JANUARY Cooking healthfully IS everyone's New Year resolution. Royce taught a community "How to Cook" healthy foods seminar. Josee just loves "amin'amals" as she calls them and plays the "pliano" while mommy practices the harp. The girls have been sleeping in their sleeping bags that Gramee Bailey gave them and migrating around the house, from under the stairs (called the Cave), to the living room floor, and even the hall. Their beds don't get used very often! Jillee learned to tie her own shoes. Judy and Royce teach Kindergarten Sabbath School about loving everyone as God loves us. Josianne wanted to know if we are supposed to love naughty people and Satan?
FEBRUARY found Judy diligently practicing for a performance of Mozart's flute and harp concerto for a benefit performance at Blue Ridge Community College. Royce was anxious about the fast tempo, if Judy's fingers could keep up, and Josianne said, "I know Shirley Tempo." Yes, it went well - Mozart would have given thumbs up. While she was talking on the phone, Jillionna and Josianne were trying to tell mommy something. Judy explained after she hung up that she can't listen to the phone conversation and to them at the same time. Josianne said, "Why not? You have two ears." Judy was playing the harp for a wedding shower and Jillee said, "You can't play the harp in the shower." Josee when asking to be excused from the table said, "May I be miscused?" At breakfast we discussed the coming freeze and registered a concern for the plants. During Josee's prayer she said, "...and dear Jesus, please help the 'frozen' not to hurt the plants."
MARCH took us to the American College of Cardiology Convention in New Orleans. Steve Merle and Merrie Hildebrand (Royce's potentially new partner) were there and we had a "cajun time." We then headed to Daytona Beach for a weekend with the Voice of Prophecy. Judy shared her harp music, while Grandma and Grandpa Wolter babysat. Upon returning we learned that Jillee had heard Grandpa snoring and Josee said she did too. Grandpa said maybe it was Grandma that was snoring and Jillee said, "No, Grandpa, the snore belonged to you." Jillionna told us that the black part of the eye is your "pimple." Josee said while driving home from the market, "I buyed the cookies." Judy responded, "Did you buy them or did I?" Josee cried, "No, I buyed them. I picked them out and you just paid for them."
APRIL Did you know that dolls are not dolls, they're babies and Jillee and Josee are their "mommies." Josee learned to tie her shoes just like big sister. While going over the Sabbath School lesson on Abraham and Lot, we asked who was Abraham's nephew? Jillee proudly responded, "Lincoln." Jillee figured out why Jethro, a boy dog in our neighborhood, kept lifting his leg. She said it was to "rest it." When Josee saw a convertible advertisement she said, "We could take out the screws on our car and take the top off then we could have a 'girdable.'" Josee calls hiccups "pickups" and interesting is "instrating."
MAY We spent a weekend at Nosoco Pines, the church summer camp, with Royce giving health lectures and the three girls basking in the beautiful surroundings. We then got "maternal" and added two new members to our family - Blackee and Clifford, who are supposed to be border collies, but are in fact mutts. The girls have left their dolls for dogs, however the doll clothes are still daily worn and now washed, stained, and torn due to their four-legged "babies." Our yard was once manicured, now it's massacred. They say having dogs is important for teaching discipline and responsibility - was that meant for parents or children? Judy undertook a new adventure. It was all Royce's idea and after much urging, Judy filmed her first harp video right here in North Carolina with a film crew from Portland, Oregon. The experience was better than ever imagined. The mothers at church were being recognized for Mother's Day with carnations, Jillionna said, "I get one too because I'm a mommy to all my babies." Yes, the girls are growing up too fast. Jillionna (5 yrs) told us that she can't wait until she's sixteen years old because then she can drive our car.
JUNE took us into swimming lessons. Jillionna courageously jumped off the high dive while Josianne lamented over the fact that she had a boy teacher instead of a girl. Jillionna, after persisting long enough, began piano lessons and is loving most every minute. Jillionna turned six and celebrated with a swimming party. While eating a cookie, I asked Josianne if it was her second or third, and she said, "This is my oneth." Jillee, when asked to compare sizes of a small cake, medium cake, and a large cake, said, "Good, gooder, and yummy gooder."
