Monday, November 29, 2010


Daniel's hard work in the pool and the classroom paid off for him recently. He was chosen to be a part of "Scholastic All America". To achieve this he had to have a certain grade point average, as well as having swum a certain time. I'm not sure what the qualifying time is, but it is a might bit fast. He also got a special recognition lapel pin for having above a 4.0 GPA.

Because money is tight, and meets are expensive,  Daniel hasn't been to any meets, yet, this year. He is going to a really big travel meet in Virginia next week. We are praying that he swim super fast. There will be several college coaches at this meet.

No matter how he does, we are immensely proud of him. He gets up two times a week at 4:15, in order to get to practice by 5 am. He practices for 2 hours, goes to school and then back to a 3 hour practice. The other three days, he practices for 3 hours in the afternoon, in addition to 3 hours on Saturday.  At his last report card, his GPA was 5.0! (It's ok for a Mom to brag a little, isn't it???). He has shown tremendous dedication to his sport and to academics.

Keep up the hard work, Daniel! We are very proud of you!!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Today is the calm after the storm, albeit a good storm. Today John, Jr is gone, Beth and Greg are gone, and Daniel is at practice for a 3 hour practice. Abbey and Elijah are so exhausted that they both were ready to crash for a nap at 11:30 am. Abbey slept 2 hours and Elijah has slept almost 3. They certainly had a big day yesterday!

 Abbey fell asleep in the floor.
Notice the bag in her hand...
 Nana gave her some princess games and coloring books. She put them in this grocery bag. Abbey carried it around all day yesterday and today as well. She even fell asleep with it!

Our Thanksgiving actually started Wednesday night. All of our kids came home and we went out to eat seafood. Then we (all except for the 2 youngest), watched a movie.

The next morning, we went to my Mom and Dad's for a huge meal and fellowship.

Playing basketball

The highlight was our traditional, go around the table and tell what you are thankful for moment. John and I were quite taken aback when it came around to Abbey and she said, (uncoached by anyone), "I'm thankful for all my family!" Oh how precious! There were quite a few tears shed. All of us feel immensely grateful for my Dad being with us. He had a spell two weeks ago where he totally lost his short term memory. He has recovered, but they never really found out why it happened. They are suspecting Transient Global Amnesia. It sure was scary. Both of my parents are so special to me and my kids. They are always there for us, giving encouragement, support and anything else we might need. Out of 6 kids, I don't think they have missed a single birthday party. They are absolutely the best!!!

Abbey and Nana

Anna, like all of us, loves her Grandaddy!

Nana, Beth and Grandaddy

We also love their Nana

My brother's family: Betty,Jordan,Tom(my brother), Landry

After digging in to a huge lunch, the guys went to play golf, while the girls, Elijah and Jamie went to see the movie, "Tangled".  I enjoyed it; and it wasn't so scary that Abbey couldn't watch it.

 John, Jr. practicing his swing

I'm so thankful for my life and my God. The fact that He knows my every need and how He will meet it, before I'm even  aware of it, still astounds me! I've seen Him work on so many occasions. I look around and see miracle after miracle.

 My immediate and extended family are so precious to me. I don't know how to find the words to express my thankfulness for all of them, especially, my husband. After spending the day together today,  I'm just left with the feeling of completeness.  He just gets me, whether any one else does or not. But the wonderful thing is that, even though he knows all my inadequacies, he still loves me!

I'm one superbly blessed woman!!!

Front-Beth,Abbey,Me,Elijah,Anna,My Dad, My Mom,Jordan,Betty
My Whole Family


Monday, November 22, 2010

No more dolls, on to real people!

Our budding cosmetologist, Anna, has moved to the next phase in school and is now able to work on live people! She's quite excited, while more than a little afraid about working on heads that can actually move. I went to her school and, for the first time, let her cut my hair. She did a great job. I was pleased, and I'm more than a little picky about my haircuts!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dancing through life

Somedays I just marvel at the marvelous life the Lord has given me. I'm so blessed to be doing what I get to do. It's just plain fun. The other day was one of those days.

We have to get up and go three days out of the week. On those days, we have very little time for anything spontaneous. I'm like a task master cracking the whip--"Hurry up and eat, get your shoes on, brush your teeth, etc...  but this day was one of our take our time, enjoy the morning, days. I turned on the radio to hear the weather on a local station. Both of the kids were at the table eating breakfast. A fast song came on the radio. The next thing I knew both kids were up from the table just dancing for all they were worth.

