Monday, February 21, 2011

Enjoying Beautiful Weather

The past week was beautiful with a beautiful weekend to match. The girls have been so excited to wear short sleeve shirts and play outside on the playground again. Friday afternoon when I got off work I went to the church and decorated Fellowship Hall with a Valentines theme for Fellowship Lunch while Joe headed up his committee meeting with the Grounds Property Committee. It was so beautiful that Saturday while Joe helped my dad do something Other Mama and I took Josie, Jolie, and Joel to the Zoo. It was a great trip. The girls really took an interest in the animals and wanted to know what their names were. They definitely expended some energy. We were there from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. so it was perfect, not too hot and not too cold. At one exhibit the sheep noticed a cart pulling up and started heading towards it. I made a comment that the sheep knew it was lunch time. Jolie said "They didn't say their blessing" so Josie sang the blessing we sing at home "God our Father, God our Father, we thank you, we thank you, for our many blessings, for our many blessings, Amen, Amen." And then all was right with the world again:) At another exhibit a money was eating an orange and Jolie commented that the monkey didn't have a napkin. I looked at her and said you do know your manners. While at the Zoo I found out a new thing Josie has learned from her fabulous teacher, Ms. Jessie. She asked me "Momma, Guess What? (that is her new saying these days) What letter does Kangaroo start with" and before I could answer she said "K." At first I thought maybe she had just learned that but what she was doing was sounding it out. Once I realized what she was doing, I kept asking her what other words started with. Some she got right and some she got wrong and some are just plain confusing to little children. For instance, Cat. To sound it out you would think it begin with a K. But she was doing great and I was super super impressed with her. She will be reading before long :)

After the Zoo we picked up lunch and went back to Nanny's house to eat lunch with Pap-paw, Joe, Nanny, and Uncle Ben. After lunch we went home for naps. That evening Joe and I dropped all three kids off with Quint and Sheila, picked up our friend Tim, and went to our Progressive Dinner with my SOS group. We had a blast and the food was great. It was a much needed date night. The kids had a blast too playing on "Caden's playground" at Aunt Sheila's and Uncle Quint's. Sunday morning we got up early so we could pick up ice for Fellowship Lunch and then headed to church. Josie helped take up offering again but this time Joe got to see it and I missed it because I was in Fellowship Hall getting things set up for lunch. He said she did a great job. We are so proud of her and she is excited now about "doing the plates." After cleaning up after lunch we went to my Aunt Elisa's house to take her something for my cousin. We ended up staying and playing a little while because my other cousin, Sara, was there with her daughter Clara Beth. Clara Beth was so cute and was torn between watching baby Joel or playing with the girls.

Sunday was a rough day for Joel. He has two teeth trying to come in on the bottom and he still has a cough that he can not get rid of from the flu. He was so pitiful Sunday. It just broke my heart. Yesterday he was still fussy. I can't wait for those teeth to just go ahead and break through so that he can get some relief. You can feel both teeth on the front of his gums when you rub them. My poor little man.

Yesterday after I picked up all 3 kids and got home there was still about 30 minutes of daylight so I told the girls that they could ride their bikes. This was the first time they had gotten to ride their new bikes that they got at Christmas. Josie loved her new bike but is having to adjust to having a brake on her handlebar. Lollie, well, we will have to work with her on riding her bike. She is doing the same thing Josie did when we were teaching her by always pushing backwards (which is the brake) instead of pushing forward. A little bit of work though and she will be riding right beside her sister. I put Joel in the stroller and just walked around. He loved just looking at everything.

Tomorrow night the girls have Awana which they always look forward to. Friday night Caden is spending the night with us and Ansleigh will spend the evening with us. I'm so looking forward to it and we'll have to figure out something fun to do with all the kids. Saturday we head down to Aunt Becca's to celebrate her birthday which was this past weekend.

I'll end with a somewhat blurry picture of me and my handsome little man:


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thank You Lord

Thank You, Lord

For all these smallnesses, I thank you Lord:
Small children and small needs;
small meals to cook
small talk to heed,
and a small book from which to read small stories;
small hurts to heal,
small disappointments too, as real as ours;
small glories to discover in bugs, pebbles, flowers.

