Sunday, August 31, 2008


And I'm not just talking about that Aggie game! Although it was painful too. Can't think of the last time the Ags ran out of time in a season opener. UGH! It's going to be one long, painful season. Can we just forfeit right now? And start over next fall? A new coaching staff, mostly underclassmen players, recipe for disaster! Okay, but really that's not the pain that I'm speaking of.

I've had severe back pain since about Tuesday. It started in the lower back, not being able to bend from the waist. And when I'm cleaning house and picking up toys, shoes, and everything else off the floor, I have to squat and lean over because I can't bend down from my waist. It's very bizarre to watch I'm sure. But I've gotten really good at it. I thought it was getting better towards the end of the week, but now I'm a mess again. I can feel a pinched nerve from my shoulder all the way down to my rear and that other strange pain in my lower back is still there that keeps me from bending at the waist. I've taken so many ibuprofen this week and tylenol and advil and all sorts of things, but nothing gives me an ounce of relief. I'm sure it doesn't help that 35lb Ashton requires me to carry her and hold her everywhere I go. And she's so insistent! Even when I say, "Mommy can't hold you, my back hurts" she just collapses on the floor and cries until I pick her up. I think I'm going to have to break down and go to the doctor this week. I'm in so much pain and it has really slowed me down. Daddy doesn't seem to understand the extent of my pain and just expects me to do what I always do, but everytime I pick someone up or clean house or do simple things like bend down to unload the dishwasher, it's excrutiating. And I know if he were in half the pain I'm in right now, he would be layin in a bed!

Friday, August 29, 2008

My body is in FL but...

but my heart is in Texas today! My first Aggie home opener to miss in 16 years. I can't stop the tears today. I love my Aggies! If anyone is a pilot, can you come pick me up and fly me to College Station, TX before 6 p.m. on Saturday? There is no place on earth like Aggieland. Gig'Em Ags! Beat the HELL outta Arkansas State (whoever that is!) ***note to all you non-Aggies, "Hell" is not a cuss word in Aggieland. It's just what we say!*** I can't watch this video without mega tears of great pride!!!! Thank you GOD for allowing me to be a Fightin Texas Aggie! WHOOP!

Monday, August 25, 2008

So this whole homework thing...

it started! Today! Homework! Can you picture me doing the whole "Home Alone" grab my face and scream thing? Cause I am! Okay, so the homework is not really "homework". It's more like the suggestions given by the teacher to help your child REALLY succeed in school. Which I am ALL FOR! In fact, I love homework. I believe in homework. Lots of homework. Call me Chinese. But homework is healthy! I'm also all for standardized tests! I think you should have to take a standardized test in order to reproduce. But back to homework. So Lexi came home today and said, "Mommy, look in my student planner. I have homework today." Okay, I thought. I can do this whole homework thing. This will be kind of fun. I'm a certified teacher. I taught gifted and talented students. Surely I can handle kindergarten homework. Right? (chuckle here) Today was my first attempt to do "homework" with Lexi. It went a little something like this:

Me: So let's practice writing your first and last name ON THE LINES. We're going to begin with a capital letter. Lexi, did you hear me? Pick up your pencil. I said ON THE LINES. Okay, let mommy show you. See how mommy is doing it. Lexi? Are you watching mommy? Ashton, PLEASE quit spilling juice on Mommy's clean floor. Okay, Lex, now let's see you do it. No no honey, see this line and this line, you have to stay between them! Watch mommy again. Okay now it's your turn. ASHTON, PLEASE leave the juice on the table. Okay, Lex, let's try it again, this time try to stay ON THE LINES. Okay, but honey, what is that? Does your "C" look anything like mommy's "C"? Why does your "C" have a tail and a face? Lexi, I need for you to focus and do your best work. Come on now, sit up straight. Here we go. Candice, PLEASE STOP BARKING!

Lexi: I don't really feel like doing this today mommy. I'm tired.

Me: You can sleep later. Come on. Your teacher said you have to know how to write your first and last name, using capital and lowercase letters on the handwriting paper. Come on. If you will just do it for me perfect three times, you can go play. ASHTON, WHAT ARE YOU FEEDING THE DOG????

Lexi: MOMMY...THIS IS STUPID!!!!!!!! (in a very whiney voice...)I. don't. wanna. do. this. any. more. (perking up...)Is that the ice cream truck? Mommy, can we buy ice cream?

Me: (Staring at her in disbelief for a few awkward seconds) Okay, let's take a break! (A FOUR HOUR BREAK WHICH WE NEVER RESUMED FROM AND NOW SHE'S IN BED!)

