I dreamed of being a missionary

I dreamed of being a missionary in foreign places, bringing to God great numbers of swarthy-faced souls. But God set me among familiar scenes, and gave me dirty faces of my own children.
I dreamed of being a nurse. But God made me a scrub woman, a kitchen maid, a washer of greasy dishes, dirty clothes, and smeared windows.
I dreamed of being musically trained. But God gave me the noise of crying babies and the clamor of quarreling boys.
I dreamed of being a landscape artist and God gave me a kitchen window to look out of and diapers to hang against a summer sky.
I dreamed of writing poems. But God gave me baby records to keep, excuse blanks to fill out, report cards to sign.
I dreamed of being a teacher, but God chose to let me learn the hard way, through the discipline of daily chores, through the tribulation of hard to manage children, through the restriction of freedom to come and go as I wished, through the confines of an ever-tight budget.
I dreamed of being faithful in great things. But God asked me to be faithful in the little things~tying shoes, wiping noses, putting wheels on trucks, getting that “one more drink” of water, applying band-aids, removing gum from blonde hair.
I dreamed of being a saint. But God gave me children.
And so it was that my dreams died. Or did they die? Ah, rather I should say…so it was that my dreams became realities.
For I am a missionary. In my keeping are living souls~ no less precious to God than the souls of the Indians and Africans that I hoped to win. From me they can best learn the strength of love, the power of prayer and the effectiveness of a strong faith in Christ. 

~anonymous 

Thursday’s randomness

DSC_1101

Sometimes I am daunted by all that I need or want to do. Sometimes I miss Brian so much it aches in my throat. Sometimes I just want to sit on the couch with a good book and pretend that all my projects are already finished. Like Monday, when I tilled the entire garden, TWICE. Then Tuesday after an entire morning of running here and there. I needed to buy all the veggie plants and seeds for the garden, a part for the weed eater (got the wrong one), and a dryer. Came home, ate lunch, put together Kate’s new wheelbarrow, so she can help mommy.

By then it was going on 2pm.

I really wanted for the girls to play in the dirt while I planted the garden. I was envisioning the really fun day of all of us together playing and getting dirty.

It was a wonderful idea.

Until the gloves wouldn’t cooperate with little fingers and the wheelbarrow kept tipping over and the shoes wouldn’t stay on little feet and the SUN! Oh, the sun was just so hot! And Isabel won’t stop looking at me! Then Isabel wouldn’t stop crying. Then Kate’s whines turned to cries.

So….

My wonderful vision evaporated into a mist of tears.

The girls went to bed. They were asleep in minutes.

I went back outside to begin the hoeing. I stood at the edge of the garden and literally wanted to cry. The thing is huge. And I need to hoe it into rows? You have got to be kidding me, right?

Instead of crying, I took a picture. Took off my shoes to better feel the sun-baked dirt, picked up my hoe and went to work. About 2 hours and a couple of breaks later, I had this.

 

All in rows with my plants laid out where I think I want them. Granted, it isn’t straight. I just eyeballed it. Brian uses string and stakes and makes his rows perfect. Um, I am not that much of a perfectionist. Then I took a nice long break, drank some ice water in the shade and called my mom for a chat.

Then I planted it. Along the left row up there are 12 tomato plants. The back row and at the end of the rows on the right are cucumbers. The 2 rows of green plants there in the back that you can barely see are a variety of pepper plants. The 3 rows at the bottom are zucchini and squash. Makes me all happy inside thinking about the wonderful fresh veggies that are to come.

Admiring our work.
(Do you like the wheelbarrows?)
Now that the job is done, there is such relief in my mind. While I hoed, I prayed. As I planted, I let my mind relax. It truly made for a nice afternoon. Almost as much fun as planting flowers.
In other news, I have been making aprons for our Mother’s day luncheon. Another lady in our church and I are making these. Aprons to give to all the girls age 10 and under. I have 10 made and another 13 or so cut out to put together.
The other day at Mama’s, I looked out the back door and saw this:
What a good  Papa!
Yesterday, my niece and nephew came over for a few hours. We made spring chicks. It was fun.
{*grin*}
Today, I am going to begin putting together a dress I cut out for myself last week. I also need to make something for me to wear on Sunday. The girls are wearing pink, so I need to figure something out to match them. I am thinking about a variation of this here. But with an A-line skirt. OR this one. I am leaning towards the second one because it it just 2 seams. I think I could embellish the neckline with a ruffle, though. What do you think? I have some really pretty dark pink knit with flowers I am going to use. Anyway, whatever I do it will be a first. I made a dress for myself YEARS ago that Brian said looked like a tablecloth. But I was very proud of it and wore it several times. My sister has it now, it is a bit small on me since the girls and all.
One more thing, remember when I told y’all about my new working out plan? I have still been working out. I haven’t been doing the video every day because it was making my muscles in my legs too big. But, I have seen a bit of shrinkage in my waist and hip area. So, I have been doing cardio stuff a couple of days and the video a couple of days. I feel stronger and more energetic. Honestly, if I had not begun the video when I did, I would not have been strong enough to till and hoe the garden. I haven’t lost any pounds, yet. But, muscle does weigh more than fat. (I have to keep reminding myself of that.) Also, I have been trying to dress differently to make myself look thinner. It seems to be working. Well, I think so, anyway. The last 2 Sundays at church I have gotten lots of compliments which made feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
On that note, I think I should run/walk before the girls get up.
Happy Maundy Thursday.

lessons learned…march edition

I kept thinking I needed to do a “lessons learned” post from March. But, if you want to know the truth of the matter, I don’t know that I learned anything. Not anything new, anyway. I made all the same mistakes over again. As I was thinking about this yesterday morning, how I keep seeming to fail, I began to pray about it. Really, truly pray. Because honestly, He is the only One who truly cares. Others may listen and care, but they have their own stuff, you know? When I am in ‘that moment’ of utter despair and can’t seem to shake myself out of it, I never think anyone else understands. So, as I was praying this song came to my mind with this part, “His peace fell around me, the same as yesterday. And even though my tomorrows may have sadness and sorrow, I will still be no stranger to grace.”  And it did. His peace fell around me. ME! Little old me. And I think I am finally getting it.

So, I began typing this post and looking through my pictures of March. I realize I did learn a few things.

#1 One mistake I made last month that I have never made before and doubt I will make again, is bringing a new to us, yet old dog into our lives. That poor thing was absolutely miserable.

Look at this poor girl. She just wants to lick and jump on Isabel. But yet, I won’t let her. Or she wants to run away. And run, she does. As soon as she feels some slack in her leash she takes off. Sadly, she took off one day last week. When she came home, she discovered my chickens. She killed 2 hens and my rooster. So, Nanga girl went back to her previous owners. I can’t have a chicken-killing dog. Evidently there are ways to break a dog from doing that. But, I just don’t want to put the time into it. I just can’t do it.

If we EVER get another dog, it will be a puppy.

#2 Brian said when he was home last time that he was implementing an “only cook on 4 rule.”  Another lesson. Always cook on 4! It will not burn that way. I have a bad bad habit of beginning to cook dinner, then getting sidetracked with something else, in another room, even. But lately, I have been taking Brian’s advice to only cook on 4. It seems to be working. I haven’t burned anything lately. See, we have this STUPID glass top stove. I really hate it. I have always had a gas stove. They just make more sense to me. Water burns on this stupid thing. If a pot of water over-boils, it burns on the stove top. BURNS! It makes a huge mess. Almost every time I make rice, I over-boil the water and burn it. UGH. But, I have been doing better. Thank you, Brian.

#3 When it rains, make something messy with the girls. We made rainbow rice.(I will publish a full post with directions, later.)

#4  After the rain, go for a walk while looking to find some flowers to smell and enjoy.

#5 Take a roll in the dirt.

Sadly, a few of these including the rooster, were murdered last week. 

#6 Enjoy the simple things, more. Like peanut butter and popsicles.





#7 Don’t forget to get the eggs.

28 total

#8 Have a pajama/hat/dress up Molly day.

#9 Smile more…



 And on that note, I bid you, good day.

Happy living!




water water everywhere

We have had water/drain issues since last spring, but have not really had the money or inclination to do anything about it. Well, a few weeks ago we lots and lots of rain, and this is what happened.


the front

the side steps
In the front, the water just sat on the front porch area. Then it seeped under the front wall into the living room and soaked the carpet. (YUCK!) My drainage area was clogged. Evidently the rocks I thought were for pretty were actually a type of french drain. My cousin’s father-in-law came by and showed me the problem. I was going to pay him to come and repair the problem, but some guys from my church came over and did it for FREE. Woohoo!

There was lots of discussion, to figure out the best way to do things….and lots of holding up shovels while propping up of feet in the distinctive manly way.

They dug a trench all around the front porch area. Then filled it with gravel.
They angled the trench deeper towards these pipes, directing the water into them. They then topped the gravel with the river rocks, making it purty again.

testing

water!
It still works. We have had lots of rain since this was repaired and it works beautifully.
I also put in a little wall to help prevent water from rushing down the hill towards the front. I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I just had a basic idea of what to do and a theory. I mean I do watch Bob the Builder with Kate every once in a while. 

I first dug a trench along side the driveway where the water runs down the hill. As I was digging, I found where there used to be a wall of some sort, but half of it was rotten. I made sure it was level, then I lined it with gravel. What made this little job extra hard, is that I had to shovel up the gravel from the back yard. It is very difficult to shovel gravel.

(breaktime)

Then I attempted to drill holes through, to make hammering the spikes easier. But in my excitement of using a power tool without supervision, I broke my bit.

ARGH! Notice my manly gloves? I feel like I can do any kind of manly type work, so long as I have on some gloves. It was about this time that my sister calls, wondering if I need any help. I say if you have a big drill bit, then YES! I can use all the help I can get. She said she would be right over.

So, Jada comes to save the day with the BIGGEST DRILL BIT I have ever seen! I had to laugh. And we had to try….but the thing didn’t even fit my drills. So, we just used a small one. I drilled through all 3 boards.

(This has to be the most disgusting picture of me, EVER. But, I feel tough!)

Put the spikes in, attempted to hammer them, and my hammer just bounced right off. So, Jada, with her huge muscles, tried.

 She did good. Until we started laughing….

she missed!

and FINISHED!

It looks good, don’t you think. But, it doesn’t really “go” with my landscaping. It sort of sticks out like a sore thumb. So, I have been trying to blend it in….

Don’t look at my house, it is so green, I am getting it pressure washed soon. But, doesn’t the wall look better? Blends in nice, huh? Now if you look on the right, by the tree, I need to extend the wall down more. Water still goes down that hill right there, and flows onto the porch. I also got the boys that help me around the yard to dig a trench at the top of the yard, to help divert even more water.

This seems to really help the water situation, too.

Now that water is rushing along side these rocks, I am hoping to actually GROW something there. See all the new spring growth in my flower bed? Wonderful! Every year I think spring is my favorite season, until fall comes around, that is.

I have been doing lots more in the yard, I will get around to showing it all to you eventually.

Until then,

Happy spring!

fatty mcfatty

Would be my nickname if Brian were here to see me. (He’s not mean, he would just totally agree with me.) I had the idea the first time Brian left that I would lose some weight. HA! Who was I kidding? We celebrated Kate’s birthday twice, then thanksgiving, then Brian’s homecoming, then Christmas, thousands upon thousands of desserts and getting togethers to eat, my birthday. I was thinking over all of this….when I realized all summer I ate homemade junk food almost daily. Blueberry pancakes, homemade bread, jam. All of that adds up to me weighing almost as much as I did when I was PREGNANT! Not just a month pregnant, oh no, 9 months pregnant. Needless to say I am DISGUSTED. Seriously disgusted.

All over blogland, I read about people exercising, trying different diets, etc. I always thought they were silly. Well, now I am one of them. I bought this:

It is a 20 minute workout, not including the warm-up and cool-down. It is intensive. I am actually on day 5. 

I am on a mission. I measured myself. I measured each calf which is an appropriate name for what I have. I measured each thigh ~ each one measures the size my daddy’s waist was when he got married. Now granted he was a very skinny man, but you don’t want two of him as your legs. My hiny is huge! I look 6 months pregnant. The only body part I have that looks normal size would be my neck.

It is my goal to eventually wear a size 12. Dare I hope one day to wear a 10? I don’t know if I should dream that big or not. Right now I am a large 14 or a small 16. I would like to lose 40-45 pounds. In a perfect world, this would all happen by the end of May when Brian comes home. Now I know that isn’t realistic. But I do think I should be at least halfway towards my goal by then.

I have already stopped eating my ice cream every night. I bought some light ice cream and some fudge bars for when the craving is more than I can handle. I have been eating salads for lunch with lots of protein. I have increased my fiber and lowered my sugar intake. I did all of this back in February when Brian first left. I lost about 5 or 6 pounds but that is it. I have not lost any more than that. So, I think I need to start this horrible exercising thing.

I absolutely hate to exercise. I really do. I think it is so boring. It also makes me feel even grosser and fatter than I am. All that jumping around makes my fat jiggle in a very disgusting way.

I thought I would share all of this with you….you know so you can laugh along with me. I am serious about this. For many other reasons besides size. My mom and my nannie both have diabetes 2. So, I am prone to get it. I don’t want to get it. Diabetes is a horrible disease. I want to be able to run and play with my girls. Right now, I don’t have the energy to run to the mailbox like Kate always wants me to.

Maybe just maybe if when I succeed, I will show you the before and after pictures.

Wish me luck.

Happy shredding.

these days

Life has seemed so difficult these past two weeks. I am not sure why exactly. I was able to go to a ladies conference the weekend before last, then I was sick. I have been struggling with my mind, again. Just feeling despondent and alone. I don’t feel like blogging. I don’t really want to let it be known that I have a rough time, sometimes. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me or anything like that. But in an effort to always be honest here, I thought I would blog about it, anyway.

My sister, Jada, keeps wanting me to blog about the “mini-wall” she helped me to build. But every time I sit down to blog, I just want to whine. I miss Brian, and I hate being alone. I get overwhelmed by everything that I want to do. So, sometimes I just don’t do a thing, but enjoy these crazy girls.

I have been getting lots accomplished. I just don’t really like doing it by myself. I like being able to learn new things. I like feeling independent. I just want to feel independent during the day, then be dependent in the evenings, with Brian home. Does that make sense?

Because of my despondent, emotional roller coaster these past 2 weeks, I really haven’t been spending time in prayer and in my Bible like I should. So, that compounds the anguish. Today, though, I was able to read. It was wonderful. I just finished the Old Testament last week. So, I went back to the New Testament. I left off in Hebrews before. So, I started back there. It was so neat to see…Malachi ends in a curse, literally. God is frustrated by his people’s lack of desire to live for him. Then, 400 years later, we have JESUS sent to be the ultimate sacrifice for us. Hebrews talks about how now we are the priests. All who believe in JESUS can boldly come to the throne of grace. We no longer need a priest to intercede for us. It was just a blessing reading it chronologically like that.

Life does go on, however, no matter how much I want to just crawl under the covers and sleep it away. Meet the new addition to the Armonat household:

This is Nanga. Isn’t she beautiful. She is lots of fun.

Packages get mailed to Afghanistan, weekly. And it never fails, I leave something out of the box, have to open it up, to put it back in. Here I left out Brian’s rub. See how nice and neat the box is? ARGH!
Sometimes, I hide upstairs on the computer to catch up on my blog reading. Only to hear lots of giggling going on downstairs, come down to find THIS! URG!! Powdered sugar EVERYWHERE! 
 
 
Isabel getting psyched up for her boxing match.
Kate with her ever present umbrella. For you never know, it just might rain. 

Happy loving each moment in life, no matter what comes your way…..

Food on Friday

In an effort to help my friends who need some good and easy recipes, I want to try to post on Fridays some of my favorite things to make. Today I am going to give you the recipe for my absolute favorite chicken casserole. Now, this might not be exactly the way Grandma made it, but it is how I make it.

Grandma’s Chicken Casserole
Chicken, cooked and shredded ( I use whatever kind of chicken I have on hand, but I usually boil it until it falls apart. )
Put your chicken in a shallow casserole dish.
Cover with a cream of soup and a can of milk. You could use cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, cream of celery. (I make my own creamy sauce, by boiling some chicken stock with half and half and flour and seasonings.) 
The best part is the topping.
Take this Pepperidge Farm stuffing, put it in a bowl with an egg, some chopped onion, and enough chicken broth until it is like a mush. Good description? About 1-11/2 cups of broth, maybe? I eyeball it, usually. Spoon the stuffing on top of your chicken mixture. This last time I made it, I grated some carrots and mixed it with the chicken mixture, to hide some vegetables. 
Bake in oven at 350 for about 45 minutes. 
Serve with broccoli or green beans. Yummy in my tummy.

Happy eating.

Books…how I love thee, TUESDAYS

With our new life, time flies by so quickly. Every week I say to myself, I am going to blog more regularly, I am. I really am. Then I don’t. But, I find that I don’t really care. I kind of enjoy just blogging whenever I feel like it. Ya know?

I have wanted to blog about these books for a few weeks now, though.

Bodie and Brock Thoene are the authors of these marvelous historical fiction series. They have several different sets of series. I have been reading The Shiloh Legacy series. (I wonder how many more times I could say “series”?) I am so excited about these books. I know that I have read some of these when I was younger. My Grandma has them. I don’t know how I could have forgotten about these wonderful authors, but I did. A wonderful lady at my church has a mini-library. She loaned me these. I have got to purchase every single book that this awesome husband/wife team has written.

He is the historian. She is the writer. How neat is that?

Their books are of the stuff of life which is what I love to read about. Tragedy and laughter, pain and joy, the dramatic and the ordinary. Through it all ~ over it all ~ is the sense, the wonder, of faith that moves mountains. 

–from their website
I have really enjoyed their books. It is wonderful knowing there are books that I don’t have to edit before I allow my girls to read them. As you know I have been trying to change my reading habits. I am so glad to have “refound” these books. I absolutely love historical fiction. To find the type of books that I love that incorporates love and faith in my God just really thrills me.  
If you have read any of their books, or if you read any of their books, let me know. I would love to hear which ones you like. 
Happy reading!

Lessons learned…February ’11 edition

Monthly, I try to evaluate and list the lessons I have learned. Sometimes I get around to blogging about it. Sometimes, I don’t. Here are my lessons for February in no particular order:

1. Do not move the chicken coop in the mud/poop.

2. Just give Isabel the jar of peanut butter.

She loves it.


3. When sewing strips of fabric together (for whatever reason) use a 1/4 inch seam, just like the directions tell you. Remember Kate’s skirt?

It fell apart.
4. I am not as crafty as I think I am.
I tried to make a pedestal thingy that I keep seeing all over blogland. I shouldn’t have used a plastic plate and a glass candle holder. 
5. We have had mud deposited onto our river rocks in front of the house.

I had 2 helpers last week doing yard work. Removing this mud was one of the projects. First we scooped up the rocks and put them in the trailer with the not so brilliant idea of rinsing them with a hose. 

We ended up dumping all the rocks out on the ground, where they still sit. Water did not work. So, we got out the blower, to see if that would work on the remaining rocks.

It made a dust storm, that is for sure. We just had another rain, and no more mud has appeared, so I believe the blower is the way to go.

6. Do not take vitamins on an empty stomach. (no picture needed.)

7. Buying children’ books at the thrift store is the way to go.

This is but a fraction of the books I have recently purchased.

8. If I suspect something is getting into the coop, figure out how immediately.

 Otherwise, a chicken will die.

9. Ongoing practice I have been learning to incorporate this YEAR is to enjoy each day to it’s fullest. Making that effort has really paid off. The girls and I have really been having a nice time these past few weeks.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the month of February.

Here’s to hoping my March is as wonderful as my February was.

sew much fun

Nightgowns….

Horrible pajamas, that are loved anyway….


If you look closely, you will see one leg is upside down. I don’t know what I did wrong on these pajamas, but they are really horrible.

She wanted a cow on the front.
Skirts in all colors. I have made a denim one, a purple one, and these two. She will say, I need a “whatever” skirt. So, I will see if I have the fabric to fulfill her order. Haha.

This one however, is the ultimate twirling skirt…

I just made this skirt. I am especially proud of it. I found the pink heart fabric as a clearance yard at Walmart. Because it wasn’t enough to make an entire skirt, I cut it into strips. Found the little red heart fabric at Mama’s, cut some of it into strips. Sewed all the strips into a big piece of fabric, then cut the skirt out of that. It makes for a neat skirt, I think.

Matching t-shirt dresses….


I found this marvelous polyester at a thrift store. YARDS of it. I think it is gorgeous. I have so much of it. I have no idea what I am going to do with it all. I even made another one of these dresses for a friend at church. I even made a skirt for my niece out of it.

On everything I have made, I have learned something. Either how not to do something. Or a better way. Or to NOT do it that way…

I have bought some fabric for a fabulous table cloth. I just have to make it.

I have also bought the fabric to make Kate a quilt for her bed.

Then I found this in my stash! I am going to make this little fabric book for Isabel. Funny, huh?

The project list is endless. Thank goodness I have Lucy to help.

birds and flowers

Spring is right around the corner. I just can’t wait. See what is blooming in my yard, already?

DANDYLIONS!
Isn’t that just dandy?

Brian gave me the two marvelous bird feeders for my birthday. It has been a regular bird party out there. We have really been enjoying watching the birds. Isabel pulls a chair up, so she can watch, too. I need to get a bird book, we don’t have a clue what we are looking at. Well, I know what a cardinal is.

a finch, maybe?

a cutie, whatever it is.

a male cardinal and a something

a female cardinal and another something

another something, too cute
Here are a few pictures of me playing with Ethel and her various settings. Lots of fun.


Pansies really are one of my favorites. Such happy flowers with their big faces.

I like this one best.
Happy Wednesday!

My Saviour’s Love

On this Valentine’s Day (the invented holiday for companies to make money) I thought I would share with you the song about love that has been on my heart this past week.
I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me, 
A sinner, condemned, unclean.
How marvelous. Oh, how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous. Oh, how wonderful!
Is my Saviour’s love for me.
For me it was in the garden He prayed: “Not my will but Thine.”
He had not tears for His own griefs, 
But sweat drops of blood for mine.
He took my sins and my sorrows, He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary,
And suffered, and died alone.
When with the ransomed in glory His face I at last shall see,
“Twill be my joy through the ages 
To sing of His love for me!
How marvelous. Oh, how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous. Oh, how wonderful!
Is my Saviour’s love for me.
~Charles H. Gabriel
1856-1932
Romans 5:8 
But God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!

John 3:15-17
That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

chicken poop, mud, and a dumb hen

My brain is not working. I can’t think clearly. I think I might just be a little tired. I don’t sleep well when Brian isn’t here. I have been working on this post for days, but it just isn’t flowing well. So, I thought I would just finish it and post it. ARGH!

Brian replaced the wheels on the coop for me, so that I could move it more easily. Or I guess I should say, move it, period. I wasn’t able to move it at all before. He even put some handy dandy handles on the front, for easier grasping.

So, the other day after I got the mail, I thought I would feed and water the chickens “right quick” while the girls were napping. (Side note: I can never do anything “right quick”.) Well, it was a poopy, muddy, nasty mess inside the coop. As I slipped and slid in the muddy poo, my genius brain said, “why don’t you just move the coop ‘right quick’!” Ha. Now so you can picture this accurately, I was still in my pajama pants and house sweater. I wasn’t not wearing work clothes. I still thought I could do it. So, I squatted in front of the coop, grasped the handles and heaved. Up we went. I was thinking, “oh wow, this is easy!” I took a step forward and SLIPPED in the muddy poopy mess. I didn’t just slip. Nope. I fell. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. It was so gross.

However, I was not to be deterred. Not at this point. So, I just got up, tried again. Fell again. Yep. Now I am covered in poopy mud. Little I finally got that dadblasted coop moved. I was not going to let it defeat me. Thank goodness I live in the woods (kind of), I had to take my yucky clothes off outside. I was a mess. Now I know NOT to move the coop after a hard rain.

Whilst I was struggling, one of the hens got out. I couldn’t get her to go back in until nightfall. This was hilarious. I am so glad I thought to bring my camera. I just opened the coop door, I knew she wanted in to go to bed. But she couldn’t figure out how. She did this several times. Walked around the coop and tried to fly into the nesting box from the outside. Instead of going in the door and walking up the steps. Silly chicken.

She sees the door to the nesting box.

If you look closely, you can see her on the outside of the coop. She had flew up, trying to get into the nesting box.

She gave up and is walking around the coop.

Finally, she sees the door and walks in. One happy chicken.
Just another day in the life of Christy. Oh, well. All’s well that ends well. Right?

How old am I?

Seriously. I had to subtract 1978 from 2011. I couldn’t remember. Unfortunately the number is 33. I really can’t believe how the time has flown by. Wasn’t it just yesterday when my mom threw a surprise party for me when I turned 16? I even remember what I wore that day.

Birthdays cause me to reflect on my life. No matter how wonderful my birthday is (and it was a good day) I am always a little sad that day. I think about friends who have come and gone. I think it is a shame that only one or two of my friends have lasted through the years. I am not even sure why some are gone. Others are gone through no choice of their own. Either way, I don’t like it. I wonder why I behaved certain ways and wish with my whole heart I could right all the wrongs I have done.

I think it is a shame that I had such distorted views and priorities for so many years. I really pray that I instill into my girls a firm steadfast belief that will keep them from my mistakes.

I was feeling as if I was a huge failure and that my whole life was one big stupid mistake after another. Knowing that was wrong, but unable to shake that feeling, I began looking through some pictures. I was trying to jog my memory, to remember the wonderful things. I thought you might enjoy looking through these with me. Ready?


 newborn

 4 months

18 months

21 months


21 months 

4 years
5 years

4 or 5 years

6 years

3rd or 4th grade
(because we cut my hair in 5th grade)

6th grade
(the beginning of the ugly phase)

9th grade

that’s me in the green shirt with the huge thigh muscle

#44-that’s me, executing a strange jumpshot/layup…it probably careened off the back board.

me-getting the ball in the face

10th grade-dressed up on a Friday night. What a hoot. Check out my black boots.

10th grade

the beginning of my acting career-10th grade

Senior year or a year or so after

1999
My sister’s wedding

waitressing at camp-1996

1996

I know this looks like prison uniforms from the 1950’s but it isn’t. This is the uniforms for the dining common workers at college. My cousin and I changed the rule there to ALLOW the girls to wear rubber boots in the kitchen. Thank the Lord. Remember that, Jody?

One of my many moves….
with many boxes of books
My downtown apartment and my kitty-Vesta
good times in that apartment.

coffee and cigarettes
(back when I smoked)

Accepting an award after flight attendant training. One of the longest months of my life.

Learning to put out a fire in flight attendant training.

traveling alone to Paris

The most important events of my life yet:

Kate’s birth

Isabel’s birth

our wedding

I have had a good life, I must admit. Thank you, Lord. Life has been so good. I can’t complain.

the loves of my life
The reason I get up every morning

Back to my birthday…

I made a delicious chocolate cake to celebrate my birthday.

Yummy.
I put the strawberries on there at the last minute, to dress it up. It turned out right purty, huh? The strawberries and the chocolate make a good combination.

The girls were excited about the candles.

A little too excited maybe, Kate blew them out in the middle of the birthday song. I thought it was funny, but Daddy did not. Hence the tears in the next picture.

Happy birthday to me.

God sure is good.

Books…how I love thee, TUESDAYS


 

Our life these days. This book over and over and over. Isabel finds it no matter where it is hidden. Give it to you, climbs in your lap, clasps her hands and patiently waits for her favorite line. When you get to it, she shakes that finger up and down while saying, “no mah monnies, no mah monnies!”

 

It was bedtime. So five little monkeys took a bath. Five little monkeys put on their pajamas. Five little monkeys brushed their teeth. Five little monkeys said good night to their mama.

AND……

Five little monkeys jumped on the bed! One fell off and bumped his head. The mama called the doctor. The doctor said, “No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

ETC>

It really is fun. The whole family gets into it.

We were at my parent’s house last night. They even had a copy of this book. Isabel found it, of course. (With a little help from her mama.)

So, Papa read it. It was fun.

My favorite part is the last page.

Even though I only have  3, whoops  2 little monkeys, I feel this SAME EXACT WAY when mine are asleep in bed. Because this book is so fun, Daddy bought these for her, as well. They came in the mail today.

Fun, huh?

Happy reading!

Food on Friday

I really like to cook, I just don’t really like to do it every day. I only cook about 3 times a week, maybe 4. I make a big pot of something that we will eat for several days, then I either freeze or give the remainder away. During the snow storm, Brian and I both were sick, so I made this yummy chicken noodle soup. We (including the girls) really enjoyed it.

Kate likes to sip the soup off her spoon and say, “yummy….strawberry cordial.” Silly girl.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Step 1: Boil a chicken for an hour or two, until it is falling apart. I season my  water with salt, garlic powder, and pepper.

I think it tastes better if you use a whole chicken, because of fat and skin just gives the broth such good flavor, but use what you have. I have used chicken legs, a rotisserie, boneless skinless breasts, whatever I have had on hand.

Step 2: While the chicken is boiling or cooling, cut up some carrots and celery. I never measure, I just guesstimate.

Step 3: (The annoying part) After chicken has cooked, let it cool, then pick it off the bones. Put the meat back into the broth and put it back on the stove to simmer. Season with whatever seasonings you like. I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, sometimes a little basil or oregano. Whatever I am in the mood for at the time.

Step 4: Add your carrots and celery to your chicken and broth, bring to a boil then let simmer until veggies are soft.

Step 5: Add your noodles. You can use egg noodles or whatever noodles you have on hand. Add a little at a time, stirring as you go. You can tell when you have enough. Let simmer until noodles are cooked through, however long it tells you on noodle package, usually 5-10 minutes.

Step 6: (You can leave this step out) Add fresh spinach before serving.

Enjoy!

Thursday’s randomness

Finally, this week, I am back to my normal self. I have seriously been sick since the week of Christmas. Not always enough to keep me in bed, but enough to make me unhappy. Not feel like doing anything. My house was a mess, I was a mess, the girls were a mess, everything was just annoying. Brian did his best, but he doesn’t do things the way I do. He is excellent at the laundry, though. That is the one thing he does way better than I do.

I am just so glad to feel better. No cough. No runny nose. No achy muscles. But, now that I am feeling better, I realize just how chubby I have let myself get. Yuck. I really need to get outside and get to moving. I hate hate hate to exercise. But I really enjoy yard work. So, that is what I am going to get back to doing. The girls are tired of being inside all the time, too. They went outside to play today and had a blast.

I also really want to get some bookshelves. I am so ready to get my books unpacked. Then I want to get the guest house organized. To actually BE a guest house and not a junk house. I want to organize all my fabric. It looks like a fabric store vomited in the guest house. There is fabric everywhere. I don’t even know what I have.

I have already begun organizing the house. It feels good to get things cleaned and neat. Once I get things organized, I want to make everything pretty. Put the “Christy look” to it all. Who knows how long it will take, though. I’m not in a hurry, I am just feeling motivated. So, I am making a list of what I want to do. Helps keep me focused.

Brian is still home. We aren’t sure when he will be leaving. But, in the meantime, we are just enjoying his company. The girls and I love having Daddy home all day. I dread the day he leaves. Right now we are waiting on some paperwork to come through. Brian was saying that God allowed his stay home to be dragged out because I was so sick. God’s timing is perfect. Who knows if that was the reason but regardless, I am glad he is still here. We are getting a lot done while having a lot of fun.

I am enjoying the sunshine that we have had yesterday and today. It is supposed to be in the upper 50’s all weekend. How wonderful! A little taste of spring. We have big plans to plant some trees. I am sure it will be cold again, but this is nice weather. I really despise the cold. I don’t know how people live in the snow. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I am not made for the cold weather.

Brian and I have been playing Yahtzee. Fun game. It is such a game of chance, we let Kate play the other night. She would have won had she finished it. She got tired and went to sleep.

The girls’ schedule has been off kilter, so my schedule has been off kilter. I am kind of ready to get back to some semblance of order. That probably won’t happen until Brian leaves.

In the meantime, I got this in the mail today. I can’t wait to play with it, with Kate of course.

 

Doesn’t this look like so much fun? Stamps and a drawing book. I foresee lots of fun stamping in the future.

Ethel and I have been learning a lot about each other. Here is a sample of Ms. Ethel’s best work.

She does a good job, huh?

Well, tata for now. Happy Thursday.

mind control

Last week when the Ladies’ brunch was held at my house, I was privileged to share from God’s word. I wanted to share it with you, too.
I talked about what I struggle with daily. My thoughts or controlling my mind. Here are some examples of stuff I think about that generally ruins my day:
~Replay a conversation in my head over and over. Thinking about all the things I could have said or should have said. Or how stupid I was to say what I did.
~Dwelling on a situation, trying to figure out a solution. 
~Reliving the past, sometimes a memory flash of something really bad or dumb will just happen. How I choose to react to those thoughts is almost always different.
~Dreading the future (Brian’s leaving, not getting pregnant again-ever, putting the garden in alone-ugh, being alone for 3 months)
~Thinking I am not “good” enough to ________________.
I mean, I would do my chores just thinking about ________ until I would get my self all worked about it. Ruining my whole day, mentally and spiritually. Then I would have a hard time focusing my energy on being a good mommy. Because I “was in a bad mood”. But I came across this book titled, Loving God with all your mind  by Elizabeth George. The whole book is good, but what stood out to me is the main verse she used.
Philipians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK on THESE things.

God commands us to think on good and lovely things. Not just whatever our little mind lets us. We are commanded to think on good thoughts. SO…
God knows our thoughts. I know we all know that in our minds. But when you actually start looking up all the verses that tell us that, it gets exciting to see with our hearts. I don’t know how to explain it. Except for before I was saved I had the knowledge of the things of God. But now that I am truly saved, I now have a different sort of knowledge. I guess it is because the Holy Spirit is inside me showing me.
Job 42:2
I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.
Here it is just a statement from Job to God.
Another statement, this time from David, acknowledging God’s omniscience.
Ps. 94:11
The Lord knowed the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.
I Corinthians 3:20
And again, the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
I found numerous passages throughout the gospels that said, and Jesus knowing his thought or their thoughts and said….which always astonished whoever He was speaking to.
Psalms 139:1-2, 4

O Lord, thou has searched me, and know me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

Here David is saying, Lord you know me. You know what I am going to do before I do it. I have some notes scribbled in the margins of this passage that I took during a sermon, that says these verses mean God knows are character, contemplations, and conversations. (heart matter)
This passage leads me into another point, our thoughts emerge from our heart.
Proverbs 23:7
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…
Matthew 15:18-19

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Here is the story of the Pharisees being appalled that Jesus’ disciples sat down to eat dinner without washing their hands. Which I can see being grossed out about. But in reality, the Pharisees had wickedness in their heart. And Jesus, just gets right to the crux of the matter. He knew what was in their hearts.
I also think it is interesting that God lumps evil thoughts with murder and adulteries and lying.
Even foolish thoughts are sin. Which surprised me a little bit when I discovered this verse.
Proverbs 24:9
The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to man.
Foolishness got me to thinking about childishness. I will reprimand Kate. I will say, Kate don’t touch that. That is whatever…She will then come back and say, But I want….she stops and then thinks and almost always randomly spouts out something. Like one day she said her elephant necklace, another day she said, her nail polish, another day, she blames Isabel. She is childish and foolish. How often am I that way when I am talking to God? Whining and complaining to Him. Or just praying selfish, needy prayers. When instead I should be praying with a heart of thankfulness and praise to Him. Or begging forgiveness…..or begging for the salvation of others.
Worry is sin, as well. This is just running over and over in your mind something that you have no control over. This can be over any number of things. I really like this verse, when I start to worry about money or other physical things like that.
Luke 12:22-34

And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Philippians 4:6.
Be careful for nothing….
We are commanded to control our thoughts. Chaos and confusion is of the devil.
II Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Here it says if your thoughts shouldn’t go against the knowledge of Christ, this to me implies that you should have some knowledge of Christ.
Another commandment:
Matthew 22:37-38
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
Ask Him for help….if you really want to get down to the nitty gritty.
Psalm 139:23
Search me. O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me to everlasting.
This brings me back to:
Philippians 4:8.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

When you begin to be bogged down in your thoughts, quote this verse. Then ask yourself: is it true? Is it honest? Is it lovely? If it’s not, turn on some music and turn your thoughts heavenward. Think on the wonderful things He has done.
Happy thinking….

day dreaming

I dream sometimes of having a huge kitchen.

One of those dream professional kitchens. In my dream kitchen I would like to have a lunch counter. I just think it would make lunches easier. A lunch counter right across from the sink. In a perfect world. In that perfect world I would have these wonderful adjustable bar stools to go with my lunch counter.

Chintaly - 0710-AS - Adjustable Height Stool

Isn’t it cute?

I also want lots of windows in my dream kitchen. Lots of sunshine pouring in.

Ooh, while we are dreaming, can I please have a microwave? My microwave has been broken for months. Ugh.

Well, happy day dreaming.

new year’s goals (finally)

Last year I wrote out an elaborate list of goals. Part 1. Part 2.  Elaborate. Detailed. Long. I did not accomplish very many of them. When I reviewed this list and realized this at the beginning of this year, I beat myself up a bit. Then later as I was looking through my thousands of pictures from the year 2010, I wasn’t as disheartened. For I focused on what was important. My relationship with God. My girls.  My relationship with Brian. Along the way, I did achieve some of my goals. But not as many as I had hoped.

So, this year I am not listing so many specific goals. Don’t get me wrong, I have a few. For example, purchase a book shelf and unpack my books. Sell or trade out some books. Design my flower bed and vegetable garden BEFORE I plant it. But, that is about it….maybe. I have some decorating stuff I want to do inside, but they are just some foggy ideas yet. Nothing concrete. But you know that is normal, everyday life stuff. Not life changing stuff. I want to grow. Grow as a Christian and as a wife/mommy/sister/friend.

My goals for this year are quite simple.

  • Learn more about my God who loved me and gave his Son for me.
  • Enjoy each day to it’s fullest, no matter what comes my way.
  • Read through my Bible. (Which really means, don’t go to the library as often.)
  • Do more for others.  
  • Memorize scripture.

That is it. I think it will be simpler for me. This is something I can post on my refrigerator and refer to it often to keep myself on track.

So, that is it. My 2011 goals.

Now for your enjoyment, here are a few pictures from our snow days. 

Snow bunny girls.

Play doh girl

Silly glow stick girls

happy girl

my new friends

First, I want you to meet my new friend, Lucy. She is awesome. She is a little complicated. I have to take it slowly with her. We got off to a rough start, but now we are getting along splendidly.

Isn’t she pretty? She can do so many wonderful things. I am very excited about getting to know her better. We made this lovely dress this week.

She helped me put in my first zipper. Not too hard, just time consuming. Kate has been wanting something dressy for church, something she can twirl in….

I think she likes it. Here is a closeup of the fancy stitching Lucy can do.

It is so pretty. Now, I am working on one for Isabel.

Lucy can do over 200 different types of stitching. Letters, pictures, embroidery, heirloom, several different kinds of button holes, all by the touch of a button. Isn’t technology great?

My other new friend’s name is Ethel. She is pretty awesome, too. We were instant friends. As a matter of fact, I teared up a little when I opened her. 

Brian gave me this for Christmas. He even got the zoom lens to go with it. So awesome. I just love this camera. I have been having so much fun with it. I am learning how to do some pretty neat things with it. But, nothing is ready for public viewing, yet. I am still working out the kinks in my brain on how to set up the manual stuff. It is really easy to use, though.

Isn’t my husband wonderful? Not just because he bought these for me. But the other morning I came downstairs to this:

A nice surprise and a yummy breakfast.

Well, must get back to Lucy…..I foresee she and I spending lots of quality time together.

new year

In spite of the fact that I have not been able to breathe without having my mouth open since the week of Christmas, this is really looking to be a great year. We had wonderful holiday celebrations. We are enjoying a pajama party almost every day. Daddy is home and will be home for at least another two weeks. We have been spending time with family and friends. We haven’t really accomplished much that was on my list of things to do when Brian comes home. But it just doesn’t seem important. I am sure it will when I can breathe normally. But right now we are just enjoying spending time together.

