Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Great Read

I just wanted to encourage you all to read Angie's "Ransom" post on her blog - www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com. She is such a talented writer and has encouraged me spiritually over the last few months. Just click on this link or the "Bring the Rain" blog to the right and scroll down a little until you see "Ransomed". It is a beautiful posting - get out your kleenex!
Smiles,
Meredith

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mommy's Little.. Sorry.. BIG Helper

J.T. has been such a wonderful helper lately. A few weekends ago John went to the grocery store for me (what a man) and brought the bags in for me to put the groceries away. I put away the cold items and freezer stuff first and got busy with other things. This left the pantry food and misc. items still in the bags on the floor. You can imagine my surprise when I came downstairs to find J.T. had "unpacked" all of the bags, thrown them in the trash (remember John went to the grocery store and he doesn't take my "green" cloth bags), and neatly stacked all of the remaining items in the middle of the floor.
My surprise was even greater because he came and got me, took me by the hand and told me to close my eyes. WOW! What a big helper! I snapped a picture for obvious reasons - I just can't help myself - and filed it in my memory. This morning, I brought towels up from the basement to fold (John made me) and J.T. immediately went to work folding the towels.
I decided that even though they aren't folded to my standards, I should forget my standards and be thankful that he wants to help. I told him he was hired and I would pay him in goldfish.. I'll let you know how that works out. Please don't think I'm kidding people - these towels are going straight to the linen closet! I truly don't understand folding the towels anyway. Seriously, growing up we got our clean towels out of the dryer. I think we should bag them out of the dryer and hang them on the back of the shower door. Do they really need to be folded so we can unfold them, dry off, and throw them in a jumbled mess on the floor? Yes - I said on the floor - because that is where they land in my house! I even bought a duck and frog - yes frog - hampers and tell the kids to "feed the duck and frog your clothes and towels". I digress.




Hope you guys stop and smell the roses today - or in my case the clean and FOLDED towels - because our little ones are only little for so long. Enjoy them!
Happy "we're so close to the big candy fest" Halloween,
Meredith

Monday, October 20, 2008

Flashback


This picture was taken in the fall of 2005, the day after our first pumpkin patch visit with J.T. I still remember that shirt and those pants.... I still remember that day! It is funny how some things never change. I was still working nights, we carved in the same place, that is even the same trailblazer in the background. I can't believe how big he has gotten and how much he and Finley resemble each other. Sigh... tears...
Meredith

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Punkin' Patch

Oh boy oh boy!!! The day finally came to go to Anderson Farms Pumpkin Patch. John and I took J.T. for the first time when he was just a little younger than Finley is now.... and we hope to make it a family tradition. When we were in Louisiana last year, we were truly sad when fall came and went without our visit to the patch. This year, as in years before, we met up with Jimmy and Melissa (John's sister and her husband) and their brood. Thanks guys for a wonderful day! First line of business - to see the animals. Llamas and goats and chickens and roosters. John actually pulled Finley's finger out of the chicken fence just in time... a rooster would've taken his finger off for sure. Finley also started saying chicken... too cute. Next, the kids played on the hay bales (not sure how to spell that). This is actually a maze with hay stacked up all around it, but the majority of the children there just want to run around on top and jump over the paths in the middle. There was also a jumping castle this year and everyone enjoyed that as well. Then the time came that we had all been waiting for... to jump on the hayride to the pumpkin patch. At the beginning of the hayride the driver stops to let you feed the cows, but we went so late in the day, I think they were full already - they just sort of stared at us. When we arrived at the "punkin patch" as J.T. says, the kids couldn't wait to find the perfect pumpkin. We must've looked at 30 pumpkins before we found the one for us. I also got to snap a few pictures in the meantime. After the finale, we went to eat dinner at a place called Cinzetti's, and let me tell you it was FANTASTIC! If you ever get a chance to eat there take it because the food is delicious and it is now possibly my new favorite restaurant. (kudos to uncle Jimmy for recommending it)








You can't buy a pumpkin and not carve it! We started Sunday afternoon cutting out the tops and "scooped the goop". J.T. and Finley really enjoyed this part. I grossed J.T. out though pretending to eat it - yuck mom! Next, we used some really neat stencils that daddy got for us to make a Haunted House and - J.T. picked this one out.. a WITCH! The boys played outside in the beautiful fall weather we are having while John and I labored away detailing the pumpkins. Okay that's a lie! We were like two kids again - so giddy to be outside having fun. However, when we were done the pumpkins didn't look like we thought they would. But, being the stubborn couple that we are, we didn't let on. Tonight though, when we lit them up with the candles, they looked exactly like they were supposed to - SCARY and so wonderful! Now we can't wait for Halloween!!! I hope everyone enjoys the pictures - they are the only reason for blogging you know :).









