Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Tigercub!

Two years ago today our little surprise package arrived with a bang! Today we will celebrate by going to "Donalds" (McDonalds), getting him his very first balloon, eating cake and who knows what else! Happy Birthday my little Hurricane!

Newborn Tigercub!

1 year old...already getting into trouble!

2 years old...hamming it up for the camera!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm DONE!!!

The last gift has been purchased. The list making is through. The menus are planned. Let the holidays begin. Finally! I think the sentiment of the lady I just encountered in Bed, Bath, and Beyond says it all. She looked at her frazzled looking husband and two energy filled kids and informed them: "We will find these monkey accessories. AND WE WILL MAKE IT FUN!"

Merry Christmas all!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Coffee Talk 12.18.09

Good Morning, ladies! Come on in and grab a cinnamon roll! Made fresh from Pioneer Woman's recipe...and let me tell ya, they are GOOD!

Like everyone else, this week has been a whirlwind! So much going on. This was our last week at tutorial until after the holidays so we have been finishing up chapters and taking tests and preparing for parties. I also fell hopelessly behind working on teacher gifts. Last year I did "dinner" for the teachers and made and froze meatballs and then made a bag with pasta, sauce, bread and brownie mix. I was proud of those little bags, too proud, I guess. Cause this year I had similar plans...but they just didn't happen. Suddenly, this week was upon me and I had no clue what to do. So, I made cinnamon rolls and each teacher got a pan of them and a Starbucks card. It certainly wasn't the break from cooking they got last year, but at least it wasn't another "World's Greatest Teacher" ornament....right? And the cinnamon rolls were really good!

We got a little more shopping done...but I am still not through and for this die hard, through before Thanksgiving girl, that is stressing me out. a lot. I guess at some point, I just need to do what I can do and not worry about it...or give away the two year old that is cramping my shopping style, hmmmm. Seriously, I tried to take the three youngest with me Monday and get a little done...It was AWFUL, Tigercub screamed, threw things, and fought me at EVERY STORE! On the way home, Baseball boy said, "Momma, there are a LOT of stores we can't go back to, aren't there!" Next year, if I can't find it online, I'm not buying it (I am so full of it, but right now I totally mean it!)!

We also experienced great sadness this week with the loss of a family friend who was killed in a car accident. I almost hesitate to even write this because, truly, it isn't my tragedy. And yet, it was such a part of the week, I feel compelled to share. We went to visitation Tuesday night and stood in line for about 2 HOURS! The family is well loved and has tons of support and yet that precious mother has been on my heart continuously since Sunday. I cannot imagine outliving my children. I cannot imagine a week and a half before Christmas having to bury my son. Their strength and faith has been amazing and is a testament to their faith in Christ. And yet, their hearts are broken! I have had this on my mind all week and I am just so grateful for Christ. I am so grateful that, though their hearts ache, they have the hope of seeing their son again one day. How precious the hope that we have as Christians and how desperate those without that hope must feel. How precious the arms of a loving God who wraps us up in love, completely understanding how it feels to have to give up your son. How incredible knowing that our suffering on earth is temporary and one day we WILL be in the presence of our savior! What a beautiful hope this season offers...not just the birth of a baby, but the beginning of our salvation. The hope for the mother who has lost her son. The peace that passes all understanding. I pray for those who do not have that peace this season, that maybe they will find it in a tiny baby this Christmas!

And one last reminder, as the traffic gets crazy, the roads get icy and more travelled and the last minute shoppers (like me) get more stressed...WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT! I know they can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, but they can also save your life!

As for Small Things...I have done great this week! Loved those mass points for a kitchen that definitely needed it. However, my favorite was chatting with my daughter yesterday about our favorite Christmas memories. I don't have one particular one that sticks out to me. I just love the memories from childhood Christmases of staying up till ridiculous hours playing games and eating candy from stockings around the kitchen table. The later it got, the sillier we got and I can remember laughing till our sides hurt. I miss my sisters! Love you girls (just in case you read this!). So what is your favorite memory?

Oh, and I almost forgot...tomorrow morning, we head out to jackson Mississippi to see Ballet Magnificat perform their Christmas Ballet...cannot wait!

Have a blessed weekend, and be sure to check out Home Sanctuary for more coffee talk.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Daybook 12/14/09

FOR TODAY December 14, 2009...

Outside my window...The sun is just starting to come up. It is so peaceful and still. I love this time of day.

I am thinking...Of all I have to do today but more about a family friend who lost their son this weekend. I cannot even imagine what they must be going through right now. But I am also so grateful for the hope of salvation and knowing that, if Jesus is your savior, there is hope!

I am thankful for...my salvation. For this time of advent when we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. Because it is not so much the birth of a baby we celebrate, but the hope and peace and salvation he brings.

From the learning rooms...a little bit of the Three R's and a lot of Christmas. This week, we must get serious about baking, shopping, wrapping, and celebrating our savior!

From the kitchen...hopefully lots of calorie laden treats. I think I am going to attempt Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls, although I am up in the air about using her maple topping (which I know I would love) or a regular powder sugar icing (which is universally loved). I am also planning on doing some sugared pecans, some chocolate coconut macaroons, Oreo truffles, fudge...it is probably not a good thing I bypassed the exercise this morning!

I am wearing...pajamas--don't judge me!

I am creating...hopefully a houses full of goodies and lots of Christmas cheer.

I am going...to hopefully finish up at least part of my last minute shopping needs. Hit the grocery store and start baking!

I am reading...My Bible, Power of a Positive Mom, and the Advent Conspiracy.

I am hoping...For an easy school day and a productive baking day.

I am hearing...the hum of the heating unit and the clicking of the computer keys.

Around the house...laundry and Christmas activities...we will have fun if it kills me!

One of my favorite things...Christmas goodies--it is why I have become the "fat sister"!

A few plans for the rest of the week:baking, school, dance, guitar, children's choir presentations, hopefully some shopping, visitation and possibly the funeral of our friend's son, basketball practice and cheer leading, and tutorial. Then on Saturday, it is off to Jackson, MS for the Ballet Magnificat! It is going to be a busy one!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Hopefully, by day's end, my kitchen will be this tidy, my face will be this happy and my baking dreams will have come true.

And, if I look this lovely and put together, my husband wouldn't mind a bit!

To read more daybooks, go to The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Coffee Talk 12.11.09

Good Morning Ladies,

Come in and grab a mug of hot chocolate and a pecan sweet roll. I would like to tell you it is from my Christmas baking. I can't, because I haven't actually started my Christmas baking. Instead, I hit our favorite part of the grocery store, the "Oops, we baked too much" rack. And friends, it is worth the calories, even if it isn't home made!

Like everyone else this time of year, the days are flying by in a blur filled with far more plans than could possibly be done! This week has been no exception. Monday, we had the city Christmas Parade. I already blogged (or rather vented) about that this week, so I will just leave that alone. Tigercub also began running fever Monday and by night's end had 104. Which is scary. Tigerfan took him to the doctor Tues. and found he had an ear infection, but that the high fever was viral and possibly Swine Flu. However, true to his predictions, by yesterday, the rascal was fever free and his old self again!

Along with our normal schedule this week we have had dentist appointments, shopping, parades, guitar practice, cheer leading, basketball practice and today, Football boy will go caroling at a local nursing home. I have found myself a little grumpy, a lot sleep deprived, and contemplating how, exactly, do other people "get it all done". I know you are really not supposed to compare yourself to others. I know I can't see "behind closed doors" and what seems to be a together person might be falling apart behind the scenes. I really wish those people would let me see their craziness, maybe then I wouldn't feel so bad.

