Monday, February 25, 2008

Today was a tough one. Our baby girl "Li Li" came home yesterday from her weekend visit sick - again. As soon as we got her out of the transporter's car we knew she wasn't right. Then she screamed and CLUNG to me the rest of the day. Today she seemed better but still not quite herself. I called her ped's office first thing this morning and took her in for a visit and potentially good-bye. She has an ear infection that caused conjunctivitis in one of her eyes and the most horrid diapers EVER!! Our Poor baby!!!!

I hope everyone is blessed to have as wonderful a pediatrician for their kids as we do!! You can see the tears in her eyes. She adores our baby girl. She and her entire family have been and continue to pray for us and our baby. She has been a huge help and is just a blessing to our family!! Every child should have a doctor who loves them as much as ours does!

So school today was very relaxed. Something we are getting better about. I read their Bible lesson to them while they ate lunch. Then they headed out in the sunshine to finish their part of it and also did their handwriting and reading (MaryKyle a book about the Declaration of Independence, John Mark a phonics reader). They did math with Daddy while I took the baby to the Dr. (John Mark learned about borrowing so he could subtract 'big numbers' today) So they did get quite a bit done, just on their own time...which works well on days like today especially!! They were adorable out on a blanket in the backyard sprawled out side by side working and giggling! So School was a highlight of today actually!

We were told today that we must bring "Li Li" and her things packed to court Wednesday. If the family members are awarded custody (as is DFCS' plan) then she will leave from there to go live with them. UGGHHHH!!!
So what did we do...??? Cried.
And then we went to eat Mexican (Daddy and Mommy's comfort food) & then I went shopping! Funny I'm sure, for those of you that know me, since I hate to shop. I guess as is typical for most females, it can be therapeutic for me as well...who knew?! So after picking up her meds I ended up on an unplanned shopping spree. Don't panic, we'd
planned to do it, just didn't plan to do it today. But I just figure I don't want to be away from everyone tomorrow so I might as well go on and get some stuff....and once I started looking, well I had so much fun at Target I just moved on to another store!! I even broke down and bought 'character shirts' Crazy huh? But I don't think I've ever purchased for my kids an item of clothing with a character on it. But Aaliyah loves Abby Cadabby and Curious why not, right?!! PJ's and some winter stuff for next year and a couple spring/summer
spring and summer and some socks

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Let me tell you about my Grandparents"

Gatlinburg family weekend Jan 2007
(the children and grandchildren -minus John David)

These are my Grandparents
(and conveniently my gorgeous niece..Holland)

My Grandparents are on my heart right now. My Grandfather was hospitalized on Thursday. Until yesterday he was in Critical Care in N'ville, he's now in regular room, but still not feeling well. With everything we have going on with Aaliyah right now, I'm not able to go. I would love to be there to do what I can and just share the load with the rest of my family (I'm the only grandchild that doesn't live in the N'ville area as my Mom is the only daughter that doesn't live in the N'ville area)
When I was a little girl, my grandfather had a license plate on the front of his truck that said "Let me tell you about my grandchildren" So using that....let me tell you about my grandparents..
As an Army brat I never lived close to my grandparents. Funny...I didn't really think about it...they visited often and created a set time each week to call to chat. They always found out what my sister and I were interested in and sent packages. I also had b'days at their house in the summers. And they would find things that were coming to the town where we lived and come and take us to things like the circus. I have 5 cousins that all grew up around my grandparents. But my grandparents ensured that we all felt close to them and each other. Quite a challenge when we lived across the country or in another country, but they put a ton of effort and made it happen. Now my family sees to it we get together at least once a year to reconnect. We have missed my grandparents when they haven't been able to make it because of their health, but they still want us to come together - it was always important to them and we all now honor and appreciate that importance - and we just all love to get together!! When we have our fun weekends we worship together as a family. What a legacy it is for my grandparents to have their 3 children, 7 grandchildren and an always growing number of great-grandchildren worshiping together and showing what this family's foundation has been built on.
My grandfather is a retired minister and a retired math professor from David Lipscomb! My grandmother stood by him all those years. In the little free time he had, he loved to do carpentry work and was always making gifts for others. he also wrote Bible class material/curriculum. My grandmother did ladies days, taught Bible classes, organized Vacation Bible schools and taught ladies classes. She always was busy with a quilt, sewing/smocking matching dresses for the granddaughters and painting the woodwork GrandDaddy created. They have been an overwhelming influence in the lives of many but most of all to their children and grandchildren (three daughters, six grand-daughters and the last....a grandson!!!!).
Their influence has been so great that each grandchild so far has named one of their children after them (hadn't ocurred to me til just now actually)...and two of my cousins are named after them, as well as my sister.
Truly...I'm am blessed to have
John and Elizabeth Holland as my grandparents!!
ALL THE NAME SAKES:John David & Elizabeth Jane

