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?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened At The Birthday Party

Demetria, Hannah's friend from school, celebrated her birthday party at Cici's Pizza today, along with her sister and brother who also celebrate birthdays this month.  Everyone was having a great time eating pizza and talking.  When the cakes were brought out, Shan, Demetria's mom, put candles on both cakes.  Little did she know, they were magic candles.  You know, the ones that light back up after being blown out.  She has some for Demetria and Miracle on one cake and more on RJ's cake.  As you well know, when the kids tried to blow them out, the candles wouldn't stay out.  The kids kept blowing and blowing to no avail.  Brian, Demetria's dad, was trying to put them out with condensation on his glass.  Some would go out but others would light up.  It was so funny!!  The room was getting smoky, the kids and adults were laughing and we tried everything we could think of to keep the candles out.  Finally, Brian took his cup and just sat it on top of the different candles, pushing them into the cake.  FINALLY they went out for good.  The manager had to open the door to let the smoke out.  When she walked by, she said the sprinklers had been ready to go off when she opened the door.  That bit of news set the parents to laughing again.  After it was all over, I remembered from parties past that you need to drop the candles in water for them to stay out.  Maybe next time we will remember.  It was a great, and very memorable, party for all!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Movies and Memories Giveaway!!

Sarah Sundin presents The Movies and Memories Giveaway in honor of book 2 in the Wings of Glory series. A Memory Between Us is available for purchase wherever fine books are sold. From the English countryside to the perilous skies over France, A Memory Between Us takes you on a journey through love, forgiveness, and sacrifice.


To celebrate Sarah is giving one lucky winner A Movie and Memory Prize Package! One grand prize winner will receive:

* Make-your-own-photo book from (Capture your own Memories)

* Netflix Subscription (New or Nostalgic Movies delivered right to your house)

* Starbucks gift card (To keep your engine revvin’)

*Gourmet chocolate (A favorite in the 1940’s and now)

* British specialty teas in carved wooden box (Timeless tradition)

* Miniature model of a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber & C-47 cargo plane (Everyone needs a few toy planes)

*Big Band music CD (Break out your dancing shoes)

* WWII authentic poster playing cards (Cards – a perfect game for two)

* Keep Calm and Carry On (Uplifting sayings WWII, a boost for troubled times)

To enter simple click on the icons below (contest runs 9/27 - 10/17!)

The Waiting Contest!!

Suzanne Woods Fisher is thrilled to announce the release of The Waiting, book two in The Lancaster Secrets Collection. In The Waiting Jorie finds herself caught be two loves and two lives in this compelling page turner about complex people living the simple life.

The Waiting is the next stand alone story in The Lancaster Secrets Collection and follows in the footsteps of the best-selling, The Choice. The Waiting is in stores now and to celebrate Suzanne is hosting The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle preloaded with Suzanne Woods Fisher titles and a gift certificate! The Prize Pack (valued at over $185.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, Free 3G, 6", Latest Generation

* The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* A $15 dollar Gift Certificate

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on October 28th at Suzanne's Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party.

Join Suzanne for the Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party on October 28th! She’ll be announcing the winner of the The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway, hosting a book club discussion of The Waiting and The Choice, and giving away copies of both books and HEAPs of readerly prizes! Be sure to join us on Thursday, October 28th at 5:00 PM PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST & 8 EST) at Suzanne’s Author Page. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Small Victory

When it comes to potty training, I am by no way an expert.  Hannah was 3 years and 2 months old when she was fully potty trained.  Will decided he wanted to go all the time just after his 4th birthday party.  Andrew has shown very little interest.  On occasion he might humor Mike and me but, instead of doing anything, he decides to play.

Things started changing a little one day at the end of last week.  Just before getting in the tub, Andrew decided he wanted to try to go potty (without any prompting from Mom or Dad).  He actually peed in the potty and was really excited.  The next evening I was getting the boys in the tub to get the dirt off them when Andrew decided to try using the potty again (without prompting).  He did it again.  Yesterday (Sunday), the boys were outside playing and decided to run around sans clothes.  When Andrew was ready to come inside, he got himself dressed in his pajamas.  Mike and I both told him to put on a Pull-Up before he had an accident.  Instead, he decided to put on underwear.  He did really good and even took himself potty a couple of times.  This morning, instead of putting a Pull-Up on, I put him in underwear.  He did awesome!!  Mom said he even took himself to the bathroom three or four times.  After the kids and I got to the ball fields to watch Mike play softball, I noticed that Andrew had had an accident.  I took him to the bathroom and got him cleaned up and he was ready to go.  He stayed dry the whole time.  I put a diaper on him before putting him to bed because he usually has a full diaper in the morning.  (This is one of the two areas we haven't worked on.  The other is doing #2 in the potty - that was the accident at the park).

