Thursday, September 25, 2008

I think she's got her Mama's aggressiveness......

Some of you may not know that I'm the toughest, and yes -shortest, forward in Relief Society (Church Women's) basketball. Do you know why coaches put me in at forward when I'm less than 5'3" tall? Because I have no fear.....I box out those bigger ladies and get the rebounds. Okay, enough about me......heehee;) I recently witnessed my 5 1/2 yr old Bethany taking on an entire team of aggressive little 5 yr old boys in a soccer game. Okay, they only play 3 on 3, but her only teammates to show up were a little (most adorable) 4 yr old boy, Noah, and a tiny (very thoughtful) 5 yr old girl, Evelyn- who were both too intimidated to play any offense because both got hit by the ball early on in the game by these little "not-so-nice-but-because-of-coaching-and-parenting" team of all boys. The other team had 6 players and we only had the three, so we didn't get to substitute. Bethany would kick the ball all the way up the field and try to score without any help and actually scored their only goal of the game, and then she'd run back down and try to steal the ball from the boys who kicked not only her, but each other, and go up the field once again.....trying to score without her teammates. I don't fault the little sweeties...they were doing the best they could. Eventually, Bethany just gave up on offense and most of the game was played on one side of the field as she would stand in front of the goal and block nearly every ball they tried to kick into it. It was really something to see....this girly-girl besting the boys. I loved it. They didn't seem to mind either because they kept getting to try again as she would block each kick. Other parents even complimented her after the game. And, wouldn't you know it? I didn't even get the camcorder out to capture it. Just had to share.....proud Mommy and all. ( Don't miss my Mallory post below. :)

My Mallory

So, I had my first conversation with my daughter the other night. You may not know that she is in speech therapy. This little girl just never started talking, so we referred her to Birth to Three and now she has an amazing speech pathologist coming to our house to work with her. She teaches Brad and I methods to use consistently, as well. Anyway, the "conversation" started as I was rocking her just before bedtime. She waved her hand in the air and said "shinshi" as she pointed to the hallway and then said "Da-ee". I said, "Daddy is stinky?" "Yeah!" I laughed, then she pointed to her sister's room and repeated the hand motion and her word for stinky, "shinshi" and then said her almost-the-same-as-stinky word for Sissy, "Shishi". I said, "Sissy is stinky, too?" Again, "Yeah!" This time she laughs at her own joke. Then she points at me and says, "Shinshi, Oooooh!" I appear startled and say, "What?! Mommy is stinky, too?" She laughs at me and then I say, "Well, are you stinky? Is Mallory stinky?" "YEAH! (heeheehee)" I'll forever remember that my first conversation with my Mal-Mal was one where she made a joke of us all. Is this Brad's daughter or what?

* Pictured above are a few of her modeling shots from yesterday. We found the purse in her sister's old clothes that we pulled from the basement for fall/winter. She was trying on the sweater from last winter to see if it still fit, and was sporting the Dora slippers that were also handed down from Bethany.
* OH YEAH, I should mention that I hadn't fixed her hair yet.....hence the crazy 'fro! I just had to include the backview of her hair. It's grown so much lately.
* Another note - after she finished hugging the Care Bear, she viciously threw her to the floor and took the rocking chair for herself. With a growl and everything.....whoa.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Flu Shots?

I'm just wondering how all of you moms out there feel about flu shots. Our pediatrician in North Carolina never suggested that the girls get them, and I turned the doctor down last fall when he recommended it. I've never had one and Brad has never had one. Also, I was told today that since they've never had the shot, the girls would each have to have two shots, one month apart. Maybe the flu season here is worse than in NC? I've just heard conflicting reports about the value and risks of the flu shot or flu mist. Please share your opinion.....not just moms, any of you may have an opinion and information that I don't. Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mallory's 2nd Birthday

With so much going on, Mallory's birthday just snuck up on us. We got together with our family the weekend before her actual birthday so it'd be easier for my family to drive up, rather than on a night during their work week. It worked out perfectly because Mal finished her nap just as people arrived, and she was so sweet natured and focused on her gifts and cake. She didn't want to blow out the candle, so Bethany helped her out. We all enjoyed it. Brad and I felt sorry that for the pictures of her 2nd birthday she had bumps and stuff around her mouth and on her skin from the virus, but we think she's still just adorable.

