Thursday, May 27, 2010

She's an LA Woman

Eliza has discovered cabinets.
She opens all of them. Pulls anything and everything out.
Carries stuff around. Drops it when she feels like it.
There is stuff strung from one end of the house to the other.
And she loves it. Just because she drops it somewhere doesn't mean she won't walk back over that way in a few minutes and pick it back up to take it elsewhere.
She reminds me of a little old bag lady.

We joined a pool close by and headed over there tonight after school and work. We threw together sandwiches for dinner and rushed out the door to chase the sun as long as we could. We all had a blast! There is a water slide that the boys kept watching. Owen went down and I didn't catch him quite as well as he thought I should so he wouldn't do it again. Come to find out "someone" pushed him down. He didn't actually do it by himself. I am not naming any names or anything, but you can probably figure it out. And finally right before we left (isn't that they way it always happens?) Ethan went down. He isn't the bravest in the pack but once he tried it and saw that he could touch the bottom and he didn't go that fast, he loved it. The pool is zero entry so even Eliza could toddle around and splash away. We will definitely be doing this a lot more over the summer. Hopefully I will be able to figure out how to take my camera and get some photos without getting it wet. 3 day weekend coming up! TGI(almost)F!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dear Chris,

A lot happened tonight while you were outside mowing the grass. Eliza just wouldn't go to bed but surprisingly the boys did really well. I kept going in her room, patting her, rubbing her, all of it and then coming back out to listen to Ethan read. He is doing so well with his reading and I am so very proud of him. She would cry harder and I would go back in to check on her, but the last time I went in to check on her I found that she had thrown up in her bed. She does that, just like the boys did. Gets herself worked up into a tizzy and gags. It’s lovely really. If you recall she had spinach, pizza and blueberries for dinner topped off with a bottle for bedtime. After three children, it occurred to me that I am not sure you have ever smelled a regurgitated bottle of milk. You really should sometime. It is a smell that I am at a loss of words to describe.

So there I was, having just told the boys to go to their separate rooms and read a book while I tend to her, walking into a war zone. I pick her up, still screaming mind you, get her pajamas off, trying the best I can not to get vomit on myself, because well that’s just gross and as you know I can do a lot of things when it comes to my children, but vomit is just not something that is easy for me to stomach, if you will. Pajamas off, baby picked up, baby put down on the floor so I can get to her mattress pad and sheets off and let me tell you, she really didn’t like that. She looked straight up at me and I could have sworn I saw a dagger coming out of her eyes. Yes, those sweet baby blue eyes. It was almost surreal, I could hear the lawn mower in the background and I was thinking to myself, I wonder what the boys are doing? But back to the mission at hand, mattress off the bed, sheet off, pad off, new pad on, new sheet on, mattress back in the crib. Pick up baby, kick dirty laundry into the hall, find new pajamas. I should mention she is settled down now right before I mention that putting her down to dress her sends her into another tizzy. I wiped her down with a baby wipe, dressed her and then sat down to exhale.

And then I did the only thing I knew to do, I rocked her and started to sing. Her little eyes began to soften, her lips stopped quivering, her legs stopped kicking. She grabbed for her blanket and sighed. And as she did, I began to cry. I watched her settle in and start to drift off and occasionally her big blue eyes would fly open, almost startled-like and make eye contact with mine, as if to say "momma, are you still there?" And when her eyes met mine, she heard me say "yes, darling. I am right here." And we rocked.

And through my tears, I watched her little eyelids, her sweet lips, her pink cheeks and her hair sway back and forth. I think I have them all memorized. And did you know, that her blonde hair is really more of a strawberry blonde in the right light? All the while listening to the humming of the lawn mower. And it occurred to me that this is it. This is our life. Every bit of it; from the yelling of the boys to the quiet of the snuggling. From the taking her first steps to the vomit on the sheets. It just doesn't get any better than this. Seriously.

My tears began to dry. The lawn mower turned into a weed eater. I laid her in her crib, snuggled in with her blanket. And do you know when I came out to check on the boys they were really still looking at books?

It is only 9pm but we are both wiped out so I am sure bedtime is not far off. But before I go, I want you to know there isn't another person in the world that I would rather do all "this" with than you. The good the bad. The fun and the dysfunctional. As chaotic as it gets around here, and we both know it does at the end of the day it is you that I want to crawl into bed with. It is you that I count on just to be here. I love you, Christopher.

