Monthly Archives: October 2013


Halloween began this morning at Wilson’s school. Miller and I went to Cross and Crown to watch Wilson sing songs with his class and then Trunk or Treat in the parking lot. He did a great job singing. I was surprised that he knew all of the words to the songs. He doesn’t know the words to the songs and prayers that he has heard all of his life, but he knew these. I was proud of him. He loves school and tells me that music is his favorite. I guess it is!

We relaxed for the afternoon, ate candy, and waited for the neighborhood party at 5:30. I told the kids that as of Sunday all of the candy is being taken from them. I hate fighting the battle of candy all day. It is making me sick to watch them eat it all, especially since I typically feed them all natural or organic food. Candy is the antithesis of that. Yuck!  Anyway, it is Halloween and I am trying to let them have some fun!

The Halloween party started at 5:30 at the Height’s house.  I love our neighborhood!  We have four or five parties throughout the year and most of us know each other.   We have a pretty small community of homes, about 80 of them.  The number of children in the neighborhood has grown significantly.  Just check out all of the kids….IMG_1697


We stayed at the party for an hour and then headed out to trick or treat.  Another great aspect of our neighborhood is that it is hilly and the houses are spread apart a little bit.  You wouldn’t think that this would be a good characteristic at Halloween but it is….more exercise and less candy.  The kids have a great time going to about 20 houses, but then are too tired to go any further so we all go home with less candy than we could have.  It is a lot of fun when everyone goes en masse.  The adults can socialize while the kids run from house to house.  Everyone wins!

Faith decided to go as Minnie Mouse this year…




Trunk or Treat

It seems that almost every church in Charlotte has caught the Fall Festival bug.  Instead of celebrating Halloween they celebrate Fall.  There isn’t much difference except scary costumes are not allowed and they don’t call it “Halloween”. (This is because Halloween celebrates all that is evil and is against God.)  Little Church on the Lane is right there with everyone else and had it’s Fall Festival this weekend.  The kids dress up, play games, jump in a bounce house, and go from car to car in the parking lot and get candy.  This is the third year that they have done this and it is very fun for the kids.

Faith got the hang of it and took the littler kids around and stuffed their baskets.  Faith has more candy than she will ever eat!  Now I have to figure out how to get some of it away from them.  I can’t keep having the “candy argument” each day.  I typically tell them to eat whatever candy they have in one day and just get rid of it.  Now she has so much that I am not sure what to do.  I think I will just take ten pieces every night after she goes to bed.  She won’t realize how fast it is really disappearing, especially since she will get more on Thursday night.  Some candy is ok, too much candy is just down right gross.  We are nearing the wrong end of the spectrum.

Jesse and Faith (Rupunzel and Minnie Mouse)


We were watching Bobby and Sidney’s two kids for the night so they were with us.  Here is everyone dressed up.  It was hard to get a good shot of the four kids.  I kept saying, “Look at the camera!”, “Smile!”, “Stand up!”, “Wilson, quit grabbing your penis!”.  Here is what I was given…


Miller was a Steeler fan (not in the mood to put on his costume)


Thought this was cute of Wilson…


Looking into the sun wasn’t the best idea, but here are Wilson (Jake the Pirate), Faith and Gabriel (Capt. America)IMG_1691

Phoneless to Less Phone

Last Friday my iPhone 4 finally died.  It has a seriously cracked screen, pieces of glass missing near the bottom button, and had been dropped too many times to count.  I am amazed that it lasted this long.  I had to give Tom my renewal and so now I am not up for renewal until February. I am refusing to pay big bucks for another iPhone. So for four days I was without a phone until I found a free solution to my phone problem.

“How did I last four days without a phone?”, you ask.  The first day was the hardest.  I was having phone withdrawals.  The next three days were fabulous!!  I didn’t feel the need to check my phone for calls, emails, or texts….which are either never there or not important.  When I had nothing to do I read my book or just looked around.  I didn’t have to search the house for my phone before I left to go somewhere.  At stop lights I just sat still or talked to the kids.

The only thing that was hard, but also refreshing, was that I couldn’t email someone when I thought of something I needed to ask them.  I had to wait to call someone until later when I had the thought to call.  Immediate gratification had to be suspended.  I even liked that.  I wasn’t interrupted by a thought or a task, especially if I was playing with the kids at the moment.  I just waited until later to do what I needed to do.  I was reverting back to the early 1990s and it was freeing!  I did not miss my phone at all!!

