Friday, August 29, 2008

3 Days Down

This is just a quick post to fill everyone in on how Ethan's first few days have gone. In a word: perfect. He hasn't been upset to go at all (much different than Isaac---it was 2 weeks before Isaac would let me leave the room without a panic attack, poor guy) Ethan is wiped out when he gets home. So far Eric has taken him in the mornings and brought him home at lunch (so he can get on his scooter and ride that back to work!) Eric says that he is super quiet in the car and just sort of stares out the window. It is only 3 hours but it is a much more structured 3 hours than he has had at home. He is usually hot and sweaty since they play outside at the end of the day. This makes for one tired kid by the time lunch is over and it's time for nap. Ethan is having a great time though. He sounds very important when he talks about school. He likes to inform Jaylie that she doesn't go because she' s not big like he is. When I was getting him ready this morning I asked him if he sees Bella Rose on the play ground and he said yes. "Do you play with her?", I asked. "I play with all my friends.", he said which made me smile. 'all his friends.' That is so sweet.

In other news, my parents returned from their month long trip to TX in the night on Wed. (1:15 to be exact; about 45 min earlier than the GPS estimated which is always the goal) They went to sleep but set their alarm to get up and bring Krispy Kreme donuts to the house at 6:30 to surprise the kids---they missed them a lot. They are going to be taking the 3 of them to Galveston for a week next Friday (Eric and I were not invited, which is fine, how often do we get a WEEK at home alone. We'll be having a STAYcation.) Anyway, my mother bought each kid their very own suitcase. Jaylie's is pink (of course) with green stripes. The boys saw theirs after school and were nominally interested and appropriately appreciative, but didn't turn flips or anything; it is just a suitcase. However, Jaylie's suitcase is now her favorite toy. She pulls out the handle and rolls it around behind her talking to it,"Come on. You can follow me." When she came into my room this morning, I could hear the wheels clicking over the lines in the tile in the kitchen, She then proceeded to take it upstairs (bump, bump, bump) and play with it there. It is really funny to me. I'll try to snap a picture of her with it later. Her birthday is right around the corner. She is pretty excited.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And He's Off


Today, Ethan had his first day at preschool. This is actually a first for Eric, too. He has never taken anyone on the first day. Yesterday, we went to the Meet the Teacher tea party so he could meet his teacher (obviously) and play in his room a little bit and see some of the other kids in his class. Before we left he was saying that he didn't want to go to school; that he was afraid. I talked to him about how EVERYONE is nervous on the first day of school and that he would have a great time and that Daddy would be right there the whole time. (In case I haven't clarified, he is going to the preschool at our church and his classroom is maybe 20 steps from Eric's office) So when we got there he was a little shy but did greet his teacher (Ms. Sara) and immediately went to play with the dinosaurs. There are 5 boys and 4 girls in his class. He didn't know any of them but his favorite friend, Isabella Rose, is next door (in a class with 8 girls!). After he had played for several minutes he looked at me and said, "I'm going to be good in here." which means he'll do just fine. It was time for Eric and I to go to the parent meeting in the gym and he didn't bat an eye. We were gone maybe 20 minutes and he was happy when we came back. We got him a Meadowbrook Preschool t-shirt that he is very proud of. On the way home I was telling him that he'd have music on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and he was excited about that. I told him he'd go to school 3 days a week but that after Christmas, he'd get to go 5 days and he said,"Yea, I want to go 5 days!" I was thinking that he'd no doubt do fine with 5 days a week, but we're easing him (and me) into the rhythm of a school day. I don't think I'm ready for him to be out every day. He was ready for school about an hour early this morning, he was so excited. I can't wait til he comes home to hear all about it. There's no stopping him, now!

So now, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:45-11:45 Jaylie and I will be hanging out doing girl stuff.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Blue Day

It's been a few days since I posted...sorry about that. Yesterday was a blue day for me. Do you ever get those? Nothing at all is wrong, I just felt slow and quiet and worn out. Ethan has an ear infection that I had taken him to the dr. for the day before. Yesterday Jaylie started a runny nose and fever. Isaac just got over a cold Wed. and Eric is now sick. I think I get to feeling overwhelmed at times and a blue day is my way of re-focusing somehow. Today I feel normal, which is a great blessing.
Despite feeling 'blue' I found a few very special moments that made me smile yesterday. Luckily, I got one on video and another in a picture. I don't know if they'll make you happy but it was sweet to me. Let me set the video up for you. The boys were playing marvelously (wonder of wonders) and I was making supper in the kitchen. I had Casting Crowns on (my favorite) and I heard Jaylie humming in the living room, so I decided to sneak in there with the camera and see what she was doing. It was really sweet to me...especially with the music in the background.
(pay no attention to the clutter on the foor)

video


This next picture is of Eric and Isaac on Eric's new scooter. Yes, he has decided that for the good of our planet (you know, carbon dioxide emissions and all that) he needed to get a scooter and start getting 75mpg! It arrived last Tuesday so he has been in the process of getting insurance/title/helmet/licence and all the things he needs to be able to legally drive it to work.
He's been driving it around in the neighborhood for the past few days. With all the speed bumps, it's not all that great but he is still having lots of fun. He is so cool!



Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Little Bit of Personal Trivia

I am a person who has led a fairly sheltered life. I don't have fantastic, amazing things that I have done or accomplished (unless you count my children, which I do). I'm totally pleased with that; I don't mind it at all.

There is, however, one fact about me that I think is fairly unique: I have never lived in the same geographic location for more than about 3 1/2 years. ( I take that back, I guess I lived in North Dakota for right at 4 years. But we lived in 2 different houses while there) The house that I have lived in the longest is the first one we had in ND (it was a 4-plex) and that was for about 3 years, then my Dad made rank and we moved into a duplex (luxury of luxuries!). The first real house that I remember living in was our house in Nebraska (I was 13), my parents bought that one because we were supposed to be there for 4-5 years. Later, when Eric and I got married, we lived in Searcy, AR for a while, then 2 apartments in San Antonio before renting our first house there. Then he went into the AF and we moved into military housing in Monterey CA for 14 months, followed by a 6 month stint (and another apartment) in San Angelo, TX. Then we went to GA. We rented our first house there and stayed about a month (there were tons of problems with that house and the landlord wasn't interested in fixing them...and I was in the early stages of pregnancy and wasn't inclined to be in limbo for a long time). The second house we rented we really liked. We had been told that the waiting list for on-post housing was over a year so we felt comfortable signing a 12 month lease. After getting all settled, 3 months later the housing office calls and says a unit is available so we move again (I was 6 months pregnant at this time...not much help in the moving) We lived on post for a little over a year and a half (Isaac came home to this house, ( another 4 -plex and really run down) When we had about 2 years left in GA we decided to try to buy our own house. It was beautiful and we loved it. Our very own home (Ethan was brought home to this house). We sold it in May of 2004 when we moved back to SA. We rented a house in SA before Eric got a permanent job there and lived in it for about 7 months. We bought our 2nd house (I was again 6 months pregnant and it was the middle of the summer and I was REALLY not a help in the move) that we loved even more than the first and intended to stay in it until we were old and gray. We lived there for 9 months (Jaylie was brought home to this house) ! Then came here to Jackson MS where we have bought our 3rd house and love it more than any other house that we have ever lived in. This past May marked our longest time at any one address in our 13 years of marriage:26 months. Here's hoping that we stay at this address for many moons.
I don't have digital images of all those homes, but I do of the ones we've owned. Here ya go.

336 Avery Landing, Martinez, GA
April 2002-June 2004
2606 Circle Tree, San Antonio, TX
May, 2005-Feb. ,2006
Ridgeland, Ms
2/2006-present

In case you're keeping count, this is our 13th address. I had 11 before we got married. We're really good movers!



