Tuesday, December 29, 2009

boot scootin' booger

Grandpa and Granny bought the kids cowboy boots for Christmas. I'll
be posting a diaper pic soon so you caqn get the full effect of the

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Do not be afraid"

This morning, I was thinking about the shepherds whom the angel appeared to on the night of Christ's birth.  How they were in the field with their sheep, going through their usual routine, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And as Linus recites the words from Luke 2 "And, lo, an angel of the Lord came upon them.  And the glory of the Lord shone round about them.  And they were sore afraid."  And in simpler terms, as Cora recites from the NIV, the angel said to them "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy.  It is for ALL the people.  (Even you, you poor little shepherds.  You who have so little, who work hard and go home to a family that you can barely afford to care for.  You who owe the government taxes that you don't have the money to pay and you'll have to give some of your flock for or perhaps even give your children for until you pay off your debt... I bring YOU, shepherds, GOOD news of GREAT JOY.  Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you.  A SAVIOR, do you hear me?  He is CHRIST THE LORD.  He's the one you've waited for, you've anticipated his coming with every fiber of your being.  The one the prophets have talked about for centuries----the one God promised to send.. He's here!!! Finally, here! He's just a baby, but He's a king and He's come for you, to save you. 

My brother wrote a poem about that night, the first Christmas.  Click on his link at the side of our page.  It is well worth the read this Christmas.  

And in the words of my friend William (our pastor's four year old) Merry Christmas to all, and one for sleeping!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cora, Cohen and Christmas

Having lots of fun around here with two little ones at Christmas.  Cora is going crazy to open a present and it doesn't even have to be hers.  She, Geron and Cohen wrapped a present for me the other day and as soon as I got home, she said "mommy, you want to open your present?"  She and Cohen have been given some gifts from friends already and after opening hers, she's stood by on edge trying to keep her composure while Cohen tears at scrap after scrap of paper.  Christmas morning will be insane for her, I tell you, and not because of what she's getting.  (Though that will certainly play a good part).  

So, some updates and funny moments.  Sunday morning was the children's Christmas program at church.  Cora sang a song with her wet paint class (3 to 5 year olds) called "I'll Give God Me (This Christmas)".  Adorable little number:
     I"ll give God me this Christmas
     Its the best gift I can give
     I'll give God me this Christmas
     And for Him I will live
     I'll give God me this Christmas
     From my head down to my toes
     I'll give God me this Christmas
     Its what He wants the most!
Each little one wore a wrapped box hanging from their shoulders by wide Christmas green ribbon.  THey looked so precious!   Cora had a special part in the program, too.  She memorized most of the announcement that the angel gave to the shepherds in the field the night Jesus was born.  She said "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy.  It is for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you.  He is Christ the Lord."  I was so proud of her.   Both Cohen and Cora were in videos in the program as well.  Cora was an angel and Cohen was a sheep.  Too cute! 

Cohen has been admiring the "balls" on the tree for much of the Christmas season.  For such a little guy, he has restrained himself pretty well from pulling ornaments off the tree.  At first, it was "Ball! Ball! Ball!" and grabbing them right and left.  Quickly he learned not to take the ornaments off the tree or mommy would be upset with him.  So,the next thing he did was discover the button to turn the tree lights off and on.  He would press his hand on it continually so the lights would flash.  He eventually got bored of that and today moved on to something new.  It being Geron's birthday, we gave Daddy a present this morning with two bows on it.  After Geron unwrapped the present, Cohen took the two bows and put them on the tree. And has also tried to pull bows off the presents already under the tree to put on the tree as well.  At what point do I just throw in the towel and say "Okay, Cohen. Go to town. " What do you do with a one year old at Christmas?  

Our new favorite tradition involves the kids as well.  We have a nativity scene (2, and both are childen's ones.  One is even Veggie Tales!)  that has a story that goes along with it called "What God Wants for Christmas."  Each night of the seven nights leading up to Christmas we open one little box that has a different person from the Christmas story and we read a little story about their role in the first Christmas when Christ was born.  Cora and Cohen have both enjoyed taking turns opening the boxes and holding the person or the box while Geron reads the story.  At the end of each little story, there's a paragraph that says "What God wants for Christmas is to you a surprise.  In box number 7 it is disguised.  But-no peeking. Be patient! For this you must wait.  Its what you offer him and its really great!"  Tomorrow night we will open the last box which contains a mirror.  I love this time as much as the kids do, I'd say.  

Lastly, I think all the talk of Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus have really gotten to Cora.  Tonight, she came over to me and said "Mommy, I need to go to the hospital. "  "Why?" I asked her.  She said "I'm sick. The baby in my belly needs to come out."  Then she went in the other room and came back holding her doll.  She said "Do you want to hold my baby?  His name is Jesus. And I'm Mary."   Yes, I love having little ones at Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Our New Ornament

Santa is going to take all of Cohen's pacifiers back to the North Pole for the elves.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

the first snowfall

We were exited to get up this morning and see a little snow. This is kinda first for Cora. No pics of Cohen he was inside with the sniffles. Tried to show her how to do snow angels and snowballs.

Family Trees

Cora has picked up at there are other names for grandparents than just "Granny" and "YaYa'.  

This morning, I asked Cora "Who's your grandmother?"
"Who's your nana?"
"Who's your mamaw?"

Still just a little bit to learn here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

cohen pigs out

this boy loves rice

Saturday, November 28, 2009

christmas cheer

Cohen loves our christmas tree skirt

Out of the mouths of babes

Safely for Cora, she is still considered a babe in my book.  This morning, after I had just gotten out of bed, I noticed her studying me and she said "Hey, Chewbacca!  You're not Chewbacca, are you, Mommy?"  (I actually got a good laugh out of that one.  Now, If Geron had said that....)

