Sunday, December 28, 2008

Conversations with Maximus

(Maximus is looking out the back door of my parents' home, looking for their half-dalmation, Simon. Simon had cancer and had to be put down a few days ago.)

Maximus: Simon is feeling better.
Me: Max, Simon was too sick, so he couldn't ever feel better. He died, and now he is gone.
Maximus: We just need to go in the car to the store and get him some Gatorade to make him feel better.
Me: Gatorade won't make him feel better, sweetheart. He is gone, and we can't give him any Gatorade.
Maximus: Well, let's get in the car and go to him.
Me: We can't get in the car and go to him, Max. I'm sorry, buddy. He is gone and we can't see him anymore.
Maximus: (quietly) I don't like that.
Me: I know, Max. I'm sorry.
(Quiet pause.)
Maximus: Grandmama is feeling good now. 

Friday, December 26, 2008

At the ER

You ever thought about how the real ER is not nearly as glamorous as it is on TV dramas? I'm sitting here in the little Siloam ER with Maggie. This is the wrong day to get a high fever and an ear infection (I think). There's not a regular clinic open in town... So the ER is PACKED with people like us who really don't need the ER at all, just a doc to write a prescription for some antibiotics. Hopefully we'll get out of here soon- thankfully Maggie is being a trooper.

Pajama Outing

One of the really fun traditions my parents started when we were young kids was Pajama Outings. When we were little, we would climb into bed and listen for the old brass school bell that sat on a shelf above our kitchen table.

If we heard the bell, we would throw the covers back, hop out of bed and yell, "PAJAMA OUTING!" Then we would all pile in the car in our pajamas and go out for ice cream or drive around and look at Christmas lights during the holidays.

On Christmas Eve, Dad and Mom decided to carry on the Pajama Outing tradition with our kids:

Dad rings the bell. 

All of the ice cream places in town were closed, so we drove around to see some Christmas lights and then Max got to choose any treat he wanted at White Oak Station. Dad handed him a crisp new $5 bill, and he ran up to me yelling: "Mommy, Grandpapa gave me monies, Grandpapa gave me monies!" He chose something that cost $.59. :-)

Sock feet.

Checking out the goods with Grandmama.

His selection. Very Serious.

Max and Mommy.  Lucas was here, too. He had the idea for White Oak Station when all the other places were closed. It worked out great.

Maggie came along for the ride, but just couldn't keep her sweet little eyelids open.

Christmas Eve

We had a great Christmas Eve! After attending the Christmas Eve service at my parent's church, we came back home to dinner and then let the kids each open two gifts: one new set of pajamas and a toy.

New Pajamas.

Maggie opened a little Dora car.

Max opened an awesome Star Wars pop-up book that his Uncle Erick and Aunt Brandy had sent him.
To say it was a huge hit would be an understatement!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008


Friends, it is crazy cold here today. When we left the house a little while ago to take the kids to the library, it was a whopping 10 degrees. And the wind is brutal.

Since I am basically a wuss when it comes to the cold, I was triple thankful to have a nice warm house and a cozy fire to come home to today!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Congratulations, Tyler and Meagan!

I'm so proud of my baby brother and his beautiful wife. They graduated yesterday from mine and Lucas' alma mater, John Brown University. Their graduation was just one of the really special events we've been able to attend during our extended stay at my parent's home. We're so thankful to be here!

Congratulations, Tyler and Meagan!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our Early Christmas Celebration!

We had a great early Christmas celebration with my family earlier this week! Since all the adults are going on a trip together in a few weeks for Christmas, only the grandkids opened gifts. It was so much fun! Here are a few glimpses of our special evening together:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Better Together!

Some of you had e-mailed and asked me whether Lucas is here with us now- I've been neglecting him on the blog!

The answer is YES!, Lucas is with us now, and we are so happy to all be back together again. 

I have lots of photos to post of our Christmas celebration with my family, which we have already had! I'll get them up as soon as I can!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Welcome, Baby Malachi!

Huge congratulations to our dear friends Brian and Anna on the birth of their third child, Malachi Lewis. Sweet little Malachi was born yesterday morning at 8:25 a.m., weighing in at 9 lbs. 8 oz and 20.5 inches long. 

I was SO thankful to be in town for Malachi's birth! This morning I got to make a quick trip to the hospital to meet the new little guy. Is he precious or what!?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just Like The Good Ol' Days

Saturday night I had the rare chance to get together with some really special friends. I feel pretty blessed to have friendships that have lasted throughout many phases and stages of life. I have been friends with these gals starting as early as 6th grade (please don't imagine Rita and me as sixth graders- let's just say we've come a long way!)

We had been hoping to get together with a couple of other friends as well, but we were thankful for the time with the four of us. When we got in the car to go to dinner, we realized that our outing was just like old times! The four of us came to John Brown University as freshmen, and our evening galavanting around Siloam Springs together brought back lots of memories of our year at JBU together.

