Friday, May 30, 2008

Pictorial update

I don't have a lot of pictures from recent weeks, but here are a few, mostly of Jack because he requests I take pictures of most everything he ever does.

Here's Noah expressing how he feels about being a FIRST GRADER now:

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Noah with his classmates, lining up for their next-to-last-day as Kindergarteners:

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That's his teacher, Mrs. Tucker, on the right, who has been wonderful this year! Madeline had her for kindergarten, too, and we are so thankful for all she's taught our kids in so many ways!!

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I'm not sure why I would be compelled to share this un-made-up, deer-in-headlights self-portrait, except to share that Jack now refers to me, and baby Luke, interchangeably as "Big Bewwy" (belly). That's pretty much all I feel like lately. One big belly. With some swollen limbs tacked on for good measure. Really, I don't mean to complain...I've had a fairly easy pregnancy. And needless to say, I'm thankful it's lasted this long. I guess it would be strange if I was NOT ready to be done with pregnancy!

Speaking of Jack and big bellies...

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This strange child fell asleep a few nights ago with his covers tucked up under his shirt. Only Jack knows why. We found him like this when we checked on him before going to bed ourselves. He does have a self-soothing habit of tucking covers [or whatever else he finds, including, but not limited to, tissues (used or new, he's not partial), washcloths, towels, random articles of clothing (clean or dirty, he's not partial)] under his arm while sucking his thumb. I probably have a picture somewhere but I'm too tired to look (honesty here). He looks like he's smiling in this picture, but I assure you he was 100% zonked out.

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Jack's last day of mother's day out. Not too sentimental, since he'll have 2 more years of preschool before kindergarten...but still cute.

And now for the JackE show...he saw me putting pictures on the computer and asked if I would take some silly pictures of him. So, of course, I did. But before I do that, I just remembered that yesterday when Mom was visiting, Noah said, very seriously, "My mom works sooooo hard." I thought, Yes, I do and I'm thankful someone finally noticed! This was immediately followed up with, "Yeah, she's always working on the computer. I mean all the time. She just works and works and works. Sometimes she can't even play because she's so busy working!" Ouch. So my computer time will be limited to naptimes and their tv time. Don't want to miss any more opportunities to play superheroes and dinosaurs than what I've apparently already missed...

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(We had just been outside and this showcases both how badly he needs a haircut and how sweaty he gets after just a few minutes.)

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Peaceful weekend

The grandmas (and grandpas, too, I guess) gave me a wonderful gift this Memorial Day weekend...they took all three kids home with them! My parents got back into town late Fri night/early Sat morning! Yah-hoo! Jared drove the kids to BG Saturday afternoon and Jack and Maddy stayed with his folks and Noah got his "own" visit with Dani and Poppi. You can read here and here about what was going on in BG while Jared and I had the house to ourselves here. There was much dining out, visiting with friends, and elevating of the extremely swollen feet (that last one was just me). We did purchase some bookshelves for the living room from craigslist, but other than that, we did not do much productive. That's not true: a weekend to actually converse with my husband without interruption from kids was very productive! Our anniversary was yesterday, so we ate out Saturday night for our "anniversary" meal at Rafferty's and I actually ate ribs! Not a meal that can be eaten with kids present, since I make my own big mess...so it was a nice change. We laughed at my general largeness and the fact that waiters and people wherever I go either comment on my poor swollen feet, make some comment alluding to the fact that surely I must be WAY overdue, or sympathetically offer some kind of help or special treatment I would not normally be offered. Jared commented that people were going to think he must be a really great guy to be taking this poor unwed mother to dinner, since I wasn't wearing my wedding ring (thank you, swollen fingers) AND we were talking and laughing and having way too much fun to be the old married couple that we are! We did have an especially good time together.