Happy new year to each of you. I will be posting more later, when life is a little more “normal”.

(whatever normal is.)

Books…how I love thee, TUESDAYS

I was browsing the children’s section of the library, which completely confuses me, by the way. It makes no sense to me the way it is organized, but that is neither here nor there. Somehow I found myself in the poetry books with illustrations. Wonderful, truly. I brought a lot of those home, but found that some were a little above Kate’s head right now.

But, these two in particular are awesome. The first one I want to tell you about is this one:

Now this one is the 1978 illustrated version. The newer ones are a bit different. I am partial to this one. It is absolutely beautiful and captures a snowy woods perfectly. Just look.

But, by far my favorite illustration is this one. It reminds me of my Daddy.

I really like this book. I think I might have to buy it.

The next book that we really enjoyed is called Little Dog Poems. It is written by Kristine O’Connell George. It is cute and hilarious. Now Kate wants a “little dog”. Our Molly isn’t little enough, I guess. It is just a fun, fun book if you enjoy dogs. Or just little things.

Happy reading.

My crafty Christmas

I can’t seem to stop decorating.

It must be an addiction. After decorating the tree, I decorated Kate’s playroom. (Well, Kate and I did.) Then I realized that my bannister needed some holiday cheer, but only after I made several wreaths.

I even decorated my blog. (haha.)

Anyway.

What with my decorating addiction and baking addiction, I can’t seem to get any of my sewing for Christmas finished. I really need to get with it. But I wanted to show you some of my decorations before I started sewing today.

So, without further ado, here are my favorites….

I made the snowlady on the left. Her name is Ethel. And she loves hats. It is made from white fabric and plastic pumpkins. Cute, huh?

This is the wreath at the side door. After much trouble with this thing this year, I am so happy with it. All the greenery is real, but the flower and berries are fake. (Just so you know.)

This is the front door wreath. Again, the greenery is real. The red is fake. I really the bells.

I put this little swag thing over each window and put pansies and purple cabbage in my window boxes. Precious.

Here is my tree. I am really proud of it. This is a picture without the lights. It is a real tree. I bought it and brought it in all by myself. Without Brian. He said I did a good job.

With the lights.

This is what they are doing while their crazy mama goes around taking pictures of everything. Reading books and picking noses. Fun, fun.

The bannister! Gorgeous.

The kitchen island.

 Pinecone addiction.

The table next to Brian’s chair. I have always wanted a Christmas cactus. Now I have one.

Now for some playroom pictures……

The top of Kate’s “refrigerator”.

I just strung up ribbon, and hung ornaments from the ceiling with fishing line. Too cute.

Bathroom door cheer.

Pantry door cheer. (I got this at a thrift store for $2!)

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my Christmas decorations. I have so much fun decorating. Now I really need to get sewing.

Crafty Christmas

Kate really enjoys doing what Mommy is doing. I have been busy decorating the house for Christmas and Brian’s homecoming since the week after Thanksgiving. Well, Kate being Kate wants to help. So, I scoured the web and my brain for crafty things Kate could do to help Mommy decorate for Christmas. These are a few of the crafts we have had fun with.

These are her pine cone trees. None of them really want to stand on their own, so I glued them to a piece of green card stock and wrapped a broken bead necklace around the bottom, trying to make it look more elegant. She painted 4 trees. One big one is green, a medium one is red (it’s in the back falling over), a gold one, and a mulitcolored one. I bought these little felt balls that she glued on for decorations. Even Isabel got into this craft. They both really had a lot of fun putting the little felt balls on the “trees”.

Thanks Aunt Jody for the wonderful idea.

Here is another one. I had a lot of fun doing this one.

These are borax crystal ornaments. They are so much fun to make. You begin with pipe cleaners, to make your shape. The color of the ornament, is the color of the pipe cleaner. You mix a solution of 1 cup hot water and 3 tablespoons of borax. Now, I did all of these ornaments at once in a huge rubbermaid container. I ended up with 18 or so cups of water. Just so you know. You let it soak in the solution for 8-12 hours. And abracadabra….crystal ornaments. They are so very pretty. Here is the link if you would like the exact directions. It is so easy. But more importantly so much fun.

This isn’t necessarily a Christmas craft, but we did it this month anyway. Kate and Isabel love Mary Poppins. So, when I mentioned making birds, she was very excited for a bird to sit on her finger. Like they do on the little old lady’s finger, while she sings feed the birds. She kept saying, I want a bird to sit right here. Anyway, here is the craft. We had tons of fun with this one too. All you need are coffee filters. We got this idea here.

Trace out the dove on a stack of filters, cut out, and enjoy. Easy.

Isabel had to get in on the action, too. She wanted a bird on her hand, so….

Here they are flying proudly in the middle of my kitchen, Kate loves to watch them “fly”.

Happy crafting.

hahahahahaha

This makes me laugh…..everytime.

This was the first thing these people put up when they moved their trailer out here. Then it fell down and there it lies (lays?).

The way Kate eats her gummy worms.

Regular life with children.
Look at Isabel.

Now she is trying.
Almost got it.
Success!

Happy Wednesday!

Lessons learned…November edition

I had an entire list of lessons that I learned but I lost it somewhere. The majority of my lessons this month all seem to revolve around how not to lose my cool, or how not to completely blow my top, or don’t kick at the dog and miss….

Seriously. I am not sure why this month has been so tough. But it really has. God is still good and in control, but I just seemed to forget it most of the time. We did have a busy month. We went to visit the grandparents for a week. Kate had a birthday that she go to celebrate twice, then Thanksgiving. Honestly, I have been staying up way too late reading books or blogs. I haven’t been getting up early enough to have my quiet time. I have been trying to do more than I can then wind up getting frustrated because I can’t do it all.

Now, I am not complaining. Not at all. I am just stating facts. All the things that have gone wrong have almost all been my fault. My reaction has been the wrong one. Then it escalates into something bigger and by then I have allowed everything to just get out of control. The biggest lesson that I have had to learn this month has been the most painful one as well. This day that I am about to tell you about was by far the worst day of the month, but I have had a few days that were eerily similar. So, I haven’t learned this lesson yet.

I got up early one morning and decided to sew Kate’s pajamas that I wanted to make her. I had already cut everything out a few days ago. Now keep in mind, I have never sewn pants before. So, I sewed the sides of the legs, then the crotch, realized I had sewed the wrong things together, I ripped the stitches out of the crotch. Resewed it, thinking I was on the right track. Sewed the pants all together, thought I was finished. So I took them in to Kate and had her try them on. Somehow I had sewn them upside down. Meaning that I had sewn the legs in such a way it was like the waist area and the waist and crotch area were sewn into legs. So, the legs were WAY too short and the waist was Way too high. Does any of that make sense? To top it off, the pattern on the fabric was upside down. So, one leg has cows facing up and the other leg has cows facing down.

UGH!

SERIOUSLY!!

How in the world did I do that?! So. I say to myself, I am going to rip it all out and do it again. I sit down to start ripping it out and Isabel decides she needs attention. But I can’t be bothered. I am so frustrated by my mistake that I am fixated on redoing it. Right then. In my mind I had to finish it then. Isabel is getting fussier and fussier. Kate then starts to cry because Isabel is crying. I am still so stupid and selfish, I don’t put my sewing down to take care of the girls. I went into the other room. Of course, they followed me.

(They are fussing because they are hungry. It is past time for breakfast.)

I explode. Literally. I am yelling and screaming. Acting like a complete idiot. I am not really yelling at the girls. I am just yelling in frustration. Molly, our dog, is looking at me. She is crouched down, with her ears back, looking at me with this look she gets. It is such an annoying look. Especially when I am already angry. This look is sort of like a I am so disappointed in your behavior look, yet it is an I am scared of you look, too. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back, this look. I tell her to get out. Get OUT! NOW! I opened the door to let her out. She won’t go. So, I pull my foot back to give her a swift kick out the door. (I don’t want to hear it about dog abuse. She is fine. I don’t kick my dog, normally. Okay?)

Well, right as my foot would have hit her, she darted out the door. My foot slammed into the door frame. The pain was so intense, I peed my pants. Literally. (Just a little.)

I cried and cried. Out of pain. But also out of shame.

What in the world came over me? Seriously? What is wrong with me? Honestly, I don’t have a clue. But I will tell you this. When I am too caught up in myself and what I want to do and ignore the needs of my children, I get frustrated. It happens every single time. But there is nothing wrong with being frustrated necessarily. Where the sin comes in, is my reaction. Needless to say, I should not have reacted that way. I should have just put the sewing down, fed the girls their breakfast, and carried on with the day. But, since I did not, I now have a toe that is oh so tender. I am losing the nail on that toe. The slightest little bump hurts like you would not believe. Isabel steps on it a gazillion times a day. It is by far the most painful lesson I have yet to learn this month.

You want to know what is funny, but not haha funny? More like, unbelievable, I guess. I lost my temper again today. Ugh. I guess this is going to be my struggle. My issue or whatever you want to call it. My thing that I have to pray about EVERY SINGLE DAY. Because it is those days that I don’t pray about it that it gets me. And it does get me. I wish I could blame the devil on it. But it isn’t him. It is just my old sin nature rearing it’s ugly head at me.

So, if you ever pray for me, this is something you could pray for with me. (Not my toe, but my anger/frustration.)

I hope if you struggle with this sort of thing, now you know you aren’t alone. Or if this was you in the past and you have learned how to gain control, share some thoughts on how you trained yourself. I could use all the advice I can get.  There has to be a practical solution, besides running into the yard screaming to let it all out. Right?

Because that is what I did today.

I hope the neighbors didn’t hear.

Books…how I love thee, TUESDAYS

Or alternately titled,

Why my house is filthy.

I stopped going to the library for a few weeks. It was pure torture. I had to go out the guest house and dig through my boxes of books to find stuff to read. (All of my books are still boxed. I need shelves.) So, I have been going to the library again, regularly. That means, my house doesn’t get cleaned during nap time, sewing is not getting done, and I stay up WAY too late at night.

I really enjoy reading. Even when we would watch tv, I would watch with a book in my lap to read during commercials or when the show was boring.

If any of you ever remember my favorite book OF ALL TIME, Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett.  It is a beautiful book. The entire book revolves around the building of the Kingsbridge Cathedral. It is set in 1100 AD and chronicles 2 generations. It is just a brilliant work. The writing captures the beauty of cathedrals; the hardship of this time period; the character’s religion, their love, agonies, victories and defeats. The first line of the book is:

The small boys came early to the hanging.

What a line! What an opener! It captures your imagination from the beginning.

Anyway, I tell you all about this particular book to tell you that Ken Follett release a new book. The first of a trilogy. It is almost as good. It is called Fall of Giants. He follows 
 the destinies of five interrelated families – one American, one Russian, one German, one English and one Welsh – through the earth-shaking events of the First World War and the Russian Revolution. It is an amazing book. I could not put it down. I cannot wait until the next to are released. I am going to be waiting awhile, though. They are scheduled to be released in 2012 and 2014. Oh, well. It is something to look forward to.

On another note, Kate got some great books from the library. She loved the I love my mommy because and I love my daddy because books. She wanted to read those over and over. But my favorite of the books we got for Kate from the library is called Bob. It is a story about a rooster learning to crow. Along his journey he learns and hears all sorts of sounds.

My favorite part of the entire book is when Bob is walking through the forest at night, he hears someone call out, “Whoooo? Whooooo?” And Bob, not wanting to be rude Bob whispers, “Bob! Bob!” Every time I got to this part of the book I would laugh and laugh and laugh. So funny.

Happy reading…

Dying to Self

I came across this post at A wise woman builds her home this morning. It really spoke to my heart AND to the root of all my “issues” that generally make me a miserable person.

When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don’t sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ.

~THAT IS DYING TO SELF~

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence.

~THAT IS DYING TO SELF~

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any unpunctuality, or any annoyance; when you stand face-to-face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility-and endure it as Jesus endured.

~THAT IS DYING TO SELF~

When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate, any society, any raiment, any interruption by the will of God.

~THAT IS DYING TO SELF~

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendations, when you can truly love to be unknown.

~THAT IS DYING TO SELF~

When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances.

~THAT IS DYING TO SELF~

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart.

~THAT IS DYING TO SELF~

Are you dead yet?

I can honestly say, nope. I am not dead yet. Most days I am not even thinking along these lines. I live selfishly each and every day. Sometimes, I do. But it is a rare moment. And then, I negate it all by thinking how godly I am. (haha)

I really needed this reminder this morning.

Shutterfly awesomeness

Shutterfly is giving away 50 free photo cards to bloggers who blog about them. If you want some too, here is the link.

I have used shutterfly since Kate was born and that is a fact. I used them for her birth announcements. I was very pleased. Then because I bought announcements, they gave me a free photo book. I turned that into a present for Brian. I think it initially came with 20 pages or less. But, I needed to add a bunch more. I also made a photo book for him to take with him overseas. We really like the photo books. I am not a scrapbooking person. So, the photo books are what I do instead. I plan on making one for each of the girls’ years of life. (Does that make sense, that sentence?)

I have also always wanted to send out Christmas photo cards, but have never gotten around to do it in time. Maybe this year it will happen.

Here is one I really like.

 Or these:

Oh, my it is too hard to decide. Maybe this one?

I don’t know. I do know that I really like them and look forward to mailing them to everyone that loves my girls.

Shutterfly even has wonderful Christmas present ideas. Including wall calendars, mugs, key chains, ornaments, you name it. You are only limited by your imagination. One year I sent thank you cards out using the holiday photo card. I put the pictures of Kate with the presents each person had bought her. I thought it was a neat idea, more personal than just a thank you. I really like this idea. I am going to have to do it again.

If you have never used shutterfly, you receive 50 free prints when you join. I have always told everyone about the awesomeness that is Shutterfly. Now, I am hoping to get something in return. HA.

Happy photo card shopping.

Four questions

Septembermom from My Voice, My View tagged me for a fun little question game. I thought I would play tonight. Since, I don’t have anything else to do. (note the sarcasm) 

What is your favorite toy from childhood?

No particular toys stand out in my memory from my childhood. I do know I loved my babies for a little while. I remember my sister and I had matching strollers. We had the greatest backyard and basement in the world, though. Before we moved to where my parents are now we lived in a house with a basement. It had metal poles, I guess they were holding up the house or something. (Who knows in my kid mind what I thought.) We would roller skate down there. We would hold the poles to turn the corners. Wheeee! We had a couch and some chairs for a sitting area. We had a “school room” where I “taught” my sisters school. 

The basement was great. But the backyard. Let me tell you. It was awesome. Out the back door was a hill leading down to a creek. We had a little bridge crossing the creek. We had a swing set with a slide. The slide had a wooden platform that had rotted over time, and my leg went through it one day. I still have the scar where a nail cut it as I fell through. We had a tree swing. We also had the best playhouse in the world. My papa and daddy built it. There was a trap door in the ceiling where we could climb onto the roof. So much fun. But the best part of the entire backyard was these three trees that had been cut down. They went from one hill to the next, crossing the creek. These trees (in my mind) were massive. It was great fun to cross them. It took me awhile to get the confidence to cross them on my feet. I would much rather straddle and scoot. 

The backyard was a great source for our imagination. We played “Little House” the most, but I am sure we played all sorts of other fun stuff, too. We waded in the creek and just had a grand time. I loved that backyard. It was great. 

Did you ever have one of those embarrassing Candid Camera moments in public?


The only thing I can remember tonight, happened at college. Well, most of my embarrassing moments happened at college. I left the dining common and walked all the way back to my dorm, spoke to several people, laughed with others, all the while, I had chocolate pudding on my nose and no one told me.

Another time, I was being goofy in the dining common line and walked backwards while talking to my cousins. (We went to a private Christian college.) Anyway, the line was between tables where people were eating. I was walking backwards, like a total dork, and a very cute guy pushed his chair back right as I was stepping backwards and I sat right down into his lap. I was mortified on so many levels. We were at the Christian school where touching a boy was severely frowned upon, much less sitting on a boy’s lap. Oh, the shame. I was truly dying. I couldn’t run away fast enough. I was a very awkward college freshman. A total dork. I was always doing dumb stuff like that.

Do you like dancing those silly dances (Chicken Dance, etc.) at weddings?

I don’t know how to dance those silly dances. Most of the weddings I have attended have been church affairs. We don’t dance at weddings. Even though, I really wanted to dance at my wedding. I wanted to dance to the song by Rascal Flatts, Bless the Broken Road. And if we had had dancing at our wedding, we would’ve had to do the chicken dance, because it is just so funny. Brian and I did it one time in Helen, Ga, during their fun Octoberfest. I am not very coordinated though, so I am sure I looked as silly as I felt.

What is your favorite food to cook?

I like to cook anything and everything. But I especially like to try new things. I really like to try out recipes that sound a little weird, but good. Exotic foods are fun to try. I enjoy baking. I learned to make a smack your mama this is so good cheesecake this year. I finally found a yummy and easy from scratch chocolate cake. I miss cooking for Brian. He is always a willing taste tester for anything I scrounge up. I always ask him if it is a make again dish. It is fun to let Kate help. She loves to be my helper girl. She is a good scooper and stirrer. Now that Isabel can climb, she has to get right up on the stool with Kate. Fun, fun. 

I am supposed to tag people and make up my own questions…..but I don’t think I will tonight. Maybe next week. 

stuff I made

I have been sewing, just for fun sewing. I haven’t been sewing any more clothes for the girls because I needed a break from it. It was getting to me. When I can’t seem to do what I am trying to do all the fun is gone. So, sometimes I have to stop trying and just have fun.

For Kate’s Sunday school teacher’s birthday last month:

Kate really liked it. So, I made this for her birthday:

I picked the flower up at walmart. It was in a bunch. I took out all the plastic and just hand sewed it on. I thought the purse needed dressing up. Isabel likes it, too. So, now I need to make her one. (maybe for Christmas)

I made these cute little diapers for Kate’s baby doll. Hopefully, she will stop getting into Isabel’s diapers now.

I even put some velcro on there. Cute, huh?

For my nephew’s birthday, I whipped this up:

But only after I tried to make him a cute pillowcase that just turned out all wonky. I am not even going to show a picture of it. It is too humiliating. 
I made this bonnet for Kate to wear to old-fashioned Sunday, but it was too small. She likes to play in it, anyway.
Then I made these two blankets as presents. They really turned out nicely. I am very happy with them. 

Aren’t they so cute? I almost wish I had that chicken blanket. But then again, I am partial to things with chickens. Now I need to fix the pajama pants that I have been trying to make. They are really dumb looking. But, I am just going to finish them and try again another day. I also am going to make Kate some jumpers. Eventually I would like to make fancy Christmas dresses. OOOH. Just typing that makes me nervous. Well, practice makes perfect, right? And live and learn! Ha. If you don’t try then you will never know just what you can do.

Happy trying.

Kate turned 3!

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I brought my sweet, little, baby Kate home?!

She and I had a rough start. My water broke almost 24 hours before we finally had an emergency c-section. Then the next day we were told she was born with a heart defect and would have to have open-heart surgery at 4 months old. We had the hardest time nursing. She wasn’t gaining weight. All kinds of new baby struggles that I wasn’t prepared for AT ALL. Now we have toddler struggles that I am not prepared for either. I guess that is all part of being the first born. Getting practiced on.

Well, now she is a big girl. With her own opinions and ideas. She knows exactly how she wants her hair fixed to what shoes matches her outfit. She is very headstrong. But such a helper. Always willing to help mommy. My helper girl. She even sees things that needs to be done and will do it. She is very observant.

We celebrated her birthday this year with Brian’s parents. It was a lot of fun. Every year, I try to get a picture of the girls when they first wake up on their birthday. Kate was already out of bed this year, when I realized she was awake. I sneaked in her room and said, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” This is her reaction:

Birthday breakfast:

Birthday outfit:

Birthday shopping trip with Grandma.

While they were gone, I finished the cake. It was so much fun to make. First she wanted an elephant cake. Then a puppy cake, then a blue cake. Well, she got a puppy cake last year. So, I made her what I wanted.

She kept saying she wanted a cake and balloons for her birthday. I wanted to get a picture of her reaction, thinking she would be excited about her cake and balloons. This is what I got:

Not really impressed. But she was thrilled when it was time to sing “happy birthday”!

I didn’t get many pictures of her opening her presents. But I was thrilled at how sweet she was while she did it. She said thank you and looked at each present thoroughly before wanting to open more. It really was precious. Here she is with her 2 elephants. She calls them mama and baby.

This birthday was a lot more fun for mommy because she knew it was a special day. A special day for my special girl. I look forward to many many more.

Happy birthday, sweet Kate.

vehicle saga


Since Brian has been gone, I have gone from driving my van.

Which I am so sorry I ever complained about driving. But you see, we paid it off, so it decided to die. (Brian thinks he might be able to fix it when he comes home. We will see.)

To driving this:

I don’t mind driving the truck at all. It was fun, actually. Kate and Isabel really liked it. What I didn’t like was how loud it is or how dirty it is inside. But it is big and safe. But then, this happened.

Thankfully no one was hurt. But, ugh. Seriously? Can you believe it? I can’t drive this until it is fixed. So, I have been driving this:

Little bitty, tiny, tiny thing. Now, I am not really complaining. I am just telling you. I miss my van. This car is so small. I bump my head an average of 3 times every time we go somewhere. Trying to get the girls car seats buckled makes my back hurt. There is no radio. Every single bump is felt. All the way up to the top of my head. Oh, there is a pebble in the road, let me swerve around it, otherwise I might bang my head on the roof when we drive over it. But at least I have it. Right? Right. Maybe this is God’s way of keeping me humble?

On the positive side of all of this car swapping. I had made plans to visit Brian’s parents. So, we rented a van. A fancy van. I didn’t take a picture of it. So, I will show you a stock photo.

Fancy, huh? I am going to have a hard time giving this baby back.

Happy cruisin’.

Lessons learned…October edition

My last “lessons learned” post was in July. Mercy. That was a long time ago. Honestly, I can’t even begin to tell you how wild these past 2 months have been. I don’t even remember August. Not really. Where did all the time go? I seriously thought I would have extra time to do all the things I put off while Brian is gone. Ha. Ha. Funny. The joke is on me. It seems I have even less time. If that is even possible. My lack of posting anything is proof of that.

Anyway. On to my lessons….(or observations)

#1 Messes on the floor are really no big deal. Even if I did just mop and it is milk. All over the floor. Or jam. Or coffee. Or something else equally annoying and literally everywhere, like rice. Just clean it up and sing a song about it. But, when you know it is going to be a mess, just go outside and let them be as messy as they want.

#2 I can manage without Brian. I really can. It is just that I don’t really like it. Not at all. But it does makes me feel tough, sort of like a renaissance woman.

#3 Take time to enjoy the flowers. Literally.

#4 It is more important to play with my children than it is to have a clean house. Plus, who wants to clean when you can go play? Kate and I have been having afternoon “coffee” which has really turned into a special time between us. Something that just she and I can do together.

#5 I am a homebody. I overscheduled myself at the beginning of Brian’s absence. I was trying to help the time to go by more quickly. That just exhausted me and made the girls unhappy. We (the girls and I) need a daily routine with just a weekly outing. It makes us all much happier girls.

#6 I can do most anything I try to do. For example, Kate wanted a “house,” so I made her one. Somehow I forgot how resourceful I can be, not to toot my own horn or anything. I am planning an entire post on the “house” when it is completed, but here is a taste of it.

come play with me!

#7 Allowing Kate to watch a movie is not a bad thing. It is actually a good thing. If I am frazzled, I can let her watch 30 minutes of something. Or we can sit and watch it together. I have introduced her to Dumbo (elephants), Winnie the Pooh (poo poo bear), and 101 Dalmations (puppies). It is so fun for me to watch her enjoyment over these movies. She is now absolutely head over heels in love with elephants. Loves them! Talks about them. Sings about them. Precious.
#8 If I can’t find either Isabel, she is probably with the chickens.

 
Look at how she is staring at the white chicken. Funny girl.


#9
Kate is a helper. She thrives on being the helper. She is the helper in her Sunday school class and in the nursery. She loves to help clean and do the dishes. It makes her proud.

#10 The most important thing I have been learning these months (September- October) is in 2 Peter 1. God has freely given to us eternal life, if we chose to accept him. But, we are to

 ADD to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

We don’t automatically become the perfect Christian with Christ-like qualities. It is up to you to add these things. For some reason, I never realized this. I always assumed that if you read your Bible, pray, go to church, etc. you will become the Christian you are supposed to be. But that is not so. You have to consciously make the decision daily to add these qualities to your life. I think that is so interesting.  
Favorite pictures from the month:

After falling down the hill, while chasing daddy. He is on the lawnmower in the background.

My mommy said fat babies can’t smile, I’ll show her. 
SEE!

On the way home from church.

Gettin’ the mail.

My Kate is becoming quite the photographer.

I am planning on getting back to my blogging schedule. So, stay tuned. 
Happy Friday! 

Lia Sophia Jewelry

Attention dear ladies. I had a jewelry party at my house last night. It was so much fun. We laughed and giggled. Played games, ate some yummy food, ordered jewelry.

I like this jewelry so much. I wanted to order this specific bracelet that is lots of money. But if you host a party and meet a certain amount in sales you can buy it WAAY cheaper. Alas, I have yet to meet the amount needed. I am almost there.

So, I thought I would share this link with you, my friends. If only you lived closer and could have actually came to the party. Oh, what fun we could have had. Anyway, here is the link:

https://www.liasophia.com/sites/amyamidon/catalog-intro

Put in my name Christy Perry as the hostess to get started shopping. Christmas is coming! (HAHAHA) Also, if you buy 2 items you get the third (the most expensive) half off. Then you are eligible for up to 3 more items half off. What a good deal!

The jewelry comes with a lifetime warranty with your receipt. So, if it breaks or anything, you just return it for a refund or exchange. Wonderful. I personally have an entire makeup bag filled with broken jewelry just waiting for something creative to be done with it.

Well, enough of my commercial. If you do shop and order, let me know, so I can thank you personally. If not, I promise I won’t hold it against you.

Not too much anyway.

singleness and some randomness

Being alone is yucky.

Just so you know. I do not really like it. Not at all. I do not really like it. Not one bit.

My wonderful husband made it safely overseas. He seems to be enjoying himself right now. It is a bit dusty over there. We have been enjoying skype. It would be much more difficult without technology, I can tell you that.

On the other side, though, is single parenting, single grocery shopping, single bath time, single EVERY meal, single going to church. Some days are okay, others are not.

I haven’t yet found my groove. I can’t seem to get it together. It is almost like I am just biding my time waiting on his return. I don’t think that is exactly what I am doing. It is just so weird him not here. I still need to do stuff. Which I am, kind of. But, not like I really want to. I just can’t seem to get the energy. He has only been gone for 2 weeks. This week is definitely shaping up to be a much better week. For that I am grateful.

A few random things, just for fun, though:

Mailing a package overseas, is not as simple as it sounds. Especially when it weighs 106 pounds.

The post office lady told me I could NOT mail pork. When I laughed, she looked at me like I was stupid. I said, don’t you think that is funny? She didn’t reply. I guess she didn’t get it.

Do you get it?

My children have learned how to drive me crazy.

I am learning how to not let my emotions get the best of me. To walk (or run) out of the room.

Sometimes cereal for dinner is really okay. I mean, who will know?

I miss Brian a million times more than I thought I would. Seriously. I knew I would miss him, but sometimes he gets on my nerves a little, you know? But, I even miss that.

I don’t miss cleaning up after him, though.

Kate and Isabel are learning to play together so well. It is so cute to watch them. They are hilarious. I finally remembered the video camera today, when Kate was reading to Isabel. She was reading this little book about fingers. Drumming her fingers on the book like I do, when I read that one.

Kate is really coming into herself. Putting things together in her mind. For example, she wanted lemonade. When I told her we didn’t have any, she thought for a minute. She then said, well, we should go to the store and get some. She thinks about things, wants to know “why?!”, learning to joke and tease, pays attention, understands consequences. Growing up, in other words. I asked her why she was growing so fast, she said because she wants to.

Isabel is a climber. On everything, then falling off everything. She has a never-ending knot on her forehead. I keep thinking we will take her 1 year pictures, but her face is marked. I might just have to get them taken and pay the extra to airbrush the bruise or scrape away.

I have lost 5 pounds.

I finally cleaned off the desk.

I have yet to plant any pansies. That is on my list for next week. I am looking forward to playing in the dirt while adding color to the yard. The leaves are starting to change.

I made a reading corner for myself. I really like it. It is so inviting.

Isabel comes to me and shows me her nose when she needs it wiped. She also thinks it is really funny to stick her hand up my shirt to tickle me.

I am not getting enough sleep.

I am learning to lean on God more than ever. Because I can’t call or text Brian with every little thing, I have been praying more. I look forward to praying even more. It really, really helps. Kate has been asking to pray, too. When she is upset or missing Daddy, she asks to pray for him. I think that is precious.

The other day, Kate quoted ON HER OWN the Bible verse we have been working on. I John 4:8, God is love, I John 4:8. She said it just like that, then looked at me and smiled. She has learned her alphabet song and sings it constantly. Constantly. I find that I have it going through my head occasionally. And now since I have typed that sentence it is in my head again.

ABCDEFG, HIJKLMNOP, QRS, TUV, W X Y Z…..
There. Now it can be in your head, too. 
I wonder if we should just eat leftovers for dinner, tonight. I am already getting hungry. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you something! Brian’s son, Jason, brought me a new-to-me dehydrator. I am very excited about it. I am trying it out right now. I am drying apples, oranges, and bananas. It should be good. We will see. Isabel really enjoys dried apples and bananas. I haven’t ever had oranges like that, but the picture on the box showed oranges. So, I thought I would try it. 
Well, that is it for now. Kate is making Isabel cry. I really should go see just how she is torturing her.
Happy Wednesday.

Isabel turned 1!

Last Saturday. Our reason for remembering 9/11 is the birth of our crazy redheaded climbing girl.

That picture makes me laugh. It is a self-portrait taken when she was just a few days old. I just love the expression on her face. I just can’t imagine our lives without silly, little Isabel. She is such a joy. To us all. It makes Kate’s day when Isabel wakes up. For in Kate’s mind, Isabel exists solely to play with her. “Isabel, play with Kate? Come here.” she says. Adorable.

I could post some adorable birthday post filled with mushiness, but I am just going to share some pictures of the day. It was a good day. We celebrated with both sets of grandparents. We grilled out and had cake. Lots of fun.

The balloons arrived. Isabel was so excited over her butterfly. She wanted to hug it.

Where’s my birthday girl?
There she is!

My masterpiece. Can you believe this is the only picture I took of it?

Isabel wanted to grab the candy off the cake to eat. Brian was trying to hold her hand away.

Isabel can blow. So, I really thought she would try to blow out the candle. But the candy was too great a distraction.

So, big sister Kate took care of the candle. She is a helper girl.
 The cake was a hit. Give me MORE!!

Feeding her baby. She is so smart.

She got two babies. One from each grandma. Which is hilarious, because they each bought Kate the same music table for her 1st birthday.

Silly sisters. Drive each other crazy. Isabel always pulls Kate’s hairbows out.
Look how pretty my hair is in this picture. *grin*
Here are some pictures from Isabel’s entrance.

And she’s OUT!

How precious!

Daddy love.

 Mommy love.

Sister love.

Happy family, then.
Now. 
I have been working on Isabel’s car blanket for her birthday. I am very excited about it. It just isn’t finished. I will show it to y’all when it is completed. Here is Kate’s blanket I made her for her first birthday.
We got her a set of Mother Goose nesting blocks and a shape toy. You put the different shapes into their cut out in the wooden box. She likes stacking and putting things inside and on top of each other.Other Grandma got her clothes and books and a baby. Grandma got her a baby and bottles.  She is so funny. But she loved her babies best.
It was such a good day.

a new normal

Here we go again.

Another drastic change in our life. If you know me or have been reading for awhile, you know we don’t do anything halfway. It is all or nothing. Well, sometimes.

Brian’s current job, though stable now, may or may not be stable in the future. Maybe. Maybe not. Sometimes they have work. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes he gets overtime. Sometimes he doesn’t. When he doesn’t get any overtime, we live paycheck to paycheck without being able to save anything. Just pay the bills. Which is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. I am so thankful that I don’t have to worry about that. But anything extra, nope we don’t get it.

Like vacations, or pictures printed, or new shoes for me, or new anything for me, or anything that isn’t a necessity. Seriously. I don’t shop. Because we can’t afford it. I only buy groceries and every once in awhile, I buy a $3 clearance shirt at Target. OOH! I did splurge and buy myself a new lipstick. I was very excited. I haven’t had new makeup since Kate was born. Seriously. I still wear the same exact eye shadow that I wore in college. The same exact. Not the same color, but new. It is the same. Not that I care. I only put on makeup on Sundays and shopping days.

Anyway. What was I saying? Oh, right. We have such wonderful plans for this house and land, but yet we haven’t been able to do anything. Money is just a little tight. We firmly believe that unless you have cash to pay for something, then you shouldn’t buy it. Period.

Today is Brian’s last day at his current employer. This Sunday, September 12, he begins a new adventure. He leaves for training for his new job. His new job is almost like his current job, working on airplanes. Except he will be in Afghanistan.

Yep, you read that right. After his two week training, he will go overseas. We aren’t exactly sure when he leaves for overseas. But the HR lady said they were short-handed over there, so he would be shipped out right away. We hope he gets a week home, then leaves the first of October. We will see, though.

He will be overseas for 60 days then home for 30 days. This will be our new life. A rotating schedule. Brian is really excited. We will be able to save so much more money. Thank God for providing this job. It is funny how He worked everything out perfectly. In His time.

Now for me? I have lots of plans. Lots to do. I am going to do some traveling with the girls, myself. Get the house organized. Get on a schedule. Begin a little bit of schooling with Kate. Get the yard gorgeous for fall. Hopefully exercise. Sew. Read.

Basically just keep busy.

I know the separation will be harder than we think it will be. We plan on skyping. That should help the girls. Other than that, it is just going to be one day at a time. Adjusting to our new normal.

So, if you think about us, pray for us. We have some adjusting to do. God will help us. For that I am so thankful. Without Him, I could do nothing.

fire ants and guineas, oh my!

When I was a youngun’ I sure don’t remember being afraid of ants, do you? However my Kate is. She sees an ant, she tells me for she is so afraid of ant bites. I am, too. Those things hurt. Brian even warned me, don’t let the girls in the grass. I ignored his warning and let Kate SIT on the grass last week to paint. She ended up with about 20 ant bites PER arm. A few weeks ago, they got into my shoe. Holy moly. OUCH! They are creepy, you know. You don’t realize they are there, because they are so small. Then you feel hundreds of stinging bites that make you want to scream, jump, around, rip off your clothes or shoe and beat yourself to death, trying to get them off.

(Sometime last summer I posted something about being pregnant and fire ants and weed killer, but I can’t find it. I am going to find it and put a link, here.)

Then Sunday afternoon, we were all outside and Kate was sitting in the rocks. In the rocks! I didn’t even know they would be in the rocks. The fire ants swarmed up her leg and into her shoe. Poor baby. Now she has bites all over her foot and legs. YUCK.

We didn’t have this problem until recently. Remember our guinea? I think I told you about her.

She kept the entire yard, not the woods, but the entire yard free of fire ants. She was wonderful. You could walk anywhere in the yard, barefoot, with no fears. Somehow, she disappeared. We think our crazy redneck neighbor took her when he moved away. The one with all the animals. She would go visit him at feeding time. But, who knows? Guineas are tough and fast. They can generally get away from the predators that attack chickens.

Well, after she disappeared, we were on the hunt for some more. Brian got some from a crazy farmer who had hundreds, nay thousands of bird. Coops and cages everywhere. As far as the eye could see. It was funny.

Aren’t they cute?

So fun.

A few weeks later.

yesterday

They are getting so big. They now make the guinea sound. I don’t know how to describe that noise to you. Except that it is loud and annoying. Even more so with 8 of them making it. But they make good watch birds. What in the world does that mean? Well, when somebody drives up in the yard they make a racket! A huge, loud, annoying racket. (When they get in the yard, that is. They are still in their cage.)
When we were at Hollywild on Friday, guineas were everywhere. Every time Kate saw one, she would get excited, point, and say, “Didney!” (guinea).

See? Here is one. I took it’s picture, since we don’t have any pictures of guineas….hahaha.

What is the point of this post? Well, I am looking forward to the day, when our gaggle of guineas are running free in the yard, eating up all the stupid, annoying fire ants. I don’t like my youngun’s being afraid of walking barefoot in the grass. That is crazy. I don’t think Kate and I have been fire ant bite free the entire summer. I understand that that is part of the price to pay, living in the country. But, if I can change it, then I will. So, there you go. On the bright side, the days are beginning to be cooler, so these little demons will soon go into hibernation, right?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day. What is Labor Day anyway? And why do we celebrate it? I need to google that in my “free” time. Ha. This week is going to be crazy! I have Brian’s parents coming this weekend. Isabel’s birthday on Saturday. A birthday cake to make, sewing to do, cleaning to accomplish, and some mental anguish to get over. (I will tell you all about it later.)

Happy Monday, I mean Tuesday.  (It feels like Monday.)

saved to the uttermost

In an effort to continue to write as honestly as I possibly can about everything that I live and learn, I want to share something with you.

When I was a kid, I got saved. Or I said I did. I prayed a prayer that my teacher told me to pray. I prayed this prayer because I was scared of going to hell. But, I don’t remember there being any difference in my little kid life. As far as I know, I was still a selfish little brat.

Fast forward to my senior year of high school. I had a boyfriend. He didn’t want to be mine, anymore. I remember thinking how DESPERATE and HORRIBLE my life was. Maybe I should get saved. That will fix everything.

Um, it doesn’t work that way. Not at all.

Still I don’t believe there was any change. None that I remember. I do know that I tried to read my Bible and pray and stuff. But, I don’t think I did any of the “christian” stuff because I loved Jesus and wanted to please Him. I think I tried to do stuff that other Christians were doing. Because, you know, that is what Christians do. They say stuff like “Lord willing” and “I prayed about it”.

Fast forward some more.

I lived a horrible wretched godless life for several years. Got pregnant. Had a baby. Lived with a MAN. Got pregnant again. Tried to read my Bible and pray. But never ever ever saw any fruit. I wanted to please God somehow, but I kept just trying to do it on my own. I even blogged about it all the time. Still never having any victory over my sin or fleshly desires or anything that even remotely seemed godly. I just really don’t think I was going anywhere in my spiritual walk. My heart was FILLED with anger and bitterness. I don’t know why. I just know that I was an unhappy person. The slightest little thing would set me off. I would just blow up. No one and nothing seemed to make me happy.

I listen to sermons, read my Bible, and pray. But it was all intellectual. I just don’t think it was real. As in really in my heart. About two months ago, I just couldn’t stand the turmoil anymore. I talked to Brian about it. I don’t think I had ever truly been saved. I don’t think I had ever asked Jesus to come into my heart to save me.

So, I did. I asked Jesus into my heart to save me. To forgive me of all my rotten sins. To live in me. So, that I could live for Him. And you know what?

He did. He came into my heart. Now there has been a change. The anger is gone. The turmoil is gone. For the first time in my life I can honestly say I know for sure that I am going to heaven when I die. Without feeling any little lingering doubts whatsoever. Who knows? I might have been saved when I was a little kid or when I was a senior. I don’t know. But I do know for sure now. Amen.

It is interesting that I was planning on posting this sometime this week anyway. Today, I got the news that a young mother who was also a wife, daughter, sister, and friend passed away this morning. She hit a tree and died instantly. How sad for her family. But how wonderful for her. She is now in heaven. She went to church last night. She got up early this morning, to do her normal Thursday morning stuff. And now she is in heaven. That fast. She is gone. The thought sobers me more than I can even put into words. That could have been me. Or you. Or my mom. Or one of my sisters.

Do you know where you would go if you were to die right now? Right this very instant? Is your heart right with God? If you were to die today can you say you would go to heaven?

Okay. I just wanted to share this with you today. It was on my heart and mind.

God is good.

