Saturday, May 29, 2010

Who is this guy???

And what has he done with my oldest son???

John, Jr. has come back home for the summer. He has a job as the manager/swim coach at our neighborhood pool.  Daniel and John have always shared a room. Both of them have never minded being together. Well, when John got home one of the first things he said was, "I can't stay in Daniel's room." I asked why, expecting to be told that Daniel snores,(which he does), talks in his sleep (which he does), or something about the bed being too small(which it is). But, nooo, what he said next absolutely floored me; "The room is a mess. Daniel is a slob."  Wow! This coming from the kid that, when he lived at home,  I had to  make clean his room before he could do anything fun. This would be just in the nick of time before the health department could issue condemnment notices for filth! Seriously?? Who are you? Where is John?

It seems that they really do grow up and act in strangely grown up ways. For now, he is sleeping on the pull out couch (it has a queen sleeper), in the bonus room.  And yes, he has kept the area neat. Utterly amazing!

John is also having to adjust to life with a toddler and a preschooler in the house. He's not used to being awakened early in the morning, or the hearing the ear piercing crying that inevitably happens from time to time. He's going to be ok, once he gets over the culture shock, and of course, he only has to suffer until August! (My prediction is that when it's time to go home, he's going to miss the life here. We'll see if I'm correct? Time will tell)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Gourd Farm - May 20th

This past Friday we went to the Green Level Gourd Farm with OAKS. There were many fun things to do. It was like a little bit of country right outside of town. While there the kids got to:

Ride a donkey named Sallie

Abbey got to lead Sallie around 

Elijah refused to ride the real animal (he kept calling the donkey Layla). 

But he loved the tire swing horse

They had games for the kids to play~

Ring toss

King of the mountain, uh, tractor tire

Toys to ride on~(and tunnels to climb through)

Abbey and Cali driving the stagecoach

We saw a puppet show~

 We saw several farm animals~

Abbey wanted to pet the bunny

We went on a hayride~

But, the best part of the day was....

Spending time with friends!!!
(Maggie, Lily, and Abbey)

Monday, May 24, 2010

May 15 - 8 months with Elijah

On May 15th, we celebrated 8 months of Elijah being a D****. It is hard to believe he hasn't always been here. Physically and cognitively, he's on track for his age. In the speech department, I'm pretty sure he is a little delayed. This causes much frustration on his, as well as our part. He cries and whines a lot. This will eventually escalate into a tantrum, which will earn him a trip to the bathroom until he quits. He usually doesn't have to stay in the bathroom very long, before he calms down.  I feel certain that once his language catches up,and he navigates through the terrible two's, this will lesson.

Look at the growth in 8 short months:

8 months ago:

The biggest difference this month is the closeness of Abbey and Elijah. They actually play together and want to be together. He copies everything she does. She loves telling him what to do. She talks about how she loves him and is glad he is her brother.

Lovingly protecting him


It really warms our hearts to see them together!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Jog Down Memory Lane

In honor of Beth's 25th birthday and the fact that pretty soon my baby will be someone's wife, I've been jogging down memory lane through some pictures.

Beth was born 32 weeks. Back then, that was a big deal. At first, we thought she was fine.

Then we noticed that the nurse had whisked her away and place her next to the oxygen. No big deal, we thought...

We soon found out that it was a big deal. She was a very sick little girl. Eventually, they had to paralyze her to allow the ventilator to do its job. She remained in the hospital for 4 weeks. It was touch and go for a while. Finally on June 22, we got to bring our baby girl home!

She only weighed 4 lbs when she came home!

The Drs. said that she was high risk for a myriad of medical problems. So I watched intently and revelled in every little developmental step. Here she is right before her first birthday:

Cute as pie!!

A flash of time, lots of laughs, hugs, and a few arguments; and here we are now. My baby is all grown up and still a treasure.

Here We Grow Again!

Our family is adding a new addition. No, not in the way folks may think. We are adding a 28 yr old son, Greg! Our daughter, Beth, and Greg got engaged tonight.

 Beth and Greg

Greg called and talked to John Monday night. I'm very proud of him for doing that. I'm sure it wasn't easy. They had a nice chat and John told him that he felt like he could pass the baton on to Greg; knowing that he would take care of our daughter. They haven't set a date yet.

I am having a little trouble with the thought of being a mother in law. I've just never thought of myself as being someone's mother in law.

When Beth called to tell us, she talked to Abbey. Abbey told her that she had a dress in her closet that Beth could wear, and it even had a crown. We know all princess brides simply must have a crown!

