Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So, there are times in my life where my love for my kids seems to be overflowing. I know, I know, it is always there, but sometimes because of circumstances, stress, etc. I don't recognize it as clearly. Here are a couple of examples of why:

Setting: Sadie, home from school not feeling well. In the basement watching a movie so that Jay could work on cabinets. Wearing headset so the saw noise wouldn't hurt her ears.

Sadie: I'm bored (saying to noone apparent)

A few minutes go by

Jay: Sadie, are you ok? Are you bored? Do you want a different movie?

Sadie: No, I'm ok.

A few more minutes go by

Sadie: in a soft little voice. Are you there? I love you God.

MELT MY HEART!!! She is starting to show signs of real progress in her heart. She wants to do well, to make good choices, to feel that sense of right and wrong. I LOVE IT!

We went to the Dollar Store this week so that the kids could use their allowance to purchase gifts for family members (they each spent about $20 EACH of their own money). Sadie LOVED doing it. She didn't want me to walk with her - instead picked out everything herself Except for one item, she did really well. As soon as she got home she got to wrapping. I remember that being a very tasking job when I was that young, but she has such manual dexterity that it is a snap. In fact, she wants to spend tonight helping me wrap gifts.

Saturday we went to the Nutcracker at HPU with Grammy and Graylyn. It was Grammy's treat and it is such a great tradition for the girls. Next year, we will take Lily for the first time. Sadie put on her fancy Christmas dress and then it came time for the tights. I had to insist she wear them as it was very cold - 40 degrees or so. However, she really struggled with getting them on and how they felt. I remember when things didn't feel right - how I like tight shoes and belts when I was little. I did much better after I was able to have a little fit to myself - a little screaming, etc. It just didn't feel right and I had to get it out! So, I let Sadie have a litle struggle - getting out how she felt and then she was much better. In fact, when given the option of taking them off as soon as we got home, she chose to keep them on! She has had a couple of great weeks at school and seems to be very much in love with her teachers. She is academically soaring. Basketball starts in January and I know that she will just be great at it - she is a natural athlete.

Conversation#2: Setting: Sadie, Lily and Mommy in Lily's room playing with the doctor set. Mommy is laying on the floor as the patient. Sadie is working on my hair and Lily is checking me out with all the tools. Lily refers to me as Mommy.

Sadie: Lily, Mommy is the patient, call her patient.

Lily: Mommy, be patient.

So cute! Lily has been testing a bit more lately, but I know that it is because she is really tired. She has not had her usual naps as we have been quite busy. This is evident as she fell asleep on the ottoman in the kitchen around 4:30 yesterday with the lights on and the tv on and everyone buzzing around her. She is really focused on getting a bath every night. Just loves playing in there, especially with me in there, too. She likes making patterns of blocks and legos. Very interesting because she seems to have a very organized manner of thinking. She read the letters to WELCOME on Miss Adkins door yesterday which really floored Miss Adkins. It made me proud - in a sinful way. :) I am trying to get her a little more independent - dressing on her own, asking her to help clean-up, etc. She just seems to be physically less capable than Sadie and Ethan at this age, but Sadie was so advanced, that I know it is not a fair comparison. We saw Santa Claus at the mall yesterday. She may get it now. We don't make a big deal about Santa Claus, but a little trip doesn't hurt. She ask for two fishes (what??!?!?) and after prodding fro Sadie asked for a Dora Kitchen. I know for a fact, she is not getting either. So, we'll see what happens on Christmas morning. Actually, now that I think about it. I don't think the kids are getting anything or very little of what they asked for as it was mainly contrived from the junk they saw advertised on tv. Mommy and Daddy know best.

Ethan has been my little encourager this month. He tells me all the time how much he appreciates me. He also said that he was trying very hard not to think about the presents, but it was really hard. DId you have a hard time with that, Mom? he asks. Very sweet. His school work is excellent and I am pleased with all of his progress.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh my heart breaks for Sadie. She can be such a mean-spirited girl because she cannot get her emotions under control. I am so afraid that she will have to learn the hard way and that other won't be her friend because of her choice of words. She got jealous that another girl in her class lost a tooth and actually pulled the tooth herself. So, Sadie said to her, "I don't care and your breath stinks!" Sigh. I made her write an apology note. She seems genuinely concerned and has made an effort to try harder the past two days. I just don't know how you teach these character issues. Aren't some of these just innate?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday, November 2, 2007

Seriously can not believe it has been two months since my last blog. So many things to write about!

My emotional state: very, very good. Am I really writing that? Things really changed for me on Ansley's birthday. We did a scrapbook event to raise money for breast cancer on her birthday. The mere details of how that all worked and how it landed on Ansley's birthday was nothing short of a God thing. Colby and Gray came to work on their books. Gray left early, but Colby decided to make a day of it. It felt so awesome to have this time with him. He has Ansley's gift of design and made pages that were better than some adults! He loved it, I loved it, I loved him being there. It was just like having a bit of Ansley there. It was priceless for me and gave me a hope that I haven't felt since her death. I haven't cried this week - no, I take that back. I did cry early on Monday. Anyway, the writing of the above has made me quite emotional.

Still very worried about Graylyn. She is not herself. Very sad in my opinion. Doesn't know how to just be herself, but seems to try to act how she thinks would make people like her. She needs her dad, but he is not available. I can't write the details of that situation as it is now a personal promise not to get involved or in the know of that situation. The more I dwell, the more involved I become, the more angry and upset I become. So, I don't go there.

Lily has started singing. Since she still has many speech impediments, it often cracks me up. Instead of saying Lord, she says Wo-rd. very cute. She has gotten quite bossy and sassy. She will fold her hands and stomp her feet. She throws herself down for attention. So much of it is drama and for affect. She has started fighting me about the potty. She poops almost all the time in her panties which just makes me boil. She does pretty good when we are out, but by the end of the day she just gives up and just pees everywhere. It really makes me angry. I don't know what to do about it as we take things away, spank, time-out, etc. Nothing seems to work. It is very frustrating. She is doing well at school. But, by far music is her favorite. She asks everyday if she gets to go to music. One day I showed up to help with lunch and she told me point blank to "leave, Mommy, Go away." On the other hand, she had a complete meltdown the other night when Jay and I had to go to a funeral and Grammy was here when she woke-up from a nap. She totally freaked and was like that for about an hour. Mom ended up calling me. she said that Lily looked up at her with those big tears and it reminded her and looked just like me at that age. Lily got her first inch cut off her hair. I forgot picture day and she wore a track suit. Ugh. Can say the most grown-up things, yet, still such a little girl. Uh-oh, I just heard Jay going after Lily. She can be such a tantrum thrower! I can't wait for her to get past this stage, or rather US get her past this stage.

