Monday, September 21, 2009

"Oh, say can you see..."

A few weeks ago, Benjamin auditioned for his school chorus and made it. We were all thrilled. They practice on Wednesday afternoons right after school and had their first performance this past Friday night singing the National Anthem at the Winthrop University women's volleyball game. Each of the children was looking polished... black bow tie and all... and they sang beautifully. My heart swelled up as I listened and my eyes filled with tears... just thinking about the years that lie ahead, opportunities Benjamin will have, chances for us to support and encourage him as he is learning to be a Godly young man. After singing they all got in position to cheer on the team and give 'em five as the starters where introduced. High fives with a bunch of college girls.... I'll leave it at saying Benjamin was excited. And the game was fun, too. It was a great way to start our weekend.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Anna's Walking

Anna hasn't been in any hurry to walk. For the past couple of weeks, she's been taking a few steps here and there. But this week, she has finally taken off. She tends to resort often to crawling although each day seems to bring more steps than the day before. She's occasionally getting herself to standing without pulling up and is taking at least 10 or more steps before falling. She gets the sweetest little grin like she's so proud of herself. With more mobility, comes more bumps and bruises for sure. Last weekend, she attempted to climb out of the play car instead of opening the door to get out, and she landed head first on the patio and got a nice bruise on her forehead. I know this just comes with the stage, but I sure don't like seeing her pretty little face all marked up. We're so excited at our house to see her taking those sweet little unbalanced first steps. This isn't a high quality video of her but I couldn't pass up sharing it.

Labor Day Weekend 2009

We enjoyed a great visit with Uncle Paul and Aunt Rebekah over Labor Day weekend. Our drive to and from the Virginia Beach area seemed especially long both going and coming... but we had so much fun while there. Poor Paul and Rebekah - I'll bet after we departed for home Monday, they just sat in the quiet and peace of their home 'cause we're a noisy bunch! But in spite of the noise (and lack of sleep thanks to Anna), we had a weekend full of great family time together.

Saturday morning at the beach was so much fun... sand, waves, snacks, throwing the football. It was a treat to get to see the ocean again. And Saturday afternoon included plenty of college football - it cracked me up watching Brian and Paul enjoy the Georgia game from our xm radio in our car because the game wasn't on tv.

We enjoyed visiting Paul and Rebekah's church Sunday morning then headed out for an afternoon of boating with the Ratz family. Crazy as it may seem... it almost feels like I've known Sue forever even though our boating trip was only my second time ever seeing her face to face. I love how the Lord can knit hearts together that way. We had a great time getting to know their family, and boy were my kids excited to be on a boat. We got to ride down the inner coastal waterway and see downtown Norfolk from the water. Benjamin was thrilled getting to see all the ships. And Mary Scott was so relaxed on the boat which really surprised me. She tends to be so fearful in new situations but not this time. In fact, she was so relaxed she ended up taking a nice long nap before the afternoon was over. Benjamin gave wake boarding and skiing a try for the first time. The wake board didn't work out but he did manage to get part way up on the skis. And Catherine wanted to give skiing a try so she got out in the water, skis on, then a big boat came by and made the water sort of choppy.... she was done, ready to get back in the boat. We really had a wonderful time, Ratz family.

Then to top off an already great day, Paul and Rebekah took us to Symphony Under the Stars Sunday evening. It was a fabulous time together. Lovely music, perfect weather, a picnic and great company to boot.... who could ask for more?

Thank you Paul and Rebekah, and Avery and Adam for a fabulous weekend all the way around.

precious baby Adam smile

Anna sporting some shades

Avery and Mary Scott having fun in the sand

Uncle Brian getting to know Avery

Avery holding onto her daddy's hand

sweet Avery face

love seeing them all together like this

all about snack time

Rebekah's classic grin

crumbs and all... such a cutie

I'd say this is desperate to hear a football game

taking it all in from the front of the boat

Mary Scott really enjoyed the boat

Madeline and Anna getting to know each other

one of the views downtown Norfolk

huge battleship

Benjamin giving the wake board a try

Friday, September 4, 2009

firsts... mary scott started preschool

Feeling very unsure of how it would go, I'm delighted to report preschool has gotten off to a great start for Mary Scott. Her first day was Tuesday, September 1st at Oakland Day School in 3k.

She's been quite excited about starting to school, and we couldn't get to her "meet the teacher" day quickly enough... but when we left that meeting, she was in tears over leaving a change of clothes and a couple pictures of her that her teacher had requested we bring from home. And I'm not talking a little whining or a few tiny tears. I'm talking alligator tears for at least 45 minutes. She kept saying to me as she cried, "Mommy, I'm so sad to leave my pictures at school. Will you please go back and get them?" And of course what I wanted to do was scoop her up in my arms, march right back into school and get all of it. But I didn't. We brought her change of clothes home because I knew she could take them back in her back pack on her first day, but her teacher needed the pictures to use in the classroom. So instead of doing what my emotions where telling me to do (go get the pictures), I heeded what I knew in my heart was a teachable moment... a time for training for real life situations. One things for sure, in real life, we don't always get what we want just because we want it desperately. So I explained to Mary Scott why her pictures needed to stay and that we were not going back to get them and that I was sorry she was sad. And I explained it again, and again, and again. Still crying, she informed me she didn't want to go to that school. She finally stopped crying after some firm coercing from me. But she continued to make it clear to me that she did not want to go to school.

I seemed to have a new understanding that day of how deeply Mary Scott feels things and how she wants to be sure everything is okay and taken care of...

All that to stay, I was afraid her first day would bring tears and hanging onto my legs unwilling to go into her classroom. But I'm thankful not to report such behavior. Instead, she woke up excited and ready. When we got to school, she hugged me goodbye, walked right in and went to hang up her bag... and she saw her picture! Then she never looked back with uncertainty. She had an awesome day and enjoyed it very much. At one point she got to be the line leader and really seemed to like that roll. She made a precious little red hen to bring home... and she wanted to bring home everything else she had colored or written on, too. But she's getting the hang of it that sometimes certain things need to stay at school. She seemed more settled about leaving some things at school yesterday and says now, she understands why she had to leave her photographs at school.

This whole experience has sort of given me a glimpse of what it's like with me when God is telling me to do a certain thing and it's not what I want to do, and I don't understand, and it makes me sad and even afraid and uncertain... but I just have to do it out of obedience(even though sometimes kicking and screaming). And then on the other side, I get it, I understand why. And I'm reminded yet again that His ways are higher than my ways, His ways are perfect. 2 Samuel 22:31.

I'm really glad she's enjoying it and look forward to her having a great year. And I have to say, she looked so adorable on her first day of school. I stayed up the night before making her a new outfit to wear and boy did it make my heart sing to see her so excited about wearing it. She had so much fun twirling around in her little skirt, and she looked just as cute as a a button.