"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 1:4

Friday, June 27, 2008

Jack Explaining the "Wuvie Wam"

While I was holding Luke at the Smalling house last week, I made this video of Jack explaining the tiny white lamb blankie that Luke is "holding". Some call it a Lovie Lamb but I like Jack's little dirty-faced pronunciation best..."Wuvie Wam". And I did my best to get him to say it as many times as possible on the video. I hope you enjoy this half as much as I did.

I'll translate the last couple of Jack's sentences: (after I ask him what it is again a couple of times), he says: "uh huh, that's what Nathan has, a Lovie Lamb, Like Luke" And then..."It's for sleeping when you got a blanket on it."

And he's off...

Monday, June 23, 2008

After my week with the grandkids...

I just spent a week with Melanie, Jared and the kids.  Jared took time off from work during the first week Melanie and baby Luke were home.  I was honored to be there to help out during the second week.  It was an awesome time...fun, hard, hilarious, tiring, special...unforgettable!  I loved it!!!

I have several good blog ideas after my time with the grandkids!  I also have a couple of good ones about Melanie and Jared.  But this one is about how I felt when the week was over.  I had three almost simultaneous thoughts/feelings as I returned to our home in Bowling Green:

*How extremely blessed I am

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the grandchildren.  Sure, there were a few meltdowns, some tattling and whining that I helped deal with, but the hugs & kisses, bright morning faces, cooking together and tucking in at night definitely outweighed those little incidents.

I loved watching Melanie with baby Luke.  She's a nurturing, precious mother who loves her children dearly.  It was neat when Jared came home every evening to "Daddy!" from the kiddos and to see him holding the "little" one.


*How I love peace and quiet

As I walked into the house in B.G., I actually said, "Ahhhh..."  For the first time in several days, I had complete peace and quiet.  If I wanted to go to bed, I could.  If I wanted to watch t.v., read, go shopping or do absolutely nothing, I could.


*That Melanie rarely gets to experience this peace and quiet but will one day be where I am.

Melanie can't "go home" to the freedom, peace and quiet I described above.  She IS home!  Home is an 8 1/2-year-old (going on 13) daughter who is into "all things fairy" right now. 

Home is a 6-year-old son (Melanie calls him "her happiness") who is finding his place in the middle of the family. 

Home is a 3 1/2-year-old son who is loud, constantly busy and likes to annoy his big brother and sister...but...is just the sweetest, cutest and funniest little boy ever! 

Home is a precious 2-week-old baby son who, of course, takes up most of her time right now.

But one day she will turn around and they will be adults!  There will be no more toys strewn all over the house or children arguing and tattling or complaining about what she's fixing for supper.  One day she, too, will have a peaceful and quiet home, get reacquainted with her husband, enjoy being a grandmother, go to the bathroom alone, have a telephone conversation without a dozen interruptions, do pretty much as she pleases...

That day is not today...

I love you and respect you and Jared so much!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Luke with his best friends

Maddy wanted a sister...But the minute she saw her new brother, she was totally in love with him! Looks like the feeling is mutual...
She's pretty excited!

Noah also loves his baby brother!

He always wants to be close to him.

Little Jack is so excited to hold Luke! (I have to add that he was the first to "run" into the hospital room and immediately asked to hold him! He kept saying, "I think he wikes me!"

The grandmothers let Jack kiss his baby brother

Mommy is so happy to have all her babies together!

"Let's all see if we can make Luke happy..."

More Luke photos

Daddy rocking in the hospital

Home with Mommy

Poppi holding Luke in the hospital

Dani holding Luke in the hospital

Two boys chillin' in mom's hospital bed

"I'm fat!"

"I'm VERY fat!"

"My eyes are even fat!"

"But, oh, how adorable I am!"

Luke is hungry....duh!

I'm hungry, people!

Maybe there's food over here...

How about this side...

My paci...that's nice, but...

My paci AND my big sister, it's getting better...

But.....WHERE'S MOMMY????!!!!

The Story of LUKE, according to Dani

I like my paci!

All hands on Luke!

They're sticking my foot!

Precious Baby

I will post more photos later...

Luke Wesley Smalling, aka "Blueberry" or "Little Boy Blue", entered safely into this world at 10:15 p.m., Friday, June 6, 2008. THANK YOU, GOD!

You can also read Melanie's and Jared's posts on www.smallingworld.blogspot.com.

As a friend mentioned to me today, if the Smalling family had really wanted to name this baby boy after a fruit, "Blueberry" wouldn't have worked..."Watermelon" would be more appropriate. Funny, Sandra!

Are you sitting down? Our beautiful new grandson weighed 11 pounds, 1 1/4 ounces and is 22 inches long!!! No...I'm not kidding. Our Melanie delivered this son of theirs without the benefit of drugs. What an amazing woman!

I've been waiting for her to blog first because I felt that after what she went through, she should have first blogging rights!

She's still a little tired and for some reason just doesn't have a whole lot of time to write a long blog at this moment, so I'll give some details.

Luke was nice enough to begin hinting to his mommy that it might be time to head for the hospital after we all woke up on Friday morning. We got "the call" from Melanie around 8 a.m. or so (can't remember exactly). Steve and I got ready, picked up Shirley and Gerald (Jared's parents) and headed for Nashville!

