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Showing posts from January, 2012

Sadie, Shopping, Bow Ties, and Boys

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Saturday is the...Sadie Hawkins dance, in my khaki pants, there's nothing better...oh oh oh...girls ask the guys, it's always a surprise, there's nothing better, do you like my sweater.  Sorry that song is hilarious, but around here the boys are very excited about the dance.  Both Hop & Harry have been asked, and I have to admit for boys, they are being a little high maintainced about it.

They have never worried about what they are going to wear before, but for some reason, this year it really matters.  Um, ok so off we go to the mall.  My guys would rather go to the dentist than to go shopping, not to mention they have lacrosse practice 4 days a week, and yesterday was a practice day.  So the fact of the matter was we only had 30 minutes tops to find what we needed.  It's called speed shopping, and I actually do it quite well. 

Is this what girl moms go through all the time?  I mean Elizabeth & I will go shopping, but she's fun to shop with, and very easy…

$2.99 for Great Conversation

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Harry jumps at the chance to drive anywhere.  Tonight, we did a milk run and while at the grocery store Harry saw a sign for boiled peanuts.  Of course he asked for some, because in his mind, the worst thing you could say is no, and you just might say yes.  Well, tonight I said yes. 

Rewind a little over 15 years ago...When I was pregnant with Harry, Hopson & I went to the LSU/AU game, and I ate a lot of boiled peanuts.  For you AU fans, that was the game where The Barn burned down.  We could see the flames from the stadium.  Anyway, I was so swollen from eating so many peanuts I felt like a water balloon, and I'm pretty sure I looked like one too.

Back to today...Harry was so excited to get his peanuts.  I told him that if he liked them that much we could make some homemade ones in the crock pot.  He just smiled.  After the grocery run we stopped to fill up the car & while we waited we broke open the peanuts and started chowing down.  I have to say they were really great.…

The Heart of a Woman

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The heart of a woman starts forming from the time she is born.  With every word spoken, every action taken she is formed.  She knows when she is loved and cherished; or dispassionately tolerated and placed to the side.  She will develop the heart of a warrior or one made of stone.  She will live with passion or survive with apathy.  Yes, a true woman's heart is cultivated, and not something to be taken lightly.  

I hope Elizabeth knows where she stands.  I hope she knows how Hopson & I feel about her.  That, like her brothers, we cherish the day she was born.  We hold her in high esteem, not because she's our daughter, but because she is one of God's most beautiful creations.  Her truest beauty shines from within:  her caring spirit and servant's heart.  What a thing of beauty to behold.  A true treasure, more precious than diamonds. 

I can't think of anything more important than for a daddy to let his daughter know how important she is.  Tonight is the annua…

The Heart of a Generation

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I was able to spend most of my day today in a Kid's Leadership Summit at my church.  OK, wow...I was blown away. 

First off, I serve a great God!Second, I have a wonderful Senior Pastor who made a room full of people who really love kids realize that we do have a special calling to love on kids & let them know that God loves them too.Third, LOOOOVVVVEEEE our Children's pastor.  PB, you're the greatest & I love your vision & can't wait to follow you as we live it out!Fourth, I serve alongside some of the most amazing, humble, committed, loving, crazy, spirit filled, on-fire for Jesus people I've ever met.  (adults and teenagers)  Love you guys!!! These pictures are from this past fall during our 'At the Movies' series.  These are just a fraction of the people I serve with, but they do represent some of the great people I get to do life and serve the Lord with.  They make me smile & I love them all from the bottom of my heart.

Celebrating Life…

Just for Laughs

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We're a weird family.  We love to quote movie lines.  Tommy Boy is a classic slap stick movie with some great lines to quote.  We found this on youtube a few years ago & it made us howl with laughter. (here the version from the actual movie)  My kids heard the audio in the den just now from the scene above and came running to see it.  Yes, we are weird!

Because it's Friday & Friday's rock I wanted to pass on this laugh to you!!!  (ok I lied, I had to put one more...it's a scene montage.  How could I only put one scene from one of the greatest movies ever?  It is PG-13 though so you may want to watch it when little bitties are not in the room.)

I also wanted to post this for you.  If you don't laugh, you need to go to the doctor because your funny bone is broken or you may be dead!  The groom reminds me of a few friends from high school who would have done this.  Too funny.