And for the other special words of the day, Cohen, our babbler, is starting to make sense.  So far, he hasn't been quite the talker his sister was.  He babbles up a storm, but mostly things we don't understand.  He said his first word on his birthday and it was "Alligator".  I had wondered if he was having some hearing difficulty, but mom said something about his toy alligator and the next thing we heard was "Ali-ga-tor!"  I think he babbles in his own language so he can say whatever he wants to say about us without getting in trouble.  Or maybe he's figuring out some secret scientific formulas, or speaking Arabic.  Anyway, this morning, he had a toy he was trying to get the lid off of and working pretty hard at it.  He looked up at me, holding the toy up some and said "OPEN DIS!"  

One more story that makes a mommy really proud:  Last night, Cora was reading her book "The Stable that Bob Built".  Its a Veggie Tale story about the Nativity.  She and I have been reading it together at bedtime for the past few nights, but last night she was looking at it in the living room by herself.  I heard her pipe "Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy!"  (The passage goes on to say, and she is learning this part as well: It is for all the people.  Today in the city of David, a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord.)  Cora turned the page and read/spoke from memory "this is the stable that Bob built.  This is the cow that mooed in the stable that Bob built.  This the guy who don't know how to milk the cow in the stable that Bob built."  She somewhat had it.  

Anyway, seeing precious milestones achieved makes mommyhood special!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

happy thanksgiving

just a little message to all of you

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Geron being Geron

If you've ever been around Cora when she's acted like a real stinker, than you have seen a glimpse of Geron.  

In the early morning hours, when its dark outside, it is practically pitch black inside our house.  Often I use my cell phone as a flashlight to maneuver my way through the obstacle course that is known as my bedroom.  Wait, people, it's clean.  Its just laid out differently and our chocolate dressers have no visible shape in the dark.  So, to keep from hitting them, I walk extremely slowly and try to feel my way through the room.  

This morning, I woke up and performed my usual routine.  I took a shower in our bathroom.  Next, I went to the guest bath to get dressed, fix hair, put on makeup, etc.  Then, I returned to my bathroom to hang up my towels and finally, I tiptoed out into the blackness of the master bedroom.  By this point, I've been through that room about 4 times this morning.  As I creep quietly across the floor, past one of the dressers---successfully not bumping it---WHAM!  Suddenly I'm clobbered with a pillow!  GERON!!  Raucous laughter irrupts from the bed and I huff off to the office to post what a stinker my husband is!  

I think this may be worse than having ice water dumped over the shower curtain.  

Monday, November 16, 2009

Points of Exclamation

Cora has been making attempts at exclaiming things lately.  She picks up phrases here and there and tries to use them in conversation.  Here are this weekend's attempts.

"Do You Believe That?"-
  • Saturday, at a restaurant bathroom, she discovered water covering the floor around the base of the toilet and piped "Mommy, are you believing that?!"  

  • And once again yesterday, in a church restroom, she walked in one stall and saw some leftover "2" that hadn't been flushed. She took one look at the toilet, politely but emphatically said "No", turned around and walked into the next stall. As we were leaving the restroom she asked "Mommy, can you believe in that?!"  

A thesaurus's alternate suggestion for "Good grief!" perhaps?-
  • After church was over tonight, Cora was running around the church and tried to go upstairs to Pastor Matt's office---I imagine she was going for a sucker.  Anyhow, William, Pastor Matt's youngest and a year older than Cora, was on the stairs and wouldn't let Cora pass.  She told us all about it at dinner.  "William wouldn't let me go upstairs to Pastor Matt's office.  He was being disrespectful to me.  OH CLAMOROUS!  He was rude!"  (May have even been glamorous, but was amusing whatever the case!)By the way, William, thanks for standing guard.  You did the right thing, little man!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

sweet kiddos

getting ready for bed

chow down

cohen loves his corn

Saturday, November 7, 2009

new phone

so i have been waiting for what has seemed like years for Verizon to put out a decent smartphone. Now i have the droid running on the android operating system. It's pretty cool. I'm actually using it right now to write this. We wll see if it helps me to post more frequently. At least there should be more pictures.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A sign that you're getting old

Our youth pastor sends out a parent newsletter with a section called "Learn their Lingo" and it almost always reminds me that I'm getting older because there are often abbreviations or terms used in texting or chatting that I have no idea what they represent.  For instance, today I learned what a "last texter" is.  Like someone who always has to get the last word in, a last texter is someone who always has to have the last text.  I'm probably one of them, for that matter.
So, this post is about a sign that I'm getting old.  Here it is.  Last night, Cora Sophia was trying to do cartwheels in our living room.  We minimized and started attempting somersaults instead.  After I gave her a good push, she flipped, stood up and said "You do one, Mommy."  Before I could decline, Geron chimed in "Yeah, Mommy, you do one." and he started chanting "Mom-my! Mom-my! Mom-my!" And Cora joined in and was waiting with the most hopeful eyes to see her mommy do a somersault. 
I am all for modeling behaviors and what not to help your children learn, but there comes a point where there are just some things one shouldn't do, but should let the child learn by trial and error.  A somersault, if you are a parent, is one of those things. 
As they continued cheering, I contemplated "Should I do one?  The last time I did a cartwheel I saw stars.  But a somersault doesn't take as much effort.  Surely I could do one of those."

