Sunday, June 29, 2008

It's been real. It's been fun.

And actually? For the most part? It's been real fun! Exhausting and busy but fun :)

I am actually doing a separate post about t-ball. It is deserving of more than just one pic and a quick word, because OH MY GOODNESS watching Samuel play t-ball was so much fun! Hysterical fun! Watching so many children squeezing inappropriate parts while listening to my son yell for someone to, "THROW TO ME!!!! I'M OPEN! I'M OPEN!" while he was playing left field and being open is never really an issue in baseball anyway.....which is where the hysterical part comes in.

It was non-stop, old-fashioned, belly-laughing fun, so in an effort to wrap up the last 6-8 weeks of life, I have to include it and say that we finished t-ball about a month ago.....Amen.

We finished field hockey about the same time. We prepared for a Saturday tournament that should have ended after the first game. We had the worst record of the season, so who knew we might end up spending the whole day fighting our way through the loser's bracket and beating the #1 team (shout...NUMBER ONE TEAM!) and knocking them out of the tournament??? Well, it happened and Hannah scored the goal that tied that game! It was so exciting. And hot. I was thrilled to be sitting in my Mamaw chair with Benjamin. I cannot say enough about this chair.
I took Hannah to get a summer haircut and asked for about 3-inches to be taken off. Somewhere that request was lost in translation and the lunatic woman (who will remain nameless ) took off 6+ inches and chopped my girls hair into about 8,052 different layers.

It has been a wonderful opportunity to stretch me us in the area of vanity, humility, forgiveness and anger control.

Who knew that hair could invoke such dangerous emotions? After picking up the phone several times to work that lady over speak with the owner of the salon and realizing that I might resort to hair-pullin & name-callin' behavior less than Christ-like, I have decided to sneak up on said lady and scalp her bald headed forgive and forget.

That's about all I can say about that for now. Hannah looks lovely and we have cried our last tears over hair....for a while ;)

Oh, this picture was taken at our "regular" salon during our "please fix it" haircut this past week. You can see the sides of her hair in the mirror. They won't even go into a ponytail.


Her hair was to the middle of her back.

We gotta move on. I'm starting to twitch a little bit.
Joshua turned three! Remember last year??? The pictures are still floating around over there in the Flickr box. I need to tend to this blog and make it all purty and put out some new links and thing-a-ma-jigs, but I am Flat. Plum. Tuckered. Out.

Happy Birthday Joshua!
Sophia came over and taught my girls to knit and crochet. Kelly whipped out a wrap and queen-sized afghan and all I managed to do was pump some milk for my baby.

I kid. Kelly did catch on rather quickly but then again she always has on matching shoes and I'll be darn if she doesn't always brush her teeth too.


To everything there is a season.

This ain't my season to learn a new skill.

Chris was out of town for a few days and in his honor Emma wore one of his hats each day and slept in one of his shirts each night.

I guess you'd say, she's a Daddy's girl ;)
I cannot explain these photos. She is my daughter. I will claim her.

That doesn't mean that I can explain what the fizzy is going through her mind or her rabbit ears at any given moment.

I will tell you that she has begun to "officially" babysit and loving every minute of it!
She leaves the rabbit ears at home, of course.
And this one? Well, she obviously takes after her daddy.
Everybody says so.
Just some ball throwin' in the backyard. I just love to see my boy throwin' the ball in the backyard. I don't want to forget his last little-boy summer. He seems to be on the edge of big-boy every day.

Chris' company picnic. This past Saturday. It was so blazing hot, I can't even remember what happened.

Oh yeah. I remember now. My skin caught on fire and my children's clothes melted to their bodies.

Good times.
I'm hot. I can throw a ball 22 miles per hour. But nobody cares cause it's too stinkin' hot.
Here is Emma waiting in line for this very exciting bungee-trampoline thingy. She waited in line until my skin caught fire and then she waited some more.

Then she just about had a nervous breakdown when it was over because after all that insane waiting in the blazing hot wasn't even fun.


The baby is trying to steal my cookie. Baby? Don't you even think about it.
Samuel decided that there was a hot breeze blowing on the train and decided to stay there until we left.

Never mind that everyone had left and he was riding solo. That just meant more breeze for Sammer.
Nuff said.
Scott (Chris' brother) and Robin were married in the Bahamas back in April. We were not able to go but the pictures were too beautiful not to share. Scott is like my own brother and not being able to attend this wedding was very hard, but I am so happy for him! I am happy he is married! Yeah marriage!


