Monday, September 29, 2008

Little Boys, again

I knew there was more that I wanted to put on that post!

A few months ago Albert and I listened to a sermon that taught about the character of men. This has been a great inspiration for us in raising our boys and seeking out husbands for our daughters some day. The four roles of men are to be Providers, Protectors, Profits, and Priests.

Now, these are all roles that will hopefully be displayed throughout their lives and with everyone they run into, but they are definitely rolls that take training to develop.

My heart has smiled to see Canon learning some of these roles. He is not a Profit or a Priest yet, but he is learning a bit about being a Provider and Protector. He is often heard protecting Boaz and me. He will tell Boaz, "Do not pull my mama's hair." He has told me, "Do not eat BoBo's food." I think he might still be a little on the bossy side, but he is starting to look out for us.

He is a slight Provider with his willingness to help. He seems to enjoy having a job to do. I often ask him to put something in the sink or go find Boaz's paci. So, in this sense he is providing help.

Both of these are little, but hopefully will grow into an amazing young man some day.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A day of work

Last Thursday was a good day of work. We started out the morning with a dance class for 3-6 year old kiddos, then proceeded to a class for 2 year old kiddos. The little guys were a little crazy and I'm not really sure that we accomplished anything in our time together. But, it was good. After dance, one of my dear friends taught my how to make apple sauce. Through another friend, I bought a bushel of Jonathan apples for only $15! The intention was to make applesauce and dried apples with these. And, my df did most of the work. Albert kept the kiddos entertained and we were able to make 12 quarts of applesauce and 8 trays of dried apples, with Albert's help, and clean up in about 2.5 hours. It was a very well spent morning and Canon, Boaz and I have enjoyed a little applesauce each day since! This was a very good, inexpensive form of entertainment for us with a great reward!

Special Visit

On Wednesday I received a phone call that was exceptionally exciting but had to be received with a great deal of reservation. Albert called and said, "There's a small chance I'll be able to come home tonight." What? I thought I heard him wrong. About 10 hours later he called and said they were on the ground, "here?", yes, here and he'd be ready to come home in a couple of hours. I could not believe it. I was immediately processing, yet trying not to, how am I going to get him back to work tomorrow? We have dance at nine and I'm supposed to make applesauce for a few hours after that. I don't want to leave him home and miss any time with him. Is he going to have to go in early? Maybe he won't have to be back in until later, will he be able to come with us? I did not overwhelm my dear husband with all of these questions, but patiently (with complete work of the Holy Spirit) waited until he got in the van and tried to calmly ask, "How long are you home?" I think I held my breath waiting for his reply. What an amazing relief to hear "I have the whole day off tomorrow." Um, Lord, why did I just rattle through all of that anxiety. I have got to learn to be patient and trust You!

So, we enjoyed a special, whole day with Daddy last week. He was actually able to spend two nights at home and we were re-energized for the rest of the time. Hopefully we can hold out. We sure are thankful for those hours of reconnection though!

Little Boys

I have recently been convicted of my seemingly lack of being mission minded. I want to reach out to others, but I am conflicted with reaching out and training within my home. I have not been able to discern whether this is the Holy Spirit or a lazy excuse, but I have recently found a great need and purpose to be working in my home. OK, so the peace or lazy excuse that I have found is this, I am reaching out to others by training my boys. They are the next generations leaders, husbands, employees, daddies, missionaries. If I train them well, only by a gift of God, they will have the potential to reach countless people. If we have 4 or 5 or however many children God wants us to have and they all know Christ and share Him with their children, that could easily turn into 20 Christians heading into the next generation and eternity with the Father. So, I must set about my work diligently and remember "where words are many, so are sins." That is a poor paraphrase, but it speaks loudly to me!

Boaz Randall

Our Baby Bo is getting so big. He turned 9 months old this week. I do have pics, but they will have to come later. Some of the things he has going on these days are:

- watching Canon play

- seeing that it is fun to bang toys on other objects or bang on Daddy's drums

- getting new teeth, he has the two middle bottom teeth now and enjoys biting my finger!

- sometimes waving hello and goodbye

- he is still my little steam roller

- feeding himself a bottle

- did I mention watching Canon? He will crank his neck all the way around to see that big guy!

