Saturday, March 29, 2008

Samuel's birthday

Remember Samuel's love for Martin Luther King a couple of months ago?  Check out his birthday present that we gave him this morning!

Friday, March 28, 2008

I can't think of a title!

I'm in a hurry & wanted to update those of you who have emailed to ask how Savannah is...thus, the title to this post.  LOL!  Savannah is all better.  She's still taking the antibiotic, but she's back at school & doing fine.

Tomorrow is Samuel's 8th birthday.  He's having a friend over tonight to spend the night to celebrate.  Hard to believe my baby is going to be eight years old!  I may recount his birth story tomorrow for those of you who I didn't know back then.  It was a crazy day!

Thanks for keeping up with us & caring how my kiddos are!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday March 24

Savannah went to school this morning....but left not long after she got there.  Good thing Grandma was on standby!  She spent the day at Grandma's house, just hanging out & resting.  This afternoon she seems to feel a lot better.....better enough to be sassy & to boss around her siblings.  Yeah, I think she's ok.  :)

Tonight, I'm going to eat with the other staff wives from the church.  Can't wait!  Texas Roadhouse, here I come!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter afternoon/evening

I believe the festivities are over.  I'm about to go make hot dogs for the family, so I thought I'd quickly post some pics.

After everyone took a nap after church, Larry went out & hid the eggs and then we had our hunt.

And of course, our "Easter dog" watched.

After the kids found their plastic Easter eggs, we did the Resurrection eggs with them.  Some neighbor kids watched them hunt for their eggs, so they stayed for the Resurrection eggs.  Everyone payed attention & listened quietly.  A neat little ministry oppurtunity on our front sidewalk!

Samuel opened a few of the eggs.  This one had the nails in it.

King really enjoyed the Easter lesson.  Isn't he pretty?

The kids know that there is no Easter Bunny and enjoy our celebration with both spiritual and "fun" stuff.  Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice.  Thank you for the miracle of Easter.  We love you.

Easter morning

Last night, I used the kids' dyed eggs to make my (very first ever) Devilled Eggs....and may I say that they turned out VERY tasty.  We'll have them with lunch & supper today.

After making the eggs, I packed up the kids' baskets.  This is what they looked like.

Sarah and Samuel looked so sweet in their Easter outfits.  (anything look familiar, Suzanne?)

I got them to pose was definately POSED.  ha ha!  I can almost see the stiffness in Sarah's shoulders as she tries to pull away from her brother.

And then I told them to just act natural.  I think they did!!!  ha ha!!!!!!

I'll post about the egg hunt, Resurrection eggs, Bible story & Easter books time later.  Off to hang with the family.........


oh......and I took Savannah to the doctor while everyone else was in church this morning.  Sure enough, she's got strep throat again.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

'Twas the night before Easter....

Today has been such a pretty day outside.  Larry spent most of the morning/early afternoon working in the yard--mowing, weedeating, blowing & raking some leaves.  The kids & I joined in here and there, but we were inside the majority of the time doing other things.

After lunch, we dyed eggs.

Note Savannah's lack of enthusiasm....this is a favorite thing of hers.  She loves holiday traditions.  Hmm....she woke up saying that she felt bad & has complained of a sore throat off & on today.

Look at all the pretty eggs they made.  These are Savannah's.  Even with feeling a little "off", I was proud that she held true to her "real meaning of Easter" eggs. of them anyway.  She was just fascinated with the clear wax crayon that came w/ the egg dying kit, so she put stripes on the blue one.

Samuel made these.  I think that's a smiley face?  (upside down)

And these are Sarah's.  You may not be able to see in this pic, but the green one says Jesus.  It's cool to see that my kiddos can combine fun stuff with the true meaning of the holiday.

We had quiet time for a while & then supper.  After we all ate, we sat down to make the Resurrection Rolls.  That's when I noticed Savannah's glowing cheeks & red eyes.  Uh oh.  Sure enough...102.1 fever!  :::sigh:::  It appears that our annual sick-kid-on-Easter tradition will continue this year.  Ugh....looks like I'll be taking 2 kids to church in the morning & then bringing the other one back home.  She's been complaining of a sore throat, so I figure it's strep throat...again.  If she's still running fever in the morning, I will take her to DirectCare after I take the others to church.  Larry can bring them home from church afterward.  Oh well...maybe I can get them all into their pretty Easter clothes later & get a picture then.

