Thursday, February 28, 2008

Meet our new dog!

As you know, we've been on the hunt for the "perfect" dog.  We found him!!!  King is a chow/collie/keeshund mix who has been in foster care with a local rescue group for a while.  Years ago, he broke his right front leg.  It was fixed surgically, but ever since he's been a slower running & jumping for this old fella.  He walks with a slight limp & is a big fluff ball.  We met him tonight.  All three kids were pretty quickly attached & loved to hug on him & pet him.  Larry is bringing him home tomorrow during the day while the rest of us are at work/school (Yes--we're all going back!!!).  I can't wait to see how everyone adjusts to having a dog again!  We're all in love!  We went to PetsMart tonight & got him a collar & ID tag.  Yahoo!  Here are some pictures I took tonight.

and look....Sarah's even petting him!!!  (left, below)

What a sweetheart!  The newest member of our family!  :)


I had every intention of going back to work today.  Really, I did.  Until I ate breakfast this morning...and promptly "lost it" all.  And ever since I have been queasy.  Oh joy.  Gosh I hope I ate something that was bad & I am not actually sick.  That sure would be nice if that was the case!

Samuel *saw* me throw up and in turn, is now queasy himself.  This after we'd JUST had a conversation about how he's never missed a day of school this year.  Oh well, I guess ONE day isn't so bad.

And so, this queasy mama is at home with 2 sick kids today.  Blech.  This isn't how I'd hoped to spend my day at all.

I hope this all passes by later today so that I can go to work tomorrow.  I miss the kids at school & my paycheck sure will be light this time around.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


My kids are so odd.  LOL!

At just before 1am last night, Sarah tip toed into my room to tell me she'd just thrown up on her bed & needed me to come change her sheets.  She didn't appear to be in distress like she felt bad.  Before I could hardly respond, she was skipping back out of my room.  It was almost like she'd just come in to tell me "Mommy, I'm wearing a blue nightgown....just wanted to tell ya!".  I was baffled by her 'all is well' behavior & got up to see what was going on.  I woke up Larry to come help me on the way out, too!  She did indeed have a little puddle on her bed, but most of it was a trail from there to the kids' bathroom (right outside her bedroom door).  She sat in the floor & watched us clean up the mess while she changed pajamas.  I asked her if she felt bad & what happened.  All she can remember is waking up as she threw up.  And once she was done, that was that.  I really believe that she coughed a lot (which she's been doing) and got choked.  And with her daddy's gag reflex, it doesn't take much to gag & throw up.  This morning, she was wide awake & raring to go at 6:15, so she appears to be just fine now.  I went on & let her go to school but told her teacher what happened.  It's nearly 1pm now & so far, so good.  No calls from the nurse....whew!

I'm home with Savannah today.  She hasn't had any fever today & seems to be feeling pretty well.  Hopefully this is the last day of her virus.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

an update on my sick kidlet :)

Larry stayed home with Savannah today & watched over her.  He said all day long, all she ate was a banana.  He kept trying to convince her to let him take her somewhere for lunch, but she wasn't interested.  She has no appetite.  She did eat a little supper though, so that's good.  She's coughing a lot & still running a low grade temp every time the Motrin wears off, so she's still feeling puny.  I'm going to stay home with her tomorrow.  Maybe someday we'll get everyone well all at the same time!

On a sweeter note, my sweet "A" came to school today!  She only stayed til we went to the playground, but she did great!  Mama dropped her off at the drive thru & the director carried her in--no wheelchair!  She did great!!!  I was so glad to have her there!  I think we're going to try it all day on Thursday!  WooHoo!  Way to go Miss "A"!  (& if you're not sure what I'm talking about, check my archives for last week where I posted about a student of mine at school)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Yawn! My life since Friday

After work on Friday, the kids went to the home of some of our friends for the night.  Larry had to go to Dallas for a funeral visitation & I went out of town with my mom for a conference.  The kids were treated to a night of fun with our church kids' group at the skating rink while Larry & I did "grown up stuff".

Mom & I travelled to Longview, TX for a ladies conference there.  It's called "Feminar".  The only way I can describe it is a smaller, more intimate version of Women of Faith.  There was one particular speaker that mom & I both liked.  I wouldn't mind hearing her again sometime.  Her name is Ellie Lefaro.  You can read about her here:  She is a native New Yorker who fits all the stereotypical "New Yorker" traits.  She even gave us lessons in speaking like a New Yorker.  :)  The musical guests were not that great, but that's only because they were southern gospel singers....NOT my favorite at all.  However, they were tolerable because they were excited about what they were doing & that always makes it more tolerable.

On Saturday morning, our friends "returned" the kids to Larry in time for Samuel's last basketball game at the YMCA.  When Larry & the kids got home, they set about cleaning our backyard so it would be appropriate for our "home visit".

Yes, you read that right.  We had to have a 'homestudy' done because we're considering the adoption of a dog who is with a local animal rescue group.  The group is very thorough about checking out potential pet parents because they want the animals to be taken care of & loved.

I got home from the conference with mom in just enough time to help finish straightening up the house & get ready for the visit.  The lady arrived & walked around the backyard and then came inside for a peek.  It turns out that we passed with flying colors (tee hee).  It does seem like an awful lot of Hoop-La for a *DOG*, but at the same time, we're excited.  The dog we're looking at is listed here:  Adopt KING - Keeshond, Collie Dog   King really seems like the IDEAL dog for us.  We can't wait to meet him Thursday night.  If it goes well & Sarah likes him, we'll go ahead & start the process to bring him home soon.  (Don't worry...I'll take pictures so everyone can see him!)

On Sunday morning, Sarah complained that her tummy hurt.   She kept me on my toes all day long, wondering whether or not she was sick.  In the end, I think it was all a matter of sinus drainage making her a little nauseous all day.