- giving attacking kisses

- jabbering

- standing with help

Boaz is such a sweet and loving baby. He is extremely content and will sit on the floor and play with a favorite toy for half an hour or more. This is definitely a blessing to me! He loves to just be in the same room with someone he loves most of the day. And he still loves to snuggle! I'm so thankful for this little guy!

Canon's Sayings

Here is a run-down of some of the things Canon is saying these days:

-"I love you so much Bo."

-"It's heaby (heavy) mama."

-"It's fun!"

-"I miss you."

I'll have to edit this after he talks for a while tomorrow, I can't seem to remeber any more.

Here is a funny little story though. Our poor dog, Piper, gets the brunt of my frustration when I am pregnant. I love her very much, but I just do not handle her well sometimes. The other day she was being a little more crazy than usual. Here's how the conversation went:

me - "Piper, you're going to make me go crazy!"

Canon - "Piper, don't make my mama crazy!!"

I couldn't help but thank God for this bit of comic relief and smile!


I feel like I post only about my children and the funny and crazy things that happen in our home. Well, God is doing a mighty work around here too and I'd like to share some of that with you.

For starters, I feel like the Holy Spirit has been putting several blogs and families in my path with very large families. This started out when I met a sweet couple last September who were due to have twins in February. These twins would be numbers 4 and 5 of 5 children 5 years old and under. I was pregnant with Boaz at the time. Recently I read a book called "Managers of Their Homes." In the back of this book there are 24 family's schedules typed out. A large amount of these families have 8 children. Even more recently I have stumbled upon SEVERAL blogs written by women who have 6, 8, and 10 kiddos. Most of them are middle school age and under. Frequently these families have newborn babies or are expecting a new arrival. These families are mixed with home grown little ones and adopted little ones.

Now, Albert and I have talked a fair amount about adoption, birth control, future babies and the like. We definitely feel like God is calling us to care for many children. When I was pregnant with Boaz, before any one knew, we found out that a young cousin was expecting a baby. We talked and prayed over this and offered to adopt this baby. As you know, this did not go through. Since having Boaz, we thought we'd like to wait a little while for our next bundle of joy and talked about looking into foster/adoption for number 3. God obviously has other plans and our own "home grown" number 3 will be arriving in April. We are excited for this little one's arrival but are very........well, I'm not really sure how I feel.

For those of you who have kept up with me on facebook, you know that I went through quite a struggle a few weeks ago. I have to admit that I have already been on an emotional journey and feel quite silly when I read of these ladies having many more children than 3, but this is still a big time in my life. I have struggled with wondering how in the world I will care for three children under three years old and clean my house and use my first energies for my husband. How am I going to care for them when Albert is gone? Why has God decided to give us another little one so soon? I have shamefully even gone so far to ask God if he is really sure this is a good idea. I feel like some of these concerns at least have a little backing. I had a cesarean with Canon and every piece of medical reporting says that the next baby should not be due less than 18 months out from a cesarean, especially for trying a VBAC. I felt like we already risked it once with Boaz and is this time going to be safe? I know that all of my questioning is a complete lack of faith in God and a desire to rely completely on myself and the doctors. But, I must be honest, this is where my thoughts have been. I have been completely reminded/convicted/challenged to rely completely on God. This is the battle/lesson that I wrote about on facebook. I cannot make it through one single day without God. Even now, with just the two and being pregnant. There is no way that I can eat enough or sleep enough to have the energy I need to do all that needs to be done in one day. Only the intervention of the Holy Spirit will fill that bucket. I am still learning this each day.

As I continue to learn more about parenting my boys and shepherding their hearts, I see that the task is even more overwhelming. I have a terrible memory already, how can I memorize all of the scripture that I need to know to train my boys in the way they should go? Maybe at this point I should just highlight and bookmark them. It wouldn't be so bad to pull out my Bible for some clear direction from God's word for the boys. Yes, Boaz is already needing some redirection and Canon is well into the years of discipline.

