Homeward Bound, part 3

After 2 1/2 days packed with somber activities, we had one day left to have a little fun with the kids. We went back and forth with ideas of hiking up Stone Mountain, but we thought it might be a bit too much for the little ones. Fortunately, we didn't have to make that decision, because my Aunt and Cousin were generous enough to pay for tickets to the Georgia Aquarium! We were told that it is currently the largest aquarium in the world and that we couldn't miss it. We were not misinformed. We saw buluga whales, whale sharks (I didn't even know such a thing existed), penguins, seals, otters, alligators, and Japanese crabs. The list could go on and on. At one point everyone just parked their buns in front of the viewing window and watched the 55,000 varieties of fish that inhabited the tank that was the size of a football field! It was truly amazing. Kyra's favorite part of course was the play area that went up almost 3 stories tall (of course it wouldn't be any of the fish). She did say that she liked the alligators though. My favorite was the buluga whale, which really seemed to be full of personality. I think Katie's favorite part was the penguins, since she was plastered to the window, and tried to tickle them with her fingers as the dove in the water. Although, she didn't seem to have much fear when it came to touching the sting rays either. It truly was a great day.

We ended the trip with one more meal at my Aunt's house. My stomach is seriously still suffering from the mass of food we ate. It really was great southern food. I am very happy that even though it was a short and packed trip, that we were able to spend some quality time with family. Not being able to see my Dad's side of the family very often, it was nice to catch up and make some new memories from our time together. I hope to keep up with my relatives and hopefully see them again next year. It was a good trip, yes a good trip.

Homeward Bound, part 2

After the immediate family viewed grandpa's body, visitors began slowly creeping into the room. I am not the most social person in large groups of people, so a small crowd pleased me just fine. Yet, at the same time there were many people that I wanted meet, so I made a point to shove those butterflies down in their place. I knew that there would be many Great Aunties that I haven't seen in years, so I was excited to see them. My Grandma grew up in a family of 12 siblings, and I have many fond memories of gathering with her family and listen to those Older Southern Women tell stories. That day was no different. Those butterflies quickly left as I approached women like: Mary, Ruth, Naomi, Lois, Libby, and Martha. I didn't even have to talk, they took care of that on their own. It was a joy and a hoot to hear them go on and on. Yes it was a full day, but one filled with a loving family with many memories of my grandpa.

The day of the funeral, I was told by my brother that we would be saying a few verses from the Bible. I quickly got a knot in my stomach, but God seemed to calm me down, because the tension soon went away. I love reading, and was content to read in front of a crowd rather then say a few words (which I knew would bring me to tears). The funeral was beautiful and scerene. My Aunt sang beautifully "It is Well with My Soul," a talent of hers I had not known before that day. And my sister (who traveled from South Korea) read a letter she had written of the many memories she had held. Her way with words and poetic heart brought a vivid picture of the many memories we shared. And of course my Dad prepared a eulogy that was both touching and reconciling. I saw many tears shed by so many loved ones that day, that it was hard to see their pain. At the same time it was also healing to see that we have each other and that everyone was there for eachother. And comfort was brought by the fact that my Grandpa is homeward bound, left a legacy of caring family members, and friends that will carry on his love.

Homeward Bound, part 1

Well, we made it home from Grandpa's funeral in Georgia. And although there were many sad, emotional periods, there were many joyful moments too. In the flurry of activity of packing, canceling the mail for the week, transferring funds, etc, I wondered how this long trip go for all of us. There would be the 15 hour trip in the car going to and from Georgia, the 5 hour visitation, and funeral. I wondered how stressful this would be on our girls. I felt bad that Katie's birthday was kind of put on the sidelines, and even worse yet, that we wouldn't have time to rejoice in the commemoration of Easter, and Jesus' resurrection. And yet, everything went as smoothly as possible.

We arrived on Saturday evening, after getting up at 3 AM to prepare for blazing through the 10 inches of snow we had (yes...10 inches over the Easter weekend). Thankfully, we arrived safely and were greeted by the warm air (which of course didn't last long, because we happened to hit a pocket of cold air while we were there). We were then quickly summoned to go to my Aunt's house where tons of food had been donated. We had a great lasagna dinner with family, and prepared ourselves for the events to come. Our kids however, had fun running after my aunt's two pug nosed Shiitzus. All week long the grand kids wanted to make sure they could go back to Janie's house so they could play with the dogs.

