Monday, July 31, 2006

Happy Monday to you!

I am the only person awake at my house right now. Very pleasant. Just thought I'd bring you up to speed on some things going on around here...

We had a week long birthday celebration for Az4. She loved every minute of it!! We had a great party with her little friends from our playgroup one Saturday - full of Princess and princes running around. I had foam crowns for them to decorate, and we had a little coronation. Now, the game of "freeze" fell way short, but hey, we all had a great time!

Then on her birthday, we let her rule the roost...within reason I promise! Just don't tell anyone about the birthday cake for breakfast, okay?

Then this past Saturday, we had her shindig with family. We went swimming at GrandMommy's house, then had a great meal of chili/hot dogs, and she opened presents. The cake was fantastic - when I download a picture, I'll post it - GrandMommy took a Be11e doll and made the cake her dress - again, it was amazing!! Plus she had a blast opening her presents...the funniest part was when she was reading the cards - she'd open them, say "Happy birthday to you!", and then chunk them to the side. I still chuckle about it.

Az3 came back home Friday from Grammy and Papa's house. It was a nice break to have only 2 kids while he was gone, but I'm glad my little man is back. And just like always, any time he or I are gone for more than a day, he looks so much older! I can't believe he starts 1st grade in 2 weeks! Yep, on the 14th, he really grows up. See, kindergarten was only 3 hours, it was at our church, and I knew he'd be home for lunch, naps, etc. This time, I'm making him a lunch, he's gone from about 8-3, and I'm not sure I'm ready...again!....WaaaaahhhH!! Funny, how as parents, we so hope for our kids to grow up and be mature and good people, but then when it actually happens, we're like "where'd our babies go?"

Speaking of babies, Miss Az5 is doing okay. Her schedule was waaaaaaaayyy off after this weekend, so we're working back to get on it. I fear she is teething as well - very fussy, not so content all the time, chewing chewing chewing!, as well as constant diaper rash. She's still pretty cute though! She gives really good hugs - and wraps one hand around my neck to play with the hair at the nape of my neck. She says mama, dada, baba (which we think may be "bubba"), and ni-ni (night-night). She can patty cake really well, which she demonstrated during her baby dedication this weekend. The pastor was talking about how blessed she was to have parents who are committed to raising her in a Godly house, and she applauded! How precious!!

One last note and then I need to go to bed. I start work on Wednesday. Now, before you spew your drink against your screen or fall out of your chair, let me explain: this is a total God thing. Understand too, we're okay if I don't work...we just aren't getting anywhere fast. So I've been praying alot lately that He would reveal an answer - and allow me to still bless my family. So I'm going to work at a local grocery store as a cashier, the same one I worked at as a cashier my first few semesters in college. The great thing is, they will let me work around my hubby's schedule - meaning ta-da-da!!! No daycare!!!!!!! Hurray!!! Also, this means that I could only work 15-20 hours or so a week, and it is still worth my while - 100% take home. Plus, I'm as close to this store as Daddy is to his, for those of you that know. So while I'm still undecided about leaving the home to work at all, I know it is going to be okay - Daddy and I made this decision together, 100% support of both of us, and the kids are going to get to see him a whole lot more. Praise the Lord!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

This and That...

We had VBS at our church yesterday. It was a blast!! We did it differently this time - a one day (from 8 to 3) as opposed to a week of mornings or at night. Our theme was a Day in Jerusalem (very interesting considering the news of the week huh?), and so the kids were divided into 12 tribes. We did not do by age this time (except for the 2 preschool tribes), so it was a random mixing, and seemed to really work well. Each tribe had a couple leading it, and their own home "tent". Then during the day, each tribe would journey throughout the city. They visited the jewelry shop, the market, the animal shop, the carpentry shop, the music shop, and the synagogue. Plus we served lunch during the day. It was so cool! All the tribes would walk around carrying their flag, greeting eachother with "Shalom!" (which sounds so cute coming from preschoolers!) and all the leaders were dressed in character.

The baby charmed everyone in the nursery - all day long! She was spoiled rotten by 3 of the wonderful ladies of our church, and I truly think they actually enjoyed it more than her! Az4 started in the older nursery room, but then was moved to the preschool tribe - honestly, I think due to her maturity and vocabulary. She loved it! But she did end up cratering in the last worship time of the day, so I moved her back to the nursery room which was better for everyone. But can I just brag as a mom and tell you how proud I am of her - she's still 2, and she hung out with a bunch of 4 and 5 yr olds for most of the day without any trouble?!?!

Az3 really had a blast, and I was so glad! He had a great couple for his leaders (she is in the church choir and very musical!!) and was in the Levi tribe. Every time I saw him he was smiling and waving. Plus, as I'm sure some of you remember, I've really been praying for his salvation since VBS last year. I actually ended up working registration, and then was a counselor in the "synagogue" during decision time. When it came time for the invitation, Az3 popped his hand right up that he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart. I let someone else go talk to him, and she came and got me later, saying there was no doubt in her mind that he was ready! So I walked over to where he was sitting, ready to listen to him pray, and he froze up! Nothing going - but he can totally explain it all to you. There's no doubt in my mind he knows exactly what to do and why, but just doesn't seem comfortable discussing it with me or Daddy. So I'm just going to continue praying (and would ask that you do as well) and trust that God will bring someone else into his life to help lead him to the Lord.