Sadie is doing better and better with school and behavior. Her teacher said she is so very smart, but we have to continue to work on impulsive behavior, etc. Miss Adkins said that she loves having Sadie in her class - I think she brings a lot of funny antics and laughter. In our conference with Miss Adkins, Jay felt that he was now his parents in a conference about himself. Sadie is so much like him. She has a very grown-up side to herself and a very responsible side which is a so contrary to the impulsive and out of control Sadie. She still gravitates to older friends. I think she doesn't feel competition with them. We are working on getting her to recognize when she feels out of control - when her environment is too much to handle, when she is tired, etc. If she can verbalize this feeling, then we can get her to a quiet place, a place to get herself refueled. We accomplished this twice during the BBQ festival. I was thrilled. It was sensory overload for her and she did quite well. One time I had to put her in timeout and when I told her she could come out, she decided she still needed some time to herself. She wasn't mopey about it - she just knew she needed some more downtime. I know now how to recognize that behavior and what to do - get her to herself. The book, Raising a Spirited Child, has been so helpful and insightful. Sadie is a natural born leader and thinker. She is destined for amazing things. I can't wait to see God work in her and she how she becomes His princess.

A cute comment she made to Karen while being brought home:

Karen: So, Sadie what time is your bedtime?

Sadie: In about 2 minutes.

Karen (looking at car clock which says 7:10 pm). When?

Sadie: In about 2 minutes, but sometimes 5

Karen said she kept cracking up over that little conversation. Cracks me up - I mean HOW many times have I said, "We are going up to bed in about 2 minutes."

Ethan had the best report card EVER. I don't know what happened over the summer, but his attention span and his ability to stay focused seemed to have just arrived. I let him have four friends over. They are a great group of little boys. However, Ethan just seems to have such high expectations of his friends sometimes. He expects them to do everything he wants to do and of course that is not always the case. He also got a little snippy with me over some decisions I made about what they could and couldn't do. I wanted to send everyone home at one point as Ethan began to let his emotions get the best of him (the usual tears and then the subsequent embarrassment over the tears).

So much more to write, but time is short these days.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wednesday, September, 5, 2007

Here is the email I sent today to the kids' teachers:

Just wanted to fill you in on what is going on in our house over the next month. The bad news is that we sprung a major leak from our dishwasher over Labor Day. The insurance claims people came out today and basically, we will have to move out of our house for two weeks starting Monday. We have hardwood flooring on our entire first floor and what doesn't have to be replaced has to be sanded and refinished. The company hired by the insurance company to do the repairs does everything - move the furniture, tape everything down, clean the house, replace and paint the shoe molding, etc. We even get hotel rooms and some food paid for. (I am trying to look on the bright side of a big mess).

Our plan right now is to try to make it in our basement at least for part of the time. We cannot find hotel rooms as everything convenient is already booked with market people. My brother and family are at my mom's (they are missionaries in Asia) for a few more weeks. But, thankfully, my dad has given us the green light to bunk at his house if needed. We were planning on staying in our basement during furniture market anyway so this just pushes us up a few weeks (we still had some unfinished projects, but nothing major). We will get back into the main part of the house for a week and then head back down to the basement for market. We sound like moles!

So, why am I telling you all of this? Because life is beginning to get quite stressful and a little hairy. When that happens, I tend to forget things I normally wouldn't (at least that was my experience last year). Additionally, sleep patterns may be a little off for the kids, lunches may be bizarre and books left at home. Sadie tends not to do as well when schedules are disrupted. It is nothing drastic, but change takes a while for her. I hope that doesn't happen, but I just don't know if I will have any hair left on my head after this is all over. Please do not hesitate to call me if I have missed anything, forgotten anything. I can always run back up to the school. It goes without saying that my mobile phone will be the best way to reach me!

I know this may sound strange, but this actually is a huge blessing. The hardwood floors had some problems and we were actually talking about what to do about them. We came to the conclusion that we just didn't have the money for it and probably wouldn't for a while. I couldn't imagine the mess nor dealing with all the furniture. God took care of it all, even though I don't quite understand the timing!

I'll post the details later, although I don't know if I have the strength! :)

One little note - I painted Lily's toes this morning. It was so cute and she was beside herself. She said to me: My toes are pretty. I like this two, too.

She proceeded to talk like this the remainder of the time. I wrote the word "two" to denote the sound of what she said. It is all a grammatical deal here - really cute at the way she is thinking through her words.

Grammatically correct: One toe, two toes
Lily grammar: One two, two toes

Gosh, I hope that makes sense when I read it in a couple of years!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

We have finally gotten around to painting Ethan's new shelving system. Jay designed it to look like trees - it is pretty cool. As I was painting the first brown coat, I notice something Ethan had written on the wood. We had given him permission to write on it BEFORE we painted it. He hadn't really done much, but this brought major tears. I just sat down and cried. It said, "I love mamy" It was so sweet, so endearing, so painful, too. Mamy was Ansley and he misses her so much. It almost seems that he mentions her on a daily basis. It is so sad. It seems his grief is worse now that earlier. I feel the same way, actually.

I finally went to the doctor for these random aches, sore throat, etc. that I have been having over the past several months. Nothing showed up in the blood work - although we are still waiting on thyrhoid. I really didn't expect them to find anything as I suspect it is all results of stress and grief. The best relief is sleep. I slept 12 hours two days ago. I felt great afterwards. Today, I suspect it won't be so good as I only got 7 hours - Lily woke up at 5 for some strange reason. She is moving away from naps (CRAZY!) so I think her whole schedule is off. Not too happy about the nap situation, as Sadie and Ethan still took naps in kindergarten - Sadie still needs them every once in a while. Maybe this is just a phase.

Market is early this year - end of September - October. Still have so much to do to get ready for it. Painting is number one. UGH! I hope next week I can start getting a handle on things.

For the most part, this is a boring blog. So, I will end. Watching Cayden today. He and Lily play so well together. I love hearing their little conversations. However, I won't drop him off until it is time to pick up the kids. We will probably go out for a few errands, just for a break from the house. Definitely too hot to play outside - still in the 90s!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007


Lily: About 10x during the day - Where Buddy and Sadie? Happy, but a little lost. Missed them.

Ethan: Great day. Happy, Content. Loves Mrs. Kellum. First time that he told me a lot of details about his day. Got as many chances as needed on the Buzz game (?), Got to put in two marbles in the good marble jar (one for being still). Got two books from the library. Finished the Star Wars book in 15 minutes in his room after school. Good job, Ethan!

