Sunday, July 26, 2009

Molly's 13 weeks Old

What a fun week with Miss Molly. She is sitting up in her Bumbo chair and excited to be part of the action. She sits in it on the table while her brothers paint, on the playroom floor while they build towers, and in it in the living room while we read stories. Her big brothers are thrilled to have her so close and watching their activities. "She watching me." says Ryan, very often. She will often swing her arms and sometimes she actually manages to touch one of them. That sends Ryan over the top. "Mommy, she touching me, she touching me!" He is grinning ear to ear and then gets right next to her and tries to get her to touch him again.

Her other new trick that delights her brothers, and her parents, is giggling. She has the sweetest laugh and she shares it generously. We couldn't resist sharing it with you. Or these pics of her in this sweet dress from her Great-Grandma Stone. Aunt Ronda, can you make sure she sees these?

Marshall Island Birthday Celebration

We were invited guests at our friend Alice's 1st birthday. Alice is from the Marshall Islands and was adopted by our dear friends. They want to make sure that she is raised knowing about her birth family's heritage and have become close friends with members of the Marshall Island community in our town. Together they threw the most incredible party I have ever attended. I have never experienced anything like it. It was an honor for our family to be included. There were over 200 guests. Most of the guests were also from the Marshall Islands. They had come from many states. There were just a few families, like ours, who were not.

There were several tables laden with food. Guests had a choice of either take out boxes or gigantic serving platters (like the kind you make a fruit tray on) as their dinner plates. Chad and I thought the platters were for important guests of honor, but they really were for anyone who wanted a giant plate. Guests filled them with lobster, pork, fish, fruits and more. I didn't know the names of most of the dishes, but everything I ate was delicious. Especially the pork. (I know I will probably be thrown out of the south for saying so, but it was far superior to Lexington or Texas BBQ). Ryan was also a fan of the food. He started eating and didn't stop for 2 hours! Ryan just kept shoving it in while he watched the dancing, his eyes never leaving the entertainment.

He tried everything on his plate (and his neighbor's). She was very sweet to him, and tickled by how much he ate. He even tried bread fruit.

That was the only thing that didn't impress him.

Andrew was impressed by the music and dancing. He wanted to dance with the performers, and was a little frustrated that we didn't let him. When I asked him if he enjoyed himself he replied, "Yes, but I could never learn their language. I couldn't figure it out!" Most of the music and speaking were not English. I loved that he thought if he just listened hard enough he could learn a new language in one night.

Chad and I were impressed with many aspects of the evening. We were impressed at the inclusion of all generations. The teenagers were involved in serving and performing with grandparents, parents, and younger siblings. There were no teens skulking in corners texting their buddies, no eye rolling. There was a place for everyone. I think our culture tends to leave out our teenagers, assuming they wouldn't want to be involved, and I think our teenagers think that it is strange or wrong to want to be involved. (I am generalizing here).

We were also greatly impressed by the joy, laughter, and celebration through their native song and dance. Again, my own culture lacks that sort of celebration, where most other cultures have this. We have no equivalent.

But the most impressive part of the party was the generosity of our hosts. Not only were we fed more food then we could ever eat (though Ryan attempted), in the middle of the incredible entertainment, gifts were passed out. And not the traditional American gift bags given to children as they leave the party. No... gifts were given to all in attendance, with adult women receiving the most. (That never happens in our culture, moms seem to get shortchanged usually). Some gifts were handed to us as individuals, and some were thrown in the air like a parade for guests to catch. We were also given this lovely table centerpiece. Each of these flowers are handmade. ( I didn't know they were a gift and I think I almost offended one of the hostesses by asking where to place it when I was trying to help clean up. "You don't want it?" she asked. I assured her I did).

But like I was saying, we received an abundance. Most of what we received was handmade. We included pictures so that you could appreciate the beauty, time and sacrifice that went into these gifts. The remarkable thing is that many were made by Alice's birth mother and family in the Mashall Islands and sent here for her 1st birthday party. Isn't that beautiful. I tear up, just picturing her birth mom, who loved her enough to make the sacrifice of adoption, hand weaving these beautiful flowers and beading these necklaces as gifts for her child's celebration.

