Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Visiting Friends

Yesterday morning I loaded up the kids and headed to see Ang and her brood.  I was excited to see them all again, but nervous about bringing my kids with me.  I mean, I don't call this "circus life" for nothing, ya know!!  But, I knew that the kids would have a great time and would love her Things.

We got just a little later start than I wanted.  This would be the morning that my kids decided to sleep in.  I had to go wake Jack up at 7am!  That's when we should have been leaving!  But, everyone got dressed relatively quickly and we headed out.

It only took about 15 minutes into the trip for Mallory to declare that she needed to go potty.  Wha....  Fifteen minutes?  So, we did stop.  Then 30 minutes after that... another one said they needed to go and just couldn't hold it.  Stop again.  45 minutes later... the other one.  Sheesh!  I was very worried that this was a good indication of how the rest of my day was gonna go!

The closer we got, the more the boys kept saying they were starving.  However, the minute the car door opened and they got out, they were hungry no more.  They literally started playing the minute they got there.  I love how kids don't waste any time with awkwardness.  They just acted like they had always known each other and had been playing together for a long time.

The older Things taught Jackson how to ride a 4wheeler.  Needless to say, he was in heaven!!  He did really well.  I think we are gonna have to start saving up now for next Christmas!

Brandi and her crew came and I had a great time getting to know her!  Wyatt already asked me this morning where the biggest girl was!  Brandi is a lot of fun and she cracked me up! I'm so glad that they let me come and hang out with them for a while.

Shannon was even able to meet us for dinner with her family!  Her little "coffee cups" are soo cute!  I'm not sure the restaurant will ever be the same though... 7 adults and ELEVEN kids!!!  WOW!!!  What were we thinking??!

I hope that it won't be long before we can get together again.  Ang is the real deal!  GEN U WINE!!!  And I miss her bunches!  But for sure it was a WOO TO THE HOO good time!

Jack on the 4wheeler   Look DAD!!
Can I get one of these?  Dad??
Brandi, Ang, and me

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Who Let The Frog Out?

For Christmas, Santa brought Wyatt 2 very special things. One was a "bug catcher" (which was basically a dust buster for kids to suck bugs up into). He loves bugs. And he believes that all bugs are his friends. So therefore, he touches all of them. *gross* He also got a "bug house" to put all the things in that he catches. My thought was that he would primarily catch dead bugs and they would end up in the habitat.

Well... my aunt and uncle from Florida came today for us to celebrate Christmas together. My kids absolutely adore them. Aunt Sharon and Uncle Jimmy play with them and basically let them do what they want. What's not to love? So anyway, Wyatt asked Aunt Sharon to go outside with him to find some bugs. Our exterminator comes regularly, so I wasn't really that concerned. PLUS, he was going outside with a girl.

After a little while I could hear some excitement building outside. I began to get a tad bit worried that they had in fact found something. And I was right. Not just one something, but FOUR somethings. Frogs. My least favorite things in the whole world. I know they probably serve a higher purpose, but I wish they would all just disappear.

They had found 4 frogs and put them into the bug house. They even managed to find a live bug and put it in there for the frogs to eat. How thoughtful of them... Wyatt happily brought them inside to show me. Man was he proud. We decided that the frogs needed to have some water. And there was a place in the bug house that looked like it was just perfect to hold a little water. But how were we going to get the water in without letting the frogs out?

Well, my creative Aunt Sharon thought it would be a great idea to open the "trap door" instead of opening the whole thing and flick a piece of ice into the little well. I agreed this was a good idea so I did it. As soon as the ice was in place, one of the frogs hopped over. He jumped right onto the piece of ice and guess what? Ever seen A CHRISTMAS STORY? You know the one with Ralphie? You know the part where the little boy gets his tongue stuck on the pole? Well... poor little froggy got his hiney stuck to the ice cube!!! He hopped on, but couldn't hop off!!

I ran to the drawer and grabbed a medicine dropper and quickly filled it with some water. Squirted it on the ice and the frog and Aunt Sharon flicked the frog off. He was okay. A little stunned and cold perhaps, but okay. We won't be trying that again anytime soon.

Sadly, we will be releasing all 4 frogs back into the wild very soon. I just keep hearing some song in the back of my mind. Singing... Who let the frogs out? Who? Who?

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Apple Really Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

Frank and I are very different in a variety of areas. And I have learned to accept those differences, even embrace them from time to time. But, what I wasn't really prepared for was that my children would pick up on those differences and they would embrace them each in their own way.

For example, Frank and I are very different in the way that we show our excitement. When Frank and I had been dating for about 2 years, our second Christmas together I think, I had saved for months and months to buy him a shotgun that he wanted. I worked my tail off to buy that thing AND to keep it a secret (I am not great at gift secrets). When I gave it to him, he looked it over and stood up. Walked over to me and basically, in front of his whole family, gave me a pat on the back and said "Thanks!". He walked to his room, put it away, and didn't mention it again for the rest of the evening. Needless to say I was crushed.

This is how he typically reacts to things. Even when deep down inside he really is very excited. He just doesn't show it very much on the outside. Unless he's crying and that's another ballgame. I on the other hand react quite the opposite. You can give me a piece of gum and I act like it is the greatest thing in the world. Partly because gift giving is one of my love languages and partly because I am easy to please.

What I discovered this Christmas was that Jackson is very much like Frank and Wyatt and Mallory are alot like me in this area. No matter how excited that Jackson really was, he pretty much just kept it contained. He would give a little smile. He would go off by himself and play with his new games. Then he would surface later to get another one. No jumping up and down or screaming with glee.

Wyatt, however, would tell everyone at 40 decibels above normal listening capacity how whatever dinosaur he was currently holding was the coolest thing he had ever seen or how it was the one he had always wanted. He would also holla things like "Oh Yeah Baby" and "awesome" several times. Mallory would also jump around and giggle at her gifts. And she would loudly tell us how much she liked them.

Made for a great Christmas. I guess what I have always heard is true. The apple really doesn't fall too far from the tree after all. Hmph! Scary!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Festivites 2008

Whew!!! I don't know about you guys, but I am glad this day is over!! I mean, I love it... I do. But I am equally as glad to see it go!

