Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Christmas!! The tree is up, the mantle is (almost) decorated, and the weather is... well, it's starting to look like we may have some real "winter weather" as a cold front moves in overnight!
The kids and I were sitting on the floor in the kitchen today (don't ask) and as I looked up I saw this. Just an ordinary little view from an ordinary little window, but the change astounded me. The last time I sat in the same spot and looked up, those very same trees were lush with green. And now they are stark, barren and quite a beautiful symbol of winter, I think. How quickly the days pass. How my sweet children have grown in just the time it took for the leaves to fall from the trees. How quickly our lives pass. Cherish the moments this holiday season. Don't get so caught up in the hustle, bustle and stress of shopping that you do not take the time to bend down over a tiny manger and tell the wonderous story of old to a little one.
I'm taking my own advice this year. It's so tempting just to want this particular Christmas to be over with, done with since Andy is away from us. Things in our family aren't the same this year, but the beautiful meaning and promise of the season hasn't changed. The sweet message of hope rings truer than ever. I'm going to enjoy it, soak it up, and revel in the magic that is Christmas.
Happy Thursday and
Much Love,

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Seam ripper, how I love thee

Oh, how I do love thee, dear seam ripper! I love thee for being my constant companion over the last day and a half during my little sewing adventure! I love thee for ripping out shoulder seams, and uneven hems! But alas, I shall have to put thee away until after Christmas, after which I am quite sure we will be back to being the very best of friends!

So, by now I am sure you have guessed what I have been up to lately! And, even after the headaches and many ugly thoughts I thought toward my dear little sewing machine (and seam ripper!!) I am pleased as punch at the way the children's Christmas pajamas turned out! I was determined that they have matching jammies for Christmas... after being unable to find any I liked anywhere, decided to tackle making them. For a beginning seamstress, it was a chore for me... a chore I tell you. Fortunately, my Gran (who is an expert seamstress) was around while I was sewing, so I had a safety net! She did not sew ONE stitch on these, however... I was determined to do it all myself (Okay, now I'm beginning to sound like I've been around my 3 year old too long!). Now they are done, and my dear friends the machine and the seam ripper will be put away until after the holiday... after which I have several projects lined up with which to torture myself. A torture which I am actually beginning to enjoy.... hmmm

*** Several of you have been so sweet to inquire about our neighbors and their preemie. I spoke with M. today, and the baby is doing okay at best. She is still "touch and go" ... she has a very long road ahead if she does, in fact, survive. Please continue to keep this little family in your prayers. (Their 2 other little ones are being cared for by relatives and mom and dad are driving an hour away every day to visit baby.) Thanks.
Happy Wednesday and
Much Love,

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A to Z

A-Z of Me
I was tagged by Laurel Wreath to do this!
A - Available/Single? Nope, married
B - Best Friend? My Hubby, and girlfriends K,M,L
C- Cake or Pie? Pie… Pecan or Lemon Icebox, preferably
D - Drink Of Choice? Diet Coke
E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? My home management binder
F - Favorite Color? Purple
G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? Gummy Bears
H – Hometown (born in)? Hattiesburg, MS (don’t live there now, didn’t grow up there, just born there)
I - Indulgence? Reese’s Peanut Butter cups
J - January Or February? February
K - Kids & Their Names? 2 – Andrew and Anna Kate
L - Life Is Incomplete Without? My husband at home!!!!!
M - Marriage Date? July 13
N- Number Of Siblings? 2 (3 including ME)
O - Oranges Or Apples? Apples
P - Phobias/Fears? Mice, Snakes, Spiders, Stalkers
Q - Favorite Quote? Life is what happens when you’re making other plans
R - Reason to Smile? Phone calls from Iraq, Cold clear days, A heavenly Father who is a friend, Hot chocolate LOADED with marshmallows, Christmas Carols, my children laughing
S - Season? Spring
T - Tag Four People? Any four that want to do this??
U - Unknown Facts About Me? I can’t drive a standard, I used to twirl rifles (the wooden kind, that is!!)
V - Vegetable you don’t like? Broccoli, Spinach/Turnip Greens, Cabbage, Asparagus
W - Worst Habit? Staying up too late, talking too much
X - X-rays You’ve Had? Chest, Arm, Foot
Y - Your Favorite Food? Homemade Chicken and Dumplins and Fried Okra (just 2 of my favorites)
Z - Zodiac Sign? Aries

