Saturday, October 31, 2009


He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

Psalm 40:2

Friday, October 30, 2009


I was in the baby isle this morning getting Easy Ups and these struck my fancy:

I mainly got them because of the name and because I knew the boys would think it's hilarious. I'm a sucker for these kind of things anyway.  But also because Grant and Reid have terrible allergies, and we're constantly having to wipe noses.  Every morning before I drop Grant off at Kindergarten we do a "face check, " and I cannot think of one time I haven't needed a Kleenex or wipe.  I also can't think of one time Grant hasn't fussed about one or the other.  Kleenex, even the softest kind, make their little snouts sore after a while, and regular baby wipes tend to be a little too wet (and that mixed with what already is coming out of the nose... well, you get it).  Maybe these are the trick!  The size is perfect and they're damp, not wet, plus they smell clean without smelling too scented.  We'll see.  If nothing more, we'll get a few laughs out of me asking the boys if they need a "boogie wipe."  :)  Happy Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Kids amaze me and they're hilarious.  One thing that's not so hilarious with having boys is the fact that almost every toy they have ends up being lost or broken fairly quickly.  It still is a great mystery to me as to where some of their things have gone.  And most they either break by being so rough with it or it becomes a tool for destruction.  However, there are a few things Grant and Mac have that they obviously hold near and dear because they a) still have them and b) haven't broken them - yet.  When I would see them playing with them I would think to myself, "Hmm, wonder where they were keeping that,"  or "oh, that must have been in the BOTTOM of the toy box and when they dumped it all out they found it."  Not so.  I found out this week they each have a "safe spot."  I noticed Grant and Mac were going in and out of the bathroom a few times together and this worried me.  BAAAD things have happened in the past when they conspire.  :)  Kidding!  Ok, not really.  Do you know how hard it is to clean an entire bottle of baby soap/shampoo off a tile floor?  The grout just sucks it in.  Anyway, I decided to follow and heard Mac ask Grant to use his Halloween flashlight.  Grant says, "Ok, Mac, but when you finish, give it back to me so I can put it in my safe spot."  I had to make my presence known (before then I was just listening around the corner) so I could see this safe spot.  They each have chosen a drawer in their bathroom to put their stuff in.  

(Money?  Good thing I found out about this spot.  With the economy, I may need to get into his stash! HA! Play handcuffs that are NOT meant for adult wrists although when G plays Policeman he is ruthless and will MAKE them fit.  And no, those are not shotgun SHELLS, they're empty casings Grant picked up while we were dove hunting last time - I guess it's a boy thing.)

Hand sanitizer and "big boy wipes"?  I'm impressed, Mackey!

And although it's not secret and with my crew you wouldn't think it's safe, neither goes in the other one's drawer without asking.  It's like it's sacred.  This blows my mind!  I love it!  There is ONE catch:  Reid doesn't know these "safe spots" exist yet! ;)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I was quite disappointed with the results of my DIY white chocolate mochas.  I ordered this white chocolate sauce:

It was not very thick and not very concentrated yet had a strong almond flavor.  I like a little almond but in order to add enough of this sauce to be able to really flavor the drink, the almond taste was overpowering to me.  YUCK!  I tried a couple of other things too but just can't get it right.  What I found closest to a good white chocolate mocha is this:

It's a good bit sweeter than one from Starbucks but sweeter is good for me.  So I'm sticking with this unless I can make it to Starbucks.

This is my sister's recipe for a really good, mild, smooth hot chocolate mix:

1 box instant dry milk (will say on box it makes 8 qt.)
1 lb. confectioners sugar - SIFTED
1 lb. Nesquik chocolate powder (I added a little more)
6 oz. powdered creamer

Mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl.  My sister uses her hand mixer.  I opted not to use mine because the boys were helping and I knew using a mixer with dry, sticky ingredients would make for an even messier task.  We just mixed it all by hand so we could all have a turn.

Use 1/4 cup for 8 oz. hot water (I use 6 oz. water), add some marshmallows and/or whipped cream and enjoy!  It's so so yummy and so very easy to make!

I'm not much of a reader but wish I were.  Thankfully Bethany enjoys a good book, and I attribute her love of reading to the fact that she was read to a lot when she was younger.  I want the same for the boys but it's hard to get my rough and tumble boys to sit down long enough to eat much less read a book.  I have found that taking them to the library and letting them pick out their own books helps peak their interest.  We did just that yesterday.

Playing with puppets:

Here are a couple I've found that they LOVE.  They will sit down, all 3 of them, and let me read them over and over - not an easy thing to accomplish!  These are a must if you have boys!

Along with I Stink there is also I'm Bad, I'm Dirty, and I'm Mighty.  But I Stink is their all-time favorite (and a lot of fun to read to them)!  We check it out again and again (hint, hint for mom or Martha as a Christmas present).  We checked out a few we haven't read yet, so maybe we'll be adding more to the Norton list of "books for boys."  :)

Monday, October 26, 2009


a little about everything. That's what this post is about. Friday night was the first annual fall festival at Grant's school called "Night in Old Redland." The school is new with this school year being its first in operation. It's very exciting for everyone in our area, and it has so much support so the festival was a huge success. The boys had so much fun, and Chris and I enjoyed watching them as well as spending time with friends and neighbors. We live one block from the school, but Mac was so worn out this was him as we pulled in our driveway:

Part of that very ginormous "bat" on his face is lingering still today.

