The Potty Chronicles

Day 2 of potty training survived!!! I was feeling discouraged yesterday, although E ended the day with 2 in a row.

Today, however, E rocked!! She barely went this morning so I must not have given her too much to drink. I was a little worried that she would pee on me as I carried her to/fro VBS but thankfully that did not happen!! But the turning point came when she started to wet her panties, stopped and continued in the potty!!

She may develop a slight M&M addiction now but this girl is doing AWESOME!! It did get a little crazy towards the end of the night when she went 5 times within less than a half an hour. I’m assuming having her brothers doing the potty dance with her and giving her M&Ms might have had something to do with it…:) Hey, whatever works!

Here’s a little video of her potty dance!

Here are a few pics from this weekend that I stole from my Gma! I hope to have more as soon as people email me their pics! I know you may be tired of them but I’m not!! 😉

My handsome boys and cute little miss!!

I just loved this picture!! My Gma had us all line up on the bench and I think it turned out so cute!!

If you have a moment, please say a prayer for my mama tomorrow, who is having a knee replacement. She is understandably nervous but the hardest part is that my stepdad has also severely injured his knee and is on crutches so they are a mess! They would be so thankful for your prayers, as would I!


 When Ben defended 6 weeks ago, he texted a friend to tell him and wrote accidentally, “I’m a docotor!” He immediately caught his mistake but it made us laugh so much and has become our silly joke with each other. Ah, Docotor…

Our family came in town yesterday afternoon and our home went from quiet to filled with love and laughter within minutes!! We had dinner together and strawberry shortcake and then all the tired peeps (everyone over the age of 35!) went back to their hotel for some shut-eye and we settled in for a restless and nervous sleep!

We were up and out of the house by 7:30 morning! We got all gussied up and headed down to campus with Ben’s mom. Ben had to line up at 8:15 so we had him put on his gown, posed for a quick picture and left him with hugs and a prayer!

They were handing out the programs (a half an inch thick book!) in bags with fans and ponchos, as the forecast was pretty dim. We found some seats under a tree where we were mostly protected and settled down to wait. At 9:15, just as a light rain began to fall, the bagpipes sounded and everyone stood to watch the procession file in!

It was a very formal convocation, with flags, singers, the bag pipes and about 20,000 people, faculty and graduates! Wow. It was a long 2 hours but the kiddos (who begged to come to the whole thing!) were SO good and well-behaved. Eliana ate a snack, hung out in her stroller taking her shoes off and playing with Baby Anna and the boys looked at the program, put on their ponchos and watched everything with interest. They were a bit bored when there was an hour left (as were B’s mom and I) but it was exciting when the president of the university started conferring degrees on the different schools. That was my first round of tears/lump in my throat!

We waited on the corner of a street for the rest of our family to arrive and to meet Ben, looking quite regal in his doctoral regalia! Our family had a bit of trouble with the one-way and blocked off streets but finally made it in time for the luncheon. I had all of the invalids get out of the car (which was everyone!) and I took the van and parked it in a reserved parking spot. Thanks to my grandpa’s handicapped parking permit, we were able to get help reserving a spot, which helped SO much. I parked and walked back to find everyone having a great time under the tent, eating lunch!

My beautiful Grandma and Mom!

The happy candidate and daughter!

The very proud Mama and her son!!

After a bit, Ben had to leave with all of the other graduates (in his area of study) for the second ceremony. All of the schools had individual ceremonies throughout the afternoon to give diplomas. We took lots of pictures while waiting for the doors to open. Here’s Mugga with a few of her grandbabies:)

We made it through the crush of people and sat down to await THE big moment! The bag pipers came down the aisle with the Division of Humanities banner and all the graduates receiving Masters and Doctorates followed.

The faculty helping to hood the doctoral students sat on stage. Each professor wears the robes of his/her school that they graduated from.

