Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Favorites

This will not be a weekly post (I don't think.), but I just thought I would list a few things I have enjoyed this week.


The first thing is Bird's Eye Steamfresh Meals for Two.  We have had Asian Medley twice now, and it really has a great flavor.  It's great for a quick and easy meal.  You just pop it in the microwave, and you have a great dinner in 10 minutes!


The second thing I've enjoyed this week is a book by the editor of Prevention, Firm Up in Three Weeks I checked it out at the library, and it is great.  It has grocery lists, meal plans, and workouts for all three weeks.  It is step-by-step and page-by-page and very easy to follow.  I've enjoyed it and lost a pound and a half this week!


I also love Wal-Mart's sparkling water.  Mandarin Orange is my favorite.  It has a great flavor and costs 65 cents a liter!  


I also have been laughing hysterically at Bringing Up Baby, starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.  It is incredibly witty and the best part has been hearing Ella laugh as she watches.  What other 3-year-old can enjoy a black and white movie with nonstop, back-and-forth banter? Watch the trailer here.





Thursday, April 29, 2010

Moments in Mothering (My Sweet Girl)

My Ella can be unbelievably sweet.  She's so perceptive and aware of my emotions and reactions.  I wanted to jot down a couple of things before they slipped my mind.  


We store a bucket full of Play-doh and Play-doh supplies on top of our stackable washer and dryer.  The machine must have been shaking a little bit during the spin cycle (the dryer is running also), and I heard this tremendous crash from the bathroom.  It sounded like breaking glass and a million other things.  I was horrified, expecting to see a huge disaster or mess, all the while not really knowing what it could be when I came racing to the scene.  Ella came running from the living room at the same time.  Thankfully, it was just the bucket filled with cookie cutters and sundry other supplies that had toppled from the top of the dryer.


My poor girl must have seen her mother lose it over things a few times because when I said, "What was that?"  She immediately went to consoling me.  "It's okay.  It was just the play-doh." 


"It scared me," I said.  "Me, too," Ella replied.  "But it's okay.  I'll clean it all up."  So precious.  So she cleaned up all the mess and when I said we needed to find a new place to keep it, she found one:  in a kitchen cabinet with the pots.  Whatever.  I told her that would work for now. It's out of sight anyway.  


A few minutes later she was going to the bathroom preparatory to getting in the shower.  Sometimes she gets her panties a little wet because she doesn't pull them down far enough and she'll have her legs spread apart too far when she's going.  KJ told her to pull her pants all the way down, and I was instructing her to keep her legs close together (I am only talking about this because she's 3), and she said oh so sweetly, "Okay.  It's good to tell me what to do."  Oh, that she would always have such an attitude toward our instruction!  



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Neighborhood Outing

Sleep Training

Well, here I am at 4:01 am  sitting in the den listening to James cry.  The internet does make this a little bit easier to do.  I know that it is for his own good.  He really needs to get out of the habit of waking up in the middle of the night.  I had to do this with Ella at exactly the same age, but it seems different.  I guess the major difference is that James has been a good sleeper all-in-all.  He's just developed some bad habits over the past few weeks.


With Ella, I was absolutely desperate for sleep.  And sleep training was so rewarding.  With only two nights of crying, she began to sleep through the night and take 1 1/2 hour naps.  Before being allowed to learn how to go to sleep on her own, she only slept 30 minutes at a time.  It was such a relief to me to finally be able to get some sleep and have some breaks during the day.  Life became so easy at that point.  We lived in Louisville, and I was home alone with Ella a lot.  KJ had 40 hours of work plus school plus being interim pastor at our church.  Praise the Lord he was able to buy me a car when Ella was 7 months old!  Previous to that, we could only go where my feet could take us, strolling through the surrounding neighborhoods (it was a great place for walking) or to Wal-Mart.  That's right.  Wal-Mart was exactly 1/2 mile from our front door, and Ella and I walked there in the stroller many times to get out of the house.  There was also a Dollar Tree within walking distance.  Ella loved Wal-Mart even as an infant.  As soon as she was old enough to sit up in the buggy she charmed everyone in the store, smiling and waving .


When we  bought the "girls' car," a whole new horizon opened before us.  We lived in a great area with everything at our fingertips:  Target, Gap, Old Navy, Books-A-Million, Kohl's, TJ Maxx, Barnes & Noble, and of course, the local library.  The branch of the Louisville library closest to us was in a local junior high school, and so there wasn't a huge selection there, but they had a great system where you could go online and pick out what you wanted and have it sent to the branch you wanted, and they would call you when it arrived.  Ella and I had many fun adventures at that little library, and it was actually the last place I went before we moved to Tuscaloosa.  I had to drop off library books on our way out of town.


