Friday, November 30, 2012


Boop, up until about a month ago, had not lost a single tooth.  He is 7!  So, one day while he was brushing his teeth, we noticed a couple of white things popping out of his gums right behind his two front baby teeth.  The dentist had warned me about that.  And to be on the look out.

That meant he had to have his teeth pulled.  The two front baby teeth were not even wiggly.  Boop fretted a little bit about having them pulled.  The appointment was scheduled for the first thing on a Monday morning.  We prayed about it and talked about being scared and that it is OK to be scared.  Daddy took him to the dentist.  And I had mentioned to daddy to go easy on him. ;)

According to daddy, when they called his name he got up and went right back.  Not a moment of hesitation. Or ever looking back.  Within a half hour he was done!  He was a champ!!

He came home with gauze where his teeth use to be.  Not a moments complaint.  It took us a little bit to get use to him not having those teeth.

He is still as cute as ever . . .

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fall Festival

We had our usual group over for our yearly Fall Festival.  With a couple extras!  So that was fun.  A family from our Life Group came and so did one of my niece's.  I think everyone enjoyed the food, fun and fellowship.

In years past, we have bought the kids their costumes.  But, it has gotten crazy expensive.  So last year we told them from now on they had to create their own.  And this year they had a grand time putting things together and thinking through how to use stuff we already had.  NG was a fairy.  LM was a flapper.  EG was a sailor girl and Boop was Sam Gribley from the book My Side of the Mountain.  I loved their creativity.  And originality!

It was a beautiful night all the way around . . .

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bragging on My Boys

I love, love, love the fact that my hubby is so handy.  It has saved us a ton of money and aggravation over the years.  He enjoys being able to fix things and he despises paying someone else to do it.  No matter what it is.  He can work on the car, the dryer, the grill.  There is almost nothing he can't fix.  So cool.

And, as it turns out, my son is much the same way.  First, he has a servant's heart, just like his daddy.  He wants to fix things for you.  And, apparently, he has a gift for it as well.  On at least two occasions while daddy has been fixing something, Boop has given daddy and idea of how to get the job done.

The first time, I think daddy just kind of gave him lip service.  Thanked him for his idea and then continued to do it his way.  But, Boop is persistent and again mentioned a certain way to try to do something.  Daddy was in a bind because it wasn't working the way he wanted it to and thought what the heck, I will try it Boop's way.  And, guess what, it worked!  Daddy was so proud of his boy he made sure to tell me.

EG was complaining to Boop awhile ago that she didn't have her own swing.  So, with EG's help, Boop took it upon himself to make a swing for her.  Then the other day, daddy was fixing the wall.  And Boop had an idea to help him.  This time daddy listened.  And sure enough, Boop's idea worked again!

One of my hubby's biggest complaints is that boys, men, do not know how to fix things anymore.  And so hubby tries to spend time showing Boop the way around the car and whatever little project he has going.  He doesn't "force" him to help.  Boop just has a natural curiosity and kind of understands how things work and go together.  It blows my mind sometimes!!

I am thankful that both my boys have a servants heart and enjoy fixing things . . .

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BFF Club Strikes Again

My girls belong to the BFF Club, Best Friends Forever.  They and four other girls formed it.  It started back in March, I guess and one of the first things they did was have a bake sale during our annual neighborhood garage sale.  They raised over one hundred dollars.  They took themselves to lunch and are spending the rest on children less fortunate then them, providing food, clothing etc.

The other thing they have started is their own Bible study.  On friendship.  One of the mom's found a bible study that listed a good many Scripture verses on what it means to be a good friend and what it looks like to be a not so good friend.  Last month, before our monthly book club get together, the six girls with one of the mom's got together, prayed, shared requests and went through a couple of the verses they had read and studied.

Then, about two weeks ago, another mom heard about a need from an orphanage in Haiti where all of the kids were sleeping on a concrete floor.  She rallied the BFF Club and they had another bake sale.  This time it was during one of our college football home games.  And they sold baked goods to tailgaters.  They met in a parking lot of a business who was willing to help them out.  They loaded up their bake goods into a wagon and went around selling there treats.

