Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

I'm not doing the daily thanks thing on FB but I'm still very thankful for so many things. I was reading through my old blog posts earlier and came upon this one during a hard time for our little family. It was how I felt at the time and it's still how I feel. I've added a few things and taken a few things away but right here and now, this is what I'm thankful for:

My life is so good. My little family is healthy. Josh is growing and learning. He's such a happy kid and is the joy of my life. He is such a joy to be around and I love spending time with him. He makes everything more fun and fantastic. We have lots of good conversations and learn something new every day. He has his Daddy's love of sports and movies and his Mama's love of music and spending time together. He's thoughtful and kind. He's smart and eager to please. He's mature for his age and his comprehension is out of this world (and always has been). He's the most wonderful 3 (and a half!) year old I've ever known and our lives are richer because of him. The Lord has blessed us beyond measure with Joshua. I couldn't have asked for a better fit for our family.

David is a wonderful husband and daddy. I love watching my two guys together. I love them so much it hurts. David is working hard at his new job and has completed 5 certifications in less than 60 days all while maintaining straight A's in school and keeping up with us crazies at home. He works so hard all the time. He's goofy and fun and is a perfect partner in parenting Josh. (He's the fun parent. ;)) He's kind and helpful. He always sees the good in others and has more patience than I'll ever have. He's mostly the total opposite of myself but it seems to work somehow. I love him, and I don't care who knows it! 

Photo by Megan Hand
My parents are happy and healthy. Daddy stays busy at work, serving the lost and visiting the sick. He ministers to more than just the people in the pews on Sunday morning. Best of all, he doesn't just preach the Word, he lives it, too. Mama is insanely busy but she somehow manages to get it all done. She works at the elementary school and is also finishing school herself (again....some more...). She works behind the scenes at church and teaches Sunday School. She's the perfect helpmate for Daddy. They're both encouraging and caring. And even though I don't feel like I've done anything to deserve it, they tell me they're proud of me. 

My brothers both have dangerous jobs and thus far, have been spared from major injury. That in itself is a major blessing. Robert loves being a firefighter and is good at it. He wouldn't want you to know, but he's a big softy. I love watching him play with Joshua. He has a son, Holton, and is a fabulous Daddy. He's tender and tough at the same time. I am proud of him and his commitment to our Lord, his wife and his fellow firefighters. His wife, Kate is so sweet. I'm so thankful that she loves my brother as much as she does. She's a great Mama and Holton is blessed to have them both. Holton is a blessing to Robert, Kate, and our entire family. He's an answer to prayer and just could not be any cuter! He's serious, but smiley and looks just like his Daddy. I'm happy that we live close to them and I get to watch him grow up.

Photo by Megan Hand
Photo by Matt Hand
Matthew enjoys being a state trooper and even though it still blows my mind to think of my baby brother doing some of the things he does while working, I am so proud of him. He loves the Lord and his family and is strong and soft at the same time. He's an awesome Uncle and I like watching him and Josh play together. His baby boy, Jackson, makes him mushy. :) He's an amazing Daddy. Megan, his wife, is such a good match for him. I enjoy her company very much. It's nice to have sisters. :) She's smart and thoughtful and is a great Mama. Jackson is a blessing to them and our family. He's calm and loves to snuggle. He's got amazing dimples!

My grandparents (all 4 of them) are alive and well. Granddaddy is still preaching revivals all over the country (and even the world!). Grandmama is a loyal helpmate for him, a prayer warrior and they're both such a blessing to me. 

Photo by Megan Hand
Photo by Megan Hand

Grandpa is wise and a hard worker. Grandma is quiet and strong. She's soothing to my soul by just being around her. 

All of my Uncles, Aunts and cousins are happy and thriving. Tiffany and Jeff live here in Raleigh and are so much fun. They're a perfect match for each other and they spoil my kid! 

Photo by Doug Hall
Chris and Beth are in NY and are GONNA HAVE A BABY!!! They're the most adorable couple and will be terrific parents. 

Jake is a Marine and is currently in Oklahoma. He gets to come home for Thanksgiving and I'm thrilled he does. It will do him good to be home for a couple of nights. 

Luke is also a Marine and will begin training to become a VA State Trooper in February. I couldn't be more proud of them. 

Emily is a student at UNC-G and is so smart and beautiful. She has a heart for the Lord and it shows. She's basically fantastic and she has a fantastic fella.

We live all across NC, VA & NY and as many times as we've run the roads to get together, none of us have ever had an accident on the road. That's amazing, really. I am so blessed to have been born into this family and wouldn't want it any other way.

Monday, November 19, 2012


-- As Josh and I were driving (probably to Poppa & Grammy's or maybe back home) he said "I'm all alone back here!"

-- Josh was in a "mood" when we visited Poppa & Grammy last time and when Poppa threatened to call Santa it didn't phase Josh at all. Poppa pulled out the big guns and threatened to call Jesus. Josh still wasn't scared and said "No you not. He in Heaven. He don't have a phone!"

