Thursday, April 30, 2009

What do YOU think?

Okay. Since I have shared my cake making snafus (as my dad would say) I thought that I would invite you along for the adventure of choosing a cake for Eli's upcoming birthday. Now, I really need feedback here. This will be a rocket themed party (his final answer after considering an alligator party, a race car party, a pirate party, and a tractor party).

Now...these are the questions I need you to consider.
1. Which of these cakes would I end up throwing across the room before it is all done?
2. Which cake caused Josh to give me the "yeah right" look?
3. Which cake would you look at (especially after I made it) and say "What the heck is that?"
4. How many attempts would each of these cakes take?
5. How in the world do you make these anyway?
6. How many trips to and from the Pig (30 minute drive) could I make that would equal the same amount of time it would take to make one of these?
7. Are any of these even that cute?

Okay, your turn to weigh in. Let me know what you think!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

True Beauty

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair.The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.


Written by the late educator-humorist Sam Levinson for his grandchild and read by Audrey Hepburn on Christmas Eve, 1992. It was also used by Ms. Hepburn on occasion when she was asked for beauty tips.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Maybe Next Time She'll Think...Before She Speaks

Seriously, I am referring to myself in 3rd person now. Too much time on Facebook y'all! But yes, I should have known better than to proudly proclaim that we have conquered the Montrose mice. What, do they read my blog now? No sooner had I posted my last blog than Eli comes to announce to me that there is in fact a dead mouse in the playroom. I told you it is the mecca of all widlife. Eli once spilled an entire package of sunflower seeds in his bedroom so there is no telling what the rodent community has been snacking on in the playroom. (And no, my children are not allowed to eat in the playroom or the bedroom!) Of course Josh was at school in Madison and there was no way I could just leave it there in the middle of the playroom with the kids. Couldn't you just hear me? "Now children do not touch my crystal vases or the dead mouse in the middle of the floor." Hello! So...I did it. I sucked it up. Screaming the entire time I used something to push it into a shoebox and then quadruple bagged it. I did it! All by myself! Screaming the whole time! Sarah kept saying, "Do you need me to do it? I can do it." Where does that child come from? :)

Throughout the day I had a nosebleed and a cold shower and I thought it just couldn't get any better. Never fear, there was more to come. Last night I was up late (with the kitchen light on, so no slugs) and there came our deaf mouse out from behind the entertainment center. It ran toward the speaker on the floor and turned around and ran back! Then it did it again...and again....and again!! I couldn't figure out if the Riddex only affected him in certain areas so he couldn't go any further or if he had gained so much weight through my wonderful hospitality that he couldn't fit past the speaker anymore! After I realized he might spend the rest of the night doing laps I went and got a glue trap and put it in his path. Sure enough...I caught a mouse!!!!! A live catch!!!!!!!!!!! Josh hadn't been asleep long so I didn't want to wake him up. However, I was not so brave with a live mouse as a dead one. I got another box and put it over him. Can you believe that? I also suffered quite a guilt trip and started wondering when I became so sympathetic to mice. This morning I sat straight up in bed and said "There's a mouse under a box in the living room!" Don't you know Josh loves waking up next to me? :)

Could my life be any more exciting? I have prayed to grow in my hospitality and I've prayed to be open to showing kindness to strangers. I personally believe that God knows the motives of our hearts, but clearly these are prayers I need to spell out! People, Lord! I want to be more hospitible and welcoming to PEOPLE!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Things that make you go hmm.....

Most of the time in my life I can recognize a theme. I've had highway patrol week, Montrose Mousecapades, Domestic Diva weeks, and a whole list of other "themes". You know what I mean? When all things in your life seem to point to one thing?

Well, these last few weeks have so not been that way. In fact they may be the most random weeks of my life. You see, I like to research. Not in a professional, academic, serves any purpose way. Just in a curious about things and want to google them kind of way. Warning: this blog will not teach, motivate, or encourage you in any meaningful way. It's just Sunday night, I'm high on Sudafed, and I feel the need to document my bizzare research subjects.

