Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Praying Continuously....

It is late and the house is silent. I enjoy these moments. Just me and God reflecting over the day. I think of all the times we have chatted.

"Lord, thank you for this day. Be with me as I start it. Be in control of every second..."

"There they go, Lord. Another day. Keep them safe, Lord...."

"There are so many police officers out today. I pray that all of their stops are "routine", Lord, and that they all get home to their families tonight."

"Thank you for answers to pray, Lord. I am in awe of how you truly answer us. Some of your best answers come in truly tiny packages."

"I can't believe I just did that, Lord. Why do I keep making that same mistake over and over again? Father, guide me to a better way."

"Whatever my boys are doing right now.... hug them for me."

"Lord, be with my friends in Russia. Their desire to serve you humbles me. Keep them on my heart and help me to be faithful to pray for them. Heap blessings on them today, Lord."

Even with all of these chats, I wonder how many opportunities I have missed, overlooked, and skipped to chat with my Lord. My heart's desire is that my life will be a living, breathing prayer to Him.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dear Donald...

When I was a little girl wearing my slip on my head to pretend I was getting married, I imagined my one day groom.

When I was in elementary school in my best friend and I would play house and chat about our pretend husband who were firefighters away at work while we were cooking supper.

When I was in high school I used to look at all the guys I was surrounded by and how they were treating their girlfriend and I made a list of what to look for in my husband.

When I went to Co-Lin, my bed was right by the window and I would lie there at night saying my prayers. I would find a star and imagine my future husband being able to see that same star and I would pray for you.

The night I met you I had no interest in dating, the thought of marriage or finding my "prince charming". You patiently waited and then one night asked if you could call me. The started our one year journey of dating, friendship and ultimately your asking me to marry you.

Eighteen years later I am still so glad every day that God took the dreams of a little girl and wrapped them up into the amazing man that is you... my husband.

I love you. Always. Forever. With every inch of my heart.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Just Finished Reading: Dead Don't Dance

My friend, Sheri, wrote me a note on Facebook and told me I had to read this book. Sheri has great taste in book so I immediately requested it from the library. I found a quiet evening, got a cup of coffee and started to read. After the first couple of pages, I was torn between writing Sheri an email or just calling her to fuss about recommending a book that began so sad. However, since I know Sheri I know that she has this weird habit. She reads the ending to books before she reads a book to know if she wants to read it. That would kill it for me, but her theory is she doesn't want to waste her time if the ending is bad. Sounds logical? So with that in mind I figured the book was going to get better. The writing was amazing! I am really glad Sheri told me to read this and I am going to look for more Charles Martin books.

Description: A sleepy rural town in South Carolina. The end of summer and a baby about to be born. But in the midst of hope and celebration comes unexpected tragedy, and Dylan Styles must come to terms with how much he’s lost. Will the music of his heart be stilled forever-or will he choose to dance with life once more, in spite of sorrow and heartbreak?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A LINK TAG.... You Are It!!

ALL are invited to join in the Links fun! PLEASE just following the rules! Just copy and paste THIS and everything below up until my Five links:

I thought it would be cool to have a meme where we post links. We can post up to five. Then we tell five more people to share their links. If we all share who tagged us, our links are sure to be seen!

They can be business links, favorite sites, affiliate links, whatever you want…

There are Five Rules:
1. MUST be clean. No R rated sites.
2. Only FIVE links.
3. MUST tell 5 people.
4. A link back to the person who tagged you
5. Deanna's Corner is the meme originator. (an active link is appreciated)

My five links are:

1. I write a column for the Madison Herald on Saturday. To keep up with all the dates and information that the general public send me, I keep a blog: Madison Out and About

2. Highland Elementary - I am the web designer for this school site and I spend about 30 minutes of my day updating its content.

3. Shabby Princess I love having a cute wallpaper for my desktop and every month SP has a free customizable download as part of her blog. She also has THE BEST digital scrapbook shop online.
4. Shelfari Reading is my passion and I love finding brand new books and meeting other book addicts at Shelfari.

5. Mississippi Moms - The only thing better than a Mom is a Mississippi Mom!

I am tagging.... Sara, Kathy, Heather, Meredith, and Sandi.


Friday, April 25, 2008

What Are We Teaching?

I ate lunch with Todd at school today. One of the boys sitting with us asked me if we gave Todd an allowance. We don't. We are a family and we all work together to get the things done that need to be done. If he wants to earn money, he ways that he can do that.

After that short discussion, this same boy informed me that he received an allowance. $30 a week. For doing his homework. What?

