Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A New Week

Well, let's see...the kittens are now all over the house. We have to really watch where we're stepping to make sure we don't plop a foot down on one of them! They are so fun - they follow us around, bite at our toes, and love our attention. Please pray more for our flea situation. They never totally went away, but they were very manageable. Smokey's Frontline worked just fine (and still does, for her!). But, over the past couple of weeks we've had a lot of trouble with them, and have had to do a lot of treating and washing and treating some more. With the cracks and gaps in the house I'm not sure we can ever truly get them out. But God can! We're praying He will.

Potty training is still going. He's definitely doing better than I expected, and I know we'll get there - hopefully soon!

It's been a nice, rather uneventful couple of days, so there's nothing big to share. Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Nice Weekend

We've had what we really needed this weekend - some nice, calm, unplanned home time. Yesterday we headed to Warren (about 15 miles up the road) to a park Doug had seen on Thursday. It had a train engine parked in it! Since Steven loves trains so much, Doug thought it would be lots of fun. I have pictures, but since it's 9:45 PM I'm not going to try to upload them tonight. I'll do that later. Anyway, Steven was a bit scared of it at first because it was so huge, but we took him up in it anyway. As we were driving away, he wanted to get back up in it, so we were glad we took him amid his protests! :-)

Today was another nice day - a quick grocery shopping trip, sorting Steven's clothes, football, and some time outside. We took the training wheels off of Olivia's bike today, and she did so well! She's only really had the opportunity to be confident on her bike since we've lived here, just because our riding space was so limited in Horn Lake. And, she takes after her mommy - low on the physical coordination! :-) But, the first time Doug let go of the bike, she was able to take off on her own for several yards! We were very proud of her for being willing to try and try again. Hopefully we'll continue to have great weather - and maybe a decrease in the mosquitos that have been SO horrible here - and can get out and practice on a daily basis.

We almost put aside potty training for a while this weekend after Steven started throwing fits about sitting on the potty. This morning I gave in to Steven's request for a diaper and went off to menu plan. I just figured we'd try again in a couple of weeks. Imagine my surprise when Steven came running into the kitchen about 15 minutes later hollering, "Mommy, I need to pee-pee in the potty!" We ran to the bathroom, took off his diaper, and he went! I was delighted! He has done that regularly today. I'd been trying to get him to the potty at regular intervals to make sure we missed accidents, but he's already learned to recognize and respond to his body's cues. That's why he was getting so upset with me making him try. So, I'm going to start listening to him a little more. Smart kid! Thanks for the prayers - I KNOW they are working!

Friday, September 26, 2008

He Always Provides

I went through the girls' clothes this week, checking to see what hand-me-downs we had and what we'd need to buy. As I sorted, I saw how fully they were provided for again this year. Olivia had everything she needed, and Angie had everything except dresses. Anyone who knows Angie knows she LOVES dresses! I found one dress for her, but then I realized that she had lots of sweaters and several short-sleeve dresses that are very fallish! Problem solved! But, then I found another box - one that I had packed at the last minute. In it I found dresses that had been sent to us by our friends the Choates before they went overseas! She has dresses! God is good!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Snuggles

We were all a bit droopy and not feeling our best Sunday afternoon. It isn't fun to feel bad, but there is one thing good that always tends to come out of it - great snuggles!


He wanted to play with my glasses - doesn't he look studious (and a bit too grown up!)?

For those of you who have been praying for our potty training adventure, THANK YOU! I really, really don't like to potty train - even the easy ones aren't truly "easy." But, I still greatly appreciate the "easy" ones. Steven has done well. He only had two accidents yesterday, and today he has been dry all morning. And, he seems to recognize when he needs to use the potty. It's not always with a willingness to sit on it, but we're working on that. He comes running and crying, "Mommy, Mommy!" with a cry that I pretty quickly recognized as, "I'm about to do something that I should need a diaper for!" In fact, this morning we almost just gave it a rest for today because he just didn't want to sit on the potty and he was crying for a diaper. So, I put a diaper back on him, but within five minutes he came to me saying, "Change diaper, Mommy." The diaper was dry! So, I took him to the potty and he went. We went back to the underwear and he's done great since.

Of course, this might be a hindrance...

He disappeared from the school room and got very quiet, so I was suspicious. Sure enough, I found him asleep on the floor in his room! I tried to gently wake him up for lunch and a potty break, but he was out hard!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pictures from our Trip

Like I said, I forgot the camera when we were actually with people - oh well. Here are some shots from our trip, though.
Car snuggles...

