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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

diggers, Holden and Papa J

Holden had quite the fun outing a couple of weeks ago with his Papa J. A little back story is that while we were at my Dada's house for my Meme's funeral, Holden quickly layed eyes on a toy digger. My grandparents have a handful of small toys for their 23 great-gradchildren. Yep. You read that right. 23 greats! Holden found the digger and they were inseperable during our visit there. My dad noticed him playing with the digger and mentioned that he wanted to take Holden to go and see some construction vehicles soon. Just Papa J and Holden on a little outing to watch the diggers work. There is plenty of construction going on in a couple of different areas close to where we live. A week later, my parents were spending a few days at my house and so my dad took the opportunity and made it happen. After breakfast they headed out before it got too unbearably hot. Holden was in heaven and told us all about once they returned. My dad drove them to a few locations and at one point they were just a few yards away from the work trucks. One of the men operating the digger "waved" his shovel at Holden. Don't you know Holden thought this was SO cool! Dad told us that Holden talked and talked and talked the entire time about what was taking place. I don't think there was a silent moment between them. After seeing the diggers, dad took him to Sonic for a slush; which just topped off their morning.

Without having to put too much thought into it, I do believe that quality time is Holden's "love language". And Papa J sure met that need on this particular day. These are the kind of memories that I hope my children always have when they reflect back on their grandparents.  Thank you dad for the extra effort that went into loving on my Holden. You know that it filled up his little heart, but it also filled up mine. :) And here just a few pictures my dad snapped. I sure would have loved these at his digger party this past May!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Out with the old...

On the day we made Holden's adoption official in court, we gifted him the original looking sock monkey. Now there are about 1 billion varieties of the sock monkey. His was the brown and white with red hair.  I remember Holden's pudgy 6 month old face looking at the crazy creature after he had pulled it out of the gift bag. He almost looked scared of it. But oh man, he quickly grew to love that thing. He loved it to pieces . . . quite literally.  I think when we took his paci away, he began to suck on it's face during his sleep time. Gross, I know.  I had to frequently wash it because it had a nasty, dried, slobbery smell on it and it's face began to discolor, regardless of my washing.  Nana repaired the sock monkey once.
And then they gave him a new spunky, colorful sock monkey last Christmas. He was over the moon when he opened it up. But it never took the place of his original. Which I found sort of sweet, given the meaning behind this special gift. 

Well, Holden received a little cash for his birthday this year. We talked and he wanted a new brown sock money, which he promised to take very good care of. (He's a picker. So when the old one would develop a little wear and tear, he would just pick and pick and pick at it. Making it look terrible.) We headed to Target today to buy just that. We went up and down each toy aisle twice and I couldn't find sock monkeys anywhere. I was beginning to think I was going to have to order one online, when I finally spotted one monkey left on the clearance aisle. It was the original brown, white and red like he had wanted. And it was marked down quite a bit! :) How did we get so lucky! As soon as I handed it to Holden, he and the new monkey went cheek to cheek. He often drifts off to sleep with his monkey shoved under his face, like an extra pillow. So we often see him take his little sock monkey and pull it up to his cheek. :) So that move was fitting.
So now as I type this, old sock monkey is downstairs in the living room, maybe forgotten about for now. Not sure how I feel about that. :) And Holden is snuggling with his newer version.
He has always called his sock monkey, "monkey". That was his name, I guess. I asked him if he wanted to give his new sock money a name. He told me it would be "Good Monkey". Ha. So creative, right? ;)

Monday, July 23, 2012


I've been in much thought recently about family. But not just my little family of four.  My extended family. Aunts, uncles, cousins, great aunt, great uncles and so on.  And this has all stemmed from last week. On Tuesday, we attended my meme's funeral.  My sister wrote about my meme here after a sad Thanksgiving last year. You should definitely read it . . . if I do say so myself.  My meme had gotten so sick, that my dada (which is my grandfather and her husband) was not able to care for her at home any longer. They moved her into a nursing home.  And she began to quickly go downhill.  We were praying that God would take her soon because we didn't want her to suffer long. And thankfully he did. But it was sad. During the two days with family last week, there were a few things that stuck out to me.

- My uncle calls my mom his sister. She is not his sister. My aunt is her sister. But to them it's all the same. And I love this. I love the closeness of my mom, her sisters and even the husbands.

- My dad spoke at the funeral and at the end, he specifically talked to my dada. And my dad didn't hold it together. He tried, but there was much emotion when he told my dada that he had been a prime example of what it means to love your wife as Christ loves the church. Through sickness and in health. You see, my dada visited my meme in the nursing home 3 times a day. He couldn't stand the fact that he couldn't do it all himself anymore. And each night after dinner he fed her an individual portion of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla icecream. The nurses let him keep a stash in their freezer. I've always known my dada as a servant. Helping my meme in the kitchen, cleaning up the messes, making sure guests were comfortable in their home.  He is not the typical male for his generation. But he is an amazing servant. It's just who he is and what he does. I'm thankful to even know him. But especially thankful that he's my dada...and that he's always called me Smell Mel. :)

- I've thought about Jeremy and I's first summer married. We didn't do a typical vacaiton. Instead we spent about a week in East Texas. We spent half of our time with my dad's parents and the other half with my mom's parents. My meme and dada (my mom's parents) had an incredibly sweet marriage at almost 60 years in. I remember thinking that during our time with them. Jeremy and I even discussed this during our visit. This September would have been 69 years. I'm not mentioning now that their marriage was incredible just because she's gone. It really was. I hope for that same sweetness with my own husband when we're old and grey.