So, among my thoughts of worry and despair, I have a great many things to be thankful for. One is that I have not been physically sick from pregnancy one single time. This is completely from God's provision. With the boys I was sick very randomly and throughout pregnancy. To be 11 weeks and not be sick a single time is amazing. I am also thankful that my boys are so sweet and loving. Canon will often tell the baby good morning and kiss my belly. He is learning to be such a good big brother, I just have to be patient with him. Boaz is so loving as well. He has no idea about the baby, but he looks at his big brother with such adorning eyes. He seems to long to interact and play with him. Canon can often be heard making very loud noises and Boaz has recently started to enjoy mocking these. I'm sure the baby will start moving to the noises of his/her big brothers soon enough. Another thing I am thankful for is that God has helped me to persevere in a time of great trial. I have a very difficult time dealing with the emotional yo-yo of Albert being gone and the business of our home, but God has given me great success with little things throughout the day and big emotional things. I still have a long way to go, and I'm not sure that that makes sense to the reader, but just know that God is definitely working on me and I hope the fruit will start showing soon.

Our God is a mighty God and I am excited to train the next generation of daddies and mamas and husbands and wives. Right now we just have husbands and daddies to train, but maybe we'll have a little lady mixed in in the future.
In Christ,

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Doctor's Appointments

The boys had well-baby visits today. Let me just say that I was not happy about the wait. I am not feeling well, just a sore throat and headache, but I am more irritable than normal. So, waiting is not my friend. Well, again we were early! Twelve minutes early at check-in. This is an achievement in itself with two little ones and a 9 am appointment. And we waited and waited. Canon played a little bit but then was getting out of control, so we practiced self-control while waiting and waiting some more thinking they would surely call us back any time now. Three families were called back and checked out and we were still waiting. We had to be next! They call our name, we weigh the boys and I check the time, we waited an hour past our appointment time just to be called back to a room! At this point I was a little irritated, then our favorite nurse, the reason we still go to this office was not even there, then we waited another 25 minutes for the doctor to come into the room. We didn't even need shots! But, we did survive.

So, here's the info we received. Canon weighs 34 lbs. and is 35 inches tall. He is getting a referral to an Optometrist for a possible lazy eye. So, we might have some pirate pictures coming up. Otherwise he is doing great and she seemed to be impressed that he is pooping in the toilet.

Boaz weighed 18 lbs. 6 oz. I'm not sure how long he is, but I have it written down and his head was 46 cm. around. She always seems concerned about him. This time she was worried that his head is growing so much faster than the rest of his body and he is not pulling up or cruising. Last time she was worried that he had not gained much weight and was not sitting or putting weight on his legs. I feel like we always leave with a homework assignment with this little guy. I really feel a peace about his big brain. I think if she saw Canon, Boaz and Cousin Cody, she would realize that they all just have giant brains because they are geniuses! But, we'll see what needs to be done.

I have a great deal of anxiety leading up to doctor's appointments for the boys. I feel like all of my mothering and training is on the line and I could be tested in any area, am I prepared? Have I worked on the right things? Where am I lacking? She did ask Canon to show her his ears, nose and teeth. Of course he knows those. So, I feel like we got an A on body parts identification. I always feel like I need to show off everything the boys are capable of. Does anyone else feel like this? With Boaz I often say, "No, he's not doing that, but he can do this." Like, isn't this good to? You would think I was more relaxed with the second one, but I just feel like I am being put on trial and have to prove myself in a very short amount of time. It's not like she sees us outside of the office....Ugh, I should just relax.

We did get some free formula though, so that was a huge blessing. That stuff is so expensive!

Baby Duck

Yesterday I had an appointment to check on our little baby Duck. Everything went well. We got there early and were called back right on time. We still did not get back into the car until nearly an hour after the appointment, but at least we were called back on time! I don't have too much to report. I am with a new doctor, again. This is my fourth OB/Gyn for 3 pregnancies and we've only moved once! I loved my OB for Boaz and am really sad to not be able to have her again this time, she moved to New Hampshire a week after Boaz was born. So, I am going with the next best doctor and I really like her. She is young and doesn't have any of her own children, but seems to be excited and knowledgeable about what she is doing. I asked if I could have another ultrasound to check my due date again and she complied without any hesitation. That's always a plus. She said I was 10 weeks and 5 days. So, I guess the date she found last time is right. Then she tried to listen to the heart beat, but between Boaz crying, Canon talking and the baby moving like crazy, for some reason she couldn't hear it. So, she did another ultra sound and discovered that the baby really was moving like crazy and was still not able to measure the beat, though she got a good enough glimpse to be happy. I have to admit that I am a little nervous. We were able get good ultrasound pics of both of the boys by now and a good heart beat measurement, but this baby is a little tricky. I just wonder what this will look like on the other side of the womb! So, everything is good for now and hopefully Albert will be able to go with us to the next circus appointment.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Short Trip

This is the only picture with all three faces!

