Dec 31, 2008

2008?

366 days taught me to totally depend on God .. do not rely on myself or man ... depend on God .. not bible studies, books and blogs ... depend on God .. .. not my husband, children or family ... I want to decrease so He can INCREASE ..... DEPEND on GOD!!!

Happy New Year!

Jai

Dec 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all! Celebrating the birth of OUR Savior!



Dec 21, 2008

As if life wasn't already hectic enough ....

Thursday night, I broke my wrist! Yeah, the one I use everyday! I am blogging w/ the left wrist, so typing these few words is taking ten minutes to complete!

No, I have not finished buying or wrapping gifts ....
No, we had NOT started making our homemade gifts ... Ethan just got out of school ..
No, I had not started the sweet potato casserole for Thursday ...

I have had the pleasure of my hubby combing my hair ..... ha, ha, ha ...
Helping put my clothes on ...
Helping me w/ baths ....

AND he stepped right up to the plate and took right over w/ my household duties without a mumbling word!

Our anniversary is this week and our vows are being realized as .. we .. speak ....

but, I think because we entered into this covenant relationship on a good foundation 13 years ago, the next six weeks or so will be interesting, but will bring us closer together towards one another and towards God!

Dec 17, 2008

Where did the time go?

I have not been able to blog successfully in almost month ... see as I type, Austin is yelling "Mommy, help me, I have got to go to the potty and you need to see!" .. ok, hold on, I'll be back in a moment ....

{ Walks away, runs to the back of the house. }

I'm back.

Like I was saying, so many things have pulled me away from blogging and reading some of my favs, but I admit, I have been focusing on my family and I kinda like the feeling I get when I see them fed, clean and happy mommy is rolling on the floor w/ them.

We have been sick, celebrated two birthdays, went on vacation for Thanksgiving ... (oh yeah, those are the last photos you saw from me .. hehehe), Ethan played in his first Christmas concert at school, I have been spending a lot of time at the school on behalf of Ethan (tests, grades, Parent-teacher meetings) and working with the PTA.

I just started Christmas shopping and gift making this week, I ripped some wallpaper off the walls in the kitchen and now need to paint (great a week before Christmas), I am trying to redecorate my master bedroom, clean the house from top to bottom and declutter and get those items to the salvation army before December 31st and we are planning our Family Christmas servant project Monday.

Needless to say, while I enjoy blogging, I won't be doing much of it until after the first of the year after I organize my days better .. that way I can continue to contribute to my history project for generations to come and to entertain the 12 of you who continue to stop by periodically.:)

Merry Christmas to you and yours~!

Dec 8, 2008

A Heap Closer to better ...

But not yet ... boy howdy, I can't wait to type more than 2 sentences .. Can anyone say series? NO, just kidding .. but I do have a LOT of catching up to do!

Nov 26, 2008

Sick, sick and more sick

I have not been able to blog our trip because Ethan has been ill since we got here. As soon as he gets better, I will share photos and our tales in Kentucky! Have a great week!

Nov 24, 2008

We're Here ...

and can I say breakfast? fresh country breakfast! Farm fresh, uneven in color, but fresh from the hen, EGGS and country ham!! My kids are telling me "Mom, this is better than that ole turkey bacon you make us eat at home!"
This was the view from my in-laws front porch yesterday morning with a temp of 40 degrees. (Sorry for the blurry photo)
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We are arrived at 2 am, stayed up a while to catch up on how much the kids have grown and then went to bed. Everyone else slept until 10 and I chose to get up around 11:30am. When is the last time that happened?
We are soooooo drained from the 15 hour drive that my blogging will be slow for sure, but blog I will. It is so pretty here and I love being with my in-laws and I can't wait to share.



Nov 23, 2008

And We're OFF!

In more ways than one! :)

We planned to leave around 2 or 3am so the kids could sleep through most of the 12 hour trip. I ended up working OUTSIDE the house last week and nothing, I mean nothing worked out the way I wanted it to.

Friday noon, Ethan's school called because he was sick, so I had to go get him. The first thing he asked was were still gonna go to Kentucky, because he knew if he was sick, really sick, there might be a chance that we were would leave a few days later or stay home altogether. I called his doctor and they said to watch him and it appeared things would pass, so we decided to leave that night.

We were gonna leave Friday night, early Saturday morning , but we were dead dog tired, so we decided to sleep in and get some rest, better awake than sorry... ya know? So we set a new departure time of 6am. Needless to say, D fell asleep around 11 and I followed him to sleep around midnight..... unplanned .. I wanted to stay up until 2, 3 or so to wash and pack clothes, clean out the fridge and clean the house up a bit. I hate coming home after a long, relaxing vacation to a dirty house and dirty clothes. (I wash clothes while on vacation to avoid that task at home).

The answer is no, we did not put a dent in the list of things we needed to do to be able to leave in the wee hours of the morning. Not even a scratch .....

We WOKE up around 6am .... yeah woke up at 6am .... and finished washing, packing and loading the van and finally rolled out of here around 10am. Yeah, I know 4 hours later ...

We prayed and drove off headed for the highway and then it hit me. Life was so busy last week, I didn't go by the library to get some Cosby Show DVDs for the trip. We ALWAYS have these for our road trips .. so I dropped my lip and blinked me eyes, so hubby would turn the car in the direction of the library and could just run in ..... He caved and we headed that direction. And no, I wasn't able to make a quick run. Turns out the library was EMPTY and the librarian who never wants to talk struck up a 15 minute conversation about Days of our Lives, DVRs and new HDTV televisions sets. I didn't have the heart to cut her off and say "hey lady, we've been trying to get on the road for the last 5 hours!"

I got the DVDs and we headed off into the sunset ...ok the sunrise. Then we needed to stop for ice for the cooler. We drove through Sonic ... time in line 15 minutes .. we drove for another 20 minutes and stopped for breakfast .. time in line 10 minutes .... then it seemed we were set for at least another two hours, but then 15 minutes after the stop for breakfast, we needed a bathroom break.

So we stopped at Love's and proceeded to unlock, unlatch, reshoe and remove all the blankets and pillows so at least 4 of us could potty.

Now do we see why we like leaving in the middle of the night? Had we left at 3am we could have driven 4 hours before we would have had to stop to gas up and have a potty break.

Needless to say, we had potty break almost every 2 hours AND ran into ugly traffic with an 1 hour delay ... thank Goodness we got gas before we ran into that mess .... and arrived at my-inlaws 15 hours from when we started ... a trip that normally takes 11 to 12 hours.

Oh yeah, we stopped for dinner at a place I have been dying to for at least a year now and boy howdy .... that is another story ENTIRELY that I may never share, but I do plan to write a letter to the owners. Hint, hint ... the owner is on FoodNetwork.

Nov 17, 2008

Two weeks later .. we are still here ...

I can't believe I have not blogged in two weeks. We have been sick off and on, had a death in the family, Ethan has had some benchmark testing going on at school, birthdays, I have gotten into couponing (wow, what a rush!!!) and now we are preparing for our Thanksgiving road trip.

So more than likely not much in the way of blogging will be going on for at least two more weeks, but I do plan to blog our trip.

Hope everyone is well .. and to all four of you that stop by everyday have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!

Nov 7, 2008

Sickness ...