This morning, I woke up excited to face a day at home to do errands, clean up, and just relax.  My school was closed today, so I had the day off.  You wouldn't believe the list of things I accomplished this morning.  By 11:30, I had:

*made our bed
*cleaned both bathrooms (toilet/tub/counters)
*started 2 loads of clothes
*finished all my March lesson plans & supply lists
*listened to a sounds tape for work to verify that it still works (it does!)
*made a trip to the bank & Savannah's school (to get cash & pay for her yearbook)
*listed some books on
At 11:30, I went & got lunch for Samuel & I and went to his school.  I took his Indian costume for his book report he'd do later today when I went, too.  (I figured he'd squash it in his backpack if I sent it with him this morning.)  I had lunch with him & got back home with great plans for the afternoon.  I had barely made it through the front door when the phone rang.  It was the school nurse calling to tell me that Savannah was in the office with 101 fever!  Yikes.  Where did THAT come from?  I went to pick her up & called the pediatrician.  Since she's still taking an antibiotic from last week's strep throat, I knew that the medicine ought to kill whatever is causing her fever.  The concern was whether she had the flu or if the strep throat was stronger than the antibiotic she's been taking.  I made her appointment for 3:30 & then went back to my day's tasks.  Between 12:30 when I picked her up & 2:45 when we left to go pick up Sarah & Samuel, I:
*listed a ton of stuff on ebay
*called to register myself for a class I'm attending tomorrow night for work (training hours)
*emptied all the trashcans in the house
*gathered up the ingredients for tonight's supper & set them out, ready to cook
*gathered up all the library books to return this afternoon
When the time rolled around, Savannah & I went and picked up the other kids and then we all headed to the doctor's office.  It turns out that Savannah doesn't have strep OR the flu.  It's just a virus that will have to run its course.  She can't go back to school til she's fever free for 24 hours (& feeling better), so she's staying home from school tomorrow.  Luckily, Larry worked it out so that he can stay home & work from here tomorrow, so he'll do that.
After we left the doctor's office, we dropped the books off at the library & I TRIED to go early vote, but I couldn't get to the polling place due to construction.  Sigh...I'll try again tomorrow.
After cooking & serving dinner, I watched part of House Hunters tonight and then tucked kids into bed & ran to the grocery store for some fresh fruit (we were OUT).
Hmm....what else can I do before bedtime?  (ha ha)  I think I'm going to go collapse now.  Who was it that said a woman's work is never done?  Whew....ain't that the truth?!


Thursday, February 21, 2008

So in love

This isn't a "real" post.  Just wanted to remind my sweet husband (who will read this later) that I love him.

This was one of our earlier dates.  Sometime in 1992 at a school dance.

Easter '93:

My prom '93:

Right before he moved away to Nacogdoches (I was so sad....but we got engaged soon after!).  I was telling him goodbye here before he drove away (from my house):

At our wedding in '94:


and the rest is history, isn't it?  :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

So blessed!

Over the weekend, my kiddos have been sick.  I want to whine & complain, but their illnesses have been minor childhood diseases that most kids get at some point in time.  I have been reminded how blessed I am recently in my childrens' health & overall well being.  One of my students at school was born with clubfeet.  I don't have a picture of her feet specifically, but when I looked online, I found this image that I am fairly sure gives a decent idea of what "A"'s feet looked like at birth.

"A" has had several surgeries since birth to correct her feet.  Her mother explained to me that most children with clubfeet only have an issue with the muscles being turned in the wrong direction and physical therapy & braces on the legs can correct it.  However in some cases, like "A"'s, it is a rotation of the bones in the lower leg, so more intervention & therapy is needed.  "A" had surgery in mid January to cut through those bones, rotate them correctly, pin them into place & cast both legs.  Since that time, "A" has been in casts to the tops of her thighs, unable to stand on her own.  I was honored to be able to go to her house & visit with her a couple of weeks ago.  She giggled & played with me the whole time I was there.  What a treat!  Last week was our Valentine's Day party at school & "A"'s mom brought her for the special day.  Everyone was so excited to see her.

All of the kids took turns pushing her in the wheelchair all around the school.  She went to the playground with us & I had the best time getting her to slide.  Looks like she had fun, too...check out the grin on her face!

"A" had a blast being at school with all of the other kids, interacting with them and enjoying their company after a month at home.  It was so neat to see her crawl around on the floor like nothing had ever happened to her legs.  What a spunky little thing!!!!  She's a tough cookie,that's for sure!  At the end of the day, her mom took a funny picture of us.  (She had a red sucker& I was copying her trying to get her to smile for the picture.)

Thank you God for giving my kids only "minor" illnesses this weekend.  Thank you for giving each of us, as parents, what we can handle right here, right now.  Thank you for "A"'s fun personality & her ability to breeze through this surgery like nobody's business.  Thank you for her resilience and tough spirit.  You are good.

a Monday at home

What exactly does one do when she has a full day at home?  Lounge in front of the TV watching soaps?  Nap?  Go for a pedicure & massage?  Oh yes.  I'm sure some do those things.  But this chick spent the MAJORITY of the day folding laundry.  Yes, I live on the wild side indeed.

This morning, after the kids were taken to school, Savannah and I began our wild & crazy day at home.  After a quick peek at my email, she got online to play at &  While she surfed her favorite sites, I washed/dried & folded a thousand loads of clothes.  Ok, so maybe not 1000....more like just 100.  I realized at some point in there that we were down to 1 roll of toilet paper between the two bathrooms.  Yikes.  That could spell big trouble in a family of five.  She & I loaded up & went to the store for toilet paper & some more Gatorade.  Since I was absolutely starving to death, I got some Chinese food at the deli counter.  Savannah got one of her favorites---a can of Spaghetti-O's.  Crazy kid.

