Showing posts from June, 2012

A Swollen Face & the Summer Heat

Today it was H...O...T.  Like 102 hot.  The only places you could feel any relief from the heat was in the water or inside the house.  Since we happen to be at the lake, 5/6 of the fam chose the water...Hop stayed in the house.  Lake water and a swollen face don't mix really well.

Hopper is doing well.  He's a little swollen, and actually looks like Marlon Brandon in The Godfather.  Because we have so many boys in our house it's not really cool to use the booboo bunny we have, so instead we have booboo sticks.  More macho right?  (they are actually from the water bottles from the late 90's early 2000's that had the sticks you would freeze and then stick in the bottle to keep your drink cold.)  Hop had two stuck on his face different times during the day.  Yesterday we wrapped an ace bandage around his head to hold them on.  Too funny!

We had a great day today with Hopson's fraternity brother, Tom, and his family.  It's hard to believe we've been out of c…

OK Mom, You Can Leave Now...

...What?  What do you mean it's ok for me to leave? 

We have been very blessed in that none of our children have had to have any surgeries.  Stitches, glue, and casts, yes, but no surgeries.  I've even helped hold my children down while they are getting their stitches so they wouldn't have to be put into a papoose, but I've never been asked to leave the room.  I have to say, I didn't like the helpless feeling that washed over me as I walked out and closed the door behind me.

It was had to release my baby, (yes, I know he's not a baby because he's almost 18, but he'll always be my baby) into the complete care of another.  It was very scary for me.  You will be glad to know that I didn't cry.  I really, really wanted to, but I held it in.  I could hear Hop in my mind telling me how stupid I was being, so I sucked it up and dealt with it.

Thank goodness getting your wisdom teeth taken out is not as major as many other surgeries friends' children …

Where's My Hand Basket?

You know why I need it?  Because we're headed somewhere in it, and it's a place that feels hotter than they are predicting it's going to be in Alabama on Saturday.  (106, just in case you're wondering.)  I know my blog is normally happy happy touchy feely, but I'm not happy happy today.  I'm stinkin' mad.  About two different issues no less.  You may think that this blog is not a place for me to express my views on politics, but hey guess what; you are free to leave at any point, I go.

Issue number 1:
The ObamaCare tax. 
Yes, it's a tax.  I know it was promised not to be a health care tax, but that's what it is.  A lot of people, a lot smarter than I am, knew it was a tax.  They've been telling us it was a tax.  You know what the left said?  No, it's not a tax.  It's a way for everyone to have healthcare.  It's a way for everyone to be fair.  Well guess what?  Life's not fair.  People who can't afford healthcare c…

Simple Happiness

Oh...My...Goodness, I can't wait for dinner tonight.  It's going to make me so happy.  Now, I'm not going to lie, it wasn't a hard dinner to make, but it was time consuming.  I love to cook for the fam, especially when it's something healthy and different from the normal fare.  It's so worth all the work you put into this dish.  It's light, it's summery, and it's happiness on a plate.  It's a great meal to share with family during the summer.

Sunday night, my brother's neighbor, Diana, came over and made a form of Ceviche called Picarro.  (or at least I think that's how you spell it)  She is so precious.  She's American-Colombian and is a great cook.  She wanted to cook for all of us, but we talked her into cooking with us so we could get the recipe.  :)  I'm so glad she was willing to share it!  We added chicken that I baked, rice, and served it over a bed of lettuce with the picarro.  No salad dressing is needed.  (the picarro…

Happier by Half

Today is my half birthday.  I'm 40 1/2.  :)  Remember when you were a child and it was a really big deal to become that half.  I'm not 8, I'm 8 1/2.  It reminded you that each day you drew closer to your real birthday, which took FOREVER to come around.  How is it that when you're young, 365 days is so slow, but as you get older those same 365 days fly? 

I can't believe six months have already passed.  In six months I'll still be picking up from Christmas.  Asking the children to again, take all their stuff upstairs and put it away.  I'll be organizing everything, and trying to figure out what I need to take back.  I might go shopping on my birthday.  I do this sometimes and get some great finds. 

