28 October 2008


Yes, Josephine is FOUR! Jo's birthday this year took about a week to celebrate and let's have a look at the highlight reel ...

We had hallway balloons (honored family tradition)
and presents for breakfast ...

Then bowling and lunch with our friend, Hannah,
and then some dome-climbing.

For supper, it was out with Pop-pop Jim and Mom-maw Jean
for Chinese food and a chopsticks lesson with Dad.

We also had to spend the gift card (thanks Grandad and
Grandmom) and show the world that she can write her name!

Click on the picture to enlarge it

At four years old, Josephine attends HIPPY (more on that at http://www.hippyusa.org/) and is an active Sunbeam in her church primary class. She has many friends, loves playgroup, and wants to be a ballerina when she grows up - Josephine always dances to the end credits of any movie! Since I babysit a few kids on weekdays, Jo has decided to help me. She believes she is in charge of them and wants to be the mother hen. It's a great role for her, since as the youngest girl in a family of five, she doesn't get much room for leadership with her big sisters around. Josephine is shy at first, but, let her warm up and she will charm you with her innocent smile and whimsical observations. She likes to play dollhouse, hates to have her china-doll spiral curls brushed and wants to be in the thick of anything her sisters are doing. She's a great big-sister to Baby Jay and she caters to him above all babysitting kids at home. He's her baby, and they better be gentle, or she'll pull out her spunky side. I just love the way Josephine sees the world - it's a magical place full of butterflies and make believe; even the cars can talk and dancers are the best show in town. If you let her play alone in her room, you'll hear her singing. If you peek in on her, you'll see that it's really the cars or animals singing and dancing. That's our baby girl - our Josephine - our Putter-putter, our Jo-bo-dan-jul.

We love you so much!

27 October 2008

Math and Science Night

We are loving Middle School!!!! I was concerned that since the fifth and sixth graders are in their own school that it would be a hard transition and Rae would be growing up too fast, too soon. Not to worry. The teachers are expecting more academically, but, the kids are still kids and they have lots of "fun" activities like clubs and interests groups after school. Rachel is in the pen pals club (not her choice - that one was assigned, but she has a pen pal in California - they e-mail and she is enjoying it) and she started taking violin after school.
These photos were taken at "Math and Science Night", which a chance for the parents to meet all the math and science teachers and see what the curriculum is for the year. We did lots of hands-on stuff with light and probability, but the only time I though to get out the camera was when the ladies made test-tube rainbows out of different colors of water, each color having a different salinity. It was a fun night. Rae is dressed up because the students were to come in costume as their favorite story character or scientist. (She's Laura Ingalls Wilder)

25 October 2008

A Boy and his Balloon!

23 October 2008

One Hundred Posts!!

I just hit 100 posts. It's only October and I am wondering if this is just too much information, or if I should be excited about a milestone. I'm going with excited, simply because, if no-one else cares even a little bit, I feel like I have recorded something for later. I want to save all this daily coming and going so that I can read it when I am old and gray(er) and so that my kids have it for thier kids, and great-great-great-grandkids! So yeah BallTeam. 100's more to come!

Mean Green Socer Queens

Soccer Update - In a double header this past weekend the Queens lost two in a row; both games ended very close with scores of 3-4 and 4-5. So frustrating. The team is really working hard and coming together more and more. Samantha played goalie only in one half, and mid field for the rest of the time, since her finger is not yet back to 100%. This photo is from a practice.

22 October 2008

Ring Around The Ghosties

Another something I saw in a magazine that I thought looked fun and easy to do with the ladies. (For my understated reference here on parenting and how I messed it up and tried to get better, see my post - Turkey Cupcakes...)

This one is called - Ring Around the Ghosties. I had all the stuff on hand - some bags from the store, long white trash bags, markers and dowels for sticks. So, when our wonderful Sister Missionaries were over one night for supper, I had them work on this project with the ladies. I made supper, they made Ring Around the Ghosties.
Sister Davis, in the forefront of the first picture and then Sister Rothe - working hard.
The "ghosties" make a cute and festive additon to our front yard - thanks, Sisters!!

