Saturday, July 30, 2011


This summer it seems our "busyness" has come in spurts. Last week was one of them.

Summer in the south brings on the Vacation Bible School season. I went to VBS as a kid but as I grew older I don't remember there being as many around as there used to be. Maybe I just didn't notice since I was older or maybe it was because our church stopped having VBS. Nevertheless, VBS is going strong down here and our church seems to round out the season in Wewa the last week of July every year.

This year I was recruited to help with our 7th and 8th graders. Along with the other leaders (who also happen to be friends of mine) we had a good week with our middle schoolers. Honestly, you just never know how it's going to be with this age group, but all went pretty smoothly. 

Our theme this year was Drive (Philippians 3:14), revolving around stock car racing/NASCAR. Now, I know nothing about racing but I did learn a couple of things this week and the kids really caught on to and enjoyed the theme.

This year was Addie's first year of being part of a class. For the first couple of nights I was helping in the background and missed her sitting with her class during the opening and closing services each night, but by the middle of the week I was able to covertly watch her interacting with the kids and dancing and doing the motions to the songs...until she caught me. After that first time she saw me and came running I was better at hiding so I could watch her. Seeing her dancing and jumping and having fun, all apart from my supervision (but well supervised by her awesome group leaders) made me happy and a little teary all at the same time. I am so thankful she is able to interact and have fun, but I realized what a big girl she is and just how fast she is growing. It made me so glad to hear her teachers tell me, at the end of the sessions each night, how well she did and how good she was. I think sometimes, as a mom, I feel so compelled to make sure my kid is doing right or what she's "supposed" to be doing. So, to hear that your kid, apart from you, is doing well, is some sort of relief, I think. Maybe that comes from knowing the not-so-great times with your kids and being glad they're being good for other people. Or, maybe it is knowing that, hey, they're okay without us around all of the time, hovering over them. Whatever it is, it is a good feeling.

Last night wrapped up the official week of VBS, and tomorrow night is the closing service when the parents are all invited to join us and get a glimpse of what's been going on all week. Since I was terrible at taking pictures (i.e., none.) I stole one of Addie's class from a Facebook friend.

Take note - she is wearing a BOW in her hair! I can't remember the last time she wore one and kept it in her hair. I'm letting her bangs grow so now they're always in her eyes. Maybe we can keep this trend going.

We've had semi-busy days and late nights due to VBS, so we're getting back on track this week. I am looking forward to seeing some close friends from Illinois who are in the Panhandle for vacation this week. The following week my sister, brother-in-law and nephews will be around, too! I'm really looking forward to having a bit of home around.

I am thankful for a good VBS week!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Waiting for fall

Before all of you Florida people chuckle after reading the title of this post, yes, I realize fall temperatures are far off into the future. This being our fourth summer here, I have no illusions of cooler temperatures gracing our beautiful coast any time soon. But, I can dream!

I think, along with the cooler temperatures, I am looking forward to some of the things that come with the approach of fall. Even though Addie is not in school yet and we still have the luxury of flexible time, school starting means that life in general takes on a little bit more structure. I'm not one for a rigid schedule, but I don't mind that for a few months there are parts of life that are a little more planned. Those "plans" can sometimes get in the way of other plans or spontaneity, but for now I won't complain that stores and restaurants are less crowded during the day when school is in session. I realize one day, randomly this post may pop into my head as I am carting our kids off to school and wishing for more flexible days but for now, I will be happy about it.

I think, in particular, I am looking forward to this fall because there are a couple of things I am anxious to do when the weather is just a little less oppressive. One of those things I'm thinking about is a yard sale.

I'm a perpetual cleaner outer. I often weed out clothes I don't wear or no longer have much of a shelf life. I pick through household items we don't use any more, or toss the little trinkets of Addie's that build up from various outings, kids meals and other miscellaneous places. Often these things are either thrown away or dropped off for Goodwill, which I have no problem doing, but lately there are a few things hanging around that I really just want to sell. I'm anxious to get rid of them, but not anxious to plan a yard sale in 150% humidity. Plus, I think it would be fun to include other families who are in the same situation. More fun to sell together, anyway. So, I'm taking inventory over the next couple of months and hope to turn it into some cash at some point.

I'm also tossing around Christmas ideas. Sabian and I still throw out ideas of traditions we'd like to establish in our family around Thanksgiving and Christmas, even for birthdays. Now that Addie is getting older and is interactive and understands so much more, there's even more we can do and teach her. I'm looking forward to implementing some of our ideas and coming up with others to do with her this year. Sure, it's July, but we all know how fast these few months fly until Christmas!

