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Showing posts from May, 2012

It's the Beginning...

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...the beginning of Hop's last year of high school.  Every time I think about it I start to cry.  He's been our little guinea pig for so long, and we've learned so much parenting from him.  Both the good and the bad.  He's never complained about being the oldest, and we're honest with him that we've been learning how to be parents too.  Sometimes he benefits from our inexperience and sometimes he doesn't.  He's served as a wonderful example for his brothers and sister.  He has brought us so much joy.

Today has been a busy day.  We received his senior portrait form telling us the date and time.  Not ready, I'm not ready.  I've sent in the form for his baby, or in our case, little boy, picture to appear in the sports book for his high school.  I had to email what we want written under the picture.  You'll be glad to know I was not too wordy, it was difficult, but I was clear and concise.  (I tend to write a dissertation when a thesis sentence …

Are They Really Children?

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School has been out less than a week, and I'm wondering if I'm raising children or a swarm of locusts.  Wow, they eat a lot, and since everyone is swimming this summer, they eat constantly.  (I couldn't believe it when the older two said they would swim!  They are doing it to get in shape for their other sports.)

Thankfully all the children can cook some things for themselves.  (the big boys can cook anything they want by themselves, but the younger two need a little guidance.)  One of our staples in the summer is tuna with dill relish and a little mayo.  We usually have to fix 2 of the big cans and someone is scrapping the bottom of the bowl trying to get the last little bit. 

I feel like I'm either trying to keep the house stocked with food, cooking for, or cleaning up after a meal.  Crazy.  Joe was here earlier today and was upset because we are out of candy.  Sorry Joe!  I'll get you some soon.

Tonight we're having a meal I haven't cooked in at least 10…

Mom, What Did I Tell You?!!

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Well, today we had a flat.  It was totally not fun, and Harry yelled at me like I did it on purpose.  Have you ever had to drive 10 miles an hour?  It's really hard & people behind you do not like it. 

I had to pull a trailer to a shop when we left the lake this weekend.  I normally don't pull the trailer.  I can, but I don't really like to.

I was on the phone, trying to get some work done when we left the house.  (some people call that multi-tasking, I call it motherhood)  I was driving on a 2 lane road, which was narrow by the way, and ended up popping one of the trailer tires.  We had been on the road less than 5 minutes.  Great!  This was when Harry yelled at me.  I told him I didn't need his mouth & I didn't do it on purpose.  The only thing that would have made it worse is if I had been standing in an ant bed.  Luckily I wasn't.

We decided to ride to a gas station which was a few miles down the road, because I thought they could maybe help us, an…

Hey Guys, You Left Your Stuff

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Have you ever noticed that when kids go somewhere they always forget things?  I wish I had a dollar for every time my children or their friends have left something behind.  I would have a nice chunk of bills in my pocket for sure.

Sometimes I'll ask my kids where they got a pair of shorts or a shirt they are currently wearing & the boys (for some reason, it's always the boys) will tell me that a friend left it & they just felt like or wanted to wear it.  OK, guys, you really shouldn't do that & it's normally not what we do, but I try to make sure their friends receive it back at some point, and that it's clean.  I'm sure their friends do it too...or at least I hope I'm not the only mom who finds out later that their children are wearing someone else's clothes.

We had a get together this weekend with a few teenagers & almost everyone left something.  When Hopson took the basket we put all the stuff in to let people claim it, most of it wa…

I saw God today

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You know when you can just see Him everywhere?  I had that today.  My dad love sunsets and they remind me of how great God is.  All the colors coming together and then the look when there is just a smidge of light left.  So beautiful.  Here are some pictures I took, I love it because in them I can see the Great I AM!

Celebrating Life!
~ashley




just give me a smile

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I have been a total creeper with my camera.  I love to take pictures of my kids & they hate it.  They hate this blog too, but you can tell that's made a big impact on me.  Not.

I love natural shots where they aren't looking at the camera.  It's the shots where they are just being that I love the most.  I also like ones that have inside jokes with them or action shots.  We spent some time at the lake, so these pictures are from our trip.  I just wanted to post a few of my people, so here you go...

Celebrating Life!
~ashley








Hello Again

As you can probably tell, I've been out of touch for the past few days.  We didn't have any wifi service, and trying to write a post on my phone is next to impossible.  I promise I have tons of stories for you.  I'm going to back post some of them, so I'll have a post for each day.  :)  Yea, I know it's cheating, but this way I'm at least making up for what I missed. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  Mine was full of friends, laughter, and flat tires.  :)  You'll see later.

