Showing posts from 2014

Always My Child

I love this time of year.  I love it for all the reasons I've said in dozens of different posts over the years, but I think today I love it because it means all my chicks are here in the nest, and my home feels complete.

The other night I was sitting at the computer writing & heard the high pitched tapping sounds of the ping pong being volleyed from one side of the table to the other from up in the playroom.  I stopped and just listened.  I heard brothers talking & laughing like they did when all four were here all the time.  It was a beautiful sound and it made me smile.  It's amazing how things change when just one is gone.  The schedule isn't quite as robust; there's one less mouth to feed; and there's a little less talking and laughter.  So, I love this time of year.

I love it that Friday we will all go see a movie like we did when the four were little.  I love it when Hop will talk books with Henry.  I love hearing the laughter of all of them togethe…

You Have Been Weighed and Found Wanting

My children consider me a commanding officer of the grammar police.  If you misuse a pronoun, a preposition, articles in front of words, a double negative or even a direct object, be prepared to be:  1st, corrected and 2nd,  judged.  Living in the deep south, we are already judged because of our accents, so if you add improper grammar on top of the accent...oy vey!  Yeah, I police mine pretty closely.    

I was subbing for Elizabeth's English class & noticed a cute book in her teacher's room titled:  I judge you when you use poor grammar.  The first thing it made me do was giggle, because, yeah, I do judge people (right, wrong or otherwise) who use poor grammar.  I realize that you may be a member of Mensa, but if you are not using correct grammar, I will assume that you are uneducated.  Now, don't get me wrong, I am not perfect, but at least I try to not sound like a country bumpkin.  And, I really want this book.  It's more like a picture book, but it's hil…

What I Really Heart

As all moms know, December is CrAzY!  Not only is there the regular schedule to keep up with, but you have added in the seasonal schedule: decorating, cooking, Christmas cards, gift buying & wrapping ~ to just name a few.  Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but instead it turns into the most dreaded & miserable time of the year.

Ask me how many people I've heard complain about their extended families & having to spend time with them.  Ask me how I felt last night at the Galleria.  You know what, I felt sad.  I saw unhappy people trying to find gifts for people they don't really like with money they probably don't have.  The whole season gets kicked off with Black Friday which has turned into something ugly & selfish.  I don't want to be that way at Christmas.  I want to feel the love of my family.  I want to laugh and make happy memories.  I want to lavish in the simplicity of the king who set aside his heavenly splendor …

Insert HUGE eye roll HERE

I have noticed that over the years I've become a little cynical about some things.  I was sitting in the doctors office today (for 2 hours!  Insert frownie face here.)  and was flipping through one of the different magazines they had on the table in the waiting room.  It was a style & gossip magazine & a few questions started floating through my head.

Why are certain people considered celebrities & why do we care about every aspect of their lives so much?  I find it a little ridiculous. First off, they are people.  They do a lot of the same things we all do each day.  Second, they sometimes make bad choices.  (and keep making those choices...a lot)  I'm not saying those choices make them bad people, I'm just saying they consciously put themselves in situations that are not flattering & then some of them have the audacity to be mad because they are in the press about it.Why do we care so much what the celebrities are wearing?  Why do I care that a celebrity …

You Must Be Out Cho'Mind!

My children are pyromaniacs, but then again, aren't most children?  Mine come by it naturally.  My sister & I used to stick our fingers in candles to play with the wax & Hopson used to set rice fields on fire after they had been harvested on his family's farm growing up.  (yeah, I know, Hopson wins...)  But, playing with candles has always been a fascination of mine.  I just can't help it.

Our kitchen, which I spend most of my time in, smells like rotten pumpkins right now.  Yuck!  My centerpiece that was on my table had three pumpkins & I didn't know the bottom had become rotten until yesterday.  In case you've never smelled rotten pumpkins, it's gross.  I've scrubbed my kitchen down, but I still get whiffs of it every now & then.  Bleh!  Because of the smell, I picked up some fragrance spray that I like at the grocery store.  It has a nice fresh smell to it.

When I brought it home, Henry discovered it & started spraying it all over t…

Borrowing a Line

It's a Jagged Little Pill Yes, I know it's a song by Alanis Morrisette, but it so applies to this post.
Have you ever so totally messed up something that you relive your embarrassment and shame over and over and over again?  See, I told you the song title applied.  It's like a jagged pill that you swallow over and over.  (or at least I tend to relive mistakes in my mind...maybe I'm crazy, but that's another posting for another time.)
Henry had one of those moments yesterday.  Luckily, it wasn't life threatening, but it was something that was very public & ended the advancement of his team in a competition.  I think, as parents, we tend to want to shield our children from failure and embarrassment.  No one wants their children to fail, but can I tell you, the lesson your child learns from that failure will be one that they remember for a lifetime.
A few things that you need to know about Hen before I lay out what #4 did...
Henry has been my little Lego builde…

We Put the Fun in DysFUNctional

So, this past weekend the entire fam went to Oxford to visit the grandparents & go to to the Auburn/Ole Miss football game.  It was nice to spend more than 10 minutes with Hop, and it's always nice to be spoiled by my in-laws.  Tickets, check.  Very warm clothes, check.  Tailgating, check, and as far as tailgating goes, The Grove is iconic...and...a little crowded...and...a little rowdy.  We passed about 7 different Elvis impersonators.  (hilarious)  Most tents are decorated to the hilt.  (love it)  The food is second to none.  (my pants are a little tighter today.)  It's funny because when the game starts, there are about as many people in the Grove watching the game on TV as there are in the game.  It's great!

