Friday, August 29, 2014

Dear Cell Phone User

I may have to get some of these.
You know, I think the quote "no good deed goes unpunished" is true.  I tried to do something nice for Hopson while he is gone on a mission trip & I ended up wanting to shove bamboo skewers under my fingernails.  Some people and their lack of manners...

Hopson asked me to take is very dirty car to get cleaned while he was away.  No problem, it was my pleasure to do this for him, well almost.  (I found out one of main love languages is acts of service, so he was totally speaking my love language.)  Until...the most obnoxious lady decided to get on her phone in the waiting area.  Not only was she a loud talker, her phone was on speaker while she was holding it up to her ear.  Would someone hit me over the head with a tack hammer?  Hello, McFly...really?  You can't tell your phone is on speaker?  Oui! I thought about the guy who does the cell phone crashing.  If you haven't seen it, you so need to...hilarious.

Can we talk cell phone etiquette?  You don't have to answer that question...it's rhetorical.  If you didn't know there was such a thing, there is.  I think so many people just assume it's their right to talk on their phone anytime and anywhere they want.  Well, I hate to tell you, but you are not the center of the universe & we all do not find pleasure in hearing your conversation.  Here are somethings that you can share with those with no phone etiquette:

  • If you are in line at a store, get off your phone.  Look the cashier in the eye and talk to them.  I know you are catching a super important phone call to find out about your super important job, but seriously, check out takes what, 5-10 minutes max?  Hang up the phone.  If it's your child calling, answer it to make sure it's not one of the 4 B's* (see below for the 4 B's) & if it's not, tell them you'll call them back in 10 minutes.
  • If you can't chew gum and walk, you should not be talking on your phone and driving.  Can I tell you how many people I've seen almost cause wrecks because they can't drive & talk at the same time?  This is considered extreme multi-tasking & some people just stink at it.  Either pull over, get hands free or hang up the phone. 
  • If you are in a waiting room, please leave the waiting room to talk, and for the love of Pete, take your cell phone off of the speaker mode.  I saw your REALLY long list of people you needed to call about picking up their bible study book in the church office today between 10 & 4, and while I appreciate your willingness to call all those people, you could have stepped outside to do it.
  • The speaker phone should be activated when:  everyone is speaking to grandparents (although, half the time they can't hear you any way); everyone speaking to a family member who is living far away; you are in carpool and trying to hide the fact that you are on your phone. (if you don't have hands free); or you are on hold & trying to get chores taken care of.  Those are the only reasons I can think of to use the speaker. 
  • When you are on your phone in public, you should not be yelling to the person on the other end.  We don't want to hear everything you're talking about.  If they can't hear you or you can't hear them, you need to talk to them later.
Yes I'm probably making more of this than I should, but I was in the waiting area for about an hour & for 45 minutes had the privilege of listening to this woman's phone conversations.  I will for sure pass on all this info to all my children to make sure they know to use their phone etiquette as well.

Celebrating life & a little bit of quiet,
~ashley  

*This is the list we used when our children were little to keep them from coming to us for every piddley argument they had with their siblings.  I have to say, it worked pretty well.  So, as promised...
The 4 B's
1.  Barfing
2.  Bleeding
3.  Broken
4.  Burning

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lean, Mean, Workout Machine

Y'all know I love Zumba & Pilates.  I've recently added muscle works & barre classes into the rotation.  I needed to do something to change up my routine & confuse my muscles.  I hate working out with weights by myself, so the muscle works classes are great because misery loves company.  (even though I think my instructors are part Terminator...)   Barre is a class I love to hate.  It is so stinking hard.  My muscles burn & shake all over the place.  It's not pretty.

I have had a personal goal for myself for the last few months.  I wanted to be able to do "boy" triceps push ups.  For you to understand this goal I need to back up & explain some things about me.  I have strong legs.  My mom used to tell me I had thighs Bo Jackson would be proud of.  :/  That is just what every teenage girl wants to hear.  They are tree trunks though.  My father-in-law told me that my booty looks like JLo's.  Thanks...I, guess?  So you get the idea, I'm shaped like a pear with a big fanny & thighs.  Yea! (said no female ever)  Now I've decided I'm built more like a T-Rex.  Strong legs & little wimpy arms.  I detest push ups & have never tried (nor intend to) a pull up.

Over the 2 years I have done Pilates, I have noticed my body getting stronger.  I usually do my push ups on my knees & can go all the way down, like my nose touching the floor down, hold it if I'm threatened told to & then push back up without breaking form.  In one of muscle works classes a few weeks ago, we did 100 pushups...and yes I did all 100.  It was a...well this is a PG blog so I can't put what it was, but you get the drift.

