Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A New Family Member

No, not a human, but a canine.  Meet Bella...

Beth came to visit this Friday and Saturday. While she was here, she went to "look" at a puppy in Durham. Well, how many people can look at a puppy and not want to take him home?  Certainly not Beth! Bella has found her family. We met Beth at a McDonalds on her way home in order to get a glimpse of our new grand-dog, Bella.

She likes children

Isn't she pretty? (The dog is a cutie also)


Sunday, August 29, 2010

That's why I keep her around!

Today, Abbey was eating breakfast and out of the blue said,

"Mommy, do you know why I love you?"

I replied, "No, why??"

"Because you are beautiful!!!"

I love when they come out with something so unexpected and so sweet.

(By the way, I really don't keep her around just to hear compliments, but it sure does make life more pleasurable!)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Massive Understatement....

"I need a napkin"

Abbey doesn't just eat her ice cream~ she becomes one with her ice cream! This weekend John, Abbey, Elijah and I went to Baskin Robbins for a treat.

It started not too bad...

Then she really started enjoying it...

"Hey, what can I say? Maybe I can save what's on my face and eat it later?"

In typical fashion, Elijah was not nearly as boisterous with his cone.

Before we indulged in ice cream, we went to the park.

My biggest kid


Monday, August 23, 2010

Layla says, "Pass the corn on the cob, please."

Layla, our chocolate lab,  is known around our house as the living vacuum cleaner. She will eat anything she can get in her mouth. She doesn't just love to eat, she lives to eat and is constantly on the prowl for someone's abandoned food. Even if they didn't mean to abandon it, in Layla's eyes, if you leave it, it is hers. Of course, she loves every type of food, so I knew she would like corn. The amazing thing is that she ate it off of the cob. I'm not talking about taking a bite of the cob and eating the whole thing, she actually nibbled the corn off of the cob!

Here she is starting to nibble

Moving down to the end

Pretty amazing, huh?? I'm just surprised she didn't try to floss when she was done.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Wiggles

Our good friend, Jami, gave us 4 tickets to see the

John, Elijah, Abbey and I got to go.  Abbey used to watch the Wiggles constantly, now only occasionally. She still seemed to enjoy herself. Elijah was a hoot!! He danced and jumped. It was so cute. Then, the lack of nap time reared it's ugly head, and Elijah had a mini-meltdown. John quickly took him out and brought him back when he had calmed down. One disappointement~ no Murray. They announced at the beginning that Murray had to go back to Australia for a family committment. So, Ringo,(no, not the Ringo) subbed for Murray. The Wiggles are getting up there in age. They said that Jeff was 56 years old! That shocked us, he still is quite agile.

Ready to go see the Wiggles

I just love that eye disappearing smile!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Look who's talking!! ~ Oh me of little faith!

Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.
 Psalm 66:16
Home for 11 months

I've often stated in my Elijah updates that he is lagging behind in speech. Well, on this (as of the 15th), his 11 month anniversary of being a member of our family, I can report that he has made great progress in the area of his speech. The past couple of weeks there has been an explosion of words in his vocabulary. He is still behind his age, but at least we see progress, a lot of progress even.

I'm quite certain that this language acquisition is  God at work. A couple of weeks ago I began to fervently pray for the Lord to help Elijah speak. I could kick myself, because my faith is so weak. I began to pray, but really didn't think I'd see any difference. Oh me of little faith!! It's quite embarrassing to admit, but it is true. It was about a week after I began praying, that John and I were rejoicing over Elijah's speech. He was sitting in the high chair and stood up, whined and said clear as a bell, "My toe, Mommy." His toe had been scraped. We were utterly amazed. I stated, "Wow, I have started praying for his speech." John said, "I have been praying too." We both knew that we were seeing the Lord answer our prayer in Elijah! We give all praise and honor to Him. Even when we lack the faith, He hears us! Thank you, Lord.

Matthew 7:11
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!

With his new found words, we have seen him whine a lot less. I know it has been frustrating not being able to communicate. He still has a ways to go, but he'll get there.

Today, he wanted to use the potty. I helped him take his diaper off, then got distracted. I heard him yelling, "I wie, Mommy" I didn't get what he was saying until I saw this sight:

Notice the toilet paper, I think he had enough to "wie" several bum-bums.
I'm now going to put off having him evaluated for speech therapy. In our state therapy isn't free until a child is 3 yrs. old, and finances are very tight for us right now.  John's business has really slowed down, while our expenses have climbed. We have a couple of large things that we will have to be paying for in the near future. Needless to say, we will be in fervent prayer for God's provision, at the same time, we are trying to be wise (ie. frugal) in our spending. 


Sunday, August 15, 2010

One man's trash,

is another man's treasure

We have not bought any of our kids a car when they turned 16. But, the same people who refused to buy me a car when I was 16, insisted on making sure that their grandkids had a car. 

 When Beth turned 16, they gave her their old 1995 Crown Victoria. It was a decent car--then. She drove it, wrecked it, drove it some more,  then passed it on to John, Jr.

He drove it, and drove it and drove it. For five years he drove it. Then sister Beth comes to the rescue and allows him to drive her car while she is in DC.

So the Crown Vic is given a much needed rest.

Then Daniel starts to think about getting his license. We still can't afford to buy him a car, and it wouldn't be fair to the others if we could. Jokingly, we tell him he can drive the Crown Vic, if it will pass inspection. Daniel starts to save his money to pay for any repairs needed to pass inspection.

I keep trying to prepare this eternal optimist. I tell him to listen to the car- you can hear it coming for miles...eeek, errrk. I tell him to look at the car, it lists to one side. The windows do not roll down. The steering wheel is permanently cocked to one side. One day last year, the horn spontaneously started blaring. The only way I could stop it was to turn the car on. We still don't know what happened to cause it to stop???

