Sunday, October 26, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged by Maureen, so here goes:

Seven Things:

1. I am one of six children (three boys and three girls). Growing up, we shared one bathroom. It CAN be done. I'm married to Michael, who also happens to be one of six children (three boys and three girls).

2. There are only two things I cannot (or will not) eat: mayonnaise and canteloupe.

3. I was born in Vilsek, Germany. Yup, I'm an Army brat.

4. We are in the midst of building our home (this is a first for us). I quickly discovered that I have champagne taste. And a beer budget.

5. My labor with my second son was 50 minutes, start to finish. SCARY because we almost didn't make it to the hospital. And on the mad rush to get there, as my husband was begging me not to push, he ran over a opposum.

6. I've never liked opposums.

7. There's no sweeter sound than that of children singing. It always makes me cry.

I am tagging:


Sunday, October 12, 2008

That's My Princess

We recently visited Dr. Taylor for Oakley's four-year-old check-up. Oakley loves Dr. Taylor, despite the fact the since she's had to endure many immunization shots while in her office.

After her physical exam, Dr. Taylor began to question Oakley about many things in order to determine if she is developmentally on target, which she so is! She had her count to 10 and in her excitement, Oakley forgot to stop at 10 and counted all the way to 40. She tested her on all of her colors and her shapes, and I think she was pleasantly surprised when Oakley correctly identified the diamond and oval along with all the other shapes. She asked about her favorite foods (thank goodness my girl threw in some fruits and vegetables along with McDonald's), and her favorite things to play.

Then the conversation took a turn ....

Dr. Taylor: Oakley, what do you always ride in while you're in the car?

Oakley: I ride in my car seat, with my buckles.

Dr. Taylor: Can you ride a bicycle?

Oakley: No, I'm still little. But I can ride a tricycle. It has three wheels.

Dr. Taylor: What do you always wear when you ride a tricycle?

Oakley glances at me for a little help.

Dr. Taylor: Oakley, don't look at your Mommy. Look at me. What do you always wear when you ride a tricycle.

Oh ... this is really a test for me. To see if I'm being a responsible parent.

Oakley: Ummm. Ummmmm. A tiara?

I just failed my responsible parent test.

Dr. Taylor: (trying really hard not to smile) "No, Oakley, that's not the right answer. A tiara won't protect your head."

Oakley: "Oh! A helmet!"

That's my girl.

Dr. Taylor: "That's right, Oakley. You should always wear a helmet when you ride your tricycle or a bicycle."

Oakley: "And a tiara."

That's my princess.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

FOUR ... Fabulous Four!

Guess who turned four today?!?! That's right -- my sweet girl is now four years old!

She's grown up so much in the past year, it's really hard to believe all that she's learned, accomplished, discovered and braved. We celebrated pretty low-key today ... actually, REALLY low key.

Our lives have been topsy-turvy this past month. In a matter of one week, I was offered a position with a great company and accepted it, I resigned from my old position, we got a contract on our house, and we signed a contract with a builder on a new house. Yes, we're building and I hope our marriage survives it (just kidding). Actually, Michael and I are celebrating (again, think low-key) our 20th wedding anniversary today!!

So, in the past month, I've had a yard sale, we closed on our house and are in the midst of packing (we'll have to move into rental property while our new home is being built -- ugghh), the boys started school, my youngest changed districts and schools, and all three boys started their soccer seasons, complete with weekend out-of-town tournaments. My head has been spinning, and I told Michael I just didn't think I could handle another change.

Then lo and behold ... Sawyer got his driver's license.

And totaled my 4-Runner just two weeks later.

Miraculously, he walked away from a really bad accident unscathed with the exception of some burns on his arm and places on the inside of his mouth from the airbags. He most definitely had an angel on his shoulder. I chalk it up to inexperience (and most likely, excessive speed), but he was coming home from work on the interstate, was in the passing lane, and the car to his right veered into his lane. Sawyer over-corrected and hit the concrete barrier. He lost control, skidded across three lanes of interstate traffic (without coming into contact with another vehicle), slid off the road, down into a deep ravine, and into a tree. Truly, God spared his life that night and I thank God he is alive.

Subsequently, I had to get a new vehicle, which I just purchased two weeks ago. Then last Tuesday night, while in the Cracker Barrel parking lot, an older gentleman backed into my passenger door. And I still have temporary tags!! Just a small dent, but I took it for estimates and they're going to have to keep it for a couple of days while repairs are being made.

