Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Tuesday

We are having a wonderful day...everyone slept late, we've watched movies, cartoons, ate a picnic in the living room, stayed in the jammies, it's been so nice and relaxing. I am finally caught up on laundry, people! Do you know how major that is!?!?!?! You should have seen the mountain of clothes on the floor...it's taken me two days and about ten loads of washing to get it all to a manageable size.

So we're having this wonderful day, the kids are getting along, I even sat down to peace and quiet to read my Bible, but then I got a call from Mom. My sisters Lisa and Debi have a half sister named Angela who is 39 years old and has been both mentally and physically sick for a long time....as long as I can remember, almost. She died this morning. Their dad (Papa Jerry as so we lovingly call him) is in a really bad state right now. He talked to Angela every day of her life, and now here he is burying her. And Lisa, who takes on the weight of the world, is once again under tremendous pressure as she plans and organizes the whole funeral and burial. And Debi, who has experienced too many deaths to even count this year, is burying someone else.

It all goes back to the saying, "You think you've got it bad, but then you hear someone else's story." The grass is NOT always greener on the other side. Please pray for my family as you read this...my mom and I are scrambling to put together some meals for them for the next few days, since everyone will end up at Lisa's house at some time or another. Actually Mom is making the meals, I'm just giving her some ideas.

This will not be the same celebration of life that we celebrated when Mammaw passed away. Angela might or might not have been a Christian...only her and the Lord know that, but just having that doubt is going to really make this hard for everyone involved. Like I asked earlier, please pray for them all as they go through this difficult time.

On a brighter note, I'm listening to Jonah and Noah play with their sweet little friend, Ashleigh. Her older brother is Cameron, and him and Graham have been buds ever since they were 4 years old. I think it's cool that the little guys are following the friendship along with Ashleigh. Her mom Sharon is one of my very favorite people in the whole world. Sharon was the one that singlehandedly organized meals for my family after Todd had his surgery. We were well taken care of for 2 weeks. She's an amazing woman, one that I love dearly. I look forward to watching our kids grow up together. Anyway, we traded kids for the afternoon. Graham and Drew went to Cam's house, and Ash came over here to be with the twinks.

Well, I'm gonna go fold more laundry. Love to all...

Monday, December 29, 2008

An UpDaTe

Okay, well my day got a whole lot better...I wanted to just add that so that nobody would think I'm this horrible monster of a mom. I'm really not, I was just having a really bad morning. And mid morning, like when Dad and I had lunch at CiCi's pizza. I'm human, I've been trying to tell everyone that all along. Yes, there are days when my precious sons drive the sane right out of me.

I felt the need to write, I'm watching Milo & Otis at the same time, but to just tell you how different Jonah and Noah are, you had to hear this. First of all, Todd, Graham and Drew went to the Tiger's game tonight (Thank you Lisa & Jim!!!), but Jonah and Noah didn't want to go, so we were going to see Madagascar 2 at the movies. Well, it's not playing anymore. Bummer. So we decided to have our own private movie night in the comfort of our jammies!

They picked Milo & Otis, and opted to have popcorn and cookies while we watched. Noah was all excited...him and Drew are my movie buffs, and Jonah was too, at first. But right now, he is passed out on the couch. Yup, you heard me right. Every time, and I do mean EVERY TIME we've ever gone to see a movie, no matter how much money we dished out for the ticket, he's fallen asleep. Seriously. For almost eight bucks, he could sleep for free at home. Which is exactly what he's choosing to do right this very moment. He's out like a light, all comfy and cozy in his sweet little jammies, on the couch, covered up by his brand new fuzzy blanket just like mine, all tuckered out like a precious little angel. Not at all like the mini~monster he acted like today every time he failed to get his way.

It should be outlawed to be that stinking cute. I mean, he can turn it on, then right off, you know what I'm saying? I know if you've ever been around him for more than 5 and a half minutes, you have witnessed that yourself. But right this very moment, he looks like this precious little angel. And he really is, for the most part. I just but heads with him something awful because he's just like me. =) I know Mom, paybacks are awful. Well, keep on laughing, I can hear you all the way from Moscow.

Well, I'm going to stalk people on facebook. I've only seen this movie a hundred and twenty times. The cat and dog are cute, but come on, enough is enough. I am totally letting them have their own special night, since they never do. Graham and Drew's picks usually win and the little guys just have to deal with it. Okay, that's enough. Bon noir. (That means good night, Todd. =)

HaPpY MoNdAy...Or NoT So...

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, I think. Well, I don't think, I know. It's just one of those days. The clutter of my house is getting to me, and the boys had not done some things I'd asked them to do yesterday. As I was on the verge of losing my temper, I whispered, "Jesus, my nerves are shot." And just like that, this unspeakable peace washed over me.

I retraced my steps and apologized to the boys. I had lost it somewhat, and they were my easy target. I asked their forgiveness, and took that opportunity to tell them how my Father forgives me when I mess up. I told them that I mess up; that I have done it lots before and will probably do it lots again. I told them that the point I was trying to make still stood: that they were to be more responsible for their belongings. I told them that what came downstairs had to find its way back upstairs, that they still had to take care of their toys, closet and room. I told them that they had 'daily responsibilities' just like I did, and regardless of what we were doing, those things had to be taken care of first. I just said it all in a much nicer way.

It's amazing how quickly the Lord's peace washed over me. All I had to do was whisper that plea to Him, and He heard. I didn't even ask for it, but He knew I needed it and supplied it in abundance. My dad and I were just talking at lunch about God is there...all you have to do is just reach out to Him, and He will touch you. Just like He did me this morning, as I was on the verge of losing all sanity. (Not really, just trying to be funny.)

