Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010 Kentucky Edition

Christmas is over. : ( It is so sad. I thought that this Christmas was one of the best ever and have read this same thought on countless other blogs in the past few days. Maybe everyone cherished what we have more this year, and I don't mean just the things we have. We should all be thankful for our family members, for the jobs we have, for the roof over our heads. We should be thankful that we live in a country where we can attend any church we choose without fear of persecution. Thankful that we have plenty to eat. We are some of the luckiest people in the world, but often it takes some life changing event to make us realize that. Instead of thinking how good we had it before__________. Let's just be thankful now!

On to the Christmas festivities...

I always cook a big meal on Christmas Eve. This year was no exception. I intended to cook a turkey, but got to the store too late in the week to score a bird. So the featured meat was ham. We also had chicken and dressing, sweet potato casserole, bacon wrapped green beans, au gratin potatoes, Mrs. Schubert's rolls, chocolate chip pie, and apple pie. (I have decided to make it my goal of having the meal earlier next year.) We didn't eat until around 7:30 because someone forgot her Site to Store order at Walmart until 5:30 Christmas Eve! So between cooking 8 things that all needed to be cooked in the 1 oven we have and taking a shower, I also had to fit in a quick trip to the Walmarts!
After the meal, we opened the presents from us to the kids.

By the time we did this and everyone played with the toys it was after 9. Time for bed. We were both ready to drop, but Santa had failed to assemble the sweet wooden kitchen the kids got for Christmas. So long story short, we were up until about 1 am.
The kids were up around 7:30 am to see what Santa brought!Everyone was pleased with everything they got. I bought more toys this year than I usually do, but this year I thought more about how they won't be little long.

The rest of Christmas day was pretty quiet. We ate french toast,  leftover breakfast casserole, and bacon for breakfast. The kids cooked many, many meals in their new kitchen. Jeremy and I weren't feeling too good, so we both laid around and napped during the day. He and Jack went out to the farm for a bit that afternoon.
I appear to have developed a nice cold and haven't been out of the house other than to take the garbage out, in 3 days, so I'm off to bed!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

We will miss him...

Well, we have returned from doing one Christmas and I am gearing up for another! We left on Sunday morning to go to Tennessee for a couple of days to do our Christmas with the family. Unfortunately, we also had to attend another funeral. I found out Saturday morning that my mother's youngest sister's husband, Johnny Wayne, had a massive heart attack during the early morning hours and had passed away. I was stunned. I know any of us can go at any time, but I was still floored. My aunt never had any kids of her own, although she has two step-children and 2 grandchildren. They weren't a mushy, gushy couple, but I know he loved her so much. He had a great sense of humor, but you often couldn't tell if he was joking or not. He had faults, as we all do, but was a good man.
I am not a big crier in front of people, but I couldn't stop during JW's funeral. I cried and cried and cried! I can't imagine how lonely my aunt will be now. I hate that for her so much. She is a widow and is so young. she was close to my mom and she's been gone for 8 years. Both of her parents are gone. I know she is a tough lady and I hope she makes it OK.
It is especially hard here at Christmas time. So be thankful if you have a husband to hug. Most of us are so lucky to have things as good as we do.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I started this post on Sunday night.

1. Get all three Christmas trees put up and decorated (Main tree, kids tree, and cowboy tree)
( Two down, one to go!)
2. Get all Christmas decoration boxes put away or taken back to storage
3. Take the kids to Southern Lights at the Horse Park or to a movie
4. Let kids watch a movie and have a sleepover in the living room
5. Clean this nasty house!
6. Clean office
7. Clean our closet
(It may sound like 6 & 7 are a part of 5, but not necessarily at my house! :- /
8. Get some Christmas shopping done  ONLINE!
9. Get some presents wrapped
10. Plan a few meals

Well, I got most of the list done. Since then my hubby has returned and I have finished (or almost finished) a couple of other projects. I made my first attempt at appliqueing shirts with the kids initials. They turned out OK. Nothing fancy. I also, made an ornament wreath. That looked much easier and less time consuming than it was.
I have really come to a realization this year that my kids are growing up...quickly! So this year I am trying harder to be less snippy and impatient. I am going all out in the decoration department. I am spending more on gifts and more time wrapping them complete with fancy bows. I have started some new traditions and have lots of plans for cookie making! (Maybe tomorrow if we get a snow day!) My babies are not babies anymore, I miss that. Now is good and I know that the future will be good too, but I do miss that there are days gone by that I can't get back. I am trying harder to cherish every one, even the ones where they scream, fight and do nothing but push my buttons!
Now I am just laying here wishing they would go ahead and say if school is called off or not! Why wait til morning when you know none of what is out there is going to melt and there is the chance for more? This causes me to have to get up at the regular time to find out the official verdict!
NO SCHOOL! I get to sleep in! :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

In the Next 4 Days

I have a few days of manning the Whitman ship alone and have a few things I would like to accomplish before Doc gets home.
1.   Get all three Christmas trees put up and decorated (Main tree, kids tree, and cowboy tree)
  ( Two down, one to go!)
2.   Get all Christmas decoration boxes put away or taken back to storage
3.   Take the kids to Southern Lights at the Horse Park or to a movie
4.   Let kids watch a movie and have a sleepover in the living room
5.   Clean this nasty house!
6.   Clean office
7.   Clean our closet
(It may sound like 6 & 7 are a part of 5, but not necessarily at my house! :- /
8.  Get some Christmas shopping done
9.   Get some presents wrapped
10. Plan a few meals

