Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Amanda

Happy Birthday Amanda

Amanda was born, May 26, 1986, a Monday, Memorial Day. Somehow, all three of my children have birthdays that fall on a holiday every few years.

On that Memorial Day, I woke up feeling pretty good. I was having my Mom out for dinner. I put a roast in the oven and Ron was putting up the little above ground pool for Brad and Andrea. I decided to run up to what was then Southwest City Mall. I had been feeling light contractions, but the shopping really made them get pretty intense. I got home, opened the door, and said, OK, let’s go to the hospital. I guess I had fairly short labors.

Amanda was born in the early evening, with Ron, Brad, Andrea, Kay and my Mom all in the delivery room with us. I asked Brad and Andrea recently if they remembered Amanda’s birth. Brad remembered getting a toy, Andrea remembered Kay saying Amanda looked like a “Gremlin”. Supposedly siblings bond with the new baby when present for the birth. I do think my kids are very close and love each other, but I don’t really attribute it to the birth experience. I think we just had a lot of family fun together.

Amanda was such a sweet and easy baby, or maybe my memory tells me she was easy. I just know that nothing changed our life like having Brad did, so having another baby was never quite as traumatic as having that first one.

Amanda has always loved animals, she REALLY loved her animals. She grew up and still loves her animals. We have had a revolving door of cats, dogs, birds, guinea pigs, hamsters…I can’t even name them all. Now she even has Evie loving her animals. Their latest two little kittens allow Evie to drag them around like little rag dolls.

Amanda used to make commercials with everyday products, by herself, in front of a mirror. I would hear her talking in the bathroom, selling shampoo or a hairbrush or whatever. I suspect she still does it.

I really think Amanda enjoyed being the baby of the family. Brad and Andrea took care of her when she was little. But she made up for it, when she was older, Amanda would take care of them. Brad and Andrea would not speak up to adults, but Amanda would. We were watching a parade at Disney World and a gold coin was thrown from the parade and landed at this woman’s’ feet. Amanda looked at her and said, “Hey, that’s my brothers!” It wasn’t Brads, but the woman gave it up!

Amanda was diagnosed with a learning disability in reading while in elementary school. I could tell that reading was so difficult for her. She worked so hard in school and always made really good grades. Her IQ was actually way above average, and that was evident by her verbal knowledge. Parenting always brings challenges, and this was something we worried over, whether we were doing what was right for her. Well, when Amanda took AP classes in high school, was editor of the high school yearbook, president of the National Honor Society, played soccer, etc, I knew she was just fine!

I am so proud of Amanda, for who she is, for her emotions, her convictions, her joy. And I am so happy for her. Amanda loves her husband, Evie and the poor unnamed baby girl due in August! I love you Amanda!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PreKindergarten Graduation for Jackson

Jackson graduated from pre-kindergarten from Sardis Child Development Center. He is so big! He will be starting Kindergarten this fall. I am so proud of my grandchildren and feel so blessed to be able to be a part of their lives!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Dream Vacation

For Ron's 60th birthday we went to Disneyworld. For my 60th birthday, or sooner if I can save some money, I want to go to Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure. I have started reading the blog, "the pioneerwoman". The woman that writes the blog just blogged about their family vacation to Orlando and the parks there. I love family vacations! I love amusement parks! And I have always wanted to go back to Universal. The Dr Suess rides and decor just look like so much fun!

I also love the pioneer woman blog because she has photography hints. She also has cooking, homeschooling, decorating and gardening hints.

I also have some other Dream Vacation plans, but that blog just reminded of wanting to go to Orlando.
I still haven't gotten to Hawaii or Alaska or snow skiing, but that is another dream.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Andrea

Andrea was born early in the morning of Mother’s Day, May 8, 1983. The day before she was born, I went shopping for some flowers and planted a little flower bed. I went into labor that night. I was up all night with labor. When I woke Ron up, he fiddled around getting dressed, eating cereal, until I finally said, IT’S TIME TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL!”

Andrea was a very pleasant baby. She adapted to our busy schedule, fitting in wherever we went. Brad loved having a baby sister. Brad was 3 ½ when Andrea was born, so he was really good at taking care of her. As Andrea grew, she became to one to take care of Brad and then Amanda too. I knew when she was really young that she was a caregiver, and suspected that she might become a teacher. Everywhere we went, Andrea carried a note tablet, “taking notes” on everything that we did, and this was before she could read or write, it was all scribbles.

I remember Andrea learning to read. I wrote “cat” on our white board, then added the rat, mat, sat, etc, she read it all, then went on to other similar word groups. “Pigs and Suds” was her first book to read. And she read every book she could get her hands on after that.

I also knew that she could sing at a very young age. In Sunday school they would learn a new song, I would try to sing it with the kids, of course I could not remember the tune, and Andrea would sing it for me.

Andrea was always a little intense, even as a child. Her third grade teacher questioned me about putting pressure on her to advance. I quickly told her that I tried to get Andrea to relax. I would tell Andrea to go play outside after school, before it would get dark. But Andrea was determined to do her homework before playing! I don’t think I ever had to ask her if she had completed an assignment!