Mike and I are so proud of him.  We are also cautious because we don't want him to feel pressured.  I will be SO glad to get him out of diapers.  January will bring in ten years of changing diapers with no breaks between kids.  You can see why we are excited but cautious.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall-ing For Jesus

The Children's Ministry at our church had an event called "Fall-ing for Jesus" for 1-3 graders and their families today after our second service.  Hot dogs, popcorn, and drinks were available to eat.  There were also games such as a cupcake walk, sack race and a doughnut game (you had 30 seconds to eat a doughnut hanging on a string without using your hands).  There was even a hayride and face painting! 

Will, Andrew and I did the cupcake walk.  Andrew and I won on our first trip around.  Poor Will walked around for about 15 minutes.  He was persistent and it paid off.  He won a chocolate cupcake.  Hannah got her face painted.  Andrew participated in the sack race.  He was the last one to cross the finish line but he did it all by himself.  All of us rode on the hayride before heading home.  It was a nice ending to a fun event.

We all had fun being outside, playing games and visiting with friends.  Thanks Missi, Angie, and Anne for heading it up and putting on the event.  It was fun!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hannah's MAP scores

Tonight during Open House at Hannah's school, her teacher Mrs. Stiles gave me Hannah's scores and ranking on her recent MAP test.  In Language, she is testing at a Beginning 6th grade level.  In Math and Reading, she is testing in both at a Mid 5th grade level.  (She's currently in the 4th grade.)  YEA HANNAH!!  Way to go!!!

Fuming Over New Tax Increase

Tuesday, voters in my city voted whether or not to add a 1% tax to restaurant food purchases.  Sixty-seven percent of voters said yes.  Doesn't sound like a big deal, does it?  It's only a penny.  What the media and mayor's office didn't tell people was that the total tax on restaurant food purchases would now be 10% with this new tax.  TEN PERCENT!!!!

State tax here is seven percent.  Not too bad when you compare it to the state just north of us.  A few years ago, the county added a 2% tourism (restaurant and hotel) tax to help pay off and upkeep a local arena.  Then a few months ago, our mayor decided to seek a 1% additional tax on food to help finance upgrades to the park system, add new ball fields and other amenities.  The total bill for all the projects is around $35 million.  Part of the cost of this improvement plan will be covered by a federal grant of $6 million to go towards building two storm shelters.  The rest of the remaining $29 million will come from the new tax.

According to the mayor and city officials, the bulk of this new tax (and the tourism tax) is not suppose to be carried by the residents of this city but by the tourists who come for the different tournaments hosted here each year.  Their reasoning that the people who come to these tournaments and events are going to pay the bulk of the cost doesn't make sense to me.  The Dizzy Dean World Series does bring in $3-6 million dollars of revenue every year.  Softball, baseball and soccer tournaments also bring in money spent in our restaurants and hotels.  I can't see all of these events bringing in enough money to where the residents of our fair city are relieved of most of the tax burden.  Some maybe, but not most.

Now, after all the extra softball, baseball, and soccer fields, tennis courts, dog park, spray park, skate park and $5 million senior citizen center are completed and paid for, do you think this tax will be taken off the books?  NO!!  It will be used to pay for maintenance and other improvements of the parks system and take "the burden off of property taxes."
I understand the need for upgrades to the parks.  One of the concerns is building new ball fields to help accommodate all the kids who have signed up for softball and baseball.  Right now, some of the T-ball players are having to start games at 9 p.m. because of the lack of available fields.  We had that problem with Will when he played baseball but, thanks to the good Lord, we didn't have that problem this year with either of the boys.  Officials have tossed around the idea of limiting the number of sign-ups but then decided that wasn't going to work. 

The city also wants to stay competitive by continuing to host regional tournaments.  Cities like Oxford, MS and Jackson, TN are expanding their parks so our leaders want to make sure we can compete on a level playing field with them and others.  I understand all this.  If it was a temporary tax, I may not mind as much.  I just don't like having to keep paying and paying with no end in sight.  When my family and I decide to eat out, I guess we will have to choose a neighboring city, one where it won't cost us a fortune in taxes.

It still has to pass the legislature in January.  If it does, it should go into affect sometime in July, 2011.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Will's First Lost Tooth

Can't believe I am just now posting this...Will lost his first tooth Friday morning, September 24th before school.  It was his front tooth on the top right.  He was sitting at the table eating breakfast and playing with his tooth.  Mike told him to twist it and it popped out!!  We all were surprised.  I was just glad he didn't loose it at soccer practice the night before or while he was eating.  Will was so excited that he even brushed his tooth to make sure it was clean before putting it under his pillow.  The Tooth Fairy brought him $2 for it.  His permanent tooth is already coming in.  His other front tooth is loose.  Mike and I both told him (along with my sister Melanie) that if he looses it soon, he could be singing  "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth."