Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's Christmastime!

The tree is up. Can you tell that the kids helped decorate? Note the ornament placement...or rather the lack of ornaments near the top. :)

The stockings have been hung by the TV with care. (sorry, no chimney at our house!)

The angel has been placed on the tree...... this little angel. (and in case you see a foot on the left side of the picture by her head, just pretend that's the foot of a 2nd angel wearing camo pants)

My three favorite gifts are under the tree. Of course, it took a while to get them placed JUST RIGHT.

Ahh...that's better. Sometimes it takes the right touch to make things look just right. (I was afraid I might have to TOUCH them firmly if they didn't hurry up & get into place!)

Allow me to give you a quick tour of my favorite Christmas decorations & ornaments.

This ornament is special because it was handpainted for me by my Kindergarten teacher 28 years ago. I'm amazed that it's held up all these years. It's ceramic & is quite heavy. Every year when we put it on the tree, I'm just certain THIS will be the year that it falls off & breaks. So far, so good.

This is a fun ornament for me, as well. This is a picture of me when I was in the 2nd grade. It's in this rinky-dink little plastic heart-shaped frame ornament. There is no plastic/glass to cover the picture, so I keep thinking that one of these years the picture is going to fade & it won't be recognizable anymore. But's still in good shape. It's a Polaroid picture, too! (I think that part amazes me as much as anything. Polaroids usually fade before you can walk across the room with them!) Hmm... maybe Sarah does bear some resemblance to her mama, after all. I've always thought she looks like Larry...til now.

Of course, any ornaments made by my babies are special!

This one was made by Samuel when he was 3....awww...his first year in AWANAs/Cubbies. (yes I realize there is glitter on his face, but I love it anyway!)

Here is Miss Savannah in 2nd grade.

I have bunches & bunches of other kid-made ornaments, but I'll spare you all the pictures. Maybe that will be another post between now & Christmas. Besides, I only showed you the older two kids' ornaments. You've got to see Sarah's, too!! (hmm.....storing that idea away in the back of my "to be blogged about" files)

This is one of those little engraved ornaments from mine & Larry's first Christmas together. It really isn't as tarnished as it appears. That's just the lighting on the brass. It says The Reeves family across the bottom of the bell & the little hanging part says 1994.

My angel tree topper is pretty sweet. Sarah made it the year she was 4. It's made from a paper plate cut into an angel shape, folded around & stapled to sit over the top of the tree & colored to look oh-so-beautiful. Wouldn't you say she looks pretty angelic? :) Seriously, she may not be the prettiest angel in the world, but I love it because my sweet baby girl made it.

My two nativity sets --

Two small Christmas tree decorations & the cookie shop house that sit atop my TV during the holidays.

The kids have already made a countdown paper chain & it's hanging by the front door.

One last look at those sweet gifts I was placing so sweetly earlier today....

Everyone's in bed's dark in the house. Goodnight.

Friday, November 28, 2008

a new taco

This is about what it's like to watch Taco Bell commercials these days:

If you can't see the video, go to this site & click on the "click to play" screen. Too funny!

don't buy a Dell

This is from a blog I read regularly:

well yuck.....

Last night after posting about Thanksgiving day 1, I started feeling yucky. I thought it was just a stomachache from eating too much earlier in the day, but I was having a hard time convincing myself of that considering that it had been like 10 hours since lunchtime. Within an hour, I was sick. And so, we're home today. I am feeling a lot better this morning, but I'm still not quite 100%, so we decided to play it safe & stay away from everyone else.

I am still in my pajamas, but I'm about to get dressed & try to accomplish a few things today. My "to do" list will definately be shorter than it usually is and there will be big breaks between projects. :::sigh:::

I'd sure rather be munching on turkey & dressing about now. Anybody else up for some Sprite & popsicles instead?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving--day 1

Day 1 of a Reeves Thanksgiving

This morning we went to Larry's family get together. We visited with family, ate til we were stuffed and then celebrated like only a redneck family can. After all, what says "holidays" like guns & ammo?

ha ha! Yes, seriously. Every holiday with Larry's family ends in the same way. Everyone goes out behind my father in law's house (this is him below) to shoot guns. It sounds goofy & redneck & country .....and it is..... but it's fun!

Samuel & Larry, shooting the little .22 that Larry bought for our kids a few years ago.

Sarah was a pretty good shot, too. This is her with my father in law, working on her aim.
After the ammo was put away, she & my father in law played with my camera. She took the pic of him above & he took this one of her.
The pretty road where my in-laws live.
Larry & his dad, sitting out on the back of my father in law's truck, talking. (taken from across the street, sorry about the fuzziness)
Savannah usually enjoys the gun-shooting time too, but today she preferred her usual favorite hobby...sitting with a pencil & paper, writing a story.

My little family in my father in law's front yard.
It was a nice day. I'm stillll feeling STUFFED from lunch. Hopefully that'll settle by morning because we get to do it all over again with my family!
I hope you & yours enjoyed a good Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve

I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. Every other holiday, even the religious ones, have been screwed up so that the focus is not where it should be. I mean, think about it.

Easter -- there's the bunny & chocolate candy & bunnies & such, rather than a total focus on the resurrection of Jesus.
Christmas -- gimme gimme gimme, need I say more?

I could go on, but really, it's like no one can figure out how to foul up Thanksgiving. I mean, who makes money off of being thankful? And so, it's a non-holiday to many people. Most people skim right over it. They might get excited about having a big meal, but really... do you really celebrate being thankful or is it all talk?

Every year, we try to remind the kids of all the things we have to be thankful for. Not just "stuff" but the people in our lives, blessings we've received throughout the year and so on. Below you will find my list. These are the things I'm thankful for.

