Saturday, October 28, 2006

Trick or Treat...smell my feet.......

We had our 1st annual Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat at church tonight. The girls who put it together did a really great job! It was well planned and organized and I think all the kids had a really good time. Katie kept saying afterwards, "I had fun. Daddy have fun?"

Before we left, we took the obligatory Halloween pictures in the front yard. Gracie was Miss Patty Cake this year and Katie was Madeline (that Gracie was last year!) She was going to be a princess/ballerina but I decided to have her be Madeline instead.

We started out at the festival taking some pictures and singing some songs. Then the little kids ate while the bigger kids played games & did a craft, then they switched. After that, we all went for a hayride then ended the night doing the "trunk or treating." Earlier in the day I'd had to explain to Gracie that it wasn't "truck" or treat but "trunk" or treat! She kept saying things about trucks and I finally realized that she was thinking we were saying, "truck" or treat.

I'm not much for dressing up, but Chris wanted to decorate our trunk in a Cowboy theme so I dressed up a little bit. I added a bandana and one of Chris' hats to what I was wearing and that was about the extent of my costume! Chris put out some of his cowboy stuff to make kind of a "cowboy" trunk although there were others much more put together than ours! If you look closely at Katie Boo's forehead in this picture, (click on it to make it bigger) you can see the bruise leftover from this week's accident. It is looking better in some ways because it's not as big but the coloring isn't so pretty! Thursday & Friday were probably the worst days because the grayish/greenish color had spread down into the bridge of her nose and she just had a sickly coloring. It is getting better though!
Chris & I went to our Parent/Teacher Conference yesterday with Mrs. Stauffer and received her report card for the 1st 9 weeks of school. This was her first "official" report card since in Kindergarten it was more of a 'checklist' type report. She did very well~all A's & S's~and we are very proud of her. Even more so than because of the A's is because Mrs. Stauffer said complimentary things about her behavior and said that she was a good role model. That made us very happy and we told Gracie about it. Of course, she didn't know what role model meant but I was happy to explain it. We're blessed with both our girls!
Dear Lord,
Thank you for the blessing of Katie & Gracie. Help us to parent them in the ways you want us to. Help us to be a blessing to them as well. Thank you for the fellowship we had tonight at church with friends.
In Jesus' Name,

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What is with this kid?

Dear Mr. Target man,

Please relax. My mommy won't sue you. I promise. It was sweet of you to be so concerned when I fell out of the cart headfirst, but it wasn't Target's fault. It was mine. Well, I am only 2 so maybe it's partly Mommy's fault, too. To give her credit, she did tell me & my friend to sit down multiple times. We didn't listen very well. When she stopped the cart and that wonderful toy that we could play with was almost within my reach, well, I just couldn't resist reaching out to touch it. Only I couldn't quite reach it so I stretched just a little further. Unfortunately, gravity came into play and down I went onto the hard floor.

I was just really upset about not being able to play with the toy; Mommy was the one who was so upset about the HUGE knot on my forehead. She couldn't hardly look at it without being sick. Of course, I couldn't see it but Mommy and her friend said it was REALLY big! You kept asking Mommy if I was okay so I guess you must have thought it was big, too!

Mommy asked you to get me some ice but I don't know why because I didn't want her putting that cold stuff on me. What was she thinking?!? Mommy's friend was a little freaked out by the whole experience too so she called my doctor for me and even dropped her kids off with another friend so she could meet us at the doctor. That was sweet of her!

By the time she got there, he was already done telling Mommy that I was okay. He didn't want to do a dog scan~or was it a cat scan???~on me unless I threw up, passed out, or had neurological problems....whatever that is! He gave me some Motrin and sent us on our way. Of course, not before he laughed at my shoplifting story.

Yeah, Mr. Target man, amidst all the confusion I accidentally left the store without paying for a toy. Mommy's friend had given me & her little boy a toy to hold while they shopped. Only I forgot to let go of it when we left and Mommy didn't notice it until I was sitting in my car seat. She was kinda goofy with worry by that point so she looked around to see if anyone was going into the store who could take it back in. She didn't see anyone so she just tossed it into one of the shopping baskets that was in the parking lot. I hope it got back to where it belonged. Mommy knows it's wrong to steal and she didn't mean to let me do it.

