Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From the Kilpatricks

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Let me explain.

Due to public outcry, I must explain what did not take place on August 6th.
On August 6th, a post was not dedicated to Bunny.
She turned 10 with no fanfare.
It's just not right people.
How could such a milestone take place and not be documented? Well, if memory serves me well, and it often doesn't, our life was insanely hectic at the time. "Insanely hectic" would pretty much characterize 2011 for us. Therefore, August 6th came during that time frame.
Sorry, Bun. Thankfully she has great patience and is willing to overlook the fact that this post is 4+ months late.
I decided that instead of doing a "through the years" album, I would just show a few pictures of Bunny that I've taken in the last few months.
It's pretty obvious that Bunny is "on guard" in the pictures below. Anytime we are outdoors with the children, she is on "high alert". I cannot conceal the details of "high alert" since it is a matter of security for our family. I will tell you that in the below pictures, Bunny is setting a security parameter in what was our backyard at the time.
You would think that the lack of sight in her left eye would lessen her ability to protect. However, her loss of sight has only proven to strengthen her other senses.
And to date, we have never had a break in.
I think not.
All business as the children play in the background.
This look is clearly saying,"Make my day, punk."
Such concentration.
See the gentleness displayed as she walks over to Jack. It's her instinct, I tell ya.
This last picture was taken recently. I had seen a mouse. The best thing to do when you see a mouse is to position your chihuahua's bed in front on the last location in which the perpetrator was spotted.
I haven't seen him since.
And now I will leave you with a story from a few years ago.
I was exactly 7 months pregnant with Ellie Kate.
Ross and I lived on 120 acres of land in Troy.
I was taking a class at Troy University at the time. As I left that morning for school, I thought that I would leave Bunny outside with our new puppy, Pookie. I thought for sure Pookie would not run off since Bunny was there to keep her company.
We lived on the top of a hill, quite a distance from the road.
I watched the little white chihuahua fade into the distance as I drove down the driveway. She was use to being kept indoors and no doubt had a look of denial on her miniature face. She displayed a worried brow and that should have been my first clue that I was making a wrong decision. Getting fresh air was not on her list of things to do for the day.
Nevertheless, I drove away.
I returned a few hours later.
I drove into our yard and was immediately greeted by Pookie but there was no Bunny to be found.
I knew instantly that something was terribly wrong.
After looking all around and calling time and again for Bunny, I went inside to call Ross at work.
He was rather alarmed as his 7 month pregnant wife cried over the phone,"She's gone!  Bunny's gone!  I can't find her!"
He calmly replied,"It's okay. She'll come back."
I cried,"But she doesn't know where we live!"
And so the search began.
I was waddling around in 100 degree weather when Ross pulled up to help. I had also contacted my Mother who was about an hour away. She called my cousin who brought her boyfriend over.
We split up.
I walked along the edge of the woods calling her name and crying.
I saw something move in the brush. I paused only to realize that it was a wild turkey. The stupid thing started to circle me. I picked up a stick and invisioned the next morning's headline,"Pregnant Woman Killed by Wild Turkey."
Only in Alabama.
Anyway, the bird with the shrunken looking head must have realized my distress because he chose not to attack. I think it was a wise choice on his part.
The search continued for a couple of hours.
Our reinforcements had to leave, but Ross and I continued to look.
We would momentarily go inside to rehydrate. I would sit on the couch and cry for a little while and then we were off again.
The ground search yielded no hard evidence of her whereabouts.
We got in the car and started going door to door.
We even went to the Walmart redistribution center up the road.
Ross made some comment about how someone may have picked her up. He wanted to check the parking lot to see if someone had put her in their car. I dissolved into tears as I contemplated how this scenerio would play out in such sweltering heat. He immediately retracted his statement.
Bless his heart. When you've got a pudgy 7 month pregnant wife looking for her lost chihuahua on a burning hot and humid south Alabama day, well I'm sure "choose your words carefully" is an understatement.
We returned to our driveway passing a flattened carcass in the road. My sweet husband assured me time and again that the poor unfortunate ball of fuzz had been a squirrel.
Just as we were about to pull into our driveway, we decided to drive down the road and visit one more home.
Ross looked into his rearview mirror as a truck had pulled off the road behind us.
A man got out and asked if we were looking for something.
There, sitting in the cab of his truck was B-U-N-N-Y!
Apparently after I left for school that morning, Bunny had trekked the entire way to the road. This saintly gentleman had been passing by and noticed her. He stopped and picked her up, knowing that with those trimmed nails, she belonged to someone. This hunch was further strengthened when his family tried to feed her outside. She had refused to eat until she was taken inside into the air conditioning.
Ross and I returned home after our 3 hour ordeal. We sat on the couch and turned on the Atlanta Braves game. It just so happened to be bring your dog to the park night.
Thinking back on it now. It's very likely that Bunny knew this fact and was hitching her way to the game.
I guess we will never really know.
Happy Birthday, Bunny or as Ross says, "Bunna-potomas!"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm just going to write.

Even as I type this, I don't know how.

I don't want to oversimplify nor do I want to be dramatic.

I have written bits and pieces of this post in my head a hundred times.

This is about Emmett.

Since January, it's as if I've been introduced to a new world.

As a baby he was delayed in many developments such as crawling and walking.

He began to babble and talk.

I remember him saying "Mama" and "Butber" (Butler, our dog at the time).

At some point he stopped doing this.

We had his hearing checked. Have you ever tried to have a little one's hearing checked?

I was told to just watch him and see how he developed. I was told that we could eventually start speech therapy. I was told to wait. Wait and see. Isn't that what we had been doing?

Fast forward.

Different. That's the only way that I could have described our Little Man to you.

Somewhat withdrawn. He didn't engage or even seem to notice other kids.

Until recently he didn't call me anything. And then when he did want me to hold him he would come to me with his hand out saying,"Cwying." Never "mama".

Last January a concern was shared. Ross and I returned from a little get away. We ate with my mom in Montgomery. Sometime during that visit she asked me if we had considered talking with our pediatrician about autism.

It's amazing when someone speaks out loud what you've been reserving and questioning in your heart.

I know it wasn't easy for my Mom to say what she said.

And so Ross and I drove home with the kids.

