Monday, December 7, 2009

India Wrap up

Thanks to those of you who have followed my blog about the recent mission trip to India. Life certainly came fast when we got back so I am a little later than I'd like finishing this up. Here are some FAQ's about the trip:
1. How many people went?
9 from AMRBC and a total of 30 (others were from Birmingham, Montgomery, and smaller towns in Alabama)
2. Who did you go with?
TREC is an organization run out of Montgomery, AL with a focus on mobilizing ordinary Christians to get their "faith dirty." They support and partner with the minsitry of Jiwan, a Nepali pastor. (
3. Where did you go?
We were in the West Bengal state of India in a small village named Pacheng. It's not google-able, trust me! A large city nearby (but 3 hours by jeep!) was Darjeeling. Many of these people are Indian but have Nepali (from Nepal)heritage which makes them somewhat Asian in a appearance.
4. Where did you stay?
Well, there were three nights in hotels (India style). During the medical camp, however, we slept 4 nights on the floor in the school. The school was a wooden building with cut out holes for windows. No running water, no electricity except for a couple of overhead lightbulbs that were less than dependable. It was about 40 degrees at night. We actually drew a larger crowd on the last two days because the Nepali people heard that we were sleeping in their village.
5. What did you do?
The trip was designed around a four day medical camp which was advertised before we arrived. People walked long distances to see our doctors, receive medicine or glasses, and were then offered the chance to go to the prayer room. In the prayer room we presented the gospel and prayed with them.
6. Would you do it again?
In a heartbeat. Tomorrow. Anytime.

One last thought:
In India, they openly name their Gods. I heard the names Shivah, Muhammed, Allah, and others quite ofen. Many would tell me, "I believe in Jesus Christ but I will not walk away from my other gods." Some said, "I like this Jesus but my husband is Hindu. I cannot leave my family for Jesus." I began to appreciate their candor when I thought about our lives here in the States. We worship many gods delude ourselves in taking a religious title like "Christian" when there is no evidence in our lives that we have forsaken all else for the cause of Christ! It challenged me to think of what I treasure more highly than Christ and what I serve and where I seek my satisfaction. Along those lines, would you be willing to walk away from the convenience of your life for one week a year to share the gospel with someone halfway around the world? I hope these stories have shown you that I believe the return was MUCH greater than the cost.

Still with me? Okay one last story!
There were these 2 younger people with us on the trip, Megan and Liz. Megan was 25 and about to spend A YEAR in India working in the children's home supervised by Jiwan and his wife. Liz was 19 and about to spend SIX MONTHS helping also. Liz had this awesome Mother Teresa quality about her. She is beautiful and she drew children everywhere we went. She and Megan did a great job entertaining the kids waiting at the medical camp. When we went to the Chetna Leprosy colony just before leaving to come home, I looked behind me and saw a familiar scene...Liz with a kid on each hip and two on each leg. I thought, "Wow. Some people just have that quality. Some people can do that. Some people were born to be missionaries." I looked at Megan and said, "How does Liz do that?" She looked at me the way only a 25 year old who "gets it" can look at you and said, "Uhm, I think she just picks up a kid wherever we go."
Oh, my. How profound was that moment for me! That is ALL God was calling me to do in that moment! Go pick up a kid. Do what I do every day but in a new culture and a new setting where he needed to be made known. There is nothing special about Liz and nothing special about Sarah Beth. There is something special about JESUS CHRIST! So, yes! You can do it. God's just asking you to pick up a kid. To do something practical in the name of Christ.

Okay, I'm really done. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lesson from India, Part 5

5. Toilet paper is a treasure.
Really, I wish I could turn that into some spiritual application. I can't. It's just the plain truth. When we got to India, even the hotels were skimpy on it. In each room you had a giant roll with just like enough for one good potty trip on it. And in the first hotel it was pink! And scratchy! We brought some of our own along, thank heavens. I rationed it out, two rolls for Daniel and two rolls for me. I thought that was rather generous since, let's face it, he doesn't need as much as I do for several reasons. Let me tell you it was ON when I caught him blowing his nose on my roll early in the week! I let him have it.

Then we went to the medical camp where we met the squatty potty. Yes, ladies, that is a hole and you do the squatting and the flushing. No toilet paper allowed so you have to carry around a little bag for your used paper products. Near the beginning of the camp, some of us didn't know that little tip and we clogged up the squatty. Then it had to be fixed with the "Nepali plunger" which is really just a stick. Yuck. You also have to be careful that you only do your long business (number 2) in only toilets that allow long business. If it says "short toilet only" that means no poop allowed.

Before I left home, I thought my bathroom was a mess. When I got back, I wanted to kiss the floor. As Ethan, the 15 year old on our team, said, "The US is awesome."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lessons from India, part 3 and 4

3. I am most effective when I am empty of pride and have nothing to offer the Lord but obedience.
Monday was particularly difficult for me because in addition to my own feelings of inadequacy, I was trying to acclimate to different translators and I came up against a lot of spiritual resistance. Most of these people were Hindus, many were Buddhists, and some were Muslim. I felt tossed about and discouraged by the great spiritual battle I was engaged in. So many times, I would look at the physical condition of those I was sharing with and feel inadequate. I thought, "If only I had skills like our incredible doctors and nurses!" The Lord taught me in those moments that while we were healing bodies as a means to share the gospel, the physical comfort and healing we offered the people is temporary. Eternal spiritual healing is the greatest act of humanitarian relief, compassion, and intervention!
On the 16 hour plane flight from Chicago to Delhi, I worked on some BSF homework and read the story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man beside the pool of the 5 porches. The question was asked, "What paralysis do you need to bring to Jesus?" Well, my answer was my paralysis over sharing the gospel. I am open about my faith and I share often about how God is working in my life, but for some reason I freeze when it comes to simply saying to someone, "Have you come to the point in your life where you know that Jesus is your personal savior and redeemer?" 24 hours later I began work in the prayer room and I presented the gospel somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 times. I am not even able to count how many people I led to the Lord, and at least once led 9 at one time. Many times I would ask, "Have you ever heard of Jesus Christ?" and the person in question would slowly shake his/her head. I cannot even begin to express what a joy it is to speak the name that is above every name into the life of someone for the first time! This leads me to another learned lesson:
4. We should not feel the need to apologize for the gospel of Jesus Christ!In the States, when someone says, "I'm Muslim" or "I'm Hindu," we back off in respect of their views. In the prayer room, we went toe to toe with their gods. See, Satan is a liar. He would have these people who have so little to believe that they serve gods who need a constant flow of gifts. Trinkets, beads, insensce, replicas set in stone, we saw all of it on the way up the mountain to the camp. I serve the one and only Son of the One True God and He needs nothing from me because He cannot be contained by a temple made with human hands! He does not want to politely co-exist with the false gods of our own making when He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Friends, when someone left that prayer room after they really "got it," truly accepted the Lord and walked away changed, there was no mistaking it in their countenance! Because He is the God of all hope and comfort! Praise Him!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lessons from India, Part 2

2. God rewards obedience.
Over the past few years, God has been teaching me that obedience is not as costly as one might think. Really, it is sometimes the work of Satan to have us believe that we have soooo much to give up in following the call of Christ. I say that because at every point that my discipleship has cost me something, the reward has far outweighed what I have "given up."

