Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bring on the man in the red suit!

So Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season has officially begun! Officially. I don't care what Walmart thinks. CHRISTMAS comes AFTER Thanksgiving, not before Halloween! Good grief! I'm so tired of seeing Christmas merchandise in the stores at the beginning of October!

We had a very nice Thanksgiving. We drove 9 hours to Mobile, AL and spent the day with all of Cary's family: parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, grandad, aunts, uncles, cousins. Everyone was there. We had a wonderful feast, but you know how it's just not the same when it's not your mama's cookin and you don't get to eat the leftovers for a week until you feel l ike your gonna turn into a turkey? Well, that's where I'm at! I want to cook our own Thanksgiving feast here at home this week, like mama would make, except that it won't be nearly as good b/c I'm culinary challenged, unlike mama! And then we're gonna eat the leftovers till the next pay day! Because the cost of a GOOD Thanksgiving feast is like my WHOLE WEEK'S grocery budget! (But it's worth it!)

Cute story! Last week, as we were saying our prayers, I said "Let's ask God to help Mommy and Daddy find a new car." And Lexi chimed in, "Yes, a car just like Dora (that's the name of our Explorer, Dora the Explorer) but maybe in Aggie colors." A girl after my own heart! Ironically I had just been coveting, I mean looking at a maroon Explorer on Ebay. I don't want my kids to think that God is our geenie in a bottle. But I do think it's important for them to join us in prayer for our NEEDS and trust me, a new family vehicle is a big NEED right now! Because then they can witness God blessing their family and supplying for our needs when he answers those prayers. So the next day, Cary brought home the rental SUV that we used to for our trip to Alabama. And when he pulled up in the driveway, Lexi started screaming, "MOMMY, MOMMY, come quick, you gotta see this. God already gave you a new car! Look outside!!!" It was so sweet. I explained to her that yes, God had supplied our need for a safe vehicle to drive to Alabama in, but that we couldn't keep it. It was a rental car. But yes, that blessing was from God! So keep prayin honey!

And God also blessed us with another AMAZING blessing! My mom informed me that rather than giving me Christmas money that I could use towards a new washer and dryer (another big need in this household) that she bought us a washer and dryer instead! And it's HUGE, the biggest ones they make! 7.5 cubic feet! You can wash 23 towels at one time. YEEHAW! Not that I would ever be washing 23 towels at one time. And the dryer has that steam setting that gets the wrinkles out so you don't have to iron as much! I can't wait for them to be delivered. You know you're such a mom if you get excited about top of the line household appliances. Maybe we can have a laundry party! Okay, not really. I'm not sharing! I've served my time at the laundrymat!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Family Photos

Today we went to the local lakefront area to make an attempt at some Christmas card photos. We had a friend, Matt, who just got a killer camera and he offered to come with us and take pictures. Everyone should have a friend like that! He's 21 and single and reminded me today that I'm old enough to be his mother. In a nice way. Thanks! If I were 13 and pregnant maybe! COME ON! I'm not THAT old! But I definitely could have been his teacher! I have students older than him. Scary. Anyhoo, for those of you not of facebook, thought you may enjoy these. No password needed. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Look Who Came Out To Play

Today while the girls were outside enjoying this beautiful weather, the Sandhill Cranes flew in for a landing and hung out for a while. They're so beautiful! And yes, that's Ashton in her ballerina clothes with bedhead, and Lexi in her pajamas. At 2:30 p.m. A few months ago, the Sandhills came by for breakfast, remember? Click here for those shots.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bye Bye Pathifers

That's what Ashton calls her pacifier, a pathifer! But you have to say it really fast and put a country twang on the "fer" part. What's funny is that she named it that herself. We've always called it a paci. But tonight, may God have mercy on us, Ashton will sleep without her beloved pathifer. Oh, it's certainly PAST time for this blessed event. She'll be four in four short months! But it appears as though some time between nap time and bed time, we lost her last pathifer that did not have a hole in it. She likes to chew on them, thus the holes. So, here we go! "Baby crack" withdrawals. Pray for us! We will do our best to remain strong. (Or maybe I'll be haulin' butt to the closest store in the midnight hours!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I need a weekend!

