Friday, September 30, 2011

Thank You, God, For Blessing Me–A Review

 

I received an e-copy of a book to review: Thank You, God, For Blessing Me by Max Lucado, illustrated by Frank Endersby.

This is a cute children’s book about a caterpillar named Hermie.  It was a sweet book, written as a poem about things Hermie wants to thank God for.  Hermie was thankful for many every day things: food, friends, family.  It’s a short book (5 pages) with bright, colorful illustrations.  I didn’t realize that it was for a very young audience, Will was definitely too old for the book (he’s 3.5). 

I had hoped the book would inspire Will of some things to be thankful for when I ask him each night what he’s thankful for.  Sadly, he was not too into the book and would not let me re-read it.  I wish the book was a bit longer, it might have interested Will more. The book is definitely for the 2 and under crowd but since this is an e-book I won’t be reading it to Wyatt in that format anytime soon. 

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

last day

Today was W & W’s last day at school.  We had a goodbye party with cupcakes for Will and his friends.  Will was insistent that the cupcakes not have sprinkles, I guess those are only for birthdays.  Will had just woken up for a nap so he wasn’t the most cooperative but he did let us take a picture with his beloved Miss Meredith.  Will has had Miss Meredith in two different classes now and he is her #1 fan (she is his as well).   We had a nice time with his teachers and loved hearing all the sweet things they had to say about our big boy.

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We didn’t have a party for Wyatt’s friends.  Given their age we figured it would just confuse Wyatt.  Like Will, the second he saw us he was ready to be OUT of there.  Wyatt’s teachers ADORE him!  Apparently Wyatt is quite the charmer during the day.  The second I walk in he starts crying and they always laugh saying it’s the first time he’s cried all day.  At least I know he’s been having great days while we are gone.

So today closes a chapter in our little lives…..we’ll see what October and beyond brings!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

moving picture show

We took Mister Wilson to his first motion picture.  We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time but were waiting on a movie that would hold his interest (he is very picky).  So when Lion King came back out for the anniversary we decided it was time.  And we were even wilder by seeing the 3D version.  Though it’s more enhanced than 3D….nothing jumped out at us.  It was probably better this way since Will took off his glasses halfway thru and could still watch without the screen looking like it was double.

Will seemed to enjoy it and did really well not talking.  There were only 3 other people there but I still didn’t want him jabbering thru the whole thing.  He did decide to stand up for part of the movie.  Not sure if we’ll be in a hurry to go back to a movie any time soon but it was fun to take him to his first one.

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And here is the audio of his reaction (you know for the grandparents and aunts who want to hear his sweet voice get excited).  There’s no picture, just sound.  And you’ll hear the rustle of his goldfish bag every few seconds. He doesn’t really say anything for the last minute but I was too lazy to edit it. (though he does speak again right at the very end.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

3 years of picking-up & dropping-off

This Friday marks the last day the boys will go to daycare. The following Monday marks their first official day of being at home full-time with Julie. I’m hoping and praying the boys (& Julie of course) make a smooth transition into this next very exciting phase. I’m truly excited about this next step, however, there is one thing I’m going to miss greatly – driving the boys to daycare every morning, and picking them up every afternoon.

During the first few months of driving to daycare, I’d constantly glance up at the rearviewmirror to see this tiny little face just sitting there, staring blank-faced towards the backseat.


Some mornings Will was content just sitting there quietly until we got to daycare. Then there were the fussy mornings where he’d fuss and cry most of the way there. Turning on the radio was useless on those mornings, as Will would easily drown out all other noise. I’d end up having to reach back and hold his hand in effort to calm him down, which actually worked from time to time. Will also refused to tolerate the sun being in his eyes. The sun had the power to turn a quiet drive into one of the loudest. (I later taught him the trick of holding up a book to shield the sun when this happened; something he occasionally still does to this day.)


