Saturday, September 30, 2006


Andy and Kiddos at send-off ceremony

.....We dropped Andy off this morning. We had an absolutely wonderful (WHIRLWIND!) week, and I am looking forward to some much needed REST this weekend. I am doing okay, I suppose- alot better than I was earlier this morning. I know that I have to be strong (even though I DON'T feel like it!), and that there are lots of other women and families going through this with me! Frankly, I am quite glad that that the "deployment clock" started ticking away this morning. Every day is one day closer to him being home! I am so thankful to have all of my family so close, and will have lots of company! Here are some pics from this week's adventures...
Happy Saturday and
Much Love,

Anna Kate running away from Daddy yesterday

Andrew going with Daddy to do "errands" on Monday

Andy outside watching kids play on Friday

Yours truly..... after send -off ceremony Thursday

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Countdown Begins

This is Andy's last week at home before his departure.... and can I say that we are just CRAZY BUSY?!?!?!
We had a very sucessful little "send-off" party for him here at home yesterday with 50+ people in attendance... AND I made his cake... Red, white and blue stars/borders, etc.. Turned out pretty well, I think (will have to post pics sometime).
This week we have 3 dinners to attend, briefings, an official send off ceremony PLUS all the packing, last minute shopping and "domestic details" to attend to. YIKES.
That being said, I'll see you all soon- maybe this weekend, or early next week. I can't wait to catch up on all of your great posts later! Have a great week!
Happy Monday and
Much Love

Friday, September 22, 2006

Signs of Fall

Here are the "signs of fall" around our house right now.
Happy Friday and
Much Love, Jennifer

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Miss Sassy

Little Miss Sassy was NOT happy with her new outfit today... oh, no MA'AM...
It was a little cool this morning, so I broke out a pair of her new jeans (and top), and she cried from the minute I put them on. She pulled at the legs, pulled at the arms, and was, in short, just plain MAD about the bows and long sleeves and long pants. Guess that means we have a summer girl on her hands!! She is happy as a lark being barefoot and in her sweet little dresses.
Here are some pics of her, um, unhappiness... She finally calmed down when her Daddy was holding her!
Happy Thursday and
Much Love

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cake deco 101

You know, I mentioned to y'all awhile back that I was taking a cake decorating class on Monday nights... Cake deco 101. Seriously. For those who have NEVER decorated a cake before in their life!! I've had sooo much fun doing it, and last night we "attempted" decorating our first cake. Here is a photo of my "crude attempt" at cake deco. Maybe not SO bad for the very first time??

We cut it last night after I got home, and I have to say, at least it TASTED good. Little Andrew was sooo excited when I brought it home last night and (very loudly) exclaimed "Oh mommy, my beautiful, beautiful, birthday cake, is it all for me, is it mommy?!?!" I didn't have the heart to explain to the little fella that it was just mommy's practice cake from class, or that *ahem* PINK wouldn't exactly be the color for his birthday cake, or that it wasn't made just for him. I smiled and replied "It sure is. All for you my sweet boy. Mommy made the whole thing." He then clapped his little hands and so "Oh mommy, you are such a big girl, I am so proud of you mommy, you did such a good job... Daddy, clap for mommy and my boo-ful cake".

After the sugar-fest was over (we added ice cream for effect), I got a big sloppy kiss from my sweet boy followed by a contented sigh, and an "Mommy, I love you for my cake".

Kinda makes it all worth it.

Happy Tuesday and Much Love

Sunday, September 17, 2006


These are the words to a song we are currently doing at church. I think they are so powerful, and have spoken to me in such a mighty way. I wanted to share them with you... some of you may know them, some may not. I pray that they will bless you as they have blessed me.

Orphans of God
Who here among us has not been broken
Who here among us is without guilt or pain
So oft’ abandoned by our transgressions
If such a thing as grace exists
Then grace was made for lives like this

There are no strangers
There are no outcasts
There are no orphans of God
So many fallen, but hallelujah
There are no orphans of God

Come ye unwanted and find affection
Come all ye weary, come and lay down your head
Come ye unworthy, you are my brother
If such a thing as grace exists
Then grace was made for lives like this

O blessed Father, look down upon us
We are Your children, we need Your love
We run before
Your throne of mercy
And seek your face to rise above

Avalon Lyrics

Happy Sunday and
Much Love,

Singing in the rain

What started out as a fun "picnic" (actually just a snack with crackers and yogurt) turned into a downpour quite suddenly. As we ran into the garage, little Andrew looked longingly at the falling rain (no thunder, no lightning) and then back at me, and pleaded with his best 3 year old voice to let him "get wet mommy, please, please". I agreed (hey, you're only a kid once, right??) and my little man had the time of his life!!! He won't stop talking about it, and I have to admit he was quite entertaining while he was "singing" in the rain (and hopping, and running and... well, you get the picture!)

