Monday, December 11, 2006

I'm home!

I'm moved in! (Well, I have a little more furniture to move tomorrow... but we are sleeping here!)

I'm amazed at much help that I had! With each new project needing to be done, God blessed me tremendously with friends and family to help me! I can't even express my graciousness to Him, and to those that He used in my life in the last month! It really has been amazing!

Well, back to cleaning and unpacking... Maybe I'll get back to regular scheduled blogging before long...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Tomorrow is Painting Day!

It seems like the day would never come. Wallpaper has been stripped. Holes have been patched. Cleaning and more cleaning and more cleaning has been done (and much more cleaning to do yet...). Doorknobs and windows have been taped off with plastic. All appliances have been taped. We are finally ready to paint!

Doppler Daddy and I have worked for over a week now on preparing the new house for painting. He has done so much of the dirty work (literally) and all of the high-up work (I'm scared!). I just don't know what I would do without him. I'm so thankful for my dad right now!

I'm more exhausted than I've been in a long time. Besides working on the house, I have worked two part-time jobs and taken care of three children. I admit, however, that McDonalds has seen us more than a few times this week!! Okay, Little Caesars Pizza twice too. I yearn for a hot cooked meal at home. It'll have to be at the new house, since I packed most of my dishes on Wednesday!!

So, get this! A good friend has gotten together a group of people from our church to come and paint the whole inside of the house tomorrow! She says 12 people are coming! One of them is a contractor who will be there with a paint sprayer and will spray all of the ceilings first!! I'm so blessed that these people are going to spend a Saturday out of such a busy month to help me! Oh! And did I mention that they have given me the paint???

I just can't hardly wait to see what it looks like at this time tomorrow!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm moving!

Yes, you may remember that my house was for sale earlier this year. Well, if you've read more recent posts, then you know that I'm moving for different reasons. God never ceases to amaze me - especially in difficult times!

I have two more weeks here before the kids and I will be in our new house. We got the keys this week and have begun the extreme-home-makeover process that is necessary when buying a 'used' house.

I'm so excited about the neighborhood! We were there all day yesterday - stripping wallpaper (fun! fun!). My little ducklings played outside all day, meeting the neighborhood kids. A game of touch football was played, scooters and bikes were ridden, a favorite card game was played. I'm so thrilled for my little ones - to have a neighborhood where there are other kids to play with! They've been lonely here.

Each time that I went to the window to check on them (every 5 minutes - ha!), I got teary-eyed! I am thrilled for them! I look forward to getting this messy work of painting/cleaning/packing/moving all done and settled into our new home! And just in time for Christmas!

Thank You, God!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving! I pray that your family is blessed abundantly this holiday!

Friday, November 10, 2006

There is hope...

There is so much sadness in my heart right now. And yet, there is hope. I'm so thankful for the hope that God has given me. Especially through the encouragement of others - my parents, friends, family, church, even an occasional stranger!

Today, my blessing from God is in finding a new home for me and my children. We'll have enough space for all of us (and our stuff!). We'll have a yard to play in, even a cul-de-sac to ride scooters in! And we already know several neighbors. What a huge blessing this is for me! I even got a call today telling me that a family member is going to pay to have new carpet put into the new house! I am truly thankful for the ways God has shown Himself to me each day through this.

I am His. I will live for Him.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Well, so many things are changing here. I've decided it is time for a new look on my blog too. I've taken to calling my sweet children my ducklings, so I'm going with it!

Especially lately, my children are following behind me everywhere I go! And we have been "going" a lot lately! They remind me of ducklings.

Right now, I just want to shield them beneath my wings and hide them from any pain the world offers!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A long awaited update?

Well, here it is - a whole month later. I didn't expect that it was going to take me this long to return to the blog world. Lack of time and a desperate need for sleep have kept me away so long.

So, here it is. I'm getting a divorce. I really can't believe it myself. I'm a Christian and believe in the sanctity of marriage. I don't believe in getting a divorce just because your not happy. I've encouraged other women to work it out and stick together! And here I am.

Surprisingly, I have incredible peace about it all. I've prayed more in the last month than I've prayed in a while. I know that God is taking care of me and He's not abandoned me. In fact, I feel His presence and love more!

Don't get me wrong, I certainly have shed some tears... especially for my little ducklings! It is almost like mourning a death. I am disappointed... and hurt... and angry... and determined (to do the best I can for my children). And I'm so tired!

I've gone from working one day a week (Papa's day 0ff), to working 3-4 days per week. I take the boys with me and they do their school work there. Princess is in extended care at school now. We run, run, run everywhere to get it all done by ourselves!

AND! In the midst of it all, I'm house hunting! Looking for that perfect house in the perfect neighborhood, for a miniscule price.