One more thing... in the picture below let me know the first four words you come acros…

A Quick PS

A quick ps...

This blog is one month old today.  :) 
11 more months of Celebrating Life!!!

Hop a Russian Dancer?

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Hop had me laughing so hard last night!  We're sitting in the den.  Elizabeth is doing homework, I'm reading & Hop is twirling his girlfriend...I mean his lacrosse stick on the couch while the Auburn basketball game is on tv.  I think at this point Henry had gone to bed & Harry was upstairs watching the game on the big TV.  Hop loves his lacrosse stick and will spin that thing around and practice cradeling nonstop.  Last year we had to tell him to put his girlfriend down and join the family for dinner or conversations, or what ever we were doing.

Well, I look over & he's balancing that thing over his head.  He acutally had good posture and balance, I was impressed.  (I know Betty Moss, his manners teacher would have been as well!)  He was sitting and balancing, but then he decided he wanted to stand-up.  I'm watching, totally amused, and then as he tries to stand up he looks like a Russian Dancer from Fiddler on the Roof.  I started howling with laughter, …

I Found it on Ebay

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I love to shop, but I hate to try on clothes.  I think I would like it better if I was tall and willowly, maybe like a runway model, but as Hop's friend's like to remind me, I'm short.  I'm not complaining, just stating the facts.  5'2 is not excatly scraping the ceiling, unless you're standing around a group of kindergarteners.  It's all good though, God wanted me this height, so I'll be happy with it & wear really tall shoes.  :) 

Some years ago I discovered Ebay.  I have made some great finds.  Pants, dresses, shoes, you name it, I might have found it there.  Weird Al Yankovic did a parody song called Ebay.  I've acutally looked up some of the stuff he mentions in his song.  Found some, but for some reason the kleenex used by Dr. Dre was not on there.

So, on my birthday, I decided I wanted a new purse.  I found a super cute one that would match at least 50% of everything in my closet on Ebay.  It was great!  Happy birthday to me, I buy the p…

Yes Harry, You're in the Spotlight, Again...

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Harry informed me today that he was tired of being in the blog spotlight.  I'm sorry Harry, but you're in the spotlight..again.  I know it's tough, but I have 366 days to do this thing, so yeah, today is about you.

It's been a big month for Harry.  He passed his driver's permit test earlier this month, and today he had his braces taken off.  No more brace face or metal mouth.  He's so excited he can eat sticky or hard candy and not worry about breaking another bracket.  Yes, he broke 3...the next one he was going to pay for.  Needless to say, he was a little more careful from then on out. 

Whew, for the fam we have two braces down...and two to go.  I joked with the office staff that I was going to keep making payments so I could get ahead with Elizabeth and Henry.  They laughed and said they had other families who did it, so they may have another fam to put on the list.  I will need to talk it over with my accountant, aka Hopson, to see what he wants to do.  …

Violently Beautiful

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Early this morning we were hit, again.  Hit by something so violent; so uncaring; so deadly; but at the same time so violently beautiful.  When you think about the destruction 'just some wind' can do it's amazing and terrifying all at the same time.  It has been unseasonably warm these last few days.  (today it was 73 degrees!)  And here in the south, that is a recipe for potentially bad weather, but I don't ever remember having it happen in January.

3 AM this morning I woke up to a keening sound outside.  It's pitch didn't change.  It droned on for about 10 minutes until I heard the sound that will drive fear into any momma...the tornado siren was going off.

I immediately turned on the TV to James Spann, to see if we were in the path of a potential tornado. You can see the storm that is getting ready to hammer our little city in the picture above.  We were given the all clear.  It was a relief, but then he tells me which cities it is headed for...some of the s…

Ouch, That Hurt!

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Well, I feel really great about myself about right now.  I had a 5 year old diss me at church today.  I know I shouldn't care about what a little kid says about me, but hey, he didn't have to cut me to the quick.

I have never had skinny legs.  (wanted, but never been able to acheive)  My dad's legs were like tree trunks, and I have legs that would make any linebacker salivate.  But today I was told my legs were fat.  Excuse me, what?  Did he say fat?  Oh yes, that is what he said...more than once I might add.  All he saw was the top of my calves through my cowboy boots, my knees, and about an inch of my thighs. 