I got a new Bible for Christmas! I love it....it's my favorite of all so far. It's New Living Translation, and it's teal and brown....MY colors! It's called Sanctuary. For lots of reasons, I fell in love with this Bible and actually picked it out with Dad back in September. So, when I opened it up Saturday night, I turned to Psalms. You can always judge whether or not you'll like a new translation by reading through some of the Psalms. At least I can. Anyway, I turned it to Psalm 27:4, and 5. This is what it says:

4 The one thing I ask of the LORD~the thing I seek the most~is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD'S perfections and meditating in His Temple. 5 For He will conceal me there when troubles come; He will hide me in His sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock.

Isn't that beautiful??? I really needed that today. I reread it again as I was having my morning meltdown. We had an incredible day at church yesterday, and this morning was the enemy's way of taking that away from me. But he didn't succeed at all...I caught onto what was happening, whispered my heartfelt plea, then spent some time reading in God's word. His living, breathing Word, the Word of Life, my shield against all life's heartaches, troubles and mistakes. And when I can't find where I want to read, or if I don't have a plan as to what I want to read, I simply turn to the book of Psalm. You can never go wrong there.

He truly is my sanctuary, my hiding place. When I have nowhere else to turn, He is there waiting on me, reaching out to me. If only I could remember that as I try to take on the world and all that goes with it on my own. All I have to do is ask, seek, knock, then believe. I like what Proverbs 2: 1~7 says about it:

1 My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. 2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. 5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.

As I write this, I'm listening to six boys running and screaming upstairs playing hide and seek. I just asked them not to play that inside, they're all freaking Andy out, and he's hiding behind the kitchen table. Poor dog. I kicked them all outside...the six are my 4, and Graham and Drew each have a friend over. I'm trying to wear them all out and I'm hoping for six o'clock to hurry up and get here so they big boys can go to the Tiger's game!!! I love them, but they need some time with their daddy. And I need some quiet and peace with just me, Jonah and Noah! We're going to go see Madagascar 2, because they didn't want to go to the basketball game. I'm excited!!!

Well, now that I vented a little, I must say I feel better. I know it's really shocking to some of you that I actually have meltdowns every now and then~I know...I'm waiting on that lightning to strike just any moment! Well, I hope you all have a blessed Monday!!!

And just to end this even better: our favorite group, The Go Fish Guys...this song is awesome! I love them, but I love this message even better! Enjoy!




Saturday, December 27, 2008

New!

I am tired of the Christmas decor. Tired of the blog done up in festive colors, and tired of it in my house. So I changed the blog and started un~doing my house. I love newness!!! Just had to write that...it's my hubby's bday, and we're off to dinner at Mom's and Bill's! Woohoo, leftovers! Love to all!

Morning Devotion

We all complain from time to time, and we all get in really bad moods (ahem me when I woke up this morning!), so I thought I would post this devotion that I got this morning. I have to remind myself to do these things...I have to remind myself to say, 'please' and 'thank you', and not make a demand to do something. I like the part where it quotes the Bible verse from James, "You do not have because you do not ask". I think we can all take something away from this! Enjoy!

How To Fight So Everybody Wins
Do all things without complaining.

He comes home flustered. "Honey, I'm late for a meeting and all my shirts are dirty!" Now, he believes he asked reasonably for a clean shirt. But she, hearing herself criticised, fires back, "If you'd fixed the washing machine like you promised, you'd have a cupboard full of clean shirts!" "I only asked for a shirt," he says. "You didn't ask, you complained!" she replies. Did he?

We complain, imagining we're asking reasonably that our partner change something we're upset about, then we're frustrated when it backfires. Why not adopt the Biblical principle, "You do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:2 NKJV). You'll be amazed how much you'll get once you learn to ask, instead of assuming, demanding or complaining.

Therapist and author Bill O'Hanlon calls this 'turning your complaints into action requests'. Instead of telling your husband or wife what you don't like about their actions, ask graciously and clearly for what you'd like them to do. Be solution-focused, action-oriented, concrete and specific. Instead of, "John, we've got guests in thirty minutes and you're still watching TV!" try, "John, they'll be here soon. Would you mind bathing the children while I finish cooking?" No complaint, just a request. Instead of, "Nobody lifts a finger around here but me," try, "Sweetheart, I'm really exhausted, would you help me clear up the dishes?" Accept responsibility for turning your complaints into action requests, then make them concrete and specific. Saying "I need you to be considerate" is much too vague. Ask yourself, "If he or she were being considerate, what would they be doing?" Then kindly request that behaviour - and always show gratitude when you get it!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What I Wish For

I think I've gotten better, over the years, at slowing down and making the most out of our family moments. I think one thing that is bad, is how I spend my spare time. I'm always so quick to jump up and re~organize everything, and clean the messes up, that I don't stop and take time to be with my Jesus.

I love Him so much, more than I could ever explain in this blog, and I am so humbled by all of His goodness. There are a couple of Christmas songs that get to me, one of which is a new one by Mandisa called, Christmas Makes Me Cry. I heard it on the radio yesterday, and just sat and cried. One of the things the song says is that she thinks of the humble birth our Saviour experienced, and the hope that He gives us. Here are the lyrics below:



Okay, so I couldn't find the lyrics, but instead embedded the song. It's gorgeous. A few weeks ago in choir practice, Music Man challenged us to pray that God would give us the heart of Jesus. He said that if we took on what He so wanted (the salvation of loved ones) that it would endear them to us more. That if we were passionate about the love of Jesus, that maybe, just maybe, someone would see His love in us and would wonder what it was about us that was so different. I admit, I have not done that. If I had done that, I would be on my knees more everyday. Or at all.