ALWAYS.

sew fun

My Mama gave me her old, but loved sewing machine. The one that she has used my entire life. The one I went to sleep listening to. The one on which she sewed all my costumes. The one she on which she sewed my and my sisters matching dresses. (Oh, the horror! We hated them when we were older.) The very machine that she used to teach me me to sew.

I had it in the guest house, thinking that I would use it out there during nap time. But for some reason, I can’t make nap time occur simultaneously. So, we brought it into the playroom. And oh the fun I have had playing on it.

Let me show you some of the fun things I have made recently. I started out with these fun dresses.

 Remember the puppy shirt? Well, I could never find any shorts to match it, so I added a skirt to it. Turned out nicely, if I say so myself.

 I had this cute stripey shirt that was begging for a skirt and a flower. I made the skirt out of an old sheet, so I didn’t have to hem it. I hate hemming. After it was all finished, I was looking at it and noticed that the front of the dress is BACKWARDS! I was so excited about not having to hem it, I didn’t really notice when I sewed the sides together, that I didn’t turn it around. Oh, well. It isn’t noticeable at all. But to me, of course. I was NOT about to take it apart and redo it.

After my semi-successes with these adorable t-shirt dresses, I thought I would make an entire dress. Scary stuff….

I made Kate and Isabel matching ones with a skirt to match for Mommy. I love it.

Isabel likes to model her new clothes. Kate on the other hand, does not.

A close up of Isabel’s cute dress. Kate’s looks the same, just bigger.

Then I got real fancy. Kate had this bathing suit from last year that she kept wanting to wear. But it was too short. It would pull down on the top, or ride up on her hiney. I saw another sewing mama do this, so I thought I would give it a try.

I turned a one-piece bathing suit into a two-piece.

I just cut the panties off, under the skirt. Added elastic to the panties, and abracadabra….it fits. You can’t even tell it is a two-piece when she wears it. It did fit and she did enjoy wearing it…until somehow it got into the whites during the bleach cycle. So, it is no longer purple. So, Kate won’t have anything to do with it.

My next project was coordinating dresses for the girls. Same fabric but in “their” colors. Isabel’s color is turquoise and Kate’s is yellow. I really like how these turned out.

Isabel’s is a little too big. So, I ended up putting a button on the back cross piece. She needs a little t-shirt under it, too. Otherwise, she looks naked. The way the dress moves when she runs and stuff. Adorable, though, really.

And Kate’s…of course, it is a little too small. We have to be careful pulling it over her head. (No picture while wearing it, she won’t let me.) I am still working on my sewing skills. But I really like this pattern. I think it would make an adorable jumper out of corduroy for the winter. 

Then I made this adorable little t-shirt, frilly dress for a little girl’s birthday.

Cute, huh? The only thing I think I should have done differently, is to make each “layer” a little narrower, for it is a little too long. But this little girl adores long flowing dresses, so no big deal, really.

I do enjoy sewing.

I did learn some very valuable lessons these past few months while sewing, though. Very valuable sewing lessons. READ the directions, then read them again. Then read them one more time. IRON your seams. It really does matter. IRONING your seams makes it easier. WASH your fabrics before sewing. TAKE YOUR TIME. Use good thread. Have fun, don’t stress about it. Only sew while the girls are sleeping or otherwise occupied. If they need me, don’t put them off. Put the sewing down. You see, if I don’t put the sewing down, and take care of the girls’ needs right then, I make a mistake in the sewing. Never fails. Last but not least, don’t show Brian anything until it is finished. Period.

Happy Monday.

a little sadness

Last week I was planning how to break the news to you. I was so excited. Trying to think of a fun way of sharing our latest news with everyone.

But, I miscarried.

I was about 6 weeks along.

If we weren’t trying and if I hadn’t been taking a pregnancy test every week, I probably would’ve never known. All the research I have done says 1 in 5 pregnancies are miscarriages. Only about half of the women even realize.

I wasn’t going to share this bit of news. But changed my mind. Since I share all the wonderful happy things in my life, I should also tell about some of the sad disappointments as well. I know I am not alone in suffering this way. I am not the first to have a miscarriage. But that doesn’t lessen my pain or heartbreak.

God works in mysterious ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor his ways our ways.

I am so thankful that He took my baby on to heaven instead of leaving him here to suffer in some unimaginable way.

I am so thankful that He took him on home now instead of later, as He did with some dear friends of mine. Who actually held their baby after months of pregnancy only to have him go on to heaven.

I am so thankful for the two girls God has already blessed me with. Who bring joy and laughter to our lives.

I am so thankful that God reminded me of all the wonderful things I have to be thankful for.

Ironically, the day of the loss, I was reading about mature Christians and how they respond to life’s trials. God brings circumstances in our lives for many different reasons. We don’t always need to know the reasons, though. I usually try to figure out what lesson I am supposed to be learning. All the whys and wherefores. When in reality God might just want to see my reactions. He might just want me to prove my faith. Prove my trust. Without knowing any reason for it.

Prove it.

Put my money where my mouth is, you could say.

Prove I know that He is in control.

And even though the phrase, “I just flushed my baby!” kept repeating itself in my head. The song my Grandma would sing was much louder.

I don’t know about tomorrow. I just live from day to day. I don’t borrow from its sunshine for its skies may turn to gray. I don’t worry o’er the future for I know what Jesus said. And today I’ll walk beside him. For he know what is ahead. Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow. And I know who holds my hand.

Books…how I love thee, TUESDAYS

On a Wednesday.

Because I kept forgetting to come upstairs and blog yesterday.

Oh, well.

I haven’t gone to the library like I said I wouldn’t. So, I had all this free time on my hands. (Not really.) But I do spend more time reading books when I have them, than the average person. For example, if I had a book to read, I would not be blogging right now. I would be lying on the couch, reading.

I was over my aunt and uncle’s house last week. He was reading The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney. I picked it up, read the first sentence and immediately knew I had to read this book.

The last time I saw Laurent Jammet, he was in Scott’s store with a dead wolf over his shoulder.

Who wouldn’t want to read this? Right? That sentence just GRABS me.

Because I am tired, and because the book jacket always sounds better than I can write, I am just going to copy that for you, here:

The year is 1867. Winter has just tightened its grip on Dove River, a tiny isolated settlement in the Northern Territory, when a man is brutally murdered. A local woman, Mrs. Ross stumbles upon the crime scene. Within hours she will regret that knock with a mother’s love–for soon she makes another discovery: her seventeen-year-old son Francis has disappeared and is now considered a prime suspect.

In the wake of such violence, people are drawn to the crime and to the township. Andrew Knox, Dove River’s elder statesman; Thomas Sturrock, a wily American itinerant trader; Donald Moody. the clumsy young Company representative; William Parker, a half-breed Native American and trapper who was briefly detained for Jammett’s murder before becoming Mrs. Ross’ guide.

One by one, the searchers set out from Dove River following the tracks across a desolate landscape–home only to wild animals, madmen, and fugitives–variously seeking a murderer, a son, two sisters missing for seventeen years, and a forgotten Native American culture before the snows settle and cover the tracks of the past for good.

I could not put this book down. I enjoyed it that much. But, I am proud to say, I only read while nursing Isabel or while the girls were asleep.

It has everything I enjoy. History, mystery, intrigue, a little scandal, humor, you know…life.

It was fascinating. I liked her writing style. Or her voice, you could say. The different perspectives was interesting to me. She doesn’t tie all the loose ends up into a pretty bow, like some authors do. Which to me, makes the book more true to life. I was a little annoyed about one aspect of the book. The relationship between Jammet and Francis. But her writing is just fabulous, so I just quickly read over a few parts. And tried not to imagine the scene.

Here are a few random sentences from throughout the book.

I don’t pretend to be particularly brave, and, in fact, long ago gave up the notion that I have any remarkable qualities.

She wakes before it is fully light. The fire is out, a sodden charred mess; the air is wet and smell of thaw. She looks around. She cannot see the horses; they must have moved off behind the shelter, foraging for food. No sign of Espen–but then, she didn’t really think there would be. She pushes herself onto her elbows, her eyes becoming used to the grayness. And then she sees the trampled and stained snow only twenty yards away. 

I wait behind my mask for Parker’s soothing words of reassurance. He is thinking about them, choosing them carefully, it seems. 

They don’t come.

And then Parker turns back to the dogs and the sled, and keeps walking and so do I.

For what else can any of us do?

See? Isn’t it great? Also, the way she describes the cold frontier, you feel like you are there, freezing right along with the characters. I found myself cheering for several of them. Changing my mind about others. 

Here is a marvelous review I found. And here is another review that sums up the book, but wasn’t thrilled with the ending. Bloggers who write much better than I do. You might like to read their opinions. 

Let me know if you decide to read it.

Happy Reading.

Outdoor Wednesday-DEER

Brian has had the privilege of hunting this summer with a friend from church. Our friend works on a watermelon farm. The owner of the watermelon farm has a special hunting permit that allows hunting out of season with a spotlight, etc. (The deer damage his crops which is the reason for the special permit. Just so you know, we ARE legal, here.)

All that being said, they got one deer earlier this summer. Brian skinned it and cut it into roasts which we have been enjoying. But a few weeks ago, they got two! Boy, were they excited.

Silly boys. Brian is probably going to be embarrassed that I posted this picture, so let’s not tell him, okay? Hilarious, huh?

Here is the traditional hunting: I am a MAN pose. I kill things. Here me roar

They got a buck and a doe. Or as I like to say, they got a mommy and a daddy. Morbid. ::grin::

Aren’t they sweet? Snuggling in their death pose. The buck’s antlers were covered in the softest velvet.

Since they got two this time, I made a call to my awesome, talented Uncle Anthony. He came over and demonstrated his talent. He is an excellent butcher. It was a beauty to watch.

He cut some cube steak pieces, stew meat, tenderloins, chili meat, and beautiful roasts. Yummy. I know some of you are thinking, ugh. Deer meat. I will never eat that. I had it one time and it had hair in it. Blah, blah, blah. Well, something wasn’t done properly if you had hair in your deer meat. Anyway. Look at this beautiful meat.

Fun stuff.

If we had a grinder, we would’ve even gotten ground meat. You know for burgers, meat loaf and other yummy dishes. I should get one.

Thank you, Uncle Anthony for coming to help us!

Now we have a freezer full of yummy deer meat. We will not be needing to buy any meat for awhile. What a wonderful blessing.

God is good.

Even in this strange way.

Happy Wednesday.

Lessons learned…July edition

or alternately titled, Observations or Randomness
or Dumb Things I Do 
or Why I haven’t blogged in forever

You should not eat blueberry pancakes with maple syrup almost every morning for breakfast for about a month or so. You could gain approximately 10 pounds. Even though it is oh so very yummy. I can eat four. Yes. Four. But that is at 10 am after I had already been up since 5 or 6. Does it count that I am extra hungry in the morning?

Balsamic vinegar is not, NOT interchangeable with red wine vinegar in the Italian dressing mix I use. It was nasty.

It is a good thing to have the Poison Control hotline saved into your phone. Because when your daughter sucks on a paint brush soaked in yucky green outdoor paint, you might want to call them, to make sure she isn’t going to die or something.

Keeping smarties on your desk is a good idea because you can feed the children while you blog.

I am so very glad that I keep my kitchen floor spotless at all times. That way, when I spill $20 or so dollars worth of walnuts on the floor, I can just pick them up and put them in a jar. Not worrying about dog hair or my hair or crumbs or dirt or anything. Yep, spotless at all times.

If you take a coleus cutting, stick it some dirt, it will grow. Awesome.

People will constantly disappoint you. But God will not. 

Black clouds and rolling thunder doesn’t always mean it is going to rain.

My husband is awesome. One evening, I forgot to thaw something for dinner. What I came up with was gross. I’m talking, GROSS. We didn’t even make Kate eat it. I gave her ice cream later. My husband did not complain AND he gave the girls their baths that night. 

I can live without a microwave.

Did you know that hot liquid and cornstarch put in a shaker will cause an explosion? Neither did I…until last night.

Rice heals almost all wet electronics. Or mine anyway. I have washed my cell phone, put it in a bag of rice. It fixed it. Absorbed the moisture. When I dropped my camera in a small wave in Charleston last week, we stopped and bought a bag of rice. It was working, then it wasn’t working. Now it is working again. We will see how long this lasts until a new one MUST be bought.

I don’t like not having a camera at all times to take pictures of dumb things.

Like this: at the lake when I finished eating my apple I tossed it and it bounced and landed…in the little tiny tree. Because I knew it would never happen again, I took it’s picture.

Like this. This is dumb. Do you know what it is? If you are the first one to guess, you get a prize. What kind of prize, you ask? I don’t know. Something fun. I will think something really good. :*:grin:*:

After washing the car seats, it is probably not a good idea to “let” the girls help put them back together. (That is a post all by itself.)

The outdoor painting with food coloring ice cube idea that I have seen all over the blogosphere is not for almost 3 and almost 1 year olds. AT ALL.

There is no better way to start your day than sitting down with a nice hot cup of coffee, your Bible, by yourself…….

……..until you spill your coffee. All over the laptop, lamp, table, sewing stuff carpet, chair, and whatever else happened to be nearby.

When sewing, READ THE DIRECTIONS! FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS! (Now, another quiz…who said that?)

And last but not least, it isn’t necessary when leaving the house and forgetting my phone to turn around and get it because NO ONE CALLS ME (besides my aunt and that’s at 7am.).

I leave you with this…to make your day:

Happy Monday.

Outdoor Wednesday-garden update

This is how tall they are. I am roughly 5’5″. Don’t look at my gross outside working clothes.

Before the two tall ones bloomed.

After.

More are blooming, now.

Busy bees.

Look at all the blossoms on this stalk.

My favorite. Because it is different. It has petals in the wrong place, yet it is still beautiful.

Now, for the garden out back.

Kate took this picture. I wanted to show you how tall the tomato plants are. This is the smallest one. Cool, huh?

This sunflower is planted beside the cucumber. If you look closely you can see the cucumber vine climbing the sunflower stalk. There is a little cucumber and some cucumber flowers.

Up close of the cucumber. Funny, huh?

Same cucumber a few days later, right before I picked it. I think I should make something next year for the cucumbers to climb. This cucumber is a perfect shape. Most of the ones on the ground are curved a little. Or a lot. Which only matters when we make pickles. I kind of like the cucumbers to be more uniform to cram more in the jar. We made the best sweet pickles. They were fun and easy. Kate helped, of course.

Some cute little mushrooms Kate found one morning after a rain. They were so delicate and pretty.

She thought they were neat.

A little bit of summer sunshine IN the house. You know, for fun. And we had company coming, so I needed an arrangement. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Happy Wednesday.

silly Isabel

Eats brownie crumbs off the floor, then acts surprised when caught.

Hangs onto my legs almost all day long.

Has to be where the action is.

Is a climber.

Cracks me up, daily.

Loves playing outside, getting dirty.

Is the silliest baby I have ever seen. (Which isn’t saying much, really. Since I have only really been around 2.)


Gives the sweetest hugs and kisses to her mommy.

Follows Kate’s every move.

Loves to play, “where’s Isabel?!”

Goes out into the lake all by herself and just sits there.

 
Tried to give her Papa a heart attack, running on Aunt Jada’s trampoline.

Is beautiful.

I can’t believe she is 10 months old. How the time flies, especially when you are having fun.

got milk?

Every 2-3 weeks we go “to see the baby cows.” In other words, we go to the dairy farm to get milk. We started drinking raw milk about 3 years ago. We tasted it and really liked it. Raw milk is just so much better for you than pasteurized. If you don’t believe me, google it. (I don’t feel like it right now, or I would.) Plus, it just tastes so much better to us than the other milk. Just like tomatoes fresh from your garden are better than store bought ones. Fresh eggs from your own chicken are better than store bought. (We call store bought eggs “cancer eggs”. HaHa!)

Anyway. Kate really likes to see the baby cows. She gets so excited when we go. Isabel likes them, too. She just doesn’t know enough to get excited yet. A few months ago, I took the camera to get some pictures of the girls and the baby cows. It was hilarious.

Here they are looking at the cows. Everyone is happy. So far. Do you see that cow in the middle back there? With it’s ear up? She is saying, Hmmm, what do we have here?

Kate ran away. The cow to the far right licked her and she ran away, scared. Isabel is holding on for dear life. Uh oh. Here they come…

Isabel is now crying. Trying her best to get away from those big, scary cows. Keep in mind, this is before she could walk. So, she is just hanging on.

Kate decided to come back and help Isabel. But Isabel wouldn’t have anything to do with her. So, I am holding her, now. See how far away Kate is from the gate? Now when we go to see the baby cows, we stay in the van.

They have the sweetest faces, don’t they? I think cows are just wonderful. I want one for a pet. Brian says the only way we will have a cow is for meat. I will just have to settle for looking at them every so often when we get milk.

BUBBLES!

Wanna make bubbles that big? Well, thanks to the internet, I found the best make your own bubble recipe ever! I am so thankful. I have wasted time and money on those silly bubbles from the store. I even have a gallon of the tiny bubble, bubble popping, hard-to-make-bubbles-with bubble mix under the sink.

1 gallon water
2/3 cup dish soap
2-3 tablespoons glycerin

Fill gallon jug with water. Then add your soap and glycerin. If you do it the other way around, you will have a huge sudsy mess. (How do I know? Because that is the way this dummy dumb did it.) Let sit overnight, or for even 2 days. The longer it sits, the better the bubbles.

Then pour into a flat pan of some sort. I used my 13×9 baking dish. Grab your cookie cutters, plastic bracelets, etc. Anything, really. Let your imagination be your guide.

Take outside and PLAY BUBBLES!!!

My nephew really got some big ones. He had a lot of fun, as you can see. Kate, on the other hand, didn’t really get the concept.

Oh, but she tried.

She watched the professional.

And tried again. 

Then she didn’t try anymore. It is so much more fun to just get your hands all soapy, then run to the pool and rinse them off. And get your hands all soapy to go to the pool to rinse them off. 

But the professional? His bubbles just got bigger.

and bigger

and bigger

Such fun was had with the bubbles. If you decide to make your own and can’t find glycerin or have no idea what it is, I got mine through the pharmacist at the grocery store. He ordered it. I got a bottle for about $5. Let me know if you make any. They really are fun.

Happy Thursday.

a package!

We just got a letter (and a package).

We just got a letter (and a package).

We just got a letter (and a package).

Let’s see who it’s from!

Grandma!!

YAY!!!

PLEASE smile for Grandma and Grandpa! This is all I could get. Smile-wise. I am sorry.

Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa Armonat! We really like our new outfits, but we especially like the SHOES! You should see Isabel strutting in her new sandals. Laughing the whole time. Kate kept saying, “I have new RED SHOES!”. She has been wanting red shoes. Yay! Thanks again.

(The “song” in the beginning is from Blue’s Clues. I sing it when we get the mail. Because I am a dork. My oldest nephew loved Blue’s Clues. That is the only thing I remember from the show.)

Lessons learned…May/June edition

You know the drill. Unless of course, you are new to this here blog. (Said with a southern twang, please) In which case, monthly or bimonthly (when I remember) I try to list the lessons I learned throughout the course of the month. And, yes, I know it is almost the middle of July, but if I don’t post this now, I won’t ever get to it. I also like to show my favorite pictures I took throughout that I didn’t have a reason to post. If you would like to read other such fun posts, you can click on lessons learned in the side bar———–>.  

1.   Kids will play with everything.

Those summer storms sneak up on you, you know.

Yes. My Kate is in a bucket. Filled with water. Having the time of her life. Singing about being in a bucket filled with water.

2.  Trying to save money by shaving with cheap razors and old lotion is NOT worth it. Buy the good razors and shaving cream!

3.  I don’t drink enough water. We used to buy bottled water by the case when it was on sale. I probably was drinking about 3 or 4 liters a day. Now that we have a well, our big wonderful idea was not to buy water because we have our own delicious spring water. Except, now I don’t drink enough. It is hard for me to drink water out of a glass. It goes down so much easier out of a bottle.

4.  Get outside in the morning, when you know it is going to be a hot day. (Common sense for most of you, I am sure.)

5.  Flowering broccoli is nasty. We grew our own broccoli this year and were so excited about it. Broccoli takes FOREVER to grow. FOREVER. We watered diligently. I got so excited when I saw the first baby broccoli appear. But then it rained for like 2 days and itgrew so fast! One day, we discussed picking it. But we got greedy. Let’s see if it will get bigger, we said. And it did. And it was nasty.

It started to flower….did you know broccoli flowered? Neither did we. Little, yucky yellow flowers.

6.  Don’t rinse my potatoes in the side of the sink with the disposal. It is very hard to get a whole potato out of the disposal. Very hard. As I stick my hand in the disposal to retrieve the potato, that scene from that movie, plays in my mind EVERY time. Scary.

7. Buy my perennials from a local nursery or store, not at the annual flower show. That way, if they don’t grow or something, I can take it back. I wasted a little bit of money on these perennials this year. I planted these 6 weeks ago and they still look like this. The bottom one is actually even smaller, if that is possible.

 The 3 plants that are in the middle making a line like this:\, are the ones I am talking about. Oh, and the one to the far right in the middle. It is just a dot of green. Do you see it? I had envisioned such beautiful flowers for this spot by now.

8.  Fertilize. Fertilize. Fertilize.

9. Don’t overwater the veggie garden. We ended up with some powdery mildew on our squash, so they didn’t produce as much as we were hoping for.

10. Peaches are not good in pancakes. They are good in oatmeal, but not in pancakes. Blueberries, though…they make the best pancakes in the world.

Favorite pictures of the month:

Happy Monday.

a rant and a toy

Scientists are beginning to document the effects of digital exposure on the brain. They are finding that everything from phone calls (remember those?) to e-mail and text messages exacts a toll on the brain’s ability to concentrate and focus. Furthermore, they have identified a physiological reward for digital stimulation — a “dopamine squirt.” That little squirt of dopamine in the brain serves as a physiological pay-off for digital stimulation, and it can be habit-forming.

This is an excerpt from an article found here on Albert Mohler.com. I have been thinking about this phenomenon for awhile now. Everyone is on facebook or twitter. Everyone has an email account. People rarely pick up the phone to say hello…instead they “write on your wall”. Because that is so sincere. (dripping sarcasm)

Honestly, I think this causes problems when people eventually try to interact IN PERSON. There is no backspace button or delete comment option in real life. I know that since I have become a work at home mom, I have a harder time interacting with people. I have found solace in my blog. I have found enjoyment while lurking on facebook. Even if deep down I think it is stupid. Facebook, that is.

But, technology is here to stay and we must use it wisely. Like everything else.

I just miss the sincerity of a phone call. Or the thoughtfulness of a card in the mail. I want to really fellowship with people. Not just one day a week at church. Nor by looking at what they choose to post on facebook. Nor by effortlessly clicking the like button on someone’s status.

But then maybe all this stems from the fact that being a work at home mom is lonely. And too much time can be spent wondering what people “really” meant. Which is wrong, too. The Bible says, think on whatsoever things are true (Phil.4:8). Not think on whatsoever things your mind wanders to and from. The devil wanders to and fro….(Job 1:7)

People are just so busy, caught up in their own busyness. They have no time for anyone but themselves. But people have time to get on facebook, watch tv, go to movies, shopping, or whatever it is that people do. So long as it isn’t interacting with others or ministering to others.

So, if you think I am talking about you, maybe I am.

But probably not.

I just want one friend. ONE!!! That is all. One who lives near and drops by for coffee and my latest dessert. One who calls JUST TO SAY HEY. One who isn’t afraid of me and my obnoxious opinions.

That is just my stupid little rant for the day. Now, after all of that, do you want to see what I made for Kate to play with?

her very own laptop

I got the idea here. I am not that creative. I just copy others.
She says, “I need to check my email.” So funny. Right. I know. Go ahead and say it. Christy, you are a hypocrite. Well, I know that I can be. But, it is just a little toy. 2 pieces of wood, old keyboard keys glued, an old mouse, and some shiny paper.  She doesn’t have her own facebook account. Not until she is older. At least 16. Maybe. 

sunflowers!

Remember these pitiful little sunflower seedlings?

Well….

Aren’t they getting so big? It is so exciting. I can’t wait until they are all blooming. In preparation for the many blooms we are going to have, Kate and I made a sunflower yesterday.

I got this wonderful idea from the Frugal Family Fun blog. She has great ideas. I get lots of inspiration from her blogs.

Here is our first bloom in our “field o’ flowers”.

While I am on the subject of flowers, did you know that eggplants make the prettiest little purple flowers? I didn’t. See how pretty they are? I don’t know if we like eggplant or not, but we are growing it!

And while we are talking about growing vegetables, look at this HUGE, ginormous zucchini! That is what happens when you don’t go out every day to pick your garden. This is going to be made into yummy zucchini bread….with blueberries.

Our tomatoes are going to all ripen within the week, so I will be canning next week. I am a little nervous. I am going to make pickles, too. It should prove to be interesting.

Happy Wednesday.

Books…how I love thee, TUESDAYS

Lest you lovely readers think all I do is sit around reading novels and eating chocolate cake. I thought I would share with you today what I read every morning. Well, every morning that I have by myself before two crazy girls wake up…

As you may or may not know, I have been trying to read through the Bible. Beginning to end. Genesis to Revelation. I got bogged down in Isaiah, remember? Since then, I have read through the gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I began reading Acts this week. I cannot even begin to tell you what I have learned. I have sat at Jesus’ feet while he taught. His daily ministry and life has become so real to me these past few months as I have immersed myself into HIS Word.

I wrote the above on May 20 of this year and saved it. I never posted it because I haven’t gotten around to finishing it. But, mainly because I didn’t want to sound prideful. As in, look at me, I am so godly, I am reading my Bible.

Then, a funny thing happened…well, not that funny, strange, I guess, I stopped reading my Bible. I mean, I stopped. Completely. I didn’t pick it up for anything but church. I, instead, read my library books. Books that consumed my mind. Distracted me from what was important. And then you know what happened?

My attitude got nasty.

Really nasty.

You know why?

I can’t make it without regular, quality time with HIS Word and prayer. Because, I can’t do it on my own. I can’t be the maid, the chef, the laundress, the chicken farmer, the gardener, the mommy, the wife, the sister, the daughter, the friend without God helping me.

If I don’t lean on Him, then I can’t do anything. Well, I can be a selfish little brat, but who wants to be around that?

So, I am taking a book break. I am not going to check any books out of the library for a little while. I still have quite a few books to tell you about. I will do that every Tuesday (when I have time). But, right now, I really need to concentrate on my spiritual walk.  So, I am not bragging on my godliness. I am far from being godly. I want to be godly, though. I want to be like Jesus. I want to be that Proverbs 31 lady, like my Grandma was. That won’t happen if I don’t read His Word.

I am now in I Corinthians. And it is a toughie. Whew!

What about you? Are you reading your Bible? I encourage you to. It will change you.

Happy reading.

beebops

Kate’s purple flip flops. She calls them, “Kate’s beebops.”

When we were shopping for her some new shoes, she found these. Put them on, immediately. Had to have them. HAD to have them. It was like pulling eye teeth to even get her to LOOK at other shoes.

At first, I thought, oh how cute. Kate and her flip flops. The best dollar I ever spent.

Then she couldn’t get them on. She kept putting the strap between the wrong toes and falling. She would get so mad. SO mad. Try again. Putting them on the wrong feet, wrong toes, etc. Then she had to have them while she ate, while she was in the tub, while she was on the potty. You name it, she was concerned about her pupple beebops.

It was kind of annoying.

Now that she can put them on properly, she can’t walk in them. At all. She trips. If she is outside, dirt gets under her feet, so she has to take them off, wipe her feet off, then put the shoes back on….

See how her toes are clinched? So funny. Yet so annoying. It is all she can do to keep them on when she is walking. Much less run with them on. They are absolutely ridiculous. Dumbest thing I ever spent a dollar on.

The first thing she asks when she wakes up is “beebops?”

When we leave, “bye chickens, bye beebops!”

When we get home, “beebops?”

I wish I could throw them away. But she would be so broken-hearted. I’m not that mean. Or am I?

She isn’t the only one with the weird, toe issues…

This is what happens to Isabel when she crawls around in outfits with buttons. It drives her crazy.

Makes me laugh.

housework, christy style

First, some blogging business: I have been so slack at emailing you sweet commenters back. I am so sorry. I really enjoy the interaction of “commenting”. I check my email and read the comments thinking I will email them later, and then never do. Then a lot of you commenters and new followers, don’t even have an email set up with their blog. So, I have found myself emailing noreply@ blogger.com. Annoying. I really encourage you to set up an email with your blog. So then you can get reply emails. I really enjoy getting those reply emails. Often I find myself not commenting on other blogs because I never get a reply. Which is hypocritical on my part, I know, since I haven’t been replying, myself. I just think it is way more fun to comment when you know you will get a reply. That is all. So, from here on out, I am going to do better about emailing you commenters, back. I promise.

Secondly, I have some new followers and haven’t been able to communicate because of the no email thing and because for some reason I have been having troubles commenting. For example, if you blog has some comment as thing at the bottom, my computer won’t let me comment. I don’t know why. I even turned my ad block thing off. September mom…I have tried to comment on yours several times and it won’t let me. I don’t know what is wrong. I am sorry. There is a few others like that out there.

Anyway, I have been meaning to give you an update on my goals I set for myself for 2010.

If you are interested, I posted those goals here and here. Then I posted and update way back in February. Wow. I am a slacker. Seriously. Back in February? I bet y’all forgot all about my stupid goals, huh. Oh, well. I am reminding you, because I didn’t.

The main thing I have truly accomplished is my housework, stuff. I thought I would tell you what I have done.

First, I made a list of all the stuff I wanted done every single week. Then I split it up into different days and put it on the fridge.

In case you can’t read my pencil scratchings it says:

M= Library, stairs, UP bath, one laundry
T=down floor, kit floor, one laundry
W=UP floor, sew, water, one laundry, Kate’s room
T=down bath, windows, blue room, one laundry
F=wipe out micro and fridge, down floors, one laundry, Mama’s

This plan really works for me. That is my chores for each day. Not including the kitchen, because we all know that the kitchen has to be cleaned a gazillion times everyday. I try to clean my kitchen really well every night before bed. There is nothing like a clean kitchen to greet you as you pour your coffee first thing in the morning.

Now, the key I have found is not to stress. For example. Not a single thing on the list has been done this week.

Oh, well. So, what is today? Wednesday. I just do what is on Wednesday’s list. Not what is on the previous days. I just do what is on the list for that day. Unless I know in advance I am going to be gone all day. Then I try to do it earlier in the week Or not at all. No big deal.

Once I get my chores done for the day, then I can play. Whether it is going outside to work in the yard, or playing on the computer, the chores must be done first. Sometimes it takes all day to get the chores done because of one thing or the other. Sometimes I don’t even do the chores because I play with the kids. But this works for me. 

Then other thing I do is put the kids to work. Never to young to pull their own weight, I say. I mean, I should probably have some more, less work for me…

Kate does all the baking.
And she cleans the floors.
Isabel is learning to weed.
Just kidding. Isabel doesn’t do anything, yet. But Kate does. She feeds Molly every day. She picks up her toys. She is my “helper girl”. She does whatever she can to help. Usually without complaint. She enjoys pulling the chair over to the sink to wash dishes. Or to the stove to cook. She pushes the clothes into the dryer, after I put them on the door. Fun stuff, having Kate help. Plus, we sing a lot of songs while we work. Singing makes everything fun. 
You have to make housework fun, because:
truly it does…
Well, on that note, I will leave you.
Happy cleaning.

stupid rain

I know we aren’t supposed to say things like that. But seriously. This rain has really made me mad. Not only did it flood my foyer which I am still trying to clean. (By the way, does anyone know how to clean a rock floor? River rocks. They are COATED with red mud. Yuck.) But, the rain also flooded this beautiful area.

All those little dark brown circles are not cow patties. They are sunflower seeds covered in good garden soil. This picture was taken last week. I had such high hopes for a field of gorgeous sunflowers. The back row was supposed to be 16 foot mammoths. Then the next rows were 10-12 foot ones, the next rows were 7-10 foot ones, the front lines were 4-6 foot autumn beauties.

Then the rains came.

And did not stop.

Now I have a mud hole. Some of the seeds are still there. But most of them floated away. To who knows where. I might see sunflowers growing all over the yard, for all I know. I am so frustrated. But, I am going to get some more seeds, today. Try again. I will not be defeated.

I used to say that all the time, when I couldn’t do something. Something like get the nut off my oil pan under the car when I was a single gal doing my own car maintenance. Saying that made me remember. I am so glad I have a husband for things like that now.

Anyway.

The veggie garden doesn’t really look any better.

Our squash didn’t come up. Nor did some beans. I am going to cheat and buy some plants today. It is such a mud hole. I know you really can’t tell what you are looking at here. But on the right are the tomato plants in the middle there are the beans. The bottom was supposed to be the yellow squash. The back row is the zucchini. Only 2 of those came up. Oh, well.

On the plus side of all that rain…

This morning’s sunshine…

Isn’t God good, anyway?

Happy Wednesday

Books…how I love thee, TUESDAYS

It is Tuesday, right? I always try to write this post and realize it is Wednesday or Friday, not Tuesday, anyway. I like having a blog schedule just because I like schedules and order. I just have been having a difficult time following any schedule at all.

Anyway….

I thought today I would tell you about a few books that are so good they have caused me to neglect my children, housework, Bible reading, and husband. Books that entangle me into their story and writing style. Books that I can’t for the life of me put down for anything. For example while I was reading one day. Kate had completely undressed Isabel, diaper and all. Kate then went potty….and took care of it herself. We had a poopy mess. It didn’t even bother me, not until I finished my chapter anyway. It bothered Brian a little bit, though. (a lot a bit, actually.)

Anyway, what were we talking about? Books that I can’t put down, that’s right.

Etta by Gerald Koplan

The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, action, adventure, romance, daring rescues and escapes, history. Did you know the Sundance Kid had a girlfriend? Not much is known about her. This book is a sort of fictional account about her. I would call it historical fiction with a lot of facts thrown in, for fun kind of book. My kind of book. I want to buy this book and read again. I really really enjoyed it. It was that much fun.

Click here to look at the pictures of the characters. It will make the book come alive when you read it.

Red Rover by Dierdre McNamer

This book is about the author’s uncle. A real-life mystery story with some fiction thrown in to make it more exciting and to paint a better picture. In my humble opinion. I really enjoyed this book, too. To save time on my part, I am just going to have you click here to read about it. A NY Times book review does way better than I can. It is a must read. I think this book has it all, too. History, mystery, FBI stuff, war, crazy people, good stuff.

Landsman by Peter Charles Melman.

This is a story about a Jew from New Orleans during the Civil War. I have never once thought about Jews living in America then. But, they did, evidently. They were discriminated against in America back then. I didn’t know that. Did you? Anyway. This is a good story. A little bloody, if I remember correctly. Action packed. But it is a Civil War novel. I enjoyed this book. It is superbly written. I really enjoyed the writing style of this book. Click this review to read more about it.

The Missing by Tim Gautreaux

Want to read a good book that doesn’t really have a happy ending? Ha! Just kidding. It has a good ending, just not what you WANT to happen. This book is also historical fiction, imagine that, huh? The main character comes home from World War I or The Great War and goes back to his job. He makes a mistake and spends the entire book trying to atone for it. Very good read. It takes you up and down the Mississippi on a steam ship. A party boat that does “tours”. I never knew anything about that. I enjoyed the writing style of this book, too. Except there is just a lot of sadness in this book. So, if you can’t handle that…don’t read it. This book really depressed me for a few days. Other than that, though, a good book. Does that even make sense? This book is so good but it depressed me? HA! Oh, well. Here, read this review.

Well, these books don’t really fall under my “new book reading policy”. But I enjoyed them all. I enjoy historical stuff. Most history doesn’t uplift. Unless you try to learn from other people’s mistakes. I guess.

I don’t know. I am just rambling, as usual. If you read any of these let me know.

Happy reading.

rainy rambling Monday, again

Mud is really hard to get out of cheap carpet.

If you let your towels sour in the washing machine, you should probably just wash them again, not put them in the dryer, hoping the smell will just magically disappear.

Why do dogs scrub their backs into your freshly vacuumed floor?

I saw a squirrel fall out of a tree, the other day. It was the weirdest thing.  I heard rustling above me then a plop in front of me. The squirrel ran away in embarrassment and climbed the nearest tree.

I can’t wait for these stupid baby birds to fly away. They are pooping all over the back porch. Yuck.

Kate pointed these out to me the other day. I thought, wow! She is so smart. She saw the baby birds and knew what they were. I bragged about it to Brian. He said, Yeah. I showed them to her. 

I am so hungry, today. I just want to eat ice cream.

Brian won’t let me live down killing the rooster.

One of my favorite things about this house, is all the flowers that keep popping up in the yard. I now have peonies, lilies, white daisies, yellow daisies, and sweet william. Fun. Everyday, I pick myself a bouquet.

I am really hating facebook these days.

I finally made these for Kate:

She won’t wear them. Oh, well.

I made this, too. She likes it.

I call it a flower tree. Because Brian said…what is it supposed to be?

Why does a clean, wet dog smell as bad as a dirty, wet dog?

Isabel’s teeth came in. She loves showing them off.

Or not.

She cracks me up.

She is such a goat. Climbing on everything. The steps, the dishwasher door, you name it. She also eats paper. Likes to eat paper. All kinds of paper. That is what she is trying to get to here. Paper.

Picking strawberries in the 90 degree heat with an infant and a toddler is really not as much fun as it sounds. Not at all.

I didn’t realize my shirt kept hiking up in the back, so I have a sunburn stripe right below my waist. Feels great. Matches my sunburn stripe on my forehead.

My Mother’s Day photo, with my two loving girls:

At least the daisies are happy.

Could they look MORE miserable? Do you like Kate’s “wet look”? She used neosporin for her hair gel and window paint, etc during naptime that day. And Isabel. What is she thinking?

Oh, well.

At least our dresses are pretty. Right?

The rain has finally stopped. I am so glad we didn’t float away. We did have a mini flood in the foyer and living room. I am tired of drying towels.

Well, the dishes won’t wash themselves. Unless you know something I don’t…

Happy rainy Monday.

Mama

Who fought my calling her Mama every step of the way. She wanted to be called Mommy. I thought I was too grown up to call her mommy. I mean, I was in the 7th grade for pete’s sakes. Nobody called their moms, mommy. It was mama or mom.

Daddy and Mama made so many sacrifices for us growing up. I didn’t even realize how many, until I became a mother myself. Somehow they put all 4 of us girls through a Christian school, every year. Thousands of dollars. My mom raised every kid within 10 miles of our house (or so it seemed, at the time) so they could make ends meet. We had kids at our house all the time.

My mom wanted us to have everything she never had growing up. She had nothing growing up. So, she wanted us to have everything. She scavenged yard sales, thrift stores, sales, you name it. She could make anything look new. I wanted a typewriter so bad one year. She found me one. I wanted an aquarium. She found me one. All before Craigslist and ebay, of course.

Mama taught me that I could do anything if I just tried.

Some of my earliest memories are the smell of marigolds and roses on a warm summer day. Kneeling with Mama in the dirt, planting flowers. Mama leaning over my shoulder showing me how to cross-stitch.

Mama instilled in me the love of reading and learning.

Mama could make anything. She sewed doll clothes, our clothes, costumes, pillows, curtains. She made our house beautiful with her sewing machine. She made our birthday cakes. She took whatever she could to make our birthday cakes unique and special. Birthdays were always a big deal.

Mama taught us to love and serve Daddy. Daddy got the biggest piece of meat at dinner. Daddy got the best chair. Daddy got whatever he wanted and needed. Mama got what was left over. Daddy was first. Because she taught us that our whole lives, she gets left out a little bit, still. To this day.

I hope to remedy that.

I remember one time I truly hurt her. I saw it in her eyes, right before she slapped my face. It was deserved. Ugly words at my mom had spewed from my mouth. I don’t know if I ever really apologized for that moment. It still pains me to this day.

I never really appreciated Mama until my own children came along. I never appreciated her sleepless nights of worry. Or her love. Or her struggles.

