Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas for a week

It has been a lazy couple of days around the Thomas home this week. And by lazy, I mean sleeping in, cuz yesterday, after I got up, we were gone running errands all day.

But this morning I didn't wake up until almost nine. I feel like a new person. (a very tired new person)

All of the family has come and gone. It was a very busy Christmas. I wanted everyone to come here and see the new place, but it was exhausting.

With all the extended family that I can't have here at the same time, it was spread out over a week. Trying to keep this place visitor-ready is hard!

Mom came over on Tuesday, and we had an awkward couple of hours with her and my sister's families.

Wednesday I spent the day baking and enjoying some real Christmas fun with sister at her place. (she gives the bestest presents!)

Christmas Day the former two-doors-down neighbors dropped in to see what we've done to the place, and later, Step-Dad number two and his wife came over. We had a lovely time laughing and playing a new game with the kids.

Friday I went shopping with big sister while hubby and the kids readied the house for Dad to come visit for the weekend. (thanks guys!) The rest of the weekend was a blur.

By the time he left, I was so tired I wanted to cry, but we had one more visit for which to prepare. Shawn's aunt and uncle, who didn't even know we had moved, (bad form, Shawn!) came over for a couple of hours.

And now I'm waiting for the electrician to come over and hook up my hot tub so I can relax for a couple of days before we get back to school.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

God is good ALL the time

It has been a tough morning, what with waking up with fluid in my inner ear, and feeling dizzy and nauseous, and having a list of stuff to do before my family comes here for cookies and presents. But I got a call from the stove repair guy saying the part to repair my broken oven is no longer available, and the insurance company would have to replace my stove entirely. I gave them a couple of hours to look over the paperwork, and called to see what next. They told me that they were not going to replace it, and that they wanted to buy back the warranty. I was astounded to tears. I actually laughed first, and had the guy clarify that they were going to do nothing at all for me. Then I cried while I wished him a Merry Christmas, and hung up. I think he might have felt bad, but, whatever.

Cut to this afternoon, after the kids and I had spent the day cleaning and getting the house ready. I sat down for a minute at the computer, and read a very encouraging letter from my friend Jenny, then poked through craigslist for a bit.

Okay, I know God is good, and I shouldn't ever be surprised at the way He meets our needs, but this one was HUGE!

I found a stove like ours on craigslist, and went out to see it. I didn't want to spend more that $100 for it, although he had it listed for $150. When I saw it, I knew it would be perfect, but he said he couldn't take $100, and he had someone else coming to look at it later. So I offered him all I had, which was $128. He looked at me and said, but it's only $125! Apparently, he had adjusted the ad today, and I saw the old price. But get this.

While we were loading it up, I asked about the dishwasher I could see sitting near. I wondered how much he wanted for it, and whether it might be there after I got my reimbursement from the warranty company. He asked if I wanted it, and I said I did, but I didn't have any more money. He said I could have it for FREE!!!

I started crying, and praising God right there in the guy's garage. They are a matching pair of white Frigidaires. I needed white appliances!

Can you believe all this?

I'll have a stove AND a dishwasher when my Dad comes for the weekend!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Well, I'm ready to tell you all what I saw when I finished clearing out Hailey's closet.

Kelli and Tina noticed the itty-bitty hangers that we no longer need in our big-kid house. That's what struck me and left me teary.

Hailey isn't my baby girl anymore. She is getting to be quite grown up.

And what I saw hanging in the almost empty closet was a visual reminder that baby hanger days are slipping past, and we are moving on to big-kid/adult hangers.

So I had to take a picture.

Hold your babies a little tighter this Christmas for me, will you?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Peace on Earth?

Usually I try to keep my blog light-hearted and fun. And sometimes it's downright silly. But this time of year is mostly full of hustle and bustle of running hither and yon looking for just the right such-and-such for the perfect so-and-so. It is hard to sit down, breathe a sigh of relief, and remember what makes this time of year so special.

It isn't the tree, although we have one.

It isn't the presents, although we give and receive them.

It isn't the songs, the food, the cookies, or the candies, although we enjoy all of those.