1. First & foremost, I am thankful for my family. I have an amazing husband and three wonderful kids.

2. I am thankful for my extended family as well. My mom & I are close and talk just about daily. It always makes me smile to know that Larry & my dad enjoy hanging out together because I think my dad's pretty great. My sisters are some of my closest friends. My brothers-in-law and all my nieces & nephews are super. I couldn't have hand picked a better family. My in-laws are all pretty special, too!

3. I've got the best circle of friends a girl could ever ask for. They "get" me. They understand me. We share interests, make each other laugh and can talk, talk, talk for hours. Girlfriends are the best!

4. My home. I may not live in a mansion, but I am blessed. It's just the right size for our family & it's in a great neighborhood with a perfect yard for our kids to play & the dog to roam.

5. Speaking of the dog-- I'm thankful for him, too. I know it may sound silly to be thankful for a dog, but I am. He's been such a sweet addition to our family this year. He's helped Sarah almost entirely overcome her fear of dogs. These days, she hardly flinches around dogs. Not to mention that King is just a sweet, sweet dog. He's like a 6th member of the family.

6. We have the best neighbors. They're just right. Friendly & caring, but not nosey & annoying.

7. My job -- I love it. I know you've heard all about it if you read my blog with any sort of frequency, but it's true....I am blessed. I adore my work.

8. My church (yikes...this probably should've been higher up on the list!). More specifically, the people in our church. We're blessed with a wide spectrum of people, young & old, rich & poor, very similar to us and those who are very different. All of them are such treasures to us!

9. Clothes, shoes, furniture, food, appliances....all those things that we take for granted. I'm glad that I have them all. I know so many don't have the basic things they need to survive.

10. And last but certainly NOT least--- I'm most thankful above all else for the sacrifice Jesus made to redeem me. Eternity is right around the corner. I'm ready!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My ever so awesome day off

Today began my week off for Thanksgiving. Of course, being an hourly employee (vs. a salaried one), that means that I'm not getting paid this week. But ya know, that's alright. God's gonna take care of every penny that I'm missing this week.

The morning started off so relaxing. Larry drove all three kids to school so that I could stay in my pajamas & hang out at the house a little longer. Last night, I made a list of all the things I had to get done today. This morning, the list included having my quiet time (reading my Bible & prayer), making pumpkin bread for Sarah's class feast this afternoon, emailing Samuel's teacher about his class feast tomorrow, calling & paying my Avon bill, uploading pictures to, dishes, making my bed and a trip to the post office.

Check! Then it was lunchtime.

Just a word of advice: When you heat up a Lean Cuisine meal in the microwave, never trust the cellophane wrapper thing on top to really stick like it should as you carry it across the kitchen. Broccoli & cheesy potatoes might just splatter all over the place if you lose your grip & grab at the cellophane to catch it. yuck.

And if you drop it like that, you may end up eating a "kiddie" lunch like this. (and no...that's not 2 containers of Ranch dressing. I dipped my chicken nuggets in Greek dressing & the carrots in Ranch.)

After lunch, I picked up a Freecycle item here in town before driving to a friend from church's house to pick up some hand me downs for Savannah. I was so blessed, not only by the hand me downs, but by the mama giving them. This is a lady whose youngest child is Samuel's age. She was brain injured at birth & lives in a profoundly handicapped state. But the mom who shared these hand me downs today was such an encouragement to me. She spoke in terms of joy & hope & praise to God. She quoted Scripture ---not in a showy way, but as part of her vocabulary. This is a woman truly leaning on God for her strength & her joy. Wow. What a sweet treasure to share an hour with!
After picking up the clothes, I made a quick trip back to the house to drop them off & pick up the pumpkin bread. I headed to Sarah's school & got to her room just in time! The kids in her class wrote a "thankful book" and today, they were having an author's party. Each child sat at his or her desk with their book & all the parents were given paper & markers to go around, meet the authors & get their autographs. It was the cutest thing! Each of the kids were excited to show off their book & to sign autographs. In reading the books, I was so touched by the kids' hearts. One child was thankful for his grandmother who has raised him since his mom left. One child was thankful for his family--including the sister who passed away last year, who he had drawn as an angel in his book. Several children were thankful for God & the sacrifice of His Son. Wow. What awesome kids! This is Sarah's book. I think you can click each picture to see the pages better, but I'm typing out the words below the pictures just in case.
I'm thankful for these things.......................

at the bottom: Author: Sarah Reeves, Illustrator: Sarah Reeves

I'm thankful for water because you can go along time without eating but not without drinking water. I love water. I love water when it's really cold.
My family

I'm thankful for my family because I have a great family. I'm thankful for my mom because she is beautiful and she is always there for me and nice. I'm thankful for my Dad because he's nice, handsome, and he's always there for me and he's funny. I'm thankful for my brother and sister because when my sister goes to a sleepover I'm kind of scared because I'm alone. But I have my brother to sleep with.

(NOTE: They don't sleep in the same bed, but they often have a 'slumber party' in the same room when she is alone.)

I'm thankful for God because if I didn't have God I wouldn't have anyone to praise. I praise God because He is the one and only God. He is the almighty God.

I'm thankful for TV because if I didn't have tv I would be bored out of my mind. TV is fun to watch. I like TV.
(Note: This one cracked me up because of my three kids, Sarah probably watches the least TV.)
My Friends

I'm thankful for my friends because I want someone to play with and talk with. It's really fun once you get to know them. Because it's just awesome to have a friend.

I'm thankful for food because if I didn't have food I would starve. I love food because there's many different kinds you can try. My favorite food is chicken.
My dog

I'm thankful for my dog King because I love him and he's sweet and cute. He looks like Lassie. Having a dog is an honor because I couldn't have asked for a better dog than King.
On the back cover, she had a dedication to Larry & I.

I didn't include 2 pages from the book--one about her teacher & one about herself on the "about the author" page. Too much personal info shared on those to post for the bloggy-world to see.
After reading all the kids' books, they performed their first Readers' Theater for the parents. This one was titled The ABCs of Thanksgiving. The kids did a great job. Here is Sarah, holding her sign. (center) They had their class feast when they were done.