It is all so exhausting. I'm learning how to be a career woman again. I'm oh-so-bummed about putting my boys into school at the first of the year. I was a single mom in many aspects before Papa moved out a month ago, but now it is real - not only in action, but the full weight of it is heavy.

I can survive. The Lord is my strength.

Monday, October 02, 2006

My life

I'm amazed at how much can happen in one's life in such a short amount of time. This is the longest I've gone without blogging. Life is just too much to put into words right now. I'm certainly not feeling vulnerable enough to share it with the world - at least yet. When the time comes, of course, it will be all I'll talk about (you know how it is).

For now, please pray for me, Papa and the little ducklings. Life is tough right now and we can use all the strength and encouragement we can get.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thursday Morning Ugh!

Well, things just keep getting worse here! No really, I'm thankful for many things today, even under the circumstances!

I'm thankful for the good health of Game Master and Candy Man. I'm thankful for antibiotics, so that when I get nasty sinus infections/bronchitis I can be feeling better within a few days! I'm thankful for the sweetness and love of my children - which is mostly unconditional and abundant! I'm thankful for God's assurance - of my salvation, of His presence in my life, of decisions that I'm making that I've asked for direction from Him (there is nothing like His peace, is there?).

The circumstances? Pretty Princess is sick now. She says her "mouth" hurts and sticks her finger down her throat to show me where! She's snotty and coughy, so we are headed to the pediatrician today. She has a history of getting strep pretty easily. Plus, she started school this year - you know what that means! I'm feeling much better, but I'm still coughing my head off! This makes me hurt (chest, head, neck) and occasionally have a urinary faux pas (what a pain and embarrasment!).

Anyway, the circumstances aren't all that bad. You may remember a previous post about how I feel about my kid's being sick! I'm getting better about it! The Lord is my sustainer. I remember today that He is in control. He must've had a reason for me to be at home today, rather than working a few hours this morning and taking the boys to their PE class, and me getting to spend a little time with a really good friend who I haven't gotten to spend time with in so long... I trust Him. This is what He wants for me today.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Monday Morning Ugh!

Good morning! Or is it? I should have never bragged about how good I felt and how much energy I had! Now I'm struck down with illness! I think I have bronchitis. I'm going to the doctor this afternoon to find out for sure.

I feel yucky! (cough, cough) My whole body hurts from coughing. My voice sounds like an unhealthy baritone - well, what there is of it! I'm in a fog (could be from all the cough medicine I keep having to take).

I'd appreciate your prayers!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday morning update

It has been a truly crazy busy week this past week! Almost everything homeschool got started at once (and what didn't start last week, starts this week!). It was a great week though! I am so thankful that Princess is in a preschool. It is so good for her and makes it so much easier on the boys running all over to activities, etc. I know she gets so tired of waiting on them everywhere. Now she just has to do it one evening a week and at soccer games on Saturdays. Much better for her!

Just Peachy was in town this weekend and I missed her (missed = to fail to meet AND missed = to feel the lack or loss of) . I love you, girl!

Game Master has suffered with croup all weekend though. We are going to see the doctor this afternoon. I think he's going to need an inhaler for soccer too. His asthma is rearing it's ugly head when he runs very much. I keep praying that he will outgrow this...

This may sound weird, but I have felt so good lately! I mean physically. I've been making a point to eat healthier and I can really tell a difference. I've had more energy - it's really amazing (I know it shouldn't be that much of a surprise, it's silly!). I've been getting more done and having energy left over. It is really strange for me. Seems like for 2 or 3 years now, I've been so tired and dragging. I'm feeling more like myself lately!

In fact, it is time to get moving and start school! Have a great Monday!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - food

This week's Photo Hunt theme is "food"!
I couldn't pass up the opportunity to show off
my daughter's birthday cake again!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sweet (unexpected) moments with your children

If you are a stay at home mom and have young children, you know how difficult bedtime can be. You are exhausted and ready for them to be in bed so you can have a little time to yourself. You have a tendency to rush this time and push them off to their rooms. Then an hour later, you regret that push and miss them already!

Well, when this occurred last night, I snuck back in their rooms to check on them. The boys were still awake. And they were in the same bed together (which they do frequently, by choice). So, I crawled in with them! We giggled, we laughed, we gaffawed! We cuddled, we snuggled, we nuzzled! We talked, we shared, we dreamed! And we prayed together.

It was the sweetest time! I'm still on a high this morning from it - and so are they!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Plans and Agendas

This weekend, I got to do the next chapter in the Bible study I'm doing. It was titled "Plans and Agendas". This is a topic I've encountered many times before, as I am certainly a planner!

Sometimes, it feels like it is so hard to know what is God's plan! You can ask yourself, is this my will or God's? It seems like this is so hard to answer.

