Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Girls Only Weekend

Last weekend, my sweet husband gave me a weekend away with my dear college friend, Heather. Yes, it was just the two of us! NO KIDS! We met in Nashville (she lives in Memphis) and stayed in a hotel. We went on Friday and stayed until Sunday. It was so much fun! I have never done anything like that before in my life! We just hung out, ate, shopped, went to see New Moon (twice-she is a Twilight fan like me) and, well, just enjoyed being together. I laughed so much! The first night we were there, we got lost trying to find the movie theater, which, of course, was funny to us because neither of us knew where we were. Then, when we found the movie theater, it was actually walking distance from where we had decided we were lost and turned around. By the time we got to the theater, we were both laughing so hard that our stomachs hurt and we both had to go to the bathroom. Then, we go to purchase our tickets for the movie and the lady who is taking our money tells us that their water has been turned off so their restrooms are out of order. So, we buy our tickets and look for somewhere else to go. We see a Subway that appears to be attached to the movie theater. We had gotten a really good parking spot at the movies so we decided to walk to Subway. Turns out that Subway was NOT attached and was quite a bit further than either of us realized. And, it was so cold outside! But it was a pretty funny comedy of errors, to say the least.
We ran into a couple that we went to college with, which was funny too. We had decided in the hotel room that since we were comfortable, we weren't going to change clothes to go to the movie. I mean, who are we going to see? So, I had on my running pants and an old ZTA t-shirt and Heather had on sweatpants and a t-shirt. Nice. And, of course, we see two people we haven't seen in 10 years or so. But, it was good to see them and they didn't even laugh at how we were dressed! :)
Saturday was filled with shopping because it's always fun to shop in a new mall even if the stores are pretty much the same! And Saturday afternoon, we went back to see New Moon again. Saturday night we went to Red Lobster-YUM!!! I don't get to go to Red Lobster very often because Adam doesn't like the smell of seafood, so that was a special treat. After dinner, we just hung out in the hotel room. So much fun.
Sunday, we just got up and headed home, which was sad, but I felt so refreshed and rested. On my way home, I met my friend Kim who now lives in Tullahoma and had lunch at O'Charleys. That was fun too because we also never get together without our kids.
It was a great weekend!!! Thanks to my fabulous husband who let me do it and when I got back, he told me I needed to plan things like this at least twice a year!!! Yay!!!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Trot, Thanksgiving and Anniversary



I ran in my very first 8K (five mile) run on Thanksgiving Day! I was so proud of myself! It was such an amazing, empowering feeling! My goal was to finish and I did finish it! I did it in one hour and 6 minutes and was very pleased with that for my first ever run. I will say that I was absolutely amazed at how far five miles was. When I got to the three mile mark, I couldn't believe that I had two more miles to go! But, I did it. I was so excited! Adam, all the kids, my mom and my friend Christine and her husband and five of her kids were there waiting for me to cross the finish line. It was so neat!

Then, Adam's Dad and nephew came for Thanksgiving, so I got to help mom make the fixings for the meal, which I love to do! It was so much fun!

On Friday morning, I went to work at Target. I love working Black Friday. It is so fun. I don't know why, but I love all the hustle and bustle. The only down side is that I had to be there at 4:30 AM! But it was fun.

Then, Friday afternoon, Adam and I dropped the kids at my mom's house and headed to a hotel downtown to celebrate our 12th Anniversary. We checked in and laid around and watched TV uninterrupted. Then we went to dinner and went to see Christmas Carol in 3D, which was awesome! We really enjoyed it. On Saturday morning, we slept until we woke up (which, of course, was like 8:15) and went to Panera for coffee and breakfast. Then we did some more Christmas shopping and headed back to my mom's house to get the kids. By this time, my brother and his family was here, so we had so much fun visiting with them.

It was a great weekend!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Movie Review

Okay...here it is...my much anticipated review of the movie "New Moon". I went to the midnight showing of it here at our local theater. Our movie complex has 18 theaters in it and all 18 showings of the movie were sold out. There were people everywhere. I have never seen anything like it. There were people in regular clothes, people dressed up, young people, old people (older than me!), men, women, tall, short...well, you get the idea. It was crazy.
So, for the review. I loved the movie! It was so much better than the Twilight movie. It was much truer to the book this time, which was great to see. I have read all of the books...well, I'll just say several times and leave it at that. So, I was going to be very disappointed if they had rewritten the script as much as they did with the Twilight movie. Most of the script was straight out of the book. There were a few things that, of course, had to be condensed, but I liked how they did it.
Also, fortunately, in this movie, our favorite, well dressed vampire is actually well dressed. I'm not sure why Edward wore the hideous black shoes in the first movie, but in this one, he has on much better shoes. He also wears better clothes in this one. He looks so much more like what I pictured in my mind. In Twilight, he sort of has a disheveled look, which is not what I pictured at all. In New Moon, even when he has on just jeans, he looks more clean cut and model-ish.
Also, Bella is better dressed and has brushed her hair more in this one! She does a really good job of conveying the nightmares and the months of depression. Well done.
I was pleased with what they did with the movie and would definitely see it again. I cannot wait until Eclipse comes out!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Running...

Okay, so I am officially addicted to running! I never, ever, ever, ever thought I would ever say that. In fact, I was pretty sure if someone was actually chasing me that I would just give up and let them have me. I never liked running. So a couple of months ago, I started running because, well...it is the best form of exercise that fits into my life. Going to a gym is pretty much not an option since I have all four kids with me and...let's face it...that is just too much work. So, I started running. I had to force myself to do it. And do it again and do it again and do it again.
So, this past weekend, after some strong encouragement from a friend of mine, I decided I would run in an 8K on Thanksgiving Day. Um, yeah...now is when I need to mention that while I have been running regularly for a couple of months, I really had no idea how far I've been running. I would run around my apartment building and would just run for about 30 minutes. So, this morning, I got in my van and drove out a route in my apartment complex that was a half of a mile. And then, I ran three miles! Yes, I had to walk a little bit of it, but I ran at least 80% of it and I never stopped. It was a huge accomplishment for me. I am very proud of myself. It also made me realize that I will be able to finish the 8K next week. Adam has promised to bring the kids to the finish line to meet me when I finish. Now I am very excited. I have never really been an exerciser at ALL. When I was younger, I never had to exercise. I was always small and underweight. Aaaahhh...four kids later and I am no longer small or underweight. So, I decided that I needed to exercise. And, I always eat better on the days that I exercise. I mean, who wants to kill themselves running for 30-45 minutes and come inside and eat candy? No way.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Things I Never Thought I'd Say

So, in the past week, I have said things to my children that I never thought I would say...

To Jude (who tends to have a "potty" mouth, meaning he literally calls people toilet heads):
You can call people watermelon head, but you cannot call anyone a diaper head.

Also to Jude, who was shooting me with a toy machine gun while I was trying to cook supper: (If you don't believe I should let my boys play with toy guns, feel free not to share. Take it up with James Dobson )

Please don't do that to me...Go shoot your brother with the machine gun!

And, yesterday...I was having a real conversation on the phone - you know, the kind where you are talking to someone at an office with a real job, who may or may not have children, who cannot block out the incessant "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" in the background...you know, a conversation with a real person. Fortunately, the person who I talk on the phone with most has more children than I do and is very understanding when I have to put her on "hold" while I deal with whatever life threatening situation my children only seem to find themselves in when I am on the phone.

Anyway, so yesterday I was on the phone. During the seven minute conversation, EACH of my four children interrupted me at one point or another. Yes, that includes the ten year old. I managed not to change my tone of voice while I was talking. I hung up the phone with my children completely oblivious to my intense anger. I began...um...projecting my voice to explain that I was serious about not being interrupted when I was on the phone. I must have had a crazed look in my eye because Sebastian ran under his bed (this is not unusual) and Annabelle and Jude exchanged a look that clearly said, "Oh, man, we have pushed her too far. We really have pushed her over the edge this time!" It was pretty funny to me because I really wasn't yelling very loud and I didn't really say anything except that they absolutely could not interrupt me when I was on the phone. But apparently my eyes said all of the things that I was thinking - You people drive me crazy...why can I never be alone?...Can you not see the phone to my ear?...-but all I really said was,
When I am on the phone, and you see me hold my finger up, that means you cannot talk to me!
And, then I said a very intelligent comment to Annabelle, who was the most persistent while I was on the phone-
Annabelle, don't ask me for anything ever again!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Brief Update

So I am having a hard time trying to homeschool, keep up with the house work, try to get a decent supper on the table every night and have time to write a blog entry! It is so hard to find the time to write on here!
Let's see...we went to Gulf Shores in September and we had such a great time. It was the first time any of my children had seen the ocean and their reactions were priceless:

Zoe: "Oh my goodness...God is bigger than this?!"
Sebastian: "Awesome"
Annabelle: "Wow!"
Jude: "This is the best day of my life!" and then he began singing the Spongebob song "Best Day Ever!" and skipping around on the beach.

