Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thursday Thanks Tank

We are celebrating Thanksgiving on Friday (since my hubby had to work on Thanksgiving). My Thursday was a thankful one but I didn't make time to make a Thanks Tank list. I am going to post this on Friday (so please check back later).

Well... this Thanks Tank just didn't happen. I have been having lots of fun with my parents that are visiting from out of town. It has been wonderful! I am so thankful that they are here visiting.

Oh So Thankful

I am going to spend the day being thankful. I am thankful for my life, my family, my friends, my well-being, and God's grace. I will probably come back later and post a Thankful Thursday. Find time today to spend time thanking God for all that you have been given. In the middle of your busyness, don't forget to make time (even a few minutes) to be still.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tasty Tuesday: Maple-Cranberry Sweet Potatoes

We tried these sweet potatoes over the weekend and they were delicious. I love cranberries recipes! This would be a good addition to any meal this time of year.

Maple-Cranberry Sweet Potatoes

4 lbs sweet potatoes (5 med) peeled)
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 c. cranberries (half 12 oz bag)
3 Tbsp butter (no substitutions)

1. In covered 6-quart saucepot, heat whole sweet potatoes with 1 teaspoon salt and enough water to cover to boiling on high. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered about 30 minutes or just until potatoes are fork tender. Drain. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

2. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat maple syrup to boiling on high. Reduce heat to medium, and boil gently 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in cranberries, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook just until cranberries pop, about 5 minutes longer.

3. Peheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut cooled sweet pototoes crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices and arrange in shallow 3-quart ceramic or glass baking dish (I used stoneware), overlappiung slices if necessary.

4. Spoon maple-cranberry syrup evenly over potatoes. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes or until hot.

Recipe Tip (I will be trying this out soon): You can prepare the sweet potatoes (even arrange them in a casserole) and syrup up to 1 day ahead and refrigerate separately. Allow both to come to room temperature before baking. Top potatoes with hot syrup, and pop in the oven when the turkey comes out. Select sweet potatoes of the same size so they cook evenly.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Moment

"Momma, that's not good throw up."
My sweet (and sick) 3 year-old

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Princess is One

I got the sweetest idea from my friend Jill. She took pictures of her daughter in her wedding dress on her 1st birthday. She took them again recently when her daughter turned two. They were absolutely precious. I was inspired. I was also very excited because I heard about the idea before Elisabeth's birthday.

I called my mom and asked her to bring my wedding dress with her when she flew out to visit. We had so much fun taking pictures of Elisabeth in my dress! She was a princess.

Here are 4 of my favorite photos (and I took a ton of photos).

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Forever Moment

Today when I picked Jonathan up from school, I parked and went to meet him. His school fundraiser items had come in and we needed to pick them up. When he saw me, his face lit up with a beautiful smile. I was talking to another mom. He grabbed my hand. After a few minutes of waiting, he was ready to go. I excused myself and we walked hand in hand into the school. We had been told the fundraiser items were in the cafeteria. We walked toward the cafeteria. I kept expecting Jonathan to let go of my hand but he didn't. We held hands all the way to the cafeteria. In reality, it isn't that far. It seemed like such a long way to go with my 7 year-old's hand in mine. I kept expecting him to pull away and be embarrassed to hold my hand in front of the other kids that were coming and going. He wasn't embarrassed at all and he didn't seem to give it a second thought. I, however, savored every step and the sweet feeling of holding his hand. I recognized that I don't hold his hand very often and very rarely in public. I recognized that it will not be long before he doesn't want to hold my hand. It was a sweet moment. I thought to myself: I hope I remember this forever.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday #63

I am tired tonight. My little girl is not feeling well (fever of 101 tonight). It may put a damper on the birthday celebration planned for Saturday. The fever just showed up tonight. I hope she gets better quickly! I have had a wonderful week. My mind is cluttered and my To Do list is long so I am having trouble thinking thankful thoughts. I am thankful for many things. So, here is a list of tonight's happy thoughts:

1. Dates: I have been on 3 dates with my husband since last Thursday. Yes- THREE. That is 3 times as many as in the last year. (But, I have not mentioned that at all- not me!) We used a babysitter for one of the dates and my parents were here for the other two. It has been so refreshing to have some time out together.

2. Rainbows: I saw 2 rainbows today. I simply love rainbows. I also love hearing both of my older boys explain (independently and at different times) what a rainbow means. They are so precious.