We take it in for inspection, and amazingly, it passes.

More amazingly is Daniel's reaction. He is sooo excited and does a little happy dance.

So, now he has his license and Ole Bessie is back in service. She is getting treatment that she hasn't had in years. Daniel actually vacuumed her out and washed her!! He gladly drives the bomb!  He considers it a treasure!
Daniel's treasure


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Concert Outing

John is a huge Beatles fan, and has instilled that love in all (but one) of our kids. So, when he heard that Paul McCartney was coming to Charlotte, he invited all of the kids to go with us. Everyone but Anna,(the non-fan) chose to go. She very willingly offered to keep Abbey and Elijah.

We had a wonderful time. At first McCartney's voice was a little raspy, but as he sang it became clear as a bell. He performed for 3 hours solid. Here is a picture taken by Beth, it is not very clear, but it proves we were there.

Paul McCartney in concert 
July 28, 2010
It is pretty amazing to see a legend. I don't always appreciate all of his music, but I do recognize him as a musical icon. At 68 years of age, who knows if he will tour again. So, I'm glad we took advantage of the opportunity to see him

Anna, Abbey and Elijah also had a blast. Anna took them, along with Jamie and his little brother, Christian, to Jumpin' Beans,  McDonalds, then swimming. Abbey was a little subdued about Christian and Jamie joining them. Anna said that she was very mean to Christian. When Anna asked her why she was being unkind, Abbey replied, "I don't want another brother!". Then she kept saying, "Jamie and Christian aren't in our world." Sure does sound like the green eyed monster had a hold of Abbey, as she had to share her beloved Anna's attention!

Elijah, Anna, Christian and Abbey at Jumpin' Beans


Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, John, Jr.

 Our second born celebrated his 23rd birthday this past Saturday. Because he wanted to catch up with his friends from school, we celebrated on Friday, so he could go to Wilmington on Sat. He chose to eat in and have steak, mashed potatoes and green beans. He chose plain yellow cake, with no icing and a new dessert I've only made once before.(It is quite yummy, even if I do say so myself!).

 Standing up to wish John a Happy Birthday

As I've mentioned before, John is living with us for the summer. At first, it was a big adjustment for him, but he seems to have settled in nicely... ie. he can now snooze right through the early morning shenanigans of a toddler and a preschooler. He's been very busy at the pool. Everyone that I've talked to says he is doing a wonderful job. (Of course, I don't think they would complain to his mother, but they don't have to say anything.) When he's not there, he's playing music, either guitar or drums. He's quite a music junkie.  I think it is a bit unsettling to him not to know what he will be doing when the summer is over. He has a couple of job prospects, but nothing solid; and nothing that he'd want to make a career out of.  I pray that God will make it unmistakably clear which direction he needs to go in the next phase of his life.

When I look at this young man, I still see a little boy who bought me a ring out of a machine and would bring it to me to wear whenever I was going somewhere (I still have it). I see a kind hearted little one who would hide behind a chair because a movie, (ET), made him cry. I see a mischievous teenager who sent me to my knees constantly praying for his safety, because he was certain he was invincible.  I see a young man that will make a great husband and father one day. I see a son that I love dearly and can't wait to see what he will become!

Happy Birthday
I love you John William!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Watch out world, Daniel's driving!!

Leaving the driver's license office. I promise he was happier than he looks here.

Daniel got his license this Friday.  Even though we had an appointment with the DMV, unbelievably, we almost didn't make it, because he overslept. Yup, the day he was supposed to get his license, the day he had been counting down to for months, was a day he didn't respond to his alarm. I had gone to take the little ones to a friend's house. When I got home, (17 minutes before our appointment), I found lazy boy curled up, snoozing away!  Once I screamed at him, he jumped up and we were out of the door in record time.

About an hour later, Daniel was an official licensed driver! While there are advantages to him being able to drive himself, emotionally it is a scary thing to send your child out into the streets while he is operating heavy machinery.  I've done it now four times and I can tell you it doesn't get any easier!

It makes me thankful that the Lord loves him even more than I do, and He will be with Daniel as he sits behind the wheel of that car. Believe me, the saying is true, "Nothing sends a Mom to her knees like handing her child the keys"!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Swim Team Banquet

Every year at the end of summer league season, our team has a banquet. There is lots of good food, awards and a slide show of our season. This year's banquet was a lot of fun. John, Sr. couldn't be there because he had an elder meeting at church, : (

Coach John
He's got that rock star grip on the microphone

Each swimmer gets a participation trophy. 
 Here's Abbey with the other 6 and under girls.(Emily is on her left)

Then they give out the special awards. First, for most improved. Guess who won the 6 and under girls' most improved?  Miss Abbey!

Two trophies!

Coaches Amiee, John and Most Improved 6 and under girl, Abbey

 When we got home, she sat in the den with Beth,(she was home doing wedding stuff), Daniel for quite a while. She would stand on the hearth and say things like, "This person has a great life and has worked hard. Come on up here, BETH!" Or another one I heard her say, "I taught this person to do the backstroke, breathstroke and he's worked real hard. Come on up here DANIEL!" It was such a hoot to hear her take/re-creation on the banquet.

That night when I went to do my final tuck in this is what I saw...

Trophies for bed partners

Daniel won the high point for the 15-18 guys

Here he's getting his participation trophy
He's 2nd from the right

Watching from the sidelines, as usual, Elijah (with Anna)

I love summer league swimming. It always makes me sad when it's over. It means that summer will be ending all too soon!