Friday, April 27, 2007


Hannah and Daniel have become friends recently. (Praise the Lord!!!) Now that Daniel talks, Hannah has started to include him in her little playworld, as well pour her somewhat vast (for a four-year-old) collection of information into his little sponge mind.

Here is some of what I've been hearing:

Scene: Kids are playing together outside on the teeter-totter. Having a great time. I hear lots of giggles. Hannah says: "Look, Daniel, we're orbitting! I am Venus and you are Mercury!" Daniel now calls himself "Mercury."

Background: Hannah has a placemat the 43 U.S. Presidents on it. She has been studying it and memorizing it. At breakfast, she quizzes me: "Mommy, can you tell me who the 8th president was?" Fortunately, Mommy can read and count. Correct answer is: Martin Van Buren. She praises me: "Good job, Mommy." Recently, I noticed Daniel at the table pointing to the presidents and saying: "Abe'ham Lincoln, George Wash'ton, Andrew Jackson, Richard Milhous Nix'n, Grace R'formed Bapt Church, Ron'ld Re'gan, George Dub Bush... In case you're wondering, the 5th one there is our new church.

Daniel is way overdue for a haircut. I usually cut his hair, but he's got SO MUCH HAIR, and it's so overdue, that I decided that we needed to take him to get a professional haircut. I talked to my dad, and we made a plan to go see his barber, so Daniel could watch first and then have his own haircut. All week, Daniel has been prepping himself: "I go see Big Tony. I get haircut. I be BRAVE."

And finally, a few minutes ago, I was on the computer checking email. Hannah walks in: "Mom, when you're 36, I will be 76 take away 70." She's right. (Wow!)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

60 and 1

March 29 is my dad's birthday, and now my son Caleb's birthday. We didn't plan it that way - in fact Caleb was due to be born on my grandmother's birthday (tax day), but we were just happy that he was OK when he was born a little ahead of schedule.

It seems a little unreal that it was a whole year ago that he was born. I remember feeling a little like my life was being lived for me when my labor was induced, and then rather foggy that he was having trouble breathing. It seemed like it couldn't be happening, and that I'd surely wake up from my dream at any time. I praise God that he is fine and so healthy that, aside from those days in the ICU, he hasn't had so much as a cold in his whole life!

Caleb is definitely my happiest baby. We call him The Smiler, because he is so friendly and contented. He loves his brother and sister, and watches everything they do, for surely they know where the most fun is! He cries when they go play outside without him, and he always wants to play with Daniel. I've noticed that he's very good about not grabbing from them. I think he knows his place, even at a mere 12 months. It is going to be fun to be with him as he grows up. I can't wait to see him play sports. He loves balls! He bats them with his hands and then does his speedcrawling to catch them. He is also starting to appreciate books. He is so sweet and fun, and we all love of our little K-Guy. (That's the name Daniel gave him.)

Papa is the name the kids call my dad. I'm convinced that my father is one of the finest man living. He is one of the wisest, and sincerest persons I've ever known, and the word "gentleman" embodies him. He loves my mother so entirely (of course, she's just as much of a gem, and who wouldn't?), and Dad has faithfully led our family as well as various other groups in his professional career without fail throughout his years. I am proud to have him as my father.

It has been hard to see my father suffering this past year as he copes with Parkinsons Disease. I see HIM, not his shaking. When I think of him, my memories of him are laughing and playing together in the pool growing up, driving home from my wedding rehearsal dinner with him, or Joseph and me as kids wrestling with him after dinner. I remember how he always made us go sit in the front row of whatever church we might visit on a family vacation (I'm rolling my eyes and smiling just thinking of how embarrassed I felt each time), "underwater speedy rides" in the pool, long talks at the dinner table, working together at the office, and his definite tastes in clothing and home decor - the latter traits not common to many men I've known. He is still that man, and will continue to be. I love him for who he is. I just wish more people could know my dad like I do.

This birthday was a milestone for both Dad and Caleb. One turned 60 years, the other 1. Those two really enjoy each other, and I know why, because I do to.

Thank you, Lord, for surrounding me with such wonderful family!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Daniel's Identity Crisis

Daniel is having a hard time putting a few things together. Here is evidence:

Daniel: "Mommy, I eat grass."

Mommy: "No, Daniel. You're a boy. You eat people food. No grass."

Daniel: "I a cow, Mommy. I eat grass."

Mommy: "No, Daniel, you don't eat grass. Grass is for animals, not boys."

Daniel: "I a horse, Mommy?"