Today is Beth's 25th birthday. This is the first one that I haven't been able to spend with her. That makes me a little sad. It has been twenty five of the shortest years you can imagine. It seems like she should still be asleep in a crib upstairs. She is a gorgeous, accomplished young woman, that I'm very proud to call my daughter. I love you dearly Beth!

And Greg, I'm happy to have you join our wacky family. I hope our loud, mulitgenerational craziness doesn't scare you too much.  I want you to feel comfortable to just jump right in.

(Scroll down the next post to see the an extra picture of Anna and Daniel that a friend took.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Anna's last Sunday as a part of Edge Ministry

Because she is graduating from high school, this past Sunday was Anna's last Sunday as a member of our youth group. It makes me sad. She has grown tremendously and has been given many opportunities to serve. For years, I've been threatening to bring in my cameras. She's always discouraged me, but what the heck, it was her last time, and by golly, I wanted to document it! So I brought both of my cameras.

She sang with the youth worship band for the last time.

They brought the senior class up to the front to be prayed for. It is a large class, they are certainly going to be missed.

With little brother, Daniel

Anna, friend Sarah and their middle school leader, Merritt

Small group leaders, Jami and JoAnn

High school pastor, Andy

Sarah, intern partner and fellow singer

With Jake, also a fellow intern

Our youth group is absolutely amazing. Anna has had the opportunity to leave school early every day this year and work as an intern in the youth ministry. She has gotten great experience planning worship and events. I'm so thankful for our youth ministry and it's wonderful volunteers and staff! 

A side note:  Many years ago, the man who wrote the song,"As the Deer Panteth", Marty Nystrom, came to our church, to give a seminar. In the middle of worship he gave an unsolicited prophesy to me and John. He actually called out our names. We had never met this man before that night, but he spoke God's word to our hearts. He told us that we would see our kids ministering for God in wonderful ways. I felt many times as I've been observing my kids play and sing in the youth ministry that I've seen that prophesy fulfilled. 

Daniel playing drums

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I lost the toss...

It's zai jian, Kai-Lan

and adios, Dora

I won't be seeing you this time.

A little explanation:
A good friend was able to get us free tickets to the Nickolodeon show that was coming to town. Kai Lan, Dora, The Wonder Pets and The Backyardigans were there. The only problem was that she was only able to get 2 tickets. We were so excited for Abbey, but both John and I wanted to go with her and see her excitement as her favorite shows came to life. So we decided to flip a coin. We called in an impartial judge to do the honors (Daniel) and I called heads and it landed on tails.  Boo Hoo!

Here she is all excited, ready to go-

Ready for a Daddy-daughter date-

Seriously, we are so grateful to good friends who think of us and give us free tickets. Abbey had a wonderful time and talked all day about it. So much so, that I feel like I was almost there, so I'm ok. She got to go and that is all that matters.

But, next time, I'm getting another coin flipper!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Finally to the creek

A little ways from my parents' house is a creek. Over the years, everyone has gone down to the creek with Grandaddy. When they are young, they go, throw rocks, and look at an occasional turtle, snake or whatever else might be down there.  When they get older, they take the BB gun and shoot at things in the creek (nothing living, of course). All of my kids have grown up doing so and loving it...except for our, march to my own beat, Abbey. For some unknown reason, she refused to go with Grandaddy to the creek. We have not been able to figure out why, but whenever my Dad tried to get her to go, she said she didn't want to.

Yesterday, we went to visit my parents and my Dad said that one day he wanted to get Abbey to walk to the creek with him. With no explanation, this time she said, "OK!" So off to the creek they went.

Picking up rocks for throwing


She didn't want to leave

So, Grandaddy let her get the mail

I tried to get a picture of both of them, but they were more interested in...

The bees in the clover. Abbey squished one on the driveway and said, "I died one."

I did manage to get a good one of Abbey.
(Aren't the roses beautiful! Just like my girl!!)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's almost that time...

Time to go...

All winter Abbey has talked about being on the swim team this summer. She was really good for her age last summer, and I wasn't sure how much she would retain this year. Shannon wanted to sign up Lottie also, so we decided to take them, a few weeks ago, to the local indoor pool. My little fish was a little slow getting her kick and stroke back, but by the end she was doing well. Not where she was at the end of the summer, but good enough for the swim team. Remember, she is only 3. She was swimming when she was 2. 

I expected Elijah to pitch a royal fit. In China, he did not like the pool at all. I was pleasantly surprised. He didn't cry or act scared at all. By the end of our pool time, he let me dunk him several times , and came up smiling. He also would put his feet behind him and kick. 

Bring on summer!!

Before we went to the pool, they had a "picnic" outside.