Really, it isn't that difficult. There is a simple question to ask that will answer. "Am I surrendered to Christ? Am I walking in the Spirit?" If the answer is no, then we can be assured that we are attempting to live out our own plans.

But scripture says that human plans WILL fail, but if it is God's plan, then it cannot be overthrown (Acts 5:38-39). God is in control and He will work out His plans in our lives. He does leave it up to us to follow or fight it. Do you follow? Or do you fight it?

I so desperately want to follow! But I get so easily distracted by trials.

This week's "trinket" is a feather duster. I need to clear my head of my own plans and lean on the Lord to show me the way. His way.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - On the Road

A front porch view of my road one day this summer:

Monday, August 28, 2006

Take Me to Your Leader

On Friday, I decided to start a new Bible study. I had bought a book a few weeks ago - recognizing my need to trust and surrender to God. It is called "Giving God Your All". It is a Women of Faith study.

I wrote a big post about how much I had gotten from the first chapter and then blogger shut down on me and deleted it!

Well, I'm not going to write the whole thing again. In fact, I can't! It was a from the heart thing at the moment, you know? But here is the jist...

The first chapter is "Take Me to Your Leader". It is about how Jesus is the Shepherd and we are the sheep. I read verse after verse about how He leads and how His sheep know His voice and follow.

There is one particular verse which really stood out to me:

"I will lead the blind
by a road they do not know,
by paths they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I will do,
and I will not forsake them."
--Isaiah 42:16
It is the "road they do not know" and the "paths they have not known", not to mention the "darkness" and "rough places", that I fear! It is hard for me to not hold onto those parts of this verse and stay in fear! I must force myself to read the other parts - "I will lead", "I will guide", "turn..into light...into level ground". And the best part "I will not forsake them".
The study says "it can be hard to submit to the leadership of others - especially if we do not trust them or we do not like the direction they are headed". HELLO! That is me! I don't like where God has led me in the last 2 years. I am angry with him and disappointed in my life!
It is hard for me to trust Him, when I fear where I am headed. I am weak. I am so weak, I am afraid to trust. I know this is called faith. I've been there before. I know that He will give me the peace that I need (and so desperately want) if I just give Him my trust. And yet, I don't. I am praying for help to get past this. I know He wants my heart. And I DO want to give it to Him. I feel choked by fear!
I'm not giving up, but pushing forward! I know I can get past this with His help!
(Sorry for the "--" at the bottom!! Blogger is still acting up! I can't post pictures either!!)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - Blue

This week's theme is BLUE!
This is the first thing I thought of - a picture of my dislocated/broken toe - which may be better described as black!

Read about how it happenened!

Friday, August 25, 2006


Peachy said that I sound worn out, physically and spiritually. I am! I've been trying to "snap out of it", but can't do it! I need to let go of everything in my life and trust God to handle it. Man, it's hard sometimes, isn't it?

Please pray for me...

Thursday, August 24, 2006


It has been a big week already! We've had company here from Sunday - Wednesday. Papa's brother and sister-in-law. We had a great time!

Monday we drove over to Pigeon Forge and road go-carts, ate lunch, shopped and played Putt Putt. Tuesday we went to the zoo and home for a cookout. Yesterday after they left, we all crashed! Worn out!

Update on Game Master: We met yesterday with our church's children's pastor. He was able to refer us to a Christian counselor that specializes in children. In fact, the counselor goes to our church too! I'm excited about meeting with her and trying to get Game Master help!

Update on Pretty Princess: She is doing really well in school! I'm so proud of her. She is such a big girl. Yesterday she came home from school saying "Hola, Amigos!" They have spanish class every morning and she was sharing what she had learned!

Update on TN Mama? I don't know what to say. I've enjoyed having company. I'm glad to be getting back on track today (except for the laundry!). It seems like things are never consistent with school. I wish things were simpler around here!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Game Master on my mind...

Today has been better. We have been running errands and haven't tried doing schoolwork. I pray this afternoon will go well as we dig in.

Why the drastic change in him? I just can't figure it out. He doesn't know either.

I'll just keep praying for God's guidance and help.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Running on empty

Traditionally, today has been "Thursday Thanks Tank" for me. I'm so glad that Peach is still doing it! But since my blogging revival, I'm not holding myself to it anymore. It's a good thing, too, because today - I'm running on empty!

As you know, we homeschool. We officially got started in the middle of July. We've done a lot in the last month, but not enough with our curriculum (some, but we are now running behind where I had hoped to be at this point). Today, I was determined to get us headed in the right direction.

It did not go well. Actually, Candy Man did terrific! He got his work done early and had extra free time this afternoon.

Game Master was a bear! He cried. He yelled. He defied. He balked. He refused.

