Monday, November 20, 2017

the weekend

We had a great weekend around these parts.  When you start your Friday night off with these, it doesn't get much better.

If you go to the Momfessionals blog, and click on her Friday Favorites post from a few days ago, she will have a link you can go to for the recipe.  We love chicken pot pie, and I have never found a recipe that didn't seem dry.  These were perfect!  There was tons of liquid added in, so I knew these would be good, and it was declared a "repeat dinner".  Meaning, I will make this again, and soon.

I'm pretty sure that chicken pot pie is my husband's love language.  We had this for dinner, and then the kids all hung out upstairs.  We watched a few episodes of our current show. 

On Saturday, everyone slept late, except for me.  Callie ALWAYS wakes me up, but I don't mind, since I'm a morning person.  I enjoyed coffee and did some laundry while the rest of them started waking up.  It was a lazy morning, then we all got dressed and left for the airport to meet my family that flew in from Colorado.

I was so teary when we saw them all.  I am an emotional mess most days, but something about seeing my nephew Jaret, who hasn't been here in too long, and then my twin great nieces and watching Todd and the boys meet them for the first time...well, it was just too much, and I was fighting tears the whole time. 

Kinsley is on the left, and Kylie on the right.  I'm pretty sure Todd was flirting with both of them when I took these.  I know he was with Kinsley.  He was playing peek-a-boo with her.  Are they not precious?!  I love them so much.  They are each so different.  I love how you can already see their personalities shining through.

Once we got home from the airport, and when the storm passed us by, the boys and I went to Mom's house for dinner.  Todd worked that night and we stayed at Mom's until about eight.  I went to bed a little early.

On Sunday during church, I went out in the hall with my niece and her hubby, and the girls, so that I could play with them some.  I'm glad I did that, because I got to snuggle them both.  They were both so sleepy, but they were so good. 

I came home and ate lunch after church, and took a nap, because I was freezing.  I had choir practice at three, but my head started throbbing, and then I got sick to my stomach, and I had to leave early.  (I took some medicine and felt better after I ate.) 

Mom, Trish, Lisa and I had all made plans to go see Wonder, and we got to try out the new recliners.

I made her smile for a selfie.  :) 

If you haven't seen that already, you should go see it!  It was the best movie, and I am so particular about what I like to see in the theater. 

I made myself sick again by eating popcorn and was about to die when I got home.  None of the teenagers who were here were sympathetic to me being so sick, though, and they all made fun of me.  (Movie popcorn and I do NOT get along, even the popcorn without butter.) 


I just went to bed.  I was on the last episode of Gilmore Girls, but I fell asleep.

It was a great weekend.  I'm looking forward to this week!  We have a baby dedication today at three, then we're all going to dinner at Firebirds afterward.  And it's Thanksgiving week!  I can't wait to eat the yummy food and come home that night to decorate for Christmas.  It's the best time of year! 

Also, happy birthday to my nephew, Devin! 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals, and her friends, for this blog post. 

This week has been so nice, because it's been FAR LESS busy than last week.  I have taken a major step back from all forms of social media this week, because of that, just browsing instead of actually posting.  It's been nice. 

Here are some favorite things from this week.

 This is one of my favorite pictures of Graham!  He was ten when it was taken.  This was a night that we went and watched my dad-in-love graduate from a class he had taken.  I remember it like it was yesterday!  We sat at this round table, and per usual, the kids were all cracking us up. 

I love his little mischievous face and that glint in his eye. 

Also?  Timehop is my favorite app. 

So, years and years ago, in talking to one of my best friends one time, I found out about her that when she wears fuzzy pajama pants like the ones pictured above, she refers to them as lovey pants.  On Tuesday, after I had done all that needed to be done that day, and because I was so cold, I came home and put on my favorite pair of lovey pants.  And then promptly texted Andrea to tell her.  :) 

And I might have accidentally made her a wee bit jealous.  Sorry, friend! 