I got down on my knees.  I assumed the starting position and felt a little push from the backside.  "No, Cora.  Let Mommy do it on my own, please.  Move aside so I don't kick you."  Once the way was clear of all toddlers, I put my head on the floor and flipped.  IMMEDIATELY I FELT MY BRAIN DROP FROM MY HEAD, THROUGH MY STOMACH, AND INTO MY LEG.  I layed flat on my back on the floor with my eyes closed, silent.  After a few moments, I spoke.  Once Geron realized I was alive, the laughter broke out.  "YAY, MOMMY!" was the cheer from my beautiful (clueless to how much her mommy is crazy about her) little girl.  I said "Cora, now you may tell everyone that your mommy has done her last somersault ever."  So, she told her daddy.  And maybe she'll tell some friends at school today.  And in the meantime, I'm telling you.  And because I can't do a somersault anymore without my internal organs shifting a foot lower, I have come to the conclusion that I am getting old. 
Actually, the fact that I even attempted to do one is probably an early sign of Alzheimer's.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sweet Compliment

This morning, Cora was looking at me while she was getting ready and said 
"Your eyes are brown, Mommy.  I love those.  Jesus made your eyes brown."  

And when we were in Kentucky recently, we met one of my dad's coworkers.  She was a very nice lady named Marla.  We talked with her for awhile at the Plum Tree.  Later that evening, Cora said 
"Marla is nice, Mommy.  She loves Jesus.  I want to go to her house."  Just so you know, Marla didn't mention once that she was a Christian, but she is.  Even kids can tell!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Cora has been cracking me up lately with the things she says.  I recently went on a ladies retreat to Gatlinburg with some women from our church.  Cora and Cohen stayed home with Daddy for two nights in a row.  IN the car the other day, we heard Cora saying "Cohen, say 'Gatlin'.  Say 'burger'.  Say 'Gatlinburger'."  I said "Cora, its actually 'Gatlinburg."  She then began questioning me about my trip and asked if I had played games in Gatlinburg.  She wanted to know who all had gone on the trip with me.  Finally, when she had seemed to have heard enough, she said "Mommy, when I grown up, I'm going to be a mommy, and I'm going to go to Gatlinburg."  

Tonight at church someone in our vicinity said something about the sun shining on them.  It was 8 oclock and quite dark at the time.  Cora piped "There is no sun."  

Another something Cora has taken to doing lately, which we all highly enjoy, is making up her own praise songs.  She's actually been doing this awhile now.  Sometimes she takes bits and pieces of songs and sings them over and over.  Like "Blessed be the name...Blessed be the name....Blessed be the name of the Lord."  But other times, its entirely her made up song "Jesus Praise. God Holy.  Praise.  I love Jesus. Sing praise.  Holy, etc. etc etc."  I guess this comes from listening and observing Geron and the praise team as they rehearse on Sunday mornings.  

Speaking of singing, my final cute thing for the day is Cora's latest rendition of Jingle Bells.  I don't know if someone has been singing it at school or if she's just remembering it from last Christmas, but lately, Jingle Bells has been one of Cora's favorites.  She's just got it a little mixed up...

"Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Open wide and sleighhhh...."

We get about that far.  I've tried to sing with her and refresh her on the actual words.  So far, she's having none of it.  So, for now, have fun as you open wide and sleigh...and if you figure out how to do whatever that is, let me know.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cora Sophia

Hard to believe she was ever like this...

Do you remember when yours were this small?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Very Favorite Little People

If you haven't met these two little bundles of sunshine, than you are
missing out!

You, my beautiful Cora and Cohen, brighten my day and fill me with
gladness. I love you so much and am so blessed to be your mommy.

Thank you, God, for my amazing children!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Enchanted Corn Maze

Today our church had a family outing to the Enchanted Corn Maze below
Rock City. Cora and Cohen really enjoyed it. We only went through
the first phase of the maze, due to a tired toddler and a heavy baby,
but I would definitely do it again.

While the maze was the main attraction, there were plenty of other
activities for the fam. Among the free, were the cow train ride for
the little ones, a hayride around the outside of the maze, a pet maze
(our oldest 'pet' liked that one a lot), and a re-maze, which was a
maze made from recycled materials. We didn't actually go through this
one, but I thought it was a neat idea (and I imagine Jenna could
probably make one of her own from all the recycling she does. :) ).
Face painting, pumpkin painting, and bouncy houses were also available
for small fees, but we didn't partake. Nor did we invest in a funnel
cake---hard to believe, I know---but they were there, too, with nachos
and other yummy fall carnival type foods.

At night, they have a haunted maze, same maze with spooky characters
running around in it. The guy driving our hayride told us that he
dresses up as a zombie at night and never breaks character, and the
hayride actually takes place IN the maze during the evening runs.
They also show horror movies and have a haunted trail. Having seen
Children of the Corn one time too many, the evening festivities did
not sound appealing to me. But if you're one who likes to get their
spook on, you might want to check them out.

We enjoyed just getting to visit with friends and watch the kids have
fun. It was a great way to wear them out for their Saturday afternoon
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bring on the flood

Sunday morning, Pastor Matt shared about a funeral he'd attended over the weekend.  Bill Bates lost his mother this past week.  He, Bill, spoke at his own mother's funeral and gave testimony to the godly life she'd lived.  Well, God used that illustration to begin a work in me.  My inner clockworks started spinning and set in motion thoughts of "what will my children remember about me?"  And not really what will they remember about me, but will they see Jesus because of what He is doing in my life?  Will Geron recall a wife who saught after God's heart in the way she treated him?  Will my coworkers know who Jesus is because of how I went about my work?

