Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's All About Love

This was an interesting weekend.  I told you yesterday that Hubby had a guy weekend with his brother, which was well deserved.  He has only been away from us when work calls.  He needed time to play and get away with his brother.  So my sister-in-law and I planned a weekend away for the boys and she booked a hotel near some neat places for the guys to play and do guy stuff.  On the way to meet his brother, Hubby's truck had some issues.  Isn't that always the way?  His brother ended up coming to pick him up in a Publix parking lot and they went about their weekend of fun.
I told you about the Gleaning Project yesterday.  That was great fun for the kids and I...maybe too much fun for by evening, I was losing my cool.  I had just threatened to send Prince to bed instead of letting them watch a movie when Prince looked at me with his lip pooched out and said, "But Mom, love does not anger.  Don't you love me?"  I'm sorry, emotional blackmail at such a young age?!  I'm pretty sure I was quite a bit older before I started with my parents. I then explained that love doesn't sass, nor does it let children behave badly.  While I was correcting him, I was quite impressed that Prince could throw that one at me.  It also reminded me that Love is Patient.  Perhaps in my tired state I wasn't as patient as I could have been.  (I'm sure none of you have ever felt that way.)  Anyway, I have decided that since February is upon us I am going to meditate and pray on the Love Chapter this month.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.

In other news, Princess has discovered the in the music group that was our parents' music.  She now wants to listen to their CDs non-stop.  What can I say?  She has classic taste in music.  She also came to tell me something this afternoon and randomly made quotation marks in the air.  I don't know where she has seen that, but she tried to do it and it was precious!
I can't wait for Hubby to get back this afternoon!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gleaning and Lessons Learned

Today brought an unexpected blessing for the kids and I.  Hubby is having a well-deserved guy weekend with his brother so the kids and I were on our own with no real plans.  I had volunteered to take sandwiches to our church this morning for the annual Gleaning Project that is sponsored by our church.  Gleaning is the traditional Biblical practice of gathering crops that would otherwise be left in the fields to rot or be plowed under after harvest. It is based on Deuteronomy 24:19, which says, "When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be left for the alien, the orphan, and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all your undertakings." People who participate in the Gleaning Project go to pre-determined houses and fields and pick citrus.  The citrus is taken to Appalachia and given to those who need food.  Those who work the Gleaning gather in our fellowship hall for lunch.  So like I said, I had been asked to make sandwiches and the last two years have considered this to be my contribution to the Gleaning.  This morning as I dropped off the trays of sandwiches, Prince and Princess asked if they could help with the Gleaning.  I didn't think children were allowed to participate, but was corrected that yes, they can go out and pick fruit as well.  So at the request of my children, we got some buckets and were given a couple of addresses to go pick. 

We had a great time picking fruit and this was a lesson to Prince and Princess about sharing your time and resources to help those in need.  As parents we are told to use those teachable moments and make the most of them.  This was not how I imagined we would spend our morning, but we had so much fun, just the three of us, picking the oranges and grapefruit. 
It isn't that I didn't want to participate, I just didn't know that children were allowed to participate.  As we picked the fruit and talked about how important it is to bless others, my children talked about how good they felt being able to serve and help too.  As we arrived at one house, Prince introduced himself to the elderly man who owned the trees and asked his name.  He then said, "It's so nice to meet you, Mr. Ed.  Thank you for letting us pick your grapefruits so that people who need food can have good food to eat."  My 6 year olds "get it."  I am constantly amazed at how God uses them.
As I picked, I prayed for all of those volunteers who were involved in this project, from the fruit pickers to those driving the trucks to those on the other end distributing the food.  I prayed for those who would receive the fruit, that it would nourish their bodies and they would enjoy having fresh citrus...something we take for granted in the Sunshine State.

I don't know how much fruit was collected today.  I can't wait to hear tomorrow in church.  In years past, we've had as much as 250,000 pounds of food.  I don't anticipate this year being as much with the harsh winters we've had, but whatever was collected will be a huge help.   
And...I can't wait for next year!

Friday, January 28, 2011

In Memory of the Challenger 7 Crew

It was the defining moment for my generation.  The older generation says they will never forget where they were when President Kennedy was shot and of course we all remember Sept. 11th.  I will never forget that day 25 years ago that Space Shuttle Challenger and her crew were lost.  It seems like yesterday and yet, so many things have happened since.

I was in 5th grade and it was my day for gifted class.  The usual protocol was to have a fire drill that coincided with shuttle launches so we would all be out on the PE field to see the launch go.  On this day, we didn't have a fire drill.  The launch happened during lunch time so we didn't go out.  We were in the gifted classroom, eating lunch and watching the television for what seemed like any ordinary shuttle launch.  Growing up with the Space Center in our back yards and having parents and grandparents that worked out there, we had seen enough of these to think it was just something everybody got to see and a regular part of our lives.  I guess you could say that we really took it for granted.  What we saw though, was anything but an ordinary launch and we knew that as soon as we saw the smoke split into what looked like a Y in the air.  That was something we hadn't seen before and we watched in shock, not knowing exactly what this would mean.  We were all concerned, many of us crying, worried that pieces of the wreckage could have fallen back down toward the Space Center, not knowing if our Dads, Grandads, all those we knew were safe, unsure of the extent of the damage.  It was a very sad day.  We had never known a tragedy of this magnitude and we saw it happen live.  I remember that it was so very cold on that January day.  You could see your breath in front of your face.  I had an ear infection and my mom took me to the doctor that afternoon.  When we came home, I remember seeing my Dad sitting in front of the television.  They had all been sent home from work early and  I could tell when I looked at him that he wasn't doing well with this.  We all just felt such a sense of loss.  That's the amazing thing about the Space community; we are like a family.  We all cheer together with successful launches and we mourn together when lives are lost. 
I remember watching President Reagan on television as he addressed the nation.

