Wednesday, December 31, 2008

{finally, no more talk}

like i don't have a bagillion things to do. i'm really not certain how i will ever use it. but, i've always wanted one and i finally picked up one today. nothing to make you gasp.....simply a sewing machine. weird i know. and, the thing is, i really can' t sew. i was 'too busy' in high school to even consider home ec. i took a class with a friend several years back - it didn't go so well, but, i learned the basics of the basics. my first project will be quite simple and green. i bought cute fabric (i think that will be the best part) to make cotton napkins in an attempt to cut down on paper towel usage. i actually weighed out the water usage for laundry v. papertowels. the papertowels lost as we go through way to many here. so, i may not accomplish much but, i may save a tree in the process. and, i do have a very, very cute apron pattern with extremely cute material. everyone may be getting an apron next christmas! or, a set of cotton, earth-friendly napkins. maybe. will keep you posted!

addendum: oh yeah, and pj's - i can makes lots and lots of pj's. my normal daily attire.

{another article}

I just may need to be an ongoing link to articles. Either that, or I am airing out all of my dirty laundry! But, this article was very good and is something I find myself struggling with due to life as we know it now. It is not intentional on my part as planning can be very difficult for us; even the smallest things. But, I have learned to refrain from sharing any plans with the boys for fear of changes and disappointment. That's the big stuff; but I'm learning to deal with that. It's those little everyday promises that I hate to admit, that sometimes, I find myself failing to keep or making myself keep them through much effort. Again, maybe this is entirely self-directed. But, it is big deal to me and one that deserves much focus. Unfortunately, I play out this exact scenerio way too often. I end up on the floor alot right here at my desk.

My black eyes are swollen.

A Mom Who Keeps Her Promises by Glynnis Whitwer

"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:6-7 (NIV)

One day, just before the start of school, my middle son sat cross-legged on the ground, playing at the foot of my desk while I worked on the computer. Since he'd been out-thinking me from the time he was two, I shouldn't have been surprised at the conversation that ensued.

"Mom," he started simply. "When you were little, did Grandma ever tell you she'd get you a pony and then didn't?"

"No, she didn't," I answered, fully engaged and wondering where this line of thought would go.
"Well, you told us you'd take us to Toys "R" Us this summer and you didn't. That's a true lie," Dylan solidly proclaimed.

I was shocked that he remembered a promise from three months back, but more stunned by his reasoning. In the midst of being impressed by how his mind worked, I was convicted. He was right! Every time we drove past the toy store, my three little boys asked to stop and I'd put them off. It wasn't that we didn't have the time, but taking three boys into a toy store was pure torture. Either I should have taken them or I shouldn't have promised we would do it.

I stopped my work, joined him on the floor, and sincerely apologized for not following through on my commitment. That little 6-year-old taught me a lesson I'm still learning: I need to keep my promises to my children!

It's tempting to think the kids will understand when my schedule changes and it becomes inconvenient to keep a commitment. After all, they are "just" kids. Right? Wrong! I've discovered that after God and my husband, my children are the most important people to whom I should honor a promise.

The truth is while children may say they understand when we don't keep a promise, depending on their ages, it's really hard for them to fully grasp our complicated lives. All they know is they are eating a cafeteria lunch alone when mom said she'd bring a Happy Meal. Or they are in front of a TV when mom promised to take them to the park.

We all know life happens and interrupts even the best-laid plans. That's part of what we need to teach children รข€“ to be flexible. The problem arises when it becomes a habit. A mom who consistently backs out of promises will teach her children to do the same, and will leave them insecure and possibly resentful.

To become mothers who keep their promises, we need to guard our words and follow some daily practices. Don't make a promise simply to stop a child's repeated requests. Carefully consider your schedule and commitments before offering to do something. Start with small promises and build up to larger ones. If the promise has to do with an outing as a family, work together as a family to get everything done before going. Look beyond a child's words to her heart. Does her request have more to do with spending time with you than going to the park? If so, offer an alternative before you commit to something you probably can't do.

A mother has the high calling of modeling the faithfulness of God to her children. More than words, children watch actions. Will they find a mother who keeps her promises? If so, it will lead them to a God who keeps His promises.

and, to add to that, here is a link to one of my favorite bloggers, I love her heart! But, her last post somewhat goes with this and I did not even read it until after I posted this one....
Lots of Scotts

{the 2nd & 3rd commandment}

This one is a little more uncomfortable for me to even post. I actually wanted to remove the part re: pornography, but chose to keep it in when I remembered one of the main issues in the movie Fireproof. So, this is the 2nd Commandment in the series.

The Second Commandment of Marriage: Don’t Love a Substitute

In the second commandment recorded in Exodus 20:4-6, we are given the second principle for a strong marriage,

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

God commanded that we not worship carved images, whether in heaven, in earth, or in the sea. He wanted to make sure everything was covered. God said, “Do not make images of Me and then worship them. Do not love or worship a substitute for Me. Love Me.”