Grimy, slimy ladies!

This is a picture of our bathtub! Charlotte and Josephine had been playing outside, having a big time, and I put them in the tub when they were through. If this is the dirt left behind, think about how much actually washed down the drain, and even more, how much the ladies had on them to start with!!!

I had to redeem myself and take a picture of the clean tub, too!

14 October 2008

Hey - Hay - Hey

We have a seasonal joke in our house and it goes something like this:

As we are driving down the road, we see a scene like this photo. Someone says, Hey!

We all laugh.

12 October 2008

Jay in The Sink

Jay has loved his solid food ever since he started eating it. I haven't found a food yet that he doesn't finish heartily. Most of this time we end up here - a bath in the sink. James Michael, II at seven months - October 08

11 October 2008

Soccer Update

The Mean Green Soccer Queens are now 3-2-1!

They had a great game today. It's wonderful to watch them come together and pass, talk to each other and be a team. During last week's game, Samantha was playing goalie and was kicked in the hand. Her middle finger swelled nicely and she was a fine shade of purple for most of the week. For today's game she still couldn't make a fist, so her coach played her mid-field instead of in the goal. We had her see a doctor, and she will be fine, it'll just take some time. Go Samantha and go Queens!

10 October 2008

New Park

We have had spectacular weather lately and last week the ladies and I were out and about enjoying all the cooler fresh air and sunshine. We found a new park, new to us, anyway, and had a great time. It had about five different play areas with equipment, each one different from the last:

It had scenic, historic places to roam around in:

It had a mini-amusement area with little kid carnival rides:

All this plus hiking trails, bike trails, equestrian trails and a dirt-bike track!

Charlotte wins the quote of the day for this one, too:

We had just parked here so they could play on the playground and I read the sign, "Ladies, don't play on the tank, see the sign?" Charlotte said, "I guess those kids' moms can't read, huh Mom?"

09 October 2008

Jay Michael at Seven Months

06 October 2008

THE Game

We have a healthy little rivarly in our house - football. I grew up watching the games with my family on Sunday afternoon. I asked questions, Dad answered them, and I decided that my team would be the New Orleans Saints. I liked their colors and the fact that they had a French connection. Meanwhile, in divers places across the United States, James was growing up and doing the same thing - except he was playing football. His team has always been the Minnesota Vikings - he liked the colors, too, and he's followed them his whole life. Tonight, is the night - The Vikings (1-3) play the Saints (2-2) on Monday Night Football at the Superdome. James will be home early from work, supper is in the crock-pot, the kids have already chosen a side to root for and the rivalry will play out.

04 October 2008


Wow. It has been almost twenty years since I have graduated from college. Amazing. Just amazing. Enough of that.
This is my friend, Betho. We were friends and roommies in college and have kept in touch ever since, sometimes more diligently than others. For the past few years she's been living and working in Idaho. Last month she moved to Atlanta Georgia, so she passed through Arkansas on her way east. We met up at a park to let her dog, Jack, and my kiddos play. We just walked around the track there and talked like we had years ago. From the instant I saw her, I knew her. She hasn't changed over the years, but, she did comment on my grey hair. Thanks man. Yeah, still speaks her mind. Still honest. Still there for me. Good to see you, Betho. Good luck in Atlanta.

03 October 2008

Gretel Twist

One quality about Charlotte that I really enjoy is her love of her long hair. We did cut it, once, about a year ago, and then it was only cut to half way down her back. She likes it long, likes to brush it and likes for me to play with putting it in cool dos. When she comes home from school, sometimes I ask her if anyone said her hair was cool today. She reports that most of the comments come from the lunch lady, who loves her braids and twists. This particular day, last Saturday, we were off to a soccer game for Samantha, and Charlotte let me put her hair up in what we now call - the Gretel twist. You are beautiful, Charlie.