About Me

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Married twenty-five years to my wonderful husband and best friend. We have 3 "home-grown" kids and 1 hand-picked by God from Africa. Our life is blessed. We are a close knit family with strong Christian beliefs. Come along with us on our journey…you might have a great laugh or two.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy 13th Birthday, my beautiful girl....

She was late coming into this world and I knew that she could NOT be rushed. She is individual to the core. She is independent, head strong and I believe basically came out running...to not be "beat" by her older brother. She is highly competitive, hates to lose...no one works harder that this one. She is sweet and caring and beautiful to me in every way. Her passion for animals is so very strong that I have no doubt that she will make a magnificent veterinarian one day. But for me, I don't think I want to rush through life and miss my wonderful time with her. So for now, I'll just enjoy our newest "teenager" in the house. Oh boy, two teenagers under one roof...heaven help me now.

Happy Birthday, my sweet 13 year old. I love straight up to the moon and back...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This Saturday...

This Saturday I will be picking up my mother for the last time from the airport.  She is coming home to stay this time.  Coming home to us...

Without going into all of the details, it is a very sad time for her but there is light at the end of this dark tunnel.  She has four adorable, loud, crazy messy grandchildren that are literally counting down the days...no, the hours that she will land and finally be home with them forever.  They have missed her for a very long time.  While they don't understand everything that is going on, they only know what is most important.  Grandmom is coming and she never has to leave again.  To them, they have hit the jackpot. 

And my mom feels the same way...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Look closely...

Do you see it in the pictures??  I know they are really blurry and somewhat foggy (but I was standing in my house taking these out the window).  It's our newest pet...an owl.  Okay, technically a pet would mean you could love on it and feed it and play games with it...so I guess maybe I should call it our "outside visitor".  It's an owl.

This crazy thing has been showing up in our backyard now every night.  It's huge and gets very close to the house.  Actually there are two of them.  It's really cool to see them.  They have a huge wingspan and float from fence to ground to deck to tree and back around again.  Always looking for dinner, I'm sure...to which, I tell them just wait until the two yappy dogs next door come out.  Is that wrong???  (I really don't care too much for those dogs...one of them bit me - arghhh!!...and their owner lets them bark all the time). 

Anyway, really cool to have them at our house...even if I can't get them to take the dogs next door away.

...see it on the fence?

...on the ground

...near the deck...see the railing in the picture

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Yelping our way through New York...

Yelp.  Please tell me that you've heard of this app.  No, it's not yodeling or yelping (like a dog would).  It's a review app...kind of.  Wherever you are you can plug in, show me the best restaurants near me and up comes all the places to eat you could ever want with reviews from people who have actually eaten there.  It's awesome!  It doesn't have to be places to eat either, it could be something to do or shows or movies...you get the idea. 

Well, we could not have gotten around New York without it.  I guess we could have but we definitely would have missed a boatload of great places to eat that we found.  Heck, I even found a great laundry place so I could dry a load of clothes one afternoon.  We pack extremely light when we travel.  A lot of times we get everything into one bag, at most two.  It just makes it so much easier to travel with so many of us.   

Another fantastic thing we loved and needed so much in New York was the GPS app on our iPhone.  We would just map out a place we wanted to go and voila...away we went following the blue dot.  Being that I could probably get lost in my own city, this was the best app ever.  If only they could invent an app to do my dishes or my laundry...now that would be an accomplishment...since we are home now and everything is piling up so fast.

We had a wonderful time in New York.  I always hate to see a vacation come to an end.  Sad, really.  My husband had trouble going to work this morning and I really didn't want to go to Walmart for groceries...but alas, our life is calling us back to our daily grind...more like YELLING at us.  Do you hear it???  Mom, mom...I've got swim practice in an hour.  Mom, mom...is my blue shirt clean?  Mom, mom...I can't find my book.  Mom, mom...he hit me.  Mom, mom...what's for lunch?

I think I'll go hide out in a closet now...until next summer comes...

...at the Museum on our last day...lots of dead stuffed things there...still a fun place to go

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Central Park...

Today it was all about Central Park and bikes and hot dogs and lots and lots of sweating. It was a great experience. It's definitely the best way to see the park. There was NO WAY we were walking the entire thing and this way we got to see all the sights. Of course, I was amazed at all of the crazy fast runners that were there. We had one that even past us on while we were biking...and no...we weren't walking the bikes.

My husband had our little girl on a tag-a-long behind him , I had our little boy behind me in a child seat and our older two...of course, had to pedal on their own. I only worried a little when my older one about took out a few hundred walkers as he weaved about....just kidding.

Later in the day, after we were completely wiped out (Mom and Dad that is) we relaxed in the hotel, watched a movie and ate more empanadas...they are seriously great here.

Tomorrow we are headed to the American Museum of Natural History. Fun, fun, fun...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Peter and the Starcatcher...

This morning we had a relaxing morning, went for a run and then decided to take in another wonderful Broadway show.  I mean hey, when you're in New York you gotta do Broadway several times.  Soooo, many great ones to choose from. 

Today we chose Peter and the Starcatcher.  It's the story of Peter Pan...kind of.  Not based upon the Disney version but more like the book "Peter and the Starcatcher".  Unfortunately, this one was more of a "quiet" play (in comparison to the musical Mary Poppins) so I was a little concerned on how our little boy was going to do.  But by the end of the play I was the one amazed at how good he did.  Since cameras are not allowed in the theater, I don't have any pictures to share of it. 

