Sunday, November 30, 2008

November's Favorite Pics and Quotes

" I am mad. I am a superhero." I guess superheroes are all mad?
Fingerpainting with peas
I like wearing your hat, Daddy!
"I bigger than you!" Not sure just what kind of expression that is...
Maybe I've figured out a way to get these kids to smile for the camera! Here, they were just wacthing me blow bubble gum bubbles. They thought it was hilarious.
"Hey Conner, my finger fits in my nose."
"Hey...mine does, too!!"
Okay, so not the greatest picture, but beautiful because that second top tooth is finally peaking through! Hallelujah!
Love that Curious George!
While we were there for Thanksgiving, Tiffany enlisted Conner's help in picking a name for Baby Cheeto. They were talking about how you can put two people's names together to get a baby's name. Like, Conner Allan could become Conan, or Micah Eason could become Micon. Then they got to talking about Tiffany's names, Tiffany Michelle...and then there's Aggie, which is what my boys call her. Without missing a beat, Conner said, "Oh, so it could be Agony?" :)

In Micah's world over the past couple of weeks, for some reason Conner's name has gained an extra syllable. According to Micah, he is Conner-ner (and sometimes another -ner, depending on how excited he is...)
Conner: "Dad, is anywhere everywhere?"
Bret: "What?"
(pause)
Bret: "Is this an existential or metaphysical question?"
Conner: "Hmmm...Well, my other question is what do those two words mean?"

Overheard at the dinner table:
Micah: "Conner-ner, I'm gonna talk you a joke. How did the hippo climb up the gwee (tree)?"
Conner: "I don't know."
Micah: "With a box!"
Micah laughs.
Micah: "Conner-ner, I'm gonna talk you another joke. How did the elephant climb up the gwee?" Conner: "I don't know."
Micah: "With a bokok!" (I don't know...we are talked this joke a lot, it always starts off with a hippo and a box. Then the animal changes and the answer is always a made-up word.)
Conner: "Oh. I should have thought of that."

One day when Bret came in from outside, he randomly had three ladybugs on his shirt. Like any good dad, he pinched them off and showed them to the boys...and then put them on the table, where the boys were sitting and finishing their lunch. (Yuck!) It was pretty cool outside, and they weren't moving too much, so Conner and Micah got to watch them for awhile. Finally one of them flew away. After a few minutes, Conner stopped his frantic search under the table for the missing ladybug to scratch his neck. It turns out that the ladybug had landed there and was tickling him. Micah thought that was hilarious. Now he will just be sitting there and randomly say, "Mom, I got ladybugs on my back." Then he turns his back to me, expecting me to scratch it. Conner has picked up on it, too. Apparently there are a lot of ladybugs loose in this house!

Micah says "tor-mado" instead of tomato. Pretty funny.

Conner, while on a Man Shopping Trip with Bret and Micah: "Wow. Cabela's is pretty awesome. I must bring Mommy here soon."

Friday, November 28, 2008

Today's Tasty Treat


Mandarin oranges dipped in ketchup.

Oh well...at least he's eating fruit, right?!

And then a little while later I caught Joey in the bathroom chewing on the toilet seat. Don't know that I can put a positive spin on that one... You just never know what will happen next around here!

***Yay! My computer is home, it's working, and I can get pictures up!***

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving

We spent Thanksgiving with Bret's folks this year. It was the five of us, Tiffany (and Baby Cheeto), Kevin, Gammie, and Poppy...and we had a 20 pound turkey and a 15 pound ham and all the stuff to go with it. We ate until we thought we were going to pop. (And of course, even then Gammie insisted that no one had eaten enough, she was going to have way too many leftovers.) When Micah woke up enough this morning to see what all was going on in the kitchen, he was very excited. He ran around telling everyone in the house that we were having macaroni and cheese, ham, and water for Thanksgiving. Doesn't take much to please him, does it? It was Joey's first Thanksgiving, and he was absolutely thrilled that along with the same old baby food, he got a few pinches of roll, dressing, and broccoli/rice casserole...and then a bunch of pumpkin pie and Cool Whip. And Conner, well...he was so excited about the ham that I don't think he touched anything else on his plate. That left lots of room for pumpkin pie, too! Last year we weren't able to make the 600 mile trip to have Thanksgiving with anyone in our family. There were parts about having just our little crew that was fun...but we were super thankful that we got to be with more family this year! And, round-trip we spent less than six hours in the van and used only one tank of gas. (Can't neglect to mention here that I'm thankful that the gas we bought was $1.55, over a dollar cheaper than it was this time last year!)

