Friday, December 23, 2011

Coffee Talk 12.23.11

Good Morning!
I hope today finds everyone full of holiday spirit and doing well!  I just put a pan of Cinnamon Roll muffins in the oven (a Pinterest find) and expect to have the house full of cinnamon goodness very soon!
We also have some fudge, Oreo truffles and some unbaked sugar cookies tucked away for any of you sweet tooths!
This year, I have tried to pair down our holiday activities.  I haven’t made as many treats (we don’t need them), we haven’t done as many “Christmas” activities, we have mostly been home or visiting with friends...and I have liked it!
For those that have been around here long, you may remember a couple of years ago when I said I longed to have a 3 am friend.  I have plenty of friends, but I haven’t had that really close girlfriend in a long time and I have longed for it.  Well, this week, a friend invited my children and I over for breakfast so we could talk, she ended up keeping my little ones for an hour while Tigerfan and I went to get our adoption physical.  When I got back to her house, we ate...four hours later we ate again...and an hour after that, we finally went home.  It was such beautiful, sweet fellowship and such a gift from God!  Something my heart has yearned for and yet so unexpected!
Another Christmas blessing has been the completion (almost) of our home study application.  All we lack are pictures of each room in our house (the camera batteries died mid photo-shoot) which I hope to finish up today and a letter from the director of our home school tutorial saying I really do teach there.  This is a HUGE accomplishment!  I had no idea what that entailed until we were in the midst of it!  20 something pages, an autobiography from my husband and from me, physicals for the whole family, gathering birth certificates and marriage certificate, finding has been a huge undertaking and we are HOPING to mail it off Monday!!!  Tigerfan has been absolutely amazing...what was completely overwhelming to me, he just grabbed onto and plowed forward and here we are!  Our next step is to get our fingerprinting and local background checks and start on passport applications!  Things are moving along.
To that end, I, who have NEVER had trouble sleeping...cannot sleep anymore.  I go to bed thinking about orphans and I wake up at night thinking of them.  My new routine is to pray for those children, pray for their caregivers, pray for those who might choose them until I fall asleep each night.  And as I wake up during the night, my prayers continue.  I never saw the needs of the fatherless around us until my husband began to mention adoption...and now, I cannot ignore it.  147 million orphans.  147 million children who will go to bed fatherless.  Many who will age out of the orphange with no family and no hope.  Many who will be “sold” into prostitution or forced into military service.  147 million children who long for a family.  My heart is broken for them and for their plight.
So, this year...if you need a cause, if you need a place for your end of the year giving and your heart is tender towards these little ones, consider seeking out an organization that gives hope to the hopeless.  There are so many:  Sixty Feet (who you can help right now by voting for a grant), Amazima, My Father’s House, PeopleWeaver...there are SO many more!  Our eyes have been opened to the needs of those that cannot help themselves and we can no longer ignore them or pretend they don’t exist.  James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”  This Christmas, while we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the savior of the World, a little piece of our hearts will be in an orphanage on the other side of the world.  Hopefully, next Christmas, there will be one less orphan, one less who is fatherless, a little girl who will hug the neck of Tigerfan and call him daddy.  But there are so many more.  Please, this holiday season...pray for those who have never even heard of the Light of the World and consider what you can do.

On that note, our other exciting news is that our fundraising "stuff" has come in this week!  We got our paper bead necklaces from PeopleWeaver and they are completely beautiful!!!  We also got some beauty products from Ladybug Blessings that we will be using to do a brochure sell!  I'm excited to try them out...I just wish that we would have started earlier cause this stuff would have made great Christmas presents...maybe Valentine's???  Anyway, a friend of mine has also found a good price on Ugandan vanilla beans, so I am also hoping to make some Ugandan vanilla extract!  It is exciting to see these things coming together...I'll keep you posted, and if you happen to be in the market for some rockin' Ugandan Paper beads or some oatmeal soap...I can hook you up!!!
Don’t forget to visit Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Coffee Talk 12.16.11

Good morning!

How can it possibly be Friday already?  By the same logic, how can it almost be Christmas already!

It has been a busy week at the Tigerden, as I'm sure it has been at everyone's house!  If you stopped by last Friday, you know Science Fair is over!!!  Sort of.  FB's project took second place, so we are going to Regionals.  I have mixed feelings about this.  It will look great on college applications to have gone to a Regional Science Fair as a high schooler.  However, it also means more work...which I will have to coerce out of him...again!  Ugh!

In other news, while we are pretty well finished with our Christmas shopping for everyone else.  I have NOTHING for Tigerfan except a wallet and some cologne that he was with me when I purchased.  Nothing, nada, zip.  In fact, I don't even have an IDEA for him.  Early on in our relationship, I LOVED shopping for him.  I loved trying to surprise him and get him something he didn't even know he wanted.  I soon realized that he didn't know he wanted it...because he didn't want it.  After a couple of years of getting my feelings hurt because my hard searched gifts were returned or unused, I learned it is just better to get really specific (sweet OCD man)!  These days, it is tell me the exact shirt at the exact store and the exact size, or better yet go pick out the exact item and I will wrap it up for you.  I know this sounds a little harsh but it is the only way I know he will be happy.  The problem, this year he can't think of a single thing he wants or needs and he doesn't want me to spend much needed money just to have something.  Which is totally logical, but I am full of pride.  I know that he has been out and about ordering, shopping and he has a stockpile of little somethings for me and I don't want to be outdone...isn't that so American!  So I am struggling to come up with little things to make him happy so I can be happy!  How crazy is that!  I have already told him that I want next year to be different.  I don't want to buy a thousand gifts for rich spoiled Americans that don't know what it means to be in need.  (That is us, by the way).  I at least want to scale back...a lot and buy gifts that will support others who are truly in need...anyway, this year, I've got nothin' and I am running out of time!

Anyway, this week has been full.  We had a Christmas party for the kids at our apartment ministry, we did LOADS of laundry when Tigerfan finally got our new washing machine installed, after searching all over this city for a Christmassy dress for Dancer, I gave up and sewed her a dress very last minute, we have filled out MOUNTAINS of paperwork (and have mountains more to work on), we had Children's Choir Share time at church and Christmas parties at Tutorial.  But now, we are winding down.  We are done with Tutorial until next year and hopefully I can be a nice mom and take it easy on the schooling at home (except math, we MUST do math).  FB has three service projects this weekend so he is racking up his service hours and we have basketball practice and last minute shopping but HOPEFULLY next week will be filled with friends in our home, late nights of playing games and laughing and enjoying the simple things.

"The dress"

In adoption news, we are ALMOST finished filling out the Home Study book, er, I mean application.  We have pretty much laid our entire life out for the free world to examine and judge.  We have mailed off requests, paid out ridiculous amounts of money, and are just steps away from celebrating the end so we can begin the orphanage application!  Oy Vey!  It will be totally worth it, though.  This weeks stress out moment is stemming from a great opportunity.  A friend of mine is hosting an adoption open house in her home on January 3.  It is an opportunity for several families in the area who are in the process of adoption to bring their "stuff" to sell and help raise funds for their adoptions.  The problem, we are so deep in paperwork, that we haven't really taken that step, so this week I realized...I have NOTHING to sell and very little talent to "craft" with.  Yesterday, I purchased a few Ugandan paper bead necklaces to sell (love this idea because it supports the people of Uganda), that is all I've got.  Today, I am going to call a lady I've been emailing from a site called Ladybug Blessings about trying to get some of their products.  I am also considering purchasing some Ugandan vanilla beans and making/selling homemade vanilla extract (again, it supports Ugandan economy) which I like.  That is all I have.  The thing is scary spending a lot of money HOPING people will want to buy the products, especially because we just do not have a lot to spend right have to spend money to make money...but geez!  So, any ideas?  My husband says I could sew some of the outfits I make for Dancer and they would probably sell...but I am no professional, I'm not really an expert seamstress and I hate to sell something that isn't top quality.  I've also considered preparing meals (maybe frozen) for people or making baked goods for them.  What do you think?  Any amazing ideas out there?

