Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekend Highlights

We got to go see my family in NWA over spring break for 4 days! It was such a treat for me! On Thursday, Eric kept the boys so I could go visit uninterrupted with two precious friends. One is at a good time in life and is now in Scotland with her hubbie on vacation. The other is not in a great time of life, but she is in the care of the Almighty, under the shadow of His wings and resting in His grace and Sovereignty. It was very sweet for me to see them. I love the fact that God makes us relational and gives us friends to go on the journey with us...whether thru joyous times or downright hard ones.

Mom has Fridays off, so we got to go get pedicures and manicures...way spoilin' ourselves! We then went to see "Vantage Point" which is a great movie!!! We tried to find cute kid clothes at "Once Upon a Child," (a consignment store) but we needed Amelia with us...she is the one with the gift of finding cheap amazing things. We topped the night off with Guido's Pizza (my fave pizza in the world), making cards, and watching some of the games. Speaking of games, I picked ALL of the final four teams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know that deep down my husband, sons, Daddy, and brother are truly proud of me, but I think they are having to repent of some anger.....I will let God deal with them. (Just teasing....they are being great about it, especially since I am harassing every single one of them...but, I think this is a once-in-a-lifetime deal, and I gotta work it while I can, ya know??) Anyway, millions of homemade cards later, you shouldn't be surprised if you get one in the mail!!! HA!

Saturday was supposed to be pretty, and Eric was going to play golf, but the rain decided to flood the city once again. He graciously kept the boys (yet, again) and let me and Mom go hang out at Walmart til Amelia got off work. We then ate at Taco Bueno...I recommend the tamales, tortilla soup, and loaded queso. (Yes, I did eat all of that food.) We proceeded to shop til Mom tuckered out and then Mini and I shopped til I tuckered out. I think Amelia was disappointed that I gave out on her---but it was almost 6 pm and I get cranky when I don't eat. Tamales only last so long, ya know?? OK...tamales, queso, and tortilla soup only last so long! We then walked into the door and the smell of home cookin' greeted us...what a wonderful Saturday night smell. It happens so little in my household! After roast, the works, and a new yummy dessert, we made more cards, talked to Nana and Grandad, and watched "Sweet Home Alabama." I just love that movie!! It just may be the best romantic comedy ever.

Sunday was not as much fun. I had to go through Kiley's things and get what I wanted. I really wanted it all...not because it all fit or because I have room for it, but I just can't bear for it to leave her closet or be given to strangers. If you see me in something you don't recognize, you can tell me I am the cutest thing in the world, but please don't ask me if it is new or where I got it from! OK, I will be merciful if you do. :) It still doesn't feel real to me that she isn't there....I think it has been a "different" thing for me because I don't live in the same town and had been "used" to going a month or two without seeing her. She brought such joy and energy to our family and things just weren't the same without her presence. The hardest part of the weekend was hugging Amelia bye. She just simply gives the best hugs (and backrubs) but she wouldn't let go. I wanted to weep...and started to. Why do I have to live far away in a time like this? Mini needs me and I need her (and the rest of the fam) and I am just not as close as I would like to be. Maybe this is where the "God grant me the serenity" prayer comes in handy...see previous "Kohl's" post.

After another delicious "Mommy" meal, we packed up and headed home. The boys were happy to see a little sunshine and no rain. They played and played in the front yard til I drug Sam in kicking and screaming for his bath. I guess he wasn't ready to come in.

Thank you, Eric, for being such a kind husband and keeping the boys so much.
Thank you, Jesus, for my family...the ones on earth and in heaven.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

CD pick of the day!!

Look what I found!!!!!!!!! I grew up listening to these tapes as a kid! I remember sticking one in and singing my heart out while cleaning house. Big huge teardrops started in my eyes as I listened to each song again. (The website had a preview thing to each song.) Now, if Eric will let me order them........
I mean, what better song is there for kiddos other than "Bullfrogs and Butterflies...they've both been born again!"