I sat in the passenger seat, eight months pregnant and I cried.

It seemed as though I was lost in a sea of questions and uncertainty.

What was going on? Mommy guilt reared it's ugly head and all I could ask myself was,"How had I failed this precious blue-eyed boy?"

I believe I had a check up the next day. While I was at the doctor, Ross took Emmett to his pediatrician and expressed our concern.

I was about two weeks away from having Jack when a case worker was sent to our home to observe and interact with Emmett.

Little Man did everything that she asked him to do.

The lady asked Ross and me various questions.

It was determined that Emmett was delayed with his speech. We would schedule the second part of the evaluation to have him further observed.

We began working with Emmett in different ways.

His speech greatly improved and we felt that we were on the right path.

In the next several months, Jack was born. Jack got very sick. We moved. Alot of changes took place. It was a time of transition.

Then at the beginning of the summer, Ross and I took Emmett and Ellie Kate to see a movie. We just knew that Emmett would be glued to the screen.

He did watch, but then he stood up and began jabbering. He wasn't just jabbering. It was as if he were the only one in the theater. To watch him, you would think that he was in a movie of his own, playing each part. He was so intent on what he was saying and doing. The huge movie screen may as well have not been there, because Emmett was in his own little world.

I felt sick.

I'm pretty sure Ross did, too.
We finally voiced our concerns to one another about Emmett.

It wasn't so much that we could say exactly what we knew was amiss. Something was just different.

We contacted Early Childhood Intervention again.

We took Emmett for more evalution. We answered the same questions again.

We filled out forms to be sent off to Birmingham to a place where we could further investigate and see if there was any link between Emmett and autism. We wanted to search to the inth degree and find out all that we could about what was taking place with our boy.

I felt emotionally drained.

It's funny how the world keeps turning at the same rate as it always has despite what you are dealing with in life.

We were told that Emmett was indeed delayed in various areas of development.

We decided to place him in a local daycare for a few days a week so that he could be around other children his age.

We witnessed so much progress with him.

He began talking more and tolerating having other children playing around him.

We found out that the place in Birmingham (that diagnoses) had a 12 month waiting list.

Waiting can be the hardest part.

The Early Intervention program sent a lady to our home a few times to show us ways to work with Emmett. It was very helpful. She said that many delays can often be called "mommy" delays. I basically began to see where I just did things for Emmett. Speech is necessary to express a want or need. If I thought he had a want or a need, I simply met it without him ever asking.

You can only imagine how helpful Ellie Kate was and continues to be in this process. Ellie Kate and Emmett's relationship is truly a strength in this circumstance. He has a full time speech therapist right here at home who doesn't take a breath. Oh the things she wants to teach him!

When Emmett turned three, the Early Intervention services came to an end.

Our local school system stepped in.

More evaluations.

More of the same questions.

More waiting.

More acronyms that I didn't understand.

Lots of opinions.

More of everything except definite answers.

One of the most maddening things about this process is that "time is of the essence" all the while we add our name to another waiting list.

There is a lack of resources and a definite lack when it comes to my patience.

Hello, Mama Bear.

I tell ya, let anything, and I mean, anything happen to me. But let something begin to effect one of my children and the gloves are comin' off.

Trust has been no small commodity.

I've uttered the most honest of prayers and pleaded with the Lord for wholeness for my little one. In fact, that's exactly what Ross prays every. single. night.

He places his hand on Emmett and prays that the Lord would make him whole mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

I need to say something here.

I know no evil intent has ever been attached to this expression that I'm about to share,but never ask someone what is wrong with their child.

I can in complete confidence tell you that there is indeed nothing wrong with Emmett. He is exactly who the Lord created him to be.

He is a gift. He is precious.

He may not be typical but he is full of purpose. Mind you, he is very much a stubborn little three-year-old boy.

He is also not disabled or severly anything for that matter.

He is extremely affectionate and will gaze directly at me with those big blue eyes.

He is a funny kid with an infectious laugh. When he smiles, it's not that just the corners of his mouth turn upward. His entire face scrunches and lights up. Noone smiles as well as Emmett.

God does not make mistakes. Ross and I are keenly aware of the fact that there is so much purpose on the road we are walking with the beautiful child that the Lord has entrusted to us.

To be quite honest, I need the Lord to make me whole mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. And apart from His provision, I am left wanting.

So where are we currently?

I cannot begin to describe the amount of support that we have received. Many prayers have been lifted on our behalf and endless acts of kindness have been shown.

I am in awe as I reflect back over the relationships that the Lord has orchestrated in our lives. Thru one of Ross' friends who has two autistic children, we were referred to a (Defeat Autism Now) DAN Doctor in Auburn. Dr A. told us about some special preschools that cater to the needs of children who display varying types of developmental delays. They receive hours of specialized therapy and are also taught in classrooms with children who are developing typically. Parents are updated weekly on their child's progress and trained to know how to best help their child.

We were ecstatic to hear that such a place existed.

In the next few days we enrolled Emmett in one of these preschools in Jacksonville.

We were put on a waiting list.

Ross called the location in Auburn and asked for an application to be mailed to us. We were going to be added to their waiting list, as well.

Then last week Ross made the decision to drive to Auburn and take care of the process in person. Upon arriving at the preschool, the director, knowing who Ross was, said,"I've got some good news. We had someone decline their spot a couple of hours ago. We have a place for Emmett."


Wonderful news. Thank you, Lord!

Emmett was showing so much improvement at his daycare. It was a bittersweet send off on his last day. The teachers were excited to see him have such a wonderful opportunity ahead, but they all agreed that they would miss his little self.

And so this week has been a big transition for us.

His first day at his new preschool was on Monday.

The drive is about an hour and 15 minutes one way. He will come Monday thru Friday, 7:45 to 2:30.

They will soon begin their own evaluations. We will sit down and see what the plan will be for our little man.

If you haven't met Emmett, well I wish you could.

He is a beautiful, intelligent soul.

It is like opening a gift each time we hear him say something new.

I really look forward to seeing him learn how to communicate, express himself.

We don't have a diagnosis. We are still on a waiting list for the place in Birmingham. We aren't looking for a diagnosis. It's not that we want any certain labels attached to Emmett. We simply want to know where he is so we can best help him. Unfortunately, we have learned that without a diagnosis it is hard to get some services that are needed.

