Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Perfect Birthday

1. Get up earlier than you thought you would.
2. Take a shower & get ready to GO.
3. Renew your driver's license because it expires every 4 years on your birthday & this is the 4th year.
4. Take your son & daughter to eat with you at El Chico. Be sure to invite a fellow adoptive mom.
5. Allow the El Chico staff to bring you the free sopapilla, put a sombrero on your head & sing Happy, Happy Birthday, Happy, Happy Birthday, Happy, Happy Birthday from all of us to you, Ole!
6. Head out to Playtime Pizza to play black light miniature golf with two little girls who've NEVER held a putter.
7. Witness a motor vehicle accident. Thank God you weren't involved. Wonder how it could have happened without any apparent damage. Ask your son why he supposes the airbag didn't deploy.
8. Play miniature golf with 4 year old & 6 year old. Ok, watch. Try to avoid being hit by new miniature golfers (the golfers weren't miniature, the course was). Wonder how much "instruction" you can offer before you ruin the experience.
9. Watch you son & daughter in the indoor bumper cars. Record with your Flip so your spouse can watch later.
10. Go home for your daughter's nap.
11. Go to gymnastics.
12. Go to Chile's for dinner. Laugh at the really horrible service because it's NEVER been bad before. Wonder if your birthday molten chocolate cake will arrive before your NEXT birthday.
13. Go home with whole family.
14. Be thankful for the gift of a great day, and hope the rest of YOUR new year will be at least this good.
I LOVE my birthday. Did you hear the contented sigh?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, ya'll!

Christmas started off a bit slow for me this year. Given my tendency to procrastinate, that may not seem out of character. While I may wait until the last minute to buy gifts or send out presents, I am usually full of Christmas cheer from Thanksgiving onward.

At any rate, the Christmas lights finally set a fire under Suzy Scrooge and sent her on her way. Lydia and I put a REAL tree up on the front porch complete with zip tie ornament holders for the windy days. Well, really? What's more festive than zip ties? I'll tell you what else, too: I don't mind if the needles fall on the porch nearly as much as when they fall on the floor.

One night Gene picked Lydia up, and she leaned backward to lie in his arms. As he cradled her in his arms, she said, "I'm pretending to be Baby Jesus." Yesterday, she took an armrest cover off a recliner, put it on her head, and said, "Look! I'm Mary." So, she's been 2/3 of the essential Nativity scene players.

On Christmas Eve she announced to the table that she could speak Spanish. And proceeded to count to 3. In Chinese.

We baked cookies together at least 3 different times including a right before bed small batch of slice, roll, cut & bake gingerbread cookies for Santa's snack. I'm sure Santa appreciated how fresh those cookies were. I, on the other hand, have had to get a death grip on the perfectionist who pops out of me at weird moments like that. Santa's not going to hold back just because those cookies aren't "just so." Factor in Lydia's age, and I'm pretty sure he's not expecting Ace of Cakes bakery skills. And so, once again I had to tell the Martha in me to hush!

My baby girl made me so proud, too, when she managed to forgo mentioning a top secret photo shoot to her Daddy. Of course, said photo shoot nearly had the perfectionist pulling her own hair out again. Let's just say that Lydia gets increasingly wiggly as her discomfort/unfamiliarity with a situation increases. Sweet photographer has 3 young children, though, so he knows how it is, and he shot nearly 300(really fast, not sit there & pose) frames to get the 20ish really good ones he edited to print.

Oh!Ho, ho!  You really need to know that Wii has a new version of Just Dance - it's Just Dance2. You'll want to run right out and buy it. You need to know, too, that you can go to the WiiShop & buy EVEN MORE SONGS!!! And how could you resist when they have Mambo #5 and Kung Fu Fighting? I couldn't, and if you can? You're a better person than I am. Probably a much better dancer, too. If you're laughing at my enthusiasm or the mental picture of me dancing, go right ahead. It IS pretty funny, but it's even more fun to dance not caring how ridiculous I look, not worrying about how I'll get off the dance floor if I split my pants, and not worrying (because we have a very strict no camera rule) that I'll end up on youtube or Funniest Home Videos.

Love you all! I'll try to add pictures (not of anyone dancing, weren't you listening?) later.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A day late

Sorry I missed you guys last Sunday! So, this is like a 2 week Sunday Snapshot, which means I will ramble all over the place.

I have a new love. Oh, I've had a crush for a couple of years now. It was love at first sight, actually. I was utterly enthralled the moment I laid eyes on the iPhone. And now I have my very own!!! Hello, 2010.

