Saturday, August 30, 2008

Half of a Decade

Today is our 5th anniversary. It's so hard to believe it's been five years. And more so, it's hard to believe all that has happened in these five years. Amazing. God is so good!

We didn't really do anything too spectacular today, since we'll be celebrating our anniversary more next month, but we both did stuff we really enjoyed today:

-Patrick did his major fall yard work today (mowing, thatching, seeding, etc)

Our wonderful neighbors came over to watch the kids while Patrick and I went out for dinner. We sampled a lovely Indian restaurant that reminded us of our "former days" before children. We loved to frequent Bombay Cuisine in Charlotte, and Sitar (sorry, no website) was a great reminder of how much we enjoy Indian food. We bought Doug and Ellen (our wonderful neighbors) a nice bottle of German wine to thank them for their gift to us. Mallory did wonderfully for them and it was so nice for us to dine knowing the kids were well cared for.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart. I'm looking forward to our next 5 years!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pee Pee in the Potty?

For the last 2 days, Mallory has been sitting on the potty trying to do her best to put something in there. On two different occasions, she sat on the pot for 45 minutes, without complaining (for the most part) and just "missing" the pot. The first time (yesterday before naptime), she told me she needed to go "icky poo poo" and I stuck her on the pot before she could go in her diaper. She sat on that pot for 45 min and downed a whole cup of juice while sitting there. Then she started complaining a lot, because I KNEW she had to go. In her frustration, a little nugget passed into the pot, to which I got wildly excited and immediately gave her a treat. I knew she needed to go more, but she started complaining so badly (screaming uncontrollably is more like it). I didn't want her to conjure up distain for the miniature pot, so I went ahead and put her diaper back on, and she immediately went. She then sat on the pot and asked for her treat. The second time (this morning after she woke up with a dry diaper), she sat on the pot for another 45 minutes, stood up, peed on the floor, sat back down and asked for her treat.

Anyway, she's wearing "special diapies", as we call them around here (AKA pull ups), and I'm hoping that she'll eventually put all the pieces together and realize it's a good thing when she uses the potty. I made her a chart for her to put stickers on when she finally does pee. And the fruit snacks (her treat of choice) are waiting to be eaten.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An update

For those of you that have been praying for my grandmother, I greatly appreciate it! She's out of the hospital now and is back in rehab, praise God! She's still having antibiotic administered twice daily for her MRSA infection, though it's much better now. My grandfather is doing well, though he's still worrying about grandma and wishes he could be with her. My mom is still down in FL trying to help prepare my grandpa's house in case my grandmother can come home in the near future. When she'll be released from rehab is still questionable, though hopefully in the some-what near future. I am planning on seeing my grandparents when Patrick and I head down to FL in October.

Anyway, my sister was a great minister to my mom, grandma and grandpa while she was down there. I think my sister is heading back today and my mom may be heading back home in the next couple of days, too, which is a blessing.

Funeral arrangements for my grandma's sister are still not's a long story. But, I still don't think my grandmother knows of her sister's passing.

God is good. He is providing, like He always does.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Walking? Already???

Ethan's Dedication

Here are some pictures from Ethan's dedication. Gram and Pops were there, but I unfortunately didn't get any pictures of them. And these are from my dad's camera. I don't think I took any pictures on my camera...

And by the way, the shoes that Ethan is wearing were Patrick's shoes when he was a baby. Awww.

Here is the video my dad took of Ethan's Dedication this morning. What a special time for us! We pray God will shower his blessings upon our little boy:

Friday, August 22, 2008

A little cheer

I don't mean to be all gloomy in my last 2 posts, but I wanted to just share my thoughts over my loved ones.

But to add some cheer, my in-laws are in town through the weekend to watch our little E-man be dedicated to the Lord this Sunday. We're very excited about this little ceremony and are looking forward to making a public committment regarding our call to show Jesus to our son.

And by the way, E went the pediatrician today and we found out that he's 27 lbs and 31 inches long. Not quite off the charts, but close. Very close.

Another day of remembering

Brooke MacKenzie

I'm thinking and praying for Joy and Bobby today, knowing that they are aching the loss of their little girl. I don't know if Joy reads this, but I remember Brooke and think of her often, especially today.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thinking, Remembering, and Praying

My mind has been heavy with thoughts of my mom and her folks over the last few days. My grandparents are both dealing with significant life changes at this time and my mother, being 8 hours away from them, is struggling with wanting to be with them and wanting to be home. I can imagine her dilemma but I cannot yet relate.