* Cherokee Indians
*Modesty (those two are in no way related, but I will say the Cherokees were NOT very modest!)
*Cooking Light
*How to make homemade laundry detergent (haven't attempted it yet but I have all the supplies and I am betting that its production will deserve a blog)
*Children's Birthday parties

In case you are wondering about the slugs you can rest assured that there is a story behind that. For those who have just tuned in you are not aware that our house is refuge for misplaced wild animals. Or a prisoner of war camp. You can check that out here and here. Anyway, thanks to the miracle invention Riddex we thought we had rid ourselves of our little friends. For the most part we have. The Riddex plugs into the wall and sends out sound waves that are supposed to send the mice fleeing. Every now and then we'll see one and I figure it must be deaf. Poor thing. Okay, back to the slugs. So, I go in our kitchen the other night and there is this HUGE thing on the floor. I screamed. (That is my role in a situation like this). Josh came running. I said "Is it a mouse with no legs?" Yes, it was that big, and yes I really did ask that. We realized it was a slug and Josh handled disposal. The next night I went into the kitchen and there were 5!!!!!!!!!!! That is when I began my research. Let me share what I learned with you so that you too can be enlightened. For the record, I could have gone the rest of my life without learning these things. :)

1. Slugs like dark places. They only come out when it's dark. Yes, we now leave our kitchen light on all night!
2. Slugs have both boy and girl parts. Not sure why I'm sharing that except that I just want you to be informed and I am sure no one else is blogging on this serious subject. :)
3.If you poor salt on a slug it will start oozing yellow stuff and die. NOTE: Do this outside!!
4. Slugs are attracted to beer.

Okay. Let me just say that these poor slugs have picked the WRONG refuge coming up in the baptist preachers house looking for some beer!! The only thing I can figure is that maybe there are some old juice cups in the playroom and our playroom is in fact the mecca for all slugs. They just can't make it there. And you may think I am cruel for the salt killing. For the record, I just knew that when it started oozing stuff that it was going to turn into a gremlin and start multipyling. It didn't. But, some men from the church have planted a garden in the field behind our house and in addition to their beer they also like to destroy crops. So, they had to go.

I really hope this has been valuable for you. If you need to know anything about indians or laundry detergent just ask! And now I'm curious....what interests you? What have you been researching lately?

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Divinely Ordained Wait...

Waiting comes as naturally to me as breathing under water. Sometimes I feel that I have come such a long way in the area of patience, and then at other times I realize my progress is as slow as one of those turtles who gets to the middle of the road and has to hang out there because there are too many cars coming. Two weeks ago I had taken the kids to see the Easter bunny and when we got home Josh was upset. I can count on one hand the times I've seen him really upset or worried (as opposed to my quadruple weekly breakdowns). He had just found out that he had been laid off from his job with hospice. His job that provides our insurance and half of our income. I have to admit that it came as a shock to us. We knew that the numbers had been down at his office, but we didn't realize layoffs were coming.

I will be honest in saying that we are not sure what this means for us. We've been told that they are working on getting the numbers back up and he may have his job back in a few weeks. There is no guarantee in that and honestly we're just praying to know God's plan in all of it. I will not pretend that I have not had moments of stress or asking why. I'll be honest and tell you that it hurt my feelings a little bit because I feel like Josh and I have tried to be obedient in the things God has called us to do. On my way home that day I had actually started thinking about how confident I was in God leading me to quit my job to be at home. This situation brings up all kinds of questions. But let me tell you what I know. God is faithful. Let me tell you how I know this. Experience.

God's Word tells us He is faithful. In our hymns we sing "Great is thy Faithfulness". But I KNOW God is faithful because He has shown Himself faithful in our life. Some of you have been reading my blog since I started it in 2006. Can you believe I've been blogging that long? A lot of life sure has happened in those years! Anyway, I looked back in the archives and found my very first blog. It was written about this time of year in 2006. God had just called us to Mississippi but we had no jobs, no church. Seems to be a pattern! I wanted to share that blog with you and hope that just as that time began an amazing journey fashioned by God, that you will be joining us now as God is "doing a new thing". (Isaiah 43:18) I would also like to take this time to humbly and submissively remind Josh that he did pray for God to do a new thing this year! :)

May 27, 2006

"Remember, God purposes every second of a divinely ordained wait to build us into the individuals our future demands we be. One most peculiar and exquisite experience of the faith is realizing that while you haven't seen answers or the way you should take, you have learned how to see the light of God Himself. Right there in the blindness of your circumstance."

My friend Karen shared this quote with me from a Beth Moore study she is doing right now. It is very encouraging to me as I am in a definite waiting period. Right now Josh and I feel God leading us to Meridian and we feel we are supposed to go in August but neither of us have jobs, we can't really look for a place to live until we have jobs, and I have to get licensed in Mississippi and actually finish my degree before I can get a job. So, this is the biggest leap of faith I've ever taken. Josh and I have coined a new term- "peacefully stressed". Although I feel completely overwhelmed by the lack of concrete answers I've also never had such a peace about anything. I know that through the lack of mine and Josh's plans we will get to see God's plan in a way we never have before. I just pray that I will be faithful in seeing Him all the way.
I've claimed this verse:

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:8-10

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Our Honeymoon: The Grand Finale!!

