Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shae and Shaun

We're still adjusting to Life with Shaun. For the most part he is a sweet boy and just sleeps. The routine of feeding tubes, medicine, pulse/ox readings, etc are getting more natural to us now too. Yesterday was my (Ashleigh) first day at home alone with both kids and it went pretty well. I was completely exhausted by bed time but overall it was a productive day.

Having a new little guy in the house hasn't affected Cadence too much at all. At first she was disappointed because he wasn't a girl baby - which is what she wanted. But she's coming around and has turned out to be a great helper. However, she is still Cadence and as silly as ever. here are some pics to prove it :)
I came in to the living room and Shaun was in the bouncy seat and Cadence's baby had taken over the swing.

Because of his feeding tube and scars, Cadence was pretty scared of Shaun at first. She didn't want to touch him or hold him on Saturday and Sunday and we just kept saying, "when you're ready to hold him, let us know" Monday morning once Chris left for work, Cadence said "I'm ready to hold Shaun" and she hasn't wanted to stop holding him since! She's doing a great job being gentle with him and loves to kiss him and rub his head.

Two mornings in a row of her early morning hold.

Shaun and Cadence both wore their guitar shirts yesterday. So, we had to get a picture of it :)

Here is a video of Cadence holding him for the first time. Click HERE

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

North or Be Eaten!

Chris and I recently finished reading a new book by Andrew Peterson. It is a children's fiction book (kind of like the Harry Potter Series) and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Below is a brief summary of the book.


Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby thought they were normal children with normal lives and a normal past. But now they know they’re really the Lost Jewels of Anniera, heirs to a legendary kingdom across the sea, and suddenly everyone wants to kill them.

Their escape brings readers to the very brink of Fingap Falls, over the Stony Mountains, and across the Ice Prairies, while villains galore try to stop the Igibys permanently. Fearsome toothy cows and horned hounds return, along with new dangers: a mad man running a fork factory, a den of rockroaches, and majestic talking sea dragons.

If you don't know who Andrew Peterson is, below is a bio on him. We LOVE his music and have been fans for years. If you're into low-key, great truth, guitar driven music: Andrew Peterson is your man :)

Andrew Peterson is the author of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book One in the Wingfeather Saga, and The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats. He’s also the critically-acclaimed singer songwriter and recording artist of ten albums, including Resurrection Letters II. He and his wife, Jamie, live with their two sons and one daughter in a little house they call The Warren near Nashville,Tennessee . Visit his websites: www.andrew-peterson.com and www.rabbitroom.com

As far as North! or be Eaten is concerned, I wish we would have read the first book in the series first. However, it was pretty easy to jump into the story and follow along. There were many parts where we laughed out loud (sometime just at me trying to pronounce the names of people, places and animals in the book). It definitely redeemed itself in the last 15 chapters as everything tied up and came to a close. I would say if you have a child in the 8-14 age range, this is definitely a book you should look into. It was clean, funny, family-oriented, overall great :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

If Isaiah hadn't come

Isaiah is leaving the Andersen home today. It's bittersweet. We're super sad for us because he has become a part of our family. However, he's going to stay with family and be with his youngest siblings and we're excited for that. We've known for a couple of weeks that this day was coming and so we've done our best to prepare our hearts for it. I'm sure the days to come will show that this is easier said than done :) I've been thinking about how different our lives would be if Isaiah had never come to our house and so this is probably more therapeutic for me than interesting to you but either way, here it is.

If Isaiah hadn't come to our house:

I would not know what a low-cut haircut is or how to give one

Cadence would not have gotten a crash course in how to share - and learned the lesson well!

We would not have seen the book "wild at heart" played out in our lives on a daily basis because nothing is more fun to Isaiah than rescuing Princess Cadence

Our guest bathroom would not smell permanently like pee from little boys trying to get it in the potty (and missing more often than not)

We wouldn't know songs like "Victory is Mine" and "I got a praise"

I would still think that all kids like fruit

The lesson of a foster child who is away from his family and everything he knows and yet can bow his head at every meal and sing "Thank you for my blessings" would have been completely lost on me

Thank you, Father, for bringing Isaiah into our home. For teaching us that child-like faith and praise is the sweetest thing you ever created. May you continue to grow him into a mighty man of God who praises You in every situation that life throws at him. Guide him, protect him, and draw him to Yourself wherever he goes so that even if we never see him on this earth again, we'll all sing "I've got a praise and I've got to get it out" together again at Your feet In Jesus name, Amen

Saturday, September 12, 2009


The past week in our world has been one where I've had to watch my reactions carefully. Cadence is becoming more independent all the time ( like she wasn't before) and now comes to me to show me what she has done - I think this is because we're really pushing being honest about everything in our house right now.

For instance, one day she was upstairs with Chris because he was teaching and then she came downstairs to me while I was cooking dinner. She was so proud of herself and came around the corner into the kitchen saying "Mommy look at my hands!" I was horrified to see that they were completely black, covered in something that was unrecognizable to me. I immediately freaked out which was her first clue that she might have done something wrong and so she began to get upset. Realizing what I had done I tried to take back my initial reaction and ask her what she had done. She explained to me that she was cleaning daddy's drum seat at the bottom (Which is covered in grease) and it all came off on her hands and now his chair was clean. So these are the types of things that come into her brain "Daddy's seat is black on the bottom, it obviously needs to be cleaned, I'll use my hands to do it and mommy will be proud that I'm helping clean up" and somehow Chris missed the whole thing! (He was teaching a guitar lesson) So, I'm trying to not over react and instead, document this stage of life.