Tonight/this morning, I was awakened by water.  I actually had to go to the bathroom, and perhaps Cohen had cried first and that was what woke me up, but while I was up I HEARD running water.  It sounded more like POURING/RUSHING water.  I followed the sound to our laundry room.  There was definitely water coming from somewhere, but I wasn't quite awake enough to determine what was going on.  I was alert enough, however, to get Geron to come check it out.  He discovered the hose attached to our washer had busted.  Water covered the laundry room floor.  Not only that, but there was also a good-sized puddle on the kitchen floor(a step UP from the laundry room).

In our 'flood', I began to thank God.  First, for allowing me to wake up and find the problem so that it could be taken care of before it got worse.  And then, for showing me that its time for me to 'wake up' in my spiritual life and get on board with what He is doing.  

Lately, I have not been able to settle and keep quiet about the Lord.  He is flooding my heart with His love for me and I want to let it spill over into my life so that others will see Him and want to know Him, too.  There is a lot to be done/changed in me and I've found hope with Christ that it can be so.  I think for a long time I have had an unteachable spirit and God is breaking that wall down.

I long for God's discipline because I know in receiving it I am loved by Him.  In college, I was part of a campus ministry leadership team.  A group of us used sidewalk chalk all over campus to publicize and upcoming event.  I don't recall what we'd written at the time, but remember some of it wasn't appropriate.  Several members of the crew were called in to the campus minister's office individually and lovingly reprimanded for what had been done.  I was not one of them, though I knew the part I'd played in what had taken place.  For years it has bothered me that no one called me out on that.  Did God not love me enough to discipline me, too?  He did!  No, I wasn't taken behind closed doors and told of what I'd done wrong.  But God convicted my heart just the same.  Looking back over my life, God is always faithful to tell me "Lydia, you're in the wrong.  This doesn't glorify Me.  This isn't part of my plan for your life." Fact is, our campus minister probably recognized that my spirit wasn't ready to be taught.  And how I wish I had been.  But now, God is doing a work in me and I am hungry for Him.  

I definitely find that my selfish desires conflict with my desires to please the Lord.  I pray that my love for Jesus will always rule out over my self.  I thank God tonight/this morning for loving me so much that I can't settle anymore.  I praise Him for being faithful in my life.  I thank Him for letting me remember where I've been but more importantly what He has brought me out of and rescued me from.  I look forward to what He is going to do! 

Friday, September 18, 2009


Cohen fell and banged his head into the door frame. Instant shiner!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Birthday Number 3 and Walking Take 2

It's official! Cora Sophia is three years old!  And I think she'll be 20 on her next birthday.  I think she feels that way about it, anyway.  We celebrated this past Saturday at the local park.  Beautiful weather, beautiful birthday girl!  Close friends and family were able to come party with us.  Tons of presents were opened, or I should say unwrapped.  Cora got a kitchen from us for her birthday, so most other guests gave her something to go along with it, which means lots and lots of tiny play food and dishes to lose.  We opened all that kind of stuff at home.  And so far, everyone, she's loved playing with ALL her gifts!  She is quite the little 'chef"!  And Cora is not the only one who is enjoying the new toys.  Baby brother is having a hay day with the electronic kitchen gadgets as well.  

I should add that Baby Brother is now WALKING!!!  So, he'll be really into Cora's toys and everything else now.  Not climbing yet, well, climbing stairs, but we don't have those to worry about in our house.  Cohen took his first steps (THAT I GOT TO SEE) tonight at home.  Apparently, he's already taken some at day care that Geron told me about tonight.  It's killing me, people!  Moms are only supposed to know about the first steps WE get to see.  Any taken before that moment are null and void.  

So, anyway, there are probably some birthday pics to see around this blog somewhere, so please enjoy our three year old's special day pics.  By the way, when asked what her favorite thing about the party was, it wasn't the toys or playing with her buddies William and Matthew---whom she wanted to play with instead of open presents. What kind of girl is she???  (Well, they are pretty cute boys, though!)  Her favorite thing was the cake!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ode to 'old' people texts and facebook comments

Sitting up at 4:47a.m.

Awakened by a wet diaper, but baby slept as I changed him.  Cohen did, too.  (HA!)

Couldn't get back to sleep because I had something on my mind.

Looked up Titus 2 on internet.  It DOES say in the Bible, that older women should teach younger women how to be good homemakers.  How did I miss this?  I am convicted and pray I'll have the energy to start this MAJOR change.  (half-laughing half scared to death)

Going back to bed.  Another early day with new kindergarten students tomorrow.

Other: Love the new texting commercial where teens are lecturing their parents about facebook and texting.  "Sitting-on-the-patio..."  If you know what I'm talking about pretend you think it is as funny as I do.  

It is 4:52a.m.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Recorded for Posterity

Tonight, something monumental occured in our home. Cora watched her
first Star Wars movie with her Daddy. Talk about a bonding moment!
In the beginning, she was just as into it, if not more so, as Geron.

Earlier today we got a catalog with Halloween costumes in it. I think
she may be interested in being Padme Amidala now, "Keen (queen)
Amidala" as she'd say.

We have talked about doing Cohen's room in Star Wars decor after he
graduates from his crib. I'm afraid my girly-girl may want one, too,
after tonight.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

birthday boy

Yesterday was Cohen's first birthday. It's hard to believe that he is growing up so fast. Granny, PawPaw & Yaya were all able to be there for his little party. He didn't quite know what to think of the cake because he was very sleepy by that point. He got lots of fun toys and stuff. Cora had a little difficulty with Cohen getting all of the attention, but we reminded her that her day is coming in just a few weeks.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sometimes You Pray for Your Kids to Be Quiet

How many parents wish they had just a few moments of peace and quiet?  How many have thought "if you'd just be quiet for a day, it would be so nice..." ?  The past few months, Cora has gotten in a habit of talking CONSTANTLY and I've sometimes thought  "wouldn't it be nice to have a remote that I could mute her with?"  But this weekend has changed my thinking on that a little bit.