We spent four days on the beach and went out to eat at night. Aside from Adam getting a little sunburn (he hasn't spent a great majority of his summer at the pool like the kids and I did!) we had a wonderful, relaxing vacation.

And, I am still running! I have been able to more than double what I did at the beginning. When I started, I did six laps around my apartment building, but I would walk one, run one...die...breathe...walk one, run one...die...breathe...walk one, run one...come inside barely able to speak and collapse on the couch until I could muster the strength to drag myself into the shower. Now, I am consistently running all six laps (without the dying in the middle) and this morning, I was able to run a seventh lap. I am loving it too...I never understood why anyone would want to run if no one is chasing them. People kept saying it was addicting...I didn't believe them. It is! I am trying not to be frustrated at the slow process, but I have some awesome thigh and calf muscles and other parts of my body are tightening up as well.
I haven't been as diligent about my diet, but now that I am running consistently, I find myself eating better to not destroy all my running! It is getting better, though. Slowly, but surely, I am seeing changes in my body. They are very subtle changes, but I am trying to be very patient.
Other than that, not much else is going on. Adam's practice is going very well and he is enjoying every minute of it. I am enjoying the homeschooling and I was able to take a leave of absence from my job at Target. I like that because I can still go back if I want to, but I'm not working right now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

6 Weeks of Homeschooling

So, we are in our 6th week of homeschooling and, as you might imagine, there are pros and cons to everything. So, here's my list:

Cons: I get very little alone time. I talk all day long, answer questions all day long, and break up fights all day long. I also have to make four people breakfast, lunch and dinner and my house is never clean because there are people in it at all times! And, yes, school age children fights are much harder to break up than preschool fights. I also sometimes get overwhelmed at the thought that their education is up to me. If something gets missed, well, it's my fault and my problem. That's a bit unnerving...

Pros: I absolutely do not miss the morning chaos. "Zoe, put your shoes on!" "Sebastian, eat your breakfast!" "Hurry up!! We're late!" Don't miss that at all.
Everyone gets to sleep until they wake up, so they pretty much wake up in a good mood.
I don't have to sit in car rider line, which always occurs in the middle of nap time!!
I also love how when we're working on something, if they get frustrated with it, they can take a break and come back to it later. This has been a new concept for Zoe, who has been in school for five years until now.
I like being in control of what they are learning. In the week leading up to the beach, we studied beach stuff. They loved it and were excited to see some of the things we learned about while we were at the beach.
I like that I get to tailor the way I teach them to their different learning styles. This has proven to be especially helpful with Sebastian. He is so different from Zoe and he has learned so much in these 6 weeks. He even read his first sentence! And, he now wants to learn to read. Huge strides. And, I get to monitor those strides.

So, my pro list is longer than my con list and, for me, that means we are doing the right thing. I'm not sure this is a permanent situation, but for now it is good for our family.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So, I'm a terrible Blogger!

I haven't blogged in so long...we've been having school and getting ready to go to the beach next week and I've been so busy! School is going really well...Zoe is doing great and we are making some pretty big strides with Sebastian and Jude. Everyone is learning and I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would.
Adam's practice is going really well. He is so busy! God is so good!!
So, life is pretty good right now, just busy.

I'll try to blog after the beach...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our Trip

So, last Saturday, the kids and I got up and headed out to Nashville to meet Adam's dad. We met at a Shoney's and he took Sebastian and Jude back to his house for the week! Then the girls and I headed to Hendersonville to visit my college roommate, Cari. We had such a good visit! I have not seen Cari in almost 10 years, but it was like we'd never been apart. It was great. We ate lunch and spent lots of time there with her three precious children.

Then, we drove to Memphis to see my brother and his family, where we stayed until Wednesday. On Sunday, we got up and went to church at Faith Baptist, which is where I grew up (back when it was just a little country church, but now there are 3,000 people there) , but I love going back to church there. Then we went to lunch with my friend, Heather. It is always wonderful to be with Heather. She is just one of those people who are so easy to be friends with. I just love her. We went back to church Sunday night (just me and Zoe because Annabelle was asleep when we left) and went out for ice cream with Heather afterwards. Again, so much fun.

On Monday, we had lunch with a very dear friend. In my testimony I mentioned my Dad's best friend, Ernie, who gave me away at my wedding, who also passed away in 1998. Zoe, Annabelle and I had lunch with his wife, MaryAnn, who was just as important a part of my upbringing as Ernie was. I have known her since I was 10 years old and my Dad went to work at a small church software company called Shelby Systems. The company literally had 14 people in it when my Dad started working there. Now, they have a huge building with over 100 people working there! After we had lunch, MaryAnn took us over to the office. I got to see people I have not seen since I was in college...early college years. It was so much fun and the girls were so good. I got to visit with them all. It was so much fun.

Monday night, we went to my niece's gymnastics and then we went to Heather's house for pizza. And, our other friend, Amy, came over too! We had fun visiting and the kids had fun playing. It was great.

On Tuesday, the girls and I didn't have any concrete plans, so we decided we would go out to the cemetery where my Daddy and Ernie are both buried. I hardly ever have time to do this when we go to Memphis. We bought flowers and cleaned both of the markers and put flowers on the graves. It was a neat experience. It took us over an hour to find them, but after wandering around and a phone call to my mom, we finally found them. Then I took the girls to a playground and we played for a while.

On Wednesday, we loaded up and headed back towards Chattanooga. We stopped in Alabama to see my friends Don and Faye, who my kids call Papaw Don and Grandma Faye. Faye worked with me at PlayCore and Don worked with me at the church here. They are just special people in my life and so they are special to my kids too! We had lunch with them and then came back to Chattanooga. Daddy was glad to see his girls!

Then, yesterday morning, we went to Clarksville to get the boys! So now we're all back together and it feels good to have everyone back!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Our First Week

So, we started school this week! I had thought I would wait until the 24th, but decided to go ahead and start. We had a great week! I ran everyday this week, too! Zoe took her first math test, Sebastian did subtraction, Sebastian and Jude each read a book each day (one of those starter readers) and all three of them wrote or drew in their journals each day. It's been a very productive week and I'm so proud of all of them. We are going to start again on the 24th because the boys are going to Adam's dad's house next week! I am leaving tomorrow with all of the kids and meeting his dad in Nashville and he is taking the boys to his house. Then, Annabelle and Zoe and I are headed to Memphis until Wednesday! I'm so excited! I will be seeing college friends and other people that I haven't seen in years! I cannot wait!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Couple of Things so I Don't Forget...

I just wanted to document a couple of things my boys have said in the last week so I won't forget:

Sebastian: "My new baby sister's name is Farrari!" No, I am not pregnant. No, I am not trying to be pregnant. I told him I already gave him a baby brother and a baby sister, but he continues to pray for a baby in the house.

Jude, during prayer time: "Dear Lord, please make Bikini Bottom a real place so we can go meet Spongebob, Squidward and Patrick. Amen." His head was bowed, his eyes were closed and his little hands were folded in fervent prayer. So sweet...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Slowly but Surely