-- We Whites love to snuggle. One evening after changing into our comfy clothes and getting all snuggled together Josh posed a very serious question for his Daddy. "Why you have hair in your armpits? I wish I have hair in my armpits...and a mustache, too."

-- We had lunch with Aunt Sissy & Luke last week. Josh got something stuck in his teeth and Brenda asked if he needed help. He told her no and said "I always get stuff stuck in my teef."

-- On the way to spend a week with the Great-Grandparents, Josh and I stopped at Wendy's to get some dinner. While he ate his nuggets he asked "How dey make chicken nuggets? Dem cut up chicken and put new skin on it?"

-- I have a pair of leg warmers that I've been wearing around the house (my family is hot natured and I'm always freezing!). Josh was telling Grandma Hand about them and said "Her love dose crazy leg warmers!"

-- Josh: I heard my phone ding and I answered it and it was Santa Claus.

Me: Oh yea?! What did he say?

Josh: Him say 'Are you bein good listener?'

Me: Oh! And then what did you say?

Josh: I said 'Are YOU bein good listener?!!'

-- I've been working on opposites with Josh and he's really got it down pat. Granddaddy was helping him practice and asked "What's the opposite of full?" Josh answered "Not full!"

-- Josh had taken a late nap and was not ready to settle down when it was time for bed. He was tapping David over and over saying "Skuse me." I suggested he switch it up and say "pardon me." So the next time he tapped he said "Skuse me, part of me...skuse me, part of me."

-- Josh and I learned about herbivores, carnivores, & omnivores. I explained what each meant and he asked what kind of birds we eat. I told him that people eat chickens, quail, dove, turkeys, etc. He asked "Do people eat He Hocks?" After some discussion for clarification and a Google images search, we finally determined that people don't usually eat Peacocks. :)

-- During lunch at Matt & Megan's, Josh asked if it was raining. I told him it wasn't and he said "But I see dose palka dotes on dat window."

-- I told Josh to tell Grammy about those wild animals we heard at Granddaddy & Grandmama's last week. He said "Us was sleepin and heard HooHooties!" (They were coyotes!)

-- After talking about hearing the coyotes, Josh asked Grammy to show him some pictures of coyotes on the computer. All of the pictures came up and Josh saw a pic of a dead one. He asked "What happened to dat one?" Grammy said "I think he's just taking a nap." Josh said "Oh, I thought him was dead." He's a realist!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Over the river and through the woods....

Josh and I ran away to Grandma's house this week. I'm blessed to have both sets of grandparents still alive and doing well. I have many wonderful memories of my great-grandparents (5 of my 8 great-grandparents were living when I was born) and I want Josh to spend time with his great-grandparents, too. They are such good examples of Christ followers and what family, faith & marriage should be.

We came to Grandpa & Grandma Hand's Sunday evening and have spent a few days here. We got to have lunch with my Aunt Sissy & my cousin Luke. We'll go visit Granddad & Grandmama Hall tomorrow, spend a couple of days there, and make a day trip to Greensboro to have lunch with my cousin, Emily on Thursday. We'll head back home Friday to get a few errands & chores done before our friends, the Woolards, come Saturday evening. (The Woolard kids are coming with their Daddy & Mama this time so we're excited about that!!)

We miss David but he was scheduled to be out of town for work so it worked out fine. His trip was cut short and he's back home but he'll be able to get schoolwork done uninterrupted while we're away. ;)

I'm taking lots of pictures of Josh and the Greats so be prepared for a photo-heavy post next week.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


- While having a little fit about being put in time-out: "I'm not 'fraid of Daddy anymore and I'm not little kid anymore and I'm not scared of anyting and I don't go to timeout usually."

- While eating Nerds one. at. a. time: "Dis my mecine so I don't bless you anymore. And dis one so I don't cough!"

- Josh sneezed and then said "Oh my goodness, man!"

- Josh: Let's play hide and seek!
Me: Where'd you learn to play hide and seek?!
Josh: Grammy's house.
Me: Who taught you to play?
Josh: Poppa.
Me: Poppa!!???
Josh: I tink so. Well, somebody did...

- Josh had been giving Eliana (Steven & Bethany Reed's baby girl) kisses and when he was still long enough she grabbed him and kissed him back. Since she's 6 months old and still "kisses" with an open mouth Josh wasn't exactly excited about her affection. He stood up, wiped his face and said "Her open her mouth and put her jums on me!" (jums...LOL!!!)

- Me: Why are you yelling?!
Josh: For nothing reason.

- Josh: Are boogie hands nice?
Me: What are boogie hands? Do you mean boogie man?
Josh: No, boogie hands. Dey picks your nose.
Me: It's not boogie hand. It's the boogie man.
Josh: Oh. Is him nice?
Me: Yea, I guess so.
Josh: Well, why him pick people's nose?