John Mark

babies L to R
Lizy, Holland, Scout Holland
Laura Beth in the middle is also named for my grandmother
the newest namesake - "Ellie" born in January

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More fun

We had such a fun weekend with Aunt Buffy and Uncle Jason!!
I had a baby shower in Vinings on Saturday and Aaliyah was due to come home from her two days with her bio grandparents so Aunt Buffy and Uncle Jason headed out for a fun day with MaryKyle and John Mark. They headed to Gorga Monkeys and jumped for a couple hours went for Chick Fil A Milkshakes and just enjoyed each others company. They kids had a ball!!!
Then Jason and Daddy decided on a whim to head up to Perimeter to Fogo de Chao to get their meat fix for the year. While Aunt Buffy the kids and I had a fondue 'party' (notice John Mark wore his PJ's and MaryKyle changed into a dress for the 'party')
We had a blue cheese and brie dip with bread squares and seasoned broth with veggies, shrimp, chicken and beef. It was a first for the kiddos and they loved cooking their own food. Then Sunday night after worship (in the dark by the way as the church bldg was without electricity due to the storms) we got the kids to bed and we had a homemade heart brownie to celebrate Buffy and Jason's first anniversary. So hard to believe it's already been a year!! We had a wonderful weekend and were blessed that Uncle Jason and Aunt Buffy made the long trip from Illinois to spend their special weekend with us!!

"Stretcher Bearers" - who are yours??

My precious sister in law sent me a book that I rec'd today. The title is "When I Lay My Isaac Down" My sister in law lives with her husband in China. She loves our Aaliyah so very much and would take her as her own if she could. She is keenly aware of the pain we are enduring right now. So she offered what she could from across the oceans. I'm about halfway through now and hopefully will finish by tomorrow. One thing the author of the book talks about that has struck me is who are your "Stetcher Bearers?" Referring to the scriptures where friends of a lame man lift up his stretcher and carry him to Jesus. They lower him through the roof of a house to ensure that he gets to come before the Savior for help and healing.

In all honesty, I have a difficult time letting others in on our suffering & admitting to the pain that is being experienced in this house at present with the fear of our precious daughter being taken from us next week. On Sunday a friend apologized to me a few minutes after passing me in the hall and asking "how are you doing?" I hadn't really thought anything of it, but I appreciated so much her acknowledging that she was truly aware of what a pointless question that is right now. I have an old friend I've spoken to more often recently out of circumstance and each time we speak he asks "how's today?" or "how did you all make it through today?" etc It's hard to give a completely honest answer because I can't stand sounding as if I'm a downer all the time, I know though that he truly cares and wants to know. Each and every day someone says "I am praying for you" We appreciate these things so much.

This analogy of stretcher bearers just for some reason gave me the visual that I needed, I love it. That in my pain I am being lifted up and carried by my friends and family to the feet of the Savior.