Normally, we do our Christmas shopping very early. In fact, I am usually done or almost done by Thanksgiving because walking in stores after that brings me freakishly close to a nervous breakdown. People, I did not do that this year. I just let time get away. Now, it is14 days before Christmas and I have two presents under the tree. I have a few more waiting to be wrapped. But I have A LOT left to do. And worse, I don't even know what I am going to do.

I am being punished for being prideful, because I do pride myself on being able to come up with really cute, creative gifts. I try to put together fun things for my distant nieces and nephews and really good teacher gifts that don't include teacher ornaments, candles, etc. This year...I've got nothing, NOTHING. I have splintered ideas that I can't quite bring to a finish, and I am running out of time, AAAAAGH!

I don't even have an idea for my own husband (that is another post altogether)! However, he told me yesterday what he had tried to get me. And, ladies, this is the sign of a good man who listens/knows your heart, because I never would have even THOUGHT to ask for this myself. My man.....was going to give me chickens and a chicken coop! I have always wanted a few chickens to get eggs...and he was going to do it. Only, who knew, you can only buy chickens in march! All day yesterday, I just dreamed of chickens and farm fresh eggs. He doesn't even have to do anything else, I am just beside myself that he would come up with that!

In other news, we woke up this morning to cold water again. Apparently our water heater, that has an internal heater so it won't freeze, froze. Which really isn't all that surprising considering our luck with plumbing. However, it sure does make getting a shower tough...so I am blogging instead!

Well, I would love to stay and chat, but I should probably go use my time a little more wisely. Hope everyone has a great weekend filled with Christmas cheer! In the hustle and bustle of it all, remember that the reason for this time is the celebration of the birth of our savior. Spend a little time reading Luke 2 and remembering Jesus left the splendor of heaven, to be born in poverty for you and me!

God bless you!

For more Coffee Talk, go to Home Sanctuary.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Fun!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate, definitely!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? He places them strategically by the tree in convenient and well planned piles so that each child knows just where his or her presents are. Remember, the Santa in our house is OCD!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White! I love the story of the lights from Lisa Whelchel's ADVENTure of Christmas. It talks about Martin Luther seeing stars shining through the branches of an evergreen tree and worshipping the creator...I love, now, seeing the lights shining on that tree and remembering Psalm 19:1 "The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship."

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I never have, never really think about it, honestly.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually we begin the day after Thanksgiving. However the past two years we have gone out of town so it just happens as it happens during the following week.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Strangely, it is probably one of the fruit salads we always have with our dinner. They are more dessert than fruit, more calorie laden then healthy fruit...but they are GOOD!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? We travelled every year. First to my mom's mom's house on Christmas Eve, then to my other grandmother's on Christmas Day and we never got to our house till late Christmas night. We always walked in to find Santa had visited...even when in college. He always brought someone a game and we would stay up till ridiculous hours eating candy from the stockings and playing the new game. I loved that!

On a side note, I always wondered how Santa (AKA my mom) always got those presents out. Even in college. I mean, we were OUT OF TOWN! I had grown and was about to graduate college when my sisters explained to me that every year Mom "left her purse" in the house and had to run back for it. It always took a REALLY long time to find that purse. I...never had a clue, if she said she forgot her purse, she forgot her purse! Her secret was good for 20 years!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I think my logical mind just couldn't fathom it. When I was about 5, I just asked my parents who he was and they told me.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We let the kids open one gift from us (usually new pajamas) and gifts from my parents and sisters. It seems less stressful than having them do it all on Christmas Day.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? We bought little apple ornaments the first year we were married to fill up our pitiful little tree. I still put those on the tree. We also have some bead garland we have always used and some little fabric bows that I tied our first Christmas (again, no ornaments!) Other than that, most of the ornaments are the Hallmark ornaments that Nana gives to the kids each year. Once they all move out and take their ornaments, I'll be glad I have the bows and apples!

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it! For about 20 minutes!

12. Can you ice skate? I used to when I was a kid...I would most likely hurt something...or someone if I tried now.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? No, no I don't, although the tickets to Deeper Still that hubby surprised me with a few years ago is a standout!

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Remembering that we are celebrating the birth of our savior. It is CHRISTmas!!!

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Fudge, sugar cookies, Oreo Truffles, coconut chocolate macaroons, peanut butter pie, stocking candy...

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? My favorite old tradition is reading the Christmas story as a family and letting the children add the characters to the nativity scene as they are mentioned in the text. My favorite new tradition began last year. As we get Christmas cards, we put them in a basket on the dining table. Each time we sit down for a meal, we draw out a card and pray for that family.

17. What tops your tree? A bow

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy both. However, I love it when I come up with the perfect gift and see the excitement on the recipient's face!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night, well that is the first one I think of. I actually just love Christmas songs in general.

20. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? I can live with 'em or without 'em

21 Favorite Christmas Show? "White Christmas" the single greatest Christmas movie of all time!!!!

22. Saddest Christmas Song? There are sad Christmas songs?

Feel free to copy this post and fill it out on your blog. HT- Spesamor Academy

I Have a Confession

I know this will shock some. I may be called a humbug. UnAmerican. A disappointment to bloggy readers everywhere. And yet, I feel compelled to share the ugly truth: I HATE PARADES!!!


Now, don't get me wrong. I have fond memories of Christmas Parades as a child. Standing on the curb, making up dance routines to go along with the bands, picking up the occasional piece of candy. I even enjoy the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rose Parade...as long as I can watch from the comfort of my warm, crowd free home.

Why do I feel the need to share this? Because tonight we were given the opportunity to participate in our city's annual Christmas Parade. Our Student Leadership Association from the tutorial entered and decorated a float and since Football Boy is a member, he was VERY involved. He helped plan, build, and decorate and then they asked Tigerfan if he would drive. Sounded like fun, right?

Now, maybe I should tell you my recent parade history. We live near a small town that proclaims itself the "Strawberry Capital". Every year they have the annual Strawberry Festival and parade. I have taken my children twice. You must get there early, park blocks and blocks away, sit on a tiny spot on the ground where everyone walks all over you and then watch as beauty queen after beauty queen after beauty queen drives by in convertible after convertible after convertible (we are in the south, you know)! It is hours long...okay, to be honest I don't know how long it is because I have never made it through the whole thing. Once the kids lose interest I willingly jump up and begin the long trek back to the car.

Then there was the parade 7 years ago in Gatlinburg, TN. It was a BIG deal. We could hardly find a Hotel room that weekend because of all the people coming to see the parade. You had to get to the parade HOURS early just to get a spot. It was FREEZING even with long underwear and full winter wear. The parade started late. The hot chocolate was cold and the parade was LONG! I still have nightmares, people!

So, I am not sure why I willingly signed up for tonight. But I knew I had made a mistake when I called the teacher that heads up the SLA to find out that we were entry number 269. Yes, you read that right 269! People told me it couldn't be true. People said that there were only 120 entries. I am telling you...there were probably 300...and yes, we were 269. The parade started at 6:30, we finally started moving at 7:30. It was cold, although, to be honest, once it started, we were in the warm cab of the truck.

And who, you may ask, was in this parade? Well, let's see. One Radio station had one or ten of their mobile units entered. One station, many cars...it isn't right, people! There were three tow trucks, a pick up truck with nothing but a back full of hay and the name of an insurance company on the side. A man in a kilt (at least I didn't have to wear a kilt). There were the obligatory beauty queens, kids dressed as packages and even one vehicle draped in garland and the name of a business written in shoe polish on the windows. Apparently, the one and only requirement to be in this parade was mobility.