Sadie: LOVED IT! I was so happy to see her when I picked her up. Her favorite part was rest time which absolutely blew me away! She loved it because she got to look at books and Ms. Adkins rubbed her back. Also told me everything - lunch, media (thrilled she got a book), coloring, playing, etc. She gets to go to the treasure chest of Friday and if she gets 5 stickers in a row, she gets to bring in show and tell (her all-time favorite thing to do). SHE WAS BEAMING when I picked her up. It was great! She fell asleep on the living room sofa around 4 - she was just worn out!
OT: Sadie has been asking for several nights now to read her bible, "I want to read about God." Finally some progress in this area!

Mommy: Briefly sad about Sadie, but frankly, relieved that the summer was over. It was long and tough with too many spankings. This is going to be a great year, I can just feel it!

This morning, Jay took the kids (he will be doing more of this year as I don't have to go to the preschool every day). Jay told Sadie that this is the first day he was going to "drop them off". Sadie asked Ethan - Will you walk me into school? Ethan: Do you want me to walk you into school, or walk you to class? Sadie: Walk me to class because I don't know if I remember the way to go. Ethan: Ok, I'll take care of you. PRICELESS!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday, August 10 part 2

One more thing. At Mayberry's today, Lily started to pick her nose. I said, no, Lily, don't pick your nose. She looked at me and started tappig her nose as if something was wrong. She shoved her finger up her nose and I realized she might have some large piece of snot up there. So, I got a napkin, held it up to her face, closed the nostril that wasn't bothering her and told her to blow. She did and I saw something come out of her nose. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a bead!!!! A round pink bead. I have no idea how long it was there or how it got there!!! CRAZY. My kids are crazy. GOTTA LOVE IT!

Friday, August 10,2007

Crushed! I wrote this amazing (in detail and length) blog and then my computer locked up (I was also loading pictures to Snapfish) and I hadn't saved it. UGH! I will never capture most of what I wrote. UGH!

Here are some brief highlights:

Conversation with Lily:

Lily: Mommy, See my picture?

Mommy: Oh, Lily, that is so pretty! Why don't you color a little more?

Lily: No, Mommy. I color big more.


Lily - potty training, seems to finally want to do it. Has trouble getting panties pulled down in the back. Enjoys washing hands and flushing. Takes some pride in what she does.

Another conversations with Lily - yesterday *her birthday

I was folding clothes in the laundry room and she came to me with a scared look on her face.

Lily: Mommy, I sick.

Mommy: You are sick?

Lily: Yeah.

Mommy: Does something hurt? Does your tummy hurt?

Lily: No, my mouf (mouth)

At that moment, I saw her make sort of a vomit reflex so I picked her up and raced to the sink.

Then the same thing happened again and I realized she had the hiccups. The first she either had or recognized she had. I started laughing when I realized it and told her it was just the hiccups. She started laughing, too, just because I was laughing.

Yesterday, she turned 3! We just went out to Bruester's for ice cream. She hardly ate any of hers. Her party is Sunday at Chuck E. Cheese. Yes, I broke down and did it, but man, she LOVES Chuck E. Just a small, small party with only two friends and her cousins.

Sadie decided to take her hermit crab to church - unbeknown to us. Jay picked her up and was headed to the lobby when OUT fell the crab and there it rolled away down the hall. She had to have had it in her underwear as she did NOT have pockets. Of course, Jay was furious. I just thought it was typical Sadie. So, we put the hermit crab in the diaper bag, went to lunch and came home. About 2 hours later, it hit me that no one bothered to get the crab out of the car. I raced to the car and he wasn't in the diaper bag anymore! I wouldn't let the kids get in to look because I was afraid they would step on him. I couldn't find him, so I went back in to get a flashlight to look under the dash, under the seats, etc. I finally found him tucked way under my seat. A week later, he is still alive. Pets just don't have much luck in our house.

After one of her baths last week, I was tucking her in and I noticed a little pile of wet hair on her desk. I couldn't believe it, but she had CUT her hair...AGAIN! What is her deal? I asked her why, why, why did she cut her hair. She said she saw something on tv where they couldn't get their clothes clean so they cut them. She knew she couldn't cut her clothes, so she cut her hair. HUH???? Whatever. I still can't figure out what goes on in her head.

Lily got a Smart Cycle for her birthday. It is really cool, virtual type toy. I have spent today setting the timer for each of the kids as they take turns. It works out so well that there is no fighting over it anymore. Even Lily seems to be happy to share it now.

Ethan and I decided to make an album of 10 of his favorite toys. It was great to watch him pick and then get totally distracted as he started to play with each one he got out. He made a couple of Bionicles for the pictures and we even took a pic of his special blanket. He has been pretty serious about his blanket lately. He is scared that I might give it away (a Winnie the Pooh double sided cotton blanket). I think Colby told him that Mamie sold his on ebay and he wasn't ready to give it up. Ethan has prayed a lot to God about Mamie. He has asked God to help him deal with his sadness. Breaks my heart. We went for his 7 year check-up. He was very quiet in the car on the way so I asked him about it. What are you thinking about, I said. Mom, what if the doctor tells me I have cancer? (painful! - He shouldn't even know that word - cancer). I told the nurse and the doctor was very clear and direct in his statements to Ethan that he is the healthiest 7 year old he has ever seen. Way to go, doc! Ethan still can't get the concept that in Star Wars they weapons are called Life Sabers, NOT Lifer Savers!

We got teacher assignments for this year. I am thrilled with both of them. Still can't believe Sadie will be gone this year. I am excited, but very, very anxious for her. We went to meet her teacher on Wednesday. She got a lot more excited after meeting her and asking her questions. She also brought a picture she colored. We go Monday for open house. Now, if I can just get her to wear the cute Peter Pan color shirts. She took one look at it at Educational Outfitters and said, "I DO NOT like that shirt." Oh well. She also doesn't like the long pants that are part of the uniforms declaring: They make me look fat as she tug on the heavy pleating on the front. They are baggy, but I am borderline ticked/concerned that she even thinks about skinny/fat terms.

Cracked the whip on behavior since returning from all our travels. France was great (will blog details later), Myrtle Beach was not. Well, it was ok. I just didn't get the support from Jay's host family and decided to leave a day early because of it. The kids had just had it as well. They were fighting, loud, back talking, hitting. It was miserable. So, home we went and crack went the spatula. There is a marked improvement, but I still want to see more changes. We are really working on interrupting. It is driving me crazy.