The Lord has opened this new door for us.

We don't always know how to walk this path. It can at times feel as though we are indeed taking two steps forward and one step back. But for now, it has been so wonderful to know that our son is where he can receive the help he needs.

As we continue to walk and learn daily, I know that Emmett will not be the only one changed.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mr. Kilpatrick has a birthday

Yay! Today Ross is catching up with me...for a little while.

Love, love, love, this man.









That's my man.

And yet he is so much more.

I often tell Ross that I am so glad that I get to do life with him.

That includes celebrating.

His life is definitely one to be celebrated!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For the Love!

8 years people. 8 years!

I hate that I can't scan some photos from our wedding day, but that's how it goes with my computersaurus. I can't even upload new pictures!

Hmmm...the main thing that I remember about our wedding was that I was completely unconcerned with the details. I just wanted to say "I do" to Mr. William Ross Kilpatrick.

I think that the 5 month planning process added to my Mom's loss of sanity because I was not worried in the least about anything besides tying the knot. After finding my wedding dress and having my bridal portraits made, I found a new dress two weeks before our big day. It was crazy!

The Lord has been not just faithful, but bountiful in His blessings given to us. We have three beautiful little ones and countless memories. Just as I said in my vows on that day, Ross continues to have my deepest love and highest respect.

Oh how I love me some Ross!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I didn't even see it coming.

Wednesday afternoon.
Everyone has eaten supper.
Emmett is literally cackling at Ellie Kate.
She sits at the table and he pulls her out of her chair and takes off running hoping to be chased. Thankfully, she thinks this is funny, too.
Church starts at 6:30.
I freshen up my makeup using much concealer. I expect National Geographic to show up wanting to do a special on the alien life form that has invaded my face. Somehow my skin forgot that we've made it thru the teen years (as well as past our twenties). Even Ellie Kate took notice of the "boo-boo" on my face. I don't know how I've avoided wearing a bandaid over it. At our house they heal, well, everything.
Jack (bless his little heart) has fallen asleep in his jumparoo.
I lay him in my bed so he can catch a quick nap. It's about 5:30 at this point.
I've got the diaper bag ready complete with juice cups.
The clock speeds up as it approaches 6:00. Time always disappears when I'm trying to get myself and three kids ready.
I've cleaned up the kitchen.
The diaper bag is on the couch. I try to have everything that I need to take with me waiting by the door. This includes mobile children.
And then it begins.
I'm not even sure what to call it.
I tell Ellie Kate to find her flip-flops. She reports back saying that they are nowhere to be found.
I catch a moving Emmett and wrestle him to the ground.
I wipe off all of the stains on his face. As previously mentioned, everyone has had supper.
He needs a fresh diaper.
With him lying flat I could change his diaper in seconds, but where's the fun in that?
I'm reminded by his resistance that having his diaper changed is a form of abuse.
Somehow he nearly escapes. I grab his legs and pull him back toward me. His rear is dragging on the floor yet he is fully twisted around from the waist up, grabbing at the carpet. My little contortionist. I unwind his middle section and complete the diaper change even slipping some shorts on him. I then marvel at my skills as I wrestle the little guy and successfully put sandals that buckle on his feet.
I realize that the background music is not music at all. It's Jack, awake and crying.
I stick my head into Ellie Kate's room and spot a solitary flip flop by the wall.
She is in the kitchen digging thru her backpack to retreat her princess pen and notepad.
I call for her to return to her room.
I tell her to look for the lost flip flop. She lacks enthusiasm.
I return to the living room and find Emmett seated in the rocking chair. He has (as always) gotten his cup out of the diaper bag and is drinking his "duice". Emmett's juice drinking method is to turn up his cup and empty it of every single drop of liquid. I haven't packed extra juice for him so I take his cup away and place it once again in the diaper bag.
He is appalled. He cuts his eyes at me, grunting in protest saying, "Duice, duice!"
If ever there is an appropriate time to reprimand your mommy, well, Emmett believes it is now. "NoooooooNooo. Duiceduiceduice."
"No, man. You can have your juice when we get to church."
With that, I tell Jack that Mommy is doing her best to get to him. Just another minute, please.
I return to Ellie Kate's room and find her seated on the floor reading a book.
"Ellie Kate did you find your flip flop?"
"" She returns to her literature.
I point to the closet and ask her to hand me her pink bag. She cuts her eyes at me and pretends that I'm speaking to her invisible friend. I repeat my request. She reaches over and pulls the bag out. I tell her to put the book down for now and help me.
At this point attitude oozes as she slowly lets the book fall out of her hand and to the floor from her now standing position.
"Oh, no ma'am. Come over here."
She receives a quick pop on the rear and a reprimand.
I search her pink bag and am unable to locate the missing flip flop.
I logically say,"You can just wear your pink sandals." Apparently, Ellie Kate heard me say,"We are going to remove all of your toenails" because her posture sags and she begins to dissolve into tears. I make my firm tone a little firmer and let her know that she will wear her sandals.
"Mama, you just hurt my feelings.(...sobs...sobs.) You won't let me help you."
I respond,"Ellie Kate I told you to come in here and find your other flip flop and you came and sat on the floor and read a book."
"But Mama, I love books!"(sob...sob)
I respond,"Baby, I know you do, but when I tell you to do something that's what you need to do. Now lets get these sandals on. We've got to go."
Like salt on a slug she continues to rapidly dissolve.
Meanwhile, in the background I can hear two things: Jack crying and Emmett protesting.
I put the pink sandals on the little girl with crocodile tears rolling down her face. She manages to continue talking thru her tears.
I walk into my room and scoop Jack up. I take him into the den and change his diaper. I wonder when the angry foreign exchange student arrived as Emmett continues to jabber and be annoyed by me.
Ellie Kate is once again retrieving her notebook and pen. She continues to cry.
I begin to shuffle us to the door.
"These shoes frwustrate me, Mama!"
"I know. I know. Come on let's get in the car."
Jack is on my hip. The diaper bag and my purse are slung over my shoulder. Emmett balances two dinosaurs in one hand and reaches up with his free hand to be helped down the stairs. Each step is numbered. There are six in all.
I look back over my shoulder and the little girl with the frustrating sandals is standing at the top of the six stairs.
"Come on, Ellie Kate. You are okay."
She joins us at the van and climbs back to her seat while I put Jack in his car seat.
I walk around to the passenger side and catch Emmett just before he crawls to the back with his sister and out of my reach. I notice that he has a peanut butter hand print on his back that happens to be the same size as Ellie Kate's hand. I don't even consider changing his shirt. After all peanut butter smells good.
I hook him in his car seat. He is saying "sinosaur" over and over. I half way climb into the van and see a dinosaur on the floor. I retrieve the dinosaur and hand it to him.
I walk around and climb into the driver's side. As Ellie Kate cries, Emmett repeats "sinosaur" over and over.
I look back and see the very dinosaur that I had just handed to him on the floor. I once again retrieve the thing and put it in his little hand. As I'm turning around, out of the corner of my eye I see Emmett "accidentally" drop the dinosaur again.
I'm not playing this game.
As we are pulling out of the driveway, Ellie Kate says while crying,"My eye hurts. It hurts because I can't stop thinking about it."
I remind her that she can go into the Bible study with me tonight and ask her Daddy to pray for it.
We drive less than two miles to church.
As we turn into the church parking lot Emmett begins angry crying and arching his back in protest. This is not always his response to church, but apparently he's decided that he doesn't want to go tonight.
I pull into a space marked "SENIORS" because it's near the door.
Thankfully a sweet lady pulls in behind me and asks if I could use some help. I quickly explain that we are in simultaneous meltdown mode and my turn is coming up. She graciously takes Jack from me as I begin to unbuckle my less than happy toddler.
He begins to flail, kicking his sister.
The five-year-old with the frustrating sandals and hurting eye, does not take kindly to this.
We enter the foyer.
The Kilpatricks have arrived.
I make light of the fact that my two oldest are nearly distraught.
We walk thru the sanctuary to get to the nursery.
I smile around clinched teeth.
The nursery worker (Ms. C) takes Jack from the kind lady that came to my rescue. I make a quick note to include said kind lady in my will and I thank her for her help.
I put Emmett down and he morphs into a leach and attaches to my leg.
Ellie Kate sits down with the twin little boys in the nursery and starts asking them how to spell their names. She wants to write this in her notebook.
I sit in a rocking chair and look for something, anything to draw Emmett's attention away from me. Jack decides to follow suit with the crying.
Ms. C tells me that the last time Emmett was like this, he calmed down shortly after I left. I ask her if she wants me to just stay in the nursery or try to leave. We decide that Ellie Kate and I will exit and wait outside of the door for a few seconds to see if Emmett calms down.
We bolt out of the door.
As we stand with our backs against the wall, Ellie Kate whispers,"Don't say a word."
Sure enough, in less than three minutes Emmett quits crying.
Ellie Kate and I enter the sanctuary and find a seat near the back. She raises her hand to request prayer for her eye and then chickens out when Ross calls on her. She asks me to make the request for her and I do. Ross also tells everyone that it's her birthday. We sing to her and then continue with our prayer meeting/Bible study.
I shoosh Ellie Kate and then remind her 5+ times that she has been shooshed.
I'm somewhat surprised as I sit in the sanctuary that I'm not completely frayed. I realize that in recent prayers I asked for patience. It becomes obvious to me that the Lord is allowing opportunities for me to grow in this area.
I thank Him for my babies.
The return home goes much more smoothly.
My children's plot to take over Mommy has been averted...for today, but I have to say that I didn't even see this one coming.
Sneeky little people... that I love dearly.