Now, I need to go tend to that vomit that is still in the hallway, that I can't believe you have walked right by twice and not noticed. Ahem.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Children of the World

I am pretty beat tonight so I am only going to post this video of the Children of the World Choir. The video was taken at another location a few days ago, I think KidFest in Gatlinburg, but the performance is the same. These children are just amazing. I cannot possibly explain how blessed I have been by having them stay in our home. They leave to go back to their countries in 2 weeks and many of them are not looking forward to it. They will be returning to a country that is not as prosperous or lavish as what they have experienced here. We were told not to allow them to have seconds of their food while they were here because in their countries they will be lucky to have one meal a day, much less be able to have seconds and thirds. It is just heartbreaking to see these children and know they have so much potential if just given the opportunity. (stop the music at the bottom to watch the video)

As for our church's Village of Hope. We raised $142,000 in just 4 weeks. Wow! Just Wow! We serve an amazing God.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

And the Answer Is....and Other Such Things

Ethan took money to school to donate to the Haiti earthquake relief. :-) Katie had an earth break. He doesn't really understand anything about money, where it comes from, what you do with it, nothing really. I mean, we tell him mommy and daddy work so we have money to buy things and go on vacation but he doesn't really see the money changing hands. Nonetheless I am very proud of him for taking money out of his bank and donating it to help others. He may actually turn into a little philanthropist after all.

And now on to bigger news. Chris had the idea of starting to tear down the wall paper in our master bath today. Groan. At least 90% of all the rooms in this house had some type of wallpaper when we moved in. It was originally the reason I said no to this house the first time we looked at it. However, as time went by it became apparent that we could get the house far under market value precisely because of all the work it was going to take to fix it up. So that's what we did. And we have done really well to keep plugging forward room by room. The last two rooms that are in need of a remodel are our master bath and the kitchen, both of which are not going to be cheap. Hence the reason they are last. I honestly had resigned myself to a tacky bathroom for years to come because I really don't want to spend the money on it right now. But then Chris started with the wallpaper this morning. And then we got help.
And more help.
And do you have any idea how many times I told him not to hang on the towel bar today?
I am shocked it didn't pull right out of the wall.
And then the Miss got involved.
All the wallpaper is down and Chris started patching holes. I think the next step is going to be to prime the walls and then sit on it for awhile. We do have someone scheduled to come by and give us an estimate in the next couple of weeks. But I have a feeling it is going to be more money than what we are wanting to spend right now. So we will see. I really want this brass gone though.
Nothing says outdated like brass and wallpaper.

In other news, our little girls from the Children of the World Choir (Jackie and Zam) are with us again tonight. They were so excited to see me this afternoon when I picked them up but not nearly as excited as I was to see them. I asked them if they met my Aunt Jan when they were in Asheville and they said YES! They were so excited to tell me all about it. They said Aunt Jan even hugged them and gave them a kiss on the head. These girls are just precious. I cannot wait to hear them sing tomorrow morning at church. Our church will also be giving a check to World Help to build a Village of Hope in Rwanda this year. Four weeks ago we asked God to provide $100,000 to build this village and He has done that plus more. God is good! God is so good!


Friday, May 21, 2010

A Couple of Funny Stories

Chris usually takes Ethan to school in the morning and one morning this week they had quite a rough start to the day. Chris had set the alarm on the house before getting in the shower just as a precautionary just in case Ethan decided to go outside, Chris would hear the alarm and know. Mind you, this has never been the case. But on this particular morning one of the stray cats in the neighborhood decided to visit us and Ethan saw him so wanted to give him some treats. He pushed a chair over to the door, unlocked the chain on the door and then opened it. Eek! The alarm went off and it was LOUD! It startled Ethan and he ran upstairs to Chris who was getting out of the shower to see what was wrong. Ethan was crying, no not crying, screaming. Chris asked him what happened, calmed him down and then got back in the shower. A couple of minutes later the alarm company came over the intercom asking for our password. Chris couldn't hear what they were saying so he asked Ethan to turn off the bathroom fan. Ethan didn't know what Chris was asking so he took off running out of the room. Chris gets out of the shower again, talks to the alarm company and then gets back in the shower to finish his shower. He finishes up and when he gets out he hears someone knocking at the door. He went downstairs, fully anticipating it being Cary police only to find Ethan on the back porch knocking on the door crying. He opened the door and asked him what he was doing and he said he had tried to feed Kenny again and got locked out (he forgot to unlock the door knob). Chris, just shaking his head, said why don't you just sit on the couch and watch cartoons. Whew! What an eventful morning.

And today this conversation took place.

Ethan: Daddy, I took some money to school this morning to give to Katie.

Chris: Katie who?

Ethan: I don't know.

Chris: What for?

Ethan: Because Katie had an earth break.

Chris: What?

Ethan: She doesn't have any food and her house is rumbled.

See if you can figure that one out. I will post again later and interpret it for you.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Field Day!

