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Monday, November 30, 2009

THE STOCKINGS WERE HUNG BY THE CHIMNEY WITH CARE...





We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for and are so blessed! We were very very busy over the Holiday weekend but were sure we made time to decorate too. We even had a visit from our new elf, Jasper. Post and pictures about all of that coming soon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

STITCHES

Life with boys. It's never dull, that's for sure! I was on the phone with my mom last night who was telling me about her own little accident she had at work when I heard Chris yell (more like scream) from Grant and Mac's room to get off the phone that we were going to the emergency room. I ran to their room and found Reid's face covered in blood, I mean covered. Naturally Reid was a mess. Grant was freaking out. Mac was freaking out. It was pure chaos. I got a towel to wipe his face to figure out exactly what he had hit, but it didn't take long to see the gaping hole right smack dab in the middle of his forehead. We think he either tripped or was tripped but that's neither here nor there. We do know he hit the corner of a drawer on the chest of drawers. I got him calmed down enough to put him in the car and we headed to the ER. The whole way there Reid was crying saying, "I not go to hahpital, go back home." I prayed the whole way there that he didn't hit hard enough to cause any other damage than the gash, that we wouldn't have to wait long, and that if he needed anything more than liquid stitch we would have a doctor and staff who were capable of that. That may sound silly and trivial but it's in the middle of his forehead, and it was a pretty big cut. I also prayed that the ER doctor would work well with however Reid acted because, well, it's Reid - and stitches are not fun and not everyone works well with children. God is good! There was no one in the waiting room. They got us back for triage as soon as I signed him in then immediately took us back after he was registered. The doctor on call not only is a dad with young children with a very calming demeanor, he is a plastic surgeon. Reid was such a big boy! They did have to papoose him for everyone's safety, but Reid just let them do what they needed to do and didn't put up a fuss. He cried but I think it was more because he was scared than anything. The doctor put one stitch on the inside then used very thin stitches to minimize scarring on the outside. We go back Monday to get them out, then he will need steri-strips for about a week. After that it's Vitamin E. He was so good the nurse searched the hospital for a green popsicle (at Reid's request), and he was good to go. He ate the whole popsicle on the way home and couldn't wait to get in the door to show daddy and his big brothers his boo-boo. As you can tell from these pictures, he is quite proud of it.



I'm sure it's the first of many, but I don't think I'll ever get used to raising boys!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WHEW... WHAT A WEEKEND!

It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but it was a fun one! Tara helped me in surprising Bethany with a girls day Friday for her birthday. We ate lunch at one of her favorite restaurants, Tavern on the Summit, drooled over a few things at Saks, ate some Liger's petit fors, then saw New Moon (which was SOOOO good, by the way!) Saturday morning was spent in the Verizon store letting B play with the phones, deciding which one she wanted for her birthday. After about two hours in that place dealing with my three boys in a store that is not kid-friendly coupled with salespeople who converted from Alltel who seem just as confused by the merger as I am, we left with new phone in-hand and headed to my mom and dad's house for an early Thanksgiving lunch. The whole family was there - I mean the WHOLE family! Here's one of the best shots we could get of everyone (this can't be the best, but it's all I have for now).

(And this was minus Chris who was still overseeing the turkey we were in charge of cooking as well as my aunt who wouldn't get in the picture, and Keith who was out of town.)


And one I just liked of 3 of my favorite people and me:
Rachel (a/k/a Martha), me, B, and Dawnie


We also look for any occasion to have a cake, so RaRa had this made for Bethany's birthday:
Just what this girl loves: a Chanel purse, a bottle of Juicy perfume, and Tiffany!
I think the only thing that could have been added was a pair of Tory Burch shoes! ;)

It's a lot of craziness when all of us are together, but we love it! I think everyone had a good time. We topped Saturday off with GaGa and Mags spending the night as well as having friends over to watch UFC. Mom, dad, Kenneth, Rebecca, and Anna even dropped in for a bit. We got out a big plastic bin of pictures and reminisced for a while which made for some laughs! Just wait, Martha! Your birthday IS coming up, you know! UFC nights are always late nights which is something we're not used to, so Sunday was low-key, relaxing by a fire. All-in-all a great weekend!

