Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wuv, twue wuv...

You know it is true love when your husband offers you his "blankie" to sleep with because you know...yours has VOMIT on it. 3 year old vomit. That is vomit from a three year old, not vomit that is three years old...GROSS.

And I'll just leave you with that lovely thought.

The Best Laid Plans

The plan was to leave today for our trip to Indiana. We'll be spending Christmas there with my family. Unfortunately last night Will came down with a fever and a headache. He seems to feel a little better today so we are hoping to leave in the morning for our trip. It wasn't all bad. We've been able to have some downtime today and I probably won't have to pull an all-nighter to get us packed up for the trip. That definitely would have been the case if we had left this morning. Even with the downtime today, I still feel so worn down. I think the holiday season is taking a toll on me, at least that is a much better alternative to the thought that I might be coming down with whatever ails William.

Because we spend Christmas away from home, we open all of our presents before we leave (except for the ones from "you know who" (still no boomerang...I think we're going to have to pick something else that he asked for and blame any misunderstanding on the elves...they can be so irresponsible sometimes, you know). Don't worry the children will still have plenty of presents on Christmas morning from other family members! By the way, if any of you are looking for a CARS related toy for your children...this was a HUGE hit and is cheap. Seriously, HOURS of entertainment for everyone.

One of my favorite presents was this. I'll probably use it mostly for smoothies, but I'm in need of some good recipes. Anyone have suggestions?

I'm pretty sure I've entertained you enough for one evening, so I'm going to sign off for now, not sure how much if any I will be on the blog this week while we are gone.

Merry Christmas, friends! Have a blessed one...it would be hard not to when we have this to remember and be thankful for!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's a Conspiracy

I think our six year old is outsmarting us. He has been asking about whether "you know who" is real. You DO know who, right? We're not talking about God here and "you know who" directly relates to Christmas. Are you with me? I'm trying to be covert in case anyone has children who might be reading over their shoulder or in case there are any adults out there that might be troubled by such talk of not believing in "you know who".

ANYWAY.

Richie has been asking questions for a couple of years now...yes, he's quite the skeptic. I think the "gig" is just about up. I'm not sure I'm ready for that. But, I also don't want to lie to him. So far I have been able to distract him when the crucial question is asked. You know...by saying things like, "Look there's a U.F.O.!" or by dropping heavy objects on his toe.

Kidding! I would never do that!

Mostly I just pretend like I don't hear him. Great alternative, I know.

Sorry, back to the conspiracy theory. I think Richie might be conspiring against us by asking for an obscure item from "you know who" as a test. I say this because it seems that only "you know who" could possibly locate said item. He could probably just have one of his "little helpers" whip one up in that stinkin' workshop.

Whatever!

Unfortunately, we mere mortal parents cannot seem to locate one even after searching high, low, far, and wide at every store in a 40 mile radius...even after enlisting a couple of friends to search their warehouses and pull some strings. What about online you say? Sure, as long as we don't mind paying $142.79 for shipping to get it here by Christmas.

What is the item? No, it is not a Wii. It's a boomerang. A boomerang. WHERE IN THE WORLD did he get it in his head to ask for a BOOMERANG???? We've never been to Australia. We haven't even dined at the The Outback recently.

Laws of mercy.

What to do, WHAT to do?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tiny Talk Tuesday - Holiday Version

Hello there! It's been awhile. I've been a little busy...present shopping, gift wrapping, cookie baking, fudge making, goodie eating, party attending, credit card swiping, Christmas movie watching, carol singing and more.

I decided to resurface with this fun post! I have been meaning to participate in this activity for awhile now and have just not been able to get my stuff together. But guess what? This week, I did it!

Mary at Not Before 7 hosts Tiny Talk each Tuesday and just recently listed some fun questions to ask your children for a holiday version of Tiny Talk. So, here are my favorite answers to said questions...plus some video of my caroling cuties!

(FYI - the parts in parentheses are my commentary)

My favorite answers from Will (Age 3 yrs)

Why do we celebrate Christmas? Because it snows outside.

What is your favorite food/treat to eat at Christmas time? Sprinkles

What is the best part about Christmas?
Uh…Uh…Uh…Uh…Uh…Uh…Christmas trees and presents?

What should daddy buy mommy for Christmas? Nothing, just a Little People Movie. (Yep! All I want for Christmas is a Little People Movie.)

My favorite Answers from Richie (Age 6yrs)

What would you like for Christmas?
10, 000 different Star Wars people (whoa)

Why do we give presents? Because when we are good and kind...not angry...not hating we give God love and that’s a gift. (Isn't that a beautiful answer? Made this Mama proud)

Why do we have a tree to decorate?
Because it reminds us of the cradle that Jesus was born in…because the branches on the tree kind of look like the straw that was in the cradle. (Isn't he going to be good at answering essay questions he doesn't really know the answer to? Gets this from his Father ;-)

Why was there no room at the inn?
Because so many people were traveling to their own homes where they were babies because the King sent them to their own places where they were born. And then Jophes (that is not a typo...he really calls him that ;-) and Mary had to go to the manger because there was no room in the inn.