We came back home to eat our highly healthy (ha!) lunches and I went back to folding clothes.  She begged to get back on the computer, but I figured 2 hours was enough for 1 day.  After all, I'm a mean mom like that.  :)  She whined about how bored she was most of the rest of the day.  She spent her time watching a little TV (she's like me--not a huge TV watcher, so that didn't last too long), reading, playing her Nintendo DS, moping about how I wouldn't let her get back online and petting the neighbor's cat. was a full day.

Several days ago at work, I got these gorgeous flowers from my secret pal.  Aren't they pretty?

And a student gave me these pretty tulips for Valentine's Day:

After talking to my favorite plant guru (aka: my mom), I decided it was time to plant them & another flower outside today, so out they went.  Can you see them?  This planter area around the tree is pretty bare, so I decided they needed to fill some of the giant gap!  The one beside the tulip plant is a paperwhite plant that the same student gave me at Christmastime.  I love gifts like these...that is, until I kill them.  I'm not exactly a green thumb.  We'll see how long they last.

After letting the medicine wear off, Savannah has been fever free (except for about 1 degree of a temp tonight), so we're calling her all well & she's heading back to school tomorrow.  She will be glad to be back since she was sooo bored today!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cross your fingers

Tonight I hunted through a ton of listings on a petfinder website for local animal rescue groups.  I think I've found the PERFECT dog for us!  Since finding the listing, I've emailed with both the owner of the dog and the lady who is fostering the dog at her home.  They both seem like really sweet ladies and we are all hopeful that "King" will be a good fit for us.  Hopefully we'll go & meet him in the next few days.

Life is weird

Just about the time you think you've got it all figured out, God throws a monkey wrench at you to keep you on your toes.

Tonight I found out about some very disappointing, awful news.  Without going into details here, a ministry was destroyed.  Two marriages will now have to battle to stay afloat.  Enough said.  (by the way, MY marriage is not one of these!!)

I guess it just goes to show that we have to always & forever fight to protect the things God holds sacred.  Marriage, ministry, our families, children, life itself.  We can't get complacent in our relationship with Him for one instant.  I am reminded of the Rachel Lampa song "Shaken".  She talks about how God will shake things up if we get lazy about our relationship with Him.  If our focus is on Him 24 hours a day, He will handle all the details of our lives.  But when we get lazy about focusing where we should, He has to shake up things to get our attention.  Do you really want Him to have to shake things up or are you going to fight to make your relationship with Him a priority?

I think Larry & I have been shaken & stirred & broken enough, thank you very much.

Rachel Lampa:  Shaken

Take a ride back in history
Let's review the facts of eternity
To the children of Israel
And the burning sands and the desert heat
Bitter hearts in the wilderness
God saw that they would not confess
With a velvet touch and an iron hand
He dragged them to the promised land
And everything that can be will be
Everything that can be will be

Chorus 1:
Shaken, shaken, shaken, shaken
Shaken, shaken, shaken, shaken
Shaken, shaken, shaken, shaken
God is going to shake the whole thing down

Raise your hands children
Lift them high
Let's join our hearts
Walk in the light
There's a desert there's a wilderness
Seperating us from a better life
See, together we can walk through fire
We can face the flame
We can reach the higher
Ground that wait is the promised land
'Cause only faith and love would stand
And everything that can be will be
Everything that can be will be

Chorus 2:
Shaken, shaken, shaken, shaken
Some things last forever
Shaken, shaken, shaken, shaken
Some things fade away
Shaken, shaken, shaken, shaken
God is going to shake the whole thing down

Everything that can be will be
Everything that can be will be

Chourus 2:

Faith, Hope and Love will last eternally!

disappointed :(

The lady who has the dog emailed just now.  She said they've decided that the dog we were considering is just too old to adjust to a new home.  She's afraid she might lash out at us or give up & die.  Since none of us want either outcome, the possibility of Marshmallow coming to live here is over.

I guess the search will continue for the perfect dog.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

about that dog.....

When Savannah was born, Larry & I had a bouncy, irritating, long-haired black mixed breed dog named Baby.  We got Baby as a puppy when we had been married about 6 months.  We quickly fell in love with our 'first baby' (thus, her name).  We were not the greatest pet owners, though.  We both worked a lot of hours & Baby was mostly an inside dog...which means she had a lot of 'accidents' & chewed up things while we were gone.  We really didn't have the time it takes to train her & take her for walks & such, but we loved the fuzzy, bouncy, jumpy little thing.  When Savannah came along, Baby was so gentle & loving with her.  She would let Savannah lay on the floor & yank on her ears and hair without so much as a bark.  She would sit on the floor outside Savannah's bedroom at night and whimper when Savannah cried.  She was very protective of our 'new' baby.  It was only when we were trying to sell the house about a year later that we finally had to get rid of Baby.  We were moving to an apartment where we wouldn't be able to have a pet & Baby's constant flea problems were, I'm sure, driving away possible home buyers.  With great sadness, we found her a new home with strangers that promised to love her.

Fast forward several years.  With three children and a small home, we never really had room/time/energy for a dog.  When Samuel was younger, he developed quite a fear of dogs, cats, birds...just about any animal outside of a cage that moved.  He could handle giant tigers & lions & other scary-animals in cages at the zoo or the pet store, but a tiny 2 lb kitten that walked toward him was frightening.  Go figure.  And with baby sister so close in age & being the "cool" big brother he was, his fear of animals soon made their way to baby sister. 

Let me tell ya...going to a friend or family member's home where a dog lives has been torture ever since.  One or the other of them (or both!) spots the pet at a distance and the panic attack is on!  Between shrieking, screaming, running at 100 mph to get away, climbing cars, trees, people...anything to get away from the vicious man-eating beasts.......let me just say that adding a pet to our own home has been the LEAST of our hopes for a longgggg time.

