Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Friday

William had a good start to the weekend - he got to sleep late!  He has an eight o'clock dentist appointment - not worth going to school for twenty minutes. Over all, he got a good report - like most kids, though, he needs to brush more.  Hopefully, he'll get in to that habit!

I was glad to see him pull papers out to study in the drive to the dentist and then again to the school.  He later told me he "aced" the vocab test.  He's a good student - he really doesn't have to study much...he just gets it...but Drew and I think he has meet his match in this AP English class.  So far, he has an A.

We did almost have a car wreck on the way to the school - a big black truck didn't see me and started to get into my lane. It was one of those slam-on-the-brakes and hit the horn several times moments.  Thankfully, a wreck was avoided....that would have really put a damper on the weekend!

Our weekend is on the quiet side until Sunday afternoon when we host our Sunday School's Super Bowl party.  We're having traditional chili as well as white chicken chili.  Should be good!! I looking forward to the desserts my friends will bring...I'm hoping for some chocolate!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

If it quacks like a duck.....

One of the things we have been most surprised about living here in the Deep South is how much the Christian faith is embraced.  We are NOT complaining at all!!  We love it. But it still takes us by surprise at today....

I worked half day at a local elementary.  As I walked in the students were lined up  for lunch. After the teacher passed out germ-x (we are knee deep in the flu season!!!), she asked if any one wanted to give a "blessing".  And sure enough, a boy raised his hand then proceeded to give a very Christian prayer.  The teacher may have called it a blessing, but that was a very powerful prayer!

I was very taken back. As I said, I'm glad this community embraces my faith, but it still surprises me. I do love seeing young kids step up and exhibit their faith in from of their fellow classmates.  While I was surprised, I was impressed as well.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

More Soccer

Sadly, last night we lost the BIG game....if we had won, we would have been first in our district. But it was not meant to be.  But let me tell you - the cold here in the Deep South?  No joke!!  The wind alone is enough to cut right through you!  So, very glad I have my zero degree sleeping bag...and really don't care that I look like a purple caterpillar. Warm is worth it.

Tonight we played again and won! That means we are second in the district (for the third year in a row) and we will play in the play-offs.  It's too early to know if we'll get a local field or not...I'm so hoping so! 

Drew was nice enough to be in charge of the soccer game tonight, so I was able to stay home and be warm while he braved the cold (although he didn't brave the cold too much - he sat in the car watching the game).  This particular game was a make up game that was cancelled due to a cold snap. The ironic thing? Tonight was colder.

Such is life.

We have two more non-district games and at least one play-off game....I'm praying for warmer weather.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Resturant Fail

Back in September when I went to visit Drew in DC, my parents stayed here to keep watch over the kids.  For lunch one day they went to try a new steakhouse in town.  It was not the best experience.  After having to send her steak back a third time, the manager gave mom two coupons for a free entrée.  She ended up giving them to me.

These coupons have stayed in my wallet all these months. I have thought about using them, but since its one of those restaurant that have peanuts everywhere, I can't take my kids. Earlier this week, Drew and I were doing errands while the kids were in school, we decided to give this place a try. I was hoping for a better time than mom and dad had...but it wasn't really meant to be!

The ironic thing is when the waitress heard how we got these free entrée coupons, she said, "Oh! That's not going to happen today!"

Famous last words.

Our food was "okay", but nothing to brag about.  She got my order wrong - even after clarifying what I ordered. Drew's food was cold.  And the "famous" rolls?  Had no taste.


While I'm glad I had free coupons, I won't be going back again.  There's plenty of other restaurants around that serve hot food and get your order right.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Going Down Hill Fast.....

William's soccer team is going down hill....and not in a good way. We started the year off so well!! I really thought we would win district...but that is looking not to be....

One of our best players got hurt early in the season and missed several games. When he came back, he was in a leg brace. It took him several games to get use to playing with it on, but the main problem is that it's restricted his agility. He can still run fairly fast, but having to go side-to-side quickly is hard now. 

A few weeks ago another player was hurt - this one pop his knee cap out - ouch!! He was on crutches for several weeks, but is still walking with a limp. He is waiting for the doctors to read the MRI to see if there was a tear or not.