Oh, one last thing.  I got the TWO most precious gifts I have ever received from students yesterday.  The first...a check for our adoption fund.  Our first contribution...tearing up right now!  The second, a student purchased a chick in my name for a person in a needy completely precious is that?  THAT is what next year's Christmas is going to look like in the Tigerden!

Okay, I have rambled enough!  Can't wait to visit with all of you, hope you have an amazing weekend and don't forget to go to Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk (not everyone will be as long winded as me)!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coffee Talk

If you are reading this post than there is rejoicing in the Tigerden...because Science Fair is through.  I am either at the judging or at home doing the Happy Dance.  Ask me next week and I will tell you what an incredible experience it is.  I will hail all its many attributes.  I will tell you how much the children learn by participating in this event.  Ask me this weekend, and, well, my opinion might be different.

At this point...I don't care if we place.  I don't care if we go to regional.  I don't care if we make a good showing at regional.  All I care about is saying, "We're done!  We're done!  We're done!"

So, here are some things I have learned from this year's Science Fair:

  • It does not matter how many times I say, "You need three abstracts and one must go in the top, left corner of the board and DO NOT CUT IT!" least 1/3 of my class will, in fact, NOT have three copies, it will be cut down AND at least 3 children will put it in the wrong place on the board.  I am convinced, now, that that is because when I speak Science Fair, my students hear the Charlie Brown teacher voice.
  • It does not matter that my high school student has done a project every year since fifth grade, somehow between November of one year and the beginning of Science Fair the next all Science Fair knowledge somehow leaks out of his brain and he reverts back to the clueless 5th grader.
  • Choosing a project that supposedly interests previously mentioned high schooler in no way increases their excitement about research, experimentation, compiling data or putting together a board.
  • It does, however, make the mother want to yank all her hair out because she is completely clueless as to what they are doing and yet seems to be doing all the leg work.
  • Assuming that next year will be better because they have another year of experience behind them AND they will be that much more mature is kind of like assuming it will be more fun to pay your taxes next year because you got so much practice this year!
  • Celebrating the end of Science Fair is right up there with chocolate and Diet fact, I think I will celebrate WITH chocolate and Diet Coke and this could possibly rank as one of the ten best days of the year!
And now, the focus returns to adoption.  We have decided to stick with the original agency...I think, so hopefully this weekend will be spent filling out papers and getting our ducks in a row.  I am also trying to think of ways to begin raising money...cause it is gonna take a LOT!  I've also been asked by the Orphan Care group at church to try to help find donations for a silent auction to raise money for the ministry.  That really isn't my gift...really!  If anyone has any inspiration as to what to get, let me know. Or, if you happen to have a car or a week's vacation laying around that you don't know what to do with, I would be the BOMB if I brought in a draw like that!  Right now, it looks like my contribution might be...well, I think I have an unused photo album in a dresser drawer somewhere.  Maybe a nice freezer meal?  Hmmmm, I might have to think a little on that!

Still feeling a bit overwhelmed by all that is going on (see here) but we are choosing to just have faith.  And now, I'm off to the 3:00, there WILL be a celebratory Diet Coke I can assure you...and I don't even care if I've had my eight glasses of water yet.  I'm a rebel like that!

Make sure to head over to Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

In the Quiet Moments

Shhh, Tigercub doesn't know it, but he is in bed EARLY!!!  The boys are at basketball and Dancer and her friend are in the kitchen decorating stain glass Dollar Tree investment I ever made!  I actually have a free moment to sit here and record a little.

Obviously, the topic on my mind most often these days is adoption.  And I have been thinking about it A LOT this week.  It is funny because we have been so clear about this decision...we have known for a few weeks that we were going through with this huge step, but have kept it quiet.  At first it felt like those first 3 months of pregnancy...I felt the need to keep it a secret in case something happened, in case we didn't pass the Home Study, in case we failed.  After being reassured that I was being overly paranoid, I guess we just waited for the right time...and coming out with it felt so good!

And now, it is out there...and I am terrified!  Suddenly, the financial commitment looms before me.  And then in one week our heat went out (we now know we have a hidden leak somewhere...sounds expensive) and our washing machine died.  Beyond that, the agency we have been talking to for a month doesn't seem to be working out and we are feeling the need to change agencies...a whole month of work down the drain and an application that is intimidating at best.

Doubts begin to creep in.  My insecurities begin to rise.  How will we pay for this?  If I cook, sell, create...will anyone want our "stuff"?  What if I fail in this?  How humiliating!  Why did we share so soon?  Then my thoughts turn to a little girl in Uganda that we do not yet know.  And I am filled with such a love for a total stranger.

I wonder, did she get enough to eat today or did she go to bed wishing for just a little more?  Did anyone read her a story or help her brush her teeth?  Did someone hold and cuddle her before laying her down or did she go to bed longing for human touch?  Did anyone speak Jesus to that sweet girl today?  Did anyone tell her how beautiful she is and how she is known and loved by the Creator.  Does she have a special friend to play with or is she lonely?  She is already in my heart.  Does she sense that someone is out there praying for her?  Does she long for a loud, chaotic, crazy, family?  Will she be home with us next Christmas?

So I pray, and then I pray some more.  And then I eat chocolate.  Lots and lots of chocolate.  Which makes me think that I should probably start running again.  Running and praying is probably a better choice than eating chocolate and praying, but I'm trying here, people...and let's face it, chocolate is pretty tough to beat!

A friend told me this process would be a roller coaster...I guess I just never imagined the ups and downs would come so soon.  So, we wait in faith and we pray for our little one and we walk moment by moment.  Looking backward or forward is too scary right now.  We can't go back to the days when we didn't see the orphan crisis all around us and we can't move forward without walking in obedience.

So that is where we are here in the Tigerden.  If you have a moment, please pray for us as we begin this journey...and feel free to send chocolate.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm Ba-ack!

Yep, we are all still alive and kickin' at the Tigerden!  I know it has been far too long since I have been to my little bloggy home or visited with my little bloggy friends and I am going to TRY to do better.  Every week, I tell myself I am going to get back on board and every week seems to slip by in a blur and I realize I have neglected this little corner of my world one more time.

Life has been full around here with school, guitar lessons, drum lessons, dance, two boys playing basketball, apartment ministry, church...

Tigercub is growing like a weed and isn't much of a cub anymore, he is, however, our comic relief.  I wish so much that I would be diligent about recording some of his sayings on here...but by the time I find time to sit down and type...I can't remember what it was he said.  Is that a sign of too many kids or too many years?

If you had an hour or six, I would get you caught up on all that has been happening around here...but you probably don't want to know how messy my kitchen is or how organized my...okay, who are we kidding...nothing around here is organized!  I'm just gonna start with a clean slate and try to stay on top of things.

If you have been around here much in the past year or two, you will understand when I say it is Science Fair time!  Aack!  I am blessed to only have one child turning in a project this year, but it is a doozy.  If you happen to be one of the blessed Facebook friends that helped us out, "GOD BLESS YOU!"  This weekend, we will work on our board and polish up our paper and be done...yes, I say our because I have a lot of work invested in this baby.  My fourteen year old might get the credit, but there is a piece of this project that is all mine!  My tutorial students will all turn in their projects this week as well, so I'll be checking them twice and Friday is the big day!  Whew!