Two years ago, we departed from the normal family Christmas doings and converged upon Florida with family and went to Disney World. On Christmas night, Shawn and I were able to go to Epcot while the grandparents stayed back at the resort with the kids. In the center of the World Showcase, they did a show every night where this giant globe lights up and portrays other countries, and people doing humanitarian deeds, and how nice, that in the face of such times, people were still trying to find peace on Earth. It was a beautiful spectacle, and everyone around me enjoyed it. But it made me so very sad that I cried for quite a while after it ended. What made me sad was that it was urging everyone to search for peace, but made no offer of how to find it. I wanted to jump up and shout to the people all around me that I knew where it could be found, or rather, in Whom it could be found.

People, the very reason why I celebrate Christmas is because God sent Peace to the Earth when He sent His Son.
Will there ever be peace on Earth among men? No. But there is peace on Earth between men and God. Before that, there was no direct relationship with our creator. Jesus is the bridge that crosses the gap between sinful man and a Holy God.

You see, when God created the Earth, and everything in it, He knew that we would sin and reject Him. He knew He would need to sacrifice His own Son to restore fellowship between Himself and His creation. That was His plan. Here's how it works.

The Bible says the wages of that sin is death. Not the physical kind, although we do have that. He was speaking of the eternal kind. The kind of death that separates us from God and spending an eternity with Him. But thankfully, we don't have to pay the death penalty for our own sin. God sent His own Son to pay that price. Our souls were redeemed by the blood of Jesus. But we are not automatically children of God. That happens when we realize that we are sinners, and believe that Jesus' sacrifice of His own life to redeem us to God is all it takes to save us from our sin and an eternity apart from God.
So, this Christmas, if you believe that you are a sinner, and that God gave His own Son to pay for your sins, receive the gift of eternal life that He offers you freely, and thank Him.
It'll be the Merriest Christmas ever.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Said The Little Lamb... Do You See What I See?

While finishing up some of the cleanup that invariably follows a move, I saw something I thought blog-worthy.
I took a picture.

My sister didn't see it at first.

Do you?

Tell me what you see, and next week I'll tell you what I saw.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Grilling Goodness # 9

1. What pain reliever do you swear by?
I usually head for the Advil or Motrin, but lately I've been eyeing the bottle of Crown Royal that I keep in the spice cabinet.

2. Have you gotten up-to-date with a flat screen HDTV?
We have a big screen HDTV monitor, but have not gotten an HDTV receiver yet. I wouldn't mind getting a flat screen for the bedroom, and dispensing with the bulky one that's in there.

3. Have you honked at anyone lately?
Yesterday I honked at some idiot waiting for some pedestrians to get out of the way. If people are going to cross a major intersection where cars have been waiting to turn out of the mall parking lot, at Christmastime, they should expect to get hit. Duh!

4. What is your favorite household product?
Love the Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean. Cleans up most 'oops', and who doesn't like to see a man who cleans?

5. What is the earliest you've gotten up this week and why?
This morning I was awakened by a screaming bladder at 7:13.

6. Do you travel out of town for Christmas?
I hate being out of town on Christmas. I don't like being away from home Christmas or Thanksgiving. Unless I am at Disney World. Then I can make an exception. If I had my sister with me, I suppose I wouldn't mind being gone, but I hate not spending the holidays with her.

7. Have you been listening to Christmas music? (Favorite?)
I listen to Christmas music off and on during the whole year. I love Selah's Christmas CD, and this year's favorite is Go Fish's Snow.

8. When do you exchange gifts with family?
We have many branches of family, so it is all over the place. My mom is coming on the 23rd, and we will do the gift thing with dad the weekend after Christmas.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Guess I'll have to go nekkid

So I am a huge fan of The Biggest Loser. Technically, I am a fan, and some would say I'm huge, but that wasn't what I meant.

But I was flipping through the website, and realized you can buy stuff at the online store. Naturally, I had to see what I might want to buy. I wouldn't mind having a T-shirt, so I clicked on the sizes available. Would you believe they don't go above extra large?

Who do they think watches this show, anyway???

