September 11, 2001 started out as any other day in the Walton house, but by the day's end everything had changed. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. We were living in Marion, Arkansas. Faith, you were eighteen months old. You and I were home alone that day because Daddy was in Ruston, LA for work. We got up and got dressed. I dropped you off at your daycare, West Memphis Christian School, and I went to work at Artcraft Converters, Inc in Memphis, Tennessee. I was early for once, but there was a stalled truck on the Memphis/Arkansas Bridge so I ended up late again.
I was about to turn off of Crump Avenue onto South Fourth Street when I heard on the radio (KIX 106) that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. I remember thinking "that doesn't sound good." I got to work and turned on my radio there. Details were not clear at the time but soon another plane crashes into the second World Trade Center Tower. I knew then that this was an acto of terrorism. Soon everybody at work had heard the news. The phones were quiet as no one was calling. We turned up radios and listened. Someone found a 5-inch black and white television and we turned it on. We all stood around and watch the horror unfold. Another plane had crashed into the Pentagon. Another plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania (why a field? We found out later that there were heroes aboard that kept the hijackers from reaching their final destination)
As we sat there watching the television, a tower collapses, only two hours after the plane had crashed into it. There were still people inside. Minutes later the second tower collapses. So many lives were lost.
Your grandmother called me at work wanting to make sure we were ok. I called your Daddy but it took so long to get through to him. I finally got to hear his voice and know he was ok. I left work that evening and when I picked you up from daycare. I held you close.
On September 11, 2001, terrorist attacked America. They thought they could tear America apart but they did the opposite. The very next day, the red, white and blue of the American flag was flying at half mast but proudly outside of businesses, schools, homes and on cars. The colors were proudly worn by every American. The terrorists brought Americans closer then they ever were.
For the one or two readers who might be reading my blog, you might have noticed that I haven't been doing a lot of blogging over the past few months. In fact, the last real thing I blogged about was our trip to Chicago and the first days of school for the kids and that is it.
So what has been going on? Nothing very exciting unfortunately. In October, we had a family vacation in Heber Springs, AR. Then it was Halloween. John Derrick was Batman again and Faith was a Spider Queen. November was the month that John Derrick turned 6 years old. December was a very hectic month that went by in a blur. We had to take John Derrick to the emergency room one night when he has a very swollen lymph node on his neck. It turned out to be strep. He missed two days of school. We had a white Christmas for the first time in 19 years. It was very beautiful. John Derrick got a Nintendo DS from Santa and Faith got a keyboard. January was a snow filled month. There was a snow every week during the month. February just finished. There was snow and stomach bug and Kevin lost his job and got to spend the WHOLE month at home. Faith has a Literacy Night at school and she dressed up as a not-so-curvy Dolly Parton. Now it is the beginning of March. Faith will turn eleven in a week and it will be Spring Break. Hopefully Kevin will begin a new job soon.
That is the last six months in a nutshell. Maybe I will blog a little more now.
John Derrick has started Kindergarten!!!! He is at Coles Ferry Elementary and his teacher is Mrs. Rachel Denton. I am so happy to have Mrs. Rachel as his teacher. Mrs. Rachel graduated from Friendship Christian School where I went. She was in my younger brother's class. Her mother worships at the Maple Hill Church of Christ with us. This is the first year that I have known one of my children's teachers.
John Derrick is doing great in school. He was not too happy to start school. On the first phase in day that he had, he cried. He just boo-hooed and I had to leave him there crying. As a mother's day out teacher, I have often told my parents that their child will be fine if they cry as mom is leaving. Now I realize that maybe the child will be fine but the parents have the roughest time. But John Derrick was fine on that first day. He is still fine and I am seeing that he is really learning a lot of things. He is making new friends and is telling me everything that he is learning. It should be a good year for him.
I am proud to say that my daughter, Faith is also my sister in Christ. Faith gave her life to God by being baptized on Sunday, August 1, 2010. Faith has always had a tender heart and she has wanted to be baptized for a while now. When it was brought up, we (Kevin and I) talked to her seriously to make sure that she understood what it meant to become a Christian. She was very sincere and we knew that she was ready to take that step. So during the Sunday night worship, she went forward, confessed that Jesus is the Son of God and her granddaddy baptized her. It was such a special moment that she was able to share with all of her friends and family.
