Monday, February 28, 2011

Stormy Monday

We got up knowing that today was supposed to be stormy with possible threatening weather...which usually means usually means severe thunderstorms and/or tornadoes at this time of the year. And, sure enough we had warnings for both...remember that a warning means that there has been a tornado spotted on the ground or in the air...or that the radar sees one. Tullahoma's tornado warning went off at least twice. Our safe spot is in the downstairs bathroom...I spent some time in there waiting out the warnings. I guess that we had them fairly close to us. We don't get Nashville TV so we're not exactly sure what happened around us. Huntsville did report that there was one death due to today's storms/tornadoes and that happened a little south of Tullahoma...that's all we know. February went out like a lion...wonder how March will come in! This line of storms came through very fast. They were saying that it was moving a mile a minute...60 miles an hour...that's pretty fast. So all the storms have cleared out of our area now.

Woody ran errands today. I have packed. At the moment the only thing that I have to put in the suitcase is some shirts for Woody and our toiletry bags. I have been gathering electrical cords and items that we need to take...some are still charging. I would say that we "should" be able to walk out the door fairly quickly in the morning.

The only school that I did today was Abigail's sewing lesson. We got that in before the storms arrived. She finished her project...a tooth pillow for Joy (5) who is hopeful that she has a loose tooth or two (I think that it will be a while till she needs it, but she has her pillow for when that first tooth comes out.)!

Woody just came back from Monday night prayer meeting at church. I'm off to start the dish washer. I'll blog from Pooks Hill in Bethesda tomorrow night...the good Lord willin'!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Compost Boy's Alter Ego Turns 9!

Big day! Woody and I went to the 8:30 service and then on to Sunday School. We both taught our respective classes. Then we headed home...but not before I was serenaded with "Grammy, Grammy, Grammy" coming across the church parking lot! Nathan and the kids were in their van waiting for Kathy and they decided to chant my name over and over again...of course their daddy did open windows so they could be heard. After I spoke to all of them, I headed to our car and Woody and I headed home. We hadn't been home too long before we got a call saying that it was time for Graham's birthday lunch. After everyone cleaned their plates (or came close to cleaning their plates) we all got birthday cupcakes and ice cream. Graham made the cupcakes all by himself and he and Abigail frosted them last night while we were taking care of the crew. Yummy...chocolate cake, chocolate icing...not Goosey's or Kathy's favorite...but definitely one of my favorites! Present time came after cake and ice cream. All the children were just about as excited as Graham. He was very happy with his gifts and set to playing with them as soon as all were opened. One of our gifts was the compost boy took me a year to "get around to" making it to go with his cape and shirts.

We came home after the party and plopped in chairs in the family room and about as soon as we plopped we both fell asleep. Woody definitely has the more comfortable chair. My arm/hand went to sleep and it took a long time for it to awaken! Woody has watched some TV today (I think basketball...I went down to ask him...but got no response...think that "maybe" he is resting his eyes?) He has also read this afternoon and evening. After my doze in the chair, I came upstairs and sewed for a while. I have a load of clothes in the washer...that's a sign that I'm getting ready to pack! I need to start gathering this point the guest bed (where I pack) still has nothing on it. Hopefully I can say that I'm finished packing when I blog tomorrow night. Woody is still coughing...but both of us "think" that he is doing better.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sunny Saturday

Woody had trouble sleeping last night...he finally got a couple of good hours of sleep early this morning so he actually slept in a bit later than he usually does. He changed allergy medication and thinks that it might be what kept him from getting a good night sleep. Last night he ended up taking cough medicine too. He said that it seemed to help more than anything had to that point in the day.

Woody headed out this morning to go to the Post Office to mail in our taxes...a job that he is glad he has finished. He also went to WalMart to get more cough medicine, as there was only a half a dose left in the bottle when he took it last night. Then he stopped at the library. While he was running those errands I vacuumed the family room and mopped the kitchen. I spent some time outside taking pictures of our flowers that are popping up. The crocus that were closed yesterday were open today enjoying the sunshine. I worked some on tomorrow's Sunday School lesson. Woody watched a DVD that he got from the library. This evening we both went next door to take care of the five neighbor grandchildren as Kathy and Nathan had a Sunday School party to attend. I came home and started working some more on the Sunday School lesson and just realized that I hadn't blogged yet. So...all in all...a pretty busy day. Woody seemed to think that between the allergy medication and the cough medicine that he was some better today...hope so...the trip looms ever closer!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Taxing Times!

Woody has spent most of the day preparing to prepare our taxes. He has gathered documents, printed forms, etc., etc. Not exactly his favorite thing to do! I had school over here for Joy and Esther. Then I went over to their house to have a sewing class with Abigail. Later in the afternoon Graham came over for a while to build with K'nex and just hang out. After lunch, I went shopping for Graham's birthday present. I also picked up a book at the library that I had requested. I have quite a list of book requests that I had put in at the library and all of a sudden I am getting calls that it's my turn to check them out. Yesterday, I finished the one that I picked up Monday so took it back today when I picked up the one they called about on Tuesday. I also went to the Post Office to mail my sister's birthday card. I got up too early this morning and have been fighting falling asleep...while Graham was building I did doze for a few minutes. While I was getting tonight's picture ready to put on the blog, I about fell asleep over the computer. Besides working on our taxes, Woody has coughed and blown his nose. He needs to get whatever this is behind him so he can enjoy our trip this next week.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Woody and I walked around the block shortly after lunch...dodging the rain drops at the start...Woody holding an umbrella over us to keep the camera dry! Not long into the walk the rain stopped. Shortly after heading down the street we found this great puddle that was reflecting the trees in our neighbor's yard.

Woody has taken it easy today as he is having trouble with Spring allergies...he has read, watched some TV and taken allergy medicine which has made him a bit sleepy. He did do a little outside today...added some potting soil to the barrel and fixed the styrofoam cups so they would drain off rain water better. I had several projects that I needed to get finished so I declared this a rainy day schedule day and didn't have school with the neighbor grandchildren. Growing up in AZ where rain was a novelty and made quite a mess of our school grounds...when it rained very hard prior to 11am...we had a shortened day...a rainy day schedule I reverted to my childhood! I have been sewing, reading and cooking today. I worked on my sewing projects this morning and again this evening and in the afternoon I made a big pot of one our favorite soups...J.Hathaway's Italian Sausage Soup. We both enjoyed it this evening for our supper.

Definitely Spring is in the air...our county was just issued a tornado watch...which for those not from a tornado area means that the conditions are right for tornadoes. Western TN is under tornado warnings...which means that an actual tornado/funnel cloud has been spotted either in the air or on the ground. I'm hoping that by the time the line of storms comes through here that the intensity will have lessened. They aren't due here till after midnight...doesn't make for a very restful night sleep wondering if bad storms are going to come through. I just looked at radar and there is a really strong line of storms approaching...but still a distance away from us. Woody's rain gauge has recorded .63 in. of rain today...and we are supposed to get a lot more with the approaching front.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Looking Through Rose Colored Glasses!

Sometimes one just has to look at the world through rose colored glasses! We try to have that type of positive outlook! I was reminded of the idea of rose colored glasses when I went next door tonight and Joy had these glasses on. She said that everything looked pink!

Today has been a busy day. The two little girls didn't come over for school...Joy didn't feel good and Esther didn't want to get out of her jammies. So when Abigail and Graham got through with their school work they came over. Abigail and I got her sewing project ready to sew the next time that she has a sewing lesson. Graham came over and built a motorized radar dish and a motorized windmill with K'nex. Abigail did a bit of K'nex building after she finished her sewing lesson. She made a space shuttle. By this time it was lunch time. Shortly after lunch I got a phone call from one of the library workers and she wanted to meet at the church library. We are making plans to rearrange things in the library...not an easy task when it comes to moving LOTS of books in order to move shelves around. Today we had someone come in to measure the room for possible new carpeting. Woody left to walk to the Post Office just prior to me going to the library. While I was at the library, Kathy called to check to see if Woody and I could arrange out schedules so one or the other of us could be with Joy as she ended up having an upset stomach just as they were leaving town (they were doing a church program in Alabama tonight). So after I got back home, I went next door and I stayed with Joy while Woody went to church for his Experiencing God class. After he got back home from church, he came back over to their house so I could come back home and I'm going back to read till they come home...they just called and are on their way home. That's been our day...lots of coming and going!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wheels Are Turning!

The "wheels" have started turning for our next trip to Bethesda...we will "the good Lord willin' be there a week from today. I just made our reservations on Pooks Hill once again. We plan to leave next Tuesday, March 1, and go the full distance that day. Woody has his test scheduled fairly early on Wednesday. This time he will "only" have labs and a CT scan. So once the CT is finished we will be free for the rest of the day. Then the next day he has an appointment during the docs clinic time which starts after their lunch. So at this point it is just throw a few things into a suitcase and we will be ready to go! The trip seems to get easier...both making reservations and getting ready...guess we have done it enough times now that things sort of just fall into place...some of the stuff I never unpack. Nathan brought the suitcases of theirs that we use back over to our house today as they had used them on their trip to Southeast these suitcases are well traveled!

Esther started riding a bike with training wheels today. Their whole family enjoy taking family bike rides. The three girls have graduated up a size in bikes this Spring...exciting times! Esther still calls her "new" bike "Joy's bike!"

Woody went to the grocery store this morning. This has thrown my day off...I keep thinking that it is Saturday since that is his usual grocery shopping day. I did remember to go for my hair appointment wasn't totally confused! The little girls opted out not to come for school this morning...they had plans for Joy to practice riding her unicycle with their daddy after Joy's school time at home this they were afraid that coming for my school would delay things! Abigail came over and we worked a little more on her sewing project. And, Graham came over to do a school lesson with K'nex. Today he built a "block and tackle" learning about how pulleys lessen the weight of a load (Grammy is learning too!). He knew that he had seen a block and tackle used somewhere...he finally remembered that his daddy had something like this that he uses in the "process" after he kills a deer...ummmmmm I didn't ask a lot of questions in that direction...not much of a hunter myself! I figured that Graham knew what he was talking about when he told me exactly how many pulleys were on this apparatus!

After Woody's grocery store excursion, he sort of took it easy this afternoon...reading, watching a DVD, and resting his eyes. I completed the sewing project that I had been working on. did several loads of wash, took a short rest and started another book. The library called today saying that they had a book that I had requested. This evening, Woody has walked to the church for his time in the prayer room.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blustery Presidents' Day!

When Woody headed off for a walk to the Post Office and the pharmacy this morning, he discovered that our Dutch iris had begun to bloom. They are just so pretty and so petite. I was having school with Esther when he told us about the flowers so I grabbed my camera and Esther and I went out to find what was blooming. I was expecting it to be one of the jonquils...but was surprised by these. I had just looked yesterday at this bed and all that was there was their green leaves.

After Esther had school, Joy came over for her time. Then Abigail came over to start planning her next sewing project...a tooth pillow for Joy (Joy seems to think that she has a couple of loose teeth...not very loose Abigail should have plenty of time to get the pillow made prior to them coming out!) After lunch I got busy in my sewing room. While my sewing machine has been embroidering, I have been serging away on my serger. Woody read this afternoon. He just returned from Monday night prayer meeting at church. It has really been windy today...March must be on its way!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Superb Sunday

What a beautiful day it has been! We actually saw 70F today. Woody and I went to the 8:30 worship service and then to Sunday School. Woody taught his class. We came home and had lunch. A little after lunch we took a short walk...have to break me back into walking gradually! It was really nice out...but a bit felt cooler than it really was. We both sort of lazed around after out walk. I did get both extra beds guess we are ready for the next grandchildren sleepover (?) or once again the guest room is a guest room...all K'nex and children's books have been put back on their proper shelves. The children do love to be read to...we read tons of stories over the last two weeks...some library books and some of their daddy and Aunt Melany's books that we read to them when they were little. Woody watched a bit of basketball and then attempted to watch a DVD...but I think that he "rested his eyes" more than watched the DVD. I took a short nap. Graham, Abigail, and Joy came over for a short time of K'nex building. As they left I said "good bye, group" and Graham said that it was "troop" rather than "group." He said that they are the "K'nex Troop!" I made a pot of my homemade chicken noodle soup after we got back from our walk...I had been missing soup for the last two weeks. It's good to have a pot of soup in the fridge once again. Woody has gone to the evening worship service. I'm thinking about getting started on a sewing the moment just thinking!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spring is Popping Up!

It got to 60 here today...cloudy and a bit breezy so not REAL warm...but still it is beginning to seem like Spring is on its way...and seeing the jonquils, crocus, and other bulbs popping through the earth at least puts Spring in our minds!

We had a busy day. When I got up, Woody was already off running errands. He went to Lowes, WalMart, K Mart, Kroger, the library, and the barber. This was his first trip back to the barber since he lost his hair due to his chemo back in the summer. He came back looking much tamer. The barber said that his cowlick was what was causing his hair to have such a "wild" look. While he was gone, Graham called to see if he and his sisters could come over and help me with "things." I did put them to work finding some of the toys that had gotten misplaced and the girls straightened up the tea party. I started stripping beds and getting wash going. Woody took the three girls back to Lowes to purchase a barrel planter for the back patio. Graham worked with his K'nex for a while. He's happy to have his K'nex back in the living room so he can once again build. The girls helped Woody transfer dirt from the old broken barrel to the new one till it was time for their lunch. After lunch, Woody drove Nathan to the airport in Nashville. Graham and Abigail came back over and spent most of the afternoon here. Neither Kathy or Nathan are feeling the greatest...looks like "travelers revenge" has gotten them. Nathan was feeling much better by the time that he headed off this afternoon. I fixed a couple of things on a dress that Abigail got in Indonesia and then pressed it. She plans to wear it in the morning. When Woody got home he and Abigail went back out to finish transferring the dirt.

After supper, Woody and I ran an errand for Kathy. When Woody took the purchases over there, he stayed for a few minutes and took Elijah up to bed. Kathy told Goosey that Elijah's pacie was on his bed. Well, Woody came down and said that they never did find the pacie, but that Elijah was in bed. Kathy went upstairs shortly after that and there was the pacie on Elijah's bed...but no Elijah. She called and called and couldn't find Elijah. They finally found Elijah in Esther's bed...under his blue blanket with his fingers in his mouth! Woody had put him in the wrong bed! (To give Woody the benefit of the doubt...they change rooms around a lot next door and it is hard to keep track of where the children sleep!) When I told Woody what he had done, he said that what was funny was that he had played a game when he took Elijah upstairs and on purpose took him to the wrong bed first (Kathy's & Nathan's) and asked him if that was his bed and Elijah said "yes" and Woody said "no this isn't your bed"...then he proceeded into what was really Elijah's room and Elijah told him that wasn't his Woody went on to the next room and Elijah said that Esther's was his! Anyway, Kathy has them all in their correct beds now...and hopefully all is quiet over there for her!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fun in the back yard!

Woody fixed breakfast as he has done for the whole time that the children have been here. That has been such a help to me...for one thing I'm not much of a morning person...not much of a breakfast person...and it lets me not have to plan or prepare one of the three meals each day and lets me stay in a bed a tad longer than he or the children!

This morning after Elijah went down for his morning nap, the girls and I went upstairs and they had a daytime bath. They like to have a bath during the day because Grammy lets them go under water and get their hair wet. They had fun playing in the tub for a while. By the time they got out and got dressed there was just time for a craft and play dough before it was time for lunch.

After lunch Woody took them outside to play in their backyard. I went over for a while and took pictures. They really had a great time. Shortly after supper, Esther told me that she was tired and that she was ready for bed. We headed upstairs. She got into her jammies, brushed teeth, read stories, had prayers, and was ready for her lights to be turned out. Elijah and Joy weren't quite so ready. It was obvious that Elijah felt much better today. I'm guessing that perhaps his tooth has come through...I haven't been able to find out as he tries to bite down on my finger each time that I try to feel if it is through! He played with cars and the slide for a while and then I got him in his jammies and brushed his teeth. Woody took over at this point and read him stories, said prayers and got him all tucked in and lights out. Joy did some special picking up of toys for us and she got to stay up a bit later. While she watched a Cat In The Hat show on PBS she got into her jammies, I brought her upstairs to show her the pictures that I had blogged while they had been here. She was curious about a blog...since I always tell them as I'm shutting out their lights at their bedtime that I'm going to be in the sewing room now she knows! She was interested in the pictures and they were great reminders of all that we have done while they were here! Then we read about volcanoes...she had shown an interest in them during the day and I got out a book that had a chapter on volcanoes. Then we read a storybook and she headed upstairs to brush teeth. I tucked her in and Woody came in to say prayers with her.

Tonight at supper I brought down my old globe...glad that Nathan and Kathy didn't go to Africa as my globe is very sadly out of date! My grandfather gave it to me many, many years ago...and political boundaries have changed greatly! But the world hasn't changed geographically so I was able to show the girls the path that their parents and siblings were flying. Their almost 12 hour flight from Taipei to Los Angeles is just about to land...if all is according to schedule. They have a rather lengthy layover in LA and then they will fly to Atlanta...then take a shuttle back to their van...then head on home...that is if jet lag doesn't make them have to stop and rest their weary heads prior to heading to Tullahoma. The children here are very excited that Mommy, Daddy, Graham, and Abigail will return tomorrow! Grammy and Goosey are pretty excited too!
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sweet Dreams!

Here's Joy and Esther and Joy's stuffed gorilla all snugly tucked in and having pleasant dreams! I can't believe it (but then I can!), I didn't take a single picture today. Woody got up first, then Elijah not long after (I heard Elijah and took him down to Woody and then came back upstairs and fell back to sleep!). Then the girls meandered down. I came down after they had their breakfast. The girls and I came upstairs after Elijah went down for his morning nap and I machine embroidered a label to put on Joy's quilt. I forgot to put one on it when I gave it to her for Christmas. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to sew it at the moment she is snuggled under it. The girls watched their baby movies for a while. Elijah is definitely teething and is still soaking his clothes, bed clothes, etc. with his drool! He has had a couple of pretty unhappy times today...I think because his mouth hurt. I used baby orajel for the first time today and that did seem to soothe him. Also, his Auntie Cheryl said to try putting his pacifier in the freezer...he likes that and is rather surprised when it is cold and he says "brrrrrrrrr" and shivers. After lunch, Goosey took him to his backyard and he played for a while. The girls joined him after they got their shoes on. They all had a good time outside on this beautiful day. He came in after a while and took a nap...again woke up pretty unhappy and I thought that he and I wouldn't be going to church tonight, but he perked up after he ate supper. We all headed off to church, the girls went to their Missions and Music class, Elijah went to the nursery, Woody went to his Experiencing God class, and I worked in the library. Then we all came home and it was time to get the children ready for bed...a couple of stories later and it was lights out and off to slumberland!

Nathan, Kathy, Abigail, and Graham began their return journey this evening and have many, many hours of travel ahead of them. They are due to land in Atlanta early Friday morning. They have many, many hours in the air and also many, many hours in layovers. The girls went to bed counting sleeps till they after tonight!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Day After Valentine's Day!

Tonight's picture collage is a combination of yesterday's pictures and a couple from today. Be sure to note the top left corner picture...our child prodigy is now reading a naptime story to Goosey! It was so funny, that I had to run for my camera, when I discovered Elijah perched on Woody's knees just looking at his book and watching a bit of PBS and Woody just dozing away.

Goosey, Elijah and Joy got up quite early this morning. Esther and I slept in a bit longer. Woody got breakfast for everyone. Then we had a leisurely morning...the children stayed in jammies till after lunch...but there was a good reason for doing that. They were going to go over to friends for supper so that way their clothes would still be clean when it was time for them to go! Of all the days for Elijah to decide to skip his afternoon nap...the first time that he hasn't taken at least two naps a day since they started staying with us. Oh, well, he was still going when he got home. Esther is the one who fell asleep before she got home! Elijah seems to be cutting a tooth as he is drooling to beat the band...everything gets soaked from his pillow to the fronts of his clothes. Elijah and Woody went for a walk this afternoon...they saw horses, dogs, and a bulldozer at work. After Woody put Elijah down for his supposed nap, Woody and the girls walked around the block. Then they came in and had a quiet time of watching PBS till it was time to head out for their supper date! They had a great time and it was nice to have a bit of a break for several hours! Woody walked to church for his time in the prayer room and walked back home before it was time to go pick up the children. I had jammies all ready for them to hop into when they got home. And, now all is quiet on the western front. Two more sleeps after tonight till Mommy, Daddy, Graham, and Abigail come home.
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!

We have had a great day...really busy from start to finish...and Grammy is almost too tired to blog! After breakfast I brought down their Valentine surprise from their mommy and daddy. They had fun with all the things in the bag. They ate treats, drew special pictures with their new "magic" paper and pens (the kind of markers that can only mark on the special paper made for them). After lunch they blew bubbles on the front porch. It was a very pretty day...but a bit breezy so not as warm as it might have been. Woody took Elijah over to his backyard and let him play for a while all by himself. Later the girls joined him and had a great time, too! This morning the girls and I made the cake for our Valentine dinner dessert. They were quite excited. They did the pouring and measuring with a bit of help from me...yes, we did make it from scratch. Then when it came time to frost it, they were outside playing so I went on and frosted it so it would be ready for our supper. Tonight when they were going to bed Joy told me that she was sad that she didn't get to watch me frost it. time...sorry, Joy. But they were having so much fun outside that I hated to call them in. The other excitement of the day was that they received a package from Auntie Cheryl. They had LOTS of fun coloring and doing the Valentine craft she sent. The girls had their baths first tonight and hopped into bed and Woody read stories to them while I gave Elijah his bath. They were all in bed in record time tonight...they were tired after playing outside for quite a while this afternoon.

I have thought several times today about where we were two years ago today. Woody was at Vanderbilt Hospital undergoing his first IL-2 treatment...not a very pleasant Valentine's time. So glad that two years have passed and that Woody is doing as great as he is. Next week we will be getting reservations, etc. to get ready to go back to NIH the first week in March. It is really nice to have a two-month stretch between NIH visits! Woody is hoping that they will put even more time between visits when we see them next...sounds good to me!
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Samplings

We got up and ate breakfast and then got the children ready for church. Goosey dressed Elijah and I helped the girls. Esther wasn't willing to give up her lovey for the picture we took before heading off to church...but when it came Sunday School time she voluntarily handed it to me for safe keeping. We actually got to church...not just on time...but got there early...Woody went to the deacon prayer meeting prior to the service and I waited for the nursery worker to come to take care of Elijah. Joy and Esther both went to "Big Church" with Goosey and me. Their mommy and daddy would have been so proud of them! They sat so quietly through the whole service...I told them afterwards that there were adults that weren't as still as they were! After church, we all went to our Sunday School classes...Goosey taught his class. We came home from church and Woody got broccoli and asparagus steaming to go with meat loaf and the Valentine Salad, while the girls and I changed into more comfortable clothes. As soon as lunch was over Elijah practically leaped into his bed for his nap...he didn't take a nap at church so he was very ready. The girls asked to watch "baby movies" (their family yearly DVD's) in my sewing room so they cozied up with a couple of throws and watched the movies (the way they choose is by asking for the movie when one of another of them were born). It was a beautiful day...just a bit breezy. After Elijah woke up, Goosey took them on a walk. He walked his 4 1/2 mile loop and he said that Joy ran practically the whole way and Esther ran for part of it. I stayed home and rested...actually dozed off for a time. They had a quick supper after their walk and then they have headed off to church for their Awana program...I stayed it is very quiet on the home front for the moment! I'm going to go get their beds and jammies all ready for them to hop into as soon as they get back. They'll brush teeth and have stories and then off to slumber land. I'm sure that Elijah is planning to dream about "big trucks!"
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Cries" in the Night!

Early this morning I heard someone cry out. I thought that it was Elijah, but I wasn't sure till I got closer to his room. I got in there and he had lost his pacie! I couldn't find it so ran downstairs and got one of the ones that we have on reserve. When I got it back upstairs he "told" me that he needed a new diaper (he pats his diaper when he needs to be changed). So I got ready to change him and realized that his jammies were a bit wet so I had to go back downstairs to get the jammies that I had washed yesterday and hadn't brought upstairs yet. By the time I got back up, there was another cry in the was Esther this time. She had lost her lovie! I found it and she quickly snuggled back down and was off to sleep. I then finished getting Elijah's pj's changed and he snuggled right back down too. Then I snuggled back down in my bed and the next thing I knew I heard those two little night criers come padding into my room to tell me that it was time to get up and have breakfast. Woody had planned to have dry cereal this morning, but it would have really been dry as we didn't have enough milk. So we had waffles one complained! After breakfast Woody bundled up Elijah and they went to the Credit Union and the grocery store. I cleaned up the kitchen while the girls watched a bit of Saturday morning PBS. Then the three of us made Valentine Salad...those in our family will recognize it as Autumn Salad...but for this time of year we renamed it! Before we got the salad into the fridge to gel, Woody and Elijah were home from the grocery store. This afternoon while Elijah napped, the girls discovered the Tupperware alphabet blocks (again dating to the 70's) and had fun with them. While Elijah was still napping, the girls and Goosey had a rousing game of hide and seek...and it didn't rouse Elijah! Woody went to the library by himself...he couldn't get any takers on that trip...not even Elijah who never wants to be left at home. Joy and Esther did help Goosey know which of the children's books they wanted to keep and which could go back to the library. They enjoyed having Woody and me read to them this afternoon. After Elijah got up, Woody popped in an Old MacDonald video that he had gotten at the library. Elijah really enjoyed that. The chain is getting shorter and there are now more X's on the calendar than days that aren't x'd off before Mommy, Daddy, Graham, and Abigail return.
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Friday, February 11, 2011

Half-way Point

Six days down and six to go! Tonight was Joy's night to tear a circle off the count-down chain and Esther's turn to put an "X" through the date on the calendar. I guess I should explain why I am going into such detail about our days with the children. The only communication that we have with Nathan, Kathy, Graham, and Abigail is through FaceBook and through our blog. I am trying to get pictures of things that the kids are doing so they can keep up with what is happening on the home front!

Today started out early. Woody got up early and was going through the house turning on water checking the pipes as it got so cold last night. He also went next door to make sure that everything was ok over there. I guess hearing him up roaming around turning on water, etc. woke me up and I couldn't get back to sleep. Elijah also got up pretty early (sorry, Kathy, Woody has found an early rising companion!). I got up a little after Elijah and went downstairs. Woody cooked pancakes for breakfast. By the time breakfast was over I was fading so Woody talked me into going upstairs and maybe going back to sleep which I did. So when I came downstairs, Elijah was already down for his morning nap. Since the girls weren't dressed yet, and I had promised Joy that she could go underwater the next time that she had a bath, we decided that it was a good time to go up and have a bath and wash hair. We came downstairs and I combed out their hair while they watched PBS...Curious George, if I recall. By that time it was almost time for lunch! Seems like we finish one meal and it is time for another! I definitely know why once a month cooking is a the best way for their family! For lunch we had leftovers...emptied out quite a few containers. Everyone played for a while after lunch. While they played I brought down some of the Montessori equipment so Joy and Esther could have some school today. It seems that any time the we could have school, Elijah is asleep and he sleeps in the school room. Esther worked on her counting to 10 using the Spindle Box and Joy worked on counting to 20 and also counting by 10's to 100 using the bead equivalents. They also worked with a couple of the shape puzzles that we have. Then they played with playdough while their brother had his afternoon nap and I got our supper ready. Tonight's menu included meat loaf (at their request as it is meat that is easy to cut!), glazed carrots, and cottage cheese.

Elijah's big find of the day was the stash of matchbox/hotwheel cars. Boy, was he excited to find cars and "big trucks!" I'm not sure that Graham is going to find the cars and trucks in the same condition as he left them! He had EIEIO read quite a few times also today and he has discovered the "big trucks" in the Richard Scarry Best Word Book Ever (one of his daddy's books when he was little). Later all three had a lot of fun on the slide trying different ways to slide down. And, Esther and Joy decided that one of the toy baskets made a very good hat. Everyone was very tired by bed after a few stories and prayers they were ready to snuggle in for the night. Time for a cup of tea for me (and maybe a scoop of chocolate ice cream!).
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Quieter Day!