3. Games: My boys have been playing Connect Four and Checkers a lot this week. I am thankful to see my boys playing games together. They are enjoying each other's company and not getting overly competitive like they are when they play video games.

4. Baby Monitors: I am going to turn it up loud tonight and rest easy (well, as long as she does, that is).

5. Cupcakes: Cupcake are quite tasty! I am thankful for the cupcake that Elisabeth devoured on her birthday. I really enjoyed watching her enjoy it.

6. Starbucks Gingersnap Lattes: I do not like the name change. I do not like the Ginger "crystals" they put in it. I am thankful that without the fancy name and the ginger crystals, it is my favorite Gingerbread Latte.

7. Hugs: My 7 year-old has been giving me lots of extra hugs lately. He has figured out that I always smile (no matter what craziness is going on in the house) when he hugs me. I love his hugs!

8. Time with my parents: I am thankful for my mom and dad. I am glad they are visiting. I learn from them. I love them. I laugh with them. I am thankful for this time we are spending together.

9. Mentors: I have been thinking about people in my life that have had an influence on me. I have been thinking about "mentor moms" at MOPS and the influence they have (just got an email from a MM I miss). I have been thinking about how I just became a part of a mentor program at my church. I am thankful for the mentoring and being mentor.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Everything

Last night my hubby had to work late. When he got home he went right to Elisabeth (it was her birthday) and the boys went right to him. It was a perfect opportunity to get a picture.

These people are everything to me:

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Not Me!" Monday

"Not Me!" Monday means I am taking time to be brutally honest about the way I really live. I hide my honesty just slightly behind a beautiful "not me" shroud.

There is no way that I am up at 1 a.m. because I cannot go to sleep after eating a really late dinner. That would mean that I am old. Eating dinner late does not affect my sleeping patterns at all. I am not old –not me!

There is no way that I would agree to a late dinner out knowing that it would make it hard for me to sleep. I wouldn’t jump at the chance to eat out simply because I would be able to talk without interruptions from my sweet little children. I didn’t totally enjoy dinner and sit around talking until quite late. I didn’t love the irresponsibility of it all—not me!

I did not have trouble finding a birthday gift for my daughter. I did not have to constantly stop myself from checking out all of the cool toys for my 3 boys. I did not have to make myself look at the girl stuff and I definitely did not wonder if I will ever get used to buying pink toys. That did not happen—not to me!

I did not readily postpone my daughter’s birthday celebration until the weekend under the guise of making it more enjoyable for hubby who has to work and siblings who have to go to bed early. I did not decide to postpone her birthday because I was not ready to celebrate—no way, not me.

I am not going to take a ton of pictures of my daughter today. I am absolutely not frustrated my digital camera is flaking out on me (keeps going into video mode when I put it into camera mode). I did not do some extra cleaning (decluttering) tonight in anticipation of where I might be taking my daughter’s picture. I am not a picture fanatic- no way, not me.

I do not love to celebrate! I do not get really wrapped up in special days. I am not going to find little ways to celebrate today even though we aren’t celebrating until Saturday. And, I am not going to use my daughter’s birthday as an excuse to go get Starbucks… hmmm… I got a Strawberry Frappuccino when I found out I was having a girl… I do not think that sounds like a good treat to celebrate—not me!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Secret to Hospitality

I am waiting for a batch of cookies to come out of the oven. I am also waiting for my parents to arrive. They are coming for a two week visit. They live across the country. We get to see them once or twice a year. I am so excited they are coming! It used to be that I would get really stressed when I had company coming. I don’t any more. I have learned the secret of hospitality.

A year or two ago I heard a speaker talk about hospitality. In my mind, I was not a good entertainer so I was excited about what I would hear and learn. What I heard was so basic that it was stunning. It was such a simple thought it amazed me that I hadn’t gotten it before. The secret of good hospitality is to focus on your guests.

What I figured out was that though I thought I had been focusing on my guests, I had been focused on myself. I was trying to make my house and my entertainment (food or what-not) be the best it could be. I wanted my house spotless (‘so they could relax’). I wanted to have the best meals I knew how to cook prepared (‘so they would love the food’). As a result, I was always stressed. The house was never spotless. I was desperately trying to do all of those little things right until they walked in the door.