Some religions have made pictures, statues, and idols and then called them holy. They are all imitations. They are all substitutes. And in marriage we should have no substitutes either.
Love your husband only. Love your wife only. Do not look for fulfillment in some other relationship or in some other thing. Find your fulfillment in that relationship.

Pornography is a substitute. When a man watches pornography, he is loving a substitute. He is directing his passion and his sexuality toward those images. That is a substitute, and he is robbing his wife of that intimacy.

Do not allow any substitute, no matter what it might be, to take the place of intimacy with your spouse.

This next one is SOOOOOOOO true! I don't always succeed on this one, but, I really try. I have many friends (several who read this blog) who do this so well! And, I take notice. It's impossible not to. I would call you out if I had your permission. lol! You deserve it! And, seriously, you have no idea what an impact that makes to me let alone someone who just doesn't get it at all. So, definitely keep it up! It's almost intoxicating to hear a wife speak highly of her husband or a husband of his wife. I love it! And as we all have, I've witnessed (and participated) the opposite of that commandment. And, the end result is not pretty but so pointless and destructive on a multitude of levels. I know that we all know this already, but, it's a nice reminder for even me. So, if no one else gets anything from this post - I did. :) and, hopefully Scott (and my boys) will benefit.

The Third Commandment of Marriage: Speak Well of Your Mate
Exodus 20:7 gives us our third commandment of marriage,
"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

Many misunderstand the term, in vain. It means empty, meaningless, insincere, not showing due respect.

When we speak flippantly or lightly about someone, we erode our respect for that person. Some people are just far too casual in the way they speak of their spouse, and it erodes your respect for him or her. In marriage, few things can affect the relationship like words. Words are containers. They can contain love; they can contain hate; they can contain joy; they can contain bitterness.

The book of James says that our tongue is like a rudder on a ship. It will send the ship of your marriage in whatever direction your words go. Some people are on the brink of divorce because they talk divorce. Just listen to the words they say. Are they negative or positive? Critical or encouraging?

One night I was out with a couple of friends diving for lobster. Some guys were out in one of those big, long speedboats drinking and zooming back and forth at 60 miles an hour. All of a sudden, BANG! The boat hit the rocks.

But it did not hit the rocks by itself. It was steered into the rocks. Just like the driver of that boat, some people are steering their marriage into the rocks of divorce, into the rocks of heartache, by the words they speak.

Think about what you say. Are you building up your partner? Learn to speak well of your mate. Build them up with your words. Be lavish with your praise. You will be pleased with where those words will take your relationship.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

{please bear with me}

With everything happening around us, it is really giving me the fortitude to cultivate what I have in several areas in my life. I have been spending alot of time in prayer today and will likely be up for a while reading. I need that.

I get so much encouragement from all of my friends blogs - and while searching for something specific tonight, I ran across this. It is long, so I will likely do it in "installments", but, I hope you get alot out of it too. And, reallllly read it. It's that good. It follows along the lines of a post I did a few months back, but, this one may have been the originator of that one as it provides much detail.

The 10 Commandments of Marriage
Bayless Conley

Good marriages don’t just happen. It is not just because you married the right person and got lucky. Good marriages are built on more than passion. They are built on principle.
In the Scriptures, we find the best guidelines and principles for a healthy marriage. God’s words and God’s principles are never ever outdated…never! They are just as applicable today as they were to ancient Jews living in Israel.

I want to point us to principles God has given us in a place you might not think was intended for marriage. That place is the Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20.

Let me give you those Ten Commandments. What I would like you to do is spend time reading these carefully, and then take time to pray over each one. Ask God to begin to open your heart to see how these commands could be looked at as principles for marriage. I had a friend who challenged me to do the same, and I was amazed at what I discovered.

“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image… You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain… Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

The First Commandment of Marriage: Exclusivity
The first of the Ten Commandments is simply this, as found in Exodus 20:3,
“You shall have no other gods before Me.”
What is God saying in this commandment? That He wants to have an exclusive relationship with you. He wants to be your one and only. He will not settle for flavor of the month.
And how appropriate in marriage as well. We are to have an exclusive relationship with our spouse.

It’s been said that Henry Ford, on his golden wedding anniversary…50 years of marriage…was asked, “What’s the secret of your success in marriage?” And he said, “The secret of my successful marriage is the same secret that I have in business: I stick to the same model.”
In traditional wedding vows, the man and woman pledge their devotion until death parts them. For life. There is no competition.

My wife has no competition. I am not shopping for a new model. I do not want to trade in the old model. I will not be shopping in the future. One is all I need.

