Friday, May 30, 2008

Avoiding Laundry

Laundry is not my boy's favorite thing to do. So when I pulled the load out of the dryer and told them to join me on the floor folding, I knew I wasn't Mom of the moment. However, things have to be done. With three of us on the job it took all of three minutes. (Whew, life is hard!)

I sent them to their rooms with instructions to put away their laundry away. A while later I noticed that little guy was looking a little funny. A little padded in the bottom area. When I asked him what was going on he just grinned.

When I asked again he burst out laughing and said, "I have on six pairs of underwear!"

Apparently in a six year old's mind it is easier to WEAR all the underwear than just put them in the dresser drawer.

Drink Snob!

You know who you are! You gave me that disgusted face when I drank sweet tea and you ordered your vitamin water. That look that clearly said you were making a superior drink choice and you thought I was pouring toxins into my body.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! (Imagine me singing that.) Whose laughing now? Men's Health just released their list of the most unhealthy drinks and guess what tops the list? Your Vitamin Water -- any flavor will do!!!

The breakdown:

a 20 oz bottle

130 calories

33 grams sugar

Vitamins and water might sound like the ultimate nutritional tag team, but what the label doesn’t say is that a bottle of this stuff carries nearly as much sugar and calories as a can of Coke which is appropriate since it is made by The Coca-Cola Company.

Who has the drinking problem now? :-)

(So we are still on for lunch next week, right?!? I'll buy the drinks! How does sweet tea sound? I know -- I'm evil!)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

You Can't Really Be Surprised

Everybody is acting so surprised over Scott McClellan releasing his scathing tell all book detailing his time at the White House. Why?

It is all political posturing. This one time "loyal" Bush supporter is now throwing him under the bus in his pathetic attempt to influence the presidential election and make a few bucks.

May all your books wind up in the deep, deep discount racks where people pass them by as the nonsense that it is. Or better yet, since you played such a vital role in a administration you thought was so wrong... give all the profits of your book to charity.

Word of the Day: Touchative

We have a little AeroPool in our backyard. It is fun to splash around in and stay cool when the weather is hot. The other day all three boys were playing some wrestling, water gun torture game when they got bored and decided it would be more fun to shoot Mom who was relaxing and enjoying a book. Of course, this means I was forced to jump in and show them who is boss of this family -- clothes and all -- ha!

After a few minutes of mock-drowning the guys (their favorite Mom game), we were just sitting and catching our breath. Donald was rubbing my back and he leaned over and kissed me.

Big guy said, "Ooooo! Way too touchative!"

Word of the day!

I didn't get my three wishes!!!!!

I saw this headline while glancing at the WAPT Storm Team radar to see how much more rain we were going to get before I started calling Bass Pro Shop to order our pontoon boat. Hey, wait! Disney had magic wands? And they are recalling them? Oh, shoot! And before I got my three wishes!!

Perfect opportunity for another question session with the boys...

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

Little guy: 1. To have a million dollars 2. to have a work out room 3. to have a dog

Big guy: 1. To have an unlimited number of wishes! (but if you wouldn't let me do that I would have 1. To be the CEO of a big company 2. To have the power of telekinesis 3. that my cousin, Andrew, lived next door to me)

What about you?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Got an ark?

Our backyard is flooded. What is worse is the fact that our house sits up the hill from our neighbor's house so consequently they are really flooded. The water is up to their deck and with much more rain it is going to be in their house.

We have complained about this problem to the City of Ridgeland about this problem before. As a matter we are waiting on the City to come out right now and look at our yards now.

We have a suspicion as to the source of this problem but right now we just want the problem repaired.
My boys don't think this is a problem at all.... they are searching for their boogie boards!

Just A Little Conversation

The boys and I were laying around the den. We had just finished watching Tom and Jerry where Jerry drinks a potion and turns invisible so I decided to ask them what they would do if they had the opportunity to be invisible. This turned into a random question session. I don't think I remember all the questions we tossed around, but here are a few. I learned a lot about my boys. These are some of my favorite times.

If you could be invisible, where would you go?

Little guy: I would go in the swimming pool naked.

Big guy: I would pull some pranks on my former principal. Ha!

Me: Information gathering!

If you could eat lunch with anybody living, who would it be?

Little guy: Toby Mac

Big Guy: Rob Beckley (lead singer for Pillar)

Me: my husband

If you could eat lunch with anybody who has died, who would it be?

Little guy: I can’t pick between Elvis or Einstein.

Big guy: Uncle James

Me: Jesus (although that is a trick question because although He died He isn’t dead!)

If you could go back in time, what time period would you live in?

Little guy: Whenever Elvis lived

Big guy: The Medieval Times

Me: Go back… no way!

If I gave you a $1,000 right now what would you do with it?

Little guy: Use half the money to buy an electric guitar and give half to charity.