Started on some new medication. Haven't great difficulty sleeping though I am thoroughly tired. I am hopeful it will knock the edge off of the emotional junket I have been on. I had really described it well in that previous blog, but I just don't have it in me to write out again. Needless to say, the past three weeks have been completely whacked out. I need some chill time. I did decide that I don't need to involve myself in any activities, either church, kids or bible studies. It is just not the time for me. We will be in small group where I believe we will start working on tackling a book of the bible. It will be good. I still need to work out sports and other activities with the kids. I know Sadie will do gymnastics, do I let them both play soccer? Ethan will do scouts, do I let Sadie do Daisies? And then, there is Ethan's horse back riding. Jay and Ethan were taking golf lessons and I would like that to continue. I have also thought Terry would spend some time with the kids on tennis, but we have been away and it has been entirely too hot (100+ with heat index of 110 - suffocating heat!) I just wish Jay would take a bigger part in helping Ethan in sports. He isn't into them so that doesn't get passed to Ethan. I am sad for him as it becomes such an important issue to teenagers (a defining issue).

Have a great scrapbook weekend ahead of me. However, have a lot to do to get ready and packed. I really want to presort paper and pictures. It went so much better that way. I just don't want to haul anything I don't have to. Friday, I plan on taking all my stuff with Lily in tow. Then I'll pick up the kids from their second day of school. It is our usual place at Wingate Inn with Amy, Beth, Angie, Amanda, and a newbie, Lori Applegate. Should be fun. Gosh, I really have to work on getting my stuff together. Do I even consider taken any of Ansley's stuff? I need to talk to Amy about it.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Saturday, June 2, 2007

I knew things would change when Ansley passed away, but I really didn't think they would change this much. Maybe I knew that it would be vastly different, but I had no idea what direction they would move. How negative her death would be on our family. I cannot go into details on a blog that might be read by others, but I will say that my emotions this past week rival the week Ansley passed away. My life is not good without her and I want her back if only for the way things were - it was a life I knew, a life that was predictable, a life that didn't have such horribly dark moments. I had no idea how perfectly blessed our lives were before Ansley was diagnosed with cancer. It is hard for me to see many blessings these days. I am not where I need to be - which doesn't help the circumstances around me. The rocks are gone, the failures many, the sin so great, the predictable now enromously unpredictable that nothing seems solid, not even God to me at the moment. Enough of that...

Sadie had an ENT appointment on Friday. We may finally have some answers to years of ear pain!!! Her eustatian tubes do not fluctuate the way they should therefore she feels like she is in an airplane a lot. She always talked about the painful popping. They feel it is caused by allergies and she is now on Zyertec and a nasal spray. We will go back in 4 weeks to see if there are any changes. If not, we will take the next step. So, I really feel that when you combine the loss of Ansley, the loss of Skippy, the emotional instability of her mother with this ear pain, I think I can figure out why her behavior is what it is.

On another note...we have started volunteering at PetsMart to take care of the cats that are available for adoption via the SPCA. Basically, I do all the work and Sadie gets to play with the cats. She loves it, but I wish she could watch the cats rather than force herself upon them. Regardless, she loves going and tells every she has a "job." It is a responsibility that she relishes. I just need to get her to help do some of the work, too. In fact, all the kids love to go hang out at PetsMart - an amazing place for free entertainment with all the animals. It has even gotten me more interested in the birds and their treatment. I bought a little house for them and a new bird bath. I hope they will use it.

Ethan finished the year well. All 'Os' on his report card. Well, except for hand writing. He improved a lot this year with his behavior which probably boiled down to maturity. His end of the year award was "Truth Walker" which I think Miss Lawson really wanted to be Walker of Truth but was asked to change it for some reason. I was proud of him as it told me that he is not afraid to speak up or to walk the walk to others. He was really excited about Miss Lawson's wedding and seemed to have a little pride the rest of the day - not sinful, just a little wow that she asked him to be the ring bearer. His behavior seemed much better as well. It was emotional for me this past week as so many things change now - kids separated, Sadie in kindergarten, moves, a major change in routine. Maybe I am more set in my ways than I thought and really fight change!

Lily has begun to show a little attitude! And I don't mean that in a good way. Defiant, but still correctable, though. Wants a "clean diaper" when I go to change her and does not want to potty or wear big girl panties. UGH! When she does go to the potty, she will get candy so I just don't know why she won't consistently go. I did have some success with letting her run around with nothing on but a dress. That may be the trick this week. I just dred this whole mess. I don't want to make the time to do this. The real problem is that she MUST be trained by the time school starts or she cannot go to the 3 year old class! Maybe the beach trip will be helpful because Jay will be there to help.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

Only two days and I have an official Kindergartener. Wow - can't believe that my daily life with Sadie will be over this summer. Sad, but ready. Actually, I am a lot sadder than I thought because it is definitely an end of an era with Sadie and Gray and preschool. The numerous trips to Chik-fila, the trips to the park. Who will I do that with now with Lily? Who will I hang out with as mom will not be in our area as Gray will go to Hasty. Where will I be? It will be such a change. I am sure I will bawl at the graduation on Wednesday. There is so many battles that have gone between us and I am sure so many more, but it does seem that life will be much simpler in the future when she is in school full-time. I have absolutely nothing to back that up with and in fact, really it is contrary to what has happened with Sadie lately.

Two weeks ago, Sadie learned how to ride a bike. ALL BY HERSELF. She came running into the house shouting, "I just rode Ethan's bike!" I really didn't think it possible, but I went outside anyway. So, there she goes, gets a pedal up at the top and takes off. I was scared to death, but she did great. So, this past weekend, Jay took her to get a new bike at Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, it was a 20" - a tad too big, so we went back and got an 18". I have watched her on the playground and it is like a monkey scaling every surface, turning flips at every turn. I am glad she is interested in going back to gymnastics as I know she has a gift in that area - let's just hope they can keep her busy.

On another note, I was distressed to hear Sadie's teacher recommend that Sadie get some outside counseling for her lack of self-control and her impulsiveness. I knew the last two months have been really tough for her, but really chalked it up to the loss of Ansley, my lack of attention and the loss of Skippy, her beloved and constant compaion cat. I still believe that it is at the core of the issues, but nevertheless it was a painful moment to wrestle with. We are still trying to work out the details of counseling with her. We found a great person, but it is not covered by our insurance - not in network. I plan on calling tomorrow to see what options we might have. I have discrovered over the past several weeks that Sadie simply needs MORE of me than I almost have. She needs constant reassurance, constant love and constant approval. I have never realized her needs at this level before. I do find that life is not necessarily easier - because I am spending just as much time dealing with her, just in a different way.

