Friday, July 27, 2007

The Simple Life

This article describes exactly how I feel right now! This has really been placed on my heart over the last few weeks. I even heard a radio program about this topic this morning. I really feel like this is the direction my life needs to take. Simplify. Declutter. Focus on the things that are important. I guess my garage sale really has me in the mood for change. Read what Amy has to say about this here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Perfect Gentleman

Here are some pictures of Mary Alice and Major that were taken this afternoon. These pictures tell a story. Major had just gotten into trouble for hitting his sister. He hit her for absolutely no reason at all. I talked to him about being kind to his sister and questioned him about how boys are supposed to treat ladies. As a part of the learning process, Major was sent to the couch to love on his sister while I made dinner. He had to sit there for several minutes, loving and hugging on his sister. I thought they were so cute. Major did pretty well with the whole idea for a while.

After a few minutes,I went over there to snap a few shots. Major's "loving" soon turned into tackling, the end result being Mary Alice screaming for him to get off of her!!! Major ended up making Mary Alice laugh hysterically, though. He's pretty sweet even if he isn't always a perfect little gentleman. He is so rough and aggressive sometimes! I plan to use this idea again. It worked pretty well, even though he tackled her in the end.

Sad boy...Loving on his sister...

Still loving on sister...

More sweet hugs from Major... (Mary Alice is eating this up!!)

Major's "loving" takes a nasty turn and begins to get a little rough... Mary Alice is still smiling...

Mary Alice is not kissing Major, but is telling him (through clenched jaws) to please stop it!!!

Tackling sister...Now she's laughing too!

He really does love his sister. He just likes to have a little fun with her sometimes.

The kids hugging and loving on each other (post tackle) :)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tag From Alisha

Alisha tagged me to do this fun MeMe. I know that you are all so excited to read all about me. :)

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
10 years ago in July... That would be 1997. I was nervously getting ready for pledging. I was probably buying my tea dress or something. That seemed very important at the time. (Funny how I just sold that dress for $.50 in my garage sale last week.)

It was the summer before my sophomore year in college. Josh and I were dating. Things were really starting to get serious. He drove all the way across Texas each week to see me. I think I drove to see him once. He let me ride on his tractor with him one day… ALL DAY. It was a very emotionally draining summer. A big time of positive change for me…

2. What were you doing one year ago?
Taylor was living with us. I was probably goofing around with her during much of the month of July.

3. 5 snacks you enjoy-
chips with french onion dip, cream cheese, string cheese, apples with crunchy peanut butter, hummus and crackers

4. 5 songs you know all the words to-
Just five??? Song lyrics happen to be a specialty of mine. I know the lyrics to so many songs, so I’ll just name a few
I picked up through the years for fun… Here, There and Everywhere (The Beatles), Straight From the Heart (Bryan Adams), Tomorrow (from Annie), Me and Little Andy (Dolly Parton), Little Things (Oak Ridge Boys) + many many hymns…

5. 5 things you would do if you were a millionaire-
Pay off our debt, Give to the church/missions, Give large anonymous gifts to people who really needed things, shop at Central Market every week, employ a full time person whose talents included hairstyling and personal training. This person would also force me to go to the gym each day.

6. 5 bad habits-
Only 5??? I have so many!!! Interrupting (usually because I am afraid that I’m going to forget what I am going to say), Not being a good listener, Forgetting something that Josh told me to do (I know this has gotten worse with age!), Ignoring people when they are talking to me (I get really focused on what I am doing and can’t hear anyone else who is trying to get my attention.), NOTICE A THEME HERE??? Worrying and obsessing about unimportant small things instead of giving them to God or remembering that they are no big deal.

7. 5 things you like doing-
Reading, Writing, working outside, being with my children, hugging babies

8. 5 things you would never wear again-
Pleated pants, big bangs, a toe ring (Josh doesn’t like them PLUS I have ugly toes.), jelly shoes, high waisted jeans (I heard that these are coming back!!! What?!? I really hope not!!)

