Tuesday, August 29, 2017

End of Summer Baking

With summer just about over and my guilt over not doing enough, I let the kids spend the day baking and making a mess in the kitchen. Tess made her first batch of cookies all by herself. Caroline did stand there and watch and coach, but Tess did everything herself and was so proud when they were done. She absolutely loves to bake. She asks just about every single day if she can make something. 

They made two kinds of cookies, a crumb cake and a pumpkin pie. After Andrew had mixed all the spices together for the pie he brought it to me to smell and the first thing that went through my head was - Christmas. It smelled just like Christmas. Delicious. 

Bethany spent just about all of her day in her room sewing a doll from a sock. She never even came down to bake. She has talked about making a doll for weeks and yesterday I took her to get some needles and thread and buttons for eyes. So, today was her sewing day, I guess. 

Piper watches most of the time. She doesn't really help or seem to mind that she only watches. She has trouble doing many of the things that Tess has learned to do so quickly. We are taking her to see a developmental pediatrician this fall.

One thing for sure - she is a happy girl just about all the time.  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

MRI Results

Joey and Shannon got the results of the MRI and the tumor is stable. No change. No change is good, though we would love it to shrink some. Thanks so much to everyone for their prayers. They did his blood work the same day and all is well there, too. So, he starts back on chemo on Monday. His numbers actually looked good - not just ok. Now we can relax some until the next time -- October. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

MRI Day Again

Thursday is MRI day again for Joey. It seems like he just had one done, but it has been two months. It is always stressful having it done and then waiting to talk to the doctor to see what it shows. Please remember him in your prayers. It has been a long year for him. He will get the results tomorrow afternoon. 

This picture is not very good and I took it at night with my cell phone, but I love it. I sometimes stop by to see Joey and Shannon in the evening and they will be on the front porch talking. I will usually stand and talk to them a few minutes and almost without fail Joshua will hear us and come to the window to see me. He will smash his nose and face against the screen and look out and smile. It is so sweet. I told Shannon the other night that I will always remember him doing this. 

There is a strange shadow on his face but I just wanted to post anyway -- I only had two pictures and the dark shadow is on both. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017


My daughter, Abigail, is 20 years old. Since she was about 10 or so she has talked about going to Tennessee to see where my grandmother lived and where I spent every summer of my life until I got married. When she was young I would tell her about going to my grandmother's house and sitting on the front porch and talking on hot summer evenings. Also, about walking to the ice cream store with my grandmother to get ice cream and then walking home eating it -- stopping along the way to sit on porches and talk with all the neighbors. I would sit and listen as the neighbors all talked and visited. Though I was young, and never really joined in on the conversations, I loved those summer nights. I told Abigail how we would walk to town and spend the day -- walking and walking and then having to walk home up a steep hill. All of these things -- happy memories. 

I told Abigail that one day we would visit and she could see where my grandmother had lived and where we had walked and just get a feel for what it was like for me. Somehow we never seemed to have time to go. Something always happened or the timing was wrong or I just couldn't seem to get away with so many kids here. Since Abigail is now 20, I knew our time for going together was getting short. I wanted to go before she finished school and moved out. So, I decided I had to find a way. Getting someone to watch my kids was the hard part. Strangely, Emily volunteered to watch the kids. I was a little surprised but very happy and took her up on it. I knew she would do an excellent job -- which she did. 

So, Abigail, Zola and I left on Wednesday morning and headed for Tennessee. It was such a wonderful feeling to know that I would finally be able to show two of my children where I spent my summers. I only took the two oldest so that we could spend some adult time together - which doesn't happen very often. It was really a nice time for the three of us.

We got there Wednesday evening in time to actually get into the hotel and then go out and walk across the bridge to my grandmother's house - not a short walk but doable. 

So strange, after so many years, to walk up that hill and see my grandmother's house. Brought back so many memories. 

So much had changed, but so much was the same. Many of the little houses that were down the street from my grandmother were gone. It made me a little sad as they were so cute and I had wanted to see them again.

At the top of the hill, almost all of the houses were pretty much as I remembered them - with a few changes. This old brick house was one I passed every Sunday morning in the summer as I walked to church. I always loved it as a kid. 

We walked the Market Street Bridge - if it is still called that - and the walking bridge. Actually, we walked them over and over. We also visited the little ice cream shop at the end of the bridge. 

There were lots of places to eat and lots of little shops that we enjoyed. Zola was quick to find a Vegan restaurant and Abigail and Zola were both happy to see there was a Mellow Mushroom not far from our hotel. We walked all over and enjoyed downtown Chattanooga and NorthShore. I am so glad we were able to go.

We only stayed a few days - we left on Saturday morning after breakfast - but it was long enough to show both girls around a little. There were lots of new places for all of us to explore along with visiting the old neighborhood. 

We found this merry-go-round in the park and it was really beautiful. I love merry-go-rounds.

It also gave me time to rest and think a little about what I need to do this year for school. It is much easier to think when you have a little time to yourself. It was a lovely few days. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Things They Share

When we first adopted Tess and Piper I always thought, for some reason I'm not sure of, that Piper and Bethany would bond and play well and like a lot of the same things. I also thought that Tess would love the fact that Andrew likes legos and snap circuits and building things. She reminded me of a girl that would really like to build all kinds of stuff. Anyway, Piper and Bethany do play together but not anywhere as much as I thought they would, and Bethany and Tess seem to play much more - especially dolls. But, Andrew and Tess did not bond over legos or snap circuits or even building a robot -- they bonded over cooking. Andrew loves to cook and bake and Tess absolutely loves to bake. She asks several times a week to cook and she and Andrew are usually the two starting something. The others join in most of the time, but it is Andrew and Tess that enjoy it so much. It is really nice to see them together having so much fun and then talking about what they will make next. I think these kids are starting to really bond to each other - at least I hope so. 

This week they made brownies and a cherry pie. They especially enjoyed making the pie. It looked good and smelled good, but since I don't like pie I didn't taste it. All the kids said it was delicious. 

Now they want to make ice cream - something we used to do all the time but haven't in quite a long time. 

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