Um homeschooling? No thank you! And daddy just earned himself homework duty for the next 15 years!

Friday, August 22, 2008


That's how I'm feeling. Bluh! This weather!!! Fay Fay go away! The tropical storm that never ends. Not even a peak, not a hint, of sunshine since Sunday! I've had my fill. At least the rain slowed down a bit today. My yard looks like a jungle. My phone lines are so soggy from all the rain, that they barely work half the time, there's so much static on the lines from the water, the caller ID hasn't worked in 3 days, and my kids are going stir crazy! I asked Cary if we could organize a state wide campaign to have everyone walk outside, look up and face East and just blow as hard as you can blow. Then maybe the storm would actually MOVE east rather than just sitting still! He said it would take way more than the population of Florida to make it move. Shucks. It was worth a thought. Bluh!

The carpool line is STILL an hour long each day. My only complaint so far about this school. Even in the mornings just to drop her off takes 30 minutes from the time we leave the driveway until she gets out of the car, and the school is only a mile or less down the road! I can drive there in 2 minutes! Bluh! At least the principal makes us smile each morning in his mickey mouse ears and big white Mickey glove as he's out there directing traffic in the rain!

I got my hair done today. Which means two words...People Magazine! That's the only time I ever read that magazine and today there were three very sad stories in it...Bernie Mac (his wife of 30 years made me get all teary), Steven Curtis Chapman and family talking about the death of their little girl, and Elizabeth Edwards and her lyin, cheatin husband. But the part that made me the most sad in that story was her incurable cancer and the young children she will leave behind. What a hard life that lady has had! I love her!!! And I'm not even a democrat!!! So after reading all three stories, I felt even more Bluh! At least my hair looks good.

And right now I'm thinking about the enormous pile of laundry I must tackle this weekend, as well as the mess in my house which has been neglected this week as I've tried to go into work when the girls are in school. So knowing that my weekend involves nothing but work and eating cheap food and not leaving the house as to make our gasoline go farther makes me feel Bluh! I think I'll just go look in the mirror at my hair some more. It makes me happy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Go Away Fay!

The tropical storm that just won't go away! Is it just me or did today seem worse than yesterday? Not that it was really bad, but the RAIN, the constant rain! I'm just ready to see sunshine in the sunshine state! Go away Fay!

The girls went back to school today and had another EXCELLENT day. I can't say enough about how thrilled I am with the public school Lexi goes to. I have now heard from 3 former teachers at that school and the PTA president who have all said that Lexi has the GREATEST teacher and I believe them. She is truly wonderful and we are so blessed! Lexi adores her. I know God gave us the best of the best!!! Today, she came home with mouse ears on and her face was painted like a mouse face. She said they acted out a story and all the children got to be little mice. They learned to be "quiet as a mouse". I will forever cherish the memory of driving up to the carpool lane today and seeing my little cutie pie standing in the line next to all those big kids and she had on her little mouse ears, with her little pink nose and whiskers. It was such an adorable view from my front windshield. And tonight at church, she got to meet her AWANA teacher for the first time. She has the sweetest mommy as her teacher. Her name is Ms. Martha. We love Ms. Martha. She's so nurturing and so southern and so sweet so cute, I just want to squeeze her every time I see her. Yes, I'm talking about Ms. Martha, not Lexi. Although Lexi is definitely squeezable too! And starting in two weeks, I'm going to be Lexi's Sunday School teacher. She is just going to have the BEST year I'm telling you! A great school teacher, a great AWANA teacher, and her mommy on Sundays! You just can't beat that!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Hairicane Party

Okay, so Fay never made it to big, bad hurricane status, I mean hairicane status. We were hoping to have a hurricane party today with school out and Cary's office closed. The palm trees out front are blowing so hard, they look like they could just uproot any minute and the rain is pelting on our driveway. Okay, KIDDING! Fay. What a joke. Well, I know the nitty gritty part of the storm hasn't gotten here yet, but I'm not sure there IS a nitty gritty part from watching all the coverage. In fact, Lexi just asked if we could go for a bike ride before the "hairicane" comes. Uh, it's here. This is it kiddo. And then she asked if she could have a 2nd pack of chocolate chip muffins for breakfast and when I said, "No, you may have a piece of fruit or something healthy" she said, "WHAT KIND OF HAIRICANE PARTY IS THIS?" We've already decided if we lose power, we're going to Disney World. The lights are ALWAYS on at Disney! Seriously. I heard that after the last hurricane, the power was back on at Disney almost immediately. Not surprising. Well, we have our batteries and candles and bottles of water and I was really hoping for a spectacular show by mother nature, but so far...Nothin! Some kind of hairicane party! This is sleeping weather. But not like my girls are going to sleep. Although...Benadryl anyone? Is that sniffle I hear?

