Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I totally forgot to add my 10 week ultrasound picture to the stack of photos in the latest blog update, though it turned out to be for the best. I ended up needing another ultrasound on Wednesday for the various and always present issues I tend to have during pregnancy. The baby hangs on in there and appears to be totally healthy. I already know it has 10 healthy looking fingers and toes and a strong heart beat. It all measures just as it should. I count those things as the great blessings! We are very excited to meet number 4 in May. I should be finding out the sex in less than 8 weeks.

Enjoy more fuzzy ultrasound photos of our latest, most adorable blessing.

# 4 at 10 weeks. The baby was crazy with energy for this ultrasound and we watched in amazement as it did acrobatics for us.

# 4 at 12 weeks, apparently sucking his/her thumb. The baby gave me one swift kick which I both saw and felt at the same time. I didn't believe I was feeling movement until that point. Then it promptly went back to sleep.

#4 at 12 weeks.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I don't think it has been so long since my last blog as it has just felt like it has been so long. These last couple of months have been an interesting challenge for me with 3 little kids, a husband and various other responsibilities while being sick nearly 24/7. Fortunately, I am on the mend. I am generally feeling much better now that I am 12 weeks along. I have a bit more energy and the times I am sick are getting fewer and farther in between. I can’t complain about that.

This blog entry was fun for me to write. I haven’t done one like this in a while. I have enjoyed doing more stories and thoughts again instead of just bullet points about what the kids are doing. It takes a bit more time to read, but I sure had fun writing it and then later reading it.

While the kids eat breakfast, I have been reading through the bible to them since Evan was a baby. I started in Matthew, the beginning of the New Testament, and I read a little section each day. We made it through to Revelation a few weeks ago. If you know me very well at all, you know that not so much the book, but avid studiers and "interpreters" of the book give me a headache. There are so many theories and "explanations" and some parts of them make sense and others don't. I just think there is no real way to know. I have journaled my way through this book and just thought, "What is God trying to teach me about my walk with Him today", and not tried to figure out what the grand meaning is. There just isn't any way to know for sure in this lifetime.

Anyway, I hit Revelation with my kids with a pit in my stomach. If you have ever read it, it has to be one of the most graphically disturbing books on earth, and now here I am reading it to my very young children. I really want them to hear the whole Bible from beginning to end, but after about 2 weeks of reading passage like, "Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed God in heaven because of their pains and sores", or "The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire", I realized I was reading it more like this, "Men. . mumble, tongues. . mumble, mumble, God in heaven because of their mumble, mumble". Evan watched me perplexed every day. When a word would pop out of my mouth that I didn't mean to read clearly he would say something like, "What did that dragon do to those people"? I finally had had enough when, while watching my wide eyed oldest son out of the corner of my eye, read a passage which said something like "The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died" . . . "SIGH". . .(flip, flip, flip) . . ."In the beginning, God created the heaven's and the earth. . . " I have just decided to skip Revelation for now and start in the beginning of the Old Testament with Genesis. Much less mumbling is required.

My kids argue for sport. . . a little like certain parents of theirs so we only have ourselves to blame. One morning the kids came down for breakfast and started arguing about whether or not we should turn the air conditioning off. Julia was cold and Evan was happy with it. This went on for some time until I decided I was cold and went to turn it off. Julia came with me and when we got back into the kitchen she boasted to Evan, "Air's off, Buddy". However, with Julia saying the "S" for the "F" sound it came out like, "Air sauce, Buddy". Evan screams, "JULIA, YOU CAN'T HAVE AIR SAUCE FOR BREAKFAST"!! I laughed out loud as they continued to argue about whether or not air sauce was an option for breakfast for the next several minutes.

Julia’s World:
- After MUCH work, Julia is finally starting to learn her colors.
-Started being able to totally dress herself in the last couple of months.
-Learned how to point, click and drag on the computer and can now play simple computer games. She has even learned to navigate a child-friendly website and move between games she wants to play.
-LOVES to talk on the phone, especially with Grandma Tynes and Daddy.
-Already has her birthday party all worked out. It will all be purple, because purple is her "savorite" color. It will start at chuck-e-cheeses and move to Cold Stone Creamery for a purple, ice cream, birthday cake. She also has the children she wants invited figured out too. Her birthday isn't until April 25th.
-Is a REALLY hard worker and a big helper to me. She will at least attempt to do every task I ask her to do.
-Is totally fascinated by bodily excretions. Will run across the house to see someone's cut bleed or watch me change a poopy diaper or look in the potty before it's flushed. It makes me laugh.

