Saturday, June 27, 2009


I won't be posting for a while so I wanted to get this in while it was fresh on my brain. Reid, age 2, has two teachers at his school. One is Miss Ann who he calls "Nan" and the other is Miss Debra who he calls "Buhdah." I love how he says both of them so I'm always asking, "Reid, who's your teacher?" Every single time we talk about his teachers, this is how the conversation goes:

Me: Reid, who's your teacher?
Reid: Nan (or Buhdah - he'll pick one to say)
Me: Who else?
Reid: Hotdog.

He's hilarious and loves to make us laugh so once he caught on to how funny we thought that response was (mainly because we have NO idea where that came from and it's just funny), it became his permanent response when asking that question. I bet I ask him at least twice a day every day just to have a good laugh. What a hoot!


That we feel the need to get our car nice and clean BEFORE we leave to go on a family vacation? We are beach bound - YAY!! We leave tomorrow for our annual family beach trip, and we are all super excited! Chris has taken two of the boys to the lake for the day so I can get us all packed and ready to go tomorrow. Before Chris left he said, "Don't forget to get an oil change and please go clean your van out." Side note: Bethany had her first experience at American Lube Fast today and thought it was so neat. I love going there not only for convenience but because I think it's cool I can sit in my car while they do it and listen to their "special language" they have. I try every time I go there to understand what they're calling out to each other from under and above, but I just can't. As you can tell, it doesn't take much to amuse us around here! :) Back to the issue at hand. My response to Chris about the oil change and cleaning out the van was, yeah, I know, that's what I planned on doing first thing. And on about our business we go. So I'm at the point where I'm cleaning out the van. (Yes, I rock the ultimate mom-mobile, the minivan, and I love it! I'm sure when the boys get older I will want an SUV but right now, my ride is way too convenient for me to get rid of). As I'm vacuuming it out it hits me: Why in the heck am I doing this now? Tomorrow morning we are going to be packed in that Nissan Quest like sardines. SIX people, SIX people's stuff, pillows, blankets, DVDs, crayons, coloring books, and of course candy, candy, and more candy. A long drive is the perfect excuse for a lot of candy, but with 6 people eating it, 4 of those being children, it makes for quite a mess! Factor into that the fast-food I'm sure we'll be getting, the convenience store stops we'll be making (even potty breaks at a convenience store=something else someone MUST have), and the times they'll be on each other's nerves which will subsequently lead to someone throwing the aforementioned, and that my friends equals up to one big nasty mess of a van that would cause Dr. Detail to do a double-take. And that's just on the drive down there! I guess we'll enjoy the view of a clean vehicle as we're all loading up tomorrow. But...

WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE'RE GOING TO THE BEACH!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I must confess: I hide things from my kids. Not you, Umby, not to worry! You're usually in on it. I guess I should say I hide things from the boys. Not toys; not my shoes they always like to put on (need I be worried?); not the spoons Reid always gets out of the drawer (and subsequently loses) into which he can barely reach his hand; not the baby soap Mac likes to use all of to see just how many bubbles one bottle has; not the change out of the "change drawer" Grant likes to try to sneak when he thinks I'm not looking and then tries to say it was "mine first." None of that. I hide candy and junkfood. And not for reasons you may think. I don't hide it because I don't want them to have candy and junk or because I think they eat too much of it (although they do). I hide it because if they know it's there, they eat it all and it leaves none for me. There I said it. I could eat candy and junkfood for EVERY single meal. Ok, maybe not breakfast, but definitely right after I have my Nutri-Grain bar and OJ. Anything from these:

To these:
To these:

And these:

Just to name a select few. Every now and then they'll find my stash. It's like Christmas for them: "MOMMY, LOOK!" "Mommy, can we have it?" I'm trying to stay cool and make them think they've really found something great. Reluctantly I share knowing it's going to be devoured in a matter of minutes. All the while I'm thinking, "If I would have just hidden them a little better." Then it's off to the convenience store and on to finding another hiding place! :)