When day is through my mind is small,
my strength is gone;
and as I gather each dear one
I pray "Bless each for Jesus's sake-such angels sleeping, imps awake!"
What wears me out are litle things:
Angels minus shining wings.
Forgive me Lord if I have whined-
it takes so much to keep them shined;
yet each small rub has its reward, for they have blessed me.

Thank you, Lord.

---Ruth Bell Graham


Monday, February 14, 2011

My Little Girl Is Not So Little Any More

Last week I left off not knowing how Lollie would do the rest of the week. Monday my dad stayed with her and she seemed fine all day. We were ready to send her to school the next day and told my dad that he did not have to come on Tuesday. Well around 4:00 a.m. Lollie came and got in bed with me and was burning up with fever. I called my dad right at 6:00 a.m. and he was there a little before 7:00 a.m. to stay with her again. He said Tuesday was a rough day. She just laid around and didn't talk much. Wednesday Me-Maw came to our house and stayed with Lollie and she perked up again. She did good all day and never ran fever. That night I took Josie to Awana. She is doing great. She has already earned around 8 patches for her vest since August. I'm so proud of her. Lollie and Joel stayed at home with Joe while we went to church. That night the weather was supposed to get bad and we were supposed to have snow. The Board of Education delayed school until 10:00 a.m., but nothing happened. School was still delayed until 10:00 a.m. so the girls came with me to work until I could take them in to school. Friday morning when I dropped the girls off Jolie's teacher Ms. Pat expressed how impressed she is with Jolie. A couple days each week a few special needs children come into their class. She said that Jolie is always so sweet with them and attentative to their needs. She said some of the other children have nothing to do with them because they are different, but Jolie is really great with them. Who knows, that may be Jolie's calling to work with special needs children. Friday Joel and Josie had check ups, Josie's 5 year, and Joel's 4 month. Both are doing great. Joel weighed 17 pounds. He is starting to talk more and if you put him on his back he flips over to his side. He is loving baby food. He loves his sisters and loves it when they talk and play with him. His little face just lights up. The girls equally love him and love help taking care of him. We are so blessed by our beautiful family.

Saturday Joe worked and got home around 2:30 p.m. That evening we went to Marvins and then we went out to eat. To pass the time while we waited for our food I looked at Josie and said "Josie I love you because" and listed several reasons why I love her. Then I looked at Jolie and did the same to her, and did the same for Joel and Joe. Josie loved this and wanted to go next. So she looked at me and said "Mommy I love you because you help people and you love everybody. The End." My heart overflowed. It is important to me that we install good Christian values into all three of our children and helping other people is a big thing to me. For Josie to realize this by my actions without me every saying "look how I help people" means so much to me. She also went around the table and told everyone else why she loved them. It was a very precious moment for me. After dinner we went to Lowes, which Joel absolutely loved. He looked around in awe and cooed the whole time. Next we went to Khols so that I could get Joel an outfit for church. While I did that Joe and the girls went to pick out my Valentines present. I was surprised to find out when I got back to the van that not only had I gotten jewelry from Joe but he also got the girls jewelry, Josie earrings, and Jolie a necklace. I was very impressed with him and thought it was super sweet.