Mommy: "No, Daniel, you are a boy.

Daniel: "But I a COWBOY, Mommy, I eat grass!!!"

Then the flash of recognition hit. Cow-boy. He likes to pretend he's a cowboy. He thinks cowboys eat grass because cows do... I love him.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Don't Run Shoes

While Peter races to the post office to mail the tax forms, I'll give you the Hannahism of the Day:

Hannah: "Would you like to know what kinds of shoes I have?"

Mommy: "Yes. What kinds of shoes do you have?"

Hannah: "I have jazz shoes, ballet shoes, tap shoes, and don't run shoes."

Mommy: "What are the Don't Run Shoes?'"

Hannah: "The blue ones, the red ones, and the gold sandals."

Mommy: "Oh! All the high-heeled shoes that used-to-be-Mommy's in your dress-up box!"

Hannah: "Yes, you always tell me 'Don't run in those shoes!'" :-)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

March Madness

March was a whirlwind. Here is some of what happened:

Trips to the zoo. We love the zoo. We have zoo passes, which I totally recommend to any family. With the Family Pass, we can get in two adults, and 4 children. Babies are free, so my friend Julie and I, our 4 kids and 2 babies got in for no charge! Hannah's favorite part is the petting zoo. It's like she comes home when she gets in the pen. She has to pet every single animal in there, and then when we finally have to drag her out, she has to bid each one farewell. Daniel on the other hand, well we're just trying to get him to not walk BEHIND the animals...

I decided to redo Daniel's room. Actually, I didn't really decide to, but I just decided to peel a bit of wallpaper off, and before I knew it, I had taken all the wallpaper down. Then I HAD to do something. I'm so thankful to my mom, and to our friend Sydney for coming over and doing what it took to get that room liveable again! I don't have an "after" picture yet, but I repainted the room, and we're doing a train theme in there. It made it totally worth it all when I took Daniel in to see it. It was like watching Extreme Makeover. He was ecstatic! He touched the walls, ran over to his bed, threw off the comforter and starting shouting "TRAINS!!!" as he traced the trains on his new sheets, detailing what color each engine was.

We had our fifth anniversary. You can read about that below. I'm still amazed!

For St. Patricks Day Peter made green eggs. OK, so Daniel looks a little pained in the picture, but let me assure you that he was just trying to get them in fast enough! It looked so disgusting that I just couldn't get any down, but the kids think Dad is a superhero now. Caleb became The Speedcrawler. He is into EVERYTHING. I've realized that since we've moved to the country, I no longer freak out at him getting a little dirty, or even eating a little dirt. Now I just try to "limit" the dirt intake. Fortunately, his favorite activity of the day is bathtime!

Daniel starting singing real songs. If I could post an audio clip, I would. He's got the tunes down. His favorite songs are "Doe, a Deer" (from The Sound of Music), the Doxology, and The Old Rugged Cross (he calls it "Cross Song"). "Doe, a Deer" sounds something like "Doe, a dee, a fee-a dee. Ray, a drop of golden SU! Me, a name, I call mySEF! Fa, a ong ong way to ru!!! (The capitalized syllables are emphasized heavily.) He also surprised us by quoting a Bible verse that Hannah had taught him when he wasn't being kind to her - Ephesians 4:32: "And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has also forgiven you." You go, kids!

Hannah has been so sweet and helpful. She wants to learn and "do school" all the time, but she's a good sport about waiting, when one of her brothers has an emergency to be attended to. Here she is doing Mrs. Potatohead while she waits for me. She also passed Level 2 in her swim lessons. We are so proud of her!!! Peter got his riding lawn mower. He is so cute. He has been wanting one of these, almost as long as he has wanted to live in the country. He just tools around with his ipod blasting sermons to him. He loves working outdoors. Good thing, we have a LOT to do keeping it up.

My cousins came! Actually, Allison is my cousin, but Hannah thinks that she is Allison's cousin because they are much closer in age. They came to help us celebrate Dad's and Caleb's birthdays! Dad turned 60, and Caleb turned 1, both on March 29. Dad loves sharing his birthday with Caleb, and Caleb thinks his Papa is so much fun. I'll write more about these 2 of my favorite guys at a later time.

The Gators won. For those of you not following the 'gatormania,' as I like to call it, this makes them back-to-back champions of the NCAA tournament. Peter and his dad are big Gator fans, so this was huge. I don't know how to insert a link to read about it, and Peter is not available to quote right now, so you'll just have to believe me, this was a big deal.

And that's all I have time for today!