So, it's time to write on here about some changes I am making in my life. One day about a month ago, I woke up and decided that I was tired of being overweight. I realize that I am not obese, but overweight enough that I don't like the way I look in, well, anything. And, since Annabelle is almost four years old and I have now gained back any weight I lost by giving birth to her, I decided it was time to do something. But, since I also know that if I do anything rash, my body will go into complete shock and I will throw my hands up in defeat faster than the French, I decided to do slowly. The first thing I decided I needed to give up was my complete dependence on caffeine and carbonated drinks. This was going to be a huge mountain for me to climb as I absolutely love Coke, Diet Coke and especially Diet Dr. Pepper. Actually, my mouth is watering right now just from typing the words. It was also going to be hard for me because Adam doesn't really feel the need to rid himself of these yet, which means they were going to be in my home. But, I did it. Here's what I did. I bought a 20 oz. bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper (mouth watering again) and drank the whole thing. (Um, how is this getting off of cokes?) Anyway, then I filled it with water. (after washing it out thoroughly) I discovered that I really don't like ice cold water. I like room temperature water straight from the tap. Call me crazy, gross, whatever you like, but I won't really drink water that is really cold. Anyway, I remembered reading somewhere that an apple in the morning did more to wake you up than coffee would do, so I started each morning with an apple. An apple, my bottle of water and yes, two Tylenol. The first three days, I must admit, were pretty terrible. I had killer headaches, which weren't necessarily relieved with the Tylenol, but Excedrin was the only other thing I had in my house and, of course, what does Excedrin contain? Say it with me-CAFFEINE!! So, since I was trying to get off caffeine, taking Excedrin seemed a little counter-productive.
Well, it has now been one month that I am caffeine free and I can honestly tell you that I have no regrets. In that one month period, I have only had a Sprite like twice. (I don't really like Sprite unless I am throwing up) I have really only had water and SoBe LifeWater. A big accomplishment.
So, earlier this week, encouraged by ability to actually stick to something, I decided my next phase to the healthier me was to exercise regularly. When it comes to exercise, I am sporadic, at best. I always use my kids as my excuse. Not a good example that I am setting. And, since the most convenient place I have to work out would charge me $12 for child care each time I go, I use that as an excuse. The apartment I live in has an exercise room with a convenient playroom for children next to it. So, Monday morning, the kids and I head to the exercise room and I told them we would go to the pool after that. I did the eliptical for 13 minutes (just couldn't make it to 15-sad) and then started lifting free weights. Well, after 10 minutes I realized that the playroom for children is only helpful if your children actually play in it. And, I was tired of telling Sebastian to get off the eliptical and Annabelle to get off the treadmill, so we went to the pool.
When we got to the pool, I decided to draw from my water aerobics experience (when Christine and I were pregnant with Lily and Annabelle, we did water aerobics at the Y-fun times) and run in the water. This was a perfect option. I was exercising and I was in the water and could watch the kids. I ran for 45 minutes straight! It felt great. Then Tuesday, I did the same thing (minus the insanity in the workout room). I ran for 45 minutes in the water.
So on Wednesday, it's supposed to rain, so I got up and, once all the kids were up, I left Zoe in charge and ran around our apartment building. This is nice because I'm still right there if they need me. I ran four laps and walked four laps. It felt great!! I did it again on Thursday and as soon as I get home today, I'm going to do it again.
I am hoping to keep this up. Once the exercising is a habit, then I will change my eating habits. Really my eating habits aren't terrible and I can tell you that these past few days I have eaten better because I don't want to ruin the exercise I did. At any rate, I will post any weight loss. We don't own a scale (ours broke and I wasn't really itching to get another one!) but we will purchase one so I can monitor my progress. Slow and steady...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our Weekend Alone

I just realized that I never wrote about our weekend ALONE! By alone, I mean all four kids were out of town from Friday morning until Sunday afternoon and Adam and I were absolutely alone. Last year, Adam and I attended a wedding for his cousin in Texas and our four kids were in three different places, and the day before we left, Zoe came down with strep, so she was crying when we left her because she felt terrible, and we were flying standby so we got stuck in the Houston (Hobby, not the big one) airport for 8 hours (not an exaggeration) and since we were stuck we weren't able to get any of the kids until Monday. (Yes, I realize that is a run-on sentence, but it loses something if you break it up) Anyway, aside from that weekend, Adam and I haven't been alone since May 2002. Not kidding. We went to Tuscon, AZ for an amazing week in May of 2002. We moved into our first house in July 2002, got pregnant with Sebastian in Sept 2002 and the next three years were a blur of pregnancies, nursing and babies. And then we had four kids and three of them were under the age of 3, so there was no chance to ever be alone! So we were pretty excited.
Friday morning, my mom picked up the three littles and drove to Nashville to meet Adam's dad. Zoe had been with them that week. So, my mom exchanged Annabelle for Zoe. Annabelle went to Adam's dad's house and my mom, Zoe, Sebastian and Jude headed to Memphis to my brother's house. Awesome!
All day Friday, I went to Adam's office and worked. I really enjoy doing this, as I feel like I am contributing to getting his business going and it's fun. So, we got to go to lunch together. We came home and then went shopping for Jude's birthday. After shopping, we went to eat at Red Robin, which was yummy. And then we went to see a movie. We have a 2nd run theater here so we went to see Wolverine. I love all the X-Men movies so this was fun.
Saturday morning, I got up and went grocery shopping. I know, sounds so very exciting, but it was fun because I was alone and it wasn't midnight! I almost always shop late at night, otherwise I at least have the ten year old with me and she talks non-stop.
Then we headed to Atlanta and took in a Braves game. I've never been to a Braves game and we had such a great time. It was so much fun just being together and having uninterrupted conversations!
Sunday was church. We just got up, got ourselves dressed and went to church. I think we were completely showered and ready to go in like 45 minutes total. Seriously. After church, some friends took us to lunch. Those of you with large families know that you never get invited to lunch with anybody! So that was so nice.
Then I went to get Annabelle and the other kids came home on Sunday night. I was very ready to see them and missed them. My batteries were recharged and I was so appreciative of the break!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jude's 5th Birthday

I cannot believe my baby boy is 5 years old! We had a great day celebrating and ended the day with friends and family at Pump It Up. We had a blast! And, the kids are still enjoying the "loot" this morning.
So, in honor of his birthday, I thought I would write some stuff about him. If you would like to read his birthday story, it can be found here.

Jude is such a funny kid. He has more self-confidence than a five year old should be allowed to have. He walks with his chest sort of puffed out with a strut and he owns any room he enters.

Since he was little, I have called him Jude-a-licious, which is sometimes shortened to Licious or just Lisch. A couple of months ago at soccer practice, I said something to him and called him Licious and he said, "Mom, don't call me Licious at soccer!"

This past weekend, he announced to us all that no one is to call him cute anymore. He said, "Since I'm five years old, you have to say I'm handsome or cool. Five year olds aren't cute!" Sorry, but it's so cute that you told me not to call you cute!

Jude is also my child who is very hesitant to admit that he 's done anything wrong. Sebastian will do something and you ask him if he did it and you get an immediate, "Yeah, I did that." Jude will say, "Will I be in trouble if I did?" Then he will confess, but he just wants to know what he's up against first.

Jude would prefer not to share anything. And, when he does share, he has to establish that the item he is sharing is in fact his, not yours, lest you forget and try to keep it forever. When he lets Annabelle play with something, for instance, the whole time she has it, he tells her, "That's mine, but I'm letting you play with it."

Jude is very competitive (just to prove he doesn't just look like Adam, he also has his personality) and very athletic. He also does not give up until he accomplishes what he was trying to do. I have seen him in my mom's backyard by himself for an hour and a half until he could successfully hit the badminton birdie over the net. Sebastian had given up 15 minutes into the exercise. Jude kept on going until he could do.

Jude loves to swim and can jump off diving boards and swim himself to the shallow end, which is a skill we just learned this summer. He swims underwater and just naturally started a free style stroke when he swims. It really is cute, just don't tell him I called him cute.

Jude is a very affectionate child who loves with his whole heart. He plays well with everyone in our family. He has a quick wit and loves to make people laugh. I love that boy!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Zoe's Hair


A friend of Zoe's invited her to spend the night last night and while she was there, the mother colored both girls hair with purple streaks and some blond highlights. (Yes, she asked my permission first and I said, "Sure...it's only hair." I really like it! I wasn't sure what to expect at all, but it looks really good and very stylish. She was very excited. Thanks, Melissa!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July and What-Not

We had a really good 4th of July. I was supposed to work at 4 pm so, we decided to get an early start on the day. Adam's office needed a small refrigerator and Target had one on sale that he liked. The Target closest to us was sold out of them so we headed to the Cleveland Target and got it. Then, we went to McKays, which is a HUGE warehouse full of books, music and DVDs. We had so much fun. Adam's new office has one wall that is floor to ceiling shelves, so he decided to put old books on it. Not law books, just books in general. We found a bunch of them at McKays that were like $3 or so a piece. I looked through the homeschooling section, but we had all four kids with us and I needed to have some undistracted time in that area. I picked up a cute math book that is also a cookbook for kids, so they learn fractions and other math concepts and then they get to eat what they have created. It's really cute and I think everyone will enjoy it.
After McKays we went down to Adam's office to install the refrigerator and coffee maker and put his books away. His office is really starting to take shape nicely. I'm so proud of him! Both of them are super busy, which is so great. And, he is really enjoying what he is doing. He is also being the office manager, so he is spending some of his time doing that too and he likes it.
After that, we came back to the house and went to the pool for a little. I went to work at 4:00 and at 4:03, they told me that I could go on home if I want to. Um...let me think...BYE! So, I came back home! We went over to my mom's and grilled out and then shot fireworks. We do that every year and it's always so much fun! We had a great time!
Then, this morning was the 4th of July program at the church and then our Sunday School class got together for lunch and fellowship. It was fun-we have a small class, but we really care about each other and pray for each other. They are special people.
So, that's about it...life at our house hasn't been too exciting these days...we're just adjusting to Daddy's new job and schedule and getting ready for the fall. On the homeschooling front, I have made a few curriculum decisions, but not everything yet. I have a math curriculum for Zoe, a science curriculum for Zoe and a reading program and handwriting curriculum for the boys. I also decided on the umbrella school I'm going to use. So things are slowly coming together. I'm still excited, but also getting nervous as the time to really start approaches. God is good and He will give me the strength to do what needs to be done. I can't wait to start!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 1st

