Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Summer Vacation

And we're off!
Time for a vacation...away from work and school and the everyday "stuff."
We left Friday afternoon, and as you can see, the kids were beside themselves with excitement.

 And that extra rest made bedtime so much easier for mom.  
These girls giggled for a very long time.  My sweet Laura giggled throughout the entire night...waking me several times with belly laughs. What could possibly be that funny in the middle of the night??
 More excitement as we finished our drive on Saturday.
I think they were storing up all their energy for swimming!

 Jacob stayed awake...

 And Laura apparently didn't need an extra nap...even after being awake most of the night partying.  Look Mom.  No glasses.  I threw them where you can't reach them!
Aren't I clever?
 We stopped to stretch our legs and saw a wonderful NASA display.

 We got to our condo and found that it was a corner unit, overlooking the pool.
Laura, loving the water, dashed toward the edge of our balcony and started that those in the pool could hear her.  She wanted to be sure we all knew that she wanted to go swimming NOW!
 Dinner was too funny.  We ate outside on a deck, and if you're in the south, you can expect critters to be out and about, even at restaurants.  A palmetto bug (cockroach) sneaked up between the boards and scared the kids.  Char wouldn't put his feet down for the rest of the meal, and the rest of them watched the floor constantly just in case one came sneaking up on them again.  They couldn't wait to leave and get back to the bug-free condo!  Jacob informed us that he never intends to move south.
 Sunday found us at the beach and then the pool.  I didn't remember my camera at the beach...I did well to remember all the kids.
Char is so happy to be swimming a bit without his floats.
 Finally, after trying for 8 years to find a floatie that would work for Laura, we found one!!  She still needs to be close to us, but weighs enough now to float without us holding her!  Before, she was so light that she would flip all over the place.  She still isn't very bottom-heavy, but her legs are long enough to keep her weighted down and upright.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

His Nicknames

You are known by so many nicknames...
Jamie Jr., Bacon, Old Soul, Daydreamer, Absent-Minded Professor, History Buff.
But one nickname you will not have for a long time is...
The Driver.
Keep dreaming, buddy, for at least 2 more years!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Protest

You can not make me go to summer school.
You can not make me get on that short bus.

You can't fool us, Laura. We know you love school!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary, Honey!
19 years seems like such a long time, yet has gone so quickly!
Here's to 19+ more years of love, adventure, and blessings!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Her First Lesson

Jenna has been wanting to learn to play the piano.
So over the summer, Jacob is going to give her lessons.
She is super excited.  During her first lesson, she kept running to the window to inform her siblings and friends outside that she couldn't play right now...she was practicing piano.
Lessons may prove a little challenging since most piano books teach kids to use all 10 fingers.
But she's a determined girl, and if she puts her mind to doing something, she will.
Does anyone have any experience with this that would like to share?

Not to mention, having Laura supervise will surely help!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day 2013

Always growing.
Forever changing.
Embracing moments.
Loving as you go.
We love you, Daddy!

Friday, June 14, 2013

8 Years

It's getting harder and harder to remember how tiny you were.
At 11 months old, and 14 pounds, you were just a wee girl.
So quiet, hated baths, didn't sleep, but loved to be cuddled.
you sleep.  Thank you, Jesus!!
And you LOVE baths and anything that resembles water-play time.
You are no longer quiet.  You are actually quite loud sometimes.
And you still LOVE to be cuddled.
I don't think you realize how big you're getting, and trying to snuggle up like you did 8 years ago, just doesn't quite work!  You end up with your long legs flying all over the place!

And you continue to have the most beautiful smile...

And your funny antics make us laugh.
 Happy 8th Gotcha Day, Laura Ling Yi.
Thank you for being the trailblazer for future siblings.
We love you so much!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


 It was time for Laura to get all wired up again.
Her neurologist wanted to measure her seizure activity, check for any changes, and alter medications if needed.

So, off we went to the Children's Hospital again.
We had to visit the "water" on the way through the lobby.
Once again, Laura bent over to splash in it, realized it wasn't actually water, and was not impressed with the whole situation.  This time, Charlie stood further away so he wouldn't get smacked!