Sunday turned out to be a much more emotional day for me than I expected. Joe worked and so I took the kids to church. Before Sunday School I was talking to the woman who handles the children during the service. At our church children help participate in the service in two ways (1) Jr. Usher to take up offering and (2) acolyting (lighting the candles before the service and putting them out at the end of the service). I mentioned that Josie was now staying in the santucary for the full service since she was five and she said she had not realized she was five. She said Josie could start training to be an acolyte and can start Jr. Ushering. She said "In fact, if she wants to Jr. Usher today, I don't have anyone yet." So I went and talked to Josie and asked her if she wanted to and she said yes. So yesterday during the service Josie was a Jr. Usher. I cried the whole time as I watched my not so little girl participate in the worship service. This is also is a big deal to me because I used to Jr. Usher in this same church as a little girl. She did a great job and I was so proud of her. I really hate that Joe missed it. She will probably start acolyting in the next year. Also each Sunday we say the Lord's Prayer. The girls have always missed it because we say it after they go to the nursery, but since Josie has started staying in for the entire serivce I have started working with both girls to learn this Prayer. Well yesterday when it was time to say it, Josie did pretty good. What words she couldn't remember she repeated after me. My face and heart beamed to hear those words out of my little girl. We didn't see Joe until 7:00 p.m. last night because he had session at 4:00 p.m. and when he was home to change clothes inbetween work and session we were all napping, but all the other elders and our preacher told him what a great job Josie had done and how they loved watching my face as well. That evening me and the girls made home-made pizzas and watched Toy Story 2. We worked on Josie's Valentines and went to bed. It was a good quiet weekend. KNOCK ON WOOD- everyone is well for now, and hopefully will stay that way.

Tonight I plan to make it a special evening for our family. We will eat a candlelit homemade dinner and enjoy our favorite people.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Josie!

It is so hard to believe that the first month of 2011 has come and gone. We have had a rough past couple weeks, but we are finally getting through it all. We have noticed lately that Jolie has been acting out and we have about determined it is for two reasons (1) she is 3, enough said; and (2) she is trying to find her place as the middle child. So Joe and I have been trying to make sure we spend quality time with her and Joe even took her out on a date Sunday, January 23rd. They went to Bass Pro Shops and Krystals to eat. Every time you ask her about it her little face lights up. It is so sweet. That Wednesday the girls went to Awana, and that Thursday we had dinner with MeMaw and Paw-Paw. On Friday, January 28th Joe and I got all the kids up and dressed and dropped them off at their schools, then I dropped Joe off at the church for his session retreat. I headed into work and got off around 2:30 p.m. I went home, changed clothes, and picked up all the kids and headed to Aunt Mona's house with Quint, Sheila, Caden, and Ansleigh for a visit. As always we enjoyed our visit and the kids loved spending time with Aunt Mona. The kids and I then went out to dinner with Quint, Sheila, Caden, and Ansleigh and things went downhill from there. Josie layed down through most of dinner with her head in my lap. For those of you who know Josie, that behavior is far from typical for her. Her forehead kept getting warmer and warmer and I finally decided that I probably needed to go ahead and take her to Pri-Med. Joe wasn't supposed to be home until Saturday evening, so Quint dropped Sheila off at Pri-Med (they were about ten minutes ahead of me going there), and she signed Josie in. Then when I got there she drove my van back to her house so that she could go ahead and lay Jolie and Joel down. Josie and I got to Pri-Med around 8:30 p.m. that Friday night. We didn't get into a room until 10:30 p.m. that night and we didn't leave until midnight. The verdict, the flu. I was not in a million years expecting the doctor to tell me that. Sheila came and picked us up and we dropped the prescirptions off at Wal-Greens while we waited so that I could get medicine in her as soon as possible. After waiting for the meds and going back to pick up Joel and Jolie it was after 1:00 a.m. when we got home. It had previously been planned for the girls to go spend the Saturday and Saturday night with Other Mama and Pap-Paw, so instead only Lollie got to go. Saturday morning Pap-Paw came and picked up Lollie and Josie and I spent most of the day in bed. Thank goodness Joel is still so young and sleeps a good part of the day. I was supposed to pick up Joe from the church Saturday night but Tim was nice enough to bring him home so that I would not have to get Josie out. Sunday morning Joe and Joel went to church and brought home Lollie. Pap-Paw came to our house on Monday and stayed with Josie because she was not supposed to go back to school until Thursday. Monday was also her birthday. We did a cake at home and she opened presents from us and Grammy's gift happened to come on that day as well.

