Monday, August 31, 2009

SkipBo

One of the great opportunities the boys have now that they are being schooled at home is doing community service projects with our homeschool co-op.      We have signed up to be a part of a group that goes to the Waterford Retirement Home at least once a month.      For our first trip the residents invited us to play card games with them.     Their two favorites games are "SkipBo" and "Phase 10".      We had never played "SkipBo" before, but we love "Phase 10".    When we arrived, the residents chose to play "SkipBo" so they taught them how to play.     It was such a fun game that the boys asked to buy it so we could play here at home!

Here are a few pics that our project director took of our first trip:

 
I have to tell you the funniest part about our visit.    We had initially planned to stay for about an hour, but the residents invited the kids to stay longer.    At one point the director came out and told us that she was about to tell the kids it was time to end this session.      She said that Friday at 3:00 was BINGO day and that some of the older gentlemen were getting flustered thinking that our kids were going to stay and play BINGO and possibly win their prizes.    That really cracked us up, but we didn't want to frustrate them so we gathered up the kids and told them we would be back soon.   

The kids had so much fun and can't wait to go back.    Me too!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

You will always be my "Little Guy"

Walking into Women's Hospital eight years ago today I was barely able to stand walking down the hallway.    My contractions were constant and felt like I was being hit with a bowling ball.   

The nurse came to me as I was making my way down the hall and said, "Um, we are out of labor rooms.    We may have to send you to another hospital."  

I looked at her and said, "I will sit here and give birth.     I have already been to the Suites and they were full.    I don't think I can walk back out to the car."    

Her response,  "I will be right back."

"Good.  I will try to keep walking."

When she came back she explained that they had a room that was used as their supply room for the other labor and delivery rooms.    She said they were cleaning out and were going to put a bed in it so that I could use it.    

When we arrived, it was just that.    I knew if we needed anything it was literally within arm's reach.    Ha!

I labored and labored and labored.     They gave me an epidural, but just like with Big Guy, it wouldn't take because of the seizure medicine I have to take.      Also like Big Guy, he was stuck on my pelvis.    No circus trick we tried worked.    Isn't it amazing the things they will ask you to attempt when you are in the middle of labor and have a giant globe on the front of your body?

My doctor said that he thought I should have a c-section, but that the ladies were lined in the hallway waiting for surgery.   (I told you it was packed in the hospitals that night!)    Also, Trent Lott's daughter was giving birth across the hallway and she was ahead of me in line.   

I knew that they were going to knock me out since my epidural wasn't working so I told my doctor.   Give me more time... I am going to try again.    I tried.  I cried.  I prayed.     Nothing worked.

Finally my doctor came back and said that he would try the "tea cups" as Donald and I refer to them.    After 23 hours....

a 7 pounds 4 ounces beautiful baby boy arrived. 
Completely covered with God's fingerprints in every way!

I still can't believe that was eight years ago today.     Last night before bed, I must have gotten a million hugs and kisses from him.     I told him I needed lots of extra because those were the last 7 year old kisses I would ever get.    

Yes... I am the sappiest Mom ever.   I don't deny it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Despite The Fact

Despite the fact these jeans say the fatter you get the better they look, I will never buy these.   AND if I see you wearing them I will laugh at you!!!    *wink*  *wink*

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Frontiersman's Daughter



Lovely but tough as nails, Lael Click is the daughter of a celebrated frontiersman. Haunted by her father's former captivity with the Shawnee Indians, as well as the secret sins of her family's past, Lael comes of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement her father founded.

Though she faces the loss of a childhood love, a dangerous family feud, and the affection of a Shawnee warrior, Lael draws strength from the rugged land she calls home, and from Ma Horn, a distant relative who shows her the healing ways of herbs and roots found in the hills.

But the arrival of an outlander doctor threatens her view of the world, God, and herself--and the power of grace and redemption. This epic novel gives readers a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman.

Laura Frantz's debut novel offers a feast for readers of historical fiction and romance lovers alike.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Frontiersman’s Daughter, go HERE

Book Review: She is definitely her Father's daughter. Cut from a cloth that is made for the frontier life and pioneer living. She is no Laura Ingalls. Lael has grown up not only living in the frontier, but loving it too.

