Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Kindergarten Thanksgiving Play

Kindergarteners are SO cute! That's the age when they still do sweet things at school for holidays. Zach's class did a Thanksgiving play that Steven and Elijah and I were able to attend. As you will see, Zach is the Town Cryer. His teacher said she gave him that part because she knew he would be loud and would not get stage fright during the performance. He is definitely my child! I just wanted to share the short 4 minute video of the play with you. Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Co Champions!!!!!

2008 PRYAA Pee Wee Co Champion D'backs!

Well, after not winning too many games during the actual season, Joshua's Pee Wee team came back something fierce in the tournament. It was double elimination. They won the first game, then the next. Before they knew it, they found themselves in the championship game against the 1 loss Yankee team. With Joshua pitching (very proud to say that!) and some good hitting to back him up, our D'backs pummeled the Yankees 17-5! The game went 5 innings and lasted about 2 1/2 hours.

However, because that was only the Yankee's first loss in a double elimination tournament, we were going to have to play them AGAIN, right after the first game! We all agreed that we didn't want to do that. Too long for us and the kids. I know they were exhausted! So the coaches agreed to be called Co-Champs and leave it at that. (Secretly I think the Yankees coach knew that they couldn't beat us, so they made a compromise. But that's ok. Joshua was pumped!)

So everyone got another trophy. Exciting! We took Joshua out to his choice of restaurants...McDonald's. I am so proud of him for sticking with it and being a good sport. It was a great team and a great season. Now we'll just wait until Spring!

Halloween 2008

The kids were so ready for Halloween. They have had their costumes for over a month, using them to play in. Now it was finally time to put them on and accomplish their one major goal...GET CANDY!
First, we went to a neighborhood Halloween party. They had pizza and cookies and games. It was a lot of fun. We got to spend time with our neighbors and meet some that we didn't know.

This is the pile afterwards...and this is just Elijah's. Steven took the kids out while I stayed home and handed out the candy. I thought I would be pretty busy considering all the kids in our neighborhood. However, they were either doing other things or came in big groups because I only answered the door about 4 or 5 times. But those kids got lots of candy from me! I don't need to have any left over!

Steven brought Zach and Eljah back early. They were done. Then he and Joshua went out to a few more houses. Of course, when everyone got back, we had a candy feast! Yum!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Steven's New Office

This is Steven, Financial Advisor, and his new Branch Office Administrator, Mary Ann, in front of Steven's new office on Satellite Blvd in Suwanee. Yea! Steven has been working out of someone else's office (sort of like a mentor) for the last year since he's been here. He finally got to the point where they gave him his own office. It's really nice. And the BEST part's only 2 miles from our house! His commute to work and back consists of a left turn out of our neighborhood and a left turn onto Satellite. That's it!

He moved in on Monday, October 20, 2008 open for business. Here he is working hard his first day in his office. Trying to get everything set up and organized was a bit of a chore, but well worth it. Having his own office is great! And his BOA is very nice!

Steven is hard at work on the phone with clients and home office people trying to get everything smooth and running. Elijah and I went over and helped him set up a few things. Then we took Joshua and Zach over there after school so they could see. After a long day, we all took him out to dinner at Chili's. It was a nice time. (Except that Chili's doesn't serve their Awesome Blossom anymore. What's up with that?)

This is Elijah checking out Daddy's office. He enjoyed running around and making a lot of noise. Since "Daddy's office" is right down the street, it's on our way to the grocery store and many other places that we frequent. So we wave and say "hi" and "bye" to Daddy every time we pass it.

We are so very proud of Steven! He has worked very hard to get to this point. God has truly blessed him and us as a family. Steven loves his job, enjoys being with and helping people, and is pretty much his own boss. He's been looking forward to this for a long time...he just didn't know it until it got here. God is good...ALL the time!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Elijah's First MAJOR Boo Boo

This is it. You can't see it too well because his hair is covering it up. But, yes, Elijah had to have about 5 stitches in the back of his head. He didn't want me to photograph it, so Steven tried to distract him while I took a picture of it. This is the best I got. Here's the story.
We were at Joshua's baseball game yesterday. Elijah was playing in the scorer's tower with Zach, which he has done MANY times, before the start of the game. (The scorer's tower is made of metal with a jagged floor to help get dirt of people's shoes so it doesn't get too dirty up there.) Elijah was sitting on the bench trying to get out when he fell flat backwards onto the floor of the tower. Obviously, he started crying and I ran over to him as quickly as I could. I just held him and rocked him saying, "You're ok. You're ok." Then I pulled him away from me to look at it and discovered blood. That's when I said, "No you're not!"
We ran to the bathroom where I tried to wipe off his head and see just how bad it was. (It was about a year ago that Zach had cut his head open in Montana. I'm getting good at this!) He was screaming hysterically and didn't want me to touch it. People were offering me paper towels and ice and everything. They were really trying to help. That's when I remembered that one of the dad's was a doctor. So I took Elijah back out and got Rick to come look at him.
After washing some of the blood out of his hair, Rick agreed that he would need stitches. So, since Steven wasn't there yet (he had a meeting in Athens that morning), I left Zach with the other baseball parents and took Elijah to an Urgent Care center down the street. He DID NOT want to go. He started screaming, "Mommy, no doctor. No doctor. Go home!"
We got in to see the doctor and agreed that sedating Elijah would be the best course of action so as to make it easier to stitch up his head. So, they gave him a shot in the buttocks, which he DID NOT like, and we waited for him to be out of it. This was probably the worst part. Watching his eyes cloud over while he is screaming at me. I am trying to smile through all my tears and tell him that it's ok and I love him.
After fighting a bit, he gave in to the sedative. The doctor numbed his head and started stitching. Elijah wasn't completely out and didn't like someone touching his head so he started to fight. Then the nurse had to help hold his head while he screamed. All this while he was laying on my chest. It was AWFUL!
Thankfully, he is ok now. We'll get the stitches out in about 5 days. He was a bit wobbly on his feet all day yesterday from the sedative. I kept thinking he was going to hurt himself again. And he crashed hard when he finally went to bed. I would go in every now and then and poke him and check to see if he was breathing. Especially when he slept in so long this morning. But he spent all day at the ball field again today and was fine. And yes, he wanted to get back in the scorer's tower. I, of course, told him, "No way!"
If you ask him, he'll tell you that he bonked his head and has a boo boo on his head. He's a trooper! Thank God it wasn't any worse!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Proud Mom

Well, we just got home from a morning of baseball...again. That has been the way it is this Fall with both Joshua and Zach playing. Elijah, sweet thing, has been dragged from one field to the next and doesn't complain...very much.

But today was a special day at the ball field. Zach had a game at 9:30, one of his last games of the season. He loves the game of baseball and has been improving his playing all year. He's been playing outfield because sometimes he has trouble paying attention. But today, and yesterday, he got to play 2nd base. Last night and today he was able to field a ball and throw it in. I was so proud. But more than that, Zach hasn't needed to use a Tee in the last 2 games. (In Tball, the coaches throw 3 pitches. If the batter doesn't hit one, then they hit off the tee.) That means that Zach has hit off pitches his last several times at bat! He got an RBI last night and the game ball! It was awesome to see! He has gotten SO much better!

Today Joshua had his first tournament game, double elimination. For the tournament, it is entirely kid pitched. His coach told us that, to help ensure a win so they could play again, they would put their best pitcher out there first. Well (pride welling up inside), Joshua pitched the first 2 innings! He did great! He got 4 strike outs and had an RBI single. He has improved as well and, I must say, is the best pitcher on the team right now. They won today 3-2 so they get to play in the winner's bracket next week.

I am so proud of both of my baseball boys! But I should also say that I am very proud of Elijah for going to all these games, sometimes back to back, and not fussing about it. His day will come too, I'm sure. Today, I am one very proud mom!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Joshua, the Ace

On Friday night, September 26, Joshua and his team won their first game 9-5! Not only did they win, but Joshua went 1 for 2 with a walk and a run scored. He ALSO pitched both innings and struck out 6 batters! (In Pee Wee, the first 2 innings are pitched by a machine, and then kids pitch the last 2 innings.) He was the winning pitcher!

And, to top it all off, we got to meet Andruw Jones! He was there watching his son play Tball, the game before Joshua's. He was just sitting there. I freaked! I'm so glad I recognized him. After his son's game, all the kids went up to him and got his autograph. So I met him and shook his hand and got 2 autographed baseballs. It was a great night!

Zach also had a game that night. He did really well. He's learning to hit and field. His favorite part of the game is talking though. He'll talk to whoever is next to him whether he's in the field or on base. We think he might try soccer in the spring.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Braves Game Sept 21, 2008

Joshua wanted to go to a Braves game for his 8th birthday. So , we did! You didn't have to twist our arms! We ended up going to the last home game of the season vs. the Mets. We won. Yay! We were very excited to discover that there would be an alumni meet and greet before the game. That is when they have former Braves players signing autographs at the stadium. Well, it just so happened that, on this day, the alumni were Bob Horner and Gene Garber. Maybe that doesn't mean much to some people reading this. But to others, you understand it's a big deal. Bob Horner is Steven's absolute favorite Braves player of all time. And Gene Garber was my absolute favorite pitcher growing up. (My sister's too. And that is saying a lot because she's never really been a big baseball fan.)

We weren't able to meet them face to face because, by the time we got there, they had cut off the autograph line. However, after Steven stated his complaint to Guest Relations, they brought us a few autographed items later. But we did get to participate in a question/answer session with them. Steven got to ask Bob and Gene a question. So Steven was talking to his boyhood hero. And, we met Gene Garber's wife and talked to her for a bit. It was great!

Then we headed to the field to watch the Mets warm up. We didn't get any fly balls, but it wasn't for lack of trying. You'd think they would throw some balls to my adorable children. But it appears as though the sexy girls win out.

The game was great! We won and very much enjoyed watching it. Afterward, for Fan Appreciation Weekend, there was a free Travis Tritt concert. Those of you who know me and my family know that I like country music....Steven does NOT. The kids couldn't really care less. They know who Garth Brooks is, but that's about it. But Steven knew that it would mean a lot to me, so we stayed. Travis Tritt was one of my dad's favorite country artists. "Here's a Quarter" was one of his favorite songs. So we stayed long enough to hear Travis sing that and "Anymore", which was one of my mom's favorites. Then we had to go. By then we had been at the stadium for about 8 hours.

As you can see, Elijah didn't really care for the music. With not having a nap, he zonked out right as the concert began. Zach fell asleep also on Steven's lap. It was a hoot! But some very nice snuggle time. They woke up in time for us to head home. It was a great family day!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Joshua turns 8! Can you believe it?!

I sure can't. He's still my first born, but no longer my baby. Joshua is now 8 years old and in 2nd grade. On his birthday, we watched some video of him as a baby. (I have several tapes of it, seeing as he is the first and all. Probably have nothing of Elijah. Sorry!) I can't believe how time flies! He was such a precious baby! Who has now turned into a very handsome young man. So much so, that he has girls chasing him at school. Yes, I was somewhat unprepared for that to happen so early. But we can deal with it. He still isn't interested. Thanks goodness!

Next week we are going to the Braves game. That is what Joshua wanted to do for his birthday. But we also wanted him to be able to spend some time with friends. So, we had a small party for him. He invited 3-4 friends who came over and played games and had cake and ice cream. It was a lot of fun.

Even Elijah and Zach got in on the fun.

It's just hard to believe that he is growing up so fast. He is using words that most 2nd graders don't even know. (Don't worry, not curse words!) He is so intelligent and so versed in baseball. After all these years, he is still immersed in baseball cards and want to be a major leaguer when he grows up. We are trying to help him achieve that dream as much as we can. We love him very much and consider ourselves blessed to be his parents!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fall Baseball - Zach's first game ever!

Well, it finally happened! After watching Joshua play Tball/Baseball for 4 years, Zach finally got his turn! We signed the boys up for Fall ball this year so Zach could play and Joshua could get some practice. Zach got an actual uniform! He was so excited that he wanted to put it on as soon as he brought it home from practice. It was so cute! He looks great in it!
We got him an equipment bag, glove, bat and helmet...just like Joshua has. He is so pumped! His first game was this past Friday. As you can see, he's very happy to be there. There are quite a few kids on his team, so he only got in one at bat during the game. Here he is waiting in the dugout and then on deck.

In this Tball lleague, the coach throws 3 pitches to give the kids a chance to hit the ball. If they don't hit a pitch, then they get to hit off the T. Zach got his first hit ever in his first game ever off of one of the pitches! He ran to first base! It was precious!

Then it was Joshua's turn. He was very ready to get back out on the field. With fewer kids playing in the fall league, he's hoping to pitch, play first base, and even try catching!

He did great! He did get to pitch, catch, play first and shortstop. And, he got a hit on his first at bat!

It was a VERY busy weekend. Friday night, Zach had a game in Duluth at 6 and Joshua had a game in Suwanee at 7:30. We were at it again on Saturday morning with Zach's game at 9:30. We came home for about an hour and went back out for Joshua's game at 12:30. Poor Elijah! He is just getting dragged from park to park. But he found a way to pass the time. Just give him a ball! After all, he's my son!
And Joshua got to keep score for one of Zach's games. He loved that!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Elijah likes to dance!

We have recently learned that Elijah likes to dance. He has learned to turn on the stereo in our living room. The first CD in there is Family Force 5, one of Joshua's favorites. Elijah has learned some of the words and asks several times per day if he can go turn it on. This is the result. Enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Elijah gets a haircut

Today was very eventful...but not fun. I had to take Elijah for a haircut today. Normally, that wouldn't sound like too big of a deal. It wasn't for my other two boys. However, Elijah is a COMPLETELY different story. He DOES NOT like to get his hair cut. He doesn't just not like it, HE HATES IT! I had been putting it off for about a week because I knew what would be in store for me. But today I decided to weather the storm and take him in. His hair was getting very unruly! Boy, did I get more than I bargained for!

He was fine when we got there. He walked in and started doing puzzles. (We go to one of those special kid haircut places with screens and computer games and stuff. I don't like it, but thought it would help.) He enjoyed the puzzles for several minutes and was having a great time. Then the stylist called his name. It was at this time that Elijah headed to the door saying, "Mommy, time to go!" I had to pick him up and put him in the chair. That is when he started screaming...and he never stopped.
We ended up having to strap him into the chair. Never had to do that before. The stylist tried blowing bubbles at him. (He loves bubbles.) But that just made him scream louder. She turned on the movie for him, but he would have none of it. I tried doing a puzzle with him, but that didn't cut it either. He just continued to scream, cry, and drool himself into a massive sweat. Not to mention that he wouldn't wear the apron, so he's getting hair all over himself...and me!

It ended up being the loudest 15-20 minutes of my life. At one point, one stylist was holding his head, I was holding his hands with mine and had my leg over his legs while the other stylist tried cutting his hair. Him screaming bloody murder the ENTIRE time. It was so unpleasant that I started crying. What kind of mother am I that I would expose my son to such turmoil for a silly haircut? I felt so bad for him...but I knew it needed to be done. He's going to have to get used to having his hair cut. There is no way around it...unless he decides to live as Samson.

Anyway, it was finally over. He got a sucker and a prize, even though he wasn't good, just for good measure. It took me quite some time to get all the hair off of him and me so that we could go to the grocery store. Very difficult task because he had been screaming so hard he was sweating and all the hair was sticking to him. It was all over his clothes, his hands, his face, and in his mouth! Yuck! I did my best. I snuggled him to calm him down, thanked the lady and gave her a tip and we were on our way. The noise level in the shop just went down several decibels! What a nightmare!

The worst part is...I don't really like his haircut. I just don't like the way it looks. Not that I blame the stylist AT ALL! She did what she could with what she had to work with. I commend her for even continuing. I'm sure some stylists would have just said, "Forget it! I'm not doing this!" But at least his hair is cut. He looks kind of like Zach now. Not what I had planned, but better than nothing. Here is the end result:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ho Hum

Well, not much going on lately.
We found out this past Thursday that Zach and Joshua would be starting Tball and Baseball on Saturday. So we are now starting the whirlwind of taking 2 kids to 2 different practices and games. What will happen when Elijah gets thrown into the mix????

It was so cute to watch Zach at practice. This will be his first year playing Tball. He's been patiently watching Joshua for 4 years now. It's his turn. He did very well. And talked through the entire practice. Just about whatever. I heard him talking about Pokemon things, 1995 name it. He is very animated. He did pretty well too. Zach has very good hand-eye coordination, so he can hit the ball well. But he's never been as focused as Joshua. So he has trouble paying attention and really getting into the game. But I just LOVED watching him out there fielding balls, catching at first base, and running the bases. He had a great time!

Joshua is excited about playing baseball again this fall. The Children's pastor from the church we attend is his coach and his youngest son is on the team. So Joshua already knows someone. He likes that. He's very ready to start up again. But, as I've been told, fall ball is more fun and instructional than it is competitive (like in the spring) so hopefully it will be a bit more laid back.

I didn't take the camera to the practices because the weather was yucky and I had all 3 kids because Steven was working. I'll try to next time and post some pics of them playing. It's really adorable!

School is going well. Both are doing great and enjoying it. Elijah and I are learning how to be at home together with no big brothers to distract or entertain. We takes turns doing things. We'll run errands for me and then play or watch something for him. We just switch off. We'll start working in September, so that will take up 3 mornings per week.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

In memory of Gary Wesley Hall aka Daddy

This is my Daddy. Today would have been his 65th birthday. Unfortunately, he didn't live to see it. My dad died 4 years ago of lung cancer. I miss him terribly. He was a strong, quiet man with conviction. I didn't really get to know him very well until after my mom died and he was forced to be the one talking. We had 3 years together without mama before he died. I wouldn't trade it for anything. (I often wondered why my mom had to die first, if at all. Now I know. I never would have known my dad as well if he had died first.)

Today I am missing him. He was always there for me and my family. And one of the things that I hate most is that my kids don't know him (or my mom). Joshua has a few memories of him . Joshua was 3 1/2 when he died. Zach was almost 1 so he only knows what I tell him about Grandad. Elijah only knows the pictures. And that he just learned recently. I think my dad would have LOVED being around while my boys grew up. And I know they would have LOVED him. He was a big teddy bear. He would do anything and everything for them. I truly feel as though my kids are missing out. But I tell them all that I can about him. He was a very special man...and the best Daddy anyone could ever wish for. I rest now, 4 years after his death, in knowing that he is with Jesus and my mom. He is not missing her. He is not wondering what to do with his life. He is not in anymore pain. He is free. He is happy. He is in heaven.

I love you and miss you Daddy! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Elijah says "Naomi"

First Day of School

Yes, it finally came. Were we ready?? I think so. Joshua got a little nervous the night before, as he usually does with new things. But he was just fine when I dropped him and Zach off at school yesterday. Zach, excited to be starting, looked a bit lost. Thankfully, Joshua helped him and made sure he got to his classroom. What a great big brother!

And yes, I cried after I dropped them off. There goes my Zach. Never again will I have him at home, all to myself. He's growing up, just like Joshua. Now he has larger chunks of his day that I am not a part of. I will only know what they experience IF they decide to tell me. I'm just used to knowing everything they are involved in. But that is part of parenting and letting your children grow up. I realize that they need me less and less each day, and I am trying to teach them that. But I don't like to think of it that way.

Both boys had a great time their first day. Both said their teachers were nice. Both met some new people in their classes. And both rode the bus home. I took video of them getting off the bus. I'll post it when I get the chance. Elijah and I missed them, but we had fun together, just me and him again. I'll start working next month, so there won't be very many days of that. I am trying to enjoy it now.

So, now I am the mother of 2 elementary school students. It hardly seems possible. Zach and Joshua are getting so big. They are growing so fast and learning so much. And they are such a delight and joy to be with. I only wish my parents could have lived to see this day....and many others......

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Family Fun

Well, I forgot to take my camera, so there are no pictures. But we went to my Aunt's house yesterday for a summer pool party. We've been doing that for years! It started out as a July birthday party because so many people in my family, on my mom's side, have birthdays in July. Now it's more just a time to get together. It's fun! I only see them about once or twice a year. I really enjoy getting caught up. Without my mom to tell me what is going on with everyone, I have to do it.
The kids really enjoyed it as well. Joshua was jumping off the diving board the ENTIRE time! Steven ended up being the quarterback for the day, throwing the football in at the boys who were jumping off, trying to see who could catch it in the air and hang on to it once they hit the water. Zach even jumped off the diving board...with his Spiderman ring, of course. And, yes, I got Elijah in the pool! He pitched a fit about putting on his bathing suit and then screamed bloody murder when we first got in the pool, but then he came around. He even let Steven hold him in the water. That has NEVER happened before! But Elijah soon grew tired of it and wanted to get out and change his clothes. He had worn the only shirt we had into the water. The only other shirt we had was a Cars shirt that he has, thus far, REFUSED to wear. Sure enough, he screamed when I put it on him. He tugged and pulled at it for a good 10 minutes once he had it on stating he wanted it off. But, sure enough, he forgot about it after a while and wore it for the rest of the day. Sometimes you just have to endure a little bit of fuss to get the result you want...and to show the kids who is boss. It's me...not them.

But, anyway, it was great to get caught up with my cousins and their kids and my aunts and uncles. They are such great people! I only wish my parents had lived long enough to enjoy these outings more and see my kids and my sister's kids. They would have loved that!

Another great thing was that Steven and I finally got to go see the new X Files movie on Friday. We were HUGE fans of the show when it was on. (Just ask our church in Virginia!) But we've been having trouble finding a babysitter. So, my sister came over Friday after work with her kids and watch them all while Steven and I went out to the movie. Then she spent the night and went with us to my aunt's for the party. It was great to have that time with Steven. I forgot how important it is. We get so wrapped up in work and kids and just daily life that we don't stop to take time for each other. I'm glad we did. We had appetizers and drinks (yes, drinks) at Outback and then went to the movie. It was great! Nothing spectacular, but perfect for the avid X Files fans that we are. We loved it!

It was also great to spend some time with my sister. She lives in the area, but on the other side. It takes about an hour to get to her house from mine. So we don't see each other all that often. We talk on the phone, but usually while she's working. So it was nice to have some time with her and her kids.

And now, my kids start school tomorrow. I'm very nervous. Not so much for Joshua, he's used to it. But Zach will be starting Kindergarten. He is almost a full year younger than Joshua was when he started. So Zach seems so young! I'm just worried about him. I know he'll be fine. God will take care of him, along with his older brother and all the teachers at the school. But I can't help feeling sad about it. I know I'll cry after I drop them off. And they are riding the bus home. My little 5 year old on the bus! I would NEVER have done that unless he had a big brother on there with him! Please just pray that I make it through tomorrow. I know the kids will have a great time! But it will take some getting used to for me.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Joshua first roller coaster ride

Yes, it's true. I never thought I would say it about Joshua, my extremely cautious first born, but he LOVES roller coasters! Steven was able to take him to Six Flags this past weekend. (Joshua got a free ticket through a reading program at school.) THEY HAD A BLAST! I truly thought that they would stand in line and then, at the last minute, Joshua would change his mind. That's just the way he is sometimes. Boy was I wrong! (And I'm glad!) He ended up riding the Dahlonega Mine Train, Wile E Coyote, bumper cars, Scream Machine, Georgia Cyclone AND the Mind Bender (it goes upside down). I couldn't believe it! I am so proud of Joshua! Before they left, he told me he didn't want to ride anything that went upside down. So, when they called me from the line of the Mind Bender, I said, "Put your father on the phone." Joshua looked at Steven and said, "I think we're in trouble." Apparently Joshua had been watching and wanted to try it. So they did...and he loved it! I'm so glad. I love roller coasters too. At least I used to. It's been a while and I've gotten older. Not sure how I would do now. Anyway, I am very proud of him for doing that. And I'm glad that he and Steven got some time together.

Meanwhile, Zach, Elijah and I went to the pool and swam. Elijah screamed a bit in the beginning, but not near as much as last time. By the end, he was jumping in to me off the side. It was a lot of fun. Then we just hung out and played GameCube. It was good for us.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just an update

Not much is going on these days. The kids will be back in school in just over a week. Though I am not glad to "get rid of them", it is obvious that the summer has started to take its toll on all of us in being together so much. We could all use some space. Joshua is looking forward to seeing his friends at school again and meeting new ones on the bus in our new neighborhood. Zach is looking forward to starting Kindergarten, riding a bus and being in the same school as Joshua. Elijah, I think, is looking forward to time with just he and Mommy. I am looking forward to less refereeing of arguments, less noise and more structure. I enjoy my kids a bunch. But everyone needs time away.

On a sadder note, Steven's grandmother (Bambi) went to be with Jesus last week. It was a long week. We received a call on a Friday that she was in the nursing home and unresponsive. She was taken to the hospital, but her vitals were good so they sent her back to the home. However, she wasn't communicating, moving or eating. Therefore, Hospice was called in to take over. She passed away the following Tuesday or Wednesday night. Steven's mom seems to be handling it well, considering she is still recovering from surgery. At least we know where Grandma is, as Pastor Steve said, with her 2 great loves.

So, we are taking advantage of the "tax free" shopping days by getting the kids some new clothes for school and trying to squeeze in some activities before the big day: Six Flags, Laser Show at Stone Mountain, Falcons scrimmage game. It should be a fun last week!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Our House - A Pictorial Tour

Some people asked for more pictures of our house. These aren't great quality, but it gives an idea. I hope this helps. Maybe you'll just have to come and visit sometime!

Foyer, as you come in the front door. The dining room is to the right, the living room is to the left, and the family room s straight back. Up stairs to the left is the master and to the right is the hall and kids' rooms.

Living room with french doors (taken from foyer). To the immediate left after coming in the front door.

Dining room (taken from foyer). It's to the immediate right when you come in the front door, right next to the stairs.

Family room (taken from foyer). To the right is the kitchen. That is the sunroom in the back.

Fireplace in familyl room, taken from kitchen. To the right is the sunroom, leads to patio. To the left is the foyer.

Kitchen, taken from dining room. There is an island in the middle and a built in desk to the left.

Kitchen (taken from eating area right next to door to patio.)

Master bedroom with trey ceiling and new furniture (finally!).

Master bath (tub). To the left is the shower and master closet. To the right is the toilet. Behind, on both sides of the door, is the double vanity.

The boys' bathroom at the top of the stairs.

Zach's "super hero" room. The bottom is painted green with a comic book cover border around the middle. The poster hanging there is the whole group of Marvel super heroes. He also has a Spiderman ceiling fan.

Elijah's "airplane" room. Wallies of airplanes all over the wall. Beneath the chair rail on two walls is painted with chalkboard paint so he can draw on the walls.

Joshua's "Baseball" room. The penants of stadiums we've been to create a border around the top of the room. Lots of baseball paraphenalia and a baseball ceiling fan.

Hallway upstairs taken from Joshua's room. To the immediate left is a large linen closet. To the right is the laundry room.

This is the glass patio taken from the kitchen door.

This is the glass patio taken from the backyard. It has a heated tile floor. There is a door on the left going into the kitchen and a door straight ahead going into the sunroom.

This is the back yard as taken from the end of the driveway. To the left there is the glass patio. Our yard extends up to the right into the woods.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Zach's first trip to the dentist

He did great! No, I didn't get pictures of it. I was really afraid that he would be afraid. But, so far, Zach has been the one who will tackle just about anything. When I told him he was going to the dentist, he didn't even ask about it. He just said ok. They only had 24 hours notice too. I was (am) so proud of him.
Of course, he talked the hygeinist's ear off when she wasn't looking in his mouth. But he did everything she asked when she asked him and didn't cry or complain at all. She was very caring and considerate of this being Zach's first trip. Her attitude helped a lot too. The funniest part was that Zach is too small for the chair, so he had to scoot up really far to get his head on the pillow part. He kept sliding down too. But he was so good that he got a new Power Rangers toothbrush (that he wanted to open AS SOON as we got home), some floss and a little tube of toothpaste. He even got to pick something out of the "Treasure Box". He chose a Hulk tattoo. (We put it on right away, but it's already gone.)

Joshua went to the dentist too. Obviously not his first time, but he was a bit nervous. Joshua is like me in that the anticipation of things about to happen makes him anxious, but he does ok once he gets there. He was a bit tense at first. You could see it when he opened his mouth. All the wrinkles on his forehead, his hand gripping the chair, his legs tightly crossed. I knelt next to him and held his hand. After a few minutes, he loosened up a bit. He did great too. We got to see an Xray of his mouth. We could see his permanent teeth under his gums just waiting to push the baby teeth out. We could even see his 12 year molars just sitting there waiting their turn. It was cool. Joshua also got to pick out of the treasure box. He chose a yo-yo.

From the dentist's office, I got 2 carnations and gave them to my dear friend Tiina who watched Elijah during this almost 3 hour jaunt to the dentist. She very kindly allowed him to intrude on her day with some other friends. At first, Elijah was hesitant to be dropped off without his brothers. But once Tiina pulled out the puzzles, it was "bye mommy!" He did great for her too.

So Mom (me) took all 3 boys to the infamous dollar store and got them each a toy for being so good. Joshua got some more little green army men to add to his brigade, Zach got a grim reaper sort of ax, and Elijah got a ball (big shock!). I am very proud of all 3 of my boys. God has truly blessed me with fabulous children!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Elijah and the Pool!


It sounds ridiculous, I know. But we have been trying for over a year to get Elijah in the pool, with no success. He was fine as a baby in Bozeman. We would take him to the Hot Springs and he would sit and be fine. But something happened since then that changed the way he thinks about water. It may have been the cold water indoor pool at Mount Rushmore Memorial Day weekend 2007. I'm not sure. But I haven't been able to successfully get him in a pool since that last time at the hot springs.