When Will was several months old, I noticed he started reacting to some of the different songs I’d play for him. I’ll never forget his first ‘favorite song,’ which I’ll refer to here as “the penguin song.” It’s the first song that made him start dancing in his carseat. As soon as I’d start this song for him, he’d get an ear-to-ear grin, and then he would start moving his shoulders up and down to the beat, and even bobbing his head. Clapping to the music came soon after, and if he saw you clapping along as well, that made things all the more fun for him. Will eventually had his own playlist of about 20 songs or so that he loved hearing to and from school. Listing Will’s favorite songs would not be complete until I include anything and everything sung by The Wiggles. Yes, he loved hearing them in the car just as much as watching them at home.


When Will was about 1 ½ years old, we turned his carseat around to forward-facing. This made the morning/evening rides all the more, how can I say it, “involved.” You would have thought he’d never been in a car before. I remember one morning while sitting at a red light. This was before he was speaking in complete sentences, and only getting out a few words at a time. He started yelling, “Horse! Look! Horse!” I looked all around and saw no such horse. I asked him to point where the horse was, and he pointed towards the front of the car. I looked again and the only thing I saw was the car in front of us. I was just about to write this one off, and the light turned green. As we started moving, I noticed a bumper sticker on the truck in front of us. It might have been the smallest horse I’d ever seen, but indeed, it was a horse.


Soon he was noticing anything and everything, and announcing it at an auctioneer’s pace. One of his favorite things to look for were tractors. Tractors of all sizes and colors. If he noticed one, rest assured, you’d hear about it in short order, and how it was going somewhere to either scoop or dump some dirt. Some other items that have made his ‘watch-list’ over the past three years are birds, boats, horses, cows, ponies, donkeys, stop signs (“octagons”),traffic lights,clouds, & clouds shaped like any of the items I’ve just mentioned. To say Will is an ‘observant passenger’ would be a huge understatement.


Along our route is a construction company. Part of their sign was an actual backhoe “scoop,” painted bright red. Every morning, when we’d get within half a mile of it, he’d start asking where the ‘red scoop’ was (which he pronounced as ‘red coupe’). It became a bit of a game between us, who could spot it first. Once it was within eyesight we’d each take turns yelling, “Red scoop!” (The company recently updated their sign, and replaced the red scoop with something that looks like a giant shield with a sword down the middle of it. We now keep an eye out for the ‘red shield’ every morning.)


This brings us to November 2010, when we gained our new passenger, Mr. Wyatt. Now, when I’d glance up in the rearviewmirror each morning I’d see not one, but two little faces. In Wyatt’s first few months of driving to daycare, Will is still talking pretty much non-stop, taking breaks only to breathe, and Wyatt just sits there, much like Will did at his age. Only Wyatt doesn’t stare blankly at the backseat; he has something much more fun to gaze at – big brother. It’s a wonder Wyatt hasn’t developed a permanent ‘crick’ in his neck from keeping his head turned to the right while in the car. I don’t think Wyatt has begun to notice there’s a world of things to look at outside the car windows, as Will has provided plenty of entertainment thus far.


On mornings when Wyatt isn’t fussy, he’s constantly grinning and laughing out loud whenever Will looks in his general direction. At first Will didn’t know what to make of Wyatt laughing and smiling at him. In fact, Will would quickly turn in the other direction and fake a frown or a scowl, and say something like, “I don’t like him looking at me.” But in the past several months, Will’s definitely grown to enjoy the attention. On the days when he enjoys Wyatt’s attention, he smiles back at Wyatt, holds his hand on occasion, and tries to make Wyatt smile more or laugh harder by making faces or funny noises. When I look up in the mirror and see them smiling at each other, it makes the second half of my drive all the better.


…So for the past three years, about 25 minutes each way, my morning and evening drives have been something I have always looked forward to. Before the boys joined my drives to and from work, it was me that was staring a bit blankly out the window, sitting in traffic, waiting for the lights to change. I have each of them to thank for keeping me entertained, and for helping me take the time to notice everything around me.