Lydia has had us pretty entertained with funny things she's said & done:

  • Lydia: Mommy, are you sure? Me: Yes Lydia: Really sure? Me: Yes. Lydia: Are you positive? Me: Yes. Lydia: Seriously? At which point, all I could do was laugh.
  • Lydia Sunday morning getting ready for church: I don't WANT to wear my boots cause everyone will say I'm pretty!!! Umm, ok. I didn't realize that was a bad thing. & Later in the car: Mom! Mom! I woke up with a bad mood. Well, yes, yes you did.
  • She really, really didn't want to stay in her Sunday school class for the second hour when I was going to be attending the worship service. And would you believe the little Hog fan who couldn't be still for a picture (she's a movement blur & the background is perfect so it's not the camera moving) sat reasonably still for the first time ever through a whole church service?
  • At our house, the cardinal rule is that the last Coke is Mine/Mom's. Gene swiped a gulp of my Coke & a siren started going off. Lydia asked what it was, and I told her it was the alarm I had on my Coke for when Daddy stole a drink. I moved it over toward her & away from Gene. She reached out & touched it and another siren started to go off. You could tell by the expression of wonder on her face that she was starting to believe me, but I began to laugh and she said, "Uh-uh! That's a fire engine!" She's NEVER been gullible. Even as a little 10 month old, you couldn't really fool her. 
  • Dinner consisted of black bean soup (and it is a WINNER!) tonight, and Lydia took one look in her bowl and yelled, "Black Olives!!!! I LOVE black olives!!!" She was almost as excited about the mushrooms on her pizza at lunch.
And now to tell on myself, I will confess a photographer snafu: I often take pictures upside down with my iPhone. I'd feel dumb about it, but I it never happens with my Canon Rebel...
After the best game of the season, Lydia managed to eat the biggest bowl of macaroni & cheese at El Chico. Here she is after she made a happy plate/bowl:

Ni Hao Y'all

Thursday, November 4, 2010

She's a hoot

Tonight, my precious daughter had me in stitches. First she was trying on dress up clothes, and asked me, "What is this?" I replied, "It's a flapper dress from the Roaring 20's." She got dressed in the purple sequined dress with fringe around the bottom, I tossed the pink fuzzy boa around her neck and turned her loose. She started waving her arms up and down saying, "Flap, flap, flap!" Cuckoo might be more appropriate than flapper.

Our bed time story tonight was Fancy Nancy's Favorite Fancy Words read by Daddy while I braided her hair. We accidentally added a new word to the lexicon. Gene read monogram, but Lydia decided MOM-o-gram was a better word. Her new word was funny enough based on a mispronunciation, but then she proceeded to enunciate "xenophile" perfectly.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Don't eat the yellow snow

Happy Halloween, ya'll! Our town, the holiday fascists, dictated that trick or treating would happen last night. Now, why the town leaders felt they had the right to decide when I hand out candy on a holiday that isn't a state holiday is a mystery to me. Any way...

We made our annual trip to the pumpkin patch (ok, I didn't make it last year but I DID go twice the year before so I think we're still averaging one trip/year) on Friday. Cause I am nothing if not last minute. The little dog in the header? Not mine. Just happened to plop down close to that sign & I thought, "HEY! That'd be a cute header for my blog." This year, we actually took the hayride & picked the pumpkin from the patch instead of the pallets of pumpkins they have out front. Lydia found a squished pumpkin and was so sympathetic for it that I thought we were going to have to hold a memorial service for it. For REAL.
After we selected the perfect pumpkin, we had to settle for a shaved ice/snow cone. Up north, I hear, it is the custom to eat apple cider donuts. This has to be better than snow cones.  Normally, Lydia goes for blue coconut flavored stuff, but the man in line in front of us had a yellow banana snow cone which swayed Lydia's decision. Personally, I'm against eating anything that combines yellow and snow.

Drew had a Halloween party last night, and so I took a few shots of Lydia and him in their costumes. 
You're right. It's the same costume as last year. It mostly still fit, my sewing machine is in storage, and I thought it was awfully cute last year. We needed bigger boots, and I got a different hat. If I knew how to photoshop stuff, I could almost make my deck look like a ship's deck, huh? Well, I don't so this will have to do. Have a Happy Halloween & a great week.  
Ni Hao Y'all

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What fun!

Last year, Lydia toyed with the idea of riding the rides BRIEFLY. She went so far as to sit in one, but immediately changed her mind and wanted off! Part of her unwillingness to ride may have been due to the fact that she wasn't feeling well. It turned out she was running a fever, but she never complained before left the house to meet Lulu & Grace Ann.
This year, though, she climbed into her first ride with almost no trepidation at all. And once it jerked into motion, her biggest smile emerged. She didn't care who she rode with (I'm pretty sure she didn't really strike up any conversations, though), and she was willing to try any ride EXCEPT the Chinese dragon rollercoaster. Go figure. It was sort of loud, and it required that an adult ride with her. Her little hands were sweating, and she was turning her gaze away from it as we stood in line. I asked her if she really wanted to ride it, and she seemed sort of relieved to say, "No." Rather than ruin her new found confidence, I stepped out of line and let her pick a different ride.
Recent Lydia quotes:
Gene: Has anyone ever told you you're silly?
Lydia: Has anyone ever told you I'm precious?