First Day of Kindergarten

I have to confess that the first morning of school was so hurried that I didn't take photos before we left the house, so I made Bethany pose after school. She was tired and not happy about it, but I insisted. We thought we knew how much time we would need to get ready and get there on time, but our daughter is not a very motivated child in the morning. We have learned in the 2 1/2 weeks since the first day that we have to stay at her side throughout the getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, and other parts of our morning routine and keep her focused and moving. Breakfast is the hardest because she's never ready to eat when she wakes up, but I will not let my little girl go to school without a healthy start to her day, so we fight it out every morning. She is so excited about school, though. I insisted that I get to take her that first day, as the Mommy, while Brad stayed with spotted Mallory. He takes her most mornings because he's headed off to work anyway, and I pick her up. I knew she'd be fine, but I walked her to class anyway. It was so strange to turn around and leave the room knowing my baby would be gone for 7 hours a day, five days a week.....but I stayed strong. By the middle of her second week, Bethany told Brad that she didn't need for him to walk her to her classroom. She said, "just drop me off at the curb, Daddy. I'll be okay, Daddy, but you're not going to cry, are you?" He called to tell me about our independent daughter, and we laughed and felt a little sad at the same time. Our big girl is just fine, but I miss her during the day. Mallory and I are having a good time together, though. We watch a little PBS kids and play and laugh and go to WalMart together. When she naps, I try to get more house organization done and catch up online, then we go pick up Big Sis. I feel like a whole new phase of life has started for us, and we're still getting used to it.
*Oh, yes! Bethany insisted on wearing her new skirt to school on the first day. I kept thinking in my mind that the adults in the school were going to think that she was part of that religion that wears skirts and doesn't cut their hair. The next day she wore shorts, so that was all cleared up. ;)

What's this?

The night we got home from Tennessee was our first night in our house. The next morning Mallory woke up with some red bumps on her face, and as the day progressed she got more of them on her arms and legs, etc. I thought it must be chicken pox, and lived like it was for a couple of days, then got worried that Bethany would get it, too and was supposed to start kindergarten in a couple of days. So, we visited an Urgent Care on Labor Day and they said it looked like a viral rash. I sent B. to school, and I'll include some info on that in another post, and she started to get a few bumps. I woke up covered with bumps one day that week and mine itched really bad....I think I must have had at least 100 bumps that felt like bites. We saw the pediatrician just to be sure, too, because I was worried about bugs being in the house or an allergy to the new carpet. Nope, virus. Weird, huh? I tried to take pictures of Mal's bumps the 2nd day, but my crappy camera doesn't do closeups. Soccer also started the same week school did. I'll be posting some of that action through October. Brad is coaching Bethany's team. They are pretty small and young, so they get beat often, but it is fun and we're not officially keeping score anyway. She has scored goals in 2 of her 3 games, and is so much better than she was in the spring.

More Vacation Pics

Photo #1 - The Bennett Bunch in front of the Black Bear Jamboree theater where we went to a dinner show including all kinds of music, dance, and black bear characters that kept the kids interested.
Photo #2 and #3 - I love these! During our 2nd Dollywood day, it rained and we got soaked. Well, Mallory especially got soaked because during this rain she insisted on going with the others on a very wet water ride. I took these photos afterwards while we waited under some shelter.
Photo #4 - the girls posing in a pretend go cart in front of a mini-golf/ go cart racing place

Pidgeon Forge, TN

We visited a new place for vacation this beaches for us in 2008 which we missed, but we really had a good time in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Brad's parents have a couple of condo units at a resort in Pigeon Forge, so we were invited to go since it's the last year the week would work for us because we have a school-aged child now. What a relaxing place, and beautiful. The landscaping was breathtaking, the pool was refreshing and the shopping and entertainment was very fulfilling. We attended variety shows with singers doing tributes to famous singers/performers like Elvis or Buddy Holly, and shows with just really talented singers and dancers who made us laugh and our kids smile. Outlet shopping was fun, and we brought home plenty of new clothes for the girls and a few things for us, too. Then, there was Dollywood! Yes, it is Dolly Parton's amusement park, and it was really much better than I expected it to be. There was a wonderful kids' section of the park and rides that we enjoyed, too. We actually went twice during the week, and I took some pics of the kids on the rides which I'll share. Watching Bethany and Mallory enjoy themselves was just the best part of the whole day. Bumper cars, flying elephants, all varieties of animal themed rides, and the carousel....I hope they'll remember how much fun they had.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Let's go back to August....

