Sunday, September 30, 2007

One Brick at a Time. . .

. . . Our house continues to take shape. We were so excited--and RELIEVED--to finally see brick on the house earlier this week. After the pallets of brick were delivered last week, I was sweating bullets. Honestly, it was some of the ugliest building material I had ever seen in my life and I had my doubts that it was the look we were hoping for. Kip reassured me though, and I am now convinced. Seeing the brick on an actual wall WITH mortar makes all the difference. The workers have mainly worked on the sides and back of the house this week and are just starting on the front. Here are some pictures:

And by the way: YES, there are many different colored bricks here and there is supposed to be paint splattered on the brick, LOL--we are trying to achieve a distressed, old cottage look. The brown bricks will look even better once the trim, shake and siding are painted a deeper color. We hope to have more pictures up soon once all of the brick work is completed!

Punkydoodle Day for Anna Beth!

Anna Beth woke up VERY excited last Thursday . . . Punkydoodle was coming to her school! You may be wondering, WHO is Punkydoodle? Punkydoodle is a pony that her preschool brings in each year, along with a horse named Coca-Cola, as a special treat for the children. The children learn about the horses and then have the opportunity to feed, pet and ride them. Anna Beth was ecstatic about riding the horse, but just a bit apprehensive once it was her turn. She did great though, and enjoyed every minute!

**Pretty as a Princess**

Anna Beth was in *PRINCESS BLISS* this weekend! We traveled to Warner Robins for her cousin Abbi's 4th birthday party. Abbi had a dress-up princess party at a local "Sweet and Sassy" party facility, and it was the epitome of *GLAMOUR*, *SPARKLE* and *BLING*! Anna Beth and the other girls enjoyed EVERY moment of the pampering . . . from manicures and make-up to hairdos and wardrobe, it was a day of pampering. At the end of their transformation, each princess was announced as she walked down the runway to be crowned. What a fun experience for the girls!

Happy Birthday, Abbi,
and thanks for an incredible day!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Put me in Coach, I'm Ready to Play!

We are so excited Graham wanted to play baseball again this season! He is our creative, multi-talented middle child who loves to dabble in a lot of activities, but doesn't tend to stick with many of them, lol! He played tee-ball early on, but decided it wasn't for him. Then came soccer, which he was great at, but it wasn't for him either. Then he asked to play baseball again this past Spring and loved it. When he asked to play in the Fall league as well, we were excited to see interest in the same activity again--even though it was going to mean a tough schedule for our family since Ethan is playing football too.

Anyhow, Graham has incredible coaches this season and he is absolutely loving the game. The Pirates had their first game Tuesday night and he played both second base and third base. Now, you have to understand--this is his first time playing on the infield in the Pee Wee league, so it was a VERY exciting night for him.

On another note, here is a photo of Graham doing his favorite activity--playing the piano. He has been taking lessons for a year now and is doing great! Since the rest of us have no musical background, we are excited about having a musician in the family. Way to go, Graham!

Anna Beth is off to school . . .

My little princess started preschool at A Child's World last Thursday--she will only be going half a day on Thursdays and Fridays. She has been so excited--choosing her backpack, who her new friends will be, what will she have for snack (she IS a Stokes afterall, lol), etc. Here are a few photos of her headed to her first day at school:

Anna Beth was SO excited--however, it was a tough, tough, tough day for me. Did I say it was a tough day? Sorry, but it was a TOUGH day. I think it just caught me by surprise when the tears started flowing on the ride back home. I had done this twice already with the boys (with just a few tears each time), so I felt like a pro. However, this time seemed a little worse . . . no one was going home with me. You see, each of the other times I had taken a little one off to preschool, there was always another little one going home with me who needed me to be a mommy. When you have been a mommy for almost 10 years, it really is an odd feeling when no one is there to need you.
Anyhow, I counted the hours until I could pick her up, and needless to say, I was the FIRST mommy in the pick-up line! She had a wonderful time and enjoyed another great day on Friday. Friday was a little easier for me as well, although it was still tough. I know that it will get easier as I fill those few hours she is away with exercising/running, making decisions for the house we are building, and working in the boys' school. Hmm . . . might even be able to get my nails done without the little princess tagging along! Although I'm not sure--it just wouldn't be the same without you, Anna Beth. :-)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

New House News

This is the image I came across at the end of the boys' workday at the new house this weekend. The boys had given up on fishing and scampered off into the woods with their future neighbors Wesley & Will--being the overbearing parent that I am, I went to check on them after a few minutes. I had to resist my protective urge to yank them out of the tree, lol--do you SEE how high they are? After catching my breath, I noticed their topic of conversation--Wesley was telling the other boys the story of the Tar Baby. They were laughing and giggling and discussing what happened in the story--how incredible is that! With so many electronic and visual activities vying for their attention, it is refreshing to see them enjoying nature and literature!

Now--when I later asked how the Tar Baby topic came about--I was told that they were all comparing WHAT they would fall on if they fell out of the tree. Apparently, two of them would hit the ladder and the other two would fall into some briers . . . then came the subject of brer rabbit . . . and then the tar baby! LOL!

I know that spending time there this weekend--working, fishing, exploring--is making us anxious for the move. The house is coming along quickly; they are installing the siding and shake right now and the stone and brick should be next. On the inside, the rough plumbing is done and the electrical should be going in next. Our builder, Steve Harrison, is doing a wonderful job!

P.S. 'Click' the photos for the bigger picture!

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Babies are Here!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above"
~ James 1:17 ~

Many thanks to those who have been praying for our sisters--for those who don't know, both my sister AND Kip's sister were due with little ones in the month of August! We are so excited that both babies have arrived safely and everyone is doing fine . . . here are the details:

Ella Caroline was born to my sister Angie and her husband Rabb on August 23rd--t
his little one is long-awaited by everyone! Many of you have prayed for them during their infertility, in-vitro and high risk pregancy . . . and here is the beautiful result of our prayers and God's goodness! Ella weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces and was 20 inches long--She is doing great and Angie and Rabb are surviving with a few hours of sleep here and there. We were able to visit with little Ella this weekend and it was such a special time . . . I had to get out of there quickly before those 'baby emotions' got the best of me!

Ryder Stokes was born to Kip's sister Kaci and her husband Spencer on August 31st (just in time for that school year deadline, lol!). Ryder weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces, 21 inches long, and looks SO much like big sister Kadence. He had a pretty dramatic entrance, trying to enter the world fist first with his umbilical cord in hand. Needless to say, Kaci had a very scary emergency c-section. Everyone is doing well now and they should be resting at home soon--please keep Kaci in your prayers as she endures a longer recovery.