There is a fort which many of the Kentucky settlement people retreat to in times of danger and even in winter, but Lael hates it. It makes her feel trapped and claustrophobic. Many people go there out of fear of the local Indians, but Lael has a feeling of awe and respect for them. She has a long distance admiration with one of the Indian chiefs. She is aware that he keeps watch over her and while that somewhat scares her it also thrills her.

In her mind the Indians and settlers should be able to reside peacefully but somehow that doesn't happen because of the constant miscommunication and fear.

Surrender The Wind



Book Description:

Seth Braxton, a patriot of the American Revolution, unexpectedly inherits his loyalist grandfather's estate in England. Seth is torn between the land he fought for and the prospect of reuniting with his sister Caroline, who was a motherless child taken to England at the onset of the war.
With no intention of staying permanently, Seth arrives to find his sister grieving over the death of her young son. In the midst of such tragedy, Seth meets Juleah, the daughter of an eccentric landed gentleman. Her independent spirit and gentle soul steal Seth's heart. After a brief courtship, they marry and she takes her place as the lady of Ten Width Manor, enraging the man who once sought her hand and schemed to make Ten Width his own. From the Virginia wilderness to the dark halls of an isolated English estate, Seth and his beloved Juleah inherit more than an ancestral home. They uncover a sinister plot that leads to murder, abduction, and betrayal--an ominous threat to their new life, love, and faith.

If you would like to reas the Prologue of Surrender The Wind, go HERE

Watch the trailer:





Book Review:      Seth had no plans of returning to England.     He was deeply loyal to his new Country.   So much so he had just fought in the American Revolution.   To return could very well mean being tried as a traitor.    However, you know what they say about the best laid plans...

Seth can't ignore the fact that he needs to know that his sister is taken care of after the death of his Grandfather and his estate is left to him in his will.      His intention is to make a quick trip to England, settle the estate, make sure his sister and her child is taken care of and return home.     Those plans don't work out either.     Not only is he not expecting to come face to face with one of his fiercest rivals from the battlefield in a new and now all too familiar setting, but more than that, he didn't expect to have his heart stolen by his sister's best friend.

Murder, intrigue, deception and romance.... this book has it all!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The "Hannah Box"

We don't typically celebrate birthdays for an entire week, but with hubs having a birthday tomorrow and Little Guy having a birthday Saturday it is kind of going to turn out that way.

The weekend was spent shopping for birthday presents.     Hubs has really wanted a new grill.     The boys and I really wanted him to have a new grill because he makes the best bbq chicken EVER!    SMILE.       We thought we had found the lowest price for the grill he wanted until we made a random walk through Hudsons and found the exact one for $70 less!   SCORE!   

During the weekend it occurred to me that the grandparent's had sent emails asking what Little Guy had wanted for his birthday.    I had forwarded those emails to his email address and asked him to respond to them.      So, I called him into the living room and this is the conversation we had:

Mom:  "Hey, sweetie.   Not to long ago I sent you some emails from the Grandparents asking what you wanted for your birthday.   Did you rememember to email or call them back?"

Little Guy:  "Sure, Mom.   I did that a long time ago."

Mom:  "Great.    What kinds of things did you ask for?"

Little Guy:  "Oh, I didn't ask for things, Mom.    I asked for money."

Mom:  "Money?"

Little Guy:   "Yes.   Money.    I am raising money for Hannah and her orphanage in Africa.     If all of my family and friends give me money then maybe I can help her buy something good for the orphans."

For those of you who don't remember, our cousin, Hannah, spends her summers working in orphanages in Africa.      She is a college student so she goes to school and works jobs during the school year to raise money to buy items that these precious children need:   formula, diapers, clothing, etc...    Last year she even bought fire extinguishers and tarps to keep out rain.       We read her blog while she was gone and prayed for her daily.    

I started what I call the "Hannah Box".    It allows us to collect money that we find for Hannah.     Finding money or even being given money from unexpected places is a great lesson to my boys about God's provision.      They also feel like they are going to be a part of Hannah's mission trip through their contribution.