My grandmother fell and broke her hip about 3 weeks ago. She had already been failing in health, suffering from dimensia and advanced arthritis. And because she broke her hip, or shall I say shattered it, she received a total hip replacement. After her time in the hospital, she moved into a rehab facility for therapy and care. In the meantime, my grandfather is struggling with finding his new meaning in life, since his entire life was consumed with caring for my grandmother. Now, she was being cared for and he was left at home alone to worry about her.

But, as my grandmother was recovering, she developed an infection in her wound that tested positive for MRSA, a nasty bacterial infection that can be very dangerous if not treated properly. She was admitted back into the hospital earlier this week because she kept removing her IV port. My grandpa and my mom's brother asked my mom to come down to FL to be with them since both my grandpa and grandma were struggling Mom is a strong one. Well, I guess I should say she gives the appearance that she's the strong one, though I know she's struggling along with them. I can't imagine. Anyway, mom arrived in Florida yesterday and she luckily beat Fay to Ocala, which Fay is pounding at the moment.

So, I get a phone call from my dad today to let me know that my grandma has been pretty depressed because she's in the hospital being treated with this horrible infection, which was hard for my mom to see because grandma actually had a good day yesterday. In addition to the stress of my grandmother's poor health, my mother found out this morning that my grandmother's dear sister, Margaret, passed away last Sunday. As of this afternoon, my grandmother still doesn't know. I know she will be greatly, greatly upset.

I've spent many of the last 24 hours thinking about my grandma, how much fun she was, and how I miss her. I haven't seen her since last July and hope and pray I get to see her again. I've also thought about my Aunt Margaret and what an amazing woman she was. She battled with polio since her mid-twenties and has been confined to a wheelchair about 3/4 of her life. She lost her son and his entire family (David and Bibiana), including her only grandchild, in a helicopter crash nearly 20 years ago. Yet, she saw the beauty of life in everything. Always postive. Always curious on how her neices and nephews and great-neices and great-nephews and great-great-neices and great-great-nephews were doing. Always willing to give a hug. I will miss her.

My sister is heading down to FL today to be with our family. I'm praying for her as she battles the affects of Fay. I wish I could be there, too, and I'm praying that God will somehow open up a door to allow me to see my grandma and grandpa soon. Oh, how I want to give them both a hug.

I'm blessed to have such a close-knit family. We feel each other's pain and wish to bear each other's burdens. We are all helping in anyway we can - some physically, some emotionally, all prayerfully.

From the last time I saw Grandma back in July '07

From the last time I saw Aunt Margaret during the same trip down to FL in July '07 (and that's my mom in the pic with Mal):

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Heart Garage Sales

I went garage sale-ing on Saturday and racked up on some great toys for the kids, the prize being a practically new play kitchen for $18. A man was manning the garage sale and told me that they had bought it for their sons, who had out-grown it. I was shocked when he told me he wanted $18 for it; I would've paid more than that for it because it was in excellent condition. I bullied another prospective buyer out of the kitchen and swiped it up to put in my car almost immediately after I arrived on the scene. Anyway, I was so excited!

We gave it to Mallory on Sunday night after I spent about an hour disinfecting it, eventhough it looked pristine. Though Mallory didn't jump for joy or go crazy, she was VERY excited to get it. She's spent quite a bit of time putting all the food in the microwave and even hiding her animals in the fridge and dishwasher. And lemme tell ya, she can whip up a mean pot of peas.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ethan and the Shaker

Ethan's learning early to cheer for the Gators. :-)

Our big girl

Mallory had a big weekend, furthering the truth that she is now longer a baby but a big girl; we turned her crib into a toddler bed. It was a bitter sweet moment for me, like most moments with her these days. She does so many things to remind me that my little girl is growing up.

She was very excited to have full access to her bed. The first line of business was to introduce ALL of her animals to her bed. She also really liked her pillow (I sacrified my sacred feather pillow for her enjoyment) and she loved running from one end of the room right into her bed with her face in the pillow. It was enjoyable for me to watch her excitement.

She did OK her first night in her bed (which was Saturday night). She tried to throw Doggie overboard several times, screaming for us to come get him, and not making the connection that she could now get out and get him. She did obey us by not getting out of her bed, but we're trying to make her understand that she IS allowed to get out if she throws Doggie. Anyway, she stayed in her bed very well. I had a little trouble today at nap time (day #3), but she'll eventually get the hang of it.

