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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Friends from afar

Martha Smith was one of my suite mates from Harding, back in the days. She has remained a very dear friend, despite the distance separating us on the globe. Indeed, she lives almost as far on the other side of the world as you can go from here--Mozambique, Africa. She is amazing, and an inspiration to me in a lot of ways. An e-mail from her can give me some much needed perspective. In fact, there was one particular e-mail that I received about 4 or 5 years ago that prompted some pretty critical discussion between Don and me during the time that we began thinking about moving to Colorado. Anyway, she is a treasure, along with my other dearly loved suite mate--Tia, and roomy-- Jana!! Love those gals.

Ok, so enough with the sap, well, not yet: Somehow, Don and I, in humble Wilmore, KY, appeared on their furlough itinerary! And you should see their itinerary! I was truly touched when I realized that they were coming to see us!! Lil' ol' us! You know!? It turns out that they had some other friends close by in Tennessee to see as well, so it worked out great!
And I learned that my house can indeed contain a family of six--four boys might I add: ages 7,5,2, and infant--besides us 5!! It's amazing what you can do when you have to. Do I say that a lot?
Anyway, I'm getting a lump in my throat posting this. I love you guys!!! Thanks a million for coming!!

In case you were wondering, even missionary kids like to play wii. Some things just cross cultural boundary lines, I guess.

Fun at Centennial park:

Slightly off topic, and cheese warning: As I post this last pic, I feel my blog theme coming back... "on the road again". Have a great trip home, Smith fam!

Stick a fork in it

We had roast, potatoes and carrots after church on Sunday, August 22nd--Caleb's actual birthday. I wondered what happened to the fork I was using while I was feeding him. He had tossed it at one point during the feeding--an unfortunate favorite activity that cues me that he's getting full. I eventually found the fork: see for yourselves.

I actually took a couple of pics from the top angle--you know, bird's eye view into the diaper. Um, you don't wanna know. I deleted them b/c they were so gross. Let's just say that he had a poopy. Yep. DISGUSTING!!!

Happy birthday, one-year old! Ha!
You might be horrified to know that I disinfected the fork, ran it through the dishwasher, and it is now back in full use in the Caulley house. Don't worry, if any of you come over, I'm sure that it will have been used numerous times by then. Ha!

Oh, and this random shot was from a wk or two before he turned one. It was quiet in the house one day as I was trying to get something done I'm sure. When I went to investigate the lack of noise, I discovered this. Caleb loves to climb.

Hee hee!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy birthday to CALEB!!!

Is he a charmer or what?! Sweet boy. He is walking better and better everyday. He LOVES it!
Here go all the cliches: I can't believe my baby's one!; Time flies; They grow up so fast; It seemed like just yesterday... ;etc, etc. Feel free to add yours.
The much celebrated milestone came and went: less eventfully than my older two, might I add. With Jon David, I remember having a full on Bob the Builder party--decor and all. With Luke, it was Elmo. Poor Caleb. I don't even think I blew up a balloon. But we did have our wonderful friends the Smiths to help celebrate (more on their visit in an upcoming post!). And I must say, the simple party was really nice!
I highly recommend it.
Unfortunately, we are suspecting a dairy allergy of some sort with Caleb, so although I had planned on yellow cake w/chocolate icing (a Caulley fav), everyone was able to partake except for the birthday boy. But NEVER YOU FEAR! I made Caleb his very own cake: angel food. And I think he liked it!

Btw, he did try to touch the candle.

Notice me holding his hand back (above).

Yea, I'd say he liked it! :)
Being a third kid is quite the experience. I wondered if we might just take a toy down from the attic and put a bow on it! (Our family room is currently full of Little People that I saved from when the older two were small). But with Grandparents sending money, well, we decided to get him something new. And we still have a little more to spend on him later. Yay!
Here he is seeing his new Pooh fire truck riding toy.

The older kids were all so sweet to "show" him how it worked. Wink wink. It was kinda hard keeping them off of it. LOL

Below is a clip from the small party. I get a huge kick out of Caleb swaying back and forth when he hears music that he likes!! :)

The other Gap?