In the late Fall of 2006, you may remember that we began to consider getting a pet.  (if not, go hunt through the archives for posts about Coco)  At that time, Samuel was the one with the greatest fear of dogs, so we decided that if he went to pick out a puppy from a litter of black labs, it might help.  Our thinking was that he'd see it as a tiny baby & be able to watch it grow and his fear would be lessened.  At first, it worked.  We brought Coco home with us a few days before Christmas 06.  Everyone loved her at first.  She was a calm, sweet, sleepy puppy that the kids adored.  But very quickly, she "woke up" & came out of her shell.  Samuel handled it pretty well, but Sarah's fear went into full gear when this toe-eating machine would walk under the kitchen table while she was eating or when she would chase her in the yard (trying to get her to play).  She was convinced that if Coco caught her, she'd bite her.  In the end, all of the kids witnessed Coco bite Savannah in the face, requiring stitches, and so Coco went to live with one of the police officers here in town.  Ever since, Sarah's never really "recovered" from her fear of dogs.  Samuel's gotten comfortable with an increasing number of sweet dogs since then--including our neighbor's Yorkie who is quite bouncy & hyper.

Over the years, we've figured out Sarah's dog fears---she's scared in 3 situations.

1.  Dogs that are bouncy/hyper/jumping.  I call them "yippy little dogs".  I don't really like these dogs either, but not b/c I'm scared---because they drive me nuts.

2.  Dogs that are huge.  This one makes sense to me.  If a giant animal ran at me, I'd be scared, too!

3.  "Surprise" dogs---ones that she didn't know were there.  If she rounds a corner & a dog walks out to see her, she panics.  I guess this one sorta makes sense, too, because you never know how a strange dog is going to act.

The only type of dog she seems to warm up to are the calm, quiet, still, older dogs who sleep a lot & are just companions, but not playful ones that are constantly begging for you to run with them or toss a ball or whatever.  Know what I mean?  I picture the dog on that old Chevy Chase movie that would lay in front of the fire place & was always catching its tail on fire without realizing it.  A "door stop" type of dog that just sits around.  And to tell ya the truth, those are my favorite kind of dogs, too!

Earlier this week, a lady posted on Freecycle about having a bunch of dogs to find a home for.  I wrote her on a whim & asked if any of her dogs were older, quiet dogs.  I explained Sarah's fear of dogs & she sent me a picture of the dog that would best fit what we're looking for.  Meet Marshmallow:

Marshmallow is an 8yr old Chesapeake Bay Retriever.  She's extremely soft, very sweet & gentle, quiet & sort of shy.  She's scared of storms (just like Sarah!).  Oh, and she's been spayed.  It sounds like a perfect fit, right?

We're going to meet Marshmallow at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon.  Please join us in praying for this to work out.  The kids have been talking about Marshmallow all week long.  They're already attached to the idea of us getting Marshmallow.  I hope it works.  If it doesn't, we'll know that God has some other plan for Marshmallow & we'll keep looking.

Our thinking is that if we can ever get one dog that Sarah feels safe & secure with, she'll begin to grow out of her dog fears.  Please pray that she feels safe with Marshmallow.

Fri night/Sat morning

What a crazy last 18 hours we've had!  What was supposed to be a smooth day of birthday festivities got a little complicated.  Let me recap for ya.

At playground time yesterday, my class was introduced to some baby bunnies & a baby goat.  I started sneezing almost immediately afterward, but so did most of my class.  I figured...what's the chance that we are ALL allergic to the goats & bunnies?  I assumed (& still figure) that it was probably a combination of the animals & the wind blowing around whatever molds/mildews are present right now.  I've been sniffling & sneezing some ever since but I think I'll be fine.

When Samuel got home from school yesterday, he said that he felt like his ear was plugged up & that it hurt.  I cleaned it out w/ a Qtip.  The boy is like a candle factory anyway (tons of wax) so this was nothing new---we have to clean his ears all the time.  That seemed to be the end of his complaints about his ear, but I did look into the one he said hurt.  It appeared to be white (indicating some pus behind the eardrum), but he didn't seem to be feeling bad, so I decided to wait it out & see if he complained again of pain in that ear.  After all, our immune systems have been fighting well so far this past week, so I just sort of forgot about it since he didn't seem to be hurting after we got it cleaned out.  By 6:30, he was sobbing & holding his head saying that his head, ear & throat hurt.  Uh oh.  Sarah's sleepover buddy was due to arrive at 7:00.  Since we knew that Samuel was exposed to strep throat last weekend, we decided he better get checked out, so Larry took him to the after hours place about 6:40 while I waited at the house for our party guest.  Thankfully, her mom was OK with her staying until we knew for sure what was going on w/ Samuel.  If it was just an ear infection, then that's not contagious & there would be no need to mess w/ the party plans.  She arrived right on time & the party was under way!

The girls all decided they didn't want a piece of cake, so we put the cake away for later.  Before I got the lid on it, though, Sarah had to test the cake's depth by shoving her finger into it.  Goober!

Onto the presents!  First she pulled out this cookie on a stick.  Yum!

Hooray!  A new Littlest Pet Shop toy!  She was thrilled!  Much of the rest of the evening was spent playing w/ this toy.  About 8:30, we went to the video store to get a movie.  The girls picked out several DVDs & some popcorn.

While we were gone, Larry called to tell me that Samuel has an ear infection in his right ear (the same one that looked suspicious to me earlier!).  The doc didn't do a strep swab test because he was giving him an antibiotic for the ear & if he had any other infections (like strep throat), it would kill that, too.  When the girls & I got back from the video store, they made out the beds (on the floor) and parked themselves in front of the kids' little TV in Sarah's room.  It wasn't long before Larry & Samuel got back.  A little while later, I found the girls like this.  Sort of funny since they had a big pallet on the floor where they could've slept!

At this point, I crashed in my own bed & felt like the hard part was over.  Right?