A quieter day because Grammy has lost her voice! We woke up to icy snow. It was quite the topic of conversation throughout breakfast! Woody treated us to his favorite today...French toast. After it warmed up a bit and before it all melted off, Goosey took Joy to play in it for a few minutes. She made a snow angel with a head (Grammy didn't get the best picture of the snow angel part...but then the snow wasn't really deep enough for much of an angel impression). Elijah went with Woody to get the mail and had to check out the snow. When Elijah was taking his morning nap, the girls and I started to do a craft that we had planned and we realized that part of what we needed was in Elijah's room so they played with play dough till we could get what we needed. Yesterday I forgot to tell a couple of things that Joy did...she and Esther were telling stories to each other while playing with play dough and after they finished, Joy and I went upstairs and she dictated a story to me while I typed it into the computer. Then we printed it and she illustrated it. And, after that we made her a book and she wrote words from her phonics list and illustrated them (all her own idea). Today we got out the Fisher Price barn (Melany's from the 1970's) and had quite the fun with it. In the picture Esther is eating the oats (cheerios) that we had put in the troughs for the animals. Elijah enjoyed opening and closing the barn doors and the hayloft doors and locking and unlocking the barn doors. And, he likes to put the chickens on his fingers like puppets! As soon as lunch was finished we made the craft that we had planned to make in the morning...a chain to count down the days till Mommy, Daddy, Graham, and Abigail come home. And, after that we did a craft that was a surprise. I got out old Valentine cards and they cut them up and made pictures with them...always fun to do a little cutting and pasting! They spent a long time doing that. Woody did plenty of reading today as I took a day off from reading due to having only a whisper for a voice. Someone was wondering if I had what Esther had, but I don't think so. I had been having some allergy problems prior to taking care of the children and I think that it is just a part of my allergies. Mid afternoon some friends came over as a surprise to the children and took them next door to play for a couple of hours. I know that they enjoyed being back in their own house for a little while. Joy was very sad to have them leave...but cheered up when the pizza came out of the oven! While the children were otherwise occupied Woody went on his walk for the day and I rested...I actually read a couple of chapters in my book before nodding off for a power nap! After supper, we picked up toys (we have tried to have that be a part of our "routine" each evening) and then headed upstairs to hop into jammies. Woody read the bedtime stories. And, now all is quiet on the western front. It is supposed to get brrrrrrrrrrrrrrry cold tonight.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wild and Wooly Wednesday!

Woody got up before Elijah, but not long before! Elijah was first up of the children today and then I guess he missed me and his siblings and decided to get us up too. He came in to find me pretty soon after he got up...I had already heard him so was awake. He did manage to wake up Joy, but Esther on the other side of the bed didn't get awakened and she slept for a while beyond the rest of us. He did call her name up the stairs several times. This morning Woody fixed us sweet potato waffles (He made a huge batch the other morning and froze them to have on a couple of other mornings.) They hit the spot once again! After the girls were up and dressed (including me), we set in to make homemade vanilla pudding. We got so involved that I forgot to take a picture. But I did take one this evening before we spooned into's very yummy...they are "good cooks!" After lunch Esther started to not have a very good day...she started getting unhappy about everything and that just isn't like I took her temperature and sure enough there was a reason for her being a bit grumpy...she once again was running a temperature. So she just laid around a good part of the afternoon watching her family's yearly DVDs that she dearly loves so much. She watched the year that she was born and the year that she turned one. This morning the three of them had the best time playing "tea party." Tonight Joy and Goosey headed off to church...Woody for his Experiencing God class and Joy for Music and Missions. Elijah (much to his dismay), Esther and I stayed at home. We had another session of "tea party" and then got ready for bed and were reading stories to Elijah when Goosey and Joy came home. Woody finished putting Elijah to bed and I read to the girls after Joy got into her jammies. Big plans for tomorrow...not sure what they are...but I know that they will be BIG! (One thing that the girls and I planned before I turned out their light was that we are going to make a chain so we can countdown the days till Mommy, Daddy, Graham, and Abigail return. We do know that they are at their final destination in Southeast Asia. Kathy contacted us through facebook and said that they were there and that they were getting settled and looking forward to a good night's sleep as they were to be at a school by 8am (after their sleep)...not sure if that 8am was today or tomorrow...since they are 13 hours ahead of us!
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Woody got up early as usual...more his normal early time. He made our breakfast...oatmeal/sausage pieces and bananas in it and toast with strawberry cream cheese. Shortly after breakfast the girls got dressed so we could get started on our school craft day. Elijah had a jammie day. My project of the day was for them to make Valentines. They cut out hearts, glued on laces and trims...had a general good time! Esther (3) our left-handed grandchild was very proud of the heart that she cut out...not easy when Grammy doesn't have left-handed scissors...but she seems to have adapted to right-handed ones. Joy had fun learning to cut out hearts from folded paper...she still prefers to have the lines drawn for her. Woody's project of the day was to plant green pepper seeds. He and Elijah headed out to fill up the styrofoam cups. Elijah was so careful (ummmmmm Goosey was not!). Goosey's first spill was when they brought the cups inside into our sun porch/mudroom...became a mud room when he spilled a cup or two. Then later in the afternoon Goosey brought the cups in one at a time and let Joy measure and make a hole the correct distance from the surface and put the seed in the hole and cover it. Esther joined her after a while and Joy let her put the seeds in the holes. I was a little leery when Woody decided to do this project in the family room on our new carpet...but...I just went on and let him...well, when the project was about over, they had a BIG spill...I guess it all came up in the vacuum. The vacuum was brought out several times today! In the afternoon the girls started playing with dolls. Esther got out Melany's doll and enjoyed having me help her change the doll's clothes. The slide provided entertainment again this afternoon. This slide dates back to our oldest granddaughter Erin's 2nd Christmas when she was 18mon. old (Elijah's age now) and now Erin is 17 and about to graduate from high school. That Christmas present has been enjoyed by all our grandchildren.

We had homemade chicken nuggets and chicken fingers and Grammy's special potatoes, and green peas for supper. I'm not sure whether the chicken and potatoes or the "dip" proved to be most favorite! The "dip" was either catsup or ranch dressing...and some mixed the two...Elijah can say "dip" very well and did a lot of dipping of his fingers in it rather than his chicken or potatoes.

Woody said that Elijah did an amazing thing this afternoon. Woody was sitting in his recliner and Elijah came into the family room at 1:30 and got the remote and handed it to Woody and said "choo choo." This is the exact time that Thomas The Train comes on PBS. Woody was quite impressed!

We gave Elijah the first bath tonight and then Woody read him stories and got him all tucked in. Then Woody headed out walking to the church for his time in the prayer room. The girls had their baths and then I got them settled in their bed (they are sharing the double bed in the guest room and it is working great so far) and I read them each a story and then I had to tell them something about them when they were little. Then we had prayers and the lights went out and I haven't heard a peep out of them since. They were two pretty tired little girls after our long, busy day! Elijah went down without a peep too. And, now it is time for me to have a cup of tea and see if I can keep my eyes open long enough to read a sentence or two! Esther is feeling much better today, but she still has a runny nose and a fever today and most of the day has played right along with the other two...she did cuddle up on the couch a couple of times, but never took a nap.