Happy Sunday and
Much Love,

Friday, September 15, 2006

Best Tips- EV-AH!!

My very sweet (and talented and beautiful and amazing, and all that other stuff!!!) sister-in-law Ginny shared these AWESOME tips with me so I thought I'd pass them along!! So easy and practical- my kind of thing!

Reheat Pizza- Heat up leftover pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. Seen on the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs- Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean-up.

Expanding Frosting -When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar/calories per serving.

Reheating Refrigerated Bread- To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper Weeds Away- When putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers and put in layers around the plants, overlapping as you go. Cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic, but they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass -Use a dry cotton ball to pick up little broken glass pieces of glass. The fibers catch the ones you can't see.

No More Mosquitoes- Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away -To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

MINE- If you purchase a new bike for your child, place a photo inside the handle bar before placing the grips on. If the bike is stolen and later recovered, remove the grip and there is your proof as to who owns the bike.

Flexible Vacuum- To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling- Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and - voila - static is gone.

Measuring Cups- Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill it with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry the cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield? Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser. Works better than a cloth.

Reopening Envelope -If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Voila! It unseals easily.

Conditioner- Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies- To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass and fill it 1/2" with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid. Mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants- Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it "home," and can't digest it ... so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed.

Take Baby Powder to the Beach- Keep a small bottle of baby powder in your beach bag. When you're ready to leave the beach, sprinkle yourself and kids with the powder and the sand will slide right off your skin.

For the first time today, feels like FALL may actually be in the air- WOO HOO!

Happy Friday and
Much Love,

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The peddler's cup

It is quite an ordinary little item. One that you may pass a dozen or more times in my home and not even notice. It is rather small, and some may say it is rather nondescript. It sits on a table in my room along with several other things of its' kind. It is the peddler’s cup.

The story of the peddler’s cup began for me when I was a tiny girl. My great-aunt Gussie lived just across the road (in the woods) from my grandparents. She was my grandfather’s (oldest) sister and we all adored her. She was a tiny little person and always, always wore a smile when she saw any of us coming. She and her husband never had children of their own, so I like to think we were just a little more than special to her; at least she made us believe that we were. She was the epitome of femininity and was so old-fashioned and sweet. I don’t think I ever saw her without a handkerchief in her hand or visited her home without eating a slice of her famous pecan pie. Oh, how I loved to visit her home! I loved to wander among all the antiques, china and just touch all of the many beautiful things that she had. And I was absolutely enamored with …. The peddler’s cup. Everytime I visited I asked to touch it, hold it and hear its’ story. I never tired of it, and even today can hear her voice telling me the tale over and over again.

Around the years 1909/1910, when little miss Gussie was a wee girl, a peddler had a route through the country, and one of his stops was at the home of Waldo and Edna (my great- grandparents), and their children… Gussie, Geneva, Minnie Lee, John and Percy. Little Gussie and little Neva always became especially excited every time the peddler came, and loved to see all of his wares, tinctures, baubles and goods. The peddler was also especially fond of little Gussie with her dark hair, infectious smile and excitement every time he came to visit. Of all the “pretties” that the peddler carried on his cart there was one that little Gussie loved most of all. It was a tiny little teacup with a bird painted on it, and, oh, how she longed for that little cup. On one of his trips, she shyly told the peddler how much she adored the teacup, and on his next trip, he left a little package for Gussie. Nestled inside was the teacup and saucer. The little girl was thrilled, and counted it one of her greatest treasures all of her life. She loved it and took special care of it all of her growing up years, took it with her when she married and left home; and, wherever she went, set it in a special place in her home. Of all the many beautiful and much more expensive things that she collected over the years, I do believe this was one she loved the best.

On my 10th birthday, I, too was thrilled with a special surprise. The peddler’s cup was given to me by my precious Aunt Gussie. I, too, count it as one of my greatest treasures, and hope that one day another little girl I happen to know will be as thrilled with it as I was. That fragile little cup is coming up on its' 1ooth birthday soon. I only hope that I can evoke the same magic and wonder into that story as Aunt Gussie did. And I hope my little girl will treasure it as much as we have.

