Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

found it!

I found the camera. THANK YOU LORD!!! Just thought you should know.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Guess what we did last night!

One of our good friends was in town last night with his wife and Big Daddy wanted to go visit for a bit. So when he left it was getting close to bed time. With the little ones bathed and my uncontrollable urge to keep the Christmas spirit alive, we popped some popcorn and watched "Shrek the Halls!" Is that crazy? Most years, I am so glad to have just made it through. But this year I just don't want to hang it up! When I finally post about what I did over my Christmas vacation, maybe you will understand why. It was a great one! Now I am off to find the new camera Big Daddy got me for Christmas. It's cute, pink and small enough to fit in my pocket. It's just what I wanted to have handy so I don't miss a shot. The only's small enough to fit in my pocket. Which MEANS...I have misplaced it. Please pray that I find it because the pictures on the memory card are priceless. Wish me luck!

Merry Christmas!

If you didn't get one of these Christmas cards from us this year, don't feel bad. Very few did! They took longer than we thought they would to come in. So I printed off a few at Walgreens and sent them to out of town family. My plan was to grab them on Monday, rush to the post office (kids in tow), run in and buy stamps (it was 22 degrees) and mail them before rushing off to our Christmas with Big Daddy's family. Then I stopped myself. Why? If I did it that way, I would be totally stressed and would most likely snap at my children and Big Daddy more than once. If I let go of my obsessive compulsiveness for one second and put my family first, we could get there without rushing around while barking orders at each other. Then I would have time to curl Claire's beautiful hair while watching a Christmas movie all cozy by the fire! (That sounds way better!) Besides, most of the people who would be getting these cards will read this blog and won't be horribly upset if they don't get a card this year. AND many may have gotten some the day AFTER Christmas which would normally be unheard of in my book! I guess what I'm trying to say is that I had a major breakthrough this year. It isn't about pleasing everyone else. My priority is making the holidays enjoyable for my children, not running them all over town in the FREEZING cold just to get some cards out. It is about taking time to enjoy a DVD Big Daddy so thoughtfully put together of footage from our old video camera that I thought was long gone (Claire was seriously like 10 minutes old.). It's about making a gingerbread house on Christmas Eve with the kids even if I do have a zillion things to do before we leave for dinner. I will still do my best to be thoughtful and do nice things over the holidays, but not at the expense of my children and Big Daddy. It was a little hard to come to terms with that, but once I oh man did we have a WONDERFUL Christmas. We had so much more time to focus on what this season is really about. The birth of our SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST! It was a great week and I will post more later. Right now I am busy getting to know the newest member of our family. I haven't named her yet....but she is awesome.
Gotta Go!!! My Grammy is calling me!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

You prance. I'll Dash.

Those exact words came from my 4 year old today. She and Cohen have been playing some great reindeer games lately. Claire has gone so far as to rub her nose on the chalkboard (which is written on with red chalk) so she will have a red nose! I now have to refer to them as Prancer and Dasher as I cheer for them. I have been instructed to yell, "Wahoo Prancer! Great prancing!" and "GOOO Dasher! You dash SOOO fast!" It's really quite entertaining. Looks like we will be playing reindeer games well into the new year! But that will definitely be a catch phrase around our house for a while. "You prance. I'll dash!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Does it ever truly go away?

**Update** You all should know that my husband does not share my views on this one! That's okay though...he pretty much has the final say around here anyway! Love you Big Daddy!

Two years ago, Big Daddy decided together that we were officially "done" having children. One boy, one girl....we are set. But answer me this. Will I ever really feel like I'm done? Will I ever be totally okay with not having a little one to cuddle? I'm sure my family (who was so supportive when I was miserable while pregnant with Coco) would like to remind me of how we ALL suffered through my last pregnancy. But I am a completely different person than I was two years ago. I can't help but wonder how my new found faith in our Lord would change the way I dealt with pregnancy. I can't help but wonder if we screwed up. NO Big Daddy, I am not saying you need to hit up the Shepard's reversal doctor! But I know, based on scripture, that I was not obedient to the Lord. HE is the one who is supposed to open and close the womb...not Dr. McClippy. (No, that's not his real name!) Please know that I do NOT take this post lightly. I am really going out on a limb here sharing my heart.

I have seen so many people struggle to get pregnant and I feel worse each story I hear. I am perfectly capable of carrying healthy children to term. Was I selfish to just put a stop to it just like that? What makes me think that I know better than God? Whoooweee, I certainly think a lot of myself now don't I? Ugh.

So for now, I will still be a little disappointed every time that day rolls around when my body tells me that I am no doubt withOUT child. Of course....that should have happened last week. **wink wink** But I will accept that the longing I feel is God's way of reminding me that HE is in control. Maybe I will think twice before making such a huge decision without consulting long and hard with scripture.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Created to be his Helpmeet

In the past I have mentioned my Bible study that I did starting last summer. I went into it not really knowing what to expect. (Probably because I had never done a Bible study before!!) I never imagined how it would change my life. I have wanted to sum it up for you but never really found the right words to do it justice. My biggest fear was using the word "submission." In this day and age, it has such negative undertones and I wasn't sure I could define the word without making it sound simply archaic. But leave it to MckMama. This post is almost exactly what I would have said if I had the ability to put it so eloquently. If you are a newlywed, read her post. If you are an "oldywed" and aren't happy, read her post. If you are perfectly content, read her post. There is bound to be something in there that you will benefit from even if it is just a feeling of accomplishment knowing that you are trying your very best to achieve the model God has given us for marriage. If you are like me, you will be reminded that you still have room for improvement! I just really liked her post and I hope you do too!

PS When I just spellchecked, the spellchecker suggested the words oldened and mildewed for the word "oldywed"! I don't mind being oldened and long as Big Daddy is right there beside me!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Rockin' Reindeer Review

Claire had her Christmas program last night. This is the first year that she actually participated. The first year, she stood there but that was it. Last year, we knew she wouldn't even stand there so we opted to go to a Lady Chiefs game instead! This year was her time to shine. We talked a lot about it and she was ready....until the day came. She kept telling me that she didn't want to go, but I could tell she was just testing me. But then she got pretty upset and revealed that she was really sad that Nanny couldn't be there. I told her I understood but I had something that might make her feel better. So we went to my jewelry box and got out a VERY special necklace. It was a gold cross that my Grammy gave me when Claire was born. It was my mom's when she was just a baby. She was very excited and off we went to her performance! Here's a picture before the show. I'm not sure what has gotten into her, but she is into posing these days! It's too cute!
I'm trying to get video posted, but it's not working. I'll keep trying!

By Popular Demand

My favorite video of all times. This was my sweet Claire two years ago making cookies with Nanny and Grandma. If you haven't seen it, listen closely and enjoy. If you have, watch it never gets old. My favorite part is how my mother-in-law doesn't even miss a beat while my mom and I can barely keep it together! Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Coco.

Well, here it is. FINALLY my little Coco gets his birthday slideshow. It's just 3 months late. I started with the pictures Auntie Karen took and then added some of my own snapshots. (Except the Easter pics. Those are Karen's too!) If they are blurry, it's because I saved them from the shutterfly website and not directly from a disk. (Just didn't want to make Auntie Karen look bad!!) Oh, and the song is one that I have had picked out for this occasion since the beginning of the summer! Every time I hear it, I think of my baby boy. So....ENJOY!

Click to play Coco2
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G.I. Joseph

Claire and Cohen went to see Christmas lights at Elfendale and the live Nativity last night with Grandma Connie. Her parents (Papa Bill and Grandma Millie) came too. As they were watching the live Nativity, Claire kept insisting that she bring mommy and daddy back. "Grandma! We have to bring them back because this is the REAL Mary and Joseph and mommy only has the action figures!!!!"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree.

Somewhere across town there is a beautiful house full of people I love. They are eating delicious food made by my favorite cake lady/caterer. (Hi Belinda!) They are all looking fabulous, swapping stories of their children who are all home with relatives no doubt being spoiled just a teensy bit. They are admiring my handsome husband wearing his new shirt in which he looks....might I

Where am I you ask? Why would I miss such a wonderful evening? What am I doing on my couch wearing my favorite pair of PJ pants and my Heritage Books T-shirt? Why did I just eat a foot long coney from Sonic and chase it down with cheesecake bites? Well.....someone here needed me.

Little mister has been throwing up all evening. (I still am amazed that I can take a pic with my cell phone and a few clicks and 10 seconds later, it is here on my blog. Amazing.) So we are watching Frosty Returns and cuddling on the couch. Well, I'm blogging at the moment and the Tivo just switched to "The Flight Before Christmas" but you get the point.
Big Daddy was granted immunity from this evening of vomit, sweat and shakes. Why? Because I'm so nice. And because he hasn't seen his friends in so long! He has been working SO hard and I really hope he has a wonderful time. Truth be told, I'm pretty happy right where I am. All of you moms out there know that a sick baby, however sad it may be, equals a really cuddly baby. So don't feel too sorry for me!
There's a party going on out there, but the only rockin' I'll be doing tonight is with my baby boy.
Feel better soon Mr. Coco!

Worth it.

I just visited Momzoo's blog and got the warm fuzzies. Her blog was one of the first blogs I began following. I love it. She is responsible for this post of mine, which is still one of my favorites today. Her husband Dadzoo, also has a blog. He posted THIS. What a testament to her hard work and loving service to her husband. And just a gentle reminder, we are instructed in the Bible to serve our husbands! I just wanted to share his blog and hope that you will take the time to read it. I also enjoy his reference to the 1950's home economics book. Apparently I'm becoming more and more 50's everyday....that is until we start talking about cleaning the toilet in heels and pearls. Ummmm, no thanks.

Sneaky Peeky

I got a call this morning from our Auntie Karen saying that she had e-mailed me new pictures. Some are from Cohen's big 2 year photo shoot and some from last nights Christmas shoot. As I'm sure you can understand, I threw everything aside and RAN...ahem, I mean walked in a very ladylike manner to my computer to feast upon these pictures. I am only going to (pardon the photography pun) expose two of them. I will make you wait for the rest. Why? Because I can. And also, because I should be cleaning. Please enjoy and offer comments on this WONDERFUL photography. See, our wonderful Auntie should go into business. She does not think she could. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Hunter!