Ellie Kate: 5

Maybe this will cut down on the confusion.

We've always told Ellie Kate,"When you're five you'll go to kindergarten."

Well, she's been in school for a few weeks now, but is just turning five today.

She was also confused by the fact that we celebrated her's and Emmett's birthdays this past weekend. I think she didn't know how to celebrate being five when she was still four.

We had a party at my parents' home. I walked into the den at about seven that morning and Ellie Kate was already up. She was sitting in the rocking chair. She asked me,"When are we going to get this party started?"

Anyway, now she is officially the big 0-5.

Last night before she went to bed, we prayed for one of her friends at school who "broke her eye." Then she expressed to me (almost in tears) just how badly she wanted to be a "bus rider" and not a "car rider". Big stuff.

Of course, one of her first questions this morning was,"When will I turn six?"

All I could think was,"Soon enough. Soon enough."

I did something this morning that I don't normally do. After her bath I blow dried her hair. I brushed it and dried it. I wanted to get all sentimental thinking about how bald that little punkin head used to be. My emotions were quickly averted as Ellie Kate made faces at herself in the mirror.

As I rocked Jack to sleep last night, I remembered when Ellie Kate was his size. Has it really been five years?

I've heard it said that with children the days are long, but the years are short. Oh how true! I'm thankful that Ellie Kate still wants me to rock her.

I tell ya, starting kindergarten has been hard. After taking her to school that first morning, Ross and I attended the 'Boo Hoo Breakfast' where I boohooed. I then took Emmett to his school. I came home and sat, rocking baby Jack. He and I had a nice conversation in which he agreed to remain a baby, indefinitely. That helped my feelings.

In the mornings when she's leaving, she says,"Bye Jack, my little carrot."

She recently got in trouble.

During revival we were getting ready to leave church and I couldn't find her. I walked to the back of the sanctuary and looked in the foyer. One of the doors was opened where people were walking out. All I could see was an arm extended with a little hand palm up. Then I noticed men digging in their pockets. Well come to find out Ellie Kate was taking up money from people as they left the church. She even told me later,"If you give me a dollar it'll be your lucky day." She came home with a five dollar bill and some change.

Ross and I told her that she was not to take up money at church. So you can imagine our surprise when recently we found her on a Sunday night at church collecting money as people left. A familiar discussion ensued as we talked about the fact that she was not to do this. Her response,"But it's for my money collection."

I think we'll play it safe and check her pockets every time we come home from church.

Oh how I often wish I knew just half of what Ellie Kate thinks she knows. She has always been a grown up in a little body. Being the big sister to two little boys only accentuates the entitlement of authority that she already feels.