The boys giving Sissy some love - can you tell they're worn out?!?
Actually I think Reid is trying to get Mac off of her so he can get next to Sissy but let's just pretend they're all being sweet! HA!

Just keepin' it real:
This is what my laundry room looked like yesterday after being the catch-all for the weekend and after two whole days of doing no laundry (and I only did enough Sunday to get by).

I'm STILL trying to make a dent in it. :)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

14


To my precious baby girl:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOO!!!!!!























You're 14. Can you believe it? And if this posts when it's supposed to, you'll be exactly 14, to the minute! November 20, 1995, at 7:47 a.m. you entered this world weighing 6 lb. 14 oz., 19 inches long. I vividly remember counting your fingers and toes as soon as they put you in my arms, making sure all ten of each were there. They were. You were perfect. And you were mine. I was young, immature and scared and remember thinking how much my life was changed. It was now our life. And it was all right. I had a purpose.


You never cease to amaze me, Bethany, with your positive attitude, your love of life, your intelligence, your love of family, your love for the Lord, your compassion, your humor, your wit, your resilience, your kind heart. You are special. You are loved. You've left footprints on the heart and touched the lives of so many people, and you continue to richly bless mine!

As you continue to embark upon life’s journey, I hope you do so with the same tenacity of life you have thus far, never forgetting from where you came. You are the happy memories of my past, the joyous moments of the present, and hope for the future. I don't think anyone could have imagined the twists and turns our life would take, but one thing has never changed - my love for you is infinite. You are, “… wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14).

Happy Birthday, baby girl! I love you! You deserve nothing short of the best!

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Psalm 127:3

And now, little lady, I have but two words for you:

TEAM. EDWARD.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

HUMBLED



This is the big boy bed, complete with Spiderman sheets (or, as Reid says, Pie-doo-man), a pillow that went with some old bedding that he sleeps on every night which has to be turned a certain way with a certain side facing up, and his "baby" - the only blanket he will use, has to have it, can't live without it, goes into hysterics if we can't find it, will NOT go to sleep without it - blanket.

This is my sanctuary, my respite, my sweet relief:

I look forward to climbing into this each and every single night. My sleep is precious - PRECIOUS! Big Boy Bed is hindering that sweet relief.

HUMBLED AND GRATEFUL:
That was going to be my post for today. UNTIL I listened to Rick and Bubba this morning. They were talking to Mike Nawrocki, the co-founder and voice of Larry the Cucumber of Veggie Tales. (BTW, a new Veggie Tales DVD is out now delivering the message of the real reason we celebrate Christmas, distinguishing the fine line between Santa and the Reason for the Season, and the joy of giving to others.) They ended the segment with Rick speaking of his son, "Cornbread", who went to be with Jesus almost two years ago at the age of 2 1/2. He spoke of Cornbread's love for Larry the Cucumber, how Cornbread was given a life-size Larry the Cucumber, how he carried it around with him EVERYWHERE - to Sunday School, Mom's Day Out, etc. Of course the way Rick recounted those stories was humorous. He said Cornbread loved that LarryBoy so much when they put his earthly body in the ground, they put LarryBoy with him. He told this story to show his appreciation for Mike and Veggie Tales that his son could enjoy something that did not conflict with what Rick and his wife were teaching their children about Christ. I felt really convicted that I woke up this morning dragging my feet complaining of how tired I was because Reid hasn't been sleeping as well as he usually does. Reid is the age Cornbread was when he went to be with Jesus.

