Monday, November 23, 2009

Running of the Bulls...Redneck Style...

Saturday night was the 2nd annual College/Career Bonfire at our house. All day it looked ominous...rain was nearby... but thankfully, it stayed away so we could have our get together. It ended up being gray and cool...perfect for a bonfire!!

After everyone had gotten there and we were done stuffing our faces with all the goodies, one of the girls said something about being terrified of cows... INTERVENTION!!!! Since I do live on a farm, some of us decided that it would be a great idea to take M out in the cowfield... at night... in the pitch black moonless night... to overcome her fear.

Brilliant, yes, I know...

So, we loaded up on the golf cart (a very farm-ish vehicle...) and headed to the field. There was absolutely no moon out and the lights on the golf cart were not working. No one thought to bring a flashlight, though someone did have their cell phone and we tried using it as a spotlight from time to time...

Once we found the cows, several of the nuts on the cart got off the cart and started chasing the poor beasts. Loping over the cow patties in the dark, singing while determined to catch a cow and touch it, and trying to pick off the "weak" one to corner.... I have never laughed so hard in my life!!

Just a bunch of rednecks I tell ya....

ryan, steph, me & frank (bff's fo-eva)

some of the "cow chaser extraordinaries"

steph frolicking through the cow patties

j doing his cattle call

"deer in the headlights" look...don't ask!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What A Day!!

WOW!!! What a day!! I am almost, almost too overwhelmed to say anything about today... It has been full of God's goodness and greatness for sure!

Today started out with a very special speaker that came to Sherwood. Gov. Mike Huckabee came and spoke. And not a political message either. I mean, he came and preached. He was funny and gracious. And he even got up on stage and played his bass guitar with us on a song! Too much fun!

Believe me, his coming to our church has brought up many, many a discussion and debate among several of my friends. I have been shocked at the people that have had so many negative things to say about him speaking in a church. Some have said he has an agenda. That he is just trying to be manipulative and deceptive. Trying to make people feel all warm and fuzzy so that when he runs again for office they will remember him in that way and vote for him. Some have said he was just using it as a promotion for his new book. It also launched discussions about separation of church and state that I was not prepared for... not so much that I wasn't prepared for the discussion itself, but from the people it came from...

Here's the thing... Mike Huckabee is a good man. He loves the Lord and his country. He can't separate his love for either of them. And he shouldn't. He didn't use the pulpit this morning to promote his book... he used the pulpit this morning to promote Christ.... He brought a wonderful message of hope in a time that for many feels hopeless. And as for separation of church and state, well, you will have to excuse my political "incorrectness"... I want my leaders to love the Lord. I want the leaders of our nation to turn to the Lord for wisdom in their decisions. I want politicians in the pulpit that have a geniune love for Christ and pastors behind the desks in Washington. Because look at how things have gone without Him...

Later today, we were priveledged to find out the theme and title of the next movie that our church would be making.

It's called COURAGEOUS. The subject matter is about fathers/fatherlessness, calling men to step up and be the husbands and fathers that they need to be. I can't wait!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Belated Vetran's Day Thank You...

It's a little late, I realize...

But, I did want to say a heart felt thank you to the soldiers past, present and future who sacrifice so much...

They give of themselves to protect us... so that we can go about our daily lives the way that we want to...
Some leaving never to return home... never to see their families again...

It reminds me of the ultimate "veteran"... Who sacrificed more than any other... And He did it not out of love for country, but out of love for you and for me...

And even though He paid the ultimate price for our freedom... He will be coming back again...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

Tis the season... already... I can't believe it's almost Christmas! And though I am not as good as some of my friends who have already purchased their children's gifts, I do know what mine will be getting... it's just a matter of writing it down and actually going to get it!

Baby steps, people, baby. steps!

However, the time has come again for us to do our shoeboxes. It's a simple thing really. Fill a shoebox with goodies for a child, box goes all over the world to reach a little one who otherwise wouldn't get anything for Christmas, and somehow... hopefully, they feel the love of Christ through that simple box.

