Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Purse Queen

Thanks to my friend, Moniqueca, Mili is a purse queen. Moniqueca bought her the pink purse in the picture, before she was even born. The black purse and hat were a Christmas present. Mili has just recently started putting things in the purses and taking them out (only about 100 times a day). She is also carrying the purses around as she plays. She is becoming such a girly girl.

The way she is growing is just amazing. She is running all over the place and wants to carry on a conversion (half in sign language and half "talking"). I have no idea what she is saying most of the time but whatever it is she is very serious about it. Her signs have become more intense. She will sign something how she thinks it should be signed. For example, she messes up her hair with her hand when she wants me to turn on the fan (she loves the fan to blow her hair). That is obviously not the sign for fan but it is for her and I understand it. Her sign for movie, music, and book are all the same but she has started pointing to whatever she is signing, which helps me to figure it out. Mili is a music freak. I wish I could show you all a video of her signing guitar. It is so sweet and it melts her daddy's butter and, of course, he jumps up ready to play the guitar when she signs it. When we play music (Brian playing the guitar or playing a CD) Mili dances and when it stops she whines and signs more or music.

I am aware that with all the pictures I post that not everyone wants to see that many pictures of Mili but you all hang in there because grandparents want as many pictures as possible. So sorry to those of you who don't care to see that many pictures of our Mili Bear.

With today being one year from the time Katrina swept through the gulf, I have really thanked God for many things. For my life and my family, for a place to live and lay my head, for a steady income, and for many luxuries that others don't have. After seeing the pictures and clips from last year, I was reminded of how old Mili was when this all happened and how emotional I was when they showed the newborn babies that needed milk and food. I would watch it on the television and rock Mili and cry for those parents and how helpless they must feel. Again my church in Arkansas surprised me with the outpouring of clothes, baby supplies, tolietries, and toys for the kids. I can't remember how many truck loads we took but it was a great number considering our little church of about 50 members. I am thankful for my church here, but I will say it again and again, that Holly Springs is the biggest giving church that most people will ever see. Brian and I could search and search in MD and never find a Holly Springs (love you guys).

It is getting late and we plan to take a walk with Brian early in the morning so I am going to bed.

Love....Hugs.....Kisses to all!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Craft Time

Sorry it has been so long since you guys have heard from me. I have been very busy (working, taking care of a very active toddler, and getting my teaching series ready for the month of September). I am so excited about teaching the middle school students on Wednesday nights. I wouldn't have been so busy if I would have just taken some lessons from a book but NO Alice has to always make things difficult. I thought I had to make up the lessons and then find verses to go with them and get object lessons and games for each one. Some of the books that are out with games, crafts and a bible lesson are not what I am looking for in order to hold the students attention so I do feel like I need to adjust everything to fit with the group of kids that I will be teaching. Enough about me.

The picture above shows what Mili and I have been doing. We made a noise maker out of a toilet paper roll, paper, and stickers. If you look closely, you might be able to see that the stickers are from a visa or master card application. You know the ones where you pick out what your card will have on it (hey, they were free.....what can I say). Mili loved her noise maker for a whole two days. She kept putting it in her mouth and it finally tore. Mili has been coloring the last couple of days. I bought her some crayons and she goes crazy with them. We have to be careful where she is coloring. I printed off some free color sheets from the internet. She has colored....Joseph and the coat of many colors, Daniel and the lion's den, and Jonah and the big fish. She will be coloring in the lines by next week.

I am pooped...I was up til 12:30 last night (or this morning) and Mili was up by 6:30 this morning. I am telling you this to tell you Good Night.

Hugs and Kisses to all!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sleep or Not to Sleep??

As you can see in the picture, Mili did sleep at her nap today. I guess she was doing gymnastics with her baby doll before she drifted off to sleep. I love capturing these cute pictures. They are so sweet. There was not a peep when I lay her in the crib for nap. She did, however, wake up an hour later crying. After being unsuccessful in getting her to lay back down and fall back to sleep, I picked her up and cuddled with her like I always do after her naps. She fell back to sleep for another hour and a half. I am not sure what is going on with her.