What gifts did the wise men bring?
Gold, Silver, Mark, and May (Wha??)

What food should we leave for Santa?
Cookies, carrots, macaroni and cheese, and a bell with a note that says “This bell is for you Santa. It is from Will, Daddy, Mommy, and Richie."

8. How did Santa get so fat?
I know! By eating so much cookies. He needs to be more healthy.

And now some some caroling cuties...

William singing "Jingle Bells" (don't you just love the little hop at the end?)

video

Another of Will (even though it isn't a Christmas song)


video

Finally, Richie singing We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

video


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Proper Pronunciation of My Name

I just had a sober realization. Some of you may not know how to pronounce my name (collective gasp). I was over at Tara's blog putting my vote in for her to use my name if her baby is a girl and realized that some of you out there in blogland might be mispronouncing my name as you read it. This troubled me so greatly that I felt the need to clear up any confusion IMMEDIATELY.

I'm not sure why it troubled me, because people have mispronounced my name all of my life. It is so common that many times I don't even correct the person. In fact, there was a lady at church who said my name wrong for YEARS before she realized her mistake. Another man has been mispronouncing it for just as long and still hasn't caught on. I always wonder if they don't NOTICE that everyone else says it differently???

Of course, my favorite mispronunciation memory (try saying that 10 times really fast) was on my first day of junior high when my name was listed on the roster as Alan. They forgot the "a" on the end and I had to explain to EVERY TEACHER for EVERY CLASS that I was not a girl named Alan. Yes siree, just the kind of nondescript entrance every girl wants for her first day of 7th grade. Good times. I'm not traumatized, either...not one bit.

But, I'm sure you can see why I might feel the need to clear up any misunderstanding here.

No?

Just humor me.

Are you ready?

(drumroll please)

My name is pronounced...

(uh-lay-nuh)

So, there you have it. Were you pronouncing it correctly in your head as you read it or no?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fun and Random Christmas Questions (aka Christmas Meme)

Sweet Renee tagged me for this Meme. It looked like a lot of fun so I thought I would give it a whirl.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Mostly wrapping paper, but when I start to go cross eyed from all the wrapping, I don't hesitate to pull out the gift bags.

2. Real tree or artificial?
When we were first married I insisted on a real tree (mostly because I had never had one) and I loved it. However, the mess and expense of a real tree eventually calculated into the decision making and when we found a very real looking fake we quite effortlessly crossed over to the dark side. I think the last real tree we had went down in the history books. I was pregnant with Richie (in the sick part) and Rich trying to be sweet bought a tree, brought it home, and set it up as a surprise for me. Poor guy didn't know what hit him when I broke down claiming it smelled like kitty litter (it really did), and insisted , "either the tree goes, or I go!".

3. When do you put up the tree?
It varies from year to year, but always AFTER Thankgiving.

4.When do you take the tree down?
After New Year's.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Blech!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Apparently I was an ungrateful child because nothing stands out to me.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, we have a really cool one that was passed down from Rich's parents. Also, we have three kid friendly ones that the boys play with.

8. Easiest person to buy for?
My boys...anything Star Wars for Richie and anything Lightning McQueen for Will.

9. Hardest person to buy for?
Rich. He has a long list of things I will NEVER buy for him EVER again including a watch, wallet, and briefcase. Although, I did score a couple of years ago when I bought him a Video iPod. I'm very uninspired so far this year...sorry honey.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I can't think of anything, really. My Mom and Dad always shopped off of a wish list and Rich usually does a great job.

11. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
Mail, although I seriously considered emailing this year to save some moola. The price of postage (and my Christmas card list) is getting out of control. By the way, I took everyone's advice and used some of favorite picture bloopers (from this post) on our card. I have to say, you all were right, it might be my favorite one ever.

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
This is a toughie. Probably favorite one ever is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I remember getting to stay up late to watch it when it was on television when I was a kid. I also love It's A Wonderful Life, and The Santa Clause.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Late, usually. I really want to be an early shopper, but it never happens.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
If I had received this by email I would have deleted this question because I didn't want to answer it.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Peanut Butter Fudge and (of course) mashed potatoes...but not together because that would be sick and wrong.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
CLEAR!

17. Favorite Christmas song?
A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Usually we travel.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
No, but I learned about a new one last year from Richie. His name is Blister.

20. Angel on the tree top, or a star?
Currently, a star. We have two stars and an angel.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Growing up we always opened them on Christmas Eve because we traveled to my Grandparent's house for Christmas Day. However, now we always opens on Christmas Day.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Being an adult. Christmas was so much more fun when I was a kid and had no responsibilities.

