30 June 2008

The Fourth !!!

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, too. Christmas is my favorite religous holiday and has great tradition and significance for religous purposes. And I love my birthday - who could forget St. Patrick's Day? But for pure holiday's sake, it's the Fourth of July, hands down. Maybe I like it so much because it's summer, and I love summer. Maybe it's because I am a history buff, or maybe it's because I'd rather grill outside and serve watermelon than deal with the candy, candy, and more candy associated with many other holidays. Another plus - no pressure of gift exchange. Maybe it's because my father served in Vietnam, my uncles spread through every branch of the military or because my brother Eric is serving his third tour in Afghanistan right now. Maybe it's because I am a decendent of General George Patton and James is a decendent of George Washington. Maybe it's because I choke up every time I hear the Star Spangled Banner. Or maybe it's because I am just as excited as the kids when it comes to the fireworks. I just love the Fourth of July. Everybody have a great one and God bless America.

25 June 2008

Milestones !!!!

Baby Jay has 'found his hands'. He is starting to hold things - especially his mom's and sister's hair - and stick his hands in his mouth. One more milestone down; soon enough he'll be driving!

Four months old


We had a treat today - we were invited to come and pick blueberries at our friend's house!

Aren't they beautiful?

And they taste good, too! Now we can go home and make muffins! Thank you Sister Shepherd!! :)

It's Magic!

All the ladies signed up for the summer reading program at the library. One day, the library hosted a magician, who was really good. After the show, the librarian drew tickets for door prizes. They must have drawn forty tickets-good prizes, too. All four of the ladies had their number called! All four! What are the odds? It's magic!

Clean D-O-G ies

What a way to spend your day off, huh, Dad?

20 June 2008

Amazing - Get Your Tissues ....

A son asked his father, "Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?" The father who, despite having a heart condition, says "Yes". They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father always saying Yes to his son's request of going through the race together. One day, the son asked his father, "Dad, let's join the Ironman together." To which, his father said "Yes".

For those who don't know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever. The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island.

19 June 2008

The Darndest Things ...

Last night at supper, Charlotte was giggling to herself about something. Samantha started to laugh, then Rachel. Finally, Daddy said, "Charlotte, your laughter is contagious." Charlotte said, "It can't be, Daddy; I don't breathe when I laugh."

16 June 2008


This is what happens when you run in to the library and leave your kids in the car with your cell phone ...

Something In The Rocks .....

That's My Boy

Jay at 3 months - James at 498 months!

Freedom !!!!!!!!!

Charlotte's major accomplishment so far this summer ... she can ride a two-wheeler!!! Our street is not very busy and the ladies know where they are allowed to ride. Now, Charlie (5) can keep up with Rae and Sam as they hit the road. Way to go, Charlotte!

Josephine Is A Jumper

Josephine took two weeks of swim lessons from our friend, Sister Brown. After weeks of making bubbles, using scoop hands and practicing mermaid kicks, she finished level one - almost! If nothing else she is more confident and loves to jump in the pool. Go, Jo!!!!

Uniforms ............

This will be our offical summertime uniform. We joined the local public pool and found out that if we arrive late in the afternoon we can avoid the daycare bus rush. Rachel, Samantha and Charlotte all swim like fishes and would be at the pool 24/7 if I let them. Rae and Sam love the diving board, too. There is a "kiddie" pool for Josephine, Jay and me. My newest trick is using the concession stand to get the kids to do their chores without asking. The ladies have to do their chores around the house daily and put a sticker on the completed chore. When they finish all their chores for the day, they get a tally. They can save up their tallies to "buy" privileges - staying up late, cereal for dinner (instead of whatever I'm making) or pokemon cards, whatever they want as a treat. And now, concessions at the pool - a new way to spend tallies, ie, a new way to get them to do their chores without asking!

Most of the girls their age wear two piece bathing suits. I made it a rule when they were little that our family would only wear one piece suits and that rule has helped out immensely when it comes to swimsuits. One piece only. Girls clothes can be so skimpy, especially when it comes to the pool!

Graduation Day!

Rachel has officially left Elementary School! This is a picture of her and her friend, proudly showing off their Certificates of Graduation! Next year she will be in Middle School, which is fifth and sixth grades. Congratulations, Rae!

..... Grandad And Jay .....

My folks came to town for Baby Jay's blessing on Memorial Day weekend and we went to the zoo on Saturday. Here's Dad carrying Jay at the zoo - man, it was hot. We had snow cones and took our time, we even rode the train and carousel! Funny story - Riverfest in Little Rock was the same weekend and one of my Dad's favorite bands was playing - ZZ Top! I wanted to get tickets to surprise him, but, ZZ Top played Sunday night - the headliner - and Mom didn't think Dad would go. So close, but, hey, Sunday is Sunday, even if ZZ Top is playing a show!

Blessing Day

Jay was blessed in June and here he is all outfitted in the now official Ball Blessing Outfit. My mom made this when Rachel was born and now ten years and 5 kids later, it will be retired and hung up on the wall. It's a simple jumper with some pretty stiching on the chest. The ladies wore an eyelet overlay with theirs, to make it more feminine. Doesn't he look handsome? Five healthy little babies, what a blessing.


Another summertime favorite - fresh berries from the roadside!

The Ice Cream Man

We have indulged in that summertime icon - the ice cream man! The ladies were so excited, and they did it all by themselves. I just sat in the porch swing with Baby Jay and took pictures. Yeah Summer!!!!!

05 June 2008

A Game ----

It's time to play - - Name That Ball
Can you tell who is who? One of us is missing! Leave me a comment with your answer!

who is this?

back up, buddy ...

cute, but too close

what a face ...


have you ever been this close to a ball?

step back, man ...

whoa - too close!

An Inspiring Parable ...

I found this story on a website and thought it was a great one to share...


A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule braying -- or whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened, and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back . . . he should SHAKE IT OFF and STEP UP!

This he did, blow after blow.

"Shake it off and step up . . . shake it off and step up . . . shake it off and step up!" he repeated, to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows or distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought panic and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF and STEPPING UP.

It was not long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well. What seemed like it would bury him, had actually blessed him, all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.

That's life! If we face our problems, respond to them positively and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness or self-pity, the adversities that come along to bury us usually have within them the potential to benefit and bless us!