We started our fun and festivities with Christmas Eve over at Frank's parents house. We do this every year. We had traditional Christmas dinner and let me just say it was yummo!! I have never had anything that Frank's mom didn't rock the house on! And she did not disappoint this time either!

When dinner was over, of course, it was time for some presents. Everyone picks a spot on the floor and then some "elves" pass out the gifts. The hardest thing is making the kids wait to open their stuff with all those packages sitting in front of them. But once they had the green light, it was on!! This year, I have to say, was by far the best. All of the kids were completely into it and they all understood what was going on. And instead of having 273 gifts each to tear through, they only had a few each. They were things that they really wanted and they weren't overwhelmed with just moving to the next one. And Frank and I weren't overloaded with stuff to bring home and put away!! Let's see... Jackson got some Wii games and a gift card to Gamestop and Toys R Us. Wyatt got a HUGE box of dinosaurs, some walking dinosaurs, and a dinosaur book (do you see a theme here? What can I say, the boy LOVES him some dinos). Mallory got a box of princess dress up shoes (6 different pair), a baby doll stroller and new baby and some fake jewelry. She has clomped around everywhere pushing that stroller.

This morning started off with Jackson getting up at 5am. He went back upstairs. Then back down at 5:30. I didn't know what time it was though, so I invited him to crawl in the bed with us. Wyatt joined us a few minutes later and I glanced at the clock and noticed that it said 5:42am, after my eyes adjusted. They were sent back upstairs. Fifteen minutes later, as I was dreaming again, they came back down asking if NOW it was time to get up. At this point, I gave up, or in, whichever, and got up. Put the quiche in the oven and Frank turned the tree on.

When he did that, the boys saw that Santa had indeed stopped by and they were too excited. By 615am, it was over. Everything had been opened and the boys were busy playing. I was on my second cup of coffee. My parents had spent the night with us so we went ahead and opened gifts with them too. The biggest gift was for my mom this year. I had one of the pictures that Kim had taken and had it put on 20X30 canvas. My dad framed it for her. She really liked it. It was beautiful!!

The morning was completely stress free, believe it or not, considering that I was having 20 people in my house for lunch. We decided to go non-traditional for lunch. Soups and sandwiches. Although, I planned that before I knew that the weather was going to be 75 degrees today! Anyway... we had vegetable soup (made by my mom), chicken chowder (made by Frank's mom) and I made Chicken Tortilla Soup. And I must say, my soup rocked!! It was really good. Good enough for Ryan to say he wanted us to have it on a Friday night dinner!!

Once everyone had gone home and the kids were all napping and everything had been cleaned up.. I took a nap too. A long, hard nap. The kind were you dream AND drool. And probably snore, but I would never admit to that! When we finally got up, it was time to go out to Aunt C's house and have dinner at the barn. It was traditional. (do you see why I chose to have a nontraditional at lunch?)

It was good, but I am glad to be back home in my jammies and getting ready for bed. We just have one more "Christmas" to do on Saturday when my aunt and uncle come from out of town. The kids are super excited about them coming. Hope everyone had a great day!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Is There A Doctor In The House?

Today has not been great. I have had a migraine all day for starters. THEN my husband is sick. That's right. The big baby is sick. With almost flu-like symptoms. So you know what that means. Shivering. Moaning. Groaning. Honestly I don't know which is worse sometimes. When the kids are sick or when your man gets sick. Okay. I take that back. I DO know which is worse.

I mean, I know I don't have many shortcomings, but I do struggle tremendously in this department. I do not play nursemaid very well. Well... anyway. I can't help it. I do try. And I start out okay. But somewhere around say hour 2... that's it. I'm done.

I guess I just get irritated that the world doesn't stop for me when I am sick and not feeling well. I remember on one of my visits to the dr. about my migraines they would ask me "when you get a migraine do you go lie down?" And my reply would always be (with a head nod, I might add) Riiiiigght!

See, moms still have to function when we are sick. We still have meals to cook, baths to give, hair to comb, diapers to change, dogs to feed, beds to make, toys to pick up, clothes to wash, dishes that need to be put away, and homework to help with. We do not often get to pull the covers over our head and wish the sickness away. And Lord help us if we ever do... we certainly don't moan every! other! breath!!!

Now, I know what my response to my husband should be when he doesn't feel well. I know that I should respond lovingly. That I should make the kids keep the noise to a minimum *snicker snicker* That I should wait on him hand and foot with a gen u wine smile on my face. I know all of this, I do.

But... If he doesn't stop the moaning and groaning soon, I may have to stick a sock in it! (Glory, praisetheLord)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Santa Came Early

Tonight was the annual Christmas party for the kids at the bank.  Each year bank employees can bring their children or grandchildren.  The bank buys a present for each child that comes and Santa appears and passes out the gifts to everyone.  Mallory LOVED Santa and Mrs. Claus!  I was very surprised!  She got a baby doll w/a passy and a bottle for it.  The baby doll cries and coos and giggles.  It even makes sucking noises when the passy is in her mouth.  Wyatt got a set of dinosaurs (like we need anymore dinosaurs, but that is what he wants right now, and that is primarily what he is getting for Christmas).  He was so excited.  And Jackson got a new nintendo DS game, Kung Fu Panda.  He is like Frank... he suppresses his excitement.  Inside he really is, but you don't always know it on the outside.  Anyway, a fun time was had by all.  Enjoy the pics!

More Pictures from Christmas Party

Cookie Swap

Today was playgroup and we did our annual Christmas cookie swap.  This year it was at my good friend Julie's house.  Boy, did she ever luck out!!  The weather has been unseasonably warm this week and it was perfect for playing OUTSIDE!!!  So, all the kids weren't destroying every square inch of her house.  We all had a great time and when we were done, whatever cookies were left gets split up among everyone.  You get to take a plate of yummy cookies home!!

here's Wyatt on the swing
Mallory and Alex in deep conversation
look at Mallory's shirt!  Cute!!
Mallory LOVES Julie & her hubby Scott!  Isn't this the look of love?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Carols

Mallory is really lovin' singing her some Christmas carols this year.  However, she often messes up the words or there are parts of the song that you can't really understand what she is saying.  Yet, she still sings on.  Yesterday when she got up from her nap, I could hear her singing this song through the monitor.  When I went into her room, I asked her if she would sing for the camera and she exclaimed "For Santa!!!"