Cora is sick.  She has 'stomatitis', a virus that has caused about 50 blisters to develop in her mouth.  She has barely talked for the past three days. Most of her communication has consisted of grunting with her mouth closed.  She has refused to eat or drink or take medicine.  We have offered every favorite food imaginable to her:  Ice cream, popsicles, jello, pudding, milk shakes, slushies, candy---you name it---and she has refused it.  That's one way you know she's really sick.  She has snuggled with anyone who would hold her, that's the other way  you know she's sick.  NOT a snuggler, that one.  

Being a virus, there is no medication to stop this, it just has to run its course.  So, we are praying hard for strength and fast healing.  The blisters can last up to two weeks, though.  

Today, Cora has eaten a green bean, a few licks of ice cream, and drank about 4 ounces of thawed popsicle.  She's actually spoken a bit, too.  But she is no where near being the upbeat little girl we all love so much.  Oh, we still love her--that didn't sound right.  She's just not at all herself.  Please pray for her quick healing and pray for us as we do our best to nurture in this time.  

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fun with Mr.Potato Head

Cora and I got pretty creative with Mr. Potato Head the other day.
Notice the pierced tongue and nose. Little Miss has longed to have
her ears pierced, so I put Mrs. P's earrings on her and I think that
nipped it in the rear for awhile. (Those things really pinch!)

Anyway, this morning, Cora waltzed into the living room, hands behind
her back and said "See my butt?" I just laughed and finished packing
the diaper bag. So, she said it again "See my butt?" To entertain
her, I said "Yes, I see it." (Didn't because she was wearing a dress
and she was holding her hands over hiney anyway.) Then, insistent as
she is, she turned her hind side toward me and smiled that huge grin
and said it again. "See my BUTT?" She was holding Mr. Potato Head's
backdoor flap on her bottom!

She cracks me up!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Big Girl Bed

This was the morning after Cora's first night in her big girl bed.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Zoo Fun

So Lydia's folks are in town and yesterday we went to the zoo in Knoxville. Everybody had a good time I think. We saw lots of animals even they they were asleep. Cohen loved the river otters immensely; Cora asked a zebra where his mommy was; Granny was highly impressed that the rhino's did number 2 in the exact same spot; Grampa tried to pass himself off as Amish; and Lydia wanted to adopt a baby chimp.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Where the pretty ladies get their haircut

After a few HORRIBLE trips to a certain popular hair cutting chain to get Cora's haircut, I began trimming Cora's bangs at home. They were getting increasingly longer and shaggier and I was getting fed up with my terrible trims. So, Geron had a brilliant idea this week of what to do about Cora's hair.

It had been quite awhile since we'd been to that certain chain, long enough for Cora to forget the experience, I think. Geron flat out asked her "Cora, would you like to get your hair cut?" and she answered "Shes." (yes) Our jaws dropped and for a minute we were mute. Then, my genius of a husband began talking to our not-so-daring daughter about getting her hair cut. "Would you like to go to where all the pretty ladies get their hair cut? You can sit in a big chair and wear a pretty cape and have your hair fixed just like YaYa, etc, etc, etc." Cora is all about looking pretty and was eating up everything Geron said.

SO, this morning, I scheduled an appointment for Cora at the shop where her YaYa goes. We egged it on all morning and did everything we could to keep Cora in a good mood. All the while, I was in the mindset that she was going to throw the worst tantrum EV-ER and I would have to crawl out of the shop.

We arrived at the shop a little before her appointment. So, Cora and I sat on the wicker sofa and talked about all the things we saw in the salon. I showed her all the pretty ladies who were getting their hair styled and cut (most were over 65, I'd say.) But Cora didn't seem to notice that so much. She began chewing on her finger a little bit and that was my cue that things wouldn't go so swimmingly.

At one, the stylist came over and started talking to us about the cut and about Cora and her YaYa. I asked if it would be okay if Cora sat in my lap and she said it would be no problem at all. We walked to the chair and climbed in. The stylist was holding a black cape, which Cora noticed and said "I'm not going to wear that, Mommy. That's not mine." I ended up in the black cape. Then, first smooth move of the stylist, Cora got to wear a small purple cape. (she's all about purple right now.) Water bottle came out, squirt squirt squirt, combing began. Cora asked "is she brushing my hair, mommy?" "Yes." Didn't phase her. She looked around at all the equipment in the shop and we talked about what we saw and who we saw. I pulled out some gummies and Cora was in beauty shop heaven. In about 30 minutes, the cut was completed, Cora hopped out of the chair, drew a picture of her hair cut on a cabinet with a dry erase marker and strutted her new look around the shop. She looked good and she knew it. On the way home, we stopped and got her a milkshake.

I don't know what changed, but I know where we're going to get her hair cut from now on.

(thanks, June! And, Geron, you're brilliant! Don't think I don't notice)

Someone got a haircut

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vacation Bible School

We're right in the middle of our VBS week at Grace.  Our Bible school curriculum is set up as a rotation.  Each night the kids go to a different room to hear a Bible story.  Everything in that room is themed around their particular story. Geron and I are teaching the story of Paul and Silas being freed from prison when God allows an earthquake to cause the jail to crumble around them (Acts 16).  We have a miniature jail cell in our room, nothing elaborate, just a few cardboard cinder block walls and three sets of prison bars.

Monday night's group fit right into our cell--a group of 2nd thru 4th grade boys.  I thought we were in for a rough night with that bunch--one of them had gotten in a fist fight over an egg at our Easter Egg hunt earlier this spring--but overall these guys were awesome.  Sure we had a few episodes of namecalling at the beginning of the night, but once we got into things, we had a blast.