(Yes, this Gorilla is going to the bathroom in the background!)

The boys and I have had a very special last couple of days. On Thursday, after dance class, we headed up to Wichita, KS. We went there to visit some friends Albert and I met in Enid, OK about 3 1/2 years ago. We lived near them for about a year, then we moved and still saw them a couple of times, then they moved out east, and now they are back in Central U.S. We are so thankful to have them near by again!

The drive took about 2 1/2 hours and they boys did wonderfully. I planned to leave right at nap time and I have to say that the trip was a dream! The boys fell asleep right away and woke up about 45 minutes from their house. I only had to stop one time and that was just a quick pull off of the interstate to give Bo his pacie. Once we got there, the big boys took to each other right away. Canon loved their swing set and sandbox! The next day we visited the local zoo and saw several very fun things. We were able to see penguins swimming and a variety of animals going to the bathroom. (This is always funny to me for some reason.) We even got to walk through a petting zoo. All of the kids did a great job and passed out in the car on the way home. That evening and this morning we just hung out and visited with them. The boys and Hannah enjoyed chasing each other around and I enjoyed visiting and having adult conversation with Kim. I am very thankful we were able to take this short trip and have such a special time.

The pics on here may look cute, and they are, but you would just have to see how many were actually taken to get this result!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Flies, Flies, go away!

Somewhere on-line it says that a flies life span is from April to August. Well, it is September and somehow over 15 flies crept into my house today! I thought we only had one or two yesterday. But today I decided to get the fly swatter out and they just kept coming back for more. One is taunting me as I type this, flying back and forth in front of the computer screen. Or, maybe there are two of them. I obviously was way off with the previous group. I feel like I am walking into each room with my "fly sensor" on. Listening for that annoying buzzing and searching for the dirty black spec. I am not a fan of flies and am ready for them to all freeze and go away for a while!

The Things Little Ones Say!

Canon is coming out with all kinds of phrases these days, but these little stories are not about him. I have just started teaching a little dance class for some friends of ours through church. It is awesome and I am very excited to be back in the dance mindset. Last week, one of the little girls said something that made me almost burst out laughing. She reminded me of another funny thing that happened in my class in Enid. I'll start with the Enid girl, then last weeks girl.

I think it was the beginning of class one day right after I found out I was pregnant with Canon. When we found out for him, we told everyone within about 48 hours. Even strangers knew! Well, on this Tuesday this little girl comes into class and holds out a dime. She said, "I want you to have this so you can buy stuff for your baby." I thought it was so sweet that I nearly laughed and cried. I told her mom and asked if she would mind if I kept the dime. It is one of the few items and stories that have made it's way into Canon's baby book.

Now, last weeks little girl was hilarious. Most of the kiddos in this class are very chatty. This week they did much better, but last week was crazy! In the middle of stretching she says, "Angels live in California, and Jesus lives in your heart." One little girl offered a correction saying that angels live with God in heaven. I told them both that it was not time to talk about angels and we needed to be quiet. I have gotten quite a few laughs out of this little conversation though. I probably should have addressed it a little more, but I was trying to stay on task.


One of our close friends posted about her daughter and socks and I couldn't help but laugh thinking of my boys! Bo is similar to our little friend. He does not like socks. We have only had to wear them a couple of times, but he was not happy about it. The other night I had socks on him and we were eating dinner. He normally slurps the food off the spoon, but that night he was tugging at his toes and would hardly eat. I helped him pull the socks off and he finished the rest of his dinner!