So, Mr. Target man, thank you for being concerned. Mommy really thinks it was mostly out of concern for being sued but we take responsibility. Mommy should have watched me better and I should have listened better. The doctor said usually you make people fill out accident reports but I guess you knew Mommy was too upset to do that coherently. Don't worry, we'll be back sometime soon! Here are some pictures of what I look like a few hours later. Mommy said it's already gone down but spread out quite a bit. I may be a bruised ballerina for Halloween! Hey, did I tell you Mommy bought me a Happy Meal to make me feel better?!?! That's why you see ketchup on my mouth in the picture. Oh, and don't worry. The doctor scoffed at the idea of reporting Mommy to those people who investigate parents whose kids have a lot of accidents. After all, the first one is recorded on videotape! He knows I'm just a 2 year old who messes up!Really, I'm still more concerned about being able to go back and play with the toy I was reaching for......

Katie Brooklyn

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Mommy, you really were a teacher!

I think Gracie may finally believe that I used to be a teacher! Oftentimes I'll say something about when I used to teach and I can tell that her little brain just can't really comprehend that. After all, since she's been born~and a month or so before~I've been "just" a Stay-At-Home Mom. (I put 'just' in parentheses for sarcastic emphasis. I know some people do actually look at it in that way but some of us do realize that it is a full time job.....not that working outside the home moms don't work hard as well.......)

I have done a little tutoring for money since she's been born but honestly I guess I was done with that before she even turned 2 so she doesn't remember it and it wasn't very often or for very long.

I've found it funny this year that I can tell her something regarding something she's working on at school and she can listen and vaguely acknowledge. However, days or weeks later, she may say excitedly, "Mrs. Stauffer said..........." and repeat almost verbatim what I had previously told her. Only this time she gives much more credibility to the lesson being taught. I'll usually remind her that I had already tried to teach her that and tell her that I do know what I'm talking about. LOL

Yesterday I got out some folder games and other learning games that I'd made while teaching. I had found them in the shed when we cleaned it out a few weeks back. There were some that specifically focused on addition & subtraction so I thought I'd see how Gracie liked working on them since that's kind of where she needs to practice the most right now. She loved them! I think it really hit home that Mommy really does know what she's talking about since I had these cool learning games that I used to actually use in my classroom with my students.

I'm all for written assessment and pencil & paper practice, but I think there's a time & a place for it. I don't think it's the only thing that should be used to teach a child something or to give them practice. I love providing hands-on activities for children to use and these games were a hit with Gracie. She is doing fine in math; it's not that she's behind. (I'm pretty sure she'll have an "A" on her report card next week.) Coming from my "teacher perspective," I just see that she needs a little "fine tuning." I am intent on getting her to know her addition & subtraction facts at an early age (without her having to count on her fingers, etc.) so that she won't struggle as much later when the math gets harder. She got frustrated a few times but with some prompting and encouragement, I think she was a lot more successful than she thought she would be. It was great to see!

The Language Arts subjects (reading, spelling, writing, phonics etc.) all come easily to her for which I'm very thankful. Math is just something that doesn't interest her as much and takes more concentration on her part so she gets frustrated easily. I think making it fun for her will really help! I'm so glad I kept these games because they're now coming in handy for my own daughter. I think I have some cool writing journal workbooks of some type up in a cabinet somewhere too that are "leftovers" that I may add to her "van activities" for our trip in December.
Gracie had fun at the twin birthday party yesterday. I enjoy sitting back and watching her interact with her peers. If I was a psychologist I'm sure I could come up with some deep conclusions. I'm just a mom right now so I'm not sure I have anything too deep to say but I did draw some conclusions. I don't think she'll ever be a "loud leader." By that I mean she's not the one who will gather the troops and lay out the plan for what they should play or do. I do think she may be a "quiet leader" at times though and maybe lead by example. I'm not sure yet. I'm protective so I was watching pretty closely,while trying to do it from afar so as not to be overbearing, and it seemed like she is well liked but not one to just do what everyone is doing just because everyone is doing it. She has grown up with so many "boy" friends (not 'boyfriends;' just friends that are boys) that it really was fun to watch her interact with the giggly girls and see how she is in that type of situation. I was proud of the way she acted and glad she had fun.

