Tuesday, December 30, 2008


If you would have even tried to tell me what events would unfold in 2008, I would have shook my head and refused to believe. Not possible for so many soul stirring events to occur in one year! Not possible for so many I know to suffer so much! Not possible for my own path to include twists, turns and doubling back on itself! Not possible to have so much peace in the midst of so much chaos!

There have been moments I thought I would fold from the weight of the pain...my own and that of others...implode from the pressure of decisions and a search for clarity...For me, this has been a year of cracked foundations...a roller coaster ride of lessons that are still being learned in full...growth occurring in places I saw no need for change and enormous fallout resulting from unavoidable conflict. Humbleness...sadness...chaos...confusion...brokeness...loss of control...

Yet...This year has not left me hopeless or defeated. This year has left me no longer suprised by sin...the depth of my own or that of others. This year, and it's events have caused me to cling to the one surety...that God is sovereign and in control. This year has left me with a desire and thirst for knowing God that I may have not experienced any other way. I look forward with hope for the future.

What I am delighted by is the promise that 2009 is to be filled with living in Him...and that for today, for this moment my faith and hope is not in others or myself, but in Christ alone....and for this nanosecond I have submitted my will to His and will keep doing that one nanosecond at a time. One decision at a time...one action at a time...one word at a time... that by relying on Him...I just might be able to keep doing the next right thing...And that in spite of me...He will allow me to...

Trade these ashes in for beauty

And wear forgiveness like a crown

Coming to kiss the feet of mercy

I lay every burden down

At the foot of the cross...

I have no New Years resolutions...I have set no goals...I am letting go inch by inch...living moment by moment...releasing the facade of control I have over my life...emptying me of me...so that I can be filled up with Him.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas story...

Emily is trying to help Nate discover the baby Jesus story and understand (sort of) that gifts were for him under the tree because the wise men gave gifts to Jesus. Emily tried to reinforce that Christmas is more about giving than getting...and that it's a celebration of Jesus' birthday...
This one time that left me in stitches...in the backseat of the car, they were having a discussion while we were out finishing up Christmas shopping in Tennessee:

E: an angel came and told Joseph that Mary was gonna have a baby and that he had to marry Mary (she really liked saying that) and that they had to name him Jesus. So, Christmas is to celebrate Happy Birthday for Jesus
N: No, it's my birday...I wan pesents...
E: No, Nate...we'll get presents but it's Jesus' birthday...he had to come to earth to die for our sins.
N: It's my birday...I want a piderman bike....
E: well, you might get a bike, but it's for Jesus' birthday.
N: No, it's my birday...
E: No, Nate...the wise men brought Jesus presents for His happy birthday!
N: I wan a birday pesent!
E: Nate, I am not talking to you about this anymore until you get older!

and she hasn't!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday's Week in Review...

Highlights of our week:
  • On Monday I caused us to miss a field trip to the Southern Pines Police Station...just crazy and didn't check my calendar Sunday night (maybe I was too psyched about seeing Jack Ryan again?). We ran into friends who didn't forget the field trip at W*endy's for lunch, so that was a nice bonus...and when I remembered I had forgot. We finished our errands and our last minute Thanksgiving shopping for cream cheese, 1/2 n' 1/2 (well, not really for Thanksgiving, but you gotta have the cream w/the coffee!) and butter (Land o' Lakes on sale for $2!!) and 25 other things that weren't even on our list. Oh, and felt for cow spots...that's where Nate turned the cart over on himself by standing on the side in the craft department...and where I think I talked to B. (I'm still having PTS flashbacks from the moment the cart and Nate hit the floor!) When Joe came home...he suggested we eat out and check out the "F*urniture Liquid*ator" store I had discovered last week with 50% off prices (lost lease and going out of business) ...so the Veggie soup was placed in the fridge and we set out for Sanford. We're sleeping on our furniture decision for the den furniture we truly need, but came home with matching bean bag chairs that will be useful for the kids.
  • On Tuesday, we had friends over to play and to share homemade veggie soup for lunch. This play date was for Nate (and his mom) and his new "buddy Jackson" (and his mom). They played pretty well together for three year olds (there was no body slamming or eye gouging involved). I think Emily felt a little left out, but honestly that's a life lesson she needs...Nate gets shut out often when the 'girls' are here.
  • On Wednesday, the "girls" were here. We had Covenant Kids Choir practice for our Christmas musical on December 7th @ 6pm (consider yourself invited!), just one quick run through for the kids with no/little speaking parts. I brought home costumes to finish up...angel robes to adjust, cows for felt spots additions...and coveralls for the cleaning crew characters that I'm just not sure I can make work...but maybe an idea will hit me. We brought S&S home with us, while my friend J went shopping for the very last things on both our lists for tomorrow's cooking (I needed allspice, poultry seasoning, splenda and milk...$2.99 a gallon at the Teeter*...woo-hoo!). There are many things to be thankful for...especially a friend who'll trade child care for Wal*marting!
  • I spent Wednesday evening procrastinating...blowing my getting-stuffier-by-the-minute nose...and trying to get my gumption up to go ahead and start the baking...I never did.
  • Thursday morning, I got up early, about 6 am and started on the list: Momma's/Tutor's Prune cake, sweet potato casserole, green beans, mashed potatoes, Loretta's Layered Salad (used to be 7-layer salad, but I've adjusted the recipe so much...it's not even 7 layers anymore), Roasted Pecan Dressing, Cranberry-Orange Relish, splenda-sweetened tea, and getting the turkeys ready for Joe to marinate and deep fry...It was really a low stress day, I had things planned out and really enjoyed cooking. It was such a beautiful day and the kids were outside a lot. I did keep feeling like a scratchy throat was beginning to develop. Judi, Kayla and Granma came over around 3, bringing their contributions to our meal. In all fairness, when I developed our menu, there was a possibility of 5 more guests...but it was still over-kill ;) We ate together, laughed together, napped together, played games and planned our black Friday attack while watching Holiday movies piled up in the den.
  • Friday morning at 3 am...I rolled out of bed into clothes, glasses and shoes and heated up the car, gathered up the sales flyers and dragged myself over and picked my 15-year old niece up for a morning of BARGAINS!!! Just the two of us! As far as I know, we saved some money on some highly in demand electronics devices (ssshhhh!)...avoided a 5 am stampede in the electronics department of our local W*a*l*m*a*r*t (the clerk actually said into her walkie-talkie...."these people are goin' crazy back here!"...and were admonished by the security officer to "calm down people" I honestly got the giggles!)...we had a Starbucks for sustainment around 6 (and they weren't serving the Christmas/Holiday blend...what's up with that??? I was so looking forward to my first one of the season)...shopped some more and then ended up the morning with a breakfast burrito (sans green peppers) and chickn' minis at Chick-*fi-*la around 10 am. She slept the rest of the day...I tried to, but began to feel worse and worse and was getting the 'barky' cough of bronchitis by mid-afternoon and we cancelled plans with friends for Friday night..blah, blah, blah. By bedtime, I was looking for the Ny*quil...
  • I went to the medical clinic's Saturday morning walk-in clinic that they just started last month...just let me tell you, that should tell you how bad I felt...as a nurse I think it is my responsibility to visit doctors as little as possible, and especially not until you are at least near death...thank you PMC for your new Saturday clinic! It actually wasn't a bad wait...I just was so dizzy and my head was in a vise...and the cough caused people to physically step back... The Pharmacy, on the other hand, was a madhouse....an hour wait when I dropped prescriptions off at the drive-thru. That was okay, I could stretch errands to take up the time. When I went back, they let me know it would be another hour that things were backed up...anyhoo...I waited, visited with some folks from out of town getting scripts for a family member with a kidney stone (made me thankful for bronchitis and sinusitis!)...got a chair massage in one of those mizihitzu (whatever!) seats...and then visited with a nice lady whose husband is a diabetic and amputee and left his prosthesis at home (again...thankful!) and couldn't come inside...they had left to get lunch, but when she finally got meds, it had been three hours. So, I am reconsidering our pharmacy choices...I miss the local place that went out of business a few months ago...if there was that long of a wait, they would deliver! So I came home and lapsed into a drug-induced coma for a few hours....
  • So sadly, no church for me this morning, but Nate still woke me up at about 6 after being unsuccessful with Joe... "Daddy, I hungy...Daddy, I thusty". The kids stayed home too... Joe had to be there early for prayer with the other elders, so it seemed the best idea...it would have been a little chaotic I think. Nate's got his own issues with a cough and 'boogies'. Although, I am sad about missing the first Sunday of Advent (and the lighting of the Prophecy candle by B, T & baby E), the first time of the season singing "O come, O come Emmanuel"...a new deacon installation...some special music sung by a friend who said the song fit her life right now, I was prepared to cry!....and a sermon in Genesis. Okay, so I can get all that on the CD/MP3...but, still...okay, no more whining! I will be grateful for the day that I did have! And what I did do... I've spent the day reading blogs, being thankful for bloggy friends, and facebook friends, and friends who love me enough to send silly emails and sweet emails about how they're thankful for me (snub, snub)...reading a book, sipping hot tea and coffee, and trying to truly rest...Our Christmas tree was delivered by the folks from First Baptist church in So Pines thanks to my sis-n-love for her faithful gift to us for the last 5 years...Joe lit up the gas logs, so I not only got to sip hotness, but got my toes especially warm by the fire...Emily (and I) missed choir practice (the cow costumes must still be completed!)...and our small group Bible study is cancelled for the evening...(there I go again...it's so easy to fall back to whining!).... I am spending some quiet time looking forward to next week...the first day of December...and Christmas decorations...and home-making some Christmas gifts...I tried to be an elf and briefly shopping on Amazon for the kids, until Emily got nosey (hum, the apple and the tree thing again).

