Friday, December 19, 2008
I have to say, the belt tests are a little boring. They tests the juniors with the adults, so you have to sit through alot of other people. I don't mean to sound rude, but I just want to see my children! OK, that's a little rude, but I don't think I'm alone on this one!
Here are a few pics of the juniors at their best!!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
One of my favorites things of the night was when we needed another table and Mike and I were able to pull this table out with 2 benches and extra chairs, throw my favorite linen table cloth on it and accommodate another 8 people in a matter of minutes!
This is my dining table, it seats 8 without the 2 leafs in it. I hope to do a post soon of my house, but you can see a little of it in these pix.
This pic has a shot of my kitchen in the background. I think my kitchen is my favorite room in the house. I love the way it turned out. It was the room I spent the most time planning out when we were building.
I love entertaining! One of my friends commented on how brave it was of us to have this many people over. I have been dreaming of these kinds of dinners for years. We finally have a home that can comfortably accommodate a lot of people. God has blessed us with a fantastic new home. It just seems selfish not to share it with the amazing family and friends He has also blessed us with!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
This is what Lola did the entire time we were decorating. She would not come out from underneath the tree, especially after I put the skirt down. She really got comfy then!!
What's so special about this tree, you might ask. Looks like any other Christmas tree to me, you're thinking. Well, let me fill you in on a little history of my rather 'unconventional' Christmas trees! Hopefully I can find the pictures soon because my descriptions will not do my previous trees justice!
In my defense (you know it's bad when I have to start off defending myself!), we were living in a cramped mobile home while we were building our house. We did not anticipate on being there as long as we were, as is usually the case when building. When the first Christmas rolled around, we had no room for a tree. Many of our things were in storage and I had no idea where my Christmas decorations were. Time to get creative! I went to a dollar store in town and bought a small (maybe foot, foot and a half) artificial tree in a little pot. I thought it was cute! But, still I have no decorations. So, I bought 2 cans of silly string. I took the tree and the boys outside and let them decorate the tree with silly string. I thought they'd love it! Actually, they did until they realized this really was our one and only Christmas tree! I had to hear about this tree for weeks, no months, no...I'm still hearing about this tree! Matthew was so upset because he said no presents would fit under it. I told him we were buying small gifts that year! That didn't go over so well! OK, that's tree #1!
Tree #2 was actually very pretty (I thought). We're still in this mobile home. We thought we would be in the house by now. So, I go out in the woods and cut down a small tree (some argue that it was just a branch, but it was a tree!). I stripped off the few leaves left on it and spray painted it white. I put it in a bucket of sand and strung it with white lights! I thought it had somewhat of an elegant touch! At least we could fit presents under it (if only a few).
My family has given me much grief over my Christmas trees. I choose to believe it's jealousy!
I asked Matthew a couple of months ago if he would like a real tree this year. He looks at me with this blank look and says, "it would be nice" with no sound of hope whatsoever in his voice. So, I took them to the tree farm the other day and we picked out an 8 ft. frasier fir! We only have 9 ft. ceilings. By the time we got the tree into the stand, it was only inches away from the ceiling! I turned on Christmas music and we all decorated it together!
So, there's the story behind why this tree is so exceptionally beautiful! Compared to what we're used to, most anything would be!
I even decorated my buffet! It's festive while still leaving room to be functional!