Our game plans were varied and interesting.  Hopson wanted to say in the Grove to watch the game on TV.  Hop, Harry & nephew Garner all went into the game & sat in the Auburn section.  We're trying to talk G into coming to AU, but he is a Mississipp…

Check It Off Her Bucket List

Holy daughter is an internet published photographer!  And not just by me on this blog or on her webpage...see, I know what you're thinking.  :)  Now, don't get me wrong, I love to use her photography, but as her biggest fan & biggest critic, she really does have an eye.

There are wonderfully talented people in my community.  Artists, artisans, home decorators, fashion consultants, writers, and the list keeps going.  It really is amazing as I stop and think about it.  There are many of them who use their talent, not only to make something more beautiful, but a chance to share about the One who gave them the talent.  It's pretty cool.

One of those people is Buffy York.  Buffy started a very popular blog called The Style Gathering, and features a talented Godly friend, Laura DiFatta, as one of her guest writers.  How Elizabeth came to meet Buffy, and now be a photographer for her is, to me, a pretty cool story.

This past spring, after Elizabeth's 14th bi…

Some Perspective From the Cheap Seats

Good gravy the rumors have been flying around this city faster than a forest fire.  I should know because I heard someone ask me if I had heard what was going on.  First of all, yes I know what the rumor is & second, no it's not true.  I know you wondering what this is all about.  I'm going to give you a few minutes to...

...a little more... know what it is...'s the one thing that can make the most rational person totally crazy...
...think a little more...'s little league sports.

Here's my take on little league sports, of any kind, both girls and boys.

Little league sports are to teach basic knowledge of the game.  In football it's blocking & tackling; baseball/softball it's hitting & fielding; basketball it's dribbling & shooting;  lacrosse it's throwing, catching & shooting.  Your football player learns that a 42 draw is the tailback (or fullback) going through the hole on the right side in-between…

You Know You Want Some

BBQ the Bucs Big & Midge #1 on your plate & #1 in your heart
Every  year to raise money for Relay for Life our local high school hosts a huge event called BBQ the Bucs.  (This is one of our big rivals.)  Teams sign up to compete in the category of their choice:  hamburgers, chicken or steak.  The competition is judged and winners are announced.  Who will be king of the grill?  
This is the 2nd year that Harry has competed with his friend Anthony.  The name of their team is Big & Midge.  You understand the name when you see the picture of them together.  :)  Harry and Anthony have been friends, I think, since they were 2.  Old friends are special, and theirs has always been an easy going friendship.  We love Ant.  
Last year Big & Midge came in 2nd.  Harry was not very happy with that.  He felt team Big & Midge deserved to win.  Since they didn't, those two redoubled their efforts.  Harry has been perfecting his steaks for a year.  I had one two weeks ago & it…

College Edition: 2.1

Well, it is a great day in our house.  Another child will be leaving the nest & heading down to the loveliest village on the plains in the fall of 2015.  Harry received his college acceptance "letter" today.  I have letter in quotation marks because you now find out if you get into college by logging onto the school website.  It's very endearing...said no parent ever.  How am I supposed to have a picture of his smiling face with said letter?  Should I take it with him holding his phone or in front of the computer?  I need paper.  (Kinda like I need a real human voice...)  I need to see the words: "Congratulations Harrison!  You've been accepted for the incoming freshman class to Auburn University".

I am excited for him, paper acceptance or no.  He has no idea what he is about to step into, but I know he and Auburn are going to get along splendidly.  Things have changed a lot in Auburn, but the spirit remains the same.  I love the Auburn Creed & hop…

Please Listen Closely...

...Because our automated menu has changed.

No, no, nonono.  Do you know how much I despise automated menus???  Um, A WHOLE LOT!  I really hate the ones that have the condescending voice with them.  "Ok, let me see if I can help you."  (Charter...)  No you can't help me because you can't talk to me!  You know who I want to talk to?  A real person, who speaks great English, because I live in America!  I've just started pressing '00' to get to a customer service representative every time I hear a d*%n automated voice.  I don't care if the company thinks it's faster, more efficient or better for their bottom line, I need a person. A real living breathing human, who can laugh at me if I do something totally stupid.

I actually changed credit card companies a few  years ago because I always got an automated answering service & it took 20 minutes to speak to a real person.  It didn't take 20 minutes because I was on hold, it took 20 minutes becaus…

Some People Just Have It

...and some of us try really hard to get it.  Once in a while we'll catch it, and the rest of the time we chase it.