To make it worse, as we were stuck in this line, in a most undesirable area of town, with nowhere to go, my MIL called to say that Tigercub had 104 degree fever and was jumping or startling every few minutes. I just about came unglued.

At the end of the parade, L, the teacher over the SLA began discussing next year's float. I am pretty sure I have unalterable plans for the first Monday in December next year.

Daybook 12/07/09

FOR TODAY December 7, 2009...

Outside my window...It is still dark and very still and peaceful. I HATE getting up in the morning, but once I do, I love the peace of a quiet house!

I am thinking...My brain is swimming! I have a dear friend coming into town today and I am hoping to get to see her. My Christmas to do list is ever growing and I need to focus. I am frustrated with myself for not being the organized, talented, creative genius that I wish I was and equally frustrated with myself for not just accepting myself for who God created me to be. I am like an adolescent girl in an old ladies' body!

I am thankful for...all the wonderful people doing my Christmas shopping for me. I have people in Idaho and Louisiana helping me with my list...one has even purchased their own gift. Pitiful, I know, but I am grateful! But mostly I am thankful for the most wonderful Momma in the entire world! Happy Birthday Momma!

From the learning rooms...Mostly the usual, but trying to have a little Christmas fun. I even made a little file folder game for Dancer, trying to have fun learning, not my strongest point! We have also put our regular Bible Study on hold and are just doing Christmas, learning the religious significance of certain traditions.

From the kitchen...Something with chicken...that's all I've got!

I am wearing...workout clothes! I am TRYING to get back into my exercise routine. Today was good, well good in that I did it, however, I have a love/hate relationship with Jillian Michaels.

I am creating...nothing, but I hope to be creating some lovely gift bags for teachers and baked goods soon.

I am going...possibly to see my friend who has just come back into the country after her husband's deployment in Germany. My hubby is also supposed to drive a vehicle tonight in our city's Christmas parade for our home school tutorial, if it doesn't get rained out.

I am reading...Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd. Just as encouraging and helpful the second time around!

I am hoping...for a smooth school day, it has been a rough year and I am ready for less drama!

I am hearing...the hum of the computer and the tapping of the keys and that is all! I love it!

Around the house...Usual Monday activities. Laundry, bathrooms, hopefully bed linens changed. However, my priorities are school and seeing my friend so some of those things may get pushed aside.

One of my favorite things...When my wild, loud, energetic almost two year old stops what he is doing and hugs my neck! My heart melts! Oh! and when we find THE Christmas gift we have been searching for and it is on sale!

A few plans for the rest of the week:Visiting with a friend, Christmas parade, dance, guitar, church and hopefully finishing up some shopping.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Football Boy at his Rock Band concert a couple of weeks ago. Tigerfan made a poster out of one of the pictures and printed it, framed it and had him autograph it and took it to his office! He was proud!

For more Daybooks, go to The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Coffee Talk 12.04.09

Good Morning, Company Girls! This is the first time I have blogged, other than a contest post, in two weeks! I have been missing it like crazy! However, life gets in the way, sometimes! I have had so many posts in mind for recent days, but as each day has closed around midnight...I just have lost the inspiration to sit and type and have gone to bed instead. I could probably have weeks worth of posts, but truly...I think I'll just type up a quick recap and try to get back on track next week!
Two weeks ago we left the plains of West Tennesse for the rolling hills of West Virginia. We spent two pretty leisurely days driving (as leisurely as driving can be with four adults and four children, because Tigerfan's parents went with us). We stopped several times to shop and see sights. Our first stop was about 2 hours into the trip when we fled into Target to replace the pacifiers I had left at home. This was ESSENTIAL because 1 toddler plus 4 adults and three other children in a car for over 10 hours provides a NEED for a stopper!
After arriving at Tigerfan's Aunt's house she BLESSED him with a big hot pot of gumbo..the way to his Louisiana heart! The next day the boys went to the pro-football Hall of Fame, which they loved while the girls and Tigercub shopped. In a very small mall. For a very long time. And then...on Tuesday...we went to Amish country. Oh. my. soul. I am telling you, I KNOW God doesn't make mistakes...but my heart is in Amish country. To drive down the road behind a horse and buggy, or look out a window and see the "buggy parking" sign, or to go to the cheese factory and bakery and sample all the Amish made goods. I pleaded with Tigerfan to buy me a house there...but he said no. I begged Baseball boy to buy me a chicken, he said he would if I would buy him a horse and buggy. We are home. No chicken. No horse and buggy. Sigh!
We returned to Tigerfan's aunt's for a delicious Thanksgiving meal complete with fried turkey and rice dressing. Mmmmmmm! And then after a bitter black Friday attempt at getting a good price on a Christmas present for Football boy, we began the return trip. With Tigerfan fussing the WHOLE way about what America was coming to when you have to get up at 3:00 in the morning just to get in line to HOPE to get a good price on an item...I try not to bring it up too often, he is still tender!
Anyway, this week has been filled with laundry, school and getting back into routine. The house is mostly decorated for Christmas, although the outside wreaths are yet to be hung. Like everyone, the next few weeks are FILLED with activities we must choose between and I am trying like crazy to make sure that Jesus doesn't get lost in the midst of it all.
As for Small Things, I did GREAT in November. I completed EVERY task until the last day when we were out of town and I didn't have a printer. I was so proud of myself! And then...I FORGOT to turn in my points! Can you believe that? But, I am off to a good start this month! I am back on track with my exercising and spent 15 glorious minutes sitting with Tigercub reading yesterday...and soon I will be cleaning my kitchen counters off for today's points!
I have missed everyone greatly and can't wait to hop around and see how everyone is doing. I am leaving you with a few pics of the house all decorated up. Last year I participated in one of the little bloggy Christmas tours, so if you did that...these will look familiar, they are the same ones...but, you see, I do not have a decorating bone in my body, so once we figure out how to do what we like, it stays like that forever (or until Tigerfan changes it), so my house looks the same this year!
Have a blessed weekend!

For more Coffee Talk, go to Home Sanctuary!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Check it Out

I have been planning all week to get on here and post and it just hasn't happened. Hopefully I'll be back this evening. However, until then, I found this series at You Can Make This and thought it looked fun. I probably won't have time to make a lot this year, but I will definitely store up the ideas for future use. There is also chances to win prizes just by watching the how to videos so go check it out!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Coffee Talk 11.20.09

Good Morning, Ladies! I have some homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to offer you this morning. That is about it. We are going out of town tomorrow so the cupboards are a little bare. But the cookies are delicious and if you wait around till this afternoon, you can indulge in some homemade fudge as well! The first batch of the holidays!

I hope this week has found everyone doing well. It has been a bit of a rough one for us. It started out with Baseball Boy being sick, now Dancer has it and Tigercub is showing signs. Not a great start for an out of town trip but we are hoping for a miracle!

Poor little Dancer has missed bunches this week. Dance class Tuesday, church Wednesday, her tutorial Thanksgiving party AND one of her best friends' birthday party and now it looks as if she will miss acrobats tonight...the whole reason we decided to wait to leave until tomorrow. I'm not sure if she feels worse because she is sick or because she keeps missing out on festivities.

Somehow today, I have to get the oil changed and tires rotated on my vehicle, get the boys' haircut and not expose the rest of the town to Dancer's germs.