Celebrating Life!
~ashley

Birthdays & SUMMERTIME!!!!

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Today is the last day of school for my little people.  The big people were done with exams Tuesday.  WooHoo!!!  IT'S SUMMERTIME!!!

We love summer.  We love summer.  Did I mention we love summer?  Well we do.  It's been a hard year.  Everyone was stretched academically, athletically, and personally.  Now it's a time to take a big deep big breath.  (and it couldn't have come soon enough) 

Right now there are 15 teenagers at the lake for a few days.  It's going to be lots of laughter, and lots of memories made.  Wow I wish I was 17 again.  I wish I could be 17 and know what I know now.  I know those kids look at me and see a 40 year old, but I don't feel that old.  I feel like I just finished high school.  I feel like I could conquer the world.  (as long as I can stay awake to do it)  I think that's why I love teenagers so much.  Their possibilities are endless. 
I want to wish my little brother, Cotton, a wonderfully happy birthday.  I keep thinking he'…

Congrats to the Winner

I want to congratulate Button on winning the jar. She taught both big boys 8th grade social studies & is a wonderful teacher.

Today was just a normal busy mommy day. Trying to cram in as many things as possible before the kiddos get out of school tomorrow. Yea for summer!!!

I'll try to do another drawing soon, but until then, I'll be..,

Celebrating Life! ~ashley

Through the Eyes of Another

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I want to send you to a CaringBridge site.  I want you to see, like I have seen, through the eyes of another.  This is a mother of 3 beautiful children who knows her time, if the Lord chooses to heal her on the other side of heaven, is limited.

It is heartbreaking for me to read these, but it reminds me that even today is not promised.  I do not know Laura personally, but I wish I did.  I would tell her that she is beautiful.  I would tell her that she is strong.  I would remind her to hold on to God's promises.  But I think she knows these things already.  I can't imagine being in her shoes.  I've worn some uncomfortable shoes in my lifetime, but none like hers.

I'm praying for Laura.  I believe in a God who still works miracles.  I believe He loves Laura more than any of us can imagine.  I know He loves her family.  I'm asking you to pray for her too.  Pray for healing; pray for peace; pray for God's divine Will to be carried out; pray for a cure for cancer.

10,000 Hits Needs Free Gifts

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AYITL has reached over 10,000 hits.  WooHoo!  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read about my crazy life.  It's a little nutty; can be a little boring; and I've realized that there are so many of you out there just like me.  It's kinda nice.  I do wish I knew who had been the 10,000th hit, I might have sent them a prize.  Prizes are fun aren't they!  (getting something for free is always fun)

I'll tell you what, in honor of reaching 10K views in less than 6 months we'll have a random kind of drawing.  I have made these and given a bunch away over the last few months.  If you want to be included in the drawing, post your favorite memory of summer below.  (Not on Face Book!)  It can be as an adult or child.  Just something where you were celebrating life!  I'll get the children to pick a number & that's the person who will win.  I'll get to read everyones postings, it will be fun.



I'll keep the contest open through tomorrow 12pm …

I Truly Hate You

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I hate you, you know that.  I hate how you make me feel.  I know I've given birth 4 times.  I know my body has changed a bunch because of those births and time and gravity.  I know that I'm 40.  But I don't feel 40, I forget that I'm not 18 anymore, or even 21. 

You used to make me feel beautiful.  You would bring out the best in me, and now you throw my shortcomings in my face.  Couldn't you be a little nicer?  It's not fair that you haven't changed at all, you look exactly the same after 20 years. 

Now granted, you have spent a lot of time in my drawer because I was too overweight to wear you, but I really would like to look the same as I did 20 years ago when I wore you for the first time.  I would like to have my pre-baby body back when everything was tight and in the right place.  I have decided I don't like old, lumpy, and frumpy.

I will wear you before the summer is out.  Maybe not in front of anyone, but even if it's in the backyard for onl…

I'm Doing the App Thing

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So, the whole weight loss thing has been going pretty well.  I started my diet the day I started this blog...on the day of the big 4-0, so I'm almost 5 months in.  I don't weigh myself, I'm very number sensitive, so I'm going by how my clothes fit.  Pretty pleased so far.  I haven't made it to stick thin, I don't think I'll ever be that skinny, but I can dream. 