When God made man, He said it is good. But then He said, “It is not good that he is alone. I am going to make a helper suitable for him.” And the Bible says God took one of Adam’s ribs, and He formed a woman, Eve, and brought her to the man.
God did not take four or five ribs and say, “Okay, Adam, here is Eve, and here is Lois, and here is Samantha, and here is Rachel.” No, it was just one. And to have a healthy marriage relationship, that is it.
I am committed for life. An exclusive relationship. I am not shopping, not even window-shopping. One God. One wife. That is enough.

That was Part One. And, in posting that, please know that I am not downplaying the situations and challenges that marriage and even divorce bring. That is not my intent at all. I have been "in the trenches" with people I love very much who are in a situation in which a marriage has ended. It is tragic. But, this is rather for the world view on disposible marriages - the very unfortunate ones. Have I been on a roll with this topic for a while now? I would say yes, but, only because I have been heavily burdened by it. Our church has really focused on it of late, our pastor has been very burdened for marriages and subsequently families, the Fireproof and Love Dare movie and book were saw and read by many of us, etc. Life is hard. Marriage is hard. But, I have an overwhelming desire to make it as good as I can. And, on many days, I fall flat on my face. Maybe today I did a little better, but, maybe that was because poor Scott had an MD appointment early this morning and slept the rest of the day. No problems on my end today. It was easy. Don't ask me about Saturday. I may tell you how tomorrow goes. So, the number one person this is for is........SELF.


As tired as I am tonight, I knew I needed to read my devotional. And, did I ever. I have been struggling for months with a relationship. It has been dreadful. And, even though at first glance this would not seem to truly does. We all need a curfew (me included) and for very good reason.

Again, borrowed from Crosswalk.

Spiritual Curfew
Tracie Miles

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:11-12 (NIV)

I thought my parents were from another planet. As a young teenager, I just didnt understand how they could sit at home on the weekends, which I was sure had been created for the sole purpose of endless socializing. As is the norm for most teens, I was convinced the curfews my parents had set for me were overbearing and pointless. But now I know that although I couldn’t see the benefit of curfews then, my parents knew what was best for me.

Have you ever felt like God’s Word has too many “don’ts” and not enough “do’s”? I have heard non-believers say that being a Christian is too rule-oriented, too strict, or simply no fun. At times, this could be the viewpoint of Christians too, who are trying to live a life for Christ but finding it difficult to turn from their old ways.

For many years in my Christian life, I played by my own set of rules. I thought that God’s commands were for religious fanatics. However, I now realize that early on, had I adhered to the “spiritual curfews” set out for me in God’s Word, many painful experiences and bad decisions could have been avoided. As it turns out, God knew what was best for me!

If you are like I once was, you too may think that some of the biblical guidelines for Christian living are overbearing, maybe even pointless. But consider this: if parents allowed their children to do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, with whomever they wanted, is it likely that they would learn right from wrong, take the right paths, and make decisions that are in their best interest? Of course not! Children need guidance, encouragement, discipline and direction from their parents. As children of God, we need those same things from our heavenly Father.

Sometimes it is hard to understand why God asks us to think a certain way, do certain things, or refrain from doing other things that are not indicative of someone living for Christ. That is where our faith must come in. Faith is our motivation to abide by the spiritual curfews that God outlines in His Word. If we doubt His reasoning, wonder why certain guidelines matter, or change the real meaning of a scripture to accommodate our own selfish purposes, then we are setting out on a path that will dishonor God and lead to sin.

What godly principal are you battling to obey today? I remember my mother telling me to choose my battles, since not every situation was worth fighting for. Living a Godly life is sometimes a battle. This is one battle we should always fight: to honor God’s Word. If we believe the Bible is truth, we should follow its guidelines. In a world where moral values are crumbling around us, Christians need to fight the good fight.

Even though God’s Word may sting our hearts at times, and we may feel convicted by the Holy Spirit when we do wrong, let us never forget that God truly does know what is best for us.

{aunt J}

sorry! I just got your message! we are fine, scott is having a rough time, but will be okay. still going through med changes. I will try to call you tomorrow (you are likely reading this Wed, so today, that is). I have to go into the office and mom is sick - so I get to tote the boys with me, but, I will try to call you. Don't worry, he will be fine, it's just getting him there. :(

and to "the others" as to why I don't email her.....she checks this daily. It was started for her. :) So this will give her the earliest update.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

{he survived}

barely. but, he did! (Evan that is)

