Friday, July 31, 2009

DH's 40th gift

For Darling Husband's 40th birthday, we took a fabulous trip for 3 nights. It was fantastic! As his gift, I gave him this belt. It is needlepoint and even MORE BEAUTIFUL in person! You can order one too from Smathers & Branson. It is called a "life belt" and has most of DH's big events for his first 40 years. I love it! He has already worn it proudly!

I emailed directly with one of the owners, Austin Branson, and he was so kind. He designed the belt in the exact order that I desired and it was on our doorstep one day before Dh's birthday. He rushed my order and I am so thankful!

Toilet Cleaners beware....

A local man had to call the police because he almost killed himself while cleaning his toilet. His fatal mistake was mixing an ammonia cleaning product with clorox because he was in search of a more powerful product. The result was a chemical mixture that is often used in terrorist bombings. He couldn't breathe, and the police/firemen had to come in and scrub his walls to get rid of the fumes. So.... toilet cleaners beware... do not mix these substances! I need to tell my children because I taught them how to clean toilets yesterday!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

40 Reasons I love the BIRTHDAY BOY

1. I knew you were special the night I met you.
2. You are persistent.
3. You have wonderful blue eyes.
4. Your relationship with the Lord is most important to you.
5. You had a great relationship with your father; you all were best friends.
6. You are a great friend to other men.
7. You are so funny!!! You always make others laugh.
8. You know how to make others feel comfortable.
9. You have soft feet:).
10. You are very handsome.
11. You are affectionate.
12. You are a man of integrity.
13. You have a great sense of what to wear; I love how you dress.
14. You are patient.
15. You are wise.
16. You are calm.
17. You are strong.
18. You put others before yourself.
19. You are very honest.
20. You are loyal.
21. You are faithful.
22. You are an incredible father.
23. You love to learn.
24. You know all about History.
25. You love to travel.
26. You're a good listener.
27. I love holding hands with you!
28. You take care of me.
29. You protect me.
30. You look for the best in others.
31. You love to teach our children.
32. You enjoy eating at different restaurants.
33. You try new things.
34. You love Mi Cocina as much as I do!
35. You take the time for date nights and trips away for just the two of us.
36. You love having a big family.
37. You rarely tell me, "No."
38. You are a great gift giver.
39. You are so enjoyable that I miss you whenever I'm not with you.
40. You are my best friend and the love of my life. I love you more than anything!! (except the Lord, of course)

More of the BUG

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
you make me happy when skies are gray,
you'll never know, dear, how much I love you...
please don't take my sunshine away!!

Dear K,
You are our sunshine. You make us all happy with your sweet spirit and wonderful energy. May you use those gifts for God's good. We love you! Happy #6, baby girl!!!!

Our Bug

We were told we couldn't have children, and so we prayed and prayed about what to do. We felt led to fertility treatments, and pursued them cautiously. Our triplets were a great surprise and blessing, as I have posted in the past here and here. What a blessing to be given three little angels. As crazy as it may sound, we didn't feel like our family was full and we prayed for more children. The doctors let us know that we would probably not be able to have another child without fertility treatments. DH & I were ready for more babies, and did not do anything to prevent the possibility of a baby, though I had never been pregnant without medical intervention. On a very cold December day, in the midst of the worst ice storm in the history of NC, I took a pregnancy test at Target. Now let me tell you something, this was not unusual. I was so hopeful for another baby that I took HUNDREDS of those tests over the years. They were always negative. So the fact that I took one when I was just a few days late was just par for the course! Imagine my surprise when it was POSITIVE!!!!!

And so began the path that led us to our BUG. Buggy was a great JOY, born just 2 years after the triplets. The night she was born, the nurse told us, "THIS is a particularly FUSSY baby!" I asked if she could be hungry, and she said, "No." I finally fed that sweet baby, and she hardly ever cried after that. Our Bug was an EASY, HAPPY, Funny baby. Her sense of humor was evident at an early age. She possesses a spunk and pizzazz for life that very few have. Not only is she funny, but she is kind. At school, our Bug is often the one who reaches out to the new child in her class. She is a leader around peers who are younger. As a baby, we called her our "mensa baby" because she was so smart. That baby has brought us so much joy, and we just loved that she was a shock, a surprise, a miracle.

