Monday, May 29, 2006

Gracie's New Accomplishment

Gracie and I have differing opinions about her new accomplishment. She has finally figured out how to whistle. Lovely. She whistles all the time. My least favorite place is in the van.

Today on the way to Kim's, she whistled the whole way... all 25 minutes. And I have a headache. We were almost there when she found a new frequency. She said "Momma! Listen.. when I whistle like this it hurts my ears." "Yes dear, it hurts my ears too." *ear piercing whistle* "Gracie, could you please not do that anymore? Thank you."

Sunday, May 28, 2006

New Link

Adam came over for lunch after church today. He's so much fun... we laugh the whole time he's here. His fiance, Jessica, left yesterday for a 2 month missions trip to Thailand. Pray for them both. Anyways, he showed us his MySpace page. It's really cool and has a jazzy version of a song he sang in church recently. The song title is Inside This Skin. Adam's solo space is in a link at the bottom of this link.

http://myspace.com/actofcongress

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Here's a seriously grainy picture of Brody with his ENT, Dr. Schmitt. Or as the kids call her, Dr. Kim. We love her! Posted by Picasa

Brody had surgery today. He had to have a permanent tube placed in his left ear. This picture was taken in his room at the hospital, notice the little gown he's wearing. Also notice the Versed (sp?) induced grin on his face. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Maggie

My oldest child is hilarious. Go to their blog and read her spelling sentences. I'm still laughing.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Silliness

Brody told me some things tonight.

"Dinosaurs are louder than airplanes."

"Tigers are big and they go roar."

"I want to go to Ellas' and see the dinosaurs." I think he means the Land Before Time cause Scott and Kim aren't that old.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A New Memory Made

For my birthday, my wonderful in-laws gave me money. Now some people may say that money is too impersonal, too generic. The people who say that obviously have money because a gift of money to someone who usually has none is a beautiful thing. I know all my poor friends are nodding right now.

Anyway, I got birthday money. And "The Code of Spending Birthday Money" clearly states that it cannot be spent on bills or anything too practical. It's free money. Splurge money. Burn-A-Hole-In-Your-Pocket money.

I had a big decision to make. Should I spend it on clothes? Nah, I have enough. Music? Can't think of a cd that I really want. A pedicure? No way, that's gone in a few weeks, never to be enjoyed again. A nice little field trip? Are you kidding me? Then all of the sudden, it hit me. I have been wanting a flower bed in front of my house ever since we moved in. But we've never had any extra money that we could spend on it.

As usual, there was a problem. I know absolutely nothing about flowers. But my Granny does. So I called her and asked if she'd come help me. My Dad told me that it'd tickled her for me to ask. She excitedly agreed to help me.

Thursday was the day. Dad brought her and the tiller over and we got to work. While Chris was tilling up the area (no small feat in our clay yard... Thank you baby), Granny and I headed out to the nursery. We spent an hour walking around while she taught me which plants I should buy and why. I learned that the color of hydrangeas is determined by it's soil... I had no idea. I also learned how to divide plants, prep the soil and find a ripe watermelon. Very cool! We talked and laughed and cut up. Loads of fun.

Then came the planting. She dug the holes with the hoe and I put the plants in. She got a little exasperated with me at one point because I wasn't packing the dirt down around the plant hard enough. She made me come over to where she was and then said, "Now watch me. See here? You take these two fingers and press down. It's not that hard!" "Hard" meaning complicated. In other words, "Your ignorance is annoying. Please try to keep up." But, hey, that's Granny. She's one opinionated lady... but in a nice way.

We got it all planted and stood back to admire. It's very lovely. Money well spent. I think next year I'll get a birdbath. And then my stupid, retarded dogs decided to come make themselves comfortable. Have you ever tried to drag a hundred pound dog out of a soft soil without ruining flowers? It ain't easy. After doing this a couple of times, Dad and I decided to put up the electric fence. Gabriel caught on immediately. Molly on the other hand... she's a bit slow. It's still not completely understood by her.