Today I'll be celebrating my half birthday by working out.  :)  I need it after our weekend in Tampa.  Wow I ate a lot.  I'm also going to do Zumba today, so I'll feel great in a few hours.  I need to do regular things:  grocery store, bank, laundry,…

My State is Just Funny

Driving...driving...driving.  That's what I did today.  I drove 9 hours today from Tampa to home.  We made good time because I put the hammer down.  We were rockin' and rollin'.  I was a little sleepy at several different times during the drive.  Thank you Coke Zero for being so sweet to wake me up so I wouldn't nod off while I was driving home today.  Nodding off at the wheel bites the bootie.  (I've done it before, but it was a legit nod, I did what I needed to be able to stay awake.  It was super scary.) 

I have one complaint...people who live in little towns DO NOT know how to drive.  If you drive a little car & pull in front of me in my Suburban, don't be surprised if see my frownie face looking at you.  Hello, my car is a little heavy & will total your car if you just pull out in front of me.  If you try to tailgate me, I will go slowly until you back-up off my tailgate.  Slow traffic in the right lane, let those of us who like to drive fast &am…

What a Bunch of Jumpin' Fools

There is a place in Tampa my children insist on going to when we visit my brother & his family...AirHeads.  It's a must if you have children who love to jump on trampolines.  I've talked about this place before, but of course we went again, because we were in Tampa, and this time Leah could jump because she's not pregnant this year.  :)  I would love to have an AirHeads in our hometown, but as of right now, we don't have one, so we just enjoy the one in Tampa.  BTW...My nephew is to die for!  I could eat him up.  His picture is below.

The children were jumping & flipping all over the place.  I walked by some people around my age saying:  "Wow, look at them.  That must be an aerobics class."  I looked in the direction they were staring, and just smiled.  It was no aerobics class, those are just my crazy jumpin' fools I call my children.  :)  Cotton and Leah are not too bad either.  I felt my age.  I did my standard yearly back flips & customary…

Fun for $5...Not Impossible

You know, $5 does not buy you much anymore.  You can't go bowling, play laser tag, go to a theme park, or water park for $5, it's just sad.  I remember when $5 would buy:  5 gallons of gas; 5 Arby's roast beef sandwiches; 5 McDonald's hamburgers; or 100 pieces of super bubble bubble gum.  $5 is a lot harder to stretch now.

Well, we had a lot of fun for $5 today.  We each pulled a name out of a hat, and we had $5 to spend at the Salvation Army to get them a tacky outfit to wear.  The winner of the tackiest outfit won a vat of cheese balls.  Just in case you were wondering, I picked out the tackiest outfit.  It was supposed to be for Harry, but what Harry bought for Cotton was too small, so I took Cotton from Harry & he was able to wear his own outfit.  Harry came in second.  Leah and I both looked like a 40 year old frumpy homemakers.  It hit a little closer to home for me because isn't that what I am?  HaHa!  Just kidding...kinda.  It was pretty bad, but we al…

Is this the Amazon?

Did my brother say rainy season?  Rainy season, were am I. Tampa or the Amazon?  Apparently there is not much difference.

Today we did Busch Gardens...for an hour and a half.  An hour and a half into our visit we are hit by a monsoon.  Cotton said it's rainy season.  There was lightening popping and thunder booming all around us...

...A side note.  I was having a great hair day.  It was coiffed and shellacked so it wouldn't move.  I was very happy.  Then I stepped outside.  Humid doesn't even begin to describe the heaviness of the air.  Do you know what humidity does to naturally curly hair that's been straightened?  It makes it extremely curly no matter how much hairspray you use on it.  Couple that with the rain & it was a hair disaster.  Oh well, nothing to be done about, so I'll just pull it back out of my face & go on with life.  I'm forty, married, and have four children.  Am I really trying to impress everyone I see?  (the vain side of me...yes; … much longer?