23. What I love most about Christmas?
The music, the lights, the FOOD, the Christmas cards, the joy in my children, the bells,
all of the special things that are reserved for this time of year alone, and most importantly the celebration of the most precious gift of all.

Consider yourself tagged if you have not done this meme yet and would like to!




Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sun Bees

Okay, I have to share what Will did today. It was the cutest thing ever (I'm really not being partial). I was sitting on the couch this morning (so unlike me, I know...not really...that is sarcasm for those of you don't know me so well...sorry moving on) and he comes over and starts clapping in the air. So I said, "Will, what are you doing?" And he said, "I'm catching sun bees". I thought he was talking about the sunbeams, but he was actually referring to the little dust particles that you see in the air (at least we do at my house) when the sun is shining through the window. He was trying to catch the little particles which (in case you didn't know) are apparently called sun bees. I love it...now and forevermore that is what they will be to me!


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

30 Things to Be Thankful For

In November, I posted this. And in the sidebar of my blog I kept a running list of things I was thankful for. I had such a fun time with this. I saw that Xandra made a post with her list to keep for posterity and I thought I would do the same. Also, I must say thanks to Leah for sharing the idea with me!

(drum roll please)

I'm Thankful For...

3 yr old speak
My smiling six year old soccer player
Crunchy Leaves
Stumbling upon a waterfall
My Striped Pajama Pants
My purse sized Bible
An Understanding Photographer
My Blankie
Ballroom Dancing with my Honey
A Free Saturday Morning
Our Small Group
NERTZ Crazed Friends
Pot Roast simmering in the Crock Pot
Meals in the freezer
Blogging
Cheap Babysitting
Family Fun
Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast
School Vacation
A Night Out w/out Kids
Cute Babies
Thanksgiving Dinner...YUM!
Thanksgiving Leftovers...YUM!
Christmas Music
Talking with a Friend
God's Strength in Me
The Library
Bedtime
Sweet boys
God's Peace in Me

Thank you, Lord for these blessings and MORE!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Doesn't Anyone Know What Christmas Is All About?

Yesterday afternoon, I snuggled on the couch with these two little guys (one on each side ;-) and this to watch a little afternoon movie.

Here's my favorite part...




Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Meme Time!

Third time's a charm. I've been tagged for this meme by Heather, Kimmy, and Jennifer. I'm finally getting around to it. I've been trying to think of some things to write about. I've done this meme once before early on in my blogging career ;-) And I posted 100 random things when I hit my 100th post. I'm not sure there is anything else of interest to share. But I'll give it a whirl. If I was brave I could let Kimmy share 8 random things she remembers about me from our growing up years, but I'm not.

So, here goes...

1) When I was stressed out in college I would sometimes talk in my sleep. One time my roommate said I sat straight up in bed and said "ALL THE CHICKEN YOU CAN EAT!". Remember that Dee Dee?

2) As a child when I would get into trouble with my sisters I would open the window and scream (at the top of my lungs, I might add) "HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!".

3) I have a very short attention span when it comes to creative projects. You know those sewing patterns that say "1 hour". They actually take MORE than one hour. Don't those McCalls people know that liars go to Hell (Revelation 21:8)?

4) I think I've mentioned this before, but I think it bears repeating because the folks at Wendy's don't seem to get it. Medium Cokes or smaller taste BETTER than large ones. I don't know if it is the syrup to bubble ratio or what, but that is my story and I'm stickin' to it!

5) I realize this could be a controversial subject, but I heart MAC's. I was disillusioned by them in high school, but they have CHANGED, you guys. I converted a couple of years ago and I WILL NEVER GO BACK TO A PC...EVER!!!!!! Those MAC commercials are the God's honest truth. And I can say that knowing full well the scripture Revelation 21:8.

6) My house was completely straightened at one point today...you should see it now. Funny thing is, that happens to me every day and I still straighten it. Why?

7) I was baptized twice. Not because the first one didn't take, but because the church wanted a picture for the photo directory. True story.

8) I'm very sensitive. I worry a lot if I feel that I have offended someone or if I think they might be upset with me for any reason. However, I have learned through some difficult situations in my life that there is often nothing you can do to convince someone that your heart is true. Sometimes the old CD-Rom (of past experiences) playing in his/her head tells them otherwise and nothing you say will change that. In those times, I find comfort in the fact that God knows my heart and ultimately He is the only one who counts.

Well, that was a bit of downer at the end, huh? Sorry about that.

And with that I will close. Oh, wait. I'm supposed to tag 8 people, but I think many of you have already done this before. If you have not done it before and you are needing some blog fodder...consider yourself tagged ;-)



Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Link it up!

Read THIS!!!

It is HILARIOUS! A little scary (because I have two boys), but FUNNY. It was posted by one of my childhood friends, Kimmy. It is so fun to be back in touch with you, my friend!


