Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Charlie's Birthday Pictures - Finally!

Yes, I know that I'm over a month late in posting pictures from Charlie's birthday party. I know that I haven't been on this blog in weeks. I know that you all have been waiting patiently for updates. And yes, I'm sorry for the delay!

It probably all ties into my innate dislike for organizing photographs. I only have one family album, ya know -- I think that someone pushed the whole scrapbooking a little too hard on me and I've been scared for life. (ha!)

So for Charlie's birthday, we headed out to Medieval Times and took 2 of his most favorite friends, Matt and Will. The boys were terribly excited. We decorated the mini-van in graffiti on the windows and had light up "royalty" rings, glow in the dark necklaces and even had crowns for all of the boys to wear.

Note to all of you parents: This was a very wise move -- because once they "trap" you in the lobby of Medieval Times, they try to sell all of the "glow wear" at a pretty nice profit! So we were very thankful that a trip to the party supply store kept the boys very happy.

The dinner was served without utensils -- the boys loved it. The tournament was really pretty good and the actors used real swords that even set off some sparks when the metal clashed together. The best part was that our boys could be as loud as they wanted and blended right into the atmosphere. (Although I think Andrew and I both needed some Extra Strength Tylenol when it was all said and done).

It's hard to believe that Charlie is 8 years old. I have no idea how that happened. Seems like yesterday when the nurses laid him on my chest for the first time. He is growing into quite a remarkable young man. He is definitely not shy! He loves to make people laugh and has such a tender heart. I'm so thankful for my guy, Charlie!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tyler lost his front tooth!

We had a great day -- well, it was memorable, I guess....

At the gym, Tyler head butted with another kid so hard that he got a nose bleed and bruised up his nose pretty good. I'm certain it will turn colors over the next several days.

Outside of that incident, we thought it would be a pretty uneventful day. But this evening, Tyler conceded to allow Andrew to try and pull out his very loose tooth. Andrew attempted twice and on the second pull, the string broke away and got caught around the gum line and under the tooth (YUCK!). So, Andrew was somewhat forced to yank the tooth out.

It didn't take much effort, it pretty much fell out after Andrew tried to get the string freed from around the tooth.

Once the tooth came out, Charlie proclaimed Tyler to be a "Toothless Maniac"!

And both of them enjoyed showing off the various holes in their head for the camera! Have a great day!!

Christmas Morning!

Isn't it amazing how parents get extra "leverage" with their kids at Christmas time?

Our family went to Christmas eve services with Andrew's parents and then all of us went to a lovely dinner at a new restaurant. We decided that the boys' behavior at the restaurant would determine how early they could get out of bed to open gifts. (They initially wanted to get out of bed at 3 am!!) So for good manners, they could shave 10 min. off of our start time of 7:00 am. Poor behaviors at the dinner gained them 10 min. :)

We were pleasantly surprised that both of the boys showed exemplary behavior at dinner -- and earned them getting to get out of bed at 6:30 am on Christmas morning.

And would you believe it....Charlie & Tyler woke up early (6:00 am) and STAYED in their rooms until we gave them the green light to come down to open gifts! I don't know how we pulled that off but we were very grateful for the few additional minutes of sleep. (Andrew had told the boys that they couldn't open gifts until Mom had a cup of coffee and Grandma had a cup of tea! And they willingly complied).

The boys were thrilled with all of their gifts! Even clothes and shoes made them scream in delight. We all had a great morning -- topped off with a big breakfast and then a great Turkey dinner that night. We are really grateful and blessed this year!

Enjoy the pictures.....

Isaiah 9:6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Charlie's a Blue Belt!

This past Saturday, we attended a graduation ceremony for Charlie's Karate class. The Karate studio that Charlie is a part of has so many students that they hold their graduation ceremonies at a Middle School Gym (and fill it completely!).

For this ceremony, the studio brought in a 10th degree black belt as a special guest who is a apart of the lineage of our studio. He was also the first American Martial Arts Champion. So that was pretty cool for the kids to meet someone who has dedicated their life to Karate.

The ceremony was filled with demonstrations and lots of belt presentations! All in all, we were there for over 2 hours and I'm guessing that we witnessed over 100 belt presentations (Andrew is guessing that it was over 200...!).

As a blue belt, Charlie will continue working on his Katas, forms, sparring (yes -- real sparring -- I can't watch it!), and now he will need to do verbal presentations to advance beyond blue belts. Our Karate studio believes in their students conquering fears -- including the fear of public speaking! So, at blue belt, they require all of the students to have to prepare and make a speech in front of their peers.

Tyler has chosen to take a break from Little Dragons Karate -- He is hopeful to start American Karate soon! So he was very supportive of Charlie's new ranking. He also found his reading buddy from school sitting close by! He couldn't resist to go sit by him and chat about the day!

We hop you are all having a great week and looking forward to a blessed Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bumper Cars

No, not your traditional rubberized bumper cars --

"Bumper Cars" was the name of the piano piece that Charlie played for his first recital! He did such a fantastic job! He kept his composure the entire time and I was so proud of his focus.

One of the most challenging aspects of the recital is that the kids have to sit still (away from the parents) for the entire recital. Intially I thought that Charlie would be runing the isles or sitting on his feet or doin something to try to pass the time. But he sat their patiently - he didn't wiggle one time during the entire recital! (Now, Tyler was another story -- he wiggled the entire time and tried to add his own comentary to each performance!)

Grandma and Papa came out for the recital and we all enjoyed a great dinner at one of our local seafood restaurants. It was a great day for the Bowens -- and especially Charles who was very proud of his accomplishment!

Bah Humbug?

I know it's been a while since I've posted.

I think I'm violating the unwritten "blogging" rules. I think that you have to update weekly (or more) or you loose the right to call yourself a blogger. I think I gladly give up the title!

So, let me catch those of you who aren't "in the immediate know" up on what's been going on with the Bowens. I have this theory that when God wants you to move and change, he gives you subtle hints -- hoping that you will use your free will to make the adjustments He wants for you to live out the calling on your life. When you ignore these subtle hints for too long, then He can wallop you upside the head and send you into such discomfort that you have to move. Standing still would just be too painful....

("What is she talking about!?" you are asking!)

Within a few weeks of being home from Disney World, Andrew was laid off from National Corporate Housing. I really think that it is a blessing in disguise because Andrew was wondering if God was calling him into another career that would have a greater purpose than just driving a bottom line. So, we've spent the last month trying to figure out what Andrew would really enjoying doing and trying to figure out where God is calling him to be.

And although we have a surreal peace about the circumstance, I would be lying if I didn't tell you that we've had ups and downs of stress, anger, frustration and disappointment in the company that Andrew has worked so tirelessly for during the past 3 years. We know it will all work out for the best in the end -- but I think you would have to be super human or heavily medicated not to be upset about being thrown into financial uncertainty during Christmas!

I think there has been half of me who wants to cancel Christmas altogether this year, and then there is half of me that is really appreciating the small things of the season. We've had some more time together as a family and that has been wonderful. My full time job at IBC has filled the gap for us during this time and we have amazing family who is very supportive as we get through this blimp on the radar. And when you are faced with adversity and have to walk through some of this very broken world, you appreciate the gift of Jesus all the more.

On a very positive note, I've graduated (FINALLY) from physical therapy and from my Orthopedic Specialist today! (YAHOO!) I still won't be 100% recovered for several more months but every day I have noticed improvement. I'm still amazed at how your body can be re-wired and still work!!

So there ya have it. Subsequent blogs will resume happy happy thoughts -- and fun pictures -- more fun pictures :)