Gene: Don't do that, Baby.
Lydia: I'm not Baby. I'm Honey!
Please. She's pretty much the queen bee.
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Ni Hao Y'all

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Snapshot

About a decade ago, I made a new friend through work. Tracey was the first person who ever mentioned the words "community group" to me. She was wondering about what she was going to fix to take to community group. I got the notion that it was some sort of supper club where everyone brought part of the meal and the location rotated to different houses each month.

Years later, Gene and I joined the church Tracey had been attending. Once we'd fallen head over heels in love with this church, we were encouraged to join a community group. That's when I learned that there was a LOT more to a community group than a supper club (and where I learned that making desserts may be one of my spiritual gifts -just kidding! I think I just love making them as much as eating them). Some churches call them small groups, but whatever you call them, they can be such a great way to connect.

When Gene decided that we were going to adopt, he had CONDITIONS. One of those conditions was that we were going to attend church together, something we'd never made a practice. We're pretty private people, and left to our own devices, we'd have loved attending church on Sundays without ever really getting to know anyone. Our church, however, wasn't the sort to let that happen. They didn't FORCE us to join a group, it was just felt right when we committed to the church.

So, after about 4 years, we have settled into our current community group. This is the group that goes camping! And this is the group that make me excited to go sleep in a tent in 100+degree temps. These are the people I got up early (ok, it was early for ME) to paint a bathroom as our City Fest project yesterday.  These are people who cried with us when Gene's mom died, who pray with us, who break bread with us, and who share their lives with us. I tend to believe we're living a bit like the early Church described in Acts lived. We love each others' children, we help each other bear our burdens, and we know we can tell each other anything in absolute confidence. Most importantly, our community group has begun to feel like family and helps me see that we're all part of God's family.

This is my first Sunday Snapshot linked up to Ni Hao, Ya'll  
Ni Hao Y'all

Monday, September 20, 2010

Camping 2.0, SEC Game Day 3.0 and Birthday 4.0

We had a merger this weekend. We rolled the second community group camp out, Razorback vs GA Bulldog and L(arcenous) S(tinky) U(gly) Tiger vs Mississippi State Bulldog football watch party, and Lydia's 4th Birthday party all into one weekend. BUT wait! There's more: we squeezed in a trip to a Mexican restaurant, tubing, and fishing, too.
The air mattress before it completely deflated Friday night

Base camp - notice the satellite dish?
Gene and I stretched the birthday into a weekend starting with a few gifts on Friday to make the trip more fun - Lydia got her rod & reel, hula hoop, new Hello Kitty bike, and bubbles. Saturday was game day, and  our base camp became tail gate central with the addition of our brand spanking new satellite and tv - well, and with Teresa's awesome walking tacos for lunch and Whole Hog Cafe's BBQ for supper. Boating happened before & after the first game, and the kids LOVED it.

The next morning the ladies, two youngest children (including the birthday girl), and two men set out in the boat. It was the smoothest I've ever seen the lake! I was afraid the water would be too cold to enjoy, but I was so wrong. We've had such hot weather that it was perfect.

We had one more group hit the water for about 2 hours, and then it was time for cake & presents. It was so much fun in spite of the heat (it was epic, ya'll!) and the air mattress fail on Friday night that led to the purchase on a new one Saturday night. We even had a raid by some wild animal before we got up Sunday morning that I slept through because a) I was exhausted b)the fan was blowing right on my head and c) if it didn't invade the tent or turn the fan off I didn't care what it did.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Flash back

I was recounting a story from college to one of my patients Tuesday. A decade and a half ago, my father wanted me to become a pharmacist, and I sat for the PCAT test. While waiting for the results, I was taking organic chemistry.  The instructor seemed so witty and nice the first day. He insisted we could come to his office during his office hours and ask ANYTHING, there were no stupid questions.

I completely aced the first quiz, but I was struggling to interpret something from the book before the second one. It seemed there were two ways it COULD be interpreted, but one way was right & the other way wouldn't be. Taking the good professor at his word, I hauled my backpack up to his office and waited, and waited and waited to ask my question. He was soooo jovial as he answered all the cute, giggly girls' questions. Some of those questions might have seemed silly, but, none of them were stupid -he'd assured us there were no such things.

At last, my turn came to ask my question. I explained my dilemma that as I saw it there were two possible ways to name whatever organic chemical it was, and I couldn't decide which was correct. Can you imagine my chagrin, the stinging humiliation I felt when Dr. Gigglebox said, "Well! Did you read the book?!?" A little flustered, I opened the book to the passage that had me confused to show him the wording that had me perplexed. I got my answer, but I vowed I wouldn't go ask that miserable old wind bag another "not stupid question" if that was the treatment I was going to receive.

Today, my women's Bible study began. We're studying the book of James, and our praise & worship leader, Aaron, did an interpretive recitation of the WHOLE book from memory. Wow! It really helped me understand the book better, and I really was moved. That's God's word, written in Aaron's memory and on his heart. 

I felt pretty humbled. You see, I'd started the day off in a snit. It's true, and I'll own up to it: I am resistant to change. The powers that be within our women's ministry changed our day and time of Bible study, and it is a one shot deal. ALL the studies are on one day at the same time. Thursday is the worst possible day for me to take a half day out of my part time job. Totally inconvenient! for So. Many. Reasons. 