Aside from hurt players we have other problems as well.  The cold for one....its really cold!! William really doesn't like to play when the temperatures are in the 40's or lower. (Can't say I blame him....I don't like sitting in the cold!!) Also, we have a few player that seem to have an attitude in particular....he is just frustrating to watch!  If the other team takes the ball from him, instead of fighting to get it back he just quits running and gives up!

Drives us parents C.R.A.Z.Y!!!!!  I have no idea why the coach leaves him in! If he doesn't want to hustle, then there's a whole bench full of boys that want to play and will hustle!

William was  a starter at the beginning of the season, but now is not. I'll be the first to admit he played better last year. Not sure why....last year he played a different position, so I'm not sure if that's it or if Drew being gone has affected him.... Who knows....  But I will say I have not seen him give up like a few of the other boys do. I wish he got more playing he does!

Last night was a district game. We have played this team before and won in a close game. After they scored two goals in the first half, it was like our boys just gave up....URGGGGG!! There was a whole second half to play! URRGGGG!!!


We have three more district games...two of which will be against the same team as we need to make up a cancelled game from earlier in the month.  Those two we should win as this team hasn't won any district games this year. But the third game.....that's gonna be hard....  It's against a team we have beaten - barely!  If we win, then we'll be second in the district and be eligible for the play-offs...but if we lose....then no.

I have to admit...a part of me is ready for soccer season to be OVER. But I know the boys love to play....just wish all of them showed it more!

Monday, January 20, 2014


Drew wasn't even home for 24 hours and he had me out exercising!! Yes, he still wishes his wife was way more athletic than she is!

Being active duty military Drew has always exercised...sometimes on his own other and times with his office. Since we moved here, he and I have walked a lot in our neighborhood usually in the mornings. While he was in DC he got into a great routine of running in the afternoons. He's hoping to keep it up now that he's back home.

Yesterday Benjamin had soccer practice in the afternoon at a local park that has a great walking track. Drew used the time to get me back out walking (while he ran)....which I have only done a handful of times since he left this summer.   I do admit, it feel good to be outside walking.

And I'm sure we'll be doing it again as Ben has soccer practice again this afternoon.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Five Again

Once again, we are a family of five. Well, technically we're been a family of five for over thirteen years, but a family of five in the same location again. It's so nice.

Drew left DC around noon on Friday. With him driving by himself we thought it would be good  if he at least got out of the state of Virginia - about six hours. After all he woke up at 5 AM and worked four hours. But around dinner time he called to say he was already in Knoxville.

My question to him was, "Exactly how fast are you going??!!!"

Since Knoxville was expecting a dusting of snow, he decided to drive some more. He got south of Chattanooga before he stopped for the night - that's about half way. I think we both expected him to sleep late, but he had the same problem I did at the Hampton Inn during Thanksgiving: thin walls and lots of noise!

He pulled in to the house about 3:45.  Yes, he was NOT driving the speed limit! As he said, he was ready to be home. And he did not have three sets of eyes watching him like I did when I drove to DC and back Thanksgiving week. Also, he didn't have to stop and feed or find a bathroom for those three set  of eyes.

I am very thankful he's home safe and sound. We are ready for this next chapter of our life.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Few More Days....

Today was Drew's last full day at work in  DC. Tomorrow he will only work for a few hours before he does all the out-processing paperwork. He's hoping to get on the road around noon. I'm hoping he only does one night on the road....but it was a long way for me to drive with William's help at Thanksgiving and he'll be driving it alone....  Wish I could have flown out to help him! 

These last few days  - weeks, really - have been good. The kids have gotten back into the routine of school. The two high school kids have new schedules since their school does a "4 by 4" block schedule.  Last year semester Melissa had a really easy schedule...not really sure if she learned anything! But this semester she has Spanish 2, Honor Geometry, Honor English, and health.  She'll actually be working this time around!  William had several classes last semester where he had to work and study - the same is true this time around as well. He has AP English, AP Stats, Advance Theater, and Bible Lit. I'm glad he's in English this semester since he'll be taking the ACT. The teacher he has specializes in tutoring for the ACT. She and I have talked and I think William is getting some great tutoring in the class. Hopefully, this will mean a higher score on the ACT!!  (He already has a great score, but hoping to get a few points higher so he can be eligible for out-of-state scholarships.)

