Dec 30, 2009

Break Dancing

So it decided to snow on Christmas Eve and it was a sight to behold. Before we knew it there was ice and snow on the streets and it was a great present for Christmas and the reindeer finally felt like they were home. :)

Then yesterday, it started all over again and the boys couldn't have been more excited. They went outside and tried to catch snowflakes on their tongues and "snowsliding" in the grass.

Well, at least 2 of them, my middle child preferred to watch it from the porch. He said he didn't want to get wet & sticky. Imagine that.

Dec 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

From my house to yours .... Hoping you are filled with Jesus.

Dec 16, 2009

One of THE best days of my life ... 14 years ago ..

14 years ago today, the best man that ever happened to me, took my hand from the best daddy in the world, made promises to God and me as we started our covenant relationship with each other.

He is not perfect, but perfect for me. God KNEW who I needed to get through the years with many ups and downs, but we weathered all of them. I pray that God will give us many, many more years together with each other and with our sons. I pray our marriage IS an example for them to each be men of God, especially if and after God blesses them with their own families.

Happy Annivesary baby .. I love you now and forever.

Thank you Lord! I got a good one!

Always and Forever,


Dec 14, 2009

Christmas Tour of Homes

Welcome to our Home! Come on in! We're STILL adding special touches all over the house, but you are more than welcome to have a seat and enjoy the Christmas jazz playing throughout the house.
I'm finally joining in on this fun tour courtesy of The Nester.

I have been wanting to do this for the last couple of years, but my photos NEVER seem to come out the way I want them, so I end up chickening out and just peeking into everyone else's home. :)

This is my angel. She moves around the house every year, but I think I found her permanent place. Right in the entryway. Isn't she pretty?

After a week of trying, I have been unable to get a GOOD photo of the tree, so I have photos of the ornaments that mean so much to us.

Takes me back to the reason for this season. JESUS

This is the tree topper that we will place on the tree Christmas Eve.

My oldest son picks out the yearly family ornament and chose this one for 2009. Beautiful.
My favorite reindeer. (He belonged to my mom) I just inherited him this yr.
There are more of them outside. Wish I could show you, but all the pics are too blurry. Gotta get a better camera.

I know, I need to do more in the kitchen, but I can't keep my peeps out of it, so it's simple, simple, simple now. I love this cookie jar. As you tell someone has been inside.

My front door as you are leaving. Someone needs to shine the door. I didn't realize the bells were rubbing the wood so hard. I won my snowman in an elephant exchange.

As you prepare to leave, please take some cocoa with you. We make it almost EVERY night.

Merry Christmas!
Don't forget to check out all of the other beautiful decor over @ The Nester's Place.

Dec 11, 2009

Good morning heartache

It's been 4 years since my father and 14 years since my mom went home to be with Jesus and it still hurts. No, not as much or as fresh as 2005 or 1995, but nonetheless it hurts.

God gave me three boys to raise and oh how I would love my dad to see his grandboys .. laughing, learning, jumping and loving their lives. He would especially enjoy the fact that the boys LOVE music. Jazz and gospel are their favorites and they hang pretty good with the big boys. They know who Miles Davis is, they Dizzie Gillespie, the Ramsey Lewis trio and on and on. (yea, those are the GOOD ones :) I think my mom would get kick out of being around 3 sho nuf BOYS .. since she raised three girly girls.

The Internet has been an amazing way for me to see in other lives and know that I am not the only one who hurts during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. My mother died at Thanksgiving and my father at Christmas, but they both knew Jesus and are back together in heaven and I WILL see them again.

My husband has both his parents and I am thankful God has allowed me to love them and them love me and so my sons will get to know and love one set of grandparents and a greatgrandmother.

I am blessed and grateful for the time God gave me to know and love my parents.

Matthew 5:4
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

Nov 15, 2009

Preparing for Thanksgiving ...

I LOVE Thanksgiving. I love being with my husband's family. I love preparing and packing for the trip. I love the time in the car. I love the talk time w/ hubby. I love cooler weather. I love Thanksgiving Day w/ family and LOTS of food prepared by a wonderful woman of God. (Love you GranGran) I love creating memories.

