Sunday, May 31, 2009


Very infrequently can I see the perks in being up at 6:15 on a Sunday morning. Yes, I look forward to church (don't need to be up to get ready for that until 8), and yes, I enjoy a freshly brewed cup o' joe (that can be brewed WHENEVER), but today, I was blessed with a HUGE perk...

A "Ballerina and Pirate Show." I know I'm biased, but these are the cutest kids I've EVER had!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


It's been a while since I've posted anything to the "Out Of The Mouths of Babes" category. Not because I didn't want to, but because the cute little toddler-isms are fading away at our house. Again, a bittersweet thing.

Here are a few that have floated around here lately:

When stung by a 'bee' (we think it was a horsefly), Daddy asked M, "What color was the bee?" M stopped crying, looked smack on at Daddy, and in a somewhat indignant voice said, "The same color as all the bees in this world!"

A friend of mine came by to deliver some things. C helped me to answer the door, and when the friend left, remarked, "Wow, Momma! She sure had a pretty face on her head!"

C and M love running around the house looking for bugs. (I pray that they don't find many as we pay a pretty high bill for bug control, however this IS the South!) M came running in to me and said, "Momma! I need the BUG SWAPPER to smoosh a bug I found!"

That's the latest installment of OOTMOB... Hope it brought you a giggle, or at least a smile!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Commencement #2

Last night we attended Cadey's Kindergarten graduation. It was a full-on, cap and gown, special white dress, diploma-handin'-out graduation. We heard the kids recite many poems, sing songs, and demonstrate for us the many, many things they've learned this year. The night was precious, and yet bittersweet. How quickly she has grown from a baby to a little girl, to a young girl!

Though we've only been a part of the school since March, we count it as a HUGE blessing for our girl. She has thrived there socially and spiritually, and her academics are off the chart. She has A's in every subject, and her average in reading was 100.8%! She has learned to write in cursive in the 12 weeks she's been at the school, and has continued to grow academically and spiritually. We are so proud of our girl!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Commencement #1

Friday M had his "graduation" from 3 year old preschool. He was all dressed up, had practiced his "cheesy smile" and was ready to go.

B and I met him in the chapel (C was in school) and watched as he and his friends sang their hearts out. It was very sweet. BUT...whenever we go to one of these events with the little kiddos, I feel the anticipation in the air -- "Who will be the child who does something that we'll all remember?" AND, "Will a set of parents be embarrassed or proud of the "remembrance?" Lucky us -- this year, that child was ours...

You'll see it in the beginning of the video of M and his friends singing "Swing Low Sweet Chariot." Though he really wanted to be embarrassed and cry, he pulls it off well, jumping right back into the song. We're so proud of our big boy! Watch out K4, here he comes...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mid May update...

It seems like we go about our lives and I think, "Oh, that's a good one for the blog." Or I take a picture and think, "The family will love that one." And what happens? I don't do it. I get sidetracked, busy, forgetful and then time marches on and I find I have a camera full of shots to share and lots of stories to tell. Here's our mid-month update.

One week into the garden, and things were growing. Everything had come up. Most surprising was the beans. When I was out watering about 6 days into the garden's life, no beans had poked through. The next day when I went out to water, they were not only through the soil, but about 2" tall!! Everything else is growing well too: the zucchini, yellow squash, radishes, cukes, and tomatoes. We even have one small green tomato growing. Right now the plants are so tiny it's hard to tell they're anything exciting, and not just some weeds. But, I'm excited!!

We also recently became the fortunate receivers of a hand-me-down, almost new canoe. We've been looking to buy one for about a year now, and just hadn't "jumped ship" to purchase one. (If you don't know, they can be quite spendy!) So, one free canoe, two free paddles, four life jackets from Kmart, TONS of sunscreen and bug spray and we were off. We had a great time! We were able to drop the canoe into the creek across the street (off our neighbors' dock) and paddle out to the river. On the way back we tried some new routes through the weeds (and by 'we' I mean B -- it's a good thing he's a pilot and not a navigator!) Came in close contact with a baby crab, heard a blood curdling scream from the kids as said crab crawled toward them, pushed the canoe out of the swamp "pluff" mud, and all in all, had a GREAT time! The only drawback is having to wait until the tide is up to put the canoe in. As we found from our first venture out, canoes full of four people do not do well in the mud!

I've also included some pics from the beginning of the month when we went to a base function with B's squadron. M and C loved playing on the truck and tractor that were there for the set up, and the adults loved watching M dance when the band was warming up.

I think you'll also find a shot of my first attempt at a TOTALLY from-scratch cake. Took about 4 hours, but you can definitely taste the difference. It was an Orange Marmalade cake. YUM-O!

We're getting ready to wind up the month with one graduating from Kindergarten and the other ending his year in 3 year old preschool. Looking forward to summer and all the adventure that brings!!!

Edventure proves an adventure!

