Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tags

*This post has been updated and corrected.*

I've been twice tagged. So here goes...

Tag #1 from Amy at My Blob
The rules are:
1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Write 15 (I am doing 10) random things about yourself (see below).
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry has been posted.

My List of Random Things:
1. I have freckles in my eyes.
2. I almost always have my toenails painted.
3. I had asthma as a child.
4. I wear contacts - glasses give me a headache.
5. The only man I've ever kissed is Chris.
6. I'm not very good at rollerskating - I have horrible balance.
7. My favorite Thanksgiving foods are stuffing and pumpkin pie.
8. The game show I want to be on is Wheel of Fortune.
9. I haven't seen my sister in 1 1/2 years.
10. We have a house that's been for sale for 2 1/2 years.
11. I sing alto.
12. I wish I had a different hairstyle, but I don't know which one I would want.
13. I don't think comedians are very funny (usually).
14. There is truly no place like home.
15. I will always choose Jesus over anything/anybody else.

Phewph! And now onto Round 2...

Tag #2 from Susanne at Truly Captivating
Here are the rules:
1) You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2) You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3) At the end of your post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.

Okay, my middle name is:
R - Red Rover. I've been clotheslined enough in my life to hate this game.
O - Octopus tastes like fishy rubberbands. I know. Don't ask.
S - Soccer is my favorite sport to play.
E - Eggplant is the dregs of vegetable life.

And now I'm going to break the rules by not tagging anybody because I'm hoping that Autumn just fell asleep for the night and I'm going to go crash... Besides, rules are meant to be broken, right??

2 Month Old Autumn







Strawberry



We have a new addition to the family. For Eli's birthday, he got a pet fish. He named his pet fish "Strawberry", because it looks like a strawberry. He feeds it every morning, and blows it a kiss when it's bedtime. We've also explained that fish have to stay in the water in order to live, so I'm sorry, but we can't take him out to pet him. But that's okay, because Strawberry swims over to the side of the tank when Eli calls him.




Friday, November 14, 2008

Shopping Cart Drop-Out

I do a lot of grocery shopping (as I've frequently mentioned). A family with lots of people eats lots of food. Each of my sons can eat way more food than me, and they are just 7, 4, and 2. (Just a side note about Eli, the 4 year old. He just had his yearly checkup - he's in the 50th percentile for his height, and the 25th for his weight. We are excited about his weight progress - he was in the 10th percentile last year. Poor guy has such a fat-free diet because of his food restrictions! But he loves chicken skin, and we let him eat all he wants when we are having chicken for supper!)

So, back to grocery shopping. You can imagine I'd have to be in a bad way to take all 5 kids to the grocery store. For one thing, the cart would be too full of kids - no room for the food. So, I usually wait for Chris to come home from work, and then I take 1 or 2 kids with me.

I have a specific route that I usually take so I can get the best deals at several grocery stores. At most of the stores I visit, there are parking spaces right after the handicapped spots that are for "pregnant/small children" parking. Soo convenient! Whoever's brain storm that was hopefully got a big bonus. But this is what baffles me...

Why are the shopping cart corrals so far away from the "small children" parking spots????

Do the grocery store people really think that I'm going to unload my groceries into my car, and then take the buggy all the way across the parking lot, and then walk back across with my young children in tow to my car? Umm, I can think of several reasons why this would be unreasonable, especially if it's Seth with me who likes to run away fast and when I call him he likes to grin and run faster. Plus, it's just not safe. I know. I watch America's Most Wanted (Saturday nights at 9:00 on FOX).

So, I admit. I am a leaver of shopping carts in the middle of a parking lot. But only if I have my small children with me. And I'm not parked next to a buggy corral. I don't leave them in the middle of a parking spot. I angle them so they don't roll. But I do value my safety and sanity. And when Bi-Lo, Harris Teeter, Lowe's, and Food Lion decide to install buggy corrals next to their handicapped spots and "pregnant/small children" spots, I'll be glad to fulfil my civic duty and park my cart in them!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Allergy Update

Yesterday we loaded up the whole family and took a trip to the pediatric allergist two hours away. I know that's a long ways, and there are allergists here where we live, but where we go is at the forefront in pediatric allergy research and discovery, and I kind of like having access to the top allergists in the nation - especially when it's my kids I'm concerned about. :) This was Eli's third yearly visit. He had his annual skinprick test for dairy, eggs, and peanuts. He's still just as allergic as ever. Poor little guy! We will get his bloodwork results next week to see if his allergy levels are on the rise or decline.
Eli was "the strongest and bravest" when they took his blood. He only cried a little bit, and he told Chris that he was going to look in Chris' eyes when the nurses were sticking him if he needed to cheer up. He was very offended and worried when he realized they actually took blood out of him - until Chris told him that his body would make some more blood.
Since Seth has been such a wierdo with knowing what and if he's allergic to anything (last year, we took him to a local allergy Dr. who was not very thorough), we had him tested as well. He is allergic to eggs and borderline to peanuts, according to the skin test. The dairy was negative. However, the skinprick test is 90-95% accurate, so we will wait until we get his bloodwork results next week to truly celebrate!
It took 4 people (me and 3 nurses) to hold him down to get his blood drawn. Dude, that kid is strong! It is a sad thing to be the traitor holding him down with a needle aiming at his arm. He was calling for his Daddy by the end. Afterwards, I gave him a sucker and then he liked me again.
I'm sure we looked pretty funny, 5 kids and 2 parents crowded into the Dr.'s office. But at least we only have to go once a year...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Free Treats for Voting

If you manage to make it through the long lines at your voting precinct and want a little something yummy for a prize, then make sure you grab a couple of "I Voted" stickers and make a few stops on the way back home...
Starbucks - free cup of coffee
Krispy Kreme - free star shaped donut (w/ red, white, blue sprinkles)
Ben & Jerry's - free scoop of ice cream
Shane's Rib Shack - free 3 pc. chicken tender meal (includes fries and drink)

I had to show my sticker at Starbucks; and I had to give my sticker at Shane's. That's it. Free food!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wasted Vote?

Just a few qualifications at the beginning of this post: I'm a free thinker. I don't take your word for it (in the political world) - I'm going to research and find out for myself. You won't be able to talk me into voting for someone; but I will listen to your opinion with an "open mind". I'll appreciate it if you listen to mine, likewise. What I am about to talk about is just some ruminations that have been rumbling around my brain. I will not discuss this in person or on the phone, since I have to process information before I can have a well-thought-out response. But if you want to have a conversation in the comments, I'd love to hear.

In 2 days, a new president will be elected. In my city, there have been long lines at early voting spots for weeks. Some have had to wait in line for up to 2 hours to early vote. I haven't voted yet; but I will on Nov. 2nd. It's my civic duty. One I take very seriously. But I don't know who I'm voting for yet. You see, I don't really like certain aspects of either of the two traditional party candidates. I've been told to vote for the lesser of two evils. But that doesn't sit right in my heart. I did that the last election, and look what we got... Plus, I don't really care for voting for an "evil", even if it is a lesser one. But to vote for anybody else is "throwing my vote away", or so I've been told - by a lot of people. Which causes me to wonder how many Americans there are that are simply voting for a lesser evil, when they really would rather vote for a different candidate who they don't think has a chance to win. Did you know there are actually 6 different candidates running for president who are on enough ballots in enough states that could actually win the presidency if enough people voted for them? How do you know one of those other candidates isn't actually a better fit according to your values and concerns? We don't hear about them because they don't have the advertising dollars; but is that a good reason to vote for someone anyway, because they had enough money to promote themselves more than anyone else? If all the people who aren't satisfied with the two-party system actually started voting third party, I bet we'd have a surprise winner. Wouldn't that be a hoot on election night?!