It's official! My baby nephew is THIRTEEN! He has grown into a wonderful young man. I picked him up the other day and it hit me.....he's growing up right before our eyes. He is so very special to me. I am so thankful that he still thinks I am cool even if I am getting old. Maybe it's because I can hold my own in a Guitar Hero match. I will NEVER be able to beat him.....but I'm not completely terrible. Hunter Wayne, I love you and wish you a VERY happy birthday!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Feliz Navidad

I LOVE listening to Claire sing. This year she is really getting into the Christmas spirit. It is so cute to listen to her sing along with the radio. Last year she could sing a few songs on her own, but it is different to hear her keep up with the radio. Tonight I was sitting here catching up on my blogs while Cohen dozed off next to me. I heard Claire rummaging through her toy box singing, "I WANNA WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEAAAAARRRRRRT!" And can I just say, she was on key too! Oh how I love that little booger. I can't wait until her Christmas program. We will be recording it because her best friend Drew will have to miss it. He is going with his Mom, Dad and brother to Houston for Steph's appointments. Nanny and Papa are going with them too so, I told her that if she does her VERY best, we would have a little party when they all get home. We will hook the camera up to the big screen and she can show off. I can't wait to bust out the red carpet, popcorn and Jr. Mints.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Our Vacation!

Here is a smilebox that I put together of our vacation to Cancun. Just so you know, I officially gained 5 pounds. All we did was eat. The beauty of it...we came home to sweater weather, so no one can tell! (Except me of course, every time I sit down and my jeans cut me in two. That's what sweatpants are for!) Mom and Steph, I hope these pics warm you up during chemo today!

Click to play cancun
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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Stephanie Vest.

I have been following the blog about Stephanie Vest. A young mother of 3 fighting a very rare form of cancer. She is the friend of a friend and I have prayed so much for her over the last few months. I was so sad to read this morning that before she was able to celebrate her daughter's first Christmas, she passed away. Please keep her family in your prayers.

If you want to hear a REALLY sweet story, go to my other blog and read about what Drew said this morning to my mom. Oh, that boy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What do you get...

when you mix a two year old with approximately a half can of hairspray?

Give up?


Exciting times around here! Last night was Claire's first basketball practice. We love her coaches and are so excited for the season. She had a great time. They worked on shooting, passing, defensive slides and had devotion. She is already looking forward to next practice!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Giggy Pudding.

Last year it was Claire with her "tiggy" pudding.

This year....Cohen and his "giggy" pudding.

Maybe next year we will just stick with "Jell-O" pudding. There's always room for that.

Not Me Monday

I did not eat way too much on Thursday.

I did not miss my momma and dad on Thanksgiving day. I should probably be old enough to not miss my parents when we aren't together on holidays. (Which isn't very often!)

I was NOT at Target at 6 a.m. on black Friday. That would be crazy. And it would take DAYS to recover.

When I returned home, I did not put on Christmas jammies, crank up Christmas music and start cleaning like a mad woman in order to get ready to drag out the Christmas stuff. (Secretly hoping all the while that Big Daddy would keep the kids out a little longer so I could get a little more done.)

I did NOT show up to "Breakfast with Santa" on Saturday only to find that "Breakfast with Santa" is NEXT Saturday. (Hey Steph! Aren't you glad I DIDN'T do that?!)

I did NOT hear someone in Target yelling curse words at her small child. Surely people don't do that.

I did not say a prayer for that child in hopes that she will overcome the things she is being taught by example.

I am not checking my e-mail hourly waiting for a preview of Cohen's pictures from Auntie Karen! I think that would be expecting way to much out of poor Auntie Karen who has her plate FULL right now. But they are just going to be sooooo darn cute!

My Coco did NOT drink from the toilet last night. If he did I certainly did not blog about it. What kind of mother do you think I am?

I am not still dreaming of this place

Let it go....just let it go.

What did you NOT do last week?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Here's a conversation that ACTUALLY took place tonight.

Coco: "Momma! Gink!"
Translation: "Momma! Drink!"

Me: "OH, yes. Drink" (Really just responding so that he wouldn't repeat himself 50,000 times)

Coco: "Mmmm. Gink water."
**Toilet finishes flushing in the background**

Me: "Uh, Coco. Where did you get the water?"

Coco: "Fer-lit!"
Translation: "Toilet!"

yuck. I will now Google the symptoms of know....just in case.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a great day! We enjoyed our day with Big Daddy's family. We had lunch at his Aunt and Uncle's beautiful lake home. The view was breathtaking from their deck which we spent a lot of time on due to the 60 degree day we had! PERFECTION! And the food....oh the food! It was DEEE-licious! I just took a break from the ads to post a little blog. I can't wait for my shopping adventure tomorrow with Ashley. Nothing kicks off the holiday season like a crowd full of crazy shoppers at Target! I am very excited about shopping with her tomorrow! So, I must get to bed for some much needed rest....Starbucks can only do so much!

Mom, I miss you but am SO happy that you got to spend this holiday with your momma! Grammy, I love you and hope you are enjoying time with my momma and dad!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lock me up Buttercup.

Cohen locked himself in the truck with the only set of keys. After I lost patience and began to panic, Big Daddy stepped in and saved the day. (While I took that bad?) Here's what happened.

"Hi Dada! Lock?"

Big Daddy: "Push the button."
Cohen: "Dis button?"
Big Daddy: "NO. Well...yes....same button, just push it this way."
Cohen: "Dis button?"
Big Daddy: "Yes, that button....just....oh sheesh. Never mind. Cohen, grab the keys out of the ignition."

Big Daddy: "Now push the buttons....WAIT! Not THAT button!"
Whew! Luckily he didn't press the panic button. Talk about adding some stress to the situation!

Thank goodness because I know from experience that our County Sheriffs department won't open your car for you EVEN IF you inadvertently locked a NEWBORN and a toddler in your car on a 80 degree afternoon. (The worst part...they weren't even my kids!) The dispatcher told me that they would just come out and break a window. Gee wasn't my car either! Come to think of really wasn't even my fault. Just ask Handy Nanny.
Oh, and yes, we will be getting a spare key made.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Thankful for...

