Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fatigue and good things

I am soooo absolutely positively exhausted. This week and last have been 2 of THE most hectic weeks yet since Andy has been gone.... which is a good thing in a way. I went to my parent's home at the end of my (almost) last guest lecture at the college today because my kiddos were there. Sometimes nothing brings more solace when you are bone weary than to walk into a warm house full of people that you love. It was like a balm to my very soul to come into that cozy environment with the candles burning, fire ablaze (a staple in the wintertime) and the smell of home cookin' on the stove. Home cookin' to the tune of... roast, rice, gravy, sweet potato casserole, sweet tea, butterbeans and biscuits. It took me back a few years to when I lived at home. Back to the wonderful-ness of being taken care of, loved and enveloped in the warm presence of family. A good thing? Most definitely.
Now we are back at our home with our tummies full, minds relaxed, and the sweet aroma of family still lingering. The next good thing for tonight? Climbing into that HOT bath that is running as we speak in my swimming pool of a bath tub. Complete with bubbles, candles, and a very large mug of spiced tea, it will be a VERY good thing and a good note on which to wind down my day.

Happy Wednesday and
Much Love,

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Winter Beauties...

...From my great-grandmother's "antique" flower collection in the yard. Though she died a few years back, my great-aunt and great-uncle still live in her home. This rambling 100 year old home (which is only about 2 miles from mine) with its' old fashioned flowers is where we gather with extended family for a good-old fashioned Southern meal, or"birthday dinner"one Sunday a month.
We picked these while over there this afternoon. These beautiful flowers that remind me of her... the sweet, perfume-y narcissus and the soft delicate camellia. These little ladies clothed in their winter best are adorning my dining room table now. I think they look just perfect.

Happy Sunday and
Much Love,

PS. For any of you that would like to participate in another "pet naming"~~~~ Click here to help my teenage cousin name his guinea pig.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pink Gingham....

...Baby doll bedding. The perfect project for a cold, rainy Saturday while the little ones are sleeping. Just me, the hum of the sewing machine, the rain and a big mug of hot chocolate. Bliss.

This project is in the works because of the recent inheritance of the baby doll crib I had as a child (which is currently residing in the garage awaiting me to paint it tonight).

More to come.

Happy Saturday and

Much Love,

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tip of the day

Boiling water poured down a toliet when repeated vigorous plunging has failed will melt the crayons that were shoved into said toilet by 3 year old, thus unstopping it and preventing further overflow.
Don't ask me how I know.

Happy Tuesday and
Much Love,

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"The winner is".... and other news

First of all, let me just say a big huge "THANK YOU" to all of you that submitted names for my sister's new little pup. The big news is that Miss Indecisive (aka sister) has finally chosen one of them (Hallelujah chorus playing in background).

...And the winner is LUCY... submitted by Big Mama (who just happens to be one of my absolute favorite bloggers). Congrats girlfriend! You can now offically add the title "dog namer" to your resume!

We've had a fun, relaxing weekend here. Andrew spent Friday night and Saturday with my mom and dad. I think he actually spent most of it with Dad seeing as how how followed him everywhere and insisted on doing everything daddy did. Anna Kate and I had a quiet Friday night and Sat. here at home where I managed to accomplish about 101 things that I had been meaning to do all week! It really is amazing how QUIET the house was with just one of them here. We met everyone out Sat. night and had a nice family dinner at a local restaurant. I actually got to you know, um, EAT, too since there were about 10 other pairs of hands to help with the littles. Nice.

I probably won't be around much this week, (though I AM going to do that meme, Michelle!!) because I will being doing some guest lectures at the community college (as a favor to my mom!) on cardiac nursing for the RN students. I am SO excited because I love, love, love to teach, plus it is my area of expertise! A nice little diversion, though I am quite sure by the time the week is over I will be more than happy to return to my "adventures in mommy-dom" here at home. Sadly, the gym will still be waiting for me in the mornings. It doesn't take guest lecturing as an excusable absence. *sigh*.

Hope everyone is off to a great start for this brand new week!!

Happy Monday and
Much Love,

Saturday, January 20, 2007

No pain, no gain?

I hurt. No I mean I really HURT. My legs are so sore that crossing them is a chore. My upper arms.... feel like jell-o. My abs? Let's just don't even go there.

Why you may ask? Why the tortue, why the dripping sweat, why the PAIN (oh sweet heavens, the pain) The answer is partly to attain a previous level of fitness from when Andy and I were first married. The rest of that answer? To look good for my superfit husband AND finally put to rest the taunts of the pre-baby jeans that hang in my closet.

