John, Sara Beth, Callum, Haley, Kobe, and Samuel

John, Sara Beth, Callum, Haley, Kobe, and Samuel

Monday, February 28, 2011

52 Home----Week 8

February 28, 2011

Kobe has a unique way of tuning out everything that is going on around him... even my voice and his brother's voice! I have no idea where he gets that from!

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This Month's Mumblings--February 2011

I am going to start keeping a little log of the funny/cute things my children say and do in the hopes that one day when they are all grown up and away at college or married and moved away, I can always pull these books out and read some of these little things and laugh... and probably cry! So here are some little blog-worthy moments this month:

**I normally keep my radio on WAAY FM (our local Contemporary Christian Music Station) but the other day it ended up on a different radio station... A song that says, "Fly like a G 6" came on... Samuel wanted to sing along so he said "Fly like a Cheese Stick"! Funny!

**I am not proud to tell this story but because I am keeping this as a "record" for me and my boys, I will tell it. The other night Samuel and I went on our own to Wal-Mart for groceries. All through the store he asked for many things and I gave him every single one of them. The problem with giving Samuel everything he wants is that he begins to truly act like a little spoiled rotten br well, you get the picture. So, on the way out he began crying and SCREAMING like I was hurting him because I wouldn't dig into the bags and find one of the things he had gotten. I told him we would get it when we got home and began putting the groceries in my car. Not.Good.Enough. He screamed and cried the entire time I put the bags in my vehicle. He continued with the screaming out of the parking lot and down the road. I asked, begged, pleaded, and bargained for him to quit the screaming. He wouldn't. Finally, I did something I am not proud of, I said, "Samuel, Shut up!". The screaming stopped. Immediately. The screams quickly turned to crying and it was the saddest little cry ever. I asked what was wrong now. And he says, "Mommy, you said a bad word and it hurt my feelings. You have broke my heart saying bad words!". Bless him, I think this will make me think twice about saying that to any of them ever again. I can count on my ONE hand how many times I have said SHUT UP to any of them but sometimes I have slipped and said it. Now, I know why I don't talk to them like that. Poor Baby!

**I walked in on Kobe sitting at the dining room table and he was just daydreaming....
Me: Kobe, what are you doing?
Kobe: Thinking.
Me: About what?
Kobe: About what God has planned for my life...
WOW! Sweet.

**The other night Samuel got into trouble at the dinner table, again! He was sent to his room where we hoped he would become bored and decide it is better to eat with the family than by yourself once everyone else is done. He did come out, but not from boredom. He came out and had his Power Ranger cell phone in hand and was really dialing the numbers on it in a hurry. I told him to go put the phone away and get up to the table and eat his dinner. This is what happened:
 Samuel: I can't.
 Me: Why not?
Samuel: I have to make a phone call.
 Me: No, you don't. You are in trouble. Get up here and eat.
Samuel: I know I am. That's why I need to call my Nana!

**I let Kobe trade in the red button up shirt I had laid out for him to wear to his school Valentine's Day party for a much "cooler" shirt that he chose instead and he said, "Mom--- and that's why I love you! You are the best mom ever!" I really wanted him to wear the nicer shirt but it was worth him wearing the green "I Got Skills" shirt with a game controller on it just to hear those words!

**Me: Samuel, how do you know?
Samuel: Because, I am smart, like my Nana!

**Upon seeing his newly re-arranged and re-decorated room Kobe says, "Mom, I can't tell you in words how much I love my new room! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!" How sweet...

**Upon realizing it was his first night to sleep in his big boy bed Samuel called me into his room to say, "Mommy, I need a sip." I go get a small drink of water and bring it back to him. He says, "Fank you (thank you) mommy, now can you turn the stars and flanets (planets) on?" His night light displays stars and plantes on the ceiling...

**This morning we told John good-bye and gave him hugs and kisses because he is going to be gone all week on a business trip and as we were leaving I began to cry. Samuel asked, "Mommy what's wrong, are you sad?" I said yes and he asked why. I told him it was because Daddy was going to be leaving today. He said, "Yes, we are going to miss Daddy too, but you have us. Don't worry, if someone tries to take Buster, I will go get your Buster Bean back, ok Mommy?!" I have no idea where that came from... I guess he was just trying to make me feel better. Then Kobe told me not to worry, he said that Chief will protect us and if not that he knows where John keeps the "weapons"... now I am worried! Bless them, they love thier momma and just want to take care of her!

**You know your kids don't want to go to sleep when you go in to tuck them in and check on them and they both say, "WAIT! We need to brush our teeth...again!" I don't think so. I am happy they brush their teeth before bed but once is enough. They will think of ANYTHING to get out of going to bed.

Biggest Milestone for Kobe this month: Kobe is beggining to become the protective/sweet older brother. He is not all the way there just yet but he is starting to go down that path. They still argue and fight but I can tell Kobe is trying so hard to make that maturity shift. He also met the criteria to be in the "Math Bug Club".

Biggest Milestone for Samuel this month: Sleeping in his big boy bed all night long. He is so proud of himself when he does and every morning asks me for a frize (prize) since he slept in his bed all night by himself.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Five on Friday 02-25-11

Here is this week's Five On Friday! I got the link HERE if you would like to participate and create your own Friday 5 blog. I hope you each have a Fun Friday, friends!

Before I get started on this week's topic, I want to tell you why I am doing these blogs on Fridays. I know it seems silly and the questions are completely random, but that is what I love about it. I am writing these blogs so that I can have them printed into an album. The albums will one day find themselves in the hands of my little boys. One day, when I am long gone, they can read how I felt about certain things and get to know little things about me through some of these blogs. I think one day they will really appreciate that they have this to hold on to and look through. So with no further ado (and yes, that is how you spell it)....

This week's topic: And The Winner Is...

