Sunday, February 23, 2014

The iPhone

I have weakened.  I am now the owner of an iPhone 4s and I love it!!

About 3 1/2 weeks ago my mom got one.  And it was only 99 cents.  I thought to myself, if she has one, it might be about time for me to get one.  The day was coming when I would most likely have to get one because trying to find a flip phone anymore was almost impossible.  I had to make a few concessions like not quite so many fancy coffees to pay for the monthly data cost.  But, hey, that's life.

The man at the phone store was so patient with me and showed me a lot of what the phone can do.  But, the best part is Siri.  I can talk to Siri and tell her to remind me of something and she either sets an alarm or makes a note.  It has been so amazing.  I told the sales guy that Siri, on my fancy new phone, was the answer to my middle aged Swiss cheese brain.  I have used it more times than I can even count.

I am a queen of lists and I have a love affair with Post-It notes.  Now, I just type the lists in my phone and when I am shopping at Target, I just pull up my list.  It has a flashlight app so I can find my keys in my purse in the dark.  I have my meals on my calendar on my phone.  The texting capabilities so surpass what I had with my old phone.  I don't text a whole lot but it is a neat way for me to keep up with my peeps.  It take great pictures.  And it has a weather app.

It has definitely made some aspects of my life just a little bit easier.  And, at this stage of the game I am all about easier . . .

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Happy, Happy Birthday Little Mama

Eleven years ago today, our life changed yet again and definitely for the better.  God gave us the most wonderful little girl.  My labor and delivery with her was long and hard and a just a little bit problematic because she just didn't want to leave her comfortable place.  I am a firm believer that a delivery is an indicator of the personality of a child.

She has always been one who wants to stay close.  She loves to snuggle and is definitely a quality time kind of gal.  She was such an easy baby.  We took her to Disney when she was 9 months old!  She slept and ate and never cried.  She nursed the longest and I know that is why she hardly ever gets sick.

She loves her family and babies and her friends.  She is loyal and loving and kind and generous and has a servant's heart.  She loves to talk.  She is beautiful inside and out.  There are so many times throughout the day I am thankful for her.  She has so many qualities I admire!

Happy, happy birthday my sweet Little Mama . . .

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Just Horsin' Around

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted a horse.  Almost every Christmas I would think that I would get one.  We never lived in a place where I could have one.  I guess I just thought I would keep it in the backyard, I don't know.  I was young!

When I was about LM and Nature Girl's age, I used to ride my bike with a fellow horse lover, many miles, to a farm where they offered trail rides.  In the beginning we would ride the trails.  But, during the summer, I guess after we had been out there a lot, they would let us ride there horses and "compete."  It was a long time ago, but I remember some of it pretty well.

When I went to work at my real job after college, I met a lady and became really good friends with her.  Her husband bought and sold horses.  And they would ride.  Even go on week long trail rides.  She would invite me over and we would ride and eventually I went on a couple trail rides with them.  I never went for the whole week but I went for a couple days.  I was in heaven.  We would ride all day.  One time, the ride ended up in a town and I was in the parade and then we went to the rodeo that night.  All very cool stuff.

Well, eventually, after I was married, I talked hubby into letting me get a horse.  It was a dream come true.  We were a dual income family, no kids, he was working shift work.  It became my hobby.  I had ridden many, many times on and off my whole life.  But, I never owned a horse.  Wow, was I in for an education!

His name was Shorty and he was a Quarter Horse, although not registered.  When washed and brushed he shown like a copper penny.  He had a beautiful gold mane and tail.  I actually enjoyed grooming as much as riding him.  I met a few people in town who owned horses.  When hubby and I were first married, I actually lived in the loft of a barn.  It was soooo cool!  I also remember riding with a friend to a grocery store.  We parked our horses in the parking lot.  She ran in and I stood outside holding them.  Boy, did we get a lot of looks!

Then one day, I got pregnant.  I am sure you have heard the story of how hard it was for us to have a baby.  So, needless to say, I didn't want to ride.  I knew lots of people who did.  But, I was never comfortable and didn't want to take ANY chances.  The lady where I was boarding Shorty at the time bought him from me.  And the following week we got to see him in a parade.  It was bitter sweet to say the least.  But, I knew I wouldn't have time for him or the money needed for proper up keep.

So, the pictures up top are all the things I had to take care of Shorty.  For the last 13 years I have been unwilling to get rid of them.  They were a part of my past that I guess I just wasn't ready to give up on.  They were very sentimental and part of a dream come true.

But last week, we decided it was time to get rid of a lot of our stuff.  We have a storage facility which we share with family and we were done with it.  But, that meant my horse stuff had to go.  About a day or two later, I got an email in my homeschooling email group from a lady who was buying a horse to surprise her 13 year old daughter for her birthday.  They were in search of any horse tack that anyone had to sell, reasonably priced.

Another answer to pray!  I emailed her immediately.  Gave her a really, really great price for all of my stuff because at that time I had no idea what I had or what condition it would be in I knew I just needed it gone.  It had been in storage for about 7 years.  Of course, her response was that it was a huge blessing.  The daughter had given her dad, a couple of weeks ago, a plan about getting a horse that included the cost of getting all the tack that she would need.

The daughter is going to visit family this week.  And, when she gets back her family is having a huge party for her and will give her the horse and all of the tack that we have sold them.  It is such a neat story!  And, as I told the mom, I am sad about parting with my childhood dream.  But, so excited that we are helping to make another child's dream possible.