I never do well when I have to go get the stuff for the boxes... I usually have a few things in mind I want to put in the boxes. But then while I'm shopping I just want to keep on putting things in my basket! Now, I know that if I don't stop half of what I've gotten is NOT going to fit, but for some reason I just get so stinkin' emotional while I am buying for those shoeboxes!! Thinking of those kids... and the JOY in their eyes... makes my heart feel like it will burst!! The overflow from that usually ends up in my eyes!!

Anyway, Frank and I decided that this year we would make it a family project instead of me just filling them up. So, one night last week after supper, we sent all the kids into the dining room. I had everything set up for them. A box in front of each of their chairs with the items to go in the box beside it. Frank talked with them about what the boxes were for and who would be getting them and why it was important for us to send them. He did a really good job of explaining in a way they could grasp.

Then it was time to fill them. Now, I really expected some tears. Honestly... that's why I had my camera. (good parenting award here I come!) Especially where my Wyatt was concerned... I had picked things that he would want to go in his box for his child. So I fully expected him to pitch a fit to keep those things for himself. But you know what?? Nobody said one word... not a tear... not a sad face... nothing. They all just got to work filling their little boxes. Even Mallory. She didn't ask to keep anything either. Well, she did start to brush her teeth with the toothbrush that was supposed to go in her box! Thankfully I had a spare!!

Then after the boxes had been filled, we asked each of them to pray over their box and for the little boy/girl that would be getting their box. Without hesitation Wyatt started. He folded his hands and said a super sweet prayer that included "please let him brush his teeth good so they can be clean and not have any yellow left on his tooth"... I had to bite my lip... hard... Jack and Mallory prayed for their boxes and children too. I left that room in shock. Really in shock. And grateful for the opportunity the Lord had given us to share that with our kids.

Sometimes, lots of times, a teachable moment goes terribly wrong in our house... and sometimes... it just goes right...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Movie Night

Busy start to a busy weekend! Tonight was Wyatt's best little buddy's birthday party... it was a "lizard" party... sounds funny, I know, but it was really cute. They had a lizard hunt in the backyard which was right up Wyatt's alley... Little plastic lizards and turtles and bugs were scattered all over the yard and the kids were given little nets and a bug canister and off they went in search of the goods! It was really cute! After that they had a lizard show... I didn't stay for that part, but big iguanas and that sort of thing was what all the kids got to see.... also right up Wyatt's alley! And just like any faithful best buddy would do, Wyatt spent the night after the party....

So, Frank and I thought it would be a great idea to take the other 2 kiddos to the movie. And since it was opening night of A CHRISTMAS CAROL that was the movie of choice... besides, Frank and I wanted to see it anyway, so what better thing to do than to use your children as the excuse to go and see it??

Let me just say that the movie was GREAT! It was in 3D which I love, and really put me in the Christmas spirit! When it was over I was ready to run home, throw up the tree, and bake a pie...all while listening to Christmas music, of course!! When I told that to Frank he said that the thought of going home to put up the tree made him want to throw up! Hmmm, obviously he left his Christmas spirit in the theater with Mr. Scrooge!! Oh Well....

While the effects of the movie were great and the characters were spot on and of course the story itself is fabulous.... let me just give you a warning.... If you think this is going to be a warm and fuzzy family Christmas movie YOU ARE WRONG!!! I'm pretty sure that Mallory is gonna have nightmares from now UNTIL Christmas! It was scary!! NOT suitable for small children!! The trailers do NOT depict the scariness of it well at all! There were times I was jumping in MY chair!! So BEWARE!! Think long and hard about what your kids can really be okay with before you take them!!! where is that Christmas tree??? Guess I will go ask Frank! :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Catch Up & Halloween Fun

Okay, so I have taken a little break....okay a big break!!! But, I have been feeling very "bloggish" lately and think I am ready to start back!! So, I hope to be able to catch up on some of your blogs over the next several days!