Monday, August 18, 2008

1st Day Wrap Up

A picture of Lexi looking in her back pack to see what the back pack fairy brought her.
My big girl all ready for kindergarten, back pack on and cool water bottle (from the back pack fairy) in hand!
My other big girl all ready for pre-k...paci and all!
Today was a great day! Kindergarten got rave reviews. She was all smiles when I picked her up and the first thing she said when she got in the car was "Mommy, that was so fun. I want to go back every day!" Ashton was all smiles too at the end of the school day. Unfortunately, there's no school tomorrow. Tropical Storm Faye! Which cracks me up. When I was a kid, we went to school during tropical storms. (I grew up in the Houston area.) I remember quite a few school bus trips to our neighborhood and the neighborhood was so flooded that the bus couldn't even get in so they would drop us off at the neighborhood entrance and we would roll up our pant legs and walk home in water knee high! Boy how times have changed. But today was a great day for everyone. Even daddy went back to school today! Other than the hour long line at the carpool pick up spot, it was FABULOUS!!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

'Twas the Night Before...

THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!! HOOOORAY! I don't know who is more excited, me or the children. Quick story, this whole school thing just keeps getting better and better. Today at church, I was talking to a mother of FIVE (God bless her soul) and her three older children attend the same school Lexi is going to. Turns out, her adorable, sweet, bubbly, cute as a button 5 yr old IS IN LEXI'S CLASS!!!!!! I am so excited! Not only did I pray for just the right teacher, I also prayed specifically for God to place a friend in her class that comes from a good family. And I love this family. They are precious. (Mimi and Dada G, you would like them too. They are both Auburn grads!) And then after church, we just so happened to run into them at lunch, so Lexi sat with their daughter and they had fun times and got to know each other a little better. So she already has a sweet friend in her class which I'm sure will help ease the jitters a bit. Tonight the backpack fairy is paying us a visit. She's bringing some school supplies, a cool water bottle, Go Fish Alphabet cards, and some cool gel pens to use at home. Oh and some flip flops. Not that she can wear them to school, but they were like $.50 at Walgreens. What backpack fairy could resist that?

First day of school pictures coming soon! Pray for us!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Blue Like Jazz

It's no secret. I'm a NON-READER! Says so right there on my little bloggity profile. Yes, sad to say, I'm a former school teacher with a degree in education and an emphasis in READING and I'm a non-reader! How does that work? Well, I'm only a non-reader because truthfully, most books just downright bore me silly. Maybe it's because I'm just so intellectual and they don't stimulate me enough. Yeah. That's it! I should move before lightening strikes me.
However...this book, Blue Like Jazz, written by a personal friend of mine, a childhood friend that I grew up with, attended school with and attended church with, named Donald Miller, made me become a READER, even if only temporarily. My memories of Donald are that he was such a fun, easy going guy, a deep thinker even back then, kind of a cut up, someone who always made us laugh. His mom is a jewel! She's really quite funny herself and very intelligent as well and has an incredible heart for children's ministry. She is a neat lady. I was actually quite honored to receive an email from her last week. She had tracked me down after I made a post on a don miller fan site and wanted to get in touch with my mom.
This book! Oh this book! LOVED IT!!!! You have no idea how badly I needed to read this book. I struggle, being a pastor's wife, with the area of feeling constantly judged and condemned by others. Not even necessarily from church members. I feel often like since I'm a pastor's wife, that we live in a glass house. Blogging probably doesn't help as I lay my life out there on the web for all the world to see! I often feel that my kids are supposed to turn out perfectly, that people are always watching to see what we do and don't do. Granted, most of that is probably internal and most people probably could care less what we do and don't do! But this book really helped to set me free from some of those feelings. Donald is so candid about his spirituality and I love it! This book was so ME! I wanted to yell AMEN and give a standing ovation after every chapter. I told my husband, I think this book should be a required reading for all pastors, and anyone who calls themself a "Christian". It's THAT good! I got it for about $5 bucks at the Christian Bookstore. And I'm ready to run right out and get another don miller book. I think my old friend just became my favorite writer.
Oh I love this quote off of one of his sites, in reference to this book he says..."permission to be human and to interact with God without all of the mind-melt that comes with growing up in a religious family." Have I mentioned how much I loved this book???