I've done fad diets.  They work great as long as you stay on the diet, but as soon as you quit the diet, the weight usually comes back on.  So I've stopped doing the diet thing.  I'm doing the app thing.  It couldn't be easier.

The app is called 'My Fitness Pal'.  I love it, it's my bestest friend.  I can plug in how much I work out & how much I eat & it figures out everything for me.  It should be called dieting for dummies.  Now it has also been helping that I'm burning as many calories I take in 6 days a week.  (thank you Biggest Loser)  I will not be doi…

I am a HORRIBLE Mother

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You know when you have those moments that you know you've totally botched something?  I had a major one today. 

Today was May Day Play Day for Henry.  His last one in elementary school.  Our very last one in elementary school.  His swan song.  We've been at this school 12 years straight.  It will be weird to not to go there at all next year; it has become a habit after so many years.  Time is marching on whether I like it or not. 

I had full intentions, and you know what they say about those, to make Hen a mack daddy lunch today for May Day Play Day.  You know when I remembered about his lunch?  1:15 today when I was delivering the snack for his class.  Yep, I'm a horrible mother.  I forgot my child's lunch...how sad is that?  I scared Harry while he was driving.  He asked me what was wrong & I told him I forgot Henry's lunch.  He said, 'oh that's all; you scared me to death'.  Sorry Harry!  You did a good job driving today by the way & thank…

Two for Friday and This is One

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I told you last night that I'd have two postings today.  So here we go, posting number 1.

Last night I had a reception to go to and I needed to take an appetizer.  What to cook..what to cook.  The question is always what to cook.  Yesterday I was at the grocery store still asking myself the same thing.  It was horrible.  I didn't want to cook the same 'ole thing.  It gets boring you know.


Well, I had an epiphany.  I made some homemade chimichangas earlier this week, and that is what gave me the idea to make something similar for the party.  My clan loves the buffalo chicken dip (BCD).  It has been the rage here the last few years.  You can't go to a party without it being served.  I thought it would be good because it's a little heavier and filling, but I didn't want to just drop a dish of it on the table with some chips; I wanted something different.  The only requirement I had was that it had to be pretty.  Momma always said presentation is everything. 

I tho…

I'm Going to Bed

I'm crying uncle.  It's been a crazy day, and I'm going to bed.  I don't think I could keep my eyes open long enough to complete a thought.  I've fallen asleep a few times while writing a blog entry, and I know the same will happen tonight.  I'll do two postings tomorrow to make up for it.  One entry will be a recipe of something I made tonight for a reception.  I had good reviews of it tonight.  :)

It's been a long week and tomorrow is May Day Play Day for Henry.  Y'all have a great night!

Celebrating Life & a good night's sleep!
~ashley

Not Gonna Do It...

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...it wouldn't be prudent.  Ha! (that's for all of you who used to watch SNL in the 90's)  This posting is going to be somewhat random & disjointed.  My thoughts are scattered today.

Every night, and I mean every night, the fam asks me what we're having for dinner.  I love to tell them that I've decided we're not eating tonight, we're going to fast.  They don't think that's as funny as I do.  One day though I'm going to be serious about it.  I'm not going to cook.  I'm not going to clean, and I may not even shower.  I'm just not gonna do it.  But today I did, and we're having a Mexican casserole.  :)

I really wanted to skip a blog posting, but I made a deal with myself to see this thing through, so as far as skipping...I'm not gonna do it.  366 days is a long time, I'm almost half way, I know I can finish.  I'll be like the little engine that could...I think I can...I think I can...I think I can.

I've been re…

We Were Just Dumb Kids

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A place to meet-up.

Just hanging out with friends.

Watching the guys cut their knuckles trying to pop the tops of the salt & pepper shakers.

We were just dumb kids looking for something to do. 

Oh yeah, I almost forgot...Walt is 0-2 at McDonald's.