This is a very sweet boy. He is always very polite, nice and respectful to me; however, I know that rarely a week goes by that he completes his assignment. I also know that he has had some discipline issues in the classroom as well.

I am not trying to be judgemental, but I just don't get it. My parents never offered me money -- although I certainly would have accepted it. However, my Daddy's belt was a definite motivator as a discipline method. Let me qualify that to say that I wasn't always as good a student as my parents wanted me to be either. But both my Daddy and I have very vivid memories of 7th grade and me forgetting my Algebra book after two days of him telling me to NOT forget to bring it home. One that third day, he gave me a reminder that I have never forgotten.

Unfortunately this child is being raised with the same method so many of today's children are being raised with -- a sense of entitlement. It is a BAD thing and our future is going to suffer because of it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Simple Life (Part 1)

1. I have lived my whole life in Mississippi -- the majority of it in the rolling historic hills of Vicksburg.

2. Growing up I thought running the hills of the Vickburg Military with a kite and having a picnic were the best summer fun that could be had.

3. My Dad worked at Waterway Experiment Station and he used to take us to see all the models of the Mississippi River, Niagara Fall, erosion model, and all the cool things that WES researches. We would drove on and off the station all the time to visit my Daddy just because we wanted to see him. It makes me sad that because of the terrorist's alert, you can't even drive through the gates anymore.

4. My Mom through the best birthday parties for us... in our backyard. She invited our friends over. She made our cake. We always had fun and it never involved a space jump. How is that possible?

5. When my parents built our house the road was gravel and we were one of only a handful of houses. My Mom tells me that I used to drive my tricycle up and down the road. If you did that now you would get run over by all the traffic.

6. My sister and I played with Barbies. We didn't have the house, cars and all the accessories. We had something better than that. Imagination and cinder blocks. We would stack those cinder blocks up and make Barbie condos. It didn't matter to us that we had to lay our Barbies sideways so that her head and feet stuck out each side, we had a ball.

7. Going to get the mail each day was a big event. We loved it when the Sears Catalog would come because that one catalog would provide hours of dreaming and entertainment. We could look through the clothes and toys. When summer came Mom would give us the shoe boxes from our Easter shoes and let us cut that Sears Catalog to decorate our shoe boxes as our dream houses. We would pick out furniture, curtains, beds, rugs.... everything we needed to make our dream home.

8. We did not have cable or VCR. We had three channels: 3, 12 and 16 and if we were lucky channel 29. My sister and I would really get upset if my parents decided to take a trip to see family on the weekends because it meant we had to miss our treasured cartoons. Saturday is the only time they came on!!

9. Speaking of television... we did not have a remote. We were the remote. Get up walk over switch the station whenever Dad said so.

10. The Supper Table is like an extra room at my parent's house. I can't even begin to count the hours that were spent sitting at that little table in my parent's kitchen after the meal had been finished sitting there talking about the day. My Dad has a gift for being the antagonist. I think sometimes he did it to stretch out our time at the table together. In the process he taught all three of us girls how to argue for and defend ourselves. Thank you, Dad!

More Simple Life later...

Not A Survivor

I would never cut it as a contestant on Survivor. One day without a bath and I would be begging them to let me go home. I just can't stand that sweaty, gritty, nasty feeling. I don't know how those people stand to be out there for 30 days without having a bath. Think about it. You know what it is like after one day at the beach. Everybody wants to be first into the shower after a day of salt water, sunscreen and sweat. I don't even want to talk about what it must smell like without no deodorant, teeth brushing or soap.

Today I volunteered at Todd's school helping the p.e. coach with a p.e. event. We were outside all day. It was a blast, but when I got home I was sweaty and all I wanted to do was take a shower. I just didn't feel human.

Live on an island without taking a shower for 30 days? Not even for a million dollars!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

They are still around?

I have been listening to Christian "rock" for a long time. Donald introduced me to Stryper when we met, but I had no idea that they were still a group. Apparently they have updated their look and are still performing. WOW! What a flashback. (FYI... this post is mostly for Donald.)



Monday, April 21, 2008

Fashion Police I Am Not, BUT...

When you can see "cheeks" hanging, it is definitely time to retire those shorts from your wardrobe. Let me say it was definitely her butt that was hanging out her too short shorts today in Walgreens. It didn't even take a double take to confirm. I just turned around and tried to redirect my son's young eyes before they could notice her strutting her... stuff... down the aisle.

This wasn't even a girl. This was a woman that was about my age. However, I wouldn't even let my daughter wear those shorts (if I had a daughter).

Somehow there just has to be a level of modesty - no matter your age.

Seeing your 'hiney all bright and shiney just doesn't cut it although it did work as a great appetite suppressant.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Just Finished Reading: False Witness (LOVED IT!)

