Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Starting Where I Am

Our Sunday church service was wonderful, and I was very glad to be a part of it. There was a spirit of worship, and I was able to stand back and see God work in several ways. We have been talking about our calling. So many people get hung up on this word. It tends to make people think of being in ministry when, in fact, it can be as simple as doing what you are doing where you are. Donnie and I and about 15 other people were part of a presentation where we shared our calling. We had to write our calling on a large piece of cardboard and hold it up for the congregation to read. I shared that mine is to be a stay at home mom (which I am) and a future writer (which I am working on and have been for a very.long.time.) When we got there and were running through our presentation, Hannah came to me frantically reminding me that we had KidsJam (aka Children's Church). I had traded with a friend and didn't realize that our time was so soon. I had nothing planned. Nothing. And we had the older kids (1st through 3rd grade). If you've never worked with kids you may not realize that no plan means they will eat you for lunch. My topic was peace, and suddenly I felt anything but peace. I had about 15 minutes to pull together something. I prayed (begged God for an idea) and I grabbed my Nook and searched my Bible for peace, finally settling on the story of Mary as she annointed Jesus feet with oil. When we left the auditorium I realized what a large group I had. Preparing to be eaten, I got everyone settled and started into the lesson. We started with a game of Hangman and talked about peace and what came to mind when we thought about peace. The more we got into the lesson, the more I realized what a sweet peace was there. The kids were attentive and everything flowed amazingly well. It was one of the best lessons I had ever taught. After the lesson was over we returned for the end of the service and there was a challenge by our pastor to take our calling out into the world. He ended the service with a candle lighting service and it was beautiful. It was beautiful not because of all the candles being lit but because of what it signified. I was standing at the end of a line and one of our youth came by and asked me to light her candle. After a few minutes passed, one of the kids I just taught asked me to light his candle. Then in just another minute, Allie, my youngest tugged on my shirt and asked me if she could hold my candle. It was amazing to watch realize we are not only called to take the light out of the church and into the world but we are also called to pass it down from generation to generation. My final moment in Sunday's service was a message that has changed the way I look at my blog. I was thinking about the word "future" on my card, and I was bothered by that. I want to write one of these novels floating around in my head. Then God spoke very clearly to me. "Start where you are." That leads me to my blog. This is where I am. Yes I love sharing the funny things I see and hear in my day to day life, and I will still share those. But I also want to use this as a way to share some deeper thoughts, some insights God has given me, and some things to prayerfully encourage someone. I hope you will look forward to reading! Please check back and leave a comment!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Funniest Threat I've Ever Overheard a Momma Threaten

Our town has its very own redneck entertainment every Friday night - amateur wrestling. Only don't tell the die-hards I used the term amateur. I do still have to live here. Friday night I was leaving the Fall Festival with my kids when there was a family in front of us. The oldest child looked to be about 6 and was wailing, just crying hysterically. This continued all the way to the parking lot. Now I will admit, I had an "If that was my child..." moment. She said nothing to this child and I began to wonder if she was just going to ignore her forever. But we were nearly to the car when the momma looked over to the kid and said, "Do you wanna go to wrestlin'?" The little girl nodded. "Then hush," came her reply. I have threatened a lot of things, but that has to be the funniest thing I've ever overheard.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Three Years

Today we celebrated Jon Tyler's third birthday. (Where has the time gone?) We enjoyed lunch at McDonalds and had supper, cupcakes, and presents. His party is Friday. He enjoyed his cupcake and after three years has perfected the blowing out the candles process.

Allie made him a special present just from her. He gave her the biggest hug after.

She also helped him open his other presents.

We are also super excited that he has caught up on his speech. At three he "aged out" of the speech program he was in and was tested by the school district, and that testing showed he didn't need additional therapy. Praise God!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Photo Friday: Reading

Allie is reading!! She chose Put Me in the Zoo for us to read together a few nights ago. She sat down before I could get there and just started reading it...and kept going and going and going. My baby girl is reading all on her own! What an accomplishment! We are so proud of her!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Photo Friday: a flashback

Found this when I was cleaning off my fridge. Thought I'd share.