This year, there are critical issues America is voting on. The economy, war in Iraq, energy, etc., the stuff we've all heard over and over. But there are a few issues that Americans as a whole don't realize are up for grabs with this election: socialism, big government, privacy rights, parental rights, state rights. If you haven't voted yet, I urge you to research who your options are. You are not throwing your vote away. Vote your conscience - with a clear conscience. And for the love of America, please do not vote for a lesser evil.

My name is Elisarose and I approve this message.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Life Without Kids

Every once in awhile, I wonder about what life would be like without kids.

And I conclude that life would be completely boringly monotonous.

Sure, I would have a lot more time to do stuff, but what in the world would I do? Time to myself is much more precious and valuable now.

Sure, I would have a lot more sleep and rest, but I might not sleep as good, since I wouldn't be so tired by the end of the day.

Sure, I'd have a much neater, cleaner house, but that would be because I would have washed the walls and blinds every week out of sheer boredom. And who wants to do that?

Sure, I'd have a lot more money, but what would I spend it on - how many clothes do I need anyway? Just imagine year after year not having the opportunity to buy treats, toys, and Happy Meals for kids?!

Sure, I'd be able to go on lots more dates with Chris - and I do miss that. But we wouldn't have any funny stories to share with each other about what the little guys did or said that day.

I would miss all the squeezy hugs, sloppy kisses, "I Wuv You"s, and wiggly kids in my lap. I would miss the hot wheel races and the teddy bear games. I would miss brushing tiny teeth and washing baby hair. I would miss answering "Why" questions and reading stacks of books. I would miss cartoon days and trips to the park. I would miss funny mispronunciations and flat knock-knock jokes. I would miss the innocence and trust of childhood. I would miss being the bug-killer hero and the broken toy magician. I would miss impromptu dances in the kitchen and singing "You Are My Sunshine" at the top of my lungs. I would miss the complexity of blowing all the birthday candles out and the simplicity of Christmas. I would miss witnessing my husband develop into the wonderful father that he is. I would miss learning so much about myself by being a mother. I would miss family group hugs and sharing in the smile of my husband's eyes over five little heads. And I wouldn't even know what I was missing.


"Children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them... (Psalm 127:3-5)".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Seize the Day

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Live in the moment. Seize the day. Take time to stop and smell the roses. Open your eyes and see the world around you. Don't live for the "maybes" and the "what ifs". Live for "now". What is going on right now in your life? What is going on right now in the lives of other people around you? Can you see? Or are you blinded by the future?

What enjoyment can you have or bring to someone else today? What suffering can you ease today? What can you do to imprint this day with your children on your heart and on their hearts?

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Friday, October 17, 2008

In Defense of Cheesy Music

When I was in 2nd grade, I rode the school bus. There's only a few things I remember about that - the embarrassing sign my mom made me wear around my neck on the first day on the bus with my name, bus #, and address; the girl I sat next to from a different school who shared her cough drops with me (we pretended they were candy); and this song: I Love Rock & Roll by Joan Jett.
Somewhere in the 1st-3rd grade range, I missed a school field trip to the James A. Garfield homeplace. (He was a US president.) So my mom took us there for a family trip. I remember sitting on the grass eating our picnic, and watching a really tall "cool dude" walk by with an enormous jambox on his shoulder. Just Beat It by Michael Jackson was blaring.
Memories...
And that's why those two songs are on the playlist to the right. Just be glad I didn't put this song on there...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hooked On Phonics...

Elijah and Seth are sitting at the dining room table diligently coloring/scribbling in their coloring books. Eli asks if doesn't his deer look real, seeing as he's colored it all brown. I answer in the affirmative. Suddenly, Jacob comes bounding in the room waving a white sheet of paper. "MOMMY!" (All afternoon he's been reading in his Wolf Cub Scout book and doing activities by himself.) "There's something I can do from my book! I can draw a skee-nee!"
A what?
"A skee-nee, you know, like a background!" He flips open the book and reads, "Draw, paint, or color a scene for a skit, play, or puppet show."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hungry for Popcorn?

Just because I'm a really good mom...

Here's an email that Jacob typed out all by himself this afternoon:

Dear Family and Friends,
Hi ! This is Jacob Hilliard. I am selling popcorn with my cub scout pack. I am a wolf cub
this year. I like being a cub scout because we make useful things and learn to be a good man. You can help me and support cub scouts by purchasing popcorn from
orderpopcorn.com. Be sure to use my order key: TERYS7X so I get credit for the sale.
Thanks,
Jacob
p.s.You can also send popcorn to our military troops on this website.


So if you feel like eating some delicious popcorn, or just feeling extra charitable, head over to orderpopcorn.com and do some browsing. These could make some great birthday, Christmas, secret sister or other kinds of presents as well... I'm thinking the 5-Way Chocolate Lover's or the Caramel & Peanuts is looking especially good; I think my tummy is starting to growl!



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Seth's 2nd Birthday Party

Isn't it nice to be the birthday boy and get to lick the frosting spatula?


The boy loves a train. I always tried to teach my kids to call things what they are named, not by their sounds. But, alas, I have failed. Seth had a "choo-choo" birthday party.


Yes, Chris and I gave him the chalkboard. What were we thinking? Before the night was up, there was evidence of chalk happiness on doorknobs and carpet...



Clearly, blowing candles out is paramount. Seth has been practicing blowing. It's a hard thing to do - blow 2 whole candles out - but oh, the satisfaction when the deed is done!



Sunday, September 28, 2008

Two Days Old


Pastoral Musings

Chris often sends out emails to our church family. Here's one from last week that I thought I'd share... I hope it feeds your heart.

So, it's cold and rainy outside. Quite breezy as well. Gas prices are sky high and gas stations are running out of gas. The stock market keeps dropping and the housing market is abysmal. Banks are failing and food prices keep shooting up.

At home, I have a new born baby girl (Thank you Jesus!) and an exhausted wife (poor Elisabeth). We've had three sick kids over the past three days (one with a fever and diarrhea, two with fever and nausea). I had some nausea myself last night (oh, the joy). That means that I have had to be "Mr. Mom" this whole week. I’ve done TONS of laundry, protected mom and newborn from the kids, cleaned house, looked after meals, entertained guest, planned a birthday party (for our sick two year old), led a prayer service, got estimates on a couple of needed house repairs, and squeezed in some church work on the computer. Add to that, that I've been stuck at home while church members need visits, phone calls need to be made, sermons to work on, meetings to schedule, counseling sessions to be conducted, etc. Much has been neglected as I take up Elisabeth's role at home. It DEFINITELY makes me appreciate the work she does around here!! (It's going to be real hard not to smack the next person who ask my wife if she works or is she a "stay at home" mom. The answer is YES!).

Add all of this on top of the fact that Brother Donald (our other minister on staff) has been out of the office this week as well, tending to his dear grandmother who isn't doing well at all. Mrs. Jeannean (our secretary) says she misses her "coffee buddies" at church. It has been one crazy week!

So, there is a particular word that I love more than any other this week…“grace”.
And I realize that, despite my whining, things could be much worse. And I realize that, despite my complaining, I am blessed. And I realize, that despite my fears, God is still on His throne as Lord of all. My verse for the day is:
“Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds' feet, And makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.” Hab 3:18-19

Here is a great sermon that humbles me and encourages me:
http://www.lifechurch.tv/message-archive/ydhwit/2


Chris

Family Pictures

Here's a few pictures (my mom left her camera here for a few weeks!) from this past whirlwind of a week... Autumn is a sweet baby with a gentle personality so far, and all the children love her like crazy!!

