Friday, April 23, 2010

Hat Day

Today was "Hat Day" at school so the boys all wore t-shirts to match their hats. Isaiah (notice his new green cast) wore his Tennessee Vols hat and t-shirt, Jonah wore St. Louis Cardinals stuff (he loves UGA more but doesn't have a UGA hat) and Elijah wore his Florida Gators stuff.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

I had a very happy birthday. Jon let me sleep in (even though we were going to church work day and it started at 8:30). I always enjoy sleeping in. All 7 of us got to the church work day at about 9:45. Jon and Jonah went to pull weeds. I took the 4 youngest boys in the nursery to do some cleaning. I am in charge of the nursery and new that there were a few toys that needed to have special attention. So they got out some old toothbrushes and cleaned the Lego table really well--between all the cracks. I did some other projects around the nursery while they scrubbed. Eventually we all made it outside to pull weeds.

After lunch, Jon and I work on some projects in our yard. I stayed outside working until after 4.

Then Jon went and picked up dinner for us. No Cooking!

On Sunday we celebrated at my Mom and Dad's. Mom made me peanut butter pies instead of cake. Thanks Mom!

What a happy weekend! The best part was that no one got sick the whole weekend.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sick Boys or Springtime Fun?

What does this picture look like to you?
A group of brothers celebrating a beautiful Spring day with popsicles?
Or a bunch of boys with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease sucking down a popsicle because everything else hurts to swallow?
The answer is "BOTH".
Last week Malachi came down with a high fever and a sore throat on Wed. He was sick with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease until Sat. Monday morning Ezra started with the fever and then the sore throat. Isaiah and Elijah also came home from school with fever and ulcers in their mouths. Jonah even thought he was getting it (but hasn't yet). So Tues everyone stayed home from school and today Elijah and Isaiah stayed home. They still have ulcers in their mouths, but they haven't had fever since last night, so off to school they go tomorrow.
Sadly though, my sister Gretchen's baby came down with it today too. Sorry Mac!

A Broken Wrecking Ball

For the second time in 6 months, our "Wrecking Ball" (our nick-name for Isaiah) has had an emergency hospital visit. In November, we a spent 3 hours in the ER getting 3 stitches in the back of his head after he slipped getting a tissue off the kitchen counter. On Friday, he broke his hand getting dressed. Yes, you read right, I said "getting dressed."

Isaiah has been nicknamed "Wrecking Ball" because since he was 1 he has been a very rough and physical boy. He will tackle you with a hug, knock you down to show you how much he loves you or give you a hardy shove to say "thanks for playing." When he is actually wrestling, there is no mercy. When he plays football, he will take down even his own Mom. And a bloody knee from trying to get a loose ball faster than Jonah in a game of basketball is not uncommon.

You get the point?

So we figured a broken arm was in his future. We just didn't think he would break his hand getting dressed. Walking out of his room on Friday morning, he hit his hand on his dresser. He must have hit it just right because he fractured the bone in his hand that connects the pinkie to the wrist.

So now he is in a cast for 4-6 weeks (we will find out Monday when we head to the Orthopedist), but that hasn't slowed him down. I caught him today playing catch with Dad.

Cathching is now a little harder and more awkward.

And learning to throw left handed is a whole new ball game.

I will keep you posted on his healing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Getting together with Those Girls!

What a wonderful blessing it is to have friends that you say anything to, never get tired of and count on at all times. God has truly blessed me with 4 such friends. When I started college in 1991, I quickly found myself falling in love with a group of girls that have changed my life. Our bond is deep because we know each other so well and we all serve the same God. Though our views on organic vs non-organic and homeschool vs school and raising our own chickens vs buying eggs at the store may be different--we have one major thing in common. We desire to love and respect our husbands and submit to them in Godly reverence and we desire to raise our children to know who God is and what He has done for them and to one day accept Jesus as their own personal Savior.
From left to right: Julie, Jenny, Jill, Kelly and me.
This past weekend, I was able to get together with these 4 dear friends. We all graduated from Covenant College about 15 years ago and so we thought it would be fitting to stay at the inn on the CC campus and have our own little reunion. For 10 years we have been getting together as married women. We leave our husbands and children behind (except for an occasional baby that needs to come with Mommy) and spent a weekend together. Depending on where everyone is living at the time, we have gathered in different places: several times in TN, twice in NC, once in AL and this time in North Georgia.
It was a beautiful weekend. We meet up at 1:30 on Friday afternoon (I had very little time to get ready to go after getting Isaiah's hand x-rayed and casted that morning) and had lunch. Then we spent some time on CC campus, ran into a few friends that still work there and went to the inn. We sat around and talked until almost 8pm and then went to dinner downtown.
When we got back we talked until after midnight and went to bed.
The next morning we took a slow pace and got out the door by noon. We stopped by Starbucks and Rock City on the way down the mountain and then off to lunch. We had lunch and shopped. Finally when we ran out of energy to shop we went down town to the park and sat under a tree and talked for several more hours. Then we found a place to eat dinner, got some ice cream and went back to the inn. At the inn we talked some more and played Apples to Apples.
The next morning we got up and went to the 11:00 service at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church. It was fun and we saw a lot of people that we haven't seen in a while. We then went up to the college and took a few pictures on campus. Our final stop was lunch. We took our time and enjoyed some great conversation over a meal. We parted ways around 3:00.
So 50 hours of wonderful fun and conversation. We laughed and enjoyed learning from each other. We shared our struggles and frustrations and we empathized with each others woes. God is so good. For 5 moms of 19 kids (and one on the way), it is glorious to not have to feed someone dinner, change a diaper, break up a fight, enforce discipline, push a stroller wherever you go, and wonder if you will make in back in time for a nap or bedtime. Just to talk and not be interrupted was a blessing. But to do all that with very dear, precious friends was even better.