Happy Tuesday and
Much Love,

*** Aunt Gussie died when I was in high school. I now have other teacups and things that belonged to her. None of them mean anything near as much to me as that little cup does.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering 9/11

It started out just like any other day. Beeping monitors, the soft hiss of the ventilators, humming of the infusion pumps and conversations over coffee to begin another busy shift in the ICU of the large university hospital where I worked as a nurse. That familiar morning rountine came to an abrupt, screeching halt as my co-worker came flying into my patient's room saying "Turn on the TV NOW, Jennifer, it's really really bad. A plane just flew into the World Trade Center".

My first thoughts were of an accident- a flight gone terribly awry. How could a pilot just mistakenly "fly into" the WTC? I finished my duties in that room, and made my way out to our central station in the middle of the unit. Everyone was talking, tossing around theories when suddenly, from an empty patient room another co-worker called out "O, dear God, there is another one". We raced into the room just in time to see the 2nd plane hit. I felt sick. I called my parents because I wanted to hear their voices. We heard about the Pentagon and became even sicker and more horrified. I felt so unsafe, so scared and so violated. I went through the motions that day in a sort of fog. I think that we all did. I wanted to go home, I wanted to touch my loved ones, I wanted to cry, but most of all, I think I just wanted to feel safe again.

I will never forget the image of my then- boyfriend (who was a doctor at the hospital where I worked) staring at the screen in that empty patient room, hands on his hips with tears streaming down his face. He never even bothered to wipe them away. That image is burned into my memory as exemplifying how we all felt, I think. Raw, emotional and angry, disbelieving and incredibly, incredibly sad. As the stories of the missing and dead began to fill the televsion and airwaves the next days and weeks, I found myself crying for those I did not know. Those husbands, fathers, dads, brothers, sons, mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. I will never forget.
I have not seen ground zero since the attacks, though I was there shortly before they occurred. My fervent hope is to see us build back better and bigger than before, while preserving the memory of all that was lost that day. Lost lives, shattered dreams, pierced hopes and, finally the loss of our innocence. I don't think any of us have been the same since. We were rocked out of complacency and thrust into a war that still rages. May God bless our troops and may God bless the USA.

Happy Monday and
Much Love,

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Out of the mouths of babes

I was tagged by Big Mama to do this hilarious little “kid” meme--- and I only did it for Andrew (age 3 as of 2 weeks ago!) since Anna Kate, well, you know, since she doesn’t really, umm, TALK much yet. So, without further adieu, here it is…

1. Something I do well:“Play with my swords and throw dirt and get re-wy, re-wy dirty” (mommy says an amen to that!)
2. Something I'd like to improve on: “Well, I don’t re-wy know about that”
3. Favorite Food: “‘Ronis (macaroni) and my Happy Meal”
4. Three words that best describe you: “Si-wi (Silly) and Happy”
5. My happiest moment: “Well, when I got my baby sister and when my Thomas got his Annie and Clarabel”
6. The most important thing in my life right now: “My sissy and My mama and daddy… and my dog Buddy, and my Papa and Marmee and A-wi and John-John, and my Weep-frawg (Leap Frog)”
7. Then to the Moms, were you surprised by any of the answers: No- but I think I am surprised that I wasn’t surprised. Some craziest/silliest things can come out of his mouth sometimes!!!

I tag whoever wants to do this funny little meme for their lil' one!
Happy Sunday and
Much Love,

Friday, September 08, 2006

The fabulous '80s.

I know alot of you have probably seen this list (or one similar!), but sister emailed this one yesterday, and let's just say it brought back MANY memories! I was a little girl in the '80s, and a teenager in the 90s- so this really hit home! I made little comments of my own in the ( ).... I'm sure many of you can relate, too!!

