Thursday, June 29, 2006

"Too Much"

Whenever I used to randomly tell Grady, "You know what? I love you," he would just smile and go about his business. One day recently he up and said, "No, I love you Mama." So then we made it into a game...where we get louder and louder and "argue" who loves the most. He points his little finger at me and yells to the top of his lungs, debating his point most adamantly.

One of Grady's favorite things to do is run. He'll run to the other end of the room in a sprint and then say, "Mama, I run too fast." I think that he is really substituting the word "too" for "so." It's super cute though. Well, last night at bedtime we were all in their room and I was laying on Grady's bed with the kids. Grady started the game with me where we get louder and louder. We played that and then went on to read and talk about other things. Then, out of the blue, Grady said, "Mama, I love you too much." Ahh...I melted like butter.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Down Side

O.K., a few days ago I posted about how I love every stage and every thing about being a parent. Well, I totally lied. I was reminded of that yesterday. Let me tell you what I don't love...when they are sick.

Hadley had been running a low-grade fever (we never checked it or anything...she just felt warm so we suspect it was in fever range) for a few days on and off. She never acted sick or anything and is now cutting all of her jaw teeth...we just kind of contributed it to that. She had a runny nose, but again...teething...and it was clear.

Well, she woke up yesterday morning but when we went down to get her she was just laying there in her bed. I went to pick her up and she was burning up. I took her temperature and it was 103.3. Not exciting.

She basically slept all day. I gave her water, as much as she would take. She did pretty good with that. She got up a couple of times just to snuggle and throw up a little of the water. Her temp. remained around 103 all day, with the occasional dip down to 102.

At suppertime she got up and saw Grady eating and wanted some. I gave her part of a roll. She took a few bites and then threw up. Joel gave her a bath and after her bath she seemed to perk up a little and her temp. went down. She was sitting with me and got down on her own accord (which she hadn't done all day), walked to her chair at the table, and told her (in her own wordless words) that she was still hungry. So, Joel sat her down and gave her half a banana and some applesauce, which she ate heartily...and kept down. She also drank a few sips of apple juice and some water.

After she ate is was time for bed and she went right down again. When we went to bed, we put her in the room with us by our bed on a pallet. Her fever had climbed again and when I woke up at midnight to check her, it was 104.5. We decided at that point to go ahead and give her some Tylenol. She also downed a glass of water. She woke up a few times after that...we all slept restlessly and very little it seems. But, this morning she woke up a new person. Whatever was in her body that the fever was trying to kill...hopefully it is gone. She woke up with no fever and a big appetite...and raring to go. Let's hope she stays that way.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A Year Ago

Can you believe that it's been a year already that we left Phoenix? June 22nd of last year me and the kids flew off on our way to Louisiana. Joel stayed 'til July 1st I believe and then drove a moving truck over to meet us. We travelled for a while and shopped for and bought a house. And, so much has happened since then.

Usually when you make a change like that and time goes by, it seems that no time has passed at all. But, me, it seems like about 10 years since we left Phoenix instead of the 1 year. I'm not sure why, but that's the way it feels.

Anyway, hi to all you Phoenix people that we miss so much! :)

Friday, June 23, 2006

June 12-20, 2006 - Random Shots

I feel the need to clarify something since I've been asked about it several times. We are still in our house at the same address: 516 Noel Dr. We are trying to sell our house and we have been spending a good bit of time in Saline the past couple of months. But, we still live in Longview, in the house that we are trying to sell. Just wanted to let everyone know that.

Now, here are some pictures (in 2 installments...keep scrolling down to get the total of 2 posts).

Our kids are really into coloring these days. Actually, they are more into the "idea" of coloring I think, because once we start coloring, it doesn't last very long. And, Hadley still likes to occasionally do taste tests with the different colors. But, here is Grady getting a little help from Sassy.

Hadley at breakfast (and our table). Grady took this picture. I just thought it was cute...Hadley's expression.

Grady and his raisins. I remember feeling sorry for Jeffery and Ariel because that was one of their snacks. We never had raisins so I never developed a taste for them (don't tell my kids). But, they are a good healthy snack for our kids and they LOVE them. Note: I do love raisins in things (oatmeal, some meals), but not by themselves. :)

June 12-20, 2006 - Random Shots (cont.)

Hadley during her morning nap. Sweet, sweet sleep...the baby doll makes a good pillow.

Family portrait taken by Grady. We all look pretty scary, but it's a fun shot.

We went to a housewarming party for some of our friends on Saturday night. A couple of guys came in 70s outfits...wig and all. Hadley liked the wig...she was very serious about it.

Hadley, Grady, and Andrew, who lives in the house with his mom and 2 other girls. Andrew is 4. Look how Grady looks the same age. Funny. The kids had tons of fun playing with Andrew. And note Hadley's one shoe on, one shoe off style.

Grady trying on his Daddy's bicycle helmet for size.

