Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pictures and Info from Singles Reunion

Below are pictures I took at the Singles Reunion. I hope everyone enjoys looking at them. I'll do my best to label everyone in each picture. If I have mislabeled anyone, please let me know.

(L to R): Kelley Nichols, Scott MacKenzie, Frankie Bartozzi, Jay Stone,
Richard Kirkpatrick, and Judy Bartozzi

My daughter Hannah being silly
Michelle Brown Jinnette and Cathy Wyatt
Front (L to R): Joey Gibson, Jane Page
Back (L to R): Richard Kirkpatrick, John Hammer, Kevin Brasuell, and Sam Wiley

Carole Leake (green top), Mike Leake, and Phil May

(L to R): Jane Page, Helen Davis, Joey Gibson, Kathryn Riley

Front (L to R): Martha Johnson Nicolas, Sarah Nicolas, Abigail Nicolas,
Robin Consterdine Stone, Joey Gibson
Middle (L to R): Judy Bartozzi, Annie Long, Laura Murley Long
Back (L to R): Rob Long, Sonja Solze Peaspanen, Kevin Brasuell, Meg Turner Brasuell
Denise Hammer, Sonja Solze Peaspanen and Meg Turner Brasuell
Richard Kirkpatrick and Jill Carpenter McLane
(L to R): Stephen Nichols, Kyle McLane, Caitlyn Nichols,
Noah Nichols, Hannah Jinnette, and Kelley Nichols
Phil May, Rob Long, Annie Long, and Marilyn Faulkner
Tom Peaspanen, Denise Hammer, and Helen Davis
(L to R): Richard Kirkpatrick, Susanne Medlin's grandson, Nicole Medlin,
John Hammer, and Leslie Stainbrook Phillips
Richard Kirkpatrick, Mike Leake, Carol Leake, Sam Wiley, and Judy Bartozzi
Hannah Jinnette
Andrew Jinnette

Meg Turner Brasuell, Kyle McLane, Scott MacKenzie, Stephen Nichols, and Noah Nichols

Front (L to R): Nia Phillips, Scott Phillips
Back (L to R): Tara Cannon, Tara's boyfriend (don't remember his name), Lisa Hrutkay Conley, Kim Cavanaugh Rache's daughter, Kim, Jeremy Smith, Martha Johnson Nicolas and Dennis Rache's son

Back (L to R): Carol Wiley, Mike Leake, Carol Leake, Rick Gardner, Phil May
Front (L to R): Frankie Bartozzi, Jack Faulkner, and Carol Dice Temple
Partial Group Shot

Sonja Solze Peaspanen, Charlie Conley, and Lisa Hrutkay Conley
Unfortunately, I missed getting pictures of some of the attendees due to problems with my camera. It was great getting to see everyone and we missed all of those who were not able to attend. Quite a few people said they would like to do this again. Maybe sometime in the next year or two, we can try to get everyone together again.
God granted us beautiful weather, comfortable temperatures and great fellowship. Praise to God for everything He provides.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Quick Post

Because it is so late, I am going to try to make this quick. We had our Singles Reunion this afternoon. It consisted of people from our Singles Sunday school class at church who attended in the mid- to late- 90's. There were almost 60 adults and about 30 kids there. IT WAS AWESOME!!! We had quite a few attend who now live out of town: Montgomery, AL; Atlanta, GA; Brandon, MS and Syracuse, NY to name a few. I'll post pictures and more information later. Right now, I am headed to bed. We have church tomorrow and the kids will be up early.

P.S. Update on Andrew and his cloth. Today, he was missing his cloth bad. His nap today was about 20 minutes long (usually it is a few hours) and he was fussy when he was up and about. (He did fall asleep for about 30 minutes on the ride home from the reunion.) Tonight while I was rocking him, he kept trying to put his blanket in his mouth. When I would take it away from him to stop him, he would start laughing. When I put him to bed, the blanket was in his mouth. We will keep trying.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma Gladys

Today would have been my Grandma Gladys' 86th birthday. Happy birthday Grandma. We love and miss you!

Big Night

Tonight is Andrew's first night without his burp cloth to chew/suck on while he tries to go to sleep. For a while now, I've known I needed to start weaning him off of it, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. When I took him in for his 15-month check up, his doctor said it was time. This has been harder on me than on him. It has been fairly easy to distract him if he is looking for his cloth but I tend to give it to him when he gets a little fussy. Usually, when I am trying to get him to sleep, I can give him the cloth and he will settle down. Tonight, he wanted to play, talk, kiss me and rub my shoulder; anything to keep himself awake. I started singing "Jesus Loves Me" and he settled down slowly. A few minutes later he was wanting to play a bit so I took him to his room and laid him in his bed. At first, he did fine. He let me cover him with his blankets then sat up when I kissed Will good-night. But, after I shut the door and sat down at the computer, he started crying. The good thing is he didn't cry for long. He is quiet now and I hope he will sleep through the night. Andrew has taken a few naps without his cloth and has done okay. This morning, he woke up early (around 5 a.m.) but started getting loud around 6:15. I took him up front and sat with him on the couch. Andrew went back to sleep without his cloth and slept until 8:45 a.m. Maybe this will be the start of something new. All I need to do now is pack up the ones in his room (he knows where they are and can get the drawer open to get one) and the ones in the wash. I don't know, though; maybe I'll wait a little longer.....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the dads!!!

