Thursday, October 30, 2008

Electing a US President in Plain English

I have to admit that I've never fully understood the entire US election process...all I keep remembering is a confusing conversation in high school in my government class, when someone said, "So although we have elected them to be our representative to the electoral college...they can vote any which way they choose?!?"

And I remember the answer being "Yes!" Aghhh!

Why couldn't I have paid attention more closely?!? (No comments please, Mom and Dad!)

So I was thankful when a friend (thanks, Karen!) sent this three or four minute YouTube video to me and the breaks the electoral process down into simple English!

"Do you need some deodorant?!?"

Cricket LOVES to go through the Sunday paper with her daddy! Me...I just like it for the sale ads! Not that I can clearly remember any of them and match them up with savings, but I like to think that I do!
But I just think it's so humorous the way Cricket is attracted to the same sections that her daddy is attracted to! I just think it's so cute the way they both think so much alike! But one area where she thinks like her momma...she loves to look at the ads and clip out coupons...however, she thinks that if she has a coupon for this or that, then we just have to hop in the car to go and get it!

Last night, while she was sitting at the foot of our bed she said, "Momma/Daddy, do you need some deodorant?"

"Um...excuse me?"

"Do you need deodorant? Or dishwashing detergent?"

It took us a second to notice that she was clipping out the Walgreen's coupons from their sale ad!

And if you're wondering...yes, they are having a great sale on deodorant and dishwashing detergent! Now...if I can just get my act together and combine those with other coupons...then I can pretend that I'm a coupon-savvy gal like some of my other friends!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mental soup, anyone?!?

Tonight I served lentil soup with smoked sausage, cornbread and sweet tea. And while the girls were setting the table, Lovey hollered, "I love mental soup!"

This colder weather (I'm freezing!) has me in the mood for yummy soups and chilis! Hmmm! I need some new soup any?!?

Boiled Peanut Restriction

In our house, no one wants to be put on boiled peanut restriction! It's the worst! Growing up, I thought that everyone had the sophisticated taste for boiled peanuts, grits, sweet tea, etc. But now I appreciate that there are those that haven't developed their taste for these fine's all the more for us! Yes, we LOVE boiled peanuts, so when Meems and P-Daddy brought us up some of the biggest peanuts we've ever seen, we immediately started them a-boilin'! Hmmm....they're so good! And these angels of ours can put'em away! Actually, we all can, but Angel Wings in particular had us crackin' up...we eventually had to put her on 'boiled peanut restriction'!

We told her that she had already eaten half of them, and she said, "I know...this is my last one!" Then we'd turn around, and she was still eating her honest, sweet voice, she humbly said, "I know...I know! I thought I had stopped, but each time I look down, there's another one in my hand!" Bless her heart!

So as the tomato season vanishes, God has provided us with our yummy boiled peanut season! And we'll soon start clammering for the pecans that sweet Uncle Charles sends up to us from Graceville, FL (other side of the state line from Dothan, AL).

Thanks for the peanuts and pecans, Mimi, Pawpaw and Uncle Charles!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A whirlwind of a week and a day!

Whew, doggy, have the days sped up! Every year at this time (beginning of fall) as the days grow shorter, the to-do lists seem to grow longer! What's the deal?!?

Last week we 'almost' finished up the fall cleaning (I'm almost caught up on my laundry...and by that I mean 'under five loads' to do! I still have hope that I'll get there!); we had our first day of prairie club; the girls and I manned the house while Ricci was away on a business trip! Then Meems and P-Daddy came to visit...Mimi's annual October 'flee from town so that no one throws me a surprise bday party' visit! And before I knew it...the week was over, my head hit a pillow, and I was out! Too much to do~Too little time!

What a fun visit we had while Mimi and PawPaw were here! On Friday, Dad was able to spend some time out on their property while Mimi, the girls and I hit the town looking for deals, eating at Taco Roc (of course!), and meeting L and kids at the playground for an impromptu play date.

