Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A New Christmas Look for a Family Heirloom

John Newton Baldwin, also known as Papaw Baldwin, built this rocking chair.

He was born in the late 1800's. My mom remembers this rocker sitting on his porch for many a year. She can remember him sitting in it. I just love that thought as I sit and rock. I don't remember the chair being particularly special to me growing up; probably because I was too young to appreciate the fact that my Great Grandfather had built it. However, as a young adult, its many charms grew on me.

When my mom gave me the privilege of owning it, I was determined to one day get it reupholstered. When we moved to Florida in 2001 we had to put everything in storage. One arm was damaged at that time. We duct taped it together and I continued to rock my babies in it and think about the wonderful ancestors who had made my life possible. It had been upholstered in a red patterned fabric, but through the years it had been torn in the seat and the back rest was frayed and worn. We folded a blanket for the hole in the seat and covered the chair with another blanket and loved it still.

Then one day in FL I determined to at least tear off the worn fabric and quite nasty filling and find the bones of the beautiful chair. I was so pleased to see the wood and told Alpheus that I would rather just reupholster the seat. I love to see the wood. It sat in FL waiting for months and then we moved back to VA. Then it sat up in my mother's attic again waiting to be remembered. My wonderful husband decided that this would be the perfect Christmas gift for me. He knows me so well and loves me so much.

So after a visit to the Chair Doctor in Cambria, VA and a staining from my darling, I can enjoy the rocker again!
Here I am (please pardon my appearance as I was unprepared for a photo; the girls are in their coats because we had just come back from town) with my other early Christmas gift. Our old video camera died the other day.

So here I am with two material gifts I do treasure, but not as much as I treasure the eternal Father who made it all possible or the family that makes it special. I also treasured telling the girls why a chair made Mommy cry with joy. One day they will understand. For now they will rock in the chair their great, great grandfather built.

PS Any Baldwin family who would like to add specific dates about Papaw or the chair, please feel free to leave a comment! :)

Merry Early Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Blossom (Edited 2 weeks later: Oops, he's Marshall!)

We wanted to get the girls a pet for Christmas. At first we were planning to do a hamster, but the more I read about them the less appealing they became. I want a pet I am going to enjoy if I have to clean up after them anyway. We decided to get a kitten.

This was his first night at our house. We ended up getting him the last day of November so he was an early gift. He is part Siamese and part mixture, with some mackerel tabby coloring. He is nearly solid orange except his legs have stripes and the typical mackerel M on his forehead. The tips of his ears and tail are darker like the Siamese.

He loves to climb! He is really doing it now. I am trying to keep him off the furniture except the girls small chairs and the a foot stool. The first week he stayed downstairs, but by the second week he was venturing up the stairs and now goes anywhere he wants. He seems to love it under Hannah's or Lydia's beds the most. Marshall sleeps in the basement at night though. He has also started to climb the Christmas tree. Yikes! Hopefully we can keep him contained until that comes down.

Here he is stretched out infront of the warm fireplace.

Lydia with her lego tower.

Mary with her two front teeth missing.

Sarah with her crazy teeth. Braces for sure for this girl!

Hannah enjoying computer time.

So all but two of these pictures were taken by the girls. They are loving to take photos now!

A big snow storm is heading our way, so I guess I had better get off here and finish laundry. We will probably keep power because our lines are underground, but you never know! :) Here's our pile of wood for the next few days. Alpheus teased that he is glad to get some use out of the treadmill. LOL

Have a blessed day! Eva

Monday, December 14, 2009

Nine Is So Fine!

Yesterday was our second beautiful girl's birthday! Sarah wasn't due until the 28th of December but since Hannah was rather large for me the doctors decided I better go a bit early. She was going to be induced on the 19th, but a huge snowstorm was being predicted. I was already nearly four centimeters when I went in for my last checkup on the 13th. My nurse midwife asked if I had been having contractions. I had early that morning but they had stopped. She told me to work some up because she was sending me to the hospital to be induced that day. She didn't want me 30 minutes from the hospital in a snowstorm. We were so unprepared (both bags were still at home in the nursery), but we were very excited too! My worst fear is that they would make me go home becuase I wasn't contracting at that time. We told the nurse that we had been sent by Sharon, that I was nearly four centimeters and that I had been having contractions that morning so she led us back to an empty room. She was asking questions about due dates and scheduled induction dates and just as they were putting the monitor around my belly she asked exactly what time was my last contraction. I hestitated not wanting to lie, but hating to admit that it had been three hourse since the last one. Suddenly she interrupted my confession by saying, "Oh I see you are having one now." I was never so happy to be having a contraction! :) Sarah's birth was much like Hannah's except I only pushed for about an hour before we were able to use the vacuum to help me finish. We didn't know if Sarah was a boy or a girl. Of course we were hoping for a boy since we had a girl, but God knew what we needed. We were both so thrilled when the doctor said, 'She's another beautiful girl!" Sarah was 7 lbs. 7 oz and 20 3/4". We had a much easier time since I knew more about what I was doing. However she developed jaundice as Hannah had but worse. She had to be hospitalized at just 7 days old. Thankfully it was only for two days and then she was on the road to recovery! Hannah was thrilled with the new baby sister we brought home to her and we were so thankful for our precious girls!