Harrison’s World:
-Figured out how to get out of his crib at 16 months old, my youngest to do so.
-Climbs incessantly like my other two.
-New found passion is gum.
-Calls Evan "Evan" or "Buddy" now.
-Evan taught Harrison to burp on command and say, "Excuse me". You can enjoy a lovely video of that below.
-Said "I LOVE YOU" or more like "I YUH YOU" last Wednesday for the first time. It was to Grandpa Ringsmuth.
-LOVES to dance.
-Stephen bumps knuckles with the kids and says something like, "BOO-YEAH". Now Harrison does it but instead, yells "Boo-yeah" and then punches you in the face.

Evan’s World:
Evan knows the letter sounds to most of the letters. With my coaxing he can sound out simple 3 and 4 letter words. I say he knows most of his sounds because, since the English language was actually invented by a drunken sailor or a rebel who wanted to screw with our minds, there are several completely irrelevant letters. Here is my list of FULL TIME irrelevant letters C,Q,X and part time irrelevant letters are A,E,G,H,I,O,U,Y. There are more that I am missing, but each of those letters make teaching a young reader a real pain in the butt. Maybe we could get rid of "SH" and make that the sound the "X" makes or make a "C" actually make the "CH" sound. Why do we have letters that make sounds others already make and then have sounds that are not covered by any one letter? At some point someone had to teach me to read, so I figure it is possible to explain how crazy everything is, but for now I am ready to start a commission to redo the alphabet, and the ridiculous spelling of word like "cough" into something like "Cof" or even “Coff” and tons of grammar rules while I am at it, starting with making it grammatically correct to put punctuation inside of the parenthesis. Is anyone with me on this?

I have never been more proud of him than when we were at the Kennesaw fall festival. He accidentally bumped another kid’s mouth and made him bite into his lip. He was bleeding pretty bad. I saw the bleeding kid get out of the moon walk and wondered what happened. Then Evan came out with a guilty and pained look on his face and told me that he accidentally bumped the little boy's mouth. I said, "Oh, Buddy. You did? Do you want to go say you are sorry"? He immediate said that he did, so like a big boy he walked over and very apologetically told the little boy he was sorry. His grandmother was very touched by it too and very graciously accepted the apology for the little boy. Later I noticed a big swollen bump on Evan's head and asked him where he got it. He said it was from bumping the little boy. It looked quite painful but he never complained about it. He was more concerned for the other little boy. I was so touched and proud I must have told him a million times until he was sick of hearing it.

Even though Evan’s birthday wasn’t until October 24th, we had his party on Friday night the 19th at chuck-e-cheeses. He decided that he turned 4 there. After that anytime anyone wished him a happy birthday he scowled at them about how was already 4. When his birthday finally came he was very upset about it. He thought he should either be turning 5, or people should just leave him alone about it. He was so embarrassed that people might think he was 5 days younger than he thought he should have been. I hosted a large play date the day before his birthday with all of his friends and made a cake for him so he would be OK with people knowing it wasn’t really his birthday yet. I had to bribe him with the cookies we made for his class at church the night of his actual birthday to even get him go without a major meltdown. I found the whole thing very amusing. I don’t think we have ever had his party on his birthday, but this is the first year he actually grasped that fact and had an opinion about it. I would have just thought a kid would like to have his birthday dragged out for several days like that. . . who knew?

-Can now count to 59. He could count higher if he wanted to, but he insists that he will not for some reason.
-After several Mexican standoffs over the course of the last 3 years I have finally taught my eldest son how to drink water. The other two prefer it to anything else, but Evan would always rather have had an ice cold glass of Windex than a glass of water.
-One afternoon Stephen asked me, "Do you want to bring the kids out later for a F-I-R-E". Stephen sporadically builds fires in our little fire pit for our family to sit around. Evan stood quiet for a second then leaped to his feet and yelled, "YEAH! FIRE"! We both cracked up because, like most parents, we assume our kids are dimmer than they are. From an early age, before they can even read or spell, they can figure out what we are saying.

What do you think you're doing, Grandpa?


Evan's 4th birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese's.

Playing with and sometimes snacking on play-doh

I just found her this day, completely stripped nude with this life jacket on. . .

October fun in Atlanta.

All 5 cousins with the Hillman Great-Grandparents.

Julia's new bike at Grandma's house.

