Our Family

Our Family

Friday, May 28, 2010

Anxiously Awaiting the Arrival of Millie Mouse

Emily is on her way. As I was getting her bed ready today, I added a giant stuffed Mickey Mouse to her bedding. Elizabeth was watching me carefully helping me get ready for her favorite Aunt Millie to arrive when she looked up and said, "Millie Mouse." I thought it was adorable, and while I don't know if she meant to say Minnie or Mickey (which she usually says very clearly), I think the name is gonna stick. Andrew thought we needed to make her a sign which we did welcoming Millie Mouse. Both kids excitedly helped decorate the sign, and now we are anxiously awaiting her arrival. I may be manipulatively doing some things like cooking a wonderful meal and planning fun activities in order to convince her that Orlando would be a great place for her to live too. I hope she likes it here!!!

Too Many Choices

Life is funny that way. I think that the olden days would have been so much easier b/c there weren't as many choices to make. You just did what you had to do to survive. Now we have choices galore.

I've been recently burdened by deciding what to do with Andrew's school, where to go to church, what neighborhood to live in, where to go to the doctor, and the list goes on. It's a blessing to have too many choices, but sometimes it feels like a curse. What I do know is that God has directed us each step of the way. He's provided us in ways I never thought possible. Here are a few ways:

1. He provided an amazing house for us in a wonderful neighborhood. He clearly shut the door on the house we wanted in another neighborhood. While we LOVE, our house, our neighborhood, and the fact that we can watch the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom, we do NOT like the school district. That led us to another provision.

2. He has flug open the doors to homeschool. I never thought this would be what God had in store for me, but it's clear now that it's been God's plan for us all along. In addition, we visited a SS class which led us to a community of homeschool families & support. There are 2 major homeschool support groups in our area, and I'm currently praying about which one to get involved with.

3. Mom & Dad allowed us to bring their piano to Florida, and while it was difficult to get it, I can't wait to get Andrew started with lessons. We've already met an experienced teacher, and Andrew starts piano lessons in a little over a week.

4. We are in the midst of selling our restaurant in Atlanta, and we needed a lawyer to help with the paper work. The lawyer needed to be licensed in Georgia, but we wanted to meet with him and know him. Can you believe that God sent us just the guy?! He's the campus pastor of a church we visited.

5. Our A/C broke the other night. We called Emily to get so 411 since she now has the lowdown on all things a/c related after her horrible job experience. She wasn't home, but Mat found the problem. He was able to patch it until the repair man came so we never had to go w/out a/c - and in Florida, that's something for which we are very thankful!

Isn't God amazing. His provision constantly blows me away. Can you believe that God has even provided us with the little things in addition to the huge things. I guess I expect the big things to be cared for, but those little things are what keep me shaking my head in amazement! I serve an awesome God! While it seems like I have too many choices, God has directed our family to the exact place he wants us from Florida, to church, to a SS class, and to our neighborhood. I can't wait to see what He has in store for us next!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Searching for a Church...Oh, and God's Will Too

We've been here for just a few Sundays, and honestly, it's NO fun searching for a church home. It's a long process. I mean, really, Sunday only rolls around once a week, and we are on the brink of Wednesday night church ending.

We were REALLY spoiled having a wonderful large Baptist church only 5 minutes from home in Dacula with ample opportunities for my entire family separately and together. You name it, Hebron offers it.

Windermere is so different. We are basically out in the country. Nearly everything is a bit of a drive from our home.

We visited First Baptist Orlando (about 25 min away), and while we enjoyed it and it offers nearly all that Hebron did, it's not close enough to just hope over to church. You have to plan for church.

We visited the local First Baptist Church in downtown Windermere which is only a whopping 5 min from our house. It isn't nearly as large as Hebron, and it doesn't have all the activities to offer to the community - yet. I say yet, for this reason...the church started and they grew into another building not far away. They operated as 2 separate churches after a while until recently. The pastor of the newer church got frustrated and LEFT handing over the church keys to the first pastor only 6 weeks ago. This left the church hurting. Members left and now the original church is coming along side this baby church and providing leadership and stability.

I tell you all this to say...it's not easy finding a church. And I'm finding it difficult to know the difference between my wants and God's will. Should we make the trek all the way to Orlando or should we plant it in Windermere. And if Windermere is where God wants us, should we stick to the stable growing church or is God calling us to be leaders at a hurting church that so desperately needs us? Would helping in this capacity be me or God? Ugh, to know God's will...

