Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rachel is ONE!!!

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Grandma J loves her Rachel.
Pop loves these kids!

Okay - scroll down for my message - I can't move the pics around for some reason -

Below is the picture Lilly painted for Rachel!

This is the picture Daniel painted for her.

To the left is a pic of the girls in their new PJ's from Grandma.

Grandma and her special girl!

Ella Cate painted this for Rachel.

Rachel loved the bows!!! Lilly found them!

Rachel absolutely loved all the attention.

She is sleeping with her Seahorse now. Lilly wanted it so badly. She had a Glow-worm that Uncle Brad gave her when she was little.

Me and Rachel with the pic of me and my dad.

This is what happens when you allow your SIL to hold the camera -

The kids and the frog cake - not sure what they are doing - I am cleaning Rachel up!

Ella Cate just shoves it in.


It took her a long time to get into the cake. She just beat it like a drum. Uncle Ned tried to help.

Aunt Melanie and Lilly with the rolls Lilly made - the frog cake I struggled with. This is the worst looking cake I ever made. I was sure it was going to fall apart.

My baby just turned one. Yes, there is a bit of bittersweetness in that. I am sad that I do not plan to have any more children. Four seems like such as small number when I look around and realize, I have no more babies. No one will be so needy for mommy. No one will wrap their little fingers around my and feel completely safe. And yet, there is a freedom in it. I was excited to put her in my dress, because it felt like a good way to end it. While I won't need to buy just a number one candle ever again, I will have kids old enough to help out and have fun. Soon I will not need to carry anyone around, my hands will be free. Sadly, I think they will get lonely.

All of that aside, we had such fun. I had so much to do today and Lilly really helped out. She helped with decorations and cooking. She was amasing, wanting everything to be just right for the party.

We made paper chain decorations, the kids each picked a gift for Rachel from their own toy stash to pass down. Lilly chose a ballerina suit and a book. Ella Cate selected a book and a stuffed turtle she made at VBS. Daniel chose to give her his stuffed puppy - not sure that gift will stick.

They also wrapped up the pictures they painted and framed. I made a roast and Lilly made homemade rolls. I helped in the areas I needed to but she really did a lot of work. It was delicious. We had a frog cake and Rachel had a small cake for herself. Her brother and sisters decorated it. She sat in the floor an picked at it and played, surrounded by family. It was nice and quaint. She watched her gifts be opened by Lilly, EC and Daniel. The blue dress she is wearing is what I wore for my First Birthday.

She laughed and smiled. She scooted around. It was simply wonderful.

I took a little time this morning to look back at Rachel's baby book and think back. While the delivery was and is a bad memory, I sat and thought about the first night held her, the next night when Aunt Laura was in charge. I think Aunt Laura stayed awake all night checking on Rachel. I haven't had much time to sit back and really take in how much Rachel has changed.

So that is what I plan to do - sit back and think...look at pictures....realize how wonderfully blessed I am. PRASIE GOD!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

School is here!!

So I am sure that many will ask how it went today during our first day of Home school this year. (I have been working with Lilly for three years now and Ella Cate for 2.5) My answer will be that it went perfect and without a hitch. However, only those of you who dare to delve into the deep recesses of my mind will be privy to the truth. The truth is that it went better than expected but not as well as I had hoped.

Ella Cate did wonderful. She grasps new concepts so easily and she finished her work promptly. She anxiously awaits the next assignment and a hug from mommy for her accomplishments. Today when school was over I gave her extra hugs while Lilly was brushing her teeth so that she would know I appreciate the hard work she does.

Now, Daniel did interrupt a few times but you all would be astonished to know that he babysat Rachel in the living room.....alone!! He would come and let me know if she was stinky or wet. He would come and let me know if she was pulling him or pinching him or being bad in some other way. He brought her toys and got out Lilly's guitar and played a song for her and even serenaded her. How precious!! He came in a few times to irritate the girls which got no good attention from mommy so he left. He even came a few times to sit and see what they were doing and participate. He worked so hard that he was asleep within minutes of me laying him down.

As for Lilly, we still have so far to go. I look at her through my 'mommy' eyes and see the potential but no effort. She completed almost everything, but it took twice as long. She cried off and on but nothing too bad until the end. She got upset about a few things and eventually kept murmuring over and over that she is bad. I never told her that. I told her she was being disrespectful. She only heard bad. I get frustrated with her. At the end, she had to draw a family tree and just fell off the school wagon. She cried and yelled until her voice was gone and her face was swollen and splotchy. I went over and held her crayon box and she finished within three minutes. All I did was hold the box. I didn't really say anything. I didn't force anything, I just held the box. I noticed during reading that she doesn't listen to the first letters or syllables in words. The letter was 'a' and she kept saying that the short /a/ sound and the beginning of the word 'pencil' sounded the same. Was she joking? She never would change her story. She just laughed. So the 'mommy' eyes close and the 'teacher' eyes open. I wonder, is there a deep rooted problem that I don't know about? Does she maybe have some sort of learning problem that will prohibit her from learning? My 'teacher' eyes are well-trained, they do not compare the two girls, they see the students as individuals. Ella Cate is accelerating. Lilly is being left behind. Why? What is the issue with Lilly? Math was easier for her, as always. What do I do?
'Mommy' mode sets back in.....I think back to those stupid tests we had to take in college which registered me with Dyslexia and recommended I be tested...HA HA - I have always been an A student. Yes, I have to study hard and yes, I have to check and re-check and find things slightly wrong and number backwards but that is just me. I can't help but feel that our society has made it all to easy for a person to be labeled. Do I want to label her? I refused being tested further. I don't want to do her a dis-service if she has problems but I certainly do not want to incorrectly label her with a test that isn't truly valuable.
'Teacher' mode again.....Calm down - it is only day one. Don't stress out. She will be fine.

In conclusion - she will be fine. I know it. We will continue to plunge forward and see what awaits us. I know that I had several people praying for me today and it worked. I had unimaginable patience today. Please continue to lift us up. I need it so much.
Thank you to all who are praying for us on this crazy road. SC
(pictures will be added later after our celebration dinner tonight)