We have LOTS to be thankful for. Thankful to the Father - Great things He has done.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, enter His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. Psalm 100:4

Nov 5, 2009

Please join me in prayer ...

I have been following Gavin's story for almost a year now .... please join this family ...

Oct 20, 2009

Remember me?

Please forgive me ... Life HAS been happening ...

Taking our first train trip ....

Face Painting, lots of food and such on the train .... Austin wanted a Nissan Car painted on his head .. not those silly butterflies or spiders ...

Are you sure you know what you are doing?

Rare photo ... all 5 of us at one time ...

Priorities, Priorities. I won't make any excuses. Forgive me ... em K?

Oct 3, 2009

So far so good .. Schoolyear fun ...

Mom, we REALLY do NOT want to take pictures...
Ok, if you insist .. we will try to smile. uuuhhh

Man, these flowers smell good ... who knew?

Sep 30, 2009

Life hands you lemons, so you make BROWNIES

(Sorry for the blurry photo, I guess it is the pan reflection)
Life has been kinda heavy around here for the last two weeks, but God has given us some much lighter moments and we are still cooking, baking, laughing and enjoying each other's company.
So today when the 2yr. old suggested grilled cheese for lunch (yes, the two yr. old), I couldn't resist making a complete comfort food lunch. Grilled cheese, tomato soup and brownies .. delicious FUDGE BROWNIES. Yum, yum

The timeframe has been set .. January 2010

I spoke to the surgeon today and my son's surgery will be scheduled for January 2010. The details are being worked out as we speak.

Thank you for your prayers for our family .. you can't know how much it means to us. I cannot tell you how much peace I have about this journey we are on .. and it IS a journey ... God has grown me up indeed. :) I am concerned about and for my baby (even @ 13 yrs. old), but I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt, God holds my son IN HIS HANDS!!!

He WILL again get the glory out of this and DH and I will continue to shout from the rooftops about the goodness of the Lord and how He is weaving my son's testimony!

Names of the surgery team & departments will be forthcoming for prayers.

Love to you.

Sep 25, 2009

No News ...

The tumor board at the hospital was to have met last week about Ethan's case, but they were not able to get to it. We were told that they would try again yesterday and call us afterwards, but still no call.

Hopefully, today we WILL hear some news, but I have already turned it over to Jesus and I am resting safely, comfortably in His arms.

I AM praying though not only for my son, but for the MANY, MANY children who are being diagnosed with tumors and receive various treatments throughout the country. It is simply amazing to me how many children are sick.

Sep 16, 2009

A new journey ...

I have been away for a few days because I have been trying to absorb the news that Ethan WILL have to have surgery again soon. His tumor fragments are filling in. We saw his neurosurgeon last week and the information hit us like a bolt of kryptonite. He has been doing well for the last 2 years and this visit was to get results from his MRI two weeks ago. We were hoping that they were going to tell us that Ethan would not have to have another MRI until 2010 and now this ....

still processing, BUT God IS good and on the throne. This news did NOT catch him off guard and He is caring for Ethan more than I can.

I am NOT sure how He will get the glory from this new turn of events, but it has certainly brought us to our knees once again .. thank God we had been praying and beseeching Him all along.

The hospital tumor board meets t0morrow and hopefully we will know something soon about when the surgery will take place.

If you think of Ethan, please pray for him.

Thank you.

Sep 8, 2009

Potty Training 101 .. (promise no pictures)

DeClan decided he wants to potty train AGAIN, but this time is VERY different from the other three times. I am not sure when he decided it was in his best interest to try again, but this time seems to be the charm. He has gone so many times today, there is a trail from my office to his bathroom starting to show in the floor. Whoopie!

I had planned to start again in 2013 just before he entered kindergarten, because I keep hearing from great mommies " don't worry, he'll get it and besides, you never see kids in diapers in Kindergarten". Joking .. I am joking ..