Please excuse her hair.  She had just gotten up from a nap. Well, that's the excuse I am using today.   And don't forget to pause the playlist on the left.  *make sure you catch at the end of the song she adds her own words*

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Tour of Homes 2008

BooMamaChristmasTourSo, this year I decided to participate in Boo Mama's Tour of Homes.  Head on over and check out some of the other houses that are all spruced up for Christmas!

here is our tree

the mantle

pillows in my rockers outside

nativity (which I LURVE) on the piano

Not Me! Monday Edition 13

So much cheaper than therapy it is!!! Yes, it is that time again. Not Me! Monday. If you're not sure how to play along OR if you need to read about all the things that everyone else hasn't been doing, head on over to MckMama's and read up!

I did not think to myself that whoever said "This is gonna hurt me more than it will you" so did not have my kids. Because most days... it doesn't.

I did NOT tell my husbands dog that I hoped he mildly choked on the kids toy he was presently chewing on.

I did NOT forget how long it had been since I had shaved my legs.

I did NOT drive around for 3 days saying "What is that SMELL??" in the car

I did NOT remember after 3rd day of saying that that my daughter had pooped in the portable potty I keep in the back of the vehicle when we were at the gas station... and it was still in the back of my vehicle.

I did NOT just throw it away either.

I did NOT almost vomit a little. now. thinking about it.

I did NOT take a nice, long, warm, RELAXING bath... with my kids toys still in the tub.

I did NOT continue watching the kids cartoon for 20 minutes AFTER they had gone outside and I also did not want to find out what happened at the end either.

However, I DID learn a very valuable lesson this week.... BEANO IS YOUR FRIEND GIRLS!!!

Ahhh... I feel very relaxed now! Head on over to MCK to learn the rules of the game!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I Corinthians 13: A Christmas Version

My Friend Kim sent me this and I wanted to share it with you.  I hope that we all don't loose the real meaning of what this season is really about!
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,               
strands of twinkling lights, and shiny balls,                                             
but do not show love to my family,                                       
I'm just another decorator

If I slave away in the kitchen baking                              
dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals,
and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime,             
but do not show love to my family,                                      
I'm just another cook.

If I work at a soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home,           
and give all that I have to charity,                                              
but do not show love to my family,                                                   
it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir's cantata,  
but do not focus on  Christ,  

I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love does not envy another's home that has

coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love does not yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love does not give only to those who are able to give in return,
but rejoices in giving to those who cannot.
Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, and endures all things.  Love never fails.
Video games will break.  
Pearl necklaces will be lost.  
Golf clubs will rust.  
But giving the gift of love will endure forevermore.


Friday, December 12, 2008

The Great Ornament Exchange

So, I signed up to participate in TGOE over here w/Kate and my package came today!  I was very excited to open it and LOOK what was inside!!  A great ornament and a very sweet note! It is from jadeinmywindow and I love it! I promptly went and put it on my tree.  The pictures really don't show it off that well!

My ornament is ready to be sent off!  Don't worry, friend, yours will be in the mail on Saturday!!!

Rise and Shine

I am not a morning person. My husband, however, along with 2 of our 3 children are. But, even though I am not a morning person, I do tend to get a lot accomplished in the mornings. More so than the rest of the day, surprisingly enough. For example, here are some of the things that have taken place SO FAR at my house...

2 kids up
2 kids dressed
3 beds made
breakfast made and cleaned up
2 lunches made
3 blankets monogrammed
2 puzzles assembled
3 cups of coffee drank (not all by me thankyouverymuch)
2 Bible studies done
2 school bags packed
3 sword fights had
1 kid taken to bus (at end of driveway)
2 dogs fed
1 large dog successfully chased by small child w/cap gun around the island 12 times.. in a row.

Have I mentioned that it's 7:15am?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

There Are Some Days...

We all strive to fulfill our own personal levels of perfection. Whatever those definitions are. And I would venture to say that NONE of us even measure up to those much less the expectations that others put on us. So, just to make you feel better, here's what happens to me on some of those days...

There are some days when I don't shut the clothes drawers all the way... and still walk out of the room anyway.

There are some days when I wish I could go on vacation... permanently.

There are some days when I DO shut the drawers, but there is underwear or a sock hanging out... and I leave it.

There are some days when I look at my legs and wonder just exactly how long HAS it been since I have shaved...

There are some days that I don't brush the kids teeth until noon...ish.

There are some days that after going to the gym, I go to bed that night... withOUT taking a shower.

There are some days that I don't clean up breakfast until I am getting supper ready.

There are some days that I KNOW my kids are doing something they are not supposed to, but I just look the other way because I am too tired to deal with it right then.

There are some days that I go to town... and forget to brush MY teeth.

There are some days that I don't put on a bra.

There are some days that I would like for my HUSBAND's dog to run away.

There are some days that I look around and think of how lucky I am to have this life.

There are some days I look around and think what did I do to DESERVE this life.

There are some days when good enough is... good enough.

There are some days when the dishwasher doesn't get loaded until the morning.

There are some days when I think "I'll do it later"... and I never do.

And there is EVERYDAY when I thank the Lord that I can start over... everyday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Love Dare Day 40!!!

YAY!!!! I made it all the way to the end!!!! I am so glad that you all have shared in this journey with me. I hope that if you haven't taken the dare for yourself, that you will. It will truly bless you and your spouse IF you give it your all. And if you have started, I hope that you will finish, and finish well.


I knew that this was coming because I had of course looked ahead. So, I casually mentioned this to Frank this morning. I wish I could tell you that we had a, uhm, moment. And we did. We had the kind of moment that we typically have. We had the kind of moment that "fits" for us. Let me enlighten you. It went a little something like this.