Set free the Zephyr

I saw my first real wildlife (besides squirrels) this morning as I was walking the dogs. While I was waiting patiently for Zacchie to do... well, what Zacchie does, two slender deer lept silently out of the woods and crossed the street to the lake. How graceful they were! I could almost hear what one was saying to the other as they sailed through the trees,
"Just let your heart lead and your feet will follow, and we'll bound and leap like a gentle breeze. Bound and leap like a zephyr set free. Bound, and, of course, leap." (Milo and Otis)


Conversations with Santa

Yesterday at the mall, we came to the Santa booth where you can sit on a strange man's knee and tell him what you want for Christmas and get your picture taken. Preferring to focus on the birth of Christ at Christmas, we have never 'done' the Santa thing. So imagine my surprise when Hailey said she wanted to go see him and have her picture made. Sometimes you have to listen to what is on their little minds and not jump to the 'no' that wants to burst out. A very interesting conversation followed.

Me: Do you think that is really Santa Claus?

Hailey: No, he doesn't really exist.

Me: So, who do you think that man up there is?

Hailey: Just a man in a costume.

Me: What would you say to him?

Hailey: I'd tell him what I want for Christmas.

Me: And what do you think he's going to do about it?

Hailey: (hesitates)

Me: Do you just want to be able to say it out loud?

Hailey nods.

{Picture lady tells her that since Santa isn't busy right now, she can go talk to him for no charge}

Hailey: Please, Mom? This is just one of those once-in-a-lifetime things. I've never done it before, and I'm getting too big.

So I let her do it. And you know what? While she was talking to him, I had the woman snap a picture. It wasn't one of those cheesy grin ones, just her having a conversation with a complete stranger about the desires of her little heart. And it was so precious, I bought it.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008


So much has happened since last we spoke. We are currently residing in our new home, with a brand new heater, thanks to the swift action of USAA bank and Lemmon Heating and Air. And I didn’t have to be in the state for it to happen. Turns out that with nothing more than a phone call, and the correct answer to some very personal questions, you too can be the recipient of a loan, whose disbursement check is being sent to a neighbor near you! Thankfully, the whole transaction was on the up and up. The check was FedEx-ed to the wonderful neighbors two doors down, properly deposited in the appropriate account, and the heating and air guy accepted PayPal payments. Couldn’t get more convenient, if it tried.
But, alas, Paypal was looking out for the interest of its valued customer, and thought that my account had been accessed by a third party, and held the payment for a few days, until I got savvy and checked on the payment. It seems that after spending less than a hundred bucks per transaction over the course of the years, and suddenly making a payment of thousands of dollars from another state and a different ISP address sends up red flags. Who knew? But I was able to convince the nice lady that although I had made a transaction that big from another state, and I wasn’t the actual person on the account, and, by the way, you can’t call the confirmed telephone number on the account, because it’s changed, and, while I’m at it, let’s change the address on the account, too, that it was a legitimate payment, and please release the funds so the nice man who did me a huge favor can get paid, thankyouverymuch! She actually believed me, so I didn’t have to tell poor Mr. Lemmon that the mean, mean people at PayPal were withholding payment, not me. [Sigh of relief]

After spending the past two weeks moving the rest of our belongings to our new place, the kids and I finally got around to putting up the tree. I have a method of doing it that works for me. I put on rows of branches, winding white lights as we go, (no pre-lit tree for me) and then we decorate, leaving the angel for Shawn to put on when he gets home from work. Before I put on a string of lights, I test it, and periodically throughout the building of the tree, I test them all again. This way I don’t get finished and find that I have to do the lights again. I did the same thing this time, but after we came back from eating dinner, the whole top strand was out. At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll get around to re-stringing it. Okay, my Dad’s coming down the weekend after Christmas, so I probably will, but not today.

**Update** Shawn reached into the tree and jiggled the cord where the top string of lights connected to the one below it, found it loose, and secured it, turning them on, and saving me a hassle.
My hero!

