Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bethany at Five!

It is hard to believe but the "baby" of our family is now five years old!
Here are some things about Bethany. . .
  1. She is the most resilient kid in our family.  So far this year she's had to deal with switching churches, moving to Wilson, Daddy' moving out, getting a dog, Grampy getting cancer, Mommy going back to work full time and day care.  All of that and she is only a little bit clingy in the mornings or when I leave her.
  2. Her vocabulary is out of this world.  Seriously, she knows more words than any other 5 year old I have ever met, even Elijah!
  3. She absolutely adores her preschool teacher, Ms. Johnstone.  She is quite possibly Bethany's most favorite person.
  4. She acts all clingy and whiny just around mommy to see if she can get her way. 
  5. She is a sneak and will sneak in for snuggles with someone (Lydia or mommy) at some point most nights.
  6. She doesn't have a set "lovey" that she needs to have to be content.  Any soft and fuzzy item will do.
  7. She despises the cat.
  8. She loves the dog but hates the dogs paws being on her.
  9. She is a great sleeper and normally sleeps for 11 hours every night.
  10. In her 4 year old year she learned to ride a two wheeler. 
  11. Frozen is her favorite movie and she often wants to wear her hair like Elsa (coronation hair and have it up, or a braid and have it down)
  12. She will eat just about anything including seaweed, parsnips, beets and just about any meat.  She doesn't like raw carrots or chocolate chips.
  13. She can write her letters and name and loves to do "homework" with her brother and sister.  She is reading a handful of sight words and loving her decodable books from school.
  14. She can carry a tune and sing better than Lydia and Elijah put together.
  15. She loves to dance but doesn't like dance classes.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Elijah at 8!

  • You continue to astound and amaze us every year. 
  • You love to read.  You love to "binge" on a book and will sit and read for hours to finish it in one or two sittings. 
  • You are getting to be much more computer saavy and you can type in websites and do research very well.
  • You are so excited about the NC law that says once you're 8 you can stay by yourself in the house.  The thought of not having to go to the grocery with me is so wonderful to you.
  • Your sisters annoy you like nothing else.  You are currently VERY displeased that Lydia is living with us. 
  • You still want a brother very badly.  You are planning for us to adopt one for you.
  • The thing that drives you nuts is singing in the car--I can't sing, the sisters can't sing. . . you just absolutely cannot stand it.
  • You know how to do laundry.
  • You know how to do the dishwasher.
  • You can clean well (and know all of the steps to cleaning the bathroom) but sincerely hate it.
  • You "favorite" chore is washing dishes by hand.
  • You are an amazing swimmer--your dive is perfect.  You got the nickname "Michael Phelps" during swimming lessons this summer.
  • You hated swimming lessons.
  • You are really struggling with my and daddy's separation.  My heart breaks for you.
  • You love being in Wilson again.  Especially close to your grandparents!
  • You love to be touched--back rubs, massages, sitting in my lap.  You also love alone time when its just you. 
  • You current favorites are Skylanders (Swap Force was your big birthday gift), Legos, Pokemon and Wimpy Kid.
  • Your favorite food is rutabegas.
  • Your favorite dessert is pie--especially the crust.
  • Your favorite breakfast is Parfaits.
  • Drawing and art is still one of your favorite pastimes. 
  • You are remarkably obedient, even when it comes to something you don't want to do.  You will listen about TV, games, electronics, cleaning up and going to bed.  There might be tears but I never have to tell you twice. 

Elijah's Birthday (on a Budget)

So--first birthday as a single mom=birthday on a budget.  We had a simple home party and here is what we did.
Pokemon theme--
There is absolutely nothing Pokemon since noone has had a pokemon party since the 90's (or so it seems).  Thanks Netflix for those cartoons :)  So I didn't have to worry with plates/napkins etc. in the theme. 
Here is the breakdown:
The invites--I made a file in and printed off 4x6 pics for .07/each at the Walgreens.  Total cost for invites was under $1
Streamers (red, black and yellow)-$2
Light up Balloons-4th of July Clearance-$1
Red Tablecloth and polka dot table cloth-$2
We reused plastic banners on the front of the house so those were free.
We printed out a banner with his name and some pokemon, which I guess has some cost associated with paper and ink but it is small as it was only about 15 sheets of paper.
Plastic utensils and plates and napkins-$3
Cake: I made it. 
$2 for the cake and ingredients for icing etc.
$6 for the fondant from Hobby Lobby with my coupon
We had the little plastic figures
$.75 for the cake board

We popped popcorn-.$25 with our air popper
Watermelon-$2.99 (thanks Aldi!)
Rice Krispies-$3
Chick-fil-A tray-FREE with a coupon