I have alot of catching up to do on the posting but it has been a crazy weekend. We tried to fit some fun in for the boys which always seems to backfire of late. Scott made it through Christmas morning (yea!) and early afternoon until the medication got the best of him. He missed Christmas with my family that evening. He literally slept from Christmas afternoon until yesterday. The deep, almost scary kind of sleep. We paged the doctor on Saturday and it was decided the med they have been working to get him on in hopes the side effects would be fewer needed to be stopped. So, they are titrating him down from that. He actually got out and about with us for awhile yesterday and that went fairly well, but, he did not do well last night. He is either asleep or cannot sleep. I have hated this last medication, but am sad that another attempt did not work given the hope that we had, but so glad he is being taken off of it. I'm just a little heartsick over the whole thing this morning. I appreciate all of the sweet prayers (Philip - yours made me cry!). It is just so hard sometimes and I am not even the one living with the pain and all of the other things that come along with it. Just keep him in your prayers. I am NOT giving up hope. And, now that getting the med out of his system will go more smoothly than it did going in.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


to critical. It is truly unbelievable. This is definitely HIS year with Christmas; he is at that childhood peak. He keeps coming to me begging, the last time in tears almost shaking with little hands clasped begging to open his presents. The next 20 hours are going to be extruciatingly long.

{fading fast}

evan that is. i'm not sure if he will make it until tonight when he gets to open one present, let alone tomorrow. he is on the verge of a collapse. noah is in stable condition; very excited, but a controlled-excitement. will report at shift change.

everyone, log on to Norad tonight!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

{is ____ too many?}

i know i've mentioned my love for RUGS before. but, I do really, really love them. it's a problem - or at least scott says so. So girls (or Philip) help me out. Leave a comment about how many rugs you have in your house. I just want to prove I'm normal. Or, at least a girl.

i'll reveal the number of mine after you tell me yours ;)

{christmas torture}

the idea (because they are not yet under the tree) of Evan's Christmas presents are wrecking havoc right now. He is sooooooooooooo excited and does not think he can bear another moment without opening something. He woke up thinking it was Christmas Eve this morning and then collapsed in the floor in agony when I reminded him that it is tomorrow. He is losing his joy very quickly. Poor little guy! I seem to recall that very same pain as a!

Monday, December 22, 2008

{i love this}

from motivation for moms....

Don't just tell your children that you love them ~ tell them what you love about them.

{two years}

it's been two years today since i held my grandpa's face in my hands and covered his face with kisses as he left this earth. i miss you so much!!!!!

{heart attack}! i probably shouldn't mention her name, because she would likely kill me. In fact, she came close to it today. i knew she was enroute with a christmas gift which was odd because we are exchanging next sunday - but, she was very excited. i opened the door and i'm not sure if i slammed it closed on her, ran away, i know i was jumping up and down, trying to get her to leave with it..........

this now resides in my office!!!!!!!!!! Isn't it wonderful???? The story behind it is really funny; so that just adds to it.

and, as much as i love this rug, i love her and her little family so much more! it is suppose to be a thank you for a few pics i have taken for her over the year, but, i definitely got the better end of the deal. how hard is it to take pics of a beautiful baby? all i can say is thank you to each of you - i'm still dazed. love you!
ps, i think i'll take M lead and post some pics of additional thoughtful gifts i've received. i have alot to be thankful for!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

{more christmas}

we are still alive. i have a nagging cough still, but, otherwise am back up to speed. evan woke up again with a terrible nose and cough. thus, we are all still in our pj's at 3:15 in the afternoon. today, i am officially wrapping up the last minute photography orders, boxing things up and such, but today should be it! thank goodness!

the flip side of that is i am so sad that december is almost over. i know all of us our busy, busy - but, the kink of us getting sick threw a little twist in the plans. but, again, i am thankful that ours was minor - i have several friends whose child or spouse is in the hospital as i type this. so, i have nothing to complain about.

and, on a much lighter note, a few pictures that i took a couple weeks ago. nothing fancy, in fact, i skipped out on much of it. no christmas village, just one tree, no train; but, very christmas-ey just the same.

so, here is our little tour....... nothing like the one i went on a couple of weeks ago in a neighborhood in greenwood - but, ideas i took from it nonetheless. i've decided next year, i am going to start my christmas craft projects in july. i got zilch completed this year.

i had spied this metal birthday cake last year at Lisa B's and bypassed it. I saw it again at Holiday Market and walked away kicking myself. Finally, with little hope i went into Lisa's a couple weeks ago and asked if she by chance had one this year - she did! she had one and it was 50% off! i LOVE it!

i am loving using fabric this year. just the inexpensive stuff at walmart. just seems to soften everything.

our poor little gingerbread house. note to self: remember to put the frosting in the bottom of the tray next year. yep! that would have helped! even our outdoor gb man was sad. :(

ang i and always either get each other an ornament or buy one for ourselves when we are together. this is us when we are old. it says sisters. others i have from her include a couple of elvis, a multi-tasking mom in mayhem, glass ornaments, etc.