Thank you Jesus that he wants to lay in bed with me and Chris and snuggle before going to his own bed. Thank you Jesus that Reid wanted his mama at 3:45 this morning, and I was able to hear his sweet voice saying, "I want lay u bed." Thank you Lord Jesus that he didn't take a nap yesterday at his normal time and ended up going to sleep on the couch giving me time to enjoy watching him sleep and love on him.

I was also having a rough morning missing my baby girl.

Thinking of how much I wanted to be taking her to school this morning, fixing her lunch (still putting notes on her napkins like I did every day), and taking her to cheer at her game tonight. To that I was reminded to be thankful that I still get to hear her sweet voice first thing every morning; that I get to talk to her as soon as she's out of school; that at 5:00 every afternoon you can set your watch by her calling me; that I do still get to kiss her face and tuck her in when she's here; that she's going to be with me on her birthday TOMORROW; that she's going to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with me. I'm humbled. And I'm grateful! I'm so blessed! Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

MY MUSCLE MEN

I think I've mentioned before how my boys are obsessed with muscles. Almost every night after dinner Mac has to do a "muthel" check and show us how making a happy plate means having big muscles. They also got to asking Chris one night about different kinds of exercises boys can do. One of them was sit ups so Grant and Mac like to do them at night and see who can do the most. And Mac seems to think after doing sit ups he needs to show off those biceps:


And of course Grant couldn't be outdone:


And then there's Baby Reid who tries oh-so hard to keep up with his big brothers
WHOOOOOOOOOO look at those muscles:

Watch out ladies!! I have three heart-breakers on my hands! :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

IT'S THE END OF AN ERA



We are officially done with baby beds. Sniff. Sniff. I have been of the mindset (and thankfully so has our pediatrician) that my children would stay in a crib until they start climbing out of it. And it has baffled me for quite some time that, before two nights ago, Reid never figured out how to get out of his baby bed. I mean the boy climbs on top of, over, under, and/or around just about anything. All he really had to do was throw one leg over and jump down but either didn't think of it or just liked his crib. He's always been one to need his own bed to sleep. But two nights ago he kept telling me he didn't want to go night-night. He will be 3 in February so we've been through these phases before. Out of the blue he'll start with he's not ready to go night-night, then cry in his bed until he realizes I'm not going to get him out, and he'll go on to sleep. That may last a few nights or maybe even a week or so, but he eventually realizes he's not going to win that battle. But he started that back up Sunday night, and a few minutes later, Chris and I had a bed-buddy. Last night was the same way but he got out of his bed with his blanket too. I have a fear of the blanket getting caught on the bed then him getting caught up in the blanket or something. It's time. He has stayed in his crib almost a year longer than I expected him to so I cannot complain, but it makes a mama sad! This is it for us. No more baby beds. Tonight will be the first night in his "big boy bed." I'm quite anxious because Reid is one of these that NEEDS boundaries. Having the freedom to get in and out of that bed is going to be a challenge. Then again, maybe he's more ready than I think. Maybe this is just what he needs! I guess we'll see.

Sweet pic of Reid 4 days old snoozing on daddy's chest - where does the time go?

Monday, November 16, 2009

WEEKEND RECAP


We had a really relaxing weekend which was something I think we all needed! We love to entertain and have our friends over, but every now and then we need a weekend with no company, just enjoying family time. We played outside A LOT - the weather was beautiful - we went to Mimi and Granddaddy's for a visit to see all their Christmas decorations. My mom is the master-decorator and next weekend is our Thanksgiving with them, so she wanted to be sure she had enough time to get everything all decked out. She did! We had to have a sneak peak. She still amazes me every year with the way she decorates. It could even get Ebenezer in the Spirit! I used to hate to decorate but the older I get the more she's rubbing off on me I guess. I'm really excited about getting my Christmas stuff out after seeing hers. I'm thinking next week we'll be Christmas-ready too!

Saturday the boys played so hard they were ready for bed a little early. I was sitting in the floor getting Reid ready for bed after his bath, and Mac came and laid his head down in my lap. It's not often that happens because they're usually go-go-go, but he was tuckered out. I rubbed his back for a few minutes and he was out. It doesn't happen often, as I said, but when it does it's so so sweet!