The next morning Joe's was late getting up for work, thank goodness because shortly after he left I had to call him and tell him to come home. I could not get Joel to eat and I took us a long time to get him to quit crying. I knew I could not send a baby who was not eating to Ms. Debbie's so Joe came home and took him to the doctor. Josie went to work with me until Pap-Paw got finished doing his physical therapy and then he took her home until Joe got home with Joel who also had the flu. Joe stayed at home with Joel the rest of the week. Wednesday night I took Jolie to Awana and we actually got to church in time enough to eat dinner with Sheila and Caden before Awana started. Josie got to go back to school on Thursday which she was super excited about. Friday Josie and Joel were supposed to have regular doctor appointments her 5 year and his 4 month but the doctor's office had to cancel them and rescheduled them for this coming Friday. So Friday after I got off work I went and picked up Josie from school. I had to sneak so that Lollie didn't see me, but I was able to do it without letting Lollie know I was there. Sheila then met us at Wal-Mart where we were going to have Josie's ears pierced. However, when we got there they told me to do a child they have to have two people present. A nice little piece of information they failed to mention to me over the phone. So then we headed to the Prattville Wal-Mart. The girl there is not allowed to do it and the woman who could would not be there until 6:00 p.m., however there was a kit I could buy to do it myself. My response, "NO thank you." So then Sheila started calling everywhere, K-Mart, JC Pennys, Belks, Khols, jewelry stores, Sallys, no where else did it. We had prepared ourself to have to drive to Montgomery when it hit me-- tattoo shops. So yes, my 5 year old daughter got her ears pierced at a tattoo shop. How many five year olds can say that? The girl never flinched.
Waiting patiently for him to get setup:

Sitting in the tatto chair, getting her ears pierced:

After getting her ears pierced, we went for pedicures. This was Josie's first pedicure. She loved it.

Me enjoying my pedicure:

Josie's finished nails:

My original plan had been to be able to get everything done in time to pick up Jolie from school, but because of all our running I realized around 4:30 p.m. that that was not going to happen. MeMaw and Paw-Paw were kind enough to pick her up and take her to their house for a litle while. That night after getting the kids to sleep Joe and I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. working on Josie's cupcakes, cake, and other party stuff for her birthday party at the House of Java the next morning. Saturday morning came fast but me and the girls got up and ready and headed out for Prattville. Joe stayed home Joel. Josie had a great little birthday party and the setting was perfect. Her theme was Owls.
The cupcakes Joe and I made. The toppers say Looks Whoos 5 ... Josie Madelynn.

The owl cake Joe made out of cupcakes. Isn't he talented.

Josie in her shirt Aunt Tiffany made her:

Lollie in her shirt Aunt Tiffany made her:

Her new owl PJs

After the party we went home for naps. When Jolie woke up she felt warm, sure enough she had a fever. Joe and I decided we weren't going to take her to the doctor but just were going to go ahead and treat it like the flu. The doctor would not have been able to do anything anyways and the medicine made Josie more sick than it helped her, so I got Jolie some cough medicine and started giving her the prescribed Tylenol that Josie had gotten from the doctor. Saturday night Joe and Josie went out on a date. They went to Bass Pro Shops for dinner and shopping. I'm not sure who had more fun. Sunday morning Joe and Josie went to church while Jolie, Joel and I layed around. That afternoon while Lollie took a nap Josie and I went to Wal-Mart to get groceries. As we pulled into the parking lot a familiar car pulled into a spot a few down from ours-- it was Sheila and Caden. I got Josie out and she ran to Caden. They immediately held hands and we walked into Wal-Mart with them still holding hands. Sheila had only come for one or two things, but we hated to split them up when they were being so sweet so Sheila and Caden walked all over Wal-Mart with us so that Josie and Caden didn't have to stop holding hands. After Wal-Mart I went home and made chili and we watched the Super Bowl. Joe and I were shocked but the girls watched most of the game with us. Our favorite part was the halftime show. I love the Black Eyed Peas. Even Joel was dancing a little :) Daddy came to our house again this morning to stay home with Lol. And we shall see about tomorrow. Hopefully the flu has run its course through our house and we won't be seeing it again this year.

Although Joel didn't get to have his 4 month check up we did find out when he went with the flu that he weighs 16 pounds. We have started him on baby food becuase the formula is not sitting well with him right now. So far he has had banannas and applecause. He loves it.

I'll close with pictures of the girls at Caden's birthday party and pictures that Aunt Becca took at Christmas that I have not posted yet: