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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Big Girls Don't Cry

Have you ever been amazed at how one thought leads to another?  Or how a conversation can change topics ten times in a matter of five minutes.  Funny how the brain works....

Arden tends to whine anytime she gets nudged or pushed the wrong way.  She's not even hurt, but feels like she has to vocalize her "pain."  I got on to her last week about being whiny, and to not cry unless she's really hurt. Me: "Sometimes when someone pushes you, it's an accident.  Just tell them it's ok; there's no need to cry about it.  In fact, I don't want you coming to me crying unless I see blood or broken bones.  Big girls don't cry"  Tough love ;)

The next day we were all sitting in the living room.  Arden proceeded to tell me that while she was on the playground at VBS someone accidentally pushed her and made her fall off of the monkey bars.  I asked her if she cried.  She said that she didn't because she was a big girl and it didn't really hurt that much and it was an accident.  I told her that I was proud of her for being a big girl.   I started singing the Frankie Vallie and the Four Season's lyrics to Big Girls Don't Cry (not the Fergie version :).  Brian then pulled the song up on YouTube and Arden started dancing to it.  She thought it was so funny when they sing, "They don't cry-yi-yi!"  We then got into a conversation with Halle about fifties and sixties music.  Brian then continued to play other hits from that era.   [disclaimer :) my kids are allowed to talk  to me about anything, can shed tears, and can express their feelings.  I'm referring to crying in this context as unwarranted whining/tattling]

Brian and I sat for a good two hours thinking of old songs and playing them while the girls listened.  Halle recognized a few here and there from shows or movies which then led to a number of movie conversations.  Finally we got off of the fifties and sixties and headed into the eighties and nineties.  The whole time Arden danced.  She danced to everything from "Love Potion #9" and "Yakety Yak"  to "Walk Like an Egyptian" and "Locomotion" 

We spent the whole evening hanging out together listening to classic hits.  All because Arden fell off of the monkey bars......

Service Jar Week 1

"Let you light shine before men, that they may seen your good deeds, and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

This was the bible verse for last week's VBS.  The first graders that I led during the week made something called service jars during their Missions class.  I made one for my Halle and Arden as well.  In the service jars are slips of papers with ways to bless others.  Each week we plan to pull a strip of paper and serve others accordingly.

I want my very sheltered and privileged girls to see and understand what it means to be selfless and serve others.  I want them to show love to others without expecting anything in return.  Most of all,  I want them grow up to be examples of Christ' love.

This is the first week.  The strip of paper that we chose said to hand out water bottles to construction workers.  Brian brought home cases of water and we froze them overnight.  We said a prayer together before we headed out; I prayed for God to put people into our path that He wanted us to bless.  We then drove around after lunch to the local construction crews and passed out water bottles.  The girls also gave waters to some landscaping crews.  It was a sight to see my girls hand over ice-cold waters to these workers.  Many workers were very rough looking and looked like they had a hard life.  Many were Spanish speaking only.  Many looked like normal guys working hard to earn a paycheck.  They were all in 95 degree heat, hot and thirsty.  Each one's face lit up with a smile as the girls handed them a water while saying, "Jesus loves you."  They were very appreciative of the simple gesture.  There was a guy walking down 249 that looked very hot and tired.  He was the most thankful of all for the water.  

getting ready to pass out waters

Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink."
John 7:37

Monday, June 24, 2013

Father's Day

This is late, I know....
Happy Father's Day to a Super Dad.  A dad that loves his children unconditionally, and would do anything for them.  A dad that encourages his kids, runs around the house chasing them, and throws them up in the air to hear them squeal.  A dad that works hard to provide and is selfless.  A dad that plays tickle monster, snuggles, is affectionate, and never runs out of kisses.  A dad that is stern, fair, and disciplines out of love.  A dad that is an earthly example of how our Father in heaven loves us.  Happy 11th Father's Day, Brian!