I tried compassion. I loved. I got frustrated. I got angry. I made threats. I took away the TV. I grounded him to his room for the rest of the day.

Well, this is looking to be a good year in school! NOT!

I am genuinely concerned for this child. He has always been my happy boy. A loving, caring, and compassionate child. He is well known for his heart for Jesus and his desire to tell others about Him. For years he has been one of the sweetest children I've ever met (and I'm not just saying that as his mother!).

Then he went to public school for 2nd grade. He repeatedly got his feelings hurt, since he was very obedient and kind to the other children, and they were so disobedient and unkind to him (not anymore than anyone else though). He couldn't understand what was wrong with those children. It was a very difficult year for him and we decided it'd be best for him to be homeschooled again.

Over the course of last year (3rd grade), he did really well with his schoolwork - finishing his curriculum in late February (quite early). His behavior was good. His attitude was good. Until March or April or so. I don't know what happened.

Since then, he has become an extremely unhappy child. He is frequently unkind, disobedient, and disrespectful. He is downright bored most of the time, rarely has fun doing anything, and doesn't want to do anything but watch TV, play Game Cube, or be on the computer.

My heart is breaking for him. I've tried everything I know to do. I'm really concerned for him. Today was the first day that I really have gotten angry with him. My frustration for his behavior and my not knowing how to help him all came together today.

Now I just don't know what to do...

Please pray for my son. I know he is in there somewhere.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A trip to the dentist

Do you like going to the dentist? I do not. I mean, I REALLY do not like going to the dentist! This year we opted to pay for the dental plan with Martin's job. I thought that would make me go (as well as the whole family). You know - since we are paying for it, we must go, right!?

Of course, it takes months to get a cleaning appointment, so months ago, I scheduled us all appointments with our new dentist (assigned by our insurance company). Today, it was the boy's turn - Papa, Game Master, and Candy Man.

Game Master went first and did great! Candy Man went next and did great (although the dentist wants him to see an orthodontist right away due to his thumb/finger sucking - I guess this shoots down my previous post about this!!). Papa did terrible! Actually, it wasn't him. He played it really cool, since the boys were watching. The dentist was extremely rough on him. He scraped his gums all to pieces. I watched as his assistant suctioned the blood out of his mouth! It was awful! Big tough Papa had to come home and take some Tylenol!

Now, with that story being told... how in the world am I suppose to go see this same dentist one week from now? Pretty Princess and I are scheduled to go next week. I have the "we are paying for this I have to do it" on one side. I have the "ain't no way I'm going through that" on the other side. I have the "you aren't having any dental problems, maybe you should just cancel it" on the justification side.

What in the world am I going to do!??

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What is the deal?

Hello? Anyone out there that can help me?

Why is my information all the way at the bottom instead of at the right of my blog posts? When did that happen? How can I fix it??

Look what happened!

It happened! Finally!

Candy Man is going to the dentist tomorrow. He was scared that the dentist would pull his tooth - it's been loose for awhile now. He was afraid it would hurt. So he let me and Game Master have a go at it!

I got it out pretty easily! I can't believe I did it! Oooooo! I'm not good at these things. Papa is suppose to be the one to do it! Of course, he was at work.

He was so excited when the tooth came out. He called Papa and told him. He called Grandma and Grandpa (and even talked on the phone with their dog to tell her!). Of course we had a photo shoot to document the whole event! Then he saw the pictures on the computer and started to cry! He said he looks ugly!

Anyway, I introduce to you...... the new Candy Man:

Lazy Blogger?

I feel like a lazy blogger! Am I?

I have been busy. It hasn't had the pull that it had before.

Is it me? Is it just because I have more fun things to do? Is it because I'm too busy? Is it because I can't think of anything to say?

I don't know!

Maybe it is that I started trying to put myself in a box with all the different memes going on - Sunday Scripture, Saturday Photo Hunt, Wednesday Works for Me, Thursday Thanks Tank, Friday's Everyday Things, Tuesday's Treasures (okay...I don't think I ever did that one... but I meant to!). Then I'd feel guilty because I didn't get a post on that day...then the next...and the next.

Forget it! I'm starting fresh! Originally, I had meant for this to be my journal - what was going on in our life, my thoughts, whatever I was feeling that day - that kind of thing. I was enticed to do other things and got overwhelmed.

At least, that is what I think...

And so, I'm starting again! I'm blogging when I want to, what I want to, and for me! Who cares if anyone reads it or comments? That is not why I'm doing this! (I must keep reminding myself of this!)

Simple. Keep. It. Simple.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Pretty Princess's big day!

My Pretty Princess is growing up! I can't believe it, but today we took her for her first day of preschool! I know, she is four years old - I just can't believe it!