I ended this post early.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

So, Sadie amazes me. Just simply amazes me with her analytical ability. She figured out how to ride a bike (Ethan's big bike, too) all by herself. She understood that she needed to have a pedal up at the top to start off and she figured out how to slow down and hop off. She ran in all excited that she rode Ethan's bike as I was not outside. I went outside with the camera and got it all on film (digitally speaking that is).

Last night, Jay let her play some computer game on his phone (I'll get the name of it later). In a very short time, he saw that she had a strategy and actually beat his high score. He told me that he was just astounded by her analytical ability.

On a cuter side - her favorite word is jib-let. Not giblet like a turkey, but jiblet. She uses it to define things that are small. Mommy, are we a little closer to the beach - like just a tiny little jiblet closer? She also said, are we just a raindrop closer? It is interesting to see how they perceive sizes or things. Cute.

Ethan nearly broke his thumb and garnered some good road rash in a bike spill in the driveway. However, he has done well this day after and is mending quickly. He is not very confident on his bike - well, that isn't true, he just panics easily. Wonder where he gets that from - HA HA!

Just got the results of my breast MRI. Thank God it was totally negative. What a relief! I didn't allow myself to get too stressed, but as the time for the cruise drew nearer, I knew I wanted to know before I left. They just called. I thought I wouldn't get another one for 5 years, but they said every other year in addition to yearly mammograms. Evidently, the sister relationship and cancer under 50 put me in the highest risk category. Nothing I can do about that one.

Missed Ansley alot this week. Not too weepy, just missing her. I needed her to find a dress for the cruise and she had such honest (sometimes brutally honest - hee hee) opinions that made shopping so easy. She could be honest, she had great style (except for the cloud shirt and some other mis-purchases) and had the availability to me. No one else really fits that spot. I know it is not such a significant thing - clothes shopping. But we did a lot of that together and had fun doing it.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday, April 28, 2007

A tough night...a tough day...a tough week. For the first time it is not about is about marriages and relationships around me. Three failing marriages, one on the verge, a pastor who reveals his own prideful issues with marriage (and stepped out of his position), and a possible cancellation of a wedding due to doubts. A lot to think about and ponder. It amazes me - and certainly not only in reference to others - that we are so fickle and pathetic that we so easily lose our sights. Everything we teach and tell can so easily go down the drain with one crisis. One day we talk confidently about God, how great He is, how He is bigger than any problem and the next we are ready to give up only because our circumstances have changed. The world is too near us - it is too real to us and God seems to be so distant. We give into the world so easily and give up on God too quickly. When we are in the smoke - we can't see anything - we lose our bearings, we panic and go back to the old and familiar and most often BAD habits. It scares me as I know that I am just as vulnerable that I am only an "issue" away from having a hard heart and walking away.

Ethan - my dear sweet boy - oh how you make my heart full of love for you. Last week, I laid down with Lily for a nap. You all knew you were supposed to be quiet, so I was surprised to be woken up by the sound of loud thumping, thudding and stomping around in the bonus room above. I burst open the door and harshly yelled upstairs to you - Ethan, enough of the stomping around, I don't know what you are doing, but I have had enough. I promptly went back to bed. A few seconds later you came down to my room with tears in your eyes and told me that you were making a party for me. I felt 2" tall. It killed me that I had spoken harshly to you and that I was so quick to anger. I said I was so very sorry and that I couldn't wait to see it. So, I got up just a little while later and came up to the bonus room. You said - I have set up four stations - 1) making paper bag masks which you had gotten and cut eyes in and gotten markers out 2) a fort made out of pillows 3) paint and paper (with brushes and a cup of water) 4)Mr. Mouth Game. I asked why you did it and you said, "Because you always have to do stuff for us so I decided I should do something for you. How priceless and completely precious is that?

I also heard that when having a conversation at school about people who are full of joy and always seemed to be happy, Ethan piped up and said, my aunt. *tears*

Jay took Ethan to a golf lesson this week. They both really liked it. Ethan hopes to go sometime with Peepaw, although I don't know if any of our grandparents really have much time to spend with our children as they try to make Colby and Gray feel full with love. Anyway, I had the girls and we did a bath and painted nails. Even Lily sat still for toe painting. We went to the High Point Museum for a Go-See-It for scouts. I think I enjoyed the actual museum more than the boys as I grew up in High Point. they enjoyed the historical reenactment stuff. After we went to the Dog House to eat (Jay had never been), took a quick trip through Lowe's and then came home. It was a really great family day.

We head for the cruise Thursday - I can not wait. I hope it is as good as I have in my head. My expectation is to have lots of quiet time, sleep and sun. I think Jay is ready for an adventure. Either way, time without children is needed.

Lily decided to become Miss Destructo today. Jay made a pool with bales of hay and a tarp. Lily promptly threw all the towels into the pool along with Sadie's pocketbook. She was supposed to be taking a nap and ended up taking all the clothes out of her drawers - what a mess. Then, she tackled Ethan's closet, pulling out a lot of it. I hope it was a lack of nap and good sleep that did it! I don't know if it is me or not, but she can just be so full of herself. She ends every sentence with "K?" short for o.k. Cracks me up. She just can't get all the words out when she is excited and it ends up with one long mumble where you catch one or two words.

Sadie was actually pretty good today. She had momentary lapses in judgement and listening, but overall I saw some progress on how she and Ethan got along. She set up a tea party and actually played with baby dolls which is a rare thing. Wonder if I will see more of this?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

two months down...

Ethan - Lost one top tooth and one bottom tooth (numbers 3 & 4). Both of them I pulled out with my fingers - I can't believe it. I had no idea they came out so easily. Plus, I can't believe I didn't gag all over the place. When I lost two of my wedding rings on the beach (flew off my fingers when I was brushing sand off my pants) Ethan made us all stop and pray. He was the first to point to God and gave a mighty, heart-felt prayer that left mom and I in tears. What a precious little soul. On the other hand we are dealing with some serious laziness when it comes to work. I get lecturing and still, he doesn't seem to get motivated to do his work, make it neat with out complaining. We are having to redo work several times before it is presentable. The answers are correct, but he just is lazy about how it gets on paper and has to work very hard at staying focused. UGH! It brings back flashbacks of when I was young and mom harping on me. I guess I deserve this. Ethan really learned how to swim with out any assistance over Easter. He was swimming really well in the deep end and swam the entire length of the pool. Granted, it was not a huge length, but nevertheless, it was great. He was excited about it as well. Ethan had a friend over today. He included Sadie with all of their play - how wonderful. Good lesson for Sadie. Ethan learned all about the armor of God over the past week and jumped to tell me all about it. He has been crying quite a bit about Ansley over the past week. It breaks my heart every time, especially when he starts really sobbing. He still looks up to Colby and thankfully, Colby gave him a lot of attention at the beach over Easter. I hope Colby continues to include Ethan. Ethan is definitely my deep thinker - asking such questions like, "Why didn't God just create us in heaven to be with Him, why did he bother with earth?" It is neat to see him processing all the information.