1. My church and everything that comes with it. I have been blessed with a wonderful group of ladies in my Bible study. As I have said before, it is a study that has changed my life. We have also been blessed with a Lifegroup full of great people. I love that we all come from different places and have such different life stories, but we all have one thing in common. Our love for the Lord. It's been a great experience and I can't wait to see what God has in store for all of us.

2. My husband. There isn't a post in the world that is long enough to list all the reasons I love this man. His love for me and our children shines for all to see, and I couldn't be more proud. We have been talking about moving recently and have our eye on a house that would be a great investment. It's in a community that he has dreamed of moving to for years. We were talking last night about it and he told me that he actually really likes our home and doesn't know if he really wants to leave. He stole my heart all over again. What a huge compliment. My goal is to make this a place he loves to come home to.....mission accomplished. I'm forever thankful for him.

3. My children. Again, no post long enough. I still stand amazed that God has entrusted me with these two perfect little creatures. Amazed.

4. My family. By family I mean everyone. Not only the family that I was born into, but also my family by marriage and the friends that we have adopted as family. (You know who you are!) I couldn't ask for a better support system.

5. My home. I never take for granted the fact that I have a roof over my head. Our home is my favorite place to be. I love the way I feel when I'm here.

6. Saltwater taffy.

7. My health. I am surrounded by people who are sick and hurting. It makes my heart ache. I cannot say what is in my future, but I KNOW that each day I am able to get out of bed and take care of my family is a blessing. When I start to get grumpy about everyday chores that continue to pile up, I stop and count my blessings that TODAY I GET to do these mundane chores.

8. Digital cameras. What on earth did we do before digital photography?

9. Internet shopping. Honestly, I could never leave my house and have everything (including groceries) delivered to my doorstep. But then, what would I blog about?

10. Last but not least, I am thankful for another Thanksgiving that I get to spend with the ones I love....well not all of them, but you get the point.

What are you thankful for?

Better late...

than never. Here is a slideshow of pictures I meant to post a LONG time ago. Some are from Halloween and a visit with Papa Bill and Grandma Millie. The others with the horses and hay maze are from a fun night at Dan and Shelly's house. The song I picked is dedicated to my Coco and his super awesome Halloween costume.
Click to play fall 08
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Thanks for the Memories.

I finished this apron on Sunday and by the next day it was on its way to my favorite aunt in the world. Someone who ALWAYS makes holidays so special. For years we spent Thanksgiving with them until, as I have mentioned before, we started multiplying at an astonishing rate. I never truly realized how much goes into making a holiday meal until I had Easter at my home. The only difference, I had people bring dishes! She and my mom always did it all! She always had pies waiting when we got there the day before. She was always the first one up checking the turkey and getting ready before any of us even thought of getting up. Everything always ran so smoothly. My cousin and I had the cherished job of stuffing the celery (only after aforementioned "favorite Aunt" had peeled off all the strings!) and trying desperately to get it finished before the manly men came in from hunting to steal half of it off our tray! With the sounds of the Macy's parade in the background and the smell of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie in the was flawless. I remember one year when Mom and Favorite Aunt decided that they would take a year off. We had lunch at Furr's which is a buffet style restaurant.....terrible. While we appreciated that it was much easier on our mothers, we were very sad at the thought of leaving without leftovers. Not that we wanted to relive that experience. We never did that again!

So here's to you my favorite Aunt! Please know that I'm thinking of you and I appreciate all you did to make Thanksgiving so special all those years. May your Thanksgiving be full of laughter, love and plenty of good parking spaces the day after!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I did it!

I did something last night that I have never done. This may sound really odd to some of you. It may be something that is so natural to you that you can't imagine blogging about it. Some of you will think it's strange because you DON'T do it and may wonder why I did. What did I do?

I raised my hands in church.

No, I didn't have a question. Besides, in a church the size of ours, that's not how you get your questions answered! I think there is a small chain of command you must go through! I did it because I am so thankful for the love that the Lord has shown me and I want to praise him in everything I do.

I was not raised in church. Strange though, I have always felt very close to God. I didn't belong to a youth group and go on the trips with them. (Which is probably the reason why I was one of the last one of my friends to kiss a boy!) When I did go to church, it was a Baptist church. Please know that I did not take those visits lightly. Pastor Scott (the pastor who married us) is one of the greatest men I know. I loved going to his church. That is where I was saved and where my daughter was dedicated. (on the same day!) But it is VERY different from an AG church. So I am with Pastor John when he talked about the first time he attended an AG church. I thought, "Are these people for real? Get me outta here!"

Last night was a first for JRA and they had a worship night that was amazing. Claire did not share in my enthusiasm as she slept through the entire thing! Cohen clapped and danced the whole time. I looked over to see him raising his hands like everyone else. It stirred something in my heart. The brief message from Pastor John was the "how, why and where of praise." He went through some Psalms about praising God. The dude KNOWS his Bible and it is always a treat to hear him preach. When he finished, there was more music and I was "feelin' it!" I watched my son just clapping away without a care in the world. I kept going back to

Psalms 134:2 "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the Lord."

Who can argue with that?

So I just did it. And you know what? I liked it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wondering where I've been?

On the beach! That's where! This was one view from our terrace. I have tons of pictures to post, but I would rather mug on my babies for now. I enjoyed myself more than I thought I ever could. I ate enough this week to sustain a small country for a year. My husband and I really enjoy each others company. I am truly blessed to have such a great family that will take my kids and I don't have to worry one second about them.