And, what Christmas tree would be complete without a nod to The King! I tried to convince Tanner to put his ornament near the back, you know so it wouldn't get knocked off and broken (wink, wink). Well, when you enter the den from the foyer, it's the first thing you see! Oh well, it's still the most amazing tree ever!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
We stayed in none other than the Heartbreak Hotel, which really is at the end of Lonely Street!! It was decked out in blue velvet and pictures of Elvis on every wall. We did have a little excitement while we were there. We went out to dinner our last night in Memphis and when we got back to the hotel, there were two firetrucks in front. As we entered the lobby, we noticed a lot of people sitting everywhere! Turns out, there was a faulty wire on the elevator which set off the fire alarms and all the guests were having to stay in the lobby on the ground floor until it was checked out. There was no fire, the firemen checked the elevator and we were allowed to return to our rooms around 11:00 (I think). Fast forward to 1:30 a.m.! We are waken by fire alarms going off! Talk about panic! People were going up and down the halls banging on doors telling people to get out! We were on the second floor. We were trying to throw some clothes on as fast as we could and get downstairs. You could not even think straight for the noise of the alarms! We get downstairs and oh, what a sight!! People are in their pajamas, hair sticking out everywhere, slippers on. It was a mess. So, after a few minutes, here come the fire trucks again! They check everything out and about 2:30 we are allowed to go back to our rooms. Who can go back to sleep after that?!?! Apparently, the sensor on the wire was bad and kept saying the wire was overheating or something, there never was a fire! But, we had to drive back home the next day and we were all beat!
Oh, I almost forgot the other exciting event! We were pulling into a gas station down the highway from the hotel and these two cars race out of the parking lot as we are turning in. Mike even commented that they must be racing. Well, when we get out to get gas, we find out a guy at the gas station just got his car stolen and one of those cars racing away was his!! Crazy!
We can't say we didn't have any excitement on the trip!
This is a shot of the front of Graceland. I like the way they do the tour. You walk through at your own pace and you have these headphones with this little player of some sort that narrates everything for you. You can pause it if you want to look around more before moving to the next room or you can skip ahead if something doesn't interest you. It's pretty neat. Graceland is not the mansion you think of celebrities living in today. But, it is still quite large. It looks smaller from the front, but seemed to keep going in the back.
The hotel had a sirius radio stand where you could listen to Elvis through headphones. Here's Tanner listening to the King!!
The Sirius radio station All Elvis (which we have to listen to all the time) broadcasts straight from Graceland. We got to go in the booth and talk with the dj. He told us all kinds of information. It was very interesting. He showed us how they set up the computer to play the songs. They have over 3,000 varieties of Elvis songs! This includes different versions of the same song as well as his songs done by other artists.
We celebrated with a small bowling party. Tanner had never been bowling and wanted to have his birthday at the bowling alley. I think it was one of the most fun parties we have ever had for them. I think kids and adults alike enjoyed themselves. Everyone bowled!
What party would be complete without a cake. An Elvis cake, of course! Here's Tan's cake I made. I knew I could not make Elvis look real in frosting, so I found a picture of a caricature of him instead. Tanner liked it and everybody got a kick out of it! It was fun!
OK, I must have had just a little too much time on my hands that day because I had no wrapping paper for Tan's gift and decided to make my own. I had some U-Haul packing paper but it was a little see-thru. So, I decided to draw designs on it to throw off seeing through it. Elvis pictures, no less! Everyone thought I bought it that way!! It was hard to watch all my hard work get ripped to shreds as he tore into his gift! Oh well, it was worth it! Here's my artwork. Green is Tanner's favorite color so I did them all in green paint marker. I found this picture online and started off drawing my own and while they looked good, it was just taking too long. So, I traced the rest. What do you think?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Well, thought this might hold you over until we get back with all those Elvis pictures! We're going to the Peabody Hotel, too, to see the ducks! Pray for our safety and sanity!
Until our return...
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
My 29 day giving challenge is up. I had hoped to finish with a bang by increasing my giving as the end neared. I may not have given much away but I still think I finished with a bang!