Potty Time

Lizzy went potty! She begged me to keep getting on the big potty, and when I did, she got scared. So my mission today was to find the baby potty which I found tucked snugly in the bottom of a very large box deep in the garage. I thoroughly cleaned it, and I set it in the middle of the house. Most of the house here is tile, so potty training isn’t as scary here as it could be with a house covered with carpet. I let her pudgy cute little stuff that God gave her run amuck undressed, and sure enough about 2 hours later, she was successful! Yay!

I just found out today that we have a wonderful sweet Christian lady in our new SS class at First Baptist Windermere who is willing to teach Andrew piano lessons at only $16 a class plus she has one opening that Andrew can fill in two weeks. That’s an amazing deal – and nearly the same cost as I was paying for diapers. Isn’t it amazing how God provides for us. Lizzy may well be potty trained just in time for Andrew to start piano! I’ll be praying to that end!

I am one very excited, proud, & blessed Mommy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Walk in the Neighborhood

We walked through the neighborhood last night for our exercise. It was simply GORGEOUS with perfect weather as we all (including Sydney who is doing just fine after her run in with a large piece of glass. We all covered ourselves in bug spray (which didn’t smell at all - seriously) for our walk. It was near sunset at 7:30, and the sun was just glistening perfectly in the lakes we passed by. I can’t even express how pretty it was. Andrew did a great job keeping up with us, and Lizzy enjoyed her stroll. At one point, Andrew loudly exclaimed “why is that old man in front of us walking so slow.” Wow, embarrassing! The man CLEARLY heard him, and I died laughing (inside). Mat wanted to sink into the sidewalk, and exclaimed, “that’s just great, Andrew.” It was hard to maintain my composure as I lectured Andrew for his rude comment and apologized to the old man  The walk was going perfectly up to that point and quickly went downhill from there. Andrew started running, Mat (who was walking Syd) ran to catch him, Mat passed by Andrew, and Mat completely wiped Andrew out with the dog leash. Poor Andrew! I just knew we were going to have to take a trip to the ER with a broken or sprained ankle, but Andrew is fine.

So for a first walk, I enjoyed all but the last 5 minutes of it. It sure was pretty!


I think I'm pretty accepting of change. Sometimes I don't like it, but most often I embrace it and go. This move has been a whole new level of change. We've had a TON going on including 2 sick children (one of them VERY sick & still isn't quite right), a husband out of town for over a month while I single handedly prepared for our move from Atlanta while Mat worked on the arrangements on the Orlando side, a death of a loved one, and the list could go on. I was really doing well until last night when I went to the grocery store.

I had planned to shop in the morning right after I took Andrew to the doctor. The appointment went a little longer than planned b/c they had to do a full blood work analysis on him. WOW the drama! So then we went to Burger King (where they were supposed to have Iron Man 2 toys but didn't) as a reward for them having to take SIX viles of blood. So I had to grocery shop AFTER nap time.

I had all my coupons in hand, and NO, they don't double coupons :( I walked in the store and started my journey down the isles only to find NOTHING was in the right spot. 5 minutes into my shopping experience I was on the verge of a panic attack, and that was even before the kids started screaming and biting each other.

I HATE grocery shopping in the first place. Even more, I HATE shopping at a "different" grocery store than I'm used to. To make matters worse, I apparently ended up shopping at the same time as everyone else in Windermere, and I was constantly in the way of other shoppers. Everywhere I went people were reaching over me to grab something, and I just wanted to scream at them, "can't you just wait a minute?" I came home crying b/c the whole experience was a disaster.

But I did get my groceries, and I did save nearly half of the original cost using coupons. Maybe Mat can shop in the future :(

Sunday, May 16, 2010


The older Andrew gets, the more he is like his father. Yes, I'm scared. The day we moved in, Mat discovered a snake skin in the a/c outside our house. Mat showed Andrew, and they worked together to get that skin out of the vent. They both enjoyed shoving it in my face just like boys would.

Andrew also has fully grasped the meaning of sarcasm. He jokes around JUST like his father. Sometimes I don't even know who I'm talking with b/c they are just the same!

The other night I served pork chops and sour kraut for supper. When I put the dish in front of Andrew, he nearly cried when he asked "why did you serve me living onions?" We always tease him about giving him liver & onions, and this was his interpretation. So funny!