Sadie - Still working hard on her. She told me today in the Mayberry's bathroom that she was tired of trying to be good. It was too much work and she just didn't want to do it anymore. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT???? We have been doing a devotional on self-control and reading her Princess Bible. Every time we make some progress, I feel we move back several feet. NO matter how much I try to encourage her - tell her to call on the Spirit to give her the strength, pray with her, read with her, etc. it seems she just is so incredibly self-focused. At the same time, she can be very, very sweet. Mom says she is so into me and wants me to love her so much. She loves to listen to Jesus songs and will ask for the same ones over and over and over. The loss of Skippy has been devastating to her. She loves all animals and losing Skippy has been a blow. I wonder if some of her behavior has been connected with that. She did say after our beach trip during one particular good cry that now she doesn't have an aunt OR a cat. (tears!). However, Jay has promised her a cat again as soon as we get back from Ocracoke OR France (if that happens). She is happily collecting caterpillars in every type of tupperware container she can find. I finally got her a new bug house so I could spare my last few good pieces of gladware from caterpillar poo!!!

Lily - Still happy Lily. Her normal disposition is happy. She is smiles and laughter. She loves to talk, talk, talk. Sometimes I think I will go crazy in the car with her incessant talking! Some of her favorite mispronunciations are: Blueberries (boo-bies),
Her version of Twinkle Little star will melt anyone's heart. She knows all her shapes, colors, numbers by sight to 10 and counting to 15. She knows at least half of her alphabet and their sounds (thank you leap frog video and toys). She loves to play pretend. Loves to be involved in anything with Sadie and Ethan. Adores Colby and wants to be right with him if he is around. Likes to color, do puzzles and play outside. Loves to swing and sing songs. She is a touch child and asks me to Wub back, Mommy all the time. She hates to have her hair brushed, but knows the minute I go for the hair bow, it is all over and stops crying. At night she has to sleep with her friends - Dora, Diego, Big bird and Mickey mouse. Also has to have several books and even if she has five on her bed, she will ask for one more. Over our market trip, she graduated out of the portacrib and high chair. She is in a booster and no longer uses a bed rail. She is a girl now. She now sits at the big counter and at the table and not in her booster. HOWEVER, she still want consistently pee in the potty. I am really going to try hard this summer because she cannot go to the 3s class unless she does. There for a while she was going, but then, things with Ans went down hill and I couldn't keep up. Now, I feel like it is a losing battle. I just can't seem to keep the consistency down. She also isn't quite ready for an open cup, at least not with food at the same time. She sees the cup as something to play with and put food in (yuck!). We decide to only do 2 days of preschool next year. I want her home. I want to stay at home more and this will enable us to do both. It just makes more sense. I am looking forward to being with just her and playing with her more.

I am reading a great book, A Grace Disguised. What a treasure this is. I can't say enough on how it has helped me through this dark time. I am still directionless - but will say I am directing what little I do have on the kids. Nothing is tugging at me, so I stay at home.

Today was so emotional. Colby sand a solo at grandparent's day at HPCA. Not only is Colby a truly gifted singer, but the material, "the Calm in the Storm" was almost too much for me to hear. I began to feel that familiar twinge in my nose, the water in my eyes and my shoulders begin to shake. I almost had to leave the sanctuary as I thought I might burst into sobbing (loud, crazy sobbing). I know Ansley saw him, but I wanted her to experience it on this earth. She should have been there to see person. That hurt for me and for Colby. However, what a blessing to she that she carries on in him. The more I am around him, the more I see her. It is so sweet. I can see it in his smile and some of his actions - thank you God. I noticed that his hands are so much shaped like hers. I teared up when I saw that as her hands are some of my strongest most vivid memories of her when she died. I held them as she died.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Did God take Ansley because I was too dependent on her? Was my relationship with her more important than my relationship with God? Did I run to her instead of God? Is that the reason Ansley as taken in terms of an impact on me?

Does death really have no sting?

Written to Nena Lawson: You spoke right to my heart. I had lunch with Todd yesterday - it was so good to be around him and to really talk about what we have been going through. What a godly man he is, Nena. I pray so hard for the woman God is preparing for him. Anyway, we talked just about that very thing - being still. He has a book in storage he wants me to read so I might just go ahead and buy it myself. It is "Waiting on God" by Andrew Murray. We talk about waiting and being still, but what does that really mean? Todd said this book is simple, yet, gives perfect examples from the bible and puts them into practical application. I need that right now. It has been a very tough week, yesterday in particular - lots and lots of heavy crying. I so desire that joy back in my life and that peace AND that realization of who I am now without Ansley. Oh - there I go again..crying.
My lunch with Todd was really good. I felt very comforted with our conversations. It felt good to release some of what I was feeling to him. I hadn't really talked about the night/morning Ansley died. Everyone in the room seemed to be at such peace about Ansley's passing. I was not. I wanted to scream for Ansley to fight, I wanted to yell at her or God or something that this was not supposed to happen. I couldn't believe we had finally reached that moment. I did tell her it was ok for her to go and of course, I wanted her to know that I would survive if she left me. But really, I wasn't at peace with it. I wanted her here with me. I wanted to sob uncontrollably and yell. I couldn't because I didn't want to wake the other patients in ICU because the area is so open. I didn't want to leave her body. I wanted to stay and hug her, stroke her hand. I wanted her hand to still be warm and her face to look like Ansley, not the open gaped mouth from when she was fighting for breath. The process of her death was sweet - it went from gasping to more of a sweet sigh. Jesus was calling her and she knew it, but I just wanted her here. There is guilt in those feelings. How selfish am I being? But God knows me - he knows what Ansley meant to me. Denying those feelings isn't right either, right? OR as I know we are to cling only to His word, not our "feelings" and emotions which change from day to day. But what about love and devotion to others?