Hadley in Daddy's bike helmet.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Kinks, Kinks, and More Kinks

Man, I just can't believe everything that is going on in our lives and just how much of it is up in the air. How much of it is up in the air you ask? ALL OF IT. It is so crazy. We just constantly laugh about it, although I was brought to tears about it recently (short-lived...I'm fine).

Housing, travel, mode of travel, timing for travel, where to travel, family situations, birthing situations, etc. Huge, huge things to consider and weigh and make decisions about. Of course I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill, but we do have many things to consider these days. We would appreciate it if you could be remembering us in prayer. God's timing is perfect for giving us answers and it looks like he is waiting until the midnight hour. :) Just pray that we hear Him and His answers are made clear. Thanks.

Here's some GREAT NEWS: Brazil got our applications, thank the Lord. We actually ending up scanning them into the computer and emailing them to Brazil. They rejoiced as they actually held them in their hands yesterday. :) There are more "kinks" there of course...more things to iron out and make decisions about concerning our next steps towards being accepted with Asas. For instance, looks like I will need some Bible credits, Joel has to be evaluated which could possibly involve a trip to Brazil, etc. Lots on our plates right now.

Just continue to lift us up please. We really appreciate you all so much.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Saline VBS Trip - Part 2

The last of the Saline pictures from our trip there for Vacation Bible School. Again, I could only get about 5 or so pictures to upload to each post, so again there are 3 posts, so keep scrolling down. Enjoy.

Joel (and the kids of course) helped Daddy put in a new wood heater while we were in Saline. They worked hard and got really hot and dirty. And the kids loved every bit of it...esp. the dirt and tractor. Grady is on the tractor with Papaw.

Taking a water break with Papaw.

On our way back to Longview, the kids fell asleep as usual. Hadley's getting pretty long, with her feet smushed up against the back of the driver's seat.

We got back into Longview just in time to make it to our Life small group. We met at a park this time and had a great time outside eating and talking and watching the kids.

Grady on his way to feed the ducks some bread.

Saline VBS Trip - Part 2 (cont.)

We looked over and Grady and Hadley had set up residence in the nearest dirt pile. I'm so glad they play well together (most of the time). I'm sure they'll be best friends since they are so close in age. They already are, but esp. after Hadley starts talking they will really be able to have fun together.

Grady's grin and Hadley's forever dirty mouth...2 of the greatest things ever. :)

Playing on the playground after we ate. The kids are both in blue...Hadley on the left and Grady on the right. We felt like we were in another country at this park. It's kind of more in the Hispanic part of town. It was great.

Hadley is such a big girl these days. Here she is going up the stairs to the slide.

Grady on the bars with Daddy.

Hadley at the top of the slide.

Saline VBS Trip - Part 2 (cont. again)

Coming down...very excited.

John Alexander Graves. While we were in Saline, Nicole gave birth to him...on June 9th. He was about 4 days old in this picture. He's so sweet and cute.

Here are all the Graves kids...Hannah (8), John Alexander (9 days old in this picture) sitting with Joseph (6), Sarah (will be 3 in October), and Rebekah (was 1 in January).

Me and John Alex (what I call him). Sarah (his 2 1/2 yr. old sister) calls him John Xander. It's cute. :)

John and Joel have a running "joke" vs. soccer. We had to get the little guy a little soccer ball. John appreciated it. That is Sarah (Grady's age...his future wife :) ) and Joseph (he was a newborn when I lived with the Graves'...he's 6 now.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Saline VBS Trip - Part 1

Well, finally some pictures from our week in Saline. We went there on Monday, the 5th so Grady could go to Vacation Bible School there. It was a great time for him. Joel came and met up with us on Friday, the 9th and we hung out there until Sunday afternoon. These are some pictures from that time, although you will have to be persistent and keep scrolling down. They are in a total of 3 different posts...that's the only way I could get all the pictures in this time for some weird reason...whatever. So, "Saline VBS Trip - Part 1"...look for 3 of them total and be sure to check them all out. Thanks.

Grady's first experience marching in at Vacation Bible School. Gillian (my 1st cousin) is right in front of him and Tucker is right beside him. He also had 4 other family members there, so it wasn't like he was with total strangers or anything. Still, he wasn't too sure about it all at first. But, he ended up loving it.

Singing together. I think Grady is wondering what is going on.

Coloring in class with Uncle Tucker (pre-haircut) and his new friends.

I wore these gloves in a wedding (Rebecca Domangue Danos) and they were out for some reason. Hadley decided she needed to put them on. Playing dress-up already.

The outfit that Grady has on was Tucker's outfit when he was little, so I thought I'd take a picture of them together...Tucker after his haircut by the way (although his head is cut off in this picture...oops). He and his best friend Jody cut their hair and plan to grow it out all summer.

Aunt Cheryl really gets into Vacation Bible School. The theme for the week was "Arctic Edge." I think that day they were going "dog sledding" or something like that. Fun.

Saline VBS Trip - Part 1 (cont.)

