Happy Halloween!


Happy Birthday, Chloe!

I can't believe Chloe is already four years old.  Time has flown by, on the one hand.  On the other, I can't really remember life without her.  She has been such a blessing to me, and a constant source of conviction.  She is one of the sweetest children I have ever known, full of concern for everyone around her, and with a lovely attitude that remains unblemished by bitterness and cynicism. 

Chloe loves to learn, and spends many hours at her desk doing her "schoolwork", a preschool workbook with sheets on phonics, counting, handwriting, rhyming, patterns, early math, etc.  She is going to be very ready when Kindergarten finally rolls around!

She is really into opposites, and loves to play the wonderful game of calling everyone and everything the opposite name (ie calling me "Daddy" and Patrick "Mommy").  A single game can last for hours or even days.  It's terribly fun.  Emphasis on TERRIBLE.

Chloe has decided that she will NOT be athletic.  She constantly tells Eli "When you grow up, Buddy, you are going to play (insert every sport), and I am going to watch and yell, YAY ELI!!" She did recently tell Patrick that she might play badmitton when she grows up.  I guess we shall see.

She has quite the eye for Strawberry Shortcake, Dora, and Princesses, finding them any and everywhere no matter how miniscule they are.  She announces over and over again in a loud voice when she finds them. ("Dora, Mommy! Dora!  Look! It's Dora! Do-Ra!")

Chloe adores her family.  Every extended member.  She cries for days every time we have to part ways with a grandparent or aunt or cousin or even an honorary uncle.

She rides her bike with training wheels rather well as long as you appear to be holding on.  The second she even suspects that you may have possibly even loosened your grip, she throws her arms toward you and bails off, leaving the bike to careen down the cul-de-sac and crash into the neighbor's curb.

She asks lots of doctrinally interesting (read: difficult) questions, and talks a lot about going to Heaven and living with Jesus.  She can't wait to get there.

She still has some anxiety when I leave her, but I think she is testing me more than anything.  I've caught many stray smirks and smiles as the tears have rolled down when she thought I was not looking.

She makes up songs about everything.  Constantly.  Some are really amusing.  Occasionally they are even kinda good.  Mostly they're just weird. Today's song was: Tree! Tree! Tree! Tree! Tree fall down.  It falls down on the sign and on the road. Trees fall down all the time. Trees fall down on the strawberry. Trees. Fall. Down. 

Followed by, "OK Eli, now you sing it!"

E: "Don't know how."

C: "I'll teach you again.  Listen this time, OK?"

E: "K" 

Chloe repeats song with surprisingly little variation. 

C: "Now it's your turn, E"

E: "Don't know how!"

C: "Yes you do, E! Try!"

E: "K, Trees. Tree. Tree. Tree fall down on Strawberry Shortcake."

C: "NO! NO! Trees not supposed to fall on Strawberry Shortcake! That's not how the song goes!"

She loves to teach Eli.  She teaches him puzzles, letters, colors, and about Jesus.

Strawberry Shortcake is her hero.

Fall Means Fair!

The kids loved the NC State Fair this year. The freebies, the animals, the stomach sickening rides, the fried things on sticks. The whole thing was a hit.  We got to go twice this year.  Once on free day with our friend Hope and her kids, and once on Saturday with Mimi and Grandpa.  I'm actually already looking forward to going again!  It always leaves me with the yearning to go back to my roots and become a farmer. On the other hand, I didn't even keep the cactus my dad gave me alive.  I don't think that bodes well for my new way of life.  The goats would make me happy, though.

The Silver Lining

The past two months have been full of sorrow and grief, pain and fear.  With the death of Daddypa, Granny's fall, Tootie's new shoulder, Tony's two heart surgeries, and MeMaw's torn ACL (not to mention Mimi's therapy, Mama's MRIs and XRays, and a couple of hearty colds for the wee ones) I couldn't help but become afraid and discouraged from time to time.   It's been a blessing to know the peace of Christ through it all.  I don't know how one makes it through such tough times without it.  Besides resting on the Lord, we were also able to really wrap ourselves in one of the greatest blessings God has given us on this earth. The love of family.  Though this time has been hard, very hard, we have had countless opportunities to spend with one another.  The kids were able to spend days and days at Mimi and Grandpa's while Patrick and I did what we could do to help Grandma and to grieve.  Then there was a week long stay at Grandma's for the kids  and I, with many more to follow.  Tootie came and hung her hat for a week here and another week there, and MeMaw and Poppa came to enjoy the kids and work in our yard, so Patrick and I could get away for a time of spiritual refreshment at the Wilds.  It has been so wonderful to constantly be around the people we love the most.  I just hate that it only happened as a result of tragedy.  I look forward to the day when we can all be closer together, or when we all get cars like the Jetsons to drastically cut down on the commute.  I just hope it happens before the kids are too cool to hang out with us anymore.


A Day Out With Thomas

We decided earlier this year that when Chloe's birthday rolled around, we definitely wanted to attend A Day Out With Thomas.   This year it just so happened that Thomas was at the NC Transportation Museum during the first weekend of October, and Chloe's birthday, as you know, is not until the last weekend of October.  Thus began the month of the birthday. 

The day was incredibly fun. I had no idea there would be so much to do when we signed up.  We had been to ride the Santa train before, and figured Thomas Day would be on the same scale.  Boy were we wrong.  There were Thomas tattoos, Thomas mini golf, Thomas train tables, a Thomas bouncing house, Thomas stamping, Thomas coloring, A live show with Bob the Builder, a room where you could watch Thomas videos and listen to Thomas storytelling, a giant Thomas made out of Legos, train displays like you wouldn't believe, and of course, the cherry on top, an actual steam engine Thomas that peeped and pulled and took children on rides.  The kids had an unbelievable time!  They are already talking about when we go back next year (which we won't be doing, by the way.  It was fun and all, but, once is enough!).  We took a break halfway through the day and had a picnic lunch with cake and everything under a beautiful tree in a nearby churchyard.  The weather was perfect. On the drive home we stopped at the beloved Sir Pizza in Asheboro for supper.  Chloe couldn't have asked for a better birthday party... except of course to ask for two more of them!