I spent some quality time today at the mall with my niece, which was nice. We had a ball. She is crazy, and one of the only two teen-agers I enjoy spending time with. She’s a lot like her mother, which means I get her. Other kids, like my own, notsomuch. We did some shopping, some cracking jokes, she’s kick-butt at narrating for people in situations. Of course, it’s all for our entertainment. Nothing mean or ugly, and they can’t hear her. Like when I graciously let someone have my parking spot, and the lady left in a snit after she thought I was trying to steal her my space, B. thanked me kindly that I was so thoughtful and generous. Or in a store when someone’s shopping basket filled the entire aisle, and I had to ask her to excuse me, so I could pass, B. said, ‘I’ll be happy to move out of the way and let you by’ when the lady rolled her eyes at me and snatched her cart out of the way so fast the kid in the seat got whiplash.

Roxy had to go to a new home last week. Ever since she helped foster Zaccheus, she has been vying for the alpha female position, which belongs to Cricket. This resulted in several 'to the death' type fights. Fearing for her safety, or Cricket's, and worrying that one of the kids would be hurt, we did the painful, but best thing in the situation. She went to an older couple who have been family friends since I was very young. They have no small children, and their own dog passed away last year. They were ready to open up their home to another pet, so it worked out for all involved. Hailey was very grown up about losing 'her' dog. There were some tears, but she understood.

It is so good to be back online. I missed everyone, and it'll take me a few days to catch up with you all, but I will, I promise.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Catch you on the flip side!

I will be offline for a few days moving and setting up my internet access at the new house.
I'll catch up with you all when I get back.
Meanwhile, I'll be missing you!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

NYC in a day

I feel like I've been beat up with a bat-like substance. And not the flying kind, either. My thighs think that Suzanne Sommers has something against them. Turns out that you don't really need a torture device to squeeze between your knees to feel the burn. All you need is to believe that your train, which happens to be four city blocks away, leaves at 6:15, instead of the 6:50 actual time.

And do this after spending the entire day walking down Fifth Avenue from Central Park to Times Square, visiting all the relevant toy stores along the way.

But, seriously, the kids had a blast. We rode the train into Grand Central Station, got metro cards for each of us, and hit the subway running. Our goal was to make it to FAO Schwartz in time for opening ceremonies. Unfortunately, we were just a few minutes late. But Caleb enjoyed the giant piano that was in the movie Big.

Hailey was completely blown away in the American Girl Store. She had a hard time at first, wishing she could have a new doll. But $90 for a doll was not in our budget, and she only had $30 of her own. So I convinced her to buy some body wash that was going out of circulation, and on sale for four dollars. That way she could have a bag to carry around from the store.

We ate at a little side cafe next to a park where we picked up a geocache. There is a piece of the Berlin Wall in a park on 53rd street, and someone has hidden a cache there. It didn't take long to find it, and we had some nice photo ops.

The kids watched the icescaters for a few minutes before we moved on to Nintendo World, where Caleb was in heaven. Hailey and I found a corner to sit in while he played Wii for as long as his little heart desired.

Toys R Us was a big hit, as expected. Caleb accidentally left his brand new Transformer in the store, and we didn't realize it until we were getting on the subway a block and a half away. Shawn was ready to let it go, but I asked him to please go back and see if, by some miracle, it was still there. It was.

We made it to the Staten Island Ferry in time to ride past the Statue of Liberty, taking pictures and video along the way. Some nice people even took our picture.

When we got back to Manhattan, we rushed to a bus which took us four blocks from Grand Central. But, we had to run to make the 6:15. And we made it! Somehow making it with seconds to spare lost something when I realized that we actually had 35 minutes to burn.

Tumbling into bed, and not moving a muscle all night long, I am really sore today. It's a good thing laundry and packing for a 21.5 hour trip isn't physically taxing. I don't think I could do any more today, if I tried.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

He saved the day!

There have been times when my husband has been the hero of the day, but today shall go down in history.

We rode the bus from West Point to NYC, got dropped next to Times Square, and set up parade watch right in front of good old McDonalds.

It didn't take me long to realize that, although we were pressed up against the barricade, we were on the wrong side of the square for up-front viewing. But Shawn saved the day. When the security officer passed by, he spoke up and asked if his wife and kids might possibly go to the other side. And you know what? He said we could!

