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Month: February 2013

Wondering Why Wednesday

Wondering Why Wednesday

It’s not that I haven’t been asking “Why?” since we’ve moved to Virginia…it’s just that I forgot all about our Wednesday tradition. My apologies, my brain is mush. I promise to get back on track one day.

In the meantime, here is the first of many Wondering Why Wednesday posts. IMG_8391

Why is a pacifier sitting in the yogurt container?

Shots, Skittles and Princess Band-Aids

Shots, Skittles and Princess Band-Aids

A portion of our cross cultural training while in Virginia includes a series of  immunization clinics. Because of the large number of people on campus needing immunizations to travel overseas, you  pretty much get an appointment time for your entire family and they heard you through like cattle, tossing needles in your general direction.  Ok, not really, but it feels like that.

This past week was our first immunization clinic, which meant we spent a good deal of time preparing and learning what to expect in order to avoid a meltdown in the medical clinic. Shot Day 1 would involve a total of 14 immunizations for our crew so I was prepared for the worst. Much to my surprise, the boys (with the exception of Breck who had to be held down by three adults) did wonderful. We made it out with minimal tears, camo band-aids and a handful of candy/cookies given to the boys by our incredible medical staff.

Britten had to get three shots, including Hepatitus B which happens to burn…a lot. The nurses gave him all three shots at one time and he just so happened to comment on the fact that the Hep B shot hurt badly. The nurse thought that was hysterical and gave Britten Hello Kitty and Princess band-aids. The boys were doubled over in laughter at the sight of their camo band-aids and Daddy all decorated  in pink. Also, while we’re on the subject of Britten, I must say that he’s going to kill me when he sees this picture but it was just too cute not to share.


 14 immunizations down….39 to go. We got this!

This Calls for a Celebration

This Calls for a Celebration

The easiest way for me to describe what the boys do during the day while we are in classes is to say they go to school, but it’s not exactly like real school. Each of the boys has between 6-10 kids in their classroom and all of the families are preparing to head overseas. The curriculum is academic but it’s also largely focused on learning to live cross culturally and teaching each child specifically about their new country. The boys have learned so many new, wonderful things but I’d be lying if I said the transition has been easy.

With the exception of Braeden going to Mother’s Day Out for one year when he was two, the boys have always been home with me. So, as you can imagine, the first day I dropped each of them off in their “classroom” I was a big ol’ hot mess. I’ll spare you the gory details but lets just say I had to walk back to the apartment and “put myself back together” before I could proceed to my own classes.

Braeden and Brody walked right into their classroom without a single tear. They were both a little hesitant but managed to hold it together. Brooks and Breck both cried the first day but by day two, Breck hardly looked back at drop off. Brooks on the other hand cried  screamed  proceeded to cry and scream while physically attaching himself to every square inch of my body and has continued to do so for nearly four weeks now. The first couple of times I cried right along with him but after that I did what every good mother would have done and begged his dad to take him to class everyday. Can you really blame me? Watching this little cutie cry crocodile tears each morning was going to be the death of me.


This past week started off just like the rest. The minute I said, “Let’s get our backpacks on.” Brooks started crying. But, by the time Tuesday rolled around something had changed. We took Brooks into his class and his teacher took him to the window to wait on us to walk by. He looked a little nervous but he didn’t cry. He waited at the window until he saw us walk by. He waved at us while we acted like absolute idiots in a desperate attempt to see the tiniest hint of smile come across his face. No smile came but neither did the tears. For the past few days we’ve let him wait by the window until he sees us pass by and I’m pleased to announce that we’ve been tear free for almost a week.IMG_8500

When the boys got home from school we celebrated Brooks’ accomplishment with cookies and he got to be the first one in the family to eat off the new and improved “Blue Plate Special.”