I know the next few weeks will be very difficult, adjusting to a big change in our life, not sleeping well, etc, but I am so thankful for the husband God has given me. I would not want, nor could I imagine, living this life without him by my side. While putting books on the new-to-us bookshelves, I came across our workbooks from the "Dynamic Marriage" course we took a few years ago. Reading our thoughts back then, I realize how far we've come as a couple and a family. Not that we don't have a LONG way to go, but I am SO GRATEFUL, so humbled, so amazed at how God has brought us so much closer, especially the past year and a half, since Ruby died. In reliving those emotions through other peoples' recent tragedies, I've been so reminded once again of how easy it would have been for Satan to drive a huge wedge between us, and how GRATEFUL I am for a husband who did not busy himself with work, or find excuses to be away from home, or worse, but instead dealt with his grief WITH ME, by my side, loving our kids, talking to them when all I could do was cry and hold them, pouring himself out to God...and doing the same FOR me when I could not even do that for myself. He was my earthly rock, because he was leaning fully on the only true Rock. He bridged the gap for me, when I could not form a coherent sentence or even bear to cry out to God myself, in those early weeks when I was doing well to remember to breathe. I don't know that I will ever be able to fully thank him or express to him how much he means to me. Even saying that sounds so cliché and falls so far short of what I feel.

Well, Maddy is now having a turn at Dani's and Poppi's and I hear she's sewing her first dress. Of course it's a "water fairy" dress (your guess is as good as mine) because she is a water fairy. I'll be sure to post pictures or link to Mom's if she does.

They're also keeping Libby, the Boston Terrier, while David and Maggie are on vacation, so Maddy was excited to share that they have Poppi outnumbered 3 to 1, while I suffer here outnumbered by the boys 3 (almost 4!) to 1.

I guess that's all the random thoughts I have for now. Still no more progress on the baby front, but I appreciate your prayers for baby Luke's quick and safe arrival!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Still NO News!

Because several people have asked, just dropping in to say there is no news on the baby-front. The "official" due date is today, but the one I've been going by is Sun, June 1, so I'm hoping that one will stick! I really do not want to be induced, so I'll probably be playing the waiting game as long as things are going well for baby Luke in there. And judging by his kicks and pushes, he's doing just fine. I go back to the doctor tomorrow (Thur) morning...my anniversary...how romantic...ugh! I'll keep you posted. I hope Jared will have a laptop at the hospital and I can post pictures and such from there, but in case he doesn't and we just do an email announcement, if you'd like to be included in that, please either leave your email address in the comments, or if you'd like more privacy, shoot me an email and I'll put you on the list!

Friday, May 23, 2008

No news here...

I've been meaning to post for a while now. Things are uneventful here so far, and I'm guessing that at least the next couple of weeks will be much the same. I have no expectation of going early, but that would be fine with me...I am SO ready!! I do have a couple of things to share, though...

We have a name. It is not a family name, as our others have been. But I take full credit or blame, whichever the case may be, since Jared decided OF HIS OWN FREE WILL, with no prompting from me, that the mommy who has carried his FIVE children should have full rights to this one final name. After months of "How about...?" "No" "Well, then how about...?" "No" back and forth, a decision was made. And since some sweet friends from church had a shower for me tonight...

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Angie and Liana hosted at Angie's home

...we've now officially committed to the name, because LOOK, we have embroidered burp cloths!

And monogrammed blankets and bath towels!

So here's the monogram...

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Any guesses??? I know, the suspense is killing you...

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Luke Wesley Smalling

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Unimaginable

My heart and prayers go out to the Chapman family. Maria was in preschool with several friends' children, one in particular whose daughter was one of her best friends. Please pray for the Chapman family in this unimaginable time. You can go here to let them know you are praying for them.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Semi-annual mini-van clean-out

**I had already posted this when Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer set up a "What's in Your Car?" carnival**

1 Sonic bag containing misc trash

3 binders (Jared)

4 Bibles (1 Madeline, 1 Jared, 2 Melanie)

1 bag of Target returns

4 purses (3 Melanie, 1 Madeline)

1 pair unopened soccer socks (season ended this week)

5 various lipbalms

2 cassettes

1 coupon for 99cent Sonic onion rings

1 Mother's Day card from Madeline

286 papers from Bible class

3 backpacks (ALL Jack)

1 First Aid kit

1 Doodle Pirate (unopened)

4 chewed lollipop sticks

1/2 bottle of water

1 Chewbacca (Star Wars) sports bottle

1 empty Kool-Aid koolers bottle

1 granola bar wrapper

6 EMPTY Walmart sacks (in various locations)

2 Sonic tater tot boxes (empty)

1 Wendy's nugget box (empty)

various activity/coloring/reading books

42 Goldfish (in various states of crush-ed-ness)

37 pieces of popcorn from Target

2 lunchboxes (fortunately empty--Jack)

1 pair flip-flops (Melanie)

1 Superman cape (Jack)

1 shoe (Noah)

4 socks (none matching--Jack and Noah)

1 umbrella

3 cars

1 broken flashlight

2 unopened trial size tubes of toothpaste

2 bouncy balls

3 NEW sticky spots on floorboards

APPROXIMATELY 742,000,000 crumbs/paper particles/crushed leaves

Yep, everything is completely under control. If only we had just ONE MORE kid...

