Wednesday, June 24, 2009


"Who does this remind you of...the guy with the guitar?" asked Hope.
Big Daddy and I look at one another perplexed.
Hope bursts out "Kelsey!"
And if you squint your can see Kelsey up on the stage at Leaning Tree leading worship. Of course, you'd have to block out the shark and the snake in the cartoon but hey, what matters is that is who she saw when she watched it. In fact, she completely stopped the cartoon to give us a few seconds to try and figure it out. It was funny! Just so you know - Kelsey is tall, has dark hair, is usually smiling, plays the guitar and leads worship at our "home" church. Even Hope misses you Kelsey!! :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Drive In and ER - in that order

Friday night we (Faith and I) finally talked Big Daddy in going to the drive in to see a few films. We loaded up the family +2 friends and we headed out. We were about 1/2 way through the first movie when Love began crying. She said she had a boo-boo and was not herself. She usually says "bug bite" and it is over but this time she kept scratching and pointing at her foot. Well, about 5 minutes later her stomach, back and neck was covered in bumps and was hot to the touch and she was scratching herself uncontrollably. About a minute later she started saying "eyes" over and over and her eyes were swelling shut and she was scratching them too. We had already decided to leave the drive in and go to the store for Benadryl and cortisone ointment. But, right before we left she started telling us about her nose and you could see it was swelling as well. We did what any normal parents who have never experienced this before with their children. We freaked a bit. Then we went to the ER. Turns out she had an acute allergic reaction to....well, that is the kicker - no one could tell us. Perhaps something in the air, perhaps an insect bite, who knows - but...if it happens again (again...???) we should have her tested by an allergy doctor. They treated her with steroids and Benadryl and she was beginning to look like herself again with in 30-40 minutes and by morning she was as good as new. The pictures really don't capture how swollen and red our baby girl was - poor thing. It was scary and I think of myself as fairly educated on things of this nature.

Atop the 'burban at the drive in

Sweet little swollen face
Still smiling
And playful

And happy -she was ready to go home as were the rest of us

Our kiddos were such troopers. 4 teenagers in the ER waiting room for well over an hour at 11pm - not the night we had envisioned. Good news was nothing too serious. As for the ER we hope not to visit again - the drive in, on the other hand, we hope to visit a lot this summer! Oh, and we'll be packing Benadryl :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

We Have A Pool!!

Oh people, know Big Daddy is on strike. Mi Mi bought a blow up one and we have been in it everyday since. The girls don't know the difference and they love running and jumping in it at their own height. In fact, Hope taught herself to swim under water! She is pretty good too. I sit out there and get some sun myself - watching them is so much fun!
All sun screened up
Love trying to swim like Hope

Hope going for it
Here she goes...notice Love's face

Still face down and kicking like a mad woman...notice the same look on Love's face ;)

And she is up for air...telling me how far she swam (as if it gets farther)
Love the keeper of the garden hose

Getting out is never fun when it isn't her idea - she'd stay in 24/7

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pickin' Maters

Our nephew Matt has a garden. He has tomatoes, peppers and squash and the start of some melons. The girls were very excited to go to his house to pick 'maters. Needless to say we have tons of green tomatoes that still need to ripen...but once they do - we are going to be in serious tomato eatin' mode. How we love us some home grown 'maters :)

I love this pic :)

Afterwards we went to lunch and Matt introduced us to The Giant Burger.

I'm not much of a meat eater so even a tiny burger does me in - but the boys sure scarfed it down.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

We are one family blessed beyond measure to have you lead us.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Big Daddy - To know you is to love you :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wildlife Adventure

So, we took the family to a drive through wildlife adventurous as you can be while still remaining in your car :) Everyone, even the big kids had a ball.
Just a shot of the many animals that will come right up to your car
Big Daddy and the kiddos
Hunter and Hope "feeding and fearing"
All the animals loved Big Daddy...if they only knew.
This is how Love dealt with her own fear when the animals would get too close to her. At one point, I was taking photos of Big Daddy and she was sitting with me. I turned my back to her to take them. All of the sudden she wraps her arms tightly around my neck and starts yelling "Mom! Mom! Mom!". So, I looked behind me to see what all the fuss was about and a huge European Red Deer had his entire head inside our window...I have to admit it was kind of scary even for me.
The ostriches are down right crazy...we would always throw the food onto the hood and watch them eat it. They peck like they are wild animals or something ;)
Getting to know Faith
Big Daddy tried to get this guy to eat the animal food from his teeth...why? Well, that is a good question. This picture cracked me up!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy 4th Forever Family Day Hope!!!