Besides the centerpiece.....

we received a unicorn angora queen sized blanket

a chief's medallion

a dress

a pot holder

a necklace, 2 pairs of earrings, and a hair slide
and a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

Jessica also told us that part of a traditional 1st birthday party is that guests who come from out of town can take anything from the home that they like home with them as a gift.

Thank you again, Matt and Jessica, for the honor of being there to celebrate with your family. I was awed by the beauty of it all. It was an evening we will not soon forget.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Molly's Blessing Day-3 Months Old

"For the heritage that they left us, not of gold or of earthly wealth. But a blessing everlasting Of love and joy and health."

We sang these words together today after Chad blessed our daughter, Molly Rose at church. As I sat there, surrounded by 4 generations of family members, tears of joy sprang to my eyes. My eldest was in his aunt's arms, Ryan, in his grandpa's lap, and Molly was being held by her Great Grandmother. I am so blessed that both of my grandmothers have been able to meet my children. I was touched as I thought of the heritage that belongs to my sweet daughter. Of the noble birthright that is hers. Of the strong women in her life that will be examples to her as she grows up.

I am so grateful for the "rock our fathers planted." I am from a long line of godly men and women and so is my husband. Many of them were there with us today.

I am blessed daily by the wonderful family I was born into and the wonderful family I married into.

Thank you all for loving me. For loving my children. For being examples of truth and righteousness to them. For the tears you have shed in our behalf and prayers you offered as we longed for these sweet blessings, and also for sharing the sweet moments of happiness, like today.

Thank you for the role that you have played in my life as a little girl and that you continue to play now that I am a mom. I want that same thing for my children. To be surrounded by a strong and supportive family.

I know you are all very busy and that it is a sacrifice to drive all this way to be with us, but I am truly appreciative. I also appreciate you standing for all these pictures. Someday, I hope Molly looks at these and recognizes what a blessing her family is and how loved she has been her entire life, as I have felt loved and supported my entire life. (I also know that there are many family members who love us and that we love who could not be with us today. You were missed).

So my dearest Molly, my daughter of a noble birthright, look at the examples of your family who love you, and "carry on, carry on, carry on."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Picnic at the Demolition Site

We went to the movies with our cousins on Wednesday and had planned to go to the park afterward for a picnic. Imagine our surprise when we pulled up and there was no park. No playground equipment at all. No swings, sandboxes, slides, play houses...they were all gone. However there were construction vehicles and plenty of shade, so we pulled out some beach towels and watched them dig holes in what used to be our playground.

After lunch, the kids had so much fun climbing trees, they never once asked for the playground.

Molly's 11 Weeks Old

Molly finally got to meet her Grandpa Scribner this week and she was all smiles. Her cousin Amelia came to visit her too and they got to go out to dinner with the grown-ups while the other kids stayed home with a baby-sitter.

Molly laughs and giggles and smiles most of the time she is awake. However, she still isn't awake very often. She is still an awesome sleeper!

This week Molly also went to Fort Bragg and had a great time with her Nana, Papa, and Aunties.

Swimming with Cousins

Grandpa came and visited us last weekend. We went to the Tanglewood pool with ALL of the Carolina cousins. (Masen opted not to be in the pics). We had so much fun and even had a pizza party there! That night the grown-ups went out to eat and Masen and Mady slept over. Amazingly, everyone actually slept!

Mad Cows at Chick-fil-A

Chad thought it would be fun for our family to dress up like cows for Chick-fil-A night. He was right! We had a lot of fun, put forth very little effort, and got a free dinner and a SHOW. (I will get to the show part in just a moment). Chad printed out the free cow costume kit from the company website. We weren't sure what to glue our ears to, so we grabbed some hats.

Ryan was an engineer cow. We taught him to say "Moo-Choo-Choo."