We surprised my dad by showing up at his and my step-mom's church for service. Joan asked us about two months ago to think about this. She said her son, Jeff, did this for her one year on Mother's Day and it made the day even more special. Since it is a 1 1/2 hour drive up there, we (Melanie, Nathan, Mike, Hannah, Andrew, Will and I) left our house around 8:45 a.m. There was very little traffic out so we made it to Ripley in just over an hour. When Dad came out of Sunday school, we were milling around in the sanctuary. He was very pleasantly surprised. Afterwards we went to lunch then over to Dad and Joan's. We had a great visit. Jeff, our step-brother, even came by for a few minutes.

Because I knew most of today would be concentrated on Dad, the kids and I celebrated Father's Day with Mike yesterday. We served him breakfast in bed and gave him his gifts: seasons 5 and 6 of Stargate-SG1 and an autographed copy of Glenn Beck's book An Inconvenient Truth. He also got to sleep in later than usual.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hannah Rides Again

Hannah has been trying to ride a bike without training wheels for a while. Because of ball practices and games, our evenings and weekends have been too full to help her practice. So, today, since our schedules have slowed down, we let the kids get their bikes out. Hannah could ride her bike without training wheels for a short distance but needed help to get started. She was also a little nervous about falling. After giving her some encouragement and a little help, she was off and riding on her own without any help. When asked which she preferred training wheels or none, she emphatically said "NONE! I can ride faster." A couple of times she was half way down the street before we realized it. She fell once but got right back up and was off again. Yes, I is about time she learned to ride without training wheels. It took some time and convincing for Hannah to agree. We also were having to work around ball schedules (she played basketball this winter also) but she has it down pat now. Will has been watching Hannah and wants the training wheels off his bike. We want him to get more practice at riding with them before taking them off. Now it's one down and two to go...oh me!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pink Palace and Will's Team Party

Recently, the Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium offered a free family membership from May until July 31 to anyone who called and asked for it before May 22. It took a couple of tries to get through (they do not return calls left on voice mail), but I was able to take advantage of this offer. I remember going as a child and LOVED it, so I was excited about taking the kids.

It started off as fun. Hannah and Will enjoyed looking at the skeletons of different animals, dioramas (?) of local wildlife and fossils of dinosaurs, some found in the area. We then moved upstairs to see a temporary exhibit called "Treasure." It shows different kinds of treasure and the places they can be found. There was a place where the kids could pan for (fool's) gold and colored rocks. Hannah really enjoyed this. You could also see how treasure is protected: alarms, locks and such. The different types of treasure on display ranged from pieces of gold and silver found on sunken ships to the treasure you find in your attic: games, toys, old clothing, etc. There was a place where you could see how much your weight was worth in gold (mine was over $37,500; Will's was around $1500). Hannah found a spot where you could use a metal detector to find metals in the ground.

After we left the Treasure exhibit, we started walking around the history portion of the museum. This area has always been my favorite part. I LOVE looking at and learning about things and events of the past. If I was by myself, I would spend all day there without ever leaving this particular area. Will started getting bored in the Treasure exhibit. It did not improve in the history area. He liked looking at the Clyde Park Circus. It was crafted entirely by hand by one man without using any pictures. I think he started in the 1920s and finished around the 1950s. As we walked through the other areas, Will's attention span decreased to about zero very quickly. So, instead of staying with Mama, he decided to walk around on his own. After looking for him and calling out his name for a few minutes, he decided to show up. I still am not exactly sure where he wandered off to (and yes, I got a hold of his backside really good). Not long after that we grabbed a bite in the museum cafe then wandered through the Mansion portion of the museum. Hannah liked the shrunken head while Will liked walking around.

Will and Coach Keith

Hannah and Will
They are relaxing before Hannah's game
and Will's team party

How would you like to wear this?

