Monday, July 20, 2009

Hattiesburg Trip

Well, we finally made a trip south to Hattiesburg for a few days. It was short, but sweet and so overdue! It seemed like every time we tried to head down, someone would get sick or something would come up, and it wouldn't work out. But last Thursday, we were able to pack up and go.

I woke up that morning to loud thunder and rain falling, but this did not deter me. I don't think anything could have stopped this trip!

The kids were so excited to see Grandma and Grandpa Moser and Uncle Jason and it was easy to wake them due to all the anticipation. :)

On the way down, we stopped in Madison to visit my best friend Emily, and her children: Anne-Elise, Ava, and new baby Jak. Let me stop right here and say that I am so thankful for my friendship with Emily. Through the years we've remained as close as we ever were, if not closer. When I walked in Em's door (which was decorated with a sweet drawing for us with my kids' names on it! how sweet!) the first thing I said was, "how come I haven't been here before now?!" In fact, I'm already planning and scheming for the next visit. :D

My kids *love* to play with Emily's kids, and between the two of us, we have a serious crew! It is such a joy to see our little ones play together. I just love it! Thankfully they all play great together (except for when one of my boys forgets the delicate sweetness of girls) and give me and Em time to talk about the 2,347,987,234 things we always seems to squish into a visit. I am so thankful for our friendship that has remained and strengthened through the years. It is refreshing to get together and share our lives with each other and pick up right where we left off from the time before. Of course, there is no shortage of serious belly laughs (which are so needed for the mamafolk). It is just........good. Visiting Em is like drinking a great cup of coffee: rich, strong, and satisfying. So thankful for this short, but fun visit!

Me and Emily

Ava. Gracious what an adorable child!!

Sad Ava.

Anne-Elise and Dori. They're buddies. They share love of art among other things.

Multiplication. And poor baby Jak isn't even in the shot. Somehow I missed him in all the festivities. He is so so cute, though.

After spending a few hours with the Kines family, we headed for Grandma's house. The kids love to visit Grandma and Grandpa for the same reasons I used to love to go over to their house. Grandma *always* has yummy cookies. The yard is huge and has flowers and a swing set in it. Grandpa has cartoons ready and waiting to be watched and enjoyed. Grandma has tiny little juice cups for breakfast time. It is fun at Grandma and Grandpa's house!

We also spent a good bit of time with Uncle Jason. I guess you could say that this visit James and Jason "bonded," lol. For some reason, at every meal, James sat next to Uncle Jason and would reach over and grab Jason's arm. Then grin at him with a loving smile. It was quite comical. Who knows what James was thinking, but thankfully, Jason went along and they are big buddies now.

This is Dori at Uncle Jason's house

Micah, Jason, Dori, and Judson at the back of Grandma's yard. Old, random boat in back ground.

Observing old, random boat.

Pears in the yard.

Dori, Jason, Micah, and James in front of Grandpa's shed.

Um..ok, so James wanted to take a picture. There were 5 other people that were supposed to be in this shot but James said, "I wanna take a picture of him." And then to our surprise he did! Hahaha.

Me and Jason. Rare moment. Everyone hold your breath!

I like this one....

Swingin' at Grandma's

Dori discovered this old book of Fairy Tales and told me that she decided she would read it through cover to cover without skipping over the fairy tales she already knew OR the ones that seemed boring in the beginning. Ok, then. Jason was worried he'd offended Dori because she came inside to read while all the boys were throwing the football. I assured him this is normal and in fact happens fairly regularly.

James in Uncle Jason's racecar.

James and Ginger. Judson running away from Ginger.

Before bed reading.

The boys are in desperate need of haircuts, which will be remedied this Friday. However, while at Grandma's, they were needing some hair help. Grandpa obliged.
"I can only do so much, Melanie...." :P

Here's Grandma! She was making a delicious ham dinner and stopped to smile and let me get a photo. Many, many, many memories of Grandma in this spot serving her family and feeding us well.

Judson wasn't feelin' this shot.

It was a great, albeit short, visit. I'm thankful we were able to go....for the weather not being too terrible, for safe travels, laughter, loving, sharing, good food, good times. Till the next time.......

Friday, July 10, 2009

Doctor visits, plah-nos, dec-torating, and cobbler...