Friday, March 21, 2008

Adventures at Kohls

The Friday before Easter is never really a good time to go shopping. But, alas, I always tend to forget this. So, me and the rest of Conway were at Kohls today...hopelessly trying to find something to wear for Easter. It is not even supposed to be warm on Sunday, but my precious Mommy ingrained in me that we always get new and gorgeous dresses to wear on Easter. Back then, the most beautiful dresses were by a maker called "guinnea sacks". I really don't think I spelled that right...Mom can correct when she responds! Anyway, they were the definition of "femininity" for little girls...frills and lace...done in a very vintage style. Back then, it was pretty easy to be able to wear whatever dress came in your size. Now, 3 kids later...not so much. For some reason, every dress out there is made in some rayon slingy spandex material that is not very forgiving on rolls and bumps and booties! So, I went for the pants...I is like sin of all sins to wear pants on Easter Sunday. But, don't worry, I won't fall to far...those didn't fit either. Then, I had visions of chocolate chip cookies, brownies, yellow cake with icing, and all of the other goodies that I have been stuffing my face with. And then I had a vision of my lonely treadmill in the garage...just waiting to go for a stroll. I refused to go a size "up", so I will have to go back to my closet and go from there. Which probably means that I will have on black pants...sheesh! When I am singing on stage Sunday in black pants, it will not be because I am grieving (except for the loss of my 21 year old figure.) I will be celebrating with all my might that Christ is ALIVE!
OK, so back to I entered the dressing room, this lady was leaving and I heard her mutter, "God grant me the serenity!" I almost people really go around praying that prayer? Not that it isn't a good one, but I would have opted for something like, "Lord, why on earth do you make chocolate chip cookie dough taste so stinkin' good if it has to go right to my hips???" After I walked out of the dressing room, I took Eli potty. I went in with him to get him situated. I had given him a piece of gum to chew earlier. He looked at me and said (no lie), "Can you hold my gum?" I burst out in laughter. "You mean to tell me you can't chew gum and pee at the same time?" I knew he was of the male gender. I kindly told him to pee while not chewing...but I was not going to hold his gum for him. Crazy!

It was a nice "Good Friday." Barbara kept Sam so I could take Eli to see "Horton Hears a Who." (Very is August Rush in case you were wondering.) Eric and Cade bought some tickets from Todd and Michelle to the tournament games this afternoon at Alltel. Cade LOVED that! Just in case you were wondering, I am in first place in the picks in our family. I had to throw that in while I could, because I am sure that it will change! Tonight we went to church for the crucifixion dinner. We nailed cards onto a cross that had our names on them and reasons we were thankful that Christ died on the cross. I just couldn't stop coming up with little note card did not have enough space to contain my gratefulness. Thank you, Jesus.

Pondering Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday

Without the events of the weekend that we are remembering and celebrating, we Christians would be "up a creek", as we southerners like to say. Sure, Christmas is a priceless thing to celebrate...Immanuel, God with us. What priceless love to send your only Son into this world. But, Easter...Christ being so engrossed with His Father that He would be willing to be obedient to death on a shameful cross...what love. After spending a lot of time in the book of John, I have almost been shocked at how often Jesus talks about his Father. I don't know how many times Jesus says he loves the Father and does whatever he commands. It about breaks my heart when in the book of Mark, Jesus is on the cross and calls his Father not Abba, but God--Eloi. How utterly shameful to have the weight of the world's sin on your shoulders and be stripped from the intimacy of the Father-Son relationship. Such love that Jesus had for his Father, to be so obedient. One of my favorite parts of the crucifixion story is when the curtain of the temple is torn, from top to bottom. Glory! Jesus is our high priest and we know longer need a Jewish priest (or catholic one for that matter) to make intercession for us! We can boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence, thanks to Jesus! I love the fact that Jesus came to show us that His Father's grand story is all about the restoration of relationship, not a list of rules with a mindset of condemnation.