I know I’m going to miss having them with me on my daily drives, but I’m even more thankful that we’ve been blessed with the opportunity for them to be at home with Julie full-time until they start school. School. Wow…definitely another post for another day year…

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday fun

Saturday morning all the stars aligned and we were up, fed and dressed very early.  We decided to make the most of it and head out to watch Meryl play soccer.  Will has been talking about soccer a lot. We pass a soccer field on Sundays and he always wants to go out there and play with the big kids.  So we wanted to see his reaction to watching kids his size play soccer.  When we got there he was ready to jump in the game (and probably pretyt disappointed when we said he had to watch).  When we got home and asked if he wanted to play on a team with boys his age he said he’s rather play tennis (how random is that?). 

Wyatt, of course, wanted to chase after any and every ball he saw.  So one of us had to chase him the entire time.  Then we ticked him off when we had to carry him away from the field.  But for a few moments he decided to sit and hang out with cousin Jack.

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At one point Chris was carrying Wyatt back from one oft the fields only to have Will latch on for a ride back, before we knew it all of the kids were trying to hitch a ride.  So much for watching the soccer game.  Clearly Uncle Chris/Daddy was much more fun to play with.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sunday Snapshot {Linus, part 2}

Last year I blogged about my beloved blanket .[img0096.jpg]

And last year Wilson got his very own Patch blanket.  Will calls it his elephant blanket since the backing has elephants on it.  Will loves his blanket, but not in a Linus sort of way. He can take it or leave it.  But he will ask for it at night if he’s cold.

Now it’s time for Wyatt to have his own Patch blanket.  I searched high and low for the perfect backing fabric.  I found a few I liked but nothing that I loved as much as the elephants.  So I just decided Wyatt would also have an elephant blanket, his would be blue.  And Wyatt’s would have a satin edge.  Because Wyatt has already developed a love for satiny edges.  We’ll see if he falls in love with his blanket.  At least he has extra covers for this winter.

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And for the record, this time around was not smoother as far as making it.  It was definitely made with a lot of love and crooked corners.  I do not think I will ever be able to make something that is truly square.  We call that love around here.

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Wondering what Sunday Snapshot is? Visit Stefanie at NiHaoY'all for the details

Sunday Snapshot

Friday, September 23, 2011

open wide!

2011-09-23 Will's first cleaning (3)

It’s been over a year since Will went to the dentist for the first time.  Last year the visit was pretty pointless.  They didn’t want me to go back with him and of course he refused to even open his mouth. After that visit I decided we would wait awhile before attempting it again. SO Friday we attempted it for the second time.  This time we went to a new dentist (mainly because the new one is closer). The waiting room at the new dentist was very cool, TV’s and video games.  Plus a tree house!  Will and I went back together and he happily laid in the chair and opened wide for at least 20 minutes.  It took a lot of reminding for him to stay still and open his mouth but she got in there and scraped all kinds of stuff off his teeth!  We had been worried about his teeth since it looked like there was some staining but it was nothing, she just scraped and scraped and eventually they were shiny and new.  She said she had a lot more scraping to do but it could wait till the next appointment.  After all that scraping she took Will out for a special prize (he picked a seashell bracelet!) and then laid back down for the dentist to check him out. The dentist said his teeth looked good and had perfect spacing on top.  The bottom is a little crowded but could be fine later.  Very exciting report.  As we left, Will got another prize, this time a yo-yo. He thought it was a great way to spend the morning!

I’m so proud of him, he behaved as well as his 3 year old self could! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

now you see it, now you don’t….

 

BEFORE & AFTER:
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And another after,

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I cannot even put into words how the haircut went.  Wyatt turned into a possessed child.  We got there right at 4:00 (right when cats and dogs started falling from the sky. both boys were scared of the rain) and we were back in the car at 4:15.  It was torturous.  Sure, I was embarrassed, but more than that I was terrified by what I saw – back arching and screaming bloody murder. It was pretty. No clue what came over Wyatt but he was having nothing to do with the haircut.  Poor lady, she hung in there and managed to trim his hair.  I told Chris Wyatt would never be getting a haircut again, unless Chris wants to take him. 

