Monday, December 31, 2007

Our Trip to Virginia

Well, we got back a couple of days ago from our whirlwind trip to Virginia! It really was a wonderful trip and we had a great time with our family. We visited with my Uncle Eugene and two of his girls, Kelli and Sara, in Mechanicsville. We played a fun game of Uno Attack (one of Kaity's Christmas presents) with the girls. They are beautiful, witty young women, and they make me feel old -- I remember when they were babies and their nicknames were Stinks and Smells! Eugene took us to see a couple of battlefields from "The War Between the States" (as Jeff is adamant it be called). We visited Cold Harbor and Gaines' Mill. It was compelling to see and read about the personal, individual events that happened inside such a monumental event.

After my uncle's, we drove over to Joe and Jennifer's home in Newport News. We all went to a fun, interactive Living Museum, which the adults enjoyed as much as the kids! I think the precocious little otter was the unanimous favorite, with "Afro-duck" coming in second. He was this cute little black duck with a stand of white feathers on his head -- we could never figure out what he was actually called. Anyway, I whistled at him to get his attention so Jennifer could snap a picture and he flew right at us! I squealed and Kaity was so startled she flattened herself against the glass trying to get away.

The next morning Joe actually cooked breakfast for us -- grits, eggs, bacon, the whole nine yards. Even burnt toast -- which was my fault, though I didn't 'fess up at the time. Sorry, Joe! We also visited a cool transportation museum on Fort Eustis -- whose main attraction (at first) to our son was a rock with letters on it.

After Joe and Jennifer's, we drove south to North Carolina and crashed overnight with our friends Nathan and Leah. We always look forward to spending time with them -- the conversation is never boring! Their little girl, Georgia, is absolutely adorable. We had a delicious breakfast at a local restaurant after which we unfortunately had to leave to head back home.

We had a fabulous trip and we really hope to get back up there this spring or summer to visit again. There were so many things we wanted to do that we just didn't have time for. Most of all, we just wanted more time to spend with everyone! Ah, well, there's always next time!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ring Christmas Bells!

The Saturday before Christmas, Jeff and our friend Chad played their instruments at a local restaurant. The owners of The Fat Finch, Kelly and Kim, had asked Jeff to come in one night to play Christmas carols. He recruited Chad to join him and they had fun decided which songs to play and talking music together.

Christmas morning! The kids were so excited! Joe came hurrying down the stairs, and I woke up to him saying, "Katie, look! We both got bikes!" Precious. Kaity has gotten really good on her bike, and she loves to ride. This was Joe's first bike, and there's not even a good picture of it. (The tricycle he's actually riding is the one he's outgrown.) The horse he's riding in the other picture was a huge hit. He stayed on it all Christmas morning.

A New Digital Camera

Jeff's work rewards him with "Safety Points" which he can use on-line to "purchase" various items. Previously, there was a catalog to order from that contained cheap watches and useless gadgets. Apparently they've updated since going on-line! Earlier in the fall, we went shopping and among other things, got a nice Canon digital camera. I finally used up all my film for our other camera and have started using our new digital! Following are just random images from us playing around with our new toy.

This is Kaity talking on the phone to Grammie. Kaity takes after me in that when she's on the phone she is constantly moving. (Just not in this picture!)

Me in the hat I wore in last year's 1940's era Christmas pageant. It was on loan from a local antique store but Jeff went and bought it to give to me for Christmas. The picture was taken last week sometime.

Joseph being a pretty little boy. He's completely charming!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Of Socks and Candy

"'The time has come,' the walrus said. 'to talk of many things.
Of shoes and ships and ceiling wax and cabbages and kings.
And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings.'"
--Lewis Carroll

Yesterday I told Katie to put her socks on over her ballet tights so that she would not tear her tights on the sidewalk going into the house. She complied, remarking casually, "I'll probably still tear the heels, since my socks have massive holes in them."

This morning Katie asked if she could have a piece of candy. Before I could answer, Joe poked his head up between his sister and me and whispered, "Say 'no', Mommy!" Can you guess who had already been denied a request for candy?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Random Kaity and Joe Moments

"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth ..."

Lunch at the bakery! Isn't Joe just too cute in his hoodie?

Katie and I made sugar cookies and decorated them while Joe was napping!

