Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yes... it's true. Ruthie is 5!

I have no idea what's going on around here... but the latest news is that Ruth actually turned 5 years old on Monday. It's frightening, I know. That just sounds really OLD to me. I guess it really helps that she doesn't go off to school today. She fully expected to be able to join the older two in their daily trek to the local schoolhouse. I think there was genuine disappointment when I told her she had to wait even longer.
We celebrated her special day here at the house. After I got back from taking the eldest to school she informed me she wanted her special birthday breakfast... pink pancakes with a chocolate chip smiley face and some bacon. So the girls and I had her special breakfast about 10 o'clock.
I had to work on cleaning the house and getting food ready for dinner so Curtis took her to town to pick up her Tinkerbell cake from the store. While they were gone I wrapped up the few things we got for her. She had requested a new booster seat for the van since she's almost 40 pounds! She also wanted a nightgown. She had actually picked both of those out with me on a recent shopping trip together so neither were a big surprise. The big kids came home and picked out a couple things from my closet stash... including Porky the pig, her newest Webkinz. I think they both enjoyed making her birthday cards and getting the packages ready. She came home while we were still wrapping so it was fun for her to pretend to open the bedroom door and peak while the others yelled "NO".
She had asked for just a couple friends to join us for dinner and cake. Abbey and Amelia and Elliott topped the list... her 1st choices (cousins) were unable to attend. It's hard to explain that the Pennsylvania to Georgia trip isn't something anyone can do for a 3 hour birthday party. :) Our Gainesville cousins were also unable to join us. We still had lots of fun with our friends and their siblings. Nothing like a little spaghetti sauce slung around the kitchen by 11 little people.
She opened her gifts from everyone and was sooooo excited about having presents. I'm not sure she's had party for just her before. At least not one she remembers (or me). She was delighted to get 2 new Webkinz because now she has more than Bennett! She was also surprised to get a nightgown that she didn't pick out... and it's just like Amelia's!
After presents the kids all went outside and blew bubbles and acted like monkeys on the playhouse/swingset. Curtis had just added a bridge this past week and the boys figured out they could swing from the bridge on the rings. It was fun until the cries rang out and he put an end to it! I had them all line up for a photo shoot. Lydia and Avery were busy inside so they are missing. The others were trying to smile, not smile, laugh, and make the "AJ" face.
Back row: Bennett, AJ, Abbey, Shannon
Front row: Maggie, Jacey, Amelia, Ruth, Elliott.


Ruth blows bubbles.


Abbey and her bubbles.


Shannon's bubble face.


AJ works on some bubbles.


And then Elliott blows hard to get his to fly.


Maggie and her efforts.


A quick shot of the bridge on the playhouse.

My friend Alison... who is now wearing a bubble covered shirt thanks to Elliott and a bat that went array.

And we can't forget my friend Corie and Elizabeth. She didn't get to play in the bubbles, or the spaghetti, or the cake and ice cream. Doesn't she look neglected?
We are thankful for all our friends!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Women of Faith 2008

I got to spend this past weekend in Atlanta with 16,000 of my closest girlfriends. Well, ok... maybe not my CLOSEST. In fact, I didn't even know most of the names. This is the first year I saw absolutely not one single person I knew outside of our group from CBC. This is Betty and Vanessa. It was Betty's first time. I think she enjoyed herself... even after eating dinner with me. :) I spent most of the time with Heather, Anne and sometimes Carla. It's always more fun than you expect and never long enough. However, when you get home on Saturday night the kids always snuggle closer and smell better... if you're into smelling. If you've never been to WOF (and you're a woman) you need to go at least once. To be able to worship with 16,000 women in Philips Arena is an experience you just can't explain. They have good speakers (Luci Swindoll, Patsy Clermont, Sheila Walsh, Marily Meburg, Sandi Patti) and guests (Max Lucado). Drama by Nicole Johnson, performed by Allison Allen. Music by Nicole C. Mullen... which is incredible. She brings a crew of kids that sing and dance with her. Really... I can't explain why it's so good or fun, but it is. We laughed to the point of tears thanks to Luci. We cried too for inspiring stories and testimonies. If you have the opportunity to adopt a World Vision child I highly recommend it. For about $1 a day you can give a child a future he otherwise may not have. We also met a kid named Austin, who at age 9 started Hoops for Hope. He's now 14 and shared his testimony with us. He also is touring with the Revolve Tour... which is geared to teen girls. Here's a picture of Connie... one of our fearless leaders and organizer of the chaos. We got to ride together on a big tour bus this year. We normally split up and drive in vans... but this year we got a bus. It was TERRIFIC not to have to drive or park in ATL. We are thankful for Rick! Here are a couple videos from Nicole C's performance. It's extrememly poor quality but fun to help me remember the show.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Anyone know a good lawyer??


