Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above

That verse is from James 1:17. James is my favorite book in the Bible. If you want to know how to walk out a Christian life, read the book of James! We adopted this verse for our youngest son, James. We gave him the middle name, Carl, after my father. James sure loves his Papa! (Not so) little James Carl turned 2 yesterday. These past two years have flown by. He has been a joy of a son to have and we are so proud of him!

I was rather tired of making chocolate cake and wanted to do something different this time. I had a few ripe bananas laying on my counter just begging to be used, so I made banana cake with cream cheese frosting. It was so yummy! I also decided to try out Rebecca's Wilton cake decorating stuff. The frosting should have been a little stiffer, but it turned out cute anyway.

I found the little boats at the dollar store and filled them with popcorn for decorations. The kids each got to keep one as a party favor.

I was wishing that I had little palm trees to put at each plate because the place mats look like a little sandy islands in a big ocean. Maybe next time?

All the cousins digging in.

Nate decided to be "cool" while he eats. Maybe he just felt like he wasn't getting enough attention?

Umm. Look at the camera, James!

He really tried to blow out the candles, but just couldn't get it done!

Mom and Nate to the rescue!


Reading a card from Aunt Diana.

Getting help from big brother.

Yaaayyy! He love this gift sent from Papa and Grammy.

Today, we called Grammy to say thank you for the birthday present. I handed James the phone and he said, clear as day, "Thank you!" What a good boy!

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Little R & R at the Zoo

This year for James' birthday we decided to take the family to Palm Beach Zoo at Dreyer Park. One of the perks of having a large family is sometimes the cost of tickets is so high that you can pay just a smidgen more and have the yearly pass! So, that's just what we did. We headed down this morning and made a day of it. The weather was just perfect! We all had a super time, as you can see by the photos. I'll not bore you with details with every photo. They speak for themselves. In one of the pictures, you'll see Rebecca at the fountain with some of her friends. The 7th graders at HSBA just happened to be there on a field trip and Becca enjoyed goofing off with them for a little while.

We begin with the short road trip to the zoo and end with Nate almost falling asleep at the Carousel. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together...Hebrews 10:25

I'm so tempted to NOT go to church! Before you condemn me, hear me out, please! We slipped over to Jupiter Island for some family photos this morning before church. Even though we hurried through the pictures we were still about 7 minutes late for church. In our church that translates to having to sit near the front as the back is filled up and with a family of 6 (plus one in the nursery) we have to find about 1/2 a pew to fit us all in. Trust me, you won't find 1/2 of an empty pew in the back of the building. No, those are aaallll the way down front! Now, I know it was our fault. We could have waited and done pictures after church when everyone is starving hungry and ready for a nap. Or, we could have woke everyone up after a nap and put on all the previous clothing (baring some accident with food or diapers with the babies) and taken photos in the late afternoon. Considering all, the morning seemed most appropriate. But I digress. As soon as we sat down in the pew, I noticed the communion set up at the front. "Great!", I thought. Easter communion didn't pan out so well for me, so here is my 2nd chance. Nathanael was being fairly good eating his popcorn/cereal mix. Zack had calmed down to about the energy of a medium sized dirt devil and wasn't causing a scene. Yet. The music was beautiful. All is well. Here comes the plate of crackers. Zack takes one, passes the plate to me, I take one and (almost) pass it to Rob. Nate spies the crackers. "I want one, too!" he says. Now I know you are to take communion if you have given your life to loving and serving the Lord. But has Nate ever said the sinner's prayer? No. In fact, some days I can't wait for that to happen. Heathens aren't much fun to be around sometimes. But, he IS innocent. So, I hand my cracker to him to hold intending to break it in half and share it with him when the time comes. Next comes the "wine". "Ohhhh, cold water, too!" says Nate out loud. I roll my eyes and hand him my juice. I'm beginning to not feel so spiritual. Next thing I know, Zack has spilled his juice on his right pant leg. (at least the pictures are already taken!) He is starting to growl as I grab a wipe and swipe the mess off his pants. I try to talk calmly to him knowing that any little thing will transform the dirt devil into a tornado. I turn my attention back to the front and next thing I know, juice has magically appeared on Zack's LEFT pant leg. Oh boy. Now I'm asking Jesus to forgive me for the bad attitude I'm about to have right before taking communion! Thankfully, threatening Zack with the thought of loosing his brownie dessert after dinner was enough to snap him out of it. Communion taken. Nate had half of mine but maybe it will make him more like Jesus. Whew! I know my blow-by-blow is getting long, but wait! It gets better! After a bit, I hear the young lady sitting next to Zack telling him to ask his mother for a wipe. I look up and see blood all over Zack's finger. Great! He has picked the sore on his ear and it is dripping blood! I'm ready to start handing out little business cards to the people who are sitting around us in church who don't know Zack to explain why his behavior is so abnormal. The card could say, "I'm autistic, what's your excuse?" Or "Please visit to learn why my son appears to behave so badly in public". All in all, we made it all the way through church, up to the last 4 minutes before Nate had to be taken out. (So much for the communion helping him be more like Jesus.) I think that's a record! You can see why it would be easier to just stay home, some days. But I wouldn't want to be guilty of ignoring our call to assembly. Plus I really do LOVE to go to church. Really!