Once the feast was over, we picked up the other kids and headed toward home. The afternoon held more 'stuff' that needed to be done. Savannah tried on mounds of hand me downs, all three kids put away laundry and I sat down to address Christmas cards. (I'm not done, but I'm going to work on it again tomorrow.)
About 4:45, Larry called & asked if we were all dressed and presentable. Umm...yes. He came by the house & picked us up for an evening of ministry & family time. We drove to a nearby town to visit a lady from our church who just had a baby today. We got to pass the baby around, kiss her tiny baby cheeks, pray for her & her family and then we went to eat. We went to a town where we once lived. Yummm! I had forgotten how much I LOVED the hot sauce & chips at the restaurant. We haven't lived there since 2001, so it's been years since I stepped foot inside this restaurant. yummm....I could eat that stuff all day!
And to top off an already great day, Larry found out about his annual raise today. We'll never be rolling in the dough, but he got enough of a raise for us to afford to add me back onto the cell phone plan. We had to cut off my phone about 16 months ago due to budget cuts, so it was such a HUGE surprise when he drove up & handed me an Alltel bag! Wow! I'm so excited! It's been a great 16 months of remembering the difference between a need and a want. Sure, I would've loved to have a cell phone all this time, but it wasn't a desperate NEED. I've survived without one just fine. But I'm glad to be able to get one again for all those "just in case" moments where the schools might need to reach me.

As the day draws to a close, I am delighted once again in the incredible family God's given me. Tonight, as I watched the whole crew laugh hysterically around the table at the restaurant, I remembered once again.......I am so very blessed.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas quiz thingie

I've received this in the mail several times in the past week, so I decided to post it as a blog entry w/ all my answers. Enjoy!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? a little of both, depends on the gift, the person I'm giving it to, whether it's going to sit under my tree for a while (and might be a temptation to kids who wonder what they're getting...)
2. Real tree or Artificial? fake--we're all allergic to the real ones
3. When do you put up the tree? the weekend after Thanksgiving
4. When do you take the tree down? whenever we get sick of it & have time to take it down
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes! But I'm glad it's only sold for 1/12th of the year. It's soooo high in fat & calories!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? One of my favorite Christmas memories is the year I got my Wonderwoman Underoos from Santa. My sister (Cindy) & I went into the living room at some crazy hour, like 4am to see what Santa brought. We'd look, enjoy the Santa gifts & then go back to bed for a couple more hours til it was time to get up & open the rest of our presents from mom & dad. I remember going into my parents' room & waking them up to show them my Underoos (I put them on!). I'm sure they were thinking "yeah, those are go to bed". LOL
7. Hardest person to buy for? in-laws
8. Easiest person to buy for? my kids
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, several actually.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? some of each
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? One-size-fits-all underwear when I was a little kid. (ha, Cindy...remember those?)
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Hands down...elf!
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Dec. 26th....seriously, I buy things off & on all year long.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Why no...whatever do you mean? I would never do such a thing. Shhhhhhhh!!! You're not supposed to admit to this!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? all the yummy veggies & pies!
16. Lights on the tree? Yes
17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Some of both
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Well of course I can! I'm a mom & a preschool teacher. Gotta know the reindeer!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Actually, we have both. We rotate between them each year. I think this year it's the angel's turn.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning---AFTER our birthday party for Jesus. The kids aren't even allowed to go into the living room until after the party. Gotta focus our minds & hearts on the REASON for the day before we start getting all wound up in "gimme gimme".
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? I don't know....I like all of it!
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I love them all because there is a story behind each one!
24. What do you want for Christmas this year? to make new memories with my kids

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Movie review

We took the kids to see Bolt today. I have to admit, I was really sort of hoping they'd want to see High School Musical 3 instead. I wanted to see it. But I wanted to see Bolt as well, so I went. (The kids DO want to see HSM3, but they're OK with waiting til it comes out on DVD.) So anyway, we went to see Bolt.

And I'm so glad we did. The movie was funny & the story was charming. I don't remember anything 'questionable' like so many kids' animated movies have these days. This one was really good. And one particular character, Rhino (a hamster who rolls around in a ball throughout the movie), makes the movie price worth it. His character is soooo funny!

This one is a definate must-see for families! We might even buy it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

update (frustration from last night)

Whew! All better.
After downloading another browser & successfully using it, I re-booted the computer while I went to soak in a hot bubble bath (washing away that stress, I tell ya!). When I came back, everything worked just fine again. I'm glad it's all better!

Sunday is coming!

I love my Sundays. They're the day I recharge for the rest of the week. I have a place to go & people that I can 'get my praise on' with. I worship an awesome God in a great church where uninhibited passion for Him is perfectly acceptable. This morning I heard this song on the radio & I had to share it. I've heard it before. It's about Good Friday & the anticipation of Resurrection Sunday, but it is fitting for any Friday when you're looking forward to Sunday!

You'll want to scroll to the bottom of the page & pause the music player before you click the play button. And turn your speakers up. This is a loud, rockin' song. Love it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Relief.....Pride......and frustration!

Ok, so the relief first. :)
Today went muchhhhhhh better than I had anticipated. The licensing rep came to our school, but never actually came into my room. (Whew!) The party went smoother than I figured it would. The fire drill was a nuisance (it always is...have to stop what we're doing, try to organize a herd of squirrels...well, it feels like that!...and then come back in & try to get them back to what we were doing before). I know it's necessary & important, but it's a pain. I've been praying over my class every day on the way to work and I know that's part of it. Heck, I'm sure that's ALL of it. So thank you, God, for giving me a much less stressful day than I figured it would be.

