Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hallowe'en 2014

 Pumpkin carving.

 I just love these faces.

 My big kids never outgrew Hallowe'en.  About the time they outgrew trick or treating, we had Maggie home, and they still wanted to dress up and enjoy it with her.  And this has continued year after year.  If you go back and look at the pages from past Hallowe'ens you can see the elaborate costumes that they came up with through the years.  (The ones older than this blog, I ought to post for you to see now, but ...  that would take effort.  Maybe soon.  But keep in mind, I still haven't updated the Christmas card page from last year.)  Anyway, Hannah was feeling kind of bummed this year because of her leg.  BTW, her leg is doing very well.  Her healing is right on target, if not doing better than on target.  But it's a long recovery, and takes lots of PT and hard work.   She was facing the first Hallowe'en ever without dressing up, and that added rub to the already raw situation.  Then the day before Hallowe'en I came upon her at her desk doing this:

With her leg brace, she figured she could pull off a sort of cyborg / robot type thing.  Well, if anyone could, she could!

 She used long glow sticks around her leg brace.  I don't have a night photo of that, because I don't know how to do that with the camera, but it looked really cool.

 And here is Hannah's paint job to make Kiki look like a lion.  Lions are Kiki's favorite animal and she was delighted to be one.

 And here are the two cutest, loveliest flapper girls you have ever seen!

 Someone's got the personality for this.

 It's a still picture, but you can see the shake, can't you?

 And here we have Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson ready to crack the case.

 Here is our lion and our chicken, who are inseparable.  Guess who the chicken is?  Levi loved the chicken costume, and went around clucking and cockadoodledooing.  He was delighted.  I found the mask, but had to make the chicken suit.  It's got two boas sewed on the sleeves for wings, and a big tulle tail. 

 I did not have time to be as creative as I like to be this year, but we had several costumes that had been given to us over the years, and some collected from past years.  Laz always liked the alien costume, so that's what he was.

This was the first Hallowe'en for Micaiah and Levi.  Since they both go to school, they had some preparation, but I still was not sure what they understood about it.  Levi was very excited, and came into the house after school on Friday and yelled out, "Hallowe'en!!!"  He knew something, anyway.  I knew that Levi would like to be a chicken, but I had no idea what Micaiah would "want" to be, or how to convey to him even the idea of dressing up in a costume, or what it all meant.  There was no way to ask him, or to explain it to him.  So I asked the kids to get out several of the items from dress up and after they all got dressed up to go out, and he was watching them, they showed him the things and asked him what he wanted to put on.  He chose a big fur coat, a wig, and a fluffy scarf.  He was very happy about it.  They both got the idea very quickly and be the third house were yelling "trick or treat!" and "thank you!"

 Everyone ready to go out.

Levi and Kiki.

Here's what Hallowe'en looks like with two in wheelchairs.  I could only push Micaiah, so the kids all just pitched in and took turns pushing Laz.  In our neighborhood, that's no joke though.  Back in Florida it would not have been a big deal, but North Carolina has so many hills, and every house in our neighborhood seems to have long driveways, many pretty steep, and then several stairs up to the doors.  It's a lot of work even for healthy kids.  Every year so far, Silas and Isaac have only made it up and down our street, and then Maggie and Eden would go with Canaan and Hannah out again into the next neighborhood.  This year not only did Isaac and Silas go out again, but Kiki and Levi went too, and they all kept up!

 Micaiah got very excited about this pumpkin.  He could barely contain himself.

 The cyborg and Dr. Who.

 Dr. Who and his flapper wife.


Happy chicken.

Maggie asked me if I ever used to dress up with the kids.  And I said, "Well, I used to.  Before life sucked all the fun out of me."  Then I thought about it, and as I was looking up make up ideas for the kids, I came across a tutorial for dia de los muertos, which is kind of popular now because of the Book of Life movie that came out recently.  And it's kind of a fun style, and I had the stuff on hand  (doesn't everybody?), so after I picked up Kiki from school, I ran up to the bathroom, and came out twenty minutes later looking like this:

 The kids had various reactions, but mostly they looked like they didn't know what to make of it.  Well, there you go.  I'm fun.  