The dogs get all kinds of attention on the blog, but this one does not.  This is our cat, Twinkles.  We did not name her.  About eight years ago, some of our good friends were moving across the country, and they couldn't take their cats on the journey.  So one friend took one cat, and I forced Todd to bring home this one.  Y'all.  She is the sweetest, smartest cat I have ever had.  She thinks she's a dog, because she listens so well.  She is extremely social, and no joke, comes when you call her name.  She seriously listens better than Callie, our "broken" German shepherd.  She drinks all the water out of the dog bowls, and has been known to eat a piece or two of their dog food.  When I call them to go outside, she trots along behind them, crying to go out with them.  We don't let her out, though, because she has no claws, not even back claws. 

Isn't she beautiful? 

If I'm in the chair, she's in my lap.  She only sits with me, too, often times crying if someone different tries to hold her.  She's my favorite cat I have ever had.  I don't like having more than one cat, but I do love having her.  She alerts me to bugs in the house, all the time, because she is much quicker than the dogs.  A few weeks ago we had a roach in the living room, and I wouldn't have seen it if it weren't for her.  She and Crash work together on this, though, once she finds the bug. 

For this reason, I love having cats. 

When I'm busy, this is where she can always be found.

Yes, we bought her this little shelter to protect her from the mean old dogs.  They love to run up to her and sniff her.  She always yells at them, though, and will slap their noses.  She makes grown dogs cry. 

I love her.

Earlier in the week, one of our neighbors had a tree cut down in their yard, and this was where I found Jonah and Noah.  They were watching.  A favorite activity for boys is watching big machinery do things like that.  It was quite fascinating.

This was my favorite part of girl's retreat last weekend.  I love my friend Sunday's message about forgiveness.  I wrote this out on one of the blank pages inside of my bible.  I love using those pages for things like this.  On some of the other pages is marriage advice Sunday's mom gave at a prayer dinner back in May.  Doing this guarantees I'll not lose whatever I write inside. 

Quiet time by the Christmas tree is my favorite.  And in ONE WEEK, my Christmas tree will be to the right of our fireplace.  I cannot wait!

My kid was cleaning on his own the other day.  I caught him doing this while I was doing bible study homework and texted it to my husband.  It is my favorite, when my family does things for me without me having to ask them!  Jonah did this for me, and then last night Todd did something for me, and I told him this exact same thing.  I love random acts of kindness for the ones we love, and for those we do not know.

Well.  My dad will be here in one hour, so I had better end this and get ready.  Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

what's up on Wednesday

I have nowhere to be all day long.  I love days like this!  I know some people cannot fathom something like loving to stay home, but really, it's an introvert's dream, especially after a busy week and weekend.

Even though I'll be home all day, I do have a list of things I need to do around here.  

I need to clean, because even though things are always picked up and tidy, the furniture is dusty.  

I need to figure out what to do with a few things I no longer want, like pictures/paintings and such.   

I really need to catch up on laundry.  It's been a struggle all week, because I keep having to leave.  I need to wash sheets, too, which takes time.  

I will vacuum, because of the dog hair.  I hate dog hair.  I use the Roomba almost everyday, but every three days, I run a regular vacuum.  The Roomba does make it tolerable.  

I plan on finding a book to read.  I'll probably pull out all my Christmas books today and find one I haven't read yet.  [Hopefully there is one I haven't read yet, if not, it looks like I'll be making a run to my happy place, otherwise known as the library.]  I am reading one right now, but I don't love it, therefore, I'm going to just stop reading it.  I'll donate it, most likely, to the Friends Again bookstore outside the library.

I need to catch up and finish bible study homework for the week. 

I will start with some paperwork online for Drew, on account of his upcoming graduation in May.  I also need to see if something that I need to turn in can be emailed or submitted online, instead of mailed or handed to someone in person.  [I love technology, and it's frustrating when not everyone is caught up to the times, like when things have to be mailed or brought to someone in person.]

If time allows, I may start decluttering things before we pull out the Christmas decorations next week.  We always decorate the night of Thanksgiving, and I am always scrambling to find spots for things that need to be moved during the season.  Also, we will pull out everything from the attic next week, probably on Tuesday, and put away all the Thanksgiving things I have up right now.  