Today marks the day that our Bug entered this world 6 years ago. I can hardly believe she is already six. In fact, it makes me cry thinking about it. She is beautiful, kind, loves Jesus, loves being part of a big family, and is very funny and smart. As she began opening gifts this morning, she happily played with each thing and hugged her siblings with so much enthusiasm! She is a delight. We are so thankful for this little angel, who graced our lives on July 28, 2003. Thank you, Lord, for our Bug. Thank you for the gift she is to our family. Please, Lord, bless her, protect her, grow her into a woman who puts you first in all things. Happy 6th birthday, BUGABOO!

Monday, July 27, 2009


Today has been a day like any other day. I awoke to the sounds of, "Hold me, mommy. I want Mommy's bed," while little fingers pulled my head to hers. "Dip it, mommy, dip my paci... in da water. Dip it." So I obliged. And yet another day began with a quick shower before suiting up in my short order cook paraphernalia to hand out breakfast to our 5 chirping little ones. "I want milk! May I have a waffle with cream cheese? He took my seat!!!" Ahhh.... what a peaceful way to start the day!

Our Tiny girl has had terrible asthma for the last few days. She was looking too pekid, so we called our pediatrician and settled on an 11am appointment. After struggling to get everyone dressed and all beds made, we tumbled out the door and ran a few errands before Tiny's appointment. The frame shop is not open on Mondays, so we went to the library to return books. Apparently I am not a good book caretaker, and was told I would be charged for the book I just read because of some water damage (note to self, you just can't read in the bathtub!). This made me mad at myself that I had wasted money on a book I've already read when I am trying to watch how I spend. It ate me UP as I drove to fill the car with gas. Everyone was still happy go lucky as we refilled the car on our way to the bank.

Next we had to have four forms notarized for school. Imagine the bank's delight when I walked in with not one, not two, but FIVE little ducklings all in a row. Everyone began to shift and wiggle and giggle and drive their mama crazy at this point. "Are they all YOURS?" and other questions followed. You've never seen a notary fly through forms so quickly. I think that will be my new plan of action when I need to be in and out quickly!

At last we went to the pediatrician where the crowd was even gigglier, wigglier, and wilder. We beat all pediatrician world records and were in and out of the appointment and BUCKLED IN THE CAR in 22 minutes. Perhaps Dr. B was ready to move on to the next patient after being accosted with 45 thousand questions! Tiny was given a steroid to help her little lungs, so it was off to Publix.

We sashayed into the store amidst looks of terror and fear. The questions began immediately. "Are they all YOURS? Certainly there are twins in there somewhere. Two girls and a boy. That's unusual, isn't it? At least you got your boy. I know your husband's happy." I smiled, answered as best as I could, and moved on.

My brilliant friend, W, had told me that you can EAT right there in the Publix. It was 11:30am and the troops were beginning to show signs of hunger, and my short order cook ensemble was at home. We meandered over to the hot and cold food section and managed to eat for $10!!! That is less than $1.70 a person! You beat that! While I was waiting to pay, the Publix lady let a man go in front of me. After he realized that I was waiting to pay too, he apologized and said he thought I was waiting for something. I was a little miffed because I had been waiting for a lONG time to pay (they didn't have a cashier so a sub maker had to do it), but I kept quiet. I told him it was okay, and was glad to know he didn't do it on purpose. Well, wouldn't you know we were sitting there eating our goodies and someone came from behind, put their hand on my shoulder, and said, "I felt so bad about jumping in front of you, so I bought you all dessert." He handed me some delicious Klondike bars and we all thanked him profusely. I told him he did not need to do that, and he said, "Yes, but it's kinda fun," and walked off. The children were so surprised and happily gobbled their treats!!

Then, as we left, the bagger, an older man in his 70s, gave each child a quarter. They left saying, "This is the NICEST store! I can't believe that! That man gave us ice cream and then the other man gave us a quarter!"