In other goings on, Football boy had his "Rock Band" concert last night. After sitting through a recital of about 16 songs such has "Mary Had a Little Lamb", "Frere Jacques", and "Ode to Joy" from the students at the Music Store where he takes lessons, we were treated to two concerts. F.B.'s band played "Shake It Up" by the Cars, "Use Somebody" by someone, and "Beat It" by Michael Jackson. They were really good! Even Tigercub enjoyed it. He was as entertaining as the musicians! The last song before the bands came up was by a guitar student. Tigercub had started to slow down a bit, as it was an hour past his bedtime...then this boy came up and started playing "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath. Tigercub came alive. Apparently, he has a bit of Rock Star in him, cause the boy got down! He clapped and bounced and bobbed that head! during the break between bands my FIL got up for a little break. Tigerfan started waving and calling "Bye, Bye Papaw...Bye!" It is a good thing he is cute!

As for tasks this week. Rachel has been kind and simple! My phones are sparkling. My sock drawer is organized and my bedroom lamps have not a lick of dust. I know...you are thinking, wait, we were supposed to dust the lamps? The answer is no, no we weren't. HOWEVER, as I was cleaning my sock explosion, I happened to notice a little dust on the lamp. So I ran my hand across the base and thought, OH MY! So, I grabbed a nearby wet wipe and cleaned it up. Only as I worked up, I noticed all the dust on the shade. Well, I couldn't leave such a dusty shade on a sparkling base, so I began dusting that as well. OY...I don't know if I have ever cleaned those things! After working on that lamp, I noticed its dingy twin across the room and I couldn't leave it in dusty squalor so I had to give it the same treatment. Because really, I have nothing but time and dusty lampshades on my hands! Anyway...My room is probably much brighter, my sock drawer is nice and organized and the world has been made free of several pairs of tasteless holiday socks that NEVER should have made their way into a retail establishment!

I can only imagine what a few more days locked in the house with sick children could do!

Well, I need to go feed kids, pack, do school, change to oil....have a wonderful weekend and a FABULOUS Thanksgiving! and don't forget to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook 11.16.09

FOR TODAY11-16-09

Outside my window...I overslept this morning. So the sun has come up and it is peaceful and calm this morning. The ground around the pond is covered in autumn leaves and all the trees are reflected in the water. It is beautiful and calming. Nice to reflect on before the chaos of the week begins.

I am thinking...This week is not gonna be so simple. It is slam packed--the holiday season has officially begun.

I am thankful for...Good health. We have had two sick kids this weekend. But it has been mild. With all the awful cases of flu going around, we are blessed to just deal with a little fever virus!

From the learning rooms...Our own system of workboxes are set up and ready to go. We will be learning the basics and not a lot of extra. I am going to spend a little extra time with each of the children this week with math games and flashcards to reinforce our basic math skills, hoping that will make for smoother math lessons!

From the kitchen...Spaghetti, salad and bread tonight. I also need to make and freeze two lasagnas for a friend who has lots of company coming over the holiday. The rest of the week is going to be so crazy we may just have to bypass eating!

I am wearing...P.J.'s I really need to work on that. If I'm not going to exercise in the morning...I should really shower and dress before getting on this computer!

I am creating...Christmas ideas. Last year I loved my Teacher Christmas gifts and want to do something along the same lines only not exactly the same! So what do you think? Last year, I bought some really cute reusable grocery bags and made and froze meatballs. Then I put the meatballs, a jar of spaghetti sauce, noodles, bread and a homemade brownie mix in the bag. A little break from cooking over the holidays. The teachers loved them! This year I am trying to decide between a casserole (probably a pizza pasta) or doing a breakfast bag with homemade pancake mix, syrup, bacon, etc. What do you think? Any ideas or inspirations? I don't want to get too expensive.

I am going...to run around like a chicken with its head cut off this week!

I am reading...My Bible and was inspired by a fellow Daybooker to pull out my copy of "Power of a Positive Mom"...now I just have to find time to start reading.

I am hoping...For a smooth learning day, that the sickness in our house is both mild and short lived, and that this busy week is a peaceful week.

I am hearing...the sounds of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the T.V. because Dancer is laying on the couch not feeling too spiffy.

Around the house...The house is actually relatively in order. I must do the regular laundry today, scrub bathrooms and would love to vacuum. I also need to run to the grocery and pick up a few things that have been added to our list since I went grocery shopping last week.

One of my favorite things...Getting Christmas shopping DONE! We still have a bit to do but hoping it is wrapped up soon and I can enjoy the holiday season without having to shop!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Today will be a trip to the grocery and, if time, the library. Then the fun starts. Tuesday we have Tutorial, dance, guitar and an Upward meeting. Wednesday is handbells, choir and church, Thursday we have Tutorial, a football get together for the boys, a birthday party for dancer and a guitar concert. We also have special days at the Tutorial this week that require us to bring in canned or nonperishable items, find a pilgrim costume for Dancer and make cookies. Whew! Friday, a possible haircut for Dancer, school and dance. In the midst of that we must pack because Saturday morning we are leaving for a trip to W. VA and amish country! Mrs. Yoder...we are coming to get some fried chicken!!!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Okay...I realize this is weird. It is F.B's edible cell. Looks both delicious AND educational doesn't it!

I am reaching this week. I haven't downloaded the pictures from my camera lately and it is a major undertaking for a non techy like me!

So, I am resorting to school projects. Pray I download soon or next week you will be seeing pictures of B.B.'s bug collection!

For more Daybooks, go to The Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a great week!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Coffee Talk 11.13.09

Good Morning Ladies! Pull up a chair and grab your coffee (you'll have to bring your own) or a nice mug of hot chocolate which I will gladly provide! I also have some, just from the oven, pumpkin muffins and some nice, soft butter. Mmmmmmmm!

I hope the week has found everyone well! We have had a lovely week around here. We had a little day off from tutorial Tuesday because the Tennessee Baptist Convention was taking place in our church. It was such a wonderful thing for a die hard home body like myself. A whole extra day at home meant much less stress in our school days AND a much cleaner house! I even found a little extra help when Tigercub approached me one day saying something like, "Momma, I-an vshhhhhhhn". I obviously was somewhat confused and after having him repeat himself several times, he grabbed my hand and took me to the closed door of the laundry room. I opened the door and he immediately reached for the dust buster. He was saying, I want the vroom (vacuum)...man that kid is cute! And vacuum he did--I think we have found an outlet for this little power packed 2 year old bundle of energy!

It was an interesting week with points as well. First, we got rid of a "pesky annoyance". For me, that was the coupons that I had been piling up on my counter...for about a month! I finally got them clipped, filed AND went to the grocery store and saved over $60.00! YIPPEE!

Then there was the Toaster challenge. I must admit that I don't use my toaster really frequently but we do enjoy the occasional bagel or cinnamon toast. I don't even keep it out on the counter. It is just stored away until I need it. It has always been kind of a pet peeve that those little crumbs get EVERYWHERE! And then, Rachel gave us this job...and mentioned about the little hatch at the bottom of the toaster. People, I am embarrassed to tell you, I HAD NO IDEA! What a brilliant person to add that lovely little door to catch the crumbs. I went and checked mine out. And sure enough...the hatch was there and full of years worth of crumbs! I can't tell you how many times I have tipped and shaken that thing over the garbage trying to get out all the crumbs and wondering why on earth it isn't easier to clean this thing! What a revelation! (I totally realize most of you are reading this and shaking your heads at my ditzyness, but I tell you, I had no idea!)