When we're first saved, that fire and passion that is in us is the most wonderful, exciting thing. As time goes on, I feel like my fire is burning out. I get in these ruts, these spiritual ditches, and can barely find the strength to climb back out. I tend to take on the world and all that goes with it, but when I do that, I let other things go. Like my relationship status with the King of Kings. Unfortunately, that seems to be the one thing that slips...the one thing that gets the least amount of my time. I hate that, and I sure don't mean to do it.

But as I write this, I think of that precious baby that was born on this night two thousand years ago. He was just an ordinary baby, or so it seemed. But that baby was sent to us as a gift, the ultimate gift~undeserving though we may be. Like me~how many times do I mess up in my personal time with the Lord? I'm not saying I'm not a Christian, I am...I just don't give Him my best...my time. It makes me cry....just like the song states! God is the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings! And as much as He loves us, He doesn't make us love Him and spend our time with Him. He wants us to want to spend time with Him...on our own, He wants us to be totally, wholly in love with Him. The least I can give Him is myself~my heart, my time, my reading of His word.

He came as that little baby, in the most humble of all births to save us. When I think about it, the humble birth fits Him perfectly. He doesn't force Himself upon us, He just kind of stays to the side we put Him on. Only when we put Him at our center, does He get all the limelight! And in a good way, I mean, not in a fake, superficial way.

As I end this, my prayer is that I take on the heart of Jesus as I think about all the loved ones around me that don't know the same Saviour that I know. They're more wrapped up in the things of life...but my prayer is that they will see Jesus in me. I pray that God uses me in a way to bring glory to His name. The Name above all names.

I pray that as long as I have the priveledge of mothering my four beautiful boys, that I always take the time to stop and enjoy them. I had so much fun with them today....it would have been even more perfect if Todd hadn't been home sick. Yup, home sick all day by himself. Poor baby! I cried, having to leave him this morning. It just didn't seem right at all, and I would have stayed home with him, but he insisted that the kids go ahead with the plans. He didn't want Christmas ruined for them. =( Isn't that sweet? And SAD?


We had such a blessed day...I love every part of Christmas, and am so sad that it's over now. I love the magical aspect of this season...all of it. But the most magical and amazing thing of all lasts every single day of the year....if only we each open up a part of our heart, and invite Him in to come and reside. Here's a really cool Scripture I found tonight in my brand new Bible!!!

Psalm 26:6~8 I wash my hands to declare my innocence. I come to your altar, O LORD, 7 singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your wonders. 8 I love your sanctuary, LORD, the place where your glorious presence dwells.

Love to all and once more this year, Merry CHRISTmas. May He be at the center of all that you do, of all that we do. And may you find His amazing grace, peace, and love this year and every year that follows. God bless you, in the precious, most Holy Name of Jesus.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve!!!


'Twas the Night before Christmas' Poem

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Christmas Version of Getting To Know You

1. Fresh Tree/Fake Tree? Fresh! BUT since we have cats, we do fake. I know, it's sad and I feel like I've let Daddy down. We always did real at his house and it was fun getting to go and pick it out!!

2. Favorite Ornament- My favorites are the ones that all the boys have made me over the years! I especially love the picture ones.

3. Favorite Christmas Song- O Holy Night, and Little Drummer Boy. Seriously, it's a tie.

4. Favorite Tradition- All the things we do as a family...I've mentioned them before, but we love being with our family and just with the 6 of us. It's amazing, and something I'll always love!

5. Favorite Gift Ever Received-There were so many! I don't know which ones exactly...but my favorite thing to get every year was my Christmas stocking. Nobody packs a stocking like that woman. I would get books, cds (back then tapes), movies, makeup, cool pens and journals, stuffed animals, you name it, she could squeeze it in. Actually it was usually in a gift bag because it was so heavy!

6. Favorite Christmas Meal- My mama's cooking. E.N.D. O.F. S.T.O.R.Y.

7. Favorite Christmas Cookie-I won't tell you what Todd calls them, but they're the no bake kind...chocolate, oats, and peanut butter. I've tried to make them, but they won't set up for me. But who cares because the batter rocks. And Todd and I have eaten it out of a bowl with a spoon. Seriously.

8. Favorite Place to be-with family. Period. Anywhere, anytime, doesn't matter, as long as we're together.

9. Favorite Memory- one of the very first Christmas' Todd and I were married...it was actually a few days after, but some friends were getting married, and we drove to Pigeon Forge for the wedding. It had snowed the night before and it was just magical waking up and seeing all that, and it was just the two of us...things were so different then. We had no schedule, we could do what we wanted, and sleep in and stay up late.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie-White Christmas....favorite line in the whole movie..."Ahhhh, Vermont. I bet it's beautiful there this time of year, all that snow." Then them getting there, and it was sunny and hot. Yup, I'm a dork.

Christmas Cards & Such

I love getting Christmas cards! As much as I'd love to get them, you'd think I'd send them. Nope. Never have, and not sure that I ever will. I think the idea is great, but it's just not that high up on my list of things to do. I especially love the ones that have pictures either as the front or inside of them. The boys love getting them, too.

We got one today from Tim and Jenny Land, our old children's pastors. They're now residing in Tucson, Arizona, and we miss them as much now as we did the day after they left. They're truly the kinds of friends who you can go a few years without seeing and still feel just as close as you did when they lived here. They were the most incredible people as children's pastors....I don't know that we'll ever find any that loved the kids as much as they did. They didn't have a lot of freedom while they were here, and while they were reigned in, they were limited as to how much they were able to do. Now that they are in Tucson, they're able to do all these amazing things with the kids there...it's just incredible to sit back and hear about it.

We had YUMMY Mexican food for dinner tonight...thank you, Big Daddy! It was so good...there is no such thing as too much Mexican food! I had it for lunch yesterday, too, but that's okay. I love me some Mexican!! I went and finished the shopping when I left...Todd took Mom and the boys back to our house, where Mom had left her car. I went to Target...big mistake. That place has been totally ransacked today! There was so much junk all over the shelves, the floor, the aisle, it was almost impossible to get through. Of course while I was there, the sky fell, and I had to kill time to be able to make it back to the car without being soaked by the rain.

I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve!!! I'm so ready....it's always almost unbearable these last few days before. The boys are always wild and crazy just thinking of the events to come. We're doing Christmas with my dad tomorrow night, then on Christmas morning we're going to Mimi's and Papa's, then to my Mom's and Bill's. It's kind of crazy, and it makes for a really long day, but it's always fun. I just don't like splitting Christmas day, I always feel like someone's being shorted on the time thing with us, but it can't be helped. Such is life.

Well, I'm done for now...love to all and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday!

My favorite day of the week!!! Church was so good this morning...particularly worship. Our worship leader, Bob Geabhart, just has this amazing ability to be able to lead us into worship. And I do believe that is a God~given ability. The music and worship was just so reverent this morning. It was one of those times when I couldn't really sing because I couldn't stop crying. I always think that when that happens, it's just anointed. God truly met us there this morning, and it was just amazing.

We met our new nephew today! After church we all went over to Wiley and Phyllis' house and met up there with Tim, Tracy, Nathan and Joseph! He is such a doll...chubby cheeks, great personality, big ole brown puppy dog eyes, the works! He would get his way all the time at my house. Ha, I am kidding, I promise, but when they would tell him not to do something, he would start crying these big crocodile tears and it was as if he'd just had his little heart broken. It's so pitiful! Tracy assured me it does get old, eventually, but I find myself wondering! What a sweetie!

Graham and Drew couldn't keep their grubby little hands off him! They kept on asking him for a hug, and usually he would oblige. We carrolled at Grandma Rena's retirement home...well, not really, but we did sing a couple songs. The boys have been dying to go Christmas carrolling! We went back over to their house afterward and ate dinner there, too. Might as well, rather than having to come home and cook!

I'm excited about tomorrow! The boys and I are meeting Dad at his office, then going to lunch with him. After that, I'm taking the boys to Phyllis' house so Todd and I can finish our shopping. I know. Three days before and we're not done. BUT we are going to finish tomorrow night, and hopefully we'll get in a date night as well! I'd love to see a movie, but don't know if that's going to happen or not! I don't know what I would see, but the thought is kind of nice!!! On the other hand, we may just come back home, snuggle up and watch our Netflix movie that we've been needing to watch. =) Remember what it is, honey??? I'm sure you're thrilled! For everyone else, it's a Tyler Perry movie. Tyler Perry as in MADEA and the Po~po!!! I love him/her!!!

Well, I'm going to finish reading Graham's Christmas book that I borrowed. Love to all!!! Goodnight!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Why Christmas Is Magical To Me

Why Christmas Is Magical To Me

1. The birth of Jesus. Santa Clause totally aside, Jesus' birth is the most magical, special, thrilling thing ever to have taken place. That God chose Mary, who said "Lord, let it be unto me as You have said", who was betrothed to Joseph (not many men would have stood by her side), to be the parents of Jesus Christ. How much more humble can it get? God knew what He was doing all those years ago, and it still rings true today. Whether this Christmas is the best or the worst, God has a plan in it all, it's just up to us to step aside and trust Him. I love the image in my mind of what it must have been like to see that bright star suddenly light up and fill the whole sky. It makes me wonder: do I have the Lord in such a place that He fills all of me?


2. Our church family and the body of believers who are our family and friends. This is what God intended; for us to belong to a body of believers with whom we could fellowship. In so many ways, the church is as much our family as our real family is. The church being all it's people, not the building itself. There is something so incredibly special about belonging to a church for years at a time. I love the saying, 'You will never find that perfect church. If you do, you'll mess it up by going to it.' It's so true. Our church is amazing, but trust me, there are faults to be found. None of that matters, though. We believe what our church teaches, it's Bible based, and we know that denomination doesn't matter...as long as we have asked Jesus to be in our hearts, believe in Him, and confessed and asked forgiveness of our sin...that we will all reside in Heaven someday together! These people within our church know every little nook and cranny of our lives. We are not private people. We lay it all out right there, for everyone to see and to be a part of. We're emotional, loving, feeling, sharing people, Todd and I, and there's something so freeing about people knowing all these little details about our lives and STILL loving us. It's amazing. And if you're reading this, and you don't have that in your life, I encourage you to either get more involved and SERVE TOGETHER with your church, or just come to church for the first time. If you don't have one, come to ours. I'll even skip choir and come sit beside you. Wherever you go, I just pray that you find 'your spot'. We all have one.

3. The kids! I am totally reliving my childhood through my boys and I love it. My heart was racing this morning as I dropped them off for their LAST DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS BREAK!!! I may seriously be more excited than them!!! Not really, but they were all looking at me like, "Mom, chill." I think I embarrassed them. I love all our little quirky traditions. For us, this whole month is all about FAMILY and doing all we can with them. It starts the day of Thanksgiving, and goes right up until the night before they return to school. We go to their houses (hopefully more than once before the BIG DAY), we go to Zoo Lights, the parade, the town Christmas tree lighting, we always to go some sort of Christmas village for them to participate in, we drive around and find our favorite Christmas lights, the list is endless. These years are precious that we have while our children are little, and before we know it the day will come when they don't want to do this kind of stuff anymore. I am dreading those days, but Todd and I will probably continue right along. Hopefully they'll just want to add their friends/girlfriends to the mix. The more the merrier is my life's motto.

4. CHRISTMAS MUSIC! I haven't listened to it that much this year. But I have a song in my head at all times. I think my favorite is O Holy Night. It holds a close tie with Little Drummer Boy. Just precious, I tell you. I am constantly singing or humming one of these beautiful songs. Also, and this kind of goes along with the music, I love Christmas movies! I've recorded like ten so far, and am trying to watch them all before Christmas! Drew and I watched a couple yesterday when he was home sick. I love the Family channel and the Hallmark channel. The family channel has the 25 days of Christmas, which is just amazing! Thank the Lord for digital video recorders!!! I don't know what we ever did without it! Even Todd watches them with me...if I twist his arm hard enough!

Well, I am out of time. I could add more, but I'll leave you hanging. Happy FRIDAY!!!! And love to all!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Almost CHRISTMAS BREAK!!!

I am sooooo excited, I cannot hardly stand it!!! We have one more day of school and then it's two weeks off!!! The boys are excited too! We had Christmas parties today...Drew missed his because he was sick. Poor little boy. He's better now, though, thank goodness, and will return to school tomorrow for his easy day. I'm reading in Noah's class when I finish working, so I'm excited about that.

Okay, yesterday I was talking to Jonah's teacher, and she told me that somehow they got on the subject of Elvis Presley. They were talking about where he was now, and she said she thought he was in Heaven. Jonah spoke up in disagreement and said, "No, Mrs. Miles. He's not in Heaven yet, he's frozen and hanging up in a grocery store." DO WHAT!?!?!?!?!

Don't know where that came from, and don't care to know. All I know is that his teacher thinks we're all a little loco, I think. Love to all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bedtime Story

There once was this sweet little family of boys. Graham was the oldest and therefore thought of himself as 'the boss'. Drew was the second, and was dubbed 'the family clown' because he loved to make everyone laugh. Jonah was the third out of four brothers and he loved to talk. He also admired his handsome Daddy and wanted anything that Daddy had. Noah was the youngest, and therefore the most docile of them all~he just kind of went along with what everyone else already thought of and was happy to do so. This one night it was getting later and later, and still all these little boys were just busy busy busily running around.

They were throwing homemade paper airplanes, they were running and chasing each other, they were scurrying to get ready for bed, only to race back down the stairs as they remembered to take their medicine. The youngest of the brothers was laying on the couch trying to convince Mommy and Daddy why it was a good idea for him to stay home from school the next day. They didn't 'buy' the story, but thought it was a great effort. And there the Mommy sat, so tired and exhausted that she only listened with one ear. Thankfully their Daddy sensed the Mommy's near cranky state and listened intently to every word being said.

It was late, and all the sweet little boys needed to be in bed, but the Mommy was dreading it. The two youngest brothers had been sick, and their Mommy had a brilliant idea. She thought,"I have a great idea! In case the older brothers get sick in the middle of the night and can't make it in time to get sick in the bathroom, why don't I make them a nice cozy pallet to sleep on? That way, should I have to be up all night (for the third night this week), I won't have to run around and change sheets and find clean ones!" Of course the older brothers thought this was a fantabulous idea and went along with it wholeheartedly. They loved sleeping together, but had grown too big to do so in their own beds. This way, not only could they sleep side by side, they could talk and talk and talk, just in the way that all brothers do.

The Daddy had mercy on the Mommy and went to tuck in all the little boys. When all was finished, he came and sat back down in the quiet living room. The Daddy had made a beautiful fire to sit by, on this cold wintry night, and was happily trying to stoke that fire. So this tired Mommy just sat and watched this handsome Daddy as he did this. She sat there for a while and was about to fall asleep, when she decided to go ahead and go to bed. Of course, just going to bed was not at all what Mommy's do, so after ten minutes of washing and cleansing her face in the bathroom, brushing her teeth, and doing all the other stuff that all Mommies do, she thought about what she should do next. The kids!, she though. She had yet to check on them!

So down the hall she went, quickly and quietly as a mouse and peeped in at all her sleeping angels. The younger brothers were blissfully sleeping, exhausted by their day, one at kindergarten, and the other tired from being so sick all day. She tucked them in, all nice and tight and snug as two bugs in a rug, and left to check on the older brothers. She stuck her head in their room and alas! They were still awake! What they were talking about, she did not even want to know, since it was coming upon the ten o'clock hour. She made sure they were all tucked in, nice and tight snug as two bugs in their rug, and left their room.

And now, the tired, exhausted, worn out and on the verge of being cranky Mommy sits and writes her family and loved ones a story. She's afraid that if she goes to sleep someone else will wake up sick. So prolong it, she tries, to no avail. It's getting later and later and sleep she must! The face has been washed, the kitchen has been cleaned, the pillows have been put back where they belong, the stray toys have been picked up off the floor, the folded clothes have been properly dispersed, the playroom couch has been 'made back up', the animals have been fed, the shoes have been put back in their proper place, and here she still sits. Well, this is silly, she thought. So she finishes her bedtime story, says her prayers, and picks up her Christmas book. And sooner than she thinks will happen, off to the Land of Nod she goes.

More Of My Exciting Life

I will be so thankful when this horrible virus leaves our family. Noah got it around 10pm last night, and went strong until 7 or 8 am this morning. I am now functioning on 2 hours of sleep. Well, the times combined may be 2 total, maybe less. He is currently passed out on the living room sofa. He's been out like a light since 8 this morning.

I really hope I don't get fired from my job. No really, I don't think I will, but someone in my house (including me) has had SOMETHING since the first week I started. I think Jonah, Noah and I are all building up our immune systems. At least I hope that's what has been wrong! Thank goodness for my comp. time! If it weren't for that, my checks would have been less.