Just kidding. I just like to tell people who are married to HAVE BABIES! EVERYBODY! HAVE BABIES! I LOVE BABIES! COME ON EVERYBODY AND HAVE SOME BABIES!

There. I got it out of my system.

I have probably scarred scared Scott & Robin a bit with my whole house full of babies, but I think they love us anyway :)

They certainly love each other....

We went to Pocahontas State Park and they have the most wonderful little water park with $5.00 admission. The only catch is that once school is out the pool is packed and not so enjoyable. We were able to go the week before school let out and had a fabulous time!

Snack on this.

The parks & rec guy came over with his little friend and got the kids pretty fired up. Most of them touched the snake. My daughter actually uttered the words, "I LOVE THE SNAKE" at which point I took all of her belongings and tossed them out of my car.

We can't have snake-lovin' in this family.


The best part of the snake-show was watching Jenn flip her wig when I made her touch the snake.

Ya'll... It was good stuff! And I have pictures, but I won't show them, since she is wearing her swimsuit. That's called "friendship". Your welcome Jenn.

Let me tell you that if anyone ever posts a picture of me in my swimsuit on their blog they will be dead to me.




But to give you an idea, here is her daughter and her expression pretty much sums it up...

We joined our community pool and even though it costs our life savings a hefty sum of money, it has been so much fun! We have always swam with La La/Lea Ann/The Lurker in her fabulous pool, but then she up and moved away and we to be bonafied members in order to go back to her pool and since I live a good 15 miles from that neighborhood, I just couldn't pull off the charade any more.

Samuel took swimming lessons at the pool and he officially knows how to:

1.) Go up the ladder and not down. Down is bad. Up is good.
2.) Walk. Do not run. Run is bad. Walk is good.
3.) No toys in the pool. Toys are bad. Water all by itself with nothing else is good.

He can also pretend to be a monkey and hang on to the side of the pool and does a great job at plucking out the dive toys with his toes all the while never getting his face wet.

The boy has talent and good looks.

They went down the slide & the diving board on the last day, and their trusty swim teachers caught them in the deep end to ensure that no actual swimming would be necessary.

"Swimming" during swim lessons is apparently optional.

Who knew?

Um. Ahem. Pardon me.
Never mind.
I'll pass.
Thanks anyway.
Who needs swimming lessons when life is this good?
Emma with Jenn's girls.
Well, I think that's about it. I have been working on this one post for several days. Summer is busy but not out of hand. We love the free movies and have seen Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (loved it) and the VeggieTales-Pirates Who Don't Do Anything (not my favorite), been swimming (a lot), and are planning a trip to Maryland (fireworks in D.C., Orioles game, and fun at La La's!!!).

More later about my homeschool choices, a fabulous dessert, and deep thoughts from the abyss....

I know you're on the edge of your seat.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Drooling Cowboy

O.K.... I realize that he isn't wearing the entire ensemble, but once we saw the incredible cuteness of a naked baby in a cowboy hat it was all over. Finished. Kaput.

That naked baby had one destiny.

To be photographed relentlessly.

Let the hee-hawing begin. Enjoy...



Christina asked me this question in the comment section of my post about Benjamin....

"I would really love to hear more about your thoughts leading up to your decision. Having another child (and going through another pregnancy) is a scary thought for me right now. I think I'm in the place you were a few years ago. What would you have said to yourself back then?"
Boy-Howdy Christina if you lived close by you would have certainly walked through that decision with me....whether you liked it or not.

Cause my sweet friends listened with dragging ear lobes about my anguish and turmoil over making this decision. For years.

I cannot even claim to have had physical reasons behind my hesitation but mostly just plain fear....and a little bit of complacency.....and a whole lot of selfishness.

Do not read that last sentence to mean that if you are not planning more children then you are selfish. This is how I would describe my own reasons for struggling in this area and it most certainly wouldn't pertain to anyone else :)

Selfishness along the lines of....

"I am done with that season!" (whew) or
"I have alone time now!" (amen) or
"I can finally do this, that, or the other!" (hallelujah)

Not that it is wrong to recognize the blessings of each season and their passing and how God graciously beckons us to that next chapter of our lives. But. I still had quite a stirring in my heart and it just wouldn't go away.

And here is where the struggle would reveal itself. Again....and again.