And then, of course, there was the "Have fun with your man" opportunity. Now, let me say that when I told my hubby we had to have fun together, the first thing out of his mouth was, "Well I know ONE way we could have fun!" Ladies, I think we all know what that one way was. However, I was trying to be a little creative and began thinking of ways we could have fun. Monday night, we started exercising together. We are using Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred video (renamed by me as 30 days to a slow, painful death). I thought, that could be fun. It is NOT! It is AWFUL and PAINFUL and we are both walking slowly this week but it is not fun. I know, there are people out there that love to exercise. I am not one of those people. I do it because I have to. BUT I DO NOT LIKE IT!!!! Really, why is it fun to cause intentional pain, work yourself so hard your chest burns and you are gasping for air and then know it is going to be worse the next day...that is not fun, people!

Needless to say, I had to rethink the whole fun thing. Instead, we will be having fun tomorrow (hopefully) Christmas shopping together. We will begin by eating at Mrs. Winner's for breakfast with the kids. Then they will spend the day with Nana and Papaw while we shop till we drop! I have tried to be organized about it...something that does NOT come naturally to me! I have the lists, they are organized, I have coupons and by evening's end, I hope to have a plan. Minimizing the stress and optimizing the fun potential (I hope). Then we will wrap things up with cooking some hamburgers and hot dogs! AND IT WILL BE FUN!

Kind of like game night with the family last night was fun! You know, playing a game as the two year old destroys it, soothing tears of disappointment when 6 year olds don't win and gloating when the 9 year old does. And then the rolling eyes of the 12 year old who has MUCH more important things to do...like read a book. All while Daddy is distracted as he keeps seeing fuzz on the rug and, GASP, it is crooked as well and Mommy is ordering everyone to stop fussing, stop destroying stop whining and just have fun for goodness sake! Yes, family night is a joy!

Anyway, I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! To check out more Coffee talk, go to Home Sanctuary.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Even More About Me You Never Wanted to Know

Yesterday was a lovely stay home and get things done day. The kids had playmates and even let Tigercub hang out with them and I got a ton accomplished! My coupons are now all cut and sorted, the WHOLE house got vacuumed (which is unheard of around here), the weekend away laundry is all done and the shopping list has been started. If we want to eat today, the shopping is a priority this morning. I used to kind of like going to the grocery store. These days I would love to just send someone for me. In fact, I would like them to plan our meals, make the list, sort the coupons, and shop. I totally don't mind putting the groceries away. I enjoy watching the cabinets fill back up.

But, since I don't have a personal shopper and 4 hungry children and a hungry husband are hard to contend with, I guess I have to do it myself! In the mean time, my friend at CiCi's Corner did this a few days ago and it was fun to read and since I am always looking for an easy way out in terms of blogging inspiration, I decided to steal it!

A - Age: 37

B - Bed size: Queen, and wouldn't have it any other way...I'm such a rebel!

C - Chore you hate: Hmmm,I really don't hate chores...just have trouble getting to them. I dislike pulling wet clothes out of the dryer to hang dry, not sure why. And I really don't enjoy cleaning the boys bathroom because, well, they are boys...enough said!

D - Dog's name: Gracie

E - Essential start your day item: Breakfast and Bible

F - Favorite color: Well, in this house, I would be remiss not to say purple, but I am actually a girly girly pink girl!

G - Gold or Silver: Yes!!! Could you throw in a diamond or two as well?

H - Height: 5' 6"

I - I am: scattered. I really wish I were a put together,organized person...but alas, I am not!

J - Job: Mother, teacher, maid, cook, taxi driver, task master...the list goes on!

K - Kids: I have four children: a boy, 12; a boy, 9; a girl, 6; and a boy, almost 2

L - Living arrangements: We have lived in our little Salt Box style grey house for 6 years. Love our house and our property...hate all the home improvement issues that come with an older house.

M - Mom's name: Sherrie

N - Nicknames: Starlight. As a child: Luke Star Walker, Star Jay Walker and Rats (Star spelled backward) were among the favorites

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: None, I'm a healthy little thing!

P - Pet Peeve: My middle son who keeps coming into my room in the middle of the night and sleeping on the floor. If we wake up and tell him to go back to bed, he does it...so he isn't scared or anything. Last night, I even hid the sleeping bags and blankets....HE FOUND THEM! I am not sure why this drives me crazy, but it does!

Q - Quote from a movie: "Sew, very old one, sew like the wind!" From Three Amigos...not sure why we used to love that show, but we did...and there are some classic lines people!

R - Right or left handed: Right.

S - Siblings: Two sisters, I am in the middle. I also have an unofficially adopted Japanese brother.

T - Time you wake up: 5:30, I should get up at 5 to exercise, but I just can't get myself out of bed these days!

U- Underwear: Yes, I wear them...every day!

V - Vegetable you dislike: There are many, although I have gotten better as I have aged. My most recent discovery is that I really dislike kale because I can't get past the bitterness.

W - Ways you run late: I hate being late, but with an OCD husband and four kids, I run late most of the time.

X - X-rays you've had: 5th grade when I broke my arm. That's about all I can think of.

Y - Yummy food you make: MMMMM, dessert! Usually with chocolate, or cheesecake. Although I like my chicken and dumplin's, too.

Z - Zoo Animal: Well, I often tell my children they belong in the zoo. But that is probably not the idea here. I guess one of my favorites are the meerkats I just love watching them "stand guard" and poke their little heads up out of the ground.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook 11.09.09

FOR TODAYNovember 9, 2009

Outside my window...

The sun is rising on a beautiful, crisp morning. 55 degrees right now but the forecast is 75. Not very autumn, but definitely my kind of weather!

I am thinking...about the day ahead. We have been out of town for the weekend so there is lots of laundry and cleaning to be done. I am SO far behind and today need to start getting re-organized.

I am thankful for...a lovely weekend with friends and family and a few Christmas presents knocked out while there!

From the learning rooms...not much today. We are keeping a friends' children because they are out of school for the day. We will have to squeeze in a little tutorial work, but they have trouble concentrating under those circumstances.

From the kitchen...Probably breakfast for supper. One of my tutorial students brought me fresh eggs and we don't have much else. I have not been to the grocery in over two weeks and can't make it today because we will have extra kiddos here!

I am wearing...P.J.'s, but I will be shedding them soon to get a shower before the house is full!

I am creating...hopefully a clean, orderly home today!

I am going...to try to get all my coupons cut and organized, laundry done and the kitchen organized. Hopefully I will have time because with a houseful of kiddos, we won't be leaving the house!

I am reading...John 10:1-10

I am hoping...For a peaceful day and that I have enough food in the house to feed a houseful of children!

I am hearing...the computer hum

Around the house...So many things, laundry to be done, floors to vacuum, bathrooms to scrub!

One of my favorite things...Chocolate Halloween candy that the kids reject!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Cleaning, tutorial, dance, guitar

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

This is total blackmail material when Tigercub gets a little older..He really does make a lovely princess though...don't ya think?

For more daybooks go to the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Coffee Talk 11/06/09

Good Morning Company Girls! You may notice the lack of the Company Girls Picture today. I am posting "remotely" from Louisiana and am not too familiar with this laptop. We will actually just be lucky if this actually posts!

It has been a busy week in the Tigerden (aren't they all). Nothing really special or exciting. Dentist appointments, church, tutorial, dance, guitar...all the usual.

We are still trying to implement the workbox system in our homeschool and it is going pretty well. I do like the system although we are still working out some kinks. However, I have discovered that it is not a cure all. I know you are all probably thinking that is obvious, but I think I was hoping that all our struggles would be over when we started this and that has certainly not happened. Kind of like the housekeeping fairy still hasn't shown up at my door yet. I keep waiting and watching, but I am just about to decide I am going to have to do it myself!

