the day has arrived. it was slowly creeping up on us, making it's presence known in various ways. the use of the words "potty" and "stinky" (pronounced keekee), the obsession with her trainer potty. and now, tonight made everything clear.
zoë laid down around 9, (her newer bedtime, since she's up with the roosters if she goes to bed earlier) and we didn't hear a peep from her. until 10:30. when an ungodly scream comes from the bedroom, along with the dreaded words "keekee diaper!!" needless to say, seeing a fleshtoned baby by the light of the nightlight was not my idea of a good night. we turned on the light, and little beans was naked, with a stinky diaper laying next to her pj's in bed. thank God it was solid (too much information, i know, but believe me, this was an unusually solid poop, compared to what all the holiday food has done to her digestive track). she got cleaned up, hands washed, new diaper attached to said little bottom, pj's redressed and back to sleep she went...
while i plan on spending the next 2 hours researching potty training techniques. because those 2 words have struck fear in my heart for the last time.
we made it through another holiday season here at chez mills, replete with lots of food, loud toys, and now, the new introductions of temper tantrums and time outs.
i am sitting at the foot of our bed, typing, and i can here zoë yelling at spencer in the other room, more than likely because he is not letting her eat cake. she's discovered that there are yummy sweet things to eat when everyone gets together, and she is pretty mad at us for not sharing. she's snuck a fair share of helpings of cranberry sauce, but my thought is that it's better than the chocolate cake and gingerbread cookies that have been passed around.
i got a chance to videotape everything, yesterday and today, minus the annual holiday chow fest. the question remains whether i can actually get everything to post. i've been unable to upload pictures onto our computer for months, and now i am having issues with blogger posting pictures. i know i've been promising pictures for a month and a half, but i have been having such issues. i don't know if it's time to switch to another host or what. i have been attempting to post pictures once a week for 6 weeks, to no avail. i'm certainly frustrated with my inability to let you all see miss cutie pants, but i'll just keep trying.
so, in lieu of a new years wrap up, or a hard copy christmas letter, i'll just post all the things i would have said instead.
this year has easily been one of the hardest i have ever lived through. and at the same time, i can't believe all the stuff we've faced, because the grace of the Lord has really been there.
we found out last week that spencer is no longer a candidate for the job in washington. he called up there, just wondering if it were something he was doing wrong (since the job hunt has not gone well this year) and their response was no surprise. there were over 3000 people who applied for just over 300 positions, so the jobs went to the most qualified. they told spencer he met the qualifications for the job, but there were other candidates who were even more qualified, with previous military or police experience. the first couple of days were kinda tough. we were left wondering, now what? i think that has been the hardest part of this year. not knowing how to escape this situation we find ourselves in, homeless, carless, jobless. we're still wondering.
one thought we had, and we're both praying about it, as it will entail some large sacrifices, is for both of us to go to college. i'm about 4 semesters away from my degree, and i have been feeling urged to return to college. the plan is to get an art education degree, with a teaching certification, so that if homeschooling laws change, i will at least have a certification to teach. spencer has such a mind for history, and anthropology. he is already a regular conversant with some of the top minds in genetics, specifically as it relates to human migration patterns, and other historic sociological concepts. i think i am not alone when i say, for him to spend the rest of his life behind the wheel of a tractor trailer will be the waste of a God given intellect. so now we're here, at another junction in our lives, praying the Lord shows us the path.
we've been so broke this year, that we will qualify for quite a bit of grant money, and i already qualify for the Hope scholarship. so other than spencer's first year, which will be paid out of pocket until he qualifies for the Hope, everything would be paid for. tuition by the state, housing by grants, and our basic living expenses by either remaining grant money or a part time job. i guess i'm saying all this, to say, pray for us. we can't make it through another year like this one with the same questions again. we desperately need a car, and a plan. we think we're putting one together, but as always, it's open to the Lord changing things.
i don't know if i would have written all this in a christmas letter, as it's not exactly the typical christmas letter fare. i can say this, we are so grateful for the gifts and support you've all been giving us all year. there are letters that have come at such a timely junction, when we were really discouraged over how we would pay our bills for the month. i can't express enough how much encouragement has come from family and friends this year. i was worried about how we would clothe zoë next year, and wouldn't you know it, she got a huge pile of clothes for christmas. i know i shouldn't worry about what the future holds, because this year has certainly shown me, the Lord is watching over us, and will not let us fall. He might allow everything to crumble around us, but He's still holding us.
we love you guys so much, and zoë sends kisses and hugs through the internet. we're praying that you all have the same kind of year we've had, without the losing everything, but with the knowledge that our Father is watching over all of us, making sure we keep holding onto Him.