A: You know what today is in the dare, don't you?
F: No, what.
A: We are supposed to renew our vows. *smirk and very big chuckle while trying not to look at him*
F:*silence and also trying not to smile*
A: You know, I was thinking since our 10yr anniversary just happens to be coming up in January...
F:Oh God...
F:*now playing along* Well since Steph and Ry ARE going too and Steph does have her seminary degree, she could officiate and Ry could be our witness.
A:exactly! and we could make snow angels and make a big heart in the snow with our initials in it!
F:*laughing hysterically*
A:and I could pull out my wedding dress and wear it again for you!
F: i don't care if you have lost 60lbs, you ain't fittin' in that thing again.
A: *not laughing and not smiling* excuse me...

See, those are the kind of moments that we have together. I am just telling you gals, it ain't gonna happen. We are not going to renew our vows. However, we can take some time to remember why we did this crazy thing called marriage. If you want to renew your vows, that is great and I really do think that it's sweet. Hey, Jon and Kate did it and I loved it!!

Just because the "dare" is over doesn't mean that the journey has to be. Quite the opposite actually. I think the best has really just started. As I really start focusing on Frank's needs and not my own. As I start to focus on the successes in our marriage instead of the failures. As I give him permission to be imperfect. As I concentrate on changing myself instead of him. With all of these things finally beginning to take more of a priority, how can things do anything BUT get better?

I love the way that this book has made very clear the difference between the worlds view of marriage and God's view of marriage. See, the world views marriage more as a contract. A contract is usually a written agreement based on distrust and it lists the rules and conditions of the agreement. And although there are consequences, it can be broken. God's view of marriage is a covenant. A covenant is a verbal commitment based on trust. Your promise is unconditional and good forever. It is spoken before God and out of love for each other.

Contracts are self-serving and comes with limited liability. It can be broken with mutual consent. Covenants are for the benefits of others and comes with unlimited responsibility. It has NO expiration date. It is intended to be unbreakable.

God made several covenants throughout the Bible. He made one with Noah (Gen. 9:12:17), with Abraham (Gen. 17: 1-8), with Moses (Exodus 19: 3-6), with David (2Sam. 7: 7-16) and with those who believe in Him (Heb 9:15). Not one time has God ever broken His covenants. He does not enter into them lightly.

Keeping a marriage covenant is not something that we can do on our own. That's why we need someone who has never broken a covenant before to lead us and to guide us through it. God. He alone is the One who can do it.

The time is now. Don't wait until tomorrow to start loving your spouse the way that God intended. You and I don't have that promise. Your life depends on it. Their life depends on it. Your marriage depends on it. Go ahead. I dare ya...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Love Dare Day 39

Okay, so here I am almost to the very end. Did you think I wasn't going to finish? I was going to finish while we were in Atlanta, but I forgot to take my book with me. Oh well! So, on to the final TWO days!!

Endurance. Finishing. All the way to the end. Sometimes, if I am really honest, I have a hard time with this. I start well, but don't always finish well. Especially if the road is bumpy or the journey is long. I can give up too easily if it hurts too much. This is also a sad reality in many marriages today. The road gets too bumpy and hurts too much. We get in too many collisions. And one or both give up.

But the Word tells us that love never fails. It doesn't say sometimes or many times or often. It says NEVER.

We can love imperfect people with a perfect love because of Christ. If we build our relationships on the Word, no matter how often our circumstances change, those truths will still be standing. It's not too late to start building your marriage on the Word of God now if you haven't already.

Jesus' disciples still forsook him. They still failed Him and they still walked away. And your spouse may still walk away from you after you have done everything in your power to obey God. If your marriage fails, if your spouse walks away from you, don't let it be because you gave up. Don't let it be because YOU stopped loving them. Love Never Fails.


So, I wrote this letter. It didn't take long at all. Because can I just tell you that after almost 10 years of marriage, I really never thought that it would be like this. Even though I screw up all the time. And even though there are times that we treat each other poorly. And even though there are days, there are days that we don't like each other very much. I still love him more than I ever thought possible. Really I do.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not Me! Monday Edition 12

It's time to spill the beans again and let everyone know what I most certainly did NOT do over this past week.  And, just in case knowing mine isn't enough, go check out MckMama's and see what hundreds of others haven't been doing either!

I did NOT look under my sofa because something fell nearby only to be thoroughly disgusted with what I saw under there.  I also did not just get up and walk away leaving everything still there.  Not me.  Being the good housekeeper that I am I most certainly cleaned it immediately!!

I did NOT have a fabulous time without my children for four days.  Not me!  I missed them every single moment that I was away from them!

I did NOT eat lunch w/Ang after we had been at the horse barn rubbing all over the horses.  And, if I had, I certainly would have remembered to wash my hands.  I always wash my hands after being with horses.  Always.

I did NOT forget to bring Ang her gift with me to her house.  I am never forgetful.  I always, always keep my promises.  I did not feel like such a dork.

I did NOT leave wet clothes in the washer while I was away for four days either.  Nope.  Remember, I am the ultimate housekeeper!

I did NOT hang my head out of the truck like a dog on the way home because SOMEONE HAD GAS AND THERE WAS A STENCH IN THE TRUCK!!  Enough said about that one!

Okay, if you want to play along and get some free therapy yourself, go HERE and check out the rules!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pictures w/Ang

As promised, here are some pics from my day w/ Ang.  It really was a great day.  And would you look at the picture of those kids??!!  They are too cute and I love them all!  I could have taken them all back with me.  Hmmm... I just might have to come back and steal them!

And my dear friend pointed out to me that YES I am such a dork. (isn't that what real friends are supposed to do?  tell you that you're a dork?)  I forgot to bring her present with me!!!  I was so excited to get out of the hotel and get on the road to go see her, that I left it in the room! However, SHE remembered me and gave me a super cute ornament that is now hanging on my tree!  Shesh!  So, now, she gets that present AND an extra goody to make up for it!!  It's in the mail, friend!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Coming Home...