Today was field day at Ethan's school and I left work for about an hour or so this afternoon to go hang out with him. I hadn't planned on going but this morning he started in with other parents are going to be there, when are you going to come? I try. I really try.
This is Ethan with his partner, J.D. Note all the silly bandz on his wrist.
This is the fast pitch. They had a volunteer clocking the speed of the pitches. The highest was 38 mph for the kindergarten class. I didn't pay attention to the other grades.
Fast pitch turned out to be not such a good event for Ethan. His fastest throw was 26 mph and he started to cry when his pitch wasn't fast enough to write on the white board. They were only recording the top 5 and he didn't make it. I felt bad for him, but we don't practice baseball around here, mostly just soccer. He is signed up to start tee ball in June so he will have a chance to practice then. Also, he is throwing with his right hand instead of his left. Not sure if that would make a difference or not.
So we moved on to tug of war. This one was a toss up. J.D. won some, Ethan won some.
Then on to carpet racing. J.D. figured out he could space the carpets out more and jump from one to the other (you aren't supposed to step on the ground) whereas Ethan kept putting the carpet squares side by side so wasn't covering quite as much ground as J.D. was. So carpet racing wasn't his thing either.
But relay we are talking. He was smokin' in this one.
First they jumped with both feet together over these little hurdles.
Then they ran on their toes through these circles.
Then they ran over these hurdles and then ran through that red tunnel. When they reached the end they rang a cow bell then turned around and sprinted back.
The object to this game was to move the net together so that the ball flung way up in the air and then try to run to catch the ball back in the net. They argued a lot over this game until they figured out how to work together to do it. Once they got it figured out, they both really enjoyed this one.
This was one of my favorite ones. They had a squishy pig and they jumped on the catapult to throw it way in the air and then try to catch it. I thought it was really cute.
This one was a lot of fun too. They sat on some kind of circle thing on wheels and used their feet to steer their way down the path, around sprinklers. They liked this one because they got wet.
This one was called the dog sled race.
They were doing really good on this one and even racing against two second graders. But something happened when they turned the cone and they fell behind somehow.
And finally, the highlight of field day. The dunking booth.
Waiting patiently for his turn.
I think he may have been a little nervous.
I missed the big splash when the water came down. But you can see he was smiling so it wasn't as bad as he thought it was going to be. I think he had a great time today. If only every school day could be field day.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Ethan came home from school today and told me he could tie his own shoes. I was trying to get dinner going so although I heard him, I didn't stop what I was doing to see. So he said, see look. So I stopped and he was wearing his "tie shoes" not the velcro ones and he untied them and tied them back. Just like that. I would love to say that it was I who taught him, and I probably did have a hand in it because we have been practicing. But I have to be honest and say trying to teach a left handed kid to tie his shoes is not an easy thing to do. Last week I think it was, I had the idea that I would put my tennis shoes on my feet and do it along side him instead of me trying to help him on his shoes. That seemed to be the biggest advancement we have made. Then he just pops up and does it today. This kid is really rockin' my world right now. All the things he is learning at school, kindergarten coming to an end, excelling at soccer; the list just goes on and on. And did I mention reading???? Good Lord Almighty! Let's talk about the reading. He just picks up books now and reads them. Obviously not adult books, but most any of his Dr. Seuss ones. He just does it, like that's what he has been doing his whole life! It absolutely astounds me. At night now I lay in his bed and listen to HIM read to ME! Not the other way around. There goes another one of those things that frustrate me having to do it, but when it's gone, I will miss it. Needless to say, Owen gets more attention now when he wants me to read to him.

Ethan is into silly bandz now. I suppose it is what all children his age are into. Let me explain. They are rubber bands in different colors and shapes. I bought he and Owen the dinosaur ones and the zoo animal ones. They wear them like bracelets and are allowed to play with them ONLY on the playground during recess. If they try to play with them in class, the teacher will take them. So he trades with other children when they are outside. I am trying to help him understand that a trade is a one for one, two for two kind of thing, but there are children who tell him one for two, meaning he is down one. My heart is on fragile ground right now. I just know the day is coming when someone tries to take one from him without giving him anything back. Maybe not with the silly bandz, but any kind of intimidation or peer pressure. He is growing up and I am fighting it.

Owen is loving the silly bandz too and is telling his friends all about them. There are a few other children in his class that have them so he gets a kick out of being "in the know."

Eliza is pretty much walking 75% of the time now. She is taking more and more steps consistently and will take a few steps and stop and clap for herself. Here is a little video of her playing. Disregard my fantastic parenting skills with the boys. I am sure the day will come when Ethan is in therapy and he say it was all my mom's fault. (Stop the music at the bottom to listen to the video).