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nate's funny...

Friday night, while Emily and I were away at the Girlscout Swap-a-thon, Nate and Daddy were alone...some not so good things have happened when they've been left alone (like Nate sticking a key into an electrical outlet...) but I digress.

This particular story lets us find Nate playing trains in the den floor, he's gotten quite good at putting the track together and playing independently with this toy. He was lining his trains up and said, "Daddy, I need Gordon" (for those of you NOT in the know, Gordon is a pal of Thomas the Train...Nate currently has Toby, Emily, James, Scarlouey...thankfully for parents they have their names on the bottom of the trains).
Daddy said, "Well, go to your bedroom and get Gordon...". To which Nate replied...
"Gordon not in my woom...he's at Wal-mart..."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Recipe

This is my fav...and I've made it for several events, including Holly's 2nd baby shower (for Evan). Joe thinks it's too garlicky if I put both cloves of garlic in, so sometimes I bland it down for him...I usually go ahead and double the recipe ;)

Easy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed butter-harris teeter)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup roasted red sweet peppers
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
Dash salt
Dash pepper

In an electric food processor, combine garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, and lemon juice. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add roasted peppers and basil; process until the peppers are finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer hummus to small bowl, cover and chill until you are ready to serve.

I've also made it with other beans (Black, White kidney beans...lots of calcuim...) To make Sun-dried Tomato Hummus, just replace peppers with tomatoes. I've also replaced the lemon juice with lime juice, or even in a pinch water if that's all I have. The BEST I've ever made, I roasted my own red peppers in the oven...YES, I felt just like Martha Stewart!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

W*al-m*art Christmas Catalog

Yep...it came in the mail today, the long awaited toy catalog...wasn't from Sears, wasn't from JC Penny's...it was from Wal*mart who seems to be stealing some marketing ideas this season. The kids poured over it, fought over it, said things like, "Wow"...."Momma, yook".
It comes down to the basics, Nate wants a spider man bike that he can 'wide on the wode, wite now' and Emily's too overwhelmed with choices to want anything...but really would just like a pair of roller skates that weren't even in the catalog. She understands, though, that Christmas is still over a month away. Nate, however, wants us to leave for Wal*mart "wite now!". It may be a long month.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's Official...it's finally over

Joe has accepted a new job in Hamlet...his third position to hold in a year. Amazingly, this has been a phenomenon I hope is not repeated, ever. To say that this has been stressful, is an understatement. It is, of course, only a 30 minute drive and what sounds like an exciting opportunity and fun co-workers (he knows a few people that work there already). I won't bore you with all the enginerding details...but he'll be a project manager at a chemical facility.
He's excited about the change, excited about the challenge and excited about the shorter drive.
I'm relieved...ready for whatever's next...whether that be across town or right here on this corner lot.
And sure that even through the moments I struggled in my human heart, He has known the plans that He had for us and and that it has been for good and not for disaster, to give us a future and a hope. (Jer 29:11 NLT).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Uncle Richard's Sage Advice

Joe's uncle, Richard "Dick" Miller, ran a good race for the Kansas State House of Representatives. We have mixed emotions; in that since he lost, he might have time in the next year to hop in the RV and head to the Carolina's for a visit. Kansas State's loss is our gain. He was found too conservative to garner the support of the local media...but fought a good door to door fight getting out and getting to know people! I have enjoyed "living" his campaign experiences. I am quoting his weekly article to the Manhattan newspaper...a column entitled "Thoughts from the Prairie". I am so thankful he is a part of my children's legacy!

Thoughts from the Prairie
by Dick Miller
Now What?