Joe loves getting "fuzzy kisses" from Daddy! Jeff is a disciple in the Christmas pageant at church, so he's growing a beard for the occasion.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Fall Festival

This year's fall festival was a "Wild West Fall Fest". Our Sunday School class was in charge of having a haystack for the kids. We piled up a few bales of hay, then tossed in candy and toys. I think it was a big hit! Even the children's minister, Greg, belly-flopped into the haystack. Jeff got his bug running and brought it to have for the "Trunk or Treat". We handed out candy from the trunk in the front. Greg kept threatening to fill the car up with the hay after the festival was over.

As you can see, Kaity, Joe and I dressed as scarecrows. The chicken in the pictures is one of our friends from the SS class, Rachel. She's hugging our friend Kelli, the pirate. I ran out of film so I didn't get good pictures of everyone, but they're in the background!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Burt's Farm Field Trip

Last week, our homeschool group went on a field trip to a pumpkin farm. It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day in North Georgia! The Cospers rode with us and along with several other cars we made our way up to Burt's Farm in Dawsonville. Johnny Pumpkinseed taught us about how the pumpkins are grown and the different varieties. Then we went on a hayride where "Autumn" and "Gourdy" told us some more about the farm and that God makes things grow. At the end of the hayride we got to pick out "sugar pumpkins" to take home with us. (I cooked mine and made yummy pumpkin bread with it!)

After the tour of Burt's, we drove over to Amicalola Falls and ate a picnic lunch at the playground. Then everyone loaded up and drove to the steps to walk to the top of the falls. One of the moms had hurt her back the day before, though, so she and I stayed behind and kept the three three-year olds.

All in all, a beautiful day to be outside, and a great field trip!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Buying the Dentist a New BMW

Okay, maybe my kids are getting too used to having their antics posted on the blog. Well, Katie is anyway! She has a very funny new habit. Whenever she says/does something that makes me laugh, she says, "Katie quote! Is that going on the blog, Mommy?" Mmmmm. And of course, it does! Today's story involves both little children, however.

Saturday we spent the day with Jeff's family in Hart County. His parents have a great place out in the country and Saturday both his brothers and their families were there too. Katie and Joe and their cousin Joel were outside playing, hitting the pecan trees with sticks -- to make the pecans fall down. So, Katie stepped behind Joe, and he whacked her in the face with his stick on the backswing! Now earlier in the day we had been discussing that Katie's right front tooth was just about ready to come out. Knowing our family, can you guess which tooth came flying out of Katie's head? Of course it was not the right front tooth! It was the left one. So I guess now she'll be able to sing, "All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth". The ironic thing about all this is that Joseph has fallen several times in his accident prone life, always managing to hit his right eye or his front teeth. Jeff and I have been joking that Joe, not being content with trying to knock out his own teeth, has started in on Katie's. Oh, and guess which tooth of Joe's is already dead from trauma to it? The left front of course!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Super Spider Boy and The Artist

(The red on Joe's left knee is marker from the aforementioned "Tell me about 'Dod'!" incident.)
(The art Kaity is working on is a "stained glass" window sticker, a gift from Nannie and Papa.)

Another Busy Week

So after the craziness of the Coffee House this past weekend, I really wanted to have a relaxing week. Yeah, right! Monday Joseph had a follow-up appointment about his ear infection. Dr. Johnson gave him the all-clear! I was very glad not to have to discuss the options if Joe's ears had still been infected. Most of you know that Joe tends to leave the intitial consonant off of his words. Hat for cat, hired for tired, etc. His sister is "Datie" and our Heavenly Father is "Dod". (And it's much funnier to hear, "Tell me about Dod!" than 'God'!) Well, I've been doing a bit of homemade speech therapy with him and Dr. Johnson says as long as Joe's showing improvement with it there's no need to see a professional.

After Joe's appointment, we did a little grocery shopping, then school in the afternoon, then church visitation (FAITH) that night. Tuesday was fun because we had Katie's birthday money to spend! She got some craft supplies at Wal-Mart and then went to the $5 Christian book store in the outlets. Katie offered to let Joe get a book, too, from her money. We shopped all over the outlets for a winter coat and ended up going into Athens anyway! Target had some really cute coats and we got Katie one there that was on sale. We had enough left over to get her a couple of sparkly, girly belts and candy for them to share.