In counting the cost of this trip, Daniel and I struggled with asking people for help. The Lord has blessed us financially and given us the ability to save but the cost of this trip would have required a lot of that savings. Paying for all of it unassisted would make it difficult for us to attempt such a trip again anytime soon. Our team leader, Jeff, showed us that God's plan was bigger than each of us paying quietly for our own way. The Lord wanted to teach us our dependency on Him, show us the faithfulness of others, and involve as many of our friends and family as possible in this mission. Well, I was obedient but some what embarrassed as I typed up and sent out support letters. I am so glad I did because God used this to bless us tremendously.

One example: a friend of mine has had a very difficult last two years. She has suffered financially, emotionally, and physically. I hated to ask her for anything but when I think of the word "support" she always comes to mind. She supported me when I was deciding what college to attend and what major to pursue, stood by me when I got married, kept in touch with me when I moved away 3 different times. She has been committed to our friendship even when I often drop the ball. She prays for me, encourages me, and remembers every birthday, anniversary, or occasion in my life and the life of my family. Most recently, when my Grandfather died two Christmases ago, she came to the funeral and spent the afternoon with Hannah so I could be with my family. She's the type of friend you find once in a lifetime, the 2am friend. Reluctantly, I sent her a letter.

In the letter, I mentioned that many people at past medical camps needed reading glasses and suffered from headaches because they have no access to vision care. Reading this, my friend went out and bought several pair of Target's dollar spot reading glasses and enlisted her mother to do the same. She carried them to my mother's house and on the way out of the country, I stuffed them deep into my huge duffle bag. I seriously doubted they could make it to the other side of the globe in one piece. On Monday, I dug out the glasses and was suprised to find them in excellent condition (unlike my peanut butter crackers, my peanuts, my hair dryer, most of my cosmetics, and my straightener). I added them to what seemed to me to be a huge pile of glasses in our make shift doctor's quarters. My hopes of seeing someone actually use a pair of my friend's glasses seemed a little selfish and foolish at this point. I didn't think much more about it. We saw over 1000 patients in three days and the prayer room was very busy. I would barely finish sharing with one group and look up to see another group standing there. Late on Tuesday I was sharing with a lady, something caught my eye when I looked at her hands folded in her lap. There in her grasp, I saw them--Kim's glasses.

Isn't obedience beautiful?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lessons from India, Part 1

I love my life. In just 8 days away from my life, God showed me an incredible new perspective on the things and people I take for granted every day. Now that I am home, toilet paper, a hot shower, and a cold glass of milk prompt me to gratitude. After a week around Nepali children and those I met at the Chetna colony and even Grace Children's home, my children look plump to me. God, why me and my family? Why have you blessed us so tremendously? There is no other place like the US.

Today I begin a series of blogs about our trip to West Bengal, India. It was going to be one blog but I cannot fit all that God taught me into a condensed snippet, so it will probably be one a day for about a week. I hope you'll tune in. Thanks.

I must start by thanking everyone who prayed for us while we took our recent trip to India. I felt the specific, consistent lifting of prayers on my behalf and for the team. That brings me to the subject of lessons I learned in India, the first of which is:
1. Prayer is the beginning, the means, and the end.
Sleeping was a challenge when we first arrived and I spent an entire night laying in bed, praying for the hearts of the people, the skills of our doctors, and the safety of the team. When assignments were given Monday, I was placed in the prayer room. In my visions of what the trip was going to be like, thinking we would have a prayer "tent," I imagined birds singing, warm sunshine, and a bright red tent with long tables. In reality, we were in a basement with two windows (actually just two large holes in the wall) on the backside of the building sitting on rickety old benches. It was dark and cold most of the time.

My God is the one brings the Light of the World to the darkest corners of the earth! Sometimes people sat shivering listening as I shared the gospel and it was hard to continue in light of their physical discomfort. I had nothing to offer them but the message of Jesus Christ and that was exactly where I needed to be. Now I can do nothing more for them but pray and that's exactly what I need to do.

Monday, November 16, 2009

October went where?

So, October seemed like vapor around here. My house is still decorated in pumpkins and scarecrows while most of my neighors are already rolling out Christmas. Oh, well!

Among other things the girls and I started BSF this month and love it. It's an intense Bible study course that offers year long programs. We are studying the gospel of John. I say "we" because the girls are studying what I am studying. The children's program is amazing. If you want to know more, just holler. I'd love to bring you with me sometime. It meets Thursday mornings from 9:10-11:10 downtown.

Can't let the month go by without showing off my girls in their princess garb. They loved every minute of Trunk or Treat but their favorite experience was handing out candy at our house. They squealed and ran every time the doorbell rang. :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Love it

Love doing doctrinal drill with a 4 year old.

Me: Hannah, when will God die?
Hannah: Never.
Me: Hannah, when was God born?
Hannah: Never.
Me: That's right. He always was. He will always be. Our God is the one true God. How many persons?
Hannah: shows three fingers
Me: And who are they?
Hannah: Father, Son, and Moon

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Catching my breath

Shew. I don't know how I just managed that.

Today, I took my girls to
a friend's house
Walmart (insert opinion--I loathe this place. Why do I go there? Only on days when it is a necessary evil, seriously. If you shop there on a weekly basis, we need to talk. Couponing and sale chasing will be a breeze compared to the inconvenience of shopping at this place and you will save money, I promise! To be positive, I did have a great interaction with one employee who knew exactly where the brad fasteners I need could be found and she was awesome. Unfortunately, she was the 3rd person I asked.)
McDonald's (in said Walmart)
TJ Maxx

We didn't get down for naps until 3pm. First time in either child's life, I believe, except for when we are traveling that they went down that late. They were great. They didn't argue, fuss, or crawl in the floor like snakes. Yes, that has happened before. They were patient, enjoyed being together, and acted like little ladies. It was so great and yet such a reminder that they are growing up.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Sunrise

I thought teaching a child to read would be different than it's been with Hannah so far. I pictured a lightning bolt experience. A sudden "ah ha!" moment. Afterall, most milestones are that way, right? Maybe that's why I was afraid I might miss it. I missed her first word (daycare) and her first crawl (church nursery). I don't like missing things when it comes to my firstborn. So I have been over vigilant about the reading process. I have realized, though, that her journey to reading has been more like a slow sunrise than a fast moving thunderstorm. I have been here for all of it, soaking it up, watching the rays of light stretch across the horizon of her mind. It's been awesome.

