Monday, September 18, 2017

Our 18-hour pet

On Saturday I saw a stray cat jump out of the trailer on our driveway, and didn't think anything of it.... until I walked past the trailer and heard little mewing sounds coming out of it.  Sure enough that cat had just birthed 2 little kittens in there!  We thought it was cute and the kids of course started begging to keep them, but since Pete and Strider are allergic to cats, were told they would have to remain outside.

The next day, though, brought some sadness.  Only 1 kitten remained in the trailer... and we couldn't see the mother anywhere.  We left it alone for a little while, hoping the mother was going to come back for it, but by late afternoon it became evident that the poor little thing was on her own.

We scooped it into a box and took it to the pet store to find out what to do.  We emerged 15 minutes and $16 later, equipped with kitten formula, a bottle, and the knowledge that she was a female and needed to be fed every 3-4 hours.

The boys got right to it.

She wasn't eating much, though, and as night came on, Pete and I got a little more concerned.  I stayed up until midnight to feed her, and then felt like we should keep her nearby in case she cried out for more food, so brought her into our bedroom.  Neither Pete nor I slept much...  She was so weak and helpless.  Pete got up at 3:30 and 6:30 to feed her, but again she didn't really want to eat.

The kids got up eager to see how she was.... but within an hour or two it was evident she was dying.

It's been a sad day around here.  We've talked a lot about Heaven for animals -- and how much we need our mothers.  I can see seeds of good things growing in the kids' hearts.... but it's still hard.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

That Yo-Yo Kid Wins!

Colsen may have had the biggest night of his life last night!

For weeks he's been anticipating the big Waxhaw's Got Talent show, having auditioned for it back in June.  Evidently, over 30 people auditioned and he was selected to be one of the participants of the show.
So last night was the big night, and he and arrived early to get the tour of the stage and all of the last-minute directions.  We spent most of the evening camped out in the "Green Room," but snuck out occasionally -- when we happily discovered that he had a whole fan club in attendance.  A bunch of friends from our CC community surprised him by coming, as well as the Dreschers and Wrays.... That was my favorite part of the night -- seeing him surrounded by so much love.

The show was comprised of 16 acts, mostly singers and musicians, but also a few dancers, a juggler, and a hula-hooper.  Colsen was definitely one of the younger performers, so I had tried to prepare him to not get his hopes up, that winning would be a real long-shot.

Finally, towards the end of the show, it was his turn to perform.  He was really nervous ahead of time, but he said later that he was sweating like crazy waiting for his turn, but once he hit the stage, his "hands took over" and he had a great time and didn't feel nervous at all!

I was back in the Green Room still, but could hear the cheering from his friends/cousins... The MC even made some comment about how he had brought his own cheering squad.

When it came time to announce the winners, I thought he might have a shot at one of the runner-up awards ("Most Enthusiasm," "Most Original," etc), but when they announced those awards and he didn't win them, I figured he hadn't won anything.  I was quite literally, ok, metaphorically, SHOCKED when they called him for First Place!

Everyone was so excited -- all 3 rows of his fans jumped to their feet, hootin' and hollerin' as we do here in the South.  How heartwarming it is to have a community that rejoices with us!

The prize was a $300 Visa card, on top of some other gift certificates, so Colsen is one pleased little guy.  He's already been working out how to spend it....  Over the last few weeks he had determined that if he happened to win, he was going to give away one-third of his prize money, so he's picking out the organization he wants to donate to, and has lots of dreams for how to spend the rest -- primarily on fishing stuff!

Next he has his sights set on a Yo-Yo Tournament.... but, sigh, it's in New Jersey....  We'll see!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Beach Outings

Besides riding the waves and playing in the sand, we also found some other fun things to do in Hilton Head....

1. Lunch with friends:
Coincidentally, Colsen's and Miles' friends just happened to be staying a couple of miles away for the weekend, so we all met for lunch at Street Meet one day.  Great food and fun times!

2.  Touring the lighthouse and riding a trolley:

3. Playing mini golf:
We all went to play one afternoon and then won so many free games that the guys all went back the next day to play some more!

4. Riding on a golf cart!
One of my goals when I started planning this trip was to find a place with a golf cart to use.  I failed in that goal... sort of!  As it turned out, the resort we stayed at had a cart shuttle that ran back and forth on the boardwalk certain times of the day!  So a couple times we timed it just right.  One almost-stormy evening we even took the cart to the beach just because... and then rode it back again 5 minutes later.

5. Out for dinner and a walk on the beach:
We ate at some good restaurants and enjoyed leisurely time together afterwards...

 I think we all agree this was one of our best trips ever!

Family Beach Trip, 2017

This year we booked an AirBnB in Hilton Head, not knowing much about it, other than that it was VERY reasonable and had good reviews.  It did not disappoint!  We were in an older resort area, but had plenty of space and a gorgeous walk to the beach.

We did not STAY in one of these houses,
 but we passed them each day on the way to the beach!
And we had the beach almost completely to ourselves each day.... which could partly be attributed to the wild winds that blew through for a couple days... We loved it!

The guys proclaimed the waves VERY GOOD.... although there were times I made them all get out because the current was carrying them down the beach too far too fast.

At the last minute Poppa decided to accept our invitation to come along, and we are so glad he did!  This guy made the trip 10x better!

He even agreed to go with Strider to the Fight Of The Century one night, which, as it turned out, didn't even START until 11:45 pm.  Poppa wins the Sport of the Century Award.  And if I were to tell him that in person, he would give me this face:

Jinna's first glimpse of the ocean -- ever!

This little girl had never seen the ocean before so we made it a priority this summer to take her to the beach.  Last weekend was the big occasion!  She, as usual, was extremely excited.

 Poppa was there to help her take her first steps into the water:

 She wasn't too sure about the waves and how it kept getting deeper, but she sure liked sitting in the sand...

 .... and her siblings liked to play with her.

I was told they were making a "Princess Castle"...

 I loved looking out and seeing all 5 of my kids playing on the beach!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

First Day of School

The exciting thing this year was that THIS little one got to have her very first First Day Of School!  And she LOVED it.  She was looking forward to it for days!

Actually everyone must have been looking forward to the first day because we were ALL up a good hour before normal.

It didn't take long, though, for the whining and bad attitudes to take over.  By 9:30 am we were ALL praying and repenting together of our not-so-good morning behavior.

Miles with his bad attitude, Colsen with his wet and spotted shirt, Rayna being a good sport, and Jinna completely thrilled

We couldn't seem to find many of our Poplar Streams shirts, so only Jinna Rai and I were wearing them, but we did manage to do the rest of our regular traditions:  the night-before Treasure Hunt, apple pie for breakfast, and starting the day with the pledge to the flag.

Jinna was not a fan of the apple pie idea,
 so she stuck with eggs and rice cake
She did LOVE the Treasure Hunt the night before, though!

We gathered by the actual Poplar trees near our "stream"

By 10:00 am, Colsen was already complaining of a finger cramp, one backpack was discovered to be broken, and once pencil case missing.

Pretty sure it will be an interesting year!  (And I'm looking forward to it!)

UPDATE:  Strider's first day of his senior year!