Saturday, December 26, 2009

it took him 13 years to say it

pops is my father-in-law. i have known him for 13 years and on many occasions have told him that i love him. his response was either thanks or okay. and coming from him it was okay. cancer began a battle with his body several years ago and this past summer as he was leaving our home i gave him a hug and said those words again... his response was i love you too. it took me 13 years for me to hear those words.
pops is a physically strong self made man who can be intimidating at times. and until today he did not know jesus. he knew who jesus was... through the gracious life of his wife, through the moral and godly men who call him dad and hopefully through the women those sons married. but he did not KNOW jesus. cancer now has this strong man lying in a bed ~ confused at times, angry at times and impatient at times. several weeks ago he entered the hospital with pneumonia and we are not sure he is coming home. my mother-in-law has been at his side continuously, only leaving if someone else is there to sit with him. on christmas day the sons set up a rotation so mom could spend a good portion of the day with her grandchildren. during this time my husband had a heart felt conversation with pops. "do you know that jesus died for you, dad?" "yes" "do you know he wants to spend eternity with you" "yes" "do you want me to pray with you to ask jesus into your heart?" "yes" john david started praying and his dad took over the prayer saying his own words, jumbled at times but understandable. john david then led him in a version of the sinners prayer which he repeated word for word. there have been times over the last few weeks that pops is unable to have a coherant conversation, so for a conversation of this length to take place was a miracle. pops has been unwilling in the past to get to this point, he needed to straighten out things before he would be accepted, could not understand why a God he had rejected for so many years would just now accept him without conditions. God waited for 75 years to hear those words.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

the family tree

we started little man a collection of fire engines his first christmas, so we now have seven fire engines decorating our tree.  m1 has a collection of five fairies and m2 has two snow buddy ornaments.
we always enjoy decorating the tree together.  little man puts all of his fire engines clustered together near the bottom so he can play with them.  m1 puts her fairies out of reach of m2 (i have several wings to re-glue).  m2's favorites this year are the fairy tale books (pictured above). i find her frequently standing by the tree looking at each book. it is so fun to hear the children's comments as we unpack ornaments... remember this one, i love snoopy, etc. it's fun establishing family traditions together.

Monday, December 21, 2009

behold... the lamb (cake)

today is christmas party day at school. since the children attend a christian school the emphasis is on the LAMB of GOD ~ our perfect sacrifice. at christmas and easter they have a special lamb cake as part of their celebration. so, this is what i spent most of my time doing yesterday. every time i make one i always rush downstairs the following morning just to make sure the head is still attached...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

a baking question

if i am using 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of shortening, 8 cups of confectionery sugar plus vanilla, does it really matter whether i use whole milk or skim?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

the children's christmas tree

the children's tree is a wonderful magical place where all the handmade ornaments go. ornaments made at school, church and during creative moments at home... a lovely final destination when all grouped together with an adorable chain link garland. the children enjoy putting their things on this tree and arranging them just so. even at the young ages of 7 and 5 (no m2 creations yet) they are saying, "remember when we made this years ago". so funny!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

seven years old (or half way to 14)

yesterday was little man's 7th birthday. cupcakes were shared with classmates at school but the party was today... at chuck e. cheese. we usually do parties in the backyard with games, a crockpot full of chili, and hotdogs, but with temperatures only forecasted for the mid 40's we needed to do something inside. a few boys from his class at school joined us along with the grandparents and a great time was had by all.
korry, little man, christian ~ we adore these spirited boys!

little man and carlos ~ we adore his sweet nature
m2 and granddaddymommy and m1
little man and chuck
the cake ~ made by mommy with love

stop reading if you don't want the gross part! we interrupt this party for a throw up accident near the motorcycle arcade... m2 was walking around with a smile on her face, leaned over, threw up and then continued walking, leaned over, threw up and then continued walking. my parents offered to take her home so we could stay and enjoy the party. THANK YOU! after pizza, cake and a visit from chuck i packed up and headed home. carlos, sam and m1 stayed and played for several more hours. everyone had fun. happy birthday little man.
p.s. it was also my uncle joe's birthday who passed away in october. at breakfast little man commented that God must be throwing a huge party today for uncle joe's birthday

Friday, December 11, 2009

looking back...

i am editing this post since the category over at I ♥ Faces was hillarious outtakes.
this was the reason no one received christmas cards from us last year.
hoping that the picture taking experience this year is a much happier one!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

you know you are desperate when...

