Friday, February 23, 2007

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

Here are some pictures of the kids from this morning. After breakfast, Mary Alice went and put on her ballerina costume. Major danced around in his pajamas. Mary Alice went upstairs and grabbed some "ballet music", some classical music from my cd collection. She and Major are still downstairs dancing away....

"Here, Major,... Do this!" (Major is usually a willing participant in whatever schemes Mary Alice has planned.)

Major did his own silly dance. He told me that he was "working on his ballet." Major, your Dad will not be pleased.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Gardens

We just got back from the gardens. It was such a beautiful day! I had planned to stay inside and do lots of housework, but decided that it was just too pretty outside to stay home.

We had a good time. I was surprised at just how interested Mary Alice was in everything we saw. You know those little things that zoos and other outdoor attractions have, lift the flaps and read the facts type things. Well, Mary Alice wanted to stop and read each and every one of them.

Another thing that surprised me was Mary Alice not complaining once about being sweaty, being hot, or her legs hurting. We walked a few miles today. Neither one of the kids complained. That really shocked me. They said not one word of negativity, just oohed and ahhed at the plant life, bridges, waterfalls, fish, etc. that we saw. This was really odd, considering most of the plant life was dead.

This was totally unprompted. I just happened to catch them being sweet to each other.

Mary Alice was telling Major all about the gardens. "Now, this is a fountain and this is a pond!"

I think we hit the wrong part of the gardens. I didn't feel like there was much to see. We saw the part of the gardens that was free to the public. Next time, we plan on paying the entrance fee. The kids really enjoyed playing outside. They climbed, picked up "treasures" and sticks and such. I packed a picnic lunch, complete with some of their favorite foods: vienna sausages, sandwiches made with white bread, and nutrigrain fruit and nut bars. Yes,I need to go grocery shopping. I plan on doing that, along with the chores that I pushed aside this morning, after the kids get up from their naps.

My little man. He loves to be outside!

We ate our picnic lunch in the shade. It was actually a little warm outside.

Watching the fountain, and thinking... It just killed him that I wouldn't let him go fishing for treasures in the fountain.

My little buddies, some of life's greatest blessings!

Friday, February 16, 2007


Set your mind on things above, not on the things of this earth. Colossians 3:2

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. Psalm 3:3

The Lord says, "My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like my ways." Isaiah 55:8

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8

And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

These are just some verses that I came across, just some things that I've been thinking about lately. I tend to focus far too much on the things of this world and not nearly enough on things above. Too often, I look to people, places, and earthly circumstances to meet my needs and wind up feeling frustrated by them, instead of looking to God, the only one who does not disappoint. I've been reminded once again of God's sovereignty in all things, of His working all things out according to His plan and how He is working all things for good for me right now on earth....and forever.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Tea Party

This is a record for me! I posted three separate posts in one day! We've been busy!!

Yesterday, Mary Alice had a Valentines' Tea Party. She had been so excited all week. We worked hard for a few days before the party making cookies, cleaning house, etc. On the day of the party, we were setting the tables with fancy tablecloths, making place cards, and setting the girls' places at the table. She was helping me lay platters out in different places and helped me decide where everything needed to be placed. Mary Alice said, "Mom, I don't think I've ever had this much fun!" We had lots of good girl time together while we were getting ready for the tea. We made lots of little cookies and tea party treats. Fun stuff. Major was sad when he saw that there wasn't a place set for him at the tea party table. "What about me?" he said. "Where is my place? Don't you care about guys?" I told him that he could sit with me at the party. Major decided to "dress up" too and came downstairs wearing his beard and mustache. He kept talking in a low voice and continued to use his "pirate voice" throughout the tea party. That boy cracks me up!

Mary Alice had five people in attendance at her tea party, six including Major. All of the girls were instructed to come in their dress up clothes. They were all very "ladylike" at first. They were so excited about all of the fun they were having, though, that they soon forgot any manners that they were supposed to have. They spent much of the party stuffing their face with goodies. Maybe it was the chocolate fountain that elicted such behavior? It was funny. I was glad to see these sweet little girls having so much fun. One tiny little girl ate SIX chocolate covered strawberries!! You can see her chocolately teeth in one of the pictures I posted.

The tea party was a success!

Tea Parties Past

Yesterday, we had Mary Alice's Fourth Annual Tea Party. Just for fun, I thought I'd post some pictures of tea parties past.

Christmas Tea Party 2003

Christmas Tea Party 2004

Christmas Tea Party 2005

Valentines Tea Party 2007

In the past, her tea party has always been around Christmas. This year,however, I planned it around Valentine's Day. I'm still not sure which I like best. Even though Christmas is a really busy time of year, I still love having it then. Christmas is such a special time. Valentine's Day is a fun time too and less busy for everyone. I guess we'll wait until next year to decide.... Christmas or Valentines'? What do you think?

Harding Road Trip in a Nutshell...

