Tuesday, September 29, 2009


My heart is heavy today. Thankfully I know my God is in control. Nevertheless, sometimes life hurts. I do hope one day I can share ALL of my story on here, and I feel that the Lord will one day open that door when the time is right. I think there are more people than we know dealing with and suffering from the same things I have dealt with and suffered through. But now is not the time.

I'm thankful for a forgiving God. I'm thankful for a peace that only He can give. I'm thankful that the Lord showed mercy on me and intervened on my behalf delivering me from my own pit of hell. I'm thankful that He is greater than my sin. I'm thankful for my salvation. I'm thankful for my husband who is such a source of strength. I'm thankful for my children. I'm thankful for my family.

I'm thankful.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:28, 38 - 39

Monday, September 28, 2009


It's official: I'm a redneck. I LOVED every minute of this weekend in PCB at Thunder Beach!! I'm already bugging Chris about when we can go ride again. I parked my car when I got there Friday around lunch and didn't get back in it until we got ready to leave Sunday. We spent the entire weekend on the Harley - didn't even hit the beach. SO SO much fun - I had no idea it would be that much fun. Recap and pics coming - right now I'm singing, "Back to life, back to reality." :) It is good to be home, though! I missed my babies!

Friday, September 25, 2009


Wait, don't answer that. Everyone knows I'm a bit crazy but even I'm questioning myself on this one. If this post does what it's supposed to, this will be posted as I'm on my way to Panama City Beach for Thunder Beach. What's Thunder Beach you ask? I didn't know either. And still don't REALLY know. I guess I'll be finding out soon. It's actually a huge bike rally. But what I've been told is it's the biggest redneck romp/Spring Break-like but with older Harley-riding people "fest" in the South, complete with a Miss Thunder Beach Pageant, a "biker village" with a "full-scale bikini bike wash," and Club La Vela "transformed" into a Builder and Manufacturer's Expo. Seriously? WHAT... am I thinking?

Chris left yesterday on his MLC Mobile (mid-life-crisis mobile, a/k/a his Harley). This is a first for both of us so he went on down a day early to start soaking it all in. I told him I thought I would be able to hold back the excitement and wait one more day. It's killing me, let me tell ya! (insert sarcasm!). Plus the kids and I have a routine on school mornings and I wanted to keep it that way. Two nights away is enough.

As insane as it all sounds - and I'm sure everything is even crazier in person - I'm secretly a little excited about it all. I've never even been on the back of Chris' moto yet so it should all make for one very interesting weekend (plus I'll take any chance I get to indulge in some Thomas Donuts and a BLT from Boatyard Restaurant - the "L" stands for lobster and it's splendid!)! I plan on taking lots of pictures some of which I hear I wouldn't want published on a blog. YIKES!

Many thanks to Mimi and Granddaddy for helping out with the boys and coming here to do it. It's so much easier on the boys (and me) this way so I really appreciate it. They keep saying, "WHEN ARE YOU GONNA LEAVE?" HA HA! I think they're a tad excited!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I've made this comment, jokingly of course, on several occasions: These boys are going to put me in my grave. Well Mac took that to a whole new level yesterday. We were really enjoying this:

And decided to go on a scavenger hunt. I made a list of things to hunt, put the boys in the wagon (2 at a time was all I could handle - one had to walk), and it was off we go on our hunt. We decided to go away from the house because that would have been too easy. It's not a short walk down our drive. But we were so happy to have good, sunny weather, albeit hot, that we wanted to make the most of it. It's so funny and entertaining listening to the boys talk amongst themselves, thinking I'm not listening. And as funny as things are to me, I must hold back my laughter because if they think I'm listening, they won't keep talking like that. Here are a few things we enjoyed along the way and a few snippets of conversation that went along with that:

On our way out, we found a snail, or just the shell. Grant made the comment that it must be out of its shell. Mac said, "No, Grant, it's inside the shell watching t.v."