I know that you have probably lost sleep waiting for the final chapter of this mini-series. :) I have recently been attempting to create a sense of order and a schedule in my home and actually be productive everyday. Turns out, I don't have too much computer time when I actually do all of the things I'm supposed to do everyday!

On the last full day of our trip we went to Dollywood. I have to admit that I had a great sense of anxiety about that outing. I had not been to an amusement park since I had started repopulating the earth and I was scared. Despite the fact that there was a time when I could ride every ride imaginable I now get sick on the merry go round and the swings at the park! But I sucked it up and we headed out.

Dollywood is absolutely beautiful and the people working there were so nice. I had to post this pic because I just love how the birds are looking at each other like "Who's the crazy lady?" Josh was ready to hit the roller coasters first thing and I decided that was probably best since I had not eaten yet. But speaking of eating I had to get a picture of this on the way in. Don't you just love the south? There's not anything we won't fry!!

We first went on ride that took us up really high, spun us around and then leaned really far to each side. I survived and it was actually pretty fun. The next ride was the Mystery Mine and let me tell you, if part of that roller coaster had not been a mystery Josh would have never gotten me on it! At one point there is a straight 90 degree drop!!!!!!!!!!!!! For some reason I was the only person screaming. Of course, I screamed at the first little dip too. I'm pretty sure the people on that ride spent the rest of the day avoiding being on the same ride as me. We also rode the Tennesse Tornado and I actually loved it! For some reason I cannot handle straight drops but I love looping upside down. Go figure. Somehow I handled the rides better than the swings at the park. We also went on a white water rafting ride. We got soaked. When we were getting off the attendant said "Congratulations to the newlyweds!" I thought it was very sweet he thought we were newlyweds seeing as how we've been married almost 8 years and have 3 kids. We've been through a lot in those 8 years too and I'm glad we still seemed like newlyweds!

Josh was really excited about a ride called The Sidewinder. Think Cool Runnings with water. We were going on a bobsled. First, let me tell you we walked about 85 miles uphill to get to this thing. And did I mention that I insisted on wearing my cute sandals instead of sensible tennis shoes? When we got to the top of the hill I thought I was going to have to call an ambulance as I was wheezing and gasping for breath. It didn't seem to phase anybody else. How embarrassing. Then, we had to get weighed. I assured everyone that I had lost at least 10 pounds coming up that hill. Ten pounds or a lung, I wasn't sure. Anyway, when it was time to get in I had to sit in between Josh's leg and then some lady I had never met had to sit in between mine. I wanted to inform her that I have never been introduced to anyone in that position unless I had just given birth to them. I didn't have time. When we took off I was convinced we were going to go flying through the mountains never to be seen again. Luckily, we stayed the course, but we for real got soaking wet that time. I had on jeans and let me tell you, that is a bad feeling!

So, Josh and I headed out to find this dryer we had seen earlier. We had laughed about people paying $3 to use it, but there we were, wet and miserable and looking for the dryer. It was about the most wasted $3 because it really did not dry our clothes. I personally felt like I was being assaulted in the face with a hair dryer. I wanted to ask someone to take our picture inside of it, but I knew that even Josh has his limits and I might not have a ride back to the cabin.

There is a chapel at Dollywood and I had just had to share a picture of this "window". Instead of stained glass they have framed quilts. Isn't it beautiful? One of my goals for the year is to learn to sew, but really if I can make a pillow or some curtains I will be happy. I really hope that somewhere people are learning how to do stuff like this to keep passing down the tradition. What a gift!

I also had to take a picture of this scene. Just so you know I plan to have a front porch like this one day and you can all come sit a spell and have a glass of sweet tea!