And I couldn't even be upset with the man that hit me. First, it was an accident. And second, he's 85 years old, meanders up to me, and says, "Well, did you ever see such a thing? I try not to do stupid things, but every once in a while, one will sneak up on me." I felt so badly for him. I kept apologizing to him!"

More info that you wanted to know, I'm sure. I haven't had a minute to think, much less blog, and I guess I'm documenting all of my whoas to try to justify to myself why Oakley didn't get a big birthday bash this year.

She was more than content with a few presents and her immediate family joining her this evening for birthday cake (not even ice cream). She got to wear a birthday crown during preschool this morning and I picked her up early today from school.

She joined me on a visit to Sullivan's elementary school this afternoon. A week or so ago, Sullivan's third grade teacher called and asked me to come and talk to the classroom about our travels to China and how our cultures differ. She is devoting this semester to studying the Olympics and all that it encompasses. She asked me to bring photos and anything we picked up in China that might be of interest (chopsticks, Chinese silks, currency, artwork, etc.) As I was gathering things together last night in preparation, Sullivan asked me if we could bring Oakley. I explained to him that she would miss her naptime and that it probably wasn't a great idea because she would then be grumpy on her birthday.

"But Mom, " he implored. "She's the best thing we got in China!"

You can't really argue with logic like that.

So I picked Oakley up after lunch today and she accompanied me to Sullivan's school. This was such a special visit for us all. I think Oakley felt really special as we talked about her homeland, about what a beautiful country China is, and about how warm her people are. She even taught the class how to say hello and thank you in Mandarin. Sullivan was so proud of her and he beamed throughout my entire presentation. I love talking about China and why we love it so much!!

All of Sullivan's classmates kept wishing Oakley a very Happy Birthday, and she practically waltzed out of the classroom when it was time for us to go.

So after soccer (surprise, surprise) this evening, we all gathered in the dining room and celebrated our little girl. After we sang Happy Birthday and she blew out her candles, she opened her gifts. She loved her Mary Poppins movie, her new pajamas, her Ariel bathtime doll and her new Candyland game.

But she was most excited about opening the gift from her best friend Caeleigh!! It's a precious "O" peg rack, and she absolutely loves it! Thank you, Caeleigh. Oakley loves you and misses you so very much!

Happy Birthday to my sweet Oakley, who thanked me this evening as I was tucking her in, for singing Happy Birthday to her and for getting her a cake with green and pink polka dots.

And thank you to her birth mom, whom I know is dreaming tonight of the baby girl she held in her arms four short years ago. Please know that your precious girl is everything you want her to be -- well-loved, cherished, and so very happy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Oakley's Been Tagged!

Oakley was tagged by her blogging buddy, Flower. I followed Flower's journey home to her family and have kept up with her because she's just too precious and her family is way too cool. Check out their vacation escapades -- never a dull moment!! Sawyer LOVES their VW bus!!

Anyway, Oakley and I sat down this afternoon and she provided all the answers to the questions. You'll see for yourself that I didn't edit these.

Oakley Xinxiang Curd

Age: I'm three years old. I'm almost 4.

Favorite Activities: I like to paint. I like to color. I draw pictures and play in my room. I like to get messy. I play outside and ride my bicycle.

Favorite Foods: corn, muffins, yogurt, pineapple

Least Favorite Foods: I don't like snakes. But I like cheeseburgers. Sometimes I don't like mustard.

Favorite Music: ABC's, God Bless America, I am 16 ... going on 17 (from Sound of Music), and I like Mary Poppins

Favorite Toys: my dollhouse, puzzles, games and Hungry Hippo, Hi Ho Cheerio, my bitty baby and her stroller -- she's so cute

Favorite Books: Fancy Nancy, Goodnight Moon, Popcorn, and that Polar Bear book

Favorite Items of Clothing: my princess shirt, my princess dress, my princess slipper shoes (are you beginning to see the pattern?)

What Makes Me Happy: dancing, books, Mommy, Sullivan, Hagan, Daddy, stinky dog Scrabble (insert giggle), my brother Sawyer

What Makes Me Sad: when my belly hurts, when I miss Mommy (be still my heart)

I TAG: Claire, Emery, Caeleigh, and Lily

And on a side, note, these photos are for you, Lynn. Oakley is modeling an original Livi Lu creation and we LOVE IT!! This may be THE cutest top I've ever seen and Lynn, you need to send some business cards my way so I ca
n pass them out for you. You are, oh, so talented!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Brother's Love

Precious brother
can you see
What the Lord has given you and me?
The chance to grow
and find our way;
But, still we cannot
stay away.