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tomorrow I have to do something I never wanted to do.
I have to take my precious beautiful daughter to the eye doctor because she has been telling me things on the board look blurry. It is not like she is picking out frames yet, we haven't even been to the optometrist yet. She went last year for her kindergarten checkup, but apparently we need to do another exam. I am convinced my little sweetie will have to have glasses. Both my husband and I needed glasses as children. He needed them in first grade and I needed them in third grade. I just hate to start the glasses thing. Always something to keep up with and something to try and not break or scratch. Plus what will the kids say? I know this is vain, but I don't want her made fun of! I want her to get to just be normal! Kids are mean enough and no one needs one more thing to be teased about. We will forevermore have to either have pictures without glasses or have pictures made without the glasses that won't look like her since apparently, photographers aren't trained on how to avoid glares when photographing subjects that are wearing glasses. I guess this is just a pet peeve of mine, but I notice glare on glasses in pictures. You can' believe how often it is seen! I would personally be VERY upset to pay for a professional photographer to take some photos just to have a huge bright spot on the person's glasses.

UPDATE: She had nothing wrong with her eyesight! In fact she had slightly better than 20/20 vision!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Enemy

I have been a member of the church of Christ since I was 13. I have attended the church of Christ my entire life. We don't get all dramatic, we don't get overly excited, we are really composed and restrained in pretty much all matters concerning the Lord. It doesn't mean we don't feel things just as deeply or love the Lord just as strongly. We just feel a quiet respect is what is proper. I feel like my relationship with Christ has really deepened in the last few years.
One of the things I have come to a greater understanding of is that the devil isn't just some guy dressed in red down below the ground that will make your forever-after absolutely miserable if you don't follow God's word. He takes many forms and it can change day to day. Sometimes he is obvious; sometimes he is very subtle. He is good at leading you astray. He uses any means necessary to get the result he wants. He is devoted to his job 100% and works 24/7. He works much harder leading people astray than any of us work at being good Christians.
Well, the enemy showed up at my door the day before Christmas Eve 2002. It was the first Christmas since my mom had died suddenly. It was the first major holiday that we had been home since she died. (We were all supposed to go on a cruise during Thanksgiving. We were living in Texas at the time and got about halfway to New Orleans when we got a message that the boat had run aground and the cruise had been cancelled.) Anyway, the devil showed up on my doorstep right before Christmas. It changed my life! I could not believe the path my life was taking. My family members were already in a somewhat weakened state and Satan seized the opportunity. Over the course of the next several months, my father would make choices that would forever sever the trust we had and would effectively end our relationship. I have no regrets about my reactions to his activities, but it has come at a cost to me and my family too. My kids didn't have a relationship with either of my parents. I lost both my parents in the same calendar year. One I lost because of death. One I lost because the devil showed up and I had to make a hard choice to follow God. The enemy took the form of someone who was supposed to love me unconditionally. I never saw that one coming! Like I said, he will do anything it takes! Satan is alive and well and don't let anyone tell you different.
Luckily, I was strong enough to stand up to him. It isn't to my credit that I was able to do this, all the credit goes to God! He helped me through this and many other things since. When you are in the midst of it you can't believe that this is happening. You are in shock that he would sink this low; that he would kick you while you are already down. NEVER let your guard down. Satan doesn't take days off and your faith and strength in the Lord can't either.
Yesterday I got some news about the lengths my father went to show me how little he cared about me and how much he wished to embarrass me and belittle me. It shouldn't reflect on me, it is just the devil rearing his ugly head once again. I have to take the right attitude and remember what is important. I have to remember why I made choices back in 2002 and who helped me survive the whole thing! JESUS CHRIST my Saviour. (In more ways than one!) :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall Field Trip

Well, today Jack and I went on his first field trip! That seems weird, but I think the only other two he had the option of going to got rained out the last two years. So today was the first! He loved it! We went to a local orchard/ pumpkin patch. It was his kind of place. Of course, his teacher was there and he loves, loves, loves Mrs. B! He held her hand most of the day! (Good thing I'm not the jealous type!)

His class from his Monday, Wednesday, Friday preschool was there. So that meant his little "girlfriend" was there!

 I think the feeling may be mutual since she walked up and wanted to hold his hand! :) This same little girl walked up to him on the first day of school and handed him the hard hat to put on since he was playing with the tool box. She was looking out for his safety!

We got to ride on a wagon pulled by a tractor and of course we sat in the first seat on the trailer so as to be as close as possible. Anyone who knows Jack knows tractors are his "thing". He loves them! When we made a couple of turns we could have reached out and touched the tractor wheel! We got to pick out a pumpkin and I have to say he did a great job!

We also got to taste apple cider, play on the playground, and even got to bring home a couple of apples! He loved the cider so much we had to buy one of those little apple shaped bottles when he was done playing.  As he would say, "I'm sweat! I need a drink!"

The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we had a wonderful time!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bachlorette-ing It ...Kind Of

Well, Jack and I are home alone for a few days! Mady and Jeremy have flown to Texas to visit our "family" out there. He went for the horse sale and she went to see Mrs. Marshall. I am not sure how much she remembered of her, but from what I hear they are fast friends again. I love that. I love how Mady can not see someone for years and in a matter of minutes she is their best friend. I hope Mrs. Marshall is having as good a time as Madalynn is! I hate that what is so embedded in Madalynn is so far away. She has been back to Texas twice in the last 5 years. I wish the Garretts and Mrs. Marshall  lived closer. Mady had a Texan accent for years even though we only lived there until she was a year and a half old. She thinks Texas is the greatest place on earth even though she can't remember much about even being there.

According to Jeremy they have built a nice concession stand for the football field, a new sports complex and some other sports related  facility. Must be nice to be living in town with a woman who has so much money she is itching to give it away. (Long story) One of the few things in town when we lived there was the Shell gas station. Well, after we left, they built a bypass around Guthrie and since then the gas station closed! That was one of the only two places to buy a coke during the day and the only place after 5 pm. It was the only place within 30 miles to buy gas. It would really suck to live there now.

Since they left Jack and I have eaten at Wendy's, Chinese, and Taco Bell. I have thoroughly cleaned the house and driven the tractor for the first time. I have also watched a few movies I have wanted to see (The Backup Plan, Date Night, Bounty Hunter, and Valentines Day) I watched Bounty Hunter today - lasted forever and wasn't all that good. Yesterday, I watched The Backup Plan - very cute- and Valentines Day - terrible! I have yet to see Date Night.

I have also slept in my own bed and enjoyed it immensely! I love Jeremy dearly, but his snoring is AWFUL! I have slept on the couch so that I could actually sleep lately. It is nice to have a good night's rest.  Lovely!!!

I love my oldest and my hubby, but it is a nice change to have only one other person to take care of!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

This, That, and a Million Other Things

So about 3 weeks ago, my babies started back to school. :(  They enjoy it and I do have a few minutes of peace or time to run errands and not have someone asking "When are we gonna go home?" That is nice and I have high hopes that at some point, I will have my schedule down pat and make the most of the time I have with no kids in the house on MWF.

I am doing better about treating my "stay at home mom and wife" gig as a real job. Too many days I felt like I  hadn't accomplished nearly enough. Well, I ran across a website that included forms for planning out your day. They have been a huge help. I am a big fan of a list anyway. I love the feeling of crossing off things and feeling good about it. Sometimes I even write in all the extra things I did in a days time just so that I can mark them off! Weird I know. Now I plan out my days and the things I want to accomplish and what I am cooking for dinner each night. This has helped me. I get more done and feel better about myself. Planning my meals helps make less trips to the grocery store and I am prepared for nights where we have commitments or activities.

Everybody thinks that stay at home moms have all this free time if their kids go to school, even if it is just a few hours per week. Well, everyone except stay-at-home moms that is. If you have lived it - whether you are lucky enough to do it full time or while juggling your paying job as well, you know that there is more than enough to keep you busy 24 hours a day! (I find it is usually men who are of this opinion. You can't really blame them...they are just uneducated about what life as a mother, caretaker, wife, chauffeur, nurse, cook, cleaning lady, organization specialist, and personal assistant to two other people is like.)

This year is shaping up to be a busy one. I have a first grader and would like to have a day to volunteer in her classroom. I have a son who is enrolled in the preschool at our church and I am teaching two classes of Early Learning there this year. (I have so much I need to do for this class!) I am also picking up and dropping him off at another preschool 3 mornings a week. I have done pretty good exercising this summer and am trying to work that in some days while the kids are at school. So far, not so good. I am usually having to do it after Jeremy gets home in the evening. That is about to be a problem because we are quickly heading for a time change and it will be too dark when he gets here. I am joining a MOPS group too this fall. It puts me out of my comfort zone, after all it is on Friday mornings (one of the days Jack is at preschool) and I really love just having quiet time to myself. But I need to do it, I need to get outside my comfort zone and meet other women at my stage in life. Maybe even make some friends and get the name of a good babysitter so that before my kids turn 18 the hubs and I could go out some night! All this in addition to the "normal" stuff. You know church, cooking, cleaning, car-line, homework, birthday parties, etc. Oh, and did I mention as of August 31 we will own 90 acres! (I am sure that won't add to the workload!) I have to say, lately I have been happier, more content, and more at peace with my life than in a long time. I still have worries, mainly the impending events involving relatives in Tennessee and the financial changes associated with owning our farm, but everyone has something to worry about and I am truly blessed to have this wonderful life I have!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Big Day!

I'd like to say Wednesday, August 11, 2010 was a big day because my little girl started 1st grade! It was big because my son started a new preschool! But I'd have to say the BEST thing that made Wednesday, August 11, 2010 a BIG day around the Whitman household was....

It was the day we got our first University of Tennessee season football tickets!!!!

As my husband said, " We have arrived!"

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer is over in just a few hours!

I can not believe that it is over! This is the last night we have with no school in the morning. This time tomorrow we will be doing the early bedtime routine for real! It just doesn't seem possible. M got out of school exactly 2 months and 1 week ago and now we have exactly 1 day left! I hate large amounts of snow! We have bought all the school supplies and uniforms for warm weather. (I had to do that a few weeks ago since the last full week of summer vacation was spent ... away on vacation!) We have crossed most of the things off my summer "to do" list. We did orientation tonight and saw who was in the class and met the teacher. She is even ready to go back she says. I love that about her; she likes school. I hope it lasts forever. I was like that. Other than the nervousness that pervaded my very soul right before school started, I didn't mind going back.