But, back to sleep training...it made my life so much easier with Ella.  With a normal and regular schedule, we were able to get out and enjoy the world together.  And every afternoon I would kick back in the old recliner and play Scrabble on the computer while watching our latest Netflix.  Wow.  I haven't seen that kind of free time in a while.  


Poor James.  He is still crying.  It's not terrible, but it is starting to wear on me.  It has been going on for 50 minutes.  I rocked him when he first woke up, and I've been in a couple of times since to sing and rub his back.  I really hate this.  Quiet.  Dare I hope?  Slight sob.  Quiet again.  Nope, not quite.  My poor baby.  What should I do?



Our first walk with James sitting up in the stroller.
He looks so huge, but I promise he's still just a baby.



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More Reasons I LOVE My Husband

My husband requested that I add some more reasons that I love him to my previous list and that it be a recurring blog post.  So, let's just see what comes to mind today:

  1. He let me go for a walk yesterday morning before he left for work so I could get a much-needed energy boost.
  2. He washed 101 dirty dishes while I was out on said walk without being asked.
  3. He passes over my transgressions.
  4. He has such a tender heart.
  5. He has agreed to take me to England.  (Hooray!!!)
  6. He arranged for me to go get my hair cut on his day off.
  7. He loves ME.   


I'm sure I could think of more, but I am expecting James to wake at any moment from a long morning nap (the result of his eventful night, I'm sure).  Pray for us tonight because I have made up my mind there will be no more middle-of-the-night feedings.  It's time for him to sleep through the night, and so I am afraid I will have to endure some crying tonight.  Hopefully it will not be too bad.


Let me note that it is almost impossible to find a picture of just the two of us now that we have children.  I'm going to have to do better at that.  This was taken in 2008 at my brother Josh's wedding, and I remember being very intentional about taking it because I wanted a picture of us for a frame.  

Monday, April 26, 2010

4:50: A Night in the Life of a Mother

4:50.  That is how many hours and minutes of total sleep I had last night.  Did anyone ever know what a precious commodity sleep was until they became a mother?  I doubt it.  I remember understanding why Paul included in his list of sufferings sleeplessness after I had Ella.  Sleeplessness is a type of suffering.  And no one understands it like a mother, either.  I'm not talking about one sleepless night or even two.  I'm talking about the toll on your body after 3 months of getting up 4 times in the night to go to the bathroom and being too huge to get comfortable and sleep, followed by 7 months of 3 hours here and 4 hours there.  That has been my life for the past year.  I think I have slept through the night once in the past year.  


Last night was by far the worst, though.  We went to bed at 10:45 (I know I could have gone earlier), and I was awakened from a deep sleep at 12:25 by James' crying.  He has been waking up in the middle of the night periodically lately.  Usually he will sleep until sometime between 4:30 and 5:30, and I can nurse him and put him back down until about 8, but that was not to be last night.  I tried rocking him and putting him down.  I had time to go to the bathroom before he was crying again.  So, I went back in and nursed him and changed his diaper and tried rocking him back to sleep.  His head was up staring at the light in the hall.  He wouldn't settle down, and I was falling asleep in the chair, so I thought:  "I will get KJ."  It's not often I can call on him in the night because I am usually the one James needs, but I had already done what only I can do, so I was calling in reinforcements.  I put James down at 1:10 and went back to bed, telling KJ that James was still awake and if he cried it was his turn.  Oddly, we didn't hear anything for 20 minutes when I rolled over and said, "Do you think he went to sleep?"  At which point the crying commences.  


So, KJ gets up and goes in there, but the crying does not abate, so mother that I am I go back and take over.  He goes back down asleep at 1:50, and I go in the den to calm myself down so I can go back to sleep.  KJ is still awake when I get back to bed, and by that point he needs something to eat and drink, too, and so perhaps I go back to sleep around 3, hardly daring to hope that maybe I won't hear from James until 6:30 or 7.  5:30 rolls around and James begins crying again.  So once more I tend to business.  KJ says he doesn't think he ever really went back to sleep, and I feel completely desperate.  I finally get James back to sleep at 6:30 and go back to bed, knowing that Ella usually wakes between 7 and 7:20.  6:50- knock, knock, knock....Ella is awake.  Really?