Goodie "bags"
Weren't really goody bags--just pencils and coloring sheet.  Thanks to back to school sales I got the pencils for $.80 including tax so the cost for this was only $5.60 (including pencils for my own kids)

Pokeball Scavenger hunt-$1.87 "practice" golf balls spray painted with leftover paint from another project
Dart gun target practice: Free (borrowed nerf guns from grampy and painted a toilet paper box)

Grand Total $35!!
Awesome time!
My boy was thrilled!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lydia at Six

Lydia at six. . .
-You love Frozen the movie and singing all the songs. 
-Pizza is one of your favorite foods (Papa Johns is the best!) followed closely by meatloaf, but only baked in muffin tins.
-You hate sandwiches and bread of any sort
-Bojangles is your favorite restaurant hands down.  It doesn't matter if we've just eaten, if you see a sign for Bojangles you beg to stop and get a bacon biscuit.  You LOVE bacon biscuits.
-You are in Kindergarten and absolutely love your kindergarten teacher Miss Longoria.  You draw her pictures and love notes at least once a week.
-You love it when I come in every Friday to read to your class
-You had a gymnastics party with your sister, but were actually kind of glad for gymnastics to end.  I think you're burned out and ready to try something new.
-You still love baths, playing dress up, building with blocks and duplos.
-Art is your favorite special and you are a member of Art Club.  You are the only kindergartner in the club.
-You are getting slowly more and more used to loud noises.  You were able to handle fire drills at school, gym, tornado drills and even the circus!
-You can tie your shoes, whistle, blow a bubble with gum and easily ride a two wheeler.
-You prefer the scooter to the two wheeler.
-You LOVE mud and getting muddy and filthy.  Especially in our backyard.  Especially if I asked you NOT to get muddy.
-You are stubborn and think you know so much more than the rest of us.  You aren't afraid of losing money, privelages or discipline of any sort.  You do hate to get yelled at more than anything.
-The cat loves you and sleeps in your bed on cold nights.
-You can still cry and throw up on demand.
-You almost never wear matching pajamas (which drives your sister nuts because you are in the same size and she always wants to wear matching pajamas and you have used up all the sets)
-You still sneak suck your thumb (Grrrr!)
-You've lost two teeth and you pulled them BOTH out by yourself!
-You are really starting to get the hang of reading but you are a PRO at writing.  You can sound out things so well and you are super creative.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bethany at 4!

Bethany you are four years old.  You started preschool this year and love it.  You have no problem hanging with the 5 year olds in class--physically and language wise you are a peer.
You can balance on the balance bike and pedal a trike like a pro and can even pedal a bit on Lydia's bike without training wheels. 
You love to throw a good tantrum.  I think it is because you know if you cry loudly your brother will give in to your every demand.  It is really annoying.
You can cry at the drop of a hat, over very small things.  You are very emotional.  I think you learned this wonderful skill (as well as how to make yourself sick) from Lydia.
Ariel is your favorite princess.  You and your friend Lily at school play it constantly!  Your second favorite is Elsa off of "Frozen" and you always ask me to be Anna.
You love seaweed chips, Kale, bagels with cream cheese and oatmeal.  Tomatoes are your favorite veggie followed by cucumbers.  Both you will devour!  You are by far the best eater in the family.  You like everything Lydia likes, everything Elijah likes and then some!  You are always game to try something before you decide that you don't like it. 
You are finally sleeping and sleeping in!  You and sissy normally sleep until 6am now.  I remember last year it was rare that I got to sleep past 5am.  It is a huge deal and we're all happier for it.  You typically go to bed at 7pm, though some nights it is as early as 6pm.  You don't nap except on Thursday (we are up until 9pm on Wednesday night for Awana).
You are rocking the bible verses--you can sing all of the books of the bible, do your verses, say brothers and sisters verses and even more from our songs.  You also know the days of the week, months of the year, continents and oceans all from song.
You hate loose pants--you want to wear leggings all the time.  Sometimes with a shirt and sometimes with a dress or skirt.  You love dresses and skirts.  Your favorite is the hot pink hello Kitty dress and legging combo I got you at Walmart. 
You are fairly stubborn and disobedient.  You will act like you don't hear me or completely ignore something I tell you to do.  Normally this ends in me forcing you to do it and you pitching a fit.  You are absolutely amazing and you teach me patience every day.
You love your granny like there is no tomorrow.  Next to me she is your favorite person in the world.
You love Friday School and Ms. Lori.  It is your favorite day of the week.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Happy Birthday Elijah

Today it is your birthday, you are 7 years old!  You are awesome. 
Saturday we had a family party with Golden Corral for dinner.  Sunday you were Baptized.  Yesterday we spent the day with Gracyn, Cody and Brandi at the Water Park.  It was your first time and it was so much fun.

