January 29, 2011

Random Ramblings

What a crazy week!  Between attempting to teach math to 6th graders whose hormones are starting to kick into gear and coming home to a little boy who needs me and a little girl who's like velcro, I am worn out.  My body and mid are both exhausted and sore.  I am hoping to get a call from the eye doctor telling me my glasses have come in so I can maybe get some relief from these headaches.  I gotta say it, though...Between Zumba and Jillian, I honestly feel better than I have in a long time!  I feel a definite difference on the days I don't do either of the two.  I haven't taken second measurements to see if I've lost anything, but I plan to do so on Monday.  I can feel a difference in the way my jeans fit (in a good way!), so that's cool.  I haven't lost any weight according to my scale, but I can tell my body is changing so I am okay with that. :)

Hannah continues to baffle us with her roller coaster moods.  She's happy, she's mad, happy, sad, happy, mad.  Its exhausting.  I got a HILARIOUS email from Chris this week that pretty much summed up how crazy she can make a person.  I printed it out and taped it to my wall at school so I could have a good laugh when needed.  Heehee.  By the way, is it wrong to kinda hope your kid gets laryngitis so the volume of their voice will decrease?  Just asking...

Andrew is getting really excited about his upcoming birthday.  He will be FIVE YEARS OLD on Feb. 24.  FIVE.  I cannot believe it.  When did that happen???  Life is such a whirlwind these days.  Some days I am *so* ready for the kids to just grow up already and not be so dependent on me and Chris...other days, I just want to freeze time and make them stay little, to keep them my babies.  Sigh.  So anyway, we're planning his birthday parties already.  I say "parties" because he will have two this year.  One will take place on his actual birthday while we are in Myrtle Beach with family the week of Feb. 19-26.  The other will be the "big" party here at the house on March 12.  We already have the invitations printed up and we're so excited.  Here's a picture:
We found these on eBay for a good price and got them personalized of course.  Andrew can't wait to give the "tickets" to his friends at preschool. :)  He is *still* obsessed with Star Wars, obviously.  His past three birthday parties (2nd, 3rd, 4th) have had the Star Wars theme, so this will be birthday #4 with the same decorations.  Saves us money, for sure!

Anyway...there are lots of household chores to get done but I am just sitting here with Hannah on the couch, watching Finding Nemo for the billionth time.  Who cares about laundry?  If you need me, I'll be here with my girl.

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January 22, 2011

Week In Review

Wow, what a week. 

After being housebound for a week because of snow and ice, we went back to school on Tuesday.  (Why not Monday?  MLK Day!  Can't go to school on MLK Day...)  Try to teach 6th graders after a two and a half week Christmas break, then two days of school, then another week at home.  Not fun.

Hannah had a rough week.  First of all, she is NOT a fan of anything that takes mommy more than three feet away from her.  To say she was going through a bit of mommy withdrawal when I returned to work would be the understatement of the year.  It was not fun.  On Thursday, Chris was picking up the kids from preschool, trying to get the kids and their backpacks in the car and keep the dog in the car (he likes to take Rosie to pick up the kids...they love seeing her!) when he accidentally caught Hannah's car in the door when he slammed it shut.  OUCH.  Her hand has been bruised but she is using it and it doesn't seem to bother her, so all is well.

Andrew was thrilled to return to school.  He's spelling his name and trying to read, which is exciting.  He is such a joy.  He craves mommy time so I am trying to think of ways to spend time with JUST HIM...

I finally hauled my butt to the eye doctor this morning.  Turns out I *do* need glasses.  My vision has gone from extreme nearsightedness to perfect (thanks to Lasik) to farsightedness.  I am okay with seeing things far away, pretty good with close-up things, but not so hot with things that are in between.  This is why I have headaches.  Having to focus and squint to see things correctly will do that to you.  So anyway, I am now the proud owner of two pair of glasses...a purple pair and a brown pair.  They will be ready in @ 7 business days, so for the next week I will have to continue to squint and suffer with the headaches, but there is an end in sight so that's a good thing.

I'll be doing day 3 of Jillian's 30-Day Shred as soon as I get the kids down for a nap.  After a couple of days I wasn't *as* sore, so its time to add the hand weights.  I might be hating life later, but for now I'm actually kinda looking forward to it. :)  Maybe the endorphin release will help my headache.  A girl can hope., right?

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January 20, 2011

Beware of Mama Bear!

ARRRRGGGGHHHH...OK, I simply MUST get this out of my system or I will explode!  Seriously...do not mess with my husband of kiddos.  I can get mean in a hurry.