I did a little bit of rearranging in her room to accomodate a new special toy we got for her, commemorating her big girl moment. I'll post about the special toy later. In the meantime, here is some of the rearranging I did (for those of you who had seen Mal's room before):
1. Moved the books from the far,back corner behind the chair onto a shelf in the closet
2. Moved the lamp where the hamper was
3. Moved the trash can next to the lamp
4. Moved the hamper where the trash was
5. Shifted the table, chairs and rocking chair to the left to clear a space for her special toy
6. Moved all other toys that were once in her room into the closet

And here are the pictures (notice Doggie's new "bed"):

Friday, August 15, 2008


I'm trying to make plans for the kids this fall. I sorta "flew by the seat of my pants" this summer and my brain is seriously running out of things to do for the kids...or I think of cool things last minute but lack motivation to get it done. I want the fall to be fun and more scheduled so Mallory can look forward to certain things and I won't have to think about "what are we going to do today" every day.

I have a few things tossing around in my brain, but I'm hoping to take Mallory to the gym weekly instead of every-now-and-then. I'm hoping our playgroup will re-form during the fall and I'm looking into a family kindermusik to take both kids to. I'm also thinking about swim lessons, but may postpone that until the winter.

Nothing is for certain. Everything is up in the air. But I'm hoping to nail it all down within the next 2 weeks. A new schedule starting Sept 1 is my goal, carrying us through until Thanksgiving. We will have a week off for vacation in October, but other than that, I'm hoping we'll be at home in order to have some sense of normalcy until the holidays...

We'll see.

Do any of you moms that have had a 2-year-old have any suggestions on fun activities? Should Mallory be cutting? Gluing? Pasting? I don't really want to glue or paste yet, but that's mainly a selfish thing as I think of the cleaning efforts. I'm interested in some good project ideas...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What's for breakfast?

Can anybody guess what we had for breakfast this morning?

What a big helper!

Mallory is such a big helper to me! She helps me sort laundry, she picks up toys, she stacks her books, she helps me load the dryer, she "helps push" the vacuum (really not helping, though she tries), and, with great enthusiasm, she helps me unload the dishwasher. I've been teaching her how to help me do different chores around the house and her favorite is the dishwasher. It's great because she unloads the top portion, stacks all the bowls and cups, and sorts the silverware. And I can also usually unload the remainder of the dishwasher, wipe down the counters, and finish any handwashing while she's at it...and she's not messing up anything else in the house!!! I'm glad she enjoys helping and I hope that her attitude will carry forward on into her older years...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Trip to Albany, GA

The four of us went down to Albany, GA to see my sister and brother-in-law this past weekend. It was a LONG trip for such a short period of time to be down there, but it was worth it to see my family. My sister was performing in a play called "The Taffetas" where my sister sang tons of 50's songs in 4-part harmonies. It was great. She did great. And I'm very glad I got to see it.

We also watched some Olympics and went to the pool at the hotel my parents were staying at. The kids had a blast in the water, especially Ethan. He was so cute!

Anyway, it was a crazy weekend, but loads of fun. We love you, Aunt Amanda and Uncle David!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hands On! Museum Farm Function

Last weekend, the Hands On! Museum in JC has a free farm exhibit outdoors later followed by a free showing of the movie Babe. We decided to take the kids to the exhibit, but knew they would not be able to sit through a movie. There were miniature horses and donkeys in addition to a bunch of tractors for the kids to sit on. Mallory liked seeing the horses, but was terrified of a man blowing up balloons and making animals out of them. And when I say terrified, I mean terrified. Anyway, we had a good time.

Also, there was a photographer from the Johnson City Press there and he took a few photos of our kids. Click here to see some pictures. There are 5 of our kids.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Having fun wasting time

Thanks, Kelly, for pointing me to this useless site for lots of laughs. Yearbook Yourself is quality. I wasted almost an hour looking at this sight and, literally, laughing out loud. Check it out!




1996: (the year I graduated HS)

And I couldn't resist:



Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ethan is 9 months!

This is a big milestone for me because Ethan is as old as how long I was pregnant with him. It's amazing how much quicker these past nine months have past than when he was in utero!

He's a precious little boy and is so active for his age. He crawls all over the place, pulls up on anything he can, and eats anything in sight. He and Mallory are getting along more, but we've had a few incidents where space issues are concerned and are working on it. At 25.5 pounds, Ethan and Mallory weigh the same and Ethan is probably just a few inches shorter than Mal. He's a biggun'. His 9 month peds appt is in a few weeks.

Here's our little man (I'll post more when I get a chance to sift through them all...):

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What I did tonight....

...and what I hope to do a lot more of in the future...

Ava's first birthday!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008


I made my curtains! I hung them up last night, took down the paper blinds, and it looks so much better! Next, is the shades which I'll make for LR windows and the decorative windows next to the door.

Here is the rest of the material: (from top to bottom):Pillow,Pillow,Shades,Curtain Panels,Trim for the shades