Big guy: I would give half to my cousin, Andrew, and use some to buy tech decks and a PSP.

Me: Head to the beach!

(What about you? How would you answer some of these questions?)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer Projects

I am big on summer projects. Sitting in front of the television or the playstation is just a good way to fry your brain in my opinion. However, there is nothing more boring than those summer bridge workbooks.

With Memorial Day past us, I am trying to settle us into more of a routine and so this afternoon Big Guy said, "Mom, when are you going to tell us?"

(That is the best time to introduce the projects - when they are interested!)

I pulled out one of my bags filled with art supplies that I had been collecting including four fresh art books. I gave them each two books. One book was for doodling and whatever creative drawing they wanted to do. The other was for creative art assignments.

Their first assignment: Using the art supplies I had given them (ruler, circle ruler, charcoal, water colors, colored pencils, etc...) and design what their album cover would look like if they had a band.

Their eyes got really BIG and they both said "Cool!".

If they love this, they are going to love the photography scavenger hunts I have planned.

Memorial Day Memories

Memorial Day was a wonderful, relaxing day. I am now officially hooked on summer.

It was a day full of...

...the smells of gardenia, honeysuckle, fresh cut grass, food being cooked on the grill and chlorine in the pool.

...the site of my boys playing on bicycle ramps, ping pong, the trampoline, in the water, and with water balloons with their friends.

...the taste of lemonade and strawberry smoothies.

...hearing the laughter of kids playing, the roar of lawn mowers and the wheezing of me after a bike ride (I really need to ride more).

...the feel of grass between my toes, sunscreen on my nose and ice down my shirt (yes, my husband is a big kid!).

...the emotion of seeing the impromptu memorial to a fallen soldier in the front yard of a neighbor and remembering my own high school friend, Brian, who died two Christmases ago.

...the memory of those who have so selflessly served to make our freedom possible to have such a wonderful day. I appreciate those in my life who have served in the military: my Daddy, Denny, Jay, Edward, Randy and especially, Brian, who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Click to play May Photos
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

These Parents Are A "Joke"

There are days when every parent is so exhausted from the sheer energy levels of their children that they really need a break. My friend and I have often joked and said, "Need a few?" when on the phone and could hear kids running in the background.

However, apparently one set of parents decided to take it one step further when they placed their seven month old on eBay. They posted this sweet baby for an opening bid of one euro (or $1.60). After German authorities took custody of the baby, the parents said it was just a joke. Authorities are investigating the parents for possible child trafficking.

A joke? Somebody better teach these people some knock-knock jokes, thumb wrestling, even hide and seek. Putting your child on eBay doesn't even fall into the "joke" category!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Did I Say That Out Loud?

Anne Jackson posted a question on her blog FlowerDust that really caught my attention, and apparently a lot of other people's attention as well.

"What is something you feel you can't say in church, or around other Christians?"

Some of the responses she has gotten include:

  • I’d rather look like a good christian than put in the time and effort to actually be one.
  • You rock, ’cause God didn’t have time to create a nobody and you are awesome!
  • I currently feel NO connection to God when I pray or read the bible.
  • I don’t often tell anybody what I really believe about women in ministry - it’s too heavy for most people and honestly, I think most don’t want to hear it.
  • When I say “I’ll pray for you.” I don’t usually mean it. I have been a Christian for 27 years and I still don’t understand the point of praying.
  • I like to swear. It makes me feel better.
  • Billary and Bammamamma are from satan - there, I said it
  • How come pastors don’t live what they teach?

How about you? What would you say?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Celebrating Summer

After 5th grade awards on Tuesday morning, we loaded our van up our big guy and a bunch his friends and headed out to celebrate the end of school and big guy's 11th birthday. The boys were all so hyped up and I wasn't sure if we were going to be able to fit both them and their energy inside our van.

Big Guy said he wanted to get some lunch to start so we headed to Applebee's. After the guys wolfed down enough food to feed an army, we headed to Swell-O-Phonic so they could show off their mad skateboarding skills. Swell-O-Phonic has a great mini skateboard park area with ramps and grind rails so the boys were able to enjoy a couple of hours of skating. I was glad that I had planned ahead and brought a couple of packs of Gatorade because the Mississippi heat was unbelievable.

We headed home thinking they were exhausted but they busted out of the van only to set up the ramp in the street for more skateboarding until dark. Where do these guys get their energy?

The next morning they were up with the sun, scarfed down a couple of boxes of cereal and gallons of milk and were back out having more fun. I had to interrupt their fun to go pick up little guy from his last day of school. While in the van they decided they would like to extend the party for one day. Why not? These guys were all great and well behaved so we called the parents and received permission. We made a quick run for more groceries and then called hubby to see if he wanted to go see "Prince Caspian" at the movies with us that afternoon.