It's going to be fun watching her grow up! One of my new favorite songs is "Find Your Wings" by Mark Harris. It may not be a new song but recently started paying attention to it. It says so many things that I feel about my girls. I almost started crying as I listened to the words the other day in the car. I think my parents must have felt some of these things for me as they sent me off to ACU. I'm so grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to go and make my own decisions. I wasn't completely cut off from their apron strings, but to some extent I was. I think of Betty as she watches her children take off for faraway parts on mission trips: "I'll have tears as you take off, but I'll cheer as you fly."
While Katie napped and Chris watched football, Gracie & I went to the library yesterday afternoon to watch a free showing of "Over the Hedge." It was a funny movie. Yes, it had some parts that I wish were left out (doesn't every movie?!?) but it was very funny and we enjoyed it.

She has decided that she wants to learn about horses so we checked out a bunch of horse books. We got some "real" books and some "pretend" ones. I was able to explain a little to her about the call numbers for the nonfiction books and how the fiction ones are organized by the author's last name. I think she was actually interested and paid attention. It is so much fun to have these "big girl" times together.
We went back to the park last night for some more exercise. Chris is good at encouraging me. Gracie rode her bike 1 1/2 miles this time. I said that she'll have to start eating more. I know the exercise is good for her but she doesn't need to lose weight so she'll need to bulk up on how much she eats. She ate quite a bit at dinner tonight so that's good. She's good about eating "good stuff" too. Sure, she likes her cookies and ice cream but she'll eat her protein, fruits & veggies well too. Katie sure does love her "foot" (fruit) too! (BTW: I walked another 2 miles while we were there and was able to "jog" a little of it...really more like shuffling but I like to call it a jog!~That made it 6 miles this week. This week, I'm going for 10.)
I think we may have gotten a waitress in trouble today at lunch. We went to this local pizza place where you can get fantastic pizza at a very reasonable price. Since it's close to the end of the month, we needed to eat somewhere "cheap" but of course also wanted to enjoy what we were eating. Chris & I can get 2 huge slices of pizza (sausage & feta~yum!) and a drink for $5.50 each. Throw in a huge slice of cheese pizza for the girls @ $1.75 and we've got a great meal.

Well, the waitress charged us $3.25 for the girls' slice. I know, I know it's only $1.50 difference but if it's wrong, it's wrong. I nicely questioned her on it and she looked and acknowledged that she'd charged us for the special which came with a drink. The girls both had water so she should have just charged us for the slice. She kind of hesitated like she expected us to say, "Oh, it's no big deal." We didn't. I mean, we didn't order it so why should we have to pay for it? She said, "Well, I can give you some cash back; that's all I can do." (We'd used our debit card.) We nicely said that was okay. She left and I saw her talking to the manager and it looked like they were heatedly arguing. I really couldn't tell if they were kidding around or what but I felt bad. I did want it to be corrected but I didn't want her to get yelled at! She finally got around to coming back, took out her money and said, "Okay, so I owe you $1.25?" Chris said, "Um, $1.50." She walked away frustrated, obviously she only had 1 quarter not 2. She talked to the manager again as he hurriedly passed her and finally told us that he would have to give us the money. She called out to him which table we were at and he came over and basically threw the money at us with a quick thank you.

I know we're cheap (all of our friends~and family~know this~what can I say....I grew up with thrifty parents) but I didn't want to be charged for something we didn't order. She did apologize and we were very nice about it. I just hope she didn't get into too much trouble.
Today in my 1st & 2nd grade class we had the story of the 'Tower of Babel.' We talked about how we should use God's help and shouldn't try to be greater than God. It was so sweet to hear one of the little girls say the prayer as she read the praises & requests out of our prayer journal. I so love teaching that class! One of the little girls (2nd grade) that's in the class is legally blind. She wears glasses and can see; just not very well. I had her & Gracie help me read the story out of the "real" Bible and I was so impressed with her. The print was so small and I know it was extremely hard for her to see but she read and did a great job! I told her how proud I was of her and she made the comment something like this: "I thought I couldn't do it but my heart just said I could." She is such a sweetie and an example to me in determination!

