Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Nana!

(can I just say that I love this picture?)

Vance's parents came for a visit this past week, and took part in a whirlwind of activities with us--Vance's seminar & defense, graduation, a women's tea at church, Mother's Day, a fishing day (of course), and Claudia's birthday. We had such a good time with them, and we were all very sad yesterday when they left. They are always very gracious to put up with our pint-sized apartment and one even tinier bathroom, and they never complain about the chaos.

Claire was acting pretty grumpy and strange when they first got here, but she perked up after we stopped handing her to new babysitters every five minutes (and after some of the teething pain subsided, I think). Once cheerful, she was eager to show off her new explosion of vocabulary words. I think she's learned about 15-20 words in the last week and a half. It has been astounding to me...all of the sudden, I understand her!

Isaac was of course beside himself with excitement and joy at their arrival. He got to show off all his new tricks, and go fishing with the guys one evening. I think he probably talked Mom & Dad's ears off, but they probably enjoyed that.

We were really glad to celebrate Mom's birthday with her...we hadn't been around for that illustrious holiday before. You can see that the kids were pretty excited about her cake--and Isaac even ate some, which was a shocker.

Just one quick story from today. I was at the grocery store with the kids, picking out some feta and minding my own business, when the Socially Awkward Fairy came along and sprinkled some dust on my son's head. He looked at the lady next to us in the aisle and said in such a loud, excited voice, "Mama! That lady has A BIG BELLY!"

Now really, what do you do?!?!?! I desperately wished for a hole to open up at my feet and swallow me whole, but to no awail. Then I thought, "well, she DOES have a big belly--maybe she's heard that before." And then I realized there was nothing I could do. He was way too loud to pretend that it hadn't happened. So I just had him apologize to the lady. He absolutely got the big-bellies-make-some-people-sad-please-don't-mention-it-in-public speech when we got to the safety of the car, but if you have any good ways of dealing with that type of incident (which will probably recur), please enlighten me!
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Goodbye, Mr. Whitaker...

...hello, Dr. Whitaker!

Thursday was a turning point for the Whitaker family--Vance gave his seminar, defended his thesis, and got his PhD! We are very proud of all his hard work! It's hard to believe it's come to an end. Although he still has some things to wrap up, prepping his chapters for publication and such, the big deal is done.

For those of you who are waiting and wondering what the next step is for us...the answer is that we don't know. We are definitely learning to wait and trust that God has worked out our future for us, even though we have no idea what it looks like at this point. Really, all we know is that it probably doesn't look like anything we've planned ourselves... I've been very blessed by God's merciful gift of timely sermons, reminding me who I'm trusting in, and how worthy of my trust he is.

But for now, we're not really thinking much about what we can't know. We're just celebrating!

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sweet Success

You may remember a story from last fall about my big and little fishermen: both very eager, the latter really wanting to catch a fish, the former just wanting to see the worms dumped out into the lake. Well, a long winter stands between that day and yesterday...a winter in which Isaac has spent poring over Vance's fishing photo book, pointing out muskies and smallmouth and northerns, and talking incessantly about the day he will catch a "BIIIG smallmouth bass". He has been fishing in the sandbox in the backyard, fishing for baby Claire in the house, and asking constantly when the fish will wake up. Finally, Vance decreed it to be time. You can see that Isaac is armed with all the essentials: his "new" tackle box (heirloomed to him from V), a water bottle, his self-titled fishing had, and Sparky (for moral support, I suppose).

We were going to a park, or at least that's what it said on the map. Anticipating a playground and a photo-op, we girls tagged along. Turns out that the "park" was really just a marsh, and there wasn't even really a place to park. The water levels looked pretty low, and after trudging around in the underbrush, I began to get worried that we had gone through a lot of work for another repeat performance. Nonetheless, it was good father-son bonding time.

But joy! Look at that fine specimen on the hook there! And look at those faces! Which one is more excited, do you think? Hard to say, but Isaac was the only one I saw out there doing the happy dance.

Vance did all of the casting, all of the hooking, but Isaac got to reel in about 4 sunnies and pan fish. He was THRILLED. If you're not blinded by the joy in Isaac's face, you might notice Claire in the corner, getting filthy-dirty-wet and chunking rocks into the water. That's what she spent her time doing, and she had almost as much fun as Isaac, I think.
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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Good friends, good times

We had small group at our house yesterday, and amazingly enough, had everyone at the same place at the same time! Knowing that we have a lot of changes in our group coming up, we took advantage of the chance for a group picture. Seeing these faces that I have come to love very dearly brings a smile to my face. What a fine looking group :)
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