1. Who in your life should win Best Director for his or her work in 2010? **God. He has been a pretty good Director for my family this past year. We went through a lot and were blessed a lot all because he led us to where he wanted us to be. I am glad we let him navigate and “direct” our paths…after all, he wrote the whole story… may as well let him direct it too!**

2. Who in your life should win Best Actor and Actress in Supporting Roles for their performances in 2010? **Best Supporting Actor--John. He lives with me and puts up with me. Enough said. Well, that and that he supports me no matter what. He is available to me if I just need an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to completely lean on. Best Supporting Actress—My Mom. She wins this one. Easily. For all the same reasons as I listed above plus the fact that she helps me with the kids so much. She keeps Samuel twice a week and he adores going to her house. He asks me if today is “nana’s house day” every.single.morning. He loves going to her house and spending time with her by himself. She also picks up Callum and Kobe three times a week and sees to it that they get home from school safe and sound. She does a whole lot more too… I couldn’t list it all.**

3. For what 2010 project, display, or outfit will you win the Best Visual Effects award? **Project. Our Bedroom. I went in one Saturday morning, shut the door and didn’t come back out until I had re-done the entire room. I re-arranged furniture, painted, and hung pictures on the walls. I consider this my best…especially since I had only painted a room one other time in my whole life…which was the weekend prior to this project.**

4. What terrific display of self-restraint or self-correction in 2010 earns you the Best Editor award? **I was Born Again. Is there a better form of self-correction?**

5. Of these Best Picture nominees, which title could best serve as the title of your 2010: 127 Hours, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids are All Right, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, or Winter’s Bone? **The Kids are All Right. I use this one because…they are. They have two parents who love each other and them. Callum came to live with us full time in 2010 and is doing well at home and doing better at school with each passing day. Kobe is growing physically, emotionally, and mentally every single day and is really a joy to be around. Samuel is my little happy, wild man. He is a happy little boy and getting smarter and sweeter every time I look at him. They have a wonderful church family and are learning about the love of Jesus. They live in a home full of love, they have great teachers at church, and each of them have some awesome teachers helping guide them at school. I would say that The Kids are Definitely All Right.**

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday 02-24-11

This week I am feeling thankful for:

1. Jesus!  He is my strong tower...shelter over me....beautiful and holy... and His face is ALL I seek!

2. John. This week John has worked some long hours. Apparently, that is a negative point of being on salary... not really a "set" schedule. I am very thankful for him and his willingness to sacrifice to work hard for us.

3. My Babies! Ok, so technically they aren't babies anymore but they are my babies and always will be!They are growing up way too fast but I am very proud of the sweet,caring, responsible, and loving boys they are growing to be. They are such good great  kids!

4. My Job. I actually enjoy my job. I enjoy the people I work with and the people I work for. I am blessed.
5. Our Home. I am so thankful that we have a place that we all come back to at the end of our day and tell eachother about our best/worst thing at the dinner table and spend time with one another. Used to I couldn't wait to get out of the house and go out and about and now ... my favorite "activity" is staying in with my family.

6. My Church Family. I can't say enough good things about Church of the Shoals!

7. The Weekend! I look forward to the weekends every week but I am so ready to spend some extra time with my family this coming weekend!

8. The Perfect Brownie Pan. I am in love with this pan. The pan "cuts" them into perfect little squares and they are so cute! The boys are amazed!

9. My Devtional Book. It is called, ' Be Still and Let Your Nail Polish Dry'. It is the best. It is for wives and moms. They are very easy to understand and relevant to my everyday activities and problems that I deal with as a mom,wife, and employee.

10. Softlips. I love my tube of vanilla softlips. My lips have been so dry lately! I am so thankful for this little miracle tube.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Best Friend A Girl Could Have...

