Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The cutest little santas ever...

Click on this link to see the cutest little Santa hat wearers ever. Anita played around with our combination of kiddos yesterday and, as always, the pictures turned out way too precious. Some of the credit is because our kids (hers and mine) are beautiful, but most of the credit goes to her beautiful photography.

Monday, November 26, 2007

"But I don't want to lose my tooth!"

On the way home from church last night, Eli suddenly started crying and told us he had a loose tooth. It was the first we had heard of it, so I was expecting a barely wiggling tooth. It turned out to be a totally wiggling tooth. So we calmed him down and talked about the tooth fairy and how he eventually does need to lose his baby teeth because he'd look silly one day as a grown man with teeny tiny teeth. Evidently our talk worked because this morning at school he proudly showed EVERYONE his very loose tooth. When I picked him up from school, he proudly showed me where his tooth had fallen out. Is it silly that this makes me sad? First of all, I wasn't anticipating that it would happen yet. But also, I remember like it was yesterday that first little tooth popping up and how huge that was to me. Now that I think about it, I remember being a little sad that he was getting a tooth. Every little thing that changes him makes me realize that he just keeps growing up and that I can't do a thing about it but watch and pray. Next week he will turn five and I can hardly believe it. Five seems big to me. My first little love isn't so little anymore.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

War Eagle!

All of you who know me know that I've always been an Auburn fan. I graduated from Auburn twice. This picture was taken when I got my Masters. Thirty years before that, my dad graduated from Auburn. He raised me to be a tiger. But now I'm an even bigger fan. I guess this is an attempt to feel connected to him. I can hear him talking to the players (and the referees) while watching a game, I can hear him calling me to come see a replay or to update me on the score. I remember how it really bugged me that he had the TV on to watch the game but had the sound muted and listened to the game on the radio. I remember my first Auburn game. I was ten. I was supposed to go with my aunt, but Dad was also going with my brother and for some reason I felt really strongly that I should go to my first Auburn game with Dad. He taught me how to do the wave. He tried to teach me the rules of the game. He yelled and jumped up and down. He covered my eyes when a fan started mooning the other team's fans. And he loved yelling "Waaaaarrrrrrrrrrr Eagle, hey!" during kickoff. He showed me the student section and told me about what fun it was going to games when he and mom were in Auburn. Later, when I was going to my own games as a student, I would remember that very first game with my dad. I'm sure if you can look down and watch football from heaven, my dad was watching last night and yelling "War Eagle!" So, Dad, this video of the band playing the fight song is for you. I'm so happy my first Auburn football game was shared with you. Much love and War Eagle!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a great Thanksgiving Day at Jonathan 's parents house. Our great friends Rob, Anita, Ian and Lily joined us. Check out this link to Anita's blog for a few photos. Check here to see that Elijah was also there! (Very cute picture of my sweet, big boy!) We had a big crowd and the kids had so much fun together. Tomorrow is a big shopping day for Ella and me, along with my mom and aunt, and we will also celebrate my sister-in-law, Allison's birthday tomorrow at lunch. I'm up so late because I just finished sewing her gift. Now I will go to bed. Happy black Friday.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"I can just see part of God...

because just his right leg lives in our house." Eli said this after he had asked me "if there is only one God then how can he be everywhere at once?" We talked about God's power and strength and how he just IS everywhere. Last, he said he's glad God and Jesus can't get lost. Me, too.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

2 little indian boys

On Friday the boys had Thanksgiving feasts at school. They sang a few songs (like Mr. Turkey, big and fat, I am going to eat you!) and then ate a semi-Thanksgiving lunch. I was assigned dressing for Eli's class. I was intimidated but, thanks to my mother-in-law's great recipe, I actually made some pretty tasty dressing. So, above are my 2 little indian boys. Gina, hopefully you'll feel a little better knowing that they actually are 1/16 Cherokee - can't you tell? Post edit: Oops, they are 1/32.
Jonathan and I were so excited to become pilgrim parents in Eli's classroom. I really think the dads were better sports about it than the moms, but collars and hats made from napkins just aren't flattering!
I was a "room mom" for Miles' party and helped another Mom to decorate and come up with a turkey craft/dessert. We had a lot of fun doing it. Here is Miles with his turkey cookie. This turkey bit the dust right after this picture was taken.

So, here comes Thanksgiving and the countdown to Christmas. We are excited that our friends Rob, Anita, Ian and Lily will be with us on Thursday with Jonathan's family. My aunt will be up visiting my mom and we'll have a big shopping day Friday! We will also celebrate my sister-in-law, Allison's birthday with a girls' lunch on Friday. I really enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas, and barring the shopping and money flying out the windows that the season brings, I'm really happy that we've come to the holidays again.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Kevin and his family made an unexpected visit last week to attend my grandmother's funeral. The kids were so excited to be together. Kell repeatedly professed his love for Ella and decided that his beloved bear is allergic to babies - but not to baby Ella. Eli and Kell had an ongoing debate about who is stronger and bigger - they finally decided that they are about the same size and the "same strong." Ella enjoyed Ian since he couldn't tell her what to do, but he was not too impressed with her this time. They did enjoy playing with the garage without the big boys bugging them as seen in the picture above. We miss them already and can't wait to see them again at Christmas.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Kevin...

I thought you could use just one more round of singing while it's still your birthday. Enjoy. I love you! And I'm glad you're my brother even after all these years of you giving me a hard time. Seriously, thanks for loving me and "helping to raise" me as you say. There's a lot I might not have made it through without you.

