Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rainy days

"Girl spiders are prettier!"

Dezins by Stephanie

These summer afternoon showers have been faithful. Actually they are lasting most of the day. The spiders, bugs and grass are loving it. The kids are too, if they are permitted to swim in it, or play in it or splash in it. Stephanie just grins as if it is raining just for her.

Olivia has been practicing her screams when she sees a spider to see if her Knight comes running to save her. He does. So, when this golden orb weaver (banana spider) showed up outside, I wanted her to get used to it being around. She has done well. She loves it more that the girl spider is so pretty and the male is little and brown. What fun these days have for us.

Last night, Stephanie was hanging out with just me and she came in on the last 20 minutes of PROJECT RUNWAY. My love for reality TV is passing on...yikes. Anyway, she loved it. Thankfully there were only a few bleeps*** for bad words, and she did not ask. But with her love and lessons in sewing this summer, it rang her bell. She woke up this morning and started drawing. I loved how creative she was. She named the dresses, and made them all different. Some even had hats. What a fashionista.

My big news this week is my trip planned for a weekend fiesta in San Antonio, Texas. I am heading there for a girls-getaway and to meet a whole bunch of new friends. Only 21 days to go! I hope to get some incredible salsa and maybe a view of the Alamo.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Summer fun

What says summer like nights and nights of sleepovers with friends? So we dove right in this week and had "marathon sleepover" at our house. I thought more than once, why am I doing this to myself? And then I would...

...hear the roaring laughter from the playroom of girls playing some game, that surely had never received such laughter. Thanks Avery. a group of girls bask in the awesomeness of real "mermaids" swimming in the springs. What a delight. Thanks Egyptia and Nhyzingha.

...peek into a room with four blondies dancing like there is no tomorrow, and singing at the top of their lungs, enough to make Miley and Carrie proud. Thanks Emma and Maddie.

...see more naked hineys in the pool than should be permitted, EVER! Thank goodness for privacy fences. Thanks Abbie.

...visit friends for a day of giggles, games, movies and fun. Thanks Alma, Chloe, Taylor, Elijah, Josie and Jake.

...cook more pancakes, fishsticks, popcorn, and serve more popsicles than a budget allows for one week. Fishes and the loaves folks...miracles.

...still have time to catch up on my recorded shows and wallow in blogworld.

Many are our blessings in this family. Friends add a spice that cannot be found elsewhere, and we crave its taste.

Come Monday, I will hear voices wondering "who is coming over today mom?", but that will only be if she wakes up and finds my bed already made.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

four generations

Steve's grandmother(Myrtis), parents and aunts were able to come over and we celebrated some birthdays. We have not been able to see Grandmama for so long since she had been ill from a fall. But we were able to see her beautiful smile, hear some of her stories of old, taste the yummy ham and Publix cake she brought for the party.

Just watching her around her daughters made me smile. Steve's mom, Mickie, is her oldest and there were moments when all she could do was smile at her and kiss her too. I imagined how I would feel after seventy years of watching my child's life and the paths it had taken. I wondered if she felt like I do many a day that I just want my daughters so close to me that we are sharing the same air.

Did she look at Mickie and see the six year old who sold kittens at school? Did she see the young woman who was a fine nurse? The young mother of four who sacrificed whatever it took to give her kids a good life. Did Grandmama feel the pain of what she has lost in this lifetime, and yet swell with pride because of her diligence in raising such a great family. Will I still get to steal a few moments in my girl's lives when they are all grown like Myrtis did today?

It was a special day. Every day with Steve's side of the family is.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer school

Summer math...daughter + makeup + dad = scary clown

Full grown cystal tree. Evaporation, and liquids to gas!

First step in growing crystals. Summer science, yee haw!

Tents in the living room during afternoon showers.

What a day we had today. I was worried when demands for breakfast were being made before the sun was shining, and whines were heard about a messy bed...but to my great delight cereal and a short prayer for peace got us back on track. I cleaned a few closets, shelves and the school room, and the girls were BUSY.

They did a fun art project, we had our short science lesson on phases of matter, and evaporation which resulted in a great crystal tree. This is quick and fun for the kids if you want to study crystals. It was a day of rain, and so since we were cooped-up we made tents in the living room. They packed half of their belongings to go 15 feet down the hall. I loved it because they cleaned it all up by themselves. Yahoo!

Steve came home and Olivia got ahold of him while I was cooking dinner and the result was a little scary. I would not say it was one of his most handsomest moments, but he was tops in Daddy world.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

AG movie day

The whole crew that went to the movie!

Grammy Sue with the girls, popcorn, candy and soda!

Lunch at Fazolis (Italian food with white shirts! What were we thinking?)

Well the American Girl company outdid themselves on this one. The movie, Kit Kittredge, was a hit. All of us absolutely loved it. We were all high on sugar, soda and filled with popcorn, and we still could put in a valid vote. Olivia said," I did not like it. I LOVED IT!" We had ages ranging from 70's down to 5 in our group and we all found a place for this movie to resonate. We laughed at the incredible Joan Cusack, and cried over Julia Ormond, two great actresses. Take some time and a few ten's and go see it this summer.

Grammy Sue hit a homerun on this day for sure. Thanks for your love and kindness, it is a treasure. Elijah was the trooper, he was our only male comrade today. Good job boy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Messy Mess

Photos have been removed because of a very concerned uncle. Thanks for sharing your love and concern.

