Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Anniversary Trip

Mike and I took a trip to Nashville by ourselves to celebrate our 10th anniversary. (Hannah and Will went camping with Dad and Joan while Andrew stayed with Melanie.) It was sooo nice being by ourselves. It's been a LLLOOONNNGGG time. We stayed at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in a beautiful room. The rates for this hotel run around $169/night. I got a great deal through and paid only $55/night. It was close to the things we wanted to do and see and was fairly easy to get to. At first, I was concerned because it was close to the airport. But, then I realized that we live close to an airport and hear planes all the time. To be honest, I rarely heard any flying over except on occasion while we were walking to the van.

We arrived close to 10 and got settled into our room. The next morning, we didn't wake up until after 9 a.m. It's been a really long time for us BOTH of us to sleep that late (usually one of us is up with the kids while the other sleeps a bit longer). After eating a late breakfast/early lunch at Shoney's, Mike and I toured the Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson's home. The brochure recommends you allow about two hours to do the tour. We spent 3 1/2 hours looking around and didn't see everything. They have a wilderness trail that is about 3/4 mile long that we decided to skip. I was tired, hot and thirsty and didn't feel like walking any further. After cooling off in the hotel room for a bit, we enjoyed a late dinner at the Santa Fe Cattle Co. The food was great and it reminded us of a Lone Star or Texas Roadhouse restaurant.

Since the Opryland Hotel was close by, I wanted to show Mike just how awesome this place was. We were really disappointed to find out that they charge you $18 just to park your car in self-parking (they also have valet parking which I knew would be even more expensive). So, since visiting the hotel was out of the question, we drove over to the Opry Mills Mall. But, the parking lot was extremely crowed so we left and went back to the hotel.

Sunday morning we woke up early and had a short workout in the Fitness Center. Mike and I ate breakfast in the restaurant then loaded up the van and checked out. We went back to the Mall and looked around. The Bass Pro Shop there is huge. We spent most of our time looking around it then went through the rest of the mall. We met Dad and Joan on the way home and picked up the kids then went Mel's and got Andrew. Everyone had a blast!!

Tomorrow I'll try to post some of the kids' adventures and the fun Melanie and Andrew had (Nathan went camping with Hannah and Will).

Blogging for Books

For those of you who are regular readers of this blog, there will be a new feature in the future called "Blogging For Books." WaterBrook Multnomah has a program where, if you have an approved blog, you can do book reviews for them. They send you a book of your choosing and you get to write a review on your blog. The one below is for a contest to win two books from them. So, here it goes.

Amish Love

What’s all the hubbub about Amish fiction? Major media outlets like Time and ABC Nightline are covering it, and authors like Cindy Woodsmall are making the New York Times bestseller list regularly. What makes these books so interesting?

Check out the recent ABC Nightline piece here ( about Cindy and her titles When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and When the Soul Mends. It’s an intriguing look at Amish culture and the time Cindy has spent with Amish friends.

And don’t forget that Cindy’s new book The Hope of Refuge hits store shelves August 11, and is available for preorder now.

Check out any books listed here in this post and any that I post in the future.

Happy Reading!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy 10th Anniversary!!

Ten years ago today, Mike and I said our "I Do's." So much has happened in all this time. It seems like it was just yesterday we met and went on our first date. It also seems like we've been together forever. I love you Mike and would do it all over again, in a heartbeat!!!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Aunt Sybil!

Today is the birthday of a very special lady, my Great-Aunt Sybil. I hope your birthday is wonderful!! We love you!!

Happy Birthday Daphne!!

Happy Birthday Daphne!! I hope you enjoy every minute of it. I know Dick will make it special!! We love you!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's Official!

It's official!! Mike and I now have a third grader and a first grader!! Wow, where has the time gone!! You will be proud of me. I didn't cry at all. It was VERY difficult not to break down but I was able to hold it together. For a minute, while looking through Will's kindergarten portfolio, I thought I was going to lose it and almost did. But, I caught myself before the tears started flowing because, once they started, they weren't going to stop.

Mrs. Kicker, Will's teacher, showed a video of pictures that were taken throughout the year and had a copy for each of the students in their portfolios. She and Mrs. Shelton were great this year and made Kindergarten such fun for Will. He loves his teachers.