The view out of my window as I reminisce and write about the past five months is very similar to that at the last house I visited last night on the campaign trail. The sun was just setting in a splash of color as I rang the last doorbell. After a warm greeting, we chatted briefly about the peaceful view of the prairie in front of her house. I asked for her vote, she wished me luck and I turned and closed the book on another campaign. I was sharing that moment with another resident who reminded me of another difference between my opponent and me. “We saw his face on the billboards; we saw your face at our front door,” he said. That would have made a good campaign ad don’t you think? By the time you read this you will know which method was more effective.
Speaking of hindsight, it seems to me the ultimate reason for the Governor’s veto of the Kansas Energy plan is now obvious in light of the recent disclosure of Obama’s verdict on coal-fired power plants in a statement he made in January 2008: “If someone wants to build a coal-fired plant, they can. Its just that it will bankrupt them,” Obama told a reported. With Governor Sebelius’s eyes focused on a possible VP selection, she could not allow a coal-fired plant to be built in Kansas, now could she? I better be careful, I could become another “Joe the plumber!”
The liberal agenda espoused during this campaign looks to me as if its crafter read William J. H. Boetcker’s “The Ten Cannots” and did the exact opposite. Boetcker (1873-1962), an immigrant from Germany, became an eloquent motivational speaker, and is often regarded as the forerunner of contemporary "success coaches." The Ten Cannots phamplet was published in 1916 and quoted by Presidents Linclon and Reagan. I thought it might be worthwhile to recite them again.
“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

These Ten Cannots describe the essence of a constitutional republican system of government and a free enterprise, capitalistic business environment replete with personal freedom, the antitheses of the Obama doctrine.
Well, excuse me while I go to Republican headquarters to see if I am going to the OK Coral or to visit our grandchildren…..

It is now 11 PM election night. I am back at the ranch and our grandchildren say they are really anxious for us to get there. At this point I don’t know the final score, but it was far enough along for me to call your representative and congratulate him. Jenny and I thank all who worked so diligently so we could give you a clear choice. We have no regrets and believe we accomplished our mission. Other than being confirmed as ‘being too conservative” for the local media endorsement team, the next best part of the campaign was praying for God to “bless your house and keep it safe” as I approached your house then meeting so many of you as you welcomed me at your front door. You cannot imagine how delightful that was and it sustained me during six and sometime eight hours on the trail.
Now it is time to get back to what we were doing in June, get our personal affairs in order and brace for the socialistic tsunami if a liberal majority controls all three branches of government. Unfortunately, we are all in the same boat and the narcissistic liberals are so preoccupied with illusionary hope and change that we are about to crash on the breakers of realism because, as
James Madison predicted, "Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." But as all good soldiers, we shall rest and heal and then rise to rejoin the fray. Let Freedom Ring-Again!
and well, that's probably all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Kingdom Coming Download

Curriculum Evaluation

Well, here we are about 9 weeks into the school year and I am trying to decide what's working, what's not, and where I need to realign my priorities...

It is not as easy as it sounds and yet I know I tend to over analyze each element of our schooling...because, well, bascially...er...I'm pretty scared I'm going to get this wrong and our children's academic experience will slide into the gutter. I'm worried that she'll be a Latin speaking child who won't be able to add....or that she'll have the states and capitols memorized but won't be able to write a paragraph. Sometimes in my quest for the best education for her...I lose sight of some simple priorities....reading, writing and arithmetic.

So, here's what we've been trying (unsuccessfully) to accomplish every day:
  1. Chores (appropriate for seven year old: emptying dishwasher, picking up toys, making bed, swiping mirrors, dusting)
  2. Bible (using Veritas Press Bible Cards: Genesis -Joshua; memorize facts & activities & test Friday)
  3. History (One-year condensed World History- Sonlight Curriculum Read text book and discuss: A Child's History of the World by Hillyer, the Usborne Book of World History w/internet links)
  4. Geography (Sonlight- Geography Songs: Sing Around the World by Troxel for memory work, coloring/activity pages, social studies reading from Window to the World by Spraggett)
  5. Reading w/map work and language arts tie-ins

Sonlight Second grade intermediate readers:

Clara and the Bookwagon

The Long Way to a New Land

The Long Way Westward

Prairie School

Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie

Riding the Pony Express

The Secret Valley

Third-Grade Detectives #1: The Clue of the Left-Handed Envelope (we're currently on this one)

The Chalk Box Kid

The Paint Brush Kid

The Littles

Third-Grade Detectives #2: The Puzzle of the Pretty Pink Handkerchief

Viking Adventure

The House on Walenska Street

Cora Frear

Tippy Lemmey

A Question of Yams

Third-Grade Detectives #4: The Cobweb Confession

Third-Grade Detectives #10: The Mystery of the Stolen Statue

The Last Little Cat


Jake Drake: Bully Buster

6. Math-U-See, Beta (Lesson on DVD, work with manipulatives, worksheet and weekly test)

7. Spelling and Phonics (spelling word list and phonics work from Modern Curriculum Press Plaid Phonics workbook with spelling rules and worksheets).

  1. Handwriting (worksheet from Classically Cursive workbook, daily practice)
  2. Read Alouds with Cultural Literacy & comprehension questions:

The Aesop for Children

A Child's Garden of Verses

Red Sails to Capri

Ginger Pye

Gladys Aylward (starting this week)

Little Pear

Strawberry Girl

Detectives in Togas

The Cricket in Times Square

The Door in the Wall

White Stallion of Lipizza

The Twenty-one Balloons

The Apprentice

The Little Riders

A Little Princess

And the Word Came with Power

  1. Fun reading-student choice for 20 min per day (Emily can choose any books she likes and so far she is devouring the Magic Treehouse series, the Boxcar Children series, the Cul-de-sac Kids series, American Girl Doll Books, Nate the Great series, The Disney Fairy series...)
  2. Language Arts (grammar) Monday and Tuesday
  3. Expressive Writing Wed, Thurs, and sometimes Friday
  4. Life Science with the texts:The Usborne Book of Knowledge, The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible, Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth, Science Activities, Volume 3, Living World Encyclopedia, The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System, Marie Curie & the Discovery of Radium, Science Experiement DVD; includes worksheets, keeping a journal, experiments weekly)
  5. Art (treat as a "special"; read from our text/do activity once a week) using texts as a guide: How Artists See Feelings, How Artists See the Elements.
  6. Music (in the car, CD series with bio story and music of famous composers...may restart handbell choir after January)
  7. PE (not structured other than sports: cheerleading, gymnastics, and soccer)
  8. Latin: Sing School Latin Curriculum with audio CD, worksheets/activity (also treat this as a special...once a week)
  9. Vocabulary Building Activity (Wordly Wise Workbook- once a week)
  10. Field trips, bi-weekly trip to Library, Fun gym for PE occasionally on Fridays, Girl scouts every other Wednesday and Cheer leading twice weekly

So, beginning this week with a new scaled down focus...