While poetry may not be his strong suit, he's a smart rascal!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wipeout! Party

Corey celebrated his 9th birthday with a Wipeout Party. Yes, Wipeout as in the TV show. We have really enjoyed watching it and when party time rolled around, Hannah suggested we do that for Corey's party. So on July 23, the contestants arrived to compete in our very own Wipeout course, complete with pool, slip n slide, dish soap, shaving cream and trampoline. The kids were timed going through an obstacle course. It was great fun for everyone.

The birthday boy was our first contestant.

The shaving cream was a big hit...I had forgotten its magical powers to turn kids into maniacs.

A few more contestants...

Even the big kid competed. He lost by 2 seconds to cousin Jordan.

The final times...

Jon Tyler gets to hang out with the big kids.

No Wipeout Party is complete without a "Big Balls" cake...

...and presents!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Catchin' Up is Hard to Do

As I looked back over my pictures I realize how very few I have from this summer break. You know that is very unusual for me and I have a simple explanation. I blinked, and summer was gone. We went from this

to this in no time flat.

Secondly we did very little besides swim and you can't take pics in the water. We try to take an end of the summer day trip and this year we took Hannah, Corey and Allie tubing in NC. Jon Tyler didn't meet the height requirements. It was a fabulous trip, but you'll have to take my word for it because, once again, you can't photograph in the water. Next time I will buy a waterproof camera.

So that sums it up, folks. (How's that for an ending?)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Fell For It

Obviously it is feast or famine on this blog. In May I apparently had lots more free time than any other month this year since I posted as many times in May as the whole rest of this year. Now with summer break in full swing, it is famine. I am presently sitting by the pool listening to pure summmer joy and thinking that my neighbors probably curse the day I got a pool, and I felt the need to share this moment. Allie and her friend Marlee are swimming when suddenly the worse argument occurred. "I'm telling your momma!" "You won't be my friend in first grade!" "Why did I even have to come here today?" "I don't even want a best friend!" It was brutal, I'm telling you. I spent a few minutes debating on whether to intervene or not. I'm pretty much one for letting kids solve their own problems. When it got to the point where I thought feelings were about to get hurt, and I could make it a teaching moment, I called both girls over. I asked them what they were fighting over and Marlee looked at Allie and Allie looked at Marlee and they both said, "You tell her." They started to smile and giggle so I told them they could not laugh 'cause they were mad at each other. Of course, that made them laugh harder. Then they both looked at me and one of them said, "We were pretendin'!" and laughed hysterically. I totally fell for it, and I think tomorrow night when Hannah goes to drama, I'm going to cart them along. I believe they could teach the other kids a thing or two.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Thank You Could Never Be Enough

We live in a country that enjoys more freedom and blessings than probably anywhere on earth. It is because of these brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. There is no way to put a thank you into words for what they've done for us.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Speed Street

Well, while the cats away the mice will play, as the saying goes and today we played alright. Kelly and I took the kids to Speed Street in Charlotte today and it was totally fun. Here is why we went.

I saw where Cars 2 characters were going to be on display and I had to take Jon Tyler. I had to. So I signed my older two out and we headed up. To save having to find a parking place when streets had been blocked off and walking miles and payin to park, we rode the light rail from Pineville. That is my new favorite thing. After us Beverly Hillbillies figured out how to buy tickets, of course, and where to board the train, we loved it. It truly was country come to town. We got off just 2 blocks from where we needed to be and quickly found the Kidzone. Cheerios sponsored that part and there were samples of every thing imagineable, for free at that. We go pictues with Tony the Tiger, the Lucky Charms man and others. The kids scored Hamburger Helper hands and there was free ice cream. Anyway you look at it, that is the bomb. Then we found Lightning McQueen, Mater, and Finn (he's the new guy for you Cars rookies). The kids got their pictures taken with them and got to play on some inflatables. Then we boarded the train and rode back to our car. It was a perfectly fun, spontaneous afternoon, and I'm so glad we did i

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Washington, DC Bound

Very early this morning, Donnie and Hannah boarded a bus with 40 something other excited students and parents for Washington, DC. Since I have been sweating the virus all weekend, I am so glad this day is finally here. It is a weird feeling though. This is the farthest distance and longest time apart that I've ever had from either of them. It seems like they are having a wonderful time, and I'm so excited they will have this time together. They have called several times and sent a few pictures. Gotta love technology. I'm sure I'll have plenty of blog worthy material when they get home.

