Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Sincerest Apologies

Until I was fourteen, we lived next door to David and Peg Harmon.  Peg worked with the children's ministry at our church where she was known as Mrs. Peg.  Since she was called Mrs. Peg, I assumed that her husband must go by Mr. Peg which I called him for most of my childhood.  The adults all thought that this was cute, and so they never bothered to correct me.  Eventually I figured it out for myself that Mrs. Peg's husband was, in fact, Mr. Harmon, not Mr. Peg.  And for years this has been told in my family as a cute story of when I was a little girl.

Tonight I was recounting this story at Bible study when something horrifying occurred to me.  Mr. Harmon was a Vietnam vet who had lost a leg in the war, leaving him to rely on a prosthesis, a peg if you will, in its place.  So, David Harmon, if you're out there, I am so terribly sorry.  There was no pun intended.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Mommy and Nate Go to the Big D

Last weekend Mommy and Nate had a hot date to the Big D.  I had the great privilege of taking part in Haley and Matt Byrnes' wedding, and Nathaniel went as my date since Daddy had to work back in Austin.  Driving more than a couple of hours is a challenge with the little guy as he gets bored and voices his dissent quite loudly from that point forth.  But we made it to Dallas in one piece and even arrived at the rehearsal in time for Mommy to practice the scripture reading.  It was no small feat.

Haley and Matt had a great Texas-style rehearsal dinner on White Rock Lake overlooking the Dallas skyline.  Unfortunately, Nate-dog and I had to head out before the band took the stage.  He's not the two-stepper that his daddy is, and we both needed to catch some shuteye.

The wedding was beautiful and very honoring to the Lord, and I was grateful to be there sans baby due to a little babysitting help from one of my college roommates, Holly Crenshaw.  After the wedding, Hols and I got to spend some quality girl time together catching up and taking care of important goals like watching Baby Mamma in my hotel room.  I also kicked her butt playing Boggle.  Love you, Cren!  It felt great to actually win a game since Andy almost always beats me.

On Sunday we made our way back to Austin to find that Andy and Katie had a good time as well.  And although Katie was a little mad at me when I first got home (she wanted "space"), she warmed up pretty quickly, and we enjoyed some good time together before the week began.

Monday, August 04, 2008

My Baby is Growing Up

Nathaniel is now six months old.  It's hard to believe that half a year has already gone by.  I am so thankful to have such a wonderful son.  At six months, he is rolling over, sitting up, cutting his first tooth, and generally making sure that things aren't too quiet around here.  That boy is loud!  He loves to scream when he's happy, sad, hungry, dirty, whatever.  But he more than makes up for it by how cute he is.  His sister and two doggies can make him laugh like nobody's business, and based on how much he likes to bounce around when he's being held, that kid is not the type to sit still.  Let's see, he's joyful, loud, wiggly.... who does that sound like?  Mini-Andy.

Now I Lay Me...

Now I lay me down to sleep.  I pray the Lord to ride a llama?!

Part of Katie's bedtime routine includes praying.  We always ask her what she would like to pray about.  Last night, she asked me to pray that she could ride a llama.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Da Bears

Black bears are one of the many types of wildlife that make their home in the Catskills.  And throughout my childhood, it was always a big deal if someone were to actually see one.  We knew that they were around, but they mostly stayed away from populated areas unless there was a drought.

In the last few years, there has apparently been a bear population explosion because now they are everywhere.  People send out memos on the best methods to prevent bears wreaking havoc on their property.  But still, we had never seen any signs of one near our house.

So... one night we were playing Scategories and being quite loud.  After the game wrapped up, I went to take out the trash, but thankfully looked out the window before going outside.  The big wooden box in which we place our trash cans in order to prevent animal intrusion was literally upended, and trash was everywhere.  We were a little freaked out but also excited.  O.k., Andy and I were excited.  Madeline was already high-tailing it upstairs so that the bear wouldn't get her.

We told Katie the next morning thinking that she would share in our excitement.  A real live bear at our house!  Cool!  She didn't really share in our enthusiasm.  Andy spent the rest of the trip telling her not to be afraid because the Bears are in Chicago.  Nice one, Dad.

We had heard that spraying the trash with Febreeze is a good deterrent, so I kept our trash bin as springtime fresh as possible for the remainder of our time there, and that seemed to do the trick.  (Apparently bears do not like floral-scented garbage.)  At least until our last night there.  The next morning the box was once again knocked over, and we had a cleanup job to do.  Andy volunteered to take care of things.  But when he walked out the door, he got more than he bargained for.  To add insult to injury, the bear had pooped on our back stoop.  We suspect that this must have been an adolescent bear.  Thank goodness he didn't have a paper bag and a lighter.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Twilight Park 2008

We just got back after two glorious weeks in Twilight Park.  For those of you who don't already know, Twilight is a summer community in the Catskill Mountains of New York.  It was founded over one hundred years ago by some of my (Ashley's) forbearers, and our home there has been in our family since that time.  Twilight is where we go to rest, unplug, enjoy God's beautiful creation, and reconnect with one another.

The first week we were there, we enjoyed the company of Dick and Madeline, Andy's dad and step-mom.  The kids had lots of fun with Grandpa and Grandma as did we.  Some high-lights include visiting on the porch, reading, doing a puzzle, splashing in the creek, going to the playground, shopping at a local farm, playing board games at night, a visit from a bear, eating at our favorite mountain-top restaurants, Andy going mountain biking, and Ashley attending a birthday party for some of her childhood friends.