Now we are in LA for the weekend. We are excited to visit with family, take in a HS football game and work on a little Christmas surprise for the grandparents. Apparently we have just decided to go with a four day school week--which is a great idea when you are already behind and can't get the work done in 5 days.

The highlight of the week for me was, pitifully, the start of Priscilla Shirer's blog and our very own Rachel helping out with it. Really...how much better can the week get when you have Rachel, Priscilla, and even a little Lisa Whelchel thrown in. When I grow up...I am totally going to be a part of that little group. In fact, I wonder if Lifeway would just go on and hire me as a groupie or something.

I hope all you ladies have an incredible weekend. I hope to find time to visit some blogs...maybe travelling home Sunday. In the meantime, we will be soaking in this sunny LA weather and enjoying a little visit.

For more Coffee Talk, go to Home Sanctuary.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Seven Things You Never Wanted to Know

Thanks to Spesamor Academy for this sweet and quite undeserved award! She made my week! Really, how many people can get a creative blogger award for doing nothing but carnivals a whopping once or twice a week! Actually, she is a sweet, encouraging bloggy friend who is actually an organized and put together homeschooler with tons of fun ideas! Please check her out!

These are the rules:

1. Thank the person who gave this to you--Thanks!

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog--In a freakishly technological way,I actually accomplished this!

3. Link the person who nominated you--done!

4. Name 7 things about yourself that no one would really know

5. Nominate 7 other bloggers & let them know they are nominated.
Now, for the seven things part. Unfortunately, I am both incredibly boring and quite an open book so this is gonna be tough.
1. I HATE to be barefoot. I even sleep in socks. The only time I am without foot covering is in the shower or in the pool. I will never be a shoes off at the door person because I MUST WEAR SHOES!!!
2. I LOVE breakfast. I really don't even care what it is, a bowl of cereal is fine. I eat as soon as my feet hit the floor. But no coffee, please I can't stand that nasty stuff!
3. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was six years old. I don't remember a lot but I can still remember my Daddy preaching with tears running down his face as he portrayed a picture of himself begging Jesus not to die and Jesus lovingly telling him that he had to even if just for one person. It is so clearly imprinted in my mind that I can almost hear it every time I think of it.
4. I am the most insecure person I know. I know it is ridiculous and it makes me MAD! It is why I hate going to the dentist, because I know he is going to tell me what is wrong with my teeth. It is why I hate my kids to struggle with school, because I am afraid it is my fault. In my head, I know I just need to shake things off and realize they have no eternal value, but deep inside, it is a constant struggle.
5. I would really like to teach a women's Bible study but if you refer back to question 4, I can't bring myself to do it. I really just want someone to walk up to me, tell me I am Suzy Superchristian and ask me to teach, write a book and start my U.S. tour alongside Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, and Lisa Whelchel. Hey, it could happen.
6. I have absolutely no talent. I cannot play an instrument (okay, I played the flute back in the day, but I wasn't good and I sure couldn't play now), I cannot decorate, I am not crafty or creative. When I cook, I am a STRICT recipe follower. I am sure that I am SUPPOSED to have some sort of talent at something, but at 37, I have yet to figure out what it is!
7. I wish I could help Tigerfan out more financially. I do teach at tutorial but that pretty much just pays for my kids to go. I have thought of a million options but can never match them up with homeschooling/extracurricular scheduling. I have even considered home sales like Premier Jewelry or Southern Living at Home but always talk myself out of it because I figure I would never have customers and it would throw me into a deep #4 depression.
So, basically, what we have learned is, I am boring and need counseling!
I have now allowed my children to sleep 40 minutes late on the worst schooling day of the week. This is why I rarely blog anymore.
So, for the last requirement, The Nominees are (and I will be hard pressed to come up with seven because my bloggy activity has been slim recently):
Purple Diva's Diary (I am going to try to pull her out of retirement!)
and my two boys (to try to get them up and blogging again)
Fighting Tigers
LSU Tigertown

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Blog

Okay ladies, I totally am planning on posting for real today at some point. Right now, I must run because I am running late for tutorial. However, I simply HAD to tell you that there is a new blog in town that you need to check out!

Priscilla Shirer, an INCREDIBLE Bible Study teacher, daughter of Tony Evans, and awesome speaker has just started a blog on her website. You can find it here. Go check it out and add it to your followings or blog reader or whatever. It will bless you, I just KNOW it.

By the way, when I grow up...I want to be just like her or maybe her good friend, Rachel who runs the Home Sanctuary site, but I digress.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook 11.2.09

FOR TODAY, November 2, 2009...

Outside my window... a beautiful fall morning. The leaves on the trees around the pond are changing and they are just so pretty to look out. It is crisp and cool outside and we are actually predicted to have a dry week this week! Yay!

I am thinking...about the week, so much to do and I am so far behind. Doesn't that sound familiar, it is the story of my life!
I am thankful for...A fun weekend with the family. We were so busy all weekend, but enjoyed lots of family time. Tigerfan even took Friday off from work and we got some fall shopping done.

Also thankful for an answered thought. I know, that doesn't make sense. But we have had a situation around here that was stressing me out. It was one of those things that I felt bad praying for...I mean, we have shelter, a secure job, etc. we are really very blessed, but it was stressing us and while I thought about praying for/about it, I never did because I have a really out of control guilt complex. Anyway, God answered that thought in a far greater way than I ever would have imagined. He is so good! I did nothing to deserve such a blessing, and yet He delights in giving to His children!

From the learning rooms...still tweaking our workbox system. I think it will be a good fit for us once we get it all figured out. It would probably be easier if I had actually read the book, I do plan on asking for it for Christmas...but for now, we are winging it!

From the kitchen...Hopefully pork chops, although in my normal, spacey way, I forgot to take them out of the deep freeze last night!

I am wearing...P.J.'s, did you really need to ask?

I am creating...nothing, did you need to ask?

I am going...to the dentist, the post office and possibly the grocery store. And one day this week to the library. Our Language Arts teacher from tutorial keeps assigning us library assignments. I appreciate the thought, but my son knows how to use the library and taking Tigercub to the library two to three times a week is sort of like taking a bull into a china shop on a regular basis. I am pretty sure when they see my car pull up, they are going to start locking the doors!

I am reading...My Bible, oh for a nice piece of light enjoyment reading...

I am hoping...for a non eventful trip to the dentist. I am like a little child...I get so stressed out going there. I have terrible teeth and I dread what they might tell me.

I am hearing...silence, I should really get up and get busy!

Around the house...laundry and hopeful some Home Sanctuary stuff. I have been a bad little Company Girl the last few months and need to get back into it. Oh, to be a naturally organized, together person

One of my favorite things...A Huge bowl of chocolate ripe for the taking after Halloween. One of my least favorite things... the 10 pounds I will gain if I indulge!

A few plans for the rest of the week:A little trip to Louisiana the end of the week. Working on a little Christmas surprise for Nana And Papaw.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Two of our little Tiger fans at our Fall Fun Fest...what did you THINK our family would be dressed as?

The first ever carved pumpkin of my married life! Tigerfan was out of town this week so I bit the bullet and did something my kids have begged for always! We had so much fun carving this little guy...why didn't we do this before!

To read more Daybooks go to The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook 10.26.09

FOR TODAY10/26/09

Outside my window...The sun is just beginning to rise. It is a beautiful, chilly Autum morning!