Hannah's teacher, Mrs. Wolfe, recognized the kids for the hard work they did throughout this past year. Hannah was recognized for making the Principal's list (all A's every 9-weeks), Attendance (Hannah only had two tardies or early check-out), and Reading (she had 91.1 AR points-the most in the Second Grade; the next child in her class had 78.something and the third highest had 71.1, I think). Mrs. Wolfe also recognized the whole class for doing a great job this year and for being such great students.

Next year will be a little bit of a challenge. I will have to pick up kids from four different schools: Nathan at HL Intermediate, Hannah at Southaven Intermediate, Will at Greenbrook and Andrew (once he starts back) at MDO. I'm not sure how it will all work out but I know it will. I can't wait for Andrew to go to Greenbrook. I have loved all of the teachers we have been in contact with. They are awesome!!! Only three more years to go until Andrew starts Kindergarten!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hannah's AR Points

I have to be quick - Hannah has a game at 7:30 and needs to be there at 7.

Hannah has the most AR (Accelerated Reading) points in ALL OF THE SECOND GRADE!!! Isn't that awesome??!! She has a total of 91 points. GGGOOO HANNAH!! YEAH!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Game Night

Hannah and Will both played ball tonight at the same time. Hannah's team played the Hot Shots and won 17-13. She batted three times. First time, she made it to second base and later made it home. Her second time at bat, Hannah hit a pop-fly and the pitcher caught it in the air. On her third time at bat, Hannah was last one and made it all the way to third base. She ran to home but it didn't count because the third out came before she made it to base. Hannah's run to third had everyone sitting on the edge of their seats. She ran really well from home to first, then a little slower from first to second. She decided to dilly-dally around and almost got out a couple of times but the other team kept dropping the ball. All of her coaches and a bunch of the parents commented to her about that run. I wanted to ring her neck. If Hannah was chasing Will, she would have made it around the bases in record time. Instead, she is like Prissy from "Gone With The Wind" and is in her own little world. I think I'm going to change her name to Prissy.

Oh, a side note - the Hot Shots colors were black, white and red. I think the Parks Commission needs to really watch the team colors next year. What's with all the red, white and black?!

Will's team did better tonight but they still lost their game. Mike said their hitting was a lot better and Will actually paid attention, most of the time.

Hannah, a.k.a. Prissy, has another game tomorrow night at 7:30. Will has another game Thursday night at 6. Good thing I like baseball. Now, if Andrew would let me watch the game I'd be set.

Oh, before I forget. Mike's nephew James and his baseball team is going to State!!! They won their regionals and subregionals last week. They play in the State tournament this week in Murfreesboro. Go Pigeon Forge Tigers!!!!

Will's Cute Things At Church

Sunday morning, Will made it to his Sunday school class room before Mike and I did. He ran inside, gave his teacher his attendance sticker then sat down at the coloring table. One of his classmates, a little girl, was coloring. Will asked her if he could color with her. She said yes and they both started coloring. Will's teacher, Stacey, said it was just sooo sweet!! That's my little man!!

When service was over, Mike went to pick up Hannah and I went to get the boys. Will was sitting in the blocks bin reading a book. His teacher said he had been sitting there about 10 minutes or so reading his book quietly in the middle of chaos. The place Will picked to read was where the rest of the children were being loud while playing with the blocks and other toys. His other teacher was just amazed at him.

Side note: God has blessed Mike and me with two kids that LOVE to read and the other that loves to be read to.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Countdown to the End of School

This past Thursday was Andrew's last day of school. Man, the year has just flown by!! His teachers, Kim and Valerie, ordered Happy Meals for everyone and they had fun. Before I knew it, it was time to get Andrew from school. Andrew had a blast in class and has learned a lot. He can count to eleven and knows the alphabet song (but most times he stops in the middle of the alphabet and sings the end of the song). He has made lots of friends. Thank you Kim and Valerie for making my little one's time a special one. You guys (or gals) are the greatest!!!

Friday was Field Day at Hannah and Will's school. They spent most of the day outside, playing on the inflatables, participating in contests and generally, just having fun. Nathan's school had "Taylor McRae Derby Day" also on Friday, which was like their Field Day. It is held in memory of Taylor McRae, who was killed in a car accident a few years ago. Nathan said they had fun playing games. His favorites were the basketball and baseball games.

Next Thursday, May 22nd, is the last day of school. I am looking forward to sleeping late (or later than we usually do). This morning the kids were up at 7:30 (they are usually up for school by 7 a.m.). I told Mike that when we finally get the kids to where they are sleeping late, it will almost be time for school to start again.

