Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Quick Trip to Kentucky

I wanted to post some pictures.

I'm trying to think of a good reason.
Don't you think these are a couple of good reasons to make a post?

Ruth's favorite headstone at the Wallace Family Cemetary... her great-great-Grandma Ruth.
The headstone of my Grandpa and Grandma Wallace.

Great-Grandpa King Henry Wallace (who was married to Ruth).

Great-Great Grandpa King Solomon Wallace (who was married to Nancy).

All the cousins gathered together. It's been a while since we were ALL together.

Trying to get a good picture of Grandma's children.

My cousin Justin and his baby Shannon. I think Mommy, Denise was stuck in the car with a sleeping child.

Cousins Gretchen and Katrina.
Cousin Krista. Don't we have a good looking family?? :)

My brother Rob and his beautiful wife Stacy.

Grandma... as taken by Emily.
Pages from Great-Great Aunt Etta May's Bible... this is Great Grandma Ruth and King Henry Wallace. Ok, maybe they didn't call him King... but it was his given name!

Births of Ruth Emma O'Daniel as well as Etta May O'Daniel (owner of the Bible).

This was really neat for me to see. I took pictures of pages and pages of births, deaths and marriages.
So, our trip to Kentucky was quick and it wasn't for a fun time but the family time together was fun. Lots of memories. Lots of visiting. And a few pictures to prove we were there.

I can't stop. Here are just a few more of my favorite family who let me take their picture. :) I'll make them smaller.

Uncle Dan and Uncle Dan.

Tim... taking a quick rest.

Clint... yes, he's always this confused!
Katrina and Juan Carlos, or Jesse James, or Jose Cuervo, or Rico Suave! Yeah, that's it! Rico! :)

Seriously, it's Jesse.

Poppy and Tom. Tom wasn't really eating but posed for the "surprise mouthful of food" photo.Poppy was our generous host while we were in KY. The kids all fell for him and Nanna.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bennett's Big News

Gloom, Despair, and Agony on me. Woooah! Deep dark depression, excessive misery. Woooah! If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all... Gloom, Despair and Agony on me! So, the words might not be exact from the old Buck and Roy's Hee Haw song, but it's how he feels. Easter Sunday night we were playing Wii Guitar Hero with our favorite Guitar Hero owner who shares with little people... the kids, me, her. It was great fun and actually entertaining... I have video and pictures I may load too! Bennett was complaining that his tooth hurt so Rebecca convinced him to let her attempt ONE time at pulling it out. It worked. Then (don't tell his friends) he cried and cried from the pain, agony, misery and blood loss. We laughed secretly while he was tending to his despair in the bathroom. He survived and we played on. Then... a week-ish later he was playing in the basement with his sisters. The pain, agony and misery was coming up the stairs. He had fallen face first into a toy and knocked the front tooth out. Now, this tooth was very loose and almost ready to be removed anyway. There was very little knockage. But the mouth full of toilet paper to catch the blood was making me laugh. He wouldn't listen that a quick rinse with water would be better than the quick dissolving paper. I made him stand still for a picture of his toothless face. He was unhappy. Afraid he might look silly. He didn't want to smile. This is his attempt at obedience.
And speaking of obedience... the Holy Spirit has been working in his sinful little heart for 8 years... but especially in the past year. He knows all the right answers... he's a sinner, he needs a savior, Jesus died to cover his sins. But he said he was too scared and wasn't ready to give his heart over to God. He complained at night about his heart hurting and he was scared he would die in his sleep. This actually started when he was 6 and we took him to see the doctor to have his physical heart checked. It was (and is) fine. His spiritual heart was where the pain was coming. On April 13th he told me again he was scared he was going to die. I told him that was no reason to be scared if he was in the right place with God. Dying is not a bad thing if it means eternity with Jesus. He told me he didn't want to go to hell. That's a real fear in an 8 year old who spends several hours each week in a Bible teaching church. He's heard the stories of God's wrath in the Old Testament too. Those who obey and follow God's commandments did well... and those who did not obey? Well, the stories are plenty of the demise of many kings and nations. Some are pretty graphic and actually fun to teach to little boys. :) Anyway, he decided THAT night was the right night to settle things for eternity. We had Daddy come in and explain a little more in depth theology and he prayed and asked Jesus to save his little heart from the penalty of sin, which is death. He sleeps much better now.
And... he was able to give a little more effort at a real smile for me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

WARNING: Post Influx is Finished... lots of pictures too. Sorry!

I'm motivated! At least for the moment. I have a months worth of blogging to do and I'm doing as much as my brain will allow tonight! By golly... of course, I'm also at the mercy of this extremely slow and worn out box called a computer. It has been locking up and shutting down on a regular basis. I wanted to load up an audio clip of my eldest nephew, Zack, who recited Psalm 32 and Jude 1:24-25 at church last week. I can't figure it out but if Seth ever responds to my email cry for help... I'll put it up right away.

I've been sitting here for an hour already. The posts I need to complete... soccer, AWANA Grand Prix, Spring Break trip to DC/VA, and Bennett's Big Decision. I'm sure there are more... but it'll be 2am soon. :)

So... keep reading the month of April... it'll be here soon!
P.S. Does this face scare anyone else but me??

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Work at Strong Rock

This post isn't so much about the hard work we did... but more about the family time we had together. After our car racing times at the AWANA Grand Prix (see previous post) we grabbed some lunch and headed north to our FAVORITE CAMP IN ALL THE WORLD... and volunteered our time and muscles to helping split and stack and clean up a big 'ole pile of wood. The kids led the way to the campfire area between the lakes. I had no idea where we were supposed to go, but they new exactly... for they are WAYA! This is where they do their nightly tribal things... unknown to the questioning parent. (by the way, these piles did not exist when we started. We did the whole thing)
The kids were really good sports about the whole "work day" idea. I tried to explain to them that camp just isn't free. In fact, it's far from free. I have to work several days as a nurse to knock off a few dollars just so it's approved by the father. So, when the idea of a work day came up... I thought it would be a great idea for them to help in their own cause. Bennett worked hard and listened to instruction. The girls... well, camp is a very distracting place and sticks are dirty and there are ants and bugs! A few minutes into the splitting process our friends (and camp owners) drove up on the golf cart. So much for attention to the wood. Corie didn't know we were there. So, as they rounded the bend into the clearing and saw us... the kids were excited. It was also nap time so she was on her way home. I convinced her to take Lydia with her and leave Amelia with us. Sounded like a great deal to me. I get another stick picker-upper and she takes the whiny 3 year old in need of rest! So off the drove in to the woods. Close your eyes and imagine the image of the golf cart driving away with Avery and Lydia strapped in securely to the back seat... now imagine them smiling ear to ear and waving with all their might. Curtis even stopped working to watch them drive away and said "it just doesn't get any cuter than that!"... So, at this point I decided the camera might be a good thing to have. I took the kids on a hike back to the van, which was parked up at the lodge. Not only did it give us a back-breaking break from picking up logs, but it gave Curtis a chance to catch up to our fast and furious stacking pace! :) He split for almost 4 hours straight... and we stacked it all.
We also took a break to walk up to the Himstedt Home for Amelia's water bottle, water refills, and surprise popsicles. Both Himstedt kids were sleeping but the whiny Davidson in need of rest was playing dress up in Cinderella clothes and keeping Corie from napping as well. Hmmm... let's run back down the hill quick before she changes her mind!! They sure do have a STEEEEEEEP driveway!
Curtis was a good teacher and let all the kids "run" the log splitter and show how strong they are. Ruth was so excited she made up a song and dance "I'm the strongest of victory!".
He also took time to let Shannon help when he drove up with James... they had been helping at the shooting range with a group.
UP.... wait... you'll cut off my hand!!
We were finishing up when Corie came driving up with Lydia aboard. Time to go. It was getting close to starvation time anyway. But wait... let's go gather 100 large rocks to throw into the lake and splash. We're not too tired to play... ever!!
Then we limped home, shoveled in some dinner and climbed in bed. They got Tylenol before bed for the soreness. They ate like they hadn't eaten all week. And the slept like logs... and late on Sunday morning.
It was a fun, fun time working together. And now, Bennett should be able to tell you how to stack wood so the water runs off the top of the wood pile. Should.
P.S. as a fun ending to the day... here's a video of Ruth after her attention span had reached its limit.

AWANA Grand Prix

I've decided NOT to blog about spring soccer until I can purchase my own zoom lens or borrow Corie's again. I need good pictures!
So, assuming I can post date this post and make it say Saturday... I'll speak present tense.

Today (Saturday) was the AWANA Grand Prix. For those who don't do or know AWANA... the Grand Prix is the equivalent to the Boy Scout's Pinewood Derby. The kids get a block of wood and 4 wheels... then they design and build their car for race day. Many fathers get as much joy out of building the cars as the kids... and some will even enter their own version in the adult race. There are many who also do the work FOR their kids. Bennett and Maggie try to do it all themselves, except for the dangerous cutting part. Curtis cut out the general shape of choice... drawn on the side of the block-o-wood and then the kids do the rest. All of it was pretty much done while I was at work so I missed out on watching, helping, or documenting with photos. Saturday morning we got up early to put the final coats of decor on to give them time to dry before our 10am arrival to the race track. Bennett ended up with a plain chrome colored car with a Lego helmet glued in for the driver. He put stickers on... that was about it. Maggie opted for a little more exciting theme and went like a soccer ball. Curtis drew the pentagons and Maggie's colored them in and added in a smiley face and tongue. It could have passed for a puppy dog car too... spotted like Freckles.

So, the kids are proud of their half-creations and off we went to church.

Mr. Shawn Alexander had to drill the holes in the bottom of the car to allow for the weight to be poured in. It was a very stressful job position. I'm glad he didn't slip and break any cars in half! :) He's also the father of the fastest cars... could be coincidence... could be talent... could be something... I'm just sayin'!
The kids enjoyed watching each heat. They also got snacks... which are always a big hit. Somehow, the only picture I have of Lydia is with a mouthful of popcorn.
Ruth watches with our friends... Carrie, Ansleigh, and Josiah (who also had a very fast car).
Here are Ruth and our friends Alex Anne and Meggie Beth.
Each car got 4 heats, one in each lane. Then the top scores raced in the finals. It's sort of like the World Series... Bennett got in as a Wild Card and ended up beating his own division leader. Therefore, earning himself a 3rd place trophy. He's 3 for 3 now... zero pressure, eh?!

At the end of the races... Maggie and Jaelen reflect on their own positions. It's very hard to have your siblings win trophies and you don't get one. I think they both were ok with it after having shed a few "it's not fair" tears. Jaelen's mom tried to convince them both that they were the better soccer players and their brothers could be the better car racers... but I think it was lost in the moment. When we got home tonight Bennett gave Maggie their soccer team picture so she can keep it in her room... since he has a new trophy for his room. Wasn't that just so thoughtful?! :)
And then there is Josh - the "expert" car designer, who uses computer programs to build his car, spends 3 weeks perfecting it, brings it in a padded box, talks smack and then has to swallow hard when his sleek model is beat out by the big, boxy pick-up of little Leah Alexander. :)
She beat ALL the adult models! Go Leah!!!

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