If you decide to do this, let me know!
Happy Tuesday and
Much Love,

Monday, November 27, 2006

Monday rant

** I usually try to keep things "light" here, but had to write this. Any unkind/snarky comments will be promptly deleted. Thanks ;)

There is something that has been bothering me lately. It has stemmed firstly from seeing signs and billboards around town for different churches, and the things they said. Signs for some protestant (and some non denominational) churches that say things and send messages like we'll help you find " your OWN way" or YOUR own particular path to God, and come here so you can feel good about yourself because you are a "good person". I'm not quoting exactly here, but you get the idea. Secondly, it has stemmed from talking to others in the community who are switching to some of these other churches because they are "softer" on sin, and they make them "feel better" about themselves.

This bothers me greatly. Do we serve a God that winks at sin? There is only ONE path to God- there is no such thing as "your particular path". Should we come out of a church service feeling great about ourselves every week? Should we say... I'm really not such a bad person, look at all the things Mr./Mrs. X does? Should only the facets of God's mercy and grace be preached?

By all means NO! We serve a HOLY God and a just God. Our God IS mighty to save, our God IS love, his grace and mercy ARE beyond comprehension.... but we are never to make light of our sin. We must never forget that our sin is what separated us from God, that it is the hideous thing that nailed our Savior to the cross. We are not good. We are depraved sinners in need of a Savior. We are not "good people" that go to church to be affirmed that we are "okay". We go to worship a mighty God. A just God. A holy God that does NOT make light of our sin. Our sin separates us from him, breaks our fellowship from him, and rocks us into complacency... and straight into the arms of the world. I have an acquaintance that left one particular denomination to go to another because they were more accepting of his sinful lifestyle, and he felt "better" about himself.

I love it when I hear sermons that convict me. I NEED to leave church not feeling "great" about myself every week. I need that to grow. I need that to realize that I am totally dependant on Him, and that I need him every hour of every day. I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I am not a good person. No one is good enough to satisfy a holy God. I am not in need of my own particluar, customized path to God. I need the one true path. We all do.

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14

Happy Monday and
Much Love,

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Busy bee

Things have been soooo busy around here! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I even braved the stores with mama and sister for some "black Friday" shopping... and got alot accomplished. We are off to church this morning, and then my wonderful dad will be here to help me haul our Christmas tree and boxes of decorations, etc. out of the attic. Little Andrew is absolutely BESIDE himself with excitement. Every day when he wakes up he asks "Mama is it Christmastime yet?" It is too cute! Hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday and weekend with family and friends. Let the Christmas season begin!
Happy Sunday and
Much Love,

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

3 year old's thoughts on a Japanese breakfast

Found written on a pack of instant oatmeal this morning:
A typical breakfast in Japan consists of Rice, Fish, Soup, Pickles and Seaweed.
After reading this aloud the 3 year old quips "Oh MOMMY that is SO nasty mommy, are we so sad that they don't know about oak-meal and gwi-uts?"
AND "Andrew's tummy would starve and hurt if we had to go to a-pan"
My sentiments exactly.
Happy Wednesday and
Much Love,

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Prayers, please!

I wanted to ask all of you to please pray tonight for our next door neighbors (and friends!).
M. delivered a premature baby girl late last night by emergency C-section, and the baby is not doing well. She has fluid everywhere (including around brain and heart) and may have cerebral palsy from oxygen deprivation. She is in very, very grave condition. They have 2 other little ones (a 4 year old and a 14 month old) and really need our prayers. They had NO idea anything was wrong until a routine Dr.'s visit and ultrasound yesterday, so this is all quite a shock. I'm sure they would appreciate being lifted up in prayer. Many thanks.
Happy Tuesday and
Much Love,

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Fun, Games and Recipes !

It was a weekend filled with clear blue skies, cool temperatures, fun, lots of FOOD and family. Unfortunately, our team didn't win, but that didn't stop a my little bulldog fan from being more than enthused... as you can see by him holding his own cowbell and pompom. As much as I love going on trips, I think the part I like the best it coming home. Home to my own bed, own bath, and our little routine. After all, my little ones do MUCH better on a schedule (and mommy is much less exhausted!!)
After some requests for one of our favorite "family get together" foods, here is the recipe for "Mississippi Sin". We can thank my sister A. for this! If you make it, I can promise everyone will be licking the bottom of the (bread) bowl. Happens every time. To top it all off, it is amazingly simple. Enjoy!