Ok, I'm 40 and he's 5, so why am I worried about what some little, not nice boy says about me?  I mean, I know I'm not as skinny as I would like to be, but fat?  How about fluffy?  How about vertically challenged?  How about you not say mean things about your elders when they can take their big fat legs and stomp on your foot?  Oh, did that last senten…

Whispers of Spring

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I was picking up Elizabeth from dance to day & look at what I found...



It's a Dogwood Tree & it's starting to bud!!!  Yes, I realize that it's only January 21st, and winter will probably raise it's very cold head at least one or two more times, killing the very tender buds on this tree.  (thanks for the buzz kill all you Debbie Downers)  The reality for us living in the southern United States is that it's only a few more weeks and spring will be here.  Yea for the south!  I love spring, I love spring, I love spring!!!  
I'm so glad that it will not be cold and dark and gloomy with naked trees all year, it's just too depressing by half.  It's amazing that just the whisper of spring leaves me smiling, giddy, and looking forward to warmer, longer, and colorful days ahead.

Celebrating Life!
~ashley



It All Changed...

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...in the blink of an eye.  A mom driving carpool, just an ordinary everyday occurrence.  Probably talking to her child about their day: who they played with, and how did they do on their spelling test.  Did you get to play outside, or was it raining during your recess time?  Did you eat your snack?  All your lunch?  Yea, it's Friday!

...in the blink of an eye.  Going around a corner, a very sharp corner, not realizing the guy coming around on the other side may be distracted, or texting, or talking on his phone, or maybe he lost control because the streets are wet.
...in the blink of an eye.  You realize his car has smashed into yours, luckily it's in the front and not on the side where your 1st grader is sitting.  All side air bags have deployed.  You don't care a whit about yourself, you just have to get into the back to make sure your child is unharmed.  A little shook up, but physically fine.

...in the blink of an eye.  You have dorks like me taking pictures of the tw…

Someone Needs Her Beauty Sleep

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I need to give a shout out to Hoppy & Harry's friends and teachers who read this blog...Hey y'all!  Especially Joe D. (that's from Harry)  Joe, Hop came up with last night's post title & it was so cheesy I had to use it.  You may have thought it was stupid but you read it didn't you?  Ha Ha!

I miss my sleep.  I don't remember when it decided to leave, but I really want it to come back.  We can be best buds & I won't complain one bit!!!  I remember my mom getting insomnia when she was my age.  My mother-in-law has it too.  Come to think about it, most women I know have some form of it.  Can I tell you, insomnia stinks?

I need sleep, I'm unproductive and cranky when I don't get it.  (my children would quip that I must not be sleeping at all)  I'll have one great night of sleep & then a few nights in a row I wake up at odd times in the middle of the night.  By nature I'm an early riser, but I hate to get out of bed before 4:30. …

Lax to the Max (as per Hoppy)

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To embarrass my oldest child, I am using this title with his name attached.  He is telling me he's going to get me back.  He gets a big What Ever!  Especially since I'm his mom & control just about everything in his life...teenagers...oui!

I may be crazy, but I let my children throw balls in the house.  My mom was one of those who said 'No throwing balls in the house', but I learned early on with so many boys I sounded like a broken record.  They will throw anything!  So, I just conceded defeat and told them to be careful where they threw stuff.  Has anyone else experienced this with their boys? 



We have progressed from nerf balls to lacrosse balls.  Even the soft ones are hard rubber balls & the big boys practice catching and cradling in our den against the back of the fireplace. :/  My goal is that they don't shatter one of the big windows you see to the left in the picture below...can you imagine the mess?  You can also see a Cornhole game on the floor.…

I Call it Camouflage

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My MeMaw was completely grey by the time she was 30, or so she claimed.  My mom was going grey, but her hair was so many different colors we never noticed.  (she liked to change colors and would sometimes end up with very interesting colors.  another story for another time.)  I've noticed more and more grey in the mirror.  I'm fighting them tooth and nail, or more like camouflaging my hair to hide them.

I'll be putting lip stick on in the car and looking in the mirror and see a grey hair has the nerve to stick up straight so I'll pull it out, name it after one of the children, and hand it to them.  They give me that smarty pants smirk and tell me I'm, haha very funny.  I told them it's their fault I'm going grey.