And funny. Friday she was staring blankly at the Pringles can. After a while, she looked up with this confident smile and said, "Mommy! I know what his name is!" I wondered what in the world she was talking about and how I, a child of the 80's had somehow missed Mr. Pringle's first name. "Og!" she shouted. Og? Really, okay. Then I saw it. There was a symbol, lower left hand corner of the can stating that there were zero grams of transfats in this can. Og. Well, I didn't have the heart to tell her differently so if you come to our house and are offered some of Og's chips, please play along.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Miracle With Us

We're beginning to work on new music for Christmas in student choir. For those who don't know me well, working with the student choir at my church has completely changed my life. Outside of my family, it is the greatest blessing in my life. The songs we sing become an obsession, a soundtrack for me. Here are some amazing lyrics from "Miracle."

"Neither height nor depth, nor powers unseen...not the fears about tomorrow. Neither life nor death can ever separate us from Emmanuel, the miracle with us. In the light of your redeeming love by the power of your name Lord Jesus. I will scream it from the mountain tops, I'm a child of God!"

Sometimes I need to be reminded that it is nothing I have done or been that saved me. It's not even who I aspire to be or the process of my sanctification that causes Him to love me. He just loves me. And that, my friends, is a miracle. Wrap up in it because nothing else compares to it and nothing can take it away.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tales from the Playground

With Daniel recuperating, Emily Hannah and I have stayed close to home. I tend to get a little cabin fever so we have utilized short errands and trips to the playground across the street to chase away the monotony. Here are some interesting conversations that took place today.

The playground is a wooden Rainbow system painted reddish brown and there are red/yellow/blue canopies over top. As I sat on the bench watching, Hannah called out to me from the inner chambers:
"Hey, Mommy! I'm in the ark!"
Me: "I see you, Noah!"
Hannah: "It's starting to rain."
Me: waiting
Hannah: Smiles sweetly, "You're going to die!"

The play equipment has seen better days and can be a little buggy. Emily got entangled in her first spider web today. We all know that feeling. She simply clinched her fists and with a look of terror, screamed,

"MOMMY! I got DEAD on me!"
Don't know if she misunderstood the pronounciation of the word web or if we have finally convinced her of the dangers of spiders but she was done.
"I'm ready to go home and eat a popsicle."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My life as a....

(can't believe I'm actually doing this) HOMESCHOOLER.

Let me begin this entry by saying that I know I blog very passionately about things that not everyone agrees with; for example, the importance of being a stay at home mom. I will say that I believe our number one priority as mothers is to pray earnestly about our relationship with our Heavenly Father and how it spills over into the lives of our families. Well, when I prayed that way, God sent me home. No where in scripture will you find the verbateum statement "and mother thou shalt cleave unto your domestic dwelling and seek no other income." But we find many passages instructing us to be the teachers, caregivers, spiritual foundation builders, and molders of our homes. I know that some of you wonderful mothers who read my blog work, and some of you just returned to work these past weeks. Please don't ever take my blog as an indictment against what you do. I love you! I am praying for you! You are out there, in the mission field being salt and light. Go and shine! Let's all try as mothers to pray for each other that above all else, God guards our hearts and minds and enables us to give the very best to our families.

Now, where was I going with that? Oh, yes. Some of you might groan as you see me beginning to blog about homeschooling. Well, listen. I am a former public school teacher, daughter of a former public school teacher, grandaughter of a former public school teacher, and grand-daughter of a former public school superintendent. This was not a decision I made lightly! I am giving this my best effort for the next two years, knowing since Emily would still be at home, I am not losing any potential income by not sending Hannah to school.

Let me tell you in my short days as a homeschooler what I have seen.
1. It's easier than I thought. There is a lot of prep but the delivery is fun and easy.
2. My girls love it. Hannah asked on Saturday and Sunday if we could do school and then after having to wait until Monday said that lesson wasn't long enough.
3. I am always trying to keep them busy with something anyway, so it's actually easier to have some of our day scripted by a curriculum, knowing they are learning something to boot.
4. Emily is learning some 4 year old curriculum. It has amazed me what she has picked up from simply being in the room with us. Rarely does she opt for leaving the table to venture out on her own but chooses to stay.
5. We are studying the Bible chronologically and I wish I'd done that as a child! My children are beginning with a better foundation than I had.
6. Finally, my favorite reason. Homeschooling reminds me why I came home! For the children! See, I so often get confused. As I tell Daniel, sometimes I have to be reminded to stop and smell the kids. I act as though I came home to clean, came home to help other people, came home to serve more at church, came home to take up hobbies, etc. No! I came home to nurture the two people I was uniquely created to care for better than anyone else. When I start my day in the arms of my Father, reading his word, I find myself more able to return to Him all day long and walk faithfully. Likewise, if I follow that by beginning the girls' morning by pouring into them and interacting with them, voila! A more nurturing day follows. Otherwise, I forget it's okay for the house to be dirty if the kids are happy, or that it's okay for them to giggle until they get hiccups, be late to the grocery store because of a tickle fight, and take a little longer at the library so we can do the Elmo puzzle 3 times, etc.
That's just me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Toddler Tuesdays/Zingers

So over the past week we have said some really funny things AND some things that cut Mommy to the bone!

Sunday leaving church, Hannah:
"Mommy, I smelled something stinky in Sunday School."
Me, "Oh, really?" Not suprised. Her sense of smell has become very strong lately and I have one that is crazy good so it comes with the territory.
Hannah: "I think it must have been Micah or Addie 'cuz they had their shoes off."
(All apologies to my friends).

Hannah, leaving camp yesterday:
"We had fun, Mommy."
Me: "Did you? What did you play?
Hannah: "We played playdough."
Me: "Really? I LOVE playdough! That sounds fun."
Hannah, sounding shocked: "You like to play playdough, Mommy? You should try playing it with us some time at the kitchen table."
Ouch. I usually use playdough as busy work while I cook or clean. That hurt.

Finally, Hannah before bedtime last night:
"Mommy I want to play this game." Indicates the crazy eights Dora game out of the box.
I sigh, look at the instructions. "No, Hannah, this one is too hard" thinking she could not understand the concept of an 8 being wild.
She sighs, "Wellll, maybe I will just have to play it with Daddy. He knows how to play it. So does big Hannah (our babysitter). Sorry you don't know how."
Ouch again. Needless to say we played and I won by the skin of my teeth. :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Four Years Ago Today...

I became a mother.