2 Little Fish & 5 Loaves of Bread

2 Little Fish & 5 Loaves of Bread

I bet you have been missing your regular dose of Brody & his massive amount of cuteness. No need to fear, I have just the video for you. Try to ignore the fact that this little ball of energy is singing a melody in his underwear.

While we are up in Virginia for a few weeks the boys go to school during the day while my husband and I are in our own classes. It’s been so exciting to see them come home everyday with something new they’ve learned. Last week Brody’s class was learning about the story in Matthew 14 where Jesus feeds the multitudes with two fish and five loaves of bread. I warn you, the little tune is catchy.  So don’t blame me if it gets stuck in your head the rest of the week.

The Birthday Plate

The Birthday Plate

If you’ve been around for any length of time you know about the infamous Birthday Plate. If you’re new to the family, I’ll give you the skinny version.

Many moons ago I went to a little craft shop in Birmingham and made a birthday plate. The idea was that the plate would be put away and only come out when someone celebrates a birthday. On your special day you get to eat off the birthday plate.


The birthday plate has been a part of our celebrations since the beginning of our life as a family.


We’ve watched the years pass by each time one of our little guys blew out a candle on the plate.


The plate has traveled with us to various party locations including, but not limited to, fine dining establishments like Waffle House.


And of course, if we happen to be with you on your special day….you’re gonna eat off the birthday plate as well. I insist!IMG_3725

It may sound silly to some but the birthday plate was part of who we are as a family. It was a tradition unique to our family that I hoped our boys would one day pass on to their children. Dozens of pictures celebrating our thankfulness for another year have included the beloved plate.


Three weeks ago we were getting ready to head to Virginia for some training for our upcoming job overseas. If we all six rode in the van, we had nowhere to put our luggage and if we all flew, we wouldn’t have a car while we were in VA. We decided to split up. Britten took the two little guys and drove while I got to fly with the two big kids. We crammed eight weeks worth of luggage into the van, kissed the big guys goodbye and sent them on their way. Before Britten pulled out of the driveway I handed him a carefully wrapped package and told him to guard it with his life. Inside the package was the birthday plate and the blue plate special which we will talk about another time. The plates are both ceramic so I wrapped them in several dish towels and zipped them inside a padded pouch. Surely that would keep them snuggly and safe.

Britten and the boys made it to North Carolina before stopping to get a hotel room for the night. Once they were all snuggled safely in bed he called  to check in. The conversation started with, “Babe, you aren’t going to believe what happened. It could have been really bad but we are all ok.” Ummm…certainly not what a Mama wants to hear.

Turns out that while he was driving up 1-85 the back hatch of the van flew open and several things toppled out the back into oncoming traffic. Britten pulled over to retrieve what he could but a couple of the bags had been hit by an oncoming 18 wheeler and left just enough to be identified as….you guessed it, the bag with both of the plates. *sigh*

I’d love to say that I didn’t cry because in reality it’s just a few bits of gravel and stone mixed together with a nice coat of paint. However, that gravel and stone was something special! No doubt it”ll be missed. However, I have resolved to look at it this way- we’ve started a new adventure, a new life if you will, and with new adventures come new traditions.

Another one bites the dust…

Another one bites the dust…

I had full intentions of blogging long before now with glorious news regarding our time in Virginia but that just didn’t happen.

We arrived in Virginia on Monday January 21st. Tuesday we had meet the teacher day and Wednesday the boys started school. IMG_8382Thursday night around 11pm Breck started throwing up, which was the beginning of what seems to be the never ending string of illnesses. For the next several days 3 of our 6 were down with the stomach bug. We all started feeling a bit better over the weekend only to have two more of the boys start running fevers. As of tonight, two of the boys have  a respiratory virus that has triggered their asthma which means we’re seeing a lot of this around the apartment.


Tomorrow marks the eleventh day in a row that someone in our family has been sick. I’ve purchased and obsessively used an impressive line up of germ killing products only to learn that you in no way, shape or form can truly stop the spread of germs.