This is the restaurant where we ate lunch. We got cheeseburgers and chili cheese fries and they were heavenly! In case you haven't noticed from my other posts, I LOVE to eat. And those were the best chili cheese fries ever! While we were eating I knocked my cup of chili off the table (you can't take me anywhere!) and I know I should have been very embarrassed but I really just wanted to cry because that chili was so good! The last time we went on vacation (Sept. 2004) we went to eat at the Sundial in Atlanta. It's a restaurant that spins so you get a view of the whole city. During that meal my glass of water just slipped right out of my hand. Luckily we just rotated right past it!! (Now you know why we don't go out much. :) I know you are envisioning bad things to come with me eating chili cheese fries at an amusement park, but all was well. :)

I desperately wanted to drive a pink cadillac and I will not even tell you how long I stood in line with 4 and 5 year olds who were waiting for their chance to drive. I didn't get the pink caddy, but I thought this car was pretty cute too. It played "Chapel of Love" the entire ride and that made it all worth it for me!
We had a great day acting like kids, taking in the sights, and enjoying the best chili cheese fries ever. We can't wait to go back and take the kids!
Speaking of them we spent our last night there searching for the perfect surprises to bring back.

Kate got a little lion that looks like Eli's lion USED to look. :)

Eli got a gun. What can I say? He's a boy and he likes to shoot things.

Sarah loves horses so we had to get this for her. Let me introduce you to the newest member of our family. Sarah named her Ginger Beth Fidler. :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our Honeymoon Part 2: A Wonder Full Day!!

I stayed up way too late the first night we were there. You see, we don't have cable at our house and I really am fine with that. But when I go somewhere that has cable I am just completely overwhelmed by all of the shows to watch (most aren't worth watching), but what I am saying here is that I became mesmerized and stayed up too late watching TV. :)

The next morning I slept in and Josh hung out in the hottub and played pool. I finally got up and got around to getting ready and it was then that I realized I could not find my hair straightner. Josh looked everywhere for me and when we accepted that I had forgotten it he solemnly asked, "Are you going to be okay?" LOL! I love it! Only my man would understand what a serious, emotionally distressing situation this was. Of course, he is the one who has to look at me when my hair is not fixed. That's why he understands! I assured him that I would be fine. I set about trying to blow dry my hair straight with a round bush. It took hours (it felt like) and I alternately dropped the hair dryer or the brush quite a few times. That is why you will notice that my hair is in a ponytail the rest of the day!

We had lunch at Tony Roma's and that may have been my favorite moment of the trip. It was so nice and peaceful and we were actually able to have a conversation! It was really a moment that I felt like we were just Josh and Emily and not the preacher and the preacher's wife or Sarah, Eli, and Kate's parents. Not that I don't enjoy those titles. But it was nice to just be us for awhile. :)

After that we headed over to WonderWorks. It's a museum with lots of cool
interactive activities. As you can see, it is a house turned upside down so we felt very at home. :) It was a cloudy, drizzly day and it was pretty crowded too. One of the exhibits demonstrated hurricane winds and you stand in a room that blows a huge fan on you. I have to say I wasn't that impressed. You may remember from one of my previous blogs that our family has a thing with fans. I told Josh that the fan in our bedroom felt an awful lot like that hurricane!

I had to take a picture of Josh taking this quiz that asks "Are you a Risk-Taker?" because at one point he was bound and determined that we were going SKY DIVING on our trip. Can you believe that? I am all about supporting my husband in all ways, but really, I was a little concerned I was going to need a stunt double for my honeymoon! Believe it or not the quiz said that he is only a moderate risk-taker. I don't even want to know what you have to do to be an extreme risk-taker!

According to this Josh has a much better reaction time than me, but I don't know....

...I have been known to leap across a room in perfect time to catch a pacifier before it hits the ground!

Look at that form! Josh was disappointed with his pitching speed and felt that the machine was wrong. I also felt it must have been broken since it said that I only threw 26 mph. :)

I have also mentioned in previous blogs my struggle with fashion. I have to say that I think I am on to something here. I call this...Space Chic!! I read something that said I would only weigh like 10 pounds on the moon so....I am preparing to move!

After WonderWorks we rode around checking stuff out. There was so much to see! I really wanted an old time picture and luckily there were several places ready to fulfill my dream. :) The clothes that we wore actually just tied on over our street clothes and I've decided I'm going to create a line of clothes made like that for stay at home moms. That way, on laundry day when you're in you pj's at 11:00 and somebody just happens to stop by, you can just tie on an outfit! Those will probably catch on like my space chic. :) Anyway, I finally got my old time picture. Josh is such a trooper. The things that boy has done for me! The photographer made him be serious and I just am not using to seeing Josh without a smile! It also looks like I am about to whop him upside the head with that umbrella! I promise I wasn't. If anything Josh probably wanted to whop me for making him do this!

