Monday, March 31, 2008


To all you more experienced bloggers out there, I have a question. What is with the spacing on my blog? I have noticed it on one other and I do not know why it is happeneing. If you do not know what I am talking about, some paragraphs will be single spaced, some are more like double spaced. What is up with that? Is there anything I can do to fix it?

Welcome to March in Florida...

Happy Birthday! Today is my brother's birthday. He has the week off to spend with his family because of Spring Break, so I am sure they had a wonderful day together. We celebrated his birthday with the family yesterday. It was a nice day, a little more overcast than we have been having, but Savannah still insisted she needed to get in the pool. So, Savannah, myself and my niece headed out with her (Daddy put his feet in and then promptly took off in the other direction, wimp!). I was surprised to see how much Savannah remembered from her swimming lessons last year. She definitely needs to continue on, but I was happy to see that she had actually made a little bit of progress since last year. She can now pop up breathe on her own almost the entire length (long way) across the pool! She definitely was not doing that last year. I imagine she is stronger now than she was last year. Savannah also swam, for the first time, without her "swim diapers". She was not really totally on board with this idea. Every time she put her suit on at home to run around in she would put a diaper on. We had to have a little bit of a talk about how she would not be wearing them anymore. She has been potty trained for quite some time now, but she is still deathly afraid of public bathrooms (although it is getting better). So, being her Aunt and Uncle's house, I am sure, helped out with the not wearing the diapers (not being a public bathroom). But, I have gotten rid of them all, so she is just going to have to suck it up. And, we will bring her potty seat to the public pool for when she needs to go there. After all, I am sort of scared of those bathrooms! They are LOUD! :) Oh, and another new addition is that she can touch the bottom of the pool in most of the "shallow" end. She is getting tall!

We also surprised my parents that night by telling them that we all have been planning a 50th anniversary party for them. Our original idea was to have the entire thing be a surprise, but then they kept making plans to go places, so we had to alter our surprise plans :) My sister-in-law put together a Save the Date card to send out to guests and we gave mom and dad the card. They were very surprised! Mom kept saying "What is this? What are you doing?". I hope they will enjoy the get together. It will be nice to see some friends from the past and also get together with some newer friends and celebrate 50 years of marriage! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Anyone for some Spam....

Saturday was a whirlwind day! It started at 5:55 am with Savannah screaming because she "couldn't see" from her room. I couldn't figure out what was going on (since she woke me up from a sound sleep) but I got up and walked on over to her room. Normally Savannah sleeps with a light on in her closet because she does not like the dark. I noticed that her room was dark so I tried to turn the hall light on, over and over and over again :) Mind you, I was still half asleep. Finally it dawned on me that the lights were out. So, I picked her up to calm her down and started walking around the house checking the doors and such. I guess it was just a really eerie feeling because it was so dark and quiet. As I was doing this, Brian's cell phone starts to ring. He finally got out of bed to answer it and it was our alarm company calling to say our alarm was going off. was awful silent for an alarm to be going off. Anyway, Brian finally convinced them to call of the cops (they had sent them out to check on us) and we let Savannah sleep with us for the rest of the night, morning, whatever it was. (We normally never do this, but there was no way we were getting her to sleep in her room when it was pitch black). Anyway, this slowed us down that morning. We had a party to be at at 9:30. We did get there, but just a little late. Savannah's friend R was turning 3 and the party was Curious George. It was very cute. Here is a pic of her and two of her friends from the party dressed up like George.

After the party, Brian, Savannah and I ate lunch at Savannah's all time favorite, Tijuana Flats. If you have never been and you live by one, GO! It is yummy. Almost everyone I know who goes loves it. Then we were off to my nephews soccer game. We really enjoyed getting to see him play. This is probably his last season to play because he is heading to high school next year and will be busy with other interests. So, we really wanted to get to at least one game this season. He won! Which was an added treat. But boy was it hot our for those boys (and girls, which there were some on the opposing team). And, while I am at it, don't you think that they are a little old to be playing together on the same sports team? They are 14, for those who do not know. Maybe I am weird but it seems that they get to a certain age and they need to start being separated, for multiple reasons. Oh well! Just my two cents. We headed home from the game and Savannah actually let us rest for a while! I guess there is a first for everything. Brian and I then headed up to church to witness the baptism of our dear friends little boy. It is always a joyous event to watch parents commit themselves to raising their child in a Christian home, raising them to know God. Congratulations R.B.!