Tuesday I ended up making a whirlwind trip to Augusta! My friend Chrissy's grandmother was in Augusta after having broken her arm badly. Chrissy was very worried about her and wanted to go see her, so we went! It wasn't quite as easy as that, but Todd's parents offered to keep their three, and Ken and Cheryl graciously kept Katie and Joe for the night. We left about 8:00 pm Tuesday and got back at 7 on Wednesday. I floored Jeff by being the one to drive the whole way. :) We stayed the night with Mom and Berk, which is always fun. And I ended up getting to spend the day with (Jeff's brother) Joe and his wife Jennifer.

Thursday we all had dental appointments. It was Joe's first visit and he was a trooper. He did great -- I only had to mention Mr. Spoon once and his mouth flew open for the dental hygienist! Katie was a good big sister and went first. She kept saying things like, "See, Joe, it doesn't hurt at all!" "Look, it's the tickly toothbrush!" "You'll get a lollipop!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Coffee House

Saturday night, our College and Career Sunday School class hosted a Coffee House at the church. Four of the people in our class came over Friday and helped me cook/prepare the food. A couple went along to run errands for the event on Thursday and Saturday morning. We had a lot of laughs getting everything ready! We made hot cocoa mix, oatmeal cookies, apple dip, mini cheesecakes, and apple cider. Saturday we picked up flowers and pumpkins for decorations, plus door prize stuff.

During the evening we had a karaoke machine going, a Nintendo Wii, a Playstation 2, ping pong, and air hockey. Two of our friends gave their testimonies. They were both incredible! We gave away two door prizes -- a Chick-Fil-A gift certificate with a WOW (Christian music) CD, and a Starbuck's card with flavored coffee. Both went with cool coffee mugs and lots of Hershey Kisses.

The pictures were taken on a disposable camera, so the quality is pretty poor. Sorry!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Katie Quote

On Katie's birthday, we played Monopoly as a family. Well, three of us did -- little Joe had scored an unexpected visit with Nannie and Papa! I ended up winning -- which doesn't happen often -- and Katie came in second. You are welcome to draw your own conclusion about who went bankrupt first ... :)
After the game, Katie walked into the kitchen to her daddy and me and stated, "I think our family is a little bit like me playing Monopoly. Half broke."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Kaity's Birthday

Our little girl is seven today! We are celebrating at the bakery for lunch and birthday cake. Katie is giddy with excitement on her big day! Jeff took the day off, and I think that's probably her favorite part.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Funny Jeni Story

I'm always telling on the kids, so I figure it's my turn now! I loaded up the car this morning to go run errands then realized I left something in the house. Our car has this flaw in the ignition so that you can take the keys out without shutting the car off. So that's what I did. I got what I needed from the house and went on my way. Our first stop was the shoe store. I pulled up, parked, and shut the car off. That's when I realized the keys were NOT in the ignition! My heart stopped. In my mind's eye I could see the keys laying on the chair where I had tossed them. Just as quickly though, I instinctively reached for my back right pocket, from which my keys are nearly always hanging. Thankfully, this time was no exception! I was so glad I had them with me -- could you imagine having to explain how I managed to drive ten miles away from my house without my car keys?!

One of our errands today was to get the children's pictures done. A local photographer had agreed to do "school pictures" for our homeschool group at a great price. I hope to have some to post in a few weeks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Little Stinker

My angelic little boy came downstairs this morning with marker all over his shirt and legs. (Just yesterday he had gotten a spanking for drawing on the carpet with a colored pencil. Apparently he felt it was the medium that I had objected to.) Anyway, then his sister yelps, "MU-THER, Joe colored on his blanket with a MAR-KER!" I led Joe upstairs to assess the damage, grabbing the wooden spoon along the way. As soon as we got into his room, I said, "Show me where you colored on your blanket." Looking as though butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, my little cherub snuggles on his bed in his sheet, smiles sweetly and says, "Tell me about God." (When I relayed this story to Jeff, he suggested I might have replied, "I'm fixin' to let you meet Him!")

On a serious note, though, it was a good opportunity to reiterate what it seems I'm always telling the children. That we love them so much we cannot allow them to disobey. Not only are we commanded by God to discipline them, teach them, train them, but if they won't obey us, then they won't obey God. As parents we won't always be there to tell them what the right thing to do is. They'll need to rely on the Holy Spirit's leading and their knowledge of scripture.