This is Judson, affectionately known as Judder in these parts. Wow, he is really growing up so fast and it is so hard to believe that he is almost TWO years old. Somebody stop the clock! This photo was taken his first outfit of the day. Judder usually goes through 2 to 4 outfits a day. I know I have four children and should be a total pro at figuring out how to keep a baby in only one outfit per day, but I just don't understand how it's done! This is one messy kid. Evidence will follow.

Dori and Micah both had physicals this morning with a new doctor. They were a little nervous about going, but this place was fabulous. I think we were there "consulting" with our new doctor for almost 2 hours! I have never experienced a doctor's appointment like this. Dr. C really listened to me and had such a great demeanor with the kids. When he went to look in Micah's ear, he said, "now Micah, is there a worm in here (acting totally serious and looking at Micah with big serious eyes, LOL)? Because doctors need to know if boys have worms in their ears!" So funny! Micah *loved* it!
This is Dori coloring while we waited. And her completed masterpiece.

Me and Dori at the doctor's office. I would like to point out the necklace I am wearing. This was my birthday present from my brother Jason this year and I totally love it! It's just a simple silver circle, but I just adore this necklace. Thank you brother!

When we returned from the doctor visit, Judson was "playing Nie Nie." He would actually lie on the floor for quite some time, all covered up in his quilt, and be perfectly still. It was really cute.
Close up of "Nie Nie" time.

Next in the day (and after Judson went down for a nap) was some piano/singing time. Dori took these photos. You may be thinking I'm crazy for waiting until Judson napped to play. Let me explain. When I was pregnant with Dori 8 years ago, I had just finished my music degree and did an awful lot of daily practicing. It was still very much a part of my life (classical playing, I mean). I felt strange not practicing and kept it up all through the pregnancy. I think this is why, when she was born, my playing never bothered her and actually sometimes would put her to sleep! Hahahaha.

I'm getting long winded. Anyway. All my children have heard music going on during every part of the day. It doesn't seem to bother them and I think they like it. Judson sleeps right through *most* days. If I get really rowdy (blush) with the playing and singing he might wake up.

James has a very unique personality and part of it is that he feels compelled to share with me anything he deems important at any time. If I am unavailable for his ramblings, he throws himself on the floor. He must be heard! He must not be silenced! Power to the people!

Inevitably, James finds 92834982482348900 things to tell me at precisely the very middle of a piece I am working on with all my heart. I fight feeling frustrated. I stop. I listen. I wait until he's told me that he's Octopus Prime and Micah is Bumblebee, or is it he's Bumblebee and Micah's Octopus Prime? Because you cannot mess up the regurgitation of his message or it will all begin again even more emphatically! Trust me. I know. I love my James. Sometimes he interrupts my playing with incessant taps on my shoulder while saying, "mommy, stop playing the Plah-no" a gazillion times until I stop. Sometimes he can't handle the sounds of the piano and my singing because his little brain is firing away at the speed of light and he starts flailing around like a modern dancer. It is quite a sight. But know this: that little boy will LOVE you, and embrace you, and tell you the world if you'll only let him. So I do. The above photo is what happened after the 23402389248th interruption while I was playing. He tapped me and said, "mommy....I want to squeeze you hard as I can with a hug." He makes me smile.

But wait, it gets better. Jason announced this afternoon that he was making dinner--including clean up. I don't know what in the world led to this, but I am not complaining! He made a delicious dinner of lemon pepper chicken, brown rice, and veggies. It was quite good. But it left a need for dessert. I rarely make dessert in this house. We eat it too fast and we struggle enough with food issues. But tonight was one of those nights that just *needed* a sweet to compliment the meal. I had some blueberries from my mom that needed to be used, so I went in search of a recipe. I settled on Blueberry Cobbler. Oh yum. Heavenly. Delicious. Memories of southern eating as a kid. My children have never had cobbler and didn't know what it was! Haha.

So as I am preparing this, I realize I am out of both butter and baking powder. But nothing will stop me from preparing this awesome southern I go off to the store.

And this is what greeted me at the back door when I returned:

Thank goodness it was washable! I fussed at James a bit and he said to me, "But Mommy, I was just dec-torating me and Judder." My my. That James.

Here's a picture of what is left of that cobbler. And yes, it was oh so good! Everyone agreed that cobbler is a great dessert anytime.

Cobbler N' Milk

What happens after Cobbler N' Milk! I love this picture. All my boys. I love that J gets in the fray with them. It didn't last long and all were bathed and rid of the markers and cobbler remnants. That is today. July 10