The next day we made it to the Easter service. It was moving and emotional, and just the start of tears for the day, but we were glad to have gone. Fortunately we had enough time for Easter pictures and lunch, although we had to forgo the Easter egg hunt (which actually no one missed, I think I just hyped it up in my mind, but really we were fine without it). We went on to the visitation, where we viewed my grandfather's body. I was a little scared to see him, and even more scared to explain death to my 3 year old, but again it went well. Kyra had questions, and I answered them to the best of my ability, and in the end she shrugged her shoulders and continued to play with her cousins. It's funny how matter of fact they can be. The girls twirled their dresses and took off their shoes, while Katie could be found munching on the cookies from the adjacent visitation, and waving to her great grandpa while saying "shh..he's sleeping". They eased the tension and brought joy to many visitors. They were pure life in time of death.

Happy Birthday Katie

Dear Katie,

Two years ago today you entered into this world. I remember when I first found out I was pregnant with you. I was nervous and scared because I had a 10 month old and didn't think I was prepared yet to take care of 2 young children. I found out I was pregnant with you days before your Aunt Aub was married. I remember crying through her wedding, both at the joy of her getting married, and because of the emotions I was feeling from being pregnant. For the most part the pregnancy went smoothly, unlike your sister's. I thought for sure you were a boy because I gained very little, swelled very little, and felt quite good most of the time.

So, when March 20th came, we headed to the hospital (for a scheduled c-section) to finally meet you face to face. I chose to have you on the 20th because it is the first day of spring, and what better way for a fresh start, than to have a fresh start with a fresh new baby! The doctor's had a difficult time getting you out, because you were breached, so every time daddy asked what you were, they weren't sure. A short while later they announced we had another baby GIRL! Your daddy smiled with joy. Although I was wrong in predicting you were a boy, we couldn't have been happier. You were healthy, strong, and beautiful. What could be better than having 2 sister's close in age, that would hopefully become great friends someday.

Now you are two year's old, and full of life! You love playing with dolly's and stroll them all around the house, while covering them in blankets later on for naps. You love to put stickers all over the house, and let mom play seek the stickers! You are talking more and more every day, with your favorite phrases being, "look at me!" and "how about...these shoes (your always picking out new shoes to wear). You let your older sister boss you around for a little while (of course you let her know when you've had enough). You love to make goofy faces, and make your parents laugh. You are wistful and inquisitive. You are messy and carefree. You can be a little spitfire, which keeps us on our toes, but your smile always turns us to goo. We love you very much Katydid. Happy Birthday!

Love, Mommy and Daddy


I know I am still with you
in your prayers, your thoughts, your heart
And though you cannot see me,
I will always be a part
of life's sweet celebrations
in those times when you reflect
on how, though things are different,
through our love we still connect.
We'll see each other someday
when our spirits all are free,
until then I am with you
because you remember me
-Sue Tague-
So long Grandpa, you will always be remembered.

Tiny Talk Tuesday

The little ones are talkin. Here's some of the cute things they said this week:

During dinner time:
Kyra: Can I pray today?
Dad: Sure
Kyra: Dear Jesus, thank you for the Lord. Keep my mom and dad safely. Keep them healthy too. Keep yourself healthy. Thank you for part of my life, and I pray you stay impressive.
(IMPRESSIVE! Wow, I'm impressed she even knew that word. It's hard not to smile at a prayer like that.)

While jumping on a hopper ball:
Kyra: Hey mom, watch me. I'm a really good jumper!
Mom: Wow, you are a good jumper. You are getting pretty good at that.
Kyra: You know why I'm a good jumper?
Mom: No, why?
Kyra: Because I have really big buns.
(and that's a good thing?)

That's all for now. It's been a quieter week around our house, but for more tiny talk visit Mary's.


My Grandpa is not long for this world. His heart grows weary, and he longs to be close to his Heavenly Father above. As his time comes closer to the end, I have been searching through the depths of my brain for memories and pictures I hold of him. My grandparents always lived far away, and therefore in the past 15 years or so I haven't seen a whole lot of him, but I do hold some very fond memories of trips and vacations we've had. He is a great man who has led a very fulfilling life. He is full of compassion, love for his wife and family, ambition in life, and overall passion for God. I love him very much, and am pleased he will finally be able to meet his Maker. If I could be there with him right now, I would say:

I am so thankful that you raised your family to know the Lord, Our Savior. I am grateful for all the years you traveled to Michigan in the summer so we could spend a week of unadulterated time together. Those trips to Maranatha will last in my heart forever, and I will always hold a special place in my heart for it. I remember fondly of the time you allowed me to travel all by myself to Georgia with you (no siblings, just me and grandma and grandpa time). I had two weeks of you all by myself. You let me stay up late to watch Nick @ Nite movies, eat popcorn, and get spoiled by all the Great Auntie's. Best of all, I got to camp in the big trailer at Kentucky State Park and watch all the beautiful horses in all their glory. I was fortunate enough to get two whole weeks of your undivided attention, which was a very special treat for me. I have great memories of climbing Stone Mountain with you, and hunting for Easter Eggs at the old blue house. Later in life, I had fond memories of you bringing my sister and I up to your special office in the attic. We got a peek into some old photos and love letters passed back and forth to you and Grandma. I pictured the great love that was passed back and forth through those letters sent during the war. And you showed me how that love has surpassed many difficult stages in life and still survived. I loved hearing the stories of your days on the farm in Michigan, and your advice on how to stay financially afloat. I enjoyed introducing you to my husband, who shared your passion for John Deers, and farming. And I even loved hearing how proud you were to be the oldest employee for Carmax. You are dearly loved Grandpa, and I will forever remember you as a man of few words, quiet chuckle, yet grand heart. I pray that God gives you peace as you embark on this next journey.

Love, Sarah

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God" -2 Cor. 3-4

Daddy Brownie Points

The other day Kyra asked me if I would paint her finger nails. Seeing as how we were on our way to the grocery store, I told her it would have to wait (and quickly dismissed the thought from my head). She proceeded to be a very obedient girl that afternoon, replying politely to my every request. I later complimented her on her manners, with which she replied "that's because I REALLY want you to paint my nails!" How could I say no to that? Of course lunch and naps had to occur, so I promised her that I would paint them after dinner when we had nothing going on. She was tickled pink (don't you just love how easily pleased they can be?).

Needless to say, we had lunch, took naps, and wouldn't you know I developed a rather bad headache during that time. I frequently get migraines, but this one didn't feel quite that bad, so I dismissed it with hopes that it would go away quickly. I started preparing dinner, when the pulsing kept getting worse and worse. Soon enough my ears started ringing. Yep, it was a migraine (and of course too late to take meds that would take effect in a short period of time). I went to take a rest, when a bounding Kyra met my eyes and gleefully said, "it's nail painting time!" Oh, how on the world was I going to muster through this one? I can hardly open my eyes, let alone focus on those little nails. I was just about to tell her that mommy would have to break her promise, when Kyra took one look at me and before I could even say anything, said "maybe Dad can do it!" Ahh, Dad. I don't know if you really want that. Yet, she marched right into the living room with her paint of choice and asked Daddy to paint her nails. And he said YES!

I kind of winced at the thought of him painting her nails, seeing as how he has never even cut their nails, but I was too dizzy to even argue. I took my rest, and after a couple hours felt some much needed relief. I quickly remembered that Daddy had come to the rescue and went to see his handy work. And wouldn't you know it, he did a pretty good job. Not only did he do a pretty good job, he painted Katie's nails! You know, that wiggly, can't sit still for more than 3 seconds girl! Even I haven't ever attempted to paint her nails. What a dad, I tell you. What a dad!

Tiny Talk Tuesday

The little ones are hammin it up this week, here's some of the comments they've made:

While sitting in line for the Star*bucks drive thru:
Kyra: Momma, what kind of coffee are you going to get?
Mom: I'm going to get the hot kind (the thing is that she likes the frapuccino's that dad gets, so I try to steer clear).
Kyra: I think I'll have some if they put M&M's in it!
(yes, I'm sure you would - and probably so would I)

While running errands:
Kyra: (cough, cough) Don't worry momma, I'm okay. I'm not sick, I just have a skunk in my throat.
Mom: (not even trying not to laugh) Kyra, don't you mean FROG?
Kyra: Oh, yeah, yeah. I'm not sick though, just a frog in my throat.

While sitting at the dinner table:
Mom: Kyra, would you like a potato?
Kyra: Absotootly!

While roleplaying with a riding toy:
Kyra: Mom, we have to take the caterpillar to the car doctor quick.
Mom: Babe, cars don't go to the doctor, they go to a mechanic when something is broken.
Kyra: Okay, we need to take it to the place you just said.
Mom: (after heading to the coffee table) What seems to be the problem?
Kyra: The wheel is a little crunchy.
(now how do you fix a crunchy wheel?)