Andrew was a pirate cow. "Argh-moo-ty!"

Molly was a baby cow. Since I am currently nursing, I was of course, a milk cow. We couldn't think of a clever title for daddy. There was even a real cow out back the boys got to pet.

We arrived and there were several other families also dressed as cows in order to get a free meal. Two women, both dressed as cows, in costumes much more elaborate than ours, got in a verbal fight. Still not sure exactly over what. Just heard lots of ranting about someone threatening the other person in the slide area. (REALLY??? in the play area?) All I know is it was LOUD, in front of their kids and my kids, and made the entire restaurant pretty uncomfortable. Mad Cow Mama 1 happened to know a manager and walked with her outside in tears. The manager, who was dressed as a farmer, came back in alone. Luckily, our kids were oblivious.

Right after the fight, I took Andrew and Ryan to the bathroom. Chad took Molly to get drink refills. When he got up to the counter, he overheard Mad Cow Mama 2 demanding that the manager give her the name and address of her friend Mad Cow Mama 1. My Hubby, dressed in cow costume himself, approaches the Farmer/Manager and moo-nuvered right into the situation.

Cow Hubby: Excuse me, but from a legal standpoint, you can't demand that information.
Mad Cow Mama 2: You can't?
CH: I know that this is a difficult situation, but you can't ask her to provide that person's home address and phone number. I just don't want anyone to get in trouble. If you gave her the information, it could be considered stalking or harassment.
MCM 2: We don't want to do that. We want it for the RIGHT reasons. (What would those be exactly, I wonder???)
CH: The way to go about it would have been to get the police down here. Now the police could ask for that info if they felt it was important. That would have been the appropriate way to handle it. But legally you don't have a right to demand that information.
MCM 2's Herd/Family: Man, we almost had it before you came up here.

I am not sure what possessed my husband to BULL-y his way into the situation, but he spoke with such authority, no one questioned him. He didn't know the people. It is not like he is a lawyer or a policeman or even a local politician. He was just spewing his opinion like it was fact. It was hilarious!

I think the manager looked relieved, as she was certainly looking COW-ardly next to Mad Cow Mama 2 and I think she really was about to give her friend's name and address to the irate woman. (I am not sure I would want to stay friends with the farmer/manager if I was Mad Cow Mama 1).

We went home at that point, the whole experience feeling UTTER-ly surreal, with everyone in costume. Although Chad started the outing without a cool cow name like the rest of us he certainly was full of BULL that night.

Early Birthday at Bragg

I turned 34 this past Monday and went with the kiddos to spend a couple of days with my family the week before my birthday. We took the little ones to Monkey Joe's and swimming a couple of times, then went out to eat as a family. It was a very fun time, but not long enough. It never is.....

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fourth of July Party

Chad and I hosted a Fourth of July Party with our friends, the Campbells, for over 50 friends. We started the day at our home decorating our bikes and wagons for a Patriotic Parade. I have always wanted to host a kids' fourth of July parade, and to be honest was the main reason I threw the party. Andrew said this was his favorite part. After the parade, we returned home for water games, ping pong, volleyball, playing in the backyard, and jumping on the trampoline. Ryan loved having access to all of the juice boxes we had placed in a little pool with ice. When I cut him off at 4, he found lots of willing friends who opened at least 3 more of them for him. When we were done playing, we headed to the Campbells for a cook-out. Ryan soaked his clothes eating watermelon, which is why he is wearing only a diaper in the pics. He doesn't seem to mind, does he? The kids helped make yummy snacks for the fireworks together after dinner. (Thanks Janine, Kim, and Shauna). Then we headed to Shallowford Square for the fireworks, which is always my favorite part of the holiday. The boys were asleep before we got home. (Which I think must have been Chad's favorite part. He was so tired after working all weekend to get our yard ready. Everyone should feel sorry for my wonderful hubby. His wife gets all of these fun ideas, and then he has to help me carry them out. Although, I do have to say, I think he looks super hot with the tan he got while slaving away in the hot sun for me).