One more chapter from Ginger Pye

Watching the three-week old baby giraffe

They're growing up!

I want baseball!

Please pray for us today. Steven has gotten to the point that he's happy to use the potty if I catch him at the right time, typically right after bath time. But, this morning he decided he didn't want his diaper back on. So, he has baseball underwear on! My main problem at this point is catching him at the right time, so please pray that I'll be able to know what his "schedule" is and be able to encourage him in that direction. He did just come running to me telling me he needed to go to the potty - he hasn't done anything yet, but maybe that's a start!

Thanks for the prayers!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

School Outside

Early last week when it was nice and cool outside and the mosquitos weren't bad, we either had school outside or sat just inside with the school door open to let in the fresh air and allow Steven to play outside. We loved it! Fall is wonderful!

At times we even got pretty chilled, which is a big deal for most of us. Olivia gets cold easier than the rest of us, but we were all a bit chilly. Anyway, these are just some pictures from our outdoor school...





Monday, September 22, 2008

Silly Kitties

Here are a couple of pictures and a few videos. The pictures are of Wilhelmina and Fezzik. Wilhelmina is definitely our bold adventurer. She is a mess! She loves to wrestle, too. She's winning our hearts more and more, even surpassing Buttercup and Wesley at times! This picture shows more of her true coloring. The more she grows, the less solid white she is. Her fur looks almost dirty! I'm curious to continue to see how her fur changes as she grows over the next few weeks.

Fezzik is definitely our shyest kitten. In this picture he is pressed up against the wall after having wrestled with some of his siblings. He doesn't come to us on his own, but when we pick him up he just nestles! He's very calm and sweet, and he LOVES to be loved on! He gets missed a lot of times when we're loving on kittens because his siblings all press for our attention. So, we're trying to make sure he gets loved on. He's just so snuggly! He also is one of our two long-haired kittens. His fur isn't nearly as long as Princess Buttercup's, but it is definitely longer than the other kittens.

The videos are of the kittens playing. Wilhelmina, Wesley, and Princess Buttercup seem to be the ones who love to wrestle the most, although you can see the others toppling over and wrestling with one another, too. (I'm hoping they actually post! I seem to have had lots of trouble posting videos since we've been down here, and I'm not sure why. They are showing in one place they're uploaded and in another that they don't exist, so we'll see what happens when I publish. If they don't post here I'll try again.)
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Preview

I have several things to post this week - our trip over the weekend; the kittens' new antics; cute pictures. With our trip, I completely dropped the ball and left the camera in our room while we were actually with people! But, we did enjoy our time with them. I have lots of kitten pictures - over the two days we were gone they went from shaky, wobbly little ones to bold explorers!!! Smokey decided to move them to the girls' room during the night Saturday night, so we had to baby gate them into our bedroom on Sunday morning to keep her from moving them again. The girls' room is just not a great place for them!

Anyway, look for those things coming. Right now I must get back to school. I gave the girls a longer break than usual - I think we all needed it. Everyone's a bit grouchy today. But, school has gone well for the most part. I sat down to read Angie's letter book to her, and she read it to me instead! Olivia did her math in record time, completing it before break started, something we've been struggling with. Angela picked up her new phonics blends beautifully, even to the point of being able to read "st" in words. Then I sat down to teach her how to count by two's. I started to explain it all to her, and she said, "You mean like this? Two, four, six, eight, ten!" Olivia piped up and said, "Mommy, I've already taught her that!" We then just had to launch into an all-out tickle fest to "deal" with the presumptuous girls who proceeded to get ahead of me in the teaching process! :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Steven & Kittens

Thank you all for praying with us over the potty-training. We're not off to an official and determined start yet, but we have made some very significant progress! Yesterday, I happened to catch Steven working to fill that diaper, so I took him and put him on his potty. He protested at first, but then he was so proud when he managed to fill the potty AND get a few M&M's! :-) Then last night during bath time I was turning to get a towel to wrap Steven in when I heard him cry out, "I need go pee-pee potty, Mommy!" I grabbed the little removable potty bowl and let him use it right there in the tub. Again, he was EXCEEDINGLY proud of himself. I haven't caught him at the right times today, but we'll work on that. At least we've moved over that hump of knowing what Mommy means by using the potty!