I am thinking...about school. I am going to begin using the workbox system today and am wondering how it will go. I stayed up until 1:00a.m. getting everything ready and set up, but if it is effective, it will be totally worth it!

I am thankful for...An incredible weekend at the Extraordinary Women's conference, my friend who gave me a ticket and an awesome Sunday with my family.

From the learning rooms...Reading, writing and arithmetic! We got all caught up on tutorial last week and will begin using the workbox system this week. We are not doing anything else, just the regular "stuff" and learning the new system.

From the kitchen...well, Tigerfan did a little shopping while I was gone for the weekend. We have poptarts, brownies, cookies, chocolate milk, powdered donuts, and bananas (apparently, he figured he better get SOMETHING with nutritional value). Unless I plan to do some amazing Top Chef concoction, I better go to the grocery before anything comes out of this kitchen! :)

I am wearing...pajamas...come on, did you really need to ask?

I am creating...hopefully a lovely sanctuary for my family to dwell in. More likely, a need for therapy for my children.

I am going...to the grocery store and the library and tonight to Upward evaluations.

I am reading...My Bible

I am hoping...For a better, smoother school week.

I am hearing...nothing, what a beautiful sound!

Around the house...Laundry, the kitchen needs cleaning and daily maintenance. Fortunately, Tigerfan is a better home maker than I and everything is in tip top shape after my weekend away!

One of my favorite things...spending some much needed time with a grown up. Being in the Word and being encouraged by other Christian women.

A few plans for the rest of the week:School pictures at tutorial this week. Orange you glad you know Jesus day. Sleepover party for B.B., bonfire for F.B., birthday party for Dancer, juvenile hunt this weekend for Daddy and the boys, Fall Fun Fest at our church Saturday night.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Two of my boys...I am blessed!

To read more, go to The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Coffee Talk 10/23/09

Good Morning Ladies! I am embarrassed to tell you that one week later, I STILL have not been to the grocery store. Now, part of that was intentional...waiting for payday. But that day has come and gone, and still no groceries! I have just been too busy to fiddle with unimportant things like feeding my family nutritionally sound food.

Instead, we are going the route of Ramen Noodles, bologna and the occasional carrot and ranch dip. But something tells me that you probably don't really want any of those things. I totally have sodas, though. I mean, you have GOT to have priorities! :)

I am absolutely beside myself because in just a few short hours I will be bidding my family adieux and heading out with a friend to the Extraordinary Women Conference in Tupelo, MS. This was a huge surprise! A great surprise! A last minute surprise! She won tickets on the radio and called me Monday to see if I wanted to go! Oh yes I do!

So, this morning will be filled with rushed lessons, packing, and preparing the kids for a night with dad. I must admit a small amount of guilt (almost not on the radar)! Tigerfan must take all the kids with him to take Dancer to dance tonight. He must then get them all up and ready for an 8 a.m. ballgame in the morning and there is not one thing in this house to feed them. Okay, he probably wouldn't have fed them in the house anyway, but I do feel bad that that option isn't at least there! Supermom would have had individually plated portions of a nutritionally balanced meal frozen and labelled for this occasion. I am clearly NOT Supermom!

Anyway, I hope all of you have an amazing weekend! I KNOW I will! I probably won't be around until at least Sunday, but I will be thinking of all my sweet Company Friends and wishing you could be there with me!

Blessings, and don't forget to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hidden Treasure

Look at that precious face! It looks so innocent, and yet...

Friday, his two best sippy cups went missing. This was tragic because they are the only two cups in the house that don't leak and that he cannot get the stoppers out of and then make puddles of milk, juice, or water to fingerpaint in.

I began the search. I would even ask him..."where are your cups?", because often he will "stash" them in a chest or cupboard and when I ask, he goes straight to them. So, I asked, and each time he would run to a different spot. For instance the couch. He would throw himself down on his tummy look under the couch and point. I would victoriously run over throw myself down on my tummy and look at dust and toys...but no sippy. This episode repeated itself time and again. Under the entertainment center, in the dress up box, under the treadmill, you get the idea. By the end of Friday--no cups!

I was a little concerned because I knew one of the cups contained whole milk and would surely be found soon do to a smell I wasn't looking forward to. Saturday the search began again but this time, without help. I looked EVERYWHERE! I went through all the kitchen cupboards, emptied the toy boxes, searched drawers and cabinets and toys with hiding places...those darn cups didn't turn up ANYWHERE!

When Tigercub woke from his nap, I decided to try one more time and asked him where his cup was. Without even a pause, he walked out of the room and returned with one of the missing cups! "Where did you get that?" I screamed. He marched into the playroom and went straight to a window of Dancer's Rose Petal Cottage. FB was standing next to it and looked. That little hurricane on two feet had unzipped the lining on the house from the outside. Looking between the layers we found: the other missing cup, several missing toys, all of my measuring cups and all of my measuring spoons (which, incidentally, I had replaced about 1 month ago when this same scenario played out but with less success).

I'm not really sure of what the moral to this story is, but if you happen to have any missing utensils, toys or small animals and you happen to be the owner of the ever popular Rose Petal Cottage, you might want to go unzip it...it could be a treasure trove!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I am Giddy With Excitement

It doesn't happen often, but I am BESIDE myself! Why, you may ask.

Yesterday morning one of my good friends called with some amazing news. She had won tickets to the Extraordinary Women conference in Tupelo, MS. THIS WEEKEND! Guess who she invited? Little ole me! I just about fell out of my chair, cause ladies...I LOVE the Extraordinary Women's conferences. This one features Angela Thomas (love her), Chonda Pierce (love her), Stormie Omartian (love her) AND Karen Kingsbury (love her)! AND Charles Billingsley AND Mandisa will be there. Do I hear an AMEN????

There are just really no words to describe how incredible this is! There is no way I could have gone to this conference. I mean, you may not know this...but we are in the middle of a sunk economy, and we just do not have a penny to spend on anything other than groceries, bills, and plumbing!

My friend is giving me a ticket AND she got a discounted hotel (at the last minute) for only $65. So, for a little over $30 plus meals ( which is almost exactly how much cash I have left over from Birthday money), I get 24 hours of child free time, I get to be fed by some amazing women (and Charles Billingsley) and I get to hang out with a friend.

My God is good...and I am giddy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook 10/19/09

FOR TODAY10/19/09

Outside my window... The sun is just starting to rise and the pink glow is shining through the trees. It is so calm and peaceful and the reflection of the trees and light in the pond is beautiful!

I am thinking...about my weaknesses. All my life, I have been ashamed of my weaknesses (and there are many). I try constantly to minimize them...or maybe the appearance of having them. I am not really naturally organized or talented in many areas. But I strive so hard to have a perfect house and perfect kids and give the appearance of having it all together. Why? So people will see me and not see my weaknesses. And yet...it is in my weakness that God is glorified. It is in my weakness, that God is able to show His strength. I really want to become content in my weakness and allow any success I have be totally and completely to glorify Him and not me.

I am thankful for...a great weekend, a special family/friend for Baseball Boy, and the salvation of my Princess.

From the learning rooms...I am going to TRY to be "laid back" this week and take a break from all except Bible and tutorial work. I want to get my house cleaned up and organized and really try to get the workbox system ready to implement and try to begin training my children in some new rules, work policies. We MUST make a change if we are going to survive this year.

From the kitchen...kind of up in the air. The cupboards are very, very bare. The checkbook is very, very empty. Maybe breakfast food and playing clean the cupboards until payday.

