Friday, October 30, 2009

a week of parties

Happy Halloween bloggers!

We've had a week full of Halloween related celebrations because, let's face it, who doesn't like a good excuse to dress up? Sunday night we had the annual youth bonfire and costume contest. Chica was a little bumble bee. Mom bought this costume for her after Halloween last year. I was an 80's rocker. My mom had this mullet wig that served as the inspiration.

One kid thought I was Hannah Montana. Poor Hannah. In his defense, 80's stuff is very "in" right now. I bought most of the accessories last minute at the mall. Another student asked if this was my real hair. In the words of Dwight Schrute, "False. This is not my real hair." I've never been a red head, and I've never rocked a mullet. (Not yet, anyway.)

A few days later Big Girl had two school parties. Costumes weren't allowed (I completely understand!) so Chica wore some festive play clothes, which were much more conducive to playing putt putt golf, bean bag toss and ping pong Plinko. You know your child's at the right institution of education when the best game in Price is Right history is at the fall party. One little girl screamed in excitement every time the ping pong ball bounced down the board.

Reesie came home with a bag full of goodies. I didn't have time to look in it, but another mother in the class did, because later that night she informed me she had removed the Kit-Kat bar and Reese's Cup from her son's treat bag. Guess which clueless mother contributed those?

Yep, I struck out on my first try at age appropriate candy donating. I did it wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Someday I'll be the mom who sends individual bags of Ritz crackers. That Supermom who gets the letter in the mail and knows exactly what to purchase when she goes to Kroger. That mom who wraps each package in festive baggies tied with curly ribbon and an attached spooky poem. This wasn't my year. Rookie.

Wednesday night was the church fall party. Reesie revived her bee costume.

This was one of her favorite games. Her Daddy showed her how to do it.

Check out that follow through!

She loved this game too. Pick an apple from the baby pool. Miss Carol even let her go twice because she was the only child in the room. We hurried out of there after Reesie tried to take a dip in the pool.

Here's the entire family at the bonfire. Chica dipped everything she ate in ketchup.

Tonight she'll be sporting an entirely new costume. We're celebrating Sarah's birthday, going to a few houses and of course, taking enough pictures to wallpaper our house. Here's hoping your child came home with contraband candy courtesy of a delinquent mother so you can swipe it for yourself!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

18 months

Our baby's 18 months, so you know what that means...return of the lamb!

I must say in six months, he's hardly aged at all. As for my baby, she's no longer a baby!!!

To lessen the blow of how big she's become, I shall now document some parts of her 18 month old life as we know it.

Chica loves to help, so I've put her to work. Her favorite tasks are putting laundry in the dryer or basket, emptying the dishwasher and throwing trash in the garbage can. Sometimes she'll help me cook by stirring things or pushing the food processor button. She knows how to locate and fetch diapers, wipes and shoes. When it's time for a diaper change, she'll lay out her changing pad and lie down on her back.

She likes to brush her teeth and comb her hair. When I'm getting ready in the morning, I'll let her play with my makeup brushes. She's been known to swipe some make-up when I'm not looking. She loves to play outside and be anywhere but home. She can throw a ball about five feet away. When music's on she loves to clap and spin around. She likes purses and wallets and can dismantle both in thirty seconds. Every now and then I'll put her on the big girl potty, but she's never gone while on it. She climbs on everything.

She goes to bed around 7:30 P.M. and wakes up around 7:00 A.M. On school days she takes one nap, but on the weekends she'll take two. She eats all kinds of things. Besides turkey and ham lunch meat, she doesn't really like meat. Her favorite food is probably a peanut butter sandwich. When she eats bananas, she picks off the end and hands it to me.

Her verbal skills blow us away and she repeats almost everything we say. The other day I called to Dan in another room. For the next five minutes she walked around the house yelling, "Dan! Dan! Dan!" Here are some of the words she'll say on her own, without us prompting:
I want
bye bye
help me
She's still a Mama's girl, but she's a fearless, busy, wild woman. Her school teachers say she's quiet and perceptive and her nursery teachers say she comforts other babies when they're upset. She loves to tickle you and make you laugh. Sometimes she cracks herself up in the process. When we leave the office, she's Grand Marshall of her own farewell parade. She stops at each door, waves her arm, yells "bye-bye!" and blows a kiss. People tell us she's smart. Others say she's beautiful. And even though we're far away from family, she's lavished with love.

Before we go, our 18 month old daughter would like to wish her baby boy cousin a happy first birthday. We hope Big Sis will share some Muppin Cakes with the precious Birthday Boy!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

nana's day

Attention bloggers!

Reesie has an important message for someone very special.

By the way, do you see that big, beautiful bow in my daughter's hair? That's all you bloggers! I took your advice and clipped that sucker into the rubber band of her ponytail. All thanks goes to you for your wisdom and Auntie Manda for paving the way. Glory, hallelujah and amen!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

baby's got a new pair of shoes

That grin on Chica's face is there for a reason.

She's running around in a new (to her) pair of shoes!

When my sister was here a few weekends ago, I took her to a local children's consignment store. I spotted these pink Nike tennis shoes and I had to have them! I LOVE shopping for Big Girl. Buying second hand allows shopping sprees and ministry salaries to co-exist peacefully under the Hinton roof. The only problem is when we're out in public, it's hard to refrain from sharing my heck of a deal. For example...