This accident has left a lasting impression on us all as we watched them "slip the surley bonds of earth to touch the face of God."  On facebook today, so many of my friends recalled where they were and what they were feeling.  Tonight I am incredibly grateful for all of the astronauts that have risked their lives for space exploration and I am praying special prayers for the families of those astronauts that were lost 25 years ago today.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Super Questions for the Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Hodgepodge Wednesday again!  This is a great way to get to know other bloggers and see how much alike and different you are from your blogging buddies.  If you would like to participate in Joyce's Hodgepodge go HERE and link up.  If not, go there anyway and say hi to her!

1. Will you watch the Super Bowl? If so who will you root for? If you are outside the USA what is the 'big deal sporting event' in your own country?

We will watch the Super Bowl but mostly for the commercials.  We aren't big into sports at our house, except for the teams my kids have been on, but we usually watch the Super Bowl because it seems like too big of a thing not to watch. 

2. Is ignorance bliss?
That totally depends on the situation.  There are times when it is good not to know certain things.  Then again, there are times when knowing that thing could be helpful to you.  I'm thinking specifically about people and relationships.
3. Which of the seven dwarfs are you? (and just in case your Disney is a little bit rusty, here they are-Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, and Sneezy)
I think I'm a little bit of all of them...except for Sneezy because I don't really have allergies that bad. 

4. When you are riding in the car with another couple how do you organize the seating? (Men up front? Women up front? Couples sit together?) And thanks to Lori at Mountain Woman at Heart for the question! Everyone go say hi to Lori.
Usually we sit men together and women together so we can talk easier.  While at times we are all engaged in one conversation, at some point we will break up into our own little conversations and it makes it easier that way.
5. What is beauty?
It's all in the eye of the beholder.

6. If someone asks you to bring an appetizer or a dessert to a party in their home, which would you choose?
I bring one of each.  I like a balance of savory and sweet and I ususally can't decide which I want to I bring both!

7. What is your crowd pleasing go-to appetizer?
Rotel and velveeta dip with tortilla chips.  It's an old family stand-by and we all love it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Prince came home from school today with a "Seatwork Award." This is something we've been working on with him because Prince tends to daydream or get to talking or distracted.  Today he got a little award since he had done such a great job on his work today.  He couldn't wait to call Hubby as soon as we pulled away from the school.  This was the conversation on the phone:
Prince: Dad, it's me and I have good news.
Hubby:  What is it?
Prince: I got a Seatwork Award today.  Do you know why?
Hubby:  Wow, why?
Prince: Because I finished all of my work and my teacher said that I did a good job on my papers and furthermore, I think I got all E's on my papers today.

Stop the bus.  Did my kindergartner just say "furthermore!?"  We don't talk like that usually, so where did he pick that up?  By the way, E's are for Excellent, that's how they grade.

Anyway, we went to McDonald's for a milkshake treat.  Princess is doing cheerleading camp after school this week so it's just Prince and me.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Last night some sweet ladies in our church organized a fundraiser for the preschool called Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.  Everyone who wants to participate buys a ticket for the dinner.  The organizers secured hosts/hostesses that would cook dinner in their own homes.  The hosts would tell how many people they would have over for dinner.  No one knew where they were going until we met at the church to find out whose house we were going to.  The hosts didn't know who was coming for dinner until we showed up at their house.  Since Hubby had pneumonia, my sweet friend Em was my date.  She was supposed to babysit the kids, but when I called to tell her she was off the hook because Hubby was still sick, I also forced her asked her to go with me. 

We went to Jan's house for a beautiful salad, chicken tetrazini and rolls.  The meal was delicious and the company was great. The ladies who organized it tried to put people together who do not normally hang out together so we would get to know different people.  I hadn't talked with our hostess in such a long time, we just don't have the opportunity.  I used to babysit for her boys when they were quite small.  They are now in college ~ one in grad school even!  My how the time flies!  After dinner, everyone met back at church for dessert and to talk about where they went and who they were with.  It was a wonderfully fun evening and it helped the preschool.  Double win!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Princess Pampers Mommy

Friday night after dinner, I was called into Princess' room for a surprise.  She then led me into the family room where she informed in a fake French accent that she was giving me a surprise spa treatment.  I said, "I didn't know you could parlez-vous the francais."  To which she replied, "Yes, I do parlez-vous francais.  What does that mean?"  When I told her that it meant that she could speak French, she said in her cute little accent, "Yes, I can speak francais and other languages too.  Do I really sound like I'm from France?"