So right now I'm sitting, waiting on yet ANOTHER load of laundry to finish washing and drying, and watching Rachel Ray. I love her. She just makes me want to go whip up something every time I watch her. I'm watching her show on NBC, not the actual Food Network show. Food Network is my fav. channel. Seriously. Anyway, I'm contemplating what I want for lunch. I'm thinking salsa and something. I'm sooooooo on a Mexican food kick right now.

There are a few things good that come out of this yucky sickness. One is that I get to have a lazy pj day. I would cuddle with Noah if he was awake, but I plan on doing some of that once he regains conscienceness. Another something is that I finished one Christmas book last night, and got halfway through another one. In case you didn't pick up on that...I was afraid to go to sleep. I was scared that once I did, he wouldn't "make it" to the bathroom or to the bowl I finally gave him. He is not the easiest child to wake up, ya know what I'm sayin'??? After today I'm going to be needing another Christmas book, AHEM PHYLLIS, so I had to resort to borrowing one of Graham and Drew's books. It looks good, it's called the 12 Dogs of Christmas. I think Graham's second grade teacher bought it for him for Christmas. It kind of reminds me of Marley & Me, that new Jennifer Anniston movie coming out. Which I want to see with the boys...the older ones. I don't think Jonah and Noah would like it. Well, at least Jonah anyway. He HATES movies, and can just barely sit through one. The thought of him having to be quiet for two hours or more puts him right to sleep about twenty minutes after those theatre lights go out. Noah, on the other hand is like Drew, and is my movie buff. Graham likes them, but only wants to watch them once. Me, Drew and Noah could watch them over and over and over and over. Get my drift?

Well, my stomach is growling and I am rambling. So I will put you out of your misery and hush. Happy Tuesday to all!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Blah Monday

Today is sooooo dreary. It's missing a great chance to snow, too. They're predicting freezing rain today. The high today is in the mid forties, but the temp will start dropping around noon, and falling to the twenties. Brrrrr. I bundled the kids up good for the weather.

So yesterday was fun...and yes I'm being sarcastic. It was my birthday, but Jonah was soooo sick with a stomach virus that started at 2 am and made him throw up every hour, just about on the hour. Fun. I was two hours into my birthday, on my hands and knees cleaning up the bathroom from where he didn't quite make it. Poor little guy.

I had to leave Jonah home with Todd, and me and the other boys went to our concert. It was so much fun, and they all did so good! Drew was a shephard, Noah was a sheep (the cutest one out of three on stage!), and Graham sang a solo and was in the angel choir. It was precious. I cried like a baby when I heard the song Graham sang. It's "Who Would Imagine A King" from the movie, The Preacher's Wife. Beautiful, I tell you. I am so thankful for all the hard work these kids put into this....If you're on facebook, you can go to my page, and then go to my videos and see it for yourself. I was going to put it on here, but can't figure it out and don't have the time to sit and play with it.

Well, speaking of time, mine's running out!!! Love to all and Happy Monday!!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What We Did Today

It has been a very busy weekend so far! We had dress rehearsal at church last night that went until 10:30. We sang until right up to that time almost. The good news: I think it all will pay off tomorrow night. The bad news: my voice is shot. I'm praying it'll come back before tomorrow night, since I'm singing in the first ensemble!!! I really want to sing that part, too, so I'll be disappointed if it doesn't happen.

We came home, went straight to bed, and hit the floor running this morning. Drew had 2 chorus performances today. One was at ten at the nursing home in Collierville, and the other was at eleven on the Town Square. It was sooooooooooooo cold and windy. Well, not that cold, but the wind was ferocious. So much so, that my dad "borrowed" Jonah's santa hat. I'm hoping he returns it tomorrow, since it's Jonah's favorite! After they sang a shortened version of what they sang at the nursing home, we went on a carriage ride around the square. It was so much fun! The boys loved it, and I always can go for some time to snuggle up with all my favorite boys! Yummy!!!

I left them, and went off on my own. I met Mom and we did some shopping!!! I feel so much better now that I've actually started. I'm so excited about Christmas this year...it's a little different. The boys probably won't get quite as much from anyone, including us, but we've had some really great quality time with them. I don't want Christmas to be about 'stuff', and seeing who got what at who's house, and racing to the next house to rip into to even more packages. Everyone has less money this year, but I would not have it any other way.

For one thing, it makes us take a step back and evaluate what we've done in years past. And I love buying for these boys, so it's hard not to do so. But when I think back to that Holy night when the baby Jesus was born, as the Little Drummer Boy states...'I'll play my best for you'...that is what we're encouraged to do. We are to give Him our best. And our best is not all caught up in sparkly new gifts. They're nice, don't get me wrong and I love getting them and giving them, but Jesus wants our best....our heart and for us to live for Him. The other thing I love is that we're creating memories with the boys. December is all about togetherness for us. It's about us doing the best we can to milk everything we can possibly get out of this one month of magic. I love the traditions we've started with the boys, and I think that when they have families of their own someday, they'll remember this time with a thankful heart.

Now, all this being said...I did some shopping today, you know what I'm sayin'? I am very excited about what I've gotten so far...I think it'll be really special for them all. I also helped the grandmothers shop. I have such a hard time describing things that it's just easier to shop with them. Although with Mimi, we just talked on the phone.

So while I shopped, Todd took the boys to pick me out something for my birthday. They had lunch, then he took Graham to a birthday party. Tonight we went to this church that puts on a spectacular Christmas event called Alpine Village. It was so amazing. There are all these buildings everywhere with things to do inside of them. Some of them were The Candy Shoppe, The Book Shoppe, The Toy Shoppe, things like that. They watched a puppet show, saw Santa, and got to see a live nativity at the very end. We just got home a little while ago, and all is quiet. Speaking of that quiet, I think I'm going to go to bed now. I really need to finish my Christmas book before Christmas comes, and I have an even longer day tomorrow. Good night....love to all!