I can't imagine what his disciples were thinking on the day after Jesus died. Did they feel they had been dooped? Is that a word? Did their faith hold firm in the uncertainty...after all, He proclaimed to be the Messiah. According to their scriptures, wasn't this Messiah supposed to be King...present day...overthrow the Romans...and redeem them from harsh governments? What was going through their heads? I know that if I had been a disciple back then, my faith would have been wavering...the death of our King just doesn't fit into the plan! I know that my faith wavers even today. The death of my sister?? What on earth are you thinking, Lord? I know that good things are coming...and for one, resurrection! But, it still doesn't stop me from having crying fits of anger directed at the One who could have done things differently. I must force myself to believe that He is still good and still has a marvelous plan.

Easter morning....the Passover lamb had taken away the sins of the world. Did people even have a clue? Ater He speaks to Mary and tells her not to hold onto him, He says He is returning "to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." Praise be to His name, his death and resurrection made this possible!

I am so thankful that because of the cross and Christ's obedience to His Father, He now has conquered death...not just for Himself, but for all who believe. He accomplished his purpose of unity and of showing us the Father. Thank you, Jesus.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sam Stories

Episode #1
Sam has been in a non-eating phase. When I finally think he has had enough to sustain his two-year old frame, I wash him up and get him down from his booster seat. He then proceeds to yell, "Whoo-hoo, I FREEEEEE!!"

Episode #2
In the boys' bathroom, there is a canvas painting that has all of the letters of the alphabet on it with cool pics beside each letter. The past couple of weeks, I have wrapped Sam up in his towel after his bath and let him stand up on the bathroom counter (with me holding on) so he can point to the pictures and tell me what each thing is. I must say "be careful" a lot because now when I get Sam out of the tub, he says, "I wanna be care-fuw." It took me awhile to realize he meant look at the painting!

Episode #3
At night, when I dry Sam's hair, I make a huge deal out of the finished "look" and say, "You are sooooooooooooo cute!!!" He then responds, "I soooooo cute!" (This is way cute on video!) :) I just tell Eric that we can instill humility later on....

Episode #4
Sam is getting much better at speaking and I am getting better at understanding him. But, when he gets on the cell phone with my Mom, his Mim, he starts talking speedy Sam talk and I hardly can understand a word! Either he and my Mom have this secret language or he likes to get in all his stories so fast none of them are understandable. 2 year olds...gotta love em'!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Daffodils...Round 1

I was so excited to hear that my friend Kim Brown and her family are moving back to central AR! On her way to go house hunting in Little Rock, she stopped to see us. We were able to eat lunch at her favorite spot in Conway...Pizza Inn...and then head to Wye Mt. to take some pics of the kids. She has two of the most beautiful girls, Megan and Anna. I have once again come to the conclusion that I need a little girl because they are so much easier to photograph. I couldn't get Eli and Sam to be still long enough to capture a "sweet" what you see is what you get! Kim said, "You know, I would have gotten upset a couple of years ago if I couldn't get the girls to cooperate for a good shot. Now, I just let them run around and have fun." Well, I am glad that Kim has spiritually matured. Not me, I still want that good shot! I hope to go back out to Wye with some friends on Friday. Maybe this time I will leave my camera at home and let the kids be kids (or not.) If you want to join us, let me know!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Photo is what I learned!

My photography class did one thing for me: made me want a really expensive camera that has cool lenses to go with it! I think the Nikon D80 or Canon Rebel XT will birthday is in June if I have anyone out in blog world that wants to surprise me. Just teasing. Barbara is going to let me fool around with her camera...that will be fun. I actually learned a lot in this class. Most of the time I felt like the information was over my head, but I have noticed that my shots are getting a bit better. I did learn what aperture is and I kind of like being able to adjust this! I finally know how to work the shutter speed and I have to say it is quite fun to capture droplets of water in pictures. I learned you can frame your subject, try various angles to capture shots for a unique effect, experiment with black and white shots, and get rid of the flash for a more "real" effect. And of course, when flash is imperative, you can always diffuse it with a piece of toilet paper. You are probably thinking I am boasting in my work as I post these pics...but I promise it is nothing of the sort. I am just boasting in God and His creation and the fact that I can capture it just a bit better! (Now that I see how the pictures are arranged, I am laughing my head off at the fact that I put my dog next to the fire hydrant. But, she is a girl and she would never succumb to spraying it.) You are probably wondering why I have not posted any of my kids in the above...even the teacher said that kiddos are the hardest subject to capture...always at motion and short attention spans. Hopefully, I will tackle them one of these days!