Quick rundown of whats been going on: same old same old basically...very busy summer with taking kids here, there, and everywhere! Won't bore you with all the details...much time spent at the pool cause it was too stinkin' hot to do anything else! Then school started. This year Wyatt started "big boy" school. No more mothers morning out! All day school complete with bus riding. I must say I was nervous about him riding at first even though Jackson started riding at his age and would be on the bus with him. But it has worked out and he even gets disappointed on the days that I do take them or pick them up.

Schedule stays busy, as I'm sure most of yours do too... Mallory started taking dance this year. She looks so cute in her tutus!! And she loves every minute of dance class...and showing off what she learns! Jackson started taking guitar lessons... I thought after a few weeks of it he would quit... but he didn't. Never complains about practicing. And his teacher says he is a quick learner and picked a really difficult song for his first one (Chris Daughtry-Call Your Name) and has done a great job on it. He loves to pick up his guitar when the music is on and see if he can pick up the song... sometimes he even does!

Halloween: Mallory wanted to be Little Orphan Annie. It is her favorite movie...she watches it at least 5 times a week! And she can sing Tomorrow like nobody's business! Wyatt was a paleontologist (thats a big dinosaur geek for those that don't know) He wants to be one when he grows up... I'm not kidding.. He knows every fact there is just about on every dinosaur there is!! It is unbelievable! He can even say the names of some of them that I couldn't say if I wanted to! Jackson was a rocker...kinda... He said at first that he wasn't going to dress up, that he was too old for that... so I told him that like Christmas if you don't believe you don't receive (I know you have all heard that before!) that if he did not dress up as something, he would have to go trick or treating with us, but would have to stay on the trailer and not get any candy. I know... I'm horrible... but I wasn't ready for him not to dress up yet!

So, enjoy a few pictures from halloween night below... OH, just as a side story for you...
About 5 houses into trick or treating Wyatt puked in someones yard...all down the sleeve of his cute outfit... Apparently, he bit into his glow necklace that his buddy had given him and drank some of the liquid which almost instantly made him sick!

AAAAHHHH....the good times people...they just keep a comin' over here....

And didn't glow!!




Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just testing to see if I can post from my phone yet! Hope this works!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Family Beach Trip 09

We just got back yesterday from our annual family beach trip with all of Frank's family. All of his sisters and their families and Frank's parents along with us take a beach trip together in April. This was our 3rd one and I must say that this was the best! The kids were a little bigger so we didn't have to be so scheduled and they could really enjoy the beach. They also all swim and that was a BIG plus!

The weather could NOT have been better! Sunny skies every day and breezy! I was able to sit on the beach every day and sun myself for HOURS on end! It was truly wonderful...and needed!

While we were there we also celebrated Mallory's 3rd birthday Saturday! My MIL got her a Dora cake and after supper we sang to her and had cake and ice cream! My sweet nieces, Brittny and Haley gave her a "manicure and pedicure" (which basically means painted her piggies and fingernails) and did her hair! She got her 1st barbie doll (given to her by her Aunt Chris) and she loved it!! I can't believe my baby girl is 3!!!!

Anyway, its back to real life now...ugh! At least I can still daydream about laying on the beach all day....

Friday, February 27, 2009

Move Over Michael Jordan!

It's true...I haven't posted about my husband's dog in a while... But it's only because he and I have not come to an understanding yet about what is acceptable to chew and/or use the bathroom on and what is not.  However, one thing that I have found super funny about Notch is that he can attack some bubbles like nobodys business!  The little kids were blowing some a couple of days ago and Notch just went bezerk!!  He was chasing them down like you would not believe!  Even to the point of catching air!  So, I took some pictures of him trying to eat all the bubbles.  Michael Jordan ain't got nuttin' on him!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Twice in one day?? What's going on??

okay... I KNOW I just posted, but this is too funny!  For everyone that is a Facebook user... you MUST watch this!!!  Don't forget to turn off my playlist!!

10 little things I love...

My friend, Amanda, gave me a high five and asked me to participate in this little list...  So, I will give you my list of 10 little things that I love that make my life a bit easier...

