Sunday, December 30, 2007

At Least I'm Still Cold in Church!

I have not mentioned to you, my internet friends that I have been suffering from some pretty severe headaches of late, but I have. Really, really severe. And of course, I lived with them for more than a month, trying every over-the-counter medication I could find to get rid of them. When it finally occurred to me that my arms were not long enough to hold my book out far enough for me to properly focus on it, and that I was spending a great deal of time during the day squinting at things across the room, I considered the fact that perhaps my headaches might just have something to do with my eyeballs!

So, I made an appointment with Dr. Dennis (no, I'm not kidding) and after an exam and a visit to LensCrafters, I was rewarded with the following statement, "Yes ma'am, your bi-focals will be ready in 7-10 days." Um, excuse me? What was that?

Ah yes, welcome to the joys of life in your forties...

Because I had all four of the children with me (where else would they be?), they chose my frames for me. It's taking me awhile to get used to the new face I see in the mirror, (yes, I can now see my face in the mirror!) but I hear that they are very hip, and happening...I'm not so sure how hip bi-focals can really be, but I did get the no-line type, so no one has to know! So how about we just keep that little detail between us, shall we? (And yes, I'm aware that this is not a very good picture.)

And because I know you're scratching your head about for being cold in church? Our church is freezing. I take a sweater with me even in the summer because it is so cold in there. Occasionally, however, I will see some poor woman across the room madly fanning herself. There can be only one reason for this my flash! Therefore, as I sat in church on Sunday with my new bi-focals, I found I was still able to find something to praise God guessed it....AT LEAST I'M STILL COLD IN CHURCH!!! Hallelujah and Amen!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Has it really been that long???

Wow, I was just talking to my sister and she reminded me that I hadn't updated the blog in awhile...(Just for the record, I've had sick kids, cake orders, Christmas shopping, etc. to occupy my days and nights lately.)...but honestly, I had no idea it had been 9 days since my last post! I was thinking more!

So, even though I'm right smack dab in the middle of a laundry, cleaning, and gift-wrapping extravaganza and I still have a little shopping, and Christmas baking left to do, I thought I'd better write something quick to catch you all up just a little bit!

Since I've been gone, Denise and I have run in another 5K race...she totally kicked my butt this time. It was impossible to stick together in the crowd of around 4,000, so I just ran my race and thought I was going at a pretty fast pace for the first mile or so and expected to finish about 5 minutes ahead of her since my previous best time was about 14-15 minute miles and hers was 17.

But this race was a unique one because it ran through the Christmas Trail of Lights which is a huge annual event here, and there were soooo many people, and soooo many of them were pushing strollers, and walking their dogs, and stopping to take pictures of the lights, and to pick up their dog's poop, that we ended up having to slow down and switch course many, many, times during the race. I told her that I think I actually ran about 4 miles if you counted all the back and forth across the trail I was doing! Now, the race didn't exactly start out well for either of us. We were a little later arriving because of obligations with my children, and parking was closed, so we had to park almost a mile away and walk to the race start! I KNOW!!! And about the time we were too far away from the car for me to consider going back, I realized that I had left my MP3 player IN THE CAR! Aargh!!! Have I mentioned that I hate running without music? It encourages me. It relaxes me. It makes the run tolerable. paces me. About this time I also realized that I wasn't wearing my running watch either...sigh. Can you say, "Give it up and head to Starbucks?" Yeah, sounded good to me too! So, here I was running with no music, no watch, right behind a guy holding his bag of dog poop (it's very hard to be sucking air when you are following a bag of dog poop, by the way) I was completely miserable, and not enjoying the lights at all, but I still had hope to finish with a new personal best time. So, I reached the 2 mile marker tired, but determined to finish the race without walking and hopefully log a decent time despite all the "lap traffic". Guess what was waiting for us in the final 1.2 miles of the race? HILLS!!! Three or four of them to be exact, but one very long, fairly steep one that threatened to do me in. I continued out of pure determination since I had absolutely NO energy left, and no music to keep me going. But I did keep going, and just as I'm recovering from the first hill and enjoying a brief downhill section of the course, here comes Denise right up alongside of me! I was impressed! Not because I'm any great runner or anything, but Denise has only been running for a few months, and she hadn't run at all in the past month! I had at least run 3 miles a couple of weeks before the race, so I knew I could still do it even though my training had slacked off as well. We ended up finishing within a minute of each other, but the thing is, she took 3 or 4 minutes off of her previous best 5K time, and I added 5 minutes to my previous best time! The best part of the whole race was that at the end of the race, there was a Starbuck's Station set up and they were giving away free Peppermint Mochas! They were really not much more than a shot-glass full, but still...totally made the run worth it for me! So, big props to Denise for a great run! I hope you are proud of yourself. And Vanessa, if you're reading this, where were you? I think you should join us for the next race, don't you think?

And now, although I have much more to tell you, I do need to get back to the laundry, cleaning, gift-wrapping, and baking. I'll try to jump back on here later to continue the update, 'cause really, I have a big one for you! Well, it's not that big really, but it's big to me.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

There's a book review in here somewhere....

Wow, so many things have happened since The Perp broke my snow globe that I don’t know if I’ll be able to post about all of it!

You already know about my previous hair disaster, and my subsequent cry to the people for help, and the result of all your help. 

But what you don’t know is that I’ve been in a book reading/movie watching frenzy around here in my “spare” time, HA! Yes, we homeschool here, and we go year ‘round, so we take vacation whenever we darn well please from Thanksgiving thru New Year’s. The idea is to spend time together making fun Christmas crafts and baking lots of Christmas goodies and just enjoying the holidays together. The reality is that for the first week or so, we all just chill out and relax. The kids spend hours and hours outside on the trampoline, making make-shift BMX tracks in my backyard, and pilfering things out of Dad’s garage without permission to create whatever fantasy world they wish to live in that day! In the meantime, I read and watch movies and other completely mind-numbing activities until I find that I can once again hold a cohesive thought in my brain for more than 5 minutes. At least, that has been the reality in the past…

The reality this year is that I spend my days trying to catch up on chores that have gone neglected for far too long, I run around town looking for black dresses, black pants, and white shirts that the children need for the Christmas program at church. I still cart kids back and forth to ballet, Youth Group, and now, Christmas program rehearsals. Just this month The Man and I have attended a wedding, a Christmas party with over 700 guests, and his office Christmas party…I’ve promised my mother that I won’t ask her to babysit again until next year!

However, I do try to spend at least a few minutes every day reading a book, and I try to wake up before the rest of the crowd to have quiet time, and if possible watch a movie…all by myself. I’ve recently seen and highly recommend, “Amazing Grace” and “End of the Spear”. If there is anybody left on the planet that has not seen either of these movies, they are both really good! I have also been reading an absolutely fabulous book that was sent to me by New Hope Publishing to review. And I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it is one of my most favoritest books ever, and NO, I won’t be giving it away on this blog. I have, however, purchased one and given it away as a prize at my church when it was my turn to host the ladies dinner. And I might just be persuaded to purchase another copy or two to give away here on the blog, but I absolutely will NOT be giving up my copy. I read it every morning during my quiet time, and I intend to read it over and over again.

“What is this book?” you ask. Well, let me tell you. The book is called “Wonderlust; A Spiritual Travelogue for the Adventurous Soul”, and it is by Vicki Kuyper. And she is now officially one of my all-time favorite authors! Reading this book is like reading one of my favorite blogs! Really, I’m not kidding! Just listen to the first paragraph in this book…(and by listen, I mean, of course, read it to yourself!)