But the BIG news around here is what God is doing in our family.  You may want to sit down.  Actually, I guess you are probably already sitting.  I'm not going to go into the whole story...just suffice it to say that God has been working on Tigerfan and a pretty big way.  And while I never thought we would be saying these words, we have made the decision and begun the process of adopting a little girl from Uganda.  We are super excited and super scared.  In the next few weeks, I am hoping to begin to blog a little about what led us to this point, if nothing else as a record to show our sweet daughter someday.  I'm sure you will be hearing a LOT about the journey as we begin and you will definitely be hearing some pleading for prayer, and if you happen to have fifteen or twenty thousand dollars laying around that you need something to do with, feel free to send it our way!  :)

Really, we feel so honored that God would call us to be a part of caring for one of His precious little ones.  In the past few months, our eyes have been opened to the tremendous blessing in sharing our plenty with the weak and the vulnerable.  I know the road ahead will not be smooth or easy, but it will be beautiful as we get to become the hands and feet of our savior and put His words into action.  I hope I have just a few people who have stuck around long enough to join us on our journey!

Anyway, it is time to go join Tigerfan for our weekly popcorn and M&M date!  Can't wait to visit with y'all this weekend!

Don't forget to visit Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Yes, We are Still Living Around the Tigerden!

Wow, it has been a long time!  I cannot believe it has been over two months since I have blogged.  I have no excuse, it is just life rolling along and me trying to keep up!

So, here is the summer in a nutshell.  Swimming, VBS, Sports Camp, trip to Idaho, trip to Louisiana to see (from quite a distance) Troy from Swamp People, VBS (yes, again!) trip to the beach and getting ready for school.

I know, it seems like there should have been some time in there, but between packing for trips, going on trips and doing laundry when we got home from trips, it seems the summer was just all about trips and now here we are back to school and I am wondering where the lazy days of summer went.

Along the way, I would take a picture here or there because I totally meant to blog can see how that went for me.  So, here are a few top pics...okay, these are not necessarily the best, they are the ones that have actually made it to my computer!

So, in no particular order because Blogger has changed things around and after trying to adjust and losing the pictures three times, I am giving up!  Above we have Tigerfan's beloved Troy from Swamp People.  We opted out of the six hour line to actually meet him...but he did at least get this picture...that is almost as good, right!
 We got a picture of all the grandkids while we were in Idaho, quite a feat to get a decent picture of nine kids including two teenagers and a 3 year old...but my daddy is awesome and he managed it!
And here, of course, we have the beach...c'mon, you didn't really think I would show you a picture of ME on the beach did you?  This was Dancer and Tigercub's first trip and they LOVED it!  B.B. happened to have one of his dearest friends there at the time and spent a day hanging out with him.  He came back having had a great time AND having tasted his first alligator...he was hooked!  (Really, alligator?)

Anyway, we are now begrudgingly back at school.  The kids are getting back into the swing of things and I am able to get up every morning and not feel like bursting into tears at the thought of another year of this.  I know, not very positive but that is better than our first week back!

Okay, I have now gone through three sessions of trying to get this pseudo update written and I really must go teach something.  I hope everyone has had an amazing summer and I will try to get around to visit as many of you as I can!  Blessings to you!

BTW, in case there is any doubt...this weekend will be filled with college football!  LSU vs. Oregon and BSU vs. Georgia all in one night!  (Geaux Broncos!)  Ha...just to get under Tigerfan's skin!  :)

Be sure to visit Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hello Ladies...It's Been a Long Time!

Welcome back to the Tigerden. I've been MIA for awhile and, to be perfectly honest, today's post is sheerly by force and disciplining myself to do it. For one thing, I don't really like to join up unless I think I can make it around to visit all of you (it is the least I can do, really) and I cannot promise that this weekend. But I miss this like I'm gonna try. I'm also gonna try to be short, cause I have tons to do...but if you have been around much, you know that brevity is not my strong suit.

I mentioned last time that summer had been busy for us and that hasn't changed a bit...I don't foresee looking back on this season and remembering the lazy days of summer.

In fact, that is a big reason that I haven't been around. Well, that and the Casey Anthony trial that has me completely mesmerized...but I digress. That is also something that I have been struggling with and am trying to work through this summer. You see, and may remember, that it was last summer that I read a book that changed my entire perspective on things. It was the book "Radical" by David Platt. I am still changing and reevaluating as a result of that book (and, I feel the need to add, my subsequent time in scripture and prayer). Anyway, while I do not feel the need to earn my salvation and understand grace through faith. I have also come face to face with the fact that, if I am a christian I should be devoting myself to spreading the gospel, to reaching the unchurched and to ministering to those around me.

I confess, for many years my standard answer to this dilemma was..."my family is my ministry" and while that idea is good, I realize that I am deceiving both myself and my family. Nothing has done more to show me that than our time at an apartment complex where our church has a ministry. This year, I have seen how I have closed my eyes to the need right here around me. Precious children who live right across the street from a church and have NEVER heard the name of Jesus. Teenagers who are completely shocked when they hear stories about Jesus feeding the five thousand or walking on water. People, in the Bible belt, surrounded by christian people who have no idea Christ (or anyone else) loves them...not for their body or their drugs or their "stuff", but because they are. An entire complex of people that are lost and dying and DO NOT EVEN KNOW IT! It is sobering.

And so, my perspective and my priorities have changed. And that is good. However, the place I am struggling with is this. I am an introvert. While I enjoy being around people and laughing and having a good time, it is draining to me. I NEED my alone time. I NEED quiet moments away. I'm not sure someone who isn't an introvert can quite understand how draining it can be to just socialize...but that is me. This summer, I haven't had that alone time. My kids are home all the time demanding attention, I am trying to help with a sports camp this summer, participating in and planning VBS's, trying to have children's friends over, and keeping up with a few of the children from the apartment complex while we are on summer break. In addition, my nephew is staying with us for a couple of weeks and I am trying to plan and prepare for our trip to Idaho to visit with my family. While all of these things are good and I can't imagine what I could possibly give up, they have left me exhausted. In fact, yesterday I lashed out at poor dancer just out of the need for quiet alone time. Even getting on the computer and reading blogs is such an effort for me right feels like work, and so I have spent almost no time doing that.

However, yesterday, I read a blog I haven't read in weeks and the writer summed up what I am feeling. I have lost my ability to dream. I can think, I can plan, I can look at all that is undone before me and fret about choosing and ordering next year's curriculum. I can freak out at how I cannot afford next year's curriculum. I can think about how I totally need a job to pay for curriculum, but I am just too exhausted to even contemplate adding something else to the to-do list. I can think of ministries that are needed and organization that needs to be done...but I cannot dream, I cannot plan, I cannot even think of things to write (which you may disagree with as you look at the length of this "short" post). I have completely lost my blogging "mojo" and am completely without inspiration when I try to sit down and write. That makes me sad...because it is something I used to enjoy so much and I feel that I am losing a little piece of me. I am hoping it is just a season and that soon I will find that passion and fun again.

But for now, I guess I am just hoping that some of my sweet company girl friends would just say a quick prayer for me. That you would forgive me for not being around much and know that I do miss you. And if you have an extra moment, that you would pray I could find that balance. That I would be able to begin dreaming again and that I would learn to minister and reach out but also allow myself that time to be alone and recharge, cause like it or not, that is how God made me!