Friday, November 2, 2012


-- I was putting Josh to bed one night last week and he asked for the iPad to listen to his "sleeping songs." It was out in the car so David went to get it. While he was gone Josh looked at me and said "So, let's talk..." Guess he couldn't handle the silence! :)

-- In a moment of whining I asked him to stop acting like a baby and talk like a big kid. He responded "I'm not baby, I'm big kid. See? I have big pants!"

-- We saw a man outside using a leaf blower that looks like a back pack. Josh stared for a minute and asked "Does him have a jet pack?!!" (We play a lot of Jet pack Joyride around here.)

-- While riding around town Josh saw a church building and asked "Is that a real church building or a 'tend one?"

-- Josh has befriended one of the maintenance guys here at our complex. His name is Joel and he is from Austria or somewhere. He has a very thick accent (I love it!) and is sometimes hard to understand. Josh loves to talk to him and Mr Joel always waves and hollers hello when he sees Josh. It's really sweet. After a fairly long conversation last week we were walking back to our apartment and Josh said "He is real funny." I agreed and asked "Do you understand what he says?" Josh laughed and said "NO!!" :)

-- "I love you Mom, but you just little bit strong. Dad is reaallllyyyy strong."

-- Upon bringing me a q-tip: "I need to brush my ears out."

-- David and Josh were playing and David was saying "Wheeeeee!" to which Josh responded "All way to home!"

-- "Dat's kerrific!" (terrific)

-- While trick-or-treating this week we stopped by a house with a porch light on. Josh went up and rang the doorbell as he had done several times already. He waited very patiently but no one came. We called him back and told him that maybe no one was home. At the next house, a very friendly lady answered the door. Instead of saying "Trick or treat" Josh said "Us went to that other house but nobody was there!" (She was very sympathetic.) ;)

-- Every time someone answered their door on Halloween Josh would say "Trick-or-Treating!" 

-- David was talking to me about something and Josh (who is always listening!) said "Gosh-lee!" (Golly)

-- While playing at Marbles yesterday Josh was making a pizza for me. He said "What kind pizza you want? Peppermint? Okay!" :)

-- Me: I think we should go to Sweet Frog with Poppa tomorrow, what do you think? Josh: We can. If you be a good listener we can go there.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Josh and Brennen invade Marbles!

Our friends from Greenville, Joe and Beth, had to sing at a funeral in town and needed someone to take care of their son, Brennen, while they were there. I was glad to have the chance to let Brennen and Josh hang out for a few hours and took them to Marbles to explore and play. We met at Chick-fil-a downtown (they were the only kids in the whole restaurant!) and we had a few laughs while we ate. Brennen was eating and accidentally bit his own finger while putting a french fry in his mouth and we all got so tickled at him. He thought it was hilarious. :) 

After lunch we walked a couple of blocks to the museum. Brennen had never been there before and was super excited. We were there for about 2 hours before Brennen's Dad and Mama came to pick him up and we never made it upstairs! The boys played in every space of the downstairs. Since Brennen didn't get to go upstairs, he'll have to come back! :)

Brennen played checkers for a minute when we first got in. Then he saw the bus and that was it for the checkers. ;)

Josh drove the bus for a few minutes. He made sure Brennen put his seat belt on. haha!

Brennen went down the slide to get into the gated stations. (I went through the gate.) ;)

Then the boys went on a boat ride...

They spent a little while working at the Farmer's Market. The aprons were a bit too big for them and when Brennen squatted down to pick something up the strap at his waist slid down around his knees. Then he was stuck in a squatted position. He was laughing too hard to get unstuck without help. ;)

We went over to the ambulance and hospital station and Brennen found a patient to work on. He told me "This baby needs a shot!" 

Brennen was standing at the window and yelling. Maybe Josh is a bad driver! :)

Brennen spent a few minutes in the tree house and knew exactly what to do with the little dolls. 

I really like this quote. I think all parents and teachers should commit it to memory. ;)

The guys spent some time doing a little gardening. Brennen tried to plant an orange. We talked about what foods grow in the ground (carrots, turnips, potatoes, etc) and what foods grow on trees (oranges, lemons, apples, etc).

Brennen found the (huge!) train table and I found a seat. ;) I knew we would be there a while so I sat and watched them play. They did so great sharing the trains and pretending together. 

Brennen had to take a potty break so we went to the closest bathroom which happened to be across from the pirate ship. They climbed up into the ship and looked for mermaids and sea monsters. 

They were supposed to be "Arrrggg-ing" like pirates. ;)

The submarine was interesting for only a few minutes. Brennen spent most of his time in there at the "wash station." 

After requesting to go back to the train table Brennen and Josh spotted the water play station. I put their "aprons" on them and rolled up their sleeves. Then they went to town! 

After we dried off Josh went over to the kitchen and grocery store stations while Brennen played with the trains. I stood in the middle and watched back and forth. 

We had so much fun with you today, Brennen! You were a good listener and sharer. I'm proud of you! Thank you for being a good friend to Josh. I hope you had fun and come back to hang out very soon!!

Brennen & Josh!

(Joe & Beth: Thanks for trusting me with your sweet kiddo. Feel free to "steal" any of the pics if you want.)