I think a big part of what I can't believe is that we homeschool and are sending her to preschool!! Game Master went to public school one year. That is it. We've never done preschool, daycare or anything!

Why are we sending Princess to school?

*The main reason is because she isn't interested in learning from me! She won't let me read books to her. She won't let me teach her. She learns better from others. We want what is best for each of our children, and just feel this will be best for her - at least for this year.

*Of course, another benefit will be how much easier it will be to homeschool the boys. Princess won't have to go on all our treks (she spends so much time sitting waiting on the boys to be done with PE, soccer/basketball/baseball, play practice, or whatever class they are taking...). It will give me more opportunities with them.

We missed her while she was at school this morning. She absolutely loved it! She can't wait to go back on Monday! I'm so proud of her!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Over the river and through the woods...

Life here has been so busy lately. It's a good thing though. We've had a bit of a boring summer up until the last few weeks. It's good to get out and have some fun!!

This weekend we visited my dad's family in Ohio. We stayed with my grandmother. It was the first time I'd ever stayed at her house with all three children!

We visited Serpent Mound. The kids enjoyed that. Candy Man got a real Arrowhead necklace from the gift shop. He's shown everyone he comes in contact with ever since! They also had a snake exhibit that day. The boys especially liked talking to the park ranger about the venemous snakes!

My grandmother then took the kids shopping to buy them each a little something to play with. She has a pool and we went swimming every day.

On Sunday, after attending church with her, most of our family came over for dinner. We had a nice visit with each other, and got to meet our newest cousin too! It was good to see everyone. I wish we got to see them more often.

The 7 1/2 hour drive home made that wish lessen a bit though, I must say! Princess cried several times during the car ride wanting to go back to "Grandpa's" (for some reason she can't say Grandma!!).

Overall, it was a very nice weekend. I am glad to be home though!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Candy Man saying...

The Candy Man is at it again!

CM, emphatically: "I'm soooo glad that I'm not a girl!"

Mama, with mild laughter: "Why are you glad that you aren't a girl?"

CM, dramatically: "Because I don't want to get pregnant! That would hurt!"

I know today is Thursday. Papa has the day off (making it harder to sneak and blog - he's gone to wash the car right now!), I'm taking the kids to Ohio tomorrow to see my grandmother (which leaves much packing & preparing to do), and I must do Princess's hair today (takes several hours!). I probably won't get around to blogging my Thanks Tank, but I am thankful! Especially for this.

Eventually things will return somewhat to normal with me! We've just been so busy lately - but with fun stuff, so that is good! Happy Thankful Thursday!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

One of the greatest days...

I think that this past Saturday was one of the greatest days we've had in a long time - maybe ever! On Thursday evening, my cousin called and told us that her family was staying at a lake resort about an hour from us. They invited us to come over for the day - they were planning on renting a pontoon boat and spending the day on the lake! Papa had to work, but I knew it'd be great fun for me and the kids... so we said yes!

We were up early Saturday morning and on our way (with life jackets, towels, bathing suits, water skis, lots of food & drinks and dry clothes for later - you know, pretty much a van full - all for one day!). We arrived at the resort at 9:15am and after hugs all around, loaded up the boat for a day to remember!

Despite the overcast skies and the one little rain shower, it was a beautiful day! Not too hot, but warm enough to swim and do everything we would want to do! We rode the boat all over the lake! We went past Goat Island, the osprey nests, Rucker Beach (named after my great aunt & uncle). We spent time swimming on Sand Island and over at a new beach where Eagle Lodge used to be. We drove past Terrace View Resort, Silver Dollar Island, and up White's Creek. The kids went tubing all over the place! Game Master, Candy Man, and their oldest boy all tried water skiing! We picnicked, played in the sand, jumped off the boat, and walked the trail around Sand Island.

We ended the day with a late dinner outside at the resort, a game of "Horse" on the basketball court, and more hugs all around, before loading up and returning home!

More than anything, we enjoyed each other's company and played well together! I am so thankful for the time spent with my children and my cousins that day! It was so good to see family that we hardly ever get to spend any time with.

It will be a day never forgotten...

Monday, July 31, 2006

Out of the Loop!

Man! Have I been out of the loop! It was such a busy week last week, I didn't get to blog or read anyone's blog! Please forgive me!

It was really an incredibly wonderful week! It began with an unexpected visit from Just Peachy. We had a late night gab session that was so sweet! We used to have these more frequently, and it was so good to get to do it again!!

The next three days I was busy with "Thelma"! It was her last week off from surgery and we spent a lot of time together - rocking and talking on the porch, and shopping! We had a great time bargain hunting at the mall (and found some really great deals!). It was so good to spend the time together before she goes back to work ... and before we move.