I totally did not know that this was going to become a whine-fest, but thanks for letting me unload on you poor, unsuspecting things. I hope everyone has and incredible, blessed, and RELAXING weekend! Don't forget to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Coffee Talk 6.10.11

Good morning ladies! It has been so long since I have been on here that I cannot even remember what was going on then. The days have been busy and blogging has fallen by the wayside. In order to not bore you to death with all the details, here is our life the past few weeks in a nutshell:

Dancer was finally brave enough to go forward and be baptized after a year and a half of trying to work up the courage!

School is out YAY! We aren't finished with math and will continue to do a little through the summer but the structure is out the window! Eventually I will have to get my act together and get grades turned in and start planning next year...that has not happened yet!

The day Tutorial ended I TRIED to get on a plane and head to Ft. Lauderdale to meet Tigerfan who was there for two weeks for work. After plane delays and going home for the night, I finally made it the next day and we got to spend a lovely weekend together (kid free). We shopped, I learned A LOT about South Florida culture (WOW!) and we visited Key West.
We FINALLY got the pool opened and have had people over swimming almost every day!

We have had VBS at church where I taught 1st grade and are now getting ready for a sports camp we do each summer for underprivileged children in our area.

Dancer had her dance recital (pictures eventually) and was a complete knock out! I celebrated my 39th birthday and today we celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary!

My Daddy introduced me to the world of Pocket Frog iPhone app and I have spent entirely too much time raising and selling virtual frogs (I know...pitiful!) and I have become completely and totally obsessed with the Casey Anthony trial.

So now you are totally caught up with the goings on in the Tiger den. Today will be full of swimming with friends, guitar lessons, library and feasting on egg rolls to celebrate 16 years of wedded bliss. Can't wait to catch up with all of y'all! Don't forget to check out Home Sanctuary for more (and more interesting) Coffee Talk!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Coffee Talk 5.6.11

Can anybody else relate to the feeling of, "Wow! It is already Friday again!" Life seems to be moving at the speed of light these days and I am struggling to keep up!

I did want to say that I did make it to visiting around to most of you last week...but it was during testing via my phone and I HATE trying to comment from my phone. For me, it is something like trying to nail jello to a tree. My big fingers just can't manage those little buttons and my words come out like this: hekko gopr uo ate a hood weeleng. OR the ever loveable auto correct feature tries to figure out what my typos mean and turns hello into help or mom into monk! Anyway...I will try to do better this week!

It has been a full week, indeed. Sunday was a packed day, beginning with our little princess being baptized! Amen. I do have some pictures...maybe later today Tigerteen will put them on here for me!

Also on Sunday, Tigercub announced his intentions of being a cow when he grows up. He has stayed true to that calling all week, so I'm pretty sure it is his passion. Not sure how to help that happen.

And, because Sunday was such a full day, I should definitely include the fact that we had yet another set of severe weather warnings, ended up in the "dungeon" of the church instead of evening services, and then stayed after they had cancelled said services to enjoy the ice cream fellowship that was scheduled for later that evening. 'Cause Baptists might cancel a service for weather...but we aren't gonna miss the chance to eat and fellowship!

The rest of the week has been spent trying to get caught up from last week's weather related delays and doing our regular "stuff".

Yesterday, we had tutorial and Tigerteen had his last Student Leadership Meeting of the year. Afterwards we had haircuts scheduled for the boys. By then, it was 2:00 and we still hadn't eaten lunch. So, we did what any good (read deranged) homeschool family would do and we "celebrated" cinco de mayo by getting nachos from the Target snack bar. Because that is authentic Mexican cuisine, people!

Tigerfan treated Dancer and I to a "girls night out" last night. He took all the boys and dancer and I got to shop. The idea was that I would find myself an outfit for a Mother's Day gift. The result was Dancer got a new dress, a new book and a ring. I discovered the Vitamin Shoppe, which I am totally excited about (especially because I found out they sell cacao nibs) and Ulta, which is a beauty product store that sells Physician's Formula make up. That is the only type of make up I can wear and while Target and Walmart carry it, they carry a very limited amount and it is sporadic if they will have what I need. I did NOT find an outfit. And, I discovered a little bit about myself. I have become completely paralyzed in my ability to find clothing for myself. Maybe I have done a little too much research on my body type, color, etc. Because I go into a store, look at all that is offered...and cannot find a thing. I am worried it is the wrong color or the wrong shape or the wrong length...I never even try things on. I know a lot of it is because I just don't like how I look. I want to lose weight and I want to look better...but I also realize that I NEED to be clothed! Anyone else go through this?

Anyway, I better go get up the kids...I have let them oversleep this morning and we will be running ragged trying to get school done! Hope everyone has an amazing weekend!

Don't forget to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Coffee Talk 4.29.11

Good morning, ladies!

I have some OUTSTANDING baked oatmeal to share if you are interested and LOADS of Easter candy. I would love someone to take that off my hands because I REALLY need to get it out of the house.

I only have a moment this morning. I am administering standardized testing with our home school tutorial this morning so I have to zip out of here in a minute. I am a little bitter, however, that someone had the horrible planning to schedule this on the same day as the Royal Wedding. I'm gonna miss the kiss, people! It just isn't the same on the DVR! C'mon, Will and Kate, kiss already!

Seriously, though, it has been a LONG week here in the south. We were under severe weather advisories most of the week and spent much of it in our bathroom under the stairs or at our church in the "dungeon". Many areas around here were without power, many lost lots of trees and many had trees in houses, on fences, etc. One family in our church even had about 1/3 of their roof blown off! However, the relatively mild damage we have had here is nothing compared to the devastation of the areas south of us, Alabama and Georgia, who have been absolutely devastated by storm damage. My heart hurts so much for all of those people and my prayers go out to them constantly. It seems like so little for towns that are leveled, but we serve a powerful God who was not surprised by the storms and is fully able to hold those precious people under His wings and get them through this tragedy! How grateful I am to have that hope and knowledge and I pray all of my dear Company Girls do too!

Okay, I have to run...duty calls! Be sure to check Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk!

P.S. THEY JUST KISSED! I saw it! Woohoo!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Coffee Talk 4.15.11

Good Morning Ladies,

It is EARLY here, too early. I got up to have my quiet time only to be interrupted by the tornado sirens. The kids are, of course all now up, and (this is where I get bitter) the storm just got here about 5 minutes ago...after the sirens STOPPED! I know we need to be cautious and all, but really...HOLD OFF ON THE SIRENS UNTIL THE STORM ACTUALLY GETS HERE! I am trying to make lemonade out of the lemons, though and we are going to go ahead and start school...maybe we can be done by lunch today!

Anyway, a house full of kids already up and going means not much time to post so here are the high points of the week:

1. Dancer's fashion show went great. She was so sweet. She got a few "treats" that day. We bought her a pair of shoes to go with the outfit she modeled and after it was over Daddy let her get the outfit and another shirt. Nana bought her a pair of flip flops and then we went to Sonic for drinks. When we got in the car she exclaimed..."This is the best day of my life!"

2. B.B. shot his first turkey of the year...quite a humdinger!

3. The rest of the week has just been the regular school, work and tornado sirens! Ya gotta love Spring in West Tennessee! Tigerteen downloaded some pictures for me off my phone so here are a couple that belonged a few weeks ago...I like to keep you guessing!

This is Spring Break when Dancer and her friend helped make cupcakes. If you are wondering about the scarves...they were playing dress up! These babies were chocolate filled chocolate cupcakes.. I would like to say they were delicious...but they LOOKED pretty!
And here is Tigerteen and his friend-girl (isn't she a cutie!)celebrating his birthday at Nana's may notice that Tigertot felt the need to get in on the action.

Well, I am totally aware of how dull this post is, but since we are all up and going, we might as well get school done so I am off to "encourage" our academics! That is code, by the way, for telling them to get off the phones and ipods and get busy already!