Just the other night I heard Emmett crying. Ellie Kate came walking out of her room. I asked her what happened. She said that Emmett was being ugly while playing with her dollhouse so she hit him. I took her into her room so that I could mediate between the two parties. Emmett, crying, came and put his head on my lap. I talked to him about playing nice with his sister. Before I could address the sister, she turned to Emmett and said,"Now apologize to Sister." She went on to say,"If you apologize and keep your promise you can play, but if you don't keep your promise then I'm not gonna let you play with it (the dollhouse) nights or days."

Emmett, feeling the full weight of the consequences and to my surprise, murmured a "sawwee". Little Priss would have overlooked her own offense had I not stopped her and reminded her that I am the Mommy and she isn't supposed to hit anyone. She apologized to her brother shortly thereafter and all was right with the world for 13.5 seconds.

I have to say, she really does love her brothers and she mothers them to the best of her five year old ability.

So (as my mother laughs) I am getting a daily dose of what it's like to raise, well, myself.


When she fell on the waterslide Saturday and cut her toe (it was pretty bad), she quickly decided that since she had "broke" her toe, her fellow classmates could get her a wheelchair and push her around. Thus far we have been able to avoid the wheelchair and managed with only a slight limp. She also told me that swinging in our backyard the other day was good excercise for her "broke" toe. I have reminded her daily about her bravery concerning her recent injury. She has proudly told me that she has indeed been impressed with said bravery.

She does currently end most sentences with,"Isn't that right, Mama." Ross and I think it's so cute that she wants my affirmation so often.

And one last thing, Ellie Kate thinks she speaks several different languages. This is especially true when she is taken to get a pedicure. She communicates with whoever is painting her toenails. She and I were having a pedicure recently and she said,"ChongChichiiahfdhdihdchong." I said,"What?" She quickly told me that she was not talking to me.

She has also approached people in restaurants and started speaking "their" language.

Offensive? Most likely.

She is a mess, but I wouldn't take anything in the world for that little girl.

And with that, I will leave you with a couple of recent Ellie Kate quotes:

"Shut up isn't a nice word for adults, for cats and dogs, or for small children."

"See this boo boo on my neck. I was trying to grow a hair there. It didn't come out. It made a little place. It wasn't up to me. It was up to my body."

Happy Birthday Ellie Kate! I love you!

You are my Priss-a-potamus!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

These little people...

look alot alike.

Ellie Kate



Ellie Kate



And they favor these big people.

Each baby with Daddy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Emmett: 3

Our 'little man with a plan' is turning three! (Just a moment while I reread that first sentence.)

Wow! That was fast. Wasn't I just delivering him?

I remember it well.

Hurricane Faye was blowing thru and due to the craziness of his delivery and lack of epidural, I'm pretty sure Ross thought he was witnessing an exorcism. At least that's what one would conclude when they are observing their wife, voice lowered, spouting threats. I think we were both waiting for my head to spin.

So back to the joyous occasion at hand.
Mr. Emmett Wilson is a man of few words. Let me restate that. He talks plenty. We just aren't always sure about what he's saying. Now he knows exactly what he's saying. Oh yeah, he jabbers with authority.

Our little guy loves "sinosaurs". At least one of his dinosaurs is nearly always attached to his hand. They go to church (and everywhere else) with us and if for some reason left behind, everyone knows who their owner is.
Currently, his favorite movie is How to Train Your Dragon. He hands me the case numerous times a day saying,"Dwagon?."

Just last night as I was up with Jack feeding him a bottle, I heard Emmett's door opening. The little pitter patter of steps led him to the couch where he plopped down as if 3 a.m. were a good waking hour. I balanced Jack and his bottle in one arm and went to escort Emmett back to bed hoping that he would think sleep was a necessity. He got off of the couch, found the dvd case to How to Train Your Dragon, and let me take him back to his bed. When you start sleeping with the dvd case of your favorite movie, well I'd say you are teetering on obsession.

I usually awake during the night a few times a week to find him seated on the couch in the living room. Either that or he just comes right into our room at 4:30 in the a.m. and says,"Heeeey guys."
I really cannot complain because he goes to bed so well. He is often excited to lay down and go to sleep which is further proof that I indeed gave birth to this child. We always say his bedtime verses. Psalm 25:4-5,"Show me Your ways, oh Lord. Guide me in Your truth and teach me." After that I give him kisses, tell him I love him, and say,"Now stay in your bed. Yes ma'am?" He grins and says, "Ess, ma'am." Ellie Kate will often repeat what I've said wanting him to give her a "yes, ma'am." I always remind her that it is not necessary for her brother to "ma'am" her.

He is a rather demanding little person first thing in the morning. I could do with a calm, "Good morning, Mommy." Instead I often hear "Elmo" repeated somewhere upwards of 20 times, as well as "Duice...". Funny how his volume excelerates when his sleepy headed mama is not answering his requests quick enough.

One improvement has been made, however. Now he is starting to say,"Duice(wait for it, wait for it)...pwease." And let me tell you, he is so proud of himself when he does. A little grin curls on his face and his eyes glance to the floor as I congratulate him for having such good manners. When he gets the juice, he is starting to repeat,"Tank ou, Mama." Hugs and kisses and major congratulations follow.

We took Emmett's pacifier(s) away this summer. For a while, he would say,"Paci, whereareyou whereareyou?" I finally took one of those pacis and cut the end off of it, telling him that it broke. He would take it and say,"Ut oh."

It's funny how different my children are.
I know I often post Ellie Kate quotes. That girl is never at a lack for words. Mr. Emmett, on the other hand, is often jabbering especially when he's excited. But I just don't think many would understand if I posted his quotes. It would look something like, "kjdfiaiejiji...dwagon...lsdkjld...duice...djljfadfj" and so on.

One thing that does this mama good is just how affectionate of a little one my Emmett is. He loves to snuggle. He most always 'gives me lovin'.

And one of my absolute favorite things about Emmett? He loves to hold my hand which in turn melts my heart.

His blue eyes are the bluest. Oh, and his 'scrunch face' is the cutest.

It's amazing how a little guy like Emmett can render this mama helpless with a smoosh of his face. That little dimple on the right side of his mouth doesn't hurt either.