So my short answer to Christina for "what would I say to myself" would be to completely turn fear and anxiety over to God during the process.

He was and is faithful to grant mercy and grace in the fullest measure for my life when and only when I need it. I knew I could not stand on this side of that decision and be able to grasp what my family would look like with four children....or a child with special needs....or the loss of a pregnancy. Even though each of those concepts were foreign and frightening to me, I had to lean on God and trust the longing that I know he placed in my heart and kept there for a reason.

I came to this same place when we made our decision to homeschool. I stood at the edge of commitment and looked downward at this valley of fear and worry that only looked dark and looming from my perspective. It was only after I rested in His absolute and perfect provision and stepped across that threshold that I realized that my perspective was so tainted. Tainted because my heart is tainted. Tainted because my vision is blurred. Tainted because I am a sinner and so everything I do with my own strength and by my own accord is so horribly tainted.

Thank you God for salvation. Thank you God for never leaving your throne. Thank you God for considering the details of my little life before my little life even began.

I truly believe that standing still in the midst of decisions that God is calling us to make can be the most miserable place in the world.

Benjamin has been a blessing. No doubt.

But the greater blessing has been in the obedience. Not the obedience to have more babies or to homeschool because these things are all relative to the hearts and lives of each person.

I am talking about the radical obedience to trust God. His ways are not my ways.

Thank goodness.

"Who among you fears the LORD
and obeys the voice of his servant?
Let him who walks in darkness
and has no light
trust in the name of the LORD
and rely on his God."

Isaiah 50:10

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stay Tuned....

I plan on taking a picture of my baby boy wearing this little outfit...with red stitching....and pearlized snap buttons just like Buck Owens.

And this straw cowboy hat. It is tiny. It is hysterical. You will wet your pants.
I also plan on writing a little more after I show you that picture. But I will give you a chance to catch your breath and wipe your eyes.

Christina asked me a wonderful question in the comments of my previous post. A topic that is so very near and dear to my heart. A topic that tempts me to use too many words. So I am working on condensing those thoughts to something a little more manageable than 26 chapters. I am working on it.

I am also trying to write and post some pic's about our adventures lately. I try to use this blog as a journal of our day-to-day life since it is the only place where I record any memories! Apparently, we are making a lot of memories lately because I cannot seem to find the time to do anything but breeze through my favorite blogs without even leaving a comment.

I love you girls! You know who you are!!!!

How about until then, I'll leave you with a little glimpse of the goings-on at
mi casa loco....

Samuel plans on renaming Benjamin when he gets older......He wants to call him Jesus.

When he kicked the dog the other day he claimed it wasn't a kick, but rather a punch with his foot.

Emma petted and stroked a very large
bull-snake at the pool the other day and professed love for it.

I have to disown her now.

Hannah had her very first babysitting job this morning. She was prepared and excited beyond belief. I don't think she slept.

Oh yeah, and her foot is the same size as mine.
This news may not disturb you, but it is very troubling to me.

Chris officiates and participates in nightly wrestling matches with our children that involve trophies, background music, and signature moves.

All on our bed.

Life is good :)

Let me send you to some other places where the writing is articulate and the thoughts clear and concise.....

Five Hindrances To Self-Control

Tips For Self-Discipline

I just realized the connection of these two posts. Obviously, I am in need of a bit of correction in the area of "self" these days, huh?

Do you love His appearing? You really need to listen Brian... Jenn's husband, our friend, and the teaching elder for Grace Fellowship. Take the time. Listen to his sermon from June 8th on Psalm 98.

You will be blessed.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Cause my heart is full....

Things about this little baby boy that make my heart nearly burst...

  • When he is nursing and he is half cross-eyed, drifting off to sleep and looks up at my face and manages to smile the most blissful and content smile you've ever seen in your life....and milk runs down his chin.
  • His smell is intoxicating. Truly. The most heavenly smell on earth. I drink it in. I dare you to pick him up and not kiss his impossibly sweet smellin' head. Goodness gracious.

  • This baby loves to "coo" all the live-long day. He can make it sound like an angel's song and we are all captivated by his sweet noise!
  • I love coaxing him to slumber and watching him ball his fists and rub vigorously on his eyes trying to fight off sleep. He lays still for a fleeting moment only to writhe and stiffen again to the battle. Eventually he will relax his hands and then rest them on my shoulders. I can feel his entire body surrender and go limp on my chest. He starts to breath deeply in and then exhales into my ear.....what a peaceful place.
  • There are not words to express the gratitude for being the one who listens for his voice in the morning so that I can nourish him and hold his warm little body until he is sleepy and full and ready for rest again. Me. God, in his perfect wisdom and magnificent ways, has allowed me to care for this boy. I am humbled.

