Monthly Archives: July 2013

Baptisms for the Cousins

On Sunday morning Faith and I went out to Carowinds to see Maddie, John and Will get baptized. They attend Carmel Baptist church near my house, but on this special Sunday they had the service outside at the palladium at Carowinds. It was wonderful. I loved going to church outside. It seems so much more natural for me to worship out in God’s creation than inside of a church. I wish it was outside every Sunday.

My dad is the oldest of five siblings. His youngest sister is my Aunt Lisa who is only eight years older than I. She has three kids: Maddie (13), John (10) and Will (9). Everyone is typically surprised to hear that I have cousins that are close to being thirty years younger than I am. I guess I am more like an aunt than a cousin to them….but I am still just a cousin and I like it that way. I love them and being a cousin seems to be more casual and has less responsibility involved. :)

“The Cousins” were first in line to be baptized. I was so proud of them. How proud Lisa and Brian must be as well. It was neat that they all decided to do it on the same Sunday. In the Baptist church, a person get baptized after he/she commits herself to the Lord. It is based on many scriptures in the Bible and also found in the Old Testament.

“We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4 (NIV)

“Water Baptism is an act of obedience for the believer. It should be preceded by repentance, which simply means “change.” It is turning from our sin and selfishness to serve the Lord. It means placing our pride, our past and all of our possessions before the Lord. It is giving the control of our lives over to Him.”

I was proud that my young cousins have made such a commitment to the Lord. They are so well grounded, kind, and mature. Great kids!

Here is Will getting into the cold water….



John’s turn…



I didn’t get a picture of Maddie getting baptized, but she did get a picture with Faith afterward…



Will, John and Maddie…



(Back to front)  Brian, Mr. Lee, Lisa, Lou, Maddie, John and Will….



After the service they all went to Carowinds for the day.  Faith wanted to go but we will need to wait a few years before she is tall enough to ride the roller coasters.  I have never even been…

White Water Center

Tom turned 50 on Saturday. We celebrated with the kids on Friday and so Saturday was the day to celebrate with adults. Per Tom’s request, I planned a get together at the White Water Center with our friends and family. The White Water Center has a band every Thursday and Saturday night during the summer. Luckily, his birthday fell on a Saturday this year.

It rained all morning long and I was getting a little fearful that we were going to have to change the location of the party. Thankfully, the rained cleared up around 5:00pm and we were able to enjoy the night without rain. We arrived around 7:00pm and so did everyone else. About 20 of Tom’s friends and family were there to help him celebrate. It was a low key night chatting with friends, drinking beer and listening to music outside. It was exactly what he wanted to do for his 50th birthday.

Some friends sat on the grass and watched the band… Sara Long, Amanda Fairbanks, Chaz and Michaleh Snider, and Ashely and Jerry.




These two couples met and I think they talked together all night long.  I think a girls night out was even scheduled.  Luckily, i was included in the mix….John and Patty Smith, Eric and Abigail Varner



Tom with Chris Long and Chaz Snider…Believe it or not, Tom actually searched out his “I love my wife” shirt.  He wears it all the time.  Some one pointed out that “it is like a chic magnet with boundaries”.  Very true.  I have one too but have never worn it.  (a family joke now)



Kristee, Patty and myself.  We used to be the “3 Amigos” a few years back.  Saturday night was our reunion.



Tom’s dad even made it in town for the event and the weekend.  Here is Tom, Jacqueline, and Tom’s dad.



Others than those pictured, my brother, Bobby and Sidney, my parents, and Aunt Lisa and her kids were also at the party.

We really had a nice time.  It was so nice to be outside, enjoy the weather, and have some scenery to enjoy.  Tom said that he had a great time and I believe that he did.

Toms birthday with kids

We celebrated Tom’s birthday today with the kids. His actual birthday is tomorrow, but we won’t be with them tomorrow night. We will be going out.

Today the kids and I had fun preparing for the party. We went to the Dollar Store to get balloons and cards. We also went to the health food store to buy some gluten free cake and icing. (Most gluten free stuff isn’t the greatest, but this cake is delicious!) It is always a little challenging taking the kids into small stores, but we did it! We came home and started on the cake….a teddy bear, of course. Then we made the icing. Here is Faith making it…


Here are the kids in the car with their balloons. These are the best balloons. The kids can’t pop them and they float for days.


We made a teddy bear cake like last year, but this year it had raisins and blueberries on it….and 14 candles. The perfect cake for a 50 year old. :)20130726-165818.jpg

Faith and Wilson were decorating the cake while Miller was basically eating the icing.