So do you know who your stretcher bearers are? I pray you are blessed to have more than are needed for the poles of your stetcher like me!!
And then are you a stretcher bearer for others? I think I will look for more ways that I can be, I pray that I will make opportunities and be creative in my efforts to help others just as the friends of the lame man were!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hiking with loved ones

So today we slept late (Aunt Buffy and Uncle Jason didn't get in from Illinois til around 2 am), ate pumpkin pancakes with sauteed apples (yum!!), the kids did their Math and Reading/Phonics then we all got ready and EVENTUALLY headed to Kennesaw Mountain. It was nearly 2pm when we got out the door. We walked through the museum and enjoyed reading lots of historical things. The kids enjoyed parts of it...although John Mark in a moment of total boredom (Daddy and Uncle Jason read just about everything there was to read) exclaimed "we're not here to read we're here to HIKE!" He would then get interested in some fact or artifact - did you know the confedetate army had requirements of how many teeth a recruit must have so they could rip off the wrapping of their ammunition with their teeth....?? We did eventually hit the mountain and hiked to the top. It was a nice hike, Daddy nor Mommy had either one ever done it. Sad since we are so close, we should go once a week or something, great exercise and a fun time!!
the view from the top---if you can see, Stone Mountain is in the distance
in the center of the picture
John Mark was exhausted and hungry and proclaimed a few times he wasn't going to make
it to the top. This time he made a plan for what he wanted to be
doing instead. Sadly for him, no one else agreed so he decided to come on up to the top after all
aren't they adorable!! ??

The kids had control of the camera for the pictures of their Aunt Buffy and
Uncle Jason!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Oh the fun!!

We love to make Valentine's in this house. We've done sand shovels that say "I dig you" and the little candy airplanes, we've made butterflies out of old fashioned stick candy, just all sorts of silly things. I don't think we've ever purchased them, we just really have a lot of fun making them and have kind of made it tradition.

This year we, with the other homeschooling family we know, made the 320 Valentines for the Trujillo Christian School students that I mentioned before. And honestly I then forgot that we needed any more....I mean after 320 you kind of then block it from your mind. Until this afternoon and it hit me Uh oh....Family Fun to the rescue as always!! We will still need to make some more for tomorrow for them to take to Spanish class with them. But we did get enough pulled together for Bible class tonight!!! Whew.....close one Mom!!!
I so hate that feeling when I think I've almost let me kids down. Now that they aren't in school, Bible class and such are where they experience those types of fun things. Yep...that was a close one. They would have been DEVASTATED!!!
well blogger isn't letting my put pictures in order today for some here they are are backwards....this is the kids ready to walk out the door to worship. The second one is blurry but it shows the beehive MaryKyle made to carry the completed V'tines in!! After all bees must have a hive!!

BEE Mine!!!!

our swarm of bees!! The kids had a ball making them. Too bad Mommy couldn't take any pictures as she was having to make just as many so we got them done in time!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

something about me...

I love to bake. Really I love to cook in general, but rarely have time to truly 'cook' any more - hubby used to say he'd never eaten the same thing twice in our kitchen...ha not the case any more. My kids are enjoying learning though so if Mommy can give up the reigns and allow them to create more (meaning..make a mess) they would really get good I think. When I became a Mommy, I wanted to learn to decorate cakes so I could do their b'day cakes. My Husband and I both have such fond memories of our Mommies doing that and love looking back at pictures of our special cakes!Strawberry Shortcake was my all-time fave my Mom did. Dukes of Hazards was hubby's...running closely with Starwars. Pretty fitting my first cake I ever did was a S'berry Shortcake...hadn't thought about that until just now. Cool.

So here are a few of my cakes. Can't believe I'm doing this as I know those of you out there that really decorate cakes will feel embarrassed for me...But I have fun and my kids enjoy it and for me it's all about creating memories for them, not perfect cakes FOR SURE - far from it!!
MaryKyle helped with the Q & U wedding cake for her kindergarten
class!We had fun working on this one together.

