Sunday, August 31, 2008

Can You Tell..

they've missed each other?

I introduced you to my dear sweet nephews here. These are my brother's kids and I love them just like my own. My brother is still in the midst of his divorce. It just seems to be lagging on and on and on. I feel for any of you who have been through one, and I hope I never have to.

Anyway, with all this "stuff" happening, it seems that we don't get to see the boys often enough anymore. My brother gets them on most off days, but that doesn't mean we always play into the picture. Little Ann has missed her oldest cousin tremendously.

Today after church, he begged to come home with us, and I was so glad it worked out. They have had the bestest time and it has brought such joy to my heart today to hear all the hoots and hollers and giggles and laughs (and I've even endured the loud atrocious wrestling matches as much as I hate violence and noise! lol)

I think the highlight of the day was when they visited Big Dan's restroom upstairs, used and (please forgive me) "stopped it up", caused an overflow and then had to clean up their own mess. I was even giggling to myself at the conversations and laughter I was overhearing. You gotta love kids.

They are only one year apart with Little Ann being the elder. I hope they are always good friends. I told you she has a little testosterone running through her veins and can run with the best of them. I think he likes that she's a little like one of the guys.

Please remember my brother and these sweeties when you pray.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Trial Run

I'm pretty sure I have mentioned before that a group of ladies..(and some of their significant others) are headed to South Dakota/Nebraska to visit an Indian Reservation. We are planning to leave on the 21st of September.

Both our pastor and his wife have a great heart for missions. When we called them to our church back in March, they had been on this mission field for 3 years. One of the things our pastor's wife wanted to do on the trip is make Indian Tacos one night for a large group. So, last night several of our women got together and put all our efforts into a "trial run" for the church to make sure we could pull it off.

Everything is much the same as an American taco (or Mexican) or whatever a taco the shell. She made dough, rolled it out, and fryed it in a skillet.

Here, a friend and I are in charge of the ground meat.

Chickadee (and a new haircut) preparing some dessert.

And dinner is served..............

This will be the first mission trip I have ever been on and I must say I am excited.

Excited about the 15 hour trip and the fellowship we will share as we travel.

Excited about seeing a different part of the US..a direction I've never been.

Excited about seeing a few other sights just for the fun of it while we are there.

Excited about visiting a different culture..seeing what they are like and how they live.

But most of all...excited to see what God can do through us while we are there and afterwards.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Some Humor

You may not think either of these subjects are funny, but it's late, I don't get out much, and for some reason it doesn't take much to humor me right now. It's not tomorrow yet. Still have 25 mins left in this day..but since my goal is to not have more than one post per day (or less as of late), I am making use of that sneaky little blog tool that lets you make up your own time.

First item of humor: My dear son, Big Dan, has been on the job hunt for the past couple of weeks. I don't know if I mentioned that here or on my other time waster..Facebook. Anyway, yesterday he got hired at Popeyes and started work today. I paid him $1 to let me take this picture:

I don't know why I think this is so funny. I guess it's just hard to imagine my own flesh and blood at the window wearing funny little headphones saying "yo, can I take your order?" Which is probably what he said. And not to mention how many people actually got thighs tonight that ordered drumsticks, since his mother never taught him how to tell the difference. And his mother, being the confrontational one in the family, can totally relate to the feeling many customers probably felt tonight as they pulled away from the drive through only to find the cute in his uniform, silly little teenage order filler guy had no clue. Sorry, but that just cracks me up.

And he may have done just fine and this is hopefully all in my imagination.

And the other thing that just totally cracked me up tonight is this hilarious email I got from my friend today. This thing may have been circulating years and it just finally made it's way to me, but I found it quite humorous..especially since I've had cake issues with Walmart.

Ok, so here's the photograph:

Do you have any clue what this says? I think the conversation must've gone something like this:

Walmart Bakery Employee: Bakery, how can I help you?
Customer: Yes, I need to order a cake for a going away party.
Walmart Bakery Employee: What flavor and what would you like it to say?
Customer: Yellow would be fine and I would like it to say "Best Wishes, Suzanne" and underneath that "We will miss You".

You have to admit, that is pretty funny. The world is literally filled with stupid people.... And anybody that said that about my baby tonight when they left the drive through at Popeyes better think twice next time. They don't call me Scrapper Mom for nuthin'!

Have a great day! (or night whichever time of the day you chose to read this post!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

A man that hath friends must show himself friendly; and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Feeling Scrap Happy!