- My cousin spoke at meme's funeral. I'm going to admit that I'm not extrememly close to my grandparents. I was the little girl that never wanted to leave home for an extended period of time. Not for camp, not for a week at the grandparents, not really for anything unless my own daddy or mommy would be there. I probably would have cried myself to sleep every night had I gone without them. I'm sure I missed out on a lot of fun because of this. But hearing my cousin talk about his memories, made me thankful that my boys live close to their grandparents. And that they love them so much. I love that they are a very involved part of their lives.  I'm sure I've taken it for granted a million times in the past.  But I hope they'll have that closeness that somehow I missed out on.

- I was shocked by the people that showed up at this funeral. Shocked to the point of tears when I saw an old pastor and wife that came to show their love and support for my parents. They made quite a drive. It reminded me that I didn't attend my brother-in-law's funeral for his mom or his dad. I was out of town in college, but honestly, I have no idea why I was not there! I should have been there. And I deeply regret that I missed it.

-After last week, I sure have a deeper appreciation for the closeness of family. I think sometimes I'm so consumed with just the family that lives in our house - like that is what's most important. But now I'm more aware of how much I want the presence and involvement of our extended family.  What do people do without family!?

Last Tuesday was a sad day, saying our final goodbyes to meme. But her leaving us has stirred my heart in many ways. For that, I am thankful.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

So I don't REALLY believe in Friday the 13th hogwash, but let me tell you about my far.  Holden was supposedly doing his business in the upstairs bathroom once he had finished breakfast. I was still in the kitchen with my slow eating boy, Pax.  I do think he originally went upstairs to go to the bathroom and not cause mischief.  But then he saw the bath toys and his little mind got to working.  So I heard him trying to flush more than once and I yelled up the stairs that he only needed to do it once. Soon after, he ran down stairs and with big eyes, told me that "the potty is really big" and "the water is really big". That didn't sound good, so I ran upstairs to check out the scene. The water was close to the top but it had stopped rising. I asked if he had used alot of toiler paper. He said no but that he had put the rubber ducky in the toilet. There was no duck in sight. I was angry. And I lost it. He's 4, people!  Not a curious 2 year old anymore.  He was disciplined and I texted Jeremy to fill him in on the latest crime scene going on at our house. Jeremy informed me the plunger was in the garage. I've never used a plunger before.  Growing up, I had a daddy that did all disgusting jobs at our house. So I start plunging (aka - splashing toilet water around) and nothing was happening. So I flushed once and plunged again and here came the water. Rising. Rising. Rising quickly. Not stopping. I threw the rug and trash can outside of the bathroom onto the carpet.  And sure enough, water doesn't begin trickling out of the toilet, it's more like gushing. I ran downstairs in a panic to grab my phone and call my handy man, Jeremy. But I couldn't get him. I grabbed some old towels and was running back upstairs. Then I thought to twist that knob near the base of the toilet to turn the water off. Honestly, I know nothing about this stuff. So go ahead and laugh at my ignorance here and how long it took me to figure that one out. So there I found myself standing in about 1 inch of water. Toilet water. :( Jeremy quickly calls me back and I relay the saga. He tells me where the shop vac is and what I need to do. I clean the mess. Well, sort of. I sucked up all the toilet water and dried the tile with the towels. And I haven't returned to the space.

So, I know people feel like these blogs are just fairy tale portions of our lives for the world to read. I've heard this several times. We don't share all the real stuff.  I mean, who wants to read about that!  The dilemma is, I don't want to keep count of all the bad. I feel like I'm an optimistic person and I'm not going to dwell on the negative stuff. You wrong me? I'll get over it pretty quickly. My kids make mistakes every day, but I'm not keeping a talley on that. And I don't want any readers here to do that either. So I share the cute stories. The stories that attempt to share the love that goes on in our family.  There is so much love in this house. But if you want honesty, there is so much junk also. Constant discipline. Sibling fights. Lack of self control. Less than great parenting decisions. Parenting is hard work. And it's brought to the surface some characteristics in myself that I didn't realize were there. I saw some more of that ugliness this morning.  And honestly, I want the ugly to go away. Forever. The good news is the mercy and forgiveness just waiting for me when I ask. Holden is forgiven. He is loved more than his little heart and head can even fathom. I remember what he's done and the mess he's made but I love him just as much as before. God's love for me is even bigger. He's wiped my slate clean. Again. I failed today. But I'm grateful to be forgiven.

I'm off to enjoy some peace and quiet while the boys nap. Along with a side of homemade cinnamon icecream. Despite my lack of patience today for my sweet, playful, mischievous first born, I feel like I deserve an award just for being present.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

little photographer.

A certain little boy in this house got his hands on my tiny camera without me knowing. He had it for over 24 hours hidden in his room (under the covers of his bed, I do believe). And during that time (which had to have been his afternoon naps and nighttime sleep) he took 101 pictures. Here are a few worth sharing...
Never a dull moment around here, folks. I promise.  Maybe I need to get him his own camera.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

After several attempts, these were the best fake smiles they could muster. Enjoy your day! Enjoy the freedom! :)