I am so proud of you, Little Guy.     Proud of you for following God's leading on your heart.    Proud of you for being so selfless to give up your birthday presents to see that children in Africa can have more.       God is molding you every day to be an incredible man and I am so honored that He chose me to be your Mom.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kathryn's Fountain


Book Description:

Kathryn is resigned to living out her last days at Victorian Manor, a beautiful old home for senior citizens. Then one day a miraculous experience happens to Kathryn at the garden fountain, and she begins living an adventure beyond her wildest dreams. Love and sacrifice take on new meaning as she involves a social worker and a police detective in carrying out what she believes to be her calling -- to rescue a street child named Jasmine.

Kathryn's Fountain celebrates the gifts that the generations can bring to each other. The conclusion is a resounding affirmation that it's never too late to make a difference.

If you would like to read an excerpt from Kathryn's Fountain, go HERE

Book Review:

At my husband's family reunion, one of the members of his family who has been a pastor for quite a few years said, "People keep asking me when I am going to retire. I say as long as there is "fire" (hell), I can't retire." Unfortunately, he is in the minority. For some reason when people get older they seem to think they aren't useful anymore or maybe they have done their part.

Kathryn's Fountain was a wonderful example of how you are never too old to make a difference in someone life. Sometimes you may be the only person that can help someone. God may have hand picked you to help and if you choose not to help then that person will be hurting.

Kathryn definitely never thought she would be making an impact. She was living in a retirement home. People go there to die gracefully. Not live abundantly. However, when a little girl shows up hungry and hurting, a spark is lit in both of their lives.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Update on Little Guy's Arm

I took Little Guy to the orthopedic surgeon yesterday morning.   He had been hurting more and more in his arm instead of less and less. The surgeon took more xrays and said that the bones seemed to be fine.   However, he obviously had muscle and tendon problems causing his pain which needed to be taken care of. His advice was to put Little Guy in a shoulder to hand cast to let his arm rest. We did that and went home.


About mid afternoon Little Guy was miserable and begging that we take it off.   Poor Big Guy was doing anything to help relieve his little brothers suffering. He grabbed a fan and tried to aim cool air down the cast, he grabbed Benadryl to give him, gave him cool drinks... you name it.  He knows his little brother. He is "Mr. Tough".  If he is complaining something is wrong.

I called the doctor and asked if this was normal. They told us to come straight back in. Little Guy had an allergic reaction to the cast materials. They took off the cast, relined it with a different lining and then put it back on. He is to keep the cast on until next Friday when we go in for an evaluation. If the pain is better great, if not, the doctor is going to order some further testing.

Little Guy and the orthopedic surgeon hit it off. They both love science and they spent 30 minutes discussing gravity, Copernicus and Isaac Newton. He even gave Little Guy a homework assignment to complete before he go back next Friday. Ha!

This morning, we are thinking that we are living with Oscar the Grouch. Between the arm pain, lack of sleep and uncomfortable cast, he is not his normal self. I can't help it, but somehow this winds up being funny to me more than anything else.

Have you ever tried to do school with Oscar the Grouch? Fun times! Ha!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Prayers for Little Guy

When we were in Atlanta, Little Guy fell and hurt his arm. We took him to the ER after we arrived home and had it looked at and xrayed. They put him in a splint to keep it immobile, but instead of it getting better it has gotten worse.

Last week we were reading and he was stretched across my lap. When he tried to get up he yelled out in pain. It hurt for the rest of the night, but seemed better the next day. We thought maybe he had just gotten a cramp. However, on Monday it started hurting again. It hasn't quit. He hasn't slept and he hasn't eaten. We took him back to the doctor yesterday and after his exam he agreed that he needed to see a pediatric orthopedist again.

Our appointment is for 8:00 this morning. Pray that they will tell us exactly what is wrong and give us a solution. Little Guy is not a complainer. He has to be really hurting to say anything. Seeing him sit completely still and his face so pale makes us know how much he is hurting. It also makes us feel so helpless.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Montana Rose

Book Description

When surrounded by a mob of ill-bred, foul-smelling, women-hungry men, the newly widowed and seemingly spoiled Cassie “China Doll” Griffin has no choice. Marrying handyman Red Dawson seems the only alternative to Cassie’s being hitched to a brutal rancher. But can this “China doll” bear exchanging smooth silk for coarse calico? Red was reluctant to be yoked to an unbeliever, but sometimes a man has no choice. Will Red change Cassie’s heart by changing her name? Wade Sawyer is obsessed with saving Cassie from a marriage of convenience. How far will he go make her his own?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Montana Rose, go HERE


Book Review: Beat into submission. That pretty much describes Cassie Griffin. The town views her as this goody two shoes, but in reality, she is trying to live a perfect life so that she can avoid the wrath of her husband. But in a blink her husband is dead and she is cast from one nightmare to another. She is literally standing on her husband's grave surrounded by the men of the town demanding she choose one of them as her next husband. Before she is taken away by a man who, believe it or not, is more evil than her no deceased husband, a quiet man steps forward and forsakes every belief he has ever had and says he will marry her. The catch in this whole situation? Cassie is pregnant with her first husband's child.