If Seth is willing to share his bear blanket, then you know he really likes her!!

Five Alive! They may look small now, but just wait until they're 19, 18, 16, 14, 12... That will be a powerful lot of kids!!

And yes, Savannah is thrilled to finally have a SISTER! More pictures will be coming soon... (Seth's birthday was the day Autumn came home from the hospital. She sure does know how to steal a show!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

She's Here!

Elisabeth gave birth to Autumn at 2:58 pm 9/20/08! Praise God!

Post by Daddy

Friday, September 12, 2008

In Jacob's Words

Every week in Spelling, Jacob has to write a journal entry on a specific topic. This week his assignment was to write about his family...

Savannahs favrite number is five and she likes to play. Her favrite coler is pink. Her favrite aninal is a butterfly.
Jacob helps Seth wen he crys and I am graet. I hlep my cibleans play. I am tall.
Elijh is three. Elijh is scarde. He has more booboos then us but he is stil speshel. His favrite coler is yellow. Elijhs fast.
Seth is one. Seth is fun. He is a love boy. He is some one you just cant stay mad at.
Momy is prity and nice. Her favrite coler is pink.
Daddy is paster. I like how he preachis. He is good at it. It is wunderful. He is strong. I love him.


Jacob made 100% on his spelling test today. "Favorite", "color", and "siblings" were not on his spelling list for this week. Just for the record.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Superman Sighting

Indulge me...

Yesterday was a great day for football. Maybe not for the poor Patriot fans, but for me and my Dallas Cowboys, well let's just say I love my Cowboys!! Obviously we won our first game of the season, we had phenomenal stats from almost every member of our team, and that includes Superman!



Yes, in case you didn't know, when Clark Kent retired, Marion Barber took over Superman's role. He is my absolute favorite football player!

And I am almost positive I am going to win my matchup in my fantasy football league. And so far, I am beating Chris in the football Pick 'Em, too.

Like I said, it's a great day for football!



Friday, September 5, 2008

"Just Burn It" Update

Just thought I'd let ya'll know...
A very sweet and kind lady came over yesterday and provided supper for my family. Also, by the grace of God, we were able to purchase a very nice dryer off of Craigslist for only $25! WooHoo! And Chris says the basement isn't as bad as I thought. And he is my hero - he has singlehandedly done all of the current laundry which includes the "wet" sheets from a certain son every night, everyone's clothes from this week, and all the dirty laundry from the trip. And also some towels and blankets and 2 pillows. There is not a water line in the basement, so basically everything that was on the floor got wet. If it was up higher than the floor, then it's fine. There is still a mildew-y smell down there, but there is hope on the horizon! :-)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just Burn It

When in the event that your dryer breaks the day before you go on a weeklong trip, and the remnants of a hurricane flood part of your city during the first couple of days of your trip, and you come home to discover (after you've been home for 2 days) that everything in your basement is wet and stinky from the week before "flooding" (including the couch, boxes of stored clothes for the kids to grow into, Christmas decorations, etc...), and you are 3 1/2 weeks away from your due date...
Then my personal advice is to burn it. If it's wet, it won't burn, right? But at least you'll feel better after you light the match. And then after you "burn it", get your 7 year old son to help you haul it out to the trash, and then start over. And attempt to buy a "new" dryer on Craigslist...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Of Elephants and Storks

I am 35. Not 35 years old. Just only 35 weeks pregnant. I've got 5 more to go. Not that I'm counting down or anything. But this being pregnant for forever is for the birds. I'd much rather have babies the stork way. But that's not God's plan for us humans, only for storks. Sure wish I was a stork right about now. Speaking of God, He has a funny sense of humor sometimes. Way back when I was 32 weeks pregnant, the doctor thought the baby was measuring about 2 weeks smaller than she was supposed to. So that meant I got to have an ultrasound 2 weeks later at 34 weeks to make sure that she wasn't having any problems growing (this was last week). In those 2 weeks between doctor visit and ultrasound, I spent a lot of time praying and researching IUGR (intrauterine growth retardation). Worst case scenario is I would deliver the baby now and she would be in NICU for awhile. Apparently, God hears prayers, and decided to answer these with a resounding "yes". Because at the ultrasound last week, little baby girl measured actually 2 weeks bigger than the weeks of pregnancy I've put in! So I had a 36 week sized baby at 34 weeks. Go figure!! Either there was no problem to begin with, and God used this experience to stretch my faith, or God answered our prayers and made this baby grow a month's worth in 2 weeks! Yay, God! So if I look, act or feel like I've got a baby elephant inside of me, it's because I do. So you should be real nice to me, feed me lots of yummy donuts (chocolate glazed with custard inside), and not say anything about how the baby will be here before I know it. Because if that was true, I wouldn't have a bowling ball still attached on my front.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Savannah

For those who are interested, the baby in this post is Savannah. I know, I know, all babies look alike. But for some reason, all my babies really do look alike!! So don't worry if you guessed wrong - even Chris didn't guess it was Savannah at first!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Proverbs 31:28 by Chris

Just a country girl
With hazel eyes
Dark hair
Light spirit

She grabs me
In a way that clouds my eyes
A deep reflection freezes me
It makes me want to run
Hide
Or should I embrace the miracle

I’ve lost direction
Perplexed at my present situation
Am I where I’m suppose to be
Then how could she be for me

It’s more than I deserve
I’m in over my head
The clich├ęs come easy

Do I love you
No doubt
But to have you love me
Wears this boy's mind out

Friday, August 8, 2008

Future NASCAR driver...

I found this on the Cub Scout website. I love that bottled up grin Jacob gets when he's having the time of his life!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Guessing Game

Just for fun, guess which kid this is... is it Jacob, Savannah, Elijah, or Seth? The prize is basking in the knowledge of how well you know my children! Just a clue, that's me holding the cutey little baby. Aren't the chubby arms sweet?!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Knight in Shining Armor

Savannah knows she is her Daddy's princess. As evidenced by this dream she had recently:
"Mommy, wanna know what my dream was?" Me- *thinking* "um, not really, but I reckon you're going to tell me anyway." Me- *out loud* "Sure, what was it?"
Savannah takes a big breath...
"Well, I dreamed that I was kidnapped by a different family. And I had to do all the kids' chores. They made me do all the chores in the house. And then I was jumping on the trampoline in the back yard after I did all the chores and Daddy rode up on a horse, and I jumped from the trampoline onto the horse right in Daddy's lap and he rescued me."

While the majority of Savannah's dreams are extremely long and rambling, this one was very sweet. I couldn't dream up a better ending myself!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Grocery Shopping

CouponMom told me that reading this article was some good, free entertainment. And since I'm all about some free entertainment, I read the article. I was definitely entertained, but mostly I felt confused. If someone gave me that much money to spend at the grocery store weekly, I don't know how in the world I could possibly spend it all. Even if I shopped at Whole Foods and Harris Teeter (2 of the more expensive grocery stores). Although maybe if food prices continue to go up, I could get close to spending all of it. The big difference is the lady in the article was shopping for 3 people, and we have 6 almost 7 people in our family. Now I'm not going to tell you what our weekly food budget is, but I can assure you that you probably spend more than us! And our food budget is supposed to cover household items as well. Sure, I wish we had more moolah in the budget; it would be fun to eat ice cream, chips, and soda more often. It would be fun to eat different types and cuts of meat. But I work with what I've got, and most of the time it's an exhilerating feeling to score "free" stuff at the grocery store. I've become a coupon freak. I'm also able to shop at multiple grocery stores since they are all on the same road within a few blocks from each other. Armed with my coupons and sales ads, I'm able to purchase fruits, vegetables, staples, meats, diapers, milk (and soy milk), bread, cereal, toiletries and a few extras and stay within my budget (most of the time) even with the rising prices. I sign up for free samples which allows me to put off buying certain items (like shampoo or deodorant) for an extra week. I make most everything from scratch (because it's cheaper that way usually and because then Eli can eat it). I read blogs that help me know when and where the really good deals are. And when friends give me produce from their gardens, I learn how to preserve it. I figure if God gave it to us, it's my responsibility to use it wisely. I don't consider myself to be a natural born "Susie Homemaker" or "Martha Stewart". I am very thankful I have friends and family that I can ask how to do things (like making pickles - eek!). And one day, when we have a bigger food budget, I will still compare prices and use coupons, because I've found out it's FUN!