Most of my childhood, Daddy worked 7 days a week. I cannot imagine how she did it. We four girls were quite the handful. I was stubborn and strong-willed. The rest of the girls were just brats. (Ha. Ha.)

I am more like Mama than I always care to admit.

Now that I am older, I am so glad I can call Mama, my friend.

I love you, Mama.

My HS graduation.
I have always loved this picture.
Mama and my first born, Kate.
Mama and my second, Isabel.

 

My wedding day.
Oh, sweet, crazy Mama. You mean the world to me. Thank you for being my mommy.
Edited to add:
DSC_0404-001
We took this yesterday ~ Mother’s Day, 2014.
Since Carrie’s passing and Amelia’s birth, I have grown even closer to Mama. I count her as my best friend. Love you, Mama!

gloves=tough

I am so thankful for these…

I feel so very tough in them. I can handle all sorts of things without any worries or fear that my hands will get nasty on them.

When I remember to wear them, that is. Ha!

My tough gloves help me to feel tough, though. I can pick up worms or other bugs to show Kate. I can clean up yucky messes, like this:

or put beautiful things together, like these:

sunflower seedlings and red petunias
in the bucket
Or I can take care of this and it not bother me. Not one bit.

Well, this might bother me a little bit, considering I killed the poor thing. Oh, well (as Kate has learned to say). What are you going to do? Just another part of “farming“.

I can pick up chickens and and spray on their owie medicine.

I can also till and hoe a section of ground in preparation for my sunflower area and get no blisters!

before sunflowers
By July, I am hoping to have quite a few sunflowers here. I can hardly wait. 

 

Now, don’t you wish you could be as tough as my gloves? HA!

Happy Wednesday

Outdoor Wednesday

The garden is tilled and planted. This was such a chore this year because we started with grass. Brian has been having back troubles. Rain and more rain. One week, he started then that weekend it rained. Blah, blah, you know? One thing after another.

Brian tried again last week. But his back just wasn’t letting him wrestle the tiller like he really wanted. So….

Brian’s genius at work. 
When I was using the tiller, I kept thinking how much easier it would be to have a horse in front of it, to help control it. I guess Brian thought the same thing. Too funny for words.
I drove the lawnmower very slowly over the garden as he held onto the tiller guiding the tines. It was fun. Teamwork. 

These pictures don’t really do the experience justice. I had to keep both hands on the wheel, so I couldn’t take a picture unless we were in a holding position. Look at that rich awesome dirt. Wonderful land. Makes me happy. Every garden I have planted with Brian has been in red clay.

Isabel wanted in on the excitement.

The finished product…seeds and a couple tomato and pepper plants that are difficult to see.

Leave to us to have some silly story on how we got our garden in. How do you do it?

Happy Wednesday!

Lessons learned…April edition

I have such wonderful plans for my blog, then LIFE keeps happening. Kate got poison oak on her face for the 100th time since we’ve lived here. The itching wakes her up. Isabel has been teething. One finally broke through, now she is working on another. Isabel is also trying to walk. Hilariously trying to walk. She lets go of the couch turns to grab the whatever, falls, boinks her head, cries. I think this is the 4th bruise on her head in the last 2 weeks. It really puts a damper on the pictures that I want to take of them. I might just have to have a picture with the bruises. Kate even fell and a huge bruise right in the middle of her forehead. She has to match her sister.

Oh, well. Life with little ones, right?

On to the lessons…

#1   Baking lesson 

Grease and flour your pan. Don’t use the stupid baking spray. Let the pan cool completely before trying to dump the cake out. Otherwise you end up with an ugly mess. A yummy, ugly mess. But a mess, nonetheless. Also, when adding fruit to a cake, roll the fruit around in flour then fold into your batter. That way the fruit doesn’t end up just at the bottom. Grandpa said it did not matter to him. Nothing was stopping him from moving his fruit around on his plate. *haha* But, it is really all about the presentation.

#2   Grocery shopping

Read labels. Read labels. Read labels. I am tired of coming home with tuna in oil, whole bean coffee when I wanted ground, etc.

#3   Listening

Brian has told me upteen times how to close the front door. I know you are probably thinking how hard can it be? Well, it must be pretty hard, since I haven’t been doing it. He was so mad at me the other day. Just fussing. He kept saying, you don’t listen when I talk. I tell you things and in one ear and out the other! Everything I say to him when I am mad at him. It made me laugh so hard. I don’t know why it struck me so funny, but because it did I am less likely to forget this particular instance. Hilarious.

#4  Anticipation

Do not get excited about something that MIGHT happen, until it happens. We have been hoping to get our land cleared for a month or so. The tractor is finally here, but we don’t have the operator yet. Maybe next month? Maybe?

#5  Goal setting

Goals can be set in every area of my life. Not just things to accomplish, like house and yard goals, errand goals. I can set goals for my spiritual life as well. I hope this will help. We will see. Some girls in my family and I began last month a Bible study together. Holy Women. It has been a real eye and heart opening experience and we’ve only completed 2 lessons. I really look forward to seeing God work throughout the rest of the lessons.

Favorite pictures of the month

Grandpa soothing Isabel 
spoiled Molly
spring portrait 1
spring portrait 2
Kate sorted by colors…on her own :)
smallest and biggest egg
mmmmmm chocolate ice cream
RAIN!!
watching sister
my Grandpa and my husband 
deep discussions
April was a good month. The fog cleared. Spring arrived. Flowers planted. Nails dirtied. Wonderful. Life is good. God is good.

Books, how I love thee…Tuesdays

I go through reading spurts. Days where all I want to do is read, read, and read. Ignoring housework and children and husband. Reading. It doesn’t last very long. Obviously because you really can’t ignore your children for very long. They usually get your attention one way or another.

A few weeks ago, I went through one of those spurts. I couldn’t put these books down. They were that good. Well, I thought so, anyway. I just love a good, quirky character. I found her in these.

Mairead O’Clare is an orphan who becomes a lawyer in a big firm. Becomes disillusioned and quits. She quickly finds her niche with Sheldon Gold, a defense attorney, who has an interesting history of his own.

These books are fast paced, courtroom thrillers. They are each about different things but all of them are fun.

I suggest reading these in order. Because they refer to each other a little. I think it is annoying when a book refers to a previous one and I haven’t read it.

Another good one I read during this time is John Grisham’s Ford County Stories. I really enjoyed it. some of the stories made me laugh OUT LOUD. Others made me sad, of course. That is John Grisham’s way.

Well, let me know if you read any of these. I must go. To quote Kate: “baby CRY.”

Happy reading.

fish fry auction

Last week, Brian and the girls, my parents, my nephews, and I went to a fishy fry and auction held at the fire department near my parent’s house. It was tons of fun. First of all, we stood in line with the setting sun on our backs, wrestling and fighting with 2 crazy girls and 2 crazy boys. It was worth the wait to get our freshly fried fish, french fries, and coleslaw. Yummy fried goodness. I have been craving that for awhile.

While we ate, we were serenaded by many different gospel groups. The music was loud, but enjoyable. They played some good, old favorites and some new stuff.

The auction started around 7. We got our bidder number. Number 6. It was interesting, to say the least. When we first got there, we had scoped out the stuff for sale. They had several things we had our eye on. Brian kept saying he really wanted the double wood rocking chair someone built by hand then donated. I really didn’t believe him.

We had never been to an auction like this before. So, we didn’t know what to expect. It was fun and funny. They had everything that you see in people’s attics, yard sales, and garbage cans. Literally. Someone donated 12 plastic hanging baskets that their ferns or something came in. The lot went for 5 dollars. A box of junk no one was bidding on, so the auctioneer said put something else with it. That got the bidding started. Up to 5 dollars. One time, a vacuum and lounge chair (the kind by a hotel pool) went for 7 dollars. Old exercise equipment couldn’t be given away….this

went for seventeen dollars. This was the best picture I could get. It is a fish with scary, sharp teeth and horns. Hilarious.

Then this:

I think it went for fifty or so dollars. I can’t remember. But the bidding was back and forth. So much fun. Boxes of holiday decorations went for 5 dollars. I got these wonderful suitcases for 2 dollars:

I might use them for storage in the girls’ room or just use them as suitcases. Once cleaned up, they will look brand new. I really like the 70’s orange.

I got these wonderful baskets for 5 dollars. I want baskets everywhere. So, I am now on my way…

I have one turned upside down and am using as a plant stand. I got that idea from my aunt. I think it is a great idea.

This went for well over a hundred dollars. It is REAL. (Sorry for the poor photo quality.)

We really enjoyed watching all the things go through. Some silly and some just plain ridiculous. You know? A commercial floor polisher, a broken weed eater, a kid’s John Deere jeep that went for sixty dollars, an ab lounger, etc. Hilarious.

We kept wondering, though, if the one thing that we really wanted would ever come up for bid. Or would we have to wait until the very end. Well, it finally came up. I think the bidding started around fifty dollars. And it kept going. While Brian is bidding, I’ve got my eyes closed. I was so nervous and excited. It got up to one point and no one was bidding. The auctioneer guy kept saying this number over and over. I was thinking to myself, If you will bid that, why aren’t you bidding this? Just BID already. BUY it. (Screaming in my head with nervous excitement.) Then the auctioneer says SOLD to bidder number 6! It was us! I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited. I yelped and screamed a little.

So, we are now the proud owners of the most beautiful double rocking chair.

It is built locally by Moon’s Woodshop in Honea Path, SC. Contact me if you would like the address or phone number. He makes swings, gliders, loungers, and picnic tables. He also takes orders. 

I really like it. It is going to last forever. It is going to be the center of so many memories, you know? I just think it is wonderful.

Here we are…so very pleased with ourselves.

I think we need to hit up some more auctions. Who knows what we could come home with.

Happy Sunday!

new day

Life has just been overwhelming these past few weeks. My Papa was really sick at the beginning of March. Then he died. The events that happened during those few weeks really threw me off balance. Then Daddy got sick. He was in and out of the emergency room, until they finally admitted him. He is doing better now. But when we didn’t know what was wrong with him, my mind went off the deep end. Imagining the worst. You know, because that is what we do.

Daddy is better. They found several things wrong with him. Nothing that a serious change in his diet, a few pills, and some exercise won’t help. Not cure, but help.

On top of that, I still have girls to raise, a house to clean, laundry to do, a husband to care for…LIFE. Sometimes it seemed that I was accomplishing nothing but the barest minimum. I didn’t blog, write in my journal, read my Bible, pray, or anything. I just read my books and fed the girls. Burying  my head in the sand, hoping I would not have to deal with anything else.

Slowly, I got back into His Word. I made a chore list. I began to pray.

Things are starting to get back into shape. I am still learning to trust in Him with everything. I guess I just forgot for a little while. AGAIN.

I really hope the things I learned will come to mind when the real tough times come. These past few weeks were nothing compared to what they could have been.

I am so very blessed.

So, even though the girls and I were up at 3:30 this morning. It is okay. I am not going to go back to bed. I have showered and am dressed. It is a new day. His mercies are new every morning. Hallelujah. I am not saying that I won’t get bogged down again. I am human, after all. But, this particular bog was not as deep as most. Maybe because I am learning? Maybe because Isabel is so funny? Maybe because I still tried to be thankful on most days? Who knows? Maybe because it is warm outside?

I do know it is over. I am back to feeling like myself again. I have so many blog posts running through my head. I am hoping to have a giveaway (hoping).

Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

 Whether it is a “good” day or a “bad” day. You can choose which day you are going to have. So, there you go. God is good.

Happy Wednesday.

dumb and dumber

As I trip along through this crazy life of mine I am constantly doing things that aren’t very bright. Side note: my sister’s last name is Bright. When she was pregnant with her first, my uncle told her to name it Notso.

Ha! HA!  Get it? Notso Bright! HA! HA! I laugh about that every time I think of that. I am laughing now, as a matter of fact.

Anyway. I thought I would share with you a few dumb things I have done these past few days. For example:

#1   Kate loves “Nemo”, but then again, who doesn’t. So, when shopping for hand soap for her bathroom the other day, I got her a “Nemo” one. When I put it in her bathroom, I made a big deal out of it. I then put a step stool in there. I thought it was time she started washing her own hands.

Fast forward a few days.

Soap in Isabel’s hair.

Soap on the back screen door.

Soap AND the hand towel in the toilet.

The step stool is back in the kitchen where it belongs. Mommy washes Kate’s hands, now. 

#2 I bought a new bag of flour. Instead of dumping it into the container with the old flour. I thought I would just put the bag in there, use up the old, then pour the new into the container. As I try to scoop out the old, I tilted the container over, holding the new bag up (still in the container) with my elbow. Somehow, the bag dropped and WHOOOSH. The new bag of flour fell into the old causing a flour avalanche all over my kitchen. Why, oh why, didn’t I just dump the new bag into the container to begin with?

#3 Brian began tilling the garden the other day. But really hurt his back. So, he’s been taking it easy. I thought I would finish it for him. I start the tiller up. Get it down to the garden. Till it. Then take the tiller up to the front yard to begin my sunflower area. The ground isn’t breaking up. I can’t figure out what is wrong with it.

Brian comes home that night. I am explaining everything to him. I did this and that. I tilled the garden for you. Etc. He then reaches down and adjusts the lever which LOWERS the tines. The whole time, the tines were moving ABOVE the ground, about 4 or 5 inches. I didn’t accomplish a thing.

#4 We have a mouse situation. The cost of living in the woods. I have traps and poison out. But, sometimes they still get into the house. I hate mice. More than I hate anything, I hate mice. I get the heebie jeebies when I know they are anywhere around.  I usually tear apart everything, siccing Molly on them, saying “Molly, get the mouse. Get the mouse, Molly.” She goes crazy looking for it. One day, the mouse was running around the kitchen. Molly had it cornered. When it ran out, Molly caught it. I SCREAMED like a little girl, scaring Molly. She dropped it, and the mouse ran away.

#5 I put Kate to bed one time without a diaper. Every morning when she wakes up her diaper is dry. I thought maybe we could get away with it. Of course not. Soaking wet, the entire bed and all her friends. You know what I then did at naptime? Put her to bed without a diaper. Trying again.

You guessed it. Soaking wet, again. Not anymore. Diapers at bedtime.

Well, we are off to a fish fry and auction at the fire station near my parent’s house. The fire station that was the first responders when I had Isabel. Remember that?

Happy Saturday, y’all.

Outdoor Wednesday

One of the fun, exciting things about living in a new place is you never know what is going to bloom. The downside of this is I don’t know what is a weed or flower. So, I am hoping you will help me. Please?

weeds or flowers?
up against the log…weed or flower?

I have lots of this, but it is surrounded by this:

green, monkey grass-like stuff
I don’t know what to do with any of it. Pull it or leave it and hope it turns into something pretty. I do know that going outside and playing in the dirt makes me want to buy some flowers and put them in the ground. 
I have had one blooming flower, so far this year.

My solitary daffodil standing guard by the door. My sister had one lonely daffodil, too. I would love to plant a ton of these and tulips and other fun bulbs here, instead of all that ivy. I have tons of ivy that is being taken over by something. It is scary looking. I don’t even want to start messing with it.

Our newest edition to the family…a loud, squawking guinea. Kate loves to chase it.

Which of the following pictures do you like best?

cheery and colorful
soft and subdued
I think soft and subdued is more my style. I hope everyone is enjoying the springtime weather. I know we are. Grilling out, playing in the dirt, neglecting housework. That is what I’m doing, anyway. 
Happy Wednesday

Books…how I love thee, TUESDAYS

As I slowly ease my way back into blogging, I thought I would tell you about a few wonderful books I have read lately. I have tried to change my reading habits. Trying to find good, wholesome books that don’t dwell on sad or horrible things. Books that encourage, books that make me smile, books that I could recommend to other Christians without shame or remorse.

The first such set is a trilogy set on St. Simon’s Island in Georgia. They are by Eugenia Price, who has written many books, both religious and fiction. I really enjoy them.

Drama, love, slavery, murder, struggles, dependence on God, betrayal, searching for God, pursuit of dreams, you know…the stuff a good story is made of. All of these books are based on real people and real events. I really enjoy stuff like that.

I hope you check them out and if you do let me know. In the meantime, Happy Tuesday and happy reading.

fearless wonder

Yesterday was so beautiful and sunny after 2 days of yucky rain. I just had to get the girls out of the house. We went to the library to meet a friend and her girls and off to the park we went.

Kate loved the swing as always.

And to my surprise, so did Isabel. Cackled with glee, she did.

Off to the distance was one of those tall, medal slides I haven’t seen since childhood. I was hoping Kate wouldn’t notice it. It looked way too tall for her to climb. But, she did. And before I could run over there to protect and catch her, there she is at the top.

Then she was sliding down. Loving every minute of it.

I can’t believe my little, tiny two year old shows no fear while her mommy was hysterically running towards her, scared. She is so tough. I love it.

Happy Wednesday.

Books…how I love thee, TUESDAYS

I love to read. I mean I love to read. I have always read books. Punishment when I was younger was not being allowed to go to the library. Torture! When we used to watch tv, I would read my book during the commercials. That is what a big dork I am.

I am trying to instill that love of reading into Kate. She loves to crawl up into my or Daddy’s lap and “wee book” (read books). Right now our favorites are:

“Left foot, right foot, feet, feet, feet, feet. Oh, how many feet you meet!”

“Eye, Eye. My eye. His eye. Blue eye. Pink eye. Wink eye, wink eye!”

“I see noses every place!”

“He can go like a rooster, COCK A DOODLE DOO!”
“Plain hair, striped hair, polka dots. Curls and braids and beards and lashes. Whiskers, eyebrows, long mustaches.”
“Do you like my hat? No. I do not like your hat.”

I love to make all the noises and facial expressions. Really get into it, you know? We have so much fun reading. I hope it lasts and lasts.

rainy rambling Monday

I loved the Carpenters when I was younger. I would sing along with my tape player at the top of my lungs while cleaning my room.

As I was eating my delicious lunch of nutella from the jar, peanut butter from the jar, and chocolate almonds, I was thinking about WHY I haven’t been so thrilled about blogging lately. Part of it is I am so tired. I have been so tired since January, it seems. I think I need to exercise, yuck. Anyway, back to what I was saying. I also think I have gotten to caught up into other blogs and feeling a little jealous.

Surprising, I know. Me, jealous? I guess I wish I could have 5,000 or more followers. Then I would put ads on my blog and make thousands of dollars every month, just by being me. How wonderful would that be? Can you believe that actually is happening? I am not sure what I think about ads on blogs. Maybe if my blog were more generic and not so personal. I think I am a little offended by ads. But I am not sure why. It isn’t like I even look at them. It’s just knowing they are there.

I think another reason I haven’t been blogging is because I am seriously stupid these days. I can’t even think of silly little words like spatula or high chair or lawn mower.

Then we had that horrible week or two…that I wish I could blog about, but I can’t yet for fear of sounding ugly and bitter. And I’m not, I am just disappointed and a little confused about. Maybe in a month or two.

I have started some seeds for the garden. They are in the window. Some are looking really good, others I think are dead in the dirt.I am even trying to grow some paper whites. FUN!

I have been working on my goals. Mainly my house cleaning, organizing, and spiritual ones. More on that another day. Books have been read. More on that tomorrow.

I changed my profile picture, like it? I think my eyes are hidden in the glare. I need a different one, I think.

I made Kate a PUPPY shirt. She is really into puppies, any kind and size. She loves them more than she loves her sister, I do believe.

This is how it looked last night when I finished it. But Brian said the daisy button eyes were stupid. So, I followed his advice and used googly eyes.

What do you think? Would you buy this shirt for your little girl or boy (if it was in boy colors)? I am trying to think of some stay at home money making ideas. Here is a close up of the puppy. I think the polka-dotted tongue makes it.

I think it is adorable. Of course, there are some imperfections, but that is what makes it so wonderful. Seriously, what do you think? I think the next project is Big Sis, Lil Sis shirts. One for Kate and one for Isabel. I think that would be cute.

Oh my goodness. I am so tired. I think I need to go have a snack and start thinking about dinner. One day when I am rich, someone else is going to do all the cooking and cleaning.

Happy Monday.

Happy First Day of Spring!

My attempt at a beautiful “happy spring” picture did not go so well, as you can see. Isabel choking on clover, Kate putting clover down Isabel’s shirt, neither girl wanted to look at mommy. Oh, well. Life with children.

We really enjoyed our first day of spring. It was really warm all day. Brian cut grass. I planted some mums, finally. With Kate and her new tools’ help! 

We had our first picnic of the year. Kate kept putting her feet in the plate. Isabel wanted to eat leaves and dirt. One day, maybe we can get a picnic table?

Molly chased her ball.

Mama hen is sitting on some eggs again this year. I am so excited. In about a week or so, we are going to have 6 new baby chicks running around. How fun. She does not like it when we open the door. She is so happy and content, sitting on those eggs.

I am so very glad warm weather is here. I didn’t think it would ever come this year. This has been such a wet, cold, nasty winter. I really enjoy spring. It is so new. A fresh start for everything. I love it.

Happy Spring.

prayer request

On Tuesday, at 7:30 am, my Papa went to heaven.

He was my mom’s dad. Please pray for my family during this time. I wish I could give you the details. But, I can’t. So, just pray for us. Pray for my mom. Pray for my Nannie (grandma). We are in the South, you know. It is Papa and Nannie, not Grandma and Grandpa.

I guess it still hasn’t really hit me that Papa isn’t here.

I am sure he is enjoying heaven. Sitting at the feet of Jesus. No more pain.

The funeral stuff is tonight and tomorrow.

God is good.

Thanks for listening.

random ridiculousness

Several things ridiculous keep floating around my head. But nothing that is worth one whole post. So, it is randomness today.

I lost my library card. I don’t really like having the librarians do anything for me but check out my books. They do not use common sense. I am talking about the ones at the library I go to. They really get on my nerves. Anyway. I went through the hassle of explaining why my last name is not the last name on my drivers license. Showed her my marriage license. Explained several things to her over and over. Checked out my books. All of this took 20 minutes while I was holding a fussy Isabel and ignoring all the annoyed looks because of my crying baby AND I had to go potty the entire time. Only to find my library card upon my return home. Made me want to scream. :) But I didn’t. I smiled. Then threw the old card away. Oh, well.

I finally bought stamps. Now, I can send out some cards. Finally. I have needed to send out some card since Christmas.

I was following a chicken truck, the other day. One of those 18 wheelers with a thousand cages on it’s trailer with 10,000 white chickens squashed into the cages. On the side of the truck I saw one struggling as if it were trying to get out of the cage. I began to cheer it on. You can do it! I said to the chicken to myself. All of a sudden the chicken was free! It plopped onto the road. I stopped the van, watching to see if it was alive. It was. It slowly got to it’s feet. There was some blood on the road, so it was injured. And do you know what I thought? I honestly sat there and thought about getting out of the van, picking up that stupid chicken, and taking it home.

Crazy thoughts. Who does that? Picks up a hurt chicken that escapes from the slaughter truck, only to take it home so there husband could use it for target practice? I mean I didn’t think that far ahead. But after telling Brian about it, that is what he said he would have done with it. I like to think the chicken made it into the woods and is living happily on bugs and grass. Skipping and frolicking happily. Not dead on the side of the road.

Instead of organizing all my bills and other pieces of paper that is lying around the desk, I moved things around in the kitchen yesterday.

I am reading a book that is just so good, I have a hard time putting it down.

Kate is hilarious. Isabel is sitting up like a big girl.

Happy Friday.

Books…how I love thee, TUESDAYS

I think I am going to make Tuesdays, all about books. So, every Tuesday, or every other,  will be a post about books. Books are such a big part of my life, I hate not talking about them. So, here we go. A list of books I have read recently, and a few thoughts about them.  Because my opinion is so very important, you know. :) But if you are looking for a good read…

Bleeding Kansas by Sara Peretsky

I really liked this book. It was very interesting. But as I sit here and try to think about this book (I didn’t write down any notes on this one.) all I can remember is a lesbian moves into the small town and chaos ensues. It is almost as if this lady changes the entire dynamics of the entire town just by her mere presence. There is small town prejudices, war protesters, farming, dying, laughter and suspense. Everything that makes up life. I think if you liked Empire Falls, you will like this book.

Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor
I enjoyed this. It was my nonfiction choice last month. It is a mother-daughter story. One chapter is written by the mother, and the next is by the daughter, and so forth. They travel to Greece then later to France. The book is a diary of sorts about their travels and their lives. It was good. Different. I rolled my eyes at a few things, but otherwise I liked it. I think it was because of the mother-daughter dynamics. You see them experiencing the same exact thing, but in totally different ways. Very cool. I thought, anyway.
Roma by Steven Saylor
If I had a star system, this book would get 5 stars. I loved it. It begins in 1000 BC and ends in 1 BC. This novel spans 1000 years and follows 2 families who witness the history, sometimes even play key roles, of Rome. Linking the generations is a talisman, a golden amulet that resembles the fictional god, Fascinus. There is a slave, a vestal virgin, friend of the emperor, mass murderer, you name it! I love love loved this book. 
The Dead Place by Stephen Booth
I have read some other things by this author. I think one of the main reasons why I like him is because he is British. So, there are British words and references. I enjoy the different vernacular. This a murder mystery with police detectives. Very enjoyable. It is a psychological murder suspense type book. I liken it to an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
I did not like this book at all. It was about a women “searching” for herself. So, she has an affair with a monk. Really? A monk? I didn’t like this book. I don’t understand why in this modern world books and movies act like an affair is common place and doesn’t have any long term consequences. I did not like this book. 
I have so many other books to tell you about. But I always seem to run out of time. So, until next time.

Happy Reading!

Lessons Learned…February edition

Last month, I began a monthly post listing the lessons I learned throughout the month.  I have been jotting down things all month, in preparation for this day. *smile*

Are you ready?

Lessons Learned

1. Don’t make your own birthday cake out of an untried recipe. It wasn’t ready on time. It was ugly. The icing did not turn out well. It did taste good after I added more and more sugar. It was kind of like a dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate icing. It did end up yummy. I just wasn’t able to have any on THE day. It was the next day.

2. Buying off-brand toilet paper is not worth it. Even if it is WAY cheaper. To quote Brian, “It tears when you look at it.”

3. Finalize the video camera disks. I had videoed my Grandpa telling his story. We had finished, and I had put the camera up in the bag. He went to the bathroom, when he came out he said, I should have told the story of when I was almost killed by a bull! As he began to tell me, I said WAIT! Let me get the camera. I grabbed it and put it on the tripod, and when I adjusted it….I dropped the camera on the floor! My stomach just lurched. I had a feeling it was broken. The camera and the disk. But the camera wasn’t broken, the disk on the other hand….was erased. It even says in the manual, DON’T DROP. Data could be lost. Oh, well. We did it again. It was much better the second time.

4. If a houseplant is looking puny, don’t just keep watering it! Especially if the pot doesn’t have a drainage hole. I had watered and watered and watered my favorite plant, thinking that was what wrong with it. I moved it around the house, thinking maybe it was in the way of the heat register, you know getting heat blown on it, drying it out. That didn’t work, either. Then one day I got to thinking….dangerous stuff, me thinking, I know. So, I repotted it! In a pot with a drainage hole, of course. It was root bound and water logged. Nastiness. The plant is looking much better now. 

5. Last but not least, Do not give Kate a meat tenderizer mallet to play with! (Common sense for most people, I’m sure.) Kate and I made play doh the other night. See how much fun she is having:

I was thinking of different things to give her to play in it with. I gave her cookie cutters, an orange peeler, and a meat tenderizer mallet. The biggest lesson I learned this week, is not to give a child a meat tenderizer mallet to pound on the gorgeous handmade wooden island. It now has little round dents in it, with play doh wedged in the holes. Horrible.

 (see it lying there, looking innocent?)
Favorite pictures from the month

What a good month we had. We celebrated two birthdays, had snow twice! Much time spent reading books, coloring, painting, baking, running, and laughing. Life is good. God is good.

vitametavegamin

Hello, friends!
Are you tired, run down, listless? Do you poop out at parties? Are you unpopular?

This is one of my favorite ‘Lucy” episodes. I kept thinking about this, so I looked it up.

My Vitametavegamin lately has been reading this book entitled Early Will I Seek Thee by Eugenia Price. Wonderful, wonderful book. It was like reading my own thoughts. I loved it. It has been such a blessing to me. I am going to get some more of her stuff. Evidently she also wrote historical fiction. Also, right up my alley.

My other source of energy has been yummy carrot juice. I finally broke out the juicer and have been juicing and juicing. What a boost! Better than drinking coffee in the afternoon and much healthier.

I hope you enjoyed the laugh.

Happy Friday.

Outdoor Wednesday

Is it Wednesday already? Where did the week go? Or last week for that matter. Do you ever feel like life is just racing by while we merely watch? I do.

Saturday, though, I participated. My marvelous aunt, took my sister, my cousin and me to the Biltmore House in Asheville. It was a gorgeous day for an outing. We had so much fun. It was so nice to be with other girls, relax, and just be for a little while.

You couldn’t take pictures IN the house, so we had to settle with taking pictures OUTside of the house. Here are some pictures from the day…

 in the car on the drive up 

 silliness, chocolate, and smiles

my favorite part
It was such a good day. I really enjoyed laughing, eating, and looking. But mostly I enjoyed the company of some of my favorite people. We are going to have to return when the outside flowers are in bloom.
Happy Wednesday.

my thought for the day

I think some time spent with the wood glue is in order. Don’t you?

my desk chair

 my dresser

the stair railing

the girls’ dresser

I bet, if I tried real hard, I could find a couple more things that need to be glued. Oh, well. Maybe one day, in my spare time. 
Happy Friday.

Goals…an update

Remember when I posted my goals for this wonderful new year? I thought I would let you know how well badly I was doing.

Relationships

I have been spending time with both my Grandpa and my Nannie and Papa.

I have had a couple of half days with my mom, so that counts as a day. Right?

I am spending the day Saturday, with my aunt. We are going to the Biltmore House. Heard of it? It is going to be so much fun.

I forgot to buy birthday cards for my mom and my sister and my nephew. So, not doing so well in that category. But am working on it. I think I need to buy a box of generic plain ones and create my own. (You know in my spare time.)

Housekeeping and Organization

I got the kitchen organized and pretty. Now I need to make a table cloth, curtain, and a few decorative towels. To make it perfect.

I am not doing so well in the housekeeping part of this section, so I am just going to skip to the next one.

Hobbies

I began Kate’s journal.

I started organizing my sewing corner.

I have been writing down my craft ideas…now to find the time to do them.

I have been reading some nonfiction. Not as much as I planned, but some.

My family projects are coming along nicely. I will post about those one day.

Finances

We have been doing well with saving, giving, and paying the bills. :) This one is easy, because Brian tells me what to do and I just do it. No thinking involved.

Spiritual

My Bible reading is coming along splendidly. I have a journal for that, I jot down thoughts and verses that pop out. It is fun.
My prayer journal is just beginning, but I have already gotten to mark answered on a few. Very cool.
Parenting
Kate is offically potty trained. Hallelujah. We have been wearing big girl panties for a few weeks now. Not to bed, of course. She still wears a diaper to bed. It is usually dry when she wakes, though. I really enjoy only having to change one kid’s diaper.
We have been singing a lot. 
We have all been sick on and off for the past 3 weeks or so, so play time and learning time hasn’t been what I envision for the future. But, we are working on it. We are all almost 100% better. So, we will see how next week goes.
I realize it is just February, but I think I am a little behind in some of these. I really need to stop laying around reading books during naptime. But I am tired. I really don’t want to do anything else. So, I’m not going to. That is one of the perks of being an adult. My house if clean enough. Laundry is folded, not put away, but folded. Dishes are clean. Dinner is cooking. I can go sit on the couch with my book and chocolate almonds and coffee if I want to, right?
Happy Thursday.

the art of making friends, revisited

I wanted to share another old post with you, today. This is something I still have not done. But, I think I need to work on this still. Especially since I am still lonely for female companionship.

This was posted on December 9, 2008

I admit I am at fault. But the thing is, I don’t know how exactly to fix it. I can’t make friends. I became a mother and my social skills went down the toilet. I think part of it is I am home alone all day with an infant. I don’t know. Every job I have ever had worked with people. There was rarely a day when I wasn’t surrounded by people. Flight attendant, waitress, bartender, substitute teacher, bookseller (at Barnes and Noble, my favorite job). After work, I would hang out with friends. My apartments were usually filled with people, all talking and laughing, playing cards.

Now, it is just Kate and me, Brian in the evenings (asleep in his chair straight after dinner). I talk to myself in my head all day long. Crazy sounding, I know. But that is what I do. So, then when I am around people, I am still talking to myself in my head, over-thinking everything they say, over-thinking everything I say. So afraid of looking or sounding stupid, I usually clam up, stand there, panic, then leave.

So, how do I overcome this? Do I invite someone out for coffee? I am not sure what to do. I have started this blog as an outlet, but I really could use some good old fashioned girl talk. The kind where once you get started laughing, you can’t stop…tears are running down your cheeks as you try to breathe. I think about emailing different girls asking them over, I just don’t do it. I want to, I just don’t.

Why not? You ask.

Well, fear. Fear of rejection, fear of derision, fear of embarrassment. I am so afraid to put myself out there, to be vulnerable. What if they don’t want to be my friend? What then? Do I ask someone else? Or if they do come over, how do I not completely make a fool out of myself?

In a weird way it’s like dating. How often do you contact them? What if they don’t call you back? Do you call them again, or just let it go? I’m not sure how to answer any of these questions which is why I haven’t called or emailed anyone to come over.

So, I am putting this out there as a way to challenge myself to email or call someone to get together. That I will stop putting it off and just do it. The greater the risk, the bigger the reward, RIGHT?

Wish me luck and pray, this is going to be a tough lesson to learn.

 I think the Lord has put a project of sorts on my heart regarding this. Pray with me as I figure out if it is what God wants me to do or what I want to do. As soon as I figure it out, I will let you know.

Happy Saturday.

Outdoor Wednesday

Winter doldrums and mommyhood does not go together.

Not at all, not at all.

I long for the days when it is warm. Thankfully, no rain today. Everyone else in the country is getting buffeted by blizzards while we are being drenched by monsoons.

The river behind our house after days of rain.

 Our creek feeds this river.

When it rains like this, our spring gets this muddy. So, the water in our house gets this muddy, sometimes. Like when it rains for 3 or 4 days straight. One day, this problem will be resolved. It is on the list. (Brian’s list, that he requested I make for him.) That list gets longer every day. Let me tell you. As Brian says, “Home ownership is overrated.” I love owning our house, though. It gives me great satisfaction knowing that if I want to paint a wall or hang a picture, I don’t have to worry about the owner.
I digress.
Winter doldrums….caused by too much time in the house because it is so very cold outside while everyone in the house has a runny nose, cough, and general feeling of malaise. 
I have been trying to get out and walk on days the sun is out. This is us….walking.
See Kate and Isabel looking at each other?

It is really good exercise. I push Kate in the stroller and wear Isabel in the carrier. I am so worn out by time we get back it is all I can do to make lunch. Hopefully, after a month of this I will be skinny (skinnier, anyway *smile*).

Happy Wednesday

if you’re happy and you know it…

Septembermom tagged me last week?!? I think. It doesn’t matter when, it is just wonderful that she did. Anyway, to make a happy list.

 
I thought I would finally get to it today. It is funny how life gets in the way of your hobbies, isn’t it? Total randomness from the top of my head that makes me happy.
1.     Being married. I love it.
2.     Hearing my roosters crow.
3.     Sewing. I made Kate an apron for Christmas. Remember? Here she is modeling it for Daddy.

She noticed that the kids on her apron were riding a stick horse, so she got on her’s that day. She galloped all over the house. Too cute.
Here is a pair of slippers I finally finished for her yesterday. They are too small, so I am going to put them up for Isabel and make Kate a new pair.

 Cute, huh? I need a pair, too.

4.     Reading. I love, love, love, love to read. I need to post my books read and thoughts on them….one day this week. I have read some really good ones. 
5.     This:

 she is reaching for the cake.

6.     Kate’s fashion sense. She insists on dressing herself. And picking out her own outfits.
7.     Watching Isabel jump!

8.     This:

9. Knowing that I am going to spend the day with my Grandpa, today.

10. My red house.

thoughts while home on a snot river

-I don’t like staying home on a Sunday.

I really wanted to go to church yesterday. But, Brian decided it would be best if the girls and I stayed home. For even though Kate is better, Isabel is not. Or rather she wasn’t yesterday. She is doing much better this morning, thanks for asking. It is good that we didn’t go, though, because I didn’t wake up until a little after 8, so we would have been rushing around frantically…then ended up being late, etc. So, instead I spent the morning in my Bible, writing in my journal, having a huge, long, late breakfast with Kate (who ate and ate and ate, finally), and listened to sermons. It ended up being a marvelous Sunday, in it’s own way. Without an actual worship service. The girls and I worshiped at home. We even sang a few hymns. Kate “played” the panpan (piano).

-Why do I get so bogged down in other people’s my family’s problems?

When I’m told of problems or issues or difficulties that my family is facing, I immediately want to fix it. I hand out advice, like ibuprofen, as if that is going to solve anything. I say things like, “what you should do…” then proceed to tell them all the ways they are doing it wrong and if it were me how perfect I would do everything. Then when they don’t do what I suggest, I get very offended and annoyed with them. Because if they had done what I told them to, the problem would either have gone away or would be fixed.

How ridiculous is all of that? I mean really! Who died and made me the fixer of all that is wrong in my family? I should just listen. And listen some more. Then pray for them and with them if they want. IF and only IF they ask me what I would do, should I even begin to give them my 2 cents. Because that is all my advice is worth. 2 cents. Maybe not even that.

I think I just end up alienating them. So, they don’t even want to come to me anymore. I am going to pray about this.

-I really need to write a new book review post. I have read quite a few books these last 3 weeks. Some really good ones. Maybe tomorrow.

-I also need to give an update on my goals, maybe Thursday? Does it even matter when? I am doing pretty good on most of them, thank you very much.

-My desk is a huge mess. 

-I did not know today was Super Bowl Sunday. 

We were probably the only people in America last night who did not watch the Super Bowl. I didn’t even realize it was on last night, until Brian said something about the Saints winning because it was rigged. (You know, New Orleans and all.) You see, we don’t have tv. Well, we have a tv, we just don’t have reception to get any channels. (GASP!  Are you surprised?) I was sad for a second about it. For I do enjoy Super Bowl commercials, but they just get stupider and raunchier every year. So, I doubt I missed anything. But that is why we don’t have tv reception. We don’t want our children exposed to things like that. Judge if you want to, it is just our way. You have yours, we have ours.

-Another thing my mind kept focusing on yesterday…I find it interesting and a little sad that we who claim to be Christians get so uncomfortable talking about God. 

Why is that? We trust in Him to get us to heaven. But, yet we don’t trust Him enough for our daily needs? Or heaven forbid we talk out loud about what God is doing in our lives. Or how He is testing us. Or how all I want is to get to know Him more and more. Does anyone else want that? If they do, why aren’t we talking about it? Or if you are, where are you? I want to be your friend. I don’t want to always talk about what the kids are doing or what other book besides the Bible I am reading. I want to talk about the Bible. I want to talk about how hard it is to pray. Why is that, anyway? Why is it hard to pray? Does anyone even try to pray? I honestly feel like if I mention this, people think I am trying to impress them or brag or be fake or something. But this is my heart. Is it in anyone else’s? I want to talk about how much I am enjoying reading the book of Matthew. Did you know that Jesus fed the 5,000 and the 4,000? I didn’t. Not until I read it last week.

Aren’t you glad I shared with you a few of the things that roll around in my brain? And this isn’t even the half of it. *grin*

Anyway. That is enough of that, huh? I probably just lost all my readers. Oh, well. Sometimes I just need to get it all out. I just want everyone to have what I have. So, I have someone (besides Brian) to share it with. Each day, I try to record in my journal something I am learning or that God is trying to teach me. I want to share it with you, too. (Hence the title) Okay? Any thoughts? Please email me, let’s make this a 2-way street. Let’s share in this Christian walk.

Well, I must get to work. I have a desk to clean off, a few bills to pay, 2 baskets of laundry to fold, slippers to finish sewing, a bathroom to clean, breakfast to eat….

Happy Monday.

