Saturday, May 31, 2008

Afterschooling Mommy Blog

I have decided to start a new blog as I start my journey on the adventure called "afterschooling." It combines the best of homeschool and full time school. Check it out!


Oakland Charter School

Peace. That's what I feel today regarding schooling for Boston last year. After much prayer and thought I finally feel God's hand. I had prayed for so long that God would get us into 1 charter school so I would know exactly where he intended for Boston to go. When we didn't get into any I was confused and thought that God was telling me to homeschool. So I decided to follow what he wanted and focused on homeschooling. The conference was amazing and I was excited about what homeschool had in store, not so confident on my ability, but I knew if this was God's plan he would provide me with what I needed to succeed. Sean and I LOVED the homeschool conference, but on Tuesday found out that we got into Oakland Charter School. Then....confusion. What is it that he wants me to do? I have been stressing over the decision all week. My friend Tina then said something that sparked much thought. She said, "Cricket, I don't think God would have let you into Oakland if he didn't intend for you to go there." And then it was as if a light bulb went off. God had always intended for him to go to Oakland, but he needed to change my perspective on schooling all together. I always thought if my kids went to school I would be involved but I'm not sure that I would have the same perspective I have of it that I do today. I say this to say that I do believe that Boston is supposed to go to Oakland next year, but that I'm still suppossed to continue schooling him myself. Ultimately his schooling is our responsibility, not his teachers. I'll take the best of homeschool and combine it with day school. The best of both worlds. And for me I wouldn't have to struggle with the guilt that I wasn't doing enough if I was homeschooling. This is called After Schooling. I've already started the Phonics and reading with Boston and Sean and I ordered a math program that we will start working with him on this summer. I will continue to make everything a learning experience and be actively involved in his schooling even if he's not with me all day. For me this seems like the best of both worlds. And it still gives me time to devote to the younger ones in the family.

I'm so excited! I'm so happy! I feel so much peace that this is exactly what we are supposed to do next year. So on Monday morning we go to Oakland for Sean and Boston to tour the school (I already have) and to register Boston. What a great year it is going to be!!!!!! It's amazing how God can take you on a different path than the one you had planned, only to lead you to the same destination, but changing your perspective along the way. God is so good!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Pizza night at The Nickol's

We had dinner at the Nickol's tonight. Betsy made homeade pizza that was hands down the best pizza I've ever had!!! Can't wait to get the recipe. She also made some oh so yummy homeade hot fudge for our ice cream sundaes...yum yum yum!! The kids had such a good time playing together. They all couldn't wait to get in the pool after dinner. It was cannon ball city! The boys haven't stopped talking about how much fun they have with Jacob, Jenna and Peyton. They are already asking when they get to play with them again.

I didn't get a lot of pictures because I was chasing Asher around, making sure he didn't take a dip in the pool. Looking forward to his swim lessons in a couple of weeks.

Asher's 6th tooth

Asher woke up from his nap today very fussy so I knew something was wrong since he's almost always happy and content. Looked in his mouth and sure enough the upper 2nd left tooth was half way through.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lack of sleep last night

Amount of times baby wet the bed.................................1
Times the baby woke up crying......................................3
Times Boston came and got me to help Dallas................1
Times Dallas woke up crying about his leg hurting...........4
Times the dog chased the cat in middle of the night.........too many

Raising 3 boys with no sleep..........................................PRICELESS!!!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Asher and the croup

After a long night of Asher and his horrible breathing I called the doc first thing this morning. We headed in and sure enough he has croup! I think all the boys had it at this young age. Its a viral infection of the lung and voice box. And it's especially hard on those younger than 3. Poor guy. He could hardly breath. Now he drugged (ugh!) and sleeping and hopefully breathing a little better tonight than last night.