I love finding book that both Donald and I can read. Randy Singer is one of Donald and my favorites. He has a Christian Grisham style. I think this book is definitely his best. I was gripped from the first page and could barely put it own... same thing for Donald.

Description: Staring into the eyes of a bulky car owner holding a gun, repossession artist and bounty hunter Clark Shealy doesn't think his day can get much worse. A few hours later he changes his mind when his dangerous bounty hunting quarry knocks him out and puts him back in his car with a cell phone. On that cell phone, Clark receives a message from the Chinese Mafia who have kidnapped his wife, Jessica. Unless Clark finds, within 48 hours, an elusive Chinese mathematical genius in Las Vegas who has created an encryption algorithm that would allow the takeover of the Internet, Jessica will be tortured and killed.Four years later, Jamie Brock thinks the worst problem in her life is putting up with archaic Professor Walter Snead in her Criminal Procedures class at Southeastern Law School. Words with talented and eloquent fellow-student, Isaiah Haywood, over his treatment of nineteen-year-old nerdy genius, Wellington "Casper" Farnsworth, don't help. After she meets David Hoffman at her legal aid clinic, Jamie's life deteriorates fast with David's disappearance from court minutes before his hearing on a minor charge during an automobile repossession. Within hours Jamie's black lab, Snowball, disappears. Jamie gets a call that someone has found him and she is kidnapped. Then the kidnappers threaten her and Snowball if she doesn't help them find David Hoffman. While trying to protect Hoffman, she, Isaiah, Casper, and Professor Snead are thrown into an unlikely alliance against the FBI, the Federal Marshals, the Witness Protection Program, and the Chinese Mafia. The Chinese Mafia wants the Abacus Algorithm so badly that they will kill to get it, but will the US government be just as ruthless to gain the algorithm? Is there anything the little people in the way can do to maintain their integrity and save their lives?

Tanner' Definition

Tanner had to define Faith in R.A.'s tonight. Here is what he put.

H-Holy God gave us.

When you read it, it is supposed to say, "Faith is a thing Holy God gave us."

I love it.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

When Cleaning Attacks!

With such a busy schedule our house really needed some TLC. Donald announced to the boys that after a trip to his company picnic and to the "Peanuts at Bat" Exhibit at the MS Sports Hall of Fame (thanks to free tickets from sweet cousin Randy), there would be a time out from the fun to do a little house maintenance.

We all decided to tackle the work as a team one room at a time so that we could chat and see results faster. We were determined to tackle every inch -- bookcases, lampshades, windows, picture frames, furniture, dusting, vacuuming, organizing and cleaning.

That is when it happened! In the midst of the cleaning frenzy, cleaning attacked me. I was on my way to the kitchen to get a fresh dusting rag when.... AAAAAUUUUUGGGGHHHH! my feet started flying, my hands started grabbing for anything and before I knew it I was looking at the ceiling. I heard feet stomping as Donald ran towards the kitchen. Before I (or he) knew what had had happened I saw his feet fly up and he basically did a rerun of what I had just done minus the girly scream.

He turned and looked at me and we both said at the same time, "Are you O.K.?" He said he was fine but my hand was swelling from slamming it into the countertop and my already injured back was shooting pain. I looked up and saw Tman and TAG staring at me saying, "Are you guys O.K.?"

Tanner has inherited my family's terrible habit of smiling/laughing at the worst times so he was trying really hard to bite back a smirk. His voice said, "Mom, what can I do? Are you O.K.?", but he had his hand over his mouth trying to cover up that cute smirk. I started to laugh which really hurt.

I turned and looked at Donald and said, "Soooo, do we blame this on your Yankee genes for spraying Pledge dusting spray all over the kitchen floor?" He laughed and said, "I guess so."

Now I am sitting on the couch for a few minutes while Donald finishes dusting and Tanner massages feet. Maybe being attacked by cleaning isn't so bad!!

Oops, better go, Donald almost just busted it again. He may be joining me here on the couch soon!

Boys Will Be Boys!

Yesterday I was eating lunch with a class at an elementary school and was surrounded by a group of girl. Part of the lunch menu were those Welch's fruit popsicles.

About ten minutes after sitting down one of the boys walks up and says, "Mrs. Germany, my lips are frozen."

"Well, you are eating popsicles and they are made of ice. I'm sure that they are cold. Eat something else for a while."

When he walked off the girls rolled their eyes and said, "DUH!!" and started giggling. That started a whole conversation among the girls about how girls are smarter than boys. Let me say that I don't normally endorse or even allow this type of conversation especially considering I have two pretty smart sons at home, but after after a few minutes even I had to agree with these girls. We barely ate our lunch from all the laughter at lunch.