Her name is Susie. She was full of life, love, laughter, mischief, and energy! The best mixture there could have ever been in one person... imagine all of these wonderful qualities wrapped into one person and you have her... Susie. She and I met at school and began "hanging out" and became inseparable from there. I truly love her like she is my sister. I hope that doesn't offend anyone, it's just that I don't have a sister so I can only imagine that the love I have for her must be what it feels like to have a sister. We thought the same thoughts and finished each other's sentences.Her family was and still is like my family. I was completely comfortable, as were they, with me just walking in their back door and going upstairs to the "rec room" and looking around for her and getting ready to go wherever it is that we may have been going that day or night. No matter what we did or where we went, we always had fun together. Some stories, I will never forget, and others I am afraid I will so I try to tell them to myself from time to time. The first memory that comes to mind is that poor red convertible car that was passed around... she HATED it. We could be sitting at a red light and we would hear a noise and she would say, "Oh no, is that my car?". She wanted to just leave it running with the top down while we were in the mall  in hopes someone would take it. That always tickled me when she would say that. She loved animals and was always trying to "rescue" them. She loved her dogs! We hung out all through high school and even once we got into college... what a blessing to have such a true friend. She worked nights then and got off from work late... but she would end up at my apartment and we would ride around, hang out, or go back to her apartment and hang out with her roommates.Luckily for me, she introduced me to Lori, which also ended up being one of her roommates. She is the reason we became friends and I am so thankful for that because Lori and I became very close and are still great friends. She was so loving and giving. She once knew that I was looking for some new "decorations" (as we called them then) in my apartment. She bought me a tall orange vase with a sun on it... I still have it and it sits right in my living room to this very day and I don't know that I will ever be able to part with it. She gave me  a large blue bottle with candle wax pouring from the top... that sits on my dresser in my bedroom. I have quit wearing a necklace she gave me only because I am afraid I will lose it. It is a crescent moon with two stars on either side of it. I cherished her friendship so much and really miss her. I find myself wanting to call her when I am down because she always knew how to lift me up... I find myself wanting to call when something great happens because she was always your biggest fan. I enjoyed when she called me and we would laugh and talk and make up "plans" and inside jokes that I remember to this day. Even now, I can remember how easy it was to lift her spirits back up when she was down. Nothing could keep her down for long. I remember once there was a tornado warning so I hid in the closet in my apartment and she stayed on the phone with me because I was scared. We joked and made up "plots" and "plans" and then we realized my neighbor who was also in his closet in his apartment could hear us and we thought that was HILARIOUS! We were "growing up" and she was moving to a new town for new opportunities. The day before she moved, she called me up and said she had something for me and asked me to come to her house and  get it. She gave me a card and a bottle with candle wax pouring from it. She said it was a "parting gift". Little did I know how literal these words would be. We never saw each other face to face again. About two weeks before she died I found out I was pregnant with Kobe. I never got to tell her. I tried but we were busy and we worked and went to school and had lives. Plus, that was before I was as "connected" as I am now with email, voicemail, text messaging, and Facebook. I was at work when a family member came to tell me of Susie's death. My cousin, Amy, came and picked me up from work because she didn't want me driving because she knew how upset I would be when I found out. I sat down immediately and didn't believe what she was telling me. I made her take me straight to Susie's parent's house. Her mom and sister confirmed what I knew to be true but didn't want to believe. That day I lost a lot... my best friend, my "sister", my Maid of Honor, my children's "aunt" and someone who had been there for me daily for several years. The next few days were a blur. I felt as if I was in a whirlwind and things were going too fast and I could not gain my bearings. I was lost. I was sad. I was completely devastated. I clung to Lori and Tricia. We were all each other had and we completely understood how the other one felt. I wish she could have been at my wedding and I wish I could have gone to hers. I wish my husband could have known her.I wish so badly my children could have experienced life "Susie Style". My mind's eye can see Susie and Sam running wild ... Sam would have adored her. His little mischevious streak he has about him makes me think of her and how much fun they would have had.   I talk about her often with them, I still, to this day can barely talk about her without getting a little weepy. I drive by her mom's house every now and again and look up at that rec room window and so many memories flood my mind and it makes my eyes sting. It's not always a sad cry... sometimes I am just happy to have the memories that I do have. I wish there could have been more memories, but luckily, the ones we made were great and will last a lifetime. Some days, all I want, is for Susie to come by in that mini van and us go to O'Charley's,eat salads and rolls, and just hang out. I still to this day can not hear the word "True" or that song "One Week" by the Barenaked Ladies without thinking of her and how tickled we would get trying to sing that song. As I am typing this so many memories that I haven't thought about in years have made their way into my mind and it makes my heart smile to know that I have even more memories than I thought I had. I wish so badly I could list them all here. I do miss her but I know that I am blessed beyond measure just to have known her. My hope is that my children will find a loving and true friend in their lifetime as I had in her.

"Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy." ~ Eskimo Legend
"What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.All that we love deeply becomes a part of us."~Helen Keller

Your memory is a way of holding on to what you are, what you love, and what you never want to lose. ~ The Wonder Years


Monday, February 21, 2011

52 Home---Week 7

February 20th, 2011

Yes, even Rockstars have to eat breakfast... this little rockstar likes sausage biscuits with mustard... and mohawks of course!

Sunny Days...Rainey Style

This year, Old Man Winter has made several trips to visit us here in Alabama. It’s like he got here and decided to just take his coat off and stay a while! As many of you know, it has been down-right freezing here in our neck of the woods. Some may think we tend to “over-react” to cold temperatures and snow, and maybe we do a little, but we live in the South and we just aren’t used to freezing and having a couple of feet of snow on the ground. I will admit, it had its fun moments and we can enjoy “snow days” because we aren’t accustomed to this type of weather but after a day of snow, I am ready to get my life back to normal. We have all felt cooped up inside and heard the “Mommy, can we PLEASE go outside and play?” question hundreds of times and always had to give the very same answer, “No, it is too cold”. We have heard the declarations of “I’m BORED!” more times than we care to recount and found ourselves wishing for warmer weather. So, as you can imagine, my household greeted this weekend and the weather it brought with open arms.
Friday, John got off from work earlier than usual and was home before I got off from work so I was blessed to be able to drive straight from work to home without having to stop at three different places to pick up all three boys. It really was nice to be able to just go straight home! When I got there all three boys were out in the yard playing. I love pulling up and seeing them all outside using their imaginations and just getting dirty. Once I got my kisses and hugs from little boys who had missed me that day, we decided a trip to the park was in order. Callum strapped on his in-line skates, Kobe and Samuel got on their bicycles and we put Chief on his leash. John helped navigate Samuel out of the way of traffic and I held on to Chief and we walked to the park at the school a couple of blocks from our house. Once we got there the kids ran and jumped and played on the playground. John and I took turns pushing them on the swings and Callum practiced skating. Everyone enjoyed themselves. Before we knew it, it was getting dark and we still had to walk back home. We walked/rode home and the kids were so happy to be out in the fresh air just getting dirty and having fun. John and I were happy because we enjoy taking walks together and talking as we go. We ate dinner late that night but it was worth it, we all had a great time.
Saturday was equally as nice outside. Kobe, Samuel, and myself were headed to a work day at church and to have Samuel's pictures taken for the hallway at church. We were going to meet my parents there. Haley came into town the night before so she and John got up early and went hiking at Cane Creek for the day to spend a little quality time together since he doesn't get to see her much. Callum went to visit with his mom for the day while they were in town so it was just me and the boys. We were up early and headed to get Samuel’s pictures made for the hallway at church. It was a fun time and we ended up at the park. It was hard steering the kids past the playground and to where they were having their pictures taken. Samuel decided he didn’t want his picture taken, so he sat down on a stool and began playing the guitar… little did he know that he had just set himself up for having some very adorable and candid pictures taken. He loves music and guitars so his pictures really fit him that day.