Friday, August 15, 2008

Meet The Teacher

Today, we attended Meet the Teacher for both girls and WOW! I am so excited and relieved and happy and peaceful about the upcoming school year. Lexi's kindergarten teacher...AMAZING. She's an older lady, looks to be in her 60's but fun and enthusiastic and energetic and a bit crazy like a kindergarten teacher should be. Her classroom was beautiful. It was what every kindergartener would love. It was creative, colorful, professional, warm and inviting, fun, CLEAN, organized, beautifully decorated, and full of opportunities to explore and learn. It totally exceeded my aesthetic standards. The school mascot is a bear and the school color is green. So the teacher had a plush, soft, fuzzy teddy bear with a green balloon at every child's seat for them to take home with them. There were cookies and milk. Even the private classroom bathroom was beautifully decorated with rugs and flowers and wall hangings and was very kid friendly. There was a kindergarten sized playground right outside the classroom door. I could not have been more pleased. I love it that her teacher is "seasoned", not that there is anything wrong with young teachers. I was a young teacher. But for some reason, it just feels so comforting to know that my child will be taught phonics and reading and the basic fundamentals of mathematics from a seasoned veteran who has a ton of experience and who probably does things the old fashion way, which is the best way in my opinion!

So after meeting Lexi's teacher and JOINING THE PTA (I didn't waste any time) we headed over to Ashton's school to meet her teacher. It turns out that she is going to preschool 3 days a week rather than 2 days a week from 9-noon. It was sort of a little mess up by the director, but after we thought about it all day, we felt like maybe it wasn't really a mistake after all. Maybe it was God's way of handling things for us because He knows best. With Lexi in school, I think Ashton will really enjoy being at school 3 days a week to be around friends and play. And with Cary starting his seminary classes on Mondays, that means he'll have to work on Fridays and I also have to work on Fridays because that's the day I print the church bulletins. SO...all that said, this way I can work with Ashton in school and it just works out better with our schedules. Ashton's teacher too was so wonderful. She's probably about my age or maybe a little older. Ashton was so shy when we walked in, but within about 2 minutes, her teacher was down on the floor with her playing and giving fishy kisses (don't ask) and Ashton was laughing and hugging all over her. Ironically, I met a lady at the park this evening whose daughter also had Ashton's teacher a few years ago and she said she was WONDERFUL for helping shy children come out of their shells. She made them feel so comfortable and she said her daughter just blossomed so much that year. So I was very pleased to hear such rave reviews. Ashton seemed to connect with her immediately.

So all in all, it was a wonderful day! God answered my prayers perfectly! I prayed that He would match up my children to the teacher who would be just right for them. And He did! So in 3 short days, the 2008-2009 school year will begin. And I think we're ready...bring it on!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Snakes, Killer Whales & Root Canals

Earlier in the week, we were swimming happily in the community pool when Lexi suddenly gasped, "MOMMY...SNAKE!!!" I was frozen in fear and afraid to look. So I didn't. At least not until we were all OUT of the pool. Then I looked. It was about 12 feet long, about 5 inches around. I'm kidding. Does it really matter how big it was? I caught a snake people. Who cares how little, I mean how big it was. Okay, it was about 2 feet long. The thickness of my pinky finger. But I'm sorry, a snake is a snake. Can I get an amen? I don't care if it was little and probably not poisonous, 'guilty by association' is my disclaimer. So I, yes me, woman who is deathly afraid of round things that sliver, that would be ME, caught the snake with my 2 bare hands. Okay, not really. I used the 10 foot long rescue pole. But give me a little credit. Do you know how hard it is to get a round thing that slivers onto a round thing that moves? Do you? I didn't think so. I wrestled with the lil fella, I mean GREAT BIG monster snake for about 30 minutes and was finally victorious. I did not kill it. I don't kill animals. Well, I eat animals. But I don't kill animals. Sounds very hypocritical of me. Anyways, when it was all said and done, Lexi said, "Good work Mom!" Yeah. Thanks dear. And about 5 seconds later a big burly man came to the pool with his little girls. I said, "WHY, WHY could you not have come 30 minutes ago???!!!"

And from snakes to killer whales. So we were swimming happily in the pool the other day and Lexi said, "MOM, KILLER WHALE!" No I'm kidding. Yesterday we went to Seaworld, which my kids happen to think is better than Disney. Cause they've got LIVE animals y'all. Not men wearing animal costumes. We did go the Disney Animal Kingdom once. Was there for 3 hours. Didn't see one cotton pickin animal. At least, not a LIVE animal. Okay but back to Killer Whales and such. We had the best time. It was just me and the girls. The weather was AWESOME! Cloudy, overcast, probably about 89 degrees, breezy. We stayed for about 4 hours and saw some shows we had never seen before. If you haven't seen the Pets Ahoy show, YOU MUST! It was so good. All of the animals in the show were adopted from the SPCA and they were so amazing. And Shamu was spectacular as usual. Shamu wasn't adopted from the SPCA. Well, you know. You can't visit Seaworld without seeing Shamu even if you have seen it like 3 times in the past month. We saw dolphins fighting. That was pretty neato. Must have been sisters.