But as I sat there this morning, the Holy Spirit stirred within me taming the rebellion that was stirring up a hurricane of discontent. And as a gentle peace settled over me (as it always seems to when I study God's word with these ladies), I had a moment of resolve. I want to know my God better. I want to want the things He wants, and reading His word is one of the ways to get there.

I don't want to ask Him a question someday and have Him say, even with the gentlest hint of rebuke, "Well, have you read the Book?" 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Still not much going on

Work is slow, the water park is only open on the weekend (and this is the LAST weekend they are open), the new women's Bible study hasn't started, BUT football season is about to come roaring in. It's supposed to be a promising football season, and yet the spirit of excitement hasn't even begun to stir in me. Isn't anticipation supposed to be a big part of the joy in an upcoming event? Hopefully, I'm just conserving energy for the actual event.

I've always been the sort most people consider "low key", not given to extremes. Still, I always found it embarrassingly easy to cry. For the past two years, though, I haven't cried much - not at funerals, not at commercials, not during those touching moments in movies that used to have Gene smirking and looking  sideways at me to see when the water works would start. The message at church on Sunday was about caring for orphans, a subject very dear to my heart. I only managed a few tears that seemed to be glued to my eyes determined to blur my vision lacking either the gravity to fall or more tears to force them out of the way.

While that seemed really odd to me, I've since cried buckets. I've cried and prayed for the health and life of a precious little girl just home from China whom the doctors have given no hope. I've cried over this video on youtube that I found to be very moving. In fact, I cried so much Monday that on Tuesday my eye lids were still thick and fat as if they'd stored tears like a hamster stores food in its cheeks. Watching Aftermath with William Shatner: Ruby Ridge , I teared up as I listened to Sara Weaver tell of how she forgave the people who killed her mother and brother and how forgiving them set her free. Maybe the last one wasn't so odd, even Mr. Shatner shed some very real tears as he listened.

So, while not much has been going on & I'm not sure of any of its significance, there it is. I will say that I don't mind the tears coming back. I'd hate to think that maturity meant I was going to be  increasingly detached and less sympathetic.

Finally, to reward those who come to see pictures of Lydia and suffer through my ramblings to get to them, I'm going to try to change the header picture with every post. Note I said TRY. It takes a while to do so skip down to the title to make sure it hasn't changed.  Love ya! Thanks for caring enough to follow along.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The goods

A list of a few good things from the last few days:

1. I made it to the grocery store.
2. B/C of #1 we have THREE gallons of milk (we are always running out b/c the boy/man child thinks of milk as a beverage - I consider it a condiment for cereal or a necessary ingredient for something else)
3. I cooked dinner! I'm not sure why #1 & #3 have been so difficult lately, but we have eaten out a BUNCH.
4. I worked today & my case load is building back up (I am claiming that in faith! b/c really, I only have 2 patients).
5. I have a really cool new boss whose British-ness tickles me no end! It's like BBC telly, only LIVE & in person. AND? She likes BBC, so I have someone who shares Drew's & my love of Top Gear!
6. We had a bit of rain. It's still hot. It's still humid, but we needed the rain so that's good.
7. My friends returned from Disney World. I was half convinced they'd stay as they were loving it so much. They went without children. Can you imagine how easy that must've been?
8. Drew returned to school. It's his last year!
9. Really, life has been sort of mundane, but somehow, I am really liking that.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Lydia started telling us stories. The made up variety of stories as if they were real kind of stories. For instance, she started talking about how Gege took her to the river last day (usually means yesterday in Lydia language), and Lydia floated down the river to the bridge. Well, Drew has NEVER taken her to the river. There were at least 3 other fictitious stories told on the way to dinner.

I was supposed to choose the restaurant for dinner tonight, and I chose Moe's. Lydia was none too pleased. A few minutes later, she came back with some line of how Moe's would do. I had to laugh because there are times that my own words come right out of her mouth, and there is no doubt that she is my daughter.

And speaking of choosing a restaurant, have you ever experienced that reluctance of everyone in a group to make a decision/choice? Lydia is the solution. She WILL offer a suggestion and or make a choice in this situation. I don't need that iPhone ap to pick for me. I have Lydia.

Next post may or may not be about one of my bosses who reminds me of Dawn French as the Vicar of Dibley.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Car Wash

You might remember that Lydia has a strong aversion to the car wash. However, when Gene came home and told Lydia to put her swimsuit on so they could wash her car, she was hopping with excitement.  And moments after this shot, Gene was hopping (and I was running with my camera) to get out of the way...
So, after Gene dried himself off, it was time to dry Lydia's car so there wouldn't be any water spots to ruin the finish.
Washing a car with Gene is usually a long, drawn out affair. Thank goodness Lydia's car is small! What a shame, though, that she's still too small to ride in it in a booster seat.  Someday, Sweetie, someday all your hard work at the car wash will pay off.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I've been married to Gene for nearly a quarter of a century. To say I've been lucky or blessed is an understatement because I didn't just get a husband. God gave me a godly mother in law, too.