Today was tough because I was determined to get her to stay awake until after lunch so she would not want to go to sleep at 5:00 PM for another nap. I was successful in doing that. She fell asleep for her nap at about 1:00 and then she was sleepy at bedtime tonight. When I put her to bed and walked out of the room she began to cry. After many tries of comforting her and trying to get her to lay down again, Brian took over and hummed her to sleep. Now it is very quiet in the house (aaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!). I am hoping that all my friends out there that have children and are much more experienced than me are right about "this too shall pass." I am dreading the terrible twos, although I think Mili is already there.

Mili has been displaying her anger at me when I tell her "NO". She first tries to bite me (and many times bites herself, leaving teeth marks on who ever she bites) and then she gets in more trouble so she pinches me. Brian saw it for the first time tonight at the dinner table (we had a wonderful dinner tonight....Mili cried most of the time we were trying to eat. Mad because she was not getting her way). I am not sure "strong-willed" would even touch some of her persistence (I am hoping to mold that part of her personality into something good). Right now she just tries to use it to get what she wants. Her thoughts are "if I can only wear down mom enough to make her give me my way......victory for me."

Okay, enough "poor me" party as a mom. I asked for it (I don't' think I really knew what I was asking for). Brian and I were just discussing tonight about all the good things about Mili. You have to do that sometimes when you get so frustrated. Again, God reminds me that Mili is a gift from Him and my responsibility is to care for her and direct her in the right way.

Thank you to all the comments on my last blog. I appreciate the advice and I am always willing to accept advice from anyone of you who has been there and done that (some of you more than one time). I will take any advice on the biting and pinching thing too. If you have a magical cure. I promise I will talk about more positive things next entry.

Love to all!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Night Time Troubles

We have had two terrible nights with Mili and her strong-willed self. We normally put Mili to bed and she falls asleep by herself. Tonight and last night she has been crying (having a fit). Last night we thought maybe a stomach ache or teething. We gave her medicine. She still screamed and I finally decided to take her out of the bed and rock her back to sleep. She didn't want to sleep, she wanted to play. So back to bed she goes. I finally got her to calm down enough to fall asleep (after about an hour of crying off and on).

Tonight the same thing happened. I was not looking forward to this and I was trying to get some work done on the computer. Brian took care of most of it until Mili vomited all over the bed and floor and, of course, herself (sorry to all of you that have weak stomachs). I took Mili and cleaned her up, changed her diaper (which was dirty) and put on clean clothes. Brian stripped down the bed, sanitized it, cleaned the floor and got the bed ready for Mili again. I put her back in the bed and she fell right to sleep.

Brian and I have discussed what we think the issue is. We have to stop it now or it will get out of hand. We have been feeding Mili with us at the dinner table the last two days. The time we eat is later than her normal time to eat dinner. We think that she may not have enough time to digest her food and maybe has a bit of reflux or something. Tomorrow we will try to feed her at her regular time and see if things change. We also thought that maybe she is scared of the dark now. So we turned on a light (didn't help).

All you moms out there......I am willing to take suggestions from you all. Offer your wisdom please (that would be in a begging voice).

Sorry this entry had to be so negative but I am very frustrated. I know this too shall pass.

Love to all....Hugs and Kisses!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mom, here are the pictures you wanted to see of Mili in her cute pink hat. She is becoming a ham when I bring out the camera these days (don't know why.....I don't take her picture a lot or anything). So Mom these are just for you. I LOVE YOU!!!

I must first apologize for not making an entry in a few days. We have been busy and I have been spending a lot of time in prayer to make sure I am doing the right thing with where God wants me to serve.

Saturday we had a stay-at-home family day. Lots of playing in the floor with Mili. What fun and joy she brings to our lives. That evening we went to get our bulk stuff for the month at Sam's. We had our cheap pizza date while we were there.

Today we had a potluck with our life group after church at Peter and Anna's house (one of the couples in our life group). There were so many kids there. Mili loved the attention she got from all the kiddos. She even got the attention from some of the boys. I think her big, blue eyes with long, flowing eyelashes just seem to draw people in. People can't keep their eyes off of her. If it sounds as if I am partial to Mili (the answer is YES!!!). She is ours and, of course, I have bragging rights.

It was so good to have so many people at the potluck (about 40 people). We have made some good friends from the church. We are well on our way to meeting more people and making more friendships. Brian and I took turns taking care of Mili so we could each socialize. It is tough now that she is so mobile and wants to open everything. It was easier to keep up with her while the kids had her occupied. They played ball with her for a while and we adults got to chat a bit. Beacause I stay at home with Mili, I do sometimes desire to have that adult, intellectual chat every now and then.

