Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas 2006

First there was present opening (after reading the Christmas story) at our house. You can see Elijah enjoying his two favorite presents at once- his Batman costume and his Leapfrog Cars video game.
Mom sent these hockey pads and even though we don't typically play much hockey here, he is finding plenty of uses for them. Tonight he was a robot with them and yesterday he was a wrestler.
Next came Christmas at Nana and Papas. Here are most of the cousins before church on Sunday morning. You'll notice one cousin is conspicuously absent. He wasn't in a picture taking mood that morning but everyone else looks pretty happy. I'd say five out of six is pretty successful.
Micah is holding his spiderman toy from Uncle Josh and Aunt Jess- I just love the look on his face.
And our final present opening picture. We had a wonderful time seeing everyone. We can't wait to do it again soon!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Brotherly Love














They are starting to play together so well. Tonight they piled these pillows and blankets on the floor and entertained themselves jumping in them for almost 20 minutes without getting in a fight. That's some kind of amazing record. They really are hugging in the second picture too, and it wasn't a staged hug either. Elijah initiated it, but his little bros gladly joined in.

It also gives you a pretty good look at Isaiah's new hair.

First Haircut



The last baby to get his first hair cut. I was so sad to take this leap into toddlerhood finally, but his long stringy locks were looking a little wild. Think little-old-man-comb-over only without the bald spot. He did great, wasn't afraid of the clippers (big surprise there) and just as I thought, looks like a baby no longer. Sniff sniff.

Christmas in Wilmore

Micah with Santa: No fear, chattering away about anything and everything!
Isaiah with Santa: Not so sure, laughs then cries then relieved when Mommy rescues him.
Elijah with Santa: Full of questions and happy to get his treat bag after waiting in line.
Lighting of the Wilmore tree. Ooooooo... Ahhhhh

Wilmore, charming little town that it is, has a Christmas event each year where they light the tree downtown, have craft fairs, horse and carriage rides, and in the evening all of the downtown shops open up with live music and free treats for visitors. Polics block off the street at either end so people can enjoy milling around in the street. Santa pays a visit for the kids and all of the kids get treat bags courtesy of the local IGA. This year the owner of the IGA who has donated the hundreds of treat bags for several years was given a Corvette car by our local philanthropist, RJ Corman (one of the ten richest men in America or something like that). We didn't stay long because it was pretty cold that night for the boys to be out, but they got to visit Santa and get their treat and that's all that matters right?

Cassie and Tom


Last Saturday we were fortunate enough to visit with our friends Cassie and Tom who live on a farm in Wimore. The boys had such a good time playing with the dog, chasing cats in the barn and standing on the fence talking to the horses. Micah was especially enamoured with the horses. We couldn't hardly pry his icy cold fingers off of the fence railing to go home. Grammie, he's wearing the mittens you knit for him and for some reason he kept calling them his sandals. When we got back inside he'd say, "Mommy, I need my sandals," and point to his hands. It took us forever to figure out that he meant his mittens.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Chillin with the cousins!

Thanks Nana and Papa for great food and...
great songs and...
a chance to be superheros for a day and...
time together and...
all of the memories we make.

On a side note, this is Esther and Isaiah in the tub. How cute are they?!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Turkey Day Vacation



It is 9:27AM on a Sunday morning, I'm still in my pajamas and my plans for the day include getting ready for church, going to an open house, Christmas shopping and maybe some Christmas decorating this evening. If you have small children, youre probably already asking yourself- and are the kids going to come along in all of these activities? What about naps and bedtime? Shopping with toddlers? How are you going to do that? Is Eric really going to stay home with them all day while you skip aroun Lexington?
It is the wierdest feeling in the world for me, but Eric and the kids have gone to Greenfield to stay with his Mom and Dad for Thanksgiving and I'll join them on Tuesday night because I have school Monday and Tuesday. Eric has to come back early- Friday night- for school and I'll stay up there until Sunday afternoon. I can't express how strange the last 12 hours have been, being in my house with no family. I cleaned things up yesterday afternoon and they're still clean. I went out with friends last night, stayed out late and slept in this morning. There is this strange emptiness in the house. Is this what it would be like with no kids? It's kind of refreshing for a day or two, but I think it's going to get old really fast. I'll be glad to see all of them Tuesday night.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

T-Shirts and Super Heroes


Just the other day, I was trying to coax Elijah into getting ready for school. Seems easy enough, right? Well not when you pick out a shirt that has a collar and no super hero on the front. It was picture day (I think) and I thought that it would be nice to have a picture of him without Spider Man, the Fantastic Four, Superman or Mr. Incredible on the front of it. Well, it turned into a wild rant and screaming tantrum of utmost proportions. Who knew it was so important...