All kidding aside, I decided to wait until his third birthday in November because that is when his older brother made his declaration that he was ready to wear Elmo undies and went on his own and never looked back, so I thought I would make it easier on me and wait.

I also said it would be nice to make one more road trip w/o a million bathroom breaks during a 12hr. trip, but I guess we will have to make different plans for Thanksgiving now. When I mentioned it to DH this morning, he just said uhuh and move on his merry way. The idea will sink in sometime this weekend. :)

I am glad though to hopefully say that last week was my last purchase of diapers and pullups. If all goes well, I'll have him in underwear w/i the next month and have a whopping $50.00 to add to the Christmas Club account.

oh and by the way, stock in M&Ms should go up, because that is the reward you get in this house when you "go potty"!

Sep 7, 2009

and then ChickFilA decided to give away food ...

That's all the boys needed to hear. They got our their game gear and we loaded up the van .. daddy too ... and headed to ChickFilA for lunch.
Good for me because I didn't have to cook for a THIRD day .. I think the fam was tired of BBQ anyway. :)

Labor Day Fun

Laughing at my 2yr old because he is giving me the puppydog eyes for playing in the water in his bathroom AND spilling water all over the floor. (I guess he heard me say last night, the bathroom floor need mopping). hehehe

Toddlers, gotta love them.

Sep 3, 2009

Whose schooling who?

This is week two of homeschooling at our house and the oldest son (12) just KICKED MY butt in P.E., not to mention, he schooled me on his history lesson as well. The middle son (4) is wearing me out about when his classes are supposed to take place and when can he take a test and when can .. when can he .. when can he. It really is cute. The youngest (2) is not all that concerned about school just yet, but is all smiles when it is time for snacks, lunch and coloring his numbers (with a snack in hand.)

I am so glad we chose this option for our family. I cannot believe mama is learning so much and I am positive I will be signing up for online college classes next semester. This time I feel like I can complete the degree program and actually learn something. :)

Aug 26, 2009

We R Homeschooling!

.... and have FINALLY been able to get a photo w/o DeClan's eyes being closed. We are trying to get into a "groove" and are taking things day by day.
Never in a million years would I have guessed I would be homeschooling my children, but I am enjoying it.

Aug 11, 2009

Summer fun ...

Who knew toddlers could have THIS much fun @ Dave and Buster's? 1/2 price game day, made it even better!
Tods driving daddy around @ Six Flags .. admit it daddy, you had just as much fun as the boys. (hehe)

Field day for the kids ... you would have though we were given REAL trophies.

Aug 4, 2009

When God won't let go ...

It never occurred to me that @ 40 I would have so many questions about my life unanswered. I am not sure that I thought I would have ALL THE ANSWERS to my life (thus no need to be left on the earth), but I still struggle with things I struggled with when I was younger, although on a more detailed level.


Well, I thought at 40 my career would be all worked out, my children would be well adjusted preteens, celebrating double digit wedding anniversaries (which we are by the way), vacations doable, money problems - solved .. oh and my hairstyle ... on track w/ the rest of world. Ok, I know that last one seems a little trivial, but nonetheless, not getting my hair done on a regular basis has begun to bother me. :)

I just didn't think I would have so many questions or feel so overwhelmed by my life. I started to compare and feel depressed. I know, I know, never do that. I started to get jealous (just being honest) and more dissatisfied with where I am now.

But then God reminds me .. that He has a plan for ME.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Then God reminds me, that He has me in the palm of His hands.
Hebrews 13:5 " God has said, never will I leave you or forsake you."

How comforting to know that God IS always with me and He knows what is best for. Time and time again I want to have control .. at least a little bit anyway AND I want to know what lies ahead .. but time after time, He convinces me that His ways are NOT my ways and His ways are best .. and that NOT knowing .. will allow me to TOTALLY depend on Him.

NOT easy, but very comforting.

Jul 27, 2009

Just when you think ..

you have the right to complain about the things going on in your life, have your own pity party, groan, mumble and get down right mad about things going on in your life .. God allows you to hear about families REALLY going through it like this ... and it makes you fall to your knees and thank God for what He has given you and your family. It makes you pray for other people (which we would should be doing more of anyway) and it makes you realize, that YES things in my life ARE crazy, BUT there is ALWAYS someone else who has it so much more worse than you.