You see, my weight is not really all that different from BK (before kids) but the distribution? Ummm.... yeah, things have shifted just a little. And I refuse, REFUSE, I tell you to yield to the mommy mush that my muscles want to settle into. So the gym (wretched, awful, hateful) has become my new best friend. The miles that I am running on the treadmill have slowly begun to increase and reached a new high yesterday (hence the PAIN), as I am cheered on by my sweet baby girl watching through the glass door of the gym nursery. And I hate every second of it. I know that there are those out there who love to exercise, and I applaud them, even envy them! I, however, am not wired that way. BK, I used to run about 5 miles a day, I belonged to a gym, I hired a personal trainer... not because I enjoyed it, but honestly? ...Simply for selfish reasons. My motivation now, however, is quite different. It is a sacrifice born out of conviction that I am making for my family... my husband and my children.

I have become very convicted lately about taking care of my body AND what goes in it. Convicted about being a fit, active mama for my children. Convicted about being a fit, active wife for my very fit husand! Convicted about putting JUNK into my body. Convicted about abusing the temple that God has given me. With LOTS of prayer (mostly asking for discipline and endurance) when I want to snuggle back down into my heavenly bed... I am making progress. Not in my own strength, mind you (you know that whole verse about the spirit being willing but the flesh being weak... that would be me) but through HIM being strong IN me. And in that strength... I can never fail.

So, I'll keep running along on that treadmill, working those arms and abs and enjoy that sweet reward of exhiliration that comes after a hard workout. And the end result will be?? Oh, totally worth it. I don't care if I never have the body of a supermodel... I just want to be the best ME that I possibly can. To feel good, to be able to be the best wife, the best mommy, the best servant for His kingdom, and to quite simply be my best self.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body," (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Happy Saturday and
Much Love,

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I'm so glad I'm a part...

... of the family of God. Remember that little song? We used to hold hands "across the aisles" and sing that during benediction time ( or fellowship time) at the church where I grew up. Sunday after Sunday, we sang those words with little thought given to the actual meaning. I think it has been only as I have "grown up" and gotten a little older (and hopefully wiser!) that I have understood their profound meaning.

Since Andy has been gone, our church family has been amazing. AMAZING. They have loved on us, prayed for us, sustained us, called me, come to our home, kept our children ... you get the picture. Andy and I prayed about finding someone (preferably an older woman) to come into our home as sort of a "mother's helper" during the week. We could find no one willing to do this, but kept praying anyway. Out of the blue, one of our church members (an older, widowed lady) called me and said that God had laid it upon her heart to help me with my children while Andy was away, and could she come the very next week? Wow. I was so amazed at this... but why was I? Don't I have a heavenly Father that loves me enough to do this for us? Am I not a member of HIS family? Doesn't he hear the prayers of those who are his. Yes, yes and YES!

Our pastor and worship pastor (and their wives) constantly check on us and pray for us. Our life group has been wonderful. I know that TRULY I could call upon any one of them ... even at 3 am and they would be here without questions asked. So many church members tightly embrace me and my children every single Sunday and whisper words of encouragement and prayers to me. At our last WMU meeting, one of the members prayed over us. Just today, a precious lady (who has recently suffered much personal tragedy) told me how she prays for my husband nightly and remembers our family daily. Another church member is giving me a book of devotionals for wives "on the homefront". One of the local chaplain's wives took me aside last Sunday to tell me that her small son prayers for "legions of angels" to surround "Mr. Andy" every single night when he says his prayers. And all of you. The encouragement and prayers you have sent our way have been unbelievable.

The family of God. The family of GOD. How amazing to even type that. How amazing to be on this journey as a FAMILY of fellow believers with God as our Father. How that family of God has ministered to us. Isn't that what being part of a family is all about... lifting each other up, praying for one another, forgiving one another, LOVING one another. What an awesome, awesome blessing. Yes, I am so glad to be a part of the family of God.

I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I'm part of the family,The Family of God

(words and music William Gaither)


Happy Wednesday and
Much Love,

Monday, January 15, 2007


After seeing several tutorials on how to make a topiary, I decided to tackle the project myself this evening. I bought the supplies while at the craft store today, and put the whole thing together in about 20 minutes. I placed a block of floral foam in the small pot, cut a dowel rod in half (painted it with transparent brown paint) then placed in the middle of the foam in the pot. I placed moss on top of this and then glued moss to a styrofoam ball. The ball was placed atop the painted dowel rod and then I tied a raffia ribbon around the pot (intertwined 2 different colors)... and viola! A sweet little topiary (for only about 5 dollars!). SO easy, fun, and a great addition to our dining room table.