My sweet Sarah was in a school music program tonight. We had a brief PTO meeting (like maybe 10-15 minutes) followed by a few of the 2nd grade classes singing a couple songs. I wouldn't call it a musical necessarily. It was a short & sweet "music class" as the music teacher said. The kids were dressed in regular school clothes. They sang a random mix of songs. It was cute, but we didn't bother inviting family to come watch because we knew the whole thing would be so short. From start to finish, the music program was probably not more than 20 minutes long. Here is my sweet girl on stage.

I am really frustrated right now.
I came home & when I tried to get onto Facebook, I got a weird error message. I figured it was some Facebook glitch until I realized that Larry was getting into facebook on his laptop from the living room without any problem. Hmm... why wouldn't it work for me? Thinking that perhaps it was an AOL issue, I launched IE & got the same result. Both times I could go to but when I put in my info & tried to click on the "log in" button, I would get an error message. Something about not being able to display this page. Grrrr! I used Larry's laptop to get into facebook & update my status. When I came back to our regular computer (this one!!), I tried to come to this site to post to my blog. Again, I get to the main page & click on the "log in" button & voila.....the same error message. Ok, that's aggrivating. I went to a friend's blog & when I tried clicking the link to read the comments on one of her posts, I got the same error page. I don't know what's going on, but it's frustrating me to high heaven! I even went & downloaded firefox (another browser) so that I could post here & get into Facebook. I am REALLY hoping that this is just some weird thing and after I restart the computer tomorrow, it'll all work out. Seriously, sometimes I could just beat my head against the screen.

I'm getting drowsy. Must be time for a bubble bath with a magazine!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Tomorrow is bound to be a stressful day. It's work stress I'm referring to. Let me see if I can explain.

1. party day (Thanksgiving feast)
2. licensing rep is coming
3. fire drill day
4. my usual Tues/Thurs class stress (they are my more challenging class)

Add all that together and I may be looking for a stiff drink come 1:00. (anybody got a non-stop tap of Dr. Pepper I could get my head under?)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

blog awards

I am a blogger. I "own" this blog. I love to write, so this is my therapeutic & creative outlet. You guys are the readers. You haven't deleted the link yet, so I hope you enjoy hanging around here. That's how the blog world works. Right?

Well, sorta.

I also read a bunch of blogs. In my favorites, I have no less than 50 blog links. Some are church friends from our current or previous churches. Some are personal friends, work friends. Some are people I've met online over the years who've become dear to me. Others belong to complete strangers who I really FEEL LIKE I know in real life because I've been reading about them & their families for so long. I check in on most of them at least every few days. Some I check daily. There are some that I know only post on Fridays (hi Kandice!) or ones that only post something now & then (hi Lisa H!). There are others who post every day, or nearly every day (I can't say hi to all of you...we'd be here all night). You get the idea. I read other people's blogs.

Then there are REAL BLOGGERS. You know the ones. The folks who reallyyyyyyyyy get into the blog world. The ones who are paid bloggers. I don't know how that works exactly, but if someone can let me know how to make some money off this gig, I'm up for it. 'Til then, I'll just read your blogs & think about how lucky you are to make some cash off writing about your life online.

I think it's those paid folks who come up with these blog award things. Every now & then, I see a friend post that they've received a bloggy award. It's cute & the little picture they get to post on their blog makes their blog page look pretty, but really...I'm not sure what else it's good for. I mean, I can't exactly list it on my resume. Or can I? Hmm....

High School graduate 1994
College drop out Dec. 1994
Bookkeeper for major chain grocery store 1995-1996
Full Time Stay at home mom 1996-2005
Avon lady 2001-present
Preschool teacher for school #1 2005-2007
Preschool teacher for 2nd school 2007-present
Voted Teacher of the year by 2nd school teachers (May 2008)
Blog awards November 2008
Nobel Peace Prize 2008

Oh wait....that doesn't look right. Oh yeah.....that's because the last one never happened, but you get the idea. It seems strange to throw that the blog award in there, doesn't it? So, what do I do with a blog award? For now, it's on my sidebar to show off to all the readers (all 10 of you) who visit my blog. Aren't you impressed?

Seriously, I'm touched that I was awarded these things. It's really cool that someone who barely knows me (but reads my blog regularly) would give me an award for just being who I am & typing up posts about my life & my little family each night. It got me to thinking, though. Like the Nichole Nordeman song (Legacy) says,
I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all the who's who and so-n-so's that used to be the best
At such'n'such ... it wouldn't matter much

I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an 'Atta boy' or 'Atta girl'
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to You enough To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who blessed your name

And leave that kind of legacy

Yeah.......that's the kind of award I want. I hope that I've left that sort of mark on your hearts as you read my blog.

PS I received my blog awards from Jamey over at her blog. Here's a link to her "Walking by Faith" blog: THANK YOU JAMEY!!!!!!!!!!! You rock!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Nov. 14

All week long, I've been really tired. That's mostly because I've been up too late each night, reading a book or checking emails or playing scrabble online with umpteen different people. (anyone else want to play? it's addictive & fun!!!) Rather than get in bed at a decent hour, I find myself drawn to finish just "one more chapter" or talk to one more person. I tell ya...I'm a communication junkie. If I'm awake, I want to be connecting with someone on some level. And once Larry dozes off, I feel silly talking to the wall or myself, so my online time is special to me!

Now, generally speaking, I have NO PROBLEM falling asleep at night. In fact, it drives Larry crazy that I am usually asleep within a matter of MOMENTS (not MINUTES) after my head hits the pillow. However, once in a great while I have trouble sleeping. Last night was one of those nights. This time, though, I know exactly why.

Remember, I have been tired all week. And then last night I had to go grocery shopping. I'm sure I looked like a walking zombie in the store. It was one of those times where I don't even remember the drive to the store because I was so sleepy....those times when you just have to praise God that you made it there safely because you don't remember turning here & there along the way. Anyway, after reaching the store & making the first couple aisles, I knew I needed a quick shot of energy, so I grabbed a Dr. Pepper.