Tom left for NYC on Tuesday so I had to have a phone by then because we do not have a house phone.  I am currently using his old Droid Charge that Tom’s dad mailed back to us.  I hate it.  I don’t like the phone specifically, but I also don’t like having the world at my finger tips anymore.  Nothing on my phone is that important.  My emails and texts are not life changing.  Honestly, my phone hardly ever rings.  The only thing that will suffer from me not having a smart phone is my blog and my photos of the kids.  However, I have a nice camera at home and a computer at home.  I will just have to readjust the way that I do things.  

I am still using the Droid, but as soon as I find an old Verizon flip phone….it will be mine!

Soccer is over…..

On Saturday the kids had their last soccer game of the season.  Faith and Wilson were able to be on the same team because they played in the 4-5 year old league at the YMCA.  They practiced once a week and then had a game on Saturdays.  It was fun to watch the kids run around.  At this age it wasn’t very organized and the kids just ran around in a mob trying to get the ball.

I thought that both of them would do equally well since Wilson is so aggressive in everyday life.  It turns out that he isn’t aggressive at all on the soccer field.  He was more interested in jumping around and making faces than he was in playing soccer.  Wilson enjoyed the practices, but not the games.  That is until Tom put him in defense in the second to last game.  In defense, he had a specific purpose and didn’t have to get into a mob of people to get the ball.  Wilson did much better there.

As for Faith, she did well.  She was somewhat aggressive and wasn’t afraid to get into the mob of kids to kick the ball.  She was older than most of the kids so I think she was able to understand the game better as well.  She can do some fancy footwork when she wants.

It was a great introduction into the game.  Next year I think Faith will play again and Wilson will play on the SOAR league where they just have skills clinics.  I was proud of them both for trying.

I am not usually in favor of everyone getting a trophy all of the time, but I have to say that the kids were super excited to receive their first trophy at the last game.  They even had their names engraved on the plaque.  It was cute to see how proud they were of themselves at that moment.

My parents came to most of the games and Grandmama Pat even came to one…


Faith playing goalie….


Tom’s old friend, Rick, came to a game with his wife Janie.  They were here from Pittsburg, PA.





I have started to reread the book by George Orwell, 1984.  I read it in high school, but it has been over 20 years.  I am about half way through it.  Today’s reading was very eye opening.

For those of you that don’t remember the story line here is a brief overview:  In the year 1984, London is ruled by Big Brother and the Thought Police.  There are two classes of people:  the Party and the Proles (lower class). Those in the Party are required to wear blue overalls, go with the flow, drink only gin, believe everything they are told, and have a telescreen in their homes so that the government can monitor their every movement.  If they are thought to be a threat, then they are vaporized (wiped out of existence as if they never existed).  The past is changed and books are rewritten so that Big Brother is never wrong.  No one cares about the Proles.  They can do what they want because they are ignorant about the fact that they could rule if they would only organize.

I had a revelation today….we are very much like the book 1984.  No, we don’t all wear overalls and don’t have a two way monitor in our homes so that we can be monitored 24/7.  But there are many similarities:

1.  The screens in our homes aren’t for the government to monitor us, but we are constantly in front of a screen, whether it be an ipad, smart phone, computer monitor or television.

2.  We believe what the government tells us:  cigarettes are good…now they are bad.  DDT is good…now it is bad.  The FDA tells us what medicines and food are okay for us to use….until they discover that it is unhealthy.  One country or person is evil without us truly knowing.  There is so much corruptness going on in Washington, but most of us turn a blind eye to it.  I know I do.  Mainly because I feel that my opinions don’t change anything.  It really just infuriates me, therefore, I would rather not know.

3.  We don’t wear blue overalls, but we all are little clones of each other.  There are slight variations of dress, but for the most part, we wear what is in style and you can tell a person’s class by the types of clothing that they wear.

4.  The government does monitor those that they feel are a threat to our “security”.  We leave an electronic trail that is amazingly direct and concise.   Just look at the advertising on your Facebook page.  They know what you like and what you might possibly buy based on your profile.  Scary stuff!

5.  In the book they speak and write “newspeak”.  They dictate everything into a transcription machine.  No one uses real paper and pens anymore.  They don’t even speak real English.  They use slang and half words to get their meanings across.  Funny, we all use short hand in texts and emails, rarely typing out the whole word or using correct punctuation.

6.   We are all like the Proles.  Many people don’t think that their one vote counts or that they can make a difference to change the future so they do nothing.  But if everyone would rally around one cause and take a stand, the future could be changed and one particular group of people could either rule or change the rules.  But, like the Proles, we go about our daily lives and are satisfied with the way things are instead of striving to make the next day better.

As I was reading my paperback copy of 1984, a man walked by me and said, “It is nice to see someone reading a real book and not an iPad or Kindle.  It feels good to hold the paper doesn’t it?” Immediately I felt like Winston, the main character of the book, who secretly and illegally acquired a paper diary and a pen so that he could feel real paper and write real words.  Again….so many similarities between 2013 and 1984.

Mrs. Martin, my 10th grade English teacher, would be so proud….   :)

Wilson is 4!

Over the next three months our small family will have four birthdays, one anniversary, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It is our busiest and most exciting time of year.   Wilson’s birthday starts us off on October 12!  Yesterday Wilson turned four years old.  He has been so excited for his birthday.  He knew that he was turning four, having a party and leaving for the beach all on the same day.  I don’t know which one he was most excited for.

We decided to have his party at Sardis Park near our house.  We have already had two of Faith’s parties there and I plan to have a few more there if I can.  Now that Wilson is in school he has so many more friends.  He has only had a few friends in his life that were his friends and not Faith’s.  We invited over ten little boys and girls to the party.  It was so great to see him run around and play with his friends.  He was so excited when another friend showed up.

Wilson requested pizza at his party.  We had the pizza delivered to the playground and fed a small army of kids and parents.  We decided that we would take whatever was left over to the beach with us after the party.  I even made gluten free cupcakes and icing.  The natural food store carries a great brand of gluten free cake mix.  I use it every birthday.

The one benefit of inviting lots of friends is that Wilson received lots of gifts.  He had never been given so many toys at one time.  Everything he got was perfect for a little, rough and tumble boy….most of it was super hero stuff.

As I reflect on Wilson’s maturing and growing up I have to say that he has had quite a transformation over the last year.  He has stopped whining constantly, he has become more independent, and grown socially.  He is still the funniest kid I know.  He came out of his room the other night with seven pull-ups on.  He could hardly walk or sit down.  He looked like a sumo wrestler.  It was hilarious!  His smile is contagious and fills up his whole face.  He will sometimes run up to me and say, “I love you.”  It makes me so warm inside when I hear him say that.  He is so full of life…to the point that he often breaks things when not even trying.  Sometimes I need to cut him a little slack and remember that he is only three or four years old.  He would sword fight all day and would live in his pajamas if I let him….which I do quite often.  Who wouldn’t want to live in their pajamas?   Overall, I am very proud of Wilson and am so glad that he is my son.  He brightens my day and makes me a more patient mother.  :)

Wilson and is cake…

Wilson's 4!

Grandma and Shepherd…IMG_1643

Titus, Drew and another friend…


Miller and Shepherd…


Michael and Lilly…


Wilson (in his favorite Dash shirt)…


Wilson blowing out the candles…


Ocean Isle, NC

beach4 beach3 beach 2 At the last minute, we were very blessed to be offered a friend’s beach house for the weekend.  We decided to leave straight from Wilson’s birthday party on Saturday and not to come back until Monday night.  It was just what our family needed:  a little time together to relax and have some fun.

We arrived in Ocean Isle, NC around dinner time.  We convinced the kids to wait until the next morning to hit the beach.  Because it is October, the air was a little chilly and windy but the water was warm enough for the kids to splash around.  I, however, had no intention of getting in that chilly water!

The next morning the kids jumped right into the water.  They collected shells and played in the sand.  Miller wasn’t too fond of the water, but one of his favorite activities is playing in the sand.  It was great fun!  The kids finally got too cold and we headed back to the house to take baths.  This was a routine that we would do four times in two days:  Beach – play in the ocean – get cold- take a bath.

A few blocks from the house there was a great playground with a sandy bottom.  We visited it twice.  Once right before dusk, but there was a giant streetlight there that allowed us to stay after dark.  Once again…perfect!

We played at the beach, played at the playground, watched TV in bed, watched the boats go by from the deck of the house, and played with some of Wilson’s new birthday gifts.  Faith even got to eat her favorite meal:  shrimp.  I was able to read a little bit and watch one of my favorite shows since we had cable at the beach (and we don’t at home).  Tom worked most of the day Monday while we played, but at least he was near us and he got to watch an entire football game on Saturday which never happens at home.  All in all, a very successful and relaxing family vacation.