I am wearing... my pajamas, I know, shameful. Part of my organization week is to try to settle things and organize things so I can get back to exercise and showering before 9 p.m.

I am creating...hopefully some home organization...something that definitely does not come naturally to me!

I am going... hopefully nowhere today although by week's end I should have a big to do list including the post office and Goodwill. Today, I will once again be meeting the plumber because neither our brand new water heater nor our upstairs heating units are working properly and under our house is submerged in water again...UGH!

I am reading...The Bible, I know you are getting tired of that answer, but it is all I have time for these days!

I am hoping...to make things run more smoothly around here and be happy with good enough.

I am hearing...The hum of the computer and the barking of our dog and the other two hundred dogs in the neighborhood. I am sure they are on the hunt for a newspaper to destroy or a flower bed to dig up!

Around the house...Closets being cleaned, children's rooms and closets will get a work over and hopefully a menu for the next couple of months will get planned along with a grocery list.

One of my favorite things...Having my 12 year old boy hug me and smile at me instead of roll his eyes at me in irritation. It doesn't happen often, but it is glorious when it does!

A few plans for the rest of the week:The usual--dance, baseball, guitar, library, church. Hopefully a little football with friends for FB and a tailgate party Saturday night before the LSU game. GEAUX Tigers (and Boise State!)

Here is picture for thought I am sharing:

Things we hope NOT to be seeing a lot of this week! Hope all of you have a great one!

For more Daybooks go to Simple Woman's Daybook

Friday, October 16, 2009

Coffee Talk 10/16/09

Good Morning, my sweet friends. I hope this morning finds you doing well. As soon as I type this post, I will be running upstairs to grab a HOT shower before my kiddos wake up, so I am doing fabulously well!

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot to offer you this morning. Chocolate milk or a soda is about it...and how about a store bought chocolate chip cookie (oh, the shame)! Come back next week and I will try to do better!

It has been quite a week around the Tigerden. If you visited last week, you will know that our hot water heater went out...in a very wet way. After doing a lot of research, we decided to go with a tankless heater. A little bit more expensive (okay, a lot more expensive) but there is a tax credit AND, if it were to go out...no water damage. And I think that in the past six months, we have established that anything we can do around here to prevent water damage is a must do!

We bought the heater Monday, but we couldn't get it installed until Wednesday. That meant one entire week with no hot water....UGH! I will say that it was a humbling experience because as the week went on and I got more and more whiny, I began to realize that millions of people in the world today have NEVER taken a hot bath or washed their clothes in hot water...or had a dishwasher to wash their dishes for them. What, to me was a huge inconvenience is, to them, a lifestyle. I didn't stop whining...but I was humbled! :)

We also decided to switch gas sources this week. We have always had our own propane tank, so when it is empty, we have to pay to have it filled in bulk. It has been teetering on emptiness for a few months now, so we decided to go with a utility company and have them meter our gas. That way, the maintenance and liability is with them and we pay for only what we use. So, Wednesday, after days of rain, was the big day...new water heater, new gas tank, big backhoe rolling through a drenched yard...lovely! However, I will not complain, because Wednesday night I got the first hot shower in my own home in a week. I also did lots of laundry and ran the dishwasher...all at the SAME TIME...cause you can do that with a tankless! WOO HOO!

But, the highlight of the week was not a hot shower or clean clothes or dishes that washed themselves. The highlight came Wednesday night as I was kissing Dancer goodnight and she said, "Momma, before you pray, I want to pray first. Do you know why I want to pray? Because I want to ask Jesus into my heart." Oh, my...tearing up, even now! The most precious, beautiful words a parent can ever hear. So Wednesday night, after a horrible week that I haven't even scratched the surface of describing here, Tigerfan and I got to pray with our daughter and welcome her into the kingdom of Christ! It has been the BEST WEEK EVER!!!

And now, to make an already long post even longer, I am doing a really great Bible Study right now. It is called Ever Loving Truth by Voddie Bauchum. It is probably one of the most convicting, challenging, motivating Bible studies I have ever done. It has really challenged me to boldly stand up for my faith. So, in today's lesson, we talked about the supremacy of Christ and how He differs from other prophets and religious teachers. The last assignment was to answer this question, "How would you respond if an unsaved person asked you, 'How can you say that Jesus is superior to other prophets and teachers?'"

I answered like this (very, unprofound, by the way...no deep thinkers around here): "Jesus was in the beginning, he created all things. Unlike other prophets, He lived a perfect life, died sacrificially for us AND rose again. You can visit the graves of other prophets and teachers but not Jesus, because He is not there. Only He conquered death, only He has the power to cleanse us from sin."

Part two of the challenge was to discuss with others how they would answer the question. So, how would you answer? I would really love to know.

For more Coffee Talk, visit Home Sanctuary.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook 10.12.09

FOR TODAY October 12, 2009

Outside my window...The sun is not up yet. a couple of streetlights shining and a small light glowing through the woods from the next house over.

I am thinking...hot water! I don't appreciate what I have until I don't have it. We are now on day 4 of no water heater and I continue to be amazed at how much we rely on that thing. Laundry, dishes, showers, washing our face. I am beginning to think the life of the Amish isn't all it is cracked up to be! :)

I am thankful for...In-laws who live close. After one experience trying to "spit bath" in freezing well water, I sure do appreciate going to my in-law's house and showering in warm water. Saturday, I decided to bathe the kids at home rather than bugging Papaw again. After boiling 7 pots of water only to go return to the tub and find they had all drained out, we decided on bugging Papaw again. He was SO gracious...imagine our not so quiet family of six intruding on his peaceful, football watching Saturday evening!

From the learning rooms...One child down, he is hanging out with a buddy who is on Fall Break. Hopefully today will be an easy school day and then they can get a "life lesson" as they help, okay watch, as a new hot water heater is installed. (Please let it be today, please let it be today, please let it be today)!

From the kitchen...Well, that is a good question. We have eaten out far too much this weekend, definitely don't need to spend the money. But clean up is a pain...again with the hot water! It involves boiling water, washing by hand...okay, I am spoiled! Anyway...I am not sure. But I promise to feed my family. Something!

I am wearing...pajamas...hey, I can't take a shower yet!

I am creating...Christmas lists...only two and half months till the big day, yikes!

I am going...well, probably to the grocery store and to Nana and Papaw's to wash underclothes. I have been washing most stuff in cold, but I just can't bring myself to wash underclothes in cold! Since we are about to run out, I'm heading over there, maybe we can sneak in some showers, too.

I am reading...my Bible, that is it, no time for more.

I am hoping...to have a lovely new water heater installed by day's end. We have decided (probably) to go with a tankless heater. It is more expensive in the beginning, but there is a pretty good tax incentive and it is supposed to save quite a lot on your energy bill. AND, you never run out of hot water...I may take a two hour shower before the evening is through!

I am hearing...the hum of the computer. Okay, it is really more like a groan. I have a sneaky suspicion this little guy may be the next thing to kick the bucket around here.

Around the house...Laundry and dishes. They have been piling up...hopefully today will be the day we get back under control!

One of my favorite things...C'mon, you know what is coming! HOT WATER!!!

A few plans for the rest of the week:Post office, tutorial, gymnastics, guitar, baseball and Saturday we have to choose between a Hayride party and an engagement party. Why is it you have no social life and then everything is planned at the same time?

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
Tigercub "helping" with pledges. He LOVES to hold the "Bibo"!
Have a great week and check out The Simple Woman's Daybook for more Daybooks!