Creative writing, language arts, and math to be my primary focus...oh, and well history and geography are important too...and well, we have this neat Latin curriculum, it really doesn't take that long...and she loves doing the science experiments...and well, she has to be active, so we've GOT to do some sort of PE...maybe we can throw in some art and music enrichment once a week...and she has to read, read, read...and well, she has to learn about God and do daily devotions anyway, might as well make them productive, and we have to develop her vocabulary...she'll take those darn achievement tests and I'll , er...I mean she'll fail if we haven't developed her vocabulary...and where was I, oh yeah, scaling back to just the basics! ((sigh))...

Friday, October 31, 2008


Presenting the Fire Chief and Queen Lucy of Narnia
We carved punkins and then went out and about in the neighborhood. We have a great neighborhood for trick-or-treating. Almost everyone gives out candy, neighbors chat in yards, grown ups dress up, the kids have a good time. Granma stayed at our house and passed out treats while we wandered around. Nate had to be carried the last leg and gave up early, bypassing a few houses once he 'got a bunch' of candy. Nate's bucket was sorted...he had about 1/4 left after I removed all the allergens, but we had plenty to replace it with and Emo got all his rejects. Friends came over with their little one, we had pizza, pulled our children off the ceiling and called it a night.

Fall ponderings

In the fall, I experience an arrhythmia of great proportion...my heart changes it's rhythm...my chest thumps with the misfiring of a few beats of pre-ventricular tachycardia that lasts for a millisecond. Before I have time to cough, hold my breath, or bear down there's a sinus pause followed by some bradycardia before my electrical system finds it's equilibrium...The relief that follows ushers in a slower pace...a slower sinus rhythm replaces the tachycardia caused by crazy schedules, being late to all the activities I promised that I wouldn't let crowd my life, stress from overcommitment and the pressure to do it all, too much caffeine and too little protein...and wondering what my hematological profile will reveal (enough iron and hemoglobin?) or if my blood pressure could be up.

What comes is nirvana...ahh, AUTUMN. A different state of mind. A time when to slow down, pause with a cup of coffee and realize the air is a little crisper and the sky a little clearer. A time to reboot and enjoy the spoils of the hard work of the harvest.

Amazingly this moment comes annually, but always catches me by surprise. I'll be driving along on the way to somewhere behind schedule (as usual). Children squealing in the back, one hand on a pen and a to-do list in the passenger seat capturing a thought and the other on the wheel. And, suddenly between whirling thoughts of where I have to be next and the endless list in my head I am awestruck by the fact the leaves are actually transforming!

I feel myself begin to transform as well. My memories are sharper and my senses in tune with the season...

Scenes of the past attack me...scents of golden hay bales stored for winter in the old house, tobacco stalks speared and hanging on sticks to cure in the barn, potatoes being dug and the muskiness of the turned over autumn soil that is spent from nurturing them, the rough feel of those potatoes in hand as we complete our task of picking them up and delight in their shapes. Shiny glass jars with golden lids lined on shelves. Filled to the brim with home grown, home canned green beans, peaches, chow-chow, tomatoes, too many varieties of pickles to count, and the grand finale: homemade vegetable soup. Cinnamon Apple butter with red hot candy simmering in a copper kettle over a wood fire, thin cane sugar syrup magically turning to dark thick molasses after hours of being stirred in long seven foot vat, coal fires lit in pot belly stoves as the evening air gets heavy with frost. The moon hanging slightly lower in the sky...larger than life.

Ahhh, autumn. For me, this time of putting away of things, the feeling of failure...failure to feel...and the getting of furrows ready for the next seasons planting, is all about preparing my heart for the coming spring growth.

Two little girls playing

What would C.S. Lewis think?

If, when standing with a listening ear to the door of a little girls' room beheld sounds from a land of adventure another world away? If he could eavesdrop on the goings on in the next room...he would hear creativity and dreams in action. Emily and her friend P are pretend-playing...their imaginations soaring in adventures and a journey in a land far, far away...Narnia. Em is Lucy, the youngest sibling and P is cast as Susan...although Em has been known to play either role. She tended to favor Susan while reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe...Lucy while reading Prince Caspian. Em and P have been enjoying this pretend game together with Thomas G. since pre-school. About the time we read her The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe during our evening family time for the first time, about a year before the movie came out.
This is a game often played at our house and depending on the playmates, several roles can be cast simultaneously. Inside and out...and always with props. Sticks have been tied and carried on backs as bows and arrows...long pocketbooks and cloth pouches have provided snacks for the long journey to find Aslan and while fleeing from the White Witch...the long dresses adorn the queens of Narnia when appropriate...and crowns made of zoobs (small plastic building toys with nubs on the end...love 'em!) for the Kings when they make appearances.
and Mr. Lewis' adventures continue. I hope it would make him smile!

Personality Type...

Your Type is ESFJ

Qualitative analysis of your type formula You are:
slightly expressed extravert
moderately expressed sensing personality
distinctively expressed feeling personality
slightly expressed judging personality

someone's opinion....
Extroversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging

Warm-hearted, popular, conscientious, and cooperative. Want harmony in their environment, work with determination to establish it. Like to work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time. Loyal, follow through even in small matters. Notice what others need in their day-by-day lives and try to provide it. Want to be appreciated for who they are and for what they contribute.

Tend to put the needs of others over their own needs. Feel strong sense of responsibility and duty. Value traditions and security. Interested in serving others. Need positive reinforcement to feel good about themselves. Well-developed sense of space and function.

hummm....most of this is true ;)

Joy and Sorrow

Joy and Sorrow

by Kahlil Gibran

Then a woman said, 'Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.'

And he answered:

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises

was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being,

the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the

very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit,

the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart

and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow

that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,

and you shall see that in truth

you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, 'Joy is greater than sorrow,'

and others say, 'Nay, sorrow is the greater.'

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come,

and when one sits alone with you at your board,

remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales

between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you

to weigh his gold and his silver,

needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Zoo Day

Joe was finally able to take a day off and we went to the zoo. We actually did the membership which also lets us get in the Fort Fisher Aquarium (which we love to visit when we're at the beach) and several other zoos.
We hadn't been to the zoo since last fall when , sans daddies, we went with the Stewart family...a lot of fun! I'm pretty sure Nate does not remember that trip.
Our favs were Jonathan the chimp who sat right at the window and made faces and 'played' with the kids...giraffe's who were just across the ditch....elephants in the new area of the zoo...rhinos..oh my! the lions are always a disappointment and as usual were sleeping (21 hrs a day???!!!).
We had a good time, started at the African side, worked our way to North America, had a packed lunch in the back of the mini-van (stow and go makes a nice pic-nic area), and then went back and finished up North America and the Kid Zone.
We stopped at T*N*'s in Troy and picked up part of Nate's new big boy bedroom suit (the beside table and headboard were missing)...Joe's going to put it together this evening.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Hope" by Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing...

