Sunday, October 01, 2017

Cadence is 9!

YOU GUYS.  I have a 9 year old.  It is great that she is becoming more independent everyday.  It is also hard that she is becoming more independent everyday.  Cadence is so full of thoughts and ideas and questions.  Here's her answers to the annual birthday questionnaire.  (And last year's, just for fun.)

Favorite color: Turquoise

Favorite book: Dolphin Tale and Warriors: Into the Wild

Favorite food: pizza

Favorite dessert: ice cream

Favorite song: "I have a lot!  Okay...Safe and You got me and Roar and Fireflies and Can't Stop the Feeling...okay...that's all."

Favorite subject at school: Reading

Favorite place to go: "The porch so I can play with Pumpkin and the aquarium and the beach house."

Favorite toy: All of them

Favorite Show: How to Train Your Dragon and Ever After High

Favorite Movie: Dolphin Tale

Favorite Bible Story: Esther - "she's cool."

Favorite Restaurant: Chik-fil-a

What do you want to be when you grow up?: A dolphin trainer or a vet

What is the best thing about being Cadence?: "Oh!  Um, this is a hard question.  There's so many good things about being me, but none of them are like the best thing.  Okay, that I live here.  And I have a pet cat.  And a zipline."

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Piper is 6!

Really, it's a shame she has no personality. Geewhiz.
Piper is 6.  Wow!  Time flies when you are having fun, I suppose. She just started at a new school this week, the school where Matt and I work. All summer, she was not happy about it, but now she seems pretty cool with things.  Piper is great at sharing, expressing herself verbally (seriously, SOO expressive), and being super imaginative.  She loves animals and making unusual fashion choices.  Here is her birthday interview.  And her past interviews : Five, Four, Three, Two.

Favorite food: Fried Okra

Favorite dessert: "That is hard.  Ice cream."

Favorite animal: Cheetah

Favorite show: Lion Guard

Favorite Movie: Lion King

Favorite book: Animals Around the World

Favorite song: Roar 

What do you want to be when you grow up? Giggling - "I don't know!"

Where do you want to live when you grow up?  "In R-----, still.  I need somebody to move out so I can live here.  Unless there's any empty houses...I could live next door to you when I grow up." #boardingschoolkid4ever

Favorite thing to play: Be whatever you want

Favorite Color: Purple

What is the best thing about being Piper? "That I'm in kindergarten."

She is also very excited about her new backpack and matching lunchbox and dance bag.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

what we're loving now {january 2017}

Here's what we've been loving in January:

Go Noodle - I'm not totally sure how to even describe these videos.  Many are intended for indoor recess, so we have fun with those when we've needed to get some energy out and it's too cold or rainy for outside play. Others are educational, like my favorite: Don't Read Like A Robot. Other favorites: The Llama Song and Peanut Butter in a Cup.

The Kingdom of Wrenly books - Cadence just started these but the pace at which she is reading could accurately be described as devouring them.  An 8 year old prince and his friend Clara have adventures and solve mysteries.  There's dragons and fairies, so it's exactly in C's wheelhouse.

Moana Soundtrack - We saw Moana during Christmas break and really enjoyed it.  Sooo nice to have a female protaganist who is not in any way involved in a romance.  Anyway, the songs are fun and catchy and we've been listening to the soundtrack on YouTube while we color or clean.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

walking on water: the beginning of a story about love and foster care

“Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders...let me walk upon the waters…wherever you would call me.”

Just over three months ago, we were blessed to add a precious girl to our family through foster care. It's hard to explain what this process has meant and felt like, except it is the closest thing to walking on water that I have ever done.  

To be honest, I’ve never really related to Peter.  When I’ve read the text of Matthew 14:22-33, I mainly connected to the part where the disciples on the boat are scared when they see Jesus on the waves.  Because I can do scared like nobody’s business.  But Peter, he always seemed brash, implusive, and uneducated to me, and those are some things that I am not.  I always thought if he just took a minute before he got out of the boat, maybe he would have thought things through a bit and he wouldn’t have started sinking.  

Now, though, I get it. Peter knew his Lord. He knew who was in control. He knew he'd been called to live a life different than the one he'd imagined, and he was just trying to be with Jesus. Then things got hard and scary and there was nothing he could do to control the situation. But Jesus caught him.

And, goodness, if that isn't my life everyday now. I've been hanging out with Jesus for a long time. But most of that time, I've been in the boat. (There was that one time.) It's pretty safe there and there's Bible studies and worship music. All that time though, in the boat, there was this growing feeling we had that we were supposed to do this: welcome a child, a stranger, with baggage (not literally, she came with her school backpack and a bike). And love her dearly and help her feel safe and remind her and ourselves that we have a good, good Father. And He was walking on these waves before we showed up.

It's hard. There's days I feel like Jesus is holding my head just above water because I've totally lost sight of His sovereignty. There's days I try to take control and my worry and frustration spirals. In that though, there's generosity and love, family and friends who have been so supportive, prayers felt, two sweet girls who have loved and shared so much with their new sister, and a truly beautiful and brave little girl.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cadence is 8! An Interview

It's very hard to believe we have an 8 year old in this house!  I love this age where she has so many ideas and plans and can execute them herself.  Cadence is tenacious, sensitive, and curious.  She's obsessed with dolphins.  We gave her a lego set that's just all sorts of bricks so she could build what she wants.  She was very excited to answer these yearly interview questions because she feels like she has so much better answers now that she's older.