Update on Dillard the Dog

On Sunday Sean took Dillard in the backyard and let her run around without a leash. SHE FINALLY WENT PEE AND POOP OUTSIDE!!!!! Unbelievable! And she has been ever since. We finally figured out that she won't go as long as she's on a leash. Crazy dog! So she hasn't had to sleep in the crate either. No accidents in the house expect for last night. And we can't figure that one out since she had just been walked. But we are all still adjusting. Now we really have to work on her getting along with the cat. She's always terrorizing the poor cat. And the cat won't sleep in bed with us since she's around. Time will only tell.
She's doing great with the kids. Still trying to herd them around, especially if the boys are running around in the house. She will herd them to the corner and then pace in front of them to get them to stay there. I can't figure out if I should stop her from doing this or maybe use it to my advantage :-) She could be like our Nana from Peter Pan! "Dillard, herd the kids in the house." The boys adore her and she loves the attention from them. Asher is also very good, never to grab her hair but just likes to lay on her like she does with my parents dog Roxie. She always wants to be in whatever room we are in, no matter what we are doing. So far so good. I still can't believe we have a dog...I think I had a moment of temporary insanity...but it's looking up now!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

An evening with Boston

Tonight I put all the kids to bed around 7:45pm and Boston came out around 8pm wanting to talk and color with me. I could tell he really wasn't tired and since Sean was going to be home late I thought I would just hang out with him for a little bit. Some mommy and Boston time. Well it turned into 2 wonderful hours. I don't think he stopped talking the whole time. He was ADORABLE! He talked to me about everything under the sun. Asked me a ton of questions. We colored and laughed and had the best time. We even had some new "smart juice" together. (Cod Liver Oil - I read that it helps the brain and especially with kids who reverse their letters.) He text messaged daddy himself typing in his name on the iphone, thought this was great! He loved the moments with mommy. I will cherish tonight forever. What a great time to spend with him. I hated to even put him to bed. He's growing up into this amazing little boy that I just can't get enough time with. I just love being with him. 5 is a great age of learning, reasoning, discovery and JOY! If we could all just be a little more like we were when we were 5 years old! (picture Boston and I took sitting on the couch hanging tv...just the two of us having fun)

Mock Homeschool Day

So today I decided to try out homeschooling and see how it worked for us. I really didn't have a plan other than doing our lesson from "Learn to read in 100 Easy Lessons." So we did that and I learned that Boston mixes up his M and his W and it frustrates him to great length. So after that we took a break and headed on the patio to play. Dallas said he wanted to pretend he was riding a ride so I told them to climb on board the Dinosaur Ride. They loved when I said, "Please fasten your seat belts and keep all arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. Enjoy your ride!" (Dallas calls the me being "the man") They laughed as I pretended to be all the dinosaurs on the ride. When I couldn't remember all the types of dinosaurs (they have never really been interested in them before) I grabbed our dinosaur book that also talks about opposites. We learned some names of dinosaurs and practices opposites. Then I said, "Why don't we build our own dinosaur ride!" So we used the geotrax and plastic dinosaurs and built our own ride. We then applied the opposites we had learned in the book with mommy quizzing, "Which one has spikes and which one has lumps? Which one is bigger? Which one is fatter?" I also quizzed them on colors. They loved it! We talked about what we had learned last week about roller coasters and gravity and how the wheels are attached and how gravity keeps them inside the roller coaster. They enjoyed loading the passengers on the ride after they had designed it themselves.
Then we needed to come in to cool off since it was so hot outside. I decided to do craft time.(While I was getting everything Boston drew me a picture of me and him and then said, "Hey mom, we look like the letter M together!" And we did, and he was so proud that he recognized that it was M and not W. I then told him to turn it upside down and asked him what letter it was then. With a big smile he replied, "W!!!" I grabbed a bag of felt dinosaur stickers I had purchased a few weeks ago at the dollar store. I had Boston write his name and I wrote Dallas name while he spelled it out for me. Then they applied the stickers as we talked about colors and types of dinosaurs. I also had some dinosaur stamps they enjoyed. They then hung their decorated names on the door to their room very proudly!
Without even trying we had a great homeschooling day. I felt better about my skills as a mom today than I ever have. I was completely focused on them, not cleaning or anything else that had to be done. And it's amazing how much you can teach them without even trying. It really helped show me that homeschool doesn't have to be scheduled out with lesson plans and such. It's about making all day school without the kids even knowing! All it takes is a different set of lenses for you to look through. You will see your whole day differently!! It truly was one of the best days with my kids!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Busy Memorial Day