My family spent Thanksgiving a little bit differently this year. My MeeMaw has been in the hospital this week awaiting surgery tomorrow. They've done quite a bit of juggling in the scheduling of this surgery, so she's been there waiting since Monday. We are all thankful that this has happened this week, when most of us have vacation anyway. And we are thankful that the doctors have declared MeeMaw healthy enough to have this important procedure done.

I've got to say though, even when surrounded by family, food, and laughter, today was a little hard for me. This was the first Thanksgiving without PeePaw. It's not like I was even able to spend Thanksgiving with him over the last several years or anything...but I've still missed him so badly today that it hurts. I am so thankful for the wonderful memories I have, and for the ways that PeePaw contributed to making me who I am today.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Boom!

Okay, so I warned you...

Bret was able to upload some pictures for me last night. I had already written several blog posts and was just waiting for a computer somewhere to cooperate with me and allow me to get everything uploaded. (Thank you, sweet hubby, for helping me out!)

So, boom -- Wells Brother overload! Following are 4 or 5 posts from the last week...

(and there's still another couple of ones that don't have pictures yet)

Marvelous Light

Saturday, November 22

We took the kids to Gammie and Poppy's house yesterday. It was great -- a little under three hours there, a little under three hours back, and I was home in about the time I would have only been halfway there when I was coming from Louisiana!

Anyway, the kids are gone so that Bret and I could go to Marvelous Light, and spiritual cleansing and renewal retreat. It was a great retreat with Christ Journey and several other newly planted churches.

For a lot of people, this retreat is a great experience. They talk about coming away feeling different, newer, lighter. Their eyes are opened to some spiritual darkness that they didn't even know that they had, and they are able to begin the cleansing process right there.

For me, though, it was more of a reminder. I know I've got some junk, and I know it's affecting every area of my life. I know that my junk is a result of some old wounds that I've let fester. And I know that it's my fault that I (and Satan) have allowed it to get as ugly as it is. The truth of the matter is, though, these wounds involved church and church-people, and it is really hard to trust enough to let go of them around church and church-people. I know, it's crazy -- it's easy to push it away to the back of my mind when I'm alone, but when I'm around people that want nothing more than to help me out, I am just really having a hard time letting them in enough -- letting Jesus in enough -- to get it all out. With all that's been going on for the last several months, I haven't taken much time to work on sorting everything out for myself. I was forced to do that this weekend.

I was so blessed to be in a triad with Heidi and Ashley on Friday night, and then it was just Heidi and I on Saturday. We really got to talk and get to know one another -- something that's normally pretty hard with my three and her two young kiddos running around. Bret and I really got to know a lot more of our new friends even better, too.

I am so thankful for the experience of this retreat, for the new relationships we are building, and for one more step taken in this process of healing that I know will continue to be lengthy...

It's a Heeto!

Friday, November 21

Tiffany (Bret's sister, the boys call her Aggie) is expecting a baby on April 11. During her first trimester, she was eating a lot of Cheetos. We were talking about how the baby was probably about the same size and shape as a Cheeto, and the nickname was born. Since then we've all been anxiously waiting to find out if our boys' first cousin, Baby Cheeto, is a Sheeto or a Heeto...

Tiff and Kevin found out today that it's a boy. Four grandkids, all boys, Gammie. Wow!

Congratulations!

Thankful for...

Thursday, November 20

Today was one of those days that, when it ended, I just had an overwhelming sense of thankfulness. There was just lots to be thankful for today!

1. Today was Conner's Thanksgiving Feast at preschool. He wanted to invite his Gammie, and I am thankful that we live close enough now that she could come!

2. Conner could only have two guests, and Bret was not able to help out with kiddos today. So I stayed home with Josiah, and let Micah go with Gammie. I am thankful that Micah got to go do something special like that.