I read a lot of money saving blogs, but if I could pick the top two, I would choose MoneySavingMom and Freebies 4 Mom.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Caddywumpus

I am feeling so down home country right about now. It's a good feeling to have. Have ya'll ever ate some fried green tomatoes? Well, I have now, and they were pretty yummy. And they were easy to cook as well. Them fried green maters were so scrumptious that Seth (1 1/2 yrs. old) couldn't stop eating them till the serving plate was empty.
After our southern summer supper of tuna salad, cottage cheese, fried yellow squash, and fried green tomatoes, we headed out for a cub scout outing at the local race track. Now let me just say, my family loves some racing. Some kids might be into video games, or Barney, or Hannah Montana, but nothing gets my kids excited like playing pit crew or seeing a good wreck on the track (unless it's time to watch Mr. Rogers).
Of special interest to Jacob (age 7) was the Bandelero Bandits division which is kids aged 8 to 11 racing their hearts out. He can hardly wait till he turns 8 now. The Crash Cars were fun to watch too. The third car to cross the black and white checkers was the winner. It's only in the good ole South where you have cars boasting names like Vigilante, White Boy, Road Hawg Rebel, Redneck Medic, No Insurance, and Trouble out on the track duking it out to come in third place so they can be in first place! And where you can watch "the old men" (ages 40 and up) race and see 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and last place cross the finish line all at the same time! Whew, that was pure exciting!! And hear the announcer on the loudspeaker using such language as holy guacamole, and caddywumpus. Our hearts grew proud as we heard the announcement that it is our local track that won the right to have the world Chicken Dance finals in August.
Eli (3 1/2) got his shirt signed by LugNut, the track mascot. All four kids got autographs from two of the kid drivers. And Jacob caught a shirt that was being thrown into the audience. When Jake unrolled the shirt, it turned out to be a Jeff Gordon wifebeater (haha! - for us, Jeff Gordon is right up there with Kyle Busch and Juan Pablo Montoya - the drivers we love to hate!). But Jacob was thrilled and wore it to sleep in last night even though the arm holes come down to his waist and the bottom of the shirt hits his calves. And Savannah faithfully cheered for the pink or purple race cars, even when they came in dead last.
The only thing that would've made the experience more down home country would have been a brown paper bag full of boiled peanuts (if you ain't never had them, you sure are missing out on some good eating), but since Eli's allergic to peanuts, we settled for our individual packs of Lorna Doone shortbread cookies.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Don't Mess with the Nest...

...ing Instinct! Yesterday, I was inspired to change the furniture around in the living room. Maybe it was the Starbucks. Maybe it was the fact that in 2 days we are having company, so this is not a good time to start a major project. Or maybe it is the nebulous "nesting instinct" that I have often heard that pregnant women get - that I have never experienced. Throughout my last 4 pregnancies, I awaited this instinct with anticipation thinking of all the household improvements that could be made, but alas, all I was ever hit with was exhaustion and no inspiration. So don't stop me now - I've had to get to the FIFTH pregnancy to finally feel up to changing things around, and dadgummit, I'm going to do it, and you're going to help me! Because of the major project I started, Chris had to help finish it (by moving all the big, clunky, heavy furniture - that man sure does love me!). Now all 3 boys are sharing a room, and Jacob's old room is now the classroom/playroom. And we are also in the market for a set of bunkbeds! Yeah, 2 single beds and a toddler bed plus 3 dressers make for a crowded room, even if it is a big bedroom. And the living room has been changed a little bit, although there's more to come in there. When we put the boys to bed last night, they were all giggling to be together. Chris looked at me and commented, "There's all your testosterone in one room!" All I could say was "If this room doesn't explode, we'll be doing okay!"

Friday, June 27, 2008

Quiet Rest

The stained glass windows for the sanctuary were just put in yesterday. I've only seen them from the outside, but they look stunning. I remember when I was a kid, and we'd visit a church that had stained glass windows, I would look at the Bible pictures on them during the sermon and think about the stories from the Bible. Have you ever sat alone in a sanctuary when sunlight is streaming through the stained glass windows? I haven't yet, but I imagine that it would feel like complete peace. In fact, we just talked about peace Wednesday night. About how we are not to worry or stress out about things, but instead give it all to Jesus and live in his uncomprehensible peace. And I can say that I get the best rest when I let Jesus worry about my problems. After all, He's God and I'm not. "In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8)".


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Naming

It's hard to come up with a baby girl name. Actually, it's not hard to think of girl names I like; the difficulty is when Chris and I compare our lists of girl names, there's not many that we both agree on. When I was pregnant with Jacob, we had a backup girl name, just in case, which we ended up using for Savannah. With Elijah and also with Seth, we also had a backup girl name - but we knew 100% that they were boys before they were born, so we didn't think a whole lot about our girl name. So now that we know 99.99999% that this is a little girl, we are having to re-evaluate our list of names. The responsibility of naming my babies weighs very heavily on me. Their name is something they will live with for the rest of their lives. I've had people comment on our kids' names, "All your boys have Bible names, what happened to Savannah?" And if you want to know the truth, we didn't set out to have all "Biblical" names. I wanted our boys to have good, strong masculine names. And I wanted our daughter to have a lovely feminine name. I wanted them to have names that they could grow into as they grew older. I wanted them to have names that would sound just as good if they turned out to be lawyers, mechanics, or preachers. I wanted them to have names that celebrated their gender. So, in turn, we chose the names of Jacob, Savannah, Elijah, and Seth. And now, with this little girl, I have the same goal. I want her to be excited that she's a girl; I want her name to identify her as a lady. I want her to have a name that's unique to her, but not so unusual that she has to tell everyone how to pronounce it. I want her to have a name that will grow and live with her through her old age. And most importantly, I want her to live worthy of her name.
And that's what drives me as I pore through baby name books, reading lists of names until my eyes are dry. You can rest assured I've crossed off Pocahontas, Barbarella, Atilla, Quinella, Marionette and Urania (yes, these were all in the baby name books)! Just for fun, do ya'll have any feminine-sounding suggestions??
"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches (Proverbs 22:1)".
"A good name is better than fine perfume (Ecclesiastes 7:1)".

Friday, June 13, 2008

After All These Long, Drawn Out Years...