I have no worries about things left undone. I know I got to say to Ansley everything that needed to be said. We left on a perfect note and for that I praise God mightily. I am ready to go be with her. God, is that time near? Can you give me some wisdom and hope? I need MORE hope - but why? Aren't you sufficient for me? Isn't that what you say, God?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Monday, March 5, 2007

Found this in a post on the bcmets site. It was so perfectly written in terms of how I am feeling regarding grief.

Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and need his shoes. In the version of grief we imagine, the model will be 'healing.' A certain forward movement will prevail. The worst days will be the earliest days. We imagine that the moment to most severely test us will be the funeral, after which this hypothetical healing will take place. When we anticipate the funeral we wonder about failing to 'get through it,' rise to the occasion, exhibit the 'strength' that invariably gets mentioned as the correct response to death. We anticipate needing to steel ourselves for the moment: will I be able even to get dressed that day? We have no way of knowing this will not be the issue. We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and meaning of the occasion. Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief as we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself."
--Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking, 2006, Vintage Books, p 188-9

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I started reading 90 minutes in heaven yesterday. I found that all I could do was engulf myself, obsess myself with the details of heaven. I found myself so caught up and encouraged about the book that I became disgusted with myself later. Why can God not be enough for me? Why is it that I have to continually seek affirmation from elsewhere whether it is a person, circumstances or books. This book's author also said that while in heaven, he never thought about earth, what he left behind because he was so completely filled and with out desire for anything. Isn't that how we are supposed to be on earth. If we are so filled by God then what would we need to look further? Why is it that we cannot be content with God? It is not that God can't do enough it for us, it is that our own sinful nature is such that we are always looking for more to comfort us. Or rather we don't trust God to do it in his time and to his fullness and there fore we try to take over.

Since Thursday it has been tough. Jay's mom and sister are here. Although I am glad they are here, I am not ready for them. I needed more time by myself to grieve and I don't feel I can do that while they are here. I can't get this all together and give them energy, focus or enthusiasm I feel they need. I just want to be by myself. I need to talk to Jay to let him know just what is going on inside of me - maybe he can explain it all to them and they will understand when I slink away. Maybe I just need to be alone for a night???

I realize that over the past three weeks because of the duties of life, I have not really been able to collapse like I want - there is always someone or something needing me. But, is that life's design so that we don't waste away in some abyss? Is that God's way of keeping us on track and seemingly focused on Him? I just don't know.

Right now I just want to go to bed - take a good nap. I need a good cry. I want my sister. I want that part of me back. I will never be the same. Will the new me measure up? With a legacy like Ansley's how can I measure up to her? What is my focus which I know is different than Ansley's. What is my gift to the world, God? How are You going to use me know?

By the way, I missed Ethan's basketball practice for the second week. Just completely forgot to take him to it which is so incredibly unlike me. It scares me a bit that something like that could just be lost in my mind - not once, but twice!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday, March 2, 2007

This has been a week of ups and downs - tears and some laughter. I am not quite back to my old self and I don't know if I will ever be. Will there be a time when I can truly laugh and feel joy at life itself? I am trying to stay on the platform and not on the roller coaster, but it is so hard and it is the little things that keep getting me back on there. It is not a ride that I enjoy so why do I continue to keep my eyes on my circumstances and not on God? Just reading about a constrictor snake that grips its prey tighter and tighter until its heart stops beating made me feel a lump in my throat and brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me of that hospital time with Ansley. I read some comments made regarding her on the CBC website that made me cry. I received a letter today from someone who wrote out her prayer for me. Boy, that was a big cry. Why are people so kind when I am so undeserving? Similarly, why did Christ do something so kind when I am so undeserving. Can I continue with Ansley's legacy? Will I "work" myself to death trying to have God working through me. What a crazy statement that I just wrote! Do people see me as something other than what I really am? Is there pressure to counsel and encourage others? I so don't want the pressures of daily life. There for a while (ok, only two weeks), I felt the pressure to not do anything. Unfortunately, the kids have been sick and basement finishing project and market has called me to attention. I don't think I have time to really process all that has gone on. I am beginning to feel the need to be by myself. All of that comes when Jay's mom and sister are set to arrive on Monday (in three days). I don't know how that will all pan out. I know I still have some organizing and straightening to do. I think tomorrow will be a little tough as I clean up the bonus room and come across pre-Ansley things. I can hear Skippy playing with something in here with me and it is freaking me out. I wonder what my relationship is going to be like with dad now? he wants to go have dinner together next week. Can I do that? Emotionally, that is something that Ansley and I would periodically do together and now it is just me. I want her back. I need to hug her and give her kisses and scratch her arm and head. Will I ever forget that night - the last night I rubbed her head? I wonder when she opened her eyes at the very end, was she scared, was she terrified? It bothers me to think that. Did she need us to say something to her? How could everyone be so calm in that room and tell her to go to Jesus? I wanted to scream for her to fight, to not leave us as in some insane way it was under her control. I wanted to scream - NO, NO, NO, like somehow I could voice my opinion and change things. Right now I feel stifled like no one hears me. That no one understands me. I know God is here because I know that I am not functioning myself. But now, I just want to run away - just like I did at times when Ansley was here and the cancer had just taken too much control of my life. When does CANCER stop controlling your life, your thoughts, etc. I have thrown myself into God, His work. I have grown, I have prayed, my spiritual life is so much fuller, yet, I find myself still dwelling on pain, suffering, hurt, agony, loss. When will this end? When will it get better? I went to MOMS group today - it was so incredibly painful. I could have sobbed. They played "In Christ Alone" - such a great song, but one that is so painful for me to hear at the moment. There is so much connection with that group and Ansley. Ansley brought me there. She encouraged me to go. She and I went together many times and then went to lunch. She was there in December when I spoke of her and our journey together - just two months ago. It hurt. I don't think I will go back for a while.

The only thing that has brought me some brief bit of light is the encouragement I have received from others to continue writing. Maybe there is something to this. The most influential person is Aunt Kay. Her writing is wonderful and she has told me to keep going. Somewhere there might be something to this. God, please direct my paths if that is something You have given me.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wednesday, February 21

It has been a little over a week since Ansley's passing. I miss her...i miss her...i miss her. It is so painful, so deep. A true sense of loss, despair, loneliness that I have never felt before. i remember a small bit of this when ansley married todd - i begged her not to do it because I didn't want to be alone. I felt abandoned. it is a like a wave that comes and doesn't stop until it has reached the very top of my head and the bottom of my toes. it is like a knife that is just cutting and cutting and cutting. i feel like i am wandering around with no focus or purpose. what do i do now? where do i go? what is my focus?