I have realized that I'm a mediocre photographer at best.  Like that blind squirrel, I will occasionally find a nut.  When I take that one really great picture, you better believe that I will get it printed & share it!  I used to think I had potential...but sadly, I don't.  I'm just going to keep hoping I get lucky, and celebrate when I do.

You might be wondering what helped me realize my mediocrity?  It was my daughter, Elizabeth.  A few years ago I was taking pictures at one of Hop's football games & she wanted my camera to take pictures.  I thought, ok, why not?  She was only 12, and it was a chance for her to learn a few things about basic point and shoot photography.  I didn't see my camera for the rest of the night.  Now that I really think about it, I didn't see my camera a lot.  I was fine with it though, because when we looked …

525600 Minutes - 102

How do you measure a year in the life?  Yesterday was 9/11.  Do you remember?  Do you remember where you were that Tuesday 13 years ago?  I do.  It took 102 minutes from start to finish.  102 minutes that have changed everything for the United States of America.  I still can't talk about it without crying.  I'm not from New York and I didn't have a family member killed that day, but my heart hurts just the same.  I so wish I could forget, but our country can never go back.  I imagine this is how my grandparents felt about December 7th.  

I watched a special last night on TLC about the 102 minutes.  It was foreboding knowing what was going to happen.  I was heartbroken knowing that the firemen I saw on the screen probably did not make it out of the buildings alive.  I could feel the panic among all the people filming & watching the first tower & then the pandemonium that erupted when the second plane flew into the second tower.  At first there was the unknown quest…

Just Be Nice

Raising children can be hard.  Let me rephrase, dealing with other people's children can be hard. My children are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but there are some things they know.  They know what the expectations are for them in almost every situation.  (They should, we go over them enough.)  They know that when I say no, I mean no.  They know that when Hopson & I look at them 'that way' they better cease and desist what they are doing, or they will have consequences.  Other people's children may not know these things.  

There are so many things I want for my children.  I pray for my children to be kind.  I want them to have the courage to stand up for people who can't stand up for themselves.  I want them to be a good friend in both word and deed.  I want them to be unafraid to love people, even when others hurt or are mean to them.  I want them to be bold in their knowledge of truth; be able to see it; call it what it is; and be unafraid t…

Let Me Sleep

For the love of Pete, LET ME SLEEP.

But, don't tell me when to sleep; where to sleep; or how to sleep.

I have found that as I have gotten older I am sleeping less and less.  My mother-in-law told me this would happen.  I really hoped she was making it up, but she wasn't.  I have noticed that I am sleepiest around 8-9, but if I can stay up to 11, I can stay up all night.  Or rather I will stay up at least until 3am.  It would be great, if I were a vampire.  Since I'm not it really stinks.

If you are on social media in the middle of the night it is amazing the number of friends who are wide awake with you.  Last month I posted on facebook "I love insomnia, insomnia's my favorite" with a few cute emojies with it.  Someone made me giggle by writing back for me to make sleep my favorite.  Trust me, if I could make sleep my favorite I would.

I'm an early bird, so when the sunshine is awake, so am I.  It doesn't matter how little sleep I've had, if …

Dear Cell Phone User

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 t…

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…

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 pai…

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 f…

His First of the Last

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…

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 …

From Their First Kiss

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.

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.


Just Consider Me High Risk

Every time & I mean every time we go visit my brother in Tampa we engage in high risk behaviors.  He for sure wants us to step out of our comfort zone.  I'm boring and safe.  If you don't believe me, just ask my children.  But, when I'm with my brother, risks abound.  :)

In the past, we have:

Canoed with alligators.  I was scared to death especially when one swam under our canoe & bumped the boat.  I may or may not have squealed like a little girl.  It was scary.  Um, have you seen me?  I would be a tasty snack.  I think of a juicy steak that is marbleized in all the right places.  :/   Had trapeze lessons.  Swinging on a trapeze is a lot harder than it looks.  Arms and core are used a bunch.  The trapeze artists (and they are artists) make it look so easy.  They are incredibly strong, very nice and have to wear incredibly tight belts.  I mean, they squeeze the air out of you, but it was so worth it.
This year's high risk behavior was hang gliding.  We went to …

And Everybody Said

AMEN!  Well, something happened today that I never thought would.  But before I tell you what child #1 did, let me preface it with the next paragraph.  Don't skip it, especially if your a momma.

You know all the years you spend training your children.  Say yes'mam and no'mam; say please and thank you; put your napkin in your lap; chew with your mouth closed; hold the door open for ladies to enter before you do; hold the door open for the people coming behind you; look people in the eye when speaking to them; speak clearly; give a good firm handshake because no one likes a dead fish grip; excellence in everything...and the list goes on, and on and on.  I'm wondering if the reminders never end, because even when they become young adults (and maybe sometimes middle aged adults) a momma never stops wanting her children to have good manners and act like a normal human being.

I witnessed a miracle today!  Hop actually said thank you to Hopson and me for teaching him manners…