Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011 was very nice. More than nice.  For our second Christmas in the Deep South, we were able to once again spend it with family at our house - this time with my family (last year Drew's parents and one sister were with us). My brother and his family along with my parents arrived Friday.  We had a delicious dinner cooked by Drew then opened presents.

I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing my kids playing and hanging out with their cousins! Such fun!

Drew and I got a portable heater from my parents - which we will use quite often since high school soccer season is during the winter. Even if we are in the Deep South, it's cold at night.

Saturday morning we enjoyed a large breakfast before my brother and his family left for their house. Saturday night we enjoyed the Christmas Eve service at our church then rode around looking at Christmas lights.   Of course, as we were looking at the lights the kids were trying to get us to drive faster so we could get home - yes, they were ready to open presents again!

Of course, we did finally get home and yes, open presents again.  And yes, the kids were happy.

Sunday the kids got full stockings and a few more presents. My mom and I were up first - we were getting our coffee when I got a text from Melissa - "can I go to the bathroom?? I'm about to burst!! SAVE ME!!"

We just laughed! After she returned to her room, she started texting again - "when can I come and see my stockings???" Then she started to text her brother to wake him up! 

After church we had a wonderful dinner with my parents as well as two airmen from Drew's office that have no family in town.  My aunt joined us late in the afternoon.  Later in the evening we did presents with my aunt - if you are counting, that's number four time for presents! 

I think the kids enjoyed all the present time instead of just opening everything at once!

This morning we just hung out for awhile before my parents and aunt left.  Not long after they left, one of Drew's sisters, her husband, their daughter with her husband and baby arrived for lunch.

We love time playing with the baby!!  They only stayed an hour or so as they were driving back to their houses, but anytime we get to see the baby, we'll take it. Oh, and yes. Anytime to see ANY family, we'll take it!

Now, I'm snuggled up in bed with one son and Drew watching the Saints take on the Falcons.

Love that I have at least one football team that knows how to play and WIN!!

Great times....wonderful times!

Friday, December 23, 2011

We Have a WINNER!!

Yes, we have a winner - ME!!!! SO EXCITED!!

A few months ago I won a book from a blog contest - this week I won again!  Last time was from Pantry of Praise a book about setting up a food pantry for those in need of food. I was able to pass along the book (after reading it, of course!) to the director of the soup kitchen we volunteer at.  This week I won a book from Annie Blogs.

The great thing about this contest is that I won two copies of Annie's book - From Head to Foot.  Part of the contest was to list whom you would give the second book to. I said I would be giving the second book to my friend, Tricia, because she teaches tenth grade girls Sunday School class at my church.  Tricia is excited as well!

I have been reading Annie's blog for several years now - read through the post of her writing this book -  I'm looking forward to reading it!

What was also a great surprise is she added a nice hair bow (which Melissa has already made off with) and a Christmas CD of one of her friends - what a nice way to start this weekend!

The Next Great Chef

Here's William rolling out stars to make a cookie tree. Actually, all the kids did some baking last night. see if I can remember to take a picture of the finished product...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Pirate Christmas

Benjamin at his class Christmas party....he's suppose to be a pirate....yeah... I know. Pirates & Christmas don't usually mix, but that's the theme his school picked. It's based on a book - A Pirates' Night Before Christmas. Yes. It's a crazy school.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Carol of the Bells

Today it dawned on my that one of my favorite Christmas carols, Carol of the Bells, is not actually about Jesus. That made me slightly distressed. And sad.

So, I decided to reread the lyrics. Sure enough. Not one word about Jesus. But at the end of the lyrics I read this:

Carol of the Bells, also known as the Ukrainian Carol, was adapted from Shchedryk by Mykola Leontovych (1877-1921), which was first performed in December 1916 by students at Kiev University. The original Ukrainian song is based on an old Slavic legend that every bell in the world rang in honour of Jesus on the night of his birth.

While I seriously doubt all the bells ranged - even if there were bells waaaay back then - its a nice thought.

So. No longer distressed. Or sad.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Yes, More Books

Today seems like a good day to add some more to my book, here goes!

I know I have posted about 5 Conversations You Must Have with  Your Son & 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter By Vickie Courtney. Both  are good - both gave Drew and I several things to think about. We have a long standing deal with our kids: no tattoos, we'll help pay for college. Tattoos, and you are on your own. (This great idea was from our brother-in-law, Randy - Thanks, Randy!!)  (I also, enforce how painful and how many needles are involved with tattoos - Melissa is a total need-a-phob!! Even at 13 we had to have her held down just to get the flu shot!) This author goes even further by making the suggestion to have a written contract by your college student. In the contract you would list exactly what grades you would expect along with church attendance and involvement in other wholesome activities.  If the student fails a class, they would then have to pay the parents back the money for the failed class.


Not sure if Drew and I will go so far as write a contract, but it did get us (ok, more me!) thinking about how do I want their college life to look like. Written contract or not, I do think we will sit down with the kids and talk about what our expectations are.

Another contract this author had with her children - verbal this time - is that if they ever decide to live with someone before marriage (shaking up here, not just a roommate), then don't be expecting the parents to pay for a big wedding. And if you (or the girlfriend) is pregnant before the wedding, don't except a large wedding.

That, also, got a wow from us.  Wow in in something to think about. This author is very clear and strong in her beliefs. I admire that. While I agree with her Biblical stands, I'm not sure if all these contracts is the way Drew and I want to go.   I guess we want to leave room for grace.

I have, also, finished Resolution for Women by Prisilla Shier.  There is one more week in which I will discuss the last few chapters with my Bible study ladies. I have really enjoyed this book.  This is the book for women based on the resolutions from the Couragous movie.  This book has a lot of good stuff in it! 