Reasons #1 Girls Are Smarter Than Boys: Girls never staple their fingers as a form of entertainment. (Apparently earlier in the year, several of the boys in this class had wondered how that would feel and even after the first boy had done it AND had had to go to the office because it started bleeding, several more tried it!)

Reason #2 Girls Are Smarter Than Boys: Girls don't take the popsicle out of the package, stand there holding it in their hands and stand there saying "My hands are freezing!" (Yes, one of the boys was standing there looking at me saying this and wondering what to do -- as if it never occurred to him to PUT IT DOWN.)

Reason #3 Girls Are Smarter Than Boys: Girls realize that the paper on the popsicle is there to keep your hands from getting sticky. (After said boys sat there and ate their popsicles with their hands, then they wanted to complain about having sticky hands. Again... DUH!)

This class cracked me up. My stomach was actually sore from laughing when I got home. The boys although not using a lot of common sense eating popsicles were actually smarter than they wanted those girls to know. They kept them laughing and kept them entertained which is all they wanted to do to begin with.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thou Shalt Not...

Take the Lord's Name In Vain. Isn't that still a commandment?

Tonight I was sitting on the couch watching "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" with Todd and Tanner when a commercial for deodorant (of all things) came on. It was geared towards young girls and hosted by the hugely popular Ashley Tisdale. The product was Degree Girl OMG! It was the "OMG" that caught me off guard. I realize that is a popular texting monicker, but STILL! Do we seriously have to use the Lord's name in vain to sell deodorant? Have we sunk so low? This is the new marketing campaign?

If this had happened when I was a girl, my Mom would have washed our mouths out with soap. Maybe that should be the coinciding campaign!!
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Living A Waiting Room Sitcom

One of the advantages of growing up with a Dad who has an amazing sense of humor and appreciates the funny side of life is that you begin to see the hilarity in situations that normally wouldn't be funny. This morning was one of those times.

I had a doctor's appointment. This particular doctor is one that I don't see but once a year, but the wait is always the same - LONG. Today was no exception. I arrived, signed in and found a comfortable couch to sit and wait. I brought my usual arsenal of tools for this yearly appointment: a good book, a puzzle book, and my Blackberry.

Not too long after I settled in something strange began to happen. The waiting room began to transform as if I was in a strange sitcom. Almost in a warped waiting room version of "The Office". I was becoming so tickled by the people around me that I began typing a message to some of my friends to distract myself from actually laughing out loud.

Let me describe some of the cast in my waiting room sitcom:

Nail File Girl - She was sitting on the couch with about 12 inches from where I was sitting. She immediately pulled out her nail file and began to furiously file her nails. You would have to understand how badly I hate this sound to know what this did to me. I told myself I could handle it for ten fingers, but apparently it was a nervous habit as she did all ten fingers and started over again!!

Cell Phone Guy - Apparently oblivous to the signs that said "Please be courteous and use cell phones OUTSIDE.", cell phone guy entertained the entire waiting room with his deer hunting stories and talk about an upcoming wedding. The good news? I can now completely gut a deer and if you are attending that wedding there will be plenty of deer sausage.

Pee Woman - O.K. I realize that people are at a doctor's office and are required to do all sorts of things for their visit, but if for some reason you are asked to bring in a urine sample, couldn't you think of something better to bring it in besides a mesh bag? EWWWWW!!!!

Cologne Factory Man - This guy either was a tester for a cologne factory or owns one because he walked in wearing half the factory. If he were ever missing I don't think they would even need K-9 dogs.

Irate Woman - "I don't think so!" was all this woman could say. This lady arrived on the wrong day for her appointment and she was determined that she was going to be seen even though the error was hers. No matter what the receptionist said her answer was "I don't think so!".

After I finally got in to see the doctor I decided that if the networks ever got low on material for a television show they could definitely go sit in my doctor's waiting room. It is a wealth of cast and characters! I know that I certainly entertained my friends over email this morning.

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Cooking Therapy

When I am nervous I cook. It doesn't have to be fancy food. Just cook to take my mind off my nerves. Apparently I have been really nervous because my refrigerator is now packed with enough food to carry us through the rest of the week which was quite a feat since I didn't think we had any groceries in the house.

I can't say that there is anything tragic or devastating going on in my life. Just a lot of little things that has my schedule busy. One of my family members is having some surgical procedures which has me nervous. Some obvious tension in some relationships that I don't know how to handle. Ball practices and games. On top of all of this is some summer fever.

