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!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

DC Pictures!

Here are some pictures from promised!

This is the Freedom Bell outside of Union Station in DC. We had never been in a train station before. We stopped here on our way to the Capitol, Supreme Court and the Library of Congress.

Here we are at Camden Yards for another baseball game! This time it was the Orioles against the Royals.

The boys (and Lily, but not Elijah) went to a driving range one morning. This is Zach's first time!

All the kids enjoyed the Air and Space Museum. This in an infrared picture of Elijah in his stroller. Pretty cool, huh?

There are a lot of fountains in DC. This was is in the Sculpture Gardens right across from the National Archives. We cut through to get to the Air and Space Museum and the kids wanted to check it out. (This is Zach and Joshua.)

We parked at RFK stadium and took a doubel decker bus to Nationals Park. The kids rode on top. They loved it! We rode up there on the way back after the game too. That was after it had rained. We were hitting tree branches and getting very wet.

We got to see the President's race at the Nationals game. It was cool! This is the first time that Teddy beat the Oriole! (The Nats were playing the O's. Big rivalry!)

On our way to the Lincoln Memorial, we stopped by the WWII Memorial and played in the fountain. It was a nice way to cool off. It was over 95 degrees that day and very humid.

Here we are at the Washington Monument. We didn't get to go inside here either. But I think the kids were just happy to see it.

Here is Zach in front of the White House. Remember, this is what he wanted to do for his birthday. We didn't get to go inside, but we saw it and lots of other things.

Beach Pictures

I had promised pictures from our beach trip. Here ya go!
Here are my 3 beautiful boys on the beach. This was Elijah and Zach's first time ever seeing the ocean. And Joshua hadn't seen it since he was almost 2.

Steven had a great time playing with the older boys in the ocean. They loved it! They couldn't wait to go out each day and play in the waves.
Since Elijah didn't really like the ocean that much, we discovered that he enjoyed digging in the sand. So that's what we did.
But I did get a little bit of time in the ocean with the older boys!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Our last day in DC

Didn't go quite as planned. We had wanted to go take a tour of the Capitol, but we didn't get there early enough. We got back after midnight from the game last night and the kids (and us) slept in some. So we didn't get going until about noon. But we did get to see the outside of the Capitol and the US Supreme Court. We went in the Library of Congress for a bit. But the kids are a bit toured out, I think. They just want to play with their cousins now. So we had lunch at Union Station and came back to the house. A very uneventful day, but a good family day. We enjoyed being together.

So tonight we will pack up and get ready for the trip home tomorrow. We've had a good time, but I think we are all ready to be back at our own house. Pray for a safe trip and that it won't take quite as long this time.

We've enjoyed sharing our vacation with you!

Another baseball day

Monday was spent relaxing for the morning. At least for me. The men/boys (and Lily) went to the driving range to hit some balls. Elijah wanted to go, but he REFUSED to get into Uncle Bruce's car. So he stayed here with me. Luckily enough, after a busy few days, he laid down on his bed and fell asleep. That led to a 2 hour nap, much needed. So I took the chance to leisurely shower and get ready for when the guys came back.

After an early dinner/late lunch, we all hopped into Uncle Bruce's car (I had to force Elijah) and we headed off to Baltimore for a game at Camden Yards. That is a beautiful stadium. We went there 8 years ago, but the game got rained out and we had to leave after 4 innings. I was pregnant with Joshua at the time. This game was a bit different. It started out raining and the game was delayed, but it quickly stopped and we were able to sit and enjoy the game. We had great seats down the 3rd base line. However, even though the O's led most of the game, they lost in extra innings, and it started raining again. But we all had a great time!

Joshua is really enjoying getting to know Alex. Elijah has warmed up to Alex as well. Zach has started collecting baseball cards. Today our plan is to see the Capitol...maybe. It's 10:30 am right now and we haven't gotten ready yet. We'll leave for the trip home tomorrow. This really has been an enjoyable vacation. A good time is being had by all!