She draped a blanket over my front for an apron and went to work as she put purple sparkle eye shadow and light purple lipstick on me.  She then went to work on my hair, putting lots of pretty bows in my hair.
After my hair was finished, Princess decided she needed to use her brother's pretend razor to shave my legs.  It was most lovely.
It was a fun filled evening and I have to admit that although I was initially just playing along to make Princess happy, I did feel pampered...just in a different way.  My sweet Princess was trying to please me and shower me with attention.  It was such a sweet gesture and she wanted nothing in return.  She even told me that when she grows up she is going to own a spa and that she will tell all of the people that work there to let me and my friends come for free.

It was fantastic quality time and I can't wait for our next spa night together.  Perhaps next time I will pamper her.

Friday, January 21, 2011

It' Been One of Those Weeks

It's been one of those weeks...
1.  Hubby has pneumonia.  He has been home from work all week, between the bed and the couch.  I've been waiting on him and trying to nurse him back to health.  It's times like this that I realize how great of a team we are because...
2.  I have had to do baths, homework, bedtime routine by myself all week.  This gets really hectic, as you can imagine.  He usually helps me with this so we can get it all done quicker and since we have our routine down, it's a lot easier.  I don't know how single parents do this by themselves.
3.  I have been exhausted after putting the kids to bed (even more than usual) because of the above.
4.  I couldn't get my scanner at my office to work right so I brought home my lesson for Family Chapel and scanned it at home.  I thought I had it all scanned right here, but when I got to work the day I needed them, all of the pictures were not there.  So I had to wing it.  I don't like having to wing it when I'm speaking in front of a group.
5.  It poured rain all day today.
6.  Princess cried when I dropped her off at school this morning because she was nervous about her spelling test.  I prayed with her outside of her classroom, but still felt bad leaving her.
7.  The twins and I stepped in ankle deep water on the way in to their karate lesson.
8.  When we got home from karate, Hubby informed me that he had been called with a work issue and has spent most of the evening on the phone trying to get more information. 

Yep, it's been one of those weeks.  Nothing has gone according to plan.  I don't like it when things don't go according to plan.  I could have let this really get me down and I might have if I'd have wallowed in it and felt sorry for myself.  However, that isn't what happened.  This week I have been happy, lighthearted even.  As I was driving down the road in the rain, singing by myself this afternoon, I realized that all of these things that would have normally had me in a rotten mood weren't bothering me.  Want to know why?  I did.  I stopped to think about what the difference was and I figured it out.  My heart has been in a spirit of worship this week.  I have been thinking of all that I have to be thankful for.  I have been listening to and singing praise music.  My prayers have been ones of praise, what an awesome and mighty God we serve.  The focus hasn't been on me, but on Him.  It isn't about me or anything I could ever do, but about Him, Who He is and what He's done.  It's funny how my perspective changes when I'm not focused on me. 

It reminds me of when Jesus walked on the water.  He called Peter out of the boat and at first Peter's eyes were on Jesus and he was doing just fine, but the minute Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink.  It's like we don't always trust that God's got it all under control. 

I have also thought about the movie "Facing the Giants." Sometimes it's just a matter of my attitude.  I love the part in the movie when the coach says, "If we win, we're gonna praise Him.  If we lose, we're still gonna praise Him."  In life, sometimes we win and sometimes we feel like we are losing, but if we praise Him regardless of our circumstances, He can change our hearts and our minds and help us to realize that the little inconveniences or roadblocks we face in life are just that ~ small things in the scheme of life.

So tonight as I sit and watch a movie with Prince and Princess, I choose to be happy.  I am happy that Hubby has been able to finish his work and join us, happy that I am safe in my home with the people I love the most.  I can see God shining His light on me from behind the dark clouds and I'll praise Him, the God that has blessed me beyond measure. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ice Ice Baby in the Wednesday Hodgepodge

Happy Wednesday Everybody!  It's that time again ~ time for Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Although it is warming up a bit in the Sunshine State, it's pretty cold where Joyce is, thus the name for this week's hodgepodge. Joyce is the hodgepodge guru so click here and visit Joyce to read about her adventures with the snowblower and her answers to the Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1. Do you like your name? Were you named after someone? If you have children how did you settle on their names?
Yes, I like my name.  My first name wasn't after anyone, but my middle name is the same as my mother's.  Also, I have the same initials as my dad ~ or at least I did before I got married. 
My children: Princess was named after my great-granny.  My great-granny went by her middle name.  Princess uses first and middle ~ the nurses in the NICU insisted on it and it has stuck.
When we were picking out names for Prince, we knew his middle name would be Hubby's first name.  It's a tradition in Hubby's family.  We wanted the first name to be Biblical (Princess' name is also from the Bible) and we kept trying different names.  When I found the one I liked, Hubby at first wasn't crazy about it...that is, until I point out that Prince would have the same initials as Hubby's grandfather. 

2. How do you define success?
I think a person is successful if they can find happiness in life while sticking to their principles and living by their beliefs and values.

3. Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy?
I like word games, but for some reason Wheel of Fortune gets on my nerves.  I'm more of a Jeopary person.

4. If you could own any single object that you don't have now, what would that object be?
I don't know what that would be.  Right now I feel like I have too much of everything and need to go on a massive cleaning spree in my house.

5. What is something that inspires you?
I find inspiration in many forms.  I am inspired through music, the lyrics, the tunes, how they move me.  I am also inspired by books, things I read.  Conversations with friends and others I meet can inspire me.  I have also found inspiration with a beautiful sunset, a walk on the beach, watching children laugh and play.  God can use anything or anyone and I never know when or how it will happen.

