Monday, December 28, 2009

The Greatest Generation

This day - September 19th, 2009 - was, absolutely, one of the best days of my life.

PawPaw was flown, courtesy of Honor Flight, to Washington, D.C. to see the memorial honoring the work of America's World War II soldiers. Through a turn of events and many phone calls, I was able to go along! The Honor Flight group is just fabulous! They had everything from breakfast to medical care to wheelchairs available for these octogenarians. The veterans were met with cheering and much fanfare at the meeting spot, the Atlanta airport, the Washington airport, and back at home again. It was so wonderful to see the honor given to these soldiers; they were all so thrilled and appreciative.

Once we arrived at the memorial, who should meet us but Bob & Elizabeth Dole! Despite his insistence on needing to ride in a wheelchair all day, PawPaw miraculously recovered just in time to meet Elizabeth Dole. She was so wonderful and gracious to all the veterans; PawPaw would probably say his conversation with her was the highlight of his trip. Bob Dole is primarily responsible for the memorials existence. He tries to meet with every group of veterans that comes so he can thank them for their service in person.There was another grandchild-grandfather pair in our group.Here is Mr. Bill, another veteran, and our fabulous chaperone, Joe Bryant.PawPaw, an Alabama boy, now lives in Georgia. He was deployed with a Missouri group because of some delay in his training/processing. We couldn't get a good picture by the Missouri pillar because it was being cleaned.

Each of these 4,000 stars represents 100 Americans soldiers who were killed during WWII."Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices." ~President Harry S. TrumanWe also saw the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetary. As the change was about to occur, the soldier in charge asked everyone to stand out of respect for the fallen. Upon hearing this request, every veteran there - whether able to or not - stood up. Suddenly there were empty wheelchairs everwhere. These men had seen death and they appreciated the soldier's sacrifice. The whole group of veterans from the Fairburn, Georgia area: The bus ride was wonderful as well. I learned (and videoed) a few of PawPaw's actual war memories and heard stories from many of the other men as well. All this was done with patriotic music from the 1940's playing and a candy bag being passed around. I loved being able to just be with PawPaw all by myself. I'm not sure if we've ever done anything just the two of us; it was so great to have no distractions and just be able to listen.Just look at these men - men of honor, men with stories. Yes, absolutely one of the best days of my life.

**Special thanks to Grammie & Grampa for making this wonderful day possible!**

Monday, December 14, 2009

Review: My First BrainBox & Hot Rocket

Elijah and Haven playing with their new Timberdoodle product:
Timberdoodle sent us My First BrainBox and a Hot Rocket to review for MamaBuzz. Elijah has very recently been excited about "playing games" so I thought this would be a big hit. Plus, I wanted to see what these much-praised Timberdoodle products were all about. They make a lot of educational/homeschool games and materials; hopefully, I'll get more of their products in the future (Christmas Wish List 2010?!). They also have a complete line of homeschool curriculum which I have yet to explore. Do any of you guys know about this?

My First BrainBox is a game helping with memory recall. You have 10 seconds to look at a picture before you are quizzed on something you *should* remember. Elijah liked the mechanics of the game - picking the card, watching the timer, rolling the die - but wasn't quite able to play it. Some of the questions were hard for him; they involved pairing, words he didn't know (polka dot, for instance. And, yet, given that is my decorating theme, how can he NOT know that one?), or fast counting skills.

I like My First BrainBox for a few reasons.
1. I would like to see if I can beat Eric.
2. I feel like it will make me more observant or, at least, expose my poor memory recall.
3. It has already showed me several things Elijah doesn't know, which gives me a very easy plan of attack for teaching him.

My First BrainBox is a good game that anyone in our family can play. I'm interested in seeing what the other BrainBoxes are about too - maybe I could learn about our Presidents that way. For $17.00, that may be a worthwhile expense. (I know the library has free books on the subject, but this is a game!)

The Hot Rocket was a hit here as well. Eric got really excited, shot it downstairs, and then took his time shooting it back up to the 2nd floor. He keeps trying to give Elijah tips on making it go higher/straighter. I suppose this is a toy that any male would like. And it does go really high.

If you are interested in getting a free Hot Rocket, just place any order with Timberdoodle and use coupon code lfreerocket after putting the Hot Rocket into your cart. The Hot Rocket cannot be shipped media mail. Alternatively, just attach a comment to your order saying that you would like a free Hot Rocket and including the above coupon code.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Working Together

We build a LOT of towers. (We being Eric & Elijah.)

