Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Family Retreat

Last weekend was our churches family fall retreat (it only occurs every other year). We drove up on Friday afternoon and were able to get settled, have dinner and then rejoin our church body for a wonderful weekend of fellowship and worship. Chris took the kids canoeing, we roasted s'mores at a big bonfire, I got to catch up with my friends, we got to eat decent food with friends, sipped coffee and sat around watching the kids in our church playing soccer/frisbee etc on the grassy areas.

Horrible, horrible, horrible that these are the only pictures I took! The bonfire started at they were all quite tired (ie, not in the mood for a picture!).

So thankful my friend Andria was able to snap this picture of Anna-Kate! During the final service on Sunday the children came in to tell us about what they had learned. They sang some songs, repeated some catechisms and shared some Scriptures they had memorized. My battery has been dead, but I am going to video Anna-Kate reciting her verses! So very sweet to hear little children speak the words of the Lord!

For the sake of truth in documentation, I should add that Friday night was horrible. I mean, in the top 3 worst nights of sleep I've ever had in my life. We were all 5 in one room. (I was reminded of why we don't have kids in our room this weekend!). Jack woke up a few times during the night and would just babble to himself (not cry). Ryan is a pretty light sleeper, so that woke him up and he thought it would be fun to share the party with Anna-Kate, so he woke her up. Splendid. When Jack fell back asleep, however, my big kids were mid-conversation loving the midnight chat-fest. I went to sleep at 11:15 and then saw 12:30, 2, 4, 5 and 5:40. Brutal (as was the lack of coke products. Who in the south serves Pepsi? Seriously?).

Anyway, we loved the time we had, were reminded both of God's faithfulness to us and of how blessed we are to have such a strong and sweet church family and are excited for the retreat in 2012! :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


As we drove home from school today Anna-Kate said to me, "Mommy, I want you to teach me when I'm 10." I said, "what do you mean?" She said, "when I get big I want to stay home and you teach me there. Like, maybe when I am done with the 5 older school at Miss Mandy's school" ("5 older" refers to 5 year old school, or, kindergarten). I said, "so you want to stay at your school this year and next year and then you want mommy to teach you at home?" She said yes then, "Mommy, do you think you could pray about teaching me at home after I leave Miss Mandy's school when I'm 5?"

I was kinda caught off guard by that. How great that she wasn't just asking permission, but wanting me to pray about it? I love her sweet heart for Jesus! I was also struck with the seriousness of her request. Especially considering her tender age, I want her to see prayer as vital, not a flippant thing Christians say to each other, "Oh ya, sure, I'll pray about that for ya" type thing.

So, we will (continue to) pray about that, and for the continued development of her spirit towards the Lord.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A half

Good gracious, it's been a busy week and weekend! (I abhor getting behind in my blogging too!). Here's a quick overview of our fall break week:
Monday-zoo with neighborhood friends
Tuesday-jammie day!
Wednesday-children's museum
Thursday-lunch at chickfila and then soccer practice (and a picnic at the field)
Friday-tour of a local pizza place, stayed for lunch. Left town early for our church's fall family retreat.

Whew! We just got back. I promise to add more pictures tomorrow (hurray for jammie Monday!) but I had to get on to wish my precious baby a happy 6 month birthday! (what!?!?!). In response to me telling her he was half of a year old today Anna-Kate said to a couple of people today, "oh ya, he's a half." Sweet baby.

(and, he managed to move from the blanket in Ryans room through the door, down the little hall to in front of his bedroom tonight. Say it ain't so!). Bummer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall break fun!

Today we went with some friends to a children's museum. My kids had an absolute ball! Jack was a champ--despite the 10 minute nap he got (evidently, he transfers fine to a bed, but does not transfer to a stroller. Sigh.).

Atop a John Deere

...and a bulldozer. He was in little boy heaven!

Brilliant...they provide kids with rain coats to keep their clothes dry while splashing and making a mess going fishing.

She was cheating and putting the stuff on the end of her line.

Ryan stopped what he was doing, dropped the pole and is shouting, "CHOO-CHOO mama--it's trains!!!"

Jack and Wilson chillin' in the baby section. Jack has gotten so good with his sitting that he effortlessly goes from tummy to back to tummy to sitting and has even had a couple of crawls. (and what I mean by that is that he isn't "crawling", but he gets on hands and knees and will move 1 knee and his hands, but no more than 1 "crawl". Ha.).

It isn't possible for him to be any cuter. Gracious!