“Is it my imagination or are my hiking boots actually mocking me? With each rhythmic step on the rocky trail, they seemed to whisper, ‘Imposter, fraud, fool . . . What are you doing here?’ Whether it was my imagination, the lack of oxygen at this altitude, or an actual protest staged by my brand-spanking-new purple footwear, one thing was certain. I totally agreed with my shoes.”

Now seriously, doesn’t that just make you want to keep reading? Not only is she writing in the style of some of my favorite blogs, but PURPLE HIKING BOOTS!!! We could be related! Because a 5 mile hike up a mountain in Peru is no excuse to abandon funky fashion, can I get an “Amen” sistas? Each chapter relates a lesson that God taught her through whatever situation or country she was in at the time. Some are funny, some are poignant, and some are sad, but all speak to the heart and soul, and all will touch you in some way. There are even discussion questions at the end of each chapter that you can use for group study, or just for your own journaling/reflection. It is truly a resource that I will treasure and use over and over for years to come. Which is why I will not be giving away my copy! However, you may either run right out to your local bookstore and pick up your own copy, go here and order a copy, add it to your Christmas wish list, or leave a comment here for a chance to win one!

If you wish to win one from me, then you must write a post on your blog, to help get the word out to as many people as possible, and then just leave a comment letting me know that you did, and you’ll be entered in the drawing! If you don’t have a blog, then just promise to tell everybody you know all about this fabulous book, and leave a comment with said promise! Really, it is a fabulous book and you will be blessed by the stories and lessons within it’s pages.

So go, post, and return with comments! I've got to tackle some laundry, and then I'll come back and finish catching you all up on life here at the zoo circus looney bin.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The People Have Spoken....

So, I called my old hairdresser-guy (from back before I had kids and back when I paid real money for real haircuts) and told him that I wanted to return to the land of good hair and could he possibly fix the mess on my head before all my holiday parties this week? He was free this morning, and welcomed me back with open arms! Besides, the kids ate yesterday, they can go a couple of days without food for the sake of good hair, right? Yeah, I thought so too!

It seemed that the general consensus, around the blogosphere and my house, was to get away from the bangs and go with the longer layers...which, by the way, makes me look remarkably like my sister. I'd post a picture of her so you could see for yourselves, but she doesn't allow pictures, so I'll have to sneak one at Christmas time!

Anyway, I decided to go ahead and try the new look, except for one small problem...I already have bangs, so I couldn't immediately jump into the new look! We are going to grow them out gradually over time and eventually end up with a slightly longer version of hairstyle #1 in my previous post (the second picture--that was a bit confusing I think!)

However, my fabulous hairdresser-guy thought that perhaps the holidays were not the appropriate time to have one's bangs growing out, so he shaped them up, gave me a fabulous cut, and we'll grow the bangs out during baseball season when I'm wearing a hat most of the time anyway!

And THIS is what I look like now...only not quite so distorted and close up, because most people don't stand 12 inches from my face at a funny angle like my camera does when I'm trying to take my own picture! LOL!!!

And here is one from a little farther away, so you can see how short it is! YIKES! There was really no choice. In order to undo the damage done to it the last time, we had to chop most of it off...sigh. Oh well, it will grow. And this time, it will grow out pretty!

Oh, and this picture was taken looking into the mirror, which explains why my part, and my ear have jumped to the opposite side of my head!

So thank you to all of you who voted, and now you can all sit back and watch while I grow out my bangs! Yee-Haw! This is compelling stuff isn't it? Hey, maybe I'll get braces too, and completely live out BOTH of the most horrific experiences of a twelve-year-old girl...orthodontia and growing out bangs!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Help Me, Please....

After my last hair cut/color catastrophy, I have stayed far, far, away from any scissors and highlight solution wielding people. I was so spoiled when I had a friend who did amazing hair at even more amazing prices! Alas, she no longer can do hair, and so I must save up for a very long time to partake of such services. Therefore, I decided that I needed to have some sort of amunition with me the next time I put myself at the mercy of anyone with scissors in their hands! So, I logged on to a virtual makeover site and tried out different hair styles on a really bad picture of myself, to help me choose what would look best and then take the picture with me to the scissor-happy stylist.

After showing a number of pictures to my immediate family, these two are the final choices. One of the two actually happens to be the exact style I wore 15 years ago...I'm not exactly sure what that implies, but there it is.

ANYHOO! I thought I'd take advantage of the two of you reading this thing, and ask for opinions. Which do you like best? Any better ideas? Help me, PLEASE???

I Did It!

I actually cleared my Bloglines without hitting "all read". I did skim a few posts, well, a lot of posts, BUT I did catch up with everyone that I love, and left comments here and there....

Oh wait, was I supposed to make breakfast? Or lunch? Gee, and here it is dinnertime! I did manage to get Benji in to the dentist to get his tooth that we can have a decent Christmas picture, and I did a marathon trip ($289.00 worth) at Sam's, so really, it hasn't been a totally non-productive day! Besides, after reading through the 12 or so posts I was behind on here I've been totally motivated to get up off of this couch and clean something! And after catching up with Lisa and seeing her pictures here I'm a bit more excited about the whole bathroom tile extravanza going on over here. In fact, I'm so excited, I'm going to go take a picture for you...not a "before" picture exactly, but more of an "up to our eyeballs in demolition" kind of picture. Actually, the shower has been fixed, and is no longer pouring out water by the gallon, but the new tile, fixtures, and window have yet to be purchased or installed...sigh. Hopefully, the man will get some time this weekend to do some work on it.

In the meantime, I've got to go start some laundry, unload and reload my dishwasher, and fix the monsters children something to eat before they completely fill up on Snickers, Ice Cream, and raisins...which seem to be their food choices de jour!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vicki said to....

Okay, so I was catching up with Vicki Courtney's blog this morning, and she did this quiz and told all of us to go and do it too, so I did, and here you go!

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas

For you, it's all about sharing times with family.
Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.

Now it's your turn! Go do the quiz and then leave me a comment with your results!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Man, oh man! I have been trying to get on this thing and update since Thanksgiving, but it's just one thing after another around here! So, a quick catch-up...I baked a turkey and some squash casserole, made a salad, and headed to Ben's brother's house for a day of eating too much food and watching football In short, my favorite kind of day!

And although I didn't enter our local Turkey Trot, I did manage to get out there and run 3 miles in the morning. And I managed to shave 3 minutes off of my previous best time for that distance. That's right folks, I ran a whopping 14 minute mile! I know, I know, not too impressive, but it sure made me feel better as I was eating all that pie later in the day!

Since Thanksgiving, we've ripped out the tile in the kids' bathroom and repaired the shower in there that has been constantly flowing for about 4 days straight (not dripping, flowing) and by "we", I of course mean "Ben". I don't do home repair.

We've decorated for Christmas inside and out and this time the "we" would be "the kids and me" because Ben was busy ripping out tile etc. in the bathroom! And if I hadn't already spoken to her on the phone yesterday, and told her all of this, you would have just heard a soft thud as my mother fell out of her chair reading this. We don't normally go out on the day after Thanksgiving and buy our tree. We are usually out a week or so before Christmas picking through all the leftovers and then scrambling to get it up before Christmas Eve. In fact I don't even think the outside decorations made it up last year at all! So, to have bought the tree, put it up, and done all the decorating was quite a feat for us...

And on THAT note, I absolutely HAVE to tell you about the new CD I received in the mail thanks to a head's up from BooMama. 150 copies of this Christmas CD by Michael W. Smith were sent out to lucky bloggers everywhere and I was one of them! I put it on and listened to it over and over while we put the decorations on the tree. I tell you, it was like coming home! Michael W. Smith was only the second Christian artist whose album I bought....well, it was a cassette tape, but until I purchased MWS's "Project", Amy Grant was the only Christian artist I ever listened to.