Naturally when we woke up Saturday morning we had to play with our "prizes." Nothing like my boys playing with a set of PINK vampire teeth. And they picked them out. But to Reid they were oh-so "kehhwwwy" (that's "scary" in case you don't speak two-year-old).

The weekend started out a little chilly, so we got to have our first one of these:

I really don't like cold weather but who doesn't love a real fire going in the fireplace! There's nothing like it - the smell, the sound - I love it!

Grant is the first one to ask for hot chocolate when it does get cool so we decided to call RaRa and get her yummy recipe for homemade hot chocolate.

It makes a lot so I thought it would be fun for the boys to help make it, and we could give some to their teachers in cute little jars sort of as a "Happy Fall" gift. After seeing them do this:

I decided this batch will be just for us. It guess it's a good thing that Wal-Mart didn't have the jars I wanted after all. :)

UFC was Saturday night so we put the kids to bed and enjoyed some adult time with a few friends. UFC nights always make for a good time and, with Chris, of course good food too!

Yesterday the weather warmed up quite a bit which means we don't stay inside much. Chris' love was baseball so it's really neat seeing him play baseball with our boys:
Bethany was in Decatur this weekend. She went to the Miley Cyrus concert Friday night with Tara and had the time of her life. I can't wait to see the pictures! Last time she was here we got her to play some baseball with us. I thought this was a cute picture:

Top the weekend off with a dozen fresh Krispy Kreme donuts my hubby got me, and it doesn't get much better than that! HA!

I'll close with this. It is really sad how fast children grow up. Bethany will be 14 in a few weeks, and to even say I have a 14-year-old makes me do a double-take. Reid is 2 1/2, and the way he says certain words is hilarious to me. I know it won't be long before he's saying them the "right way" and not "Reid's way," so I'm trying to capture every bit of it I can. This is Reid telling us (with Mac's help in the background) that our dog, Nate, killed another bird. I really wish I could write phonetically how Reid says bird. As you will be able to tell from this video, I don't even know if it's possible.

I'm off to back up my computer so I can load Windows 7 . Anything is better than Vista!!!!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


So I doubt we'll be winning any pumpkin-carving contests, but I must say we're quite proud of our little jack-o'-lanterns! It ended up being Grant and me doing most of it. Mac and Reid thought it was, "EWWW, slimy and gross." And Grant didn't really get into it until I said, "Hey, I'm a GIRL and I'm doing it." These are the boys who play with worms and like to throw frogs and lizards on mommy... but they won't touch "pumpkin goo." Go figure. :) I love carving pumpkins, and having roasted pumpkin seeds after is a must! The boys actually liked the pumpkin seeds, and they think the jack-o'-lanterns are "so cool." SCORE! That's all that matters!



All lit up:


Not only did this sweet girl make cheerleading after her first time trying out, but you are now officially looking at the new co-captain for basketball season. YAY B!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are all so proud of you!!! Much love, Umby!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


We have had some beautiful weather the past couple of days, so we've been taking full advantage of it. There is a great playground minutes from our house at my parent's church. It's called Sonshine Playground. It's fabulous, and the boys love it! We tried to go this summer but the bees were terrible, and I spent most of my time running in and out of different parts of the playground to rescue one of my screaming children from a bee that had them cornered. :) My mom and dad kept the boys for me Friday so I could have some time with my B and took them to the playground. Ever since they've been chomping at the bit to go back. I didn't tell them we were going yesterday and instead just pulled in the parking lot on our way home. They were so excited!

We played on the monkey bars and such:

Made silly faces in the silly mirrors:

Naturally we had to find sticks and stuff:

And small spaces to crawl in:

The boys were even more excited when this silver fox showed up:
That's my dad, a/k/a Granddaddy. He came bearing three beautiful pumpkins from The Fresh Market for us to carve and decided to stay and play a while. Let me stop for a moment and talk about that hair of his:

He's being a bit of a rebel and decided not to cut it. I LOVE it!!!!!!!! My mom, well... not so much! Stand your ground, Jack! You're a fox! Sorry, mom! ;)

I love seeing my dad with my boys. And my boys think he hung the moon!

We ended the day with a little of this:

G LOVES homework. I feel quite sure when he's in Jr. High he won't still be thinking how great homework is, so I better post this now. :) Bethany got her report card last week and made all A's - nothing below a 96 to be exact! How great is that! She's one in a million! I'm so proud of you, Umby, and I love you so much! You never cease to amaze me! Grant got his very first report card yesterday and had all S's and +'s, plus got another Certificate of Achievement in conduct. I'm so proud of those two!

