Monday, December 12, 2011

Sent from my LG phone

Friday, October 21, 2011


Nora, Isaiah and Micah- Looks chilly.  Olivia looks on. 
Family and friends wait for the pastor and church members to arrive.
Pre-Baptism conference.  Daddy and boys- so sweet.

Micah in the water- it was really chilly.  

"Death, burial and resurrection!"

Isaiah ready to go under.

Death, burial and resurrection!  

Family and friends hug, kiss and congratulate.  
Elijah decided to wait for a while which is totally fine.  We're glad he isn't swayed by his brothers.  Micah was totally excited and wanted to share his Good News with everyone.  He took the video of the baptism that Larry Foster made for us (thanks Larry) to school and the whole 2nd grade (31 kids) watched it together.  We are so proud of all 3 of our boys!  Praise God for their growing faith.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Elijah on hot rods and tomatoes

Tonight at bed time.

Elijah:  Mommy, sometimes I feel like a hot rod and I just want to be a plain old Ford.
Me:  Explain more please.
Elijah:  You know how a hot rod revs up its engine and goes from 0-60 in like 2 seconds.  Then you drive it fast like 3 times and it breaks down and its just a mess.
Me:  Yup.  How is that like you again?
Elijah:  I get all mad too quickly instead of having peace.  (Yes, he said that.)  Instead, I just want to be a good old steady Ford.  Just running all of the time, not speeding too fast, overheating and breaking down.
Me:   That sounds like a great goal.  You know the fruits of the spirit we talked about tonight with your brothers?
Elijah:  Yeah. When you were praying about the fruits I was thinking I've got them all covered except for the self-control one.  It's like a tiny little green tomato and the rest are big fat red ones, especially the love one.  I've got lots of love.  Its like that big green tomato we saw in the garden tonight only mine is red and ripe.  I even started crying when you were praying tonight.  But the self control one... I'm still working on that one.  Its not ripe yet.

A beautiful conversation with this son who tries my patience on so many days.  We prayed a precious prayer together, asking for help with self-control for him and patience for Mommy.  So blessed and thankful tonight. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Micah's Field Trip

Micah's class went to the Baltimore Zoo, and I was fortunate to travel in the 105 degree bus for a hour with him. Bonding time.
Rocking the rope bridge

The giant tree slide

Big tortoise... little tortoise

I seriously love this guy!

Bird habitat

We walked and walked and walked to find the leopard.  He was well hidden in a shady spot.  Look, even he is panting.  

This was our group- two very energetic girls, and my Micah on a heron nest

Now they're in the oriole nest.  

These kids were such troopers... having fun despite the absolutely crazy HOT day.

Even the African animals were trying to cool off.

This snake was NOT in a cage, just slithering along the boardwalk beside us. Wild.
Thanks for spending the day with your mom at the zoo Micah!  It won't be too long before you'll be begging me to stay home instead of begging me to come along, so I'll savor these sweet moments.  :)

Two Months!

I'm not sure I've ever gone 2 whole months without posting. Here is the newsy bullet point update:
- Elijah went to overnight church camp for the 1st time- a whole week in Denton and he loved it. Micah and Isaiah want to go too next year.
- All 3 kids did 1 week at YMCA camp while our amazing babysitter Danielle was gone. They didn't love it, but they liked it, and the exercise and social time is good for them right?
- We all went to Canada for a week at the beginning of July. This included a lovely vacation weekend in Gorham, NH at Santa's Village and Attitash. If you've never been and you find yourself in the New England area, consider a stop in Gorham- beautiful drive through Vermont to get there too.
- The 3 older cousins came to stay with us for a week when we returned. It was also VBS week and performance week for Elijah's play. Ahh yes... forgot to mention
- Elijah was in a performance of Narnia this summer which took up amazing amounts of driving time... back and forth to Thurmont every. single. day. for a few weeks. BUT, he loved it and so it was totally worth it to see him engaged in something with other kids, conquering his nerves and having fun.
- Then, off to Illinois for commune reunion for 4 days. Relaxing days were spent at Rachel's parents' farm in Lovington, IL. tractors, hay loft, goats, chickens, fields of corn as far as the eye could see, and best of all, good friends who are water to the soul.
- On to Indiana for Led-a-palooza 2011... we even have the t-shirt. All of us, the whole family together for the weekend. "Whole family" in this case being Grandma and Grandpa Ledbetter, their 6 children with spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I think someone said there were over 50 of us this time around. Wow. Ledbetters know how to multiply. :)
- Back home to MD where my summer classes are done (Woo Hoo).
- I was hired as an adjunct instructor at Towson for the fall semester, teaching a research writing class, so I'm preparing for that. Also, I'll continue with my research assistantship as well.
- Isaiah starts soccer in 2 weeks.
- School starts in 3 weeks.
And.... we're done. OK. Now, the next post can be more meaningful.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lollipops and Field Trips