Until then, I won't wish away these summer days. We'll still squeeze what we can out of them...I'm just looking forward to fall.

Addie and I made a last minute decision to run to the beach last week for an hour or so. To my surprise, it was a really pleasant day - sunny but breezy and bearable.

We also spent some time with friends in their pool and playing at their house. Addie was prepared, rain or shine.

Addie loves clomping around in these rain boots my friend Lee Ann gave her. If you check out her blog you'll also see where Addie got to spend a fun evening at her house with Ivory and Micah. Sabian and I made a mad dash for dinner, just the two of us, before heading to church to help with the finishing touches on the set for Vacation Bible School, which is at our church this week.

VBS -  that is what we're doing this week. Last night kicked off the week and we're in for night two tonight. This is Addie's first year of being old enough to actually go to class and from what I heard she really enjoyed it. Before and after VBS she spends most of the night running around, chasing or being chased by some of the other kids at church. All of the excitement of VBS and the running wears her out. And, lucky for me, they feed us every night so I'm dodging dinner duty this week!

Last week Sabian was consumed with a lot of this:

He made great progress on painting the house. It's not done yet, but he's working on it. I'll post pictures when it's all done.

I am thankful for not having to cook dinner this week (and the people who are making that possible)!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rocky VI

Can't my poor girl catch a break?

I've written about her big bites before and now, here we are, dealing with another swollen eye no thanks to a mosquito. This is the third time Addie has been bit near her eye, causing it to swell. Wait, maybe even the fourth time. There's nothing we can do other than pray that the swelling goes down and that people don't give us dirty looks. We've taken her to the doctor when she's gotten these bites so close to her eye and as long as there's no infection we play the waiting game. I thought once it started swelling yesterday that it might be better this morning. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. She's doing fine, although because she's so tough she's received a few inquiries regarding employment as a bodyguard.

Mind you, this bite was received in all of about five minutes. Of course I douse her with bug spray when we're going to be outside. I try to get her face as well as I can. But, this bite took place as we were unloading groceries from the car one night. Addie took advantage of our preoccupation with the bags to hone her chalk drawing skills on the front porch. In the short amount of time it took us to get the food inside and then coax her inside, they attacked. Sigh.

But, she charges full speed ahead, as usual. No way a little bug bite's going to slow her down.

I am thankful there's no adverse effects to her eye, but will be so glad when mosquito season is OVER!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday

Step 1:
A scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream

Step 2:
Add coffee (today's flavor is Starbucks Natural Fusions Vanilla)

Step 3:
Voila! Solace/serenity/goodness in a cup!

Plus, cream and sugar built right in.

This was what I was planning on enjoying after I'd finished cleaning the house during Addie's nap. Just as I poured the coffee, guess who woke up? Thankfully, Sabian took Addie outside to "help" him get some measurements so he can start a big project this week...painting the outside of our house.

I've previously posted of my disdain for painting, but I paint anyway. Tackling the outside of a house is new to us - the inside, no problem. I say us but I suppose I really mean Sabian, as he'll be doing the work. I may jump out there to help him if I can, but of course I don't want to speak too soon. My main contribution will be to choose colors. For the most part, that's easy, as we're keeping the house white like it is now, but changing the trim color. We're actually about to head out the door to get the paint so Sabian can start bright and early tomorrow morning. That is, if it doesn't rain.

I guess since this task is ahead of us, er, Sabian, I took advantage of another leisurely morning. If we have any more you might start to think we're not so much leisurely as we are lazy. But, I made up for it this afternoon.

Our library books are due tomorrow so I figured a trip to the library would not only take care of getting our books in on time, but would get us out of the house, too. We were in luck, as we had the whole library to ourselves. Granted, the Wewa library isn't that big so it's not as though that was a huge feat, but it did mean if Addie decided to exercise her vocal chords, as she is known to do loudly, then we were okay. Although, we did have a chat about being quiet before we went into the library. We returned our books, picked out a stack of new ones and Addie returned the stuffed tiger the librarian let her play with without a fuss.

It's always fun to get a fresh supply of borrowed books and to see which ones Addie takes a liking to the most. While we were picking out new books the librarian was shelving the ones we'd just returned. As she put away In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming, Addie noticed and yelled out, "Tall, Tall Grass!" I was afraid we'd have a problem but she was fine when I explained we were getting new books to take home. It seems she likes the Denise Fleming books we bring home so I'm taking note of those and others she likes and adding them to a list for future purchase.