On a totally nonrelated topic, my garden has really taken off! I'm so pleased. Last year I did a container garden, and it was so-so, but okay for a first attempt. Well this year, I have a real garden - part of the backyard, fenced off with rows and everything. I'm growing sweet corn (3 plants), watermelon (4 plants), yellow squash (4), green beans (4), bell peppers (7), zucchini squash (3), carrots (several), peas (5), cucumbers (11), pumpkins (4), and tomatoes (7). It's quite a little endeavor, let me tell you! But I am loving it!! I started late this year though - didn't get seeds into the ground until after vacation, about mid June, so we're just now getting to the good part. The corn is growing well, getting tall. The watermelon is just now starting to take off, but man is it going! The yellow squash have a gazillion buds on them - I expect the blooms to open within a week or so. The green beans are just starting to vine, as well as the bell peppers, but the peppers are growing crazy! The zucchini I expect are on the same schedule as the squash, but I just don't know about the carrots. We'll see...the peas in the back of the row are doing well, but the ones in the front are being devoured by something. I don't know what, and I've sprayed a couple of times, but it doesn't seem to help. The cucumbers are doing wonderfully, and I'm excited - lots of pickle potential! The pumpkins by far are doing the best in the garden - I'm concerned they may take over their entire end. Next time I will definitely put them at the end by themselves with lots of room! The tomatoes are growing well too.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Disney Day 2

Should be the view out the front of the monorail, with Alice, with Ariel, and meeting Cinderella

Disney Day 2

This was going to be a big day for the kids, and we were all so excited. Our first day in the Magic Kingdom, which if you have little ones, is THE park to go to!

Starting out, we had so much fun riding the Monorail. GranDaddy had told Aiken about this type of train, and so hopes were high when we arrived at the station. Plus, Mommy had a secret plan: someone had told her you could ride up front with the engineer! So we asked, and indeed you can! They even have honorary "engineer" cards waiting for you on the seat - waaaaayyy too much fun!

Then finally we were there, inside, taking it all in. We decided to start first in Fantasyland, as it tends to get crowded quickly. We found Alice in Wonderland in front of the dizzy Tea Cup ride, and she taught Az4 how to curtsy! Too cute! Then it was onto a fave, the Dumbo ride, for Mommy and the older two kids. (Daddy had to change the baby....) After that, we divided and conquered: Daddy and the older two went to Mickey's Philharmagic show, while Mommy and baby waited in line to see Ariel - the Little Mermaid! This particular princess has been a fave lately of Azx4's, so it was a BIG deal to get to see her, talk to her, and get our pictures made! (She had her tail on today - we'd see her later on a different day with her "legs"...)

We also rode the Pooh bear ride, and played in the 100-Acre Woods playground. Then we met up with family, and "prepared" to go eat lunch all together in Cinderella's castle. Az3 was excited about it, but no where near as jazzed as his younger sister. She bought a new crown and wand in a shop before we went, so as to be all dressed appropriately. We had a ball! While you wait for your table, you are allowed to go in and meet the Princess herself and get pictures and autographs. While this princess has also been a fave of Az4 (they rotate!) I could tell she was awe-struck at actually meeting Cinderella, due to her lack of verbage. I mean, I haven't seen her totally at a loss of words in a while. We got some cute pictures, one of which is Az4's totally inpromptu hug of "Sinderslelly" right as we left.

The lunch itself was wonderful!! Many many many thanks to Grammy and Papa for organizing this for everyone - the food was great, the company better, and we all sure appreciated the air conditioning!! During the meal, we were visited by Snow White, who promptly plopped a big ole' red wet one on Az3's forehead...ala Dopey! She was followed by the Fairy Godmother herself, then Princess Aurora (wearing pink for those of you in the know), and finally Belle. I think the novelty had kinda worn off by then, as Az4 looks like she's eating in most of the pictures I got. Priorities right?

Then we ran back to the hotel for a nap, and came back to ride some more fun. Buzz Lightyear was great - I got to ride it with Az3 for the first time. After I explained it was like a huge nintendo game, he yelled my ear off with "oh got that one! Look out Momma!" After which, we actually met Buzz himself, and then played in the water at Ariel's grotto. Plus we got to do the Peter Pan ride, and one of my personal favorites, It's a Small World. Did you know there are hidden Mickey's on that ride? Then it was time to get seats for the Lights parade...not as good as the Electrical Light parade in my opinion, but definitely worth seeing! By that time, we were all exhausted, and headed home! But such a wonderful day - and totally worth it to see my kids' faces as they rode all these rides for the first time, or met Cinderella for the first time, and even just seeing the castle!!