Sunday, March 30, 2008

Easter/Abigail's birthday trip to Florida are my pictures from our trip to Florida!
It was a little strange to hunt for Easter candy amidst palm trees... definitely different than the (cold) northern hunts of my childhood!!!
And thanks to my friend Debbie for the cake-inspiration...
she made one of these cakes for her daughter, and ever since Abigail saw it on Debbie's blog, that's the cake she wanted for her birthday!

Love that hair

And here's one extra picture just because it shows
her shiny, silky, honey-and-gold hair!!!

Boys will be boys, girls will be girls...

This week David got some of those little plastic soldiers and when we got home, he promptly set them up, good guys against the bad guys...

In the meantime, Abigail was playing with her new princesses...

And then: princesses, meet GI Joe!!! Watching the interplay was quite funny and completely the stereotypical boy-girl thing... Abigail's princesses kept giving hugs and kisses while David's soldiers kept shooting people and setting off bombs!!!

Getting new ear molds

This past week David got molds taken for new ear molds on his hearing aids (the clear part that fits into the ear cavity and delivers the sound from the processor part of the HA to the ear canal-see photo at right). RaDora takes the molds, then sends them to a company who makes the ear molds and we get them in the mail within a couple of weeks. We get new ones made as needed, which is whenever his ear grows enough that the old one becomes too small to fit well! I thought I would share the process with any of you who are interested...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Septic tank fun

This week we had to have our septic tank pumped (the house is ten years old and has never had it done). When the guy got here, he asked David if he wanted to drive the tractor...of course, we all know the answer to David got to help drive it from the trailer to the septic tank. These two guys were so patient about letting David help, asking him to do things for them, answering dozens of David's questions, and just treating him like a man (as you can see in the pictures, he was right in the thick of the action!). You just don't find people like this very much was great! (For any of you in our area, I would highly recommend these guys! S.W.A.T. Septic Svc.)

And, below, this is what happens when the septic tank crew leaves, and that spot of yard that was previously grass is now red dirt, and your mostly-white dog finds this spot and thinks it would be a great place to play...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Oh, mercy!

The following is a conversation between David and me today:
Me: David, how did things like balls,
an instrument, and your sister's socks
get into the rain barrel?
...David looks sheepish and his eyes dart around
as he tries to think of a great story...
Me: David, tell me the truth. How did they get there?
David: Mommy, I will tell you the truth...
but Mommy, will you show me mercy?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hearing checks and other adventures

Yesterday we had hearing checks...the kids have had enough cumulative loss over the last couple of months that we had to go today to have their HAs reprogrammed (the office where we had our checks doesn't have the necessary equipment, so today we had to go to the main office). We got to eat lunch with RaDora before our appointment, which was a nice treat. Whoever would have thought that we'd find a friend when we got assigned an audiologist?! Today after our HA tweaks we ran a quick errand to WalMart and then I surprised the kids by stopping at a playground on our way home -- we were the only ones there, so the kids had a blast playing while I sat in the sun and read my book. At one point, David picked up an empty Skittles wrapper and then sauntered behind the slide...thankfully, my mother-instinct kicked in and I promptly looked up from my book and asked him what he was doing. He came out from behind the slide looking quite sheepish and weakly protested, "But, Mom, there's still a few left in there!" GROSS!!! I know I have a bunch of pictures I need to post...I just haven't gotten a chunk of time to sit and organize all of them. I'll get to it eventually!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happiness is...a big tractor!