But Ella is a grown-up girl, and I know she can handle that mommy and daddy are still tired, so I take her to the bathroom, fix her drink and cereal, put in Charlotte's Web and go back to bed, hoping that perhaps we could sleep for one more hour.  I started to drift when I thought I heard a baby crying.  Surely I was imagining things.  He'd only been asleep 45 minutes, and he'd been awake most of the night.  But, sure enough, Ella enters the room at 7:18 to say that James is awake.  I lie there helplessly hoping that it will all go away.  KJ says he can get up, but I feel guilty at that because I think he's been lying awake half the night.  I told him to just put James in the exersaucer, so he did and came back to  bed.


Are we bad parents?  Our 3-year-old and nearly 7 month old are chillin' in the living room by themselves while we barricade ourselves under the covers.  But don't worry.  It didn't last long.  Ella came in a few minutes later and said, "Moo-mm-y...I can't take care of James by myself."  Smile.  "You need to get up!"  KJ said, "Mommy and Daddy were awake a lot in the night."  "But it's morning time!"


So, here we are.  My sweet husband is getting ready for work, and I hear James crying from his room again. I am almost past caring, but not quite, because I am a mother, and I have the super-power of taking care of everyone and everything with no sleep whatsoever.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Moments in Mothering

Ella:  It looks like you're getting a mustache.  You need to shave.  

KJ:  You think so?



Ella:  Just look at yourself!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Libraries

Ella and I got to go on a fun outing to the library yesterday afternoon.  Going to the library has always been one of my favorite things to do.  My first library memories are from the Gadsden Public Library.  I wonder if it would still be the magical place it was to me as a child if I went there today?  It would probably seem much smaller.  The children's section and adult section were in two separate rooms, and the children's section had these cool alcoves you could get inside to read.  I loved to do that.  One of my favorite things to do was go with my dad on Saturdays.  He needed a quiet place to read and prepare his sermon, so we would spend the afternoon.  While dad was on the second floor of the adult wing researching things on microfiche, I was reading and inserting a floppy disk of Oregon Trail in the Apple computer.  The library in Arab was a little bit of a disappointment after that magical place (mostly because it was smaller), but I frequented that library as well.  The summer we moved I would ride my bike across town, fill my bag up with books and ride back home.  Libraries are fun.

I think Ella will have good memories from the library as well.  Lately she always wants to sit at the children's table and read her books before we check them out and go home.  It is fun watching her interact with other kids who will come and sit beside her.  Sometimes they read together, and last month, she perused a magazine with another little girl.  She hasn't learned to use the computers yet, but that time will come very soon I'm sure, and it is still a magical thing to go upstairs to the adult section.  As Ella said yesterday when we reached the summit and could see out over the whole library, "The library is awesome."


The Library Fountain



Reading Last Fall




Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Mercies

I can't really think of a word to describe my feelings of the past couple of days, so I won't try, but I'll just say that I've been in need of a lot of building up.  I have realized that being a wife and mother is pure servanthood ALL day long, and that can be so exhausting.  I would love to sit back and say, "It is finished and it is good," as I look at my clean and organized home and my happy and content children, but somehow that never happens.  There are always more dirty dishes and more dirty laundry and a baby who needs a change of scenery and a new toy and a 3-year-old who always needs, "a drink, fruit snacks, candy, play-doh, something to do, help in the bathroom, etc."  So between doing the bidding of my children, trying to meet the needs of my husband and keeping up with the myriad of other jobs involved in "keeping a home" I feel like I'm losing my mind at times.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE tending to the needs of my husband, children, and home.  It is a great joy.  But sometimes the demands are so many, and my hands do not seem to have enough strength for the task.  I am extremely thankful KJ is home today.  He has been vacuuming and tending to Ella, and is now helping her water her flowers so I can have a few semi-peaceful moments.  Oh, the relief!  I wish I could have an entire day of relief, but alas, that is not to be for 6 more months, so I will have to hold out.  I think I've decided that KJ and I are heading to England as soon as possible.  There I will roam the countryside and London and Bath and be happy....that probably won't happen next year, though, because the strange thing about being a mother is that as much as you want to get away for a little while you can't stand being away from your precious ones who are so tied to your heart.

This morning I was finishing up Romans and in chapter 15 started thinking how different my life was from Paul's.  He lived without so many comforts, including home and family, and went from place to place sharing the gospel.  Paul had a special calling, and others may receive a call like his, but not everyone is called to live like he did.  Soon after having that thought, I came to verse 13 of chapter 16:  "Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well."  That verse lifted my heart up.