Of course, at one time she also said something like, "Man, this feels just like school." HA! With this age, I like to still do some fun, hands-on craft type things & games with them because they are still children, but I also like to have them read & write & brainstorm etc.
A church in a nearby town is having a Ladies Day in a couple of weeks and I've decided to go. I've been wanting to go to something like this and they had invited the ladies of our congregation so I'm going. I'm the only one on the sign up sheet but I feel like I need this. I may recruit some friends to go with me. I emailed some girls from church about it so we'll see if anyone responds.

Here's a couple reasons I'm looking forward to going: today Chris led singing so I had Katie during all that time. During the sermon, she was sitting with him and Gracie was sitting quietly so I opened up my Bible to read along. It's like she heard the crack of the spine or something because Katie immediately reached for me. *sigh* I closed the Bible. Tonight we were going to have low numbers for Life Group so we met at the building with a family from another Life Group and 1 other family from our Life Group. For the kids, it was just our 2 girls and 2 little boys. We thought surely we could put them in the classroom next to ours with a video and the toys and they'd be fine. *sigh* Within 10 minutes, Gracie came bursting into the room saying that "they" had unplugged the television! I raced in there, along with another mom, to find 1 little boy pushing on the cart the t.v. was sitting on and Katie holding the cord! I'm not too sure she wasn't about to plug it back in! UGH I disciplined her (use your imagination!) and set her in time out. At that point I decided to sit in there with them. I turned the video back on for the last 2 minutes then attempted to read a Bible story to them. Oh, did I mention that I'd had my Bible open for about 4 minutes before I had to run into the other room to watch the kids? So, even if I go by myself~which might be nice~I'm going to this Ladies Day and I will enjoy sitting and listening and hopefully learning something new. I LOVE being a Stay-at-Home mom. There is no job I'd rather do at this point in my life, but I so look forward to going to the Ladies Day.
Next weekend is our Fall Fest and Trunk or Treat at church. I am so looking forward to this. I think Katie will probably be a ballerina and Gracie will probably be Miss Patty Cake. They said to plan to bring candy for about 45 children. There will be about 60 adults. This is great for a church our size! I think today was the cut off for sign ups and I think the response has been wonderful!
I talked to my sister-in-law Erin last week and I'm so excited to see her for Christmas!

Friday, October 20, 2006

I love potty training~this time anyway!

How is potty training going for Katie? AWESOME! No lie, this girl has basically potty trained herself. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't put her to bed at night without a Pull Up on and I don't go too far without having an extra change of clothes, but she is seriously doing GREAT! We are soooo proud of her. I kind of had a feeling that she would just decide one day that she was ready and that is pretty much what she has done.