After that we had fantastic...way overpriced...burgers and shakes.  Of course, everything here is overpriced and after a while it just doesn't shock you anymore.  And speaking of New York it really is truly a unique place.  It's kind of like a land of the self-absorbed.  You walk among thousands of people all in their own little world, cutting you off left and right never looking you in the eye.  And I think the world would stop and begin to rotate backwards if someone said "excuse me" or "sorry about that" here. 

But New York is a wonderful melting pot of people.  There are people from everywhere walking among you.  All nationalities, all colors...it makes you realize just how small our world really is.  Just wishin' they would cut a stroller a little bit of slack here.

Tomorrow, we are spending the day in Central Park.  The kids want to rent some bikes and ride the day away.  Sounds pretty sweaty to me...

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Met...

Today we took a subway and headed over to see the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I loved it! There were over so many wings to this museum that you truly need an entire day or more to see it all. We took in as much as we could for several hours. There were some absolutely beautiful pieces of art there.

After the Met we went over to another museum called The Cloisters.  It was set in this medieval looking castle building and filled with beautiful tapestries, sculptures and fantastic architecture.  Just the coolest thing.

Tomorrow we set out to see another Broadway play...oooh, can't wait!

This is The Cloisters set on a bluff...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A three hour tour...

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.

The mate was a mighty sailing man,
The skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day
For a three hour tour, a three hour tour."

We took it easy this morning with a run in Central Park and a relaxing lunch.  After that we headed down to do a three hour boat tour with Circle Line tours.  It was a nice and relaxing day.  After the boat tour we had some great empanadas for dinner and are now just chillin' out in our room watching...what else, but the Olympics.
Tomorrow is all about art.  Paintings, sculpture, tapestries...can't wait!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

20 years...

The first time I saw him was in a Sunday school class at church.  I remember his hands.  They were so incredibly tan.  His hair was bleached by the sun and I would come to find out later that it was from working long hours helping his uncle on his farm during the summer.  I knew nothing about him, except that he was incredibly handsome and I had trouble looking him in the eye.  Shy, embarrass, I don't really know.  But something about him was different. 

I had a Bible study at my house a few weeks after that and he attended.  He was quiet but confident in his manner.  Quite the opposite of me, I remember thinking.  But it didn't take me long to want to know more about him. 

When he called me the first time, we hit it off right away.  We talked for well over an hour and when we hung up the phone I have to admit that I was very disappointed when he didn't ask me out.  I thought maybe I had blown it or talked to much.  But the next night, he called again and my heart leaped higher than ever.  I must be crazy.  I barely know this person, but yet I am incredibly drawn to him.  Like an invisible pull from somewhere deep inside.  I just had to get to know him.  I never thought I believed in love at first sight...but maybe there is something to that...maybe. 

Our first date was to a place called "The Whistle Stop".  A small corner diner next to, of course, the train tracks.  The food was delicious and I remember sitting across from him thinking...oh boy, I'm getting way over my head on this one.  He was probably saying..."oh please, chic, just let me get a word in edge-wise".  I have a tendency to talk A LOT when I get nervous.  As you can imagine, the words were flowing that evening incessantly. 

Throughout the summer we continued to date, and by the end, I was scared...I knew I had found the man that God wanted me to marry.  Crazy, I know.  We didn't even attend college in the same state for that matter.  But sometimes God has a plan that is so much bigger than you can ever imagine. 

I grew up in Tennessee.  He grew up in Kentucky.  It was only by God's divine will that my father got a new job in the small town where he grew up.  My father always told me that he believed that God brought us to that town so I could meet my husband.  Because after a short time there my father was transferred to another job in a different state.  Sometimes God has a bigger plan.

After six months, we were engaged.  Six months after that, we were married on August 1st.  I like to tell my kids that God has designed that one special person just for you somewhere in this world.  Someone that will forever make your heart flutter.  Someone that will make you laugh at your stupid mistakes and then be with you when you make great comebacks.  Someone that will hold your hand through the hardest times of your life.  Someone that you cannot imagine your life without.  Someone...hand picked by God just for you.

I have had the privilege of being married for 20 years to my "someone".  And I hope and pray that God will give me another 20 or more years to come with him.  Thanks for being there with me, sweetie through these past 20 years....I will love you forever.

Greetings from New York City...

We are having a great time so far here.  Today we were able to go to the "Top of the Rock"...translation, the top of Rockefeller Center.  The views were just amazing.  In the afternoon, we took in a Broadway play...Mary Poppins.  Loved, loved, loved it!!!  The kids (all of them included) just thought it was so very cool. 

After a great dinner in the Theater District, we headed to the American Girl store so that our little girl could get her a doll.  It's really a big deal for her.  She has saved her money for well over a year now and this is what she wanted to buy.  So very cute.  Tomorrow, we are going to do a boat tour and see the Statue of Liberty. 

Until then, enjoy a few pictures of our adventures along the way. 

...waiting at the airport

...more waiting

...still more...you gotta do something while you wait

...view of Central Park from Top of the Rock

...view of Empire State building
...I love this.  Someone volunteered to take our picture, but she was so short there is no scenery behind us (oh, and that was her kid, too in the picture)...so classic a family picture for us

....walking in the Theater District - crazy packed with people

...he loved Mary Poppins and watched intently the entire time

...finally got her American Girl doll...she was so excited...she's waited a VERY long time for this