1. Edward, my laptop.  My wonderful, loving, caring, and fabulous hubby gave me a new laptop after my old one, we determined was not going to live more than 5 more minutes.  I love it and could not live without it!

2. my iPod.  I live with my iPod on about 5 hours out of the day.  Seriously.  I'm not kidding.  First thing I do in the morning when I am getting my cup of coffee is to turn on my iPod.  Hardly watch tv at all during the day.  Music is playing all day though.  If I thought my iPod was fried...I would melt into a puddle on the floor and have a hissy...yes maam I would...

3. my bose docking speaker.  See #2... I bought this for my husband for Father's day one year.  He hardly ever used it so he brought it back home for us to use here.  My iPod lives there.  Unless it is traveling with me in the car.  It allows me to hear my music wherever I am in the house, depending on how loudly I turn it up...which is usually very loud.

4. my cell phone. I love it and yes, I know that I have a problem parting with it.  I don't like for it to be very far from me.  Not so much for talking on it, but for texting.  Hello, my name is Ashley, and I am a textaholic.  I know this, and I readily admit it.  Truly, in most cases, I would rather text than talk.  But texting does allow me to stay connected to those that I love that don't live here (like Ang, and Keli, and Brandi  ...HEY GIRLS!!!)  That's the way that I feel close since we don't get to see each other all the time.  Bottom line...I NEED MY PHONE!!!

5. DVR.  Some of you may have TIVO, but basically the same thing.  I heart my dvr...very much.  I can rewind something I missed or didn't catch on live tv, I can pause my show so I don't miss anything, I can record 2 things at once AND I can start watching one of my recordings before it has finished.  I can set it to record a certain program every week and it will record it EVEN if the day and time changes that the show comes on or if it comes on an extra time during the week!!!  If you don't have one...INVEST!!! Make your life easier!!

6. my camera.  Also, another purchase by my hunk of a man... well, really it was a joint gift, but he did supply the majority of the funding for said purchase...  But, I love it!  I have never, ever had a camera this nice before and the pictures it takes are A MAZING!!  Makes me look like I have some idea about what I am doing... but I really don't... so don't tell anyone!  It is our anniversary/Christmas/birthday/valentines day/whateverelseforthenext5years gift to each other.  Nikon you hear the music?  I do...

7. Starbucks.  White chocolate mocha with whip... do I really need to justify this one??  I didn't think so...

8. facebook.  Okay, I know that I may be reaching on this one, but... I resisted soooo long before I finally caved.  Now, I love it!  I have been able to get in touch with people that I haven't seen in 15 years!!  It has been so much fun reconnecting with them again!  And, i can just shoot friends a quick message whenever I want to!  If you don't have a FB page, you should give it a try!  But a quick warning... it CAN be as, if not more so, addicting than blogging!!

9. my calendar. I can not live without my calendar.  And I don't mean one on my phone or computer either.  I mean my good, old fashioned, hanging on my fridge calendar.  I have to write everything down on it.  And I check it everyday, sometimes more than once... or twice... just in case something has changed...hehehe  Seriously, I can't tell you how much I depend on it.  If I don't write it on there, it ain't gonna happen sistah!

10. my GHD.  AKA my flat iron.  I love this flat iron.  GHD actually stands for Good Hair Day.  I'm not kidding...  And, again, my fabulous man bought this for me for Christmas a couple of years ago.  I haven't had many bad hair days since I figured out how to use it properly!  It is a bit pricey for a flat iron, but soooo worth it!  Try it!  You'll see...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not Much Longer Now...

MMMMMMM HMMMMM..... that's all I'm sayin.... Only about 1 month to go....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Jackson

I can't believe that you are 8 years old today!!!  Wow!!  You have grown and changed sooo much!  You started the 2nd grade this year and completed a lot of your work before Christmas!  You are such a smart kid!  Your brother and your sister, even though they bug you a lot, love you very much and always have fun playing with you.  You and Wyatt especially love to pretend like you are Jedi's and fight with your light sabers.  And there isn't a video game out there that you can't play!  You have gotten so tall this year too.  You are almost as tall as I am!!! (Which Daddy says isn't really saying all that much...anyway...) You have become such a helper for mommy too.  You make the bed in the morning and get yourself dressed.  You take the big garbage can to the road for dad and even help mommy with the dishes, loading and unloading the dishwasher, though you DO think its fun to wash them in the sink!  You are a great reader too!  Wyatt and Mallory love for you to read them stories!  And you can play dominos with the best of us!  You love to be with your Gran-Gran on the farm...anywhere that he goes, YOU want to go.  You even call him and ask him if he has any work for you to do!!  And you love to spend the night with your Mia and Papa and go eat breakfast with Papa and his buddies on Saturday mornings!  You even share your Papa's love for golf and played in a tournament this past summer.  And you also learned how to drive a 4wheeler at the Davis' house!  But the best most important thing of all...this year you gave your heart to Jesus.  Out of everything you have done, and everything else you will do, you have already done the best thing by asking him into your heart.  I love to see you reading your Bible and taking it with you to church.

Mommy and Daddy love you so much!!  And we are so proud of you!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Where I've Been

Okay...I know that I haven't been here for a while, but I do have reason...though they may not be good ones!  First of all, believe it or not, my kids really haven't done anything blogworthy lately.  I know, hard to believe around here, but it's true!  Then I had a small accident this weekend.  I tore my somemusclethatIcan'tspellorpronounce in my calf muscle.  Supposed to take about 2-3 weeks to completely heal and I am on crutches...kinda.  I just can't use them often anymore.  They are KILLING me!!!  So, I only use them when I start hurting really bad.  I know that many of you are telling me that's not gonna help it heal any faster, but YOU try chasing after 3 kids on crutches...doesn't work all that great!

But...I did get a visit from Casey on Saturday!!!  We miss him bunches and were sooo glad that he came over for a while.  My kids love him to death and they didn't leave him alone the whole time that he was here!!  I'm hoping that he comes back more often!!

The other reason I haven't been here much is because some of my friends, who I will not name...Ang and Julie...told me how much I needed Facebook...repeatedly.  So, I caved.  Now, I love it!!  So, I have been trying to figure it all out and get the hang of things over there!!  Cause you know, I just needed ONE more way to stay in touch with you all!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Journey Is Over...

Yesterday was a full and very happy day for me.  I left Thursday night once the kids were in bed and headed to Ang's house.  We were able to spend the whole day together on Friday!!  Took the Things to school, had coffee, went to lunch, went for a walk in the woods...a looooong walk...uphill...both ways... mmmm hmmm... , played "school" with Thing3 and Thing4 and read a story to Thing4.  Then TB&H grilled steaks!!!  YUMMY!!  After that it was time for me to hit the road.  It was not easy.  It is always so hard to say bye to all of them!  I love those Things sooo much.  They all have me wrapped!  I am so fortunate to have the kind of friendship with Ang that I do already! She is the best and I love her too!  I can't wait till we get together again...SOON!!!! 

I left and headed to the Atlanta airport to pick up Jay and Emily and little Ashley!  When I pulled up to the airport and stood there waiting for them, my heart was pounding a mile a minute!!  I was so excited to see them!  And when they got there, she was just as beautiful as her pictures!  She was smiling, even after the long day they all had.  Emily took her out of the stroller and Ashley gave me a big grin.  My heart just melted into a big old puddle.  Then, she took her chubby little hand and wrapped it around my finger to walk to the car.  That did it...right then and there I decided she could have and do whatever she wanted to on the way home!!

She did great on the ride home, especially considering the fact that she had never been in a carseat before.  I didn't know it, but Emily said they don't use them in China!  Finally, about 1:15am we made it to their house.  Avery was already with us, and Jay went and got the other girls up.  Ashley never missed a beat!  She just started running around the house like she had always been there!  She let Jay and Emily's mom hold her for a second and then she started handing out the kisses!  She laid one on me so big that I had drool dripping off my face too!  I loved every minute of it!

