Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm Back! A December Review...with pictures.

Oh friends, as I sit here typing I look back at the past month and wonder where it went. I think this has been the busiest December EVER. And even though there were a few lows, some lessons learned along the way, I LOVED IT! My only regret is that I haven't had much free time over the past few weeks. Therefore I know all of you thought I was lost, but never fear, I was not lost just too busy to type. Hopefully I can make up for that today...
Let me back up to Thanksgiving... I went to my parent's for the turkey holiday. Had a beautiful time with the family I adore and love. I went shopping on "BLACK FRIDAY" with my sister, which I still think deserves a whole post of it's own. I will have to do that one day soon. Anyway, just know that the holiday race started there, with my energy tank starting out on "empty." We had fun, but oh was I ever tired later.
Life at the parent's house is always an adventure, especially with these cuties all together under one roof. Poor Kayla is slightly outnumbered. We make up for it, treating her like a young adult and the "princess" of the house.

I took the opportunity to take pictures of my kiddos while at my parent's house for the Christmas cards. This is what I ended up with...

When taking this picture, Kayla had just whined about wanting a sister so they could take cute pictures... I think this one is pretty funny and cute.

The Christmas card pose.
My little man.

My baby girl.
The kids with their "Pooh-pa" and "Grammy." (My parents.)

The first weekend in December is our annual fundraiser for what us Southern Baptists refer to as our Lottie Moon Christmas offering. All offerings collected during the night go to missions. This year we had a Mexican theme. We even had a mariachi band come and play during the meal. After the meal we had two missionary "guests." William Carey and Lottie Moon herself came for a visit and to tell their stories. If you look real close, you might see the uncanny resemblance to my parents. (wink. wink.)

The next week would be practices to get ready for the Christmas musical at church (sorry, no pictures), school events, the Christmas dance at school AND the Christmas tea. This year I was one of the moms in charge of an annual Christmas party held for girl's in Kayla's class at school. It started as a few moms and their daughters getting together when the girls were five. There were about ten of them at the time. Nine years later the group of girls has grown to almost forty names and the moms take turns hosting. This was my year. We ended up having a blast and pulled the event off, but this was a learning experience for me. I will have to tell you about it one day soon, but for now here are a few fun pictures from the day.

The kids before the Christmas dance. I wanted to cry when i dropped them off. This was not Kayla's first dance, but it was Jordan's. Something about dropping my "baby" off... Am I ready for all of this?!!!

I was in charge of the chocolate fountain at the tea. It did not want to work right. I kept having to thin it up. Although it was "clumpy" at times, the girls said it still tasted "yummy."
Kayla had no problem with "clean up" duty on the fountain. :)

The girls that came. Aren't they pretty?

These cans were a project that Kayla and I gave the girls at the party. Each bucket was personalized with the names of all the girls. Inside was candy and notes from the girls that hosted this year. The girls were then encouraged to write notes to each other. They loved it. I need to take a moment and thank my sister and my dad for helping us during the Thanksgiving holiday with this project. They turned out CUTE!

The next week was full of basketball (no pictures of Jordan YET!), work, Christmas parties (I went to FIVE in December!), school programs and Papa's birthday.

Papa (my father-in-law) turned 79 on the 16th. We went over that night to take him a cake and a few goodies. He is plugging along. He has some good days and some bad days. Chemo does that to a person. Please continue to keep him in your prayers. These pictures were taken on his birthday.

Finally, Christmas arrived. Here are a few Christmas memories...

Kayla's favorite cartoon character when she was little was Minnie Mouse. She had a doll that was a favorite for a very long time. This year we teased her about reverting back to her younger days, for she Loves Minnie Mouse again. I got her these pjs.

Jordan got an ipod.

Me trying to get a Christmas kiss from my little man.

Kayla with her cousin.

Kevin with his mom and brother.
The Monday after Christmas we headed to my parent's house for a late Christmas celebration.

Monday night we opened gifts and I got exactly what I asked "Santa" for, a painting. I have always wanted a painting painted by my dad. I asked and received. Thanks dad!!!

My parents with all their grand kids...
Well, I guess I had better wrap up this review, not because I want to, but because we have a New Year's Eve youth event to go to tonight. The fun of December is still not quite over. This month has been jam packed with "stuff," but at the end of the day, that "stuff" just serves as a reminder of how blessed we are. Freedom to come and go, enjoy family and friends and most of all celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world. Yes, friends, we are blessed.