Mississippi Sin Dip
(I almost always DOUBLE this recipe)
1 loaf french bread
1 8 oz. container french onion dip
1 4 oz. can green chilies (drained)
1 package bacon bits
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
-Cut off top of bread (save for later) and hollow out french bread (by hollow out, I mean take out enough bread for dip to fit inside, you don't have to hollow it into an absolute shell).
-Mix all ingredients in bowl, place inside bread, place top back on.
-Wrap in aluminum foil , place on cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees
-Serve with large corn chips (or chip or cracker of your choosing).
-Watch it disappear!
Happy Sunday and
Much Love,

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Winter Weather and other notes

It seems as if old man winter has finally decided to visit us, and maybe even stay for a while. The temp is struggling to make it into the 50s for the high, and we are around the freezing point at night time. That made for some pretty chilly weather (for this warm blooded Southern girl, at least) this morning when this photographer took outdoor photos of my children this morning. We took the photos at the farm where my dad grew up (and that has been in his family for 100+ years) and where my grandmother still lives. The "photo shoot" was 7 a.m. (for lighting purposes) and my little ones had a grand time climbing all over tractors, calling the cows, petting the horse, terrorizing the rooster and giving mommy a mild heart attack while standing on the edge of an old well. The photographer I chose was a "lifestyle photographer", which means that the shots were not posed. She just took about 300 (no kidding) pictures of us over about an hour and just followed us around while the kids did their thing. I cannot WAIT until she sends the link for our slideshow... I'm hoping for a Christmas card photo! This is also a surprise for Andy, and I'm so excited to see what he thinks about it.
We are headed out to the Mississippi State vs. Arkansas game tomorrow (game is Sat.), and will return on Sunday. Mom has been super busy planning out our tailgating menu, (which will include yummy things like homemade chili, Mississippi Sin Dip (oh MY!!) and many other homemade goodies). I am so looking forward to hanging out with some of our family, and perhaps doing a little shopping in a cute college town. Maybe I'll even have some pics to share next week.
A lot of you have been so sweet to comment/email me and ask how I am doing.... the answer is I am doing okay. I miss my husband so much, though. I try not to think about it. When I start to dwell on it, I start to get upset, my children get upset and it makes for a not so great day. I am trying to stay really busy (that part is working!) I am trying not to complain at all, as that makes me feel worse. I am not feeling sorry for myself, because I know that there are SO many wives out there that are going through the same thing, and some for even longer periods of time. I try to pray all of the time. I think some people seriously think I am crazy because it looks like I am talking to myself (that really did happen at the mall today!) I try to think of the blessings that have come out of him being gone. I know this has forced me to draw closer to the Lord, and depend upon HIM instead of my husband. My faith has been strengthened, and I hold my children a little tighter and a little longer since there is only one of us for now. I am not perfect. I get tired, I get really lonely for those conversations that you only have with the love of your life. I miss holding hands and cleaning up all of his MESSES (really, I do). I miss his boots at the back door. I miss him laughing with me at the kids latest antics. My eyes well up with tears every once in a while when I am doing the most ordinary things (like driving down the highway today... what is up with THAT?). But I know this is a short little period of time in our lives. I know that we are blessed beyond what we deserve. I know that God is near. I know that he has blessed with me with an amazing family that is there for us constantly. I know that I am thankful. And I know that we are fine, really we are.
"For I know whom I have believed
and am persuaded that He is able. "
Happy Thursday and
Much Love,

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Say Thanks

This is something cool that Xerox is doing...
If you go to this web site, you can pick out a thank you card. Xerox will print it, and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq . You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services. How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! This is a great site. Please send a card. It is FREE and it only takes a second. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these? Whether you are for or against the war, our guys and gals over there need to know we are behind them...

It got this in an email from a friend the other day, and I have already done it twice! It only takes a second to do, and would mean so much to those in uniform for us to say "Thanks" for the sacrifices they make so that we can can live in the land of the free. All of you know that this is something near and dear to my heart right now because of my husband being one of those brave men serving us overseas! Anyway, click on over and give a minute of your day to a worthy cause.
Happy Tuesday and
Much Love,

Monday, November 13, 2006

Any ideas?