I never argued with my MIL. There was never any need. Roberta was always there if I needed her, and she wasn't intrusive by nature. You couldn't have asked for a more caring family member, but she somehow managed to respect us enough to give us enough room to breathe. If she was ever critical of me or what I did, I never knew it, either. If you have a monster in law, I'll certainly feel sorry for you, but I won't have any experiences to share with you of how I handled a similar situation with my MIL.

This morning we received the call from hospice that my mother in law had passed away. That hospice made the call tells you we knew she would be leaving us soon. She had Alzheimer's, and she's had a steady decline over the last few months so my tears aren't in shock. Mostly they are because my children no longer have any grandparents and because Lydia won't get to know Roberta the way Drew did.

It was a given with Alzheimer's that Roberta wouldn't have gotten better, but she never forgot who her immediate family was. She remembered that we were getting Lydia while we were in China, and she never forgot her after meeting her. She latched onto Lydia's name and must've tattooed it on her heart because she never even struggled to remember it.  I don't even know how to tell Lydia she's gone.

I mourn that Lydia won't be able to share the experiences Drew had with their grandmother. She got him out of daycare weekly to take him to story time at the library. When I was young and arrogant enough to think that I didn't need to attend church because God was everywhere and not just in church, Roberta took Drew to church weekly. I have to give most the of the human credit for Drew's spirituality to her, and I am so thankful that she, my father in law, and God led him in the right direction while I was standing still or wandering in the wrong directions.

I'm thankful for the wonderful woman who was my mother in law, my heart rejoices that she's gone to be where her soul undoubtedly rejoices to be, and I cry because we've lost someone so dear.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quacking up

Those who know me well know that for over a decade of my life I lived to show dogs. We had MANY dogs. We added a shop to our property with indoor/outdoor runs for the dogs (and a big honking workshop for Gene, but he sold me on the idea by pitching it as good for the dogs). We invested almost as much money (maybe more) as we did time on the dogs, equipment, and entry fees to the shows.

Let's just say that things have changed. While there is nothing wrong with showing dogs, showing dogs being the REASON you think you live might be a little skewed. So, we've reset our moral compasses. We only have 5 dogs (I know! You're thinking that is still a whole lot of dogs!!!), and we don't need all the dog equipment we have. Gene probably would have gladly put it on the curb for anyone to pick up. I would have gladly gone to my grave with it still neatly in the shop. Since I can't take it with me when I am gone, though, I gave in.

Gene placed an ad on Craig's List, and the response has been overwhelming. And, ummm, interesting. You need to know that there are people out there who will call out of random curiosity. Those same people may come by just to look. Some of those people will swear they will come back with cash in hand for "this, that & that, too." You may never hear from these people ever again. Or you may hear from them a week later when you've given up on them and sold those items to someone else.

Some folks will want a price, "If I buy the whole lot" which I think they should stop being lazy & just add it up their own darned self. People! This is already deeply discounted!!! All of it is in good to excellent condition. I try to be patient. I just have to share the most unusual email, though:

"Do you have pictures of anything that could be used for duck housing? I currently am in need of houses for 8 ducks…"

Ya'll. Seriously. We do NOT have a quack house.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Loves & Hates

Here's a list of some of Lydia's favorite things:
  • Popsicles
  • sidewalk chalk
  • bubbles
  • WATER!
  • Chickfila
  • but her number one, favorite thing? Locking doors! Oh, the JOY of running ahead of someone through an open door, slamming it shut and locking it!!!! What could be better? It's just too funny, isn't it? I know. There are those little keys that come with the door knobs, and we used to store them on top of the door frame. I, however, am short, and this is not easy for me to access. I finally wised up and got some of that yellow putty stuff and put it on the side of the door frame out of Lydia's reach but within mine.
Tonight, Gene was sitting on our upper deck which is located just off our bedroom. Lydia and I went out for just a few minutes (too hot & humid to enjoy for long), and then we went down stairs to watch a video before bed. I got a text from Gene, "Tell Lydia she's funny" I was about to reply, "huh?" when it occurred to me that she had locked him out on the upper deck. You can't climb down, there is no other entry than the sliding glass doors. I think I was both horrified AND laughing. I guess I will just have to be extra careful not to let her be inside while I'm out on the upper deck. Yikes!

So what does Lydia hate? And I don't mean she has a dislike for, I mean deep and abiding hatred: the car wash. You can scarcely get in the car without her mentioning that she doesn't want to go to the car wash. She talks about them as we drive past them, and there are a surprising number of car washes in our home town. I have no idea why she doesn't like them. We've only been to 2-3 with her. She is not afraid of water spray in her face. Oh, well. There's no explaining some things.

Friday, June 4, 2010

LaLa Land

It's not what you think. You see, when Lydia was younger, she referred to herself as LaLa because she couldn't say Lydia. LaLa has morphed into someone else, though. She's that little busybody who is always doing something wrong. Lydia is constantly telling us about LaLa's misdeeds or what LaLa says.

