Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ
2 Peter 3:18

Friday, December 28, 2007

First Before and Afters

Well, here they are. The first of, hopefully many, before and after pictures of the house. These are of Miller and Wilson's rooms. They lack new floors and ceiling fixtures, but who knows when we'll get to that. So here they are 90% complete!

Miller Before:

Miller After:

(her dressing room is actually a pastel celery green, it's hard to tell with the lighting in there)

Wilson Before:

Wilson After:

He wanted his room to be blue like his train. I talked him into just doing the neon blue in his alcove and a lighter blue everywhere else. As you can tell, it's still very blue, but he loves it and it's a great color for a lively preschooler! (We're also just thrilled to be slowly rising from the sea of purple. Just to give you a taste of before's yet to come- not only are there purple walls downstairs- there's also purple trim!)

Lastly- you'll have to use your imagination here, but we didn't have a fence. We're so excited that the builders showed up a couple of days ago and got this much needed project done. If it would just dry up a bit, we'd really be enjoying it. But we're already thrilled that the dog can go out on his own without one of us attached to him with a leash!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Highlights

The guys getting Wilson's picnic table out of the garage at Pat Pat & Paw's
Dad, this one's a little big- I may need some help
Okay- no one even told me this existed- a "Big Car" & a "Beeper Bus" (these have not left his side since Christmas Eve)
Let me help you out with that, Dad
It's a good thing I'm here- no one would be able to get any of their gifts opened!
(or their trash thrown away)
Hey- did Santa bring this for Wilson or Daddy!?
Man this is the coolest
Here's how you put the Big Car on the trailer

Wow- no one told me about this, either
His comments on the giant fire truck from Pop and Mim were "it's amazing, I've never even seen this fire truck, I'm so 'exciting'!"
Cousin Adam testing out his fire truck
Dad told me not to touch, but Aunt Maggie said to do it
Look- Santa ate some of his cookies and drank all his milk
Opening his stocking

It's the "Lightning Spiral 'Fing'"
I think this photo pretty much sums up how great our Christmas was
Finally, I get to open the BIG BOX that's been lurking in corners at Granna's
"Is it a hat?"
No, it's a great new bean bag chair!

Our Christmas celebrations began on Christmas Eve with brunch at Phil's parent's house. We opened gifts with all his siblings, cousin Adam, and his mom's parents. We had a wonderful morning that was full of all kinds of surprises. I'm not sure what was more exciting, the Volkswagen play set that Wilson got or the surprise visit (surprise to Pat Pat) that Santa made to Paw from the watch maker! Then, that afternoon we all went to Pop and Mim's (Paw's dad's house) for a family photo (all eleven cousins and their spouses and children from the four branches of the family were there for the first time in years), a great meal, and great new firetrucks for the littlest boys. It was almost too much and hard to believe this was only Christmas Eve!
We came home, left cookies out for Santa, and went to bed "in hopes that he soon would be there". If you've asked Wilson in the last month or so what he wanted Santa to bring, the only thing he's had to say is the "Lightning Spiral Fing (thing)" which leaves a puzzled look on most people's faces and me doing a little explaining. "It's a dirt track for Lightning McQueen". Well, Santa came through, and I have to say, my explanation leaves much to be desired. It's more like Thunder Mountain at Disney World for Lightning McQueen. He gets shot around a near vertical track and there's a trap door at one point that you can let him drop through. I don't know who had more fun with it- Wilson finally getting to see it in action or Phil figuring out all the physics involved to get the car to do all the cool things that it can!
Next, we were off to Granna & Big Daddy's to celebrate with all the great grandparents on that side of the family and my brother and uncle. Although we were certainly blessed with some wonderful gifts, I think we had the most fun giving here. We had put together a calendar of old family photos of my mom & her brother when they were little and a few of Wilson this year for my grandparents. I think my granddad's comment on it sums it up "this is ALMOST as good as the mustard greens!" (my dad wrapped up a bag that he had picked that morning for him). It was quite fun to watch them look through the months at all the fun photos of everyone. I was also able to surprise my parents with a painting of their house. It's always fun when you can give a gift that's completely unexpected! Wilson had a great time wrestling with his uncle on his new bean bag chair and then heading out to explore in "Big Daddy's country". We are also now well on our way to accessorizing our new house- we received a print of Walter Anderson's frogs and a great photography collage that spells Ethridge from architectural and natural elements.
Thank you to everyone for such a wonderful Christmas- we are truly a blessed family to be surrounded by such generosity from family and from our Creator. Thanks be to God for the greatest gift of all, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We're so grateful that there was room for a little one in the stable that night so many years ago! (this is a link to a sweet little book we've enjoyed reading this season about when Baby Jesus came).
Well, I better go start taking down the tree and packing my suitcase. We're under two weeks and counting until our next blessing arrives!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Breaking Up is Hard to do

