Thursday, June 26, 2008

VBS Finale

Last week the kids attended VBS at our church. The theme for the week was Son Country Fair. The kids had a great time learning about the Fruit of the Spirit, playing games and making crafts. It is always interesting sending them to any place where they will be doing crafts because you end up with quadruple of everything. It wasn't too bad though because they made some great crafts. One night they made cookie mix in a jar, another they made fleece tie pillows, and another project was painting bird houses. All I have to say about the bird houses is the birds around here will have some interesting homes to live in if all the color doesn't scare them away.

Sunday was the finale. The kids (with much help from some teens and adults) put on a little program with skits and songs. It was pretty funny. Below is the first song all the kids participated in. For some, I use "participated" very loosely. Apologies for the sideways camera work. Not sure what I was thinking. Maybe I was laughing too hard to think.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Before I Forget. . .

While washing dishes this evening, I realized that I had forgotten to share two memorable stories from our trip. Since this blog serves mostly as my journal/scrapbook, I must share them now. I would hate to forget them.

The first story happened on the way there. It was not at all funny at the time. Well I'm still not laughing, but shaking my head. It is one that I need to remember though. One to share with Nolan when he is a parent and complains that his children make him crazy.

One of our numerous stops along the way was at a little gas station. As with many of our stops it was a little chaotic trying to get six kids and four adults through the bathrooms, fill up with gas, and get any other needed items taken care of. As we were getting ready to leave the store, I noticed Nolan was not with me. He was not with Tim. He was not with my parents. He was not with any of the older kids.

I called him several times. There was no response. I went outside. I didn't see him. I looked in our car. Nope not there either. The panic was about to set in. I started toward my parents van when my dad informs me that their vehicle is locked. Where is he? I don't know whether to be angry or scared. I was a little of both.

Suddenly Nolan appears, seemingly out of nowhere. He has a huge grin on his face. (Not for long.) He had crawled into the hatch of our car. It was filled to the top with sleeping bags and duffel bags. He was hiding up there. I didn't see him at first glance because he was covered in luggage.

This is my life with Nolan. Always interesting, often challenging, and sometimes scary. In fact, I have a whole post brewing in my head about this kid, but that is for another time.

The second story I can't really tell. Sorry, but the main character wants to be anonymous. Let's remember it as a lesson learned. The lesson: while camping never wait to go to the bathroom. If you wait something funny might happen that would cause you to choke on your meal. Choking may cause you to cough uncontrollably. The coughing may cause you to lose control of your very full bladder. You may need to change your pants. You've been warned.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Look what I found....

when I came home from vacation.

Isn't she pretty!


There are eight ducklings there if you can't tell. Do you know how hard it is to get eight ducklings to stay still for a photo? Sheesh!

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, June 16, 2008

Forget the Outer Banks

We have vacationed in North Carolina several times. Each time our trip has taken us to the beaches of the Outer Banks. Don't get me wrong, I love the Outer Banks, but I have a new love in North Carolina; the mountains.

We stayed in Asheville, but ventured down to Brevard a couple of days. Much of the area is National Forests, and there are dozens of waterfalls there. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. After all, a waterfall can be anything from the trickle in the creek on our property to Niagara Falls right?

We only made it to two falls, but they were breathtaking. Not only were they beautiful, but they were fun too. The first one really wasn't safe to swim at, but the second one had a nice pool and gentle current at the bottom. We played there for quite some time.

We also went to a place they call Sliding Rock. It is called that because you literally can slide down the rock like a water slide. The water was cold, but the older kids especially had a fantastic time.

We also spent a lot of time at the lake where we camped. Papaw, Mamaw, Ashley, Miles, Kellen and Lydia spent a day at Biltmore while Tim and I took the little kids into Asheville. We road bikes and had campfires. It was a wonderful time.

We traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway. The views from there are spectacular and there are many places to stop along the way. We enjoyed the road, but traveling that route along with several unexpected delays on the interstate about doubled our travel time on the way home. As Delilah would say, that is the Miller Way....

It was a great vacation and there are many more places in those mountains I'd like to see. So, though the Outer Banks is enjoyable, I do believe that I've been taken by the mountains. Bonus! They are closer to home anyway!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

See ya!

We are off for a week of camping in the mountains! Details and pictures later! :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

One Fierce Momma

Our momma hen, Henrietta, has become downright feisty. She wasn't this way the first time she hatched chicks. She lets nothing anywhere near her chicks, even if what is near is no threat to them or isn't even paying attention to them.

I guess I should be glad she is so protective, but the problem is her favorite daytime hang out is right at the bottom of our side steps. This is where we need to go to get feed for the animals. This is where we walk to go to the van. This is the door I use to go to the clothes line. I'm fine with leaving her alone to mother her babies, but she is making it downright difficult for us to stay out of her way.

She has come after me a couple times, but after a good kick she leaves me alone now. She won't let the dog within five feet of her. I've seen her cross about that space to come after him, and he was just standing by me. He usually just walks away from her. Today he walked by her and she nailed him in the ribs with both claws. He let out a yelp and then growled at her. I hope that is enough to make her back off. Pac is good with the animals, but he is a dog after all.

The one that she has completely intimidated is Nolan. I have never seen Nolan chase after the chicks or try to catch them, though it wouldn't surprise me if he had, but she has come after him several times. She hasn't really hurt him, but man he is scared of that little chicken. If he even sees her he freezes and refuses to walk that direction. Before he goes outside he stops at the door and asks, "Is Henrietta out there?" Poor Nolan he may be tough in a lot of ways, but he is no match for a fierce momma hen.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Now that we've met. . .

Meeting Martha and having her here for a few days was an incredible experience. She just fit in the family. She is one of us. She said it best when she said she felt like she was just coming home for a visit from college and the family had moved. She knew the people and felt at home with them, but just had to get to know the new house. Many have commented on how much we look alike, but it goes beyond that. I think Martha and I think a lot alike. It was very comfortable. It was amazing.

I never really thought about how things would be after we met. I did think about things like how often would see each other, would she join us for the holidays and things like that, but I never thought about how I would feel. It has been over a week now since she left, and I am surprised at some of the emotions there now that the initial thrill and bustle of activity are done.

I think I expected meeting her to bring more closure to the situation. Certainly in some ways there is closure. There is no more wondering if she had anger toward me about the adoption. Knowing that she had a childhood filled with love and a solid upbringing, silences any nagging doubts. The surprise is the nagging ache still in my heart.

Yes, there is happiness that she is part of our family now. Yes, there is reassurance because she had a happy childhood, but the ache of loss still remains. Martha is an adult. She calls me mom, but those precious years of her childhood belong to her other mom. She has a whole life that I am not a part of. This sounds ridiculous as I type it, but it is what I'm feeling.

I guess in some ways this must be what feels like when the child you raised leaves home, and you are no longer a part of their everyday. I never had those everydays with Martha and I think that is what I am now mourning.

I didn't see this coming. I'm not exactly sure what to do with the feeling of loss except to give it to the Lord, again, be thankful that those days of Martha's childhood were spent with a mother who cherishes them, cherish the everydays I have with my other children, and look forward to the days I do have with Martha.