Friday, November 20, 2009


Ahh. {sigh} Well, at least one of the kids was (half) dressed for this photo shoot~:-)

The Daily Grind

At first they were both happy with a water bottle, Haven sitting up, Elijah sharing. Then we worked on a puzzle, Haven having fallen over, Elijah again sharing. Haven was really working the puzzle...with her tongue. (And, yes, it is a big long tongue. Yes, she does use it all the time. No, she does not have a problem. Yes, I asked the pediatrician. He laughed at me. But thanks for bringing it up - again.) Elijah needed to jump (a $0.50 consignment store find!).
Sweet baby girl and I snuggle before bed. Perhaps people keep having babies so they will always have someone with whom to snuggle.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Review: When Moms Pray Together

When Moms Pray Together by Fern Nichols
Put out by: Tyndale
Price: $13.99
Book Info (as taken from the Tyndale site): Moms in Touch International is an organization that brings moms together to pray for their children and their children's schools. As MITI prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary, Fern Nichols, the founder and president, has collected some of the most inspiring and encouraging stories of God's work in answer to those prayers. When Moms Pray Together will inspire and equip mothers to pray more consistently and hopefully for their children while encouraging them through the stories from moms everywhere.
Disclosure: Mama Buzz- and reviewers -received a complimentary copy of this book for blog tour purposes.
Well, I've never officially reviewed anything, but criticism of either kind is not usually difficult for me; we'll see how this goes.

When Moms Pray Together is a gathering of 3-4 page stories of God's work in answering specific prayers. The tellers of these tales are all moms who are involved in Moms in Touch International, an organization assisting and encouraging mothers to pray together for their children. When reading this book I was my struck with:

- My own arrogance. Some of the children spoken of in these stories are really messed up - drugs, alcohol, cutting - the kinds of things you never imagine your own children even touching. As these mothers told their stories I often found myself thinking, "Well, no wonder! They should have totally done....... Of course their kid is screwed up!" How prideful I am! How stupidly prideful I am! My child is often the "bad one." So why exactly is it I feel at liberty to critique others so harshly? God please strip away these blinders of pride and replace them with lenses of compassion!
- The importance of praying with others. Over and over again the testimony in these stories would contain words echoing "My prayer group was the only thing that got me through those tough years!" or "I was encouraged to persevere because I knew my friends were praying for me." If you are not convinced of the importance of praying with others in the body of Christ, this book will push you in the right direction.
- The unquestioning embrace of public schools by Christian parents. These mothers spent a lot of time praying for their children's school system - a system they repeatedly referenced as anti-Christian as exemplified in curriculum, leadership, rules, or teachers.
- My need to pray. Oh what peace we often forfeit! Oh, what needless pain we bear!
- My need to pray Scripture. Someday I will lose my ability to memorize. Thankfully, now I can still soak it in. My desire to pray Scripture has reinvigorated me to learn Scripture.

I'm not really sure what I'll do with all these new thoughts. When Moms Pray Together has made me want to pray - really pray - with another Mom (or two!), but I have no idea how the logistics of that would work. If you live nearby - oh, but where will that be in another month! - and you have this same desire, let me know. Perhaps God will be pleased to do great things in and through our children simply because we have prayed.

On another prayer note:

E: "Dear God,... I sinned. I put my finger in Haven's mouth. Will you please forgive me? Please help me be kind. Help me love you. Amen."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Out of the mouth of babes...

E: "I'll be right back Momma." {runs out of room}

E: {returning with shiny silver baby monitor in hand} "I had to get my cell phone...ring, ring, hello!....."

Yes. He said cell phone.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Did you know that Haven likes to read?Or that Elijah is really enjoying puzzles?Just wanted to show you some of our newest amusements.
I'm constantly begging Jenelle to come visit, I feel. We were so happy to have her stay for a few extra days. As always, Elijah especially loved it. We picked crabapples together.

Jenelle helped Elijah make cookies (or maybe Elijah taught Jenelle, I'm not really sure).
My favorite part was staying up late talking, eating popcorn, and drinking wine. I so rarely get to have late-night talks with dear friends. This was a super fun treat!
Come back soon Jenelle! (like...this weekend!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Girl's Weekend

Most of very best friendships were formed at some point during college. Recently we all got together for a weekend which flew by way to fast. Geneva ("Drew-Eva"), Lauren's little one, and Haven joined us along with two yet-to-born babies. Since getting together, Larissa's little Anna Reid has made her appearance, and we found out that our suspicions were correct - Merilee & Faris will have a little boy!

These girls are all so dear to me! They all know me - really know me - and yet love me. My prayer during my entire first semester at Belhaven College was "God, help me to love people!" It was a prayer of desperation, because I was acutely aware of my inability to love others. God continues to answer that prayer in surprising ways, but His gracious tutelage is certainly displayed in my love for these dear friends. Anna Reid and Haven had some early bonding time (in which Anna Reid was being smashed, come to think of it) to set the stage for their friendship. A close-up of young Faris, Jr. ~:-)
Thank you God for abundantly blessing me with good friends!