Thanks for stopping by! We were a family of three, until we added one more (cat, that is), making us a family of four. In 2012, we added four more...one husband, two girls, and a dog. We have a full plate as a party of eight!

Adoption, blended families, pets, school, running...it's all here. Pull up a chair and read a while. After you do, please leave a little comment love! It makes me happy...and y'all know...if Momma is happy, then everyone is happy...at least at our house!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Question of the Day

On the way home this afternoon Gloria asked me "Mommy? How come you always look so beautiful on all the days except Saturday?"

I couldn't help but laugh. Guess she's on to me...if we don't have anywhere to go on Saturdays, there is no make-up on my face, my hair is in a ponytail, and I wear sweats all day. And I guess I don't look so beautiful. She's totally right, if not somewhat blunt!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Love You a Thousand Million

Laughter LivesThis post is part of "Laughter Lives! Tuesday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check our their blog to read everyone else's "Laughter Lives!" posts.

Gloria was 13 months old when we finally became a forever family. She learned so much so quickly, but was very slow to start talking. When she started to return my hugs or initiate one, I would say "Oh, a hug! A hug!" Then one day, she came up to me with her little arms outstretched, looked right into my eyes and said "hug-a-hug-a." I was thrilled and scooped her up into a big hug.

As Gloria has learned more about numbers, she likes to use them to tell me how much she loves me. Her latest bedtime comment is "I love you a thousand million! That's a lot of love! But you're my momma and I love you a lot." Of course then I tell her I love her even more. Her eyes get wide as she lets out a whispered "WOW!"

I put little notes in her lunch box several times each month. She always gets so excited when she discovers a little envelope peeking out of her lunch box. Now, she has started tucking little notes in my lunch box too. The one I got last week said "I love you so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so much. I can't wait to see you and hug you this afternoon. Love Gloria" It's humbling to be the recipient of so much love...just because I'm Momma!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Flat Tire

On Saturday, we went to Wake Forest for a birthday party. The drive up was uneventful and we just talked, sang with the CD's, and played our little word game that will fill up as much time as we allow. We enjoyed the party and Gloria made a new friend. You would have thought they were lifelong friends by the time the party was over.

After the party, we were headed to eat an early dinner with our friends before returning home. As we pulled out of the parking lot on our way to the restaurant, a strange warning light came on over my tachometer. Then I started hearing "thunk-a, thunk-a, thunk-a." Gloria heard it too and started to worry. I was pretty sure what it was and fortunately we were pulling into the restaurant parking lot at that time. I parked, got out, and sure enough...the rear driver's side tire was flat as a pancake. Gloria saw it and her worry kicked into high gear..."Are we going to have to get a new car? How will we get home?" I thought I was going to be sick...hey...I'm a teacher and it's five days 'til payday. Enough said.

There was an automotive place across the parking lot. So I "limped" over there on my flat tire while Gloria and our two friends and daughters walked. I also called my mom because I could cry for a moment without Gloria seeing me stressed about the tire. Inside, I explained that I had a flat tire and needed to return home (180 miles away) that night but was worried that I might need new tires which I just could not afford at that moment. The man in the store said they would take a look at it and call my while we were eating. Back across the parking lot we traipsed.

I kept an eye/ear on my phone the entire time, but it never rang. We finally left and went back across the parking lot to see what was going on. As we got closer, I saw my car with four tires, all inflated properly. When I walked in, my keys were handed to me with "Have a nice day." That's all! Just my keys and "Have a nice day." WHAT??? Turns out I had a nail in my tire, they pulled it out and plugged the hole, and sent me on my way. I must have thanked him a dozen times. I was stunned--that just doesn't happen...at least not to me...and really not in the current state of the economy. Now it will be our turn to "pay it forward."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hi/Lo Thursday

This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts.

We talk about the best and worst things about our day over dinner each night. It provides giggles as well as a way to talk about difficult encounters. So, tonight I asked Gloria to think about the best and worst things about the past week.

Her "hi" was predictable: the snow we had on Tuesday. Her "lo" might seem trivial to most of us, but to a kindergartener it was hurtful: "_______ said my soup smelled bad at lunch today." Granted, it's not your usual six-year old fare...broccoli, potato, and cheese soup. But she loves it and enjoys having a warm lunch on a chilly day.

For me, I had to think a little harder. My "hi" was the same as Gloria's: the snow on Tuesday. I love having an unexpected day off. Not only that, but I didn't have a long list of things I had to accomplish. Therefore, we could play outside and throw snow, chase each other, and squeal with delight. My "lo"...worrying about my mom as she flew to and from Orlando. Even without the plane landing in the Hudson River last week, I hate flying and hate when someone I know or love is flying. It makes me physically ill to think about until I know they are at their destination safely.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

That's Not Fair!