The girls were blown away by the response of the people.  Many of which just gave donations and didn't necessarily want the baked goods.  I think the girls learned a lot.  How to approach people, how to answer questions, how important it is to help others.  They raised quite a bit of money.  All of which they turned over to Hope to Haiti.  H2H will then take the money to Haiti and buy bed rolls until more money can be raised to get the children actual beds.

The BFF Club is one of the best things that I could have hoped for for the girls.  As the girls get older and start "going out in the world" it will be so important for them to have awesome, like minded friends to help encourage them and keep them accountable.

I am so thankful for each one of these girls and for their families.  It is so wonderful to be able to do life together . . . 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I Love My Kids This Much

At church, a while ago, the virtue the kids were learning about was individuality.  How each one of us is unique, created by God with certain gifts and abilities.  The take home paper was a big, sticky piece of plastic that had a list of gifts and talents and places for me to fill in what gifts I believed each child has.  Things like dancer, encourager, singer, helper etc.

So, the next day I filled it in.  We talked a little bit about how God makes each one of us different.  And there is no one in the world just like each one of us.  And that we each, every single one of us, has an important purpose in this world and God created us, uniquely to carry that purpose out.  Then we put them up in the bathroom, on the mirror, where they could see them everyday.  I told them when they were having a bad day they could go in there and look over all the wonderful things that God made them to be.

Someone, I am not sure who, said "Mommy you need one."  And I couldn't have agreed more.  There are many days I need to look in the mirror and be reminded of how uniquely God made me.  And all the gifts and talents He has given me to fulfill His purpose in my life.  That happened to reminded me that a couple of months ago I had printed off some sheets that said at the top "I love mommy because . . . " and then line after line things like "she wants" or "she says" or "she hopes."  I had the three older kids fill them in.

Some of the things they wrote were funny, some true and some brought tears to my eyes.  "I love my mom because she sees me dancing."  "I love my mom because she hears me singing."  "I love my mom because she wonders what I do."  "I love my mom when she touches my hair."  "I love my mom because she worries what I am going to be when I grow up."  "I love my mom because she understands me (sometimes.)"  "I love my mom because she dreams to have a happy family."  "I love my mom because she tries to make us happy."  "I love my mom because she hopes I grow up to be a mom."

Another one:   "I love my mom because she wonders why we argue."  "I love my mom because she feels happy and joyful."  "I love my mom because she cries when she is stressed."  "I love my mom when she says really?"  "I love my mom because she hopes I love her and I do."  "I love my mom because she loves me and Snoopy and how I help her."

The last was:  "I love my mom because she wonders how good the day is going to be."  "I love my mom because she feels happiness."  "I love my mom because she worries about stuff."  "I love my mom because she understands stuff."  "I love my mom because she says encouraging stuff."  "I love my mom because she dreams of stuff."  "I love my mom because she tries to do stuff."

I loved  reading all of them and, for me, it was so apparent who wrote what!  It made me laugh and it made me cry.  It made me think "I am doing OK."

It has been about six weeks since we have done this.  The kids encouraging words are still up in the bathroom.  And I keep mine in my school basket.  When I am having a bad day, one of them usually remembers to pull out the sheets and give them to me.

It immediately brightens my day.  It helps me to remember who I am and what my purpose is in life.  I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother with four amazing, thoughtful, loving, serving, caring, talented, unique kids!  Seriously, who could ask for anything more . . .

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

I am so thankful today for family, food and friends.  For a God who loves me and my whole family and everyone so much He sent His One and Only Son to pay the penalty for my sin so that I may have eternal life with Him.

And I am thankful for my macdaddy washer!!!!  We have been without a washer for four days.  I could not hardly walk into the master bedroom bathroom for all the wash on the floor.  Yesterday afternoon the nicest delivery guy brought us the biggest washer we have ever seen.  It is commercial grade and the kids could take a bath in it!

Yesterday Boop spent much of his afternoon listening and staring at it.  If you listen real close it sounds like a plane taking off.  It uses half the water and spins the clothes until they are almost dry.

I know I should be enjoying the holiday cooking and preparing etc.  (The kids are watching the parade.)  But, we are having dinner with my in laws so I only have a couple of easy dishes to make.  So, I am spending the day, thankfully, washing all of our clothes.

God says in His word "in everything give thanks" and I am totally giving thanks for the ability to do laundry . . .