BTW .. Jennifer's faith IS amazing and the way she is handling what is going on is indeed amazing. That is the strength only provided by the Lord in my opinion.

I am NOT saying my issues and problems are not a concern of my great God, because they are and I WILL continue to pray about them, but SMACK DAB right in front of me is a reason to stop all the junk and pray, be thankful and pray some more. Especially after looking at my husband and 3 sons and knowing where we all could be.

Thankful, truly thankful.

Jul 21, 2009

The Protection of God

I had just finished praying with the kids this morning about many things, but the Holy Spirit prompted me to pray about protection and my alertness on the rainy roads.

Not more than 15 minutes later, I was faced with an SUV facing me head on. I veered off the road and into someone's yard to avoid the crash. I then moved my car and parked on a quiet street to gain my composure and shake... my hands were shaking because all I could think was did that just really happen and THANK GOD .... you saved me and my kids today.

I called my husband who said he had JUST prayed for protection for us .. possibly just as the lady was coming around the corner or as I was swerving off the road.

After I got it together, I drove back to where she was and that is when I saw she had hit a tree and landed against someone's chain link fence. She IS ok, her car .. not so much. Neighbors called police and they were on their way.

I gave her my card in case she needed it later and was glad she was ok.

When the Holy Spirit says pray .. PRAY!

Jul 13, 2009

Blog Vacation

It is not like I blog everyday anyway, but I am taking a break so I can get my head together, take care of some things and yes, get ready for fall school year. Ack!

I WILL be in and out, but family comes first and they like eating and I really like taking care of them. :)

Jul 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

It has been a great 4th!! Luv my fam! on Twitpic

(photo taken after long day around LOTS of food)
We had a GREAT time with the family today. Lots of food, fun and laughter! Lots of laughter. Maybe too much food as well. Gauging by the photo, I need to lose more weight. :( I'll get to working on that REAL soon.

With the temps crossing 102 this week, I will more than likely sweat some of the water weight. :)

Anyhoo, the kids had a blast playing with their cousins and godbrothers, eating crispy hot dogs and Earl Campbell hot links. (psst, have you ever had those? They are the best!) That man did more than play some football, he can make some sausage.

My brother came over on his motorcycle (my dad would kill him if he knew he had one) and scared us half to death by peeping through the windows while we were all in the kitchen. He IS a jokster.

We ate a LOT .. oh did I say that .. but more than anything else, the family was together celebrating the freedom we all have in this country, but also the freedom in Jesus we have. What a privilege to be in a country where we can openly celebrate the goodness of God!

Happy 4th!

Jul 2, 2009

A Jewel in His Crown - Ruby

(Orginally posted 7/2/2008)
Updated 2009

6 years ago my daughter Denham was born and died on the same day. We were not expecting her to arrive, but God had another plan.

We were getting ready for a week long vacation (oddly the same vacation this year) when she arrived, but the packing was halted by sharp labor pains and a day later, delivery.

We did not know we were going to have a daughter, so I did not have time before she was born to buy dresses, bows and girlie little things. When I delivered her and heard the nurse say "it's a girl", I was so excited and then remembered, no heartbeat. My sweet baby gril Denham was gone in an instant and then I cried and cried some more.

I miss my little girl .. even today .. 6 years later .. I am glad I got to hold her .. but it does not replace having her here with her earthly family .. having her here with me.

I know she IS with God and I will see her again, but I miss her.
Butterfly kisses my sweet, sweet Denham.
(Ruby is the birthstone for July)

Jun 30, 2009

Summer Food

Summer means one thing ... HOT DAYS! Guess what? A girl's still gotta eat. I love cooking, but the heat makes me just want to melt so obviously I have NO desire to heat up my kitchen. That means we eat A LOT of salad, wraps, meals from the crockpot and please don't forget the grill. Yes, I said crockpot .. the best thing ever invented for a busy woman on the go.