One fiction book I read a few weeks ago was the Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. It's about a little  German girl during WWII. What makes this book unique is that it's told from the view point of Death.   Even though there was some depressing parts - after all, its during WWII!!, it was an enjoyable book.

I am now reading Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman - wow. So stinking good! It talks about the different between fans of Christ and true followers of Christ.  I'm only half-way through with it at this moment, but am very impressed.

That's all for now. My current goal is to read the book on my shelf and stay away from the library. Not sure what I'll read next....I have a Billy Graham book on the shelf that has been sitting there for awhile....I think it's time to read it and pass it on!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A New List

Last year when I started to substitute teacher here, I was just stopped dead in my tracks one day with a thought: One of these boys will try to date my daughter one day.

I really did just stop dead. And took a big gulp. Oh. dear.  I'm not ready for this. Then I did the only sane thing I knew to do: I started to pray.

This week I had slightly different thought: I need a list....a list of boys Melissa will NEVER date. 

After all, the purpose of dating is to find a mate. And if you can't sit down, be quiet, do your work, what makes you think will be good husband material???

So, unless you have a "come to Jesus" meeting, please, don't ask to date my daughter.

(Oh, and on a different note: I'm at 7. That would be 7 students I have had removed from my room for disruptive behavior this year.  The good news is word is getting out that I don't take much crap. And when I say I'll call the front office, I really will. They really don't pay me enough to deal with disrespectful behavior.)

Monday, December 5, 2011


These are the best little things! Makes me even more ready for Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Making Memories!

Today around 3:30 Drew decided it would be the perfect time to get our Christmas tree. Ignore the lateness of the day. Ignore the rain. Ignore that the phone number to the Christmas tree farm now belongs to someone else.  But a perfect time for an adventure and to make memories.

So, we did.

Despite grumpy and complaining kids....

Off we went in the rain - thankfully, it was just sprinkling....not a hard rain at all.  We when got to the tree farm we could see two sets of trees. One set was just pine trees - over-grown ugly pines trees. The other side had some beautiful trees - some what overgrown as well. We drove up the rest of the driveway to the house to see how much the trees were...and a got a surprise.

It was no longer a Christmas tree farm....which would explain all the overgrown well as the wrong phone number.

But the house owner was very nice - generous even. She said that while we couldn't have any of the trees from the left side (due to an agreement with the prior owner who DID run a Christmas tree farm that these trees would always be available for her children and grandchildren) we could have any tree we wanted from the right side.

Yeah...the ugly side...but we got out of the van and went to have a look. Oh, the adventure.  It was continued to rain so there was plenty of water and mud to dodge as well as horse poo.

Lots and lots of poo.

I have never seen so much poo before!

But we found a tree - or at least at top of a tree. And to top it all off as we were getting it tied to the top of the van the rain went from sprinkles to a heavy downpour.

Ah, yes, the memories we make when we get out of the house on a raining day!

(Melissa trying to stay dry.)
Saw, saw saw it down!

Draggin' it to the van...trying to miss the horse much poo!

Up on the van.

Strapping the tree the rain comes down!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Funny Kids

Back in October we went to Natchez for Great Mississippi Hot Air Balloon Race. Melissa had such a great time last year when she went with one of Drew's sisters, we thought we would all go this year.  And it was a great time - although, it would have been better if Drew didn't get sick and spend most of the weekend in the bed. On that Saturday afternoon I had the kids on the Louisiana side of the river watching the balloons. Afterwards we were to meet up with my in-laws for dinner, but due to the boys playing actually IN the river, we were not presentable for public viewing.
And they  - the boys - smelled. 

Not good for dinner.

So, I told the kids we would just do drive-thru.  As we were talking about exactly which one, Melissa pulled a flyer off the car windshield.  "Oh, mom! We could go here - it says it's a drive-thru."

I took it from her and knew it really wasn't what we wanted. I asked her. "Really? Here?"


"Hmm - really?  It says it has beer, wine, liquors, snacks and ice. - Is there something there you want?"

"Hmmm well......"

"How about shots, mixed drinks, icee, or cigarettes?"

"No, I don't think I want to go there."

Good choice, Melissa.  Good choice.  Only in Louisiana is there another definition for drive-thru's.

My Pretty Girl

Melissa playing dress-up at Nana's house.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Who Exactly is Actually IN Our Family

When William was in kindergarden my Aunt Trish and her friend, Angela, came for a visit.  One of the things they did that week was to bring some books to William's class. When William's teacher asked him to introduced the guest to the class, he said, "This is my Aunt Trish and sister."

Aunt Trish, Angela, and I laughed and laughed over this!  But it made sense.  We never really explained who Angela was - just that Angela was her name. Angela is just one of those good family friends that we take for granted that everyone knows - and knows the connection we have with them.  (The connection being that Aunt Trish and Angela' mom worked together for many years.) 

With that in mind fast-forward to this Thanksgiving....

Last Tuesday the kids asked who all would be at Thanksgiving dinner.  I listed the family members including Aunt Trish.  One of the kids asked if Angela would be joining us as well. I said, "No, I think Angela will be spending Thanksgiving with her family."

Then Benjamin spoke up, "Angela has a family?  I thought she didn't have one and just latched on to our's."

Oh, how we have laughed and laughed over this! Maybe it's not funny to you, but to us it's hysterical!

Then during Thanksgiving afternoon my niece, Ramsey, was talking to one of her cousins from her mom's side of the family.  This cousin asked how exactly does Kelley fit into the family? (Afterall, it's a honest question - you have to remember we have lived far away for many years.)  Ramsey explained that I was her father's sister.  Then the cousin  asked, "Well, then - who is Angela? I thought that was his sister!"

Once again - we find this all hysterical!