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Crazy Life

There have been no posts because things around here have been extra crazy.  Last week both EG and I were sick.  I was in the bed for a day which never happens.  The kids were thrilled because they got to watch movies most the day!

We also had to travel for a funeral.  My sister-in-law passed away.  She had battled a very aggressive form of breast cancer for over 10 years.  Her service was amazing.  She was a fighter and an inspiration to so many.  There is so much more I want to say about it.  And maybe I might in the near future.  But, for now, I will say this, it has impressed upon me the importance of family.  And that life is short.  It should not be taken for granted.  And that I have a purpose.

The day we came back from the funeral, daddy and Boop were to go on a father/son camping trip.  But, my brother showed up unexpectedly and we felt we needed to cancel the trip.  (Maybe more about that later as well.)  He has been over every night for dinner.  He is currently looking for a place to live and a job and we are doing what we can to help.

Saturday our washer went out.  Yes, that is right.  About 10 days maybe 2 weeks after the dryer got fixed the washer stopped.  Made a horrible noise.  Hubby has fixed it twice already and he was confident this time it was more than just one thing wrong.  I told him, for as much as I enjoyed hanging clothes on the line, I was not really up for scrubbing and wringing clothes in the backyard as well.  Thankfully he understood.

Sunday was church and EG's family birthday party.  We had a house full to celebrate.  Her aunts and uncles and cousins.  I so want our house to be one filled with joy and laughter.  A place where friends and family and neighbors enjoying being.  I may not be a Martha Stewart with all the trimmings, but I do think people enjoy being in our home.  And, thankfully both hubby and I enjoy having people to our house.

And lastly, yesterday, the kids and I spent the majority of the day trying to find a washer (hubby's long week to work with the only day off in 7 being Thanksgiving).  Anyway, I have to tell the story because it is so cute.  We were going to buy a LG washer (not made in America) from a big box store.  We had narrowed it down and I was just going to see who had it and to get a look at it.  (We had no idea how hard it would be to choose one!)  As I was calling around, I dialed a locally owned store just to see what they had.  The lady on the phone was so sweet but so honest.  She told me what I was looking for was not right for us.  That it was not American made and if it were to break it was take forever to get it service.  She apologized for talking bad about another product.

I explained I didn't make the decisions for the family but that I would pass it along to my hubby.  I then called  the other fairly well known local appliance store and the same lady answered the phone!  She again went on to say more about a certain washer she felt I needed.

I called hubby and gave him the info.  He looked it up online while I went up to the store which literally was right around the corner from where we live.  She was the sweetest older lady.  She is the grandmother of 7 and was just so sweet and just so honest in telling me why we needed to buy this certain washer, which she had and had sold to her two daughters.  It was a little more expensive than we wanted but she assured us we would save tons of money in water and in drying time because of the high velocity spin cycle.

They had 0% financing for 12 mos and a two year warranty.  The shop was local and the product was made in America.  And, if it ever needed servicing they did the service (plus they did all the service calls for all the big box stores in town.)  But, the best part of all was, they could deliver it on Wednesday!  I don't like making those big decisions but I felt this is what we needed right when we needed it.  I had to let her know by 1 so they could get it to us on Wednesday.  When I passed the info on, hubby agreed to buy it.

When we went back up to the store to fill out the paperwork.  She said she was so excited for us and that she had prayed a little prayer.  It was one of the best major appliance purchases we have ever made.  We decided next time when an appliance goes out, we are just going to go up there first.  I told hubby I felt good about our purchase.  Buying local, buying American and getting a great product with excellent customer service.

Anyway, that is what we have been up to.  Lots going on.  Not to mention Thanksgiving this week and my mom will be here today.  I just have to remember God is in control.  Of it all.  I just have to be willing every day to get up and say "yes Lord, what will You have me do today?"  As the little old lady said (although she really didn't look or act all that old), "God is the air traffic controller."  And that is wonderful news, because we have a very busy airport . . . 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, EG!!

Your going to have to read the story again.  It is the one thing I love about birthday blogs is I get to relive the wonderful days that our precious babies were born!  Of course, as the years go by a little bit is forgotten.  
So I guess it is good to write it all down.  