I have worked a few day, but am planning not to work any next week. Drew will have next week off and I want to be around to enjoy him being home!

For a few days this week I have an extra kid around. A friend of mine went to a conference with her husband and their son (5th grade) is staying with us.  He's fitting right in with the boys - its all about video games!! He loves our Wii. I think Ben likes having someone younger than him around....even if Douglas is taller!

We had a soccer game Monday night - two short games to make-up for one that was cancelled at the beginning of the season. We won both. Tuesday night we had an out-to-town game - we won that one as well!  Tomorrow night we have another out-of-town game.  Not sure why the coach planned so much for this week! But as long as we win, it's all good!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

One Goal Down

As I mentioned a few post ago, I had a goal of an early spring cleaning. I am happy to say I'm done! The last closets were mine and the guest room closet that holds my sewing, other craft items, Drew's magic paraphernalia, and other odds and ends of things.
I really didn't throw out a lot of garbage (maybe a bag or two) or take a lot of stuff to the Goodwill (about one medium size box), but every little bit helps! I main just put like things with like things. The calmness I feel as I open a drawer or closet is well worth any time I spent!

One of the interesting things I came across was my grandmother's Bible. I knew I had it, I just had not look in it in a long while. It was in a box at the bottom of my closet. This box had been there since we moved it, but I have found that its just in the way. It's next to my extra tote bags and jewelry stand. I have had a hard time getting into my jewelry stand, so I need to move the box up high on a shelf so it would be out of the way. I went through the box just to remind myself it was only keep-sake items in there.

When saw her Bible, I couldn't but help to look through it.  It held an interesting number of article out of the newspaper.  One was a letter-to-the-editor about how many articles were against Ole Miss, but for MS State and Southern MS football teams. Another one was  about some group in old-timey covered wagons traveling from Shreveport to Pennsylvania traveling through Jackson, MS (where she lived). There was, also, a church budget from 1978 over a dozen years before she died! Why did she keep that? Or the newspaper articles that from my point of view that have nothing to do with our family. (By the way, the budget showed the pastor made less than twenty thousand.)

Another piece of paper had all the families' birthday dates. Mine was a day earlier...which brought humor to  Drew and I. The first year we were dating he thought my birthday was a day early (which is so much better than a day late!!), but it's been an on-going joke between us. He's even gotten the kids in it.  Mom thinks she had the wrong date because that was the day she went into the hospital to have me - but never did Mammaw ever wish me happy birthday a day it's just another odd thing in her Bible.

Now on to the next project....

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tech Joy

A few times Mom has hit the wrong button on her iphone and has ended up using the video phone instead of the normal phone. The other day she did this as she was calling me because Dad wanted to talk to me. Of course, at first he didn't understand that he didn't need to put the phone to his ear - that he needed to look at it instead. 

Oh, the look of shock when he saw my face - with Melissa next to me.  So sweet!!  I love seeing his smile and the love on his face as he saw "his girls".  With his dementia for the most part you have to look closely for emotions, but this day it was all over his face! I just treasure these times....especially know they are few.

Then he gave the phone back to Mom as she had wanted to show us her recently cut hair.  After that Melissa took the phone away from me and proceeded to show her grandmother her current art projects...her new shoes....her new rain boots.... I just love seeing my children enjoying family!

Pure joy!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The "Polar Vortex"

Not sure who came up with the whole "polar vortex" name...probably some bored journalist. But it is cold outside!  In the past we have had trouble with our kitchen sink pipes freezing as the sink is along the outside wall. The first time it happened, I called the plumber who installed the system to come to the house to help.  He added some more installation, but really couldn't do a whole lot. After all, most of the pipes were in the walls. He wasn't not going to rip out a wall to get to them.

So, it was no surprise to me when the last few mornings we had no water in the kitchen...not really a big deal. As soon as the temperature rose, water began to flow.

But today it did surprise me that the toilet and shower in the master bathroom froze. That was a first. They, too, had the pipes on an outside wall. Since this outside wall is not facing the raising sun as the kitchen pipes are, it took until after twelve for the water to start to flow there.