No, it hasn't sold yet, but we are still trying. I think we are getting ready to put an ad in the newspaper for it...

On Wednesday, I got Princess enrolled in preschool. Then I went to a meeting that connected my church to the Community for Healthy Babies team. I'm so excited about that! The women at my church are going to be taking on a project by helping with the Community Baby Showers that I've been a part of for a couple years! Wooo-hooo!!

I went to the doctor for a check-up on Thursday. Enough said about that...

Friday, I went to my church for our monthly scrapbooking crop. I got 6 pages done and had a nice catch-up evening with AnnieBeth (which was overdue).

Saturday was one of the best days of my life! I'll have to tell you more about that one later! So much fun, I'm still reeling from it!!

Sunday was church and out to my parents to swim!

I feel like a zombie today! I'm cleaning house and doing laundry. Well, no, actually I'm blogging, aren't I? Well, the laundry is going....

Friday, July 28, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - Animals

This week's Photo Hunt theme is animals/pets.

Here is "Freddie the frog"! He lives in the pond at my parent's house. We frequently hear him, but don't see him. He made a rare appearance for me this week - and allowed a photo shoot!

A few more zoo animals...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Surprise! Surprise!

How cool is this? I'm still on a high from this weekend! It was full of fun surprises!

On Saturday, Papa called from Atlanta where he'd spent the week at Mega-fest. He had rode down with a friend and they were planning on coming home on Sunday. Their conference was over and he was ready to come home. He asked if I would drive halfway to get him. I said, "Hmmmm...could I come a little farther than halfway!?"

So we did! We met up in Calhoun, GA. Then drove a short 20 miles off of I-75 to see Just Peachy!!! Of course, she had just moved to Rome, GA on Thursday! We got to see her sweet new home and all go out to dinner together in downtown Rome. It was an absolutely wonderful visit! I can't even express how thankful I am for that short time with them!! I miss that girl so much! I'm so glad that she is just 2 1/2 hours from me now! We must get together again soon, Peach!! (And notice that I honored your request not to post your picture yet - I'll let you do the "unvailing" on your blog!!)

Then, on Sunday after church, we had a surprise birthday party for my friend Melanie (who has been through losing her 3 yr old son just 2 years ago, and now is fighting breast cancer)! I hadn't seen her for a month and enjoyed getting updated on her cancer treatments, etc... We really surprised her - with about 15 adults and uncounted children! I think she loved all the attention!

Please pray for her as she continues to take radiation and another experimental drug. She's made it through chemo-therapy and is trying to live somewhat a normal life now. She needs all the prayers for healing that she can get!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday Scripture

"Restore to me the joy
of your salvation and
grant me a willing spirit,
to sustain me."
--Psalm 51:12

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - Action

This week's Photo Hunt theme is action!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Everyday Things...

"...For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."
Philippians 4:11

The busiest time in our day is always bedtime. Trying to coordinate three children in baths, books, and beds - when they really just want to play - can be a challenge. In addition to that, I'm tired and ready for them to go to bed so that I can have some alone time (by myself or with Papa). These are the moments I tend to rush!

Candy Man never lets us forget to pray. Even if they're all tucked in and had their last drink, potty, etc... he'll get everyone up because we forgot to pray. This has been going on for 2 months now. It is a shame that I have seen this time as "another stall tactic". God convicted me of this in the last few weeks.

My Everyday Thing is bedtime prayer! I've started taking the initiative and gathering them all together in one of their beds and taking turns praying and thanking God for our day. How sweet are the prayers of children! Even Game Master, who's been avoiding praying aloud recently, has taken to praying with earnest again! It ends our day, and our busy evenings, with a sweet time together. We all give hugs and kisses and head to bed after that. I'm so thankful to God for opening my eyes and helping me to better appreciate this time with my little ones!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thursday Thanks Tank #15 (filling up the tank with thanks)

What a busy week! With deciding to sell the house, getting it ready, and showing it. Plus we started school on Monday! Today, I'm going to tell you why I'm thankful for homeschooling my children!

"Teach them to your children,
talking about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up."
--Deuteronomy 11:19

I am thankful for:

1. Structure - It provides us with a schedule for our day and keeps us from being too idle.

2. Direction - We are always moving forward towards our goal.

3. Purpose - We have definite purpose in learning as God wants us to learn.

4. Fun! - Many days we have so much fun together!

5. Laughter - Especially when we've taken a break from school, we are more relaxed and can be silly together!

6. Time alone - I get more time one-on-one with each of my children while the others are working alone. They thrive on this!

7. Time together - We don't have "homework" in the evening, which gives us lots of time to spend together as a family!

8. Accomplishments - Each of us (myself as teacher included!) experience a sense of accomplishment as we learn something or get better at something. The best part is getting to share this as a family!

