Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lini's Wedding

Well, we finally have our Lini Bell. Isn't that a great name?

The wedding was lovely, the bride was calm and radiant, the flower girls were nervous and glowing. As far as our little brood was concerned, everything went fine, except when Daniel walked up to stand with Mommy and the rest of the bridesmaids a few times. (He was in the front row with Daddy and Mommy was just too close to not go hug. I love him.)

Hannah's hours over the last 7 months of practice paid off nicely. She even smiled while she walked and scattered the petals! It helped that she had two bigger girls with her (that were probably equally nervous). Right before the wedding started I heard the oldest one, Lydia, say to Hannah "OK. We're going to walk. If we run out of petals before we get there, we'll just hold hands and smile." I couldn't help but smile!

Here is a shot of all of us before the wedding:
Lini was so calm and beautiful. It was like she was just walking out her dream. She and Adam are so cute together.

Speaking of walking...

Here she is!!! My big girl is in the center. This was her dream come true. You know, goals you can achieve, but dreams just happen. One of Hannah's dreams was to be a flower girl - this was before Lini and Adam were even courting. Peter and I explained to her that we couldn't make it happen, she would have to be asked, and we didn't know who might ask her. She was convinced that she would be one soon. Is that faith?

Finally, here's the 5 of us:
Congratulations, Adam and Lini! We love you!!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Caleb's Great Escape

Before I go on to all of our July events, I just have to tell one hair-raising story about #3.

When we got to our condo in Florida (for Lini's wedding) the kids needed to a quiet activity, so I set the older kids up at the kitchen counter barstools with crayons and coloring books. Caleb was right there under my feet (where he always seems to be).

The next thing I know, he was gone. I started calling him, but he's at the age where he can walk fast but hasn't fully grasped the meaning of "come." I started looking through the condo, which wasn't that big, and realized he's not here. I shouted to Peter to come look for Caleb, and headed outside.

My first thought was the water out in the back. In Florida, they don't necessarily have fenced backyards, and standing water of some sort is always right nearby. In this case, there was a very nice lake/pond about 15 feet from the back door. I ran around the back of the condo calling his name - but no Caleb. There was just a man a little ways down sunbathing, squinting at me quizzically, as if I had just awakened him from a nice nap. Then I realized, the grass was probably 5 inches tall, and Caleb has short baby legs. He couldn't have come very far back here, and there is no movement in the water. I ran around to the front.

Peter was checking the side of the condo, where the trash area was. I ran to the front calling him, but he was nowhere to be seen. It was a surreal moment...Here I was in Florida, far away from home, we've only arrived 10 minutes before, and I've lost my baby boy. I'm thinking of the horror of not finding him...

Then, waaaaaayyyy down the street, I saw Caleb toddling out of the parking lot and into the street and some guy reaching down and picking him up!

I ran over there (with no decorum at all) screaming "That's MY baby!!!! That's my BABY!!!!," to which the guy started to bring him towards me. Caleb immediately reached down to me and kissed me with great delight, and the guy was clearly checking me out with this 'how could you be so negligent?' look. But I didn't care. All I knew was that he was home with me and safe. My precious little guy!

Following that, we started to deadbolt the door whenever we closed it. We don't know if we had accidently left the front door slightly ajar, or if he let himself out (the door handle was the flat kind that he can do).

When it was all over, Peter said "Well, I wasn't so much worried about the water, or the street...I was more worried about alligators."

Ugh. I don't even want to think about that.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Caleb's Summer

Caleb was the one to grow and change the most this summer. In June he learned to walk, and starting signing words to us. He also switched from chattering syllables to focusing on intonations. We're trying to get him to go back to words, but right now he carries on entire monologues with lots of inflection and tonal changes all with the sound "gungh gungh gungh," in the back of his throat. It is really funny, and hard to not copycat him! Instead we speak back to him what we think he's saying. Here are some photos to keep you up to date...

Here is Daniel running through a bounce thingy at a birthday party he and Hannah went to at Pump It Up. Daniel was very cautious about everything for about the first 45 minutes, but warmed up nicely. Hannah had no fear at all and was jumping down a 2 story slide almost as soon as we got there. Each of the kids are so different...

Jumping must run in the family. Here is Hannah in action! One day I accidently left Caleb's pool out on the back grass. Then the sprinklers came on, and then I let Hannah and Daniel out to play. Then Caleb and I heard the most delighted squeals of laughter in the backyard. Peeking to investigate, I saw Daniel filling the pool with dirt and pine needles, and Hannah delightedly "washing her hair" with the gooey mud. It was so gross and so funny, that I couldn't even be mad. I just had to grab the camera...

And here they are, the little partners in crime!

My handsome boy. He's quite an eater. When he turned 15 months in June, I compared his growth statistics with Daniel's at 15 months. They were the same height, but Caleb is 3 pounds heavier! That is a lot for this age. Still, Caleb is not fat, he's just sturdy. Look out kids when Caleb starts to jump!

Other notables this month:

- Hannah and Daniel got the 24 hour flu on the day I planned to work on potty training Daniel. Oh well!

- I attended my first home school convention. One funny thing was my silly notion of other home school moms. I had this major dilemna getting dressed for the convention! I thought home school moms must always wear denim jumpers, and I decided I was going to shatter that image and wear...capris. Much to my amazement, I don't think I saw any denim jumpers that day, as almost every other mom there was wearing...capris. By the way, we've started school with Hannah already. She is rip-roaring ready to read. I think she's learned by osmosis, because we just started consonant blending today, and she's reading first grade level books that she's never seen all by herself. I'm being a realist on this, I realize that her ability has nothing to do with me. She's just incredibly bright.

- Peter's car spent almost half of the month at the shop. I don't understand what went wrong with it. I just understand the gouging in the checkbook to the tune of over $3,000. Yikes!

- We attended the final adoption hearing of some friends who adopted three new children into their family, bringing the family kid count to a whopping 8. Amazing!

- Uncle Joe turned 28. That just makes me feel so OLD. I remember when he was born! Daniel sang Happy Birthday along with us - the first time he has sung with others! Joseph loved it. He is such a great uncle. The kids adore him.

- Dad and Peter's officemate, Jim Parks, retired. Our office seems so empty without him! Jim is "retiring" to spend more time on his other vocation - being a full-time pastor. I will miss him at the office. He has been like a second father to me since I started working for Dad when I was 16 years old.

- Peter and I learned country English line dancing at a friend's graduation party! It was fun. I don't think I could do it without some coaching again, but it was a blast.

Stay tuned for a soon-coming July report. It was more eventful.