So there’s another milestone off the list.  (His hair looks MUCH better)

Monday, September 19, 2011

almost 3.5

Will turns 3.5 next month!  Hard to believe we are closing in on 4 now.  He is going to be my challenge when we’re at home 24/7.  He loves to learn, be challenged and stay engaged.  He also likes schedule and predictability so I have my work cut out for me.  And I’m going to have to plan out our days, I’ve been meaning to sit down to see what this looks like for us….but like many things on my to-do list, it remains undone.  Maybe this week!

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These days the words frequent in Will’s vocabulary are: cool, awesome, did you see that?, did you know…?, are you kidding me?, I’m just joking.

Will is constantly talking or singing.  He plays with his people or animals and they are always going on some kind of adventure that involves caves, mountains, volcanoes or the forest.

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Will still loves his books, too many to mention.  And he’s discovering new movies all the time: Peter Pan, Snow White, Tangled, Princess and Frog, every one of the Little Foot movies.  We tried Cars but he said he had a hard time understanding it…..not clue what he means by that, but I think he likes emotional movies.

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Will agreed to these pictures if we could play bubbles afterwards.  He just wanted to carry the bubbles around, not actually blow them.

And this last picture, he told me to be still and not move so he could take my picture. Then he told me “good job”. I guess I say all of those things a bit too often….at least it worked for me this day.
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

that face!

Will has been giving us this look since we got home Thursday!  I’m sure he picked it up at school (and not from Mimi & Poppy), but it is about to drive us nuts.  He talks with his face scrunched up like this all day long!  I just want to tell him it’s going to stick like that if he doesn’t stop, but I don’t think he’d understand what I meant. We’re trying very hard to ignore it and hope it goes away soon.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

4 days

2001-10 1stanniv Savannah
Taken in Savannah on our first anniversary, 2001

We were fortunate enough to take a mini-vacation, 4 days, with no kiddos!  (Many, many thanks Mom & Dad!!!) This was the most un-planned vacation we’ve ever taken.  I typically plan every single thing, this time I was just happy to have a place to stay.  Monday morning we took the kids to school and then headed to Tybee Island/Savannah for a few days. 2011-09 Sept

My agenda only included reading and sleeping.  Can I tell you how wonderful it was to sleep without dual baby monitors buzzing in my ear all night?  Blissful!  Granted, we still woke up pretty early.  But it was nice to just wake up, not be woken up with crying.IMG_7755

IMG_7763We ended up spending most of our time on the beach but did enjoy going out to eat.  It’s been awhile since we have done that, just the two of us. 

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I read 2.5 books and 2 magazines. Between chapters I dozed underneath our umbrella.  And for the first time, in a long time, I could actually start and finish complete thoughts (in my head or out loud to Chris). IMG_7783

Our 4 days together were great!  We missed the boys a ton but this was the perfect start to my new “full-time” job.

We went straight to school when we got into town.  Wyatt about jumped out of his chair when he saw us.  Will was still asleep and didn’t have much of a reaction.  Later he gave us lots of hugs and kisses.  I asked him if they had fun at Mimi & Poppy’s and Will said they played and talked on the phone (to us), but pointed out that they didn’t do that at the same time.  And the best part of the week, Poppy made Will a whole stack of waffles and they were sticky!  Oh, and Riley knocked Mimi’s popcorn over and it was funny.  I’d say they did just fine without us.

Back to the real world…..

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

be still my cookie-loving heart…..