Outdoor Wednesday

It’s that time again. I want to get back into the habit of posting this every week. I do so love this day and post.

You never know what I am going to feel like sharing, do you? Well, today dawned a gorgeousness that I needed. (is gorgeousness even a word? well, writer’s liberty.)

the real view out my window, this morning.

Since we have moved here, our neighbor has been a source of amusement and much conversation. I have tried to capture it on film, but had yet to get a good picture. We went on a walk today, something else I need to get in the habit of doing, and I got some good pictures. Instead of showing all of them one at a time….I made this collage. Take time to look at every picture. It will be worth it I guarantee it.

thankfully, you can’t see this from our house

On the edge of our property, top corner if you are looking from the house, is this tree. I love this tree. I have already taken a million and one pictures of it. There is something about it. Even when driving by, I go slowly and just look at it. It really is one of the coolest trees on our property. 

I am sure some of you heard about the HUGE snowstorm (haha) we got down here over the weekend. Now, some people got some ice and a little bit of snow. This is what we got:

Kate kept asking where the snowman was. (We have been reading a book about building snowmen.) Poor thing wanted to go play in it. Nothing there to make a snow man. Well, I guess we could have made little tiny ones. But as soon as the sun came up and touched the snow, it was gone.
Happy Wednesday.
If you would like to view more outdoor photos…go check out Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.

best laid plans….

It is my birthday today.

This morning at 1 am exactly. I know this because I had just heard the cuckoo clock “cuckoo”. Kate woke crying, “Mommy….hold. Mommy….hold.” Usually she drifts right back off. Not this morning. It was because it is my birthday. And of course, there is no sleeping in on your birthday when you are a mommy to little ones. So, I got up and got her. She was burning up with fever. Of course she was. Because I actually have a babysitter tonight. For my birthday. So, we sat up, sang songs, read books, and watched a “moomoo” (movie).

Then 3 am, Isabel is screaming. She is in bed with Daddy. So, I run up there as fast as I can, so she doesn’t wake him. She is also burning up with fever. Wonderful.

4 am. They are both finally fast asleep.

5:30 am. Isabel crying, again. Poopy. I change her diaper, get her settled again.

6:30 am. The alarm. Brian nudges me. Are you getting up? Which actually means, are you going to make my lunch? I finally roll out of bed as he is getting out of the shower, run downstairs to make his lunch when I remember, there is no bread, no yogurt, no cheesies. What in the world is the poor man going to take to lunch? A tangerine and a granola bar. (I haven’t made it to the grocery store, yet.)

7 am. Pouring down rain.

It’s my birthday and I will cry if I want to.

But I’m not going to. Instead I am going to pretend I am these people.

They are in Hawaii, by the pool.

And then I am going to pretend that this is what I see out my window.

And I am not going to be jealous of the fact that I didn’t get to see this in real life. Maybe one day I will. But in the meantime, I am going to enjoy all the wonderful gifts brought back to me. 

and that’s not even all of them.

Even though, my wonderful plans for today and this evening are being flushed down the toilet. It’s still my birthday and I will not cry even though I kind of want to, a little bit. Because even as I sit here typing this, Kate is still burning up with fever and Isabel is screaming her little head off.
 
Happy birthday to me. 

monthly musings or lessons learned

I want to recap lessons I have learned throughout the month, every month. I really wanted to do it on the last day, but I had technical issues yesterday and all day (during naptime). I’m also going to show my favorite random pictures of the month. I am not sure what to call this monthly post. But I think monthly musings sounds like I am talking about Aunt Flo…if you know what I’m saying. *sheepish grin* So instead of pondering over the name of this monthly post, I am just going to write it.

Okay?

Okay.

Lessons Learned

Here we go, but not in order of when learned:

1.     When taking Kate to potty on a big potty, in a public place, take off her panties, pants/tights, and shoes. Then stand clear. For some reason, on the big potty, her the pee arcs out, lands on panties, tights, shoes then runs down Mommy’s dress into her shoes. On Sunday morning. Right before church. THEN right after church, again. Yes, then AGAIN a third time. We ran out of underwear and had to go home early.

2.     Rinse off all dishes, regardless if I feel like it or not. It is one of Brian’s pet peeves. I wish he cared about my pet peeves. So, I am going to lead by example. (Notice the sarcasm in that last sentence?)

3.     “Whatsoever things are true, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
This is another whole post in and of itself. I just finished reading a book titled, Loving God with your whole mind. It has changed my way of thinking dramatically. I need to read it again and take very detailed notes. I loved this book.

4.     Let Kate help cook dinner. We had been having problems with her not eating dinner very well. Then she wakes up in the middle of the night, starving. So, Brian let her help him one night. She ate like a champ. Since then, that is what we do. It is so sweet to watch her stir whatever is cooking. When she eats what she “cooked” she rolls her eyes saying, “nummy, nummy.” Hilarious.

5.     Prayer really does work. Sometimes it takes awhile to get an answer, and sometimes that answer isn’t exactly what you were wanting. But, prayer does work. A long, lost friend finally contacted me. I still am not on a texting basis. (Ha. HA!) But it is definitely a start, yes it is. I cried such happy tears that day.

6.     If you have an issue with a company or product, email them. Brian bought 2 packs of Fruit of the Looms back when the baby was born. 3 pairs did not hold up well when washed. Brian emailed them, didn’t get a response right away. He emailed them again, they requested his address and size. They mailed him 4 packs of replacement underwear. In the wrong size. But Brian was in Hawaii. He didn’t know that they had sent the replacements. So, in the meantime, he sent them the correct sizing information. They sent him 2 more packs of underwear. Isn’t that crazy? Never in his life (or mine either for that matter) has he owned 30 pairs of brand spanking new underwear.

7.     Take some time for myself at least once a week that isn’t blogging or reading. I mean a big chunk of time doing something I want to do. Whether it is taking a bath or planting some flowers, this needs to be done for my sanity. Otherwise I begin to resent Brian and dislike my children.

8.     Blog at naptime, so that it gets done. It seems like if I don’t do it then, I never get around to doing it. I am so tired at night, I don’t feel like it. So, naptime blogging is a must.

9.     Keep my makeup out of Kate’s reach. Enough said.

See how very proud she is.
 She did such a good job outlining that eyebrow.

10.     Pray and read my Bible every morning, before I do anything else. I have made this my number one priority this last week, and what a difference. Words cannot adequately express how much more at peace I am when I daily die to self. (This one will probably be there monthly, since it is so hard to learn.)

Favorite Pictures this month

 the night Brian came home

Isabel

Kate
sisters

self-portrait

watching chickens

I think this could be fun each month. What do you think? Does anyone want to join me? If so, let me know and next month I will add a linky at the bottom. I think this will help give my blog more of the focus I intended when I started.

Selfish Saturday

Growing up, we weren’t allowed to play until our chores were done. I think this is a good habit, actually.  But sometimes I think I can take it a little too far. For example, I don’t allow myself to do anything until certain things are done that day. Like the kitchen has to be clean before bedtime. At least all the counters have to be cleaned off and dishes in the dishwasher. I will allow a few pots and pans to “soak” in the sink overnight. I never never ever go outside to play unless the house is clean. The downstairs part of the house, anyway. Pajamas have to be hung up when taken off. Shoes must be put away in closets, not left lying around to stumble over in the dark. Etc.

But today? Today I let all my little rules and idiosyncrasies take a back seat. I was up all last night coughing with a fever. So, this morning I let all my chores slide. There is laundry everywhere. Clean, but still everywhere. Dishes are in the sink and they aren’t even rinsed! Both the girls went down for a nap at the same time. (Hallelujah! Thank God for even the small blessings.) So, you know what I did? I still can’t believe it….

I took a bath! I never take the time to just soak. It was wonderful. I put vitamin E and lavender oil in the water. Hot, hot, hot water. Made a huge mug of chamomile tea with too much not enough honey. Sat there and read my book for an hour! A whole hour! I even used my homemade lavender foot scrub. (I made some for presents at Christmas time.) I just got out and am feeling a  little better. Still a little congested, but no feelings of guilt whatsoever. And to top it off, the girls are still asleep. Wonders never cease today. I am hoping now to polish my nails while drinking yummy Kona coffee and eating chocolate/coconut covered macadamias straight from Hawaii. Luxurious.

Here’s to a selfish Saturday!

one step forward and two steps back

Is my life.

For example, the girls and I are getting ready to go somewhere. Anywhere. I take a shower and then get halfway ready. Then dress Isabel and help Kate get ready. She went downstairs to potty and being the helper that she is, she took her potty to dump the pee in the toilet. She tripped on the bathroom rug and got pee EVERYWHERE. Meanwhile, I am upstairs trying to get Isabel ready again. For though, she was dressed and ready to go….she pooped in her diaper and had a blowout up her back. Yuck.

So, I have poop everywhere upstaris and pee everywhere downstairs. By the time I get all of that cleaned up, I need another shower. Granted I don’t take one, I don’t have time. I am already late. So, I throw the rest of my clothes on, grab my makeup and the diaper bag, and run out the door to start the van. Run back to the house to get Kate and Isabel. I put them in their car seats, get them buckled. Run back into the house to get my purse, water, coffee, and whatever else I have forgotten.

Finally pull out of the driveway, get halfway down the road realizing I forgot my list. UGH!

That was last week….twice.

Then this week. I am upstairs when I hear the chickens making a huge commotion. I look out the window and see a hawk swooping and flying around the coop. Trying it’s best to get in to get some lunch. I run down the stairs and out the back door. Hoping I can scare him off. I do. I count everybody, to make sure he didn’t get one. Everybody is safe, huddled in the top of the coop. I am so relieved

I get to the back door, you know to go in, and the screen door is locked. The main door is shut. I look through the window and Kate is nowhere to be seen. I bang and bang on the window, trying to get her attention. She finally comes around the corner with such an innocent little look on her face, until she sees big, angry, scary Mommy in the window. Poor Kate. She has no clue what she has done. But try as she might, she can’t get the door open. She tries and tries, but she can’t. I am so frustrated that I run into the yard and scream and scream and scream. Hoping and praying it will make me feel better.

Of course, it doesn’t.

Now my throat hurts. I am so cold. I have to pee. I am so mad. Not at Kate. Not because the door is locked. But because I lost control of my emotions. When I couldn’t get in, it was like the straw that broke the camel’s back. I just lost it. All the anger and frustration just poured out.

I go back to the window to see what Kate is doing. The poor thing is still trying to open the door. She is crying and trying and crying and trying. So, I just took all my anger and used it for good. I karate kicked the screen door. It broke the latch holding the window in, allowing me to reach in and unlock it. Hallelujah. Thank the Lord, the main door was unlocked. So, I went in and took my precious little crying girl in my arms. We sat on the floor and cried and cried and cried.

We got up and had a snack.

I feel like I am doing okay. Like I have it all together. Spiritually and mentally. Then that happens. And I realize I don’t. I am trying to do everything on my own. Again. 

I really don’t know why I let life’s little ups and downs affect me so.

On the days when I am feeling selfish and want to do this, that, and the other thing for myself instead of for others, I don’t get anything done. I feel rotten the whole day. But when I put God first by making time to read my Bible and pray in the morning, do things for and with Kate and Isabel. Everything else seems to fall into place. I still get my chores done. But somehow, they don’t seem so important.

God has been trying to teach me this on several different occasions. Like here and here. It doesn’t look like I am learning this lesson very well, does it? So, the day I got locked out, Brian came home to rescue me, well, after I begged him to, he did. He let me leave Kate with him.I took Isabel.

You see, I haven’t been reading my Bible. Not since around the middle of December. So, I went to Chick-fil-a, sat in the far corner and got back to my Bible. I had gotten stuck Isaiah. It is such a difficult book to read. Sitting there, even with my heart willing, I still couldn’t read it. Sitting there feeling like an idiot,I made a decision. I decided instead of trying to slog my way through these hard books, getting defeated and discouraged, I am going to put a bookmark there and skip to Matthew. So, since I made that decision, I am in love with the Bible again. I am not giving up on the Old Testament, just setting it aside for a little while. This has proved to be helpful.

So, there you have it. One huge step forward, two tiny steps back. I don’t think the two tiny steps equal my one huge step….so I am making a little progress. (Or that is what I am going to tell myself. Because it is my world, after all.)

Let’s see how long it lasts, shall we?

changes

I apologize for the changes that are about to take place. I hope it doesn’t get on anyone’s nerves. I am trying to find the perfect template that “looks” like me.

I think I might have found it…..

brain freeze

 I have many wonderful posts swirling around in my head. But I can’t seem to get them to come out. Then I had a brilliant thought. Since I have so many new people who enjoy this little blog, I will repost some of my old posts. Ones that I really liked. Because they still hold true. Also, I will add what I have learned in the meantime since that post.

I will start with this. My first post.

The Point

My life has been a series of really bad decisions mingled with a few good ones. I never seem to learn from my mistakes. I continue making the same ones over and over.

Since Kate was born, I see life so differently. I see the point. FINALLY! Aunt Sue is probably saying. She has been praying for me for years. I understand that my life isn’t about me. It is about my glorifying God.

I am going to use this blog in a way like my awesome cousin, Mary, uses hers. I follow hers and really enjoy it. I want to chronicle the “lessons” I learn. Whether they be spiritual or otherwise. I really enjoy writing, also. So, I am going to practice my writing skills here. One day when I have published many books, you can say, “I used to follow her blog. She is a very interesting person. Maybe I should buy one of her books.”

This was posted November 20, 2008. That makes me laugh. I am still making all the same mistakes. Over and over. I thank God that He never gives up on me. Ever. Well, that is all for today. We are going to the library.

Happy Tuesday.

Outdoor Wednesday

I love being outdoors. There is nothing like the feeling of warm sun on your face especially after days and days of being cold.

I think the roosters have been enjoying the sun, too.

Feeding time!

I know the girls have. Look what they leave for me every day!
Isn’t that a beautiful sight?
Hello, dear.


They are always so thirsty.

Chickens are so very funny. We even have a groupie of sorts. This little hen has been hanging out in our yard around the coops and cages for a couple of months now. I call her the rooster’s girl friend. Even though they can’t get to her, it doesn’t stop them from trying. Every day.

Isn’t she pretty? She blends right in with the leaves. I wish I could catch her. But she is way to fast for me.

On a much different note, my Molly has been mouse catching again. What a good girl.

Happy Wednesday!

I gave in…

It was time.

It was looking ratty. It reminded me of a dirty trailer park child.

So, I made the appointment.

It was hard to watch all those golden locks hit the floor, only to be swept up and thrown away. It’s a good thing it will grow back.

It looks so good. I absolutely love it. It was worth it! Thank you so much, Ashley!

streams of thought

Brian will be home Friday. Friday. That means I only have 4 more nights of…

I hear a noise. What could that be? Molly barks….I get the gun, make the rounds.

Nothing. Nothing. I see nothing.

I hear a different noise. This time, it is upstairs. Oh, no. Seriously. What is that? Creepy.

Get the gun, make the rounds. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Could it be my imagination? No, I don’t imagine things. I am a sane, grown, woman. There is absolutely nothing there. What is wrong with me? Scaredy cat!

I only have 3 more days of slipping and sliding in the chicken coop to feed and water those ungrateful things. Why am I slipping and sliding? You ask? It rained and rained and rained which mixed in with the 2 weeks of poo. Yummy.

I got pecked today. Pecked! Mama hen is broody. She wants to hatch some babies. We need a special coop for her, though. I tried explaining that to her as I gathered the 9 eggs she was sitting on. But she pecked me anyway.

Only 3 more days of…”Daddy? Daddy? Mama, Daddy Hawaii?”

“Yes, Kate, Daddy is in Hawaii.”

“Daddy wook Hawaii?”

“Yes, Daddy is “working” in Hawaii.” You see, Brian hasn’t really been working. They finished the job they were there to do, last week. AND took days off. Then a 4 day weekend. They are only going in this week to make an appearance. Must be nice, huh? I’m not jealous in the slightest. Nope, not me.

One day, I will get to go somewhere fun, without children. One day.

Meanwhile, I will be here, holding down the fort, slipping and sliding in poo with my gun, ready for anything.

Goals for 2010, part 2

I have so many things that I want to accomplish this year. In all the areas of my life. But none are as important as the spiritual and mommy sides of me. It seems sometimes these areas are the most difficult to make changes.

Spiritual

I would really like to finish reading the Bible. It really is a shame that I have only gotten to Isaiah. I began this reading project in November of 2008.

I want to keep track of my prayer requests with the answers. Sort of like a log book. I think this would be a good thing to look back upon for encouragement.

I want family devotions to be more of a priority.

An actual prayer time, each and every day. Regardless.

Parenting

Make time to play with Kate on the floor, every day.

Read to both of the girls every day.

Begin a learning time. Have one in the morning and one after naptime.

Be more firm. No means no.

Sing more.

Potty training…

I also have some more goals that are a little more personal. But it helps me to put it out there for all to see. It keeps me accountable. The next step is to put a list of these on the fridge and keep track of how well I am doing.

Periodically, I will give updates. 

thoughts on a book or two

I finished a book, read 4 more, and began a new one, all since Brian has been in Hawaii. SO, in light of the new year, new goals, I thought I would post a review of sorts. I would really like to post more reviews. When I take the time to actually think about books after I read them I realize I don’t like everything I read. I enjoy reading so much, I don’t always realize I am not enjoying the book. Whether it is the style of writing or the subject matter, I never really give it much thought. So, new year, new goals, new reading habits.

We will see how long it lasts, won’t we?

Return to Sullivan’s Island by Dorthea Benton Frank

I have liked every other book by Ms. Frank that I have read. I am not so sure about this one, though. The main character got on my nerves a little bit. The story was a fun one, though. A haunted house, enjoyable characters, good imagery. Ms. Frank went into a lot of detail about everything for the first two-thirds of the book. The last bit seemed rushed. As if she only had so many pages she could fill and was rapidly running out of them. She had several climactic things occur, then the story just ended. The End. It was annoying. I think if she had finished the book with the same attention to detail as she began the book, it would have been much more enjoyable.

Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

I liked this book. I am not sure if all the legends are true or not. But it was a very interesting read. Granted, I figured out who the “bad” guy was before the end. But, I enjoyed the story. I am not sure it would be as drastic as Mr. Brown makes it out to be if his plot actually happened. But, it still made a fun book to read.

Fade Away by Harlen Coben

Everything I have read by Harlen Coben is good. Period. His books are just fun. They are quick reads, for me, anyway. Interesting, fast paced, hard to put down. You can’t go wrong with anything there.

Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg

Anything that I say about this marvelous book will not do it justice. I loved it. Ms. Berg has such a wonderful way of telling a story. I read this book in one day. I absolutely could not put it down. For example, this one sentence describing calves nursing:

And the babies how they nursed with their little tails flicking, which is their happiness.

Loved this book. She also talks about some writing exercises that I think sound like so much fun. I must read more of this author. I absolutely loved it. I loved this book as much as I love Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone. If you read this book, please tell me what you think.

Alright, I know these are kind of puny book reviews…they aren’t really reviews. It is just my thoughts on these books. By the way, last year I tried to read 100 books. I didn’t read 100, but I did read 82. Give or take a few. I didn’t write all the titles down. I missed a couple during our camper experience. My mind has blocked that time of my life out, and I can’t remember exactly what I read.

Now, I was keeping a tally on the side of my blog of the books I had read. Did anyone ever pay attention to that? Should I do that again this year? Any thoughts? Please let me know what you think.

Right now, I am reading The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. It is good so far.

Happy Wednesday.

Goals for 2010, part 1

This year seemed so fresh and exciting and new. Like a brand new notebook. Pages and pages waiting to be written on. I was looking forward to working on all my new goals and telling everyone about them. In a timely fashion. Being organized. Smiling. Reading my Bible, daily. Preparing healthy meals at every mealtime.

Then Brian went to Hawaii. And all I want to do is lay around in my pajamas and read books. I have already read 3 or 4. He has only been gone a week. Ridiculous, huh?

So, to inspire myself, I reread Jenners goals. And decided to go ahead and post some of my own. I have been working on listing them for at least 2 weeks. So, I might as well actually start working on them.

Relationships

Send birthday cards to those I hold dear (and family members).
Have a “date” night at least twice a month. At least once outside of the house.
Spend a day with my mom once a month.
Spend a day with my favorite aunt, every other month.
Spend more time with my grandparents.
Make a friend. (somehow, some way)

Housekeeping & Organization
Get every room organized and arranged to my liking.
Clean my bathrooms every week (gross, I know).
Vacuum and mop the entire house every week.
Clean trash out of van upon arriving home.
CLEAN and organize the guest house
Make a list of furniture and accessories wanted/needed for the house.

Hobbies

Get my sewing corner in some semblance of order. Organize material, etc.
Try to read more nonfiction, maybe 1 for every 2 fiction books read.
Write down craft ideas in a notebook.
Set aside one day a week for crafting, sewing, etc.
Get pictures printed and framed.
Work on family project more diligently.
Begin a journal for each of the girls.
Finish the girls’ baby books.

Food & Nutrition

More water. Less coffee.
Make bread more often. At least twice a week.
Expand our menu. Get recipes from friends and family.
Put all my recipes in a notebook or recipe box.

Finances

Save 20%.
Give 10%.
Give ourselves $50 each. To spend or save, whatever we desire.
Pay bills.*smile*
$150 in groceries each pay period, only. If I don’t spend it all, save it for next time.


Outside Stuff

Research best perennial for color year around.
Work on the layout for “my” gardens.
Get land cleared out and bush hogged.
Arrange a “work area” for me with a table and all my tools.
Start some seedlings in February and March for the gardens.
Purchase a grow light or two.

I have some other goals I will tell you about another day. But for now, since both girls are asleep. I MUST SHOWER!

Happy Monday.

because

Because I have an unwritten rule…DO not blog unless children are asleep…I have not blogged like I want to.

Because Brian is in Hawaii, I am not sleeping very well at night.

Because it is sooo very cold, I am not enjoying taking care of things that cluck.

Because Isabel was so loud this morning, we will not be attending church this evening.

Because I am a single mom this past week…and still have 2 weeks to go, I have greater respect for all single parents out there.

Because I don’t want Kate to think church is where we go to “play,” I will not will not will not put her in the nursery.

Because I need to have some order in my life, I am working on my goals for this year. I really am, I promise. They are much harder than I thought they would be.

Because our power bill was HUGE, it is freezing cold in this house. Maybe I should put on some more clothes.

Because I was tired of cleaning up pee pee, I am waiting a little while longer on potty training.

Because I need to stop eating the Christmas candy I made, I am throwing it out.

Because I would not stop eating the Christmas candy I made, I gained 8 pounds. Thankfully I have lost it already, but still…what an oinker am I!

Because Kate is awake and I hear Isabel stirring I bid you farewell.

long time no blog

Life has been CRAZY these past few weeks. We spent the last week of December having much needed family time. Then January 3rd, Brian took an early morning flight to Hawaii.

Yes, you read that right. Hawaii. He will be there for 3 weeks. Returning the 22nd.

I have really been enjoying the time to myself. Admittedly, the evenings are harder than I imagined they would be. And I don’t really like taking care of the chickens when it is 30 degrees outside. But, at least I don’t have to feed 13 horses, like last year by myself, pregnant and puking. So, I am looking on the bright side.

I have been working on my goals for 2010. So, stay tuned.

I am also wanting to update my blog. So, please be patient with me, there might be many changes.

I have a new computer and am zipping along the internet at breakneck speeds. It is marvelous.

Isabel is getting bigger every day. Kate is speaking more words and I can actually understand most of what she says.

I have many things planned for the remaining 2 weeks Brian is gone. Hopefully I can get them all accomplished, blog about it, and lose some weight.

I just wanted to post a little update. I hope everyone is enjoying their NEW year.

Happy Thursday.

crafty Christmas

We have been busy around here! Burning chocolate and fingers to make yummy candy…

Building houses…licking spatulas…eating decorations…not eating lunch.

Admiring the finished product…

Laughing with our fat candy cane while dancing, singing, and sliding in our sock feet…

Sewing Kate a sling for her “baby”, so she doesn’t have to wear it in a blanket anymore.

Sewing Isabel a crazy “taggy” monster for her to love and chew.

I am still working on an apron for Kate. I will have her model it for you when I am finished. I hope everyone is having as much fun as I am.

Happy late Wednesday!

Christmas decorations

In case you were wondering, I haven’t learned my laundry lesson. As I have been doing my laundry today I have found a dime, several magnets, a button, and what looks to be about 10 kleenexes. All in the dryer. Lovely. No, I did not go through the pockets…I completely forgot. Thank goodness there were no crayons or pens.

Without further ado…here are my meager Christmas decorations for this year.

my kitchen island

the Advent calendar Brian’s mom made last year

the tree

Funny story about my tree. Normally, we get real trees, but this year we did not. My sister got this tree at a yard sale. It was a little puny. So, I got some branches from a tree farm and filled in all the empty holes. Looks good, huh? It needs a little something, though. Any suggestions? (not garland. I hate garland.)

manger scene from Brian’s mom
I think it is beautiful.

my homemade wreath

the stockings

The stuff on top of the shelves is: a bird’s nest I found outside in a tree, magnolia leaves, driftwood, and pinecones. It looks much better in person, I do believe.

Hopefully, tomorrow I can get some pictures of the girls in their red finery. We’ll see. You know how kids can be. In the meantime,

Happy Tuesday.

this week

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on my blog and in my house. When I finish decorating tomorrow, I will show you the little bit I did. Hopefully, I can get a few pictures of the girls in their red. Kate has poison ivy in her eye, and Isabel has a runny nose. We’ll see how they look in the morning. This week has not been a pretty picture week, at all.

I have had a marvelous time this week. Church. A visit with my cousin. Errands. Thanks to my wonderful sister and cousin keeping Kate. I have finally mastered the art of cornbread! The secret, I’ve discovered is buttermilk. I am going to get fat if I’m not careful.

We think we’ve found a church. One that has a burden for the lost, an outreach program, and most importantly….families like ours.

I cannot believe Christmas is in 2 weeks! I must get to it.

wait

I am telling you the truth. I will never, ever, ever learn. You see…I thought Brian was going to make a decision I didn’t agree with. AT ALL. Instead of praying about it and giving it to the Lord to take care of, I worried and fretted, bit my nails and ate junk, quit making his lunch and slept in, stopped blogging and read trashy books, giving baths and cleaning spit up.

Life goes on, even when we are annoyed with our significant other. One day, a wise, old lady (haha) told me to see what the Bible had to say on the subject. I took her advice, wishing I had called her sooner. I finally prayed about it. Then the hardest part, I tried really hard not to nag Brian about it.
Brian made his decision. One I can live with. One I agree with. One that makes me happy.

So, what lesson does God keep trying to teach me? Wait on Him. Just wait. And patience, I’m sure. Remember this?

That is what I say to Kate 5,892 times a day. I hold up one finger and say, “wait on Mommy.” She then proceeds to do whatever without me, almost always getting hurt or making a mess because she didn’t wait. That is me…always trying to DO things on my own. Impatient. Frustrated. Wanting things to be my way.

Just wait, God says to me, daily. Wait on Him. His way is not my way, and that is fo’ sho’.

I think He also wants me to realize that this is life, you know. We should be learning something every single day. Whether it be spiritual or practical.

On that note, I have also learned to CHECK ALL POCKETS before washing. I just recently washed a red pen with a load of Brian’s work clothes. I am so glad I had this on hand:

You can buy this at Dollar General for a whopping whole dollar. That is right, $1. It got all the red ink out of everything. Hallelujah!

So, a review:

  1. Wait on God.
  2. Pray about it. Don’t fret.
  3. Check pockets before washing.
It has been a rough week…let me tell you. I am so glad it is over. Well, it was over…I am just getting around to posting this now. Who knows what could be in store for this week. We’ll see, though, won’t we?

Happy Tuesday.

new day

The new day dawned. Blue skies. Sun shining. Isabel smiling. Kate still sleeping. Things are looking better and brighter. Big plans today!

Go to the dairy to get milk and to see the new calves.

Plant pansies and mums in the window boxes.

Change some dirty diapers.

Read “eye eye” and “feet feet” over and over and over. (The Eye Book and The Foot Book)

Happy Tuesday.

ugly nasty

I am an ugly, nasty person today. It isn’t just the weather, either.

My thoughts are ugly and nasty. As a man thinketh in his heart…so IS he. Remember? So, if I am thinking ugly, nasty thoughts then I am ugly and nasty.

I had such wonderful plans (in my head) to have a wonderful holiday. I was going to be a different person, let Jesus shine through me.

Instead…I let jealousy and envy and self-pity and all things ugly and nasty take over.

And it upsets me. I am a different person. Jesus does live within me. I want others to see that. 9 times out of 10 I am afraid they don’t. I am learning all these wonderful truths about God and my daily walk. When I try to practice these things my old, dead self rises up and takes over my new self. So, what do I do? I hide in a book. Or run and hide outside. As I was having my pity party about this today, I realized why.

I compare. I worry about appearances and others’ opinions. I get jealous of people’s stuff. I try to live for Jesus on my own strength. Not His.

So, of course I am going to fail. I cannot do anything without Him and His help.

It is hard though, when people who knew the “old” me haven’t gotten to know the “new” me. You know? I am so afraid that they won’t take the “new” me seriously. Or that they will think the “new” me is just a fad or a fake. What to do? Do you go to all these people and beg their forgiveness? Do you just live your life and hope they see? Do you tell them about your Jesus? I want to. But I am so afraid of being mocked. Which is ridiculous. What is a little mockery when Jesus DIED for me? Huh? Or do you take the coward’s way out and blog about it…

In the meantime, I am going to pray more. Blog less. Read my Bible more. Read less fiction. Pray more. Oh, and pray more.

By the way…does anyone else struggle with this? Am I the only one who has ugly, nasty days? Does this post even make sense? Help me, Lord. I can’t even post today.

finally to Psalms

Psalms.

I have finally gotten there.

Wow. I could have written a lot of these. Not as eloquently of course. But they sound like my thoughts and some of my prayers. I came across these this morning:

12. For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head; therefore my heart faileth me. 13. Be pleased, O Lord to deliver me: make haste to help me. 17. But I am poor and needy: yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

Psalms 40:12-13, 17

And then:

2. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 10. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11. Cast me not from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 17. The sacrifices of God are a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Psalms 51:2-3, 11-12, 17

God has been teaching me quite a lot lately. Sometimes I can’t even wrap my mind around it all. Or even adequately express what it in my heart. Maybe that is why I haven’t been posting much lately. (That and I have a 2 year old and a 10 week old and a thousand boxes to unpack, dinner to cook, laundry to wash, etcetera.) You see, I have quite a lot of junk or garbage or sin (whatever word you are more comfortable with) that I have been carrying around with me for years. And years.

I just learned that God did not send Jesus to die on the cross so that I can go to heaven. My presence in heaven is just an added benefit of that ultimate sacrifice. I always thought that was the point of it all. Going to heaven. But that’s not it. Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins while we live here. On earth. God wants to have a relationship with us while we are here. On earth. You can’t have that relationship if you don’t know Him or if there is sin in your heart.

I always did my own thing. Lalala. Whatever. I am going to heaven. What does it matter what I do? I can make my own way, do my own thing. I don’t want anything to do with those weirdos. I can worship God at home (or on the lake). The Bible? Why would I read that? It is sooo boring and hard to read. Blah. I would rather read something more entertaining and on my level.

Okay. What is my point? Well, after you do accept Jesus as your Saviour and get that added blessing of eternal life, you have a responsibility to learn all about Him. He is now your heavenly Father. You have just accepted the greatest gift of all. Why don’t you get to know Him now? Here on earth. You can have a little bit of heaven here by having a relationship with Jesus. How? Well, read your Bible. He gave us this Book so that we can learn all about Him. That is what it is for. It isn’t a rule book. I always thought that is what it was. But it isn’t. Granted, there are commandments and thou shalts and thou shalt nots. But, when you love God with ALL your heart it makes you want to obey Him. He doesn’t make you. The desire comes naturally when you get to know Him.

I liken it to me and Brian. The more I get to know and love him, the more I want to please him and do what he asks. Before I just did what he asked because he asked. Sometimes I did it grudgingly. And sometimes when I am being a brat, I still act that way. But I am learning.

There will be days or weeks even when you don’t read His Word. It doesn’t matter. Just do it when you can. Don’t beat yourself up. That defeats the purpose. The more you read, the more desire you will have. Eventually it will just be part of your day. Like eating. I started down this path a year ago this week, actually. I am finally in Psalms. Sometimes I have forgotten to eat. And sometimes I forget to read.

So. You see? Look how long it has taken me to get to Psalms. But it is so exciting. I can’t believe I have actually read Genesis to Psalms straight through. I can’t wait to get to the New Testament. You can see how it is leading up to Jesus coming down to earth. Very neat. I love it.

I would like to encourage you. If you haven’t accepted Jesus into your heart, then do so. But if you have, get to know Him. I mean really know Him. It is worth it. I promise you.

And because I can’t help it.

Happy Tuesday.

cake makes everything better

Sometimes.

I get on my own nerves.

I put a banana in the pocket of the diaper bag when we left Walmart. I ended up getting icky smooshed banana on my sleeves and all over the diaper bag. Inside and out. Yuck. I didn’t even realize it until we had been home for a little while. There was icky smooshed banana on the chair, in Isabel’s hair, on the floor…wherever my arm had been, there was icky smooshed banana.

When I realized there was icky smooshed banana everywhere, I was already filling the washing machine to wash a load. I dumped the bag on the table, finding all kinds of other ridiculousness. Such as receipts, a half-eaten granola bar, the wrapper from the granola bar, apple seeds, a broken pen. Disgusted with myself and the bag, I threw it in the wash.

A little later, I needed the phone.I looked in the basket where I keep it. Nope it’s not there.

I retraced my steps and the last time I used the phone. Horror set in when I realized where the phone was. You guessed it. In the diaper bag. I RAN to the washing machine, pulled the sopping wet bag out, searched through all the pockets. It wasn’t there. I reached into the machine and fished around the bottom. Sure enough, there it was. Sopping wet and vibrating madly.

After putting it in a bag of rice (that helps draw out the moisture from electronics-just so you know) hoping and praying it would work. I stood over the puppy cake and had a few bites. It made me feel better.

The wash was ready for the dryer. As I was loading the dryer I saw all these little tiny bits of paper with numbers on them. What in the world? I soon discovered the remnants of my 2 year calendar on the bottom of the washing machine. The 2 year calendar that I had for almost 2 years. With everything possible written in it. The 2 year calendar that I have been carrying around for 2 years. I could have screamed. I wanted to cry but no tears would come. I must have been dehydrated. So, I went into the kitchen and had some more puppy cake. All better.

I went into the living room to rest and to relax and to read my new Nicholas Sparks book that I just brought home from the library. What did I find in there? Brian and Molly chasing a mouse! Chasing a mouse all over the living room. I jumped onto the couch and screamed like a little girl until Molly caught it. I went back into the kitchen and had some more puppy cake. All better.

Seriously. I get on my own nerves. Then I eat some cake and feel better.

THE END

happy belated birthday to Kate

The past two weeks we have been sick. Oh, so sick. First it was just Kate, then Brian, a week later Isabel, the next day me. Yuck, yuck, yuckiness. We still are not back to normal, but getting closer each day.

During this sicky time, Kate celebrated her 2nd birthday. November 12th, to be exact. It is really hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I am a mother…much less a mother of a 2 year old AND a newborn. I love it, though. I wouldn’t change a thing. (Well, I wouldn’t mind being a little skinnier these days.) During all last week Kate and I practiced saying and showing how old she is. She can do it, but alas, she WILL NOT perform for her Daddy or the camera. So, y’all are just going to have to take my word for it. Kate says, “I twooo.” And holds up two fingers. Adorable. But, of course I think that.

I was feeling particularly blue the day after Kate’s birthday. Not really feeling well. Tired from sick children. Emotional for no reason (none I could fathom). Brian caught me when he came home from work, sitting in the dark, staring at the computer screen, crying like a baby. I looked through these past 2 years of pictures. I am so completely blessed. My little Kate has brought more joy than I ever imagined. Yet, I am still a little saddened by how quickly time passes by. I mean…this was just YESTERDAY…wasn’t it?

It really does seem like yesterday, or the day before yesterday. Because these pictures here really feel like yesterday.

Seriously, these are last year around her first birthday. I could just squeeze the cuteness out of her. And those ears! I love ’em.

Okay, the walk down memory lane is over. For now, anyway. Last year we had a big party with both sets of grandparents and all the cousins (except 1), a pinata, an awesome chicken cake, dinner, games, etc. It was her first birthday. We had had quite a tough year. So, we celebrated.

This year, was more low key. Just dinner with us. It was nice. Her big brother came and visited. We had cake, ice cream, and presents. She really didn’t feel well, but that didn’t stop her from having fun. She helped mommy make the cake.

You can see, she was a big help. (Do you like the way I learned to upload a collage? Fancy, huh?)

She had fun with her BIG brother. So did Molly. Molly acted like a crazy dog all night long. She was so very excited to see Jason.

Kate really liked her cake. I know it isn’t the most obvious puppy. (Last year’s chicken was way better.) You have to look at it for a minute. But, Kate knew right away what it was. That morning, she said, “Puppy? Puppy! Puppy! Puppy!” She was such a big girl, too. Trying to blow out the candle. She was a little more interested in the m&m’s I used for the blanket. (That is what the puppy is supposed to be laying on…a blanket. I thought the cake needed some color. So, there you go.)

It was a good day, all around. A little bittersweet for mommy, though. Kate wore herself out playing with brother. She slept long and hard that night. The next day we went to the park…where she swung herself silly.

I love these kind of pictures. Where you capture their glee. Their unadulterated, absolute, marvelous joy. Oh, to be a kid again. Well, not really. But to have those moments again. Pure. Real. Honest. I just love this little girl.

Side note: The head is still left on the puppy cake. It looks kind of creepy. The head sitting on the plate. But, I think I can still eat it. I do love cake. Maybe I will go eat some now.

Happy Thursday.

a wedding story

October 10, 2009

The day dawned…cloudy…forecast: rain. We prayed. And prayed some more. There was some panic in the ranks. Some calls made to price tents. I wasn’t worried. I needed to get my toes done, outside decorated, and make a bouquet.

Okay. Flowers? Finished! With some time to spare. Thanks to my willing cousin and sister. Now. Must get ready. Kate was still napping. But, I woke her. See how happy she is?

Makeup:

Kate:
Meanwhile, Brian is getting his finishing touches.

Mama and Mrs. Jordan (the preacher’s wife) are setting up the cake.

The girls and I had to get one last snuggle before the craziness began.
Brian and Pastor are just waiting patiently.
I add my finishing touches.

And play with my veil.

Brian and Pastor are still waiting.

I am still fixing things. Making sure everything is just right. (Honestly, I felt like a silly little girl playing dress up.)

Brian and Pastor are still waiting.

I have my last cry as a Perry girl.

I walk outside to my handsome Daddy who has also been patiently waiting. I was thrilled beyond words to finally be able to walk down the aisle on his arm.

Waves of emotion flooded my soul when I saw Brian who had been waiting patiently for me. I could not believe how God has blessed us beyond measure. Bringing us together the way He did.

I know that it is going to be hard to explain one day to these little girls why Mommy and Daddy did everything backwards. But look how precious and sweet they are watching their parents make things right. Finally.

Because of the 3 different cameras…we have the WEDDING KISS in slow motion. I love it!

Pastor Bill asked for the girls to be brought up after the ceremony. He then prayed dedicating our little family to the Lord. Making the ending perfect.

We all walked back down together. Like the happy family we are.

Both sets of parents followed, relieved I am sure, that we finally tied the knot.

The most important part: THE FOOD!

Gorgeous, yummy, delicious food.

We had mini pork sandwiches. Fresh fruit which is my favorite. Spinach artichoke dip. Crab stuffed mushrooms. Mini shrimp and grits. Greek pasta salad. And a few more things that I am sure I am forgetting. All created by my awesome cousin Joey.

I can’t forget the cake! Mama made this huge cake for us. She used my Grandma’s chocolate icing recipe. Delicious. I threw these flowers on top after creating my bouquet. This cake was so yummy. I gained 5 pounds the following week because I couldn’t stop eating it.

