I totally forgot to add my 10 week ultrasound picture to the stack of photos in the latest blog update, though it turned out to be for the best. I ended up needing another ultrasound on Wednesday for the various and always present issues I tend to have during pregnancy. The baby hangs on in there and appears to be totally healthy. I already know it has 10 healthy looking fingers and toes and a strong heart beat. It all measures just as it should. I count those things as the great blessings! We are very excited to meet number 4 in May. I should be finding out the sex in less than 8 weeks.

Enjoy more fuzzy ultrasound photos of our latest, most adorable blessing.

# 4 at 10 weeks. The baby was crazy with energy for this ultrasound and we watched in amazement as it did acrobatics for us.

# 4 at 12 weeks, apparently sucking his/her thumb. The baby gave me one swift kick which I both saw and felt at the same time. I didn’t believe I was feeling movement until that point. Then it promptly went back to sleep.

#4 at 12 weeks.



I don’t think it has been so long since my last blog as it has just felt like it has been so long. These last couple of months have been an interesting challenge for me with 3 little kids, a husband and various other responsibilities while being sick nearly 24/7. Fortunately, I am on the mend. I am generally feeling much better now that I am 12 weeks along. I have a bit more energy and the times I am sick are getting fewer and farther in between. I can’t complain about that.

This blog entry was fun for me to write. I haven’t done one like this in a while. I have enjoyed doing more stories and thoughts again instead of just bullet points about what the kids are doing. It takes a bit more time to read, but I sure had fun writing it and then later reading it.

While the kids eat breakfast, I have been reading through the bible to them since Evan was a baby. I started in Matthew, the beginning of the New Testament, and I read a little section each day. We made it through to Revelation a few weeks ago. If you know me very well at all, you know that not so much the book, but avid studiers and “interpreters” of the book give me a headache. There are so many theories and “explanations” and some parts of them make sense and others don’t. I just think there is no real way to know. I have journaled my way through this book and just thought, “What is God trying to teach me about my walk with Him today”, and not tried to figure out what the grand meaning is. There just isn’t any way to know for sure in this lifetime.

Anyway, I hit Revelation with my kids with a pit in my stomach. If you have ever read it, it has to be one of the most graphically disturbing books on earth, and now here I am reading it to my very young children. I really want them to hear the whole Bible from beginning to end, but after about 2 weeks of reading passage like, “Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed God in heaven because of their pains and sores”, or “The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire”, I realized I was reading it more like this, “Men. . mumble, tongues. . mumble, mumble, God in heaven because of their mumble, mumble”. Evan watched me perplexed every day. When a word would pop out of my mouth that I didn’t mean to read clearly he would say something like, “What did that dragon do to those people”? I finally had had enough when, while watching my wide eyed oldest son out of the corner of my eye, read a passage which said something like “The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died” . . . “SIGH”. . .(flip, flip, flip) . . .”In the beginning, God created the heaven’s and the earth. . . ” I have just decided to skip Revelation for now and start in the beginning of the Old Testament with Genesis. Much less mumbling is required.

My kids argue for sport. . . a little like certain parents of theirs so we only have ourselves to blame. One morning the kids came down for breakfast and started arguing about whether or not we should turn the air conditioning off. Julia was cold and Evan was happy with it. This went on for some time until I decided I was cold and went to turn it off. Julia came with me and when we got back into the kitchen she boasted to Evan, “Air’s off, Buddy”. However, with Julia saying the “S” for the “F” sound it came out like, “Air sauce, Buddy”. Evan screams, “JULIA, YOU CAN’T HAVE AIR SAUCE FOR BREAKFAST”!! I laughed out loud as they continued to argue about whether or not air sauce was an option for breakfast for the next several minutes.

Julia’s World:
– After MUCH work, Julia is finally starting to learn her colors.
-Started being able to totally dress herself in the last couple of months.
-Learned how to point, click and drag on the computer and can now play simple computer games. She has even learned to navigate a child-friendly website and move between games she wants to play.
-LOVES to talk on the phone, especially with Grandma Tynes and Daddy.
-Already has her birthday party all worked out. It will all be purple, because purple is her “savorite” color. It will start at chuck-e-cheeses and move to Cold Stone Creamery for a purple, ice cream, birthday cake. She also has the children she wants invited figured out too. Her birthday isn’t until April 25th.
-Is a REALLY hard worker and a big helper to me. She will at least attempt to do every task I ask her to do.
-Is totally fascinated by bodily excretions. Will run across the house to see someone’s cut bleed or watch me change a poopy diaper or look in the potty before it’s flushed. It makes me laugh.