So... instead of sit and stew over all this little things I get in the kitchen and start banging pots and pans. Two hours later and I have made penne pasta spaghetti, a copykat of Chili's skillet queso, crockpot salsa steak, and sausage cheese muffins.

I have the same issues, but I feel better. Kitchen therapy. It works for me.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad

My parents are celebrating their 41st anniversary today. I use the word "celebrating" loosely because they will be spending the day supporting one of my family members who needs it. That pretty much summarizes my parents. They are a couple who are constantly giving and have done so for their entire marriage. It is impossible for me to think of my Mom without my Dad or my Dad without my Mom. They are definitely a married couple.

Everything that is good about my marriage today is because of God and the Godly example that my parents lived in front of me growing up. My parents love each other unconditionally. They also love on each other like they are newlyweds... even after 41 years of marriage.

Despite the fact that I have almost been with my parents for their entire marriage (I was born one year after they were married), it is still hard for me to believe that they have been married this long.

41 years = 14,965 days of saying goodnight and good morning to the same person
Each of those days were a choice. Why? Because as Gary Smalley says, "Love is a choice." My sisters and I are blessed to have parents who made that choice because they have given us an amazing legacy and heritage that nothing can replace.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! I love you.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Southern Secret of Sweet Tea

I was born and raised in the South. My husband was raised in the South by two Yankee-raised parents. It was inevitable that there were going to be some kinks that we were going to have to work out.

One of those things was sweet tea. When we married I realized that no one had ever taught my husband the fine art of making sweet tea. Making sweet tea is definitely an art that is best cultivated in the south. If you have never been given the secrets to making sweet tea, let me share them with you, because no one should live deprived of a glass of delicious sweet tea.

First, always boil your tea in the same pot. My Mama always used a "whistler" kettle to boil her tea. You should definitely wash your pot, but it will retain some of it's "tea-ness" for the next boil. We use Lipton tea bags. We let the tea come to a boil or "whistle" and then turn off and let steep for about five minutes.

Second, before the tea is cooled you add your sugar. We pour our desired amount of sugar into the bottom of our gallon pitcher and then pour the hot tea over the sugar. Stir thoroughly to let dissolve. Squeeze out tea bags. Add cool water to finish filling gallon pitcher.

Last, put in refrigerator to let cool.

It sounds so simple doesn't it, but apparently it isn't because so many people get it so wrong. My sweetie makes the best tea now and when the tea pitcher is empty we all look to him to refill it.

The only thing we disagree on is where that empty tea pitcher should go. Any true Southerner knows that tea pitcher stays in the refrigerator. He wants to leave it out on the counter, but as he discovers... the results can be UGLY!

So for now I blame his forgetting this minor detail on his Yankee genes.
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No Intelligence Allowed

Have you heard of this movie? It is coming out April 18th. It is going to be showing at the Grandview in Madison and at the Northpark location.

This is one time in your life where you want to get EXPELLED!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bullies Are Going To The Next Level

Good Morning America showed a video of cheerleaders who beat up another girl until she was unconscious. They did all of this while in someone's home with an adult there. When they were arrested and being booked, the girls were joking and asking if they were going to have to miss cheerleading practice the next day. While I haven't seen many interviews with the parents, I am willing to bet that these girls are banking on their parents bailing them out and getting them off on these charges. That is probably what they have done for them most of their lives. One of the girls said in a text message that her Mom would beat her up too if they had anything to say. This girl and her Mom both have (or had) their own MySpace pages with very racy photos. They were taken down this morning. I'm not sure if it was at the advice of their attorney or because of all the ugly posts that they had been receiving.

Another video has surfaced of students who beat up their teacher in a classroom. The video was taken with a cell phone.

Just today I saw a news report of a 10 year old who was beaten up and her hip broken when she asked two girls not to splash her sister with water. She now faces a possible hip replacement because she was so badly hurt.

Mean girls and bullies aren't new. I remember them from when I was in school (Yes, I can remember that far back.) All those mean girls and bullies that we dealt with in school? They grew up. They are having children. I have a few in my life that I would put in the "mean girl" category. She gives me a compliment but it really sounds like an insult. Most of us don't have to think back to high school to remember gossip, cutthroat competition and insults because we have dealt with that in the past month.

I think that having the Internet where you can post your video adds a whole new dimension to the bullying. Instead of "My Dad is Bigger Than Your Dad" the kids have a "My Video Is Tougher Than Your Video" mentality.

There is a great website called WiredSafety which helps educate parents on how to keep your kids safe on Facebook, MySpace, Xanga, and other networking sites.