Last Thursday, M and I joined C's class for a field trip. We drove with some friends up to Columbia to Edventure. The place is totally awesome -- worth the drive -- cost is worth the entertainment -- we'll be going back again soon. Though we stayed for about 4 hours, the kids did not want to leave. It was great fun!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The "Blessings" of Motherhood

A friend of mine passed this story along to me today, and I was laughing so hard, I almost wet my pants (one of those blessings of motherhood.) Any of you who've ever been in a public bathroom with a toddler can relate.

I hope that this story reminds you of how precious our little ones are ...

A 3-year-old tells all from his mother's restroom stall.
By Shannon Popkin

My little guy, Cade, is quite a talker. He loves to communicate and does it quite well. He talks to people constantly, whether we are in the library, the grocery store or at a drive-thru window. People often comment on how clearly he speaks for a just-turned-3-year-old. And you never have to ask him to turn up the volume. It's always fully cranked. There have been several embarrassing times that I've wished the meaning of his words would have been masked by a not-so-audible voice, but never have I wished this more than last week at Costco.

Halfway, through our shopping trip, nature called, so I took Cade with me into the restroom. If you'd been one of the ladies in the restroom that evening, this is what you would have heard coming from the second to the last stall:

''Mommy, are you gonna go potty? Oh! Why are you putting toiwet paper on the potty, Mommy? Oh! You gonna sit down on da toiwet paper now? Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, are you gonna go stinkies on the potty?''

At this point I started mentally counting how many women had been in the bathroom when I walked in. Several stalls were full ... 4? 5? Maybe we could wait until they all left before I had to make my debut out of this stall and reveal my identity.

Cade continued: ''Mommy, you ARE going stinkies aren't you? Oh, dats a good girl, Mommy! Are you gonna get some candy for going stinkies on the potty? Let me see doze stinkies, Mommy! Oh...Mommy! I'm trying to see In dere. Oh! I see dem. Dat is a very good girl, Mommy. You are gonna get some candy!''

I heard a few faint chuckles coming from the stalls on either side of me. Where is a screaming new born when you need her? Good grief. This was really getting embarrassing. I was definitely waiting a long time before exiting. Trying to divert him, I said, ''Why don't you look in Mommy's purse and see if you can find some candy. We'll both have some!''

''No, I'm trying to see doze more stinkies...Oh! Mommy!''

He started to gag at this point.

''Uh - oh, Mommy. I fink I'm gonna frow up. Mommy, doze stinkies are making me frow up!! Dat is so gross!!''

As the gags became louder, so did the chuckles outside my stall.. I quickly flushed the toilet in hopes of changing the
subject. I began to reason with myself: OK. There are four other toilets. If I count four flushes, I can be reasonably assured that those who overheard this embarrassing monologue will be long gone.

''Mommy! Would you get off the potty, now? I want you to be done going stinkies! Get up! Get up!''

He grunted as he tried to pull me off. Now I could hear full-blown laughter. I bent down to count the feet outside my door. ''Oh, are you wooking under dere, Mommy? You wooking under da door? What were you wooking at? Mommy? You wooking at the wady's feet?''

More laughter. I stood inside the locked door and tried to assess the situation.
''Mommy, it's time to wash our hands, now. We have to go out now, Mommy.'' He started pounding on the door. ''Mommy, don't you want to wash your hands? I want to go out!!''

I saw that my wait 'em out' plan was unraveling. I sheepishly opened the door, and found standing outside my stall, twenty to thirty ladies crowded around the stall, all smiling and starting to applaud.

My first thought was complete embarrassment, then I thought, where's the fine print on the 'motherhood contract' where I signed away every bit of my dignity and privacy? But as my little boy gave me a big, cheeky grin while he rubbed bubbly soap between his chubby little hands, I thought, I'd sign it all away again, just to be known as Mommy to this little fellow.

(Shannon Popkin is a freelance writer and mother of three She lives with her family in Grand Rapids , Michigan , where she no longer uses public restrooms)

Saturday, May 2, 2009


A neighbor of ours gave us a few small tomato plants that we've been caring for since early April. When talking to the neighbor about what to do with the plants which have grown significantly, he said we needed to plant them in the ground and that he'd help us start a garden if we so desired.

I have ALWAYS wanted to have my own garden, but due to the frequent moves, I've never invested the time. Well, today I changed that.

Saint Steve (the neighbor) came over and tilled up a patch for us, then helped us plant the tomato plants. Then Cadey and I finished the beds, planted a few other veggies, and made the stakes with the tags on them.

Now I'm just praying that we get some veggies!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cute as a button (or polka dot!)

You've seen most of April, but...

With B now home and all of us settled back into a "normal" routine, it seems as if the days, weeks, months are flying by! We enjoyed a couple weeks with B during his leave, including Easter Egg Hunts, our camping trip, and a day at the zoo. B has also taken on a total Blazer overhaul. I am amazed at the knowledge he has about the truck, and how confident he is that all the parts, wires, etc. he has taken off will go back on (well, new stuff will replace the old) and that the truck will not only look good, but run well too!!