I know, I know, it has been a while.  In school news, I finished my busiest semester (3 classes plus work), but all is finished and I  moved on to 2 summer classes which are going well.  I'm still working over the summer, but half of my hours are work-from-home and 1 of my 2 summer classes finishes June 26th, so after that the summer will feel much more relaxing.

Eric is awesome.  The church is going well, and he looks after kid, family and home stuff in my absence without even blinking an eye.  I've been on multiple field trips with the boys this month- the post office with Isaiah, the zoo with Micah and the farm museum with Elijah.  Eric covered two school events- kindergarten tea and recorder recital tomorrow.  Micah is doing REALLY well with his piano lessons, and Elijah picked up the recorder pretty quickly.  Micah was the only one of the three boys to memorize all of his verses in Sunday School and received a prize along with 4 other children last Sunday (Isaiah and Elijah were just one verse short and seeing Micah receive a prize totally motivated them to try harder next time).

Which leads me to a great story.  Sunday afternoon after the church picnic, I walked into the entryway of our house to see Isaiah crying (not unusual) but it was unusual that he didn't seem angry or hurt.  I asked what was wrong because Elijah was standing there too, but Lij just shrugged his shoulders and went back to playing with the water balloon he was concentrating on tying.  Zay sobbed out... no...thing.... shoulders still shaking.

I gave him a minute to catch a breath while I set my stuff down, looked back and Lij one more time who looked back at me blankly and shrugged.  I asked Zay if he could tell me why he was crying.  Here's what he gasped out between sobs.

"Mommy, I couldn't ask for a better brother than Elijah" and he collapsed into my arms still holding back sobs.  I looked at Lij who promptly started talking.

"Mommy, Isaiah brought home the etch-a-sketch from church because he thought it was a prize.  I told him it wasn't to keep so I took it back over to the church.  I told him that I'd get him a real prize (dum dums and Twizzlers were the real prizes) and bring it back over to him.  Well, when I took the etch a sketch back, I forgot to get him a real prize and so when I got home and he was sad I gave him my lollipop."Banana dum dumphoto © 2010 Heather | more info (via: Wylio)

Isaiah again, clutched at me and held up the peach Dum Dum for me to see, proof of his brother's generosity.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sent from my LG phone

Sent from my LG phone

Sent from my LG phone

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Elijah's Field Trip

Jacob, Lexi, Holly, Erin and Elijah

"Look Mommy, I'm a horse.  Take a picture."

We were really hungry at this point, so I know I was thinking "Man that fake food looks tasty."

The kids all got to try out this loom.  I couldn't take a picture because I was helping, but it was really fun for them.

Elijah loved every minute of every demonstration.  This is his learning style for sure.

Is this not the hugest rocking chair ever?
Things I learned on the field trip:
- It takes/took longer to become a master blacksmith than it does to become a surgeon.
- Women used dead hair collected from hairbrushes to fluff up their real hair.
- In 1860, toasters, tea kettles, cast iron stoves and an ice box (as opposed to the spring house) were modern conveniences.
- A zither is a musical instrument common to German settlers
- Elijah and Holly are best friends- really and truly.  They are kind to one another, share, talk, laugh and have fun,... and that's all.
- Elijah is a great kid!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rainy Day Goodness

It poured today, and our middle boy was made new.  Great sheets of rain let loose from the sky and fell in giant waves across the parking lot outside the window.  Micah looked outside to see the downpour and said, "I wish I could go play in the rain."  I said, "Go for it!  Have fun!"
So, off he went.  We watched him for a while, dancing around in the huge drops, all by himself.  At one point he looked like he was talking to himself and  Eric said, "He's making up a great story out there for himself."