The household has been invaded by critters! The whole family got sick this weekend, including daddy and we have been playing catch up all week. We celebrate two birthdays this week, so prayerfully we will be healthy through the weekend and be able to take photos and blog the experience.

I'll be back soon ......

Nov 2, 2008

Sunday Sounds ...

hubby reading to the boys as they are positioned very closely to him and holding on to his every word .... I only wish I could take a picture, but diapers/elmo undies were the only clothing being worn by the younger two .. :)

Oct 29, 2008

Here! Here!

I know I said this was not going to become a poltical blog .... and it is not, but I read something while visting Baby Bangs that I felt like was worth passing on about Christians approach to voting.

This has been a LONG ugly political season and guess what? If you wanna run for President in 2012, I heard your fundraising should start mid summer 2009! What? YIKES!

Anyway, when you have a moment read this from John Piper. It helped to keep me on the straight and narrow.

and again .. this will be my last post about voting for a while. Carry on!

Oct 27, 2008

VOTE

Early voting is underway in a lot of states and all I have to say is VOTE. I am not going to preach about how important this election is for our country and I am NOT going to tell you who to vote for, but I will say PRAY before you do and then PRAY again afterwards. If you haven't voted yet, FORGET THE POLLS, PUNDITS, and PEOPLE ... PRAY and VOTE.

One thing I do, but not as much as I should is PRAY for our leaders. From the President to Congress to my State, county AND city officials. Not just on election day, National Prayer Day or when there is a tragedy facing our country. I need to make it a priority because there are some "special" people making decisions for me and for my family. (I don't mean that in a good way)

There are some issues that are very personal to me (babies, marriages, finances, oversight, my children's futures, peace, war), issues I committed to prayer before I cast my ballot. I had to make sure I had peace regarding MY decisions, not just because friends and family expected me to vote a certain way.

No matter who wins next week, he WILL need prayer throughout his term. I see that as my responsibility as a child of the most high God. Even if the man I voted for doesn't win, I still MUST pray. That is the VERY least I can do. Just because the election will be over, doesn't mean the issues all get solved overnight. (nor will they in 4 years, but we HAVE to start somewhere)

and yes .. I voted Sunday ... after church, after time w/ God, after I carefully considered the candidates on my ballot (all levels and a proposition) ...



In the end I am NOT worried, but wanted to be a responsible adult. I fully and completely TRUST GOD! He has never left me nor forsaken me and even after November 4th, I know He NEVER will.

Oct 21, 2008

My list has grown and I see no end in sight ....

.... with the things in my life ... school meetings, PTA (how did I become the treasurer?), homework, ministry meetings, grocery shopping, bible study, meals for families from church, work from home, family, church, homecomings, homegoings, and on and on. These ARE things that are important and must be tended to ... but I need to learn to balance and I need to learn to say "no". That is a hard word for me sometimes ....

First and foremost no matter how long the list, I need to get up each morning and thank God and ask Him how can I be used by Him for each day He gives me.

oh .. and in my buZIness, God gave me some time by myself this evening and I was able to spend some time with 4 lovely ladies ... THANK YOU Lord for this blessing!

Ok, so there were 199 other people at the gathering, but it was a closeknit group and God continued the thread He started with me this weekend.
Let GO and let God and let Him do what He does best ... take care of things!
God does not want us to just get through the things in our lives, but He wants us go through our lives with Him on the inside of us.
The Hebrews boys were NOT delivered from the fire, but IN the fire with God right there!

Oct 17, 2008

One Day to Give



Kristen over at We are THAT family had a great idea! Share yourself and/or resources with someone without expecting anything in return.

At first I thought ... what can I do? I began thinking and thinking and looking for something to do, something that would bless someone's socks off. Then that's when it hit me.... I realized God has allowed many opportunities to be presented to me without me having to "search" for them. All I need to do is let the Lord use me.

Please bear with me .. this story is long ...

Last year when my oldest son was in the hospital after his brain tumor surgery we spent 2 days in the ICU. While we were there, a young lady (14) and her sister (8 or 9) tried to cross a very busy intersection in another part of town and were struck by a car. The younger sister came out with only scrapes and bruises, but the older sister was brought to the hospital where we were.
From what I understand, they did surgery, but the outcome did NOT look good for her. She had at least 20 to 30 family members in the waiting room wanting to hear good news.

When your child is in ICU, you can stay in the room, but you cannot eat in the room, you have to go to the family waiting room. They have vending machines (with very expensive treats) or you can go to the hospital cafeteria and pay 7.00 for a hamburger and fries. I noticed how there were a few families in the waiting room who wanted something to eat, but scoffed at the price tag of the 25 cent M&Ms, which were in the machine for 1.00 or how they didn't expect to be at the hospital for so long and didn't have any money.

Our church and family members knew we were at the hospital and would be for at least a week, so they showered us each day with snacks, food, money, prayers, cards, and gift cards. Every time someone would come to see us, the concierge would call us to come to the Family Waiting room to pick up the gift baskets that had been left for us. One day, we were called to the room 3 times in a row. People knew we needed something. We were VERY grateful for the love being show towards us, but at one point I felt .. not embarrassed, but guilty I guess because time after time after time, our names were being called to receive these gifts and everyone in the waiting room would look up at see what we had gotten. You could see the children who were there for the young lady who was hit by the car staring at the "goodies" or overhear the moms say .." we will get something later " , "I don't have any money right now. "

Then it hit me ... don't feel guilty .. SHARE, SHARE your blessings and we did just that. We shared the goodies with the children and the family in the waiting room. I got one of the bags we had been given and loaded it up with snacks for the family. I also took some money to the mom of the young lady and prayed for her.

I am being totally honest when I say, I could have easily stayed in my son's room and kept our blessings to myself. I could have easily stayed in his room away from all the people and noise that were getting on my nerves. I could have easily with my judgemental self kept staring at the grown ups who were cursing every other word when they spoke to the doctors and nurses. But God kept tugging at my heart saying SHUT UP, be a light and GIVE, GIVE. (Maybe not those words, but definitely .. GIVE!) I must say when I got myself out of the way ... God did great things that week.

It didn't seem like enough, so my husband and I talked and decided to work with the hospital to sponsor a FREE snack corner or gift bag that each family could receive upon entering the ICU floor that would have snacks and/or a cafeteria gift card for the family to have without any cost to them. That way, you don't have to worry (at least for a few hours) about what to eat or leaving the hospital to get something for the kiddos.

All the kinks have not been worked out yet, but this is how we want to say thank you and to bless family after family when they are at such an unknown time in their lives with their children.

Lastly, my husband is a giver, especially when it comes to things of God. His concern was for the young lady's father. He sought out the dad to pray for him and to let him know that if he needed to talk and pray, that my husband would be there for him and gave him his cell phone number. He also wanted to make sure this young lady's dad knew Jesus Christ, personally. They did get to pray, but did not get to talk about his relationship with Christ, because as they finished praying the doctor's called the dad and the mom in to let them know that the young lady passed away.

We never saw them again after that day, but prayed for them and prayed that somehow someway, they could feel the arms of God wrapped around them during this time.

God totally blessed us with the healing of our son and his rapid recovery, how could we turn around and NOT give to someone else?

When all was said and done, there were no fireworks or choirs singing Hallelujah .. this was nothing big monetarily, but we gave out of what we had at that time and I know that my God was pleased.