A week ago I needed to meet a friend of mine from high school, Kim, to drive somewhere, and we were going to meet up at the local McDonald's.  This is where we would sometimes hang out in high school.  I was getting ready to pull into the back of the lot (they have a front and back entrance) when I looked up & noticed it was gone!  Like nothing but rubble gone.  It makes me a little sad.  There are memories in the rubble of that McDonald's.  I was getting ready to call Kim  when I noticed a text she sent laughing because the restaurant was gone.  (yes, you can laugh in a text message...LOL...)  It's amazing that I can live here, and not even notice when a restaurant has been completely demolished.  In my defense, I do…

I Miss My Mommy

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I have been Face Book stalking people's family pictures lately.  I'm currently throwing myself my own little pity party.  There are tons of multi-generational pictures, families having Easter egg hunts, enjoying dance recitals, and mother's day.  I am totally jealous.  I'm being serious in that I mean the little green monster has been raising her very ugly head.  I wonder what my life would have been like if my parents had not passed away at such a young age?  How would I be different?  I believe that wee are partially molded by our experiences, both the good and the bad.


There are days when I want to be the one who can complain to my friends that my mom likes to stick her nose in my business of raising my kids; and my dad has gone totally crazy in his older years.  I want to be the child again and have to go to my parents and drag all my kids along.  Would it be a total pain?  Yes.  Dragging four kids anywhere, and dealing with extended fam can be a pain, but I wish I…

Today Is About the Haves

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On days like today I like to focus on my haves.  I need to focus on my haves.  It could be easy for me to just focus on what I've lost; I've been known to throw myself a little (or rather large) pitty party.  So for Mother's Day, I'm going to tell you what I have.  And I'm going to tell you with a smile on my face.  :)  These are also in no particular order, I'm just typing here...

1.  I have a wonderful husband and four beautiful and healthy children.  I'm quickly becoming the shortest one in the fam. :/  I don't know when I gave permission for these people to grow up, but they're not listening to me when I tell them to stop.  They're a great fam!  The biggest thing I worry about is everyone not trashing my house, and putting up their clean clothes.  You know what, in the grand scheme things, that's nothing.  Now it's better for my sanity if they would go on and hang them up, but I'm trying to put some perspective out there.  I'…

I Call Them Athletes

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It's funny how many people say that dancers are not athletes.  I disagree.  They are athletes.  It takes training to be a dancer.  Like all sports, there are dancers who possess a lot of natural talent & some who work so hard to achieve what they can do.  Dancers must have a phenomenally strong core, strong legs, and don't forget an element of grace.  It's fine if you can leap like a gazelle, but if your feet are flexed, knees bent, and have jacked up arms, then all you have is someone who can jump high.  Just like in sports, there can be injuries that can put a career on hold or even stop it completely. 

Last night at dress rehearsal our friend CeCe reinjured her foot.  (earlier in the year she cracked the growth plate of same said foot, ouch!)  When CeCe got home from dress rehearsal, her foot was swollen and she couldn't put any pressure on it.  After calling the orthopedist, they were told for her to stay completely off her foot, and to not dance today.  Do y…

Wow, That Is a Big Pile of Clothes!

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So, the boys are completely finished with lacrosse, and we are 1/2 way finished  with Elizabeth's dance.  Tonight was...duhn duhn duhn...dress rehearsal.  That great fun time when all the girls have a run through or two on stage.  There is actually a lot that goes into dress rehearsal:  music, lights, dance order.  Timing is everything.  Last year we had 2 numbers to change from one costume to another with a major hair change too.  That's called a 'quick change', and we always pray that we don't have too many.  You think that 6 minutes is a lot of time, but when you are changing tights, costume, dance shoes, and hair you need more than that.  It was craazzyy.  This year is much better, no quick changes.  Whew!


Because dress rehearsal is a little more laid back than the actual recital, you will find costumes and bags with all the other dance gear everywhere.  It is crazy.  Sometimes the girls have to start just digging through stuff to find whatever they are look…

I think it's hereditary

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Is weirdness hereditary?  I think it is.  I know I'm weird, and my children have been showing signs of it for years.  Big Hopson is not weird, he's a CPA, they aren't allowed to be weird.  I think it's in their bylaws or something.  One way I know this is that Hopson never makes funny faces when we do a crazy picture.  He always just smiles at the camera like he's saying:  "yes, I realize I'm surrounded by idiots".  He's been known to just shake his head at one of us when we start acting really crazy.