We tried at the pool at the apartment complex. After some screaming, he did get in for a bit and enjoyed it. I thought we were making progress. But I couldn't get him in again. Then, he didn't like the beach or the ocean. I couldn't get him in the pool there on our vacation either. He would just throw a ball in from the side and I, or someone else, would retrieve it for him. That was his game. So, we started trying to get him in the pool here at the house. Joshua and Zach have started to love swimming. But Elijah would scream even if we tried to put on his bathing suit. It seemed impossible.

So yesterday we decided to try again. We figured we would just have to suffer through the screaming because this is something he needs to get over. So, we put him in his bathing suit as he cried. Then we walked down to the pool. Again, he played his ball game where he threw the beach ball into the pool and I would get it and throw it back to him. We did this for a while. Then I decided it was time to initiate him into the water. So I got out and picked him up. Him screaming in my ear, we walked down the stairs into the water. He hated it. (Also, there was another family in the pool. We warned them about the screaming beforehand. They also have a 2 1/2 year old, so they understood.) So I started bobbing him up and down and spinning him around. He would laugh for half a second and then start crying again. Then, Steven suggested playing with the beach ball IN the water. Elijah liked that idea. So we started throwing and kicking the ball IN the water. He loved it! The crying stopped and he started having fun. Then, it went from the beach ball to the splash football. He wanted to throw it "all the way to Daddy". What a great time! By the end of the afternoon, he was "jumping" (more like falling ) in from the side of the pool into my arms. Now he says he can't wait to go again! What and answer to prayer!

Also, little side note...yesterday, Steven fixed the lawn mower and the front glass door. He also finxed the cabinet in our bathroom and hung up some pictures for me. What a handyman!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our New House!

Lots of people have been wanting to see what our new house looks like. I finally got around to taking a few pictures of it today. It's hard to photograph the inside and get the real feel of it. We absolutely love it! It feels very grand to us. God has truly blessed us with this house. If you would like to see more pictures, email me and let me know. I'll send you some. If I get enough requests, I'll post them here.

This is a picture of it from across the street. As you can see, there are plenty of mature trees in the front yard. It is on a hill, so the front is sloped. We live in a 20 year old neighborhood with many people who have lived here since it was built. They remember when there were no trees at all! That is exactly what I wanted. The way they build new neighborhoods is with the houses very close together, all looking the same, with small yards and very few trees. This neighborhood is much more established and I like that.

Here is a closer picture taken from the bottom of the front yard. Isn't it beautiful? Look at what God has done for us! It is stucco and the shutters are vinyl. It does need some work here and there. But what house doesn't. We look forward to being able to work on it and continue to make it our very own.
I'll try to describe it verbally for you to see the inside.
Go in the front door right here into a 2 story foyer. The stairs will be in front of you to the right with a continuation of the foyer to the left that leads to the family room. Immediately to your right is the dining room with new tile floors. That leads to the kitchen. Immediately to your left is the living room, offset with french doors. Right now I have my scrapbook table set up there. Continue through to the family room and the kitchen will be on your right. There is also a closet and a 1/2 bath right there. On the left in the family room is a large marble fireplace with built in bookshelves on both sides. Directly behind the family room is a sunroom that also leads to a glassed-in patio in the back yard.
If you go up the stairs, the boys' bathroom is directly in front of you. To the left is our bedroom with a large master bath. To the right is a long hallway that has the boys' rooms and the laundry room, as well as a large linen closet. Elijah's room is on the left, Zach's room is on the right. Joshua's room is at the end of the hall, right over the garage. The neat thing about Joshua's room is that it has an extra room off of it that we call the Game Room. It has a slanted ceiling. It isn't much, but is perfect for games, toys and the GameCube.
The garage is just off the kitchen. There is a little nook before entering the kitchen similar to a mud room. It is linoleum tiled and has hooks for hats/coats. Also in the garage is a LARGE utility closet. That is where we will put all of the kids' outdoor toys as well as the lawn mower and tools and stuff. There is still enough room for both cars!
Again, God has truly blessed us so very much with this house. Several offers we made on other houses were turned down because He wanted us to have this one. I didn't really want it when I first saw it. But I just love it! It is perfect for us! And God knew it! (Why do I sound shocked?)
If you ever find yourself in the ATL area, drop on by. We would love to see you!