Happy Anniversary, Chris! While we were on our trip, we had absolutely no web access so I was unable to post about this historic event when it actually happened. (Imagine that, we stayed at the "posh-est" hotel I've ever been to, and they charged for computer usage. There was free wi-fi everywhere, but alas, we don't have a laptop.) But on June 10th, we celebrated 8 years of marriage! I never dreamed on that sunny summer day we were wed that 8 years later I would be married to a senior pastor, have moved 7 different times, be pregnant with our 5th child, and would have such an interesting life! Yeah, the specifics could not have been known, but I knew this: that for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health I would love Chris until the day I die. And our love is deeper, richer, and more committed because of how we've chosen to respond to each other and because of our relationship with Christ. Chris, you are my best friend. You are a wonderful father. You are a funny guy - you make me laugh hard and loud! And you have perfected page 14 (inside joke; don't ask, I won't tell).
"Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it (Song of Solomon 8:7)".

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Countdown...

The kids' bags are all packed, the floors are scrubbed, and all that's left to do is get me and Chris packed as well. Savannah has been counting down the night-nights for the last week and a half till the day all the kids get to go to Grandma and Grandpa's house for seven days! Now it's just one more night-night away; I don't think she can wait that long! Jacob is planning to work in Grandpa's garden, then play in the dirt pile, then play with legos, then play with the toys in the cabinet. Eli is just plain excited because everyone else is! We've never left Seth before for overnight, so this will be a big deal for him...and me!
Tomorrow we take the kids to my parents' house 4 hours away, then come back late at night. Saturday morning, Chris and I will fly out to our denomination's yearly convention. Our anniversary comes while we are out there, so I'll probably order dessert for supper that night. I'm so looking forward to this trip; plus, with the new baby on the way, I doubt there will be very many chances in the near future for just the two of us to get away by ourselves. Not that the convention is a vacation... Ha! We will be very busy in meetings from dawn till night, and rushing to get meals in between. There are some important discussions and decisions that will be happening during the convention. I consider it such a privilege to be involved and pray that God will get the glory in everything.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Amphibious Weather

During a recent rainstorm, Elijah happened to glance out the window and noticed a thick layer of fog rolling across the back yard. He instantly ran to the window and stood on his tiptoes, pulling up on the window sill to see better. "Look, Mommy," he yelled, "It sure is froggy out there!"

Security Blanket


It's funny how each kid is different. That's one of my favorite things about being a mom - figuring out each child's unique personality. For example, when Jacob was a baby and needed to go to sleep, he sure put up a good fight. We'd hold his passy in his mouth and pat him on his back until he'd finally fall asleep. After Savannah got over her colic (which was horrid for the whole family!), she went to sleep fairly easily as long as she had her pacifier solidly plugged in her mouth. Elijah, on the other hand, would have nothing to do with a passy. All he needed was his little arm slung over his Winnie the Pooh bear, and he'd fall fast asleep. Then there's little Seth. Our shy little thumb-sucking, bear blanket toting "Linus". Although he only sucks his thumb to fall asleep, the blankie goes everywhere with him. In fact, when he wakes up from his nap, he is standing in his crib just waiting to be lifted out with his bear blankie, sippy cup, and all his other blankets tucked up under his arms ready to face whatever the day brings forth.

Recently I was "pondering in my heart" about these things, and I started to wonder what my "security blanket" is. What is it that I have to have near me, tucked up under my arm to make me feel right with the world? For some, their security blankets may be knowledge, food, coffee, different forms of entertainment, favorite articles of clothing, financial security, etc. There is nothing wrong with any of these things in themselves. But if they become what I rely on for comfort, or to put my world back on track when I'm floundering, then they are an idol in my life. That's one of the reasons I love the verse on the top of my blog. It reminds me of where my hope, trust, comfort and centering is and should be.

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:25-26)."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

E-Mail Forward

A friend of mine sent this to me... and I thought I'd pass it along. There's a lot of truth in it.



Pregnancy, Estrogen and Women

Pregnancy Q & A & more!
Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.

Q: I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?

Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.

Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.

Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

"ESTROGEN ISSUES"10 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE "ESTROGEN ISSUES"
1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.
3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
5. You're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says: "How's my driving-call 1- 800-".
6. Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from "outer space".
8. You can't believe they don't make a tampon bigger than Super Plus.
9. You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
10. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.

TOP TEN THINGS ONLY WOMEN UNDERSTAND
10. Cats' facial expressions.
9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors.
8. Why bean sprouts aren't just weeds.
7. Fat clothes.
6. Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
4. Cutting your hair to make it grow.
3. Eyelash curlers.
2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.
AND, the Number One thing only women understand :
1. OTHER WOMEN

Thursday, May 1, 2008

*not my own giveaway*

So the deal is if I blog about this giveaway, then I get an extra entry into the pot. And I really want to win this because with Eli's allergies, we are always taking his food with us when we go out to eat. And this would make it so much more fun for him, plus also, it zips out to be a placemat, so that would keep him from coming into contact with any allergens lurking about on the restaurant table. So if you are curious about what this is, and want to enter the giveaway yourself, hop on over to s.i.m.p.l.e. and sign yourself up!

There, that should do it!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bragging Rights



What the kids looked like a year ago.

Ain't they little cutie-pies?

Friday, April 25, 2008

101 Things

In honor of my 101st post, I would like to share 101 things with you:
1. I had my first pedicure a month ago.
2. I have been certified as a life guard 3 different times.
3. I love to read old-timey mysteries, like Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie.
4. My favorite color is pink.
5. My other favorite color is yellow.
6. My favorite number is 23.
7. I have the perfect birthday.
8. My birthday is almost exactly 6 months from Christmas.
9. That means every 6 months, I get presents!!
10. My favorite Christmas present was silver hoop earrings.
11. When I was little, I wanted to be a secretary when I grew up.
12. I have always wanted to take a photography class.
13. I make all of my children's birthday cakes from scratch.
14. I love a full-dressed hot dog (mustard, onions, chili, slaw).
15. I would much rather have a hamburger from the grill than a steak.
16. I especially love the spicy chicken sandwich from Burger King.
17. But McDonald's has the Best fries.
18. I enjoy country music.
19. I also like bluegrass.
20. My middle name is a family name.
21. I still have my Strawberry Shortcake dolls.
22. My favorite holiday is the 4th of July.
23. I'm a little claustrophobic.
24. I like to hike up mountains.
25. I do not like climbing rocks.
26. I love getting stuff for free by using my coupons.
27. I collect tea cups.
28. I don't have any more places to put my tea cups.
29. I prefer cinnamon air freshener over vanilla.
30. I have always wanted to have a pet dog.
31. We don't have any pets because Eli is allergic.
32. I used to take horseback riding lessons when I was little.
33. I don't think I've ever met anybody famous. (If you know I have, please leave a comment and remind me.)
34. My favorite movies to watch are fantasy (like LOTR, etc.) and classics (like To Kill A Mockingbird, etc.).
35. My favorite donut is custard-filled chocolate glazed.
36. I like white chocolate better than dark chocolate.
34. I love a tomato sandwich.
35. My favorite cereal is Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
36. If I could live anywhere in the world, I would live in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
37. I was a Dallas Cowboy fan before I met my husband.
38. My first car was a Toyota Corolla.
39. I totalled my first car.
40. I am the oldest of 4 children.
41. I always wanted an older brother.
42. I have 1 niece and 1 nephew.
43. I always wanted red hair like Anne of Green Gables.
44. I love Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.
45. I also love Little House on the Prairie.
46. It takes me a good hour to get hungry when I wake up in the morning.
47. I love porch swings.
48. Yellow roses are my favorite.
49. My eyes catch misspellings and typographical errors (if there's any in this post, it's because I didn't go back and read it).
50. I have a freckle in my eye.
51. I do not like bugs.
52. I used to be a certified flatwater canoe instructor.
53. I love to wear fun jewelry.
54. My husband is very romantic.
55. I like to play Uno.
56. I enjoy shopping.
57. I have 17 rolls of film that need to be developed.
58. I love taking pictures.
59. Aren't you bored yet?
60. Traveling is fun!
61. My wedding dress still fits.
62. I did 4 years of college in 3 3/4 years.
63. Quilting is a fun hobby.
64. Contacts are way more comfortabler than glasses.
65. I'm allergic to grass, weeds and trees.
66. Lasagna is my favorite meal.
67. I like either pineapple and bacon or mushrooms and extra cheese for my pizza toppings.
68. Quilting is also an expensive hobby.
69. My beverage of choice is lemonade or Coke.
70. I like mall-shopping with Chris.
71. I always wear my seatbelt.
72. I've never been to Disney World.
73. I know how to crochet.
74. I don't know how to knit.
75. I have touched the Liberty Bell.
76. I love Sharpie markers.
77. I have been to the top of the Washington Monument and the Sears Tower.
78. They both sway in the breeze.
79. I've never had the stomach flu (knock on wood).
80. Obviously, you don't have anything better to do...
81. Dill pickles are better than sweet.
82. We went to an Atlanta Braves game on our honeymoon.
83. One of my neighbors has 30 cats.
84. I used to like cats.
85. Forsythia and dogwoods are my favorite spring flowers.
86. I always forget to put lipstick on.
87. Under my bed is clean.
88. I know CPR.
89. Strawberries do not grow in trees.
90. When I was a teenager, I babysat and mowed lawns to make money.
91. Mowing lawns is hard work.
92. I have tasted sushi and did not like it.
93. Octopus tastes like fishy rubberbands.
94. Mahi mahi is dolphin meat.
95. I put honey on my grapefruit.
96. Ping pong is really fun to play.
97. I cut all my kids' and Chris' hair.
98. Remember jelly shoes?
99. I like to do jigsaw puzzles.
100. I like to drink hot tea in the evening, except in the summertime.
101. It is harder than I thought to think of 101 things.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Watching TV is my Civic Duty