At about 7:50 this morning, Sarah came to my bedroom to tell me that Savannah said her throat her "real bad".  She had taken her a cup of ice water but Savannah said it hurt to drink it.  Oh boy!  I told her to send Savannah to me.  When she walked in, my first reaction was to open up the covers & let her crawl into bed with me.  Whoa....she was like a little furnace!  Burning up with fever, I knew right away that something was up.  She had 102.3 fever!  Talk about a bad way to wake up.  Poor kid.  Larry got up & took her to the doc's office (luckily they're open on Saturday mornings).  Since she was exposed to the flu this week, I was a little nervous that it might be that.  Turns out that she has strep throat (but thankfully NOT the flu)!  This is the first time she's had it since she got her tonsils removed in Dec06 (which is WHY we got her tonsils out---she had it 6-7x/year before we yanked out her tonsils!).  Once in 14 months sounds a lot better to me, but still...I'd rather not catch it myself!

Once we knew that she was sick, I called our little houseguest's mom to tell her what was going on.  I knew she'd be thrilled to know we'd exposed her daughter to not one, but two sick children during her visit with us.  I swear we don't normally do this to other people intentionally.

Our little friend went home this morning a little earlier than planned, but I think everyone had fun during her visit.  We're thankful that we didn't have to cancel the sleepover, but a little bummed that we have 2 sick kiddos now.

Oh......and tune in tomorrow for news about a dog.  That's a whole other story that needs its own post.  :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

My BABY is 7 today!

On June 29, 2000, I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child.  I was excited...but very SHOCKED.  You see, my son turned 3 months old on that day.  (Yes, you read that right.)  For the first couple of months, I was in denial that I could REALLY be having another baby.  How on earth would we do this?  Two babies in less than a year's time?  Holy moley.  After spending months wondering & worrying & being nervous, Sarah made her arrival.  This picture was taken less than an hour after she was born on February 15, 2001.  Samuel was 10 1/2 months old that day.

A little while later, grandma brought the crew up to meet their new baby sister.

Savannah was 4 1/2 when Sarah was born.  Yep....3 kids in 4 1/2 years.  I don't remember much about 2001 (ha ha) and I've felt a bit like this ever since....

....but it's all been worth it!!!!!!!

I can't imagine my life any differently.

Today, Sarah turned SEVEN.  (Well, she will officially be 7 at 1:36pm!)  This morning, I got one quick shot of her.

There will be more later.  Tonight she's having her very first ever sleep over with her little friend from school.  They'll have pizza & cake and stay up late (probably all the way to 9:00!) watching a movie.  WooHoo....crazy party girls.  :)

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with this precious girl.  You are truely awesome in giving us exactly what we need.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One of my current favorite songs

"You Never Let Go" by Matt Redman  <---this is the video

Here are the lyrics:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth


Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Chorus: (2x’s)

Valentine's Day--part 2

Last night when I went to the store, I also got Larry a card and a little box full of Hershey's Kisses.  I "planted" them in his car so that he'd find it this morning when he took the kids to school (which was a gift to me, by the way--we usually split up child delivering duty in the mornings, but 3 times this week, I've had the job all to myself, so he offered to do it today in return).

About half way through my class party at school today, I looked up & he was peeking into my classroom window holding a heart shaped box of chocolates!  Yummy!  Some of my students recognized him because he ate with us one day last week, so I said "Hey look!  MY valentine is here!".  He came in & watched all the kids open their valentine bags & enjoyed the company of the other parents who came today.

I mailed him a card to his office, too, so I hope that arrived today.  I figured it might take him by surprise to get a card in the mail at work.  Tee hee....I'm sneaky like that.

I love my sweet kids at school.  Yesterday & today, I was showered with gifts.  I got a gorgeous red tulip plant today & lots of cards & candy.  They're going to fatten me up if I eat all this!

Valentine's Day -- part 1

I'm titling this "part one" because I'm sure I'll post more later today, but I wanted to go ahead & share this one little thing this morning.

I ran to the grocery store last night and got Valentine's Day cards for a few people.  My secret pal at work, the kids' teachers, the kids....  Anyway, this morning I snuck their cards into their rooms & left them on their beds.  When they finished w/ breakfast & went back to their rooms to get dressed, they all found their cards.  WELL....somewhere in there, I guess Samuel decided that he wanted to surprise me too, so he snuck into my bedroom to leave me a surprise card.

His card was a piece of notebook paper, ripped out of his spiral notebook & folded in half.  On the front of the card is a big heart (drawn in red pen, of course!).  The inside has another big heart that reads "From your sekrete atmiyrer".

How sweet is that????!!!  I WONDER who my sekrete atmiyrer is!  :)

Monday, February 11, 2008


This post may not make sense if you haven't read the previous one.

This morning, Samuel's still got his big ol' honkin' swollen lymph node & a cough, but otherwise, he felt fine this morning.  I gave him some Dayquil and sent him on to school.  I wrote the teacher a note so that she'll know what's going on, but I think he'll be fine.

Sarah appears to be fine this morning as well.

Yahoo....hooray for vitamin C & good immune systems!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Three cheers for immune systems!

For the past 2 weeks or so, our area has been inundated with the flu & a stomach virus.  Schools in the area have closed because so many kids are out sick.  At the school where I work, there have been several teachers who got sick with one bug or the other & had to stay home several days.  During all of this, I have fought some queasiness early in the day almost every day, but it's never become anything more than that.  By mid-morning, my stomach settles & I'm fine.  No one else in the house seems to have any trouble with any symptoms of either the flu or the stomach bug.

Until today....

This morning began with a surprise---Sarah woke up having an asthma attack about 7:00.  Her rescue inhaler did the trick & shut down the attack real fast.  Whew!  Her attacks are sooo few & far between that we really sort of reach a point of almost forgetting she has asthma and then it hits again.  Since today was a church day, we took the inhaler with us to church (we don't usually even bother) and she was fine the rest of the day.  She uses a steroid inhaler as a preventative drug when she's had an attack or has a cold so she took that later in the day today, but otherwise, she's been fine.  Since she did seem to have a little bit of a runny nose today, I gave her some Benadryl too & she took a nap this afternoon (probably more the effects of the Benadryl than actually being sleepy, though).  Whatever works...she needed the rest.