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Finally...The Photo Session From Hades (pardon my greek)

What's the saying? A day late and a dollar short? I guess that makes me about nine bucks in the hole. I really have an issue with the whole blogging follow through. It is one of my many issues. What can I say? I am a work in progress.

In my defense there has been a lot going on around here in the last couple of weeks including a weeklong visit from Rich's Mom, Dad, Brother, and Sister in Law. We had such a fun time. The boys absolutely adore their time with these loved ones. What is not to love about constant attention from the people who love you most? There was lots of book reading, sculpture building, Atari playing, movie watching, game playing, present opening, dog chasing (cousin Rueger the dog came, too) fun!

But on to the real purpose of this post. I last left you with this photo...


Really, what more is there to say? I know you guys can relate. I mean, surely you have had one of those moments when your children were quite LITERALLY...

BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS?


You know...one of those moments when you cannot explain away their obscenely ill behavior? Or find yourself saying "I promise we didn't give them an IV of Sugar syrup before we came here."? Or when you don't feel any better even when the photographer says that she nearly had a mental breakdown the last time she tried to take a family photo with her children? Or when you are dreaming up (behind the fake smile) ways to make them PAY for the insanity? Or when you can't believe that even after 107 camera clicks there is not ONE SINGLE picture of the whole family looking at the camera in any semblance of a good photo?

Yeah...GOOD TIMES. My only consolation? My husband is a graphic designer and a genius at Photoshop. And don't think I won't take full advantage his services before our Christmas card goes out this year. But for now, I'll leave you with a few of my favorite "bloopers" from the picture taking debacle of 2007.

Enjoy!

Co-conspirators



Richie, let's make a break for it!



Seriously, Will. Just look at the camera!


The Choke Hold - Does Richie look a little blue to you?



And my personal favorite...





Friday, November 23, 2007

She Truly IS Outrageous



Does this take anyone else back to 10 yrs old in an INSTANT? I can remember standing in front of the television (console, of course) rockin' out and wanting to BE her.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Contagious Generosity

My pastor this week started a sermon series called Contagious Generosity. He referenced this verse in his sermon.

One man gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:24-25

He didn't realize that the very next day our church would be given a profound opportunity to live this out when a sweet family in our church lost their home to a fire.

I asked prayer for this family in my last post and was so encouraged by your prayers and well wishes for this friend of mine.

Sharon (the Mom) and I are on the worship team together and have recently become accountability partners. I have been so blessed by her faith and friendship. They are doing well for their current circumstances, but of course are still processing all that has happened and working through the logistics of starting over. Your continued prayers are welcomed. Also, some of you have asked if there is any way you can help. If you would like to bless them in this way, please email me and I can give you some ideas of how to do that.

Also, while I am at it, I'd like to ask prayer for another dear friend of mine, Sunnie, who also happens to be the Children's Minister at our church. She just found out that her Mother has a brain aneurysm that is located in a very dangerous place. She and her family are praying about what treatment options they might pursue.

Lots of things are heavy on our hearts this Thanksgiving, but God is good and your prayers are such an encouragement.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Prayer Needed

Please pray for my good friend Sharon, her husband, and three girls who lost their home to a fire yesterday afternoon. Everyone is safe, but their home is in very bad shape. Very little of their belongings will be salvaged.

Thank you, friends!


Saturday, November 17, 2007

He Speaks the Truth

So, today Richie was lying on the bed under my blankie and I tackled him.

He squealed, "Mommy!" And I said, "How did you know it was me?".

His reply? "Because you smell good and Daddy doesn't smell that good.".

Uh-huh.

Oh, and obviously soon is relative in regards to my last post.

Sorry.

Abigail, I hope you're still breathing.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Coming Soon...


...The Photo Session from Hades
.

(pardon my Greek)


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just Followin' the Rules

It seems that I have broken an unwritten rule by not blogging about Janelle's birthday party. Shelley, knew she get me to do this by making me feel like I was not following the rules. Now we're not only dealing with trash talk, but mind games as well!

I may not be competitive, but I do follow the rules.

So, here we go....

Let's see, what angle should I go with?

Hmmm...

Could I be the first to blog about it? Nope.

Maybe I could do a thorough overview? Nope.

Discuss the frighteningly competitive nature of some of my friends? Nope.

How about publicly apologize for any overzealous trash talk? Nope.

Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! I know. I could talk about Carissa's Drawer-O-Cards. Nope.

I guess that just leaves...

Happy Birthday, Janelle! There are no words to express the love and respect I have for you. I thank God for you and count myself blessed to call you friend!


Monday, November 12, 2007

I HEART Blankie


BEHOLD
, I bring you good news of great JOY that will be for all the people!

I found more blankies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can I hear an AMEN?

Seriously, friends...

RUN.

DO. NOT. WALK.


To your nearest TJ MAXX store to purchase your very own piece of heaven.