Their afternoon view.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Trying to Stay Well

Donnie is supposed to be at a church men's retreat this weekend but he woke up Friday with an awful (!) stomach virus. He has been sick ever since. Last night Kelly got it, so I am on pins and needles around here. There is NOTHING worse than a stomach virus winding its way through 8 people. Been there done that when there were five of us, and I still have flashbacks. To make it worse, Hannah and Donnie leave for Washington, DC on a field trip Tuesday. We have out the Lysol and the hand sanitizer and are using it in mass amounts. I have Lysol-ed all door knobs, lightswitches, sink fixtures, toilets seats, chairs where the sick sat, the gate at the bottom of the stairs, phones, and remotes. Did I mention I HATE the stomach virus? Hannah came downstairs fully dressed, whereas I usually have to beg them to get dressed on Saturdays. When I asked her why she was dressed, she replied, "This house is full of germs and outside is not. I'm going to ride my bike." Can't argue with that.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Photo Friday

Jon Tyler has been introduced to wrestling by my nephew Rayden. He thinks anytime he's got his shirt off is wrestling time. Here are some of his moves.

Isn't he a cutie?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Annual Softball Game

Every year the employees of our county play our rescue squad and the winner plays the sherriff's department. Every year they serve barbeque, which is personally one of my favorite reasons for going, aside from watching my hunky hubby play. Every year my husband says he's not playing. He's too old, he'll get hurt, he'll be sore for days...blah, blah, blah. Every year he gets "talked into it". Every year the county employees get beaten. Well almost every year. This year proved different. On Thursday (yes, the day after the storm) they held their annual softball game. Donnie got "talked into it" at the last minute, and I mean really last minute. He called me on his way to tell me he was indeed playing. They county employees won the first game for only the second time ever. My honey played well. They lost the second game but it was still fun to watch.

Donnie behind the plate

and speaking to his biggest fans - Hannah and Corey

There is a huge mound of dirt red clay at the ball field which my children inevitably find. I've actually learned to dress them in the oldest clothes they own and let them go at it. This year was no exception. Jon Tyler and Allie had a ball, as you can see.

Here is further evidence of their fun.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Storm

We awoke Wednesday morning at about 1:15 to a crazy bad thunderstorm. What actually woke us was the fan we run at night going off because we lost power. The lightning was unreal, lighting up the sky almost constantly and the thunder and wind were frightening. Allie was at our bedside in a matter of seconds. I came to get my phone so we'd have an alarm for the next morning. Kelly met me downstairs and Hannah and Corey soon joined us. We could see our neighbors out even in the middle of the night trying to see what was going on. I figured we'd have power back on within a few hours and clean up a few limbs the next day. Boy was I wrong. I got a call about 6:30 that school was cancelled, and that's when I realized we'd had a very serious storm. We got up when the sun came up and went outside to take a look around. We had only a few limbs down but my neighbors had a large limb on top of their car, another neighbor's pecan tree fell and yet another neighbor lost their trampoline to a large tree branch. We checked Facebook and found out the damage was much more severe around town. Like any good Americans would do in a time of disaster, we headed to Bojangles for breakfast and rode around to see what was happening. I was really shocked. My pastor had a tree fall through his living room and many people had large trees down, roof damage, and other damage. We spent the morning helping with limbs and waiting on power. Donnie headed to work to find his office had been flooded. By the afternoon it was clear we were probably going to be without power for at least the night. Thankfully our neighbor had power so we ran a drop cord from his garage and plugged in our refrigerator, TV and 2 fans. We didn't get power back for 36 hours, but many of my friends were without for 3 days. My kids school was still without power on Thursday so they were out of school that day too. I am very thankful we didn't sustain any serious damage. I have never experienced any storm quite like that. I can only imagine what the people of Alabama woke up to just a few weeks before us.