This morning Sean took the boys to swim with the Stitelers while Asher slept and I got a shower. Then we headed over to Sean's cousin Laurie's and her husband Mike's house for a going away party for Sean's brother Chad and his wife who are moving to New York. Laurie and Mike's 2 year old Ellie was so excited about the boys coming. They say she's just loves baby Asher and prays for him every night all on her own. So cute. Ellie and Boston enjoyed swimming in the little pool.
Dallas liked playing with the rubber frog, swinging and playing with the little animals in the tent with mommy. We enjoyed some food and ice cream cake and good company.
Dillard came with us and hung out in the back yard and did great. Although once when she was off the leash to go to the bathroom she got confused where she was and ran the other direction and Sean chased after her.
Dallas and Ellile really liked playing together too. They seem to enjoy the same kinds of things. Here they were playing their own game of opening and closing their legs and eating crackers. Too funny! Then we headed over to the lakehouse since it was so close and Uncle Hess had blown up all these fun toys. The boys really got a kick out of them. And especially the HUGE dog his friends had out. The boys actually thought it was a bear. Can't remember what kind of dog but I do remember it weighed 180 lbs!!! At one point my dad saw Dallas standing over in the grass alone and he asked what was wrong. Dallas replied, "I'm scared of that bear over there." LOL

Dallas jumping on the trampoline in the water with Uncle HessBoston sliding down the water slide with Uncle HessDillard taking a break with Sean. She loves to lay on her back anywhere.

We came home and I was exhausted and Sean went to the movies with our neighbor John. After not being able to sleep because of my cold I finally watched "Becoming Jane" Good movie throughout but hated the ending. Don't you hate that when the ending ruins the whole movie. Ugh. busy day.

And happy to say my dad served in the Army for 20 years with 2 tours in Vietnam. So proud that he's my dad!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Homeschool Conference

Boston and Bonnie hanging out in my bed while we are all getting ready for the long day.

Friday and Saturday Sean and I went to the homeschool conference with Jess and Bart. Jess and I went last year together (I had planned on homeschooling Boston preschool but changed our plans to the VPK system later.) We were so excited about the hubbies joining us this year. And it turned out to be so much fun with them. I just love this conference. Even if you aren't going to homeschool the speakers are just so great and have some much needed information every parent should know. I think they should have a parenting conference like this one...awesome! But throughout the conference I was torn, I had found out at the end of this week that we are #1 on the list now with Oakland Charter School. And the lady sounded very confident that we would get in next week. Ugh. Now I had a DECISION to make. Since we hadn't gotten into any of them before I thought for sure God was leading us on the homeschool path and I was confident and excited about it. Well now he throws me a curve ball with this other decision. Starting the conference I felt convinced we should still homeschool and Sean was leaning towards Charter school. By the end of the conference we had both flip flopped. The stress from it all is absolutely killing me. That is why I'm sitting here writing this at 11:30pm. I went to bed at 9pm because I got the horrible cold Dallas came down with on Friday, but I woke up at 10:45 and couldn't go back to sleep because all I could think about is what are we going to do!!! All weekend I kept weighing the options. Jess, Sean and I even stayed up late talking about it Friday night when we should have been catching up on our loss sleep from the night before. So here's what I have so far:

Homeschool: HUGE commitment on my part, I get to spend more time with him each day, I get to try and give him the best education for HIM and go at his pace, we get to do all kinds of fun things to learn (like field trips and such), I have more time to spend with him to teach him even more important things like God, Character building and such. God says we should teach our children.

Charter School: Don't have to stress about teaching him everyday, he has a long day away from us (8:30-3), he gets to be with kids in a classroom, learns some things I might not agree with (ie, evolution and other bad things from other kids), he comes home with 1 hour homework each night, driving all the way to Oakland twice a day, I would get to spend some much needed one on one time with Dallas.