By the way, I have to do a little devotion thing in my Bible Study this week. I know it is silly, but I am super nervous about it and have no idea what to talk about so if you think about it, please say a little prayer that it will just be all about God and He will be glorified and speak through me! Thanks!

Have a great weekend and be sure to check out some far more interesting Coffee Talk at Home Sanctuary.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Coffee Talk 4.8.11

Good Morning! Hope everyone is doing well. I have a couple of lovely treats to entice you with. Both are from this website which I have spent WAY too much time on this week. I cannot tell you how much money I could spend at the grocery store trying all these recipes! Anyway, I can offer you some date squares that are A. MAZ. ING. I could eat my weight in them! The others are strawberry oat squares. Admittedly, not quite as amazing. I did a little tweaking with the recipe...I probably should have left it alone! Not horrible, though. I was looking for a recipe to replace processed cereal bars...this isn't it, at least not in this form!

Anyhoo, today's post will be brought to you in list form. Because I can!

1. Also from the above website, I had VOO for breakfast one day this week. Not bad. I stayed full for HOURS! I look forward to trying other variations...after I go to the grocery store. Which I am in DESPERATE need of doing.

2. I confess, I HATE exercising. There, I said it. I really want to like it. I really want to look forward to it. Instead, I have to force myself. Every. single. time. Aren't you supposed to start feeling so good you get excited about it? Isn't it supposed to become fun? I just don't like it. I don't.

3. It is that time of year again. Turkey season. The time of year I become a hunting widow. I don't really mind. Here are the first fruits of the season. Tigerfan and his daddy went Tuesday night and brought home these little babies! Now they (along with the boys) are itching for Saturday morning.
May I be honest? Can ANYTHING, other than hitting the road to go see my family, really be worth getting up at the horrific hours they get up at and the sitting by a tree without moving or talking? I just wonder...I don't get it!

4. Saturday, Dancer is having a big day! One of our local anchor stores in the mall is having kidfest and it includes a fashion show. We happened to be in the mall at just the right time a few weeks ago and they offer! She has been practicing her walk all week. Here she is on her birthday doing her model pose:
I must admit, her enthusiasm is contagious because I can hardly wait to take her and see her in action...and that is even knowing I have to take "The Hurricane" AKA Tigercub!

5. Speaking of Tigercub, his allergies are KILLING him. We will be making a little trip into town this morning to see the Dr. His little eyes are almost swollen shut and he is just miserable...and that is with daily Zyrtec, poor little guy!

6. We are ADORING pretty weather this week (although we can't actually go OUT in it because it sends poor Tigercub into sneezing fits), especially after my momma sent pictures Sunday of their snow...inches and inches of snow. In April. Thank heavens for Tennessee!

7. I could keep writing snippets forever, but my kids (and dog) need to eat and we have lots to do this morning. I look forward to visiting you this weekend! Hope everyone has a great one!

8. Oh, yeah, last one. I am a complete and total Home Sanctuary failure. I really WANT to do good. I held strong for TWO whole days this month. Yes, TWO. I have failed ever since. Someone help me!

9. Which reminds me...I saw an episode of Dr. Phil this week. (Not sure how that happened because I never watch that show...but it is what it is). Anyway, this girl was on and she wanted help because she was always yelling and screaming at her children. People, Dr. Phil reemed that poor girl over the coals. He was awful. I felt so sorry for her! I am not advocating screaming, and especially not cussing, at your children...but as a home schooling mom of four, I admit...I have done it. I have done it more than I care to admit. Were the things this momma did wrong? Of Course...but we are all sinners saved by grace. She was there for help. She knew the things she was doing were wrong and wanted tools to change it. What she got was a public lashing. She was told she was an abuser, she was told she was obese, she was just pulverized. I have not stopped thinking about her since. I wonder, has Dr. Phil ever been a stay at home parent? Has he ever gotten up at dark and worked until almost dawn with no appreciation, no help and little support? Has he spent hours cleaning a room only to walk back into it in ten minutes and find it utterly destroyed? Has he ever worked tirelessly on a healthy meal to have everyone at the table turn their noses up and ask for something else? What that poor girl needed was encouragement and tools to help her change. What she got was a message of more judgement, more condemnation, another message to join in with the voices in her head that she just wasn't good enough. I have prayed for her ever since. I hope that somehow, the voice of a loving and compassionate God can make its way to that girl's heart. I hope that somehow she receives the message that she is a beautiful girl, created in the image of God and she is loved. Her actions are are mine. I am nothing but filthy rags...but Christ died for me WHILE I WAS STILL A SINNER! It is by HIS grace that I am clean, Praise HIM! Anyway, that is my little soap I know why I don't watch Dr. Phil...maybe I should start a program called Dr. Star. Although, I am not actually a Dr. I'm working on a tagline...a program for the redeemed by the redeemed? Needs a little work...but then, so do I! :)

Have a great weekend, and don't forget to check out more Coffee Talk at Home Sanctuary!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Coffee Talk 4.1.11

It is Thursday night and listen....silence! Beautiful, elusive silence! A sound (of lack thereof) so beautiful to this introvert, I can hardly stand it!

You see, Tigerfan and Tigerteen are out of town. They left at 4:00 a.m. this morning headed to Texas for some good old fashioned turkey hunting. That leaves me here to hold down the fort with the other three. Ordinarily that would be no big deal. But it has been an ugly week here in the Tiger den. And I am tired.

People, we have had drama this week. I don't like drama. I like peace and serenity and I like all my kids to like me! I'm not sure which was worse this week...the teenager or the toddler, but between the two, I am seriously considering committing myself to a nice padded room somewhere!

I say all that to say that, while the idea of a quiet weekend with a couple of folks gone sounds peaceful, I am not in a great frame of mind. I was actually looking forward to this evening. We had NOTHING planned today after tutorial. Just guitar, no drums, no friends, no appointments...just home and calm (aaaah, sounds great doesn't it). Unfortunately someone forgot to tell Tigercub about the whole calm part.

Thursday nights are usually popcorn and M&M night for Tigerfan and I. Since he was going to be gone, we recorded "Secret Millionaire" and I told the kids we would have popcorn and T.V. unheard of treat because Tigerfan hates for them to eat in the living room. I was even excited! I went to the store and even bought plain M&M's and sour gummy worms for the occasion and told them they could drink a soda. They have been SO excited all day. B.B. even set up a snack counter complete with movie tickets, prices and play money. We got our snacks, turned on the T.V. and got all the way through the opening intros before Tigercub spilled his popcorn...for the first time. We spent the next hour turning up the sound above his "entertainment", picking up spilled popcorn (3 more times), mopping up tears from siblings he injured and pulling him off furniture he was using as a trampoline.

When the torture, I mean the show, finally ended, I knew it must be bedtime! Alas...we still had a solid hour! We then moved on to board games which are almost as much fun as a movie when a three year old is involved. From now on, I am lacing his Sprite with valium (I am totally kidding, by the way)!

Needless to say, the kids are all now tucked soundly into bed...and there is a Hershey bar with almonds and a Diet Coke calling to Momma. No, they are not on my diet, don't judge me! I am SO looking forward to visiting with some precious adults this weekend!

Don't forget to check out more Coffee Talk at Home Sanctuary!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Coffee Talk 3.25.11

C'mon in and enjoy a nice cold bottle of water. Although, if I drank coffee, I would totally have a big, hot, steaming mug right now because I am FREEZING! Earlier this week it was gorgeous and about 80 degrees...last night, we had a frost!