I got up this morning and got dressed and ready to head to see Ang. Made sure to get me a very large coffee from the Starbuck's downstairs and headed into the freezing cold to wait for my truck. Turned the seats on HOT, plugged in Gertrude, hooked up the iPod and off I went.

I loved the trip itself. Just me and my coffee and warm hiney and music up real loud. It was great. I made really good time and just as I expected, Gertrude did not disappoint. Ang's place is beautiful!!! And she ran out to meet me with a big smile. We gave each other a hug and headed towards the house.

Three of the 4 Things came out to greet me, and for me, it was love at first sight. They are all so precious. Then I got to meet TB&H. He is a great guy. In fact, I told Frank when I got back that I thought he would like him a lot. Very down to earth and funny. We curled up on the couches and talked and talked and talked. We headed down to the barn and I met the horses and gave some of them a good rub. They are beautiful.

The Things all wanted me to climb up in the hayloft with them to show me their "fort with a hot tub" that they made up there out of haybales. Of course, I scaled the ladder with them and surveyed their work. It was really cute. I even went in the fort with them and ended up with hay all in my hair

TB&H made lunch for us. Yes, how I do love a man that fixes food. After lunch, Ang showed me her wedding pictures per my request. For some reason, we laughed a lot at them. Not because they looked funny, but at the stories that went along with them. Then we roped Thing 1 into taking a bazillion pictures. We had to approve them before he could stop. I thought he was going to end up a professional by the time we told him he could stop. Either Ang wouldn't like they way she looked in one or I wouldn't like the way I looked. I needed some pictures with the Things too.

Then my time was over all too quickly and I had to head back to Atlanta. I was really sad to go. I truly felt like I was somewhere I had been a thousand times before. Kinda like coming home. I felt like I had known all of the Things since their birth. And thankfully, they treated me like they had known me all along. I never felt "new". I felt old. But in a good way.

And after I left, the talking didn't stop there. I think that we sent each other about a thousand texts. From about 5pm until 930pm we texted back and forth. Ang, I hope you have unlimited texting. If you don't, add it to your plan NOW when you get your new cool phone. :) I am glad that now I don't have to refer to her as just my bloggy friend. Now, she is my real life friend too.

I will have to post the pictures tomorrow when I get back. I can't put them on this computer that we brought! But you can go HERE and see some now!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A New "Chapter"

I slept until 830am. I know there are many of you that think this is no biggy. But trust me, it is. When you are used to getting up between 530 and 6am, it is HUGE. And I was very excited when I woke up because I knew that I was gonna go have an early lunch w/ Amy. Then, I got up and looked in the mirror.! Are you kidding me. I am 32 years old forcryingoutloud!! A PIMPLE?? What am I, like in high school or something? Great, just what I wanted to do was meet Amy with a big zit on my face.

Oh, well, nothing I can do now except try to cover it up with some makeup. I seriously watched TRANSFORMERS on HBO before I got in the shower. I didn't realize how much I liked it. It was really impairing my ability to get dressed.

Anyhoo, I made sure that I left in plenty of time, seeing as that I am somewhat directionally challenged. Not a fact I am proud of, but what can you do. GET A GARMIN that's what. Me and Gertrude are tiiiiight!!!!!

I pulled into the parking lot and because I was a little early, I sat there for a few minutes fiddling w/my iPod. And that's when I started really thinking. What if she doesn't like me? What if I don't like her? What if we have nothing to talk about? What if we are both sitting in there waiting on the other and don't recognize one another? Should I have told her what I would be wearing? What if she stares at my BIG OLE ZIT on my face the whole time?

Sometimes, I let my mind get the best of me. But, I decided to go ahead and go in. I waited for just a very few minutes and I saw her come in. I knew she recognized me too and we gave each other a big hug (didn't know she wasn't a hugger. she did a good job :) And everything I had worried about was long gone. I mean, I still worried about the zit on my face so I made a joke about it.

We talked non stop. If I took a breath, she jumped in. When she took one, I did. I felt like I had been talking to someone I had known since high school. She is a really cool girl and I am sooo glad we got to hang out. Next time, we will have to have a longer lunch. The time went by way to quickly. The picture that the little waiter guy took makes me look like I did nothing but drink the whole time. I promise I didn't. :) And you can't even see the zit.

Tonight, Frank and I went to dinner at a place called NAVA. If you ever come to the Atlanta area or live around here, you must try it. It was awesome. They serve southwestern cuisine (very upscale southwestern cuisine) which I love. You can not fix me food that is too spicy. I mean that. I had the jalapeno lime jumbo grilled shrimp w/black bean and goat cheese enchiladas. O.M.G!!! Sooo good. Our waiter told me it was probably their spiciest dish, so I was very excited. Sadly, still not hot enough for me. I mean, it had GREAT afterburn, but not enough initial heat.
Still, I would highly recommend it. Then, we decided to go to the movies. We saw FOUR CHRISTMASES. I love Reese Witherspoon. However, the movie had some really funny parts, but overall wasn't really that funny. I still enjoyed the time spent w/my man though.
Okay, I am going to bed now. It's late and I have to get on up in the morning to go see Ang! I hope that Gertrude gets plenty of rest too...
Oh, and P.S, Amy, THE DAWGS RULE!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

Today is wonderful on so many levels...

One thing is that today is not yesterday.  Yesterday was the party.  The party was great and I was very close on the number.  We had 28 ladies.  We had a pile of fun and ate lots of gooood stuff!  And the ornament exchange was a blast.  There are those that come that are nice and never steal an ornament no matter how many times theirs gets taken.  They just always go to the pile and get a new one.  THEN there are those that are always the ones to steal.  In fact, they may steal just for the shear joy and pleasure of doing so.  Which group do you think I fall into??  Careful now... you are on my blog...  WRONG!!!!  I am in neither.  (okay sometimes I am in the thieving category)  Most of the time I pick my own ornament.  I know.  I know.  I just always pick one that would look great on my tree and then try to get it.  Sheesh.... give me a break.