He loves to walk around holding Lizzy's hand. They not only look super cute, but it's also very helpful to me when I have my hands full. Andrew told me the other day while having difficulty keeping Lizzy at arms reach that he was "squeezing the food out of Lizzy's hand." He though all this time it was food instead of fool. We aren't willing to tell him what it really is.

I so enjoy hearing his cute misinterpretations. It always puts a smile on my face! I love that kid!

Busy Days

I don't think it's possible for life to get busier or more complicated. As I say this, I can hear all the people yelling never say never. Seriously, I know each day of life holds new challenges, and some are more complicated than others. None can be more full than my days are right now. I'm sure other things will make my days stay full though.

We arrived in Orlando on Thursday, May 6. We spent 2 nights at Port Orleans Riverside, a Disney hotel. It was wonderful. The first night we enjoyed a yummy dinner at Yellow Dog Eats with a couple of Mat's co-workers and got to Riverside pretty late. We enjoyed some fun at Epcot with friends on Friday including some pool time too. It was wonderful to see the Boyt family in our new home! We also go the keys to our new house & dropped Sydney off at the house. Saturday we enjoyed a boat ride to Downtown Disney, and then the work started at about lunch time.

Mat and I scoured our entire house before the movers arrived with our furniture on Monday. I'm talking baseboards, potties, doors...the whole nine yards! Mat also worked during that time, and the kids were completely wild with a huge empty house to occupy. I'm thankful that they didn't discover the empty cabinets until just before they were filled. Even that included a smashed finer or two.

The movers arrived late. By Monday at 12:30, they arrived, and the bustle of activity began. I didn't imagine how much work would be involved even having movers. They needed us to tell them where each box went and where each piece of furniture belonged. Plus there was the whole wild child thing going on too. By 9:45 they left, just before the fireworks started - seriously. We though someone was burglarizing the house, but it was just the fireworks that we can see from our house AND hear clearly. Crazy stuff!

Tuesday, we found out Nani passed away, and I feverishly began unpacking boxes in order to repack stuff for a funeral in Atlanta. I was very successful at accomplishing the main unpacking, and while there is still lots of little stuff to finish, we are feeling very good about our progress.

We flew standby on Friday to Atlanta (ya know the whole wake up at 4am to be still late getting to the flight and running through the airport like you're on Home Alone). Yep, that's what happened, but we made the flight and arrived in Atlanta for a brief one night trip. We were able to visit with all our family including the Yankees from NY. We ate at John Boys with Nani, my grandfather, and gathered again for the funeral at Lilburn First, the same church where Mat and I married 8 years ago. We stayed up way too late enjoying the fellowship with all 4 siblings and their clans. The night ended with a dance off, and I won. No videos will follow!!!

Our flight back to Atlanta was tricky. We had to fly to Tampa & drive back to Orlando. We decided that we deserved a trip to the beach for a little seafood and sand so we drove to the coast first causing us to arrive in Windermere pretty late.

Today, we visited First Baptist Windermere which I really enjoyed. I'm interested in going back...we'll see what mat's opinion is. We differ in our church requirements. I want a wonderful fellowship first and foremost. We need a family here, and while I want to grow in Christ, I'd rather have a great group of fellow believers. I did enjoy our SS class there too.

So now I should be clipping coupons or napping, but I'm procrastinating. Hope you enjoy our roller coaster rides. People were saying that they were jealous of our trip to the beach, but if they knew all the work we'd been doing or the fatigue we felt, I'm sure they wouldn't be jealous but feel sorry for us instead :(

Life is an adventure, but I love it! A little more sleep would be nice though :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Nana