After the picture session was over it was time to head home. Before we went home, my mom took my car and the boys to get a Happy Meal and my dad and I headed out to get a couple of things. He helped me get a mattress loaded up and then we went to Wal-Mart. That is saying a LOT ... my Dad HATES Wal-Mart. I purchased a book shelf and my dad helped me load it into the buggy and the car.  I had big plans for that afternoon. I was cleaning out the boys’ rooms and re-arranging and re-decorating them. The kids got to play outside for a couple of hours with my mom watching them while their room was being re-done. My Dad helped me take the bunk beds down and get everything moved around and taught me how to fix closet doors too. He helped me figure out where to put everything and helped me make their room just like I envisioned it looking.I wanted it to be a little bit of a surprise. Once it was mostly finished, Kobe came in and told me, “I can’t tell you in words how much I LOVE my new room! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!”. That meant so much to me to hear him so happy about his new room, especially since he was now sharing a room with Samuel. Samuel was absolutely thrilled when he found out he was sharing a room with his big brother and now had a “big boy” bed. Samuel slept in his own bed for the very first time that night. I am so proud of him and he was proud of himself too! Every time we are all in their bedroom they both tell me how much they love their new room and tell me Thank You! The only thing I have left to do is put the wall hangings up. I have them special ordered and when I get them and put them on the walls, it will be completed. I can’t wait!

I also re-arranged Samuel’s old room into a new “teenage room” for Callum. I am not quite finished with it yet but I hope to be after this next weekend. Even though the room isn’t finished, when Callum saw it he was so happy, he didn’t say much, he just came up and hugged me. I am glad that they are all happy with their new rooms and arrangements. Callum spent most of the evening in his very own room with the door shut. He is so proud to finally have some privacy! We only have a couple things left to do in Callum’s room and I don’t see why we won’t get those finished up this weekend… I know he can’t wait!

I will post pictures of the end result as soon as he rooms are completed.

After I was finished with the rooms on Saturday both Samuel and Kobe were dying to get back outside and play some more. So, we went back out and I think they played with every single outside toy we have. They rode bikes, scooters, skateboards, and Samuel drove his John Deer Gator all over. They hooked his wagon up to his bike and it made me laugh because he reminded me so much of Dennis the Menace with his little wagon full of sticks, pecans, leaves, and whatever else would let him pick it up and put it in there. Even Buster got a ride in the wagon that day.
Sunday afternoon was no different: sunny, beautiful, and warm! After church we had lunch and then a nap and then of course, the rest of the day was spent outside. I am thankful for this warmer weather and the time that it gives us to be together. It has been a great weekend and I look forward to so many more just spending time with my family.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Five on Friday 02-18-11

Here is this week's Five On Friday! I got the link HERE if you would like to participate and create your own Friday 5 blog. I hope you each have a Fun Friday, friends!

This week's topic: Connections

1. Nowadays, just about everyone knows a couple who first met online. Among couples you know, who has the best story? **I don’t think I know anyone who has met online… **
2. Who among your real-life acquaintances might you never have been friends with if you hadn’t gotten to know each other online first? **Honestly, one of John’s ex-girlfriends, Susanne. I somehow started talking to her on Facebook and now, I truly enjoy talking to her online and seeing what she is doing in her everyday life. I know that if we hadn’t began talking on Facebook first we probably wouldn’t have even said “Hi” to each other when we were out and about.**
3. Of people you know online only, who would you most like to meet in real life? **Cheryl Hurricane- Jackson Mack. I became friends with her through a mutual friend, Pam. We have a lot of the same beliefs and opinions and talk back and forth on Facebook a lot. I would LOVE to meet her. I think we could have a good conversation over dinner. She is a great uplifiting friend.**
4. In the past 365 days, what’s the longest you’ve gone without connecting in any way to the Internet, including email? **Well, I have to connect to my email for work everyday. But I would say that it would be while we were on vacation this past September. We went on a cruise to Mexico and I didn’t get online, check my email, my voicemail, or make a call until the very last night.**
5. Who is the least-connected person you know in real life? **My mother. Bless her. She just now, like last week, set up her own email account. She has just been using my dad’s all these years. She got a Droid Incredible and had to. She went from a little flip phone with only numbers on it to a smart phone! I am pretty proud of her!**

Two Words: Field Trip

The entire third grade at McBride Elementary went to the McWane Science Center in Birminham yesterday. They were to leave the school around 7:15 on a bus and go straight to the IMAX theater (but only the kids and the teachers because of lack of space) for a movie and then they could run around in the museum and meet for lunch and play a little longer before they got back on the bus that would bring them back home around 4:15 that afternoon.  It was orignially set for a day last month but due to the snow and ice the school was delayed that day and so the trip had to be rescheduled. I am so glad it had to be postponed. I wasn't planning on going with them the first time around. It was nearing the end of January and because of my line of work, I had plenty to do with tax documents and End of Year reporting. When it was moved, I didn't think much of it since I wasn't planning to be there the first time. One evening when I was cooking dinner Kobe came to me and asked if I would please go with him on his trip. Normally I wouldn't go to every single thing but because he asked me, I couldn't say no. I knew there would come  a day that he wouldn't want me to go, so I decided to cherish the time that he did. I decided that I would take Samuel and spend some time with him too. The night before I packed lunches and snacks and extra clothes for Sam and everything I thought we might need the following day. The next morning came very early with me getting up around 5:30 and leaving the house by 6:30. I decided to let John sleep in and take Callum to work out at the school on our way to leave for the field trip since we had to be there at 7:00. We picked up Nana, dropped off Callum, put the drinks in our cooler and Kobe's classmates' sack lunches in my car and headed off to Birmingham. We left before the buses and since they were going to the IMAX movie first and we couldn't go in we decided to stop for breakfast at Denny's. It was nice to have breakfast with my mom and Samuel and not have to feel rushed. Samuel ordered a baseball pancake and ate almost every bite of it... once we showed him how to "dunk" it in his syrup!