I have some news about the ministry God has for me to do at our church. In September I will start teaching the Middle Schoolers on Wednesday nights. I am so excited about this. The youth minister called me to ask me about the position and I prayed about it and felt at peace with it. It is amazing how God works things out. I am use to teaching children that I have known for most of their lives. I don't know many of these kids and need to get to know them so I will better teach them in the way that they can learn. Today at the potluck, I got to meet seven of the kids that will be in my class and this morning at church I also got to meet two others. I introduced myself to them and they seem to be as excited as I am about the class. I have already been working on games that will help me get to know them more intimately. Children do not trust people they do not know and I must teach them about me too, therefore, I will be playing the games as well. We have new sixth graders coming in to the class so I will try to make them feel welcome and help them get to know some of the other kids as well. It will be a challenge with more than twenty kids in this class on a regular basis. I can't wait. Please pray that I will be the leader and example the children need to see, but yet make it fun (no one likes a boring teacher). I will keep you all updated on how things go with the class.

Talking about boring. I think I have bored you all enough now and will go.

Hugs and Kisses to all!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

We are finally getting back into our daily routine around here. As you can tell from the photo above, Mili is getting back to her normal adventurous self. Today she has been going nonstop. Part of the day working on getting my shoes on and getting mad when things didn't quite go her way. Even with all her business today, Mili is working on getting back to her normal naptime and eating schedule. When we were at the beach things were all crazy and there was no schedule for anything.

I am missing the beach and the bayside view every morning. It is amazing to see all that God has created and how He wants us to enjoy it (instead of sitting in front of a television all day). Speaking of creation and the liking of it, hopefully Mili and I will soon get back on our routine of morning walks. The weather has been quite remarkable in the mornings here (70's). One of the nights (on vacation) out on the deck we were using blankets as we sat out in rocking chairs and enjoyed the lights shining on the wather and the sound of the fish jumping. Oh that reminds me.....we were able to see a group of dolphins at the beach. They came close enough to the beach to see them jumping out of the water. I am sorry, I keep going back to the beach. It shows how much I love it and wouldn't mind living there (we would get more company that way).

Mili has started doing such cute things these days. She will sit down with a book and open it (usually upside down) and act like she is reading it. She says some made up words and even laughs every now and then. Mili tried to trick me today. I asked her where her pacifier was and normally she knows where it is and goes to get it. Today she pointed to this bag she had been playing with. So I looked in there and she started laughing. I said "Mili there is no pacifier in here." She then pointed to another bag (all these bags are old purses or diaper bags because she has an obsession with zippers and they keep her busy). I looked in that bag as well to find nothing. Mili then walked over to where her pacifier was and picked it up and put it in her mouth as if she knew the whole time. It is cute now, but I am afraid that her (daddy's) sense of humor will not be so funny to me later when she is a bit bigger.

For those of you that have been praying about what ministry I should be doing here, I am getting closer to an answer and will share it with everyone when I am sure it is a go. Please keep praying for me to do what God wants and not what Alice wants.

Love to all!!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Beach Bums

If Brian and I had our choice about places to live, it would probably be on the beach. A place where we could wake up each morning and see a beautiful sunrise over the water. We were close to heaven these last couple of days. Our small group leaders (Brian and Wendy) from church invited our small group to the beach for a mini vacation. Sadly the other couple in our group already had plans that weekend so they were not able to join us. We also had some complications before the trip (not unusual for us). Wendy's brother-in-law had a severe hand injury and like any good sister, Wendy went and picked up her sisters children on the day we were suppose to leave. We did end up leaving the following day. We went to Wendy's grandmothers home (her grandmother was gone on a road trip with Wendy's mother). It is a mobile home on the bay and oh what a site. A big deck and a pier to walk out on the water. It was beautiful. Across the street was the beach. Talk about a great place to live. We enjoyed the deck in the mornings and the beach in the afternoon. Brian and Mili had there time early in the mornings with the birds outside. Mili would sign "bird" everytime she saw one flying over the water. This morning Mili didn't quite understand that that kind of luxury was no longer available (she signed bird to Brian when he got her out of her crib). She was sad to find out that there was no water and no birds to see this morning. The weather was amazing. Mili actually got a little chilly while taking a nap in her play pen on the beach. The breeze was awesome. We are used to going to Florida or Gulf Shores and the temperature is always smoldering.

