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

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

52 Home---Week 21

A small story to go with this week's picture. Lately, John has "gotten into" camping. I am not the biggest fan of the outdoors or no electricity or plumbing for that matter. However, because my guys love it, I have gone on TWO camping trips in the past couple of weeks. The first one was for one night and it was REALLY fun. We went to Cane Creek. We roasted hot dogs and made Smores, played UNO, took a small nature walk by moonlight,ate junk food, and slept in a tent. We were home and showered by lunch the next day. Trip #2. This past weekend. We went to Wheeler Park Camping Grounds (I think that is the name of it) and stayed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Well, I came home Friday night and slept here because my allergeries were KILLING me. Saturday morning I got up and drove back out there and resumed the fun of our camping trip. We went out to dinner on Saturday night and to and auction. I got some good catfish and John scored a Coleman Camping Lantern. It is camo and pretty cute too! Then Sunday we got up and went fishing. The boys went Saturday morning too and caught over 40 fish between all of them. Sunday I went with them. They had so much fun. Each time Kobe and Sam would catch a fish they would kiss it for luck and throw it back in and tell it to "Now, go get your great great grandpa!". It was cute. Samuel had a blast running back and forth. Kobe learned to bait his own hook and Callum learned a lot too. He learned to bait his hook, cast his rod and reel and how to take the fish off of the hook and throw it back in. He had to put a new hook on once and so he learned how to do that as well. John had fun and learned some new stuff too. Samuel even learned how to put his little thumb in the fish's mouth and throw it back in! Late Sunday night everyone was getting restless so we came home around 11:00. The trip was cut short on both ends but I wouldn't trade the way it was for anything.

Okay, so I couldn't pick just one!

Sweet Samuel turns 4

As they say, every pregnancy is different. With my two…that was true. With Kobe I had the most uneventful pregnancy ever (Thank the good Lord above!). With Samuel, not so much. I began going into pre-term labor with Samuel around 23 weeks. I believe I ended up at the hospital three different times between 23 and 36 weeks to have my labor stopped. Each time they would give me a shot of terbutaline and monitor me for a couple of hours. Then they would have me take some Ambien before I left the hospital and send me on my way. Each time I would go home and crash for several hours. It wore me out! The terbutaline would make me feel like I was having a heart attack so I am glad they gave me something to help me sleep.

On a regular visit to our doctor one afternoon, he discovered that Samuel was already weighing in at over eight pounds. The only problem was is that I was only 35 weeks. Our doctor knew what I had been through with Kobe (birth to a child nearly eleven pounds) and did not want me to have to go through that again. Our doctor decided to schedule a section. I was terrified. But the fear of the section was soon subsided when I was told that not only would we monitor Samuel by ultrasound to make sure everything was ready for delivery, but also by amniocentesis. I had only seen this done on TV. I was absolutely terrified! I was even more terrified when we arrived and they told me that there was no anesthesia given for this procedure. I was crying before they ever began. I realized that right beside me was an ultrasound monitor and that I could see Samuel on it and so I focused my attention to that little monitor and had no idea it had even began, let alone that we were all done. Because I was only around 36 weeks gestation on that day the doctor wanted to check the surfactant in Samuel’s lungs. If the level was satisfactory, we would meet our baby boy that very day! The surfactant levels in his lungs weren’t satisfactory so he told me to go home and rest through the weekend and that we would come back together and that I would be scheduled to begin the c-section process to have him at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, May 30th, 2007.

So, I went home that Friday and began cleaning everything and getting ready to meet my sweet boy. That Wednesday morning, I woke up and realized that Buster didn’t have enough food to last him the three to four days I would be gone so I got ready to go to the hospital and then ran to pick him up some food and then once I got everything squared away, we headed to Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital in Florence, Al. This was also a little different than with Kobe because I gave birth to him at Helen Keller Hospital in Tuscumbia, Al.