This leads of to the final event for the day:

As a birthday gift this year, I gave Brian tickets to see Spamalot. He has wanted to see it and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take him. So, when I gave him the tickets, he said "are you sure?" He didn't think I would like it that much. I am not really familiar with much of Monty Python's stuff. I can remember it being played at a party I went to in high school, but I do not think I really payed much attention to it. So, I must say, it was pretty funny. There were a few things that I didn't get, but Brian was saying he thought that if I was more familiar with their work, I probably would have been able to follow it better. However, all in all, it was definitely a humorous evening. There were people just belly laughing throughout the entire show. It was great to hear! You do not get too many opportunities to be in a large place with thousands of adults and hear them laugh so hard for so long. However, I had to wonder what some of the people there were thinking. I know that there are many people who just buy the season tickets to these shows every year. There was an older couple next to Brian who really looked out of place. I had to wonder what was running through their minds during some of the "skits". For those who love, like, or enjoy things that are a little bit different, I definitely recommend going to see this show!

Anyone for a Picnic...

Friday Grammy and Papa came over for a picnic. The weather here is beautiful right now so we decided to take advantage of it. Papa finished up a few things he was working on with the playground set and then we all enjoyed tuna salad and egg salad. Savannah set up the place settings for everyone. Of course, she could not resist jumping up and playing on her "tree house".

After she was finished eating, Savannah decided she wanted to play in her water table, which of course included putting on one of her bathing suits. This one is from her Great Aunt Judy. She enjoyed running around and splashing water all over.

After Grammy and Papa went home, Savannah had her first guests over to play on her tree house. She loved having them come over and showing off her knew playground. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 28, 2008


So I have noticed a pattern with my posting. I tend to go missing during the week. I need to try harder to update so that I do not keep ending up with a huge post like the one on Easter. We have started Spring Break here and the weather is beautiful! Yesterday was spent outback working more on the play set. I say that as if I was the one doing the work :) Mainly, I was the "go-for" for my dad. He finished the fence on the top platform and put in the two slides. He also attached the last board to the roof. So, we are almost done (there I go, taking credit). I also put her sand and water table under the platform so that she can play more with it. She seems to like it there!

So I went to the allergist yesterday for my six month follow-up and found out the my copay has gone up to $50! Goodness! I am starting to question whether I really need to be going to the allergist every 6 months. Having allergies is really not very cost efficient. The cost of the monthly medicine is ridiculous! Between Savannah and I we are filling 3 prescriptions a month, plus our two antihistamines, which are no longer prescription. Oh, and Brian takes one too, but his is much cheaper due to being able to take the generic brand. So, while at the doctor, they took my blood pressure. Why does an allergist need to know my blood pressure? Anyway, if you know me well, you know that my blood pressure always spikes at the doctor's office. I think is was 140/98. Pretty high, even for me. The only time I have had it higher was while I was pregnant. Anyway, they took it again at the end of the appointment and it was 131/88. It had already started going down, so they were happier with that. By the time I got home I bet is was already back to normal. I cannot seem to figure out the special formula to help me calm my nerves while at the doctor. They were not even going to be doing anything to me yesterday! Why so nervous? Actually, it isn't even seeing the doctor that makes me nervous, it is knowing that I will have to have by blood pressure taken while I am there. How ridiculous is that! So, I guess I will need to start taking up some yoga breathing exercises or something to help me out.

We have started trying some different methods with Savannah at dinner. Thanks for all the suggestions. She has four rules to follow and gets one warning if she breaks one of them. After that, she goes to her room while we finish dinner. For the most part, there has been improvement. I have tried to pay attention to what we are doing before hand so that I can see if there is any correlation to her behavior and how she is behaving. I really think the biggest issue is that Brian gets home at 6:00 or 6:15 and we go start to the table. I am thinking that she needs to have some time to play with him before we eat. I have tried the snack approach before but she ends up not eating at all when I give her a snack. She has had to go to her room both nights (we started this two days ago) but she did make improvements from one day to the next and I imagine it will take a few days before she really realizes we mean business. So, hopefully there is an enjoyable eating experience in our future!

That is about it for what is happening right now. We have a really busy weekend coming up, two birthday parties, a soccer game, and Spamelot (Brian can't wait).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Help Please!

Ok, calling all you parents. I need some advice on dinner time with Savannah. The past two years have become miserable when it comes to eating with Savannah. We have always felt she would outgrow it, and it has gotten better, but it is still no fun. She whines, gets in and out of her seat, jumps out of her seat, plays with her food and drink, and is loud, yelling at us when she is corrected. This is really the last area we have not been able to get some sort of control over. One of my parents today said to me "she'll outgrow it. She won't be 15 and running around the table still." Boy, I got scared. What if she is?? So, any ideas on how to help her get toward the goal of being able to sit through dinner by the time she is 15? (Or 5, for that matter??)

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Also, as a personal victory, I have lost 11 pounds! I have a long way to go but am thrilled to be able to say the number 11! It really helps to see the number going down on the scale :)

Time to Play Catch Up

So, it has been a while since I last posted something. It has been a crazy week. We had two rehearsals for Easter during the week, we both played on Saturday night and then rushed to an orchestra concert after that (in downtown Orlando) and then played in 3 services this morning, plus, Brian played during the sunrise service. Goodness! But, I cannot help but say that it was magnificent. I always get such a renewed sense of faith whenever I have a chance to play for a service. There was a point in one of the services where the choir was singing "Shout to the Lord" and everyone in the congregation started standing and hands started raising. It was amazing to watch the spirit moving in these people. It brought tears to my eyes.

Today was the big day, bunny day. Brian and I have really been thinking about how we want to handle the whole bunny thing with Savannah. Growing up, we both had very different experiences with Easter. For me, there would always be a basket waiting for me from the Easter bunny and the eggs would be hidden and waiting for me to run around and find. And when I say eggs, I mean real eggs. Like, the ones we had dyed. I look back and wonder about that. When did mom and dad hide them? Were they really good to eat after that? Then we would go to church and have a big dinner. For Brian, Easter morning meant heading off to church first thing. They would not get their Easter baskets until they came home. I think I recall him saying something about getting them while eating lunch. The Easter bunny would leave the basket on the front doorstep and ring the door bell. So, now we have our own child and the challenge is to figure out what you want to keep from each tradition and what you want to add that is your own. Brian has been at church every Easter before Savannah wakes up, so it is really hard for her to get the basket when she wakes up because Brian would not be there. So, we have been sticking with the "basket at the door" approach. She really gets excited when the doorbell rings and she opens the door and there is her basket! I was worried that she would feel left out at church when she heard everyone else talking about what they got from the "Easter bunny". However, I was pleased to hear that there are other children out there who do not get their bunny basket until later. The more I thought about it, the more I really like doing it this way. It really helps to set a routine of Jesus first. After all, this is the reason for Easter. The amazingness of Jesus and the sacrifice he made for us.

Here are some pictures of Savannah in her "Cinderella dress" that she wore today. Her Great Aunt Judy and Great Uncle Charlie gave her the dress as a Christmas gift. It really is beautiful, and I love the color. I have always loved blue on her because it really brings out the color of her eyes.

One tradition I have carried over is the dyeing of Easter eggs (although we do not hide the ones we dye. We stick with plastic). Savannah really enjoyed dyeing the eggs this year. She made an egg for everyone that was at Grammy and Papa's house today (mommy, daddy, Uncle Guy, Aunt Carol Lynn, Christopher, Ashley, Grammy, Papa, Great Grandma and, herself, yellow, of course). I found a really neat egg dyeing kit. I had a great time with it! It marbelized the eggs. Of course, I sprayed the green dye all over me! I had green dots going all the way down my pants (which thankfully came out) and green all over my shoe and toes. Unfortunately, I still have green toes :( Here are some pics of the eggs and of Savannah finding eggs is Grammy's backyard:

Finally, an update on our continued construction zone in our backyard. We keep adding more and more toward a completed project. Savannah now has two swings and a glider, which she loves! She can actually make that one go on her own, so mommy and daddy love that one too :) The glider took a lot of work to get up because we had to add support beams going in the opposite direction of what was already there. This is due to the fact that it attaches with four brackets instead of two. There are still no slides, which seems really silly because they are probably the easiest thing we have left to do. I think my dad is going to help out some this week with getting some things built and added on. I really would like the side fencing to go up so that it is more safe for her to be up on the second level on her own. Anyway, here is a pic of her glider:

I would like to thank everyone for their ideas for how to help Savannah with the situation at school. I am helping her add some new phrases to her vocabulary to help her interact better with these children. I think that a big part of the issue is that I am so very sensitive that I take in the hurt as if it is my own (although this is also just part of being a parent!). I know I need to learn to set aside my feelings so that I can help her to have a strong self-esteem and also to help her learn how to handle these type of situations.
I pray that everyone has had a blessed Easter!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

On a semi-related note... the post about Savannah's tree house, does anyone have a nice, industrial strength nail gun they could let us borrow?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Christian Parade

Monday was the Christian Parade at UCP. All of the children are asked to come dressed up as a Biblical character. Jesus (aka Paul, a member of the church) walks down the hallway of the school and all of the children line up behind him waving palm branches saying Hosanna. He leads them outside and they walk along the fire lane while all the parents watch (and take lots of pictures). It is a lot of fun for the children. Savannah wanted to be Mary and carry baby Jesus. Last year, she ended up leading the parade (running out in front of Jesus). This year she followed along and enjoyed seeing all of the parents. Brian, Grammy and Papa were all there to watch her and I was fortunate that my class was lined up directly behind hers so I got to watch her too.
The big dilema she is dealing with right now is that there are some kids in her class that are not being very nice to her. Well, I think it is to a lot of the kids. They keep saying to her and others that they don't want to play with her and that they are not her friends. I was really upset at first because I thought it was just her, but I actually saw these girls doing this to some of the other kids, so I know that is not true. Anyway, I am trying to boost her self-esteem and have told her to find someone else to play with. I know that this is just part of life, but I am struggling with what I should tell her. Anyone have any ideas on what to say to her?

Construction Zone

So there has been definite progress made as far as putting together the "tree house" out back. Brian and dad worked for about 4 or 5 hours on Sunday and were able to get the base up and the swing beam. And, there was only one additional trip to Home Depot needed! And, even better (for those who know my dad) there were no band aids needed. Savannah was so excited! She keeps saying that it is her princess castle. She cannot wait to have the whole thing finished. We went out today and got her a swing and ordered her a glider. Dad got a lot of good ideas for what he would like make to go with the play set. She may have the Taj Mahal before all is said and done :)

Brian and I have realized that we are both deficient at driving a nail into wood. We were trying to put up some more stabilizing pieces to the main base tonight. Well, after about 6 nails of destruction we gave up and decided God created screws and drills for something :)

On a side note, as a follow up to our Easter egg hunt on Saturday. As many of you know, we took Savannah recently to an allergist to be tested for possible allergy problems. Well, it turns out she is allergic to many things, including different grasses, mold, multiple trees, cats, feathers, and more. Well, if you might recall the pictures from the last post, Savannah's brilliant parents (not naming any specific names :) ) let her run around in a pen full of hay, goats and rabbits. Needless to day, she spent most of Sunday miserable, with red, puffy, itchy eyes and even a low grade fever. I guess mom and dad need to think a bit more about what we let her do!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

UCUMC Egg Hunt

Here are some pictures from today's Easter egg hunt at our church. Before the egg hunt, there was a "walk through Jerusalem" set up in our Sanctuary where the kids can be transported back in time to see what it was like to live in Jesus' time (ok, so it was a modernistic view of what it was like, but more rustic than these kids will ever know :) ). Savannah enjoyed playing different games they had set up and listening to the music put on by the children's choir. I think we are going to get her involved in the children's choir next year. She really loves music and I think she would have a great time. As you can see, there was also a little petting zoo set up outside. Savannah enjoyed petting the goats, rabbits and guinea pigs. To see more photos, check out our photo website.
Savannah's Uncle Guy and Aunt Carol Lynn generously gave Savannah Ashley and Christopher's old wooden "tree house" (playground set) to play with. So, the second half of the day involved trying to determine what all we would need to get to put it back together. It has been sitting in their backyard in pieces since their move from North Carolina to Florida. We, of course, had to visit Home Depot to get the items needed. So, Brian, Savannah, my mom and dad and I all headed off to Home Depot. Now, I am not sure about how it is in your family, but I have found that there is something that comes over both Brian and my dad when they step into a Home Dept. It is a total time warp, meaning we end up in there FOREVER! Mom, Savannah and I finally ended up hanging out at the end of an aisle while they (being dad and Brian) explored the nails and screws for what felt like hours. We finally resorted to coaching Savannah to yell out "Papa, hurry up!". I am glad to say that we did finally make it out of there, hopefully with everything we needed, because, typically there ends up needing to be more than one trip whenever there is a project. Anyway, Savannah is very excited and we hope to have it put together tomorrow.
We ended the day by going to Red Lobsters (Savannah's name for it). She has been wanting to go there for a while. Unfortunately, it has to be planned just right to make sure we do not have too much of a wait. So, basically, we have to go early. The timing worked today so we heading off. Once there, she insisted she wanted fish to eat (yellow fish to be exact). Well, we went ahead and ordered for her, and guess what, she ate it! Wow! Who would guess I would have a child who liked to eat fish? Well, she definitely gets that from Brian. :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Some Day My Prince Will Come

Today, before we headed out for the day, Savannah disappered for a while in her playroom. It got awfully quiet for a while and then she came out dressed like a princess. Well, a princess getting ready for a safari. If you look closely, you can see my straw hat hanging around her neck behind her, and, of course, her binoculars. She looked up at me and proceeded to tell me that she needed a prince. It was very funny :) So, I told her that she should take out her binoculars and search for one, hence the second picture. It was cute to watch her look all over for her prince.

Savannah decided to test my limits today with her why questions. After spending part of the day with a friend, we headed out to Target. I was going up and down the aisles, as I am prone to do there because you never know what you will find, and she decided to start asking "why" about everything. Goodness, I think I answered why about 30 times in a minute. There was a woman standing by and I couldn't help but overhear her chuckles. It amazes me the amount of different things she can ask why about! I just have to continue to remember she is learning the whole time. She has moved on to a new line of questioning, the "what happens if..." question. For instance, today she asked "what happens if we don't take a bath", "what happens if we do not eat", "what happens if we do not clean our clothes" and so on and so forth. I guess it is better than "why" though!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Easter Bunny Comes Early

At pre-school today Savannah got to participate in an Easter egg hunt. She had a blast! She was running all over the playground finding Easter eggs. Although the days are hard sometimes, I enjoy teaching at the preschool because I am so close to Savannah and am able to just pop outside and see what she is doing. She was also the special helper today, which meant she brought in snack for the entire class and got to share a book and a special toy. She took in a singing book (big surprise) and her "Cars" cars, as she calls them (from the movie Cars). The snack she picked out was a mix of goldfish crackers, goldfish pretzels, marshmallows and dried cranberries. Well, actually, she wanted to take marshmallows and cucumbers. I was able to talk her into something that I thought might mix better together :) . She enjoyed mixing it all together and then measuring out one cup each per child. As we approach Easter and all of the "bunny" activities, we are trying hard to remind her what Easter is all about. It is easier for her to understand that Christmas is Jesus' birthday, because she can relate to that. Easter has been a little harder for her to understand. It is always interesting to try to bring everything down to a level they can understand. Today, one of my four year old children was able to tell me that Easter is when Jesus died and then came to life again. There you go! Simple, but true. I think this is a good way to start learning about the importance of this sacred holiday.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Day Light Savings

So, our lives at the Hill household are revolving around day light savings time right now. As a young adult, I did not like this time change because of loosing an hour of sleep. After having a child, and no longer having to get up to go to work, I realized that this time change actually allowed for some extra sleep because Savannah would sleep an extra hour in the morning! Well, jump forward 3 years, add having to get up for pre-school two days a week and speech two other days (and, of course, myself teaching again), and we are now back to loosing an hour of sleep. At least when I was younger, I only had myself to deal with. A sleep deprived 4 year old can be very taxing (to say the least). So, I am praying that Savannah will be able to catch up soon so that things can settle down at home! Hopefully everyone out there is able to settle into the new time comfortably!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

First Post

I am just diving into the world of blogging. I have not finished putting together the blog, but am excited to see the final outcome. Have a blessed day!