And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Colossians 3:23. KJV

Oct 15, 2008

Special children in a special place ....

Angie says it better than I EVER could ... today IS an important day to many women around the country.

Please join us .... I am praying for you too!


THANK YOU!

Oct 4, 2008

They ARE listening ...

We allowed our children to have their own little family sleepover this weekend (just our boys), because they have been doing such a great job being our kids :)

We let them eat junk food (with some goodness hidden inside), stay up later than normal, and watch movies.

As they tucked themselves in tonite (in the den), I was in the office and overheard the 3 year old tell the 11 year old .. "hey we need to pray BEFORE we go to sleep."

I couldn't resist, so I tiptoed closer to the den where I could hear them start their prayers without any prompting from me (they couldn't see me) and they prayed one by one. (21 months old included)

This wonderful moment, just warmed my heart and lets me know that after all these years of nighttime prayers and letting the boys there is NOTHING we can do without God and we must talk to him everyday .. they get it .. they see the importance of praising and praying to our great God!

Thank you Lord for this gift tonite. Thank you.

Oct 1, 2008

It's only morning ....

and I have 30 things to do today ... aren't there only 24 hours in my day? 5 of them I should be sleeping, 2 in church this evening, so that leaves 17 hours to get these tasks completed and whatever else may be added later ... :(

Lord give me strength and please help me make the most of the hours you have given me today!

Sep 28, 2008

Sunday Sounds Part II

Okay, now the nonstop boy noise some 3 hours later is at a decibel level of 8 ... me liking it right this minute ... Not so much .... I am hiding in the office .. I guess it is my fault .. we had sweet tea at dinner. Whew! I just took some Tylenol ......

Sunday sounds ....

DH tickling boy (3), and boy (1) and the tods laughing and squealing and saying more, more! I love my boys ... all 4 of them!

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BTW - Sunday's menu
Baked chicken, sweet potatoes, turnip greens, cornbread and sweet tea ya'll!

Sep 25, 2008

Can I say just one more time? FIREPROOF

Go! Don't walk, RUN! Run to the theater and take your spouse to see FIREPROOF!!! It opens today and you all know that the first weekend run is the most important run for a movie.

This IS a Christian movie, put out by Christian people, who are able to deliver a DEAD ON message about life, marriage and your relationship with the Lord God Almighty!

It is funny, real, tearful, joyful and just plain wonderful! Good marriage, bad marriage, don't like your spouse, thinking about marriage ..... JUST go!!

GO,GO,GO .... I will keep your kids, so you can GO!!!!! Keep someone else's kids so they can go and then let them keep your kids so you can go!


Let's talk about it next week!!!!!!

Sep 24, 2008

He doesn't do it like I do ...

Kids and Meals - Not like me
Baths - Not like me
Visits to the school to talk w/ the staff - not like me
Homework - Not like me
Discipline - Not like me
Balancing the checkbook - whoa, not like me
Housecleaning - not like me
Washing clothes - not like me ....

But when it is all said and done .. my husband did it!

There was no blood and no whining! We had good food to eat (bacon and eggs), clean kids (boys, whew!), the homework was completed and it was correct, children who fell in line at the sound of his voice (at least for now), 2.00 in the bank (thank God, not negative!), a clean house (for at least the next 30 minutes), and clean clothes (even though it took 10 loads instead of 5).

No, it may not have been the way, I DO IT , but you know what? I don't even care ... my husband has helped me in more ways than I could ever express with my duties around here and for that he gets a ...

singing .. Go Dh, it's your birthday, go Dh, it's your birthday and a big ole kiss from me and a public thank you!!!!! .. I need to say thank you more to him.


THANK YOU HONEY!

Sep 20, 2008

Fireproof

I just came home after watching a private showing of this movie and all I have to say is GO! Go to your nearest theater THIS Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

I don't want to give ANYTHING away in this movie, but if you are married, engaged or single and thinking about marriage .............. GO!

Hubby went with me tonite and let's just say ... God is so good!

This movie is done with excellence, the actors are great and the message is unforgettable!


Thanks so much to Sherwood Pictures and Provident Films!!!!!
Two Thumbs Up!

Sep 17, 2008

Strong Tower

God laid these words on my heart this morning and I wanted to share them with you.

BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD
Clinton Utterbach

BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD
BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD
BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD MOST HIGH
GLORY IS THE NAME OF THE LORD
GLORY IS THE NAME OF THE LORD
GLORY IS THE NAME OF THE LORD MOST HIGH

CHORUS:
THE NAME OF THE LORD IS
A STRONG TOWER
THE RIGHTEOUS RUN INTO IT
AND THEY ARE SAVED
THE NAME OF THE LORD IS
A STRONG TOWER
THE RIGHTEOUS RUN INTO IT
AND THEY ARE SAVED

HOLY IS THE NAME OF THE LORD
HOLY IS THE NAME OF THE LORD
HOLY IS THE NAME OF THE LORD MOST HIGH

Sep 14, 2008

Praying for you ....


To my family and friends on the TEXAS coast and in Houston .. prayers have gone up and will continue to go up on your behalf. My family and I pray for speedy resolutions to ALL the problems that have occured because of Hurrican Ike.

God WAS NOT surprised and has HIS hands on this situation. He WILL take care of you.

Sep 11, 2008

Never Forget ...




7 years ago .... I'll always remember where I was, what I was doing and what I did for the next 3 days.

I continue to pray for the troops who are fighting for the freedom I have in this country and for the families who were directly affected that morning and who will never be the same.


===================================================================

Love you Joel! Thank you for serving our country and representing our family in Iraq.

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This song came to mind as I was writing ....

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, And to take him at his word; Just to rest upon his promise, And to know, "Thus saith the Lord."

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him! How I've proved him o'er and o'er! Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust him more!

I'm so glad I learned to trust thee, Precious Jesus, Savior, friend; And I know that thou art with me, Wilt be with me to the end.

Sep 5, 2008

DeClan - closer to 2 or 22?

Our surprise blessing has continued to bless my days .. I cannot believe he will be 21 months soon ... My dad always said treasure each day with your children because one day they won't be kiddos anymore.
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It seemed like just yesterday he entered into the world and now he is running, scolding his animals, laughing, playing, and making me laugh all the time.
Yesterday, he did something that made me laugh out loud and then he turned around and said ... "Mommy, I funny?" .. I laughed for another 2 minutes.
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He is so full of words ... snack, ice, cheese, nanas, rarri - ferrari, please, toes, feet, kitchen, outside, outside, van, helmet, football, baseball, ice cream, donut (uh oh), hurt, beyonee - bologna, hot dog, Noggin, Barney, Mickey, Minnie, chicken, car ... he can say his first, middle and last name when you ask him what his name is .... just to name a few ... and he plays basketball and football like a 3 year old .. he's got quite a arm!!!
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He is really trying to keep up with his big brothers (11 & 3) .. it is so cute ...
I'll look back on this post in a few months and say wow ..... I am truly blessed and grateful to be his mom.

Sep 3, 2008

Back to School ...

We, I mean Ethan started school last week and I thought by now he would have settled into a little routine by now. NOT!

DH takes Ethan to school each day (Praise the Lord) and our expectation was that he would be able to drop Ethan off starting this week. NOT!