You love reading (especially with an incentive).  You like Wimpy Kid books and Magic Treehouse books.  You also have been reading Narnia with daddy but got irritated when he didn't read the last chapter of Dawn Treader, so you did it yourself.  You definitely read better than the average 7 year old!

You love Skylanders.  We had a light up skylanders cake for your birthday and you got Spyro Adventure and Giants for your brand new DS for your birthday.  You gto skylanders PJS, a blanket, a lunchbox and thermos and backpack and a notebook all with Skylanders on it. 

You love friends.   You remember Joel and Dylan from Wilson and are still fiercly loyal to those friendships.  You love Declan and John even though you don't see them often.  You are outgoing and seem to make friends and buddies no matter where you go--school, Awana's or church.  It is great that you can have so much fun with kids you just met.

You love being active--camps, VBS. . .it doesn't matter.  You also like having time with just one of us parents.  Special time of just you.

You can ride a bike with no training wheels. 

You are psyched to start soccer in the Fall.

You love your sisters but Lydia drives you absolutely nuts.  Bethany is definitely your favorite.

You are such a helper.  If I ask you to do chores (Except feeding the cat--you hate to feed the cat) you happily oblige.  You also sometimes look for things that need to be done like making the beds or clearing the table and just do it.  I love that about you.

You are so responsible.  I know if I tell you something and explain rules I can expect you to follow them.  You will also tell me others ARENT following the rules.

You want to be an artist/illustrator and illustrate your own children's stories when you grow up.  You can spend hours drawing.  You prefer drawing to anything else like craft or paint.  You love "How to Draw" books with the step by step instructions on them.

You love to build with Legos or Duplo blocks.  You can follow really complicated instructions.  You love it when the lego magazine comes and you have new projects. 

You are just generally an awesome, well mannered kid.  Most everyone talks about how wonderful you are (Especially your teachers and Sunday School Teachers) because you are happy, outgoing, cheerfull and follow directions/rules without questioning them.  We love you!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Elijah's Wish List

-Wimpy Kid Books (4, 5, 6, 7, and up?)
-Skylanders Elements: Magic and Tech
-Skylanders Giants: Official Strategy Guide
-Skylanders Universe: Mad Libs

-Skylanders Giants Lunch Box (we have the backpack already)
-Skylanders Giants Thermos Bottle

-Skylander-Hot Dog
-Skylander-Fright Rider
-Skylander-Slam Bam

-Sketch Pad/Art Stuff
-PJ's (size 8/10) in Ninjago or Skylanders theme
-How to Draw books..jungle animals specifically

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Elijah was praying tonight . . for his brother.  A brother he doesn't have.  A brother he seems so sure he is going to get.  How has God put this so wholly on his heart?  With no input from me.

My heart is aching.  Breaking.  I see foster kids, orphans . . . tons of kiddos with no family.  I would love to have a huge family.  I would love to have another 3 or 4 kids.  I just don't want to grow my own, I want to adopt them.

What's stopping me?  Well, I am a half.  A half of a whole marriage.  A mom and a dad must be both committed to be on board.  I don't know how to bring it up.  I am scared of his reaction.  I am scared he wouldn't be equally burdened and it would cause a widening of the rift that is already formed in our marriage.

I don't know how to explain this deep yearning.  I also know that we will probably meet with opposition from our family and from others.  Adopting more kids would take away from the three we already have, the only grandchildren on each side.  This child-centered culture would see that there would be no way to provide dance lessons or gymnastics or extra cirriculars for all of them. . . I would have as much time with each of them. . . Well, I've alread realized my kids are an idol.  I would welcome some more distraction from them in the form of more children to love.  I think it would be great for them to realize that they have it great and to knock them down a couple of notches.  I would love to teach humility and compassion to my children. 

I am feeling such a calling for more children.  Every time I see the empty seat in the car or at the dining room table I think about Elijah's brother.  Seriously.  Every time.  It is crazy.  IT is crazy because some days I feel as if I am completely overwhelmed with life anyway.  The laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the training up of my three that I do have.

I am also feeling led to avoid the baby stage and head straight for the 5 and 6 year old set.  A ready playmate for Elijah.  I don't like the baby phase.  I am scared though.  I think about all that my son has been through in his 6 years.  I would have missed all that.  What traumas will the child have to work though?  Will he love me? 

Selfish.  Selfish.  That is how I feel.  I might have to deal with behaviors and attitudes but that child had to endure them, not me. 

