Thursday, May 24, 2007

Recent Events

We've been pretty busy lately! 'Tis the season for graduation ceremonies and parties. Last night was a special night at Encounter, our Wed. night youth service, as the graduating seniors took charge. As each of them shared a word of encouragement, I couldn't help but feel how quickly these almost 5 years in Nashville have sped by for us. A few of our seniors have been with us the entire time, starting out as 8th graders in our ministry! I just can't believe it.

This past weekend was pretty eventful. We got to see our friend Ethan, who is almost 4, play his final soccer game of the season. And if you've never been to a toddler soccer game, you must find one to go to. It's quite amusing! And Ethan was so good! How could he not be with 2 little cheerleaders. Hannah and Naomi played that role pretty well. Hannah even ran out on the field to hug him once after he made a goal! Anything goes at these games!

Then Sat. night we went to Cityfest downtown. The kids got to do a few fun things, like get their faces painted and jump in an inflatable. We heard various musicians, the best being Steven Curtis, and we ate dinner with our friends the Hollanses and the Shrums at The Old Spaghetti Factory. For you Texans, it's just like Spaghetti Warehouse. Very yummy!!

Sunday night we had the privilege of hearing our friends No Other Name in concert. ( They never disappoint! It was a special night as our church prayed over them as God continues to bless their ministry and expand their influence. They have just signed with Curb Records and we are all so excited for them!

My days this week have been spent with my girls, a few friends, and unfortunately, our contractor. The bathroom project is STILL not complete! The work is good, but this guy is the epitome of SLOW! I can't say how happy I am that this is the last project he will be doing for us. I am ready to say good-bye!

To end on a good note......... Today, Erin Wilson, who is 4, spent part of the day with us. Hannah couldn't have been more excited that she was coming over. Before Erin arrived, Hannah placed a few things on her table and said it was her "meeting". She then said that Erin was coming to her meeting. When I asked her what her meeting was about, she said, "My meeting is about Jesus." That's a good meeting and a great way to end this post!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Things kids say!

Yesterday Hannah and I were having a discussion about manners. I was telling her that when someone gives her a compliment she should say, "Thank you." So, I gave her some examples. Then I asked her, "What do you do when someone gives you a compliment?" She thought for a second and asked, "Can I eat it?" :) I guess she had not made the connection between a "compliment" and the examples.

Before I share this next statement, I have to give a little background. As we've tried potty training Hannah, I've told her that big girls wear panties, as an incentive to get her out of her diapers. Of course we've tried many things along the way and still no luck. But I am told it will come in time! Anyway, last night we attended a graduation party for Leslie Waller, a good friend of ours. Hannah and I were talking to her mom, Beth and something came up about what a big girl Hannah was. She then declared as loudly as she could, "I want to wear panties!!" I think she did it twice. It was quite funny. If only she'd follow through with that desire!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day

We had a good Mother's Day weekend here. We've had beautiful weather, so we've spent a lot of time outside.

Saturday, our friend Sarah Shrum graduated from college. Congrats Sarah! We had fun at the park helping her celebrate.

Grandma came to see us too. We've had fun playing and relaxing with her!

Sunday night we went out to Demos' for dinner. Yummmm!! Hannah wanted to drive home, but it's way too early for that!

Just look at that pretty girl! She's 2 months old today!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms. It's hard work, but it's the best job in the world!!

Friday, May 11, 2007


Lately I've been pondering on what it is that I truly treasure and what should I be treasuring. The themes of LOSS and CHANGE are what led me to this pondering. Life is full of both. We witnessed a huge loss of life with the terrible acts of violence a short time ago at Virginia Tech. Two separate families that we know are about to make big moves away from people they are close to. Another friend has just expressed the loneliness she's felt after moving to a new city several months ago. A student has just lost her dad to death. We feel a sense of loss when someone close to us dies or moves or just simply decides not to invest in the relationship anymore; when things change.

So, what do I treasure? Here are a few things: my husband, my children, God & my relationship with Him, time - time to do things and time to spend with people I care about, friends, my extended family, music and the ability to worship God with it, my health, my independence, .....