My mother, the lovely woman that she is, has threatened me. Again! More than once! Right now, a current frightening threat, is that she'll leave things from her "estate" to me (& my siblings). YIKES!


She also said I was going to have to be on some decision making medical team to verify her (and Dad's??) soundness of mind. Now that's something to get excited about. I did threaten to knock off the other doctor on the panel so
my brother Seth could get in as the alternate. Then we can scheme together to prove their un-sound-ness and do fun and unusual things... like they did to us when we were kids. Payback, yes?!?! I'm having her put away in a home somewhere when she can't defend herself...

Right now she's still pretty scary! Don't you think I have enough evidence to prove something!?!?! Anything?!
Mwwaa Haaa Haa!

Seriously, the biggest threat from Mom is that she's compiling all my stories to publish and make tons of money. I'm certain there would be many, many people to pay $25 for such quality reading... but she just can't have my stories.


Then she tells me that my overly hormonal 6 year old is JUST like me????
Whatever!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

CD Giveaway

There's a website HERE that is giving away CDs of AYIESHA WOODS. This is my way to trying to win one. :)
I hope it works correctly.
http://gotee.com/ayiesha_woods_widget.php

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Aunt Lara's Fingers

I think this may be my only post without pictures. I'm not sure I can handle it. I just had some funny stories to share before I forget them.
This morning the girls and I went to a ballerina birthday party while the boys "cleaned" the house. Yes, it's in quotes because their definition and my definition of clean apparently are two completely different terms. Bennett DID get the basket of white clothes matched and put away. The girls had fun being princesses. Nail painting, face/hand painting and general running around. Lydia attached herself to the dolls while Ruth and Maggie flip-flopped between the trampoline and the play house. They had cake and ice cream then we headed home for lunch. Some appetizer, eh?! The birthday girl's big sister painted a flower on my hand... which was very good too. I still have two little pink stains on my hand from whichever color choice she picked. I hope none of the girls used this color for their face painting. Otherwise, church in the morning may be entertaining for some.
We got home and learned that Curtis had made plans to go to the lake with his buddy, who has a boat! We choked down some sandwiches and loaded up the van to drive the hour east. The boat ramp had 10+ trucks lined up to retrieve their boats. They must have had a convention in the water today. So, instead of waiting an hour to unload we drove to a different ramp and were the only ones there. We boated around to the development where the pool is (there is a parcel of land with the Davidson/Knott name which gives us pool rights). We unloaded the 6 kids and 3 adults from the boat only to find the pool had already been closed for the season. Our calendars said September 13th but apparently the pool people use a different calendar and went home early. So we played in an extremely muddy section of the lake with very deep sticky mud. It wasn't as big as hit as the pool would have been. Plus, there was nowhere for me to just relax and sit. We boated around to another section of the lake with more sand and less mud, ate PB&J's and watched other boats make waves. It really was a good afternoon despite the piles of work left at the house.
We ran in the backdoor to showers and bed. I told the girls I could roll or braid their hair. Nobody wanted me to but Maggie asked if I could do it in the morning. I told her I needed to practice tonight. Once I got finished with her braids... (a practice run) I told her to take them out because they weren't very good and I would need to do them in the morning. She wanted them like Aunt Lara makes them. I told her my fingers weren't very good at making tight braids and she says "Aunt Lara has really good fingers for that". After this week's hormonal outbursts she may just get a chance to live with Aunt Lara for a really long time. Maybe a few of those teenage years!
Oh, one other thing. If you ever drive behind a friend with a boat... make sure they secure all their trash and life vests BEFORE driving 60+ mph!! I felt like Hansel and Gretel coming home tonight. Anyone should be able to see our trail!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thirsty for a Little Orange Crush!?!?!