Not just a name
upon a tree.
The Lord has made us
To share our lives
both good and bad,
To come together
happy or sad.

A helping hand
within our grasp,
A friendship that you know
will last.
Not just a name
upon a tree;
The Lord has made us

Thankful I shall always be,
The Lord has made you
brother to me.

--Brenda Darlene Kijowki

Friday, July 4, 2008

Patriotic Concert

Last night we joined family and friends at a Patriotic Concert on the beautiful grounds of Transylvania University and Gratz Park. This annual event is one of our favorites -- a time for picnicking, playing in the fountains, enjoying the music of the Lexington Philharmonic and Lexington singers, and participating in some Grand Ole' Flag waving.

My good friend, Sherry, and her beautiful family were in from Utah and we really enjoyed spending the evening with them. Sawyer and her oldest son, Adam, have been friends since they were preschoolers.

After they moved to Utah, Sawyer and Adam maintained a special friendship and bond, with the ability to "pick up right where they left off," even after spending time apart for months- on-end. Adam vacationed with us many summers, and Sawyer vacationed with them on many occasions. These boys have grown into young adults right before our eyes, and I'm so proud of who they've become.

Sawyer and Adam decided last night to run in the Bluegrass 10,000 footrace this morning -- this annual event is part of our community's Fourth of July Celebration, and most of the runners train for months in preparation. Adam didn't even bring running shoes, so he and Sawyer left the concert early to purchase shoes at a local sporting goods store. Sawyer spent the night with him last night and they headed down bright and early for the race, which began at 7:30am. Once there, they decided they were really too tired to run because they stayed up all night talking and catching up.

So instead of running, they headed to the Krispy Kreme store and munched on donuts while watching the runners round the first mile-marker. Teenagers!

Happy Fourth of July
to you and your family.

God Bless America!!

Favorite Photo Friday

On the dock at Dale Hollow Lake.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"THAT would not be great!"

Oakley is such a little creature of habit. She thrives on routine and she likes things orderly. She ALWAYS sleeps with the same teddy bear, rabbit and her pink blanket. She has to have all closet doors, dresser drawers and night stand drawers shut tightly before she can go to sleep. She says her blessing before EVERY meal, whether at home or dining out. And without fail, she washes her hands after going potty.

So imagine her surprise, when I suggested she go potty in the middle of the lake. Four adults and eight kids had pulled into a beautiful little cove to swim and play in the water. Oakley told me, rather discreetly, that she had to go pee in the potty. I explained that it was a long way to the bathroom at the marina and told her it was okay to go in the lake.

"THAT would not be great!" she exclaimed in horror.

After a little prompting and reassuring, however, she did manage to go.

Fast forward to the next morning as we were loading the boat with our cooler, floats and towels for our day excursion. She told me that she had to go potty so I took her hand and we headed down the dock toward the bathroom at the marina.

"I don't want to go to that potty," she said with disappointment in her voice.

"I like to pee in the lake!"

Time with Friends

We just got home from a fabulous week at Dale Hollow Lake! We vacationed with some of our closest friends, Joe and Nicole, and their four precious girls. It was a week of boating, swimming, campfires, roasting marshmallows, fishing, cliff jumping, tubing and skiing. The weather was perfect, the company was great and we all had a wonderful time!

The kids all got along so well and I think they really enjoyed each other -- I know mine did!! I've heard from all the boys that we need to spend more time together (and we do). Hagan is already plotting a get-together at a water park next week.

I love this family dearly, cherish their friendship and respect their values. It was so great to finally get to spend some quality time together. Our schedules are so busy that Nicole and I usually manage just a phone call every week or so, and then, it's just the basics. Although we've been friends for ages, and we don't live THAT far away from each other, this is the first time we've been able to spend this much time together in a LONG time, and it was great getting to know each of their girls even better.

We spent the week at a cabin on one of the most beautiful lakes ever! We were out of cell phone range, and didn't have access to the internet, so I spent much of today catching up on emails and some of my favorite blogs . . . in between doing loads of laundry.

Although we had the best time, it was good to get home. Oakley didn't take a nap at all during our vacation because we spent all day on the water and she didn't want to miss a thing.

She caught up on some much needed sleep and took a 3 1/2 hour nap this afternoon while I uploaded over 350 photos (be prepared for more posts:)! She was content to stay in her pajamas all day and while eating lunch this afternoon, she commented, "I'm so happy to be at my home!"

How sweet is that?!?