So the kids and I crossed Times Square to Broadway, and I convinced the kids to excuse themselves all the way past the tall grown-ups to the barricade on the parade route. We made it just as the first clowns came through.

You know you are in the front of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade when you have to look UP to see the balloons. Some of them were so big, and we were so close, that I couldn't pan out far enough to see the whole balloon in the camera viewfinder.

Now, that's close!

I thought Hailey would be excited to see Miley Cyrus up close, but they were both more excited to see the Fetchers from Fetch with Ruff Ruffman (PBS). Hailey squealed and said she might die. Thankfully, she didn't.

My best part? David Archuletta waved at me! Okay, he waved in my direction, but there was DEFINITELY eye contact while he waved!

Oh, I could just die!


Monday, November 24, 2008


When I saw it, I almost cried.
Familiarity is a wonderful thing when you are traveling far from home.
My friend, Dawn told me that I'd not see it when I was here.
She was wrong.
Who knew you could by happiness in a styrofoam cup?
And it only costs a buck!
"I'll take a large Mickey D's sweet iced tea, please!"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kickin' it in the city

After spending several hours researching the shows available for my Broadway viewing entertainment, and deciding that I would really like to see South Pacific, White Christmas, or Wicked, in that order of preference, we headed into the city. We snagged a ride on the military shuttle, courtesy of the in-laws. Fortunately for my motion sickness tendencies, I was able to ride shotgun.

We were dropped off right in front of Times Square where the line for discount tickets was winding and snaking around a booth. By the time I got to the window, and found out that they don't sell tickets to premium shows like the choices I had made, I was willing to settle for what I could get without standing in another long line. So we purchased tickets to see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Hall, featuring the world famous Rockettes. I was not complaining.

The show didn't start until 4:00, and it was only just noon, so we chose to get a bite to eat. We shuffled around a bit, checking out the gigantic Toys R Us store where we want to take the kids later. After looking at the menu at TGI Friday's, Shawn and I decided to go eat at the Olive Garden. I'm not usually a big fan of the place, but I had a fantastic steak that made it worth the money we spent on lunch in Times Square.

The Hershey's and M&M stores were, um, sweet. I had to stop at a pharmacy to pick up a couple of essentials including some Advil Cold and Sinus. Boring, I know, but I was getting a migraine.

Yadda, yadda, yadda... wander through a couple other places and Rockefeller Center to kill time... get to the show.

Our tickets, which didn't bust the budget, surprisingly enough, were pretty good seats. The Rockettes were amazing! How they ever managed to do all of those high kicks and fancy steps in perfect unison is beyond me, but I got to thinking, I could totally do that! I can kick my feet up over my head, but it usually involves some sort of fruit peel or ice patch, and it ain't as pretty or even remotely sexy.

But whatever.

Tomorrow I shall make out the grocery list of things we still need for me to make a familiar Thanksgiving dinner. I guess it's back to the old grind...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Greetings and salutations

Well, so I survived the trip up here. I did most of the driving. I like being in control of my destiny, so after Shawn drove for about six hours, I made him give me back the keys. This is the first time we have driven straight through in this direction. Usually we take our time, stopping somewhere on the way, to delay the inevitable prolong the fun.

But this time I made a deal with the huband type person that we could take the van if I was willing to forgo the hotel I had reserved. It was a no-brainer.
The wind was gusty, and I had difficulty keeping the van pointed the right direction a few times, but, whatever.

I was quite surprised to find it snowing in Nashville. Not much, just a few flurries. It wasn't until we were in Virginia somewhere and we came to a well-lit area that I realized there were a few inches of snow covering the ground. I didn't even know it, because the roads were so clear. I spent a little time telling God how thankful I was that the snow was already on the ground, and not falling all around me, making it difficult to see.

[queue blizzard]

Guess God wanted to talk with me a little longer, 'cause then I started the real praying. I learned that in a complete white out, with the headlights shining on the flakes driving straight at me, I felt like I was floating. It was a mesmerizing feeling of not even moving, even though I was driving about 50 MPH. That's when I realized that it might be bad, really bad to not see where I was going at 50 MPH. So I decided to pull it off the interstate.