 "Woo-hoo! It's dance time!"

Notice Abbey's "rock" face

It was so cute. So, I just had to join in. We danced together for the rest of the song. Then they went back to their breakfast.

After our impromptu boogie, I thought about how much fun it had been. How wonderful it is to be able to dance with my kids. And equally, how wonderful for them to enjoy me dancing with them. (A few years from now, they would be mortified to dance with their mom). Life can be so sweet! I'm so very thankful to have a lifestyle that allows me to take advantage of times where we can indulge in some child-like, unrestrained fun. What a wonderful way to start a day ~ with a joyful little jig!!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spelunking with Daddy

I'm sitting in the dining room checking my e mail on my computer, when all of a sudden the lights go out. In the darkness I see a flashlight beam followed by three shadows. It's John, Abbey and Elijah, aka  our resident spelunkers. It seems that our downstairs has been converted into "caves", which they are exploring.

Here they are exploring the "cave"
(I took these with my night portrait mode, because caves are very dark)

They decide that I am a bat. I've been lots of things in imaginary play, but a bat?  Nope, don't think so, that's a new one. Anyway, I play my best bat... They come up to me and I screech and they run away.

Coming out of the living room cave

They had quite a grand time. I marveled at John's imagination. Who would have thought to make the rooms dark and pretend they were caves??  He can be such a fun Daddy! I just love watching him play with them.

They loved this game. Finally John told them they had to quit. Abbey asked, "Why?" He said, "Because it is 8:30." She said, "Well let's pretend it is 2:30!"  She's a sharp one, that girl!  But, cave exploring is dirty business and the spelunkers had to go above ground to the upstairs to get their baths, go to bed and dream of other adventures with their very creative Dad. 


Sunday, November 14, 2010

A walk in the woods

This past Friday we went with OAKs to a local park. It was an absolutely beautiful park.  Although the park is situated in the middle of a suburb of Raleigh, you'd think that you were in the mountains.

The view from one of the overlooks from the bluffs

The kids hit the trails and began a game of "lost".

Abbey and Kylie consult their map

"Look another clue!"

Along the way, Abbey noticed this flower

The kids were supposed to collect things that interested them and put them in their buckets.

Abbey and her collection

Notice what Elijah collected?
a toy car, which he couldn't part with before we left home

He did enjoy shaking the leaves off of this little tree

When we finished our trail walk, the kids made collages with their new found treasures

Since Elijah's bucket was empty(except for the car), he just drew a picture

The finished projects

It was a great day of marveling at God's creation and, of course, the best part was enjoying playing with friends

Lily, Darcy, Lottie and Abbey

Darcy, Abbey, Lottie and Kylie

Abbey, Lily and Cali

Elijah and Corrie


Friday, November 12, 2010

Oh, my! He's getting brave!

Tonight I walked into the foyer and couldn't believe my eyes...

Elijah has always been our cautious one. Evidently...not so cautious anymore.

I had the stairs blocked, because I didn't want them to go upstairs. Little mister cutie pie decided that he would get upstairs his way. As I removed our newest daredevil, I had to chuckle (of course only on the inside) at his ingenuity. He was determined to get up those stairs!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Bittersweetness of life

 So much fun!

The other day, Abbey was talking about how she had caught something. Of course, she said, "catched". I corrected her and she asked why. I explained the grammar rules the best that I could. Later that day, she explicitly said a sentence, and when she came to it, grinned and said, "caught".

I congratulated her, but inside I was mourning a little bit. I thought, here we go... one more step to being grown up. I've seen lots of those growth markers lately.

While working with me on her letters. She said, "I can write my whole name." To my amazement she did just that!
Notice the concentration

 So proud!

She now has a job. She feeds the dogs every night. She gets such a thrill. Several times during the day, she gleefully says, "I get to feed the dogs tonight!"

Dinner time, dogs

All of these developments show that my precious little girl is growing up. While I rejoice with her, part of me is a little sad.  Each little step she takes toward independence, brings a little step toward me working myself out of a job! Ahh the ambiguity! I know that I would be so sad if she couldn't make those strides, but I can't help but be a little bummed to see them happen in what seems to be such a short period of time.

I've been here before. I remember when the four oldest looked like this:

At a UNC game, about 1995

I blinked and they grew up.

Abbey's joyful, willingness to do chores, such as feeding the dogs, does signify that she is still young. By the time they are old enough to really help around the house, it is like pulling teeth to get them to do it! So, for now, I can take comfort that she'll be little for a bit longer!