By my calculations, I had 10 days left of giving when I got sick. I got strep throat. My head felt like a bowling ball and my throat was so sore I dreaded each and every swallow. I laid around for several days trying to rest and heal. Needless to say, the only thing I could have given were my germs! As that got better, I got bronchitis! This went on for almost two weeks! Oh, the coughing!! Anyway, I kept thinking of how this was ruining my 29 days of giving and I was making mental lists of things I could give away when I was fit to re-enter society. As the days went by, though, it occurred to me how much was being given to me. Wait, I'm supposed to be the one giving! It was then that I realized the importance of being able to receive as well as give. I have never been comfortable with people doing things for me. When I had my knee surgery, a friend from church came and cleaned my house. That was hard to let her do. People cooked for me and came to visit. I appreciated it immensely, but it was hard nonetheless. But, as the calls came in to watch the boys for me and to bring me soup, it really got me thinking. My instinct was to say no thanks, I've got it. But this time was going to be different! I did let a friend come get the boys for the afternoon (I was able to get to the doctor while they were away), I did let another friend run an errand in town for me. I even called and asked someone if they could come by and pick the boys up to take them to class (our homeschool co-op classes) so they wouldn't miss it. They were also picked up for Tae Kwon Do so they wouldn't miss that and I was even texted a picture of them so I wouldn't feel left out! What special friends I am blessed with!
We can't do it alone. We all need each other. It is important to give and be aware of the needs of others. But, it is also important to be able to accept help when you need it. I think it's important to remember, though, that it's not about keeping score. I find myself thinking I can't ask her because she's helped me twice already since the last time I helped her. It has to be about the needs (of others as well as myself) and not the scoreboard!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Since I was not feeling well, I spent more time than usual laying around and watching television. This brings me to the topic of this post. This is officially my first rant (kind of, it's gentle)! Have you seen the Stanley Steamer commercial? The one that says your house needs cleaning because of kids, teens, pets and husbands? What about the Hotels.com one where the husband gets so excited over having 2 bottles of shampoo that he starts pouring them on his head? And let's not forget the one for Pepto-Bismol where the husband is compared to the dog he ate so much, including dog biscuits. What is with all the "stupid husband" commercials? I have never noticed there being so many. I realize there are commercials that portray women as less than intelligent as well as those with respectable men in them. I'm just wondering how these "stupid husband" commercials affect the way we see our own husbands. So many of the sitcoms center around the "got-it-together" wife who tolerates the shenanigans of this clown she lives with. In a society where half of our marriages end in divorce, this cannot be good for us. I think it's easy to say we know better, but when we're inundated with these images I have to wonder how much seeps in. I don't know about you, but my husband is far from these stupid portrayals. Has he ever done anything dumb? Absolutely, who hasn't? But, he works hard for his family and supports me in everything I do. I just wish more male roles would reflect the kind of husband/father he is and strives to be. I want my boys to grow up with the sense of responsibility to care for their family and not to think it's ok to goof off and expect their wives to hold the family together.
Chill out, you say. Get a life. I know, I know. It may not be quite as big a deal as I make it sound, but at the risk of sounding like a stick in the mud, it does concern me a little. What say you?
This post is dedicated to my sweetie:
Monday, October 20, 2008
Since then, I have given:
*time-kept a friend's child for an afternoon
*time-had 2 couples over (and their children) for dinner and game night. We know how to party! It got so rowdy, someone had to be taken to the emergency room!!
*time-went to the grocery store with my mom. You have to know, my mom is notorious for asking you to go clothes shopping with her and then, after you're in another town and in her car she springs on you the fact that she has to go grocery shopping afterwards (and out pops this mile long list). Ok, grocery shopping for my family is bad enough now I have to go with her too!! :) But, Saturday I did and with no (ok, few) complaints! :)
*time-we went to my in-laws after church Sunday to visit with my brother-in-law who has been working out of town for a couple of months now and was here for the weekend
Well, it looks like I gave the very thing I previously said I had the least of! I seemed to find enough time to share with everyone this weekend!
As I was making lunch today, Tanner offered to fix drinks for everyone. I don't know why I found this so sweet. I think it was just that he made it in one their cups instead of the glass I usually use or that he fixed me one of their root beers that their Papa gave them. Or maybe it was the single ice cube floating around all by itself? More than likely it was that look of accomplishment and innocent pride on his face when he brought it to the table (without spilling a drop!).