I'll catch up on the show Todd and I watch.  He watched at least one episode after I went to bed last night.  

Well, speaking of all these things, I need to get started!  [So much for me not posting today, right?]  Love to all!  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

useful [and a little non-useful] information

Today was a good day.  Well, except for that part when I woke up at THREE A.M., and I didn't think I would ever fall back to sleep.  But I finally did [fall back to sleep] and woke again at seven.  I immediately grabbed the book I needed to read a chapter of for today [more about this in a minute] and enjoyed my first cup of coffee.  By the time I needed a second cup, I'd finished my reading.

I'm currently making my way slowly through the book Adorned by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.  For lunch, we [Abbey, a sweet friend Kristy, and myself] met in the church lobby at the tables by our bookstore, ate lunch, and discussed the chapter.  I love these ladies so much!  I am so thankful for their friendships and that we can laugh and be completely honest with one another about hard things, and that we can pray with and for one another. 

I've said this so many times, but it bears repeating.  Growing up, I struggled with friends.  As in, I didn't have many.  It was HARD.  The ones I did have were not the greatest, and I am sure because of that and some really poor choices I made, my parents might have grayed a little prematurely.  [I need the laughing face emoji here.]  But really, it wasn't funny.  It was sad and unfortunate. 

BUT GOD.  He knew that all of that would go down exactly the way it did, and He had a plan already set in motion in for my life.  When He grabbed hold of me and my heart, He knew that in later years, He would restore to me what I had always missed out on.  Friends.  The true ones, that love Jesus with all of their heart. 

Now, I'm not saying to attend church services to gain friendship, but once you become involved and start meeting people, those are who you end up wanting to be around the most.  And while on that subject of church, commit to going all the time.  If you are a mom of little ones, I honestly cannot imagine what raising kids without godly people around you at all times would look like. 

We live in such a different world than the one I was brought up in.  Friendships are developed on social media these days, instead of around a table, and our views of what  a real life friend looks like has become skewed.  Nothing replaces face to face relationships, and time spent with those friends.

I could go on and on, but you get my drift.  Today just made me extra thankful.

Moving on, now.

Today I changed up my quiet time spot, in preparation for when the Christmas tree gets put up!

See that wall space to the right of the fireplace, where the lamp on the desk currently is?  Well, that desk will get moved out of the room, and the tree will go right there in its place.  I love that spot, because it can be viewed and enjoyed from all over the living room, the room we are in the most.  There is nothing as peaceful and joyful [to me] than having quiet time by the light of the tree. 

I can't wait to decorate!  We do this on Thanksgiving night. 

Also, I can't wait until a good portion of my family arrives from Colorado!  They get here Saturday, and I am counting the minutes until I get to squeeze on these lovies.

And on that note, here is another piece of useful knowledge.  Someone I follow on Instagram gave a little tutorial for a new-to-me app yesterday morning, and I checked the app out, read some of the ratings and noted its five stars, then installed it to my phone.  It's an app that allows you to write on pictures.  It's called Phonto, and it's easy to use.  It allows you to either take a picture, or use the pictures on your phone, and then you can click the little icon that looks like a pen to start writing.  You can pick the font, the size, and even the angle of the writing.  You can move it around or tilt it a little.  Then, when you're done, you find the option to save, and it saves to your phone.  From there you can share to social media.

It sounds rather complicated, but it's not.  I love it!  I made this little collage last night on a different app [PhotoGrid] and then saved it, and used that collage on the Phonto app.  I love playing around with pictures and such, and this one of the baby girls makes me so happy.  I seriously cannot wait to see them!

Well, this was an odd time to write a blog post, and because of the time of day, I most likely won't write again until Thursday or Friday.  So, thanks for reading!  And see you later in the week.  Love to all! 

Monday, November 13, 2017

catching up

If I didn't have to make a Costco/Kroger run today, I would not leave my house.  But we are out of several things, and I am being forced to go.  [Not really, but since my husband has this thing called a job, and I do not, I am the one who goes to the store the majority of the time.]  

