Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thurs July 31 (day 61)

There isn't too much to report for yesterday & today.  Most of our "news-y" stuff has already been 'reported' here.  So I'll just post a couple of things.  Tonight was the kids' final swim class for the summer.  Here is the class & their teacher.  Mr. Eric rocks!  :)

At the end of the class, he let the kids jump off the diving board (into 13 ft. deep water!!!).  I have the video of both kids' jumps, but can't get the videos to load here, so email me if ya want to see them!



Very odd turn of events--Larry's dad

They're releasing him from the hospital this morning.
The cardiologist came in this morning & said that from the stress test yesterday & the heart monitor he's been wearing while at the hospital, they can see that the 'episodes' he's been having are not cardiac in nature.  He's suggesting they might be GI-related instead.  (And due to Larry's reflux diagnosis a few months back in the ER, I guess I can sort of see how that might be the case.)
He did say that he still has the leaky heart valve, but feels that (at this time) it's not severe enough to do surgery or anything.  And as far as the funky heart rhythm, we don't know.  He didn't specifically address that.
And so, Larry's driving him home in a few minutes.  Very odd.  We sure didn't expect this!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Larry's dad

Forgive me if any of this is repeat info.  I can't remember who all has called, emailed & texted Larry throughout the day, so I'm just going to start from point A & travel through point Z.  Feel free to skip over parts you already know about.

Sometime during the wee hours of this morning, Larry's dad began experiencing some classic heart attack symptoms-- shortness of breath, severe chest pain, a sensation that his heart was pounding out of his chest.  He waited til dawn & then called his mother (who lives across the street) to take him to the hospital.  They live outside of Palestine, TX so they went to the hospital there first.  They were in the ER til sometime around noon when the doctors decided that Jim could be cared for better in Tyler (where we have a better cardiac unit).  They transported him by ambulance & Larry's grandmother followed behind him in the car.  He made the trip safely.  His cardiologist (whom he just met yesterday!) was called ahead of time & he had him directly admitted when he arrived in Tyler.  He is at Trinity Mother Francis.  If you'd like to visit him or send a patient email, contact me & I'll send the info to you.

At the cardiologist yesterday, they planned to do a stress test in a couple of weeks to see where things stood & make decisions based on those results, but due to his 'episode' this morning & his admittance at the hospital, they went ahead & did the stress test this afternoon.  The doctor promised that he would come back to the hospital this evening & read the results and let us know what was going on, but alas, he didn't show up.  About 8:30, Larry said his dad was getting drowsy (he was up all night long last night!) so he left to come home so his dad could get some rest.  He is planning to get up & go there again early in the morning so that he can be there (hopefully) when the doctor makes his rounds.  He wants to hear the news first hand from the doctor.

I wish I had more of an update than this, but I simply do not.  With his dad's leaking heart valve & A-fib heart rhythm (& all his other health problems--there are MANY), we really don't know what the future holds for him. 

Prayers are appreciated as we tread uncertain waters in the days to come.  Again, our greatest prayer request is for Larry's dad's soul.  He is not a believer (inanything) and while his health is urgent, his eternal destination is of greater urgency.  Please include that in your prayers.

Thanks for keeping up with us & checking in today.  We appreciate it.

Emergency Prayer Request--Larry's dad

Wednesday 1:25pm
Larry just called me.  His dad was having another 'heart spell' & went to the hospital again.  The ER there was concerned enough with his condition that they sent him by ambulance to Tyler to be taken care of at the hospital here.  His cardiologist (who he just saw yesterday for the first time) is meeting them at the ER as soon as he arrives & plans to "direct admit" him.  When Larry's mom called him, the ambulance had already left Palestine & was headed this direction.  Larry's upset & very worried about his dad.
Unfortunately, the last time we got a phone call telling us that one of our family members had left Palestine in an ambulance headed for Tyler, she did not survive (the day of G & Kelly's wreck) so obviously this phone call carried a lot of emotions although the situations are different.
Larry is on his way to the hospital to meet the ambulance now.  He said that the kids & I ought to just stay at the house for now until he knows more about what is going on.  I should know more in the next hour or so.

Tuesday--summer day 59

Sorry I didn't get to post this yesterday!

We've come to realize that both girls are having an eczema flare up.  You may remember that 2 weeks ago I mentioned a red spot coming up on Sarah's wrist that concerned us.  Well, it's still there.  We can put Benadryl cream on it & it'll almost go away and then it comes back.  After watching it for a couple of weeks now, I'm convinced it's eczema.  And now Savannah's got a similar thing going on, also on her hands.  I'm wondering if they're not both reacting to some ingredient in their bathroom soap.  This is what their hands looked like last night.

Savannah's first---see the red patch on her wrist & her knuckles & between her fingers?  It's a little hard to see in this pic, but you get an idea.

And Sarah's---mostly all around her wrists.  Hers is all flaky & dry looking.

And after ONE NIGHT of using this

they look THIS MUCH BETTER.  (Savannah's on the left, Sarah on the right)

Wow!  We're going to keep using it!  I've been using the Benadryl cream & it does respond to that, but we're going to keep using the Avon cream too!

Last night was Samuel & Sarah's next-to-the-last swim class.  Samuel missed class last week while he was at camp, so we stayed a little bit late for him to catch up with what they learned last week.  Unfortunately, neither one of them are ready to move on to the next level of classes.  Their teacher/coach is a very gentle, sweet guy & has worked wonders in both of them, but they're just not ready to "graduate" out of the Level 1 & 2 class.  We didn't expect Sarah to, since this is her first trip through this class (you usually take it twice to cover both levels).  But this is Samuel's 2nd time taking this class and he still hasn't "got it".  We were a little sad & got a Fall semester catalog to see if we could work in a time for them to go back through the class again this Fall.  However, it turns out that the times they offer the class in the Fall are not times we can do, so they'll have to wait until next summer.  I was a little bummed, but Larry reminded me that I learned to swim without ever taking a single swim lesson of any kind.  I suppose no one is going to crash & burn if they can't move on in their swimming classes immediately.  We'll jump back in next summer so they can continue to learn & hopefully, between now and then, we'll find a pool we can borrow & keep practicing.  At least they both have a little basis for swimming now & they're able to do a little swimming.  I wouldn't trust either of them in deep water or anything, but they're doing OK for beginners.

I know it's kind of hard to see them, but this is Sarah & their teacher (on the right side of the pic) & the rest of their group is up against the wall.

