Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Illegal Thanksgiving Campfire

Would you like some of my juice?

Loving her baby

Diary Farm Hay Ride

Feeding the goats

Where's the beef?

Cooking with Grandma

Thanksgiving Ham

Illegal, Family Friendly Campfire

First Smores

World's Fattest Cousins (45 pounds between the two 6 month olds)

Cousin Love (My cousin Jenny at Thanksgiving)

My pictures are much smaller now, so it shouldn't take long to view the full sized ones.

I have received a few more pictures from my mom that I found blogworthy (which is my lame attempt to get my own word in the dictionary). My dad built a firepit in his backyard which is in the middle of your typical suburban Atlanta neighborhood and started a fire on Thanksgiving night. We sang campfire songs and had a blast. The kids now beg for it every time we are at Grandma and Grandpa's house regardless of the time of day.

We also went to a dairy farm the weekend before Thanksgiving and did a corn maze, rode on a hay ride, fed cows, watch pig races, fed goats, drank chocolate milk, and I am sure I missing something. It was a great time!! There is always a never ending supply of activities for children here in Atlanta. We forgot the camera, but this past weekend we went to a tree farm to cut down our own Christmas tree, and the kids got their 3rd hay ride of the season and loved wandering around looking for a tree. We drank apple cider and ate popcorn. They had a Santa clause type guy there, but they much prefer to see Santa from a distance or not at all. He is just a fun mythical character around here. I am not much into the lying to your kids thing. I always like to throw that little jab in there to tick off all you liars :>)

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Thanksgiving Project

I am starting to teach Evan about some issues outside of his little world, and teach him to be thankful for what he has. We have been talking very simply about AIDS orphans in Africa. I told him that they don’t have mommies or daddies because they got sick, and now they have to live in the road. I asked him if he thought it would be fun to live in the road. He said, “No, cause I would get hit by a car!” As part of this little lesson we made art projects for a few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving that we sold to our thanksgiving guests to raise money for Living Hope Ministries which is building an AIDS orphanage in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Evan and Julia raised nearly $60 for AIDS orphans that day. I am very proud of them.

Monday, November 27, 2006

3, 19 months, 6 months

Whoa, it’s been a long time since my last post and now on a new blog. I found that the last site I used didn’t allow for as much creativity as this one does. Hopefully this works out well for me. You can still click on the photos for a larger view of any of the pictures.

Life here in the new house is still going very well. We even have great neighbors. One day when I hurt my neck while Stephen was out of town the next door neighbor lady brought me and the kids dinner that she had made for us. On Halloween someone rang our doorbell and then ran off before I could see who it was. They left a bucket full of fun toys and candy for the kids including a bucket with baby stuff like bibs and toys for Harrison. We love our regular deer watching. I took a picture of a couple of the deer grazing in our yard recently. We find deer tracks everywhere. The creek has been a source of great fun for us. We spend a lot of time outdoors on the play set or throwing sticks and pine cones into the creek. We enjoy watching the creek rise to the crest and a little gully on one side of our yard back by the creek fill up with water when we get rain. It even rained so much one time that our acre lot turned into a ½ acre lot with water frontage. We spent a lot of time admiring it from the windows that day.

New playset

Our deer friends out back

Harrison has come a LONG way since my last post. Since I stopped swaddling him at 5 months old, he has been sitting more, rolling from his back to his stomach, and playing with toys like a mad fool. He rolled and sat for a while without being propped up for the first time all in one morning on 11/6/06. He still has a bit to go before he is a stable sitter, but he is getting there. Everything he does he will have to do despite the pounds and pounds of rolls that cover his body. He moved up a size in diapers every month until he was 4 months and has been in size 4’s ever since. I don’t think 5’s are far off, but we shall see. At 5 days short of 6 months old, he now weighs nearly 22 pounds, just over a pound off of his 19 month old sister and as much as Evan weighed at a year old. He is wearing the same clothes Evan wore the winter after he turned one. I took him to church yesterday in the outfit Evan was dedicated in at 14 months old, and Evan wasn’t a tiny guy. He has also started to regularly see a chiropractor for problem I had to take Evan for. He was always looking right and his head was getting mighty flat. Dr. Ken is working miracles though and he is now a left looking machine. He also began eating some solids last night for the first time. He had a little rice cereal and some pears. I wouldn’t say he loved it. He would be happy if I just nursed him from here on out. It might be a while before solids become a daily part of his diet. He did do well with it, though, and I couldn’t even get him to eat messy enough for a good picture. I just ended up getting a picture of him with a bib on.