Focusing on my guests has changed everything. I do not get stressed. I am excited about my company. The cleanest rooms in my house are my guest rooms and my guest bathroom. I made sure they have what they need – things like fresh soap, washcloths, and hangers in their closet. I provided the conveniences that in the past I always forgot. I am not concerned that I have a load of laundry in my room to fold. I am not worried about the pile of papers beside my bed (and I am not going to put them under the bed!). I am not embarrassed that my kids rooms look lived in. I am anticipating the smile on my dad’s face when he gets to eat one of his favorite cookies. I am thinking about how good the house smells. And, I am certainly going to meet them at the door as soon as they get here!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm Loving Your Blog

My sweet friend Elaine at Matters of the Heart gave me this blog award earlier in the week. I met Elaine in blogland after posting about David's allergy. Her son also has a peanut allergy. She has another wonderful blog called, Nut Free Living. Go check her blogs out.

Here are the rules of the award. By the way, I did not make these up, I took them right from Elaine's post, she said she didn't make them up either.

1. Name 5 things you love.
2. Pass the award on to 5 blogs you love.
3. Link back to the giver's blog, and tell how fabulous they are.

Five things I love in no particular order:

1. Starbucks coffee: I owe my allegience to Starbucks to Amy Jo. I developed my hearty habit when I lived in Colorado. I had no kids then and never gave it a thought when I grabbed my latte. Now I just savor getting Starbucks gift cards (hint, hint!).
2. Alabama Football: Roll Tide!! This is one good football year for Bama fans!
3. Silence: Isn't that the craziest thing? I am a mom with 3 boys (7,5,and 3) and a little girl that turns 1 on Monday. I do not get many quiet moments. On top of that, my darling husband loves to have background noise (the radio, the TV, and lately, YouTube videos). I cherish my moments of silence.
4. Saturday mornings: Unless there is something going on, I usually get to take it easy on Saturday mornings. My husband loves to get up and make breakfast on Saturdays. Breakfast is my favorite meal, by the way. Apparently my father-in-law always made breakfast for the family on Saturdays and so my hubby likes to do the same. (What a wonderful thing my father-in-law blessed me with!)
5. Creative Activities with my kids: I love taking time to do creative activities with my kids. Honestly, I have to work really hard to make time for it because I am never done with my to do list. I get tremendous joy seeing my kids create.

Now let me pass this award on to five other blogs I love... wow, I gotta tell you I had so much trouble trying to decide who to honor with this. I really love all of my blogging friends. Here are 5 blogs that I enjoy and the reason they are significant to me:

1. Barnes Yard: Confessions of an Obsessive Mommy-- This blog is written by a new friend of mine. We are in MOPS together. I love her humor and she inspires me with her crafty abilities.
2. LeighAnn's_Words--This blog is written by my forever friend. (We were born a day a apart in the same hospital!) She inspires me with her political and Biblical insights.
3. Hazy Views: A Day in the Life Of Mother of Two Girls-- This blog is written by one of best friends. I check it constantly because I miss her now that we don't live in the same town.
4. More Than Cake-- This blog is written by a friend of mine's husband. His posts make inspire me and make me think.
5. Without Fear-- This blog is written by a blogland friend of mine. She is the inspiration behind my Thursday Thanks Tanks. She also helped me while my hubby was deployed because she was posting about dealing with fear.

One more: I found a blog yesterday that lists blogland giveaways. Too fun! Check it out: Blog Giveaways

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Thanks Tank #62

My heart is so thankful. Modern medicine and the wisdom of doctors is absolutely amazing. I have two kids (and their families) weighing heavy on my mind. They both had to fight for their lives this week. One battle was longed for and anticipated: Mia received a heart transplant. The other battle was unexpected and hard to diagnose: Elizabeth had a nut go “down the wrong tube.” It didn’t totally obstruct her airway but it made her very sick (her lungs filled up with fluid her heart rate slowed- you really have to read her story). I am incredibly thankful for Mia’s successful heart transplant. The miracle of surgery is such a blessing (Read about heart surgery here. It’s amazing! There is a link on the sidebar of my blog to a website for Mia.) Continue to pray for her recovery. I am thankful that the doctors were able to determine what was going on with Elizabeth (Read Elizabeth’s story here). Pray for her and her parents, Carmen (of Carmom) and Matt.