I saw him in concert at "Night of Joy" at Disney World in Florida when I was a freshman in college, and I just fell in love with his voice and his music! Playing this album felt like that first time I heard him in concert, and I fell in love all over again. The instrumentals are moving and beautiful, and the vocal pieces just seemed so familiar that I found myself singing along to songs I'd never heard before! There is just something about them that feels so familiar and comfortable. Even the kids didn't mind that I played it over and over and over!

So, you can go here to listen to the songs for yourself, and then you can just run on out and buy your own copy! Believe me, you are gonna want your own copy!

mws banner

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just a Little Cookie Fix for You...

I know, I know, I've not been living up to the title of this blog in quite some time. I know there are many of you who started coming by here just for the cakes and cookies, and there just haven't been many lately. I hope to remedy that problem soon, but I do have a quickie fix for your bloggy sweet tooth.

This past Sunday was our annual Thanksgiving feast at church. The lady who coordinated the feast this year, had an idea to set up 4 tables just for the kids and she wanted to know if I could make a cookie bouquet for each of the tables and one for the main dessert table to make it special for the kids and then they could each have a cookie after their meal. I thought it was a great idea, and so I made 4 of these for the children's tables...

and this for the main dessert table...

Yes, it was a lot of work, but the kids loved it so much that it was totally worth it! And C, I know what you're thinking...yours are cut out and baked, I've just got to do all the decorating! :)

And now, I'm off to's been a l-o-n-g day around here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Just Tell Them He's Homeschooled....

At one of the final games of the football season, Jonathan was blindsided by a blocker from the other team while he was on his way to sack the quarterback. He never made it to the quarterback. As he lay there on the field trying to figure out who had hit him, the team trainer came over to check him out...

Before I continue with this story, you need to know two things about Jonathan. First, he doesn't feel that it is important to memorize dates and things at this stage in his life. He figures if he needs to know when something is, he can just ask someone else. Secondly, he doesn't keep track of what day it is. Again, he doesn't feel the need to know anything beyond whether it's a "school day" or a "no school day"...

With that in mind, here is the conversation that took place between Jonathan and the team trainer that day as he lay out on the field.

Trainer: "Do you know your name?"
Jon: "Jonathan"
Trainer: "Do you know what day it is?"
Jon: "No"
Trainer: "Do you know when your birthday is?"
Jon: "No"

I feel so sorry for that trainer. I'm sure he was ready to call the ambulance right then and there and have Jon taken immediately to the hospital!

We have a little joke in our family, whenever one of the kids makes some glaring grammatical error, or says something stupid, we simply call them "Homeschool Bob", or "Homeschool Mary" as the case may be. Apparently, this quick-witted sarcasm comes from my mother, because when relating this story to her over the phone, her comment was a very appropriate, "Just tell them he's homeschooled!"

(And just for the record, this picture is not of Jon getting tackled, but of him making a tackle. I just thought this post needed a good football picture to go with it!)

Friday, November 9, 2007

She Really Should Have Warned Me...

My mother, that is. She knows me. Well. She knows that I am not allowed to start a Karen Kingsbury book when I have deadlines to meet, as when I start reading a Karen Kingsbury book, I tend to set everything else aside until said book is finished. She knows that I skipped a class or two in college one morning to finish a Bodie Thoene book. (At least, I think she knows about that...if she didn't, she does now!) She and I share quite a few books, and she has handed me several while at the same time warning me to finish anything that I needed to finish before I started to read it.

So you can see why I feel completely defensive about the fact that I am behind in several tasks this week because I absolutely, positively, HAD to finish the Nicholas Sparks book that she gave to me last weekend. Now, I've never read a Nicholas Sparks book before. I've seen the movie versions of "A Walk to Remember" and "The Notebook", but that's it. So I had no previous experience to fall back on this time. I didn't know that I needed to finish up an entire week's worth of projects and chores before I opened the book. And now, not only am I completely behind, but I keep wanting to head to the library and get more Nicholas Sparks books!!! Wednesday was our normal library day, but I managed to stay away. Because now, you see, I KNOW that I really must get my work done before I pick up another one of his books to read!

Which is what I intend to do, right now. So, I'll end this rambling for now and go get to work, so that perhaps this weekend I will be able to head to the library for another Nicholas fix! And just in case you are wondering which of his books I had trouble putting was "Dear John". It was just so compelling, and I just HAD to find out how the story ended...I just HAD to! Anybody else out there get this way with a good book or a certain author? Chime in with a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's A Blast From the Past...

This is big internets! 5 Minutes for Mom is giving away a Pedal Car! No, I was NOT a child of the 50’s, but I do remember riding around in a Pedal Car as a kid. I think it was a Fire Engine. I’m not sure who it belonged to, but I did ride in one, and I always imagined my kids would have one one day. Who knew that pedal cars would be replaced by Powerwheels, way back then? Thankfully, Susan and Janice have a Retro-type store and they sell all those fun toys from days gone by so that we can share them with our little angels here in the days of video games, and computers you can hold in your hand!

You can go here to read all about the giveaway. You don’t have to choose the Pedal Car by the way, you can take the equivalent cost of the Pedal Car, $179.00, and use it toward the purchase of any of the fun, retro-style items in their store. You can go here to see all the different pedal cars and other fun retro toys that are available for sale…here in the 21st Century! They have tons of different models and they even have some Pedal Cars in an adorable PINK! So, go check it out, but just be prepared to purchase your toys because I will be winning this giveaway! LOL!

**And by the way, if you were expecting to find my "Bloggity Bookclub" post on Peace Like a River today, I apologize. The date for posting on this book has been pushed back, and hasn't been decided on as of yet. Yes, I have finished the book, and yes I enjoyed it, but the official post will have to wait until BooMama and Robin decide on a date. So, if you haven't read the book yet, and wanted to participate in the "Bloggity Bookclub", you still have time! I got mine at my library, so go ahead and check it out!**

Monday, November 5, 2007

"Race" Isn't Exactly Accurate...

The 2007 Race for the Cure was yesterday, and believe it or not, I did finish without having to walk! I don't think you really could call it racing though, LOL. As usual, the first mile was the toughest and I wasn't sure I would be able to complete the entire race without having to walk. We were running jogging slightly uphill for the first part of the race without really realizing it, but just before the half-way mark there was a monster hill that just about did me in. I was afraid that if I stopped, I'd never get started again, so I just slugged up it and rejoiced greatly that the remainder of the race was down hill!!!

This was a really fun race to run as there were tons of people all along the course cheering us on. There were Girl Scout troops, and high school cheerleaders that had learned special cheers just for the occasion. There was even one group of guys that would make a tunnel for us to run through like our kids do at the end of their games. It was so much fun!

The best part, however, was that my friend, Denise and her husband, came to run as well! Of course, Jon ran far, far, ahead and finished 20+ minutes ahead of us, but we didn't mind. This was Denise's first race, and she hasn't been training long, so she was still in the "run awhile/walk awhile" stage of training. I had originally planned to just follow her lead and stick with her, but she runs faster than I do. So, she immediately took off and I told her just to go ahead, I'd catch up on her walking phase. So we did the back and forth thing for the first mile, with her being up front for awhile, then I'd pass her while she was walking, then she'd run past me again. Then for the second mile (which was the uphill part) I think I stayed about a block ahead. When I got to the downhill portion, I jogged in place to catch my breath let her catch up and then we pretty much ran it out together. We did get separated in the crowd for awhile, but we crossed the finish line together, so hopefully, when the pictures are ready, I'll be able to post one of the two of us finishing the race.