So, Wilson and I had a fight yesterday. He started it by going to use the bathroom and then calling me when he was finished. "Mama! There's water everywhere!", I hear as I'm walking into the bathroom to see my son's hand coming out of the used toilet bowl splashing "water everywhere" with it. This, less than hour before we were supposed to leave to go out to eat with my family for my brother's birthday. He was, of course, already dressed in what he really wanted to wear- his cowboy outfit. The cowboy outfit that I had spent all afternoon hand sewing new cuffs on to make the pants longer since he still loves them, but they'd gotten a little short. The shirt sleeves are soaked, so I yank the shirt off and march him upstairs to try and find something that sort of matches the pants & boots and to dissinfect him. The one solid color, long sleeve shirt that I can find has a mystery stain on the sleeve. After running it under water, mystery solved, it suds up- orange dog shampoo (S-A-N-T-A made a Target run and had heard that we were low on doggie shampoo and that it would be a great stocking stuffer. Wilson needed a plain white shirt to wear under his Christmas sweaters for church. Apparently the two rode home together in the same bag). So after drenching the sleeve to get the orange out, I go downstairs to run the hairdryer over the sleeve to dry it. Of course, halfway through Wilson starts chattering at me about something and I turn the dryer off to hear him. The dryer then decides that it's worked hard enough for one day & won't turn back on. So, into the real dryer the mostly dry shirt goes with the day's soaking wet load of laundry. I then told Wilson that I was extremely frustrated and that I needed him to go to the playroom or his room so that he would not get yelled at. He proceeded to shadow me, chattering all the way.

He got yelled at. I went to my room.

A few minutes later Dad calls to say he's on his way home and laughs at the above events. When I hang up with him I open my door to try to find Wilson. It's very quiet and I have no idea where he is. I go up to his room, look in his bed, in his closet, under the baby bed, in Miller's closet, then all over the down stairs- he's nowhere to be found. His lion and silky soft are laying on the floor of the sun room where he was playing with them earlier but he's not with them. I start to wonder if he walked out of the house, but think, no I would have heard the door. Just then I start hearing some faint snoring sounds- thank God for nasty colds. I follow the distinct sound of sludge passing in and out of nasal cavities.

Wilson ended the fight. . .nothing like a real good guilt trip to bring mom around . . .

That's him, passed out, in what is basically a do-it-yourselfer's construction zone, on the bare concrete of our sun porch, with no shirt on, head on a tool box, his only friend the Rubik's cube by his side, hoping I'll open that door (which is one of the entrances to our bedroom). As soon as I finally found him, I knew I was the germ in the toilet I was mad at him for splashing in.

And that I was glad he fell asleep so close to the camera.

Fortunately, Phil was home not too much longer and able to get him off the floor. We all enjoyed a wonderful hibachi meal at Little Tokyo for Uncle John's 19th.

We all made it there with (sort of) clean shirts on.

Mele Kalikimaka

My hibiscus . . . blooming in December!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas Project No. 1

Last week Pat-Pat stopped by with an early Christmas present for Wilson & me. Apparently we've come across as bored, because boy did she fix us up with a project!! (Just kidding, Pat Pat, you know us all too well. We both love a project and we LOVE our gift -the FIRST round was quite fun!) She came in with a very large box from Williams Sonnoma. Inside was a red apron with a race car and track on it, a red spatula with a race car on it, a cake pan that makes 8 different car & truck shaped cakes, and a tin of candies to decorate them with. One of Wilson's loves is cooking so this sent him on a chatter box whirlwind. That particular day I was in the middle of painting Wilson's room and that evening we were going to the Singing Christmas Tree with our community group, so we couldn't start them that minute. But that didn't stop Wilson's enthusiasm. He talked about it for the rest of the day and carried the spatula everywhere (it rode in the car with us to eat dinner and go to the tree that night!) He woke up the next morning raring to go! Here's the process and product:

This one features two marshmallow snowmen driving their Christmas tree home. My great grandmother's voice came through load and clear through her great-great grandson while we created this one. I cut the tree out of sour candy tape and put down some icing for him to stick in. After he stuck it on, he let me know "Mamma, it's 'posta' have a star on top!" This immediately brought back memories of me, my mom, and grandmother decoration gingerbread men & women in my grandmother's kitchen at Christmas and her mother sitting at the table say, "you all should ice a little lace collar around the necks of the girls!" Thankfully, the forth generation was content with a small, yellow Dot for a star- I could just see myself with a paring knife trying to get it into a star shape!

It's Almost Miller Time!

Starting in about the middle of October we'd ask Wilson, "what time is it about to be?" and he'd answer in a very quiet whisper (almost as if it were said out loud it wouldn't happen) "it's almost my birthday!"

"Then what time is it going to be?"

"Halloween time!"

"Then what time is it going to be?"

"Thanksgiving time!"

"Then what time is it going to be?"

(return to the hushed tone- we'd hate to jinx this one either) "It's go be Chrismas time!" (his pronunciation)

Well, Wilson, "Then what time will it be?"


And so, now here we are. 3rd birthday behind us, costume made and not worn, turkey eaten, and a few sparkly things and manger scenes are starting to find their way out of boxes, so, Miller time must be upon us! We have almost gotten her room together and last night Wilson went to his big brother class at the hospital. Following are a few pictures of our preparation for Miller time!

Everyone brought a doll or stuffed animal to practice with- Wilson chose Rocco, the dog.
Phil's doing quite nicely with that bottle!
Here they are learning how to diaper a baby. I love that Dad is intently watching the instructor, like he's never done it before!
Wilson thought Rocco in a diaper was hilarious
Next, they got to try on doctor clothes- well Wilson graciously let Daddy play with his.

Here they are looking at all the new babies- 10 were born yesterday!

Feeling how warm the infant warmer in the delivery room is
Wilson getting his certificate
Showing off his new skills

Some of the Christmas decorations at the hospital- they had a life size nativity set up

And . . . the highlight of the evening, ice cream in the lobby of the hospital
(should you come to visit while we're there- you'll know where to find Wilson!)

Helping Daddy get Miller's bed put together.