So, if you need to borrow 5 little peeps for your shopping pleasure, just give me a holler!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wish List

I love European antiques. I have wanted a Swedish Mora grandfather clock for many years. Do you like them? Which one is your favorite?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Goodnight Moon and other bedtime stories

In the great green room
there was a telephone
and a red balloon
and a picture of--
the cow jumping over the moon

Thus begins one of our very favorite bedtime stories, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. Have you read it? You can buy it at by clicking here.

We also love Brown Bear, Brown Bear and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

As I've mentioned before, The Jesus Storybook Bible is one of our very favorite books of Bible Stories for children. They all point you to Jesus. What are some of your bedtime story favorites?

When a friend is in need...

When a friend is in need, don't put the burden on them to call you, just go. Just do something. I wrote a similar post in September about what to do when someone close to you loses a loved one. If a friend or family member is sick, going through a divorce, has lost everything to a fire, has lost their job, or has someone close to them who is sick or has died, there are two things you can do. First of all, write them a letter. We have lost the art of handwritten communication, and it means the world to your friends and family members. Most of us cherish handwritten sentiments.

Second of all, DO something. If you tell your friend, "Call and let me know if I can do anything," it puts the burden on THEM. Their load is already heavy. If you want to do something, just do it. Call and offer to take a child, to clean house, to deliver a meal, or to run an errand. If it is a very close friend, just GO. Go to his or her house or the hospital or funeral home and sit with him or her. Your presence means more than you know.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


"They need to leave! They're going to Huh-wyyy-yah!!!! They're going to Huh-wyyy-yah!" Those are the words my sweet father-in-law frantically uttered as he was trying to send DH & I off on our honeymoon! He was anxious for us to get to bed because we were leaving for Hawaii in the morning! What a generous man! He & M sent us on the most fabulous honeymoon. EVER.

I could totally go for a little Four Seasons Maui right now. I mean, I haven't had my evian spritz by the pool today. And, where oh where was my cabana boy with the chilled fruit? Fruit chillers from Sam's Club just aren't cutting it. You can take the Southern girl out of Maui, but you can't take Maui out of the Southern girl!

So, for old time's sake, I'll be wearing this to bed. Nighty night!

(And here you thought Jon Gosselin was the only one wearing trendy shirts. That'll show YOU!)

Free Tea at McAlister's Deli!

Today's the day! Thursday, July 23rd participating McAlister's Deli stores are giving away free iced tea!!! I am a Diet Coke lover myself, but you sweet tea lovers can enjoy a big ole giant iced tea!! Free is free if you ask me. It does say participation may vary. Hope it works in your area!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy 14th Anniversary, SWEET Husband of Mine!!

On July 22, 1995 I became the happiest woman in the world. I married my HOM (husband of mine in lieu of his real initials, which is one of my nicknames for him.) DH (Dear Husband) compliments me in ways I could never have imagined when I was a blushing bride of 23. He is calm and I am fiery. He is funny when I am angry. He is gentle when I am rough. He calms me down, lifts me up, and can always make me laugh. DH is one of the strongest men of faith that I know. He gives to our church and the community in quiet ways for God's glory, not his own. He is trustworthy, a true man of integrity. He is so smart that I can hardly believe he can carry on a conversation with me! :) DH is great at his job, and is a devoted employee.

He is FUNNY. I mean ROCKIN' FUNNY. One of my sis in laws says he's the funniest person she's ever met. I think she's right. His wit is dry and you can miss it if you're not listening, but he can find humor in ANYTHING. He always finds the bright side, even when I'm not ready for it! He loves me and I know it. He is an amazing father to our 5 children. He is giving, kind, loving, handsome, funny, godly, wise, and a hard worker. I am so thankful, and so very blessed.

Happy Anniversary, HOM, to the greatest man I know!!!!
your sweet

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

14 years ago tonight...

DH & I at ages 23 & 25 with our MARRIAGE LICENSE just 2 days before our wedding! We couldn't wait to be Mr. & Mrs.!

