Beautiful Life

Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Saturday, February 28, 2009

There's something fishy....

at the Aquarium! I bet you thought I was crazy enough animal lovin' enough to get another pet! Trust me, I have threatened the next child that mentions the "P" word, with wet noodle lashings! But, that doesn't mean I won't take them to LOOK at some really cool animals. So, when our day wasn't turning out the way I'd hoped and it looked like we weren't going to get enough school work done to count it....I did what any self-respecting homeschool mom would do...FIELD TRIP! One great thing about living in Charleston is that you CAN NOT GET BORED! There are plenty of cool things to do and see in this town. The Aquarium is just one place from a long list of excellent field trips around here.

Playing in the new Camp Carolina area!

Parker is scaling the cliff side to get over to the camp area!

Claire enjoyed the campfire. This brought back memories for her and she started talking about going camping again! She wants her Daddy to get her camper out!

Look Meme! I have on my life jacket....just in case! You know, in case a rogue wave happens to leap out of the harbor and come crashing onto the second story of the building! I think her look says it all!

There is a story behind that poke at my mother-in-law. It involves Paul and his siblings having to wear life jackets way too often and tying the baby to a tree.....but that's a story for another day....and a therapist! Love you, Dianne! :)

My what big teeth you have Mr. Alligator!

Isabel is counting all the yummy hidden little flounder!

Noah's electric personality has attracted the large eel, as you can see!

Even with a whole foot of glass between her and the creatures in the ocean, Isabel is not even a little bit happy about sitting this close !

Up close and personal! I love this picture even though it is a little blurry.

Claire is enjoying a "live encounter" with...

Luna the Virginia Opossum!

I bet my mother-in-law just screamed!

And, this lovely snake!

Yep, that was her screaming again!

Holding a hermit crab can be ticklish!

The girls were not interested in holding this spider crab. Isabel said she was not happy about anything with the word "spider" in it! It just gave her the creeps!

Friday, February 27, 2009

More Mis-Adventures...

of Piper the wonder cat! Frankly, I'm aware that the majority of you out in bloggy land probably couldn't care less about the cat! These posts are mostly for Lizzie, who doesn't get to see her kitty often enough to suit her! So, you'll have to humor us every once in a while...'cause Lizzie NEEDS her kitty fix. Especially this week, as she is going home to Lexington for her spring break and will not be here for her usual weekend fix! We hope you have a wonderful week and visit with your Mom and other family. But, we will miss you and so will Piper! See you soon!

"Piper, is that you under there???? What are you doing?"

Piper: "I was just walking by and this paper attacked me...really it did!"

"Then I quick slipped under the dresser and gave it a piece of me...a very small piece!"

"Whew, glad that's over!" "What's next?"

Hmmm... anyone for toasted cat?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Paul is dating again....

and it's not me he's been taking out! He started a tradition a few years ago of taking Isabel out for little dates here and there. It all started because for years, until she graduated actually, he drove to Lexington just to take Lizzie to dinner twice a month. He did this because he felt it was important to their father-daughter relationship. It was a time that Lizzie could have him all to herself, which she definitely couldn't do during weekend visits at our house! He still tries to get by the campus and take her to lunch every now and again. Isabel noticed this when she was about 5, and expressed a desire to have her own "Daddy time". So, Paul started taking her on dates! It's usually a lunch date, but he has taken her out to breakfast and to several Father-Daughter dances too. Isabel LOVES this little tradition. Once Paul sets a date for the next "date", she starts to count down the days. She loves to pick out her clothes, do her hair and if she's lucky I let her wear a little lip gloss and some lavender body spray! Oh, and don't forget the photo shoot for each date!

I dug up this photo up from the 2007 Father-Daughter Valentine's Dance.

The next two pictures are from a breakfast date they went on back in the early fall.

Isabel has always been a Mommy's girl, but she sure does love her Daddy too!

This date tonight is a little bit special, as you can tell by the fancy clothes. Paul had to be out of town the night of the Father-Daughter dance this year, so they are out for a nice Italian dinner in town!

Daddy and his sweet girl!

Who also thinks she is a runway model!

Guess who got a little bit jealous tonight? One guess! She watched us taking pictures and she kept saying "my turn, my turn". I guess Daddy's going to have to make room on his dating card for another Gour Princess!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Conversations with a 3 year old!

*turn the music off at the bottom*

These are just too cute not to share! In this one she is talking about going to Moe's, her FAVORITE restaurant!

Then she switches gears to discuss the new love of her life....the DENTIST!

And, we have a funny little blooper moment!

The other day we were in a teacher's supply store looking for a number puzzle that Claire just had to have. The store was pretty big but it's open enough for her to use her walker and it is not crowded at all during the day. Claire followed me around for several hours....yes, I said hours. What can I say, I don't get out much! Anyway, she was just chattering away to me the whole time. And, not unlike her Daddy, she is not quiet when she talks! So, all three of the Ladies working could hear everything she said. Well, one of them finally asked how old she was. They were surprised to learn that she is only three, "oh my, she talks so well for a three year old!" Yeah, you should have seen them Oohing and Ahhing after I told them she's only been speaking English for 8 months!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A First For Everything

Even Time-Out!

Clearly, I have caused great pain and suffering here...but, before you race to the phone to dial the local Department of Social Services office to report me, hear me out!