June 14, 2009 (posted 6/13)

Four years ago today we met the most beautiful little girl...Hope. She was quiet, easy going and gorgeous. She had a thick head of gorgeous black hair, a robust little figure and porcelain skin.
This day was a day we had waited finally hold our daughter.There was no greater feeling than to actually be able to hold this little baby of on her...get to know her...all this time she had only been in our hearts and now, now, she was finally in our arms :)
The first year home flew by...she changed in so many ways. From not being able to sit up or crawl to running, skipping and hopping. From no teeth to an entire mouth full of 'em. She was a bundle of energy just waiting to be nurtured and allowed to bloom. And bloom she did...bigger and brighter than we could have hoped for.
The second year went even faster. She continued to grow and learn. It became very obvious she was very bright and learning came easy to her. You tell her something or she hears it once and it is pretty much memory. At almost 3 she knew and could tell you about 30 nursery rhymes, she could sing countless songs. She donated her hair to Locks of Love (second donation coming soon) after these photos. She actually understood as well as a 3 year old can what she was doing and why.

Her 3rd year home she became a big amazing big sister at that. Life was different now, she was no longer the baby. But, she didn't care...her role as big sister was much more important to her. She still tries to take care of her to this day. She is very protective of her and loves her more than words could ever say. She began pre-K this year as well. She started Awana's and began going to Sunday school instead of big church with us. She truly began to spread her wings...and she found out she likes the freedom.

Her are some recent photos of her.

Her 4th year home will hold lots of firsts. She begins Kindergarten in August. She has 4 loose teeth and she may try dance or gymnastics.
So much has changed in the 4 years since we met. She has already moved into 5 new homes. Did great with every move and actually talks about what she misses from the past few homes. Thankfully, we are putting roots down where we are (we hope).
I still can't believe it has already been 4 years since we held Hope for the very first time. That feeling of butterflies, anticipation, overwhelming love and a tad of nervousness - it still rushes back to me when I think of sitting in that room waiting for our daughter (the last one brought in) to enter the room. Cold Chills to this day!
I knew we loved her deeply, I knew we wanted her to be home with us.
What I didn't know was how much she would change us. She has grown us. She has a wonderful spirit of adventure. She quite possibly could be my very first tomboy. She loves Spiderman more than any princess or doll. She likes boy toys, boy cartoons, and wishes she could go to the bathroom standing up. I have let go...I would have fought it with my older daughter but I have let go. It is just what she likes and besides..."girl stuff is boring". How can you argue with that...not a lot of high energy adventure in a tea party or dress up (unless it is a cowboy, pirate, sheriff or superhero)?
This child of ours...I wouldn't change a thing about her. She has a great big heart. She is just beautiful both inside and outside. She is full energy. She is never boring and therefore she is never bored. She loves Jesus and she loves her family. She is creative, she is a deep thinker. She is spunky and she is free spirited.
She will never fit inside the box, nor would I ever want her to.
My sweetest Hope -
My heart smiles so big because of you.
I love you more than all the stars in the sky!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Power of...

Just had to share my two most favorite products...when I used the action scrubber for the first time...I think the clouds parted and the sun made a brief appearance - y'all it is for real - cleans like no body's business. And the shower - well, she's been neglected ever since I ran out of the shower spray and she cleans two men at least once a day. It removed all the grime off the floor and stripped the hard water film off the door in about 2 minutes - no kidding. I got so excited I pulled the pad off and scrubbed the base boards (which were totally covered in hairspray - 4 girls, 4 heads of hair, the damage is going to continue) Anyway, if you haven't tried it and your into cleaning as much as I am - well, you should. It was about as rewarding as mopping a muddy floor or vacuuming up crunched up Cheetos out of the carpet...immediate gratification :)
These jewels here clean everything...the mess that happens when pasta boils over on your cook top that takes forever to hand scrub comes off so easily, your walls look cleaner, your sink shines brighter, your coffee pot looks newer, and your daughter's leather tennis shoes will be many little time. I am so spoiled.
I'd give up my diet DP to replenish either one of them. I started to say toothpaste - but y'all know me too well ;0)
Now, off to the next bathroom - the joys of being a domestic engineer. :0)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Da Pool...

We were invited over to my sil and bil house to swim and enjoy some hamburgers...which were totally good. The kids miss having a pool - it is one of the things we have missed as a family as far as the convenience of having it right in the backyard. But, we have the next best open invitation (which may later be retracted) to Uncle Kev and Aunt JuJu's house...SCORE! The pool was far too cold for me but everyone else seem to really enjoy it. In fact, Love was the last one out! She had a ball. She was perfectly content off on her own just kickin' back and floatin'. Hope wants to swim so bad she can taste it. And Faith was the diving board catching queen...she caught the little girls who were willing to jump off the diving board. She was a trooper. And Hunter, well, he did best at being an instigator...enough said there. The whole family was in the pool at one time - which is a rarity but fun. Here are the pics from yesterday...which is all you really wanted anyway.