When the plumber did come out he did assure me that the pipes he installed were made to freeze and thaw out without bursting. So far, he's been proven right.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Early Spring Cleaning

Last month when I was losing my mind, one thing that I told a friend was that every time I opened a drawer or closet I felt like it was messy and disorganized. So, I decided that cleaning out my house would be my goal for January.

Not a New Year Resolution...those I DON'T do. After all, if you feel so strongly about changing something in your life, then just do it! Don't wait for a "special" time of the year.

I'm looking at January as my month to do an early spring cleaning. I really don't think I'll be working very much in January, so I should have plenty of time to give each drawer, closet, and cabinet a good cleaning.

Yesterday I was able to clean and straighten up all the drawers and cabinets in my kitchen.  Oh, how that made me feel so much better!!! My utensil drawer was one of the biggest messes! Part of the problem is that my children usually put away the clean dishes...and just throw things in the matter if it's the right drawer let alone the right tray. I ended up buy some new trays and moved all the sharp items to a new drawer. I showed all the kids the new place for the sharp items...time will tell if they remember. But at least its a start!

Today I went through my desk, files and even answered all emails and other correspondence (meaning I paid bills).  Looking at my clean desk makes me so happy. A huge stressor just left the house!! There was a large pile of papers and mail that Drew needs to do something with...which is not his highest priority when he lives here much less when he's home only for a ten day visit.   I ended up going through all the papers and filed what I could then created a new file - all for Drew!  Now instead of a stack taking up space on my desk, I'll just slip that piece of mail in his file in the filing cabinet then he can take care of it when he wants to (usually when he does the taxes!).

Now the question is whether or not I can get the kids to quit eating at the desk....I won't go into details over the dirt on the desk I cleaned off....

Tomorrow my goal is the laundry room and linen closet. It really should not take long....then I think I'll work on my step-tonsu cabinets where my table linens are stored. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Books, Books, and More Books....My Crack

During 2012 I read about eighty books and for 2013 I read one hundred twenty-six. Yep - you read that right 126.  I love to read and yes, I am a fast reader. When Drew wants to unwind, he watches a movie or plays a computer game. I read.  I read a wide variety of books as well. Here's a few of the my opinion.

Bio & Autobiographies: There were several that stuck out in my mind after I read them. I really enjoyed Unbroken by Laura Hillenbran.  Its the story of Louis Zamperini, He raced in the 1936 Olympics then joined the fight in WWII during which he was a POW in Japan. It's an amazing story of his survival.  It will be made into a movie for next Christmas. I, also, enjoyed Phil Vischer's Me, Myself and Bob.  He is the creator of Veggie Tales. This book is his story of the rise and fall of those beloved veggies, but really about how we can get caught up in our service to the Lord instead of focusing on the Lord Himself.  A lesson all Christians need to learn.

I, also, read a lot of books that could be categorized as Christian Living or even theology. The ABSOLUTE best is The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani. I originally bought it as an ebook, but have recently ordered a hardcopy of it. I plan to re-read it, then pass it on to several friends so we can discuss it.  Skye Jethani writes about how the church has become consumed with being consumers. It really changed my way of thinking about the church.

Then there's the fiction side of what I read - by far the majority of what I read. Some were chapter books the kids have read and enjoyed. Others were mysteries.  I think some of the best were the Divergent  series by Veronica Roth. The three book series were similar in the Hunger Games as it's place in post-America, but these were by far better than the Hunger Games! The movie for the first book - Divergent - will be out in the spring.  I think it'll be a HUGE success.

Like a lot of women, many books I read were romance. Basically, they were Hallmark movies in book form! Others were more about life in general and less about romance...some were Christian some were secular. I really try to pick authors that write the story and not focus on the bedrooms action, but many times I knee deep in the book before I realize what the author has in store. I have learned to totally avoid some authors! I do enjoy Barbara Delinksy, Debbie MaComber, Kristen Hannah, Paul Richard Evans, Neta Jackson, Dani Pettrey, Jason Wright, ....well....there's a lot! Take a look at my list! Enjoy!