Sarah is generally the quiet one. Ready to comfort and encourage her sisters most of the time! Her name means Princess and she loves to be our princess.

But she isn't afraid of working or getting a little dirty either!

Her favorite toys are dolls and stuffed animals. She also loves to help take care of her younger sisters! I see her as a great babysitter one day!

Our Sweet Sarah

This was in Florida when she was 5 or so. She still loves basketball!

Here is the only picture I have of her so young on computer. She is being held by her cousin Eric who had come with his mom to visit Mary when she was born. Sarah is 2 here.

We love you Sarah Noel!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Birthday Bowling

We have always enjoyed doing something special on our girls' birthdays. We decided to celebrate Hannah and Sarah's birthday with bowling. Since Sarah's day is on Sunday we decided to go during the week on Hannah's day. It was nice because there were only a few other people there while we bowled. We invited Grandmom, Grandad, Dan, Lorilyn and Ariana to join us. Since they homeschool too and work overnight the early day plans suited them. The girls were very excited to share this with their best friend Ari!

Hannah ready to bowl!

Sarah saying hi before her turn.

Ariana showing off her ball before bowling.

Lydia holding a ball for 5 seconds. She is too little to bowl but she had fun watching!

Mary was very excited to bowl. This is only her second time doing it!

Ariana got her cousins each a webkinz horse. I think Hannah named the pinto Saddle. Sarah named her pink and white horse Milkshake.

Grandmom gave them sweet cards with birthday money.

Grandmom with all her grandgirls except Kamryn who is in KY.

After bowling three games we were all tired and hungry so we headed to Cici's for some pizza. We like the one in FL better, but it was good. Btw, Sarah moved herself out of the pic at the last minute.

Can you tell they had Cartoon network on the TV. It was 35 feet away and they were still riveted.

Our happy Lydia!

Mary sporting the pizza facial.

Later that day Hannah helped make her cake. She mixed it and I did the icing. Then she came to put on candles and decorations. She wanted to ice it too, but I was too tired for that. LOL

Hannah was very pleased with her new necklace, watch and I-Dog!

Sarah opted to open her gifts today instead of waiting until Sunday. She knows I am bad about buying the same thing because I know they will both want it, so I think that is why she did it. One year we should make Hannah wait until Sarah's day! Sarah also received a necklace and and I-Dog and by request a set of cap pistols.

So after playing cowgirls and trying on different pendants with their necklaces they went to sleep listening to Christmas music on their I-Dogs. I just hope we can afford the batteries! :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Her first decade

Hannah at age 3. She was enjoying a tea party with her dolls.

This was Mommy (with Mary in my tummy), Hannah, Sarah, Daddy and Mamaw.

Hannah loved to build and she still does today!

Ten years seems such a long time. Today, however, it feels as if it just flew by! My first baby girl is beginning her second decade of living. I remember how nervous and excited we were for her to be born. My parents were staying with us and from Thanksgiving on we passed all free time playing Mexican train and thinking about the baby coming so soon. We were scheduled to have an induction because the baby (we didn't know the gender) was already pretty large. The labor was pretty easy considering. The epidural worked wonderfully and other than pushing for 2.75 hours, trying the vacuum twice, and then using forceps, the birth was a wonderful experience. I remember Alpheus quoting scripture and whispering endearments to encourage me. I remember the joy when the baby was out and they said she was a girl - the first granddaughter on my side of the family. She was 8lbs. and 9 oz. and nearly 22 inches long born at 8:21PM. She was an angel the first night and a screaming terror the second night. On the third night we were home and she was on the bottle. She slept wonderfully at 4 hour stretches. I however had to watch her nearly all night. I just knew she was going to stop breathing if I didn't watch her. We didn't have a bassinet to put by our bed, so I made her sleep in the stroller all night so she could be right by the bed. She scared me a second time by sleeping 8.5 hours the day before she was a month old. She said Daddy first for a week at 5 months and then didn't talk again until she was nearly 8 months. She was walking by her first birthday and showing her interest in drawing at an early age. She has always been a cheerful girl who loves to laugh and be silly! She is a great big sister and a big help to me now as she has grown. I am so thankful God gave her to us. I look forward to the next 10 years. I know there will be many challenges as there were in the first 10, but I trust God to work in her life and to guide us as we guide her to be ready for adulthood.

We love you Hannah!