Yesterday, Gloria got very interested in the inauguration--mostly who all of the people were. After Presidents Clinton, Carter, Bush, and Bush were seated and right before President Obama took his oath of office she turned to me and asked two questions:
  1. "Has a girl ever been the president?" I told her no and mentioned how Hillary Clinton had run in the primary. She remembered that from last spring.
  2. "Well, I think I want to be a girl president. Can I be president, Momma?" Again, I had to tell her no. She cannot grow up to be the president.
She thought I meant that I didn't want her to be the president and wanted to know why. When I explained to her that only people who were born in the United States can run for/be elected president, she scowled at me, stamped her foot with her hands on her hips, and proclaimed in perfect almost six-year old fashion..."Well that's not fair!"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Day

We had a snow day today. Granted, there was only about 3-4 inches of snow on the ground. That seems to be more than some people got in other parts of the county though.

Gloria went to bed last night knowing that it might snow. She woke up around 2:30 a.m. and wanted to get in bed with me. I had already been up a little earlier and knew that it really was snowing outside so I distracted that thought with "Why don't you look out your window and check for snow. Then you can crawl back in your own bed." I heard her get up and rattle the blinds. Then there was a whispered "Ohhhhh! It's snowing! YESSSS!!!!" And back to bed she went, most likely with a big old grin on her face.

We were both up before 6:00, trying to find out if school was closed or not. Yes, we actually close for even a few inches of snow here in the south. I knew I was out first and finally confirmed that Glo was out too. Back under the warm covers we went with PBS Kids and a coloring book for G and lazy time for me. When we finally got up and dressed, I whipped up a batch of blueberry muffins, threw them in the oven, and agreed to venture out into the cold, wet, white world. I'd much rather observe it from the comfort of a warm home...but I'm not almost 6! ;) Twenty minutes later, cold and covered with snow, we came in to enjoy fresh, hot muffins and steamy mugs of hot chocolate. We ventured out again this afternoon and threw snow on/at each other and laughed and giggled until our fingers and noses and toesies were almost numb with cold. More warm drinks thawed us out once again.

Hannah Cat did not like the cold white stuff that we tracked into the house. She would sniff at it, touch it with her paw, and back away, only to come explore it a little more closely. Repeat...sniff, touch, back away...She didn't know what to make of it.

Yes, I took pictures, but you know I don't have a digital camera...There is a roll ready to be developed now, so hopefully soon I will have a few to share!

Monday, January 19, 2009

What Color is God's Skin?

Reminds me of a song by "Up With People" from a long time ago...OK...so I'm dating myself!

Last night, at bedtime (of course), Gloria asked, "Momma, what color is God's skin? I think I know what God looks like." She proceeded to give me her description of God..."I think he has light brown skin. Not dark brown like mine and not pink, red, and cream like yours, but light brown. And he has colorful clothes on...like purple, green, and yellow... and holds his arms like this." And she held out her arms like she was going to give someone a hug. I love it when she answers her own questions...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Brrr....it's cold! It was in the single digits this morning when we got up. The weather man said it hasn't been this cold since January of 2003. Gloria's response to that was, "No wonder I'm so cold! That's before I was born. I've never been this cold before so I'm not used to it." I'm not sure we could ever get used to it! Brrr..

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Questions

Gloria was full of questions this weekend. Two that stand out are...
  1. When I take my medicine, it goes in my tummy. How does that help make my ear better? (She has an ear infection right now.)
  2. How do people NOT have babies? (I don't think she knows how people DO have babies!)
She keeps me hopping, that's for sure!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to Reality...

Well, tomorrow morning the alarm clock will sound at 6 a.m. and we will come crashing back to reality. The two week break has been so much fun and we packed a lot into it.

The trip to Memphis included:
  • Magee and Hada
  • Uncle Will and Aunt Martha
  • Uncle Carter and Aunt Jamie
  • Reiny and Ashlyn
  • Madagascar 2
  • Chick-fil-a lunch
  • Cat wars
  • Baking Christmas cookies and red velvet cake (gluten free, of course...)
  • Christmas Eve and Sunday services at St. Mary's
  • the Peabody decorated for Christmas
  • making snowmen...out of marshmallows...Sweet Ashlyn...we asked her if she wanted to make a snowman and she said, "But it isn't snowing outside" and then went to check for any signs of snow.
  • playing, laughing, having fun, enjoying family and time together
Tomorrow, it's back to school. Back to the routine. Back to reality. The lunch boxes are on the counter, ready to be packed. The school bags are by the front door, ready to be grabbed on the way out the door. Gloria was in bed on time tonight and has already picked out her clothes for the morning. Now...am I ready???

Saturday, January 3, 2009

She read the last chapter!

I know lots of us experience the urge to read the last chapter of the book first in order to find out how it ends. Some of us resist that urge better than others. Evidently, Gloria is one of those who cannot resist that urge. This morning, the need to know won out over just reading the book from beginning to end.

She is enjoying the Josefina books from American Girl. Last night we started reading the fourth book, "Happy Birthday, Josefina!" We read chapter one together; she read some and I read some. This morning, the little book worm got up before me. She always reads to herself for a little while before crawling in my bed and waking me up. Her book of choice today: "Happy Birthday, Josefina!" Not chapter two, though. Nope. She skipped right to chapter four, the last chapter, and read it to herself. "I just had to know what was going to happen!" she explained. She is, however, refusing to disclose the ending to me. I have to wait until we get to it.

Here's my little book worm dressed to match her new doll, Josefina.