Of course, there were several funny things that occurred while they were here, but one really funny thing was that Mimi brought me a 'bag of stuff' that she had found under my bed at that bag was a ton of notes written in high school. Why I saved them back then? I don't know! But it was fun going through them...most of them written between myself, Lorrie, Chip, Adam, and I haven't finished going through them...they are too funny! "If I knew then, what I know now!" Anyway, while I was reading them...out of the blue, Mom asks, "Have you ever heard anything from Eryn Ferguson?" I told her, "No, I don't think that I've seen her since the evening we graduated from high school." Then as I walked into the family room (where our computer is)...there were TWO emails from Eryn Ferguson! Aghhh! ISN'T THAT CRAZY?!? I screamed and told mom, and she knows that Jen and I always kid each other about our lives seeming as if we're on the Truman show (you know...that our entire life is actually a TV show). So she kiddingly acted as if she was holding something up to the lights as if they were our sponsor for that episode! Aghh...yes, we have a crazy (FUN!) family!

Then after Ricci returned home from his trip, we went to the corn maze...lots of fun getting lost and riding the hay rides! Then we attempted to make it into the Wilderness Temple downtown; we waited in a slowly moving line for about two hours, and as the sun set we grew cold, tired, and hungry! We were probably going to be the next in line, but we all decided at the same time...we were out-a-there! (Has anyone been yet? Is it worth our going back?) So Dad took us all to dinner, then we went home and had a little bday party for Meems!

From Saloon to the Prairie!

"From Saloon to the Prairie!" This is the title of the pattern that I've begun to use in my making prairie dresses for the girls.

Now... I've never sewn before other than decorative sewing (pillows, curtains...and other things that don't require a pattern...and cross-stitching, of course!), but L promised that if Mom got me started that she'd help me finish them up before the girls' next prairie club! And ohhh..I can't wait until they're finished...they're going to be so cute!

Mimi, thanks for shopping with me for the fabric...and keeping me on track! (I'm not crafty, but I am creative, so I always aimlessly walk through Hobby Lobby looking at all of the endless 'possibilities'!) And thanks, L, for getting me started in this new endeavor! It's sew much fun!

Surely, I'll post some pics when finished!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The girls on YouTube!

This weekend, we were invited to an Andrew Peterson concert for his new album's release, Resurrection Letters, Vol. II.
It was a great concert; the first half was the story behind each song on the new album, and the second half of the concert was songs by request. So of course, Annie and Tressie thrust their little arms into the air, and once they offered their request, it was followed by "I can help you!" And if a momma and daddy's heart could have ever burst, this was one of those times...we were so proud of the girls! It was too precious!
Annie ran up on stage, followed by little Tressie, who walked up there following big sissie's lead. AP ever-so-kindly shared the stage with them and even cracked up a couple of times when Annie improvised the bass guitar...something that we hear every day but that he wasn't expecting.
Of ALL times, guess who was without a camera?!? Me!!! I couldn't believe it! I ALWAYS have my camera! Thankfully, there was a great couple sitting behind us that overheard my dying request for a camera, and they captured most of it on video! new best friends!
And thankfully Eric's friend, Drew, who was promoting the concert, captured this great photo!
Thank you sooo much, Drew, James & Becky! And Andrew!!
And Tif... don't worry about giving us a CD for Christmas; we got one while we were there! ;) Thankfully, this one too was avoid any future confusion..hee hee!

"If you are experiencing a mental health emergency..."

I just find it amazing the way God made men and women so differently! You know...the way men have to rationalize and 'fix' things while women are more emotional and often turn things into something irrational and make it a bigger deal than it actually is! "Bless our hearts!"

Yes, us women are pretty emotional at times, but how I love being a woman, a weaker vessel. I can't imagine carrying the weight of the responsibility for an entire family! I guess that's a reminder for us wives to pray more fervently for our dear husbands.

Within the last two days, I've had two good girlfriends call and say that they were basically getting ready to freak out....well, let me join the club! Please!!! Perhaps it's just the business of this time of year...or perhaps it's the change of the season...I don't know, but I feel it too!