As for the kittens, they are once again in a new location. Yesterday they moved under our bed, but this morning Smokey was bound and determined to move them out of our room. First she went to the girls' closet. When we nixed that idea, she went to Steven's room and tried to settle under the cradle. Again we said no - not a great idea to give any of the kids unlimited access to the kittens, allow their middle of the night fighting over food to wake the kids, or eliminate the option of closing the kids' doors when needed. So, she decided to head to the front bathroom to a little nook under the cabinets. I wonder how long that will last!

They are more and more social and friendly every day. They come running to meet us and can be quite lovable! I'll try to get more pictures soon. Meanwhile, we have about three weeks before they're ready to start giving away. Please continue to pray with us that God will lead us to the right home for each one!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Kittens

Angie and I were visiting with the kittens the other day. The little gray one was quite content to roll over on his back to get his belly scratched! There are several who love belly scratches.

We have named them all. The gray one above is Wesley. He's so sweet and social -- one of our favorites. The one below is one of our boys - his name is Inigo. He also seems to enjoy coming to us for loving.

I was trying to get individual pictures of each one, but they weren't being very cooperative. I'll keep working on it! At the bottom of the next picture we have Inigo with Wesley above him. There are three other dark ones that look alike, and I'm not sure which one is under Wesley. The three other dark ones are Princess Buttercup, Valerie, and Fezzik. (Anyone picking up the naming theme here?) Princess is a long-haired beauty. She and Wesley are definitely our favorites. Princess loves people and we love to run our fingers through her long fur! Valerie is the other dark girl. She's a bit shy, but very sweet. Fezzik is one of our boys, and his personality is similar to Valerie's. The two of them tend to hang back a bit when the others run to meet us, but they enjoy a good belly-rub as much as the rest of them! They definitely are sweet. Next we have Wilhemina. Okay, so her name doesn't fit with the rest, but there's a reason! When she was a newborn we thought she was a he. She was also quite the bully, although she's calmed down a bit since then. But, the bully in her made Doug think of the mayor of Memphis, so he named her King Willy! When we found out King Willy was a she, she became Wilhemina. Poor thing! :-) Next is one of the three similar dark ones - I think it's Fezzik, actually. And, last we have Vizzini. He's quite the spunkly little critter! Very social and very explorative. He doesn't quite rule the roost, but he's definitely not shy!

When I get more individual pictures, I'll make sure to get them posted.

A Hibbard Weekend

It's been a relaxing Saturday. Since Ike settled down a LOT, we haven't had quite the weather we were expecting today. We're still supposed to get a good bit of the rain and some wind, but hopefully nothing like what was anticipated - although there are some tornado warnings and such in counties around us. We'll see how the night unfolds.

Right now Angie is finishing her afternoon nap and Olivia and Steven are watching Cars for the umpteenth time! :-) Ah, the toddler life - repetition is beloved! Steven even sleeps with his cars right now. I have to go into his room after he goes to sleep and clean out his bed so he won't roll over on the cars and hurt himself in the night. So silly!

Now, don't laugh and don't be too harsh on me for my early start, but we've been getting started on Christmas presents this month. Last year Doug and I decided to begin a tradition of making Christmas presents for each other. That's not to say we don't buy at all, but we sit down with the kids and help them brainstorm things that they can make for each other. And, we try to brainstorm things we can make for other people, too. It makes us have to stop and really think about what someone else might truly like. If we're going to put that much time and effort into it, it needs to be something they will actually appreciate! Hopefully as time goes on, it will help us be able to teach them more and more about what went in to the original Christmas gift. So, it's pretty obvious that I have to get an early start to get my portion of the gifts made, and since I'm teaching the girls as we go along, their creations will take a little more time than it would take for me to make the same things by myself. Hence, the early start.

ANYWAY...so Olivia and I have started on Angie's Christmas present. We had to make eyes for it, so I took that as an opportunity to teach her how to do some simple stitches. Here are pictures - she actually sewed the long white strips onto the black background by herself! (I did the circles.) She did quite well!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

School

The other day in school all three kids were so precious doing their work, each on a separate chalkboard. Olivia was doing math problems on the big chalkboard...

