Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for 2008


10th November 2008

As a mom, you’re always needed.  From the moment the little one is born, they need you for everything.  It’s endearing at first, but then it’s exhausting.  I’ve been very needed for over 4 years.  Breastfeeding was a wonderful experience, but talk about being needed!  I’m needed to pour juice, button buttons, reach things on the top of the dresser.  I’m needed when I’m in bed, when I’m washing dishes or cutting meat, when I’m in the shower.  I’m feeling awfully tired of being needed.

But just today, I remembered that I’m not always going to be needed like this.  Each day, Analise and Josiah are more independent.  More FIERCELY independent, I should say 🙂  Analise wants to make her own chocolate milk, pick her own clothes, do the craft project HERSELF.  Josiah has to walk down the stairs and climb in the car and into his carseat on his own.  And each day they are closer to being on their own, taking care of themselves.  I’ll always be mom, and they’ll always need me to be there for them, but they won’t really need me for much longer.

So I’m going to try to remember that and appreciate all the little itty bitty things they need me to do each day, over and over again.  Snuggle my little boy close when I’m putting his shoes, on, sneak a hug as a thank you when I’m done making Analise’s lunch.  And most importantly, I’ll try to remember that even “the Son of God did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45). 

Great thoughts go best with common duties.  Whatever therefore may be your office, regard it as a fragment in an immeasurable ministry of love.  –Bishop Brooke Foss Westcott

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Fall leaves

7th November 2008

We just got back from a walk around our neighborhood and through the woods. The fall colors exploded today. I took some pictures of the beautiful trees on my commute home from work today. Then we went for a walk and got some more pictures. Fall is so beautiful in Birmingham!

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Me and Josiah are True Americans :)

4th November 2008

He was proud to trot into Grandma’s house this morning saying, “Gwama, I boated!”

I was all stocked with 4 kinds of snacks, books, MagnaDoodle for scribbling, and even my iPod with a new Little Einsteins video on it in case I’d have to wait a while.  But the hardest part for us was navigating the busy parking lot to get in and out!  It only took us 10 minutes to get checked in, fill out our ballot and have it scanned.  He’d hardly even gotten through his first snack.  Then we proudly wore our “I voted” stickers back to the car.  When I told Josiah we were going to vote this morning, and he thought we were going to a BOAT.  So it was a little bit of a disappointing experience for him.  Thankfully, Krispy Kreme redeemed the experience with the free star spangled chocolate donut that we picked up on the way to Grandma’s.

I didn’t get any pictures, but here’s a glimpse back in time to Brian’s experience with Analise 4 years ago…

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Josiah and his ‘Fier

4th November 2008

We’ve never been one for naming the pacifier.  It’s always been a pacifier around our house, except that Analise used to call it his “fire” back when Josiah was littler.  Since he’s learned to talk, that’s been what Josiah calls it, too.  “Where’s my ‘fier?” he’ll call at bedtime.

We try to put the ‘fier back into his crib when we get him out of bed so it’s easy to find at naptime and bedtime.  Well, actually both ‘fiers, since he likes to keep 2 with him at nighttime.  If he ever gets 3 at bedtime, he’s purely giddy with excitement.   He’s done pretty well to not use his pacifier except when he sleeps, but sometimes he’ll go find it when he’s tired.  He has learned lately to reach through the crib slats and even move the bed away from the wall to get to it on the floor.

So after naptime today, the kids were still a bit sleepy, and I was checking my email.  Josiah came up to me, snuggled his head into my lap, and said, “Where’s my ‘fier?”

“Josiah, you don’t need it now.  It’s not naptime anymore.”  His response about melted me.

“I just wanna snuggle wif you on da couch, Mama.  I need my ‘fier.”  Needless to say, I snagged his pacifier for him, and we curled up on the couch with Analise for a cuddly few minutes.  I won’t ever pass that opportunity up, pacifier or not.

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Happy Halloween!

31st October 2008

We’ve had a good busy week of celebrating, culminating in a fun evening tonight.  Analise had her school Halloween-alternative on Tuesday, a Nursery Rhyme/Fairy Tale Parade.  She was a beautiful, sweet Cinderella.