This picture makes me laugh. I said, "girls, freeze and smile for me" and Annie literally froze and Anna-Kate went in to super pose mode. Hysterical. I guess I take a lot of pictures, it seems a bit natural to her now. :)

Cool little spot under water in the fishing table.

She is so like girl loves the sand! (Though, I prefer mine on a beach, she seems pretty equal opportunity.)


Anna-Kate and Annie painted a long time after Ryan lost interest. It was fun to watch them and their personalities come out. Anna-Kate went over and had the guy wash out her brush each time she wanted to use a different color, whereas Annie painted freely and mixed the colors. Both enjoyed themselves immensely. So funny.

This was a crane situation where two people say in the crane and swiveled it back and forth picking up balls and dropping them into a big container. Ryan literally sat there for 20 minutes (until I made him get up to share!). He was beyond fascinated.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Everybody know what time it is?

(No, not tool time)

Time to lower the crib!

(WHAT--Jack isn't even 6 months old yet?!?!?!)

I know. Saturday night he woke up screaming around 3 am and when Chris walked in Jack had pushed himself to sitting and couldn't figure out how to lay back down again. Crazy. So, since a couple of weeks ago Jack pushed himself up onto his hands and knees, (and hands and feet, like a bear) and began rocking I figure he's giving us the "I'm outta here" signs, and we'd better be proactive on the crib safety front. (On another note, I demand it to stop! He is my baby and he is growing up way too quickly!!) I thought that Anna-Kate walking early was a random thing, surely lightening wouldn't strike twice on the crazy early walking front (she walked 4 days before she was 7 months old).

Stay posted.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Time marches on

Warning, this is an emotional post that is horribly organized as it was written stream of consciousness...

It's been a weird weekend. My grandpa is having knee replacement surgery soon and the rehab that will come with that, along with various other reasons, spurred them to move to be closer to their daughters. Ultimately, it is a good thing for them, but I hate it. I'm really sad. I'm an emotional sap, a sucker for tradition and huge into the preservation of my (all important) memories. I moved from Texas cross-country a month before my senior year of highschool (thus, my parents no longer live in the house I grew up in)...I feel like I'm losing the last piece of my childhood as my grandparents leave the home they have lived in for 40 years. Selfish? Sure.

As I drove over to help pack yesterday I was fighting back tears. There is something so weird and sad and wrong about going through things that were loved and lived with by someone you love that they no longer need. I felt so pulled by my need to purge (and not take a bunch of stuff I don't really *need*) and then felt an almost stronger need to save things. Old skeleton keys, old wire shopping baskets, ancient whisks...they are a piece of history. Of my history. At one point I had to escape to my Papa's bathroom to cry and try and pull myself together (added bonus, it's the coolest place in the house...) and finally just went to the attic to clean that out and let my sweat blend into my tears (it was approximately 937 degrees up there. Miserable).

I can't really put in to words (maybe because I can't articulate yet) all of the feelings I have about this move. After the attic I packed pictures and frames. There was literally a lifetime of pictures--from way before my time to recent pictures of my kids. This home has contained so many precious days--memories, traditions, meals, family. At the risk of sounding completely cheesy...I feel like this move is an end of something. Maybe it's watching the circle of life, remembering my grandparents how they were when I was a kid and then seeing them age and need to be closer to their daughters. Maybe it's me finally admitting that I'm aging, or worse, that my parents are aging and that time marches on (and there isn't a dang thing I can do about it) and that one day I'll be walking this road with them. My heart hurts for my grandparents--I can't imagine the emotions they are facing at leaving the home they have lived in and loved for so long, a lifetime of memories. Then I get all introspective and imagine moving from the home where Chris and I raise our kids, marry them off and retire in, to a small "more practical" option.

I guess we are left with the sadness of life to remind us that this isn't our home...heaven sure is looking better and better.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A glorious Friday night

Alternate Title: if only every weekend began like this...

Our friends called to invite us out for pizza and to go to a local square for icecream.

(Side note, not sure if it's just me, but my afternoon went from "just fine" to "amazing" in the course of 3 minutes. I enjoy cooking as much as the next person, but it's so freeing to be able to work on a project all of nap time without thinking about dinner preparation and to be able to sit and read with the kids instead of scurrying about getting dinner ready. Wonderful!)