Happy Birthday Grandma!!

Today is my grandmother's birthday!! I wish we lived closer so we could spend more time together but the distance makes the times we are with each other more special. Happy birthday Grandma!!! I hope you enjoy every minute of it!! We love you!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day!!! I am blessed beyond measure because I have many moms in my life that have been there for me and my family: Mom, Joan, Melanie, Daphne, Grandma, my other mother Cathy, Michelle, Jennifer, aunts (both mine and Mike's), and countless friends. I praise God for giving you to us. You each have touched our lives in ways you may know and in ways you may never know. Even if we don't say it enough, know that "WE LOVE YOU!!"

Proverbs 28-31
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Latest Update On Our Cabin

Continuing the saga, "Cabin For Sale," the bank sent our cabin into foreclosure and tried to sell it on the courthouse steps to no avail. Mike talked to the law firm handling the case to see what the next course of action would be. Since it did not sell, it reverts BACK to the mortgage company. Mike is going to call them next week to see what they want to do. He faxed Chase a letter at the first of last week letting them know what we can pay and, if they did not accept that offer, a few other things, like maybe taking the deed in lieu. When Mike called Chase after sending the letter, he was told it would take a few WEEKS before they would be able to get to our offer due to the overwhelming amount of paperwork they have. We'll see what happens next.

Oh, and by the way, I was sent a letter from Chase's CEO in response to my letter about the time it took to handle our offer. He forwarded it to someone in another department to investigate our claim. Jill Silver, the "investigator", looked through our file and FOUND NOTHING WRONG WITH THE THREE PLUS MONTHS IT TOOK to process our offer before the buyer backed out.

As for now, we have it listed for rentals with Fireside Chalets and Cabins until we know something. If anyone is interested in renting it for vacation, check out Our cabin is called "Huntin' Paradise."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Quick Post

Hannah's team won their latest game. They played the Chili Peppers Tuesday night and won 15-10. I only got to watch a little bit of the game as I had to take Will and Andrew home. Hannah's game was late (it started at 7:30 p.m.) and the boys were dirty and tired. Mike told Hannah he would get her a snow cone if she hit the ball. She did and made it to first base. Maggie, the girl after her, hit the ball and Hannah made it all the way home.

Red, black and white seem to be the popular colors this year for softball teams in Hannah's age group. This is the second team we have played with these colors and Hannah's team wears them too. I think someone needs to monitor the team colors a little closer. HAHAHA

200th Post, Sick Children and Mother's Day, part 2 and 3

Can you believe it?! This is my 200th post!!!! All I can say about it right now is WOW!!! I hope there will be many, many more posts to come.

Something strange has been happening to my boys this week. Monday, Will woke up with a 100 degree fever and no other symptoms other than a weak cough. I kept him home that day, had him take it easy and gave him some Tylenol. He seemed fine but a little mopey. By the time I picked the kids up from school, Will was feeling much better. He even went outside and played. When I checked his temperature again, he was still running a low-grade fever. Tuesday morning, Will still had a low-grade fever (99-100) but was acting normal so I sent him on to school. Sometime during the day, his fever broke and he's been fine. Then, Thursday morning, Andrew seemed a little quieter than usual. He wasn't as talkative in the car while we were waiting for school to start. Once the doors opened, he walked a little slower to class (not his normal self). Kim and Valerie, his teachers, said to leave him. They would call me if he got worse. The call came about 30 minutes after I dropped him off. He was laying on the carpet with his blanket. Andrew didn't want to play with the toys (even the balls!) or color. He did get up and eat a few Cheez-Its but not all of them (he usually eats them all and asks for more) then laid down again. He perked up a little when Mrs. Valerie got the bubbles out. I took him home, gave him some Tylenol (his fever was about 99 degrees), and laid down with him to watch some t.v. This morning, Andrew was still running a fever of about 100 but was acting fine. We went to MOPS today then went to the vet to get some of Gracy's medicine. He took a short nap in the car and again when we got home but didn't get to sleep it out because we had to pick up kids from school. He was acting lethargic this evening with spurts of energy every now and then. I hope he is feeling better tomorrow.