Mia and Elizabeth’s s stories make me so thankful it would be easy to stop there. I want to be thankful for big and small things, so here are some other things that are filling up my Thanks Tank:

1. Company coming: My parents are coming in town this weekend. I am so thankful they can travel across the country and come see us!
2. Imagination: As I write this, two of my boys are marching around the family room (with a light saber and a toy knife). They are about to fight some bad guys. They are saying, "Hi-yi, Captain"! It is so fun to listen to!
3. Clean Kitchen floor: I cleaned my kitchen floor a day or two and it was waaaay overdue. I think the feel of a clean floor is one of the best feelings.
4. David’s preschool: I am thankful for his teacher. She constantly communicates with me about his snacks. His teacher and the preschool director went to an Epipen training yesterday. They were so excited to do that. David is constantly talking about God and about different Bible lessons he is learning at school. I love it!
5. My husband’s service in the Army: Since Veteran’s Day was this week, I spent time thanking God for my hubby and his work in the Army.
6. Teachable moments: I am thankful for those moments when I can teach my kids – and I can tell they are listening! I am also thankful for how I am learning and growing.
7. My home: I am thankful for the comfort of my home. There are days when I feel “stuck” at home but I am learning to soak up the comfort of my home.
8. Becoming more frugal: This is a challenge for me but I have made some progress in this area this week. It is encouraging to wrestle with something and make the right (hard) decision.
9. My Kids’ Artwork: I love seeing my kids create. I have some wonderful pictures from the week (both drawn and painted).
10. My baby girl: She's almost 1!! I cannot believe that.
11. My boys: The 4 of them keep me so busy! Yep, dad included. I cannot imagine life without them. They bring me so much joy.

Well, the boys have turned on each other (not sure who the bad guy is now) so I better get going! Take time to be thankful today. You will be glad you did.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Matters of the Heart: $25 gift card giveaway

I love (love, love, love) giveaways! My friend, Elaine, over at Matters of the Heart is celebrating her 100th post by giving away a $25 gift card to either Starbucks or Target (your choice). Head over there and enter a comment.

In your comment, please let her know you found her from my site!

Matters of the Heart Giveaway

Works-For-Me Wednesday: Celebrating Accomplishments

When my kids do something special, we celebrate by standing on our chairs at dinner time and clapping. I got this idea from another friend at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) some years ago. Our kids love it! Who knew that seeing mom and dad (and siblings) stand up on their chairs and clap, would be exciting? It is wonderful. It is free. And, my kids feel very special when we celebrate this way. Sometimes the kids bring up a special accomplishment and want to give a standing ovation. We do it. This has not gotten over used and it brings lots of smiles to all of our faces. (By the way, I plan to continue this for a long time. The friend that introduced this to me had preschoolers but she also had a middle schooler and a high schooler. They all enjoyed it!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Like Yesterday

In some ways my husband's deployment to Iraq seems like forever ago and in other ways, it seems like yesterday. It was a year that affected me (and him) tremendously. I am thankful for how hard my husband worked during his 10 years in the Army. I am incredibly thankful (beyond words) that he came home safely from Iraq.

I know people that just got back from Iraq, that are there now and that are going in a few months. My husband wrote just a brief post about what Veteran's Day means to him. I didn't ask him to write it but it was insightful to me. Read Seth's reflections on Veteran's Day. Feel free to leave him a note. Above all, thank God for our service men and women. If you can, thank a solider today. Either way, honor Veteran's day by praying for one.

Monday, November 10, 2008

"Not Me!" Monday

I did not have to explain bras to my 5 and 7 year-olds this week – not me…and it was not absolutely hysterical.

I did not get so into a football game on Saturday that I refused to answer the phone (it had just gone into overtime folks). I did not gain a huge appreciation for the many times my husband has been caught up in the emotions of a game—not me, I am not that into sports.

I did not hide the kids meal toys from my 7 year-old (since he was in school when I bought his brothers a kids meal). I realized too late that my hiding place was lame. I did not feel silly when my 7 year-old didn’t even care about the kids meal toy – no way, not me!

I did not spend much of the weekend feeling both sad and happy about my daughter’s upcoming 1 year old birthday. I could not be looking forward to her birthday and sad at the same time – not me.

I did not purposely put off a trip quick to the store on Saturday so I could get a latte on Sunday morning before church (and get the snacks I needed for the kids)—not me, I would not be that conniving.

I did not spend too much time on Facebook last night with my hubby. We did not quickly loose track of time and decide to postpone the weekly grocery shopping trip. I cannot believe we did that –not us.

I did not get up and go to the store this morning at 7. That would be totally unlike me. I did not think it was totally worth it because I got a gingerbread latte on Monday morning. I would not have savored every sip – not me!

I have not been trying to teach my daughter “Roll Tide” and showing her this cute little stuffed Elephant – most every time she wakes up from her nap. I do not think it would be absolutely adorable if “Roll Tide” was of her first phrases and her Elephant was one of her favorite toys. – not me!