Some of my children are more prone to weirdness than others, and we have differing kinds of weirdness.  Hop's psych class watched one of my favorite movies:  'What About Bob'.  There are some great lines in that movie, and of course Hop has heard me cackle with laughter when we watched it, so in his class he laughed at the normal spots.  I love the Knock Knock joke.  Others in his class didn't think it was funny.  I think it's bec…

I Want to Be King

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 I've said in quite a few of my postings that spring is always breathtakingly busy.  We're now in the home stretch & summer is right around the corner!  Yea!!!  One thing that was fun last month was NHS tapping for Hop.  It really was an accomplishment of all his years of hard work in school.  Well, a few weeks ago was voting for officers of said honor society.  Now, I'll admit, I have a habit of encouraging my children to run for offices in clubs, honor societies, and SGA.  They tune me out most of the time...I'm used to it.  I am a classic overachiever who loves to have way too many things on my plate.  I'm trying to be better, but this blog is a classic example. 


Well, Hop took my advice and ran for President of NHS.  I was a little surprised...shocked...happy that he was going to run for something, but I was floored when he told me he was running for President.  I said to him, to steal a phrase from Nike, 'Just Do It'.  I wasn't really super h…

It's Looking You Straight in the Face

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I love poetry; I always have.  I love everything about it.  One thing I think I like best is that I can see in my mind the images the words create.  We all do it when we read something, just in varying degrees, and every person's images are unique.  (it happens for me with music as well, because it is essentially poetry put to music.)  Poetry can also elicit emotions.  Tell me you don't feel anything when you read 'The Charge of the Light Brigrade' by Tennyson.  I dare you!  You know you do...you feel for those guys who are going into battle, and you wonder what in the world they were thinking and feeling.  I love poetry!


I found some poems that my mom gave my friends and me when we went to college.  I have been giving the poem out to Hop and his friends for them to remember to stay focused on their senior year.  (obviously the boys get 'The Boy in the Glass'.)  I don't want them to ever compromise their integrity and beliefs for a few minutes of acceptance…

this is harder than i thought and i'm so small

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do you ever feel small?  i do sometimes, and today i feel small.  i am the 20 year old me that knows what's eventually going to happen in my family.  my father is terminally ill, brain tumor, oliogodendroglimoa; after 22 years i haven't forgotten the name.  i know he's toward the end, i know he's dying.  i don't want to face it, so i hide.  i hide in college going about my routine because it's what my mom said my dad wants.  but i feel like i've abandoned my family.  i'm not there to help, and i know they need my help.  my dad is dead weight to pick-up, and he is not the same because of the major brain surgery and all the radiation.  the tumor is consuming his entire brain, and nothing will stop it.  they have told him to get his affairs in order and they will make him as comfortable as they can until the end.

i am small.  i know others think of me as loud, crazy, and confident, but that is the part of me i want you to see.  when i look at me, that is n…

Watch What You Say...Watch What You Do

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I love Face Book.  I think it can be wonderful.  It's a vehicle to post information and pictures of children.  It helps me to keep up with long time friends who have moved away, and I can keep up with the ones down the street who I don't see because we're on different schedules with our children.  When their children have a wonderful accomplishment, or they need prayers for sick family members, it's a wonderful way to get information out to the masses.  It's a an easy way for groups to learn things and collaborate on ideas; we use it in children's church to learn motions to songs or to learn an object lesson.  It lets me shoot my friends a quick note to say happy birthday or I love you.  But you know what...

...I hate Face Book.  There are just some things that you don't need to be posting.  Sometimes it's just TMI!  Too Much Information.  It is a great way for people who love to be COA become even more that way.  That's 'center of attention'…

A thought for today

Today was a happy and very sad day. I'm not going to talk about it, it was hard to think on what to write about. I hope you'll forgive me this once. Today was a day of remembering and celebrating life. ~ashley

Applauding Friendship

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Watching true friendships form and grow is a wondrous thing to behold.  It is everything that is good and right.  I remember my friends from high school.  I love them dearly.  Their friendships are golden to me: precious and unwavering. 

I saw golden friendships being strengthened tonight.  Elizabeth & I went to the girl's lacrosse game tonight.  They beat a big rival by a pretty big margin.  Yea Rebels!!!  Onto the finals Sunday!  What was really fun was to sit with the friends who came to watch the girls play.  Such sweet girls, I love them!  At one point they all stood up and started doing cheers.  I had a big giggle.  We cheered the team on & were so happy for them.

Immediately after the girl's game we left and went to the boy's game.  The boys played a very tough game, but lost.  There were a bunch of Hop's friends there.  It was great to see.  They cheered loudly & after the game the opposing team (who was the home team) all left & we stayed taking…