Master Reid

Reid is starting to come into his own, so I thought, “why not tell the world more about him!?”  His sister is quick to want/get attention (“Can someone talk to me?” she commonly asks), but Reid is beginning to ask that she share some of the spotlight with her.  Side-note: this sharing is super healthy for her.  It is also super hard for her.

But wait – I’m already getting side-tracked!  This post is about Reidy Beady! (his new nickname, that neither makes sense nor is it that cute…it just happened).  The pictures directly below are from June 16, when he turned 6 months old and graduated into eating solid foods.  The first week of eating solids was both hilarious and frustrating.  Anything we would feed him would immediately be rejected and spit all over the feeder.  I mean, this adorable and seemingly harmless baby would make cute little raspberries with his mouth and shoot bananas all over my face and shirt.  Funny and  severely obnoxious, right??  Don’t worry: he’s got the hang of it now.  I don’t think anyone who has seen him is worried about his food intake.

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I don’t know if it’s because he had such a rough start in life or because he’s the second child or because he really is an easy baby and therefore makes our life easier in caring for him…but I have a hard time seeing him as anything but completely adorable.  Whenever we put him down to sleep, we hold him upright and sing to him, and he just flaps crazily in our arms.  But then he goes right to sleep when we put him down…amazing!  And then, when we go get him when he wakes-up, he’s flapping away again in his bed, greeting me with a big smile (flap = verb, to wiggle your whole body rhythmically, mimicking that of a merman).  I’ll tell you what, though – do not take a toy away from him while he’s playing with it.  Crank-fest 2013.

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You can’t tell that he’s wearing short-alls. From this angle, it looks like a composite picture for the business website.

The boy loves some water!  Whether he’s taking his weekly bath (sometimes it’s every-other-week…as a hater of germs, this is actually a point of pride for me), he splashes voraciously.  And as you can see from the photo below, he’s totally chill in the pool.

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If I had photo-shop, I would insert a BudLight into one of his hands. He just looks like he’s ready to unwind, don’t you think?

Just this past week, he has started to crawl.  He pushes off on his toes and uses his fingers and hands to pull.  You wouldn’t think he would get very far, but he can gain some distance with this unorthodox style.  I’m proud as a peacock to see him moving!  It’s one of those big events where you see you child wanting to do something so badly, so that when they get it, you just want to do toe-touches.

Here’s some other miscellaneous information on Reid:

Favorite sound to make = Bah bwah bwah bwah bwah bwah

Favorite food = not picky…yet

Favorite activity = flapping (see definition above) or grabbing.  No earrings on necklaces or hair down for me these days!

Least favorite activity = it’s a tie between intense hugs (more like choke holds) from sister and long-distance car-rides

Favorite comedian = Zoe Kate.  No one tickles his funny bone like his sister.

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Final Boone Days

Our final days in Boone were a whirlwind, due to finding our Knoxville home far sooner than anticipated.  We assumed that we would be moving in June or July, but when we found this awesome house in April, we had 3.5 weeks to wrap-up our life in Boone.  It was quick and crazy, and we were fairly certain something would fall thru.  But we actually really did move to Knoxville on May 8.

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Our final days in Boone were bittersweet.  We hated leaving our students: we’ve spent so much time with them on campus or at our house over meals or watching TV or laughing or crying or praying or dressing-up Thena.  They have become like family to us.  We hated leaving our friends: I don’t know how I would have survived the long, winter months or insanity that is parenting without them reminding me of my identity in Christ.  They helped carry us thru our crisis with Reid, they still liked me when I got kid poop on their rug, and they gave me many things to laugh about.  We also hated leaving the mountains: no longer would we wake-up to the sounds of cows moo-ing across the street or the fog lifting over the crests off of our porch.  And there’s something uniquely special about the home to where you brought your kids back from the hospital after they’re born.  BUT.  We were also joyfully anticipating the city life of Knoxville ahead of us.  Bittersweet.

So here is a montage of pictures of our final days in Boone.  We miss you, little mountain town.

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ZK and her best friends

ZK and her best friends

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Betsy, Jenni and Molly...such dear friends

Betsy, Jenni and Molly…such dear friends

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PS: Here’s a little video to show you how amazing our App State students are.  Many showed up to our house on our last day there to help us pack-up.  They surprised us by preparing the music and song-sheets and song…

A Couple of Memphis Visits

The kids and I have taken a couple of trips to Memphis in the past couple of months.  The first trip was with Reid in April, to go to a good friend’s wedding.  The wedding was wonderful, and the bride – Elizabeth Saxton Inman – was beautiful!  It was a reunion of the mostest for me, because Saxton and I went to high school and college together.  Love that girl ^^^^

Just a taste (ba-dum-ching!) of the elegant wedding

Just a taste (ba-dum-ching!) of the elegant wedding

College roommate and one of my best friends, Jen

College roommate and one of my best friends, Jen

Then, in late May – when Matt went to RUF Summer Conference in Florida – the kids and I let Pege and Pops help take care of us, again.  It was a fun week catching up with friends and seeing family.