Until, later that day I thought about it again. How many wives have to coax their husbands into wearing a nice shirt? How many men are still obsessed with wearing a comfortable shirt (something without a collar) and a super hero on it. Maybe not superman (or for some maybe it is) but an adult super hero. Jeff Gordan, LeBron James, Brian Urlacher, Napolean Dynamite...OK the last one may be a stretch but you get my meaning. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I should go a little easier on my 4 year old because there are grown men who are still throwing tantrums about wearing a t-shirt with a super hero on it. There you go. Not too enlightening but hopefully you'll think of me the next time you see a man with a "super hero" shirt on...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Brotherly Love

Last night I was giving the boys baths, rotating them in and out of the tub. Isaiah first, then add Micah in with Isaiah, then take Isaiah out and put Elijah in with Micah. Then take Micah out, then Elijah out. Poor middle child Micah never get the tub to himself. Anyway, I was drying Isaiah off on our bed and Elijah was in our room getting undressed, and Isaiah was fussing, just cold and tired and ready to be in bed. I had towels wrapped around his head and body and Elijah came over next to him and said, "It's OK Isaiah." Then he said, Mommy, can I sing Isaiah a song to make him feel better. I said, "sure" expecting to hear the theme song to Cyber chase or something about Spiderman, but instead Elijah started making up a song.
"I---zay----ah----
Don't be afraid of the towels
They won't hurt you or eat you
Don't be afraid of the towels
You don't have to be scared
I---- zay--- ah----"
Apparently, in his assessment, Isaiah must surely be fussing because of a fear of the towels he was wrapped in. Why didn't I think of that?

I couldn't get to the camera to take a picture while Isaiah was wrapped up, but this is the after effect of the song. :)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Play Doh Boys

Ahh the simple pleasures. How many of us get to put aside all of the stresses of life and dig our fingernails into some fresh Play Doh on a regular basis. Just one of the many privileges of parenting- the chance to relive those simple pleasures....for about 30 seconds.
Isaiah decided to eat part of his piece then throw the rest on the floor. Then I noticed the mountain of dishes in the sink, which conveniently enough cleans that pesky Play Doh right out from under your fingernails.

Halloween!



Halloween has got to seem like the best day in the world to a little kid. First of all you get to dress up like your favorite superhero or character all day, then you get to go around and knock on people's doors. They greet you warmly and give you candy. Your mom reminds you to say thank you and you mosey on to the next friendly door.

This year we went to Main St. Wilmore for Halloween. They block of both ends of main street with fire trucks, then, as if that weren't enough excitement for any preschool boy, the businesses on both sides of the street have games for kids to play and of course lots of treats. Isaiah was even entertained the whole time, so you know it was a good night if he was happy.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I travelled to Louisville today with a fellow colleague to participate in the second session of my first graduate class. We got the syllabus and rubric for our hallmark assessment for this class- a 10-12 page paper. The assignment is action research where I am to formuate a hypothesis, change a variable of instruction and make observations and record data on the results. I concluded that I'm a nerd, but I embrace my nerdity because the prospect of writing the paper really excites me. I love having the accountability and feedback on research and learning that I would like to do on my own anyway. I think my hypothesis is going to be: "To what degree does giving students authentic audience for their reading and writing change their attitudes about the assignment and the quality of the finished product. Riveting huh.