Hey, I hope y'all are enjoying the Olympics. What has been your favorite parts so far? Mine has been when the US men won the 4x100 Freestyle relay. I couldn't believe it! So cool!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Politics

Politics

I have completed several posts now and they have been relatively easy to do. I mean, telling you about my family is easy. But up til now I haven't posted about anything tough. I don't want you to get the wrong opinion about me, thinking that since I only post about sweet, easy things, I don't struggle with larger issues...perish the thought!
We're coming up to a rather significant election in November. I had been thinking for several months that I would simply not vote. I haven't been blown away by either candidate. I think there are pros and cons to both. But the main reason I had decided this is because I don't think that the person in the White House has much to do with how I live my life as a Christian.
I got to talk to a sweet friend of mine who is fortunate enough to be living in France for the next few years. Heatharlyne always gives me things to think about and I guess that's one of the things I like best about her. She explained to me that Europeans are horrified at the apathetic view most Americans have regarding politics. She said that they consider it very irresponsible for us to take so little concern over what our country does when it effects the whole world. She noted a friend from the UK who was talking about our housing market slump. Very soon after ours tanked, Britian's did too. Our globe has gotten smaller and America is such a powerful country that for good or bad, America has enormous influence.
Which all leads me to seeing my previous view as rather self-centered. "The President doesn't really effect ME;I don't care who it is." Maybe this is part of my American-ism. It is hard to see past my own self. But here's my new quandry: Should I vote for the person who I think will keep America strong (because a strong America is good for the world) or should I vote for someone who will promote equality and justice even if that weakens America. Hmmm...
Of course, there's no way to boil down McCain and Obama to those two things but you see what I mean. If I can't figure it out I still may not vote...but I'm thinking about it more now.
Thanks a lot, Heatharlyne!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Relieved of Duty

Some of you may know that I began mowing the grass last year. Eric and I had just built our fence (that's right, with our own hands!) and I really enjoyed working with him. So I decided that I could help him out some more by mowing. He has pretty bad allergies and so lots of times, after he does the mowing, he sneezes for several days afterwards. He has never asked me to do it, I just started doing it. Anyway, I didn't realize that it is a pretty good workout. We have a corner lot and have quite a bit of grass to cut. So, I began to lose some weight from all the sweating (who knew that those things went together?!!) Another benefit of mowing if you have 3 kids is that the sound of the mower drowns out all but the most important noises. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Eric mentioned to Isaac that when he got big enough, he'd be able to mow the grass and earn some money. Isaac decided he was big enough right then. He mowed the side yard and most of the front before calling it quits. Sunday afternoon, Eric and Isaac went out to cut the grass before some rain came. After I got the little ones down I went out and this is what I saw:
I asked Eric if there was anything I could do...did they need any help? He said no. It looks like my days of mowing are mostly over. Isaac made $12. $10 for the grass he cut (front and side) and $2 for the pinecones he picked up. He has already calculated how many weeks it will take him to save $130 for a Nintendo DS if he mows once a week. I'm pretty sure we can't afford his yard service, but we'll see how diligent he is! Nothing like starting at a young age to learn about hard work and money management, right!

One other picture I wanted to show you. Last Monday, Isaac had 3 teeth pulled to make room for others to come in straight. We are so grateful to Steve Gandy (a friend at church) who made it super easy on Isaac. Here's a picture of his gappy grin.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

First Day Of School

I know most of you may be gasping that we start school so early. We got out on May 21, though, so the summer was still plenty long.
Isaac has been really UNexcited about school all summer. That changed on Sunday as he and I were heading up the stairs at church. He said,"Mom, I think I'm getting a little excited about school." "Great!," I said. Tuesday was Meet the Teacher night. Isaac was running ahead of Eric and I to the front door of the school, looking back, telling us to hurry up! He really was excited. Then it was so neat to walk in the door and see Mrs. Rigsby there (she's the principal) and she said,"Hello, Isaac. You have gotten tall!" She knows us by name and that is really special to me. This is our 3rd year there and it is a good feeling to walk down the halls and see so many that we know. We found his class. His new teacher is named Mrs. Pierce and when I saw her, the breath I had been holding was released. She's going to be perfect for him. She reminds me of Tina Wharton, children's minister at Northside, who is one of my role models. Isaac will also be going to another class this year called PATHWAYS and so we went and met that teacher. The first thing you notice in her room is a giant chess set. Isaac's face lit up and he went right over to it and started playing against himself while Eric and I talked to the teacher. It's going to be a great year.