3. Joey wasn't feeling great today, so I am thankful that he got to stay home -- and for the four hour nap he took!

4. I am thankful that Gammie took pictures of Conner's Thanksgiving program for me, and I am thankful that Conner is the cute little outgoing kid that he is. Apparently he was the kid that had his own (loud) commentary about what was going on in between every song. It sounds like it was cute and not embarrassing. (I am a little sad that I missed it -- but am not sorry that I got to share.)
5. I am thankful that Micah is the goofy little kid that he is, and that he had a good time, too. 6. The boys apparently liked the food at the Thanksgiving feast -- and ate lots. Wow! What mom wouldn't be thankful for that?7. I am thankful that Gammie at least tried to take a picture of all three of them... :)
8. I'm just thankful for this picture of Conner in his Indian headband from the program. I think it's cute.
9. And man, oh man, am I thankful for my sweet husband! He went to a Chick-fil-a grand opening last night. The first one hundred customers get free Chick-fil-a for a year (52 coupons for a free #1 meal). This meant that he had to leave the house at about 4am on Wednesday and camp out in the parking lot for nearly 24 hours in order to save his spot in line.

10. I am thankful that we got to eat a Chick-fil-a for dinner tonight -- for free! And I am thankful for their wonderful indoor playground...11. And last, but certainly not least, I am thankful that Santa came a few weeks early. We have all been singing that song , "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" for Joey. He's been pretty miserable. Today he finally cut one of them. Maybe Santa will come early one more time for us and Joey will cut that second one...(Sorry about the boogers in his nose...I told you he's not feeling good!)

A Day in the Life of an Eight-Month-Old

--by Josiah Wells

Wednesday, November 19

I don't feel good today. I have a cough. (Or at least I think that's what it's called...that's what I keep hearing Mommy say.) Whatever it is, I know it hurts! I cry every time that it happens, and Mommy seems to understand that it hurts. I don't know why she's not making it stop. Usually when I cry, she fixes whatever it is that's wrong.

Then there's this stuff that keeps coming out of my nose, and Mommy won't stop wiping it off. I just can't get her to understand that I like for it to be there. When it gets to my mouth, then I get to lick it off, and it really tastes kind of good.
(See all that snot shining on my face? That time she didn't even wipe it off, she just smeared it around where I couldn't eat it. What's that all about?!)

And then there's those crazy diapers. Mommy and Daddy make me lay down so that they can change my diaper. It's torture -- laying there, still, for like one whole minute! Don't they understand that I've got important things to do, like eating toy snakes and tearing up books? Mommy even does this crazy acrobatic thing where she holds my arms down with her feet, my legs down with her elbows, and then is still able to get a new diaper on with her hands. I don't know how she does that, but man, it makes me mad! I would much rather just go around with nothing on, but when I do get away and finally get a few moments of freedom, she doesn't seem to like it when there's a wet spot underneath me.And speaking of eating toy snakes, I like to eat all of my toys. Well, really, I like to chew on pretty much anything I can get ahold of. It feels so good. These places in my mouth, they hurt so bad! And chewing makes them feel better. I think I'm getting some teeth there, or something. That's what everyone keeps saying. Sometimes when Mommy talks about those teeth-things, she opens my mouth and puts this weird stuff on my hurty-spots. Doesn't she know it hurts when she touches them? But, you know...they always seem to feel better a few minutes after she's done. I don't know how she does that.

Did you know that I can crawl? It was amazing -- one day I got my arms and legs moving just right, and all of a sudden, I was moving, too! Now I can go wherever I want, whenever I want to, and quick! How cool is that?One of the great things about crawling is that now I can get my big brothers. They are much quicker than me, but sometimes they are still long enough for me to catch them. The last couple of days, Big Brother Micah has been doing this thing where he hides under the couch. Only his head sticks out, and he stays there for kind of a long time. I love it, because he's so easy to catch! And when I catch him, it's so fun to pull his hair.
It's fun to pull Mommy's hair, too. Most of the time she's got it pulled back in a ponytail. But I know that if I just grab a handful somewhere and start pulling, it will all eventually come out of the ponytail. That's really funny.Sometimes my big brothers play hide and seek with me. They hide somewhere, (they think they're hiding, anyway -- but I can always see them!) and then they say, "Joey, come and find us!" So I crawl to them as fast as I can. I love it when they want me to play with them! But then, when I'm almost close enough to pull their hair, they run away to another place. And then they say it again, "Joey, come and get us!" So I go to them again. But again, as soon as I get close they go back to the first place. I keep trying, and I work really hard to crawl as fast as I can, but they never let me catch them. After a few times of this game, I get really mad and Mommy comes and gets me. Don't they know that all I want to do is catch them (and maybe pull their hair after I do)?!

