Friday, June 10, 2011

The Rhett-ster

Once upon a time there was a boy who wanted to be like daddy when he grew up. And so he dressed up like him!

And there also was a time when someone got ahold of my camera and tried to squish her brother's head.

And then there was this time when Rhett decided to get dressed up and play an instrument.

Oh, who am I kidding...this happens all of the time! My kid is a crazy boy but I wouldn't have him any other way!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tap, tap, this thing on?

Have ya'll quit me?

You know its been awhile since you posted on your blog when you can't remember how to do it! Go ahead and say it....pathetic!!! But as I'm sitting here waiting for my pictures to upload I now remember why I've been discouraged to do it.

Here are our traditional first day/last day of school picture we go!

Emily- first day of 8th grade...cutie patootie!

Last day of 8th grade=last day of middle school=one mama that would like for time to slow down! One big change for Emily this year is she switched from glasses to a contact. Yep. A single contact. Its a long story.

Ridge- first day of school. What a nice shirt he has on...hope you like it.

Last day of 4th grade...oh WAIT. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. He is, in fact, wearing the same shirt as the first day of school. Which is not much different from the 3 out of the 5 school days per week that he wore it during the school year. Hey, what can I say. He doesn't need much to be happy! Ridge had a great school year and is growing up too fast!

Natalie- first day of jr high...what a beauty!

Last day of this child has grown up alot too but, praise the Lord, has stayed her spunky and quirky self! She really loved the freedom that jr high brought this year and made lots of friends!

My two girls on the first day of school...a little apprehensive.

Full of confidence. Thus the socks.

I did not get last day of school pics of my littles which I will do this week and add their pictures in a separate post. But don't hold your breath. Because you'll die.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Big families-repost

A friend of mine on facebook directed me to this blog who had posted this about big families. I loved it so I sent it to Brian who in turn told me I should post it on my blog....he said, she said, he said, he all that? Anyway here it is....I think I sorta understand what he is talking about....sorta!

Written by Matthew Archibold-Feb. 4, 2010


A woman said to me recently that my five children were very well behaved. It's one of the best things I can hear so I thanked her. Then she asked me "how do you do it with so many?"

I told her that I don't think I'd be a very good parent of one child or two. She didn't believe my answer but honest to goodness, I sometimes think that having many children is easier than just one.

Why big families are easier:

Patience. I never have to teach patience. My children know that I can't drop everything for them if I have a baby in my arms.

Work Ethic. My children have learned to work because there are always chores to do in a small house packed with little messy lunatics. And they all learn quickly that sometimes they have to clean up a mess even though they didn't make it.

Humility. My children have learned it's not always their turn. They've accepted they can't always get their way because other people have to get their way sometimes. They've learned that some children are better at certain things than they are.

Foreign language skills. You can learn a lot of Spanish by watching ten years of Dora the Explorer that you just can't pick up in two. And now with the Diego spin off I'm practically fluent.

Laughter. The children have learned to laugh at the insane non sequiturs of younger siblings. They've learned that laughing just feels better when seven people are doing it along with you.

Competition. Do I really need to go into this? Everything is a competition in big families. The children compete over who reads faster, who drinks their milk faster, who gets to the bathroom first...etc. Everything is a competition and they're all keeping score.

Balance. The floor of the front room of my home is a minefield of toys and childhood paraphernalia. Just walking through the room requires great skill and balance. I'm absolutely convinced my two year old will be a favorite for Gold on the balance beam in the 2016 Olympics. (She might have to lay off the cookies a little but I'll deal with that later.)

Life isn't fair. Sometimes you just give it to the baby because you want a little quiet. Not all the time. But sometimes.

Just say "No." Being able to say "no" may be the most undervalued skill in this world. The need to be liked is pervasive. The need to be cool even more so. Having brothers and sisters teaches children to say "no" about 143 times a day. It's a good skill.

Praying. They learn that nothing beats praying together as a family.

Nature/Nurture. Having many children has taught me that nature has a lot more to with who my kids are than nurture. This is helpful, especially when your children misbehave you don't have to feel bad about it. Just say "Stupid nature!!!" and blame your spouse's genes.

Namecalling. You can occasionally call your child by the wrong name and still not be considered a terrible parent. They know who you mean just from your tone. Sometimes if you need something done you can call the wrong name and someone will still show up. That helps.

Spying. My children have learned that they can't get away with anything. I have spies who look a lot like them who are willing to drop the dime on them for anything. Even at school I've got a child in just about every grade. If they do something I'll hear. That keeps them nervous. And I like keeping my kids a little nervous.

Friendship. The children have many friends. They've got girly friends, crying friends, fun loving friends, consoling friends, and crazy friends. And they all have the same last name. And they'll be there forever for each other. No matter what.