I loved this book! I nearly had a panic attack reading the scene at the beginning when the men were forcing her to choose. My husband and I are doing the "Love Dare" right now and it was like watching Red act it out on the pages of this book.

Catching Up

I feel like I have abandoned my blog lately.     Our lives have taken some very different turns and we are establishing some new routines.     Just a few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about our plan for the school year.     Our plan was to put Big Guy in a private school and Little Guy in the next level of our local public school.    However, while we were at a parent's interview at Big Guy's private school I very plainly heard God speak to me.       His words were, "This is a lovely school, but don't get comfortable.    I have other plans for your school year."  

I did not hear another word of that interview.    I was so stunned.   We had prayed so much about that private school decision.     God was changing the plan?     However, I knew that His ways were perfect.    I began praying that night.      I did not say anything to my hubs about it.    I don't know why, but I just didn't feel like it was time.      I prayed literally day and night for two weeks.    At the end of those two weeks I have some very clear directions from God.    So I followed those directions and sat back and waited.

A lot of things transpired during the summer.   It was amazing watching God work.   Pieces of the puzzle were falling in place.       

So... last Monday the boys started school right here at home.    They have officially been registered with the Mississippi Department of Education as homeschoolers.    

We are now eight days into our school year and I am astounded.    One of the boy's biggest complaints about school has been that it is "boring".    After trying to assess where they are in their academics I can understand why.   

Big Guy is supposed to be taking pre-algebra, but he is already way into the second semester of the material according to the assessment tests.       Little Guy has tested out of good parts of his "grade" curriculum too.    No wonder they were so bored in the classroom.

I picked a challenging history curriculum.      I have worried about how they were going to handle it.     Today was the first test.     These test are no joke.     There is no matching.     No multiple choice.     It is all fill in the blank, essay questions and sequencing of historical events.     Both boys passed it with flying colors!

While they are enjoying the challenge, they have also realized that I am going to expect more out of them.    Those first day of the Greek and Latin lessons were met with a few moans.   Ha!  

I never thought I would say I was a homeschool Mom, but God has a sense of humor and bigger plans than my little brain could dream!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Night Watchman


Book Description

When everything is ripped away...

Eleven months ago, Ray Quinn was a tough, quick-witted Orlando homicide detective at the top of his game-until a barrage of bullets ended his career.and his partner's life.

Now medically retired with a painful handicap, Ray battles the haunting guilt for his partner's death. Numbing the pain with alcohol and attitude, Ray takes a job as a night watchman at a swanky Orlando condo community.

But when a pastor and an exotic dancer are found dead in one of the condos in an apparent murder-suicide, Ray can no longer linger in the shadows. The victim’s sister is convinced her brother was framed and begs Ray to take on an impossible case─to challenge the evidence and clear her brother’s name.

Ray reluctantly pulls the thread of this supposedly dead-end case only to unravel a murder investigation so deep that it threatens to turn the Orlando political landscape upside down and transform old friends into new enemies. As Ray chases down leads and interrogates suspects, someone is watching his every move, someone determined to keep him from ever finding out the truth─at any cost.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Night Watchman, go HERE

Book Review

I had no idea this book was in my pile of "to be read" books until I was going through my basket looking for my next book to read.   It must have arrived while I was on vacation.    I try to tag my books with post-its so I will know when they are due.    SO... I can't give you a final review on this book.    What I can tell you is that when I sat down to read it I was immediately sucked in to the book.       This writer is extremely quick witted.    I found myself laughing out loud when the main character said "Grandma Moses on a pogo stick would be faster than he was".     