After that little adventure we spent the rest of the day strolling around checking out the stores. We had a great supper and then went to rent some movies and do some grocery shopping. I love vacation grocery shopping! We got: cereal, milk, diet cherry cokes, peanut m&m's, chocolate covered cranberries, and popcorn. I really don't know what to do going to the store and not buying a pack of pull-ups or capri suns!

We went back to the cabin and watched Marley and Me and pigged out on junk. Now you know how boring I am because that is pretty much my dream night. It was the perfect ending to a pretty perfect day!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our Honeymoon Part 1: Natural Disasters and a Dixie Stampede

I am finally getting around to posting this blog, mostly because after the last few weeks I am beginning to think that our vacation was just a dream and I am afraid I will forget it all if I don't document! (Remember I was a social worker; you always document, document, document!!)

We started our vacation in Panama City. We stayed with my parents for the weekend and spent Saturday on storm watch as all kinds of crazy natural disasters hit the country. I do apologize that I did not send out fair warning to let everyone know that we were attempting to take vacation and of course floods, hurricanes, volcanoes and tornadoes were sure to strike. Finally, the skies cleared and we took my parents out for their anniversary. Then on Sunday it was beautiful! Josh preached at our home church and that afternoon Sarah's dreams came true when she got to go to the park with ALL of her Florida grandmas.

Josh and I left out EARLY Monday morning. I'm talking 4:00 am which is usually late to me because I'm the type to stay up that late rather than get up that early! But Josh was ready for a vacation! As we were getting ready to leave I kept seeing the kids things and thinking that I better not forget them and then it would hit me that we were leaving them. I prayed really hard that God would help me enjoy the time with Josh and I knew that they were going to have a blast while we were gone. You know you're a mom when you get excited that you can stop to go to the bathroom without changing a diaper and having to take a car full of people with you!

The trip was long, but pretty. It was also QUIET. People kept telling me and Josh that we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves and it was true. It's funny how we always have so much to say when their are little people constantly interrupting us, but with just the two of us we had a lot of quiet time. I think we mentally went into shock. :) I usually enjoy road trips, especially if I have time to just hang out and think, but I was sooo ready to be there! It was well worth the wait!

My pictures couldn't do our cabin justice. You can check it out at Our cabin's name was A Walk in the Clouds. I share that link so that if you are like me and your brain needs mini-vacations sometimes you can check it out. It makes me happy just to see it online. :) Also, isn't it wonderful to walk into a kitchen and the first thing you see is a restaurant guide? That made me happy too. :) Josh picked that cabin because after seeing the pictures he thought it was decorated the way I would decorate it. That made me feel special. I have to say that despite the last couple of weeks full of stomach viruses, head injuries, and dentist visits I am starting to feel all giddy again just talking about our trip! :)

That night we had reservations for Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. Yee Haw! I had been to one when I was younger and was excited to go again. Let's face it, these days it just doesn't take much to excite me. Anything out of our little routine that gets me out of cooking is exciting to me! Unfortunately, I had not packed well. People kept talking about how cool it would be in the mountains, but I stayed in denial convinced I would be wearing my cute sundresses everyday. WRONG! It was cold!! Anyway, we went to pick up our tickets and the lady asked Josh which side our reservations were for, the north or the south. As soon as she asked that I remembered the way that the show was set up and that you are on either the south's side or the north's side, you know like in the civil war. Josh did not know this when he made our reservation and we ended up on the north side. During the show I informed him that we had ancestors rolling over in their graves as we cheered on the yankees! But, we also felt at home because in Mississippi everybody thinks we talk like yankees!

Before the show there was a pre-show that took place in a big saloon. We had bought these nifty souvenier cups. (Sorry the pic is blurry. My camera has a mind of its own and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.) There was a group that played blue grass music. I have to admit that I am not personally a huge blue grass fan, but they were really good. At one point they started playing hymns and people started singing "Amazing Grace". I looked around and realized I was singing "Amazing Grace" in a saloon drinking diet coke out of a boot. Only in the south, right? When they were done I wondered if I should raise my boot and say "Amen!" But I didn't. :)

The show was a lot of fun and we ate a LOT of food. Personally I would have been content with a gallon of the soup and cheese biscuits, but you also get a baked potato, a WHOLE rotisserie chicken, corn on the cob, pork loin, and an apple tart! And can I just say that I hadn't had any carbs for 3 weeks and when they brought that apple tart I about jumped over the table to get to it! Our honeymoon was definitely off to a good start!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Watch Out!! The Tigers Are in a Mood!!

