Friday, February 19, 2010

Oh big burning ball of gas in the sky

How I have missed your beautiful golden rays beaming on me and my morning coffee. I've enjoyed your company the past two days. My kids say I'm a much nicer person when you're around. My house says I'm much more productive. I'm no good without you. Next time, don't stay gone so long...k?

"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

olympic gold and razor burn

I decided to deviate from the normal history and science this week and shake things up a bit here at our little school at home. I am a huge fan of Unit Studies...I just don't have the natural personality to pull them off that often. Translation: I'm not gonna receive "Relaxed Homeschooler of the Year" anytime soon. Which is sad for my kids because they LOVE Unit Studies and still have fond memories of reading "Ping" and eating hot dogs Chinese around the ottoman while listening to Chinese music.

I'm more of a structured "start a book, finish a book" kinda gal. Sad. I know. Stopping one thing midstream to do another just doesn't sit well with my brain. Which is funny cause I'm totally ADD. An ADD Perfectionist. Yikes!

Lately, through lots of prayer and surrender, I have been challenged to loosen up and have fun with my kids...cover the essentials and have fun with the rest.

I purchased this study on the Winter Olympics 2010 from Amanda Bennett. Love her studies. We are only on the first week out of four but we have already learned SO much about the origin of the Olympics and all the symbolism that goes along with it. Did you know that the first cookbook was written in Greece? Or that a man named Jesse Owens was the first person to win 4 Gold medals during the 1936 games in Berlin. Hitler was still in power. Owens was African American. Love it. If you did already know these things...don't tell me. Just let me relish in my new knowledge.

This is one of the many things I love about Homeschooling. That I myself am learning more than I ever did in school...and actually enjoying the process...and I get to do it alongside three of the most beautiful people on Earth. Man alive, I am blessed.

The kids have so genuinely enjoyed watching these games that we decided that we would make a "Medal Count." I cannot tell you how much fun this was for them to make. And it was...GEOGRAPHY! We found each one of these on the globe and got a bit more familiar with their flags. We didn't list all of the countries...just the ones that had placed as of Monday. We figure if more place we can always add to the back.


Remember last week when I told you about Maggie learning to crochet? And how I asked her if she could make 15 blue bracelets for my Bible Study attendees?

Well, my girl delivers.

This week while I was shredding what's left of the cartilage in my left knee working out, Adam managed to catch this video of Aidan...who insisted that he too should be able to shave (with the cap on of course). You know, like his big 13 year old brother. Did I forget to mention that? Maybe it's cause I'm still grieving my baby (and the hair above his lip) and can't speak of such things right now without tearing up. Maybe I'll get around to blogging about my obvious depression over watching my oldest become a young man...and my daughter blossoming into a young lady. Maybe.

For now I'll just take comfort in the fact that at least one of my children is yet to show any real signs of puberty. Phew. He may just need to work on his coping skills a bit. Enjoy.

"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I've lost that lovin' feelin'

Hopefully you haven't...but let me just tell you...PMS and Valentines Day do NOT belong in the same week. My poor husband. I've been a beast. His Valentine card actually read "I love you...despite what my mood swings may indicate." I know. I'm pathetic. And obviously a few other ladies are too cause that's exactly what the card said. Seems Hallmark has added a few menopausal employees. I did try to recover by getting him his favorite cream cake. Seems he's a sucker for kiss ups cause he forgot all about my dysphoric disorder and went right on to romancing his cake.

it seems all is fair in love and cake

The kids and I spent this day of love baking Red Velvet cupcakes...and thinking about the Greatest Love one could experience.

Dad always remembers his girl Maggie when buying flowers.

And the woman that needs an exorcism mom...lover of tulips.

On Thursday we met with our Homeschool Tutorial group for the Elementary Valentine bowling party. So fun. This group is a God send. We sported sassy bowling shoes and rocked out to Leeland and David Crowder Band. In a bowling alley. Priceless.

There was also a certain Valentine Box contest that we participated in. Remember it? I nearly broke out into hives trying to help my kids decorate these things...finally, I gave in to the fact that I was gonna let them do their own thing and not help unless asked. This is so hard for a recovering perfectionist to do...but not being crafty and all made it much easier. Can you be a perfectionist and be crafty? I'm thinking no.

Aidan was a minimalist. Thank God.