Well, July 1st is here! Adam wrapped things up at the old office yesterday and started at Markel & Major today. I cannot believe it is here! Of course, with this move comes a little apprehension and nervousness. But, God has provided so far and I'm confident He will continue to provide for us.
In preparation for this move, I have picked up more hours at Target. Here is one area that God has already provided for us. At Target, I do Human Resources. Well, our store is only allotted so many hours for each area of the store per week. There is a full time human resources person there already and she is guaranteed her forty hours a week and then I get what is left. Usually, I get my hours by working one or two four hour HR shifts a week and then a couple of cashier shifts to get the additional hours. Well, she will be on vacation part of this week and part of next week, so I am getting all HR shifts this week and next! Of course, that means that the next paycheck will be bigger and will help carry us through this unknown period. Also, one of those shifts is on the 4th of July, which means time and a half because it is a holiday! God is so very good!
Other than that, not much is going on here. We go to the pool almost every day and all of the kids have become very good swimmers. It's funny to watch them and to think that only Zoe could swim in May. Now, the boys can do handstands and swim everywhere. At the beginning, Jude always wore floaties because he felt more secure, but now he doesn't wear them at all and just swims all over the place. Annabelle still wears her floaties, but that is just because she can't reach the bottom of the pool. She loves the water. And, last year, she wouldn't even get in the water fountains at Coolidge Park (fountains that shoot out of the ground)! It's lots of fun and we are all very tan! :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Been Awhile

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile! We've been busy but not really doing anything to blog about. We had a week of VBS in there and all the kids had so much fun. Adam is gearing up to making the permanent move to Markel and Major with July 1st being his official start date. We're really excited about it! And, a little nervous too, but I know God will provide.

Let's see...also we got Jude's haircut to look like his brother's hair and it looks so very cute!

And, my friend Christine had her baby boy today and I got to be her labor support/coach! It was such a neat experience and I'm glad to say that he arrived safely! I'll not blog about it so I don't steal her thunder.

Maybe I'll post later when more is going on...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sebastian's Hair Cut

Adam took Sebastian to get his hair cut yesterday. For a little over a week now, Sebastian has been begging us to take him and get "all his hair cut off". He wanted it to be "completely gone". Since he continued to ask for the same thing, we decided we would do it. So here it is...

Before...


After...

The lady cut SEVEN inches off of his hair! He loves it too! And he looks so much older. He was going around and kept rubbing his head all afternoon. It was so funny. I really like it too, even though I was kind of sad to see his long hair go. What a big boy!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Times, They Are A-Changing

There are so many changes going on right now at our house. First, yesterday was my last day as music secretary at our church. I absolutely love that job and did not want to leave. But, I was having childcare issues for the summer and, while they probably could have been worked out, I am homeschooling this fall. (that would be change #2) I fought this as long as I could. We moved out of the district of the school the kids have been going to and don't want to make Zoe go to a new school for just one year. Plus, I think Sebastian will do better in a one-on-one situation. He is so creative and artistic that the sit-in-your-seat-and-follow-this-routine just does not suit him. I think he will thrive at home with me. So, I will be homeschooling a 5th grader, a 1st grader, a kindergardener and a K4. I'm very excited and nervous at the same time. I have made some curriculum decisions but not all of them. The kids are excited about it too! Adam's mom would be so proud! (I will be working more at Target more nights a week)
And, change #3 right now is that Adam and a friend of his are starting their own firm! This has been coming for a few months, but things came to a head, so to speak, this past Friday. A decision had to be made and after much prayer, Adam decided to go out with his friend. So, Adam's official last day at the old firm will be June 30 and his official first day at Markel & Major will be July 1st. (Of course, he is actually doing work at night and on the weekends for the new firm, but officially the start date is July 1st. We are very excited about it and it has been so very neat to see God's hand in all of it.
So, that's what is going on here at our house. Lots of changes all at one time, but they are all very exciting and completely in God's timing. Adam has wanted to go out for awhile, but never found anyone he trusted to be business partners with. So, we are very excited and God is so good and has worked out even the smallest details. It is so neat.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shower

On Saturday, we had a shower for my friend, Christine , and we had so much fun. It was a "green" shower, so she asked everyone to bring either homemade, reused or recycled gifts. It was neat. I made the cake with baby blue recycle symbols on it, plus blue little baby booties and then wooden blocks with his initials on them. I could only find "ABC" blocks, so I bought plain blocks and painted them myself. I was pleased with how it turned out.

Then, for her gift, I made her this plaque with a Bible verse on it. This wasn't an original idea either, but I got the idea from another blog I read of a an extremely creative girl. Her mother-in-law and my mother are best friends and her name is also Jennifer. She has a lot of neat crafting ideas and has inspired me to be a little more crafty. Needless to say, I think this really surprised Christine since I never make anything that isn't edible!We had a great time at the shower and I hope that it made Christine feel special and know how excited we all are about Joshua!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Birthday Party, Grandad and Jacob, Soccer and Children's Musical

Yes, all of this occurred this past weekend! First was Sebastian's birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. We had a really good time. Sebastian specifically asked for an American flag cake. He had never seen this cake pan (it's in a storage room) and I offered to do a Bakugan cake or a Power Ranger cake and he stuck to his guns. So he got the flag cake and he loved it! He must have told me ten times that he loved his cake.

This is Sebastian and Jude and their buddy, Caleb. Caleb also spent the night with us after the party! All the boys had so much fun!

Sebastian with Chuck E. Cheese, who completely terrified Annabelle. She screamed and ran away.

Here are the boys with their 14 year old cousin, Jacob, who they adore. He wrestles with them and turns them upside down and they think it is just great. He is also extremely patient for a 14 year old boy. Adam's dad and Jacob got here Friday night around 10:30.


The three oldest all had soccer games on Saturday and they all got trophies for the season. Not sure why Sebastian is making a face.


Then, Sunday night was AWANA awards, Bible Drill Awards, the Kindergarten choir singing and the 1st-5th grade choir program Parablelooza! It was a busy night!
This is Zoe during the Bible Drill presentation. She made it to the State Drill and had fewer than six mistakes! I am so proud of her.
Then, they gave the Cubbies awards. I did not, however, get a good picture of this because my two Cubbies (Annabelle and Jude) were busy fighting on stage. At least it was funny. Then, Sebastian got a Sparks award and Zoe got a Truth N Training award - actually, Zoe finished her book, which is a hard accomplishment. I am very proud of all four of them! They all learned lots of verses of Scripture and worked hard.
Next, the Kindergarten choir sang. Unfortunately for some of my friends, Sebastian just stood up there. He sang some and stood some, but he didn't do anything worthy of America's Funniest Home Videos! And, he had a line to say and he delivered it perfectly! I think you probably could hear Adam and me sigh when he was coming off the stage.
Then, the big kids did Parablelooza, which was so very cute! Zoe did a great job with her three lines and her solo. Again, we were very proud.

It was a crazy, action packed weekend, but everyone had lots of fun and we all survived. This is the last week of school and so we are all looking forward to settling down a little bit!




Friday, May 15, 2009

Sebastian is Six!

Yes, Sebastian turned six years old yesterday! I cannot believe he is so old! He is still my child with the biggest heart and most compassion. He is my best share-er (including the ten year old!) and he loves his family so much. He is so much fun to be with because he seriously just enjoys life no matter what he is doing. Tonight, we are taking him to Chuck E Cheese with a few of his friends and then one of them is coming back to spend the night here with him. He is very excited. Yesterday, he took cupcakes to school and his teacher made him a birthday book. She had each child in his class to draw a picture and write "I like you because ______" and fill in the blank. So he has a book filled with 18 pictures and reasons his classmates like him. It was really cute and made him feel so special.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Books

I once read a good idea to make a list of all the books you read in a year and then critique them at the end of the year. I am a huge reader, so I thought I would do it now since I have read 26 books completely and have three more that I am working on now. All but two of these books are fiction - I love different stories. I mostly read Christian fiction, which works for me because I can read them in 15 or 20 minute intervals and don't have to completely concentrate. Complete concentration is next to impossible in a house with four children. This list is mostly for me and I will condense the list into series where appropriate: I will also not do a review of each and every book...

Redemption Series - Redemption, Remember, Return, Rejoice and Reunion-I can't say enough about these books by Karen Kingsbury. I love all the Baxter family as if I really know them -I laughed with them, cried with them, got angry with them and rejoiced with them!

Family Series - Forgiven, Found, Family, Forever-these are a continuation of the Redemption series, again by Karen Kingsbury. Fabulous!

Sunrise Series - Sunrise, Someday, Sunset-the last of the Baxter family series, again so very good.