I am very grateful to my husband who willingly let me go even though I was leaving him with a sick baby and a 6 year old with a broken arm. And I am grateful to my sister-in-law who sent her daughter, Sara, to come from college (2.5 hours away) for the weekend to help Jon. Thank you Sara for the back-up!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Take me out to the Ballgame!

Tonight we had the fun opportunity to go to a Lookouts' (Chattanooga's Minor League Baseball team) game. My brother David got to throw out the first pitch of the game.
His whole family got to join him on the field. His wife Mary with Miles (6), Eleanor (5), Townes (3) and Louisa (10 months).
A bunch of cousins and uncles and friends came too. Front row from left to right: Josh Cook, JR, Lou, and Philip.
This was very exciting for Malachi--he loves baseball.
From left to right: Malachi, Jon, Jonah, Elijah, Thomas (cousin) and Ezra.
Malachi watched closely and clapped when he was supposed to.
One of the biggest thrills was meeting Big Looie and Blu Looie. Elijah and Ezra even had them sign their hats and gloves.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bye, Bye Aunt Ruth

Today my sister Ruth leaves to be a missionary in Cape Town, South Africia. She will be gone for a year. Yesterday, we took pictures of her with the kids.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Day

Before church on Easter Sunday the boys get an Easter basket. It usually has a Star Wars action figure, a small $1 toy, a chocolate bunny and a few additional pieces of candy. Malachi was so excited (he got a ball and hoop instead of a Star Wars toy), that he couldn't even look up for a picture.
We celebrated Easter with a glorious 2 1/2 hour worship service and then dinner at Mom and Dad's. It is our family tradition to take a Easter here you go.

The day was beautiful and the kids were able to play outside for most of the afternoon. Of course all this play outside led to two bloody lips (Isaiah and Malachi) and two bad scrapes from playing in the woods (Jonah and Isaiah). Oh my life with boys.

My cousin Harry's (who is in Iraq) wife and kids were able to spend Easter with us as well. It was a fun, relaxing afternoon and we are very thankful to have so much family close by.

Got to tell one story though: We put Malachi in a pack-n-play in Mom's guest room so that he could nap. All of Ruth stuff for Africa was in there, as she is slowly making her final preparations for what she should put in her carry-on. When Malachi woke up a few hours later, Ruth went to get him. She found him with a handful of tissues trying to get a blue stain off the pillow, he looked at her and said, "Help me?" Somehow he had gotten out of the pack-n-play and onto the bed and found 3 Jolly Ranchers that Ruth was going to take in her carry on and eaten all 3. He must have fallen asleep on the guest room bed with a blue Jolly Rancher in his mouth and he drooled blue juice all over the pillow sham on the guest room bed. This is why we call him "Trouble."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

Every year our church hosts a Resurrection Egg Hunt. First we eat breakfast together and then the youth pastor tells the Resurrection Egg story. He takes the kids from Palm Sunday to Easter. As he tells the story, he opens different eggs that contain different things that help the kids remember the Passion Week. Like in some eggs there are donkeys and other eggs have a crown of thorns and another one has a piece of cloth to represent the linen cloths they wrapped Jesus in and the last one is blue and it is empty--the empty tomb.
Then the kids divide up into different areas based on age. Malachi and Ezra went to the playground. It took Malachi a couple minutes to figure out what he was supposed to do.
He figured it out and ended up with a basket full.
Ezra understood what he was supposed to do.
Isaiah and Elijah went to the field that the kids play on after church. Isaiah would hardly slow down for a picture.
Elijah is always happy to pose for a picture.
Jonah's group was on the front lawn. See how full his basket is?
Due to rain and Spring Breaks, the turn out this year was about half what it has been in past years. Usually we are doing good to have 15 eggs in each basket--notice all the baskets are very full.
Because our cousins weren't able to go, our boys decided to each donated 10 eggs and we hid them in the Brown's front yard. We can see their yard from our deck so the boys were spying to see if they could watch them collect the eggs. Their patience ran out before the cousins went on their egg hunt.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Seder Dinner - Passover

Last night our church was joined by my brother, JR's church and my brother, Philip's church at a Seder Dinner. We had 425 people at the dinner, so we had to have it at a location besides our church.

A Seder Dinner is the ceremonial dinner that the Jews celebrated at Passover every year to remember being rescued out of Eygpt. The program said "As believers in Jesus the Messiah, the exodus prefigures our rescue from the dominion of darkness through Jesus' shed blood. As we prepare for the Seder, by God's grace may we be cleansed from the leaven of sin hidden in our hearts." We ate unleaved bread, bitter herbs, roasted eggs and lamb. It was very powerful and wonderful to walk through all the steps that Jesus and His disciples would have walked through on the night he was betrayed. Even more powerful is the way in which Jesus broke from the tradition that disciples would have known from infancy to declare that the bread and the wine would no longer symbolize a lamb's blood and the bread they fixed in haste, but His body and His blood being broken for us. The kids don't get it all, but it is a great way to start them thinking about the wonderful work of Jesus...from the Old Testament through the New Testament and into today.

This is us at our table. (they fill the tables so we had a single lady with us)

JR and Philip's table (minus their wives).
Gretchen and Jason's table (minus Mac) with Mrs. Laura joining them.
Mom, Dad, Granny and Ruth with Ernie and Lynda Brown and Tom and Peg May.