Those who have ever spent the weekend at my house know that I have a ritual. Every Saturday night (unless there is a race on or I'm out on the town) at 9:00 sharp, I turn the TV on and diligently watch America's Most Wanted. I consider this to be my civic duty. Because if I ever pass a creep on the street, I want to know it and be able to turn him in. To date, there have been 998 bad guys caught because of the tips from people watching America's Most Wanted. This past Saturday night, the theme was "50 fugitives from 50 states". That means they picked one bad guy from each state and featured him/her. You better believe I know what my state's creep looks like...and I'm looking. So if you want to know who your fugitive is, just click on amw.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on the "50 fugitives from 50 states" button. And while you're there, have fun exploring the whole site. It's really fascinating!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Green Thumb?


When I was growing up, we always had a garden. From my earliest memories in Texas of picking cute little squash, to dashing out in the dead of winter to pick a handful of kale for supper in Ohio, to the monstrously huge garden that we borrowed a lady's back yard for in North Carolina, to the garden where we lost legos in at the house I still live in in my dreams at night... we always had a garden. My dad still has a garden every year - with really cool stuff growing in it, like asparagus and strawberries, hollyhocks and brussel sprouts. He can even grow a mean eggplant for my mom (she's the only one who eats that - yuck!). (He likes to tell the story about one year when he was planting the eggplant seeds, he planted each seed upside down and said "Don't grow" very quietly to each one.)
The last time I had a garden was 5 years ago, when I would go out to weed around the plants and Jacob would sit on each tomato plant. I really don't have a very green thumb. But I've been thinking about trying a garden again. I'm much encouraged by the tomato plant Jacob planted in a styrofoam cup a year ago in kindergarten which is still very much alive on my kitchen windowsill. So I asked and my dad is coming next week to help me get a garden started. The lack of full sun in the yard, drought, many neighborhood cats, red clay, and a bazillion squirrels are only minor setbacks. Okay, so the agricultural extension man said the squirrels will eat my tomatoes. But he also said that they probably would leave the green beans and squash alone.
So look out, kiddos. You are about to become master weeders and veggie pickers...




Thursday, April 3, 2008

Virii (Viruseses)

Disclaimer: This post is not for the weak of stomach.

I have not abandoned blog; we have just had all manner of viruses at our house. Starting with Seth, it was the all night long, exhausting, rubbing baby's back and whispering "it's okay" while he wails and heaves in the toilet. That's after puking all over the crib and all the carpet on the way to the toilet. And all over my hair.
Several days later, the computer gets hit with a mean virus that it is still recovering from.
A week later, Jacob and Savannah wake up in the middle of the night sick to their stomachs. There's nothing like two kids throwing up in the middle of the night at the exact same time. Poor little Savannah thought she might have to go to the hospital. When I explained that she didn't need the hospital, she just needed to get better, she wished she could be someone else. Because being someone else would mean not being sick.
Two days ago, Eli woke up in the middle of the night with his turn in the sickroom (bathroom). In all of the kids' cases, this has been a puke for 12 hours, recover for 12 hours virus. So today, when Eli told me he needed to throw up, I thought about fainting as visions of endless cycles of stomach virus being passed back and forth for the next few months flashed through my brain. Then Eli giggled. Rascal.
Our house smells like Lysol, and Chris and I have washed our hands after each time we touched a kid or something that a kid touched. The computer virus even made it into Chris' sermon. Afterwards, Jacob commented that when people are born, they have a virus written on their hearts. But then, when people ask Jesus into their hearts, Jesus cleans the virus off and puts New writing there. (How does he come up with this stuff?) But I have to agree with him. That is exactly what happens. And you know, it feels so good to get cleaned up after having nasty virus all over.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Easter Love

I love Easter. I love Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets, and more specifically, the "stuff" that comes inside the eggs and baskets. Now that I'm all grown up, I don't get my own Easter basket anymore. Instead, I have the thrill of packing 4 baskets full of the goodies that I loved as a child for my own children. And no Easter basket is complete without jellybeans and Peeps. Can I just say I love Peeps? I was at Target last night, and was almost offended at the selection of Peeps I saw. I'm a traditionalist as far as Peeps go, and yellow chicks and pink bunnies are the only basket-worthy colors. I'll make an allowance for blue bunnies for my boys, but honestly, who ever heard of red and green chicks?! It makes me wonder if the Peeps factory had an overabundance of sugar left over from Christmas and said, "Aww, who's gonna care if we make red and green chicks for Easter, heck, maybe we'll even start a new fad". Eww, gross! Did you know there's an art to eating Peeps? Some people like to open the package and let them sit a few days before eating; this makes them a little more chewy. I like to eat them first thing when I get home from the store, head first, the whole package in one sitting. To me, they are kinda like hot Krispy Kreme donuts- so good and fluffy that you don't even realize you just ate a whole boxful. (Don't worry, I'm pretty sure I've never eaten that many donuts at one time - I've always had to share with someone else. And it's probably been since 2002 since I've lived close enough to a Krispy Kreme to get a hot one.) And if you want to really have some fun with your Peeps, you can stick one in the microwave for 30 seconds. Just make sure you watch it the whole time; it's a real hoot to see it blow up to a ginormous size, and you also want to make sure it doesn't catch on fire. After it cools down, it's kinda crunchy, almost like wet cotton candy, except it's not wet.
But what I really love about Easter starts on Friday. Good Friday. Except on the original Good Friday, it didn't seem so good. That was the day Jesus was nailed to a cross. The day that started out sunshiny and bright but ended with darkness, earthquakes, and thunderings. The day the huge heavy ceiling-to-floor curtain separating the holy place from the people in the temple was split in half. The day Jesus took all of humanity's sin on his own sinless back. And if you're a human, that includes you. The day God proved His love to you by giving up His life as a sacrifice to pay the price for your imperfectness. And mine. That first Good Friday night, Jesus' body was put in a tomb. A huge stone was rolled in front of the tomb's opening, sealed, and guards were placed there. That's because Jesus had predicted that He would rise from the dead. But guess what happened on Easter, early in the morning? Jesus did come back to life! He won over sin and death! And He offers His victory over sin and death to all of us. This is why I love Jesus. Because He loved me first. With all His heart. "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation" (Romans 10:9 &10).