This day just was not what I expected. Sarah had a dentist appointment and luckily (yes, so *lucky*) they were able to work me in too. When I was little I had sealants put on my teeth that were supposed to prevent cavities, but now we find out that actually you can still get cavities, but you don't know it until years later when the sealants wear off and the cavities are really bad. Yay! Long story short, I had to get 5 fillings and LUCKILY someone cancelled their appointment this afternoon so I am waiting to go back and get 6 more filled. Aren't you just jealous of my luck? So, instead of doing a load of laundry or something productive, I decided to blog and dribble my milkshake all over me and the computer. :)

I thought I would share some new pics from the latest t-ball game (also known as our only social outing of the week). The first game was on a Sat. morning, but from now on they will be on Friday nights at 6:00 or 7:00. I quickly discovered early morning was a better time for our little tigers. They sure were grumpy by 6:00 Friday night! There was a lot of crying, fit throwing and sitting down in the field going on. They must have felt the way I do today!! I looked at one point and two of our guys were off the field standing around eating some chips. Another one was in the bathroom. I have to say that t-ball is the most active sport I've ever played. Yes, I said I. I hope you can see in the pictures that it truly takes a village to get 3 and 4 year olds to play ball and you know when they ask me to coach 3rd base they are desperate! I literally had to run to 1st base and get some of the kids and run them around the bases! Speaking of first base, there is Eli at his new position on 1st. Either he doesn't want his picture taken, or he doesn't want to see how out of hand all of this has gotten!

Please don't ask what is going on in this first picture, I still don't know! But do you see the dad and the grandma consoling the outfielder? I love it! Nothing brings families together like fussy t-ball players! The little girl from the other team does not seem impressed at all with Eli's catcher pose. And yes, there is one of our players sitting in the outfield while the other team runs the bases!

I don't know if I've told you, but t-ball has become the greatest stress relief and laughter invoking time of the week for me. It's exhausting. But it's FUN!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Having My Cake (And a Piece of Humble Pie, Too!!)

I will start this by saying that this blog will serve as an example of how I do "the best that I can" but it ain't always pretty. I have never been what you would consider the domesticated type. I consider a frozen pizza a homecooked meal because I have to put it in the oven. Well, the last couple of years I have felt inspired to think outside of the pizza box and I've decided that I should attempt some cake decorating. My friend Kim (you can check out her blog at makes some totally cool birthday cakes for her kids and I decided that I should give it a try! Well, for Eli's 2nd birthday I made a "Dump Truck" cake. It was chocolate with chocolate icing I made out of pudding and cool whip. I sprinkled crushed oreos on it to look like dirt and put some construction trucks on top of it. I was SO proud! I took a picture of it to work and the first person I showed it to laughed out loud! She said "That looks like something I would make!" She did not mean that in a nice way either. It quickly humbled me and I realized that my cake decorating did not inspire the same awe that Kim's did. Needless to say, I have not attempted to show off my skills for anymore birthdays.

Well, a few weeks ago at my mom's I was looking through some of her magazines and I came across this cake. Isn't it beautiful? Looking at it I realized that it was almond slices and chocolate chips and that crazy Martha Stewart wannabe voice came back and said "You can do that!" (I guess that voices in my head should be the first clue that this wouldn't go well.)

I didn't even dare try to make the cake from scratch. This attempt would be for decorating purposes only. So, I bought a box cake and decided it couldn't be too hard. I made sure to spray the pans. Do you know that scene from Christmas Vacation when they go sledding and use Clark's new, special lubricant stuff? Yea, I sprayed those pans GOOD. There would be no sticking. In fact, I may call this my PAMcake. Despite my excessive use of PAM, my cake did stick. This is how it looked.

As my friend Karen says, frosting covers a multitude of sins (that is so how I feel about my make-up!) and let me tell you, I was wondering if there was enough frosting in the state of Mississippi to fix this PAMcake that was turning into a crumb cake! This is the final result and I thought it looked a lot better until I posted that pic from the magazine!

It may not have been the best looking cake, but it seemed to be a big hit with the kids and the neighborhood dogs! That's Sarah, Eli, and our friend Elam having a cake picnic on the trampoline. They are surrounded by our neighborhood dogs who seem eager for a piece. Of course, they also eat our garbage, but I won't think about that!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Me and my baby chicks!

Happy Baby Kate

Handsome Little Man Eli

My Sweet Little Lady Sarah Beth

Greetings From Sarah Beth, Eli and the Easter Bunny.
Kate would have no part in this!!