Brian’s family…

My family…

Pastor Bill and his wife Jennifer…

And just for fun…

Did you notice? Not one single drop of rain. Nary a one. Thanks be to God. Because you didn’t notice a tent either, did you. We did not get a tent. Brian and I both had faith he wouldn’t allow it to rain. And it didn’t.
The day was perfect.

why I am so thankful for my NEW glasses

Because I have been wearing these for months…

Do you see the hot glue GLOB right there? I would have to reglue them about twice a week. Sometimes twice a day when I couldn’t get them straight, that is. You are probably wondering (since we are millionaires) why in the world did I not replace them? Let me tell you the story.

Well, I was pregnant when Kate broke these glasses. I was very upset. I loved these glasses. I wanted black frame glasses when I saw how cute they were on Kyra Sedjwick from the show The Closer. I was so happy when I got them. Until Grabby-Hands Kate came along. (Her nickname, sometimes. She is very grabby. Grabby Grabberson. Definition of grabby: the act of lunging and clutching items that do not belong to you.) She broke them one day when I wasn’t paying attention to her. Imagine that? I was upset, but thought I would just wear my older ones. Until Grabby Grabberson broke those as well. I am pregnant (did I mention that?) which makes every situtation a million times more dramatic. My eye doctor didn’t recommend new glasses until AFTER the baby was born. He said my eyes would change. I wasn’t sure what to do…then I remembered my HOT GLUE GUN. Problem solved.

It was embarrassing at times. Like when I was in public and had hot glue strings streaming down on my cheek. Or at the hospital after Isabel was born, the nurse asked me why I had a hot glue gun by the sink. Or when I could see the BIG GLOB of glue out of the corner of my eye.

But, that time has passed. I am now the proud owner of these:

I went with BROWN this time. Kate calls them “No, NO.”

confessions

I stink.

I mean, literally. I need a shower. The girls are sleeping blissfully. I chose to get on the computer (right quick) BEFORE getting into the shower. I know I am going to regret it…

Maybe not. I am going to make this quick. My brain has atrophied, I do believe. I think it is from trying to think like a 2 year old all day long. Anyway…my confessions:

I am letting Isabel take her nap in a wet onesie. I did not feel like walking all the way up the stairs to get a clean one.

I ate 3 homemade chocolate chip cookies. And am making more as I type this.

I only want to eat cake or cookies or ice cream or bread these days.

I would rather read the books I got from the library than unpack more stupid boxes.

I actually BOUGHT eggs. Blasphemy, right? But our hens aren’t laying yet. Kate loves her eggs. So, I bought 2 dozen. They are from a farm. Not icky store bought eggs. But I bought them just the same. $2.75 a dozen. Wow. I can’t do that again. Brian was a little annoyed.

I let Kate wear her pajamas all day long several days last week and this week.

I went to the library yesterday WITHOUT changing my spitup clothes or washing my face. ( I would have washed my face if I had remembered that I had not…gross, I know.)

I hate thinking up dinner EVERY single night of the week. Why can’t we just eat cereal? or cake and ice cream?

I really wish I could come up with a post that had well developed thought, insight, and wittiness. But I just can’t. I tried. On the positive side, I have a clean kitchen and ONE clean bathroom. Kate’s bedroom is almost completed (not the closet, though). I have homemade chocolate chip cookies and homemade bread made. Yummy. One clean daughter. Bills paid. AND only one load of laundry waiting to be folded.

So. A successful day, I reckon. I am going to just take it easy the rest of the day, I do believe. Church tonight, you know.

And because I can’t wait any longer:


I am getting a shower.

Happy Wednesday, y’all.

random ramblings

I have all these thoughts during the day that think I should write a blog post about. But, when I sit down to actually do it, there isn’t enough stuff to write an entire post about. So, today I thought I would give you a sampling of my many thoughts that do not get an entire post. Are you ready?

I just washed my face with a sour wash cloth! Gross. I wonder if anybody else has done that? I should blog about how my laundry is piling up. Blech.

I am so overwhelmed with all this stuff that needs doing. I just want to sit here.

I am finally up to Job in my Bible reading. Am I learning anything? Or just reading to read?

I think Brian should thank me every single day for all the hard work that is involved in caring for his children. (Note: HIS children. Ha!HA!)

Maybe I should thank Brian for his hard work every single day in providing for us.

Do I thank God enough?

I wish I could go to the bathroom all by myself. Just once.

I really need to lose 20 more pounds. I bet I could if I stopped eating all this ice cream.

Why can’t we get a good family picture?

I hate our furniture.

I think I might have the baby blues. I just want to sit and hold the girls. No cleaning, no cooking, no nothing. Just sitting.

Really, Kate? It is that necessary to take off your clothes?

I sure would love to read a book all in one day (like the good old days).

I just wiped Molly’s dirty outside feet with the towel that I used to clean up Kate’s pee accident. Wonder if it matters? Oh, well. It is done now. I really need to do laundry.

This baby acne sure makes Isabel ugly. I wonder if it itches. It looks painful.

Aren’t you glad none of this made it to a post all by itself? WOW! I am a real weirdo, huh?

On a different note, this was naptime yesterday:

Wonderful, wonderful naptime. Thanks for all the advice. I caught up on my Psych episodes. I needed to laugh at pure silliness, which is what that show is. Love it.

Happy rainy Saturday.

slanted walls, questions, and a recipe

In our beautiful new house (which is an A frame, by the way) the inside walls are slanted just like the outside. Question: Is my only option for these walls, shelves? Individually hung shelves. Brian asked if we could hang pictures in some way. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?

Kate’s playrooom needs drastic help. Does anyone know of any cute playroom organizing ideas that is inexpensive? Or just point me to a website with some ideas. That would be wonderful.

Another thing: is naptime difficulties normal for an almost 2 year old? Since the camper, new baby, new house ordeal naptime has been a NIGHTMARE for both Kate and me. Is this because of all the changes? Or is this normal almost 2 year old behavior? Any thoughts?

We are having dinner with the church tonight. I am making homemade chicken soup and homemade bread, today. Doesn’t that sound delicious? Yummy. I am hungry already.

Monday, I was looking for a new way to make my discounted pork chops. I had some old apples and one old sweet potato that needed cooking. I found this recipe on my favorite recipe website: Allrecipes.com.

Season pork chops with salt and pepper ( I added garlic powder, too)
Place in a pan you can bake in ( Any pan will do)
Slice onions thin, lay on top
Slice sweet potatoes thin, layer on top of onion
Slice apples thick, layer on top of potatoes

Between layers of veg and fruit, sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon
Sprinkle whole thing with salt and pepper

Bake for an hour at 375 degrees.

This was so delicious. I wish I had taken a picture. It was so pretty when it came out of the oven in my huge cast iron skillet. All the flavors blended wonderfully. Brian even said it was a, “Must make again.” Which is how we categorize my experiments.

Sorry no Outdoor Wednesday today. Life is way unorganized these days. Wonder why?
Happy Wednesday, rain or sunshine.

some random ramblings from a sleep deprived mommy

Let’s get to the important things first, shall we?

Brian and I visited a church last night that we had been visiting last year, about this time. (The church we attend normally did not have an evening service last night.) Things were quite different, let me tell you. First of all, there was a different preacher. Not exactly a clock watcher…but he did speed right along. If you didn’t bring your listening ears, you would get left behind. We really enjoyed his sermon. I actually learned a lot. (You see, I brought my listening ears.) Secondly, everyone was SO very friendly. The same people who were friendly before, were still friendly. But lots of people came up to us before and during and after the service. To shake our hand, ask us our names, welcome us, coo over the girls, etc.

It got me to thinking.

What is different here?

It is the same church. The same people, I think. For the most part, anyway. Is it where we were sitting? Had this church experienced a revival of some sort?

Or (and I think this is the key…so pay attention) was it US? We are such different people this year than we were last year. God has changed our hearts in so many ways. We used to attend this church because we thought we needed to go to church. No other reason than that. I know I felt awkward at times, because of our unmarried status, but what else was my problem back then? I think I was more concerned about what people thought of me and us than I should have been. My focus on going to church should have been on worshiping God, enjoying other like minded believers, fellowship, and trying to be a blessing to someone else.

You see, these days, I am trying to get to know my heavenly Father. I never knew Him before. I think this makes all the difference in the world. I heard a preacher say, how much time do you take getting your outer appearance ready for church? How much time do you take to get your heart ready for church? Time should be spent in prayer before heading off to church on Sunday morning. Believe me, I know that is hard. I mean, HARD!! But, even just 5 minutes of talking to God asking Him to open your heart and mind to His Word. Asking Him to help you be a blessing to someone else.

I say all that…and still yesterday morning, I was in our regular church. I had planned in my head all these nice things to say to a couple of the ladies (who are about my age). But, when I was standing there…my mind just goes blank and I don’t really know what to say or how to say what I would have liked to say…if I could remember it. Does that make any sense? Because I had spent time yesterday morning with God and was so ready to spread His joy and love to others. Yet, I didn’t. I got tongue-tied and stupid.

Well, it is a good thing my God is a God of second chances. We are having a different sort of service this Wednesday. I look forward to it.

Secondly…something I have just come to realize and learn, through my Bible reading, prayer, and listening to sermons is this. You not only need to let God control your actions. You need to let Him control your thoughts and your heart. Did you know that our hearts our very hard to control? I have always heard about your mind…but your heart is just as important.

Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”

Proverbs 23:17 “Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.”

I never realized that it was my heart causing the problem. Most of my problems. I could be a person that looks like and talks like and acts like a Christian. But not for long. Because my heart wasn’t in it. Not until I gave my heart fully over to Christ did things really change. Yes, I was saved. I just didn’t love God with my whole heart. I have slowly come to this realization over the past few months.

So, back to the thought from the beginning. Yes, I think it was US that was different, last night. At least, I am different. My heart is different, my intentions are different. That makes all the difference in the world. (Could I use different one more time, please? *said with a smirking smile*)

Okay…important stuff that I was thinking about has been said. (I thought it was important, anyway.)

Next…over at Sew, Mama, Sew , a blog I really enjoy, has all these wonderful, easy ideas for scrap fabrics. Little girl dresses, appliques, cute bags, toys, flags, fabric books, etc. You name it, that blog will tell you and show you with pictures how to do it. They make it look so easy. I cannot wait to get things more settled around here. I want to play with my sewing machine again, and not feel guilty about it.

And last but not least, it has come to my attention that I have lots of readers…that I don’t even know about!! Well, since I don’t know about you or how often you read or when you read or what you even enjoy reading about…because you don’t tell me. I would like to ask you to send me an email if something comes up that you enjoy. Or if you have a question. Or if you want to tell me something. Or just tell me that you read my ramblings. It would mean a lot to me.

I think that sums it up. If it doesn’t, it does NOT really matter, because Kate is upstairs crying…”Get up, get up. Water. Milk. Mommy. WAAAAAAAAA!!!” So, I think I should go get her, before she wakes the baby.

Happy Monday.

my new scent

I am not complaining. I am just stating facts. Okay? Let’s just get that clear from the beginning. I love my life more than I can ever explain to anyone. Okay? Okay.

It is so very rare that both girls are sleeping at the same time. I never get anytime to myself. Their naps might collide some, but never the same exact time frame. Yesterday was the first time since Isabel was born that I got to wash my hair and shave my legs on the same day. I fixed my hair, hoping to look halfway decent for when Brian came home. But, by the time he got there I was already covered in spit up. All over my shoulder, down my back, in my hair, on my leg. When Isabel spits up, Kate screams, “Pit up! Pit up!” Then gags. Every single time.

the new scent:
Glorious Motherhood

I had great plans one day. Go get groceries, eat lunch at Chickfila letting Kate play, pick up my new glasses. Well, the grocery store took 2 hours. 2 hours! Are you kidding me? Well, we had many diaper changes, nursing, getting Kate to calm down, feeding Kate something to keep her occupied, losing my breast pad, trying to find it, giving up because I realized no one could possibly know it belonged to me, right? We eat lunch, Kate plays. We arrive at the eye glasses place only to find out they are closed 2 hours for lunch. Seriously? Couldn’t they have told me that when they called? I could have screamed. I drove all the way over here. AAAAGGGHHH!!! Now I have to go back into town the next day to get them. (There is more to this story. The saga of the glasses will be saved for another post.)

So, we just go home. It is naptime. I lay Kate down for her nap. She cries for about an hour. Wonderful sound. Let me tell you. She finally goes to sleep, kicking and screaming the whole way, only to wake up 2 hours later. Whiny for Daddy. He will be home in about 2 more hours. Meanwhile, supper needs to be made.

I think if I just stayed home and only took care of the girls I would be fine. So, next week…WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE. We are staying home. All day. Every day. No matter what.

But, I have so much to do, here. I have thousands of boxes to unpack. Well, not really. But, my house is bare. I would like to pretty it up a little. I have pictures to take, woods to explore, books to read, and a blog to write.

Then they wake up…and nothing gets done. It is a little more difficult than I expected (as I type this with one hand while jiggling Isabel on my knee with the other one.)

Then I see this:

It makes life is wonderful. I wouldn’t trade if for the world. New scent and everything.

Outdoor Wednesday!

Again! Finally! I get to post an Outdoor Wednesday. One of my favorite posts…it has been a long time since I got to wander outside with the camera. I mean, I haven’t had anything going on, no. Not at all. And if you aren’t a facebook friend or a regular reader, you are probably wondering where I have been.

Well…

No internet since August 31.

Living in a camper from September 1-October 1.

New baby born September 11.

Wedding (mine) October 10. (Pictures will be posted with a story, one day.)

Still have boxes to unpack and things to do…but, Outdoor Wednesday is so very important.

So, yesterday, I loaded up the girls. One in the sling, one held by the hand, and one nipping at my heels. We went exploring in our woods. We found our awesome creek.

When you look up…this is what you see: big, huge, tall trees all around.

Ferns, ferns, ferns. Everywhere!! No more buying ferns for me! No siree! I can just go into my backyard and dig them up!

The best picture I could get of our group:

A really neat bridge that is blocked by a huge fallen tree and it’s roots.

See how big those roots are!! I can’t even see the whole tree from over here. One day, Brian is going to get the chainsaw to it. I really want to enjoy the bridge and creek this summer. I have just begun to explore our 8 acres. I cannot wait to see what we find next.

I hope you have enjoyed my Outdoor Wednesday today!! I sure did.

And because I can’t help it:

Happy Autumn!

a time of transition

We have had a very interesting time since the birth of little Isabel. We were living here:

I have to say, I really appreciate that we were able to stay in Mama and Daddy’s yard instead of in their house, but wow! That camper sure did seem small….on day 3 of 28 days. It was tough. Yes. It was. Especially when we came home with Isabel. We were always in each other’s way. Kate had no place to play. Once when Kate and I were outside playing, I told her it was time to go home. She went to the van. I said…no, sweetie, we are going to the camper…and pointed to the camper. She burst into tears as if her heart was breaking. ( I was still pregnant at the time.) I began to cry right along with her. When we finally made it inside, we had us a little pity party. Until I turned on some good old southern gospel. Listening to that on the surround sound really helped us cope. It kept our minds focused on what was truly important.

We were scheduled to close on the new house on Friday, September 25…and that’s right, you guessed it. It was postponed to Monday, September 28. No matter, now. We closed. What a joyous day.

But…all’s well that ends well. It will be worth it after all. You don’t appreciate it, unless it was hard to come by…

I don’t know why God had us go through such a difficult time getting this house. I have some theories that I will save for another post. But I am so thankful that he DID allow us to purchase this house. Why? You ask?

Because it is BEAUTIFUL!!


See? Okay, I know that picture doesn’t do it justice. Well, check out the guest house…

And the patio…

Well, what do you think?

Now for a tour of the inside.

the living room

the kitchen

notice the hand rail on the stairs?

As I was posting these, I realized I don’t really have any good pictures of the other rooms. So, for now all you get to see is part of the downstairs. I will show you the rest when I take the pictures. In my spare time, that is. Because in case you have forgotten…I just had a baby, I am still living in boxes, AND I have a 2 year old…who is trying to potty train herself.

So, this is it for now. But since we now have the internet, I do hope to catch up on my blogging. I really have missed writing this little old thing. I hope you have missed reading it.

Well, Isabel is crying. AGAIN. MUST GO!

Happy Friday.

the baby’s here…finally

She finally arrived.

Yes, She!!!

Isabel Joan was born on September 11, 2009 at 4:39am. Let me tell you the story to the exciting arrival of Isabel Joan. Because, of course, she couldn’t just come into the world slowly and calmly like every other baby. No, since she’s mine…there must be a story. And there is.

We went to the doctor, Thursday, September 10, for another appointment. I had not dilated at all. I had been having contractions since Wednesday evening, so I was disappointed there was no dilation. The doctor really tried to convince me to go ahead and schedule a c-section for the next day. I wanted another ultrasound to check the baby before we made any decisions. I did NOT want a c-section unless it was absolutely necessary.

The ultrasound showed plenty of fluid, good movement, normal heartbeat, etc. No need to worry about the baby just yet. We told the doctor we didn’t want to schedule anything just yet, we wanted to wait out the weekend. You should have seen their faces! They did not approve of this decision at all. She informed me that my baby could die at any moment…since they believed I was beginning my 43rd week of pregnancy. (I honestly believe my due date was wrong, since my last period lasted for 2 weeks. But it doesn’t matter, now.) She asked me if I understood the risks involved in continuing my pregnancy, just so she could note it in my chart…she said. I understood. I just wanted to go home. Both the doctor and the nurse kept looking at me with these disapproving looks. I didn’t understand why we letting nature take it’s time was such a big deal.

I got home. I took 2 big tablespoons of castor oil. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Followed by chips and salsa to wash the oily residue down. Then I walked. And walked. And walked. When I walked, I had contractions. As soon as I stopped, the contractions stopped. So annoying. I am so huge and uncomfortable, I just wanted the baby to come and get it over with already!!

Around 6:30pm, the castor oil kicks in. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. That lasted forever…so it seemed. It really only lasted until around 8:30, so I went to bed. I awoke at 11pm with some serious castor oil side effects. This turned into full blown contractions. These things were horrible…well combined with the castor oil side effects they were, anyway.

Side note here: we are staying in my sister’s camper in my parent’s yard. I do not have the comfort of my own bathroom or my own house. When we had to go USE the bathroom, we went to mama’s house.

I woke my mother up while I was in the bathroom. I made her get Brian out of the camper. When he came into the bathroom, he did that uncomfortable, nervous laugh. Did not help the situation, at all. I must say. He suggested we time the contractions before jumping into the car to go to the hospital. I wanted to go to the hospital for I was a little scared. The contractions only were lasting 30-45 seconds and were anywhere from 3-7 minutes apart. No rhyme or reason to any of them. Some were extremely painful and others weren’t. Strange. Not like the book said they would be AT ALL. We decided to go back to the camper and see what would happen. We tried to lay back down, that did not work. I was in too much pain. I ended up waking Kate. So, Brian took her to Mama’s and put her back to bed.

By this time it is around midnight. Brian made a pot of coffee and began to pack his things. I got onto my knees on a pillow in front of the couch and hugged a pillow or the whole couch depending on the contraction. I think I went into a daze or something. I remember Brian putting on some gospel music that we have been enjoying lately. I remember Brian going in and out of the camper. I remember seeing Brian out of the corner of my eye folding clothes or something. I remember getting really annoyed with Brian for seeming to always need to ask a question when I was in the middle of a contraction. He asked me not to snap at him. I asked him to not ask me stupid questions. I was having a baby for heaven’s sake. At one point, I told him I thought it was time to go to the hospital. He said that we would, he just had a few more things to do. I remember hearing the sound of nails being clipped. The most annoying sound in the world. Brian finally got the van loaded and ready to go. He came and kneeled beside me and rubbed my back. I asked him if we could PLEASE go to the hospital, now. He said he had to GO to the bathroom. So, he went. I stayed on my knees in front of the couch, writhing in pain with every contraction.

It is about 3am or so at this point. While Brian was gone to the bathroom, my pains changed. I felt the overwhelming need to PUSH. It was so weird. In between contractions, I felt elated and excited. I even got up and put on my pants and sweater. Brian finally returns. I am no longer feeling elated or excited. I am back on the floor in front of the couch. I tell him I need to push. He got this look on his face. I can’t describe it. I hope I never forget it. He helps me to stand. At that exact moment, I have another contraction and my water broke. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

Brian helped me to the bathroom (in the camper) so that I can change my pants. I can’t ride in the van in my wet pants, right? When we got them off, we saw there was meconium in my water. I panicked completely. I screamed for Brian to call 911. I knew we weren’t going to make it 45 minutes to the hospital I was scheduled to go to. I am crying. I was so very scared that we had made a horrible mistake and that I should have scheduled the c-section. That I should have NEVER drank the castor oil. That I should have listened to the doctor and everyone else. Etc. Etc. Etc. Horrible things going through my mind between each contraction.

Meanwhile, Brian is on my mother’s stupid, broken cordless phone that doesn’t work well outside with 911 dispatch. He is asking me what is mama’s address? What is mama’s phone number? I have no idea at this point. Thank heavens someone answered the phone that knew the house. They asked if it was the big white house with the red roof. Yes, it is. Thank God for small towns. The first responders were the local volunteer fire department. The first one into the camper had been my neighbor my entire life. I was so thankful to see him. And more than a little bothered to think he might deliver the baby. I think that would have been so weird. He was so calm. Meanwhile, I am so panicked. (Brian and I had joked for weeks that we were going to have the baby in the camper. It looked like that was about to happen.)

When EMS arrived, they couldn’t fit into the little tiny camper with their big huge stretcher. So, I had to walk out of the camper. As I descended the steps, there were about 10 or so strange men standing there watching me. My parents and sister are standing in the background with scared looks on their faces. The only thing I can say and think is: I am so embarrassed. How weird, huh? To be embarrassed at that moment. They put me on the stretcher and wheel me into the ambulance.

It was a long, long 20 minute ride to the hospital. The pain and urgency to push seem so unbearable. I am so worried about the baby. I wanted her out of me, so they could make sure she was okay. But by the time we arrived to the hospital, I wanted the baby out because I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. We get to the delivery floor and stand in the hallway waiting on the nurses to tell us where to go. They don’t tell us anything until I sign a paper allowing them to treat me. Once it was signed, then they spring into action. I am wheeled into a room. a nurse comes to me to help me. I beg her to make the pain stop. She says it is too late for any of that, but it will all be over soon. Little do I know how soon.

The doctor on call arrives. Low and behold!! It is MY family doctor. The very same doctor I had wanted to deliver this baby, anyway. But technically since I was a VBAC, he had to send me to someone specially trained for VBACs. I could not believe he was there. Wild.

I pushed 4 or 5 different times. Well, I guess it was more like I pushed 3 times for 4 or 5 contractions. Does that make sense? No matter. It didn’t last long. I could not believe how hard it was too push. (I can’t believe either that some women have to push for hours. I don’t know how they do that.) And then she popped out. Just like that. What a rush. I didn’t even care that she was a girl. I had a sneaking suspicion it was a girl all along, I just was hoping for a boy. Now I wouldn’t trade her for all the dirty boys in the world!

So, there you have it. She was born at 4:39am on Friday, September 11. We brought her home Sunday, without a name.

I named her Isabel after my beautiful Grandma Perry. Her name was Mabel Isabel Morley Perry. I chose Joan after my wonderful mama’s middle name, also. Her name is Carolyn Joan Lister Perry.

Stay tuned for more pictures.

updates

Hello, all. We have been living in a camper in my parent’s yard while waiting on our house closing. Our closing date keeps getting changed. Ugh. But, we are very excited about our new house.

I have not had internet really. My mom has a really bad connection that I use occasionally, but I have been having blogger problems.

We did have our baby. She was born on September 11 at 4:39 am. I have a post ready to go telling the story, but have been having problems getting the pictures on there.

I just wanted to let everyone know. I hope you all are doing well. I can’t wait to get into our new house and let life get back to normal. As soon as that happens, I will be back visiting your blogs, etc.

Please keep us in your prayers. The camper walls close in a little more each day. Kate is having some problems, what with us not being “home”. I told her one day we were going home, and she went to the van. When I explained that I meant the camper, she began to cry. I had to join her. I feel the same.

Hopefully, next Monday we will close on the house. Meanwhile, I have been enjoying my new baby.

41 weeks and STILL counting plus some updates

We don’t have a baby yet. But as I sit here typing this, I really hope my labor has begun. Only time will tell. I am beginning to get a little frustrated. The doctor really wants to schedule a c-section. But all tests indicate the baby is fine. So, I see no need just yet. I really want a natural birth. The Lord is in control no matter what happens, though. I really need to remember that.

We have moved out of our house. FINALLY. We moved the final things into storage last Monday. Right now we are staying in my sister’s lovely camper in my parent’s backyard. It is actually going really well. I have enjoyed spending time with my parents. They are getting to know Brian. Kate is getting to know Grandma and Papa. So, what initially seemed like a bad idea is turning into a really good one.

We are going to be able to buy the house. Yay!! To make a long story short…there was no other buyer, the seller is willing to help pay closing costs, and we don’t have to hook up to public water. So, everything is working out. We should be closing within 2 weeks. I really can’t quite wrap my mind around it. I am sure I will post something in the future about the lessons I have learned during all of this.

Well, my internet is really sporadic right now. So, I am not sure when I will be able to post again. I just wanted to let everyone know how we are doing. I really hope the next post is that the baby has finally arrived.

house hunting and lessons

Now that we have decided to rent, I have been browsing the posts on craigslist, etc. I find it amusing when they advertise their wonderful mobile home (ie. trailer), post pictures, and then say: NO PETS!! Honestly! Are they afraid that the ugly brown carpet is going to be stained? They just showed me a picture of the ugly inside. What are they afraid is going to happen to their precious, ugly brown carpet? Or the ugly brown panel walls? Wonder what they would think if I asked about our chickens? Not allowed. Might cause damage to the scrub brush that we call grass.

I am not having any luck this morning in my search. We looked at house for rent Friday night that I thought was wonderful, until I realized NO DISHWASHER!! But he hasn’t called us back, anyway. So, it doesn’t matter. On the way home from church Sunday morning, we saw a wonderful brick house that is perfect and in our price range. Now we are just waiting on a return call.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. That is all I have been doing since we began looking for a house way back in the beginning of the summer. I am starting to think this is God’s way of teaching me patience. He knows and I know it is needed. But I don’t want to learn it this way. Honestly, I don’t know what other lessons we are to be learning during this. Maybe I will never know.

Trust? Maybe that is the lesson, because that is something else I struggle with. Trusting God to supply our needs. I should trust Him to do that. Because that is a specific promise He makes in the Bible. I keep thinking of the passage where He talks about the lilies of the field and the sparrow.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. On this baby. Hoping and praying he will wait until we are moved. I dreamed he was a girl. I am starting to get excited about holding my precious newborn. Let’s just pray I have somewhere to bring him/her after she is born.

We went to a wonderful church last night. It was so good to be reminded about what is important. God and only God. He has already done so much for me when I don’t deserve it. I need to be thankful for the blessings I already have. I am surrounded by blessings. Maybe I should count them today. Could that be the lesson?

Well, I am truly living up to the name of my blog these past couple of weeks. I am living and trying my best to learn.

Happy Monday, y’all. I am praying for a better week.

house update, 39 weeks, the fire ant dance, and other randomness

Before we begin…I want to apologize for the long, rambling post.

I will just get right to it and tell you the news. We are not getting the house. I have been kind of wallowing in my own sadness about this all week. I was sad just because I wanted something permanent. I have been a renter my entire adult life. I have NEVER been able to plant a perennial. (Well, not at my own house anyway.)

We were approved for the house. There was just a list of conditions that went with it. I guess because it was an FHA loan. I do know for sure that all the things we loved about the house got taken away during this process.

For example, there was an apartment that had been built on the property in a separate building. It had to be gutted and turned into a storage building. I loved that little apartment. I had envisioned homeschooling the kids there. I mean, a bathroom, kitchen, etc. We could of had our whole day there…just like school. I had already (mentally) put bulletin boards on the wall. Silly, I know.

The other problem we came across is the property had two wells. Wonderful, delicious water. But, the lender informed us we were going to have to get public water. I don’t know why. But that is what they said. So, our thoughts on this were…if they can make us do that, what else can they try to make us do? Can they come later and try to force other regulations or something? Who knows with this government.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Every week, there was a new issue. Brian wanted to walk away awhile ago. I wanted to see what would happen. I kept trying to force it to be God’s will. To my regret. I should have followed Brian’s lead. It is hard for me to let him be the decision maker. Something I am learning. Painfully learning. God has other plans for us. I don’t know what they are, of course. But it is definitely something else. So, now we are looking for a rental. AGAIN.

I know…woe is me. Not really. But I do have my moments. I mean, I AM human. Honestly, this week has been rough, but I am okay today. I have other things on my mind now. Like cleaning and packing this house. Because even though we don’t know where we are going. We have to go. So, even though I am okay with not getting the house…I am panicking a little about the uncertainty of our situation. I am 39 weeks pregnant. Baby’s due date is in 6 days and counting. I am allowed a little hormonal emotion, right?

One day was particularly emotional. I slept until 9! Kate was crying to get out of bed, so I wasn’t able to have my quiet time that morning. I got her up, ate breakfast, got dressed, etc. I then decided I was going to look at some places for rent. So, in a big hurry, because I had already wasted the whole morning, I packed our stuff and rushed Kate out the door. She is standing in the carport next to a trash can that someone had thoughtfully left RIGHT BY THE BACK DOOR. The very same trash can that had fire ants and maggots in it last week. I guess someone thought they magically disappeared. THEY HAD NOT.

She begins screaming. It takes me a minute to realize what is going on, of course. I am in my own hurried world, trying to get my things in the van. I look down at her and see her legs and feet are covered in fire ants. I scream, of course, because that is always helpful. I pick her up and try to brush them off. I succeed in calming her down, getting them off of her, buckling her into her seat, and giving her juice.

Meanwhile, I am standing in the very same pile of ants. They have crawled up my pant legs, into my sandals, all over my hands and arms. By the time I realize what has happened to me, I am covered. I scream, again…because it is so very helpful. As I am trying to brush them off of me, I realize I am STILL standing in the main part of the fire ants. They are all over the carport. It is as if the carport is one massive fire ant hill. I remembered Brian telling me about bug killer he had. So, thinking it was on the back deck, I ran through the house to get it. It is a pump sprayer contraption. I get back to the carport and begin to spray. BUT THEY AREN’T DYING. They are still crawling on my arms and legs and feet. They are all over that stupid trash can. At this point I am absolutely hysterical. I karate kick the trash can over so I could spray the bottom of it. I am spraying and crying and spraying and kicking my feet. Trying my best to kill these horrible demons from hell. Spawns of Satan, I swear. I am screaming…DIE, DIE, DIE…for heaven’s sake, WHY aren’t you DYING!?!?!

I calm down long enough to get them off of my shoes, out of my pants, and off my arms. I get in the van, turn on the air, sit there, and cry for what seems like an hour. Really it was only about 10 minutes. Meanwhile Kate is just sitting in her seat staring at me. I can only imagine what was going through her head that entire time. I know what was going through my head…what else can happen this week. What else can happen?

Well, nothing else traumatic or dramatic has happened this week. Thank you, Lord. I don’t think I could handle it if it did. Yesterday was non eventful and lovely. I got some boxes packed and some laundry put away. Last night we had delicious Chinese food IN A RESTAURANT. You know what that means, don’t you? No dishes to wash last night!! Today was just as calm and wonderful. I cleaned out the refrigerator. It has not been cleaned since we moved in. Gross, I know. Clean now, though. Looks good. I am also washing Kate’s car seat. Yucky, yucky thing.

I washed the new baby’s things. Or some of his things anyway. All of the yellow and other gender neutral. All of the newborn sized stuff. His blankets are nice and fresh smelling. Awesome. So, now I can stop worrying about going into labor and not having anything for him. I still need to pack the hospital bag, though. I haven’t done that yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Also, I really need a pedicure. I keep envisioning my labor that has me looking at my pitiful toes that I can’t quite reach. Maybe Monday my toes can get some attention.

My sister informed me today that my belly was lower today than yesterday. I know it is a little lower, but I wouldn’t say the baby has dropped yet. But that might be because I really, really need the baby to wait. In a perfect world, he will wait until the 31st. That would be perfect. So, here is to hoping and praying for that.

Well, Happy Friday!

Oh, by the way, do you want to know why the fire ants wouldn’t die? I wasn’t spraying bug killer on them. Oh, no. I was spraying WEED killer. I totally misheard Brian that day when he was telling me what was in the different jugs outside. Leave it up to me.

tired or accomplished (updated with the pictures)

I have to admit I am tired. I was thinking about how tired I was and decided instead of tired…I am going to say accomplished. Because I got a LOT accomplished yesterday and already this morning. And it’s not even 9 am!

Yesterday, I:

…posted a blog

…picked up my nephew to keep while my parents and sister went to the cardiologist

…made my bed

…washed AND dried all the laundry

…put MOST of the laundry away

…made lunch

…got eggs (only 2, wonder why?)

…watered the horses

…made 2 cakes (WHY 2? Well, did you know that there is a difference between baking soda and baking powder? Ha! HA! Lesson learned, the hard way.)

…was a wonderful mother (note the sarcasm)

…made dinner for my ENTIRE family (with the help of one of my sisters who decided not to come back to eat it when she realized what I was making.)

…organized ALL the boxes that have been packed by the front door for easy loading into the truck

…was a wonderful aunt and sister and daughter (said while smirking)

…laughed and laughed at my silly nephew

…took a shower (much needed)

…sang some songs

…had all my sisters, their children, and my parents over for Daddy’s birthday dinner

…surrounded Grandpa with the grandchildren for a priceless picture

…succeeded in getting our little family’s picture

…made my Daddy smile (more than once)

…got the sisters to help clean up (actually Brian gets the credit for this one)

…realized my daughter doesn’t play well with others (glad I know now rather than later)

…in bed by 10pm (only to be woken at 11, 1, then 4:30 by Kate)

Today, I:

…out of bed at 5am, because why keep trying
…finished cleaning the kitchen
…made the bed (twice in 1 week!)
…played with puzzles and colored with Kate
…breakfast
…gave Kate a bath and put her back to bed (she has been awake since 4:30)
…had my quiet time
…posted this blog

I have already accomplished so much today. Wow!

Now I need to take a shower, etc. I have a doctor’s appointment before lunch, then to visit my wonderful cousin. Also, some boxes need packing and dinner will need to be made. I am already feeling such a wonderful sense of accomplishment already.

(Note the sarcasm?)

And because I need a smile this morning:

Happy Tuesday!

happiness

Do you ever get caught up in your own troubles and worries that you forget that other people have BIGGER problems than you? Or do you forget to focus on the little things in life that make up LIFE? So overwhelmed by your troubles that you forget to focus on what is really important? Well, I think I have been doing that…so today I am going to share a little happiness we experienced over the weekend.
Jason, Brian’s son came up for dinner on Saturday and to celebrate his birthday from last week. He told us NO ONE sang Happy Birthday to him. How tragic!! So, we obliged…

Brian singing

Jason enjoying

Then Sunday, I was surprised by a baby shower given to me by my wonderful Mother. I should have gotten a picture of us…but alas, I did not. Someone did, however, take a picture of me making my plate…

yummy, yummy food

dazed by ALL the wonderful presents!

We are waiting…waiting…waiting on all sorts of different things right now. The house, the baby, God’s will to be revealed, something else I have yet to share, and my sister’s health ( more on that later). But, no matter the outcome of any of these things…God has already been SO good to me, that I need to focus on that. All this other stuff is just stuff. God is in control.

So, thank you Lord for the wonderful weekend.

Happy Monday!

And because I can’t help it:

MMMMM blue M&Ms

Outdoor Wednesday…again, already?!

It is Wednesday, again! I can’t believe how fast this week has flown by!! So, time again for Outdoor Wednesday. My favorite posting day. I love to post pictures. So, without further ado…

In preparation for our BIG move, wherever that may be, we had to burn LOTS of yard trash. Boy, was that fire hot!!! And HUGE!!! I just had to take a picture.

The sparks were flying everywhere. So, Brian watered it, to keep it under some sort of control.

Do you see what is in his pocket? There were tons of mice living in this wood pile. He was hoping to have some moving targets after the fire started. But, they must not have gotten out in time.

My “babies” are almost all grown up. It looks as if we have 2 more roosters. One is even already trying to crow. They are so big. We need to move them into one of the other coops.

These are the 2 roosters. They are both Americaunas. Do you see their tail feathers? They are going to be turquoise. So pretty.

Some sunflowers I planted in pots. Just to see what they would do.

Kate watering. My big girl….such a good helper.

My main sunflower garden. The bigger ones must have been eaten by something. They never grew. Oh, well. It is still pretty.

And because I can’t help it…

I told Kate to let me see her pretty blue eyes and this is what she did:

Happy Wednesday!

as gold?

Did you know that God brings about difficulties in our life for a reason? I am still learning this. He isn’t just going to take away a problem or a burden because we ask Him to. Did you know that? Well, I really didn’t . I thought that when you prayed…he answered by taking care of it. Well, sometimes He wants us to LEARN from difficulties. He isn’t just going to swoop in, wave His wand, and make it go away. That would defeat His purpose. Whatever that purpose may be.

I heard this said recently: God isn’t interested in manifesting His power. He is interested in transforming His children.

As I read the Bible, I see problems and situations come across these people’s lives. It is how they handle it that counts. God is forever trying to teach us. Change us (his children) into being more like Him. Jesus, as a man, experienced all kinds of human experiences. God didn’t take away Jesus’ suffering on the cross. He had to experience that for a reason. Us.

Did you know that for gold to be extracted from it’s ore…to be refined, the fire has to be 1947.52 degrees Fahrenheit? So, in order for gold to go from a rock to what we know as gold, to be refined, it has to be put into a fire hotter that I can even imagine. One thousand, nine hundred and forty-seven degrees. Wow. In the end, there is a beautiful shiny piece of gold…malleable, able to be shaped into anything.

Granted, I am nowhere near gold status, yet.

One day, maybe. But what is God going to bring me through to get me there? Am I willing to be put through the fire? So, that I can be molded and shaped? This is my prayer.

I know this particular trial we are going through right now isn’t really a fire. It is more like hot water. But I really do pray that I take the lessons I am learning now and apply them when we do go through the fire. I pray that He will mold me to be more like Him. Whatever it takes. I want to be “as gold”.

37 weeks and counting…

Remember my 32 week post? I am feeling more and more like this:

I have only gained 12-17 pounds depending on the time of day. I feel so much bigger than that. I really can’t get comfortable anywhere. And I still have 3 weeks left to go. My goodness. I can’t imagine how much bigger I am going to be.

We do not have any names picked out whatsoever. With everything else that has been going on, I really haven’t made this I priority. But I need to now. So, any suggestions? Kate’s name is Katherine Elaine. I love it. It is a bit old fashioned, so I would like another old fashioned name. Something like Thomas, but not Thomas. Or Benjamin, but not Benjamin. I like Joseph, but Brian prefers Josiah. I like Samuel, but Brian doesn’t. I am assuming and hoping that I am carrying a boy. But I guess we should have some back up girl’s names just in case. I like Sarah. But, Brian is iffy on that.

I finished the new baby’s blanket! I think it is adorable.

I really need to look at my baby things and see what I have. I am afraid I will get my wish and my baby will be a boy but only have girl’s clothes to wear. Ha!HA! I know for sure I have a few neutral things and a few boy things.

The baby really needs to wait until September to come. So, join me in praying, hoping, and wishing.

Well, Happy Friday, y’all. Have a marvelous weekend.

Not your typical Outdoor Wednesday

The day finally arrived. I awoke with a song in my heart. What day is that, you ask? Well, Saturday. Last Saturday, August 1. Chicken Kill Day. It has been on my calendar for 10 weeks.

I made coffee that morning at looked out over the backyard. You will not believe what I saw! All 15 of those white chickens had escaped and were in the pasture. Waddling around. It was the funniest thing. It was as if they knew what the day had in store for them. So, they were making the most of their morning. I ran out there, hoping I could round them up…and do you know what they did? They CAME to me. Can you believe it? They all came running or waddling right up to me. Hilarious.