I do not exaggerate! My 6 year old has been going to bed each night, glancing back forlornly at THE blankie and saying things like, "I wish that was MY blankie" with sad, puppy dog eyes. It's sad, really. Not so sad, that I would give it to him, but sad...very sad.

Ahem.

As, I was saying, go now while supplies last! Especially those of you who live in b-town because I bought three more today...one for each of my boys (because I'm not completely hard hearted)...and it was all I could do not to buy the whole stock to save for future generations.

I'm not kidding.

So, you are looking for the Liz Claiborne So Soft Oversized Throw (ONLY $12.99!!!!).

What are you doing still sitting there?

GO!


Saturday, November 10, 2007

CAN HE DO IT? YES, HE CAN!

How sad is it when your six year old can...

Seriously.

LEGITIMATELY.

KICK.YOUR.TAIL.

in Memory?


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Take a Hike

I may have still been on a high from my crunchy leaf expedition when I suggested on Sunday afternoon that we take a family hike.

Yes, you read that right. Don't feel bad if it shocks you, I can hardly believe it myself.

I'm not exactly the outdoorsy type, as much as I'd like to be. I'm sort of allergic to the outdoors. I want to enjoy it, but it usually just makes me sneeze and have a runny nose. Plus, it is often hot, cold, and/or contains a lot of bugs.

And we all know how I feel about certain types of bugs.

But you see, Sunday, was a crisp, cool, beautiful day and the crunchy leaves were calling my name. It REALLY could have backfired. We could have ended up out in the middle of NOWHERE with two children who wanted to be carried back to SOMEWHERE.

SCARY THOUGHT.

Thankfully, God had mercy on our ambitious nature (no pun intended) and blessed us with a beautiful hike. I didn't need a Kleenex once, and the boys LOVED it.

Best of all, we stumbled upon this...


"I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?"

Psalm 77:12&13


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Lie

"Satan's ultimate lie is that you are capable of being the god of your own life, and his ultimate bondage is getting you to live as though his lie is truth."

Neil Anderson, The Bondage Breaker
(found in Beth Moore's book - Praying God's Word)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

CRUNCH

You guys are going to think I'm crazy, but I had to record a little moment of happiness I had today. One thing that gives me great joy in life is "crunching" leaves. It is a pastime I discovered in college.

It is both passion and obsession. I love to do it and I HAVE to do it. If a crunchy leaf crosses my path, I will not be rest until it has been satisfactorily crunched!

I know, I know...a little C-R-A-Z-Y.

But fun.

Oh, AND I rinse ice.



The Thankful Month

Leah at South Breeze Farm came up with a lovely idea.

I'm joining the ranks of the thankful! Check out my list in the sidebar. I plan to add something new to the list every day in November.

I like the idea of putting things into perspective before the Christmas season starts.

Join us if you'd like!

Thanks Xandra!

A very belated thank you to Xandra for awarding me this...



If you have not checked out Xandra's blog called A Heart of Service, you are missing out. She is one sweet lady and woman after God's own heart!

Oh, and she is actually doing the new Esther study live and IN PERSON with Beth Moore. How cool is that?

Thank you very much, Xandra. I am honored!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tradition

It all started on a crisp, cool morning in October of 2001. I saw a fall display at the college where Rich worked. It seemed like a perfect photo opportunity. Out of that photo a tradition was born.

The first year was an easy snapshot of Richie (just 3 months old) lying on a blanket. The second year brought a picture taking challenge in the form of a pumpkin grabbing toddler, the third year a sweet big brother holding "his baby", the fourth year brought pumpkin grabbing toddler #2, last year it seemed they were both getting the hang of it.

And this year...





Wednesday, October 24, 2007

At Long Last...

...I am back on the blog. I'm woefully behind in blog reading as you may or may not have noticed. Unfortunately I was unable to access the internet while on my trip. Actually, I was unwilling to pay the $14.95 a day the hotel/convention center was charging for that privilege. Can you say "HIGHYWAY ROBBERY" and "SICK AND WRONG"?

Yes, I AM bitter.

Anyway, I arrived home on Sunday evening, but have been wading through piles of mail and school papers (unfortunately did not get to through this pile in time to see that my son's school pictures left a little to be desired and that the picture retakes had already taken place...lovely), dealing with a mysterious rash on my eldest (possibly caused by one too many "happy meals"???), major car repairs, suitcase unpacking, laundry, and the various and sundry other items that tend to pile up and greet you with warm welcome when you are away for any period of time.

By the way, my husband did survive (as did the children). The house was in GREAT order when I returned home and although there may have been some excessive McDonald's eating, all in all Rich faired well. So, dear husband this is your official and virtual pat on the back. You are THE Man! MANY thanks and MUCH love to you my sweet.

I have so much that I could share, but I thought that I would just share some basic highlights from the convention. In no particular order...