Sunshine Days

The sunshine around here has been so wonderful. We just go outside and bask in it. Sam is especially enjoying it, constantly bringing me 2 pair of socks and his shoes everytime he is ready to go "out-tide." (I don't know what is up with the 2 pair of socks...I think snow day messed him up!) This particular day, we went to a park with some friends and ate Mickey D's and tried not to let our 2 year olds kill themselves on the high high high playset. I actually do have some friends with little girls and as we were all playing and I was trying to capture some shots, I think I came across the #1 difference between girls and boys: girls don't mind stopping a moment to smile for the camera, while boys are ALL movement! And yes, I am pretty confident that the last sentence was a run-on. :)

God Loves Us More Than Peanut Butter (by Eli)

Here are the lyrics to Eli's new song:

God loves us more than anything
More than peanut butter
More than macaroni
Oh, yeah, God loves us more than anything

God has blessed us--Uh, huh!
He loves us more than dinosaurs
More than peanut butter
It is true, true
and NEW!!!

by: Eli Stuart, age 5

Thursday, March 13, 2008

*DIARY of a Crazy, Grieving Woman*

You are probably thinking that I should stop posting about my grief, but it really is good therapy for me to do this. I have always been a better writer than talker and so it is a way for me to get across my thoughts...for whoever really cares to read! It has been a month and I am thinking that I will forever hate the 13th of every month. Maybe God will redeem that. So, here are some insights into my days as of late....

Entry #1
I was feeling good emotionally last Sunday as we went to church. I did really good through the first set of songs and the sermon. And then came the Charlie Hall song that was played at the funeral. It has been one of my favorite songs for awhile...even before the tragedy. Here are the words:
Verse 1
Jesus come take me away, I long to see Your face
This world is broken yet beautifully made,
Jesus come take me away
Jesus I’ll patiently wait, till like a vapor I’ll fade
Help me fulfill all your dreams for these days,
Jesus I’ll patiently wait

You’ll come again with a shout,
like a thief in the night you’ll come riding on clouds
Finally the voice I have followed for life
has a glorious face that is lit up with light
And you’ll come for me, no more pain, peace,
No more fear, release
just lost and consumed with my glorious King,

(last cho only)
And you’ll come for me

Verse 2
Jesus today I am tired, I need your music to come and inspire
I give myself to be refined in this fire,
but Jesus today I’m so tired

Come for me

So, I started crying harder and harder (sitting on the 2nd row, mind you!) After mascara stains started staining my favorite green sweater, Eric went to the men's room to get me a wad of one-ply. Tip #1: Always, always carry tissue with you during these times for you never know when it will hit. Well, then the next song started playing...which I love and is really easy to sing when everything in life is just peachy. But, not so much on this day! Here are the words:

Blessed Be Your Name
by Matt Redman
album: Where Angels Fear To Tread (2002)
Blessed Be Your Name
by Matt Redman
- - -
Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

He certainly does give and take away...and I personally tend to like the "giving" much more. So, I honestly have never looked so bad leaving a church service. People were staring at me and I just wanted to shout, "Yes, I know my makeup is gone and I have black streaks coming down my face and spilling onto my favorite green sweater!!" The rest of this day was was therapeutic to have a good cry...even if it was in front of hundreds of others. I managed to get caught up on my scrapbooks---which is always a huge accomplishment!

Entry #2
Yesterday as I was sitting in the drive through at Mickey D's, I noticed this young lady in the car in front of me. The way she wore her hair in a heap on top of her head really made me think of my sister. And, then I was staring at her, because she did resemble Kiley some. And then, I was gawking, noticing how her long neck was like Kiley's. She must have caught my rudeness, because she put on her sunglasses. I always laughed at movies that portrayed characters who obsessed over people that looked like someone they have lost or loved. I have become that person!!!!!!! What I wouldn't give just to sit with her again. Someday....someday.