Today is supposed to be just as beautiful so carving pumpkins outside is on the agenda. Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


This past weekend was full of fun! Grant had his very first field trip to the Pumpkin Patch with his Kindergarten class. It was on Friday and it was freezing - ok, "freezing" by Southern standards! It was overcast, mid-50s and very windy, just a damp, windy cold. Being that two and a half weeks ago my children were swimming in our pool, that's a drastic change. You'll notice from some of the pictures that most of the children are not wearing jackets. That's because the letter the Kindergarten teachers sent home asked parents not to send jackets because of having to keep up with them. Um, there really is no "keeping up with them" when they're wearing them but whatever. You'll also notice I did not follow that rule and snuck Grant's little hoodie out of his cubby on our way out. Anyway... jacket or no jacket, everyone had so much fun! The students were to ride the bus there, and parents were to follow. It was Grant's first bus ride, and I think he was more excited about that than the Pumpkin Patch. I'm so thankful I was able to be there! And I think Grant was equally as thankful that I was there - he wouldn't let me out of his sight. It's not often that I get one-on-one time with my children. I know they all need it, so it was really great to be able to give that to Grant.

Grant with his teacher, Mrs. Schweers, and his class:

Trying to decide on a pumpkin:
(Having two very anal-retentive people, that would be me and Grant, in the middle of a pumpkin patch trying to pick out the "perfect" pumpkin is quite a task! :)

G with some buddies (check out "Red", far right, posing - she loves her some Grant!) ;)

This past Saturday was Mac's 4th birthday party. We had it here and had this come to our house:

That's The Big Green Bus. It's a mobile gym for young children, and they will come to your house for a party and entertain for one hour. They also brought along an inflatable jumper which was neat because we didn't know that was coming. Seeing their faces as they watched that bus pull up the drive was priceless! They had monkey bars, a balance beam, mini-trampoline, rock climbing wall, slide, zipline, and more, all inside the bus. It was so much fun! It was perfect for my wild little men. The walls and floor were padded so they could go at it! If you are looking for something to entertain young children for a party or special occasion and are in the Montgomery or surrounding area, check them out at I can't say enough nice things about them. We're already planning on getting the BGB back for Reid's 3rd birthday in February! It was a great day - good times with good friends and family!

Me and my four sweets:

Mac and crew playing in the bus

(along with Jeff, the owner, who is definitely part of the entertainment! :)

GaGa exceeded the age limit but she's still so darn little we snuck her on! HA!

No Big Green Bus party is complete without a BGB cake too!

My sweet birthday boy with his cake:

Blowing out ALL four candles at once - whew! ;)

And this last picture is not from this party, it's from Grant's party earlier in the year. But there are hardly any pictures of Bethany and me because one of us is usually the one behind the camera, so I thought I would post this one. Thanks, Martha, for the pictures (all 676 of them). :) I found some good ones! Thanks too for all your help with the party. As usual, I couldn't have done it without you!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


This past Saturday the kids and I loaded up and took a road trip to Selma. We only live 20 minutes or so away from the Alabama National Fair that comes to Montgomery every year (and try to make it to that one too), but there's just something about the Central Alabama Fair in Selma. Maybe it's the "cozy dogs" that the Civitan club make that are worth the admission price to get in just to get a couple (you can't eat just one); maybe it's because that's the fair I grew up going to and I think it's neat my children can too; maybe it's because I get to see people who still live there I wouldn't otherwise get to see; maybe it's because it has become a tradition that Rachel and I go together with our kiddos (any excuse to get together is a good one, right Martha, even if we get vertigo trying to still ride those same rides - HA!). Whatever the reason, it's a blast and this year was no exception. It was a muggy, muddy, drizzling-rain rainy day but that didn't stop us. We put on our anoraks/rain jackets and we were good to go. We ate, rode a few rides, ate some more, rode some more rides, ate and watched a little bit of the Tiny Miss Central Alabama Fair Pageant, then grabbed yet some more grub on the way out. Pepto was a MUST when we got home, but we had a great time. Martha, as always, we love spending time with you, GaGa and Mags (and please tell Uncle Keith thank you, thank you, thank you for the golf clubs - they love them)! Can't wait until next year!

Helicopters were the first stop
(G was such a good big brother making sure Reid was buckled in right):

M & M (Mac and Mags) - two peas in a pod!! :)

GaGa being her usual sweet self taking care of Reid on the Dizzy Dragons:

Reid wondering why Mommy let him eat before he got on those Dizzy Dragons (BTW, he did NOT get sick):

RaRa with her Baby Love:

Sissy trying to convince Grant he WILL make it off that roller coaster:

Sissy with the Birthday Boy!


The G-Man on the final ride of the day: (don't judge him by his hat - we were not too proud to be wearing it that day!)

We made a stop by the railroad's booth and landed some conductor hats (which, of course, the boys thought were the coolest!):

One of the very few pics I have of this silly boy - and one I took once we got home- because he was attached to my hip the entire trip:


My sleeping beauty and how we all felt at the end of the day: