27 June 2011

Rangers in Action

Last Friday (was it Friday?) the boys and I went to see this thing called "Rangers In Action." Brad has mentioned to me a number of times that I should take the boys out to see it. I guess I was hoping for a time when Brad could go with us, so I kept putting it off. But since its summer and we had nothing going on Friday morning, we decided to head over there.

We got there a few minutes after 9 - Brad said it started at 9. (I'm always so punctual). Apparently it got changed to 10am, but it worked out perfectly because if we had gotten there much later I don't think we would've had very good seats. It was packed!

Here are the boys waiting for the show to start... I told the boys to grab a hat or sunglasses because I didn't know if we'd be facing the sun...Basically, the Ranger Instructors demonstrate all kinds of things that the Ranger students learn in Ranger school (and beyond, I think). I can't really explain well how spectacular this show was... better than any I've seen at a theme park, for sure! Walker wasn't happy when he found out there would be explosions...
I took a couple of videos, but this is really the only one that turned out - you see some guys and bags fly into the water out of the chopper toward the end...

Walker's favorite part of the demonstration was the "Australian Rappel" and Wilson liked when some of the Rangers performed a STABO extraction by helicopter across the pond. There were 4 Rangers suspended from the helicopter on a rope. It was pretty sweet.

If you come visit and its during an RIA (Rangers in Action) you can bet we'll take you out to see it... maybe we'll bring some earplugs for Walker.

24 June 2011

birthday recap

Walker wanted to help make his own birthday cake. He picked chocolate, with chocolate frosting. I wanted to try the Cracker Barrel Coca-Cola Cake recipe, but he wanted to stick with a tried and true recipe - Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake. It is quite good, and I've made it twice and it has turned out twice - that's sayin' something.
Here's a little video of the cake-in-progress....

This might have something to do with why he likes to help. ;)
He still has a great-gift-opening-face...
Blowing out the candles... he started blowing as soon as we started singing...
Is it just me, or is he ridiculously adorable? {Oh, and wasn't it sweet that Wilson let him borrow the "#5" that Yaya had made him?}
He's especially fond of this puppet book from Meme and Grandpa Carl...
...but his favorite gift is the mircrophone. Oh boy!

22 June 2011

five years

Walker, my child, you are...






...and a million other things.

You make me rethink things I never thought I needed too.

You just recently taught me that #3 in the bathroom refers to blowing your nose. And you stated it with such certainty - convincing both Wilson & I that perhaps the rest of the world already knew that.

Last night as we talked about how God helps during hard times, you took my breath away. At first you said, "He makes them go faster." Daddy said, "not always," and we remembered about how Daddy was deployed for 15 months and God didn't make that time go faster. We asked you and Wilson how God helped and you said, "He gave us peace."

Your initial birthday list - before your brother encouraged you to be more thorough - had three things on it:
1). Wilson not to read all day.
2). Matchbox cars to fill up the bathtub to the ceiling.
3). New brother or sister to be home.

Oh son, your heart is so incredible. I pray you will always have your own special way of looking at life. I pray you will let God use you in amazing ways to show His love and share His peace. And as you continue to grow and become more of a boy and less of a baby, I pray God will protect my heart so I can let you become the man you must be. You were made for God's glory, I pray I never stand in the way of that.

20 June 2011

blueberry pickin' time...

really, Saturday morning was about as perfect as it could be for blueberry picking... it was cloudy and in the low-70's, which has not been the norm around here in the mornings!

Here are a few pictures from our pickin' time...Wilson was a very serious picker...
...guess he gets that from his Daddy... ;)
don't they look lovely? it was different this year in that there were so many ripe berries intermingled with unripe (is that a word?) berries...
Walker showed me nearly every berry that went into his bucket for awhile, he'd give a little description about its size or color and then hold it up for me to examine before dropping it into the bucket.
Walker and I worked together & Brad and Wilson worked together. Walker and I sampled the berries from each bush before deciding to pick from it or not... some trees are sweeter than others.

I made a discovery after standing on a fire ant hole... I have a very mild reaction to fire ant bites; an initial sting and then nothing: no itching, no swelling, just a couple little bitty welts. So I guess that's good news.
---return to original post---

As we finished filling our buckets (we picked two gallons), we were all clumped up together at the end of the patch. Pouring our pickin's into two buckets to see if they were full. Discussing the chipmunk, the weather, the berries, and a variety of other topics.

Another patron came out from the bushes and announced, "I don't really care if the berries are any good down here or not, I've just thoroughly enjoyed listening to your family chatting. My oldest son is 24 and his name is Wil and it just took me down memory lane to listen to you this morning."

After she walked away, we were all a little quiet. She yelled back, "I'm not listening anymore, you can keep talking!" It was pretty funny.

Today I am going to make a blueberry pie and give blueberry jam a try. We froze at least 20 cups of berries over the weekend. Something sweet to savor throughout the year along with the memories!

19 June 2011

Survey Says... {round two}

Father's Day Survey - 2011

...the boys originally answered the same survey questions in 2009, you can click here to see their answers then...

What is something your Dad always says to you?
Wilson: um, let's see here...."stop fighting"
Walker: I think its 'not to be naughty.'

How tall is your Daddy?
Wilson: hmmm... 5 foot 4
Walker: shrugs shoulder

What makes your Dad...
a. Happy?
Wilson: us not fighting
Walker: when we don't fight

b. sad?
Wilson: us fighting
Walker: when we fight

c. laugh?
Wilson: that's a hard one... me saying something funny
Walker: nothing

What is his favorite thing to do?
Wilson: Spend time with the family.
Walker: I think his favorite thing to do is probably wash the car, that is probably why he washed the car yesterday.

What does he do when you are not around?
Wilson: Yard work
Walker: He sometimes grills out.

What does he eat for breakfast?
Wilson: cereal
Walker: Sometimes he eats something that is brand new, like Frosted Flakes or Honey Nut Cheerios.

What is his favorite food?
Wilson: he never really told me that, but I'll go for "Brats!"
Walker: I think steak.

What is he really good at?
Wilson: Soaking us with water
Walker: Grilling

What do you and Daddy do together?
Wilson: Play the Wii
Walker: Sometimes play board games, and when you and Wilson were at Cub Scouts, Dad and me wrestled, that's what he likes to do with me.

How do you know he loves you?
Wilson: He will play the xBox with me
Walker: Sometimes he picks me up at church and I think that means he loves me.

What is your Dad's job?
Wilson: Medic
Walker: To get money.

Is there anything else you want to say?
Wilson: uh-uh
Walker: shakes head no

10 June 2011

a little more VBS!

The theme this year for VBS was "Big Apple Adventure" Here are the boys by one of the posters...
Wilson was, of course, with the "big kids" while Walker and I were in pre-school land. There were over 400 kids participating in the "big kids" part of our VBS! Each day the kids could participate in dressing up as different things from NYC. Thursday was "Tacky Tourist" so Wilson and I plastered "I ♥ NY" over anything and everything we could find... we tried to fill his backpack with some pamphlets & maps too...

He thought the socks with the sandals was especially tacky.
I can't tell you how many times he said, "thanks for helping me with this, Mom!" Again, so adorable!


Our church had VBS this week!

When I went to the leader's meeting before our Asheville trip, I discovered that I was slotted to be a "floater" with a note next to my name that said, "will help with three-year-olds only." While I was a little impressed with my boundary-setting-skills the wording of my boundary was a little skewed... I said "the older kids" which would've included 4 & 5-year-olds as well. ;) Anyway, I was prepared to be the one that bounces from room to room making sure that all of the hard-working teachers were able to get breaks when they needed them...

