Friday, July 25, 2008

our last escape

I'll have to spread this trip out into phases so I won't torture anyone. At the end of June we headed off first to North Alabama to enjoy a few days at my parent's home. The kids love to play there so's like a place of pure release for them in the country. Here is William being told where to drive by Grace:

And here is the turtle they found out in the yard. They kept him for a few days and then released him back into the wild.

That first weekend we took advantage of the Helen Keller Festival in Tuscumbia. First we visited the awesome craft show (where this pic was taken) and then Dave and I took the older ones -- Jordan, William, and our nephew, Drake -- to see the play at Ivy Green, The MIracle Worker.

And now that same little set of cousins is headed our way for a visit. Grace is overjoyed about her birthday celebration and being four "everyday now". It should be a fun weekend.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

update on the books

We found out a week or so ago that all the books Jordan's birthday donations bought for the kids at Ciudad de Angeles in Cozumel, Mexico made it. Thanks so much to all the mission workers who managed to cart three boxes of books down in their suitcases. Thanks to Scholastic's and another local publisher we purchased over 175 books at a hugely discounted price to send. The books covered all age ranges and will hopefully be an encouragement to all the adorable kids being cared for by the home.

We are still hoping to have a photo of the kids actually using the books soon. Jordan was thrilled when she heard that it had all made it to the children's home. It's nice to see that an idea of an eleven year old can make a difference in someone's world. When we left Scholastic with the majority of the books, Jordan just closed her eyes and leaned back in the seat. I asked what was wrong and she said,

"Absolutely nothing. I can't wait to do this again next year."

Monday, July 21, 2008

4 years old!

July 21st is a wonderful day in our family. Four years ago today our wonderful third child was born. As you know, the years go by quickly and admittedly the days are crazy busy, but I take great pride in the fact that Grace is thriving in our family. Grace is our spirited one and she is amazingly logical at the same time. I think being a third child must make a child act so much older than her age. We will celebrate with a party at Monkey Joe's on Saturday with cousins and friends. Here is a quick trip down memory lane...and a long loving post.

Dear Grace,

When you arrived four years ago we were anxious to bestow you with the name we had chosen, Grace Evon. Little did we know that your arrival would speak to the very definition of grace. You are truly a gift from God. Your middle name, Evon, was from your Grandma McDermitt and you share the same spirited personality she had even though she never got to see you join our family. The first picture is one from the NICU where you spent nine days. You were the biggest baby in there at ten pounds. Although you were hooked to wires and tubes and we had a difficult start after our emergency, we thought you were the most beautiful baby on earth. Your pure spirit and determination was evident from the beginning.

Taking you home that night was one of the happiest moments of my life. We had both been through so much and it felt good to finally arrive at home. Jordan and William had waited so very long to hold you and so on your 10th day of life your siblings finally got their hands on the baby they had anticipated so much.

Jordan and William spent many days looking at you in the moses basket. You were the center of our days.

I love this photo of you curled up peacefully. I think you were two months at this point.

And here you are during your first Christmas Eve with your cousin, Alana. You were born only five weeks apart so your Aunt Julie and I call you "cousin twins". It has been so much fun seeing the two of you be best friends together.

You went to Tybee Island on your first birthday. Here you are taking in the waves with Daddy. You were hilarious crawling around on the sand, finally becoming exhausted and napping under the cabana.

And on your second birthday you were at DisneyWorld. Amazingly you seem to remember so much about this trip, but just the other day you mentioned that you really needed to return to see everyone there again.

Here you are on your third birthday, laughing with Alana. We visited Build-A-Bear with everyone, but you and Alana were so much fun to watch. That cousin twin thing has really stuck.

And this year you are such a busy girl. You are upside down half of the time working out your core muscles.

You fell fast asleep after a big bike ride with Daddy.

And dressing up is a favorite pastime.

Happy 4th Birthday Grace! We love you!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

more charleston

Okay, I am a month late in posting these. We've been in and out of town and I am just now catching up. Here are some more odds and ends from the June reunion in Charleston. We had a great time and with the exception of a summer afternoon downpour the weather was beautiful. I am so grateful to Dave's cousin Shirley and her husband Rusty for planning all of this.

Marketplace details

Three excited kids who travelled through the wee hours of Friday moring in their pjs so we could see a little of the city.

Flags at Hyman's Deli on Meeting Street...some of the best She Crab Soup you will ever taste!

Dave's father, Don with his girlfriend, Mary.

The McDermitt Siblings in birth order. There were seven original children, but one died as a toddler. It's neat to see them all together.

Cousins who enjoy laughing together.