The best part.......coming home. I. LOVE. MY. HOME. There is no place on earth quite like it. I will admit, I left it a little out of order and I can explain that later. BUT my momma brought the kids home last night and managed to pick up what I hadn't. Seriously, is there anything this woman doesn't do? SO, I came home to a clean house that smelled wonderful and two children who were EXTREMELY EXCITED to see Mommy and Daddy! Who could ask for anything more?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To the Moon and Back.

If you want to read more about my baby bro, his wonderful wife and adorable baby girl.....head on over to her NEW blog!

Welcome Ashley! Your life will never be the same!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Since when?

Claire and I went to the mall on Saturday after a REALLY fun party for THIS cute little guy! We ate at the food court and then walked around pointing out things that she wanted on her Christmas list. (Most of which she will never remember when it comes time to put pen to paper!) As our little adventure concluded I found myself pondering the following things.

Since when did it become acceptable to use the "F word" freely?
I was horrified when a kid walked by our table and used it TWICE in passing! Not because he was yelling or mad at someone (not that it would make it any better) but just in conversation!

Since when did it become fashionable to wear socks with flip flops?

Since when did "soft porn" become a specialty at Glamour Shots?
We walked by and saw the giant flat screen displaying a woman's photos that were just taken. Really? I'm talking lingerie, red lipstick and a cat-like pose to boot! YIKES!

Since when did string bikini underwear and semi-thongs become appropriate for SIX year olds!
Claire pointed out a pair of cute little undies that had a monkey on them. I picked them up to reveal strings on the sides and not much in the back! I checked the size because I was sure they had just been misplaced. WRONG! 6x was the size! Ugh.

Since when do people pay $198 for a pair of jeans?
Just think how many mouths we could feed with that kind of money! We could give four whole families a Thanksgiving dinner! I'm thinking those jeans better wash themselves, massage the cellulite off my thighs, exercise for me and be lined in gold!

Am I getting old and out of touch? Or has being a mother just heightened my senses?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We're all in this together.

Yesterday was unseasonably warm and luckily we already had a play date scheduled with a good friend of mine from Jr. High and her twins. It was very windy, but great for November! Of course all of the kids pass up the "little" play equipment and head straight for the good stuff. You know the stuff that makes your stomach feel all "squeezy" when your babies venture up to the tippy top. Of course the purple slide is the best. It goes all the way up to the sky and swirls all the way down. (It really is VERY tall and totally freaks me out because I am afraid that the kids will get to the top and then stand up..ugh.) As three kids filed up the stairs....the first little guy lost his nerve. Traffic jam. I stood at the bottom ready to catch Rhonda's little guy if he fell while the mother of the other boy ran up the stairs. She got him down, Braden didn't fall and the other little girl slid down without incident. However, while the first little guy was being rescued, her other baby who looked to be a bit younger had managed to get himself in a pickle too! She looked around and handed her older child off to me and asked me to hold him while she rescued the other one. I was more than happy to cuddle him while his momma played playground super hero. When both boys were safe, she thanked me for my help. She later returned the favor when she alerted me that Claire had gotten the water faucet on and had it going FULL BLAST! I was so glad she got my attention before Claire and others were soaked head to toe!

The point of my story is this. Unfortunately, it isn't often that I have positive encounters with moms like that. I have had so many encounters with mothers that left such a bad taste in my mouth, that I am very hesitant to make new mommy friends. For example, the lady at Chuck E. Cheese who ripped into me when my daughter pulled her daughters hair. Of course I made her apologize (Claire, not the rude lady) but it really upset me that she didn't even give me the chance to make it right before being so hateful. I did love the look on her face when I told her that Claire was only 2 years old. (Her daughter looked to be six or seven!) In my 4 short years as a mommy I have been subjected to mothers who do everything right and love to point out when my kids mess up. NEWSFLASH! They are 2 and 4...they will make mistakes. Another treat is the dirty looks I get when my 2 year old acts his age. They think he is a really badly behaved 4 year old, when he is really a well behaved 2 year old! Maybe I'm too sensitive.

In a perfect world, moms would build each other up. They would compliment each other and each others children....and mean it. They would do their best with their OWN children and realize that every other mom at the playground is doing the same. When they saw another mother struggling with a toddler who is throwing a tantrum, they would remember how they felt the last time their child threw a fit in a public place. They would say things like, "Oh what a beautiful girl" instead of "Wow she's huge!" They might mention, to a mother of four or five, that she is so blessed and is doing a great job, rather than ask "Uh, don't you know what causes that?" or "You're done now right?"

I have discovered that there ARE many moms out there who are kind. I just happen to be related to quite a few which is awesome. I know I can't change the world, but I can be the nice mommy at the playground. To the lady at the park with the two boys, be proud of yourself for being kind to a complete stranger and not judging her when she let her kids out of her sight long enough to blast cold water all over!

The world is tough enough for our little ones, why not do the best we can to encourage ALL children? Being a mom is serious stuff, why not support one another instead of tearing each other down? After all, we are all in this together...right?

P.S...the aforementioned friend with the twins is one of my super nice mommy friends! Just wanted to make sure that was clear!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote for Claire!