But then, one of the 3-year-old teachers had strep so I got to be in the same class all day, every day. And I tell you what, we must've had the absolute best group of 3-year-olds ever. They were so chill. And eager to do every game and activity that the VBS curriculum had to offer. And there were only 4 of them! I always feel a little weird posting pictures of other people's kids on the blog, but I thought this one of their hand puppets would be alright... such cuties!oh. and did I mention that I have had some sort of awful-summer-head-cold-thing this week? And Brad was working crazy hours as we continue to set heat records here? So evenings were a bit rough around here. But thankfully Brad downloaded me a new album and listening to it while making dinner did help my spirits... like my fancy iPhone-speaker-amplifier? (I love all the crystal that has been making its way to my house lately from some very special ladies!)
(Oh... and that recipe, really is the best. waffles. ever. Interested? click here.)

And you know they say that if you have to take a test that if you dress up it will have a positive impact on your test results? Well, I thought I'd try wearing Walker's Statue of Liberty crown while I made those waffles... and honestly, from this picture, you can barely tell that I feel like I was just run over by a truck... well, only my head, the rest of my body felt relatively fine... So, I think there is something to that theory...
...and a handful of chocolate chips never hurts either....
Back to VBS....

I found out this week that Walker is a big, big helper in Pre-school Worship (they have it every Sunday and had it each day during VBS). The lady that leads it said that her son has a hard time controlling himself in there and Walker will sit by him and say, "You know your mom wants you to sit still!" Here's a shot of him helping lead a song, "Good things, good things, Jesus does good things..." So adorable.

06 June 2011

gone fishin'

...{like two weeks ago}... but I never posted the pictures, so here you go. Koka wasn't sure what to think about this little fish hanging on a string in front of her nose...
I didn't really pose Wilson well so its hard to see the fish hanging in front of his camo. shirt. I guess camo does work at times. He is an adorable little fisher, isn't he?
Walker was reeling in itty-bitty-fish all afternoon. He loved it. We ate this one. Raw. Right there on the pier. Or not. (just checking to make sure you read all the words).

And afterwards, the boys played in the backyard with squirt guns & the sprinkler while Daddy watered the lawn... I especially like this one which captures Walker swinging on his belly face-first to the sprinkler. That's our Walker... all out, all the time.

02 June 2011

True Things

So you know that we are in the "waiting" part of adoption. Waiting for a placement. Waiting for who knows how long. Waiting. Sorta reminds me of the Dr. Seuss book, "Oh the Places You'll Go." Do you know the part? Where everybody is just waiting?

That's where we are. And honestly some days I am better about waiting than others. I waver. The most recent Bible study that I completed at PWOC was titled, "He Speaks to Me," by Priscilla Shirer. In the last week, there was a quote that really got me... pretty sure I even posted it on FB in case one of my "friends" needed those words that day.

"Believing is an action we must choose. A direct correlation exists between our level of belief and patience. Whether we believe God will do what He says will determine whether we can wait graciously for Him. Our lack of patience indicates we don't really believe the God we claim to trust."

That put my impatience in its place. I believe God will do what He said He will do. I believe He has called us to this adoption from the State of GA foster care system. I believe He will bring our baby-child home in His perfect timing. But some days, I need help. And I remembered a passage in Mark that really encouraged me...

We actually studied it for half-a-page in the study I did last fall at PWOC, "Living Free" by Beth Moore. Anyway, Mark 9:17-24 is about the man that wants Jesus to heal his son. The man's son had been possessed by an evil spirit since childhood. It would throw the boy into convulsions, even tried to throw him into fire and into water to try to destroy him. The disciples tried to help, but they could not. The dad was most likely devastated that not even these men could help his son.

The father said in verse 22, "If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" And Jesus replied, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes."

And do you know what that boy's father cried out? "I do believe; help my unbelief!" {Mark 9:24}

In the Beth Moore study, she follows up that verse with this statement:

"I am convinced that God would rather hear our honest pleas for more of what we lack than a host of pious platitudes from an unbelieving heart. When I am challenged with unbelief, I have begun to make the same earnest plea to the One who would gladly supply."

Me too, Beth. That is my same plea today. I believe, Lord, help my unbelief!

Imagine my delight when I discovered this song...