Thinking back on the day, I realized that I'd made lots of memories with my Granny. I learned so much. And I made her laugh a lot. She made me laugh a lot. And I saw again that I'm a lot like her. And in my opinion, that's a very good thing.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My Redneck Weekend

I know I've already posted about our Stone Mountain trip. But that was just the bad parts. We really had fun. Even though it rained and we couldn't camp.

You see, we had a free night's camping. Which was great since none of us had hardly any money. But like I said, it rained. For most of the day. Really hard. My blankets and chairs that were on the roof got soaked. So, like good mothers, we improvised. We decided to stay at a hotel. So I called and made a reservation. I told them that I needed a room off by itself, away from other people.

So, by 7:30 that night, we piled into room 327 at the hotel .... all 11 of us. We felt like the Darlin's off the Andy Griffith Show. It took 3 luggage dollies to get all of our stuff in the room. We had to bring in 7 sleeping bags, 10 pillows, 2 ice chests, a cooler, 4 suitcases, 2 back packs, 2 cosmetic cases, a guitar and various toys. Not to mention 11 people. It was hysterical!

The kids were informed not to speak or make any noise on the way to the room. We came in the side door, went up the elevator and dashed to the room. Once inside, all the kids parked it on the beds, watching SpongeBob Squarepants, while the moms made sandwiches out of the stuff in the coolers.

The kids slept in their sleeping bags on the floor, while the moms got the beds. Air conditioning, cable tv, and a kickin breakfast buffet... who could ask for anything more?

As I've said before, parenting is 90% manipulation. It's all in the way you present things. Once Kim, Cathy and I decided we were going to have fun, the kids fell right in with us. No one whined or complained or fought. They all had a blast. There were moments when we could have been embarrassed or angry, but instead we decided to have fun. And inspite of the cramped space and the lack of spending money and the police interrogation, it was one of the most fun weekends I've had with my kids.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What is This World Coming To?

This is what I was asking myself this past weekend.

You see... Kim, Cathy(my new neighbor) and I took the kids, all 8 of them, to Stone Mountain. Kim and I have family passes and go fairly often. Anyway, we went. There was some kind of youth choir competition going on, which meant a lot of unsupervised kids running around. Mostly it wasn't a problem. But then in The Great Barn, a kid attraction, we all kept getting pummeled by balls. By other adults. There are a dozen signs telling you not to throw the balls. And the little kids weren't. It was the adults. One man was bullying kids and grown ups alike. And when asked to stop, threw balls right in your face. Stupid man! Once that group left, we all had much more fun.

But the most memorable part of the day was when I almost got arrested. It happened like this...

Towards the end of the day we took the kids to the Treehouse Challenge to play while we sat and talked. After about an hour, Kim and Cathy went shopping while I sat with the kids. I had taken Bren, Ellas, Gracie and Brody to the little wading stream. We were having fun walking around in the cool water and visiting with other people. Then this lady brings her boys over. I found out later that they were her grandsons. These boys were out of control. They were running, pushing, splashing and yelling. I kept looking over at the woman, who was watching them and doing nothing about it. One family just got their shoes on and left because the boys were taking all the fun out it for them.

After one of the boys almost knocked Brody down for the second time, I put my hand out, stopped him and told him to quit. That's when grandma decided to say something. To her grandson? Oh no. To me. She started yelling at me to not touch her grandson and that if I have a problem I need to tell her. I asked her why she hadn't done something about it herself, she was sitting there watching him be obnoxious. But all she kept doing was getting louder and more hateful. It became clear to me that she was one of those that cannot be reasoned with, so I apologized. I said, "I'm sorry that it upset you. Next time, I'll just leave." I apologized sincerely at least 10 more times but she would not even acknowledge my apologies. She went to the people running the attraction and reported me. The man told her there wasn't anything to be done.