First bites

At 19 months, Julia is really talking more and more. For some reason, she talks the most when we are playing outside. She saying small sentences like I want that/juice/cracker/etc, and “What’s that” which sounds more like “Wuss dat”. Today in the yard she said, “Mommy, I pooped”, and it turned out to be true. Maybe potty training isn’t far off for her. Evan works with her endlessly to teach her words. She is more likely to copy him than anyone else. For thanksgiving we did an art project sale I will explain more about in Evan’s update, and she really liked getting involved in coloring, painting and gluing. However, no art project is complete without ripping it to shreds when you are done. This caused some level of disagreement between her and I, but usually the art project would have a chunk taken out before I could get it away from her. I guess it is just Julia’s signature style for now.

Most babies love tags. All three of my babies would/do play with tags on toys, stuffed animals and blankets. Julia’s love of tags has carried over into toddlerhood. She fidgeted with the tag on her bumper pad in her crib while she slept until it came off. Then she found the tag on her comforter and when I lay her in the crib at night she immediately moves toward the tag and hangs onto it. If I walk in there in the middle of the night to check on her she is almost always fast asleep with a death grip on it. I find all of the little details that go into making my children individuals very fascinating and her love of that comforter tag is definitely something I want to remember.

I posted all of my pictures of Julia in my ode to the beatles above.

Evan has changed so much since he turned 3. He hit a major developmental surge and now is capable of doing so many things I had previously thought was a long way off. He can completely dress and undress himself including his shirt. He can cut with scissors and do his own art projects. His language skills blow me away. One funny thing he started doing was using the word “for” instead of “because” like he is in a Shakespeare play. One night when we were all seated at the table he declared, “Mommy, please hand me a fork, for I am hungry.” Stephen’s brother James was there and it cracked us both up. His imagination has really taken off and now he gives all of his toys different voices as he carries on conversations amongst them. Tonight his cars were having a conversation in the bath and it ended in a terrible car crash with Evan yelling, "Not in my town, Mister" It must have been something he got from the movie cars.

I took special care to record his first and second prayers. He would only pray with me until a October 28th. Right after meeting his Aunty Sharon, my mom’s sister who just moved here to Atlanta, he said his first solo prayer right before bed. It went, "Dear Jesus, thank you for this food and for this day and for Grandma and Grandpa and Aunty Sharon. In Jesus name i pray, Amen". Then the next night his prayer was, “Dear Jesus. . . Now mommy, be quiet. I am talking to Jesus. . . . Thank you for this food, and for this day and for Uncle James and Daddy and. . . What's next mommy?"

The next door neighbors have middle school aged boy who plays outside on his swing set. Evan loves to walk to the edge of our two yards and talk to him. Their conversations are always funny because neither of them have any concept of what the other understands. One day when the neighbor boy was out there with his friend, the conversation went something like this,
Evan: Hey, Guys
neighbor: What?
Evan: That's my mommy over there.
neighbor: Oh. Yeah. I already know that.
Evan: And that's my new play set.
neighbor: Yeah. Mine is getting pretty old.
Evan: Oh. hehe. yeah.(Evan has no idea what the kid is talking about) Who's that guy? (pointing at his friend)
neighbor: that is my friend Chad. He is from down our street in Cheatham Hill Estates.
Evan: . . . . . .I have a slide.
neighbor: Yeah.
Evan: Do you have a ball?
neighbor: Somewhere.
Evan: Oh. 'Cause that's my ball over there (points to disgusting, old soccer ball left in our yard of which Gus, our dog, was currently chewing on).
neighbor: nice.
Evan: Yeah. It's pretty nice. Actually, it's Gus's ball. ("Actually" is Evan's favorite word and he tries to slide it in where ever he can.) That is my baby brother and my baby sister.
Neighbor: Ok.
Evan: I have to go talk to my mommy.
neighbor: Ok. See ya.
It's also funny because Evan still doesn't understand the importance of looking at someone when he is talking with them so a lot of their conversations are Evan looking back into our yard to talk about something there and the kid missing what he is saying. This conversation would go something like this.
Evan: That's. . . . . . (inaudible because his back is now turned)
Neighbor: What?
Evan: (looks back and says) That's . . . . . (turns back)
Neighbor: What? I can't hear you.
Evan: That's. . . . .
Neighbor: I can't hear you!
After this happens for some time the neighbor kid will finally get off the swing and walk over to Evan to catch what he is saying and then walks away feeling silly because it is usually something like, "That is my tree over there". Sometimes it will be something he has already told him like, "That's my mom over there", or "my daddy is at work on an airplane", which he loves to tell him about. And what is mommy doing this whole time? Pushing the babies in their sings and laughing my head off, of course. I think these sorts of social interactions are learned by trial and error.

First Carved Pumkin

Evan by his "river"

Evan's Third Birthday Party

Blue for Halloween

Sleepin' with Uncle James

Here are some other assorted pictures of the kids.

Kids in a box


Half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it just to reach you, Julia.

Julia, Julia, oceanchild, calls me
So I sing a song of love, Julia
Julia, seashell eyes, windy smile, calls me
So I sing a song of love, Julia.