6. Meatloaf-yea or nay? If it's a yay how do you make yours?
Yay for meatloaf!  It has to be served with real mashed potatoes, though.  We don't do that instant stuff at my house.  My meatloaf is made with ground beef, egg, diced bell pepper and onion, a handful of bread crumbs, salt, pepper and ketchup.  It's not an exact recipe and sometimes I toss in other things.  Combine, shape into a loaf and bake.  Then add more ketchup on top a few minutes before it comes out of the oven.  One Valentine's Day I made the meatloaf into a heart shape in a pie plate before baking.  Then I used food coloring to make the mashed potatoes pink. 

7. Which is more admirable-the ability to organize and be methodical or the ability to adapt and make do?
I can usually adapt and make do pretty well.  I really admire people who can stay organized and be methodical.  I try to be organzied and methodical, but there are times when I am flying by the seat of my pants and that's not comfortable for a control freak like myself.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I had forgotten about the heart-shaped meatloaf until today.  This made me think to go back and look at the pictures from that day.  My babies were still babies at a 19 months old and it was a great Valentine's Day.  Here are some pictures:

Pink Mashed Potatoes

X and O Brownies for Dessert

Sweet Prince with his Valentine

Cutie Patootie Princess
People ask me what my favorite age or stage has been with my kids and this is such a hard question to answer, but here goes...
As I look back at pictures of my kids when they were younger I have such fond memories.  I loved those times and sometimes I want them back.  However, I also enjoy the right now.  So my answer has always been that my favorite age or stage is now, whatever that age or stage is.

Friday, January 14, 2011


This morning as I turned on my computer, I was greeted by a new blog post from The Lumberjack's Wife.  Please go say hi to Taylor and read her post "Prone to Wander." She usually makes me laugh with her life out in Ruralville, but today she gave me comfort.  Comfort because I realized that I am not alone with my feelings of inadequacy.  I often feel bad for losing patience with Prince and Princess.  I get frustrated when I have to tell them to pick up their dirty clothes off the floor 52 times.  I wonder if anyone is listening to me when I say "clean your room," or "get dressed for school," and no one does it.  I feel like a broken record and then I lose my cool and yell.  (Mom, if you're reading this, I have just had flashbacks to my childhood when you and Dad said you felt like a broken record.  Sorry about that!) 

But Taylor reminded me today that perhaps I need an attitude adjustment.  She quoted a verse from the hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," one that I know well but seem to forget

O to grace how great a debtor

Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Taylor reminded me that we all are prone to wander.  I wander every day from the way God wants me to go.  I don't do things perfectly, I get off track and don't do the things I should, or I speak harshly to others (my children or Hubby).  Wow, how can I expect so much more from these little people when I can't do it myself and more importantly, if God gives me so much grace on a daily basis, don't I owe at least that much grace to my children?

Today my prayer is this:
Dear Abba, my Daddy God,
Thank you for the grace you give me on a daily, yes even hourly basis.  Thank you for not losing patience with me and for not giving up on me, your child who messes things up constantly.  I know that I can't do anything apart from You.  Please help me to be the mom You want me to be, extending grace to them when they don't get it right.  Help me to remember that Prince and Princess are gifts from You and that they are still learning and growing too.  Thank you for entrusting Hubby and me with these precious gifts from You and please help us to always remember they are Yours.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Get Your Snow Shovel Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday again and that means Wednesday Hodgepodge.  No, it isn't snowing in my neck of the woods, although it is a bit chilly this morning.  I copied Joyce's title over at From This Side of the Pond since she generates the hodgepodge.  Go say hi to her by clicking on the link above.

1. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English. Words may be banished due to mis-use, over-use or just general uselessness and they receive over 1000 nominations. Here are the fourteen words/phrases they'd like to see banished in 2011-viral, epic, fail, wow factor, a-ha moment, back story, BFF, man up, refudiate, Mama Grizzlies, The American People, facebook/google when used as verbs, I'm just sayin', and Live life to the fullest.
What word or phrase would you like to see banished from our everyday vocabulary in 2011? You can choose one from the 'official list' or you can get creative and come up with your own.

My least favorite word is "Whatever."  It's so overused and when you say "whatever" to someone, you are dismissing what they are saying as unimportant.

2. Do you consider opportunity something that comes to you or something you create for yourself?
Both.  I think God presents us with opportunities and those seem to just come our way and it's a great thing.  I also think though, that there are times you have to create opportunities for yourself.  We all have free will and must constantly ask the Holy Spirit for discernment about which opportunities to take and what to do with them.

3. Since we're all eating healthy this month, ahem, what's included in your favorite salad? Is there dressing?
I love salads, the more colorful the better.  My favorite dressing is blue cheese, but it isn't the most healthy.  My favorite dressing when I am trying to be healthy is fat free raspberry vinagrette.

4. The fourth Monday in January is said to be Blue Monday...aka the most depressing day of the year. The date was calculated using many factors including weather, debt level, time since Christmas, time since we've failed at our new year resolutions, low motivation and feeling a need to take action. Do you get the blues this time of year and if so what is something you do to lift your spirits?