As soon as we arrived they began putting gowns and bracelets on me. Then they wanted to begin an IV. I immediately began crying. I don’t know why but I did. I knew I had to have an IV but I was petrified! A couple of hours passed and it was time to be moved to the Operating Room. Again, something different, and this time no one could go with me. I quickly became friends with the nurses and staff that would be with me during my journey to meet Samuel. They got me as comfortable as they possibly could and inserted the port they would be using for the medicine for my spinal block. They said that they couldn’t put the medicine in until the doctor called and said he was on the way. About that time, the OR phone rang and I got so nervous and excited all at once at the thought of meeting Samuel. Except, it was the doctor saying he had run into an emergency and was unable to make it right then and would be there as soon as possible. So, I am sitting on a COLD table with my feet dangling. Because it is a sterile field no one is allowed in yet and because the port has been inserted it is considered a sterile field so I had to stay seated with my back exposed and ready for the medicine to be administered. One of the sweet nurses got a stool for me to prop my feet up on because they were just dangling. At around 12:40 the doctor called and said he was finally on his way. So, I got the injection and laid back. Still… no John. The doctor came in and began the process and then they allowed John to come into the OR. Within a couple of minutes, I was told “It’s A Boy” (which, we already knew) and then the nurse said, “Oh My! He has the sweetest red hair!”. I began crying of course. Those who know me, know that is exactly what I wanted. They took him and John went with him. There I was by myself again. But this time I was so happy and excited and couldn’t wait to see Samuel and actually hold him. I ended up in recovery with a little bit of a problem of my blood not clotting properly so I stayed a little longer than normal and had to have a couple of shots of medicine to help with that and then I was able to go to my room. I got all settled in and got to finally meet and hold Samuel. Samuel James Rainey. We named him Samuel because I liked it and James because it was John’s grandfather’s name. He weighed in at 8 pounds and 4.5 ounces and he was 21 inches long. Born at 1:17 PM. I loved him more than I ever imagined I could. I mean to my very core I just felt such love and began crying uncontrollably. Every single time I saw him or held him or even thought of him I would begin sobbing. One night, while we were in the hospital, I began crying and John rushed to my side to find out what was wrong. I said “Nothing. Absolutely Nothing.” And that was the truth. At that very moment in time there was absolutely nothing wrong in my world. Everything was so perfect. I never even knew a piece of my heart was missing until I met that sweet baby and then he just filled it instantly. We stayed there for three nights and then got to go home on the fourth day. We were SO ready to get home with Samuel. One thing that I remember amazing me is that he was over eight pounds and over three weeks early and still we went and bought him “preemie” clothes.

Once home, we “fought” over who would hold him, bathe him, feed him, and rock him. We both just loved that little sweet boy so much. Samuel was such a sweet baby. He didn’t like to sleep and even at four years old he still hates to sleep! He is so afraid he is going to miss something.

He loved being swaddled to sleep. He took powder formula and loved being held. He liked his pacifier (later he would call it a pachi) but could live without it. He was easily weaned from bottle and pacifier but not being held and rocked to sleep… as he still requires that now. I can look back and see how nervous I was with Samuel. Not the nervousness of a "new mom" but of an "experienced mom". The mom who knows statistics and about recalls. Before, I just did the best I could and it seemed to work ok but this time around... everything had to be planned out and "just right". He allowed me to be a regular mommy. I didn't have to be the mommy and the daddy with him. I had not known what it was like to share responsibilities in parenthood until Samuel and I believe it made me relax a little bit on some things with him because John was there. I got to "spoil" him with gadgets and gizmos... something I hadn't been able to do before. I got to do every single thing I wanted and needed to do with him. I don't know which is better or worse but I think age,maturity,and him being my "last baby" had something to do with it.

For Samuel's birthday we let him do whatever he wanted! Because his birthday fell on Memorial Day this year, we were all at home together. He played with anything and every single toy he wanted. He played games on the PS3 and Wii and he cuddled up for some cartoons too. Then my grandmother had a cookout and after that we sang Happy Birthday and had cake. I wasn't planning on having a cake on his actual birthday. I was planning to have make-your-own-sundaes for desert. However, earlier in the day during one of the times that I was singing Happy Birthday to him he told me that it couldn't be his "real birthday". I asked why. He told me that he had been looking around and didn't see a cake. So, I decided an emergency Wal-Mart trip was in order and went and got a birthday "day" cake. He was very pleased!

Samuel just turned four and I can barely believe that …even when I say it out loud. It does not seem like my little sweet baby should be four already. I hate the way time flies. I get the sting of tears in my eyes just thinking of it. Yesterday, John came across some old pictures of Samuel and of course, I just cried as I looked at them.He is my little fearless leader. He doesn’t mind being first to do anything! He LOVES getting dirty and in fact will invent ways to get as dirty as possible. He will try anything and is absolutely the light of my life. I adore him. He is loved by his brothers and sister. He is loved by all of his classmates and teachers. In fact, they tell me he is the BEST child in class. He loves saying the blessing at mealtime and loves singing songs and dancing. He knows the 10 commandments and all of his colors and shapes (including an octogan!—that impresses me!). He knows that Jesus died on a cross and loves him very much. He loves the moon and stars and loves looking at animals (mainly birds and squirrels). Next year my sweet little love with go to Kindergarten. I can tell you right now that I am NOT ready for that day. I absolutely adore him and am so thankful for each and every single day I have with him. He is my little Wild Man. My little Sam man. My little Monkey man. He is the one person in the entire world that can make me smile after the worst day. When I go to pick him up from school and he runs to me with those arms wide open yelling “mommy” it absolutely melts my heart!

Everytime I see him it makes me think of a song that I used to sing and cry as I sang it because it just made me think of him. I used to sing "Bubbly" by Colbie Calliat to him when he was in my belly and then once he was here. Everytime I hear that song it brings a smile to my heart and face. I am so honored that God chose me to be this little one's mommy. According to Sam, four years old is when you are OFFICIALLY a "big kid". Looks like I have a "big kid" on my hands now.  I think we are a perfect fit. He tells me "Mommy, I'm not a baby but you can call me YOUR baby". He tells me he will ALWAYS be my baby and will live at home with me FOREVER! Ok, my sweet Sam... I am holding you to that one!

My Big Boy!

Yep, He is FOUR

With his birthday "day" cake. I chose Curious George because he is my little "monkey man" and the monkey actually swang back and forth on the swing!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Five on Friday 5-27-11 (In The Mood)

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

This Week's Topic: In The Mood

1. What puts you in a creative mood? **When I go to Hobby Lobby or a craft store…watch out! I am about to begin making all sorts of stuff! I LOVE arranging flowers, painting designs and initials or monograms on candle jars, making wreaths and just various projects. Right now my current project is pirate cupcake picks for Samuel’s birthday party.**

2. What puts you in a silly mood? **Music. If I hear a song that I like I just start acting so silly and dancing and singing. The kids like it and I do too, so it works.**

3. What puts you in a contemplative mood? ** Quietness. That isn’t that often to be honest. But if it ever gets quiet I think about things. This mainly happens when I am walking the dog or sitting on the front porch, or trying to read a book. Most other times, in a house with three little boys, I can’t even hear myself think!**

4. What puts you in a competitive mood? **Do you know me?? Everything puts me in a competitive mood. I mean, I call a “rematch” if one of the kids beat me at UNO!**

5. If you’d call yourself a talkative person, what puts you in a quiet mood? If you’d call yourself a quiet person, what puts you in a talkative mood? **If someone says something hurtful to me I get quiet. I believe silence is better than saying something hurtful or that I will regret. Any other time I am pretty much yapping your ears off!**

Thankful Thursday 5-26-11

And the “winners” for this week are:

1. GOD! Oh thank you Father God for being so faithful in your promises.

2. Jesus! I am so thankful for his mercies new every single day. For his forgiveness AND forgetfulness! Thank you Lord for casting my sins as far as the East is from the West never to be remembered again!

3. John! That man just suprises me more and more every day. In a good way. I am so thankful for a good husband and father. I am blessed.

4. My kids! I used to couldn’t imagine having kids… now I don’t know what I would do with them!

5. Parents! I was thinking this morning on the way to work how thankful I am to have been raised the way I was raised. I mean, I feel off the track a few times but I am so thankful my parents laid that track out for me at a young age so that when I was lost or confused I would always know which way to go!

6. Church of the Shoals! I can NOT say enough good things about our pastors and church family. I absolutely adore each and every single person. I feel so blessed to be a part of this church family.

7. Turtles. I know that is weird. Yesterday a little turtle brought laughter to my family. We sat and laughed and “played” with that turtle. That turtle allowed time to be spent and memories to be made. Love that little turtle. So do the kids, they talked me into keeping it!

8. Substitution. I am glad that as I am getting older I am able to “substitute” things in my life. Used to, I had to have the EXACT thing or product… now, I realize that it is just a product, a recipe, or a “thing”. It is just STUFF. No need stressing over it!