Once breakfast was over we headed on to the McWane Center. My mom and I got to chat about different things that we normally probably wouldn't be able to do so that was nice and much needed. Every girl needs some time to talk to their momma! Once we got there we quickly found out that the plans had changed and the kids were sent to play and would be attending the movie after lunch. I didn't care either way, except, I wish I had grabbed something in a drive thru because once I walked in Mrs. Perkins said that Kobe wouldn't go anywhere but on the level that you entered on because he was afraid he would miss me when I came in. So we immediately began playing and the boys ran all over that place! They both had a wonderful time! I took a few pictures, not as many as I would have liked but I was busy playing, chasing, and interacting with them. We all went to a "big boy lunch room" as Samuel called it and had lunch together. Sam was thrilled to sit in a cafeteria and eat with Kobe and his friends. It really surprised me how sweet and patient Kobe and his friends were with the three year old, tag-a-long little brother. Once lunch was over the third graders headed to the IMAX theater to watch a movie about the Ocean. Once we got our area cleaned up and left the cafeteria my mom and I took Samuel to the gift shop. We chose the perfect toy for him and he helped me pick one out for Kobe too. Once the movie was over, we were all so tired. Kobe wanted me to "check him out" and let him ride home with us. So, we left. As we walked out Kobe told me thank you for coming and how much fun he had. All through the day, Samuel kept running up to me and kissing me on my hand or my arm or my cheek telling me how much he loved me... that's his way of saying he is having a fun time! We made it home safe and sound and in plenty of time to pick Callum up and get home and take a little nap before it was time to eat dinner and go to church. We had a wonderful day. I enjoyed being with them and being able to watch them play and discover things. I can't wait until the next field trip!

                Thinking about being an Astronaut one day

                   Kobe, Austyn, and Taylor Kay in the "Cave"
                                   Just playing!
                                   Pretending to be the Weather Man/Woman
                                   What it would like on the TV as Weather People
                                 Taylor Kay, Kobe and Samuel looking in the aquarium
                                  Samuel in a giant fish's mouth!
                                 On TV!
                                 Sam and his baseball pancake
                                Proud to get to Dig for Dinosaur Bones!
                                The Baby Shark the kids got to "pet"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday 02-17-11

The top ten things I am thankful for this week are:

1. God! Thank you Lord for sending your only son to save us!

2. Jesus! So happy to be forgiven and promised eternal life from my Savior! Jesus is My Hero!

3. John. I love this man more and more every day. I have recently began trying to look at him the way I did before we were married. How strong and smart I thought he was and how I thought with him nothing could go wrong. After five years, it is easy to stray away from those thoughts and feelings and this is a way that helps me remember every day exactly why I love him.

4. My Boys! These boys not only mean the world to me, they are my world. I just look at them right now as Samuel is sleeping and Kobe is playing a game and my heart feels so full.I am so proud to have them in my life and so thankful that I was chosen to be thier mommy.

5. Warmer weather. I am so glad to see the snow gone and to see my kids being able to run and jump and play outside in the warm sunshine!

6. Family Nights! Tonight we went to see the Beatles/Pink Floyd Laser light show at UNA Planterium. Afterwards, we went to get an ice cream and eventhough we couldn't talk all that much during the show, I enjoyed just being with them.

7. Field Trips. I got to go with Kobe to the McWane center yesterday in Birmingham and it was so much fun. Kobe ran off with his friends most of the day and Samuel played with Kobe and his friends too. I wasn't always needed but it was nice to be there to watch them play and to be there the few times they did want/need me.

8. My Church.I am *so* thankful for Church of the Shoals and for our pastors. Pastor Bill and Pastor Chris speak to us in a way that we can understand and learn from. Samuel and Kobe are learning a lot and Samuel is not afraid to go out and spread the word of God. Bless his heart, he tells anyone that will listen to him that "Jesus died on a cross for you and for me", he sings praise and worship songs, and he says his little bible verses. Callum sits on the very front row and I catch him singing along and praising God ever so often too.I can see such a wonderful and positive change in myself and my family and I know it is partly because we are all becoming closer to God.

9. Tyson Chicken Patties. My family LOVES chicken sandwiches and with these patties, they are a quick hit. From pre-heat to eat it is less then thirty minutes and that is including toasting the buns! Add fries/chips and pickles and some pudding cups and it is a delicious quick dinner. All three boys told me how much they loved thier dinner tonight.

10. Netflix Instant Streaming. When the kids go to bed, I become a sitcom watching machine! I love watching all the old shows I never really got into or never saw but wanted to at my own pace. I love that Netflix keeps up with what season and episode I am on at the moment too!


On A Cross

Did you know that Jesus died on a cross for you and for me? I bet you do know that. I bet you know that I know that. But, I bet you didn't know my sweet Samuel knows that! Yesterday I took Samuel with me to the McWane Center for a field trip with Kobe's class. Samuel was witnessing the word of God to everyone that would listen! I can't help but brag on him. For whatever reason this popped into his head on the way to Birmingham and he told his Nana, out of the blus, "Jesus died on a cross for you and for me!".  He also told every child he could during lunch and while he was playing at the museum. He tells us all that "God is here and can see us but we don't see him" pretty often. I am so happy and excited that Samuel actually listens to his Sunday School teachers and to me when we talk to him about God's Love and how he expresses it to us. He will look at a flower, a tree, a moon, a rainbow, or anything and tell you that God made that for us to see. Not long ago we saw a rainbow in the sky as we were driving home for the day and he pointed at it and told us that it was a promise. When I asked him what kind of promise, he said, "No more rain!". Ok, he didn't get that one exactly right but he knew what he was trying to say. He is my little "blessing boy" at the dinner table. No ONE had better even think of taking a bite of breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a snack before he gets his chance to say a blessing and "thank God for this food". Last night after church as we drove home some of our favorite Praise and Worship songs began playing on the radio. We were praising him and clapping and reaching towards Heaven and to my surprise, he knew almost all of the words to Chris Tomlin's song "I Will Follow". When Samuel says these things or sings along and says "That's my favorite song!" when a Christian song comes on the radio it really feels as if my heart may burst wide open. I hope he keeps this child-like love for Jesus all of his days.