Not only will she start Wednesday, but Big Jack will start a new preschool that day too. He will go Monday, Wednesday, Friday for half days. Plus he will attend preschool at church on Tuesdays. So he (and Mrs. Mama the bus driver) will be super busy. I hope I am not too sad. I went back and forth about whether or not to send him that many days. I hope I can get alot done around the house and exercise during his time at school.

I may have more to do than I can handle since we recently purchased a 90 acre farm! I have no idea how to drive a tractor, but I guess I will be learning. I may have to teach at the church preschool too. I have escaped this until this point and in all honesty, I need to help. I am bad though...I will help when drafted. I may be from Tennessee, but I am not much of a volunteer!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yummy Salsa Recipe

I really love going to a Mexican restaurant and eating all the chips and salsa I can hold. I could go and just eat that easily. Well, what I really love about the restaurant salsa is that it isn't chunky and thick and gross. It is always nice and thin and delicious. I have experimented with salsa recipes before without much luck. They just never taste all that great. Until I ordered a cookbook with a wonderful salsa recipe.

It had the Chili's Salsa recipe and it is so good! It was very easy and super quick.


4 teaspoons fresh or canned diced jalapenos *Not pickled* I couldn't find anything but pickled, so fresh it was. I have jalapenos in the garden, so I just used one small one and removed all the seeds so it wouldn't be too hot.

1/4 cup of diced onion

One 14 1/2 oz can of tomatoes and chilies (I had only 10 oz cans so I used one and a half- I had one can of rotel with cilantro and lime so I used that with 1/2 can of regular)

One 14 1/2 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes with juice

3/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1. Place jalapenos and onion in the food processor. Pulse for just a few seconds.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until well blended, but not pureed. You want it to still have a little texture.

Serve with your favorite chips!

I had this for supper one night since Jeremy had already had something to eat. So good!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Summer List

Last year as Madalynn was winding down at preschool, I began to realize that the summer of 2009 would be our last summer before she would start school and before my life and hers was forever changed. Not to say school is bad, but every mom knows that once they start to school, everything is different. They have new friends, new surroundings, come into contact with outside influences like never before and someone else spends most of 5 days a week with them instead of mama. Madalynn (and Jack too for that matter) loves people. While I taught elementary school for years before we had kids, I don't think homeschooling could be for us. She needs the "people" aspect of it.

Anyway, last summer I decided to take the kids to Dollywood theme park down in East Tennessee by myself. I was scared to death of venturing 3 hours from home with two kids alone. At the time Jack was 2 and Madalynn was 5. I have a friend down that way that I taught with and she has two boys of her own. She met up with me at Dollywood and we had a great time! I was so glad I had done it and we really hated to pack up and head home after 4 days.

Well, last year went so well I decided to make it an annual event. This would be our way of celebrating the year of school they had just completed and the beginning of summer. Of course, Jeremy will never be able to participate in this tradition with us, since breeding season is still going strong.

We went again this year and it was just as much fun. Although one day we got drenched during a brief episode of rain, even that worked in our favor. Many people had stayed away from the park because the sky looked like rain, but there wasn't any lightening, so rides never really stopped. The lines were short and it wasn't really hot. Perfect! Most rides we either got right on or had very short wait times. Plus it is always nice to see my friend and her boys. The kids and I spent time in the pool and got to eat out two or three meals. I even did a little shopping on the way home.

Dollywood was just one of the things I put on my list of things I wanted to do with the kids this summer. Youth is fleeting and one day not only will they not want to spend time with mom, but will have other activities pulling them this way and that. So while they are mostly mine, I want to savor every moment.

Here is the rest of my list. So far we are having a great time and I am not ready for it to end!

Treasure Hunt- done We started too late and the route was too long, but enjoyable...I guess?!

Ice cream for dinner- done twice (Last time it was Wednesday night before church at Coldstone Creamery. I had coffee ice cream with snickers! Yum, but the small was way too much!)

Summer Reading Program- done

Swimming lessons- in the process of finishing. Mady took one level of lessons at the beginning of the summer and is now on her second. Jack is taking his now since they couldn't get him in any earlier.

Visit West Tennessee- done. Got to see Uncle Ben and Aunt Jenna's house they are building, saw Granny and Paw and the cousins, even saw Uncle Floyd at church and Granny Jean for a short visit. Got to swim at Aunt Lona's pool!

Playdate with Emma- done We picked Emma up the Wednesday before swim lessons began again and took her to the free movie (Robots- YUCK) and then to Steak N' Shake for lunch. We got to stay at Emma's house and visit for a few minutes afterward.
*We also ended up getting a playdate for Nico and Jack. My friend called and asked if I could relieve her husband for a few hours. He was doing child care all week...alone. I said sure and Jack and Nico had a great time!

Now the undone list...
Tie Dye T-shirts
Get Jeremy to make a tire swing for the kids (we have the perfect branch)
Go to the aquatic center a few more times
Go on vacation
Go on a picnic
Go on more bike rides
Let Mady help me bake cookies one or two more times

Only two and a half weeks left before school starts back! Got to get busy!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Well, yesterday my little girl looked like this...

and today she looks like this!

She is so proud of herself. She has pulled another tooth! Only the third one ever, but it has been over a year since the last ones. She can't wait for the tooth fairy to come. She has like 5 or 6 that are loose and she has just been letting them dangle for weeks. Then a couple of days ago she said she wanted to look different for her graduation picture and tomorrow is Kindergarten Graduation. I don't know if it is just me being sentimental or PMS, but I tear up just thinking about it. I know in the blink of an eye we will be doing the graduation thing...FOR REAL. I don't know if that is part of what scares me or not. I shouldn't be old enough to have a 6 year old. She should still be a baby! I remember in the days after we brought her home from the hospital, I just sat on the couch holding her in my hands and thinking "I am holding a real life baby doll." I had wanted babies since I was a baby practically, so having her was really a dream come true.