Wow, guys!! I have been one scrap happy chick this past weekend. It's been exciting watching my stack of completed pages grow since Thursday. Don't know what motivated me, but I'm glad it happened. It may be the start of Big Dan's Senior Year and the fact I've got quite of bit of memoriabilia to get into a scrapbook. Hope I'm not boring you with my pages, but I love to share them with you when they're done.

Saturday, I thumbed through some July pictures and decided on this:

It's just the dog, but I like these pictures and it's been awhile since I took any. This is just circle patterned paper. I matted the pictures, used some "dog themed" pattern paper to help the symmetry of the page, a metal tag. Computer journaling reads:

Dixie is such a sweet puppy. She guards our yard, she is so friendly and plays well with the kids, she doesn't run much with the other dogs like our previous ones have, and if we could find a way to help her overcome her destructiveness, she would be almost perfect. She loved getting this bath. It was such a hot day and the water felt so good to her. As soon as it was over, she stretched out in relaxation mode in the freshly mowed grass. Such is a dog's life.

This one is from our July 4th partay at a church member's home.

All of the pictures are matted on white. I cut the title and stars with my die cutter. The journaling is handwritten in the star and reads:

Every year blank and blank invite the church over for some 4th of July fun. We always have the greatest time fellowshipping, eating, and watching the fireworks!

I was very pleased with the way this 2 page spread from Little Ann at church camp turned out.

Layered several styles of patterned papers, used flower rub ons, did some free hand arrows pointing to her smiles. Part of the title is chipboard and part I cut from the die cut machine. Journaling reads:

As I was scrapping this page, I noticed a recurring theme with the pictures. You were smiling from ear to ear in almost every one. That just proved one thing that I already knew. Just how much you love church camp. I've been sponsoring you since you were 3 years old and each year I keep expecting to hear you say to me that you want to go by yourself. Hasn't happened yet. I guess I am glad. So far, we still put our beds together and make one and you continue to snuggle with me. I love that you don't care what the other girls think of that.

Camp is always a joy. You still love the creek, the worship, the lessons, and just the all around fun. This year you played kick ball for the first time and even I got on the blow up toys! Can't wait til next year!

Today after church, I decided I would try to fit one more in before I took my nap. I just wanted something easy, so here is the dog again.

I used patterned papers. I cut the squares out of some scrap pieces of the "cork board" paper I used last week. The letters in the title and the journaling, I generated on the computer. Used ribbon and the "torn" paper look. Journaling reads:

Dixie is such a good puppy. She was only in the house for the first 4 or 5 months of her life before we put her out. She knew the line of carpet was her "limit" and wouldn't go any further, even when we went to bed at night. I could've gotten used to her staying inside with us if she just wasn't getting so big and shed so much. She is like a member of our family.

Sorry if you find these boring. They are not that great, but this is all I've been doing lately, therefore, this all I have to blog about!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Some Pages

Today, I put out 3 of the simplest pages I think I have ever done. I thought they turned out ok, for simple. I have been trying to take advantage of my "quiet time" this week now that the kids are gone during the day....I spent the first 3 days getting things in order so I didn't have this cloud of guilt surrounding me as I cropped, but was mine.

I didn't actually get started until around 3 pm, but Little Ann was busy outside doing some bird watching, Big Dan left as soon as he got home, and Pete..well, he went scouting for deer with a friend, so I still pretty much had the house to myself. I broke away to cook dinner around 6 pm, ate, and went right back to cropping..all the while giving orders. It worked out pretty well, if I do say so myself.

Because the pages were so simple, I finished the last one around 9 pm, just in time to lie down with Little Ann for a while at bedtime, call out some words to Big Dan for a vocabulary test tomorrow, and of course, surf the net and compile this blog.

Most of these pictures you have already seen on the blog, but I still must incorporate them into a scrapbook page. This is what I accomplished:

Page 1:

This page was so easy. The paper was patterned and already had this writing on it. I added my pictures which I matted with the neatest paper which was the same consistency as cork board. Very cool. I stickled my arrows, added some brads, typed my journaling and...walla! So you can get the full effect (for the ones that care), my journaling reads:

Back in April we finally broke down and bought you your first car. Of course, as I expected, you wrecked it on your way to school the very first day, so I never actually got to take pictures of you and the new car before it had the front end smashed in. On this night, you were about to embark upon another great milestone in your journey of life. Your first real "one on one" date where you actually drove to pick up the girl, paid for everything, dropped her off, and made it back home...alive. I took the opportunity to savor this moment and get pictures of you and your new ride after it's cosmetic surgery.