I don't think I get the blues this time of the year.  I am happy that it is a slower time of the year and I can relax a little more.  When I do get the blues though, I like to be with close friends or talk to them on the phone.  I also like to play praise and worship lifts my spirits to sing and praise God.  How can you still be blue while singing "I'm trading my sorrows, I'm trading my shame, I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord."?!

5. Do you wear a watch? Any other everyday jewelry essentials?
Yes, I wear a watch.  When I forget my watch I feel naked.  Also, most days I wear a necklace, earrings and my pandora bracelet.  Of course my wedding rings are a must and they almost never come off of my fingers. 

6. What is something useful you learned in high school?
How to have great bangs?
OK, maybe not.

I learned lots of useful things in high school...I just can't think of anything specific right now.  I learned in biology that brown eyes were dominant and blue eyes were recessive.  Remember those punnett squares?  Turns out, that's not true.  Both of my children have blue eyes and neither Hubby nor I do...mine are brown/green and his are green.  Go figure.
I learned how to walk backwards and wave my arms in the air in band.  Learned that "all cats are grey in the dark" from AP English...
I did learn the value of being social.  That was my high school motto "Be Social."
I don't are asking me to remember what seems like another lifetime ago and I think I've blocked a lot of it out.

7. Do you use an accountant when completing and filing your income tax returns or do you attempt to muddle through all by yourself?
My preference would be to buy one of those Turbo Tax programs to do our taxes ourselves, but Hubby insists that we hire it done.  It isn't a battle worth fighting to me, so we hire it done.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
It seems all of my thoughts are random lately.  and short.  This week I've had a hard time getting out of bed in the mornings and need to get to sleep earlier at night.  I think getting back into the routine from Christmas vacation is finally getting to me.  Diet Coke, I need more Diet Coke!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

100th Blog Post

So I understand from reading other blogs that you are supposed to make a list of 100 things about yourself for your 100th post.  This seems like a daunting task, but I'll give it my best shot.
100 Things About Me

1.  I married my best friend and soul mate almost 9 years ago.
2.  I never imagined I would have twins and would have never hoped for that, but I could never imagine my life any other way.
3.  My favorite colors are purple and green.
4.  I have never flown on an airplane.  I used to be terribly afraid of flying.  Now that I am ready to fly, we have two little ones.  Maybe someday soon.
5.  I suffered from anxiety attacks in college.
6.  I was Drum Major my junior year of high school and also Drum Major for the state's All-Star Marching Band one summer.
7.  I played clarinet, xylophone, tenor sax, bass clarinet, piano, and handbells in high school.  I tried bassoon and hated it. 
8.  My degree is in Special Education, Learning Disabilities.
9.  I love to cook and to try new recipes.
10.  I usually end up cooking the same things over and over again.
11.  I have a younger sister and we're very close.
12.  Hubby's and my song is Debbie Gibson "Lost In Your Eyes."
13.  It was the first song we ever danced to in middle school and also our first dance as husband and wife.
14.  I am left-handed.
15.  I get angry quickly and stay angry a long time.  I dislike this about myself.
16.  I can remember phone numbers and birthdays easily.  Numbers just stay in my head.
17.  My favorite number is 5.
18.  I loved living in Georgia, but hated being away from my family.
19.  I love to talk on the telephone, but don't have the time for it anymore.
20.  I want to go to seminary and get a Master's of Divinity.
21.  I love being around people.
22.  I feel closest to God at the beach and in the mountains.
23.  Hubby and I went to the beach and the mountains on our honeymoon.
24.  I have never broken a bone.
25.  I have had 5 surgeries (including my c-section).
26.  I gave birth to the twins both ways - Princess came vaginally and Prince was breech so had to be taken by emergency c-section.
27.  I have spent way too much time in hospitals.
28.  I still have nightmares from when the twins were born and the month we spent in the NICU with them.
29.  I would rather go to the gynecologist than the dentist.
30.  I love to read.
31.  My favorite television shows are not on anymore.  They include: The West Wing and Seventh Heaven.
32.  I love children, my own and other people's.
33.  I want to write a book someday.
34.  I want God to use me in a big way.
35.  Whenever I ask God to use me in a big way He tells me to Bloom where I'm planted.
36.  This frustrates me sometimes, as I don't always think I'm making a difference.
37.  I am a loyal friend.
38.  I am a "play by the rules" kind of girl, but wish I were a little more of a rebel.
39.  I love going to plays and musicals.
40.  I have seen "Fiddler on the Roof" 4 times.
41.  I think that Harrison Ford gets more handsome with age.
42.  I loved high school.
43.  I wouldn't want to go back and do it again, though.
44.  I went away to college for one semester my sophomore year, and then returned home to finish up at the local university.
45.  I love to shop.
46.  One of my dream jobs is to be a Personal Shopper.
47.  Getting a great deal on something gives me a high.
48.  Going to Disney World makes me feel like a kid again.
49.  I loved every second of being pregnant, but there won't be any more babies for me.
50.  I wish I were more organized than I am.
51.  I was a vegetarian for 3 years in high school.
52.  I love to eat raw cookie dough.  I'd rather eat the dough than the cookies.
53.  I really miss my Grandaddy.  Sometimes I dream that he's here and I wake up thinking it's true.  He died almost 15 years ago.
54.  I love sappy movies.
55.  There are some movies that I used to love that I can't watch since having children.  Among them are "Steel Magnolias" and "Stepmom."
56.  I cry at sappy commercials.
57.  I love Diet Coke.
58.  Fall is my favorite season.
59.  I don't like roller coasters.
60.  I am fluent in sign language.
61.  I love that Hubby goes Black Friday shopping with me.
62.  I sort my M&M's by color then eat them in rainbow order one at a time.
63.  I seriously hate doing laundry.
64.  I love the smell of a new box of crayons.
65.  Going to the library makes me feel stupid because I don't know how to use their database.  I liked the card catalog better.
66.  There's nothing more relaxing than a hot bath with candles and a glass of wine.
67.  I make lots of lists.
68.  I love office supplies.
69.  I love watching Disney movies with my children.
70.  I love it when the kids climb in my bed in the mornings to snuggle.  I want to stay there all day.
71.  I think my mom is beautiful and I love it when people tell me I look like her.
72.  I am not afraid to die.
73.  I love that my kids know two of their great-grandmothers.
74.  Hubby proposed to me in Savannah, Georgia in front of the John Wesley statue.
75.  He said there was no better place to propose to a good little Methodist girl.
76.  I've never seen Hubby so nervous.
77.  I waited so long for Hubby to propose that when he did finally ask me, my response was, "Let me think about it."
78.  When I said that, the blood drained out of his face.
79.  He's never let me live that down. 
80.  Princess is named after my great-granny.
81.  Prince has the same initials as Hubby's grandfather.
82.  I believe in Happily Ever After.
83.  I am a control freak.
84.  I love spending time with my girlfriends, but feel guilty for being away from my family.
85.  Mommy guilt is a terrible thing and I have a lot of it.
86.  My favorite desserts are cheesecake and french silk pie.
87.  I don't really like surprises.
88.  I'm a planner but wish I were more spontaneous. 
89.  My first car was a 1979 Buick Regal.  It was totalled a few weeks after I got my license.
90.  I love doing random acts of kindness.
91.  I wish on stars.
92.  I don't like to get dirty or sweaty.
93.  I love writing letters to people.
94.  I love writing in general...poetry, journaling, blogging.
95.  I find it difficult to talk about myself for this long.
96.  I like to learn about other people.
97.  It is hard for me to accept compliments.
98.  I check my blog often for comments and it makes me happy when people leave comments.
99.  I am an early to bed, early to rise person and I really need sleep.
100.  I never thought I would think of 100 things to say about myself.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Are There Playgrounds in Heaven?