If you want to read more tiny talk, just visit Mary's.

Reading before 2?

This morning on the Today Show, they interviewed two parents who have an 17 month old that can read! That's right, their little girl is reading before the age of 2 (before the age of 4 for that matter). Now I've seen some gifted children, but that is something else. Her parents said they didn't really teach her either (although they are both speech pathologists and encouraged language development through sign langauge).

Now if you don't mind, I have some work to do. I'm feeling a little behind! (Really folks, I'm kidding. If you thought I was going to start drilling my 23 month old before even potty training, than you have another think coming!)

Adventures in Roleplay

Yesterday Kyra asked me if I would play doctor with her. Delighted that she asked me to do anything besides playing princess/fairy godmother/mad sister, I agreed to go along for the ride. Here's how the roleplay occured:

We began by Kyra laying down on the coffee table (the operating table, or automechanic shop when we are fixing cars).
Mom: What seems to be the problem maam?
Kyra: I was shot in the head.
Mom: (now a bit concerned) What do you mean?
Kyra: Katie poked me with her finger on my nose.
Mom: Okay (phew, that sounds better). You were poked in the head then.

(I proceeded to finish the exam and then it was my turn).
Mom: Help me doctor, I feel so sick and I don't know what the problem is.
Kyra: Okay lady, we'll fix you up. First we have to take your beat heart (she proceeds to listen). Oh, this isn't good. Your beat heart is 30 seconds. I'm afraid you are very sick.
Mom: Oh no, can you fix me?
Kyra: No. I'm sorry, I can't find my shot to give you.
Mom: What about some medicine?
Kyra: I'm sorry, I don't have medicine either.
Mom: You don't have ANY medicine? (come on here, your mother is sick!)
Kyra: Oh, I forgot I do have this horse medicine! I can give you that.
(So it goes that her own mother had to be given My Little Pony medicine. I think I'll stick to going to my own doctor when I really get sick.)

Can Anyone Say PICA?

You know it is never a good sign when your 3 1/2 year old runs into the kitchen saying, the 1 1/2 year old is into the markers again. Where she got the markers, who knows because we keep them in a drawer far from her reach (take that back, she probably got them from the 3 1/2 year old). Anyway, most people would be concerned about drawings on the carpet or scribbles on the wall. The only markers we have however are the Color Wonder markers, so I wasn't too concerned about preschool artwork. I was concerned about her oral fixation with anything that seems to fit in her mouth! Sure enough, I ran into the living room only to find 3 markers with their tops chomped off. Now this girl is almost 2 years old and knows she isn't supposed to eat markers. Fortunately she spit out the pieces when I asked. Do I have to put a pad lock on her mouth with the exception of meals? It's not like she is starving for food. This girl eats, I mean she really eats.

Alright, I hopped off of my soap box for now. Everyone is safely tucked in their beds for nap time. So for a couple hours I can rest assure that my children are safe and sound. That is of course unless I forgot to take the mini book out of her crib that she could get a taste for?!

Tiny Talk Tuesday

The little ones are talkin, here's some of the things they had to say this past week:

In the car-
Kyra: Mommy, we have two barns left right?
Mom: Right (two of them fell down last year).
Kyra: We have a green one and a blue one, right?
Mom: Well, we have a green and and a gray one.
Kyra: I know why the green one hasn't fallen down yet.
Mom: Why?
Kyra: Because it has lots of glue on it. Lots of glue!
(If that were the only thing holding it together, I somehow don't think it would still be standing!)

In the car-
Kyra: Mooom, look at that lady. She is just beautiful.
Mom: She is very pretty.
Kyra: You're beautiful too, mom.
(awww....gotta love comments like those!)

During a visit from a friend-
(a friend of Kyra's was coming over to play, but after a recent accident with a neighbor dog, was fearful to come into our house with our two dogs).
Friend: I don't want to go in there, it's too scary (with a bit of a panic in her voice).
Kyra: (with one hand on the small of her friend's back) It's alright, we'll go upstairs where the dogs aren't playing. It's not scary up there.
(It was just heart warming to see the empathy she showed at her tender age. My daughter truly has a big heart.)

While playing dress up-
(running in the living room in a dress up skirt, and then out again as fast as she came in) I cute! I cute!

For more tiny talk, visit Mary's