Bruce and David riding my dad's John Deere tractor

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Remembering loss...again

I usually don't post deep thoughts on the blog, since its main purpose is to keep all of you updated on the kids etc...but every once in a while I get a little deeper, and this is one of those days. The hard things in life and the resulting emotions and reflections are all part of our lives,'s just not "warm and fuzzy" stuff. It is rather heavy on my heart that the little one we lost in our third miscarriage would have been born around this time. It's times like these that make my arms ache for another little one, but the Lord has not yet seen fit to allow that. We choose to cling to the knowledge that His plan is always good -- is always best -- for me, for us, for our family, for our children...both the two precious ones that are with us and the three that we won't hold this side of eternity. I am so thankful for David and Abigail. I am so thankful for a husband who loves me and is such a comfort and support through these tough times. I am thankful for an extended family, both our blood family and church family, and friends, who love me and are there for support, too. I am thankful for a heavenly Father Who is all-wise and all-good and Who loves me even though I am undeserving. At times like this I am careful to remind myself of these things constantly...because it is a struggle sometimes not to be bitter, or to be resentful of others' joys, but rather to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to give thanks always. Praise God for His love for us, for His perfect plan, and for the strength He gives to be thankful and joyful, because I could not do it in my own strength. Our prayer is that every part of our lives will be a testimony of His love and grace, and that it all will bring glory to Him. Thanks for your continued prayer for us. And thanks for letting me share what's going on in my heart of hearts today.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter pictures

Here are a couple of pictures of the kids on Easter morning (complete with cute outfits and cheesy smiles!). One is in front of a palm tree and one in front of a grapefruit tree, both at my grandparents' place in Florida.
This was the debut for Abigail's princess dress (the one that I have been posting about as it was sewn) turned out beautifully and she just loved wearing it. Everyone oohed and aahed and she posed and coolly accepted the adoration just like a seasoned princess!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy birthday, Abigail!

Happy 4th birthday, Abigail!
We love you so much, princess...

Four years of Abigail

On her birth day, March 23, 2004

On her first birthday, 2005


On her second birthday, 2006 ~~~

On her third birthday, 2007

Our family, then and now

Friday, March 21, 2008

We're in Florida

We -- all of us, even Bruce! -- are in Florida to celebrate Easter and Abigail's birthday with my grandparents, parents, and two of my brothers. I spent lots of time in the sun today...and it is nice to be with family...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Now THAT'S love!

Look at what Bruce brought home to he incredible or what?!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm finally paid for :)

I know you can't actually read this (you don't have to; just read my post!), but it is a "paid in full" letter from the last of Bruce's medical school loans. We always say that God sent Bruce to a year and a half of med school just to get a wife (he was accepted to the medical school in my hometown)...we joke that I was an awfully expensive prize...but now I am all paid off!
Congratulations to us!!! to pay off the law school loans...! :)

Molly in covert operations

Someone left the cabinet door open and Molly took advantage of the opportunity to sneak in and get some catnip all by herself. Although she is actually just licking the treat, it looks an awful lot like she is sticking her tongue out at me...whether because I caught her, or because she didn't care whether I caught her or not since she had already gotten what she wanted, I'm not sure!

Easter lily from my husband

This looks and smells so lovely -- I've already snapped off two spent blooms, it currently has seven full blooms, and there are still three more buds ready to open! I'll hate to miss the last of its blooming when we leave for Florida...

Reading demo by Abigail

I've been meaning to post this for a while so that our long-distance family can see's just taken me a while to get around to it! Abigail just picked up the phonics by listening to David's phonics classes...this is NOT a product of us pushing the subject on her. She LOVES to read and will read anything she can get her hands on. Note: Fyi, this is the first time we've read this story...also, sorry for the boring camera angle, but she refuses to read if David runs the camera, so I had to hold both Abigail and the camera!!!
Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Fitting the princess dress

I just finished the fitting for Abigail's princess dress...I had to figure out where I wanted the hem so that I can sew while the kids are napping this afternoon (they don't usually nap on Tuesdays, but they have been ill and overtired, and I could use the undistracted time to sew!). Abigail -- girlie-girl that she is -- pranced, twirled, and posed the whole time. David was rather jealous of the pretty dress (he kept asking me if he can have one for his birthday) and of the attention his sister was getting...neither could he understand why I wouldn't let him use my pins to play Pick-up Stix on the carpet!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Day of tornadoes, torrential rain, and hail