Happy Fall,
Meredith
PS... I carved the witch by the way... just so you know.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blue Eyed Boy




My friend just emailed me this picture of Finley at our picnic a few weeks ago. I can't get over how blue his eyes are! It was a beautiful day and helped keep me awake since I had worked the night before and hadn't slept yet. This was right after his first therapy evaluation and his follow-up appointment from his ear surgery. Things look great! On a side note, only 2 more sleeps until the pumpkin patch.. I can't wait for those pics!

Enjoying the fall,

Meredith

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Home Sweet Crazy Home


Now that he is home, I can say that John was out of town last week - an entire week! Tuesday to Tuesday to be exact. I didn't want to blog about it while he was gone just in case some psychopath tried to break in or something.... (just a side note to would be psychopaths - I don't think I could actually kill anyone who broke in, but I know I could mame you to the point where you wish you were dead... just so you know, you know?) Anyway, like I said, now that he is back I have so much to share. First, we decided to have a cupcake decorating party for J.T. and his BFF Marcus because who doesn't want to decorate cupcakes? So, I took a pictures of J.T. and Finley holding all of our ingredients, cupcake paper cups, sprinkles, etc. as a "before" picture.


I had no idea that the "after" picture would be days away because as we were photographing... strep throat was brewing in my little boy's throat. The day of the decorating came and went because we were in the doctor's office the next morning with a high fever, malaise, and an "owie" in J.T.'s mouth. We went to Walgreen's to pick up his antibiotics, popsicles, icecream, a batman ball (an US Weekly... shhhhh) and other necessities and then headed for home for a smooth recovery. HAAA! No way home skillet... J.T.'s fever hit 105.2 the very next day and off to the ER we went. I won't bore you with all of the details of our trip, but our little man is back to his old self once again.. just in time for daddy to get home and make me look like I made it all up. I did, however, manage to capture it all on film for those of you who are interested - as pitiful as it all was. This, my friends, is how it all went down:




I must say that Finley was so pitiful through his brother being sick. J.T. literally stayed in bed all day Saturday - either mine, his, the couch, or a blanket on the floor. But everywhere J.T. went, Finley was right behind him. He didn't understand why J.T. wasn't playing or stealing or being mean to him anymore. He was just a slug. So, I guess Finley thought that being a slug with J.T. was better than playing without him. I just love my children so much some times it hurts - which is way better than the times I just want to hurt them - haha! (that was a joke to would be snitches who would like to turn me in to social services) Okay, I guess that is all for now. I have so much more to say, but it will have to wait.

Happy Almost Halloween!

Meredith

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Remembering (and missing) my Dad - Paul David Sikes