What does it take to feed a group of 5th grade boys? spaghetti, makings for nachos, hot dogs, pizzas, cinnamon rolls, 4 boxes of cereal, white powdered donuts, Oreos, 2 gallons of ice cream and toppings, 3 gallons of milk, 3 bags of chips (including the required flaming hot Cheetos), lemonade, Gatorade, soft drinks

I can't imagine a better way for big guy to end his 5th grade year and start his summer. These were a great group of guys and it was fun having the house full of boys having fun.

The cost of the perfect start to summer: PRICELESS!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

To My Daddy...

To My Daddy...

...Whose hugs make you feel as you are the most important and loved person in the world.

...Who never failed to make me feel beautiful no matter how gawky and awkward I felt/feel.

...Who never gave up on me despite the number of mistakes I made and number of nights he tried to explain Algebra to me. (I'm sorry I still don't get it.)

...Who made the dinner table a place where you didn't only get nourishment for the body, but nourishment for the soul.

...Who taught us to find the laughter in every situation. (We still get in trouble for laughing at some very inappropriate moments, don't we?)

...Who taught us what love is by loving Mom for 41 years (and counting).

...Who set a high bar for the men in our life by treating us like ladies and showing us what a true Christian man of integrity is supposed to be.

I am so lucky. Happy Birthday, Daddy! I love you.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Parent's Nightmare

From News Reports:

The 5-year-old daughter of Grammy-winning Christian music star Steven
Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle
driven by her
brother, authorities said.The girl, Maria Sue, was hit in the
driveway of the
family's home Wednesday afternoon by a Toyota Land Cruiser
driven by her teenage brother, said Laura McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee
Highway Patrol.The brother, whose name and exact age weren't available,
apparently did not see the girl, McPherson said. No charges are expected."It
looks like a tragic accident," she said.

My heart plummeted to my stomach when I read this today. My friend Cheryl sent out an email asking if we had heard about this terrible accident. She knew that Julie and I are big fans of SCC and his music.
There are few things in life that terrify me more than the thought of losing my two boys. I love them more than myself and feel it is my responsibility to protect them. I know every parent feels that way. However, there is no way to protect them 24 hours a day. That is why I pray constantly that God will be their shield and protector. That he will remind them to put their armor on every day.

My heart goes out to Steven and his wife Mary Beth and their entire family today. They are living my nightmare and my heart breaks for them. However, I also know that they have a great big God who be holding them every step of the way along with the prayers and support of many who love them.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Kids in the Kitchen

My boys love to get in the kitchen -- with or without me. I am always looking for new recipes for them to try. I found this one that I think they will enjoy and will be fun for them to try during our summer break.

Crunchy French Toast

2 or 3 slices of bread, cut into quarters
1 cup cornflake cereal (we are going to try a Corn Flake like cereal with blueberries in it)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 drops of vanilla
Butter and pancake syrup

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
2 Put the bread pieces on a lined baking sheet into the warming oven (it does not need to be at full temperature) to toast lightly for 5 minutes. Cool the bread completely.
3 Seal the cornflakes in a heavy plastic bag. Crush them with a rolling pin to the size of rolled oats. Pour into a pie pan or a shallow dish. Set aside.
4 In a large bowl, whisk to mix the eggs, milk, flour and vanilla until blended. Be sure there are no lumps of unmixed flour. Pour into a pie pan or shallow dish. In batches, lay the bread pieces in the egg mix. Soak about 1 minute on each side in the egg mixture. Be careful not to rip the bread. 5 Place the bread pieces in the cornflake crumbs. Coat both sides with the crumbs. Place on the lined baking sheet.
6 Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes on one side. Then flip over with tongs or a spatula and bake another 5 to 10 minutes, until the crumbs begin to turn brown. Eat warm with butter and pancake syrup.
Makes 2 or 3 servings.

Recipe from: Kitchen for Kids

Monday, May 19, 2008

Graduation from Boot Camp

"Tomorrow I graduate from boot camp, Mom." said my big guy.

We sat in silence as we let the words sink in. Three years. Three years in "boot camp". No, he isn't in the military. That is just the knickname he and his friends have given the school they attend.

March here. March there. Don't talk. Don't breathe. Fun? That word is not allowed. You can have fun when you go home. You are here to learn, soldier!

Sounds harsh, but it is true. We adore the teachers and I am in love with the kids. It is just that the top administrator does not exactly put "pal" in principal. Until that changes these teachers and future students are destined to keep attending school boot camp style. Or as one teacher told me, "hell on earth."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Taste of Summer

I love the weekend. This weekend we helped our friends move some of their stuff into their new house. Saturday morning we were up bright and early watching our little slugger play his baseball game. Donald worked in the yard trimming the bushes which had gotten a little out of control. The boys pulled out the slip and slide and had a ball.