Last night was our easiest group, I'd say.  I was right at home with our kindergarten/first grade bunch.  They listened well, memorized their verse, played games with no complaints and did a fabulous job on their craft.  Tonight, I found out why God let us have such a good bunch last night.

Tonight we had Cora.  Need I say more?  Not just Cora, but 9 other Coras!  Yes, we had ten 3 and 4 years olds (some were actually almost-3 year olds.)  And were they ever rowdy!  Cora was tickled pink to be in Mommy and Daddy's class.  Geron pulled out some candy at some point before the lesson and Cora thought she was in Heaven.  She didn't understand why we wouldn't give her more and not let everybody else have more, too.  She listened pretty well during story while some of her friends stood up and wondered around right in the middle of the group.  We attempted a game of "Paul Paul Silas" AKA "Duck Duck Goose".  That one was hard for a 2 year old.  Cora wanted to get up and run every time.  She never did get to be the actual "ducker", for lack of the right word.  After that game, we learned the memory verse.  Cora already learned it earlier this week...I've been practicing with her at home.  She says it flawlessly, pretty much.  Following memory, we went to the gym.  The past two nights we've played "Free the prisoners", a game of tag modified to reemphasize our lesson.  Tonight there was no tag.  It was strictly CHASE with a hint of "Ring around the Rosies" and "London Bridge Is Falling Down."  Next was snack, the best part of the night.  And I must say, we picked the perfect snack for this age.  They were already full of 3 year old energy, didn't need cookies to enhance it.  So, we had pretzel sticks and cheese cubes.  we stuck the pretzels in the cubes and made prison bars.  Most of the kids loved it.  ( We did this snack last night, too, and one little girl said "I don't like this. Pretzels and cheese aren't a healthy snack."  So I asked her what kind of snack she liked.  "I like chocolate chip cookies." )  Finally, we attempted craft with these teeny tinies.  We were making a simple paper chain with our memory verse on it.   we let the kids play with the glue sticks and put glue on their paper, but as for putting it together, the teachers and helpers mainly did it.  Then we gave them a coloring sheet and let them scribble to kingdom come.  After the second or third potty break of the evening, we headed back to the sanctuary for closing assembly.  Tomorrow night we have a group of fifth and sixth grade girls plus one boy, unless we have a few more boys show up.  I think it will be a nice break.

We've set a goal for a certain number of kids to show up this week.  If we reach our goal, Pastor Matt is going to dye his hair green.  Pray we reach our goal!  Pray we go over it!  And in the line of serious prayer requests, please pray for kids to be won to the Lord this week.  VBS is one of the best ways to reach kids for Christ and we want more than anything else for that to be what happens this week. 

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day

In case you haven't been in Hallmark lately, broused the huge
grill-supply aisles at Walmart, or noticed all the tools on sale THIS
WEEKEND ONLY signs in Sears, Lowes and Home Depot, today is FATHER'S
DAY, a day to celebrate the dad's of the world.

So, here's my tribute to the daddies in my life.

To those who have passed on, Grandaddy and Grandpa, I love you and
miss you. My Grandaddy had a great sense of humor, loved to sing, and
adored his wife of 49 years and 360 so days. In his last days, when
he didn't recognize most of us from Adam, he knew my Granny and still
sang "Million Dollar Baby" to her...Grandpa (my daddy's dad) also
loved to sing and to tell stories. We used to sit around their
kitchen and sing hymns and listen to Grandpa's stories. I don't
really remember the whole story, but I know that one of his favorites
to tell was kind of a ghost story about the Mulberry Black Thing.
Grandpa was in a wheelchair and used to give us rides in his lap. He
passed away when I was in 6th grade, so I missed out on getting to
know his really well, but my memories of him are certainly good ones.

To Preston, Geron's dad, it is an honor to be your daughter-in-law. I
have learned so much from you about loving people as they are. I
could ask anyone who knows you what kind of person you are, and they
would all say you are a man of God. It is obvious that you love the
Lord with all your heart. Thank you for sharing what the Lord has done
for you. Thank you for setting a Godly example for Geron of what a
Godly husband should be. Thank you for always being here to help us
with whatever we need. You are the most generous person I know, and
Grace church can testify that I've told them so. You are crazy about
your grandchildren and they are crazy about you right back. I am so
glad God gave you extra years after last summer.

To my Daddy, I love you, Daddy-O. You have always been one of my
biggest encouragers. Thank you for praying for me growing up and
reading your Bible every night. Thank you for raising me in the
church and insisting I go whether I felt like it or not. Thank you
for teaching me the importance of giving God His tithe even when it
seemed I couldn't afford to do so. The fact is I can't afford not to.
Thank you for teaching me about faithfulness in the way you loved Mom
through thick and then. Thank you for coming to all my piano recitals
and concerts and encouraging my talent--making me count out loud
during practicing was always a pain, but I'm glad you could see the
big picture and made me do it anyway. Thanks for playing with us,
racing with us on the sidewalk, skipping with us into church, swimming
with us in the pool, and for building me my dollhouse (favorite
Christmas present ever) and my doll cradle, which is now Cora's.
Daddy, there are so many things I can thank you for, but most
importantly thank you for loving the Lord and loving me. You're as
special a Grandpa as mine was and more so!