I'm surprised his cheek isn't red from all those kisses I had to get!

Sunday Chris and I couldn't let the weekend pass without going for a ride on the moto. I'm still quite nervous on it, but we really do have fun! We rode here this weekend:

Where this is the decor:

And these are the barstools:

It's a motorcycle club. And let me just tell you how much I stand out in my pink Auburn hoodie and Auburn baseball cap. But everyone there is so nice, and the ride to it is great - old country roads where you can really see all the leaves changing. And their cheeseburgers are so good! I learned a few things while riding this weekend. I thought I would share. 1) 75° may feel warm when you're sitting in the sun, but riding on a motorcycle in 75° weather is quite chilly. 2) I now understand why people wear chaps and leather jackets - I will be headed to Henig Furs Leather Outlet to purchase some of my own before our next excursion - Bethany, you'll just have to be embarrassed. 3) When you are still so new to Harley riding that you stay quite tense for the ride, there are muscles in your rear you didn't know existed until you finally get off the bike and you have "beginner's butt cramps." 4) The universal "wave" for motorcycle-riders is this:

(I have no idea who that guy is - got the pic off the internet)

EVERY person on a motorcycle you pass will wave like that. 5) DO NOT, under any circumstances, wear a thong while riding. You just think thongs in general are butt-eating underwear? You don't even know the half of it. Besides, I'm riding a motorcycle - no one cares about VPL (visible panty lines)! 6) I just HAD to have a half-helmet. I mean, what would people think if I got a full-face helmet? Half-helmets are so much cooler! I'm not riding moto-x! Well, I saw my reflection in the windows of a gas station as we pulled in to get gas. This is what I look like with that COOL Carbon Kevlar half-helmet I just had to have:
That along with eating a few bugs has made me look into that full-face helmet the girl at the Harley shop tried to get me to buy in the first place. 7) I must invest in some women's Under Armour instead of trying to wear C's - wearing MEN's already-too-big Under Armour under your jeans will make you sort of understand what it feels like to be a man.

I'm sure there are more but I need to be finishing up as my badonkadonk cannot take anymore of this computer chair. Have a great day! :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

"TANK U WAWA"

My mom and sister call a "just because" gift a Happy.  Who doesn't love a Happy!  And in a world full of technology, who doesn't love getting something the old fashioned way:  the good ol' parcel post.  I love to go to the mailbox and find a card or note.  When the boys and I checked the mail yesterday, RaRa had surprised the boys with a Happy.  And happy it made them.  Rachel let me know ahead of time to be expecting it but didn't tell me what it was, just that it was a "total Martha" gift.  And that it was - a chef hat and apron just their size! It's something I would have never ever thought to buy them but something they got such a kick out of.  To be honest, it really didn't matter what it was.  It was a surprise. In the mail. From RaRa. It very well could have been a pile of poo and they wouldn't have cared. :)

WHAT IS IT????



Don't know if you can tell, but Mackey is saying, "COOOOOL."



MY LITTLE CHEFS:


MY LITTLEST CHEF:
(Dear Santa, do you see these pictures?  I need a camera pronto!)

Of course my boys are just that - BOYS - and the first thing they thought to "cook" with their chef attire was... 

what else but mud pies!  And yes, a tractor and dump truck are necessities when you're "cooking" mud pies.  AND making mud coffee.

"HEE, mama, want some?"



"No, fuh weal, HAH SOME!"

Many thanks, Martha!  You made their day.  I promise to put them to use for their real purpose - although I can't promise it won't be homemade playdough!  ;) Thanks for always thinking of us.  You're one of the most thoughtful people I know. We love you so very much, and my children are so blessed to have you in their lives!  Oh, and when it was bath time and they had to take them off, they headed straight for their safety spots - so you know they rock!

