On The Go: Athens, Eddie’s Attic, and Baby Birthdays

Have you ever been to the classic city? As in Athens, GA? I spent my college years there and absolutely loved it. Uncle Haynesie still lives there so the girls and I made a quick visit last week because we hadn’t seen him since June! We went downtown, had lunch, walked around, and just generally checked things out.

We had a really good time, except Bette had no interest in Haynes what so ever. She wanted nothing to do with him. Which Haynes and I both found totally hilarious.

I mean, talk about mad.
It took forever get home with traffic and by the time we did it was clear the girls needed to get some energy out. We put Lilla on her bike and the rest of us walked. Except Lilla did not want to ride her bike. At all. She didn’t have a total meltdown about it, but came pretty close. Jay tried to talk her into riding it, but she was having none of it. It was one of those moments where no amount of enthusiasm or sternness can break through the fog of unreasonableness gathering in your child’s mind.
Finally, we just let it go, but told her that she and she alone had to push her bike along. If she wanted to stay with the group, but not ride her bike that was fine, but she still had to take care of her bike and push it. Of course, the handle bars kept getting turned around and she kept bumping her leg on the pedals, which she did not like at all, but not enough to actually get on and ride.
So, we all walked, even Bette. She has taken off walking since her implant was activated, which is such a huge relief and answer to prayer. Now, she toddles all over the place!
After our walk/unsuccessful bike ride, we picked our ready tomatoes to have with dinner. Since this year was our first foray into vegetable gardening, so we decided to start light and create only a couple of container beds. My herbs did not do well at all, but the tomato plants have been wonderful.
While I cooked our real dinner, Lilla set the table and made everyone a dinner plate with a place card. An whole apple, a whole tomato, carrots, and sourdough bread were on her menu for the evening.
On Saturday, we went to celebrate baby Andrew’s first birthday. The girls had a wonderful time and some of my favorite people were there! We walked into the party and were immediately greeted by my old Young Life girls. They all just graduated from college and are working and I am so proud of them!

(Jenna, Susu, Caroline, and me)
And Susu, babysitter extraordinaire, kept my girls on Thursday night, while Jay and I went to see Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken at Eddie’s Attic. It was my first time to see a show at that venue and with about only 100 seats it was great. The last time we went to a Derek Webb concert was 13 years ago when Jay proposed. He was planning on waiting until our romantic date the next night, but the ring was burning a hole in his pocket and he couldn’t stand it. So after the concert, he surprised himself and me and went ahead and proposed. And as you have probably gathered, I said Yes!
Hope you had a great weekend!

The Cupcake Kids and Other News

Things have been a bit of a whirlwind lately and I am definitely still adjusting to how hectic life is these days. But we had a really great weekend and I even had some mommy time all to myself, which I spent getting a pedicure, where I soaked my feet in a hot tub and read some classy trash (aka People magazine. I love People magazine.) It was great.
Before my pedicure, Lilla and I went to visit The Cupcake Kids near our house. It is an awesome organization started by some of our friends and we bought some cupcakes and made a donation. All the proceeds benefit orphaned children in Uganda that are in desperate need of almost everything. The Cupcake Kids and the organization they support, Sixty Feet, are doing some amazing things. Check them out!
Sweet Sazzy was there with her family, manning the cupcake table. She is a new, but good friend of Lilla’s, and her mom, Molly, is a new friend of mine that I am so thankful for. We went to rival high schools and have lots of mutual friends, but just recently became fast friends ourselves.
During one of my recent periods of angst about homeschooling, I started praying for some new friends who won’t be in full day school next year that we can play with. The Lord has raised up some wonderful people, like Sazzy and Molly, most of whom live really close by, and I am so thankful His provision in that area.

In addition to visiting the Cupcake Kids, we did a little gardening in the front yard.
And Jay installed a much needed screen door to our back door. He told me it would only take 30 minutes, to which I said, and by 30 minutes do you mean 3 hours? Because that is usually how things go around here. But he was adamant it would only take 3o minutes. And guess how long it took… 2.5 hours. But he did a great job and I am so happy that the bugs won’t be flying in the house now if we leave the back door open.
Lilla and I played some serious hopscotch. She didn’t like me stepping out of the game to take pictures, but she agreed to give me a few minutes to capture the moment.
And to cap the weekend off, we took a family bike ride by the river. As you can see, Bette was really happy in the car on the way there.
But she was not so happy once she was strapped in the bike trailer. Thankfully when Jay got going, she quieted down and took it all in.
Before we headed home, Jay and Lilla had a few foot races which she thought was hilarious. She ran as hard as she could and giggled the whole time.
That is all the news from the Wise family. Hope you had a great weekend!