These things are valuable to me. But on some level I will lose most of what's on this list at some point. My husband may die before I do. My children will grow up and move out of my house as they enter adulthood. I never have enough time it seems. Friends and family - They will die or move; and let's face it, no matter how much we may care, inevitably we disappoint each other at times because we're human. Abilities can be taken in an instant. So can your health and independence. (I'm really not trying to sound morbid here.....)

The book of Joshua begins with loss. Moses has died. Israel has lost a leader, a father, a friend. Things are changing for this nation and for Joshua. As Joshua takes on the leadership role, God tells him, "I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous..." Again he tells him, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." What comfort we can also take in these words as those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation experience loss.

But how can I be comforted if what I treasure most has been taken? Above all, I MUST treasure Christ! He is my constant. He is the One who will NEVER leave me. And it is because of Him I have any other good gift in the first place. When I treasure Christ above all, I have the ability to be strong and courageous in the midst of loss or change. And then I can truly be comforted. I'll be honest. I often treasure God's gifts above Him. I most certainly want to be thankful for and treasure the many things and people God has blessed me with, but may I strive daily to treasure Him above all!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

First Performance

Tonight Hannah had her first public performance. The mothers' day out she attends had an end-of-the-year dinner where each class sang a couple of songs. Although I was very proud of Hannah for being so well behaved and smiling, my otherwise very dramatic & sing-songy little girl stood there, for the most part, as if an observer. I was shocked! Where was my little entertainer? I guess she just wasn't in the mood. At least she stood confidently and didn't sit there with her fingers in her mouth, as some were doing. But aren't they cute?!

BEFORE the performance

DURING the performance.............

For the last song of the evening all the classes sang together. I noticed that she and the boy next to her were in their own little world, talking to each other. Then I think he got in her space more than she liked and she pushed him. After the performance she came to me and immediately declared, "That boy was bothering me!" I scolded her for pushing him, but inwardly I was thinking, "In several more years, PLEASE push the boys away when they bother you!"

Hannah and "that boy"

Monday, May 7, 2007

The World of a Little Girl

Today has been filled with play. We spent a good part of the morning outside. It is an absolutely gorgeous day here! Hannah and I played while Kaitlyn napped. We played with chalk, kicked a ball around, watched various insects and snails, played a game of "Get Me". It's where Hannah runs off and as she glances behind her she yells, "Get me, get me!" and she just runs until you "get" her. So, I got her, again, and again, and again...... At one point her chalk became breakfast and we sat around her Dora table "eating" it. Later, Hannah took a break to pick some flowers out in the yard. While out there, she found her imaginary friend Shawanna again. Yes, Shawanna. I have no idea where she got this name b/c we don't know any Shawannas, but that's her name. And every now and then Hannah finds her in the back yard and they play awhile. The both of them ate snacks and swung awhile and I guess she eventually went home. As we were in the bathroom washing up before lunch Hannah introduced herself to her image in the mirror on the bathroom door. She said, "Hello. I'm Hannah Awee Bwaswell. Do you wanna come play with me?"

Daddy came home and ate lunch with us. Hannah wanted to "hang out" with him, but he did have to go back to work. So, we played with Kaitlyn for awhile on Hannah's bed, which she's always excited about. She offered her an array of stuffed animals and made animal sounds in her face. Kaitlyn seemed amused. Then we had story time and entered the world of Dora before she nodded off in the rocking chair. What a wonderful little world.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Sweet Moments

Kaitlyn. She has begun smiling more often and making the sweetest sounds. It often sounds like she's saying "Hi". I think she is - my child is a genius! ;) Nothing beats a quiet moment when your baby girl is looking into you eyes, smiling, and "saying hi"!

Hannah. She and I were sitting on the couch a couple of days ago, just talking. I hugged her and said, "I love my Hannah". She hugged and kissed me back and said, "I love my momma". Then she looked over at Kaitlyn sitting in the swing and said, "And I love my little sister". She also will occasionally give each of us a hug while saying, "My family!" very proudly. It comes out sounding like, "my salmily". Very sweet.