My goodness if Henry had asked me one more time how many more hours we had on our nine hour trip to Tampa I think I might have had to throw my shoe at him.  (And I was wearing a pair shoes with 4 1/2 inch heels.)  Our standard answer whenever we go somewhere and a child asks how much longer we have, no matter how close we are, is two hours.  Since we had a nine hour drive time I had to lengthen the time to five hours.  Why is it whenever we're making a long trip somewhere I always feel like the Griswolds in National Lampoon's 'Vacation'?

Nine hours is a long time in a car, with four children.  We're making our biannual trip to see my brother and his family.  My nephew, Henry, is five months old & the cutest little chunky monkey you could ever imagine.  Oh, I just want to eat his cheeks.  Elizabeth and I are going to be fighting over him.  Big Hopson had to stay at home and work, so this is just me and the kiddos.

Harry & Henry ended up sitting in the middl…

I Have to Have Some Mo of That!

The lolsotrue from yesterday made me laugh, so I thought I'd give you a few more.  Laughter is always good.  :)  So y'all enjoy the laugh & have a Wonderful Wednesday!!!

Celebrating Life & deep laugh lines!

How you know when something's really lost...

I saw this today on Face Book and laughed my fanny off.  You know it's true.  I know around my house it's true.  I have stopped looking for things for my fam & have started making them find it on their own.  What are they going to do, fold me up like Flat Stanley & take me to college with them?  Now, that might be a little fun and a lot scary, but that is no go flight.  I hope it makes you shake your head and laugh.  And Joe D., if you're reading this, you're mom knows you can find stuff yourself, so start looking for it.  ;)  Love you Joe!

Celebrating Life & funny little life moments!

I've Done Gone Shootin'

Hop asked me today if I needed him for anything this afternoon.  I told him that as long has he had folded and put away his clothes then the answer was no.  I then proceeded to ask him why.  He gave me a smile and sweetly asked if he could go shoot guns with his friend Will.  O..K..that was like the last question I expected.  I don't know why, we're southern, we own guns, he hunts, and has taken a gun safety course.  I guess I just didn't expect it to come from him.  Harry is my child that loves different weapons.

I texted Hop to ask if he and Will were being careful & having fun.  He gave me a yes and nothing more.  I think they were having too much of a good time to chat with their mom who just wanted to check in.  :/ 

They just came home a little while ago, and they did have fun.  But, who doesn't have a good time shooting guns?  I love to shoot guns.  It's been a few years since I shot one, but I still like too.  We really love it when the Auction Hunters

Changes and Memory Problems


My parents grew up in Opelika, Alabama.  It's close to Auburn University for those of you who have never heard of it.  It's just a little southern town in eastern Alabama.  My parents are buried there as well. 

The Opelika/Auburn area has grown tremendously in the last 20 years.  Almost to the point where I have trouble remembering where everything is.  I was driving through Opelika today on my way home & wanted to go by the cemetery.  No, I don't think it's morbid, I'm not in the area often, and wanted to go by.  I haven't been there in at least 12 years.  Things have changed so much I couldn't find it.  I was a little upset.  You know when you get your mind set on something and then you can't follow through?  It nags at me until I can't stand it.

I'm going to do some virtual mapping on the computer to see if I can find it.  I know what it looks like in my mind, and I want to find it.  It bothers me that much.  Yes, I have OCD.  I will…

Hanging with Auntie


This weekend we spent some time with my sister Amy.  My children call her Auntie.  She is my sibling that always, when she walks in a room has immediate command of it and is COA.  (that's center of attention for those of you who don't know.)  She is a little crazy, but we love her for it.

My children also call her Auntie Candy.  I think the name is self explanatory.  They like to 'sneak up' when she comes for a visit.  That means that after mom & dad have gone to sleep, they sneak downstairs with Auntie & sneak candy.  :/  I've found candy under Henry's bed after Amy has come over for a visit.  We don't eat candy upstairs...especially in the bedrooms.  Oh well, it's their tradition with her, so we allow it only when she is over for a visit. 