We went to one of Tucker's softball games while we were there. It was a lot of fun. My friend, Mavis, from high school, has a little girl who is a few months older than Grady. She decided to give her sucker to him and he of course accepted it with delight. Here he is showing it off. We ate supper at the game...a real treat for the kids. Grady ate a corn dog and some fries...and his sucker. Little bitty Hadley continues to amaze us with her scarfing abilities. She ate a whole thing of fries by herself and 2 corndogs...2!! Crazy.

Friday night was commencement for Vacation Bible a graduation of sorts where the parents get to hear the songs they learned and visit their classrooms and see what all they made (and take it home). This was taken at commencement. Uncle Vernon was standing behind us taking pictures. Hadley saw him and kept smiling and waving at him, and at one point wanted him to hold he did.

Grady's class got up and sang a short song. Grady didn't seem to notice though. He was running back and forth on the stage. :) But, only a few kids joined in part of the song...the rest of the time they were all just dancing and running up there. It was cute. You can't even see Grady in this picture...he's behind someone running.

Joel keeping the kids happy. Hadley is looking at pictures of her and Grady.

Saline VBS Trip - Part 1 (cont. again)

On Saturday, we went out to the lake to have a picnic and go swimming. On our way there, we stopped by Uncle David's and Jessica's to see the new little cousin, Shane Dawson. He is 2 1/2 weeks old here. Hadley had just given him a kiss.

Kiley, Skylar, and the kids playing.

Me and the kids at our favorite spot in Saline...the lake.

These swam by the dock while we were swimming...really cute. It's a bit of a faraway view, but maybe you can see the Mama duck and her babies.

Out after the swim. They went out hard and fast too. So, we just had a "Sunday afternoon drive" on that Saturday afternoon all around Saline and let them sleep.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Nothing major...just can't get pictures to upload. Therefore, no post with pictures. :)

We are doing great though. Joel is getting a good bit of hours flight instructing. He is loving his job these days. I am staying busy with the kids and house...and staying in shape and preparing myself to have this baby in about 3 1/2 months. The kids are having fun. Grady sings ALL the time...we make songs up about everything under the sun. He sees something and wants to sing about it, saying, "Sing, Mama." At that point I am expected to come up with an impromptu little ditty. I must say that I'm getting pretty good at it. :) Hadley has a little cold it seems. She's not feeling totally up to par these last few days. But, those colds don't last long and she'll be good as new in no time. Her latest thing is that she'll be doing something (coloring for instance...they are doing alot of coloring these days)...she'll stop and walk over to us and just jabber away, with very serious expressions on her face. I think she's started to notice that Grady talks to us and we talk back and have real conversations. It's cute.

The latest house-wise is that we have a couple of people who are interested and are serious about wanting it. They are moving forward, as far as we know, to get approved financially and then we'll go from there. But, we'll see how it goes.

That's about it...just wanted to let you know that I'm still here. I will get some pictures out to you as soon as I can.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Pets and Water

Finally some more pictures...and lots of them. Get ready.

You will see pictures of Brushy Creek towards the end of this post. It is a "beach" and picnic area on Lake 'O the Pines. I used to go there all the time when I was single and living here in Longview. Let me tell is infinitely more involved taking 2 toddlers to the lake. :) When I was single, during the summers I always wore my bathing suits as underwear...I went swimming practically every day and if I wasn't planning on it, there was always the possibility. I LOVE the water. I always had a blown up raft and a towel in the trunk of my car...although if I didn't have a towel, that never stopped me...I would just air-dry. All I had to do was grab lunch or a snack on the way to the lake and I would be set.

Not so now. We had picnic stuff, a wagon, a big blanket, drinks, 2 little chairs, 3 beach bags full of towels, sunscreen, snacks, etc. It was a little different going to Brushy Creek this time. But, we had so much fun. We plan to do it again this Saturday.

Anyhow, enjoy the pictures. These were all taken a couple of weeks ago. More to come the next couple of days from last week.

Hadley modeling her new shoes. They are sort of slanted wedges...Joel calls them her heels. They're really cute. I just thought it was cute how she was walking around in them.

Grady holding Sassy up.

Hadley had to join in on the couch with her pet...a little stuffed dog.

Grady and Sassy on Grady's blanket. Sassy thinks it is her blanket when it is on the floor.

Family washing the car.

Grady helping to wash.

Hadley doing her share too. After Joel left her, Hadley kept going to the bucket and getting suds and scrubbing the car (in that same spot) with her hands too...she worked hard.

The kids getting soaked...esp. Hadley since Grady was the one with the hose.

When you ask Hadley if she's cold, she does this (tightens up and shakes)...doesn't matter if she's really cold or not. She happened to be cold here though.

Mmmm...yummy sponge.

The kids and Joel in the shady part of the beach at Brushy Creek.

Lounging in there chairs enjoying their apples before their swim. Thanks for their chairs, Aunt Marilyn Williams.

Grady and Hadley swimming with Daddy...on his back. You can see their floats in the far left of the picture. They ditched those early on and just wanted to play freely in the water. They swallowed a lot of water, but had a good time in the shallow part there. They LOVED it.

Grady loving the water.

Hadley loving the water.

Pretty girl on her way to church.

Grady and his friend watching a good movie.