9. Smiles. When you have nothing else to give you can always give a smile. They are free of charge!

10. Long Weekends. I LOVE long holiday weekends and I am really looking forward to getting “outta here” for ours today!


Truly Honored

Wednesday, May 25th was Honor Day at Kobe’s school. He goes to school where I went to Middle School. The names and faces may have changed but when I walk up I am FLOODED with memories. In those halls is where I met the people I have grown to love and call true, life long friends. I love that my children go to the same schools I did growing up. I love that some of my old teachers are still teaching there. I love that I can share my memories with Kobe. He finds it so fascinating that I went to Middle School where he attends Elementary school. He thinks it is funny that it was once called Muscle Shoals Middle School and now that building is McBride Elementary. He thinks I am OLD because I remember all these things and can tell him stories about those hallways, teachers, and rooms. Maybe I am. That’s ok. I kind of like where I am right now, so if that’s old then so be it.

So, back to the original topic of this post, Wednesday was Honor Day. Kobe came home with a little slip of paper the night before and told me that he was receiving awards at school the next day and needed to dress up a little. So, he picked out a “collar” shirt as he calls them and khaki shorts. He looked so big and handsome the next morning and asked me to fix his hair. Now, I don't have much experience fixing hair other than my own and he doesn’t have much hair to fix. So I put some leave in conditioner on it and brushed it straight down and he was satisfied and so was I. As I was threatening telling him not to take off his Polo shirt and wear just the T Shirt that was underneath once he got into school and to make sure not to get dirty, he told me to make sure I brought a Kleenex because he knew I would cry. I asked why. He told me because I always do plus they would be presenting a sign language show to “What A Wonderful World” by NEIL Armstrong. I said I think you mean Louis Armstrong. It’s true, I DO cry. I cry over everything that has to do with my children. When they win, I cry because they are happy. When they lose, I cry because they are sad. When they get up in front of a group and do something I cry because I am proud. I just can’t help it. It is the kind of mom I am. One day, they will understand. Right now, they make fun of me… but one day I believe those tears will mean something to them. Ok, I am tearing up now so I have to get back on topic.

When the children began walking in, they were so sweet and cute! Kobe was actually sitting on the FRONT row. This is something that has NEVER happened. I have always been the parent having to twist my body and neck and block other’s view to try and see the tip of my child’s shoulder or the top of his head in a crowd. I was so happy it worked out that way so that I could actually see him. So, as all parents to kids his age do, I embarrassed him. I stood up and waved at him. I am joking. I didn’t embarrass him… I did stand up and wave at him but he smiled and waved back. I don’t know what he whispered to his friend sitting next to him after he waved back. Probably something along the lines of, “I don’t know WHO that lady is”. They sang a couple of songs and as promised, they signed the words to “What A Wonderful World”. Kobe knows this is one of my favorite songs so he was trying so hard to do it perfectly. I could tell by the look on his face he was doing his best and he would look at me to make sure I was watching. And of course, my eyes were fixed on him. I tried to watch other kids but my eyes kept being drawn back to him. After that, the children were called up by classes and then one by one to accept their awards. I watched my family and friend’s children accept awards and Kobe’s friends accept their awards. They were all so sweet and proud of themselves. Then it became Kobe’s turn.He went up and accepted the following awards: Honor Roll, Math Club, Spelling Bee Class Winner, Physical Fitness, and the Governor’s Physical Fitness award which awards children who are in the 70th percentile of other 3rd grade students. I knew I was going to cry. But, I didn’t. I just smiled. As he accepted his awards and then QUICKLY looked at me for approval and congratulations, all I could do was smile. After that, I have to admit that I didn’t really pay that much attention. I watched Kobe. I watched him open up his folder and look at his awards. I watched him give his friends five as they walked past him after receiving their awards. I watched him and realized that we have done a pretty good job. I began thinking about the words his classmates had written in a book the teacher had them make right before school let out. It was entitled “What’s So Special About Kobe?”. Each child was to write down two to three things that made another child special and then draw a picture of them to go with it. Then, Mrs. Perkins made these into books and gave them to the children to keep. It was such a sweet and thoughtful way to end the year. As I sat on Kobe’s bed the night before reading it, my eyes filled with tears. I was so proud of the things I was reading. The recurring theme was, Kobe is so funny, Kobe is the fastest kid in my class, Kobe is my friend. But the one that that meant the most to me was this: Kobe plays with me and no one else will. Now, that just about made my heart soar right out of my chest. That is the VERY type of thing I have been trying to instill in my children.As I sat there recalling these words I thought about what a good job we have done with our boys. I began thinking about how there ARE things in life that money can not buy. How money can’t buy a kid who is loved by others and loves others. I just began to feel so overwhelmed with love and thankfulness. I am so thankful for the child that Kobe is and the young man his is turning into. On a day that began out as an Honor Day for the children of McBride Elementary it turned out that I am the one who felt honored to be the mother to two amazing little boys. They absolutely warm my heart and I am truly proud to just be called one thing by them: Mom.