Today was Saturday, but it seemed like a normal work day to me! Cary was out the door by 7 a.m. and headed to the church work day. I got the girls up and fed them, bathed them, dressed them, straightened up the house, and we all headed up to the church as well. I worked in my Sunday School room for a while organizing things while the girls unorganized them for me. It was fun. Lots and lots of fun! Then I worked for a while preparing for Sunday's lesson. I teach kindergarten on Sunday mornings. That's a hoot and a half! Then I took Ashton to a birthday party while Cary stayed at the church and worked until about 3 p.m. Then we met at the house and headed out the door again to take the girls to see Miss Patty Cake Christmas at FB Orlando. When we finished up there, we treated ourselves to a good dinner out after our hard day. Cary and I have so much work to get done before we leave town next week that after church tomorrow, I'll probably go to the office for the rest of the day while he puts the girls down for a nap and works at home on his big 25 page paper that's due next Monday. Oh my goodness, we need a weekend! My car is FILTHY and in big need of a good cleaning. My house needs a deep cleaning. My Fall decorations need to be taken down so I can get out the Christmas stuff. My carpets need to be steam cleaned. Oh and some sleep and relaxation would be nice!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Talking Walls and other crazy mommy tricks

So as promised...the tale of talking walls.

Ashton. God love her. She is my warrior child. Spankings...she scoffs at spankings. (Actually she spits at me when I spank her. Seriously.) Strong willed is an understatement. I really should blog about her more often so that one day when she's all grown up and a wonderful, productive member of society, I can write a book about raising a warrior child. My challenge, of course is to channel her warrior mentality into (eventually one day) fighting for what's good, fighting for the Lord, fighting for truth in this world. But for now, I'd settle for not fighting with her sister, not fighting with me every time I ask her to pick up her toys, or brush her teeth, or leave her shoes on in the car, or not unbuckle her seatbelt until the engine has cut off. I could go on and on. Everything is a battle. I know she's three. BUT...I've raised a 3 yr old already. I'm telling you. She's different. Even my grandmother, mother of 6, shakes her head at Ashton and just says over and over,"You've got a mind of your own girl." To say the least! Fortunately, she saves all of her fights for me and daddy. She's an absolute angel at school and at church.

I've had to get really creative in disciplining Ashton. The goal is first time obedience, but when you're dealing with a 3 yr old warrior, you can't just simply be a dictator and expect immediate perfection. It ain't gonna happen. Threats don't work. The rod of correction (Rodney) doesn't work. Time outs don't work. I've had to get really creative, or crazy, one of the two. Probably more crazy than anything. I remembered when I was a teacher that the crazier you act, the more the children are intriqued by you and thus the quieter they get and then they simply obey b/c they realize you've gone over the deep end and they're afraid not to obey. So when I was teaching, I would do things like talk to the walls or the clock or the locker or the desk when I was trying to get the class's attention. For example, "Hey there Mr. Clock, are your arms tired yet? Mine sure are! You know what else is tired? Me! I'm tired of waiting for these kids to close their mouths so we can line up for lunch. What's that? You'll freeze time for me? Great. Let's try that..." You get the idea. At first, the kids would all be talking to one another and then they'd see their crazy teacher talking to a clock, so they'd stop long enough to listen and then voila, obedience. I thought, hey if it works on 4th-7th graders, it's BOUND to work on a 3 yr old.

So picture this. 45 Minutes of me hovering over my child who is on the floor asking her to please clean up the mess she's made of paper cuttings on the floor. She's whining, "I can't do it." And I'm saying, "You made the mess, you can clean it up!" Sound familiar? 45 minutes and a few swats from Rodney later....NOTHING. I left the room to re-gain my composure. I cheered myself on from the potty. You can do it Heather! You ARE stronger than a 3 yr old! You CAN win this battle. So I marched myself back into that kitchen and I said turned to look at the wall that Ashton had been leaning up against for 45 minutes and I said, "What's that wall? Ashton did you hear that? That wall is talking?" She slowly started to peak her head out of the ball she was curled up into. "What's that wall? You love holding Ashton up? I love to hold Ashton too. I wish she would let me hold her." Now granted, this was the love of Christ coming out b/c I certainly DID NOT FEEL like being sweet and nice and loving at this point. And I continued to talk to the wall and pretended as though the wall were talking back. I said things like, "I don't think she can pick up those papers either. What, you want to SEE her pick up the papers? Oh I don't know if she can. I sure wish she could though because I would hate for us to all go watch that Christmas movie and drink hot cocoa without her. What wall, you like hot cocoa too? Me too, it's soooooo yummy and with marshmallows and sprinkles on top? YES! Me too!" And then it happened, she started to laugh a little, she even smiled at me, and then she started to clean up her papers. One by one, she picked them up and put them in my hand. I was on the floor with her. Not compromising my expections, she had to do all the work, but I met her half way in that I was on her level, talking in a calm, loving, silly crazy mom way, and it totally worked! It did what 6 spankings and 45 minutes of time out couldn't do! After the papers were all picked up, I scooped her up and loved on her and explained why it was so important to obey mommy and daddy and how we love her too much to let her be disobedient. And then I prayed with her and we asked Jesus to forgive both of us...her for being disobedient and Mommy for losing her patience! I think it's so important that we admit our short comings to our children and that they witness us asking God for forgiveness. And then there was that time of sweet and tender love and affection afterwards to mend both of our broken hearts.

