Monday, September 28, 2009

S Turns 10!!!!

It was this very time 10 years ago that I first became a mother. Happy Anniversary to me! It was also in this moment 10 years ago, I first held a child that was my very own!!

Now here we are: She is in the 4th grade, almost as tall as me, wears a size 7 shoe in women's, and is growing every day! She is my beautiful blond beauty, somehow she has kept that toe-head white hair, and inspires me daily. She is an encourager by nature and a lover of God and His creation. She inspires me to love everything I see around me He made. Her favorites of all His animals are dolphins and killer whales. We decided to give her a trip for her 10th birthday to travel with J to Orlando to "swim" with dolphins.

Her anticipation for this trip lasted for many weeks, and she loved telling almost everyone she was going! We worked to combine reward points, sky miles, and any other spare change to get her to her dream world! DISCOVERY COVE AND SEA WORLD
The child has memorized the DVD show we bought from Sea World last year, which includes the Shamu "Believe" show. Her dream is to be a "whale trainer", and she could actually do it. (she amazes me with her knowledge of animals, I was never like that, she gets it from J)

So Friday morning at 5 AM, the child sprung from her bed to set on a journey with her Daddy to fly to Orlando for her big moment. She had carefully even packed and planned all she needed in a "carry on" backpack so she wouldn't have to wait at baggage claim!

So off they went immediately to Sea World, where she immediately hit the ground running and got to "feed" dolphins. We usually go to Sea World every other summer and have never been able to get this close and personal with the dolphins in the feeding area.

The rest of the day at Sea World included visiting sting rays, penguins, sea turtles, then finally the wonderful Shamu Stadium where her Dad had promised a front row view in the "soak zone". Have you ever been in any area called a "soak zone?" I have personally seen this show and have NEVER had an interest to get this wet! S couldn't wait!

This is before the show, I am told as close as anyone was allowed to sit. Notice the 52 degree pool of water behind her!

Here are more shots from the Shamu Show! If you have never taken your kids to Sea World! It is a must see! We love it!

Can you imagine a wall of water coming towards you this close?

This is what happens when it does!

Apparently, this is the coolest trainer in the world!

After an exhausting day at Sea World, they headed to their hotel to rest for her big day Saturday. The. day. she. would. swim. with. real. dolphins. Here it is:

This was a pretty cool moment for Daddy too!

Here's a few others from Discovery Cove:

After their restful evening they headed back to Sea World to watch the Believe show again and enjoyed a ride on the Sea World roller coasters. After that, S enjoyed a doo from Bibbity Bobbity Boutique at Downtown Disney. I am told this was the Disney Diva Doo!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl! May God continue to help you grow and learn about Him every day!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I heart Clorox Wipes!

With the threat of Swine Flu looming in the present day, I am so fearful my sweet children will get it. I just read an article on Yahoo's main headline page yesterday that a sweet little 5 year old boy, that was otherwise healthy died from contracting Swine Flu!

My only attempt in preventing this from coming into our home has been "WASH YOUR HANDS IMMEDIATELY!" once they come in from school. But I just don't know if that's going to totally rid our risks from getting it. With a sweet 3 month old at home, I am particularly sensitive to the virus in our community. So far, no children that attend our schools have had it, but it is currently in our town! It's everywhere! I saw a statistic online as well that the CDC predicts 90,000 people will die from Swine Flu in the next year. WOW! I do think they may be overshooting the estimate, but given young children (which I have ) and seniors it may be quite a few. Needless to say, we WILL be getting the vacine!

During the month of October, I receive a happy visit (sarcastic tone given) from our state licensing lady. The following is the list of how I am to "keep" my home and present it as she inspects my home during a walk -through once a year.

I must:
have all products that say "keep out of reach from children" away from their rooms and bedrooms.
-have all knives, scissors and sharp objects locked in a box (even in my kitchen)
-I can have no food products stored unless they are in an airtight container (includes in the fridge or freezer) I got "written" up one year for having aluminum foil covering something in the fridge
-NO expired foods, SPICES (got written up for that one year too), or medicines! Period.
-CLEAN -microwaves, ovens, toaster ovens, sinks, trashcans, etc.
-all knobs on kids' dressers ( do you know how easily kids pull those things off!)
-all medicines locked in a cabinet
-all cleaning supplies locked in a cabinet

Needless to say, for the next two weeks, I am going to be busy! I went to Sam's and bought a bulk supply of clorox wipes! Plus with my fear of swine flu-I figure I might as well carry clorox wipes on a tool belt. I have wiped everything in my home today- from baseboards to the inside of my oven! My little fingers are so pruned and peeling, they are screaming for a REAL manicure. Doesn't look likely though, all those utensils might have swine flu on them.

Oh well, I must clean some more! Keep your kids clean and safe from germs! Mom of Eleven says go buy clorox wipes!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ann Claire's Baptism

Well, I shouldn't have even typed it last night. . you know, about Ann Claire being so peaceful and all. . she cried through her baptism today. . she hardly ever does! Anyway, all in all , it was a special service, as well as special time with family and friends this afternoon for lunch.