I pray you and yours had a beautiful holiday celebrating the "REAL" reason for the season.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Don't Give Up On Me!!!

Oh friends, how I have missed chatting and reading what is going on in your lives. But my life has been CRAZY the past few weeks. Don't give up on me please. I will be back next week with stories to tell, my second part of my Thanksgiving ADVENTURE and lots of pictures.

Hope you are all well.


Monday, November 29, 2010

My Thanksgiving ADVENTURE... Part 1

Hope this finds everyone in bloggy land full of turkey and family togetherness. I personally enjoyed my break. I loved soaking in the laughter, love and even a few tears that goes with quality family time. HOWEVER, my holiday proved to be an adventure. It is what we call around these parts "good blogging material."

It all started Wednesday. We packed the car, took my dog to her holiday retreat at the In-law Inn, and started off. Fifteen minutes into the trip my hubby and I are already at it...actually, for your information we do not fight a lot, just when I AM RIGHT and he THINKS he is right. :) I was definitely right this time, bless his heart...

You see a few days ago, my hubby got the idea that he wanted to ask my uncle to show him where to hunt in the Ozarks. But then, when the details and plans didn't fall like he had invisioned, he decided to back out. Only problem was that my brother-in-law and dad already knew about the trip. In fact, my dad, who has NEVER hunted anything in his life, decides he wants to give it a whirl. So, here I am in the car with the hubby who has not brought a gun or any camo with him, texting my sister saying he decided not to hunt, knowing he is going to feel left out if the others still go, blah, blah, blah. We turn around and he goes and gets his gun. Mama was right and all was happy.

We were once more North Arkansas bound. Only, the hubby needs to do a little work on the way, we stop for a hospital visit. After visiting new mom, seeing baby through nursery window and shaking proud dad's hand, we are once again off. Only the car will not start.

The hubs thinks it might be bad gas, we stop at Target for something to help the situation.

Doesn't work.

End up at a Nappa. Trying something else, oil maybe. Sorry but I know NOTHING when it comes to cars.

Car REFUSES to start.

Nappa guy gets us cranked up and points the way to a Firestone garage.

Two hours and 300.00 later we have a new "throttle sensor." MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME!

After watching some nutso on "Dr. Phil" and "The Rock" on "Ellen, at the garage, we were finally on the road again.

We finally reached the city limits and I couldn't help but smile. There is a sense of peace that comes when I go home. Now that my parents are back in the small town where they grew up and the only "hometown" this traveling girl knew, while growing up, visiting my parents now brings back loads of memories.

It was a tough day, but I still made it "home" for Thanksgiving. And waiting for me and mine was my mom, dad, sister and her tribe. Doesn't get much better than that...


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving love...

I have not started my week out too good. The burn ban has officially been lifted in my small town community. We get a little rain and everyone goes wild with burning leaves. For a poor unfortunate soul like me, who is allergic to every tree and grass found in the south, this is NOT good. BUT, I finally went to the doctor Monday night, and now FOUR prescriptions later, I am on my way to feeling good. Have to feel good for Turkey day.

Anyway, we are suppose to go see the fam and eat my mom's mashed taters, brave the crowds on Black Friday with my sis in Branson and just soak in all the family love and togetherness. Well, this mom who hasn't felt all too wonderful wanted to leave her house clean and decorated. I was NOT a happy camper Monday night. Let me repeat...NOT HAPPY.

But then I came home for my lunch break yesterday and discovered that I have absolutely the BEST HUBBY IN THE WORLD. He had cleaned my kitchen, picked up the living room and tackled Mt. Laundry with gusto. So although there is still a small mountain, a pile of useless junk in my hall, from me organizing my office and the toilets haven't been cleaned, I can at least go with a little peace. Just a little...

Here is to a relaxing holiday with the family, and NO WORK for FIVE days. I am THANKFUL.

Happy Turkey Day, friends!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm in the Money...

I have spent the whole day cleaning and putting up my Christmas trees. Now wait, before you preach to me about "forgetting Thanksgiving" cause I skipped to decorating and shopping before the turkey was even cooked, I PLAN ON CELEBRATING BEING THANKFUL. I will be eating turkey and (hopefully) my mom's yummy mashed taters. I will be taking those famous Christmas card pictures like I do every turkey day. I will be braving the mob with my dear ol' sis on Black Friday. I will be soaking in the family love and togetherness. I plan on being THANKFUL in style.