Off to the EEG lab to get hooked up to 25 "buttons."
She was good as gold, letting them put the "buttons" where they needed to go.
They attached all the wires to her head and then the monitor, tucked everything into a handy-dandy backpack, and put her in a hair net that looked like medieval chain mail.
 She was so good about wearing this contraption all afternoon.
We moved her mattress into our room so we could watch over her...makes us a little nervous having all those wires attached near her neck!
We didn't hear a peep out of her until daddy got up for work.  Then she looked like this.
Pathetic pout, isn't it?

  Pouting didn't last long, and she was like this.

 Thankfully, she only had to be wired for 24 hours.  Her head was getting itchy.  Back we went to the hospital to get her all unhooked.  But the glue they use...oh, the glue.  It works very well to keep the "buttons" attached to her head.  But talk about bed-head and residual glue!
Definitely was in need of a bath, but even that didn't get out all the glue!
So, if you see her, know that she does not have lice.  It's dry glue working its way out of her hair!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ping Pong & Big Tomatoes

Half my family has been gone since Sunday.
My 2 main chatterboxes are still at home, yet it is quieter.
Jamie's returning now from a business trip, and Jacob and Laura are spending time
with grandparents about 8 hours away.
The rest of us are taking it easy at home...reading some history, enjoying play time outdoors, and cleaning closets...but we won't go into that disaster!
Let's just say the garbage guys will have a couple extra bags this week!

During our history review, I asked them who they learned about today.  Char said, "Ping Pong!"
No, actually it was Marco Polo...but good guess.
Today we visited a local museum.  They were showing a documentary about "tornado alley" and the planetarium had some shows, too.

Amarin and Charlie are ready for the 3D tornado movie!

It was a fascinating documentary.  Jenna was very impressed by the "big tomatoes!"
After, we went on a planetarium tour of the stars with Big Bird and Elmo.
Now I remember why I kept Elmo to a minimum in our house...the voice, oh, the voice!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Me And My Teddy Bear

Jenna loves to dance and sing.
I think she will probably dance and sing her way through life...she's so bubbly.
Friday night was her very first dance recital.
We arrived before the doors even opened, just to be sure we knew where to go and how to navigate this huge production of over 80 dances and literally 100s of dancers!

We were so proud of our little girl.
All week long she was counting down the days to her recital.

Grandma and Papa drove down to watch her, too!

I sat with Jenna in the very front with the other little dancers and moms.
We waited and waited...since we arrived so early...and tried to keep Jenna from getting too nervous.  I could see it in her eyes that she was a little scared of what on earth was going on in this huge theater!

My fear?  That the bun in her hair would fall.  I'd never done one and thought it impossible...until I heard of the "sock bun."  Brilliant!!

Soon the backstage helpers arrived and whisked the "teddy bears" off for their dance.
They could not have looked more precious walking on stage holding their bears and looking out into the audience for familiar faces.  If Jenna had been nervous, it must have vanished because she couldn't have looked more relaxed or fit for the stage!  For her dance, she chose to use a cute little teddy bear that her other grandma gave her for Christmas.

Me and my teddy bear,
Have no worries, have no cares.
Me and my teddy bear,
We play and play all day.

I love my teddy bear,
Got one eye and he's got no hair.
I love my teddy bear,
We play and play all day.

Every night he's with me,
when I climb up the stairs.
And every night he listens,
Until I say my prayers.

Oh, me and my teddy bear,
Have no worries, have no cares.
Me and my teddy bear,
We play and play all day.

She practically ran from the dressing room to find daddy, and he presented her with a dozen roses.
She kept saying, "I just love the flowers.  They smell so good!"

 Grandma and Papa bought her a teddy bear that was designed for the recital.
She was so thrilled with her surprises, and just the whole exciting evening.

 Dancing can make anyone hungry, so the 5 of us went out for dinner.
A whole pizza to herself!

 Jenna and I went back for a 2nd recital Saturday night.
Again, the girls were just cute as buttons, especially when one of the little girls just didn't want to exit the stage.  She must have stood there looking around for 45 seconds...all by herself...seemingly oblivious to the fact that all her little friends had already gone.
The audience was in stitches, and cheering for her.

We waited for Daddy to pick us up, so we decided it was time that she learn about dippin' dots.
She chose cotton candy flavor, and thought it was delicous!

 As we left, this was in our path.  A full, double rainbow.
A beautiful finale!