Another reason this Wednesday is Wonderful is that I just got back from having lunch with my good friends Jen and Aimee!!  Aimee let me know yesterday that she was coming into town today for a little while and would I like to have lunch.  Would I like to have lunch??!!  Are you kidding me?  YES!!  Hello!!!  It was sooo good to get to see them again.  I haven't seen Aimee or Jen in several years.  Aimee and I used to live on the same street when we were both newlyweds and then had our first babies together.  Actually only a few months apart, I think it was.  We would go walking over to Jen's house, who lived only a few blocks away from both of us!  It was fun getting to visit with them and catch up.  I hope we can do this more often!! *hint hint*

The last reason it's Wonderful Wednesday is that I am leaving in a couple of hours to go to Atlanta with my hubby... and NO KIDS!!!  Hallelujah!!! (you can't hear me but I'm singing the hallelujah chorus right now!!)  This is one of our 2 annual trips we go on each year with just each other.  Frank is on our local school board so he has to go for training twice a year and I tag along.  The other place they send us is Savannah in the summer.  And that's fun too.  This trip will bring lots of exciting things.  First, I get to go have coffee with Amy!!  I can't wait to get to know her live and in person.  And the other thing is I get to go see Ang!  I.AM.SOOOO.EXCITED!!!!  AAAAHHHHH!!!!!  So, the rest of this week will be fun.  Don't worry.  I am bringing my computer AND my camera.  I am sure that there will be plenty for you to read about.

Okay, going to finish packing now.  

Oh, and thought you might be interested to know, Aimee, that Frank and I will be doing plenty (I mean PLENTY) of ice skating :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Holidays...

So, now that Thanksgiving is officially over as quickly as it began, we will start to hear the phrase that!!!!  "Happy Holidays".  I don't know why it bothers me so much.  Really, I don't.  Maybe it's because I feel like Jesus is already taken out of so much that I just want to leave His name in something.

Then my BFF, Steph, told me something that has eased the pain over that phrase a lot.  See, Steph knows a lot about a lot.  She does research for a living so I love to pick her brain about random subjects.  Even though the world tries to take Him out, they can't.  Did you know that the word HOLIDAY actually means "Holy Day"?  How cool is that!!!  So, when all those peeps are trying to take him out, all they are actually wishing you is a Happy Holy Day.  Ha Ha.  I love it.

Another thing that used to bother me was putting an "X" in the word Christmas. (Xmas)  Again, Stephers gave me some more info on that subject.  The "X" is the Greek sign for Christ.  So, again, for those that try to X Him out, it just can't be done!!!

Just as a side note, I probably will not be posting the dare tonight.  I am having our ladies night ornament swap here at my house tonight.  Expecting around 30 ladies, so it will probably be a late night.  Catch up with you guys tomorrow!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Love Dare Day 38

I have 2 really big dreams. One of them is to be foster parents. God has placed this desire in my heart for a long time now. I have just been praying for God to work on Frank's heart in the same way (or take away that desire from me!) and for His timing to be revealed. I never have been good at waiting. So I can promise you it has not been easy thus far!

Another dream of mine is to have my own horse barn. Not a big elaborate barn, just nice, clean and spacious. With something other than dirt for floors, if you know what I mean. I would love to be able to somehow one day incorporate the two dreams into one. Letting the kids, all of the kids, help me out in the barn. To teach them ALL how to ride and have them go with me on trail rides.

I wonder how many of us know what kind of dreams our spouses have.


Well, I thought I knew what Frank's dream was. But over the last several days through some conversations we have had, I learned that his dream may have changed somewhat. I thought that I was already helping him to take steps to obtain his dream. And, I still may be, just not on the level that I thought I was.

You and I need to take the time to find out what kind of dreams our spouse has. It may not be anything that can be bought with money. It may be your time and attention. Or to go away with you, WITHOUT the kids. Love is careful to take notice of whatever those dreams may be. We should think about overwhelming our spouse with love.

Not Me! Monday Edition 11

It's that time again!  Time for our weekly confession.  If you haven't yet checked out MckMama and all her MSC, head on over now!

I did not ask my husband to get out all the Christmas decorations 3 days BEFORE Thanksgiving.  I also didn't ask him to help me put up and decorate the tree the night before Thanksgiving either.  I always wait until after one holiday is over to start another.

I did not send my wonderful husband out on black Friday at 4:45am to 3 different stores.  Hey, I gave him the option to stay home.  He chose to go.

I did not take a big whiff of my armpits several times in one day just because I like the way my deodorant smells.  I know.  Wrong, just plain wrong.

I did not wish that I was already in Atlanta on "vacation".

I did not have the best time ever at the GA game this weekend, even though I jinxed my Dawgs and made them loose.

I did not eat waaaaay to much caramel cake over Thanksgiving holiday.  In all honesty, I was just trying to be polite.  My aunt made it just for me and I felt it would have been just plain RUDE if I didn't eat it.  A lot.  Over several days.  Even though technically I am on a diet.  Yeah.  Right.

Okay, so if you want to play along, go HERE and check out the rules!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Game Day

This morning, bright and early, Frank and I left to go to the GA-GT game with our friends, Patrick and Elizabeth. 6:30am early to be exact. The day was dreary. It rained on us just about the entire trip. And the closer we got to Athens, the colder it got. So, raining AND cold. Fortunately, P & E had box seats (I had never sat in box seats before!! It was awesome!) so the weather was not a factor for us. The game was TERRIBLE!! Terrible in the fact that we just did everything we could to give that game away! I really think the reason that Georgia lost was my fault.

I think I jinxed the team. See, we played an awesome first half. And close the the end of the first half I mentioned that I have never been to a GA game where they lost. I KNOW!! I should have waited until the game was over to mention that piece of information!! But, I didn't. And the minute I said it I wished I could take it back. The second half of the game was when we gave it away. Several times.

But, even though it was a sad day for the Dawgs... we still had a blast anyway. It was fun just hanging out with P & E. They are a trip. There were several times in the truck that I laughed until I cried. I'm just glad I contained the kind of laugh where you snort. Because a few times I could have. I was laughing that hard. It was a great day. Frank and I are so lucky to have friends like them.