THIS is one of our cherished ornaments. notice i have kept the tag on (on purpose) we purchased this on one of our trips to SF for in-vitro. at the pier, they had an all year Christmas shop so - we got a noah's ark for whatever child God had in our future. little did we know how we would be incrediably blessed with noah about 3 years later.

this is from our shopping trip together this year (ang & i) at holiday market. she got an identical one with an A.

our sneaky little elf, elmer. the boys are still loving him! i hate to see him go thursday night. :(

our nativity has many broken pieces and is sitting high on our kitchen cabinet. i am hoping to replace it this year.
i think i will keep all of this up until valentine's day. seriously.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

{santa just rang the doorbell}

aka the Mail Carrier in blue, tomorrow he could be dressed in brown (our fav!) or the competition to the brown. ;) So........THE only thing that Noah requested that I discovered could NOT be purchased within a 75 mile radius last week. In sheer panic, the internet came through. As I was literally tracking it, miraculously, the doorbell rang. Whew, that one was close!! Noah will be very pleased!!! Thanks, Santa!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I love them a little too much, I think. It is borderline obsessive. Yes, it is! But, I just love how they link us to the past - a fairly recent past or a past that consists of generations. It falls along the line with me on the sense of smell. One whiff of Tropicana Fruit Punch and I am back in time drinking it with my Grandpa. When I was sick. While eating pickles. Another story, another day......but, you know what I mean. Traditions can be intense with memories. So, I try am constantly open to new ideas to become old traditions in this household. So.....this is where you come in - leave a comment on YOUR family traditions that you couldn't or wouldn't want to live without. Let's see what is out are a few of ours.....

1. Opening two gifts on Christmas Eve - one a new set of PJ's and a "gift". (partially carried over from my childhood)
2. Reading the Christmas story from Luke on Christmas Eve.
3. Our Jesus Birthday Party - 3rd year running. I used to bake an Angel Food cake, but, decided to go all out a few years back.
4. Christmas Light Night. This year, I plan to pick up pizza so we can eat it in the car as we ohhhh & ahhhh.
5. The Christmas Camp-Out that I stole from the Coston family. We have tried it twice and something has happened to interrupt it both times. I'm not giving up though, another attempt this Saturday night.
6. Reading our Christmas books over the month of December. One mom I saw actually wraps hers and lets the children open one each night.
7. Our Elf Elmer - new this year! Love it!
8. Dear Santa letters (and email this year)
9. Magic Reindeer that!

I'm certain there are more, but, I have a horrible headache and literally cannot think. So, leave a comment with your family traditions!!!!


I had a big order of Christmas Cards arrive today. Thankfully, only one mistake. And it was mine. (whew!) So, when you receive your card from us - just consider it an early CC for next year due to the fact it says 2009 on the back!!!!

Seriously? Has the lack of oxygen from the congestion caused that much damage?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

{the downers}

i am stuffed-up, evan is choked-up, scott is throwing up and noah is simply fed-up. but, wasn't he the one who started this whole snow ball? not much of a holly jolly christmas around here yet.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

{christmas card}

well, i got the last of the Christmas cards ordered for 2009 - ours being the VERY last. Whew! Orders going out, orders coming in, I'm dizzy at this point. One more reallllly hard week and then I hope to settle down into a cozy Christmas instead of spending every night with this computer. We don't like each other very much at this point. He (why I refer to my computer as a he, I'm not sure - I guess because he doesn't stop and ask for directions, but does his own thing) has given me fits this week. But, we are limping along to get everything taken care of and then it's off to the shop he goes........again. :)

i wish I could show you our card - I'm trying out something totally new before possibly offering it next year.....but, I'll make you wait until you open your mailbox & then, let me know, old style versus trial version.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

{happy birthday}

Sydney - a day late I know, but we thought about you all day. And, we talked about how mean your dad was for moving you away. :( Make sure your mommy reads that to your dad! We hope you had a GREAT day. We love you!

{bunnies - day six}

Unbelievable! They do not look so much like mice now, but, tiny bunnies. They are even hopping. Not a graceful, get-me-anywhere-hop; but, a hop nonetheless. They are all completely covered in hair now - 3 will look like their daddy - black and white (he is an angora - you can imagine all of that hair), 3 look like mommy (the English lop) and one is a golden blonde color. Scarlet has turned out to be a very good mommy and actually is much more nuturing to them than everything I have read. She is back to her calm self. I need to take a before and after picture of their tummmies related to their feedings....roly poly. Without further ado, this is day six, scroll down to look at days one and two. They are growing so fast!

So sweet! Look at those bunny ears! I can already tell it's going to be very difficult saying bye to these little ones. But, the alternative of keeping them is not an option BOYS! :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


my mind is swirling with things I would like to blog about, but no time yet. I have one more realllllly hard week of firm work and edits and I am hoping the pace will slow down tremendously following. But, some topics I want to go back to: the tour of homes (LOVED it!), the boys and their excitement for Christmas, the baby bunnies (doing well, will post pics in a day or two), the fact that my holiday decorating is done - simple, but fun, etc, etc.