I wanted to take a little writing time to tell about the baptism dress that Ann Claire wore today. She is the 5th person to actually wear it in our family, with her daddy being the 1st. J's mother made it herself 35 years ago by hand, never knowing 35 years later her granddaughter would wear it as well as the other 3 grand kids that have worn it too. I tried to capture the beauty of this special family heirloom by using our special lens.

J's mother hand sewed these tiny pearls on each arm and around the neck as well as the bows for each of our girl's baptism. When we had J, she took them off by hand, then had to re-sew them once we had Ann Claire. Talk about a labor of love!

These buttons are tiny, and were actually carried by J's Grammy in her apron pocket when she mended her 8 children's clothing.

J's hand gives the size perspective of these special little buttons

Here are more special moments from today:(special thanks to JMom at Lots of Scotts for taking the photos at church!)

Little J's first time to wear a tie. Thank goodness it had dinosaurs on it (his favorite). Otherwise, I don't think he would have worn it!

Our pastor reading special verses about children and the covenant they are under as children of believer's. Sweet moment!

Sweet moment of baptism. Such a symbol of dedicating her to the Lord! Thank you Lord for this sweet baby you have given us!

This is when the crying erupted, our pastor continued the blessing over her. As soon as he stopped, he grabbed her pacifier shoved it in, and silence. . the congregation erupted in laughter. It was great! She put on quite the performance.

I used this opportunity to update the main photo on my blog. I realized I didn't even have Ann Claire in it. So. . my kids were good sports about coordinating outfits. ( I think they hated it!)

Sweet moments with the grandparents.
Nana, Papa, and Ann Claire

Sweet Baby Girl!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ann Claire is 3 months!

Wow, my how the past three months have flown by. It seems like yesterday we were anxiously awaiting her arrival and I was begging J to travel to Waffle House at 12 AM for waffles. Well, here we are three months later, and our little angel is getting baptized in the morning. I promised myself that tonight was my deadline to post about her and how she has changed our lives. I have also failed to post about her changes each month, even though I have documented them on my camera!

A year ago, another baby was not even on the radar for us. Life with 11, well 10 at home, one had just gone to college, was crazy to say the least. I honestly was very shocked and even a little in awe that I was even pregnant. God had bigger plans for our family. . it would get bigger, literally. The last year has proven to test all of my patience and my physical abilities. Carrying a child at 35 is hard, yes I know women do it all the time, but it was hard. . very. hard. We went to work on our plans of how she would fit in, where she would go physically at night in our home, we didn't even think we really had room for her. I feel so bad now looking back, and even admitting, it all seemed like a burden.

God has blessed us with the most angel of a baby I have ever seen. She is VERY good, had no colic, is sleeping through the night, and is very peaceful. I will never forget when the nurse brought her into the hospital room at 5 AM one morning. . she was bundled up tight like a little Russian baby. . you know when they are swaddled and they look like little dolls. She had a tiny hot pink bow in her hair (at 5 AM, mind you). I took one look at her, and I knew it. . she was special, and she was mine! I immediately told J at that moment, "I take it all back, every complaint, ever gripe, and whine about being pregnant, she is worth it all!" Isn't it crazy how our babies make us forget the past nine months as if they never happened. Not to mention the pain of childbirth we just experienced. . she has changed me in other ways too.

She is laid back, therefore I am more laid back. I feel in some ways she has calmed me down. Things that used to bother me, I just shrug and say, "whatever, it will be there tomorrow, I am not getting stressed over that". (plus with a 3 month old, I don't have the time or energy, but because of her it's worth it!)

I wanted to quickly post about her and someday I will write the whole birth experience, it's funny!

One Month!

Two Months!

Three Months!

Our littlest angel is growing!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lots more to come. . very soon!

Hello to all my friends in blogger world. Well, how many times have I typed this before? Life is crazy, and I don't have time to blog. I have hundreds of pictures on my camera and long for time to sit and load them onto my computer and post about every fun thing going on in our lives. BUT, I just. don't. have. the. time. Time. Where does it go? How fast it seems to slip through our hands.

Just this weekend, little S, who is turning 10 this month, got new shoes. Her N took her for me as I was away on a little quick mommy trip. They called me to exclaim she needed a size 7, yes size 7 in new tennis shoes. What? I screamed! What happened to going through size 4 and 5 in children's shoes? I am barely a size 6 as is my mother and her mother, so naturally I guess I thought S would just stay there too. I am sad by this, not that she is growing, but well, that she is? Does that make sense to anyone? We never even got to share shoes! Time is moving fast, and that is only one example of how quickly these kids are passing through life.

-Ann Claire is 3 months today
-S is turning 10
-ME is turning 7
-R is playing in his first varsity football game
-Big T is going to knock out a killer score on the ACT and SAT
-M is coming home from college for a visit
-ME cheers in her first Jr. Pee Wee game
-Ann Claire is getting baptized

. . and much more, and that's just in the next 3 weeks. Not to mention the daily grind of life with 10 kids at home. Cheerleading practices, dance lessons 3 days a week, football practice, bible studies, school, homework, church, choir, and so on. That's just my week in a nutshell! Blogging has taken a back seat and I miss it. It has been a way for me to unwind, share, vent, journal, document, and socialize w/ peeps I have never personally met. Hang in there and check back with us soon! I will be praying for God to give me a little time to catch up and catch my breath!