I even saw the king snake in the asiatic jasmine. Who knows how long he has lived there, but I have seen him every summer since we moved into this house eight years ago. Seeing him means summer has arrived.

Tonight we were all relaxing and one of the boys suggested we watch a movie that we had recorded. I said sure until I remembered... we have school tomorrow. BUMMER! I had already jumped off into summer land.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sheri, You Should Have Written This Book!!

I hope my friend Sheri is reading this posting. She should have written this book. When my boys were little it was a source of constant humor that I so clueless about nursery rhymes. She was a teacher and former preschool director and could sing anything. Me.... I could sing the ABC song if I had a good night's sleep.

I saw this book in Barnes & Noble and thought, "That is the perfect baby gift." Considering we are about to have a baby boom in our life, I will be picking up several of these books.
Book: Humpty Who? - A Crash Course in 80 Nursery Rhymes for Clueless Moms and Dads
Description: What-to-read as well as a how-to-read, this collection of 80 rhymes, songs, and finger play features all the timeless characters and their stories—Jack and Jill, Georgie Porgie, Little Bo Peep, Contrary Mary. But it's more than just Mother Goose. There are lullabies, rounds, and riddles. How to recite "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider," and make the hand-motions that have held children spellbound for generations. How to act out "I'm a Little Teapot". Plus, there are explanations for curious kids (and adults) on things like exactly what a "tuffet" is and how to make "pease porridge"; suggestions for reciting the poetry of the greats (Shakespeare, Blake, Dickinson); tips on how to improvise; and the secret weapon of the yoga "Om." The accompanying CD is both great to play for baby, and a fun way for parents to learn the music that goes along with many of the rhymes.
Sounds perfect! Give me about five!!

Sticks and Stones...

Sticks and stones may break my bones (you can get a cast for that).
But all these words... pretty soon they may kill me.

I am glad that school is almost out.
School is no more fun as a grown up than it was in junior high.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Two Little Ladybugs Sitting On My Windshield...

On the way home there were two ladybugs on our windshield. They were, um, mating.

Little guy said, "Look! They are on a "date"!" Then he just died laughing.

Big guy rolled his eyes and said, "Oh yea, she loves dragging him around like that."

Little guy: "She's not dragging him. They are having sex."

It was at this point I was sorely tempted to turn on the windshield wipers and wash these ladybugs right out of our conversation!

What a way to end the week.

Recipe for a Saturday Picnic

If the weather permits, I just think a picnic sounds so great. I have been planning the menu in my mind for days. Throw in a blanket, a frisbee, the boys' rip-stiks, some books and we have the makings of a perfect afternoon.

Recipe for a Picnic
1 Picnic Basket
1 Container of Fruity Chicken Salad*
1 Bag of Whole Wheat Bagel Chips
4 Bottles of Water
4 Bottles of Orange Crush
4 Bags of Mixed Fruit
1 bag of our favorite chips
Wet Wipes

Directions: Chunk it all into the picnic basket, throw the kids into the car and head to one of our favorite picnic spots!

* Fruity Chicken Salad
One rotisserie chicken
1 bunch red seedless grapes
3 handfuls pecan halves, chopped into smaller pieces
2 hearts of celery, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Take the rotisserie chicken and remove the skin, then pull the meat off in bite-size pieces. Add the mayonnaise to taste and celery. Add the grape halves and pecan pieces, mix and add salt & pepper to taste. We love to eat this with wheat bagel chips.

National Bike To Work Day

Did you know that today is National Bike To Work Day? What a great day for it. After several days of rain, the weather is perfect to strap on your bike helmet and bike to work. Of course, we are lucky because we live relatively close to our boy's schools and my husband's work and Ridgeland is installing bike trails all over the place so it is very bicycle friendly. For some, like my sister who drives from Clinton to Vicksburg, biking would definitely pose some hazards and require leaving REALLY early.

When I checked the national website, there are not currently any activities listed under Mississippi, but I am sure that Mayor McGee will change that with the opening of all of our bicycle trails.

Whether you bike to work today or not, I hope today is great for you. It's FRIDAY!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Aliens Welcome In Catholic Church

I'm am cruising around the blogasphere today and ran across an article that said that the Vatican's chief astronomers issued a statement from their observatory to say that it was o.k. to believe in aliens. They said any intelligent life outside of earth would definitely be created by God.

Excuse me while I pick up my jaw. The Vatican has official astronomers?

I have always had questions about the Catholic church since my first visit with my best friend in high school. I went to church, uh, mass with her. We were walking down the aisle when I thought she had tripped and fallen. I reached down to pick her up only to discover that she was "genuflecting" before entering the pew.