As they walked in and were preparing to begin the program

Afterwards, It was sunny but it is the only one I was able to get

Kobe accepting his awards

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Five on Friday 5-20-2011 (Horsies)

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

This Week's Topic: Horsies
  1. What are your feelings about horses? ** I have ridden on a horse and I think they are pretty to look at and especailly cute when they are babies.**
  2. How far would you have to go if you wanted to ride a merry-go-round? **Less than ten minutes. Our local park has one.**
  3. When did you last eat something containing pinto beans? **Good Question. I guess when I made Chili back in February.**
  4. How’s your mane? **Good. Too long. But very clean and healthy right now.**
  5. When did you last go hoarse? **Probably a little this past winter.**

Guys Just Wanna Have Fun Too

Sometimes I play in the house with my boys. Sometimes I play in the yard and at the park with my kids. Sometimes I sit out on the porch and just watch the kids play. Sometimes I go back and forth between watching them play and other things such as dinner and laundry. During the times that I am not interacting directly with them, sometimes those two little boys decide to come up with a "new game" to play that would never be allowed if I were playing. For example, I have been buying a LOT of juice boxes lately. I have been thinking "Wow, they LOVE these juice boxes" and they do. But that's not the reason I have been buying so many lately. For some of you who know me personally, you know that my house sits in the middle of two lots. Which means, our side yard is HUGE. So, naturally, that is the boys' favorite place to play. It was one of those days where I was outside with them and checking in on them as I did other things as well. On this particular day I kept noticing them both running in and out with two juice boxes each several times. I would tell them that they just needed one and they would say "Oh this is for Sam (or Kobe)". Each time I walked out they were in the same spot. Not fighting. Getting along famously. That in itself (for two brothers) is enough to make a mommy wonder what is going on out there.  But the problem was this: I could only see their little backs due to the fact that the LARGE tree in our side yard was blocking my full view. I decided I might need a closer look. As I approached I noticed a string of empty juice boxes with straws still attached. Then I saw plastic spoons. Then I noticed what they were doing. We have an apple tree in our yard. It is in the back corner of our property. The boys LOVE eating those little apples. They figured one apple tree was good but two would be great. They had picked some apples off of the tree. Used plastic spoons to dig holes in the ground to "plant the apples" into. And yes, you guessed it, the apple juice was to "grow the trees". Why would they use apple juice boxes to "grow trees". Well, they wanted apple trees, of course. Well, that and the water hose wouldn't reach that far. I wasn't mad. I mean, in all reality, that is smart thinking. I also chuckled about the fact that I decorated their room around a painting of that special apple tree in our yard. It has the scripture Psalm 17:8 "Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of  your wings". So, I left those apples half way planted in the dirt and they will remain there until something else causes them to come out of the Earth. I giggle each time I see those apples now.

There are other times (illustrated in the pictures below) that I walk out to check in on them and I can think is to call and just "make for sure" that our insurance is active and they are indeed fully covered because all I can do is gasp.
You just have to know my two to know how truly dangerous this could end up

Samuel's "trick"

Almost dangerous but he saved himself!

Then the "I'm so cool" look because he nearly hurt himself!


These two boys are truly little blessings to me. They keep me on my toes. They keep me thinking. They are the absolute World to me. The world would be very boring without little boys and thier ideas. I feel so honored to get to experience these funny little things they do each and every day!