Ron and Andrea were the organized ones; Brad, Amanda and I are more of the last minute schedulers. I always knew that Andrea would only be happy when she could totally control her environment. Well, you know that no one can really control all of the circumstances of life. Andrea and I often had “disagreements” about what I would call our “organizational” skills, or my lack of them.

I have always been so proud of Andrea. She is beautiful, smart, funny, a hard worker, very organized, sings like an angel, and a very caring person! I am so happy for Andrea; she has a husband that she loves, and three wonderful children that she adores.

Life has a way of working things out. Andrea has a little girl just like her! The other night, Violet scolded her Mommy for not putting the toys away properly.

I love you Andrea!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Paula

Paula celebrated a milestone birthday this year, her 30th. It’s hard to believe that the young college girl Brad brought home eleven years ago is a 30 year old woman. We have had the pleasure of watching Paula become the amazing woman that she is during these years

When we met Paula, we didn’t know if she was a young woman just passing through our life or if she would be here to experience life with. In 1998, we took our son to college in Fayetteville. In 2006, we brought him home with a wife and two baby boys! I would have to say that we have had the pleasure of experiencing life with Paula part of it, and with the blessings that go along with it.

As the first “in law”, Paula taught us some new traditions, and she learned some of ours. The sharing of food out of each others plates, especially desserts, was and is something that Paula had to learn to accept. And Paula bought us some of her family traditions and recipes that have now become some of our favorites. The Christmas morning breakfast casserole is my favorite new tradition. The casserole cooks while presents are being opened, what a pleasant aroma to accompany the gift giving.

Paula is beautiful, smart, caring, giving of her time and talents. I like to call her the baby whisperer, because she can sooth any baby. And with her nursing profession background, family and friends call Paula to get her medical opinion before and after calling the doctor.

Paula makes friends everywhere she goes. Her and Brad moved into a new neighborhood, and before long she had a neighborhood group organized, taking food to new moms, having block parties, bunko parties and jumping into the MOPS group full force. Paula spent her actual birthday this year volunteering at church, helping to organize meals for the tornado cleanup workers.

Paula takes such good care of her boys, Brad, Jackson and Tucker. Jackson and Tucker are two happy little boys, and their Mommy is responsible for that. She has given her boys a great start in life, good food, good play, and good friends. Paula has been bringing her boys to Awana , and worked with pre-cubbies, teaching her boys and other preschoolers about God. Paula has made her little boys into caring and affectionate little individuals. They learned that, by example, from their mommy.

I am so thankful that Brad has Paula for his wife. I know that they love each other and like each other. And if you know what I mean by liking each other, sometimes liking someone is as important as loving someone.

I also love Paula and like her too! Happy Birthday Paula!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Happy Birthday Tucker

Tucker was born on a beautiful Saturday in April! His Daddy was on the golf course, ready for a great day of golf. We were planning a busy day of yard work. Gloria called us early, like at 7 am, and said, “Now don’t hurry, but Paula is in labor!” I jumped out of bed and started rushing around telling Ron, Andrea and Amanda to, “Hurry Up! Paula is in labor!” We had a 3 hour drive ahead of us, we couldn’t waste any time.

Thankfully, Tucker waited for us to welcome him into the world, on that beautiful Saturday afternoon.

April 29, 2006, my wonderful daughter in law allowed me to join them in the delivery room to witness the birth of our 2nd grandchild. I don’t think I have ever adequately thanked Paula for allowing me into the delivery room to help welcome her baby boys into the world. Watching a baby enter the world is amazing, what words can describe the excitement and joy! What a blessing to see the look on your sons face as he holds his own child for the first time.

Tucker has had such a busy life from the start. He attended two weddings, his Daddy’s graduation from law school and a move to Little Rock, just in his first month! Like most second born children, life has never slowed.

“Have you met Tucker?” is my favorite description about Tucker and his “feel strong” emotions, when I would inquire about what was wrong. Tucker went from being slightly emotional but always precious, to being such a character! Tucker has perhaps the sweetest voice ever. I knew he had a sweet voice, but didn’t know he knew how to ask for stuff by using that “sweet voice”, until we were at Disney World, and he asked for a hat or something. I am pretty sure that anyone would give Tucker whatever he asked for if he used that “sweet voice”, but he being such a sweetheart, he doesn’t ask for much!

A very blessed Mommy blogged about her MIL taking her children for her, one child, one day a week, every week. What a great idea! So I am trying to borrow that and take one grandchild out by themselves, especially around their respective birthday.

So a few weeks ago, Brad and Paula had an event, so it seemed like a good time to take one child and let them take one. So I was able to enjoy Tuckers’ company, just him. I believe it was the first time I had been with Tucker without Jackson. And I must say I really enjoy being with the boys, they are quite entertaining. Having just Tucker was really fun. He TALKED to me. We didn’t even watch a movie while driving home. I just heard that “sweet voice”, and when Tucker asked for a snow one, I was so happy to say yes, let’s get a snow cone! What a simple pleasure to share time with just Tucker!