Finally, to my husband, Geron. I love watching you in your role as a
Daddy. You are a Godly man and our kids adore you. You and Cora keep
me in stitches. She is a girl version of a mini-you. There's a
special relationship between a Daddy and his girl. She has confidence
because you believe in her. This year, you got "your boy" and the
bond you two have is precious. They are learning a lot from you. How
to have fun, music appreciation, good cooking skills, importance of
prayer, how to love and respect their future spouse. They are
learning the character traits of compassion, forgiveness, mercy,
gerosity, and love from you. Thank you for all you do for our children
and for me. I love you very much.

Happy Fathers Day to you ALL.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


My brother, Everett AKA Uncle Ebrett, has been in town this week.  Cora loves having people around all the time to perform for and she was cutting shines right and left for Uncle Ebrett.  His first night here, he was playing with her in the living room and apparently did something she didn't like so she said "Don't".  Everett didn't know what he'd done so he said "Don't what?"  to which she said "Don't, Ma'am."  (Good manners, a little off the mark there, though.)  Today, after hopping out of a bath, she ran into the other room and jumped on his bed (in her birthday suit.) She pointed at her bottom and said "That's my butt. That's where the poop comes out."  (Such a lady.)  Then she said "I can't see my hiney." 

All in all, we had a great visit with Everett.  He was a super big help with the kids, grocery-getting, and cleaning up after meals.  And we got to do one of our favorite "Everett-pasttimes", play Settlers.  We played it almost every night, AFTER the kids went to bed, and played at least two games of it each time.  Everett and Geron won most of them, but last night I kicked you-know-what and had a nice surprise win.  Yes, I basked a little much in the glory of it all.  But hey, Everett and Geron were my opponents!  EVERETT AND GERON!  Go me! Go me!

Hopefully he'll be back for his annual Labor day visit this year. Looking back to my adolescent years, I think there were not too many times when I appreciated what a good brother I had.. Of course, he was a little different back in the day.  But today, I wouldn't trade him for anything.  He's a great brother and an awesome friend.  (And Cora and Cohen would add, a really fun uncle.)  We love you Everett!!! Til next time!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Messy Boy

i fixed the problem with the picture displaying

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Buckin' Bronco

Our buckin' bronco is a pint-sized rocking horse.  Apparently, Cora found out that with carpet, you can get rocking horses to do a lot more.  She likes to ride hers through the living room and office.  It slides nicely across the carpet as she rocks and jumps at the same time. 

Last night, Geron and I were watching with amusement as she showed us her new trick, that is, getting the horse to rock her across the room.  At one point, she got a little carried away and jumped the horse right out from under her.  She flipped off the back and the horse went sailing over her head, landing down just shy of the dining table.  Geron was able to keep his composure and asked her if she was okay.  I, on the other hand, was shaking on the loveseat with laughter. 

She's going to have to take the rocking horse out to the corral and work on taming it.  It's still a little wild.

A Tea Party

I think Cora might be british, or maybe just a girly girl. 

Now that Cora and Cohen have their own rooms, I've been able to put all of their toys out where they can get to them.  Many of Cora's baby toys have found a new home in Cohen's room...had a little bit of drama when she'd find one that she recognized and asked "Is this mine?"  Explaining that it is a baby toy and that Cohen would have more fun with it than she would has helped a little. 

But Cora's had enough fun discovering girly toys she loves and has developed some new favorites.  Namely, her plush tea set from Granny.  Every morning she's up and ready for a lovely cup of tea.  And when anyone comes over, she has to offer them some cotton tea and cupcakes as well. OH, and the teapot doesn't even have tea in it, it's full of macaroni.  (What's up with that?)   It's gotten to the point that I had to put the crazy thing away for awhile. I mean, we were having tea practically 14/7 (she was asleep the other ten hours.) I think I'm going to follow some advice from some other moms I know and rotate the toys every few weeks or so.

In the meantime, pray for us.  Today, she found her doctor kit.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Single Mommies, How do you do it?

Geron is gone for the week, so I am attempting the life of a single mom.  I know single moms have WAYYYYYYYYYY more responsibilities to handle then I do for this short week, so let me say "Hats off to you who do it on a full-time basis. I bet your prayer life is incredible! 

Today, I braved McDonalds with Cora and Cohen.  I couldn't believe how good Cora was being while we waited to order.  She stayed next to me the whole time.  I noticed her watching the people around us. A lady with a rather large derierre approached the counter next to us.  Cora just observed her for a minute and then it happened. Her finger went up, pointed and she exclaimed "That's a butt!"  I tried to stifle what could easily be explosive laughter and looked around to see if anyone else had caught what she'd done.  Fortunately, noone seemed to notice, and more importantly, the lady herself didn't hear.  Woooo! We're off the hook.  Yes, I immediately told her that we don't point at or talk about bottoms in public and HOPE that does the trick for future opportunities to do so.  I ordered two happy meals, no special requests, filled drinks and headed to the play area. Cora ate like a bird and then wanted to play.  A little girl about a year younger than Cora came in and played with Cora for the longest time.  (Thank you, Jesus, for friends)  Cohen got a kick out of watching them play and laugh, and babbled and giggled up a storm as he watched.  He also ate, like a horse.  Thankfully, Cora only asked to go potty once...having a friend kept her from getting bored and needing to take the regular 4 trips to the potty.  When she finished playing, we both had ice cream cones and headed home for nap time.  AND FOR ONCE IN A BLUE MOON, THEY BOTH NAPPED AT THE SAME TIME!  AWESOME!!!  (Thank you, Jesus, for naps.) 

So, for the rest of the week, I am planning a movie day, fun at the park day(carousel ride and playing in the fountain--I also plan to bring a youth along on that trip), maybe a zoo day, and who knows what else.  Any suggestions out there?  If you think about it, pray for us as we're daddyless this week.  And pray for daddy and his buddy Stan and the kiddos at camp.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

All I needed to know in life, I learned from my daughter's pooped stained walls.