Sometimes they "hide" from me on the couch. But I've got 'em now! Now I know how to grab ahold of the couch and pull myself up so that I'm standing there. It's great. When I'm standing by the couch, I can take Micah's softie away from him or eat Conner's shoes. Sometimes they even give me toys and stuff. Now if I could just figure out how to get down. If I let go, I fall on my bottom, and I don't really like that. I think that if I could just get my feet moving right, I might could even walk along the edge. That would be cool. But for now it works to just start crying. Mommy will eventually come and get me. I have to cry longer than usual when that's what it is that I'm wanting. Mommy keeps saying that the only way I'll learn how to get un-stuck is to be stuck for awhile. But I know that if I cry long enough, she will always come and get me.And then there's that eating thing. I love my babyfood. I just open my mouth and Mommy or Daddy shovel that yummy stuff in. The other day I figured out, though, that when I'm through, I can still open my mouth for another bite, but I don't have to swallow it. I can just spit it. You should see it, it's great. Baby food sprays everywhere. Sometimes I spray my highchair tray or my bib, but I really like it when it gets all over my Mommy's clothes, or one of my brothers' faces. Now that's some funny stuff!And nowadays I get to eat puffs and cheerios along with my baby food. Man, you've gotta try those things. They are awesome!

But then at the end of the day, or when I'm really tired or don't feel good, I do slow down. That's great, too. Mommy or Daddy gives me my Coach, I suck my thumb, and we cuddle together. Sometimes Conner and Micah will cuddle with us, and sometimes I'm even so tired that I don't pull their hair. We just sit and cuddle. Mommy says that's one of her favorite parts of the day.I think it's one of my favorite parts, too.

I Taught Micah to Make Coffee Today...

...and he taught me so much more.

Tuesday, November 17

Micah has been getting more and more interested in coffee over the past few weeks. Maybe it's because now, since Bret is officing at home some, there are some days that there's always a fresh pot brewing. I don't know. But, Micah always wants to see the coffee when we're drinking it, he likes to drink "kid coffee," and lately he's wanted to push the button for me when I'm making it.

So the other day, I thought I'd reveal to him that there's more to making coffee than just pushing a button. I let him dump the old coffee, rinse the pot, measure the water, pour it into the coffee maker, put the filter in, measure and dump the three scoops, shut the lid...then he got to push the button. If I had done it by myself, it would have gone about ten times more quickly, but this is the only way they learn...

When the coffee maker started making sounds, and then when he saw the coffee coming out, he was SO excited. He couldn't wait to tell his daddy that he had made the coffee. And then when he got to help me serve the cup -- oh, he was so very proud.

That was the first pot of the morning. Then Bret left for awhile and while he was gone, Micah and I got another pot ready to go -- we did everything except push the button. I told Micah that as soon as Daddy got home, he could push the button and make some more coffee.

I don't know if Bret was even fully inside the door yet when Micah came running into the kitchen excitedly exclaiming that his daddy was home, he needed to make him some coffee.

...and that's pretty much how it was for the rest of the day (two or three more pots). Micah and I worked hard together, preparing a gift that Micah can give to his daddy. Then when Bret walks in and sees/hears Micah preparing his gifts, I'm not sure whose grin is the biggest.

Bret's been preaching about Sabbath this month. We've talked a lot about how we need to prepare to experience the Sabbath. We need to release some things, we need to embrace others, so that we can get the full Sabbath experience that God has intended for us -- and so that God may receive our whole hearts in return.

I couldn't help but see that in Micah. He had worked so hard preparing for his daddy to come home. And then, as soon as it was time, he couldn't wait to give this gift to him. He was so excited that he had prepared something, that he could give something to Bret, and that he could then share in it. He expected absolutely nothing in return except a smile and a hug.