Monday, February 14, 2011

V.A.L.E.N.T.I.N.E. --That spells Valentine you see....

Valentine's Day started off a little early for our family this year. Samuel's Sunday school class had a Valentine's Day Party and they were asked to bring Valentine cards and have an exchange with their friends and enjoy some refreshments with each other. Samuel's Sunday school teachers are wonderful. We absolutely LOVE the McCuthcheon's. They love the children and the children adore them. They really go above and beyond for the children. Samuel made us a magnet with his Bible verse on it and a perfect Valentine's Day card. He was so proud of his Valentine's Day cards he brought home.


On Valentine's Day morning, I woke up extra early because I wanted to make my boys their "most favorite" breakfast of cinnamon rolls. They were so happy... they said this feels like a special day... and I wanted it to be a very special day for them. They both had parties at school so we had worked hard to get everything together the night before. We labeled cards and fixed the teacher's gifts. Callum decided he was a little too old to take a gift to each teacher but he did take the time to sit down and write a nice note in some cute little Valentine Cards we bought for the teachers.

Kobe's Valentines for his class

Samuel's Tattoo Valentines for his class

I dropped them off at school and went to work. When I arrived, I had been left some very sweet little treats by different people I work with. It was so sweet of them to think of me.

A few hours later, I was very busy and wishing that the day would hurry up and be done so I could get home to my family and have a fun evening with them... when my phone rang. It was my Dad. He asked me to please come outside to my car. I met him out there and he gave me flowers. My Dad knows how much I adore roses, so he brought me a dozen. I guess that no matter how old I get I will always get a special Valentine from my dear old Dad, and honestly, I look forward to it and wonder what he will bring each year. I actually thought of it this morning...

Finally, the work day was done and I could hurry home to my sweet little Valentines and my One True Love! I got home and began making our double chocolate brownies and our Strawberry Cake with Strawberry icing... pink to be festive, of course! We then baked our heart shaped pizzas and while everything was baking I set the table for the boys. I put out a plate with a Valentine Card on each plate (for a free donut from Krispy Kreme---their favorite!) I wrote a special little message on each one. The Valentine served as their place card. I have been working on a special poem and note to each one of my boys. Something that is only between the two of us. I typed their name vertically on the page and then used each letter of their name to tell something about them that really made me proud and stood out to me about them. I then wrote a special little note at the bottom,included a picture of the two of us together, framed it, and put heart stickers on it for decoration. I set those up on one side of their plate and a little bag of goodies on the other side. In the middle of the table was our heart shaped pizza. John had to work a little late so I let the boys go ahead and eat. They loved finding their seats and reading the poem I framed for them and going through their goody bags.

My parents came over to give the boys their GIANT goody bags from them. The boys then gave them a little goody from us too. It was so much fun just sitting around the table with my kids and parents. Finally, John was able to get home and I was so glad because I was missing him and had just told my Dad how much I wish he was home already. Almost on cue he walked through the door. He has been wanting some things to add to his camping gear and so I made him a "Valentine Coupon Book" that included that because of course I had no idea what to buy or where I would even begin. I included a night out to his favorite place, his favorite meal, my homemade lasagna, and of course, a massage and a date night in his book. It was fun making it for him and it actually turned out very cute! He loved it! Because he leaves so early in the mornings, I snuck out late the night before and put a card and his favorite candy, gummy bears, in his truck.

 The boys all got a surprise in the mail.... a special Valentine from Paw Paw Bruce and Diane! They were so happy to see a card with each of their names on it. They love getting their own mail. To end the night, I pampered myself with several of the products that were in my Valentine bag from John. He filled a beautiful pink striped bag from Victoria's Secret with all of my favorite bath products and got me not one but BOTH of my favorite fragrances and got me the whole set... I am so proud to have all of that new, fun, smell good, girly stuff! I have enjoyed my day with my little and "big" Valentines.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

May I Have This Dance?

Dance. Something that consumed my life for so many years can bring such nervous feelings and anxiety to others, that is so hard for me to imagine. But I got to witness a little bit of anxious feelings about a "dance" for the first time this past Friday night. Callum had his first dance at school. It was a Valentine's Day Dance. He was nervous but he asked a little girl to go with him and she said yes! Although I offered to pick her up and let them ride together, they decided on meeting each other at the dance. So, he got dressed and ready to go, armed with concession money, picture money, and his cell phone. He was so cute when he wanted to use John's "good cologne" and asked me if his clothes looked alright. I dropped him off and told him to have fun and drove off. Well, I drove off after I watched him make it safely inside. I was nervous for him all night! When I got there to pick him up, of course I asked how it went. My heart sank when he said his "friend that is a girl" didn't show up. It literally made me feel so sad for him. I told him I was sorry she didn't come... he said not to worry! Why? Because, he had a "backup plan"! He is so funny. He met up with his guy friends and they all stood around and talked and Callum even danced too! I am so proud of him for walking into that gym after not being at the school all that long and having a great time. I am proud of him for not letting it get him down eventhough his "date" didn't show. Afterwards, we went to eat at Taco Bell and talked and got every detail. He is a great kid and I really look forward to getting him ready for many dances to come.