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekend Recap

If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Women of Joy conference, run! Don't walk to sign up. The speakers they choose are perfectly suited for women, well, of course, that is possibly because they are women. It started off Friday night with Anita Renfroe, who proved that comedy can be clean fun. There is no need for the racial slurs, the stereotypes, the obscenities, none of that. Just funny stuff. Because, that's the thing. Life is funny.

Saturday morning we had a change in speakers. Priscilla Shirer (who I really, really wanted to see) had to cancel at the last minute. She lives in Texas and there were bad storms around Dallas this weekend so the airport was closed. The soonest she could get a flight was going to be Sunday morning, and well, we would all be headed out by then. So with a little shuffling around, they were able to find someone to fill in, Lisa Harper. She was wonderful! Her message was one about letting go of the "I am not good enough for God" mentality. She highlighted Matthew 1, which go ahead and read it. Ha! I have $20 on you not getting past the third verse. The first 16 verses of Matthew are just the lineage of Jesus. Who was whose father, who had a really hard name to pronounce and that father, whose name is really hard to pronounce and the father before that and on and on. Well, the interesting thing about this little diddy, is that there is mention of 4 women. Shocker! I didn't know this, but this is why I love the bible study part of learning. Lisa explained that back in Matthew's time he was speaking to the Jews and it was unheard of to speak of women in the context of someone's lineage. Now, as if that wasn't enough to make the Jewish women he was speaking to drop their jaws and cover their mouths, the women he mentions are not the most prim and proper women of the bible. And yet, God loved them. Lisa even made the comment that it blows her mind when people tell her the bible is boring, in her words "this stuff is better than Jerry Springer!" :-)

Then there was Liz Curtis Higgs. She was great! She used to work in the radio business at a station in Detroit, ironically enough with Howard Stern. She said she was at her desk one day getting ready to go on the air and doing a line of cocaine when Howard walked in and said "Liz, you really need to get it together." Hello??? Howard Stern of all people. That's when she knew something was really wrong with that picture.

Liz also spoke on not being good enough, only with more humor. She says every woman should get up in the morning, look in the mirror and say "Ta Da!" Because she says that's what God thinks when He looks down at each one of His beautiful daughters. She even said, it isn't like He looks down and says "Oops! I better try harder next time." We are all perfect and beautiful to our Father.

Last night was a concert with Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith. I enjoyed Steven Curtis Chapman the most. Several of his songs are written about his children and I guess since I have small children I could relate. His two sons, Caleb and Will play in his band which he was very proud of.

Then this morning was Becky Tiribassi. I have to admit, she wasn't my favorite, but I am confident she spoke to some women though.

It was a great experience, despite going by myself. I am fascinated by everything that I am learning about the bible. Although I was saved by the grace of God when I was a preteen, He and I haven't walked the closest over the years. Well, I think He would say He was always close to me, but I can tell a different story.

I bought several books and can't wait to dive into them. Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs (she also has Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible and Really Bad Girls of the Bible which I hope to read as well), Untamed by Lisa Harper and Songs in the Key of Solomon and Duets by Anita Renfroe. I have never been one to care about autographs and such but I stood in line and each of these ladies signed their books for me (well, not just me, they did it for anyone who stood in line, but you know what I mean). I will let you know what I think of them as I start reading.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

What a Great Surprise!

Turns out, Chris is great at multi-tasking. I can't provide commentary on the actual events that were taking place this morning since I am in Charleston but I can speculate.

Look at my precious baby! Aunt Jan says Owen is going to be my Randy. He might just be.
How could a momma kick this smile out even if he is 35 years old?
Now this one, I am not going to lie; is good at soccer. I know. I know. EVERY momma says this, but it's true. Mark my word, this one is just going to get better.

I have always said the one thing I worry about the most when it comes to Ethan is his lack of confidence. When I had to fill out "what I hope he gains from kindergarten the most" when I enrolled him I said I want him to find his voice.
To speak up, to gain confidence, not be afraid. And he is getting there with school, but with soccer! WOW! Just WOW! He is at home on a soccer field. He is not afraid to head right into a group of kids to go after the ball. He is assertive and even aggressive.
He knows how to use his feet to guide the ball where he wants to go.
He can stop the ball and turn it in a different direction to keep it away from the other team. He just knows what he is doing. This one. This one, I am going to enjoy watching.
Congratulations Emmie! You have come so far. I can't wait to see what God has in store for you.
Oh, and then there's this little girl.
I can't wait to get my hands back on her tomorrow.
Back to the conference. They are giving away a cruise for 2 tonight. I could never be so lucky, but might as well show up. :-)