Page 2:

On this page, I used polka dot patterend paper, slapped some other pieces of patterned paper down. Matted the pictures in black to bring out the black in her outfit. I used prima flowers and used a glitter brad in black in each flower also to go with the other black. I used chipboard alpha letters for kit's name, journaled on cardstock, and incorporated the actual movie ticket. That's it! Journaling reads:

You had this date marked on your calendar for months and couldn't wait for the day it came out...Kit Kitteredge, An American Girl, that is. We looked and looked for it nearby, but found the closest showing at the Rave. So, we took us a "girls day out" and went to see it. It was so cute. We both loved it! This was one of the highlights of your summer.

(UPDATE: The OCD in me decided that I didn't like the 3rd page, therefore, I delelted it from the blog and am planning a re-do sometime this week. I'll be posting it when I'm finally satisfied with the results. SORRY. I can't help myself.)

Well, for those of you that scrapbook, I hope you enjoyed looking at my good as they can be. And others, I hope you weren't totally bored out of your mind looking at this stuff!

Have a great, wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

On a Lighter Note

Tonight after mid week church services, we invited our pastor and his family over for dinner. As our visit drew close to an end and we were getting ready to get our kids in bed for school tomorrow, Pete drug out the big guns. You think I'm kidding. No, I'm not. I mean...the. big. guns. Which is why I call him Pistol Pete. I hate guns, but he is a gun fanatic and it drives me crazy.

This, my friends, is my preacher's wife shooting Pete's Bushmaster AR 15 (whatever that is).

Look at the smile on her face. She is enjoying that waaaayyy too much.

This is your next top model for the "Blue Press" (In case you're not a regular reader, that is a magazine that uses attractive women in cute little attire to attract men to their ammunition and arsenal products.) .

Something kind of strange about seeing your preacher's wife holding an AK47.

I'll be sure and not make her mad!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A First and A Last

Yesterday, the kids went back to school. It'll be a year of many changes. The first day of 5th grade for Little Ann. She loves to read and write and was very excited about having a "journal" assignment on the first night. A little disappointed about being last in line again....sorry, chick, that's the breaks when your last name starts with W. Get used to it.

Doesn't she look studious with her new glasses? The kids told her she looked like Nancy Drew yesterday. She loves Nancy Drew and took that as a compliment.

This guy.....not so studious. And....this was Big Dan's last first day of high school. Forever. Seems so final, doesn't it? He has "Tourette's Syndrome" (not the profanity that comes with Copralalia, thank goodness!) and was recently diagnosed with ADD so we have struggled immensely over the years with poor organizational and study skills. It's been extremely hard to distinguish between what has been the result of "teenage boy" and what has been legitimate. It has made initiating consequences very hard (besides the natural ones) and keeps me on a constant guilt trip.

His schedule is very light this year. I am expecting a 4 point. With his main classes being Parenting, Advanced Art, Senior English, and Senior Transitional Math, and the rest being PE, Study Hall and 2 periods of Athletics, I dont think that's too much to ask.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gettin' Ready

I know I'm not the only mom running all over the house tonight making sure all loose ends are tied up before the big day tomorrow. I didn't get my Sunday afternoon nap for trying to get my "students" clean underwear and socks. It's been fun trying to make sure everyone got to bed at a decent hour for the first time in months. Big Dan will be starting 12th grade so I haven't had to shut him down for the night yet. He's still yappin' on the cell phone as we speak.

Little Ann had Open House on Thursday night. She got to meet both of her teachers, take the bulk of her supplies, and get familiar with where her desks are in each class. When they promote into grades 4-6, they have Reading, Spelling and Language on one side of the hall and later they switch over to the other side where they study Math, Science and Social Studies. She lucked out and got Math the 2nd 1/2 of the afternoon. I told her that would be to her advantage, because every day there was a pep assembly, her class would get to forfeit Math class. She liked that.

Before we left for Open House, we had to put her name on everything as we packed it into her new bag. This is always her favorite part (and mine). She was adamant about her writing her name on her stuff this year and so I had to relinquish control.

and she drew pretty pictures on her folders with my scrapbooking pens. Oh, how I miss that fun.