I think this is one of the oddest looking cakes I've ever seen. It
was a vintage pan and I warned my friend it was going to look odd.
Her little girl wanted Wonder Woman so bad, they didn't care...
yep it's odd you can admit it!! Don't worry I didn't charge them for it!!!

The first child we fostered, Kimothy, LOVED Larry the cucumber. At that time no
Veggie Tale cake pans existed so I had to make something up for
his first b'day real quick. We hadn'tplanned on having
a party so these were last minute!!

100 days of school in the school colors.

Elmo was for Aaliyah's b'day

Thursday, February 7, 2008


My husband just returned this week from a brief trip to Trujillo, Honduras, which has the entire family longing for and dreaming of our next trip. We are SO ready to BE there!!
We have been several times, but this past summer was our favorite. The reason....we took MaryKyle and John Mark with us!! We felt like they would like it, but the long bus rides from San Pedro Sula to Trujillo, new foods, little rest and not knowing the language...well we weren't 100% certain how it would go with a 6 & 7 yr old...we should have known better. They loved it as much as us & BEG to go back!!! They had playdates and sleepovers and went to class at the school with friends they made, etc!
We look forward to a month or more in Trujillo this summer. And longer in the future, God willing! Each night John Mark prays for us to have "a safe trip to Honduras and a safe trip back from Honduras" He's READY! We all are!!So here's a brief view of what we're dreaming of....Sorry it's so long!!our friend Alfonso and John Mark
They attached to Angie immediately. This is our first evening in country at the Hotel Villa Helen's in Sambo Creek
They are looking forward to the possibility of Angie coming to live with us for a year

The beautiful house where we stayed - I know you can't see much. It's built on the side of a mountain. The owner invited our group to stay there and arranged for his cook to come from Olancho and feed us. Oh my...we ate SO good! John Mark's comment was - "the owner must be very rich to have such an incredible cook" I think he thought he must be royalty (we've never met the owner in person FYI). Adelia is a fabulous cook. This was my second trip to have the joy of being fed by her...she truly has a gift. I learned to make homemade flour tortillas. We make them about once a month here at home now, but to feed 25+ with them where there is even leftovers after we've all stuffed ourselves... keep in mind they are all patted out by hand...Wow! We would ask her how she was able to do it and she would say "It's like God multiplying the loaves and the fishes I just always have plenty"Our sweet wonderful cook Adelia (right) and my good friend Eileen
MaryKyle helping with the shower room for 'Senor V'

Papa (my Dad) and John Mark building a supply rack for the teachers

Irlinda and me. she teaches first grade at the school.

The kids spent a day at our friend's house and were so thrilled to learn to wash clothes in a pila!
The aqua cylinder is the detergent
My lap one night at devotional.....just the way I like it!!
and yes all 3 are SOUND asleep.

John Mark sharing his hand sanitizer with his new friends

The day we left at the La Cordillera hotel in San Pedro Sula
tired from a busy trip, but wishing we didn't have to leave so soon

The video below is from MaryKyle's sleepover she had one night. Watch her lips closely after the chorus...too funny (I have NO clue what she's doing with her nose!!!) That's Angie again on the left. Arlington Christian School is raising money for her tuition for a year so that she might come and go to school there. My children already call her "sissy" and are so excited about the possibility for her coming to live with us! We tried for this year, but the embassy denied her Visa after much effort because she didn't speak enough English. She is now in English class 4 days a week. Alabare is the song they are singing and the general meaning is "I will praise my Lord"

They all slept in one twin bed. Completely normal for our Honduran friends. MK is not the easiest kid to sleep with, but each time she moved, I'd look over and Yaneri and Angie would be patting her in their sleep. It was wonderful! I do have to say though while they were all changing into their PJ's I heard all this giggling. Yaneri and Angie were giggling at how white MaryKyle is and it got MaryKyle all giggly know typical slumber party. Doesn't matter they don't speak the same language...girls will be girls!