 And after every Hallowe'en, my bathroom looks like this.


 And here is the tree in front of our house which is glorious for about a week each autumn.  I love it.  And autumn is beautiful here and in full swing here.  The weather has been perfect.  All the seasons in North Carolina are exactly three months long and ideal.  It's hard to have a favorite.  But I guess if I had to pick a favorite, it wouldn't be winter.  And that's as decisive as I get. 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Show Must Go On...

 Beautiful Kiki with her hair all out.  I love the natural look.  Kiki's hair is still not quite long enough, and it goes all crazy, but when it's all fluffy it's really cute.

 Just love this happy girl!

 Now that Canaan's married, we are training new blood.  Si loved learning how to mow the lawn, and he loves watching Dad fix things.  He's going to make a great man some day!

 Maggie learned to use the rider mower.  But Dad had to rig a bungie cord up because she doesn't weigh enough to keep the seat down!  (When the seat comes up, it stops the motor.)

 Sunday morning.  Gorgeous young lady.

 Handsome guys, ready for church.

 "Every girl's crazy bout a sharp dressed man..."

 Kiki and Levi are best friends.  They love looking through this animal book together and quizzing each other on the animals.  Levi knows every animal in the book, in English.  His vocabulary is astounding for a kid who just started learning English a year ago.

 The kids have all been practicing chin ups lately.  Silas is finally able to do one!

 My lovely girl. 

 This was a picture Kiki drew for school.  She was told to draw something she likes.  So she drew Hannah, with the long, long hair. 

 Captain America fans.

 Reminds me of DJ Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba.

 Levi loves dress up.

 Matching girls.  My girls love to match.  Here they are wearing skirts that Mrs. Hadley bought them several years ago!

 Last glimpse of summer.  The pool is down now, and the days are beautiful, but cool.

 So, as I told you last time, Hannah tore her ACL doing a flip, and had to have surgery to repair it.  This is a few days before the surgery.

 So we left very early on a Wednesday morning.  It was foggy on the way there, and I was nervous driving in the dark and the fog.  And I was thinking, "Man it would really suck to get in an accident right now."  As I approached a red light and hit the brakes, the brakes did nothing.  I reached down to grab the emergency brake and it was then that I discovered that it was already on!  I had been driving with it on, but had had no indication that I was.  So the brakes had overheated and were not working. 

I swerved to avoid a couple of cars, and looked for a spot to run into to slow the car down.  Just as I had almost reached some bushes on a side street, I impacted the end side of another car.  The airbags went off, and as anyone who has been in an accident knows, it was shocking.  Hannah's poor car was totaled, but we are very thankful because it could have been so much worse.  I hardly know how I avoided having a much worse accident.

 My arm.  But only bruises.  No major injuries.

Then I was so worried that Hannah would miss her surgery.  Canaan came to get her and drove her to the surgery center and stayed with her until I could get there about an hour later.  The surgery must go on!

 Hannah really hates all things medical.  Besides just coming from a car accident and losing her car, she was mostly upset about facing some needle pokes. 

 The next day, she was home.  All went well.

 First day home.

 It was easy to get bummed out and sad.  Hannah is super athletic and always on the go.  It was a major adjustment to have to just lie down and heal.  On a sad morning we did our best to cheer her up by bringing in the chicks...

 ... and Eden danced for her.  That always cheers anybody up!

 And then there was Ruby, who just seemed to know that something was wrong, and that Hannah needed a buddy.

Yes, the best medicine is a compassionate kitty.

You can see in the xrays where the screws were put.

So now it is late October.  Hallowe'en costumes are being made.  It has been over a year since we met our new boys.  It has been a year unlike any other, grueling and puzzling and challenging.  And yet, we are still standing somehow.  We face many more challenges, and we pray for wisdom, compassion, discernment, and God's will.  Join with us.