Waiting for Morning-this was an amazing story about a woman who loses her husband and one of her daughters in a car accident where they were hit by a drunk driver. It's the story of how she and her other daughter who survived the accident try to cope with the new normal. It was a very moving story. Also by Karen Kingsbury

When Joy Came to Stay-Another by Karen Kingsbury. Sweet story of a woman who, as a teenager, gave her baby up for adoption. The adoptive parents are killed in a car wreck when the little girl is five years old and she enters the foster system. Through a really neat set of events, the little girl is reunited with her birth mother when the little girl is about 10 years old.

Newpointe 911 Series - Shadow of Doubt, Word of Honor, Private Justice, Trial By Fire, Line of Duty- this is a mystery series written by Terri Blackstock. I really like mysteries, so these were good. They are written by a Christian author and really fun to read. They are set in a small southern town, so they talk about going to Jackson, MS and Baton Rouge, LA, which made them fun for me to read.

The Yellow Rose Chronicles - Every Little Thing About You, A Texas Sky, City Girl- These books were by Lori Wick and set in Texas during the 1800's. The series is about three brothers (each book is about one of the brothers) and their journeys to find Christ and eventually true love. They are very easy reads, but still very enjoyable.

Twilight Series - Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse-I have finished the first two and I am working on the third one and will read the fourth one. These books are so good. I've really enjoyed them. Very good character development and vivid word imagery. There is something very almost intoxicating about the balance Edward and Bella are always trying to find between loving each other and him killing her. Very long books, but the way the chapters are divided makes them easy to read in quick chunks of time.

My two lone non-fiction books:

Home Sweet Homeschool
Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling
I also have more books in this same genre but I haven't read them all yet.

I would recommend any of these books to anyone! Also, I would recommend all of Francine Rivers books. The Mark of the Lion books are still some of the best books I have ever read. Redeeming Love and The Atonement Child are also two very compelling stories. And, no matter what any one else says, The Shack was a really good book for me. I thought it was so moving and while I know that there are some things that aren't completely Biblical in there, it still enriched my relationship with God. It wasn't written to be theology, but an allegory.

So there are my book reviews. I absolutely love to read and just hope my kids will love to read as much as I do!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

10 Years Ago...




Ten years ago today, God blessed our family with our sweet Zoe. She is always such a bright ray of sunshine. I love you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Pethora of Jobs

I was having lunch with a friend the other day and she made a comment about how many different jobs I have had in my life. Which got me thinking about the different jobs I have had and how I have accumulated so much knowledge that is no way marketable! Here's my complete employment history:

Bartlett Florist - I got this job in high school. I took orders, arranged some flowers and got to deliver them (my favorite part). I loved this job and had lots of fun doing it.

Oldies 98 Diner - This was also a high school job at a 50's Diner. It was such a fun job! We wore bowling shirts and jeans and served delicious, greasy food. I was a hostess and a food expo. I loved it. We were always busy so it was fun. The guy who owned it also owned a super nice restaurant in town so he closed the diner to focus on the restaurant that made him the most money.

Pig-N-Whistle - Another high school gig. I was a hostess at a BBQ restaurant. I hated this job. I think I worked there about three months.

Shelby Systems - This was a job during the summers while I was in college. This company (it's where my dad worked) markets and sells computer software to churches. I learned how to make books and lots about different shipping methods. I liked this job too, but mostly because I got taken out to eat almost every day by my dad!

Chili's - I was a hostess at Chili's in Jackson, TN. I hated this job too. We were required to wear skirts with panty hose. At Chili's. Give me a break.

Lemstone Books - I worked at a Christian bookstore in Jackson. I loved this job, but hated the retail hours. I made some great, lifelong friends though. Loved it. Learned how to imprint Bibles.
Madison County Tax Assessor's Office - I can't even remember how I got his job, but I did desk audits for tangible personal property for commercial businesses. I learned how to use a 10-key and I liked this job. We were extremely busy during tax season, but the rest of the year, we watched a lot of soap operas. Someone had to be in the office so we couldn't leave, but we didn't do a whole lot when it wasn't tax season.

Southern Door & Hardware - This job was in Jackson, MS. I was the receptionist at a subcontractor that manufactured door frames and sold doors, frames and hardware for doors. I also helped with collection calls and a little accounts payable. More completely unmarketable skills, but made some good friends.

Cox, Simpson & Bennett - Legal secretary. This is one of the easiest jobs I have ever had. The guy was a difficult personality, but he was rarely there and the other lady in the office and I had lots of fun. We scrapbooked, tatted lace, and hung out. We had fun.

Faith Baptist Church - I was a church secretary and I loved the job. I got to know some of my dearest friends at this job.

Lemstone Books - This one was in Chattanooga. Again, met some great people, but didn't care for the retail hours.

Synthetic Industries - This was a temp job in the research and development department for the fibers that they put in concrete to make it stronger. So totally random. Didn't last long at all.

PlayCore - This job I loved. I started as the receptionist at the corporate office for a commercial playground manufacturer. PlayCore is the parent company for several companies. I transitioned from receptionist to financial assistant where I learned a lot about financial stuff. Then I moved into Order Processing where I made sure the orders we took were correct and compliant with federal standards.

Brainerd Baptist Church - I started this job as the publications assistant and then moved to music secretary. I left in May 07 and came back in Dec 08. Goes without saying that I love this job.

Target - Last, but not least...Human Resources at Target. I like this job (most of the time), but the retail hours still drive me crazy. But, they are perfect for a mother of four who doesn't want to have to pay for daycare! :)

There you have it...a comprehensive list of all my crazy jobs and I really am surprised that I have had that many jobs in my life. I've only been old enough to work for about 16 years!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Another Annabelle Funny

So at my house, the three oldest kids play soccer. I have a "You must be at least 4 years old to play an organized sport" rule at my house. So the other day, I was cleaning the kitchen and I hadn't seen Annabelle in a little bit so I called out to her and asked her what she was doing. She replied, "Getting ready for soccer." I thought nothing of it because she is always putting on the other kiddos cleats and stuff. She comes out and says, "I put my shin guard on!" She was very proud. Here's what I saw...


Okay...I need a closer look...can't really tell exactly what that is...

Yep, it was a Maxi pad! Not to worry, it was a new one, but still...Zoe, of course, said, "Annabelle, that's not a shin guard!" Annabelle said, "Well, what is it then?" Zoe looked at me like what do I tell the three year old? I waited to see what Zoe would tell her. "Um, yep, it's a shin guard!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Office Supplies and Mascara

No, this isn't a post about a recent shopping trip. This morning as I was putting on my mascara I thought to myself "I need some new mascara" which got me thinking about how much I love getting new mascara. My eyelashes are pretty much non-existent so I have to wear mascara so I love getting it new. Of course, I am married to man whose eyelashes touch his sunglasses when he is wearing them. (so not fair!!!) Anyway, there are a few aisles at the store that I will look at just about everything in them. Now, my desire for these items is almost always trumped by my hatred of spending money on myself, but I always look. One of those aisles is the office supply aisle. I love all that stuff...paper clips, pens, colored paper...you name it and I can probably come up with a reason that I NEED that stuff in my home. Again, I hate spending money on myself so I can usually talk myself right out of it. Another aisle is the craft aisle (or the entire Hobby Lobby itself). I love the idea of crafty projects. How sad is it that I rarely actually do them? I actually have done more here recently and since my kids are getting older, these type things are lots of fun. And the mascara aisle...I am lured by the promise of the brush extending each individual lash by 15% (who measures this??) Oh, and the voice in my head that makes that promise is almost always a British female and that mascara is going to make me 5 foot 11 and 125 pounds. Just by putting on the mascara! Powerful stuff...

Thankfully for Adam, my rational side almost always wins this battle. The side of me that says, "Why in the world would someone pay $15 or $20 for mascara?" And then I reach for the sensible mascara that will ultimately do the same thing for half the money.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Our friends...


Here is a picture from our Chick-Fil-A meeting with Charity, Andy and their three boys...Left to right- Heath (9), Jude (4), Sebastian (5), Noah (10), Elijah (8), Zoe (9) and Annabelle (3). This was as close to a good picture as I could get...we had a hard time getting them all to be still. And, my boys really wanted to make silly faces. But we had a great time! Love you, Charity and Andy!!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

ATO Founders Day and lots of fun...