Friday, December 12, 2008

TGIF!!!

I am thrilled beyond words that it's Friday! Only one more week of school, and I get to spend the afternoon with DADDY!!! I've missed seeing him every Friday! I am really excited about today. I didn't work yesterday b/c of that lunch...it was so much fun! We finished at 12:30 but promised not to return until AFTER 2pm. So we shopped! Well, I window shopped, but it was so much fun! I did buy a couple small Christmas presents!

Last night we had choir practice for our big service on Sunday night. We didn't leave until almost 9:30, and by that time, me and my good friend Christa, were hungry again! So we went to Chili's and had queso and salsa! Yummy!! It wasn't just food...we both decided it was food for our soul...we haven't spent any time together in forever, and it was great getting to have that time to just hang out and laugh. I love her. There is nothing better than a friend you can be yourself with. One who you tell all your secrets to, and they still love you. I hope all of you have at least one friend like that!

I have this lovely cough thing right now...I sound like a seal barking. So I'm going to go get my prescription of the magic steroid and drink me some before work today! I hope my voice sounds better tonight....I'm in an ensemble, and singing with a mic with a raspy voice is not good. Bob's already had to replace one lady b/c she had the crud.

I cannot WAIT for Sunday night! This program is going to be BEAUTIFUL. It's the story of Jesus' birth told by our kids at church. Complete with an ANGEL CHOIR. Can we say Kleenex, anyone?!?!?! Graham is singing one of the songs with a couple little girls, and they sound beautiful!! I cried when I heard him sing it Thursday night! I cannot wait...

Well, I need to run. I had a few spare minutes and wanted to write a little...hope you all have a great FRIDAY!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happenings At Our House

So it's been kind of a whirlwind week. I thought I would have had more time to do whatever since I'm part timing it now, but my time has been very busy! Monday was a normal day...well, at least during the school day, but then Graham started complaining of a headache and sore throat. I took his temp. and it was 102. Yuck. We were also having a birthday party for Bill that night. Sadly, I don't think it was much of a party for him. Poor Big Daddy.

I took Graham to the doctor on Tuesday, and he had strep throat. I was kind of glad b/c at least there's medicine to treat that. We went to Target to get the scrip filled and shopped around for a few minutes while we waited. I was going to take him to Chik Fil A for a milk shake, but he told me he didn't want one. He just wanted to go home. You know he doesn't feel good if he turns down a milk shake.

Since he was sick, he was unable to be in the spelling bee. He was so upset about that b/c he was really looking forward to it. I started to leave to take Drew there, and I rammed into Phyllis' car. It was dark and raining, and with the garage light on, I couldn't see ANYTHING. She had parked behind me so they could get inside quickly, and needless to say, I forgot she was there. Phyllis had worked in the health room at the school that day and I asked her to go ahead and get the boys since she was there. Plus it was thundering and lightning and they won't dismiss the kids as long as it's storming like that. I knew it would be a long wait to get them, so she went ahead and brought them home. It turns out, it wasn't as bad as it looked. She'll have to get a new grill and some paint got knocked off. She was actually on her way out to move the car right as I hit it. I cried. Seriously. I have a near perfect driving record, and I did this this week, and last Monday as I pulled into a parking slot at the school, I bumped into the principal's car. It left a scuff on it that her husband buffed out, so now you can't even tell I ever touched it. But come on, twice in eight days?

Mrs. Claney (the principal) was really cool about her car. I was white as a ghost and when I stepped back into her office to tell her what I'd done, she knew something was wrong. I started telling her and she said, "Jen, that car is old, I've had it forever and I'm going to keep it forever. And when I retire, I'm going to give it away, and buy a two seater convertible. So it's not a big deal, I promise." She could have been really upset, but she was so nice. Todd told me I must be trying to get fired. Not really, but my judgement of how much room I had was off. Mr. Ronnie, our plant manager, threated to buy me a smaller vehicle so I wouldn't keep hitting cars.

Thankfully, the rest of this week has been rather uneventful. I missed work on Tuesday, went yesterday, and am missing again today. Mrs. Claney is taking the office staff out to lunch today from 11~2, which are the exact hours that I work. Since I was office staff for four or five weeks, she invited me as well. We're going to a yummy restaurant, The Silver Caboose, that's on the square and I'm really excited! I haven't been there in a long time!

Well, I need to get off this thing and start my day. I have lots of laundry waiting on me to fold. Joy. Love to all and HAPPY THURSDAY!!!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

To Us A Child Is Born

Isaiah 9.6 and 7

6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Luke 2.8~14
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Football and The Fireplace

I am finished cleaning my house!!! Woohoo! And the laundry is all put away, the boy's rooms are clean, and I am sitting in my recliner watching the Bama/Gator game, warmed by the fire and screaming at the top of my lungs as Bama made their first touchdown. Shhhh. Don't tell anyone I am screaming at the tv over football. The guy threw his body through the air in order to score that TD, and he just barely made it. It was cool.

In just a little while, we're leaving to go to Zoo Lights with my dad. I'm so excited! I froze my toes off at the parade last night, so tonight I'm going to dress warmer. MUCH warmer. Long johns, Under Armour, thermal hunting socks, the works. I cannot wait.

This morning at 4:15, Todd and Graham woke up and got dressed to go hunting. I cannot believe my oldest son is old enough to participate in this. He is Todd's little buddy today. Graham didn't actually hunt, he just sat with him. He's going to start next season. Todd went and bought him one of those hunter's masks, an orange vest and a new camo coat. He was all bundled up for warmth. I think it was around 20 degrees while they sat out there. Here's a pic:


That just cracks me up. He looks like a midget. That's a lot of camo for a short little guy. They got back at around 10 this morning, and when I asked him if he liked it, his whole face just lit up. This is also the same kid who while at my dad's last year on Christmas Eve spotted a deer and said, "Man it's times like this when I wish I had a gun." Seriously. My little Graham. As I write this, he sits here on the couch cheering just as loud as Todd for his team. Roll Tide.