In a previous post I mentioned that Claire and I would be having a "girls day" after a trip to the dentist. WRONG. Apparently the bright blue sharpie marker that said "Dentist" moved on my calendar. It's not until Thursday. However, we did make a special trip to the Jr. High to cast our vote in the 2008 presidential election. Claire was not as excited as I was, but someday I'm sure she will thank me for dragging her away from Drew and Cohen who were frolicking in the front yard when we left. My favorite part of the voting experience was when she said, in her OUTSIDE voice, "Don't forget to vote for John McCain MOM!" "Yes dear, I remember." Then she said, "Did you color in the dot for Sarah Ravencroft?" She and Drew have decided that they would rather refer to Sarah Palin as Sarah Ravencroft. I can't explain it. They probably got the name from the same far away place they got the word "cadoots." We don't know.

ANYWAY, I know two 4 year olds that will be very disappointed that we did not elect John McCain into office. (They have NO idea about anything except the names, and they decided on their own that they liked the name John McCain better. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that their decision process was just as complex as many adults.)But what a wonderful lesson about our civic duty. I hope that she remembers the day we voted in an election that will go down in history. I plan to tell Claire that he did not win but we did our part. Now our job is to pray for all of the people who are leading our country and be thankful that we are not in the upper tax bracket ;-)

I am currently watching Barack Obama give his victory speech. May God be with you President Obama. May he guide you in ALL of your decisions during your term in office.

What. A. Day.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

If you are reading this...

please go to this blog and pray for Stephanie Vest and her family. She is a friend of Miss Leah's (the director of our preschool) and she needs our prayers. She has three beautiful children and just 8 short weeks after giving birth to her youngest, she was diagnosed with a rare form of Lymphoma. The most recent post on her blog is inspiring to say the least. Her story serves as another important reminder to live each day to the fullest. It sounds like such a cliche, but it is so important.

On Friday, after a day full of Halloween fun, it was time to take the kids trick-or-treating. They were so excited....I was not. The thought of tromping around the neighborhood (even with the beautiful weather we had) was not as appealing as staying behind and having a coke, a brownie and some peace and quiet with my mom, dad, mother-in-law and her parents. But I stopped and took a deep breath and looked at my children. They were bouncing around full of life while images of candy bars gleamed in their eyes. How could I miss this? What could be more important than watching my little ones hand in hand strolling down the street dressed as batgirl and Cowboy Woody? Nothing. I loved watching Claire run so her cape would flap in the wind. Cohen strutting his stuff in his "Woody boots" was about the cutest thing you ever did see. How could I be so selfish? I am BLESSED to be here and have the ability to walk with my children. I am BLESSED that they are running and laughing. BLESSED that my husband is walking right next to me taking it all in. I could go on for days...but you get the point. I am eliminating the "poor me grumble" from my daily repertoire. I will no longer feel grumpy about cleaning up yet another mess. I will REJOICE in the Lord that I have the strength to bend down and pick up those dirty socks. I will THANK him for the children who left them there. I will PRAY that I get one more day with my husband to show him how much I truly adore him, but will never leave it unsaid.

I have never felt more strongly about anything in my life. TODAY MATTERS. I will make it count.

Sunday Funny

What Fell from the Bible?

A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it closely. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages."Momma, look what I found," the boy called out."What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked. With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered: "I think it's Adam's underwear!"

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I'm Chrissy and I approved this message.

Well, this normally isn't my style. I try to keep things simple around here but there is a very important election coming up. Thanks to my mother who pointed out that Claire and Drew are old enough to remember being a part of this so Claire will be joining me at the polls on Tuesday. We also have a teeth cleaning scheduled and then we will be having a lunch date so I can catch up with my girl with some little one on one time. I am excited at the thought of Claire being there for a little piece of history. No matter the outcome, we will either elect an African American or a woman into office. That's a big deal. Do they allow picture taking at the polls? Sure would be great material for a blog!

As for the political side of things....deep breath....I have been weighing the issues and can admit that each candidate has things that I disagree with. Here's what I came up with. Please keep in mind, I am NOT a political guru and don't know as much as I should but these are my opinions.

"Redistribution of Wealth" is something that makes me squirm in my seat. I am ALL FOR helping our neighbors. I am surrounded by people who do so on a regular basis. I LOVE helping those who want to help themselves. I am also a HUGE fan of working for what is yours. I have watched my dad work his buns off so that my mother could stay at home to raise my brother and me. Sure provide tax relief. But don't do it at the expense of people who have worked all of their lives to get where they are. BAD PLAN. I know that many people who are "rich" got that way by being dishonest. Those people will face judgement in eternity and it will be way worse than any tax the government could impose. Oh! Just the thought of this system scares me.

The war. I hate it. I have friends who are raising young children without their husbands because they are deployed for years at a time. Daddies who are missing the milestones because they are fighting in a war that I am still not sure what the main goal is. I wish that it was different, but it's not. We are at war. I feel much more comfortable with someone in charge who actually knows what it is like to serve our country.

There are two BIG issues that are hot right now. Abortion and same sex marriage. Oh so touchy. Not sure if I am ready to tackle those on here. I have definite opinions about both. I'm not that brave yet to put them on here, but I have taken them into consideration and they weigh very heavily on my mind and heart.

It really scares me that many people will vote for Obama just because he is black. Trust me, I would be the first in line to vote for him if I felt he was the best candidate. It's the same thing as voting for McCain because he is white. Ick. I agree with Obama on some things and I disagree with McCain on some things. But I have decided which issues are the most important and it's probably no surprise to many that I will be voting for John McCain on Tuesday. I will also be in constant prayer for the state of our union. I believe that is just as important as my vote on November 4th. Happy voting!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A good time was had by all.