Thursday Analise’s preschool class went to a nursing home to sing their fall songs.  They were so cute!  I was happy to drop in and get them on video, and maybe someday I’ll piece them together and post them.  We had a festive dinner of jack-o-lantern pot pies (which were very cute, and Brian liked, but I didn’t think they were anything worth noting) and spider cookies (oreos with pretzel stick legs and M&M eyes).

Today, I had my weekly bible study (on Beth Moore’s Daniel study) with 2 women from church while Analise was at school.  After good long naps, we got dressed up for the evenings festivities.  Lakeside Baptist, Brian’s parents church, has a Fall Festival with lots of fun preschool oriented games, bouncy things, free food, and of course, candy.  Oh and a cake walk, at which we won some yummy treats.  We came home early enough to visit a few houses around us with actual trick-or-treating, which was a first for Analise and Josiah, and they really enjoyed it.  A fun evening all around!

Oh, and this photo below is specially so you can see Josiah’s new short haircut.  He looks so much older… and less shaggy!

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Cotton-pickin’ Pumpkin Patch Fun!

27th October 2008

The Old Baker Farm is becoming a fall tradition for us.  I remember our first trip with Brian’s parents in 2005 with their church for the hayride to the patch, pumpkin pickin’, and bonfires with hot dogs and s’mores.  I was newly pregnant with Josiah, and Analise was our little 15-month old pumpkin at that time.

In 2006, we had 2 little pumpkins… Analise was 2 and Josiah was just 4 months old…

Last year, Josiah was a bit bigger, opting to carry his own pumpkin…

This year was just as fun.  It was their Cotton Pickin’ Celebration at Old Baker Farm, and the cotton fields were bursting with fluffy white bolls.  Analise had been there on Wednesday with school, so she enjoyed showing us around and telling us the rules.  The kids climbed all over the hay bales in the maze, we munched on a picnic lunch, we visited the animals in the barn, and bounced in the cotton.  There was also going to be a battle reenactment, so there were lots of people dressed in beautiful old-time clothing, as well as a colorful group of Indian dancers who performed.  We took the tractor hayride out to the field, tromped around looking for the perfect pumpkins.  On our way back, we caught a ride on the horse-drawn hayride, and the kids got to ride up front and even help “drive”.  It made their day!  We wrapped up the day creating our no-mess pumpkin family for the front porch.  Happy fall, y’all!


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When one-syllable words become two-syllable words…

23rd October 2008

When one-syllable words become two-syllable words… then you know you’re raising a Southerner.  Josiah’s picking up a sweet Southern drawl in his words.  Da-own, ha-elp!, ya-es.  And just this morning, I heard him say, “A-owch, you hur mah ha-ed!”  (Ouch, you hurt my head!)

Honestly, though, both Analise and Josiah have stronger Southern accents than Brian and I.  Not sure why or how that happened, but I do have to occassionally toss out my word of correction in… “No dear, it’s town.  Not ta-own.  TOWN.  Say it with me!”

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Our family fall weekend in South Carolina

20th October 2008

Ok, I just looked back at our Toones Alive archives and found virtually no photos from this fall break trip in other years. This is the 4th year we’ve made this beautiful, fun trip. Amazing because I know we’ve always taken lots of pictures. But I’ll make up for it now! I’ll spare you the chatter and narration and just give you the pictures. Maybe I’ll come back tomorrow to narrarate and expand 🙂 (I started out promising my mom “a couple pictures” posted tonight, and lo and behold, I’ve got 15 out of the 150 we’ve taken!)

A quick stop mid-way through the trip at one of our favorite landmarks… a Citgo-turned-pumpkin patch, complete with a petting zoo, pony rides, a giant pumpkin for jumpin in, and several backyard playsets (for sale) for playing on!

I found this picture of Analise and I from the 2005 trip, right after I found out I was pregnant with Josiah.

We made it to Clemson and visited the South Carolina Botanical Gardens. Brian and I stopped here just before he proposed to me in March of 2002. Ahh… sweet memories! My how life has changed!

Analise took this picture of us! We were actually impressed she managed to get us in the photo at all! She was pretty excited to be the photographer.

The frosty morning over the field outside our little modular cabin. It was COLD this morning!