On the way, I talked to Melanie and/or Jared a couple of times and realized we had plenty of time to take S & G to the house to keep the kids. We also made a side trip to David & Maggie's house in Hendersonville to let Libby (their dog--formerly ours--we were keeping while they were on vacation) stay at her own house while we were at the hospital.

Anyway...when Steve and I finally got to the hospital around lunchtime, we were hoping things had progressed a lot, but they hadn't. This labor was really different from Melanie's previous ones, which had been pretty fast. With the three full-term babies, she never had time to walk or enjoy her big nice room or laugh and visit and get terribly hungry. The other times, they pretty much got to the hospital and things went fast from there. Coming from Bowling Green each time, we barely made it with Noah and Jack!

Throughout the day, Melanie felt okay...had contractions...sometimes fairly regular; sometimes not, but most of them weren't real strong. She was able to walk around as much as she wanted to and only had to be hooked up to the monitor for 15 minutes out of every hour. Jared and Steve actually felt quite safe in going to a restaurant away from the hospital for dinner. Melanie rested some but was beginning to be pretty tired and HUNGRY!

The guys got back with my dinner around 7:00 p.m. (I'm guessing). Steve and I went to the waiting room so Melanie wouldn't have to smell my food. When we returned, Melanie was in good labor ("good" meaning the kind that gets babies born). She was in the middle of a contraction and deep concentration with Jared inches from her, softly talking her through it.

"Talking her through it" doesn't even begin to describe what my sweet son-in-law was actually doing. I have a feeling Melanie will blog about that experience, so I won't go into great detail here. I will say, however, that I have never loved that boy more than I did during those last few hard hours of labor.

So...Friday night, June 6, 2008, at 10:15, I was blessed to again witness the birth of a grandchild...our daughter's 5th delivery! What an awesome experience to watch MY "baby girl" joyfully, painfully, gratefully bringing a healthy baby of HERS into this world.

Saturday night after I read to, prayed with and tucked in Maddy, Noah and Jack, it hit me...really for the first time since Luke's birth...how smoothly Melanie's pregnancy had gone; how God had seen her through this incredible miracle of childbirth safely; and how He had blessed us all with a perfect, healthy baby boy. Finally, the emotions stored up in this mother/grandmother came pouring out and I hit my knees, thanking God over and over...

More to come later. Right now I'm going to bed!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Melanie is in the hospital!

Just a minute to let you know Melanie is in labor and is at Baptist Hospital. This one is going to be a little different...she's usually not here long before the babies arrive, but this one is going a little slower. So, we're enjoying getting to just visit at the moment. Will let you know when our new grandson gets here. It is now almost 6 p.m., Friday...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Family Tradition...

We always make pancakes for breakfast when the grandkids are here...it started when Maddy was little and I made her bear-shaped pancakes and put mini chocolate chips for the eyes and nose.  She has asked for them ever since.

She began helping me make them when she was really young and, as she's gotten older, isn't quite as interested, so the job/privilege has gone to the boys. 

But this past visit, she wanted to help. 

Maddy Mixing Batter

Maddy Pouring Syrup

Maddy Eating Pancakes

We usually make them from scratch (even though my favorite taste and texture is from a mix...Aunt Jemima's Original) They don't think the mix is nearly as much fun because they don't have as much to do, I guess.

We will continue to have pancakes for breakfast when grandkids are here...not always bear shaped but always with chocolate chips...as long as they keep asking for them.

Summer Haircuts for Noah and Jack

Are these not the cutest little boys ever???

Even with Jack and his little dirty face...

I just wanted to eat them up!!!

Jack Noah Short haircuts

Madeline, the seamstress

maddy spent 4 nights at our house this past week.  when she was here with the boys a week ago, she asked if we could make a dress together. 

she has made pillows in the pastCopy of Maddy's New Room 2, as you can see in this picture.  (she made the 2 little pillows in front.)  she got a real barbie sewing machine for christmas from her dani and, unfortunately, we haven't had that much time to sew together since then.

but now she wanted to make a dress.  not just any dress, though...she wanted to make a water fairy dress!  it seems she and some friends at school are into fairies and since maddy is a water fairy, her dress of course needed to be sea blue.  it also needed to be sparkly.

we went to the fabric store and found all the perfect items to make this dress.  i cut it out but maddy actually sewed the seams of the skirt and helped glue on the sequins.

Sewing Maddy closeup from side Sewing Maddy Concentrating

she did not use her barbie sewing machine for this dress because i was afraid the seams wouldn't be strong enough.  she actually used my little singer and she did a great job!

sweet water fairy 

Maddy Fairy 4


water fairy with an attitude!

Maddy Fairy 6

with poppi

Fairy Maddy and Poppi


 when we got to her house, she couldn't wait to model her new dress for her mama and brothers--complete with lip gloss, without which she wouldn't come out of her room.

with brother, noah

Noah Maddy Fairy

i have been looking forward to the day when we would sew together ever since i took her to joann's when she was about a year and a half and let her feel, smell and play with drapery fabric that i would roll around her and hoped the sales ladies didn't see us... :) she just "ooh'd and ahh'd" over it and would say "piddy"...

i got my wish...

 Maddy Fairy and Dani