My mother, who has recently become addicted to the blogging world, seems to be slightly obsessed with the phrase "a good time was had by all." She hates it. I did not know this until I used it in a post. She has now taken it upon herself to e-mail me EVERY POST she comes across with this phrase. Thank you mom for always nicely showing me the error of my ways. I vow here and now to never use the "most overused and unoriginal" phrase in the blogosphere.

Please note the hint of sarcasm and know that if you have used this phrase in your blogs, we won't hold it against you. We just think its funny. Now try not to notice it in the next 59 blog entries you read. Here's to a new phrase...."it seems as though everyone enjoyed themselves immensely." Oh yeah, much better.

Post Renamed: Dessert!

I renamed this post "Dessert" because it is sweet, yummy and I can't seem to get enough of it!

The photographer did a GREAT job! I can't wait to place my order!!!!

My Grownup Christmas List

Oh how I LOVE fall! The drive to school right now is AMAZING! The colors are indescribable! My mom and I spent the morning together on Tuesday, which I LOVE and it got me all in the holiday spirit. I am so excited for Christmas this year I can hardly stand it. But I am also looking forward to everything in between. I have my beautiful children giggling their way through the days. I have my super hot husband walking in the door each day ready to take the giggling kiddos outside while I get dinner ready (in peace and quiet!). I have a father in Heaven who loves me and has blessed me infinitely. I have an insanely supportive family who make a habit of being totally awesome 99 percent of the time. And get ready to be in laws rock too! I guess what I am trying to say, is that I have all I ever need, right here.

But I also have this totally awesome family, including my husband, who love to have ideas for what to get me for Christmas. I have compiled a list of links here just for you! Please note, I am very much aware that I may get VERY few of these things, but that's why they call it a WISH list! So....

1. World Peace

2. A set of knives

3. Colander

4. Cookie sheets and cooling racks

5. Grater

6. Thermometer

7. Cutting Board

8. A four slice toaster...mine is very unpredictable and slightly possessed.

9. Nintendo DS

10. This one is for the boys in my life. Size Large/Real Tree please!

11. Under Armour socks. The exact ones my dad had that I ALMOST stole. (why am I such an honest person? I loved those socks!)

12. Two of these....

of course Claire and Cohen's names would be more appropriate.

13. One of THESE shirts....size XL I think. Should hide the "Christmas Pudge"

14. This book

15. Guitar Hero World Tour for the Wii

Okay, so I was just looking back over my list and realized...I AM OFFICIALLY A GROWN UP! But ooooh that list of stuff looks like so much fun! Happy shopping! ;-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Love is....

Brian wanted to go last week and check on the food plots in Conway in preparation for opening weekend of deer season. He likes to go with someone, and there were no takers, so we decided that we would all go! Here are some pictures of our adventure. I feel like I should explain the trailer. It is there so the boys can sleep there the night before they hunt. Rather than pay to stay in the motel or get up at 3 a.m. to drive up that morning, they decided this would be a great idea. You won't catch me there this year. MAYBE next year after I do my hunters safety course, get a gun that won't blow my shoulder off, some new boots and camo...then I will consider spending the night in the middle of the woods in a trailer with no power or running water. I've gotta get myself worked up for that one! If you are laughing at me..I'm being serious. I'm gonna give it a whirl. Anyway, here's the pictures set to one of my favorite songs. Take me home Randy Travis.

Click to play Into the wilderness!
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PS Please don't tell Claire what the tree stand and food plots are really for. (You know, coaxing the "Bambi's" out of the woods into the path of certain death.) In due time, we will explain it...but not this year!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Electric!

I locked the kids out of the house today....ahem...I mean, I encouraged them to go jump on the trampoline in order to work off some of that excess energy that they seem to be full of this week. When I went out to replace Coco's clothing (including his diaper), here is what I found.

Gotta love the static!

We finally found a cheap pair of cowboy boots for Cohen's cowboy Woody costume. He isn't going to look exactly like Woody, because I was afraid to order the Disney costume online and they didn't have it in the store. Most likely he will just be a cowboy because I really want to paint on a mustache and beard, but I think it's cute when he says "Woody." Stay tuned for pictures of their costume parade on Thursday!

Also, please pray for our friend Brian and his family. Between someone stealing their truck on Monday morning, an emergency appendectomy for Brian on Monday evening, a house that needs to be finished this week (he is a contractor), and five sweet kids at home....they have their hands full! The good news is...they KNOW God is right there with them!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not Me! Monday

Last week I did not eat a 1 pound bag of saltwater taffy from Silver Dollar City in its myself.

I did not tell a little fib to Big Daddy and the kids about the taffy being non-existent.

I most certainly did not get Cohen out of bed in the middle of the night and cuddle for an hour just because he woke up and cried a little. That would be a really bad habit to get into with a kid who has always slept through the night!

I did not totally slack on laundry all week. If I would have, I would be up to my eyeballs in dirty clothes today.

I did not laugh really hard at Cohen when he discovered that he HATES candy corn. He discovered this by shoving a handful in his mouth and then started gagging. The weird thing is, he wouldn't just spit it out. It was chew, gag, repeat. I would NEVER laugh hysterically at something like that. That's mean and MY mother NEVER laughed at me in similar situations.

I did not feel sad when I read an e-mail stating that tonight is our last "Created" Bible study. I mean, why would I be sad? It's only one of the BEST things that has ever happend to my marriage! (More on that later....much more!)