And since that incident, rather than resorting to what doesn't work with her (spankings and time outs) I've challenged myself to get more creative and loony tuny with her and do things like tickle her into submission or sing a crazy song that makes her WANT to do what I've asked her to do. And it has worked.

Last night, I was thinking back to when a guy in our church gave me a card with Ashton's name on it and he said while he was mowing the grass, God gave him this word on Ashton. It said, "God's mighty warrior". You can read about that blog post here. I cling to that promise during these toddler years that one day, all of this will and fight will be channeled the right way. But getting there, LORD help me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What is the world coming to, part 2

Today I had to...

1. Sign a consent form for Ashton's preschool to use germ-ex on her hands!

2. Sign a permission slip to allow Lexi to purchase whatever she wanted at her school's Book Fair.

Now obviously, there had to be complaints or else there would be no need for consent forms right?

Are you kidding me??? Germ ex? Who complains about Germ ex? It's a staple item in my house. I have it in the house, in the car, in the purse, in the diaper bag. I asked her teacher, "Okay, so did someone complain and that's why y'all had to send these consent forms out?" And she said that they had their annual inspection from DCF (same thing as CPS in Texas) and this was one thing they got busted on...using Germ ex!

And as for the Book Fair, I understand when you give a child $20 bucks to go to the Boof Fair, that they may not always make the wisest choices and they may come home with something you wished they hadn't purchased, but that's the fun of the Book Fair...getting to shop without your mom hovering over you! I LOVED THE BOOK FAIR when I was a kid. That's one of my favorite school memories. I was so excited for Lexi when she told me her class was going to the Book Fair today. I wanted to send her with plenty of money so she could buy whatever she wanted, knowing good and well that she would probably come home with something I would have never chosen for her. But when your kid comes home with an unwise purchase, make it a teachable moment and move on. You don't complain to the school! For Heaven's sake!

Whatever the world is coming to, I'm sure it's not good!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The "Gourd"ans, dr visit, chipmunks, and talking walls

Ashton had a cold all week last week. I had to take her to the dr. last week while we were in Texas because of an awful cough. Turned out, she had a double ear infection...the day before our flight home. That made for a thrill a minute at 30,000ft. So, for only the 2nd time in her life, she took antibiotics. That child is rarely sick, but when she gets sick, SHE GETS SICK! Here we are a week later and SHE STILL HAS THAT COLD! The cold that never ends. But this weekend, Lexi started coughing. She has asthma, so a cold is never just a cold. It usually results in pneumonia rather quickly. So I took no chances and kept her home from school today to visit the dr. She's gonna live! But she is on mega steroids, 2 different types. And the doctor said she should stay home for a few days to have her breathing monitored. Great! The doctor said, "Oh it's just kindergarten!" She obviously does not have a kindergartener. I don't even want to think about how far behind she'll be!

So this morning while I was cleaning house, the girls were playing with our plethora of pumpkins. We have like 20,000 pumpkins in this house! Don't ask. You know your children have good imaginations when pumpkins suddenly become life-like and take on a personality of their own. I told them they should name their pumpkin family The Gourdans. Heeheee. They didn't get it. But Cary and I thought it was a knee slapper.

When we got home from the dr's office, I thought the girls may enjoy just cozyin up with mommy and daddy and watching a fun movie. We don't own a DVD player. Don't laugh. I know they're like $30 bucks these days but for some reason I can't bring myself to spend $30 bucks on entertainment. We've had like, I don't know, 4 or 5 portable DVD players for the car and they usually break after just one road trip, no matter how expensive they are. So in order to watch DVD's, we have to all huddle around my computer. I set us up in Granny's guest room. The girls love that bed! I guess it reminds them of Granny and how "cozy" she is. That's what Lexi says. I made homemade from scratch, on-the-stove-top hot cocoa...Mmmmmm, and popped some popcorn and we all watched Alvin & The Chipmunks together. It was sweet fun! You have no idea what a sacrifice this was for me! I HATE MOVIES. I can't sit still that long. There were about 10 loads of laundry calling my name. And how much more annoying does it get than chipmunks? I'll be singing that walla walla bing bang song for DAYS! But it was so worth it, just having some sweet family time together.