Monday, June 22, 2009


Chris had to check out a job the other day, and the customers just so happened to have a garden. Of course he had to get a sneak peek. They were growing some blueberries in theirs, and we decided that's yet another thing we want to add to ours next year; however, that doesn't help THIS year. So we load up the boys and are taking a ride on the Bad Boy Buggy when I make the comment, "Since we can't have blueberries this year, I sure wish we had somewhere to pick blackberries." Chris looks at me with this "are you SERIOUS?" look and points to the edge of the woods lining our drive. He then rides up a little further and points some more. We ride to the other side of the woods lining our property, and he keeps pointing, smiling all along the way. There they are. How is it that we've been here almost two years and I've yet to see them? Hundreds and hundreds of blackberries right here on our property. I'm in blackberry heaven! So then I start thinking (dangerous!) of what dessert we can have for Father's Day that will include these blackberries. I have a recipe for Blueberry/Blackberry Crunch, a good cobbler recipe, but I wanted something different. Leave it to Paula Deen. I made Blackberry Gooey Butter Bars, and I could have made myself sick - almost did. Those replaced the popsicles last night!! :) It's Paula Deen's Gooey Butter Cake but with blackberries between the two layers. I'm not much of a baker but these are so easy and turned out oh-so-yummy! I got two thumbs up from the husband, and he's the chef around here so he tends to be a little overly critical. My sister, "Martha" (actually her name is Rachel but to me she's "Martha" and to her, I'm "Annie" - secret sister stuff), says Paula Deen's Blueberry Dumplings are delish and easy so I'm going to try those with blackberries.

Duty calls. Post on the rest of the weekend (and hopefully Blackberry Dumplings) coming.

Friday, June 19, 2009


That would be the lake. It's calling our name. We're headed out bright and early in the a.m. - weather permitting of course. But it's supposed to be a beautiful, sunny day. What is Mac most excited about? In his words, "widing the 'innertude'."

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I bet you are thinking this is another post about the kids, huh? Well, it's not. Ok, SOME of it will be because we have our own little army and it's nearly impossible to post without them being a part of it. Anyhoo, it's been over a year and a half since Chris and I have had a night away from the boys. I say boys because Bethany is going to school in Decatur and living with her dad, stepmom and two sisters. To sidetrack for a minute, what a difference a year makes! Bethany is helping Tara, her stepmom, with a dance camp this week called Princess Ballerina Camp. Bethany and I were talking in the car the other day about how excited she was about helping and then came to why she didn't help last year. She said, "Oh, yeah, mama, it was because I didn't want to be away from you for a whole week." Now she's living there. It was the hardest thing I've ever gone through to let her go there to live. She's been my life since I was a child myself. I love her with all of my being, and we have a very special bond that's indescribable. There have been many times when it was just the two of us. And I will say there are still sleepless nights about her not being here. I wake up and it's like I'm physically hurting that she's not in her bed asleep. Her brothers miss her immensely. Prayer gets us through it - prayer and knowing how happy she is. She's doing so well, she stays so busy, is very involved in their church, tried out and made cheerleading (her FIRST time trying out in a BRAND NEW school and the girl makes the squad - she is amazing in every sense of the word), and loves, loves, loves being with her sisters. We've been down a lot of hard roads in her short 13 1/2 years of life but I truly believe everything happens for a reason. I believe the Lord allows things to happen which makes us fall flat on our face, rock bottom, so that all we're left to do is reach up and take His hand. It may have taken a while and may sound crazy that I say this now, but I wake up every morning and am truly, sincerely, and honestly happy and blessed with my life. Are there things in it I would change? Sure! Are there bad days? Of course. But the Lord forgives and for the first time maybe ever in my adult life, the Lord has given me a peace in my heart and allowed me to forgive myself.

Enough of all that deep stuff. Back to the popsicles and bath tub. As I was saying, it's been over a year and a half since Chris and I have had a night away. It's not that we wouldn't take a night or two, it just hasn't worked out. And there aren't many people ready and willing to take on a 2, 3, and 5-year-old (all boys) all at the same time. Furthermore, Chris and I own three businesses: a vinyl siding business, a hardwood flooring business, and a home building business. Those three alone are enough to take all of the hours in a day. Total all that up and there quite literally is no time for the two of us. That, my friends, is why we MAKE time. Every single night after we put the kids to bed we take a bath together and... wait for it... eat our popsicles. It's nothing romantic. He sits at one end, I sit at the other and we face each other. We recap the day, talk about the kids or any other issues at hand. We turn on the jets and let the stresses of the day be gone. I really can't remember how the popsicle thing started. I'm sure with one of my pregnancies. One of us will go to the freezer before we head to the bathroom and get a good variety of freezer pops. You know, the Fla-Vor-Ice ones which are not already frozen in the store that you cut the tops off and push up to eat. It may sound a little silly, heck, it may sound A LOT silly, but it's OUR time. I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Here's a little glimpse of our haven:

Monday, June 15, 2009

How does your garden grow?