There's this guy who Chris used to work with...He's a pastor of a small church here.  When our church closed its doors we joined up with them and Chris took a position as an associate pastor there.  Anyway, we lasted about a month but then left because it was AWFUL.  He was such a jerk to Chris, constantly complained about the church members...It was really no wonder that the church never grew (STILL hasn't grown) because you could just tell that he didn't truly love the people.

So Chris is "friends" with this guy on Facebook.  EVERY DAY Chris tells me about some snide comment this guy has made on his status, some cut-down or snarky remark or whatever...It ticks me off.  I understand if you want to debate something and can do it civilly, but this guy crosses the line.  For example, Chris made a comment about trying to do the 30 Day Shred video with me (as a way to support and encourage me) and this guy starts slamming Chris for doing a "girl's video."  I tell ya what, though, Jillian is TOUGH and I bet he would be CRYING on the floor if he tried to last through the entire 20 minutes!

Anyway.  It just irritates me beyond belief to see someone constantly tearing down my husband, slamming for every little thing...never once saying ANYTHING nice to him at all.  He's not my "friend" on FB and I have begged Chris to block him, but he won't.  Ugh.  I am trying so hard not to slam him right back.  Its hard, though.  I really want to stoop to his level and blast him good.  I've got all kinds of awesomely evil remarks I could make about him as a person and a pastor...But I will be the better person and refrain.  I'm so mad I have tears in my eyes.  Grrr...I seriously need to pray for this "mama bear" to calm down.

Deep breaths...deep breaths...Pray for me, y'all!

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January 18, 2011

30 Day Shred: Day 1

Oh.Dear.God.  What have I done?

I have been zumba'ing for a couple of months now and LOVE it, but needed something more to really kick things into gear as far as my physical fitness was concerned.  I've always struggled with my weight, but I've been @ 50 lbs overweight for about 7 years now.  I am 4'10" and weigh WAY  too much for someone of such small stature.  It is time.  Something HAS to be done. 

After reading about Lydia's experience w/Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred on Rants From Mommyland, I decided I needed to give it a try.  Sure, it would be tough, but I could handle it.  I ordered the DVD and anxiously awaited its arrival.  I was so excited when it was in the mailbox today.

Holy cow, what was I thinking?

I'm so glad you asked!  Here's exactly what I was thinking, minute by minute:

Minutes 1-5:  Eh, this ain't so bad...What was Lydia whining about?
Minutes 6-8: OK, I'm working up a sweat now...but it feels kinda good!  Hey, look at me!  I'm not dying!
Evil Hussy.
Minutes 9-12:  Ouch.  Starting to feel it a bit.  No biggie...I'm gonna make it no problem.
Minutes 13-18:  I thought this was a 15 minute video...Surely it can't be too much longer...
Minutes 19-25: Oh dear Lord.  I didn't know those muscles existed!  (Might have muttered an expletive or two at this point...Pretty sure I called Jillian a bad name.  I kinda zoned out, so I'm not entirely sure.)
Minutes 26-28:  Can't.Go.On.  Legs. Shaking.  Might.Pass.Out.
Minutes 29-30:  Ahhhhh...the cool down.  This part I like.  Where's Chris?  I need my pillow and blanket 'cause there is NO WAY I am getting up off this floor.  Might as well make my bed down here.

I finally made my way to my bed where I now sit to type this post, but seriously...how am I supposed to get up to go to work tomorrow?  I am *so* out of shape.  Nevertheless, I vow to continue...Stay tuned for more fun with Jillian!

P.S.  Wanna know one thing that kept me going?  My little Hannah girl doing all the jumping jacks and sit ups with me.  She was SO CUTE mimicing my every move.  I totally need to get pictures of her working out along with me.  She is awesome. 

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January 17, 2011

Getting Old Is No Fun

I think I'm officially starting to get old.  No, I haven't spotted a gray hair or anything, but I've had a headache for about 10 days now.  It goes away after I take about four ibuprofen, but sometimes its so severe that any light/noise hurts beyond belief.  I can't imagine why I have had this constant headache, other than...maybe...I need glasses.  Again.


I had the awesome opportunity to get Lasik eye surgery done as a combination college/seminary graduation gift from my fabulous daddy when I was 23 years old.  They told me then that the shape of my left eye was unique and as a result, it would never has as good of vision as my right eye.  Of course, anyone who has Lasik done has only about 20 years' worth of good vision before needing reading glasses at the minimum.