The last that I heard from Kathy and Nathan (through FaceBook) they were in Singapore with still two more flights till they got to their destination. They should still be traveling as I blog this...long flights and long layovers. They left Monday around 10am our time and won't get to their final destination till the wee hours tomorrow. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 7, 2011

Esther's the Winner!

When Kathy and Nathan brought the children over yesterday, Kathy said that she wondered which child would be the first to need to go to the doctor. Well, Esther was the winner!

Woody got up REALLY early this morning. He said around 2:30...he "claims" that I was snoring so loud that he knew that he wouldn't be able to go back to sleep so he went on a walk! Well, all I will that he was snoring pretty good when I got into bed last night and it didn't keep me awake...and for once I had a pretty good night's sleep...snoring or not! When he got back from his walk, he made sweet potato waffles. What I smelled last night when I was blogging was Woody making preparations for this morning...he was cooking the sweet potato. We all seemed to be doing pretty well at breakfast...everyone enjoyed the waffles very much. Then the girls went upstairs and had a bath and got dressed. I noticed when I was drying Esther off that she felt a bit warm. I mentioned it to Woody when she got downstairs and he kissed her forehead and said that maybe she felt a little warm. Well, after I got Elijah bathed and he had played in the tub and gotten dressed and we came back downstairs, we found Esther all cuddled up on the couch under a soft warm throw. Woody said that she had either sat in his lap or cuddled up under the blanket on the couch ever since she had gone downstairs after her bath. So I decided to take her temperature and she did have one. So I headed to the phone and called her pediatrician's office. I called at 10am (the time that her mommy, daddy, brother, and sister were to be taking off for their overseas flight!) and got an appointment for 11:15am and we were back home by 12:30. Her pediatrician was away this week (of course), but we saw the nurse practitioner. She was concerned that she might have the flu (even though she had had the flu shot...the nurse said that the flu shots hadn't been as effective as hoped this year). But she tested negative for the flu. So she emailed in a prescription to the pharmacy and sent us on our way. Not sure what it is (it's not ears), but wants her on medication to help knock out her cough. After a dose of Tylenol and her prescription, she seemed to perk up some.

School got a bit delayed, but Joy still wanted a lesson. So I gave her a pouring start out a little one pouring macaroni, then when they can pour that without spilling they pour rice, then when they master pouring rice they get to pour water. Joy graduated to water pouring in one lesson! She also had a good time with the play did Esther while Elijah took his afternoon nap. Joy figured out how to make a jelly fish. Elijah did a lot of sliding and pushing trucks, cars, trains, buses, etc. around on the floor. He had EIEIO read many times. He does love the cow page the best. He is doing very well with naming lots of animals and also making their sounds. I think that a good time was had by all despite Esther feeling a little under the weather...speaking of rained quite a bit today and the temperature has dropped. We talked to Kathy and Nathan this morning before they boarded their overseas flight (before Esther got to feeling poorly). Graham and Abigail were really excited...Nathan said that they hadn't stopped talking! They are still in the air as I type this...a very long flight...and it won't be over completely for many more hours. Right now they are just winging their way to Tokyo and they have two flights beyond that get them into the southern hemisphere. All is quiet here in the northern hemisphere in our house...three little cherubs sleeping soundly! And, that ends another busy day!
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Sunday, February 6, 2011

All's Quiet on the Western Front!

Busy Sunday! Woody got up really early and took his hour walk, as he knew that he would have trouble getting it in later in the day! I started out sleeping in later than planned and Woody went on to early church without me. I woke up in time to get ready to go to Sunday School. Woody taught his Sunday School class and then came home and made pumpkin pudding. I came home after Sunday School and tried to finish up with what hadn't gotten done yesterday. Nathan, Kathy, Graham, Abigail, Joy, Esther, and Elijah came over as soon as they had lunch. Goodbyes were said and then those left behind settled in for an afternoon of "fun and games!" Elijah took a nap not long after they got here and then the girls and I got busy making play dough. Woody went to the deacon's meeting at church. When he got home, Elijah was still napping and the girls were happily playing with the play dough that we had made. When they finished up with their play dough time, Woody took them out for a walk...Woody said that it was a run! When they got back Elijah was up from his nap. Lots of toys got taken out of the toy closet...we have had a circus, lots of cars and trucks driven through the house, we have had girls pretend to be puppies and kittens, we have read lots of stories. We enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches and applesauce for our Sunday supper with pumpkin pudding for dessert. About 6:30 we had them start gathering up the toys and putting them away in the toy closet...they were all great helpers. Then they headed upstairs to get their jammies on. I read to the girls and Woody read to Elijah. Lights were out before 8 and the girls only got up once! I think that Woody may be starting on tomorrow's breakfast as I am smelling food. He plans to be in charge of our breakfasts (sounds good to me!). Well, time for me to go start the dishwasher and then make a cup of tea and flop on the bed with a book...hmmmmmmm wonder how many pages I'll read before my eyes close!
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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Movin' In!

Here's what it takes to move three little ones to Grammy and Goosey's house! All seven marching over with something that will be needed over here for the three smallest while their mommy, daddy, brother & sister head off to Southeast Asia! If you look really hard you can spot little Elijah bringing up the rear. Tomorrow after church starts the sleepover at Grammy and Goosey's. The little girls are excited and Elijah will just come along for the ride! Graham and Abigail are excited to head off on a very big adventure that will have them going to the other side of the world/equator...they will be 13 hours away from us...not sure how many miles away! They are going to have a busy time going to many schools (all ages) and also to orphanages. Nathan will be sharing a message about making choices...emphasis on good choices. For those who have seen many of Nathan's performances, he will be telling the "Diamond Story." And, I guess that our dear friend Eric (from Tullahoma) who is now living and working in Southeast Asia will be interpreting for him. There will also be unicycling and stilt walking along with many more antics and feats! Can you imagine what the luggage inspectors at the airports will think when they see a unicycle tucked in on the x-ray machines! Of course, I'm sure that they see many strange things!