Good luck to everyone as the school year gears up. Pray, pray, pray over these sweet kids as the venture off away from you. Pray for protection and opportunity for them to show the love of Christ to others.

Have a super day.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wordle


A friend had this on her blog and I wanted to try it out.
It takes all the words in your blog and puts them in this little design.
You can tell by the size of the letters how often you've used that particular
word. No surprise here, for me. I talk a lot about kids, I guess.

Try it at wordle.net

Eric

Well the timing worked out perfectly! Now that I've finished introducing the kids to y'all, I will introduce my loving husband, on our 13th wedding anniversary! Yep, that's right, on this day 13 years ago, I, at the age of 19, stood up in front of God and everyone and pledged my life to Eric, at the age of 18. This is how the story goes...(get comfortable)

My dad was in the Air Force and the summer before my junior year in high school, we moved to San Antonio. We had lived there before, back when I was ages 3-6. We initially started going to the same church we had attended back then but the fit just wasn't right. So finally, we visited Northside which is where Eric and his family went and had attended his whole life (practically).
Eric was a year behind me in school and we were friends. He went to a rival high school and sang in choir (like I did) and our choir teachers were friends so we frequently sang the same stuff at concerts (which we hated) Anyway, my parents and Eric's parents quickly became good friends as well and they started attending our LIFE group (which had several other teens in it). We remained good friends all through that year. That next summer (this is 1993, before my Sr. year) we began spending a lot of time with each other. We each had significant others at the time but mine had moved away. Towards the end of the summer Eric's folks were going out of town for several days for their anniversary (which is Aug 2. they just celebrated their 40th on Sat. Congratulations Jerry and Joyce!) and asked my parents if Eric could stay with us while they were away. They came back right before our church's annual Family Retreat that both of our families attended. So, we spent a LOT of time together---like every minute, it seemed---over those 10 days or so. While we were at the family retreat we kinda came to the conclusion that we were going to need to part ways with the people we were dating since we were very much focused on each other. All these years later, just writing these words seems a bit silly and juvenile. And maybe it sounds that way, we were after all, only 16 and 17. But as soon as we had broken up with the others and started officially dating, there has been no other thought of anyone else for either of us. I don't know if you are all rolling your eyes or not but it's true. I don't know how this kind of special love came to us at such a young age, but I am thankful it did.