Samuel had a birthday party for a friend yesterday afternoon & he spent the night after the party.  They go to our church, so the plan was that they'd bring him back to us at church this morning.  Turns out, though, that the birthday boy woke up with a nasty cough this morning.  They ran Samuel up to the church & dropped him off so we could get him back, but they left & went back home b/c the birthday kiddo felt so bad.  After church, Samuel was incredibly grouchy & said his throat hurt a little.  He coughed some & sniffled a few times, so he got a dose of Benadryl at lunchtime, too.  He took a nap today, too.  He probably needed the extra sleep since he stayed up late last night & hopefully the medicine helped him feel a little better.

Tonight we used a Texas Roadhouse gift card for supper.  None of the kids could finish their food so we brought most of it home with us.  When we left, Samuel seemed a little "droopy" & while we were walking to the car, I realized that his lymph nodes on the right side of his neck were swollen.  Yuck.  Since he didn't get enough rest last night, I'm hoping that giving him 24 hours to rest & get his body back in gear will cure whatever is making him feel a little yucky.  And to make sure he slept well tonight & didn't spend half the night coughing, he got some Nyquil at bedtime.

Both he & Sarah told us today that they had a productive cough (that's not the words they used, but I'll spare you their descriptions!!!).  I am hoping that they're NOT coming down with the flu that is going around.  I guess if either of them start running fever, I'll know.

When we left the restaurant, we went across the street & bought some Vitamin C for the kids (all we had was capsules & they needed chewable), some Zicam for Larry, Nyquil & Dayquil and orange juice.  Maybe I should've gotten an extra can of Lysol, too.  After all, I only have 1 can here.  That'll be a nightly ritual til they're all better.  Ya know, going through the house & getting all the doorknobs, light switches, and everything else!

Please pray for our family to stay well!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Quite the busy social calendar

This morning began like the past few Saturdays---Samuel had his weekly YMCA basketball program to attend from 9-10.  Of course, today that stretched onward to something like 11:45, but that was due to some glitches with the photographer who was there.  Not really anyone's fault, but it made for a longggg time to sit in the noisy gymnasium of the Y.  Larry & the girls & I had the best time laughing and giggling and reliving some old funny stories about the kids' younger days.  They all love hearing about funny things they did "when they were little" (ha ha...they're sooo old now ya know?).  When we left, all of our cheeks hurt from laughing so much.  Awww....I love those family times.

We came home to pack Samuel's suitcase & eat lunch.  He was invited to a friend's birthday party about a week ago.  The party wasn't until 4:00, but he wanted to make sure he was READY since this would be his first time to spend the night w/ a friend after a party.  Talk about big stuff---he barely said goodbye when it was time for me to leave this afternoon.

After dropping him off at the party, the girls & I went to my sister's house to see their newest addition.  She didn't give birth to this little sweet pea, but she's the baby sister to the little boy they added to their house a year ago.  While his adoption isn't final yet, it's pretty well a done deal.  He's not quite sure what to think about the new baby sister, but he's gradually warming up.  My older niece & nephew (11 & 14) love having 2 tiny people in their house.  They are pretty sweet little people after all.  The new little lady is an itty bitty thing, only about 5 lbs!  She slept the whole time I was there, but I got to hold her & snuggle her anyway.

When we got home, Larry was getting ready for a Gideon's banquet he attended tonight.  We had barely gotten home before the phone rang.  A friend of mine called to invite Sarah to a magic show tonight.  Her little girl & Sarah are a couple of months apart & so far, they've been in the same K & 1st grade classes so they're buddies.  This same little girl is coming over here next weekend to celebrate Sarah's 7th birthday with us.  We quickly got Sarah changed & gave her a sandwich on the way out the door.

That left just Savannah & I at home....which was quite weird because it was pretty quiet.  We watched a couple episodes of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, then Phineus & Ferb and then I switched to HGTV while she took a shower.  She came back to watch most of Trading Spaces with me (I'm soooo glad Paige Davis is back, but I can't stand the new desigher--Goil!).

By the time she went to bed, Larry & Sarah were coming in the door. was a full day.

God is so good to give us good friends & family.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thursday Feb. 7th

This morning started off with a bang.  At 8:05, we woke up.  There's red flag #1.  We usually get up at 6:30 to get ready for school/work.  See the problem?  We flew around getting everyone up & ready to go and took off running out the door about 8:30.  I usually leave for work at 8:45 and when I got all the kids to school, I still had to come home & get ready for work, so I came back & very hurriedly curled my bangs & slapped on a little make up & left.  I still had to make a stop on the way to work, too!!!!!!!!  Yuck!  I got to work about 5 min late, but no one even noticed.  Whew!

After all my kids left (students), I ended up staying at the school talking to another teacher for a while & left the school with little time to spare to pick up the kids from their schools.  I made it in time, but still it was later than I usually pick them up.

Tonight, a roofer came over to check our roof for damage after our freak hail storm the other day.  Turns out, it looks like we will end up getting a new roof.  Although you can't see damage from the ground, someone suggested to us that we let a professional check it out just in case there was damage we couldn't see.  We did & I'm glad we gave him a shot to see it.  He found a good deal of damage.

And then.....of all things......Larry came in for a quick peek at his email.  When I walked through the room I saw something odd on the screen---our old version of AOL!  What?  How did you do that?  Turns out that the icon on the desktop that I use to access AOL was all that was messed up.  He used the icon on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen to open AOL & voila---it works perfectly!  I have no idea why the icon I have always used opened a corrupted, messed up version of AOL instead of the right one, but hey...whatever!  I'm just happy I have all my favorites & my filing cabinet & don't have to use the yucky other version of AOL!!!!!!!!!!!  Savannah says she kind of likes the other version, though, so I guess we'll have 2 versions of AOL on the computer now.  Whatever!