Maggie covered hers with rose petals that formed a cross. Actually there was a glue gun involved so I helped her...and I have the wounds to prove it. Yes, I realize it resembles an arrangement on a casket. She didn't though...and hopefully she won't read my blog till she's 30...or at least too old to hold a grudge against me. Each of them wanted to put scripture on their boxes....Maggie added her own little reminder about love. I heart her.

And just so you know...I really do love and adore my husband...despite what my mood swings may indicate.

"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Off the Hook

While we were away celebrating 11 years of marriage, my kids were busy spending time with their Aunt Ashley. Not sure what goes on here exactly while I'm gone but it must be fun cause Maggie said , "I had so much fun that I forgot to call you!" when I got home. Thanks honey...I could hardly go to sleep I missed you so much didn't miss you a bit.

One thing I'm sure happened? This...

Maggie learned how to crochet!

And the girl has yet to stop. Seriously I think JoAnn's stock just went up.

These are just a few from her collection. I personally love the ones with beads. Maggie is so much more creative than her mother. Obviously Aunt Ashley is too. She can even french braid! Dang. I keep losing "coolness" points to my little sister. Maybe little miss cool pants Aunt Ashley should get her rear back here to help me with these 2 shoe boxes Valentines Mailboxes I'm supposed to have bedazzled by Thursday. I just know I hear them mocking me when I walk by. And tonight when I came home from Wal-Mart with a glue-gun in tow, I swear I heard a snicker. What? You think I'm kidding?

My girl has mastered what she was taught...she can even do it without looking! I can't explain the way her face lit up when I asked her if she thought she could make 15 of her gorgeous bracelets for my Believing God bible study. As a mom, it makes my heart smile to see that she has a little something under her belt that brings her so much joy and pride in herself. Something to call her 'thing.' Next time Aunt Ashley comes she will teach her to layer more onto that. I have a feeling she may need her own Etsy shop before this is over.
Maybe she can pay my way to Blissdom next year.

My daughter then decided to pay it forward to her deprived of the craft gene mom and teach me what she had learned. I told her I was hopeless. She insisted I wasn't. Things were going great...I was well on my way to making my very own bracelet. Except I got slightly carried away showing off my new mad skills and ended up making something else. A belt.

It was off the hook.

"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

11 years of "Blissdom"

Since learning about "Blissdom", I have done nothing but teeter back and forth about whether or not to attend. At first I was all gung ho and set to buy my tickets...then I realized one very important detail that I had overlooked. It fell on my Anniversary weekend. I had not even noticed!!! I'm pretty sure I would have reamed my husband out had this been his oversight so I couldn't help but feel like I needed to prepare a speech for the "worst wife of the year" award I had just managed to win. But he was super sweet about me forgetting the date in which we committed ourselves to each other and God. He even told me that if I really wanted to attend this conference of Blogger Brethren, he would support me fully and we could make alternate plans. Either I scored big time when I managed to snag this mans heart OR he too has already managed to forget this all too important date at some point over the last 11 years and had mercy on me. I think it's the former.

After praying earnestly about this trip I never could feel quite at peace about going. Even with my husbands support and prompting. And then it happened and I knew Blissdom wasn't in my future for 2010....Haiti. Once I saw the devastation I knew I was supposed to donate the money I would have spent to attend the conference. And then...peace came.

I won't wasn't easy knowing that so many of you, that I have literally come to know and love here in the blog world, were gonna be playing in my own backyard without me. Don't think I didn't think about Jennifer, Melissa, Edie, Ruthanne, Darby and so many more that I have managed to become infatuated with grown to love. Maybe God knew I needed one more year to lose the "starstruck" mentality and decided to spare me much embarrassment over drooling over Edie's cupcakes or begging Melissa for one of her cute camera straps or Jennifer having to peel me off her leg as she heads back to the Frozen Tundra or asking Ruthanne to show me her lenses and for Darby to explain HTML coding to me just one more time time ...or heaven forbid The Nester having to call security! Yeah, I may need a year to mature. My husband has already promised me that I will be getting Blissdom tickets for Christmas this year and I cannot wait! So lookout ladies....and get your restraining orders ready!

Although I couldn't attend the "Blissdom" here in Nashville, I realized this weekend that I had in fact attended Blissdom of another sort...eleven years of marriage to my best friend. This man...what can I say. No one can make me laugh or cry like this one has ever been given the access to my heart the way he has. We have a huge passion for one another even still today...sometimes that plays out in heated arguments (just keepin it real here)...sometimes it plays out...well, you know. :-) Either way, we fight...we fight passionately for our marriage....for our family...for our love.