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby Boy...

He won't remember the party...the friends... or the fun. He might have a vague distant snippet of a memory from looking at the pictures. But, we will remember...and we'll remember what he wanted for his birthday...and how cute he was talking about it all the time...and that he got to climb in a firetruck the day before...and that he laughed and played and had a great time...and that he really thought his firetruck cake was cool...and him laughing and playing with friends...and Emily's first day wearing her new glasses...
It's wonderful to have great friends who are such an important part of our lives...who care about us, love us and love our children. It's nice to take the time just to be together and share in living. That was the real gift. What more can you really want for your birthday?
Oh, yeah...a "fiyur-tuk bed"...
(nope...didn't make the cake...it's a Barbee creation...isn't it beautiful? and it's allergen free!!!)
Love y'all...

Monday, September 29, 2008


It is the end of another family birthday...Joe's 38th.
Plans were completely up in the air until last night. Emily has been talking for weeks about wanting to throw him a surprise party. I'm pretty sure she was inspired by one we attended last month. It's just hard to plan a party and invite friends when you don't know if the honoree will be there or not...and really, is 38 one of the big ones?
We ended up staying at home grilling steaks and have a scrumptious salad (and apple pie and butter pecan icecream with Splenda!!)...the kids loved the celebration, even if it was small, the most important folks were there.
Nate told everyone we saw today that "it's my Daddy's Happy Birthday". He's saying his birthday is in "ocober" and he'll be "tree".
A new cuisinart coffee pot came to live at our house in honor of Daddy's birthday...one of those that has a second reservoir to keep your coffee hot and dispenses a cup at a time...I hope it'll be happy here. I also hope we don't have to exchange it. Upon first use, it seemed to possibly have a leak...we'll see.
I had a house full of kids this afternoon...eight to be exact...it was fun, for the oh, two or three hours they were here...but I'll be honest, having that many children might make my head explode! They made "Mr. Joe" a happy birthday sign...played inside and out, helped bake and decorate cupcakes...

Birthdays are introspective events for me typically...even if it's someone else's. It brings back memories of the first birthday I spent with Joe when we were dating...his gift from me that year was a Bible devotional that we still have in a box somewhere with a sweet inscription.
I can't imagine life without him...so keep having birthdays honey!

No pics with this post...couldn't find my camera for any of the festivities! Uugghh.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Hubby's home. It was a long week while he was traveling to Michigan for work. The Kids and I ventured out for a perfect day at the park & lunch with Granma on Monday, cheerleading practice on Tuesday, Girlscouts on Wednesday, a slumber party with Aunt Judi on Thursday and Fun Gym (today) Friday. The rain has put a damper on our camping plans for the weekend but, Emily will now not miss her cheerleading at the first basketball game. And I might get to see the new Nicolas Sparks movie...Nights in Rodanthe...it's been a long time since "chick-flick' time has come my way...

I was tagged by Jennifer http://jenndare.blogspot.com/...

Here are the rules:

1. Post the rules on your blog
2. Write six random things about yourself
3. Tag six people at the end of your blog
4. If you are tagged, just do it and pass the tag along

Six random things about me...

1. I hate it when medical drama shows get the details wrong...I get really annoyed when they allow a character to "talk" around an endotracheal tube (ventilator/respirator) or they defibrillate/shock asystole (no electrical activity...a flat line...). My husband hates it that I hate this and because I usually have a verbal attack prepared for the television in these instances... he doesn't like watching these shows with me.

2. I am saddened by the fact that our graduating high school class of 1988 is NOT having a 20-year class reunion....but, I am not sad enough to initiate/plan/organize the event myself. Joe & I are members of the same high school graduating class...and there are a few people out of our class of about 85 people I would like to see (most of them, I've stayed in touch with anyway...but think it would have been cool to have a party together).

3. I have always been scared that I would not be a good enough mom to my kids (that I'd yell/discipline them in anger)...I'm less scared about that now that I'm in the midst of mothering them...I'm not more confident in me, but I'm more confident that God is protecting them and allowing me to be what they need...and sometimes they just need to be yelled at ; )

4. I like soap operas...yeah, I know...I don't watch them now, but would really love to tune in occasionally to see how many more times Stephano comes back to life and tries to kidnap Marlena.

5. I have more uncompleted sewing projects packed up in boxes/bins than I couldn't possibly complete in this lifetime...and I probably have enough scrapbook supplies to complete albums for my children through elementary school.

6. I was adopted...but most people do not know it wasn't until 3 days after my 18th birthday...by my aunt by marriage. Up until then she had sole custody of me since I was nine. She and my uncle shared custody while they were married, beginning when I was 21 months old until they divorced when I was nine. I was looking through safety deposit box stuff recently and was reminded that I still need to order a new birth certificate from the state of TN with her name on it...

Okay...now for the tagging... (sorry I don't know how to do the links without typing them out...a lesson for later!)
Jessica http://fauszfamilyhappenings.blogspot.com
Belinda @http://upsidedownbee.blogspot.com
Sondie @ http://sondieridesagain.blogspot.com/
Candy @ http://nurturingthemuse.blogspot.com/
BJ http://stupidscholar.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Z.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Busy Week...Field Trip Friday

Our CHES group took a field trip to Deep River Cattle Farm. http://www.deeprivercattle.com/ smithfamilyfarm@gmail.com The Smith's are a local home school family that has a farm on the deep river in Moore County. They moved from Fayetteville 2 and a half years ago to start a grass fed beef business to sell healthy lean beef as an alternative to local feedlot hormone/steroid injected beef. They also added pastured chickens (which looked so healthy and clean compared to the chickens on the trucks I see going down the road!) I was immediately interested in this healthier alternative. I grew up with a beef in the freezer every year. A cow would be bought at the market, grain & grass fed to grow it (including many spring days I spent in the barn helping to bottle feed the baby calves) even bred with a bull to have a baby. But the slaughtering in the fall was as much a part of life as any of the process...It was just what happened. I have often thought that meat was a whole lot healthier than what I was buying for my own family at the grocery store.
Even with those experiences, I still learned a lot. I think Emily learned a lot too. Nate is letting everyone know about the tractor, petting the chickens, feeding the horses and riding in the back of the big truck. My son is the one who reached right out and touched a live electric fence as Mr. Smith yelled, "It's hot...hot...hot!" Thankfully, it had accidentally been turned off...