We sat down for Tom’s birthday dinner and ate spaghetti with meat sauce (which doesn’t happen a lot around here). We ate dinner and then Tom’s dad pulled into the driveway. Perfect timing. Just in time for cake.  Faith is really into decorating the table.  Tonight we had a Spiderman table cloth and some Easter rabbit napkins.  I asked her, “Which napkins do you think Daddy wants:  sailboats or bunnies?”  She said, “Bunnies.”  hmmmm….





Miller loved the cake.  He kept asking for “more”.



We had a great time tonight.  The kids had fun and I think Tom enjoyed himself.  I don’t think many men expect a teddy bear cake, a Spiderman table cloth, bunny napkins, and 14 candles for their 50th birthday party.   I guess that is what you get when you have three young kids.  Tom was surrounded by his family that love him and was given the best birthday party that his three biggest fans could give him.

A Night in the ER

At church on Sunday morning, I went to get Faith out of the nursery and she seemed to feel like she had a slight fever. Even Miss Vickie thought that she just wasn’t acting like herself. I didn’t give it too much thought, but I did keep her home from the pool that afternoon when I went with Wilson. When I got home from the pool Faith’s breathing was a little loud. She seemed to wheezing a little, but I still didn’t think that it was that big of a deal. Having three kids means that someone always has a runny nose. It isn’t shocking that a slight fever might be there too. Most of the time, both go away on their own and we usually live life with them coming and going. I compared it to when Miller had Croup. He coughed and coughed and there was nothing I could do about it. I just had to wait it out past the worse day and knew that the next day would be better. I thought this was sort of the same thing.

This time, however, it didn’t go away. Her breathing became more and more labored. I researched wheezing on the internet and it said that I should put her in a steamy bathroom to help alleviate the symptoms. It did say that if she had trouble breathing that I should take her to a doctor. I thought, “Well, she is breathing fine. It is just a little noisy.” Faith fell asleep while I was putting Miller to bed. Her breathing was getting very noisy and progressively more difficult. I kept checking on her while Tom and I watched TV and I was becoming more concerned. Still, I did nothing.

By 10:00pm she was complaining of a stomach ache and her breathing was terrible. I called the nurse at the pediatrician’s office, she listened to Faith breathe, and said, “You need to take her to the hospital.” I called my parents to come over to sit with the boys while Tom and I took Faith to the hospital. We went to Matthews Novant Health Hospital (used to be Presbyterian Hospital but recently got bought out). The pediatrician’s office recommended the one uptown, but I had already been to the Matthew’s hospital a few times. It felt more comfortable. I am glad we did go there.

We arrived at the hospital around 11:00pm and Faith looked and sounded terrible. They brought us back, checked her in, and a short while later the doctor/nurse practitioner came in. They began to give Faith breathing treatments to open up her lungs and help her to breathe. Then they took x-rays of her chest because they thought that she might have pneumonia. She did. I have no idea how she got pneumonia. She barely ever had a fever and her runny nose had just started the day before. She did have a stuffy nose for weeks, but that is pretty common with Faith. Again, nothing to worry about typically.

By the time we left the hospital at 3:30am Faith had received three breathing treatments, a liquid steroid, and a prescription for her pneumonia. She was also completely hyped up! It was like she was on crack! She was talking and talking and talking. This was the complete opposite of how she walked into the hospital. When we walked in she could barely speak and now she was bouncing off the walls. She kept saying, “I am so hyper-ed.” It was cute. Tom and I even slept a little in her hospital bed while she climbed all over us. I was so out of it for part of the time that I didn’t even notice. I do remember her pulling on my ear at one point. I was just thankful that my little girl was feeling better and breathing normally.

I now know what wheezing is, what it sounds like when it starts getting bad, and that it doesn’t go away on its own. This was one of those experiences that I consider a learning experience. It is also one that makes me very thankful for modern medicine. I am thankful that Faith is feeling better and I am praying that we don’t have to go through this again. Because hers was related to pneumonia and not asthma, we should not be having this problem with her again. So thankful!

Here we are before the treatment began..


Here she is with her new teddy bear that the hospital gave her before we left…


More fun at the pool

Now that the rain has cleared up we have been at the pool almost every day this week….well, at least the kids have. I took them two days and Tom took them the other two. Wilson has been so much this week that today he got the skin rubbed off of the bottom of his big toes. The spot is small but still hurts. I remember getting these same spots as a child. We used to push off of the bottom of the pool so much that eventually the skin got rubbed off. It is like a little hole in your toe. I had forgotten about them until today.  A rite of passage, I guess.

It has still been raining every night, but at least the days have been clear.  Yesterday Tom took all three kids to the pool.  Now that both Wilson and Faith have a yellow swim necklace, we can relax a little at the pool.  Tom found a cozy little corner for Miller to sleep in the shade and where he could sit in a chair and watch the two swimmers.  Finally!  Life is getting a little easier.