And then just Sarah in her cute little blue swim cap.

And Samuel with his teacher--

While they were doing all this swimming, we sat upstairs in the observation room & Savannah twisted & contorted herself like a crazy woman.  ha ha!  Do you see how she's got her leg all twisted up?  Freaky isn't it?

So there's my rashes, swim lessons & contortionist children.  Tee hee!  That's my world.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Update on Larry's dad

This morning, Larry went w/ his grandmother & his dad to the cardiologist.  They were very impressed w/ the doc & his office.  The doctor figured out a few things.  Apparently, the "spells" he is having are most definately caused by his A-fib (funky heart rhythm) and the leaky heart valve.  I'm not sure if they've removed the CHF diagnosis that he got last week when he was in the hospital or if this is in addition to that.  They did an echocardiogram to take a look at the leaky valve & said it's "as big as Dallas".  The doctor said that he wants to do a chemical stress test on his dad in a couple of weeks (Aug 12th) and then he'll go from there.  He said that the heart valve is going to need to be repaired or replaced at some point, but didn't give him a timeline on when.  I assume that the stress test will be part of what helps him decide when it must be done.  He also said that at some point, they're going to hospitalize him for a day & shock his heart back into a normal rhythm.  Since there is so much that needs to be done, they're just going to take things one step at a time.
Continue to keep him in your prayers.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Day 58 -- Mon July 28

I wish I could say that I got in a nap today, but I didn't.  I folded laundry much of the day (after I drug myself out of bed & got moving about 8:45).  I fed the kids breakfast & lunch in there somewhere and checked my email briefly.  About 4:00 this afternoon, I layed on the couch while the kids watched the Disney Channel games & I did doze off...for about 15 minutes.  So I didn't exactly get in a ton of rest.  :::sigh:::  Oh well.  Such is life.

I'm heading back to work tomorrow after my weekend off.  It's amazing how it feels like it's been SO LONG since I was last there.  These 4 day weekends of the summertime rock.  (Of course, it doesn't rock my paycheck, but it sure is a peaceful way to spend summer weekends w/ the kids!)  Larry & I are both looking forward to the Fall when my paycheck goes back to normal.  The kids start school 4 weeks from today and I go back to work for inservice time that same day. 

The days of summer are fleeting.....

summer.png summer image by laruenhereex3

I just might have to strangle someone.....

I had horrible insomnia last night.  It was nearly 5am before I got to sleep.  So today I'm taking a nap!  If anyone calls & wakes me up mid-day, there might be physical harm in your future.  ha ha!!!

Sunday July 27--Summer day 56

I can't believe it's already 56 days into summer.  I suspect we're not going to hit the 104 days of summer vacation like the Phineus & Ferb song I posted earlier this summer suggested.  Bummer.  Looks like we'll only have about 80-something days.  You see, my kids go back to school on August 25...which means we're down to just shy of 1 month til summer is over!  I can't believe it!  This summer has FLOWN by!

Today was a pretty great day.  You see, for about a month, I have missed some part of church.  Last week I missed Sunday School because we were waiting to hear what was going on w/ Larry's dad.  The week before, we were on vacation.  The week before that, I worked in the nursery.  The week before that, Samuel got sick & I stayed at home with him.  You see what I mean?  It's been a long time since I got to attend both Sunday School and the worship service all in the same day!  And to top it off, I got to go to evening church tonight, too!  Talk about a record setting day.  ha!

This afternoon was nothing spectacular -- came home, took a nap.  That's about it.

Now aren't you glad you took the time to read this post?  Considering the level of excitement here, I know I'm thrilled that you read it.

Smooches to all my faithful readers.  You rock my world!  (well, my blogging world anyway)  And just for the record...Michael Romines ought to read my blog, too.  (snicker, snicker)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Summer Day 55 -- Sat July 26

Ok, I had a couple of emails & only 2 guesses about my earlier post's title.  Either no one cares or no one has any guesses.  Not sure which it is.  ha!  :)  You'll have to read all of this post to get it.

Early this morning, Larry left with some other Cub Scout leaders to go work on moving a small storage building for the scouts to use.  While he was gone, Samuel finished unpacking from camp, which means we had an empty suitcase & my goofball children wanted to get IN it.  Silly kids.

Savannah zipped Samuel up in it & carried (err...DRUG) the suitcase from his room to the kitchen to show me.  The nuts!  I had to take a picture!

And then of course, everyone had to get in on it.  First Savannah....

...and then Sarah, who felt it was important to use a seatbelt!  ha ha!!

After all the unpacking was done, the fights started.  Everyone wanted to play their own game.  No one wanted to cooperate or play along with someone else's idea for a while.  Me, me,'s all about me.  Then it began--the mean words were flying, attitudes were flaring.  They were being really ugly to each other.  Ugh... I swear, breaking up arguments is my least favorite part of motherhood.  But I was prepared.  I bought some 'supplies' earlier this summer, waiting for this very situation and today it finally happened.  I called everyone to the bar & had them sit down.  I had this sitting there.

I put the toothpicks into my pocket & gave each one a plate & a tube of toothpaste & told them to go to town squirting all the toothpaste out of the tube onto their plate.  They started giggling about their mom being such a wacko, but they went along with it.

They finally got it all squirted out, then looked at me as if to say " what?".  That's when I handed them each a toothpick & said "now, use this toothpick & put all the toothpaste back into the tube".

(you should've seen the looks on their faces when I told them to do that)

They tried.

They really worked hard to get it all back in.

It was messy.

It got sort of gross & sticky.

But no matter how hard you try....'s just about impossible to get every last bit back into the tube.

That toothpaste is like our words & the toothpick, our hearts.  Proverbs tells us that a "harsh answer stirs up wrath".  It's real easy to squirt out all those nasty words and get ugly......but very hard on our hearts to try to take it all back.  And no matter how hard you try, the words are already out there.  Even if you work very hard, there will always be a bit of that toothpaste left on the plate.  You just can't suck it all back in, so we have to be careful with our words & make sure they are ones that we want to leave "out there" once they're said.

The kids "got" the idea of what I was trying to show them & apologized to each other for being so mean this morning.  Of course, I'm sure it won't last long and before you know it, they'll be back at it, but for today, the object lesson was well taken & they got the idea.

After lunch & some quiet time, we ran to Walgreen's this afternoon to pick up a prescription.  When we got back home, the kids took early showers and ate supper so that we'd all be ready for the big event at 7:00.

