Thursday, November 30, 2006

Oh How I Love To Be Home

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to be at home. I do believe that staying at home and avoiding busyness is one of my favorite things to do. I don't like to have "permanent" commitments (meaning EVERY Tuesday or once a month, etc.). I try to keep things like that to a minimum. Unfortunately, keeping life free from busyness is much harder than it seems.

Recently, our lives have been overtaken with the whirlwind of a "permanent commitment" that we made... Mary Alice's Christmas play. We did this last year and it proved to be so much fun for our girl that we decided to let her try out again. She is lovin it! She loves to be on stage, loves to perform, loves all of the attention that she gets from her friends at this small-town community theater. We have only recently began to feel the busyness creeping into our lives. This week she has had run thrus every night of the week. Tonight, the real show begins. She will be on the stage Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, for a total of eight full performances this week!

She cracks me up with her antics, which I hear about from other cast members. "George" and "Mary" in the play love Mary Alice and treat her like their little pet. They are constantly showering her with goodies and toys and such. Anyway, last week, they gave her a very scantily clad Barbie doll. My sister, who is also in the play, told me that Mary Alice told them thank you for the gift and when she opened it and saw that it was a half naked Barbie, put her hand over her mouth and said, "Shame! This doll is immodest!"

Mary Alice has also been known to "help out" her friends "George" and "Mary" when they forget their lines. I think the girl knows most of the lines in the play. It is hilarious to watch her enact other people's parts, like the part of "Ma Bailey". The woman who plays Ma Bailey has a pretty serious Texas accent, which carries over to her part a little bit. Mary Alice says all of Ma Bailey's lines, accent, choreography, and all, and isn't even aware that she is the slightest bit humorous. The girl has gone around with dark circles under her eyes for the last couple of weeks, due to her 10:30 bedtime each night. I am hoping that she doesn't get sick from this major lack of sleep. We are busy, but I am glad that Mary Alice is able to enjoy this special play, despite its infringing upon our much needed "home time". We'll be back to our schedules and routines in another couple of weeks. I know everything will work out and will get back to normal...eventually.

Today was a wonderful day, though. We decided that we would not leave the house for any reason, until tonight, when the girl has to be at her play again. Today, we've enjoyed the cold weather in the comfort of our cozy home. Mary Alice helped decorate the tree. Major sat beside the CD player and listened to Christmas songs. He didn't want to help us with the tree. He isn't much of a decorator.

When the girl gets up from her nap, we'll put up the Christmas villages, my Noel Piper Advent calendar, and my most favorite thing of all, my nativity scene. I just love pulling each and every little piece out of the box each year.

Top Ten Positives of Mary Alice being in a Christmas play:

1) We get to listen to KLTY's Top 10 at 10 Christmas songs each night, which usually includes The Chipmunk Christmas song, one of my faves. (The kids laughed their heads off throughout this whole song the other night. We have to buy this CD.)

2) I am an expert at curling Mary Alice's hair in little ringlets.

3) I can pick up things without using my fingers due to the "sticky hands" I have each night after using texture spray to fix Mary Alice's stage ringlets.

4) Mary Alice is now the proud owner of some gorgeous nightgowns that she had to have for the stage. I love to see little girls in nightgowns.

5) The girl loves to dance and can swing her hips while singing "Buffalo Gals Won't You Come Out Tonight" with the best of em! (I'm thinking her newly acquired singing and dancing skills will come in handy when Mary Alice hits Broadway.)

6) I have a special Waterford ornament that my Grandmother gave me when Josh and I first got married. It is a beautiful silver bell. It is one of my favorites. I love to hang it near the top of the tree each year. I always ring the bell first. This year, when I rang the bell, Mary Alice said, "Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.." So cute.

7) Major knows Mary Alice's lines and can say them, minus the "l's" and "r's", just in case. :)

8) Mary Alice knows Auld Lang Syne in its entirety. Boy can she belt that song out!!

9) The girl gets to spend more time with her Gran, Aunt Hannah, and Uncle Ben.

10) Mary Alice and I have lots to talk about. She has lots of questions about phrases/words that she hears in the play. She now knows the meaning of "Any time you think you're man enough...", "anniversary", "vacancy", "measly/crummy", "bucks", and other such words that don't come to mind right now, but will definitely be articulated by Mary Alice in our future conversations.