Friday, April 25, 2008

And Finally, # 4 is the Lie

Sort of. It's true that I was on the back of the motorcycle and Rob was driving, of course. We were heading out a deserted stretch of road west of town. But we didn't hit 100 mph. We, in fact, hit 150. So, there you have it! It's funny how life changes after you have children! You won't find me speeding around town on a motorcycle, nor will you find me out in the ocean jumping in with abandon! I'm also home more often than not and therefore don't see as many crazies on the road as I used to. I would definitely drive a school bus again and would even drive something bigger, like a dump truck. But, other than that, I guess at this point in my life, I'm pretty boring! Very much alive and happy, though! :-)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

# 3 is True

This is the most scary, bazaar thing that has ever happened to me. Thankfully, it ended well. Years ago, BC, (before children) I went with a friend and her 16 yo son, Jason, to Stuart to take his driver's test to get his license. He didn't do very well at all (even though he could drive perfectly well and was just very nervous) and they could have made him come back and take it over, but in the end they decided to go ahead and pass him. Understandably, Jason wasn't in a super-great mood. He thought he would do very well, and barely made it. Anyway, he was a ball of nerves. We were on our way home, in my vehicle, a Volvo station wagon. Jason was driving, with me in the front and his mom in the back. I don't even know how it happened, but something Jason did in traffic really upset another driver. The driver was very young and had about 3 other young kids in the bronco with him. Well, we stopped at a red light at US 1 and Cove and the bronco ended up directly in front of us. Because they were mad at whatever it was that Jason had done, they whipped pennies out their window onto our windshield. I looked up, sort of shocked and what I saw made my blood run cold! The boys in the back of the bronco were loading shot guns! I completely froze! I truly thought it was over. I didn't even have the forethought to duck my head or anything. Jason's mom and I were yelling at Jason to not drive when the light turned green, but to let the car (hopefully) drive away from us. The bronco kept driving and we pulled off into the plaza to use the pay phone and call the police. The police called back an hour or so later and informed us that they arrested all the boys that were in the vehicle, face down, in a ditch full of mud. They had pulled them over and the boys all tried to run off with the guns. I have NO idea what they were thinking of doing with those guns, but it scared me half to death! Apparently, they had all just been before the judge for another crime and were given the choice to either have a jail sentence or to join the military. They had opted for the military and were a day or so from official enlistment. They ended up back in jail. Thank the good Lord!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