That's right.  Tonight was the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds 3D concert on the Disney Channel.  We were prepared with our 3D glasses from Walmart.  We all donned our glasses & hung out in the living room singing teen pop songs.  Everyone got into the spirit.

...even me!

We had a good time watching the concert & singing along.  It was a nice ending to our day.  Hugs were given, goodnights were said & everyone is in bed for the night now.  (well, the kids anyway)  Ahhhh....goodnight to you too!

Toothpaste, 3D glasses, sibling rivalry & a suitcase

50 points to the first one to figure out what those items in the title have to do with each other.  :)

I'll post the answer tonight.  Til then, leave me a comment if you have any ideas.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fri July 25 (Summer day 54)

My baby's home!  We went to the church parking lot at 5:00 this afternoon & waited for the bus to arrive.  I was all antsy & eager to see my boy!  The week has passed quickly, but I was still sort of emotional to see the bus pull up.  They arrived about 5:30.  I met him in the middle of the parking lot & had one of those moments like you see on movies ... you know, when the girl & guy run to each other & jump into each other's arms.  However, we just walked to each other & initially he wanted to play it cool & act like it was no big deal to be home, but when I punched him in the arm & said "stop that & hug me!", he climbed up & clung on to me like crazy & we hugged for a long time.  :)  When I tried to put him down, he didn't want to turn loose.  Man, I missed that!  My snuggleboy is home!!  When we got home, we all sat down & watched the camp DVD together.  He layed by me on the couch & snuggled the whole time.  Awwww!

If you want to see where he was, visit  That is the camp website.  His group of campers can be seen on the "group pictures" page.  Scroll all the way to the bottom.  There are 2 pics--one serious picture & one goofy one.  He's on the front row, kneeling down in the middle.

Thank you to all of you who sent him emails while he was there.  He had a pretty giant stack of messages when he got home today.

My sweet boy survived (& LOVED!) his first week of camp and is excited about going back next year.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thurs July 24 Summer day 53

I'm back!!!!!!!!!

As it turns out, we had ELEVEN viruses that killed our computer.  Thankfully, our AWESOME FRIEND, Dillon Timmons was able to 'save' it for us.  He cleaned off the viruses, installed a new virus software for us, even upgraded our very low RAM (we needed it!) and got everything up & running for us again!  YAHOO!  I am soooo glad, too.  The withdrawals were killer.  ha ha!

On the upside, you got a short reprieve from my summer blogging (grin) and got to miss me being a little sappy on a couple of these past few nights without my baby boy at home.  I sure do miss him and am soo ready to see him come home tomorrow afternoon!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Computer Crash!!!

It's worse than detox.  It's worse than a bad 12 step class.  You know it...internet/email withdrawals.  Late last night, our computer crashed.  A friend is going to take a look at it & see if they can figure out what the problem is, but ultimately we can't afford to pay much of anything to get it repaired, so we may be without a computer short term.  I am desperately hoping that our hard drive is not fried.  That would mean TONS of pictures, lots of my school stuff & so much GONE.  Please say a prayer that it's nothing serious & can be fixed.  Otherwise, I'll be crying on the corner, holding out a cup for computer repair donations.  LOL

For now, I'll come to Larry's office 1-2x/week & do a quick email check.  (That's where I am now.)

If you need us, give us a call or email Larry at work.  He has his computer/internet access there, and can relay messages to me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The 50th Day of Summer! Mon July 21

NEWS! NEWS! NEWS!  Larry's dad was released from the hospital an hour or so ago.  The doctor checked on him & decided that he was stable enough to go home.  They're going to do an outpatient stress test later this week, but for now, the medicines they've given him are enough to keep him stable.  We'll be driving over tonight to check on him.

Also--- Samuel is off to his first week of camp (ever!).  He was excited to leave this morning, but still a little apprehensive.  I'm nervous too, but I know he's going to have fun!  Here's my little camper, all packed up & ready to go!

One last prayer with the group before they left.  There are about 45 kids from our church going to camp!  (I don't have a wide angle lens, so I'm missing some of the kids in this pic.)

And off they go.......

Havea  good week baby boy!  I love you!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday July 20, Summer Day 49

First, an update on Jim---

Larry spent the morning with his dad & came home around 1:00.  His dad is stable for now & the docs are just sort of buying time til tomorrow when his regular cardiologist can come see him & figure out what course of treatment they'll take.  He has a leaky valve in his heart (he's had it for a while).  Between that and the million other health problems he has, he developed Congestive Heart Failure.  Larry said he didn't really get a "feel" from the docs & nurses who came in while he was there as to the severity of the condition, but for now, they're keeping him in the hospital for more tests & just to watch him.  I guess we'll know more tomorrow after his regular cardiologist comes in to visit him.  Keep him in your prayers.

As to the rest of our day... the kids & I went to church this morning.  I talked to Larry during what is our normal Sunday School hour & felt comfortable leaving the house at that point, so we went to the worship service.  My younger 2 kids go to children's church & Savannah and I snuck into the balcony at church, then ducked out as soon as it was over so we could get home & call Larry for an update.  By that time, he was headed home already.  We all took a short nap this afternoon before getting up & heading back out.  Larry went to the church to work on some things that he missed doing this morning & he stayed for the evening church service.  The kids & I went to Walmart to pick up the last few things that Samuel needed for camp.  He leaves in the morning for church camp with our children's department.  By the time we got done picking up the things we needed, it was past church time, so we stayed home tonight.

Samuel is all packed up now & ready for camp!  This is his first time to go to camp & while he's very excited, he's also a little nervous.  Please pray for him this week -- to not get homesick or scared.  I'm on the fence about him going to camp.  I know he'll love it, but I've never been away from him for this long, so it's going to be hard to say goodbye in the morning.  I suspect there will be tears shed (me, not him).  I can't do that until after the bus pulls away, though.  If he sees me cry, it'll upset him.  So pray that I hold it together til after the bus leaves.  :)

If you know us personally & would like to see the camp where he's going, email me.  I will send you the camp website to peek at.  On the site, you can send him an email while he's there.  He'd love to get lots of messages while he's gone, so let me know if you want to send him one.

Sunday July 20--7:55am

Larry's cell rang at 1am last night.  He said the number on the Caller ID said it was a private number, so he didn't answer it.  The person didn't leave a message, so we figured if it was an emergency, they'd call back or call our house phone.  No one called back in either place, so we blew it off as a fluke thing & went back to sleep.  We know now who that phone call most likely came from.