Everything about my friend's church more than made me wonder. I had grown up in church, but never before had I seen so many statues of Mary in all my life. I could not imagine having to go to my church pastor to confess my sins (I John 1:9) or even calling the head pastor/pope, "Holy Father". As far as I am concerned, there is only one Holy Father and that is God himself.

For now, all of this astronomer talk reminds me of the star gazers that Herod consulted when Jesus was born. They followed the stars to find Jesus, but when they discovered Him they never returned to where they came from because they knew they had found the true King.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lead Poisoning

I hope you can't get leading poisoning from sharpening pencils. If so, I am in trouble. I think I sharpened every pencil twice this morning while proctoring during the second day of the state testing. I have heard our teachers complain about the poor quality of the pencils, but good grief! These were all Ticonderoga pencils which are supposed to be the BMW of pencils. To keep the distractions at a minimum, we used a little handheld sharpener to sharpen all the pencils so my fingers are covered with the lead from all those pencils.

My nose kept itching and after a few times rubbing it I started wondering if I had a lead moustache. I started getting tickled thinking about it, but knew I could laugh and/or look. It was tough trying not to think about that image, but since none of the kids were laughing at me I figured I was safe.

I have the weirdest sense of humor sometimes. O.K. Most of the times.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One Day Down... Two To Go

Day One of MCT testing is finished. I proctored in a fourth grade classroom. Sweet kids, but of course, I adore all of the kids at my son's school. I asked my son how he felt after the test was over and he said he felt like it wasn't too hard.

I have no idea how the test was since I wasn't taking it. The kids seemed to be taking their time. It was the reading portion of the test so taking your time and reading everything is a good thing.

I think day one went smoothly with the exception of having to wait for everyone to get their tests. The bell rings at 7:40 and we did not receive the "GO" until 9:00. Some of our kids had fallen asleep at their desks from waiting. I wish they would let us go ahead and start when we received the tests, but that is not how they do things at this school.

One day down... two to go.

Thank you!

People ask me all the time what it like to be the only girl in a house full of guys. To be honest? It is great! My guys are the sweetest ever. They treat me like a queen every day of my life.

This past weekend was Mother's Day and Donald insisted that I take a little time for myself. Any Mom knows what a treat that is. To have some down time to just rest, read and relax. I couldn't have asked for anything more than that, but my boys didn't stop at that.

When I returned I discovered that while I was gone they had been very busy. I have a flower bed that runs along my front porch and one along my breakfast window. These two places are the ones that I see the most and neither had flowers. When I came home I immediately noticed that the boys had been busy. They had planted flowers in both of these beds as well as in my hanging baskets. Last year the boys had built two cute window boxes at Home Depot Saturday workshop and they had filled those with flowers as well. They now sit in our breakfast windows. Now I can't decide where to sit: on the front porch or on the back patio. Either one reminds me how much my three guys love me and how lucky I am.

Thank you, my guys! I love you all the way to Pluto and back!

Monday, May 12, 2008

That's What Moms Do

I made a run to the grocery store this afternoon for brain food. The healthiest of breakfast food, the most nutritious of lunch foods and the most vitamin packed snacks.

It isn't like I cram junk down my boy's throats every other day, but I am feeling incredible pressure this week with the MCT2 testing going on. I know that my boys need a good night's sleep and they need a really good food in their bodies to give them the energy and fuel for their brains so that they concentrate and stay focused for the unbelievable amount of time that the ding-dongs at the State Department want these kids to sit still for. I'm sorry. I know that that was an incredibly disrespectful thing to say, but seriously, it makes me all shades of angry when I think about it for very long.

My son's school bell rings at 7:40 and he eats lunch at 11:45. They are planning for them to either bring a sack lunch or buy one from the cafeteria because of the length of the test. They are anticipating students not to finish by the beginning of lunch which for our school is at about 10:30. Let's think about this: 8:00 - 10:30. Could you concentrate for 2 1/2 hours for three days at the age of 8, 9 and 10? Ridiculous!

I'm sorry. State Department of Education. Either they need to come and experience day to day life in the classroom or we need to clear the slate and start over again. Because I don't know what their perception is, but right now it is not anywhere close to reality.

The Best Mother's Day Book Ever

My Mother's Day Book
by Tanner Germany

Here is our family: Todd, Mom, Dad and me.
Here are our pets: Kit Kat.
Here is our home. (He drew a picture.)
I will never forget when my mom brought me to school.
My mom's favorite TV show is American Idol.
It's fun when my mom takes me to the park.
My mom is happy when I make her laugh.
My mom gets mad when I break something.
My mom always says "I love you."
My mom's favorite food is pasta.
The best food that my mom cooks is cookies.
My mom looks best when she wears a dress.
When I think of my mom, I think of love.
Every afternoon, my mom takes a nap.
I think my mom is the best mom in the world because she's my mom.