Love. I think my children have learned to love because there are others around them to love and who love them. I honestly can think of no better way to teach children to love than siblings.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Week in Rwanda... Guest Post (Bw)

Well - have had an amazing week here in Rwanda complete with great executive meetings, negotitations with the KingFaisal CMO and CEOs - and then a last minute requested meeting with the Honorable Minster of Health, Dr Szebeira, himself (with great progress made!) --- but more on that later as have better internet and can post the photos. The whole (and real) reason my wife let me come on this trip is below: Introducing Grace...

We have a great video of this visit as well - but no way internet here is gonna support big uploads so will show that later as well. Love you all and thankful for your prayers. Beginning long journey home tomorrow and soooo ready to see Ames, Em, Natie Bug, Ridge, Diah, and Lil Man Rhett! Love you guys!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Adiah's 3rd Gotcha-versary!!

Yesterday we celebrated Adiah's 3rd Gotcha Day Anniversary! Since Brian is in Africa this week AND the kids are on spring break we decided to celebrate big! We left the house bright and early yesterday morning knowing full well that it would be a very busy day! And to say Adiah was excited was an understatement! The child has been talking about her Gotcha Day for weeks now! When she realized that yesterday was finally THE day she could hardly contain herself! She loves to celebrate anyone...but especially herself! The day she was placed in our arms 3 years ago she was such a weak and timid little baby. She was undernourished and very fragile. To look back on those first few days and remember...well, you would hardly recognize her now! She is a healthy, vibrant, confident child! And she loves for everyone to know it! I'm so thankful God let me be her forever mommy! I am a changed person because of it! Adiah Hope, we love you so much!!

Our first activity of the day was pottery painting. They each enjoyed picking out which piece they would paint! Each piece completely reflected their personalities when all was said and done. And Adiah had so much fun!!

Adiah getting started

ALL of my kids painting away...

Ridge chose a spider man piece...

Natalie had a flashback to the 80's and did a splatter paint heart...

Cutie pie Rhett

He chose a motorcycle and did a smashing job don't you think?

Adiah and Mommy...

Adiah picked a princess castle(of course!) and did a wonderful job, too!

Emily did a sun that she wants to hang up outside on the patio by the pool...

When we were done and waiting for our pottery to dry we decided to go get a picnic lunch and find a park to eat and play at. Right about the time we arrived Brian called from Rwanda so I missed getting pictures of our picnic but here are some of our fun time playing...

We did some sliding...

Some hanging out and face making....

Some posing on the slide while the wind was blowing...

Some looking at spiders...

Some dare-devil climbing...

Some quality sibling time-ing...

And some swangin'...

It was a great time! Its been a long time since we've all been at a park together like that. Just wish our daddy was there! Adiah loved that activity as well!

Next we headed off to the mall and (the brave mommy that I am) decided to do some ice-skating! I know you're all shaking your head at me. But do what you gotta do, mkay? So after the 900 minutes it took us to get everyone skated up we headed off to the ice. Rhett and Adiah have obviously never ice skated before. Adiah loves to watch it and has asked quite a bit if she could go. But Rhett....not so much. He was walking around really well on the skates but once we hit the ice he was over it! We tried for awhile but eventually took turns hanging out with him on the outside. Adiah did very well for it being her first time. She actually kept her balance most of the time and didn't want to leave when it was over! I wondering if I should enroll her in lessons? The older kids had a great time too and helped me out quite a bit with the littles! A memory we'll never forget! I wasn't able to take any pictures while we were skating because my hands were full but I took one after the fact. Look at Adiah's face!!

After ice skating we headed down the hall to Build-A-Bear! The little kids have never been and its been years since the older kids have been. Emily and Natalie didn't want to build a bear so they helped me with everyone else. Except for the loud "stuffing" machine Adiah loved every part of this! She loved picking out a Hello Kitty and her ballerina outfit. We all kissed the little hearts and put lots of love inside of her kitty! Ridge and Rhett even enjoyed doing this little activity!!

Here she is humoring me with one more "cheese" for the camera

Rhett stuffing his puppy

They gave Adiah a little golf club thing to push down the stuffing pedal because she was so nervous of the loud noise.

Mr. Cool Dude, Ridge getting his camo bear stuffed.


At this point we were all about wiped out but we needed to eat dinner so we headed over to PF Changs and enjoyed a yummy meal to end the day! I could barely keep them awake on the way home and we all slept really well last night! I think we all enjoyed Adiah's Gotcha Day/spring break celebration! But most importantly...we're all so glad Adiah is in our lives!

Monday, March 14, 2011 we go again!