Better run... I am headed to go finish this book.    SO great!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mohammed's Moon


Book Description:
Two brothers separated at birth grow up worlds apart. Outwardly, they're exactly alike, but inwardly, nothing's the same--one is a devotee of fundamentalist Islam; the other, a Christian. In this modern-day Cain and Abel story, the lines are drawn not just over whose God is right, but also over the fact that they're both in love with the same girl.

It's a conflict with grave repercussions, little hope of resolution--and time is running out. In the background, a plan has been set in motion that will bring the United States government to its knees. Will an unexpected visitation reconcile the brothers in time to save the woman they love--and ultimately, themselves--from the coming devastation?

In his award-winning style, author Keith Clemons delivers a profound comparison between Christianity and Islam, a dichotomy of life versus death, love versus hate, and grace versus legalism. Mohamed's Moon will plunge you into a world where hatred and heinous acts are justified. But if hatred is potent, it pales in comparison to the power of God's love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Mohamed's Moon, go HERE

Book Review:

My first experience with a person of the Islam faith was not a bad one. He was a gentleman of quiet spirit and we became friends. He worked with my family. His different faith was obvious in the way he dressed as well as in the way he talked, but he was respectful, polite and kind. He and my Dad were friends and their friendship continues to this day.

When I left for college I met other people of the Islam faith. They were very different than my childhood friend. I was taken aback. Very surprised at their aggressiveness and hostility towards me. They didn't know me, but they did not like me because of my faith.

I was very torn. The compassion I had felt for the heart and soul of my lifelong friend didn't seem to extend to these angry, hurtful people. I felt threatened.

These emotions are very much the same as these two brothers in Mohammed's Moon. Like the book description says, this is a modern day Cain and Abel story. However, it is more than that. It is a glimpse into how we as Christians are underestimating the power of God's love to change lives in our world today. What a great book for a book club to use to discuss making a difference in our communities!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Construction Is Part of the Fun

Most parents stay up hours before Christmas putting toys together so their children can have their toys ready to go on Christmas morning.     Not hubs and I.   If we did that our boys would be so disappointed.     They think that putting things together is as much a part of the fun as playing with the toy.

That is why when I bought an "office in a box" from WalMart last night I wasn't worried about how it was going to get put together.      As soon as those boxes were brought in they were asking if they could get started putting it all together.    


As you can see from the picture (borrowed from the Walmart website), there are three pieces:  a desk, a file cabinet, and a bookshelf.       I have to say that I am not good at putting things together; however, if you give my boys a set of instructions they can put anything together.     This morning my office in a box looks exactly like that picture.

So if you have boys consider letting them put their toys together.      It is entertainment and it is a great teachable moment!

Monday, August 10, 2009

New Kittens

In an effort to jump start our week I got up and made the boy's favorite muffins this morning.     The house still smells yummy as I enjoy my second cup of coffee.     I started last week getting the boys up at "school" time so they are both up and dressed, beds made, had breakfast and have their morning chores done.      Now I just need to do the same thing.   *smile*

Hubs and the boys went home to the country this weekend to see Grandma and Grandpa's new kittens.    They were born while we were in Atlanta.     We briefly considered stopping on our way home, but we were all so tired when we got to that point we just wanted to keep driving.

No surprise.... the boys fell in love with those sweet little kittens.   So tiny.  

Grandma and Little Guy tried to convince the kittens to eat real food for the first time.



The kittens were crawling all over Big Guy...



This kitten fell in love with Little Guy and he feel in love with the kitten.


Both boys fell asleep with kittens curled up with them.      Is that not CUTE???


Is it any wonder that when the boys came home without the kittens Little Guy cried all the way home?    It didn't matter that the kittens were too tiny to leave their mother.    He was just heartbroken that he had to leave those kittens.     Oh my goodness.   

I have a feeling the kitten discussion is one we will be having again.  

Friday, August 7, 2009

Foto Friday: My Nieces

I love being an aunt.    I am lucky to have three beautiful nieces.     You all know about my precious twin nieces who were born last December.      They are growing so quickly which made me realize I hadn't posted pics of them in a while.

Here is LK...



And here is MM...

 
Aren't they beautiful?
Speaking of growing quickly?    My beautiful, talented, gorgeous niece, J, is a senior in high school this year.   Her Mom (my sister) and I started crying about it last year.    J was the first grandchild in our family.      She is special to all of us and we are so proud of her and all of her accomplishments.     I still love her even though she has chosen to go to Mississippi State.    (She can't be perfect!)
This picture was taken of her in the last couple of days.    It represents a couple of things.   First, her braces are gone!    Second, she got a new haircut for her senior year.