Another thing that caught our attention on the way out for quite some time actually - the boys and I found it very entertaining to watch - was this: (It really, seriously was a spiritual moment for me - watching this little butterfly - so beautiful and perfect- do exactly what the Lord created it to do - pretty awesome)

It was so pretty on both sides, I couldn't decide which one was prettiest:

I mentioned it's not a short walk from our house to the end of the drive. Here's a view looking from not quite the end of the drive toward the house:

Well, we get to the end of the drive and Mac looks at Grant and says, "Whew, why didn't we just take the Bad Boy Buggy!"

Naturally, Reid found dirt or "doit" as he calls it:

Grant making a find:

A penny was on our list. Mac found this:
I said, "Wow, Mackey, you found a whole quarter! We just needed a penny! Way to go! Where did you find that?" Mac says, "Reid's pocket." Reid loves to raid the change drawer and keeps some change in his pocket at all times.

Something Grant dubbed "the caterpillar plant." Not sure if it's because he thinks it looks like a caterpillar or because it's the color of a Caterpillar tractor:

ANTS!!!!!!! (Unfortunately we found a ton of those the hard way.):

This was actually just a pile of sand but to them, after finding all those ants, it was the "hugest ant hill ever!":

All our finds:

When we got back we played outside a bit longer. As I'm straightening up outside, Reid has escaped and I hear ever-so-faintly, MAAAMAAAA. My van is back in the shop after not being repaired correctly so we're in another rental. The boys think it's so cool to play in it and yesterday was no exception. However, Reid managed to lock himself in it and couldn't get out. Here he is showing his displeasure at the fact I had to take a picture of him (And no, he was not in there long at all. I have my eyes on them at all times, especially because of our pool):

Here he is falling out taking off his shoe telling me he's going to throw it at me - maybe I'm terrible but I was laughing so hard:

However, do you remember me saying how I so believe in Karma? Yep, she came around. Not long after the car episode, we found this:

Mac, as usual, thought it would be "heelarious" to throw it on mama. Usually they just taunt and tease because they know how I feel about those things. Maybe the sunlight they hadn't seen in a while gave him extra courage because he actually followed through with it this time. Naturally I jumped back because I cannot tell you how much I hate things like that. Well, it just so happened that a stroller and bicycle were right behind me and I busted it HARD, tripping over the stroller and bicycle on the way down. Here is the picture my phone took on my way down:

Can you see that little hand with the little lizard in it, getting ready to be thrown at me?

This is what the bike and stroller looked like after:

And being that I had that bike and stroller to fall over before I even got to the ground, the lizard made it to the ground first and therefore met its own fate when I fell on top of it:

I know that's so gross but you have to get the full effect. Obviously I can't say the same for the lizard, but despite a bruise on my toe (which came from getting caught up in the bike), a good-sized hematoma on my shin, and a sore rear, I survived. Grant and Reid came to my rescue. Mac was pissed about the lizard. These boys...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Thursday of last week was one of those days where we were all feeling a bit stir-crazy. Being "rained in" for so many days with 3 boys who love to be outside and a mama who is running out of ideas for things to do inside didn't make for a pleasant afternoon. I decided we would all head up to Sissy's room. Surely we could find something to do up there. There's a dry-erase board, a cash register, a karaoke machine, and plenty of open space for jumping around. As I'm rounding the corner to head up the stairs I spot a box in the corner of the dining room. Chris had ordered something in the mail and it had come in that box which just so happened to be full of packing peanuts. I grab the box and it's up to Sissy's room we go. We get upstairs and I sit the box on the floor. I looked at the boys and said, ok guys, dump it out. I can't imagine what they were thinking because I rarely ever purposely let my kids make a mess. Messes they do make - yes, but it's not usually that I LET them make a mess. But desperate times call for desperate measures! :) Mac looks at me a bit puzzled and says, "Huh?" Yep, Mackey, dump it out. Go for it. Still a bit skeptical (probably thinking it's some sort of trap) he asks one more time just to be sure. That's all it took. They dumped those things out and had a field day with them, as did I. Take a look:

Making "peanut angels":

Taking a "peanut bath":

Reid had to have his "bath" too!:

It's raining peanuts!:
Taking a time out from the peanuts to draw "Mommy" HA!