Today is Friday, February 23. I do feel a little better today. Yesterday, I felt a tiny bit of joy. It made me so sad because it means that life with Ansley is getting further and further behind me. The time spent with her is already slipping through my fingers. I never want to forget her smell, her smile, her slightly yellow teeth even. Her fingers and how they could work magic with paper and scissors and scrapbooking. I don't want to miss scratching her arm, her playfulness with animals, her love of my Ethan. I don't want to miss anything because I want her to be with me. I don't feel anger...I just feel a loss. I am thankful for to God that I was able to spend as much time with her as I did in the end. That I was able to spend the night together at our scrapbooking event. Who will I room with next time? Who will I travel with to the beach? Who will I hang out with, laugh with, run errands with, eat lunch with? Next school year will be so lonely. I had planned on doing so much with her as the girls would be in school and we could run around, scrapbook, etc. How will this all work out?

I have so much I need to do, but no drive to do them. I need to be in the word, but no push to be there. I need to read for small group but have no motivation. It is nap time and i am more interested in crawling into bed than focusing on God and I am scared that my yearning for Him is gone.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A new year, another story. I could have never picked what this year would start like five years ago. Where are we? What are our issues? What consumes us? What are our goals?

Jay - Still worried about his heart. New tidbits of information regarding his health seem to slowly arrive finally making sense out of everything. He has hypothyroidism. Great diagnosis for determining why he has gained so much weight, why he has had muscle problems and why he has been so irritable. However, the solution is not as simple as medication. Although he will take some, it has to be monitored with his heart problem. Hypothyroidism can also cause heart problems itself and that of course adds to his worry. Work is not too great and that is also a source of dissatisfaction. He just needs a change of atmosphere and a change of perspective. The money is so great that it is hard to walk away, but I think that it is inevitable. He is bored and tired of working for someone else. I am concerned about him. It doesn't help that I had this horrible dream in which both he and Ansley died. It was horrible and I couldn't stop crying in it. He isn't the Jay that I married, but neither am I the same person he married. I just wish he had a joy about him, a happiness - that life didn't weigh him down so much.

Ethan - Has started the year as a great reader. All of the sudden, he has just taken off. It is great. He tries so hard to please me and God. I worry that he feels he cannot make a mistake and that is terrible. I need to start teaching him about the concept of grace. I want him to know that no matter what life brings him and the choices that he makes - God is there and God loves him. That goes for me, too. He is a great singer and loves to praise the Lord. He has a sense of taking care of younger kids (except Sadie) and constantly asks to work in the nursery. What a sweetie. He still loves to snuggle and need Mommy time. I will dread when that ends. He is crazed about Lego Star Wars computer game and legos in general. I wish he like to be outside more, but I plan on this being the summer of playing outside at the creek and making dams and forts, etc. He will start Upward Basketball in a couple of weeks. I look forward to seeing some physical activity as well. I wish that he was able to spend more time with Jay. Although they have their little scout deal, so I really shouldn't complain.

Sadie - We have come so far with Sadie. I can see such great strides. Her need for me seems to be so incredibly great at the moment. She almost goes crazy when I leave her at home to go out (when a babysitter is here). Even when Jay is at home she constantly tells me how much she loves me and comes crying to the door, etc. She has done really well at school since the Christmas break. Maybe she is better at controlling her impulsively. But, she is still quite manipulative and seems to derive much pleasure at controlling others, bragging and hurting others. I don't know why she cannot just be happy for others instead of looking at herself. She is very confident and loves to perform - mainly dance which she has made up herself. She has little rhythm, but that doesn't stop her. She loves make-up and hair stuff. Nothing can replace a pack of paper and markers. She is always making letters and cards and writing things down in a child's scribble. She is more than ready for kindergarten and I am looking forward to seeing what is in store. She is physically capable of more than most kids her age. She can jump rope, skimmy across those monkey bars, etc. She loves for someone to look her in the eyes and spend time talking to her, asking her questions and taking an interest in her. She love tea parties and she loves for me to ask her, "What do you need," in times of upset-ness. She was very, very grown-up at the doctor's for her 5-year check-up. Always interested in what they are doing, her tears were not many when the three shots came. Whew! She is our resident animal care-taker - feeding and watering the birds, Skippy (and litter) and Bo-Bo. The other day I found her grooming Skippy in her bathroom. This involved having him sit on her counter top which she wet a brush and brushed him. He actually took it - didn't try to escape. Amazing. She told me that it was the day for him to have that done - he gets it done twice a week. A vet job might be in her future. I just want her to learn about humility and obedience. It would help her to have a life that is fuller of joy.

Lily - She is learning about trying to get her way and has learned how to make a huge mess. She is, afterall, 2. Really, she is 2.5 which amazes me that she will be 3 soon. Where is the time going? She is really talking - lots of sentences, questions, etc. Amazingly, she knows her numbers 1-10, knows her alphabet at about 75%. She counts to ten, and loves to play. Let's play mommy, I hear all the time. She loves to read books, loves to play with play-do, color, puzzles. I am in the middle of cleaning out all the toys. Amazing how many she is past and are really just too baby for her. She loves school - my kool - as she says. She told me quiet means quiet the other day. She adores Grammy and Grand-d. She actually says hey to most people who look her way. Occasionally, she will act shy, but usually she is in a great mood. She likes to dance, listen to music. She sings the Clean up song from Barney - sings it as Keen-Kup, Keen-Kup. Very cute. Calls Skippy - kippy. Loves to play with Whitney. I never really hear her talk about other kids in her class. Only this week did I hear her tell me Noah when asked about what they did in class. She likes to get water out of the refrigerator dispenser which makes such a mess that we have to keep it on lock. She absolutely loves to go outside and play. She takes most directions well, but lately says no-way (not just no). She will hit sometimes I think just to see what the reaction will be. She likes to grab toys that Ethan and Sadie are playing with and run away with them. She knows it drives them crazy. She wants to be included in everything everyone else does, but she is just a little too young to do most of it. I put her in curlers tonight - she loved it. Her hair is so gorgeous she doesn't need it - thick, beautiful, blonde and perfect curls, but since Gray and Sadie were getting their done, she had to, too. I wish I had more time to spend with her and I try to sit and play for a while and then I find myself cleaning out toys while doing it. I have to stop that. She is a good eater but has really shot up and slimmed down. I need to go her weight checked, but I think she is doing fine. I have cut out a lot of the dairy and moved into more fruit.

I wish I could write more, but it is nearly 10 pm and I need to review my bible study one more time before tomorrow.