Today I decided I was going to do boy push ups.  Our heals had to be together and our toes a little wider if we were up in full plank position.  It's called a Pilates 'V'.  It added a layer of pain fun.  I also decided I was not going to break body position, or go down half way & then come back up.  If I was doing these things, I was doing the full nose to the floor one.  To my surprise, I did it.  I don't think it was very pretty, but I did it.  The T-Rex did it.  :)  No one in my fam was really impressed, but I still know that I did it.  I'm a lean, mean, workout machine.  Now if I could just get my knee healed & stop rolling my ankle I'd be good to go.

Oh well, I have to take the wins where I can get them.  :)  A huge thank you to my instructors:  Kaitlin, Terri & Natalie!  Y'all are incredible.  Thank you for pushing me in your classes to be the strongest & best me.

Celebrating Life, boy push ups & being healthy!
~ashley    

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What Would You Say?

Over the last week we have all been talking about Robin Williams.  What a wonderful actor with a tragic end.  He brought laughter to multitudes, but all the while he was in pain.  It started me thinking...what if we had the chance to tell him how much he moved us?  What if we told him that just his smile made our hearts a little lighter?  What if...what if...what if.

Why do we wait until someone has passed away to realize how special they are to us?  We go to their funerals & talk about what great people they were; how much they are going to be missed; how we're praying for their family; but neglect them while they are living.  Why do I not call, text or email to let them know now?  Why don't I call them up to meet for lunch?  Is it life that gets in the way?  Am I just a selfish lazy person?  Am I too proud?

If you knew someone was hurting, to the point of wanting to commit suicide, what would you say to them?  Would you offer a few comments to temporarily ease their pain and walk away, or would you stand beside them?  I know what I should do, but would I fail in the follow through?  So many questions and so few answers.

I've seen the little Facebook posters that say that you never know who is hurting that you might come in contact with.  How true.  We never 'see' the people who feel friendless, unloved and alone.  The ones who struggle with inner thoughts of worthlessness.  They hide it well don't they.  And when they choose to end their life, we are shocked that we didn't see it coming.  Maybe we are trying to see with the wrong part of our bodies.  Just a thought.

I am thankful for Robin Williams.  He always made me laugh, and few times made me cry.  He was truly one of a kind.  I hope he found the peace he was so looking for.  All I know is that there is a little less laughter in the world since his passing.

Remembering to love a little more,
~ashley          

Nothing Gold Can Stay

by Robert Frost
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Oh My Goodness, It Worked

Well, I do believe you could have blown me down with a feather.  Something I have been trying to train the children to do for a week seems to have taken hold.

The one thing I really dislike about summer and the children being home is all the cups we go through.  It's not 1 or 2 cups per person it's more like 4.  If my children were toddlers or young children, I might be able to handle it, but the youngest is 12 for the love of Pete.  Rinse, reuse, recycle.  Well, not the recycling part, but you get my meaning.  I was sick and tired of the dishwasher, sink and counter being full of cups.  And not only that, they would leave said cups filled half full with milk, water or maybe Gatorade.  Yuck!


Well, on Pinterest, (I know, you're shocked!)  I found a great way to relieve the great cup pileup of 2014.  It's a reusable cup bar.  It's easy, it's fun, it's fashionable, and you just might want one if you have tons of kids who use tons of cups like my kiddos did.

I found all my supplies at Michael's & it took me all of 10 minutes to assemble them & draw on them.  I used burlap covered canvas frames, slate coasters, hot glue and chalk.  Like I said, it's easy!  Obviously, I hot glued the slate coasters onto the burlap & wrote one person's name per slate.  Since Hoppy is in college, his spot will be empty most of the year, but I couldn't not include him.  :(  Hopson probably won't ever use it, but I needed it to be balanced, so he has one anyway.  :)  This morning when I came home from running carpool, the cup bar looked like the picture on the right!!!  I think I need to do my happy dance.

I'm gonna go ahead & put this into the win column.  WooHoo!!!

Celebrating life & the little things like rinsed & reused cups,
~ashley

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

His First of the Last


Harry's first day of 12th grade.
Harry, Harry, Harry.  :)  My sweet Harry is now a senior.  How did that happen?  How did my active, funny, athletic little Buddha baby grow up to this great young man?  Harry is kind, a hard worker and has never met a stranger.  He's just as comfortable around adults as he is around people his own age.  He has a twinkle in his clear blue eyes that lets you know he is a little precocious.

Harry can do anything he sets his mind to.  If you tell him he can't do something, he'll work his fanny off to prove you wrong.  Of all our four, he was the first to ride his bike.  He barely had to try.  He just watched his brother & hopped on his bike & about 10 minutes later was zooming around.  He wanted to keep up with Hop, so he did what he had to do.  Harry is a graceful diver & lacrosse player.  I love it watch him play.  Harry can be hardheaded & I think he got it from Hopson's side of the fam.  ;)  (I am so kidding here!  I know exactly where he gets it from...he gets it from both sides)

One of my favorite things about Harry is his laugh.  His whole face lights up & you just want to laugh along with him.  He's just a great kid, and I'm proud of the young man he has become.