When I'm in the kitchen, Emmett is attached to one or both of my legs. He will press his little face into me and on occasion do so baring his teeth. Not cool, but I get so tickled at him. He is a wallowing child. This is quite helpful as he hangs on my back while I change Jack's diaper. Just yesterday he did this while saying,"What's da big idea?"

Speaking of Jack, Emmett is starting to acknowledge him. It's only taken 6 months. He will actually look at his brother and repeat "Baby Jack" when prompted three times. It's a start:)

However, Emmett loves his big sister. He thinks that she is hands down the funniest person in the world which works out well because she holds the same opinion of herself. Ellie Kate could take Emmett by the hand and lead him to the ends of the earth. He would go willingly, giggling uncontrollably all the way.

Emmett also loves for Ross to get him. He makes fast tracks down the hallway to escape The Daddy all the while hoping to be caught and tickled without mercy.

Emmett's goodbyes are also a thing of cuteness. Hand to mouth, he says,"Muuuaww."
We have seen so much improvement with Emmett in the past few months. It would take a while to explain all that has taken place. Let me just say that the Lord has been ever so faithful to lead us as we do what is best for our son.

The milestone of a birthday brings about much reflection.
I truly believe that parenting is the hardest most worthwhile privilege in the world. I've never rejoiced more than when my blue-eyed Emmett attempts a new word or holds my gaze just a second longer than before. I've also never pleaded as hard as when I ask the Lord to give us the best guidance in knowing how to help in Emmett's development.

So much emotion wrapped in the rearing of a precious soul. Oh that I would seek the Lord to be the mommy that my children need me to be!

I often think,"Gently still, oh Lord, lead me gently still as I lead them."

Emmett seriously loves his Mommy. I pray that as the years fly by (because they do) I will be found worthy of that little soul's adoration.
Happy Birthday, Emmett! You are my Cute-a-potamus!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

On the eve of her first day of kindergarten

Wowzers! She cannot be old enough for this! Not my Prissy Luller Belle!

In honor of this landmark event in our lives, I've decided to interview my little student. Here goes...

Me:"What's tomorrow?"

EK:" (pointing @ the computer screen) Does that say school?"

Me:"Yes. Now what are you most excited about for school?"

EK:"I'm excited about sleeping there and I'm excited about going to paint there. Does it say paint. Paint starts with a p? and I want to draw there."

Me:"How many kids do you think will be in your class?"

EK:"I think 152."

Me:"What's your teacher's name?"

EK:"Ms. Adams. How do you spell Belle?"

Me:"Alright stay focused. Let's talk about kindergarten."

EK:"Ask me what snack I want to eat there. Okay, Mama? Ask me. Know what I wanna eat there?"

Me:"What kind of snack do you want there?"

EK:"A banana. I want a banana. How do you spell banana?"

Me:"What are some things that you think you will learn in kindergarten?"

EK:"I will learn how to say new things. I will know how to draw new things like a heart. That's a good thing. Isn't it?"

Me:"How long will you be at school each day?"

EK:"Um...forever. Are you gonna write the number? I think I'll be there 52 100. Are you gonna write that, Mama? That's a long time. Write Ellie Kate b/c I said Ellie Kate. Does that say Ellie Kate you stink?"

Me:"Should it say 'you stink'?"

EK:(Shaking head)"No."

Me:"Let's focus. Will you miss me while you're at school?"

EK:"Yes I will. I'll miss Jack, the little fella, too and Emmett."

Me:"How many days a week will you go to school?"

EK:"Um...500? Did you write the number 500?"

Me:"Did you know that you have to wake up early every day for school?"

EK:"Yes. Why?"

Me:"Is there anything that you're nervous about?"

EK:"No. You know which thing I'm excited about arts and crafts to do there? I'm excited about doing arts and craft."

Me:"Did you know that you have to raise your hand to speak?"

EK:"Yes. Raise your hand if you wanna say something in kindergarten."

Me:"Well I'm all out of questions."

EK:"You are? I'm not. I want to draw and learn everything. Hey do you want to drop me off at kindergarten and tell my teacher you're all out of questions? Do you know what I'm going to need to study? I'm gonna need a computer."

Me:"In kindergarten?"

EK:"If we study we might."

Me:"Do you know how much I love you?"

EK:"How much? Show me. Show me how much little prissy...(touching keyboard)You need a "q", Mama?"

Me:"I think this interview was over a while ago."

EK:"What do n-r-o spell?"


EK:"Huh? You writted 'nothing'?"

Me:"Interview over, but do you have a closing thought?"

EK:(Speaking like a robot)"I am all out of questions. I don't have anything else to say, Mama.....Wait. The last thing that I want you to write is 'Have a fun day at school.' Now read it, Mama. Stupid and idiot..."

Me:(Cutting my eyes at her and shaking my head.)
EK:"...are not nice words. You thought I was going to call you that."

Me:"You're a mess."

As you can see we are quite focused on our big day tomorrow. Extra prayers will be said for Ellie Kate's teacher, Ms. Adams.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Here's what happened with Jack

(First of all let me say that I am sorry that it has taken me this long to give all of the details concerning Jack. We just returned to Ashland after taking our scheduled vacation last week. Jack and Emmett received lots of special attention from our families, while Ross and I took Ellie Kate to Disney World. We are all currently happy and healthy with lots and lots of pictures to post.)

Ross and I were able to attend a ministry retreat a few months ago. We had the privilege of hearing Dr. Calvin Miller speak and offer advice in regards to ministry. He is an absolute brilliant mind having authored over 40 books. He is a retired pastor as well as a professor. He is a passionate follower of Christ not lacking in common sense or compassion. A statement that he made that weekend made an impression on me then and registered all the more powerfully with me since our revival services. Dr. Miller said, “I would much rather be a part of a church service in which I cannot explain what happened instead of one where I can.”

I ended my last post by stating that, “I cannot wait to share this latest happening in our family’s life.” I would like to put some perspective with that statement. Before I tell you what took place with Baby Jack last week, let me first say that I share our experience with you lacking anticipation when it comes to recounting my little one’s sickness. My excitement definitely has more to do with trying to convey the goodness of the Lord in our lives. No matter how I try, I will not be able to fully explain what took place. In a real sense, you definitely had to be there.