Allow me to introduce you to my husband's "baby," his garden. Isn't it great! He's so proud of it and very well should be. We had one last year, but it didn't do so well. Chris has worked so hard on this project, and I'm so proud of it (and him). He put a lot of thought into it before anything was planted. He had everything planned out: what to plant, when to plant, how often it should be watered, etc., getting advice from other "gardeners", even researching different issues. We're "garden virgins" so we're learning as we go. He works in the garden every single afternoon. It's been so neat for us and the kids to watch it grow from what looked like a big slab of dirt to this. I would love to say I had a lot to do with its harvest, but not so much. I've helped some, but only where I know a grasshopper won't jump on me (I HATE bugs, especially "jumpy" ones) or until those no-see-ums start to attack. Chris knows it's hasta-la-bye-bye for me when that happens. I have boys so I surely don't mind getting dirty, but only when it doesn't involve bugs. YUCK!

We had our first crop of squash and it was delish! We've had some fried green tomatoes which were oh so good and are anxiously awaiting the taste-test of the ripened tomatoes. We're going to have enough tomatoes to sell on the side of the road out of the back of our truck in every variety you can think of. :) There is also corn, peas, bell pepper, and cantaloupe. You wouldn't believe how much they've grown just since these pictures were taken. We're already planning what to add to next year's. I hope one of the kids or dogs don't do anything to harm Chris' "baby," because we would surely be mourning the loss of it!

WARNING: If your sprinklers are on a timer, be sure you know when your husband has set it or else this happens when you try to get some pics:


Friday, June 12, 2009


I'm really posting this so I'll be able to remember exactly how the following conversation with Grant (age 5) went. Please keep in mind as you read this that my guys automatically associate "exercising" with gaining bigger muscles. Ok, so one day Bethany was showing me some exercises she learned during cheer tryouts. I've had four children and could use some toning-up so I decided to try a few out for myself. It was no major deal, just a few here and there, until I started seeing some slight results. I began to get a little more open with my "exercising" and started doing some squats, donkey kicks, lunges, etc., while the boys were in the bath tub or outside playing. Naturally the first time the boys saw me doing these crazy-looking things they died out laughing, said I looked silly, and asked what I was doing. My response was, "I'm doing my butt exercises." They went on about their business. It was a few days later and Grant again sees me drop to the floor in the bathroom while they're in the tub and do some donkey kicks. He says, ever so matter-of-fact, "Mama, you really can stop doing those exercises now. You're butt muscles are big enough." WOW!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


How cute is he! And such a ham! He grabbed my camera, gave it to me and flashed that grin. Too cute not to post!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

One proud mama!

So here are some updated pics of my princess and my three prince charmings! I cannot believe Bethany is 13. Time really does fly. And what a special young lady she is (separate post coming on that sweet girl!) Grant is 5 and will start Kindergarten this year. He is so excited, and I have no doubts he will do great. He takes after his Sissy in the inteligence department. His curiosity amazes me. He's constantly wanting to know why something does this or how something does that. Quite frankly, more times than not I run out of answers! :) Mac is 3 and is my little sweetheart. He's so affectionate and will often stop what he's doing just to run over to me and say, "I love you, mama." Although it comes out more like, "I wush you, mama." And then there's Reid. Or REID as it should read. He's the baby. What more can I say. He's rotten. They all are, but he stinks he's so rotten. He's on my hip constantly and that is no exaggeration. CONSTANTLY. If I could have him surgically attached to my hip, I think I would do it just to free my other hand up. But he's the life of the party. He's hilarious and keeps us laughing!

More later. Naps are becoming a thing of the past around here!

Monday, June 8, 2009

There's always a first!

Well here it is my first post... and I have no idea what to write about. I'm going to assume the people that read this know us, know about us, and this is a way they can better keep up with what all is going on in our lives. Being the mother of 4 children, 3 of them young boys, leaves little time for phone calls, e-mails, etc., to catch up as I would like with the people I love and care about. Thanks to my first-born angel, Bethany, for helping me get this started! (Although by now she may be regretting it. It's been: Bethany, how do I..? Bethany, how do you change...? Bethany, where do you go to add...?) I just THINK I'm not too bad on a computer until my 13-year-old reminds me otherwise! :) But I do think I'm going to enjoy this! I'll strive to have a blog that has more than one post per week! :)