By now you've got it: not Banana republic, or Old Navy (see previous post). Just another set of pics that somehow I neglected to post.

These were from before our summer trip, so Caleb would have been 9 months old, I believe.

He loved him some watermelon!! Still does.

And a couple of treasured memories of all three of my boys playing together.

Oh, and kinda gross, but I love the way he is trying to grip the green beans. ;)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Gap

You know, the post missing in between the July and August posts.
Jon David and Luke's swim lessons.
First Luke:

Then Jon David:

It's so cool to watch. They did great! These were taken back in July.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Waiting in Wilmore...

"Have a seat, please." "One moment, please." "Could you hold please?" "The doctor will be with you shortly." "It will be just a few minutes."
C.S. Lewis, in the movie "Shadowlands," nailed the dregs-of-winter months when he called them "the waiting room of the world." Waiting for Spring.

Even Dr. Seuss was inspired by the miserable experience that waiting can be:
..."Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting."

Dr. Seuss had his genius moments, there's no doubt.
Ah, how I long for the next page of this particular book: "Oh, the Places You'll Go!":

"NO! That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing."

Wow. Is that the American dream or what? "You don't have to wait! There's a shortcut! Let me show you! For just half of your life savings, you can escape!" Ha!

Not so much in real life... A big chunk of life seems to happen in the waiting. If only I could learn how to find joy while I wait, I think I would be a tremendously happy person!
"Just whistle while you wait --insert musical note -- too, too too too too too too."
Lately, I find myself wondering what is next for our family. It is so hard not to try to figure out where we should go. Will we stay here, God? Will we move again? We we be here three more years? Three more months? Where will we go if we go? Will you move us to places where people are familiar to us? Where we have family? Or friends?

So I lay in bed at night and go over different scenarios in my head: Jon David and Luke going to a completely new school, trying to make new friends, getting used to a new church, new neighborhood, all over again... OK, God is with us, we can handle it. But why must we wait so long to see his plan fulfilled?

I have been struggling with this for a while now. Most of my life, in fact, you might say. In the Spring of this year, I had our future heavy on my heart, and as I opened up my bible study book, the word "WAIT" stared out at me from a paragraph header, almost as an instruction from God... I couldn't help but wonder if it was just that.
Then, another thought occurred to me. Most of us view waiting as a negative thing (I know I tend to). I HATE to wait. Here are ten of my most hated waiting moments:
#10 Waiting in line @ Disney World on a family vaca when I was in the 6th grade.
#9 Waiting in line @ Disney World w/an 18 month old!
#8 Waiting a couple of hours for an OB apt.
#7 Waiting on test results in school.
#6 Waiting on a house to sell... Unfortunately, got a lot of experience on that one.
#5 Waiting seven months to get married!
#4 Waiting in line @ at a "fast food restaurant"
#3 Waiting in Atlanta traffic. AHHHHH
#2 That time Don and I and JD and Luke got stuck in after 4th-of-July traffic in Castle Rock, and took a couple of hours (instead of 20 minutes) to get home.
#1 Waiting to have a baby!!

I think I received a divine thought one day in May. God doesn't necessarily see waiting that way (duh, you say). I haven't watched Braveheart very many times, but I've seen it enough to remember certain scenes pretty well. You know that scene where William Wallace's face is painted blue, and he is giving his speech of all speeches? Isn't this where the British come at them full force, but they don't charge right away? They wait for the signal. They are not just sitting there like bumps (like most of us do when we are waiting). No, there is fire in their eyes, there is purpose. In fact, you might even say that the act of waiting empowers their next move. Because they are following instructions. There is a plan. Their faces are set like flint. They don't know what's coming exactly, but they know what they are supposed to do, and they are determined not to mess up the plan by jumping the gun. Maybe this is how we are to view waiting: there is a purpose behind it.
I can't help but think of Elisha, asking God to open his servant's eyes in first Kings. You know the famous verse --those that are with us are more than those that are w/them. All of a sudden, an entire heavenly army of angels or unknown, unidentified godly beings appear on the tops of the hills, armed, surrounding the enemies.
If only we could see the angels armed and ready behind us. I pray that God has a plan like that for me. I guess it's pretty presumptuous to hope for something that huge. But at times, I feel pretty hopeless. I want to believe that there is something so huge and so grand, that I can't fathom, comprehend, or even begin to wrap my mind around it.