So Harry, as you begin your senior year, I hope it's a year of wonderful lasts that you never forget!  I love you very much & can't wait to see all that God has in store for you.  I think you rock!

Celebrating life & a great year of lasts for my sweet Harry!
~ashley  

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Hot Crazy Mess

This weekend my younger two children are participating in a youth Discovery weekend at a church close to our home.  We have lots of friends that go there, so E & Henry will have a great time.  Harry is fishing with his grandfather & a friend, and Hop is still working.  Hopson & I should be childless for the weekend...but we're not.  We volunteered to keep seven 9th grade boys.  Most of whom we know & love.  Boys are easy.  Throw some food at them; let them run around & then unwind with shooting pool or watching tv & they're good.  I could do seven 9th grade girls, but I think the boys are easier.  Since we have three boys, we kinda know what to do a little better.  Plus, Elizabeth is not your typical girl.  She is very low maintenance thanks to her brothers, and that has spoiled us terribly.

This morning while we were waiting for all the boys to finish showering & come down to eat breakfast, Hopson showed me a hilarious video. (well, I thought it was hilarious, anyway)  It is a guy showing how to graph women based on their hotness vs. craziness.  It's not a dirty video, but it is not for young children.  If you have an older high school son/daughter & above, they would be fine watching it, but not middle school.
At the end of the video he also talks about trying to find the perfect guy & what women look for.  The graph for guys of course is much simpler, but the concept is somewhat similar.

If you want a great laugh this Saturday, you will want to watch the video.  Click HERE to see it.  Remember that it is meant to be funny & not personal, unless you are one of the crazy ones.  Just kidding.  It's all in good fun.  And, let's admit it girls, there are those out there that make us all look a little crazy.  :/

Celebrating Life & Enjoying the Laughs!
~ashley

PS~Yesterday was Hop's 20th birthday...how can I be old enough to have a 20 year old???  Happy birthday Hop!  Love you bunches!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

From Their First Kiss

Celebrating 50!
The three brothers:
Hopson, John & Will
My in-laws, Peggy & Walter, have been married 50 years.  You know, that is an accomplishment.  It's actually hard to believe it's their golden anniversary, because they don't act like they are old enough to be married that long.  They don't behave act like they are senior citizens & every once in a while you see that little twinkle that has helped them be so spry.

Fun with cousins
For their anniversary, the family headed up to the beautiful mountains of Jonas Ridge, North Carolina.  Peggy grew up in Morganton about 30 minutes away, and it has been a favorite spot of theirs for a long time.  It is lush, green and the temperature was wonderful for the middle of July.  We had an adventurous time visiting with family we don't see very often.  It's just fun to see fam you don't get to see very often.  We went hiking.  The children went down a rock slide, swam in freezing cold water, and swung from a rope swing.  They shot bb guns, and luckily no one put an eye out.

Walter asked a few people in the spring what he should get for Peggy for her anniversary present.  What do you get someone you have known for over 50 years?  Is there anything super special that would move that person?  Sometimes material things seem so fleeting.  He received several suggestions.  I'm know all of them were good, but I'm a little partial with what he decided to give her.  We were talking about gifts & I tried to think of something only he could give her.  After a lot of thinking, I thought of a love letter.

He is the only one who can and should write her one.  We talked after he had written the letter & he decided to have it written in golden ink calligraphy & framed.  When I saw the finished product it made me so happy.  The words and how it looked are beautiful.  He decided to read it to everyone & I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.  As he was reading, I started to think about the legacy they are setting for the family.  It is a legacy of love.  I know that is the kind of legacy I want to leave.  Peggy & Walter have been my parents longer than my own parents were, and they have loved me as a daughter, never as a daughter-in-law, or outlaw.  ;)  Legacy of love.  We asked Walter when he knew he wanted to marry Peggy & he said that after their kiss at Moon Lake, Mississippi he knew he wanted to marry her.  :)  I think he said it was their first kiss.  When then turned the question around on Peggy to see when she knew she would marry Walter, her answer made us laugh.  She said it was not the night of their first kiss.  They told us many funny stories & we videoed all of them, and had many laughs.  It's good for a family to share laughter & love.

So, Peggy & Walter, Happy Golden Anniversary!  May you have many happy returns & increase your legacy of love each  year.  Much love to you both!

Celebrating Life & 50 years of love,
~ashley

PS~ a special thank you to Elizabeth for letting me use her pictures, these are just a few of her great ones.  :)