9. 5 favorite toys-
The piano, the computer, hair products, My Cuisinart (makes cooking so much easier!), my library card

The Gospelaires

Last week, when I was going through some of my things, I came across an old Gospelaires tape. The Gospelaires were an a capella singing group from my home church. Their sound was much like that of a barbershop quartet. Just beautiful! I grew up listening to this stuff all the time. I remember singing and dancing around the house to their music as a child. I only found one tape, the one called "Singing and Glorifying God". I just LOVE Southern Gospel music! I guess you guys know what I want for Christmas... Here is the link. :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

All Better Now

I am physically and emotionally worn out after Mary Alice's "minor" surgical procedure!!! We went in today to have Mary Alice's pin removed. They ended up deciding not to put her to sleep, but to try to remove the pin first, then sedate her if she needed it. Let's just say it was a nightmare!!! I'll describe it like this... Do you remember the feeling you got when you took your little baby in to get their shots? They were laughing and cooing one minute, looking up at you with total trust, when BAM! they were hit with a surprise. They looked up at you in disbelief as you held them down and allowed the doctors to hurt them!! Well, Mary Alice's surgery was like that times 10. So sad. So very very sad.

Mary Alice was laughing and joking with the doctors/nurses, being her usual charming self. Her pediatrician had told her that "it wouldn't hurt". We had told her that she was going to be put to sleep so that she couldn't feel a thing. (This is what we were told.) I am not sure exactly why the surgeon decided not to put her to sleep. I think he might have been trying to spare us the HUGE expense of the fees associated with an anesthesiologist, the OR, and other various things. Instead of putting her to sleep, they laid MA on her stomach, numbed her up with a shot in the foot, and proceeded to dig around in her foot for what seemed like forever. It was probably about 15-20 minutes or so, but it seemed like much longer than that!! It was horrible I tell you!!! Just horrible! Mary Alice screamed out (something that she never does) and cried for about the first five minutes. She continued crying and squeezing my hand for the rest of the time. In addition, she was calling out things like, "I don't like it!" "Make it stop!", "Momma!" and "I wanna go home!" At one point, the surgeon took a small break to take an x-ray of her foot. Through her sobbing, Mary Alice said, "I really..... wish..... I hadn't..... stepped on a pin!!!" She was crying so hard that she was gasping for breath. It was absolutely pitiful! I had to concentrate really really hard to not start crying myself. I mean it. It was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears. Poor girl.

He finally got the pin out. Mary Alice really wanted him to show it to her after he removed it. We saved it in a jar. She was starving because she hadn't eaten in almost 24 hours (because she was supposed to be put to sleep). Her dad told her that he would take her anywhere she wanted to go for dinner. Her request? Wendy's :)

Anyway, she's home and recovering. The doctor says that she should be fine in a day or two. Parents: If you can....Please don't leave any stray pins around the house. Removing a pin from the foot can be quite a feat!

Thank you for all of your prayers. Her infected foot is looking much better now.

On a more celebratory note: Happy birthday to my little brother Ben! He turned 14 today. We went bowling and out to eat tonight to celebrate. This is the person who was 3 when I left for college and 5 at our wedding. Now he has hair on his legs!!! He is growing up too fast! Happy birthday Ben! You are a nice one!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Boo Boos and Bloody Noses

UPDATE: Mary Alice is going under the knife today at 2:00. They are going to have to put her to sleep to remove this nasty pin. I'll type more later...

I think I've posted here before about our crazy adventures at the pediatrician's office. Today, we had another one of those days. It all started yesterday when Mary Alice came downstairs crying. She had been cleaning her room and had stepped on something. She claimed that it really hurt and that it felt like a spider had bitten her or something. It was bleeding, so I cleaned it off, polysporined it off, and put a band aid on, as I do with most boo boos. She cried more than usual, to which I replied, "Come on, girl. You're tough. It can't hurt that bad!" She stopped crying and went back upstairs to clean her room. A few hours later, she came downstairs with half a straight pin in hand saying, "Mom, I think this is what I stepped on." OUCH!! I felt pretty bad for acting like she should be "tough". I think I would cry if I'd stepped on a straight pin too!

This morning, she complained that her foot still hurt. She was walking with a slight limp. Her foot looked about the same as it had the day before, except for a darkened mark where the pin must have entered her foot. I called the doctor and asked if she could take a look at Mary Alice's foot. On the way to the doctor's office, Major started yelling loudly, clearly panicked. Mary Alice said, "Mom! Major's nose is bleeding all over the place!!!" I was driving down the highway at the time, unable to pull over.

Quickly I thought... "Mary Alice? Are there any napkins back there or anything, like a piece of material or a sock or something?"