Motherhood is a hard and holy call to serve and serve and serve again.  And sometimes I wonder how much it matters.  Mothers work hard in the background so their husbands and children can look good and succeed in all their endeavors.  And sometimes we spend most of our time within the confines of our home.  But mothers are important.  Even the Apostle Paul needed someone to "mother" him in his travels.  In verse 12 he mentions three other women who "worked hard in the Lord," and the ministry of Rufus' mother touched his heart so much she earned a place in holy writ.  This was enough today to make my hands feel stronger and more joyful about the task of mothering.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

At Day's End

If I wrote that Ella went to bed tonight wearing no panties would it say anything about what my day was like?  

I rose at 5:30 to feed James and put him back to bed, went back to bed myself for a little while (thank you KJ for getting up with Ella!), got up and fed James again, read my Bible, cleaned up the kitchen, put James down for a nap, did laundry, made Ella lunch, fed James again, cleaned the kitchen again, put James down for a nap, sanded the high chair (preparing to paint), rocked James back to sleep when he woke early, helped Ella water the plants, put in more laundry, started painting the highchair, fed James again, fixed supper, fed James solids, played with Ella and James, got James ready for bed, got Ella ready for bed and in bed, put James to bed, did more laundry...

Is my life repetitive or what?  KJ asked me when I did something, and I said, "I'm not sure.  Sometime recently.  All my days run together."  I am physically and emotionally tired, but I really don't want to complain too much, but if any other young mother would like to get together and commiserate, please feel free.   But on to the high points.

  1. I think my high chair is going to turn out well.  I am spray painting it black to match my dining table and chairs.
  2. James makes me smile.  I put him to bed, but when I walked back to his room to check on him I heard giggling.
  3. I finished watching a version of Persuasion during my rocking and feeding sessions with James today, and it was so good.  I love Masterpiece Theater on Sunday nights.  We've been recording them, and this was a good but kind of short version of the Jane Austen book.  I really enjoyed Rupert Penry-Jones as Captain Wentworth.
  4. KJ gave me some sweet words of encouragement tonight.  They were much needed.  I am glad he has an imagination and can imagine what life is like for me now.
  5. Ella was good-natured about going to bed without panties.  I felt that my opening sentence needed some explanation.  She got her panties a little wet this afternoon, and when I went to get a clean pair found that there were none.  So I put in a load of laundry with all her clothes but between making dinner and caring for James, I neglected to get that load in the dryer before bedtime.  I forgot all about them!  (SIGH)  At least she didn't complain, and the panties are in the dryer now.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Day With Debo

Yesterday  my mom came to visit or as she says, "to hug those babies," and we had such a good time.  It is much easier to go to Wal-Mart with two children when your mom is with you.  She and Ella picked out some flowers to plant, which was fun for Ella because she loves to dig in the dirt.  She got her own pink-handled trowel in her Easter basket.  


My mom is so much better than me at doing so many things, and taking care of plants and flowers is definitely one of them.  Ella has her own watering can from last summer and loves to water things, so hopefully with her help, our flowers will bloom and not die.  













Monday, April 19, 2010

Christ's Righteousness Applied to Me

I have been having one of those experiences lately where the same thing I've read in the Bible, and in a book, and heard in Sunday School are all running upon the same theme, and so I think:  "Hmm.  Perhaps I should pay close attention."

A friend and church member gave me The Bookends of the Christian Life by Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington for Christmas.  I picked it up a few weeks ago and began to read it and was much encouraged.  According to them there are two things Christians need to support every "book" on their shelf of life, and those are the righteousness of Christ and the power of the Spirit.  I found their argument for that compelling and true and so refreshing.  If you are like me, you often forget all about the Gospel in your everyday life of trying to obey God? When it does cross my mind, I think, "Wow!  This is really great and freeing news!"

When KJ returned from the Together for the Gospel conference last week he brought back 31 new books along with a free copy of the ESV Study Bible.  Since he already has one I got to keep it, and it has revived my desire to read and study (My scholarly desires have been overwhelmed lately by the constant duties of mothering.).  I am trying to read through the whole Bible again this year and am reading Romans right now, where Paul focuses so much on Christ's righteousness being ours by faith.