Anyway, not only did this mean I didn't have to cook dinner, but Chris got home a few minutes early and we got to chat with friends (and our kids were so excited!). Unfortunately, we were at the restaurant 1 1/2 hours, (they got there first and were there an extra 20 minutes) so driving to the square was out. We instead drove through McDonalds and brought it home to have a "picnic" in the backyard. We got the $1 sundaes and I scooped them into cones I had here. The kids thought it was awesome to get a big cone (instead of the mini ones they usually get) and hot fudge and I thought it was great that they were dripping outside. :) I took Jack in to feed him while Chris hosed the kids off (no, I'm not kidding. He stripped them and hosed them down calling it their "shower".). We had a nice family devotion and prayer time and all three are blissfully asleep now.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What they're saying

My conversation earlier with Anna-Kate...

Me: "Why did you push your brother?"
AK: "Umm, well he wouldn't share with me. And, he pushed me second.
Me: (I deserve a prize for not laughing out loud) "Umm, wouldn't that mean you pushed him first then?"
AK: "Uh-huh."
Me: "Ok, just making sure we're clear on that..." then had to proceed with discipline while still trying to keep a straight face. Seriously?


Ryan, within the last 2 weeks has started napping very eradically. Pains my soul. Until about 10 days ago he slept every day solid for 3 hours. He hasn't napped 4 days in the last 1 1/2 weeks and as he napped well yesterday, was awake at 9:45 pm. Ugh. Anyway, so I woke him up from his nap at 4 on the nose today and he was a little grumpy. Unfortunately for him, Jack woke up right afterwards and I needed to feed him. Ryan came in as Jack was nursing (we were on the glider) and Ryan said, "put him down and feed meeeeeeeee" and then burst into hysteric tears. I told him that I didn't roll like that but that he was welcome to sit with us and cuddle.

Special Delivery!

Doesn't this just make you smile? (And maybe if the PO workers in my area saw something as cute as this it would make them smile and not hate life.)

He kept trying to figure out how to crawl in the box, so I finally put him in and he just giggled in happiness.

Where am I going?

Oh, right. My job is to smile and be adorable.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The cheering squad, and, a jam-packed weekend!

My college roommates, Liana, Blair and Megan, came in town for a quick girls weekend (more like a "girls 24 hours"). Friday we went to a cute restaurant downtown--so yummy! We felt like crazy kids being seated to eat dinner at 9! We had a lovely 3 course meal then headed back home to watch The Soup. Anna-Kate slept on her special air mattress/princess sleeping bag in my closet to let Liana and Blair have her bed, (it's huge in there and even has an air vent, don't feel sorry for her, she was so excited!) and Chris kindly offered to play video games all night sleep on the couch downstairs so Megan could sleep in the bed with me.

The next morning we got up, had some coffee and headed out to Anna-Kate's first soccer game! It was miserable hot. Thankfully, there was a lone sapling that provided shade if you stood just right (Poor planning, park and recreation planners, poor planning. Amy Pohler would have thought that one through better. Anyway.). There are 12 kids on her team, the Thunder. We played the Tigers and they divided each team in half (the first 6 from each team to arrive played on one field and the last 6 from each to arrive played on the other field--so everyone got to play. In theory, great idea, in actuality, too much running (45 minutes) for a 4 year old on a hot morning (Additional bummer, her buddy Adam was the 7th to arrive so he was playing on the other field.). Lucky Anna-Kate, had her own cheering squad and finally started chasing the ball!

With Max, her class monkey, who attended the game with us.

Her friend, Kaitlyn and her watching the game (while on the field...) with arms crossed behind them. At practice they will often hold hands and chat mid-play--ha!)

Kicking off!

GOOOOO Thunder! :)

We celebrated the first game at Chick-fil-a and then Chris took the kids home for naps and we headed out for pedicures, Starbucks and a little shopping. It was glorious! So fun to reconnect with these dear friends and laugh at memories of old times (thanks, girls, for making this weekend a priority and leaving your babies!). We came home, made a quick dinner and they headed for home.

We ate Mexican food....

Sunday we attended Sadie's baptism and a celebratory lunch at Leigh-Ann's afterwards. Such a sweet time and we loved getting to see the whole family. :)

Chris went to a baseball game with some friends last night while I stayed in. I had planned to attend our home group from church but it absolutely didn't happen. I wasn't feeling amazing, so something had to give. HFG was that thing.

Now, let the new week begin. Hello, Monday! (and yes, in honor of Monday, we are all in our jammies!).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ryan-isms and stuff

"the 'boose"--caboose
"pay trains"--the constant "play trains" that I hear. :)
"Di-sor train!"--Dinosaur Train (the show) that he repeats in a song, of sorts (thanks, Chris).
"I not a pumpkin, (when I use pumpkin as an affectionate term) I a Ryan!"
"Umm, no thanks" when I ask him if he needs to go potty.