Here are a few pictures we took around town. Most of them were taken by Hannah on a bike ride through the neighborhood.

Monday, May 9, 2011


It's been so long since I've really updated my blog that even blogger didn't recognize me. (Well, I'm exaggerating but only a little). I don't really have a valid reason or even a bad excuse for not blogging, unless you count running a household with a hubby and 4 children plus 2 more but I'll get to that later. I was going to go back, post those things I missed and link them to this post. I don't know why - it just makes me feel better and more efficient. But I have a confession. I started this post about 3 days ago and I haven't gotten even this post finished yet. So I decided it would be better if I just gave a brief synopsis.

Early April brought spring break, a little later than usual this year, thanks to PASS testing. My birthday was the 6th, and I had a great day celebrating. My kids and my mom made muffins and sang Happy Birthday to me on the toilet. It was supposed to be breakfast in bed, but I'd gotten up to go to the bathroom when they arrived. You know what they say about getting to use the bathroom by yourself once you have kids - well it applies even on birthdays. But as Corey put it, "I think it surprised us more than it surprised you."

We took a trip to Walterboro to visit my dad and stepmom. It was really nice. The kids enjoyed their time in the country. We even stayed an extra day and took in an Easter egg hunt at their church, which was really fun. Those people know how to throw down when it comes to the kids. They hunted eggs, dyed eggs, ate hotdogs, played sports. It was great!

On the way home my sister called me from the ER where she'd been diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung for us commoners). This kills people folks; it's very serious. She spent two days in the hospital and is doing much better. Plus she has been out of work for a while so she and her son are staying with us until she can find something. When you got six people living in a house, what's two more? I'm sure this will make for some good blogging material so stay tuned...

Well I think that wraps up the overview. See you haven't missed much. I would promise to do better, but, well, that may not be a promise I can keep so let's just say I'll try.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lost and Found

Yesterday was Allie's birthday party. Usually the day of a party I am running around like a chicken with my head chopped off, but this day was actually very calm, except for one minor incident. At lunch time we had seven kids here - my 4, my 2 nephews and a neighborhood kid. No, it wasn't party time yet. We - my mom, Kelly & I - were trying to feed the masses when Jon Tyler went missing. We realized it when we had all the older kids seated and eating and then we couldn't find him. Kelly said she'd just come from upstairs and he wasn't there. I ran outside and checked his usually hiding spot - the van. I didn't see him in our yard anywhere. I ran upstairs to check Corey's room, just in case. Still nowhere to be found. I checked my neighbor's garage and my mom started around the block. My neighbor across the street asked what we were looking for and when Mom told her, she started walking in the other direction. The older kids began searching too and I was near panic thinking that finally, I had really lost my child. (I say finally because he's given us plenty of short scares in the past.) Kelly remembered that the night before, he and Rayden had been playing in Corey's room when he got under Corey's bed. He has one of those captain type beds, up a little higher with storage under it. She ran back and opened the door and called his name. She didn't hear or see him in there. She started back down the stairs when she heard him. He was really under that bed and he was so quiet and it was so dark that when she opened it she couldn't find him. I've never been so relieved in all my life. We called to Mom and the neighbor that we'd found him and everything returned to normal - relatively speaking. The neighborhood kid remarked, "Boy, I would wanna play hide and seek with him." I personally think he has a new superpower - the ability to make 5 minutes seem like 25.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Princess Turns Six!

Always makes us laugh - it just comes naturally
Likes all things girly
Loves to snuggle (always has)
Independent little booger
Easy-going, along for the ride

Our little princess Allie turned 6 today! Where has the time gone?!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Picture Story

This is the gate meant to keep little Princess Charming downstairs.

This is little Prince Charming getting ready to climb over the gate and go upstairs.

This is little Prince Charming succeeding in going upstairs.

This is little Prince Charming looking cute so he won't get a spanking for going upstairs.