Well, I'm going to give you the breakdown of what's been going on with my life for the last month and a half, or so. Over the summer I mentioned that we were looking for houses and we decided on a house in our current city of Elkins. The house is great.....old, but great. I love the beautiful wood floors and windows that are original to the house, built in 1920-30?....I don't remember the exact year right now. It's been interesting trying to merge my decor from our NC house to this older house's oak and charm, but I am making progress. Anyway, we decided and we started planning. In the meantime, we were getting Bethany ready for kindergarten which included an added shot because the state changed their requirements for chicken pox vaccinations.....they have to have 2 to start school. Imagine all of the almost-kindergartners in the state who thought they were finished with shots for a while, and now we had to drag them in to get one more (just cruel!) I'll share the after-the-show photos in this post. Very dramatic experience, let me tell you! She started out just refusing to sit down because she was "not ready yet". Well, eventually I had to pull her onto my lap while Brad and I held her head back against me and pinned her arms while the nurse gave her the shot, as she was kicking and screaming the whole time. Mallory started crying and we got the heck out of dodge as soon as the band aid was in place. I took pictures later as she bragged to Grandma that "I was brave (long pause), but I did cry." We spent two weeks trying to get moved before our end-of-August vacation and the start of school. Let me tell you about this......the former owner of the house died in January or February and her only son is in very poor health so was unable to visit the house to remove items or help clear it out. His sons only took what they wanted and left the rest. Needless to say we had a huge job on our hands of boxing up, selling, and donating all of this almost 80 yr old woman's possessions including furniture, bedding, craft items, kitchen items, and closets full of things she held onto for years. Just picture this.....4 bedrooms with closets and shelves on the walls, an office with cabinets, shelves and drawers, 3 bathrooms with closets in each, as well as knickknacks and shelves and mirrors and pictures all over the walls. AND, we were wiping down everything because it needed cleaned and she was a smoker. Can you tell that we had quite a busy couple of weeks? After and during all of this, we were priming and painting the upstairs bedrooms and hallway so that we could get new carpet installed before moving in. Then I had about a day to pack up our apartment before we moved everything over to the new-to-us house. We were so incredibly blessed with help from friends at church and family members. Countless hours of service were given to my family. There is absolutely no way we could have been moved in before school started without these folks, and I don't think I could have maintained my sanity without them. People cleaned, painted, watched my kids and/or put them to bed while we worked, packed up, unpacked, yard-saled and more for us. My Heavenly Father definitely knows me and my limitations, so He sent angels to assist me. Well, we moved all of our stuff on Tuesday night, stayed at the in-laws for a few nights while we worked on stuff before vacation started on Friday. And, now I move on to my next post....

Why these particular colors? Well.....

I got the urge to change up my color scheme tonight because I can smell fall, feel it, and I'm starting to see it in the trees and in the way the children are wearing jackets in the morning as they wait for the bus. I LOVE FALL!!! So, the red background reminds me of my favorite fall leaf color....usually found on the Sugar Maples, certain oak trees, and some of the smaller trees and shrubs that I can't name. The green reminds me of the grass, which is still beautiful and lush. The yellow and orange shades symbolize the trees which have already begun to change colors this month. And, the blue is similar to the clear skies I enjoyed today while I edged and cleaned up my yard. Blue skies lift my spirits. Just thought I'd share my thoughts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I promise!

I'm going to update soon,....forgive me. We've been moving and vacationing and starting school and soccer, etc. for the past month. I've got some photos to upload and I'll fill you all in soon! Oh, yeah....Happy Birthday to my Mallory! It's almost over, but today was her 2nd birthday. Oh, how I love that little girl!