Last night as Hubby and I were making dinner, Prince came in and announced, "I don't want to die.  I don't want to go to heaven."
Hubby: Well, you aren't going to die any time soon, but why do you say you don't want to go to heaven?
Prince: I don't think they have playgrounds in heaven.
Me:  Well, I've never been to heaven but I'll bet it's a great place to be and there must be fun things to do there.
Prince: I don't think so.
Hubby: Well, what do you think heaven is like?
Prince:  I think people just stand around and pray to God all day.  All you get to do is pray, pray, pray and you don't get to play on the playground.
I somehow think that the God who said, "Permit the children to come unto me," will have something fun for the child in all of us when we get to heaven. 
Princess wants to know if her vanity and her toys will be in heaven.  A while back she kept saying that she was afraid she was going to die and not see us again.  I quoted the scripture to her that Jesus says he is going to prepare a place for us and that he will come back for us some day, but not until it is time.  I explained to her that Jesus had to go get her room ready in heaven and he won't come back until he has everything ready for her. 
Children think so literally and mine have so many questions that I can't answer.  Sometimes they really test me to the point that I have to really think about what I believe about things before I can offer an answer or explanation for their questions.  They really stretch me!  I am constantly picking Pastor's brain to be sure my explanations make sense and are theologically sound. 
Back to the discussion of heaven, it is fun to think about what it will be like, all of us together praising God in one voice, no division over doctrine or denomination. 
I also think we will have fun.  I love this picture of Jesus laughing.  It reminds me that God does have a sense of humor.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

They're Keeping Me on My Toes

I'm so glad things have taken on a bit of a slower pace since getting back from Christmas vacation.  This doesn't mean that my kids aren't keeping me on my toes.
Princess and I have been watching Seventh Heaven on DVD.  I now own all of the seasons and we have a bit of catching up to do.  It's one of the few shows I will let Princess watch with me, since it doesn't have bad language and I can control which episodes she watches so that she isn't watching the ones with more adult themes to them.  The other day Princess said, "I want to marry a preacher because they know everything and they help people."  Then after thinking about it, she said, "Mom, can girls be preachers?  I might like to be a preacher when I grow up."  Looks like my daughter might take after me, with a heart for ministry.  Fun fact:  I almost went to seminary but then Hubby and I got serious and got married.  I haven't given that dream up, just put it on the back burner.  My heart is still in ministry and some day God will make it possible for me to go to seminary and serve Him in new and different ways.

The other night at dinner Hubby asked everyone to share one good thing that happened to them that day.  Prince says, "I have good news and bad news.  The good news is that I have a new friend from the playground at school.  The bad news is that Isabelle gave me up today."
Hubby: She gave you up?
Prince:  Yes, she gave me up for another boyfriend but I am still in love with her.
Me: So you mean she broke up with you?
Prince: Yep.  She broke up with me.  Now she loves my new best friend but I am still in love with her.
Hubby then gives me the look that says: SERIOUSLY?!
Princess: I don't want Prince to have a girlfriend anyway.  I should be the only girl in his life.  Prince needs to just love me and no other girl.
I think we are going to be in big trouble when these two start dating for real.  On the other hand, it might be a good thing that they are both looking out for the other one.