Lydia, however, continues to amuse us with funny things she says:

1. Mommy! Mommy! This cherry doesn't have a handle (stem)!
2. No, Mommy. It's not cotton farming it's cotton candy!
3. "This one is blue. This one is purple. This one is green. This one is yellow. And those are your options." She was showing all her plastic spoons to someone - LaLa maybe?
4. She used consequently in a sentence, too, which sort of blew my mind.

I'm going to have to start carrying something around to write these down so I can remember them.

Oh! And Lydia went to her first concert last week. Lulu, who is MY best friend and in no way related to LaLa, took us to see Kris Allen. Lydia had a super time with Grace Ann. They shared cotton candy, popcorn, and M&Ms.

Finally, a prayer request: please pray for our friend, Tim & his family. Tim is undergoing tests & we want good results!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Atta Girl!

I am one proud mommy today. My baby girl did something many a grown man appears to be incapable of doing. I'm seriously considering making a tutorial starring Lydia to use in public service announcements. She may even start giving public presentations at events men commonly attend to teach this incredible skill - Look! It's so simple a 3 year old can do it!

Lydia went upstairs, got a roll of toilet paper, carried it to the downstairs bathroom, and put it on the roller! All! By! Herself! Even better? I didn't even tell her to do it!!! Nor have I ever asked her to replace the roll. That, my friends, is showing some initiative.

Thanks for listening. I was just about to burst with pride.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

When it rains

My minivan started doing the double time clicking when I used my turn indicator (commonly know as blinker), and so I KNEW I needed to get a replacement bulb. It was on my to-do list.

Last night, I had an allergic reaction to what I had for lunch - I know, it's a bizarre delayed reaction, but I don't think I can deny it any longer. I am allergic to beef. Or something they add to it. It led to me taking 3 benadryl, and not long after that, I was asleep.

Gene kindly let me sleep, and then said, as he was leaving, "You and Lydia are going to second service, right?" Uh-huh, it looked that way, but Lydia must've woken up when Gene shut the door. I figured that if I hurried, I could make it to first service. So I hurried until my hair dryer died in a fireworks display that was way too close for comfort. I had no back up hair dryer (should that be drier? whatever). I went to first service any way. I bought a new hair dryer on the way home, and I asked Gene to pick up a bulb for my van.

My luck hadn't changed yet, though. When I was opening a can, a gear broke off my can opener. I'd loaned my manual can opener to my younger sister. When it rains, it pours.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More from the backseat

Tonight we were driving through a neighborhood when we saw a ten or elevenish year old boy in his garage. Lydia yells, "Hey! Put your shirt back on!"

That's my daughter, the decency police.

Luckily, the vehicle windows were in the closed position ; )

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

From the back seat

As I was driving home with Lydia this evening, she told me, "Mom, Mommy, MOMMEEEEEEEEEEEEY! I'll get you markers when we get home AND a piece of paper. You can draw a picture, and I'll put it on the fridge. Just be patient!" She followed up with, "Be PATIENT. Hold your horses."

I'm not sure when these conversations occurred, but at least I know she listened ; )

And she told her brother, "Bless your heart." LOL.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A moment to remember

Has your child ever made you glow with pride just by saying something so perceptive? A moment where you just wanted to stand up and yell, "That's MY daughter/son!!!" for the whole world to know because clearly you are doing such an awesome job of raising her/him? Well? Have you? If the answer is yes, good for you. That's not what this post is about.

We went to the little dairy bar where our journey to Lydia more or less began for french fries & ice cream (because I'm doing such an awesome job of raising her to eat good, healthy food). After we finished the main course, Lydia and I were waiting in line to order our ice cream. The gentleman in front of us had tattoos, a sunburn, a funky mustache, and a well rounded abdomen.

Lydia, who is incapable of a "quiet" or "inside" voice (irrelevant in any case since we were outdoors, albeit under the covered area of the dairy bar) said, "MOMMY? WHAT'S INSIDE THAT MAN'S BELLY?"

I quietly answered, "Probably food."

She? Was NOT satisfied with my answer. So she asked HIM.


At that point, I should have been glowing. You know, with embarrassment or something similar, but I wasn't. I just told myself that there is no way to control a 3 year old's mouth. Oh, and that I might want to explain WOMEN can have babies in their bellies, but it's not likely that a man would. And maybe I could come up with some sort of way to teach her that it's probably NEVER a good idea to ask if someone is pregnant even if that someone is a woman.

Do you want to know what that sweet gentleman told Lydia was in his belly? "Probably beer. A LOT of it." Klassy with a capital K, for sure ; ) Something every three year old needs to know...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Camping pictures

Here's a little collage of some of the fun we had. Everyone arrived on Friday, and we set up our campsites. There were 3 pop-up campers and 2 tents, and my happy little family was in one of those tents sans heating and air conditioning. We ate at the lodge the first night, and it's a good thing the wait staff and other patrons were understanding of how loud and rowdy 10 kids can be.