We actually had our first class tonight. Yes, it was's see....
"Shaving our Legs for the First Time 101". I think that must be a 5th grade requirement according to Little Ann at least.

And Big Dan will have his last "first day of high school" tomorrow. Pete and I sat down tonight and laid out a few ground rules for the 12th grade (job, curfew, allowance) that sort of that school is back in session.

I think I'll be ok tomorrow when he drives off. It'll be a little bittersweet, but I'll manage. I've still got a few months with him at least. Shaving our that makes me sad.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Seven and 1/2 Years Ago..

our church was in search of a new pastor. We went through the spill of hearing some, calling some back for a 2nd time, and finally God sent us the right one...not just the right man, but the right "family". I love how when the right one comes just know. We were his first church. Several of our members attended his ordination service and thus we began our journey together. God has taken him and his family a new direction and that's ok. I miss them, but God is wiser than I, and we have a new pastor now that we love oh so much, as well. I know our former pastor reads this blog..and I want to just say thank you for following God's lead, directing our flock and getting us to where we are now.

Alot happened in the years they were with us. We started up several new ministries, our numbers grew, and so did our friendships. They even provided a home for an exchange student from China who was such a blessing. As a matter of fact, they are driving to pick him up from the airport today for a visit. He was in the 10th grade when he came and although his life has taken him great places all over the world, he remains in contact with all of us.

They have 2 children. A daughter who is a couple of years older, who while here, had her own circle of friends, and a son, who is the same age as Little Ann. I posted a picture of the two of them together here when I talked about my recent visit to their home and how Little Ann plays with boys. And these two....they have always been such great little buddies. He's a sweetie. I took these pictures of them back in February right before their move.

His wife, my precious friend...such a wise Christian woman to be as young as she is, never ceased to amaze me with such sound advice. I was going through probably the most strained time in my marriage when they came and she became my rock. Pete needs to love this girl as much as I do, for without her continual thump on my head, we may not be together (you know...all that virtuous woman, submissive wife stuff..blah, blah, blah..ha). I always told her that God sent their family to our church just for me. I don't know how I would've made it so many times without her support. And that's what true friends do. Love you, support you, care for you when you are up or down.

Every year since they came to our church, she and I would sponsor our girls at church camp. This was taken last summer there.

And here we are now. We were pretty then, but look how cute we are now, both sporting our new haircuts!! (this just proves that beauty comes with age, grin!!)

I so enjoyed visiting with them this past Tuesday and Wednesday. It is nice to catch up with friends you don't see often. The main reason I went though was to see their new home. Being a pastor, it's very rare you get to actually "own" your home. When they were with us, they lived in our parsonage, but with the new church, they are given a housing allowance. They've been praying for just the right thing, in just the right area, for just the right price for some time, and it seems that God answered their prayers. This house came is one that is a result of bankruptcy and what a beautiful home for the price they got!! Such a blessing. There are several things to be done, of course. It was never completely finished out in some places, and since it had been abandoned for about a year or so, some things have taken a beating, ie. the front door, leaks around windows, etc.

They've got a lot of work ahead of them, but just look what they are starting out with!

This picture is just as you walk inside the front doors. Beautiful staircase.

This is a view from the other direction. She is planning on turning this is into a formal sitting area. I think it may've been the dining room before.

Just as you walk into the back door, you come right into the breakfast/kitchen area. I was really impressed by this tray ceiling over the breakfast table. There is also a tray ceiling in the master bedroom.

And the entire house is full of beautiful crown.

When they first came to our church, their daughter was only 5. The bedroom that they chose for her in our parsonage was this bright lime green color (compliments of the teenage girl that lived their before her), and we had just painted over it before they moved in. I got tickled to see that she had painted her new room that exact color. I guess when you're 12, the brighter the better!!

And the kids were so excited to see that this contraption was eagerly awaiting them in their new back yard. What a perk!!

I'm so happy for them. Maybe God will let them enjoy it for a little while before he moves them again!

Wow, I'm a little disappointed that Big Dan's senior portrait session for tonight just got rescheduled due to rain...but hey, I'm not knocking the rain!! Pete and I have been doing things around here that have been needed. While I was away, he painted the shutters. I can't wait until I get it all complete so I can post after pictures for you. You are gonna be impressed!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Time Flies...

when you're having fun. That's for sure. I have no idea where this week has gone and now it's half over. It has been filled with lots of last minute summer fun which we are trying to squeeze in and still a few more in the works before school starts on Monday.