What's interesting is that Denise and I have tried to run together in the past. Back when I only had one kid and she wasn't even married yet, she and I would go to a local 1/8 mile track. Our original plan was to run a lap, then walk a lap, and continue the pattern. Our thinking was that as we built up our endurance, we would run more and walk less until we could eventually participate in a 5K race without completely embarrassing ourselves...we failed miserably. I don't think we could even run around that track one time! We gave up the whole running idea and ordered the "Praise Walk" tapes that would pace us and help us get into shape by walking.

Yesterday, she reminded me of the giant boombox we put in the basket of Benji's stroller so we could both listen to the tapes while we walked! We were so hip! We laughed at this while I was putting my armband MP3 player on my arm, and setting my MIO watch to keep track of my heart rate and calories, while Denise was syncing her IPod Nano to some little device on her shoe that kept track of her time and calories burned. We've come a long way, haven't we? Eleven years after our first attempt to train for it, and with 7 kids between us, we finally ran our first 5K together!

In a couple of weeks, there is a 10 mile WALK that Denise has signed up for and wants me to do with her. Apparently all the participants get a free meal at Serrano's Mexican Cafe, so you KNOW I'm totally in for this one!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway is Here!

The deadline for entering this giveaway is midnight tonight, November 3rd. I will use a random number generator to select a winner. I will announce the winner tomorrow, November 4! Thanks to everyone who entered, I wish I had 124 of these to give away so you could each have one!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Well, it's time for the "Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway" hosted by Rocks in My Dryer and I'm throwing my hat in the ring! I've been holding on to this one for awhile, and now it's finally time to "share the wealth" as it were. Hee-hee-hee! Back in August, when I was at the THSC Homeschool Convention, I was in a seminar taught by someone from the Financial Peace University and although I've tried to follow Larry Burkett's program for years, this program seemed to perhaps be a better fit for our situation and lifestyle. So, at the convention I purchased a copy of Dave Ramsey's latest book, as well as the audio version on CD with the intent to use one myself and give one away on this blog. And NOW the time has come. I am giving away the Audiobook set of CD's to one lucky winner! Just leave me a comment and let me know you are interested, and I'll enter you in the drawing!

Below is a synopsis of the audiobook in case you've not heard of Dave Ramsey or Financial Peace University. And in case you are wondering, no we're not "flush with cash" just yet, but we are trying to follow Dave's plan and feel that we are on the right track!

(Be sure to click on the "Fall Ya'll" button above to see all the other giveaways at all the other blogs!)

Build up your money muscles with America's favorite finance coach, Dave Ramsey. The Total Money Makeover will help you whip those out-of-control finances into shape. This is NOT a get rich quick scheme. It's a solid and straightforward game plan for completely making over your money habits. You'll learn how to pay off all your debt, recognize dangerous money myths, and secure a nest egg for emergencies and retirement. This revised and updated version also includes personal testimonies from men and women who have put these strategies into practice and succeeded. Abridged. Read by the author. 220 Minutes. 3 CDs.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Real Men Eat Bugs!

Yesterday was the "Hairyween" youth group celebration at our church. The theme this year was "Mullets and Mustaches" and the idea was to wear some sort of artificial hair. It was a virtual "Joe Dirt" meets "Billy Ray Cyrus" event! Hair, however was not the only attraction at this celebration...oh no, it was not.

Apparently the kids were all grouped into teams and sent to various stations where they were asked to do various and sundry things that ranged from the merely silly to the all out gross!

There was a station where you got points for your team if you agreed to shave your legs. (I know of at least one football player who left with striped legs because he wasn't finished before the time ran out...I assume he will finish the job when he gets home!)

There was another station where you "Bobbed for Stuff". The "stuff" included the classic, apples. BUT it also included things like; marshmallows, Spam, and ... PIGS FEET! Apparently, the number of points you earned went up with the level of grossness. I do believe that the pig's feet would earn the most points for your they should.

Then there was a station in which you were asked to eat a cricket for your team. Apparently, some girl on Benji's team asked him if he'd eat a cricket if she did, so he agreed. MY BOY ATE A CRICKET!!! He refuses to even put cheese in his mouth, he turns his nose up at hotdogs, and he isn't a big fan of cake...but a cricket? sure, no problem!! EEWWWW!!!

The final, and I believe the grossest by far was the worm station. I really would have thought the crickets would be harder to swallow than the worms, but apparently I would have thought wrong. I did hear things like, "the worms taste like garlic", and "the dirt is the worst part, if you can get past the dirt, the worm isn't that bad." Apparently, a LOT of kids couldn't "get past the dirt". My son included. When I was told that my son wouldn't eat a worm, I was never so proud. While I was proud of him for being willing to do something disgusting to help out his team (eating the cricket), I wouldn't want him just following the crowd all willy-nilly! As it turns out, he made a good choice because his team won the competition with the most total points, so he would have eaten the worm for nothing as they didn't need the points. I call that the wisdom of God speaking to my child!!

And no, he didn't get sick or anything afterwards...he is a REAL man!

Below is a picture of Benji with his mustache. He was going to go with a mullet, but could only find a blonde one, and he didn't want to have blonde hair (the goofy hairstyle didn't bother him, only the color!) I think after seeing all the crazy costumes the other kids wore, I think he may get more into it next year.

And here is a picture of Little Dave wearing the mustache...they all look just like Daddy! I wish I had thought to get them all mustaches and had them pose for a picture with Ben...too funny!

And now, if you stuck with me through this entire disgusting post, I'd like to remind you once again that this Sunday is the "Race for the Cure" here, and I am still planning to run. I am $35.00 short of my goal to raise $200.00, so if any of you wanted to make a donation, now would be a great time to do that! You can click here and make an online donation. Aside from that what I really need is prayers for the race. I'm running in the names of two of my friends who are losing their battles with breast cancer. Both of which have small children at home. I will be praying for a miraculous healing for them while I run and would love it if you would pray too! Also, I've been sick off and on for about a month and right now it's ON! I've requested to switch from the "Competitive Run" to the "Non-Competitive Run" in case I can't handle it and have to stop and walk awhile. I have only been out running once since that 5 Mile race in October, and I'm not sure I can make the whole 3.1 miles without a break. I am hoping to be able to get out at least once or twice before Sunday just to "test my legs"'s been too dark in the morning these days to go out at my usual 5:30am time, and Ben hasn't been home before dark in forever, but I am hoping to get out even if it means taking all the kids and pushing Dave in the stoller! Ugh, just the thought makes me tired! I think I'll go take a nap now...

And FINALLY...are you still with me...I know a lot of you have been missing the cakes. I'll have a post all about that soon, but for now I have a little something to tide you over. Last week my husband celebrated his 40th birthday! (Yes, he's younger than me, thanks for noticing...) ANYWAY, I used a picture of him as a 2 year old for his cake. Wasn't he adorable?!?! If it's hard to see, just click on the picture to make it bigger.

And if you haven't already, don't forget to stop by Shannon's Place for the Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway. There are some fantastic giveaways going on right now. I've entered several, but am hoping for a blog makeover! WOO-HOO!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

8 lbs. 6 1/4 oz. and 21 inches long

That's what my baby was TWELVE YEARS AGO today. My oldest turned 12 today. In some cultures, he would be a man. In "Mamaland" he's still a little boy. A little boy who still wants to cuddle up on the couch with me when he first wakes up. A little boy who still hugs and kisses me in front of his friends. A little boy who comes to me when he gets hurt and wants me to make it better.

When I first started this blog, I wrote a post introducing each of my children. The following is what I wrote about my firstborn. The child I prayed for. The child I wanted so badly. The first of four amazing gifts from God....