(Please send help now. Or a masseuse. Or a maid. Really, it's up to you.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Belated post for Mother's Day

The kids all made cards at school this year for Mother's Day and mommy Madeline kept them all hidden until Sunday. They could not have been more excited about having a surprise for me! It was so cute to see the anticipation of knowing they'd done something "on their own" for me. Here are their precious works of art:

I couldn't believe the only thing she missed was my height. I was thrilled to find out that she knows I love me a spa day and that she remembers that I say, "God will help you anytime" instead of "Get your smarty-pants to your room RIGHT now", or some other much less flattering phrase! We also had a good laugh together over her remembering that one time two years ago when I wouldn't take her to Rainforest Cafe because the smell there makes me sick when I'm pregnant! I love that she knows me so well!!

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And then there's Noah. Can you tell that writing is not his thing? The boy can read like nobody's business (for a kindergartener) but if he never had to write or draw again, that would be fine with him! He would be the star student if there was a grade for finding slugs, disturbing anthills, or killing houseflies with his bare hands. I'll have to translate:

Mom's name is Melnee. (close enough!)

Mom is 30 yrs old. (yep!)

Mom weighs 100 pounds. (OH HOW I WISH)

Mom is 60 inches tall. (He and Maddy must have discussed this beforehand)

Mom wears a size 8 1/2 shoe. (yep!)

Mom's favorite color is pink. (Maddy said yellow, but I do like both colors)

Mom loves to go shopping at Walmart. (Can't believe he didn't say Target. Maddy would've said Target!)

Mom's favorite place to eat out is Las Palmas. (yep!)

Mom likes to buy me toys. (this happens so rarely, but I do enjoy it)

When Mom grows up she wants to be a worker. (??)

Mom loves me because I love her. (He has NO idea.)

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Obviously, this is a portrait of me on the left and him on the right. These are the most life-like people he has ever drawn. The boy makes up the most elaborate and creative songs and stories, but sketch artist he is not! I'm so thankful for this picture of me...it's a rare thing coming from him, and thus even more precious!

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And finally, Jack's art from Mother's Day Out--I love the fun hand print art they do with those precious little hands (and that his teachers get to clean up the painting mess instead of me!!). Seriously, it's totally worth tuition just to outsource the painting to someone else. I can handle glue, scissors, games, dirt, food and all kinds of kidly messes, but paint just ain't my thang. They do have the cool "dot paints" which they used to make the flowers, so I might have to invest in some of those for the summer because both Jack and Noah LOVE them.

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Maybe the paint would be worth it just to get these adorable faces of concentration...

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Friday, May 16, 2008

"Mother's Day" with the Smallings

We spent Mother's Day at home since I didn't feel up to going to BG, so we met the Smallings halfway for supper Saturday night. We are so thankful for both of our moms and blessed to have them so much a part of our family's life. I didn't get to see my mama for Mother's Day but I will a week from today! We love you, Mama Jeanne and Mama Shirley!

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Jack showing off his peanut...he was obsessed with the peanuts on the table!

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We ordered water for the kids before we realized their kids' meals came with a drink, so they ended up each having 2 drinks, of which Jack took full advantage. Madeline seems to think that's funny.

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And Noah (middle child that he is) would not be left out of the picture-taking!

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Wacky Jack was eager to play, "Mommy, take my picture when I'm..." SO HAPPY:

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SAD:

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JUS' REGUWAR: (just regular)

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and finally, UH AWIEN: (an alien)

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Madeline was ready to show off her many faces, too...this was HAPPY:

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SAD:

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SURPRISED:

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SMOOCHIE: (a family word, but I think you can guess from the photo!)