 I am adding one more picture in "just because". It is of Kobe and his little friend Austyn on field day. Just being guys...and having fun!
Kobe and Austyn on Field Day at McBride Elementary School
3rd Grade

52 Home---Week 20

Kobe's field Day ribbons after he carefully laid them out to tell me about each one
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52 Home--Week 19

Someone Got into some Chocolate

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thankful Thursday 5-19-11

This week's Top Ten:

1. God’s Grace.  It has got me this far… I know it will keep me going.

2. Forgiveness and Mercy. Thank you Jesus!

3. John. This past week has been an amazing week in our marriage. We will be married for five years in a couple of weeks and I can honestly say it just gets better.

4. My sons. Who on Earth knew that a nine year old and a three year old could hold my heart in their little bitty hands? I could have never imagined such love. It absolutely overwhelms my soul to think of it and to know that this is a sliver of what our Heavenly Father feels for each of us.

5. Desire to Do Better. I am thankful that Callum is getting to the point where he desires to do better in school and in life. I am proud of some of the things I have heard him say in the last 24 hours. Mostly, the things I have seen him do. After all, actions do speak louder than words.

6. Sweet Friends and Church Family. I love them so much. A few friends from church have recently become so dear to my heart and I am truly thankful for the Lord putting us “together”.

7. Time. This past week we had my parents over for dinner and after dinner while I was putting the icing on the cake the kids talked my parents into playing some games on the Wii. They all had a blast! They even ate their cake in the living room because they didn’t want to stop playing. Those…are good memories that will last a lifetime.

8. Change. I have witnessed a change in myself and in someone else who is very close to my heart and I am so happy about it. I have watched my dad go from a somewhat gruff,tell-it-like-it-is man to a sweet and caring man over the past few months. He has always cared for others and helped others out but he has taken it to a new level lately. I am just proud of him. He even tried to nurse some baby birds, that had gotten separated from their momma, back to health. He went and bought some kind of worms and bird seed from the pet store and sought their advice on what to do for them. He fed those baby birds with the boys by holding a little bitty worm in tweezers and putting it in their little mouths. My dad has always been sweet and loving but I guess you would just have to know him to see how sweet this is. He is like the gentle giant now. John and I even saw him singing in church the other morning!

9. I love this website. I just recently had some cake that was chocolate with peanut butter icing. I looked up went and bought the ingredients and Voila! I have now made an icing from scratch. It was pretty good too!

10. Off Days! Planned off days. Even if you have a little bit of “business” to take care of it is so good to have an off day that you aren’t taking care of a sick person or stuck inside due to weather. Looking forward to tomorrow!

**I list it as this week's Top Ten because... I have so many more things that I am thankful for!**

Friday, May 13, 2011

Five on Friday 5-13-11 (Food Treatment)

Here is this week's Five On Friday! I got the list at 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: Food Treatment

1. What’s your favorite pickled food? **Pickled?? What’s that! I like deviled eggs... does that count?**

2. What’s your favorite dehydrated food? **Dried Apricots**

3. What’s your favorite covered-in-chocolate food? **Strawberries**

4. What’s your favorite sauteed-in-garlic-and-butter food? **Shrimp**

5. What’s your favorite order-at-the-drive-through food? **McDonald’s Chicken nuggets or Krystal burgers… it is a tie!**

Five on Friday 5-6-11 (New)

Here is this week's Five On Friday! I got the list at 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: NEW

1. Who in your life has most recently had a baby? ** I can’t think of anyone that has just had a baby but Lauren is due to have Logan pretty soon…**

2. Who in your life has most recently purchased a car? **Hmmmm… Again, I can’t think of anyone except John. A few months back he got a different car.**

3. Who in your life has most recently lost a fair amount of weight? **ME!**

4. Who in your life has most recently gotten a terrific haircut? **Samuel (without crying makes it even more terrific!)**

5. Who in your life has most recently begun a new job? **The most recent “new” job would have to go to John again!**

Thankful Thursday 5-12-11

My list for this week is as follows:

1. God's patience. He is so patient with us. I imagine him like a parent who is potty training their child. Just trying to get us to met the goal but being rewarding and patient along the way.

2. Jesus as my Strong Tower. So happy to know that I can lean on Him any time during any day. I love the peace I feel when I just sink into Him and let Him lift my head and point out all the good things I am blessed with. Thank you Lord!

3. My Family. Immendiate and Distant. I love each and every single person and I pray for them daily. I am so blessed to get to come home at the end of long (and sometimes hard) days and see three sweet little boy and one man who love me and can put a smile on my face no matter what has happened to me that day.