We had such a fun weekend! Each year, Adam's college fraternity has a Founder's Day celebration and he tries to go every two or three years. Well, this year, lots of his college friends all came so he was able to hang out with lots of his "old" friends. I think he had a great time. The kids and I dropped him off in Jackson, TN on Friday night and picked him up on Sunday. Friday night after we dropped him off, we were able to see my friend Charity and her husband and her three kids. We haven't seen them in 6 or 7 years! We stayed at Chick-Fil-A for a little over two hours and visited so much. It was so much fun. Then the kids and I headed for my brother's house. It's always so much fun to visit with them because they have a 10 year old girl and a 5 year old boy. So everyone has fun. Saturday morning I took all the girls to the mall to spend time with my friend Heather and her two kiddos. Ashley (my sister-in-law) kept the boys and took them to McDonalds. I think everyone had a good time. Saturday night, Ashley and I took the girls to see the Hannah Montana movie. It was pretty cute. Of course, it had a huge Daddy/Daughter relationship part of the story, so I cried. Add that to the embarrassing list of movies that I cry at! But, it was a pretty cute movie. Sunday morning we got up and went to Faith Baptist, which is where Adam and I got married. Well, to be correct, now there is a huge beautiful worship center instead of the gym where Adam and I got married. It was so much fun to see Brother Danny and Brother Todd and lots of people that I have known since I was 10 years old. Then we headed back to Jackson to pick up Adam and we even got to spend a little time with some of his friends. It was a lot of fun!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Random Thought

Why is it that we can put a man on the moon but no one has been able to figure out how to make a cereal bag that doesn't rip when you open it?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So there are certain things that happen in your life where you realize you are, indeed, a mother. You also realize why no one actually tells you every detail of being a mother before you are one because then no one would ever do it!

When they are babies, they pee and poop on you way more than anyone ever told you they would. And they "spit up" on you too. I put spit up in quotation marks because that is really just a nice phrase for puking on you. You spend the first year of life with something constantly on your shirt or pants and you don't change your shirt or pants because they are just going to get dirty again. At one point during this stage, you look at yourself and think, "Wow...I'm really a mom."

Then they start potty training and now you find yourself cleaning poop out of panties and underwear, pants, socks, and the floor of wherever they were just standing. This stage is slightly easier because at least now they can say, "I love you, Mommy," which makes things a little easier to swallow. And again, you look at yourself and think, "Once again, I am a mom."

Once they are out of that stage, then anything else that you have to endure in this field will be centered around blood and/or broken bones. Not too bad. Don't get me wrong, there are many other things that go on in this stage that I don't have time to discuss here, but on the subject of gross bodily fluids that you have to clean up, it's not too bad.

Which brings me to my day today...Zoe came home from school yesterday with symptoms that are textbook UTI. Of course, she didn't really express how she was feeling to me until last night. So, this morning we headed to the doctor. I found myself squatting between her legs as she is sitting on the toilet, holding the cup for her to pee in. Lovely. We were there for about an hour and she never could pee on demand. (For the record, I don't understand this, because I have had four babies, so I could fill a cup at any point on any given day. But, I realize she is only 10 years old) So, the doctor gives us the plastic urine specimen cup and tells us to bring to back once she has been able to pee in it.

So, now here I sit at work with a urine sample on my desk and I just looked at myself and thought, "Wow...you are a mother."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Video of Annabelle dancing with Adam's Dad

This is a sweet video of Annabelle dancing with Adam's dad. She is singing "Can I Have This Dance?" from High School Musical 3. She is saying "It's one in a million, the chances of feeling the way I do. And with ever step together, we just keep on getting better. Can I have this dance?"

video

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Organization Update

So it's been almost two weeks since we organized the kids rooms. And, I'm very happy to say that it has been maintained! The soccer bucket is fabulous! Here's an example: On Tuesday, Zoe was supposed to have soccer practice at 5:30 pm followed by all three soccer players having pictures made at 7:00 pm. By around 3:00, Zoe's coach had called and cancelled practice and the boys coach had called and cancelled pictures. So, since it had rained all day and it looked like we were going to be inside for the night, the kids were playing dress up and whatever. At 5:20, Adam calls me and tells me that Zoe's pictures were actually at 5:30, not 7:00 and they were still taking them! He also says that no pictures have been cancelled, so the boys should probably be dressed too since we wanted a picture of all three of them. Okay, so I pulled out the soccer bucket and was able to produce 3 soccer jerseys, 3 pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of soccer socks, 3 pairs of shin guards and 3 pairs of soccer cleats in about 45 seconds. We ran around like crazy people getting dressed (since Zoe is really the only one who can get all of that stuff on by herself) and got out the door. We got the soccer field at 5:38! I'm not kidding! Now, I was sweating and driving as fast as the speed limit would allow me (now I have people in the car who look at my spedometer and get on to me when I am speeding), but we were there.

On another note, this weekend I decided I was going to organize some other things. I realize that I have a small army that can and needs to help with running our household. I also feel like I need to say that I am not naturally an organize person. I don't think in lists, so I usually just assign tasks to the kids as needed. This doesn't always work. So, Sunday night, I sat down and made a list of all of the household chores. I divided the list into things that needed to be done daily, things that needed to be done twice and week and the things that only need to be done once a week. Then I assigned children to each of the tasks. I assigned dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, laundry (collecting the clothes, washing, drying and taking them out - I will fold them - each child puts their own stuff away) bathrooms, feeding the dog and keeping the kitchen table wiped down. I made a colorful chart with clip art for each chore with the days of the week that they need to be done and the name of the child responsible for the chore. The kids loved it! I put it on the refrigerator and they have checked it each day and done their chores! We told them that if they do their chores for a month, then they will receive a reward. We haven't really decided what the reward would be, but they have been doing the chores without a promise of anything. I kept anything having to do with the kitchen for me, but the rest of it has been going really well. I am finally using my little army!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Confessions

Okay, so I have a confession to make about myself. I am a crier. Those of you who know me well will not be shocked at this admission. I cry at lots of different things...movies, songs, TV shows, TV commericials...you name it. But, I also have a "cry quota" that must be met. So, here are a list of movies that make me cry and why: (some of these are serious-tear jerker films and some of them are not!)





The Notebook - where to start on this one? The whole thing is so sad and sweet through the whole thing.



Atonement - this movie just has three scenes in it that make me cry. The first one is when Robbie and Cecelia see each other for the first time in the restaurant and they don't know what to say to each other. His crying is so sweet. Then, the scene where Briony is apologizing to them. When only Cecelia's voice can calm Robbie down and quiet his anger. And, then when Robbie dies during the war. The way he lights the match to look at the postcard and the life leaves him as the light flickers out. That scene is so emotionally charged.



Where The Heart Is - I love the end of this movie. The scene where Novalee goes to find Forney and, when she does, he asks her why she lied to him about loving him. She says, "Because I thought you deserved better." And he says, "Oh, Novalee, there isn't anything better than you."



Pride and Prejudice - I like the Joe Wright version of it with Matthew Macfayden as Mr. Darcy and Kiera Knightly as Elizabeth Bennett. I love the scenes where he just doesn't know what to do with himself because he loves her so much. I cry everytime they are in the moor and then when she is asking her father's blessing.


Toy Story 2 - Don't laugh...every time I watch the scene where Jessie sings her song about Emily, I cry. I can't help it. It is so sad when she drops her at the donation barn.


High School Musical 2 - again, don't laugh...I cry when they break up (he is so SAD!) and then I cry again when she shows up at the talent show and starts singing. Yes, I have seen this movie a million times, but those scenes still make me tear up.

High School Musical 3 - again, he is so SAD when she leaves! And then, when she shows up and they dance their "prom" dance. Yes, I'm a complete sap.


The Patriot - this is the movie with Mel Gibson, not Steven Seagal. I am a complete sap whenever it comes to Daddy/Daughter stories, so the scenes with Benjamin Martin and Susan Martin (his little girl who doesn't speak until she is begging him not to go to war). I can almost cry just remembering it!

I'm sure there are many more ( I promise, there are!) but no one has time for a complete list. Anything with a daddy/daughter type story line makes me cry. Father of the Bride I & II are I'm-crying-so-hard-I'm-hiccuping type movies. Same with Cheaper By the Dozen 1 & 2. Any movie with a Daddy having a hard time with his kids growing up is a guaranteed.

Those are my "dark confessions". Now you can all go and say a quick prayer for my sweet husband who has to live with a person while he can see no reason a sane person could ever "need to cry."


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Eating Out

So, Adam and I went out to eat last weekend and as I stood in the entry way of the restaurant waiting to be seated, it dawned on me that not everyone in the world knows how this whole eating out thing works. Now, when I need to define the term "eating out". I am using this term to mean when you go out to eat a restaurant where the waiter comes to your table, takes your order, brings your food, you pay the check at the table (so this excludes those quick mexican restaurants) and then you leave. If you have to walk up to a counter at any time during the meal to order or refill your own drink, this is not the type of restaurant I am discussing here. So, here is some general information:

1. There are some things that you should just expect. If you show up at a restaurant at 7:00 pm on Friday night, you are going to have to wait. If you don't, you aren't lucky, you are probably going to be poisoned by the food you are about to eat and everyone else in town knows it but you. If you don't like to wait, you should probably go out to eat on Monday or Tuesday night.