And then in Sunday School yesterday (and I might add that I can't even remember the last time I made it to Sunday School) KJ was teaching about the Gospel and how we are to live.  I realize how quickly I think when I have a good day, "What did I do that made this happen?" And of course I always stop myself and think, "Nothing!"  God doesn't deal out good days filled with blessings because I read the Bible that day or obeyed super-well and was perfect in patience with my 3-year-old.  No, it is all by His grace.  So, I am going to try to remember today when I do the very thing I don't want to do that I don't have to live with persistent guilt over it but go once more to the cross of Christ in my heart and remember that He paid my debt freely and that I am counted righteous in Him.

Verses On My Mind
For I do not understand my own actions.  For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.  So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.  For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing...So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.  For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.  -Romans 7:15-19, 21-23


There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  -Romans 8:1


So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.  -Romans 9:16


For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believe.  -Romans 10:4


The word is near you, in your mouth an din your heart.  -Romans 10:8  (I love that passage from Deuteronomy!)

Quotes from my reading
"It's Christ's own happiness to pardon."  -Thomas Wilcox

"If we think our sin is too great to be pardoned, remember that Christ doesn't agree."  -Thomas Wilcox

"My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things:  that I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior."  -John Newton

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Six whole days until Sunday comes around again

Have you ever seen the Disney movie, Pollyanna?  It is one that I always enjoyed watching as a child, and it has provided our family with much enjoyment and great quotations.  The people in Pollyanna's  town hate Sundays because their pastor tries to scare them into behaving during the week with sermons about God's wrath and eternal damnation.  The chandelier trembles and the people leave church sweating every week after their preacher "sermonizes something fierce."  Pollyanna, who tries to find something to be glad about in every bad situation, can only find one thing to be glad about on Sunday, and that is that "it will be six whole days before Sunday comes around again."

That has been my attitude toward Sundays since James has been born because it is so very difficult to plan out nap times and feeding times and work everything out to get there on time (or even at all).  I'm the only person who can feed my son, and I am used to being his 24-hour caregiver at home, so it is really hard for me to put him in a position where I know he'll be tired or uncomfortable.  James is starting to stay awake for longer periods now and going longer between feedings, so it is getting easier to get out and about, but it is still hard to get out on another schedule besides our own.

The Lord was so gracious this morning, though.  I was able to get ready before James woke up, so the timing was perfect.  I was EARLY for Sunday School.  That is a really big deal, especially when you consider the fact that KJ had to be at church early, so I got the kids up and dressed all by myself.  I was very thankful to be there today.  If I get any more Sundays like this, I might actually look forward to Sundays again.

Pollyanna Quotes
Aunt Polly Harrington: He said you only have the congregation for one short hour a week. And there are six long days of mischief for them before you get them again. Reverend Ford: Ah! I see your point. Strike hard on Sunday the excessiveness of God's wrath and hope they carry it with them through the week!


Don't tell anyone.......but it's wonderful to be so rich, isn't it! 


Death comes unexpectedly!


POLLYANNA: There are eight hundred happy texts, did you know that? 
REVEREND: No, I didn't know that. 
POLLYANNA: Yes, well there are. And do you know, my father said that if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times to be glad and rejoice, He must have wanted us to do it.


Read the book!  Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter




 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Moments in Mothering

I have to share my Ella story for the day.  Perhaps I should begin at 5:30 this morning when she knocked on the wall because she was scared.   KJ went in to check on her and came back saying she had a bad dream.  A few minutes later she knocked again and told us Maleficent was in her room.  Poor girl!  It's so hard not to laugh sometimes.  For those of you who don't know, Maleficent is the pretty scary villain from Sleeping Beauty.

But my funny story from today comes from this morning when I asked Ella if she wanted to help me clean the living room.  "Yes!" she replied, "But first I need to get a stretch."  She then proceeded to do this:








Once the hamstrings and quadriceps were taken care of, she was such a great helper.  She dusted the tables in the living room and put away toys.  What a delight!

Today the kids and I met KJ at Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  "It's so happy to be together again," said sweet Ella.






A Return to Normalcy

KJ returned from his trip to Louisville last night, and it was so good to be able to see and talk to him.  I had a week's worth of stories to tell, and I'm sure I wore him out with my constant chatter.  We  didn't talk too much while he was away because the conference schedule was nonstop, and we were going nonstop here at home as well.  I thought we would be home a little bit yesterday to prepare for KJ's arrival, but  we ended up being away all day because James had his 6 month check-up, and afterwards we went to KJ's parents to pick up Ella and ended up staying through James' evening nap.  We had a fun time visiting yet again with the Kizziah clan and a portion of the Winter clan.  