However, I usually, when home, put my tree up the day after Turkey day. Since I plan on being at my parent's, I want to be able to come home to a CLEAN, already DECORATED house. At least I'm trying...

The good news in all of this? I was cleaning my office and found my old purse. For some reason I decided to clean the thing out. There in the bottom of my bag was a bank envelope. In the envelope was 75.00. The receipt inside was dated around the time of my surgery. I guess I had gone to the bank and somehow forgot the money during my healing time. Gotta love that when it happens!

Moral of the story? Cleaning house can sometimes turn up a treasure or two...or maybe 75! Maybe cleaning isn't all bad after all. :)

I am already starting Thanksgiving week THANKFUL.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Stupid Fuzzy Slippers..."

It must somehow be all my fault. After all, I am the mom who refused to turn her heat on last night. I would like to say I am saving the planet, by saving gas, but I really am just trying to save the cash. Christmas is coming, you know!!!

Anyway, baby girl was grouchy this morning. She was "cold." She was wearing her big fuzzy black slippers to emphasize the fact. (She hardly wore them at all last year!)

Anyway, after I had gone to work, I received a text. Here is what it said:

"Stupid fuzzy slippers...i thought i had my shoes on because of them! Papa (he took the kids to school for me this morning) just laughed when he saw my feet! We had to drive all the way back home!"

This made me smile. All I could picture all day was Kayla wearing her big fuzzy slippers to school. She is such a trendsetter... :)

Gosh, I love that girl of mine.

Happy Monday, friends! Hope you have a BEAUTIFUL week.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Time of Testing... My Prayer List

Wow! I feel like I have been gone for ages. It started out that I didn't have much to say, then went to being to busy to sit at the computer for longer than 10 minutes and ended up with too much to say, but all with a heavy heart. After being gone for a few days, here I am.

I have to say, before I write much more, that I feel blessed. Maybe this week more than ever. Overall, the week for me personally hasn't been terrible, I have just been burdened and loaded down with concern for dear friends and family. The cruelty of this world is attacking those i care about hard. I told someone Friday that it seemed like the LONGEST week ever. The days get long when you are suffering from a weary heart.

Yet, God is good. Prayer is key. Faith is the stronghold that gets us all through this journey. I know I have been out of bloggy land for a little bit, I know I haven't left my usual comments on dear friends and family blogs, but I am going to ask a favor. Please pray for these dear people. Whether you leave a comment or not, it is alright, I just ask for prayer.

-The wife of my husband's cousin, who also happens to be a dear friend, found out she has breast cancer. It is in her lymph nodes. The consider it inoperable at this time. She starts chemo this coming week. She is having a very hard time dealing with it.

-One of my mother-in-law's oldest and dearest friends lost her hubby this week. He had been ill for some time. However, I know she is missing him today.

-A friend from college, who now lives in the same town as me, has just finished her chemo treatments. It was very successful and she is doing well. However, a few days ago, her 5Th grade daughter had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital where they discovered she had a brain tumor. The had to operate and for now, it looks good, but they have a long road ahead of them. This sweet family has had a very hard year...

-One of my co worker's husband landed in the hospital this week over his blood sugar. Another co worker's niece fell off the monkey bars at school and broke her arm. Another coworker had a seizure, and had to have medicine changed. Another coworker had emergency back surgery last week. My son broke his nose two weeks ago... We have been hit hard at work.

-My mother-in-law has had a few episodes of double vision. Upon going to the doctor, it was discovered that she had had a mini stroke. She is fine, but of course a little worried.

-My father-in-law continues to take his chemo days the best he day at a time.

As I said it has been a crazy week. I would appreciate it if you would lift these beautiful people up in your prayers. They are standing strong in faith, but can always use an extra prayer lifted.

In the meantime, I choose to have joy, if for no reason than the fact that God is there.

Have a beautiful Sunday, worshipping the one true God.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jordan (an update on the broken nose)

If you read my last post, then you know that my son broke his nose the day before he turned 12. If you didn't have time to stop by last week, well my son broke his nose the day before his birthday.

He has been doing well. Almost too well. You see, on one hand I am VERY thankful. He has had very little pain, very little noticeable bruising and no bleeding since last Saturday. On the other hand, I feel guilty even saying this, but I kind of wish he hurt more. WHY?


