Summer Week 7- Theme Weeks- Game Week

Our theme this week was Games! The Els are ages 3, 4 (almost 5), 6 1/2 and 8. Between the six of us, we have 4 that are mature enough to sit through family game night and enjoy it. I won’t tell you which four. ūüôā Seriously, even the two youngest enjoyed most of our games. Here are a few highlights from our week:
We had a couple of gift cards to Toys R Us, which is why we headed there to pick out some new games for the week.

 We decided on kid-friendly scrabble, StarWars R2-D2 Trouble, a couple of new family Wii games, a 500 piece puzzle and Classic Monopoly. We already had a set of dominoes.

 First up, Monopoly! This was fun. We played in teams. Me & T vs. Dad & Leeland vs. Bakri & Maddux
 Momma selfie

¬†Next up…Scrabble! This worked really well with our readers and Trinity had a great time finding letters and trying to put words together. Some of my favorites “jeepers, pew, ew, sliders, elf and brat!”
¬†We started our 500 piece puzzle on day one and kept it out ALL WEEK. This was a huge challenge for El Momma. I’m not sure I would do this again. But, perhaps the end product is worth it. The Els were certainly excited when we finished it together!

Summer Week 4- Theme Weeks- Water Week

Last week, while the Nation celebrated our Freedom on the 4th of July, we prepared for a week long celebration with Water as our theme. The first objective of water week: learn to swim!
 Swim lessons
¬†With a bird’s eye view

Swimmers must be hydrated and fed well. Here is a photo of us at lunch at the Kolache Factory.

¬†For the 4th of July, we celebrated with family at the Els’ Aunt and Uncle’s pool party! The Els practiced swimming.

Ate yummy dinner by the pool!

¬†Leeland even sported his Willy Wonka top hat in his swim trunks. Can you guess what next week’s theme is? (I’ll give you a hint, it’s performance, birthday and chocolate related)

After the family pool party, we headed home to watch the fireworks! Leeland asked nervously “Are they coming closer?”¬†

 Me and Miss T- July 4th 2013

¬†And, for the weekend, we made a waterpark in the backyard…just dad and the water hose is pretty much all it takes!

 After all of the water park fun in the backyard, we had a picnic. РLeeland
 -Maddux
 -Daddy and Trinity
 -Maddux and Bakri
 -El Momma and Trinity
-The Els
 -The Els
Daddy’s hat on Trinity

Hope you are enjoying your summer. What do you do with your little ones to keep them cool, happy, occupied and engaged in the summer months? Comment below.

El Momma is a blog chronicling the adventures of El Momma (singer/songwriter Rebekah Maddux El-Hakam), her husband and 4 children- the Els. To download a free 6 song sampler from Rebekah’s critically acclaimed debut album, Radiant You, visit www.noisetrade.com/rebekahme/radiant-you¬†

the Start of summer… theme weeks second year

 We started summer. We continued a tradition from last summer- theme weeks and we started a new tradition- summer jobs.
First:
summer jobs:
there are 4.
one for each El.
Line leader- to keep them from fighting when they are getting out of the car
Kitchen helper- helping El Momma in the kitchen
Tablesetter- sets the table at every meal
Bathroom monitor- main job is to help with teeth brushing, putting toothpaste on each tooth brush and calling kids in when ready

¬†Pictured are the jobs on the wall posted below our family mission which I love so very much… starting with “we love God and each other! We follow family rules. We’re a happy family. We stay healthy. We don’t fight. We vacation together every year”

When thinking about Theme Weeks this year, I had my ideas…
Mine basically involved cleaning and organizing. So, we compromised and came up with themes that made El Momma and the Els happy. First up, Arts and Crafts week!

Four canvases in solid colors, four paints, one paint brush and four handprints. 

 The end result now hanging in our den. Makes me happy. Thankful for theme week 1: Arts and Crafts week. Up next, weather week!

You Are Enough

When you see me crying
I hope you feel encouraged and not sad
Encouraged that we are all in this together
Encouraged that every mom and dad have their struggles
that nobody has a perfect “social media” life
We’re real
We’re in this together
It takes a village
and I’ve got one
I’m lucky
Fortunate
Blessed
I have friends who know what it is like
Friends who have been there
Friends who will be there
Friends who walk this road with me
There are days, like today when I need a friend
When my children feel lost and I feel out of control
When I feel lost and my children feel out of my control
When all I can do is cry out to Jesus
“I am enough, because You say that I am enough”
Remember today and always- YOU, my friend, are enough, just the perfect mess that we all are
YOU ARE ENOUGH 

The baby Els go to school!

It has been a busy week at the El house! On Friday, Miss T. and Little L went to visit their school and El Momma went to orientation. The Big Els were both in Elementary School at the time. So, I was able to give the event and my little ones, all the attention they needed. It was good. T loved her class. She is pictured (top, below) with the pink star balloon they gave her, which happened to match her outfit. She was super happy. On Monday morning, Trinity was still excited about school. The other picture below¬†is just after she’s happily entered her room, and just as she’s decided that she would rather go with me. ūüôā

L. was totally chilling at his orientation. He acted like he had been there a million times before. He had been there several times before. So, I’m glad he is comfortable.
And, here he is (below) at drop off. He was just chillin…again. He pretty much chills most of the time. They said he was a star student the first day. He ate, he played, he napped, he pooped. Success!

I am excited for L and T to be in school. I pray they will be blessed this year and that the time I have, I can use it wisely. I don’t know how I’ve gotten anything done for the past 7 years. Perhaps, I will hit a new found stride with my kids at this age and I will get my house organized! I am hopeful!