2. When you pull into the parking lot and cannot find a parking space, then you have to push through 150 people just to get to the hostess stand, don't act shocked when she tells you it is going to be an hour to an hour and a half. Shockingly, all those people were here before you were and will be seated first. These restaurants operate on a "first come-first serve" basis, it is not hunger based. When the hostess tells you it will be 90 minutes, don't say to her "Oh, I'm not waiting that long!" As if she is going to come around the hostess stand, grab hold of your leg and beg you not to leave. Judging by the number of people in the waiting area, her job is not hinging on whether or not you eat there. Make her life easier...go to McDonald's.

3. The method the hostess uses to determine how long your wait will be is not a proven scientific method. She is ESTIMATING. She has no control over the table of four who ordered dessert and five cups of coffee after their meal. She is guessing. And, she is not going to walk around the restaurant trying to get people to finish faster because you keep coming up and asking her where your name is on the list. Slipping her money won't work either...this isn't a New York restaurant in a movie. You just have to wait your turn.

4. Nine times out of ten your little pager thingy is working. No amount of banging it on the seat you are sharing with five total strangers as you wait is going to make your wait shorter. It just annoys the rest of the people around you.

5. If you have a large party (like more than 6) try to call ahead and let them know you are coming. Most restaurants don't have rows of 12 top tables just waiting for a large party to fill them. The tables have to be set up and arranged and a server (or two) has to be ready. So don't act surprised when you refuse to separate your party and it takes longer for you to get seated. Be patient and enjoy visiting with each other.

6. Don't bring your toddler who absolutely has to eat at 6:30 pm or he will have a complete meltdown. We all know you're not going to be seated, much less eating, by 6:30 pm if you just showed up at 6:15 pm. Your toddler is going to have a complete fit and it really just makes everyone's experience miserable. Especially the parents...you wind up rushing through your meal and sweating before it is over. Is it worth it? Babies who are not mobile are excluded from this if they will happily sit or nap in their car seat carrier. I can remember a three year span where Adam and I only got to go to a restaurant if someone volunteered to keep the kids or our church had Parents Night Out. Yes, it's hard but the stage doesn't last forever and you will be able to go to a nice restaurant with the whole family eventually, I promise.

7. Anytime any little thing goes wrong or not just exactly like you wanted, it does not mean you automatically get a free meal. Yes, sometimes things are so wrong that they only way to fix it is to comp the meal. But, things happen. Kitchens get backed up...servers put in the wrong order or don't put the order in at all...one server takes another servers food and the food has to be remade. If your server is communicating and trying to keep you happy, don't demand the manager. If the server is any good, he/she will know when to involve the manager and you can leave pleasantly surprised instead of being the person the entire staff talks about all night. That being said, if your server is terrible and has no clue that they are terrible, be sure to tell the manager, but don't look for a reason to get a free meal.

So there it is...my restaurant lesson. Most places will let you call and put your name on their list when you are on your way, so jot down the number before you leave the house and call en route. This will expedite the process. PF CHANGS TAKE RESERVATIONS!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Latest Cake

Okay, so I made this cake in January for a friend of mine who turned 50, but the pictures were on my Mom's camera because Adam was in Uganda during this time and he had our camera. My mom couldn't find the cord that went to her camera to plug into a USB port and, of course, all of the cords we could find were too big. But, she finally found the cord and so I can now download the pictures from my cake. It turned out cute, I thought, though not perfect. But that's okay. Here it is...the top part are blue and yellow chocolate suckers and the "50" is sugar cookie. The top layer was chocolate cake with buttercream icing and the bottom was white cake with buttercream icing. Fondant accents.





Thursday, March 19, 2009

Organizing

This week has been an organizational week for me. One of the biggest adjustments to apartment living has been the lack of places to hide stuff. By this I mean we don't have extra closets to shove stuff in and never think about it again. We don't have extra places to keep out of season clothes or socks that we cannot find the mate to anymore. So, this past weekend, we cleaned out everything. I started with the girls room. This room is the biggest problem in my house right now. There are two girls who cannot share any clothes, any shoes, any socks, and very few toys. So it is all in that room. The boys room isn't as bad because, well, they're boys and share everything except shoes. Also, since their room is smaller than the girls room, we already had it pretty much organized with two toy tubs and a tub of Super Hero costumes.
Anyway, we only have room for one set of drawers in the girls room. Up till this weekend, all of their clothing were in those three drawers. As you can imagine, since they didn't all fit in there, we wound up with clothes all over the place. So, I bought three plastic tubs and labeled each of them...one for pants, one for skirts/shorts and one for shirts. I put both girls clothes in these tubs. I put them in the bottom of their closet (they have a walk-in closet in their room). Then I labeled the three drawers...one for panties and bathing suits, one for socks/tights/panty hose and one for pajamas. I cannot tell you how much this has helped. The top drawer used to have all of their socks, panties and pajamas in it. You could never find anything in it! Now I just have to remember to take the five bags of stuff to Goodwill!
The other thing that I organized this weekend was our soccer stuff. One of my pet peeves is losing things. I cannot stand not to be able to find something when I need it. So, soccer socks, shin guards, cleats, soccer balls, shorts and jerseys are all things that need to be found and usually quickly as we are headed out the door for practice or for games. This year I have three playing soccer, so this can get very tricky and very stressful. So, now in our laundry room is a soccer bin. I put everything soccer related (except the ball - we can usually find those) in that bin and put it on the shelf to keep anyone from playing with anything in there. It contains shorts, shirts, socks, jerseys, shin guards and cleats. It being in the laundry room means I can just pull the clean ones out of the dryer and toss it in the bin. It also means that when we have been playing soccer in the mud as we have this week, the cleats are on the floor in the laundry room and the mud isn't all over the house.
Next up is my room, but I'm not in a real hurry since it is not too bad. I love being organized! And, with it organized, there is no excuse for the girls not cleaning their room. It has been a much better week for us in that department.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Testimony

It dawned on me the other day that even though I may spend lots of time talking to my friends or with my friends, a lot of times, we only share bits and pieces of our own story. We tend to talk about the day to day things and the things that are going on right now rather than share our journey. Understandably so, but we still don't share. So I thought I would share my testimony.