I am one lucky aunt.    Three beautiful nieces.   Three precious nephews.     God's blessings know no end!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Sacred Cipher



History's greatest secret could be tomorrow's greatest threat More historically and biblically accurate than The DaVinci Code and just as adventurous as an Indiana Jones movie, The Sacred Cipher combines action and mystery to draw readers into a world of ancient secrets and international escapades.

When an ancient scroll appears in a secret room of the Bowery Mission in New York City, Tom Bohannon is both stunned and intrigued. The enigma of the scroll's contents will send Bohannon and his team ricocheting around the world, drawing the heat of both Jewish and Muslim militaries, and bringing the Middle East to the brink of nuclear war in this heart-pounding adventure of historical proportions. The Sacred Cipher is a riveting, fact-based tale of mystery and suspense.


If you want to read the Prologue of The Sacred Cipher, go HERE


Book Review:    When did I start loving this book?  Page 1.   Following the historic journey of this Sacred Cipher literally through history and through the many scholars who were trying to solve its mystery.     For as many people who were trying to solve this puzzle, there were that many people willing to murder to see that the puzzle was never solved.     The puzzle's mystery is so great that it brings the Middle East to the brink of nuclear war.     

I don't know how to say it better than this:  I LOVED this book.      Oftentimes when you read a book of this length, you find "filler".   "Filler" in my definition are things that the author added for word count.     In my opinion "fillers" add nothing to the story.   However, there is NONE of that in The Sacred Cipher. 

Great, great, great book!

   

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Offworld


"Every Person on This Planet Has Disappeared."

Commander Christopher Burke and his crew are humanity's greatest explorers. They've finished their mission on the red dirt of Mars and now they just want to get back to Earth. To see friends, family, and loved ones. To be home. But even with communication to ground control cut and a perilous landing, nothing could prepare the crew for what they discover when they step foot back on planet Earth.

Everyone...everywhere...is gone.

It's not a dream. It's not a trick. Now Burke and his team have one mission:find out who or what is behind the disappearance of all mankind.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Offworld, go HERE

Book Review: This book fits more into the sci-fi category than the Christian fiction category in my opinion. When I first read the book description I automatically thought this book might fall into the vein as that of "Left Behind" or others like that. Thankfully, it did not, as I am not a fan of that series.

Action packed sequences kept me turning pages until I got to the end of the book. Although they might not quite enjoy the well developed characters like I did, I could imagine both my husband and son enjoying this book.

As I read this book, I wondered just how much Parrish had watched the television show "Lost" while writing this book and it had simple aspects of that show.

If you are a sci-fi junkie or know a sci-fi junkie then this book will definitely appeal to you!

Rock Star Treatment

Home again.      After a wonderful week in Atlanta we have unpacked everything and almost washed all of the dirty laundry.   

We have even made trips to the ER as we discovered that Little Guy broke his elbow while we were at the skating rink on Saturday.      In a weird twist of events, he didn't break it while skating but while we were taking off skates.     He had lifted up a foot to get help getting a knot out of his skate and his other foot flew out from under him.    He landed flat on his back with his right arm pinned under him.    As expected he said it hurt when it happened, but he seemed fine for the rest of the night.   He played and only said that it was sore.    The next morning he said that it was really sore and the ride home was really uncomfortable.    A trip to the ER revealed the broken elbow.    *sigh*

When we were driving home we receiving an email from hubs.      It said this:  

You guys rock so I'm treating you like rock stars.... 
So that being said I need your lists of things you want when in your rooms when you arrive.

Is that not the sweetest thing you have ever read?     The boys emailed him back with their requests.     Little Guy wanted colored pencils and a Nestle Crunch bar.   Big Guy wanted a game that he had played at his friends house.     Me?   I just wanted a glass of my husband's sweet tea and a good hot shower.     Forget McAlister's.... my hubs makes the best sweet tea in the world!       
When we got home he had the sweetest gifts for us.     The best gift I received was seeing his sweet face and walking into a clean house, a bed with clean sheets and his strong arms to hug me tight!