At 6:45am, the house phone rang.  It was Larry's grandmother.  During the night, Larry's dad went into congestive heart failure.  He called her (she lives across the street) to take him to the hospital because he was feeling bad.  That alone is major because this man does not go to the hospital.  He's even told us of times when he was home alone & "had a little heart attack".  He pops a pill under his tongue & waits for the pain to subside, then goes back to what he was doing.  (Yes, I'm serious.)

Larry's father is an alcoholic & has a thousand other health problems aside from his heart troubles, so congestive heart failure is not good.  Larry said that in his paramedic days, he remembers some patients who lived with CHF for years.  Others did not.  I'm not sure where in that spectrum Jim falls.

Please pray for my father in law this morning.  Jim is not a believer, and that is our ultimate concern.  Everything else is just fluff.  Pray for his health too, but his eternal home is much more important than anything else.

Larry has gone to the town where he lives to check on him.  He asked that the kids & I not go with him for now.  We'll wait to see how he is when Larry gets there.  If he's going to be released, there's no reason for all of us to rush over there.  But if it looks bad, he'll call us to join him at the hospital.  For now, we're at home waiting.  If everything is OK we'll go on to church for the worship service later this morning.

I'll update later when I know more, but for now, join me in praying.

Fri July 18 & Sat July 19 (Summer days 47 & 48)

Oops!  I missed a day of posting.  I know, I know...for all my readers, I'm sure you were dreadfully concerned about me.  (ha ha...that's a joke in case you missed it)  Seriously, I love writing in my blog.  I'm a writer geek ya know?  I love my job but if I could get paid for the time it would take to sit down & write books instead, I'd do it.  Unfortunately, hubby & I have not figured out how to make that work, so one day when we win the lottery, I'll try to work that out.  (note to self:  buy a lottery ticket...if I'm gonna win, I must buy a ticket)

Ok, so Friday rocked.  Samuel had his last day of day camp at Discovery Science Place.  Feel free to check it out.  It's a really neat local kids' science museum.  Their website is  Our kids have each attended day camp there at some point in the past 5 or 6 years, each one really enjoying it.  The kids get to pick a topic from a list of choices and attend a 1/2 day camp based on that.  Samuel went to a cooking class last summer & LOVED it, so when the topic list came out this year & there was one titled "Cookin' Up Science", he wanted to do that one!  The girls didn't find anything they were interested in trying this year, so he was our only science museum day camper this summer.  He had a lot of fun making different things with his class each day.  If you live locally, I highly recommend their day camps.  They're fun, educational, cheap (as compared to all the other camps & day camps around here) and the kids get to play at the museum as part of their camp time.  Unfortunately, with gas prices continually climbing, I'm afraid that this summer may have been our last to do this.  The museum is about a 25-30 minute drive from our house and once you make that drive round trip 2x/day for 5 days, well, that's a lot of gas.  On top of that, I think we may have exhausted the list of possible class topics that the kids would enjoy.  It seems like the class lists are pretty similar from year to year and I think our kids have each done all the classes they're interested in.  I guess we'll see next year when the camp topic list comes out.  But if we do go next summer, the gas prices are going to have to drop drastically...or we'll be carpooling or something!

When we picked Samuel up from his day camp that afternoon, we dropped off Savannah at a friend's slumber party.  Afterwards, Larry & I took the other kids to my sister's house so we could have a date night!  Earlier this summer, Larry & I decided that we'd try to pull off 1 date night per month during the summer.  I called my sister & asked her to exchange babysitting with me so that she & her husband could also get a couple dates this summer.  She agreed that it was a great idea, wrote my 2 date nights on the calendar & promised to find 2 dates that she and her husband could also go out.  (To date, they've never picked a time...but I'm doing my best to bug her about it, so I am hope she figures out a date soon.  The summer is 1/2 way over, after all!  When school starts, it's way harder for either of us to get a night away.)

Larry & I went to Fazoli's first.  (  We joke about the place because when they first opened, it was billed as "Italian fast food".  Larry said, at the time, "So what does that mean?  Spaghetti on a stick?"  We've come to enjoy going there now & then since that time. 

After eating, we walked to the theater nearby (the entire parking lot was FULL due to the new Batman movie opening).  We saw Get Smart.  It was really cute!  After picking up the kids at my sister's house and heading home and getting them to bed, it was 10:30.  While I did get online to check my emails, I completely zoned out on blogging.  Hopefully you can forgive me.

Today (Saturday) was a day for catching up with housework & such.  Larry went and picked up Savannah from the slumber party while I fed the other two kids & got everyone started on chores.  The majority of my day was spent getting sweaty doing work around the house.  That's ok, though.  That's what Saturdays were made for, right?  I folded a bunch of laundry & organized my closet.  See?

Hey, might be interested in this picture.  Recognize anything?  (hint:  there are actually 2 things you might be interested in seeing)

And yes, that's my laundry area just beyond the back of my closet.

Larry worked outside all day long doing various & assorted yard & car maintenance projects.  Way to go honey!  Thank you for doing all the back breaking hard work so that I can stay inside where the air conditioner is.  I love you for it.

As our day draws to a close, I wanted to share these sweet pictures of my sleeping babies.  I just took the pictures a few minutes ago.  It's always so much fun to watch them sleep.

My big girl, Savannah.  90% of the time this is how I find her--on top of her covers, covered only by a tiny little fleece blanket, with either a book or her gameboy or Nintendo DS by her side.  Silly goose.

And my sweet boy, Samuel.  During the summer, they all love to sleep in the same room.  Some nights they get to watch a movie for a while til they all konk out.  Tonight was a Kim Possible DVD night.  He doesn't mind sleeping on the floor at all.  I, on the other hand, would not be able to stand up by morning if I slept on the hard floor like that.  (Aunt you see what he's laying on?  It's still one of his favorites!)

My sweet Sarah.  She zonks out 5 seconds after her head hits the pillow.  Sweet baby girl!

Saturday is over.  It's late & I need to hit the pillows.  Tomorrow will be full.  We'll go to church and then finish getting Samuel packed up for camp---his first time ever to go to overnight camp!!  He's going to have a BLAST!  Email me privately if you'd like to send him a message (via the camp website) while he's there.  He'd get a kick out of getting lots of emails each night at mail call!   :::yawn:::  The bed is calling my name.  Goodnight.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Big Read

The Big Read
I saw this today at a friend's blog (, and I found it pretty interesting.  According to The Big Read, the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on this list.
How many have you read?