1) You can view my all time favorite moment of the actual convention here. Seriously, this was the most fun I've had in a long time. 400+ grown women throwing balls at (I mean to) each other. I was hit in the head at least a couple of times and our table was filled with coffee splatter from leftover Starbucks cups being pummeled at high velocity. Good times.

2) It wasn't all fun and games. We did get serious. We had several great speakers including Becky Bailey, Daniel Levitin, Maria Bailey, and Ysaye Barnwell. We also were treated to a concert by this group.

3) In order to save money, I did not sign up for many of the evening "extras". So I was left with some free time to spend here. My favorite purchases came from here. Oh dear, I just realized that I probably spent all the money that I saved not going to the convention extras at the mall. Oops.

4) Like any self-respecting convention there was of course a place to buy Kindermusik products. I enjoyed this immensely because I came away with some SERIOUS deals. By the way, (slightly off the subject) has anyone ever noticed that there is a room named Utopia A and B in every convention center known to man? Why is that?

5) I watched two whole movies all by myself in the comfort of my hotel room. Ahhh!

6) I perused through this store to my heart's content and bought my very own grown up size blankie (soft as a baby's bottom) for only $12.99. It is my new favorite thing.

7) And last, but not least, the fact that all the walking I did surely worked off any extra calories that I consumed here, here and here.

So, there you have it. A glimpse into my little adventure. I promise to catch up on all of your blogs soon! You guys were busy while I was gone ;-)


Monday, October 15, 2007

Over and Out

I'm leaving tomorrow and will be heading here to attend this event.

I'll be leaving my family behind. So, please pray for safe travel for me and sanity for him. Seriously. Pray for my hubby as he holds down the fort singlehandedly. That is no easy job.

All of the preparations are making my head explode. I have made a handy dandy reference list for my hubby. I have enlisted this friend and this friend to help with childcare. And of course, this friend, this friend, and this friend have all offered to lend a hand as well, if needed. I have great friends!!!

I've made my packing list, I'm finishing up the laundry and I've had a heart to heart with my husband. Nothing serious, mind you. It went something like this...

Me: Okay, should I try to plan out meals for you OR are you just going to take them to McDonald's anyway?

Him: Yeah...the second.

I'm so glad I asked the question. I do have some "easy to prepare" things in the freezer if he decides to be ambitious, but I kinda doubt it. Oh well, I guess that is the fun of having Dad in charge!

Friends, I AM taking my computer so I will try to check in when/if I find some hot spots, but may not be doing much posting.

I hope you have a blessed week!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Quatro Cosas

I got tagged for this Meme by Darlene. Thanks Darlene! Feel free to play along if you haven't done it yet!

Four Jobs I Have Had

1) Kindermusik Teacher
2) Music Minister
3) Inventory Specialist
4) Mommy

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over

1) Anne of Green Gables
2) Anne of Avonlea
3) Nine Months ("This is MY MOMENT!")
4) Little Women

Four Shows I Watch on T.V

1) 24 (What will that Jack Bauer do next?)
2) American Idol
3) Grey's Anatomy
4) ER

Four Places that I Have Vacationed

1) Nantucket Island, MA (Honeymoon)
2) Scotland (while we lived in England)
3) Gulf Shores, AL (2nd Anniversary)
4) Vegas (last year for our 10th anniversary)

Four of my Favorite Dishes

1) Mashed Potatoes (My Mom's)
2) Manicotti (Olive Garden)
3) Roast, Potatoes, and Carrots (My Mom's)
4) Chicken Enchiladas (Casa Fuentes...hole in the wall mexican place where we live)

Four Places I'd Rather Be

1) Milligan College, TN
2) Nantucket, MA
3) Indiana (where my family lives)
4) Florida (where Rich's family lives)

That's all folks!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ramblin'

Well, it has been awhile since I wrote a post of unadulterated randomness, so guess what? It's your lucky day!

I'm sitting here with a bottle of water and a few empty Halloween candy wrappers by my side. I bought the candy for "decoration". Yeah, right...now they'll be "decorating" my thighs.

I've flipped through the channels and read through all of my bloglines and I guess the only thing left to do is write a post about NOTHING.

Oh wait. Here's something. I finished those thank you cards today! Only three months late, but hey...better late than never. Honestly, I probably would have forgotten about them all together, but I had little postcard thank you notes printed with this picture...



What else could I do with the pile of postcards that said..."As you can see, our little Skywalker had a GREAT time at his birthday party! Hope you did, too! Thanks for joining us! Love, Richie". The only option was to use them for their intended purpose. I did add a "p.s." at the bottom that says, "Sorry this is so late!" because I would not be me if I didn't.

Hmmm, let's see...what else?