Another big factor is that we are planning on getting pregnant with our 4th child this school year. I know how tired I am during pregnancy, especially the first trimester. I had to stop advertising for the Photo Art business during Asher's pregnancy because I couldn't keep up. How would I keep up with homeschooling? I know either way it will be a sacrifice because even with Oakland I might be exhausted and still have to get all three kids up, dressed, fed and out the door by 8am. Crazy!!! And then when he gets home I'll have to do 1 hour homework (homeschooling generally takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours for kindergarten total) So yes, it's going to be hard and a change either way. My reasoning behind sending him to the Charter school is that I can change my mind if I don't like it and homeschool him. But if I start out homeschooling then I can't change my mind and send him to school. Going to preschool this year didn't hurt him. So if I'm going try out traditional schooling then it's probably better to do it in kindergarten than any other. And I've already decided that if I do send him to the Charter school then I'm still going to teach him to read this summer and we ordered the Right Start Math program so I'm going to start teaching him this as well. That way he's ahead of the game.

Another thought is that he's going to be bored with school because he picks up on things so quickly. But I guess I won't know that until he actually goes. I want to make the right decision for him and our family as a whole, I just don't know what that is. And that's why I'm sitting here writing this. Originally if I homeschooled I was going to put him in the Circle Christian Academy. The registration ends June 19, so for sure I would have to know by then.

And finally my last thought is that I hate being stuck in the house everyday. I like to get out. I get crammed with cabin fever, as well as the kids. We all do better when we are out and about. I don't think I'll be able to do this with homeschooling. Will I be stuck in the house schooling and then getting other chores that have to be done. I think I would lose my mind if I was stuck in the house everyday, doing the same thing, everyday. I like variety, change, spontaneity. Can you do those things if you homeschool????

Bottom line, I so don't want to make this decision. I wanted God to put His perfect plan right in my hands and I would just go with it. Well now it seems like he's given me two options. Maybe either way is good. I'm tired...I'm sick....I wish I could go to sleep and get this all out of my head. Rationally I know God doesn't want me to be stressing about this, losing sleep, etc. I have prayed for a long time about it, and now I don't see how he's going to answer my question. I thought he would have answered it by closing a door and only leaving one open. my perfect plan that would have been great. But that's not how he chose to do it, so I know I've got to trust Him....yes I trust Him, but how the heck and I supposed to make this decision!!!

Sorry for rambling this evening, I'll probably read this in the morning and wonder where my head was at. It is 12:30am for goodness sakes.

Time with Dallas

God convicted me this weekend at the conference that Dallas needs more one on one time with Sean and I. Since he's the middle child he usually ends up being with us with either Boston or Asher or Both. It's never just by himself, which Asher and Boston get. He gets grouped with being older or younger. And the worst part about this is that we believe his love language is quality time (which is actually Sean and I's lowest scoring love language) So my goal is to focus on spending more time with him alone. God helped make that happen today. I woke up this morning with whatever cold Dallas has and knew I couldn't take either of us to church. So we stayed behind with Asher while Sean took Boston. Asher slept most of the morning and we spent some really good time together. And then Sean took Boston to Michelle's b-day party and Asher took an afternoon nap. We played cars, pretended, read, talked, ate, swang, walked the dog and had a great time together. I've realized that he doesn't like to do the things he usually will do when Boston is here. Sometimes he's just following Boston's lead. Like when he's alone he rarely plays with the trains. He always wants to do something that involves make believe or reading. So I prayed tonight that God would show me opportunities and creative things I can do with Dallas that he would enjoy.
This weekend one of the speakers said something so profound for me. She said if the child doesn't feel like their love cup is full they will have a hard time obeying you. Of course Dallas is also at a hard stage of 3, but I think there is something to be said for being the middle child, and it being a lot harder for him. Sean was a middle child, I was a first born. I relate very easily to Boston most of the time because of the birth order and the fact that I think he tends to be more like me. So I pray that God will give me the right things to do and say to fill his love cup, because there's no question I cherish and love him more than he will ever know. And I never want him to think that he is the cause of strife or stress because of his behavior, that no matter what he does or doesn't do, he is loved unconditionally for WHO he IS!