It was fun and peaceful visiting the farm and the family was wonderful and gracious and seemed glad to have us! It's a kids paradise. With 8 children, six boys and two girls there is plenty to keep any kid busy. We had a picnic on the grounds and visited. Suprisingly, Mr. Smith is also an attorney in addition to being a cattle farmer ; ) They attended an integrated congregation church in Fayetteville, which also sounded intriguing...details on that as I do more research, another day...
The advantages of eating grass fed beef and chicken seems so logical and so much more the way God intended. As I was going on and on about the details of our day, Joe remembered that one of his uncle's had always wanted to cattle farm in this way...Uncle Donal had a degree in Agriculture but was drafted and life took another path.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Roller Skating at Skate Party, USA

Who would have thought a two-year old would just take off like that? Our homeschooling group has a monthly skating event, and we got to go today. Emily and Nate had a blast. 2 hours of skating, skate rental, a drink, a piece of pizza for snack...all for $6! Awesome deal!
Anyway, I kept my regular shoes on...it's been a few years since I was on skates (maybe...uuhh...20..) and I walked Memmie around the rink once and then she was off with some other girls her age. She held on wall to wall and everytime I looked up, she looked like a new pony with legs flying every where. She was determined and did not give up! she was staying up more than not by the end of the session.
I walked Nate around the rink twice and he said, "I do it myself" and he scooted himself around and barely even fell down. He'll be racing around the rink in a couple of months.
It was a great way to tire out children...the rink wasn't new, but it was clean and the staff was nice.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Girlscout Troop 916

Emily's girlscout Brownie troop was invited to visit our local radio station and record the pledge of allegiance and the school lunch menu for the week. Lots of giggling girls in a radio station...fun!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Long time, no blog...

I really can't believe it's been five weeks since my last post...it's really just a symptom of the current status of life. I've been getting lots of "other" work done, though. I seemed to have lost myself lately in the homeschooling-housework-planning homeschooling-cooking/planning nutritious meals-trying to get back to a running program-reading some great books-good coffee cycle of life..I do have to admit, I'm feeling a bit like a bear getting ready for hibernation...I've withdrawn a bit without really meaning to. Love me anyway!

So many things have come and gone...some sweet moments in the midst of what's beginning to feel like normal life with the same old question..."where are we going to end up?" It just seems hard sometimes to keep giving the same answers to the same old questions...and honestly, we really just don't know. The house is officially off the market, and for now that's really all we're sure about. ((sigh)) I'm doing all I can really do...which is fully trusting that when the time is right for the next step, He'll guide our path!

We have done lots of schooling, had summer supper club with some wonderful friends, a almost week long visit from Bobo and Uncle Chris, lots of Dr. visits, dentist appointments...my brother Steve (the kids' Pappaw...family chart and story of God's grace will be provided upon request) had a little heart scare and a cardiac cath the week of Labor Day...he'll need stents but not urgently...

Took a 4 day trip to Ocean Isle beach over Labor Day weekend (wonderful, relaxing...GREAT company) seeing friends who moved away and visiting with friends we never seem to have the time to get together with while we're at 'home'...this is our third year of doing this with the same families and Emily says we "always" go to beach on Labor Day.

It's football time in Tennessee and they lost their first game of the season (uugghh!) in overtime! Since they aren't ranked we're having a dilemma and contemplating subscribing to the live Internet feed (?) of games...Sad, sad times...

I've tried some great new recipes I'll post soon...I've been concentrating really hard at getting my protein (and IRON) in every day...and I'm progressing with my couch to 5K walking/running schedule. I've been catching up on the previous seasons of Grey's Anatomy that I've missed so I can start the new season off right...TV on DVD (no commercials) is cool! Oh, and I've been on Facebook...who knew?!? I thought it was just for teeny-boppers and there's tons of people on there...so no blogging but I've been writing on people's walls...

A hard day that creeped up on me, August 21...what would have been Moma's 82nd (!?!?!) birthday, it's almost impossible to believe she's been gone 17 years...in one more year I will have lived with Joe longer than I lived with her (married at 20, but adopted/whatever at 21 months...again chart provided upon request).
It makes me sad that Emily or Nate will never know how much she would have delighted in them. She would have spoiled Nate senseless...she REALLY loved boy babies. She would have been proud of Emily...it makes me sad that Emily asks questions about her and I can't always find the best answers...they seem incomplete, falling short of really being able to describe all the facets of who her Granny Evelyn was. It amazes me that she hasn't been here for so many of my life events...college graduation etc. Sometimes, much more rarely now, the pain comes sharply and quickly as if the grief is fresh and new...and her birthday, my birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving (all major holidays, really)...and the time of her death (July) are always poignant for me...and amazingly the grieving often slips up on me, I don't even think about it being her birthday when all of the sudden...my heart is in a vise and I'm sobbing not even really sure 'why'. Grief is a strange phenomenon, there is comfort...and wonderful memories that make the grieving bittersweet.

I'll post fresh "kid" pictures soon. I got some great shots at the beach and some today of them "writing" in shaving cream. Nate is starting to recognize letters..."my 'N' for Nate". His speech is getting so clear! Emily started with the Upwards sports program, cheer leading last week. She was so excited to get her uniform and pom-poms. She's just about got her scripture memorized for tomorrow's practice so she can get her first sticker on her megaphone. She'll also do Brownies this year, her third year in Girl scouts. She started out with this troop in kindergarten so there's several "school friends" that she gets to see. We're planning our first family camping trip in a couple of weeks, so she's excited about FINALLY getting to go camping.

We've had the requisite round of ear and sinus infections...with at least three pediatrician visits...and of all things I got ear infections last week too. Crazy, I haven't had ear infections in forever. I think we're all on the mend...well, Nate's coughing and starting to sound croupy, so who knows where that will end.

Anyhoo...for tonight...I'm catching up on some blog reading...checking emails...and thinking about planning some play dates...and thinking about planning menus for the week...and thinking about the laundry I'll do tomorrow...thinking about a small group Bible study for the fall...and thinking about the field trip we're taking to the cattle farm on Friday...and the Brownie visit to the local radio station (hum, what'll I do with Nate?), trying to figure out how to say some Latin words, and looking at the science experiment we might actually get to this week and thinking about some lesson plans ; ) while I'm sitting here in bed with my computer in my lap and my husband is fast asleep (what's up with that? He's usually the night owl).

Love y'all!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

If you take a Nate to the movies...

Well, we finally did it. This morning, a half hour before the show was to start...we braved the crowds and the bus loads of summer camp/day care kids from as far away as Lumberton... stood in a long line for VERY overpriced popcorn and found just the right number of seats together among the many "saved" seats and watched 1-1/2 hours of sweet fun in the form of Horton Hears a Who. The movie was great, at least the parts I got to see. I especially loved the pouch-schooling kangaroo momma, hehe...hope I don't resemble her.

