Sunday, April 27, 2008

5 States in a Day

Last night after celebrating Caleb's birthday with my parents and sister's family (more on that later), we loaded up in the van with a trailer attached and headed to Gladewater. Since we have used my parents' house as home base since the middle of December, we have collected a few more things since we arrived at their house. That meant a trailer was needed to fit all of our belongings. I was amazed at how much we had accumulated over the past few months.

We stopped in Gladewater late last night and were able to spend a couple of hours visiting with Granny. The boys were so exited to see Granny again, Bailey included. This morning we pulled out of Granny's house and were on the road by 8:10am, including a stop at the gas station and donut shop. Since this morning, we've made pretty good time. We are already in Pensacola, Florida. The boys got to see Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida all in one day. They've been wonderful travelers today. I think we almost have traveling with three kids and a dog down to an art. Caleb played with his new toys from his birthday all the way. Josiah enjoys watching movies while traveling. Levi prefers listening to headphones. My parents got him a Little Tikes MP3 player and he thinks it's the greatest thing. He fell asleep listening to it for each of his naps in the car. We're now settled in the hotel for the night with plans to arrive in West Palm Beach, Florida sometime tomorrow.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Caleb Turns 8!

I can't believe Caleb turned 8 today! I've been reflecting this evening on his life this far and I'm amazed at the boy he is becoming. I was so filled with love the first time I layed eyes on him. It was the most natural thing in the world to be his mother. I couldn't ever seem to hold him enough and took many opportunities to snuggle with him. Even as a toddler, he was such a joy to have around. He was my first and only baby for over five years and that will forever keep us connected. Just yesterday, we were having a "discussion" and I was able to tell him exactly what he was thinking. He was pretty shocked to discover that I knew what he was thinking. I explained to him that that's what happened when we spent so much time together just the two of us (during the day) for those five years and we're also the oldest children in our families.

Caleb is growing to be more and more like his Dad every day. He loves being outside and hunting for lizards. This year he lost his two top front teeth. He doesn't look like a little boy anymore. Since we weren't settled in one place this spring, he missed playing baseball but handled it well. He's looking forward to getting settled and signing up for baseball and basketball. He's also ready to ride his dirt bike and have plenty of room to explore. He has a definite opinion on clothes and we don't share the same taste. He has loved going to AWANAS at my parents' church while we have been in Texas. It's been wonderful to see him get so excited and motivated about learning scripture. It still makes my day when I get a big hug from him and hear, "I love you, Mom." He's very helpful around the house when asked like he's always been. He can't wait for Daddy to take him hunting which they are both eagerly hoping to go this year. I know the years are going to pass by quickly. I'm going to make a point to truly enjoy these next few years with him. Happy birthday Caleb!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Levi's One Year Old Check Up

I'm finally getting around to posting about Levi's one year check up. We went to see Dr. Bob while we were in California knowing it would possibly be our last visit. By the time we got in for Levi's check up, he was already 12 and 1/2 months old. He weighed 2o pounds, 7 ounces (15th percentile) and was 30 inches tall (60th percentile). Both Caleb and Josiah weighed over 2 pounds more than Levi at their one year check up. I do realize that this is sometimes common in breastfed babies at this age and as they become more mobile with crawling and walking. I just wish he would have nursed longer since he once again seems to be eating very little. I've gone back to offering spoon fed baby foods along with finger foods to make sure he's getting what he needs. The best news of the visit was that Levi's Ventricular Septal Defect is healed! He no longer has a little hole in his heart. We've all been praying that it would be healed and God answered our prayers! The tough part now is going to be finding a new pediatrician in Florida. My expectations have gotten higher over the last two years of having the Sears as our pediatricians.

Levi is taking many steps on his own each day. He's not walking across the room, but he can take up to 8 steps at a time. I know one day soon, he's going to take off running and never slow down. He loves to talk, we just don't know what he's saying. He's learned a couple of signs in sign language and knows how to use them. It's cute to watch. He loves his brothers so much. Caleb and Josiah went to see Granny yesterday and today with Daddy while I packed our things up here at my parents. Levi was at a loss without them. He will be so excited when he wakes up from his nap to see that they are home. He has also claimed Granddaddy as his own. He prefers not to share him. We were at dinner the other night with my family and Levi couldn't understand why his Granddaddy was holding Braxton. So, Granddaddy ended up holding two boys. I've have really enjoyed watching his personality come alive over these past couple of months.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

We're Moving to Florida!

Yes, just like the title of this post says, we are moving to Florida. Kerry will be joining the staff of Christ Fellowship as the Director of Adult Ministries. As much as it would be nice to settle in our home state of Texas, we feel confident that God wants us in Florida serving at Christ Fellowship. Kerry's start date there is May 1. Our current plan will be to leave Arlington on April 27th and arrive in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on April 29th. We're looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Staying Busy

Levi really enjoyed eating the sand.

Josiah really bonded with Nana during this trip. He is always excited to see her and greets her with a big hug. At times, he will tell me that he needs Nana.

Caleb really enjoyed that the Atlantic Ocean was warmer than the Pacific.

A rare family picture.

Nana and Levi at the Loggerhead Marine Life Center.

Caleb enjoying this picture.

Levi and Daddy

We arrived safely in Texas 2 weeks ago. We have been pretty busy since then. Kerry, the boys, my mom, and I all went to Florida for a few days. I'll share more on that later. Kerry just got back from speaking in Maryland. The boys and I are working on having some since of normalcy but I'm not sure that's possible at this time. We are praying that we will be settled by mid May at the latest.

The boys continue to blossom. Caleb is so excited to be turning 8 on the 24th. It's hard to believe 8 years have already flown by. That means I have only 10 years until he goes to college, 8 years before he drives, and 4 years until he can babysit his brothers. He has been attending AWANAS at my parents' church whenever we've been in town. He has loved every minute of it. He's only been about 6 times and he's already completed one book. He has worked very hard and we're very proud of him.

We just cut Josiah's hair this week. I will have to take a picture. He really wanted his hair cut like Caleb's. Even though it's not that short, it's still short to me. He likes it alright, but I'm already thinking of growing it back, but only if he wants to. He's still full of life and has really enjoyed this week since I've finally started homeschooling him again a little each day. He told me last night that he wanted me to teach him. I was so happy to hear that.

Levi still isn't really walking. About a month ago, he would take one or two steps here and there but maybe only 3 times total. Finally, he started initiating taking one step on his own today. Hopefully, he'll get it down soon. He can say Mama and Dada but only when he wants to. I think he's smarter then we give him credit, never on cue. He loves clapping his hands to music and Kerry noticed tonight, that he claps to the beat. He also loves playing Caleb's guitar and can sit their for over 20 minutes at a time just playing. I think he may be our musical one. I'm already seeing guitar lessons in a couple of years.

Silas is still growing well. I've started to feel slight movements but it' so hard for me to tell for sure until I can actually feel them with my hand and see my stomach moving from the kicks. I have to admit that I'm glad we found out what we were having this time around. The bonding process has already started and it's so cute to hear Josiah refer to him as Silas. Life will be exciting with four boys running around the house.