I remember sitting on the kitchen floor having "the talk" with your Daddy about starting a family. He was so ready. I remember bursting into tears and saying, "I want to have children but I don't want to change." How did I somehow know you would change everything?

I loved my job and I was a success junkie workaholic. The more I worked, the better I felt, and the better I felt the more I worked. My students were my life. Then there was you. I remember those first days back at school after you were born. I'd be in the middle of teaching a class and remember how your little head smelled when I kissed it. It would be all I could do not to run out of the room and go get you.

I'm getting ahead of myself. It was Christmas of 2004 and nothing felt right. Everything I ate made me so sick and your Daddy smelled terrible to me. On the way back from visiting family in Alabama, I made him stop at the store so I could buy a jar of pickles and a pregnancy test. We were going to have a baby!

You scared me from the beginning. New Year's Eve was spent in the emergency room. Slowly, though, we got comfortable with each other. School let out for the summer and I began to prepare for your arrival. I loved every minute of setting up your room and folding and washing your little clothes. August the 18th could not get here soon enough.

You must have agreed because early on the morning of July 24th, I was certain I was feeling contractions. For an hour, I timed them before waking your Daddy. We sat and timed together and called Gramma and Poppa. They arrived from Alabama just as we were leaving for the hospital. Once there, everyone wanted to help you, to give me pitocin, to break my water. I refused and you did it all by yourself. After my water broke, suddenly the mild contractions were not so mild. I reluctantly agreed to an epidural because I could not stop shaking. I think it was the world's best. I enjoyed your birth.

I pushed for almost an hour until things became urgent. After 16 hours of labor, there you were. A tiny, furry, six pound beautiful girl. You had wrapped the umblicial cord once around your arm and twice around your little neck. I think you fought so hard to be in this world because the bigger you got the tighter your necklace became. They began to test your reflexes. Your Daddy had been a trooper, but when they picked up your little arm and it just flopped down by your side, he nearly hit the floor. I barely held you before they put the world's tiniest oxygen mask on you and wisked you away for some special attention. You fought your way back to me, though.

I remember every moment of that first night. It seemed so magical to me to touch you and hold you and see how real you were. I could not believe God had given me this miracle, and I still feel that way every time I look at you. Four days later, we all got to come home together. I dressed you in the one preemie outfit we had and even that made you look, according to Gramma, like "one tater in a ten pound sack." We came home with a bilibed for you because you really looked more like a carrot than a tater. You had to spend 23 hours a day on this bed in nothing but a diaper. How I ached to hold you. You fought your way through jaundice too.

I wanted so badly to feed you like Mommys around the world have fed their babies for centuries, but between you being early, so little, me knowing so little, and not being able to hold you, our bodies just didn't work well together. Over the first five weeks of your life, I had five infections. Eventually, I was too weak to hold you and went to the hospital to get better. And as I laid in that hospital bed away from you every day I began to walk with Jesus like I never have before. This time I fought my way back to you.

In September, I went back to work and you went to a daycare that before you were born seemed adequate and clean. I barely held myself together dropping you off, cried in the car, and walked through the doors of the school. Though I was greeted by children that were so happy to see me and so eager to have me back, my heart was somewhere else. I made it to lunch time and drove over to visit you. I found you wrapped loosely in a strange blanket with the wrong paci, screaming your little head off in a crib in the far corner of the room away from all the teachers. I went and picked you up and whispered sweet Mommy things to you and as you quieted, the teacher looked at me and said, "She's spoiled, ain't she?" Well, I think my heart finished breaking that day. How I returned to school and what I taught that day blows my mind. Thanks to some good friends, I found a new place for you and God began to work on my heart.

I realized with the mentorship of my friend Sheila that for me, my work was to be your Mommy. My workplace was to be our home. Two weeks after returning to school, I was ready to come home. I told my principal and agreed to make it to the end of the sememster. Though I did it heartily as unto the Lord, it was the longest semester I ever remember. Then I came home to be your Mommy, and it has been the greatest, hardest job of my life.

Hannah, you are my joy and the greatest avenue of God's blessing in my life. Having you showed me the depth of my strength and my dependency as well. Thank you for changing everything about me. You are such a fighter, and you have a will of iron. So far you have defeated premature birth, jaundice, tonsil/adenoidectomy, a scary version of bronchitis, a deer coming through your car window, and nearly drowning. Because I hope one day you will read this, let me challenge you to always know why you are fighting and to count your costs. Fight for Christ. Pursue him above all others. I know you love things your way, but His ways are higher than ours. Choose His way. I love that you look like me, bless your heart, and that you are my number one buddy. I love your tender heart, weird sense of humor, big sister compassion, and indomitable spirit. I know God will use you mightily for his kingdom, sweet girl. I love being your


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thirty-three years ago today...

my precious husband was born. Happy Birthday, Daniel!

Before starting college at Auburn University, I had decided I simply would not date. Yes, hang out with friends and go out for fun but I didn't want to start out college with a serious relationship. Second day at Auburn, I met Daniel. Two weeks later, we were dating, and we both knew we'd be married one day. Nearly thirteen years later, I am thankful that God's ways were higher than my ways.

Daniel, for being someone who has seen me at my worst, loved me, and brought out my best, thank you. For being evidence in my life that God works all things together for his good, thank you. For showing me that God can transform those who are yielded to him, thank you. For being a wonderful husband and father, thank you! I love you. Happy birthday.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Cause of "the smell" still to be determined. Have concluded it is coming from something that
A. used to be alive and is now dead
B. used to be dead and is now alive.

Anyone want a ride? Bwah ha ha!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Anyone else?

It happens infrequently enough that you don't see it coming. You walk out the door with the children, ready for an innocent outing. You open the car door and THERE IT IS. A stench, rising from the vehicle. Why? Where? How? You search frantically while the children ask you a hundred questions and give endless suggestions. Is it a sippy cup long forgotten? Maybe an abandonded bag of snacks? You check the trunk, under each seat, behind the seats, sniff things you don't even want to touch, and it's still a mystery. Am I the only one this happens to?

Friday, July 10, 2009

More Interesting Pool Phrases

Emily was giggling in the pool at swim lessons last night. She said something and giggled again. I leaned closer and yes, she said what I though she said, "I tooted in the water! I tooted in the water!"

Eh. Swim lessons have been quite the adventure.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Words You Never Want to Hear

So we started swim lessons this week. Here are a few pics of us getting ready for our first day and a few of our warm up in our cousins' pool in Alabama this weekend. We've had a great time.