Will asked to bake cookies the other day.  The world stopped just for a moment as I basked in the glow of his request.  And then once the angels stopped singing, I rushed into the kitchen to gather whatever I could find to build my child some cookies.  But I was too late! Will had gotten into the tupperware of cookies made the day before and lined them up on the cookie sheet that was still laying out.  He then grabbed the nearest spatula and beat the tar out of those cookies!  He called that baking. (For the record, I do not do that when baking. Not sure who he was imitating.) All was not lost though, Will then decided to eat his first ever, baked-by-momma, cookie!  He ate one and then another.  It was right before bedtime, but I didn’t care, he was finally eating one of MY cookies.  (Apparently my love language is baking cookies.) 

The next day he asked for another cookie.  After a few bites he handed it back to me and said he didn’t like the “chocolate cake” part.  He was referring to the chocolate chips. I looked at his cookie and he had eaten all around the edges so he just had cookie, no chips.

The next day I asked if he wanted to make new cookies. We used a mix, because sugar cookies are not one of my strengths.  Other than opening the mix and measuring, Will did it all himself.  He stirred wholeheartedly and made little mess.  Then he used the scooper to put them on the tray.  And then his favorite part, adding sprinkles!  We probably used up one whole shaker of sprinkles by the time he finished.  They were the most colorful cookies ever!  They turned out great.  And I lost count of the number of cookies Will consumed. Clearly he’s a fan of sugar cookies!  Since there were a few left I asked Will if we should share them with Poppy (who’s love language is also cookies) and he excitedly said “Yes, he’ll think this is a great surprise!”. 

I know it was a great surprise for me!!!!!

(Such a momentous occasion and I didn’t take one picture…..you’ll have to make do with this cookie picture from Christmas.  Back when Will didn’t eat cookies, not even sugar cookies.)
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

speak and spell

Will has spelled his first word!!!! 

At first he pointed out the word in the book and said that says “zoo”.  I figured it was a fluke since we had read the book a million times.  Then later he spelled it for us, out of the blue: “First comes Z, then O, then O.  That spells ZOO!”. 

So proud!

His number one complaint these days is that he “doesn’t know the words” in his books.  He is forever saying that phrase, he is very frustrated knowing that there are words in there and he can see all those letters but has no clue what it means. I think it’s time to start on some spelling games.  Good thing that’s part of my new “job”.2011-08-04 (1)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

the most random of randoms….

Somehow I haven’t gotten much accomplished in my first week off.  There’s always tomorrow!  At this point I’m thinking and speaking in bullet points, so I will be posting that way as well.

  • The other day Will said “N-E-T-F-L-I-X spells RED!”  Clearly we watch a lot of Netflix.
  • Will also said, “Can you slow down please? It would make my heart extremely happy if you would drive slower.” I was going 35mph, if that.
  • While waiting in traffic on the freeway we were stopped while the other lanes were flying by, Will very upset by this said “But I just want to beat them and win.”  I guess his heart would have been extremely happy if I was going fast.
  • I noticed I have 591 songs on my ipod yet I only listen to the 26 songs on my “new” playlist.  I’ve had this playlist for a year and still have managed not to listen to the other 565 songs I own.  Clearly I’m not a good candidate for an ipod.
  • I am OBSESSED with Pinterest.  If you don’t know, it’s a online bulletin board.  Best invention ever.   Go here to for a better description of it. But I am spending too many hours discovering new projects to make and finding new things to try.
  • Wyatt decided he was ready to don the cape.  He looks like a Star Wars person. (Chris is cringing at my terminology here.  I don’t know their names, but Wyatt looks like one of those cape wearing guys.)  Not the best picture but you get the idea.  I think the paci is a nice touch too.