So I will pray.  I will beg.  I will plead.  Lord, please cause my husbands heart to ache with the need for another son.  Lord please cause my children's hearts to ache with the need for another brother.  Help us all to be happy to sacrifice for this child.  Lord even now, you know what the future holds.  If we are meant to get another son, please send people to love him and influence him for you.  Prepare his heart for our family and prepare our hearts for him.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy Birthday Lydia

  • You love gymnastics and want to be on team so bad.  We got you a mat for your birthday after you practiced your handstands for 3 hours on a couple of Satudays.  We were worried you would break your feet on the hardwoods.
  • Your favorite movie is McKenna. 
  • You love to be the center of attention.  You constantly talk to make sure someone is paying attention to you.  If there is a chance to speak in front of people you practically jump out of your seat to do it.  You know no strangers--you will talk to just about anyone anywhere if I give you the go-ahead nod.
  • You can ride a two wheeler
  • Your favorite food was beets for a long time.  You still like them a lot but your new favorite is mashed potatoes.  You also really like Wendy's cheeseburgers with tomato and bacon ONLY.
  • You can be absolutely vicious when you don't get your way.  You will pinch, bite, hit, scratch . . but only when you think you won't get caught.  When you do get caught it is waterworks from you and you are so embarassed.  Not repentant, but embarassed.
  • You want to be the boss of your sister so much.  You are constantly correcting her and bossing her.  You LOVE it when you guys play "Mommy/Daughter" because she is always the baby and you are always the mommy. 
  • You know we love you but I think you are a little insecure.  You are not very affectionate at all.  You don't like hugs and kisses and stuff in general.  BUT if you feel like you are in trouble it is all hanging all over my neck, giving me kisses etc. to try and make up for it.
  • You know 29 sounds and are able to read the first three sets of the BOB books.
  • You can tell time and know all your numbers.
  • You know the books of the bible (ALL 66 of them!), your months, days of the week, and continents and oceans.
  • You are thrilled that you get to start kindergarten in the Fall.
  • You are trying tonight to go without a diaper for the first time overnight.
  • You stopped sucking your thumb about 4 months ago!
  • You can zip zippers, tie your own shoelaces (even brother can't do that!), button buttons, do your belt and get your sister dressed even if she wants to wear tights. 
  • You hate to have things in your hair.
  • You love to wear makeup and have your face painted.
  • Purple is your favorite color.
  • You hate milk with a passion.  You only tolerate it on your cereal.  You drink water 99% of the time.
  • You love coffee "sweet and brown" with cream and sugar.
  • You hate coconut but like coconut oil. . . you say it smells "Beachy"
  • Your biggest challenge is backtalk.  You think you know the right way or know more about what is fair and you CONSTANTLY argue if you don't agree.  You also ALWAYS feel like you have to put in your two cents. 
  • I love that you aren't afraid to ask the reason behind something--you are always thinking.
  • You float off to "Lyddie-land" regularly . .  the line between your made up world (where McKenna calls you repeatedly on your non-working cell phone and Barbie's come to life) and your real life is amusing.  I am oftern curious why you never invented an imaginary friend.  You are so creative.  Your creative play is amazing.
  • You LOVE to read stories.  You still don't have much attention for TV, but you will wit with me for hours listening to stories.
  • You are one of the best cutters in the house--you absolutely rock with a pair of scissors.  Brother asks you to help HIM sometimes.

We love you!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Two Wheelin IT

Hopefully I will add pics and a video tomorrow when I go upstairs to that computer--

Lydia Grace.

3 weeks away from her 5th birthday.

She wants a trophy more than anything.  I told her that there was a trophy to be earned if she could learn to ride a two wheeler while she was still four years old.  Ohhhh . . that sneaky mama!  I figured any little girl with enough balance to do a handstand could surely ride a bike with no problems.

She ditched the training wheels last Monday.  My poor back!  We tried for about an hour on Monday to learn without the wheels.  A couple of pedal whacks to the legs and she was ready to quit.  Why do they put those darned spikes on the pedals anyway???  She was obsessed with the trophy though.  We even looked online to find some that she would like to keep her excitement and motivation up. 

It was a cold and rainy couple of days so I brought the bike inside.  Back and forth from the playroom to the kitchen.  Again and again and again.  Never really finding her balance for more than a couple of pedals.  The trophy ever present in her mind.  She wanted it, could almost feel it in her hands.  Her urgency heightened by the countdown chain suspended from the pillar . . counting down until her birthday.

Today, it was wonderful outside.  Nice and warm, sunny.  We had to miss church because the three kiddos and I are snotty and getting over colds.  What a great day to try again.  Her first mount she went about 20 feet before falling.  I quickly ran inside to get daddy and the camera to witness her debut as a two-wheel riding little girl.  She was amazing.  By the end of the afternoon she was easily pedaling around the culdesac. 

All that is left to master is the art of braking and getting started from a stop.  She'll have that down by the end of the week I am sure. 

We ordered the trophy today.  The purple column, the little golden plaque.  She is so excited for it to get here.

My 4 year old.

A bike rider.

I am amazed.