Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What fasting can do to a girl...

"Oh my gotta be kidding me. These are sooo good!"

This is what Zibby told me today after eating a Rice Krispie treat. She has been on a "no solids" diet for about a week now. I thought it was time to give her something more "substantial".

(Here is a picture of our no fear girl after she caught a grasshopper!)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Swim, Bike, Run!

The kids decided to sign up for a youth triathlon at our YMCA a couple of months ago, but we were unsure of how it would work out with Elizabeth recovering from her surgery.

I'm so happy that we went. They were amazing. Even Zibby had fun watching and cheering them on.

Ben's group went before Abigail's. The kids started in the water. He had to swim 3 short lengths of the pool, bike 1 mile, and run 1/2 of a mile. I was kind of nervous for him in the pool since our kids are not as strong in the water as some of the kids from here. (Most of them are swimming at 3 years old.) When Ben got in the water with 11 other boys I noticed that his lane was in the deepest part of the pool. I was so nervous that I couldn't even take a picture of him. Then the whistle blew and he was off. The whole thing just made me sick to my boy next to Ben actually had to be pulled from the water by the lifeguard. But our Ben kept going...even if he had to paddle on his back..he kept going. I could tell when he got out of the water he was spent. In the past he has been known to let his fears take him over and hold him back, but not this time. Ben ran outside, put his shoes on, and headed for his bike. Aaron was with him, so I didn't really get to see, but he was flying. Aaron told me later that he passed half of the kids who beat him in the pool. Then of course after the bike ride he still had to run! I wondered if he would make it. When I saw him come down on the field to do his laps he looked wiped out, but that kid kept running. Ben never gave up, and finished 5th out of 11 seven and eight year olds!

When it was time for Abigail's group to go I was all the more nervous because we had practiced swimming 2 long lengths of the pool but found out that day that she would be swimming four full lengths. Talk about wanting to get sick to my stomach. I positioned myself right next to the lifeguard just in case I had to push him in to pull her out. She looked up at me and gave the thumbs up. I just prayed that she would pace herself. Then she was off. That girl was awesome. I could tell that it was not easy and she was exhausted, but she stayed focused and finished all four lengths! When she jumped out of the water her legs looked like Jell-O. But she ran outside, threw her shoes on, and headed for her bike. This time I could go over to the trail to watch her. Our kids are crazy on their bikes, so I knew that she would make up some serious time on this part of the course. When Abby Sue came down the hill to turn the corner she was going too fast and completely wiped out....handle bar in the stomach...road rash. I was ready for her to cry, but that girl got right back up ,"I'm okay, I'm okay." And off she went. When she came down on the field to run her mile I could see how red her face was. Poor thing get's that from her momma. Side aches set in..fatigue..but she kept going! We were so proud of her. When someone would pass her she would say, "good job, keep it up"...when someone would stop she would encourage them. We were so proud of her sportsmanship. She also finished 5th out of 11 9 & 10 year olds. Amazing.

Later that night, when we were tucking them in, Abigail said, "Mom, when Ben finished his swimming part I was so proud of him...there were tears in my eyes."

As parents we are called to let our kids go out and learn. The lessons today of teamwork, sportsmanship, endurance, and overcoming obstacles, far outweighed winning or losing. We told them that finishing is winning...and we were beaming with pride.

Friday, September 24, 2010

How long it's been..

"She had an ear infection when we put the tubes in. There was a lot of old fluid in both ears that we drained. She should hear better now. Her tonsils and adenoids were both very large. She should sleep better and breath better after everything heals. She will be in a lot of pain when she wakes up. It will take about two weeks for her to get back to normal."

Well Doctor....things weren't "normal" before. I never realized that as much as I do now. She feels better today (two days after surgery), than she has for almost 2 years. She is sleeping. She is peaceful again. She is content. I have my little girl back and for that I thank you. Thank you for having the skill and understanding to heal our daughter.

She wasn't crying when she woke up. She wasn't even upset. She wasn't "at the end of her rope". (which is how she has been living most of her life.) She was our happy baby girl again.

I haven't really shared how hard it's been.

I can't wait for her to get out there and start enjoying life.

I know that she will still have her normal 3 year old moments but I think that anyone who has a child going through constant ear infections, hearing loss, sleep apnea, and chronic colds should see an ENT. I wish I had sooner. I'm so thankful that we finally did this.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What he says when he is seven...

Mommy: "So, how was everyones day?"

"Good"(they reply in unison.)