This post has already become so long, I think I'll save the "talking walls" for tomorrow. Cary FINALLY joined facebook today so I must go take some crazy hot and sexy pictures of my husband, the pastor, for his facebook profile. I'M KIDDING!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

silk wraps are not my friend

I have always had great nails. My whole life. Everyone has always complemented me on my nails. Well, except my piano teacher when I was a kid. She was always on me to cut them. I took piano lessons for 10 years. After my mom FINALLY let me quit my senior year in high school, the first thing I did was to grow my nails out as long as I wanted them. And I can grow me some nails. And they are hard as rocks. But with all of the motherly duties came ugly nails. I use my hands so much I guess. I can no longer keep polish on them for more than a couple of hours. If that! I used to go every Saturday and get my nails painted before I was married and had children. You know...back when I had time and money! Now, my left hand thumb and pointer break constantly as do my right hand thumb and middle finger. Go figure. I can't keep them even. I end up with ring finger and pinky nails so long I eventually have to cut them b/c they start curling under. Okay, maybe not that long. But it drives me crazy. I just want pretty hands. I've never had fake nails...EVER. Until last night! I did it! I finally talked my husband into letting me do this one thing for myself. I've been obsessed with it for months now. I did not want acrylic. So I settled on the silk wrap. Interesting concept. Costly and not many places will do it any more. They put on a tip with nail glue. Then they put a silk fingernail shaped fabric over your entire nail and then start layering the glue and some kind of powder, not acrylic though. So the only thing touching your actual fingernail is silk and nail glue. It's supposed to be better for you nails than acrylic. Okay...2 hours later...and beautifully painted french manicured nails...I HATE THEM! I can't wait for them to fall off. I can't do ANYTHING. I can't zip my pants. I can't unlock the sliding back door. I can't open a coke can. And wiping my bottom poses all sorts of new challenges. And my poor nails feel so clostherphobic under there. Seriously, I can't do this. What was I thinking???? But they're so pretty, they are! I think I've decided though that it's just better to live with my real nails, as uneven and unpainted as they are. Any suggestions for how to keep real nails polished without the polish chipping every time I bathe or wash dishes, which unfortantely for my nails is like...several times per day??? I've used that Sally Hansen no chip stuff. Doesn't work for me!

I'm about to clean house and do laundry. Maybe that will make them fall off faster!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

They say everything's bigger in Texas...

Check out this acorn we found on the ground right outside of Kyle Field at A&M. You think this is big, you should have seen the squirrel we had to fight for it. No, I'm kidding! A&M is known for their School of Agriculture. I'm thinkin that oak tree was genetically altered! Only in Texas.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Greetings From Texas

We arrived in satan's city (Austin) on Friday afternoon. If you're not from Texas and know NOTHING about Austin, let me just tell you, it is home of that "other" university, the one we refer to as satan's children. Plus Austin is just a wierd place even without the university. So wierd in fact, that thier slogan is "keep Austin wierd". See? I didn't make it up! It's wierd. And the traffic! Lord! You don't know traffic until you've traveled down I35 in Austin during rush hour. Makes Houston and Dallas look like a ride at Disney World! So far we have eaten at Pappasito's, we atteneded HALF of the Aggie game (long story and I'm not just talking about the awful score), and we've eaten at my all time favorite place, "Wings N More" in College Station. After the first half of the game, Lexi walked around campus picking up rocks and a Texas-sized acorn. That sucker is HUGE! Like bigger than a squirrels head! Only in Texas. I told her we could put her rocks in a jar and label the jar, "Aggieland Rocks" da bing! Today we are sort of relaxing. I "helped" mom fix her bed and I use the word "helped" lightly. Hammering and nailing is not my gift. Friday night when she and Lexi and Ashton all climbed into bed together, the bed collapsed. I don't know why that makes me laugh. Fortunately there were three other beds in the house to choose from. We have no official plans for the rest of our trip. The girls just love playing in Granny's huge backyard, which is fenced, like a backyard should be (Floridians don't fence their yards, isn't that strange???) And they love to ride their bikes on Granny's long long driveway. The weather is just perfect! Lows in the 40's, highs near 80. Beautiful! I might venture into town today to see if I can find me a few more Texas ornaments for our Texas Christmas tree. We've added to it every year for the past 7 years. It means even more to me now that I don't live in Texas. It's like a piece of home in my living room during the holiday season. This year we're adding a Florida tree. It's a lit palm tree with flamingo ornaments. Stop laughing. We bought it last year at an after Christmas sale. Now I just need me some lawn art...I'm picturing a cowboy santa on horseback being pulled by some pink flamingos!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Gonna Make Like a Baby and Head Out!

