Tuesday, April 29, 2008

4 months already..Go ahead a say it..she looks like Billy




Latest plans

So we have a new plan in the works, for which I am very thankful. Billy is flying to Fairhope on Sunday and is taking Alaina and Elley with him. They will stay with my parents for the next few weeks while Holden finishes school. This will make the next few weeks soooo much easier. It will just be Mary H. and I during the day while Holden is at school and I can manage showing the house by myself....well, unless they start asking lots of questions about the septic tank, heater, taxes, etc. If the house doesn't sell in the next few weeks, we'll go ahead a get a realtor and Holden, Mary H. and I will drive to my parents to stay. I didn't want to be here by myself all summer, especially trying to sell a house. Billy will be doing new job training the next few months. That's our plan....God has given me such a gift in my parents. They are always so willing to help whenever we need them and they truly love our kids. Alaina and Elley will love being there and I will have lots of extra time to finish up things here. I can't believe it is finally time to move. Now we just have to figure out where we're going after my parents house :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

PICTURES

ok, so is it obnoxious how many pictures I have on this blog???? If it is, I'm sorry....I just love pictures!!! Who would even be honest enough to tell me if they thought there were too many? :) Probably no one, except NATE CONRAD who made fun of my "Who are you?" post. So Nate, I don't even want to know your opinion.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Alone..Lost...with three children..in downtown Chicago..all of them talking to me..not a good combination!!!!

We had quite the adventure on Sunday afternoon. I decide to venture out by myself to take Holden, Alaina and Elley to the Aquarium downtown while Billy has the open house. This was my first time to drive by myself that far into downtown...Alaina and I did go to see Princesses on Ice at the United Center but that didn't seem as complicated. So I'm going along fine using my easy mapquest directions until we get to the Indiana signs for I90 and I get ALL turned around. So, I start heading to Indiana...the wrong direction to be going!! I quickly started praying. "ok Lord, you know me and directions..all I know to do is what's on this piece of paper!! You've got to get us back on track...YOU'VE got to get us there!!!" And He did after a while :)

So I exit off whatever interstate we were on(the wrong one!) and have to resort to pulling up next to someone and rolling down my window and waving at them to roll their window down so I can talk to them. Of course, I get the "what is this freak next to me doing? Are they going to shoot me or something kind of look. " Reluctantly, the man rolls down his window and I tell him I'm trying to get to the Shedd Aquarium. He goes "OH, my gosh" to implicate I'm a ways from there. The light turns green and he yells "Sorry" as he drives away. I jump out of the van and start yelling at him to come back and help me. Just kidding, but I sure wanted to!! I did hear him say to get back on 55N and that the aquarium was by soldier field. So, we do just that and I start to see the right signs! Thank you, God! Then, we get so close that we pass it and I just can't figure out how to get to it to park. That took us another good 20 minutes or so.

Before we finally got close to the building I said to myself "This is my worst nightmare!! Something I never wanted to be doing....Driving, by myself, in downtown Chicago!!! Here we are weaving our way through all this crazy traffic and tall buildings, I was gripping the steering wheel. Its is ONLY God that we ever made it without me calling Billy crying and telling him to come get us.

We arrive, FINALLY and the kids had a great time. We only had one incident with a security guard, actually, I think he was just an aquarium worker...with ,you guessed it...Elley. I can honestly say I don't think she left us, I think we left her(oops) I thought she was following right behind me through the Komodo dragon exibit and I turned around right as we were exiting and she was gone. She had gone the other way, back through the entire exibit. So I weave my way back through all the people and I must have had the "I can't find my child look" because several people looked at me and said "the guy at the entrance has her!" Sure enough, she was with the aquarium worker and a lady was kneeling down beside her asking, I'm sure, about where her mother was. Honestly, I wasn't as panicked as I was when we were all lost driving in Chicago.

Overall, it was a great day. It wouldn't be a true Atchison trip if we didn't have a little excitement. I was so tired on the way home, mainly from constantly saying to myself "1 2 3 Do I have everybody? Is everybody with me? 1 2 3, ok we have everyone." Doing that over and over is kind of draining in a crowd of people. Well, the kids suddenly get there second wind in the car on the way home and they were being pretty loud and silly. You know, they really get it honestly being children of two extroverts, two crazy parents. Finally, Alaina suggests we play the quiet game and I say "that's a GREAT idea!!!!" Within 5 minutes they were all asleep. Ahhhhhhhh! Worked like a charm. Oh, it was a quiet, peaceful car ride the rest of the way home. I'm so thankful for little gifts like this. And, I'm thankful that God always takes care of me when I get myself into these messes.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Little updates

It has been a crazy week. I took Mary Helen to the Dr. on Thursday(she was the last one to get sick) because she had 101.3 fever and since Billy was diagnosed with...well, let me just spell it the way Billy would- Bron-kite-us....yes, he spells words exactly how they sound. I know that's a bad run-on sentence....anyway, with everyone else sick I just wanted the Dr. to take a look at her since she's still so small. She tested positive for the flu and they sent me to the hospital for a chest x-ray. Sweet thing, she didn't even cry through the x- ray...she just sat strapped to the little chair while I held her arms above her head, just looking at me all wide-eyed. The xray showed she had the beginning stages of pneumonia :( Thankfully, we caught it so early and she was able to start the antibiotic before it got any worse. She is already doing better.

Billy, however is still not over his.... he went back in on Friday and the Dr. said he probably has pneumonia too and will need to start a different antibiotic. Sooooo, lots of sick people around here.

Billy kept Mary H. with him today for the open house and the rest of the crew and I went to the Children's museum in Naperville. Oh, SUCH a better outing today than my last museum visit!!! They all listened and obeyed and we had a great day. Nobody ran away from me and they just had a ball playing. We did have one couple come to the open house and they loved it. They told Billy they wanted to meet with their bank to see if they can afford it. So, we'll see. I've learned not to get my hopes up because several people have told us this. God had the right family.

I think we're going to head to the aquarium tomorrow after church while Billy does the open house. I want to take advantage of all the fun Chicago things since we'll be leaving soon!

Take care, friends,
Hope

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Random Things







ok, so it started with Holden being sick, then Billy and me kind of at the same time, then Elley, now today Alaina has a fever too! This morning Billy said I was being short with him and that maybe I needed some time by myself to read my bible and listen to the holy spirit. :) He's right, I always need that time, but he was really just trying to "push my buttons." Just like the time I was really upset about something(can't even remember what) and he wanted me to take 10 deep breaths with him. That made me want to spit nails!!! He wouldn't leave me alone but just kept insisting we take 10 deep breaths together. Now that's one of our jokes when HE is upset. I tell him we're going to sit down and take 10 deep breaths. That's all, just 10!


Shifting gears now, I really thought a couple was going to make an offer on our house this weekend. But, they ended up making an offer on a town home. :( Their realtor said they didn't know if they wanted to deal with a yard. So, back to our open house this weekend. Please pray that it will sell!!!

We have entered the world of polly pockets. Right now, I am listening to Billy play polly's with El and Alaina. It's so funny/cute hearing them pretend. We're surrounded with princesses, babies, dress up, along with Holden's star wars figures, dinosaurs, legos and superheros. It's too fun, though, and I wouldn't trade it.

What else.....that's all I can think of at the moment. Oh yeh , did I mention that I love my sweet Mary Helen? She's the best little baby. I think I'll post a few pics of her. I don't like posting anything without at least one picture!!


Thanks, friends, for all your great comments...I love reading them!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Alaina Update


Laina Lew, Lucy, Lew....these are all my names for her. She had a great week at Karen's!! (read a few posts down if you don't know what I'm talking about) Yeah! Karen said she was welcome any time! So, I guess by the time I left the REPEATED conversations we had finally "sunk in" at least a little bit. She can be the sweetest thing one minute and the next pretty strong- willed. Does that word have a dash?? Anyway, I'm very thankful for a good week.


When she called me from Karen's, the first thing she said was "Mama, I didn't hit!!"
*****This is Holden after Billy let HIM shave his own head!! Can we say ANGRY!! Can we say NEVER AGAIN!!! Yes, I know this has nothing to do with Alaina but I do like the pic of HER.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Move











Here's the scoop on our move. Billy is taking a new job and his territory is North Alabama. HIs office will be at home, so we can live anywhere in North Alabama. We'll do the same thing we did when we moved here...figure out where we want to go to church and based on that where we will live. We've had the house on the market for about 1 month. Every Saturday and Sunday we've had open houses and a steady stream of people coming through but no offers. Hopefully, we can move towards the beginning of the summer.








Oh, we're going to miss the snow and our sledding hill.( not to mention our sweet friends and one of the best churches we've ever been a part of!)








Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hard but good


We (the girls and I) went to Indiana this weekend to see my sister and brother in law and our nieces. Karen(sister in law) has three girls. Bethany is 6 and the twins Caroline and Rachel are 4. We were taking Alaina so she could stay the week with them. Overall, it was a great weekend...beautiful weather to go to the park and be outside. We watched the girls have a "ball" in the livingroom dressed in their princess dresses and dancing around together. We were able to go the the Indianapolis Children's Museum 2 different days!! If you ever get a chance to go to this museum don't pass it up....it's the best I've ever been to. So anyway, about the hard part. The girls were playing well together but we were having a few issues the first few days.....Alaina getting frustrated while playing and hitting or speaking in an unkind way to the others. Of course, the hitting usually resulted in someone hitting back. Alaina never had one conflict with Bethany and she was saying she didn't want to play with Caroline and Rachel. I know all of these behaviors(and my own!) reveal what's in her heart...sin! "Out of the overflow of the HEART the mouth speaks." I felt like we weren't getting anywhere as I talked through it with her. The day we were leaving, we decided to go back to the children's museum on our way home. And, so begins the events that led to my breakdown!! :) Oh, I forgot...before we ever got to the museum we ate at Chick-filet and Alaina hit one of the girls in the play area so I made her sit out the rest of the time. She cried and cried but we kept her sitting on the bench in the play area so it wouldn't be so annoying for everyone eating lunch. ok, so we get to the childrens museum and Alaina was being unkind to Caroline and Rachel("I don't want to play with them")....this breaks my heart because I know how hurtful it can be. I've seen other kids do it to Alaina and how it affected her. Then, after we talk through that, she runs onto the carosel without waiting on us so I make her sit out (again) while everyone else rides. Again, she cried and cried but there were so many kids there it didn't seem so loud. At this point, I'm really wondering if we should leave her for at Karen's for the week. I leave Karen with her girls and Elley so that I can go change Mary Helen's poop that was coming out her diaper(Alaina goes with me.) So before I change Mary H. , I call Billy to see what he thinks about me leaving Alaina at Karen's. His points were good. He said if Karen was up for the challenge that we should leave her so that some of these issues could be worked on. (being kind to the twins, learning to use kind words when she's frustrated, having an extended time to obey other adults, etc. ) Not that we can "fix" her but we can TRAIN her and God has to change her heart. I can never do that no matter how much discipline and correction I give her. And thank you God for that because if takes off a lot of pressure!! So as I hang up with Billy and am finishing up Mary Helen's diaper I hear Elley crying outside the bathroom. In walks Karen holding Elley whose kicking and crying. She had run away from Karen..."the entire length of the museum." I go out of the bathroom and tell Elley she has to sit in the stroller and be buckled in because she ran away. This makes her cry even more , along with Alaina who is crying again because she had to get out of the stroller so that Elley could sit!!!!!! I look at both of them and say "we are leaving if you are going to continue to cry and if you can't obey....I'm not going to do this." And as quick and you can snap your fingers I was sobbing. Sweet Karen comes over to me and says "it's ok, we've all been there...just laugh about it!!" She takes all the girls with her while I cry in the bathroom stall. I even had a lady ask we if I was ok through the door :) I have my good cry all the while saying to myself "I'M JUST DONE!!!!!!!!!" But, the thing is, we are never "done" with our children just as God is never done with us. But, that's where my heart was. After all this I find Karen and she was such an encouragement. She reminded me of how Billy was as a child an said that Alaina reminded her of him. "With the right direction, just look at what she will become...just look at Billy." She said "I want you to leave her...I'm up for the challenge and I love her!" I so felt like she spoke such words of GRACE to me and not even a hint of judgement. You know what that's like, when you feel like others have no grace for your kids...it's a horrible feeling. The rest of the day went surprisingly well....the kids did great and God had used Karen to encourage me. Me, Elley and Mary H. left and I prayed a lot on the way home. I prayed for strength and wisdom for Karen and Jeff and for Alaina's heart... that she would "get it." How often do I not "get it." Her sin always points me to my own and it's a good reminder that I need God's grace as much as she does!! We'll see how the week goes...I'll keep you posted. I'm reminded of a song we sing at church....



Your amazing grace is perfectly free

Day by day your grace empowering me

to please you in all things

to walk in your ways

completely forgiven

AND IT'S ALL BY YOUR GRACE



Jesus, Thank you!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Paw and B!!











Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I promise, we do "normal" things too....it's not all deer cleaning






















We go to Disney, take Christmas pictures, play dress up, have dates with Daddy and eat cake

A Day In the Life...

Many of you heard me tell about the afternoon I came home and found a deer that Billy shot hanging from our swing set. Well, this is the picture that you've all been waiting for! The kids were as exctied as Billy. I didn't want them to see it at first, but what was I thinking? They helped clean it. I know our nieghbors think we're freaks!!
Here's an example to all of you that Billy hasn't changed much over the years(as far as his sense of humor.) This is a sample of an invitation that he made for our rehearsal dinner. He even printed it on pretty paper and told me this was what we were sending to people.



Mr. and Mrs. Dick Atchison
ask that ya'll come to our child's rehersel diner cause he is
marrying a girl named Hope Thompson

August 20, 1999

6:00pm rehearsal at First Baptist Church of Butler, Alabama
8:00 Rehearsal dinner at Ezel's Fish Camp
It's going to be really fun. Please come and have fun with us.
Wouldn't you like to be there. Lots and lots of fun!!!

***notice it's Dick and not Richard(which, as many of you know, according to Billy, Richard is not his real name bacause that's not what he "goes by" Remember the whole Jimmy Dick scenerio :)

Anyway, I thought this might make you smile.
Yeah...I have a blog! I'm so excited to use this as a way to keep up with all "our people" in Chicago once we move. Also, I can maybe stop stalking all of my friend's blogs and work on my own! :) I'm pretty blogger illiterate so Billy will need to help me with pictures and all that fun stuff. Oh, he wanted to use our redneck Christmas card picture to be on the title for this blog. I've suffered through enough ridicule with that one. I refuse to use it on the world wide web!! He had as the title "Rednecks gone Yankee." Don't worry, I'll try to be the one to keep the blog updated, otherwise there's no telling what you might find.

Well, the picture got on here anyway thanks to Billy......Oh well!