You Know You Grew Up In The 80's if
1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word SIKE (loved to do this in Jr. high!)
2. You watched the Pound Puppies (YES- and only owned like FOUR- complete with personalized name tags)
3. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton (Umm. every. single.word)
4. You yearned to be a member of the Baby-sitters club and tried to start a club of your own.
5. You owned those lil' Strawberry Shortcake pals scented dolls (YES! and the one that blew a "scented kiss)
6. You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey on Blossom
7. Two words: Hammer Pants
8. If you ever watched "Fraggle Rock" (Yes, and remember all the words)
9. You had plastic streamers on your handle bars... and spokey-dokes or for that incredible sound effect (even worse... spokey dokes on a flourescent bike.sigh.)
10. You can sing the entire theme song to "Duck Tales" (Woo ooh!) (again, every word.)
11. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
12. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head. (Only, like, all the time!)
13. You saw the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the big screen..and still know the turtles names.
14. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side (yes- head hanging in shame)
15. You played the game "MASH"(Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House) (Can we say CONSTANTLY in JR. high!)
16. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it. (oh, boy- YES!)
17. L.A. Gear....need I say more?
18. You wanted to change your name to "JEM" in Kindergarten. ..She'sTruly Outrageous. (even worse, had a JEM doll and thought her pink hair was the coolest thing ever!)
19. You remember reading" Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" and all TheRamona books. (Loved 'em, still have 'em)
20. You know the profound meaning of "WAX ON, WAX OFF"
21. You wanted to be a Goonie. (only saw the movie, 5, 084 times!)
22. You ever wore fluorescent clothing.
23. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nosefell off and his cheeks shifted.
24. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
25. You took lunch boxes to school...and traded Garbage Pailkids in the schoolyard. (lunch boxes, yes, Garbage Pail kids were banned at our home- my mom forbade us to partake in that and for GOOD reason!)
26. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets.
27. You still get the urge to say "NOT" after every sentence
28. You remember Hypercolor t-shirts. (My jr. high crush had the coolest one- )
29. Barbie and the Rockers was your favorite band. (UMMMM... LOVED Barbie and the Rockers- had the tape, too, remember the song, loved her purple eyeshadow and hot pink sparkle tights, the interchangeable belts, and... I STILL HAVE HER!!)
30. You thought She-ra (Princess of Power!) and He-Man should hook up.
31. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes. (only about 20 pairs!)
32. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know youare, but what am I?" (I was NOT allowed to watch Pee-Wee)
33. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up"
34. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates. (Oh MAN- we had so many birthday parties at the skating rink)
35. You ever got seriously injured on a Slip and Slide (yeah, like the time I bruised my stinkin' ribs on one!)
36. You had or attended a birthday party at McDonalds (ahem.. John Russell ??!!)
37. You've gone through this nodding your head in agreement.
38. Don't worry, be happy (Jr. high!!)
39. You wore like, EIGHT pairs of socks over tights with high top Reeboks (Oh, my lovely hot pink high top Reeboks- I am so happy thou art out of style!)
40. You wore socks scrunched down (Loved 'em)
41. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that
42. You know what it meant to say "Care Bear Stare!!" (YES!)
43 You remember watching Rainbow Bright and & My Little Pony Tales (every Saturday)
44. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot. (Loved Doogie)
45. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac. (Favorite show in 5th grade)
46. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool...and don'teven flinch when people refer to them as "NKOTB" (Remember--- what about bordered on obsession?)
47. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved By The Bell," The ORIGINAL class. (Zach, Kelly, Slater, Jessie, Screech, Lisa.... need I go on?)
48. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - SHOT THROUGH THE HEART. (Guilty)
49. You just sang those words to yourself. (Guilty, again)
50. You remember watching Magic vs. Bird.
51. Homemade Levi shorts
52. You still sing "We are the World"
53. You tight rolled your jeans (In Jr. High.... All.the.time)
54. You owned a bannana clip. (unfortunately)
55. You remember "Where's the Beef?" (Uh... even had a Shirt with the words in glitter on the front.)
56. You used to (and probably still do) say "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?"
57 You had big hair and you knew how to use it.
58. You're still singing "Shot Through the Heart" in your head, aren't you!

Happy FRIDAY and
Much Love,

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Just wanted to ask everyone to be in prayer for Susan
Godfrey. She will soon be delivering a baby with Potter's syndrome that will not live for more than a few hours after birth. I cannot begin to imagine how hard this will be for her and her family. Let's lift them up in prayer.
Happy Thursday and
Much Love,

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Grand Time

Yes, quite a grand time was had by all out "in the country" as we spent Labor Day weekend with my in-laws. I guess that I am quite fortunate to have married into a family in which I not only just get along with, but actually like all of the members!! We got to just hang out, let all (7 so far) of the kiddos play, go into town to shop and eat lots of good food! I even got an impromptu lesson on cutting out and sewing a little girl's dress with a lining! It was soooo wonderful to enjoy a slower pace, NOT have a schedule, and not be rushed for anything. My little Andrew was enthralled with all of his cousins ("my kids" as he calls them!!) and Anna Kate got constant attention from just about everyone! Anyway, its back to all "hecticness" this week ( how ya like that word I just made up??) and back to the real world. I'm sharing some fun pics of the weekend- and of Miss Priss sleeping from exhaustion on the ride home! See y'all soon

Happy Tuesday and
Much Love,