And today, we went to a new indoor bounce house place in Orlando called the Kangaroom. Have I mentioned I'm trying to make this last week before school really fun and special and full of over the top fun??? It was really fun. We went with some friends and the girls had the best time. It was very clean and safe. I would highly recommend it. And while we were having fun, Daddy was having a root canal done. He has been in pain the last few weeks. We were hoping it would just be a cavity needing a filling, but nope, a root canal was necessary. He said they worked on him for THREE HOURS. Thank goodness we had saved a big chunk of our IRS stimulus check. It came in handy today. Dental insurance paid half. Thank goodness for dental insurance.

Tomorrow morning is Meet the Teacher for both girls. I have to be at Lexi's school at 9 and Ashton's school at 10:15. It's the last official day of summer! Boohoohoo. I can't believe it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Backpack Fairy

I saw this CUTE idea in the Family Fun magazine today. A mom wrote in that they had a back to school tradition in their house that on the night before the 1st day of school, the backpack fairy comes and fills up the kids backpacks with supplies, cool pencils and pens, a book for the family to read together and a new 1st day of school shirt to wear (they obviously don't wear uniforms and she had boys who don't really care what you make them wear! Girls plan out their 1st day of school outfit for weeks!) I thought I'd share this cute idea. I love it! I'm totally gonna use it. Except that Lexi saw me buy all of her supplies and clothes. But I can find a cute headband and earrings and a watch for her to wear to school. I did buy some cute socks with horses on them that she didn't see. It's just another way to create enthusiasm about going back to school. Like she needs that. If I hear, "Mommy, is tomorrow kindergarten?" one more time...

We're off to Seaworld to spend a few hours! Last few days of freedom!!!! Oh and for the record, my acupunctured dog...MIRACULOUS healing is all I have to say. She's like a puppy again. I read yesterday about a vegetarian labrador retriever that lived to be 29! Candice is only 10. I think she still has a lot more veggies to eat!

Monday, August 11, 2008

My vegetarian dog just had acupuncture.

This is truly a sentence I never thought would come out of my mouth. You see, I'm truly anything BUT a naturalist. I like me a good hormoned-up beef steak. I hate taking vitamins or herbs. They give me gas. I eat vegetables. Corn. Corn chips. Mashed potatoes. French fries. But like I've said before, my dog is not a dog. She's a girl. She's a member of the family. She has been a vegetarian for several years now. Long story. It's necessary. That's all you need to know. Why else would I torture her like that? I hear vegetarian animals live longer. I hope so. Vegetarian dogs definitely smell better!!!! Really. You should try it. On your dog, I mean. I should clarify. Their skin smells better. But the gas? Well...what can I say. You get used to it. Candice has bouts with her arthritis every now and then. She hasn't been able to walk for 3 days. So we took her to the vet today. She had x-rays. Good news, she's in GREAT shape for a girl of her age. Her hips look good, the vet said. Wish someone would say that about me. But the doc thought a little round of acupuncture might do her some good, loosen her up a bit. Okay. Really? Acupuncture? On animals? Is this for real? All I know is it worked and she can go back as often as once a week. It's really not that expensive. If I opted to give her meds instead, the meds are actually more expensive than the acupuncture. I asked the doctor to give me acupuncture. She laughed. I was serious. I wish you all could have seen the looks on my girls' faces when they walked into the examining room and saw 7 needles in Candice's back. Better yet, I wish you could have seen the look on my HUSBAND'S face when he walked into the examining room and saw the 7 needles in Candice's back. All he could think of was HOW MUCH IS THIS gonna cost me? Well, that and...acupuncture...on a dog....? Yes, honey, acupuncture on our vegetarian dog. I feel so fashionable. So Paris Hilton-ish.

The Little Aggie That Was

This is "Aggie". She was our puppy. For 3 days. Aggie was very naughty. Aggie was more like a longhorn or a Texas Tech red raider, not an Aggie. Cause Aggies are made of 100% goodness. Aggie was not good. Aggie was a puppy. 100% puppy. Aggie is not an Aggie any more.
Okay, so now really, this is Aggie. Isn't she cute? Oh how looks can be deceiving. We had this CRAZY idea that our girls really needed a dog of their very own because you see, Candice, the dalmatian, is MY dog, I mean my girl. She only likes me. She doesn't like children. Or cats. Or husbands. But she's truly my baby. And my children LOVE animals. Lexi wants a baby brother so badly and I thought well, puppy, baby, same thing really. And with a puppy I don't have to be pregnant! Perfect! Let's get a puppy. Okay, the next time I have a crazy idea like this, somebody slap me. I need a puppy like I need a whole in my head. So we have a new rule in this house. From this point forward, we have a 2 child, 2 pet, 2 husband limit! oops, did I say that? I told Cary that last night. He said, "2 husbands huh?" I said, "Yes! I would like to have one husband to give us love and sleep in my bed and one husband to tackle my never ending honey-do list." And he said, "Can I be the husband in your bed?" To which I replied, "Well, it appears as though you're already qualified since you haven't touched my honey do list in 3 months! He thought it was funny. I wasn't kidding. You know, I think the polygomists are on to something!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Learning to Swim Upstream

Lexi has always been very bold in professing her love for God. As an infant, she would sit in the grocery cart and sing "Jesus Loves Me" at the top of her lungs in Walmart. When she started memorizing scriptures, she would yell them out as loud as she could in restaurants, stores, dressing rooms, wherever! And this weekend, we got to hang out with some of our good friends from Dallas who were in town on vacation. Their little girl, Micah, who is 9, was riding in our car to the beach with us and Lexi said, "I love God. He's my best friend. I love him so much. Do you love God too?" And my heart sunk. Not because Micah doesn't love God. Micah loves God! But my little girl has never been exposed to people that DON'T love God. She knows no different. In her mind, everyone goes to church and everyone believes in God and everyone loves God because that has been her life! The thought occurred to me in the car at that moment that we have to have a little chat before school starts next week. Because she will likely be in class, in the lunchroom, on the playground, with children who have never even heard of God, children who worship another God, and children who have been taught that there is no God. And while I never want her to lose her boldness and her confidence, I do want her to understand that not everyone will be as accepting of her beliefs as Micah. And that's okay. That's between them and God. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad that she will be with children who come from so many backgrounds and beliefs. I never want us to be that family that is stuck in our holy huddle. Too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good. I want us to be in the world, to befriend others with different beliefs, to always have people in our circle who DON'T believe what we believe, to love them and meet their needs NOT so they'll come to my church, but just because that's what God requires of love one another.

I've already thought about what I'd like to say to her in our little chat. I'd like to say, "What if someone told you that your daddy was just pretend, just make believe, he didn't really exist, he's not real. What would you say?" And she would say, "Well, that's not true, I talked to him this morning, I had breakfast with him, he held me in his arms while I fell asleep last night, of course he's real." And just as much as you know without a doubt that your daddy is real, so is God. When Daddy needed a job, He provided. When we needed a house to live in, He provided for us. When Daddy needed that airline ticket to North Carolina for his grandmother's funeral, God provided and it didn't cost us a dime. When Daddy had to finish seminary and we didn't have the money, God provided. When Granny's back was sore and you prayed for her God healed her. So just like you know that Daddy is real because he does things for you, God is real too and we know that because he does things for us all the time. And while we can't see God like we can see Daddy, we still know he exists. And that's called faith, believing in something we can't see. And if everyone in the room tried to convince you that Daddy was pretend, would you start to believe them? NO! Because you know better. The same is true with God. Everyone around you may tell you He's not real, He's pretend, but you KNOW that's not true. Because He has shown his love for you and for our family, He has provided for us in ways that could only come from Him! He has met needs that only He knew about.

Yes, my little girl is growing up indeed! And I pray she'll always have the boldness to profess her faith even when everyone around her believes in something different. To swim upstream!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

You Know You're A Mom When...

You're vacuuming and you see a tiny piece of perfectly pink, unchewed bubble gum stuck flat on the tile. You vacuum over it hoping it will get sucked up and when it doesn't you scrape it up off the tile and put it in your mouth and carry on because holding it in your hand while you continue to vacuum would only cause it to stick to your fingers. Gross. Who wants that?

Yes, this really happened to me today. And right this second my kids are in the tub taking a bath before we go to the beach this afternoon. Because maple syrup and sand just don't mix!

Now it's your turn. Finish this sentence with something that has really happened to you since being a mom. You know you're a mom when...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The lump in my throat that won't go away...

Today we attended kindergarten orientation at Lexi's school. I was filled with so many emotions. That lump in the back of my throat just about burst at one point. She, on the other hand, was so excited I thought her little head might actually pop off her neck and do a little happy dance all the way to the school cafeteria! We learned all about the procedures for dropping off, picking up, what a typical day might be like, etc etc. AND THEN...the PTA was kind enough to offer snacks in the cafeteria line so that the kids could actually practice going through the line, getting a tray, putting food on it, opening their own food, and throwing their trash away. I thought, there's no way she's gonna go for this. I was wrong. She got right up and walked over to get in line with all the other kids and did everything just perfectly and then came and sat back down next to me. I guess I should have known...I mean, there was food involved! A girl after my own heart!

Several things amazed me today at orientation:
1. These people truly care about kids! I don't know why that amazed me. I was a teacher after all. But I've never been on the other end of this whole thing. It's funny how perception changes everything. They kept saying how they purposefully watch for the little ones those first two weeks in the bus line, wandering about campus, to help them out and keep them safe. The cafeteria policy is that no one leaves without eating, even if they don't have a lunch or lunch money. Little things like that I never really thought about as a teacher. But now I'm a mommy!
2. All you homeschoolers please don't flip...As I was looking at their daily schedule, I thought is this REALLY enough time to learn all they need to learn? Is 8:45-3:15 really enough time? That schedule is SO full, I don't know how they accomplish anything! For example, I kind of assumed that kindergarten was pretty much immersed with phonics and reading readiness type of instruction, but that's only the first tiny part of their day! I know she'll do fine and I've been told she'll be reading by the end of the year! So we'll see!
3. On the list of things they should know BEFORE starting kindergarten was "knowing most letters and sounds" and reality hit me that kindergarten is not what it used to be! And thank God for pre-k!
4. There is no more "recess". It's now organized play also called P.E. Kind of sad, but also kind of good. I mean honestly, as a teacher, that's when most kids got in trouble was at recess. It's the only way they can get the state mandated weekly hours of P.E. into the jam-packed schedule I was talking about!
5. Technology is AMAZING! Now you can log onto a website and load up your child's lunch money account so they'll never be without lunch money. And when it gets down to $5, it automatically deducts more from your checking account. It also allows you to put a spending limit on them every day so they don't just go crazy through the lunch line, and it also allows you to pre-determine how many a la carte items they purchase. GENIUS!
6. I can't get over how independent school will make her! Just today, going through that lunch line by herself. If you could have seen this child 2 years ago stuck to my leg like glue everywhere she went!! Amazing!

Overall, I had a very good feeling about everything today. I know that lump will dissolve once we get into the swing of things. I just don't know where the time has gone! It's about to be a whole new lifestyle for us. Waking up early to pack lunch, make breakfast, iron clothes, bathe and dress everyone, wait a minute, I already do all of that! But I guess I'm not really used to having to be somewhere by 8:45 with all of that done. Preschool started at 9 and that was just 3 days a week. This is EVERY DAY! I think I need a wife!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Shopped Till We Dropped

I feel like Xena, Warrior Princess, today! I have conquered the dreaded task...Back to School Shopping! Not only have a conquered it, I have been completely victorious! And my feet hurt so bad they might just fall off any second! Lexi starts school two weeks from today and has to wear uniforms...grrrrr. I completely understand the need for uniforms for older children, as they sometimes don't use good discretion and apparently their parents are BLIND and didn't see their daughters walk out the door dressed like little, well, you know, going to school. I've taught in a middle school. I know! But come on...Kindergarten? Oh well, I will submit to authority. I will not buck the system (although I pray it fails miserably and that next year they do away with them!) But back to shopping. I bought that child an entire wardrobe it seemed at J.C. Penney for $124! Isn't that crazy? I was like, uhm, where's the women's section? So on a positive note, uniforms are definitely cheaper!

While we were shopping, Lexi was amused by the "boobies" on the manequins. Every time we would pass one, she would jump up and touch them and yell "Boobies"! And I know what you're thinking...why didn't you stop her Heather? Well, honestly, I was so absorbed in the thrill of shopping, she really could have yelled anything and I still wouldn't have really noticed. I think it had been going on for quite some time before I finally noticed what she was saying and doing. But there was this man standing on the other side of this one manequin and Lexi didn't see him standing there and she jumped up and yelled, "Boobies" at the manequin and the guy just about knocked over the manequin, he jumped so high! She scared him so bad! I had to get onto her at that point, but at the same time I was trying so hard to stifle the laughter. He seemed British. I'm sure he was thinking, "these darn American kids!"

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Daddy's Home

I didn't blog about Daddy being out of town because you never know what crazy person is reading. I mean, I don't know what I'm afraid of. I sleep with a freakin baseball bat and I'm NOT afraid to use it! Uh huh, don't mess with me! But Daddy was gone Wednesday-Saturday, which just about put me over the edge. If you're wondering how I've done on Weight Watchers this week, well, all I can say is, Daddy's been out of town! I never knew I was an emotional eater. I always thought I just LOVED food. But apparently I'm a stress eater. Actually, I feel the need to indulge as soon as a great deal of stress is over and has passed. For example, EVERY NIGHT this week after I'd finally get the girls in bed, I'd help myself (shakily) to a big bowl of fat free chocolate ice cream (at least it was fat free) and a nice big glass of coke! I didn't count points all week. And yesterday after he got home, and feeling relieved from the stress of the week, I said "PLEASE take me to eat pizza!" And we did. And I ate. And ate. And ate. Oh well, there were small victories throughout the week. One day I took the girls to dairy queen for lunch and I only ate a grilled chicken salad with fat free Italian dressing, unsweet tea, and NO ice cream! Today at Chili's, I had the cedar plank Talapia with veggies and unsweet tea when what I really wanted were the Quessadillas and a coke. I'm trying to remind myself that this is going to be a life-long process. I didn't put on this weight over night and it's not coming off over night. Eating healthier has to be a way of life and making better food choices has to become a habit, which takes time.

I've been so emotional lately. I don't know why. Actually I do. But it's not something I'd like to pour onto a blog entry for all 5 of you to read! One thing I can share that has be a bit in tears is that my baby is going to kindergarten orientation this week! Boohooo! Up until now I've been so excited about her going to school. But I think these emotions are very normal. It's so final, that her toddler years are over. I think that's what I'm partly mourning about. The days of mommy and me hanging out and playing and going to fun places all day are over. This is it. She's a big girl now! And I can't believe it!

Oh, on a happier note Cary rented a Yukon for Junior Camp, which is where he's been this week. And it's not due back till 7 a.m. so I drove it to church today. HOLY COW! I'm in love! It's such a sweet ride. I just want to keep it. I asked him if we could just turn in my Explorer to the rental car place tonight and keep the Yukon and just play dumb like, "What do you mean we're turning in the wrong car? No, really, we rented this Explorer from you, really we did." Yeah. That probably won't work. A girl can dream.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Three Kinds of Girls...What Kind Are You?

Someone once told me that there are three kinds of girls: Those who played with baby dolls as a child, those who played with stuffed animals as a child, and those who played with barbies as a child. And I thought, "Wow, I must be so well rounded because I played with all three!" But honestly I would have to say barbies were probably my favorite from about the age of 5-11. I had the barbie dream house, the blazer, the speed boat, the hair salon, the corvette, and 2 trunks full of barbies and barbie clothes. Now, I also had a stuffed animal that traveled the country with me and slept in my bed from the age of 10 until I got married. And truth be told, that bear slept with me a few weeks ago while Cary was in Honduras. So what does all of this say about me? Well, here's my psychoanalysis...I'm not really nurturing, never have been, never will be. (Baby doll lovers tend to the be more nurturing types.) It's just not in me. In fact, when the girls get a booboo, they cry for Daddy and he doctors them up like a pro! Thank you GOD that you sent me a man who is what I'm not! Appearance is very important to me, as is fashion. I hope and pray that I'm never that person that people talk about like this: "We should submit her name to that show 'What Not to Wear'". (Although I could pretend to dress dumpy for that $5000 Visa they give people!) I'm very creative and imaginitive which may come from all those years of acting out the barbie fantasy life. Now from the stuffed animal side of me, I am a TRUE animal lover. My husband sometimes points out that I have more compassion for animals than I do for people. It's true. He wanted to bring me along on the Honduras trip to minister to all the mistreated dogs roaming the street. I would be the "Pet Pastor"!

Now my girls on the other hand, TOTAL BABY DOLL LOVERS! I don't get it! Ashton might be a little more drawn to barbie dolls than baby dolls, we'll wait and see. She's only three. But Lexi would nurture a pencil if she didn't have a baby doll in her arms. She is a natural nurturer. She started nurturing her babies before she was a year old. They also both love stuffed animals, but not like they love baby dolls.

And before you judge me for letting my girls play with barbies, let me just say, to each his own. I do not feel convicted about this issue in the least bit. I played with barbies from sun up till sun down during my childhood and I obviously don't have an obsession with having a stick figure body now do I? On the contrary! I've said it many times, I like my curves! And I think playing with barbies is a good creative release and encourages imaginative play, which is developmentally normal. But if this is a conviction for you, then you should take heed. God gives us all convictions in different areas for a reason.

Now it's your turn, what kind of girl are you? And a psychoanalysis too please! Are your daughters the total opposite or are they drawn to those same toys as you were as a child?