Saturday, October 29, 2011


Our newest fur-grandbaby, Rocko!

Anna has a new baby...a little shorkie puppy. As a baby he is already an experienced flyer. He came on and airplane from somewhere in the midwest.

He's such a cutie! Abbey and Elijah go berserk whenever Rocco visits us.

Getting to know each other


Monday, October 24, 2011

Just Keep Spinning......

Right now, in my life, I so identify with the person who kept the plates spinning. I remember seeing performers as an act, try to keep many plates spinning on little rods. They would quickly run back and forth. Just as soon as they got one plate stable, another would begin to topple.

Of such is my life right now.  I'm not complaining, just venting a little.

I find myself chanting, "Just keep spinning, just keep spinning..." In the same vein as Dory from Nemo, "Just keep swimming..."

The plates that I've got to spin: a wedding in 3 weeks (my second daughter to get married this year), two preschoolers still at home, (one taking gymnastics once a week), one preschooler that will not sleep in the morning if any one in the house is awake,  two older kids still at home, a husband who works a lot, working a very part time job (only 7 hours a week) myself, household chores that get worse the longer they have to wait, Bible Study Fellowship,  a senior in high school who is applying to colleges and swimming in swim meets, (both high school and USA swimming), two very hairy dogs, who leave mounds of hair whenever they go, groceries that need buying and on and on.

There are some days that I run from one thing to another all day long. When I feel stress starting to rise, I try to remember what I used to tell my kids when they were stressing. "Inch by inch, life's a cinch, yard by yard, life is hard." I take a deep breath, pray for a calm heart and try to  remember that these are all wonderful things and precious people and I'm very grateful to be able to have these things and people entrusted to me.

Just as long as I don't let any of the plates fall!!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

One final picture on the fridge...

Throughout the years, whenever one of the kids had achieved something or created something, I would put it on the refrigerator. I like the front of my fridge to be clutterless, so I limit what can be displayed. Only very special papers, such as first time they write their name, or a good grade in a difficult class, will find their way onto our refrigerator.

Anna came in yesterday and announced, "I've got one more paper to put on the fridge!"

She has passed both parts of the State Board of Cosmetology Arts licensing exam!! She's now as official cosmetologist.

In typical Anna fashion, it wasn't without some controversy. She went to take the practical/hands on test and forgot her practice hand (for doing manicures) in her car. They wouldn't let her go back and get it. Consequently, she started to panic and felt like she hadn't been able to follow the directions correctly on the rest of the test.  She came home that day so battered, bruised and down in the dumps. She was certain that she hadn't passed. Then yesterday, she got the notice online that she had passed!!

This mama is so proud of her young 'un! My girl has struggled with school for years. She's had to work for every good grade she's gotten. She successfully sailed through cosmetology school, despite those old school demons hounding her before each test. She persevered and now is done with school, has a job and is getting married. That's a whole lotta livin' for just 20 years!

Way to go, my Anna B!!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nana's Birthday

My Mom celebrated her 72nd birthday this past weekend. The younger kids and I traveled to her house to spend the day with her on Saturday.

We took her out to eat. She chose to go to McDonalds...I wonder who she was trying to please, herself or Abbey and Elijah??? When we got back we celebrated with cake.

I enjoyed being able to talk to Mom and Dad for a while. I do get to see them fairly often, but we usually have something to go and do. It was nice to just chill at their house and be able to chat.

The kids played with their new puppies that Mom had gotten them. Ummm, her birthday and they get presents? That's how my Mom rolls. She is such a giving person, and has been all my life.  She's always been ready and able to help me in any way she can. I've come to depend on her for everything from baking and decorating birthday cakes, babysitting, giving advice, to just lending a listening ear. She's a very important part of, not only my life, but the lives of my husband and children. We might not say it enough, but we love her dearly!

One highlight of Elijah's visit was his first taste of a hotball. My Dad eats them all the time, and the last time he was at our house, Elijah wanted one. Dad didn't have one to give him, so he promised to give Elijah one the next time he saw him. That was one of the first things Elijah asked for when he walked in the house.

At first, it was ok. Then....
It became a bit more than he bargained for!
I don't think he'll ask for another hotball for quite a while!

Anyway, we loved spending the day with Mom and Dad, and sharing in Mom's special day!

Happy, happy day, Mama! We all love you so very much!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Elijah's special "prenn"

Many times I have heard Elijah say, "Corrie is my prenn", but until the beach weekend I really didn't realize just how good of a "prenn" Corrie is. During our weekend, those two cuties were inseparable, whether playing, eating or posing for pictures.