She is not quite to the point of telling me when she needs to go; we still most of the time have to decide for her that it's time to go try but she's not having accidents. Since Monday, she has basically had only 2 accidents! (This doesn't count that she has gone in her Pull Up during a nap or at night, but not even every time.) In the mornings, I have probably taken off her Pull Up within at least an hour and a half of her getting up if not even earlier. She is wearing p-a-n-t-i-e-s all during the day and evening. We have gone to the doctor's office with them on, playgroup, the library, Kroger, the park...all without accidents. I am just truly amazed and grateful! Poor Gracie wasn't nearly as proficient at this as Katie is. I know you're not supposed to compare your children but seriously, the difference is vast! To be fair, there are plenty of things Gracie did at Katie's age and younger that Katie doesn't do yet.
Speaking of the doctor's office.....Katie has had double ear infections this week. She'd been a little under the weather with some fever and runny nose, etc. I really figured it was just a cold and wasn't thinking of taking her in. Tuesday she started really fussing and I said, "Katie, what hurts?!?!" She said, "My ear." Poor thing! This was quite unusual for her to specifically complain about her ear so I almost immediately called to make an appointment. When I got her in, she had 101 and an ear infection in each ear! I was so glad she was able to tell me what hurt! The doctor said it might have just run its course on its own, but since we knew about it he gave her an antibiotic. It has helped tremendously! This is probably only the 3rd & 4th ear infection she's ever had, so I really wasn't even thinking of that as a possibility.
Gracie had her "end of the season soccer party" Tuesday night~in the rain. She was supposed to have a make-up game too but it got rained out so they just had the party and gave out trophies, medals & their pictures. I thought it was sweet that the coach talked about how Gracie had gotten slaughtered in one game and then the very next game wanted to play goalie again! She had such a good time playing but I'll admit that I'm ready for a little break from having games 2 nights a week. We thought about doing basketball but have decided to hold out for now.
Gracie didn't have school today due to a teacher workday. It was sweet to listen to the girls playing together this morning~while I dozed a little. Nice! We ran errands then relaxed around the house. Chris grilled out hamburgers tonight and we had a picnic in the backyard. Nice weather for it. After that we went up to the park and went a lap around the track. Gracie rode her bike for the whole lap which is a mile! I was most impressed with her! Then we stopped at a couple places then came home and watched "Lady & the Tramp II" that we'd checked out from the library. The girls went to bed then Chris & I watched a movie and now here I am blogging. It was nice to be "just" the 4 of us. It seems like we go, go, go so much and it's wonderful to have friends to do things with and church things to go to but it's also sometimes nice to just be with my family. I think there needs to be a balance.
I am continuing to try exercising. Last week I did a total of 7 miles and this week it's been 4. I'd like to go again tomorrow. I feel better when I do it if nothing else.
Tomorrow Gracie has a birthday party to go to for someone from school. It's for twins so we had to buy 2 gifts but I think we found something great~and inexpensive. Gracie has something very similar to it that she got for her birthday and she loves it so I'm hoping it will be a hit. (a bracelet making kit with beads & pearls & charms, etc.) For kids that I know the moms really well, I usually give the gift that the mom is glad to have (like books or educational games) but the actual kid may not be that excited about opening. Since I don't know this mom well or the girls all that well either, I tried to get something that I really thought 7 year old girls would be happy opening.
I don't have anything too deep to say. This is our life, simple but good!

Monday, October 16, 2006

I wanna wear..........

I just finished this book yesterday. It's cute, fun Christian "chic-lit." I like this kind of easy read. I know some people like the deeper, theological type books~and sometimes I enjoy those as well~but mainly I like a lighter read. I enjoyed this one!
Today Katie said, "I wanna wear p-a-n-t-i-e-s today." (I spelled it 'cause I don't want some weirdo coming across my blog if I type out the word!) Just like that! I said, "okay." She pee peed successfully at least once, (maybe twice) in the potty. (I say maybe because the 'evidence' wasn't as great that time but I think she did it.) She kept her p-a-n-t-i-e-s dry all morning! She even started the day with a pull up and it was kept dry. I did put her in a pull up for her nap~and she's still sleeping~but we'll go back to the other once she gets up. I soooo hope she has decided it's time to be potty trained. I'll admit: I have not pushed her very much with this. I pushed Gracie and we were both miserable! Of course, as with all children, Gracie was eventually potty trained and she wasn't terribly old when it happened. I know the same will be true with Katie. We've been much more laid back with her and we've been happier because of it! I'll be thrilled if today is the day she decides she's ready! (I don't mean to imply that we haven't tried or encouraged her at all; it's just that we haven't pushed her alot on the issue.)

During her nap I made a chart similar to what I made for Gracie when we were working with her. She will get a sticker for each time she potties. She also gets M&M's when she potties. When she fills up a row on her chart, she gets to pick a Dollar Tree prize. This worked WONDERS with Gracie. She is very motivated by things like this. I'm hoping it'll work with Katie as well. (I can't get my picture of the chart to load~I'll try later.)
We have decided to go to New Mexico for Christmas to see Chris' family. We will be driving because it's ridiculous how much it will cost to fly + all the hassle of flying right now. Really, anytime is kind of a hassle for me and I'm nervous about flying anyway. I checked today and it would cost us over $1600 for all of us to fly PLUS we would most likely drive 3 hours to get to airport in Atlanta (my parents can take us and keep our car so that saves on parking) then once we get to NM, we would have to drive about 3 hours to get to my in-law's house because they live in an itty bitty town. Then when we came back, we'd drive 3 hours back to the airport then 3 hours back to our house. So that's 12 hours of driving right there!