:::sigh:::  It's been a goofy day so I'm going to get off of here early tonight & hit the sack.  I'm tired.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

somebody help!

Last night I posted a blog entry and read my emails.  All was fine.  This morning I woke up & my AOL software has crashed.  YUCK!  It kept telling me to restart the computer or uninstall & reinstall the software.  Of course I don't still have a disc with the software on it, so I went through Internet Explorer & downloaded the software from the website---where they only offer the latest version of AOL.  And let me tell ya....I HATE IT.  If you happen to have an old AOL disc in your desk drawers somewhere (preferably 9.0 optimized!!!), please let me know!  I need the disc because I seriously want to get rid of this version ASAP!  I can't stand it.

Not to mention that ALLLLLLLLL of my favorites were lost.  If you have a blog, please email me w/ the link again.  All of my filing cabinet is gone, too.  The only thing that transferred w/ the new software was my address book...which is great, but I'm sick over losing all my favorites & filing cabinet stuff.

So...someone......anyone....please tell me you have an AOL disc laying around that you can spare!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Freaky weird Texas storm

Today, it was predicted that we might have severe weather.  This afternoon about 4:30, I went outside & took a picture of the sky looking in both directions down our street.  To the right, it looked like this.

To the left, it looked like this.

Kinda yucky both ways, right?  Well, you can see the distance from the curb to the houses on our street, right?  It's not all that far.  I turned from taking the picture (above) & walked back to our door and before I got the door shut, the storm hit.  Yes, that fast.  Immediately, giant hail began to fall.  Check it out!  It was still falling HARD in this picture.

When it slowed down, we went out to see the hail.  Very weird to see THIS MUCH so fast.  It only fell for about 5 or 6 minutes & then it stopped just as quickly as it started.

Some of the hail was slightly bigger than a golf ball.  This one had already begun to melt a little bit.

We had some fun with the hail, building lots of tiny hail men.  ha ha

Of course, it was 75 most of the day.  After this storm, it cooled off quite a bit.  Who knows what we'll have tomorrow.  4" of snow?  A Bahamas-like summery February day?  It's anybody's guess.

Monday evening out

Larry went to LeTourneau University from '98-'00 to finish his bachelor's degree.  Every quarter, he gets their alumni newsletter/magazine thing.  A couple of months ago, he read an article that he enjoyed, so he emailed the author (the president of the university) to tell him that he liked it.  And that was that.

About 3 weeks ago, the president wrote back & thanked him for his complimentary email.  As a thank you, he asked us to be his guests at an event that the school hosted last night.  We were excited because this event was a dinner with the president and a ballet by the St. Petersburg Ballet--Romeo & Juliet.  Since we've never been to a ballet, this sounded like such a treat!

Now mind you, it was indeed a great honor to be invited by the university president and to be able to sit with he & his wife through the program.  And a free (gourmet) meal was awesome!  Wow...all I needed was flowers to make it the "perfect" date, right?


How many of you have ever eaten a gourmet meal?  It was a very "pretty" meal.  Can you say "hoity-toity"?  We had a salad (a couple sprigs of parsley topped with a vinagrette dressing) and a small toasty baguette bread with brie on top.  We had some pea soup for the second course.  The main course was a very crunchy-breaded chicken breast with penne pasta & spaghetti sauce.  Dessert was caramel apple cheesecake.  Everything was very fancy shmancy complete with the silverware & china setting.  We left feeling like we'd hob-nobbed with the bigwigs.  Dinner conversation was pleasant, but man....I just felt like a big dumby, so I just nodded, added a polite "uh-huh" now and then and tried to eat as daintily as I could.  Larry reminded me of Patrick's advice (on Spongebob)--- PINKY OUT!  LOL

The ballet was very cool to watch.  The talent of these dancers is just phenomenal.  The program listed birth years for most of the dancers.  I think the oldest one was born in '79.  The rest were born in the mid-80's.  I believe they said that only 1 of the dancers spoke English, so she was the translator for everyone else.  Good thing since the ballet was entirely instrumental.  It's been about a hundred years since I read Romeo & Juliet, so some of the ballet was hard to follow, but I did catch the high points & big moments.  Aside from the tall man who sat in front of me, it was a really neat experience!

All in all, we had a really nice evening out.  It was a special treat that we may or may not ever get to do again, so I'm glad we were given the oppurtunity to go.  And the funny thing turns out that the university president who invited us lives about 5 miles away here in our little hometown.  Small world!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

oh....I forgot to mention.....

My best friend is getting married!  It's official!  And ya know, I think we're beginning to make a habit of flying somewhere to see one of my online pals every August.  Who wants to claim August '09?

My buddy is getting hitched mid August, so we'll be making a trip to Missouri to be there for the ceremony.  If we can figure it out, Larry may even do the officiating!

Did I mention that I am excited for her?

Great Saturday!

Wow...what a full day.

At 9:00 this morning, our day began with Samuel's YMCA basketball practice/game.  He's in the instructional league, so it's a really layed back, relaxed time of learning to play the game and then having a little game with the other kids.  He did well.  He didn't end up on the bottom of any dogpiles today.  That's always good.

After we got home, Larry did a little car maintenance while I did some laundry & dishes.  We all ate lunch and then had our family's quiet time.  At our house, no matter what your age, if we're at home from work/school, we have quiet time.  When the kids were younger, it was naptime.  These days, Larry & I still take a nap when we can, but the kids all have quiet time to go sit in their rooms & play quietly, draw, read a book or watch a movie on our little TV.  It's just a resting, relaxing, recharging time of the day for all of us.