So anyway, we made the Resurrection Rolls.  All the supplies are ready....

....and now all the marshmallows are rolled inside the dough....

....and after they were cooked, they looked like this:

If you'd like to hear the whole story of these & why we make them, feel free to email me.  They are an awesome visual lesson for the kids to understand the Ressurection of Jesus Christ, our whole reason for celebrating Easter.

Looking forward to tomorrow....

Good Friday

Good Friday was indeed a "good" Friday for us.  Everyone was off of school & work, so we spent the whole day together as a family.  We had some stuff to get done (grocery shopping, haircuts, mailing a few things, etc....) so we went together for the whole sha-bang.

In the car, there were discussions of the William Tell Overtorture (that's what Savannah called it---she was mistaken, but Larry & I really enjoyed that one) & lots of burping & farting noises (oh the joys of the sounds you can make with your armpits & blowing on the back of your hands).  While I am not typically one to be entranced by such entertainment, I literally laughed until I was crying yesterday.  But only because our precious daughter...our little princess....the dainty one.....was the one who could make the loudest gas expulsion noises.  It kinda blows your mind when the daughter who is in love with shoe shopping can make such sounds.  LOL!  We had lunch at Jason's Deli & remembered why it is we don't go there often--pricey!!!  Even with 3 kid's meal coupons, it was still high.   While buying groceries, Larry & I sat on some bicycles in Walmart to determine what size we'd need if we can ever put them money together to buy them---FAMILY BIKE RIDES!!!.  While we were doing that, all three kids were hula-hooping in the aisle beside us.  I'm sure we were quite a sight for anyone who walked by!  ha ha!

Last night, our church showed The Passion of the Christ for all the adults & had a program for the kids.  Larry went to the movie....the kids & I stayed w/ the kiddos.  While I appreciate the time, money & energy that went into making the movie, I can't stomach watching it.  I've tried...really I have....I just can't do it.  Anyway, it was fun.  Our children's pastor is a lot of fun & hosted a fun evening for the kids.

Today we're going to dye some eggs & make Resurrection Rolls w/ the kids.  That is...after I fold laundry & Larry finishes mowing the yard.  I love family time!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

1 year ago today

I've tried to avoid thinking about it all day.  I've spent most of the day filling my thoughts with other things and keeping busy with something else.  But as night falls & bedtime comes, I am reminded of what today is.  Today is the 1 year anniversary of the day that A & K left our home.

This year I have run the gammot (sp?) of emotions.  Overwhelming sorrow that it ended the way it did ...... grief over the loss of "my" other 2 children ........ anger that Larry's brother did what he did & left our lives in a mess ....... bitterness for having put my (bio) children through the 13 months of torture they endured ...... joy that God allowed me to share in those early days & weeks after K's death with her children ...... happiness that we were able to make a dent in the lives of 2 precious children ........ frustration at our financial state since they moved.  I'm seriously talking about a huge wide range of emotions.

Just a couple of days ago as I cleaned my bedroom, I was ambushed by a surge of emotions as I unearthed 2 cards A made for me on Mothers Day of '06.  The tears fell like a sudden downpour and I let myself sob & bawl for a few minutes before I composed myself & kept cleaning.  I was tear-stained & mascara-streaked for much of that day as the tears came and went.  I have times like that now & then, which is a great improvement over where I was a year ago tonight.

Life does indeed move on.  My other kids have needed their mama & my husband has needed his wife.  We've made some pretty big adjustments to survive and we've had to make some lifestyle changes along the way.  That's just how it is.  I guess that's how grief works.

And while I dread the moments of intense emotions like the other day while I was cleaning, it's also very cleansing to get all of that out now & then.  Larry & I were talking about things the other day and I know that if I could go back & do it all over again, I would.  My heart would break all over again ...but for 13 months, those children were mine and for 13 months I loved them and taught them and nurtured them and adored them.  For 13 months, I counseled with them & prayed for them & prayed over them at night after they fell asleep.  For 13 months, I held their hand at their mom's grave and as they walked into the prison to visit their dad.  I know we had an impact on their lives, even if it's already been forgotten.  I pray that they will forever remember only one thing from their time in our home---that God loves them more intensely & more abundantly than anyone on this planet, and that one day they will run to Him and make Him their Savior.

