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!
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 Summer.....is 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 of....as 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!
Do you ever feel like things are just sailing along so smoothly only to find a huge wave lurking just over the horizon? Well, we are looking straight down the business end of a big wave. After Steph's appointment with her new oncologist in Houston, she called my mom. "How do you feel about more chemo?" My dear mother replied, "Well, I sure have missed that quality bonding time we used to have!" Steph didn't share her enthusiasm but appreciated it nonetheless. As I posted on her blog, there is more cancer on or near her ovary. Ugh. Monday will bring the beginning of another round of chemo, fanny pack and all. As the doctor said on Monday, "This is a marathon, not a sprint." Not what we wanted to hear. I can't put myself in her shoes. (I have freakishly huge feet anyway so it's just not an option.) But I will turn my eyes to the Lord and pray with all my might and trust that God remembers that I get seasick.
I have a few posts lined up from this weekend and can't wait to share some wonderful pictures, but right now...I'm exhausted. So goodnight, and please pray for my best good friend. (yes, I meant to say best good friend!)