We will be gathering soon to celebrate the life of a woman I am proud to call my Grandmother. I have so many precious memories of my Nana. She has always been there for me. I can remember visiting her house in Snellville. Oh, how it took forever to get there! And she had a special toy box designated for us kids. The woman knew how to sew just about anything. Oh, how I felt like a princess wearing the dresses she made me, and my dolly was also hand stitched by my grandmother and wore clothing hand crafted by Nana. I remember going to her house for family dinners. She sure knew how to make savory country fried steak and fried okra. It quickly became my favorite meal and one that I requested specifically when I had slumber parties at my grandparent’s house. I recall fighting to go “alone” to spend the night there. She even kicked Nani out of her room and let me sleep in her room. It was during those times I have my fondest memories of my grandmother. She would tell me the most outrageous and wonderful bedtime stories which I now tell my own children. I could fill the pages of many children’s books with the stories she would share. She always spoiled me with my own full bag of pretzels, my favorite treat by choice, and my own Dr. Pepper in a Minnie Mouse mug that stayed at their house and was designated for me. My Nana would play games with me. She taught me how to play Go Fish, Solitare, HiQ and Checkers, and she spoiled me rotten with oodles of candy and sugary sweets. She made the best cookies, and all the kids loved our annual trip to help her make the cookie frosting to decorate the Christmas cookies. I used to beg her to take me on walks with her, and she would always willingly take me “after our food digested.” And oh, was she ever a prankster. She would always play tricks on the ones who fell asleep after a hearty family dinner. None of us will ever forget the joke she used to tell around the supper table. We joke about it now, but it’s all in love for our sweet Nana. My grandparents tell me that moving to Memphis with us was the worst financial decision they ever made, but oh how I treasure the memories made there. And ya know how you combine parties of family members who have birthdays close together? Well, my Christmas cake will always say, “Happy Birthday, Jesus & Nana!” God made a special person when he made her. I’ve lost a Grandmother, but we will be reunited in heaven one day. While it’s not spiritual, Andrew is excited that Nana has gone to heaven to save a seat for him on her heavenly swing from which they can praise Jesus together. Oh, how she longed to be in Glory, and that’s where she is now…spending eternity with her Savior.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What a Day!

Yesterday started out with a BANG...literally as the storms were so loud that they woke us up. Andrew and I bounced out of bed anticipating the excitement of the day. We had an hour or together time before the craziness began. I love my little guy.
Around 8:30am, a giant moving truck with 3 big guys arrived at our house ready to pack us up. It's still parked there now, and the 3 guys are quickly packing all our belongings. My sweet friend even made us cupcakes and brought extras for the moving guys. Thank you, Sarah. Cupcakes make a super yummy breakfast! Hahaha! And I think the moving guys are taking extra good care of us now that you gave them sweets!
Andrew went to school like it was a regular day, but at noon, his teacher called saying he was really sick. I rushed to pick him up worried about what could be wrong. He's had Scarlet Fever, and he has had terrible tummy aches in addition to his entire body itching and now molting. When I got him, he was so pale...and he looked very ill (especially since he had just eaten a blue Popsicle and his lips were blue too!). He didn't have fever, and after a visit with our pediatrician, we feel much better knowing that the lymph nodes in his tummy are swollen and healing. My sweet boy has been through so much with this terrible sickness. I hate it for him. A big thank you goes out to his wonderful teachers for taking such good care of him. I even got a text message from another parent whose child went home worried about Andrew being so sick. We are so blessed with wonderful friends.

After the movers were gone for the evening, we took Andrew AND Elizabeth to the grandparents who were begging for the kids - and the kids were begging to go over there in return. We took advantage of our kid free night and went on a date to Bone Fish and Borders. Yum-O fun times!

We got home, and Mat had a fit. He forgot to pack his retainers so he started unpacking all the boxes trying to find them. About 45 min later, he found them all nicely set aside by his loving wife. I tried to tell him I packed them, but he was freaking out so badly that he couldn't find them. I wish you could have heard the panic of the missing retainers. He was so funny, but I couldn't laugh b/c he was getting mad. He laughed heartily after the incident was over - guess it was his form of a breakdown with all this moving stuff happening. So funny!

So here we begin another day. The movers are back. Our belongings are about ready to go on the truck, and we're just tying up some last min details. I've already eaten my cupcake for the day :), and I'm sipping on some Starbucks coffee. What a day! - I can hear Jack from Jack's Big Music Show saying that in the back of my head.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Relishing Each Moment

We only have a few days left in Georgia. While I am not a super outwardly emotional person, I have become a mess this week.

It all started to fall apart when Andrew got sick. His "sick" turned out to be Scarlet Fever. Scary stuff! He's been well cared for, and he is on the road to recovery now with no permanent damage. He remained his silly self in spite of being so ill for so long...and in spite of many sleepless nights.

Mat arrived home late last night, and we are enjoying our last days here as a complete family. We have plans spend time with friends nearly each day, and it's so bittersweet.

The movers arrive on Monday to pack us up, and we leave Thursday morning for our new home. We'll enjoy our first night in Florida by spending the night at Disney - of course!

Exciting times are ahead, but right now I'm going to continue to relish each moment! Hahaha...sounds like something you'd put on your hot dog :)