DH has been at the school EVERY morning since last week, straightening something out. Lockers, combinations, PE clothes, checks, cash, glasses, spirals, instruments, lunch money, book loads, reviewing Ethan last 3 years in this school district and on and on and on. I will say I am glad my man was able to go to the school and "put Ethan's affairs in order" ... I don't think my point would have been made so easily with DeClan and Austin on each hip.

We didn't even buy school supplies until last Thursday night. Yes, you heard me ... last Thursday at 8:30pm I was in Office Depot going through 7 lists that I personally think could have been placed on the school's website over the summer .. or at least two weeks before school .. but who am I?

Ethan has books this year that start at $50.00 a piece .. so we've been getting notes coming home for us to approve his use of the books ... umm ... how else will he make his "A's?", yes, sir, he can use the books.

Anyway, this is the part of parenting I know my mom and dad did as well and I never heard them grumble or complain .. they just did it. So, I am going to stop complaining as soon as I finish this post :)

Is it me or can some of the paperwork we parents are filling out can be copied and all you need to do is just add the teacher's name and subject on the cover sheet? Why did we fill out the SAME 3 sheets of paper 21 times? hmmmmmm

OK, I am ranting and rambling .. I have one last form for "us" to fill out and then and then I am off ... but you already knew I didn't have all my marbles.

Sep 1, 2008

Labor Day .. MINE times four ...

Rocks in My Dryer is having a fun MeMe today, but I saw it on one of my favorite blogs .. We are THAT Family and it looked like fun so why not!



How long were your labors?
#1 - 16 1/2 hours, #2 - 2 hours, #3 - 7 hours, #4 - 1 hour

How did you know you were in labor?
#1 - I was eating fish & fries like I did almost everyday and it started tasting awful and then this VERY sick feeling came all over my body ... then a VERY sharp pain
#2 - I got sick
#3 - I was induced
#4 - Can somebody say contractions out the wazoo?

Where did you deliver?
At the same hospital ALL 4 times with the same OB!!! Whoohoo!!

Drugs?
Yes, I have my own personal drug rep from McKesson Pharmaceuticals! :)

C-section?
#3 and #4 .. Emergency c for #3, scheduled for #4, but I went into labor before they could start the C section, but we ended up doing it anyway.

Who delivered?
My OB of 13 years. Even on #2 when the nurses said he would NOT show up for Denham's delivery because she was a 3am early delivery and they knew she would not make it, but I will dog gone if he didn't get out of his bed at 3am and came to see me and make sure I was ok medically and emotionally after all that had gone on!

Love, love my OB and his staff! My husband helped me find AND interview him 13 years ago and I will continue to drive 45 minutes to see him as long as he is practicing medicine.

Aug 28, 2008

Memories ... Summer has gone bye bye ...

We are THAT family is having a blog hop vacation party today!! See what we did and then hop on over to Kristen's blog to join in on the fun!
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I must thank the Make A Wish Foundation for granting Ethan's wish of spending some time with Mickey Mouse and all his friends!! Our family had not taken a vacation since Ethan was diagnosed with his tumor and this vacation week was a HUGE blessing! Thank you just doesn't seem like enough words.

We didn't have to worry about a thing! Interestingly enough, God allowed us to have this vacation on the 5th anniversary of Ethan's diagnosis ...what timing our God has! 2003- News of the tumor, 2008, celebration of the partial removal of the tumor, seizure free for 2 years AND a vacation for the whole family!
Here's Ethan at Disney's Hollywood Studios - The ToyStory ride. All 5 of us got to ride an compete on this interactive ride. The wait was 2 hours, but because Ethan was a wish kid, our wait was 0!!!
My mousekateers, M-I-C-K-E-Y, M O U S E ...

This is the ice cream shoppe where we ate unlimited FREE ice cream ALL week.
The carousel my kids refused to ride .... but they always want to pay and ride at the mall ...
The pool ... always nice to have a frog spitting right at you .. huh?
The villa where we stay for the week .. ahhh .. this IS luxury!
The train conductor let Ethan drive ... watch out .. he is trying to drive AND drink fresh lemonade!


Give Kids the World brings Santa in every week for all the children who stay here to talk to and ask for early presents!!! Look how DeClan is behavin? What is it about that bearded guy that makes kiddos scream and run for dear life? Had I remembered Santa was coming, the boys would have had on matching outfits. :) You know how we moms can be ...
One of the highlights of the trip! Taking pics with Mickey and Minnie. I felt like I was in the presence of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett. I had goosebumps on my arms. You are never too old to get excited about Mickey!
Austin giving a rare hug to Mickey.
The whole family with the mice. This is THE LAST time you will see me smiling in the presence of a mouse!
Our home away from home while we were in Florida. GKTW works with Make A Wish to make sure wish families have a fun filled all expense paid vacation. We ALL cried when we left, but plan to go back to Give Kids the World to volunteer as a family and help raise money for this wonderful organization!

Here we go again ....

DeClan is definitely walking in the shoes of his big brother Austin. I was looking for him today .. he was so quiet ... and found him in the pantry .. yes, those are potato chips, ones I had already said he could NOT have. He was trying to be so quiet while he ate them .....
=================
Think back ....






Aug 26, 2008

First Week of School and Ethan is in Junior High ....

so what does that make me?

CRAZY!

Back later in the week to recap this week in junior high! Boy do I miss the summer!

Aug 22, 2008

Friends in High Places

I've got hope when things look bad
And I can smile when I should be sad
I've got friends who lift me up when I'm feeling low
And they watch over me wherever I may go
I've got friends in high places
So high but not so far away
I've got friends in high places
And I'm gonna be with them someday
There's the Father right by His Son
And the angels, each and everyone
And other friends I miss so much and I long to see
But knowing ill be with them one day comforts me
I've got friends in high places
So high but not so far away
I've got friends in high places
And I'm gonna be with them someday
Why should I run
Why should I hide
What's there to fear
When my friends are on my side
I've got friends in high places
So high but not so far away
I've got friends in high places
And I'm gonna be with them someday
I've got friends in high places
So high but not so far away
I've got friends in high places
And I'm gonna be with them
Yes, I'm gonna be with them someday

Aug 21, 2008

Praying for Joseph

**Updated***
Joseph lives with Jesus now ........ He went home with our Lord Thursday afternoon. Please pray for his family.

I "met" this precious little boy through the blogworld, but I don't remember how. All I know is his story has caused me to pray for him throughout his journey with a brain tumor, especially after what we went through with Ethan.

His parents have been given the news no parent wants to hear. Once again I am and hope you will "Pray for Joseph".

Aug 18, 2008

Mistreatment ... a new definition

I was turned on to a delightful new blog "The Nesting Place" a few weeks ago and I have not stopped stalking, I mean visting her blog since the first day. Today, she is having a "mistreatment" party and I decided to join in on the fun and steal, I mean get some ideas from other ladies around the country.
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I did this "mistreatment" on our windows when we lived in an apartment and I could not, would not commit to a curtin rod because I knew we would be moving soon.
I just purchased wrought iron towel holders from Target and placed my bargin fabric through handles. I have an old world theme going on throughout the front area of my house.