I am a huge believer in monitoring software for every computer in your home. There are stories on the news every day that back up my belief. Just last week I learned about which is a website designed specifically for gossip and spreading rumors about others. Remember slam books in high school? This is the internet version taken to a whole new ugly level.

The internet is causing problems for our kids, but an even bigger problem are parents who are so busy trying to be their kids "friends" that they forget to be a parent and set boundaries.

Happy Birthday, Andrew!

I can't believe that our sweet little "glow worm" is turning 13 years old. You are so sweet and there is nothing like an Andrew hug. There is no one who can make Todd and Tanner laugh hysterically like you can. You have such a talent for art and I can't wait to see how you are going to use that in your future. Maybe you will be a famous cartoonist or make movies for Pixar? We'll see, but whatever you do we'll be so proud of you.

Happy Birthday, Andrew! We love you!
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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Parental Guidance Suggested

There are so many decisions that you have to make when you are a parent. They start the minute you get pregnant and my Mom tells me that they will never end.

When the boys were little, the decisions that were made such as which foods to feed them, which diapers to use, what their bedtimes were going to be, etc... were relatively easy. We made the decisions and enforced them.

The older the boys get the more our decisions require and deserve discussion and explanations along with the enforcement. We want our boys to know the foundations behind the decisions we are making. We are trying to teach them how to make their own decisions. The older they get the more they are on their own to make decisions. We want them to have what they need to make decisions. We don't want them to make a decision because "Mom or Dad doesn't want me to." We want them to be able to say no or yes and know why they say it.

Recently Todd came to me about two different video games. Both had previously been on the "off limits" list. He asked if we could revisit the games. We did. After some research and discussions, one is now off the list and one will stay on the list for a long time.

Todd knows that our "lists" are much different than a lot of his friends. There are days when he gets frustrated that he is the "only" kid in his class that can't play "M" rated video games, but he is only 10 years old and I believe I am still responsible for what is being streamed into his mind. Instead of having him notice the lack, we try to show him and provide the vast amount of good options out there in books, music and games.

My friends who have kids older than Todd tell me that all these decisions don't get any easier.

That is O.K. I don't need the media rating system. I've got my Father God for Parental Guidance!

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

AR Wall of Famers

We are big readers. All four of us love to read. I am glad really glad because when I start a book I can become engrossed. It makes it a lot easier that we all love to read because when I find one of those books that sucks me in the boys completely understand.

The boys are part of the Accelerated Reader (AR) program at school. At Todd's school you have to read 40 points in a nine week period to achieve "Wall of Fame" status. Since he has been at Highland he has always been on the Wall which amazes me. That is a LOT of reading.

Now that Tanner has gotten old enough to take AR tests, he has set the goal of reading 40 points too. That is a pretty big goal for a 1st grader. Apparently not too big because this past nine weeks he read 70 points.

Here are our two Wall of Famers for the third nine weeks:

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Mississippi is the Land That I Love

"Mississippi is the land that I love.
We've got a whole lot of livin' going on.
We're the cream of the crop!"

I've got all these Mississippi songs running through my head because our school just finished up our Mississippi play. What an awesome play! There is so much history, facts, famous people, places and information packed into this play.

One day as we were practicing I cracked the students up when I told them that I was in the Mississippi play when I was in 4th grade. Boy! That seems like a 100 years ago. I was in the "state dance: the square dance" portion of the play at Warrenton Elementary. My Mom made me this amazing square dancing dress. It had this great petticoat underneath the skirt so that it swung as I danced.

I can't remember what song we danced to, but I do remember that one of the songs we sang was "What a dance do they do, oh my how I'm telling you. They don't need no band. They keep time by clapping their hands. Just as happy as a cow chewing on his cud. It's a treat to beat his feet on the Mississippi Mud!!"

Come to think of it... I think that was the only thing missing from the Mississippi play to make it perfect!! Maybe I'll suggest it for next year. Ha!

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

My Favorite Cake

When Todd was born, Donald started the tradition of letting him bake and decorate a cake for my birthday. I'll never forget my sweet 10 month old bringing me that first cake.
Tanner was determined that we weren't going to leave off this tradition despite the bad weather that went through on Friday. Yesterday morning he was up bright and early pulling everything out to bake.
Both of my boys are very good at baking. I am trying very hard to teach them to cook, wash and do all the basics around the house. It isn't hard because Donald is very good at all of these things and sets an amazing example in how to do them.
As soon as the cakes were cooled, Tanner went to decorating. You can see the results in the photo. No store bought gifts can replace the love and creativity that goes into these cakes. I look forward to them every year. I am hoping that this is a tradition that never goes away!