I feel so privileged that not only does she share my name, but that I was able to go and pick them up last night and see her!  The journey to Ashley Mei might be over, but a new journey for Jay and Emily and the girls has just begun!

first family photo!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

On The Road Again

After the kids go to bed tonight I will be getting back in the car again for another little trip.  I am picking up Jay and Emily, Avery and little Ashley from the airport tomorrow!!!  I can't wait to see them!!  And since I was gonna be soooo close to Ang...well, we decided to have a quick spend the night party again and spend some time together tomorrow before I pick up the crew from the airport!!  I wasn't supposed to leave until the morning, but my wonderful husband suggested that I go ahead tonight so that we could spend the whole day together tomorrow!!  What a Man!!!  So, tomorrow will be a very full and super exciting day for me!!  The only thing that would be the icing on the cake is if Abby decides to have the foal while I'm there....  Pictures will come soon!!!  Woo to the HOO!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Maine Recap

Well, we made it home!!  Though we had to get up at 330am...I am still glad to be here!  We had such a good time, better than I ever thought we would.  I thought I knew what it would be like...but I wasn't really even close!  We shopped, we ate, went sledding and tubing, we laughed, had snowball fights, and generally just acted like a bunch of kids!  

So, here are some things that I learned on my trip...
anything covered in snow looks gorgeous!!!!
if you want to try on anything in a store, you have to really want to try it on!  You must commit to it because you have to take off soooo many layers!
wearing a hat that much does NOT do good things to my hair.
don't wear jeans that are too long in the snow...they will be wet up to the calf before the day is over if you do.
when snow melts on your freshly done hair, it will make it wet thus you should just wear the hat anyway...
if you step on the gas too hard in your truck, you WILL spin out in the road...
and the most important thing I learned in Maine is almost painful to sit on the toilet seats!  Talk about coooooollllldddd!!!!

little grocery store we used

someone forgot to kill the animal and take them off the boot in ColeHaans
just thought that last picture was fun nee!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Getting Ready To Head Home...

Sadly, we packed up our stuff today and left our cottage on the coast... I'm sure most of you could hear me weeping... We hated to do it, but we must get back to reality soon. We left the cottage and headed into Freeport to do some much needed shopping! Let's see...we hit Banana Republic (found a GREAT shirt there for $8), GAP, Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren (good deals there too!), Timberland, Yankee Candle Co., JCrew and of course LLBean! We also had lunch at a great restaurant called the Broad Arrow Tavern. It was the best ever...lobster stew, fried haddock sandwich..and milk chocolate/white chocolate cheesecake on an oreo cookie crust! OMG!!! DA BOMB!!!

Now, we are in our hotel in Portland waiting on our pizza and for 24 to come on!!! We have to be at the airport at 430am...YUCK!!! So, there wont be anything exciting for tomorrow :( We are all sad to leave the snow...I could totally do this, live here... But, it's back to real life I go...

I will add the pictures to this post camera wont download to my computer!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snow Day

Today was a snow day!!!  It started snowing some time in the wee hours of the morning!  So when we got up everything was covered in fresh snow!!  We lazed around for a while and Ryan led a Sunday morning devotional for us.  Then, since we had no food in the house, we ventured out into the snow storm for lunch!  We ate at the Damariscotta River Grille and it was the best meal we had by far!  The waitress there told us that most all of the local restaurants were closing early because of the storm!  Right then and there we decided to do a repeat performance of our lobster dinner!  After lunch we tried to go sledding again...but the snow was too fresh and too deep.  Instead, Ry and Frank decided that it would be a good idea to have a wrestling match with me and Steph in the snow!  Needless to say we were all soaked to the bone by the time they were done with us!!  The snow had turned to rain by then since it had warmed up to about 34 degrees so no snowman either.... :(  Hung out at the house and read books, played on the computer and napped.... A good day was had by all...