Attacking mommy!:

WHOA! I fall down!

Givin' mama some love:
Even more love:

It was well worth the mess!

My whole family went to the lake this past weekend to celebrate my dad's birthday. We stayed at a lake cabin that has been in my family for years. There is a "new" part and an "old" part, and we opted for the old part. That's where we always stayed when we went to the lake growing up, and Rachel and I have very fond childhood memories of that cabin (even if the 4th bedroom made us feel old and gigantic!) HA HA! It was a joy to have our children make their own memories at the same cabin. Mom, I know it wasn't quite the weekend we envisioned, but we are very grateful that you got it all together, and we really did have some fun times! The boys are already talking about when we can go back. And I even think my sweet B would go back! :) Martha, (a/k/a H. Mama), please tell Uncle Keith thanks for everything! He was great! Some pics:

My Umby:

All the kiddos (Mags, Mac, Bethany, Reid, Grant & GaGa):
Me & mom:

Throwing Aunt Dawnie off the float:

Trying to give Uncle Keith the remains of candy corn:

"Fighting" with Uncle Keith:

My loves:

Thursday, September 17, 2009


It's not often that I'm able to surprise my little girl. Mainly because she lives 3 hours away but also because I usually don't attempt to shop for her. I'm not a big shopper, don't really like it much, and I'm not into fashion. Shocker, I know! (Now jewelry is another thing! My birthstone is diamond.) I do like clothes, shoes, handbags, etc., and can appreciate the good stuff. I guess it's just not a priority and never has been with me. Because I don't get the chance to surprise Bethany much, when I do, I capitalize on it. This week was one of those times! She has always wanted something from Tiffany & Co. I mean, what girl wouldn't want to get that little blue box! And we talked about what fun it would be to have it delivered right to your door. She has perused the website and found a few "if's" and "maybe's" for Christmas but also found a cute little pair of earrings she liked. I've been wanting to do something special for such a special little Umby, so I decided to surprise her with those earrings. I thought about getting them sent here and thinking of a neat way to give them to her (because selfishly I wanted to see her get them), but that would take away from the element of surprise (i.e., the package arriving at the door). So I decided to ship them to Decatur. Bethany's stepmom, Tara, was in on it so she had camera in-hand when it was delivered. Thank goodness for being able to track packages online! Here are a few pics of her surprise (and Tara, thank you for capturing the whole thing the way you did. Seeing the pictures - all 50 of them - :) made me feel like I was there):Let me also say that on the website, these earrings are listed as "mini." As you can tell from the pictures, they should have been labeled "microscopic" because you need to put them under a microscope to be able to read them. HA! But she loves them, and I got to surprise my sweet baby girl. That's all that matters!

What? A package for me? Hmm... what could it be?

Her head is down but you can still see that smile!

I can't believe this!

Oh yeah, it's my earrings! Oh yeah, it's my earrings!


Can you see them? Barely? Look closely. :)

What a sweet smile!
Trying 'em on for size:

The little blue box:

In other news, Reid has taken up speaking in third person. Example: Here lately I have been finding my pens like this:

Can you tell the ink part has been taken out? Every time I need to use a pen I try to click and, nothing. The "clicker part" is gone. And this was on several, several pens. But I never could catch anyone in the act. I asked Grant, he said he wasn't doing it. Mac was adamant that it wasn't him. I didn't even question Reid because surely a two-year-old wouldn't know how to do that. How would he even know those pens came apart like that? I'll tell you how, because he's a boy. Toys aren't fun unless they can be taken apart and destroyed! Anyhoo, this morning I open the "junk drawer" to get a pen with which to sign Grant's paper and AGAIN, the ink/ball point is gone. In despair I say to myself but out loud, "WHO could be taking these pens apart like this?" Reid replies, "Reid did." I said, "Who did?" Again, Reid says, "REID did," and just grins. It's still a mystery as to where that part of those pens have gone. Another thing Reid told me "Reid did" (as if he's talking about someone else), even after mommy told him not to touch Mackey's cup of milk while mommy gets the chocolate to put in it:

And that was after I cleaned a good portion of it up. Anyone feel like all they do is referee their kids and clean up messes? Reid better be glad he's so darn cute (although initially when it happened, I didn't think he was all that cute!) :)

Rain, rain, go away!!!!! We're tired of rain! It was a frog-strangler yesterday:

That would be an indication that we need gutters! I'm sure my shrubs and the few flowers I have in the front would appreciate being saved from the beating! Know where I can get any? Oh yeah, WE HAVE A GUTTER MACHINE! Who knew! Note to self: Next time Chris pulls the gutter machine out to do a gutter job, show him this picture!

Last post for this week. Gotta get ready for a weekend at the lake with the fam to celebrate my dad's birthday! Both of my sisters will be there, and we always have a blast! I can't wait - rain or shine!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009



Love it, love it, love it! Hope they never stop making it! And can I just say, for the record, that it's bugging the crap out of me that I put the conditioner on the left in that picture. Remember me mentioning Grant is a tad bit anal? And where on earth could he have gotten it? HA! Sorry, G-Man, but you got it honest!

Completely unrelated to the best-smelling, make-your-hair-feel the-softest-it's-ever felt, good-for-hair-that-frizzes-in-the-deep-south-humidity shampoo and conditioner, is Reid's own "self portrait":

Look at those lashes! I dare any girl to break his heart! :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Saturday was a busy, fun-filled day! Grant, Reid and I headed to Selma a bit early and stopped off at RaRa's house for a visit before heading on to Marion Junction. RaRa, GaGa, and Mags treated us to lunch at Hancock's BBQ. I miss those local, family-owned restaurants in Selma. There are some good ones! Thanks for letting us drop in on you like that, Martha! As always, we love any chance to see y'all. After our visit there, we headed on to Big Daddy and Grandmama Norton's (Chris' mom and dad's) to go dove hunting. I was so excited to hear from my dad that he was going to be able to make the hunt too. Dove hunts just aren't the same without my dad there. So we all meet up, and the men head on down to get set up. Big Daddy stayed behind to chauffeur Big Mama (that would be me - Big Daddy is the only person who can get away with calling me that) and the boys to the field once we all got suited up in our camo. Here we are on the way down:
As you can see, Grant isn't sporting his camo. It didn't fit quite right and his little anal self (where could he have gotten his anal-retentiveness?) said it "bothered" him, so he had a minor meltdown and opted for his dark Rock Band shirt instead.

Mac was having a "daddy day" and wanted to sit with Chris. Grant, Reid and I sat with Granddaddy.

Dad, thanks for being such a good sport. I'm quite sure you didn't have the hunt you would have, had we not been sitting with you, but we had such a fun time! Since my dad was shooting and Reid ended up going to the field with us, I decided it probably wouldn't be smart to take my own gun. It's just fun sitting out there, watching and waiting for them to fly over, then ... hunt dead. :) I will tell you, though, that while my dad went looking for a bird that dropped behind some trees, I had the gun. One flew right in front of me, perfect shooting range, (I'm thinking YESSSSS, at least I can say I shot - I can contribute one to dinner), and I tried to get that gun up to shoot. I really tried. BUT as I was trying to get the gun up, it got hung up in the extremely large t-shirt I was wearing (I forgot mine and had to borrow one). I'm quite sure it was a sight. And that dove is probably still laughing. Anyway... Chris had our dog to retrieve his. We had Grant :)

And Reid:

And a lot of these:

And here are the results:

Daddy & his boys

Reid somehow escaped this one

And I'll end the hunting post with this:

It was late when we got home so we knew we wouldn't be cleaning the birds until the next day. Obviously Mac didn't exactly remember what "cleaning" the birds entailed. So Mac wakes up Sunday morning and says, "Mama, are the birds still in the laundry room?" I reply with, "Mac, why would they be in the laundry room, son?" Mac says, "Because daddy said they have to get clean." ;)

And let me say one more thing: We do not hunt just because we enjoy killing things. We do enjoy the hunt itself obviously, but we also enjoy eating the meat.