Have you ever tried to keep a monkey, I mean an active boy STILL?! IT IS NEAR IMPOSSIBLE!!! Scratch that, I think it is IMPOSSIBLE!

Last Friday was when it was broken. I have kept Jordan reasonably still because he has been a nervous wreck about going to the doctor. He is too much like his mama, I'm afraid. Anyway, you should have seen his face when the doctor told him today, that he was not going to have to set it. PRICELESS.

Evidently, Jordan is healing fine, at least for now on his own. Only problem is, NO CONTACT SPORTS FOR 4 WEEKS!

If you are a mother of a boy who lives to play, run and tumble, then I know you are feeling my pain right now. How can the doctor even ask the impossible? Will we all survive 4 weeks?!!!

I guess only time will tell.

Say a prayer for us...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Baby Boy is 12!!!

This picture was taken last Sunday.
Isn't he cute?! I am wondering what he will look like in a few weeks...
You see, life dished out a cruel birthday surprise on my little boy for his birthday.
He broke his nose.
Yep, you read right. My little boy, doing what he has done everyday at recess (playing football) for who knows how long, broke his nose the day before his birthday. One way to make it memorable!
My hubby got the call yesterday afternoon. Jordan was bleeding, had a cut on his nose and the nose may be broken. He took him to the doctor.
Of course my mommy heart is dying, 'cause I am at work, having to let my hubby handle this. Which by the way, Kev is a GREAT caregiver and handles these situations like a pro. I was not worried about that at all, I just could not relax until I saw my baby. When he called back to say they were going to do a cat scan, because they couldn't get it to stop bleeding, I was a nervous wreck. I finally was able to leave. I prayed the who;e way that I wouldn't embarrass him and cry.
I survived the moment. A little weepy eyed, but when I saw him, I became calm. I think us moms can handle a lot, we just need to be able to see and touch our babies at times of stress. I could see both my hubby and Jor sigh with a relief when I walked through the door. He may be getting older, and he may be a daddy's boy, but when it comes to being hurt, my sweet boy STILL wants his mommy! :)
Anyway, he is going to be OK. The bleeding finally stopped. He has an appointment at the children's hospital next week to have it set. The hardest part will be keeping him from being a BOY until that time. Boys were just made to run, jump and be active. This boy will be benched for at least a few weeks. I don't know who will be more miserable, me or him? He is already "BORED."
As I look back at yesterday, I am thankful. It could have been so much worse. It is like I told Jordan, when he started to fuss, things happen. What happened to him yesterday, could have happened playing any sport. He actually could have hurt something else that could have benched him permanently. As it is for now, he just has a swollen nose.
My mommy heart survived...barely. But even then, I have to be thankful. My son has gone 12 years without any broken bones, surgeries or major sickness. We all know, and as I learned yesterday, that could all change in a heartbeat. Yesterday, was another reminder of how I should be thankful for each day, never taking each moment for granted. We get in such a rut of doing the same thing everyday, that I sometimes forget to just stop and say "Thanks!"
"Thank you, Lord for just being there. That even when we go about our everyday tasks, some of which we don't like, you are there. That each moment spent with family and friends are blessings, not to be taken for granted. Thank you, for when the hard moments come our way, that you provide strength and grace to see us through. Thank you."
I promised I would not put Jordan's picture, of his broken nose, on fb or my blog today. He is still getting use to his new look for the next few days. Although, his birthday party is next week, so I might sneak one in there. :) I did take pictures for his scrapbook. 'Cause one day he is going to have some stories to tell. He was playing football and he and a friend both went for the ball. The friend ended up with a cut and a knot on the head, Jordan a broken nose. However, after it happened, Jordan's friends said he looked at them and asked whether he got the ball. Just like a man!!! :)
Yes, he got the ball.

Happy Birthday, Jordan! Mom loves you so very much! I was so proud of you yesterday, and the strength you showed. You are my hero.

Lord, thank you for 12 beautiful years with this boy. May there be many more ahead...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Today is my birthday.

I am still getting use to the idea that I have arrived at another milestone birthday. The years just seem like they have flown by. When I look back at my journey to get here, I am thankful. God has blessed me beyond measure. (I will try to write my thoughts on this when I have more time. I have plenty to say!)

So, Happy Birthday to me!

