Saturday, May 23, 2009


We are trying very hard to finish up our schooling over here. When we moved here last September it was chaos for a while. We have not followed the MS schedule, but rather stuck with the Rhode Island schedule and started sometime after labor day. At present Dori and Micah are *very* close to being done, lacking a small amount of lessons. Schools here are already out. I suspect we will wrap up in about two weeks at the most. It is strange to have school out in unlike the northeast where school continues until almost the end of June.

My camera is currently out of commission because our desktop is out of commission, therefore I cannot charge the camera. The desktop is being worked on and I hope it is back in action soon.

Dori, Micah, and James were in a musical program at church last Sunday. Both Dori and Micah had small parts and did great! I was so proud of all their hard work. James stood perfectly still and stared at me the entire time he was supposed to be singing. He had a huge grin, though, so I guess it's ok. Mama Linda and Pappaw drove over to witness the production and we had a nice time visiting with them, plus Auntie E and cousin Mary Thomas on Monday.

Summer seems imminent and exciting. The church has 987293847 things going on from mission trips to VBS to weekly special events for the children. I'm afraid things could potentially be busier in the summer than the school year! It will be fun, though. Our summer plans include taking several camping trips...something we have wanted to do for the past 3 summers but have been unable due to babies being born, money and time issues, etc. We are all completely excited about the camping adventures.

I am working on my music and some days I feel like the stuff I work on is good and right and other times I feel like it is complete garbage, lol! I'm sure this is normal. We recently had the piano tuned, mercifully, and now I am drawn to it daily for several hours a day, when I can squeeze it in. Dori is also drawn. And yesterday, I even caught Micah playing around, even though he swears up and down he wants to be a drummer.

The hope...the to begin recording some stuff soon. I have super great, generous, and talented friends who are helping me. It is exciting and yet also scary. I do not want to create bad music--even if it is just a simple thing of recording my own personal musical journey. I've thought a lot about why I want to do this. What is my purpose? Goals? Desires? And I came to the conclusion that I do want to share my know to friends or to family. Have a way to let them know where I'm at, so to speak. Kind of like this blog except in music form, LOL. That is the best explanation I can give. Anyway, as things happen I will post more about it.

Aside: as I type this, Judson is standing in front of me with a t shirt on and pants..."brushing" his teeth and holding a tube of toothpaste. He's grinning. I love him so.

James is presently Batman and prefers to be called Batman and is living in a Batman world.

Micah told me recently that 2 of his baseball team buddies "know God." That child is so like his father. How he arrives at this conclusion I really don't know...but I cannot even express how blessed I am to be his mother and to see his mind/heart sort out the things of God. He told me two days ago that I was the best mother in the whole world. I was feeling down and he percieved that and so followed with the comment and a huge hug. I love him.

Dori is enthralled in her books and her art/music world. She told me yesterday, while we were discussing India and our love for all things Indian, that she really wanted to go with me and Jason if we decide to take a trip this fall. I asked her if she would be afraid of the snakes. She said, "probably...but I will trust God to take care of me."

Yes, I am shamelessly boasting in my children. I am so thankful I get the privelege to be their mother and how I fail them so often and how quickly they forgive. It is mind boggling and beautiful at the same time. I am blessed.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Birthday Mayhem

Alright...something happened tonight that is just absolutely blogworthy in every way! Tomorrow is my 31st birthday (hard to believe, but yes, those years do thankfully, keep rollin' by). My sweet, funny, wonderful friend Ann brought some very nicely decorated cupcakes to our Sunday evening class that J teaches. This was such a nice surprise! The cupcakes were delicious and frosted to look like a giant ice cream cone. We're talkin' GOBS of yummy frosting! At least an inch thick on the top. Anyway, I brought home the leftovers to let the children have some. As I was picking up a bit around the house, I suppose I left too much time between visits to check on the children and this is what I saw when I finally returned to the kitchen:

What you have here is approximately 6 chocolate cupcakes that have been smashed and squished to smitherines. Notice a random slice of bread ended up in the mix . Also some broccoli on the far right. Mercy.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out the culprit, now does it? My little sweet and precious and cuddly and warm and wonderful as he is, had managed to completely cover his face with frosting.

Wait for it......

Little bit more..........

Okay, here we go..................

Oh my word. Just to be clear, that is a very thick layer of frosting on his face. Not sure the camera does it justice! LOL

Well, then.

At this point a parent has two choices: react in anger and punish the child for his misbehavior while away from direct parental supervision; or simply accept that this is one of those times in life where a bit of laughter and temperance will probably help the whole situation immensely. I laughed. And photographed. And carried my sticky 3 year old straight away into the bath tub. Yes, I did lecture James about how even though mommy laughed *this time* it would not be okay for him to repeat this frosting adventure anytime in the near future!