For the Love of Basketball

Kobe has always loved basketball. He says it is his favorite thing in the world! Before he could even walk, he used to ride in the shopping cart at the grocery store and point to the oranges in the produce section shouting, "Ball! Ball!". Once he learned to walk, he went straight to a basketball and then he quickly taught himself to dribble the ball and practiced on his own to learn how to shoot the ball. He has played since he was three. He began at the YMCA in Florence and then when he turned five he began playing in Muscle Shoals at the Recreation Center. He looks forward to basketball season every single year and always enjoys attending basketball camp every summer.  He won the free throw contest at this past basketball camp and he was proud of himself and I was proud of him too! He has really enjoyed the season this year. I think it had a little something to do with the fact that his best friend, EJ, was on the team. They played so well together and had such a great time. I am proud of both of them. He had his last game this past Saturday and afterwards was the end of season party. The party started off right, the trophies were handed out first. Kobe LOVES trophies. He loves getting them. He has them displayed in his room and truly looks at them and moves them around often. After they received their trophies, they ate pizza and cupcakes and just hung out and talked with each other. Since Valentine's Day was only a couple of days away, I decided that one of his gifts would be to go to a basketball game. We normally go to see the Harlem Globetrotters each year but this year they haven't made their way around to our area. Kobe looks forward to it and knows that it comes around this time of year most years and has been asking me about it for a few weeks. A local non-profit organization was holding a charity basketball game with the Harlem Ambassadors for a fundraiser. I invited his best buddy, EJ, and his mom to come and we all had such a great time. It was fun and they really enjoyed it, they also ended the night by getting a basketball to take home as a souvenir. I am glad we were able to all go and enjoy that time together. Kobe said it was the best weekend ever... and yes, you guessed it, because it was full of basketball!

52 Home---Week 6

February 13, 2011

After Samuel went through his Valentine's Party things from church and part of getting party stuff together for tomorrow's Valentine's Day Parties for Kobe and Samuel's school parties!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Five on Friday 02-11-11

Here is this week's Five On Friday! I got the link HERE if you would like to participate and create your own Friday 5 blog. I hope you each have a Fabulous Friday, friends!

This Week's Topic: Late Nights

1. What’s the best thing about being awake when the rest of the world seems to be sleeping?
 **I love getting to watch whatever I like on TV without any interruptions! Some early mornings when it is warm out, I like to go sit outside on my front porch and read a book.**

2. Where can you go when you get a case of the late-night munchies?
 **Normally, I just go into my kitchen, but I have a feeling this is meaning what fast food drive thru would I go to… and that would be… Krystal’s!**

3. What open-all-night establishment has saved you from catastrophe, and what were the circumstances?
 **Wal-Mart! Wal-Mart has saved me when we needed Pedialyte and a to replace a lost pacifier in the middle of the night… and once, when I was pregnant with Samuel, John saved the day (well, midnight) by going to get fruit loops and milk!**

4. What’s the worst thing about being awake when the rest of the world seems to be sleeping?
**I don’t have anyone to talk to and can sometimes get bored… this rarely happens though because I am usually one of the very first people to fall asleep!**

5. When you are up all night at home for whatever reason, what’s most likely to be on the television to keep you company?
**Late at night? Probably something on the DVR, Office Space, or The Golden Girls!**

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday 02-10-2011

Here are the top ten things I am thankful for this week:

1.God. “He brings into existence whatever exists.”

2.Jesus. He has two nail scarred hands to show how much he loves us.

3.John. Great husband, wonderful father, hard worker, and the *best* best friend I have ever had! We are finally, after almost five years of marriage , getting the “hang of it” so to speak. We really trust eachother’s opinions and advice and are really a great parenting team. We support each other and we are really there for one another. I am *so* thankful for my marriage.

4.My boys. They really bring true joy to my life. I had no idea how much love a heart could hold until I knew I was going to be a mom.

5.Story/Singing Time. We have adopted a new habit in our house. We are now meeting in Kobe’s room every night to read a book. Each of us takes a turn at picking which story and then I read it to them. I use different voices for the characters and of course, we stop along the way and talk about the pictures or what is happening in the book. Then, we go on a Bear Hunt! They love that song and it makes me so happy to spend those twenty minutes each night with them. Just us. No Distractions. Just a Mommy with her two little boys.

6.Great Teachers. Callum’s science teacher, Mrs. Smith, WOW! She is an awesome teacher and truly cares for her students. I couldn’t say enough nice things about her. Kobe’s teacher, Mrs. Perkins, WONDERFUL! I mean, truly, the best. Samuel’s daycare teacher, Mrs. Jackie. I just couldn’t even begin to think of what all she deals with each day but every day when I get there to pick him up she is still loving on him and in a great mood so I have to give praise where praise is due! I love all of these teachers this year and I know my boys do too!

7.Our Home, Dependable Cars, and Jobs. I know I say that each week but I just truly am that thankful for these things.

8.Friendships. I have some great friends. Some of them I never see, some I rarely see, some I see all the time. Whichever category you fall in, know that I am deeply appreciative and thankful for your friendship.

9.McDonald’s Play Place in Florence. On alternating weeks we go to the Play Place inside McDonald’s to eat and play before church. Not only does this give me a quick way to feed my children before church but Samuel and Kobe have a wonderful time playing with each other and Callum and I “catch up” on what’s happening at school.

10.Last but certainly not least, my parents. I am so thankful for all they do for me and my family each and every day. My mom plays taxi cab driver to Callum and Kobe three days a week and keeps Samuel twice a week. She even throws in Potato Soup night at her house every now and then…


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"S" is for Sweet Valentine.... Sort of

Yesterday, when I got to the daycare to pick Samuel up for the day, he ran as fast as his little legs could carry him and literally jumped into my arms. Every mother who has to leave their little one in the mornings knows the guilt we all feel and knows how very important this time of day is to the child, but it is especially important to the Mommy. I hugged him and he kissed me and then I headed to his cubby and got his coat and toboggan. As we were putting these items on, he began telling me he made me a “sufrise” (his special way of saying surprise since the letter “p” is a little hard for him still) and it was a “Vawentime”. I am always so proud of any and every single piece of paper he “makes” for me, even if it only has one random crayon mark across it because he made it all on his own. But, like all Mommies do, I get especially excited when he tells me about something he has made me special for a holiday. So the little Sweetie Pie takes me to his special project and it is a lavender piece of construction paper that he has made an outline of an “S” on in conversation hearts. Each child had carefully placed a different colored conversation heart along the outline of their first initial and they were all so adorable. I commented on everyone’s work and how great they all looked and then we were on our way. Samuel, of course, being the little gentleman that he is, wanted to carry my beautiful Valentine to the car for me. On the way out he accidentally dropped it and one of the hearts came off. He got upset and I eased his emotions by telling him that as soon as we got home we would glue it back on and hang it up.