Dog accomplishment

The dog actually peed and pooped outside this evening!!!! First time (other than two when she had diarrhea and really had no choice to hold it) I think we have realized that she won't go if she's on a leash. Dogs!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My crazy dog focused week

What a crazy and stressful week it has been. I had so many things to get done before this weekend comes, with the Baldwins coming to stay with us and the Homeschool Conference, but the dang dog threw a wrench into all my plans. I felt like all I was doing all week was just staying afloat. I was constantly cleaning up after her instead of cleaning that things that needed to be done. And today while Boston was at school Dallas wanted me to play with him so bad but I so desperately needed to get done EVERYTHING that had needed to be done the 3 previous days that I didn't get to give him my undivided attention. But he was sweet to follow me around and I would play, then clean, play, then clean. He loved to pretend play and all he wanted to do today was pretend we were riding on all kinds of different rides. I love his imagination!

After getting home from picking Boston up I had a ton of things that needed to be done in the next hour before dinner, bath and bedtime so I could run over to the vendors at the homeschool conference. But when I got home we walked the dog and I noticed a tick in her ear. It was about this time our neighbor Jude came out, after having just got back from vacation, to see our new dog. He also has a border collie. I told him about the tick and he said he would take care of it. So I got all the supplies and it was then that we noticed she had 4 ticks! 2 in each ear, and one of them was HUGE! So he got them all out and said she really needed a bath now. Ha! All three boys and then me trying to give this dog a bath after I was all dressed and ready for the conference tonight. He was so generous to offer to bath her. Ah! I couldn't thank him enough! He also gave me some great tips on training her and I look forward to all his help to get her where she needs to be.

So at this point it was 5:30, I ran home to cook dinner, forget all the plans I had to do, ugh, and move on. I ran to the homeschool conference, 2 hours late, had 1 hour to speed walk through the vendors but did get to talk to the math people I was interested in, RightStart Mathematics. So one thing accomplished. But I came home to find that the dog had snuck away from Sean and peed on the couch with the sleeper that Jess and Bart were to be sleeping on. Pee got on the mattress and it smelled horrible. Ugh...can't I get a break! This dog is KILLING ME! I threw a 5 year old fit, yes very mature of me I know. Then I tried to pull myself together and clean it up, take the horrible smell out of my house and move on. Jess got here, it worked out and you couldn't smell it by the time we went to bed...which was like 2am...LOL And wake up time was 6am...great start to a jam packed weekend.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Update on our dog

So Sunday night was when we got the dog and that was a long night. The dog had diarrea on the leather couch over 10 times (I stopped counting then...and it was toooooo late!) It was a long night of cleaning it up and taking her out. She never did go outside. But after she went poop she would come and wake me up and bring me to it. Same place everytime. So all day Monday I spent the day cleaning up more poop and pee and taking the dog out. I think this is ALL I did Monday. She seems very good with the boys, except for snapping at Asher a few times. She seems nervous or something around him. She finally pooped for the first time outside after we were out for a long while talking with the neighbors. Success! I kept taking her out but never went again. I was getting ready to put her in the bathroom for the night (so i could get some sleep) when she snuck away from me and pooped in my closet....ugh! She wimpered a lot in the bathroom during the night and Sean took her out before and after working out early this morning...nothing. Then as I'm making breakfast for the boys and trying to keep her next to me she snuck into the boys bedroom, peed on the floor and pooped all over Dallas' bed. Ugh! Boy...this sure is harder than an infant. Guess I'll be ready for another one after this!!! So after that I decided the dog must stay in the bathroom until she figures to go to the bathroom outside. So every hour I take her outside, if she doesn't go after 10 minutes, back into the bathroom. She's even getting pretty good about going back into the bathroom now. But all day she still NEVER went outside. So it's 10:40 pm and the only time the dog has peed or pooped was at 7:00 this morning!! Isn't that crazy. At least we know she can hold it a long time!

On the positive side: WE LOOOVVEEE this dog! She has such a gentle, sweet spirt and loves to cuddle with us. She is always wanting to curl up in my arms and even laid on Boston as we had storytime last night. She thinks she's a lap dog. She even like to jump up and hug you literally! This morning when Sean first let her out she RAN into our bedroom to find me and jumped into the bed and snuggled next to me. How sweet. Sean took a picture.
She is so smart! When I say "come Dillard" she comes right to me. And she still sit and stay. And also comes when you whistle. She already knows her name after 2 days. They are suppossed to be the smartest breed of dog and I believe it!