As you can imagine my heart melted when I opened up this Mother's Day gift from Tanner. It was a hard bound book that he made and illlustrated in school. I am going to keep this forever! You can't buy this book anywhere else. It is a one of a kind.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Mom's Love

Life is big when you are 16. I had just gotten my driver's license and I was facing a big Algebra test. So big that I had studied the whole weekend. Math is not my subject. I got up to get ready for school. That is one of the last things I clearly remember. After that I remember flashes. My Daddy's scared face. Paramedics. My friend's faces pressed against the bus window as I was being put into the ambulance. The next thing I remember was hearing voices talking about me in the E.R.. I couldn't wake up, couldn't move, but I could hear. I could also hear crying. I kept thinking, "Don't tell my Mom those things. I am fine. If I could get my eyes to cooperate I could tell her not to be upset and that I am fine." I wasn't scared because I knew I wasn't alone, but I just felt trapped and wanted to wake up. I did what I did in any situation where I am scared, nervous or upset. I chatted. I talked God's ear off. I told him everything that I wanted to tell my Mom and Dad. I asked him what was going on. I reminded Him of every promise that I had read in the Bible, but I talked. After that I woke up again in a hospital where my Mom told me I had been having grand mal seizures.

I was in the hospital about a week after that (I think -- my memory is kind of fuzzy). I would not have made it without my Mom and God by my side. Mom was with me literally every moment of that. My world as I knew it was picked up and shaken like a snowglobe. My precious driver's license which I had possessed for a whopping two weeks was yanked away for a year. I had to start taking medications to control the seizures. Finding one that worked wasn't fun -- hallucinations, chest pains, shaking, nausea, -- yuck. Somehow this wasn't the plan at 16.

I remember that after we got home from the hospital my Mom would get nervous if I got "too quiet". When I left home, I know she was a wreck. Seizures were new to us both and since no one seemed to know what triggered them we were in no-man's land. These were the days before cell phones so it wasn't like I could just text her to check in.

I wish that I could say that I truly appreciated all that Mom went through, but I didn't. Not until I became a Mom.

Tonight I get to go over to Vicksburg for my home church's annual Mother/Daughter banquet. Both of my sister's and my niece are coming too. This is always a lot of fun and frankly it will be therapy for me to be with my Mom and sisters. When we are together there is always a lot of giggling.

I love you, Mom! Thank you for putting up with me. And always loving me.

Friday, May 9, 2008

What's the Big Deal About Going Green?

Little Guy asked me the other day to explain "Going Green". He has heard that term everywhere and he wasn't quite sure what it meant. For those of you whose cars are plastered with "Go Green" stickers and are a part of the Al Gore fan club, you may not be very satisfied with my answer.

Frankly, I told him it wasn't a big deal. I told him that going green basically meant not wasting. I also told him that his Nana and Papa had been doing the green thing since way before Al Gore invented the internet or became vice president, but somehow I think that went over his six year old head.

I'm serious. My parents and most of my friend's parents were big greenies!

"Close that door! Do you think we are trying to air condition the entire neighborhood!!"

"Turn off those lights. Electricity is expensive."

"If you are cold, put on a sweater."

"Ride your bike."

"Money does not grow on trees."

They grew their own garden. Mom made her own jellies and canned her own vegetables.

They were just living their lives.

Amazingly when I was young a lot of the same things that are happening now were happening then. President Carter was fighting the fears of America with rising gas prices, gas shortages, and the implementation of a tax to subsidize mass transit.

"Going Green" isn't new. God said to "Go Green" when he told Adam: "Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." (Genesis 1:28b)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hi! I'm Deanna and I'm Addicted To Books

I went on that much needed shopping trip yesterday. I ran to SAMS to stock on the things that seem best bought on a megawarehouse. Eggs, butter, toilet paper and chocolate syrup. While there the boys always want to browse the video games and I always want to look at the books.

One caught my eye and despite my normal policy, I bought it. (I figured standing there reading it for 10 minutes meant it was worth reading.) It is "Lord, Save Us From Your Followers". As the cover states, author Dan Merchant explored why the Gospel of Love is dividing America. He wanted to know when people moved from developing relationships to a bumper sticker mentality. He even has an entire chapter in the book on faith based bumper stickers.

"God spoke and Bang It Happened."
"Are you as close to Jesus as you are to my bumper?"
"God created Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve."
"This Fish Won't Fry. Will You?"

His question is this. Do the drivers of the cars think this absolves them of actual face to face witnessing and what real message does this send to the world?

The answers he puts forth in this book are really fascinating!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Would Gandhi Go To Church With You?

I like your Christ.
I do not like your Christians.
They are so unlike your Christ.

What a thought provoking quote. Even Gandhi didn't want to go to church because he felt it was filled with a bunch of hypocrites.