in the hopes of distracting zoë from her diaper party, we played outside today. it's been raining everyday, and today was no different. we got a nice little break, and it's 60 outside and cloudy. we couldn't find zoë's rainboots, my guess is that they're in our bedroom. where spencer is sleeping off a really nasty bacterial infection. which is going to get worse before it gets better. yay.
here's some pics, before and after lunch. also, the pink outfit is from the day we opened zoë's bike, a christmas present. the brown dress with black bib is from today.
and finally, i got all the pictures to load. it took 1 1/2 hours, thanks to blogger, and internet explorer. firefox is acting weird on ellen's computer, so ie it is for me. yuck. enjoy!
the networks are calling the presidency for obama now. and while i rejoice in the u.s. leaving behind the chains of racism which still clung to our feet, i can't help but wonder if we did the right thing.
i don't want to get very political here. this is me, sharing my concerns. i'm worried about what happens to abortion rights here in this country. i'm worried about what happens to our inner cities, and even our suburbs, as monumental changes are about to take place.
above all, i'm concerned about the state of the christian church in america. there are serious things wrong with the way the previous ruling party (which we will call the values party) has handled their own lives. scandal after scandal after scandal, in both elected representation, and also those who claim to represent values in the religious realm. i can't help but think that people voted for the change party, because the values people couldn't live up to what they claimed to believe. if we truly believe that marriage is between one man, and one woman, why did so many values party representatives get caught having affairs? if human life is so sacred (which i firmly believe it to be) why have we not been more cautious in our battles with other living people. i am not advocating surrender. not by any stretch. what i am so desirous of, is that people really live what they claim to vote for.
now, with congress having a majority of change party representatives, it is time to get active. get on our knees. seek the Lord. return to Him. i want my voice to be heard, in a way i have never desired before. both in political realms, and spiritual ones. but more than anything, i want to be found faithful before the Lord. I don't want to think the world isn't watching. because they are. they desire for us to live what we profess...
i'm hopeful that even with issues coming up that seem monumental, the Lord sets kings in their places. He holds their heart in His hand. and He is certainly still in charge of everything that happens, even if i don't agree with the outcome.
so, some of my loyal readers (hahaha) have asked what zoë is saying. i thought i would fill you in on the words she knows, and says on a regular basis.
eat (of course!) diaper ewwww stinky (usually preceded by her or someone else passing gas) nummies juice shoes mama poppa grandpa (but no grandma) light hat hot (usually followed by blowing on whatever object she has deemed as hot) Lori owl apple zebra car copter (there is a military installation near the house, and helicopters fly over regularly) nose eye ear fishy (sounds like shishy) hi (said to any and everyone within earshot. and she'll repeat it until she gets a response) bye bye see ya night night 1,2,3 piano car quack quack dinosaur noises (she won't say dino, but she will roar when you ask her what it says) puppy (plus woofing) kitty (plus meowing) birdie (plus making high pitched squeely noises) no ma'am thank you and yay!
i was really worrying about her, about a month ago. she had about 5 words, and while she understood a lot of them, she wasn't saying them. than all of a sudden, complete language explosion. i kid you not, aside from mama, poppa, no ma'am, bye bye, and juice, she didn't say any of these 4 weeks ago. it's been surreal, watching her mind expand at such a high rate. she understands quite a few more words, but she's not saying them yet. i guess we need to wait until next month.
so, we have a place to live, and a car. we're staying with spencer's parents in dahlonega, and our dear friends have loaned us one of their vehicles until thanksgiving. spencer never did get the law enforcement job locally that he applied for. within a few days of completing all the necessary background checks, etc, the county froze hiring. he's still processing for a federal job located in washington d.c... all of that is in the Lord's hands. we're hoping spencer can get everything finished by tuesday, but if all goes well, he should be starting next week as a driver in atlanta. he would have to move closer to his job, as we live 82 miles (one way!) away from downtown atlanta. our friends (the same ones who loaned us the vehicle) have family who live about 60 miles closer in, who are willing to let spencer stay with them. if it doesn't make sense to you why we would even do something like that, you might not be aware of how dire things really are getting, in terms of available jobs. in the local paper, this last week, there were 3 jobs listed. only 3... and 4 pages of foreclosure notices. it's certainly getting very hard to find employment, and we are not going to do anything to jeopardize this job. spencer has applied for over 300 jobs in the last 4 months. and all of them he was qualified for. all over the country, all over the region. and this is the only job to interview him. when he interviewed for the position last week, he was one of 4 men applying. of the 4, 2 were homeless, 1 was living in a house about to foreclose, and the other was draining his savings trying to stay afloat. it's intense. which is why we are so very thankful for family. and friends helping us stay out of a shelter, and able to get to a job. things are going to be stabilizing for us soon, so rejoice with us. the Lord is faithful. He is taking care of us.