Wow, for some reason it is really hard for me to start to write about Benji. Benji was my first baby. I prayed for him. I asked for him. He was a direct answer from God to my prayer. When Benji was born it was just he and I all day long until Daddy came home. Benji was an angel baby. I took him EVERYWHERE and he was never fussy. We went to the mall, to movies, on walks to the 7 Eleven for a Slurpee, and he was happy and pleasant, a true joy. He sat still and quiet while I got my hair permed (2 hours mind you), he patiently was passed up and down the rows at church because everyone wanted to hold him, and he sat quietly in his carseat during Worship Team practice because both Daddy and I were on the team. People stopped me wherever I went to look at him because he was so beautiful. He was the perfect baby. He made me want to have 10 children. He's now 11 years old, and no longer quite so perfect, but he comes pretty close...most of the time!

You will see from the before and after pictures above, a big part of Benji's personality. Benji likes to have FUN! And fun sometimes comes at a price. (Our dentist has suggested bubblewrap!) He fell in our hotel room when he was 4--while we were frantically packing up to get out of there by checkout time--and split his chin open requiring 4 stitches. (I still haven't forgiven Ben (Daddy) for making me stay behind and finish packing while he rushed my baby to the ER.....without me. But that's a different story.)Then, when he was 8, he fell out of a tree at the park and tore his spleen. (This time I rushed him to the ER and left Daddy with the other kids.) We spent 4 days together in Children's hospital, he and I, after that one. And most recently, as you can see, he was playing "Hide-and-Seek" in the dark and ran into a hanging plant and broke his tooth. (Now I should note that his lip was completely unharmed...meaning, he was smiling! BIG! when he hit that pot!) None of my other kids have ever been to the ER at all. Apparently, they have learned well from Benji's mistakes!

Benji is also my athlete. He has LOVED baseball since he was 3 years old. He has played on a team since he was 5, and from time to time has dreams of playing in the Big Leagues. He also LOVES football although he isn't as good at football as he is at baseball, he REALLY loves playing the game. (That's MY boy!) Benji's only problem with sports is his see, growing up, I was a skinny-and by skinny, I mean BONEY-kid. EVERYONE made fun of me to the point that I wore sweat pants under my jeans to make myself look "normal". I am also about 5'2" tall. Now, I did try...Ben (my sweetheart husband) is 6'2" and about 175-180 lbs. Very healthy, very athleticly (is that a word?) built. Unfortunately for Benji, he is his mama's boy. He just doesn't have the size and power to be a true force at the bat or on the football field yet. So, he plays skill positions and doesn't care that he's little. I like that about Benji, he's just having fun playing the game. He doesn't care about being bigger, or stronger, he just wants to play.

Man, I could write for three more days and still think of things to tell you about Benji, but then who would feed the kids and the man? However, what I MUST tell you about Benji is that Benji is truly "Benjamin--the son of my right hand". Benji is my helper whenever I need him. He helps me with the cakes, he helps me with the other kids, and when my kidneys are acting up and I can't get up off of the couch, he helps take care of me. Benji and I are more than just mom and son, we are friends. He still gets up in the morning and comes to snuggle with me before everyone else gets up. He still kisses and hugs me in public, and tells me he loves me in front of his friends...sob... And he still looks for me in the stands during his games after he has made a good play to see if I saw it. (Are you crying yet? I'm darn close over here myself!)


Monday, October 22, 2007

Sick Kids, Tired Mom, No Time....Video Time!!!

Two of my kids aren't feeling well, I've been up at 3:00am for the past two mornings, and quite frankly I can't see straight at the moment and this typing thing is not easy to do when you can't see straight! SOOOOO....I'm going to let you see the final practice of Maddie's cheer team dance! They performed the dance Saturday during half-time at the football game as a final practice before yesterday's Cheer Competition (another post for another day!) My girl is second from the left in the front row--she's the one who counts them out after the cheer is over...I am just so proud, my girl can count!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bloggity Book Club -- Part 2!

For those of you who don't check BooMama three times a day...if there are any of you out there...I'm here to pass along the announcement that the Bloggity Book Club is happening again on November 7th. The details will be coming soon, but basically everyone reads the same book and then writes a post about it on the same day! Then we all go around and read everyone else's posts! The last one we did was on Beth Moore's "Get Out of That Pit" and it was oh so much fun! This time the book is a work of fiction titled "Peace Like a River" by Leif Enger.

I just finished the book myself and I was captured from the very first chapter. I'm sure the book will get a bunch of different reactions from different people because it is such a unique piece of work. I do highly recommend it and am anxious to get everybody else's impressions of it! So, go to your bookstore or your library and get reading! And be sure and stop by BooMama's for all the bloggity details of how the club will work!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Please Pray for Little Ethan

I clicked on the cute little picture of Ethan in my sidebar which takes me to his website where I was hoping to get good news...I found instead a plea for fervent prayer. The leukemia has returned. It had appeared to be packing up and leaving, but it has decided to camp out and stay.

Ethan's parents, Ben and Becky Powell, truly believe God can heal their little boy, but they would really appreciate all the prayer "back-up" they can get. This fight is personal for me for reasons I won't go into in this post. This isn't about me, it's about a little boy and his family who desperately need the healing touch of the Father right now. Will you please pray for Ethan today, and could you please post the request on your own blogs? Can we storm the gates of heaven for "Little E" today?

Thank you everyone, and you can read Ethan's story and get his updates here. If you haven't already, you will fall in love with this special little guy. He is indeed a treasure.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yankee or Dixie?

Okay, my friend, Heather, sent this to me and I decided to post it here so I can find out just exactly who my friends are! This is a short quiz to determine if you are more Yankee or Dixie...or at least whether you speak Southern or Northern!

So, just go here and take the quiz, then be sure and come back and post your results in the comments!

And in case you were wondering...yankee parents not withstanding, this girl scored 80% DIXIE!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

They're Running....

The kids and I (all except little Dave) ran in the Cedar Perk 5-Miler and Kid's K a couple of weeks ago. All the kids did great. Benji finished 5th over-all, and both Maddie and Jon finished strong. I had tears in my eyes watching them all take off. Jon didn't want Maddie to fall behind, so the two of them started out holding hands! How sweet is that? (Especially since the majority of their days are spent trying to see which can aggravate the other the most!)

They both stopped to walk for a little bit, but when the end was in site, Maddie took off running and Jon spent the remainder of the race trying to catch up. He told me, "I was holding her hand so she wouldn't be alone, and then she smoked me!" The best part was that he wasn't mad about it. He was proud of her.

Now, I should admit here and now that I don't run so much as I jog. I don't run for speed, I run for distance. If I can make it the whole 5 miles, I'm happy with that. I did however, beat my previous "fastest" time by running the entire five miles in a mere 1 hour and 14 minutes! This was a full minute faster than my previous best. Are you proud of me?

Would you still be proud of me if I told you I came in 246th out of 300 runners? How about if I told you that the speed walkers left me in the dust? What about if I mentioned that the fastest time that day was 28 minutes and 20 seconds? And here's the kicker...the lady who won in the 70-75 year old category ran it in less than 40 minutes!!! Believe me, there is no room for pride in my running career!

I did not stop to walk though, and I did finish the race with a sprint at the end which is always my goal--to have enough left at the end to finish strong. It just feels better than starting out strong and then crawling across the finish while sucking air!

The best part of the race for me, however, was when I came down to the final 1/4 mile mark to find three of the kids standing there waiting to finish the race with their mama! Here we are coming down the stretch... may notice the 4 people behind us. See how leisurely they are walking and having conversations while my face is completely red and I'm huffing and puffing? Sad, so very sad, I know. In fact Maddie thought I came in last place...she thought those people behind us were just out for a Sunday morning walk!

My next race will be on November 4, and it is the "Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure". My friend Denise is going to run or walk it with me. Yahoo! It's a 5K, so not as long as the 5-miler. Hopefully, we'll finish in front of the strollers and dog-walkers! But, just having a friend to do it with will be fun for me! If you are interested in making a donation for me, you can check out the details and find the link here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

More of the Same Around Here...