Thursday, March 13, 2008

If I Lived in California, I'd Be Breaking the Law

I don't know if you heard about this, but just recently in California, homeschooling became illegal. Yeah, California! The state where they want to legalize marijuana, but parents better not educate their own kids! Give me a break... I just read a very informative article about this Californian decision. Please take an extra minute to go read it yourself, and if you think this is scary, please sign the petition linked in the article. This is truly sad that the Californian parents have lost a significant parental right; every parent should have the right to choose the type of education for their own children.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Doctor Mama

I love co-pays. Don't you? It's just so much fun to wake up in the morning and think to myself, "I wonder how many co-pays I can pay today?" And then I call the doctor's office to see if they can work us in just so I can pay my co-pay. I'm kidding. Joking. Ha ha, funny funny. Co-pays really are a blessing in that I don't have to pay the entire doctor's bill, but it still is a hefty little chunk of money that I would rather spend on ice cream, or donuts, or shoes, or something important like that. There have even been a couple of times I've refused to go to the doctor just because they were going to charge me a co-pay. Like when Eli needed his stitches taken out. Most doctor's offices take stitches out free of charge, since you already had to pay to get them put in. But not my doctor's office. They like to charge for that service. So I enlisted Grandpa Nurse to take them out - it took all of five minutes and Eli was very happy to even get a sucker out of the deal. He still remembers that. And then there was the time the doctor wanted me to bring Seth in 3 months from then to weigh him to make sure he was gaining enough weight. Note that the doctor was not going to see him; it was merely an appointment to walk to their scale, plunk Seth down, and see how much he weighed. That's it. You better believe they wanted their co-pay. I decided my scale at home works the same as the doctor's office scale.
But when the kids are really sick, I'm willing to do whatever it takes for them to get some help. Like today, when little Eli was wheezing so much and coughing his head off (not literally, Mom). The nebulizer just wasn't doing the trick, and there wasn't anything else I could do. I was on the phone to the nurse and into the doctor's office in less than 45 minutes. We were supposed to be worked into the schedule and the front desk lady told me we might have to wait 2 hours before we could be seen. But she didn't know she was talking to a Mama bear. Heh, heh. And we were talking to the actual doctor in 15 minutes. Score for the Mommy bear!
Now we have some prescription medicine for Eli to help with his asthma, and we have an inhaler that we can use whenever we're out and about (so we don't have to lug the big nebulizer around in the backpack). His asthma attack was most likely triggered by a cold. Savannah has a cold, too, and actually lost her voice today. For a talker, that's a hard thing to lose. But she made the best of it, and croaked out all kinds of stories today. I even caught her trying to sing to her Polly Pockets. Somehow, my explanation of not talking to help her voice get better didn't connect. Maybe I'm the one with no voice...

I pray that in all respects we may prosper and be in good health, just as our soul prospers (3 John 2).

Monday, February 25, 2008

Upward Basketball


Tonight was the awards ceremony for Jacob's basketball team. From December through last week, every Thursday night was basketball practice, and almost every Saturday was a basketball game. And I've got to tell you, Jacob L-O-V-E-S basketball. He even mentioned to me a few weeks ago that "Maybe God made me tall because it's His plan for me to be a basketball player when I grow up". This from the kid who since he could talk has been planning to be a sheriff (so that he can be a police man and cowboy at the same time). I had to agree with Jacob - Yes, God made you tall, and yes, maybe it is part of God's plan for you to play basketball. In my biased opinion, Jacob was the most improved player on his team. When he started in December, he didn't know how to dribble. But now, he can dribble all the way down the court and shoot the ball at the basket (albeit very slow and deliberately)! And he is a great defender. Jacob's coach was great; every kid on the team had equal playing time in the games, and the boys who didn't have as much experience with handling the ball were the ones who got to take the ball down the court! So Jake got lots of ball time as well as lots of playing time!
At the awards ceremony tonight, the special speaker was Frank Reich - a college football star, and former NFL quarterback. (He played for the Buffalo Bills and has the record for the biggest comeback in an NFL game - they were down by 32 at halftime, and he led his team to victory). He also was the quarterback in the SuperBowl that we (Dallas Cowboys) won against 52-17. But I won't mention that. Frank Reich shared several stories about his sports past and then challenged the kids to make sure they were "shooting at the right goal" with their lives by giving their lives to Jesus. He also gave each kid an autographed football card. Jacob was thrilled, and has now started a new hobby - collecting football cards! Jacob also got a big trophy and a basketball.
This experience has been so good for Jake. The basketball league he was playing in is Upward Basketball. This is a sports ministry outreach through a local church. Chris and I were very impressed by the quality of program and volunteers. And Jacob had a wonderful experience with his first organized sports team.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Beautiful Me!

Here's a fun link. Create a work of art based on your personality...
Here's mine:


Click here to create your own painting.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Silverware Drawer

Right now at my house, the laundry pile has been waging war with me, and I am clearly losing in the battle. I have done innumerable loads this week, and the pile has only climbed higher. I know, statistically speaking, if you take clothes off a laundry pile (to wash them) the pile should get smaller, but that does not take into account the amount of clothes and linens that 4 children can go through in a single day. All this to say that, though there are various piles of clothes scattered around the house in different stages of the laundry process, there may not be too much selection in the individual drawers of a certain little boy named Eli.
This morning, after Eli had his shower, I helped him get some underwear from the basket of clean unfolded laundry in my room. "Now, Eli, go get a shirt and some pants from your dresser." And off he ran, only to return moments later, with a very distressed look. He had his elephant shirt in hand..."But Mommy, there's only silverware in my pants drawer", he wailed.
Silverware? How can this be? Then a dawning of understanding... Elijah has forgotten the word for "overalls". And he does not want to wear overalls with the elephant shirt. That clearly contradicts the 3 year old's fashion sense.

*Eli does have to wear the silverware overalls, but he wears a different shirt under them. That makes everything better.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Announcing the Lucky Duck

We have a Duck! Just Another Crazy Family is the lucky duck who gets the packet of coupons! Congratulations, and thank you so much to everyone who participated in this giveaway and made my husband think that I truly am (at least in our family) the blog queen! (Ha, ha - just think, I didn't tell him I was jumping in the fun at Bloggy Giveaways, and he checks my blog, which typically has 0 - 1 comments, and there's 40 at the time of his checking; it blew his mind!) Just to roll the credits on the coupons, as well, I don't buy a Sunday paper. But a good friend from church does, and she saves all her coupon inserts for me. Isn't she generous?! And also, I sign up for lots of free samples online and when the free samples come, there's usually coupons that come with them. As far as organizing my coupons goes, my coupon organizer that I got from the Dollar Tree five years ago just fell apart. But I saw a lady at the grocery store who had the coolest coupon organizer: it was a fat 3-ring binder with baseball card page protectors that she had all her coupons sorted into, with page dividers separating all the categories. She just had the thing propped open on the kiddy seat of the cart, and voila! So that's what I want to do... sort all my coupons - sounds like just the thing for me! (If you don't get this joke, please refer to the post "Sort Of" a couple of posts down.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Duck, Duck Goose! Bloggy Giveaway

I have a new hobby... I have decided that I am a crazy coupon-er! It's so much fun to go the store with my coupon book in hand and see how many groceries I can walk out with spending the least amount of money. Last week, there was even some refrigerated cookie dough I bought that the store paid me ten cents to buy! Talk about a steal! So, in honor of my new hobby, and in honor of the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival that's going on this week, I am giving away a packet of clipped coupons. Every coupon is for at least $1 off, some are even more! The total value of coupons I'm giving away is $200! Woo hoo! I tried to put a variety of items in the packet - Tropicana, Ghirardelli, Blistex, Dove, Playtex, Maybelline, Kraft cheese, Gerber, Beechnut, Vaseline, Wishbone dressing, Mucinex, Jolly Time popcorn, and much more!
All you need to do to enter my giveaway is leave a comment at the end of this post. On February 3rd, The Random Number Picker will pick the lucky duck! Make sure you leave an email address so I can tell you if you are the duck. And click on the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival Button to see what else you might could win!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sleight of Hand?