Church-Going Adventures

Last Sunday I ended up taking Gloria and my two nieces to church by myself. Dad was an usher that morning and went early. Mom wasn't feeling great and decided to stay. That left me with Gloria (almost 6), Reiny (just turned 6), and Ashlyn (3 1/2). Oh my!

On the way to church, we had our usual "how do we behave in church?" discussion. Gloria decided that she was not going to children's church which meant Reiny chose not to go. The bells were ringing when we arrived and the girls decided that Hada was ringing the bells. I think they have visions of him pulling the bell ropes and possibly being lifted off the ground like they have seen in movies. They would be so sad to know it just takes the flip of a switch. Shhhh! We quickly deposited Ashlyn in the nursery where Mom usually takes her and made our way into church for the last verse of the opening hymn.

Gloria likes to follow the service and readings in the bulletin and spent time showing Reiny where we were. During the sermon, I handed Gloria a pen and she went to work writing like she always does. I also handed one to Reiny. She looked at Gloria and then at me with a questioning look, kind of like "What's she doing? What should I do?" I showed her the word "God" in the bulletin, pointing out the letters and reading it to her quietly, and told her to circle it every time she found it. I figured that with the entire service printed in the bulletin that would keep her busy for a while. Gloria decided to do the same and they stayed busy (and quiet!) for the entire sermon.

The service progressed as usual and soon it was time to get Ashlyn from the nursery. Now I had three little girls and it was something similar to herding cats as we made our way up for communion. None of us were wearing "quiet" shoes. Gloria and Reiny were skipping up the aisle and Ashlyn was running after them. Then she spotted Dad at the steps, performing his usher duties, and yelled, "There's Hada!" Everyone was jostling for position at the communion rail and eagerly recieved their "Jesus bread" before taking off back down the side aisle. More noisey clattering of feet and herding of cats, but we made it.

During the last hymn, Gloria was trying to track the words for Reiny and Ashlyn tried to sing along too. They took off as soon as the last "Thanks be to God" was spoken. So much for coats. Fortunately they found Hada at the back, which slowed them down long enough for me to wrestle everyone into their respective jackets before heading to the car.

Whew! It was fun, but it also makes me look forward to going to church with just one tomorrow!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hannah Meets "Uncle" Emmett

This is Emmett. He lives in Memphis. More specifically, he is my mother's cat. (Dad doesn't claim him.) We invaded his territory and brought Hannah with us on our recent trip. Needless to say, he wasn't happy to meet sweet Hannah Cat. Maybe it was her pink collar?


We arrived in Memphis on Sunday night and kept the cats separate. They each clearly knew the other was there though! On Monday, we attempted to introduce them to each other since they would be sharing a house for the next ten days. Let's just say it didn't go so well. The first time they were in the same room was planned. Mom was holding Emmett and Hannah was hiding behind a chair, but still in Emmett's view. Hannah was curious, just eyeballing Emmett but never making a sound. Emmett, on the other hand, was growling--that low, "I'm not happy to see you" growl--and grew more vocal by the minute. A long, loud hiss ended the meeting. Not bad, I suppose.

Now, I should point out that Hannah has two advantages over "Uncle" Emmett. First of all, she has claws. Second of all, she's on the thin side, weighing only nine pounds. However, she is a spoiled inside cat. Emmett, on the other hand, has no front claws and is somewhat overweight. No, really he's just plain fat (sorry Mom). Must be all those moles and chipmunks he catches. He lives the life of a hunter on the cove.

The next time the two felines met was not planned and took on the likeness of one of those Saturday morning cartoons we used to watch so many years ago. Not realizing Hannah was in the family room, Emmett was allowed in. He spied her immediately, under the table, behind the sofa, resting lazily on top of the heat vent. His tail bushed up and he crouched into his attack position before springing into action. Then, off he went. Hannah took off running when she saw him coming. I realized what was happening and took off down the hall after them, alternately yelling "Emmett!!! Emmett!!!" and "Moooommmmmm! Get Emmett!!!" Mom joined the chase, even if I did think it took her too long. Meanwhile, my brother is just sitting in the rocking chair calmly taking it all in. The chase ensued: Hannah, Emmett, me, Mom, Gloria (screaming "Run, Hannah!" and "Save my cat!") Down the hall, through the office, around the corner, into a bedroom. Hannah kept sliding on the wood floors, both cats were making noise, Mom was grabbing for Emmett's tail and missing.

In that bedroom, the bed is really low. Hannah has to do a belly crawl to get under it, and that's when she isn't running for her life. Somehow she managed to make it under that bed without Emmett attacking her. And, ha ha! Emmett is way too big to fit under the bed. Mom finally grabbed him and the chase was over. Emmett was snarling and hissing and carrying on. Hannah was trembling under the bed. Emmett was banished outside, which was probably more of a reward than a punishment for him until he realized that Hannah was still in his house.

The closest they got to each other for the rest of the visit was one on either side of the windows of the French doors. Lots of hissing from Hannah, yowling from Emmett, and swats of paws from both of them. Needless to say, Emmett was glad when we left and Hannah is enjoying being queen of the castle again.