As usual, it is extremely busy around here. We have two more weeks of football/cheer; two more birthdays this month; and of course homeschooling and trying to keep up with a two year old are time consuming and exhausting! This is a slow week as far as cakes go, so I'm hoping to be able to blog a bit more this week...and yes C, I AM going to get your cookies done THIS WEEK! There, I said it to the blogosphere, so now I HAVE to get it done!

Anyway, my sister took some great pictures of my kids at last week's football games, so I thought I'd just share those with you all today because Barb has taught me that when all else fails, just post a bunch of really big pictures! LOL

This is Jon, playing on the offensive line and holding his block (our team is the blue/black). He's so little, but he plays so hard!

This is Maddie cheering for her brother.

Here is Benji also holding his block...from up in the air a bit.

Finally, here is little Dave holding his brother's sign during the game. Can you tell it's naptime? The blue football sticking up is a little sign one of the moms made for Benji, so he is trying to hold both signs at one time! He does love those brothers!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

First Things First

I have been terribly negligent in a bit of bloggy business, and since I am finally back, I feel that I must take care of it right away...

Several months ago I was contacted by someone from Zondervan Publishing and asked to review a book on this blog. Being the book lover that I am, I jumped at the chance to receive a FREE ONE! What I received in the mail was this book:

Author: Ravi Zacharias

Synopsis: With inspiring stories and thought-provoking questions, Ravi Zacharias traces the multiple threads of our lives, describing how the unseen hand of God guides our joys, our tragedies, our daily humdrum to weave a pattern of divine providence and meaning.

When the book arrived in the mail, I was quite excited. Who wouldn't be, after all, to be presented with a book that will explain how God uses the events in our lives to weave His tapestry? The minute I started reading, I thought to myself, "Hmm. They probably should have sent this book to Lisa at "The Preacher's Wife" instead of me! The man is highly intelligent, people, and writes to intelligent people. It reminded me of some of my textbooks in college, and though it has been a long time since I've read anything more challenging than, "Is Your Mama a Llama?", I thoroughly enjoyed the book!

The stories he used as examples were so engaging and thought provoking, that I was immediately drawn in. Through his commentary and story-telling, Ravi Zacharias makes you want to live your life with purpose. He makes you anxious to see the final tapestry that God is weaving in your life, and yet he also teaches you how to patiently live each day of your life allowing God to weave each thread in His own time.

It was a fabulous book, and I do highly recommend it! I'll be passing my copy along to some lucky reader in the near future. So, if you are interested in reading this book, just leave me a note in the comments and I'll pass it along to one of you! If, however, you just can't can find this book at most book stores or you can order it straight from Zondervan.

Now I must go get breakfast for the kiddos, but I'll be back later with a BRAND NEW BLOG AWARD! Oh yes, I thought this one up all by myself...and yes, there is a story behind it. Stay tuned, folks. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm Back....well, tomorrow anyway!

I know, you didn't know it, but my computer crashed....again....on my birthday....sigh. Anyway, I am now the proud owner of a brand spanking new hard drive and (cross your fingers) we shouldn't have any more trouble! If we do...well, let's just say the word Macintosh is sounding very, very, good to me!

Anyway, I'll be back officially tomorrow with an actual post! I need to catch you up on my birthday...and the very famous person that I share it with, David's latest exploits, and perhaps even a little football!

So, sleep well internet friends, I am alive and well, and will be back to posting sometime tomorrow. I know both of you are thrilled to hear it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I Am Asking for Your Help

UPDATED: Wow, we've already made our original goal of $100!! Now the goal has been raised to $200...and we're only $75 short of that goal! Let's see how many times we can adjust that goal, shall we? Thanks everyone!

We all know people who are battling cancer, leukemia, or any number of other serious diseases. I don't know about you, but I feel so helpless sometimes in the face of such huge giants. Currently, two of my friends are battling breast cancer, and apparently losing the battle. While I know that God is bigger than this disease, and that He certainly can heal them, I also feel the need to do something proactive. So, I have entered myself in this year's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I have a personal web page set up here where people can go to make an online donation to help find a cure for this terrible disease.

So, if there are any of you out there who would like to make a donation, you can go to my personal page and make a donation. I would also appreciate it if anyone is willing to post the link on their own blogs to help raise money as well. The default goal for each runner to raise is $100. $100 would be amazing, but I'd love it if we could blow that goal right out of the water! So if you can help by making a donation, or passing on the link, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Things have been entirely too serious around here....

so...I thought I'd just jump in here for a minute and fill you in on the latest episode of "The Young and the Restless" aka "The Adventures of David".

I believe that I have mentioned once or seventy times that little Dave is a completely different animal from the rest of the Zoo. He was colicky, he didn't want to nurse past eight months and actually thrived on formula, he is blonde haired and blue eyed, he screams..a lot..with joy, with anger, with really doesn't matter the circumstance, David just likes to scream. Once he began sleeping through the night, he did it with a flourish...we're talking 11 hours straight, people. Once he learned to sit, he was content to sit amidst a pile of toys, or in front of his beloved "Signing Time" for hours without complaint. I'm telling you, he went from being the most work of all (during those colicky times) to being the easiest one of all...

Our mistake was in teaching the boy to walk. He resisted, preferring to be carried every where he went of course, but we persisted, encouraging the tiniest efforts and even rewarding him for the smallest progress...we were fools. Because now you see, the animal is mobile and can climb stuff, and knows where all the good stuff is hidden. Did I tell you before about how he decorated the kitchen not once, but three separate times with food coloring? Did I mention the Sharpie marker on the walls and doors of our hallway? Have I told you about the cookies that I needed to deliver to a customer, that had tiny little bites missing from them? Have I mentioned waking up in the middle of the night to find him in the living room, having turned on all of the lights, sitting in a pile of bills and other mail with a ball point pen and drawing on said mail?

Well, I know I've mentioned that I feel the need for a gate to keep him in his room at night while all the normally watchful eyes are sleeping...but alas, I'm still losing that argument. Which leads me to David's latest late night adventure...

I awoke at 5:30 as usual to start my morning run, only to open my bedroom door and find little Dave standing there holding something in his hands and eating it with great enthusiasm. As soon as he saw me, he dropped the something and took off running for his bed. I bent over to pick up the something and discovered that he had eaten two one ounce squares of chocolate almond bark that I use for baking and was working on a third! Yes, my son is a chocaholic, and a candy addict as well. One day in the future when he is sitting in his weekly therapy session, I'm sure he'll blame me for his addictions. "It was all my mother's fault! She ran a cake and cookie business right out of our house!! I was surrounded by sugar MY WHOLE LIFE!!!"

You know, back when I was praying for God to give me just one more baby, I had considered the ramifications of having a newborn at 40 years old...what I neglected to consider were the ramifications of having a 2 year old at 42!!! Next week I will celebrate my 42nd birthday, but it feels more like 82! Can I get an "AMEN" from the choir please??? Thank you, thank you very much, and please pass the Geritol...

Here is a rare picture of the little guy sleeping (yes, he is actually asleep) at his brothers' football game...I'm guessing his late night adventures wore him out!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Have I mentioned my love for all things football????

Okay, it's bragging time here at Kids, Cakes, etc...

I haven't posted too much about the football season, because quite frankly it didn't start out too well for any of my teams. The Longhorns have been winning, but not convincingly, and people around here are completely freaked out by that. A narrow win, just doesn't do it for Longhorn fans.

Then my Texans let David Carr go, and that made me angry, but they have been winning, so I suppose I'll forgive them...maybe.