The words I never wanted to hear? Well, parents actually sit and watch the kids from the bleachers for Hannah's age group. There's a pvc pipe dock/platform dropped into the water that keeps their heads above water. Daniel and I were sitting together. I was running my mouth and Daniel says, "Hannah's drowning over there." Just like that, calmly. Then he jumps up and points. Sure enough, her little head is barely above the water (she must have been fighting like a dog to acheive that). The lifeguard jumped in and her teacher pulled her up but not before she'd bobbed at least 3 times, thrown her little hands up again and again, and swallowed a gallon of water. I rushed over, wanting to grab that baby up, but I held back and let people do their jobs. The tears are now finally coming as I write that Hannah "was a trooper" as another parent commented. She cried a little, wiped off her face, cried a little more, and stayed in the pool for the remaining 20 minutes of the lesson. She kept going. According to her account, someone accidentally pushed her and she fell off the platform into the deeper water and she couldn't get back. I am so proud of her, and I think this victory will make her quite the confident swimmer. I am glad I did not interfere but Mama wanted to hold her baby. Her very big girl, I mean!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

That was fun

I bravely decided to take the girls to Regal Cinema's free family movie festival today to see Charlotte's Web. They LOVED it! I got lots of snuggle time and with the three trips to the potty we were accident free. I highly recommend it--nothing like seeing things for the first time through their eyes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Toddler Tuesdays (on Wednesday, sorry)

A day late's better than nothing.

Hannah loves to play games, so since it was a rainy night I said, "Want to play Bob the Builder?" which is Hannah's memory game. Mimi said, "Yay! Please play Bob the Booder! Please play Bob the Booder!" Hannah and I were both laughing so hard she got the hiccups.

And the house across the street that burned down is finally coming back together. They've been rebuilding it for a few weeks and it's now pretty close to looking like a house. There have been different crews in and out and this week's crew loves loud Mexican music. Well, we opened the door to go to the mailbox and I am pretty sure the girls thought all of that was just for their benefit. The two danced in the driveway to their hearts' content. Ah, well. Maybe it made the work go faster across the street!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wrapping Up a Week

Well, the hard drive crashed on Tuesday so I am just now blogging despite what has been a very eventful week.

First, Wednesday was Emily's very first big girl day with NO accidents. Mama is very proud. One tiny accident today but we were in our swim suit and standing in a puddle of pool water anyway so Mama just "didn't see that." Sorry, fellow residents.

Second, I am very proud of my oldest this week because she jumped into VBS with both feet. Not big on change in routine, crowds, or loud noise/movies, I was afraid VBS might be all wrong for her. I was wrong! Hannah loved every minute of it. We have already shed some tears over today being the last day. She thinks Ms. Joye and Ms. Julie (our VBS divas) are movie stars. She reportedly loved puppets, music, dancing, and Bible stories. I loved not having to even think about supper all week and Hannah loved that "You know Mommy, if you don't like your supper it's okay not to eat it because they have good snack at Bible school." We also had a good cry in the car on the way today because Mimi didn't get to do "real" Bible school this year, just went to the nursery. That really hurt Hannah's heart because she knows how much Mimi loves to dance and sing and afterall, we'd all been practicing the music in the car together. Next year's VBS just seems too far away! When our pastor spoke today about hearing God's call and jumping in with both feet, I prayed that Hannah would keep this attitude for the rest of her life! Thanks to those who worked so hard to make this happen!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Baby girl growing up

Drum roll, please. Emily is going to church in panties today. Yes, apparently baby girl is growing up right under Mama's nose.

She made it through errands and playing around the house all day yesterday with no accidents. We put diapers on for naptime and bedtime and that will persist until she wakes up dry for a year. Just kidding but I am no fan of wet sheets so I will be very sure before we tackle the next step!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


My car is in the shop this weekend for windows that go down but won't come back up. Guess gravity finally caught up with them. Anyhoo, for the last week, I have had plastic taped over Hannah's window because it was stuck. Because of an unfortunate and loud incident when her mother thought saran wrap would actually hold when the car reached speeds of over 30mph, Hannah is terrified of the rigged up window even though Daddy properly secured it. We couldn't go anywhere without her getting hysterical and me worrying that I was causing permanent psychological damage. Finally I had a moment of inspiration and I was right--if she sat in her seat covered in a towel, snuggled up to her life-sized doll, and yes holding her Ariel umbrella she felt almost perfectly safe. So, if you haven't seen us going about town this week you missed it. :) Mimi always double checks, "Mama, it's not raining? It's not raining?"

Well, yesterday parts came in and we dropped it off at the shop for a couple of days. A COUPLE OF DAYS??? CAN I MAKE IT??? So this morning I knew the stroller was the only way to escape the house. Loaded it up, packed the breakfast for travel, and put the girls on the step only to see that we actually DO need the Ariel umbrella today. Sigh. Now the girls are eating the travel ready breakfast on the couch and watching Curious George. I never do that but hey, we are trapped. Thank you Lord, for rain. I know we need it. Give me a grateful heart!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday Toddlerisms

Thanks, Laura for the suggestion. Here are some favorite silly toddler things my girls have said this week:

Hannah: Mommy, I love graham crappers!

Emily: Mommy, it's raining my hiney! (we were diaperless and potty training and Mimi's hiney was the only place it was raining, if you know what I mean).

But my favorite silly toddler moment was when Emily walked over, picked up her own diaper, and laid it out on the floor. She slowly lowered her hind parts over it, laid down, and let Hannah fasten it around her. Yes! My work here is done!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Don't you wish you'd had Dora when you were growing up?

I mean, really. Who was helping us learn a second language? The Smurfs? Muppet Babies? Punky Brewster? I don't think so.

Emily is a big fan of Dora lately. Two examples:

Today, she was watching with Hannah and I heard her count to 5, I mean cinqo in Spanish! Wow!

The other example's a little more intersting. This weekend, my children got to go to a wedding. At the very nice reception, they were given plates of food and seated at one of the tables. As is usually the case, about two seconds after sitting down to eat, someone had to go potty. So, everyone got up and made the trek. This was a nice place, so the tables were being waited on and cleared quickly. Hence, upon returning to the bathroom Lady Emily found her fare had been whisked away. She looked up at her Daddy and said, "Swiper taked my food?"


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bummer, well not so much

So the yard sale was a great success. Thanks to everyone who came out to support the youth ministry. I could look around at all of that "stuff" and see God turning it into funds to send out his Word, to spread the gospel. That's pretty amazing.

The "bummer" part was that my bows were nowhere to be found at the yard sale. I had really worked hard on these, even remade ones that I made when I first started because they weren't good enough. Small, medium, large. Gamecock colors, Clemson colors. Cute bow holders you can hang on door knobs and coat hangers. And I priced them at bargain prices. Clippies 2 for$1 (I even learned how to make Christmas tree clippies!), small bows for 50c and up. Huge bows for 3.50 thinking the youth would still make some good money and my friends could buy bows at good prices.