Anyhoo ...

My favorite salad comes from a place called Pappadeaux's. Yes, it is some fancy food with fancy prices, but did I say .. the food is wonderful. Every now and then hubby and I splurge when we make our way to Dallas, but I decided to find out how they make it so I could make it at home. That way I would save $$$, gas and miles on my car. :)

Shrimp, Bacon and Spinach Salad

You will need:

Medium Cooked Shrimp
Cooked and Crispy Bacon (Turkey or Regular)
Blue Cheese Chunks (if you prefer, I don't)
Tangy Tomato Bacon Dressing or Catalina Dressing

Combine the first four ingredients and top w/ the dressing. MMMMMM BTW, I use chicken for the kiddos.

I also like to make Bacon Broccoli Salad ... you may have guessed that I like bacon.:) This reciepe has been passed down from the women @ my church. Dang, they know how to cook!

Bacon Broccoli Salad

You will need:
1 bunch fresh broccoli, washed, drained, broken into little trees (flowerettes)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped celery
5-6 pieces bacon, crispy, drained and crumbled

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. vinegar

Combine salad ingredients together in large mixing bowl. Combine dressing ingredients well. Pour dressing over salad ingredients and mix well. Serve chilled.

There are MORE delicious reciepes over at WeareTHATfamily!!! Hope on over ...

Jun 29, 2009

Fun in the Sun ..

Let the games begin! on Twitpic This is supposed to be a swimming pool, but we decided to add bubbles.

Too many bubbles? yeah, I think so. on Twitpic Even Ethan could not resist the COOL water .. we need to get him his own pool.
Simple fun .. and the kids said they had a blast .. cost me nothing .. the dishwashing liquid was FREE w/ my coupons a few weeks ago, I added a few tablespoons of sugar (to make the blubbles last longer) and they got clean and didn't even realize it! :)

Jun 26, 2009

Ethan's Update - Two thumbs UP!

This is Ethan just after he had to disrobe and dawn a hospital gown. He was appalled at the idea that he could not have his MRI with his regular clothes on and had to wear this "dress". We tried to explain that this was a hospital shirt, not dress and that daddy would NEVER allow such a thing. :)
The hospital has a new policy I was told, because people in other parts of the country had been sneaking in weapons in the radiology departments and causing trouble .. what?
Anyway, Ethan also looks like this because we had to check in @ 6:30AM! Yes, check in at 6:30.
We were able to see his surgeon after the MRI to get an absolutely GREAT update! The brain tumor fragments show NO sign of movement, NO growth and NO change!
Hallelujah!!! Hallelujah!!!!

Jun 25, 2009

Tomorrow is not promised ...

Michael Jackson - the "King of Pop" died today. Wow ... how surreal is that? I am in shock. I know his last few years were not great, but I keep thinking about the younger years and music.
LA Reid said it best .. turn down the chatter and turn UP the music.
Talk about talented .. look at this pose ...
I guess I'll get out all my old albums, cassettes and CDs and Rock the Night away ...


Farrah Fawcett also died today after a long battle with cancer. Ed Mcmahon died earlier this week. Sad, sad, so very sad.


Prayers for their families. Tomorrow is NOT promised. Get your house in order. I am working on mine.

Do YOU know JESUS?

Jun 22, 2009

The lazy days of summer (Photo Edition)

Nuthin like making your own b-day cake.. you get to lick the beaters & everything!
Hanging out w/ Chuck E. Cheese - you can never go wrong there. Hey? where's DeClan?

Look mom, the Lego is as big as ME!

Hanging out w/ ALL the cousins ... there are a few more kiddos on the other sofa!

Safety 1st! Who knew you needed a helmet for a tricycle! Isn't he cute?

Mom finally gave in and let us have a picnic!

Jun 20, 2009

Summertime ..

Ethan has been out of school for two weeks now and the first week was spent @ VBS @ our church. Last week we joined the library's summer reading club and went camping (in the house). So exciting I know.