Hope you all have a beautiful day! It is a wonderful day to celebrate and be thankful.
In honor of my b-day, I want to know what your favorite kind of cake or pie is.
I LOVE PIES. Most kinds too. Right now because of the season, PUMPKIN is my favorite. Of course I can't pass up a good cheesecake. Wait, strawberry shortcake sounds good. And then there are apple pies, cobblers, strawberry cake and...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall Fun...Oh, How My Kids Make Me Smile!

Friday night after soccer, I ran by Wally World and let my kids each pick out a pumpkin. They were so funny as they searched the big bins for just the right "Jack." They both have their own way of looking. Jordan quickly finds one that looks great, only to find out later in the car that one side is dented in. Kayla, however would take what would seem like HOURS to find the PERFECT pumpkin head. And I have to say, every year she finds one that is pretty near perfect.
I let them carve the pumpkins themselves this year. Which meant they also had to do all the dirty work too. It was so much fun watching them work. Jordan had more of a problem with the slime than Kayla. Kayla is all about getting messy when the activity calls for it. She called herself the "mad scientist" and named her round orange victim "Jack the Pumpkin King." Goofy girl!

However, when the carving was done, because a certain little man lacks patience and carved a little to quickly and got a little too close between the eyes, nose and mouth, poor Jordan ended up with this;

Of course I told him it kind of looks like a bat...

Jack the Pumpkin King turned out a little better.

Overall, the fun was just in the laughter shared with my kids. After a tough week, God knew I needed them and the joy they bring in the "little" moments. Making memories, isn't that what it is all about?

Hope you are having a blessed weekend. The week ahead is already looking a little brighter.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Volcano Erupted...all in the day and life of a working mom.

Have you ever held things in, day after day, until you absolutely think you are going to EXPLODE?

I do it all the time. It comes from being a people pleaser. I can't stand for ANYONE to be mad at me. The thought of confrontation with anyone but my hubby and kids makes me sick. The only reason I can half way let loose with them is just from years of practice. Well and the fact that I know they will still love me at the end of the day. :)

Anyway, I have had a situation at work that I am not happy about. I'm not mad at anyone. I don't want anyone mad at me. I just am a little frustrated. Actually, scratch that, I AM A LOT FRUSTRATED. However, being the people pleaser that I am, I will never say anything. I don't want to cause more problems. I don't want everyone mad at me. I don't want to be the reason changes are made. When I have my next evaluation, I don't want to be considered NOT a team player. So, I TRY to deal with it the best I can, by trying to ignore it.

Only problem is that without change, the situation doesn't go away. After a while, I can't let it go. It BUILDS and BUILDS and BUILDS until this gal wants to EXPLODE.

Yesterday, I exploded.

It wasn't pretty. Yet, because I refused to tell those around me how I really feel. And due to the fact that I still did not feel totally comfortable letting myself to have the freedom to explode while exploding. I am too much of a people pleaser to even EXPLODE right! So I ended up embarrassing myself.

I cried.

Totally professional, I know. I couldn't help it. I was fed up with the situation and just needed a moment. However a coworker saw my face and asked me what was wrong. I told her I just needed a moment, but she wouldn't let it go. I didn't want to attack her right there and then, but my emotions were going to come out one way or another. Since I held off from the ranting and raving... I cried.

I quickly excused myself and headed to the closest little girl's room. I was so mad at the whole situation PLUS my tears, that I was shaking. I just wanted to crawl in a corner and call my hubby. However, I did pray.

I prayed the ground would swallow me whole.
I prayed that I had a time machine...
I prayed that I would come down with the flu...wait maybe I didn't go that far, but I do know that I was at a point of almost being willing to do almost anything to leave at that moment.
And then I prayed for strength to get through the rest of the day with a smile and my sanity in check.

God answered the last one. And He continued to grace me with His presence today as I survived another day. (Thank you, Lord.) Things may or may not change due to this outburst. I just am taking one day at a time, praying daily for strength that can only come from my Heavenly Father.

As for the circumstances that started the whole ordeal? I am going to have to work harder at remembering that my JOY comes from the LORD, not my circumstances. I am going to learn how to let things go, instead of letting them heat, until one day I boil over. I am going to have to realize that being a GOD PLEASER is so much more rewarding than just being a regular ol' people pleaser.

So, yes I lost my cool. Yes, I cried. Yes, I even embarrassed myself. But I am thankful that today was a new day, with NO MISTAKES. It was a fresh start. It was a new day to be THANKFUL.


Has your volcano ever erupted?

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Widow for a Season...

Well friends, it is THAT time of year, AGAIN. Shopping bags filled with all things camo, trips to the woods to clean out stands, plastic jugs saved to be filled with corn, crazy talk of "the BIG one."

It is hunting season.

My mom came from a hunting family. I remember watching my Grandpa, Uncle and cousin get all decked out in their hunting garb and then come home with a turkey or deer prize. But my daddy wasn't into the sport. He was more of a fisherman, so being in a house of all girls and my dad, I only saw hunting season for what it was, on the holidays.

Until I met my man.

I knew when I married him that he was a hunter. I knew that he came from a long line of hunters. I knew they had their own deer camp and that staying out at the camp with the menfolk was a big deal.

I just never knew WHAT A BIG DEAL it was until we moved back to south Arkansas, close to the family and the deer camp. I never knew HOW BIG A DEAL it would become, once my son got bit by the hunting bug that has plagued generations of this family.

I just never knew...

But it is again that season. I just spent gobs of money on the sport, since my son has managed to keep growing, like boys his age should, and can't fit into anything. My hubby already has dates I have to work our schedules around, when he and Jordan will be hunting with friends and family. It has become apparent that there will not be a conversation in the next month that does not have the words "doe, "buck" or "point" in it. And I once again have to be EXCITED over the trophies they bring in. (Don't get me wrong, I am not against hunting, as long as the meat is eaten, and it is with our family, I just don't enjoy seeing it all. I can be a girly girl sometimes.)

So, for the next month I will need to prepare myself for the life of a widow. I will be son less too. Hmm... Whatever will Kayla and I do?

I bet if we put our heads together we can think of something. :) Maybe hunting season isn't half bad after all.

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What's for dinner?! (Last night)

So I have been on my crock pot kick lately, an effort to save time and money. It has gotten pretty bad that my son even commented the other day to his dad; "Man, mom sure likes her crock pot!" Of course so far, the almost 12 year old in eleven days, who seems to be a bottomless pit when it comes to food, has had no complaints over the food coming out of mom's favorite appliance!!!

So here I am, 'cause I frankly have nothing of interest to blog about, sharing what we had for dinner last night. I'm saving you from another "we are busy" log, that goes on and on until, let's see, my kids both graduate? So I will apologize for the rather uninteresting post of what this mom cooked in her crock pot last night.

Truthfully, I actually just kept what I cooked ealier in the day "hot" until the different members of my family could eat, in my crock pot. However, since I have never considered myself "Betty Crocker," when I do manage to whip up something extra yummy, I feel the need to pass it on and share the goodness.

Have you ever seen these mixes in your favorite grocery store? At my store they are usually at the end of the soup isle next to the Ramen noodles. Every once in a blue moon I will grab one to try. Since my daughter is on a new "broccoli and cheese" kick (who would have ever thunk that?!), I picked up the broccoli/cheese soup mix.

They are really easy to mix with water and go. But, I always like to mix things up a bit. I saw on the package where they had "extra" suggestions for the soup and went for it. I made the soup like the instructions said, cooked a package of chicken with some Pam and cut it up in pieces, added 1/2 cup of "fat free" sour cream and a cup of grated cheese and let my friend the crock pot do it's magic by melting it all together for a warm yummy treat.

It was good. Even my son who declares he does not like "broccoli" ate a bowl full. I would take a picture of my finished product, but there would have to be some left in order to share. Next time...

Hope you are having a wonderful, stress free day! It may rain in Arkansas, and boy do WE NEED IT!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Lesson in Cheerleading...

This week has been CRAZY around town. It is Homecoming. Everyone decked out in their blue and white (so glad we have pretty school colors to wear), rushing around for the big festivities.

Truthfully, homecoming is usually the only game I go to every year. When I have the choice between spending three to four hours planted on my comfy couch or sitting on a bleacher, well comfort wins with me every time. I am afraid that that is how I roll. Of course this year I had a valid reason/ excuse (in my mind anyway), I already had to go on Thursdays to the junior high games and watch baby girl play her flute. Two nights a week on bleachers is just asking way to much of me...

Of course, that has got me to thinking, which can never be good. Whether my son plays football or becomes a band geek like his dad, with his sister being the musical talent that she is, I am pretty much stuck going to every game for the next... I don't even want to think about it... eight years. Ugh!