About four years ago I was watching the Oprah show when she made a statement that sounded funny to me. That was before the days of my DVR when I could rewind and listen to it again, but it wasn't before the days of listening to my God speak to me. He made it very clear to me that that was to be the last day that I watched Oprah. I have never quit praying for her since that day because I felt very strongly that she had started down a very wrong path. Since then my suspicions have been confirmed.

People have forwarded me clips and YouTube videos of her on her show making statements about her new New Age beliefs. One of her latest statements "If God for you is still about a belief, then it is not God at all." made me very sad because it just shows how far off she has gotten.

One of the most amazing things about Oprah is that she continually gets more and more popular. The Bible says that Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). It also says that we shouldn't accept everything a person says just because they try to twist the Bible around to their own purpose (2 Cor. 4:1-2).

Satan must be thrilled with Oprah because she has completely eliminated God and the Bible from her "path" and is leading millions down her slippery slope with her.

"But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute." -- 2 Peter 2:1-2

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Book for our (Crowded) Book Shelf

Tanner and I went to Yellow Dog Books today to meet a local author, Art Minton, and pick up a signed copy of his new book, Birding for Children. I was introduced to Art a few weeks ago and asked to write an article for the Herald about his new book. (If you want to know a little about why Art wrote the book, you can read his story on his website or even read my newspaper article.)
Tanner and I fell in love with his artwork and bird descriptions. Tanner picked up a birding journal while we were at Yellow Dog and he has already decided he wants to borrow his Daddy's binoculars. I think we may have discovered our summer project!!
You can pick up your signed copy of Art's book at:
Yellow Dog Books
100 Depot Drive
Madison, MS 39110

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A Very Memorable 40th!

Yesterday was a very memorable 40th birthday for me. If that set the tone for how my 40's are going to be... it won't be boring!!

After dropping Tanner off at school I went to Seattle Drip to get my free birthday coffee. It was while picking up this treat that I realized that my driver's license was expiring THAT DAY! So while it definitely wasn't on the plan, after going home and leisurely enjoying my latte' loveliness, I took a trip down to the DMV.

I have definitely decided that there is a reason that the DMV is located so close to the State Crime Lab. Smiles are not a common occurrence. And may I say.... if you can't park between the yellow lines before walking in to take your driver's test or get your license renewed then they should really rethink your whole license possibility? Of ALL the places to consider parking CORRECTLY!! Anyway... when I walked in I pulled #18 just as they were calling #80. After observing the 50 "No cell phone." signs on the wall I turned mine off and pulled out my book. A gentleman came in an sat beside me and explained how he had a wreck that morning and discovered that his license was expired. As we were chatting, I told him that in the 45 minutes that I had been there I had decided that the "D" in "DMV" did not stand for "department", it stood for "detention". He said that he worked for a state agency that was studying the possibility of moving the entire place off of Woodrow Wilson. "Where, I asked?" With a straight face he said, "Whitfield."

I burst out laughing!!! Finally he grinned and said, "Seriously. Not the hospital. Just to Whitfield." I grinned back, "Best line I've heard all day!!"

After getting my mug shot, I went to meet my friend who was treating me to lunch. We decided to eat on the patio so her little girl and my Tman could play. We no sooner got seated when the wind started blowing. Then the tornado sirens went off. We grabbed our food and headed inside. We barely made it inside and into the back of the restaurant before the tornado went straight over the top of the restaurant. Of course, while all the women and children are safely in the back, where are the men? Standing right in front of the windows, gawking and talking on their cell phones giving play by play description of the tornado as it makes it way down the street! I told my friend that I really didn't need such dinner entertainment. Lunch was really sufficient! Ha!

She invited me to go with her to her son's middle school to watch the talent show. When we got there she found out that one of the judge's couldn't make it because of the weather so she asked me to fill in. Tanner and I got a front row seat as judges. So much fun. Tanner took a few photos for me during the competition.

We got soaking wet going back to the car so we went straight home for dry clothes and to wait for Donald and Todd to come home from their field trip to Memphis. While waiting we discovered that my sisters and fams had no electricity so we invited everyone over for an impromptu slumber party.

We threw all the "stuff" into the appropriate spots, ran a broom over the kitchen floor and Donald went to Fresh Market for fruit so we could have fondue. By 6:30 our house was full of giggling, chatting and fun having family.

It was the perfect ending to a very memorable 40th birthday!

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Friday, April 4, 2008

TAG!!! You are IT!

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Wow! Ten years ago. I feel like I was a different person then. I was so excited because I was a new stay at home Mom. Todd was ten months old and so much fun.