Another reason for this post is to get my thoughts down. Last week was crazy, fast, and furious. Processing what took place has not been easy for me. I mean, Jack had already been terribly sick at 8 weeks of age. It had never entered my mind that I would be returning to Children’s Hospital with my sweet baby.

Monday night, the 1st of August, was the second night of revival services at First Baptist Church of Ashland. I was seated in the front row as Ross made his way to the pulpit. I had been told that there was enough help in the nursery for this service and I must say that I was relieved because I was looking forward to hearing the message that Ross was going to preach. Mind you, I did not know which passage he would be preaching on or even the title of the message.

He began by asking the question, “Do you really want revival?” In his introduction he spoke of being a part of several revival services. He told the congregation that when he found out that he would be the preacher of these revival services, he thought, “Lord, please don’t make me preach that passage.”

The passage that Ross was referring to was 2 Chronicles 7:14. It says, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Ross spoke about how many times he had heard this passage preached, both correctly and incorrectly. He went on to say that it was the "go to" revival service passage. He made his feelings quite clear concerning his lack of desire when it came to preaching this passage. However, he was also very clear in stating that he was convinced that this was the message that the Lord had given to him. And with that, he began to deliver the sermon.

My husband preached boldly and passionately. He was starting the third point of his sermon with a fourth point to go. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone peeking thru the side door, motioning for me. I left the sanctuary and was told that Jack, my normally jolly little guy, was crying and couldn’t be consoled. My first thought was that it was passed his bedtime and he was being fussy because he was ready to go to bed.

When I took Jack, he was definitely exhausted. I rocked him and noticed that he would try to go to sleep, but then he would cry out in pain and struggle to take a breath. I told the nursery worker that something wasn’t right. She agreed and said that that’s why she had gotten me out of the service.

The sight of Jack hurting and laboring to breath was frighteningly familiar. I made the decision to go get Ross out of the pulpit. I handed Jack to someone else in the nursery and quickly headed out to get Ross.

Thankfully, we have doors that lead to the choir loft. I opened one of these doors and got his attention. At this point, I had begun to cry and all I could say was, “I need you.” He paused with a baffled look on his face. I continued, “I need you. Jack is having trouble breathing.”

I found out later that Ross had literally just used Jack’s sickness at 8 weeks of age as an illustration in his sermon. He talked about pleading with the Lord to let Jack breathe. He followed this with another illustration in which, he had his arms stretched out proclaiming, “Give me air!” This was the point when I had opened the door.

He told the congregation to pray and he ran passed me to the nursery. He took Jack in his arms, observing the struggle that was taking place with his breathing. We hurried out the door. Thankfully, someone was able to get my purse off of the front row. I found the keys in my purse and I held Jack as Ross drove us to the emergency room. All I kept saying over and over was, “Not again. Not again. Not my baby.”

We went into the emergency room pleading for help. We were ushered back to an area where we were asked an endless list of questions trying to understand what was taking place with our baby. All the while, Jack was inconsolable.

At this point I didn’t know that a church member had contacted one of the local beloved physicians to come to the emergency room. Dr. H showed up and took over. He was really great.

X-rays were ordered.
X-rays were taken and blood was drawn. I felt so helpless for my little one.
Jack finally dozed off lying on my chest.

The x-rays came back and showed that Jack’s lungs looked fine. However, more x-rays were taken because of concern over his abdomen. Apparently, he was very bloated and unable for whatever reason to pass the gas in his tummy.
We also noticed that Jack’s legs and feet had turned a bright red color.

Dr. H made the decision to send us to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. An ambulance was called.
I don’t know exactly how long Jack slept, but when he woke up he was actually smiling and passing gas. I immediately looked at Ross wanting some reassurance concerning my decisions. He was quick to remind me of the waiting room filled with people praying not to mention the sanctuary that was also filled.

Since Jack seemed better, we were allowed to drive him to Birmingham.
He rested the whole way.

The Lord reminded me, as Ross drove, of that very morning when I had sat Ellie Kate down and discussed putting on the armor of God in Ephesians 6. We had gone over each piece of protection. The one that stuck out the most to me was the shield of faith with which we could extinguish to arrows of the evil one.

We arrived at Children’s to a full waiting room. Thankfully, we had a room waiting on us. Jack immediately woke up and began crying.
An i.v. was started. X-rays were taken.

The x-rays showed that his lungs and abdomen were all doing well.
The doctor’s concern was with Jack’s legs. At this point, he had red spots on his legs and feet that didn’t blanch when touched. The doctor referred to them as petechial. She said that they could be a sign of a bacterial infection. That, along with his irritability, concerned her. She wanted to do a spinal tap and have blood drawn. She said that we would probably be there for a couple of days.

I was in disbelief.

I spoke with one of the doctors and expressed my concern over the idea of having a spinal tap performed. She was quick to tell me that they did not order frivolous tests.
Ross and I gave our consent and were taken to a nearby waiting room. It was probably about 2:30 in the morning.

I felt frail.

Ross and I leaned against one another and prayed for our baby. This all seemed quite surreal.
After the procedure was performed, we were able to return to Jack’s emergency room. I held that sweet baby until he went to sleep.
We were taken to a room around 4:30 a.m.
Exhausted, you could say.
I positioned Jack in the hospital crib and Ross prepared our fold out beds.
Ross and I slept for maybe three hours.

At some point the next morning, the doctors came by to check on Jack. The spinal tap showed negative for any type of infection. He was acting like his happy little self now. He definitely had a yucky cough and a lot of congestion. They wanted to observe him and hopefully send us home that afternoon. Jack sang and cooed for them. He then pulled the covers across his forehead as if to say, “Please go away so I can sleep.”
And sleep he did. Poor baby had experienced a rough night.

Ross felt strongly that he would be back in the pulpit of FBC Ashland that night. That afternoon, we were able to have a doctor sign off on Jack being discharged from the hospital.
Exhausted, we arrived back in Ashland around 6 p.m. Just an hour later, Ross was standing back in the pulpit. Thanks to my Mom keeping our children at our home, I was seated on the front row.

He said that he couldn’t help but ask the Lord, “Why?” Throughout the previous 24 hours, he had continuously posed the same question. He knew that he was supposed to deliver the message that he had been preaching when I came and called him away the night before.
He said that he got his answer while we were in our hospital room. As he looked over at sweet little Jack, the Lord told him that our little one was the reason.