I am tired of going.  I read recently how women are guilty of claiming they're busy like it's a badge of honor, and I do not agree with that at all!  I do not like being this busy, and I really try to avoid it all costs.  However, sometimes it is just like that, even if for a short while.  Last week was one such time.  I had things to do every single day of the week, and every night except for ONE, I was gone.  Needless to say, I'm excited about being home every night this week. 

I also named this week bestie week, because I saw Missy Byrd every single day for seven days straight.  That was accidental, but also a bonus.  
Last week on Monday night, we finished our book club for the year.  We have been meeting since May [or possibly April] and we decided to break for the holidays, possibly for longer, on account of life.  We started out as five friends reading a book our friend Angela wrote, but we are ending as four.  We only read TWO books in all those months.  That makes me laugh, because I am a fast reader.  I spent that day doing things like going to Costco and Kroger, then coming home and making dinner and finishing the book we were reading.

On Tuesday night, we had Tablescapes at my church.  That morning I was home, but as soon as Drew got home from his chemistry class, Noah and I left to go eat lunch, then to go to church, to decorate my table for that night.  We were all divided up that night, and it ended up being just Todd and Jonah at home.  They went to Huey's for dinner, as soon as Todd helped Jonah pull his last tooth.

On Wednesday, I had bible study.  I spent that morning at home doing things like cleaning, vacuuming, and laundry, then catching up on homework.  After we met, this was the only night I stayed home, and Todd and I caught up on everything and our show.  

Thursday was a fun day.  It started off with a fun little day in the life challenge on Instagram, where a bunch of people documented their day doing mundane, ordinary things, using the hashtag #onedayhh.  I found out later on from the lady who started this that the hh stands for hour by hour.  It used to mean something different, but she changed it a couple years ago.  I had a lot going on that day, so I had a lot to document.

First up was quiet time.

I used this table cloth for Tablescapes, so I was glad to have it washed and back on the kitchen table.  In my quiet time, I'm reading through the book of Proverbs.  I also went through Ruth again, because we have been reading that in community group on Sunday nights with the ninth grade girls.  

Next on the list for my day was taking Drew to get his portrait made with his cap and gown.

Bless.  I heard the lady laugh when she placed the cap on his head.  He has curls galore.

I took him to get lunch right after this, and then ran into Target for a new journal, then we joined Noah back at home.  He wanted to stay here while we did all of this, and Jonah was at work with Todd for the day.  [He had worked ahead in his school work last week and was able to skip that day and go to work with him.]  

Then we came home and stayed put until that afternoon.  The boys in the family all went to the shooting range for guys night with our church family, and Missy and I met another friend at Germantown Baptist for dinner and to hear one of our favorite authors speak.  We sat at tables with women from that church, and I got to meet a sweet friend who I've been friends with on social media for more than a year now.  We also saw another friend [Adriana] and got to catch up with her as well.  There were several more ladies at the table with us, and it was just a really fun and refreshing night.

My friend Adriana made this collage.  On the top left is Tami [left] and Adriana.  Then Tami and me, Missy and me, then most of our table, minus three ladies.  They joined us a little later in the night.

I got to meet one of my favorite bloggers and writers, Sophie Hudson, and I am laughing, because that is how we spent the entire night.  She is even more funny in person than she is on her blog and in her books, and we left so encouraged by what she shared with us.  [She used Luke 1 to speak on women and friendship.]   

When we all got back home, our sweet honorary Goodwin came to see us!  Marissa was in town for the whole weekend.

This was, by far, my favorite part of last week.

On Friday morning, the boys and I were dressed early, so that we could go to the Veteran's day parade with Dad.  It's a tradition, and though they might not be as excited as they once were over this, it was a really fun morning.  We had lunch at The Arcade afterward.

It was beautiful and chilly!  We sat under blankets.

This is how long we have been doing this.  They used to love to make posters for the Veterans as they walked by.  There are several years that they [or we] made the local news.

When we got back home, I took a short nap and then packed for a girls retreat that we had that night and Saturday until lunch time.  Missy picked me up at three, we made a run to Kroger for our sweet Abbey, then we went to the retreat center, which is only twenty minutes from here.

This is Marissa and me, on the beautiful deck at the back of Pioneer Lodge, where we all stayed.  

Theresa and Marissa in the same spot.  I have to stop here and say that the ladies who were doing the cooking for that night and the next morning did it AMAZING job with all of our food!  I am so thankful to them for doing that for Abbey, it was a big, hard job, and they pulled it off beautifully.  Theresa was one who helped, then Lori and Andrea did the rest.  Theresa was also one of the ladies who spoke this weekend.  

Those of us who were able met there early to help Abbey with a few things, and to pray.

This is where we met for our sessions throughout the few hours we were there.  I say "few hours" because the retreat starts at five Friday night and ends by one on Saturday.  It is a WHIRLWIND of a few hours, with very little sleep involved.  

I love how this room looked with all the lights!

We ate dinner, then we had our first session.  After that session, we all broke off in our family groups [which were named after Disney princesses-my group was Belle, because Abbey knows my favorite Disney movie was Beauty and the Beast.]  We played games as a group, and this was the favorite thing.  A rock wall on one side, a free fall on the other.  

There was a bonfire and fireside chat with Sunday, where she spoke about the biblical role of being a woman, and there were s'mores.

The next morning was breakfast, then more sessions, where several women spoke on different topics.  Fun was had by all, and I think there were eighty something girls there.  

I came home and crashed.  We had pizza for dinner and I was in bed as soon as the Alabama/Mississippi State game was over.  

Yesterday was church, then choir, then community group.  

So now you see why I stopped blogging last week.  

And today?  I am going to two places, then I am coming home and getting back into pj's.  It was a really busy week, but it was REALLY fun, and I am already missing my bestie, whom I will not see again until Wednesday, most likely.  She was definitely the bonus of all the crazy things we did.  

Thanks for reading!  Love to all.  

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

tablescapes and a couple of other things

Every year, our church's women's ministry hosts a beautiful celebration of the upcoming holidays.  It's called Tablescapes, and that is exactly what it is.  There were forty-six BEAUTIFULLY decorated tables for ladies to host and then fill up with guests.  A host decorates the table, and then she can either sell her own tickets, or she can leave it up to the church.  Then, once everyone arrives, dinner is served.  The men in our church do the serving, which I think is the sweetest thing ever. 

My mom and I have done a table together for three years now, but she got really sick last week and couldn't come.  She made our centerpiece, though, and I used a bunch of her stuff from home.  Bill came over yesterday morning and dropped it off, and then at eleven, Noah and I packed up my car and headed to lunch at McDonald's.  Because we had to eat before we went to our church and decorated the table for last night's women's event.  I've been known to get hangry. 

Once we got there, it didn't take hardly any time at all, and I was glad, because I was forced to wait until a little later to go and decorate.  I wasn't the only one who hadn't done the table yet, though, so that made me feel a little better. 

Here was the finished table.  Compared to how complicated we made this last year, this year was refreshingly different, and so much simpler.  Simple is always best, in my humble opinion.  ;)

Here are a few pictures of some other tables that I took yesterday before anyone else got there.

The middle picture of the three was my favorite table.  I love fairy gardens, and it's a Christmas one!  I also love the succulents. 

The idea of the night is to get there early, and then walk around and look.  There are always TONS of women there, and I am fairly certain that this is one event that always sells out.  It's such a fun night to come to, and who doesn't love hanging out with a room full of girlfriends?

Because my mom and sister were so sick, I had to fill their seats, so these two sweeties came and sat with us. 

We had someone come and sing for this year, named Alicia something.  Her name just fled my brain.  She has been my favorite one yet, because she wasn't there to perform, but to worship.  And that is what we did.