It was rainy, overcast, foggy day.  It was a Friday.  I remember just feeling off in the morning.  Logistics were a huge thing this time.  Who would watch the kids?  Where would they go?  My sister was working.  And she and my mom wanted to be in the delivery room.  CoCo, my mother-in-law, and my sister's best friend had us covered to watch the kids at the hospital.

I guess daddy was working because I vaguely remember thinking whether or not I should bother him and wondering if it was just a false alarm.  I guess I decided it was the real deal because he came home around 9:30AM and we headed off to the hospital with instructions to the rest at the house that we would call and keep them posted. 

We had to take the truck because my sister, mom and CoCo needed the van to bring the kids to the hospital.  Note to those who have yet to ride, in labor, to the hospital in a 4 x 4 pick up truck, don't.  I remember it being extremely painful.  Especially going over the speed bumps. I also remember us having to get gas and I am pretty sure I thought I was going to give birth, in the truck, at the gas station.

We arrived at the hospital and everyone followed.  I remember being in triage and my water breaking.  I remember the labor getting harder, more frequent and hurting a lot more.  I remember walking to the delivery room and having to stop to have contractions, painful ones.

Our plan was to have the kids rotate through the delivery room before I gave birth.  I would spend a little time with each one.  Sissy's friend was in the waiting room and then LM and Boop and NG would each take turns coming in the room.  Sissy, Grandma and Daddy were all already in there.  I think NG and LM had come in and then it was Boop's turn.  

I had sent the nurse to hook me up to pain medicine and Boop was in the room with Daddy and CoCo.  I remember sending Boop and CoCo out because the pain was excruciating and I didn't want Boop to see me like that.  The next thing I knew it was me and Daddy and I had to push.  Daddy had to get someone in the room who knew what they were doing!!  Otherwise he was it.  The nurse came back with the meds but it was too late.  She suited up.  Had me start pushing and then the midwife came. 

A little after two my precious baby girl was born!  It was a crazy, long, hard delivery.  I was shocked that EG was a girl.  I was certain she was a boy.  Hubby went out to the waiting room to tell his mom and the kids that we had a brand new baby girl.  Boop cried.  He thought daddy had said a boy!

The best part of labor with no meds is that I was totally mobile right after delivery.  I could get up and move around and watch while they did her vitals and everything.  It all just seemed so natural.  So right.

Our lives have been so totally changed by her.  I can not imagine life without her.  She is soooo special in soooo many ways.  She keeps us on our toes.  She keeps us honest.  She keeps us smiling.  She is definitely the baby of this family

I have learned so many different things from each child.  God has used each child in my life to show me just how precious each life is.  I ask EG to always be my baby.  She readily agrees but lets me know that she will have to grow up.

No matter how hard some days can be, I can always count on EG to make me appreciate each child and each day.  Happy, happy, happy birthday to my special baby girl . . . 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Clothes Line

So about two weeks ago our dryer stopped working.  And, of course, it was hubby's long weekend to work.  Day and night.  And because hubby does all of our fixing up, it was just something that was going to have to wait to be fixed.  Thankfully he strung up a make shift line before leaving for work the next day.

I did not relish hanging clothes on the line.  We were soooooo far behind with laundry because of the camping trip and all.  But, what was a girl to do.  So, the next day I went to the Dollar Tree and got 3 packs of clothes line pins and we started stringing up our laundry.

And, I LOVED it!!  Both the kids and hubby said it made me get outside.  And the weather here has been fabulous.  A great, great time to be outside.  For any reason!!

The dryer has since been fixed but I try to use it sparingly.  I love the feel and smell of the line dried clothes.  It is a little extra work and timing can be an issue.  But, for the most part, it has worked out great.  And I can't tell you how I love the sheets on the bed that have been line dried!  Simply like crawling into heaven in the bed!!

Some things I have learned.  The absolute best days to dry clothes are sunny, slightly warm and breezy.  Although I have dried clothes in variations of this ideal.  The clothes that dry best are the synthetic materials.  They dry within the hour.  The clothes that take the longest are those with large seems.  Like gym shorts.  Especially if they are made of cotton.  Socks take awhile too.  Underwear really fast.  (The neighbors are thankful for that.)

I have decided to use the dryer for jeans and most of the towels.  They just do better and it helps me to stay up with the laundry.