Apparently, someone got to the yard sale early and lifted them? All of them. That's the only thing I can think that happened. I had labled yard sale baskets with signs, separating them by price. When I looked around, most of the baskets I had used were there but no bows. Several people remember seeing them before the stuff was moved outside this morning but then they magically disappeared. Or I guess they could have accidentally been thrown away.

Theft has always been something that bothers me, you know, just gets to me at the core. Then I thought about it--I am not going to let this get to me. Why? Well, it goes along with a devotion I shared today.

Ephesians 1:23-24 says that Christ fills every thing in every way. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. Praise God I am at a point in my life where I feel filled. Yes, there are days that I think it is really not possible to be a good mommy to a 2 year old and a 3 year old at the same time, not to mention being a satisfactory wife, housekeeper, chauffer, choir director, Sunday school teacher, mentor, and friend. But I am filled! And fufilled! Because Christ fills every thing in every way. I wasted so many years of my life looking to be filled by something or someone else and then when that didn't workout asking Jesus to put me back together. Graciously, He did, time and again. But I am to the point in my heart of hearts where I want to stop doing it backwards! I want to come to Him, to learn of Him, to sit at His feet and choose what is better. Friend, are you filled up today? If not, and you are saved, step back, breathe deep and figure out what or who it is you have been looking to all day for fufillment. Fix your eyes on Jesus and fill up! If you are not saved, will you please comment here and I can share the secret of this contentment with you? Because, see, today my wonderful hubby treated me to a spa pedicure for Mother's Day. Oh, that was amazing. But you know what happened when I got home? That beautiful, soft, freshly pampered foot ended up right in a puddle of tee tee. And I was able to laugh, clean up the offender, and move on because as great as that hour was, I wouldn't trade it for one minute with my savior. He is the Word, the Alpha, and the Omega. And He fills me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I am so excited about...

okay, maybe excited isn't the word. Amazed. Overjoyed. Bursting at the seams. Ready.
Oh, yeah. About what?

I am beside myself with joy about what God is going to do and that He has put this trip into my life. I will continue to pray that He wants me to go, to be a part of what He is already doing in that country.

And the best news is, we need MORE people, especially people like me who know nothing about medicine! Seriously, at this point I am wondering why it took me so long to do this. Can you go? Will you come? What else could be more right or more safe than to know you are going to do God's work where He's at work?!!

If you want to know more, ask me! I'd love to talk to you about it and I'll be posting a video soon, as soon as I figure out how that works.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Two Years of Emily

It was a struggle to become pregnant the first time but not the second, and just as we were celebrating Hannah's first birthday we learned I was pregnant with Emily. We were overjoyed, of course, but just a bit suprised to be having a second so soon after the first! The only child in me had to adjust to a lot of could I ever love anyone like I loved Hannah? What do you do with two at once? And, heavens, what if they fought? I would not know what to do!
Unlike her sister, who came four weeks early, Emily took her sweet time. Three days past my due date, I went to see Dr. Gabe for some pressure point encouragement. That night, at midnight on April 20th, I had my first contraction. However, having had contractions for five months at this point I did not panic, took my shower, called my mother, woke Daniel, etc. And then things began to intensify. Remembering the 16 hours of labor with Hannah, I tried to remain calm. We woke her, dressed her, and headed to my friend Laurel's house. By the time we arrived, though, I was in some major pain and began to feel the urge to push. :) When I got to labor and delivery, they calmly found me a bed. Nothing was calm after they found out I was 9cm dialated. I have never seen nurses run and things happen so quickly at a hospital. All my pleas for an epidural (even when I let the receptionist know as soon as we arrived!) fell on deaf ears because it was too late. Emily was no longer taking her sweet time and my body underwent what I call the Emily makeover. :) She was delivered by the nurses around 4am, several minutes before Dr. Nichols arrived.
I remember seeing her for the first time and whispering, "Emily Grace" because the name we had picked seemed to fit her so perfectly. She was so adorable and immediately I felt this love for her well up inside of me, so different from my love for Hannah and yet somehow the same. She graciously made things a lot easier on me the second time around, eating well, sleeping pretty well, and being a content baby girl most of the time. I think the moment she came home she fell in love with this little person that studied her and wanted to touch her eyes and nose so badly. She adored Hannah from the moment they met and her aspiration in life has been to catch up. The week after she learned to sit up, she began crawling (no blanket time for Mommy!). She walked just after the ten month mark, she began potty training herself around sixteen months, and she has recently begun to speak in full paragraphs.
I love you, Emily. I love that you look like your Daddy and that you want to grow up so fast but you want to do it your way. I love that you want to play your own way on your own time and that your stubborn strength will be used of the Lord one day. I love your repentant heart and your little apologies, and I love that you love to "nuggle." I love saying prayers with you and watching you sleep, listening to you sing, and hearing you laugh. You are my sweet baby girl, my "Mimi."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I am so happy to be home where I have my very own bed and my children sleep in their own rooms, an entire floor away from me! Haha! Actually, we had a lovely Easter weekend. I am so thankful to be a redeemed child of God and to be at home raising my children. I am also thankful that we have a home so I don't have to raise them in a car because I have learned I have my limits. The girls have both grown up so much and they handled the 15 or so hours in the car VERY well but I am pretty sure I answered about 697 questions between here and Alabama. But we got to see our precious family and we had safe travel and got to worship in my home church, and my best friend from high school made a trip down just to visit us! She has a 3 year old as well, and Hannah, Emily, and Vivi played like long-time friends for hours at my parents' house while Julia and I had adult conversation. Good times.

Thank you for the cross, Lord. Thank you for the nail-pierced hands.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Favorite Sister Conversations

Today, my girls each came home from an activity with a bag of Easter eggs. Wisely, the adult had taken the candies out of Emily's, assuming I was picky about which candies I allowed her to eat. I found some acceptable candy and put half in one of Emily's egg and half in one of Hannah's egg. I put Hannah in charge of passing one to Mimi and got in the driver's seat.

This conversation ensued:
Hannah: Pick a hand Mimi (holding both eggs tauntingly beyond Emily's reach).
Emily: My hand, Hannah!
Hannah: No, Mimi, pick a hand.
Emily: My hand, Hannah!
Hannah: No, Mimi, which one?
Emily: Ah!
Hannah: Point, Mimi.
Emily: Point, Hannah! (thinking this must be the new word for egg).
Hannah: Point, Mimi!
Emily: Poooinnnttt! (gesturing at the eggs)
Hannah: Which one, Mimi?
Emily: My mouth Hannah!
Hannah: Mimi!
Emily: Hannah!
At this point, I don't remember what happened next because I was laughing too hard. But everyone got candy in the end.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


It's just fun to drink out of lion's mouth!

