Thursday, June 30, 2011


May 2011

Ivory riding in the car with Grandaddy, Nana and Aunt Mel on the way to Grandmother’s. “Grandaddy and Nana go together.” Points to Aunt Mel with a confused look, “You don't have a people to go with…”

Mother’s Day morning Ivory bursts into the bedroom, “Happy Mommy’s day!” giving me a big hug. Mom, “Thank you! I love your snuggles.” Ivory looks at Micah who’s on the bed next to me, “Ah, I have to say Happy Micah’s day, too! Happy Micah’s day! I have to give him snuggles!”

Ivory picks up some papers and pretends like she’s reading a story, “There was once Cinderella, and no pastors. And a giant! And a baby. Hi! I’m Uncle Matt.” Interesting story…She then looks at me and asks, “How’s your family doing?”
Ivory calling from the other room, “This? Your highness.” She’s taking to calling me that lately. Not going to say I mind, either.

Jason and I riding in the car to some friends house after church discussing who we saw in church. We mention we didn’t see Lyndsey and Ivory piped up from the back, “Oh, Lyndsey is sick.” Who told you that? “Mrs. Donna.” She then proceeded to tell us how Lyndsey feels and what’s going on with her. “I’m sad, Mom. I’m sad at Lyndsey for being sick.” Guess we have a new source of information.

Ivory sees a doggy outside and comes in telling me about him excitedly, "He was like this (chomping with her teeth)." Why did he do that? "He was itchin' for da bugs."

Ivory’s recent form of manipulation: “I liiiike lemonade (or fill-in-the-blank). I do.” Repeated until offered to her.

Ivory: not understanding/hearing what is said, “What’d you said?”
Mom: “Ivory, say, ‘Ma’am?’”
Ivory, “Ma’am, what’d you said?”

June 2011
Mommy crying a little bit thinking about having to leave my babies the next morning for camp.
Ivory, “Mom, are you a little bit sad?”
Mom, “Yes. I’m sad to say goodbye to you.”
Ivory, “Want me to sing you a song and make you feel better?”
Mom, “That would be nice.”
Ivory proceeds to sing How Great is Our God…and whatever else came to her mind at the moment.

Grandma tells Ivory that they’re leaving Sunday morning.
Ivory, “Why?” (her favorite question currently)
Grandma, “We have to go to our home.”
Ivory, “But, I love you!”

Very excited about finally seeing MikeMike, Bobo, and Cassie again Ivory exclaims, “I wear this dress and MikeMike will say I’m pretty!”

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

While the Cat's Away...

...the grandparents + grandchildren will play.

Micah thoroughly enjoyed Grandma's cooking.
The chocolate chip pancakes were especially delicious.

At the recommendation of a friend we check out Pinaklicious at the library on our library outing and read it together.  Of course, Ivory *loved* it.

Well, Grandma decided that Ivory and her would have to make their own pink cupcakes while Mommy & Daddy were away at camp.  They made cupcakes and cupcones.  We used to have cupcones to celebrate our half birthdays with our good friends the Ross girls growing up.  We'd ice them and eat them off the dishwasher lid.  Brings back such good memories seeing this picture.

And then Grandma decided it would be fun to make edible play dough together.  This was, of course, also very exciting and delicious I hear.

Grandpa enjoyed lots of snuggles.
Ivory was spoiled with super fun bath times (bath soap paint, color tablets, and fun foam).
Grandpa was the "official playmate."

And Ivory received another lesson in paper airplane making.  He thought she might need it. 

Background story: when I was little I had some, um, let's see, attitude issues?  I often needed some alone time (i.e. time outs) with me, myself, and I.  When I'd finally get quiet, well Mom may or may not have "forgotten" I was in time out.  Not daring to cross the threshold for fear of Mother's wrath I'd stay in my room and attempt to make paper airplanes (I didn't actually know how to make them) and fly them into her room as a subtle reminder of my current condition.  Yes, Ivory will probably need them, too.

Ivory also enjoyed daily swimming with Grandma and frequent pizza & donut dates with Pa.  Micah and Ivory enjoyed trips to the park and time with MikeMike, Bobo, and Cassie.  They were excessively spoiled with sugar, attention, and love.  And we're grateful for it.  I'm so glad my kids have such precious, godly, generous grandparents on both sides.  Thanks Mom and Dad.  Even if we do have to live with the results...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sweet + Painful Moments

Watching old school YouTube cartoons on dad's cell.  Love watching these precious little cuddle moments.  Definitely makes up for the rough ones, of which we have plenty.

Ivory's favorite question these days: "Why?" ...a million times over.  Cute.  Most of the time.  Grateful for her curiosity.  Trying to remember it's a good thing and patiently answer as many whys as I can so she can learn lots and lots.  Also trying to teach her no whys when instructions are given, just obedient response of "yes sir, yes ma'am."  ...definitely a work in progress.

Tonight we worked on "What is obedience?"  "All the way, right away, with a happy heart!"  She actually thought it was fun when we added hand motions.  Now we're working on more thoroughly acting this out for every instruction given.  It's definitely a work in progress.

Life has definitely been an adjustment since coming home.  I was hoping to come home somewhat rested (had to be realistic...we were at youth camp!) so I could spend lots of quality time with my kiddos when I arrived home.  Well, I couldn't sleep well at camp (strange place, no husband, excessively damp room...figured out our de-humidifer was full on the last night of camp--that's why my sheets are wet!).  Tried resting some on the bus ride...did I mention we had twenty teens on our bus?  Then, about halfway through the trip I experienced the most extreme back and lower stomach pain I've ever experienced outside of labor.  Minus the contractions it was extremely reminiscent of labor.  I tried my best to mask my pain for the sake of the teens and my poor husband driving the bus.  Thankfully, after a few hours and some massaging from my sweet husband it let up enough for me to fall asleep in the back row of the bus while the kids ate at Cracker Barrel and to survive the last two hours of the trip home.