She Did the Best She Could...

In case I haven't mentioned it, we live across the street from the cemetary. What can I say? It is one of the perks of being the preacher's family and living in the pastorium. It seems to weird some people out, but I have to tell you they haven't bothered us one bit! I guess we can blame the fear everyone has of dead people on those trashy horror movies, but really, I have found that it is the living people we always seem to have trouble with. Have you noticed that? You never hear about a dead person holding up a gas station or causing a school shooting do you? Just a thought.

So, we are fine with our neighbors. In fact, I don't even have blinds on our dining room window that faces the cemetary. As we dine and enjoy each other's company we overlook the cemetary. The honest truth is that I just don't think about it that much. One day a grave digging crew was over there and they were blasting some rap music. It was at that point that I told Josh I was going to give him a playlist of music I want the grave diggers to play when it's my turn. Not that I will be there or know anything about it, but if the whole neighborhood is going to have to listen to it I want it to be something I would approve of!

Well, I have seriously gotten off subject ( I know you are wondering what my subject was in the first place!), so I will tell you why I am discussing graves. Today is Good Friday. It is the day that Christians remember Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross. It is always a hard day for me. There is so much excitement around the resurrection Sunday (as there should be!), but sometimes I feel that this day gets overlooked. I think about the cemetary for two reasons today. One, today was the day my Savior died and didn't even have a tomb to be buried in. And two, I am reminded of one of the headstones my mother in law discovered while touring the Montrose cemetary. It was an old headstone of a woman that said, "SHE DID THE BEST SHE COULD". We had a good laugh about it. Especially after we figured out she was a preacher's wife! We joked that the it should have also included "WITH WHAT SHE HAD TO WORK WITH". How I can relate. I spend so many days feeling like I've done the best I can and it is still so far from the best that was needed.

I don't know if you have gathered this from me, but I am pretty hard on myself. I expect a lot. When I was working I did not understand why I couldn't spend quality time with all 40 of my patients, have my paperwork done perfectly, keep my house immaculate, throw lavish dinner parties, train my children in the way they should go, and give my husband my full attention when we finally had a moment of peace together. Now that I'm at home I still can't keep my house immaculate, I feel totally intimidated by other homeschooling parents who have rigorous schedules and impressive projects, and I still don't make time to minister to our church members the way I should. Those are just all of my physical shortcomings. When you add my laziness, short temper, critical spirit, and a whole host of other sins I fight with constantly, it is so easy to feel like I'm really not even doing the best I can. I know I constantly wonder, 'When will I be good enough?'

Can I share something with you? I won't be. Not on this earth. I wish desperately that I could head over to that graveyard right this second and dig a hole to bury all of my faults, sins, and problems. Then I could proudly display a sign that said "NOW SHE'S GOT IT ALL TOGETHER!" Of course, I can't do that. At least not physically. But spiritually, I already have. You see, if we are believers who have accepted Jesus into our hearts we have to understand that is what our baptism represented. That is what this day represents.

Josh was working on a sermon a few weeks ago and asked me what I thought it meant when Jesus said "It is finished!"
(John 19:30). John McArthur notes in his study Bible that "The single Greek word here (translated "it is finished") has been found in the papyri being placed on receipts for taxes meaning "paid in full" (see Colossians 3:13-14)". PAID IN FULL. I have to tell you that this girl with student loan debt would literally jump and do cartwheels if I received a letter saying that debt was PAID IN FULL!!!!!!! Can you imagine? But that is exactly what Jesus did for us spiritually. He paid the debt that our sin created.

We celebrate life in our society. Well, I hope that we still do. In any case, very rarely do you see someone celebrate death. It is scary, painful, unknown. But today, I celebrate this death. This death that gave us life. I stand in awe of the love my savior had for me that He would die on a cross, so that my sins would die with him. You see, He knew that no matter how much I did the best that I could that it would never be good enough. When He said "It is finished!" what it meant to me is that my struggle is finished. My victory is won. I am no longer a slave to my sin. I am no longer a victim of death. In Christ I live!!!!

"Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been unified together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 6:4-11

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

These are the Days of our Life....

Well...I am still intending to let you know all about our trip, but first I decided to write an update for those of you who heard about our weekend. After my last blog I stayed up late making egg salad sandwiches for the lunch we were having at church on Sunday. I was so proud, I even made them fancy using one of my Pampered Chef gadgets. But, it turns out I should have just gone to bed early that night! Josh got up sick and informed me he couldn't go to church. Now let me tell you, when Josh says he is too sick to go to church he is sick!! We have been here almost 3 years and he has NEVER missed a service because he was sick. It worked out well that the choir was doing the Easter cantata and so he wasn't preaching anyway.