Leaf fight Harrison walks around all day talking about the tractors or "Tatows" in this book.

Kennesaw City's Fall Festival Treasure Hunt.

Popcorn party while waiting for Daddy to get home from New Orleans.

Typical Julia would not let me put on her headband and walked around like this for hours.

Julia's new love of her life named, "Tiny, Little, Baby Doll" from Grandma Tynes.

Real men wear pink (the day before laundry day).

The kids trying to make pumpkin faces.

Evan's consolatory, play date, birthday cake.

The new loves of Evan's life, his Lightning McQueen Race car track. . .

. . .and remote control helicopter.

More typical Julia. She picked this lovely outfit out and dressed herself before I got to her room that day.
Baking bars with mommy to raise money of African AIDS orphans.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Stephen, Rochelle, Evan, Julia, Harrison, & baby make. . .

Yup. That's right. . . .6. Though it was a complete surprise to us, I don't think it is a surprise to many of you that the Tynes procreated for the 4th and probably final time. I am due in May and sicker than a dog. I am about 10 weeks along and hoping against hope that I start to feel better soon. It is the reason I haven't updated the blog to let people know sooner. I make it a goal every night and then end up just going to bed. Tonight I feel pretty well so I thought I would jump at the chance before I put it off into oblivion.

I will do more of an update at a later date. I have some cute stories and pictures, but I have to get my baby rest for now. I at least wanted to show you some pictures of our adorable baby. I would like a girl for Julia's sake. It would be nice for her to have a sister, but I am indifferent as to which sex I would prefer. To go along with the old saying, "Just so long as it's healthy", is really the truth.

Truth be told, Julia has stated several times that she has no intentions of sharing her bedroom. She is terribly excited about the new baby and wants to see my tummy all of the time, but the new baby can either sleep in the guest room or in the boys' room. Her room is her room. Of course, she has no choice. My children have massive bedrooms, so I don't care if I have 20 kids, the same sex children will always share the same room. So far I am not pushing the issue with her, though. I don't see the need to upset her until we know for sure what we are having.

Evan is also terribly excited. We didn't tell the kids I was pregnant until I was a couple of months along to be sure that the ultrasounds went well, and I felt confident the pregnancy was strong. Evan told me a few times before he knew I was pregnant that he was praying to Jesus that I would soon have a baby in my tummy. I was always so touched and told him to keep praying. The morning Stephen and I told them, Evan gasped and said, "I prayed to Jesus that He would put a baby in mommy's tummy"! Other than that, the kids were pretty silent and dumbfounded. After about 30 seconds of that Julia and Harrison got up to go play with their toys, and Stephen wondered downstairs. Evan crawled up into my lap, hugged me and said, "Mommy, I'm so happy there is a baby in your tummy".

Julia and Evan are convinced this baby is boy. I think partially that is because Harrison is a boy so they know what boy babies are like, and the other part of that is because Evan wants the new baby in his room and Julia does not.

This conversation took place before the kids found out I was pregnant. We were sitting at the table and Evan said, "I just prayed last night that we would have another baby".
Me: " Really? Wow! Great!"
Julia: I want to have another baby too."
Me: " You do? Why?"
Julia: "Cause I want to spank it".
Me:"You want to have another baby so you can. . . spank it"?
Julia: "Yup".
Me: Actually, I just raised my eyebrows, shook my head, and sighed.

Please enjoy my blurry almost completely indistinguishable ultrasound photos of baby blessing number 4. You can click on the pictures for a better view.

#4 at 6 weeks along. The baby already has a heartbeat.

#4 at 7 weeks along. You can see the baby and the umblical cord here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On The Road Again

I was just telling someone not too long ago that we never travel anymore now that we have three children. Then while I was in Florida this past weekend for my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary party I realized that we were on our 7th trip out of state in a year. I don't know what I was thinking when I told my friend that. We really do still travel a lot. I mention that now because since my last blog entry we have been to St. Louis, Mo for the funeral of my Uncle John following a miraculous and harrowing 32 year battle with cancer, followed by a romantic getaway to Miami/Hollywood beach, Florida a couple of weeks later, and then this past weekend back to Sarasota/Bradenton, FL for the anniversary party. I have pictures of these trips below. Once again I am going to try to tell our story over the past month or so mostly in pictures. Stephen was off for several weeks during this time so we did a number of fun things to take advantage of the time we had before he hit the road 4 days a week in the now even more dreadful than ever, horrible, disgusting, vile, demonic city of New Orleans. Lucky him. . .

A story before I begin into the child-by-child news section of this entry. A few weeks ago my two youngest children decided it would be yummy . . . or interesting. . . or something unknown and mind boggling to me, to eat cascade for breakfast. That's right, cascade, the powder dishwasher detergent. I was cleaning up breakfast and rounded the corner into the kitchen in time to see that Harrison had monkeyed open the trap door and was eating the powdered cascade as quickly as he could. When I picked Him up to get the cascade out of his mouth and give him a glass of milk, I turned around to see Julia eating it. I could not believe it. Poison control said to watch for severe vomiting, but unless that happens there is no risk of burns or anything. I am just never sure what is going through a child's mind at any given moment. Lord, have mercy!


*Is really starting to put two words together now. It is still mindboggling to me how much such a little guy can talk.

*Is beginning to run.

*Loves our dog Gus, trucks, running around on the play set and scaring his mommy to death, climbing, trucks, his older siblings, his daddy, the beach, food, TRUCKS.

*Now has a name for everyone in the family. Evan is Buddy. Julia is Du-ya, Harrison is Hay-Son. Gus, Mommy and Daddy are all pronounced just like that. Actually if you ask our kids the wild turkeys that live in the back yard are family members. He call them "Tookies".

*Hears the kids asking "why" all of the time so he is now always asking why as well. He doesn't know what it means or understand the answer, but he asks anyway.


*Can now pronounce her R's and L's.

*Has figured out how to lock us out of her bedroom.

*I said to her recently, "Julia, you are such a sweet little girl". She says, "No, Baby Lara is such a sweet little girl". (Lara is Julia's best friend who she still calls "Baby Lara" despite the fact that they are the same age.) I said, "She is? What are you then"? She says, "I'm 2".

*Can count to 13.

*Can identify the color green, but is not so interested in the rest.

*Can now identify which people are boys and which are girls.

*If you have a secret, don't tell it to Julia. She will announce to the room if she just heard you toot. My parents drove them across the road to a park without their car seats and she told me about it as soon as she got home. . . so on and so forth.

*Has started enjoying short bits of TV here and there. Before now she had no use for it.

*Has plunged into the "why, mommy, why?" stage about everything.


*Still asks "why" about everything. His questions really keep me on my toes.

*LOVES his baby brother and has started asking for another one.

*Caught a lizard with his bare hands that ran into the house one day while I ran and screamed the other way. He calmly carried it outside and set it free. He is the man of the house 4 days a week now.

*Will be 4 years old in less than a month.

*Really likes bugs and they don't scare him at all.

*Is definitely the boss. . . just ask him

This is a video montage of the last month or so. We have had a great time.

Butterfly art project

Indoor, rainy day fun with slides and playpens.

2nd cousins Nathan and Evan became fast friends in St. Louis.

Julia meets Grandma Ringsmuth in St. Louis for the first time.

Evan enjoys family fun on a trampoline w/ cousins Nathan, Emily, and Uncle Frank in St. Louis.
Lookout Mountain in Tennessee.
This drop off is as steep as it looks at Lookout Mountain. (note my hands)

Harrison feeds caribou at Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, GA.

Julia is freaked out by zebras at Wild Animal Safari. . .

but befriends this elk.

Evan feeds unknown horned creature at Wild Animal Safari.

Sexy rental van at Wild Animal Safari.

I am not sure why one of these caribou appears to be upside-down.

Glamorous beach resort Stephen wisked me off to in Hollywood Beach, FL.

Amazing pool I sat and read a book by for HOURS!! This was the view from our suite!

A violent game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos at Quin's 3rd birthday party.

Grandma and Grandpa Ringsmuth with all 5 growing grandkids.

Enjoying Quin's PINK birthday cake.

Julia's art becomes more sophisticated. She is actually attempting to color the objects in the picture here.

What needs to be said about this?

One day he couldn't stack any blocks, and the next day he could stack 6.

Evan shows off how many he can stack.

Julia hangin' out at Stephen's softball game.

Harrison cheering Daddy as he stands on 3rd base.

Evan wants to play softball too.

Grandma and Grandpa Hillman's 50th wedding anniversary in Bradenton, FL.

My baby cousin Katie and I who will be 18 soon in Bradenton, FL.

Tynes kids with my Uncle Scott's children in Bradenton, FL at the anniversary party.

Tynes family at the anniversary party.

Scotty Potty.

Family fun at Lido Beach in Sarasota, FL