I assumed it was pregnancy combined with exhaustion and stress. 

Thank goodness my parents decided to extend their stay another day after we arrived home and so between them and Jason I was able to rest most of Saturday.  I thought I was well enough to let my parents head home, to resume my household duties and get in some quality time with my kiddos.  Well, Sunday morning the pain was back full force and stronger.  I nearly fell over from the pain and felt like I would vomit if I didn't lay down.  Nice timing.  Jason has music practice, teaches Sunday school, and leads music.  There is no nursery for Micah.  I was laying in bed strategizing how I'd make it with the kids until after church.  To say my husband is super dad would be an understatement.  He definitely took the kids with him to music practice, took Micah with him to Sunday School while he taught and found some girls (thanks, girls!) to care for Micah during church while he led worship.  Then, he took the kids to MikeMike's for lunch, brought them back in time for naps, and found someone to watch them when they woke so we could both rest.  He is definitely amazing. And so are the people who helped him make that happen.

Okay, now that this has become an extra long story and brag-fest on Jason...I'll try to wrap up the story. 

Basically, the pain was enough to wake me up in the middle of the night and lay me up for a few days.  After a visit to my chiropractor (which was wonderful!) and a visit to the OB we discover my body has been working on some kidney stones this weekend.  Whew!  It wasn't in my head, baby is safe, and I don't have to be scared anymore!  On some antibiotics for my sinus infection (did I mention I've been battling my sinuses for 3 weeks?) , which should also help my bladder, drinking lots of water and trying to rest as much as possible.  Which includes avoiding cooking.  Definitely picked up dinner complete with throw-away dishes to avoid cooking + clean up.  Mom, I miss you...and yes, for more then your cooking.

While life has been a little challenging and extremely painful, God is so good.  I'm so grateful this happened at the end of camp and not the beginning.  I'm grateful for my chiropractor giving my back relief and getting quick answers and meds from my doctor.  I'm grateful that my pastor's family is back in town and has been amazing about immediately stepping in and serving us in this time.  I'm grateful for my precious, servant-hearted, exhausted, thoughtful husband (did I mention he took care of the kids all weekend after an exhausting week of camp and a rib out of place that hurt whenever he'd pick them up or breathed deeply?).  I'm grateful for God's hand of protection on me and the precious little boy growing inside me.  I pray he grows into a strong warrior for God's army.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Youth Camp 2011

There was lots of love on the bus ride to camp...

some laughter

some sleeping

some eating

and after fixing the bus that broke down 10 miles from camp...a safe arrival to our comfortable rooms. My sweet roomies, Hanah and Angela.

The girls got the place on the bottom of the hill (hallelujah!) and on the bottom floor--whoot, whoot!  Aliya & Lyndsey walking to dinner.

Meals at Shocco Springs were great!  See Hanah & Mrs. Marie's happy faces?


My sweetie and our fearless leader

We had some amazing worship services with wonderful worship music and incredible preaching by Bobby McGraw.

The Global Youth Camp staff did an amazing job leading worship, the camp, and everything else.
Travis & Chester



Mrs. Marie--our great, consistent, loyal youth helper of many years.

Jason's brother, Matthew, did an incredible job as King Godrick in the camp drama.

Warrior games

Chris showing team 2...spirit...

Team 2 strategizing

Jason, Mrs. Marie, Stephen

My sweetheart--loved stealing a few minutes here and there with him.

Mrs. Marie wrapping poor Stephen's swollen, sprained ankle.

Kane all a blur

The winning team at camp gets to feed the losing team "the funk" (leftover food from the week).  Sooo, two of our kids got to eat the funk.  Aliya got to feed the funk to John.

Epic scene in the camp drama

King Godrick

Honoring one student from each team (12 teams) with the most team spirit.

Way to go, Hanah--lots of team spirit!

Stephen, in the middle, honored for the most servant-hearted on his team.

Endcaps: Aliya & Stephen: recognized for the most memory verses quoted on their teams.

Aliya--overall camp winner for most memory verses quoted--2 years in a row.  Way to go, girl!

My ssweet roomies, Angela & Hanah were such great roommates!

Group shot: Jason, Chris, Blake, Gauge, Randy, Travis, Stephen, Kane, Chester, Austin, Jon (camp counselor), John, Morgan, Brittney, Aliya, Stephen, Hanah, Mrs. Marie, Raven, Joni, Shelby, Lyndsey, Angela.

Crazy teens!

Love my sweetie and excellent leader.

Soooo, we had some bus trouble.  A lot, actually.  But, our students learned the value of prayer and began to pray as soon as the bus wouldn't start and saw God answer the prayers quickly.

On the bus ride home we were all pretty tired

and most had to get their media fix after being stripped of all personal technological devices for 4.5 days

Our students enjoying some Ninja warrior games while waitin for our bus to be fixed.

Blake thought he'd treat these college age students to some of his special dancing.

Click play if you're feeling brave:

Morgan writing her Scripture of the day on the bus ride home.

Still not sure why Kane bought a doo rag...

We were all challenged to be Warriors for Christ through the stories and personal applications found in 1 & 2 Samuel.  It was an exciting, convicting, challenging, exhuasting, week.  I missed my kids like CRAZY and am so glad to be home with them.  I'm grateful for the chance to serve with my husband, but I'm also grateful to come home with him to our precious children.  Thanks, Mom & Dad for taking such good care of them while we were away!  Ah, home sweet home.