Back to the story...I had always planned to go to Harding for college. Eric had, too, that's where is older sister already was, but since I was graduating a year ahead of him, I began to have some serious doubts about leaving. I had been accepted early in the fall and by spring, we were very serious about each other. So serious, that I couldn't even think about not seeing him everyday. I remember vividly, the conversation I had in the kitchen with my mother. I was helping her with supper and we were talking it all out. I told her I knew that everyone said that if it was true love it would be fine to wait a year and all that. But she said (it might help to mention at this point that my own parents were married at 18; they'll celebrate 35 years in Nov. and Eric's folks were 19 and 20) that she heard the same arguments when she and dad were graduating. He was planning to go to one school and she was 'supposed' to go to another. She wanted to go with dad. What she told me, what stuck, was,"When you really love someone, why would you want to be parted from them if you could help it?" So, I stayed home and went to school in town while Eric finished high school. That Feb. of his Sr. year, he proposed to me, I said yes, he graduated in May, we married in August and we were off to Arkansas (where Harding is) a couple of weeks later. Now, some of you may be asking yourselves,"how did they live?" Well, the answer is student loans! Eric worked part time at a bookstore, I didn't work at all that first 6 months which was a great way to start off. We had a little apartment that cost $315 a month but we thought it was wonderful. After that first semester, we decided to go back to SA to go to school there (where it didn't cost so much to go school) I started working part time at a day care center, I think Eric worked full time then, and that was that. We had been married 3 years, working part time and going to school part time when we decided to get into the air force. We knew then that we wanted me to be able to stay at home when we had kids, but at the rate we were going, we'd be 50 before we had finished school and Eric had a job that paid enough for me to stay home, so we saw the military as a good means to an end: free college and free babies. Eric went to basic training august of 1998; the only word I can use to describe how I felt is bereft. I had never been without him and I was so desolate. I was staying with my folks for those 6 weeks but I was pretty mopey. After basic we moved to Monterey CA for him to learn Hebrew (he was a Hebrew linguist) we were there for a year and then we moved to San Angelo, TX for 6 months while he learned the top secret stuff for his job. We left there in May of 2000 and I was newly pregnant with Isaac. We moved to Augusta, GA and were there for almost 4 years. While there, we had our 2 sons, bought our first house, and began to feel like grown-ups! After Ethan was born and Eric's 6 years were up we moved back to San Antonio---home---as we had always planned. It was very difficult for Eric to find a job. I talked about that some in Jaylie's post. The job he did get, finally, that allowed us to buy our 2nd house and feel settled, was a government contract job. We knew it would be going up for rebid at the end of the following Jan. but weren't bothered by that since most of the time, the same people get rehired with a different company if the bid is changed. Well, here I was, newly settled in a house that I really liked with my new baby and Eric comes home and says he thinks he may need to start looking for a new job...And I guess I'll stop there and tell you how we came to MS another time.
Eric is God's gift to me. He is my match in every way. Having 'grown up' with him it is neat to see the man he has become. It is true that marrying so young, I had no idea who or what he would turn out to be. I guess that's not entirely right, I've known who he is since I met him. But it didn't matter to me that i didn't know what he'd be, I just wanted to be with him and I knew that whatever he picked would be good and that he'd be great at it. Eric is good at everything he does. He is an amazing dad, he's the best husband. He thinks of me, and treasures me and I am secure knowing that he never, never would do anything to cause me harm or pain. He has a great love for me and it is so reassuring to know that he has loved me, fiercely, when he didn't know who or what I'd turn into. He actually thinks I'm better now than I was then, despite the weight difference or gray hair or stretch marks (tons of them). We've had a great 13 years and are eagerly awaiting the next 13 and the next and the next.
I'll gush more about him in the future. I just can't help it.
I just glanced over at his blog about me...it's not nearly as long! Go figure.
I love you Eric. You're the best.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Jaylie

Toady I'll tell you about my baby girl, Jaylie. If Ethan was a surprise to my heart, Jaylie was a surprise to my schedule. Ethan was just 7 months old when we found out I was pregnant again. Eric didn't have a job. I had to go to the health department to get on Medicaid...talk about a humbling experience. By the time I was 4 months along, or so, Eric had gone permanent with a real company and we had real insurance. You know, you do what you have to do.
I remember telling Eric I had had a positive pregnancy test. He sat down and said,"I think I should get back in the military." This all happened in the months following his separation from the Air force, our moving back home to San Antonio and living off of our savings. You know how it's recommended to have 6 months of reserves set aside...well we needed almost 8. It was a rough patch and right towards the end of it, we found out I was pregnant. I was thrilled when we found out that at last, Jaylie would be joining us. She is wonderful.
After having 2 boys, the differences in Jaylie are staggering. Since she could sit up by herself, she has been loving on babies. She would hold them so carefully and talk in a high (higher than her real voice) voice to them. Now that she's bigger she is still a girly girl. She likes to dress up. She likes all things that are pink and purple. Jaylie is my shadow. She follows me around everywhere, mimicking me. She loves to help me with the dishes, laundry and when I'm fixing meals, she is sitting on the counter watching me. The boys never wanted earrings (hopefully they won't) or wanted to have some of my lipstick or wear my shoes around. It is just amazing. Jaylie's pictures look like me when I was a little girl except for the mass of super curly hair. Just as I never considered that I might have a red headed child, I also never thought I'd have a curly top. Whenever she sees other people (or pictures or dolls) with curls she says,"Look, she has curlies like me!" Jaylie started swimming without floats about a week after Ethan did. She is fearless in the water which makes me nervous. She has a cute little voice. Some of the cute things she says are cute because of the way she mispronounces them. Like instead of saying panties, she says peenies. The other things she does that makes me laugh is never to use the pronoun 'him'. So if she wants to sit by Eric in church she'll say,"I want to sit by he because I love he." Or if she's mad with Ethan she'll yell,"He won't let me play with he!" Jaylie and Ethan are very close. (I often get asked in the stores when we're out if they are twins) I think she will miss Ethan when he's at school 3 days a week t his year. I think she and I will have fun though, just us girls.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Ethan