Favorite color: "I have two. Blue and silver."
Favorite book: Time for Bed and Snow Babies.  "They're so cute!"
Favorite food: Pizza!!!!
Favorite dessert: Ice Cream
Favorite song: "Safe" by Westlife
Favorite subject at school: Science and art.
Favorite place to go: "To the dining hall and to school. So I can see my friends."
Favorite toy: My Dolphin Tale Set
Favorite Show: Lego Friends
Favorite Movie: A Dolphin Tale
Favorite Restaurant: Chik-fil-a
What do you want to be when you grow up?: "I want to work at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium because Winter is there."
How many teeth have you lost?: 8

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Piper is 5!

Today we are celebrating 5 years of Piper!  She is a totally fun kid who loves stories, animals, taking fashion risks, and playing with her sister.  We're so proud of her for going to school all day and working so hard.  Here are her answers to her birthday interview, which are not that different from last years' answers.  (Just for fun, here's the interviews for 4, 3, and 2.)

Favorite food: Fried Okra

Favorite animal: "Every kind of big cat.  But my most favorite one is a lion."

Favorite show: Paw Patrol

Favorite book: Immi's Gift

Favorite song: New Annie Songs

What do you want to be when you grow up?  "I don't know yet."

Where do you want to live when you grow up?  "Somewhere, wait, somewhere with lots of animals."

Favorite thing to play: Puppy Park

Favorite Color: "I'll tell you my least favorite, because I have lots. Black."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Sitting on the porch at the beginning of a thunderstorm. I LOVE rain with a love that has been passed down through a couple generations. Somehow this summer has often felt like a big to-do list, and right now I'm ignoring the list and making myself sit for just a few minutes.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

what we're loving now {June 2016}

Here's what we were into in June:
*posting late because of internet problems

Making headbands! - My friend Stephanie came over several times this month so I could help her learn to sew.  I haven't sewn in FOREVER and this reminded me that it's fun!  I made myself two cute headbands using this tutorial.

Animal Hair Salon - The girls like beautifying jungle animals with this free app.  I think it's a little weird, but they take turns happily.

Visiting Nana, Dadder, and Uncle Mattie- Since Matt was gone to Asia for almost two weeks, the girls and I went to visit my family for a few days.  My brother is living with my parents while he goes to school, so it was extra fun to be together.  In the pic, we went to a farm to buy a bag of fresh peaches and eat peach ice cream. Yum.

Smoothies - I've long put spinach and shredded carrots into smoothies, but this month I found out that you can put frozen okra into a smoothie with cocoa powder and it totally disappears into the chocolately-ness.

Blackberries and fireflies - summer essentials, both currently available in our yard!

Currently Reading: Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts.  Inspired by listening to the Hamilton soundtrack and celebrating The Fourth of July.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Sandbridge 2016

Our annual family beach trip was so great, as usual.  We had amazing weather and did some fun things that are possible now that the girls are older, like driving down to the Outer Banks and seeing the wild horses and riding the Ferris Wheel at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. (I don't have pictures of that though!)

We went on a tour to see the wild horses down in Corolla, NC
More wild horses
Matt and the girls made a giant castle!
Sand Angel

Adding to GrandNana's shell garden

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What we're loving now (May 2016)

Summer Break! - That's right.  May has come to an end, the girls have been out of school for a couple of weeks and I do not have to be at work everyday (although I still have some tasks to finish up).  We are enjoying sleeping in a bit and lots of play.  For a loose schedule, I came up with some helpful alliteration - Breakfast and Bible Story, Lunch and Learning time, and Snack and Silent Reading.  We have these tent poles in our day that so far are helping.  I'm still figuring out how to not run our tiny dish washer 2-3 times a day (oh, dining hall, I miss you!) and how to not be overwhelmed by the shoes, toys, and papers strewn all over the house.

Mystery Garden and Frozen Uno - Mystery Garden was handed down to us a year or two ago, but now we are really into it.  It's actually a pretty level playing field - Piper is really good at it!  Dassa brought Frozen Uno when she came to visit and Cadence is super into it.  She even strategizes against you and will slap you with a Draw 4 card faster than I thought possible.

Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale - I read about this fun, easy chapter book and knew it was perfect for Cadence.  I've enjoyed Shannon Hale's books for older kids and adults and the idea of a princess who is also a superhero was very appealing.  Sure enough, when she returned from camping with Nana and Dadder, she read the whole thing immediately.  We've got the next two on hold at the library.

The Sixties and The Seventies - Matt and I have been enjoying these CNN documentary series on Netflix and learning a lot about the decades before we were born.  We've finished The Seventies and we're watching The Sixties right now.  The one about the JFK assassination may have sent us down some conspiracy theory rabbit holes...

Popples - Speaking of Netflix, apparently reboots of shows/toys from my childhood are popular, and Netflix has a series about Popples.  Piper came home from the camping trip obsessed with my old Popples nightgown (I've had to stop her from wearing it on outings!) and Cadence remembered seeing the show on her recommended list, so now we're 4 episdoes in.  It's zany fun about friendship.

Charmkins - These are also an 80s throwback.  I had a lot of these tiny, adorable, wearable toys and while Cadence has played with them in the past, now she LOVES them.  Doesn't want to put them away.  We found the half hour TV movie on Youtube a few weeks ago too.  Thank goodness for my mom who can't throw anything beloved away.  (But she did let me sell all of my My Little Ponies at a yard sale.)

Crockpot sweet potatoes - This couldn't be easier, so you're welcome.  No need to turn on the oven in the summer if a crockpot is handy.