So, we'll be driving about 24 hours total to get there~through a total of 7 states. South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas & New Mexico. I'm really kind of excited about it; it'll be an adventure! We'll have the DVD player all ready to go; snacks for the car; books; toys, etc. Gracie has always been a rather good traveler; Katie not so much but I guess she'll either learn to be one or we'll learn to ignore her!

Gracie is the type of child who will sit and do workbooks for long periods of time. She is also very interested in geography and where places are. I want to make up some kind of a states workbook for her to work on while we're in each state. I have started looking around online but I would appreciate it if any of you could send me links to sites that have printable activities I could use to make her workbook. In order to make this something that lasts throughout the trip and not just 2 hours down the road (she's a quick worker!) I'm only going to allow her to work on the activities for 1 state when we're actually in that state. (Unless it looks like we'll only be driving through it at night or something.)

A friend of mine also had a good idea to have her make a scrapbook of the trip as well that she could share at school. So if you Georgians, Alabamians, Mississippians, Louisianians, Texans or New Mexicans have any ideas, send them my way! (I think I may have just made up some words!)

Friday, October 13, 2006

priceless moment

There's nothing quite like a Friday night "sleepover" with your sister. (Based on the sounds coming from the bedroom, I'm not sure how much longer this sleepover will last!)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

pant, pant, gasp, gasp...

Thanks to 2 friends who care about me enough to encourage me, I started exercising this week. *ugh* Monday morning I walked 2 miles and yesterday morning I walked 2 more. Last night I even met them back at the park and attempted to run with them. OH MY! I didn't make it too far before I had to bow out of that and settle for walking. I did complete the mile walking though, so that made 5 miles I'd gone in 2 days.

I don't think they're meeting tomorrow morning but Chris is taking the morning off so he can go to Gracie's school to eat lunch with her for "National School Cafeteria Week" (can you believe that's a real thing!?!) so I think he & I will go with Katie and walk. I really need to exercise~for multiple reasons~and I'm grateful for their encouragement. One of them said, "Atta girl!" as I left last night and kept telling me I'd done a good job even though I felt the running part was largely unsuccessful and the other one (who had completed running her mile & a half about the time I finished walking my 1 mile) called last night to say she was glad I'd come and encouraged me to beat what I'd done last time the next time I go. I think they may be running again tomorrow night so perhaps I'll join them for at least the first few feet before they take off & leave me in the dust! LOL I just hope I keep it up. It's not very enjoyable but something I know I need to do and I do feel good about myself when I've completed the exercise.

I just finished reading The Pact by Jodi Picoult. Kinda weird. Still not sure what I think about it. Anyone else read it?
I emailed Meredith Efken yesterday. Awhile back she told me she'd send me a copy of her new book, @ Home for the Holidays when it came out after I raved about how much I liked SAHM I Am. She said she had just gotten some copies of the new book and asked for my address. I can't wait to get it and read it! The first one was a cute, fun read and I really enjoyed it!

Friday, October 06, 2006

We got lost in the maze!

Last night was a fun time for us. Just the 4 of us went to "Maize Quest at Clinton Sease Farm" and got lost! Of course, getting lost is the whole point of going to a corn maze and we did just that! It was fun and something we'd like to do again. I do think we'd like to go back without the girls next time though. They did really well but it was just real overwhelming after a little bit~for them and for us! We would like to go back with some couples friends and challenge the other couples. The loser could buy the winner dinner! (Alissa~I think you would really like doing this!) Chris teaches the teenagers on Wednesday nights and we also think it would be fun to take a group of them there and have 2 teams challenge each other.

We ended up cheating and asking one of the workers to lead us out. Even after we took off following him, we probably walked for 10-15 more minutes. We thought we were close to the end; guess we were wrong! I asked someone how long it typically takes someone to make their way out on their own and he said they tell people 1 1/2 hours. If someone wants to do all of the stations along the way, it could take 3 hours. I think 1 1/2 hours is pretty optimistic since I think we were in there at least an hour and were nowhere near finding our way out! Of course, the girls slowed us down some but they really were good little troopers throughout most of it.