It was Nate's first movie at the theatre...and Emily's second viewing (seen on a daddy-daughter date when it first came out). The movie admission price was free...and the summer movie program our local theatre runs is a nice option for a hot day in the Sandhills. I'd heard about the crowds and general chaos...you know, sometimes "free" just isn't. It seemed like an opportunity, though, to see if Nate was interested in sitting for a long movie. Well, now we know he really wasn't.

So if you take a Nate to the movies...
He'll want to be held at first, it's gonna be dark and loud and he'll be "scerd"...then he'll want to eat some "potorn"...then he'll want to hold the "potorn"...then he'll spill the "potorn"...and then he'll want to eat somebody else's "potorn". Then he'll be thirsty and probably want some "jewce"...then he'll want to hold the "jewce"...he might spill some on his shirt...then he's gonna need a "nakyun" to wipe it up. Then he's going to want something sweet like the fruit snack he saw his mom sneak into the theatre...then after all that "jewce" he's gonna want to go pee...then right after getting back to the movie, he's gonna want to go poop because he realizes going to the potty gets him out of his seat. But, he might have a mommy whose prepared and he might accept a lollipop instead...then he's going to want to share and give Memmie a "yoldipop"...then he's probably gonna be "dicky" and want to go wash off. Then he's going to want to "go see Memmie" whose sitting two seats away. He'll make friends with the people in front, behind and beside him and he'll tell all of them "sshh" with his finger to his lips...and then finally he will go home via the lobby where he will see the Wall-e robot and will want to come to the movies again because Wall-e the "robod" looks cool. Then he'll probably go home and throw up all the popcorn, soda, lollipops and fruit snacks he ate...yep...He's gonna want to go to the movies again.

And well, because he threw up we missed an afternoon trip to the ice skating rink in Fayetteville, but honestly....I just don't know if I would have been up to it! Taking a Nate to the Movies is really hard work...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Last week of summer vacation

We'll start our homeschooling next week. Yep, one week from today...we'll start second grade. I'd planned something fun almost every day this week. But, not today. Today was spent taking Nate for his follow up for his food allergies and asthma. He weighs 34 pounds....don't know how tall, but I think close to 36 inches (he's about as tall as a yard stick in height). The M.D. visit didn't reveal any earth shattering news...no real asthma issues since winter...eczema has been pretty stable since around March, still just seems to flare when he has a lot of dairy...probably will be years before he "outgrows" the peanut allergy. Later today, we went to our local hospital (which Emily still calls "Mommy's Hospital") for a blood draw for levels of antigen for all the most common allergens. We won't know the results for a few days/weeks. There is a possibility that some of the antigen levels have decreased and could indicate that he's "outgrowing" the egg allergy (85% of kids "outgrow" this one around age 3)...we'll see. Nate was a trooper getting stuck. Of course, he was well rewarded...I knew some of the ladies and we left with stickers, pencils and stuffed animals. Emily too, for being so supportive.
We stopped at the McDonald's in Sanford for breakfast, they have a really cool play land that looks like a tree house and both kids love playing there. Why does it seem Sanford has more shopping than we do now?
Well, I need to start studying...I think second grade is going to be really hard! When we got our curriculum in May, the package insert directed me to the website to watch a video on how to unpack the box...how to set up the materials...etc. That's when I really started to get a little worried ; ) If unpacking the box is that complicated, I'm really not sure I can handle teaching Latin...and then there's second grade math...we'll see.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

She's Home!

They arrived home around 7 pm on Friday...she came running and jumped into my arms with her long legs wrapped around my waist...and I cried.
She says she's nev-ver going to camp again...or at least not until she's ten. I think we're only missing a few pairs of underwear, maybe one pair of shorts, a couple of shirts that I can tell. I don't think we have anything that belongs to anyone else...
She has some sweet campfire songs and some good memories...but says she cried every night at bedtime...sigh.

It was a sweet Saturday to have all the chicks back in the hen house. Nate pulled his sleeping bag into her room last night and announced, "I seep Memmie's 'oom"

My favorite to share is a song they had to sing if they forgot something...while doing a silly dance...she thinks it's hilarious and she had to sing it once when she forgot her water bottle and one other time...

"my name is tinker-bell
I don't remember well...
I lost my underwear...
I don't remember where
I need my mommy here
to help me pack my gear
My name is tinker-bell
I don't remember well..."

I could sing this one a LOT!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Good Children's books...

Okay...for whatever reason I couln't get a comment to post on my friend Jessica's blog http://fauszfamilyhappenings.blogspot.com/ or at her friend Jaime's blog http://coxblogger.blogspot.com/ in regards to a discussion about kid's devotional Bibles. Soooo...for anyone who cares...here's my latest (and maybe all time thanks to Michelle!) favorites:

The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm and
The Jesus Storybook Bible (Every story whispers his name) by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Isn't it just funny how one person's blog leads you to another person's blog...maybe one day Jaime & I will meet...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Road trip...

After a late Sunday evening phone call to tell us there had been a cancellation and an unexpected opening at the 'How the West Was Fun" camp...I spent several hours frantically packing and filling out paperwork. I got up at 4:30 am and had both kids plus luggage, shower shoes, water shoes, SASE for letters home, pjs, 6 sets of clothes, towels, washcloths, plate, cup, utensiles,water bottle, day pack, sleeping bag, pillow, favorite stuffed animal and a gas-tank full of gas in the Van by 6 am. We were taking an unexpected trip to Eastern Carolina territory. We arrived at our destination by 9:45 am after several stops along the way. We checked in, had a quick health check, left money and got back in the car. There was immediate wailing, tears, clinging and gnashing of teeth...Emily was a little sad too.

Is seven too young for a week away from home for an overnight camp? My lurching heart screams, "YESSSSS!!!". One of her giggly best friends who is sleeping in the bunk at her feet says, "No".... and grown up brave girl that she is, Emily said, "If I get homesick, at least ____ and I will be together". In the forefront of her mind is all the canoeing, archery, swimming, crafts and dinner around the campfire.

I really didn't expect that she was going....hadn't prepared my heart for her going...she was the first girl on the wait list for months. I'd done my part and registered her after her father and I agreed that she could go. I did a happy dance that she was on the wait list....I got to be the hero because I'd tried to sign her up...I felt sure it was a done deal and she wouldn't get in.