I understand. Despite being a Christian I am struggling with that same feeling myself right now. I have been watching someone single handedly speak all the right words with their mouth, but destroy literally hundreds of people with their actions. This person is in a position of leadership and actively and loudly professes to be a Christian. When I listen to them say "love one another" and then shred people literally to ribbons, I understand why there are so many people who feel as Ghandi.

Click to play Bike Rodeo
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Curious About This Book: Reason For God by Timothy Keller

I visited the Family Christian book store. While having a discussion with one of the store employees, he mentioned a book that his men's Bible study group was working through. He brought it up after we were talking about someone I knew who had chosen not to go to church because of the experience she had had as a child with the church.

People don't get burned by God, they get burned by people who abuse the morals and integrity established by God. It is why establishing a relationship with God and not with the "church" is so important. A pastor I had once said that people become disappointed when they start putting people on a pedastal and taking their eyes off of God.

I think I am going to add this to my "want to read" list of books.

Summary of Book: The End of Faith. The God Delusion. God Is Not Great. Letter to a Christian Nation. Bestseller lists are filled with doubters. But what happens when you actually doubt your doubts?

Although a vocal minority continues to attack the Christian faith, for most Americans, faith is a large part of their lives: 86 percent of Americans refer to themselves as religious, and 75 percent of all Americans consider themselves Christians. So how should they respond to these passionate, learned, and persuasive books that promote science and secularism over religion and faith? For years, Tim Keller has compiled a list of the most frequently voiced “doubts” skeptics bring to his Manhattan church. And in The Reason for God, he single-handedly dismantles each of them. Written with atheists, agnostics, and skeptics in mind, Keller also provides an intelligent platform on which true believers can stand their ground when bombarded by the backlash. The Reason for God challenges such ideology at its core and points to the true path and purpose of Christianity.

Why is there suffering in the world? How could a loving God send people to Hell? Why isn’t Christianity more inclusive? Shouldn’t the Christian God be a god of love? How can one religion be “right” and the rest “wrong”? Why have so many wars been fought in the name of God? These are just a few of the questions even ardent believers wrestle with today. In this book, Tim Keller uses literature, philosophy, real-life conversations and reasoning, and even pop culture to explain how faith in a Christian God is a soundly rational belief, held by thoughtful people of intellectual integrity with a deep compassion for those who truly want to know the truth.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


We took the boys to the Ridgeland Bike Rodeo on Saturday. Although we all went as a family, Tanner was the only one who took his bike to participate. When we got there they announced that they were going to have a BMX style freestyle competition. Tanner immediately decided he wanted to participate so we signed him up. There was no age divisions. Everyone was grouped together.
To quote the BMX guy: Tanner was killer! He got out there and just rode his bike and had a good time, did all his favorite stunts and then parked. He was like no big deal. The judges and crowd was screaming for him after his very first trick.
He won first place beating out even the 9 and 10 year olds. He won some prize money from the Indian Cycle Fitness.

Desperation: The Mother of Invention

I desperately need to go to the grocery store. Our schedule has been crazy for the past couple of weeks and shows no signs of slowing up for at least the next three. However, we still need to eat.

This morning the boys needed breakfast and we truly did not have anything so I was really scraping the bottom of the barrel/getting inventive (you pick your description), when I pulled out the last of our hamburger buns, toasted them and topped them with peanut butter for breakfast.

I put breakfast at the boy's spots and sat down to have my coffee. Soon Tanner walked in and said, "Breakfast is awesome." I just smiled.

Todd walked in not too long after holding his bread and saying, "I love breakfast. Can you make this again tomorrow?"

My boys. I am so grateful that they aren't picky eaters and have such grateful hearts. Or maybe they are just starving because I haven't bought groceries in a week!

I better get moving. Kroger... get a buggy ready! Here I come!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Have You Thanked Your Teacher?

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I have no idea how to summarize all the thanks I have for my boy's teachers into a simple gift, but I am definitely going to try.

Tanner has two amazing teachers. Mrs. Hollis and Mr. Johnson are both amazing. They have encouraged Tanner's fascination with learning as well as his desire to work ahead in some areas. Although differentiated instruction is encouraged it is not always put into practice as effectively as I have witnessed Mrs. Hollis and Mr. J do in their classroom. When your child has a fascination with reading and learning there are one of two things that can happen: it can be encouraged or it can be squashed. We are so blessed that Tanner was put into a classroom where his desire was nurtured and encouraged. His desire to learn has only gotten stronger. He is already begging me to "homeschool" him this summer and the school year isn't over yet!