Potty training has begun in earnest for Elijah. He is very proud of the fact that he is a big boy now, almost a "gwome up", in fact. He is thrilled to wear his "undah-weah", and most days, around the house, that's all he weahs. As long as I remember to take him, he remembers to go. And if he goes, then he gets a candy. Potty training is all about some bribery, don't you know. And if tells me first that he needs to go, that's another piece of candy. And...if he goes 1 AND 2 in the potty he gets an extra piece of candy. That means the potential is there for three pieces of candy each time!
So, this afternoon, Eli comes running up to me, "Mommy, I'm almost going peepee in my undahweah!" "Ok, Eli, let's hurry to the bathroom." We rush down the hall and get him seated just in time. He does his business, and then sits for a few more seconds. Plop! With his big blue eyes looking up at me, he proclaims, "Dat is majjick!"
Three pieces of candy...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Biscuit For Your Thoughts

I love real homemade biscuits. I love them in a large bowl, biscuit split in half and smothered with way too much sausage gravy. That plus a plate of scrambled cheese eggs cooked in bacon grease mixed with a plop of cheese grits will make my tummy so happy. And the other way I love to eat biscuits is fresh out of the oven, split in half, butter slathered over the halves and then honey poured on top - enough honey to run down the sides. In my mind's tastebud, this is what manna must have tasted like to the Israelites. Here's where the problem is. I sure can't make them. I wish I could. I even try. My biscuits look good and smell good before they go in the oven. But when they come out, they are so flat and hard and heavy that the only beneficial use for them is skipping on a pond. I've tried different recipes from various cookbooks. Chris says that I am overlooking an important step in the making of them, although I've told him I read and follow the recipe exactly. I have heard other ladies talk about watching their Grandmothers crank out some heavenly biscuits. And though my Grandma was a home economics teacher in her earlier years, she was also from the North, and didn't make biscuits like all the MawMaws down South (at least not to my knowledge).
After tonight's latest biscuit-making attempt, I have resolved that I AM going to learn how to make big fluffy tasty biscuits before I die. Preferably even sooner. So if you know a secret about making biscuits - something that's not written in the cookbooks - or if you had a Grandma that turned out biscuits that could make angels sing, I want to hear from you! So that just maybe my family can enjoy some decent biscuits without having to take a trip to the Cracker Barrel.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sort Of

Life has come full circle.
When it comes to cleaning, I am much better at sorting than I am at actually putting away. My mother and husband both have pointed this out to me countless times. Being aware of my weakness in following through with the putting away part, I am striving to do better, and have hopefully made some improvement in this area.
Earlier today I told Savannah to go clean her room since grandparents will be visiting tomorrow. Her room was just mildly messy. As I just passed her room, I glanced in to see how it was looking. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but there sat Savannah next to a big pile of toys with 10 empty toy bins and a Polly Pocket case lined up in front of her. Very methodically and ssllowwllyy, she was sorting all her toys. There was the play food bin, the My Little Pony bin, the Barbie bin, the doll clothes bin, the puzzle pieces (who knows where the puzzle boxes are) bin, the hair bow (isn't there a hair bow drawer in the bathroom) bin, various other bins still awaiting their category, and the Polly Pockets.
Sorting is definitely a positive and fun trait to have. But scooping up toys by the bucketful and pouring them into the bins makes a quicker and much more painless method of cleaning a room! Believe me, I've learned.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

RedNeck = RedSkin

The other night Jacob was a cowboy. The criteria for being a cowboy is wearing a cowboy hat, chaps, cowboy boots, cowboy belt, cowboy guns, and talking in a distinct Southern drawl. Chris commented to him, "Boy, you're not a cowboy; you're a redneck!" To which Jacob replied with the deep South accent, "I'm not a redneck!" Chris said, "Do you even know what a redneck is?" With all the cowboy confidence in the world, Jake retorted, "Yep, shore do! A redneck is a person with a red neck which is a redskin which is a Indian which plays football!" Son, are you "shore" your name ain't Billy Bob?

* Redneck Disclaimer: The term redneck used in our family is not meant as a derogatory term. You'd just have to live here to be one. In fact, we can thoroughly appreciate the humor in the "You know you're a redneck if..." jokes because of prior personal experiences!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Home On The Range

Here I sit, munching on Christmas cookies, wondering how to encapsulate the entire holiday celebrations into a single blog post. Onto my fifth cookie, and I decide it can't be done. Suffice it to say, we had 3 separate Christmas gifts give-out occasions, 4 terribly excited and jubilant children, a 20 pound turkey gobbled, a double recipe huge pot of chili gone in one sitting, an entire red velvet cake and an entire banana cake inhaled, 4 grandparents, 1 aunt, 2 uncles, 1 great-grandma, 1 dog, 5 trips to the mall, 3 power outages, 1 New Year's eve countdown (Savannah stayed up till 10:30 and Jacob made it all the way till midnight!), 2 teeth lost, and 9 days worth of family visiting crammed into merely 8 days!
Now I am digging my way out to see what's been going on in the world. Except that I am too tired to stay up to watch the news. Now I stick my arm out the door to find out what the weather is instead of being prepared by seeing the forecast the night before. I find that it is a good enough trade-off to expose my arm to the elements for a few seconds and get an extra 30 minutes of sleep the night before. Peace and quiet are a welcome song in the evenings. Why is it that the favorite Christmas toys are the noisy toys?! Jacob's favorite present is the harmonica we stuck in his stocking. The last few days he has been a cowboy playing the harmonica out on the range. I'm sure all the cattle within earshot are happy he got that harmonica for Christmas. You know, come to think of it, I bet the stable where Jesus was born wasn't very quiet either. I doubt there were any harmonicas there, but the cattle were lowing, right? Ever hear more than one cow mooing? And we know there were sheep because there were shepherds. You know how loud sheep are? Just think about the sheep on the movie Babe..."Bah ram you" over and over. And maybe there was a donkey, or a chicken or two. There might have even been a rooster. I'm starting to feel for Mary, poor lady, trying to get some rest after giving birth without any epidural. And Joseph, trying to care for Mary and his newborn baby - you know how men are around newborn babies! (Except for Chris who is extremely awesome with our babies. In fact, it was a week before I ever changed our first baby's diaper because he took care of them!) And then there was baby Jesus. A little baby lying right in the middle of the manger. You know what a manger is, right? The feeding trough for animals. Those hungry animals coming around their manger, and there was a baby lying right in there. I bet they made a fuss. All I've got to say is it's a good thing kids like noise!