Brian in his selflessness spent Father's Day morning with Halle at her Pentathlon invitational swim meet.  Arden and I prepared dinner and set up the table for his arrival back home.  We got him his favorites:  Reese's pieces, Twizzlers, and Oatmeal Cream Pies!  He also got some new swim trunks, hand painted pictures from Arden, and a gift card for new road tires for his bike. 
Those are supposed to be capes on the beer bottles.  Ha!
Jack's footprint inside Brian's shoe
Reese's Pieces are a must have every Father's Day
A questionnaire that I started with Arden last year to fill out yearly about her daddy.  This is this year's answers even though it says 2012 at the bottom.  So funny!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gag Gift?

Arden received a gag gift from Jack the other day.  He rubbed his snot on her arm, and she FREAKED.  I wish I could portray through my writing how funny this is in the Hargrave family.  It's not necessarily funny because we love gross humor (which we do by the way).  No we think it's funny because Arden has a SUPER weak stomach and her reactions are comical and classic.  She came to me screeching and with watery eyes to tell me about it.  The reason her eyes were watery was because she had been gagging all the way to the kitchen.  Even as she is trying to explain the mucous on her arm she is near puking.  I can't help but laugh because she is soooo sensitive to hmmmmm...shall I say bodily excretions.

 Being a mom of three and a hospital worker, I am desensitized.  I've been pooped on, peed on, drooled on, snotted on, bled on, thrown up on, and even pussed on.... all by patients.  Never would've thought the ultrasound business was so messy, huh?  (and I've got many funny hospital stories, but I'll share those on another day.)  Arden, on the other hand is hypersensitive to funky sights and smells.  We first realized this right around the time Jack was born.  I asked her to go throw away a foul-odored dirty diaper for me.  She returned to me with a sour look on her face after she did the task.  She explained to me in her own words that she gagged: "I burped in my mouth.  That's scussting (disgusting)."

 It's been downhill for Arden since then.  Now anytime she passes Jack's room while he's getting a diaper change, if she sees the sight of poo, or smells something rancid, the dry-heaving begins.  Sometimes she'll get queasy even if you mention poop.  Because her reactions are so dramatic, we loving family members get a kick out of grossing Arden out.  We chalk it up as paybacks since she can be such a pill. 

 I've always thought of the gag reflex as a dramatization...sort of a theatrical gesture made by people to illustrate the unpleasant.  But with Arden it's such an inherent and involuntary response.  It's sooo funny to watch her get squeamish.  I give you permission to try to gross her out the next time you see her so you can see for yourself.  Ha! 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Time to Shape Up! --Update at Week ????

Since my last fitness post, I've done a run-100-mile-in-a-month challenge.  I've also started training for a sprint triathlon.  Just thinking about the triathlon makes me nervous because I'm seriously scared I will drown!

Here are my pics from January (left) and current pics (right).  Current weight 117 lbs.  Two pounds until my first goal weight!  I increased my weight training since my last post, which made me gain weight at first.  It was really discouraging because I went from 118 lbs. to 125 lbs; which is also why it took me so long to update.  Then it just all came off practically overnight.  So I'm slow, but steady in getting there.  And I'm really tired of taking pictures in this outfit.  ha!   




Just a post about random things from the past few weeks and random pictures that I snapped.

Our AC broke.  To show you the heat we were experiencing I took a picture of our coconut oil.  Coconut oil is solid at room temp.  The coconut oil in our house turned to liquid. 

Arden and I have been playing lots of Go Fish.  She is using an egg carton for her cards since her hands aren't big or coordinated enough to hold them. 

I tend to give Arden a hard time for being my stubborn middle child.  But... she is a really good big sister to Jack.  If he is crying, she will give him her beloved Sweet Blankey or her stuffed animal to make him feel better.  I don't have any pictures of this, but I just thought I should throw that out there.  He thinks she's the funniest person in the world.  I love to hear him cackle when she makes him laugh. 
She is also a big help in keeping him entertained at the grocery stores. 
Walmart buggy.  This pic cracks me up.  First of all, look at what Arden is wearing in June.  She's got on shorts and sandals with long sleeves and a winter hat.  She has her own style that she daily displays.  Second, they are both too big for the seat they're in.  But.... I need room in my buggy for shopping. 