Skip ahead to bed time tonight.  I was reading a devotional book to the boys and the we came to the prayer time after the lesson.  All of a sudden, Micah said, "I prayed outside today."
I said, "That's great!  What did you pray about?"
He announced without hesitation, "I prayed out loud to God and asked him to come into my heart."
I told him that was fantastic and that I was so happy for him.  I told him it is an important decision and that God waits and waits to be invited into our lives because he loves us, and He wants to forgive us and help us love Him other people better.
He said, "That's what I prayed too.  That he would forgive me."
I asked him how it felt.
He spread his hands across the top part of his chest and said, "It felt all warm in here, and really good.  It felt really happy and nice."  Then he smiled the hugest smile I've seen from him.

I love it that he was alone in the pouring rain when he made this decision.
I love it that he knew words to pray to express what he was feeling.
I love it that he felt free to announce his prayer in front of his brothers and me.
I love it that he waited until the time was right for him. (We've had conversion conversations several times, and each time he expressed that he wasn't ready to decide)
I love it that God orchestrated our evening so that he could share his experience with us tonight.  There was time and a peaceful space.
I love it that Jesus met Micah in the rain today.
Thank you Jesus.  Be present in our dear son's heart, soul and mind always.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

My wild animals
7:00am- Eric went over the the church
7:15am- All three boys sneak out to the kitchen.  I can kind of hear them, but I stayed in bed.
7:45am- Boys bring a platter into my room, marching behind it saying, "Happy Mother's Day!"
I am so blessed!
Elijah:  I made you the bagel, but I only buttered one side because I didn't know if you'd want butter or not.
Micah:  This is juice in this cup, not coffee.  I know you really like coffee, but I didn't know how to work the coffee maker, so I gave you juice instead.
Isaiah:  Mommy, sorry I kind of poured too much milk in your cereal.  I hope you like Special K.

They all sat around the bed, grinning and watching me eat, happy as could be.  Their first breakfast for Mommy all by themselves was a huge success.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Repost from Marilyn

Learning to be who we are is a bigger task than we know.

These two thoughts have become one thought in my mind. There are more ways to live on this interesting earth than any one life can envision. We can run and run to find what we might not have. But the one treasure is the one we take with us everywhere... But still must choose it. This is the choice to come to deep peace with who we are, uniquely and personally. Then it is not so important where we are. 
Rest of her post here. (May 1st)  Does everyone come to terms with the fact that they can not live all of the lives they want to live, or are only a handful of us blessed with subjected to this reality?

There are so many different lives I can imagine for myself and my family, and yet I am very content with the current day, week and month I am living- blessed and happily fulfilled.  But oh how I love new experiences, people and places.  Is this human nature and few of us are willing to share our dreams?  Or are there only some of us who imagine ourselves in other worlds?  Maybe we don't share because we feel judged.  Maybe if I share my dreams with you, I also fear that you think I'm saying that I'm unhappy with my current lot in life when that's just not true.  Dreaming doesn't necessitate discontent.  In fact, I think just the opposite is true.  If I am discontent, dreaming is difficult because I have lost hope.  

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Isaiah's Birthday

The chosen birthday meal- mac n cheese with hotdogs and ketchup.  Orange Kool-aid to drink.

Big 6 years old!

Isaiah had specific requests for his birthday.  He is a man who knows what he wants and isn't afraid to ask.  On Sunday, he addressed the Thorpe family at church.  He told them that his birthday was on Friday and that he wanted to come over to their house to celebrate his birthday.  He thought they should have a party for him.

Kym graciously offered to host if Kennady's softball game got rained out, but since the weather was looking nice, we told Zay that we'd have to make other plans.  He said, "Why can't we just go to Kennady's game?"  No reason at all so that's what we did... softball game for Zay's birthday followed by hot drinks and hockey with the Thorpe clan.

For his gift requests, LEGO.  No surprise there and he is still engrossed in his building and rebuilding.

