Hello family and friends! We are good. Very busy. We spent the month of September on the road but that was okay since Matthew had the month off for vacation. We first had a great Labor Day weekend trip with all of our extended family. Then we enjoyed a week in Hohenwald visiting family and friends! At the end of the week, our family traveled to Cookeville, TN, to visit my mom's parents, Hugh and Ann Qualls. It had been two years since we'd be there, so the visit was past due. It was a special trip since both my Great Aunt and her family from Michigan were in as well as my Great Uncle and his friend from California. A bit of a mini reunion. It was great to see all of them and for them to meet my girls! (I've added a picture of my mom's family at the bottom to share.) We traveled home on a Sunday and then, we made a return trip to Hohenwald on Wednesday to say goodbye to a wonderful man. A man who must have touched a lot of lives because I shook a lot of hands in a four hour period on a Thursday night. It was so great to see family that I rarely see and to hear so many kind things about a man I so much admired. It was a life lesson to me to witness the impact a seemingly quiet life can have on hundreds of people. Thank you to all of you who prayed on our family's behalf and to those who sent food, cards, and wishes of condolences. Our family was very blessed in a very difficult time. I ask for your continued prayers as the weeks and months continue to pass.
After two Sundays of traveling, we stayed home for two weeks and got back into something of a routine even though Matthew was still at home. Kaylee was very glad to be back in school and she thoroughly enjoys giving her teachers a good laugh with all of her many quotes. The last Friday in September, we picked Kaylee up from school before heading to Elkhart and her teacher had a story to share. Apparently, Kaylee earlier that day had been in circle time, supposed to be sitting in a chair,but she was more so hovering over the end of it. So her teacher said, "Kaylee sit down." to no avail. So the teacher says, "Kaylee have a seat please." No response. So once more the teacher says, "Kaylee sit on your bottom." To which Kaylee responds, "That's a great idea!" And does it.
Kaylee is back at square one with potty training. She had a good weekend about two weeks ago where she did poop in the potty twice! But both times she was very uncomfortable with it and now has no desire to even sit on the potty. However, she also seems to be regressing in worship where she feels the need to talk out loud and the inability to stay seated in the pew, so we may just be going through a faze of "I'm four and I am 100% against cooperation."
On the positive side, Kaylee caught her first fish last weekend. We traveled the last weekend in September to Elkhart and on our last day there, we took a trip to the lake where some friends live and we all took a boat ride. Kaylee took a paddle boat ride with her daddy and "bong-bong." And then she went fishing too and caught a fish on her first try. She though fishing was hilarious. She just giggled and giggled every time the "bobber bobbed" in the water and she would yank her pole out of the water with no fish and a little less worm each time! Eventually, her great-grandpa Rider gave her another fish to put on her hook and she just tossed the worm straight into the water! I guess she was fattening her fish up before attempting to catch it again. Kaylee has a new catch phrase... "Oh, girl." She tells us this all the time, "Oh girl, you're so silly." "Oh girl, you're so cute." Last night during worship I held my fingers up and told her, "You're this close to getting a whipping." And she held her fingers up and said, "I don't want to be this close." I nearly lost it. However, tonight (we're having a gospel meeting this week) I had to take her out because she wouldn't stay in the pew and I had warned her repeatedly, so I lay down my Bible and notes and she knows what's coming when I do that, so she starts flailing and so I grab her up as best I can since she's more than half the size I am. We struggle...putting on a fantastic show for everyone around us and as soon as we're up Kaylee starts hollering, "I want to sit down. I want to sit down." Oh the blessings of children.
Sydney is good. Her hair is getting so long and pretty! She is working on four more teeth right now which brings her to a total of 12! And she is drooling everywhere. Sunday night she wore a dark blue shirt (tunic from aunt katie; too cute) and by the end of worship her drool line was almost down to her navel. She looked like Matthew after he's been for a run! It was nasty. She is not walking but is getting awful close to taking steps. She cruises around the coffee table and just yesterday she got behind our walker and stoop up like she was going somewhere, but after a few seconds, she hit her knees and was off. Her crawling is plenty fast for me so I'm in no hurry to get to the walking.
So everyday the girls get up at 7:20 almost on the dot each day. And they want poptarts! Then Matthew goes to work around 10. He's currently doing a Radiology rotation and it's really light for the time he has to be there. It's a lot of time out of the clinic reading and studying slides. He will have an exam at the end of this rotation. Matthew has heard from five schools so far with interview invitations, so he's working to get them all scheduled and figured out. It's still a bit early in the invitation process, so we're expecting to hear from several more in the coming weeks. Thanks so much for all of your prayers on his behalf concerning this process. However, we need to add one more thing to the prayer list, October 26, (on his birthday) Matthew will be preaching his first sermon from a pulpit in the United States. He did preach while in Guyana on one of his trips but other than that has just taught class and small group devotionals, so he's a bit nervous, but I know he'll do great! To make matters worse, Ben (our preacher) was supposed to be out of town that Sunday but now is going to be here, so I think that raises Matthew's level of nervousness a bit too! However, I've been telling him for a while that he is fully capable of preaching; he preaches to me all the time! And I'm glad he's taking this step out of his comfort zone and giving it a try.
I, myself, am good. Can't complain...I could but no one in this house would care; they all seem to have their own complaints. "I want something." constantly rings around the house. My Pampered Chef is going well. I just had a party this past Friday night and I have another this Friday. Then I have three catalog parties in process so that's very exciting. I've been busy scrapbooking, trying to catch up and get Sydney's one year book done before she's two! I am still keeping our little friend, Bre, and that's all exciting within itself. Bre and Sydney are like having twins as they are only about six weeks apart, and they are quite the troublesome duo! They follow me everywhere. Yesterday, I was moving laundry from the washer to the dryer and before I could turn around, I had two helpers trying their best to get in the dryer! Never a dull moment.
I guess that's all the news I have. Sorry it's been so long since I've last posted. I apologize and I will try to do better. Hope all is well with each of you. Enjoy the slideshow and have a great week. Love to you all.