Thursday, May 30, 2013

A great birthday present for Daniel!!

Praise God!! I truly believe that He has given us a miracle.  UNCW's chancellor announced at a press conference today that they administration would not be cutting any sports!! This is a huge victory, a huge answer to prayer. I spoke of the possible cut in this post.

The response from the swimming and non-swimming world has been phenomenal.  There was a petition to save the sport which has collected almost 15,000 signatures. There has been media attention. Daniel got an article published in our regional newspaper. You can read it HERE.  

At the press conference, the chancellor said he had not made his decision until last night! Last night, John, Daniel and I prayed and asked God to intervene. We prayed that God would speak to the chancellor and have him change the course,  AND HE DID!

Daniel and one of his swimming buddies/roommates went to Wilmington at 6am this morning to be there for the announcement. Today is his birthday, so this is a wonderful birthday present for my boy. I was exceptionally proud of his attitude throughout the whole stress filled time.  While worried and losing sleep, he never was bitter. He told me that he had told God that he would give up swimming if God had allowed the closure and opened no other doors.  While acknowledging the possibility of losing his dream, he also remained positive and hopeful. He handled it better than I did, in some instances. This 'ole Mama Bear was ready to claw some eyeballs out!!

I know there was a lot of work by a lot of people to fight for this program, but in the end, I totally know that this was the hand of God. The committee that made this recommendation was appointed by the chancellor. It wouldn't be customary for someone who had hand appointed a committee to go against their recommendation. I believe that indeed last night while we prayed that God would speak to the chancellor, He did! And for that, I'm so thankful to the Lord!!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A New Blessing!!

Yep, that's our daughter, Beth, and her husband, Greg. I'm going to be a Mimi again! I couldn't be any more excited.

Little Miss will be welcomed sometime in November. Praise God for this new little life!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Gone fishing!

With gifts from Nana and Grandaddy, two anglers are born!!

Baiting the hooks with bread

Elijah caught the first one

Abbey was next

Not afraid to touch!

Back in he goes!

We carefully avoided this fellow.

This big fellow carefully avoided us.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Happy Birthday to my hubby!

My better half turned 51 on April 23rd.

For his birthday present, I bought us tickets to see Eric Clapton. He had said that seeing this musical icon was on his bucket list. I was able to get tickets rather close to the stage.

The Wallflowers with Jakob Dylan (Bob's son), opened for Clapton. I believe he sings much better than his dad. Of course, there are many who love Dylan's voice. I just happen to not be one of them.

John was so excited and that made me happy. We had a great time going to the show. He can mark that off of his list now.

The concert was a few weeks before John's actual birthday. On his actual birthday we had a dinner with Anna, Layne, Abbey and Elijah.

John chose to have strawberry shortcake for his cake this year.

This Pa-Pa absolutely adores his grand-daughter. He relishes every moment that he gets to be with her. (She has no shortage of folks wanting to love on her when she's here. We all have to wait in line.)

This is one of the things that I adore about my husband. He loves, loves, loves his kids and grandkids. He adores when they are all home.  John becomes like Tigger bouncing off the walls when our kids are home. This is one of the many things I love and am thankful for about my husband.  People think that I'm the reason we have 6 kids. It may have been my idea to have a mini-tribe, but my husband likes being a chief just as much as I do. He recognizes how fleeting the time is when they are small. He also recognizes just how fast life zooms by for us all. He nor I, neither one, can believe that we are as old as we are. We've really grown up together. He's the glue to my life. There is no one on this earth I'd rather spend time with. I love his silly jokes and the little songs he makes up. Although sometimes one gets stuck in my mind and drives me crazy. His latest, sung to a country sounding tune:
Put your hair up there,
put your hair up there,
put your hair up there.
Or else it'll fall out like mine.
He made this up while washing the kids hair during bath times which he takes on on weekends.

John adds the life to our home. Whether it's contributing to a rousing game of Trouble, Hide and Seek, or playing the guitar and singing, he's the life of our party.  He plays hard, but he also works hard. He is one of the most diligent workers you'll ever meet. His hard work has allowed me to stay home with all of our kids. I'm certainly grateful for that!

My husband's  integrity is paramount to him. He strives to represent God well. If he tells you something, you can bet it's the truth. If he says he's going to do something, you can bet he will. His word is as good as gold!

I'm so grateful for our home and the life God, through John, has given us!

I love you, John William!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Backtracking~Anna's Birthday

On April 2, Anna turned 22. She asked for a fruit pizza for her cake.

She got lots of birthday love from Elijah. (He's had a bit of a hard time sharing Anna with Layne.)

Abbey gave her a card, and

a mosaic that she had made.

Not to be out done, Elijah ran up to his room and emerged with a gift bag. I had no clue what was inside it.

Anna was quite surprised to find part of an earring that broke a long time ago. I've no idea where Elijah found the earring, but I guess he thought Anna would appreciate being reunited with her old earring! And she was.

For her birthday present from me and John, Anna asked that she and I go to a musical. We share a love of the theater. Both of us thoroughly enjoy seeing broadway shows. We've been to several together. We chose to go to see

It was a fun show, starring Clay Aiken. It was great to be with my "theater buddy".