Once we got home, Kobe had homework and a test to study for and since he also had a basketball game in about an hour, I decided to help him do his school work first and then glue the heart back on my Valentine. Samuel asked me no less than twenty times to “hot gwue” the heart back on and finally…..we finished Kobe’s school work in record time and I was ready to repair this cute little art project. I went to get Sam to ask him to help me and when I got back to the kitchen counter the Valentine was gone. I asked, “Where is my Valentine?” and Samuel took me straight to it. It was now on the dining room table. Only it was barely recognizable, Samuel had eaten most of the conversation hearts! At first, I was mad/sad. I told him he shouldn’t have eaten those since they had glue on them to which he replied, “Well, it didn’t taste like it to me!” I had big plans for that little Valentine. But, once I thought about it, I decided that I am still proud of the little Valentine that my sweet Samuel made and edited just for me!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

52 Home--- Week 5

February 5, 2011

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Five on Friday 02-04-11

Here is this week's Five On Friday! I got the link HERE if you would like to participate and create your own Friday 5 blog. I hope you each have a Fantastic Friday, friends!

This Week's Topic: Too Much Not Enough

1. Who’s not as funny as he or she thinks?
 **Jim Carrey. Sorry! I find him *so* annoying. It is just too much, not funny at all really.**

2. What’s not as big a deal as everyone else seems to think?
**Well, judging by the weather we have had in Alabama this year, I am going to have to go with global warming.**

3. What’s something people aren’t concerned enough about?
 **A relationship with Jesus Christ.**

4. What’s something in the grocery store that’s underrated?
**Tyson Canned White Meat Chicken. I know most people probably thinks that sounds disgusting… canned meat, but it is such a time saver for me and it doesn't taste horrible either! I don’t have to boil and shred chicken breasts. This can comes with chicken that has already been shredded! I use it in chicken casserole, chicken soft tacos, chicken stew, and chicken pot pie.**

5. What do you pay too much attention to?
 **Household Chores. I am currently learning that just because the laundry basket has laundry in it that does not require me to do a load of laundry. Just because something is out of place doesn’t mean I have to stop right then to handle it. I am learning to let things go until the kids go to bed or until I have more time. I am trying so hard not to focus on keeping my house top-notch and spending more time with my husband and children!** P.S. I didn’t even fix the pillow on the couch that was crooked on my way out this morning!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday 02-03-11

Here are the top ten things I am thankful for this week:

1.God. God created everything! He formed you in your mother’s womb. He created Heaven and Earth. There are people who do not believe this. Pastor Bill said something last night at church that has really stuck with me. I am paraphrasing of course but in a nutshell he said: For example, take a watch. Did it just appear out of thin air or do you think there was a watchmaker. Take a beautiful painting, do you think it painted itself or do you think there was an artist who created it? How about a poem? Did it write itself or do you think there was an author? Now, look at the Earth, nature, and all that is. Do you think it just happened? Do you think it created itself? Or, perhaps do you think there is a Creator? Pretty good, huh?
Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

2.Jesus. “….By his stripes he’s paid our ransom From his wounds we drink salvation. He is Lord. He is Lord. Love is here. Love is now. Love is pouring from his hands and from his brows. Love is near and it satisfies. Streams of mercy flowing from his side. Love is here.” Lyrics from Love is Here by Tenth Avenue North

3.John. My partner. My friend. My love! I love when we work so well together whether it is a simple household chore or parenting one of our children. I am really thankful for him for loving us unconditionally and sacrificing a lot of even what he needs for what we want.

4.My babies! I know, there aren’t babies anymore but they will always be my babies! We have made a new “habit/ritual” for bedtime. We take turns picking out a book and then we gather in Kobe’s room and we sit in the floor and we read it and examine the illustrations and then after we sing/act out the song “Going On A Bear Hunt”. Last night Sam and Kobe were pretending that the bunk bed rungs were the tree trunks and they were climbing up , looking around for the bear, and then they would climb back down. It is a special and fun time for us to close each day with and I am so glad we started it. Tonight’s selection is my pick. “I love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” Both of them always say those lines with me each time we get to that part in the book. I love it!

5.My Parents. Of course, I say this every week but I am truly and deeply thankful for everything they do for me. For raising me the way they did to having fun with my kids and being there for every game and every milestone.

6.Health. We are all Healthy and that is a LOT to be thankful for.

7.Our Home. It’s warm in the winter (thank goodness!) and cool in the summer and filled with love. It may not be a mansion or fancy smancy but it’s ours and we love it! I can’t leave out dependable vehicles! Thank you Lord for cars that don’t leave us stranded and gets our children where they need to go…and now, with a turn signal and brake lights since my dad (and Samuel helped) fixed my tail light!

8.Turkey/Cucumber Wraps. YUMMY! My newest favorite lunch. Wheat tortilla, mesquite smoked deli sliced turkey (Hillshire Farm), cut up cucumber, low fat chive and onion cream cheese. YUM YUM! Spread the cream cheese on the tortilla and position the turkey and cucumber down the center and roll up… delicious!

9.Answered Prayers. He answers all prayers. He just sometimes tells us “no” or “not now”… Thank you Lord for answering prayers!

10.Friends. “Even though we've changed and we're all finding our own place in the world, we all know that when the tears fall or the smile spreads across our face, we'll come to each other because no matter where this crazy world takes us, nothing will ever change so much to the point where we're not all still  friends."