you find yourself in the children's bathroom with one square of toilet paper left and your only option is asking an 18 month old to bring you more.  you are impressed when (after bringing a bag of wipes first) she actually got it from under the sink and brought it to me!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


my sister, along with my niece and nephew, came to town to surprise our mom for her birthday. mom thought she was coming over for dinner with just our family, but when she arrived all the grandchildren had a little show ready! they were dressed up in my great-grandmother's clothes and some old wigs... they looked hilarious. they each had a sign from the song "happy birthday to you" which they held up when that word was sung. it was very cute. mom was completely surprised when she walked into the room and the children started singing.

m2 woke up from her nap a few minutes before the arrival of grammy and granddaddy. when jd brought her downstairs she was greeted by the sight of all of the costumes and wigs and completely lost it! they had to take off their wigs before she started to settle down. after the show the children made home-made pizza and salad. sister and i completely caught mom off guard... normally she can figure out when something is going on. we were glad to surprise her and happy that the children had fun performing for her. happy birthday, mom!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

18 months

m2 had her 18 month appointment recently. she is in the 70% for both height and weight and has some serious thighs. dr. paige adores her and thinks she is doing great ~ with the exception of one area ~ language. not sure if it is a "i am the third child so i will stomp and point to get what i want" type of thing or something more serious. for now we are trying to work on that more intently. she is a complete joy to have with me during the day!
  • she wakes up laughing
  • she adores her big brother and likes dancing with her sister
  • talks all day long without saying anything ( & she prefers eye-contact)
  • enjoys sitting in the rocking chair reading a book
  • loves to play with the kitchen set
  • can play independently or with others
  • doesn't go anywhere without her dolly (dawdaw)
  • enjoys playing the piano and singing
  • can say the following words ~ dada, um, toe, ahm (arm) daw-daw (doll-doll) notice the lack of mama, she just wraps her chubby arms around my leg to get my attention
  • can sign the words ~ more, milk, please, eat (has known them for a while but they come in handy with her lack of vocabulary)
  • knows most of her body parts
  • if you ask her a question she will say "uuuummmm" like she is searching for the answer
  • runs for the door when she hears daddy come home
  • will "discipline" little man and m1 ~ i was fussing a few weeks ago about them not putting their backpacks up after homework was complete... after all they have been in school over nine weeks now. when i was done, m2 took over "dadadada nanana bebebe dududu" she even pointed to the hall closet where their backpacks should have been.

Friday, November 13, 2009

he's a part of the family too

little man just asked jesus into his heart. he crawled out of the fort he was sleeping in about thirty minutes ago and asked me if he could accept jesus into his heart. we walked hand in hand to find daddy.  jd asked him several questions and he answered them and had a few questions of his own. he then repeated a prayer after john david.  m1 was excited and tried to be a part of it also, but we sent her to the other room so we could have some private time.  she fell asleep while waiting but woke up briefly for little man to tell her the great news. "you did what to your foot?" was her response. i guess she was still a bit groggy...
p.s. he doesn't always sleep in a fort! we are on day three of the children being home from school due to the rain and hurricane like weather. yesterday he and m1 built a fort and they are sleeping in their sleeping bags underneath.

great wolf lodge

the children were out of school last friday for a teacher workday so the family headed up to the great wolf lodge on thursday afternoon. we were overdue for some immediate family time... lots of distractions lately. the park was just about empty thursday night and most of the day on friday. this was a great trip and we all had a fantastic time. little man and m1 had fun playing with each other, and the fort provided hours of fun for them. jd and i took turns with m2 so we were able to spend lots of time with all the children.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

lots of treats...

on saturday afternoon our church had a harvest festival with games, food and hayrides. the weather, which had been perfect all day, started to change as the event began... but not enough to keep the crowds away. i didn't get a picture but the best costume was a dad as the man with the yellow hat and his son dressed as george.

afterwards we headed home to trick-or-treat our neighborhood. i will be the first to tell you that this is NOT my favorite day because of what it can stand for. (and not because i could never have a birthday party on my actual birthday). but our neighborhood has gone to great lengths to ensure a safe place for children to have fun, so we participate along with everyone else. most of the neighbors sit at the end of their driveways and hand out candy... some have crock pots (with extension cords) filled with hot chocolate for adults... some turn their garages into haunted mazes... we also have off-duty police officers close off roads to cars and assist with security; others ride on bikes around the neighborhood. we handed out over 600 pieces of candy... one piece of candy per child; of course i did eat a few pieces along the way and apologize to the last few children that we had to turn away. i just could not resist!

happy birthday me

these pictures have nothing to do with this post (they are actually from a family reunion that i have yet to blog about) but they show me NOT acting forty-two.