Canon is quite the opposite. I am trying to figure out where the baby's clothes will go and how the room will be set up to be the most functional. I know it is early, but I wanted to at least have the pj's drawer cleared out....I still have a lot of work to do! Anyway, I moved all of the boy's socks to a basket under the dresser. They are still very accessible, but not taking up drawer space. Well, obviously they are a little too accessible and Canon does not realize how big his feet are. All of our kid socks are in the basket, from newborn to 24 month. So, not all of them fit him that great. He pulls out several pairs, pulls them all apart, then asks me to put them on him. One night or morning, I can't remember, he ended up in his shorts pj's with navy blue socks on and his crocs. Yes, he is a little old man in the makings! He has slept several nights with socks on that are much to small. I am pretty strict about what he can wear in public as far as the socks go, but for around the house he is giving me a good laugh!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Special Visit

Two weekends ago my in-laws came for a visit. We love having them in our home and the boys especially love the extra attention when they're around. A couple of funny memories have come from their visit that I hope you'll enjoy.

Papaw is Mr. Fix-it. While he was here I had all kinds of things that needed repair. He started out with the most difficult, a breast-pump motor and a chainsaw (play) with a loose wire. Amazingly, he fixed both of them. So, I sent him down the list of other things that could use his attention. The last thing Papaw repaired was the rack that holds the toilet paper on the wall. It came off right after Albert left so I just kept telling Canon that Papaw would fix it when he came. Now, almost every time Canon goes to the bathroom in my bathroom he says, "Thank you Papaw" when he pulls the toilet paper off.

OK, here's the funny one! Also while Papaw and Granny were here, we went for a couple of walks. Now, we go for a walk almost every morning, so this was nothing new. But walks will never be the same after their visit! A little over half way around, Canon sounds the "potty" alarm. Of course there is not a bathroom in sight. So, I suggest a tree. Papaw rushes him over, strips down his lower half and tries to get him to lean over. Granny and I are trying to make a little wall and encourage him to go quickly. He was so busy looking around that nothing happened. So, Granny poured some cold water on his gentleman parts, we are dying laughing and of course this didn't work. So, she tried his foot. By this point he is just loving all of the attention and not interested in pottying. We continue home and the rest of the walk is uneventful. The next day we head out again and right at the same spot Canon sounds the alarm again. This time we left it all up to Papaw. We found a tree with a little more cover, Papaw held him in "the position" and we waited. Next thing you know, Granny asks "Was that poop?" Oh yes, my little guy was pooping in the wild.......though it was not so wild with a busy street right behind us. We died laughing again, cleaned him up and headed home. Now, every time we go for a walk and get near this tree, Canon says "Potty, Mama." I have told him that he has to hold it and we only potty under a tree when Papaw is around!


I'm not sure what the last book was that I read cover to cover, but I have got to share a couple of books with you! One of my dear friends has been a great source of wisdom for me. She has loaned me several books over the last few weeks and I am amazed at the information they contain. I can not help but share them with you. Now, I have not finished any of them yet because I am flipping back and forth between a couple and waiting for my own copies to arrive so I can mark in them, but so far they have really challenged me.

The Power of Enough is one book. This book has challenged me to clean out my clothing and really consider every item that I think about buying, including food. It has also challenged me to save more financially. I have really struggled with being content while we've been in Oklahoma and this book seems to have helped me put things in their place. I'm sure my husband's prayers have also contributed to this contentment and I am thankful for both!

The second book that I can't get enough of is: Managers of Their Homes by Steven and Terri Maxwell. This book has already done wonders for how productive my days are. The Maxwell's encourage scheduling out your whole day along with the kiddos. I am only doing a little bit of preschool, so the homeschooling part is not extremely applicable at this point, but the schedule of planned activities is! I have gotten more done by 8:30 a.m. the last two mornings than I have gotten done in several whole days! Including cleaning my back door, vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms. What a way to start the week! Every family could benefit from this book. Especially those of you with little ones!

One book that I am just scratching the surface on is Parenting in the Pews. It comes highly recommended and I am anxious to see how it will work for our little fireball. The sub-title is something along the lines of leading your children toward a heart for worship. We keep Canon in the sanctuary with us, by choice, and I want him to learn about Jesus and sitting quietly, but I am just not sure where to start. I am hoping, and have heard, that this book can help. I'll let you know.

The last book that I am still waiting for is Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp. This one has come highly recommended by three families completely unrelated to each other. I can not wait for it to arrive!

So, with our new schedule I am finally getting some much needed reading in and hope to had in some sewing in the next few days. Please let me know if you try out any of these books.....we could have a little book club!