As much as I KNOW you wanted to continue to look at the lovely pictures my (currently grounded) daughter put on my blog I think I'll change it! Sorry! But I had to share that Brian is on his way to Rwanda as I type this! I was trying to figure out a way to explain why he's going but my friend, Chelsea, explained it so much better than I could so I'll let you read her words. But Brian and Mark(Chelsea's husband) will be spending the next week in Kigali with Jane (our guide in Rwanda when we were there this January) and then make the beautiful drive to Noel orphanage where we spent our last two days while we were there. Its also where a piece of my heart stayed behind! We are joining with His Chase this summer and taking a team of people to Noel to build a sports arena and to do some medical assessments on the precious children there. Currently there are 650+ kids that are living there. But I just wanted to ask you to be thinking of Brian and Mark this week and pray that the Lord would open up the doors that need to be opened while there....He's already doing it! Mark has been there for a few days now and it has been amazing! Thanks!!! I'll post pics if I get any from Brian! I'm so proud of him....!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Back to the Future

Ladies and Gentle men! Boys and girls! Welcome one and all to a series of pictures that will make you cringe, smile, laugh, and bring back memories that you thought you would never have to bring back!

Just kidding!


Before we get going, let me inform you that I am not your regular host, or even her husband! This is yours truly, the one and only, the coolest kid on the block, the oldest, the greatest child in the family- Emily Woods!

Just kidding!


So lets begin! I was going through a very big box of photos we have, when I came across these beauties! These here are prime picks, and are oh so very worthy for you to enjoy....

1.] Lets begin with my mother and her wedding dress- I mean prom dress! Aint those sleeves something!

2.] My fathers a cheezer! What can I say?

3.] Im pretty sure this group of ladies {one of which is my mother}were apart of the living christmas tree! Whats a living christmas tree you ask? If you really care to find out, please ask my mother! She'd be delighted to tell you! There's a video of it somewhere.. Hmmm...

4.] Aunt Sara- always a very proper, polite woman...
I like sarcasm

5.] "Hmm, I wonder how much of this gold tinsle I can wrap around my head..."
Watch out Lady Gaga!

6.] Shout out to Mr. Ed Haas! I'm loving your hair in this picture- yours too dad! :]

7.] This is the front of this picture...

...and this is the back of this picture! How cute- they were just friends though!

8.] Nuff said.

9.] Honey Mooners!! Lets all do a collective "Aww!" One. Two. Three! *Awww!*
That was nice..
I wonder if Carlos 'N Charlie's is still open? Lightbulb! They should go back and take another picture with that same heart around their faces! Whos wid me??

10.] Yours truly!

11.] I spy with my little eye...a closet door...with the lable "closet" on it! Click on the picture and see if you spy it too! Aside from that and the shirt she's wearing, my
mom is riding an ironing board like a horse!

12.] Polates? Yoga, maybe? Maybe its just a guy they found and proceeded to inttarogate with questions like, "Whats your favorite part of father of the Bride?" or, "What's your Revlon perfect shade?" until he would take a picture with them!
I was just informed his name was Franc.

13.] Another Nuff said.

14.] " Is this angle better?"

16.] When we were little kids, we used to play on that floater thing and pretend like we were superman. Nice form Mommy Holly! :]

17.] If they're on night watch then they're ready to go!

18.] My Uncle Rob's never been much of a jokester...ther was one time when he chased my mom and aunt around the house while his fingers were being bull horns when they were little... but that was a long time ago...
I like sarcasm

19.] "Give me that cake now!"
Just kidding! I have no idea whats going on in this picture, or who she could be growling at!

20.] There's a broom on the wall.

21.] All Hail Queen Quilted Northern!
Whats going on?
Why is she wrapped in toilet paper?
Is this a tradition that I dont know about yet?
Will I one day be wrapped in toilet paper?
22.] I dont now why I question why my sister is a very dramatic human being? The answer lies within this picture. When my mom saw this picture, she still remembered the name of the guy behind her- it was Jimmy, or Andrew or something...

23.] Special thanks to whoever gave that pan to my madre- cause we still have it today! In fact I made a chocolate sheet cake in it the other day!
Whats that? You want some chocolate sheet cake?
Too bad! I ate it all!

24.] Whoa. Im at a loss for what to say...

25.] If this is wrong- then I dont wanna be right! I'll give you a hint: One of those is my mom, and the other is my grandma! But who can tell them apart?
The eyes, the eyebrows, the nose, oh my!

26.] I pray to thee up above, that my mothers hair will never get to that extent again...
...I can hear your Amens.

27.] Is this another tradition? I think I recall my aunt telling me this was a graduation party?

28.] " Ba da da da da da" Im Lovin it! What about you?
I hope you did! Because, alas, we are at the end of our journey! Feel free to shout out your favorite picture in the comment section! And I challenge all of you to go through some of your old pictures, find the "good" ones, and then be brave enough to share them with the world! A Back to the Future challenge:]
Have a great week and laugh lots!
Roger Roger Over and Out,

For real- Am I going to be wrapped in toilet paper?