Little Ann had one more little getaway planned from Sunday until Tuesday with her Meemaw S. I told you here that they live about 2 hours away from us and we don't see them very often. Little Ann says they live on a ranch, but really it's just a small farm. They live near a lake at a State Park, a trout river, and have lots of animals and things to keep her occupied. She loves to ride the mules and horses and this time 2 of her cousins were also there to keep Meemaw S. and Papaw J. on their toes!! When I arrived to pick her up yesterday, my mother in law gave me this picture she had taken. Make sure you get a good look at the cheesing mule...this is hilarious!

And as I made my way 2 hours from home on Tuesday to retrieve my daughter, the plan was I would drive another 2 hours taking a little overnight stay in a town where one of my very best friends is now living. Her husband was our pastor for 7 years and she became more than just a pastor's wife to me. As I've said before, sometimes our plans are not God's plans and He moved them away from me this past February. It was hard at first, but thank goodness for email, blogs and facebook to keep us connected...and at least she is still in the same state!

Anyway, they just moved into a new home. I wanted to try to spend a little time with her and see the house before things got so hectic with the fall. It was so pretty. I took pictures and want to share some more about her house, her family, and our friendship with you soon.

I never really did give you any one particular post defining my children. Telling you all about them, who they are, what they like, and so on. I guess I just figured after reading for awhile, you would eventually figure all of those things out on your own. One thing that has always struck me as interesting about Little Ann is that her best friends are boys. They always have been. She has a couple of really good girl friends, but the ones she will always refer to as her best buds have always been the boys especially this one:

He is our former pastor's son. Same age as Little Ann and he is a gem. Kind hearted, soft spoken, and an all around great kid...and Little Ann loves the heck out of him. I think it was harder on her when they left than any of us. She absolutely loved playing the ps2 with him during our stay.

Big Dan went along for the ride, although he had girlfriend withdrawals the entire time. It didn't help much that Saturday his strep came back bigger and fiercer than ever!!! I got him started on his antibiotic again, but this time the fever has lasted longer and his throat has hurt so bad it's brought tears to his eyes (just briefly, but enough to make my heart ache). I hate it when my kids are sick. I feel so helpless. Much of what he did was lounge on the couch or in a bed covered with as many blankets as he could find. As far as the rest of us..we did a few recreational things like swim and shop, but the best was just catching up and being in each other's presence. (and Big Dan didn't mind, because he had a telephone attached to his ear so he wouldn't have been able to participate in those activities anyway!)

The rest of my week is still filled with things such as elementary open house, Big Dan's senior portrait session, getting all the laundry caught up for next week, a little cleaning and a family get together. It will be crazy.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

And....It's Over

That long awaited reunion day, that is. Kind of like Christmas, ya know. You spend months planning and getting things ready and then it's over. For another 10 at least, I guess. My cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling so much...mainly from all those cameras. It's hard to make sure they"get your good side" when they're coming at ya from from every angle!

I think between myself and my 2 fellow blogging classmates, I'm sure one of us has mentioned that we were a very small class. We come from a very rural (but has grown tremendously in the past years) county. The enrollment in the graduation classes have more than doubled from then to now. Anyway, we only had 27 in our class. I was kind of disappointed that I didn't get to see all of them, but for the 11 that attended, it was a blast.

I laughed so hard at pictures from our past. Just about every picture I saw of myself, I was eating. That cracked me up. I hadn't remembered seeing a lot of the pictures that others had brought and they were quite comical. I had made a cd with "our music" (are you surprised?) and it was fun listening and reminiscing about where we were and what we were doing when that song was a hit.

This is eleven of the most beautiful people from the Class of 1988!

This next photo is of my bestest girls. I love these girls. We've been together a long time. We only had 18 girls in our class and we were all great friends, but I couldn't ask for better ones than these!

And look how much we've changed!! Can you recognize 3 of us in the next photo? (Short One, where were you??) We were like 9 or 10 years old here. Isn't this the cutest picture? I have no idea what I am doing. It looks like I am about to smack my little brother. Just like little brother's to crash the party, huh?

This next picture is the greatest. Maybe we really haven't grown up that much. ha.

And last but not least...I can't forget the new generation. They were so good today. We hardly even knew they were around.

We really did have a great time. It's good to know everyone is doing well and happy with where life has taken them.

Hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!