After I posted yesterday about the Mother's Day gifts I received, another package came in for me. It was some flowers from Mike. They are called the 'Sunny Days" and have yellow roses, yellow alstroemeria, and purple butterfly asters. They are beautiful!!! THEN TODAY, a package arrives addressed to Mike. It turns out to be my Mother's Day/Anniversary gift. He wanted me to open it to make sure it worked. It was a TomTom Portable GPS Navigator!! Am I blessed (and spoiled) or what?! We have played with the TomTom a little bit. I can't wait to take it out on the road and see what it does. It will come in handy when we go to Nashville at the end of the month.

Mike and I are celebrating 10 years of marriage this May 29th. So, to celebrate, we are taking a weekend trip to Nashville just the two of us!!! Dad and Joan are keeping Hannah and Will; Melanie is taking Andrew; and Latisha will watch the dogs and the house for us. The last time Mike and I got away by ourselves was for our fifth anniversary. Will was not even a year old at the time. We went to the French Quarter Inn in Midtown Memphis and stayed the night. The next day we walked around Downtown, went to one of the Wonders Exhibits that was here at the time, ate lunch then came home (I was worried about leaving Will even though he was in Mom's very capable hands. Hannah was with Dad and Joan). This time I am much more relaxed about leaving the kids. Go figure!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mother's Day, part one

Today I received some of my Mother's Day presents. The kids ordered me a couple boxes of chocolates from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The few I have had are DELICIOUS!!! Can't wait to eat the rest!!

Will made me a gift at school and gave it to me today. It is a tile with his blue hand print on it and a green ribbon to hang it. He also wrote me a special story. It is below:

(This is what it says: My mom is the most wonderful mom in the world! She is as pretty as a horse. She weighs about 300 pounds and is about 200 feet tall. Mom's favorite food is blueberries. I have the most fun with my mother when we play together. I think mom looks funny when she looks at me. I know she is really angry when I don't pick up my toys. If I had a thousand dollars I would buy my mom a balloon. My mom likes me best when I play. I wouldn't trade my mom for crayons.)
Hannah also made me one when she was in Kindergarten. Hers is below:

(This is what Hannah's says: My mom is the most wonderful mom in the world! She is as pretty as a daisy. She weighs about 3-4 pounds and is about 3-6 feet tall. Mom's favorite food is onions. I have the most fun with my mother when we play together. I think mom looks funny when she makes a funny face. I know she is really angry when she messes up dinner. If I had a thousand dollars I would buy my mom a jewelry box. My mom likes me best when I help her clean up. I wouldn't trade my mom for a dog.)
Aren't my kids sweet?!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

An Update to my Update

Do you remember me saying that Andrew doesn't go back to sleep in the van once he's up? Well, happily, I was proved wrong today. After I logged off my blog, I got Andrew up from his nap to pick the kids up from school. He looked like he was still really tired, so I grabbed his pillow and his blankie. I gave them to him once I got him strapped into his seat, tucking the pillow in next to his head. A few minutes later, I looked into the rearview mirror and saw Andrew sound asleep. He stayed asleep until 3 p.m. and woke up while we were waiting in the car line to get Hannah and Will. I was excited because he got a two and a half hour nap instead of one and a half. YEAH!! This is one time I'm happy to be proved wrong!!!

Update On My Wired Little Boy

After listening to Andrew sing, play and jump around in his bed last night for over an hour, I finally let him get up at 9:30 p.m. He ate Cheez-Its, drank milk, watch t.v. and played for almost an hour. About 10:15, I told him it was time to get ready for bed. I took his milk, blanket and sat with him in the rocking chair. It took a few minutes to get settled (he wanted more Cheez-Its) but I rocked with him for about five minutes. He asked to go to bed, so I laid him down about 10:30. He slept until 9 a.m. this morning (he cried out twice during the night - once Mike had to get up with him but he went right back to sleep). This morning, he was still going full tilt: helping water the yard, eating Daddy's cereal, and playing around. After running a few errands and eating lunch, we went to the park. He walked part of the time and played on the playground with another little boy. When we got home, he climbed up on the edge of his crib and told me he wanted to go to bed. I laid him down and haven't heard a peep out of him. I have to wake him up in a few minutes to go pick up kids from school. Wish I could just let him sleep (once he is up, he won't go back to sleep in the van - I've tried). Oh, well. Maybe he'll sleep tonight. I hope!!!! Oh, to have the energy of a child when you are old enough to need it!!