She started herding Asher around today. I took the boys to my parents to swim and Asher was crawling around the floor when I realized what Dillard was doing. She walked right next to him keeping a close eye on him and if he went a direction she didn't approve of she would jump in front of him. It was very funny. But I can see that I won't be able to leave Asher alone with her. She might nip at him to do what she wants and he's too small for this. I think Boston and Dallas could probably USE a little herding!

Notice how she's watching him intently ready to correct his every move! (especially if he goes towards the water)

In movement staying up with Asher. I think she thinks Asher is her "work to do" She didn't focus on anything else but Asher. Even the lizards and squirrels didn't interest her

The boys LOVE her. I took her to pick up Boston today at school since we were heading to the petstore afterward to buy a cage to help with the potty training. He loved showing her off to all his classmates and teacher. She did great with all the kids, greeting each of them and loving on everyone. She loved the attention. She would be a great dog to take to the nursing homes to see all the residents. And the boys would like this too. I'll have to look into this this summer. And they both do a great job of holding the leash and walking her. They can't wait till she wants to play ball with her. We took her out back and were throwing the ball around for her to fetch but she wanted to stay right next to me. A little nervous and I still don't think she's 100% feeling better yet. I can't wait for her to play with us!

Sweet encounter

I took the boys to Target today and we had lunch there before shopping. As we were sitting at our table I noticed an elderly couple sitting next to us. They looked so in love and happy. I thought to myself, "I hope Sean and I live long enough to be that happy when we are old and grey." I so badly wanted to ask her how long they had been married. It was then that she started talking to me. I asked her how long, she replied 64 years! She is 86 and her husband is 88. Wow! Amazing. She told me her advice to a long lasting marriage is lots of forgiveness. Not to dwell on the litle things and keep remembering it, it will build a wall between you. She said not to sweat the small stuff and live each day for today. The kids will grow up faster than I know it. She said we should live in a small house and travel a lot. They have 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 2 great grandchilden. She then asked if our 3rd was a boy or a girl, I replied boy. She said that two of their children had 3 girls and got their boy on the 4th try. It was such a great conversation and I couldn't not think that she was an angel sent from God to give me a glimer of hope. After a stressful morning of dwelling and stressing on too many things she gave me new life! Thank you to this precious stranger that changed my attitude today. It was a morning of self pity after cleaning up dog poo and pee for 2 days, house cleaning way behind because of the latter, kids to tend too, a busy weekend coming with company, and a LONGGGGGGGGGGG list of to do's. I was angry, wanted a break, wanted sleep, needed a coke, needed breakfast (too busy taking care of everyone else to take care of me). But she made me stop and think about what is really important. She made me appriciate my husband and my beautiful boys. She made me remember why I love our small house. She made me remember that I shouldn't dwell on such pity things. What a blessing my elderly angel was today!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wedding Anniversary

Today is Sean and I's wedding anniversary. Today we celebrate 7 years of marriage! Time flies. I feel blessed that God picked him for me. It's so fun to be married to your best friend. Someone who gets you and that you believe in the same things, even the little things. Even if the rest of the world seems out of wack, we think we are sane as long as we are together. And best of all he makes me laugh, has a great outlook on life, works so hard for our family, loves our boys, wants more children, and ALWAYS knows how to have a good time! Thank you babe for 7 great years and I look forward to what the Lord has in store for us in the future, I know he has great plans for us!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Asher's 5th tooth

Asher has been pretty fussy lately and this morning I looked into his mouth to find his 5th tooth! It's his 2nd on the bottom right.

Suzanne at the Fringe

I got to see Suzanne in "In His Time" at the Orlando Fringe Festival and it was AWESOME! I highly recommend it. She of course was AMAZING and the BEST dancer in the group. I was so proud to be her sister in law! What a truly beautiful talent God has blessed her with and what a great avenue she has found to use it to glorify Him! We love you Suzanne and were so glad to be able to see you in it. And it was Boston's first time going to a show like this and we sat middle 2nd row and he loved it. His favorite song was a dance they did in silence. Personally I loved Suzanne's solo and the hip hop dance. So if you live here...GO SEE IT!