Look at the list.
Bold those you have read.
Italicize those you intend to read.
Underline the books you LOVE.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. 1984 - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchel
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
(note:  I can't get #27-29 to change colors, so I'm sorry that they're reddish on here...there is no significant reason for them to be that way)
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy3
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (actually I watched the movie, but I'm counting it!)
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding (yep, this one was the movie too  ha ha)
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (not sure if I actually intend to read it...but it sounds interesting)
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

He is so very faithful!

Someone emailed me last night & asked me to re-post this.  So here ya go.  Sit back & really soak it all in.  He is so very faithful to us.  :)


In times of pain, He loves me. 

In times of joy, He loves me. 

In moments of fear, He loves me. 

In seasons of grief, He loves me. 

In times of celebration & excitement, He loves me. 

In the times of happiness when life is good & I barely acknowledge Him at all, He loves me. 

When I mess up, He loves me. 

When I do well, He loves me. 

When I fall down, He loves me. 

When I lose a friend to cancer and I cry & ask WHY, He loves me. 

Worse--when a friend loses their child to cancer & I ask again, WHY, He loves me.

Worse yet -- when more than one friend loses their child to cancer & I ask WHY, He still loves me.

When I stand in church with my arms outstretched in worship, He loves me. 

When my children give me reason to scream, He loves me. 

When my children give me a reason to CHEER, He loves me.

His love for me is not conditional.  It is not bound by my feelings on that day or my circumstances at that moment.  He loved me when He formed the earth.  He loved me when He created man.  He loved me when He walked on the earth.  He loved me when He died for me.  He loved me when He ascended to Heaven.  He loved me when my mother was born.  He loves me now, He loved me then, He loved me before I was even formed in my mother's womb.  His love is truely EVERLASTING, constant, eternal.

He is faithful to me when I am faithless.  He is faithful to me when I ask Him "WHY".  He is faithful to me when I need Him, and faithful to me when I don't think I need Him.  He is faithful.  He doesn't sway, He doesn't blow with the breeze.  He is faithful to me when I screw up.  He is faithful to me when I am laughing.  He is faithful to me when I cry.  He is God, He is EVERLASTING.

When I am sick, He is God. 

When my child is hurting, He is God. 

When I ache & mourn, He is God. 

When family members die, He is God. 

When a child is born, He is God. 

When I lay down at night to rest and when I rise in the morning, He is God. 

When I honor Him and when I don't, He is God.

He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  The everlasting Father, the Holy, righteous, blameless, pure spotless sacrifice for MY blunders...for MY faults...for MY sins.

Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!  He is FAITHFUL.

(partial lyrics to the song that inspired this are below--I included the parts that really slap me in the face & throw me across the room to recognize how wild I am about Jesus--and maybe part of the worship experience is the actual music itself, so if you haven't heard this song, you ought to!)

Everlasting God Lyrics
Artist(Band):Chris Tomlin

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer

Chorus:  You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary
You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wed & Thur July 16 & 17 -- Summer days 45 & 46

Whoops!  Someone forgot to post yesterday.  Interestingly enough, I don't really have much to say for either day.  ha!  No wonder I forgot to post.

Instead, I'll leave you with a couple of my (current) favorite youtube videos.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Note to ALL readers!!

Ok, who all is out there?  About once a year I like to see who is reading this blog.  Even if you only post a quick "I'm here" sort of comment, please take a second to post a quick comment & tell me how you found me.

Some of you have mentioned not being able to post comments because you don't have an account with AOL.  One new poster recently told me that it's fairly simple.  It's like any other website, you just create a username & password.  If you can't figure it out or just don't want to create another username for yet another website, email me your comment & let me know you're here.  You can send it to


Thanks guys!!!

Tues July 15, Summer day 44

Today was good.  I was a little hesitant about getting back to work (remember.... that means admitting that vacation time is actually over) but it was a good day. 

A new student joined my class last week, so it was fun to meet her today & see how she fits into the dynamic of my funny little crew of kids.  Everything went well, except that Savannah's return (after 3 weeks of her absence...a week long visit w/ friends, a week at camp, our week of vacation) brought about a lot of noise and an injury.  Not that SHE was noisy, but the kids love her & they get rambunctious & rowdy when she's there.  I keep trying to convince her to NOT wind them up so much because then she gets overwhelmed at how loud & rough they are.  Today, she was playing crazy with one little boy over near the kitchen (home center) & before ya know it, she took a plastic corn cob to the eye.  Ouch!  She was a little shocked that some three year olds could actually hurt her.  I tried to tell ya, hon.  Afterward, she took her Nintendo DS to find an empty room & chill out privately for a while.  Good move, kiddo.  (hmm....I wonder if I could do that sometime?  ha!)

Samuel enjoyed his 2nd day of day camp today.  As always, I'll tell you about where he's going at the end of the week after it's over.  (gotta play it safe online, ya know?!)  I can tell you this, though.  He is doing a cooking camp and he LOVES it.  He's added chef to his mile long list of things he wants to be when he grows up.

Join me in praying for my sweet Sarah.  Well, for 2 things.  I'll tell ya the easy one first.  She's got some sort of mild allergic reaction to something on her arms tonight.  We noticed the first "spot" while we were eating dinner.  Concerned that it might be a spider bite at first, Larry used his pen to mark around it so we could watch & see if it "grew" or spread.  By the time she finished swim class, though, I realized that she had a matching "spot" on her other arm.  Looks like the first one must not be a bite, but part of a reaction to something or other.  I'd like to figure out what she's reacting to and I'm praying that it's not worse by morning.  I'm definately hoping that these big red blotches on her arms are NOT the beginning of something much bigger/worse.  Tomorrow night she's going on her first ever sleepover with a friend.  She's spent the night w/ family before, but this is the first time a friend has invited her over for the night!