Last weekend we made the trek to Arkansas to Harding University to visit my sisters. Here are a few things that happened....

While at Harding, we stayed at the on-campus hotel. This was especially fun for the kids. Mary Alice has only stayed in a hotel once, which meant that the thrill of staying in a hotel was the highlight of her trip! She was so excited! There is something fun about staying in a hotel. Anyway, when we first walked into our hotel room, both of the kids were confused. Major asked, "Is this somebody's house? Does somebody live here?" Then, the funniest thing.... Mary Alice looked over at the mints that were laying on the pillows. They were wrapped in paper. The university also had a little welcome letter to guests of the hotel laying next to the mints. Mary Alice wrinkled up her nose and said, "Look! They have TRASH on our beds!!!" Silly girl!

Word of warning: If you ever stay at the Heritage Hotel at Harding, you might want to bring some earplugs. Each room has a heating system that sounds much like a freight train every 15 minutes or so as well as a blinking green light that flashes in your room all night long. Earplugs....and an eyemask might be helpful. Other than that, our hotel stay was great!

The girl in our hotel. She was super-thrilled to be there!

"There is TRASH on our beds!!!"

Taking pictures around campus.... Maybe our kids will go to school here one day?

Dad and his girl

The next day was my sister, Taylor's, lingerie shower. Here is what she looked like as she opened her gifts....

She had a great shower and got lots of fun things and some not so fun things. Hannah, especially, did a wonderful job of picking out lingerie for Taylor. That girl has an eye for classy lingerie. A fun time was had by all!

We walked around the campus and took lots of pictures with the kids. We got back on Saturday around one in the morning.

All of my sisters and me...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Debit or Credit?

Just a quick funny that Mary Alice said to me last night...

First some background information....

I use my debit card a lot. It is much easier than using checks or cash. Mary Alice sometimes says things like, "Do you want me to get your "credit" card?" at the gas station. She will often refer to it as my "credit" card, which I find troubling. I don't want her to buy into today's mentality of buy now, pay later or learn poor money managing habits because of my use of a debit card.

I respond to her by giving a thorough explanation of the difference between a debit and a credit card. I tell her that a debit card is when you use your own money and a credit card is when you're using someone else's money. I also take care to emphasize whose money I am using whenever I use my debit card. I might say something like, "I am now going to use my debit card. That means I'm using my own money. They are taking my own money right out of our bank." All of these details..... You may be wondering when this story will ever end????? The point is, she is familiar with the word "debit" and it's connection with real money.

Now, (the much shorter)real story.

So... Last night, Mary Alice came up to me and sat in my lap. She looked up at me and matter-of-factly stated, "Mom, Jesus paid the "debit" that we could never pay!"

Friday, February 09, 2007

A Little Bit Of Wisdom From Mary Alice

Man! I sure have been posting alot lately! Don't expect my enthusiasm for blogging to continue. The fact that I have posted three times this week is merely a coincidence. I just had to tell this story that happened to me yesterday.

I was laying in bed with Mary Alice just talking with her.

Me: Hey girl, what do you think you'll be when you grow up?

Girl: I don't know. Maybe a librarian?

Me: Why a librarian?

Girl: Because I think it would be fun.

Me: What would be so fun about being a librarian?

Girl: Well, I could just sell books to people all day and lay around and take my sweet time doing it.

Me: (laughing) That sounds like fun. Well, what about kids? How many kids do you think you'll have?

Girl: I don't know, Mom. That is up to the Lord to decide.

Me: (dumbly) Well I know that Mary Alice, but how many would you like to have....if the Lord gives you children?

Girl: MOM! I don't know! I can't control that. It is up to the Lord! He decides if a person can have babies!

Me (a.k.a. lame parent not letting God teach me something): I know that...but how many do you think you would like to have???

Girl: I'd like to have lots of babies, six, no... ten children, but God gives babies and he will decide whether or not I will have any children at all. And that will be okay.

Aha! I FINALLY got what God was trying to tell me through my little girl. If only I can remember what I've learned.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Spice It Up

I really liked the GirlTalk article today. They discuss ways to make family dinnertime special and fun. I love ideas like these. I am big on tradition and plan to do some of these with my family. I hope these ideas help you as well. I was also delighted to find lots of Valentine's Day ideas.

I love to do this kind of stuff. It just makes life more exciting when you spice it up a bit.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

My Lovelist

Valentines Day is just around the corner.... (a week from today to be exact)! I was in the grocery store today and was amazed by all of the Valentine items for sale, two whole aisles of things dedicated to one little day. I found myself wondering who in the world actually purchases some of these things??? I apologize if your honey is one of the fellows who so lovingly bought you the stuffed, sunglasses wearing cat that sings "Wild Thing", the a KY Warming Gel pack (tastefully? packaged in a decorative Valentine box), or the fuzzy dice that have "My Love" and other cheesy messages written on the sides. So silly. You gotta love Valentines' day. It is the perfect opportunity to tell people how you feel about them.