I made dinner two nights in a row! I even used the timer on my oven so the chicken potpie I made would be golden brown and bubbly hot when we got home from Will's soccer game. Of course, our dinner was postponed for a while when we realized that we needed to make a Columbus Day boat for school. The instructions said that the boat could either float or sink. Hmmm...let me think about that one. Yes, we are definitely boat floating types. Rich and Richie whipped up an impressive specimen in about 30 minutes (while Richie was eating his dinner). Thank God for my creative husband!

Speaking of school, the rule follower in me is being torn in two directions with Richie's homework. You see, each week they bring home two letters to learn. They are supposed to color the "letter people" pictures, trace the letters in capital and lowercase, find three pictures of things that start with that letter from a magazine and glue them into the "Letter People" book. All of that is fine and dandy. The real problem comes when it is time to label the pictures. They encourage you to let them spell the words phonetically. Wha??? Excuse me?? You're talking to the 2nd runner up of the 4th grade school spelling bee. You spell the words RIGHT or your opponent gets "sailboat" for a final word and you LOSE! I've said it before and I'll say it again, "sailboat is SO NOT a 4th grade word"! I'm really not bitter...I'm not...really...but I think you can see why I might hyperventilate a little at the thought of telling my son it is in ANY WAY okay to spell a word incorrectly. Thankfully, Richie usually spells them right on his own. He only gets confused when the letters don't match the sounds or when there is a silent "e", etc. So, I let him spell the parts that he can and then I help him with the tough sounds. I can't help it. Hopefully, I'm not opening a can of worms here, but what do you all think? Am I doing the wrong thing?

Well, it is getting late and I should probably retire for the evening. But before I go, I must share with you the results of my latest poll. The question posed was...shoes - heels or flats? 6 of you (66%) prefer flats versus 3 (33%) of you who prefer heels. Thought provoking, I know. Feel free to leave your 2 cents on this very important matter.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

You Reap What You Sow

A couple of years ago at a MOPS convention, I came across an interesting resource called Seeds Family Worship. They are worship CDs for families. The lyrics to the songs are solely from scripture. I purchased two, one with the theme of praise and the other with the theme of courage. I only played them a time or two after I returned home because it seemed like my boys were a little too young for them at the time.

However, just recently, I found them in the car, dusted them off and gave them another whirl. I'm SO glad I did. They have been a huge hit. The boys love the music. The other day I had the most beautiful and JOYFUL moment singing praise to God with my boys coming home from school. And for those of you who have experienced pick-up from school in our little town, you know it can only be an ACT OF GOD that I would experience any amount of joy after leaving "THE LOOP". (Sorry, I digress.) So, can I just say our little moment of praise was PRECIOUS? Richie is in the back singing at the top of his lungs, and when I look in the rear view mirror, Will is back there giving it his best as well. It was one my favorite Mommy moments EVER! This is the scripture we were singing...

"Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD from the heavens,
praise him in the heights above.

Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars.

Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.

Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for he commanded and they were created."

Psalm 148:1-5

All this to say, I'd like to recommend this resource to you. The music is fun so the kids enjoy it, but here's the clincher...I really enjoy the music as well. There are a couple of the slower songs the kids don't really go for (of course these are the ones that I like). And a couple of the songs that I think are a little hokey or have hokey parts (which, you guessed it...the kids LOVE). Thankfully, those songs are not SO hokey that you feel the need to store tranquilizers in your glove compartment. But the biggest selling point is that every song is STRAIGHT from scripture. I love knowing that my family and I are memorizing scripture and being filled up with God's TRUTH.

So, I know you are all thinking...enough already, where's the link? So, without further ado I'd like to tell you a little story about...JUST KIDDING!

Here's the link.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fickle

This evening I was getting William dressed for his soccer game. And I'm using the term "game" quite liberally. He is only three and I wouldn't exactly say he is playing a game as much as he is running along with the crowd and on occasion coming into contact with the ball. Even if by accident.

Anyway.

As I'm putting on his shin guards and and soccer socks he says...

"I love these!"

(indicating the soccer socks & shin guards)

"They make me happy!"

Hmmm...

If you read this post a few days ago, those words may ring a bell. Yes, that's right...they are the EXACT SAME WORDS he used to describe his affinity for cuddling with Mommy.

What more could a mother ask for than to be put in the same league as soccer socks?

I'm honored.

Really.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Marital Meme

Saw this Meme on Jen's blog and thought it looked like fun. Play along if you'd like. Be sure to leave me a comment if you do.