14 years ago tonight, I sat at a dinner surrounded by all of the people I loved most in the world. It's hard to believe that 2 of those precious people, D's Daddy and my grandmother, are no longer here. 14 years ago tonight was our Rehearsal Dinner. DH's mother outdid herself!!! D's first gift to me was a bear. She had miniature bears dressed in outfits to represent each stage of our lives and they sat on the states in which those events took place!! For example, newborn bears sat on the states of NC & Virginia, where we were born. Then, 2 bears sat on the state of NC in gear for camp. It was so precious. In the middle was a huge state of Texas, where we spent our first 3 years of marriage. A teacher and a preacher were there. It was too cute!

We were toasted by D's hilarious father and all of our friends and family. The toasts evoked laughter and tears. I'll never forget how nervous DH was when he stood up to toast me. You can hear D's father on our video saying, "D's a little nervous," and the crowd laughed. At the end of the meal, the pianist played, "When the Saints Go Marching In", a Louisiana favorite. Everyone got out of their chairs and we danced around the room. It was so much fun!!

Following the wonderful dinner, friends of my parents gave a dance by the pool. One of the hostesses owned a party design business, and she decorated in a full Texas theme with longhorns and everything!! We all danced and laughed and had a great time. Just before midnight, I told my handsome groom goodnight. I could not wait to see him on OUR WEDDING DAY, July 22nd!!! What a night THAT would be! It's off to bed for tomorrow is my wedding day... 14 years later!

Our last dance before our wedding day!! I love that you can see the clock and that it shows it was 11:30pm. I left right after this dance!

Tuesday's Tip

I am blessed with two wonderful sisters-in-law!! A is very clever and I learn something new from her all of the time. We recently stayed at their home, and H & M had a FABULOUS time together. They are just 7 months apart, so it is so fun to see the cousins together. Of course H wanted to take a bath at M's house, so I indulged her. What fun it was for H to play with all new bath toys! I loved A's clever idea for holding bath toys. Perched on the side of the tub was a plastic colander. It held all of M's bath toys. The brilliant part is that it easily accommodated all of M's toys AND IT LET THE WATER DRAIN OUT once you clean up the tub!! Fabulous idea!! I just loved it and can't wait to buy one for our tub. The toy net that we have will not stay attached to the wall. The colander allows for easy clean up, and if you don't have a large ledge on your tub, the colander could always go under the sink. Enjoy this Tuesday's Tip!

You are welcome to leave a comment and put a Tuesday's Tip on your blog too!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Keeping the spark

If you are married, it is important to find something that you and your husband enjoy doing TOGETHER. When DH & I were newlyweds, I became great friends with a woman named Lucy. Lucy was just a few years older than me and had 2 children. She had a great relationship with her husband that I so admired. Her husband LOVED playing polo. Lucy didn't know a thing about polo when they married, so she ordered books and magazines on the sport. She read them until she was an avid Polo fan. She went to all of B's games and watched him and cheered. This became an experience that they shared together. It was a bond that no one else shared with B other than Lucy. She was a smart woman who knew her husband and marriage were worth the investment of her time and energy. I learned a lot from Lucy!

During this same time in our marriage, we met J & G. They were our age and had been married just a year more than us. Though distance separates us, we have remained friends. I just wish we were able to see them more than once every few years! J & G share a love of fly fishing. She is the woman!! They have taken vacations alone together to go fly fishing. The Lord knew I would not have been a good match for a man who loves the outdoors to the extreme. I consider camping a bunk with a bathroom in a cabin at camp without air conditioning. But J loves her man, and now adores her 3 sons, and she is quite the fly fisherwoman!! In fact, J & G recently returned from another great fly fishing trip. They share this love of the outdoors, and it binds them so that they face daily life and trials TOGETHER.

Another friend and her husband love to fix up houses. They have moved so many times I have lost count!! Every few years, they take on a new home project, and most of the time it involves an entirely different home. She decorates every home so beautifully and he can fix almost anything. My brothers and their wives also share this same love. They laugh over memories of projects they worked on TOGETHER.