Angela was practicing letters and numbers on her small slate...

and Steven had to have his assignment, too, so he chose the kids' easel for his work. Notice there are numbers on the board - he had to have a math assignment to work on like Sissy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Big Boy

Well, we are once again entering a phase where a lot of specific prayer would be greatly coveted! Potty training! Yep, Steven is showing the signs of readiness. Last night in the tub he suddenly stopped playing and said he was ready to get out. I didn't get to him in time, but it did indicate to me that he knows when he needs to go. Before now he has also adamantly refused to sit on the potty, but starting last night he decided his little potty isn't so bad after all. Several times after last night's bath and then again through the course of today he has asked to sit on his potty. Of course, it's always been after he's wet his diaper, but it's still a great step forward! So, anyway, pray with us that this will be a smooth training time!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Historic Arkansas Museum

When Thursday morning dawned and our plans for Angie's birthday were derailed, Doug did some research on one of the locations on our field trip list to see if we could squeeze in a field trip for the day. It wasn't long before we were on our way to the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. We were hoping to do the outside tour through the houses and other buildings around the museum, but the weather hadn't quite cleared up enough. There was plenty on display inside, though, to hold everyone's attention for a couple of hours!

We explored an art gallery where the girls were able to see some of the artistic medium they'd been learning about. We also saw a gallery of furniture and another gallery which contained the working scores from major compositions of American composers.

Another gallery revealed an exhibit full of toys from "yesteryear." The girls were fascinated!


From there we moved into the next gallery where we saw the history of the Bowie knife, created by a blacksmith from Arkansas for Jim Bowie.

Of course, the girls were most excited about the Children's Gallery where they were able to lie down on the state of Arkansas...

play Twister on the state of Arkansas...

dress up in pioneer attire...


and play a matching game with famous works of art.

After the museum trip we had a birthday lunch at Chick-fil-A and then a quick trip to our favorite store Mardel. Once we got back on the road, the kids napped until we got to Pine Bluff where we stopped for milkshakes. They were all delighted with the milkshakes, but I think Steven was the happiest of them all!

It was definitely a fun day, and we were excited to get to enjoy our first field trip of the year. Of course, we'll have to go back at some point for that outdoor tour.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Past Few Days

Here are just a few tidbits of our past few days...

The girls love to be read to, but they also love to read to others. Naturally, Grandma's presence was the perfect opportunity. First Olivia read a book about Esther, and then Angie read all five of her school readers.


Here are a few snapshots from our time at church. The kids really did so well despite the unpredictability of the situation.



We thought we had some water damage in the house Wednesday night, but we ended up with just one wet corner affecting a couple of boxes of Christmas stuff. Everything inside those boxes was protected by plastic, so there was nothing damaged other than the boxes themselves! YAY!

Steven came out of the week with the scars of an ant fascination! He had been watching ants for a while, and we'd been trying hard to keep him away from them. Friday morning Doug went early to the church to cook some pancakes for our breakfast. As the rest of us headed to the van, the girls were getting buckled and I was loading the bags I'd been carrying. I was on my way to pick Steven up and buckle him in when I noticed he was thoroughly fascinated with a huge trail of ants in the driveway. Closer inspection showed that they were all over his shoes and legs! He came out of the incident with one leg covered with bites and other bites scattered on his other leg, arm, and face. Poor thing! They don't seem to bother him, though - and he still has his fascination with those ants!

I'll have pictures of our museum field trip tomorrow.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

And finally...kittens!

I had some precious pictures from the other day ready to upload, but then this afternoon Steven and I were able to go back there, divide the kittens up into girls and boys, and get even better pictures.

Smokey moved the kittens early this morning from the closet to a little niche between my nightstand and the wall. It seemed to be an acceptable spot, so we just left them. Steven and I had fun playing with them a bit. Isn't he sweet and gentle with them? He's still learning, but he does so well. I'm so proud of him!

Here are the girls...we thought at first that the white one was a boy and these two dark ones were the only girls, but I will be the first to admit that I am very inexperienced at determining kitty gender! I'm pretty sure at this point, though, that these are the girls of the bunch.


And here are the boys! As you can see, their eyes are mostly open. There are a couple with eyes either partially open or with one eye open and one eye still trying to get there. But, for the most part, they have open eyes. They're so precious!


Birthday Party

Today was the big day! It was such a blessing to be able to have Angie's birthday party at home with electricity! We were so thankful! We had postponed it until today so Grandma and PopPop could join us, but it ended being perfect timing with the power outage issues.

We started the party with Angie's favorite meal - Bacon Cheddar Quiche! She was almost as excited about the quiche as she was about the cake!

But, the cake was also a big hit. I have no idea how she really got into Hello Kitty, but she did, and she was so excited about her Hello Kitty cake for this year. She's been planning it since Christmas! :-)


She got the hairbow..."the whole thing? Wow! I got the whole thing!"

All in all a good time.