I use long flowing fabric in the fall and winter. I just couldn't bear having floor length fabric when it is was 200 degrees outside. I'm sorry, it was making me hot just looking at it.
See, here it is up close. Now I need to add some more PIZZAZ to the window, the wall and add a little paint :)
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BUT since I have been on the Nester's blog, I have so many, many plans for every room in my house! I can't sew and a LOT of her ideas don't involve anything more than a glue gun! Hobby Lobby, here I come!

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Stop by her blog .. you never know what you may find!

Aug 16, 2008

My Life, My Love, My all


This song by Kirk Franklin ministers to me EVERYTIME I hear it. I surrender my life COMPLETELY to You LORD!

Aug 13, 2008

We interrupt this bloogy break ..

.... to show you how lazy we have all been around here ... school starts in 10 days and we have been no where near the school supply aisle.

Ethan's been making lunch for everyone .. who knew PB&J with a popcorn appetizer could be so good .... mmmmmm
Here's baby DeClan finishing off a verse of Twinkle, Twinkle little star ... "how I wonder what you AAAARRREEE!!!!!
DH won some tickets to a local baseball game. As you can see DH and Ethan are bored to tears by the game .. our team was losing BADLY ... DH couldn't wait to get on the phone .... and .. we left shortly after this shot ... the score was 10 - 3 .....

Opinions of our first baseball game together changed a little once we got some food for the bellies ... so thankful that food and sodas were included with the FREE tickets!! WhoooHooo .. someone out there knows it takes more than an $20 to feed my brood ..... especially at this stadium where $20 will pay for your hot dog, coke and cotton candy!!!
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I have every intention to start blogging regularly again this weekend. I need to get in school/mama of a son in junior high mode REAL soon ..

Aug 4, 2008

Slippery Slope

OK .. I admit it. I CANNOT feed, clothe, bathe 3 boys AND be a wife, lover, best friend, AND clean, wash, grocery shop, AND volunteer at church, at the nursing home, at an adoption ministry AND get ready for school in two weeks ..... AND

BLOG!!!! EFFECTIVELY!


Unless you have a strange desire to read o so boring material or at least a little more than what you get anyway .. hehehe ...

So, I am joining the millions of women who have decided to take a break from my award winning, tickle your bone, laugh out loud posts until I can get a handle on it over here. I don't know how to autopost (I'm not sure if blogger has that feature), but the archives are an open book.

Ethan starts school later in the month and perhaps the daily inspiring posts will pick back up at that time and the 2 of you will be very happy! (SMILE)

Jul 31, 2008

I'm just saying ...

If you have SONIC in your neighborhood, you just may run into me and the kids on any given day of the week between 2:00-4:00 for Happy Hour and 1/2 priced drinks and slushes. We have practically been to every location w/i a 25 mile radius from home.

With the 100 degree+ days we have been having, it has been the best 50 cents I have spent all summer.

Jul 30, 2008

Right between the eyes

Renee Swope, Proverbs 31 ministries, posted this video on her blog yesterday and I couldn't stop crying.

My cardboard testimony:

Trying to pleasing everyone around me
PLEASING MY SAVIOR



Thank God, I did NOT have to perfect for God to change me and use me!

Jul 28, 2008

I've been gone but not too far ...

I have been at my women's conference and my kids have been here with daddy with a few sniffles and dry heaves.

I missed my crew and will post later about having 3 boys and 1 man around the house when sickness abounds.

Some of you already know where I am headed .....

Jul 22, 2008

Working vs Staying at Home (My story)

I am not writing today to debate who should work and who should stay at home. I think that is a discussion for husband and wife to pray and make the decision.

I have worked since I was 16 ... even while I was in college. I have not always had a great paying job, but God has blessed me with the income I needed to pay my bills, now whether I paid them or not IS another story. :)

When D and I were dating, he often talked about me staying at home and I always agreed with him. We said we would live off one income even before we had children so if either of us ever needed to stay home, we would be able to survive. We both agreed when we had children, I would stay home.

When I got pregnant with Ethan, life did NOT allow me to stay home because D was in between jobs for a while and when he got one that" fit", the benefits were great for one person, but not a family. We also needed a larger place and some new things around the house for the baby and boy o boy those "cute" little things we said we would do, you know ... me stat at home? - - went straight out the window.

We were NOT living on one income and in fact, we couldn't if we tried at that point. God allowed me to have a state position in the same city where we lived and I only had to drive .5 miles to get to work AND D could walk to his job if he wanted to and sometimes he did just that. My brother's homeschooling sister in law and her husband were planning to move here and she agreed to keep Ethan and the timing could have not have been better. Carla lived around the corner from my office and she had young children and Ethan soaked it all up.

Life was good. Real good. So of course, we didn't talk about staying at home anymore until Carla wanted to go back to work. Again, God orchestrated things where I did not have to come home, but this time Ethan stayed w/ Carla's mom and she took excellent care of him for a year or so, and again - - we put off the talks of me coming home.

You know where this is going. By now - - all plans of me coming home were gone and we incurred some more "items" and by now we needed both our incomes.

My job was always flexible so it wasn't a bad situation by any means and we didn't start thinking about me being at home again, until we got pregnant with Denham. By now I was working in the healthcare field providing services for seniors and I really enjoyed the work. When Denham died, I immediately went back to work to get my mind off what had just happened. 6 months later, we were pregnant with Austin.

D and I started talking about me coming home to be with Austin, but on paper, it just wasn't going to work. By now Ethan was sick and we had to make some decisions fast. So I stayed home for 4 months and went back to work. I needed to work, not only for money, but for my sanity. If I had stayed home, I would have gone into major depression. Ethan's situation at that time was unexplainable and very hard to deal with.

The people I worked for were GREAT and allowed me the time I needed to take care of Ethan and Austin and carry flexible hours, plus I really like helping people who for the most part are not considered important by many people in our culture. I identified with the company's motto and wanted to work there as long as was able to do so.

As most of you know Ethan had his surgery last year and I knew then I could not work anymore. We could not see into the future and we didn't know just what was going to happen. I knew he needed me to work with him and help him in school and learn how to live life all over again. I knew he needed to be with me.

The company I had worked for had been so wonderful and I felt like I was letting them down by leaving. I had built a relationship with many of our patients and our staff and didn't want to stop serving them, but my family needed me and they always come first.

So over the last three years, I have battled what to do because I did not want to be at work, uphappy thinking about being at home and did not want to be at home, unhappy and wishing I could work.

There are many aspects of working and staying at home that provide pros and cons. I have been home for the last solid year and have enjoyed it A LOT! When I was asked if I could do some work these last two weeks, I jumped at the chance, besides, the boys summer camp schedule worked in my favor.

The first week was rough for me, because I had settled into a routine at home and now I was all off. We ate late, got up late and nothing at home was like I like it. I didn't like the way I was feeling. At the same time I enjoyed being back at work, jumping back into my old job, and getting a feel for some new things.

Week two was rough again, but I felt like I could get adjusted, because we have been talking about me going back to work at least part time. Some things have changed around here in the last month or so and we need to make some decisions.

These last two weeks were rough because I was out of my comfort zone and didn't think I was gonna be able to do the job and do the job well and I will admit, I missed being home. BUT I decided to be a big girl, tough it up and work. Things would get adjusted at home, but I had to set the tone.