Beautiful Lake Hartwell is very, very low. We just looked at news reports, and it’s 23.5 feet below full pool, and it will hit an all-time record low this week. In case you’re interested in why (we were!) it’s because Lake Harwell is at the very northern end of the water supply for Georgia’s Savannah River, and water has to keep flowing at a certain level for the power plants and for the National Wildlife Refuge. You can sure see the cumulative effects of a couple years of drought!

The view of the Georgia-North Carolina-South Carolina mountains from the Clemson airport. Each year, Brian’s taken an “epic” ride, usually around 100 miles on the roads he used to frequent when he was at school here.

The beautiful fall colors (not quite their peak) going up Sassafrass Mountain, the highest point in South Carolina. Brian rode up here this morning, and we all drove up this afternoon for a little hike.

The kids and I enjoyed the horses just feet outside our door. We were feeding them carrots, so they liked us immediately!

This guy liked Josiah a lot! I love this picture! I didn’t get a picture of a few seconds later as Josiah was continuing to climb down, and the horse started nibbling on his hair, which certainly does look a lot like fresh hay!

Analise great picture Analise took for us! I’m glad to see we’re raising a photographer!

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Harvest Festival Fun

18th October 2008

This morning Beverly and I took the kids to a harvest festival.  I mentioned in the previous post that Snow White was going to make an appearance.  Although Analise wasn’t excited to see Snow White at first, I remind her to be nice and to ask Snow White if she knew Belle, her favorite Princess.  When it came to it, though, Analise was quite enamored by pretty Snow White.  We saw her several times, and Snow White ooh’ed and ahh’ed over Analise’s fairy princess costume and Josiah’s little engineer costume.

Besides Snow White, we trick-or-treated at all the little arts & crafts booths, the kids bounced in the inflatables, we munched on hot mini-donuts and hot dogs, and went on a little hay ride through the pretty neighborhood.  All in all, a lovely fun fall morning.

Always trying to get a good picture of the two.  Um, this one wasn’t it originally, but I spliced 2 pics together.

Don’t I look like a movie star? 🙂  The original picture was poorly lit bc we were in a shadow… this is my try at improving it!  Just call me “Photoshop Queen”.  (Please no comments from anyone who is eons more Photoshop-experienced than I… I know who you are and you’re my heroes!)

Posted in Daily Grind | 1 Comment »

Peace & quiet on a Friday night

17th October 2008

Today was unusual as I picked Analise up and the three of us went to do some errands.  Normally, we head straight home to naptime, which both of my kids still desperately need.  They were fairly good as we did our business, and we ended up at Chik-Fil-A for a mid-afternoon ice cream & play break.

I told them that tomorrow we’d be going to a fall festival, and that Snow White was going to be there.  I expected an excited response.

Analise, though, was not impressed.

“Is Belle going to be there?”

“Nope, just Snow White.”

“What about Cinderella?  I want to see Cinderella.”

“Sorry, sweetheart, just Snow White.”

“Aurora or Ariel?”

“No, Analise.  Just Snow White.”

“I don’t want to see Snow White.  I don’t like her.”  Which, oddly enough, I could have almost guessed she’d say, as I think Snow White is her least favorite princess.

“Ok, Josiah and I will see Snow White and you can go walk around with Grandma.  What do you think, Josiah?”

“I wike Snow White!” he said enthusiastically.  That’s my boy 🙂  Thankfully, though he likes princesses, he’d still be more excited to see Thomas the Train.

The kids went into the play area with Analise grumbling about wanting to see other princesses.  A moment later, though, she popped her head out.

“Ok, I’ve decided to give Snow White a chance.”  I couldn’t help laughing.  If it’s least-favorite-princess versus no-princess, of course she’d choose princess.  And when did she learn to “give something a chance?”  🙂

After a no-nap afternoon, the kids had a burst of energy around dinner and danced and sang for us after we ate.  There was still a lot of grumbling on Josiah’s part at bedtime, but when I put him into his crib, he collapsed onto his belly with his face in the blanket, without so much as a whimper.  Analise complacently settled into her bedroom, and after only 2-get-ups, she was asleep well before 8pm.

I’ve got the Friday evening to myself!  And though it appeared Brian was going to work all evening, Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets on, and it wasn’t hard to convince him to come watch a few minutes.  I’d better go snuggle before he pulls himself away!

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