Now normally Ross would have about seven pages of typed notes. His sermon outline would be complete with footnotes. However, on this night he didn’t have his typical outline. Instead he had that same confirmation from the Lord about what he was to say.

He said that he was neither smart enough nor was he strong enough to deliver the message that the Lord had given to him. He was also not willing to be disobedient.

He then went on to preach a message of reconciliation. The more recent history of our church includes a split. There had been many wounds. There had been many relationships that needed mending.
When Jack got sick, both this time and last, it drew our entire community together. It wasn’t that just one denomination or church group prayed for our baby, the whole community lifted up our little one.

Ross preached a very powerful, heartfelt sermon using a passage out of Colossians. He then called for a show of reconciliation. The message ended with the signing of a petition of reconciliation followed by an altar filled with many seeking the Lord.
Even as I read over this now, I almost don’t even want to post it. This is what took place. This is also not all that took place.

Ross and I feel that Jack was congested while his abdomen was swollen due to gas. The combination caused a lot of pain, as well, as a struggle to breath. I have no idea what was taking place with his legs and feet.

I want to be very careful when I try to explain what was taking place because I truly believe that there was so much more going on than we will ever be able to explain.

Praise the Lord that what Satan intended for evil, the Lord used for good.

It was once again overwhelming to witness the show of support that we experienced from so many.

We were humbled then.

And we continue to be now.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


We were released from the hospital yesterday afternoon and returned home around 6 pm. Jack is doing well. He is very congested and has a nasty cough, but he is my jolly little pudge of a fella.

I honesty cannot express my gratitude to each and every show of support and prayer lifted on my family's behalf. I have been unable to respond to each call, text, facebook post, but each one has been and continues to be greatly appreciated. I look forward to sharing this latest happening in our lives in the form of a post.

God is good!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sitting in Children's Hospital Again

I still cannot quite comprehend the title to this post.
This morning we find ourselves in a place that is far more familiar than I had ever hoped it would be. We are in Children's Hospital in B'ham. For now let me say that sweet baby Jack is doing well. Results from his spinal tap (performed @ 2:30 this morning) returned negative.

We hope to return home soon.

I am beyond humbled by the prayers lifted on my family's behalf.

Do not be fooled! There is more than a physical struggle that has taken place in these last 15+ hours. There is a spiritual battle that has been fought. My Lord Jesus has graciously stood with us.

Thank you, dear Father, for Your mercy.

What satan intended for evil, the Lord has already and will continue to use for good!

God has seen fit to use baby Jack, the most innocent among us, to accomplish His purposes.

I will post with more details when I can.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Emmett wasn't digging it, but...

While Ross was on a mission trip to Honduras last week, I asked Haiden to come and snap some photos of me and the kids. I was originally going to surprise him with the pictures, but I couldn't stand it so I showed them to him.

This Mama's got her lap full...literally. These little ones are such a blessing!
More to come...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Storytime with Ellie Kate

Me:"What do you want to talk about?"
EK:"Jesus and God. I want to talk about Jesus."
Me:"What about Him?"
EK:"I love Him and I wish I could see Him for a hundred years."
Me:"What would y'all do?"
EK:"We would spend time together."
Me:"What would you talk about?"
EK:"I would talk about Grammy and Pawpaw."
Me:"What about them?"
EK:"I would say that I love them and then they would take me to Nana's house."

New topic.
Me:"What else do you want to talk about this morning?"
EK:"That I would love on Mama."
Me:"Can you tell me a story?"
EK:"Once upon a time there was a girl named Ellie Kate. Ellie Kate found a handsome boy named Emmett. And she thought that she could marry him."
Me:"He's your brother and you cannot marry your brother."
EK:"Don't write that in the story. I didn't know his name so he told me his name and I decided to marry him."
Me:"So this is a different Emmett?"
EK:"It was a different Emmett."
Me:"What happened next?"
EK:"Me and Emmett went to a house and there was a mommy, a daddy, and a baby named Jack. Um...I thought they could come with us to our wedding. And then we married each other. And then we married each other and then I went to the hospital and there was two childs that came out of my tummy. And then it was Jessie and Repunzel. And then the kids wanted to go to our house. And then we didn't have a house. I told them we didn't have a house and then we told the workers to build us one. And then they build us a house with stairs. And we lived happily ever after. The end."
Me:"Good story."
EK:"Thank you."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jack at Home (with Ellie Kate)

She did help me write "thank you" cards.

Jack's Arrival (mostly pictures)

In honor of Jack turning 6 months old this week, I thought I would tell about his arrival.
I had a doctor's appointment on Friday the 21st of January. By this point I was already progressing toward having the little guy. In an effort to speed up the process, my doctor stripped my membranes. After that she kindly peeled me off of the ceiling.
Ross brought the kids to Tigertown to meet me for lunch. I was having contractions that seemed to be somewhat consistent. We decided that Ross would take the kids back to Reeltown while I drove over to the hospital and sat in the lobby. I had no intention of this delivery having any resemblance to Emmett's.
I drove over to the hospital. As I sat in the lobby I noticed that my contractions were getting more intense. I waddled to the elevator and rode up to the third floor where I checked myself in. I had an appointment with an epidural that I wasn't about to miss.
Everything happened so quickly.
Thankfully Ross made it back to the hospital just as I was about to start pushing.
I literally pushed all of ten minutes and Jack Watson entered the world.
He had a head full of dark hair. I had checked in at 1:30 p.m. and he was born just after 6 p.m.
My mom and sister arrived shortly after he was born.
When my sister was standing next to me holding Jack, I saw a shooting star out of the window behind her. I really did see it. It wasn't the drugs, people.

The Proud DaddyNice to meet you.Studying my new little person.Nana & JackOne of my favorite memories was getting to introduce my dad, Jack, to my son, Jack.Poppa & MemeGrammy & Pawpaw Since it was flu season, Ellie Kate and Emmett weren't able to meet Jack at the hospital. Ellie Kate did call to find out what we had named her new brother. After hearing that we had named him Jack Watson, she said,"That's awesome, Mama! Next time I see you I'm gonna give you knuckles!"

Getting dressed to go home.So tiny.Being wheeled to the car.Snuggling at home.