Gracie enjoyed the "Marshmallow Maze" after we got out of the corn maze. It was hay bales wrapped in white plastic to look like marshmallows. They advertised a hayride but it didn't looke like they were running it last night while we were there. Since we started right about dark, lots of people were using flashlights. The girls enjoyed getting to play with ours. The moon was bright a lot of the time too which helped.

Before we started we were able to get some cute pictures of the girls on the hay bales. I just love Fall! I really wish we could find some sort of farm to pick pumpkins & apples and drink cider and do all those kinds of "fallish" things. I was thinking this place last night might be like that. It wasn't but it was still fun!

(I have more pictures to post but my Kodak program won't open right now. Maybe later.)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

first real sports injury

Gracie got hurt in her soccer game tonight. She was playing goalie and had just made a really good save. She has been playing so well and we've been so proud of the way she has gone out there and given it her all. She plays hard and runs and gets in there to try kicking the ball and is aggressive and we love it! We're not usually ones to push for her to show aggression, but in the game of soccer it's okay to be a little aggressive. She's done great and it's been such fun to watch her and see this side of her. This has truly been a great experience for her.

She was going for another save but missed it. Apparently one of the players from the other team fell on top of her. I remember seeing her miss the save and then noticed that she was on the field crying with one of the coaches next to her. I said, "Should I go out there?" I didn't want to be the mommy who runs out there any time she merely falls down! My friend Melissa said, "yes." As I went out there, the coach (whom I "affectionately" refer to as the "mean" coach~he's actually just a parent and he's not really mean; he's just "tough" with them to try to teach them something) picked her up and was carrying her off the field. I should have known she was really hurt because I think if it had been no big deal that he would have encouraged her to keep going.

She was crying and when I took her, I saw that her mouth was full of blood! Chris started to take her from me and I told him we had to get her to the bathroom which was not very close to where we were. Her mouth was really full of blood so I stopped and told her to spit. Of course, being Gracie, she wouldn't do that. She started gagging on the blood at which point I handed her off to Chris and said I couldn't do it because I was afraid I was going to do worse than gagging if she kept that up! Melissa said she would watch Katie so we could both take her to the bathroom. I had blood all over my arm and Chris soon did too. A man (and I don't know who he was or even think that he was a parent from our team) asked if we needed water and handed us a water bottle. That helped alot because Gracie was able to take some water and then she would spit it out.

A parent from our team went to her car to see if she had something we could use and another mom brought us some ice in a bag. I was worried she had knocked out teeth but we finally determined that it was just her upper lip. We were still making our trek to the restroom and finally got there and were able to get cleaned up a little and get paper towels.

We got back to the game which was now over and Melissa had handed out the snacks I had bought for the night. I was grateful she did that. It just happened to be my night for snacks of course!

Gracie now has quite the busted, swollen upper lip! Chris & I both told her over & over how proud we were of her though! She was playing so hard and really giving it her all. I think I've said this before, but you really have to know her to know how significant this is! She has never been a real athletic, high energy girl so to see her out there running back & forth facing off against multiple players coming at her with a rapid moving soccer ball and watching her run up & down the field for quite a few minutes at a time, winded but not stopping, and to see the earnestness with which she concentrates while playing defense and when she gets a chance to kick the ball...well, it makes us proud! I'm sure every parent feels this same way about their own child, but I believe she is destined for greatness! Maybe not in the Olympics for playing soccer but that's not really the point. It's not so much about soccer itself but about her attitude & her determination. It's about the fact that after trying so hard she can say, "I'm proud of myself" and not mean it in a "braggy" way but just a matter of fact way.

These pictures don't really show what her lip looks like (and please ignore the fact that she needs to brush her teeth in one of those pictures!) I'm anxious to see what it looks like in the morning!

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the positive side of Gracie that playing soccer has brought out. Thank you for letting her injury be minor and thank you for all the people who rushed to help. Thank you for the man with the water bottle, the woman who went to her car, the woman who brought the ice, Melissa who watched Katie and handed out my snacks and the people who asked how she was doing when we got back to the field.
In Jesus' Name,

Monday, October 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, twin cousin!