Ben: "Except for that I almost cried in music class."

Mommy: "Oh really...why?"(said with some concern.)

Ben: "Have you ever heard the song "Puff the Magic Dragon"?"

Mommy: "Oh....yes, I've heard that song...kinda sad, right?"

Ben: "I was on the verge of tears."

Mommy: "What was it about the song that made you feel sad?"

Ben: "When the little boy grows up and never sees the dragon again."

Mommy: "Yes...that part is sad."

Abby Sue: "Well Ben, than you will cry your eyes out when you read "Where the Red Fern Grows."

Ben: "I don't think I will."

Abby Sue: "Yes you will. The dogs get attacked and die."

Ben: "That is not as sad as never seeing your dragon again."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Simple Joys

I know it's a kind of funny, but sometimes I feel the most loved by God through the littlest joys He brings into my life....

Like when I drive home down scenic South Street.., which is everything a rural road should be...bumpy, tree lined, tired old barns, beef cattle, and the occasional "yield to horses" signs. In fact we even live more in "the country" now than before. God knew that I would love that.

I feel His love when I take a Sunday walk to "The Big Apple" to pick up some peaches, berries, or apples (of course!). It's just a few winding miles from our house. The walk is perfect...little colonial houses, pasture land, apple trees, and just beyond the farm an old cemetery...full of names like "Jemimah & Hezekiah ". God knew I would love that too.

God also knew that I would love the YMCA. Among many other things, it offers me the chance to be "kid less", just for an hour or so...while the kids have a blast in their "clubs". God knew that this would help me to be a better mommy.

And this might me the most "simple joy" of all, but I love that we have a milk man (with a classic New England accent), who delivers fresh local eggs & milk (in glass bottles) to our home every Monday morning! It's funny, but I feel loved and not forgotten by God in little details like that.

Good Deal

Okay, so I know this is a crazy thing to post, but check out these raging deals! I finally found a children's consignment shop here in Franklin. It's called "The Polished Penny" and opened only a week ago. Abby Sue and I ventured out last weekend to see what kind of treasures we could find. I even mentioned to her before we left that I was always in search of a play kitchen for Zibby (we gave ours aways long before she was born), and hopefully some jackets for both Ben & Zibby...because the cold weather is just around the corner. Anyway...look what we found! I was so blessed:)

Kitchen: $30.00
Ben's Colombia jacket w/liner: $16.00
Elizabeth's Land's End jacket: $14.00


Saturday, September 11, 2010


Just as a little side note...I have the baby bug bad! I know that our lives are planned out by Jesus and I'm so thankful for the three beautiful children he has given us, but if He wills to give us more I wouldn't mind at all.

to all of my sweet sisters who are holding babies (inside or out), just give 'em a little kiss for me.


(look at my gorgeous Abby Sue!)

What we did on Labor Day...and it wasn't laboring.

BBQ dinner in Newport R.I., (where Abby Sue later lost all of her dinner in front of an unfortunate patron)
Just one of the many beautiful homes in Newport...I was drooling.
Yep....these are definitely our kids.
Baby body boarder
I have so many pictures of Ben being buried in sand...and he is usually surrounded by girls who are more than happy to make him into a funny!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Clearing out our woods...

Fresh flowers to decorate the table for our special dinner
A toast to mommy & daddy ( mommy was thirsty)
The menu & appetizers
True Oregonian
More Yard

Last weekend Aaron decided to start clearing out the woods so that the kids could have more space to play and we can eventually build them a tree house. It was a ton of work and we aren't even halfway through! But, already the kids have been up there getting lost in their own worlds of Davy Crockett, pioneers, and Narnia. I'm so thankful that they still love to use their imaginations and don't mind bugs bites or being covered in dirt. Hopefully this space will hold as many precious memories for them as our old backyard on Pine Street.

Side note: While Aaron and I were working our rear ends off up in the woods, the kids decided to show their appreciation by making us dinner. It was so adorable...they even made a menu and poured us both a beer (in our old wine glasses from the day we were engaged) topped with a slice of fresh peach...I couldn't help but laugh. They were even thoughtful enough to set up music while we ate.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Last day of summer...first day of school.

A very busy three year old in her favorite pink cowgirl boots and having fun at the zoo.
A perfect day at the zoo in Providence Rhode Island.
Part Ben...part moose?
Dot's first day of school?? (Notice that Abby Sue put curlers in her hair the night before:)
Gotta love the Mystery Machine lunch boxes!