Mili didn't like the sand at first but warmed up to it a little more after being there for a while. She still preferred to sit on the neatsheet under the umbrella with something to play with and watch the other kids play. Brian and Wendy have three children and so Mili has been quite fussy today because she is used to all the attention. The kids loved Mili and played with her the whole time we were there.

We could not ever afford the luxury we experienced this weekend. We are very thankful for the opportunity and Brian and Wendy will never know how much this meant to us. My Brian really needed this time and we enjoyed being together as a family for the first time on vacation (other than going home to Arkansas).

Mili is signing mommy in the last picture and I am all smiles.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Growing Girl

A sagging diaper and cubby little bare feet going down the hall. I thought I would never see it, yet it is here way too fast. I know all you parents out there totally understand my feelings right now. I have mixed emotions...proud but then sad that she is growing up so fast. Because Mili is growing and becoming more independent everyday, I am really starting to miss the times where she depends on me. I have to keep reminding myself that the whole purpose of me being a mommy is to RAISE Mili not hinder her. However, I do still relish every moment of Mili and Mommy time (when she crawls up in my lap and we rock, read a story, or take a nap together....these are my favorite parts of the day). I just need to face it, I am a gush when it comes to my Mili Bear.

Sorry my entry is so short today but I am pooped and ready for bed.
Hugs and Kisses!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Gotta Love That Pink Soccer Ball

As you can tell from the photo above, Mili still has quite a liking to the pink soccer ball. It was getting close to nap time when she laid down and grabbed her ball for comfort. She was laying on her side hugging it until she saw me with the camera (she is starting to be a camera ham....don't know why.....she never has a camera in her face). I made her go to bed so she wouldn't fall asleep in the floor.

Mili enjoyed church yesterday, even though she didn't have her normal teachers. Others are taking up the slack and teaching for the normal teachers so they can have two Sundays off. Brian taught the 5th graders and I taught the 3rd and 4th graders (24 kids). I was surprised that everything went so well. I had no problem out of any of the children and it didn't even seem that there were that many children in the room (It helped to have 3 helpers that were fantastic). I forgot how much I love teaching the children. I have to admit it gave me the bug again. It is that burning sensation inside that can't be put out (those of you that love to teach can understand what that feels like). We only have a few more weeks before we start our new church year (Sept. 3rd). I am still trying to figure out where God wants me. I love being able to free-up or lift a burden from people when they need me but yet I also miss teaching every Sunday and having that relationship with the children. The relationship that could change their eternal lives. Those of you that have been praying for me in this area, Thank you so much. Please don't stop yet. I am still working out the kinks.

Thanks to all the people who have clicked on the ads. Keep it up, it is adding up.

Not much else happening here. Can't wait to go to the beach on Thursday night for the weekend. It will be our first vacation since Mili was born.

Hope your day is great!!! Love to all !!!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Goofy Girl !

Look at this goofy little girl. Anything and everything she can find goes on her head. These are her bloomers if you can't tell (looks like a chef to me). These are the bloomers she normally wears under her dresses that don't have them. They have her name written in pink on them. The picture is probably too bright to see it.

Mili has been walking all over the place. Yesterday she started walking and she has walked a lot today as well. She still resorts back to crawling when walking doesn't get her there fast enough. Little impatient stinker (she gets that from her Aunt Aimee, my sister). Speaking of Aunt Aimee. Mili started saying Aimee this week and she says it sometimes nonstop for about 10 minutes at a time (I guess we can blame ourselves for that because we wanted her to say it so bad now we can't shut her up with it. Aunt Aimee is glowing though so I guess it is all good (except Aimee only has to listen to it when she is on the phone, the other time it is me and Brian who listens over and over). I guess I shouldn't complain because Isabella (my niece, Aimee's daughter) is saying Alice all day (she is 23 months). I would say we are even.