And, Noah and I made a mad dash into Wally World yesterday and while there we picked up our party decorating supplies (for Dec 25th!). We bought Jesus a birthday card, streamers, balloons (all red and lime), and a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. We will all collect three 'presents' for the party. The boys bring the things that are dear to them, it's funny. So, Jesus will probably be getting hot wheels and trains. We are each going to send invitations to our family and friends that will be coming. Just a fun day! I'm so excited! & a benefit - we will get to stay in our pj's all day for this party. { & the decorations are DONE! }

Sunday, December 7, 2008

{GREAT find}

Okay girls (& Philip:) in case you have not come across this site, please grab you kids and husband (wife to you P.D.) and go to this site it is wonderful!!! Email Santa

The boys LOVED it as did Scott and I. Click on send Santa a letter and 'compose' your letter - within seconds from hitting send you will get a personalized response from Santa. So fun!!! They boys were literally beside themselves. Scott and I even sent one. A definite highlight!

Also, had a GREAT time touring the homes in Greenwood today. So beautiful!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


NEVER in a million years did I ever think my days in Labor & Delivery as a nurse would lead me to helping 7 little bunnies latch on, one by one. Did I ever tell you that bunnies are exhausting? But, they all have full, rounded tummies now and are sleeping snuggled up instead of crying. :( How sad is that?

{bunnies - day two}

The night, besides being long with me up and down checking on them - went well. Apparently mother rabbits have very poor, very limited instinct. It is not maternal even at that. They will only nurse them about 5 minutes, once a day. There is no cuddling, no loving, nothing in that manner. That must be why rabbits multiple like they do, chances of survival are not the greatest. At one point, I had heart failure. Scarlet does not seem to mind having Scott and I around, but, the boys, even though quite seem to disturb here. At one point she started "digging" frantically in the nest area. Babies went a' flyin'. All were screaming - you can imagine. Then, she settled down. She did not seem to like the heat coming from under the nest per heat lamp in combination with the boys. But, I was very happy to see in the early morning hours that she had pulled quite the amount of hair and is keeping them covered herself. That's a good sign.
Pardon the picture quality, I did not want to use a flash, so I had my ISO extremely high and was trying not to disturb her to much. So, quick shot of Day 2.

The pics are in reverse order. I haven't figured out this blogger upload yet. But, the 2nd picture is how I found them, the first is with me quickly removing their covering. She was busy last night.


Before I settle in for a long day here at the computer, I feel very compelled to write something about giving. I don't necessarily want to, in fact, I don't want to at all; but, I can't shake it. It's a bittersweet memory to revisit, but, maybe it will benefit someone else out there. And, I'm sitting here in tears, so it will be as brief as I can make it - maybe someday I will expound upon it more.

This morning, I ran into a sweet friend as we got donuts for the kids. Just a chance meeting. As we drove away in opposite directions, I just had an immense sense of peace & happiness. You know, the one in which all is right in the world, although you know better. The type that can only be explained from above. Well, I smiled to myself as I often tease her at how perfect her life is and she quickly reminds me that it is "life". She looked perfect as always, I was in my running clothes, hair piled on top of my head; not presentable at all. And, I only tease her because of all of the dysfunction in my own life right now. :) But, she and I started out pretty much the same and have alot of similarities with our backgrounds as children. As I drove home, I was listening to great music, my boys were in the backseat all cozy and warm eating donuts....I was just thankful for so much: the health that we have, our home, our children, our friendships. Very thankful. I looked at what my boys have while taking into account what they have lost and even that floods me with a rush of emotions. I can see parallels and clear distinctions with and of my own childhood. Sometimes, it is very hard, and other times I feel the need to revisit my own childhood at this time of year in particular. I get a huge urgency to give. And, I would beg of you to do also.

I was that child. The one that is on the other side of the giving - the receiving. I was one of the children who benefited from the Salvation Army Christmas gifts every year. The memory of my brother and me sitting in my grandpa's car in the parking lot at the Fort Smith facility is etched in very deep. In fact, a few months ago while making a wrong turn in downtown Fort Smith, I saw the building for the first time since my childhood. It made my heart stop.
At the time, there was no shame for us - we were just so excited as my mom somehow brushed away her pride and went into this building to carefully choose a new present and two used toys for each of us. My dad had horrible health problems for most of my life. His work ability was hit or miss. He ended up having a massive heart attack when I was around 12 and suddenly died when I was 15. The years that led us to that point were very difficult and unbearably painful subsequently. As we grew up, seeds of embarrassment and shame did begin to creep in and I just tried my best to keep all of it from my friends. I'm not certain any of them ever really knew. But, now as an adult - there is so much to take in and understand.