I am blessed for having been a part of their lives, no matter how tragic & awful the circumstances were in the end.  I am honored that God chose me to fill the 'mama' role for them and honored that they accepted me as such.  I ache for their absence, but I know that God is in control of this vast universe.  I know He placed every star in the sky & knows the number of hairs on my head.  I know that He spins the earth in its orbit every day and that He is the one to tell the Sun when to rise every day.  He can handle all this and still take care of my every need, and so I know He is watching over my other two children even tonight.

God, thank you for being YOU.  Thank you for taking a horrible situation and reminding me of the beauty involved.  Thank you for your great faithfulness and the way you hold me when I'm crying.  Thank you for saving me & holding me close & directing my steps.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

We went camping last night

Larry did a funeral at 2:00 yesterday, followed by the graveside service across town.  It was after 5:00 before he got back to the church.  By the time he drove home & we left the house, it was 6-something.  It was nearly 7:00 before we checked in at the State Park grounds & 8:00 before we could roast our weenies in the dark over the campfire.
Kind of a funny story there...the last time we went, we took Larry's little hatchet & cut some wood up for firewood.  We planned to do the same this time, but there was a sign that said "gathering firewood is prohibited--max fine $200".  We kind of panicked b/c we didn't want to eat cold hot dogs & un-charred marshmallows on our S'mores.  Luckily, when we got to our site, there were a lot of little sticks laying around....and ya know, we wouldn't want the children to trip on those & fall down, so we had to pick them up & get them out of the way....and there's no need in wasting perfectly good sticks after all.
So we had our hot dogs & S'mores in the dark and then went into the shelter to get everyone's sleeping bags layed out.  While we were inside, our dog (who was on a long chain/wire/leash sort of thing outside) caught sight of some sort of critter & took off---pulling his head OUT OF HIS COLLAR.  We panicked b/c it was pitch black dark and we couldn't see him anywhere.  We finally spotted his eyes with the flashlight & called him....and thankfully, he trotted back to us.  The sign outside our little shelter said that animals were not allowed inside the park buildings, but we really couldn't risk him taking off during the night while we were asleep, so we broke (another) rule & let him sleep inside with us.  He did really well---came in & layed down on his blanket & didn't move until he needed to go potty (twice during the night).
We layed down about 9 or 10, I think.  It was cool enough outside that I wore a lightweight jacket the whole evening, so I figured it would be cool during the night.  I slept in my clothes because I wasn't sure how many times one of the kids would need to go potty during the night (we had to drive to it during the night because it was a little too far to walk to in the dark).  I ended up not getting a whole lot of sleep.  Between Sarah's coughing (allllll night long) & getting up to give her medicine & puffs of her inhaler and then the dog needing to go out, waking up sweating a couple of times and then Sarah spilling her water bottle (on the air mattress where all three kids were sleeping).  Oh, and let's not forget the neighbors who were apparently having a door slamming contest of some kind.  Oh the joys of camping in a public park environment.  Oh was still fun just to get a change of scenery.
This morning we woke up at the crack of dawn.  The sun was not even fully up yet when the kids were bouncing around, ready to start the day.  I took these pics in the pitch black darkness this morning.  The kids were all awake & my flash is REALLY bright (which is why they're squinting).  I was still in my sleeping bag when I took these.  (Note Samuel had come over to snuggle w/ the dog & put HIS blanket on him!!)
Savannah said she would HOLD HER EYES OPEN b/c she kept squinting for the pics when the flash went off.  This one just cracks me up.
:::yawn:::  Ok, kids.... we got up & ate poptarts, cereal bars & Sunny Delight before we went & did anything.   Our campsite was at the base of a HUGE hill (the kids called it a mountain) so while Larry & I got fully awake, the kids "hiked" up & down the "mountain" several times.  Samuel was at thetop with is "hiking stick" doing that fun sound that we all learned as little kids for know where you make a high-pitched yell while moving your hand over your mouth? 6:30 am my boy was waking up the whole campground probably.  LOL  We shushed him, but it was still pretty stinkin' funny.  They were up on this "mountain" at the time I took this pic.
After we all ate, Larry & Samuel practiced setting up the tent that we got for their upcoming Scout camping trip.  That was a hoot to watch.  It turned out to be big enough for us to all CRAM ourselves into & the dog decided to join us.  It made for a cozy little family moment where we all laughed a lot. 
When we finally were able to all climb back out, we went to the lake to go fishing.  When we got there, there were signs everywhere that said "no animals in the beach area".  Hmm.....what technically qualifies as a beach area?  We decided it was the areas where the water comes right up to the shore line---not the piers & docks where we went to fish.  Right?  Who knows if that's correct or not....but we were the only ones in the area, so we took the dog with us.  Same as last night...we were not going to risk leaving him at the campsite alone to take off & disappear while we were gone!! 
The sun was in my eyes...but....see?  I really was on this trip!
It was windy out on the lake & Larry was wearing shorts & a Tshirt, so when he got cold, he walked back up toward our car, where a Park Ranger was setting up to do a bird watching hike.  He decided that we needed to all go do that, so we loaded up our fishing poles & went on the hike with the Ranger & several other families.
Another side note/funny story---before we left, I had to go to the bathroom.  There was one up on the hill right beside the pier area where we'd been fishing so I ran up there to use that one.  Now mind you, we drove all over the place finding the area to fish this morning.  Lots of curvy, winding trails & roads that all sort of look alike.  It was probably a good 10 min drive from our campsite to the spot we fished.  WELL...after we got back from the hike, we went back to the campsite to eat lunch.  I took the girls to the bathroom to wash their hands....and wouldn't ya know it....the one RIGHT BY our campsite is the same bathroom I used this morning before the hike.  When I took the girls in, I noticed the same odd piece of trash on the floor that I had noticed in the bathroom before the hike & thought how strange it would be that 2 bathrooms would have a similar piece of weird-looking trash on the floor.  Then it hit me---so I went outside & looked....sure enough.  I could see the pier from there!  I turns out that we could've walked to the bathroom & topped a hill to go fishing, rather than drive all over the place.  Oh well......ya live & learn, right?
After lunch, we loaded up all our goodies & headed home.  We got home about 2:00 today & we all crashed.  It was nearly 3:00 before we layed down for a nap, but I slept til nearly 6:00!  I guess I was making up for last night's lack of sleep.
We had a good time!
Oh...and one other thing.  WHile we werefishing at the pier, Larry & I decided that since we'd already broken all the camp rules anyway, we ought to go for one more.  He carved our initials into the pier rails.  Awww...I ain't never had my name carved into anything before.  It must be real love, huh?  LOL  (spoken in my best redneck east Texas slang there...)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Samuel's musical