"No mom. We're not wearing any socks."

While driving, I reached into the console to try to find anything that might be of use in stopping a bloody nose. Underneath dozens of CD's I found it! Deep in the bottom of the console, hidden beneath piles of CD's was a feminine product that I thought might work. I handed it to Mary Alice. She quickly unwrapped it and gave it to Major. He wrapped it around his face. It was hilarious!!! I wish I could have taken a picture. The product worked well, and just as the commercials promise, there were no leaks. Maybe it was the wings that did the trick? It was too funny!

Anyway, we got to the pediatrician's office. Of course, we didn't enter the building with Major's makeshift bloody nose stopper. When we went inside, Major told the doctor about how much he liked his "special Kleenex" because it was extra long and could wrap around his face so that the blood didn't get on his shirt!! Of course, I had to explain to her the situation. I guess I gave Dr. M yet another reason to think our family is weird.

On a side note: When driving down the road once with an unexpected vomiter, our quick thinking to grab a spare diaper saved our car from a nasty fate. So, if you ever find yourself in that situation, a diaper can prove to be quite useful.

Mary Alice saw the pediatrician. As you may have guessed, the doctor found that the other half of the pin was embedded in her foot. Dr. M came in, showed us the x-ray and told us that she was sending Mary Alice to a surgeon. At the mention of the word "surgeon", Mary Alice started to cry. We finally convinced her that it would all be okay. She is prepped and ready to be a "tough" girl at the surgeon's office. I'm taking her up there in a few minutes. Say a little prayer for us.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fun Purchase

I just bought the sweetest dress for Mary Alice's first day of school. I just LOVE this company!! Their clothing is A-DORABLE, but is usually priced too high for me to afford. Guess what??? I got this dress on super clearance. Just thought I would share in case you're in the mood to get something super cute at a fraction of the cost.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Slip Sliding Away

I want to apologize to my blog readers for my lack of posting lately. Though I have been diligent about checking my seemingly deserted blog for comments, I have not felt like posting. Things have been too busy around here. Last week, Josh and I decided to do something that we should have done long ago... We had a BUNCH of junk stored in a shed at my parents' farm. It had been there for about three years!!! We first put it there when we moved from our house in Garland to our apartment in Garland. The junk remained, rotting in the barn, as we moved to our house here. Now that we are going to be moving again soon, we decided it was high time to find a resting place for all of this stuff that we had in storage. I vaguely remember Josh trying to convince me to get rid of all of this stuff when we made our first move, three years ago. I also remember convincing him that we simply had to keep these "treasures".

Over the past three years, we had both forgotten exactly what we had stored away. I knew that Mary Alice's baby clothes were out there, but couldn't recall much else. Josh wanted me to dump the whole lot of it, citing that if we couldn't remember what was in the shed and hadn't used it in three years, we probably didn't need it. Instead of Josh's plan of disposal, I convinced him to let me have a garage sale! What was I thinking???

I had a garage sale....once. I was several months pregnant with Major. Needless to say, poor Josh ended up doing much of the work, lifting and carrying boxes, etc. He didn't want to go through that mess again. I should have listened to him. I explained how I would do the work this time and reasoned with him about how much more thrifty this was than to just get rid of the junk. This garage sale was quite an undertaking. I did manage to make $160 and get rid of almost all of our junk. However, in the process, our house was turned upside down, our laundry was left undone, our grocery supply ran out, everything was a mess!!!! A SUPER mess!!! I should have listened to Josh.

I worked for a whole week disposing of trash that once seemed so meaningful. A few wedding gifts, teacher stuff (My garage sale was a real find for a new teacher!!), toys, books, some baby items, every tape that I'd ever owned, a CD collection, every picture/video I'd ever taken. I had pictures I had taken as a child, books I had written as a child, tapes I had made as a child. I...had all.

I threw TONS of stuff away. I am very sentimental, so this was a hard thing for me to do. When I did it, though, I felt much better. I did feel a twinge of sadness as I threw away copies of some of my old Beatles tapes. I just might have to buy those again (in the CD version). I felt like I was throwing away pieces of my childhood. It was sad, but a good thing. I absolutely did not need to keep letters from people that I couldn't quite recall who they were. Nor did I need the many MANY pictures of myself from earlier times in my life, times that I'd just as soon forget. My goodness, I was dorky and so so skinny!!!