Happy Tuesday and
Much Love,

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Can't believe..

.... That I forgot to show y'all my new rug that Andy sent me from Iraq !! I got it for Christmas, and was absolutely THRILLED with it to say the least. It is the softest, thickest most plush rug I've ever felt, and has lots of neat Arabic characters on the back to attest to its' authenticity! I put it under my new sweet antique cabinet in my kitchen area, and think it looks just perfect there. Now we just have to focus on keeping apple juice and milk stains far, FAR away!
** Update on the "name game" from the previous post. A. (my sis) has narrowed it down to 3 of the names from the suggestions y'all have given her! She was thrilled with all of the comments, and I'll reveal which name she chose as soon as she tells me! Thanks a million for participating! **
Happy Sunday and
Much Love,

Friday, January 12, 2007

Name That Puppy!!

Help! My sister just got an ADORABLE new little (tiny) puppy. She is half minature poodle and half shih tzu. After bantering about names for quite a while, no one in the fam can come up with a name that quite "fits". So, dear readers, we are asking for suggestions! Here is her pic to help you in the process. Is she not just the cutest thing? So, comment away, and help us out!

Happy Saturday and

Much Love,

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fashion Statement and other ramblings

This is what happens when an (almost) 4 year old dresses herself.
I laughed until I couldn't at this picture of my little niece sent to me by her mother today. Is she not the CUTEST thing?? Thought this might make y'all smile, too!

We've been busy around here. A picture taking session of both kids turned into a 3 ring circus when our tiny princess decided all she wanted to do was suck her thumb and lie down upon the backdrop *sigh*. In the end, at least she decided to look in the direction of the camera while sucking that thumb. She was quite mad at the whole ordeal, I believe, but was placated later with a nice dish of vanilla ice cream. Older brother? A complete DOLL during the session. Thank goodness or I am sure that I may have been driven mad!

Speaking of madness... I have been much engrossed in a 700+ page book about the life of Mary Lincoln.. she is actually very fascinating and was even commited to an asylum for the insane by her own son. Unbelievable. If I have never mentioned it, I am quite a voracious reader. The downfall of that is I want to stay up all hours of the night reading (like I did BEFORE I had children)... and one is apt to be extremely tired, cranky and run down feeling after such nights. Perhaps it is a good thing that I also read rather speedily so that there are not so many of said nights!!

Any thoughts on small (preschool) brothers and sisters sharing a bedroom?? I have seen several setups of this lately in some of my favorite decorating/merchandise magazines for children (Pottery Barn Kids being the most recent as it came in the mail today). The decorating schemes are just precious! Lots of gingham, monogramming and sweet rugs and window treatments. I have been contemplating this, and am not quite sure yet as to what I think of it. We certainly have the room for them to have their own rooms (as they do now)... but just a thought. Any input?

Hope all of you are having a wonderful week! For me, it feels absolutely wonderful to be settling back down into our routines after the busy and hectic holiday season!

Happy Wednesday and
Much Love,

Friday, January 05, 2007

Total and complete randomness...

1. I finally got my "new" antique china cabinet today. I bought it the day after Christmas at an antique shop in the town where my parents live. And, let me just tell you, Dave Ramsey was right. People really will take significantly less for an item if you are willing to pay in cash. I was shocked that this really works! Sooo.... I am loving my sweet little purchase even more. I already have my "big" china cabinet in my dining area, but was looking for something kind of small and somewhat inexpensive to put in my kitchen for pottery. I love finding things like this!

2. I talked to my husband today... YAY! It was wonderful to hear his voice. They are all doing well, but morale is pretty low there right now, I think. One of the injured soldiers (and my husband's good friend) was flown out of the country to a military hospital in Europe today for further treatment and surgeries. His wife is my sweet friend, and she will be flying out to see him soon. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. They are good friends of ours and have 2 sweet LITTLE boys.

3. It seems as if Anna Kate has developed a fascination for the garbage can!!! Just today I had "misplaced" several items, and for awhile this afternoon thought I was literally losing my mind over what in the world I could have done with these things. Seriously. I was beginning to wonder about myself. Tonight while bagging up garbage, guess what items I found amongst the banana peels and coffee filters? Ahhh, yes... a dry erase marker, the pieces to Andrew's elephant puzzle (which was the source of a near meltdown this afternoon), a new pack of stickers, my favorite writing pen and a tube of lip gloss. I am raising a tiny thief!! Let's just say at this age she is into everything... and more.