Any ideas or words of wisdom for me on a "brushing teeth" battle that I wage with the 3 year old nightly? He used to LOVE brushing his teeth, but the last few weeks has been a little bear about it. We go through tears, pleas, begging, etc. (on HIS part) every. single. night when it is time to brush!! Even new Superman toothpaste has failed to do the trick. Any ideas?
Happy Monday and
Much Love,

Sunday, November 12, 2006

So whatcha think...

...Of my darling "new" little black velvet pillbox hat? Isn't it cute? I got it for next to nothing at an antique store yesterday. I just love it! I also found a precious little advent calendar with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in the same antique store for only a dollar! Can't wait to use it with the little ones next month.
In other news, had an absolutely fabulous weekend! Went to an arts and crafts fair in my hometown, caught up with old friends (and college roomates!) ate yummy Mexican food, and went to a parade of Christmas open houses in some darling shops (and bought some pretties) in the cute little downtown where my parents live. The air was cold and brisk and the perfect weather to put us in the holiday mood!
Best of all, I awakend to a roaring fire, Christmas music and a hot cup of coffee at my parent's house this morning.... and got to read the Sunday newspaper undisturbed. And THAT, my friends is something to celebrate!! ;-)
Happy Sunday and
Much Love

Thursday, November 09, 2006

This is what...

This is what happens when a 3 year old sneaks a marker into his room during naptime. He later informed me that he was just trying to make "pretty eyes" like mommy does. Indeed.
Can we say a bit more testosterone may have been needed in this house lately?
Happy Thursday and
Much Love

Welcome to the World!

We have a new little family member as of today!
Andy's oldest sis M. and her husband J. welcomed their baby boy into the world this afternoon! He is their first baby, and from the pictures, looks absolutely precious. We can't wait to meet him. This makes grandchild/cousin #8 for his side of the family.... looks like my side of the fam has a lot of catching up to do (hint, hint... )
Anyway, congrats to the both of you. He is the most amazing blessing you will ever receive!
Happy Thursday and
Much Love,

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Just now, I was listening to my son over the monitor talking to himself before he fell asleep for his afternoon nap (the monitor is actually in the baby's room, but is so sensitive it picks up sounds all over that side of the house!!) He sleeps with a giant Pooh bear, and has lots of great conversations with him before he drifts off to dreamland. Today the conversation went something like this
A: "When I tell you to do something, you do it. Right then. Do you understand me, Pooh"?
A:(in high pitched "Pooh" voice) "Yes Ma'am mommy, I will be your sweet boy"
A: Very good, Pooh, you have to mind mommy and listen to what she says
A: (Pooh voice) I know dat mommy, I have to obey my mommy and my daddy
A: That's right Pooh, If mommy tells you to sit there, you sit until mommy comes to get you
A: (Pooh Voice) "But I don't want to"
A: Well, you have to because I said so
A: (Pooh voice) I re-wy don't like I said sos, they make me bery sad.

This "conversation" he had with Pooh bear was actually an exact transcript of the conversation that he and I had we while out to lunch (with others) today. Whether or not he acknowledges it at the time, he listens to every word I say.... and remembers it. My life, my words, and my deeds are reflected in this little, moldable, sponge of a boy and he bears my imprint. The things I say and do are all observed and mimiced by him, and therein lies a tremendous responsibility.

That being said, where does MY imprint come from? Am I spending enough time in the word and on my knees everyday that he sees Christ in me... even as small as he is? What image does he see in my life? Does he see someone that absoutely delights and rejoices in him as our Father does in us? Does he see a mama that is too busy trying to adhere to her schedule and have a "perfect" house ... too busy to play with him? Does he see a mama that is constantly disciplining him? Does he see a mama that loves him unconditionally?

I hope that the imprint I leave on his life is the imprint that Christ leaves on mine. May this daily spur me on to spend more time in the word, more time in prayer and more TIME investing in the lives of my little ones than worrying about any "to do" list.
Easier said than done, isn't it? Especially when we start comparing ourselves and our lives to others. You know Mrs.___ that always has the perfect house, and cooks gourmet meals, or always looks perfect, or is amazingly organized, or... you fill in the blank. Want to know what my response has been to lately?? SO WHAT?? Big deal! I don't know her heart, I don't know what her walk is, and I don't know what the Lord is saying to her. But I do know what he is saying to me. And that is all I ever need to worry about. I need to worry about my imprint of Him. Becoming more like Him. Being made into His image. Those are the things of eternal value.
May the imprints we leave on the lives of our children, and those around us be the imprint and the image of Christ.
Col. 3:10... and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the IMAGE of its Creator. (emphasis mine)
Happy Wednesday and
Much Love,