Throughout all of the busyness, we're going to have to make a special effort to have that home time that I believe our family so desperately needs to function well. I'll try to put some stage pictures of Mary Alice up soon. I haven't taken any yet, but will get right on that. Stay warm!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I Am My Daddy's Son


Here is Major in Josh's old football helmet and his John Deere shirt. Major calls it his "ghost of John" shirt. Major came up to me a few minutes ago with this huge helmet on and asked me to play football with him. He loves to tackle anyone who will play with him. We spent alot of Thanksgiving vacation outside tackling each other in the grass. Boys are so fun! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Life According To Mary Alice

Mary Alice and I are sitting here playing the board game "Loaded Questions" (or a revised version of the game). I ask her a question and she writes down the answer. It is pretty cute to see how she sees life.

What is your favorite thing at the circus? clowns

What is the scariest thing you can think of? Star Wars

What are you pretty good at? drawing

What is something that you do not like to share? my jewelry box

What is your favorite part of the body? my thumb

What is the best restaurant you can think of? Chuckie Cheese

What is the worst movie you've ever seen? Aladdin

What is your favorite animal? a giraffe

What is your favorite fruit? pears

What is something that you are tired of hearing about? the ghost of John

What do you think is the prettiest part of your body? my heart

What is the longest word that you can think of? inappropriate

What is your favorite sport? soccer

What thing is the hardest for you to do? write a lowercase a without a start dot

What is the worst name that you know? Zacko and Poppleton

What makes you want to throw up? 16 pieces of cake

What would be a terrible place to find yourself tomorrow? the trashcan

What is the worst piece of clothing that someone can wear? blue jeans with holes in them

Make something up to rhyme with "I found a pretty cat..." How about... I found a ratty rat?

What is the most beautiful word you can think of? lover

What was your favorite thing that happened yesterday? playing Loaded Questions with Hannah and reading stories

Where is the most beautiful place you've ever been? the movie theater

What place have you always wanted to visit? Disney World

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Sweater Thief

"Have you seen my sweater?" was the question I heard Mary Alice ask over and over again today. We had just gotten back from the doctor's office. Mary Alice had a stye in her eye, so we went by Wal Mart to fill her prescription. She looked so cute in her little pink cardigan and her bright pink bow. When we first arrived at the store, we made a detour to the restroom. Mary Alice was hot, so she decided to take off her sweater and carefully laid it on a table in the restroom.

A few minutes later, we were perusing the grocery store when we saw a little girl wearing a sweater that was identical to Mary Alice's. This made me remember that Mary Alice had taken her sweater off in the first place so I asked Mary Alice where it was. She gasped and said, "Oops! I left it in the restroom. We need to go get it!" The girl who was wearing the identical sweater (that did not match the shirt underneath) was about three years old, so the sweater seemed a little baggy on her. I thought perhaps they'd just found the sweater and were on the way to take it to the lost in found.

I went up to the mother of the little girl and asked, "Excuse me? Did you wear that sweater into the store?" The mother got an angry look on her face and said, "Yeah!" I tried to explain that we had just "lost" an identical sweater in the restroom, and that it was strange that we would see the same sweater twice in one day in one store. Mary Alice said, "That girl has on my sweater!" Embarrassed, I said, "No, Mary Alice. This lady says that this sweater belongs to this little girl. It just looks like yours." This lady sure seemed defensive."I don't know where your sweater is! Maybe you should check the restroom!" was the lady's annoyed response. I quickly wheeled away as Mary Alice yelled back at the woman, "My sweater is a 5T!"

We went back to the restrooms, where we were told to check the customer service lost and found. Mary Alice was crying the whole way through the store and saying things like, "I just know that lady took my sweater. She really is lying." Even though, I wasn't so sure myself, I tried to convince Mary Alice that we shouldn't judge this woman and that it was possible that her daughter had a similar sweater. At customer service, we were told that no sweater had been turned in. "Well, Mary Alice," I said, "Somebody probably stole it." Mary Alice was heartbroken. She was sad because her Gran bought her that sweater for her birthday last year. She ranted and raved about how "rude" that woman was and how she was going to go find her and say, "I know you took that sweater!" I told her that she would do no such thing.

As we continued shopping, I looked and looked for the woman, not because I wanted to say anything to her. Honestly, I just wanted her to feel ashamed of herself for stealing a child's sweater. Unbelievable! I wasn't even mad at her, but was only thinking of what a pitiful person she was and what a sad example she was setting for her little girls. We never saw her again.

On the way home, Mary Alice was talking about how angry she was at that woman who was a "stealer and a thief"! Mary Alice also said, "I could kick her in the hiney for doing that!" I told her that we should feel sorry for the woman and should forgive her and that how we forgive others is how God is going to forgive us. Mary Alice said, "I'm going to forgive that lady then." When we got home, she called her Dad and told him about the lady and how she was going to forgive her.