I have not spent more time (off and off as the kids allowed) than planned on the computer today. I not going to have trouble staying off the computer all afternoon- not me! (By the way, I am planning on checking for updates on baby Mia. Please pray for her.)

Pray for Baby Mia

Update from the McDonald family blog: As of 11:40 (pacific time)--Dr. Cohen said that Mia's hear is great. Not ok, and not good, but she got a great heart. The doctors have all said that it looks like a good stong heart. They had a relatively easy time prepping her as well because there was such little scar tissue from the hypbrid procedure that had been done.

We are waiting in her room for her now. She should be another 20 minutes or so. They are sewing up her chest cavity, which isn't typical. Normally the chest is actually left open due to swelling. The space where they took out Mia's over sized heart has lots of extra room since her heart now is substantially smaller. We are so relieved and so excited!

I am praying for baby Mia today. She is the 4 month old daughter of some friends of mine in WA. She is in surgery today- getting a new heart. Please pray for her and her family.

Monday Moment: Googly Eyes

The other day my 2nd son David was curious, asked questions, and, of course, got an exceptional answer from his bigger brother.

David: Momma, are you wearing something on your boobies?
Momma: Um, yes, David, I am.
David: What is it called?
Momma: A bra
David: Do you always wear it?
Momma: Yep.
David: Why?
Momma: (Thinking: oh boy, this is getting interesting) I wear my bra for support.
David: What is support?
Momma: Um, hmmm... Support is helping... um.... my boobs are a bit heavy and my bra holds them in the right place.
Jonathan: I KNOW!! Without your bra, your boobs would be like googly eye glasses!!

You know, there really wasn't much I could say after that. I was in tears laughing.

(Ironically, my third son had a conversation about daddy's boobies yesterday. If you need another laugh, you should check that out.)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday's Food for Thought

Some random thoughts about my children (or at least the 3 that are home right now):

My 3rd child is definitely my child. Once, when I was visiting my sister in college, her and her friends dared me to mix my ketchup in my ice cream. I mixed it, ate it and liked it. Thomas loves ketchup. If he has ketchup, he will dip any food in it. If he runs out of food, he gets creative. This is what I discovered when I looked up from doing the dishes.

My 2nd son is all words. I have heard that men have a lot less words to use than women. I don't know if that is true. I started wondering today if David is going to be a total recluse when he is older. He might just use up all of his words as a child. The boy talks (expressively, I might add) constantly.

Elisabeth loves going to my MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) group. She plays constantly there and wears herself out. Every Friday after MOPS, she passes out in her swing while I am getting the boys lunch. I think she's so cute.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thankful Thursday #61

Here are some things that I am thankful for this week:

1. Teamwork: because I accomplish more when I work with others.
2. Halloween: because it was so much fun watching the kids dress up and be silly.
3. Mistakes: because I can grow and learn after my mistakes.
4. Safety: because a friend that was in a serious car accident this week is okay. He has a long road to recovery but he is okay.
5. Voting priviledge: because it is freedom and an opportunity to make a difference.
6. Playdates for my kids: because it can be such a nice change of pace.
7. Hand-me-down clothes: because it is so wonderful having cute clothes for Elsie that I didn't have to go buy.
8. Learning from my kids: beause I learn a lot from them. It is convicting when I learn life lessons from my kids (like the life lesson I discovered this week).
9. Coffee: because I love my cup of joe (and I am thankful I won this contest).
10. Lists: because this list helps me be intentionally thankful, because without my lists (I am thinking: grocery list, my To Do list, and my christmas list), I would never feel like I get anything accomplished.

That's all the time I have for now. I am going to continue to count my blessings today. I encourage you to do the same. Now I am off to tend to my To Do list!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Is it that Simple?

Elisabeth got herself quite worked up this morning. We have converted her exersaucer into a standup play center. We changed it about a week ago. She has enjoyed crawling over to it, pulling up, cruising along and playing with the different toys, and then lowering herself down and crawling away. (I highly recommend this exersaucer. It's awesome!) Anyway, today she pulled up to standing facing the same way that she tended to stand when it was a true exersaucer. She played for a few minutes and then she wanted "out". She started to fuss and looked at me with peading eyes. She held her hand up, as if to say, "Get me out of here." She got frustrated. I waited to see how long it would take her to remember that she wasn't in the seat and that she could just crawl away. As I waited and watched, she got more upset. (And, then I took her picture- mean Momma that I am!) I ended up getting her. I picked her up and she was happy. I put her back down in a different location (just a bit away from the toy) to see what her reaction would be. She was fine. She just didn't want to be where she was and she either didn't remember what to do to get down or she didn't want to do it.