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  • Wyatt has also learned out to pitch a fit.  Will did it, but he didn’t have a set move to get things started.  Wyatt has some signature moves.  Head thrown straight back causing him to fall on his rear, then he hurls himself on his side, then a face plant with his arms spread wide.  Then he sits up and screams to see if you noticed.  It’s hysterical given how predictable it is.  Not so hysterical given the frequency in which these occur. And anything can spark a fit.  So far just at home, though I’m sure my days are numbered with that.
    Here is step 1, the head throw back:

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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

day 1

I promise not to recap every single day this week

Today I:

  • Managed to sleep in till 11:00, felt like a teenager.  (Granted, I got the boys out the door first, and then took a few calls about whether school was open and if we had power.  Yes to both. Then headed back to bed.)
  • Despite feeling like a teenager, I quickly realized I had “wasted” the day away like my parents use to suggest when I was actually a teenager.
  • I did countless loads of laundry.  And folded countless loads from my Labor Day marathon washing.
  • I went to the grocery store.
  • And the consignment sale (and worked a “volunteer” shift).

On to day 2!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

the last official weekend of summer

In my mind, Labor Day is the last official weekend of summer (even if it stays hot till October).  Of course, we spent the weekend at the lake.  It was HOT on Saturday and not-so-hot on Sunday. 

Wyatt had his first jet-ski ride.  He didn’t really react much.  Just hung out and stayed awake (something Will couldn’t managed when he was that little).  Wyatt still detests the lifejacket.  Hopefully he will change his mind by next summer.

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Wyatt, for the first time, enjoyed swimming.  He stayed in the water almost an hour just laughing and splashing and playing.  It might have been that every one of us were in the water too.  It was too hot to be anywhere else.  DSC04152DSC04200

Will also stayed in the water for an extended amount of time.  He practiced his “left arm, right arm” swimming and kicking.  He has improved so much since summers started!  But he was also content to just bob around in the water all afternoon.  Or fetching things…..his squirt bottle, random pool toys, Poppy’s crocs.  He thought it was the best to throw something off the dock and then climb down the ladder in search of it.  (I guess he spends too much time watching Gus & Riley jumping, swimming and fetching).  Will was worn out after this weekend!

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Will also spent some time hanging out on the boat pretending to be a pirate, having sword (noodle) fights with Mimi & Poppy.

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And captaining the boat.  Not sure this hat works with the pirate theme, but it was part of his plan.

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Happy Labor Day!

In case you are wondering why there are only pics of the kids, well, I figure the adults don’t really want their pictures taken in their swimsuits Smile

Friday, September 02, 2011

Friday payday

The countdown is OVER!  September is the start of a new chapter at the T house.

This is my last working (for a paycheck) week.  My new bosses are named Wilson & Wyatt.  I’m a little bit nervous and a whole lot excited!!  But really, mostly excited!

I’m a little bit worried how Mister Wilson is going to do.  He really enjoys going to school.  He loves to learn, and loves his friends and teachers.  I’m worried most about his reaction to not suddenly not going anymore.  I’m sure at first it’s going to be fun, but I have a feeling after a few weeks he’s going to be begging to go back.  I hope to enroll him in a mother’s day out program just to keep him excited, especially now that he’s truly pre-school age. 

I told Chris long gone are the days of having a hot meal ready when he gets home from work.  And the house cleaning and laundry are probably a thing of the past (oh, the perks of working from home all day. not that I was that great at it.). 

I will go ahead and confess, the boys are staying in daycare for a few extra weeks while I enjoy a few days to accomplish some things on my mile-long to-do list.  AND while we’re taking a short no-kids vacation!  Hopefully I’ll be refreshed and ready to tackle this new and VERY full time job.

It will be interesting and fun to see how we navigate these new waters!

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a great week!

Wyatt has had a GREAT week.  Happy almost every single day.  Very refreshing, and I pray we’re turning a corner.

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In other good news, it’s a LONG weekend.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

homemade fortune cookie...

As one thing draws to a close, another is finally gaining momentum.

so long, farewell August

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I think I speak for everyone in my extended family when I say that we are happy to see August come to a close.  A year ago this month we lost both of my grandparents.  August is also my grandmother’s birthday.  It’s been an emotional month for everyone and I think we’ve been counting down the days till September.  And it’s finally here!  I, for one, am very excited about September….for many reasons.  So here is to a happier and exciting September!