Thank goodness for the technology of hair coloring!  I have decided to humiliate myself and let you see part of the process.  Not all the grey, but just me looking like a lion who stuck their paw in an electrified fence.  Go on and laugh, I did when…

It Looks Like a Mountain to Me

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Laundry...it's a never ending process.  I get caught up just to fall behind again.  With 4 children and one husband, there is a lot of it.  We have friends to have more children than we do & I don't know how they handle all the laundry.  I think I'd have to have multiple washers and dryers.

Today I decided we would tackle the laundry mountain as a family.  We call it a clothes folding party.  The children just love it!  Not!  They are responsible for getting everything that belongs to them, (except their clean sheets) folding it, putting it away, or hanging it up.  Their part must all be done now, there is no waiting.  Like I said, it's their favorite activity.  It's a little comical because there are clothes flying everywhere as people throw shirts, shorts, underwear etc to the owner of said objects.  The best is when you catch someone unaware & it ends up on their heads.   

When everyone helps it makes my job easier.  I try not to tell them how to fold t…

Where is Your House

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God's timing never ceases to amaze me.  It's always perfect. 

Today we were talking with the 11:30 group of SideKicks at church about weathering the storms of life.  We told them they had two choices:  to try to stand on their own two feet, and be like the foolish man who built his house upon the sand; or be like the wise man and build the foundation of their house on the Rock.  (are you singing the song yet?) Not 2 hours later, this phrase come back to me...

I am selfish.  Things for our family are great right now.  I have a new nephew who is healthy and beautiful.  My brother and his wife are doing well too & finding great joy in parenthood.  My children are doing great.  Husband is as fine as ever.  With all my blessings, I forget.  I forget others are hurting.  For some, life stinks, and they are ready for 2012 to be over with even though it just began.  Like I said, I'm selfish.

God reminded me about home foundations today after church.  A group of us had the pri…

More than One man

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I like team sports.  I think kids learn valuable life lessons that are embedded in them.  Playing on a team is about more than one man.  It's about what is best for the team.  Doing your best not for your own cheers from the crowd, but the cheering that is for your team is satisfaction enough.  Is the guy who practices his guts out every day any different than the one who gets the glory on the field?  I think it's harder to be the guy who gets no playing time for his practicing than the guy who does.  Just my opinion though.

I have a lot of respect for players who talk about others on their team.  I also believe that parents have a huge part to play in how our children view team sports.  I love Henry's basketball coaches.  Shout out to Wade & Boyd.  They are brothers who both played college hoops and are now coaching 9 year olds in our local rec league.  (Which is sometimes is like herding cats.)  The coaches want the boys to play hard and give 100%, but t…

Fridays and Good Hair Days

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...always make me smile!  Good hair days are the best!  Combine it with a Friday & it's a win/win situation!  I can have a hectic schedule, everything can be blowing up in my face, but if I'm having a good hair day, all is well.  I have some high maintenance hair, so when it falls just right...yes, it makes me happy.  Then I spray it with enough super hold hairspray so when I shake my head it all moves together.  (think of the movie Hairspray)  It's really kind of funny.  It's a good thing I don't smoke because I think I could literally burst into flames. 

When I don't straighten my hair I look like Frieda from Peanuts. "Don't you like my naturally curly hair?" Spiral curls that's what I have, but what I want is stick straight like Hopson & the children. No such luck without a little (or a lot) of help.  You can always tell when the humidity is too high because I will have my hair pulled back.  Oh well, I'm not going to complain…

Baby Stories

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I love to tell my children their birth stories.  I want them to know I loved them before they breathed their first breath, and that being their mom is one of the greatest joys of my life.

But before I had my own children's birth stories, I had my brother's.  In honor of the arrival of Henry Cotton Lowe IV, I want to share the birth story of his daddy & my brother, Henry Cotton Lowe III.

I was 7 and Amy was 5.  I couldn't wait for my new baby sister to be born.  Yes, I said baby sister.  After having 2 girls, my mom was certain she would have another.  (these are the days before ultrasound)  Everything was pink.  Pink dresses, bows, socks.  Eyelet bed linens with little lambs.  Very feminine and dainty.  

The day Cotton was born, my mom made a big deal about checking us out of school, and announcing to the office staff that 'We are going to have a baby today!'. At the hospital, Amy and I paced the waiting room waiting for our little sister to be born.  We co…