Dear Isaiah, youngest in our family,
We see you as the 6 year old boy you have now become.  You articulate your thoughts so well, and have been doing so for so long, that you've seemed 6 to us for months.  You are patient and people-loving, quick to forgive and easy to get along with in general.  To say that everyone loves you is no exaggeration.  School is a breeze for you, when you have the time that you want to do your work.  You live, breathe and work at your own pace, and although we may at times try to speed you up, it often only results in our own frustration.  No one can argue with the quality you produce with your pace though.  Everything you do is done well if you care about it.  We love you so much Zay, and we can't wait to see what being 6 will mean to you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Featured Photo

Poetry for People posts a photo as poetic inspiration each day.  Ben Rimes is an instructional technology educator and operates the site.  He chose my Micah photo for today's poetic inspiration.  Visit the site to write a poem inspired by the photo (or one of the many other great shots Ben has collected.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Funny Micah story

Micah loves to be first. He is the first one ready for school every day and the first one ready for bed. Tonight when I was tucking him in, I noticed that his socks were really dirty. I pulled them off while we were talking and he said , "hey , what are you doing?". I said taking your socks off because they're dirty. He said , (direct quote here) "I know your plan! You're trying to make me not first to get ready for school."

We talked some more and apparently about a month ago he figured out that if he didn't take his socks off at night, this was one less thing to put on in the morning. Efficiency expert in the making.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

It's Been A While

Micah was loving this attention, don't let the body language fool you.  Check out his grin.

Athan after a long walk, enjoying a snack while a crazy looking bike rider enters the square from behind him.

Morgan.  Sweet girl, full of life and imagination, riding the purple bike statue. 
I thought we needed an update.  Life is full and wonderful- not always happy and stress free, but full and wonderful.  We enjoyed a visit with our friends the Strebecks who stayed with us over a weekend while Ryan spoke at a youth event nearby.  I love these friends, and the boys do too!  Morgan and Athan are such special kids who love wholeheartedly and without reservation.  Their mom and dad are pretty great too.

We've been playing outside LOTS since spring weather is finally here, enjoying backyard baseball with the neighbor kids, skateboarding and roller blading.  Eric and Erin are both in stressy season right now.  Local church conference and Easter back to back have Eric at lots of evening meetings, and Erin is recovering from mid-term projects and tromping on toward final projects.  Everything feels controlled right now- not chaos, and I can tell we're not overly busy because we still make time for weekly family movie nights, walks with the dog and movies/TV time without kids too.  And, we just finished up a round of swimming lessons for the kids.  Everyone can swim to some extent- some better than others- but we all have basic skills.

School has afforded us lots of opportunity to learn about how other people live differently than we do.
- My friends play video games whenever they want.
- Everyone I know is allowed to watch Spongebob
- What does "retarded" mean when someone says it in a mean way?
And other lovely conversations like why calling a girl on the bus "sexy Lexy" is not the same as "Funny Lexy," or "Silly Lexy."  Isaiah and Elijah both got into some trouble on the bus recently, but it was a case of dealing with some name-calling.  They may not have made the best choices in handling the kid who was doing the teasing, but again, more opportunities to talk about patience, and grown-up skills like ignoring the kid who is bigger and older and should know better but doesn't.  And, the administrator at school who talked to them both called to tell me how wonderful they both were as she disciplined them- how sorry and genuine and lovely they both were as they respectfully took their consequence and didn't argue or get angry.

And I'm probably most excited to write about our very recent evening Bible and prayer times.  I think the trials they've experienced at school this year have helped them mature into a sense of why we need God.  They have caught very small glimpses of the sin in other people and in themselves, and it is changing them.

We had taken a break for a few months from bedtime Bible reading and family prayer.  I'm not sure why, but we had, and I don't feel like it was a negligent thing, just a season.  We started up the tradition again recently, and it's different.  Everyone is silent and still while Mommy or Daddy prays and we pray slowly and deliberately for quite a few minutes ( a far cry from our hurried, pray, pray, stop-that, pray pray, be-quiet, lay-still prayers of before).  Elijah has started joining in to pray a few words here and there when he feels that I haven't given enough detail- all on his own and very sincerely.  There is peace and stillness that surrounds our prayer time and it is genuine instead of rushed and "required" as a part of the routine.  They are growing and changing inside and out.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Playing in boxes. They are doing experiments mythbusters style trying to make dents in the box with a marble.