By the way, do you know the Elmo Slide? We learned it today...and practiced over and over and over. I have a feeling there's more practicing to be had in our future.

I am thankful for a normal Monday!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


It's so nice to have a weekend to just take a break.

Friday, we did nothing. Saturday we started off the day doing more of the same. I was going to take some time to myself and head to the beach but given our rainy skies I stayed home and we spent the morning around home, then took afternoon naps and then got up to head out for dinner and to get Sabian's glasses fixed (a camp casualty). The lady didn't even charge us for the repair. I had been holding my breath, thinking that they wouldn't be able to be repaired at all and we'd be looking at a whole new pair of glasses. I was very thankful when we walked out of there, no charges incurred.

The leisurely pace to our weekend has been accompanied by gray, rainy skies. I referred to the rain in previous posts because it was the culprit in a few of our swimming lessons being canceled. Our lessons were a little scattered since it seemed the rain decided to show up every day in the afternoons. Most of the time it would cloud over, rain and clear fairly quickly. Sometimes it would just cloud over and thunder. Yesterday, finally, it just all out rained all day. I've been ready for a real rain day. Every now and then it's just nice to have one and this one showed up on the right weekend, one when we didn't have much going on and we were able to justify some raindrops with sleeping in. Today it is raining again, and if it wasn't for a clearer forecast in the coming week, I might get a little tired of it. I just wish along with the rain came cooler temps! I just pretend, from my perch here at the computer, as I look out the window, that it is chilly outside. Too bad reality smacks me in the face in the form of a thick wall of hot air as soon as we step outside. 

We don't usually watch soccer in our house but...GO USA! So far...

Sunday is a full day for us, complete with an afternoon meeting. But, we'll be headed out with kids tonight after church to have a little fun before Monday greets us again. I am thankful for the weekend we have had.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wouldn't you know it...

...just as I say something out loud, type it out or write it down, I'm challenged. I say this not because it is a bad thing, but a reminder that I better mean what I say/type/write and stand behind it, even when the going gets tough.

I meant every word of this post but today has been one of those rough days. Addie and I are both glad Sabian is home. Glad he and the campers made it safely.

I am so thankful for Addie and thankful for a break, too!

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

My toothbrush has been lonely this week. Its companion has been away at camp. However, today they will be reunited.

Sabian has been at youth camp this week with a group of about 20 of our students from church. Today they will return with their mounds of dirty laundry and loads of stories and memories to share. Sabian always encourages our kids, if there is just one thing you do with the youth group all year, go to youth camp. It's a great a week of being together, learning and growing.

But, being that Addie and I stay behind (because taking a two year old to camp would be...hard) it is always nice to see them return home. Addie has been missing Sabian. She asks about him often and although she has been great this week, I know she really misses him. Since our campgrounds are just an hour away we drove up Wednesday night for the service. When Addie saw Sabian she took off in a full tilt run into his arms and didn't want to be too far from him all night. Unfortunately while we were there she also started to not feel so hot, but that didn't put a damper on her being with her daddy.

I've been saying it in previous posts, but we really have had a good week. Addie has done well, although when living with a two year old you are bound to have your moments. And, at the same time, while we've been having fun and enjoying time together this week, I'm ready for Sabian to join in and give this mom a break.

We've been swimming (other than lessons), been to a birthday party, out for lunch and yogurt with friends and took a trip to Panama City for a doctor's appointment (Addie's follow up to her last ear infection) and some errands and lunch. I figured if I kept our mornings busy, the afternoons and evenings would take care of themselves. Throw in swimming lessons, baking cookies and the normal routine of naps, baths, bedtimes, books, etc., and we've kept pretty busy. I was planning on getting up and at it this morning to get to the beach for a couple of hours and then decided last night that we were going to relax until Sabian comes home this afternoon. That meant sleeping in until 9:30 (Addie, too!) and enjoying a bit of a cloudy day so far.

A few photos from our outing with Lee Ann, Ivory and Micah, building our own yogurt sundaes.

The girls didn't quite know yet what their "treat" was...

Ice cream! The kiddos, Lee Ann, and brother-to-be!
Ivory digs her yogurt.

Sweet girls.

Making a mess, as the yogurt was melting about as fast as they could eat it, but having fun.

Always happy, always sweet Micah.
 I'm trying not to look at the clock too much. We do have some things to get done around the house this morning and we will have some food coming from a friend who is selling some to go plates - including twice baked potato casserole. Almost as good as cookie dough, that stuff is. Sweet of her to deliver, just hope it doesn't monsoon on her.