Isn't that how we should feel every time we worship? Shouldn't we spend some time preparing, shouldn't we be excited about what it is that we have to give God? Shouldn't it be more about what we are giving instead of what we are receiving, how "good" worship was for me?

Yes, it's messy. Some days there are still trails of coffee grounds on the floor when we give and receive Sabbath, and part of the Sabbath experience may even be cleaning it up with God. Some days it has all been cleaned up, the kitchen is clean and sparkly, and the Sabbath experience may be sitting on the front porch with God, simply resting and enjoying. But I kind of think that's what it's really all about.

Thank you Micah, two-year-old, for once again teaching me something about God that I have so easily missed.
("Yes, I did make you some coffee, Daddy. I am a big boy.")

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." --Ephesians
5:1-2

Messy Monday



Monday, November 17

You know, everyday around here is so much the same, yet so different. I wake up in the morning and know that there will be diapers to be changed; meals to be prepared, served, and cleaned up; dishes to wash, dry, and put away; laundry to wash, fold, and put away; kids to cuddle with; kids to discipline; ...and messes to clean up.

Some days though...some days have more than their fair share of certain things. Today was a messy day.

I woke up with the sink full of dirty dishes and a bunch of really dirty laundry screaming at me. Last night was one of those nights. I got home from the grocery store around midnight and was tired enough that I allowed myself to go to bed without taking care of any of it, and of course if I was that tired, Bret was, too...

I got kids fed and situated, Joey down for a nap, promised (Playhouse Disney's weekly) Movie-Time Monday in an hour, and before I started on the dishes I got the laundry going. No sooner had a gotten a sink full of sudsy water than Conner came in wanting to know what he could do until it was time for Movie-Time Monday. None of my suggestions were any good...until I asked him if he would help me with the dishes. Somehow that sounded better than any of the toys I had thought of. And Micah wanted to help.

We settled into a system of me washing and they taking turns rinsing...which became taking turns filling bowls with water and dumping them...which became Conner taking over the faucet and Micah using the sponge to put more bubbles on the clean dishes... That took longer than I was planning!

Still not time for Movie-Time Monday, though...and they want to know what they can do now. I show them the bags of groceries hidden away in my bedroom. Did they want to help me put them away? If I had known they would be that excited about groceries, we would have been doing this a long time ago!
Well...maybe...their help turned into pulling everything out of the bags, excitedly yelling out the name of whatever it was they had pulled out, throwing it on the floor, and moving on. Occasionally something would be exciting enough that they would run into the kitchen to tell me about it, but mostly they just had a little party by themselves. I scrambled to pick things up as they dropped them, trying to put it away before boxes got crunched and stuff got lost under the bed. (Maybe not best parent-type thing to do, but this morning I succombed to the quickest and easiest way out.)

Finally time for Movie-Time Monday. I got Conner and Micah situated in the living room at a picnic table with some new snacks from the grocery store -- frozen blueberries and Vanilla Milkshake Poptarts. Meanwhile, I checked on the laundry. There had been a couple of incidents involving spaghettios and baby food carrots the day before. The clothes were immediately removed and treated with Zout (something like Shout, only it's supposed to be better). Well, no one got the message to the spaghettios. (I'm sure it would have helped if I hadn't let it sit all night...oops...) I tried Shout and washed them again, putting up the rest of the groceries in the meantime.

When I checked on the clothes again, the spaghettios hadn't gotten the message that Shout is always supposed to work, either. Time to get out the big guns -- the bleach pen and oxi-clean in the wash. (I was determined, that had been the first time Conner had ever worn that shirt!)

Then I began scrubbing Micah's ink pen markings from yesterday off the wall. (It just happened to be in the laundry room, where I was spending a lot of time today.) Thirty minutes of scrubbing, half a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, I had hardly made a dent in it. Obviously, this is something I will have to plink away at over the next few days...(Maybe it's mean, but I love this picture. Yes, Micah was upset because he was in trouble. But I had to take a picture. It's such a classic almost inevitable little part of childhood. It's hard to see the ink on the wall, it doesn't look nearly as bad as it actually is. But if you look closely, you will can see it...and the art he put on his tummy and chest, too...)