I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon for a long weekend trip to Texas, just me and the girls. Lexi is out of school on Tuesday, so we're going to play hookie on Monday and just make a long weekend out of it. We're going to the A&M/OU game on Saturday. I can't wait! Lots of good food and some Aggie football, doesn't get much better than that! I'll take lots of pictures so you can all feel like you were there with me. HA!

Tonight, I got to go on a shopping spree. A FREE shopping spree. Love those kind! My mom had given me a little somethin' somethin' to get the girls some warmer clothes so I headed out to the Gymboree Oulet, my favorite place to shop for children's clothing! I got like 9 complete outfits, I'm talking accessories and all, for $200! Why can Gymboree not carry adult sizes too??? And then Cary and I had been given a gift card to Olive Garden during Pastor Appreciation week (my favorite week of the year by the way) so after a long hard shopping trip, we had a feast at Olive Garden. And then Cary treated me to an early Christmas present. I have been wanting this certain pair of RayBan sunglasses for MONTHS. I've shopped around and I just knew I would not be happy until I had those sunglasses. They were actually one of the least expensive pairs of RayBan, but they are BEAUTIFUL and I just want to sleep in them. Like that song from the 80's...I wear my sunglasses at night! So I guess that part of my shopping spree wasn't free. But I deserved them. I haven't spent money on myself in AGES! Besides, it's been a hard week with this whole Obama thing and all.

Have a great weekend everyone! Watch for me Saturday on the T.V. at 2:30 CT on ABC. I'll be the screaming fan wearing maroon. KIDDING! Actually don't watch the game please. In case we get CREAMED! Which is highly likely.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What I Know

America has just elected an African American President. What an AMAZINGLY historical event. And so wonderful (from a historical perspective).

I want desperately to like Obama. I'm sure he's a wonderful person. But when it comes to the moral and economic issues, I'm just not with him. I could not vote for him.

Black people can no longer claim the "race card". Cause we elected a freakin BLACK PRESIDENT people! (And I would bet that more white voters voted for him than black voters.)

Our country has always gone through cycles of conservatism and cycles of liberalism. I thought the world would end when Bill Clinton was elected. And then I was SURE it would end when he was elected AGAIN. But here we sit. 12 years later.

The liberal media never ceases to anger and frustrate me. But maybe our new president can get that under control since it appears as though we're headed towards socialism.

I LOVE GLENN BECK! The only voice of reason within the liberal media.

I'm sorry, but the story about Obama's grandmother dying yesterday, I'm not buying it. When I saw that on the news yesterday, I said, "PUH-LEASE!" I think they purposefully waited until the day before the election to release that statement or they pulled the plug yesterday strategically on that day to play on the sympathy vote. Call me crazy. Or a sicko!

I live in a blue state. For the first time in my life. Dark Blue, very very blue. Blue president. Blue house. Blue senate.

The sun will rise tomorrow and America will still be the most wonderful country in the world and there's no place I'd rather be.

God is in control.

Palin 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Is anyone else as OVER this election as I am? Is it just me or has this election been exceptionally annoying on both sides and I'm not just talking about the presidential candidates. Everything from senate races, and even local races have become nothing more than a big giant mud slinging campaign. I'm so ready for this to be OVER! And in the words of my friend, Ryan Cox, I hope McCain does to Obama what Texas Tech did to him in the last few seconds of the game! Amen Ryan! I'm praying that the polls are off and that McCain has this one in the bag. I say we have a party tomorrow night no matter who wins just to celebrate the end of this craziness!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Baby is 11 Years Old

Happy Birthday sweet Candice girl! You'll always be my first baby! I hope I have brought you as much love and joy as you've brought me. I can't imagine my life without you. You are truly a girl's best friend!

Today for Candice's birthday, we made her an egg sandwhich for breakfast. She's a vegetarian, so an egg sandwhich was on her diet and still a tasty treat. I don't know if vegetarians eat eggs, or does that make her a vegan? Hmmm... Oh well, she just can't eat meat. After breakfast, Cary put her up on the bed for some good ol' Mommy/Candice lovin! I had already planned to wash sheets today, so we rolled around under the covers and had some sweet birthday love. Right now, Daddy is making Candice a birthday cake...pumpkin bread! Mmmmmmm. And he's also playing her favorite game, Hide and Seek. I hope it was a fun day for my special girl.