Once again, I missed you beautiful ladies last dare life get in the way of blogging! Things seem to get so crazy at times and they tell me that before we know it that these moments will be gone and we will miss them...I can believe that the moments will pass quickly, life seems to be moving at the speed of light around here!

So, here is what has been happening in our neck of the woods:

1. Last week was Spring Break. I am usually a fuddy duddy and make my kids do at least partial days of school anyway. Not last week, baby. I think I was more desperate for a break than they were and promised them NO SCHOOL. Nothing. Nada. I promised friends could come over and they could go. And that is just what we did. Somehow, I thought I might get a little cleaning done, get some things accomplished...that didn't happen. But friends did.

2. We still had all our night time activities which meant apartment ministry Monday and dance Tuesday. So days were calm but nights were still, I promised the kids they didn't have to go to bed early, so they kept begging to stay up...I finally gave in and made them go get ready for bed at their normal times but then let them stay up and watch T.V. upstairs...away from me...cause people, by 9:00, Momma needs a break!

3. Wednesday, drama began! Our 13, almost 14 year old and his first friend-girl (who I refuse to call a girl friend because they are too young but who I totally know they call one another boy/girl friend behind my back) had their first BIG drama. No details here, just suffice it to say that the day was filled with weeping and gnashing of teeth...It was NOT pretty around here friends. And to see my first born experiencing his first heart break was heart wrenching! On top of that, we had two friends over for the day...they boys playing at the pond, the girls helping me play with cupcakes. (Because I have a secret dream to someday have a bakery, which is not so secret anymore, I guess!) We had so much fun making chocolate filled chocolate cupcakes and lemon cupcakes with beautiful icing swirled on top. They were BEAUTIFUL and I was totally going to show you pictures...only the pictures I THOUGHT were here aren't here and we all know about my issues with getting them on the computer and since my IT man is in will have to use your imagination. Think two precious girls in dress up clothes (complete with big hats and momma's boots) holding their lovely cup cakey creations. The only problem...the cupcakes weren't actually good. I think the batter was overmixed. This week, I have been researching new recipes and totally want to try out some new ones.

4. Thursday, the boy/girl drama continued and we went to play at the house of a precious friend. He has a children's wonderland built in his yard complete with a zip-line. We went and picnic-ed with him and played till Tigercub was ready to drop! Thursday night, we had Rock Band performance for Tigerteen. His girl decided that she could overlook their issues and come watch the performance so he was THRILLED! They did a great job and had the best location yet...however, this momma was stressed most of the time worrying about relations, so to speak. She even agreed to get ice cream with us afterward...although she didn't actually eat any ice cream (ah, young love!)

5. Friday, Tigerfan took off work and hung out with us. We slept in, had a pancake breakfast, took Tigerteen to guitar, got the obligatory Friday Sonic drinks and went home for a little R&R before having a date night Friday night.

6. Date night included dinner and shopping for spring clothes for the children.

7. Saturday involved Tigerteen, Papaw, and the boys going to the woods to get ready for turkey season. For me, it involved exchanging ALL of the clothes we bought Dancer the night before because I got the wrong size in EVERYTHING!

8. This week, we have gotten back to our regular schooling but have had a wonderful week of rest from night time activities. It has been glorious. I even cooked once! I even cooked a HEALTHY recipe that my kids LOVED and asked me to make again! Yippee!

9. B.B. left yesterday to go on a little weekend trip with his best friend. Right now he is enjoying being in the mountains of Gatlinburg, TN. His first time away from us for an extended trip like this. I am sure he is having the time of his life!

10. Tonight we will enjoy visiting with some friends we haven't seen in ages and tomorrow it will just be me and the youngest two because it is juvenile hunt so daddy, papaw and Tigerteen will be in the woods.

11. The house is still a mess. I am completely stressed over having a child in high school next year and what curriculum, etc. I should get. My house is a complete disaster. I am completely sad that I could not make it to Bastrop to hear our very own Rachel Anne speak at the women's event or hug the necks of Ci Ci or Lydia Cate. But I am SO abundantly blessed. I serve a RISEN SAVIOR who loves me despite the fact that their is NOTHING good in me. He puts up with my crazy, my drama, my failure and gives me His righteousness! How thankful I am to be a child of the One True God. How about you? Do you know Him? I pray that you would find the peace that comes form knowing the Giver of Peace and the author of LIfe and would love to share Him with you.

Dont' forget to check out more Coffee Talk at Home Sanctuary and have an amazing, drama free, perhaps cupcake filled weekend! One picture (taken by Tigerteen) of the springy lovliness earlier this week! Blessings!

Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth."
Hosea 6:3

Friday, March 11, 2011

Coffee Talk 3.12.11

Good Morning from the Tiger Den! It has been another whirlwind week around here!

We had such a fun weekend with the 10th grade boys...they even slept, a little. We will totally be open to doing it again! Tiger cub really had a good time...especially waking them up by kicking the tarnation out of them. As a matter of fact, they may beg NOT to come back again!

This week was catch up and get ready to slow down week. Catch up on sleep, get ready for Spring Break! Ordinarily on Spring Break, I still make my kids do work, we just have a lighter schedule. Not next week friends...we will be doing NOTHING, cause Momma needs a break! YIPEE!

Yesterday was an exciting day because we had Regional Science Fair. I had four students participating, including my own B.B. The student portion was yesterday morning and we went back last night for the awards ceremony. Our tutorial took home 31 awards! How amazing is that? One boy alone took probably half of those! B.B. took second place in his age division (which he was ecstatic about) and came home $66 richer. Yes, I did say $66...can you tell an engineer came up with the award amounts? They were $44, $66, $99, $153...we were cracking up! Anyway...every single one of my students that went yesterday won something so it was a great night!

In other exciting news, the great state of Louisiana has decided to share some of its convicts with us. Yes, earlier this week, some convicts from LA escaped, they stole a car in Mississippi and were pulled over here. They fled on foot and have been in hiding since. It is quite an unsettling feeling...especially since we live in a wooded area away from the main part of town. I admit...I am not usually the easily scared type, but when I heard, yesterday, that schools near us were on lock down...I was afraid to go home. We just stayed in town until Tigerfan got off work and could go with us! Yesterday afternoon, they found the body of the man they stole the car from so we know they are quite desperate. Needless to say, we had two out of our four kiddos sleeping on our bedroom floor last night. We are praying for our law enforcement folks around here and hoping they are caught soon. For playing outside alone!!!

We are also sending up prayers for everyone in Japan, so sad. I haven't heard from my brother yet but am hoping none of his family was affected.

Looking forward to a girls' lunch tomorrow and a peaceful, quiet, laid back next week! Did I tell you I am excited! Don't forget to check out more Home Sanctuary and have an AWESOME weekend! Blessings! I WILL be around this weekend...eventually!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Coffee Talk 3.4.11

Oy, what a week! They tell me that at some point life will slow down and we will miss weeks like this one. They tell me to savor these moments and enjoy them because they are too short. They say that one day I will look back and wonder where all the time went. Right now...I'm just wondering where and when does sleep fit into the picture. Can I get an Amen?

To be honest, I'm so tired...I don't even want to think about what to type in this post but I'm afraid that if I keep skipping the only day I blog, that even this little part of my world will drift away and it is my one little connection to my far away family. So here things are in a nutshell.

This week has been full of storms (weekend and beginning of week), school, church, apartment ministry, tutorial, dance, Wednesday night church activities including being in charge of snacks for Bible Study...because I also have a 10 year old turning eleven this week and 8 10th graders/young men staying at my house this weekend so I needed something else to prepare...BIRTHDAY for my 10 (now 11) year old...which I totally MEANT to blog about. Here is the best I have got. A year old picture, but isn't he just precious!
He has been so completely beside himself about turning 11. I'm not sure if it is 11 or the fact that he was hoping beyond all hopes for an iTouch. Thankfully, my in laws went in with us and were able to find a refurbished one that was within our budget and his techno dreams came true...not sure how long the joy will last since there is NO WAY he is getting internet access on that thing!