I walked the aisle at Parkway Baptist Church in Jackson, MS at the age of six. It wasn't until I was twelve years old in July 1988 that I actually nailed down my salvation. I didn't get baptized then and wouldn't get my baptism in order for many years. I had a wonderful childhood and upbringing. I had parents that loved each other deeply and loved me as well. While we weren't rich by worldly standards, I never wanted for anything and somehow my parents always had the money for me to do mostly anything I wanted to do. I watched both of my parents have daily quiet times and I was brought up extremely involved in the church in a very positive way. However, I wouldn't say I was growing spiritually all of those years. I was a Christian, but I was definitely not as close to God as I needed to be. I had a picture perfect life. I never understood what it meant to cling to God because that's the only thing to cling to. I had other things to put my faith in - my mom, my dad, all of my needs and most of my wants always being met.
I graduated from high school and went on to a private baptist college. This was a great experience for me. I loved every minute of it. Again, my life was pretty much picture perfect. Looking back, I'm pretty sure that I put my faith in the fact that my life was so good and easy.
At Christmas 1994, midway of my sophomore year, my father was diagnosed with colon cancer. Surgery was done, he recovered, life went back to normal. God healed people of cancer all the time, right? A year and two months later on a Tuesday,(February 1996)I was at school which was an hour away from my parents house. My Wednesday morning class got cancelled so I decided to make a trip home to see my dad. I told Adam (my boyfriend of 5 months) that I was going to go home. He had an intramural basketball game that night so he wasn't going with me. I assured him I would be home the next day so we could celebrate Valentine's Day. As I loaded my car to leave, here came Adam with his stuff. He decided to go with me instead of playing basketball. The rest of that night is somewhat of a blur, but it ended around 11:00 that night as my Dad went home to be with the Lord. I remember telling him bye and that I loved him, but not much else. We had the visitation, the funeral and then, once again, life returned to the new normal. I went back to school, back to life as it was. I can also say, looking back, that this was the first little chip in my joy.
In May 1997, on Memorial Day, Adam and I spent the day together. I don't remember what we did, but I remember coming back to my dorm room and it was full of people. My friend, Charity, who was married was sitting there, which was very odd. They told me that my dear friend Melanie had been in a terrible car accident and they didn't know if she was going to make it. We needed to pack and head to Nashville where she was. While I was in my room packing, my phone rang and it was another friend of mine who was in Nashville calling to tell me she was gone. This funeral was harder on me in a lot of ways because there was no time to say goodbye. It was even a closed casket, so there was no closure. I so did not understand. She was so sweet, so full of life! Another chip in my joy.
In November 1997, Adam and I got married. It was such a fun day. There were a few bittersweet moments because my Dad and Melanie weren't there, but it was fun. My Dad's best friend, Ernie, gave me away and he cried all the way down the aisle. It was great day...just what I wanted.
In August 1998, Adam and I moved to Jackson, MS for law school. In September, we found out I was pregnant with Zoe. A very big, but wonderful surprise! In November 1998, my Dad's friend Ernie and his brother were killed in an airplane crash. Again, I just didn't understand. And, once again, closed casket, so I didn't get to see him. No closure. Another chip in my joy.
I might also want to mention here that our time in Jackson, MS was our spiritual dark ages. We belonged to a church, but we were very hit or miss in attendance and neither of us were growing spiritually at all. I spent my days at work pining away for the day we could move back to Memphis, closer to my mom and my friends. Surely that would make it all better, right?
In January 2001, we moved back to Memphis. Adam was completely bogged in his studies and once law school was over, he was bogged down in studying for the bar. I definitely appreciate the sacrifice he made in doing that because he passed it on the first time.
When we moved to Memphis, we thought it was a permanent move. In June 2001, the firm where Adam was working offered to transfer him to Chattanooga after the Bar. We said yes. I still to this day don't know why I said yes. I am so very thankful that I did, but I can't remember why. So, in August 2001, we moved to Chattanooga. Everyday, Adam would get up, go to work with adults while I stayed at home with a two year old. We knew no one in Chattanooga and I was pretty miserable. Still, I wasn't growing spiritually at all. Here's where I am going to fast forward through a lot of the details...we had Sebastian in May 2003. In November 2003, Adam got saved! It was a miraculous transformation that I got to watch take place and the more he grew, the more he pulled me along with him. I started having quiet times again. But I never stopped to look back and figure out why I had stopped having them.
In March 2005, a revivalist was here at our church and he preached on getting your baptism in order. I realized then that I hadn't done that first simple act of obedience. So I did and was baptized.
Still my spiritual journey was so sporadic. Anytime anything remotely bad would happen, I would throw my hands up in defeat and get mad at God. Even though God blessed us with Jude in 2004 and with Annabelle in 2005, I still was having trouble letting go and truly trusting Him. I never once stopped to try to figure out why.
In January 2008, Adam lost his job. This turned out to be a blessing, but at the time it was very stressful. During that time, I was reading in a Bible Study I was doing (The Power of a Praying Woman) and somewhere in there, she talks about healing through forgiving God. I realize that God doesn't do any wrong and therefore doesn't need actual forgiveness. But, we as humans get mad at Him about lots of things and we have to let go of it. The Bible Study workbook had lines for you to write about what you were still angry about. I would have told you that I wasn't mad about anything, but as I started writing, I filled every line. I asked the "Why?" question, I asked the "How Could You?" question, I asked the "Why didn't you?" question...all of them. When I got done, I was emotionally drained from crying, but I had also emptied myself of all of that that I had been carrying around apparently for awhile. Only then could God fill me up with Him. I'll be honest, it wasn't instantaneous. He is still filling me. But I'm not fighting Him on it anymore. During that time was when I started to think about all of the things He saved those people from! Melanie never grew old, never got sick, never had any huge heartache. My Dad didn't grow old, he didn't have to watch his parents age, didn't have to suffer the loss of a spouse. I also began to realize that God did answer my prayers for my dad and my friend. I asked Him for healing and He gave it to them. Permanent, glorious healing!
All of these lessons would prove to be very important in June 2008 when my sweet mother-in-law suddenly went to be with Jesus after she had a blood clot. It was instant and quick and she was ushered into heaven. It was hard, of course, because, once again, she was just gone and now we had the added pressure of explaining to my children. But, because I had been emptied of my own emotions and filled with Jesus, this death didn't chip away at my joy. It made me so happy for her that her faith was now sight for her!
So, my journey continues complete with valleys and mountaintops. I have added memorizing Scripture to my daily routine just recently and that has so enriched my walk. God is so good and I don't say that lightly. He loves me more than I deserve to be loved and never gave up on me even when I didn't want Him. I will forever be amazed by His love.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sebastian lost his first tooth!


Sebastian's tooth has been loose for about a week. Yesterday afternoon I noticed he wouldn't bite his food with that tooth. So I called him over to look at it and, sure enough, it was so ready to come out. He told me he didn't want it to come out because it would hurt. So I asked him if I could just wiggle it a little bit for him. He said sure, so I just grabbed a hold of the tooth and barely moved it and it came out. He was so excited!! The tooth fairy gave him a dollar in change (Sebastian is way more impressed with loose change than with dollar bills. They're just paper - how boring!) He was very excited. I had told him he would lose his teeth about the time he was six years old, so yesterday afternoon he said, "So, am I six now?"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Women's Retreat

This Friday I am going on a Women's Retreat! I am so excited. The entire theme of the retreat is on Peace. I have wanted to go on a Women's Retreat for a long time, but it was never a good time. This one is only one night and the ones before at our church used to be two nights. Now that my children are older, that isn't really an issue, but before when they were all so little, Adam would have freaked if I would have left him for two nights by himself. Anyway, I am so excited. We leave Friday afternoon and come back Saturday evening.
I can't wait!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thirteen Years

Thirteen years ago today, God chose to permanently heal my Daddy from the cancer in his body and took him to heaven. There are very few days that I don't think about my Daddy and how much he would have loved all six of his grandchildren. I look forward to the day I get to see him again. Love you, Daddy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Granny's funeral and other ramblings

Well, I had written an entire entry and then lost it...very frustrating...So here's a catch up of the end of last week to now. My Granny passed away on Wednesday so Thursday afternoon, the kids and I headed to Jackson, MS for the funeral. This is a seven hour drive from our house and we did it with no technology. By that I mean, no DVD player in the van, no CD player in the van and the tape player is broken, so no books on tape. We do own 2 nintendo DS players, but one of them wasn't charged so I left both of them at home to avoid the fights that were sure to take place over the one DS. But we did just fine...we sang songs and played car type games. One game we played was where someone says a line from a movie and you have to guess what movie it is from. Well, the boys had no interest in playing this game. So they were in the back, entertaining themselves (we did bring action figures). Annabelle had fallen asleep, so it was just Zoe and I playing so we were doing some pretty obscure quotes from different movies and trying to stump each other. Anyway, one of the quotes I chose was, "You'd better get back in line or we'll both be in trouble." Zoe is thinking about it and thinking about it and having me repeat it over and over cause she just can't place it. All of a sudden, I hear Annabelle from behind me say "A Little Princess!" A Little Princess is Annabelle's favorite movie, but it was so funny that she could pick the quote out of the movie.
We finally made it to Jackson and we had a great time visiting with family. The service was on Friday and it was a sweet time just celebrating the almost 97 years that Granny spent here on earth. We sang "How Great Thou Art" as a group which was Granny's favorite hymn and then the pastor spoke. After he spoke, I sang "Well Done, My Child" accapella. It was really hard, but I am so glad I did it. Granny would have liked it. As I looked around at the people at the graveside service, I couldn't help but think about this precious woman's legacy. Granny was not raised by Christian parents, so at some point, someone had to invite her to church and someone had to tell her about Jesus. I don't know who it was, but as I looked at the four generations of a Christian family that started with Granny, I couldn't help but think about the impact that person had. We never know what kind of impact we have on other people. I can only pray that I will leave that kind of legacy.
One other funny Annabelle story...while we were driving back on Saturday, Annabelle was sitting in her seat playing by herself. She had a Troy (High School Musical 3) doll and I looked back at one point and she had Troy dancing with an Iron Man action figure. (I have been informed that it cannot be an Iron Man doll...it's an action figure.) So I asked her what she was doing because it looked funny. She said, "I needed a Gabriella. Iron Man is Gabriella." (I realize that not everyone has seen High School Musical a million times like I have, so Gabriella is Troy's girlfriend in those movies) She makes me laugh.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Sweet Granny

My sweet, precious Granny, Mrs. Mary Jacks Roberts, went to heaven this morning at 10:30 am. She lived to be 96, almost 97, years old. You will be missed. I know you are loving being with Jesus.

Friday, January 30, 2009

One of These Days...

One of these days, I will get to sit down and write an entry about something! For now, I can just say that Adam made it home safely from Uganda, he had the time of his life, God solidified our decision about the future, and everyone has enjoyed having him back at home. One really quick, sweet story...Sebastian is my sensitive, artistic child. Anyone who has spent a little time with him can vouch for that. Anyway, he was the one who I thought would have the hardest time with Adam being gone. But, the nine days pretty much went by without a hitch. So, Saturday Adam got home and he was giving out the presents and Sebastian burst into tears and ran into his room. I followed him to see what was wrong and he said, "I just want to be in here and cry." So I left him to be alone. Adam finished giving out the presents and then went into Sebastian's room and shut the door. When Adam got in there, Sebastian threw his arms around his Daddy's neck crying and said, "Why did you have to be gone so long? It was too long!" So, then they cried together for a few minutes and Adam just held him. Then he was fine and came out to see his presents. It was so sweet. He is so precious.