# 2 is True

I used to ride the bus on Sunday mornings with Mr. and Mrs. Shamber to pick up kids for bus ministry at Hobe Sound Bible Church. I'm not sure what got into Mr. Shamber's craw, but after we dropped off the last child in Poinciana Gardens, he asked me if I wanted to drive the bus! What 15 year old would turn down a request like that? I sure wasn't going to pass up the opportunity! It was an old, manual shift bus and I had a few doubts about being able to shift correctly, but Lester insisted that it was easy and I could do it. I drove it from Poinciana back to the church parking lot. Mrs. Shamber was fit to be tied. She thought we would all get in trouble if we were pulled over by the police and truthfully, we probably would have even though I had my learners permit! I didn't have any problems shifting, to my surprise and we pulled it off without a hitch! Now I forever have bragging rights!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

# 1 is True

I do not swim like a fish in water! I tell my kids all the time to be very careful in the water because I don't know if I could save them if they got into trouble. I grew up swimming in creeks in Pennsylvania and never learned how to swim under water without holding my nose. Once we moved to Florida, I tried and tried to dive like normal people but would always come up spitting and sputtering. I love to swim and jump into the water, but I could never be a life guard. My father in law used to own a 20 ft. Shamrock that Rob and I would take out quite often during the summer before we had kids. It was a very ocean worthy craft. We got the bright idea to head off shore and drop anchor. I guess we anchored in the gulf stream, or something, because there was a very strong currant running past the boat. We jumped off the front of the boat and swam around to the back to get back on. Well, I missed the back of the boat and swam like crazy towards the boat but the currant was taking me further and further away. I was hollering and Rob was hollering and at the last minute he grabbed a fish net on a 6 foot pole and leaned way out over the boat and held it out to me to grab. I could just barely reach it. He hauled me in and I sat until I caught my breath. It really scared me and we decided we had had enough of the ocean. Rob went to pull the anchor up and it wouldn't budge. In order to get the anchor up, he had to start the inboard engine and had the boat pull it up. All this took a couple minutes. If I hadn't been able to grab that pole at the last minute, I feel pretty certain that I may have drowned. Who knows, though! Maybe survival adrenalin would have kicked in and I would have been ok. Not ever taking that chance again, though!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Three Truths and a Lie

I saw this on another blog and thought I would pirate the idea. Below, you will find 4 sentences. Three will be true and one will be a lie. You just gotta choose which you think is the lie and leave a comment! Then, post your own three thruths and a lie to keep the fun going.

1. I nearly drowned in a boating mishap out in the ocean.

2. I drove a school bus about 5 miles when I was 15 years old.

3. I was involved in a road-rage incident that included loaded guns.

4. I hit 100 miles per hour as a passenger on the back of a motorcycle.

I'll post the answer in a few days! Happy guessing!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Taking the Yot out for a spin

Taking all five of our children to the ocean requires at least two adults, 6 or more arms, 5 sets of watchful eyes and flotation devices for the little ones, all just so we don't have drowning tots. While Nathanael values his life and will keep a (barely) safe distance from the pounding surf, James knows no fear and will gladly end his life for the thrill of the wave. Therefore, we don't go as often as the older kids would like.

Luckily, we have lots of rivers in Florida, too. It has been hard to find a clean stink-free spot, though. Well, our worries are over! We found the perfect spot for our family! (Thanks, Mary!) All the kids were happily entertained with plenty to do and James was unable to drown himself. Actually, with the little floaties on his arms, he could float quite well. I didn't get a picture of it, but as we were packing up to leave, James was floating on his belly with the arm rings keeping one end of him up and his blubberous bottom keeping the other end afloat. It was adorable to watch!

Here is Nathanael playing with his Yot.

I'm not sure why the baby is pulling the tot, but they were both happy, so who cares? I'm also not sure why James' hair stands straight up all the time, but, again, he's happy, so who cares?

Big sissy showing James how to play with his toys that Ms. Mary Ann bought for him. (Two other moms and their children joined us but I didn't get any photos of them.)

After a few hours, Nate was more than ready to go home for a nap.

Elijah showing off his new-found skin boarding skills.

The kids are eager to go back, and since I can actually relax a little while they play, I can't wait, either! Zack was in school, so he is also VERY eager to go!