9. Yummy foods - We frequently cook with younger students (it's math, science - whatever you make it!). Today, I'm smelling a pumpkin pie in the oven!! Mmmmm!

10. My children - I like my children more when they are homeschooled! Seriously! They are kinder, gentler, and more loving! I think they feel more secure!

It is full of sacrifice - homeschooling, but the rewards are great! My children are worth it!

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,
continue to live in him,
rooted and built up in him,
strengthened in the faith as you were taught,
and overflowing with thankfulness."
--Colossians 2:6,7

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Curb appeal!

My good friend, D-too, called this morning and gave me a good tip! She's heard Dave Ramsey on the radio encourage people when selling their home to have good "curb appeal". D-too suggested to me that I could buy some annual flowers pretty cheap right now and spruce up the front flower beds, giving our home more "curb appeal".

So today, I did just that! A little trip to Lowes, about $20 bucks, and I have purty flowers in my front yard! Plus, I'll enjoy them while we are here!

I did show the house this afternoon to a college student. He seemed interested and felt we had it very reasonably priced compared to other houses he'd looked at. Very encouraging!

Thanks D-too for your advice!

Moving right along...

Well, things are moving right pun intended!

I had told you that our house was for sale and that we had found a house we'd love to purchase as well. The owner of that house called us Sunday night! We are very excited about that call! We returned to the home yesterday for an indoor tour for Papa. The greatest news is that they are willing to wait for us to sell our home!

We did get a call yesterday evening and a lady came to look at our house that we are trying to sell. I don't think she was interested, but it gives hope just showing it!

So things are "moving" right along! Every step along the way, we've been able to see God's Hand in the plans. I am thankful for that! Everytime we make a big decision like this, I always feel the need for God's confirmation that we are in His will. I feel good about that right now!

For those of you that know us personally and have been asking... the new house is here! We are NOT leaving town! And thank you for your concern that you'd miss us! We love you!

Monday, July 17, 2006

House for sale!

It is official!

The house has been cleaned. Repairs have been made. The sign is in the yard. We are as ready as we're going to be. After much prayer and deliberation, our house is for sale. It has been a LONG two years here (you can read about it in my memorable 6 part post called "Where I live"). We feel like it is time to move on.

I am relieved. There are other factors going on that I haven't shared with you, due to safety & privacy issues. Typically, Papa and I come to conclusions/decisions at different times (me first, then him 3-6 months later). This wasn't quite as difficult as all that, and I'm thankful!

I am anxious. I'm trying to be content. I really don't know why I feel this urgency, except that whenever God leads me in a direction, I want to jump forward and "be there" already. There is the possibility in this situation that He has laid the urgency on our hearts for a reason...

I am excited! We've actually found a house in our dream location! A cul-de-sac with only 2 houses in the circle! It isn't on the market yet. We are praying for a timely sale on our home, so that we can purchase that home before they have to sell to someone else...

God is in control. God is good. I will trust Him to lead us exactly where He wants us.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sunday Scripture

"I no longer call you servants,
because a servant does not know his master's business.
Instead, I have called you friends,
for everything that I learned
from my Father
I have made known to you."
--John 15:15

Friday, July 14, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - doors

This week's Photo Hunt theme is doors.

This is my front door.

It was broken when we bought the house.

It has been abused - by many slams from children trying oh-so-hard to get it shut all the way!

It has welcomed - family, friends, neighbors, Papa home from a long day at work.

It is home!

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." --Revelation 3:20

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Everyday Things...

"...For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."
Philippians 4:11
Well, like I said last week, God is working on me to be more content. I am a work in progress. It is a long progress....
My biggest complaint in the summertime is the heat! I don't like the heat - anything above 72 degrees is too warm for me. Of course, I don't want anything below 58 degrees either. But, I would rather take the cold than the hot! (See, lacking contentment - I told you so.)
Last year, while attending an in-depth Bible study, I answered the question "What things in this world are you thankful for?" by saying "air conditioning"! Yes, I said my hubby, children, family, friends, church, Bible, etc... first. But honestly, I answered "air conditioning"!!
I try to be content with the heat and I think that I have gotten much closer this summer than ever. I've just made a truce and decided that makeup is not meant to be worn in the summer time! I've taken a vacation from beautification (not that there was any hope to begin with!). I've stocked up on the most-potent deoderant I can find. I even purchased some smell-good body spray and placed it everywhere I can think of - including the car! I have packed away any clothing item with any material covering the arms, shoulders, neck, legs, ankles, or feet.
I'm okay with the heat this summer! Well, as long as I can retreat to my ice-crusted, ceiling-fan-blowing bedroom to sleep in at night...
(Sorry about all the ----! I can't get blogger to let me space my paragraphs!)

