Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Our little (big) Lilah is 21 months old today!  That's not a very significant month, but I thought I would update on her anyway :)

First of all, her nicknames.  Her name is Lilah Raine, but we call her Lilah-loo, Lulu, Lilah Belle, Liley, little Lilah.  Ethie has been calling her Lulu lately, so now we all do!
Lilah has started talking so much!  All of a sudden, it seems like she can say so many words and she is pretty much always talking (or babbling).  Some of her favorite phrases:

"meer" ("come here," which she uses frequently while pulling on our finger), "wah happen?", "eeewww, yutty" ("yucky"), "where go?", "they is!" ("there it is"), "sat?" ("what's that?"), "dah doh" ("there you go"), "shoes on" (countless times a day), "buh doo" ("bless you," which she said after James broke wind the other day, haha!), "saw-ee" ("sorry," which she says a lot and it's cute, but a little bit sad!), "tay tu" ("thank you"), "yuh-yoo" ("love you," my favorite)

Some more favorite words:  blanket (which she enunciates very clearly and I think it's funny), eat, please, no, yeah, bye-bye, nigh-nigh, ouchie, swing, baby, shirt, eyes, stars, book, down, flower, sock, paper, okay, happy, YAY!

She also loves to sing and dance!  Her favorite songs:  Wheels on the Bus, Sunbeam, Twinkle Twinkle, Happy Happy (a Lilah original :)
She LOVES to swing.  But only in a big swing, and she's pretty good at it!

I just love that she can communicate with us so much!  It's also opened up a whole new world of her telling us what she wants and not always getting her way and then throwing a huge temper tantrum!  The terrific, tumultuous two's are definitely upon us.  I've learned how to walk away and let her finish her fit, since she's pretty unreasonable at those times, but it's still hard to see her so upset.  I guess she is a little bit like both of her parents (pretty easy-going until we get mad)!
          Fortunately, she is still a sweet, tender, happy, spunky little girl the majority of the time.  She still loves her babies, especially real ones!
 And she is still loves her beads, shoes, and dress-up clothes (which are usually Ethie's clothes :)

We love our Lilah-girl!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Baseball boy

Ethie has played football, basketball, martial arts, and soccer.  So all that was left was baseball!  He started off just a little behind the rest of the boys on his team who had all played t-ball and such.  He was a little bit frustrated that he couldn't hit the ball all the time and didn't really like standing in the outfield waiting around (while being a huge monkey, of course)!
Fortunately, they quickly made him the catcher, so he was busy and involved the whole time.  He loved it!  Ethie usually just needs a job to do :)
That's Ethie as catcher

He also practiced swinging and hitting a lot with James and during practice, and he got better!  He got several hits and got to run the bases, which gave him motivation to keep practicing.  He even got a game winning hit during one game!

He had a really great, positive, encouraging coach and a great team!  He struggled at the beginning of the season with following directions and fighting with the other boys, but it was good practice for him to work on being a team player and he quickly figured it out!  I think we will do baseball again next year!
Ethie is the last one.  He loved this part of the game :)

At the trophy pizza party!

Friends, yay! :)

Getting his trophy.  He was very proud!  We were proud of him for trying hard and doing his best!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mama's Day

I love my mom.
She is brave, faithful, compassionate, sincere, and strong.  I feel thankful and blessed that she has let us live in her home for the past 9 months.  I love this chance to be around her so much, and I love that my kids are able to learn from her and be loved by her every day.  She has taught me all my life about reaching out to people who are lonely or struggling.  She works hard and goes above and beyond at her job and other responsibilities.  Her house is always clean and neat and she makes yummy food.  She always asks me about my day and wants to hear how I am.  I can be honest with her and she listens and loves me, even when we are different.

I am thankful for my mom's example to me and I hope she feels loved and appreciated on this Mother's Day!

       I am so thankful to be a mother.  My children delight me, challenge me, motivate me, inspire me, and teach me.  I love watching them discover the world and grow into little people.  I make so many mistakes as a mother, but they always seem to forgive me and love me.  I can't imagine my life without those two little ones in it and I love them so much.
    Thank you to all the mothers and grandmothers in our lives.  We love you!

Monday, May 7, 2012


Last Saturday was the annual Mayfest in Carrollton.  The kids and I met Dad and Jeanette and had a fun day, even in the super heat!
At the new awesome ampitheater!

Blowing bubbles

Listening to music in the shade... perfect!

Sharing bubbles with her little friend :)

Sweet picture!

We also met my high school friend Julie there!
At the little petting zoo.  She loves animals and is fearless, despite the look on her face!

Holding a pig! 

Aggressive little goat! 
Getting ready to ride the zipline!

A little bit scared?
Go Ethie!!!
So proud :)

Les Mis Love!!!

James surprised me with the greatest Valentine's Day gift this year.  Even though funds are tight, he knew how much I wanted to see Les Miserables at the Fox Theater and he got us tickets!!!  Neither of us had been to the Fox, and it was so fun to get dressed up and go inside the beautiful theater.  The show was incredibly wonderful, the cast was amazing, and my date was even better!  Thank you, honey :)
Some pics before we left.  Thank you to Mom for babysitting the kids for us!!!

So happy :)

Making it

Wow, it's been almost a month since I posted last!  It's been a pretty rough month for our family I guess.  James has been even busier than usual finishing up his thesis (he got it done!), interviewing for jobs, doing research, and getting everything finished up so he can graduate!  He defends his dissertation on May 11 and then has until the 18th to get everything all finished up.  Talk about stress!  I am so amazed by his hard work and how he balances all he has going on and spending time with us.  It has been a challenging few years, but I think we can finally see the light at the end!  Now we're just hoping the perfect job will find us :)

Ethie has been struggling a lot, mostly at school.  He has been suspended several times this past month, so I've done my best to find him lots of schoolwork to do at home, while making it as BORING as possible (so he will want to stay at school).  His biggest challenge is managing his angry feelings and finding ways to express them.  He has thrown chairs, broken computer screens, kicked and hit students, ran away from school, you name it pretty much.  We've practiced alternative solutions to his anger, and he knows what he needs to do, but he just can't seem to control those impulses when he's in the situation.  We've stuck with the gluten-free diet and we've been using ideas from the Total Transformation that are helping me feel more empowered to help him.  I get pretty discouraged and worn-out.  If we can just make it through the rest of the school-year, I think we'll be okay.  Next year, we'll be much more settled and stable, which I think will really help him.

We have managed to have some fun together, too!  A couple of Sundays ago, a new park opened near our house and they had a small-town fair.  We met Dad and Jeanette there and the kids loved it!
I do love those freckles

About to ride a horse for the first time--just a little nervous!

What a natural!!