Even though somedays I am painfully aware of the circumstances that have changed for us - not in the material ways, but, in the things that matter: health, family involvement, and just day to day activities I had so taken for granted; I am so aware of how blessed we are in the midst of that. So, as I go through the boys closets this year and get sickened by the massive amounts of toys they have accumulated over the past year, I hope to instill in them this urgency to give. When I pass by the Salvation Army bells - I can't help but to dig in my purse - my ears cannot ignore that ringing. So whether it be the Salvation Army - or any other worthwhile cause - please take a moment to see what your family can do this year. I know that times are tough for so many of us right now any my heart is just aching to help in some small way. At least, clean out some closets. You have no idea how what your children have pushed aside will absolutely thrill another child. I promise you that, because I know.

Friday, December 5, 2008

{famous last words - day one}

"Mom, can we keep 'em".

They look like little rats right now. But, they have potential. ;) Here are the seven from the ELEVEN that she had - the one she lost from earlier in the week? and the three that didn't make it from today. :( Seriously, will be paging Dr. Nick for that surgical procedure.


the walker rabbit saga continues. SEVEN baby bunnies to good homes. Pictures to post soon. Busy making a nest. Seriously, who would even believe this?

{sock monkey ornaments}

I got those cute monkeys at Holiday Market, but I just did a quick search and found sets of four of them at - the set of 4 is $19.80.

They are more than appropriate for our tree!!


me? no, the tree! I will never be finished with whatever it is I am working on at the time. never. if I didn't have 37 projects going at once maybe? Thankfully, I got up super early to finish it. Now just to add the train.

update of Noah: hovering about 101 with medication. He starting to get a cough now. :( Even though I am literally only feet away from him working on a case, it is so hard to walk away from him. :( But, he's set - sprite, remote control, cozy blanket, cartoons, Christmas lights and the fact his brother is in the room, but on the other side of the room. No fighting. Gasp! I know you thought they never fought. Yeah, right, just ask Mr. Justin. Although, I'm not sure what that was? Daddy maybe? Thus the lovely Mrs. Mandy buys them punching bags per Justin's request.

Okay, a tad off track there!

{sick day}

What started off as sniffles yesterday afternoon progressed to a high fever through the night for Noah. He is miserable. No other symptoms so far, although I know it is just the beginning. I saw ALOT of sick kids in the clinic yesterday. I guess something has hit are area?? :(

Thursday, December 4, 2008

{my gifts}

my sweet boys!


Book Report ever. The first of many I'm afraid. It had to be in mobile form and since Noah was all about politics this year - he chose "If I Ran For President". It was fun. His hand got tired. We have glitter everywhere. We have hot glue adhered to the counters. But, we are finished.

The mess

Yea! It's finished. Now the poor guy is reading.


say some prayers for scott. it seems that his better days are getting fewer and fewer. yesterday, they placed him on a new medication with a warning of the side effects. he can barely even walk a straight line right now, his speech is slurred, his vision is messed up and his head STILL hurts. i pulled him out of the house this morning because he is literally knocked out on the new medication and will likely be for a few more weeks. then, the side effects are suppose to level out again. so between now and christmas, between he and the boys - we have eight MD appointments WITHOUT anyone actually being ill.

i'm just sad for him. i am worried that thanksgiving somewhat spurred all of this on. if his head is not killing him, he is asleep and then if it is, he tries to sleep. i just desperately want him to enjoy christmas. the boys and I miss him!

rewind button anyone?

{mammograms and alzheimers}

today, i called ang; or attempted to as i was in a dead spot. by the time i remembered to call her again, i realized as i was dialing that i couldn't even remember why i was calling. oh, well, it was her. she would understand. and, today, one of us (will not disclose) had the first baseline mammogram; the other one is to be scheduled. i just can't figure out how we got from nap mats in Mrs. Yancey's kindergarten class to mammograms and alzheimers in such a short time. unbelievable.

{a work-in-progress}

Our night designated for decorating was a flop. Evan fell asleep and when he awoke....C.R.A.N.K.Y. Scott had a migraine and was sleeping.........C.R.A.N.K.Y. So the Christmas music got zapped. Noah was VeRy enthusiastic. A little too enthusiastic. But, then, he finally pooped out on me. Since, I have been adding a few ornaments here and there when I walk by. Our living room still has boxes/tubs, a ladder at the moment. I am determined that by Friday night our tree will be we can enjoy our camp-out.

Still working on it & pardon the mess!

Lights, camera (in hand)......

NO action!! :) But, oh how sweet!

"the wall" - also a work in progress as it will always be, I guess :)

I buy the boys new ornaments every year, they are the first to go on the tree. Over look Evan's dire need for a haircut. Of note, an appointment with Ms. Krystal was made today!

Two monkeys for two monkeys.

Still not finished, but, inching forward...
& not a pretty tree with ribbons and bows...I gave up on that. I'll just go to my friends homes to ohhh and ahhhh. I'm just about getting it up at this point. But, notice that large out of place ornament with the blue on it...Evan's tiny little 4 month old foot. Ahh... We still have to make our homemade for this year.