Friday afternoon my kids decided they wanted to rollerskate.  They got skates for Christmas last year and haven't used them much because they mostly fall and it is so frustrating to them.  So I sat out there and watched them fall  skate, or at least attempt to skate.  Princess was getting pretty good at it just before we had to pack it in.  Maybe we'll try again soon before she forgets what she was doing.  Anyway, while the two of them were falling and struggling to even stand up in their skates, I took this picture:
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!"
—Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year's Hodgepodge

It's Hodgepodge Wednesday and I am joining Joyce at From This Side of the Pond in answering her hodgepodge of questions.  Click on the link and go say hi to Joyce!

1. What three words would you use to describe 2010?

2. If fear were not an issue what is something you'd like to try?
Scuba diving.  I have always thought it would be a really neat thing to do, but I can't even snorkel very well because I get out in the middle of the ocean and start to think about wow, I'm out in the middle of the ocean and I get a little panicky.

3. What do you add to your coffee or tea?
I don't drink coffee.  When Hubby and I lived in Georgia I loved the sweet tea.  I'm sorry, it's pronounced swait tai with the long 'a' sound.  Were it not for the calories I would drink it swait all the time, but usually I opt for unsweet, nothing in it but lemon, and the stronger the better. 

4. What historical sporting event would you like to witness?
I'm honestly not that big into sports, but it would probably be something baseball, maybe the World Series with the Braves playing.

5. What is one piece of advice you would like to give your sixteen year old self?
That those bangs would look ridiculous in 20 years? 
Seriously, I think I would tell myself to be true to myself and not to change to try to make other people happy or like me.  I also would have probably gotten into a little more mischief, had I realized that my "permanent file" wasn't so permanent after all.

6. Are you a planner or do you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants?
I plan things out to the nth degree.  For every plan, there is a Plan A,B,C,D,E,F,G....back up plan.  Do you know what happens to people like me?  God laughs and then he throws you a curve ball that you could never see coming to remind you that He is in control. 
Hubby is also a planner but we have tried in recent years to be a bit more spontaneous.  It mostly ends up being what we like to call "planned spontaneity."  We plan to do something spontaneous at such and such of a time, and it might include this or that activity.  It's a start, anyway.

7. What is one thing you are looking forward to in 2011?
I can't think of one particular thing I am looking forward to this year.  I am excited about all of the possibilities this year holds.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

When do you take down your Christmas decorations?  I usually leave everything up until Epiphany, which is tomorrow.  To me, Christmas isn't really over until you have celebrated the coming of the Wisemen to see baby Jesus.  We talk about the Wisemen coming and sing about the "Star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright."  It seems only right that we celebrate through their arrival to see the Holy Baby.  This year I took my trees down a little early because my house was starting to feel a little claustrophobic with everything still out.  However, our nativity scenes are still up.  Those will remain out a little while longer to help us maintain our focus on Baby Jesus.  Prince asked me yesterday, "Mommy, after Baby Jesus was born, did he grow into a toddler and then a kid like I did?" 
"Yes, Prince.  He sure did grow into a kid like you are and he did this so that he could know what it is to be human, to go through the things we all go through."  It's amazing to think about...fully human, yet fully divine.

This is Prince and Princess, age 2, playing with the baby Jesus from their Fisher Price nativity scene.  So curious even at such a young age.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A New Year, A Fresh Start

With the New Year comes a lot of talk about new beginnings, new starts, a clean slate.  We make resolutions, set goals and think about what we want to change, how to make ourselves better.  January 1st seems to be a magic date for a new start.  I have made my resolutions, set some goals, been reflecting just like everyone else.  As I think about this new start though, something else strikes me.  As Christians, every day can be a new start because we have Jesus.  Isn't this what we have been celebrating?  Jesus came to Earth as a baby to forgive our sins, thus giving us a fresh start when we ask for His forgiveness.  It's ours for the taking, if only we ask.
This takes some of the pressure off from those resolutions we've all made.  If I fail one day, I have a new start the next.  You see, I'll never be perfect.  I'll never do everything just right all the time.  I can try, but it's not going to happen.  The beauty of it is that I don't have to be perfect.  I love the Casting Crowns song "Who Am I" which says, "Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done, not because of what I've done, but because of Who You are."  It's because of Who He is, that I can have a fresh start when I need it.  His blood wiped the slate clean from my sins and shortcomings. 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (NIV)1 Peter 1:3

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Magic Memories

I might have mentioned before that we have annual passes to Disney.  Well, our passes are going to expire later this month and we aren't going to renew them this year so we are trying to get every last use out of them possible. 
Today we went to the Magic Kingdom and had such a great time.  The Christmas decorations were still up and the poinsettia trees and the landscapes were just beautiful. 
I love that Prince and Princess have such wonderful imaginations.  They are at the perfect age to enjoy the characters, sights, sounds, and smells.