I was warned that the fifth grade year could be really tough. Todd and I were both nervous on the first day of school. In addition to the fifth grade experience, he also was put into an all boy's class. I am not sure that either of us would have survived had it not been for his teacher, Mrs. A. Smith. When you become the teacher/"mom" to a room full of boys, you definitely have your work cut out for you. Mrs. Smith is grace under pressure and she is my hero! The fifth grade year is tough. The teachers are trying to teach, assist the students as they prepare for the transition into middle school and deal with the students who are undergoing the natural hormonal changes that occur at this age. Add into that recipe the kids normal personalities and temperaments and you have a job of enormous proportions. Just writing it makes me wonder why we have 5th grade teachers at all!?!

I'm not sure how the boys and I will thank their teachers this week, but I will never be able to thank them enough for teaching, caring for, and being the amazing God given teachers that they have been these 180 days of school. As far as Donald and I are concerned, they are angels in disguise.

We love you, Mrs. Hollis, Mr. J. and Mrs. A. Smith!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Intimate Moments With the Savior

Worship = reverent honor paid to God, to feel an adoring reverence

Service = an act of helpful activity; the serving of God by obedience

I've been going to church all of my life. My Daddy had a motto for church: "If you are the second car in the parking lot... you are late." Growing up in the church, I had a lot of mentors. Some taught me about music, some taught me about Sunday School, some taught me about visitation, and some just taught me.

I had quite a few pastors growing up. One of the first sermons I remember was not because of the content, but because of the fact that the pastor quit preaching in the middle to tell me to stop talking. In a small church, that happens. That definitely qualifies as one of my (and my Mom's) most embarrassing moments.

When I was a teenager we had a pastor who taught an entire sermon series on "Papa God". I have an amazing Daddy so this series really hit home with me. This Pastor helped me connect with God in a way that I never had before.

After Donald and I got married we had a guest pastor who preached a sermon. What his sermon was on I can't remember, but he said one line that he become my life motto: "Whatever you are filled with, spills when you are bumped." Some days that one line haunts me. Some days that line inspires me. Other days that line motivates me. On all days that line reminds me of what is ultimately true.

These days Sundays have been a rediscovery of worship. Pastor Phil's sermons tend to inspire a sense of worship in my spirit. There are true moments in the service when I want to stand up and say, "Hey! Don't you people here what he is saying? How can this sanctuary be so silent? Can't you feel the hope, the truth, the feeling of worship in your spirit?" But yet, I know that wouldn't be right because maybe this is my moment.

Very intimate moments with the Savior. That is what worship is all about.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Oh, Scrap!!

Today is National Scrapbooking Day. I have loved to scrapbook for several years, but since I discovered digital scrapbooking I am really hooked.
Before I discovered digital scrapping I bought a lot of stuff but never seemed to accomplish a lot of pages. I am such a perfectionist and I didn't want to waste money or my stuff if I messed up. Silly, I know.
I would spend hours laying stuff out and only if I were sure that it were just right would I actually cut it all out and put it all together. I guess "free spirit" wouldn't exactly describe my personality, huh?
Once I discovered digital scrapping? I could go to town. I could open up the same brush a 1,000 times, cut it, rotate it, enlarge it and recolor it and never MESS IT UP! I had found my method of scrapping.
You can see some of my favorite places to browse for digital supplies on my side bar. I will be browsing for bargains today to feed my hobby habit today!
Happy Scrappin'!!

You Make Me Happy

My favorite song right now is one by Ayiesha Woods called "Happy". I sing the chorus of it to the boys every night when I am tucking them into bed. When they hear it on the radio they start singing as loud as they can!

You make me happy

You make me feel the way I do

You make me happy

I wish the whole world knew You too

Friday, May 2, 2008

My son. The comic.

I sat down on the side of Todd's bed this morning and started the morning routine to wake him up.

"Good morning!"

"It's going to be a great day!"

"Did you sleep well?"

"It is 6:20 and we will need to leave about 7:00."

After about 4 minutes, his left eye slit open and he made one statement: "I do not understand your native language."

My child, the comic. Even when he is half asleep.

Just say no, Miley!

Right from wrong. We try to teach our children to make the best choices. However, when it comes down to it they have to make their own choices. Sometimes they make choices we aren't happy with.

I'm not talking about my sons. I'm refering to Miley Cyrus and her poor Daddy. Should he have left her alone at the photo shoot? Probably not. However, did she know that taking her shirt off to take a photo was wrong. Oh, yea.

I am sure that she was all caught up in the moment and the photographer did a pretty good job of convincing her that it was going to be "tasteful", but when it all boils down to it, you know that in her mind she KNEW. Taking your shirt off to take a photo is definitely on the side of a no-no!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Picture Perfect for Mom

I saw these cute bags on a website as a gift idea for Mother's Day. Aren't they cute? They are called Snaptotes and they customize all sorts of handbags - purses to cosmetic cases to beach bags - with photos.

These would even make very gifts for the upcoming graduates or bridesmaids in your life too!!

Click here to check it out.