They went through the Master’s graduates very quickly (thankfully!) and then the doctoral students lined up. Ben is the tall one:) I kept trying to point out to Eliana where Daddy was and she didn’t see him at first until he started waving. Her face lit up and she yelled, “There’s Daddy!!!” and started waving frantically! She kept saying really loudly, “Do you see Daddy?!” which cause several people near us to turn around and smile:)

I started blinking back tears as I watch Ben get closer and closer and lost it when it was his turn. My sister took pictures for me while I tried to take a video but my hands started shaking so bad that the video is awful! It must’ve just been all of the emotion of eight years coming out:)

Here he is being hooded by his academic advisor. They said, “Benjamin David Thomas. Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Dissertation titled, ‘Hezekiah and the Compositional History of the Book of Kings’, committee comprised of x,y,z, being hooded by Dennis Pardee.”

The blue velvet of his hood stands for Doctorate of Philosophy. Different fields get different colors. We rented his gown and hat since to buy it is costs….are you ready? $800!! We didn’t know he got to keep the hood until he went to return the gown. We were really glad he got to keep that!

He looks so regal!! We did a lot of clapping and cheering and then I burst into tears:) Samuel kept looking at me and then much later he said to me, “I just don’t get how people cry happy tears! I thought you only cried when you were sad!”

We made our way through the throngs and found our newly minted Doctor waiting with lots of hugs. Enter more tears on my part and lots of smiles!! We posed for lots of pics. I’m not sure that any of us were looking in the same direction since 3 people were taking pictures at the same time!

Ah, what an amazing day!!! So honored and blessed that so many people supported us with prayers and love along this whole way, including the amazing family that came to celebrate with us this weekend!

It’s official! No more hoops to jump through! Ever again!

Thank you, God, is all I have to say for this day! As Ben’s mom texted me this morning, “This is the day which the Lord hath made. Rejoice and be glad in it!”

Spring is in the air!

 I went out with Eliana to some stores today, searching for a few things the kiddos need for the summer and I just loved seeing all the bright, happy, spring colors all around! It’s so refreshing to see stores filled with pinks, yellows, blues, bright greens. Just like the outdoors:)

I love dressing my little angel girl in cute spring dresses! Her hair is getting SO long! It doesn’t look the greatest in this picture but I was trying to get a pic of the curls. She always has curls and ringlets in the back of her hair, especially after she wakes up from a nap!

She was staying safe inside this day while the boys and some neighbors were having a water gun fight:)

I have a good friend who sends me all of her little girl clothes and I send her all of my boy clothes, since the ages of our kiddos works out just right! Eliana is loving picking out “new” clothes to wear! She usually fights me in the morning about getting dressed and wants to stay in her jammies but I can entice her by pointing out clothes with butterflies or strawberries on them:)

Getting so big!

I found a huge thing of sidewalk chalk at Aldi last week, which is disappearing rapidly! The kiddos have decorated all the sidewalks and porches nearby with endless tic tac toe games and drawings. Today Zakkai wrote in big letters on the sidewalk, “God is inportint.” (important.) He’s so cute!

Eliana is very territorial about the pink chalk! Every time you ask her what her favorite color is, she says pink! She loves to have us write her name in chalk. As soon as she sees an “E” anywhere, she said, “E L I A N, Ewlyiana!”

Samuel has been doing his alphabet countdown at school and today was “Interesting Fact” day. The kids all had to share an interesting fact about themselves. Samuel chose to share that he was born in Indiana and we moved here when he was a baby so his daddy could go to school and that his daddy has been in school his (Samuel’s) whole life and is about to graduate! (finally! ha)

We talk about that sometimes; the fact that our kids know nothing different. Heck, (pardon me) I know nothing different! Ben has been in school our entire married life. 10 years! He graduated with his Bachelor’s right when we got married and 4 months later, we moved to good ole Indy so he could get his (first) Master’s. Crazy.

It’s so exciting and even a little scary to be done with this. Our whole life has revolved around school. We live around the academic calendar so our “year’ begins in September. I suppose when B gets “the” job we will still be living off of that calendar but it will be different. We’re going to start a whole new phase of life. It’s exciting, hopeful, scary, new, adventurous, you name it!

This afternoon, I was researching some information about the graduation next month and I found a video of the diploma and hooding ceremony for the Humanities department from last year. I was totally teary and emotional and it wasn’t even his graduation! ha:) It will be such a great day and I guarantee that Ben’s mom and I will be handing each other tissues throughout the ceremonies!

We have a lot to look forward to and we are so very thankful.