I swear......when will I learn my lesson? You'd think that I would know better by now after all the times that I've been up til 3:00 in the morning. I don't have a problem w/ caffiene during the day, but after about 6-7pm, wow... NOT a good idea! It keeps me up all night. And sure enough.... at 2:20 this morning, I finally felt like I was getting drowsy, so I crawled into bed & zonked out.

At 5:45, Sarah walked into our room, all panicked & scared, "barking" & wheezing. She was having a croup/asthma attack. This is nothing new to us. She's had asthma problems since she was a year old. Last Spring was our first bout with Croup, but once you've dealt with it, you will never forget that seal bark-sounding cough. Even though we've been dealing with her asthma trouble for years now, there are always a few scary moments between the onset of the attack until you get the nebulizer hooked up & get the medicines flowing. This time it must've really scared her because as I sat on the couch with her, snuggling her while she breathed in the good medicines to open up her lungs, she cried & asked me "Am I going to be ok?". Poor baby, she was really scared.

If you'll recall, I didn't fall asleep til 2:20. I woke up at 5:45. You do the math. Yes ...I got just over 3 hours of sleep last night. Yawn!

I made it through my day at work without passing out, ran a few errands after picking up the kids at school and then came back home to get ready for our evening. We had a couple of errands to run, but ultimately our goal for the evening was to end up at the front entrance of the mall, standing aside a red kettle with bells in our hands. That's right. We took a shift for the Salvation Army tonight. The kids loved it. Everyone took a turn ringing the bells & wearing the aprons. Savannah decided early on that it was her job to greet everyone. And EVERY person who passed by, going into or out of the mall, got a greeting from her. It was so funny to watch her trying to catch the eyes of EVERY person. One man who looked like a mall janitor came out of the mall doors & she said "Hello". When he didn't respond, she said "Good evening!". He still didn't react. When he didn't, she practically shouted "HIIIIIIIIIIIIII". And to top it off, at the moment this was happening, he was the ONLY PERSON on the sidewalk, so it wasn't like he could possibly be confused about who she was talking to. It wasn't until after we came home that it occured to me....maybe he was deaf. Who knows? Anyway, we got lots of smiles, lots of friendly people who greeted us in return, and lots of people who completely ignored us. It was fun to people watch & see if there was a trend in who gave the most (men/women, particular ethnicities, young/old, etc). It was interesting to see who responded because of the kids & who walked up holding money because they already planned to give. All in all, it was a good evening.

And now.........I'm going to go crash. I intend to sleep til at least 8:00 in the morning. If you happen to read this & plan to call me in the morning, please don't. (or at least hold off til after 8!) I am sooooooooo sleepy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

hmm...I think he changed his mind

Yesterday while cleaning his room, Samuel came & asked if he could use a box to pack up his stuffed animals (he has a million). I asked why & he said in a very serious voice, "I think it's time to put them away." We decided that he could keep the box in his room (with my intention being to put it into the top of his closet) so that if he changed his mind he could pull them back out. After all, he came to ask me this while holding a giant Tony the Tiger in a cradle hold. I figured there might be some wavering on his decision. I gave him a box & he packed them up. Of course, he had more animals than the box would hold and we were busy caring for daddy last night, so the box never got moved into his closet.

I tucked him in at 8:30 and now, 3 hours later, this is what I found.

Can you find the boy among the stuffed animals?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Larry's sick

He has a sinus infection, but I've been teasing him about having 'the man cold'. LOL

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What a great birthday!

First of all, I hope you've enjoyed the fun birthday music. The song that plays first cracks me up every time I hear it, so I just had to include it! It is labeled as being by Adam Sandler, but I know he is not the one singing it. Sounds more like Weird Al. Maybe Adam Sandler wrote it? I don't know, but I love it.

My day began with all of the kids singing to me & bringing me pictures they had drawn. The kids started off the day in their usual way--arguing & picking at each other. That is, until I made a declaration. I told them that the very best gift they could give me would be to NOT ARGUE & FIGHT all day long! Sarah even drew up a contract & had each of the others sign it! ha! Perfect!!

We went off to church & arrived on time. (ahhh...that was great...I hate to be late!!) During Sunday School, there was a knock on the classroom door & 2 of the sweetest little girls in the world came in to give me a card & some flowers. You see, when we first came to our church, Larry was the singles pastor. We immediately bonded with one particular single mom of twin girls. The girls were almost 3 at the time. They're in 1st grade now. Over the years, we've loved them & watched them grow and they always make sure to take care of us when we have a birthday or a special day of some sort. What a sweet treat they are!

We went on to the worship service & enjoyed a good time of worship & learning there. At the end of the service, one of the sweetest treasures of our church (a sweet lady who I won't name because I'm sure she'd like to remain quiet about this) hugged me & told me happy birthday...and then slipped $20 into my hand & whispered "spend it on yourself!". Wow. Such a blessing! I got myself a Schlotzsky's sandwich on the way home. YUM! I haven't had one in ages. Boy it tasted good!

After feeding the kids lunch, Savannah got online like she always does every weekend. She sat here reading & then asked "Mom, who is this email from?". I came & looked over her shoulder. It was from Lori H---, the daughter of my friend Lisa who passed away in 2006. Before Lisa died, we set up an email penpal relationship between Lori & Savannah. They wrote back & forth for a little while, but eventually it fizzled as childhood friendships often do. That was a year or so before Lisa died. Savannah wrote to Lori after Lisa passed away, trying to comfort her in a 9 year old sort of way. We never heard from Lori after that, and we didn't really push the relationship b/c I was afraid that Lori may have not wanted to continue. After all, writing to Savannah might've been a reminder of a friend of her mom's...and it might have made her sad. I don't know. Maybe we overthought it, but we just didn't pursue it. Jerry & I talked last year (around this time of year) about getting the kids together over the holiday break and we discussed Savannah writing to Lori again. He said it would be OK for her to do that, but it never really materialized. It had been long enough that Savannah didn't feel comfortable writing, felt like they didn't have anything to talk about anymore.