During the first part of quiet time, Larry & I layed some of the flooring in his closet.  He's been wanting to do this for a while.  He recently ripped up the carpet in there & prepped the floor for the same time of flooring we have in the master bath/laundry area and at the end of our bedroom.  His closet is right off of that area, so it makes sense to continue the flooring into his closet.  This was the "before" picture.  We pulled everything out of his closet & it's in the floor of my bedroom for now.  You can see in this the type of flooring that is outside of his door.  It's called Congoleum Forum Plank.  It's a plank type of linoleum that really doesn't feel the least bit like linoleum.  And looks like real wood.  We've had a ton of compliments on it since we first put it down in the bathroom/laundry area.

We worked for a while & then realized that we needed to let part of this set before finishing it because some of the planks were wanting to pop up.  We set some heavy stuff on what we did to hold them down while the glue sets.  We plan to finish the rest of the closet tomorrow.  Just so you can see what we got done, see below.  We actually only went about 4 feet into the closet.  Ain't it purdy?

Larry & I decided to take a nap after this since it was still quiet time.  We slept for a little while & then got up & Larry got the grill fired up to make our ribs.  YUM!  I buy these now & then from our local grocery store.  Usually they are really thinly sliced, so each of us eats 2 (or sometimes 3) individual ribs.  I have been buying just 1 package, but we always finish every bite and still want more, so this time I bought 2 packages.

Of course this time they were HUGE.  Super THICK ribs.  We cooked them all & have a cookie sheet full leftover!  LOTS of leftovers.  I suspect we'll be eating ribs for lunch tomorrow, too.  And then supper on Monday.....and Tuesday.  ha ha!

While the ribs were on the grill, Samuel & Sarah rode their bikes and scooters to "entertain" Larry & I.  We were sitting in the yard in lawn chairs & apparently looked like we needed entertainment.

The ribs weren't quite done when Samuel found our croquet set in the shed.  Guess what we got to play in the near-dark?

Apparently playing while wearing rollerblades is the trick to winning.  Sarah was our big winner tonight.  We finished our game just in time to go inside for a hearty supper of ribs & potato salad.

It's time for me to go get kiddos ready for bed.  Ahhh....good day.


Friday, February 1, 2008


My morning was so nice!  After Larry took all of the kids to school, we head off on our morning of errands. 

We ate breakfast at a new restaurant.  It's called The Diner.  It's a really neat place.  Kind of reminds you of the old style diners you see on TV shows, but with healthier food & a more modern interior design.  Check it out:  Breakfast was YUMMY.  It was so very nice to sit and eat a sit-down breakfast in a restaurant with my hubby.  We neverrrrr do that, so it was a real treat.  We talked & enjoyed our food slowly.  Very relaxing.  :)

Then it was off to Walmart.  It was sort of funny because while I was shopping, he got his haircut & then sat on the bench at the front of the store with some old man to wait for me.  I was buying gifts for a baby shower & a wedding shower (both this weekend) and he had no interest in selecting items for either event [really...what guy does?].  It was humorous to find him hob-nobbing with an elderly stranger when I was checking out.  He thought it was really cool to join the ranks of men at the front waiting for their shopping wives.  ha ha!

At the school, Sarah did very well in her Reader's Theater.  They did "Three Cheers for Tacky", a story about a penguin.  She was Reader Leader 2.  Here's a picture of her doing her reading.

We stayed afterward & ate lunch with her.  Well...we watched her eat.  We were both still too full from our breakfast out!  It was fun because one of our friends was there eating with her daughter (also in Sarah's class) so we got to chat with her for a little while.

We ran a couple more errands before it was time to pick up kiddos from school.  Larry stayed at the house to get ready for a basketball game he was attending tonight while I went to get everyone.  We made a stop at the library to get some new books & movies and then ran to the grocery store for supper.  We're out of everything....tonight is grocery shopping night, though, so I'll get stocked up.  For tonight it's deli foods from Brookshire's!  The kids always get a kick out of picking things from the deli counter, so it was a treat for them too!

Ahhhhh!  Nice day.  I'm thankful that I had the oppurtunity to share it with my sweetie!

I can't think of a title for this. So how is this one?

Tomorrow morning, Sarah has a "reader's theater" at school.  This is actually her third one this year.  The first one was right after school started & I felt like it was too soon for me to ask for a day off at work to go, so I got my mom to go in my place.  Sarah was tickled that she had an audience & that Grandma stayed for lunch afterward.  Right before Christmas, Sarah had another reader's theater.  There were a lot of people taking off at work and I believe it fell on the day of my class Christmas party, so again, I couldn't go.  Larry went & stayed to eat lunch with Sarah.  Again, she was happy...but mommy felt like a big heel for not being there!  I promised her that I would be there for the next one.  On Monday when we got the note saying that there would be a reader's theater this Friday, I was so excited!!  Since the program is at 11:00 & we won't leave the school til after her lunch time, it doesn't make sense for me to go to work.  I'd be there for an hour in the morning before I'd have to leave...and if I came back, I'd only be there for the last 30 minutes or so.  Just doesn't seem worth it to me.  Plus, Fridays are Larry's day off so I can hang out with him the rest of the day.  I'm excited!  We haven't had a day off alone together since May!

This evening, he asked if I'd like to go on a breakfast date in the morning.  Since we NEVER go out to breakfast, this will be QUITE a treat!!  We'll take the kids to school & then go find a restaurant that serves breakfast.  I'm not even sure who does these days, but he seems to have several ideas.

After breakfast, we've got a morning full of errands to run before taking lunch & showing up at Sarah's school.  We'll watch her program and eat lunch with her before we leave to go get my oil changed.  We'll probably barely come home before it'll be time to go get the kiddies from school.

It'll be a full day....but a really NICE one since I don't get to have whole days with my precious husband too often.  Yahoo!