To update everyone a little on life in our little corner of the world...
The holidays treated us kindly :), not too much bustle and hurry but it was certainly not boring :)! We joke that our Christmas Eve was a home educator's dream :). The girls got money in their gift from Grandma, several dollars worth...all in quarters for Bri to count as well as a foiling kit (comparable to an art form the Egyptians once used). An employee of Lee's gave everyone candy bars she brought home from their last mission stint in Russia, which we tasted as we looked Russia up on the map (if you're wondering how it tasted let's just say it was an experience ;). Bri got a pair of pajamas that needed hemmed and the neighbors gave the girls a piece of framed art that had a Bible verse for every letter in the alphabet :). So, that covered math, history, geography, social studies, home economics, language, and Bible. How funny!
On New Years Eve Lee went out and bought some fire works to do for the girls and they had great fun. Poor Bethani couldn't figure it out, by the time her little eyes had gotten up to the sky there was nothing there to look at, she was thoroughly perplexed :). The next day, New Years day, she got her first tooth! You may remember that Bri lost her first tooth on Tori's birthday, there is something about celebrating that stimulates dental activity in this family :).
On the 7th we had our annual "Pioneer Christmas" at mom's. The girls and I made baskets of homemade bath salts and such for the "women folk", that was fun and it turned out really pretty. I don't remember many details of the last few months because my mind is the first thing that goes when we're...expecting!!! Yeah!!! We found out that morning before we went to mom's and it was sooo hard to keep it to ourselves! But, I wanted to tell everyone in a "special" way. I had to tell my sister over lunch because I needed someone to babysit when I went for my first appointment with the midwife, but for everyone else I waited until I could get matching "I'm the Big Sister" shirts for the girls. We decided the best time would be when all of us "girls" (my mom, sisters, I and the little "girls") were together for the "Rise-Up-and-Call-Her-Blessed" luncheon that my sisters and I had already been planning for mom, partly because it would be special and partly because I could hide it no longer :). When my sisters and I get together to do anything you can be assured that it is going to be a memory maker ;). Well, we had it all set up that I would meet mom at the restaurant and after we were seated I would call Tess on her cell phone and they would meet us there and surprise her. That would have worked out beautifully...if Tessa's cell phone had been on :). I tried desperately to get a hold of her, calling several times and leaving the table to panic in private :). Finally I told my poor bewildered mother I had to go to the car for something, I conveniently left out the fact that it was to get in and drive away ;)! I was really hoping she couldn't see me through the window! I got half way to where my sisters were with the girls and Tess called and asked,"Have you tried to call yet?". "Yes!!! Hurry!!! I left mom in the restaurant to come get you guys!!!" :). So, I booked it back and thank goodness they got there soon after me so I didn't have to hide anything for very much longer because by then I wasn't hiding it very well at all ;). She was surprised! She's usually really hard to surprise but I think my odd behavior had really thrown her for a loop that day :). Well, by this time there was little emotional energy left to let her figure out on her own that the girls were all wearing "completely matching" big sister shirts. Amber figured it out pretty quickly and within 15 minutes we were all throwing hints :). Tess says," Did you see the girls matching shirts mom?". "Yes", she answered, "They are very cute." Tess again, "No, I mean they are completely matching". That got it :). And it was good practice for when dad got home that evening :). Anyway, believe it or not that was to make a long story short :). When I recounted the day to Lee later that evening he was absolutely rolling! He kept repeating, "I can't believe you abandoned your mother at the restaurant!".
We enjoyed the first day of Spring by taking a surprise last minute trip to Charleston, it was Lee's idea, I didn't even know until the night before! We admired the life that God causes to come forth every year by visiting some beautiful gardens and the seashore, it was spectacular!
Last Wednesday we took the girls with us to our appointment so that they could hear the baby's heartbeat. Bri had been upset that she couldn't go the first time but they had a really hard time finding it, and when they did it was just for a moment, so it is just as well that we took them this time instead. We have a very active baby on the way :). Midst the bump, bump, bump of the the heartbeat we kept hearing kick... kick kick... kick. Next time (4-26-06) we get to have our ultrasound :). They have 3-D capability this time so if baby is laying right we may get a 3-D profile, how neat is that?! Isn't it funny? Even with these last two being so close together there is still something new in medical technology to look forward to!
Bri is working hard on her school work and in every spare moment she is reading or knitting, often to or for her sisters :). She just got done with matching hats for Tori and Tori's doll. She was originally doing them for Christmas but she just couldn't wait to give them to her.
Tori is growing up so much. I'm hoping to have her reading by the time Baby is born. She enjoys "babysitting" Bethani whenever she can and none of us can get Bethani to laugh like Tori can, it is toooo cute!
Bethani is walking, saying several words, and keeping us all entertained :). I can't wait to see her as the "big" sister :). At this moment there appears nothing "big" about her! She is sooooo cute when she walks into a room just like a big person :). Bri and Tori got out their stroller for her today and helped her practice being a "mommy". Can't start too early you know :).
I think that is about it! I'm aiming to update this blog about weekly so you may want to check back often until we have it down to a system of some sort :).