Ok, the 2nd thing--- she is being pounded hard by Satan.  If you will remember, she was saved in May.  She was baptised in early June.  Before asking Jesus into her heart, she had spent about a month randomly confessing things to us at least once a day.  She'd come to us all upset about some little thing that happened (literally) days/weeks/months or even years ago.  She was under such strong conviction about these things & needed to hear us say that she was forgiven.  In the past couple of weeks, she has gone back to this again.  While I'm THRILLED that she is so very aware of conviction when it strikes, at the same time, she's battling condemnation about things that happens ages ago.  At least a dozen times a day, she comes to me crying or quite upset about some bad thought she had or a word she said that maybe wasn't nice (no "bad" words..just things like "dumb" or "stupid", etc).  She gets all upset over these things, not just feeling bad that it happened, but literally clawing at her face, holding her head in her hands...really beating herself up over some minor little infraction.  She's always been extremely sensitive, and now Satan is having a field day with that---smashing her little conscience to smithereens over every little thing!  I talked to her about 'taking her thoughts captive' & giving them to God.  We've talked about the fact that when Jesus died for her sins, ALL of her sins were in the future---so His blood covered them ALL.  She was forgiven for those that happened prior to her salvation & she has been forgiven for all of them SINCE.  She's having a really hard time grasping that God loves her even when she has one mean thought about her brother or when she leans back in the chair at the bar (something we have to fuss at all the kids about all the time!).  Please pray that she learns to respond appropriately to conviction, but that Satan will be rebuked every time he tries to condemn her for long-ago offenses or when he tries to beat her up over the tiniest infractions.  I hate to see her feel miserable about some tiny little thing ...or things that were over & done with LONG ago!

Ok, it's nearly 1am.  I'm tired.  Heading off to bed now!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mon July 14, Summer day 43

First of all, before I do anything else, I'd like to say

to my niece, Robyn.  It's hard to imagine that you turned FIVE years old today!  I still remember the day your mom called to tell me she was pregnant...and the day we watched the ultrasound together & found out you were a GIRL!....and the day you were born!  Boy, time passes quickly!  I wish I could be there for your party on Wednesday, but just know that I love you, baby girl!  Happy birthday!!

And now...back to the regular blog.  :)  And by regular I do mean 'regular' stuff.

Today is the 43rd day of summer.  We were watching Phineus & Ferb this afternoon & the theme song played.  You may remember the video of it I posted earlier this summer (if not, sort through the archives & find's a cute song).  Sarah piped up & said "are there really 104 days of summer vacation?".  I told her I was counting them, but I wasn't so sure about the number yet.  I guess we'll see, huh?

I walked through the house today, straightening it up, starting loads of laundry & sighed.  Vacation is really over.  It's so much like the way I feel at the tail end of summer.  Bummed that I have to start getting up at a normal time again.  Sad that I have to give up mid-day naps.  It's like a little kid who drags there feet & shuffles into school half-awake on the first day of school.  I hate to see a restful time go.  And yet.....I yearn for routine & structure & schedules, so I always want what I can't have at the time.  Isn't that just like human nature?

Tomorrow I will get up early & head out the door to a job I adore.  I will meet a new student (she came for the first time last week while I was on vacation...sorry kiddo!).  I will have a BLAST hanging out with the kids at my school.  I will enjoy adult conversations with the other teachers before & after work.  I will hug the necks of all the kids I missed last week.  I will get to play & act silly & read stories & sit in a tiny chair around a really short table, despite the fact that my posterior doesn't exactly FIT those chairs.  I will skip & dance & make an idiot of myself during music time.

And yet, I'm bummed.  I guess that's just the nature of the first day back to work after vacation...even if you have an awesome job!

:::sigh:::  I guess it's time to get back to life.  Which reminds me of this song from when I was in junior high.  tee hee...I have no idea if there is some covert (bad) meaning to the song, but the chorus is about how I feel right now.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sun July 13, Summer Day 42, Staycation Day 7

:::sigh:::  It's over.  Today was our last day of vacation (stay-cation!).  I'm a little bummed because life has to go back to normal now, but at the same time, I'm grateful that we got this time together.  I want to whine that it's over, but I really can't fuss.  Larry & I have a date night planned next week.  And a month from now (more or less) we're flying out of state to visit a friend of mine for a couple days.  The weekend after that, I'm going to Women of Faith.  But it seems like summer is flying by pretty fast.  And I want it to last.  (anybody want to cry for me now?  ha ha!)

Today, Larry decided to go to church like a good boy, however he couldn't go to our church because well...he works there.  If he showed up there during his vacation time, people would wonder why he wasn't teaching his class or helping during the altar service.  And so, he went to the First Assembly of God here in town.  The kids & I were worn out from our week of busy-ness, so we chose to stay at home & just relax.  We slept a little later than usual, ate pancakes for breakfast, hung out watching movies & TV and then made lunch about time for Larry to come home.  After lunch, we went to the Tyler Museum of Art.

Today they had a Family Day.  We weren't sure exactly what "Family Day" meant, but we wanted to see the elephant paintings exhibit & one thing we did day means "FREE"!  So we went.  (NOTE:  These were not paintings OF elephants, but ones done BY elephants!)

When we got there, we saw a sign that said you could not take pictures inside the gallery, but if I was to blog about it, I had to get a picture, right?  When I spotted 2 people taking pictures very openly, I decided to stick it to the man & take a picture myself.  (ha ha!)  But honestly, I'm too much of a rule follower to do it so obviously like they were!  So, I held my camera as I had been doing the whole time & very nonchalantly & covertly snapped a picture without actually AIMING the camera.  I had no idea if I'd actually get a picture of something or not.  I mean, after all, being the sneaky photographer I am, I couldn't let someone catch me looking at the LCD screen to see how the pic turned out!  And this is what I got!

I had to crop quite a bit for that picture to look right.  The rest looked more like this:

They had a video playing to show how the paintings are done.  They actually had paintings done by cockroaches & rhinoceruses too!  Very interesting to watch them do the paintings...and fun to look at the finished products!

After walking through the gallery, we were led to the "classroom" where the very over-enthusiastic docents directed the kids to sit down & "paint like an elephant".  The project they had planned for the kids to do was really directed at children more along the lines of 2 to 5 year olds, so my kids were not exactly excited about participating.  Samuel & Sarah made a picture quickly so we could get out of there & were a little frustrated when they were directed to hang the picture on a wall of all the other kids' paintings--where they had to LEAVE it.  They were a little irritated that they made the picture & couldn't take it home!  Oh well, we have tons of other pieces of artwork of theirs.  After making their pictures, they were given snacks & we sat in the bookstore area of the museum to eat it.

We had told the kids before going in that this was a "fancy" place & they needed to be on their best behavior.  When Larry lingered in the bookstore area a little too long, the kids began to wear out on the sitting up straight, using nice manners & being polite.  So we went outside to walk around a bit while we waited for him.  There is a fountain right outside the door, so I posed the kids for a picture (of course!).