Do you see that sweet little turtleneck my daughter's wearing? I bought it brand new, with the tags on for three dollars. THREE AMERICAN DOLLARS PEOPLE! *Ahem* Let this be a warning bloggers that if you see us out and about, it's best not to ask me how much I spent on Chica's Nike Shox. Most likely a cost breakdown of her entire outfit will ensue in a very non-inside voice. You've been warned.

On a different note, I have a hairy dilemma and would love your input. Since my daughter entered the world, it was apparent she'd inherited her mother's stick straight, fine locks. I prayed for her to get her Daddy's hair. I'm sorry Baby, I tried. For the past 18 months, her hair has grown with reckless abandon and nary a scissor has touched it.

And now my Baby is rocking a full blown mullet. To help you picture it, there's a layer of hair that hits the bottom of her ears and then there's a layer about three inches longer underneath. I'm contemplating taking her to a professional to get the bottom layer trimmed a little to blend better with the shorter layer. Make sense? (I know I probably lost all three of the male readers with that last sentence, but when it comes to business on the top and party in the back, that's a risk I'm willing to take.)

Of those I've asked, opinions are 50/50 , and I'm leaning towards cutting it. But I'm a sissy when it comes to any type of That's where I am. Stuck between an 80's hairstyle and a hard place.

Monday, October 19, 2009


"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction." 2 Timothy 4:2

"And at his appointed season he brought his word to light." Titus 1:3a

I promised you pictures of rafting. Check out my valiant husband traversing the roaring rapids. (He's in the front on the far right.)

I guess it's only fair to show you my foolish self. I'm in the second row with the red paddle and mouth wide enough to swallow the entire river.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I shouldn't be blogging. We have six people on the way to spend the weekend at our house. I should be cleaning, changing sheets, vacuuming and grocery shopping.

I should not be blogging. Big Girl's taking her afternoon nap. Now is the time to kick it into high gear. Hustle. Get things done with some pep in my step. Unfortunately at the end of this long week, I'm not feeling very peppy. Or motivated. So I'm going to show you some pictures from our retreat this past weekend. Sound good?

This was taken at a gas station on the way. We had some trouble getting the bus to start. As you can see, Dan's contributing every ounce of mechanical insight he has to fix the thing.

Here are some of the girls trying not to panic during our unfortunate mishap. Thankfully twelfth turn of the key is a charm and we were back on the road in no time!

This is one of our girls during worship.

Here we are during high ropes orientation.

There was a zip line, a bungee swing and a rock wall. The rock wall was an automatic system. Instead of someone standing below, holding the line, the climber was attached to a cable at the top. I've never seen one before. I held my breath and prayed for the robots in charge of suspending each youth kid fifty feet in the air. Have mercy.

Dan was too scared to look.

Spidey-man, Spidey-man...

The best part about where we stayed were the two huge porches overlooking the Smokey Mountains. While we had to make sure no one was drying undergarments on the railing, it was the perfect spot to hang out.

This is one of our small group leaders, Mama Sherry. She has two sons and one of them is in college. Can you believe that? Most people don't, because she looks so young.

Well, there you have it bloggers. My favorite pictures from our trip. We went white water rafting as well, but I'll have to save those for another time. Most likely I'll be posting them as our guests are drying off with hand towels.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

big girl

In ten days my baby will be 18 months old. When we returned from our trip, it seemed like she had grown up all at once. My Baby's becoming a Big Girl and she didn't even ask me for my permission to do so. The nerve. You turn your back for a few days and your Baby is...

ascending to new heights,

seeing things from a different perspective,

unable to wait for Auntie to dry off the jungle gym,

sliding down the big slide without assistance,

and even swinging in the non-bucket swing, just like Big Cousin.

Now this is the type of swing she's authorized to use. Once upon a time I had a seven pounder wrapped in a swaddle who napped in this swing.

Then I blinked and when I opened my eyes she had climbed up into this sucker and started swinging away while contemplating all the intricacies of life. And she didn't even ask me what I thought about it.

If she did ask me what I thought about it, you know what I would say?

I'd say 18 months isn't nearly long enough for all this growing up.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

when the 'rents are away...

This past weekend Danny and I took a group of high school students on our annual fall retreat. My sister came to stay with Big Girl while we were out of town. Little Boy Cousin...

and Big Girl Cousin came along for the adventure.

Actually they brought the adventure with them. My sister said one morning, Chica was so worn out she took her auntie's hand, led her into her room and pointed at her crib, longing to be put down for a nap.

Reesie's loves her cousins. Loves. Them. I know she had a great time and it was such a load off knowing while we were hours away working, she was safe, sound and having a ball.

Poor Aunt Manda may never be the same. She's going to need some serious recovery time.

What you're about to see is a series of pictures taken over the span of several days. Each was an attempt at capturing three kids under the age of three. Enough said.

This weekend was the first time Chica was able to identify each cousin by name. If you said one of their names, she'd point at the correct cousin (or auntie.) We're still working on pronouncing their names. When she says them, they come out as "Sir" and "Rah-rah."

Leaf Man is six months younger than Chica. His sister will be three in January.

Can you believe she wore a hair bow for her Auntie all weekend long?? It helps having a bow-wearing cousin around.

I'm thinking next time I go out of town I'll have my sister potty train her before we get back.

Thank you sweet family for driving all this way to keep watch over our precious girl. We love you so much. And we'll see you soon.