I wanted to take this really fabulous picture like you see for clothes detergent commercials.  You know the one where all the wonderful pastel colored clothing is hanging and the sun is shining and the breeze is blowing and you can see colorful flowers and beautiful green trees in the background.  Oh yeah, let's not forget the big fluffy clouds.  But, every time I think to take a picture, I have the darks out there or the whites.  Just not as picture perfect.  So, no picture, at least not today, of our clothes hanging on the line.

Can't wait to see if there is a noticeable different in the electric bill this month too . . .

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Last Full Day

The last full day was a hodge podge a lots of different things to do.  I guess because we knew it was the last day, we wanted to get in everything we could.  One of the families had to leave that day.  Darn work!

All the girls.  Girls definitely out numbered the boys.

Bestest buds.

Silly girls.  At night.  It had to be in the 30s and these two little girls wouldn't wear there jackets.  But, it was pretty warm around the fire.

The beauty of the waterfalls has nothin' on the beauty of these to special girls!  Oh they are sassy!!  And where they get there moves from is beyond me!

One of the places we stopped was a quaint little shopping area that sold local knick knacks and trinkets.  One of the shops had incredible fudge.  Which, of course, we bought in bulk!  We wandered around looking at all the crafts and locally made stuff.  They had lives chickens running around and just a lot of really neat stuff to look at.

After that we took the whole crew to an all you can eat pizza and salad bar place and stuff ourselves with really good pizza.  We had to fill our bellies because next on the agenda was a crazy drive and then a little hike to another beautiful waterfall in the area.  The road down to the falls was a one lane dirt road in which one side of the road was a straight drop to the bottom of the valley.  It was crazy when a car would be traveling the other direction.  It was almost impossible to pass.  But, the drive was worth it.  Again, the views were spectacular!

Apparently, when the weather is warmer you can step out into these falls and ride them down to the bottom. The kids were already planning this trip for next time!

Daddy decided to climb out on a branch hanging over the falls.  It made for a great picture.  But, it was a little nerve wracking.

Boop got a hold of the camera.

I don't have a picture of it, but hubby decided to walk way out on the rocks below the falls.  And, of course, everyone decided to follow.  All of us made it out but one.  One of the mom's stayed back and took our picture.  I will have to get that one and post it.  It was kind of brave and crazy I thought.  But, so fun!

Next on our agenda was a store on the Appalachian Trail.  Three of the dads that we camped with have done parts of the AT.  The last time they went, they happened to stop at this place so it was kind of cool to see it. The trail comes out behind this shop and then crosses over on the other side of the road to continue.  The AT is so cool to me.  Some people do it a bunch of days at a time, breaking it up.  But, there were two guys in the shop who happen to be "through hikers."  (Not sure I have term right.)  They actually started out a couple of months ago in Maine and are doing the whole trail at once.  They had beards and some of our peeps said they smelled a little ripe.  All they had was a backpack each! 

The store was filled with souvenirs but also stuff that hikers need.  Special clothing, food and you could pay for shelter and a shower.  Obviously it was a little bit of a tourist stop as well.

The view from the deck of the store.

The previous two pictures were kind of cool and I just happened upon the picture.  I had gone to the bathroom and just happened to look up.  And, lo and behold, in the trees were a bunch of shoes.  It turns out, I guess, when you are done hiking you toss your shoes up into the tree!

This is us actually on the AT.  The closest I will ever get to hiking it!!  Although, around the campfire that night, we had an idea for a TLC/reality show.  Four homeschooling families hiking the AT together!  Oh boy did we have fun talking about, planning out and discussing the details of that little adventure!  (We are still awaiting our call back from the Discovery channel!)

Boop and Little Mama are in their special place in the woods.  Behind one of the campsites was a little creek and a bunch of trees.  The minute we got there on Thursday all the kids quickly claimed this area as their own.  They spent all their downtime in these woods.  The "built" rooms and had a rope swing.  They called it Friendshipland.  And they spent hours in it.

Best buds.

We took advantage of every minute of our last day in the North Georgia mountains.  Much conversation surrounded the topic of making this an annual trip.  We had sooooo much fun and enjoyed so much of God's creation!  The friendships and families and food we such a blessing as well.

We are so, so thankful that we have these opportunities.  We always look forward to the next time we can get together again . . .