We are finally out of the old house and into the new.  It's been a hectic couple of weeks trying to get everything packed, moved and unpacked.  Apparently, one of our kids has been lacking for attention in this move and decided to go about getting it in a new way.

Sunday morning, Cora had a bit of an accident on the floor outside her bathroom.  She hadn't been up long, so she still had her pull-up on when the poop occurred.  She left us a nice poop stain on the carpet.  Geron was quick to help me get my wits about me and clean it up.  And he helped get it up, too.  Everything appears to come have come out nicely, but this was only the tip of the iceberg. 

TUESDAY brought a whole new side of Cora. Around 12 or so, I laid Cohen down for a nap and then got Cora ready for her nap.  When I thought she was settled, I went to the kitchen and began unpacking a mountain of boxes.  Much was getting accomplished in about 45 minutes, and then I heard the cough.  Thinking that Cora was waking up from a short nap, I went to her room to check on her.  As I opened the door, I was hit with the biggest shock of my parenting life...POOP!  Poop was on the floor, smeared in a two foot mess.  Poop was smeared on the walls in a finger paint design.  Ballerina Bear, a favorite toy that had been put away for some time, had poop all over her pretty head.  And Cora was laying in bed, with the covers pulled up to her shoulders, looking at me, just looking.  I saw her shorts and underwear laying on the floor beside her bed.  There was no poop in them.  Dare I pull the blanket back to see what mess was underneath? Slowly, I slid it back and found a practically clean bottom, a little poop on the legs and fingers,and a smudge on her nose...  YUCK! 

I have never had so many emotions rush forth at once as they did that terrible Tuesday.  I was shocked, I was angry, I was confused, I was humored, I was disappointed....you name it, I was it!  At first, I thought, I've got to clean this mess up.  How will I ever do this?  How much money will I have to pay to have the floor repaired?  I'm going to have to paint!  I called Geron and had him thinking something much worse had happened.  One of my piano parents called--a mother of four.  I told her what was going on and that I'd have to get back to her.  Her response "Been there, done that."  At that point, I started to calm down and see some humor in it.  I called my friend Keri, also a mother of four, and said "I need your help.  How do you get poop off of hardwood floors and off the wall?"  She gave me some advice and also helped me to relax.  When I got off the phone, I began cleaning and then realized "Cora still has poop on her body."  So, I stopped mid clean and took her to the bathroom.  I asked her what she'd done and why she'd done it.  She had an obvious answer for the first but didn't seem to understand the second.  I said "I'm going to have to spank you,Cora."  And I did.  (Later on, someone told me I should have made Cora help me clean it up, but I didn't want her touching it again. NEXT TIME, HOPING THERE IS NO NEXT TIME, I wil.)  After cleaning Cora, I took her back to her room and sat her in her rocker while I cleaned the rest of the poop.  Cohen woke up during the cleaning, so I sent her to entertain him.  At some point, it dawned on me that if there was poop on the wall and the door frame, there was probably poop on the door, too.  I closed the door and found some more finger painting.  Cleaned it up.  Took all the rags and threw them in the washer, threw the sheets in and Zoe, her favorite sleepy time toy, too.  Ballerina Bear, unfortunately, had met her demise and went to be with the other teddy bears who've passed on from this world.

Poop.  Lots of Poop.

Being a parent who tries to see the lesson in things, I prayed and asked God to help me see what was going on here.  Maybe some lack of attention, stress from the move, adjusting to a new house, etc.  I was so thankful that I had taught Cora a BIble verse last week because when I would start to feel angry, Cora would pipe up "For God so loved the world..."  She knows the whole thing.  After the first time she said it during an angry spell, I requested she say it during other times to immediately calm me down.  Thank you, Jesus, for your Word.

SO, I got to thinking, we learn a lot about God's love for us through our parenting.  I learned so many lessons on Tuesday. When we do something to mess our lives up, and get the yuck all over us, we can't clean ourselves up.  We have to let God do it.  And He doesn't want us to be dirty.  He loves us too much to let us stay in the "muck".  He longs for us to know how much He loves us and wants to spend time with us. He wants us to see our children the way He sees them, in need of love and a feeling of value. God wants us to make a mark on the world, but one that brings Him glory.

To look at her room, there is no evidence of poop having happened.  I want to leave evidence that love has. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


It's Siberia... apparently my little praise and worship songs aren't a big hit and now i'm gonna pay for it in frozen wasteland that is Siberia.

Just kidding. We are moving though, but it's just a couple of miles away. Across the street from Lydia's School.

A couple of months ago, the little lady who owned our house went to be with Jesus. She lived with constant pain, and couldn't even get out of her house anymore. She had a long life and was miserable here. She lived next door and we got to know her pretty well over the last several years. She was more than a landlord in many ways.

Anyway, Her properties are being sold and that includes our house. We were given the opportunity to purchase it, but it's really smaller than what we need now. So we have been looking for a new place really since she passed away. We wanted something close by to our places of employment, affordable & clean(believe me these rarely go together), and at leas three bedrooms. Our family has doubled in the last couple of years, and we needed something larger. After much prayer, searching Craig's List, and a lot of driving driving around we have finally found our new home, and it's really just what we needed.

I'll put a few pictures up when I get a chance. Saturday is the big day for the move. Check out our excitement from a few years back when we last moved.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

a special day

Nine years ago today was one of the best days of my life. I married my best friend. We've had many good days since then and she has given me two beautiful children. We are gonna go out and celebrate tonight. First real date since Cohen came along.

Here are some old pics from the early days.