Thursday Thanks Tank #14 (filling up the tank with thanks)

Once again it is time to express thanks to God for His blessings this week! Join us in giving thanks! (I can't get the Thursday Thanks Tank tag to come up today!!)

I am thankful for:

1. Phone conversations with a good friend! I got to speak with Peach TWO times in the last week over the phone. I love hearing how God is working in the details of her life right now!

2. An evening with "Dtoo" (you know, "frog loaner")! Oh, it was so good to visit with her and hear what God has been doing in her life lately! Even after several hours of talking, there was still more we didn't get to say. We must get together again soon, Dtoo!

3. Vacation Bible School - This is giving the kids a fun week of evenings!

4. Kid Friends - The kids are getting to spend more time around other kids their ages.

5. Papa's leadership - I'll take it when I can get it! I expressed a frustration that I was having and he pointed out my own mistakes in the matter and how I was mostly responsible for my frustration. He made suggestions for aleviating the frustration and after a little cry, I agreed.

6. Being needed - We all want to feel needed, especially by God. Can He use me? Certainly, He can use you! He's shown me this week that He can use me too!

7. God's aligning of hearts! Papa and I had a big talk yesterday and we both agree God is leading us in a new direction. I love it when He speaks to both of us - and at the same time!!

8. Kid's flexibility - When we told the kids about the changes we feel God wants us to make, they were actually excited! We weren't sure how they'd respond, but they took it and ran (perhaps too far ahead! They are so much like their mother, making plans like they do!).

9. A night out with Thelma - Yes, we did dinner and the mall again. It was so fun! I enjoyed spending the evening with her!

10. Good bargains! I found some real deals when we were shopping that I'm so excited about! Two shirts for Papa (both $4.99!), and a pair of jeans for Game Master (for just $4.99) - all name brand stuff! Cool!

God is good! He has whispered in my ear this week and made His presence known. Of course, I prefer neon signs, but I can grasp hold of the small whispers and trust that He is there!

What are you thankful for?

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever"
--1 Chronicles 16:34

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Works for Me: laundry bags

Everybody does laundry, right? I must have more laundry baskets than anyone in the world - and we can never find an empty one! What is with that? Hmmm....maybe they've abducted all those socks we can't find!

A couple of months ago, Papa was complaining that he couldn't help me fold and put away the boy's clean laundry because he didn't know whose clothes were whose! Well! I'm sure I HAD to find a solution to that problem!

What we were doing: The boys had one dirty laundry basket in their room that they shared. This did make sorting clean laundry necessary. Despite the 3 1/2 years difference, they are closer in size than you think. Plus Candy Man is wearing the clothes that were Game Masters not too long ago - which makes it all the more confusing!

What works for me: I bought material off of the $1/yd table at WalMart and made laundry bags! I made a simple seam and put in a drawstring out of inexpensive roping. I let them choose their own fabric. It was very simple and inexpensive. Plus the bags hang in their closet taking up less floor space. And it helps keep their clothes seperate! Now, I just empty the bag into the washer - and throw in the bag to wash too!

Has Papa started helping with laundry? Well, I didn't say I was a miracle worker, now did I?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sunday Scripture

"Let us not give up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another
and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
--Hebrews 10:25

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - Signs

This week's Photo Scavenger Hunt theme is "signs".
Here is my summer sign!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Everyday Things...

"...For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."
Philippians 4:11

Okay, well I'm learning to be content. Well, I'm trying to be content. Okay, I'm not really content, but I know that I should be. Does that count?

I wanted to participate in Everyday Mommy's Friday meme called "Everyday Things", in my quest for contentment! This week it seems I've been reflecting on when my children were babies. Therefore, I will show you my everyday thing:

Yes, it is a thumb! See, I've been the fortunate mother of three thumb-suckers! My children have all been able to comfort themselves. In the age of toys-galore (which we have too!), they've been easily comforted by their thumb! Our world seems so crowded and so complex. So much in our lives is overwhelming. How wonderful that God thought to give us a thumb - a perfect fit in our mouths that gives us comfort!

How to calm that fussy baby? The thumb! How to temporarily ease that hungry baby? The thumb! How to help that baby go to sleep? The thumb! How to still a fearful toddler? The thumb!

Now, I know what you are thinking? Braces! I was worried about that too - until I talked to my dentist! He told Game Master (when he was 4 and I was pushing for him to stop sucking his thumb) that almost every child needs braces, regardless of whether they suck their thumb or not! He told me to relax and not worry about it. (This dentist would not benefit in anyway from my children having to wear braces, by the way!)

And so, relax, I did! Game Master stopped when he was ready. Sucking their thumbs has been something that they enjoy! I don't have to take it away from them! This makes them content... and thus makes mommy content!