Yes, God loves us and is merciful and gracious, but He is also just. Sin is a big deal! If it weren't, would God have sent His only begotten Son to take on the sin of the world? Christ's death and resurrection were the only way that we could be reconciled with the Father. If it were not, surely God would have chosen any other way than for His Son to die on a cross.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

But It's Not Dark Yet!

Last night Jeff was upstairs trying to convince Joe that he was not unjustly being put in the bed. Like millions of parents before him, Jeff pointed out, "It's dark outside." Joseph replied, "It is not too dark outside." Here he held up a finger. "It's only ONE dark, not two dark!" (Two fingers)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Prandial Musings

If you know me at all, you know I'm all about food! I'm always on the lookout for a good snack to have, since I eat so often throughout the day. Well, I found a "new" great snack -- simple, yet delicious! The Laughing Cow cheese, Wheatables Mutigrain crackers, and Boar's Head smoked Virginia ham (shaved). The creamy Swiss cheese, the salty-nutty crackers, and the smoky-sweet ham are a fabulous combination. As Rachael Ray would say, "Yum-O!" Also, it probably didn't hurt that I had a Starbucks gift card and so washed down my snack with a Hazelnut Cafe Latte. Again, "Yum-O!"

Doggone It!

So, last week we went to Todd and Chrissy's house and got to see puppies! The Cospers breed German Shepherds and the puppies are too cute! You check out Todd's website at Of course, my little ones were fascinated with the dogs. Now Joe has been pretending to be a puppy ever since. He crawls around on his hands and knees and makes whimpering noises, while biting his bottom lip. When he absolutely has to speak, he'll talk in a high-pitched sing-song tone. Katie decided that Joe was her pet puppy, so she made a few toys for him. She cut out shapes, one front and one back, then stapled them together and stuffed them with cotton balls. She made a bone, a food bowl, a leash and "puppy chow".

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Funny Boy, Beautiful Girl

Okay, so here are my sweet sweet babies! (Please note that the title of the book Joe is reading is "Just Like Dad".)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Random News

Wow! I'm always amazed when school starts how quickly everything moves. School starts, church programs like AWANA and discipleship classes start back, extracurricular stuff gets going ... and before you know it, September's half over! So now I am going to attempt to catch up with our goings-on for the last month since I posted.

Jeff and I have been happily busy with the College and Career ministry at Maysville. We began teaching the class the first Sunday in August. The crew usually comes over on Sunday nights after church and we play games and eat food, and laugh and have a great time. We had our first "official" outing Labor Day weekend -- we went to a bowling alley and bowled a couple of games, played pool and air hockey. The next weekend was the kick off for our church's Christmas pageant. We have already begun praying for the lost who will attend. Sunday evenings Jeff and I are taking a class on how to be effective teachers. On Monday nights we have visitation, and I take a class on sharing the gospel. This past Sunday our church went to two services -- just five months after moving to a new building! God is doing such an amazing work at Maysville and we feel so blessed to be a part of it. We have grown more spiritually in the past few years than ever!

Katie, in addition to beginning school and loving it, began her third year of ballet last week. She has a new teacher this year and I think she's going to be really good for Katie. The kids also started back to AWANA. I love the fact that the kids are "hiding God's word in their hearts". Joe is a Cubbie this year, so he gets to memorize too! I wasn't sure if he would say his verse for the teacher, but he's done it every week so far. He's just so good at talking only when he wants to! I had to take him to the doctor yesterday. He had a fever and had just been out of sorts. He said a couple of times that his ear hurt. Those were his only symptoms. The doctor took one look and said it was definitely an ear infection and his ear drum may be perforated! Joe's now on an antibiotic and we have to go back in three weeks for Dr. Johnson to do a recheck.

Okay, that's a really long post! I'll try to keep up better in the future!

Friday, August 24, 2007

More Birthday Pictures

I ended up making Chocolate Carrot Cupcakes for Joe's birthday, with Chocolate Buttercream frosting. Mmmmmm...So good! Joe got to lick the paddle from the mixer after I made the frosting. Katie was totally jealous. For that matter, so was I!