And then today, my birthday, out of the clear blue we got an email from Lori. It's the first time we've heard from her since Lisa died. It was like a birthday wish from Heaven.

I don't think Savannah had a clue why I had tears running down my cheeks when I explained who the email was from. Wow. Thank you, Lord.

I took a nap this afternoon. Ahh....bliss.

Larry had been given the night off to take me out, so after our nap, we loaded up & went to Red Lobster for supper. Can you say "Heaven"? I ate grilled garlic shrimp & coconut shrimp. I had cheddar bay biscuits & salad. And more important than anything else, I watched my kids laugh and smile and enjoy time together. I listened to Larry tell them silly stories. I stole a few bites of Savannah's cheesecake. I watched Samuel get chocolate on his nose & up his arms as he & Sarah shared a cookie & icecream dessert. I couldn't be more blessed. I think I smiled more today than I have in a while.

And to top it all off, Larry & I watched a movie together tonight after the kids went to bed. That's rare. We rent movies now and then, but we never seem to rent ones that we BOTH want to watch. (We watched The Bucket List.)

If Jesus were to come back tomorrow, I am ready. I have a life well lived. I don't regret anything. I am thrilled to be where I am right now. And it just keeps getting better. Thank you, Father, for 33 fabulous years!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

November 9

Today is my birthday. Or at least it will be by the time most of you read this, so in honor of that, I've changed the music for the day. This is my 33rd birthday, so the following is a list of 33 facts about me.

1. I was born on my great grandmother's birthday.
2. I was named after the other great grandmother.
3. I love to sleep. I'm not narcoleptic or anything, but I could doze off just about anywhere. Lean me up against a brick wall & I'm good.
4. I kill watches. Seriously. I have extra electrical activity in my body...or something like that. I've been told the reason before, but I don't completely get it. I just know that I kill watches. So don't buy me a fancy one for my birthday. It might not last very long.
5. I sleep with my hair up in a pony tail or a bun every night. It's long & thick and makes me hot if I leave it down. And I hate to sleep feeling all sweaty & hot. yuck!
6. I'm a tad anal/OCD. (ok, so some would argue that my use of the words 'a tad' is an understatement.)
7. I love to make out my menu & grocery list and then to go buy the groceries. I get a thrill out of crossing things off the perfectly organized list. I know. It's a sickness. (see #6)
8. I'm obsessively organized about paperwork & my classroom at school. My house, on the other hand, looks like a tornado about 360 days a year. My theory is that I have 4 other people at home who won't keep up with doing things my way and so I've given up and just let it go. At school, I'm totally in control of my room so things are structured & organized and I pretty well lose my mind if I can't keep it that way. I will stay late or come early to make sure that the mess is remedied if I have to!
9. As a kid, I always thought that Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts were nerds.
10. I thought band members were nerds, too.
11. Larry played percussion in the high school band...that is, when he wasn't tied up doing Boy Scout stuff.
12. Crunchy wheat Pringles stix are my newest obsession.
13. Oh, and granny smith flavored applesauce (made by Mott's) YUM!
14. I have a facebook page. Do you? I used to have a myspace, but it kept giving me computer problems (spyware, viruses, etc) so I had to kill that.
15. I have been alive for 395 months. That's 1721 weeks. Or 12053 days. I figured that out here:
16. My hair was not curly (on its own without the help of a perm!) until after I had Sarah. Something about the hormonal shift made my hair curly....and it has been ever since.
17. There is a silver Christmas ball (ornament) on the desk right now. I have no idea why. Or where it came from. It has not been sitting here since last Christmas, but I'm not sure when it showed up or who put it here. (see #8)
18. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
19. This year I have 6 kids in my Mon/Wed/Fri class and 8 in my Tues/Thurs class at school. I like almost all of them. (ha ha...just kidding...I'm falling for all of them!)
20. My sweetie got home late tonight. We pulled into the airport parking lot about the time his plane touched the ground. We were only inside the airport for about 15 minutes between waiting, meeting him & getting his luggage. Talk about good timing. That'll never happen again.
21. I don't like to be late.
22. I drink orange juice or milk with breakfast.
23. I love contemporary Christian music. (in case ya hadn't noticed!)
24. My favorite color is red. Especially when it comes in the form of red roses.
25. I love playing online Scrabble. Between & the Facebook version, I have about 14 games going with various people right now. All at the same time.
26. I believe I have ADD. I've never been diagnosed, but I'm pretty sure. I guess that explains why I ha
27. I love monkeys. As a kid, I always wanted a pet chimpanzee or one of those little spider monkeys. My parents never surprised me with one on my birthday or at Christmastime. Go figure.
28. I am soooo excited that the holiday season is upon us! I love this time of year!!
29. As far as weather goes, give me cold and rainy ANY DAY. Of course, if I'm wishing for things, I may as well throw in that I like cold & rainy but preferably outside of school hours so that I can still get my kids outside to run off some steam!!
30. I have three super fantastic kids.
31. I'm certain that I married the world's most amazing man!
32. I am blessed with a gazillion friends, lots of close friends and three absolutely awesome best friends.
33. I am an unashamed follower of Jesus Christ. If you don't know Him personally & would like to start a relationship with Him, email me. I can hook you up with eternity, baby!

Not sure I'm ready for this....

Some of you may not follow this because you've only begun reading my blog in the past year or so. But for those of you who know the whole story, you'll "get" this.

G's up for parole again. And it's looking favorable (for him) that he'll get out this time. While I would like to see him serve more of his sentence, I am resigned to the fact that 3 years may be what he serves for Kelly's death. He and Larry have written back & forth in the past couple of months and I'm glad that the two of them have finally made peace with each other, at least to some degree. There will always be some tension there, but they've spent the majority of their lives at odds and I'm glad to see them work out at least some things.

