Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life with Lana today (4 years, 11 months)


Profile of a 4 year, 11 month old Lana
  • Interests: coloring, collections of things, learning to read, knowing what kindergarten will be like
  • Enjoys: swimming, having "snack lunches," 
  • Turn Offs: shirts with collars - she calls them "boy clothes"
  • Vices: rolling her eyes and sighing when she gets an answer she doesn't like
  • Strengths: thinks of others, her brother in particular.  The other day she wandered off looking for a stick to play with.  She returned with 2, because she knew Tucker would want one, too.
Favorites of my almost-five-year-old:
  • Foods: strawberries, watermelon, peanut butter on crackers
  • Shows: Word Girl
  • Books: anything she can read herself!
  • Toys: what toys?  Ours have been packed up for nearly a month.  She's getting creative with sticks. Before it was packed away, she enjoyed her magnetic doll house quite a lot.
  • Activities: coloring together, lessons of any kind (swim, gymnastics, etc.)
How 4 year old Lana is like her... 
mommy - loves to make lists
daddy - doesn't mind clutter





Treasuring details of my four year old:


Suddenly, she is all arms and legs.  I can't believe how tall she is!
She's lost her baby look altogether - I can envision the young woman she'll become.

She likes to keep "treasures" hidden - she has little stashes all over the place.  She even keeps things inside her pillowcase!  A rose petal from my brother's wedding, a leaf a friend from school gave her, a sticker she got at the doctor...just little gobs of things everywhere.  It makes me crazy, but I don't say anything about it because it's just her.

She has this sprinkle of freckles right across the bridge of her nose.
I look at them sometimes and lose my breath.  She's so beautiful to me.

She is usually reserved, quite the introvert.
But sometimes she lets loose, and there is nothing as magical as her belly laugh!
She has such a great sense of humor.
Right now, all it takes to dissolve her into laughter is to say
"Hand over the stuffy."

She still carefully chooses a "mommy outfit" each day.
It always consists of a dress, a necklace, and sometimes a hair accessory.

She's beginning to come into her own socially:
she'll now take the initiative to talk to other children sometimes,
and she likes to "make new friends" at parks and playgrounds.
This is such a big deal, because just a year or two ago she wouldn't have dared.
Yet another reason preschool was essential for my girl.

She's reading - really and truly.
She can sit down with an unfamiliar book,
and read it herself.  
Sometimes I'll ask her to read a book to me, 
and I'm amazed at what she can actually decode!
My rough guess is that she's reading on a 1.5 level.
She is competent at sounding out words,
and very strong with sight words.
She comprehends most of what she reads,
and likes to reread for understanding.
She has her nose in a book so much these days,
and often when we call her to come to dinner or tell her that naptime is over, she'll show up in the living room or at the dining room table with her nose in a book.
It reminds me so much of me.
She does not like to be interrupted when she's reading.

She has these great little bursts of creativity.
This particular day, she wanted to set up a special space outside.
She worked in 100* heat in the middle of the day to create this area,
complete with framed pictures and books.

She is my deep thinker.
A few days ago, we were riding down the road, and she was being very quiet.
When I asked her what she was thinking about,
she said,
"I've never been run over by a car, mom.  You know how you can tell?  I'm not dead."
She comes out with these random thoughts all the time.

Lana is my little mama.
She delights in her brother,
and will spend long stretches of time playing with him.
She interprets for him, and is good about considering what he might need or want.
As a matter of fact, we've really had to talk to her about not giving into him so much - 
she was making him rotten!

She's still my curly-headed girl, especially when it gets hot or humid.
She got a good trim a few weeks ago, and there were just ringlets all around her face.

The next time I write a "Life with Lana" she will be 5 years old.
Even typing that brings tears to my eyes....
how can this all be going by so fast?!
Allana Marie Davis, my whole world begins and ends with you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Going Away Party

photography by Kelly Hunter

Tonight lots of our friends gathered at Joyner Park, our local favorite.
They brought food.
They brought their kids.
They brought laughter and tears and
a sense of closure that we all needed, so much.

It was a sweet time
of children running wild in the grass
and laughing with friends until our sides hurt
and eating some of the most delicious foods
that will always remind me of our NC friends
humongous blackberries
and Mary Kathryn Lassetter cupcakes
and honeybun cake
and hummus whose preparer I immediately identified
and chocolate gooey cookies.

It was a horrid time
of wanting to hide in my car
instead of saying goodbye to our nearest and dearest.
People who have 
helped raise our children
and worked beside us
and played beside us
and have been the very fabric of our life.

Fabric.  
That's the right word.
It's woven together tightly.
And it rips when you pull it apart.
And that hurts.
But sometimes....
quite often, probably....
those frayed edges are knit together again.
Into something beautiful.

Thank you, friends.
For coming to Joyner tonight.
There's something to be said for simply being there.
Thanks for being a part of years and years of our life,
and thanks for letting us say goodbye to you in such a sweet way. 

More pictures to come.

Wordless Wednesday


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Brandi.


How much do I love this picture of my sweet friend Brandi and I?

Brandi and I met through mutual friends at church.
To know Brandi is to love her.
And oh how I love her!
Even though there are  sushi lunches and church foyer talks and gatherings with friends,
there's just never enough time with this sister.

There's so much that I adore about her,
that I admire about her,
but
right now, let me tell you how her obedience to the Lord is taking my breath away.

Brandi has a great big-girl job here in Wake Forest. 
She has lots of friends here.
She has a church she loves here.
She's very comfortable.
And yet, this is what she believes:
"God's not after my comfort, He's after my holiness."

Brandi loves the Lord so much
that she has given up the lease on her gorgeous apartment
and put in her notice at work
and has moved into a basement apartment of friends
until she can move to Washington, D.C.
to join Restoration Church and the work they're doing there.

Brandi is planting her life smack-dab in the middle of the nations.
She's entering the mission field.
She's doing this as a single woman,
relying solely on the Lord to provide an apartment, a job, and funds to live on.
In Washington, D.C. 

Watching her obey the Lord,
watching her love Him
and listen to Him
and trust Him absolutely
sharpens me.

Brandi will have a blog soon,
and I'll share it so you can follow the work she's joining.

In the meantime, will you pray for her?
Pray for provision for housing.
Pray for the hearts of the people she'll meet in D.C. to be softened toward her.
Pray for her to find favor with those she comes into contact with.
Pray for her final days here in Wake Forest to be sweet and encouraging.

And pray for us...
the ones who will miss her so.

If you're interested in giving  to support the work that Brandi will be doing in D.C., please feel free to email me at RachaelMDavis@earthlink.net and I'll get you her contact info.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Staying busy.

Every morning this week,
one of my wonderful friends have kept the kids for us in the morning.
This has allowed Dan & I to have several hours in a row to pack,
and we have gotten so much done!
The entire house is packed except for the kitchen!

And in the afternoons,
my sweet little ones have played so well together:


I wasn't sure how they would do this week and next with all of their books and toys packed away, but they have really impressed me!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A farewell gift.

Yesterday, 
my friend Courtney presented me with a gift from my LLLC family.


To have a keepsake from my time at Little Lambs was so amazing....
but to have it come in THIS box?!?  Over the top.

Can you even believe it?!
I've wanted this necklace for a while now,
and was even saving up my $$ to buy it.
To have it come from such dear and treasured friends in my life - 
well, it makes it so much more special.

I'll think of my Little Lambs family every time I wear it.
What a wonderful keepsake.
What a wonderful season of my life.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day 2011!

I wasn't sure that I was every going to be able to top last year's Father's Day gift.
And while I might not have topped it this year, I came close.

When we were away this past weekend in Ridgecrest, 
we went to this great little town called Black Mountain.

We wandered in an old train depot, and found a fabulous Father's Day gift for Dan's dad.  The clerk at that store pointed us to another store just across the way:

And just look what we found!
OK, you may not be that impressed with it, 
but 
Dan was:
Check out that smile on my man's face!

It's an old farming ox yoke.
It's made from cherry wood 
and it has the original wooden locking pins

and it is a wonderful, tangible reminder to Dan of Matthew 11:28-29.
He loves all that this passage teaches about discipleship,
and about being yoked to Christ.

And this, my friends, made for a most excellent Father's Day gift.


We had lots of fun celebrating him on the actual day, too.
The kids & I went to the store and they helped me pick out his favorite goodies.
Tucker insisted on Froot Loops.
Lana chose gum and chapstick.  
They know their daddy well!

We made a list of things that we love about Daddy.
click on the picture to make the messages larger.

Lana wrote on his card herself, and only asked me how to spell "daughter."
I love that she thinks of herself as "Dan's daughter."

My very favorite thing that we did was Lana's Father's Day interview.
You can click on it to enlarge it.  
I love how she describes his job!

Here's what Tucker had to say about today, all day long: Happy Father's Day!

We went and picked up hot doughnuts for breakfast - Daddy's favorite!

Lana loves celebrating others.
She made Dan close his eyes and let her lead him into the room.

Tucker was very pleased with our breakfast choice.

 After breakfast, we went to church.
After church, the kids took naps and Dan went to work.
I couldn't stand the thought of him being at work without us on Father's Day - 
I had to at least cook for him!

So I whipped up his favorite meal, and we delivered!


Fun times!

Dan Davis,
Today we honor you.
You are a wonderful father.
Every day, you point us toward Christ.
You shepherd us well.
With great humility and love.
You act justly,
and love mercy,
and walk humbly with your God.
Every day, you show our children what God is like.
That He provides for us,
that He watches over us,
that He sacrifices for us,
that He leads us,
that He keeps his promises,
that His love covers a multitude of sins,
that He rejoices over us,
that He can be trusted.
They love God because they love you.

I am so thankful that you're my "babies' daddy."

Friday, June 17, 2011

1584 Hunter's Creek Circle

We are under contract!

God's provision for us is more than we could have asked for or imagined.

Just this past Saturday, Dan woke up early and checked for new listings, like he has done every single morning for weeks now.
And somehow he found a non-MLS listing for a Fannie Mae foreclosure.
We scrambled around all day Saturday and most of Sunday getting our bid ready.
The bank was accepting bids Monday morning at open.

Thanks to Dan's mom being willing to go look at the house on Sunday morning,
and a new realtor who is right on top of things,
we had our bid on their desk at 8:00 a.m. Monday morning.

After going back and forth a few times, 
we accepted their counter offer on Tuesday afternoon.

Because it's through Fannie Mae, 
the offer had to be approved through their headquarters.

We got word on Thursday that the offer had been approved,
and a final contract was being sent to us for signatures.

We got that faxed over this morning,
and assuming the home inspection next week goes well,
we have a closing date set for the end of July.

We can't even believe it.
This house has every single thing we want, and more.
This is a house that's not only an investment,
but it's somewhere we can have lots of people in.
Somewhere we can open our arms to our friends and family.
Somewhere that can be used for the glory of God.

Please note before looking at these pictures:
we are not paying what this house is worth.  We got a steal of a deal.  The end.













However.
Like we said....
closing isn't until the end of July.

And Dan can't wait that long to start work.
Our hearts can't wait that long to be with Heritage Baptist Church.

So we've arranged temporary housing:

No, I'm not joking!

A very generous church member is letting us live in this cadillac of a camper, rent free.
We're going to park it right beside the youth building.
Talk about an easy commute for Dan!

More to come later on this adventure.....