Seven may be too young...or maybe not...but so far, no call begging me to come and get her has occurred. And I stayed close to the camp with my friend in Greenville until late today so that I wouldn't have to drive far when they called me that she had freaked out and wanted to come home...

maybe they'll call tomorrow...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

No News is....

a sign of busyness. Man, these past few weeks have been nutty, but a good nutty (kinda like a crunchy salty sweet cashew ; )
We withdrew from negotiations with the couple who made an offer on our house, we got ready for the first ever VBS at church, had VBS at church (I was the snack person...it was the BEST job ever!), cleaned up from VBS at church...Nate became a big boy and completely gave up diapers (even at night!)...supper club...meeting with friends...spent this evening getting Emily ready for girlscout camp...
Love to you all, more later!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pictures at Cobbler's Knob with Pappaw Steve

Nate and Pappaw Bubbles!
Memmie! Where 'r you?
Posing...like good little children
Being Goofy...like good little children!

The Road to Rocky Top...

Rocky Top, you'll always be
Home sweet home to me...
Good 'ole Rocky Top
Rocky Top Tennessee

The Road to Stoney Creek...HWY 91 Blue Springs Road...
Uncle Grant's Barn...
Blue Springs...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


We just got back, the kids & I, late yesterday afternoon...just in time to shine the house up for a showing between 6 and 7 pm.
We had some great extended family time, friend time, visited a water park where Emily was finally tall enough to come down the long slide alone, had swimming pool time, ate some awesome East Tennessee Bar-b-Que, played in the rain and rested in the shadow of the mountains. Nate learned the joy and freedom of peeing in the great outdoors. We had birthday parties, going away to college parties (my cousin's son is leaving for Yale on a football scholarship...Yes, Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut...)
I'll post some pretty neat pictures later (I have to find that cable that connects the computer and the camera...where did I leave it?). Nate came home with a new nickname "Hump-hammer", a new football and a set of real keys. Emily came home with a Hannah Montana guitar (which Nate is enjoying almost as much as she does..."I'm a bi-tar man"...) and a longing for the protection of the mountains from Tornadoes and the love of the family who lives there. I think for the first time she appreciates the fact that we probably won't have another visit like this for quite a while.
Our trip home was delayed by both kids getting some sort of GI bug that had them both throwing up and with diarrhea (the Dumb and Dumber kind...). Nate threw up twice on the way home, but now seems fine.
all for now...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Slippin' Granma Have

Emo asked me last night as I was tucking her into bed...
"Moma, when do I have to give up my 'granma have'?"
Her "Granma have" is a well worn gingham pastel...used-to-be-soft-blankie that Grandma Lorena (Joe's mom) made for her first birthday. It was quickly Emily's favorite blankie to snuggle and sleep with. Always slow to wake up in the morning, she would come wild-haired and squinty-eyed out of her room in the morning and say, "Nuggle you". We would, when time allowed, sit snuggling on the corner of the sofa for at least a half hour. I remember smelling her sweet morning smell like it was yesterday. Those were the days before she announced she was too grown up for the Wiggles and opted instead for Hannah Montana...
When she'd had her fill of comfort, she would eventually get awake and slip off my lap to sing and dance to "cold spaghetti-cold spaghetti" and "fruit salad..yummy-yummy". I could, then, move on...
Her love of her Granma have was cemented one morning...she was clearly not happy, and kept saying something that was unintelligible. I knew somehow she wanted a blanket, but each one offered was adamantly refused after it failed a texture test with little fingers rubbing the fabric together.
"No, no....damma hab"
Finally, in my foggy morning brain, something clicked...sounds like she's saying "granma have".
"Emily, do you want the blanket Grandma gave you?"
"un-huh...damma-hab" And I'm quite sure in her little 1-1/2 year old little brain, she was questioning God's Sovereignty...for what will probably be only one of many times..."Father, are you sure you meant for me to live with these people?"
The aforementioned, ever to be dubbed "Granma Have" was accepted. It passed the "slipping" test of rubbing the fabric together. We've had lots of conversations about "slipping" in our house since. There is a whole science to the way the fabric feels, the way it slides against itself as she rubs it between her thumb and 1st and 2nd fingers. It even has to pass a "sound check" as she places it next to her ear as she slips.
Last night, continuing our bedtime conversation, I asked her why she wanted to know when she had to give it up.
She said, "I was telling a girl at Chic-fi-la about my granma have....and she asked me when I was going to give it up."
I was aghast...how dare some little stranger challenge my child's coping mechanisms. I tried to remain neutral and open.
"Did she make you feel bad about still having a granma have?"
"Well, she smiled at me funny and then went to tell her mom..."
"oh, well..." I paused to see if she revealed anything else..."I think it's fine for you to use grandma have, you only use it at bedtime and in the morning". Thinking to myself, it's not like she's seven and dragging a blanket from pillar to post.
"and when I get scared, like during storms..." I nodded.
"yeah, I think it's neat you have something that helps make you feel better when you're scared and I don't think you should worry about when to give it up...you'll know when you don't need it anymore"
I was sort of wishing I had a grandma have. It seems a lot better than some of the coping mechanisms we adults come up with: food, cigarettes, alcohol, shopping, anger, bitterness, disengaging ourselves...
she nodded, "I love you, mommy"
"I love you too, good night..."
"Good-night....what-are-we-gonna-do-tomorrow?" I sigh...another aspect of her personality that I relate to quite well. She's been asking that question since she could talk...gotta know the plan...gotta have some control...and when the plan is unknown or control is out of reach, the granma have is there...for now.

Friday, June 6, 2008

'passy-fire boken"

Last night was probably Nate's last night sleeping with a pacifier. This evening...he was playing hide and seek with Daddy with his very last one (which we've been reminding him for weeks...this is the last one...no more money to buy passy's...he would reply..."need money"). Nate asked "daddy need passy-fire?". I said, "No, big boys don't need passy's". He said, "big boys don' need passy". I thought, yeah...if we repeat this for a few days that idea might stick! After playing with all of us, wrestling, hiding the passy...then finding it "ther-ut-iz"....he was biting on it and said, "hum...it boke...gabage" and he proceded to throw his very last passy in the garbage. At bed time...I thought , oh no, this is going to be a long night! But, he was fine and went to bed without crying....said "big boys don' need passy-fire". Next, if we can just convince him big boys don't wear diapers....

Monday, June 2, 2008

Weekend Activities

Friday night was the Sandhills Farmlife Daisy Troop 916 Bridge to Brownies ceremony. So, Emily is now officially a Brownie Girlscout. The girls made special goodbye cards for Emily since she won't be back next year. Saturday morning we attended her Fun Meet for Basic 1 gymnastics class...she has mastered the cartwheel and most of the time a handstand! It sure was a busy weekend with lots of activities but just enough time Sunday afternoon for a powernap in the hammock!
Still no "bites" on our house for those wondering...waiting, praying and house shopping on line for now...could be months and I'm prepared for that