These are the little orange Crushes. Ruth's soccer team... also known as The Crush! She had her first game tonight. I was able to make a quick escape from work tonight and made it in time to watch the last half. Talk about entertaining. If you've never watched a mini team of soccer players you have missed something! I don't remember Bennett's team being this entertaining. Maybe I expected him to actually perform and I don't expect that from Ruth or her teammates. Who knows, but I'm enjoying watching them. It's a small herd of 16 feet all going after the same ball. Well, maybe just 14 feet because one set is probably stuck in the middle of the field stomping on the grasshoppers or checking out the clouds or waving to their mother/father/grandma/sibling/friend/neighbor/stranger. It doesn't matter. They are having FUN! Goals were made. Cheers were cheered. I know there was someone counting them all up but I don't think the kids know the numbers. This team is U-6, which means they are all 4 or 5 as of September 1st. They have little experience with team play or soccer skills. They know they are supposed to kick the ball and try to go in the right direction but there are no skills. No passing EVER! In fact, if your teammate is kicking the ball you're allowed to go push them down in order to have your turn at kicking. It's an odd set of rules these little people follow. The coaches are almost as fun to watch as the kids. I took a couple pictures of Ruth playing and in doing so caught Coach Adams in some funny expressions. Pointing the right direction. Helping remind to kick, not catch. Helping Riley stand up and run the right way. She is a very patient lady! I don't remember thinking that about Coach Jones 3 years ago. We wanted strategy and form. We wanted skills. We like players who have skills! :) Poor Ruth looked so tired tonight. She ran really hard, as did most of her teammates. But they just aren't used to running around with purpose for 30+ minutes. She told her coach she was tired and told me her legs were tired of running... but she didn't quit. She would plop down in the chair and drink as hard as she could then take that big, deep, heavy sigh. In this picture of her resting on the sidelines she was listening to Riley's daddy talk to him about "staying focused and going after the ball". Riley really doesn't seem too interested in actually kicking the ball with purpose, but Ruth was very intent on listening to the directions. Riley (and his family) goes to our church and we know them well. He was also in our NICU for many, many weeks. Yes, he's a graduated premie and still has some catching up to do... mostly in his size. He is A-dor-able! And he's hilarious to watch. His parents are very patient with him and they are fun to watch too. :) He's #4 in the line and also in the middle of the team photo, holding the ball. I could write all night about how cute she was... but bedtime is drawing nigh.
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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

More Soccer Stuff... the STRYKERS strike first!

Maggie gets the 1st goal of the season!! She scored shortly into our first game tonight against what looks to be our favorite team. :) Our coach, Ben, is really focused on getting all 7 of the kids on the field for equal playing time. Maggie was a starter tonight. Her first game ever! She got right in there and seemed very comfortable and agressive... in an appropriate kind of way. Where Bennett used to shy away from the ball and dance around the field... she did not! Where Bennett fell and delayed his uprisal because of a possible grass cut... she did not! She even lost the bandage from her bloody knee wound from earlier today... and she managed to continue running without regard to her potentially deadly knee wound! She was amazing. Maggie rocks! :) Hee hee!
Bennett did well too. He was a little more focused and was in the midst of the pile-O-kids when he was on the field. We played the Arsenal tonight. They are the blue team. We won the lightening shortened game 4-2. We play them 2 more times too. It should be fun! Bennett has two good friends on this team (Ethan and Nikky) and Maggie has one too (Tristan). I enjoyed bantering with the parents on the sidelines. I went to high school with Ethan's daddy and Ethan was in Bennett's class last year as well as this year's. Tristan was in Maggie's kindergarten class as well as her 1st grade class. His mom is around the school a bunch so I know her from there. Tristan and Maggie had to hug and high five a little... and giggle at each other too. When we were leaving the field Maggie got scared she had lost us even though she was walking with Tristan and her Papa. Tristan made sure she was ok and then made fun of her for thinking she was lost even though she was with him and her Papa. "Did you forget he was your Papa?" hahahahaha. They laughed all the way back to the cars.
I'm looking forward to the way the season progresses. Ruth's first game is Thursday. I'm sure it will be much more entertaining and with much less direction!
Tonight they practiced throwing in the ball. From the pictures, it looks like the girls had better form! :)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Soccer Games Begin

This is the night that the kids have been looking forward to more than any other night. What will my shirt look like? What's my number? Will it fit? Can I wear it every day for the rest of my life?
Ok... so maybe not that last one so much.
We got our uniforms tonight. Ruth has been very excited about getting her soccer shirt. She's #1!! :)
She's actually spending the night with Amelia tonight. They scheme together all the time and constantly ask to have sleep overs. Corie and I generally say no, but tonight there was no real reason not to do it. The girls love to play together and I know, one day they'll grow up and no longer want to just dress up like princesses and dance around the room.

Maggie and Bennett have a pretty good coach and team this year. I hope they perform well together. Ruth's team is just fun to watch. Tonight Riley was chasing the ball and suddenly stopped in the middle of the field... very abruptly. His mom started laughing so I payed attention. The boy was so intent on stomping on the grasshopper that he forgot all about the soccer ball and stomped that sucker repeatedly until his dad finally brought him back to the world of soccer. It was more amusing than anything else that happened tonight. This team will be an adventure over the next 8 weeks. :)
Will post more as the season progresses.

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