Thank you, Rita, Casey and Amanda, for the sweet night! I love you gals!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Siloam Springs Christmas Parade

Saturday night, the kids and I crashed a party with Chris Matchell and enjoyed the Christmas parade. It was so fun and the kids loved it. Thanks, Chris, for letting us join the party!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

At the Gym with Aunt Meagy

We are pretty lucky around here. Aunt Meagy is a coach at a gymnastics gym here in town, where she teaches lots of little munchkins like Max and Maggie. This week, she invited us up to the gym for some gymnastics fun! 

Max and Maggie had a blast playing on all the equipment, learning to do somersaults, and playing with their new buddy Cooper, whose mom owns the gym. Uncle Tyler came to play for a while too!

Thanks for the super fun morning, Aunt Meagy!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Boy Bonding

Max has had some major boy bonding time with Grandpapa, Addison and Preston. He is eating it up... I think he gets pretty tired of hanging out with Maggie and me all day, everyday, waiting for his Daddy to get home from work. Let's just say that since we've been in Arkansas, there's been a WHOLE lot of Kung Fu fighting, wrestling, screaming, and general boy fun.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

The boxes are down out of the attic, and we are busy putting up all the Christmas decorations! Just wait until I post the pictures of my mom's completed Christmas decorating. She is a master at turning a home into an extravaganza of Christmas cheer! 

It is so special to be here with her for all aspects of celebrating the holidays- even getting the decorations up... especially since this is something that my mom loves so much. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

Celebrating Thanksgiving

For all of those who were thinking of and praying for us in the midst of last week- THANK YOU! We are all feeling better now, enjoying a good visit with my family, and are finally back up and rolling in the blogosphere!

Here are a few quick snaps of our Thanksgiving celebration with my family:

Mom worked so hard to make an awesome meal for all of us to enjoy. When I asked her whether she was Paula Dean or Rachel Ray, she said, "Oh, DEFINITELY 'Just-add-another-stick-of-butter' Paula!"'

The gorgeous table.

We were only missing Lucas! It was good to be together.

Max was so proud to get to sit by Grandpapa.

Addison is so sweet with Maggie.

Three crazy cousins.

Maggie- So Sweet.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What a Weekend.

Wow. What a weekend it has been. All five Dees grandkids were here at mom and dad's for the weekend. Multiple kids were sick. There was vomit. There was a whole lot of crying. Basically, mom and I each held a crying baby girl for 36 hours straight while Dad wrangled the three little boys. 

I'm working on about 9 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours, which is not even close to meeting my minimum "Hours of Sleep Required to Function." Dad, Mom and I are all exhausted- and tomorrow we will put together our big turkey meal and celebrate Thanksgiving (a few days late since some siblings were out of town on Thursday). I sure hope the kids are all feeling better, or perhaps we will have to opt for buying a Bucket O Chicken somewhere instead. :-) Even so, there is a lot to be thankful for. Especially if all the kids sleep through the night and wake up well! 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Girl's Day Out!

Today my niece Hadleigh, Maggie and I got to have a day of girlie fun together! Mitch and Steph dropped off all three kids last night, and the Dees house quickly turned into a Kung Fu Panda Par-ty. This morning, Mom and Dad loaded up the three older kids and took them to Branson for the day to see an incredible musical production of Noah's Ark. 

While they were gone, Hadleigh, Maggie and I got out for a bit and even ran into Santa. I love these girls!

Crazy Black Friday

6:07 a.m. Dad and I are just pulling out of the Walmart parking lot. I have never seen anything like this retail frenzy! We got up at 4:35, were here by 4:54 and had to park at Lowe's. It was a fun shared experience, even for two non- early risers! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

For life and love
And a friend's embrace
For tiny fingers within mine laced

For warmth and peace
And a Savior's Grace
For all of these, we give You thanks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Magical World of Disney

Wow- we just arrived in Arkansas, and we're already having such a special time!! 

My youngest brother Tyler, who is about the graduate from JBU in three weeks, is now working for Disney Consumer Products in Bentonville, Arkansas- home of Wal-Mart headquarters and the corresponding "vendorville" (vendors to Wal-Mart).

Today,  he took me, mom, Meagan, Max and Maggie on a tour of their Disney facility called "The Lab." This is the building where they set up elaborate displays of current and future licensed merchandise. It is also a facility for corporate meetings between Disney, the manufacturers, and Wal-Mart. The tour was really interesting!

Max and Maggie were pretty oblivious to the business facts of the tour.... but they sure were interested in the stuff!! 

At the end of the tour, Tyler left for a few minutes, and then returned with another Disney employee. They had gathered armfuls of wonderful toys for the kids! Maggie got a huge stuffed Nemo, and Max got Red the firetruck from Cars, along with lots of other goodies for both of them. What a special surprise- it felt like Christmas.

I told Tyler his new job might just seal his status as "favorite uncle"... which is no small feat in this family! Don't worry, all you other fabulous uncles out there... the kids have a new favorite uncle every other week. :-)