Sarah was feeling silly & tried another pose.  It was just a fake, though.  She didn't actually fall in.  She just wanted to look like she did!

We went back in just in time for Larry to see another exhibit that he wanted to look through.  It was an exhibit of Jewish artwork from artists during the Holocaust & soon afterward.  The kids & I made a quick lap through the room (it was a small room) but he wanted to read each little plaque under the pieces, so the kids & I headed to the van to wait for him.  Samuel had a lot of "sillies" to shake out when we got there.  He wanted me to take a video of him getting out all his goofyness, so I obliged him.  I tried to post it here, but AOL is being stinky tonight, so if you want to see the video, email me!

After the museum, we headed home for burgers cooked on the grill and a little more family time before Savannah headed off to spend the night with my niece.  I guess life truely is back to normal now.  Tomorrow I'll go pick her up, run to the post office, take Samuel to know, the regular mom stuff.

Thanks for keeping up with our week of staycationing this week!  Tomorrow the blog goes back to regular stuff!

Sat July 12, Summer day 41, Staycation day 6

Today was spent mostly at home.  Larry & Samuel went to a cub scout event this morning.  We'd planned for all of us to go, but after a (great!) week of doing things together daily, it was clear that the laundry wasn't going to fold itself, so I kept the girls here & folded laundry while they did the scout thing.  It was clear sometime Thursday night or Friday that we'd done real well on finding lots of close-to-home little 'treasures' to visit & spend time at, but we had not done too well at scheduling some quiet, relaxing time to just sit at home & rest or get things taken care of around the house.  Oops.

Tonight was a special night for us.  In the late Fall of 2004, we left our church home of 7 years when Larry went into ministry full time.  Bethel Bible Church holds such a special place in our hearts, and thankfully, we still have a good relationship with all of the fabulous people there.  We run into them now & then at Walmart.  We get the emails for prayer requests.  But nothing quite compares to spending time with them, fellowshipping and enjoying their friendship.  We were at Bethel from late 1997 til 2004.  The congregation there saw us through Samuel & Sarah's pregnancies & births, Larry's years in college while he finished his bachelor's degree as well as 4 years of seminary.  They were our cheerleaders, our confidants, our closest friends.  What a treasure those years hold for us.

Every year, the "G" family holds a fabulous Christmas 'Party with a Purpose' where they not only celebrate the season, but they collect money or supplies for a special cause.  We feel especially connected to their family because they were in our Sunday School class all those years.  Their oldest son & our youngest daughter are 2 weeks apart in age.  She was at the women's retreat with me each year I went.  They were part of our small group for the last 2 or 3 years we went to church there.  Lots of sweet memories!  And like I told Mrs. G tonight, I am SO GLAD that she has the gift of hospitality!  She & her husband put on a mean party at Christmas & often, at some other point in the year, too!  It's always fun to go to their home because everyone is calm & relaxed & they make you feel very much at home under their roof.  (I most definately do not posess this talent.  Larry & I are total homebodies & never in our 14 years of marriage have put on a party like the ones they throw!)

Tonight they had a party!  They come up with the best ideas for parties.  Honestly, I think they're just looking for a reason to have a party -- and I'm so glad they found one!  Tonight's theme was summer birthdays.  Mrs. G has a June birthday & said that, as a kid, she always felt jipped out of a cool party because she had a summer birthday & couldn't invite all her school friends.  Since it is summertime, they threw a party for all their friends who have summer birthdays!  They even had a cake made with ALL the names of their friends with summer birthdays!  What a treat!  Since Savannah has a summer birthday, here she is with the cake.  And look!  Her name is on the next to the last line!  She thought it was really cool that they'd include her!

After we all pigged out on tacos & chips/dip, they had a pinata in the yard for all the kids to take a whack at.  They had quite a crowd!  Look at all the kids!  And remember, each of these kids came with 2 parents---it was a full house!

On the way home, the kids wanted to use their Sonic gift cards to stop for icecream (because none of them ate cake at the party).  We got them a little treat & then headed home for baths & bedtime.  Sarah was waiting for her turn to get in the shower, so she posed & wanted me to take some pictures.  ha ha!  And then she turned the camera & took a couple pictures of me!  Silly girl!

As our week of staycationing draws to a close, it begins to feel like life is going back to "normal".  We've really enjoyed our quiet week of family time.  Tomorrow we have one last thing to go do with the kids.  I think they'll enjoy it, but I'm not sure if I will be allowed to take pictures.  Til then.....have a good night's rest.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I have a bunch of blogs I check in on (almost) daily.  I've seen this posted on several lately, so I'm going to do it too.  Even if these things are silly, they're pretty fun to do, so if you want to skip reading it, feel free.  :)