And, of course, things happend here at home while we were gone. Aunt Jan kept the kids for most of the day and they took advantage of the situation. They LOVE her to death. But they like to use that time to do things that I wouldn't normally let them do. Like Jackson and Wyatt both "took a nap" in my bed. First of all, Jackson doesn't take a nap anymore and Wyatt is not allowed to take a nap in my bed. I just got new bedding for one thing and he won't sleep if he is downstairs either. Mallory didn't wear a pullup for her nap, so she peed and pooped in her pants and bed and all over her favorite blanket. They played in my jewlery (also not ever allowed), they took ornaments off my tree, and the best thing was that Wyatt flushed both of the socks he had on today down the commode. Great. I am sure I will be calling the plumber next week.

Anyway, I am off to bed now.

Patrick, don't forget your, um, kitty cat...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Thankfuls

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!  I hope that everyone enjoys their day with family and friends and lots and lots of turkey!!!  Here are just a few things that I am thankful for in my life.  I am thankful for...



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Love Dare Day 37

Matthew 18:19 If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father.


Okay, honestly, I think this is where Frank and I fail the most.  We do NOT pray together on a regular basis.  We each have our own individual prayer time, but not together.  Every so often, we will start to and we will do it for a little while.  But for some reason we stop.  The mornings are too crowded with kids and noise.  And at night, we are so tired, we forget.  Pitiful, I know.

Within marriage, praying together can work wonders on every level of your relationship.  The unity that grows between husband and wife who regularly pray together forms a bond like no other.  It's hard to stay mad at the one you are praying with... and for.

Praying FOR your spouse leads your heart to care on a deeper level for them.  And God is pleased when He sees us humbling ourselves before Him... together.

I am sure that you all have heard the phrase "agree to disagree"?  Well, that doesn't always work at my house (usually on my part.  Frank doesn't really have a problem with this).  But when we agree together in prayer, even in the middle of a disagreement, it puts us back on common ground and helps us to remember what really matters.

I don't know why we have such a hard time doing this.  Really I don't.  I DO feel that it is extremely important to pray as individuals AND as a couple.  I want God to bless every nook and cranny of my marriage.  No stone left unturned.  So, no more lame excuses... well, no more excuses period...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Love Dare Day 36


Well, this dare was easy. I already have a quiet time daily in which I read my Bible. When I am not doing a Bible study at church, I do Bible studies by Max Lucado on different books of the Bible. Right now I am in the book of James. But I will be starting the Esther study in January!!! (I am SUPER excited about that!!!) And I always have my handy dandy commentaries nearby. Those have helped me tremendously.

If you don't have a regular quiet time, let me encourage you to do so. I always thought that I didn't have time. My kids are very early risers and once everyone is up it would be kinda hard to do it. I always had an excuse during their nap times. I mean, after all, that was the ONLY real time I had to get any housework done. So, I settled on bedtime, or after the kids went to bed. But, after the kids went to bed, I still had things to do... kitchen to clean, lunches to make, bags to get ready for the morning... And once I got into the bed... FORGET IT!!! All I want to do is veg out when I get in the bed. Too tired.

So, I wasn't having a consistent time with the Lord. And I wondered all the time why I constantly felt overwhelmed, tired, and out of control. Pretty dumb, huh? And then one day it just kinda hit me. I always would say, and I hear many others say, "I need to make my quiet time more of a priority". But what we don't get is that He is not just "A" priority... He is THE priority!!!

We make everything else sooo important. We put so many things above Him. And He gives us all of those things that we make so important. He can just as easily take them away to help us re-prioritize... I don't want that to happen. Do you?

Jackson has to be up at 6am to get ready for school. The bus comes at 7:05... So, I am up early (okay, well, it's early to me!!). I am already struggling to get up that early, so trying to get up even earlier is an attempt at futility for me. After I get the boys up and dressed and get them their breakfast, I sit down and begin my Bible study. Then, usually, Frank takes both of the boys outside to wait for the bus about 10 minutes or so before the bus comes. (remember that Wyatt likes to ride his bike in the mornings) During that time I use the quiet to my advantage. That is when I go over my prayer list.

Now, it doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes, I don't get as long to do my Bible study for whatever the reason. Sometimes (occasionally) I get longer. The point is not to get so legalistic about what your quiet time/Bible study has to look like. The point is to get started. Today. It will make a difference in your day!

A Sneak Peek

Kim just called me and told me that she has posted some of our pictures!!!! So go HERE and take a sneak peak!!!!  She did a fabulous job and she had some extreme conditions to work in!!!  She never complained!!  We love you Kim!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Blog Frog

If you haven't noticed this cool little gadget over on my sidebar, go take a look. I love it. I can't always tell on my traffic feed WHO it is from a particular place that has stopped by. But, I can look over at my cool blogfrog and see all my peeps that stop by all the time. I am not sure how to get everybody on there yet, but I love seeing all the faces on there when you come by. Head on over HERE and check out all the cool things that the Frog offers!!!

Love Dare Day 35


Before Frank and I came to our current church about 4 1/2 yrs ago, things on the home front were not great. I'm not saying we were headed for divorce at that point, but if things had kept going much longer the way they were, it certainly could have ended up there. The friends that I had surrounded myself with, although they were good and kind, did not give me the kind of advice that I really needed. But I turned to them often because they supported my poor way of thinking. Everything was Frank's fault. He was the one that needed to change, not me. He was the problem.

One of the things that I prayed desperately about was for the Lord to send me some really good Christian friends. Friends that desired to go deep with the Lord. Not surface dwelling Christians like I had been. But those that truly applied the Word to their life and would challenge me to do the same. When Frank and I started attending our church that we are part of now, the Lord more than answered that prayer.

He surrounded me with the dearest friends that I have ever had. And I mean that. These friends will not hold back on the truth. They don't just tell me what I want to hear very often. They will not allow me to continue in wrong ways of thought. They call me on the carpet when necessary.