Another shopping trip, this time at HEB.  HEB has a double kid seat, which I like.  Arden prefers the big plastic car at Kroger, though.  I told Arden to give her brother an HEBuddy sticker so she stuck it on his face.  He thought this was hilarious. 

just another picture where Arden branded her brother

Jack sleeps with his big bear.  He uses the bear as a pillow.  To fall asleep he sucks one thumb and then rubs the bear's ear between his other thumb and forefinger.  It's so cute and odd!

Jack started walking a week before he turned 15 months!
My big girl had her last day of elementary school.  She also had an fifth grade ceremony and racked up on the awards.  She earned straight As for the entire year.  Our deal with her is that she would get a new bedroom set if she earned all A's.  So now we are now in the process of redoing her room.  Stay tuned for a room remodel post!


Arden had her first dance recital. 

Now that the dance year is over she is going to try out gymnastics for the summer.  She's had one gym class so far and really liked the tumbling part.  She was not thrilled about the bars, though.  She was afraid to flip around the bar. 

Halle's swim team has weekly outings.  They go to Mountasia, Itz, Monkey Bizness, etc.  This week they went ice skating.  This was Arden's first time.  I was a little nervous about her skating since she's only four and because Halle broke her arm the first time she went.  But now the Aerodrome has walkers for the inexperienced skaters.  She could zip around the rink faster with her walker than I could on my own skates!  She only fell a few times, and they both had a great time.  I won't mention that it was Jack's nap time so he was very cranky and a terror while we were there. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Family Talent Show

This year we were invited to a family talent show hosted by some long-time friends, Sarah and Terry Domino.  The talent show took place in the Domino's backyard.  They already had a stage built from the previous year's show.  Each family was to bring $10, a homemade trophy, a banner, a finger food, and a talent.  They were suppose to leave their pride at home.  The $10 went toward the cash prize for the winning act.  Each family signed up for a trophy that they were suppose to make.  The trophies were for "Best Family Involvement," "Best Jazz Hands," "Most Creative," etc.  We signed up to make the "Most Likely to be on YouTube" trophy.  The trophies were to be made with simple items.  This is what ours looked like.  It was made out of a plastic bin and toilet plunger.

some of the trophies

There were nine families total.  Most families had two acts.  There were magic tricks, dancing, singing, and acting. 

We Hargraves had a chugging act.  We dubbed ourselves Down the Hatch Hargraves.  We entered the stage with the Chicago Bulls game song playing.  Jack was "Baby Gulp," Arden was "Choco Chug," Halle was "Rooter Shooter,"  I was "Mother Guzzler," and Brian was "Big Swig."  Starting with Jack we all chugged a drink of choice (milk, chocolate milk, root beer, and tea.)  The whole act all led up to the grand finale where Brian downed 38 ounces of tea in less than 4 seconds!  (more than a quart, two and a half bottles of water, three bottles of beer, or however you want to look at it)
Brian was narrating at this time which is why he isn't in the picture

the names on our shirts
Halle and I also did a hula hoop routine that we made up that day to the song, Call Me Maybe.  We both did cartwheels toward the end of the song.  I sprained my ankle doing the cartwheel.  Brian had to massage it that night along with icing it down.  Old ladies should not do cartwheels! 


Arden decided to get up on stage during intermission and sing songs.  We could not get her off of the stage!   She was hogging the mike.  She doesn't have a shy bone in her body.  We loved it! 

Our family won three prizes:  we won the trophy for the best trophy, our hula routine won the trophy for best dance moves, and the hula routine won 2nd place overall!  As a prize for 2nd place we got a duck call, candy, and a gift card to Cold Stone Creamery. 

First place and the $90 cash prize went to the Greens.  Their act was well rehearsed and really funny.  Four year old Myleigh recited all of the fifty states, and then the whole family (sans Nik) recited every single country in the world!  We decided as a family to give them our You Tube trophy because it was really impressive. 
Third place went to Sarah and her sister.  They sang Weenie Man and wore hot dogs on their head. Ha!

trophies for the kids, the boxes are second and third place gifts, and the cash prize was in the green bone 

Each kid got a participation "thumbs up" trophy.  Arden loved her trophy and even slept with it that night.  Jack thought it was a real thumb and sucked on it.