Amy & I are 15 months apart, but are as different as night and day.  I'm controlling, she's carefree.  Amy loves little children, I love to be with older kids.  (she's like the Pied Pipe…

Doing a lot of Sitting

And no that's not babysitting.  I wish, then I might be making some money.  I spent 6 hours driving today.  Yuck.  I'll be spending more time next week in the car.  The next month is going to be kinda crazy.

We are trippin' in out over the next few weeks.  (or at least the children and I are.  Hopson will be working when we go to Tampa.)  There are some good and bad things about driving long distances for me. 

For the good:
There are three of us that will be driving:  Hoppy, Harry & myself.  (Of course big Hop drives when he's with us, but to Tampa, it will just be us three.)Short driving shifts.  Driving 9 hours straight makes me cross-eyed and very sleepy.Great conversations & movies movies movies.  The children will also spend a few of the hours reading, and a few hours watching movies.  We may throw a few games in there too, it just depends.
For the bad:
I get sleepy when I drive.  There have been many times when I have had to shake myself awake.  It's b…

I Need Some Advil & a Hot Bath...

...or 20 minutes under my electric blanket on high.  I am sore.  Not just a little bit sore, my whole body hurts, and I feel every one of my 40 years.  Well, my fingers don't hurt, so I guess it can't be considered my whole body.  I decided to really push myself with the cardio today because I'm not going to be able to workout tomorrow.  :(  I figured if I doubled up today it would make up a little bit for not being able to exercise tomorrow, and maybe I wouldn't feel as guilty.  Since I may not be able to move, the guilt will have to take a back seat.

I am living out the words 'stove-up'.  For those of you too young or not from the south, it means that whenever I stand after I've been sitting or laying down for any period of time, I hurt until all my muscles have loosened.  It hurts to just change sitting positions right now.  3 hours of Zumba will do that, especially if you have a bum knee.  As you know I started Zumba this week & my hips and outer thi…

Is That...Hair?

The older I am getting the more hair I am losing.  It's really weird.  Is this happening to anyone else?  I know that I'm supposed to be losing a certain amount of hair each day, but it almost looks like I could start making my own wig from the hair I am losing.

I have mixed emotions when my hair is wrapped around my fingers as I'm washing it.  The gray coming out doesn't  bother me, it's the hair with any kind of color that makes me sad.  I'm pretty sure the color is being replaced by gray hair...great.  I can't say I'm really surprised, my MeMaw was completely gray by the time she was 30.  I'm just going to blame the fam for all my gray hair.  (and all my wrinkles, both the good ones and the bad)  I guess I'll have to start spending an extra hour getting my hair first colored and then highlighted when I go get my hair done.  Why can't women with gray hair be considered to be wise?  We're just considered old.

I'm just going to be th…

I'm a Hot Sweaty Mess

I am a hot sweaty mess.  Welcome to summer in the south!  It's the humidity that gets me.  It doesn't have to be that hot, say 85 degrees, but you add in 80% to 90% humidity & it suddenly feels like 95 outside.  Yuck.  We had a swim meet tonight & I was in the full force sun for the entire meet.  Some clouds or a little breeze would have been nice, or maybe a tent, or since we were the visiting team, getting to spend part of the meet in the chairs that had shade...but it was all a no go.  Oh well.

You know those women who don't sweat?  Yeah, well I'm not one of them.  It pours from me until I look like I've been dumped in a pool or just stepped out of the shower.  My head even sweats.  I know it's an attractive thought.  Today I did Zumba, (it was great) and when I was done my hair was wet and my entire shirt was drenched.  None of the other women in the class even looked like they broke a sweat.  They were glowing.  (insert eye roll here)  And before y…

Shake Your Money Maker

It was raining this morning.  Since Henry swims with second team, I told him I would take him to practice at 9.  Little did I know that I would spend two hours on the phone with Geek Squad.  Henry was late to swim practice.  Actually, he missed practice altogether, but he needed to get into the pool and swim.  I told him to practice with the guppies, but they were doing conditioning out of the pool since the water was so cold. 

