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 Braves...you 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.