Super Sales, Sick Babies And Severe Weather

OK. I am way behind on posting. Partly because it is spring break. WAHOO! And partly because both girls have been sick since Saturday.
So, let’s start with first things first. Last Thursday the girls and I went to visit my bible study leader Kim and her seven children. Yes, I just wrote the word seven. I have only had the privilege of getting to know Kim this past year and well, I just love her. She has been so encouraging since we found out about Bette and has brought such comfort to my heart. Kim home schools all her children which is why we went to visit. I wanted to pick her brain.
Lots of people have asked if we are still going to home school Lilla given how much attention Bette will need. The answer is yes, for several reasons. First, our public school is not great. Second, Lilla is the youngest in her class and I am not sure she is ready yet for elementary school. Third, it will be wonderful for Bette and her speech development to have Lilla around all the time. And fourth, in total honesty, we can’t afford everything Bette is going to need (like cochlear implants and intensive speech therapy) and private school tuition. So there you have it.
Walking in to Kim’s house, I was not sure what to expect. I have actually never been to a home that contains 2 adults and 7 children. You would think it would be loud, somewhat messy, and a bit chaotic. So you can imagine my astonishment when we walked in to the quietest house I have ever been to. And the cleanest, given that 9 people live and do school there.
It took Lilla a few minutes to warm up to Mia and Caroline, who could not have been any sweeter, but when she did they all became fast friends. We had a great time and are so thankful for such new and wonderful homeschooling friends.
There was also a ginormous sale at Home Depot over the weekend which we took full advantage of. Have I mentioned we love that store? Mulch was half off, so we stocked up on that and also on all the sale plants. We also bought a shed for our yard, but which will be installed and hidden by the side of our house out of view so we aren’t the neighborhood rednecks who have a shed in their yard.

The shopping trip to Home Depot resulted in a lot of work in the yard, which we made a family affair. Bette hung out in the swing and only pulled her hearing aids out about 14 times. When she wasn’t pulling out her hearing aids, Lilla pushed her and tickled her feet which she thought was absolutely hilarious. Lilla also helped out with a little bit of planting, but she is really more into the watering side of yard work.
Monday was marked by some severe weather. It hit during the last minute of the NCAA game so we missed the end. With 50 seconds to go, our power went out and we had to scrounge around for flashlights. We could only find two in our whole house, although I am pretty sure we own about twenty. Of the two we found, one worked and the other worked only a little. Exactly what you hope for during a raging storm in the dark of night. 1 1/2 working flashlights.
And it was a little bit of a rough night. Lilla came in at 1:45 am needing help to go to the bathroom, because it was pitch black in her room. She was still a little scared afterward so she came to sleep in our bed. She crawled in and then I got in, only to find I had absolutely no room, which was odd since we have a king size bed. Then I realized that Jay was dead asleep in the middle of the bed, so all three of us were on my side packed in like sardines.
That arrangement only lasted for about an hour before I took Lilla back to her room. I was just about to fall asleep when ALL the power came back on and so I got back up to turn off all the lights. But then I couldn’t fall asleep so I read about Napoleon, of all things, until 3:45 am when I finally felt sleepy. You would think a book like that would have put me to sleep a little faster.
So I was a tad tired today. But we are loving being on spring break and have some fun things planned this week. Hope you had a great weekend!

Handling Hearing Aids And Herbs

There are two things that have been taking up some time.
Trying to keep Bette’s hearing aids in.
And some spring planting.
One morning.
While I was unloading the dishes.
Bette pulled her hearing aids out.
About five times.
I was so exasperated.
That I had to stop.
And have a little cry in the kitchen.
Just for a minute.

I told the Lord, This is so hard.
I try not to think like that most of the time.
I don’t want to feel that way.
But honestly, it is hard.
Much harder than I imagined.
I am constantly on high alert.
Trying to keep the hearing aids in Bette’s ears.
And out of her mouth.
And not lose the tiny little things.
It is a bit much.
And sometimes I have to just give up.
And give both of us a break.
Especially since her ears could be sore.
I am trying to pray through.
I have been asking the Lord for extra measures.
Of grace and patience and gentleness.
Because I could really use some.

On a more positive note, Lilla and I started some gardening.
I really want to garden.
But I am not good at it.
And I know very little about it.

We are starting small this year.
I planted basil, thyme and parsley.
And Lilla put flower seeds in her little pails.
But I already can’t remember what kind they were.

You may want to pray for me.
I have never gotten anything to grow.
And I will be really disappointed.
If these containers turn into watery weeds.

Years ago, I tried to plant some beans.
I really cared for those beans.
I did the best I knew how.
And I got nothing.
Except a few stringy green things.
I thought there was hope.
I wasn’t going to give up.
Until the day Jay said, Time to go water the weeds.
He said it so cheerfully.
And happily.
And a bit teasingly.
And then he actually went and watered those weeds.
That was when I threw in the towel.
But I have high hopes.
For my little plants this year.
Except that it has been raining for days.
Which makes me worry a little.

Lilla and Jay went camping over the weekend.
They had quite a time.
Because the weather changed from cloudy to severe.
And they weren’t exactly prepared.
They woke up in water.
And had to vacate their tent.
In the middle of the night.
And sleep in the car.
They made it home safe and sound.
And dirty and tired.
But they still had a great time.
Pictures to come soon!

A Yard Dream

I can’t even begin to tell you how much we love our new yard. The grass is so soft on our feet and it is so nice to sit and look at, compared to the dirt pit we had before.
The company that did it was amazing. They brought half a dozen guys in who worked all day and got the job done and done with real excellence. I told Jay that usually when you hire someone to do something, there are at least a couple of things that aren’t quite right or not according to the agreed upon plan, and things have to be corrected. (At our old house, the builder neglected to install hardwood flooring in an entire room that we had paid to have done.) But there was not one problem or issue with our yard. They did an awesome job.

Lilla and Daisy love playing in it, though we did have to take the trampoline down. As fun as it was, it is also a big eyesore that doesn’t really go with our lovely new yard. Jay pressure washed the entire fence on Saturday so that looks new again too! In a few weeks, we will start the planting and add color. I can’t wait to see it all in bloom next spring.