Without digging too deep into our story, I will tell you that we have hurt each other deeply in the past. We loved each other deeply but when we were hurt, we hurt each other in defense. It was a horrible coping skill that we walked into marriage with...along with a U-Haul truck full of baggage. Within our first year of marriage we were separated and seriously debating divorce. But then something amazing happened. God humbled us to a place of complete surrender. We knew we didn't want to lose each other...we knew we didn't want our children to live in the broken homes we had grown up in...we knew we needed help. My husband surrendered his life to Christ soon after, we attended counseling, fought the hard fight of forgiveness and restoration...and this weekend we ate ridiculous amounts of cheese and chocolate fondue celebrated 11 years of marriage.

I can hardly believe it myself. And I can hardly stand how much I love this man. I give God all the glory for where we are right now. We had managed to run our marriage into a deep, deep ravine....God pulled us from the wreckage and taught us how to love again and place our affections and trust in Him first.
I love you Adam....always have...always will.
"Grow old with me, the best is yet to come."

I'm linking this post up to Blessed Moon's "Not at Blissdom" blog party. Be sure to check it out!

"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Yellow snow

Boy, I've missed this.....snow! This was the view from my front porch this past weekend. There's a road hidden in there I promise.

We've been back here in TN for 6 years now...and not once have we been greeted with snow like this. The sleds and snowsuits that we once upon a time enjoyed and used so often while living in wintry states such as New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, had been retired to mere Christmas decor or long since outgrown by my 'growing at the speed of light' kiddos. In fact, now that I think of it, Aidan was one and just starting to walk when we moved here and Maggie had just turned three! Wow...that's enough to get me depressed. Especially since Tyler was just 7 then and just this month he had to shave his upper lip. Yeah, that's about enough to send me over the edge so let's move onto happier thoughts such as how we spent two whole days rollin' in the white stuff with thoughts of work and school far behind us.

Now, let me just preface these pictures with this disclaimer:

"Yes, those are grocery bags you see covering my children's feet and hands. No, they are not neglected. And no, McGyver is not my father."

It doesn't snow much here in The Volunteer we were caught without all the necessities such as snow boots and waterproof gloves...hey, it was a lesson in being resourceful ok? Don't judge.

Little boy snow angels...

Teenager snow angels...

My snow angel... ;-)

Poodle snow angels...

Snow bathing...

our attempts to build a snowman...the snow was too soft.


This is the one time it would be a shame to miss out on the yellow snow. If you have not had snow cream, you need to add it to your bucket list folks. Who knew that if you added snow, milk, sugar, and vanilla, you would get a fabulous confectionery concoction?!?!

And while you are adding it to your list of things to do, add "Paula Deen style" in parenthesis next to it. Which translates into "slather a good coating of Sweetened Condensed Milk on the top."

The next day the roads were better for driving so we loaded up and hit the hills with friends from church for sledding. Words could not do justice to the fun we had that day...nor the amount of sheer pain I felt in my thighs the next day. We have an amazing group of friends and I am so thankful for their fellowship...and the memories.

I wish I could report that there were no injuries in the midst of all this fun we were having...but sadly enough one of our friends shattered his tibia while sledding with his wife...the last sled of the day. It was a sort of military style scene as they loaded him up into the bed of a truck to transport to the ER. Lucky for him his wife is a nurse...and she works for one of our friends that is a Pediatrician. So he was in good hands...but lots of pain. Poor guy. A doctor from Vanderbilt was on the news that night explaining how many sledding injuries they had seen and how you don't see that many in the North...his words, and I quote, "In the North people seem to know to jump off the sled before it hits an object. We are finding that people here in the South don't know to jump off which is why our ER is full."

Hmmm...I can't help but find that hilarious! What makes us Southerners not want to jump ship when careening into the side of a Pecan tree? Maybe it's that deep rooted Southern loyalty we have. Never leave your sled behind! :-)

I am just so thankful that none of the kids were hurt....Aidan had a close call though...check it out in this video. He's so darn cute. Me screaming at him...not so much. I think I'll stick to cameras without microphones.

"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

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Grow Old With Me....The Best Is Yet To Come

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