(See below for show times and the website for more info...her venue in in the Orlando Rep Theatre)

New Addition to the Family

WE HAVE A DOG!!!! (no I'm not pregnant) A dog found my parents while they were at their mountain house in Dillard, Ga and wouldn't leave. She is a Border Collie and was very skinny from not eating and never left the house for days. Just sat at their front porch. So Sean and I decided we would love to have her. So they brought her home today and we got her tonight. The boys are beyond excited and keep talking about their "girl dog." My uncle Mike that was with my parents suggested the name Dillard and we love it. It's a city name, which goes with all the boys names, and it's where she was found. So meet Dillard...FINALLY another girl in the Whitman household!!!!!!

In His Own Time

My sister in law Suzanne is a part of the dance troupe at our church, which is very talented. They are putting on a show at the Orlando Fringe Festival. Come check it out if you can. Tickets are only $5. We are going tonight to the 5:35pm show. You can purchase tickets online or at the door.
5/17 SAT 11:00AM
5/18 SUN 5:35PM
5/22 THU 6:00PM
5/24 SAT 8:55PM

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lakehouse with the Heltons

Today we headed to the lakehouse with John, Christie, Teague and Levi. Sean unfortunately had to work but made it out after work. The boys loved playing on the beach and in the water. Levi and DallasThen I noticed the gators hanging out at our next door neighbored dock. 3 of them! So we had the kids get out and play slip n slide. It was more amusing to watch John and Christie slide down it than the boys!

Boston on the slip n slideThe gators weren't leaving so we got the BB Gun out and John tried to shoot near them to scare them away (you aren't allowed to shoot or kill an alligator). But this didn't seem to phase them. They actually chased after the BBs when they hit the water. Crazy! We used to through rocks out near them and this would always scare them away. These guys were staying put. So they were there the whole day and Sunday as well. They didn't seem to care about the boys swimming in the water, gators aren't very aggressive. On the lookout for the gatorsThose of you who are reading this and don't live in Florida probably think we are INSANE for letting our kids swim a few feet away from alligators...LOL I would venture to guess that they were about 4-5 feet long. If I had any thought they would come after the kids we would not have let them play in the water.
Jumping waves
Dallas and Levi
Pretending to be gators
But they had a blast in the water and it was a fun day in the sun. On Saturday after everyone had left it was just me and the boys and my brother Wes and one of the gators climbed on the steps of our neighbors dock...crazy! I think he's going to have to come back out and reclaim his dock since they seem to have taken over!!!
Notice the gator sitting on the lower step and the head of one in the background

Friday, May 16, 2008

Asher's Doc Appt and the Park

Asher had his 1 year doctor's appt this morning. Here are his stats:

weight: 22 lbs (I need to grab the paper but I think this was it I know he was 25% though)
height: 31 inches (76%)
head: (can remember - 50% though)

I told the doctor I wanted to wait on anymore vaccinations until he was 2 years old. He didn't seem to thrilled about that and said all the evidence points that autisim isn't related...I thought...what articles have you been reading???? He gave me a guilt trip that if he gets one of these diseases (odds of autism are 1 in 500...odd of getting polio are much less) It's not that I'm competely anti vaccinating, I'm just going to wait until he's older and his odds of autism get lower. I had to sign a waiver that I'm refusing it and he told me all the reasons why I should get it and what could happen. Man! Stress!! God is ultimatly in control and I have to put his health in his hands and I feel like right now this is the best decision.
After a 2 hour time at the doctors (ya I know...isn't THAT crazy with 3 kids and a little room!) We headed to Dr Phillips park with my friends Tina and Betsy. Boston was a little bummed he didn't get to play on the splash pad longer because they had already all been there for an hour. But all the kids had a great time and then we had a picnic lunch and headed to school.

Dallas spinning around

Jacob and Jenna

Swinging Dallas

Boston and Ella, Ella didn't leave his side