It's a around 10:15 & we're getting ready to go home.  It's cold, it's raining & I still have a lot of my workout left to do for today.  :(  And laundry, and cleaning, and everyone is always hungry after swim practice, and I don't want them junk, so yes I'll be glad to be your sweaty, smelly, short order cook.  Laura, another swim mom, comes out & tells my friend Ashley & me that we need to do Zumba with her.  She said it starts at 10:30 & it's so much fun.

I've never done Zumba before.  Everyone I've…

Herding Cats


Being a leader of teenagers can sometimes be like herding cats.  I don't mean this in a bad way, but think about it:  cats have their own way of seeing and doing things.  Like cats, each person has their own personality and brings their own set of circumstances to the table when they serve, and it makes it interesting to say the least.  The teenagers I get to work with are amazing, but they are like cats.  :)  I really don't care for cats, but I love these cats!

You want to know why I love them?  Here are my reasons why...

They make me laugh a lot:  they love each other and the children we work with.  They laugh, kid around, and laugh with each other, but also lift each other up when they need it.  They love on kids who are shy or feel lost in our services.They make my heart swell with pride:  I watch them step out in faith and with God's strength and do amazing things for the children of our church.  They are learning to stretch themselves.  It's hard to step out …

Another Nothing Day

Well, it's been a nothing day, which is good and bad.  Good because everyone was able to have some down time, bad because there's nothing to write about.

Hop had a lot of friends take the ACT, and since he took the SAT last weekend he decided to put off retaking the ACT.  He called a friend before the test to give them a pep talk so he was up early.  I was proud of him.

Harry is getting ready to leave for tennis camp.  He gets to spend the week with his grandparents and his cousin Garner.  It will be a great week.

Elizabeth had someone over to spend the night, and they met a group of friends for lunch and a movie.  Fun fun.  I remember doing that with my friends, and I hope they will have a full summer spending time together.  I love her friends.

Hen had a friend over to spend the night as well.  Josh could be a member of the fam.  Hop, Harry & E all LOVE Josh.  They will all tell you he is just so cool.  Hopson & I noticed that Josh & Henry are very similar.  He&#…

It's the Summer of What?

It seems for the last few years our summers have had themes.  The children decide they really like something & then want it all the time.  I can't complain because the things they want aren't really that bad for you.

Last year was the summer of homemade pizzas.  We made them at least 2 times a week.  It's actually a lot of fun to let your kids make the pizzas.  Yes, it's messy, but at least you know exactly what your kids are eating.  I really saw some creativity come out, and the kiddos feel a sense of accomplishment when they can eat something they have made.  If they were tired, I made them & watched as they came down like a plague of locusts.

This summer seems to be the summer of homemade fruit smoothies.  I felt so badly on Henry's birthday because he had to get a shot & finger prick that I told him we could look up how to make smoothies.  (I would love to use ice cream all the time, but that's not healthy for the fam.)  Hop Googled it and cam…

Brookstone Fun

We don't go to the mall.  It's hard to get in and out quickly because it seems you always get sucked into stores that you really didn't plan to go into in the first place.  And, it happened today.

The first thing you need to know is that this week has been the appointments week for all the children:  orthodontist:  three boys are looking good, eight of E's baby teeth won't come out, and her teeth are kinda jacked up, I think our ortho, Dr. Jeff was a little too excited about it; pediatrician:  everyone is doing great & they are all healthy, they were stabbed and shot by the lab and nurses, Harry was the most unhappy about it; and finally today, the dentist:  all four cavity free, E may have to have six or seven teeth pulled in six
                                                             months, oh goodie. 

Because everyone went to the dentist and we were close to the mall, we took a trip to get Hopson's father's day presents.  He is very picky, and …

Me the Movie Critic

It's been a few months since I've seen a movie in the movie theaters.  So I'm going to take this post to write about the movie Elizabeth, Henry & I went to see today.  The big boys decided to stay home & Hop ended up cutting the grass.  I think going to the movies is more fun, but hey, if I'm not cool enough to be seen with, I can handle it...maybe.