As a wife and mother, there are many stresses that can pull us down (duties in the home, caring for our loved ones, friends, extended family, commitments in the church and community, etc.), but somehow we manage!

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
I Corinthians 10:13

I'm so very thankful for this promise! He does always provide us a way out; doesn't He? I also find it amazing the way we can feel our blood pressure drop... by smelling or just holding a sweet baby (shout out to Baby Kate!), seeing a cute puppy, or just laughing with good friends.

At the end of one of my phone calls, my sweet friend and I were laughing so hard about her calling her insurance company about something totally unrelated to what she heard on the other end of the phone..."If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please hang up and dial 911." Now that's funny!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lions, Tigers, and...Sea Monsters, oh my!

The weekend...ahhh...we can't wait until Friday evening's arrival, for that's when Daddy comes home from work and promises not to go back until Monday! And staying up late on Friday nights, sleeping in late on Saturday mornings...mmm!

But this Saturday we had a rushed start to our day...we were all enjoying the warmth of our beds and then all of a sudden, we remembered...we were given free tickets to the educator's preview of the new National Geographic IMAX movie, Sea Monsters! And we didn't want to miss it! And I'm so glad that we didn't, for I have to say...this film is actually one of my favorite IMAX films yet!

It's a fascinating film that follows the life of a Dolichorhynchops, named Dolly, and her brother.

The movie begins with a little girl following her dog through the woods, and she comes across a washed out cliff that is revealing a wonderful fossil. The film flips back and forth between computer generated images of what was once under the ocean's surface ('thousands and thousands' of years ago!) and what is now above the waters' edge...say in the middle of continents (Kansas, Israel, etc.) where paleontologists (1900's to present) are finding the most amazing fossils of "Dolly's" and her other seamates.

The film takes us through Dolly's lifetime of what she would have seen and experienced (including a shark attack... that she survives...carrying with her a shark-tooth souvenir!); then as the film ends we follow the last few days of her life...and then merge back to the present day and watch archaeologists uncover the fossils of a Dolichorhynchops... with a shark's tooth embedded in its right wing.

Armed with knowledge/common sense, it's such a wonderful film to 'bring to life' what the earth perhaps looked like at one time (pre-flood?), and it helped me to realize that when the earth was indeed covered with so much water (and hmmm...fewer people) it makes sense to me that the waters would have been more alive! More water...more large animals of the sea! Following this logic (post-flood), it also makes sense to me that as our Creator promised to never flood the earth again AND as He promised to Abram (later called Abraham) that He would bless him with as many descendants as the stars in the heavens [Genesis 15:5] makes sense to me that we descendants would need more land!

I'm not sure if too many remember the many emails immediately following the deadly Tsunami that struck Sri Lanka during the Christmas holidays in 2004...the emails were full of U-G-L-Y (and very strange looking!) fish/animals that were supposedly washed ashore as a result of the Tsunami. Whether they're a result of the Tsunami or not, it's all very fascinating to me to think that our Creator created so many different species of animals...for our enjoyment, which in turn gives Him praise!

I highly recommend this film! The music, the information, and the scenery is amazing! But do take caution that it's not for those with slight water anxieties! As if Jaws wasn't enough!

Time is a-fly-ing!

I'm not sure how my bloggin' girlfriends get an opportunity to keep their blogs up to date...I don't!

How do you do it?!?

I seem to be in this pattern where we get so busy that blogging isn't anywhere near the top of my to-do list, then I have to go back, download my photos, jog my memory, and then 'post' my posts!

I guess it doesn't bother me all that much, since it's still way faster than scrapbooking, and I know that my blogging (and back-blogging!) will one day assist my scrapbooking...which one day I hope to get back to doing, for the girls sooo love looking back at our fun memories!

So now for a little back-bloggin'!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A sweet act of love...

I have to post this, for I just think it's one of the sweetest gifts of the week/month/year....and I've been in puddles over here...and I think you might be too!!!

Knowing that some of our dearest friends had opened up their home this week to a little girl in need (the girl's single mom works outside of the home and needed childcare for her daughter during her school's fall heart is already saddening), yesterday Ricci came home and told me a sweet story about something that had happened.