The funniest part about the whole that earlier in the evening when I picked James up from his class at church, he had in his hand an early Mother's Day gift. It was the sweetest, most innocent looking picture of him:

Now is that not absolutely hysterical??!! :)

And finally, a shot of Judson and his cup cake mayhem:

Ah, being a mother is truly a most wonderful thing! I cannot think of a better way to welcome my 31st birthday than to blog about my little guy. His squishy goodness, even with a layer of frosting on his face, is so perfectly wonderful and I am so wonderfully blessed, well, it's hard to put into words. I know one day, years from now and God willing, I will ache inside wishing to return to these times. I will remember with longing my little James and the cupcake incident. I will certainly never forget this birthday! Thank you James for that!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Micah's sleepover

As I type, Micah, James, and two friends Andrew and Nathaneal are quietly chattering and half-way watching a movie. They are sprawled out on the den floor with glow sticks and excitement. Probably a bit of exhaustion, too. I decided to blog about this while I have the moment and I am just a few feet away listening to the fun. :) Our party was postponed due to illness last week, but thankfully, the festivities began this evening in full force and with much anticipation. The above shot is before Micah blew out his number 7 candle. I really can't believe he is seven!

Another friend, Blake, was able to come and hang out for a while, but couldn't spend the night. The boys (a total of 7 earlier with some siblings) spent a good while outside with the wooden swords, shields, arrows and bows. They had so much fun running and chasing each other and only one child came in crying with an injury. Thankfully he made a swift and full recovery. '

It was hard to pull them inside to eat or do cake or really to do anything. They just had such a good time being boys. Around 8pm, as the sun set and it became too dark to see, they finally came in (with prodding I might add) to eat cake and ice cream.

Micah received some very nice gifts right up his alley. The boys had a good time setting up the new toys and they all played very well together. James decided he wants everything Micah got for his birthday. Oh, and speaking of James. That little stinker got into the cake at 4pm this afternoon! He confessed, well, the blue icing all over his lips was a clue, and of course received due punishment. I was able to sort of reconstruct things to a suitable level, but I was quite upset with him. Micah was surprisingly nonchalant. Whew.

The flash on my camera is so good that it appears that the boys are in full light, when actually this shot is completely dark in the room. They were playing quietly on their pallets.
We lit up the lights over the play area on account of such a special occasion. That and I just think it's pretty.

Well, I am about to head to bed, leaving Jason in charge of everyone. Chocolate chip pancakes are slated for breakfast in the morning and more outside play has been requested. I'd say our first ever sleepover at Casa Hardage is trucking along wonderfully! See you all in the morning!

Ok, people, today is Micah's 7th birthday celebration sleepover. I worked tirelessly last night to complete the most work intensive cake I've ever made....sadly, the result does not watch the work it took! It was all worth it, though, this morning because Micah nearly passed out when he saw it. You must know that I attempt cake making with the same approach as gift wrapping: with gusto and little thought to end result. I usually do not have the proper supplies/tools for either task and get creative...using whatever I have on hand to get the job done! I have many times wrapped a gift in leftover fabric. Once I actually sewed the material on. So anyway, this cake started out as one thing and evolved into a pirate ship on water. Oy! In hindsight, there was probably a very simple way to do this and create a pirate ship. I used the trial and error method. Oh well! It does taste good and Micah was thrilled and that is all that matters.

Dori is spending the night with a friend so she will be free from "the boys." Three little boys are coming over and we are all so excited! We'll be having pizza, snacks, cake, ice cream sundaes---general junk and mayhem! Thankfully all are well, so we can finally celebrate my big boy.

I thought I would share some memories of my little Micah, as I think about his 7 years on earth so far.

---Micah took two full days to be born. When he finally came, he surprised us--nurses/midwife and all and didn't even cry.

---Micah used to fall asleep while I sang to him in his bed. He would look up at me with the biggest, sweetest eyes until they finally and slowly shut.

---Micah is a climber and I have caught him climbing on nearly every appliance or fixture in our house. Once he managed to figure out how to escape a baby netted tent over his crib. At 2, he had climbed on top of the net and got himself stuck between the top of the net and the crib slats. He didn't cry though, just sat there until I came to rescue him! Ha!

---Micah once put a play plate in the microwave and turned it on accidentally, resulting in a fire department visit.

---Micah tells me all the time that I am pretty and that he loves that I cook for him. This melts my heart.

---Micah gets excited about everything and usually his first words are, "Dori, Dori!!!"

---Micah once told me I better make up with Jason so I wouldn't have to live on the roof (we were reading through Proverbs at the time, LOL)

---When I first found out my Dad died and was overcome with grief and sadness....Micah brought me a tray which had a banana, and flower he picked from outside, and a chocolate. He put it on the bed beside me and just clung to me. He sneaked the chocolate a few minutes later! :)

Happy Birthday, my son! I love you precious one.