Dear Benjamin,

For so many years I labored over the decision of whether to have another baby. Why? I look at you and for the life of me, cannot figure out how we managed a happy thought before you graced us with the joy that is your smile. You make everyone in this home gush with baby-love! God took our family of five, that we had deemed complete, and considered it well and good to add your sweet soul to our lives. More than thankful, more than grateful, more than heart is full.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Summer Vacation....the mini-series!

We decided against a full-fledged 7-10 day vacation away from home, like we usually take and instead have opted to take several short trips that are within driving distance.

Our first trip?

The Great Wolf Lodge

We stayed here last fall with Gigi, but the kids loved it so much we had to go back! Besides, I was pregnant last year and I couldn't ride some of the rides and display some of my skillz on the Flowrider.

By definition...
  • Flowrider - unique body boarding experience where you never have the same ride twice!
Oh yes. Experience it was.

Little notes to self are 35+ years old just gave birth 4 months ago have done little to no exercise in over one year are nursing a baby are chubby with a capital "f" "large-boned" (for the time being) are 35+ years old

Basically, if there is a challenge that involves youth and adrenaline, I have very hard time resisting that challenge.

Like the time the kids across the street were sledding on pieces of linoleum and "catching air" on a large ramp made of ice and snow and I decided it would be wise if I joined them.

Need I say it was not wise?

This didn't end as painfully as that, unless you count my pride. I thank HEAVENS unfortunately have no photos to share with you, other than these of this small boy mastering the art of the "flowrider".

I will tell you that I did manage the "belly-ride" but it was when I made the swift and near fatal attempt to pop to my knees that things went south.

I mean they went south like a rocket goes to mars.

The board shot out from underneath me, spared my two front teeth (sweet mercy), and I flew backwards with the current and landed in a heap at the top of the ride....with my swimsuit in questionable positions, if you catch my drift.

After I tucked all the necessary body parts back into their respective places, I coughed up several gallons of water, lifted my chin, and sauntered off.....with a bit of a limp.

I forgot to mention that the image of my boy with his fist clenched yellin', "YOU'RE DOIN' IT MOMMA, YOU ARE DOIN' IT!" made it all worthwhile.

Now some pictures of my sweet family during our very first trip as a six-pack!

Baby Boy did a lot of this....

This is Chris, the girls, and some poor fella whose family wouldn't join him on this ride. Bless his heart, my girls probably left him with his ears ringing like a telephone!

The burden & blessing of technology. In our case, I would say it is mostly a blessing. It has allowed so much freedom in Chris' work schedule and made these little getaways possible!
O.K. You have to know that Samuel would rather wax his own eyebrows than participate in this little tube-o-fun. Not his idea. At all. Can you tell that he is already making an exit and they just came out of the shoot?
Tell me you don't want to eat that baby with a spoon!!!

Hannah & Emma had so much fun and they are at an age where they can wait in line without an adult. This place is set up in a way so that I could see the entire park from my table....where I was forced to sit with my Iced White Mocha from Starbucks and read while the baby slept peacefully.

I managed.
I love how Samuel makes this lazy river look like he is riding the rough waters of the Colorado rapids.

I would be leaving out the best part if I didn't tell you that we had to force strongly encourage him to get on this tube in the first place.
Apparently if you add 84 degrees with 100% humidity along with some incredibly loud white noise, a 4-month old baby doesn't stand a chance staying awake.

After we left the Lodge, we headed to Daddy's favorite place...The Bass Pro Shops!!! We helped him burn up a gift card that he received after purchasing his boat. What fun! I think Dad thought we would be limited in our spending since it was...ya know....The Bass Pro Shops full of rods, reels, and the such, but he totally underestimated his girls. This store is great ya'll! High quality clothing! Flip-flops! Modest yet stylish tank-tops! More Flip-flops! Circus Peanuts! Cute bermuda shorts!

Daddy, you've been holding out on us!

Before we headed home, we stopped for dinner at Cold Stone Creamery because ice cream is milk and milk is protein and protein is good for you!

I even had strawberries in mine :)