Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The season of Sophie Ann

I thought of you when the cool fall air hit my face this morning.

I thought of you when I held a friend's baby who has been diagnosed with Trisomy 21, Down Syndrome.

I thought of you when a little girl ran up to me and thought I was her mother.

I thought of you when the high school football games kicked off.

I thought of you as I took care of a little one's scratched knee.

I thought of you when I was dusting and carefully cleaned off the plate that displays your footprints of life.

I thought of you as I drove down Hwy 431, and passed the road that led to your grave.

I thought of you when I went to the Doctor's office this morning and I saw your picture on his wall.

I thought of you when we sang about heaven at church.

I thought about you when someone asked me how many children I have.

I thought about you when I cleaned out Hope's closet and noticed we had missed a spot when we were painting her room. It was the brown that was used for an office in place of your nursery.

I thought about you when I saw my neighbor's child who was born near your birthday.

I thought about you when I put on a pair of shoes that I wore during your pregnancy.

I thought about you when I flipped open my Bible and saw your footprints.

I thought about you when I watered the plant that was given to us at your funeral.

I thought about you when I was looking for Hope's birth certificate, but instead a box of memories fell out of the closet and onto the floor.

I thought about you when I went to sleep last night. I wondered what you were doing. I thought about silly things like, did someone brush your beautiful hair, or play dolls with you?? But, all that's silly.

You are with our Creator. The most wonderful daddy of all. As I approach this season, the time that was most difficult for our family, may I focus my thoughts on my Heavenly Father on every remembrance of you.

"I thank my God in all my remembrance of you" Phil. 1:3

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

School is BACK!

Schooling has been one of top things that Carlton and I have prayed about as a parent. (yes, I know the teenage years will bring about a whole new list of prayer topics). But, as of today, second to descipling and training our children in the word of God, school is at the top of the list.

It's a BIG deal to us. For a lot of reasons.

As previous educators, we both know the impact the classroom teacher has on a child. So, releasing our children to another person for eight hours a day is a BIG deal! We started off this journey home-schooling. And it was a joy. Yes, there were days when I thought HG and I would pull out each other's hair, but overall, it was a wonderful experience. We made a pact (Carlton and I ) to evaluate each child at the end of each year and determine what would be best for them (and our family) for the next school year. Last year, Noah began kindergarten in our local public school. And he thrived. Mid-way of last school year, we decided to enroll Hannah Grace. Lily was having a tough time at home adjusting to the new baby, and she needed me.
All of me. Hannah Grace had a wonderful year. She proved to be a great leader and soared in all of her school work.

This year, both Noah and HG are attending our local public school and we could not be happier with both of their teachers. We are very, very excited!!! We have perfect peace that they are right where they need to be! Here are some pictures of the first week back at school.

Oops! In the madness of the morning, I did not spell build correctly. Shame on me! LOL

Lily is going to be at home with me this year, and I am going to start something NEW with her! I would love to hear your feedback if you are familiar with what I am about to discuss. Most of you know, that I LOVE to teach math. I began tutoring math in college and have been privately tutoring in my home for the last 13 years! I have so many math tricks up my sleeve, I should write a book. LOL But, second to teaching math, I LOVE teach a child how to read. I suppose the 4 years I spent in a first grade classroom sealed the deal, because reading is basically what we did all day! Learning how to read, opens up countless opportunities for a child to learn! Once you learn how to read, it's hard to imagine what it was like before. When Carlton and I went to China, I experienced just that. Everywhere we went, we had no clue what anything said! We couldn't read bathroom signs, restaurant menus, road signs, hotel receipts, NOTHING! We could have signed our life away on some document and never known it! Thankfully, we had interpreters for most of our trip. But, think about a person who cannot read! How vulnerable they must feel. I personally believe that most children can learn how to read by age 4 1/2. They are little sponges and their brains are ready! Once they learn to read, their whole world opens up!

I am a huge advocate of phonics, so with my two oldest children, I used the Sing, Spell, Read, and Write program. AND OH BOY! It is my FAVORITE. They were both reading before kindergarten. I have used it with many children that I tutor who were struggling readers and have seen huge success! To me, it's just a no-fail program.


neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed. Change.

And I have found a book (method) that has such rave reviews, I just cannot HELP MYSELF, I need to try this! I know that someone out there has used this....it's as old as can be. So...feedback would be great!

So....our goal for Lily, is to have her reading by the end of December. Is that 100 days?? LOL She is ready. She knows all of her letters and sounds and is already blending three letter words. She just needs me to take some time with her. Can we say books for Christmas???

OK...off to organize my pantry. With all this couponing, things are getting out of hand in there! LOL

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hopes first birthday

My baby turns ONE!

Oh Happy Day!

We had a small birthday party for our sweet
Hopey this weekend. It's hard to believe that this time last year, she was just a little bitty newborn. My, how time flies! As I reflect back over this year, I have no regrets! I soaked up every little moment and kissed those pretty lips probably too much! I enjoyed her like no other baby. What a gift we have been given.

"Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him." Psalm 127:3

Hope had a few of her friends over for an afternoon pool party. It was super hot outside...gotta love this
smokin' hot Alabama weather! We had a great time of swimming, eating cake and opening presents.

I do want to mention one little incident that I don't want to forget.

I dressed Hope in her little birthday outfit, including ruffled socks and pink shoes. I was so excited because I never put shoes on her. (And they actually matched and all.) It was most cute. Not long after getting her dressed, she began screaming uncontrollably. This really is not like her at all. I offered her a bottle, some juice, even a cookie and nothing would stop her screaming. At this point, we thought she was having terrible gas pains because she was pulling up her feet and clenching her fist. The thought crossed my mind that we might have to call the party off...she was screaming THAT MUCH. Carlton gets in the van and zooms off to the pharmacy to get her some gas drops. After about 15 more minutes of screaming, I sat down with her and tried to rock her and rub her belly. But, Hope would not have it. She sits up, looks at me, and points to her shoes and screams again. I thought to myself, "No way,
Hopey, you can't be throwing this kind of fit because you are wearing shoes."

She. So . Was.

I took her socks and shoes off and she smiled at me. Not another tear.

And no, her shoes were not too small or tight.

I just have a child who
doesn't like shoes, I suppose. This should be interesting come Mid-October.

And.. here we are after our shoe melt-down. We had both worked up a sweat from all that fussin'.

Ok...back to the party.

Here are a few pictures of our fun weekend:

Hope wanted to share some with cousin Ada. Ada dove right in!!! I think Noah thought that was just hilarious.

This was a banner with pictures from each month of her first year.

Enjoy the video in the post below!