 A couple of times we had to reprimand them because they wouldn't allow other kids to play with them.

If you look back at the beach photos, Elijah and Corrie are next to each other.  This wasn't just a beach fling....We were at Caleb's birthday party this past Saturday. While eating cake, Shannon, Corrie's mom pointed out that Corrie and Elijah were having their own private party. They were sitting on the floor facing each other as they ate their party treats.

So it appears that the chick-magnet has his first little crush. This is just fine with me. I love Corrie, she is adorable, and her parents are close friends of ours.  But, Corrie, at least for right now, still has some competition. Yesterday, while at the kitchen table, Elijah looked at me and said, "Mommy, you're so cute!" Ahhh, be still my heart!! No wonder he's such a ladies' man!


Monday, October 10, 2011

The wonderful, wild, beach weekend comes to a close.

 We had some excitement Saturday night,

The folks in red are the "sea turtle experts". The nest was behind the pink tape.
 We got to see some sea turtles hatch. Since it was so cold, they wouldn't let them walk to the ocean, they carried the little baby turtles down by hand. We only saw one, but it was still a treat to get to see even one.

The sky and ocean were beautiful at sunset!

Every good vacation inevitably comes to an end too soon, and our small group beach weekend was no exception.

Sunday morning brought us more of the same weather, but just like the day before, that didn't stop the die-hard ocean lovers.

The higher waves beckoned John and Ian with promises of great rides.

See the two black dots in the wave? That's Ian and John

While John did enjoy some great rides, he also endured a majorly sore neck and shoulder for the next week!

Darcy tries to warm up.

Elijah knew his place--in the sand and didn't even try to brave the water.
Others joined him. Notice the Moms in long pants and jackets?
Time for the group picture...

Raji, Lottie, Abbey,Kylie, Sena, Elijah, Corrie, Daniel, Caleb and Darcy
Beautiful, aren't they?

Of course, they had a "jumpin" great time being together!!

One more family picture (of the members of our family that were there)....

Then back in the car for the ride home. Each of us basking in memories of great food, meaningful  conversation and great fellowship!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

A wonderful, wild weekend--the friends come!

We had two wonderful days with just our family, but were excited to have beach time with our friends. They started coming in on Friday night. Abbey and Elijah only got to see Raji and Sena before they went down for the night.

The next morning they woke to a house full of friends. Jeremy and Deb made us all breakfast with a help from a couple of Jr. Chefs.

Abbey-"Now, Mommy, this is real cooking!"
Just as soon a breakfast was done, the kids were clamoring to hit the beach.

We had tremendous storms Friday night that ushered in a cold front. 

The beautiful sunset before the storm.

Do you think that stopped our beach babies?

No sirree! They all ran into the ocean!
They played for a little while.

Abbey and Darcy enjoy the waves
Soon, they all started to trickle out. The water was plenty warm, but the air?? The air was a balmy 55 degrees!

Teeth shattering, Elijah makes his exit
opting for a dry towel

Kylie joins him

Kristi cuddles her little popsicle, Daniel

Abbey continued on riding the little waves.

Eventually, most of the kids opted for dry sand playing

Except for..guess who... yup, my water baby! Abbey was the lone child in the ocean for quite a while. Finally, even she decided to abandon the icy-aired ocean for dryer activities.

After naptime, we stayed on the beach for most of the day. The adults (guys) played football and were joined by the girls for a rousing game of corn hole.

Shannon fixed a wonderful dinner and we all enjoyed a cold, but fun day!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A wonderful, wild weekend! (day one)

Our family loves the beach, and we were given a special blessing this past weekend. Our small group, which is centered around adoption and orphan care, planned a weekend at the beach. The owner of the house we were to stay at told us we could go anytime earlier. We jumped at that offer! With finances on the low side this year, we haven't been able to have a vacation. (The downside was that due to work and school, only the youngest two kids were able to join us for the whole time.)

Surveying the ocean

They both rush in,

but one retreats to less turbulent water

What fun!

John, Jr. came to visit for the day. He joined in the beach fun.

We did the usual "beachy things"....

Play football

Try to hook that allusive big one.

Play in the sand.
This is "D***** castle" and it remained standing for 2 days!
Mummy Elijah
The weather was gorgeous! We had a refreshingly great family time! On Friday our small group buddies began to trickle in. Ten kids ages 5 and under, two preteens, four sets of parents plus another couple of adults all together. It was quite a bunch and quite a wonderful time!

More about the rest of the weekend next post.