I thank my husband for working so hard (he always has) which allowed me to be home on and off for the last 3 1/2 years, but I don't want him working himself in the ground or working 3 or 4 jobs and where my children NEVER see him. My boys love and miss him and NEED to be with him, so I will work and I am glad I can work somewhere I enjoy working and work for people who need someone who cares. (Our seniors)

I believe we all have seasons in our lives and my season right now is to work a little, BUT I am thankful and blessed by God to have a flexible employer who is willing to work with me and all my "issues".

In the end it is all about balance. Whether I am home or not. If I don't make home and family a priority, I have failed miserably in God's eyes and I don't want to do that.

Making sure I follow my golden rule ... God, family, and then work.

Jul 21, 2008

In the company of Women

I have not been able to get to any of the Deeper Still or Going Beyond conferences this summer, but I was NOT going to miss Desperate for Jesus in Dallas for nothing in the world.

Priscilla Shirer, Patricia Ashley, Iris Blue and Vicki Yohe singing .. man o man ... I am NOT gonna miss this.

I have not always enjoyed being around women ...... Now hold on before you throw your shoe at me. I have not enjoyed friendships with women, because the relationships were so fake, so unreal, so catty, so "stab in you in the back, while I smile right in your face" kinda relationships.

When I was in high school, I was a cheerleader and had a lots of fun and traveled, but I really never really fit in with the other girls and did not really feel like they wanted more than just to cheer with me. I tried hard, but I never felt the "connection". They were nice girls, but no connection.

When I went off to college, I joined a church near campus and jumped right in with my servant attitude. I attended church most Sundays and wanted to get to know some ladies I could hang out with, study with, laugh with, but nothing ever worked out. Again, nice girls some of them anyway, but no connection.

Then I joined a sorority and made some new friends, but had to leave school the next semester because my mom was VERY sick and I wanted to be near her. When I came back home, the girls I knew growing up had outgrown me or had a different agenda I could not get with or wanted to be a part of therefore, I was labeled "stuck up".

Then I joined the church away from the church I grew up in and made a few friends only to later find that I was being talked about being my back on a regular basis. I had a hunger for Jesus, but no one around me could "get me" ya know? I was the weirdo, the religous fanatic, the Jesusfreak.

BUT one day, God introduced me to present circle of friends and my present church and things have never been the same. We are all Desperate for Jesus. Desperate to hear from Him, learn from Him, lean on Him. We want to celebrate Him. My new friends laugh, love and cry together. We can vent, scream, yell, encourage, support and love each other no matter what.

I have wanted to attend Women of Faith, Deeper Still or Going Beyond with my friends for a year now, but the timing was never right. When I read the blogs and stories of what wonderful things God allowed, I envied the women who were able to attend. (Just being real). When I look at the pictures, you just know God showed up at these arenas and these women were blessed.

But then God said, "I have something for you, Jai, just for you" and he is allowing me to attend and experience my own time with Him and spend time in the company of women where I can enjoy, cry with, and pray for women at this conference and have some girl time.

I pray in advance for the women I will hang out with, the women I will meet and that we will be obedient to what we will hear this weekend. I want a fresh word, a new word from my Lord. Thank you that what You have for me is for me. I want to be content with this life and the friendships you have given me. I want to be careful not to take them for granted.

I thank Him that He has allowed me to come full circle and not only enjoy being around women, but He has given me some friendships that I will treasure forever and ever and couldn't imagine my life without knowing these special ladies.


Way more than I ever intended to write today ...........

Jul 12, 2008

People need the Lord






The original version is by Steve Green. This version by Chonda Pierce and Bonnie Keen.


Everyday they pass me by,
I can see it in their eyes.
Empty people filled with care,
Headed who knows where?
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On they go through private pain,
Living fear to fear.
Laughter hides their silent cries,
Only Jesus hears.
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People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize, people need the Lord?
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We are called to take His light
To a world where wrong seems right.
What could be too great a cost
For sharing Life with one who's lost?
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Through His love our hearts can feel
All the grief they bear.
They must hear the Words of Life
Only we can share.
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People need the Lord, people need the Lord
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize that we must give our lives,
For people need the Lord.
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People need the Lord.

Join Amy and the other ladies who post each Saturday w/ TSMSS over here!

Jul 9, 2008

Fire !!! (doom, doom, doom)

Are you married? Thinking about it? Do you have good marriage? Are you in a bad marriage? Do you want a better marriage? Are you tired of the status quo? Is your spouse your friend or your lover or both? Do you feel like roommates? Is God IN your marriage? Do you want to see a radical change in your love for your spouse or their love for you? Is God a part of your marriage?

If you answered YES to any of these questions and even if you said NO, mark your calendars for a great Godevent, September 26, 2008.

We are making a date of it and bringing a few friends. I promise you WILL NOT regret it!

Jul 5, 2008

God Bless America!


My family continues to pray for our country and the men and women who are serving in the military fighting for us.
We praise God for allowing us to live in the US as we celebrate the ultimate freedom in Jesus who died for us and the freedoms God allows us to have in this country!
I have always loved this song and wanted to share it with you this weekend.
Lee Greenwood - God Bless the USA!

Jul 1, 2008

Terrible Tuesday ...

Well not really, but can I just say two words? Stinky diaper! DeClan has started taking off his own diaper shortly after ... shall I say ... making a poopy. After taking off his diaper and dragging it all over the floor THEN he tells me .. oooowwwee .. mommy ... and points to his b**t ...

So it has been a good day although I have spent most of it on my knees, but my floors are cleaner than they have been in a good while.

Make it a stink free day :)

Jun 30, 2008

MeaningFULL Monday

Today is a lazy day after a weekend of small illness around here, but as I wipe noses and behinds, provide blankies and cover to my little ones and as Ethan helps out around here, I can't help but reflect on the goodness of God - - through the good and the bad.
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DeClan (19 months) is talking so much it amazes me - - his vocabulary includes, but is not limited to the following: egg, mik, outside, ice, mama, dada, both brothers names w/ no vowels, football, basketball, toes, snack, cracker, cookie, shoes, comprende, no, "I got you", "I got it", purple, white, car and shoes. There are a lot of words we cannot comprehend, but that does not stop him from getting what he wants, WHEN he wants it.
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Austin (newly 3) is talking so much and does not want to stop talking .. only when he sleeps. Austin decided to wait until he was 2 1/2 before he said anything outside mama and dada, that it had me worried ... so much so I asked the doctor everytime we visited if something was wrong with him and she said no, just give him time. I guess he is making up for lost time. A few weeks ago he took of DeClan's diaper and then told my husband DeClan needed a new diaper because he was "disgusting!". Disgusting? He was VERY serious. We asked him what that meant and he said he poopooed everywhere and that is disgusting. Hmpf.
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Ethan (11 1/2) is savoring every moment of being home for the summer. He has enjoyed not having to get up and run the "race" of school, deadlines, homework, teachers, and not so kind children. He has mentioned homeschooling a few times, but is excited about starting junior high next year. Junior high? He was just in my belly.
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I will admit though I am a little scared that my baby is no longer one, but asking where they come from. He is also asking about his life as an adult and who his wife will be since he discovered he cannot marry my uncle's beautiful girlfriend. (She is really pretty)
We had put of explaining the birds and the bees w/ Ethan because his memory was not that great after the seizures and he was behind maturity wise, but I think the last 6 to 8 months seizure free, the brain tumor no longer being an issue, we will have to sit him down and have a more frank discussion that what we have been doing. HELP!!!!
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"D" (husband of almost 13 years) - I love him more and more each day. I don't always say it and demonstrate it in the best way, but I really do love him and am in love with him. I have thanked God for him in the past, but way more today and a sea of marriages around us have begun the great divide. I cannot say I understand who so many and why these particular marriages are broken, but I KNOW who can RESTORE, RENEW and REFRESH. Our great GOD. D and I do not have the perfect marriage by any means, but we have been blessed with a good one.
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We have grown spiritually together and I pray for many more years to get to know each other and grow old physically and in the Lord.