However, on the other side of the spectrum was the fact that after Todd was born I started having panic attacks and I kind of sequestered myself in my house. It took three years of baby steps to climb out of that shell. I am still amazed at what God's grace did for me.

5 things on my to-do list today
1.) create the AR Wall of Fame photos for Todd's school
2.) make follow up calls for the "Meet our Schools" Showcase
3.) meet girls for coffee
4.) go get groceries
5.) do drop off and pick up for field trip

5 snacks I enjoy
1.) Fresh Market's veggie chips
2.) Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino
3.) Bagel with peanut butter
4.) Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly jellybeans
5.) Strawberries dipped in chocolate

5 things I would do if I were a billionaire
1.) pay off our mortgage and GET NEW FLOORS!!
2.) tithe and give money to church to build the RAC
3.) college money for my boys, niece and nephews
4.) take care of our parents
5.) invest the rest

5 bad habits
1.) eating when I am not hungry
2.) taking on too many projects
3.) leaving my shoes everywhere -- this drives Donald nuts
4.) turning on the dryer to reheat a load of laundry 10 times
5.) jumping off the cliff of conclusions

5 places I have lived
1. ) Vicksburg, MS
2. ) Wesson, AL
3. ) Jackson, MS
4. ) Ridgeland, MS
5. ) That's All Folks!

5 jobs I've had
1.) Candy Striper at Hospital
2.) McRae's Floor Sales
3.) Administrative Assistant to Seminary President
4.) Church Secretary
5.) Freelance Writer for Newspaper

5 people I want to know more about (a nice way of saying TAG):
1.) MWhite
2.) FBass
3.) DGoldman
4.) SM
5.) KR

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Others Sing Too!!

Remember how I sing for everything? I'm not the only one! Today when I was leaving the classroom to go to the grocery store to pick up a few items we needed to pack our costumes from the play I heard the voice of one of the 5th grade boys start singing:

"Baby come baby!"

I thought I was going to fall on the floor laughing!

Front Door Guest

Last night someone knocked on our front door about 7:00. That was a little unusual. The only person who ever knocks on our front door is the UPS man and never at 7:00.

Donald had just walked in the back door from a baseball coach's meeting. He walked straight through to the front door and went to see who was there. I heard him greeting someone and I heard a voice I recognized, but couldn't quite place. You know how you see someone you know you should recognize, but they aren't in the place you are used to seeing them at so you don't know who they are? That is how it was with this voice. I knew I should know this voice, but it wasn't in the right place.

As soon as I saw our friend round the corner, Todd, Tanner and I jumped up and went running to hug and say hello. This was no ordinary visitor or friend, but one of our closest friends who now lives in Atlanta. He was in Ridgeland last night on business and had snuck away to come and see us for a little while. If he hadn't been with his boss we would have insisted he stay with us for the night, but we cut him some slack since his boss was with him. But that is the only reason!

We enjoyed catching up and hearing all about what is going on at their house. Their new addition to their family -- a puppy. How the kids are doing. School. Jobs. All the usual stuff.

Having friendships like this is rare and having unexpected visits in the middle of a busy week is a treasure!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Song For Everything

Maybe it is hereditary. My Dad did it too.

Today Todd said, "Mom, you have a song for everything!" I couldn't help but laugh.

"Why do you say that, Todd?"

"First you sang this silly "Gloom and Despair" song when you thought I was going to fuss about cleaning my room. Then you sang some crazy "Hop on the Bus, Gus" song when it was time to go get in the car. Then we were eating Flaming Hot Cheetos and you burst into singing the words "Hot Stuff". Do you have a song for everything?"

Before you think I am a bad Mom I only sang those two words to the "Hot Stuff" song. But I am beginning to think Todd is right. The more I think about it I do tend to sing a lot of songs. Words, situations, and phrases tend to trigger songs in my mind.

Like I said before, my Daddy was the same way. He used to sing all these "crazy" songs when we were little. We thought he was the most amazing song writer. We had no idea he was singing songs that he had heard from the radio and from his high school days. We were just three little girls in awe of our amazing Daddy. (We still are.)

The fact that music is such a huge trigger for me now is why we try to surround Todd and Tanner with such a huge collection of positive music now. Skillet, Grits, KJ-52, Disciple, Pillar... might not be my favorite Christian artists but at least I know if they start singing the lyrics to my grandchildren I won't be embarassed.

Unlike me singing "Hot Stuff."

Happy Birthday, Krisa!

Happy Birthday, baby sis!
Even though we are all grown up and trying to be adults, in our hearts we are still just sisters sharing secrets, mistakes and talking about boys (now they are just our husbands!).

I hope that you have a great day today!

Love you bunches!