The day was a good day. That morning, her cousins, Emilynne and Nathaniel, also gave their lives to the Lord and were baptized. Faith and I went to the Antioch church of Christ to witness their special time. Granddaddy also baptized Nathaniel and my brother Marty, their dad, baptized Emilynne.
This morning was Faith's first day of 5th grade. She started a new school. She is now going to Castle Heights Upper Elementary. She has to wear a uniform now and she will be changing classes during the day. Her best friend, Charrienne is in her class this year. She was very excited for this morning to come. I hope she is still happy when I pick her up in a few minutes.
This is John Derrick this morning, sound asleep. He starts kindergarten this year. His first day is this Thursday.
We had our vacation a couple of weeks ago. We went to Chicago. This is the fartherest north I have ever been. Notherners have a funny accent.
We got to do a lot of things. We went to Navy Pier and rode the giant Ferris wheel. Both of the kids were a little nervous going up that high but we gave them no choice. They had fun and the view was awesome.
We tried a Chicago style hot dog. They are good. It is beef hot dog with relish, onions, peppers, tomatoes and dill pickle spear. The kids didn't want to try the hot dog so they ate McDonalds.
We also went to the Willis Tower (aka the Sears Tower) We went to the 103rd flood and saw the city below us. They have clear balconies that you can walk out on and see below.
I thought this was really neat the see. This is Millennium Park and everyone calls it "The Bean"
This is the kids reflection as they were laying on the ground inside the bean.
We also went to the Legoland Discovery center. This is every Lego lovers dream Faith and John Derrick are standing by Darth Vador and R2D2. They were made out of Legos. They also a model of Chicago made out of Legos.
One night we went and had Chicago Style deep dish pizza. I forgot the get a picture of the pizza but it was good. After we ate, we went to Lake Michigan. If the air had more of salty smell we would have never known that it was a lake instead of the beach.
We went to the Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedd aquarium one day also. The Museum of Science and Industry was huge and even if we were able to spend the whole day there, we would not have seen everything there. There were planes, cars, trains and even a full size German Uboat. Kevin found his favorite thing and it was a full scale model of Chicago with trains.
No trip to Chicago would be complete without seeing the Chicago Cubs play at Wrigley Field
The Cubs played the Pittsburg Pirates. Kevin is a huge Cubs fan and Faith went along with Kevin and she is a Cubs fan. John Derrick use to be a Cubs fan but since his T-ball team was the Pirates, he decided to cheer for the Pirates. The whole way to Wrigley Field, he kept asking if he was going to sit on the Pirates side. We really didn't know what to tell him. When we found our seats, guess what? There were two Pirates fans sitting right next to him. Oh by the way, the Pirates beat the Cubs 2 -- 0. John Derrick was happy.
We also went down Michigan Ave. We shopped at the Disney store and went into the American Girl store. Faith and I looked through the whole store and all we bought was some purple glasses for her American Girl doll Emily.
John Derrick can be the little comedian at times. We walked to Millennium Park. When we got there we stopped a minute to rest. John Derrick perched up on the concrete banister and he became a statue of a "gargoyle" He got several people to stop and look at him and they went away laughing at him.
Chicago was a lot of fun. We didn't get to see everything that we wanted to see so we will have to save that for another time.
We finally ventured in to the world of sports in our house. We haven't done sports at our house yet. We really don't have an excuse except that it didn't seem all that important (I know kids should play sports so they can learn how to be a team player and be healthy yadda, yadda, yadda).
So this year, Kevin decided that John Derrick needed to play t-ball. So we signed him up and it has been whole lot of fun. John Derrick is playing for the Pirates. He has been excited ever since he found out what team he plays for. Above is him saying, "Pirates! Arrrrrg!" with his finger crooked to look like a pirate hook and his eye closed for a pirates eye patch.
The funny thing about John Derrick and T-ball is that he is a VERY laid-backed little boy. He is ready to go to every practice and every game but when it time to hit the ball he gets up there and hardly swings. He just manages to get the ball off the T and just past where it is not a foul ball and then he runs hard halfway to the base and then he finds it more exciting to kick up the dust so he starts to shuffle his feet. When he is in the outfield, he at least doesn't spend the whole time playing in the dust but he is definitely not paying attention. The most exciting position that he plays is third base.
You know what? I don't care. He is having fun and I am having fun watching him. We try to get him excited and it doesn't do any good but he is one of the younger players on the team and next year we will try again and I bet he will do even better.