Now don't get me wrong, once there I find ways to enjoy myself. A visit with a friend, ballgame nachos, experimenting with my camera and every once in a while standing up and cheering on a "good" play I didn't see, or frankly don't understand. I may even text my sister when the game is slow and I think I've "jinxed" the team by even being there, 'cause they are losing. Of course I had to text her back later and say all was good and maybe I am not bad luck after all. (We won! What a relief, 'cause I was worried the whole first half!)

But as I am people watching, as I am hearing all the excitement and cheering going on around me, as I am watching people sitting for HOURS on cold hard bleachers, well a part of my heart weeps. A part of me feels shame. We will give up HOURS and HOURS to celebrate this week in town, for there have been activities going on all week at school. We will take pictures and cheer for the beautiful crowned teenage queen and her court. We will cheer, hoop and holler at the top of our lungs. We will enjoy the moment. And there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.

Yet, I know in my heart that I didn't celebrate Jesus like I should have this week. I complain when church goes too long, or there is an extra church event listed on my calendar taking up time. I never feel the same freedom to get excited in worship, as I would standing up cheering on a runner in a helmet. Did I even tell anyone this week about the TRUE PRINCE OF PEACE? And how many times have I complained about hard pew CUSHIONED seats? Yep. It left me thinking.

I can't change the world, but I can change myself with God's help. It will for sure take baby steps, but I pray that I can continue to look through God's glasses and change for Him a little at a time. He can have a teaching moment with every step we take if we allow Him to. That is the hard part, being open to what He shows us in our everyday lives, 'cause sometimes the truth hurts.

So, this morning as I am looking back at my Friday night of football mania, two lessons were learned. First, maybe I need to tweak my attitude and find more joy in my Christian walk, treating my journey with the excitement given a football game. I really have no excuse not to. And second...

Well if I am going to spend the next eight years sitting in bleachers, I am going to have to invest in a good comfy seat.

Have a great weekend! Let's cheer on the name of Jesus!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Counting my blessings, as the moments speed on by...

Let me just take a moment to say "WE HAVE BEEN BUSY!!!"

I know most families in today's world live on the go, but I think I have had the BUSIEST month ever! It is like I recuperated from surgery only to hit the track of life at full speed. Good thing I am feeling so much better, so I can enjoy the trip.

Anyway, I feel so out of the loop. I have been MIA in blogland for a while. Not because I want to, but because I haven't found those extra minutes in the day to sit down and chat. Please forgive me. Hope we can all still be friends. :)

I was sitting on the couch tonight, taking a breather when I realized that although life seems to be a race right now, that I am enjoying the race. Yeah, I fuss about being busy, tired and not having a few moments to myself, but then I am a MOM.

So, since I have NO time to write about all that has happened in the last few weeks, I thought I would quickly recap with a list of "THANK YOUS." I am one blessed lady, and I KNOW IT.

1. I am so thankful for my family that I get to go and do with. We are busy these days, but at least we are busy together.

2. I love watching my kids display and use the talents God gifted them with. Whether, I am watching Kayla play her flute in the 8th grade band on Thursdays or watching Jordan maneuver a soccer ball down the field, I am their biggest fan.

3. Love the invention of the crock pot. I have used mine already twice this week (AND IT IS ONLY TUESDAY!!!), for an easy meal following ballgames. Monday we had roast, tonight we had homemade chicken noodle soup. YUMMY! Best part is that clean up is EASY.

4. Love watching my hubby in action. He really is good at what he does as a student minister. Kids love him.

5. I was able to take a FOUR hour nap on Sunday. I think I was tired. I am so glad God said "rest" on the seventh day. :)

6. The tummy bug has been going around my workplace, but I have been blessed not to have the cooties YET. Still holding my breathe.

7. Planning another birthday party, this time for my son. My package of "hunting themed" party supplies came in the mail today. Love planning a party. :) We just have to find time.

8. I was told my men will be going hunting Saturday. Hmm... with the menfolk gone, wonder what Kayla and I can get in to besides laundry?

9. I have lost thirty pounds since the last week in June. The first 20 were from sickness and surgery, but the last 10 were from discipline and work. Haven't had a soda since June either. Giving myself a pat on the back, so I will keep going.

10. Thankful to have survived 14 beautiful adventurous years with my daughter. Looking forward to what lies ahead. With her, IT WILL BE AN ADVENTURE.

11. Thankful for the precious conversations with my son. They are getting fewer and farther in between, but I will take every word I can get. I pray constantly for strength to just "listen."

12. Thankful for scrapbook club, my girl's night. I get to be creative, hang with friends and have "me" time all rolled into one.

13. Kayla is officially a teenage babysitter who makes more money than her mom by the hour. I am so proud of her as I ask for a loan.

14. We are studying "spiritual gifts" at church. I took a test and was SURPRISED. I will share more later when I have more time.

15. Thankful that I am reminded everyday of God's goodness and grace. I bought a new ring for myself the other day. It is a simple band that says "Be the change you wish to see in the world." I wear it as a reminder daily to try my hardest to be what God wants me to be.

Some days I do feel like I am in a race against time. I feel like if I blink one too many times, my kids will be gone. I sometimes feel like I will not get accomplished all I dream of doing. Yet, at every turn I find a blessing, a lesson learned or what I would consider a hug from God. I will choose today to be thankful, no matter how fast I'm pedaling.

Hope you are having a beautiful week.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's her party, but I'll cry if I want to!!!

As you are now fully aware, my little girl had a birthday this past weekend. She was beaming. For a few days it was "all about her" and she ate it up. One of her best friends made cupcakes and brought them to school for their little group to share. She received MAIL (some with money, which she loved.). She was wished a very happy birthday by oodles of friends and family on facebook. Mom and dad planned an Asian themed party, which made her a very happy camper. And she FINALLY got her wish...

Her daddy finally decided she was ready for a cell phone. And it is purple too! She has now entered the "all my friends have one" zone. Another step in responsibility and just plain growing up in our eyes.


Don't get me wrong. I am not upset that she has a new phone. I am not upset that she is in the band at school playing at football games. I am not upset that she is already talking about driving. I am not upset that she is starting to babysit and earn her own money. In fact I am proud of her and all she has accomplished already in her young life.

No, what upsets me is that my little girl is turning into a young lady. What upsets me is that in another 4 and a half years my baby girl will be graduating. What upsets me is that this...

is now just a precious memory to hold in my heart forever.

Being a mom is sometimes bittersweet.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We celebrated Asian style.

Ever since the Walt Disney cartoon Mulan came out, my little girl has been fascinated with Asian culture. She loves the food, eating with chopsticks. She watches Asian cartoons and listens to songs, to learn Japanese or Chinese words. She use to pour over travel books about Asian culture and dress. The fact that her mom actually lived part of her younger days in Asia is something she is very envious of. She even talks about one day wanting to adopt her own Chinese baby girl. My family lovingly says she may one day be our little missionary. Traveling to China or Japan is her dream.
So when we talked about the big 14Th birthday bash, we talked "Asian." Why not? This mom, as you have already figured out LOVES to plan a party, especially theme parties. This one didn't get as much attention as some that I have done, after all, I am still recuperating from the girl's all night treasure hunt at church last weekend, but I think it was still a fun success. My little "Mulan" herself was happy and that is all that matters.

The birthday girl.

With her dad, who dressed up in his old "Rickshaw Rally" VBS costume from SEVERAL years ago. The kids loved it!

My one decorated corner. I ordered Chinese food from the local restaurant and the kids loved it. We had chicken on a stick (Kay's favorite), white rice, sweet and sour chicken, and wantons. I even had fortune cookies, some from the restaurant and some I had ordered with Bible verses in them. Of course we had cheese dip too. Can't have a party without it, can you?

We made them eat with chopsticks, or at least try to, before handing them a fork or spoon.

We decorated our homemade cupcakes with umbrellas. Kayla made the chocolate ones and I made strawberry.

I didn't have time to make her cookie cake this year, so I just bought one from the store. Kevin wrote her name in Chinese on top.

I used take out boxes from the restaurant for my goody bags. We had a pinata and they filled the boxes up with candy. They played games with chopsticks and everyone got a hat to take home with them. They loved it because it was different.

This picture is for my family who says I never get in the pictures. I was tired by the end of the night, can you tell?

One of my gifts to Kayla was a necklace I found that said "Jesus loves you" in Chinese. She loved it and wore it to the party.

Well, here is hoping you all had a great weekend! We sure did! May we all have a beautiful week. And remember... Jesus does love you!!!!