Well, I'm gonna go make some hot cocoa...I'll post more later probably. If you have facebook, go there and check out my new pics. Love to all!!!

What I Love About Christmas

I love lots of things about Christmas, and thought I'd share why I think this is such a special time of year. Happy reading!

I love how the story of Jesus' birth comes alive during this time...I love what the lights represent (how He gives light to a lost and dying world), and I love driving around and looking at them with my family!

I love getting all bundled up every year and going to zoo lights with Pappaw and Grandma Sandy and Aunt Tricia! And taking a carriage ride through the zoo all snuggled up!!!

I love freezing our tails off at the annual Christmas parade!!! And getting into the music with family and friends!

I love all the decorations I have...each one is treasured and means something very special to me. A lot of them were given to me by two year olds when I taught them, and most of the ornaments on my tree are handmade by my sweet boys!!

I love baking...even though I don't do a lot of it, but I love making goodies with my kids. Their favorite is chex mix and my new recipe for sausage ball biscuits! YUMM!!

I love all the birthdays....Big Daddy's, Beau's, JESUS', then Todd's. In that order.

I love drinking special drinks from Starbucks one time a year...this is that time! However, this year, Kroger sells all the flavored creams that make those drinks so yummy, so I've been making the same drinks at home and sharing them with the kids!

I love having TWO UNINTERRUPTED WEEKS OFF FROM SCHOOL! I love sleeping late, snuggling deeper into my bed, staying up late, lounging around while the kids play, you name it, I love everything about Christmas break!

I love going to church this time of year! I love all the music we sing, seeing the beautiful trees in the lobby, and I love being with our church family...they are just that...FAMILY.

I love our Christmas get~togethers! I love being with our family and doing special things with them, I love being with our friends, and I love our new New Year's Eve tradition....

I LOVE CHRISTMAS MOVIES AND BOOKS!!! We love having movie night at our house, and what is better than a great Christmas movie?!?!?!??!?!

I love Christmas eve! It's magical, and I dearly love it.

Well, I'll write more about this later...I'm going to finish cleaning so I can do a little shopping today. Hopefully, anyway. I may never leave my house. Todd built a fire, and it feels delicious in here but cold outside!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm Running Out Of Titles

Seriously. I am. I feel really pressured to come up with one, too. I mean, I like to write, and I do this blog, and think I do a pretty good job, but someone (ahem PHYLLIS) told me to title each one so it would show up on her computer bar at the top of her screen. Do you see my dilemma?

I'm supposed to be watching a movie with Todd, but here I am doing this instead. He's watching We Are Marshall. It's okay, but apparently I asked him to wait on me for no reason. Oops, thanks anyway, baby.

We had fun tonight. Drew had a chorus performance at Barnes & Noble, so we went and listened. It was also CES' bookfair event, so there were something like a million kids there. I gotta admit, I felt like a rockstar walking through there. So many kids kept yelling, "MRS. GOODWIN, MRS. GOODWIN!!!" It was fun. And everyone should have someone scream out your name in exuberance at least once in their life. It's a major attitude adjustment that happens instantaneously. It's great.

I got some news today. Mrs. Kathy will be coming back to work in the front office on Monday. I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I'm glad I'll have some free time back. I really miss my Daddy on Fridays. And I need to shop for you know what. Twenty one days and counting, by the way. On the other hand, I'm sad because I won't be 'in the loop' anymore. And I'll miss my friend Erika, whom I've come to know and love. We sit and laugh at all that we encounter on a daily basis. If we didn't laugh, we'd probably go nuts. It's a hoot.

So, it looks like tomorrow is it for me as a full time employer. I think that mostly, I have gladness. And I'm sure my family will love me cooking and cleaning again. And doing laundry, then actually PUTTING IT AWAY. It's been sitting for days on end for weeks now. After the chorus thing tonight, I went to a party for the ladies at work. I saw Kathy there, and told her that I would be around if she needed me, but otherwise, I was done for a while. At least until after December.

I cannot WAIT till tomorrow night!!! It's our Christmas parade and it's going to be cold!!! Brrrrr!!! I love this time of year....LOVE IT!!! We have a packed weekend...it's that tomorrow night, Zoo Lights on Saturday night, and the Enchanted Forrest on Sunday after church, then early choir practice. I have crafts to do with Jonah's and Noah's class next week, and shopping, then it's almost break!!! Woo hoo!!! Oh, and it's Big Daddy's birthday...and we're hoping to celebrate it Monday night. AHEM, IS THIS OKAY BILL????? You can reply and let me know...

Well, I'm going to bed now. I have now missed more than half this movie, and am going to give up. At least I've provided some reading material for all who are interested. I love being able to contribute something. Love to all!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Love This Time of Year!!!

Tonight was our annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the Collierville square. We had so much fun!!! Christmas is officially on its way! This is one of the things that kicks off the start of the season for us...we have several, starting with our Christmas decorations, then this week there's the ceremony, then our parade is Friday night!! I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!!! This pic was taken tonight.

We are having a great week...it's flying by, as usual. We have a lot going on this week, but it's a good one, nonetheless. I am disappointed with myself, though. I have several Christmas books I bought a while back, and I have not read them yet. I cannot believe that. Of course I don't have much spare time, either, but that's my goal for this week, to at least get through one of those.

Exciting stuff here, I know. It's late, and I'm sleepy, so I'm getting off before I excite you much more. I don't want to get you all worked up before bedtime. Love to all, and good night!!!

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals , and friends, for this blog post.  We've had a great week around ...