And then, all of a sudden, time passes. I am looking back, and presently, May is four months ago. Jon David and Luke are back in school, doing really well; Caleb is following a better sleeping pattern, routine has resumed; there is hint of fall in the air. I find myself pushing the stroller around for a morning walk after dropping JD off at school. And even though we are not really any closer to knowing where we will be at this time next year, I can see that God is blessing our lives. Oh, how much happiness do I miss by wasting the waiting period? Indeed, there is happiness around. I guess I just have to slow down enough to drink it in.
Active waiting.
I would like to think that typing this is so cathartic, that I am totally over my waiting anxieties... Oh dear. Unfortunately, I still find myself longing for "ambien" at night when I can't sleep. ;) Oh, and I have an ulcers for the umpteenth time this year.
*Sigh* What's next, God?
Fun week-end w/friends from Africa day after tomorrow. I'm on it. Let's go wash some dishes.

Major Milestones for Caleb

Caleb walking! (video footage from yesterday--August 18th).

And on the very same day, he figured out how to say bye bye and wave at the same time!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Luke's prayers

This is what Luke has been praying most nights, before he goes to bed:

"Dear God,
I want to follow you, and be like You.
I want to have wisdom and power.
I don't want to make any sins. Not even one.
And I am not kidding."
Last night, he added "please help me to have another good day at school tomorrow. Even almost better than the first two days."

Today, on our way home from school, I asked him how his day was. He said that it was great. And then he said "God answered my prayer."

Luke has been in Kindergarden three days, and despite the cold that he came down with on the FIRST day (what's school w/o germs, right?!) he LOVES it so far. He sang all the way home after the first day.
Today, (the third day), with a van full of kids this afternoon (I watched two other children after school until 5), I heard him inform the little girl "I'm in Kindergarten now!" It almost broke my heart when she didn't seem all that interested. ;)
He (yes Luke) is very chatty about his days, loves to tell me all about what they do at school. "They have cool stuff there," he said on the first day. He said that they got to paint their hand. (Sure enough, I now have that precious hand print to prove it). He enjoys eating breakfast there. And although he wished that he could bring his lunch like some of the other children on the first day, on the following days he noticed that others ate the cafeteria breakfasts like him. And he has enjoyed every single one so far! Waffles, cheese biscuit, and breakfast pizza. He likes playing on the playground, and has a friend from Wilmore whose parents we know who is in his class. (I think this makes a big difference). They have sat together for breakfast everyday so far. It is so cute and so much fun to hear about!! I love that boy.
On a random side note, at his Dr.'s visit (the obligatory kindergarten physical), he was in the 65th percentile for height ( I think), and 95th for weight! OK, now seriously. Is that weird to any one else besides me? Luke looks like an average five yr. old. Maybe I'm inetrepreting the numbers wrong. But 95th percentile seems strange. Anyway, he is doing GREAT! What a blessing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy birthday Don!

July 21st came and went. We celebrated Daddy's birthday with a few gifts, some lasagna, and of course, Don's all time fav: yellow cake with chocolate icing. Love you!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bouncing baby boy

Sweet precious ten month old... Caleb is growing up fast.
And he has come curl! Love it.

Poor kid: such is the fate of the third... Longing to be where his brothers are. He LOVES playing with them. It breaks his heart when he sees his brothers and Dad leaving to go somewhere w/o him.

Caleb is 11 months old now. I can't remember if these videos were taken before or after July 22nd (his 11 mo. old b-day). But here they are. He's a corker! ;) He loves to dance and bounce.

He also does this crazy head shake thing!

Below: the one that we are considering sending in to AFV.

And finally, the dancin' baby!!


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