After a couple of days of my friend's watching this little girl, the little girl is really enjoying the new atmosphere in which her mom is leaving her every day. So one day, it was apparent that the girl needed extra love (she was wearing the same clothes from the day before,...), so my friend initiates the gentlest, overwhelming gift of love...she offers the little girl a bubble bath!

What a kind gesture of love! When Ricci told me this...I burst into tears! Isn't that precious?!? There are opportunites all around us to show God's love to others, and this one just hit me like a ton of bricks! I just found this kind gesture overwhelming, for it was so gentle and yet so impacting! What a sweet way to show God's love to this little girl in an effective way. She (her clothes, spirit, etc.) was washed and made new!

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. James 3:12-14

Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. Matthew 18:5

Friend, you are truly a friend to have, and I'm so thankful to call you know who you are! I love ya!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Thank you, Daddy!

This afternoon, Cricket received a piece of mail out of the mailbox! Her "very own piece of mail" as the girls squeal!

After reading about Cricket and her love of flowers, Pawpaw sent her a sweet note with some photo slides of beautiful flowers that my Pawpaw had taken. The slides are beautiful, but even more is the love and care that they invest in one another's lives. The girls each have their own individual relationships with my parents (and my sister and her family), individually. And it's so cute to observe.

After Cricket opened her letter and had Angelwings read it aloud to her (it was written in his beautiful, fancy handwriting), she immediately wanted to call him. So she did...and I have to admit that I did overhear her leave her message on the such a big girl! She was so excited, and her voice was so animated in all of her appreciation! And it's so funny to listen to her when he calls her back. They'll stay on the phone with one another forever (especially with Aunt Jenni!)...just to talk...and to see what each one has been up to!

I just so greatly appreciate that my children have such a close-knit relationship with my parents. Thank you, daddy, for taking your time to invest yourself in their lives! And for so many other reasons...too many to count!

Friends, fieldtrips and fun!

This time of year is so much fun for friends, fieldtrips and fun! This week's weather has been spectacular, and our homeschool group hosted a fun picnic and fieldtrip to the Tennessee River Gardens & Nature Preserve/Butterfly Pavilion, a private/non-profit organization, which is a spectacular wildflower garden and wildlife preserve in the heart of the Tennessee River Gorge!

Once everyone arrived (we had over 200 people), we took a short, guided hike, which included wildflower gardens, duck and rainbow trout ponds, a real fossil bank and a Great Blue Heron rookery!
This is a photo from the rainbow trout pond...Greg W. wouldn't believe it! They were HUGE! And our guide had each of the kids take a handful of fish food (no, not Ben and Jerry's, Jen!) and toss it into the water at the same time...the fish went piranhas! It was an amazing site to see!

After the hike, some of us enjoyed a tour of an enclosed butterfly pavilion which houses 20 native butterfly species both in flight and in ALL stages of metamorphosis. Open late spring to early fall, the pavilion includes eggs, larvae, chrysalis and butterfly, as well as species-specific host plants and nectar plants. We've been there at a different time of the year, and there seemed to be more butterflies then, but it was still fun to watch the kids' faces as they found a chrysalis or butterfly!

After a long afternoon picnicking, playing and visiting with friends on the grassy banks of the TN River, picking the last of the beautiful summer wildflowers, and doing some art sketches, we went on home....perhaps it was just all too much for this little Lovey, who fell asleep sitting at the dining table!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What's his name?!?

Cute conversation that I had this evening with just proves how well/poorly (? decide!) balanced our music selections are:

Lovey: What's his name again?
Me: Who?

Lovey: That guy!
Me: Who? (So I started tossing out random names making her laugh/think.)

Lovey: That guy that sings! It's not Josh Groban. It's not Michael Buble. It's not Andrew Peterson.
Me: PonyMan? (aka Gordon Lightfoot)

Lovey: ma'am. The one who has the symphony? Oh, yeah...Beethoven! Whoever has Beethoven in their head, raise your hand!