Our first stop was Thunder Mountain.  My children have decided that they love roller coasters.  While I am not a roller coaster person, I can stomach Big Thunder. 
I sat next to Princess on this ride.  She is a "Woo!" girl.  Do you know what a "Woo!" girl is?  It's a girl who is the life of the party and loves to squeal "Woo!" at the top of her lungs.  Princess rides most of Thunder Mountain with her hands raised above her head going, "Woo!" in her high pitched little girl voice.  I'm not sure how it is that my daughter is a "Woo!" girl.  I wasn't a "Woo!" girl, I was a band geek.  Hubby didn't hang out with "Woo!" girls in school, he hung out with me and he was the editor of the school paper, need I say more?  Anyway, my little Princess is cooler at age 6 than I ever dreamed of being and she brings the party with her.  We had a blast on this ride while Hubby sat this one out.  He had to pace himself, after all.

I think I'm getting too old to ride the teacups.  Prince and Princess had me spinning so hard that I thought I was going to toss my cookies.  Hubby graciously volunteered to not ride this one so he could video us from off the ride.  Actually, he's never been able to do the teacups, it really will make him sick, so it's always a given that I ride this with the kids, but they seriously have some arm strength and can get us spinning pretty fast.
Prince said the funniest thing as we were getting on one of the rides today. I think it was the Winnie the Pooh ride. He said, "Dad, I thought Disney was the most magical place on Earth, but it's not."
To which Hubby replied, "Why do you say that?"
Prince said, "I thought it was all magic but they have to push buttons to make the rides go."
I love that kid! He's got it all figured out in that little head of his.

This picture is blurry, but I had to include it. You see, Hubby's LEAST favorite ride at Magic Kingdom is It's a Small World, yet he took one for the team and rode it.  Way to go Hubby ~ you're so awesome!  Do you know how I know he's awesome?  He has a shirt that says so!

Remember this picture?  This is how I know my Hubby is awesome.

Anywho, we did Small World, we did most of Fantasy Land, we did Tomorrow Land, we rode Pirates, we did a lot of stuff today.  We saved the best for last.  We rode Splash Mountain, hoping that we wouldn't get too wet.  It all depends on where you sit and where your boat is when as to how wet you get.  We've been pretty lucky not to get soaked in quite a while.  Guess what...
We got soaked!
Of course "Woo!" girl loved it and said "Woo!" the entire time, with her hands in the air.
I hope my Prince and Princess never lose their imagination and enthusiasm for life.  It's days like today that I realize how blessed I am to be a mommy ~ their mommy.  Woo!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

It's the start of a new year, a clean slate.  I've never been big on making resolutions that I can't and/or won't keep, like exercising for 2 hours every single day...not gonna happen.  I do, however, like to reflect and set goals that will help me to be a better wife, mom, and friend.  So in the year 2011, I hereby resolve to.....
1.   Spend more time in Bible study each day.
2.  Try to be more patient with my children, not raising my voice as much.
3.  Cook new and different foods for my family and get out of my food rut.
4.  Continue last year's resolution to eat in new and different restaurants and not to order the same thing every time when I do go to a familiar restaurant.
5.  Have a more consistent date night with Hubby, even if it means planning inexpensive and creative dates at home.
6.  Be a better friend by connecting more regularly with girlfriends.
7.  2011 will be the year that I get my house and garage more organized and purge the excess.
8.  Ride my new bike at least a couple of times a week.
9.  Continue with my quest to save money with coupons.
10.  Be a better blog friend by blogging more consistently.

Happy New Year Everyone!  I hope you have a blessed new year and that you eat lots of black eyed peas and greens today!

Happy New Year!

 Happy New Year!  We had a wild and wooly New Year's Eve at home with the kids last night.  We were supposed to go to a party, but Princess wasn't feeling well earlier in the day, so we made it a night in, which is how we have celebrated New Year's since the arrival of our miracle babies 6 years ago.  We ate appetizers for dinner and played the Wii.  Grandma and Grandaddy showed up to help ring in the new year.  We played Uno and Old Maid with the kids.  Can you believe that Hubby has never played Old Maid?!  He's never even heard of the game!  Guess who was the Old Maid ~ it was me!  The kids thought that quite funny.  The adults drank champagne while the kids had sparkling grape juice.  It was truly a fun evening.
This is the first year my kids have made it to midnight without falling asleep.  (Last year Princess made it until 11:45 and fell fast asleep and I couldn't wake her up.  I kid you not.) 

This year Prince started fading around 11:30 but I got him up and moving so he could stay awake.  (My dad on the other hand, did not make it to midnight.  He walked home and put himself to bed earlier in the evening.) 

As the ball dropped, Prince and Princess were so excited. 

They held up their glasses to toast in the new year with us and hooped and hollered. 

Princess had me get out some pots and wooden spoons for them to beat on and yell Happy New Year with.  My Nanny and Poppop used to do that when I was a little girl and Princess loves that story so much, she says that's what you are supposed to do on New Year's.  So they banged on the pots and pans and yelled.  When I had all of the noise I could take (about 1 minute's worth) I started packing up the pots and spoons and both kids were like, "What?!  That's it?!  That's the big deal about New Year's?  What else do we do?"  Well, now that we've seen the New Year in, we go to bed.  And with that, we tucked the kids in and everyone went to sleep.
Happy New Year, everyone!  I pray the coming year brings abundant blessings in your lives.  I'm still working on my resolutions and will post soon.