Happy Friday!  I'll close with this shout-out to RaRa:

video

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

FOR THE CANDY LOVERS, HELP WITH A CAMERA and POPPYSEED CHICKEN

Since most of my grocery store trips are comparable to the one I posted about this past week, I usually let Chris do the shopping.  I make out the list, he goes to the store, I put everything up when he gets home.  It works for us.  He doesn't mind it, and we all like it better anyway because daddy brings home the better stuff.  Being that Reid was with my dad, and Grant and Mac were with C at the hunting land, I decided to do the shopping.  Note to self (and you could benefit from heeding this advice as well):  NEVER go to the grocery store hungry. EVERYTHING looks good. One place in which I spent quite a bit of time was the candy isle because that's something I usually pass on one side as I'm trying to divert the boys' attention to something else on the other side. But we all know I'm a candy lover and since I was alone, I decided to peruse the candy section.  Actually it was more like stalking or hunting for prey but whatever.  It was much to my delight that I found these:

and these:

And let me tell you, they're as good as they look.  You know the best part of the Spree - the middle part, the sour part?  Well the whole candy cane is like that middle part. Yummy!  They had all sorts of good looking chocolate stuff too but my love affair with chocolate had to end when I discovered it was a major migraine trigger.  I still indulge every now and then in moderation because we all know a girl needs her chocolate.  Even as much as I love it, though, it's hard to justify a self-induced head-throbbing!

CAMERAS:  HELP!
I have had two cameras in the last few years, both of which the boys have broken. All of the pictures I've posted recently have been taken with my camera phone. I am in the market for a new one and want a really good one. However, I know nothing about photography and to be honest, am not really interested in taking the time to learn it.  I do, however, want something that is digital, takes good quality pictures, is user-friendly, and has an instantaneous (or near instantaneous) shutter speed.  I can't tell you how many photo ops have come and gone due to shutter speed (or lack thereof). I know it's an investment. I'm looking at the Nikon D3000 (it's a kit).  Anyone know anything about it? 

POPPY SEED CHICKEN:
I'm sure there are 1001 recipes for poppy seed chicken casserole out there, but C and I feel we have perfected ours (at least how we like it).  So I decided to share:

Ingredients:
2 Rotisserie chickens, shredded (you can get them at Costco for $4.99) - just one will work but we like a lot of chicken
16 oz sour cream (Breakstone is my favorite brand)
1 can cream of chicken & mushroom soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup sharp shredded cheese (it's not much but it makes a big difference!)
2 TBSP onions - minced (they need to be tiny tiny pieces - we just want the flavor)
salt and pepper to taste
about 2 TBSP Poppy seeds (I don't usually measure these, I just sprinkle until it looks "right")
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers*

Shred chicken and add to a large mixing bowl. Mix chicken with sour cream, soup, onions, and cheese. Spread in casserole dish. Crush Ritz crackers and sprinkle evenly on top of casserole.  Sprinkle poppy seeds on top of crackers.  Bake at 350° until bubbly. 
*C doesn't like it this way, but I like to melt about half a stick of butter and mix with the crackers before topping the casserole.

I have to go now so I can hide my candy canes. C is almost home with Grant and Mac! ;)

A BOY AND HIS GRANDDADDY

These two are spending some QT together:
Last Friday Grant and Mac got to go with Mimi and Granddaddy to meet up with RaRa, GaGa and Mags then head to a football game.  Reid was a little under the weather so he didn't get to go. That's hard for a two-year-old to understand.  He was not a happy camper, and boy was it pulling on his Granddaddy's heartstrings.  So Granddaddy promised Reid he would make it up to him.  He didn't disappoint!  He called last night asking if today would be ok and said he would be here first thing this morning to get him.  When Reid woke up this morning he barely had his eyes open all the way when he said, "I goin' wuh Ganddaddy,"  and had the biggest grin on his face.  Breakfast is the first stop, then on to Bass Pro, then who knows what!  I don't think Reid cares - just as long as it's HIS turn!  :)