Everytime I go upstairs to retrieve him, he looks at me and says, "Hug, hug." Yes, I know what you are thinking, "How can you spank him after that?" It is hard, nearly impossible, and it happens rarely.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This Chick Got Sold Out

Sunday night Samuel Thomas of Hopegiver's International spoke at our church. Our church has had a lengthy relationship with both Samuel and his father, M.A., who passed away last year. I love to hear the Word spoken by them, and I am amazed at how both men can take a verse from a familiar story and make it so profound. Sunday night Samuel spoke on Mary & Martha. If you know the story, you've always been taught that Mary was doing the right thing by sitting at Jesus' feet. Shame on Martha, we've all thought, for putting preparations before Jesus. We've tried not to be her, the one working, while others worshipped. There are books about being a Mary and not a Martha. In this case, could she have made a better choice - one with more eternal benefit? I'm sure she could have, but did you know she was also a worshippper? A little while later when her brother Lazarus had died, it was Martha who confessed Jesus as the Son of God. Pretty amazing, if you think about it. As Samuel pointed out, God wants us to be both workers and worshippers. There is a time for both. I have to admit, I'm a worker by nature. I don't like to sit still, so I often find myself like the Martha who was busy with her preparations, but I want to be both and I'm working on that. Are you both a worker and worshipper?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The end of an era

Jon Tyler & Allie are spending their first night in their new bunk beds. This moment is bittersweet, meaning Jon Tyler is now in a big boy bed! For me, these things are fun because it is something new and sad because my baby is growing up. We are in the process of bidding farewell to our old faithful crib which is almost 16 years old and has been through 6 kids, obviously not all mine. In the process means that I can't get it apart. I've always had trouble with it and it's always led me to the point of losing my sanity. So it is partly disassembled and still in their room (which I do not recommend when trying to transition. 'nough said). Allie is as tickled as she can be and so excited about her new bed and being big enough to sleep on top. I think when you are the third child being big enough to do anything is exciting! So we'll see how this new phase of life goes for them. I'm praying for a smooth transition.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Speech Update

A few months back I posted about Jon Tyler's speech delay. Since then he has started early intervention with Easter Seals every Tuesday. He really enjoys his time with Ms. Monique. He is picking up words and she is teaching him some signs to go along with basic words. He can sign "please" and chooses to do that instead of saying it. Last Tuesday Ms. Monique brought Mr. Potato Head. Jon Tyler enjoys Mr. Potato head and quickly put his eyes, ears and nose in. Then he turned him over and made a pooting noise with his mouth. Ms. Monique (stifling a laugh) tried to redirect him. And again he turned him around and made a pooting noise. Ms. Monique asked him what Mr. Potato Head did. I'm not sure what he expected him to say but plain as day, he said, "Pooped." Even though he doesn't say a lot, he seems to have just the right words at just the right time. LOL!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes - OUCH

I wouldn't be human if I didn't post some of the not funny, but brutally honest, things my kids say. And my blog wouldn't reflect our real life either. So here goes.

Tonight after our family devotions, Corey prayed and when he finished his prayer, he prayed, "And please don't let Mom get mad during homework." OUCH.

I have to admit I am short-patiented and mean during homework, so tonight I vowed to work on that. As a former educator, I have to admit that I find homework to be totally useless. I probably owe my former students and their parents an apology, because I gave homework. Now as a parent I find it to be a nuisance, a thief of what's left of the day's play time.

So after my reality check, I sat with my two middle kids and worked with them, without losing my cool. It was much more pleasant, for both them and me. Sometimes what kids say is not funny, but it is what I need to hear. Has anybody else ever gotten a reality check from their kids?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Birthday Girl!

Happy and humorous and helpful
Adamant about whatever she believes in
Nice to everyone
No is not in her vocabulary
A "tween" now
Has drama in her veins

Happy 11th Birthday to my precious oldest child!

Monday, January 31, 2011

January by the Numbers (and pictures)

50 (give or take)- laps on the go cart

3 - go kart repairs

1 - trip to the ER (unrelated to the go kart or snow)

7 - inches of snow

2 - new sleds

5 - extra days off from school

2 - days of playing in snow

6 - extra loads of laundry caused by snow

1 - car repair

2 - doctor visits

1 - kidney stone (passed, thank God)

2 - cases of the flu

60 - dollars worth of Tamiflu

0 - dollars left at the end of the month

48 - days until the official start of spring

But who's counting?