I did not get a little upset yesterday when I went to get Coco out of the car at church only to notice that Big Daddy had decided to put a pair of giant sized Shrek crocs on him. I didn't get even more upset when I realized that he was totally serious and that Coco would in fact be wearing said crocs to church.

I did not feel really ridiculous by the time we met back up in the sanctuary for getting so upset over something SO STUPID. Then, I didn't apologize 10 times to Big Daddy who was still laughing about it!

I did not just stick my finger in poop.

Happy Monday and don't forget to pray for Steph, she just had the first chemo treatment for round 2. Pray that God will HEAL HER!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Fun

One of the things I LOVE about living in the Midwest, is that we get ALL the seasons. I have to say that fall and spring are my two favorites! Fall around here is absolutely beautiful with the changing leaves and crisp sunny days. It is not cold enough right now to turn on the heat so I love to get up in the morning and turn the fireplace on. The kids cuddle up in front of it and eat breakfast while catching the latest installment of Magic School Bus or "Trucks" (Bigfoot presents Meteor on TLC). The smell of cinnamon rolls and my morning coffee filled the air this morning as Brian and I sat in our chairs and shared the love and the sweets with our babies. Then it was downstairs to turn on the fireplace down there and get in some serious relaxing! Brian watched "Whitetail Freaks" (oh the joys of deer season fast approaching!) while the kids played cars and tea party. During commercials he read our collection of fall books with the little ones. As I sat and worked away at the sewing machine on Claire's blanket I am making, I stopped and took it all in. I am blessed. I stand amazed at what God has bestowed upon me. I am a walking testimony of how wonderful life can be if you give your heart and your life to the Lord. It's a great place to be, and I give all the glory to Him. Here are a few pictures of the past week around our house!

Bath time tonight! Betcha wanna kiss those cheeks!
Warming his sweet little hands!

A warm fire, and a full moon!

Who wouldn't want to love on this little girl?

This is how we decorated our pumpkins this year!

Me and Claire at the Fall party at school.

They did face painting and she insisted on a spider....on her nose. That's my girl!

Summer was here.

I want to share a little about one of my best friends that I met in college. Miss Summer recalls meeting me for the first time and thinking I was a grade A snob. What she didn't know is that I was just painfully shy and insecure. (Stop laughing...I really was!) Thank goodness Summer, as well as most of the other girls on my floor, took a chance and really got to know me and we became great friends. Summer is one of a kind. Any girl who will put a "fart machine" in her back pocket and hand over the controller to me is aces in my book! Oh boy you should have seen the looks on the faces of the people standing in line when she leaned on the counter and....well you get the picture. (PS we were 19 years old and always looking for cheap entertainment!) She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and was always right by my side during all the planning. She worked in the OBGYN office I went to when I was prego with my first eggo so she scheduled all my appointments. She was there the afternoon when I was just moved into my room after giving birth to my sweet Claire. She is one of the first people to call and wish me happy birthday. The worst part about she moved away to Texas! She got engaged and moved down there to be with JD. I miss her but am glad she finally found "the one!" During the summer and fall, she gets REALLY homesick for Missouri. Some of her best childhood memories involve Silver Dollar City and it is a place she LOVES! Summer is not exceptionally close with her family that lives in this area but my family has, in true Giddens fashion, adopted her as one of their own. It's a thing we do, we can't help it. With her pending nuptials rapidly approaching, I wanted to do something very special for Summer. The thought of a traditional "bachelorette party" was less than thrilling to me and I knew it would be for Summer as well. I knew what I had to do. I talked with my mom and Amanda, the other Missouri bridesmaid and we decided on a plan of attack. I told Summer to take off work on Friday October 10th and plan to be "busy" all weekend. We convinced her we were coming there. On Saturday the 4th she got a package in the mail from myself. It contained the following items individually wrapped in brown paper (like they have at Silver Dollar City)

1. Pork Rinds
2. Kettle Corn
3. Saltwater Taffy
4. A Halloween card basically just drawing out the process and asking her if she knew what these three things have in common. (To which she replied tearfully, "I know what they have in common, but I have no idea what they have to do with me!")
5. A card explaining that there was a seat reserved for her on flight #3667 with non-stop service to SPRINGFIELD!!!
For the next 5 minutes she sobbed and said these two things. "I'm coming home! sniff sniff sniff." "You guys are the best friends ever...sniff sniff sniff!"

She made it here and home without a hitch and the weather was ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! God was so good to have a hand in my plan and make sure we were all taken care usual! Here are some pics from our "Fabulous Female Fall Festival!"
Amanda, Summer and me as we headed off to Silver Dollar City for the day!
Amanda and her mom arranged for Summer to have her hair cut and highlighted by her favorite hair dresser on Friday afternoon!
What the world needs now is less negative campaign ads, and more sculptures of cows made from butter. That's right folks, butter.
Summer and Amanda with the beautiful Ozark Hills!
The Wilderness Church.

This is my backyard and our beautiful giant topiary made from our homegrown pumpkins from our very own pumpkin patch. If you believe that, I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you. Just e-mail me. Act now and I will throw the golden gate in free.
The fire and water show at the Branson Landing.
A fun time was had by all. We ate until we couldn't eat anymore, then ate a little more! The weekend went by way too fast but we were able to part without too many tears knowing that we will see each other again in November for her wedding! The kids spent the weekend with Grandma Connie being spoiled with undivided attention and craft projects galore! Big Daddy went to the MU football game with some of the guys and had a great time. Luckily they had a better showing than they did tonight against Texas!