I also love that she didn't sing Christmas carols, but that she sang songs like, What A Beautiful Name, and In Christ Alone.  That's why this year was my favorite to date.  I don't love performances, because, really, we aren't supposed to make a service about us, and how beautiful we look or how great we sound.  We should, instead, be worshipers, "performing" only for Jesus.  This is one of the [many] things I love about our church, and about our worship leader and director of music ministry.  Last night was so very special, as much was made of the name of Jesus. 

I left with a very full heart. 

I came home afterward and watched an episode of our show with Toddley, and we were laughing as we heard the vacuum running upstairs.  Jonah was cleaning again, and preparing to move one small piece of furniture out of his room in exchange for an old bookshelf that he painted with my stepdad Bill, on Sunday.

It's kinda dark, but doesn't it look nice?  It's navy blue.  Their walls are gray, and my mom made these bedspreads for them a few weeks ago with some fabric we found on clearance.  I love how neat and tidy their room is.  Their room is the smallest in the house, but Jonah says all the time that he likes being in this room, because it forces them to keep it clean. 

Oh, my child.  He is so me, that it's kinda sad.  His wife is going to LOVE HIM someday.  I know God has a special one out there for him, and it'll take a special one to put up with him.  Ha! 

Well, I need to start laundry and do some bible study homework.  Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Because I don't know if I have ever spoken of our complete families on the blog, I thought I'd share about them today, along with some little quirky things some of them are known for, and what we do to keep the relationships alive and active, even through hundreds of miles of distance.

I'll start with my side.  

The easiest way to explain all five of my siblings is this way: when my mom and dad married, they had each been married before.  Dad had two kids, Mom had two kids, then when they married, they had my sister Trish and then me [eight years later].  Paul and Terri are Dad's, and they are both quite a bit older than me.  By the time I came along, they were both living in Florida, and except for on special occasions, I rarely saw them.  We traveled to them somewhat often, and we would meet them in Gatlinburg sometimes for Thanksgiving in between the summers of seeing them.  

Terri was the sister who was visiting last week, but I did not take even one picture with us in it together.  I am kinda mad at myself for that!  

Paul has a precious wife, Theresa, and they have William [who is 15] together, and Scott from Theresa's previous marriage.  Scott is married with a son.  Terri is also married and has two kids: Marty, who is older than me, even though I am his aunt, and Amanda.  Amanda is married to [another] Mike, and they have a beautiful daughter, Claire.  We do not see them anywhere near as often as I would like!  That is also the case with Terri, Wes [her husband], and Paul and Theresa, too.  

Lisa and Debi are Mom's, and they are fourteen and thirteen years older than me.  Debi lived here for a short part of my childhood years, but when I was really young, she also moved to Florida with her best friend and started going to school there.  Eventually she met her hubby Mike, and they stayed put all those years, until about eight years ago, when they moved their family across the country to Colorado.  Here is one of my favorite pictures of Debi and me.  Mike and Debi have two kids, Austin and Nicole.  Austin is twenty-one and Nicole is Drew's age, which is 17.

Here is one of Nicole and me, from that same trip, when Erika got married.

I don't have one of Austin and me!  I hate that.  These days we get to see each other, on average, about once a year.  Sometimes it's a little more, sometimes a little less.  My boys LOVE when Auntie Debi comes to town for a visit, mostly because she is crazy and you never know what will come out of her mouth.  I am laughing as I write that.  

Lisa was like my second mom.  I remember adoring her and her taking me with her to so many places.  I think I was like a real life doll to her, and she was enough years older than me that I never bothered her.  When she married, they moved to Harrison, Arkansas, and I was totally distraught.  I cried like there was no tomorrow for days and days.  [They did eventually move back here, and onto the back part of the property that we lived on, and I was never happier.]  Here we are back in the day:

I was probably three in this picture.  Lisa has three kids.  I'm not listing ages, because honestly, I have lost count.  After twenty one, I'm out.  They are Jaret, Erika [the mom of the twin baby girls I post about occasionally], and Tyler.  They were more like my younger siblings, than my nieces and nephews.  When Todd and I first got married, Jaret and Erika were forever taking turns to spend the night with us.  

Here is a recent picture of Jaret and me from back in July, when Trish and I went to see them in their new home state of Colorado.