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Good Week and Good Deals

It's been a good week. The thought of no scheduled activities for the week frightened me, I'll admit it. But there's something refreshing about not rushing around (because I don't care how much time you have to get ready something happens when you try to get your kids out the door that makes you have to rush) all week. We've read and played and tickled and laughed. I feel closer to both of my girls, which is odd to say since I spend every waking moment with them except when I am at church. But it's been good. God is good.

Oh, and the coupon shopping we've done! You have to go do these:
Get some free and/or make a penny Kraft dressing. (Use your 1.50 SS coupon, they're bogo for 2.99) I heart the Asian Toasted Sesame Reduced Fat.
Get some 20 cents-ish chex mix. (Use your SS coupon, they're bogo for 2.29)
Buy some Quakes (tiny cheesy or ranchy rice cakes that actually DO taste good, my girls gobble them up). Use your $1 off coupon and grab a bag of the Publix knockoffs for their "buy theirs, get ours free" special. Makes them each less than $1.

Emerald Snack Mix. Don't use your 1.50/2 coupon on the big cans of nuts--you will end up still paying upwards of $5. Use it on the BOGO snack mixes, which run about $2-$3. The breakfast blend is rocking my socks off right now. Yummy!
Wash it down with some free powerade using your Valpack coupon. They're 4/$3 at Bi-Lo. They'll double your .50 off coupon and pay you to take it home!

Join their JJ club. They'll send you a free sippy (never have enough of those) and a printable for $1 off 2. Hold onto it because Bi-Lo and Publix run those BOGO a lot.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Another Favorite Conversation

Emily walks into my bedroom with two grocery bags full of imaginary groceries.
Emily: "Hey Mommy!"
Me: "Hey Mimi!"
Emily: "Bye, bye Mommy!"
Me: "Where are you going?"
Emily: "I go car."
She sits down and backs herself up to my dresser with a huge grin on her face.
Me: "Is that your car Mimi?"
Emily: Nods, big grin.
Me: "Is it a big, big truck?"
Emily: More smiles.
Me: "Bye, bye Mimi! Vroom, vroom, errrrrk. Vroom, vroom." (doing a pretty awesome big truck impression, I think.)
Emily: "Mommy, Simon says stop."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Good Breath

I have a secret habit of writing devotionals. I also teach 10-12th grade Sunday school and those girls recently expressed interest in getting some weekly encouragment over facebook. I wrote something for them this morning and thought I'd post it here. It's based on 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

The NIV translation of this first verse says that all Scripture is God-breathed. It is amazing to think of the God of the universe breathing His very words to us. Reading the phrase, "God-breathed" brings something else to mind, though. In the story of creation, we see many examples of God speaking things into existence. God said, "Let there be light" for example. But in Genesis 2:7, we see that we were not spoken into existence but created intimately by a loving Father. "The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Woah! God could have just said "Let there be Adam" and it would have happened, but get the mental picture...the God of Heaven and earth reached down into the dust and shaped and made man with His own hands and breathed his very breath into us. Pretty much blows my mind. But if you are looking for a reason to open up your Bible today, think about this---God breathed His breath into you and Scripture is God-breathed. This is deep, but not only is it God's word, it's His Holy breath! The same amazing breath that began life fills the pages of your Bible. When you open it, it's like you're taking a deep inhale of God, a deep inhale of life. Oh, girls. That is the energy and purpose and life our hearts are crying out for! Go grab your Bible and take a deep breath of the life God has planned for you. Love you!

Monday, March 9, 2009


That's the only thing I can say about yesterday, our first Sunday in the beautiful new building. God is so good. "Because you gave your life for me, crucified your son for me, how can I do anything but praise? I praise you! You are God!"

Monday, March 2, 2009

Now That's Snow!

We have really enjoyed this snow. My house is a mess and I am ready to get out of it but it is wonderful to see God's gorgeous creation dredged in white. It's so pretty.

We made snow cream this morning and that was well received. Hannah's triumph was her snowman and she runs to the screen door about every ten minutes to make sure he hasn't melted yet. She wanted to bring him inside just to be safe. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Favorite conversations, quatro

At lunch on Saturday:

Hannah: Mommy I'm done.

Me: Okay.

Hannah: I wanna get down.

Me: What do you say?

(Typical repsonse: Thank you I enjoyed it.)

Hannah: Thank you, Sarah Beth.

At lunch on Sunday:

Me: What did you learn about at church today?

Hannah: Jesus

Hannah: You know, I told them I had a goldfish at home. (mischeivious smile)

Daniel: You mean you told them you eat goldfish crackers at home?

Me: No, look at her face. Hannah, did you tell your teachers you have a real goldfish?

Hannah: Yeah. You wanna see him?

Let it be known that I nearly had to send her Daddy away from the table for laughing his head off both days. Lot of help he was!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hannah the Magnificent

This week's trip to the gym was incident free. Hannah is a lot of fun to watch out there!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


A few weeks ago we began the process of finding a gymnastics venue for Hannah's debut as a gymnast. Thanks to our friend Jo Ellen, we found Spartanburg Gymnastics and have loved it. But it's been very eventful!

First week, well we affectionally called that week "gymspastics." It was a hoot! But Hannah is advancing/mastering the basics on schedule and having a great time.

Second week, the owner came into the area where the parents sit and said, "Does anyone have a gray chevrolet?" I admitted this was probably me. "Well," she says, "the lights are flashing, the trunk is popping, and the horn is blowing." How exciting. Yes, Emily had gotten hold of my keys with the remote attached and was literally pushing my buttons.

And last week was just as embarrasing. We are proudly watching Hannah do her sequence, which includes a difficult leg lifting move. It was looking pretty awkward and jerky and Daniel said, "What is she doing?" I looked at him and laughed, and then saw horror on his face. "Sarah Beth, she's peeing!" he cried. Yep. Giant puddle on the carpeted gym floor. I went over there and claimed her, cleaned her up and changed her into a little sweatsuit we had. Mind you, we go to gymnastics commando and there was no changing that at this point. But she would do what she must to get back out there.

Today my goal is to take pictures, so if something else amazing happens I will have proof! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Remember Me?

After an ADDITIONAL $100, I finally have a laptop again! I cannot believe how bad it was. I was without email, blog, facebook, adult conversation, argh! So anyway, I will update soon on what's been going on in our lives. Definitely need to catch everyone up on "manastics," Hannah's most recent feat.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Falling off the bed

My laptop had a whole new experience this week. It slid off my bed. I still am not sure why or how but apparently it did because things broke. So I am without a computer and $100 for about two weeks. (Well techincally, the $100 is gone forever). I will be missing the blog, email, and facebook.

I am pretty sure this is part of teaching me balance and better time managment. This is something God was whispering to me already but I was typing so loudly I couldn't hear. Got it loud and clear when I heard the thunk of the computer hitting the floor. So I'll be getting a lot done around the house the next few weeks while it's in repair. Be back soon.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No she didn't!