This morning we are headed off to a school play (one that I would have not committed to if I had really thought things through), then guitar at 2, library and somewhere in there I need to grocery shop for the weekend, fix and eat supper and have FB to the church at 7 for the weekend hoopla. We are hosting 10th grade boys and are responsible for feeding them breakfast and supper on Saturday. The words of advice I have received are: have LOTS of food.

Did I mention I haven't cleaned house? At the beginning of the week, that seemed like a good strategy...I mean when you have four kids, what is the point of cleaning house a week before it is needed, now with not one spare minute on the horizon, I am just praying that the bathroom chores fell to a responsible child last time...and deciding that clean underwear is really overrated!

It is humbling, as I read back on this post...because I am tired, I'm afraid I will miss visiting with many of you over the weekend (please don't be offended, I'll do the best I can), I'm craving sleeping in...and yet every single one of these things is such a privilege and such a blessing. If all I have to worry about is a too busy schedule and healthy children that are involved in too many activities...WOW! I deserve none of this. I deserve death and Hell. I am sinner. I am selfish. I am proud. And yet, I have four beautiful children and a home that I can host youth in. I live in a country where blessings abound and where I am rich compared to most of the world's standards. I have been taught the name of Jesus and I KNOW what He has done for me. I have the assurance of salvation...not because of anything I have done...but because of His marvelous grace...undeserved, unearned, unmerited grace, offered freely to me. I am so grateful for that amazing grace.

How I hope each of you has that same peace. I hope you can each say...I am tired, I am over worked, I am under appreciated...but I am so blessed, because I know the name of my redeemer. I know my redeemer lives. Thank you, Jesus!

And if you don't know...I am praying for you. Because there is a hope and a peace that passes all understanding that comes from a savior who would (and did) go to the depths of Hell for you. Please let me share Him with you if you do not know Him, let me pray for you, and allow yourself to be blessed by Him.

Praying you all have a blessed weekend, for more Coffee Talk, go to Home Sanctuary.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Coffee Talk 2.25.11

Good morning, Company Girls!

Last week was one of "those" weeks and I never got around to posting. I tried to visit a few of you but didn't get far. I look forward to visiting this week! Grab a bottle of water and try to ignore the stink. I just finished shredding and I wanted to get this up quick before the kiddos wake up...they will be so thrilled when they see I let them sleep in a bit!

Last week was purely awful around here and by Thursday, I was in a bit of break down mode. In fact, I may or may not have hidden myself in the laundry room for a good cry. The fact was, that there were lots of little circumstances that were TOTALLY out of my control. I couldn't fix anything and that is a very frustrating feeling. In the midst of my breakdown (okay, temper tantrum) I remembered the words of my verse I am working on. It is really simple, but oh, so freeing.

"The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still" Exodus 14:14 Isn't that beautiful. I don't HAVE to control everything, I just need to be still. And that is just what I did. By Saturday, most of the little things had either worked out or I had a peace about them. Y'all, ONLY God can do that!

Anyway, this week has been better. It has only involved a couple of minor breakdowns over the fact that my 13 year old will be in high school next year (gasp!) and he is still struggling mightily with math. After a lot of prayer and deliberation, we decided to continue home schooling him through high school and I would be lying if I didn't say I am TERRIFIED! From now on, all my mistakes will be on HIS permanent record! As home schoolers, we tend to take a lot of blame and responsibility on ourselves and I have to keep reminding myself, "be still".

Our biggest issue is math...and the fact that we have to get FB through four year of H.S. math that even I don't understand. We are struggling and I am stressing about curriculum and meeting his needs and not putting him into therapy when he is older. "Be still."

In other happenings, we are in our final week of Upward. It has been a fun season as Dancer has been cheering with one of her dearest friends:

And BB has been showing out with some mean defense. On the whole...their team is AWFUL, although, two weeks ago, they didn't have to erase the score at half time and last week we WON!!!

Next Thursday, that little guy will turn 11 years old. ELEVEN...I can hardly believe how fast the time has gone. He has convinced Tigerfan to take off work so he can skip tutorial on his birthday and we will celebrate at the Chinese Buffet. He is SO excited about this birthday...and I better treasure these moments, because all too soon they will be gone. Last night, he decided his career ambitions are to be an animal photographer and travel around the world taking pictures of exotic animals. You know, he just might do it.

Next weekend, we will be the host home for 10th grade boys for a youth event at our church. Any advice is welcome!

Not much else to say around here...I need to go wake the troops and feed the dog (unless someone would like to volunteer to take her...I am accepting most offers). I'll leave you with a little laugh. Last week for Bible, we made a laugh medicine jar. The children were looking for jokes to put in it and these were a couple of their favorites. (Yes, I realize they are a bit on the tacky level, but if you could have heard the giggles of BB the rest of the day as he thought of them, you could overlook that ).

Where does a bee use the restroom?

Answer: The BP station

What is green and has wheels?

Answer: Grass...I lied about the wheels

Have a great weekend and don't forget to check out Home Sanctuary.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Coffee Talk 2.11.11

Good Morning! I hope you all are warm and toasty because we are FREEZING here in West Tennessee. Several years ago, Tigerfan and I started saving to purchase new windows for our house. Each time we seem to have a little built up, something more pressing comes along...usually in the form of water leaks. This winter, we are feeling the lack of good windows. The thermometer says the house is a toasty 72 but my body's shaking and shivering says that 72 is leaking out and being replaced by the 4 degrees outside...and I don't like it!

As a result...I have found myself to be a bit of a slug this week. What is it about cold that makes you crave carbs? And if I am freezing and I know exercise will warm me up, why would I rather just sit under a blanket and freeze to death? It doesn't make sense...and yet, that is where I am!

So, grab a cup of hot chocolate, or I can even offer some powdered cappuccino for you coffee (and sugar) lovers! As for treats...I am trying to keep only healthy options around here...but hubby snuck in some chocolate last night and the grocery store had some DELICIOUS strawberries on sale yesterday, oh the joy!

Now, onto what is happening in the Tiger den...Last Tuesday at tutorial, Tigerteen got an assignment for Science. He had one week to build a balloon powered vehicle that will travel 5 meters (about 15 feet). Usually this would not be a big deal, but we were leaving Thursday afternoon to go to Louisiana and would not be returning until Monday. That gave us Wednesday to plan, buy supplies and build the car, which also could not have real wheels (it had to be non traditional, milk caps, cd's, etc.). By 10:00 Wednesday night we had the third model that would travel approximately 1 inch. I might have had some unkind things to say.

We left Thursday and drove out of the clear but cold weather in TN, straight into an ice storm in Louisiana...because who doesn't do that. We spent Friday iced in. However, the house we were staying at was blessed to have power all day, most of the town was not so lucky. By Saturday, the weather cleared and we were able to go visit Tigerfan's grandmother at the nursing home and get in a bit of shopping. Sunday, I was blessed, after church, to be able to visit with Mrs. Lea from CiCi's Corner. I had such an amazing time! In the true southern way...she had a "happy" for me that I totally have a picture of, unfortunately, it is locked in my camera and I still have not learned how to put them on here! One of these days, ladies, one of these days. Dancer went with me and while we visited, she was treated to rides around the neighborhood on the golf cart. She is already begging to go back! I was really blessed by the sweet fellowship. One of the "hazards" of home schooling is a tendency to become a bit isolated and when you are an introverted home body, it is even worse. The chance to just visit with another ADULT lady was AMAZING!!! Unfortunately, I didn't even bring my camera...but of course Mrs. Lea had one so go check her out, I am sure she has posted a picture or two.