James had a great appointment yesterday.  I really love his doctor, Dr. Julie Vaughn.  She is so great and relaxed and makes me feel good about following my instincts as a mother.  She is always so reassuring.  I usually go in thinking I will be scolded for something I am doing that is not "by the book," but she always says, "That's fine!"  As KJ always says, "You (not just me but people generally)  always feel better when someone in a white coat tells you it is so."  

James is 6 1/2 months old and is the same height as Ella at 9 months and the same weight Ella was at 12 months.  He is one big man!  I am so thankful for his healthy growth and vitality.  Because of my two-vessel umbilical cord, we thought he might have a low birth weight!  God is so kind.

We are looking forward to a return to normalcy today.  I have much to get caught up on at home after our week of fun.  I am so thankful that the Lord made the time of KJ's absence so much fun for us.  Ella was so easy, precious, and happy, and of course James was as well.  And one last BIG thank you to Hillary for all her help and for staying with us.  I probably would have been hearing imaginary sounds at night if she hadn't been there to keep me company.  I am looking forward to a bright day filled with God's many mercies today.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits...who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed liked the eagle's.  -Psalm 103:2, 4-5


















Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vacation Day

Yesterday felt like we were on vacation because we stayed so busy and had so much fun.  I also took a lot of pictures.  We went over to T's house and got to visit with Aunt Katie, John David, and Claire.  I took some fun pictures of Ella and John David.  They are both going through a stage where they don't always want to smile for the camera.  They both like to watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at T.'s house, and John David especially likes all the dwarfs, so in order to make them smile, I had them make faces to match each of the dwarfs.  Eventually we got around to Happy.




Sneezy (Ella is gearing up and John David just let out a big sneeze.)




Bashful (I think they are shrinking back into themselves.)




Dopey (He has big ears.)




Doc (He wears glasses.)




Sleepy (This was a big yawn by John David, and I think Ella was rubbing her eyes.)




Happy (no explanation needed)




Grumpy



Claire is being entertained by cousin Ella.




T and Katie graciously let me leave James there to nap, and Ella and I went with Hillary to All Fired Up.  



Ella chose to paint Snow White.










We had such a fun time, and the fun wasn't even over yet for me!  Because sweet Hillary was kind enough to agree to watch my children, I was able to go to a girls' night at Michelle Harcrow's lovely new home.  It was so refreshing and encouraging to be with such fun women of God.  I should have taken more pictures, but I was too busy talking.  I know I am so camera-happy right now, and I'm overwhelming you with pictures, but I can't help myself.

 

Ashley Scott and Michelle Harcrow

I had such a good time and stayed later than I meant to but was encouraging myself by thinking, "Hillary would have called if James got really upset."  However, I remembered on the way home that her phone does not get service at my house!  Yikes!  So, I came home a little stressed but for no reason because Hillary had it all under control.  James was already in his pajamas and happily playing in his Exersaucer, Ella was cleaning up the den, and Hillary was washing dishes.  It felt like having live-in help.  It was amazing.  All that was left for me to do was read a story, pray, brush teeth, and put to bed.  Thank you, Hillary!











Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Life Without KJ

Yesterday marked the first day of 4 of KJ being gone.  He is attending a conference in Louisville with his dad and several men from our church.  I am glad he is going because I know it will be a fun and refreshing time, and he will be reconnecting with several old friends from seminary days.  That being said, it was a sad good-bye at our house yesterday morning.  Ella put her head in her hands and cried and said Thursday was "a long time to wait."

We  are determined to "take every opportunity to enjoy ourselves" while he is away, though, and yesterday the enjoyment began by my purchasing a new camera.  We had decided we would be doing that soon, but when KJ took our  current camera with him to Louisville I decided I couldn't live for 4 days without one.  My children are too cute!  So we did some quick research online and discussion over the phone, and I bought a Nikon Coolpix L110.  I  posted a few pictures tonight, and am looking forward to reading the manual some more today and playing around with the video feature.  You can recored in HD!

Also, to keep us company, Hillary came over to spend the night.  She and Ella colored some pictures from UP and she also had some snuggle time with James before bed.



                                                     

Then we watched as Jack Bauer's heart was shattered again, and I learned how to change the color settings on my camera.
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We had a delightful morning in which I must brag on sweet Ella.  She graciously allowed me to get a little extra sleep while she watched a Shirley Temple movie in her room and drank chocolate milk.  We are excited about the day ahead.


                                            


                                            

                                                 
                                                     Going to School  :)