Saturday morning Heidi made eggs, biscuits, gravy and bacon. It really sounds like we were roughing it, doesn't it? After everyone was wide awake, we hit the trail to see the water fall. It was only a 2.2 mile hike round trip, but most of it was very steep! When we returned, we had tacos for lunch. It just wouldn't be a weekend this time of year without baseball so Gene and I listened to the Hogs while Lydia napped (ok, so we all sort of napped). Saturday night was brats, hot dogs & hamburgers with cheese dip. Some of the kids went fishing with Josh while the baseball/nap was happening. I took a bunch of the little ones (some in their pajamas) through a wooded area to listen to a park ranger presentation on the 7 Wonders of Petit Jean. That was a hoot as another little kid kept thinking he saw an owl at the back of the building and kept interrupting the show to point it out (pun sort of intended there). So the 8th wonder must be whether an owl was really in the building or not.

Sunday mornign brought us pancakes and waffles. Obviously, I need not have worried about the food on our trip: it was all delicious! Did you know Walmart sold waffles in aerosol cans like whipped cream? After eating we headed out for a short hike to a cave. Lydia loved everything about camping and our trip, but when we came to the trail she wanted to know what we were doing. I said, "We're going on a hike!" Her response? "NOT AGAIN!!!" I had to reassure her it was an short, easy hike nothing like the day before had been. After the hike, we loaded up our tent and headed back home.
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

I was WRONG (again)

I have had a deep and abiding hatred for camping for at least 2 decades now. My dad used to take us camping, and we simply threw a sleeping bag down on the ground and slept beneath the stars. He even cooked over an open fire. No showers, no toilets, no tent, no electricity, no running water, no park rangers - no park, for that matter. And I used to think that was fun.

When we moved to Arkansas, I had my first encounter with poison ivy, and camping ceased to be fun. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I got poison ivy. Knowing that poison ivy was pretty much a given, I started finding fault with everything about camping. You get dirty, you can't shower every day, you can't blow your hair dry, there's no internet access (isn't that like saying there's no oxygen to breathe?), no fun. Instead you get: bugs, ticks, dirt, sweaty or rained on or frozen, hiking, smoke, and poison ivy.

Needless to say, I was not a fan of camping. So, when we were trying out our new community group and they mentioned camping trips and wanted to schedule them at our first meeting, I was ready to ditch said community group. Camping=Deal Breaker for Suzy. God loves me, though, and he rained out the first trip in the fall. Thank YOU, God. Thank you!!!!Thank you!!!

You know that saying that God loves you right where you are, but He loves you too much to leave you there? You guessed it: He provided perfect weather for the scheduled camping trip this weekend. I could not see a way out of it, either, unless I had a body organ removed. I am running short on those nonessential organs though, so I didn't even ASK God to intervene there. I was pretty snotty about it though. I really, Really, REALLY did NOT want to go camping. In a tent. Outside where there is a LOT of dirt & bugs & no climate control. Puh Leeeeeeze don't make me GO!!!!!

No way out of it. I went, and I had a super duper time. I don't mean that it was tolerable. It was really FUN. The company of my community group was a big part of it. Lydia's joy in getting to play with other kids all weekend was part of it. Watching my husband work his logistics magic was part of it (but for the record we need MORE than 2 towels, we need the heater AND a fan). Seeing how lovely God made the earth was another part of it. The whole of it, though, was more than just the sum of its parts.

I'll blog about it more & have pictures later, and I'll be SURE to let you know if I got into any poison ivy.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!

We (even DREW!) attended the church Easter Egg hunt this morning. Is there anything more beautiful than families gathered to celebrate Christ's resurrection? Sure, there was candy, a bouncy house, an inflated slide, singing, a puppet show, and other things that don't appear to have much to do with Jesus, but isn't it sweet that He loved us enough to die for us? Don't you want to jump up and down with excitement that you are forgiven? What is a better way to celebrate?

After spending some time at church enjoying the glorious weather, we ate lunch then went to a nursery to buy flowers for the yard. Gene and I dug in the dirt and listened to the Hogs play baseball while Lydia napped. I hope you had an even better day! Tell me all about it, won't you?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Better Late Than Never

There is the most fantastic give away going on at Women Who Do It All. She's giving away a Cricut to some lucky person. And if you win? I hope you'll invite me over so I can see how badly I need one.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Our church doesn't do baby dedications very often, and we chose not to participate in one immediately after we brought Lydia home as it seemed a little intimidating to be the center of attention so soon after we became a family. Understanding her nature a little more now, it might not have mattered a bit. She's probably always going to be a little on the vocal (and LOUD) side, regardless of the circumstances.
The happy family ready to walk on stage.
On stage as the verse we chose was read, "For this child I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord..." (1 Samuel 1:27-28)
We were blessed to have my brother and sister and two of Lydia's cousins present, and unexpectedly blessed that my friend, Katie & her husband Brian, visited during this sevice, too.