She is turning into such a little lady. She is generally a good helper, and good sister, and such a caring soul. She is also a wonderful example of what Jesus meant for all of us to be! Children are a window into what Jesus must have been like! She trusts so willingly, she is a tender hearted little thing, she is so interested in how the world works and God's role in it. She is a very good Bible student at church and school. I know I am partial, but sometimes I feel we don't deserve her! She is just so sweet and so pure. I wish she could always stay that way.

I love her so so much! So tomorrow I will try and keep it together and celebrate with her as she graduates from Kindergarten and moves on to bigger and better things. She will always be my baby though! I love you Madalynn Kayte!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Where did the time go?

Well, April and May have flown by! I am teaching 3rd and 4th grade girls on Wednesday nights. We have had field trips, school functions, last days of preschool for Jack, spring cleaning, a couple of projects, a trip to Tennessee for Easter, a long visit from the great-grandparents, getting the garden in, mowing, and now preparing for Madalynn's last days of school and kindergarten graduation! :-( Whew! No wonder it flew by!

I always dread the work that goes along with teaching a class, but I also realize that I always learn so much when really looking in depth at scriptures I have read dozens of times. Now if I could just get the girls to be quiet during class!

Madalynn graduates next Thursday night. May or may not have family coming into town. I've got to get on finding out who is coming!
I've got a project I want the kids in M's class to do for the teacher. My co-workers did it for me when I left Piedmont. Each person makes their fingerprint and you write the name underneath. I hope it turns out cute.
I have a couple of friends at church that have had babies that I need to carry food to.

The great grandparents came for a visit about 2 weeks ago. Jeremy talked to them on Wednesday night and they weren't sure if they were coming or not. They said they would let us know on Thursday. Well, they always come in on a Friday so I thought OK, that will give me time to prepare even if they are coming. I had to drive on a zoo field trip for Mady's class on Friday and wanted to clean up my car and had a few more things I had to do. Well, they called Thursday morning and said they were coming...and they were already on their way!!! They were here to keep Jack so he didn't have to go to work with Jeremy, but such short notice! I'm a planner and I have a grand in-law who doesn't eat beef so I usually try to think of what I am going to cook while they are here. Well, this visit we ordered pizza one night and went out for Mother's Day another night. They arrived by 2 pm on Thursday and didn't leave until Monday!

I got my garden in, but we had torrential rains so I think all my seeds have been displaced and need replanting. Jack and I will have to get on it. I need some sweet corn!

I also did a couple of painting projects.



I found a small school desk at our Habitat ReStore that I sanded and painted for Mady. I got it for $3. I have also been looking for a piece of furniture for our bathroom. We have a wall that has a nearly full size window and nothing else. I can always use more storage and with it being a bathroom I needed something that didn't have drawers because you couldn't stack anything or openings where you see what you have stored. Who wants to see Kotex and toilet paper? I wanted something with solid doors. I found an old veneer cabinet for $35 at Habitat ReStore. More than I wanted to give, but cheaper than anything else. I sanded and painted that too. I think they both turned out cute. Still looking for a small piece for the small bathroom downstairs. Maybe I will swing by ReStore again! :) BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

8 Long Years

Eight long years ago today, my mom died suddenly. She was fine one day and gone 2 weeks later. She felt sick on Friday, but she was well enough to work all day. She felt enough worse the next day that they took her to the ER. She died after a quick decent downhill 2 weeks later. SHOCKED! That is how we all felt.

I could not believe the call I got from my sister that Sunday morning that the doctors had found a mass in her abdomen. My first thought was "not both of us". After all it had been less than 2 years since Jeremy had lost his dad to cancer.

This couldn't happen to both of us, could it? Yes, it could and it did. His dad was 43 and we were 23 when Darrel died. We were 25 when my mama died at the age of 51. That is too young. We were old enough to realize that we had been blessed with good parents, but too young to ask all the questions we have thought of since. They never got to be grandparents and that would have been so fun. For the longest time I couldn't even mention my mother to my children. It was, and sometimes still is, too painful. I miss her so much.

Two good things came out of it though. My sister and I are stronger and closer than we might have been otherwise and I am a better Christian. Definitely not what I aspire to be, but better than I was when she died. At her funeral and visitation I was amazed at how many times I heard "She was such a good Christian lady." I grew up going to church and she taught children's classes my entire life since my sister and I were two of just a handful of children there. I was baptized when I was 13. I knew she was a Christian, but I didn't really understand what a good impression she made on so many people. Not just church members, but her clients in the beauty shop, friends from numerous types of churches, all kinds of people. I realized then that I owed it to her to do better. When you live away from family and are on your own, you can go to church or not. I never lived a wild life, but I didn't attend church regularly. My mama's death made me want to be better. It was one thing I could do for her, even though she isn't here anymore.

It would have been very easy to skip church tonight. The weather was beautiful and the kids wanted to go back out and play after I fed them supper. I have a lot to do since we are leaving to visit Tennessee on Friday. It would have been easy to decide to stay home, but we went anyway. Guess what the lesson in the auditorium class was? "The Virtuous Woman". This was part of mama's eulogy.