Matt and Ethan are here for a few days, students from our youth group for those of you who don't know them, and I've rarely seen the boys so excited. All three of them stood in the front window for 15 minutes waiting for them to arrive tonight. Elijah was literally jumping up and down waiting to see them. He kept saying, "Matt and Ethan are so funny." Ahhh that the boys can always have such mature young men as role models. Matt, Ethan and Eric are all playing PS2 right now, and I'm sure they won't go to bed until the weee hours of the morning. As for me, I'm off to bed.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

More pumpkin patch pics




That's Micah sliding down a tunnel, and Elijah and Micah in the giant chair at the orchard.






Pumpkin Patch

















We made our annual trek to the pumpkin patch last Friday. It was a beautiful sunny evening, but pretty chilly as you can tell from the boys' coats and hats. Since then we've had days in the 70's then back down to the 40's again. I think this was our favorite pumpkin patch yet. It had a huge hay mountain with a slide that was the highlight of the trip for them I think. We think this trip is our most consistent family tradition aside from the usual stuff at Christmas and Easter.

Babysitting Co-op


One of the advantages of living in this area is the number of other families who are in our exact stage of life. Some of the other seminary wives and I have created a babysitting co-op together. We trade babysitting with each other so that we don't have to pay someone to watch our kids. We keep track with tickets, and charge each other 2 tickets per hour for 1 child, and 1 ticket per hour for each child thereafter. So, for our blessed family of 3, it's 4 tickets an hour. We all start out with a number of tickets, and so far it has been terrific! We get to go out a lot more often, and it's not so much of a favor to ask a friend to watch the kids because they're earning tickets that they can use later.

Another major advantage is that so far, the other families in the co-op all have girls, so I get to look after some girls occasionally- a nice change. The pic is Morgan playing our piano. This was her favorite activity while she was with us.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Job

Yes, I began the year as a freshman English teacher, but just about two weeks ago, we had a resignation in the department. After much prayer and contemplation, I applied for the position and got it. Now they're looking for a replacement, so if anyone knows a good English teacher, send them my way. Anyway, my new job is as the reading coach for West Jessamine High School. I teach two classes of 10-12 kids each (22 kids altogether), then the rest of the day I help other teachers in all content areas use literacy strategies in their classrooms. I get lots of great training to help make me an expert in the area of literacy, and over 4 years I get to earn a Masters in Literacy from University of Louisville. I'm really enjoying it so far. The 22 kids I have are challenging since they are all at least 2 grade levels below in their reading skills and some much more, but I love working with such a small group of kids. It has been fun getting to brainstorm with the staff about ways to improve literacy as well. They have been really open to new ideas and trying new things in their classrooms.

The boys are doing great. We're finally all well again. We had the stomach flu about a month ago, then we all got these terrible colds after that, so we're just now all starting to sleep through the night again. Isaiah had been waking up irritable, congested, and inconsolable every night for so long that I wondered when we were ever going to get some rest again. Three nights in a row with no interruptions, we're on a role.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

In NB



Mommy and Isaiah in Canada this summer. We were fortunate enough to stay at a friend's house while they were in Australia, and that was vacation enough in itself. The house is over 100 years old, and it has a beautiful view of our beloved Saint John River. Isaiah and I were enjoying the tree swing together.

Nail Biter...

Some of us eat chips, some read the paper, some watch Sports Center, but what does Micah do at the end of a long tough day... He biteshis toe nails. No saddly enough, this is not a one time occurence. We've happened on this sight more than once, although usually it is when he's riding in the van and has nothing else to do. I'm sure this picture will come back to haunt him someday.

Scooperman Ice Cream












There's just a little bit left in this corner...








Maybe if I use my hands...













OK, I think I'm done.

Ladies Retreat


The Asbury spouses went on a ladies' retreat to Natural Bridge in KY a couple of weekends ago. We had a wonderful time together, and this was the view from the top of the mountain.

First Day of School

Yeah! I can finally put pictures on our blog again. Thanks to my new position at school, I've been given a laptop that lets me share our pictures with everyone. This is Elijah waiting to get on the bus for his very first day of school ever! He is standing in front of our townhouse, one of many on our street as you can see.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Update on our lives

OK, I know it's been forever, but we've moved to Kentucky, I got a new job and Eric is about to start classes at Seminary. In the midst, we took a two week vacation to Canada to see my family and we stopped to see Josh and Jess in Michigan along the way.