4. Time. This past weekend I got to spend some time with my grandmother. I haven't spent time with her in ( I am ashamed to say) I don't know when. It was so nice. She told me a couple of stories about her childhood that I didn't know and I remembered why I need to make time for her. It was a very special few hours.

6. Nursery. I never thought I would type that. I am in absolute LOVE with the babies in the nursery at church. We are on rotation every 4 or 5 weeks John and I volunteer in the nursery and those babies are the topic of many of our conversations. They are the absolute sweetest babies ever! (We love the parents too!)

7. Confidence. I am so proud of the confidence that I have seen out of Callum and Kobe lately. I am very proud of them. I couldn't write the words to express how my heart soars to see them proud of themselves as well.

8. Compliments. I tend to get compliments on how I have my home decorated. That is always nice. But, my most favorite compliments are when people compliment my family. I have had several people compliment my children (and John and myself as well) over the past week. It really means a lot when others see things in your children that you see. Every single day when I pick up Samuel from daycare they tell me that he has been the best little boy in the whole room! I LOVE hearing good things about my family.

9. Change. Change is not always a bad thing. I have watched a change in my family over the past few months and I am so happy to see it... I have prayed for this for a long time. I love answered prayers!

10. Sales. Samuel wants hot dogs at his birthday party (of course! What else could there be???). Hot dogs are on sale for $0.75 this week! Looks like we will have PLENTY of hot dogs.

I am feeling extra blessed this week so I am going to do a number 11...

Friends. I am so thankful for my true friends. I can not say that enough. Friends that I will go to in the middle of the night if they needed or just wanted me for some reason. Friends that would do the same for me.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Sweetest Brothers

The sweetest sons and brothers EVER!
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52 Home--- Week 18

The dogs Kobe and Samuel took care during tornado clean up in Mt Hope on May 7th, 2011
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Mother's Day 2011

This year we decided that instead of spending (too) much money (like we always do) that we would only make gifts or spend very little on supplies to make them. I am very blessed to have my mom to share Mother's Day with so I knew right away what I wanted to do for her. She has a wall in her dining room dedicated to Mother's Day Projects from the kids. This year both boys painted her a picture. Kobe's was on blue paper and he wrote out Nana in black paint and made red polka dots around the edges. Samuel made a lot of different colored dots on his and did a few wild here and there strokes with a paint brush but it actually turned out very cute! We framed them in black wooden frames to match the others from years past. I bought a frame that says "Nana" on it and had a sweet poem around it about Nanas. I took a picture of the boys and put it into the frame as part of her gift. I also printed a picture of all three boys and framed it in the same black wooden frame and bought her a delicious smelling candle. I picked out the perfect card and so did the boys. We were very excited to give Nana her gifts and I took the time to write my own little messages throughout my mom's card from me to make it extra special and she seemed to love her goodies.

Saturday morning I woke up EARLY and got Kobe and Samuel up (Callum was at a friend's house) and we went with my parents, grandparents, and uncle to Mt. Hope to help with tornado clean up. It ended up being a long and very good day. I enjoyed helping but most of all I enjoyed spending time with my mom and grandmother. I think I will always remember that day with a good memory and a smile in my heart. My boys, my mom, my grandmother, and myself. It was a nice day. The men went out into the "field" as we stayed behind and helped cook and organize. We all fell asleep on the way home and once we got home everyone was ready to go wild. Except me, I was so tired! I had stayed up late the night before and woke up early and worked almost all day long and I needed more rest. So, John set up the hammock in the front of the side yard and I took a nice afternoon nap in the breezy afternoon between the trees! It was nice! Later that evening, we cooked dinner and got everything ready for church the next day.

Sunday morning was our turn to work in the nursery. John and I LOVE the babies at church. We had to get up early so we could everyone ready and out the door early since we had to be there a little early to help receive the children into the nursery. While I was getting ready, Kobe and Callum went out a picked some beautiful flowers for me (they assured me they did not come from a neighbor's yard!). They began to "lavish" me with gifts and sweet words. Callum put the flowers in a vase for me and he gave me a sweet little poem he wrote me. We joke with eachother that I am the "evil stepmother" and he is my "red headed stepchild". He wrote the sweetest little poem and made me cry! Kobe made me a sweet little heart shaped card and a tile with an "R" on it and drew hearts and smily faces around it that I am now using as a spoon rest on my stove top. Samuel planted me a beautiful pink flower and painted the pot and drew me a beautiful picture. John cooked me a great breakfast! It was a great morning. We then went to church. After church Kobe gave me a mason jar filled with ingredients for us to make Chocolate Chip Cookies together and Samuel had made me another card and a sweet flower magnet. After church, we went to The Rice Box and we had a great time just visiting with eachother. OF course, all this was on Sunday which means after that... DVR catch up time and naptime. As I was just settling in, my dad and mom came by with a beautiful planter with wild flowers in it from them and the boys. We had a wonderful time and I am so blessed to have my sweet boys (all of them) in my life.

Wild Flowers from a Wild Bunch!

The flowers Callum and Kobe picked for me!

From Samuel!

By Kobe

Written by Callum

From Samuel... it is a lot of boxes that he "wrapped" to make presents

Planted by Samuel

Made by Kobe

Some of my goodies!
From Kobe... I asked who I was obedient to and he said "the Bible"

Parents Magazine

I have always thought it fun to send in Kobe's and Samuel's pictures to photo contests. I, of course, think that they are the most handsome kids of all and so I send them in time after time. I have been sending pictures in for Parents Magazine for ... oh about NINE years. I sent one in recently and I got an email today that says Samuel was chosen as a finalist. I have never gotten anything back and sometimes wondered if they even got my kid's pictures! So, the voting starts today through THIS Friday (May 15th). You may vote ONCE per person PER day. Please go vote for my little Samuel! Follow the link provided below:


Thank you in advance for voting for my Sweet Sam Man!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thankful Thursday 5-5-2011

My list for the week:

1. God's Love. Without His love and guidance. I don't know what I would do!

2. Jesus. Jesus... there is something about that name. Master. Savior. Healer. Friend. Advisor. I could go on and on!

3. John. He is so supportive of me. He isn't perfect but he is perfectly him! :)

4. My babies. I have had a rough day today. I laid on my bed and cried for a few minutes just to let it out and then... I came in the dining room and there my boys stood. Wanting hugs and kisses. They really do make my bad days GREAT!

5. My ability to learn from my mistakes. We are not perfect. We are human. But we can learn from our mistakes. Sometimes that means asking for forgiveness, being able to forgive, moving on as if nothing ever happened, or moving on without something or someone and loving them from a distance.

6. Bubbles. BUBBLES make any day better. Just blowing bubbles to the wind. I can imagine each of my troubles and worries floating away in that bubble... then Sam and Kobe POP them and they are forever gone!

7. Make-Your-Own-Meal-Night. When I make our monthly dinner menu I always randomly pick a night a deem it... Make-Your-Own-Meal-Night. Anything my children can create and make... well, they can have that for dinner. Of course, Samuel needs help but he can reach the hot pockets in the freezer and has a box of "just his" (ham and cheese) and he gets one out and helps me unwrap it and pushes the buttons on the microwave. I love those nights! Less time in the kitchen and more time with eachother!

8. Text Messages. I can't always be available for a phone chat. Let's face it, I work full time, I am in and out of meetings and balancing numbers,I am a full time mommy,wife,housekeeper, and laundry service...oh and a chef too! So, when I am sitting in my office and a text comes through, especially the one from Kobe today, it makes me smile. I love text messaging... the smallest little messages can make such a big difference.

9. Friends. My boys won't believe me, just like I didn't believe my dad but... we are so lucky if we have a whole handful of real friends. That is probably the toughest lesson I have learned in my adult life. It hurts but every year I find it harder and harder to count up to five people that I KNOW would come running at a mere phone call. But, for the ones that I KNOW would... that makes up for all those that wouldn't.

10. Pringles in individual containers and juice boxes. Some of you who just read that immediately thought... wow... she is lazy! Well, yeah, I can be. I love when Samuel asks me, "Mommy, can I have pringles and a juice box?" Why YES.YOU.CAN. So easy. I keep these things down on his level so he can get them. My boys love being able to get there on stuff. Don't get me wrong... if they want something they can't get or fix I will but the lazy side of me loves when they want the easy stuff!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

52 Home---Week 17

This picture makes me literally Laugh Out Loud! I couldn't NOT include this picture!