Entry #3
While at Walmart, I noticed a movie that had just been released. I am not a movie-buying person. My husband is, which is why it is hard to find a good chick-flick in our house. I really don't enjoy watching movies over and over again unless it is something spectacular, like "Sweet Home Alabama." Well, for the sole reason that I remember Kiley saying she thought the movie was wonderful, I grabbed it with all my gusto. It is called "August Rush." I haven't seen it yet, but I have no doubts that I will love it since we have the same taste in movies.

Entry #4
Why is it that I usually hate salty snacks...chips, etc.--and now I am thoroughly enjoying a good tube of Pringles or tortilla chips with Tostitos Salsa Con Queso??? Could it be that my body needs to replenish itself of all the salt I lose through my tears? Is this the most crazy theory you have ever heard of?

Entry #5
With Easter approaching, I am celebrating with new zeal the fact that Jesus is alive and that He has conquered the grave and death...not just for Himself, but for the redeemed. The story of Lazarus in John 11 has been very precious to me lately. I love The Message version of verses 24-26. They say..."Martha replied, 'I know that he will be raised up in the resurrection at the end of time. Jesus says...'You don't have to wait for the End. I AM, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all..." The Great I AM...what more could we need? I recently heard this one "theory" or truth or whatever...the pastor said that we as believers die at the cross with Christ and simply pass into our real home later on. Sounds good based on the previous verses. I also love this passage in John because Jesus is obviously God and knows he will and can raise Lazarus from the dead, but he is still moved with compassion and weeps.

Entry #6
Writing this post and publishing it will probably push Kiley's pics and post onto another page and I can hardly bear it. Why can't she just be on the front page all the time????

Entry #7
I have struggled with whether or not to post this...I don't want to hurt my parents anymore. But, I feel that they would want me to "speak the truth in love." I receive a bimonthly publication "dedicated to the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ in America..." It is a ministry that most people haven't heard of, so I won't even bother posting who they are. I think they have some good tips on parenting, etc. Anyway, last week I received the latest newsletter/booklet. I was thumbing through it and the title of a letter seeking advice caught my eye. The woman was struggling with things and her question was, "Do you believe there is home in heaven for people who commit suicide?" My mouth gaped open as I read the response: "The answer is that if you kill yourself you will go to hell and suffer the fires of eternal damnation forever and forever, but not because you commit murder, for you are not and never have been a born again believer. You are only religious. That is why you have fallen for the devil's lies." (OK--I am getting angry all over again as I type this in.) Is this person saying that all born again believers are incapable of listening or falling for the devil's lies? What about instances of lust, coveting, gossip, judgmental hearts, not understanding your worth in Christ, not being submissive........these are all falling for the devil's he saying that anyone who basically sins even once will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven?? (But for the grace of God and His redemptive blood, I know this would be true.) (At this point, I am shoveling handfuls of (salty) popcorn into mouth I am so mad.) What irritates me is that this ministry labels themselves as a group who wants to spread the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Last I checked the gospel was Grace and Grace is a person: Jesus. He came and fulfilled the law because He knew we would never be able to...we simply can't meet God's Holy standard unless someone Holy meets it for us. The best thing about Jesus is that he knows individual's hearts. He knows who is redeemed, and yet who struggles. The battlefield of every believer is his mind. Satan knows this and he longs to kill, steal, and destroy in any and every way he can. When Christ forgave us of our sins, he forgave them all. All. One of my favorite stories in the Bible right now is the story of the Prodigal son. The father does not reprimand his son or tell him, "see, I told you so." He simply runs out to greet him and dress him in the finest clothes. The young man is his son and that is simply enough. Kiley is God's daughter and that is simply enough. She wasn't faking, nor did she have a religious air about her. She was salt, light, and good fruit. Anyone who automatically labels suicide victims in such a way doesn't know the heart of the Father. In my anger, I am trying to not be judgmental. I have thought about writing in a response to the publication, but I will need to let my emotions settle down a bit first.