So sweet

Canon's vocabulary and physical capabilities are really taking off. Today I counted a six word sentence that he spoke and was understandable! One of the sweetest things he says is "I love you so much." He puts an interesting emphasis on "so" which really makes it cute. He has also started to sometimes feed Bo his bottle and has on occasion fed Bo with a spoon. That is a little messy, but very sweet to witness. These things are some of the reasons I am so thankful that they are so close together in age. Neither of them will remember life without each other. I hope this new baby is welcomed into their love just the same. Maybe I won't have to lift a finger with both of the boys helping out!

Mommy Moment

This afternoon I took the boys to the park. Canon usually plays a little and watches the other kids play. He likes to tell adults "Hi" and chase the squirrels. Well, today was a treat. There was only one other family at they left shortly after we got there. This left Canon to his own entertainment. He commented on several men and women running and a police car that drove by. Then, while playing on the car I hear him shout, "Hey fat man!" He has been known to shout "Hey Man." But this was a first. I quickly told him that we do not shout "Hey Man!" but he could say "hello" to the man and that was more polite. After further evaluation I realized that he was actually saying "hey that man." I was very relieved, but I do not think the gentleman ever heard the correction. In times like this I tend to say what I hope Canon is saying very loudly so that the other adult hears me. I hope we did not offend him today. It did give me a little laugh and a little embarrassment though!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Ugh, not a good day!

After waking up at 4:45 am to drop Albert off, coming back home and forcing the boys to go to sleep, then missing my nap, we headed to the grocery store. Upon pulling in the parking lot I knew that I made a huge mistake. Military retirees love a good sale and a "case-lot sale" is like the queen of them all. The parking lot was packed. I found a pretty good spot and was still optimistic of our shopping time. I got the boys and our grocery bags out of the car and headed in. Then my phone started ringing. There is no way to answer a cell phone with one baby on your hip and your other hand holding 10 grocery bags and your other child's hand. So, I let it ring. Once I got in the store, I noticed that my worse fear related to grocery shopping had come true! There was not a single "rocket" cart available. Not only that, there were not any carts and the check out lines were stacked! And, my cell was ringing again. So, I sat Canon on a wheel chair and called my friend back quickly. Thankfully it was not an emergency and while I was on the phone and Canon was hoping from one wheelchair to the next, one of the baggers brought in a few carts. So, I buckled Bo in and sat Canon in the back and we were off on our mission. The shopping was going pretty well considering all of the people, then the other "dreaded" happened. Canon shouted, "Potty Mama!!" We quickly turn for the bathroom, get caught behind an older man who is not in a hurry and not moving to the side and get to the bathroom just in time to see a lady push her kids into the family stall. Our options now are to ask a newly trained two year old to hold it, or tackle to stalls. I pull Bo out of the cart and we head in to the handicap stall. And there, God had a blessing waiting for us! There was a little chair screwed to the side of the stall. I always wondered if people really used the chair and yesterday, we did! Canon pottied and we were back to our mission. Then, we were headed to get cheese and check out when I noticed that the line to check out was backed up to the cheese. So, we hopped in line and picked up our last items as we passed them. Canon sounded the potty alarm again and I told him that he did not need to go and he would have to hold it. Within a couple of minutes a gentleman came up to us and putting his hand on my cart asked if that was all I had. I said yes and he told me to go to the Express checkout line! I could have hugged him. That statement and the chair in the stall were the best things I could have hoped for! So, we survived our trip to the grocery store, but I will force myself to go in the morning from now on!

Oh Happy Day

I had this whole mental list of post to write and now I can not remember them. Hopefully I will remember them through out the day.

We had a very exciting evening on Thursday. I knew that Albert would be landing here and we might get to see him for a few minutes. So, he called around 4:45 and we rushed up to the squadron. We don't do anything very quickly, but I tried as hard as I could. We stood in the parking lot for about 10 minutes then said "good-bye." About 20 minutes later Albert called to say that he would get to spend the night at home but would have to be back very early in the morning. We rushed home to speed clean. I had just over 40 minutes to feed Bo, pick up everything, dump the diapers and try to look presentable. It was a very busy time! A little after 6 we headed back up to pick Albert up. I told him that I refused to bring him back and he would just have to stay at home with us. He liked to idea too! We had a fun night hanging out and going out to dinner and a very early, sad morning. I always hate saying "good-bye" but we were certainly thankful for the 10 hours or so that our Daddy was at home!