Now the movie was over and it was time to help the kiddos clean up the snack mess. The movie was good, the snacks were good...the mess required more Zout/Shout. I guess I was asking for that one with the blueberries!

They ran off to play and while I messed with the laundry and fixed lunch. (Yes, the bleach-pen and the oxi-clean are my heroes today. They finally got the spaghettios out, and that's what I ended up having to do with the blueberries, too...)

(Quick back story: WalMart has been out of chicken dinosaurs, and that is a staple around here. I had gotten some popcorn chicken, hoping that they would go for "chicken dinosaur eggs," but apparently the popcorn chicken isn't as good. I was starting to despair when Chris and Heidi called to say they had found chicken dinosaurs at Sam's. Hallelujah! Conner and Micah were very excited, too. Now what to do with the "eggs"...)

I decided to make dinosaur nests. Some of the eggs had hatched (chicken dinosaurs), some of them hadn't (popcorn chicken). Sounds cute, right? I went to tell them lunch was ready, and discovered why they had been so content for so long.
Lunch wasn't as big a success as I had hoped...apparently the "eggs" are spicy and not worth messing with when you've got good ol' fully-hatched chicken dinosaurs sitting right there too. Micah had chewed them all up and spit them out (missing his plate) while I was feeding Josiah... Uggh!Joey has been spitting as he begins to get done with his meals. He's going strong...and then suddenly everything within spitting distance is covered with whatever happens to be in his mouth at the time. (The day before it was carrots on my white shirt-- part of the laundry that I had been scrubbing.) Today it was prunes (yes, prunes -- I was kind of hoping they would make a contained mess of their own before too long, if you know what I mean...) on my pants. More of the Zout/Shout.Then I went to lay Josiah down for a nap, and came back into the kitchen to find that the big brothers had gotten out the markers. Not that big of a deal, except you can't see in the picture that Micah's pink swirls are on the table cloth and in his hair, too...Got that cleaned-up-ish, (more stain treatment on the tablecloth) and it was rest time. We read a few books, and the next thing I knew we were all waking up two hours later. Whew! I needed that!

And, thankfully, the rest of the day was pretty uneventful. It was good to put the kids to bed and clean the messes up good...and put away all of the laundry that was now clean and stain-free. Who knows what tomorrow has in store? Maybe it will be a Terrific Tuesday!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm Still Writing...

Okay, so the timing has worked out beautifully. My computer is in the shop, so I'm bumming any time I can get from Bret's computer. Yeah, right.

Then, Chris surprised Bret and (Christ Journey) bought him a new MacBook yesterday! Bret is SO excited...and I am, too, because now there's an extra computer lying around.

So I sat down this afternoon to do a little blogging, and remembered one of the reasons we bought my computer in the first place. This one is so old and slow that it times out before it can get a picture uploaded. Every now and then it will get one up, but mostly you just sit and wait for nothing.

I'm still writing. (It's one of the ways I (try to, anyway) stay sane.) I'm still taking pictures. (It's habit now.) But stuff's not getting uploaded.

So stay tuned...one of these days you'll log on a find about a hundred jillion posts from the Wells Brothers...

But for now, I'm going to bed. Bret is camped out at a Chick-fil-a in Frisco. (Their grand opening is tomorrow, and the first one hundred customers get coupons for free chick-fil-a for a year. Yippee!) I had a time getting the kids to bed by myself tonight. Josiah is sick, and cried a lot. Conner and Micah had both taken naps today, so they were tired, but not so tired that they could sleep through the crying baby. So, long and frustrating story short -- Joey finally fell asleep around 10, and Micah quickly followed at 10:15. Conner was set on staying up all night tonight just like Daddy...and I finally got him to give up a little after 11.

Now the dishes are done, the laundry is clean, the floor is swept, I've eaten way too many cinnamon rolls...and I'm calling it a day.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Technical Difficulties

My computer is in the shop. :(

We bought it about a year ago, and there was something about it that was never quite right, but we couldn't really put our finger on it. Well, the warranty runs out this week, so we went ahead and took it in.

Turns out it has defective RAM. (I'm not real sure exactly what that means, but it certainly doesn't sound good!) So...it's been shipped off to Kentucky to be repaired, and I am bumming computer time from other people (mainly Bret). Posts will probably be sporadic for the next two to three weeks...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Please Join Us

I was sitting on the living room floor today, I had just finished changing Josiah's diaper. The next thing I knew, Conner was climbing over my shoulder...suddenly I was lying flat on my back. Conner was tickling me, Micah was tickling me, I was was tickling them both, we were laughing and having a good time.

The next thing I knew, Joey had pulled out a few of my hairs, and had a handful he was still working on...and then with his other had he began to claw at the insides of my cheek and nose. He totally surprised me, I had kind of forgotten that he had been sitting there. And he was really hurting me!

In a lot of ways, I feel like that's what my life has been like for the past several months. Everything is going well, we're having fun, the boat might be a little shaky but it's still afloat...and then something hurtful blindsides us and the game is over for awhile.

Our new life as church planters has not been hugely different than the life in ministry we have always known. It's good, it's hard, it's energizing, it's exhausting. In the midst of this transition, though, it feels like we have a little more than usual at stake -- which makes the highs and lows even more extreme.

As many of you know, one of the big areas in which we are vulnerable is financially. We have moved with only about 50% of our funds raised, hoping and praying to raise the rest before the money we have on-hand from one-time contributions runs out. We have cut many corners, but the worry and pressure of money that will run out is always in the back of our minds.

We were hit pretty hard in this area of financial vulnerability a few weeks ago. But, we are still kicking and life has gone on. We have both spent a good deal of time, energy, and prayer trying to keep our attitudes and spirits right-side up.

With that said, I would like to share an email that Bret sent out this afternoon:

Dear Friends,

We have a special prayer request to ask of you. Over the next couple days two different church missions committees will have our names before them as they make decisions regarding support for the next year. As you know we are living in faith right now that God will raise up partners for us in this mission work and the timing of these two conversations could not be better. If it is appropriate and you have the opportunity to have your congregation or Bible classes lift this issue up in prayer tomorrow morning we would greatly appreciate it.

We are so grateful that we can count on so many people to surround us and kneel before the Father on our behalf.

Grace and Peace,

Bret, Rachel, Conner, Micah and Josiah


Please join us in prayer! I will try to keep you updated as we find out more details...

Friday, November 14, 2008

The New Adventures of Curious George

Ira, my brother, was shopping at Kohl's the other day. For those of you who know Ira, yes I know that's a strange sentence. Ira...shopping? ...and at Kohl's?!

The story goes something like this: Apparently Ira needed some new pants and found himself at Kohl's. He had a gift card or some kind of store credit, and when he was checking out he discovered his purchase did not use up the entire balance. At the check-outs, Kohl's sometimes has really cute little stuffed animals that go with books. We have dinosaurs to go with Jane Yolen's "How Does a Dinosaur Go to School/Count to Ten/Clean His Room, etc..." and Sneetches and Sam I Am to go with the Dr. Seuss books. On this particular day, they had Curious George stuff. Ira thought it looked like something the Wells brothers would like, and decided to get it for them.

Either he had a lot of credit left, or he kind of got into it -- they ended up with four Curious George books, a Curious George, a polar bear (now named "Polar Bolar"), a penguin ("Mumba"), and a hippo ("Gloria").

They have loved those animals. Nearly everday for the past week they've either gone to bed with them, woken up with them, or both. The favorite, though, seems to be Curious George. He has had many new adventures in his new home here at Casa de Wells.

Just thought I'd share: (sorry Micah...you may be really upset with me someday!)
And, yes...that is how Micah goes #2...I don't know, can't get him to turn around...makes for really interesting public restroom episodes (yuck!)...Heidi, you may change your mind about Ryan learning some potty tips from the Wells brothers...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's a Gweat to Gwanslate

We realized the other day that a little pattern has developed in Micah's quickly-disappearing toddler-talk. In many of the words that have an r or s blend (such as tr-, bl-, shr-...you get the idea), he has replaced the blend with a gw- blend. Words that he used to say fine now often have a bit of a gw- flavor...or should I say gwavor?! For example:
  • In the "Surf's Up" episode of The Backyardigans, his friend Pagwo (Pablo) does a gwiple (triple) whip on his surf board that Micah loves to imitate.
  • When he plays "Race to the Tower of Power" (another episode of The Backyardigans), he loves to be Dr. Gwinky (Shrinky).
  • When we pick Conner up from school, they both get to get a gweat (treat) from the gweasure (treasure) chest.
  • When Micah is thirsty he needs a gwink (drink).
  • When he's a pirate, I must walk the gwank (plank).
  • I often find that he has set booby gwaps (traps) in the living room when I walk through.
  • Sometimes friends come over for a gwaydate (playdate).
  • His softie is gwue (blue), a Halloween cat is gwack (black), and the tall things growing in the yard are gwees (trees). You get the idea...

Bret and I have had a lot of fun with this since we discovered the pattern. We don't know why he's doing it, but we think it's pretty cute. Sure, it sometimes makes it difficult for someone who doesn't know him as well to understand...and then we must do a little bit of translating. But we don't mind. This is such a short little phase of a kid's life, and I love that I am one of the ones who knows Micah well enough that I can be a translator.

Micah, it's a gweat to gwanslate for you!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jericho

I walked into the kitchen the other day, and found Conner playing with a bunch of little board books. He had obviously spent some time very meticulously lining them up, like this:
"Whatcha doing, Conner?"

"Oh. I'm just playing Jericho, Mom. That's my favorite story. See?"

And just like that, his carefully built wall was destroyed -- and he couldn't have been happier.

It makes my heart so happy and thankful, so full of joy and pride, when I see that these kids not only know about the Bible and its stories, but love them and own them.

***If you don't know the story of Jericho, pull out your Bible and read Joshua chapter six. It's a good one!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pics and Quotes from September

Yes, a little (okay, a lot) late, I know...but better late than never!
My sweet little thumb-sucker (one of them, anyway!) "Look at my fast shoes, Mom!"
"Hey Mom, I'm a moose!"
Joey is getting Conner for a change! (Yes, it has begun...)
Best bed in the house
"We're making cupcakes!"
"Did someone say 'cupcakes?!'"
"Yup, cupcakes. This beater is yum-my!" So excited about the first day of school "The Texas Picture" bloopers


(I love the bloopers!)
Good "coppee," Mom! And another one of my thumb suckers...
Favorite Quotes:

Micah, instead of saying "Oh my goodness" or "Awww man" has been saying, "Awww, Donkey!" We have no idea where that came from!

Me: "So Conner, how was your day at school today?"
Conner: "It was a worse day, Mom."
Me, imagining the worst: "Oh no! What happened?"
Conner: "There were princess cupcakes and princess napkins. I don't like that girl stuff. And then I got paint on my fingers and paint on the table. That's all."

Micah: "Mom, I got animal crackers in my unna-wear." Hmmm...

Micah, randomly, several times throughout the day: Gasp. "I turned six! I bigger than Conner!" (Or eight, or twelve...you pick the number...)

Conner, as we approach the end of the Causeway Bridge (24 miles long) across Lake Pontchartrain: "I see land-home up there. It's the blue buildings."

Conner: "God, I want there to be snow the first time it's winter in Texas." (He has been dying to see snow, and is soooo excited that chances are better to see snow this year.)

Micah: "Bard-obo" (Barnes and Noble)

Micah: He used to call softie "dodtee," often mistaken by the untrained ear to be "Daddy." It hs now become "softie." Gosh, he's growing up...

Conner, at the top of his lungs in the parking lot as we were leaving Barnes and Noble one day after he had discovered The Ultimate Pokemon Handbook: "Clango, dongo, shoowee-toowee-dango, boinga, taco sandwich, doinga, dilly-dober-doowo..."
"Conner!" I said. "You need to chill. You are being way to loud."
"But Mom, that book was just so awesome that I don't even know what to say!"

Conner was sitting on the floor knocking magnets off the dishwasher onto the floor. I knew he was just knocking them off to knock them off, and would leave them there when he was finished. That's what he had been doing for the past several weeks. "Conner," I said. "Please don't do that. It makes me crazy when y'all make messes for no other reason than to make messes." Without missing a beat, he said, "Crazy-er!" Oh my goodness...