Well, after we got everything together…we finally began around 10 am. My wonderful Uncle came to help. Thanks goodness for family (some of them, anyway).

waiting for the inevitable

Well, first we cut their throats and let the blood drain into buckets. We tried to contain the mess the best we could.

Not too gross, huh?

Here’s Kate watching. She is NOT too sure what to think. But she got into the spirit of things and began to play, not paying us any attention.

When they have expired, you scald them. That opens their pores making the plucking a bit easier. You have to be careful not to let the water get to hot, otherwise the skin tears. My uncle claimed he was “the master chicken plucker from way back.” I have to agree with him. He did a great job which made my job easier.

the master at work

After he would get most of the feathers plucked. I would take the chicken and remove the stubborn feathers. I also learned how to cut off their feet and wings. I thought that I was tough and Brian should be impressed. But Brian informed me that he would NOT be impressed until I removed a head. I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. Even though he showed me how each and every time. It was just a little more than I could stand.

ME at my station

After I had removed all the stubborn feathers, rinsing and rinsing all the while, Brian would take the chicken and finish. He would remove the insides and clean it the rest of the way. I will not show you that. You can thank me later. My uncle did show us the gizzard. Weird thing, a gizzard. It is the muscle that grinds their food.

One funny thing, the chickens still made their funny chicken noise if you pressed on it the right way. Really funny. Brian would just stand there and make the chicken talk. Oh, well you had to be there.

Brian, and the finished product
Looks just like a chicken from the store, doesn’t it?

soaking

bagging for the freezer

You are probably thinking, how gross. I could never do that. Well, some things were gross, if you let yourself think about it. But, I was wearing gloves. That helped tremendously. You can do almost anything when you are wearing gloves. You just can’t think about what you are doing…you can’t say to yourself: I am plucking feathers from a chicken butt. No, you can’t say that. Not even to yourself. Just like my uncle said, “There is nothing more humbling than cleaning a chicken’s armpit.” Ha. Ha. So true.

On Monday, I fried the first one. I was very excited and nervous. I could just see me burning my grease and ruining the whole thing. But, I didn’t. And it was delicious. I must say, it was the best tasting chicken I have EVER put in my mouth. Not kidding.

Doesn’t that just make your mouth water?
Yummy.

See?

Kate ate and ate. Brian left 3 bones on his plate, including a breast. It was delicious. I can’t wait until the next one. It is a nice comforting feeling, knowing we have 14 chickens in the freezer. Waiting to go onto the table. (Until the freezer breaks, of course…just kidding.) We figure even with how much feed we had to buy for them, we only have about $5 or $6 in each chicken. Pretty good deal. No hormones. No anything. Just good, plain chicken. Yum.

Happy Wednesday!

Where have I been?

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you had to go somewhere EVERY single day? Well, that was last week. On top of going somewhere every morning, we had Vacation Bible School. I “helped” in the 2-4 year old class. Brian was in the skit during the opening program and helped with games. It was a lot of fun, but so tiring. It is amazing the energy that children have. Wow!
I thought I would share some pictures of last week with you. The theme was the Wildwood Forest. I think it went pretty well. Kate had fun. She grew up during the week. She learned all kinds of new things. It was fun to watch her interact with the other children.


2-4 year old class


craft time


standing in line

song time


learning the motions to a song


opening skit


Grandma Storyteller


the playground
All in all it was a good week. I learned a lot about myself. More on that later, I am sure. I am so glad we participated in this wonderful week of Vacation Bible School.

Writer’s Workshop

Since I am in such a HUGE funk over here, I thought I would write on all of Mama Kat’s prompts this week. Maybe I will be happier when I am through. The past two weeks have been such a series of HIGHS and LOWS, I am physically and mentally exhausted. I cannot wait until September! Also, if you are not a regular reader of Mama Kat, you should be. She is hysterical.

The Prompts:

1.) They just don’t make (fill in the blank) like they used to!

They don’t make TV shows like they used to. We have not turned on our TV to watch anything but DVDs since The Office’s season finale. The Office is one of our favorite shows. But don’t think we aren’t watching TV, because we are.

We have found that on Netflix, you can watch all kinds of old TV shows. We have been watching Quincy, Simon & Simon, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Rawhide, and Quantum Leap, to name a few. We have really enjoyed this. Not only do we control when and where we watch, but we don’t have to endure the HORRIBLE commercials that plague television these days.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children watching these Viagra or Hardee’s commercials, much less the commercials for the new shows or even the toy ads. Instead of worrying about the mute button or changing the channel, we just don’t turn the TV on anymore.

Now, when Must See TV comes back on in the fall, we might just have to make Kate’s bed time a little earlier or just watch the shows online later. I guess we will cross that bridge when you come to it.

2.) If you had the time and money…what charity would you help raise awareness for?

Any adoption assistance programs and Christian children’s homes. I can’t think of any right off the top of my head, but I know there are several around this area.

3.) What are YOU giddy about?

Nothing today. But I forsee giddiness in my future.

I will be giddy if (when) this house closing goes through. Seriously giddy. So giddy that I will probably jump up and down while laughing and crying all at the same time.

I will also be giddy when my water breaks…before the actual labor begins. I think labor will take away the giddiness, don’t you? Then I will be giddy again when I am holding my brand new baby in my arms. Giddy with exhaustion. I can hardly wait.

That would be some awesome giddiness…house closing, couple weeks later-baby arrives. Cross our fingers and pray. Pray. Pray. Pray.

Also, this makes me giddy…everyday, at least once:

4.)What’s on YOUR little kids list?

My little miss independent girl is very into wearing shoes. SHE has to put them on, not Mommy. She puts shoes on no matter what other clothes she may or may not be wearing. She also really enjoys pushing her toys around the house. With or without wheels.

She also LOVES cheese.

She will not come out of the chicken pen until threatened and/or bribed.

And she LOVES dancing. She dances to the tunes on the radio and the tunes in her head.

5.)Describe what brought you closer to your faith.

Many things have brought be closer to God, especially lately. But the main thing was this:

THEN this:

If that doesn’t strengthen your faith in God, nothing will. Isn’t my God great? He is in control. He knows what is best. She barely has a scar.

I tell you, I can’t wait to see what else He has in store for me.

Well, that is it for me today. If you want to read more Writer’s Workshop posts, be sure to check out Mama Kat.

Happy Thursday!

You prayed for what?!?!

Once upon a time, a very wise man laughed and laughed (as I was crying) when I told him I was praying for patience. He said, you NEVER pray for patience. I admit I did not understand what he meant by that. But as I was showering, thinking, and praying yesterday a verse popped in my head.

“…the trying of your faith worketh patience.” James 1:3

NOW I get it.

We have had quite a few prayers answered these past few weeks. Little things. Nothing to really stress about, but seeming as I am an overwrought, hormonal, crazy pregnant lady, I was worried. But then, who doesn’t worry about money sometimes? Rich people? But I don’t know any of those. Ha. HA!

Anyway, I am thinking that He (my heavenly Father) answered those prayers in such a positive way to boost my faith in Him. My faith needed to be strengthened for what is ahead. You see, I didn’t really pray before. I never bothered to ask Him anything. I just went along, my merry little way, doing what I wanted, when I wanted. You see where that got me? NOWHERE!!!

Last week, Brian and I prayed for patience. Patience in dealing with our landlord. Patience, because we our frustrated with this house buying experience. Even though things were running along relatively smoothly, considering.

Then the lender got the appraisal.

He emails us…I didn’t realize there was an apartment on the property.

This apartment being a small 500 square foot building, with plumbing and electrical. Including a kitchen and bathroom, classifying it as an apartment in the mortgage world. This apartment is what attracted me to the property in the first place, for it screams…SCHOOLHOUSE! (For homeschooling, in the future) So, this property is technically considered a 2 unit dwelling. UGH.

Why does this matter? The type of loan we wanted to get doesn’t allow this. It has an opportunity to produce income. Ridiculous. You would think they would want us to have all the income we can get. But, no.

This makes me question so many things. Is this the right house for us? Should we have waited? Who are we kidding, thinking we could actually BUY a house? What is God trying to teach me here, besides patience? Did we make a mistake?

NOW WHAT?

Why?

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

I may never know. Another verse comes to my mind.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8

So, now I trust in Him.

Oh, and stop praying for patience.

questions….

September Mom over at My Voice, My View tagged me for this fun meme. I thought I would share it with you today. I am sure you are all dying to know the answers to all of these questions. Because who wouldn’t want to know me better?

The Rules for this meme:

1. Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog. Replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, and add one more question of your own.

2. Tag other people.

What is your current obsession?

This little chicken. We don’t know if she was hurt or if she just has a deformity. Since I took her out of the bigger pen, she is doing much better. She can almost stand on her own, but her feet are twisted. She is such a pretty little chicken. I don’t know if it is in her best interest to keep her or not. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain. She also really loves pecking at the sunflower. I want to keep her and make her my pet. So, she is going to need a name. Any suggestions? She is a Barred Rock hen.

What are you wearing today?

I actually got dressed in REAL clothes. I had a doctor’s appointment. So, I have on a turquoise maternity top and matching skirt. Normally, I wear a tank top and shorts or jeans. You can’t feed and water chickens comfortably in a skirt.

What’s for dinner?

I have no clue. Maybe leftovers.

What would you eat for your last meal?

I am not sure. I love sushi or any other type of seafood. Lobster sounds really good right now. A loaded baked potato and fresh summer vegetables. Chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.

What relaxes you most?

A glass of red wine, soft Billie Holiday music, hot bath, and a book I can’t put down.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would it be?

Anywhere where I could just sit and read. I so rarely can do that without feeling guilty.

What language do you want to learn?

German. Don’t ask why. I took it in college. I can read it a little. I just like the way it works.

What do you love most about where you currently live?

The quiet. Since living here, God has taught me to enjoy the quiet. This house is away from the “busyness” of life. I have had lots of time learning to listen to Him.

What style is your current home decorated in?

This is funny to me. We have no style. It is so random. There are books on many shelves, toys on the floor and shelves, plants on any available surface, and a fine layer of dog hair and dust over everything. Furniture and such has never been a priority. We would like to invest in some confortable furniture once we are settled in the NEW house, though.

If you were a time traveler what era would you live in?

Well, if I were a time traveler and could actually control my time travels, I would probably bounce around. I like the modern conveniences of this era, but I like the idea of living off the land. When you could just go, stake your claim, build your house, plant your fields, and live.

But as a time traveler, I would visit all the different eras. I think there is something wonderful about them all. Bible times…sitting at Jesus’ feet, like Mary and Martha. Renaissance…learning. Reformation…revival across Europe. 15th-16th centuries…discovering the New World. All exciting. See? too many from which to choose. I would have to visit them all.

What is your favorite color?

Red

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?

I need some new clothes. I can’t think of anything I would classify as my favorite. I love my brown Birkenstocks. (I know not a piece of clothing.) I love all my cardigans. But all I can wear right now is maternity clothes and I don’t love any of them.

What were you doing ten years ago?

Well, I was 21. A major event of my life had just happened. I got my own apartment and was working two jobs. I was a classified advertising sales person at the local newspaper and a server. Not really the best time of my life. Many mistakes were made that I learned from, of course. It just took 10 years. (Ha! HA!)

If you had $300 now, what would you spend it on?

I need some new shoes! Also, I have yet to buy the new baby a thing. I would splurge on the new baby. Oh! and I want to buy Kate a baby doll for when the new baby comes.

What are you going to do after this?

Figure out what to make for dinner. It is almost time for Brian to come home.

What are your favorite films?

Big Fish, Secondhand Lions, Wizard of Oz, Nattie Gann (off the top of my head).

What are your favorite books?

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is my all time number 1 favorite. I love reading, so I have too many that I would consider favorites.

Do you collect anything?

Plants. I love plants, indoor or outdoor. They make me smile.

What makes you follow a blog?

Creativity, humor, information first of all. Then what makes me follow is when I comment, do they respond or just ignore me? If they respond, I like that. But if I comment day after day, and never hear back from them…I cut that blog from my reading list. I like the give and take more than the information I could possible glean. I am so thankful for the bloggy friends I have made.

What was the most enjoyable thing you did today?

Kate and I spent the morning snuggling and reading books.

Ann’s Question: What makes you comment on a blog?

It depends on my mood. If I have an immediate thought while reading, I comment. Otherwise, I just read it and go on my merry way.

Amy’s Question: What is your favorite thing to do when you have free time?

I usually write either on my blog or in my journal. And READ, of course. I am always reading some book.

Tonya’s Question: What is a talent you wished you had?

I am going to have to copy Septembermom on this one. I have always wished I could dance. But I have very thick, chunky legs. I am very clumsy and klutzy. I can barely walk most days, much less have the grace to dance. But, boy would I love to glide across a ballroom floor in a lovely gown, twirling and stuff.

Noelle’s Question: If you could go to heaven, who would you see and why?

Well, I AM going to heaven one day. But if I could go to heaven today just to see somebody right quick, and then come home? I would definitely go to see my Grandma. I miss her. She was the most Christ-like person I think I have known. Not only that, she was lots of fun. She would lagh until she cried and cry until she laughed.

Vickie’s Question: Who is your favorite actor?

Why, John Cusack, of course.

Kitten’s Question: Other than Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, etc. what are your most frequently visited websites?

Infowars.com, FoxNews, Ebay, Netflix, Allrecipes, BBN, and WorldNet Daily

SeptemberMom’s Question: What was your favorite subject in school?

History

My question: As a child/teen how did you envision your adult life?

I always thought I would have my Master’s Degree by 25 or so, then become a teacher while working on my PhD. I really though I would be one of those talking heads, whose opinion is asked when some great event happened in the world. I have different priorities now, though. Becoming a well-known and revered scholar doesn’t seem as important as it once did.

Now it is time to tag some blogging friends:

Mary

Heather

Dan

strawberry vandal

What in the world could be getting into my little strawberry plant? I would see a strawberry not quite ready to pick, go out the next day to pick it and see this:

a half-eaten strawberry

I got to thinkin’. Dangerous, I know. But I believe I have solved the mystery.

Kate LOVES strawberries.

Little did I know just how much.

Friday High Five

Angela's Adventures

It is Friday. Can you believe it? I can NOT believe how fast this week has flown by! In light of the fact that I have only posted serious stuff this week, I thought I would try to make you smile today.

Every Friday, Angela hosts Friday High Five. You make a list of any 5 things you want. It is quite fun and helps me especially when I have blogger’s block.

5 things that have made me smile this week.

#1. Every time I flush the toilet in our bathroom, it makes a sound like a doorbell. Every time. Flush…ding dong.

#2. Watching Kate gnaw an ear of corn as big as her arm.

#3. The $150 credit to our Sprint account, just because I called. You see, somehow I went over our allotted minutes last month. I have no idea how…we have 1500 minutes to share. Who did I talk to that much?!?

#4. Brian bringing home a friend to eat dinner. He had been raving about my fried chicken at work, much to my surprise. After his friend left, Brian told me I looked pretty!

#5. Kate running and playing with 2 dogs more than twice her size.

Happy Friday!

Writer’s Workshop

Every Thursday, Mama Kat hosts Writer’s Workshop. She gives you 5 writing prompts from which to choose. I don’t always participate because my brain doesn’t always cooperate. This week, however I choose prompt # 3: Describe a difficult moment in which you survived.

I got to thinking about all the things I have survived in my life. I have survived many things that all of you have survived. Such as: childbirth, college, car accident (minor), moving (many times), driving 10 hours…alone, and other moments that occur in everyday life.

I do have a story of survival. God gets all the glory for this. For if it weren’t for Him and his protection I doubt I would have survived. It isn’t just one moment of survival, though. It is more like a few months. But I survived. I came out of it bruised, broken, and broke, but I survived.

It all started with a guy. Can you believe it?

I didn’t even really like him that much at first. We had absolutely nothing in common. But he was exciting and a little dangerous. I think it was because he was the complete opposite of everything I had ever known that attracted me to him.

I was already flirting with danger occasionally when I met him. I was so bored with my life. I had nothing to live for…or so I thought at the time. So, when he told me that he was wanted, I was intrigued. Yes, you read that right. Wanted. As in by the police.

So, we sold a few of my things. I boxed my books and took them to Mama’s for storage. (I can’t begin to imagine how I broke her heart.) I packed the rest of my things into his van and we left. Just left. Our great plan was to travel through the South, camping, sightseeing, partying. Sounded good to me. I just wanted an adventure. He was giving me one.

We made it to his sister’s apartment in Alabama when the van broke down. We stayed with her and her mushroom growing boyfriend for a little while. At least until we got on their last nerve. I kept thinking we were going to get the van fixed somehow and continue on our merry way. Needless to say, that did not happen.

Needing a place to stay, we got a hotel room. It cost $25 a night. I believe that is all the description needed of that place. We both got restaurant jobs. We needed money desperately. We still had to eat, I mean drink, smoke, etc.

Did I mention we also had a dog with us? A pit bull. I am thankful for that dog. She protected me on more than one occasion. (But she also went into heat while we were at the hotel. Yuck.)

As you read this, you are probably saying, what WERE you thinking? Why didn’t you call your parents? Why didn’t you just go home? I was embarrassed, ashamed. Drugs were also involved which hinders your conscience (to say the least).

One day, I went with this guy who said we were going to pick something up. I almost didn’t make it back. Literally. All I really remember is being very, very scared. And very, very mad at myself for even getting into his car.

We even went home once, for a few days. Why? So we could steal a car. Oh, and go shopping with a checkbook he found.

Meanwhile, Thanksgiving passed by, Christmas, and then New Year’s. All in a big blur. Somehow, I really don’t know how, I made it home. To my parent’s house. With just the clothes on my back.

I am so very thankful that God in his mercy was watching over me. I could have been arrested or worse. It is because of Him and only Him that I survived that time of my life.

I came across these verses in my Bible reading the other day:

I Samuel 12:20, 22, 24
Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.
For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it pleased the Lord to make you his people.
Fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

I don’t ever want to forget what He has done for me. Helped me survive.

And you know what? He still does. Everyday.

this is what is on my mind…so bear with me

I am becoming more than a little concerned.

Sometimes I wish I could stick my head back in the sand and pretend as if I have no idea what is going on.

But I can’t.

I really hope I don’t alienate some of my newer readers. I haven’t posted anything (or not that I remember) about politics. Even though I want to, I am always afraid to.

I honestly did not think that this would pass the House, but it did. Did you hear about it? The American Clean Energy and Security Act, ACES. I guess if it is called American and they put the “clean energy” and “security” in the title, that will make it all better. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the government telling me what kind of light bulb to use. Or what kind of dishwasher I need to buy. Or what kind of trees to plant or not plant. I really don’t even like them telling me to wear a seat belt for that matter.

Well, if you have no idea what this bill is or what it says, check out this article. It is on the National Review website. I just finished reading it. If this doesn’t get your dander up, then I don’t know what will. The Heritage Foundation has also posted research and analysis. I encourage you to read one of these.

This bill has been passed by the House. So, it is up to the Senate to kill it. It goes before one of the committees on Tuesday, tomorrow.

This is just one more thing that this administration we are blessed with is trying to control.

Have you heard of the Food Safety Act? This bill passed committee, and is on it’s way to the floor of the House. Bills like this keep popping up, one of them is bound to pass while we (the country) is consumed with something else. For example, Sanford and his affair, the death of Michael Jackson, plane crashes, or the piggy flu.

You can follow and read all actual bills at govtrack.us. (Just so you know.)

How about this House Resolution introduced today. Honoring Michael Jackson. Yes, you read that right. Michele Malkin calls it the Stupidest House resolution ever.

Did you hear about the couple who were holding a Bible study in their home? Read that article here. What does this mean, really? I understand that the charges have been dropped, but it still makes me pause.

I still can’t get over the report published by DHS, either. You can read it, here.

On another note, Sandford has lost his reputation with South Carolinians. Palin just resigned. Do you see a theme? Who is next? Jindal? Perry?

We really need to pray for our government.

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security. –Benjamin Franklin

Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide. ~Napoleon Bonaparte

32 weeks and counting

All I can think about these days is this baby in my tummy. He is so active. ( I say “he” but the sex is a surprise.) Oh, and how very HUGE I feel. This is what I look like at 32 weeks:

You can still see where my roll of fat is. Ha! Ha! I do like not sucking in my stomach when I walk around. Much more relaxing. I have been sucking in my stomach for as long as I can remember.

This is what 32 weeks FEELS like:

This poor cow. I saw her when I went to the dairy yesterday to buy our milk. (We like to drink raw milk.) She had just given birth to her little baby about an hour ago. Look at those HUGE udders! Never in my life have I seen anything like that. The guy working said they were mostly swollen, not all milk. You could tell how uncomfortable she felt standing there in the 100 degree heat. She finally figured out how to lie down, making herself more comfortable.

Isn’t this the sweetest thing? Making my day awesome.

The baby would take a few steps away from her mama. Mama would bellow causing baby to come hesitatingly back.

Oh, I can’t wait to see and hold MY new one.

Happy Thursday

Better late than never-Outdoor Wednesday

When it comes to blogging lately, I only really make time for Wednesdays. I love Outdoor Wednesday. It is the only time I don’t feel silly for sharing my chicken and garden pictures.

Even though the garden isn’t pretty, it is still producing. I didn’t realize how hard it would be for me to weed the garden. I guess I had forgotten how unwieldy your 32 week pregnant body can be.

Well, without further ado…my pictures.

the new backyard coop
They weren’t doing well, so Brian had to change it up a little. I would have put the flowers around it again, but they are dead. See? There is one there, I use it as a door stop.

a couple of the babies (laying hens)


inside views

the fryers
We are counting down the days until…you know (imagine me making a slashing motion across my neck). These aren’t the cutest chickens in the world. So, I did not take a too close-up picture. Our theory on their ugliness is because they are bred for eating, not laying, and definitely not for show. They have fewer feathers. They grow so much faster. They are the same age as the layers and twice as big. There bodies seem to grow faster than there leg strength. They can barely stand to eat. They will eat a little then flop down. Occasionally, if it isn’t too hot, they will run around and flap their wings. But I don’t think they can fly. The layers can fly.

These 4 are the ones we let Mama hen hatch.

Brian was told by another chicken farmer that pointy fertilized eggs are roosters while the more rounded fat eggs are hens. We wanted 3 hens and a rooster. So, when he chose what eggs to hatch, that was his deciding factor. Well…we think we have 3 roosters and 1 hen. Ha. Ha. Well, live and learn.

tomatoes, sunflowers, and cucumbers from afar

The cucumbers are surrounded with grass. Not very pretty.

1 squash, 1 struggling zucchini, 1 pitiful cantaloupe

my first strawberry plant
Yummy!

A broken tomato stem (in the purple box) rooted!

the first sunflower bloom

thirsty horses

funny horse

Brian brought home a surprise today, an Americauna rooster. He is about 4 months old. He is the same size as Ms. Americauna. I wonder how big he will get? He is very pretty. My camera battery is dead, so no pictures. Maybe next week.

I hope you enjoyed this Wednesday as much as I did. I had the van (Brian’s car is still broken.) so I got groceries, milk, peaches, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Awesome. All within my budget. It has been a good day. Now, dinner…what to make?

For more fun outdoor pictures, please visit Susan who hosts this every week (no matter what). Thanks, Susan.

Happy Wednesday.

Can I blame it on the pregnancy hormones?

Or the 100 degree weather? But people have really been getting on my nerves, lately. I know, I know, we aren’t supposed to be like that. With God’s grace, one day (probably when I am very old) I won’t even get annoyed with people. It will just roll right off my back while I keep on living my merry little chicken-filled life.

Yesterday, our landlord and her brother (he reminds me of Larry of “My name is Larry, this is my brother Daryl, and my other brother Daryl.” Do you remember that show?) Her brother…we will call him Larry… was there to fix the sink drain leak, and SHE was there to supervise. Larry does all of her repairs while SHE stands beside him, nagging all the while.

ANYWAY….

The sink was repaired and they left after promising that the sink hole in the front yard just needed “one” more load of rocks. SHE has been saying that for months. I went back into the kitchen and noticed THREE, THREE! kitchen cloths that they had used to clean up their goopy mess. I could not believe my eyes. I mean, the cloths aren’t the nicest in the world, but they are mine. Who does that? Why couldn’t they have opened the door and asked me for a RAG?? I was right there on the porch.

Some people! When Larry fixed the hot water heater leak months ago, he asked me for rags to clean up his mess. So, it isn’t like he didn’t know what words to use.

I really wish I could ask her about those dish cloths. But it isn’t really worth it in the long run, now is it?

I CANNOT wait to be rid of a landlord.

Now, I am trying to compose our 60 day notice to vacate with the inquiry about our deposit. Wish us luck that she will be adult about this.

Friday High Five


Today is Friday High Five hosted by Angela at Angela’s Adventures. I like this day because it can be totally random. And sometimes I need a random day.

5 Completely Random things

#1 Garden update

Something killed both my zucchini plants and one of my squash plants. Brian told me a story of cats peeing on his squash before, killing it. I haven’t seen any cats around, but I did see lot of brown weird beetle kind of bugs living amongst the squash. Oh, well. I am surprised I don’t care. Just one less thing to water right now. It is sooo hot outside and the bugs are rather bothersome.

My tomato plants are about 6 ft tall or so. I picked 2 beefsteak tomatoes yesterday. I put them in the window to ripen more, just like Mama does.

The sunflowers are just beginning to bud. Can’t wait. (When I have my very own house, I am going to have sunflowers everywhere.)

I don’t know when beans are ready. So, I am just going to pick some and see…one day. Did I mention how hot it is outside?

#2 Chicken update

I separated the fryer chicks from the layer chicks putting the cute layers in my backyard coop. This was a big mistake! We lost one to a hawk or crow…all that was left was the insides and a few feathers. Then we lost 3 more in a rainstorm. We guess they got too wet and heavy to move…chicks need to be kept really warm. My fault, the whole thing. All because I wanted them in the back yard. I should have waited for Brian. But I was impatient. Another lesson, learned.

On the plus side, I separated Mama and her babies. They don’t even remember each other. Mama acts like all the other annoying hens. The babies are almost regular looking chickens. We think 1 or more is a rooster. Wouldn’t that be neat?

#3 Teaching Kate new things

Recently someone told Brian and me that it was stupid for us to teach Kate to be a lady. She doesn’t understand, she is too young, we were told. I beg to differ, don’t you? If I can teach Kate to sign many different words, to give the chickens scratch, to go down steps, to blow bubbles in the pool, to give kisses, to love to read books…you know…everything…I can teach her to be a little lady.

So, in a newfound burst of excitement I am on a mission to teach Kate all kinds of new things. I have gotten a little lazy about this. But I think it would be pretty cool if I could teach her to sign her alphabet and go potty by her 2nd birthday. All the while teaching her ladylike behaviour, good manners, and that Jesus loves her. She already tries to sign “Jesus Loves Me” when we sing it. So…we will see, won’t we? It is fun being a mommy.

#4 house search is OVER, now the hard part

Did you know that finding the house was the easiest part in this house buying extravaganza? I have never felt so ignorant in all my born days. The good news for me, my part is over. I am now praying for Brian to figure it all out. He told me not to worry about it, he would take care of it. My job was to pray for him. I like that. He, of course, is running everything by me, you know to make me feel involved. But I for one am not worried. It is in the Lord’s hands (and Brian’s).

By the way, I can’t wait to show it to you…but I am going to wait until things are set in stone. It is so adorable.

#5 advice, please…landlord situation

As much as we love living here, our landlord has slowly sucked the joy out of it. I will not go into much detail, except to say we know she has a hard time paying her bills. Her mail used to be sent to our address, so it was obvious when she would get collection notices. That being said, we are concerned that she will shaft us on the deposit. We already know that the deposit was spent. It was spent on fencing when we first moved in. So, she is going to have to come up with it. We don’t think she will.

(The oven went out last month, she said it would be 2 weeks for her to fix it. SHE DIDN’T HAVE THE MONEY. Same with the sink hole in the front yard. Same with some fencing. Same with the leaky sink.)

My idea is to email her, letting her know that this is a concern. Offer a solution…we only pay half our rent in July and August. That would add up to the deposit…saving us all the trouble of fighting her later for the deposit, etc. What do you think?

Because I can’t help it:

Isn’t she the cutest?

I hope you don’t mind my random Friday High Five. None of these are enough for a post, you know? Have a wonderful weekend.

Happy Friday.

Outdoor Wednesday

Where DOES the time go? It has been 2 weeks since my last confession…I mean Outdoor Wednesday post. I cannot believe how crazy life gets sometimes. We have had doctor visits, house viewings, packing, traveling, not stopping, not sitting down…etc.
But, I still have had time to read some books, take pictures, and of course play with Katie bug.

On a side note, I have called Kate, Katie bug…while making a sign language “K” at my forehead, while wiggling my pointer finger… since she was born. She just started doing that back to me. So cute. I am hoping when people ask her her name, that is what she does. She can’t say Kate, but likes to sign. We will see. I love watching Kate learn new things. She also just learned to sign “big girl”.

Well…onward to Outdoor Wednesday.

Brian and I were able to visit a chicken farmer, Katharine of Barefoot Farms in Belton, SC. She was having a slaughter day. Chicken kill day. We went to watch and learn. We are going to be having one of those days in July. Having never killed and cleaned a chicken, we thought we needed to learn. And learn we did.

It really wasn’t that bad. I actually participated. I got to cut several chickens’ throats. ( I really hope I am not grossing you out.) Brian learned to clean it out and prepare it for freezing.

Not too bad, huh? I won’t show you the picture of what I learned. :)

While there, we walked around her little farm. This was just one of the surprises we found there.

How funny, huh? He had been sleeping.

Over the weekend we went to Brian’s parents’ house and enjoyed their pool. Molly and Kate especially enjoyed it.

His parents have a Purple Martin birdhouse in their backyard. Purple Martins eat up to 2000 insects per day! They are a fun species of bird to watch. They have forked tails. When they fly, the beat their wings really fast to get going, then swoop and glide. It is really fun to watch. Kate even noticed them flying around. She would get very excited when she saw one.

When we get settled in our new house, Brian and I would like to get several of these awesome bird houses. Once a family of Martins settle in, they leave in winter and return in February. How cool, huh?

Happy Wednesday!

answered prayers

Many of you are new readers…thanks so much for reading, by the way…so you may not realize that Brian and I aren’t exactly married. We sort of did everything out of order. You know…friendship, pregnancy, live together, pregnancy again…

Anyway, I have been praying that we would make it official, you know, in God’s eyes and in the eyes of my family.

On Sunday evening, we were on our island. Brian took my book away, kneeled in front of me, and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. My answer? YES! I replied he was stuck with me for the rest of his life whether he liked it or not.

So, that is answer to prayer NUMBER 1!!

Isn’t it so pretty?

Answer to prayer NUMBER 2…Brian got our prequalification stuff taken care of yesterday. YAY!! So, now we know how much of a house we can buy. And let me tell you…we can afford more than we thought. How awesome is that? That changes everything!! (Now we just have to FIND our house.)

Answer to prayer Number 3…we have been working on our credit situation since before Kate was born. Trying to get some issues straightened out, etc. Well, we did it! By the grace of God, Brian and I have excellent credit which makes everything so much easier. Budgeting works.

Answer to prayer Number 4…we have found a church. We have been attending this church for a little while now. And already we feel like a part of their family.

Isn’t God so good? He never ceases to amaze does He?

Outdoor Wednesday

It is Wednesday again! Yay! Time for Outdoor Wednesday.

Look how big the babies are getting!

And while I have your attention….Brian surprised me last night with 10 3 week old baby chicks to replace the ones we lost. I am so excited. There is an assortment…and we think we have an Americauna rooster. That would be sooo cool. Then we could have more and more…you know in the future. We have an Americauna hen, she is my favorite. They are so sweet.

Ms. Americauna

Since I need to work on my tan and it is SOOOO hot out. Kate and I have been swimming this week.


wanna come swim with us?

Ha! HA! HA!

As Chandler from the show Friends would say, “Could we BE anymore redneck?”


I couldn’t resist this picture. So sweet.

Well, ladies and gents….tata for now. I hope you are having a wonderful week. I need to get back outside and finish working on my coop. We are switching all the chicks around. The 25 babies have grown too big for the brooder. I am sure I will post pictures of all that next week.

Happy Wednesday.

First I would like to thank….

I am still fairly new to the blogging world (as you can see by my header, which needs updating). But in the past two weeks I have been honored by being given TWO awards. Needless to say I was very surprised. And I am more than a little ashamed that I haven’t acknowledged them yet. So without further ado…

The first award I received was from Kris at From the Heart. It is the “Attitude of Gratitude Award”.

I am so glad to have “met” Kris. I encourage you to go over there and meet him, too. His blog has been a blessing to me, and I have only been reading it for a couple of weeks. With this award you are supposed to tell how you came about having an attitude of gratitude. I have to echo what Kris said upon receiving his.

Having gratitude for me is something that the Lord Jesus Christ has taught me. I have to claim Christ in this respect because there was no gratitude in my life before He came into it. I highly recommend getting to know Jesus in a personal relationship. It would be the best decision you could ever make.

I am still learning how to have an attitude of thankfulness. One way I remind myself is by singing this song:

As the world looks upon me, as I struggle along
They say I have nothing, but they are so wrong
In my heart I’m rejoicing, how I wish they could see
Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me

There’s a roof up above me
I’ve a good place to sleep
There’s food on my table
And shoes on my feet
You gave me your love Lord
And a fine family
Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me

Now I know I’m not wealthy, and these clothes , they’re not new
I don’t have much money, but Lord I have you
And to me that’s all that matters, though the world cannot see
Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me

There’s a roof up above me
I’ve a good place to sleep
There’s food on my table
And shoes on my feet
You gave me your love Lord
And a fine family
Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me

I know I am supposed to forward this to more than one person, but I really just want to send it to my cousin, Mary. It is because of her that I began blogging. She began her blog, Enjoying My Life some time ago. Through it, I have gotten to know her much better. Go check her out…tell her I sent you.

The second award I received is from Kelly at My Voice, My View. I have really enjoyed her blog as well. It is so nice to meet other mommies out there, isn’t it? Kelly shares poetry and funny kid stories that are always fun to read. I enjoy her take on life, and she almost always comments on my blog. Everyone loves comments. I am so glad I can count her as a new bloggin’ buddy. Upon receipt of this award, you are encouraged to share what you and your blog have accomplished.

I must say blogging has given me a new outlet. It helps me to stay disciplined and focused (sometimes). I really enjoy meeting people and when you are a stay at home mommy it is hard to meet new people. Blogging does that without me having to shower or leave my house! Ha! Just as Kelly said, the benefits of blogging have far exceeded my expectations. I love it.

I want to forward this award to:

Angela at Angela’s Adventures and Minor Mishaps. She hosts Friday High Five every Friday. Through her blog I have met lots of you. I am glad to have met her.

Jenners at Life with a Little One and More and Find Your Next Book Here. Jenners was my first blogging friend. She has been very encouraging and inspiring. Thanks, Jenners!

Lynda at Food, Fun, & Farm Life in East Africa. I think Lynda is the coolest person. She lives in Africa and just had a baby. Go check her out. She is very innovative, creative, and funny. I think you will enjoy her posts. Now, since she JUST gave birth, she is taking some time off…but still check her out. She will be back some time later this month.

Thanks again, Kelly and Kris. I look forward to all of your future posts.

Happy Monday, y’all!

Friday High Five

Angela's Adventures

Today is Friday High Five over at Angela’s Adventures. I like participating in this because it is any 5 RANDOM things.

Wednesday, I had to go to court. You see, the little town GSP (Greenville/Spartanburg) airport is in a town known for it’s speed traps. Everyone know this and you DON”T speed in Greer. Well, I was at my Nannie’s (that is what we call some of our grandma’s down here…everybody calls Nannie, “Nannie” even her preacher.) who lives in Greer, she had a Dinner (that’s what we call it when everybody who is in any way kin to you gets together to eat food in the evening…A Dinner) the night Brian was flying home from Germany. He had been gone for 2 weeks. I was so excited to see him. Anyway, his plane landed almost 45 minutes early! I couldn’t believe it when he texted me they were landing. So, I hop into my Mazda MPV…and RUSH to the airport…through Greer.

The police officer (of the K-9 unit, of all things) clocked me at 65 in a 35. He reprimanded me for putting Kate’s life in danger by my carelessness. He DID NOT care that I was excited to see Brian. Anyway, he made me cry, made me sit there for 15 minutes, and wrote me a ticket.

Court was for the speeding ticket. I hoped he would reduce the fine more. The cop charged me with 36 in a 35 and $88. I was hoping for $25. The judge wouldn’t, said it was reduced as low as he allowed. He said I was lucky with that.

My case was one of the last ones called. So, I ended up sitting there for about an hour and a half. I enjoyed observing, though. For there were more than traffic cases, there were ALL kinds of cases. I jotted down 5 of them.

Finally, huh? My list of 5!

1. Charge: Public drunk. A young girl (had to have been at least 21, but looked younger) was pulling into an apartment complex. She went in the out and couldn’t get in…so she drove parallel to the fence for about a football field length…then decided to go THROUGH the fence. Her fine: $150 restitution and $150 fine plus court cost. I think she got lucky.

2. Charge: Shoplifting. An older lady with bleached hair, bad teeth, and a club type dress with red lipstick was asked, how do you plead? She wondered could she plead, “I don’t remember?” The case was postpones, so she could obtain her free lawyer

3. Charge: Paraphanalia. A girl about my age was arrested for shoplifting. When they searched her purse, they found a grinder she use to grind her lortabs. They also found two short straws. I guess she snorted the powder. Ouch! So, even though she has a legal prescription…she was still charged with paraphanalia. I didn’t understand that one. Her case for the shoplifting was later. Meanwhile, though, the girl for some reason told her life story to the judge, crying the whole time. Her fine: paraphanalia charge, dismissed.

4. Charge: no SCDL, no proof of insurance, no proof of ownership, wrong tags. There were about 20 of these. They all needed an interpreter, for they only spoke Spanish. Most just had to pay a small fine, plus court costs. None were asked to prove citizenship or if they had gotten a license in the meantime. And for the real kicker, for most this was NOT their first offense. I am not going to opinionate ( my new word) on this…

5. Charge: Assault. An older black gentleman, I mean older, when asked had he been in trouble before by the judge, he answered, “Oh, about 60 or so years ago.” I thought he was so cute and funny in his Dickies work outfit. (That is what my daddy wore everyday to work…blue, green, and khaki ones.)

Anyway, evidently the man/boy ( he still lived with his Mama) who was assaulted had been asked repeatedly by the older gentlemen to leave his property. The man/boy used to work for the gentlemen, had recently been fired, but still had friends there (or something like that). The older gentleman asked the man/boy to leave on Monday and on Tuesday. He did not show on Wednesday, but did again on Thursday. Thursday is when the showdown occurred. The man/boy came by in the morning carrying a 40 ( a 40 is a 40 ounce malt liquor–yuck). He was asked to leave AGAIN. He did. But he came back. And when he did, the old man was waiting.

The man/boy needed 7 stitches.

Fine: $100 plus court cost. I think it should have been dismissed, don’t you? SO, did the older gentleman. When he questioned the judges ruling, the judge said the police should have been called. I miss the days when we could solve our own problems, instead of the government always having to step in. Oh, well. I digress.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my day in court as much as I enjoyed watching it.

Happy Friday!

Outdoor Wednesday

I can’t believe it is Wednesday again! How time flies when you are having fun…or working, or laying around reading books and watching the kid play. This week I am sharing pictures from our lake trip on Saturday. We have a little boat and before Kate was here, we were there all summer. This is our FIRST lake visit this year. Hard to believe we haven’t been out yet, but with a kid, pregnancy, trips to Germany, acres of grass to cut, and all this glorious rain this was the first chance we had.
Even though I was up at 7, excited and getting ready, we didn’t make it on the road until around 11. Of course, I forgot toys for Kate, so we had to stop at the dollar store. And, of course, as we pulled into the landing area, Brian realized he forgot the plug for the boat. So, we had to get back on the highway, drive up 3 exits, go to the Marina, buy a plug, get back on the highway, drive back down 3 exits….