We drove home Monday. Before we even got out of town, we began getting calls form home warning us about the weather. Jackson had been hit with another snow storm. Schools were being let out and the roads were awful. We began to wonder a) would we be able to GET home and b) why do we keep driving INTO the bad weather? We made it safely home and got to work on improving the car that was due the next day (the lady we stayed with had helped us a little and we came home with a new model that had potential) we got it to move a whopping 6 feet. I must admit to wishing tutorial would be cancelled giving us an extra week to work on it...and lo and behold, about 9:00 we got an email saying that due to the icy conditions, we would NOT have tutorial. I might have done the happy dance! Wednesday, it began snowing again. Thursday, tutorial was cancelled again. It has been a glorious week for a home body. However, this morning, I am COLD and ready for spring again!

This weekend will be packed with guitar lessons, basketball games (4 of them) and a party for a friend. Dance and an overnighter have been postponed so at least we can check a couple of activities off the list. So how about you...any exciting weekend plans? Oh, and if you happen to be a physicist and can give us a pointer on how to make this dadgum vehicle move farther than 6 feet...feel free to give us advice! Everyone else, have a great weekend and I look forward to visiting with y'all! Don't forget to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

On a Roll

Years ago, I recall my parents calling my sisters and I in for a family meeting. While I am sure there were other items on the agenda that day, I remember only one. Toilet Paper. Yes, you read that right.

You see, like many other families...our budget was tight. Money needed to be saved and one way was through toilet paper. If you have many girls around, you know that where there are girls...toilet paper can be used in abundance. My parents had noticed that we were, apparently, "rolling" through toilet paper at alarming speeds. At the time, I'm sure it was a very serious topic, but I cannot help but laugh as I remember my mom explaining that they had figured out that...for most jobs, 5 squares was sufficient. I'm not sure where that number came from. I chuckle as I imagine the research involved (no, I am not going there). However they came to that decision, we were told to try to keep our TP usage to 5 squares a shot. They must have really ingrained it within me because, to this day I still remember sitting on the throne and counting squares.

I now live in a house with mostly boys. Dancer and I are the only regular "wipers". Somehow, we still manage to go through a 12 pack of double rolls with alarming "regularity" (sorry, I just couldn't help it). However, last weekend, we had a house full of girls. Dancer had an overnight party with four of her closest friends. Only 3 of them spent the night. About 10:30 or 11:00 p.m., one of the precious ladies informed me that we were out of paper in the downstairs bathroom. That bathroom is just a half bath and we tend to use the supplies slowly. I headed up to the closet to get a roll and a spare. (Someday, I hope that the males in the house will learn that the spare is there for the purpose of replacing the empty tube in the event they are the one who empties as not to leave the women folk stranded on the throne, but I digress). was 11:00 p.m. The girls went straight to bed after one last potty break and slept soundly until about 7:30 the next morning. We left the house about 9:00 a.m. for basketball games, and spent the rest of the day away from home with parties, birthday shopping, etc. Sunday, we went to church and lunch and spent the day napping and playing with the birthday girl.

Monday morning, I got up and did my morning routine (Bible and breakfast, exercise, etc.), got up the kids and began school. My morning routine involves drinking 2 1/2-3 cups of water, so by about 8:30...nature is calling. I went into the downstairs bath...and found myself trapped. Nothing on the roll. No spare. Really? I thought there was a spare. And then, it came to me. Three extra girls...all using one bathroom. We had managed to burn through two doubled sized rolls in a matter of hours, people. I am sure, through the years, we will find many other areas where we save money because the bulk of our family is male, however none may ever be quite as well illustrated as the truth of the tissue.

Rest assured, next time we have a girl's sleepover...they could very well be met with a sign on the bathroom door:

For most jobs: 5 squares is sufficient!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Coffee Talk 1.28.11

Good Morning, Ladies!

Hope everyone finds themselves well this morning! I just finished doing "The Shred" so I am all warmed up and ready to go. I have had to resort to indoor exercising of late because Tigercub has decided to begin waking up with the sun. By the time it is light enough for me to run...I hear the pitter patter of little feet that are ready for their momma. Hopefully, as spring approaches, some of our cloudiness will go away and it will begin getting light earlier. I have a feeling I am gonna have to start back with square one on the running, UGH!

We have had a pretty good week around here. MORE snow on Tuesday night which meant all the schools were cancelled again. They were expecting several inches, we might have got one. I opted out of taking a snow day and made my kids do school. That did not go over well. They knew all their friends were out and they wanted to be, too. They didn't even want to go out and play in the snow...just wanted to skip school. I tried, for a short time to reason with them about how we would have to tack the day on to the end of the year, blah, blah, blah...they did not want to hear it. So, in the end, I was the bad guy...but we got school done! Someday they will thank me...or will go to therapy...or both.

We also celebrated Tigerfan's birthday yesterday. However, I discovered that I certainly need improvement. I BOUGHT a birthday card for him...I just forgot to write in it. I figure I have until this weekend when we take him and probably his momma out to eat for a group celebration (her birthday is the 30th).

As for the weekend, just the same ole thing. Basketball tonight and all morning tomorrow and birthday celebrations tomorrow night. As someone who loves things to stay the same, I should love that...but I am craving something different. Isn't that just like us! My sisters are going through some BIG changes right now, and perhaps that is where my longing comes from. I wish so much that I could be there with and for them. I long to bring them a meal, or watch their kids, or just commiserate with them when necessary. But I am 2,000 miles away, so I watch from a distance...and that is hard. I definitely need to learn a lesson in contentment...because while I sit in Tennessee and whine about the snow, I yearn for Idaho...which will have snow and cold long after we have pulled out the short sleeves. I guess it is not so much the place as a yearning for family, but the outcome is the same. A little twinge of discontent despite the fact that I live in constant blessing. God has SO much work to do on me!

Anyway, I look forward to visiting this weekend, it will probably have to tide me over for a couple of weeks, because next week, we are scheduled for a long overdue trip to Louisiana. I am so ready to do some visiting and am HOPING to even catch a little bit of time with CiCi! Fingers crossed.

For now, I will leave you with my Siesta Scripture Memory verse for the second part of this month. It is a little longer than recommended but a really essential verse to know. I am going to attempt to type it from memory. I have realized, these couple of weeks how my memory is failing me as I get older...there was a time that I could have just read this through a couple of times and had it...especially because it was already familiar to me...but I have struggled to keep the wording just right. Anyway, here goes:

"For it is by grace you have been saved through faith--and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:8-10

Okay, I did pretty good, had to fix a couple of words, but maybe in the 3 days I have left, I can get them. The important thing is really the message. And may I just encourage you...that if, by any chance there is one reading this that does not know that saving grace of our loving God, to please seek Him out. He longs for you to come to Him. He longs for you to know the peace that only He can bring. This world will always bring trouble and stress and sadness and frustration. But our Creator, God, longs for you to have more. He loved everyone of you enough to send His son to die for your sins. His desire is that no one should perish...but you MUST believe! Please take some time this weekend to seek Him out, ask questions, read His Word, the Bible or even contact one of the many ladies in this community that would love to share what a difference He has made for them.

I hope you all have a blessed weekend, be sure to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk. By the way, I have a hard hitting blog post in me about toilet paper...if I can find time this week, I am totally posting it...and you DO NOT want to miss it! :)