1. Who is your man? Rich

2. How long have you been together? Married 11 years

3. How long did you date? A little over two years

4. How old is your man? 33

5. Who eats more? He does, yet still I gain more. How unfair is that?

6. Who said "I love you" first? He did, although it was probably somewhat coerced ;-)

7. Who is taller? My hubby has a whole foot on me!

8. Who sings better? We both sing well, but I'm going to say me since I'm giving him the next one...

9. Who is smarter? He is.

10. Whose temper is worse? No comment*

11. Who does the laundry? I do, but Rich helps occasionally.

12. Who takes out the garbage? Rich, but I help occasionally.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Rich

14. Who pays the bills? Well, I write the checks, but he makes the money.

15. Who is better with the computer? Rich is tech support for all our friends and family.

16. Who mows the lawn? Well, to look at it now, you would think no one, but when it gets mowed Rich does it.

17. Who cooks dinner? Again, WHEN the cooking gets done, I do it.

18. Who drives when you are together? Rich

19. Who pays when you go out? Usually Rich

20. Who is most stubborn? No comment*

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Rich

22. Whose parents do you see the most? I think it is pretty even.

23. Who kissed who first? It's the great debate. (read more here...don't forget to read his comment)

24. Who asked who out? We didn't go on an official date for quite some time because neither one of us had a car on campus. But I'm sure he asked me out for our first official date.

25. Who proposed? Rich (read more here, unless you read it when you clicked on the link for number 23)

26. Who is more sensitive? No comment*

27. Who has more friends? That's a tough call. Probably me.

28. Who has more siblings? We both have three siblings (Rich has three brothers and I have three sisters)

29. Who wears the pants in the family? Rich does in the big things (like which house or car to buy), but I probably do in the little things (where/what we eat, what goes on the calendar, etc.).

*Okay, okay...me! (in reference to #'s 10, 20, and 26)



Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ahhhh...

After writing that title, I'm wondering what you all might be thinking I'll say next. "Ahhh" could mean a lot of things. Said with a short" a" sound could mean I'm stressed, said before "choo" could mean I have to sneeze. Or said with a sigh might mean I'm feeling relaxed, relieved or refreshed. I know that Jen and Janelle who saw in me at the soccer game are betting on the stressed "ahhh". They saw my frenzied state this morning. I think I might have said something like, "I feel like selling all our worldy possessions and moving far, far away from everything and everyone."

Yeah, sometimes I don't cope with the stresses of life very well. It's a problem. That and my ability to say "no", which is an even BIGGER problem and of course only adds fuel to the fire.

But I digress. Oh, and for the record it was the last "ahhh"...I'm feeling refreshed. Would you like to know why? That is a rhetorical question, I'm going to tell you whether you want to know or not.

I'm sure you can deduct from the whole "selling worldly possessions and moving far away" thing that our family needed a BREAK. So, with wisdom, Rich declared a "day of rest" for our family. I, of course, immediately started thinking about the state of our home, the unwritten thank you notes, the dead fish, plants, etc., and was not convinced a "day of rest" was in our near future...or at least not mine. He, however, insisted that it could wait and I, in my desperate state (and knowing down deep he was right), relented.

So...when we came home, I ignored, the cluttered counter, the toy filled floor, the unmade beds, the loads of laundry...this list could go on forever...in favor of a nap. It was only a short nap because I had a MUCH NEEDED haircut scheduled for this afternoon. By the end of my hair appointment I was feeling so much better that I decided to make a couple of stops for a fall scented candle and some pampering products.

As I drove home, I was amazed at how much better I felt. I couldn't believe how much my perspective had changed in just a short amount of time. I'm so thankful that Rich gave us all permission to rest. And if he were in a conscious state right now I'm sure he would agree ;-)

You may be wondering where I am going with all of this. I don't really know. I guess maybe I'm hoping that if I document this, it will help me remember to do things differently next time.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cuddles

When William woke up this morning he was crying out for me. I opened the door to this conversation...

William: I want you.

Me: Aw, I want you, too. I need some William cuddles.

(now cuddling)

William: I love cuddles.

Me: I love cuddles, too.

William: They make me happy.

Me: (sigh) They make me happy, too.

How MUCH we can learn from our children. Thank you, Lord for that gift.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thursday 13

13 Memorable Moments (From Today)

1) Hearing about an answered prayer. God is good.

2) William sharing his first "Show and Tell" ever with a gleam in his eye.

3) Hearing the "oohs" and "ahhs" from William's class when he pushed the buttons on his Lightning McQueen car.

4) Dining on Dora Yogurt and Scooby Snacks while conversing with a table full of 3 year olds.

5) "Painting" with those same 3 year olds...need I say more?

6) Dining on Hammy Thingys and Trader Joe's Double Roasted Salsa while scoring a WHOLE NEW WARDROBE for both boys at the same time!

7) Clearing the dishes out of my sink and folding a load of laundry. Memorable because I actually found time to do this today.

8) Hearing the chorus of children greeting Richie today at the Kindergarten picnic.

9) Watching him joyfully run about to say "hello" to each one of them.

10) Finally putting faces to the names of children I've heard him talk about.

11) Talking face to face with his teacher about his progress.

12) "Dining" on Hot Dogs, Chips, and cookies with these fine folks.

13) Marveling at the percentage of food that actually entered our children's tummies vs. the percentage of food (and drink) that hit the ground.