Pege and Pops with their boy grandkids.  As their only girl grandchild, Zoe Kate has to carry the sass in the family.  And she does.

Pege and Pops with their boy grandkids. As their only girl grandchild, Zoe Kate has to carry the sass in the family. She does.

Mom with Reid and Dewey (and Hogan).

Mom with Reid and Dewey (and Hogan).

My fun nephews

My fun nephews

My parents 4 grandkids.  Trust me: this is the best of the 20 pictures we took.  Fred is cracking me up in this picture.

My parents’ 4 grandkids. Trust me: this is the best of the 20 pictures we took. Fred is cracking me up in this picture.

I think Dewey and ZK look so mature in this picture.  Their just hanging out at their end of the table, shooting the breeze and munching on goldfish.

I think Dewey and ZK look so mature in this picture. They’re just hanging out at their end of the table, shooting the breeze and munching on goldfish.

We had 4 other pictures of Zoe Kate chasing Dewey around the golf club.  One might say she's needy.  I interpret it as loyal.

We had 4 other pictures of Zoe Kate chasing Dewey around the golf club. One might say she’s needy. I interpret it as loyal.

Again, ZK and her loyalty.  And she really is pretty sweet and affectionate.

Again, ZK and her loyalty. And she really is pretty sweet and affectionate.

Helen, Don and their son and my godchild, Fred.

Helen, Don and their son and my godchild, Fred.

Poor Reid.  We wanted to stay and enjoy the evening.  He wanted to go home and sleep.

Poor Reid. We wanted to stay and enjoy the evening. He wanted to go home and sleep.

Jesus Died and Rose Again!

So focused

So focused


We had a great Easter!  Zoe Kate is starting to get into the festivities of holidays, which is really fun.  She and I dyed a dozen Easter Eggs one day.  We hid them around the house for her a few times.  It seems Thena also enjoyed hiding the eggs.  In her belly.  Gross, Thena.  Good thing ZK didn’t see Thena eating her precious eggs.  That might have been then end of that relationship.

About a week before Easter, we joined our friend Molly and Daniel (with their sweet kids, Sophie, Xander & Wade) for a chilly Easter Egg Hunt in Blowing Rock.  As you can see from the photos, the eggs were strategically hidden.

Yep, folks - that's snow on the ground...it was a chilly hunt

Yep, folks – that’s snow on the ground…it was a chilly hunt

We hyped-up the hunt for days before the event.  The effect?  Zoe Kate couldn’t sleep the night before.  It may have been the happiest I’ve ever seen her.  She now commonly asks if we can go on more Easter egg hunts.  She doesn’t even believe me that life gets even better than Easter egg hunts.
The world/tennis court, was her oyster...so much opportunity just waiting to be seized!

So much opportunity on the horizon

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Keeping warm with my snuggle bunny

Keeping warm with my snuggle bunny

ZK meets her first celebrity.  This is improvement since December, as she would only wave to "Big Santa".

ZK meets her first celebrity. This is improvement since December, as she would only wave to “Big Santa”.

Sophie and ZK celebrating their spoils together

Sophie & ZK enjoying their spoils

On Easter day, Molly and her kids and mother-in-law came over for dinner, which was so fun!  What a glorious truth, to celebrate the risen Christ – so it was even more fun to do it together!  We don’t do much pomp throughout the year, but we firmly believe that there are certain days that pomp is appropriate.  Easter is one of those.  Sometimes the resurrection seems too good to be true.

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Wade, ZK, Xander & Sophie

We are hoping to teach Zoe Kate and Reid about more than eggs and bunnies when it comes to Easter.  In the good ol’ style of catechism language, we taught ZK the answer to “what is Easter about?”.  She learned and began to shout “Jesus died and rose again!”  Or sometimes she would gravitate towards the shorter answer “Jesus is alive!” with just as much electricity in her answer.  We know she doesn’t really understand the true joy of that phrase, but there’s something formative in seeing a little child shout that truth with glee in her eyes.  We hope you had a wonderful Easter, too!