Luckily (by God’s grace, actually) the boat started on the SECOND try. The first try, I didn’t have all the breakers pushed in…we FINALLY made it to the island around 1 or so.

our island

lunchtime

Molly’s new friend (for about 5 minutes)

playing in the dirt finally…it took her a minute or two to realize what to do

eating cookies

eating juicy cantaloupe

blue heron standing on the dock
(if you can see him…we caught him eating some fish, didn’t get the camera out in time)

It was a wonderful day. Nice and relaxing. Just what was needed.

To enjoy more wonderful outdoor posts…go see Susan at A Southern Daydreamer. Her yard is gorgeous. She has so many different flowers that she shares each week.

downside of chicken farmering

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of reading some blogs where life is always perfect…sunshine, ice cream, flowers, and smiles. My life isn’t like that all the time. It is actually only like that about half of the time. So, I have been slowly changing the blogs I read. Weeding them out, you could say. I have found some blogs that are more to my taste, a little more real, I guess I could say.

Well, on that note, I have some unpleasant things to share. But, it comes with the territory, you see. Raising chickens isn’t all cuteness or cleanness…

Remember these chickens? We got them at the feed store. You can read what I posted when they arrived, here.

They were so much fun and cute. I had such high hopes. They were going to be egg layers. 3 of them would have laid blue eggs. Notice I am using past tense? Well, last week I came home to find:

(forgive the gruesomeness)

Evidently a dog got into the coop while I was gone that morning. (Brian did “autopsies” and found teeth marks, etc.) Ms. Americauna who also lives in this coop was smart…she ran into the nesting boxes in the top. These, however, had not yet learned that trick. The dog left these 6 and must have carried the other 2 off somewhere else to enjoy. (He probably just dropped them somewhere, though. We just haven’t found them) Needless to say, I was upset. Granted, these aren’t the first chickens we’ve owned to be killed by a dog, nor will they be the last. (I hope they will be, though.) But it is the most we have lost at one time. Last year we lost 4 at once, but that is another story.

It is a good thing chickens are so cheap. ( Get it? Cheap, cheep? HA! HA!)
Oh, well.
Easy come, easy go.

Remember this rooster?

Rooster and his harem

I know, you can’t tell a difference between him and this guy:

the replacement

But they are two different roosters. For sake of confusion, we will call them #1 and #2, for obvious reasons. Rooster #1 had a good life. We brought him here when we moved. He always had lots of hens to jump on and boss around. He wasn’t even in a coop! He wandered the yard as if he owned it. He was very pretty. I enjoyed watching him. In the evenings, he would take his harem out into the pasture to scrounge. He even would let Kate stand right beside him, no big deal.

For some reason, #1 would roost at night on top of the game rooster’s pen. Game roosters are the roosters used in cock fighting. (We didn’t, I am just explaining what kind of rooster he was.) They are naturally mean and aggressive which is why he stayed in a pen.

the game rooster

Brian was given this rooster. So, we thought we would fatten him up for a few months, then sell him. They go for $30-40 at the auction. Plus, it is just fun to have random chickens. And this rooster was pretty.

Anyway, back to my point…#1 is roosting at night on top of game’s pen. The roof is just a scrap piece of chain link fence that was kept tight with bungee cords…fancy, huh? One day, the bungees did not get tightened down, or something. I am not sure.

Not only did #1 roam the yard freely, he also taunted the game and they would snap at each other through the pen. So, there was animosity between the two already.

#1 must have settled on top of the pen, one time too many.

Somehow, #1 ended up INSIDE the game rooster’s pen.

It was a fight to the death.

The mean, hateful, nasty game rooster standing victorious over my beautiful, sweet #1 Rhode Island Red Rooster. There was quite a mess. I have never seen anything like it. I was appalled. Evidently when these game roosters get their first taste of blood, they will do anything to get more. So, what to do?

Well, Brian’s bright idea was to sell him. Well, down here we have something called the Jockey Lot. (It is funny, they have a website.) you can buy or sell anything here. So, we loaded him up one Saturday morning to see if we could trade him to the chicken man for another Rhode Island rooster. For some reason, the chicken man wasn’t in to trading. So, we got some cardboard and made a sign that said “FOR SALE”. As Brian opened the cage door, you know to put the sign in…

the game rooster stepped right out of the cage…and TOOK OFF!! Literally, before I could even begin to scream, “CATCH HIM!” He was off and running…well, chicken running.

As I stood there…in shock…no one else seemed concerned. People just stood around watching. Granted we were at the Jockey Lot where this is the dress code:

As Brian is trying to catch him…or corner him, some rednecks join in. About an hour later…after he ran past me twice and I couldn’t (I mean, wouldn’t) do anything about it…Brian came back empty handed and out of breath.

We decided that he would be happy running about the Jockey Lot. There is lots to eat, lot to see, lots of places to hide. I like to imagine that some Mexican caught him up and put him to work in the cock fighting circuit where he is winning tons of money.

Neither one of us really cared that he was gone, and since there was really nothing we could do about it. We went back to the chicken man and purchased #2 Rooster.

See, easy come, easy go.

So, what is the lesson here?

  1. Keep your chicken coop doors closed tightly, so dogs can’t get in. DUH!
  2. Don’t let your game rooster and pretty rooster ANYWHERE near each other.
  3. Chicken farming is not for the faint-hearted or queasy stomachs.
  4. If you have a chicken you don’t like…drop him off at the Jockey Lot.

Happy Monday!

book reviews…kind of

I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle

I picked up this book in the library because it was read and reviewed by Jenners, here. This book is hilarious. It kind of reminded me (well, in the beginning) of Say Anything with John Cusack. I love John Cusack, still…to this day. I have loved him since this movie. But I am not talking about that, am I?

Not the entire book reminded me of this movie, of course. Just the idea, I guess. High school graduation, a party, a crush on an unreachable girl. Anyway, if you are looking for something light-hearted, funny, and easy to read…choose this. It made me LAUGH OUT LOUD several times.

Vince Flynn

Okay, I know he is an author, not a book. But, all of his books involve Mitch Rapp, a CIA agent. These books are so exciting. I couldn’t put any of them down. They are addictive. It is kind of a manly book…lots of violence. But I have a crush on Mitch. He is kind of like Jack Bauer, but cuter…in my head anyway. So, if you like excitement, terrorist plots, recurring characters, and patriotism the Jack Bauer way, then you will enjoy Vince Flynn’s novels. I highly recommend them. Easy reading. I like them so much, I am currently trying acquire all of them in used paperback. (Click his name and read how he got his start. It is encouraging for all you would-be writers.)

Beautiful Lies and Sliver of Truth by Lisa Unger

My aunt recommended this author to me. These books are suspenseful mysteries. They are very good. They both center around Ridley Jones, who is a freelance author. I really liked this character. Mainly though, I like Ms. Unger’s writing style. She writes from Ridley Jones’ perspective. She is so descriptive, but not in an annoying flowery way. In a good literary way. For example:

“Life is like this weird puzzle, you know? You have some of the pieces before you even know where they belong. I thought about that ascended the staircase, how I’d found this matchbook in Max’s apartment with a stranger’s name scrawled inside, never imangining that it would lead me to a London club with a rogue FBI agent, both of us searching for the same but totally different things, both of our lives a tangled mess we kept tripping over. If I’d really been watching the signs, I’d have known that there was no good way out of this scenario, that only bad things could happen from here on out. But I was still naive enough to believe that somehow everything was going to be okay.” (excerpt from Sliver of Truth)

The Associate by John Grisham

I love most of John Grisham’s books. They are easy to read. I call them “fiction for the masses”. Like Nicholas Sparks. :) Well, this book was okay. It was definitely not my favorite. To me it was just like all his other books. Well, the other books that involve a young, hotshot lawyer joining the big law firm and working 100 hour weeks, etc. I kept feeling like I had read it before. (Side note: I had put my name on the waiting list at the library for this book when it first came out. I was # 97. It took several weeks for me to get it. So, the disappointment I felt might have been caused by my anticipation. Unless Mr. Grisham is losing his touch.)

Well, I am kind of tired of sitting at the computer, so I will post more book opinions later. Or when I don’t know what else to post. I am always reading SOMETHING.

Happy Thursday!


Outdoor Wednesday

It is time for Outdoor Wednesday again. I hope you don’t mind, but this is going to be a huge post. I missed last week. So, I am going to make up for it today.

Flowers growing in the pastures

Lucky kept nudging my elbow, vying for attention.

Rooster: showing off

We got our 25 chickens in the mail. They are a combination of laying hens and fryers. Included with our order was an Exotic chick. Very cool.

Kate kept opening the box…some tried to fly out.

The exotic chick White Crested Black Polish

Isn’t she adorable?

They were so thirsty after their trip!

Aren’t they hilarious?

Getting used to their new home.
I think they like it.

The other 8 chicks getting used to their new home.

My new chicken coop/pen in the backyard. We put Mama chicken and her babies here. I love it. It is fun having them right there where we can watch them.

And because I can’t help it:

Happy Wednesday!

please excuse me…I need to vent

I have been in the WORST mood for days now. I don’t know what my problem is. I blame hormones. I mean I am pregnant. But, I really don’t like to excuse my bitchiness that way. It just seems that nothing has gone my way lately. But maybe that is the problem. Trying to make things go my way. Instead of letting go and letting God. Like that is easy to do ALL the time. Do you know what I mean?

For example, Kate has been waking up every single morning at 3 am. 3am! This is also the time I had to get up to pee every morning when pregnant with her. Isn’t that weird? Anyway…I already am awake by 4 peeing with this pregnancy. But she wakes me up, screaming her head off. It takes me about an hour to get her back to sleep. By the time she is asleep, I am wide awake. I lay back down anyway, and I can’t get comfortable, etc. I finally get back to sleep and an hour later I have to get up and make Brian’s lunch. (I don’t HAVE to, I like to see him before he goes to work.)

So, it is 7 am and I am half awake thinking I can have some quiet time on the porch…and yep Kate wakes up. Pointing to her mouth…”Eat, eat, eat” she says. So, no quiet time, no sleep, tons of laundry still needs to be finished, my floors haven’t been mopped in a month, the trash has fruit flies, and I need to shave my legs, should I go on? Just kidding.

I know what y’all are thinking right now…sounds like motherhood. Well, I understand that. I am just a little tired and cranky and I feel like I am all alone. I really miss having a girlfriend to vent to sometimes. Someone I can actually see and touch and have coffee with (or in my non pregnant days, a bottle of red wine). I know God hears me when I cry, I just want someone to actually vocalize their understanding. Someone else to tell me about their stupid day…then we can laugh about our aggravations together. All the while knowing somebody else feels this same exact way.

So, thanks for hearing me or reading me actually. And if you are a praying person, please pray for Brian that I don’t kill him over the next couple of days. I am sure I will get over whatever it is that seems to be making me so miserable. Probably by the time I post this. Now that it is off my chest. Because I feel like kicking him sometimes…

Captain the stallion with his mate Cabbie

finally to Joshua!

I have slowly but steadily working my through the Old Testament. For I thought it a shame as many books as I have read that I have never read the Bible. I mean never ever. So, that is what I am trying to do. Happily I can say I am finally through the Pentateuch. Finally. I started this project in November. I am becoming more disciplined. The more I read, the more I want to read. I can’t believe how much I enjoy it.

I don’t know how many of you have actually read these books, but it is really quite difficult. To tell you the truth, I skimmed parts of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. I can relate to those Israelites. They had to be taught the same lessons continuously.

It isn’t funny but I couldn’t help but chuckle a few times, though. The consequences to not following the law and obeying God was usually death. How did they keep forgetting that? One man was stoned to death for gathering wood on the sabbath. Whole families slaughtered because their men went “whoring” after another tribe’s daughters. I mean, the word “whoring” is actually used. (Sorry, I can’t remember where.)

The lists of sacrifices with precise directions from the priests wardrobe to the intricate details of the ark. Wow.

The law. Ouch. Try living under that.

It never really dawned on me what that meant. The law of Moses. I see the Pharisees (in the New Testament) differently now. I am so thankful for grace and Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice.

I am glad I stuck to this and made it through. I started Joshua today. It is really good so far.

I learned a lot, but have lots of questions, too. For example, did they only eat manna and quail? If they were making sacrifices of lamb, goat, calf, etc. couldn’t they eat what they didn’t sacrifice? Or did they not have herds? Was the instructions on sacrifice for when they made it to the promised land? And those who came out of Egypt, they didn’t make into the promised land, did they? That was their punishment, I guess.

I would like to know more about what daily life was like in this time period. I am also curious to see a map of the Israelites wanderings. So, in my spare time (ha! ha!) I am going to work on finding these things out.

What do y’all read from the Bible? Do you do devotional books and daily reading. I am curious what others like to do.

I hope everyone is having a lovely week.

Happy Thursday.

Outdoor Wednesday


It is time for more outdoor pictures. Outdoor Wednesdays are my favorite. I like this post because it always cheers me up. Makes me smile. Choosing what pictures to share. This week is springtime in Germany. Brian has been home for 2 weeks and I am just now looking at his awesome pictures. I hope you enjoy.

boating on the Rhine

flowers in the valley

gorgeous yellow blossoms

long time no see

Angela's Adventures

I am joining Angela and her Friday High Five again this week. It is a list of any 5 random things you choose.

I have been taking a computer break. The weather is so beautiful and I have so many things to do…

What kind of things have I been doing, you may wonder. Here are 5:

#1. I planted our veggies.

cucumber and tomato salad

sauteed or grilled squash and zucchini

pinto beans, green beans, spinach, mixed greens, and romaine

I cannot wait until time to pick and eat all these things. Yum. I have many other things planted, but I haven’t taken pictures of those yet. Including sunflowers galore. Do you like my rows along the back fence? It makes for easy watering and picking.

#2. I have been reading.

Here is the list.

  1. I love you, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle
  2. Betryal by John Lescroart
  3. The Plunder Room by John Jeter
  4. Scorpio Illusion by Robert Ludlum
  5. Transfer of Power by Vince Flynn
  6. Separation of Power by Vince Flynn
  7. Memorial Day by Vince Flynn
  8. Acts of Treason by Vince Flynn ( I am in love with the main guy, Mitch Rapp)
  9. Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger
  10. The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
  11. The Associate by John Grisham

I might post some thoughts about some of these books later. I enjoyed most of them, not all. I did really like Lisa Unger. I liked her so much that I got the other two books the library had of hers. My aunt mentioned her to me.

#3. I have been doing housework.

Here is Kate helping me with the laundry. She has become a good helper. She copies whatever I am doing. After she adorns herself with whatever she can find. Her current infatuation is my underwear and her daddy’s belts. Weird child. I think she gets that from her daddy.

#4. Kate and I have been on many outings.

Here we are at Reedy River in Greenville, SC. It is so pretty there. When we got down to the river, I took Kate out of her stroller. By the time I had gotten the bags situated (I was looking for the food) Kate was already in the water. She thought it was great. We saw ducks of all kinds. Even a mommy and her ducklings were swimming around. Kate saw that before I did.

#5. I have been relaxing.


And since I AM 6 months pregnant and counting, my blog posts might be sporadic. I really love sitting in the sun reading, more than anything. Maybe one day I can get a laptop….wishes and dreams…HA! HA!

Anyway, I hope ya’ll keep reading when I do post.

Happy Friday.

the house hunting quest begins…

We are currently renting our beautiful home on 30 acres. Key word: renting. (We got a once in a lifetime deal.) Brian and I have always rented. So this is a new adventure for me. Looking for a house to buy, something to call my own, a yard where I can plant PERENNIALS and TREES. I must admit, this house hunting thing is not going as smoothly as I imagined it would. But does anything?

The only requirement we have is at least 5 acres. At least. Sounds easy, right?

So, what do you get when you need some land and you have a limited budget?

Ha! Ha! HA! I know beggars can’t be choosers, but I really hope I don’t have to settle for this.

Writer’s Workshop: 24 weeks and counting…

This week’s Writer’s Workshop hosted by Mama Kat fits right along with what I had on my mind anyway. That happened last week, too. Funny, huh?

2.) Do you want a baby?

Well, I have to say, I hope so. Since, I am officially 24 weeks pregnant today. Wow.

I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. It feels as if it was just last night when I woke up in the middle of the night to potty. I didn’t feel so good, so I thought maybe I should take a pregnancy test. It was positive immediately.

I woke Brian at 3am to tell him the good news.

He was happier about it in the morning.

I can’t believe I am STILL throwing up. Sometimes. Not every morning like I was. But enough that it is annoying. Kate mimics me sometimes. When my sister was pregnant with her second, her oldest would mimic her. He would pull his play car over, open the door, stick his head out, and then make puking noises. Hilarious. Especially since he was only 2 at the time. (I think.)

I can’t believe how tired I am today. I guess it is to be expected. I do have a silly little girl to chase around.

She runs sooo fast. SEE?
funny kate

She just laughs and laughs when Molly or I chase her around the house. It is fun to hide then jump out and startle her. That is what I was doing in these pictures. When I jumped out, I would snap the picture. So fun.

I can’t believe that in just 4 little short months, the end of summer, I will have my brand new baby beside me. How exciting. In case you wondering, we are not finding out the gender. We think it is more fun that way. So, sometimes I imagine a little boy and sometimes I imagine a little girl. Either way is going to be interesting, to say the least.

I can’t believe I have yet to buy, make, or look for anything for this new baby. I don’t even know what pajamas, shirts, etc. I am going to need. With Kate, I was ready way before hand. I had boxes and boxes of clothes.

Boys clothes. Ha! HA!

I didn’t have many girl things at all. But we survived. Kate was not harmed wearing boys’ clothes at all. Her grandmas provided her with plenty of pretty things to wear in public, though. I assure you.

I can’t believe how cool I think being pregnant is. An exciting time in my life (except for the laundry, cooking, etc.) It is wonderful to be a mommy. I love every minute of it. And the anticipation of one more to join the party…you know? I can’t explain it.

Here we are, having a grand old time at Grandma Perry’s house.

I can’t believe how blessed I truly am. I would have to say, Yes, I want a baby.

Outdoor Wednesday

I can’t believe it is Wednesday again already. Time for more lovely outdoor pictures.

The bluebird eggs have hatched. This is the best picture I could get with the camera I am using this week. It is so sweet to watch Mama and Papa bluebird feed them every morning.
The chicks hatched last Saturday. Aren’t they adorable? There are four. Can you see them all?

Here are the chicks from the feed store.
Look how big they are getting. They are learning to fly. They run and flap their wings down the length of the brooder. Too cute.

Since this is the first spring here, I was anxious to see what flowers would bloom in the yard. Here are a few.

Thanks for visiting Outdoor Wednesday. To see other wonderful outdoor photos, click the link.

Friday High Five

I found another link up kind of post to do sometimes. I like these because they help me narrow my focus on what exactly to write about. I have so many ideas in my notebook and swirling around my head. I have a hard time deciding my topic (sometimes).

Angela hosts Friday High Five. I found her through my cousin Mary. It is just a list of 5 things. It can be anything you want.

This is the first time I can remember being genuinely happy. Even after my puke-a-thon this morning, I was not giddy, but content. Ready to start the day. Well, that being said here is a list of 5 things that drive me crazy. These are all equally annoying things, some just occur more often than others.

Crumbs in the car seat

I always said I would not allow my child to eat in the car. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! As all the moms die laughing….that is truly a statement said by a childless person. It is not possible to not feed your child in the car. So, I am okay with that, now. But when I put Kate in her car seat and reach beside her to get the strap around her waist, my fingernails scrape the cover. Dirt, crumbs, etc, always goes under my fingernails and grosses me out beyond belief.

I am trying to get into the habit of cleaning her seat out regularly, but….

High chair goo and gunk

Another thing I always said to myself, “Why is so and so’s high chair always so dirty? Why don’t they clean it better? I am not going to let my high chair get that nasty.” Yeah, right. The minute Kate began to eat solid food I saw how annoying this daily chore was going to be. At every single meal there is some sort of goo and or gunk slowly drying all over the high chair. This stuff can’t just be wiped off either. Oh, no. I have to use soap and lots of elbow grease. Needless to say, this is a chore I put off for once a day. Unfortunately.

White dog hair all over everything

I didn’t fully understand Molly’s shedding problem until we moved into a house with hardwood floors. On carpet, the hair settles and sticks. No big deal. Not really. Here the hair lands on the floor until someone walks by. The hair then goes for a ride on the little breeze created. It usually lands on my table. Using a swiffer is easier than vacuuming, I just would rather do something else than clean the floors (like read my book, play with Kate, eat, check facebook, blog stuff, etc). I end up putting off cleaning my floors to about once a week. Oh, well.

When Kate RUNS away from me

Usually when I say to Kate, “Come to mommy,” It is for a reason. It isn’t because I am playing a game. Kate thinks I am playing. She will look at me mischiveously, turn, and RUN in the wrong direction. Usually with something dangerous in her hands, or towards something dangerous (scissors, porch stairs, parking lot, chicken poo). This is probably the only thing she does right now that makes me angry with her. I am not exactly sure how to handle this new game of hers, so any suggestions are welcome.

My time waster

I waste too much time playing with and editing my pictures on the computer. As much as I love picassa, I wish I didn’t. It takes up so much time. It is my own fault, I know. I take too many pictures. But it really is a cheap hobby. I just never get anything printed, I have a hard time backing up my stuff. We recently got an external hard drive type thing that works great. I just can’t figure out how to use it with picasa. So, somehow I have inadvertantly copied almost all my pictures from this year. I now have duplicates of over 1000 pictures on this hard drive. I have to go in manually to delete the copies. Frustating. But worth it in the end, I hope.

Happy Friday, ya’ll.

Writer’s Workshop

Today is Writer’s Workshop at Mama Kat‘s. She hosts this every Thursday. I am participating today because the prompt I am choosing fits in perfectly with what I was already planning to write.

5.) Today I will…

Tell you a little bit about some things I enjoy. I can feel the excitement some of you are feeling as you eagerly anticipate what I am about to share.

my favorite radio addiction
Laura Ingraham is my the radio host I must listen to every day. She is witty and quirky. On her program you hear a combination of mockery and sarcasm as she relates the news. Especially the news about Michelle Obama and her garden, or her arms. She calls the Obama presidency “razzle dazzle”. She plays funny sound bites from those in political office. Some things you might not hear on the mainstream news. She has interviews with different authors of new books she finds interesting. She has a Catholic priest on once a week to weigh in on different moral issues.

For you moms who read this blog, she is a mother to a 4 year old girl. She sometimes mentions the difficulties in raising a daughter in this amoral society. She will even mention her faith in God. Gasp! I know. Can you believe that? On the public airways. Kidding aside, she talks about such a wide variety of things, that you don’t get bored. As I do, with other radio hosts (not mentioning any names). And the best thing about it is you can listen online, static free. Click here.

my favorite soap

Summit Soapworks by Christine Balch makes the best soap. She is in Vermont. Brian found her online. We have been using her soap for about 2 years, now. Why am I telling you about my soap? I have had dry skin for as long as I can remember. Now I don’t. This soap solves all my dry skin problems.This soap is all natural. I even use it on Kate. The ones we get are lavender oatmeal or almond oatmeal. I love it. We get the slab, Brian slices it into bars. We usually set it out in the sun to harden more. It lasts for months. I think it is worth it, but you know what they say about opinions. I recently emailed her and told her how much I love it. She sent me a free bottle of her shea butter lavender lotion. It is the best for my dry over-worked “man” hands. Check it out.

my favorite time of day

I would have to say it is in the morning when the birds are the most active. This morning was the first time I succeeded in rising at 6 am. I have been attempting this feat for a month now. So, this was quite an accomplishment. Because I did, the Lord blessed me during my quiet time with the sights and sounds of morning. It was truly a lovely thing. As I read, I kept seeing flashes of color streak across the corner of my vision. Red, blue, black, and brown. Bright vivid colors. Hearing the rooster crow, the birds twitter and sing, highway 85 roar. Watching mama and papa blue bird fly in and out of their house. I do love the early morning.

a house you imagine in a fairy tale
(because it is hard for me to NOT post a picture)

I hope you enjoyed today at the Writer’s Workshop. Click for more reading prompts to enjoy or to participate.

outdoor wednesday

It is Outdoor Wednesday today. (Yes, it is more like Wednesday evening, but I have been busy.) I thought I would share some pictures from Easter Sunday. My daddy got this bike out of a basement he cleaned out for an elderly lady. She let him have what he wanted. While most of the family was at my parents, Daddy pulled this bike out of the barn, oiled it, and went for a ride. The kids thought it was great to see Grandpa riding a bike. I think he enjoyed himself that day.

Happy Wednesday. Click anywhere it says Outdoor Wednesday to see more cool outside pictures.

a few random things

Mama hen is still sitting on here eggs. We separated her from the others. She seems happy and content in her new nest. The chicks should be hatching this Sunday, May 2. I am so excited.

Our baby chicks our losing their down so quickly. They all have feathers on their wings, now. Too cute.

The blue bird family is still trying to hatch their eggs, also. Sunday morning, mama blue bird kept poking her head out of the bird house. She looked like a bird on a cuckoo clock. It was funny. She did it all morning.

I finally got the chickens in their new coop. I think they like it. I hope so. They are laying their eggs somewhere I can’t find. So, egg production is way down to 2 a day.

My house is finally almost clean. Clean enough so I don’t feel guilty for going outside to play in the dirt. I am planning on planting my veggies in the morning.

I hate waiting and hoping for Brian’s call. (He is in Germany. Did I mention that?)

Molly keeps barking and sniffing at the air conditioner vents. Weird dog.

When I came out of the bathroom this evening, Kate was curled up in my bed. She was looking at her Daddy’s gun and ammo magazine. Hilarious.

An answer to prayer! Baby Stellan has been released from the hospital without surgery. He gets to go home. For a complete update on his condition, click his picture on the left.

Yesterday was a wonderful rest-filled day. Just what was needed.

resting day

I have tried to write several days in a row now and nothing seems to work. Nothing makes sense. Everything is stupid.

So, I am just going to write to say hello. “Hello.”

I have a lot going on outside this time of year.

I know that you really don’t want to hear about all the flower beds that need weeding (3). Or the veggie garden that is left for me to plant now that Brian is in Germany. Or that one of my favorite chickens died a horrible death last week. Or that my house is a mess. Or that my tummy is getting bigger and bigger, making everything begin to become more difficult. Or that my lists keep getting longer and longer.

And I don’t feel like doing ANYTHING but sitting on the porch with my hot tea and a book. I think I will. After I post this. So, today, my lists really are going to be put aside.

It is Sunday, after all. THE day of REST.

a good reminder

I have been so overwhelmed by all the things that must be done. I have a list of things that need to be done by Saturday. Why? Because Brian leaves Saturday for Germany for 2 weeks (I hope only 2). I have a list that needs to be done before the baby is born. I can’t even begin to LOOK at this list. It is so time consuming. I have daily lists and weekly lists. It is actually ridiculous.

I was doing okay getting things accomplished. I was rising early, I was having a quiet time in the morning. My house stayed clean. I stayed on top of the laundry. I planned and threw an amazing, awesome Easter egg hunt. I even learned a lot about Jesus and Peter that week. I was blogging regularly. I was having a marvelous time.

Then I got arrogant. Proud. Puffed up. I was so proud at how well I was doing that I started to leave out the most important part of what I was doing. I put off reading the Bible one day. Now, I did that only because I didn’t get up early enough. But it was so easy the next morning to pick up the book I am reading instead of my Bible.

As I was on my home from the bank this morning, I rolled down the windows and turned music on the radio. Usually I listen to talk radio in the car by myself. The song by Chris Sligh, Empty Me came on. (If you click his name, you can watch an acoustic video.)

I know how I can stray
And how fast my heart could change
Empty me
Of the selfishness inside
Every vain ambition
And the poison of my pride
And any foolish thing my heart holds to
Lord empty me of me
So I can be
Filled with you

Cuz everything is a lesser thing
Compared to you
Compared to you
Cuz everything is a lesser thing
Compared to you
So I surrender all

I cannot believe the power in this prayer. It states simply what resonates deeply within me. I cannot say this often enough or pray it often enough. Maybe the more I pray it, the more it will be true.

Every foolish thing my heart holds to

needs to be let go. Every thing. I have to surrender all my lists, all my plans, all my everything. Why can’t I get this through my head? I don’t know. Well, this is my prayer daily.

I needed a reminder this morning. So, tomorrow morning I will rise early. I will have my quiet time. I will try to give my lists to Him. Knowing full well He is in charge whether I like it or not. My life is just easier when I like His control of it.

newest arrivals

Here are our newest arrivals. Aren’t they sweet? A feed store got them in early this morning, so Brian picked out a few. There are 4 different breeds. It is so fun to watch them play.

a buff orpington

an americauna

an americauna
a silver laced wyandotte

catching up

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I have been so busy not doing anything this past week. I have so many things to write about, but I keep putting it off. So, I am just posting….to post.

Today, Kate and I had a photo session at Clemson’s Botanical Gardens. It was fun until I realized my new camera was set on 2 mega pixels. Urrrggghhh! We had been there an hour and already taken around 200 photos. So, I just walked around and took some more with my camera on the correct setting. Because of my mistake, I found a Children’s Garden there. It was so cool. I will post some of those later.

Some things I am going to try to post about this week….the Easter egg hunt and my decorations, the Greenville tea party, the book I just finished, Kate’s dress, and an update on our budgeting plan. So, something for you to look forward to. Ha! Ha! I hope everyone is happy as I am.

And because I took so many today, here is another picture….

a chicken

Brian decided to let a hen hatch some eggs. We left four for her. She has been sitting on them day and night since Saturday. I am very excited to see what is going to happen. I can’t wait for baby chicks running around the yard, following their mama.

Outdoor Wednesday

I have been looking forward to this post because I have a new camera. It is the exact same as my old camera, just the newest version. So, far I really like it. Here are a few of the pictures I have been playing with this week.

We have a birdhouse on our fence post. I have been waiting to see if there were any eggs. I have seen a mama and papa blue bird flying around it.

This little feather has been in the nest for awhile, awaiting the eggs, too.

Finally, EGGS! Little, tiny, blue eggs. The prettiest little eggs I have ever seen.

To see other Outdoor Wednesday posts. Click here to see Susan who hosts this fun weekly post.

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Jenners is playing a game over on her blog. It is similar to The Family Feud. We each ask a question on our blog, then link to her blog. Answer my question in the comments section. All answers must be different. To see all the contestants, go see Jenners.

Now, my question:

If you could eat as much as you wanted of one thing, without gaining weight, what would it be?


In my reading of the resurrection story this week, what stands out to me the most, and what I can’t stop thinking about is the part of Peter. His second chance.

Peter had been told by Jesus that he would deny him 3 times. Of course, Peter vehemently opposed this idea. I will follow you to the death! Peter proclaims.

We all know that he does, eventually, but in this instance…

Luke 22:60-62

We see here Peter has just denied knowing Jesus for the third time. The rooster crowed. Peter looks over at Jesus where He is being beaten and interrogated. I can imagine what is going on in Peter’s head here. I can’t believe what is happening! Is this real? When he looks at him, he realizes that Jesus sees him. Peter wails and runs out of the building. His grief and shame weighing him down. I know that feeling all too well. But the story doesn’t end here, not for Peter.

Mark 16:7

Jesus has risen. The angel is in the empty tomb. He tells the women who have come to tell the disciples AND Peter. It is as if God is making a special point to get Peter. To give Peter another chance. This thrills my soul. Knowing that even after this denial, another chance is given to Peter. Peter takes good advantage of the second chance, too. He goes on to spread the Word in such a way, he makes as many enemies as his Lord did. He is eventually crucified himself, upside down. What a sacrifice! But, what he had to go through to come to that point…to be willing to give up his life for Him. Am I? I have been given a second chance. Am I willing to sacrifice it all? I say that I am. But, I have yet to be truly tested as Peter was.

I hope during this Easter weekend, we all truly realize what we are remembering. This is the core of our belief. The resurrection. The return. The whole point.

KID recipes and a $10 DIAPER coupon

Here are a few of the recipes I use to get Kate to eat vegetables. It isn’t that she doesn’t like vegetables. She has a hard time chewing some vegetables. So, shredded veggies and cooked veggies work best for us. We eat a lot of fruit, too.

Peanut Butter Blondies
6 T. butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. sweet potato (cooked and mashed)
3/4 c. peanut butter
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. oat bran (I used 2 packs of plain instant oatmeal)
1 c. unbleached flour (I used whole wheat)
1/2 c. peanut butter chips

Melt butter and sugar in sauce pan on stove. Remove and let cool a little. Stir in sweet potato and peanut butter. Add vanilla, eggs, salt, oats. Stir in flour until just mixed. Add peanut butter chips. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for about 35 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

You never notice the sweet potatoes at all. We love this recipe. It is a good afternoon snack with milk for Kate.

Kate’s Chicken Salad
Shred left over chicken breast. Shred 3 baby carrots and some cucumber. Add some mayonnaise to taste. Salt and pepper to taste. Put on toast triangles, dot with dried cranberries or raisins.

Fruit Smoothie
Frozen fruit, orange juice, apple juice…blend. Sometimes I add vanilla yogurt.
I add some flax seed to ours for fiber and other goodness. You don’t have to, of course.

Now, the real reason for reading my blog today. $10 coupon from Diapers.com. I used to order my diapers from here, but got out of the habit when we moved. I have noticed at Target and Walmart, the diaper boxes have gotten smaller, but the price has stayed the same. We use Pampers. I have tried every other diaper out there and don’t like them at all. So, pampers it is. Well, if you buy the biggest box at Diapers.com, they average out to $0.26 a diaper. To me, that is the best value for Pampers, I’ve seen. Now, for first time orderers at Diapers.com use code THEA0190. You will receive $10 off. Also, if you order $49 or more, it is free shipping.

Kate’s new “favorite” word

“Nasty, nasty,” Kate says as she points to the toilet….

“Nasty, nasty,” Kate says as she points to the trashcan….

“Nasty, nasty,” Kate says as she points to the pile of dirt I just swept into a pile on the floor….

“Nasty, nasty,” Kate says as she points to her dirty diaper….

“Nasty, nasty,” Kate says as she points to chicken poo on the ground….

“Nasty, nasty,” Kate says as she points to anything remotely dirty….

We were at Wal-mart a few days ago, in line, when a not very clean lady gets in line behind us. Kate looks her up and down, waves and smiles. She then looks at me, points at the lady and says, “nasty, nasty, Mama.” As I am dying, trying my best not to laugh out loud, my back to this lady. I am sure she can see my shoulders shaking, I am laughing so hard. I say, “That’s right, Kate, shoes.” I don’t know why I said shoes, but I did. For Kate clearly says nasty. There is no mistaking this word for another one. I only hope the lady didn’t put it together. We laughed all the way to the van and almost all the way home.

PS: I can’t even tell this story without laughing until I cry right before the punch line. Now, who does that remind you Perry’s of?

Writer’s Workshop…turning into Mama

Today Mama’s losin it is hosting another writer’s workshop. The prompt that I chose is #4.

In what ways are you turning into your mother?
It is hilarious in all the ways I am turning into Mama. The first time I noticed it I was pregnant and driving our new minivan on 85. I was scooting along, listening to the radio, singing my head off. When I saw blue lights in my rear view. Now I know most of you do NOT know this, but Mama has been pulled over a time or two in her minivan. She was usually singing at the time.

Another way, my van is a mess. I am ashamed to say. I have a box of snacks that rolls around the floor. Bottles, other assorted items rolling around on the floor. In the back is hay remnants, the spare tire, a floor jack, a stroller, bag of diapers, etc. All needed things, I assure you. I am not sure what’s in Mama’s jeep right now, but probably quite a few things.

When shopping, I head straight for the clearance or $1 section. But then I browse up and down every aisle (almost) looking at yummy stuff. This is always at the grocery store. It is the only shopping allowed in our budget.

I try to do everything…sewing, gardening, cooking, baking, mommying. So, did Mama. When we were small, she had her flower garden, her vegetable garden. She was always working on some sort of creative project. She can do almost anything she tries her hand at. Cake decorating, quilting, canning, you name it. I haven’t gotten everything down like Mama does, but I am working on it.

I am sure you have heard it before, but I never really appreciated Mama until I became one. I have such a new perspective on my mother and her life. It is funny to think that Mama had a life before I came along. But she did. And here I am sewing on the machine that she sewed on, hoping I can keep the machine for Kate one day. Thinking, oh Lord, please don’t let Kate become like me…

So, as you can see from this picture from our round faces, crooked teeth smiles, to the color of our hair…I am my mother.

a silly, yet important lesson and Outdoor Wednesday

Brian hasn’t really kept Kate all day from morning to evening without me. But this past weekend, he had her Friday night to Saturday afternoon. He and Kate had fun. I could tell from the shape of the house. But, Brian also learned a very valuable lesson.

I close all doors behind me. There is no telling what Kate will get into, if these doors are open. Well, Brian left a door open. A little bit later, he says Kate swinging my toothbrush holder around at Molly in the living room. Some sort of liquid dripping everywhere from her hands. He followed the liquid trail down the hall to the bathroom. He was greeted with a bit of a mess. You see, Brian had left the toilet seat up and the bathroom door open. Both huge invitations to Kate. So, you see, it is a silly yet important lesson.

I realized I don’t really tell anything about Brian, so I thought I would share a couple of things. He is really funny. He makes me laugh all the time. He calls us the “butter family”. Because of a commercial with this black and white family eating huge sticks of butter. We have butter with everything. (I know it is bad for you, but so yummy. We only had margarine growing up. Mama said she couldn’t afford butter.) He reloads his own ammo. I think this is a neat hobby. He saves the shells when he shoots, then reloads them. He listens to talk radio all day long. He loves the show The Office. He is also going back to Germany next month.

In celebration of Outdoor Wednesday and Brian, here are some pictures of Brian in his favorite place: outside.

Here he is with the fish he caught, the first time he took me fishing.

Here I am with the fish I caught that day. :)

He isn’t outside, but I love this picture. He is showing Kate, Molly. We really kept them separated at first. Now, though, is another story entirely.

He is showing Nathan how to hold and pet a chicken.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little about Brian. We have a lot of fun together.

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books, books, and more books

I am finally getting around to updating my books read so far list. I am up to 22, I think. I need to figure out how to number that list. Does anyone know how? It is on the left side of the blog, you have to scroll down a bit. If you are interested in in knowing more about any of these, let me know. I have notes scribbled about each of them. I will post some of them later.

I really need to take a nap today. I am going to the Extraordinary Women conference this weekend. So, I am planning on learning a lot this weekend. I hope to share some with you, eventually.

Writer’s Workshop

Every Thursday at Mama’s Losin’ It she hosts a writing exercise giving you 5 different things to choose from to write about. This week I chose #4: You can go back to your childhood for one day. What day and age do you choose?

I am not sure what specific day on the calendar this is, or how old I was…I do know that I was old enough to reach the kitchen counter. For earlier that day I had tasted the icing on the cupcakes my mom had just made. Using my finger, I had scraped up the icing on the edge of some of them that needed evened out. I eventually ate almost ALL the icing off ALL the cupcakes.

Don’t ask me why. I don’t know why I did that. I was a child. Well, that is not even the bad part. My mom asked us all (3) who had done this horrible, atrocious thing. Of course, I did not tell her it was me. Instead I let my younger sister Carrie take all the blame. She got a spanking. When Mama spanked us, she would take us to her bedroom and close the door. I stood outside Mama’s bedroom the whole time Carrie got a spanking wailing the whole time, “But I didn’t do it!” I listened to her cry and I cried and cried and cried.

I would go back and take responsibility. It bothers me still that I did that. When Carrie and I were roommates, I eventually told her what I had done. She doesn’t even remember that spanking. I do. It haunts me occasionally.

I am not sure why I thought of this particular moment in my childhood this morning. But I did. I had a wonderful growing up. Most of my memories are wonderful.

Outdoor Wednesday


It is Wednesday again! Time for some more pictures. A Southern Daydreamer hosts this every week.

Kate and I tried to have a photography session. It really didn’t work. She wanted to play, not sit and smile.
The rest of these pictures are from throughout our week. Feeding the horses, Kate playing, and of course the chickens. I hope you enjoy.