JULY brought Royce's and Judy's birthday and Josianne is upset because hers is last. Steve, Merle, and Merrie arrived to set down roots as Steve is joining Royce to help heal all the broken hearts in our community. Jillionna and Josianne are having a lot of fun with their new friend Merrie (8 yrs) showing her around town and playing together. Josee and Jillee enjoy writing in their diarys - and we're talking here about emergent writing in an unknown tongue. Josee couldn't find her diary, and asked, "Where's my diarrhea?" Each stage the girls go through is so precious we wish they never would grow up and of course there are those times we think they NEVER WILL grow up. But Jillionna told us that she loves us 40, 35, 165, 2, 45 times. We made her promise that she would love us the same in 10 years. So I guess everything is OK for now.
AUGUST flew us to Cindee's (Royce's sister) wedding in California. The celebration and family reunion was filled with warmth and good times. We like Neil Wallace and approve 100%. Yes, he has been initiated by the three Bailey brothers. It's amazing Neil lived to witness his own wedding. Cindee always wanted to change her name in school from the 'B's to the end of the alphabet. She even called herself by her make-believe Indian name "Waterfall" when growing up. After the wedding we again got "maternal" and added two guinea pigs to our family. Whiskers and Kellee are their names. They are long-haired and do you remember about those doll clothes? Well, having been sown and resown so often, they fit the guinea pigs fairly well. Josianne finally got to celebrate her birthday, though she still has difficulty understanding why hers is last. Jillionna, due to continuous ear infections, had tubes replaced and adnoids removed. Josianne was an excellent assistant with the presurgery routines and Jillionna was the bravest little patient yet. In the Kindergarten Sabbath School lesson, we studied about the Tabernacle Service in the Old Testament. Our church then started something new, the Lamb's offering - the children collect love gifts. After the pastor had explained how the Lamb's offering went for school tuition subsidy, Josianne asked, "Are they going to kill a lamb in the church?"
SEPTEMBER returned us to California for filming with "It Is Written." Grandpa Wolter drove the girls across the United States (had a great time) and Royce joined them via the airline. It went without a hitch, but we were sad to realize that this would be the last time to film at the Adventist Media Center in Thousand Oaks, California, for it has been sold. We then enjoyed Ojai with Gramee and Papa Bailey and then the girls were able to enjoy some time in San Diego with the Wolter grandparents. On the trip home Jillee lifted up a sleeping Grandpa Wolter's sunglasses and said, "Are you still under there?" Upon our return guinea pig Kellee died. We aren't sure what caused her death but together we sadly experienced our first family funeral service underneath the River Birch in the back yard. Josee wanted to know, since we didn't have teeth when we were born, if we had tongues. She tends to be a bit bossy at times and told Judy to get her a toothpick. Judy asked her if that was a request or a command, and she said, "I don't know what either of those mean."
OCTOBER was filled with harping (not on Royce, ha-ha) at Grove Park Inn - best Sunday brunch this side of the Mississippi, at the Biltmore House, with the symphony, and long-looked-forward-to with Jamie Jorge, violinist, at the Prophecy Praise Service in Fletcher. The girls started gymnastics and can't stop talking about when they can go to their next class. We added another member to our family again, another female guinea pig. We thought it fitting to have a wedding, so Royce performed the ceremony and pronounced them husband and wife, by the powers invested in him by Park Ridge Hospital. We thought it was important to establish the moral that weddings come before babies. Jillee told us that when she gets married she wants us to help her choose her daddy. (Does this last through adolescence?) Josee removed the price tag from the vitamin jar and said, "Mommy, I took that scab off."
NOVEMBER caught us gearing up for the holidays, planning and decorating for the big events. Royce is enjoying having Steve with him but finds himself even busier with two in the practice. Kellee-Jennee guinea pig (Josianne can't make up her mind which name to use) is pregnant. Thanksgiving was spent with Gramee, Papa, and Uncle Rik in Lexington, Kentucky. We enjoyed the Kentucky Horse Farm, Shaker Village, and just being together. Josee dropped all her "paperwork" all over the floor and said, "Mommy, this is making me to be troubly." Josee has trouble with her past tenses despite our repeated corrections. "I knowed that," or "I heared that."
DECEMBER has been very busy for Judy with the harp and we think we should see the whites of her eyes a couple of times this month. Judy also made a gingerbread house of Basil's Church (the one with the onion domes) in Red Square, Moscow that is on display at the Grove Park Inn this holiday season. The girls love to ask, "You know what?" and their answer is, "That's what." They learned that from their father. We hope and pray that the lights and music of this time of year remind us of Christ. We just returned from a most uplifting presentation of Handel's Messiah which portrayed the grace of Christ toward mankind. He has given us the best and most valuable gift that man can receive. May the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His Glory and Grace.