I am thankful for a good week, that my husband is coming home today and for friends that help to keep us busy while we're on our own. TGIF!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Survival mode

Today I was thinking about our week so far. We got off to a bit of a rocky start - nothing major, really, it was just me as Mommy needing to get my patience in check. Addie and I have had a good few days and I've even been able to take a few moments to just watch her and appreciate much.

I feel like so often I live life in survival mode. Doing one thing to get to the next, to the next, to the next. Washing dishes to dirty more dishes with more meals to clean more dishes. Doing laundry to fold it to put it away to wear it, to wash it. Running errands to get things done to check things off The List only to add more things to The List. Picking up toys (a few times a day - Addie helps, too) to get them back out to teach to put them away to scatter them from room to room to put them away...again.

I tend to live life full speed ahead. I walk fast. I jump from point A to Z often when dealing with big life situations without first looking at what's in between. I try to anticipate things that are going to happen and plan accordingly, sometimes at the expense of not concentrating on what's at hand. Sometimes I interrupt people and that bothers me after the fact.

When Addie was smaller and she'd be fussy and I'd be frustrated with her fussiness I would often realize she was trying to get my attention because in my flurry of frenzy I hadn't taken time to just sit and play with her. As soon as I realized it the mom guilt washed over me and I took note that if I just spent some time with her she'd likely be okay. Now, before you think I am neglectful mom (see that anticipating what you're thinking?!), we played a lot, but this was those times when I just couldn't figure out what the deal was. As she has gotten older it seems she is more likely to entertain herself, but that doesn't mean I'm off the hook - it means I need to be even more intentional about her and her needs.

Feeding, clothing, bathing, putting to bed - those things are easy and those things are part of living in survival mode. Playing, teaching, training, relaxing, having fun - that's the something more.

I'm trying to learn to concentrate on the something more. It's hard, but it's worth it. Something about smelling the roses. Rather, my tendency is to notice the roses and comment on them as I breeze by, marking those things off The List.

All I can do is make more of an effort and pray that God strengthens the desire in my heart. There won't be more than 24 hours in the day, the meals still need to be cooked, dishes washed, clothes dried, folded and put away. But, it's everything in between all of that to which I am referring. While we have plenty of fun as a family, going on outings and making fun for ourselves, it's the moments of eating the plastic peanut butter and tomato sandwich sweetly made for me, watching as little hands put together the same puzzle three or four times in a row, or really looking every time she says, "Wook! Wook, Mommy, wook!"

I am so thankful to be a mom.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Here, there & everywhere

The title of this post describes life lately, as well as the nature of this post.

This week has been all about me and Addie. I'll post about that later, but we've been having a good time. A few little outings and swim lessons have been keeping us busy.

Speaking of swimming lessons, we're halfway through our sessions. Addie has perfected her kicking and now when we're in the water she'll pretty much kick most of the time. She's even shown this when we've been swimming in other people's pools and not just at lessons. It's encouraging, because I know she's at least picking up something. Yesterday she even spent some time floating on her back (with my help), which made me happy that she was adding something new to her water repertoire. Unfortunately we are having to skip lessons tonight but if we can get them in the rest of the week then we'll be done with our sessions.

Here's the rest of our here, there and everywhere in some pictures from my iPod.

Addie LOVES looking for fireflies with her new magnifying glass.

Staying far from this critter while sporting her Pujols shirt. GO Cards!

Now Addie wants to take pictures.

Decorating by Addie.

Seeing lots of rain lately, but a little scattered all over the place.

Portrait de Pacifier by Addie.

Self-portrait sequence.

 I am thankful for the time Addie and I have been having together.  We have our not so pretty moments but we have some pretty fun ones, too!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Cow Appreciation Day!

It's that time of year again, the time when cows rejoice and we get free food.

I've told of my love of Chick-fil-A before and I will say it again - I love Chick-fil-A. Today is their self-proclaimed Cow Appreciation Day, when free food is offered to those who dare to dress up like cows.

Two years ago we took Addie. Although she was too small to actually eat the free food she received at the time, we enjoyed it for her.

Somehow we missed celebrating last year so we made sure not to miss it this year. In fact, we shared the celebration with our friends Lee Ann and Jason and Ivory and Micah.

Time to play after showing off our cow duds.

Big smile for chicken nuggets.

My best cow pals.

Daddy cow.

Sweet Ivory cow!

Rear view.

Micah cow!

Confident in my cow-stume.
I'd say this year's Cow Appreciation Day was a success. A fun, silly day!

I am thankful for my fellow cow pals, Ivory and Micah (and their parents, too)!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Celebratin' Independence

While it's thundering outside and Addie is snoozing inside, I'll recap our holiday weekend.