3rd grade self-portrait.  I was awesome.
I have enjoyed ten years of no glasses (contacts, really, since I've been wearing them since 6th grade).  I come from a family with terrible vision...they might as well send home a pair of glasses with us when we leave the maternity ward.  I first got glasses in the 3rd grade, which was late for my family.  I still remember the night I had my procedure done and I was able to wake up and see the clock without having to search for my glasses...ah, bliss.

These days I have to focus a bit before I can see it.  The other night we were watching the football game and I couldn't see the score or the time clock on the screen.  I blamed it on being tired, but now that I am putting two and two together, I'm thinking it might be a sign that my eyes are deteriorating again. 

I think it might be time to see an eye doctor.  Sigh.  Getting old is no fun.  (But, hey, do you think I could pull off a pair of those funky, super-cool glasses I see people wearing?  We'll see!)
I would look so cool teaching math in these...don't you think?

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January 15, 2011

A few questions for my daughter...

After a fitful night's sleep and an early morning wake-up call by my little cupcake, I have a few questions for the child.

1.)  Why is it that you will sleep until 7:30, even 8:00 am, for your daddy, but for mommy you wake up while its still dark?

2.)  Why do you let daddy go about his business in the morning, allowing him to slowly wake up and get ready for the day, but mommy is commanded to sit rightbesideyou ("SEAT MOMMY!  SEAT NOW!") and is not allowed to get up for any reason whatsoever?

3.)  Why is it that you will go to the potty only if you are butt naked?  Why do you refuse the cute sparkly princess panties that your Mamaw got you?  They are so cute, and since you already have the mood swings of a preteen girl, can you please be a big girl and wear big girl pants, use the potty, etc?

4.)  Really?  Toy Story again?  I admit, its a great movie...one of my favorites!  At least, it used to be.  Seeing a movie five times a day, however, kinda takes the thrill away.  I dream about Buzz & Woody now.  Thanks for that.

5.)  Is it really necessary to speak yell at full volume every time you open your mouth?  I mean, since I am not allowed to be more than five feet away from you at any time, I promise I would be able to hear you if you were to ever try to speak at a normal volume.  See, we have this thing called an "inside voice" that is perfectly acceptable and able to be heard when indoors, so can we try to work on that?  My bleeding ears will thank you.

That's all...for now.  I do love you, my precious girl.  You light up my life and bring me so much joy.  Stay as sweet and strong-willed as you are, and you will do amazing things!

XOXO, Mommy

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January 13, 2011


Enough already!  The first snow day was awesome.  The second was pretty darn good...the third?  I need to get out of here!  Today was the fourth and I am working on booking my seat on the crazy train.  My friend Cindy is joining me and she says she's saving me a window seat! Tomorrow we are out of school again and I am afraid that if I don't see another adult that's not my wonderful husband I might start seeing things...like the image of Jesus on a piece of toast.

Uh-oh.  Too late.

I am so out of here tomorrow.   If you need me, I'll be having lunch with a few friends, then heading for some retail therapy...This is a long weekend (MLK Day on Monday), so four more days of "family togetherness" might just send me over the edge if I don't. 

Here's to warmer weather and adios to the snow!

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January 12, 2011

Four Year Old Frustration

Something is up with Andrew.  He's four years old (will be five next month -- Feb. 24th!) and has always been a pretty mellow kid.  He's sensitive, tenderhearted, imaginative, and amazing.  I love him to pieces.  I'm flabbergasted at the moment, however, because my little man is just not himself lately.  He flips out at the slightest change in schedule and being told "no" is a traumatic experience for all of us.  There is much weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then, of course, there's the added bonus that Hannah gets upset because her brother is upset, so then its not just one kid having a meltdown...its TWO.  As you can guess, this is just lovely for everyone within a two mile radius.  Sigh...

Help!  What can I do to get my happy little guy back?  I feel so sad when he's in such turmoil...I want to make it all better, but obviously can't (and won't) give in to every demand just to keep him happy...I just wish there were a way I could help him deal with his frustration in a more productive way.

So anyway, I know there are at least two moms out there reading this, so if anyone can enlighten me, please do so!  Please, please leave a comment and let me know that: a) this is (or is not) normal for a four year old, and b) I am not alone.  Unless I am alone, in which case option (b) would not be applicable.

Bueller?  Bueller?  Anyone?

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January 10, 2011

Snow Days Rock My World.

This morning we awoke to a winter wonderland!  Georgia got a big snow/ice storm late last night (well, ok, big for us...probably something my friend up north would just laugh at) and of course schools all over were canceling classes, much to the delight of students and teachers alike.