Harrison’s World:
-Figured out how to get out of his crib at 16 months old, my youngest to do so.
-Climbs incessantly like my other two.
-New found passion is gum.
-Calls Evan “Evan” or “Buddy” now.
-Evan taught Harrison to burp on command and say, “Excuse me”. You can enjoy a lovely video of that below.
-Said “I LOVE YOU” or more like “I YUH YOU” last Wednesday for the first time. It was to Grandpa Ringsmuth.
-LOVES to dance.
-Stephen bumps knuckles with the kids and says something like, “BOO-YEAH”. Now Harrison does it but instead, yells “Boo-yeah” and then punches you in the face.

Evan’s World:
Evan knows the letter sounds to most of the letters. With my coaxing he can sound out simple 3 and 4 letter words. I say he knows most of his sounds because, since the English language was actually invented by a drunken sailor or a rebel who wanted to screw with our minds, there are several completely irrelevant letters. Here is my list of FULL TIME irrelevant letters C,Q,X and part time irrelevant letters are A,E,G,H,I,O,U,Y. There are more that I am missing, but each of those letters make teaching a young reader a real pain in the butt. Maybe we could get rid of “SH” and make that the sound the “X” makes or make a “C” actually make the “CH” sound. Why do we have letters that make sounds others already make and then have sounds that are not covered by any one letter? At some point someone had to teach me to read, so I figure it is possible to explain how crazy everything is, but for now I am ready to start a commission to redo the alphabet, and the ridiculous spelling of word like “cough” into something like “Cof” or even “Coff” and tons of grammar rules while I am at it, starting with making it grammatically correct to put punctuation inside of the parenthesis. Is anyone with me on this?

I have never been more proud of him than when we were at the Kennesaw fall festival. He accidentally bumped another kid’s mouth and made him bite into his lip. He was bleeding pretty bad. I saw the bleeding kid get out of the moon walk and wondered what happened. Then Evan came out with a guilty and pained look on his face and told me that he accidentally bumped the little boy’s mouth. I said, “Oh, Buddy. You did? Do you want to go say you are sorry”? He immediate said that he did, so like a big boy he walked over and very apologetically told the little boy he was sorry. His grandmother was very touched by it too and very graciously accepted the apology for the little boy. Later I noticed a big swollen bump on Evan’s head and asked him where he got it. He said it was from bumping the little boy. It looked quite painful but he never complained about it. He was more concerned for the other little boy. I was so touched and proud I must have told him a million times until he was sick of hearing it.

Even though Evan’s birthday wasn’t until October 24th, we had his party on Friday night the 19th at chuck-e-cheeses. He decided that he turned 4 there. After that anytime anyone wished him a happy birthday he scowled at them about how was already 4. When his birthday finally came he was very upset about it. He thought he should either be turning 5, or people should just leave him alone about it. He was so embarrassed that people might think he was 5 days younger than he thought he should have been. I hosted a large play date the day before his birthday with all of his friends and made a cake for him so he would be OK with people knowing it wasn’t really his birthday yet. I had to bribe him with the cookies we made for his class at church the night of his actual birthday to even get him go without a major meltdown. I found the whole thing very amusing. I don’t think we have ever had his party on his birthday, but this is the first year he actually grasped that fact and had an opinion about it. I would have just thought a kid would like to have his birthday dragged out for several days like that. . . who knew?

-Can now count to 59. He could count higher if he wanted to, but he insists that he will not for some reason.
-After several Mexican standoffs over the course of the last 3 years I have finally taught my eldest son how to drink water. The other two prefer it to anything else, but Evan would always rather have had an ice cold glass of Windex than a glass of water.
-One afternoon Stephen asked me, “Do you want to bring the kids out later for a F-I-R-E”. Stephen sporadically builds fires in our little fire pit for our family to sit around. Evan stood quiet for a second then leaped to his feet and yelled, “YEAH! FIRE”! We both cracked up because, like most parents, we assume our kids are dimmer than they are. From an early age, before they can even read or spell, they can figure out what we are saying.

What do you think you’re doing, Grandpa?


Evan’s 4th birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese’s.

Playing with and sometimes snacking on play-doh

I just found her this day, completely stripped nude with this life jacket on. . .

October fun in Atlanta.

All 5 cousins with the Hillman Great-Grandparents.

Julia’s new bike at Grandma’s house.

Leaf fight Harrison walks around all day talking about the tractors or “Tatows” in this book.

Kennesaw City’s Fall Festival Treasure Hunt.

Popcorn party while waiting for Daddy to get home from New Orleans.

Typical Julia would not let me put on her headband and walked around like this for hours.

Julia’s new love of her life named, “Tiny, Little, Baby Doll” from Grandma Tynes.

Real men wear pink (the day before laundry day).

The kids trying to make pumpkin faces.

Evan’s consolatory, play date, birthday cake.

The new loves of Evan’s life, his Lightning McQueen Race car track. . .

. . .and remote control helicopter.

More typical Julia. She picked this lovely outfit out and dressed herself before I got to her room that day.

Baking bars with mommy to raise money of African AIDS orphans.