Long story short, we did make it here, or I wouldn't be blogging. I would have way too much to do in heaven to waste time online!
It is cold, but there is no snow here, which is fine by Zaccheus. He liked the snow just fine, until he had to squat. Turns out that being two inches from the ground doesn't leave much clearance for things to fall, if you know what I mean.

And to top it all off, I found out that the in-laws have joined the 21st century, and have broadband, so I will be able to keep you apprised of my adventures. I know how much you enjoy the goings-on of my world traveling self... (so far, I have survived a hair-raising ride with my MIL to the commissary, where we loaded up on all groceries yummy)

Tomorrow Shawn and I head to the Big Apple to take in a show or something. Not sure what we're seeing. I'll fill you in tomorrow.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

So long, Farewell!

Well, the big day has finally arrived. I have been working the past 24 hours to switch my sleep schedule, just so I can take the night shift of our 22 hour drive.
I left a few things to do today, like pack and finish tidying up the house, running out to the new house to pick up the coats we already moved, purchasing tags for the little tiny trailer we built, running through Wal-Mart for a few last minute items, and such other mindless chores. Unfortunately, I completely underestimated the power of sheer exhaustion. I have been in a fog, and a migraine has quietly crept in to haunt me. So I took an Excedrin (cause that's what I need to help me sleep) and ate some lunch.
Now I'm headed to bed with the black velvet curtains drawn for some snooze time.
I don't know how much blogging I'll get to do in NY, but I'll have a laptop, and I'll try to sneak off to someplace with wi-fi once in a while.
Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Congratulations on your new home, Sucker!

Spending hours on hold is not my idea of a good time, but sitting at the computer blogging and playing around on Facebook while I wait takes the edge off.
Unfortuantely, nothing in the world can take the edge off the words, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Thomas, but that $850 water heater and $3-5K central heating and air unit won't be covered under your homeowner's warranty."
All the while, I can hear the evil cackling on the other end, and the high fives going around the office, as they post another dollar sign on the dry erase board list of suckers like me.


Monday, November 17, 2008

As if I didn't have enough to do...

I wrote my daily to-do task list on the dry erase board in the class room, lest I forget to do something today. It is very long, yet I sit here at the computer reading all the blogs I have missed the past couple of days, and writing one of my own. It takes me a while to get going in the morning.
Mostly, I have calls today, but the places I have to call are not open yet, so it's okay.

This weekend Shawn looked around our bedroom and realized that none of our stuff will match the pale pink master bedroom at the new house, so he said we should go ahead and paint it before we move into it. The master bedroom is one of the only two rooms without wall paper, so he figured it wouldn't take very long. Of course, since he's not allowed to hold so much as a brush, this meant I would be doing the painting. So yesterday, I went, picked out the color, bought some supplies, and started painting. Fortunately, I had already moved a small space heater over there, and the room heated up nicely. I was able to do the first coat of the trim. So today, among all the other stuff I have to do, I will be going back to the house to do another coat of trim, and possibly one coat of rolling. Whoopie!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Grilling Goodness # 7

1. What's the worst thing you've ever sent through the washing machine/dryer?

Once I accidentally washed a disposable diaper. It disintegrated and little gel stuff was EVERYWHERE. What a mess. I did NOT put it in the dryer.

2. Do you do any of your Christmas shopping online?

I do some of it. Usually it depends what I'm looking for. I buy some stuff on eBay, and some stuff other places.

3. What are you looking forward to this Thanksgiving?

I am looking forward to taking the kids to NYC to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. They have never been in the city with us. They usually hang at grandma's house while Daddy and I go enjoy the day by ourselves. But this time, we wanted them to go with us. So we'll be enjoying the usual feast-ivities on Wednesday, the parade on Thursday, and on Friday...

4. What did you do before you had children that you miss doing now that you have children?
Shawn and I went to see more movies in the theater in the BC (before children) era.

5. Do you have a fireplace? (Do you use it?)

We have a wood burning stove in the current house. We use it a lot. I love a roaring fire. But there is no fire place at the new house. One of the few things I shall miss. I think I'll make another one like the one we built at the other house we used to have. It looked like this: (minus the children, of course.)