Downstairs on Friday, I could hear Emily from her crib above me playing car during her nap. Buddin buddin, beep beep, laughing, using the rail for a steering wheel, all of it. She had a great time. When nap time was over and I went to get her, I said, "Emily, no ma'am. We do not play in our crib. You lay down, close your eyes and go night night." She looked at me, put her little hand out towards me, and said, "Mommy hit it?" with this angelic little look on her face. Oh, my. It just doesn't seem right spanking a baby when you are laughing so hard. Terrible twos, I hear you coming and I am terribly afraid.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Daddy Time

I realized there are no pics of my handsome hubby on the blog to date. This is just negligence on my part and I need to fix it. Hannah and I took a quick trip to the library last night to grab a couple of books and pick up a movie. When we came home, it was time to snuggle with Daddy. This is most definitely his love language and hers too. Apparently she was cold and this robe is big enough for both of the skinnies in our family!

Reminds me of days gone by:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


This is the girls enjoying our very own quarter-inch of the white stuff.

Btw, these pictures were taken before Emily figured out how she really felt about it. And yes, Hannah coordinated our outfits!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Two things I need to blog about...first, you see the "Inbox Dollars" and "Send Earnings" pics on my blog. Just last week, thanks to a link from a blogger Stacy C follows, I got into doing more online surveys for a little cash here and there. Already, Dollar Surveys has deposited money in my paypal acct for participating. (Happy ebay shopping to me!) Also, I earned a $20 reward for Hannah's Upromise account through ERewards surveys. I can get/give money from referrals but I don't like to send people unsolicited email like that so if you want to know more let me know you're interested.

Secondly, April was kind enough to give me an award and I want to share the joy!

The rules are as follows...
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show GREAT ATTITUDE and/or GRATITUDE!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

2 Nicholson Girls (I have enjoyed getting to know these beautiful girls better)
Whose Oxygen Mask First (Always makes me laugh)
The Rider Family 5 (I love blogs from people I want to know better!)
Jonah's Journey Home (Co-worker of Daniel adopting a beautiful boy from China this week)
The Timmons Family (Always nice when someone you love/admire blogs)
The Rogers Family (ditto)
The Horton Family (ditto)
The Laney Family (One of my first and most thoughtful blogging friends)
The Waddell Family (A great friend and I LOVE her kids eat free list)
The Cotheran Family (the best blogger I know personally)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Will, the Bladder, and the Budget

Hannah'sstrong will has its benefits on occasion, this time in the area of potty training. She was not easy to potty train but at each juncture once she decided to cooperate, the next step was always easy. Last night was our third night with no pull up or diaper. I am so proud of her! Just last month she was sleeping in diapers and waking up wet 100% of the time. I bought one bag of pullups, explained the situation, bribed her with quarters, and voila. She began waking up dry 80% of the time. After said bag of pullups was gone, as promised I did not buy more and I have not had to change her sheets yet. I know that is in my future at some point but I am really happy to have her reach this milestone. Definitely a budget booster!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

favorite conversations, part 3

With both girls, from the very beginning I would count buttons, snaps, etc aloud as I dressed them. This was mainly to distract them from crying/protesting while being dressed and to help them learn to count. With most clothes, we only get to three at most so Emily blew my mind today.

Me: One
Emily: Two
Emily: Tee
Emily: Or
Emily: Fi
Me: Five
Emily: Sis
Emily: Memen
Emily: Ay
Me: Nine
Emily: Tih

favorite conversations, part 2

We were outside last week enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. (At this rate, even I am starting to believe that my Aussie hairspray is turning the earth into an oven!) Hannah runs to show me Emily trying to climb up the slide by herself, ladder and all.

I can't tell you what an awesome feat of little muscle this was to watch. Three or four times she had to pull her entire body weight up a distance I didn't even think her legs could possibly stretch. She was so determined and so focused and once at the top, so proud. With Hannah's coaching, I helped her slide down. We repeated Mimi's new feat three times and it was obvious she was exhausted and so she moved on to ball chasing. Serveral minutes later, I had to go inside to use the facilities, gave Hannah instructions, and left the door open so I could listen to them play in the fenced-in backyard. Here's what happened next.

Hannah: laughing
Hannah: silence
Emily: crying
Hannah: Mimi are you okay?
Emily: crying

Hannah, running to the door: Mommy, Mommy, I need your help!
Me, running to the door: What's wrong?
Hannah: Mimi broke her hiney!
Me: (Surveying the situation and also thinking mother's should just get permanent catheters at delivery) But what happened?
Emily: crying and spitting out grass
Hannah: Mimi broke her hiney!

Me: But what happened? How did she fall?
Hannah: She was at the top and she just lay down and plop down on the ground.
Me, motioning: Did she fall from here or here or here?
Hannah, pointing to the top: Mommy, Mimi flied! Se flied down!

Don't worry, Emily was fine. I think Hannah is now actually a little jealous of her temporary super powers.

a few favorite conversations, part 1

Daniel had 1/1 and 1/2 off this year and it was nice to have some help recovering from Christmas. We tackled several projects, and one of those was taking the recycling to the recycling center. Traditionally, Hannah goes along for the ride and I have fifteen minutes or so of watching just Emily.

Daniel: Hannah, let's get your jacket on and get in the car.
Emily: Mimi's! Mimi's cacket! Mimi car!
Me: Daniel, Emily wants to go with you.
Daniel: Silence, look of dread.
Emily: Mimi's! Mimi's cacket! Car! (desperate now and very cute).
Daniel: All right. I'll take both of them.
Me: Thank you!

At this point, I can hardly hold back the smile thinking of the joy of fifteen minutes alone in my house...this never happens. I come up with the wild and crazy plan of watching tv (something non animated) while folding the laundry.

Garage door opens.
Back door shuts.
Car door opens.
Car door shuts.
Back door opens.
Hannah walks in.

Daniel: Hannah's going to stay with you.
Me, running: No! It's okay! Go with Daddy!
Hannah: (with huge tears) But I have to stay with you 'cause you don't have a buddy. I want to be your buddy. You would be all by yourself, mommy!

At this point, I saw the depth of her feeling and realized she had come up with this all on her own and I melted. I nixed the laundry idea and we had a mother/daughter snuggle fest. I was happy just to sit with a three year old who was thinking of someone other than herself.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Sorry it's been a while since I posted any pictures of the girls. I cannot believe how much they've grown. Emily is quickly approaching 2 and Hannah 21. :)

Eating my birthday cake:

The kids table, before the food started to fly:

Cousins Hannah, Brent, Emily, Lizzie, and Sarah at the Snook/McKelvey/Wilcox gathering this Christmas.