Benji's team started out their first game with a 12-0 lead, and then completely blew the rest of the game and got toasted. The next two games were no better. Then yesterday, they came to play! I was only able to stay for the first half because we had an unfortunate conflict with Jon's game, but I did get to see Benji catch his first pass in a game! It was quite the proud moment. They have been practicing a new play where they throw him the ball, but so far it hasn't made it into a game. He is a starting Wide Receiver, but they haven't been running pass plays this season. They promised him they would get the new play in for this week's game. I was praying they would do it before I had to leave. (I was also praying that he would actually catch it! :) Cause it's a whole lot easier to do in practice than it is in the actual game when there is another team doing their best to keep you from catching it!) They didn't actually run the play, but while B was blocking for the guy who was supposed to be catching the pass, he realized the guy had run the wrong route, so B broke off of his block and made a diving catch for a ten yard gain on the play! I was quite the proud mama, let me tell you! I won't mention the fact that when I left we were winning 13-7, but apparently they completely fell apart in the second half and the other team ended up winning. I won't mention that because it makes me sad, and I just want to revel in the glow of B's first catch in a game...

Now Jon's team has been the complete opposite, they started out their first game poorly, and lost 6-24. But since then, they have won 3 games straight and not allowed a single point scored against them! Jon started out as a wide receiver on offense and a linebacker on defense. He played these positions because in practice he could catch pretty well, and he was really good at tackling. The tackling took them all by surprise because he is probably the littlest guy on the team, although one of the oldest! Anyway, Jon wasn't doing as well at these positions as he would like, because they required speed, and that is one thing Jon does not have! So, I spoke to his coach, and just mentioned that Jon really wanted to play on the offensive line. He was shocked, because Jon is so little, but I assured him that blocking was one of Jon's best talents, so the next game, he put him on the line and guess what? Jon is now officially on the offensive line! His coach told me that he rewound the game tape a few times just to make sure that it was really Jon knocking those bigger kids on their tails and even pushing one back 5 yards!

So, Jon was enjoying his spot on the offensive line, but he was still playing linebacker on defense. Now linebacker was exactly the position Jon wanted to play, however, again the speed thing was keeping him from being able to make as many tackles as he would have liked. He was able to get in on a few, but he wasn't ever able to be the first contact and make a tackle himself. However, that all changed yesterday. Yesterday, they put Jon on the defensive line for some reason and on his first play, he busted through the offense and made the tackle behind the line of scrimmage all by himself! You should have seen the look of pure joy on that boy's face! As soon as he had the chance he ran over to the fence to make sure I knew that he had made a tackle all by himself! When we got home, he was taking his gear off, and he just looked at me and smiled and said, "I really like that defensive line!"

And, of course, the girl has done a great job cheering as well. She is one of the youngest, but she is able to learn and memorize all the cheers and moves as well as the bigger girls. I've had a couple of the football player's mom's comment that she looks like she was just born to be a cheerleader and that she looks like she could have just stepped out of a 1950's cheer squad. She just looks the part I guess. The important thing is that she is having fun cheering for her brother's team, and he likes having her out there cheering for him!

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those moms who thinks her kids are just the best and do everything right! In fact, I could list many, many examples of missed open-field tackles, bad attitudes, shoving other players to the ground because they made fun of your size...and on and on... But I actually had some stuff to brag on this week, so I chose those things as the fodder for this post, because it's my blog, and I can post what I want to! LOL!

Well, I've got a cake ready to decorate, a two-year-old to put down for a nap, and my Texans are playing the Colts today and the game will actually be TELEVISED! (Ever since Vince Young signed with the Titans, we get the Titan games on tv here instead of the Texans games....sigh.) So, I'll be recording the NASCAR race to watch later, and watching the Texans' game live while doing laundry and trying to clean up this pigsty! Ben has the three older kids over at his mom's house for a visit, so it's just little D and me here this afternoon. A perfect scenario for housecleaning and football watching! (At least while he's napping anyway!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Just Wanted to Share This With You All

Last week when I went to pick up Benji from Youth Group, they were watching this video. It is just so powerful, that I wanted to share it with all of you. The Youth Group did an altar call for anyone that was touched by the video and they had a lot of girls AND boys on their knees sobbing at the altar. It started off a little slowly, but it is extremely powerful at the end.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Just a Quick Note

Hello Everyone! I can't believe I haven't posted since September 3rd!!! Where have I been? Living life with 4 kids, two football teams, one cheer squad, one ballet class, one husband, one 2 year old, and a feast or famine baking business....need I say more?

Anyway, I really don't have time to be here now either, however, I didn't want anyone to think I'd fallen off the face of the earth altogether!

I haven't even been around reading blogs too much, so it wasn't until I went to catch up with Barb that I even realized that Amy Wilhoite passed away a few days ago. I am so very sad for Amy's husband and son. I found Amy the same day I found baby Ethan, and both of their stories broke my heart. I guess God had a different plan for Amy, and I know his plans are always the best, but it is still hard for those of us left behind.

Well, I really must get off of this computer now, but I need to announce the winner of the GIVEAWAY! And the winner is....Cheri! Congratulations Cheri and you can email me with your address and how exactly I mail stuff to you in Italy! I hope you enjoy the book!

And now, I will leave you with a few pictures, so you can see what I've been doing while I've been gone! I'll have some more with cakes and cookies soon too...for now, it's all about the kids!

Here is Maddie cheering at Jon's first game...

And here is Jon taking a picture with Rashad Bobino (middle linebacker for the Texas Longhorns...#44) at practice one day. He just came by to encourage the boys and to take pictures with whoever wanted one. Cool huh?

I'll post some "action" shots soon, but I have to go through them all and try to pick out my own kids from the crowd. It's tough getting football pictures because everyone is in a giant group, or a big pile on the field! LOL!

Well, I've gotta go for now. Hopefully, I'll be able to get back a little sooner this time and catch you all up with life here in Texas. I miss all my bloggy friends!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

An UPDATED Giveaway!!!!


*This is a sticky post and will remain at the top of my blog until the contest is over. Scroll down for newer posts!*

My friend, Marcy has finally published her book of family devotions! Marcy is not only one of the funniest women I know, she is an amazing teacher. (I'm still trying to get her to start her own blog!) Anyway, she has published a family devotion book titled Catching Fireflies and it looks like so much fun that I decided to share it with all of you! I have ordered two autographed copies and am going to give one of them away to one of you!

UPDATE: I received the books in the mail last week and have been going through it over the past few days. It is even neater than I imagined! Here is an excerpt from the Introduction in the book:

"I remember warm nights in late spring, early summer, waiting for it to get dark outside. When it was just dark enough, my family would go outside and catch fireflies. Fireflies only came out in the dark and it was so fun catching them and watching them glow. Fireflies locate each other by their light, they illuminate the darkness and they warn predators to stay away. Some groups of fireflies even blink in unison throughout the night. I always found the light in these little bugs to be fascinating.

I can't think of a better description for the purpose for this book. Family devotion time should be as fun as catching fireflies. Family devotions should be full of fun activities, because learning about God's love can be fun. Families should be able to locate each other by the light within them, they should illuminate the darkness wherever they are and when families are lit on fire in unison together, they will warn predators like divorce, discord and demise to flee at the sight of the light."

Doesn't that just sound like what you want for your own family? Me too!! So, I started looking through some of the studies, and the first one that caught my eye was one in which you teach your children about being "bound up in sin" by wrapping them completely in toilet paper! How fun will that be? There is a story that you read aloud and as you read you unwrap the "mummified" child demonstrating how believing in Christ frees us from the bondage of sin. BUT THEN, she goes on with the example to show how even as Christians, we can become bound up in sin and even though we are free, we can still live a life of bondage. This story is the opposite, you read about a Christian who becomes proud and quits caring about others, stops going to church, etc. and with each of these things you are wrapping another part of the body with the toilet paper until eventually the Christian is completely bound just the way the unbeliever was before Christs mercy unbound him. It is a very fun and silly way to demonstrate a very powerful truth.

There was not much response to my first post about this giveaway, but I am hoping that now that I have seen the book and been able to give an actual review, that interest will be sparked! So, I am extending the deadline for the giveaway until this Friday, September, 14th.

All you need to do is post a little something on your blog that links back to this post (just to get the word out to as many people as possible) and then leave me a comment letting me know you are interested in winning the book. And if you want to take a look at a sample of some of the lessons, you can just click on the button at the top of this post, and it will take you to the official website for the book.

Thanks ya'll! I can't wait to share this book with someone out there!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Go and Check This Out

If you haven't already been by there today, you need to head on over to Shalee's Diner and see what she has posted today. It will bless your little heart!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I Just HAD To Do This One

I know, there are all kinds of these little "Blogthings" out there to do, but ya'll, this one was about CAKE...I HAD to do it. I just HAD to! Besides, it said something nice about me. Much nicer than this one!

You Are a Chocolate Cake

Fun, comforting, and friendly.
You are a true classic, and while you're not super cutting edge, you're high quality.
People love your company - and have even been known to get addicted to you.

Reason Number 473 Why Exercise is BAD for You...

Have you heard the old joke about why you never smile while riding a motorcycle? You know, 'cause you get bugs in your teeth! Well, that goes for running too. Although honestly, I don't have too much trouble NOT smiling when I'm running. I usually don't smile until I'm all finished, 'cause THAT is something to be happy about! However, I think perhaps a pair of goggles may be in order...

Yesterday morning, while I was out for my morning run, a bug flew in my eye! That's right, directly into my eye...and stuck there. When I closed my eye and tried to wipe it out, it started burning like fire. When I finally, removed what was left of the carcass from my eyeball, it was an ANT. Yes, a flying ANT. And you know what the burning was??? The little sucker stung me!!! Right on the eye! I have an ant bite right on my tear duct! I really should be on Oprah for this one, don't you think? I mean really, has anyone in the history of the world ever been stung by an ant on their tear duct??? I don't think so!!!

The strange thing is, it really doesn't hurt. In fact, as soon as I removed the ant itself, it stopped hurting. And it really doesn't itch too much either. It does a little, but not so much that I can't keep my hands off of it. The really funky thing about it is that I can feel it when I blink. It feels like there is something in my eye...all the time. It's really just annoying, not painful or anything, but really, really annoying!

So, I'll just wait here for Oprah's people to call, and I'll be sure and let you all know when the episode of "500 Reasons Why We Shouldn't Exercise" or "When Weird Things Happen to Normal People" airs. 'Cause really, I could be featured on either one...sigh.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

This and That, and a Little Bit of The Other...

I know there is someone out there who noticed I was gone...and missed me. I don't know who you are, because I was not only missing from the blogosphere, I was also cut off from my email. So all those emails I know you sent asking if I was okay, and when oh when would I be back to blogging about well, nothing....are still floating out there in cyberspace somewhere. Yes, you guessed it, Mr. Computer crashed again...sigh. I lost everything. All the pictures I had taken since the last crash are gone. I knew I should have backed them all up on flashdrives, but I wanted to organize them first...stupid, stupid, me.

Anyway, I'm back up and running...for now...but I'm totally okay with some computer company sending me their latest and greatest laptop for review on this here blog! If any of you major computer companies are reading this, feel free to compete for my affections. Cause they are for sale, my friends. Oh yes they are.

Now, back to business. I do have a little bloggy business to take care of. Wendy Darling bestowed the "Nice Matters" award to me some time ago and I have been way too slow in not only thanking her, but in passing said award along!

"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you've been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."

So, now I must pass this award along to 7 of my fellow bloggers...this is always the hard part. I have about 30 feeds in my bloglines right now and quite frankly, I don't read anyone who isn't nice. I mean really, why waste my day with angry people? And I know that many of those I read have probably already received this award, although I couldn't tell you who for sure. So, I'm just going to name those 7 bloggers that I read that I know actually work at never saying anything mean or nasty, and who truly believe that being nice matters...'cause it does. It sooo does!

So, this award goes to Barb, Kelli, Real Estate Girl, Cheri, Dee Dee, Shalee, and of course, The Preacher's Wife, my first-ever bloggy friend and one of the nicest people on the planet! So, there you have it. If you don't regularly read these blogs, you should. And if you do...well, you already know! Thanks again to Wendy Darling for giving this award to me and thanks to all of you who are out there writing nice things for nice people to read!

Now, our second order of business is a little bloggy giveaway! I will be hosting a giveaway here for a really neat book of family devotions titled "Catching Fireflies" by my friend, Marcy Lytle. I am going to put all the details in a separate post for you to link back to if you choose to enter the giveaway. I'll put the post up this afternoon with all the details and I'll make it a sticky post and keep it at the top of the blog until the contest is over. Make sure and check it out because it looks like a really neat book!

And now, because I promised you more news from the Homeschool Convention, and because I just listened to Big Mama and BooMama discuss the latest fashions on their podcast...which you really must listen to, I thought I'd share with you both my expectations and the reality of the current fashion trends among the homeschooling crowd. You're on the edge of your seats, aren't you? Well, you should be because following the current homeschool fashion trends could be the difference between someone letting their homeschooled child play with your homeschooled child, or having them shun your children completely! I'm kidding of course...well, mostly.

ANYWAY, when I last attended a Homeschool Convention, the wardrobe of choice was the denim jumper and the very comfortable, if not so much attractive Birkenstock sandals. (I was wearing jeans, boots, and either a sweater twinset or a top and blazer.) I wasn't really sure what to expect since it has been 3 years or more since my last convention. I noticed immediately that denim jumpers were scarce this year. In fact I believe I counted only 12 jumpers the entire 3 days of the convention...and only 5 of those were denim! Amazing! So what was the choice in homeschooled fashion this year? The Ankle Length Denim Skirt with...FLIP FLOPS! I couldn't even count them, there were so many. And even those who dared to wear something other than an Ankle Length Denim Skirt were wearing the FLIP FLOPS! (I was wearing jeans, boots, and a top and jacket. My fashion loyalties are not easily swayed, oh no they are not.)

Okay, now to make the whole fashion story a bit more interesting for those of you who couldn't care less what homeschoolers are wearing these days...let me paint a little picture for you. Homeschoolers, as a general rule, have 3 or more kids per family....mostly more. And a majority of those have still nursing babies that obviously need to be fed. So, picture if you will, a hotel lobby filled with women in skirts that concealed every inch of their calves and ankles, but who had their, um, *parts* exposed for all hotel guests and convention attendees to see as they brought nourishment to the little darlings!

Now, I was a nursing mama myself, 4 times over, and there were times that I was forced to feed the little guys in public places. I did, however, have a nifty little cover up thingy that kept all my *parts* well covered should anyone pass by. And whenever possible I would go to the restroom to feed my babies. I have stood leaning up against many a public restroom wall and nursed a baby while making awkward conversation with total strangers. I totally understand the need to occasionally feed the offspring in public...I really do.

Oh, but did I mention that there was a designated nursing room set up for the convention attendees? 'Cause there was. There was even one speaker who hinted, to no avail, that if people needed to nurse their babies, it was only polite to go to the nursing room as there were many dad's as well as highschool boys attending the convention, and I'm afraid they all had whiplash from trying to turn their heads away!

So, the trend for this year's fashionable homeschooler is apparently, Ankle Length Denim Skirts and blouses that are pulled up to one shoulder or the other at any given time. I sooooo wish I could have heard the conversation that Big Mama and BooMama would have had if they had been there...oh yes I do!