Friday, Girl day for Trinity and Haircut and movie for the Boys with Grandmother

We started this day with a playdate at home with one of Maddux’s bffs. He’s actually the son of one of my good friends. They’ve known each other through our weekly bible study childcare nearly all of their lives and they connect and get along really well. It was a fun morning.

Thank you to both sets of grandparents for helping us today. I know Trinity enjoyed having girl time with her cousin and the boys loved getting Maddux’s haircut and going to a movie with Grandmother. Thanks to the kids being out of the house.

Thanks to some free time at home, Momma¬† (that’s me!) did some very important things at home- cleaned toilets, vacuumed, moved furniture, put away clothes, did several loads of laundry, dusted, ate, fed Leeland several times, went through mail, cleaned the stairs, etc.

It was great! Now, I’ve caught up on blogging and tomorrow I will do final preparations for Leeland’s baptism and brunch.

love,
Rebekah

Monday Rain and Rest

After a beautiful and busy start to our Spring Break, we returned home and needed a break! So, we took our rainy day Monday and we slept in, thanks to daylight savings. And, we enjoyed a relaxed day. When the rain stopped, we made our way out to catch up on grocery shopping. Not so bad, considering Moustapha went with us and Trinity and I were able to shop very quickly by ourselves. We are hoping for a wonderful week….Momma has lots of plans!

The River with friends

New Braunfels, here we come! Here are pictures of the kids on our way to New Braunfels for the first weekend of Spring Break.

 By the time we arrived, it was time to go straight to bed. You would obey that hand, right!?

¬†And, here’s a view from upstairs. Our friends had a fajita y familias fiesta on Saturday with four families. We had a blast with all of the kids- all boys except for Trinity! And, the food and company was awesome!

 The girls at the party!

 Partying with Leeland!

 And, the girls are on the floor!

Here’s a family photo of the six of us before we headed home. We had a wonderful time and so appreciate having friends that welcome all SIX OF US into their home! It was a great way to start Spring Break. Thanks, friends!

Spring Break!

It’s the start of Spring Break this afternoon. Basically, we have no school next week. That impacts 3 of the Els directly and of course impacts all of the rest of us as well. We¬† are excited to have extra time together. We’re hoping for good weather so we can do some fun Houston activities next week. Happy Spring Break, everyone!

A Blessed Christmas Day by El Momma

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas day. We definitely did. It was one of those days where it could have been a complete chaotic mess and that would have been okay. Because, what can you really expect from a family with four kids, age five and under!? But, by the end of the day when my husband and I were sitting alone in our living room by the soft glowing lights of the Christmas tree reflecting on the day, we knew our Christmas day was just as it should be. Perfect.

Our day started with 3 very excited little Els. They were anxious to get downstairs and see if Santa left them a present under the Christmas tree. I think this picture captures them in the middle of¬†saying “happy birthday, Jesus!”

Santa was good to all of the Els. He brought an engraved¬†rocking horse snow globe for the baby, a collector’s baby doll for Trinity, an electric guitar for Maddux and Magic School Bus science kits for Bakri. They were very very excited!

Our day continued with the arrival of my parents to celebrate Christmas with my mom and dad, sister, brother, sister-in-law and three of our nephews. Not leaving our house on Christmas day was such a blessing. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing this made our Christmas. My parents arrived with lots of food and I made a couple of really simple dishes- baked brie, a turducken, and green bean casserole. We just relaxed and prepared the table for food and the kids played with some of their new toys.
My brother and his family arrived and the fun really began! They have 3 boys and another baby on the way. So, we will soon have 8 grandchildren at all of our gatherings. It is a lot of fun. After a casual lunch, we had a birthday party for Jesus.

We gathered at the table for the birthday party!

 

 

¬†We sang¬†the “happy birthday” song three times. One time the candle went out on its own. Then my sister blew it out the second time. Finally, the third time (the charm) the grands blew out the birthday candle. Whew!

Soon it was time to open presents. We gathered in areas of the living room…separated in to family groups! And, actually, it wasn’t that crazy after all. The wildest time was when the boys opened their “pillow pets,” a gift from their Aunt Melinda. It was hilarious. They all screamed and cheered about their pillow pets. So fun!
Leeland got a new blanket with his name and birthday monogrammed on it. He loves it.

 Maddux is a sharp dresser. So, he really loved his new winter sweater and wanted to put it on right away. He did. No big deal that it is on backwards!

 Leeland, Trinity and Anthony got rocking chairs from Grandmother and Grandfather. The older boys got rocking chairs for Christmas a few years ago. These rocking chairs are so nice. They are solid cherry and have their names and birthdays on them. I hope they will keep them forever and someday their children will rock in them.

¬†After all of the partying, opening of presents, eating, singing and laughing, the kids napped and then watched a movie and I folded clothes and made dinner. Yes, folded clothes. It was glorious! Seriously, with a family of six and all of the rehearsals, preparing for church services, Christmas parties and family events, I managed to keep our clothes clean, but not put away. It took me nearly two hours to complete this task! But, I did it and I felt amazing when it was done! For dinner, I asked the Els what they wanted and the answer was “pancakes.” So, I whipped up a fresh batch of homemade pancakes and they each ate at least three. I think Bakri had five. And then, with full tummies, we put them all to bed, with their pillow pets, of course!

There was still plenty¬†of work to be done in the house, but instead we decided to sit together in the quiet, downstairs. The Christmas tree was lit and we just talked. We talked about Christmas. We talked about our children. We talked about how special the¬† day turned out to be. We talked about the blessing of Christmas. How do we make it about Jesus when the world¬†says it’s about presents? I don’t know the answer to that. But, I do know that we showed our children a lot of love on Christmas. We didn’t give them a lot of presents, but I know they felt the love and hopefully they will learn that is the most precious gift you can give and receive.

May your days be Merry and Bright.

Lots of love,
El Momma