It was a fun evening.  Watch out Greens!  Next year we're gonna bring it and take first place! 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Scary Moles and Not-so-scary Scoliosis

As the writer of this blog, my intentions are to document the activities of my family.  I want my family to come back years from now and read my blog.  I want them to remember the big and little moments our family experienced.  I like focusing on the happy times, but I think it's important to occasionally write about some of the unpleasant experiences since all of the moments in our life shape us to be who we are.   I also want them to look back and remember me as a loving, godly, yet imperfect mom that has struggles and fears just like them.

I Cant Keep Calm Because I Have Anxiety (Baseball Tee)
I need this shirt!

Halle has been blessed with excellent health since she was born.  She never had an ear infection as a baby, rarely runs a fever, and overall is in great physical condition.  Being the hypochondriac that I am, I have been extremely thankful that all of my children are relatively healthy.

Brian and I have been concerned over the number of moles Halle has gotten in the past couple of years, though.  She wears sunscreen religiously, but still has gotten quite a few moles.  A few years ago I had a dysplastic mole removed.  My doctor told me that it's hereditary and to keep careful watch of my kids' moles. 

I noticed a couple of Halle's looked abnormal and took her to the dermatologist.  When I took her in I really thought the doctor would just say to keep watching them for any change and to schedule a follow up.  Not the case.  The doctor was also concerned about a specific mole on Halle's arm.  She recommended a biopsy, so we did it immediately.  This put my hypochondriac-ism into high gear. 

Even though there was a big chance that it was ok, I immediately started thinking the worst-case scenario....that she would have metastatic melanoma.  Working in a hospital has done that to me.  So many times I've seen people come in for what they think is a minor headache or stomach ache only to find out they have a terminal illness.  With the help of God, though, I was able to be calmer than usual.  I kept reciting Bible verses in my head.  Phil 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." 

Whether the results were good or bad, I knew this is God's child, too, whom He loves dearly, not just my child.  Halle is also a believer, and I knew that maybe this was a situation that God was using to grow Halle.  I prayed hard for my baby.  My prayer warrior friends prayed hard, too.  Halle wasn't worried about it, so I tried hard not relay my fears to Halle. 

The next five days were hard as I waited for the results.  There was a big spiritual vs. flesh war going on within me.  The spirit wanted to trust God wholeheartedly and know that even if Halle got the worst news possible, there are far greater things beyond our current lives.  The flesh was imagining the worst possible circumstances and letting it overrun me at times.  Losing a child is absolutely my biggest fear.  I have a few family members that have experienced that agony and I cannot fathom the pain that it entails or think I would be strong enough to personally endure it.  I kept referring to Matthew 6, for comfort.  "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"  Such a true passage.  Although difficult, we shouldn't worry about our life here on earth.  Our life here is transient.  Focusing on the eternal things is what's important... not the things that pass away such as wealth and health.   

When the results came in, the doctor said the skin cells were a little abnormal, but still benign!  I was so thankful that she was in the clear.  And so all of that worrying that the flesh part of me did.... all for what?  All it did was inhibit me for a whole week from being useful to myself, God, or my family.  Even if it was bad news the worrying wouldn't have done her any good.  I seriously need to take advice from myself. 
The following week Halle came home with a paper from the school nurse.  They did the routine scoliosis test on her, and it came back abnormal.  Because of the growth spurt she's gone through this year, it's made her spine susceptible to curving.  The curvature of her spine is slight, and shouldn't worsen after she hits puberty.  We still have to take her to the pediatrician to get it evaluated, though.  Typically there is little or no treatment as long as the curving isn't too severe; it shouldn't interfere with any physical activities. 

Halle has a friend, Jadyn, that learned she has scoliosis, too.  Her mom and my good friend, Alicia, explained a lot of it to me when she was taking Jadyn to the doctor.  The fact that they went through it earlier this year made me not freak out when Halle brought home the letter from the nurse.  It's comforting to know that I have a friend in a similar situation and it's not as scary as it sounds.  As long as her spine is monitored for any changed over the next year, it's a pretty minor thing.  In the meantime Halle and Jadyn can bond over their funky backbones.  And I think I'll collectively call them the crooks.  Kidding, of course.  :)