My college roommates are coming in town for the weekend so I was giving Anna-Kate a refresher, via pictures, on who was who. She ended up knowing almost all of my bridesmaids but asked where Aunt Ann (Leigh-Ann) was. I told her that we weren't friends back at the wedding. She said, "Oh, that is so sad. So, so sad Mama! I wish she was in your wedding! But, I've seen your wedding movie a lot and Uncle Jon is in your wedding, why?". She could not wrap her head around Chris and Jonathan being friends and Leigh-Ann and I not--it was rockin' her world!


I told Anna-Kate that Miss Kendel was at Disneyworld. She was very excited for her. A bit later she asked if we could move to the Polynesian with Miss Kendel and live there and daddy get a new job in Florida. I said no. She said, she was going to talk with her Poppy about it and then said, "well my Mary friends invited a new Mary to join them--Mary Kendel." (So Kendel, you've evidently been "canonized". Ha!).


Soccer practice went much better yesterday. No tears, actually ran after the ball and kicked it (bonus, in the right direction!). First game is this weekend, should be cute.


Jack sat up (not in his carseat) in the front part of the buggy at Publix yesterday. He seemed to really like it and I can tell you, my shoulders appreciated him not being in the bjorn. We left the grocery and went to his first playgroup. So cute (and, he wasn't even the youngest!). Thankfully, there was a boom of boys born in our neighborhood this past year, so he has a lot of friends already. :)


Thus ends the most random blog post ever. You're welcome.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First day of school, 2nd edition

Tuesday was Ryan's first day of MMO. He had gone back and forth from having fear in his eyes at the mention of school to wanting to "go with Tate!" (Anna-Kate). So, for the whole weekend we talked about going to school, being brave and if he missed me or got sad to remember how much mommy loved him (a la, "The Kissing Hand").

I tried to get a good front door picture...I even let lamby join the fun. Sadly (clearly) it was to no avail. We'll try again.

Anna-Kate was only too eager to offer a smile and show Ryan how it was done.

As we drove to school he kept repeating, "I try be brave Mommy, I try." He had a death grip on me as we entered his room and absolutely wouldn't crack a smile.

We went in, I showed him where his backpack would go, showed him the potty and got him set up with a buddy playing with trains. I gave him one last hug and kiss and left (to get my camera and sneak a picture with his back to me. I would call Tuesday a failure in the photo-op department).

When I returned to pick him up I had a wonderful report--he was 1 of three kids who didn't cry! He did great, was obedient and his only accident was because I forgot to tell them to take one leg out of his short for him to straddle the potty--thus getting the angle correct, if you know what I mean. So, his clothes needed to be changed, but not because he had an accident. (BIG BOY!! We are so proud of him.) I have to say, my favorite part of school days (or any time of separation) is the reunion. The drop what I'm doing and go running, arms spread, shouting "Mommy!" is the absolute best!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What do you think?

Who do you think looks alike?

Anna-Kate, 6 months

Ryan, 6 months

Jack, 5 months

Chris thinks Anna-Kate favors me, Ryan favors him and Jack is our "hybrid" kid. :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

On how to make a basket water proof.

Anna-Kate and I were playing/reenacting the story of Moses (complete with the "moses basket"). She was being Miriam, taking Moses (aka, Snow White) to the river. I told her to take the baby and put the basket in the reeds, so he would be hidden.

AK: "OK, and don't worry, I have a glue gun and glue sticks."
Me: "Why on earth would you need that?" (Nevermind such things didn't exist back then...)
AK: "So I can glue the holes so water won't come in and get him wet."

I applaud her a.) imagination and b.) resourcefulness. I am also ever so happy that she has crafty inclinations. Warms my heart, in fact.

Friday, September 3, 2010

So, it's official...

I drive a van, that van is kinda full of kids, and said van took us all to our first soccer practice. Yep, get me an official card, I'm a soccer mom. :)

Anna-Kate had her first soccer practice this week. She has been dying to begin soccer and was so excited to play, especially as she knew five of the kids on her team already. I realized, day of practice, that she needed to wear shorts. That presented a bit of a problem as she doesn't wear shorts. Ever. In fact, I didn't think we had any, (I had returned or sold all of the shorts I bought ahead for this year as I decided it wasn't worth the battle) but fortunately, my mom had gotten her a cute pair of shorts that somehow hadn't been sold. Super. We pulled the tags off and off she went (and chose to ignore the fact that she was one of 2 kids not in mesh/gym/workout shorts. O well. She will be wearing the exact same thing until we get our uniform shorts).