We went to see The Avengers.  Yes, I know it came out in May.  Yes, I know it had a great opening weekend, but it's been a little crazy & I wanted to be able to enjoy the time and well as the movie.  It's the whole experience I wanted, and I got it.

I have to say I loved the movie.  It was long, but they didn't compromise the story line to cut corners to force it to make sense.  The creators did a great job of setting this movie up in:  Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America.  I really appreciated that when I was watching the movie today.  It had some serious parts & it had some comedic relief.  …

He's Finally 2 Hands

The baby is finally 2 hands.  Yep, 10 years old today.  I guess I really shouldn't call him the baby anymore.  I remember one time he looked at me & said he couldn't do something because he was a baby.  He was 5.  I informed him that he was the baby (of the family) not a baby anymore.

I often wonder what it's like being the baby of the family.  I married one, so it can't be all bad.  I do firmly believe that when there are multiple siblings in a family the baby gets it the easiest.  You laugh, but think about it.  With the first child you are anxious about everything because you're learning so much as a parent.  There are no instructions that come with your particular model of child & what will work best with them; it's a learn as you go kinda thing.  (Accompanied with a lot of prayer!)  Middle children have it a little easier because we've seen a little & know a little, and tend not to get stressed out over the smallest thing.  But the baby...…

Why Do I Do It?

Ugh, sometimes I frustrate myself.  So, Satuday I decided to watch the mini-series The Hatfields and McCoys on The History Channel.  Very good by the way, I would highly recommend watching it.  But the entire time I'm watching it, I'm wondering how close it is to the truth.  You know so many times when they make movies or mini-series about a subject the only thing that resembles the truth is the name of the characters.  Guess what I did?  I start researching info on the two families.  Why I did this, I don't know, but curosity killed the cat, and it killed my sleep too.

What I read was so sad, and there was so much hate.  Granted, the feud started just a little before the end of the Civil War, and hate was around in spades.  The feud lasted 30 years.  Can you imagine 30 years of hating your neighbor?  The whole thing could have been stopped several different times, but it just festered like a big ugly sore.

In my research I found timelines, family trees, and a blog by a Ha…

Stupid Computer

I am having trouble with the blogger website. :/. I have a posting, but can't get it to post. I'll get it up ASAP. Sorry y'all. Celebrating Life! ~ashley

do you hear what I hear...

...Nothing except for the clicking of my keyboard keys.  (and the lawnmower my neighbor us using)  Oh sweet silence.  I love you and have missed you so much.  I can't remember the last time we were able to hang out together.  :)

It's quiet right now.  It wasn't earlier, and won't be later, but it is right now.  You always hear that you should live in the now.  Well, I'm livin' and lovin' it & sharing it with you.  It's amazing how clearly I can think with silence.  The term silence is golden is bouncing around in my head.  You may be wondering why my house is quiet on this beautiful Saturday morning.  (or not...but I'm going to tell you any way.)

Hop left bright and early to go take the SAT gone.  Around 8:30 this morning Hopson took all the other kiddos to the lake overnight...four more out the door.  Yippee!!!  It could be, hands down, one of the nicest things he's done for me.  I now for the next two hours have complete and to…

Yea for Cooking!

I'm so glad my children like to be independent!  I'm glad they are not super needy.  It may be because we don't have time for it, or it may be because I'm a mean mom.  I'm not sure which.  I do push them to be independent, because one day they will not live with us anymore, and I want them to be able to cook for themselves, wash their own clothes, and have at least some idea on how to clean their own homes.

We came home a few days ago & Elizabeth wanted to make a homemade cheese pizza by herself.  Of course her brothers were all about it, and I knew she could do it.  She didn't make homemade dough, but she followed the directions on the box very well.  She had me look at the crust to see if it was precooked enough before she added the toppings.  Of course Harry wanted it super cheesy, so Elizabeth coated it with cheese for him.  He was happy to say the least.  I was proud of her, her pizza was gobbled up, it looked pretty, and she did such a good job cleanin…