shock ...

Sammy did this:

Gross! I can't believe this is happening!

After the initial shock I wiped his tongue off with a washcloth and asked him if he’d liked the way that tasted. He said he did not, and I told him that if he said it again he would get more soap in his mouth. To which he replied, “Penis.” After another round with the soap he looked like this:

... Awe

We talked about how yucky the soap tasted and how bad it made him feel to have it on his tongue. I told them that saying mean things to people is like that, and that saying nice things is the opposite. Hopefully they’ll remember tonight’s little lesson, but if not I have a family size bottle of dish soap to help them remember.

Eli recovered from the incident nicely (with no further penises) and by the end of dinner he looked like this:

I'll never say penis again! Thanks Dad.




DSC00014, originally uploaded by charlieaevans.

The boys practicing being gentle for when they have a baby brother/sister.

It’s so sweet to hear my boys playing together for hours at a time.  To hear Eli’s little voice talking with his big brother and best friend warms my heart.  He refers to him as “Sammy” sometimes, and “Batman” at others.  Eli also comes up with some pretty funny pretend voices.  Sammy is very patient with Eli when he destroys the special order Sammy has placed his action figures in; he leads their conversations or, even more amazing, allows Eli to decide how they will play.

It amazes me that they have these long conversations about things real and pretend.  They laugh a lot!  Right now they’re talking about bellybuttons.  I’m not really sure why, but it’s very cute.  Now it’s Super dog and there’s no telling what it will be in a few minutes.  It’s wonderful, and I’m so thankful to be able to stay home with them and hear these precious moments that will soon be gone.

Charlie, Sammy, Eli and I had a fun morning today, even though this is how Sammy felt during breakfast:

We cheered him up some while we were eating our cereal:

Once we finished eating, we decided to play hide-and-seek!  I think Sammy and Eli may have played this at some point, but I’m not sure.  Charlie and Sammy started out on the “hiding” team, and both of the little guys loved the game!  We switched partners each time; Sammy and Eli even hid together on their own.  They were pretty cute.

At one point, Team Eli hid in the bathtub–this became his new favorite place in our house.  He wanted to hide there over and over, eventually bringing in his pillow, teddy and blanket so he could take a nap in the tub.

Sammy, of course, wanted to get in on the action, but he needed to bring just about every toy in with him.  Oh, and he put together this Batman costume on his own earlier this morning:

After dumping the toys in the bathtub, Eli climbed in to play.  (Unfortunately, they spent more time gathering their toys that the just had to have than they did actually playing with them.)

Good family time…even if I was the first one to take a shower and had to clean it all up!

If you remember, a year and a half ago we had an idea. I quit my job and went to work for a local restaurant. I posted updates about the job on another little blog, but then I stopped posting. Here’s what happened:

I went to work for this restaurant chain last summer. I worked a ton and by early spring I had been promoted to General Manager. I was getting exactly the experience we had hoped I would. Our store was doing well and I was relatively successful at what I was doing. Things changed in the early fall though when my bosses started putting increasing pressure on me to work more and more hours to compensate for the business we were losing because of the recession. I ended up working 70 to 80 hours a week, sometimes for weeks straight without a day off. Also, as I moved my way up in the ranks of the company I was being asked to do some things I could not, in good conscience, do. My employer was wanting me to overlook issues of harassment, terminate employees for unjust reasons and fabricate paperwork for incidents that didn’t happen in order to deny folks unemployment.

So, I quit. I put my notice in on Halloween. I figured that with experience as a General Manager on my resume I would have no trouble finding some kind of management job in Roanoke. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I guess with unemployment being as high as it is and restaurants trying to weather the holidays, no one was hiring. I eventually did find a job with a very well known local restaurant (that is being featured in Southern Living magazine next month actually), but just as a cook and making no where near the money we needed to live. I continued to hunt for a job and Gretchen and I sort of went back to the drawing board in terms of our future plans. I had accomplished the goal we set when I left my old job to work in a restaurant, but I was also under-employed and our financial situation was looking bleak.

The job I left when we decided to pursue restaurant work was with a hospice. I was the Volunteer Coordinator and I picked up some of the Chaplain’s duties when he was overwhelmed. Evidently my old boss heard that I was looking for work and he contacted me and offered me a job as a Chaplain (believe it or not, I am actually a licensed Southern Baptist minister). I took the Chaplain job, which pays significantly more than the cook job. Even though I think I’ll miss being in the kitchen, I really do love hospice and I’m happy to be getting paid to do ministry.

And here we are. I’m a hospice Chaplain and we’re considering where to from here.

Here’s the only existing photo of me as a General Manager. I’m wearing an Optimus Prime helmet and doing the robot.

DSC09998, originally uploaded by charlieaevans.

“I’m a baseball guy with boots on!”
I guess we haven’t exposed him to athletics enough…we’ll have to show him some of the football game tomorrow. (There are football games on tv on Sunday afternoons, right?)
Although he’s clueless about sports, we’re guessing he will want to play football one day because he loves tackling and never gives up!

If you click on the photo, it will take you to flickr and you can view the rest of the set.

Sammy wanted to be Optimus Prime for Halloween, but chickened out at the last minute. The other day he mustered up the strength to try on the costume we made for him:

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