Today I'll tell you about Ethan. I always tell people that Ethan was my suprise. By surprise I mean that I didn't expect him. See, when I was pregnant with Isaac, before we found out who it was in there, the names we picked out were Isaac for a boy and Jaylie for a girl. So when Isaac was born, I still expected Jaylie at some point. I believed that I was meant to have a daughter and so that Jaylie would come to our family later on. I lost our second pregnancy due to a rare thing called a Complete Molar pregnancy and was told that there was no fetal matter present. I remember telling my mother that it wasn't like I had lost Jaylie or anything. I just always knew she would be here. So when I concieved again and it was a boy, I was thrown for a loop. I was so happy that Isaac would have a brother, but began to wonder a little about what I thought I 'knew'. So we picked out Ethan's name and began to anticipate him. The first thing I remember immediately after his birth (all 3 were C-sections) was hearing the nurses who were cleaning him up go,"Ahhh, look at his dimples!" That is still one of the first things I notice about him. He has the most willing smile which is beautiful, but the dimples just make you smile back. He has learned to use these dimples to his advantage when he's in trouble...as if something like that could actually work!(ahem)Ethan is 4 now and will be going to Meadowbrook for PreK in about a month. He's looking forward to it and I think he'll have a great time. He is much more of a social creature than Isaac. Ethan has a sweet spirit about him. He gives compliments and encourages other people. He has a real lean build; different from his brother. If you look at baby pictures of Eric and compare them to Ethan's they are very similar, except for the hair color. Probably one of Ethan's favorite activities is bothering his sister. He picks and picks at her; but she is starting to pick back. He loves to play UNO, Sequence and gamecube games. He also started swimming without floats this summer and does really well. They have summer swim teams here that he may be interested in next year. Ethan is a joy and a gift. Even though I hadn't expected him, I can not imagine my life without the sunshine he brings into it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Isaac

Well, good morning all.
I asked Eric last night to show me how to insert pictures so I'm going to be practicing on that for the next couple of days. One of the greatsest things about blogging is to be able to share sweet pictures with a vast array of people. Since I am probably the worst snail-mail user (I still have yet to go to the post office since I've been here...yep, almost 2 1/2 years! I love usps.com. I even order my stamps online.) I never mail pictures...or anything else for that matter, until it's time to send boxes with presents in them. So consequently, having photos (like the kind you can hold) of my kids is sort of limited to portrait time for all the grandparents. Sorry about that. But here we have the opportunity to share them quickly and so I hope you will enjoy.I thought the best way to start my practice is with a little tribute to my kids so that you can see who they are and how cute they look!We'll start today with Isaac. He's 7 1/2. He has great red hair that he has inherited from Eric's mother, Joyce. He is very tall, past my shoulders, almost to my chin and he weighs a whopping 80 lbs. He's a solid kid that's for sure. He is just about to start 2nd grade, which he is not excited about because he thinks it's boring. Isaac played his first season of baseball this past spring and had a great time and improved so much over that time. He is excited to play his first season of basketball in the fall. We think he'll do great. Isaac is bright and enjoys learning. He has a much different personality than I do and I really treasure seeing how the Lord speaks to me through him. Isaac is a person of strong will, which is challenging at times (or most of the time) but also gives me great hope for his future. He does not change his mind easily once set; I think he won't be easily swayed my other's opinions as he gets older. Isaac is a good big brother and enjoys (most of the time) helping me out with the little ones and is a good example to them. Isaac is about the most cautious person I've ever known. He is not a risk taker, which most of the time is a good thing. Sometimes, it can be agrivating that he is so unwilling to try new things out. To me, it feels like a lack of trust...but that all goes back to how God uses Isaac to speak to me. How many times am I unwilling to do what I feel Him nudging me to do because it makes me uncomfortable? My faith is not what I'd like it to be in that respect.
So, here's a picture of Isaac, with his first harvest of cucumbers last week. We're turning them into pickles (one of his favorite food groups) He has wanted to be a farmer since he was 3 and has his very own little garden in the back yard. He'll be picking watermelons soon! Love you, Son!