Unfortunately, I can't say that I feel the same way. I was folding laundry today & had this vision/daydream (whatever you want to call it) of our extended family sitting around the table at a holiday meal w/ G and I realized that it could quite possibly happen by this time next year. I immediately "snapped out of it" and broke into sobs. The honest to goodness truth is I am not ready to sit across the table from him & make polite conversation. It is not about anger with him. I'm not mad. I simply don't think I can stomach being around him yet. There is too much pain involved. Just having that mental image was like breaking open all the wounds again. The grief of losing 2 children that I loved.... my heart was broken. Seeing his image in my mind & sitting around the table with him was like pouring salt in the wounds.

I guess I figured that I was "over" all of this. I mean, I function just fine every day. I talk about A&K with people all the time. No tears. I'm ok. And then this hit me. I was shocked that the pain resurfaced so easily, that the heartbreak was still so fresh, that the ache was still SO deep & SO painful. I didn't want the kids to see me crying, so I went & hid in the bathroom for a little while til I could regain composure.

Clearly I need to begin praying about this. I know I'm a mother who lost two children in a horrible way and I'm due my grief & sorrow, but at the same time, I need to begin working now on how I'm going to respond when G is out and begins his life again with us, his family, nearby. I'm sure that there will always be pain but I need to ask God to help me control my emotions when he is around.

Join me in praying, please.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Nov. 7

At 5:55am, my alarm went off. I snoozed it. By 6:15 I had the cinnamon rolls in the oven for the kids' breakfast & I was eating cereal. came early!

At 7:00, my mom arrived to help w/ the kids. I had to boogie out the door. You see, today was the day that my school closes annually so that all the teachers can attend the Texas Conference Preschool Teachers Workshop in Longview, TX. Always fun & informative, I was looking forward to it.

We arrived slightly late because of construction, closed streets & general confusion, but we did get there safely. When we entered the building, the keynote speaker had already begun, so we snuck into the balcony of the beautiful Methodist church sanctuary & watched him do some funny magic tricks. I'm not sure what that had to do with preschool children, but we didn't have to watch too long. It was over pretty quick since we got there late!

My first workshop was titled Ideas, Ideas & More Ideas to Handle the Hard to Handle Child. It was taught by Gregg Catalono. LOVED this class. The guy who taught it was silly & funny, which I thought was going to be annoying at first, but turned out to really make the class GREAT. I'm still processing the info from that one. Lots of ideas!!!

The second one I went to was called Sensory Tables & Literature: A Sensorial Connection Between Literacy & Learning. It was taught by Kathy Mitchell Brown. LOVED this one, too! I'm a very hands-on type of learner, so seeing all the sensory table ideas really appealed to me. We did a lot of hands-on stuff to experiment with the ideas she gave us. Loved it!

We had a boxed lunch during our break between morning & afternoon sessions. Afterwards, I went shopping in the vendors room & actually found some Christmas gifts for my kids!! I won't type out what I bought on here, but if you want to see or would just like me to tell ya, email me. (Sometimes Savannah reads my blog!)

After the lunch break, I went to Pee Wee Chefs. I will leave off the teacher's name that led this class because apparently she's well known in the area for her classes that she offers to children & their parents. I was really looking forward to this one because my classes always love to cook. However, unfortunately I was disappointed in this class. The teacher was very soft-spoken and gentle natured, and (in my opinion) quite unprepared. She had 3 tables set up in the room for us to sit at when we came in. Each table was given a recipe to make, then we walked around to see the things that were made at the other table. When we were done looking, we ate our 'creations' & cleaned up. That took all of maybe 20-30 minutes. Each workshop was an hour & 15 minutes long. Um, yeah. That left us a ton of time. She had us play food/cooking-themed games after that. And they were so goofy. Seriously? Cooking charades for adult women who came to get information is not my idea of a good class. While I did enjoy the snack (the things we made!), I didn't get a single thing out of the class. Oh well. They can't all be great!

My last workshop of the day was Developmental Fitness: The Learning Foundation with Vicky Conaway. If you've ever been to a Brain Gym class before, that's essentially what this was. She talked about the exercises you can do to stimulate different parts of the brain, ways to correct behavioral or academic disturbances by movement & motions. Very interesting, even though the first 15-20 minutes went by SLOWLY as she gave all the medical jargon & background to what she was going to discuss. (If you don't know about Brain Gym, I'm sure you can find out more w/ a quick google search.)

Overall, it was a great day with lots of info to absorb & digest over the next few days.

When we got home tonight (about 5:20), I unloaded workshop stuff & immediately piled everyone back into the van to go get supper & then go to the grocery store. By 8:30 I was finally home for the day. :::Yawn::: I'm getting tired now. I guess I should be. It's nearly midnight. Time for bed!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What a tear jerker!

Song Lyrics

With the change of seasons (Halloween's over!), I've changed the blog colors up again. I've changed music as well. Two people wrote & asked me about the song that is playing "One of These Days". It's by a group called Far From Home (FFH). This particular song is several years old, but it's become my anthem in the past week or so. I find myself singing it all the time. If you're around for my funeral, please ask them to play it. Read through the awesome lyrics as it plays.