For those of you interested in a kid update, Isaiah is walking really well, he says some words that we don't really understand yet, but he's starting to sign some words really clearly, and he certainly communicates well with pointing and squealing when he wants something. He loves to wrestle with his brothers, and the only activity we've really found that holds his interest besides walking, running, wrestling and riding in the stroller is music. He loves to play the guitar with Eric, he loves the Laurie Berkner DVD and the Wiggles a little. Whenever he hears music he instantly tunes in.

Micah has developed a reputation for being a softy. He still cries over every bump and bruise, but it's impossible to resist hugging him when he crawls up in your lap and wraps his arms and legs around you for as long as your willing to hold him. He loves to cuddle and pretend he's a cat, wriggling around in your lap and burrowing his head under your arm to pet him. On the other hand, his temper can flare up in an instant, and when it does, watch out. He is certainly the most volatile of the three so far. Kicking and hitting are daily struggles for him and for the rest of us. He loves to watch Dora and to be read to. He also loves to sing and does so very well. I love hearing him sing "This is the day" with Veggie Tales from the back seat of the van.

Elijah is about to start pre-school, and we met his teacher today. She seems very nice and is very experienced. Elijah was very shy today, and I'm sure will take a few weeks to adjust, but he is doing very well at home. He has become very responsible and is much more obedient than he had been in the past. He loves anything active, running, playing at the playground, playing in the water, riding his bicycle, and going places with Mommy or Daddy. He is still very nervous in new situations and with new people, but he seems to adjust quickly. He was already calling the church we've been attending here "our church" after two Sundays.

Eric and I are adjusting well too. I am going to be teaching 9th grade English, and Eric will be home with the kids except for the times he is in class. It has been an adjustment for him being home with them, but he's doing great. We've already met some great friends, and we really like the area.
We'd love to hear from you. My new email is lit_lady123@yahoo.com and if you're ever in Lexington, Kentucky, come on by!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Class reunion


I've just spent the last little while on my high school class reunion's message board, reading what everyone has been up to over the last ten years, and it is pretty amazing. I'm further encouraged that when I'm teaching kids, my own or other people's, and they're driving me nuts, I can just remember that in a few years they'll be traveling the world and using their talents to do incredible things.

In honor of the homeland, I posted this picture that my brother sent me. A reminder of the time a moose walked up behind me, at least this close, as I was getting on the bus. I can't wait to visit NB again this summer. There's just something about going home. :)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Isaiah's first birthday














Yes, that is an entire piece of birthday cake the Isaiah is shoving into his mouth. My question, how can he still breathe?










Here he is after the 1st piece. He went on to steal Elijah's piece and eat his as well. This was just totally fascinating to all of us. None of our previous six children (I'm including all of the cousins who were there as well) really cared much for their first piece of birthday cake. Most just took a few licks and were done. Just more confirmation of the uniqueness of every child.













Elijah and Olivia showing us their "sweet moves." Elijah is dressed up like a power ranger... again. His costumes are like the blankie or teddy bear that most children have. He is naturally shy and sensitive, so when people come over, even people he knows well, instead of grabbing for a blankie, he puts on a costume. There is security in pretending to be someone else I guess.











Micah and Garrett in a rare moment of relative peace. Eric and I discussed just today that lately it seems like the only way Micah knows how to play is rough. Whatever toy he has is smashing into things, falling, catapulting, flying through the air, being thrown off the deck, into the pool, down the stairs, out the window of the van... you get the picture. I'm beginning to think he has a future in demolition.

The birthday party was terrific. No new news to post on our transition except that we're now considering that we may have to rent our current home instead of selling it. Maybe there is a family who really needs a nice home, can't buy a house but would be able to rent it, and maybe God wants us to serve them in this way. Or a hundred other possibilities. All in God's timing.
Blessings,
Erin

Friday, May 05, 2006

We're Moving

Yup it's true. Clubhouse Drive will be our humble abode no longer. For quite some time now we've been talking, praying, discussing, lamenting, dreaming over some pretty exciting life changes. It is now public and official. Eric has been accepted at Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, KY for this fall, so our house is for sale, we're looking for a home to rent in Wilmore, and we have resigned from Brown's Chapel. We hope to move in July if our house sells. We will certainly our dear friends here and our Brown's Chapel family, but we definitely feel burdened to move on.