Today it has been 11 years since my dad died. 11 years since my senior year of high school began, 10 years since I met my husband, 7 years since I got married, 4 years since the birth of my first child (who we named after his dad) and 20 months since the birth of my second child who we named after him (Finley Paul if you really have a bad memory!:) ) I remember being so fearful when Finley was born that my dad was going to get to hold him more than me, fearful that the child I wanted to name after him wouldn't get to carry his name long at all. Now, watching Finley play and laugh and eat and sleep, I feel like I see my dad daily... but it is still bittersweet. I wish that he could be here to see my precious boys be boys, to see J.T. get so excited about basketball (my dad's favorite), to see Finley sulk the way I did when he gets in trouble, to see what a wonderful man I married. It is usually the small things that creep up on me, but this past month it was a really big thing. Finley was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at our last doctor's visit. It is something that we suspected and deep down already knew, but it doesn't make it any easier to hear "out loud". Anyway, I remember thinking that day that I wish my dad were here because I know he would say something really goofy and awkward and probably embarass me to pieces, but inwardly I would smile and appreciate it because it would be just what I need. I feel so at odds with the world sometimes. My friend's dad recently came to town and we all went on a picnic and he was so wonderful with her and her children. He played with the kids and took pictures of us all goofing around. It is times like these that I wonder how my life would be different if he were still here. Sucks sucks sucks!!! Enough of my pity party. I intended to remember him with this blog right? Here goes: I miss the way my dad NEVER remembered the words to a song, I miss the way he would flex his muscles in the mirror in the morning when he was getting ready for work. I miss the way he would stick out his stomach like a pregnant woman and groan that he was ready to deliver! I miss him not wanting me to date or drive. I miss the way he said deodorant. I miss how much he loved to referee high school basketball games and then stick around to watch me cheer at mine (excuses old man!) I miss him wanting to be the "king of fun" for our family. I miss the way he would look at my brother when he was proud of him. Okay okay me too! I miss how he drank sweet tea and chocolate milk. I miss watching him try to eat a big hamburger (he had a small mouth!) I miss watching him pray or read his bible. I miss him telling me that he loved me unconditionally and I would miss him when he was gone. I miss that I didn't miss him enough when he was here and had no idea how much I would miss him. Mostly, I just miss him and having a daddy period. Johnny, my father-in-law, has been more of a dad to me than I could have ever imagined and I thank the Lord everyday for him. At the same time, I am praying for him tonight because he has recently lost his dad and I feel like I have some idea of what he must be feeling. I guess this is why I am so sad. It just brings back all of those memories of that Sunday 11 years ago. So, here's to my dad, my hero, the king of fun - "Party Pooper!"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Enjoying the Boys ( and girl )



Well, yesterday Finley and I had lunch with my friend Chris and her daughter Evelyn (Evie). Sometimes I forget how nice it is to have just one child with me at a time. Don't get me wrong, I love my boys, but I do enjoy seeing their individual personalities that emerge when they have my full attention without the other one there. So, here are some pictures of Finn and Evie eating an ice cream cone... mmmmm.
Yes, he does have his arm around her, but it is for entertainment and picture taking only! (just a note to you little "son stealers" out there... he won't be dating... EVER) Also, I am going to try and post a video of this past Saturday. We had a lazy day and only left the house to go to Target to buy Halloween costumes. First, J.T. wanted to be Darth Vader, then Mr. Incredible, then a ninja, then Batman, back to Darth Vader.... an hour later we left with the Blue Power Ranger and he has been the blue power ranger at least once every day since. (I'm not sure he undersands that the Power Ranger is now his official costume, because when you ask him what he is going to be for Halloween, he still says Darth Vader!)

Anyway, I tell you this to explain why he is unrecognizeable in the video except for his extremely large muscles... something he is all too happy to show off, even without the costume. I tell you that to say that Finley has also learned to show his muscles this past week and it is precious... funny, but precious. I am including the entire video as embarassing as it is because there is so much to show off.... how well J.T. is talking, how big his muscles are, how well Finley is walking and communicating... the list goes on and on! Just a few things to notice: 1st - how Finley is trying to gnaw or bite on J.T.'s elbow in the beginning, 2nd - when J.T. is showing his muscles.. you can see Finley showing his in the left hand side of the video (am I the only one who wants to eat this child up?) 3rd - at the end of the video, Finley waves "bye-bye" with his right hand!!! It is a little long, but that wave at the end is well worth the wait. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Finley had his first therapy appointment this week ( the day of the ice cream - I did have an excuse!) and it was wonderful. His therapist's name is Karissa (for those who like to specifically pray.. hint hint) and she was great... you understand this is hard for me to say because I was certain we would never find a therapist as wonderful as Jen. However, I had a great feeling about this woman and am optimistic about the months to come.
On a more serious, even more sad note, we learned this Tuesday that John's grandfather Papa (THE John Franklin Templin) died unexpectedly Monday night. Please pray for John, Mr. Johnny, Pat (Papa's wife) and the rest of their family as they grieve for this loss. Also, please pray that we are able to honor his memory with the boys in the years to come as J.T. was able to spend quality time with Papa this past year that he remembers very well, and for Finley who will only have pictures and precious poems, instead of memories, to remind him of this time spent together.


Sincerely,
Meredith




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