4. My dear friend, M. gave me the most amazing CD that I have to share with all of you! It is called "Motivating your Man God's Way" from he Love and Respect Marriage conference by
Dr. Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs. Click here for their website. Wow. WOW! It was just awesome. Maybe that's the reason why it is the #1 broadcast for Focus on the Family. If you are married (or even preparing for marriage) you have to listen to this!

5. I had my "annual visit" this morning... Yeah, that one. You know the one where you are only partially clothed in a room that only a polar bear would be comfortable in, and the one where you are stuck waiting in said room for oh, let's say 30 minutes or more? Quite, quite lovely. The only nice surprise was that I've lost weight and I haven't been trying... unless you count endlessly running after 2 "angels" 24/7. Hey, whatever, I'll take it.

6. On my current reading list? Taking Care of the "Me" in Mommy, by Lisa Whelchel. Highly, highly recommend.

7. One of my dear friends and her little ones are coming to stay with us tomorrow night. Can we say 7 o'clock is looking quite nice for a bedtime for the little ones, and not cooking and ordering lots of pizza and cheesesticks is looking even nicer? And nicest of all will be watching a movie with no interruption and REAL LIVE adult conversation after bedtime. You know, as opposed to me walking around talking to myself which has been the norm around here since Andy has been gone. This is my version of girls gone wild, I tell you!

8. I am so thankful for every one of your thoughts and prayers over the last 2 days. Y'all are wonderful... have I told you that lately?? Seriously. Please continue to pray for the safety of our men (and ALL the ones serving) until their return. God Bless the USA.

9. Is this not the sweetest little three year old boy you've seen in a while? Okay, okay, maybe in just the last hour or so, but I can't help being biased? Aren't I supposed to be as a mommy? He is "modeling his zippies" (his words, not mine, in reference to his zip -up pajamas) Anyway, he has been a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y. hysterically funny tonight. Don't believe me? Just ask my mom, dad, sister, grandparents, and all the other people he has called on the phone tonight. I was REALLY wiping tears out of my eyes and laughing the slient laugh (you know how you are laughing so hard that no sound comes out..??) when he was talking on the phone to mom and dad tonight. I only wished I'd have recorded it. The boy is funny. He is SO DRAMATIC with all his gestures and facial expressions... hmmmm... wonder where he gets that from (tee hee)!

10. This has gotten ENTIRELY TOO long, and my apologies to any of you that are still reading. This really is THE most random post I have ever done~~ (but FUN!)

Happy Friday and
Much Love,

Thursday, January 04, 2007

An incident

I don't know how much I am at liberty to disclose, so I'll err on the side of caution here...
There was an "incident" involving some soldiers/friends/fellow pilots of my husbands and my hubby's unit (along with some other soldiers). It was very scary and they could all use our prayers. There are some that are wounded and hospitalized. Please, please pray for all of them right now. They all really need it. Pray for us, the families back home, as we come to grips once again with the danger that they are in every single minute. Please pray for their safe return. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

An audio shout out !!

After my dear blogging friend, Susan P., did this I decided to do it too! What is it you may ask? Welll, it is an audio recording of my voice with a greeting to all of you. Please NO making fun of my accent!! I guess after this you'll all know why everyone knew I was NOT a local the second I opened my mouth while doing travel nursing in Massachusetts!!

Happy Wednesday and
Much Love,

Back to our regularly scheduled programming....

At the "in-laws" last week... Photo credits to Aunt Gigi

Hello to all of you!! I think that now we are finally back in the world of "normality" (what IS that, anyway)?? At least I should say that all our world traveling has come to an end, the Christmas decorations are gone (except for the naked tree in the living room that will go to its' home in the attic today), I actually FINALLY got to sleep on that awesome new featherbed my sis gave us for Christmas (BLISS!!) and we are back on some semblance of a schedule. Whew. The past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind!! I can't wait to catch up with all of you... my bloglines feeds were FULL yesterday!

Today I am working on our New Year's "goals" for our family this year. Andy and I set (attainable) goals for each family member, laminate them, and display them on the side of the fridge so that we can actually review them from time to time throughout the year. I have to say, doing it this way has given us a pretty good track record of attaining them!

Speaking of Andy... check out Mr. Skinny (He is the one in the middle, by the way). My dear husband has lost around 30 lbs. since being in the big sandbox! He is 6'3" and was not really overweight before... and I thought he looked absolutely great, but he looks great now, too!! I think he has become somewhat of a "gym junkie" since being over there... AND a healthy eating junkie. Way to go, Andy!

Hopefully, I'll be back to regular posting and reading now... I've missed everyone!
Happy Happy New Year to you all.
May your 2007 be blessed!

Happy Wednesday and
Much Love,