Tonight, Samuel was in a musical at school.  It was called 'Spaced Out!'.  The only stinky thing about it all is that there is sooooooo little parking at his school & there were not enough chairs, so we ended up sitting on the floor to watch the show.  That was a little irritating, but I guess there's no reason to complain.  It could've been worse.

Samuel played the part of Tschiolkovsy, the father of Russian astronautics.  He had 1 very short speaking part & was a song leader (he got to stand at a microphone with a friend) for 1 song.  Cute!  The whole thing was less than 30 min long.  I guess at the 2nd grade level, they try to make the programs short & sweet.

Here he Mr. Tschiolkovsky before we left.

And here are the pics I took of the program.  He's at the microphone here:

I's kind of hard to see him.  He's next to the little boy in white in the pic above.  He did a great job.

Spring Break--day 4

Today I cleaned my master bedroom.  That was a big deal because our bedroom, like most master bedrooms of the world, becomes the dumping ground for everything no one in the house wants to deal with---so they toss it into mom & dad's room.  And so, without further adieu (sp?)..... my bed & either side of it this morning.

And after...yes, I LOVE my pretty cherry sleigh bed!

My side of the bed is sort of hidden from the doorway (it's to the right in the pic above) so you can't see all the crud on the floor & piles of magazines & books usually.  See?

Now you can walk over there!

Larry's side of the bed wasn't TOO bad.  And really, I didn't do a lot because I don't want to toss his stuff without him being here to debate the issue.  I just cleaned off his little bedside table, dusted it & put everything back on neatly.  Oh, and I cleaned up the floor around it.  Yes, the red bear has to stay---at least for a while, anyway.  Sarah gave it to me for CHristmas.



The desk is always messy...but I cleaned it up & just straightened it mostly today:

The 2 boxes are all books/CDs/movies that I've put on in the past couple of days!  Come on buyers!!!

The only other pic I took were to show the way I felt this morning after taking all the "before" pics.  ha ha!

I felt much better afterward!