Sabian's family made their way into the panhandle Friday evening after a looong trip on the road. We met up with them for some swimming at their hotel and a little catching up before it was time to get the kiddos to bed. We were able to spend the weekend with them, hanging out on the beach and in and around Port St. Joe. They made it to church with us on Sunday to hear Sabian preach that night and then after lunch on Monday, a last visit to the beach and a few more photos, they were on their way back to Missouri. We're really grateful that they made the effort to make the trek down here to spend a few days with us. It's no easy trip, especially when you have six kids in tow! Thanks to them for coming to see us!

We scrapped our plans to see fireworks on the beach when I realized it was later than I thought, so we opted to join our friends, the Bennetts, and their pastors for the Wewa 'works. It was probably a better decision, as Addie got to see her buddies Ivory and Micah and the trip home was considerably shorter and probably less congested. Not to mention, Pastor Mike had his truck bed filled with sand and toys, a nice surprise when Addie saw it.

So far we've spent the week catching up around the house and hanging out in the swimming pool. We had a swim date at a friend's yesterday morning and lessons last night. It is raining now, but we're hoping to get another round of lessons in tonight. It seems the trick to getting Addie used to water in her face and dunking her head under water lies with giving her the freedom to jump into the pool herself (with us on the catching end, of course). Go figure, little Miss Evel Knievel would want to do it that way.

Our camera battery died just as the fireworks were starting and I was too busy in the pool yesterday to take any swimming pictures, so instead here are a few photos from the weekend.

Now we're looking ahead to youth camp next week, which will leave Addie and I a week to do our own thing while Sabian looses sleep and his voice.

I am thankful for a good weekend and for being able to do some catching up this week.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bathing beauty

Something I didn't mention in my last post about our trip to Atlanta was another of Addie's little adventures. During our little poolside celebration of Destiny's birthday Addie decided to take a dip in the pool...on her own. Thanks to Destiny's six year old sister, Danielle, who said "Addie's in the pool," we were able to quickly retrieve her, but not before my heart skipped a beat - or two or three or four or just stopped altogether.

When I heard Danielle's little voice say, "Addie's in the pool," I whipped around and quickly began scanning the bottom of the pool for her mop of blonde curls. Sabian had done the same. Imagine my surprise when instead, after looking out and not seeing her, looking directly below me and finding her clinging to the side of the pool. I plucked her out of the water, explained as calmly as possible that she couldn't do what she did, and then checked her over. Again, to my surprise, the top of her head was dry. The only thing I could figure was that she entered the pool by the steps, and being as tall as she is, was still able to touch at at least the third step down, and then inched her way over to the side of the pool and then hung on as she moved on down the pool. 

One of our kids thought maybe she had, in fact, gone in over the side of the pool but flipped herself around to hang on.

Either way, I was both so relieved and a little proud of my girl that she thought to hang on like she did. I would never want her to enter a pool on her own, especially not being able to swim, but was glad she reacted like she did and I am SO thankful for little Danielle.

So, we're taking swimming lessons. In an earlier post I wrote about deciding against them. At the time I really did think she wasn't ready and along with the hour commute (each way) to the lessons every day for two weeks, I settled on getting her into the water as much as possible this summer.

But, when my friend Lee Ann pinpointed a teacher in Wewa and we discovered others who were interested in lessons, it worked out for us to schedule a group. Tack on Addie's little escapade and I was sold on taking Addie. 

So far we've only had one lesson due to thunderstorms the rest of this week. I would say it was mildly successful. Addie wasn't crazy about having water poured over her head (over and over) and she was freezing most of the hour we were in the pool. She would float and kick when the teacher wasn't looking, but as soon as she was asked, she just stared at her. I guess my little talk before class about listening to the teacher didn't sink in. We'll try that again.

Overall I am glad to be taking the lessons and praying and thinking that she'll get used to them more as we move through them. I'm not looking for her to be the next Michael Phelps after this - I realize subsequent lessons will be needed - but I am hoping she'll take away a skill or two that we can build on by working with her. I still want to have her in the water a lot this summer and hopefully we can just have some fun. It helps that the other kids in the class are all Addie's friends - we'll just have to bundle her up in a wetsuit :)

So, that's our adventure this week. That, and we're currently waiting on the in laws to arrive. Sabian's family should be entering the panhandle any time now and we'll be spending the weekend with them.

Thank you to all currently serving in our military, as well as our veterans. Thankful for our freedom this weekend! Have a great 4th!