This is the beautiful view we had as the boys and I left our house to meet a friend for a bike ride Friday morning. We rode early (7:15) to not interfere with our busy day (we both homeschool). The weather was perfect! And, look at that sunrise! We are currently training to ride in a local bike ride in mid-November. They have a 16 mile family ride. Matthew and I did it last year. Tanner wanted to join us but we were concerned that he couldn't make it. So, Mike said to let him go as far as he could and to call him and he would come get him. Tanner made 5 miles! I have to say, that's further than I expected!
I love cycling! Matthew seems to really enjoy it too which I am so excited about! It's a goal of mine to BRAG (bike ride across Georgia) before I'm 40 (I have 7 years). We'll see...
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
What's the big deal, you ask? Well, I have been working on this quilt for almost 10 months! It was originally meant to be a shower gift, then I thought I would get it done in time to take it to my sister-in-law in the hospital when the baby was born but I didn't make that either!
To date I have joyfully parted with...
*time-kept a child just to give the mom an afternoon to herself
*made a cake for my grandma's 84th birthday (red velvet-her fave!)
*time-kept 2 young children so a friend could go shopping and enjoy a little time alone
*gave away a few items a friend needed from my garage sale pile (free of charge, of course!)
*made a wedding cake this weekend (did not charge for this, it was my wedding gift!)
*time-had a friend over for tea
*made a cake to take to my mother-in-law
*time-balanced Mike's business account, paid his bills and got them in the mail (glad that one's over!)
*bread crumbs (ok, I know this one hardly counts, but I didn't have anything else that day and my mom really needed them for a recipe!)
*ice-cream-I surprised the boys with an ice-cream for no reason except to treat them
Teaser: I am about to deliver my giving for today. It's a biggie (and, by far, the hardest thing I have had to part with)! I will have to post it later, gotta' go!
Monday, October 6, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Next up...Mike's closet! (Just don't tell him, he'll never miss a thing!!)
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I'm kidding, of course, but I do love it when I see little interests and likes of mine surface in them.
*You can tell which is my lefty!!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Well, yesterday I booked our room at none other than the Heartbreak Hotel! Tanner heard about Graceland on TV a while back and immediately put in to go. We planned on going in September but when I called to book our room, there were no rooms available. I gave Tanner a choice of either staying somewhere else and still going in September or waiting until late October, early November and getting to stay at the Heartbreak Hotel (he calls it the Elvis hotel). He actually chose to wait!! So, we're off to see "The King" in November. It's not anywhere Mike and I ever really wanted to go, but to see his excitement will be fun!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Today is my father-in-law's birthday.
Happy Birthday Papa!! We love you!
Today is also my sister-in-law's one year anniversary! I know, how cruel was that to make your dad give away his only daughter on his birthday!! :)
Happy Anniversary Mike & Misty!!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Tomorrow is the first day of Fall and it looks like Tanner and I will be ushering it in with the first colds of the season. We both have runny noses, coughs and scratchy throats. This just gives us a reason to have a cup of coffee (hot chocolate for Mr. T) and snuggle! I'm already thinking of all the soups and stews I plan to make as the weather begins to cool!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Our car club had a cruise-in tonight at a Starbuck's in a neighboring town. We have a collection of old cars we are restoring and try to support local shows when we can. It's a great family activity. The boys enjoy the fast cars! I'll post our cars soon.
Friday, September 19, 2008
I'm not blogging because I think we live this extraordinarily exciting life, but I would like to share some of our experiences with homeschooling, funny kid stories (have lots of these!), etc. It's also a great way for out of town family to keep up with us.
I guess I should start off with a little about myself:
I am not a very good writer (as you will soon see)
I love homeschooling
Fall is my favorite season (I can feel it in the air already!)
I enjoy embroidery
I like to cook
I cannot eat off of plates with pictures
I had to add that last one in there to make me sound a little more exciting!! :)
I guess this concludes my first post. To all you experienced bloggers: advice, criticism and suggestions are welcome!!