Perhaps the little girl needed a new sweater? Perhaps this woman will sell Mary Alice's sweater on ebay? God provided this wonderful teaching opportunity for me to use with Mary Alice. I don't really struggle with forgiving this sweater stealer, but other things have been hard for me to forgive. It was a good lesson in forgiveness (for us both) to think about.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bathtime Buddies

Major's cousin, Landon, came to spend a few days with us. The boys have had so much fun together. Here they are at bathtime.
Almost bedtime.... Aren't they cuties?
  Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pine Cove Retreat With The Girls

I spent last weekend at the First Baptist Parker Ladies' Retreat. It was tons of fun as usual, catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones. Pine Cove in Tyler is a beautiful place for a retreat. If you are ever planning a retreat or getaway for your church, this place is the way to go! I highly recommend everything about it.
Jenni and Tamra singing. I just love the sound of a single guitar during worship. The singing was beautiful at this retreat! I learned some new songs and sang lots of old favorite hymns. I could have sung hymns all night long.
Jennifer, Tamra, and Me- Jennifer is leaving in January to be a missionary in Cambodia. I learned lots about Cambodia this weekend. Jennifer is one of the neatest people I've ever met. She really has a heart for Christ.
Can't wait until next year! These girls are so precious to me! Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 03, 2006

Teach Me To Wait

Just a song that was on my mind this morning...

Teach me Lord, to wait right down on my knees,
Till in Your own good time You answer my pleas;
Teach me not to rely on what others do,
But to wait in prayer for an answer from You.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,
They shall mount up with wings like eagles.
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, to wait.

Teach me Lord, to wait while hearts are aflame,
Let me humble my pride and call on Your name.
Keep my faith renewed, my eyes on Thee,
Let me be on this earth what you want me to be.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,
They shall mount up with wings like eagles.
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, to wait.

Wait for the Lord;be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Penelope the Crab and Her Sidekick Cornelius

Sorry for so many pictures... I just couldn't help myself.

Penelope the Crab

Major watching the costumes go by...

Major waiting on Gran to paint a spider on his hand

I thought I'd post a few pictures from the recent Fall festivals and Halloween festivities that we attended recently. On Saturday, our church had a fall festival. It had bounce houses, train rides, cake walks, and junk food. Mary Alice enjoyed it all, while Major enjoyed it all minus the bounce houses and things that might reinjure his collarbone.

Afterward, we traveled down to Gran and Poppa's church fall festival for even more fun. Gran was the designated face painter at this church festival. Mary Alice got her face painted. Major had a spider painted on his hand. The kids ate hot dogs, cotton candy and rode on a train ride. The kids loved riding the "extra long and extra bouncy" train ride with their Poppa.

Last night (Halloween), we went to another church's fall festival for even more candy. The kids enjoyed walking around in their costumes. Many jokesters loved to make remarks to Mary Alice about her costume. Some things we heard repeatedly were, "Are you feeling crabby today, Mary Alice?" and "Can you crab walk?" Also, "Are you Sebastian?" To which, Mary Alice promptly replied, "No? No? and No, I'm Penelope the crab." This is what she named her character. She was so cute. She had helped to make her costume and had been looking forward to wearing it for weeks. I think she was so excited she could hardly contain herself. We thought she was the cutest little crab we'd ever seen!

When people asked Major what he was dressed as he would say, "A Gwadiator." Mary Alice would inform any inquirers that he was actually Cornelius. Most people would reply with... "Uh okay." Since these were church festivals, many people knew who Cornelius was. Whatever Major went as, a gladiator, Cornelius, a Roman soldier, he was definitely playing the part. He was hilarious!!! He loved to hold his sword out and make a gruff sounding "ARRGH!" like he was ready to slice someone to pieces. Don't worry. We had a talk before the festivities about pointing our sword at people. I asked him, "Major? Do we cut people with our swords?" He said, "No. We just cut vegetables and cookies and things like that." (Yes, my secret is out... I do my kitchen chopping using a machete.) Crazy kid! I don't know where he got that one! Also, he would get mad when his helmet slipped down over his eyes and start yelling. He pretty much loved being a gladiator. He's a tough guy, though, so he needed a tough guy costume.

Major and Poppa on the train ride

The girl sitting on her Daddy's lap after a long day of festivalling

Halloween Pictures

Pretty girl...

Painty face

Trick or treating at First Baptist

The Family
  Posted by Picasa

Halloween Pics

This crab is too cute to pinch anyone!

Major throws a football to win a prize.

Major charges the camera with his sword held high.

More charging the camera (ARRGH!!)
  Posted by Picasa