Battle of Spring Break 2013

Spring Break isn’t what it once was.  This past week, App State had their Spring Break, where students flocked to warmer climates or even simply to their home, to sleep, veg, and relax from their hard work this winter semester.  Matt took a group of 30 RUF students to Chicago for a mission trip.  I held down the fort with a sick newborn (read: not sleeping through the night yet) and a sick 2.5 year-old (read: emotions of a 13 year-old with the listening skills of a – well – 2 year-old) and a dying, diabetic dog (read: she went into ketoacidosis, so I needed to take her puking, peeing, unable to move 60 pound body to the animal hospital on Sunday night).  So, needless to say, Spring Break 2013 now has the memories of an epic battle – like Shiloh, or Saratoga.  If ever in the future, when people talk of Spring Break 2013 (or maybe even mention the once-happy-endorphin-making phrase “Spring Break”), I may need quick sedation, followed promptly with a maternal back-rub, accompanied with “it’s ok, it’s all over…it’ll be ok.”

I’m a little hyperbolic.  But only a little.  I have some good friends whose husbands travel MUCH more than Matt does.  I don’t know how you do it.  All of you single mothers or fathers out there, how DO you do it??  Granted, we were hit with some heavy grenades while Matt was gone (I’m keeping the battle theme going…it’s working for me).  But he’s home!!!!!!!  He’s HOOOOOMMMMMME!

Speaking of Matt, he said his group had a great time in Chicago.  It sounds like they got to do some construction work on a new church building, some tutoring at a school, and generally, had their eyes opened to what God’s kingdom looks like on the south side of Chicago.  He returned home with hope, joy, and humility as he saw God at work in a completely different setting than our own backyard.

Our RUF intern, Jen, working on the basement of the church

Our RUF intern, Jen, working on the basement of the church

During Matt’s trip, my parents were able to come in town to help out for 4 days (read: life savers).  A special highlight for them was getting to hold their grandson for the first time (they met him while he was in the hospital in Charlotte, with all of the wires and tubes in his body).  What a moment of redemption, as they physically held and saw Reid, so full of life.

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Yoko and John Days

Winter here in Boone seems to go on and on and on and on.  When it’s snowy and chilly like this, Matt and I sometimes dream about having a “Yoko and John” kind of day.  Oftentimes, it’s the kids and I who have the “Yoko and John” kind of day (without the public media….or the relaxation, really).  So here are a few pictures of Zoe Kate and Reid snuggling in our bed.

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In other winter news, we were in the ER with Reid this past week, due to a fever spike.  They ran all sorts of cruel tests on him (cruel, because they made him cry…a lot…poor guy, and his mom and dad didn’t like it much, either).  It was scary and terrible.  But today – 4 days later – he woke-up without a fever!  So now we know it was a virus running thru his body and not a complication with his heart.  Sheesh!  Child gonna bring me to my crazies.

Happy March, everyone!  Hoping warmer weather and less viruses are around the corner for all of us!

Big Girl Bed!

My good friend here in Boone, Betsy, has two precious little boys, ages 3 and 2.  When I was sharing with her my concerns about Zoe Kate’s transition into a “big girl bed,” she had a fabulous suggestion that she’s done with her two boys: remove the front part of the crib, to make it like a day-bed.  Brilliant!  That way, Zoe Kate’s still in her original bed while she gets used to the wide-open-spaces.

Matt and I were experimenting with the crib on Friday afternoon, to make sure we could, in fact, remove the front of the crib without it all falling apart.  Once we removed it, we asked Zoe Kate, “Do you want to sleep in a big-girl-bed tonight?”  For a girl who doesn’t do change well, she was uncharacteristically game for it.

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So we proceeded to talk it up big time, lest we all have a rough night of sleep ahead of us.  Then we gave her the rules: no getting out of bed – for any reason – until the clock turns green in the morning.  If you need us, just start talking: we will hear you.  And if you get out of bed, we will know it, and you will be in trouble (I know some parents don’t choose to make this rule, but once we saw her excitement for the big-girl-bed and her perceived freedom to play on her nursery slide all night long, we knew we needed to give her boundaries).

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My friend Millie told me about this clock, where you set it to change colors at a certain time in the morning, to communicate to your child when it’s ok to get up. Brilliant!

The next morning at 7:30am (when the clock turned green, of course), Matt went upstairs to get her.  “I slept all night long in my big-girl-bed!”  She was so proud of herself!  Of course, we were, too.  So naturally, we celebrated with chocolate-chip pancakes.  Little does she know that she’s going to have to give Reid that bed in the next few months.  But we’re not telling her that, yet.

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