I love you so much Mama!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Our First MOPS Meeting

Jack and I attended our first MOPS meeting today. We dropped Mady off at school, went to the cleaners, swung by Starbucks, and headed over to the church where the MOPS meeting was being held. I have never been to a meeting before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. We signed in and a super nice woman, Meghan, showed us around. I walked Jack to his class and hoped he had a good time. He was sad, since it was a new place with new people. I hated to leave him; I know strange people in a new place is scary. I knew he would be fine in a few minutes. The kids had a lesson, decorated swords, made crowns, had a snack, and then played a while.
Meanwhile I went into where our meeting was Meghan introduced me to another woman and she showed me around and talked to me about the MOPS group. They usually have refreshments and today they had prepared breakfast burritos. Yummy! We just ate and talked for probably 30 minutes. Then one of the members got up and talked a bit about her personal struggles in her life right now. It was interesting and made me think again how we don't have to look far to see someone who has it worse. Then we divided up into 3 groups. My group had some really nice girls in it. I was probably the oldest and my kids were by far the oldest. There were just 4 in our group. We went to a room and planted tomato seeds and talked about how we could do this with our children and lessons we could teach them from this. Then we moved to another room where a personal trainer from the Pavilion talked to us about a form of exercise where you pick 4 exercises, and you do each for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. It was good, but let's just say jumping isn't a good idea after you have had 2 kids. Then we went to the kitchen and another lady talked to us about meal planning and nutrition. I really enjoyed it all. Everyone was really friendly. Then when I went to pick up Jack he had had a really good time. As we were walking to the car he said he had fun and could we come here again?. So I think we will go to the next meeting too.
They meet every two weeks from September till August. So I think I can handle that. There are only 2 more meetings before they break for the summer. We both had a good time and I think we'll do it again!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Madalynn's Birthday Tea Party

February was a busy month! This was due mainly to the fact that my daughter requested a "tea party birthday party at home".
I began asking what she wanted to do for her birthday back in early January. She first said she wanted to have it at Bounce U...again. I discouraged this because we had it there last year. (Little did I know that the little friend of hers that shares her birthday would say the same thing except his parents wouldn't discourage it!) So the next time I asked she said she wanted to do it at our house. I kept asking hoping she would change her mind. She didn't.
So I began about a month before her birthday. I am glad I did. We ended up having record snowfall and a few bouts of sickness, so it made it hard to get out and about without children. I looked at the calendar and decided that between Saturday the 13th and Saturday the 20th that the 20th would be a better date. (We have 3 kids at church with birthdays on the 17th and 18th and they were all born the same year. So it is definitely something to think about.) I checked the church schedule and the Kentucky basketball schedule. (We are in Big Blue country you know!) I decided on the 20th and decided we would have it from 11 to 1 pm. That way we could all go home and nap!
I looked online for ideas. I wanted to have real teacups for the girls to drink out of and ended up getting some cute little Corell cups, twelve of them at Goodwill.They had cute little flowers on them that closely matched the colors of her party. So I paid $3 for the cups I needed for her party. This way I wouldn't have to worry about anyone breaking theirs and they could take them home when we were finished. I paid a girl from church to make her cake since I had what I wanted pictured in my mind and knew she could do it. I asked a teenage friend from church to come and help with the little girls. The girls are at an age that up until this point parents stay at the parties, but I don't know when they get to an age where parents just drop them off and then pick them up. You hate to ask "So are you staying or going?" So I thought I would need extra hands. I also asked my friend, Joni to come and she graciously came and helped me too. We sent out the prettiest invitations and invited each girl to dress up for the tea party. They all looked so pretty in their dresses!
I gave them a necklace and earrings when they came in the door. We applied makeup and did their nails too. We got a delayed start because so many people were having trouble finding our house. Ironworks Road has many parts in many counties and even changes from a Road to a Pike and from just Ironworks to Old Ironworks. So this gave the girls plenty to time to play and run up and down the stairs. :) I let the girls choose where they wanted to sit and had placecards for them.
We had our tea, (raspberry); and our tea sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly and ham and cheese). We also had chips, marshmallows, M&Ms, mints, and pickles. We played "Pin the Crown on the Princess" to give Joni time to wash teacups. (We had two cheaters who peered under their blindfolds...one of them was Madalynn!)We also had cake, custom made to match the tablecloth and napkins and "rainbow shermin". We opened presents and then it was time for everyone to go home.
The girls all got to take home their goodie bags with their tea cups, lifesavers, M&Ms, lip balm, playdoh, and a candy bracelet.
When it was all said and done, I think everyone had a great time; Madalynn, all the girls and even all the moms that ended up staying! We had a good visit and I feel like we all got to know each other better. I was very pleased with all the details and how everything turned out. I survived our first "at home" party. Yeah!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