The absence of posts during the last month and a half can be partially attributed to the fact that we've been packing and making repairs. This house is going to look better the day we sell it than it ever looked the entire time we lived here. We spread 3 cubic yard of mulch on Wednesday, we replaced the garage door, painted the window boxes and trim, and there is still a list to complete for the next family moving in. Anyway, this all seems pretty boring and trivial after reading about Bethany's trip to Cuba.

Isaiah's first birthday party is tomorrow, so we're going to celebrate with the cousins. I'll try to post pictures soon, but no promises. I still haven't been able to successfully post pictures from the Mac at home. Safari quits every time I try to import a picture. Again... technical advice anyone?

Erin

Thursday, March 16, 2006

New pictures




Micah (turned 2) on the left, Elijah (turned 4) on the right. Their birthdays are only one week apart so we had a birthday lunch to celebrate both birthdays. Micah was totally focused on getting the cake, as you can see, and could've cared less about hearing Happy Birthday sung to him. Elijah's crown came from pre-school. They get to wear a crown on their birthdays.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Growth bruises

I was putting laundry in the washer today when I heard a shriek from the living room. I ran up the stairs to see what was going on only to find Elijah crying on the floor holding his back. He sputtered accusingly between sobs that Micah had pushed him off the back of the couch (he was laying across the top of the back like a cat). Apparently he doesn't have cat-like reflexes though because he landed on a toy firetruck. He is fine, just a nasty bruise on his hip. I had been telling him that I was proud of him for not trying to hit Micah back or even being angry at Micah. After I'd held him for a minute, he said, "Mommy, you didn't see it happen."
I confessed that no I'd been downstairs.
He said, "Mommy, you didn't run fast enough."
My mind raced. He's begun to realize that I won't be able to protect him from every possible hurt in life. There are just some times when Mommy won't be there to prevent pain. I wonder if this will make him more cautious, and I wonder what would happen if I were always there to catch him before he fell. Next time he'll weigh the options- lay on the back of the couch and possibly fall off? or stay seated safely on the cushion? Whichever he chooses, at least he now knows the consequences of each.

It also made me wonder if I ever accuse God of not running fast enough. Although, I doubt God does much laundry.

Monday, February 27, 2006

iPhoto

If any of you out there have any techie friends, ask them this question. iPhoto has been frozen on my powerbook for the last three days. It just keeps "thinking and thinking" and won't close or anything. I even tried letting the computer run out of battery and shut down and when I plugged it back in, iPhoto was still running. I'm beginning to think it's possessed.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Micah and the 2s


Ahhh the trying 2s. We love this stage. Can't wait for Isaiah to get there. Micah is trying in a whole new way though. Elijah threw tantrums, screamed and cried occasionally. Micah is the strong silent type. He has his moments of outburst, but usually, his independence shows up in a stoic determination to do what he wants regardless of any discipline. He may not scream or cry, but he'll just continue doing his own thing.... and for a MUCH longer period of time than Elijah used to. The other day I warned him that if he pushed Elijah again, he would go to time out. He promptly looked at me, turned and ran down the hall TO his room, closed himself in an stayed there for twice the length of a normal time-out. The message- "What's time-out to me Mommy? I have all day. Go ahead." His personality just requires a new kind of patience. A kind of calm, long-suffering, I'm-determined-to-outlast-you patience as opposed to the your-screaming-and-kicking-isn't-going-to-get-to-me patience we had to develop with Elijah. Parenting certainly develops well-roundedness.

Simile Metaphor Collection

Elijah after running: My heart is beating like a coconut rolling down a hill.
Elijah on urination: Pee is like horses galloping out of the gate. Once they get started you just can't stop them.
Elijah: If school were a human I'd give it a wedgie.
Elijah: I am like a hot rod and I just want to be a plain old Ford
Elijah on the fruits of the spirit: I've got them all covered except self-control. Its like a tiny green tomato and the rest are all big ripe ones. Especially love. Its like the biggest tomato we saw in the garden tonight.