However, Tom took all three to the pool by himself yesterday because I needed a little break.  Not that anything major has been going on, but every once in a while I kind of reach the end of my rope.  I know that I have two days free during the week, but sometimes I spend it cleaning or running errands.  I get to do those things alone, but it still tires me out.  I have been pretty tired lately.  I am not sure why, but sleep has been a top priority for me.  While the kids were at the pool I took a short nap and then just laid around for a while.  Sometimes I realize that sitting down is the best thing that I can do while the kids are gone.  I know that as soon as they enter the room I will be on my feet fixing them drinks or being led around the room by Miller while he pulls at my finger. Yesterday’s afternoon break was a nice surprise and needed one.  I am glad that Tom saw my need and acted accordingly.  He is a good Daddy and husband.

Miller 20 months

 IMG_1488Miller has grown up so much in the past few months. His vocabulary is amazing. He says too many words to count. His latest words are: towel, bite, cat, here-ya-go, all done, mine (every child’s favorite), potty, pee pee, play, baby, bug, and come on.  He has even started to put words together to make his own two word sentences. He just started doing it this week. We were playing downstairs and he noticed that Faith was gone. He has said “Faith back?”. He also said, “Mommy night night” (which means breast feeding), and “Daddy play”.

He and the others play Monster with Tom at night. They basically chase Tom around and then he chases them. They love it. Miller will even call one of our names and then start running away so that we will chase him.  He lights up when it is time to play Monster or have “Dance party”.

He loves his little blankets with an animal head on them. He calls them “baby” and has to get them when he goes to bed and then carries them around when he wakes up.

We have also gone gluten free again.  Miller has eczema on his legs.  I guess it started at least six months ago.  It may have started right after he began to eat wheat again.  I don’t know.  All I know is that he is small and has eczema.  I have come to find out that eczema is typically a sign of a food allergy.  Miller, Faith and I have been gluten free for three weeks now.  It isn’t too hard to do since I have done it before.  Faith is doing it with us too.  I am hoping that maybe it will clear up her constant, stuffy nose.  This little experiment will probably cost me a small fortune in specialty granola bars (a household staple), but it will be worth it.

Today we went for Miller’s check up since I inadvertently skipped his 15 month check up.  His eczema looks so much better.  He used to have red spots on the insides of his legs and knees.  They are pretty much gone.  All you can see now is the white spots where the eczema used to be.  Dr. Richter said that those white spots may be there up to a year while the skin heals.  Looks like we will be gluten free for a while.  Today he weighed 21 pounds and was 31 inches long.  Still in the bottom 5%.

We haven’t started potty training yet but he is getting ready. He says he has to “pee pee” and walks into the bathroom. I pick him up fully dressed and sit him on the potty. He then grabs toilet paper, “towels” to him, and throws the toilet paper in the toilet. I hope he trains early. I am sick of changing diapers.

Of course, he isn’t perfect, although I like to think that he is.  He has started to pitch little temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way.  Yesterday he threw two of them.  Both when I made him eat at the table when he wanted to eat in front of the TV.  This made me realize that because the kids usually eat breakfast in front of the TV, Miller thinks that is where all meals are supposed to be eaten.  Oops.  Looks like I need to correct some of my behaviors as well.

Overall he is doing awesome!  He is super smart, remembers everything, and can say almost anything.  I thank God everyday that he brought Miller into our family.  


Grace’s Cheer Camp Competition

Every year my cousin, Grace, goes to cheer camp at Covenant Day which is three miles from my house. Every year we have other plans and can’t make it to see her cheer. Today we were finally able to go. I went with Wilson and Faith to the CDS high school gym to meet Alan and Betty (my aunt and uncle) and watch the cheerleaders.

What a flashback! I was a cheerleader in middle school and high school and went to three of these cheer camps myself. Of course mine was held at a college and was on a much grander scale than the Christian league. Two things caught my attention:
1. The middle schoolers were so young and novice. I can only imagine how silly I must have looked back then. I still remember Nikki making fun of the way I did the knee slap and fancy hand clapping when I started. It was quite eye opening.
2. The cheerleaders did this jumping back thing when the did the “spirit” fingers. We never did that. They also have some interesting ways to get on others’ shoulders. Even cheerleading has had some innovation and improvement.

It was a total flashback! I can’t believe that it has been over twenty years since I was a cheerleader.

Grace’s team won first in their division. They did really well. Faith loved to look at the cheerleaders. She even insisted that we go home before it started to put on her cheerleader outfit. Typically I would not drive all the way home so that she could change her clothes, but since it was cheerleading….I would do it. She looked great in her pink cheerleading outfit. She fit right in.

We sat with Alan and Betty in the stands. Wilson began to get bored so Alan took him out to get some popcorn and a Sprite. He loved it! But then he was ready to come back in and see the cheerleaders….what guy wouldn’t. :)