Saturday was a day of adventure here...any of you who keep up on national weather know that on Friday night, a tornado ripped through downtown Atlanta (from which we are far removed), but then Saturday, line after line of severe storms (which kept throwing off tornadoes) swept over us. We took shelter in the basement four times, got lots of torrential rain -- there was a little river running from our driveway across the yard into the drainage ditch -- and a few bouts of increasingly large hail. Folks from our church who live about 15 minutes away from us got hail the size of golf balls and larger -- lots of home and vehicle damage. Our hail wasn't that big, but it was still big enough to make us very grateful that both of our cars (and especially Bruce's new one!) were safely ensconced in the garage!!! Below are a few pictures of our exciting day...I wanted to get video of the hail bouncing all over the yard, but Bruce wouldn't let me go out and get video in the midst of the tornadoes. :-)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another one bites the dust...

Abigail and I are still struggling with this nasty cold -- Abigail's cough sounds horrible! -- and now David is having an asthma flare-up. Not a surprise, since his asthma is virally-induced...but still unpleasant. So back to the doctor we went this morning, and now besides David's usual asthma-control meds, he is also on a few days' worth of steroids and a new/different rescue inhaler. Bruce is the only one still standing and we all hope he stays that way!

On a side note, the rescue inhaler and steroids make David very jazzed, so if you take a kid who is feeling under the weather and then key him up with's not pretty. You can picture it, I'm sure...

Happy birthday, Shannon

Happy birthday, Shannon!

I'm sending you lots of love

and wishes for a happy birthday.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New China cabinet

While my mom and I were at the Expo, my dad, Bruce, and the kids hauled up to North Carolina to pick up a china cabinet from my dad- and mom-in-law. When Bruce and I got married, we "inherited" Bruce's parents' dining room table and chairs, and then when my in-laws moved to N.C., they offered us the matching china cabinet as well, so it moved from their house in NY into their storage in NC until we could get it.

My dad got his van all ready for hauling (hitch on, wiring hooked up) and then, borrowing a trailer from our pastor, the moving crew made the day trip to NC and brought back my "new" china cabinet! I love it -- it looks great in our dining room and now I can finally display all of my beautiful china (which belonged to Bruce's grandma), which has heretofore been relegated to a box (which traveled with us from NY to IL to GA).

Thanks, Dad Minota, for doing all of the fussy-work to get the van and trailer ready to haul, and for making the trip, and for risking a hernia to carry the cabinet into the dining room! Thanks, Dad and Mom McKee, for our now-complete dining room set and for the lovely china, a little piece of family history to which I am so honored to add more family history. Thanks, Mom Minota, for helping me clean the cabinet, unpack the china, and arrange everything. And thanks, Bruce, for being willing to coordinate and participate in the whole shebang so that we could have a china cabinet! What a group effort...thank you, everyone!!!

...some pieces of my china...

Sewing area overhauled

My mom also helped me rearrange my sewing area (which is in our bedroom); we took out two separate tables, moved in this one "new" table, threw out junk, moved Bruce's dresser, etc.

This picture isn't particularly impressive, because I still need to buy some bins or something to organize all of my projects, but it's a start! Now that I can actually get to my sewing stuff, hopefully I will sew more...

Some Georgia snow for the Floridian visitors...

...they were not very impressed and reiterated that they do not miss the snow AT ALL! They are full-fledged palm-tree-and-sand people now!

My dad always used to say that he preferred bugbite to that he has met our southern Chiggers, I think he'd rather skip them both and just go with a sunburn. :-)

Making progress on Abigail's princess dress

After a wonderful day at the Sewing & Quilting Expo on Saturday, my mom and I were full of ideas and inspiration for a million projects!!! On Monday we worked on Abigail's "princess dress" and it is almost finished -- it needs only hemming and a sash to be ready for the big day. Thanks for your help, Mom!

I am well aware what a blessing it is to have a mother who is also my dear friend...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sickness strikes...

I know that I am supposed to be posting about this past weekend, but I claim illness as my excuse! Abigail and I have colds...nothing drastic, but enough that I have barely enough energy to do all of my "hafta"s and no energy left for anything else...