6. Do medical shows showing surgeries and blood freak you out?
I don't really mind watching medical shows, but I can't watch the bloody parts for very long; after awhile, I do start to freak out.

7. How long have you lived where you live?
We have lived in the current house for just over two years. But I'm moving into our new house, where I would like to spend the rest of my life.

8. What is one of your favorite seasonal items?
I'm with Tina on this one. I like all things yummy smelling: candles, potpourri simmer stuff, baking things...
The smells of the holiday season are my favorite parts of the memories.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My plans for the day...

You'd think with the stess level yesterday that I'd have slept well last night. But you'd be wrong. So wrong.
I had these vivid dreams circling my brain all night. Nothing logical, mind you, but very colorful. But I woke up this morning with Shawn and decided to get a jump on the laundry before the day gets away from me.
I'll be spending the day hanging with my sister, who is my bestest friend.

She'll be helping me move some stuff into the house we bought yesterday!

Y'all have a good one! I know I will!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Redneck privacy fence

Some neighbors of my current home moved away, and we have new neighbors. This is what the back yard looks like. Now I really have a reason to sing the Sanford and Son theme song!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Grilling Goodness #6

1. What is one of your 'must see' tv shows?
Hmmm, I have a few. I love Lost, but it hasn't started yet. I also watch Survivor, The Amazing Race, The Biggest Loser, CSI, CSI-NY, Grey's Anatomy, Life on Mars, Without a Trace, and The Mentalist. I am addicted to my DVR, because that means I can watch what I want, whenever I want to watch it.

2. Do you have a facebook page?
Why, yes, yes I do. I didn't really like it as much MySpace. Frankly it annoyed me, but it's growing on me.

3. How old were you when you got married?
I was 22 and he was 24.

4. What is one bad habit that you need to break?
Spending entirely too much time at the computer.

5. What is your favorite cold-weather activity?
Watching a fire burn in the fireplace.

6. At church, do you always sit in the same area?
Yep, that would be the choir loft.

7. What do you like best about blogging?
Getting to tell complete strangers random things about my life, reading random things about complete strangers, and learning that complete strangers make really great friends.

8. What's the last funny thing you remember hearing from a child?
I can't remember any funny things right now, because the kids are on my last ever lovin' nerve.

Okay, off topic now:

I guess God's trying to teach me something here. After all this hoo-ha, we still haven't closed. They finally have all the paperwork in from the sellers, but there just isn't enough time in the day to get the rest of it ready today. Of course, if everyone dropped everything else, it could be done. But we are nobody special to them. We are just one case among many, and no one will be dropping anything to give us special attention.

Meanwhile, our lock on our funding expires at midnight tonight, and in order to extend our lock, it is going to cost us.


Thank you all so much for keeping us in prayer. We have not been sure if we are kicking against the pricks, so to speak, or if God's just trying to teach us patience. We believe that this is God's place for us, but we wouldn't be the first people to be wrong about that. Someone once told me that life isn't always about trying to figure out where God wants you, so much as being God's vessel when you get wherever He puts you.

I know I'm rambling, but I'm tired, and I've spent many hours and tears on this place. I just want it to be over so I can go home.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Indescribable beauty

I love the colors of autumn.

The sound of the swishing leaves as they brush the ground is soothing to my ear.

If I could paint a picture with words, it could be no more beautiful than the picture God paints in the fall. It would not come close to the beauty of reality.

Freshly picked apples from the tree are not as crisp as the morning and evening air.

The branches of the trees are doing a seductive dance as they shed their leaves in preparation for a winter of sleep. Their swaying is a mesmerizing tribute to the power of the unseen hand that sweeps through them.

The boldness of the reds, golds, and oranges startles my eyes, and bids me to linger, just to watch them drift to the ground.

Only a Creator with an eye for unimaginable beauty could paint a living picture so painfully brilliant that it cannot be described.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Okay, Y'all

I heard from the realtor this morning. We will not be closing today. They are anticipating receiving the deed today, which was FedEx-ed last night. And we will possibly close tomorrow afternoon, but by Friday, for sure.So thanks for your prayers for peace while I try not to fret. Keep us lifted up the next couple of days, that nothing else goes wrong.