10 Things I Must Have in the Pantry/Fridge at all Times
1.  milk
2.  eggs
3.  yogurt
4.  fruit
5.  veggies
6.  bread
7.  lunchmeat
8.  peanut butter & jelly (ok, so that's actually 2...I'm cheating, though.)
9.  tea (for Larry)
10.  water (I realize this comes from the faucet, but I like to keep it chilled...I drink tons of water & prefer it ice cold!)
10 Songs I Love
1.  Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone -- Chris Tomlin
2.  What This World Needs -- Casting Crowns
3.  It Is Well (my all time favorite hymn)
4.  Held -- Natalie Grant (it was my theme song of 2006, while I was trying to wrap my brain around the death of one of my dearest friends and the loss of the mother of my niece & nephew)
5.  Holy -- Nichole Nordeman
6.  Brave -- Nichole Nordeman  (also my theme song in 2006-07 while learning to advocate for a child who needed so much help in so many ways)
7.  lots of old, cool songs from the 70s
8.  ditto---from the 80s
9.  ditto--from the 90s
10 Stores I Love
1.  Walmart
2.  Target
3.  Goodwill store!!!
4.  The Scroll (especially the clearance room hidden away in the back of the store!)
5.  Bed, Bath & Beyond (oh, I could get into so much trouble there!)
6.  Goody's (clothes for me!)
7.  Lane Bryant (ditto)
8.  Lowe's or Home Depot (it's fun to go in there & dream about all the cool things we could do if we could afford it!)
9.  Honestly, I can't think of a single other store that I frequently visit or shop from.
10.  .....and so this one is blank, too!
10 Cities I Love
1.  Whitehouse, TX (born & raised)
2.  Gilmer, TX  (I loved living there!)
and that's all I can think of......I am such a homebody!
10 Days of the Year that I Love
1.  Thanksgiving (my very favorite holiday---so far, no one has been able to screw it up with commercialism!)
2.  my anniversary (it holds a lot of sweet memories of a special day & led to the other greatest days of my life--all my married years & the births of my children)
3.  my birthday
4.  my kids' birthdays
5.  Easter
6.  Christmas
7.  First Day of School
8.  Last Day of School
9.  the last days of summer when we're hanging out in the yard, eating popsicles, enjoying those final dog days of hot weather with eager anticipation of what's ahead with the new school year
10.  any day that I'm off work & the kids and Larry are at work/school......I love my alone time when I can get it!
10 Things I Do Every Day
1.  go potty (hey, that's the first thing every day!)
2.  make 3 meals for my family
3.  make up my bed
4.  kiss my husband a thousand times
5.  kiss/hug/touch/love on my babies every time they walk by (just about anyway!)
6.  dishes
7.  laundry
8.  check my email/blog/myspace
9.  brush my teeth
10.  depending on the day/season, I either take someone to school, go to work or church or run an errand
10 Events I Will Never Forget
1.  lots of special memories growing up---first days of school, the day I got saved when I was 8 years old, graduation from high school, the first day of college, etc.......
2.  My wedding & honeymoon
3.  My first date with Larry (ok, so these are out of order!)
4.  Dec. 4, 1995---the day I found out I was pregnant for the first time!
5.  Aug 1996--Savannah's birth
6.  March 2000-- Samuel's birth -- because it was totally different from my first birth with a Csection & tons of complications afterward
7.  June __, 2000---Samuel turned 3 months old & I found out I was pregnant again!!!  That shock & disbelief will NEVER leave my memory.
8.  Feb  2001-- Sarah's birth
9.  Feb 9 & 10, 2006 --Lisa's & Kelly's deaths and all the things that those dates led to...
10.  March 16, 2007 -- the day the kids moved out
10 Books I Love
1.  Bible (especially mine--NIV Life Applications Study Bible, with a sweet inscription inside the front cover from my sweet hubby who gave me the Bible)
2.  Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
3.  all of the Baxter series books by Karen Kingsbury
4.  Love Languages book (such an eye opener)
5.  The Power of a Praying Wife (such a marriage changer!)
6.  Intimacy with the Almighty by Chuck Swindoll
7.  Time for Bed (a bedtime story my kids loved that I have memorized from reading it over & over & over...)
8.  Goodnight Moon (another sweet one from the early days w/ my kids)
9.  I'm going blank & can't think of another one.
10 Movies I Love
1.  Grease
2.  The Notebook
3.  A Walk to Remember
4.  Serendipity
5.  Wizard of Oz
6.  The Lakehouse
7.  Disney version of Robin Hood
It also asked for "10 of My Favorite Posts thus Far", but I can't pick out a "good" post from a "bad" one because, so often, I feel like this is just a place for me to unload & ramble and I'm grateful that anyone's reading any of it!  So, you decide.  If I've posted something you enjoyed reading, post a comment & tell me what was your favorite. 

July 11, Summer day 40, Staycation day 5

Today was a little more relaxed than the rest of the week has been.  We slept late, had breakfast & then went to get Larry, Samuel & Savannah's hair cut.  You can see why Samuel needed it in the picture of his bedhead a couple days ago.  Savannah's layers had long since grown out & needed a trim and well....Larry has never actually NEEDED a haircut in his life, but he likes his hair pretty short, so the moment he needs a comb to fix it, he starts fretting that it's getting too long & runs for a haircut.  :::sigh:::  Whatever.

Our plan was to go to the movies, stopping at a gas station on the way to pick up some candy.  We have NEVER done that before (hiding candy & sneaking it in), but we were trying to cut costs & thought we could let the kids each pick out a candy from the gas station on the way.  However, when we got to the gas station, 2 of my 3 kids got really, really, really upset that we were intentionally breaking the rules.  They were to the point of tears that we were going to "break the movie laws" and since they were so convicted about it, we apologized to them about trying to convince them to do something that we know is wrong & chose to leave the candy at the gas station.  Instead, we drove through McDonald's & got $1 double cheeseburgers for each of us to fill our bellies before the movie & then got popcorn to share and a drink at the theater.  We still spent less than if we'd let everyone get candy & a drink and it was better for them anyway.  We all REALLY enjoyed the movie, Wall-E.  It was a very sweet family movie.

After the movie, we came home & took a nap before eating supper & heading to Faulker Park ( to visit their splashground area.

It is a series of pipes that pour water, buckets that fill up & dump over your head, sprinkler heads that spray up at your body in sporadic patterns, water "cannons" that you can fire at your family & friends.  It was so much fun!  The kids did it alone for a while because Larry & I spotted a little girl who was in Sarah's class last year (& she was in Kourtney's class the year before).  We ended up talking to her parents & watching all the kids from the sidelines for quite some time before the kids came and got me & drug me in.  I couldn't convince Larry to get in the water with us, but I did manage to give him a big ol' wet hug!  :)

Here's Savannah behind the red arch, covering her eyes.

And Miss Sarah, splashing her feet in the puddles of water.

Samuel shooting the water cannon...likely at one of his sisters.

I love the look on Chelsea's face (our little friend from school).  She was right under one of the buckets & had just gotten showered when I clicked this photo.  My girls are on the left, talking about how to hit Samuel with the water cannon.

The kids loved this spout of pouring water!  Here's Samuel getting doused.

...and Savannah!

When they were done getting soaked (& convincing me to come join their wet playtime!), we moved over to the playground, which sits right beside the splashground.

They climbed...

...and climbed some more.

They spun in circles on these crazy little chairs that were hard to get stopped.

Samuel conquered the mountain.

It seems that climbing was our theme tonight.  ha ha!

Savannah finally wore out & came to sit on the bench with Larry and I.

We attempted a self-portrait, but it didn't work out too well.  It's always hard to tell whether or not you got everyone's faces in the shot.

So Savannah took a picture for us.  She insisted that we pose like this.  And at the last minute, Larry blew a raspberry instead of kissing me.  LOL!

Ahhhh!  It was a relaxing day.  Tomorrow's staycation plans include a whole lot of hanging out at home, resting....oh, and folding a TONNNNNNNN of laundry!  We're going to a party tomorrow evening, but other than that, we're not doing much of anything.  What a great week it's been.  We do have one last thing on Sunday afternoon.  I'll tell you about it then.