For those of you who know Stephanie, this scene does not come as a surprise to you in the least. Her sister came in and told on her. I believe she was hoping to see some fire in my eyes just for some pure summer entertainment...but, to her surprise I just went and got my camera. These were the only two shots I could post.

All was washed off of her and the wall once she was done, and an hour of running the hose was added to our monthly bill, but what says summer like a good-ol-mud-pie-kind- of-day? Some women pay good money for having mud all over them, and it was free this day. Olivia and I passed on the treatment.

Yes, we have decided Laurie Berkner must have known Stephanie when she wrote the song "Messy Mess" or that is our name of the song, anyway. There is just something about messes that calls her name. Some days I just laugh, some days I have had enough. She is a delight and sensitive and has her moments of girly-girlness, but for the most part she is one with nature. Literally.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

two american girls

We have two girls who can not wipe the smiles off of their faces. They became the proud owners of a "just like me american girl doll" this past week. They have brushed more hair and changed more outfits than imagined. A very special friend blessed them with this treasure. That goes to show you what a praying little girl can do...He moved upon someone's heart to bless them with a doll, and that special someone obeyed. He is a great God. It has been a great life-lesson on the Lord moving on their behalf.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July

Guess what we did on the fourth...we all went to Leesburg and watched the fireworks. Of course Kay-Kay was there and had the camera, so guess who took these pics.

We had a great family day and we even took family pictures, there is one of them on this page. Look, doesn't it look great! Thanks, Rachael.

We love our country and if we could have we would have stood and sang at attention "The star spangeled banner", but we were driving down the road, so it was impossible. But we sang with gusto and belted out every "pitchy" note. (Thanks American Idol for our great descriptive adjectives.)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A boy or a girl?

Yes, we are adding to our family. No, we are not pregnant. Yes, we would ask for your earnest and diligent prayers concerning this process of adoption that we are committing to.

Here is our story so far, and please know we will be keeping up with the process and news through this blog.

Steve and I (along with the girls) have been praying about this for quite some time. We decided earlier this year to begin the process, but did not know where to begin. So we began where we knew it would be best. On our knees. It was very interesting for me because I am usually the one to find a group of "cheerleaders" that are on my side and start charging full throttle towards the goal. But, this time, I was quieted. The Lord sealed my lips for a long time. I would go to speak about all of this and it would not come out. I could not tell anyone. This was for Steve and I. Alone.

So, then our paths crossed with an old college friend who worked with the Florida Baptist Children's Homes, and the email addresses were exchanged. Now, not only did my lips not work, neither did my fingers when I went to email her. Yikes. I guess if our Holy God can seal the mouths of hungry lions, so can He make it impossible for me to move before His time.

Months later, we were freed to share our story and desire throughout our family and friends, and with the agency who would be handling our case. God is so cool how He is directing our steps and readying the child that will become a part of all of our lives.

Now, if you have not noticed, there is a link on the side of the blog that reads "addition to our family". This is a link to a video that shows the larger family our new child is a part of. The Down Syndrome family. But, let me reassure you, Down Syndrome is what they have it is not what they are. We know it is a child who needs love, kindness, patience and a whole lot of fun. We need all of these too, so please be praying for our family.

We are so excited to see how God blesses our family. We encourage you to be a part of this ride with us.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

9th anniversary

We bascially had a anniversary week. Steve brought me home flowers and arrived when I had some friends over. He got some extra talley marks for that, since it is always better when you have witnesses. Then he even did the cutting and clipping to make them pretty in a vase.

Then blessings be to the local church who took the kids for the evening of VBS so we could go out for dinner. Since we live in such a progressive community, our choices were KFC, Wendy's or a few others, so we settled on Beef O'Brady's. Larry the Cable guy would have been proud of our patronage for hot wings and beer. We decided to forego the beer, and had a big ol coke.

A package(thanks Tonia and Neal) arrived at my door this past week and opening it, I found a beautifully wrapped box with a lovely card. Inside I found the most amazing, tastey, succulent, candy. It was chocolate caramels. I am not really a sweet kinda girl, so I did not tear right into them, but once I bit into the first one, I was a goner. I made myself share. It was only fair. It was Steve's anniversary too. By the way you can order some at

With candy stashed in the purse we headed out for the blockbuster hit "Kung Fu Panda" and had us some laughs, but the girls thought the best part was the five airheads they each consumed.

Finally with a car trip south to Steve's parents, we passed on his mother's buffet of sandwiches and Steve took me to my most favorite place to eat Thai food. We have made believers of our girls and a few friends that Osaka's sushi and food in Madeira Beach is incredible. A sunset swim in the Gulf was better than a spa treatment (well, not really, but it was great).

So, finally I want to thank my husband for a wonderful anniversary. Here is an short description of my man and an excerpt of his card. He is the best.

Thank you for being who you are. I love all of you. I accept all of you. I even like all of you. At times I like some parts of you more than others, but all in all you are like the best super big gulp cherry coke a girl could ask for.

When I think of how all this happened it does seem completely crazy to my mind. I also can say with fervor that I would lock any one of the young ladies in our life in the cellar if they had done what I had done with the modern technology world of the Internet. But God has a plan. I'm glad we ran into His.

So I fell in love with a complete nerd. A treky who crossed over into the world of Darth Vader. A Spielberg/Lucas mutated young Frankenstein who secretly wanted to be in the Allen family. An Ebert crossed with Carlin genetically altered humor. And a wannabe Milton Brady tester of games. Mixed in still is the deep rooted talent of Eddie and a little James. I am forever yours...all of you. Even if I have to put up with the Bubba.