Entry #8
I dug out some home videos the other night when Eric was gone. Eli, Sam, and I sat for about 2 hours watching some stuff. I am really not a good one to catch a lot on tape covered Sam's birth to the present day (2 1/2 years!) There wasn't a ton of Kiley on these...mostly Christmas get togethers. But, oh how precious those moments were when her bright face would pop up on the screen. Something about hearing a person's voice does a world better than just seeing a snapshot. Tip #2: Video those you love and video often.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Song of the Day

It is amazing how grief makes the lyrics of every single song I hear or sing pop right out. I listen to words I never really listened to while in the car driving. I really like Paul Potts...guy that won the British version of American Idol. He has an amazing voice and sings opera well...I like opera as long as it isn't annoying! Anyway, I was moved by the melody of "Time to Say Goodbye" but I needed some English words to go with it! They are posted below. You can double click on "Time to Say Goodbye" on the playlist on the left side of the blog and the song will play while you read the words. I don't think the song is "Christian", but it speaks to my heart. I have such a loss of things "not done" with Kiley. I so wanted to grow old with her. But, the song (to me) speaks of a day when we will be reunited and get to cherish new times together in a country far more glorious. Enjoy!

Time to say goodbye

When Im alone
I dream on the horizon
And words fail;
Yes, I know there is no light
In a room
Where the sun is not there
If you are not with me.
At the windows
Show everyone my heart
Which you set alight;
Enclose within me
The light you
Encountered on the street.

Time to say goodbye,
To countries I never
Saw and shared with you,
Now, yes, I shall experience them,
Ill go with you
On ships across seas
Which, I know,
No, no, exist no longer;
With you I shall experience them.

When you are far away
I dream on the horizon
And words fail,
And yes, I know
That you are with me;
You, my moon, are here with me,
My sun, you are here with me.
With me, with me, with me,

Time to say goodbye,
To countries I never
Saw and shared with you,
Now, yes, I shall experience them,
Ill go with you
On ships across seas
Which, I know,
No, no, exist no longer;
With you I shall re-experience them.
Ill go with you
On ships across seas
Which, I know,
No, no, exist no longer;
With you I shall re-experience them.
Ill go with you,
I with you.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


OK, it is the night before Christmas around here (expecting a big snow and all) and I am giddy so I thought I would post a few of my favorite things. These are always subject to change, after all, I am female!

1. Kiss my face "treatmint" lip balm---it is even organic
2. Watching American Idol...go David Archuleta!
3. Uniball "signo RT gel" retractable pens...I have made Eric promise not to steal them for his office!
4. Arbonne Rejuvenating Cream--great for dry skin!
5. Merle Norman Triple Action Eye Gel--the best solution for puffy eyes
6. Johnson and Johnson Cucumber Melon Baby Wash (on the kiddos)
7. Clementine "cutie" oranges...mmmmm, like 2 at a time
8. Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies...mmmmmmmm, like 20 at a time
9. Bath and Body Works Coconut Lime Verbena Shampoo....helps wake me up in the morning (and I need all the help I can get)
10. Kraft Easy Mac...way too convenient for kid lunches
11. My Blog! ;)

So...what are some of your favorite simple pleasures?


Jenny tagged me to answer these here goes!

What is the one big goal you hope to accomplish this week? Finish my photography class!

What is the one household chore you do not like to do? Dust

What would you buy if someone gave you $2,000? Bedroom furniture for Sam and a spring wardrobe...or I might give it all for the cause of world peace (just teasing)

Describe yourself using one word. Loyal

What is the one saying or theme that you live by? God's grace is sufficient

What is the one household item you cannot live without? Washing machine

If you had one chance to go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Israel

List the one person you admire the most. There are many...but right now, my Mom.

What is one thing people may not know about you? I am really, really looking forward to the rapture and secretly hope it is in my lifetime! What a thrill ride!