Happy Birthday to my "twin cousin," Andrea! (I'm one day late but considering that she never calls me back, I'd say it's okay!)

If anyone understands how much I love my Maw Maw, it's Andrea. I think she & I rival each other in being sentimental! Even though Maw Maw has been "gone" for almost 3 years now, I don't think Andrea & I could have a conversation without mentioning her.

Andrea rarely comments, but she tells me that she reads my blog, so just for her here are my Top 10 things I think of when I think of Andrea:

1. "battling" to see who would get Maw Maw's lap for hair playing time! She almost always made room for both of us!

2. going to Noble Park

3. packing my paper grocery bag with stuff to spend the night with her while I was visiting Maw Maw

4. playing with all the Barbies

5. playing computer games~especially Wheel of Fortune

6. playing pool

7. sighing when yet one more person would call me Andrea or her Jacinda

8. sighing when yet one more person would say, "Now, is this Sandy's or Randy's girl?" (My dad & her mom are twins.) She & I are about 4 1/2 years apart.

9. her dog Barkley attacking me!

10. I think of her often and can't wait for the day when Katie gets to meet her and Gracie gets to know her better. (This picture is from her wedding in October 2003.) I also can't wait for when we finally collaborate on our children's book!

I love you, Andrea! Happy Anniversary to you & your sweet husband Steve in 2 days also! You & Steve are just perfect for each other. I'm so glad God blessed you with him and him with you! May we both aspire to have loving marriages like Maw Maw & Granddad had!

ladylike tea party

Friday night Gracie's friend Hunter came over for awhile. His parents needed someone to watch him while they went somewhere and Gracie was oh so happy to help out! They had a good time playing. In this picture, they have completely emptied the toy box looking for a princess crown that I wanted them to find. Of course, no child can resist getting inside an empty toy box! (They didn't find the crown, though.)

Saturday morning we spent cleaning, straightening, organizing and throwing things out. I think we made some progress but there still seems to be way too much stuff in this house!

Saturday afternoon the girls had been invited to a tea party! It was so fun and so sweet for these people to host it. It was hosted by a couple at church who don't even have children and it was so kind of them to include Gracie & Katie. The table was set so pretty and the children had a great time swinging (which was oh so ladylike! LOL) and eating & drinking. Neither of my girls cared for the actual tea but the food they enjoyed! They had pb&J sandwiches, just pb sandwiches, cookies, mini cupcakes, tarts. They feasted well! They also did a craft where they used little foam stickers to decorate a frame. They printed out a picture for the girls to put in their frame.

The girls both left with a carnation and a goodie bag filled with treats. This was really a special time. I love it when people who have children love my girls but for someone who doesn't have children to love them and show it really warms my heart.

As you can see in the picture where Katie is doing her craft, she is about to fall out! She said, "I take a nap?" After we left, that's exactly what they both did! They both fell asleep for awhile. That evening, some friends came over for dinner. Dinner which Chris cooked! My friend & I took dinner to a lady while Chris watched all the kids, cooked dinner & listened to his cherished Red Raiders on the radio. Talk about multi-tasking! We had a good time letting the kids play and eating our chicken fried steak & fried potatoes. Yum!

Today was church, nap & Life Group. I don't mean to make church sound so routine. Sometimes I feel that it's routine and I'd like to change that. We talked this morning in my 1st/2nd grade class about "walking with God." The story was about Enoch, the man who walked with God. We brainstormed different ways we can walk with God each day and the kids had some really great ideas. I touched on baptism briefly. In talking about the different ways we can walk with God, and I think it was maybe when we mentioned obeying the Bible, I led them to answer baptism in reference to one way we obey the Bible. One of the girls has an older sister who is a Christian and I mentioned something about how as they study and get older & learn more, hopefully they will make that decision to commit to Christ (like the older sister had, along with many others) and will do what....Gracie & 1 other little girl immediately answered 'baptism.' It makes me happy to see our young ones learning and thinking about such things. I pray that we as parents will teach them according to God's Word so as to be pleasing to Him!