It was a fantastic morning with temperatures nearing 50 degrees, and the snow was nearly all melted and gone. Right now? It's snowing BIG, FAT FLUFFY flakes, and it is a joy to watch the airy ballet those flakes perform as they fall to the ground.

May your week be blessed, filled with joy, wonder, beauty, and dedication to God's call to love.
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

1st hair cut

Lydia's hair had obviously been trimmed right before we met her. It was fairly straight across (with a slight diagonal slant) in the back. Once, I even trimmed where her hair came to a funny point in the front. But today we went to Walmart for a REAL haircut.
The bribe was that she'd get to go to a certain chicken place afterward for a milkshake & fries if she was very, very still while the stylist worked.
Lydia really, really TRIED to be still, and the results show that she was reasonably successful. After I'd paid Karla and left her a very generous tip (and she totally earned it), Lydia was rewarded with a Winnie the Pooh balloon plus the milkshake and fries.
Gene had said he didn't know who would cry more: me or Lydia. In the end, no tears were shed. Just a few inches of hair...
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Saturday, February 6, 2010

A very bad mom

In which I confess my short comings:
We took Lydia to our local Families with Children from China's Chinese New Year event tonight, and I failed to bring our camera. That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg.

You see, I WANT my daughter to have some appreciation of what it means to be Chinese. I TRY to attend as many of the FCC events as I can. I even read books like My First Chinese New Year. I read it Thursday, as a matter of fact.

Tonight, Gene got Lydia dressed in her red silk outfit, and we were off to celebrate our daughter's birth culture with other families like ours. We took Keith & Lisa with us since they will be Lydia's godparents.

As we walked into the building, Lydia looked at all the other little boys and girls from China and asked me, "Where's Santa?" Yes, she did. Probably because the last time we were with this group of children was at the Christmas party. So, I explained that Santa was part of Christmas, but we were there to celebrate Chinese New Year. She still wanted to know where Santa was, and I explained that he was up at the North Pole with the elves busily making toys for good little girls and boys for NEXT Christmas which was 11 months away.

Lydia ate Chinese food, participated in the Ribbon Dance and the Dragon Dance (she really did her own thing, for the most part), and had a great time doing the craft activities. I thought we'd had a really great evening when I asked, "Ok, are you ready to go now?"

"No. I want to wait for Santa Claus." So, I'll see you guys in about 11 months...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My poor little baby girl isn't feeling well. We went to the doctor, and got 2 prescriptions she did NOT like. She slept fitfully last night, and she woke at one fussing. I went in to check on her, and the only thing that would console her was the promise that I'd lie on the floor next to her bed for a while. I dragged her big ladybug pillow over, draped a blanket over me, and the next thing I knew I was fairly stiff at 4am.

At 5am the dogs woke Lydia or Lydia woke the dogs. I brought her into my bed in the hopes of getting a little more rest if not actual sleep. Success!

However, she was still asleep at 8:30 and felt feverish. I was kicking myself for not trying to get some acetaminophen into her at 5am. What do you do, though? She needed the sleep, the struggle would have most certainly woken her up, and I'm really not at my best that early (stop laughing, Gene).

Lydia kept stirring without really waking, and I kept worrying. I leaned over and asked, "Lydia, do you want a popsicle for breakfast?" Her eyes flew open, she said, "YES!" and she was out of bed in a flash.

So, in short order, she was awake, had taken her medicine, and was better hydrated. For once, I felt like a very clever momma.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I don't really feel like blogging about the events of life happening around me right now. You can watch an episode of Jerry Springer if you want to get the general idea.

Instead, I want to do something a little lighter and fluffier. So, I'm going to do a list of things I AM enjoying right now:

*BBC America: it has some of my new favorite shows. I've stumbled onto Dr. Who and Top Gear, and I'm hard pressed to say which I like more. Probably Dr. Who, but I could just swoon listening to the guys on Top Gear enthuse over automobiles. And the way they say "aluminum" makes me giggle. Ummm, and when they talk about "brake horse power", I find that a teeny little bit amusing, too. I want to be a guest celebrity to drive their track in their reasonably priced car, but they need to get either an automatic or one with the gear shift where God intended gear shifts to go (on the right hand side, naturally). I think my son should be The Stig for Halloween next year.

*Build A Be@r: oh, the accessories!!!! They don't get lost as easily as B@rbie's shoes. No one makes me feel guilty about how playing with them will damage my daughter's psyche and ruin her body image.

*American Idol: is it Simon's accent? the really talented? the really untalented? the stories? Who knows, but for whatever reason, I really do enjoy it.

*My new church building, my new Sunday school curriculum, my new(ish) community group, and my women's Bible study. Oh! And Drew gave me My Utmost for His Highest & that's really, really good, too!

*Watching as my son trains for a half marathon. I am proud of my couch potato!

*Taking Lydia to gymnastics. If she ever settles down & pays attention, I think she's got potential.

There. I feel better now. It's not exactly counting my blessings, but it does remind me that it's not all bad.