We are hoping to get some family time outside this weekend. It has been so hot here. Yesterday it was 102 with a heat index of 117. So needless to say we have been staying in under the fan (electricity bill was more than twice of last months bill...we are still using the AC but less of it). Instead of complaining about the bill I should be Thanking God for the AC and the fan. So "Thank You God for the AC and Fan." There are many that don't have them. The weather is suppose to be cooler this weekend (I can tell it already is today). It will be nice to get out of the house some.

Mili will be happy to go to church on Sunday. She has been asking to go (she missed last Sunday because she had a fever and we don't have Wednesday night services during the summer). Her sign for "church" looks the same as her sign for "work". She signed "work" yesterday and I said, "yes Daddy is at work." She then shook her head "NO" and signed again. I said do you want to go to church (she had signed something similar when Brian signed church to her one Sunday)? She shook her head "YES" and she just kept signing and jumping up and down. It is amazing how much she understands these days. We are having so much fun communicating with her. We are both so glad we chose to use sign language with her. We will continue teaching her after she learns to talk so she can talk with Grandpa Tommy and Grandma Margie without us interpreting for her.

Mili is napping now so I guess I better get to work. Love to all and hope your day is great!!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Ten years ago today was a wild and crazy day for us. In all the business, Brian's main concern was to find my pantyhose before I stroked out. He was successful in doing so and I have loved him ever since. That night was so great (even though it was 100 degrees in the church because we (Alice) didn't want the AC to blow out the candles). Another great memory from our wedding day was me screaming as I frolicked around (sisters and best friend trailing with my train) as I run from a wasp. Dad was trying to kill it (he is allergic). I was worried about him getting stung and swelling up so I was screaming about the wasp and screaming at my dad to leave it alone. He was just trying to protect me (I understand now that I am a mommy). My wedding coordinator (one of my best friends) busts out of the door of the church saying "shhhhhhh" they can hear you in the church. What a great day. Wow....time has gone by so fast.

We have had such a great time growing together. I was thinking today as I wrote Brian a letter about all the things we have done together and how we have supported each other in all things. We got our first dose of reality when we were kicked out of our rental home six months after being married (not for anything we had done, the landlord was getting a divorce and needed her place back to live in). We didn't have the money to move and our only dependable car was in the shop. This chaos happened during our first Christmas (all decorations had just gone up and then we had to take them back down). Brian and I grew so much during this time in our lives and I would not change it for the world. It all worked out for the best in the long run. We got to move during Christmas break (we were both full time college students when we got married). We moved to Benton and later I would be five minutes from my job as a public school interpreter (can't get any better than that).

We have supported each other through many things such as our first experience flying (to San Francisco of all places, talking about a culture shock), moving several times, graduating college (and PhD), several job changes, separation from our family and friends, and most importantly the birth of Mili. When we are together we are unstoppable. There is nothing we can't do when we stand side by side. I would follow Brian anywhere, even to Africa (inside joke for those of you that know) and live in a tent if I had to.

After Mili was born I realized I loved Brian even more (I didn't think that was possible). When I look at Mili I see part of Brian and I love that. It is like having part of Brian home with me all day (I am sure when she starts to act up like Brian, I will think twice about that statement...just kidding sweetie).

I woke up this morning to hand dipped chocolate strawberries, lemon poppyseed muffins and milk, in bed. I was in breakfast heaven. I ate all that was on the plate and then later started in on the other muffins and left over chocolate. After all it was for me...right?? I have such a great husband. He is so romantic and thoughtful even after 10 years of marriage and almost 18 years of being together.

It has been a great 10 years and I can't wait to see what God has in store for us in the next 10. God has truly blessed us in so many ways I could never list them all. You get the idea. We are in love....still in love.....in love more everyday.

Going for now....more later...wish I had a scanner to scan a wedding picture in for you all.
Goodnight.....love to all!!!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Fever Free Day

As you can tell from the photo Mili is feeling much better (or maybe we should worry about her since she does have a huge bow stuck on her head.....maybe the medicine has gone to her head). Thank you to all who prayed for her. She played better today, however, she was still awfully fussy. She sat in my lap alot and whined about every little thing.

Last night Mili didn't sleep well and had us up many times during the night and up for good at about 4:30 AM. We took turns with her until later that morning so we could each get a few more hours of sleep. We are both exhausted now. I wanted so badly to take a nap when Mili was napping but couldn't because I had to work. I can go to sleep now...so I will. Love ya'll (got to keep those southern roots going).