Thank you Lord for this family you have blessed me with.

Jun 28, 2008

Call on Jesus





I don't mean to start this beautiful weekend with doom and gloom, but this has been another hard week. Not for me personally, but for people around me. The world seems to be falling apart .. broken relationships, unbiblical relationships forming, sick children, tragic deaths of young lives, ..... I then I made the mistake of watching the news last and the first 3 stories just sent me to my knees.

BUT GOD, thank God .. He is there for us to call on Him. He sees and He knows! He is NOT worried about the days ahead and I know I should not be either. I am going to trust Him and call on the Name of Jesus for every detail in my life and the things that are going on in this world.

Nicole C Mullen.

Jun 25, 2008

Final Days at Disney ...

Here are more pictures from the trip .....


We have A LOT of people to thank for this wonderful vacation (the first in 13 years for our family) but two non profit organizations get our family's "Above and Beyond" award!

Make a Wish Foundation - We had no idea when we were told 5 years ago about Ethan's brain tumor that once God healed him, we would be given the trip of a lifetime! MAW gave Ethan a bon voyage party a week before we left for Florida and gave the kids wish backpacks FULL of goodies! Even though this was Ethan's wish, the MAW staff did NOT leave out Austin and DeClan. You know around here we have to have 3 of everything.

We plan to continue working with this organization as a family for years and years to come! We were and ARE still today simply overwhelmed! Overwhelmed by the planning, the details, the friendly wish granters and on and on and on.

If you are thinking about a non-profit organization to support, please consider Make A Wish. Families dealing with sick and healing children need this "time away from the world".

Give Kids the World Village - This is the resort where we stayed. Home for all wish kids if they choose a trip to Disney. It felt like home away from home. 2 BIG bedrooms, whirlpool tub, pools, trains, video games, putt putt, and just flat out REALLY nice people, mostly volunteers. We all literally cried when we had to check out Friday. They catered to Ethan's EVERY need. Even had a pizza delivery to the villa every night if he wanted it and ice cream ooooo the ice cream .. D and I gained at least 10 pounds from the late night sundaes and shakes! :) All totally F-R-E-E! They also work with the local theme parks and attractions to make sure that the family has tickets to the parks they would like to visit, get free parking, and the parks make sure the wish child is able to move to the front of the line (whowhoo) no matter how long the line is (we were NOT rude when we moved in front of the lines, BUT thankful) and the parks also make sure that if there are some medical issues or needs, you have a place to "recollect" yourself.

Jun 23, 2008

Disney - Magic Kingdom Day!


This is DeClan .. the photo is supposed to be at the bottom of the page ...



Here is the whole family with Mickey and Minnie! I didn't think I was star struck, but boy I felt a little goose pimple when they called us to take our pictures! As you can tell Austin and DeClan have no interest whatsoever in taking a picture, but afterwards they got a hug from Minnie and decided to hug Mickey too after they noticed he was looking on. :) Oh and my hair, do not look at my hair! Florida proved not the place for my hair. It was very uncomfortable to whole week, but I decided to grin and bear it.






So, we were off to Disneyworld and planned to spend the whole day at one park. We gathered our frozen water and snacks and headed to Magic Kingdom. I had been to Disneyworld before, but never Magic Kingdom.


Once you park and get on the tram you still have to get on the monorail or the Ferry to get to the entrance of the park. Not a bad proposition, but remember we had 3 kids, a stroller, backpacks, and 2 WalMart bags full of frozen water. I had no plans of paying 2.50 for a 50 cent bottle of water. Ya know?

By this time in our trip D had become a pro grabbing the kids out of the stroller, closing the stroller and jumping on the tram in 15 seconds. I will admit the glide through the Disney property (we chose the monorail) was nice and we even went through Disney's contemporary hotel - - yes, I said THROUGH. Seemed odd to have a real live monorail passing through the lobby of the hotel, but if it works for them, okaaay.


We finally made our way to the entrance of the park where we had to have our bags and purses searched for an contraband, but I swear if you have kids and lots of bags, by the third bag it seemed as though the ruler was only being used to shuffle some papers. (kinda scary when you think about it.)


We went in the entrance and the first thing we saw was Cinderella's castle! It was beautiful, magical, bigger than I imagined and HOT! Ya'll at 10:00 in the morning, it was ALREADY hot! So yes, by 12noon all that frozen water we brought in was just as lukewarm and the water in my birdbath right now, but that is another story. eeeuuuwwww


Anyhoo, we just had to get some of those Mickey Ears - the trip could not have been complete without them Austin said, so we ponied up $30.00 for all 3 to have ears and $9.00 to get their names embroidered on the back. DeClan could have cared less .. he kept throwing his ears out of the stroller, but my pictures would have looked so bad without them. Mommies, you know how we want certain pictures to look? EARS HAD TO BE PURCHASED .. even if that meant me cooking or making sandwiches that night. (hehehe)


I also plan to have the ears framed in a two sided photo box so we can really enjoy the memories of this great vacation.


We met up with some friends and tried to ride every ride available to us at Magic Kingdom. We took frequent water breaks and might possibly know every shade opportunity in the park. Did I tell you it was hot? Ethan had a ball driving me around in the cars, flying up and down on Dumbo with his dad, eating very sticky cotton candy and lots of lemon icees, LOTS!


Before we knew it Ethan got sick from all the heat and we had to make our way to the Wish building to sit down and cool off. (Disney is so great with the Wish families). We checked in the wish area and sat down for about an hour. Ethan was able to play some games and watch Disney movies. He was better after 30 minutes or so. He has been doing so well, we tend to forget or are suppressing it) that he still has some medical issues.


I took time to cool down and then resume my mommy duties by changing diapers, pull ups and clothes and watering down the younger two so they could be a little more comfortable. Now of course everyone was hungry.


We made our way to an Old-Fashion Hot Dog/Corny Dog stop and ate until we could not eat anymore. Everything was fresh, everything was good (it better be at $35.00), but we felt refreshed, which was all that mattered at that point. Have you ever been around 3 kids who are starving? Even though we had just had snacks an hour earlier?


Just as we finished eating, the mid afternoon Magic Kingdom parade started and we knew we were not moving because we had the best seats in the house. Number one we had seats, number two we were right up front. Boy was it a hoot! All the characters (I know they were dying in the costumes) came riding through on the floats and the kids were so giddy to see all their favorite characters.

The parade ended, D joined at the table (he was taping the parade for us) and we left to see more Magic Kingdom. Out of nowhere ... the wind started blowing, lighting started dancing across the sky and rain, heavy rain started coming down in buckets .... and we had to hide out and wait.


It had rained a lot this vacation, but most of the time the showers would cool us off and stop within 10 minutes. NOT this time. We waited for more than an hour and a half and when it let up just a little, we decided to go home.