I did find a few special items in my search. I found tapes of myself at Mary Alice's age. I used to love to play with the tape recorder. I let Mary Alice listen to dear old mom at age 6 talking about my sixth birthday party and how upset I was at the "stinky" and "ugly" boys that had absolutely ruined my party by burping throughout the event. Mary Alice and Major thought it was pretty funny. I also found audio tapes of my sister Taylor, some of Tessa at age 2, a little of Hannah, and a tape of my brother Ben at age two. I kept those and plan to preserve them somehow. I also found my video scrapbook from college and realized just how much Josh and I have changed. We look like such little kids! Right now, Josh is converting all of our videos into DVDs for us. I am so glad. These are definitely items I want to keep. Of course, I pulled out all of Mary Alice's old baby clothes. I kept all of her clothes up to size 3T. I rewashed and reorganized them, moving them from the garbage bags that held them to much tidier Rubbermaid boxes. (We couldn't afford Rubbermaid boxes when Mary Alice was wearing those clothes, so garbage bags had to do.) Surprisingly, very little of her baby clothes were stained. I thoroughly cleaned them and refolded them. Of course, I thought of how cute she was when she wore them. Now all we need is another cute baby at our house to wear all of those sweet little outfits. :)

Let's see....I'm rambling a bit...We had the garage sale on Thursday. We sold almost all of our junk before noon. The kids had a lemonade and cookie stand. That was pretty cute. Major took little breaks to play with his golf set in the front yard. That boy loves golf! Anyway... The garage sale was way too much work for not enough money. I figured out that I really love having garage sales. I don't love the prep work, but the sale itself was really fun. I got to meet so many interesting people. It was fun to talk to different people and hear about their lives. Very interesting. As interesting as it was, though, Josh and I agreed to never have a garage sale at our house again. The good thing about this is that if you see something you like around our house, you can let us know. If and when we decide that it is time for it to go, we will give it to of charge. We will spare you the $.25 fee that we charged our garage sale patrons. :)

So the garage sale was a success! We got rid of our junk and made a small amount of money.

Also a part of our weekend fun was the annual slip-and-slide party that some friends from church hosted. When I first heard about this, I was thinking..."Slip-and-slide party? That sounds awfully painful!" I thought I would go, but would not participate. What I didn't know was that this slip-and-slide was not the kind that we had growing up, but more like an inflatable bounce house with a sprinkler attached to it. We had relay races with the guys. I am happy to say that I have not lost the speediness of my youth. :) It was quite fun, a little messy, a little muddy, but fun! I would totally recommend this idea for a super fun party. Kim, I was especially thinking that this would be something that your kids would enjoy. To the Smith family...Do you think Don and Evon's yard could hold this baby? It would be super fun for the family reunion!!! The people that had the party lived out in the country and had the adult slip-and slide and a pool and water slide for the kids. I don't think I've ever been to a better party. Here are some pictures...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bowling With The Cousins

Just a few pics of the kids.... They went bowling with their cousins last week.

In other news...The play is officially over!!!! Mary Alice had a good cry as they were tearing down the set. I think she is doing better now, but is still having withdrawals.

At the cast party, they gave out awards to each cast member, based on what they did best or what was the most memorable about them during the play, etc. These awards are usually silly. Sadly, Mary Alice received the "2nd In Command" award. We're working really hard on trying to help her to not be so concerned about the behavior of others, but to focus on her own behavior. As a rule follower, Mary Alice often feels the need to make sure others are being rule followers too. She wanted to tell everyone when they missed their lines, how they were supposed to stand, hold their flashlight, dance, etc.

I did feel sorry for her at one point during the play, as she was seated next to a hyperactive and rascally boy, who kept pulling her hair, tickling her, and making loud noises and comments during the play. You could see that Mary Alice was getting more and more frustrated with him. During one of the first performances, I was told that she turned around and pushed him and shook her finger at him. I was proud that by the last weekend of the play, she had mastered the art of ignoring him. Right now, Mary Alice is learning a lot about getting along with others, and controlling her urge to tell others what to do. We hope that she continues to get better and better at this. We'll see. We're hoping she does not get the "2nd in Command" award again. This is one award that we were not proud to see her receive.

Major hugging his good buddy Landon

A picture of Mary Alice from a few years ago. What a sweetie! I just couldn't resist posting this!