We ate dinner at Chick-fil-a, then headed to the field. We were on (I believe) the only field with zero shade. A bit unfortunate, but, to be expected. :) Things started off well--she was given a pink ball, (which matches her pink cleats--too cute!) and she thought that was super! She and Adam paired up to do some kicking exercises, but it all fell apart when the coach (a man) bent down to individually instruct the kids. She started crying and came over and said, "I think I'm too shy to play soccer." I gave her a hug and told her to be brave and sent her back out there. Rinse, wash, repeat--about 7 more times. The coach brilliantly told the kids to try to kick their balls at him, which a bunch of 4 year olds thought was hilarious. She got back into it a bit then.

We concluded the night getting icecream to cool off (it was crazy hot, and frankly, I think that's what the big problem was for her). Anyway, we got to the car and she completely surprised me by saying, "I really like soccer and had fun, it was just too hot for me." God love her, we've been outside in the heat so infrequently this summer, because of Jack, that she's not used to being that hot. Sad, isn't it?

So, to the fun part....could she be any cuter?!?

Water break (and, when she finally agreed with me that a ponytail would be the way to go.

So happy with the little pink ball!

Huddled up with the coach.

She and Adam kicking back and forth:

Waiting her turn to kick the ball around the cones (this was about 45 seconds before the crying began).

Watching for the ball:

Poor Ryan was near devastated that he isn't big enough to play soccer yet. To add insult to injury, I forgot water for him so he was forced to drink from Anna-Kate's princess water bottle. Poor second kid...(imagine what it's gonna be like for Jack. Hmm.).

Ending practice with a mini-scrimmage.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Knock-knock, gone wrong

AK: "knock, knock"
Ryan: (says nothing)
AK: "say 'who's there.'"
Ryan: "Ryan!"
AK: "No, say, 'who's there'"
Ryan: "An-Tate!"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's like I always say....

...when life gives you lemons, at least you have something to blog about.

In today's instance, McDonalds is the lemon in question.

Wednesdays are crazy for us. I drop Anna-Kate at school and Leigh-Ann and her 2 little kids get in my car and we drive to church for womens Bible study. We arrive late, have our time there, leave a few minutes early and are late getting back to pick up the big kids (noon). The last 2 weeks it has just so happened that I'm out of bread for sandwiches (I grocery shop on Thursdays). Oh, and Jack eats at 12...makes for an unhappy baby when I roll through carpool at 12:15...

Anyway, I've been nursing the baby in the car and then we have been going to McDonalds to let the kids eat a little quicker. Our McDonalds is notorious for being stupid/not reading orders messing up orders. I generally order the same thing, (which includes for myself a double cheeseburger meal with no ketchup and no cheese. Always.) so know how much it costs. She asked me to repeat my order three times. Then said, "that'll be $11.70." My normal total is $5 and change. When I asked her to read back through my order she had it completely wrong. Mind boggling. So, we got that fixed, took Ryan to the potty and went to divvy up food. The fries box (that we split) was half full. Literally, we hadn't eaten any, so I took it back. The manager agreed it was not OK and gave me a new one. No big deal. Get the kids' situated. Make a couple more trips up for mustard, salt, napkins etc. Finally go to eat my meal, open it and there are 2 pieces of cheese and ketchup is dripping off of it. Once I finished gagging, I took it back. The girl was incredibly apologetic and took it back to get another. I waited a couple minutes and then went to sit down, assuming she'd bring it to me. That would be a wrong assumption. About 5 minutes later I finally walked back up there and she said, "oh, didn't you get your burger?" (umm, no...). She grabbed it, gave it to me and I headed back to the table (by this point, my kids, Leigh-Ann and her kids are done eating). I sit down, open it up, and would you believe it, again, covered in ketchup and cheese! I checked the paper instructions, yep, said, "NO CHEESE" and "NO KETCHUP". I was floored. Took it back again, this time giving it to the manager. Instead of saying something to the line people (who clearly decided not to read the large capital letters) he absolutely chewed out the girl who rang me up for not ringing up my cheeseburger meal as a hamburger meal (ps, there is no double hamburger meal). When she said as much the manager replied, "they can't be expected to see 'cheeseburger' and read no cheese on it". My mouth absolutely fell open. Yes, indeed, why would we expect people to actually read and follow directions. (and, that still doesn't solve the ketchup problem, but whatever).

I can think of no kind words with which to conclude this post, so I will follow the advice I give my kids, "when you have no kind words to say, keep your lips closed".

The End.