I just love this picture!
Will and his Tee Ball trophy

Will and Andrew with Rollo the animated dinosaur

Another shot of Rollo

Clyde Park Miniature Circus-1

Clyde Park Miniature Circus-2
Clyde Park Miniature Circus-3

Clyde Park Miniature Circus-4

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Update on the Latest Happenings

Saturday was Will's birthday party. The kids had a lot of fun playing in the sprinklers, sliding on the Slip N' Slide, playing in the pool and jumping on the trampoline. Because I was busy getting everything set up, I forgot to put sunscreen on Will and Hannah. They both got sunburned and Hannah, of course, got the worse of it. We spent the next few days doctoring them up and coating them in aloe. While taking pictures Saturday, we forgot to get some of the kids playing outside. The kids who came were: James, John, Will G, Nathan, Jonas, and Layne. Of course, Hannah, Will and Andrew were there too. Andrew was asleep and woke up just before we started eating pizza. After everyone left, Nathan and my bunch played outside more and made our slide a water slide. They were also spraying the trampoline with water to get even wetter while jumping.

Monday, because Hannah was still having trouble with her sunburn, she missed her softball game. (They still won 20-4.) Her friend Brittney came over and stayed the night then spent all day Tuesday with us. The girls had a blast.

Tuesday was Will's fifth birthday. He opened presents from us (a couple of Thomas the train sets). For lunch, we went to Chuck E. Cheese so the kids could play. I promised the girls we would drive by Graceland, Elvis Presley's mansion, so we went by there afterwards.

Hannah had another ball game last night and she was able to play. While she was at bat, she hit the ball and made it to first. During the next play, she got out just as she got to second. Hannah was upset she got out and started crying. All the moms were worried that her sunburn was hurting again, but she was fine, just a bruised ego. At Hannah's next time at bat, she ran to first then stole second. During the next play, she tried to run to third base but the other team had the ball close by so Hannah darted back to second. She barely made it. Next, she ran to third base and almost got tagged but Hannah ran ragged and got on base. She ended up making it in to home during the next play. Way to go Hannah!! She is still talking about her trip back to second and then to third. The Diamond Dolls won. The score was either 16-4 or 18-4, I can't remember which.

Andrew had his first bubble bath last night. He would put his hands in the bubbles, lift it up, then just stare at them. Sometimes Andrew would turn his hand over and shake it in an attempt to get the bubbles off. He was sooo funny to watch.

LOTS and LOTS of Pictures

All of these pictures were taken Saturday (during Will's party), Sunday (while playing around), and Tuesday (Will's birthday). I hope you enjoy them.

The Birthday Boy!!!

Will with his sunglasses on sitting in the van.
Doesn't he look cool!!!
Will, Hannah and Andrew
Everyone gathering in the kitchen during Will's birthday
party while we eat cake.
(L to R) Cindy, Hannah, Tracy, Mom, Melanie, Will G (Tracy's son) and Joan.
My Will has his back to the camera.
Joan, Andrew (in the corner), Mom, Melanie and Nathan
Hannah, Will G and Will J

Andrew with Will's Bob the Builder hat

My green-eyed little one
(at least that's the color they were that day)

Andrew trying to eat ice cream
Dad, Hannah, Will G and Will J
Joan, Dad, Hannah and Will

(L to R in front) Tracy, Seth and Hannah
(L to R in back) Joan, Andrew (in corner), Mom and Melanie
Will with his Bob the Builder outfit on and his Bob the Builder doll

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Will

Today is Will's 5th birthday!! I have to make this quick because we have to take Hannah to her game but I wanted to post two things Will said today before I forget them again. I will post again later.

1) My mom called this morning to wish Will a Happy Birthday. I didn't tell him who was on the phone so when she spoke, he asked, "Is this you, Nana?" When she said yes, he replied, "It's so nice to meet you." We both cracked up laughing.

2) My mom's brother, Jim, called to wish Will a Happy Birthday this afternoon. I told him who it was on the phone. After a couple of minutes I heard Will say, "That is so sweet of you!" These are words I never expected to hear come from my now 5-year old's mouth.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Will's Birthday Party

Today was Will's birthday party. He decided he wanted to have a "water" party in the backyard, like we have been doing for the last few years. It consisted of a slip-n-slide, wading pool, sprinklers, and the trampoline in our backyard. The kids all seem to have a good time. The temperature outside was hot but was really nice in the shade. Mike won't have to worry about watering the backyard for a while. There was water and mud all over the place. Since we have done this kind of party for the last few years, I let Will decide what he wanted to do. Next year, I think we will have to have it elsewhere. It's not that I mind having it here, but I don't want him to feel left out because Hannah has had her parties at Chuck E. Cheese and Build-A-Bear. I have some pictures from the party to post but first I have to download them off my camera. Since it is about time for Mike to play his thrice-weekly computer game with some friends from church, it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fountain and Deck Pictures

Here are the pictures I promised of our fountain and the trampoline deck.

Mike found one like this at Lowe's but it didn't have
the bottom barrel. I found the whole set at Old Time Pottery
for a good price. It looks really cute and the kids love it.

Here is a side view of the fountain.

Mike built this deck for the kids while he was on vacation.
They all love it.

The bar at the back is actually a seat for the kids to sit on
while they are taking their shoes off. Didn't he do a great job?!
And he only had to call my dad once for help.