Since the black hands incident these are some of the other things that have happened this week:

Wearing my glasses pretending to be a "dran-ma"

She fixed her own hair the night after we spent over an hour washing and picking it out. Yes her hair is white because of the amount of conditioner in it (approximately half a tub) but she even picked it out!

She was having a birthday party for one of her babies and was trying to decorate the table

I'm selfishly hoping this stage of life passes fast because I don't know what she will think of next but really do love the way her brain is working.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More Cadence Conversation (see post below)

I love how Cadence's brain works and how she processes information. Here is a video of a conversation we had before we went camping.

Click HERE

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Oh This Child!

Cadence is so funny these days. She's always had personality - we all know that - but over the past week or so, it seems to have changed and everything that she does or says either makes me laugh out loud, appalls me, or both. Here are a couple of examples of what I mean.

The other day I happened upon a conversation between Cadence and Isaiah taking place in her bedroom. There were 3 princess dresses (snow white, belle, and a purple barbie princess) laid out on the floor and she was asking Isaiah which one she should wear. So this is how it went

C: Saiah what princess you want me to be?
I: ummm, Snow White?
C (in a whiny voice): but I don't want to wear snow white because it stinks cause mommy didn't wash it yet.
I: ok, then be Belle
C (still whining and a little irritated): Belle is too big and it trips on my feet. I want to wear the barbie dress!
I: OK, then just wear it if you want too!
Cadence struggles her way into the Barbie dress then looks at Isaiah and says: Help me up so we can dance.
and so he does :)

Then this afternoon we are sitting outside and they are riding their bikes. Isaiah is on the blue bike and it happens to have a basket on the front of it. I gave them both a bottle of water because they were thirsty and Isaiah was at a loss over what to do with his water bottle while he rides his bike. So here's the conversation from there

C: yust put it in da basket to hold the wager
I: well, it won't stay in there and will fall if my leg hits it
C: dit off da bike Saiah. (he does)
Cadence puts her bottle of water in the basket and pedals around the driveway while holding onto her bottle so that it doesn't fall out of the basket. Pulls back up to Isaiah and says: If my wager doesn't fall then yours won't either.

and so Isaiah gets back on his bike with his water bottle in the basket, and off they go.

It really scares me how much of the "murdock woman" she has in her. Grannie Turner would have done that, Grannie Murdock would , Mama would have, and I most definitely would have done the exact same thing in her situation. i guess it's true that the sins past down to the 3rd and 4th generations :) Pray for her.....and us :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Camping with the Kales

We spent the weekend camping in Morrow Mountain State Park. It's outside of Charlotte and ended up being beautiful! This really surprised me because I would never have thought that there was a mountain around Charlotte at all. But there was and so we camped on it. It was Cadence's first camping trip and turned out to be a great experience.

The first morning when we woke up, these deer were making their way to everyone's campsite looking for breakfast. When they saw Cadence and Isaiah's juice boxes, they made a beeline for our site. I guess they know that kids with bright colored stuff usually means food for them. We made the kids get in the tent because we weren't sure about the deer or what they would do. They were perfectly tame and just moved on to another site but not before I got a couple of pictures of them.

Dinner time on night 1 with the Kales were hot dogs over the fire and chili. It was delicious!

Isaiah and his first Smore. He liked it!

On Sunday morning First Baptist Albemarle hosts a church service in the woods so we went to check it out. It was actually pretty cool and something completely different for us to experience. The man standing up was the preacher. We all sat on long benches.

Gathering firewood to take back to our site after church.

After church, we went canoeing. Actually, the Kales had a row boat but we all paddled and eventually made it (in a not so direct route) to where we were headed - which was nowhere in particular.

Our view on the water was beautiful. There was a dam that we actually paddled most of the way to before another canoer told us that it's pretty hard to paddle away from because of the current working against you. So instead, we stopped on this little Island to let the kids play in the water.

We spent lots of time doing this!

The biggest fire ever in a fire pit made by Jeff and his boys

Night 2 was a shrimp boil and garlic bread. It was FANTASTIC! Check out Karen's outdoor camping skills :)

Cadence and Isaiah had a great time gathering wood so we could keep the fire going. Although this was too green to burn, she liked carrying it around.

More Smores

and Slang got to go too!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

and yet the garden continues.....

This is a garden update. While I have loved the garden and the fact that it's kept us in vegetables this summer, I keep hoping things will start to die because I really want to do a fall/winter garden. I've already planted seeds of collard greens, mustard greens, and new broccoli plants to grow now that the weather is cooling off.

Since the other stuff won't die, Chris is going to build me a new garden space for my winter plants. I'll post that when it gets built :) For now, here is what's still growing.

Okra (it's really taller then Cadence) and beans

Cucumbers that just won't quit! Tomatoes that look gross but keep producing and little green peppers.