Week two was all about rest.  We did a lot more reading, laid in the hammock, went to the pool, played more games, did another puzzle, went hiking, had another visit from the illusive bear, ate ice cream with sprinkles, went to story hour at the library, got together with old friends and watched our kids become friends, picked blueberries, soaked in the claw-foot bathtub, and enjoyed walking to nearby waterfalls and soaking in the scenery.  It was hard work, but someone had to do it.

There is so much to share, so look for more blog posts about Twilight soon!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Dr. Katie

For the most part, I have found the "terrible twos" to be a misnomer.  However, there are times when this "first adolescence" rears its ugly head, and it downright brings me to my knees.  The other day Katie was particularly trying my patience with her amazing ability to stall as I was trying to get her to bed.

Mommy:  (Big sigh)
Katie:  "Are you o.k., Mommy?"
Mommy:  "Yes.  Mommy is just frustrated right now."
Katie:  "That's o.k., Mommy.  We'll get you some apple juice, and that will help you poop.  Then you'll feel better."

And now you know how we treat Katie when she's gotta go but can't.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 5 Months on the 4th, Nate Dog!

I cannot believe that Nathaniel is five months old today!  Although he got a rough start in life with reflux, he has become the happiest, sweetest little guy.   He makes the cutest sounds and has a great laugh.  His favorite games include playing Tarzan with Mommy, laughing with Katie, and doing push-ups with Daddy.  Any day now he will be rolling over.  We are so proud of you, little guy!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Adventures in Late-Night Potty Training

Not that I am a goal-oriented person, but.... I read that most kids aren't ready to potty train until they are at least 24 months old. So as soon as Katie turned two, I read books, watched a DVD, bought training panties and a potty, and generally prepared for P-Day. About two hours into potty training, it was clear that Katie didn't get it, but I didn't let that discourage me. I pressed on. Two days into the ordeal, we were both about to lose it. Andy suggested that we scrap potty training until Katie was ready. And I agreed as it had become obvious that, short of strapping her to the toilet, we weren't going to get anywhere.

As the months passed, I brought it up at times to test her interest level.

Katie: Mommy, I want to be a ballerina.
Me: Ballerinas go pee pee in the potty.
Katie: I don't want to be a ballerina.

Katie: Mommy, I want to go to school.
Me: That's great! School is really fun. But you can't go to school until you can go pee pee in the potty.
Katie: I don't want to go to school. I just want to go to pretend school.

Then Nathaniel was born, and I didn't even think about potty training. No need to add to the craziness. I figured that it would happen when it happened. And Katie continued to show absolutely no interest.

But tonight towards the end of her bath, Katie jumped up and said, "I have to pee pee. I need to go to the potty!" And without further ado, she got out of the tub and ran over to her potty and successfully completed her mission. Of course, Andy and I made a big deal over it and after much jumping, shouting, calling of relatives, and giving of treats, Katie announced that she had to go again which she did. Two more times! Woohoo!

So we've scrapped everything for tomorrow and would appreciate your prayers for continued success and cooperation from little Nate-dawg. Ballet slippers, here we come!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Trinity

A couple of nights ago, Katie was "composing" a new song. She was singing about Jesus and His mommy and daddy. I asked her, "Katie, who is Jesus's daddy?"

"Will you tell me?" she asked.

"God is Jesus's daddy," I replied.

"So there are two Gods?"

"No. There is only one God, but Jesus and His daddy are both God."

"So there are two Gods."

"No. Just one. But it's really hard to understand. Mommy doesn't understand either."

How do you explain the trinity to a two-year-old child? Can anyone explain it to me?


After Nathaniel was born, my mom came to help with the kids. Katie would often make up little songs and sing them as we went about our day. My personal favorite was "Don't Get Allergies." I'm guessing that she was inspired by her dad's cedar fever. Anyway, my mom tried to take the opportunity to teach her a new word.

"Katie, when you make up a song, that's called composing. If you make up a song, then you are a composer."

"I'm a poser?"

Um, yeah.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


After being accused of stealing milk from kids, Uncle James decided to see what would happen if he really did steal milk from Katie. So one recent evening, James showed up at our house and made a beeline for the fridge. He then made a big point that he was stealing Katie's milk. Still in shock, Katie yelled, "No, Uncle James! You don't take my milk!"

"But I took Isabella and Zach's milk," James replied.

Katie's eyes got very big as she realized that James knew what she had said about him. Busted. How would she respond?

"No, Uncle Chris took their milk." When caught in a lie, it's always best to come up with another lie to cover your tracks. Right?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Uncle James

In the world according to Katie, Uncle James has been a very busy man lately. First of all, he is a composer. Last night Katie was singing "Jesus Loves Me" while she took a bath. She looked up and asked, "Mommy, who composed 'Jesus Loves Me'?"

"I don't know," I said.

"Maybe Uncle James," offered Katie.

"No, he didn't."

"Yes, he did." And that was that.

Then today I was telling Katie about the DeGarmo's camping trip. "Katie, do you want to know what happened when Isabella and Zach went camping last weekend? Someone stole their cooler with their milk in it! Can you believe that?"

"Who took their milk, Mommy?"

"I don't know."

"Maybe Uncle James took their milk."

"No. Uncle James did not take their milk."

"Yes, he did." And there it is, my brother is a real-life version of Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde, composing "Jesus Loves Me" by day and stealing milk from small children by night.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

If at first you don't succeed...

I'm going to give this blog thing another try. Nathaniel will be eight weeks old tomorrow, and it is way past time to immortalize him in cyberspace. Some of Katie's thoughts on having a little brother:

1. "What dude say?"
2. "That his peanut? I want to see his peanut again!"
3. "I want Nathaniel eat my belly."
4. "Nathaniel spit up!"