I think this holiday is great. When I was little, I especially loved candy hearts. I still do! I would eat them all up, except for the white ones. I saved those for the times when I didn't feel like brushing my teeth. Somehow I thought the minty fresh breath that they provided was a good substitute for good oral hygiene. (That has changed.)

I used to love the thrill of writing out Valentines for each person in my elementary school class. I would take time to carefully divide them out, choosing the cutest ones for my best friends, giving my least favorites out to the kids I didn't like very much. I liked to write my own special notes on each card. The short, two or three word note that the store bought Valentine had didn't seem enough to show my best buddies just how special they were to me. I would always do this the night before Valentines' Day. It usually took me quite a long time, as my notes were very detailed. (This hasn't changed.)

This year, Mary Alice and I have already spent lots of time cutting out hearts, glittering and gluing and trying to make the perfect valentines. I think she has inherited her mother's love for words. The words she writes don't fit on her valentines either. I think she also inherited my love for candy hearts, but I am trying to make sure she doesn't use them as a way to get out of tooth brushing.

Inspired in part by Miranda ,and in honor of Valentines day, I am making a list of the objects of my affection, not complete and in no particular order:


1)My wonderful husband(of course)

2)My kissable, huggable kids and their sweet cherub faces (I look at them every day and think about how much I've been blessed!)

3)The coffee shop (My day is lovely when I can sip a cup of Joe. Really, EVERYTHING seems 100% better.)

4)The library (I love to get free books and lots of them. I think the library is my favorite place on earth!)

5)The great outdoors on a beautiful day (I have been thinking all week about how I am going to get a season pass to a local outdoor garden. There is almost nothing I enjoy more than taking my kids for a picnic in the gardens. I have missed my Arboretum trips and am dying to take the kids again!)

6)Flowers on my kitchen table (This is always a great pick me up.)

7)Creamy Vanilla lotion

8)A new pair of jeans or shoes

9)Dinner at home with my family

10)Listening to my kids sing hymns (the most beautiful sound on earth)

11)The piano (playing it or listening to it being played, especially by my brother, Ben)

12)My like-minded, far away friends, Their examples and prayers...

13)Listening to classical music on the radio (The ghetto looks altogether different when classical music is playing in the background...)

14)The times when I learn something new about God... (It might have been something that I thought I knew all along, but it actually really clicked.)

15)Reading the Old Testament by Marguerite De Angeli to Mary Alice (I have always laughed at the King James Version, thinking it antiquated, but have recently fallen in love with its beautiful words. It makes me smile, picture things differently, and sometimes....laugh. It uses terms like "gave up the ghost", "Behold", "Hereby", etc. Laugh if you want to, but read it aloud and tell me if it doesn't have much more feeling than your NIV!)

16)Creating things

17)Teaching my children

18)Learning something new(I guess this could fall under books/the library category)

19)Working out

20)lip gloss (Putting on lip gloss is a sure way for me to make my day a whole lot better!)

21)The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer (Just a book I've been reading lately...)

22)My very best girlfriend that I call about everything, even just to tell her a quick funny something, She does the same with me.

I know that there are many more things that I love. I could go on and on, but I won't. Talking about the things that bring me joy is something I like to do. I hope you have a wonderful Valentines' day filled with many of the things that you love. If your man is one of those ones who might get you a stuffed sunglasses wearing cat, you may want to head him off now, unless, that is, stuffed cats are on your lovelist.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Pictures of the Kids Having Fun

These first few snow pics are from the week that we went to my parents' house.

My little "snow angel"

Major didn't like the snow. He said it was too cold!!! He kept going outside to play and then crying because he wanted to come back inside. He would come back into the house just long enough to warm up, then would want to go back outside again!

Mary Alice, however, LOVED the snow and played outside for a long time!

Here is a picture of Josh and Mary Alice right before he took her on a dad's and girl's date. They rode the train to Dallas and went to eat at the "big ball",a.k.a. Reunion Tower. Mary Alice had been wondering about this restaurant for quite some time. We mentioned to her that there was a restaurant inside that spun around and around, to which she replied, "How does the food stay on the plates?" Funny girl. (P.S. My husband is a hottie.)

The kids played in the dirt all last week. They kept tracking mud inside, so I responded by shampooing my carpets and buying them mud boots. They have been wearing their beloved boots almost everywhere. They built a little town outside, complete with a forest, a pond, a mountain, and lots of little stone houses. Major doesn't really like to get dirty, but even he enjoys the mud, just as long as I wash off his hands every once and a while between constructions.

Major playing in the dirt with his tractor

A bit of earth...

This just made me smile...

A quick break for a picnic lunch. They are lovin it!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sick Day

My favorite quote of the day: "Help, Mom! I need a Kleenex! My nose blowed off!"
(said by Major who is trying to recover from a yucky cold)