We made it back to the monorail where the line was so long, I knew it would be forever before we got back to the village. Not to mention that the monorail IS electric, so weren't just able to HOP on .. so we waited more, but met some very nice families while we were in line, because DeClan had become our family ambassador, waving and winking at all the ladies around him.



I cannot for the life figure out how to get the pictures under or over the right paragraphs. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!


Jun 21, 2008

Meaningless

I have not been able to particpipate in TSMSS in a while so I thought this might be a good weekend to join in. People told me for weeks that I would need a vacation AFTER the vacation and I will admit, I didn't believe them, but boy o boy, this week has really been hard.
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Yes, I AM thankful for the week long totally paid for vacation (PRAISE GOD), but I believe the highs of it all left an opportunity to come crashing down if I wasn't careful. Unfortunately, I came crashing down the last few days..... BUT GOD got me right back up again after I prayed and absorbed all that He has done for me and my family. God put things in perspective for me.
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Makes you wonder though .. how in the world do people live this life we have without God? There is NO WAY I could have made it through the last few days, 5 years or all of my life for that matter without having the Father to come to, depend on, lean on, cry out to, praise for, thank Him for .. there is NO way.
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And yet, I do matter to Him. He has a gazillion things and children to take care of (stated so nicely in a childlike manner), but even in all of that .. He knows who I am, where I am and what I need.
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So today, my contribution to TSMSS is from Anthony Evans, not Pastor Evans, but his son ... A song called Meaningless. This life, my life IS meaningless without Jesus.

Jun 18, 2008

Disney - Animal Kingdom/Epcot



Monday we visited Disney's Animal Kingdom and Epcot. Here you can see Ethan right up close with a Scarlet Maccaw! Ethan has had no problem remembering all the names of the wonderful animals God created that he was able to see. This was by far one of the best places at Disney. Everything is hands on and up close!
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We got on the infamous Safari ride at Animal Kingdom at I simply could not believe how close we were to all the animals. We will definitely be back! We took pictures, but because the jeep ride was so bumpy, none of them turned out right. So if you are headed to Disney - look at this first. You gotta go on this tour.
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Later Monday afternoon, we went to Epcot where the kids were sort of hohum, why did we come here, but D and I enjoyed the journey through time and technology.
We managed to get on the Nemo ride so the kids could say they we did something for them, but for the most part, I think, Epcot may be for older kids and adults. Oh and thinking about dining at one at the favoured resturaunts? Better make reservations at least 3 months before you trip. We ended up eating $30.00 hamburgers and fries at the Electric Umbrella!
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Tuesday, we are off to Magic Kingdom!

Jun 17, 2008

Disney - Day Two Universal Studios




This is the place known as the Gingerbread House where we had breakfast EVERY morning. Scrumptious, mouth watering full grandma Minnie's breakfasts. Eggs, hash browns, sausage gravy, biscuits, waffles, bacon, ham, fruit, cereal and yogurt.

Needless to say, we ate and ate very well.

We visited Universal Studios Sunday, but I cannot find those photos ... sorry, so click here and you will get an idea of what we did.

Ethan got to meet SPIDER MAN and take a photo with him!!! Wooohoo!

Jun 16, 2008

Disney - Our resort village












We arrived in Florida from a wonderful, dramaless flight and there was an attendant from our resort village waiting for us holding a sign with Ethan's name on it. The attendant helped D with the luggage, walked us through the maze of the Orlando airport, straight to Avis where a fully loaded van complete with 3 DVD/gameplayers and carseats was waiting for us.
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The directions were perfectly provided for us. It was a beautiful day and when we arrived at the resort village we were AMAZED at what we saw. A place just for kids like Ethan!
After checking in, we were escorted to our own private villa and given a tour of what we would call our home away from home for at least a week. The kids jumped out of the van and straight for the rocking chairs on the porch. Something they have not seen before, but knew just what to do.
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One of the photos above is of the ice cream shoppe, where you could have ice cream ALL DAY LONG anyway you liked it ... on a cone, in a sundae, or a shake .. with sprinkles on top! Whatever YOU wanted for FREE ... yes, FREE .... needless to say, the weight that was once lost before the trip is now found!
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Ethan and the kids were also able to play putt putt all day, swim, ride the trains, authentic video games, boat racing, fishing, did I mention ice cream and homemade lemonade? All day. We had been told a lot kids do not want to leave the village to do to Disney because they are spolied rotten at GKTW and that was the case with Ethan as well.
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I attended the parent orientation and recieved the free tickets and parking passes for DisneyWorld, Universal Studios, and Sea World.
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D and would have to sit down and plan the week. What a problem to have!
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Praising God! Praising God!

Jun 15, 2008

Disney - Day One








Hats off to the Make a Wish Foundation for blessing us with this fantastic blow your mind vacation!

Saturday - we woke up at 3:00am so we could go to the parking and ride where we would leave our van so they could drop us off curbside at the airport for a 7:20am flight. We made it just in time, 5:15am.
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We packed 4 suitcases to be checked and 3 backpacks for the flight FULL of snacks for the trip. No thank you to the 4 dollar breakfast sandwich!
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We checked in, gave the AA rep our suitcases and got in line for the security check. But wait ... who had the tickets? Me? D? I checked us in while he was loading the bags and handling the stroller, but we both had to shown ID. Did the AA rep give us the boarding passes? Oh no, she just went on break ... go back and retrace our steps ... whew, there they are right there on the FLOOR!!! I breathe a HUGE sigh of relief and pray this is NOT the way things will go from here on out.
Thank you God for watching over the tickets!
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We go through security with 3 kids, a stroller and backpacks for each person, oh yes and we had to take our shoes off of course! We wait for the flight to board and take one more bathroom break. We finally board the plane and we are off to Florida!

Jun 6, 2008

Packing so soon seemed like a good idea ...

I wanted to start early so I could a handle on things and be o so prepared for the trip ...
BUT NOW I HAVE TOO MANY choices!

I have been washing clothes and finding outfits that have been in storage that would be just too cute on the young men while posing for pictures in Florida ... and now the suitcases are overflowing and spilling out of the den .. a stark contrast from the photos the other day .. I'm too embarrased to take a picture .. hehehehe

You would think that having a washer and dryer in the room would help me pick 4 outfits and make it easier .. but unfortunately it has made me even crazier about WHAT to pack ..

What to do .. what to do ... gotta figure out something soon ....

Jun 2, 2008

There are some things that have taken me away from you ....


(Please forgive the jumbled post, blogger is on the fritz today)
For more than a month now, I have been packing for a week long trip that is more than a week away ...
Hubby thinks I am crazy for starting so soon, but I needed to know that everything that needs to be packed will be packed. I don't feel like finding a Wal-Mart to fill in the gaps while I am on vacation. (SMILE)
We have only allowed 1 suitcase per person (I guess that is enough) so it has made packing and planning very interesting. (Thank you very much airline officials), especially with two todds in tow.
And so the suitcases have become part of the decor as I add to my list of things we don't have in groups of 5, but it will all be over soon ... the suitcases will close, the trip to the airport will come, we will land and get to the resort and discover that even after all this careful planning ....
"Mom, I forgot my toothbrush" will come ringing in the first day at Disney!
Have a great day!