One of these days I'm gonna fly
Over the mountain
One of these days I'm gonna ride
On the silver lining
One of these days I'm gonna witness
All I've been missing
One of these days

One of these days I'm gonna do
All the things that I've never done
I'm gonna finish all the races
That I've run but I've never won
And I'm gonna see a million faces
And recognize everyone
One of these days

One of these days
Gonna see the hand that took the nails for me
One of these days
Gonna hold the key to the mansion built for me
One of these days
Gonna walk the streets of gold that were paved for me
One of these days
I'm gonna see my Savior face to face
One of these days

One of these days I'm gonna see
Just what became of me
On the day that I believed
When you took myself from me
And I believe I will see
What I would have been
If You didn't save me
One of these days

And one of these days I'm gonna talk
With all the saints that have gone before
And in their sandals I will walk
And we will sit along the shore
And I will learn all the things
That I never knew before
All this and more
One of these days

I'll finally be
In a place where there's no more need
No more pain and no more grief
No more foolish disbelief
And all the joy there will be
When at last we finally see
One of these days

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wow, what a day

It started early this morning. Larry's alarm went off at some crazy hour. I think it was 4:15am. On purpose. He had to be at the airport by 5:30ish. He had a 7am flight to Houston, connecting to a 9:20am flight to San Diego. For a few days, he's attending a national outreach conference & really suffering for Jesus at this giant resort. Yeah, I'm really feeling for the poor guy tonight.

At 10am, Larry's dad had a cardioversion. This is the procedure where they shock your heart to try to correct an abnormal rhythm. He's in A-fib for all you medical folks. The procedure did not work. They did it, but it did not correct his heart rhythm. We're not sure what that means now as far as what the next step will be. He goes back to the cardiologist in a few weeks to figure that out.

About 20 minutes after I got the phone call about Larry's dad, I got another call. It was the school nurse. She said that Samuel had been at recess & got a wood chip stabbed into his eye. The chip was already out, but he was having some visual disturbance from it. She wanted to know what I'd like her to do. I told her I'd be there in 1/2 an hour. After a couple quick phone calls, I got a sub for my class & took off to the school. We got him into the eye doctor's office this afternoon and found out that he has a corneal abrasion. It's a pretty mild one, but it's there. The doc gave us some drops to put in his eye for a few days til he gets all healed up.

After the doctor's appointment, I went back to my school to clean up & prep the room for tomorrow. Let me just say that my sub & I must speak the same language. (That language would be OCD! ha ha!) She had put things away exactly like I would, down to the most minute details that few people would even notice. Gotta love it when you find someone who's as anal retentive as you are! {I know who I'm calling to be my sub from now on!!!} Anyway, so I went to the school to clean up & prep. I got things set out & supplies ready for tomorrow and then got a phone call from Savannah. As I walked to the office to pick up the phone, I mumbled under my breath "ok, so what did you stab in your eye?". Thankfully it was nothing like that. She just wanted to tell me that she was staying after school for a band thing. She should be done by 3:15-3:30. Ok, so when I left it was late enough that I could just drive to the school & park and wait for her. It ends up that she didn't get done til 3:50. Grrrr...after sitting in the van in the parking lot for a lot longer than I'd expected, I was tired & ready to go home!

Tonight was our church staff wives' monthly meeting/dinner. We get together to enjoy each other's company & share prayer needs. It was such a refreshing break after the long day I'd had. While I met w/ the other wives, the kids stayed at the church with a sitter.

We came home & (woohoo!) we got to hear from Larry. He's safe & sound and had just enjoyed a $26 burger. Ugh. Nothing like Californian food prices. (Susan & Darcy--how do y'all survive that??!!) It turns out that the place Larry's staying is a 10 minute drive from an online pal of mine, however at the moment she is in another state! Oh well, maybe next time.

At the end of the evening, I stood in front of the TV & watched John McCain concede the Presidential race. As tears streamed down my cheeks, my only thought was Dear God...have mercy on us. While I am excited about the idea of having an African American president, I am NOT thrilled about the particular one our country has chosen. In fact, he scares me a great deal. I realize that God has a plan for our nation & there is a great reason why Obama was elected tonight. God knew the result of this election long before I was a sparkle in my mama's eye. But ya know, we don't always understand or LIKE God's plan and right now, I'm struggling with the idea of putting the words "President" & "Obama" together. All I can think is how ready I am for Jesus to return. Come on, Father......we're ready!

As I leave this post tonight, I am reminded to drop to my knees and pray not only for our nation, but for Obama as he leads this country of ours. God help us all. God help Obama.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Birthday club packages!

Oh my gosh. I was so surprised today to get TWO birthday club packages in the mail! I have 6 more on the way, so this really peaks my interest & makes me curious about the rest of the packages. (either that or it arouses the selfish nature in me & makes me want MORE MORE MORE...hmm....)

Package #1 included some Hello Kitty ziploc bags, a letter opener, some die cuts that I'll use at school, magnets for crafts, some cool Christian stickers, a package of incentive charts for school, a pretty notepad, a votive, a bath poof & some pencils.

Package #2 included a card, 2 pretty bookmarks, some glittery pencils, a hand sanitizer spray (I'm taking that one to school!), some magnetic photo frames for the fridge, a coupon organizer, a Sudoku book, a pretty cross keychain, and a matched set notebook & file folders.

Wow wow wow! I feel so loved!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It's NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That means many things.
#1--my birthday is coming up next week!
#2--the holidays are just around the corner!!! (I'm really more excited about this one, but the first one is fun, too!)

Seriously, I know lots of people dread the holiday season, but it's my favorite time of the year. I can't wait! I love the smell of cinnamon & apples & pumpkin spice & burning leaves. I am a nut about creating new memories & traditions with our kids every year.

I know this is short & sweet, but YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. My favorite time of year is HERE!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween '08

Halloween 2008 was a little calmer than last year. You may remember this post describing our costume trauma & Halloween evening troubles. (

This year, the girls decided on their own that they wanted to be 'slumber party girls'. Yahoo...that means I didn't have to buy their costumes! They wore their PJs & robes.
Samuel couldn't decide what he wanted to be, so I found him a $7 policeman costume at Fred's. It was cute & ever-so-slightly large on him, meaning that it will work again next year (if I can convince him to be a cop again!).
Everyone looked cute & had fun at the church festival. Not to mention they made a HAUL on candy!