And here is one from that same trip, of Erika and me on the day we left.  Erika is married to Kyle, and they have the twin baby girls.  WHO WILL BE HERE IN TWO WEEKS!  I cannot wait to see them!  

Somewhere there is a picture of Tyler and me, but I have no idea where to even look.  Tyler and I share the same birthday, so we have that special tie.  He actually lives a couple streets away from us, here in The Ville, but Lisa, Debi and the others live in Parker, Colorado.  [Lisa and Jaret moved there a few years ago, after Erika moved there.]  

And about birthdays, everyone shares those in our family!  I am paired with Tyler, Drew and Jaret share the same birthday, Austin and Erika share the same birthday, and then of course, there are both sets of twins that share their day.  And I LOVE that both KK and I are moms to twins.  I was already so close to her, but that makes it even more special!  She reminds me so much of myself when I was in my twenties.  I have said that for years, and I love that bond that ties us together.  My kids could not say Erika when they were little, so KK was born.  Tyler was Beau, and Jaret was always Bubba.  

Trish still lives here, thank goodness, with her son, Devin.  Sadly, I don't have a picture with Devin and me either, but here's one of Trish and me, decorating at Dad's house a couple of years ago.

Thank goodness for Timehop!  I love that app.  

When Drew was born, Trish and I lived a few streets away from one another.  She moved to Michigan with her family, though, for one year, and it was the worst year of my life.  I couldn't drive by her old street without bursting into tears.  She would make dinner and have enough for an army, so she would have us all over to eat with her.  I miss those days of living so close by each other.  We even grocery shopped together.  We went to visit them there, that one Thanksgiving that they lived there, when Graham was eighteen months old, and Drew was about seven months old.  Worst car ride ever!  I didn't think we would ever get there, but we did, and then got snowed in.  We may have left her house once in that one week, and it was when I went with her as she took Devin to a doctor's appointment.  Good times.  

I miss Lisa living here, too, and made myself cry like a baby three times last week when I thought of her.  We were really close when all the boys were little, and she doted on them like you would not believe.  They also miss their crazy Auntie, who would occasionally chase them with a broom when they fought in her presence.

I just made myself crack up.  

I also have three step siblings, Trey, Rod, and Angie, but I rarely see them!   

Todd's side of the family is WAY more simple.  He has one sibling, Tim, and here is a recent picture of the three of us, from back when the eclipse took place in August.

They had no clue that I was behind them, so I love this picture. 

Here we are, though, with me acting more like a grown up and not a teenager.  [I've been around them way too long.]  Tim and Tra have three kiddos: Nathan, who is the same age as Jonah and Noah, Joseph and Zeke.  Our boys are very close, because of their ages, and I love that!  Christmas is always so much fun with them in town.  Thankfully they only live in Nashville, but we still don't see them often enough.  I am hereby making a promise to change that, though, and plan on visiting them sometime after the new year for a couple of days.  [If that's okay.]  

I can't forget all of our wonderful parentals.  

My dad and stepmom Sandy, my mom and stepdad Bill, and Phyllis and Wiley.  We could not ask for more godly, loving, caring and nurturing parents [and grandparents for our boys].  We are so blessed to live in the same town as all of them!  Not only that, but we see each other regularly.  I praise God for this fact, because my boys don't know anyone else as well as they know their own grandparents.  They each have great relationships with all of them, and for that I am so thankful.  

Also, how cool is it that my dad taught ALL FOUR of my boys how to drive?!  He sure has.  They've been driving out at his house for ages.  He started them on his riding mower when they were old enough to reach the pedal, which was about seven, and then he graduated them to his pickup truck by letting them drive it all over his land.  That is a gift, my friends, and I do not take it for granted.  

Well.  This was a fun post to write!  I don't know if you feel the same, but if you're still here, thanks for reading all about our amazing family.  All three hundred and forty one of them.  Or so it seems, especially when first hearing about them.  

Love to all!  

the weekend

We had a great weekend around these parts.  When you start your Friday night off with these, it doesn't get much better. If you go ...