Sent from my LG phone

Never met a stranger... literally

Isaiah has the tiniest bladder ever, so we stopped at a gas station to go potty on the way home from swimming lessons.  I was standing in line to pay for a drink (post-workout dying of thirst) while he went.  When he came out and joined me in line. We were standing behind a man, lots of piercings, tats, baggy jeans, black hoodie sweatshirt, you get the picture.

Isaiah was at eye level with the man's back pocket. I saw him staring intently at the contents of the pocket, and before I could say anything, he reached up and poked something sticking out of the man's back pocket.  I  tsked at him and whispered, "Zay, you don't touch people's pockets man."  As I said this, the man reached around to check his wallet and I noticed his other hand was holding his cell to his ear.

Just as I was thinking about my gratefulness for his conversation as it would excuse me from making apologies for my son who likes to poke people in the butt apparently, I look back to Zay to see him tapping the man on the elbow.  What?  I say, "Zay, he's on the phone.  Leave him alone."
The man then turns to us and says to the person on the phone, "Hold on, there's a kid here trying to talk to me and I don't want to be rude."  To Zay, "Yeah buddy, what is it?"
Isaiah, "Do you know you have a BINGO card in your pocket?"
Man, "Do I?"  He pulls it out.  Sure enough there is a scratch off BINGO card that I couldn't see because his sweatshirt was covering it.
Isaiah:  "Where did you get it?"
Man, "My girlfriend gave it to me.  I don't know if its a winner or not. OK?"  Very pleasant and polite.
Zay nods and he goes back to his conversation, turning around.  I looked at Zay with a perplexed look.
Zay said, "What?  I thought only kids played BINGO."

Friday, March 04, 2011

Thursday, March 03, 2011

In Honor of our Home

Since we live on Frances Scott Key Highway in Keymar, 1 mile from the birthplace of Francis Scott Key, I thought I'd repost this in his honor today.   
It was on this day in 1931 that 'The Star-Spangled  Banner' became the official national anthem of the United States.The lyrics come from a poem  written by Francis Scott Key more than a century before, 'Defence of Fort  McHenry.' He'd spent a night toward the end of the War of 1812 hearing the  British navy bombard Baltimore,  Maryland. The bombardment lasted  25 hours -- and in the dawn's early light, Francis Scott Key emerged to see the U.S. flag still waving over Fort McHenry.  He jotted the poem 'Defence of Fort McHenry' on the back of an  envelope. Then he went to his hotel and made another copy, which was printed in  the Baltimore American a week later. 
The tune for the Star-Spangled  Banner comes from an old British drinking song called 'To Anacreon in  Heaven,' which was very popular at men's social clubs in London during the 1700s. Francis Scott Key  himself did the pairing of the tune to his poem. It was a big hit.
For the next century, a few  different anthems were used at official U.S. ceremonies, including 'My  Country Tis of Thee' and 'Hail Columbia.' The U.S. Navy adopted  'The Star-Spangled Banner' for its officialdom in 1889, and the  presidency did in 1916. But it wasn't until this day in 1931 -- just 80 years  ago -- that Congress passed a resolution and Hoover  signed into law the decree that 'The Star-Spangled Banner' was the  official national anthem of the United States of America. - From The Writer's Almanac for 3/3/11 
So the tune for the Star Spangled Banner was a drinking song.  Makes perfect sense.  :) 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Birthday Boy #2 (a few days late)

 There was 2...
 And then 3... (with cousin Liv)

 Then all of a sudden, a 7 year old...

 And now 9?  Wow.

You are becoming such a young man.  As a 9 year old, starting a new life in Maryland, you have taken a few months to adjust but are now showing the real Elijah.  You are ultimately kind and compassionate above all else.  You feel deeply for every one and every living thing.  You are complex, creative, full of story and drama.  You love fast cars, drawing monsters and creatures, making up stories, acting out stories, watching Hot Wheels Battle Force 5, playing with Amani, and running around outside.

Recently you started going to Robotics club at 4-H and you love it.  You decided on a skateboard with your birthday money and the roller blades you got from your cousins were a big hit.  We love you Lij!  Keep growing in love and faith.  

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.