Marriage is a gift from the Lord. It is our job to protect it through prayer, dedication to the Lord, and time spent together. If you don't have a shared interest with your spouse, find one. DH & I love to do everything together. When he's not working, we spend time together and as a family. Sometimes we play cards or watch a movie or go out to eat. Sometimes we embark on a family adventure in this new area. We work on the house together and we play together. I believe that all of these activities weave us closer to one another, thus protecting our marriage and showing our children that our relationship with each other comes before our relationship with them (our children). This does not mean we do not love our children, but we are called to love God first, then our spouse, and then our children. I can't wait to hear what you and your spouse enjoy doing together! (besides that! :))

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dairy Joy

Have you ever seen a place on the side of the road that looks like this? Did you drive by and think, "Who in the world would ever eat anything from a place like THAT?" I have done the same thing many times.

Until. Until one of our sweet friends here said that we needed to check out the Dairy Joy. So we did. And this is what happened:

You just can't beat a $.93 snow cone in this economy. Just can't beat it. And you DEFINITELY can't beat a chocolate dipped vanilla cone for just $2. Let me tell you. It was good. YUM. So, don't turn your nose up like I did. You just never know what you might find at a place like the Dairy Joy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

More on the book

I can't put down this book, but you should know that it is very scary! It is a page-turner for sure, but don't read it if you don't think you can get it out of your mind!! I have read 261 pages in no time at all because I can't put it down! However, it involves a missing little girl, so that is hard to read. In retrospect, I probably should not be reading it, but now I can't stop!!! I could not read "The Lovely Bones" because it was too graphic. This is not graphic like that, but I have to get to the end!

The Last Child by John Hart

Last night I started a book by North Carolina author, John Hart. It is his newest book entitled, "The Last Child", and it is FANTASTIC. It grabbed me on page one and I can hardly wait to sit down and read some more! John Hart is an excellent author and you will love all 3 of his books. If you are not familiar with his writing, hurry to your local library or bookstore right now! You can also download it on Kindle for just $9.99. Click here for the link. Enjoy!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

PF Chang's Warrior Card

Do you like to eat out? Sometimes it is a nice change from whatever you typically make at home. PF Changs happens to be in most larger cities now. They prepare delicious Asian food with an American twist. I love their Kung Pao chicken, while DH loves their Mongolian beef. MMMMM..... I could eat some right now! I love that you can order brown rice with any meal. But, I digress. If you go online here, you can sign up for their FREE Warrior card. It will arrive in the mail within a few weeks. Traditionally this card has allowed you a different special each month like a free appetizer or something like that. I just received an email that the Warrior card will now be worth 10% off your bill for the rest of the year in honor of their 16th anniversary. So, sign up now so that you can enjoy these special savings!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Goodnight, sweet Tinkerbell

What is it about a 2 year old that is just so stinkin' cute?? Our little H has the most personality for a half pint! One day this summer she REFUSED to take off her Tinkerbell outfit before her nap. Refused. Screaming fit that was bigger than mama. I put Tink to bed in all her glory. Then I snuck back in her room and snapped these pics. I mean, is this sweet or is this sweet?

I just love how H wakes up & says, "I wear Tinka-bell, Mommy, I wear Tinka-bell." I rarely let our older girls out of the house in their dress-up clothes. But H is the baby with four older siblings. So she wears Tinka-bell in public. A LOT. And I love it. I love how she wore her little red sparkly Dorothy shoes to the grocery store. I beamed with her as her heels click click clicked across the smooth warehouse floors at Sam's. I love how her hair is sometimes a big mess and that she has likely been in the peanut butter jar with a spoon sneaking some protein when no one is looking. I even love how she tears through the house, destroying everything in her path, wetting many things with wipes or water, so that she has earned her nickname of "Hurricane H" fairly. I love the sweet smell of her breath, and how she has no problem telling you that yours smells! I love how she smells everything before eating it and that is how she decides if it tastes good or not. I love her big blue eyes, her wide smile, and her funny laugh. I love that she bosses us around just as big sis K did. I love that she keeps us young and makes us feel old all at the same time. I love H being two. What a sweet age. And I love these little feet, don't you?!