^My current constant companion!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Four years ago today...

Four years ago today, I went into labor with Abigail...since I was only 33 weeks along, that began a week of big-time medications to halt the labor, steroids to speed her lung development, bedrest and lots of monitor-gazing in the hospital before they sent me home for a few days.
Abigail was born on March 23rd, twelve days from the morning I went into labor.

In one sense, I can't believe four years have flown by already...but on the other hand, it seems like another lifetime ago that I delivered a healthy, beautiful baby girl. What a gift from God she is to us!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Busy but nice weekend

Yes, yes, I know I need to post some updates on the blog...I have been enjoying the long weekend with my parents visiting and we have lots of fun little tidbits from this weekend to share, but I am not going to take the time to post them until tomorrow! My mom and I are planning to sew and do other projects today, so I am going to take advantage of every minute today, and then tomorrow I will make amends for my blog-delinquency...

Friday, March 07, 2008

Matching outfits...while they still like it!

Princess dress in the making

This year Easter falls on Abigail's birthday, so I wanted to go all out to make her a "princess dress" (that's how she refers to it). She helped to choose the pattern and the fabric -- it's hard to see in the picture, but the main fabric has tiny sparkles all over it (Abigail LOVES sparkles). We are making the dress shown in lavender on the pattern.

My mom and I cut it out this its journey has begun!

Fun with Grandma

This morning my mom and the kids made chocolate-dipped pretzels with sprinkles...Abigail quit "making" halfway through and just started eating the melted chocolate instead...that's my girl!!! (...she also managed to get chocolate all over her, from head to toe and everywhere in between, even her eyelid!)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

End of an era

Speaking of death and pets, yesterday the last pet of our childhood was 'laid to rest' parents' poodle, Fifi, was the last pet they still had that was part of our family back when we were all kids. She was a stray that adopted us (how else do you think we would have ended up with a little poodle?!) back when I was still a teenager. We always joked that she kissed Bruce before I did...early in Bruce's and my friendship, she hopped up on Bruce's lap and gave him a big ole kiss right on the lips, which of course grossed him out! (and no, when my turn came, I did not get the same response!!!)

Fifi has been deaf and blind for years now, and gradually getting a little senile, but lately she has really been going downhill, and I was aware during this last visit to my parents' that it was probably the last visit with the old girl...but I hadn't expected to feel the pang that I did when I heard the news. Loss, at any level, is just plain sad.

Learning about life and death

Last week our parakeet died...David took the news very hard, but since then we have had many rather deep discussions. He wanted to know things like "Will Sparky be in Heaven?" (we discussed how animals are different than people, because they don't have souls like people do); "What will happen to Sparky in the ground?" (we discussed how God designed it so that Sparky's body will help add to the soil, improving it for plants to grow); "Will Sparky come alive again?" (we talked about death being final, that we have one life to live, and again the difference between animals' and people's bodies both dying but the people having an eternal soul) was hard to watch David grieve our pet but wonderful to watch him work through everything and really understanding it. Last night he prayed very matter-of-factly, "...and thank you for Sparky...I know he's dead...thank you that he will help the soil and the ground..."

Monday, March 03, 2008

Fun afternoon with friends

Today the kids got to play at our house for several hours with their friends -- we had a great time. The weather was gorgeous, so we were outside for a long time...

...and then we came in, washed up, and then the older kids made their own pizzas. They had a blast at it, from forming the dough into crusts to "decorating" with toppings, and then we had a "picnic" in the living room.

Thanks, Rodney and Greta, for sharing your kids with us for the afternoon!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Valentine wreath

Here is a craft I did last month...although I'm just getting around to posting it! A few years ago, Bruce gave me a tin of Mrs. Field's chocolates for Valentine's Day (they were very good, especially the chocolate chip cookie dough one!).

Sometimes something just inspires me, and this tin was one of those things. I immediately envisioned it filled it with silk roses and hanging on my front door, so after I ate the chocolates, I set aside the tin...and finally got around to embellishing it this year!