Monday, November 3, 2008


For all my praying peeps

This is the final week. And I don't mean because I called it, this time.
Our contract states that we will close on or before Nov. 5.
We have done all the repairs that were required by the inspector. And now the contractor, who agreed to wait payment until closing, must be paid, so things cannot fall through. I have spent the past week, and will spend the next two days finishing the deep cleaning. (Thanks for the help, Chris.)
The deck is fantastic, and I got my bridge and hot tub platform.

But I can feel the pressure mounting. The stress is getting overwhelming. These people failed to produce the proper documents when we needed them the last time, and I have no confidence that they will produce them in time, this time.
Let the stressing out commence.
When I get stressed, I get short tempered. I know this about myself. So I am keeping busy so I don't have time to spaz.
If you don't mind, pray for me this week. Pray that things will go as they should, and that, if they don't, I will hold up under the pressure. That I will take my frustrations to my Father and my husband, and not pour them out on my children.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Vote for me!

We had a mock election with our homeschool group yesterday. It was neat, and the kids had fun. After the results were in, I found out my son had voted liberal.
What am I raising around here?
The update went out, and Jenny suggested making a limerick out of the sentence that a boy voted for Obama, and his Momma wasn't pleased.
I took the challenge. Here are the latest results. Anyone else want to give it a try?

The children held an election,
Which would have been close to perfection,
If one boy hadn't frozen,
The wrong candidate chosen,
He wouldn't be facing rejection.

There voted a boy for Obama.
This greatly displeased his poor mamma.
In dismay she asked, "Why,
Would you make your Mom cry?
I think I'll just have to disown ya!"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Are Christians being treated to a trick?

Every year we do this thing. And every year I protest. Why, oh, why must Christians have to have some sort of alternative to Halloween?
Anyone with a computer and fingers can research the origins of the day and find out that it is a pagan holiday, steeped in witchcraft, and the occult.
I grew up trick-or-treating. My mom, who was a clever seamstress, and even wrote clever verse, made my sister and me matching ladybug costumes. The beetle part was a big sack with a zipper at the top. You were supposed to stuff it with pillows to plump it up, but she got the crazy idea that we should use it to actually carry our loot. We had to ring the bell, wait for the answer, and recite in unison, "Trick or treat, I have no sack. Please put the candy in my back." Then we turned around for a candy deposit. This was usually greeted with smiles, and 'oh, how cute.'
Being five years older than my cute little self, my sister found this quite humiliating. I didn't even know, until recently, that she hated our little routine. I can see why, now that I'm all grown up. But I thought it was fun at the time.
Somehow, after becoming Christians, and getting into church, we realized that Halloween wasn't all the fun it was cracked up to being. And in reality, it was a dangerous time, very significant to the occult.
It wasn't until I became a mother that I decided to do my own research about the history and significance of the holiday, and what it should, or shouldn't mean to my children.
I watched a video called Trick or Treat? that featured several people who had converted from Satanism to Christianity, and were giving candid testimony about what Halloween means to the church of Satan. It was enlightening, to say the least.
So I told Shawn about it, and we decided not to participate in any events on that evening.
Our church has a family fall festival every year on Halloween. It is open to the public; there are games, rides, inflatables, animals, food, and of course, candy. Most people wear costumes, and although no scary costumes are supposed to be allowed, no one is turned away. This has become a huge outreach tool for our church. We have somewhere around 3000 people every year. Everyone has to register, and every person is followed up on. So you could say that it really is a great way to reach out to our community.
Two years ago, I relented, and since my husband didn't really have the same convictions about the event, we took the kids to the FFF. They had a blast. But I still couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't right.
I understand that we celebrate Christmas and Easter like the world, but then we are at least celebrating something wonderful for Christians.
But why must we provide an alternative for a pagan holiday that has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity? And it is, in fact, a holiday to celebrate the occult.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday (deck; before and after)

(The hole in the deck is where the hot tub goes. :-D )