Josh went back to bed and me and the kids quarintined ourselves in the house. I was pretty sure nobody would want the "Fancy Stomach Virus Egg Salad Sandwiches" so I didn't send them. Sarah had a mini meltdown that we were not going to church because 1. Sarah cannot stand for people to be at the church and her not be there even if it is someone cleaning the bathrooms and 2. She had not seen her friends for *gasp* a whole week since we had been out of town. I am so thankful that my kids love church so much (it is very helpful since we are the preacher's family), but I really could have done without the fit throwing that morning.

I was planning to make the most of our quarintine and get caught up on laundry and housework. Okay, we all know I never caught up, but at least maybe I could make a dent. But, that was not meant to be either. Speaking of dents, as I started folding laundry Sarah picked Kate up and was carrying her across the living room when they both fell and Kate made a dent in her head on a sharp corner of one of our speaker things that I'm not really sure what it does. Anyway, when I picked Kate up she was bleeding so bad I couldn't tell where it was coming from! As soon as I cleaned her off and looked at the cut I was pretty sure she needed stitches. I wanted to go running over to the church and get the nutty nurse but I decided I needed to be a big girl and handle it myself. I called the After Hours clinic and they said they could do stitches there if she needed them. I seriously don't know how that place stayed in business before we moved here. They have built a very nice, new office since we've been here. :)

I felt bad leaving Sarah and Eli with Josh who couldn't even get out of bed but I knew there was no way I could handle all three of them at the doctors. I put in a movie for them and headed out with Kate. Can I just mention here that I had gone to sleep with my hair wet the night before and I was looking like some kind of a mess. It takes a good 4 hours to straigten my hair (a slight exaggeration) so I just put one of those big headbands on and put the rest of my hair in a ponytail. I looked like Aunt Jemima. However, that was the least of my concerns.

We sat at the After Hours Clinic for 45 minutes before the nurse practictioner informed me that she thought I should take Kate to the ER. I am thankful that she didn't try to do something she didn't feel like she could, but I was really wishing she could have told me that like 42 minutes earlier.

We headed to the ER and waited another hour or so there. Kate was not fussy at all, she was just bored. She made several escape attempts out of the waiting room and it seemed to entertain everyone greatly to watch me chase after her. When we were registering the lady asked if she were admitted if we would want the pastors to come visit. Before I could answer Kate said "NOOOO". Now, that is Kate's favorite and most used word right now, but it was pretty funny.

We finally got to back and do some more waiting. We checked everything out, we danced in circles, we spun in the dr.'s chair. At one point I got one of the latex gloves and was making a balloon out of it. Kate was entertained for a second. Then, it was like she saw that I was entertaining myself and distracted and she tried to escape. She's a tricky one, that one.

Finally the dr. came in and he had told us he would use glue instead of stitches and I was SOOOO relieved. It took 3 people to hold Kate down while he did the glue. I was just thankful I didn't have to be one of the three because I have had to hold Sarah down for medical things in the past and it is TORTURE!!!

So, that is the drama that was our weekend. I told everybody, when we come back to reality we really come back! Hope your weekend was less eventful and more fun!

Kate with her owie eating one of those egg salad sandwiches. :)

Kate's Owie :(

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Me and my little baseball player!

Are they cute or what?

Okay, so probably you didn't even notice I was gone. But Josh and I finally got our honeymoon this last week, almost 8 years and 3 kids later! It was FABULOUS! I am planning to write all about it in an epic mini-series of blogs. I have so much to say and so few people who will even care! :) But...I'm tired. Josh and I drove 12 hours Thursday from Pigeon Forge, TN to Panama City to get the kids. Then we drove 6 hours home Friday. We got home just in time to pick up t-ball uniforms and meet parents at a gas station in Louin to hand them out. That night we had to drive another hour (there and back) to find Eli cleats because we had had no luck up to that point. Luckily we got the last pair in his size!! As I was getting out of the bath tub later Sarah threw open the bathroom door and scared the mess out of me! She was projectile vomiting. At least she made it into the bathroom. This morning we were up bright and early to be at the ball field for Eli's first game. I will leave you with some pics from the game. Enjoy!

The lion wanted to go to the ballgame. :)