This is such a busy weekend! Yesterday M had a half day of school and as room mom I had to go help with the party. The afternoon before I made chocolate lollipops and sugar cookies complete with decorations for the occasion. Jack and I returned to school to help with the party. We got home about 12:30 and I fed Jack lunch and put everyone down for a nap. I straightened the house for the sitter that was coming later that night. I got the kids up and we had a snack and headed to a birthday party for Logan. He is a little boy that was born on the same day as Madalynn and if she has her way he may be my future son-in-law. That would be kind of cool; a husband and wife that were born on the same day in the same year just a few hours apart! We have two chances at it though. They also have a daughter that is 3 months older than Jack. :)
The party was at Bounce U, where Logan and Madalynn had their 5th birthday party together last year. It is in Lexington and started at 5:30 so I knew traffic would be awful. We got ready and left our house about 4:45. We got there right on time and got to stay an hour. Jack had assured me numerous times that he was going to jump this year. Last year he clung to Jeremy and cried most of the time. Somethign about the noise from the compressors that keep everything inflated and Jack don't mix. He wouldn't even touch the bouncy things. He didnt have to be held and didn't cry so that is an improvement! Maybe next year.
We raced home at 6:30pm; in the door a little after 7. I hurriedly worked some more on my hair and changed clothes to go to the Sweeheart Soiree. Yuck! I hate goign to parties with a bunch of rich people.I feel so out of place. I didn't have anything I liked to wear. That never makes a girl feel good. We found out about it a week ago and I had some stupid hope that I wouldn't have to actually go. We had more snow and the kids didn't have school most of the week, so I didn't have a chance to go anywhere to shop. Plus there isn't a lot to choose from in the dead of winter. It is for a good cause, but I would rather just give them money and get to stay at home. We got there just before 7:30, signed in and sat down for dinner. I have to say I feel bored when 33 is the lowest age bracket in attendance. Most of the crowd was 50+. While my husband seems to fit right in with this crowd, I just sit there bored. I never have anyone to talk to. After all, I am not a doctor of any kind and my day to day doesn't impress anyone. "So what's going on with you?" "Oh really busy with birthday parties." You never get "How exciting!" as a response. Jeremy doesn't have as much sympathy for me as he should. He is the one that has a table full of veterinarians to talk to. I just sit and pray for time to speed by.

Friday, February 5, 2010

World War III is My Fault

Well, inadvertently I have started World War III at my house. I caused it because my husband snores. He has been snoring up a storm ever since he got a cold back at Christmas. I am used to some snoring...what wife isn't? This has gone beyond the realm of the reasonable though. It is some better, but still constant noise. Well, silly me I gently shake, shove, or push him to wake him up for a few moments in hopes that the snoring will cease at least for a few minutes. What am I thinking? It is more like precious seconds.
Jeremy has always been able to sleep anywhere, any time, under any circumstances. He can also do this in a matter of seconds- talking to you one minute, dead to the world the next. I am not so lucky and never have been.
Well, I made a comment about how many times I had woke him up the night before because he was snoring and he said something to the effect of "So that's why I have been waking up so tired!" Well, it might have more to do with working really hard all day long, getting up at 6:30 am right now, and not going to bed till midnight, but what do I know? This apparently made him quite mad. So that night we go to bed, and right on cue he starts snoring. I am not asleep yet, we have only been in bed about 5 minutes. So I put my foot against him and push. This makes him even madder and he gets up and goes and gets in bed with J. That is where he has continued to sleep despite the fact that I never asked or demanded he get out of our bed and I have told him he can sleep in our bed. I can lay there as long as I can and then go get on the couch. When Jeremy isn't happy Brandi sure isn't going to be happy. He just doesn't speak to me or act much more than civil. In his signature immature "fighting" fashion, he refuses to sleep in our bed and has proceeded to act like the south end of a northbound mule. So, whatever. I am not going to beg him, but I do think at some point Jack is going to kick him out of his room and then what?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sunday Stuff

Well, another Sunday that we didn't get to go to church. Jeremy was afraid that if there was any snow or ice on the roads that it was so cold, nothing could have melted it. It was a toasty 2 degrees this morning when we got up. It had warmed up to about 10 degrees by the time we would have needed to leave. Women who have husbands that are able to drive them to church no matter the weather, don't know how lucky they are. How nice it would be not to have to worry about slipping and sliding across the parking lot with two kids in tow. It would be great to be dropped off at the door in safety and warmth.
At least the day wasn't a total loss. Jeremy came home at about 10:00 so the kids got to spend all day with him.
I got up this morning and made waffles, but I made the mistake of using some new oatmeal pancake mix. Bad idea. They had no taste. I just put so much syrup on them that the kids didn't notice.
I cleaned the playroom today too. It was awful. There wasn't even a path to walk through the door. I made my food list for the Super Bowl. Jeremy hasn't exactly spread the word like he needs to, so I may have way too much food. We had a great time last year and we have everyone over at once and get it over with. We all know that there are those folks we would rather not have over just one on one. So an event like this is good for that.
I called Joni last night and offered to keep Halle, but never heard back from her so I guess I won't be babysitting today. I have a long list of things to do anyway.
Change the sheets on all the beds
Do all the laundry
Get my final Super Bowl menu completed
Get my regular meals for the week planned
Grocery list
Download some pictures off my phone
Download some pictures off my little camera
Send some pics to Mady's school for the yearbook
Get my final plans for Madalynn's birthday party
Clean the top of the safe
Take the bassinet back to storage (Joni had borrowed it)
Call my sister
Clean the office
Arrange and Assemble my recipes for the Super Bowl party

So, it is OK that I am not babysitting, although I want to help Joni out. I remember how exhausting the first few months are. I also know how much more you appreciate your kids when you have some time away from them! You are always so glad to see their little faces even if they were only gone for an hour or two.


Friday, January 29, 2010

This Week's Menu and stuff

I am doing pretty good about planning my week's meals on Monday and then doing the shopping accordingly so that I don't make 12 trips to Kroger. We are also trying to eat less and eat better. This week's menu...

3 Bean Minestrone

Grilled Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Scalloped potatoes
Sugar snap peas

Hamburgers (on the Foreman grill since it was snowing)
Rally's seasoned fries cooked in the oven

Leftovers or Lean Cuisine

Lean Cuisine

Beef Stew
Homemade Bread
Chocolate Cake

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Jack has gone on a play date with his friend, Nico. I have just been getting my soup ready and talking to my sister on the phone. She is watching the snow pile up at her house. We don't have any here yet, but they keep talking about it. I was sure Mady wouldn't have school today, but here we are without a single flake. It was her 100th day of school so I am really glad she got to go. I think they had a lot of special activities planned and it happened to fall on a Friday so that is good too. She missed Tuesday because the roads were slick here. If the snow gets here tonight or tomorrow, we will miss Soccer tomorrow morning and Madalynn had a classmate's birthday party at Bounce U at 12:30 that we will miss too. We will see. Just as long as we don't have freezing rain. I need my electricity and heat!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Top 10 Ways You Know You Live Too Far North

1. We are closer to Ohio and Indiana than Tennessee.

2. We can have temps that get into the single digits and/or BELOW ZERO!!! (That is just wrong.)

3. So called "central" Kentucky is really "Northern" Kentucky. *See #1 & #2.

4. The pro football team most people root for is the Cincinnati Bengals.

5. I worry about the accent with which my son says "Guys".

6. Alot of people call coke, Pop. Definitely a northern thing.

7. Basketball is a bigger thing than football. Kentucky is still part of the SEC! What is wrong with you people?

8. People, many people don't know how to be friendly. All southerners can do that!

9. Sweet tea is sometimes a hard thing to come by at a restaurant.

And the top reason you know you live too far north...

10. A southern accent is noticeable!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Weekend Getaway

Jeremy and I just returned from a quick weekend trip to the mountains of East Tennessee. Not a big trip or a fancy one. We drove down Friday afternoon, stayed in a Holiday Inn Express, and didn't eat at even one fancy restaurant...but we had a great time. Wonderful, just the two of us. We shopped a little, ate a little, saw a movie, spent some great time together, rode in the car at times without the radio even on! We talked...nothing heavy, just talked something we don't do much of at times. I got to drink plenty of Starbucks, which made me very happy!!! (Recently I tried Starbucks after admiring it from afar for years...let's just say I AM A FAN!) My pocketbook has felt the sting a little, but I don't indulge in much so I think I am entitled to coffee. Jeremy got to do some hunting type shopping courtesy of Bass Pro Shops so he was happy too!

The movie, It's Complicated, was cute, but more something you would go see if you were over 40. Jeremy and I were just two people in the tiny group that was under the age of 50 in a packed theater. Now I know we are getting older too, but that movie had a lot of gross moments for us. People our parents ages, kissing, etc. GROSS! We are just not ready for that yet, no offense to anyone!

We went to Bass Pro Shops, and several other little shops which was fun. We drove up in the mountains yesterday before we left and saw some snow. It was really pretty in the places where the steam or mist had frozen on the trees.

We had a really good meal at The Chop House Friday night. We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe in Gatlinburg on Saturday night- we had an appetizer and dessert. Sunday morning we ate at Cracker Barrel for breakfast and it was yummy!
I just really enjoyed spending time with Jeremy. Things are about to pick up for him at work and that quadruples the stress around here. It was nice to get away for a couple of days before all that begins. Jeremy's grandparents volunteered to come up and watch the kids so they had a great time as well and we didn't have to worry about them one little bit. I wish we could do it more!


Well, another Monday morning has arrived. I thoroughly enjoyed the previous 2 Mondays, mainly because I didn't have to get up early. I love to sleep. It is my favorite hobby. One I don't get to do nearly as much of as I would like. Today we went back to our routine. I'm up between 6 and 6:30 am so that I can get a reasonable amount of stuff done before M & J get up at 7:15 so we can get to school on time. Another Monday where I am going to eat less and eat healthier. Another Monday where I am really going to get an exercise routine. Another Monday where I will begin to read my Bible like I should. Well, not too successful .... again. The day is not over, though. Maybe I will do better later today.

Well, it is now Friday. I did do a little better. I signed up for a daily Bible reading email at church and I am caught up! I used the elliptical on Wednesday, did the shred (which always kicks my butt) yesterday, and today did the bowflex and a 20 min pilates tape. I so want to be a person who exercises everyday. Not once and a while, but every day. I try not to focus on how fat I am, but that I just want to be in better shape. I had some pictures made recently and was disgusted with how big my bottom half is. It is sickening! I make it a point to say when asked by the kids why I am exercising, that it is because I need to get into better shape. I am really conscious of my kids, especially my daughter, hearing that I need to lose weight. I don't want her to end up with some warped idea that all women need to be skinny. That simply isn't realistic, or healthy. You need to eat right and exercise, but that doesn't translate into every woman being a size 2.
I remember telling Jeremy right after Madalynn was born that I wanted her to never remember her parents not exercising. I wanted it to be a normal part of our lives. I want her to believe an active lifestyle is expected, a normal part of life.
My parents occasionally took spurts of taking walks, but really never any exercise to amount to anything. I remember being little and encouraging them to get down on the floor and let me help them do sit ups or stretches. How funny!
I have got to do better than I have done up until this point! I am 33 and my metabolisim is getting slower and slower. I have got to at least try.