Last year we had a couple of snow days and I remember taking the kids outside and they were not thrilled.  I was a bit skeptical about their opinion this year, but oh.my.gosh.  They loved it!  You know, I really think I love this stage of their lives more than any other so far.  Yes, they fuss and fight, and there's plenty of whining to go around (by kids and adults alike), but oh my goodness.  Christmas was amazing this year because they truly had the "wonder" of the season, and now, with the snow...its just incredible.

Most of our accumulation was from ice mixed with snow, so it wasn't "snowman-making snow" or anything.  Andrew enjoyed stomping around to make footprints, though. :)

We brought Kitty B (our old, fat cat) outside to see the snow, but she was not too impressed.  Hannah sure did love snuggling her to try to keep Kitty B warm, though!

Chris played with the kids while I took pictures...He even slid down the slide and had a pretty funny crash landing, which I was lucky enough to catch on film.  I did manage to get in one one picture with my little "snow angels, though. :)

They had so much fun, and it was so much fun to watch them!  We kept finding too many slick spots, though, and Hannah kept falling down.  Needless to say, I decided to bring her inside while the boys attempted sledding down our driveway.  I think this last picture shows exactly how she felt about that!

Stomping around in the snow must have worn them out, because they are snoozing soundly while Chris & I are relaxing in front of the fire.  Plans for this afternoon include watching a movie and making cookies!

Yeah, life is pretty darn good.

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January 9, 2011

CVS Sunday!

Today was my first ever day of trying to work the system to get good deals at CVS!  I was so excited.  I messed up on one little thing, but I still think I got a pretty darn good deal.  Here's what I ended up with:

My grand total, after coupons and Extra Care Bucks (ECB) used, was $36.80.  Yeah, I know I could do way better, but still...Chris got online and compared Wal-Mart's prices on these exact items and we would have spent at least $70 there.  So yeah, I feel pretty good.

Here's how I did it:  I got the ad for their weekly specials, then went to the Southern Savers website and clicked on the CVS button at the top of the page.  I looked over all the suggested deals and decided on the paper products deal.  Basically, you could mix and match different items to add up to $25, and once you spent $25 you would get $10 ECB back when the receipt printed.  So, I got the 10 rolls of paper towels ($10), the 24 rolls of TP ($10), the 3 boxes of tissue ($3), and the Cottonelle wipes ($2) to total $25.  I used a $2 coupon for the paper towels but I accidentally added the 12-pack of Mtn Dew ($3.34) to that order so I ended up paying $28.61 for those items and got my $10 ECB.

Once my $10 ECB printed, I had them ring up my next set of items, the vitamins and the pull-ups.    The vitamins were Buy 1 Get 1 Free (B1G1), but the pull-ups were just a necessity.  No way was I going to Wal-Mart or anything, what with the snow coming...But anyway, I also had a $4 off coupon I had forgotten to use with the first order.  By the time I used that $4 off, a $1 off coupon for the vitamins, AND my $10 ECB, that total was only $8.61!  All in all I spent $36.80 for ten items, which averages to $3.68 for each item.  Not too shabby for a newbie, I don't think. Oh, and I am totally addicted to couponing now. :)


Now, a note about last night's post.  Ugh, I am so over myself.  Enough of the whining and pity party.  I'm gonna put on my big girl panties and suck it up!  I was researching some stuff online late last night and I'm wondering if maybe my B12 levels are low again.  In the past my doc has caught them so low that I had to go in for shots every day for a week, then once a month for 3 months.  Not fun.  So on today's trip to CVS the vitamins I picked up were Ginkgo Biloba (to hopefully help w/my focus issues) and some Super B Complex, which I think will help a lot with my basic "poor me, I feel like crap" feeling.  Also, I got a call from my doc this past week that my thyroid levels were way too high, so hopefully the new dosage will help once my body has had time to adjust.

So anyway, I don't know how many people actually read my blog, but if anyone out there *did* read it and was concerned in any way...relax.  I am fine.  Oh, I am definitely still planning to talk to a counselor and get to the root of some issues, but I'm not a danger to myself or anything.  Just so you know. :)

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January 8, 2011

Another Life Lesson from Andrew

I tell my kids I love them all.the.time.  They probably get tired of hearing it, but I don't really care.  Andrew has been having a really hard time emotionally (not sure what's up with him) so he's been disciplined a lot more than usual, and tonight after a bad tantrum, he just wanted to be held.  Of course I held and rocked him and let him know how much I loved him.