I have spent most of the day getting the house ready for Joy, Esther, & Elijah's stay. I have been getting beds ready and getting unnecessary things set aside so they won't interfere with our routine (ha! we'll see if we manage to establish a routine!), vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, putting things up high and/or away, putting away all the groceries (looks like we might be getting ready for a party!),etc., etc. Of course the most important ingredient that didn't get put on the list that Woody took (I had put it on a list but not the one Woody took)...SALT! We need salt to be able to do what Joy and I are planning to make...Play Dough!!!!!!!! But then Nathan and Kathy came to my rescue and had the play dough cooking can proceed post haste after they are ensconced here at the house! It has been a busy day. Woody ran the errands, which included a stop at Lowes, WalMart, and Kroger. He and Nathan fixed a lamp that had a problem. Woody went on about an hour walk. He also helped me greatly by mopping the kitchen floor. He is now snoozing and watching a DVD. And, I'm off to do something else in preparation. Let the fun times commence (tomorrow)! Who knows what time I will be blogging for the next couple of weeks!!!! (I think that I need a cup of tea!)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Busy Friday

Woody got up early. I slept in a bit longer than he today. After getting up we made a tentative list of meals for next week and then made a grocery list. I went out to lunch with a friend and then went on to do an errand. I came home and headed over to Nathan and Kathy's and took the travelers a couple of treats to tuck into their carry-on luggage. They are all packed and all their bags are under the weight limit. Everyone seems excited...the four who are going and the three (well, Elijah doesn't really know what is in store for him!) who are staying and having a sleepover at Grammy and Goosey's! Woody has read, done crossword puzzles, watched DVDs and TV, and taken a walk today. I am in the midst of getting ready for the sleepover!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year, that is. It is the year of the rabbit...thus tonight's picture. This is one of the bunnies that I took lots of pictures of while I was staying at the Safra House in Bethesda, MD while Woody went through his three-week TIL protocol this past summer.

Woody and I both got up super early...make that "souper" early! I woke up about the same time that Woody did and I decided rather than going back to sleep I would get up and make the soup that I hadn't found time to make this week. I wasn't really enthusiastic about trying this recipe so I hadn't pushed at getting it made...but the cupboards were bare and it was time to make something! So at 4:30 I started preparing broccoli and the rest of the ingredients to make Broccoli and Almond Soup with Sesame. It's pretty good...but I just don't consider it a "main dish" soup...seems more like a "first course" soup. It is a pureed soup...though I did keep some of the broccoli florets out and steamed them and then added them to the pureed ingredients. It does have a very good flavor due to toasted almonds, toasted sesame seeds and sesame oil. I just like a soup that has more to chew in it! Woody followed behind and kept the dishes washed up. After soup preparations, I flopped on the bed to read and rest...but the rest turned into a nap...guess I finished out my night's sleep!

After lunch Woody walked to the Post Office to mail a couple of cards. After he got back he has taken it easy. He even admits to having taken a nap this evening after supper. This afternoon Graham and Abigail came over to help me clean up the toy closet for the three little ones who will be staying with us next week. It had gotten pretty jumbled and I thought that it would be nice for them to start out their two week stay with a clean and easy to get into toy closet. Graham and Abigail "raked" out all the toys that had accumulated on the floor and then Abigail and I vacuumed the floor. Then I crawled into the closet (it is a closet under our stairs) and I straightened up the shelves and put the things up on the top shelf that Elijah doesn't need to play with and then they handed me the plunder that they had raked out and I put it back so there is once again a path (for a child) to walk along the length of the closet. A good job done and I really appreciated Graham and Abigail's help. Woody has worked some crossword puzzles today and watched a bit of TV. We have started planning menus and gotten the list started for groceries to feed three little mouths and ours for the coming week. When Woody went over to Nathan and Kathy's this afternoon, he escaped with Elijah. Elijah enjoyed part of a cookie and having EIEIO read to him by his Goosey (Woody). Then Elijah played for a while with some of the toys (prior to the cleaning of the toy closet). He's not usually over here all by himself so he enjoyed his own time here. He and I played with the tea party upstairs for a while. He loves to pull the dolls out of their chairs so he can sit in the chairs! Such a cute age! Once when he was climbing up in Goosey's lap to be read to again, he said this long sentence...not sure what he said...but he definitely knew what he was talking about! I am reading another one of those thriller mysteries...but only have 100 pages till I am finished...hope to finish it in a timely manner so I can get a whole night's sleep tonight!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No shadow

According to the official Huntsville and PA groundhogs...they did not see their shadows so Spring should come earlier (than what I don't know!) this year. I say that it will probably come on March 19th instead of the 20th (official first day of Spring)! Tonight's picture shows tulip poplar (TN state tree) branches in the winter.

Woody took about an hour walk today. He and Graham planted some grass seed. This evening he went to church for the Experiencing God class. I continued to work on Kathy's top. It is finished except for the finishing touches...and what is fits! I went to the church library late this afternoon and got four books ready to be checked out. Woody has read and watched a bit of TV. I read today, too...but in the wee hours of the night/morning...I must start reading books that don't get so exciting that I can't put them down!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rainy February First

Woody and I both got up really early this morning. He headed down to read and I headed into the sewing room. I figured that since I was awake I would go sew till my eyes wouldn't stay open any longer and then go take a nap! The eyes not staying open any longer happened shortly after lunch...happened to Woody too. We both pretty much slept the afternoon away. Woody walked to the library this morning and then on to pick up our red car. It now has a new thermostat and a new water pump...wonder how many more 100 thousand miles that will add to its life! I am still working on Kathy's top and Woody has now walked to the church for his prayer room time. We have gotten almost a half inch of rain has just been sort of a steady rain this afternoon...nice sleeping weather...I guess! Having taken a long afternoon nap makes today seem like Sunday to me...I will be off on what day it is for the rest of the week!