Ode to Catiebug

I love my little Catiebug! I feel like she sometimes gets the short end of the stick because of all of her brother's needs. She is an angel...rotten, but an angel, and I want you all to know how absolutely wonderful she is. I write all the time about Will, and he derserves it. He's awesome. But Cate is awesome too, and I want to give her the praise she is due. 
Cate will be 4 next month, and cannot wait for her birthday. She is having a princess tea party with her friends. They'll get to dress up in princess dresses, get their make-up done, have their hair done, and have their nails painted. Then they'll have a tea party and eat cake. I think I'm as excited as she is about this party. It's her first "real" party. She tells us daily she wants a pink princess bike for her birthday, and I'm pretty sure she's going to get one. (Thanks Gran and Papa!) 
Princesses are all that exist in her world at this moment. She is the girliest girl in the whole world! She loves pink and purple, hair bows, dresses, tutus, dress up, baby dolls, and did I mention she loves princesses? Her favorite is Snow White, but she has recently developed quite a fascination with Jasmine. We go around the house singing "A Whole New World" and driving her daddy crazy. 
Cate is in mother's day out at our church two days a week right now and will start a full-day pre-K program at Abundant Life School in the fall. She's very excited that she'll get to go to school everyday like her big brother. We're excited because we're hoping that Jeremiah will be able to work while the kids are in school. She can count to 15, knows all her colors, knows many of her letters, know all her shapes, and is pretty brilliant if I do say so myself. 
Cate is a wonderful daughter and an amazing sister. She helps her brother when he can't do something. She sticks up for him and tries to teach him things. She plays so well with him, and doesn't seem to care that he's not like her friends' brothers and sisters. She can be a little bossy and "mother" him, but I think she means well. I hope that as she gets older that she continues to love her brother as much as she does now and treats him as sweetly as she does now. 
I'm so very proud of the little girl she is becoming, and I wanted you all to know how wonderful she is too. And of course, I have to post some pictures....enjoy!


Blessings Just Keep on Comin'

Like I said in my last post, I'm not going to focus on the bad stuff in my life or worry about the stuff I have no control over. What's the point in that? It doesn't do anything but put me in a bad mood. It certainly doesn't change the situation. So, I thought I'd take time to count a few more blessings I've had over the last week or two.
First, a little over a week ago Will was invited to his very first birthday party. I was such a proud mama when his mother asked me if Will could come. Are you kidding (I thought)?!?! Of course he can come! We lived in Tulsa for seven years, and during the entire time Will was alive, he was not invited to one party (other than those at The Little Light House). I know some people don't know how to respond when he does some of his "Will things" or are scared he may get hurt, but he's still a little boy, and it makes me so sad to see him watching other kids doing things he can't do. It almost seems like he knows he can't do them but he still wants to, so he just stands in the background watching. Well, since we've moved to Little Rock, things have been different. In case I haven't mentioned it, WE LOVE OUR CHURCH!!! The people there have gone out of their way to make us feel loved and welcomed, and that includes Will. So - back to the story - we went to the birthday party at Jump Zone. Will loves to jump and does so every Sunday at church, so I knew he'd like it. The only thing I was worried about was the number of kids there and if he'd get too overwhelmed. Well, he didn't! He did great! He jumped and jumped and jumped (and he only sat on one baby!). It was so fun to watch him do something that all the other kids his age get to do. And, the kids at the party were so sweet to him. Several of them also go to his school and came up to him and said, "Hi Will!" Then they'd tell me, "He goes to my school." Anyway, the party was a huge success. He had a great time, and so did I. Feeling like my son is wanted is a huge blessing. 
Then, the following day, Jeremiah and I tried to go to Winter Jam. We had some terrific friends agree to come over and watch the kids, so we didn't have to pay for a sitter. They brought their kids, and they played with Will and Cate. All the kids had a wonderful time together. Winter Jam was sold out, so we went to dinner and a movie. It was our first date since August of last year. It was so nice to spend time together, just us. It was even nicer that we didn't have to pay for a babysitter. I look forward to repaying the favor so that our friends can enjoy some time together too. 
One last blessing - while I was out of town at a conference for work, Will's school had family fine arts night. His teacher informed me that he would be singing one of the songs with the regular class. I thought to myself, I know he is doing great and that his vocabulary is exploding, but have you met him? There's no way he can get up there and sing with his class. Boy was I wrong! He stood up there like a "big boy" and did motions and said "yeah yeah" when all the other kids said it. I paid $9.95 to get internet access at the hotel just so I could watch the video, and boy was it worth every penny! Most parents probably take things like that for granted, but this was Will's very first performance of any type, and he did so well. I am one proud mama! 
Each week at church I learn something very useful to me and am trying to put the lessons I learn into practice. So, hopefully the only thing you'll read in these posts is uplifting and encouraging. I hope you enjoy my little stories. I also hope you enjoy these pictures of my little blessings posted below.

Count Your Blessings

Have you ever had one of those days? I'm sure we've all had a million of them, but today is NOT one of those days for me! I woke up with perfect hair - a miracle if I've ever seen one! What's the big deal you may ask? Well, this good hair day allowed me to have half an hour of "me time" this morning that I usually do not get (because I usually spend that time doing my hair). I am convinced and determined that this is the start of a great day. To make today even better, I get to go to church tonight. I know I've talked a lot about our church here in North Little Rock, but I truly cannot say enough good things about it and the awesome people of God who go there. Anyway, back to the point...
Lately there have been so many terrible things going on all around the world - riots, natural disasters, civil war, a crappy economy, and government unrest. It would be so easy to just focus on that and worry. Well, as most of you know, I'm a worrier. It's genetic. My mother is a worrier, and her mother was a worrier. I've been told by my dear sweet husband, whom I love with all my heart, that I am my mother, that my mother is my grandmother, and I guess by default that makes me my grandmother. (By the way, I take that as a compliment!) Earlier in the year I wrote about being a giant killer and how my personal giant is worry. I've really been trying not to worry and to put things in God's hands. What's the point in worrying? It doesn't change a single thing. The Bible even says so in Matthew 6: 27: "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" 
So instead of worrying today, I am going to count my blessings. I'm not going to list every single blessing in this blog posting because I'd be here all day (and unfortunately, I have to go to work), but I do want to list a few blessings. These blessings are especially important to me because they are things I thought I'd never have. You see, we never thought our little Will would be able to do half of what he can do today, especially talk. And while he can't talk like a normal 6-year-old little boy, he can say more than I ever imagined he'd be able to. I want you all to know what a miracle the Lord is performing in my angel's life and praise God with me for these blessings. So, without further adieu, 
Will's Words: 1. Juice (his first word, spoken at around 2 years 6 months)
                        2. Cookie
                        3. Please
                        4. Thank you
                        5. Uh-oh
                        6. Book
                        7. Baby
                        8. Mama (my favorite! spoken for the first time on Mother's Day 2010)
                        9. Papa (my dad's favorite!)
                        10. Backpack
                        11. Piggy (his word for his toes...you know, "this little piggy went to market")
                        12. No (my least favorite of his new words)
                        13. Yeah
He even has a few phrases now. They're not perfect but they are understandable to most people, especially those who are around him a lot. They include: "Where are you?"  "What's this?"  and my very favorite "I love you!" Will's syndrome means that he'll always have delayed language and probably not ever have very many words. Most kids with it never talk at all. From what I've read even the highest functioning kids only get somewhere around 50 words max.
So, these 13 words and 3 phrases are 16 of the biggest blessings in my life. I hope that you can quit worrying about all the badness going on around you (or even in your personal life), and take the time to count your blessings. I bet you'll have more than you ever imagined!