Monday, October 12, 2009

how much is silence worth to you?

little man: "will you please be quiet?"
m1: "no"
little man: "I will give you a quarter from my piggy bank if you will just stop talking"
m1: "no i have lots to say"

Sunday, October 4, 2009

death and new life

my mom called as we were walking in from church this morning. my uncle joe (her brother) had suffered a heart attack while at church; they were taking him to the hospital but she feared he was already gone. a while later she called back to confirm his death. in one instant our world was changed. numbly i continued fixing lunches while talking with my sister. her family was just getting ready to walk into church when mom reached them. they were turning around and heading to the lake. we decided to do the same and quickly got everyone back into the car. we drove for two hours and arrived at the hospital soon after my sister and her family. we spent about 30 minutes at the hospital with my aunt and cousins. and then it was time to go home.
uncle joe was a changed man from his youthful days. he grew up in church but God did not really take hold of his heart until much later. the past ten years he and my aunt were very involved in church. he was a softened man, tough with a tender heart. he loved me and showed it by teaching me to ski, bait a hook and fish, how to drive a boat. he loved my children and showed it by hugging them, and asking them questions. he loved my husband and showed it by playing cards with him and talking carolina basketball.
he is in a better place now. i just liked the place where he was... he lived at the lake. it will never be the same.
in the midst of all the driving and conversations with the children, the subject of heaven was freely discussed. questions were asked and answered. later in the evening as jd was praying with m1 she expressed a desire to ask jesus into her tender heart. this was not a new thing with her, she had asked before but when questions were asked of her, all of the concepts were just not there. this time they were. john david, m1 and myself held hands as she prayed and asked jesus to come into her life and clean her of her sins. fresh tears were flowing down my cheeks. this day will never be forgotten.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

the lake (mostly pictures)

the family ~ minus m2
little man loves getting out in the water with his cousins and familiy. jumping off the boat, fishing, kayaking, water guns and boogie boards keep the children entertained.
meredith and daddy are practicing while she waits for her turn behind the jet ski. she has learned to float this year and proudly shows off that skill.
they make me laugh!

granddaddy and his crew...
mckinley trying to stay afloat with 4 life-jackets on. it was hysterical; she would not even go under when she jumped off the boat. even though she is ten, she enjoys spending time with m1. they went for a long kayak ride, mckinley paddling up front and m1 relaxing in the back. she is a special funny girl and i love her most dearly.
mommy time... i enjoy getting out on the jet ski for some alone time. i can sing praise songs or talk to God, knowing that no one else is listening. i took a picture of my spedometer... i like going fast... i don't like that moment of panic when i turn too quickly and the ski almost comes out from under me and i realize that i have responsibility, a husband, three children, not enough insurance!

little man and granddaddy on the tractor after putting the jet ski over. this is entertainment!

these boys just love one another! little man and cousin wes are not only cousins they are great friends. after a full day in the water they find all sorts of fun "boy" things to do: shooting a bow and arrow (someone got a bulls-eye) playing horseshoes, building with legos. times like this i wish my sister and her family lived much closer.

bike riding is another fun thing the children like to do after spending the day in the water. since they are on grass they don't have to wear helmets, and if they fall off the pier they are only going in the water. little man has been on two wheels since the spring and he encouraged m1 to try two wheels on our last visit of the summer. she and daddy would start in the garage and ride onto the grass. by the end of the day she was riding down the pier with mommy. i was on mckinley's bike ~ she is 10, her bike is small, tough leg work-out. and YES, she is in her night gown and i am in my jammies.

the lake is a special family place... we have been going since i was five. my grandparents started out with a silver bullet trailer, quite different from the house we now have. this is not the place to go if you like eating out or entertainment. the closest wal-mart is an hour away and the grocery store forty-five minutes away; we bring everything in that we need so we don't have to leave. leaving is hard. it's the type of place where after dinner we load the children in the car and go deer spotting ~ if you are lucky you might see a bear! on any given day there might be a dozen small fishing boats nestled up around the cypress tree lined shore. on a busy day six or so jet skis / boats will be towing children around skiing or trying to bounce them off airheads. my sister and i go each year in june (our husband drive back and forth on the weekends) so our children can spend lots of fun time together. it's also a special time for us to reconnect since we don't see each other as much as we would like. after that we head down for as much time as we can without forgetting about church and other responsibilities at home. it is such a beautiful place that leaving is difficult... too many memories to walk away from.