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hanging out with Papa

My kids love my daddy... their papa. He is the chief wrestler, tickler, bath giver and kid wrangler when he is around!! After raising the 3 of us, I guess he's had lots of practice! He's also a great "fill-in" for their daddy while he's gone. While we know that no one can take Andy's place, Papa J. provides some much needed male interaction with them (especially little Andrew) and it helps me a whole bunch! Thanks Dad, for all you do.
Happy Tuesday and
Much Love,

*** Photo of the kids with "Papa" this weekend. Andrew was trying to wake up from a nap, and wasn't in the most camera-ready mood!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I haven't been around much, lately because we've been a little busy. Busy with things like a yard sale, spend-the-night company, catching up with old friends and even making some new ones! Busy with church obligations, running a household on my own, a baby with tonsillitis and even a little shopping! I've felt quite overwhelmed at times... but thankfully, only for brief moments. Today was wonderful, and I even took a nap with my kiddos.

My awesome mother did some "deep cleaning" for me as well as a few other little household chores... and even took everything out of my china cabinet and washed it, dusted the insides and cleaned the whole thing till it sparkled. I've been admiring it all day. I just loooove it when things are "really" clean and not just "surface" clean. She also helped me pick out my beautiful new rug- I was quite thankful for her input!

Little Andrew enjoyed some lasso lessons with his Papa, and got to see his daddy over the webcam (the highlight of his day... week... year??)
Miss Anna Kate has had tonsillitis, but is so much better now. She did concern all of us, though, when she had 104 temp. We had the hardest time trying to break her fever.

All of that is past now, and I'm very much looking forward to a new week with a nice clean slate. No sickness, no stress, no worries, no tears. Just nice, clean pages on the calendar... waiting for the story of life to be written. How exciting.

**** Photo of my new rug. I am just lovin' it.

Happy Sunday and
Much Love,

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"9 weird things about me" meme

Tammy tagged me for this "9 weird things about me" meme.
Here goes!
1. I can call cows (Thanks, Daddy)
2. The first time I saw a c-section in nursing school, I thought I was going to pass out and throw up at the same time. I also thought it was the most disguisting thing I had ever seen and made the statment (several times) that I would never have kids if I had to have one of those things. I've had 2 c-sections now. *sigh*.
3. My husband had never really ever dated a brunette until he met me!
4. I love fried chicken livers
5. I am an obsessive list maker. I make one every night before I go to bed, I make "master lists" for the week, I make cleaning lists, I make project lists, I make monthly lists... did I mention that I love to make lists?
6. I could say the whole poem "Twas the night before Christmas" when I was 3 years old. (My mama has proof of it on a cassette tape.) I have been forced to say it every Christmas since then!!
7. I will not eat asparagus, cabbage, collard or turnip greens, oysters, chittlins or boudin. ICK.
8. My husband and I married 9 months to the day after we met. We got engaged after dating for 2 months, and were engaged for 7 months. I have absolutely NO regrets, and would do it the same way again if given the chance!
9. The whole "13" thing..
My birthday is on the 13th ,My husband and I met on the 13th, My husband and I married on the 13th, Our son was born when we had been married 13 months, Our daughter was conceived when our son was 13 months old., I quit my job to become a stay at home mom on the 13th , I got my ears pierced on my 13th birthday, I am one of 13 great-grandchildren,My parents built a new house when I was 13.

I tag.... all of you (sorry, too tired tonight to actually, you know, have to think about this and pick others!!) Let me know if you do this one!
Happy Wednesday and
Much Love

Pirates and Lions

**** Was unable to upload a pic of my little pirate Andrew... blogger is being a STINKER today... will try tomorrow!!
We spent the last couple of days at my sister's home in our state's beautiful capital city (and where I lived as a single girl)! I had to sing at this event, and we took the kids to a neighborhood party last night, and they all went "trick or treating" as a group and rode in little wagons. It was the cutest thing ever. Our little lion fell asleep in the stroller, but our pirate was going strong until about 10 p.m. last night!! We had a great time and a wonderful visit. So, for your viewing pleasure, here are our 2 cuties all dressed up!
Happy Wednesday and
Much Love,