It is important to surround ourselves with these kinds of friendships. Although I have a handful of people that I consider to be my nearest and dearest, I have one in particular that I go directly to whenever I am having issues in my marriage. Because I know that she will point me to what the Word says is my responsibility in the situation. Even when I don't like what she has to say. And that has been often. Don't we oftentimes just want someone to support our bad way of thinking. We will just keep on singling people out, bending their ears UNTIL we find the one that agrees with us? THEN that is the person whose counsel that we choose to seek out.

This is not what the Word tells us is right. Proverbs 12:15 says The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel. Wise people are those that seek counsel AND receive it. Foolish people never seek it and then ignore it when it's given. So what do we need to look for in someone to take marital advice from? Well, first of all you look for someone who has the kind of marriage that you want to have. Someone who has a heart for the Lord and always puts him first. You seek out someone who doesn't live by the way they "feel", but by the Word of God.

If you don't have someone like this in your life, start praying NOW for God to send you the person you need. I can honestly say that these friendships that I have made a world of difference to my marriage.

Hebrews 3:13 Encourage one another day after day... so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Not Me! Monday Edition 10

It's time for our weekly therapy session!!!  Head on over to MCK and check out the head therapist!!

*I did NOT go to town in the same shirt I had slept in the night before (and the night before that!)  Not Me!!!  I also did not smell said shirt to make sure it was okay.

*I did NOT allow my oldest to wear mismatched socks to school.  But, if I had, they would have been the same color, just not the same style.  All of our socks are ALWAYS clean, matched and in the drawers where they belong.

*I did NOT have a moment of sadness when I realized one of my followers had dropped off and I couldn't figure out who it was!  Not Me!  I have too much to do to care about stuff like that!

*I did NOT in any way wear the same sports bra to the gym twice this week... without washing it.  If I had, my reasoning would have been that it was only gonna get sweaty AGAIN anyway!

*I did NOT want to hide when I saw my 4 yr old pee on the playground during our Sunday school picnic!!!  I have raised my children better than that.  They ALL have perfect manners!!

Don't forget to head on over to My Charming Kids for some more fun and laughs!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

Two things to share with you today. One is that we had a picnic after church for our "care group" in Sunday school. (our class is pretty big so we have it broken down into groups so we can get to know each other better) We had the picnic at the church on our lovely playground. I was afraid after this weekend that it would be too cold to have anything outside, but the weather couldn't have been any better. It was about 63 degrees outside and we had a great time. After the kids had finished eating, my beloved Wyatt asked if he could go play. I told him sure and wiped his face and his hands (not really sure why I did that seeing as how I didn't bother to wipe them BEFORE he ate!!! Oh well!) A very few minutes later, Stephanie told me and Frank to look. Never a good sign by the way. Wyatt had gone into the little playhouse (which is open on 2 sides so you have a really clear view) and decided that was as good a place as any to pee. Yes, my son. Makes a mother proud. (see, this is what happens when you let little boys pee outside) I will confess that this is NOT the first time that one of my boys has peed at a Sunday school function... Gotta love Wyatt!

The other thing is of course I DVR-d 24 tonight!!!! That way I can just fast forward through the commercials!! IT WAS AWESOME!!!! The only thing that makes me sad is that I have to wait until January 11th for it to come back on again. And that Tony is playing a bad guy this time! Can I just say that Jack rocked the house tonight??! He is the man!! Anyway, I can't wait for the regular season to start. If you aren't a 24 fan, it isn't too late for you. Go rent the seasons that are out on dvd. Or better yet, buy them!!!! It is definitely a worth while investment. And the best part about that is NO COMMERCIALS!!

WOO HOO... Jack's back!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Love Dare Day 34

The world is all around us. In everything that we see and everyplace we go. And it does it's very best to influence our decisions and our thoughts. Television, radio, newspapers... they all try to tell us to have it our own way (wait... I think that's Burger King...), that whatever we feel is okay, look out for yourself first. All of these statements are contrary to the Word of God.

What do we do to influence our world, our communities for the Truth? How about our marriages? What makes you the proudest of your spouse? Is it when they get that promotion at work? Maybe when they win that trophy. Or is it when they lead that family devotion? You and I are the most influential people in the life of our spouse. How do we use that influence? Do we use it to influence them to honor God or themselves?

I hadn't really ever thought about that very much. I mean, after all, I know that Frank is a Christian and we go to church just about every time the doors are open. We are active in many areas of our church and openly talk about our love of Jesus to anyone that will listen. So I never really considered my influence over my husband. Unless you're talking about how to get some new clothes or shoes. And then I can NOT reveal my methods of influence! *wink wink*

I never thought that my influence could cause my husband to sin. What do I mean by that? When Frank sings a solo in church, does my praise of his abilities cause him to think too highly of himself or cause him to be prideful? Or when he really succeeds at work, does my praise feed his vanity?

Love rejoices MOST in the things that please the Lord. Growing in Christian character, being the spiritual leader in the home, standing firm in our faith, staying pure before the Lord... those are the things that should be praised.


I have to say that this was hard for me. Not to think of anything. But because there are sooo many things. I am truly so blessed. I can really see that Frank is making a very big effort to make some changes in our marriage. Not to change me, but to himself. But, I thought that I would share something else with you that might give you a better picture.

Remember way back at the beginning of the dare on day 7 when we were asked to make a list of all the positive things we love about our spouse? Well, many of the things I wrote down demonstrate Christian character and the love of Christ. So, I thought I would share my list with you. (and give Frank a chance to see it too!) Not everything on the list is "spiritual" or falls into this category specifically. But I thought it would give you a better picture of what a wonderful man God gave me. I am thankful for him everyday (even when he does leave his underwear or socks on the floor!!)

*I love the way Frank loves his children
*Godly man
*hard worker
*good provider
*well respected and gives respect
*loves his family
*loves MY family
*quick to forgive
*not easily angered
*not afraid to show emotions
*great singer
*great piano player
*loyal friend
*super smart
*excels at EVERYTHING he does
*contagious laughter
*always trying to be a better man
*lets me have horses even though they aren't his thing
*good snuggler
*always helps me w/the kids (he is the bath giver, remember)
*great dresser
*helps without always having to be asked

These are just a few things... I love you, Frank!!!