As I rocked him, I asked him if he knew that mommy loved him no matter what.  His answer made me stop rocking & singing and just think.  He looked me in the eyes and said, "I know you love me, but Mommy, do you love yourself?"


I didn't know how to answer.  I don't want to lie to my kid, so I said yes, I did, but that I love him more.  He told me that he loves himself just as much as he loves me.  That kid...I have already learned so much from him, but tonight he taught me a big lesson. 

Lord knows I need to work on my self-esteem and loving myself...That's just going to take a lot of self-talk that is encouraging vs. discouraging.  I need to believe what God tells me...that I am His child and He loves me just as I am.  I need to believe my husband and friends who tell me they love me and that I'm worth something instead of shrugging it off and falling into the self-deprecation cycle.  I probably to talk to someone and get through these issues so I can better get through these rough patches.

I read this post tonight on SDL's blog (check it out if you haven't!) and it hit me hard.  Not so much the "blaming men" part, although I think he has a point for sure, but seriously...all the self-talk that women do to themselves that makes us feel worthless?  Its ridiculous and needs to stop.  As Stuart Smalley would say, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!"

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January 7, 2011


That's me.  Mother of the flippin' year.  I swear, sometimes I feel so inadequate and ill-prepared for the challenges my kids bring to the table every day.  Andrew and Hannah have both been super-cranky and whiny with Chris since I returned to school on Wednesday.  This, in turn, leads him to be super-cranky and whiny.  Fun times.  Last night was baaaad.  He was frustrated, I was tired, and in expressing his frustration, he made comments about how *I* ruined their schedules, *I* ruined their eating habits, *I* have spoiled them rotten and left him to clean up my mess.

OK, maybe that's not what he said, but its what I heard.  I started all this self-talk that included a lot of beating myself up over stupid stuff that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

So anyway, this is where I kinda was proud of myself.  We've been sitting down and having 5 minutes of uninterrupted time together, just us (no TV, no computers, no kids, no music...just us, talking) and last night during that time, when Chris asked how I was doing, I told him.  I didn't wait for it to become a fight, I didn't let it fester until I exploded, I wasn't angry when I said it...I just told him.  I told him I felt like an awful mom, and yes, it was because many of the things he had said had come across more negative than he intended them to be.  At first he was defensive and thought I was being ridiculous because of course he didn't think I was a bad mom.  I think he finally realized that it didn't matter what he meant to say...it only mattered what I heard.  So anyway, he apologized and was very, very sorry for unknowingly making me feel that way.   I apologized for being oversensitive and all is well again.

 Don't get me wrong...I am still a very imperfect mom who makes a million mistakes a day, but hearing my kids tell me they love me, seeing their huge smiles when I come home from work, and hearing my husband reassure me that I am a good mama to his babies...That makes me feel better than any medication or chocolate in the world.

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January 4, 2011


So today is (was) my last day of Christmas vacation!  We arrived home from Nashville yesterday after a record 4.5 hrs.  I think that was the fastest trip we've ever made!  We didn't stop but once, though, and that was just a potty/gas fill-up stop.  We didn't stop to eat (had snacks in the car) and thanks to HOV lanes, we got through Atlanta in record time.  Nice.  We were all SO glad to be home, especially Andrew, whose fever had shot back up and was ready for more Ibuprofen by the time we arrived.  Poor kiddo.

Today has just been a day of hanging around, doing laundry, unpacking/organizing, etc.  Chris took Andrew grocery shopping (I stayed home with Hannah) and when they got back Andrew was beside himself with excitement.  It seems he couldn't wait to tell me how Daddy had bought me my "favowite vampirates movie."  Yep, since I hadn't gotten Eclipse for Christmas from anyone, he found (and, of course, used) an $8 off coupon to buy it for me.  Its the 2-disc set with the bonus "Destination Forks" DVD.  Heehee!  Is it bedtime yet?  I can't wait to watch it!

Tomorrow I head back to school to begin a brand new semester!  I'm a huge dork, I know, but I get so excited about brand-new calendars and all the "fresh start" stuff that comes with the beginning of a new year.  Tomorrow is a teacher's work day (meaning I will be sitting in meetings most of the day), and the students return on Thursday.  (A & H also return to preschool on Thursday!  Woot!)  I know I am not the only one who is excited about getting back into a routine.  We have had a fabulous time together over the past two and a half weeks, but its always good to have that routine.  Chris does such a good job of running things while I work and I know it drives him crazy when I am here to screw it all up.  While he loves not having to do ALL the work, I know its probably easier when I am not here.