We have had out of town family in town and/or at the house for the last 3 weeks, which has been a blast, but this weekend I am ready to BE STILL and cook for 5 people. :)

Ethan's science academy was cancelled, so I need to fill that educational gap with something exciting. Macaroni and construction paper? Beans and rice in a jar .. Hmmmm .. NOT .. he is a pre-teen .. I know, we will break out his telescope and make it a project tonight.

This week we plan to go to one of the FREE movies offered in a neighboring city and check out more books at the library.

The heat index is supposed to reach 107 and I am in no way near ready for anything like that, so early in the summer. This may mean we alter our out of the house plans.

Ethan has to have an MRI later in the week, followed by DeClan's 2 yr old check up the day (yes, I know he is 2 1/2). So since we will be gone ALL DAY Thursday and part of Friday for medical stuff, I'll have to adjust the week for all the fun, fun, fun stuff.

Oh yeah, grandmother, the kids are ALREADY talking about packing for our trip to see in a few weeks .... sigh .. are we there yet?

Jun 10, 2009

Believe ...

Ethan at our church anniversary picnic ..

I couldn't believe he wanted to do this ...

May 29, 2009

Two of the BEST words ...

a wife can hear from her husband. My honey gave this to me last night and said he appreciates everything I do for our family!

My husband rocks!

May 24, 2009

Summer, where are you?

We have 10 more days of school. I am TIRED.

I simply cannot wait until I CAN sleep in, work in my PJs and run my kids around for summer activities. We WILL stay home 3 out 5 weekdays this summer, but I have a great list of ideas NEARBY for us to take part in. My gas needle won't even move and my prayer is that the boys will have memories for a lifetime.
(Especially with gas slowly hiking back up near $3.00.)

I am simply tired of school and all the responsibilities that go with it. :) What? You didn't know I was in school? Me either! :)

Oh September, please do not come anywhere NEAR ME!

THAT IS all.

May 22, 2009

Date Night!

Date Night!

Went here!


Very Filling!

Great Fun!

Going Back!


Luv Hubby!

Nuf Said!

May 18, 2009

Momma Lion

For the past two weeks, my husband and I have been dealing with an issue I thought would wait until HIGH SCHOOL, but it has reeked it's ugly head in 6th grade.


I know children are not perfect, especially mine, but my son has been dealing with this issue for a while and did not want to say anything to us, his teachers or anyone he says because the other kids will call him a tattletale. (Especially since he knew his momma has no problems coming up to the school and talking to people.)

He has been bullied by a child who was once his friend and now they cannot make it one whole week without something happening.

Last week, my son had no other choice but to come out and explain everything. You want to know why? Because the bully pushed my son into the water fountain! and YES, there were bruises. He had to go to the school nurse because there was some small bleeding and she called me .. just as I was walking into bible study.

While I was speaking to her, I wanted to use some words that you do not use in bible study or really ever .. I did not use the words, but I did however .. cry.

I didn't mean to cry, but as she was describing what my son had gone through, I could not help myself. In fact, if it wasn't for the women at my bible study, I was on my way to the school to "rescue my son' and share my mind with some people.

But the Holy Spirit said no, not now and I stayed at church, calmed down and prayed .. with not so many words, but the Lord knew what I was trying to say to Him. "Lord, please do not let me open my mouth right now or go to that school or call the Principal again since she has not called me back to give me an update!"

Fast forward a week and Ethan has handled everything well and so have I (but I had to pray first each day) because I really wanted to just check him out of school for the rest of year, but that would have cancelled out his whole year of school, because his momma "over-reacted". (There was second incident last week)

I just finished speaking with the administration and they are putting a plan in place that should keep Ethan safe for the next 14 days. It will also keep me on my knees specifically for my son and other children who are or have been bullied for the next 14 days.

You MUST pray for your children DAILY, specifically. Doesn't mean nothing will happen to them, but it does mean you and your child will hopefully handle the situation in a Godly manner in a time when a lot of people are doubting the sincerity of Christians and how we live our lives.

Doesn't mean we are doormats, but committed to living out a Godly lifestyle in good and in bad.