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Sunday, May 29, 2011


We spent most of May sick with the worst cold on the planet...well, at least it seemed that way. It lasted a good 3 weeks for me, gave Wally migraines, and made us all cough like crazy. Poor Corwin was the last to get it, but thankfully his wasn't as bad as ours. Maybe it was all those good mommy-milk antibodies...who knows. We did get to have some fun, like celebrating my birthday. Wally made a lovely chocolate rice cake (I don't know if I mentioned on here that Corwin is sensitive to gluten), but it had eggs in it, and apparently Corwin is super sensitive to eggs. He was spitting up blood and pooping blood, poor guy. So, Wally ate most of the cake. It was delicious, even for a rice cake.

Some nice things about being stuck at home were that we watched part of the royal wedding together and got to see the bugman. My kids love the bugman...this is what I told my mom in an email recounting his last visit: "They love the truck that they come in. They love talking to them. It's quite funny. I told the bug man that our house was pretty messy. He said, "Well, you gotta live." And I felt like saying, "Right now, it's just survival." I'm sure he could tell that when he walked in...crumbs all over the floor, compost bucket overflowing, dirty frying pan on the stove, half eaten granola bar on the table, bowl of pretzels on the fam room floor...etc etc. He's probably thinking, "No wonder why I have to spray!"

We also got to find some fun activities for the backyard such as riding the tricycles down our sledding hill. You can hear me watching my children almost colliding and knowing I can't do anything to stop it.

Corwin wishing he could join in on riding down the hill.

Bubble baths...another good activity when you are sick.

Swinging in a hammock...also a good idea.

Coming up with innovative ways to walk your dog...good idea.

Learning how to laugh...great idea.

So I guess it wasn't all bad, but man do I feel SO much better now that we are well. I'm just praying we'll stay that way. Our sins are certainly amplified when we feel crummy. I was getting pretty discouraged about it especially since my "little mommy" aka Rhianwen was reflecting all of the sins that I struggle with. Even when she is well she does b/c her personality is much like mine, and it really is a motivator to make me live by example b/c she sees me and does what I do so much of the time. A book I am reading called The Mission of Motherhood says to consider all of the little interruptions children bring to my day as "divine appointments". Aside from the Holy Spirit who makes it possible for us to rightly live, there is little more powerful than living by example, meeting my children where they are and loving them for who they are now. BUT I've also realized that my motivation should not be primarily for my children to grow up happy and whole. That would feed my desperation and grasping at results that aren't within my power to produce. My motivation should be to bring glory to God from my gratitude for what He has done for me and what He is to me. This is freedom to keep those divine appointments with a peaceful hopeful heart.

Well, back to the summary of life: we were well enough in time for a little gymnastics event for Rhianwen. She was pretty distracted so she didn't do her routines as well as if she had been in a class, but it was fun for her, and she got a trophy at the end of it all.

A trophy for Rhianwen. I'm not really sure I'm excited about the "everyone wins" concept, but she certainly was.

Then it was off to Grandmama's and Grandaddy's for a visit while Daddy was out of town. Thaya's nuthin' lahk bein in SC in the cuntrae...they got to see a miniature pony baby, ride miniature ponies, ride 4-wheelers (the boys who owned them looked incredulous when I said we didn't have any at our house), feed chickens and collect their eggs, see mice and black snakes, and generally ran around barefoot most of the day. Rhianwen and Alden insist they want a chicken for a pet.

It must have been the SC country air, I totally didn't even think about helmets, not that there probably were any. They probably would have looked at me like I was insane if I asked for one.

A photo for her future rehearsal dinner???

Rhianwen discovered that she could pump and swing easily in a shorter swing than the ones we have in our backyard, which are difficult for even me to pump!

Look at the picture Alden drew! Usually he limits himself to lightning (lots of scribbles) and circles. But this is quite a masterpiece. You can see that he is trying to imitate the French look by drawing a thin mustache on his face.

We enjoyed seeing Greatmama and PaPa too. Here are 3 generations playing Candyland. How special!

Corwin getting some lovin'.

Not to be outdone, Corwin has also learned to sit on his own, walk in his walker, and bounce in his jumperoo. Guess he's decided he needs to work off some of those pounds before our trip to the beach in July.

"This is no sweat."

Walkin' in his walker.


A funny conversation after one of our few visits to Sunday school (since we've been sick we haven't been to church much):

Mommy to Alden: What wee little man did you talk about? What was the wee little man's name?
Alden: Um, I don't know.
Rhianwen: I think I know! Was it Wee Gillis?

"His real name was Alastair Roderic Craigellachie Dalhousie Gowan Donnybristle Mac Mac but that was too long to say...". It's just one of our favorite books.

Another funny question from Rhianwen: "How do you not go up a chimney."
She is always asking such off the wall things, many times I don't even know how to answer her.

Tuckered out. It's been one of those months.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Strawberry Festival and Family

Spontaneity, song and dance, running until you fall in a heap on the grass, laughing so hard at nothing...not something I do much of these days. In fact if I am tempted to do something spontaneous, it's usually more along the lines of breaking a couple of plates, yelling loudly into my pillow, or running out of the door to never be seen again. Thankfully, the only spontaneous thing that we did was to travel to York for a day to see PaPa and Greatmama and fam. This was the first time PaPa and Greatmama had met Corwin in person. He was a bit of a crank, but Greatmama graciously held and rocked him anyway.

We also discovered that it was the Bush n Vine's Strawberry Festival that day. We couldn't resist.

Look at those little sprouts.

Corwin sporting the country look.

Alden could have spent a millennia in here watching the bees.

Going out to pick strawberries.

I told Wally to remind me next time that kids do not pick strawberries.

Photo-op one. Did he actually pick it? Maybe, can't remember!

She looks intent, but is she really?

Kids, do, however, ride ponies.

Alden's first pony ride!

Hand painting. (she didn't want it on her face...makes sense to me except then you don't want to wash your hands). She cried when she saw it was coming off. I said, "Well, you don't want to grow up with a strawberry on your hands. How would you like to get married with a strawberry on your hand?". This seemed to console her.

That's right. Clemson all the way.

Goin' on a hay-ride with Grandmama.

We finally figured out how to slow Alden down. He usually runs everywhere. In fact, one night Wally told Alden to walk, not run, to his room, and Alden literally could not do it even though he tried! Well, just stick a strawberry slushy in his hands, and he'll slow waaaay down.

With Greatmama and PaPa.

Back at home enjoying the swing.

We have a bit of country here too.

Corwin is using his hands and bringing things to his mouth now. It's amazing watching him learn. (And yes, we are sick with nasty coughs. It's a mammoth effort to keep the kids away from Corwin and probably is just prolonging the duration of sickness since I think it's likely futile and eventually Corwin will get it. But God can work miracles. I just wish I could figure out the balance of caring for my sick ones and trying to keep the well ones well. I'm terrible at it. Most of the time it makes me grumpy and jittery.).

Life has been pretty overwhelming lately. Mommyhood is challenging, and I often find myself wishing I could be a free-spirit and just ignore the painful moments and not care about unpredictability and the loneliness of being stuck at home with either sickness or little baby needs and not mind the fact that I haven't heard an entire sermon in months and that getting a haircut takes months to accomplish. Then too, my own sinfulness seems so hopeless to overcome. It gets to me daily, but I know God has said He leads those with young gently and that children are a blessing. Then I look at National Geographic with families whose houses have one foot of water in them, the men holding the kids, while the women cook and I realize, man, I am so self-centered! Well, I have much to learn, need much forgiveness and grace especially from my children. I just pray, God will work that in their lives as much as He works it in my own with them.

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