The Wind

We have wind in our house. And it bothers Hannah quite a bit. For instance, when she dropped her spoon the other day, she said the wind blew it away - in all seriousness. Then yesterday morning the wind blew her cereal all over the kitchen floor. So, when Dale left a bag of frozen chicken breasts on top of the fridge, he said it was the wind. Yep. Blew it right out of the freezer. Now that's SOME wind!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Crazy Day

Okay, so I'm still somewhat chicken when it comes to taking both girls out together by myself. I have to weigh whether the effort to get them out of the house, to work around Kaitlyn's nursing schedule and to publicly deal with Hannah's more frequent melt downs, is worth actually DOING whatever we'd be going out to do. I am proud to say that we have made it once to the library for story time and to Wendy's after a visit to the chiropractor..... and that's about it, until this past Wednesday.

My friend Saundra called Wed. morning to invite us to join them at the zoo. I was a little nervous about that, but had already been thinking how great it would be to spend some time outside since we'd been having some great weather here in Nashville. Saundra has 2 great kids, Ethan (3) and Naomi (2) - 2 of Hannah's favorite friends. She would definitely understand if things went crazy with the girls. So, I decided this venture would be worth the effort.

Let me break my story by saying if Hannah could live life completely in her PJ's she'd be one happy little lady. So, changing out of them can be quite challenging. Of course I entered that struggle in trying to get us out the door for the zoo. What finally got her compliant (after saying that we'd be at the zoo.... we'd be with Ethan and Naomi.... we'd have a picnic... ) was reminding her we'd get to see the monkeys. Go monkeys! If only there were monkeys at mothers-day-out and church - real ones I mean. :)

Okay, so we get to the zoo and have to park way out in the field due to the fact that half the schools in Nashville have decided to take field trips to the zoo on the same day! By the time we get to the gate, I'm worn out and feeling down about how out of shape I am. But, we made it. And later, after visiting some animals and eating lunch, I was quite pleased about how enjoyable our day had been. Then we made a final stop at the toddler play area to let the kids run & jump off the last bit of energy they had, which makes for some good napping! This is where my sweet little Hannah transformed into the playground bully. I watched with horror as she toppled over a not-so-sturdy baby sitting by her mother. Then, apparently a little boy almost twice her size (which didn't seem to matter to Hannah) came into "her house" so she pushed him while yelling "Get out!" That was our cue to leave. We were all hot and exhausted anyway!

The kids racing after lunch.

It's so much work going to the zoo!"
This was Kaitlyn almost the entire time.

By the time I arrive home both girls are out - no surprise with Kaitlyn - and I envision quietly
laying them down and then laying myself down too. However, as I entered the house I was greeted by a strong odor. At this point, the new bathroom project I have mentioned has been underway for a few days. So, after successfully laying the girls down I asked our contractor about the smell. His response: "Oh, just a little glue." I'm thinking, "He doesn't seem to think this is a big deal, but something tells me it's not safe to breathe this stuff, especially for 7-week old lungs." I noticed there were no windows open in the house either, so all those fumes were just hanging around. I wasn't sure what to do - we're all so tired at this point, but I felt uneasy. So, I called Saundra hoping she and H.G. could either put me at ease, or confirm what I already felt, since they have done a ton of major home renovations. As we were talking I found the can of "glue" and read the label. Among other discouraging things, it said, "could cause skin & eye irritation and respiratory problems". I then noticed my nose was tingling. Saundra told me to go with my gut, and that quickly led me to her house. Once I opened windows and turned on fans, we were out of there, which meant not much of a nap for Hannah and none for me. But, she and Ethan took a bath together, since they were both covered in dry sweat, and I figure that could prove to be great blackmail material for both of them later in life!

A couple of hours later we were at church. At this point I felt very tired and kind of gross, not having thought to bring a change of clothes for myself or having had much time to freshen up. My fragrance was a mixture of spit-up and sweat - nice huh! It happened to be my week to work in the nursery, so I just prayed that if there were any visitors I wouldn't scare them off.

I'm thankful for my crazy day. I don't necessarily want another one like it tomorrow, but life would be boring without a little craziness from time to time! And if you take away the crazy, you might have to take away a lot of things for which I'm thankful - 2 great, healthy kids and the ability to spend a lot of time with them right now... a house... a friend who reminds me that I have a God-given instinct about what's best for my children... a good church... and a host of other things I could go on listing.