The mantel is totally different this year, I used stuff I had, with the exception of the polka-dot SANTA sign. Very fun and whimsical. Okay, and a bit gaudy. I should rename this the gaudy blog. That's me! I love color a bit too much. But, isn't it fun?? And I can somewhat get away with it at Christmas. {wink, wink}

I have an addiction for plates I've determined. And, rugs, but that's another story.

The last two years I have actually not really purchased any new decorations, so I have to "shop" in my attic. But, that's even fun!
I'll post more as I add it. Or who knows, this may be it? I'm certain after the Home Tour this Sunday, I'll be ready to go again!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

{reluctant receipt}

Do you ever get those gifts that your just not sure of. Well, my poor mother is notorious in the gift giving department. She will buy something and take it back, buy something different then exchange it multiple times before whatever birthday or holiday it is; she is known for her fretting.
Well, I was a little surprised at my b/d gift last year. It was a little gaudy. I don't really like what it cooks, but, it was thoughtful. And, she had only purchased 7 things prior to it. Well, it has turned out to be one of my very favorite gifts ever. It can't help but bring out the kid in you a tad. And, it tucks away nicely when not in use, but, the brightess of it makes it even more fun for the boys. Which of course makes it more fun for me.
I have been decorating the tree since Monday. Well, I started Monday, did not finish it Monday and it still sits there. Pitiful. But, in order to fully enjoy "the plans" I think I am holding off for finishing it this weekend so we can stay up late and enjoy our "camp-out" complete with hotdogs and marshmallows (fireplace), sleeping bags and the twinkling lights (thanks again, Coston Family!) But, Noah was still wanting hotdogs, so I pulled out my trusty roaster and yum! I don't even like them - but they taste like ball park dogs!!!
So, I guess the point of this post was.....simply - it turned out to be a GREAT gift for our family - just something to keep in mind during this gift-giving season.
Do I promote products or what?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

{guy stuff}

I hate car trouble. I don't think guys like it, but, I really, really detest it. I would pretty much do anything else besides deal with car difficulties. And, thankfully they haven't even been that bad - my schedule is just not allowing much room for repair. Nor does the idea of a tire shop/ brake shop for hours with two boys sound like a ball of fun. A month or so ago, tires had to be replaced. One week later, a flat - back to the tire shop, a nail. A leak of some sort last week, to the shop, nothing significant; thankfully, but got the oil changed while I was there. And, tires aired up as two were low. Hmmm....but, they held. Friday night, had to air them up. Saturday morning - flat as a pancake. No one to easily help get me back and forth, so it remained flat until Sunday night. Leaking valve, tightened. This morning, loss of 10 pounds of pressure. This evening, tire shop that yielded a diagnosis of not only a nail but, a screw also. AND.....brake pads that needed to be replaced ASAP. Remember the tire replacement one month ago? They were fine? So, brake job added to the tire repair. Oh, let's throw in a rotation as well.We should be good for 72 hours. And, truly, I shouldn't even be complaining. All it boils down to is that I HATE dealing with car stuff. I'm very much a girl in that department.

Added: let me make note of the nice shop I took it to. The brake pads were so thin it really needed to be done. Again, I had no idea there was even a problem. It was late and they were about to close, so instead of me having to bring it back tomorrow - they stayed there late and fixed it for me. It could have been much worse, I could have been typing Part II tomorrow.

{wrong again}

ugh! back to the original thought.....our boy bunny that became a girl actually a boy bunny. and our sweet girl bunny that became a boy bunny is back to being a girl bunny. So....our boy that has been residing in his bunny bungalow in the heated gargage.....just in case.....wrong. Our poor girl bunny that was rooming with Jack/Jackie in an insulated pen outside baby on the coldest night so far. not a good combination. they are appropriately separated now. So, we are officially back to Scarlet and Rhett. But, they are no longer living together.

Monday, December 1, 2008


I just overhead Evan telling Daddy "I think Noah loves dat [Nintendo DS] more than me". How sad is that?

also, the boys are having a BALL with Elmer the Elf. The moment they open their eyes, the search is on. They talk to him (aka "tell on each other" just in case he missed it), report the good things they've done in case he missed that too. So fun!

{idealism versus realism}

on trimming the tree. details to follow.


I have been working in increments to get the tree up. Just up, not decorated. I have rearranged the living room for the first time in eleven years and think I'm loving it!! So, tonight, I will pull away from editing-like-a-crazy-little-elf long enough to ENJOY some Christmas music, hot chocolate, a fire and some Christmas scents while the boys and I decorate it.

The rearrangement will probably throw Noah out of his orbit, he's still not liking to two different colors of paint in the kitchen. But, at least his tree will be up and it's only December 1st! And, I can pretty much promise you I think I'm keeping it up well into January. This is hard work!