Our sweet Claire has been in our family for...well, according to the ticker at the bottom, 9 months, 1 week and 1 day! She has had time to adjust, people. And she has done well!

So, her new thing is to make numerous messes and leave them in her wake as she moves on to the next activity. You know, normal 3 year old stuff! And, we've been slow to issue discipline with this one, because she's an angel we felt she needed time. Time to figure out being in a family. Lest you think we've let her go wild, we haven't! She really hasn't NEEDED much discipline. She rarely tests the boundaries. But, we're all (and by all, I mean the other kids!) getting a little tired of cleaning up her messes.


I know her grandparents are on the verge of getting on the phone to raise cain with me now. How could I do this to that sweet baby???

Today she dumped the letters out on the floor and then got up to go on to something else. I calmly pointed her back in the direction of the letters and told her she needed to clean them up first. Tears ensued. As you can see. And, she flat refused to clean up. The very idea that expected her to clean up her own mess! So....that lead to the lovely time-out picture up there. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth. Because really guys, she was mad, not hurt, that I would do this to her!

When she came back, she cried some more. Then she sat stubbornly and just looked at the letters. Fiddled with the letters. Looked some more. I calmly repeated the directive, "put the letters in the basket". She pointed to the basket and said, "that is a box". Okay. So, put the letters in the box! I turned away and pretended to ignore her. After about a minute I hear the letters clattering into the "box".


I'm more stubborn than any three year old. Lesson learned ...until next time, I'm sure!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Yo Mom, Where Are My Peeps?

Does that sentence make you giggle as much as it does me? Probably not! But then, I make myself laugh....a lot! When Claire got up from her nap yesterday, I told her I'd take her outside to play before dinner. She was very happy, because she loves to be outside. Always has, ever since we got her. When she would wake up in the hotels in China, she wanted to get dressed and LEAVE. Everyday. All the time. She never wanted to stay in the room, and she was happiest walking around outside. Of course, we were the ones doing the walking, but that didn't seem to bother her in the slightest! She would let Paul carry her ('cause if you remember, I was not her favorite person back then), and she would swing her arm, as if she was really going places!! Anyway, back to the point. Shoes on, jacket on, we walked out the door and she stood on the stoop and looked around, kind of disappointed.

Me: "What's wrong, honey?"
Claire: "Where are all the people?"
Me: "What people, honey?"
Claire: "Where are MY PEOPLE?"

She was referring to the fact that her brother's, sister and the neighborhood children were not in our yard today as they are sometimes. They were all down the street in a friend's yard. Well, that did not go over well.

Claire: "I want MY people!"

Needless to say, since she is too young to go trotting off down the street to another house, I called the other's home. The other kids came with them and all was right with the world again....for now! This kid cracks me up!

Surrounded by her peeps!

Playing some hoops with her peeps!

Yes, she's already spied a hoop that is just her size at Wally World....and she'll probably get it!

Oh happy day!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

So, What IS It?

I have something bigger than a, what is it???

No, it's not a Christmas Tree, as Claire announced this morning!

it goes with these!

Figured it out yet?
This is Phase Two of my Un-extreme Home Makeover, Folks. Believe it or not, these boxes contain my new kitchen.....just add water, some assembly required! Anyone wondering why I NEED/WANT a new kitchen is welcome to LET ME EXPLAIN!
That being said, Lizzie's room/Claire's playroom is now a storage vault for the new cabinets.

Not really much room for playing now is there?
The cabinets are put together but I refused to pay another $1000 bucks to have Lowe's install, I have to wait on sweet hubby to take a week off and get to work on this little project. When will that be? Well, wouldn't you like to know....I would! Really, I would! Anyone out there willing to work for pizza?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Praying Parents

If you've been over to the Prayer Meetin' at Significant Source, or if you're going, you will see that she has written about praying for her son, The Oldest. As Christian parents, we feel it is our duty and our joy to pray for our children daily. Sometimes it's easy, and I think praying comes more naturally to some than to others. I know it does, in fact. After years of praying for my children, but not really feeling that I knew what I was doing....okay, I know what you're hard can it be? Right? I know it's as simple as asking that God protect them and keep them healthy. I do that. But, I often feel it's not enough. Well, I found a great book recently that is really helping me do my job better~ The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartin! Of course, this woman must spend like 29 hours a day praying for her children....but the book is a great resource! I thought I'd put that out there in case anyone else feels inadequate at this whole prayer me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


This child is too smart!

Less than a year ago, Claire was living in the foster care system of China. Her little body was full of toxins, left in her system by kidneys unable to work without a performing bladder. According to her foster mother, she spoke only a few Chinese words and though they had tried to "teach her math and songs", "it didn't take"..... In nine months time, she has learned to speak English as well as any child her age, if not better. She can sing songs, repeat stories, recognize all the letters (upper and lower case), say their sounds, recognize most numbers under 20, count to ten and sometimes beyond...


Spell her name!

I'm not bragging, because trust me, it has nothing to do with me...but, this child amazes me....everyday! Just wanted to share.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Playing Around

Paper Bag Puppet

I love to make stuff!

Working hard

All Done!

"It's Curious George, Mommy!"

Shaving Cream Fun!

What is this stuff?

Hey this is fun!

It's all over my hands!

She really liked this and it kept her busy for 45 minutes!