Once the daughter gets use to having a horse etc., she invited us out to ride.  I hope it happens.  I would love to meet the rest of the family and to see where all my horse stuff ended up.  Like I said, it was a little sentimental parting with it all.  But, somewhat fulfilling that it is going someplace special. . . .

Anyway, that is my story about hte above pictures.  Thanks for reading my story . . .

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Snow Day

Yes, you read the title right.  A snow day here in the sunny south.  We were suppose to do Meals on Wheels and church and choir but hubby suggested we stay close to home.  Which we gladly did.  The schools were closed.  My hubby had to work a detail at a jewelery store and he said business was almost nonexistent.

What does a snow look like in the sunny south?  Well, for us it just meant sleet.  Which they kids thought was fabulous!  They kept running in and out of the house.  EG, who never wears shoes outside, gladly wore shoes on that day.

Boop built us a fire late in the afternoon.  And, for us, a snow day meant we still had to do school with intermittent trips outside to play in the sleet and hot chocolate when they came in.

We had trouble finding hats and gloves and boots.  Most of which we hadn't seen since our trip up north a couple of years ago.  But, that didn't stop the kids.  I think the temperature hovered around 30 degrees all day.

Yesterday it was 71 . . . 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Camping in Winter

About a month ago we went camping with some other friends of ours.  For months we had been talking about doing it and it finally came together.

The one family had been camping once or twice before and it was not a pleasant experience whatsoever.  Bugs, storms and their tent leaked massively.  The other family had camped a long, long time ago and but had just bought a new travel trailer.  So, between the two families, we knew we wanted the whole experience to be a good one!

The weather cooperated a little bit.  It was overcast the whole time and misted just a little.  But, the ran held off until nighttime.

We went to a park that we have camped before.  There were caverns to explore and trails to walk and ride.  And lots of beautiful scenery.

I believe it was a successful trip.  The other two families said they would definitely do it again.  So, we will have to get another trip on the calendar sooner rather than later . . .

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Game of Life

For Christmas, LM got The Game of Life.  Of course, after you graduate from college one of the choices for a career is brain sturgeon.  Everyone wants to be the brain surgeon because it is one of the top paid jobs.  This is my awkward segue for my blog post today.

I have a very good friend, a mom of a family that we have the privilege of doing life with, who is recovering, today, from successful brain surgery that took place yesterday.  Three weeks ago she thought she needed glasses.  Two days after that she found out she had a mass on her brain, sitting on her optic nerve.  A few days after that, she was not only blind in one eye but going blind in the other.

She is a sweet, sweet mother of four children.  Her kids and their gender match up with my children.  Girl 12, girl 10, boy 7 and girl 6.  We camp together, do ballet together, read books together, share life together.

We have prayed and cried and talked and laughed.  We have helped and encouraged and just been there. Yesterday we prayed.  All day.  For the doctors, for the nurses, for her husband and the kids.  For those who are helping this family.  For each other.

And the good news just kept coming in.  Successful 5-6 hour surgery.  The doctor was able to get all the tumor.  They still think it is benign.  She most likely won't have to have any type of radiation.  And great responsiveness after the surgery.  As of today, the prognosis is good.  The most delicate part is over but it will be a long day, a long week, a long month, 6 weeks, if not more to go.

This is the real game of life.  I just finished the book 11/22/66.  One of the lines in the book that was repeated more than once was "Life changes on a dime."  No truer words have been spoken.  Let's face it, we don't ever know what tomorrow may bring.  Heck, we sometimes have no idea what the next hour may bring.

I know my faith has grown deeper.  My trust has grown stronger.  Not because I understand, but because I believe.  We are here on this planet but for a blink of an eye.  This is temporal.  All our troubles and trials.  All of our joys.  This is just temporary.

But, I also know in this short life on earth it is full of miracles, of all kinds.  I have witnessed so many just in the last three weeks.  Life is precious.  I am thankful for my friends and family.  And I am eternally grateful for knowing that when hard times come, which I know they will, I am not alone. . .

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Christmas, Finally!

We had a wonderful Christmas.  I feel it was laid back and full of family and food.  Little by little each year we are trying to do away with the trappings of the holidays.  Really trying to focus on the birth of Christ and all that it means for us as we celebrate.

Hubby had to work Christmas Day so we had our big meal with all the family at about 3 o'clock on Christmas Eve.  It was buffet style because we just can't fit everyone around a table anymore.  What a great problem to have!!  We ate early enough so the dishes were done and the kitchen cleaned so when we got home from church we could just relax and eat dessert.

Our church has a very simple service.  We sing hymns and families place ornaments on a Chrismon Tree.  So we participated in that.

We came home, built a fire, ate dessert, opened some presents (the traditional PJs, popcorn, hot chocolate and new movie).  And just hung out and visited and eventually turned on A Christmas Story.

The kids had a tough time sleeping.  Of course.  Hubby had to be in bed early so Sissy and I hung out on the couch waiting to be Santa's elves.  I think we were asleep by 1ish.  And morning came early.  Hubby was able to get home by 7:30AM in order to open presents.  And the kids had a blast.  It went by so quick though.

All the family was over and we hung out and played games and watched movies and ate when hubby got home around 5.  All in all, it was a successful Christmas Day.  Although, have I mentioned how fast it went by. . . .