I tag Kelli and Pam!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


We finally got a snow day! Nevermind the fact that it is March 4th and just last Saturday was in the upper 70's. Nevermind the fact that tomorrow is supposed to be in the 60's! Only in Arkansas! The boys slept in and before I could explain to Cade that his school had been cancelled, he went into a panic! Mom, it is 8 and I am supposed to be at school! Not today, dear one! Today is play in the snow day!! Whoo-hoo! Over a bowl of Cheerios, Cade told me that last year, they got out of school on February 1st because it snowed on January 31st. I asked him how he remembered that and he said he had a good brain. I guess so!

I think the funniest part of the morning was me trying to get dressed to go out. It really wasn't even THAT cold, but you would have thought I was going to be out there all day! I started with my leggings, then athletic pants, then topped them off with Eric's size 36 waist jeans that I belted about 2 inches above my belly button! It was quite a sight. I then put on a fleece coat, down vest, hat, gloves, scarf, and thick socks with my cowboy boots...that later Cade had to help me in taking off. You know that if I dressed myself that way, then the boys were cozy warm as well. Poor Sam could hardly walk. I stayed warm, except for my is hard to take pics with gloves on! Needless to say, I have spent all afternoon drying every article of clothing we own...because we were wearing it all! :) I miss owning a pair of coveralls, they make things so much more simple!

The boys loved throwing snowballs, making snow angels, and trudging through their "jungle." There wasn't enough snow to make a snowman, but it was still fun. In fact, 4 hours after our play time, the snow had just about all melted! Sam didn't want to come inside, even after I bribed him with hot (or lukewarm) chocolate. Speaking of hot chocolate, yes, those are "Easter bunny" marshmallows on top of the hot chocolate. I can't help it if God gives us snow closer to Easter than Christmas!

I have such good memories of snow days growing up. As a kid, Mom would make us snow ice cream and then warm us up with hot chocolate. We would play to our heart's content, make snickerdoodles and chocolate oatmeal drop cookies, watch movies, and enjoy skipping a day of school while not getting behind. Even as older kids, Amelia, Kiley, and I would go out in the snow just for fun pictures...I am thinking that Amelia was even barefoot in some, because it made a cuter shot! But, my memory is not as good as Cade's! In college, we would all pile into the "safest driver's" car, usually designated Lee...(what on earth???) and go to the Stuart's house. We would build snowmen, make chocolate oatmeal cookies and watch Pollyanna. Then, the girls would take naps together while the guys did who knows what. I hope my kids get to make fun snow day memories like I have gotten to.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tub Time

I just had to post these...I thought they were so cute. I was actually experimenting with "diffusing the flash" by putting a piece of tissue over my flash. The darker pics have the tissue, the lighter ones don't. Which do you prefer? I don't know enough to say which looks better! But, if you ever want to diffuse your flash, you know how to do it cheaply! Toilet paper!

Anyway, I was also experimenting with different shutter speeds...which meant I needed the kids to be in action for some faster speeds. (Or would that be slower speeds??? The math in photography is harder than Trigonometry!!) So, in the first pic you see, Eli is actually jumping up and down while holding on to the side, then splashing into the water. He and Sam had so much fun doing this! It is not something I would normally allow, but hey, anything for a cute picture! :)

Chick Fil A and 3 Pointers

Sometimes the most simple things in life bring the most joy. My family got to come to town to see Cade's last basketball game of the season. We all celebrated with his team at Chick Fil A prior to the game. We got so tickled at Sam who was determined to eat a dish of ice cream all by himself. At one point, he took too big of a bite and his "oh, my goodness, this is really cold" expression was priceless! At the game, Sam charmed us with his new "monster" face...see pic. I would say that Cade is one little loved boy. If I counted right, there were 15 people there cheering him on. And he did not disappoint. Right before the buzzer, Cade threw up a shot a little past the half court line and SWOOSH!!! His fans went wild! How is it that nuggets and ice cream from Chick Fil A combined with a 3 pointer can bring so much joy?