Once she walked away, I got the kids shoes back on them and left. As we passed her at the entrance, she told the little boy that if he saw Gracie again she wanted him to hit her as hard as he could. Why? I have no earthly idea.

The kids were all whining about being hungry and thirsty so we went to the van. I got drinks and stuff out of the cooler for the kids and went to call Kim to tell her we were at the van when a policeman approached me. This crazy woman had called the cops and wanted me arrested for assaulting her grandson! Oh yes.

I was stunned and more than a little terrified. I told the policeman what had happened. He was very nice and reassuring. He listened to Brendan's side of it and then had us fill out statements. Kim and Cathy got there and were appalled. Cathy suggested to the policeman that pictures needed to be taken of the boy. The policeman told us that this woman was screaming and ranting. Her grandsons were climbing the fences and tearing things up while she was yelling at the police. And when he radioed the other policeman to tell him to take a picture of the boy, the woman couldn't even find him. There I had been with 8 kids, all quiet and obedient and she couldn't even control 2.

Finally, they convinced her that she had no valid complaint and she was making a fool of herself. She found her grandsons and left. It was the most insane thing that has ever happened to me. For as long as I live, I'll never forget her insane babbling or hateful spewings. Or the police coming to my van. Or the fear in the kids eyes. It was scary. I remember telling Maggie that we had to trust God to be our defender and protector. We prayed and waited for God to reveal the truth. Which he did.

What is this world coming to when adults teach children to disregard the feelings of others or even do violence to them? There was so little respect for one another that day. But then the next day was quiet and fun. The manager who had tried to help me and the police greeted us at the gate and wished us a better day. People were helpful and friendly. It was completely different.

So that was my weekend. Good, bad and ugly.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Comedy

A glimpse of why I say that the interior of my van sounds like the inside of a schizophrenic's head:

Kim to me: It was good to see Shae.

Me to Kim: I know. I'm glad she came to the wedding.

Notice this is a private conversation between two adults.

Maggie: Who came to the wedding?

Me: Shae.

Gracie: Who?

Me: Shae.

Gracie: Shae came to the wedding?

Me: Yes.

Gracie: I didn't see her.

Me: That's because she didn't stay for the reception.

Maggie: Who didn't stay for the reception?

Me: Shae. (Feeling a little exasperated)

Gracie: Why didn't she come to the reception?

Me: I don't know.

Gracie: Didn't she want cake?

Me: I don't know.

-slight pause-

Ellas: Who's Shae?

Me to Kim: Please shoot me.

Wedding Day

My 1st cousin, Dustin, got married today.

He was the biggest brat when he was little. I was 9 when he was born and by the time he was 3 I just knew he would grow up to be a convicted felon. But amazingly, he didn't. He is now a lovely man with a deep love for the Lord. God is good.

Preparation for his wedding was a bit tedious for those of us on the fringe. Gracie was a flower girl (the prettiest flower girl E-V-E-R!) But we were left out of the communication loop a lot. Not anyone in particular's fault but it happened. Gracie showed up in flip-flops because we were told they were going to be barefoot. Guess what? Plans had changed and no one called me. I stressed for a minute but then decided, what does it really matter? So my little lovely was barefoot and looked like an angel.

The wedding took place in the middle of about 100 acres of field, on top of a high hill. It was completely surrounded by pasture and trees and wildflowers and looked like something out of a movie. Absolutely breathtaking. The reception was under a massive tent with lights, a dance floor, and bookoodles of food. Prime rib, chicken, sausage balls, fruit, a potato bar. It was rockin'! I'm glad we were a part of it.

I got to thinking about marraige being a symbol of my relationship with God. The words that come to mind after that wedding are: excitement, beauty, tearful joy, pleasure, anticipation, hope, blind trust. Am I in love with Christ that way? Am I in love with Chris that way?

I am a bride. No matter my age or size or beauty. I am a bride. Glowing, happy, powerful, content. I am looked on as a beautiful. I am cherished. I am thankful.