So anyway...I'm now counting down the hours until the routine starts up again and hoping for only good things to come now that 2011 is officially underway for our family!

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January 2, 2011


This morning, Chris and I found out (through Facebook, of course) that the five year old daughter of some friends of ours lost her battle with a rare form of soft tissue cancer (rhabdomyosarcoma) on New Year's Eve.  This knowledge has absolutely broken our hearts.  Elizabeth was first diagnosed in early March and started chemo on March 5 of this past year.  Ten months later, she is gone.

How can this happen?   I look at my healthy son (sure, he is running a fever right now, fighting off some kind of cold or virus, but he's overall a VERY healthy kid) who is just a few months younger than this precious girl and my heart physically aches for their loss.  Elizabeth was a beautiful, happy little girl whose pictures always made me smile.  We hadn't seen these friends in a long time (since before we moved away from west Georgia) but we kept in touch through Facebook and always checked out each other's pictures when posted.  Chris and I would always show her picture to Andrew and tell him how we hoped he would marry a sweet, beautiful girl like Elizabeth one day

I don't pretend to know why or how to react when this happens.  I know how not to react, though.  My mom started spouting platitudes about how good things will come from this tragedy and God is in control and all that crap, but we really didn't want to hear that.  Lord knows they don't want to hear it.

Jessica (Elizabeth's mom) is 32 weeks pregnant with another little girl (named Hannah, by the way!) and I can only imagine how fearful they must be that perhaps all this stress and emotion might trigger premature labor, or perhaps Hannah will have the same condition...I do know that their doctors are willing to scan Hannah from time to time in order to set their minds at ease and/or keep close tabs on her health to do all they can to prevent this from happening to Hannah.

Ugh, this just sucks.  If anyone out there is reading this, I am sure the Cooke family would appreciate any prayers or warm thoughts you could send their way.  I know I will certainly be doing all I can to love and support them...and I'll be hugging my own kids a little tighter and thanking God for them more sincerely than ever before.

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January 1, 2011


So its here!  January 1, 2011 is here!  I thought by now we'd be riding around in spaceships and/or teleporting from place to place.  Big Brother would be watching us, and all that stuff.  Not that I was hoping for Big Brother, but man it would be nice to just be able to "beam" myself from my house to my parent's house when I'd like!  We are currently in Nashville with my parents.  We arrived yesterday at @ 4 pm after a 6 hr drive from the A-T-L.  It doesn't normally take us 6 hrs, but we did stop to walk around Wal-Mart, eat at a Chinese buffet, then visit the Goodwill store...where we found a barely used Buzz Lightyear -- the ones we had JUST looked at while walking around Wal-Mart that cost $36 there -- for only $2.99!  I was one happy momma!  Hannah is currently obsessed with Toy Story so she has driven us crazy with the Buzz...but seeing her so happy is just awesome.

Anyway, we arrived, got settled, and then my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew arrived to have "Christmas" dinner with us!  My mom and stepdad had been on a cruise and only arrived back in the states on Christmas Eve, so they didn't get to do the traditional dinner of beef burgundy, scalloped potatoes, pea casserole, baked apples, and collard greens.  I *so* love my mom's cooking.  We ate, then opened presents....the highlight of the kids' evening!   After playing with all their new toys for awhile, we got them in bed and enjoyed some time just hanging out and talking to my family.  I sure do love them.  My brother and his family left early (they're old, too) and I think we were all in bed by 10 pm.  I know.  We party so hard its ridiculous.

We all kind of had a lazy morning just playing here at my mom's house with the kids and their new toys, but since I had gotten a $50 gift card from my mom, we went there today to spend it!  I got a jacket, a shirt, a pair of boots, Lego Star Wars PJ's for Andrew, and a small gift for my dad for $1.84 after using the gift card.  Awesome.  I totally love me some Kohl's.

Tomorrow we are supposed to spend the day with my dad and stepmom, who just arrived home tonight from a Christmas trip to their condo in Florida.  Andrew, however, is not feeling well and went to bed tonight with a fever. :(  I am praying he feels so much better after a good night's sleep.  II really want to be able to go see my dad and stepmom and let them play with the kids!  Not to mention that later on, my brother and his wife are coming up to eat dinner with us.  So anyway, I'm gonna sleep with him tonight in case he needs me. 

Here's to a fabulous 2011 full of family, fun, and good health (especially good for Andrew right now)!

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