This year has brought one of life's biggest changes to Anna, she became a Mommy. She's handled the transition very well. I'm so proud of her. She gives her all for her little girl. I knew early on Anna would be a great mom. She's been babysitting since she was 9 years old. She's always been great with kids.

Anna's continuing her cosmetology business on a part time basis. She went to a new salon and basically works for herself. She loves doing hair for special needs kids and adults. Her husband is gone most week days, only coming home home on weekends, so she's a single mom a good part of the time. She joins us for dinner several times during the week. Of course, we cherish these chances to watch Layne grow and be with Anna. I'm so very grateful to have her close by. It's a special blessing to get to see her several times a week. I love helping out with the baby, as well as having Anna available to help out with my babies, when I need a babysitter. We have times to talk that we haven't had before. I enjoy hearing her perspective on things. The other day, she gave me one of the best gifts a Mom can have; the gift of regretting how they behaved as a teenager.  We were talking about kids and she shared how much she loves Layne. She also told me, "I don't know how you did it. Having teenagers must stink. If Layne says the things to me that I said to you, I'd cry and be devastated."  Yup! It's all about perspective.  Things look so differently when you grow up a little!

I love you Anna and am so proud of you! Hopefully, I'll be a shoulder for you to cry on when Layne is a teenager!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's not such a great day to be a Seahawk!

I've had two sons go through UNCW's swimming program. My youngest, Daniel, is currently a rising sophomore. They both tell of how the coach, Dave Allen, is always upbeat and a pleasure to swim for. One of his famous sayings is, "It's a great day to be a Seahawk"(their mascot). Well, today we got some news that really puts a tarnish of this slogan. The university formed a task force to look at the athletic department of UNCW. They issued their recommendations today. They recommended doing away with 5 sports. Men's and women's swimming and diving is one of those five. We could deal with that, it would hurt, but Daniel has the grades and could transfer elsewhere. The killer is that they suggested it go into effect this year! That gives these athletes no recourse to further their training. Most of them, my son included, have goals of swimming in larger national venues. He's devoted the past 10 years of his life to this sport! A swimmer can't stop training for a year and still compete. It is a very demanding sport. He spends half of his week in the pool, in addition to  several hours lifting weights or dryland training. This news is  extremely devastating.

The swim team has won conference championships for 12 years in a row! The team has a cumulative grade point average over 3.0. These guys are very diligent! It is an extremely successful program. Major schools, Tennessee, Duke, Virginia Tech and Florida State have each sought out meets with UNCW! Ryan Lochte, the Olympic swimmer, has even tweeted his support of the program at UNCW!

The reasoning behind this is money! Swimming and diving doesn't make any money, yet does cost for travel to meets. The swim/dive team operates on a shoe string.(200 thousand with 3.75 full scholarships).  The team has done everything to try to hold down costs. When they won the conference championship, instead of staying another night in the hotel, they drove from Fairfax, Virginia to Wilmington that very night. They arrived around 4 am!  The swimmers pay for some of their equipment out of their own pockets. Still, they do cost some money, but the swim/dive team's success has brought a lot of positive publicity to the university, isn't that worth some money?

I'm devastated for my boy. It's heartbreaking to see him work and work and work and then have his goals jerked away from him.

There is a petition circulating here

It might not make any difference, but it's worth a shot. The chancellor will have the final say and will announce his decision in 2 weeks.

Please pray with me for God to do something about this situation. I know it's not life or death, but to my son and many other student athletes, it would be the end to their dreams.

I appreciate you signing the petition and praying for God to intervene.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Elijah's birthday party

Elijah's birthday is in February, but his party wasn't held until March. We had to postpone it due to swim meets and other activities of our family and the families of the friends he wanted to invite. When the day finally came, he was one excited little fellow.

The party was centered around a race car theme. We started things off by decorating wooden cars.

Elijah and Corrie share drawing responsibilities

Then we had some games outside:

race with a car costume on
 red light, green light

Once back inside we had some treats that inspired play as well as consumption.

I made the cake and cupcakes

Nana and Grandaddy got to visit with Layne, when Anna dropped by after the party.

Never minding he had to wait quite a while for it, Elijah had a great time at his birthday party. Better late than never!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

He's a "two-wheeler boy" now!

For the past week, Elijah has been asking me to take the training wheels off of his bike. It's been raining off and on for several weeks, so we really haven't had a chance to see if he could ride with only two wheels. Today we had a break in the weather and he asked, so I took off the training wheels. The back tire was flat, and I couldn't get the pump valve on the tire, so I called Daniel to help me pump up the tire. We took Elijah down to the driveway, and in a matter of minutes...he was a "two-wheeler boy", as he labeled himself.

He was so happy with himself!

He immediately wanted to call his Daddy. (John was a little sad that he wasn't there. I really didn't think that Elijah would be successful today. I'd have waited for John to experience it, if I'd thought that Elijah was really going to be able to do it.) Despite his sadness, he was ecstatic for Elijah!

As I said, I was completely surprised that Elijah rode so easily. He didn't even fall, until he had been riding for several minutes. (The spill happened when he failed to brake soon enough, and ran into the curb.) I thought for sure we were going to have to reattached his training wheels. I even had to go inside and get my cameras, so I didn't capture his very first ride. But I was able to get capture the glee our little boy felt to be rid of those "little boy wheels"!

Big sis did a great job encouraging her brother, and was genuinely happy at his success.