Friday, November 9, 2007

My grandmother "blossomed" this morning

Dorothy Nell (MawMaw) "blossomed" earlier today. An excerpt from Max Lucado's Traveling Light explains it like this:
Aging is God's idea. It's one of the ways he keeps us headed homeward. What if we looked at the aging body as we look at the growth of a tulip? Do you ever see anyone mourning over the passing of a tulip bulb? Do gardeners weep as the bulb begins to weaken? Of course not. We don't mourn the passing of the bulb; we celebrate it. Tulip lovers rejoice the minute the bulb weakens. "Watch that one," they say. "It's about to blossom."

Could it be heaven does the same? The angels point to our bodies. The more frail we become the more excited they become."Watch that lady in the hospital," they say. "She's about to blossom."

These bodies are weak. They began decaying the minute we began breathing. And, according to God, that's a part of the plan. Every wrinkle and every needle take us one step closer to the last step when Jesus will change our simple bodies into forever bodies. No pain. No depression. No sickness. No end.

This is not our forever house. It will serve for the time being. But there is nothing like the moment we enter his door. ..By that moment only one bag will remain. Not guilt. It was dropped at Calvary. Not the fear of death. It was dropped at the grave. The only lingering luggage will be this God-given longing for home. And when you see him, you'll set it'll drop your longing when you see your Father. Those you love will shout. Those you know will applaud. But all the noise will cease when he cups your chin and says, "Welcome home." And with scarred hand he'll wipe every tear from your eye. And you will dwell in the house of your Lord - forever.

God led me right to this exact page when I picked up this book a little while ago. He is so faithful to give me words when I am at a loss for them. On Sunday I had the honor of telling my grandmother that her first born, my dad, has been waiting for her in heaven. See, she's been sick for a while and when Dad tried to visit her one last time before he died, she didn't recognize him for all the weight he had lost. She had not known and understood that he had died before her. I thought she needed to know. I thought it might help her to let go. So Sunday, I looked into eyes that so strongly resembled my dad's eyes and I told her that her son was waiting and wanting for her to come. I told her that he would wrap his big arms around her for a hug and that his cheeks would be huge from the smile on his face. She looked into my eyes intently and made several quiet noises and at one point she even tried to lean a little toward me and make a longer, louder noise. She understood. I could tell by the look in her eyes. How horribly sad to lose a child, but how joyous for him to greet you when you make it home. I know they are very happy together now. As I looked down upon the face of my grandmother last night, and whispered a last little whisper, I thought about what a beautiful moment she had come to. Just a little bit longer. Almost there. For just a few more hours. And then home with my father and our Father and so many that love her. How beautiful. She blossomed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Two years ago...

my world changed. November 8, 2005 was the first time we were told of Dad's cancer. He'd been in the hospital for 4 days due to jaundice - first due to medications, then due to Hepatitis, then due to a very large ulcer (which was the idea I clung to), then finally (and actually) due to pancreatic cancer. I was taking pictures of Miles that morning as he was rolling over for the first time as my dad was having endoscopy and my mom was being told her husband had cancer. I started to get a bit concerned around lunch when I hadn't heard from Mom so I called. She only said she was coming right over to talk - I knew it was bad and called Jonathan crying. Mom told me and I sat with her as she called Kevin. She headed back to the hospital and as I waited for Jonathan to come home so I could go be with Dad, Kevin called me with the grim information he'd quickly found about pancreatic cancer online. We felt hopeless before we'd even begun. When I opened the door to Dad's hospital room, Mom was standing next to his bed and they were quietly talking. I remember the sweet look on his face as he looked up at her. I saw this and fell apart. I can still hear Dad saying, "Oh, baby..." as I left to cry by myself. I pray that I will never forget the way his voice sounded. This is a picture I took of Miles that day - I'll never be able to look at them without thinking about what happened after they were taken. This was the beginning of my learning that joy and pain will always exist together now.

Friday, November 2, 2007

My birthday

Today is my birthday. I'm 31. That seems so strange to me, sort of. To all my high school buds - I can remember like it was yesterday when we all turned 16. I never expected to be blowing out my 31st birthday candles with three little ones helping me. They are the true gifts of my life - I may not always act like it, I may not always recognize it because days sure can be hard sometimes. But I always know in my heart that these three are the best gifts ever. Thank you, Lord for these children. Eli was just about to burst in anticipation of singing happy birthday and helping me blow out my candles. Before we lit them he asked me what a 3 and a 1 are when you put them together. Then he asked about a 1 and a 3 together. I am absolutely ecstatic that I am 31 and not 13! This is way better than that was. Thanks to my high school friends for remembering my birthday with comments or emails. And to my brother for his very special rendition of the happy birthday song left on my cell phone. ("Happy Birthday, Baby!"). And to my mom for always making over me (not just on my birthday). And to my sweet husband for always making me feel special.
We also celebrated little sissy turning 9 months today. I took several pictures today in what is about to become her room. I had to share one of them. I can't believe she's already 9 months. I just want to soak her up. I love my little boo!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A robot, a spiderman and a ballerina

Here are the boys at Mr. Richard's house (our neighbor who also works with Jonathan). He loves Halloween and has a special treat for all the office children.
Eli won the costume competition at Landmark's Trunk or Treat! Jonathan put 4 years of model making experience to good use in making this costume. Eli was so excited in spite of not being able to hear or walk very well.
Miles wasn't too sure about what was under Mr. Richard's house.
Here is our sweet little ballerina. Her favorite part of the night was pulling off her cute little shoes to chew on her tight-covered toes.