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And speaking of smoochie, Smoochie Madeline LO-O-OVES mashed potatoes, but cannot tolerate even the littlest bits of peel. She also loves to pick. She got that from her mama and her mama's mama (although neither of us are quite as picky as her!). You can see from the perimeter of her plate that she picked EVERY. SINGLE. TINY. BIT of non-white substance (peel, pepper, garlic, etc) out of the mashed potatoes. She's a complicated girl. IMG_0544a

And I love her all the numbers in the world!

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"Gonna put you in a trance with a funky song"

It's possible I have sunk to a new low. But OH the memories!

NKOTB is "Hangin' Tough" again!


I've mentioned before that I once had dreams of being Mrs. Donnie Wahlberg and this morning, the Today Show reminded me why :-) Did anyone else catch this?


Who knew those moves (not to mention songs!) were (still are) so incredibly cheesy??!! Ok, we all probably knew, even back then, but, OH, the cuteness!

Here they are "back in the day":

Were inside out overalls with the top hanging down REALLY ever cool? I guess that (partially) explains my lack of popularity in middle school..and here they are all grown up today...

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Please let this baby be born soon so I have something worthwhile to blog about!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"Busted"

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Jack took a pretty hard fall in the driveway this afternoon. He didn't cry, but I could tell it hurt. I asked him if he was okay, and he said, "Yeah, but I am BUSTED!" As we cleaned, medicated and bandaided his wounds, he kept saying, "Whoa, those knees are BUSTED!" or "Whoa, those hands are BUSTED!" I'm pretty sure he knows how funny he is.

Messy = Busy (Potato = Potahto)

**I hope anyone who reads this knows that my kitchen WOULD look constantly like this FOR NO GOOD REASON (as opposed to Maggie, who was doing a catering job) if I had access to this many pots/pans/dishes! Hers at least looks pretty and shiny (in a great looking kitchen), with all the stainless steel...mine is plastic cups and plates (and ugly countertops) which is why I will NOT be posting my mess! I love you, Maggie Jean!**

Here's a great post from my sis (in-law) Maggie...she's blogging daily in May, so check her out!

The post fits in with the recent laundry/paper piles we've been sharing. I wish I had that many dishes to dirty up! Don't miss the great recipes she shares in the post!!

There's also a cute picture of Liberty Gretel White "Libby", their Boston Terrier who lived at our house growing up. We're so thankful she's found such a loving home with David and Maggie. Libby's deaf, blind, has arthritis and the worst case of halitosis I've ever smelled (despite her caregiver's best efforts!), but they love her and care for her daily. Thanks guys, I couldn't have done it!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Creepy Crawlies

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We've hit the creepy crawly jackpot this spring. We brought the baby carrier/carseat home from Memaw and Grandaddy's garage and it was full of caterpillars! Noah is in little boy heaven. I especially like the one on the left, with the turquoise color. Noah names all of his caterpillars "Callie"...you know, like "callipillar"? Jack names his "Carl". I think we have the same 4 or 5 caterpillars that are discovered and then returned to the grass day after day.

And speaking of creepy crawlies, Noah caught three "houseflies" today with his bare hands. We're so proud.

Friday, May 2, 2008

ARGH

...or "aruga" as Erin would say...

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I'm just not in the mood for storms. But they appear to be heading this way. Me and Larie will be single-handedly attempting to convince God to skip over our respective communities.

Maybe tonight's not the night to start the OB-approved Unisom. I haven't slept more than 2 or 3 hours in a long...long...long time. But tonight looks like it will be spent glued to channel 4's 3-D Stormtracker.

Seriously, I'm not in the mood. If you hear a whining sound, it could be a tornado, so take cover. Or it could just be me throwing a baby-fit, pity party. Please forgive me in advance.

**Update: I did take the Wal-som (because we are generic) last night and, as I expected, it made my body very very tired and my mind very very awake. Which is just cruel. And my husband had the audacity to SLEEP instead of monitoring the storms for me, since I could not keep my eyes open but could not actually sleep, but instead lay very still while my mind raced. I still feel drugged this morning, so I will not be taking it again. There has been much whining and general grumpiness. I haven't been able to keep my eyes open long enough to see how everyone fared weather-wise, but I hope everyone is okay. I just needed to get this out of my system. I don't plan to have another whiny post, so enjoy this one while you can.