For a few minutes I kept thinking about her frustration and how amazed I was that she didn't figure out what to do. It dawned on me that I am not all that different at times. Sometimes I know the answer to a situation but it isn't the easy answer. I want to be thinner so I think about a crash diet instead of cutting back on my calories and dedicating myself to exercise. I want to get rid of debt so I try to figure out how to make more money instead of cutting back on what I am spending. I want my kids to be responsible but I am reluctant to be make them work. I often know what I should do but I want something easier. I want a quick fix. I want the simple solution. Watching my daughter, I found her frustration humorous. My frustrations can be just as ridiculous. Though I may pray for miracles, sometimes God really wants me to use my abilities and take the necessary steps to accomplish the task.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Monday Moment

Content Warning: I am not sure if this crosses some kind of line. I have been debating posting this humorous story for a couple of weeks. If you are easily offended or if you are not a mom of boys, please stop reading now.

My boys love to tell jokes. They tell all kinds of jokes, most of which don't make any sense. A few months ago, David cleverly came up with a Nut joke. He said, "Guess what is the only kind of nut I can touch?" The answer was: "Doughnuts."

We were really caught off guard recently when his brother changed the punch line.

5 year-old David: What is the only kind of nut I can touch?
7 year-old Jonathan: I know, I know- YOUR nuts!!

David got this funny look on his face. Seth and I tried not to laugh. It was hysterical as it dawned on David what Jonathan meant. (And, yes, we moved on from that joke rather quickly.)

Life with boys- always entertaining!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Trick or Treating Adventures

I thought I would share about our Halloween experience. This is a bit about the adventures of Trick or Treating with a peanut allergy. Halloween was full of activities beyond Trick or Treating. I will post pictures and details on our family blog.

At every door, the kids said "Trick or Treat" and David immediately told the people that he was "allergic to nuts." This was greeted with some confusion. Also, many people just couldn't understand what he was saying. He would say it over again. Then most of the time, the people would get out an item that didn't have nuts. On a couple of occasions, David started to ask if the item had a nut warning.

Seth and I tried to go up to the door with the kids to help explain (and diffuse) the situation. David wanted to ensure that everyone knew he couldn't have nuts. He would have stood there and talked to people about it for a long time. In between houses, we told him over and over that we were going to go through his candy and that he would be able to switch out any candy that wasn't safe. It didn't make a difference. He told each and every person that he was allergic to nuts. We were concerned because he was so adamant. And then we reminded ourselves that we were the only ones that were hearing him over and over.

One time when we were trying to remind David that we were going to check his candy, it hit me hard why he was being so diligent.
Daddy: "David, I want to tell you something."
David: "Daddy, I know... if I eat a peanut, I might not be able to breathe."
(take a deep breath)
Daddy went on to explain that we were going to keep him safe.

Now, the funny part... The trick or treating conversation went like this:
All 3 boys: "Tick or Treat!"
David: "I am allergic to nuts."
Thomas: "And, I don't like nuts."
So... at each and every house the people found out that David is allergic to nuts and Thomas does not like nuts. (Of course, Thomas has never had nuts. So, he is just as adorable as ever with the way he loves his big brother.)

At one house, an older lady started to hand David a peanut bar. David told her that he was allergic to nuts. She looked at him a bit confused. He said, "I can't have nuts!" She moved her hands to put the peanut bar in Thomas's pumpkin candy carrier. In one swift movement, Thomas moved his pumpkin behind his back. (It was all I could do not to laugh.)

When we got home, we went through David's candy first. At least half of his candy wasn't safe (or at least we weren't sure about it), so he got to trade it in with our "special candy". As Seth was counting out the candy he got to trade, Jonathan came over and offered David some Whoppers (which are David's favorites). He said, "David, you can have these." Then he told me, "It is so he doesn't cry." David was no where near crying. It was special to see Jonathan thinking of David's feelings.

By the way, we decided that the other boys could keep the candy that had "nut warnings" ("made in a factory that processes peanuts" and things like that) but they could not have any of the candy that had nuts or peanut butter in it. They did not mind at all. There is something extremely fun about getting to trade in candy.

I think that Trick or Treating and trying to educate the neighborhood is very tiring. Jonathan and Thomas showed no signs of slowing down until we made them go to bed. David, however, was wiped out.