Wednesday, July 30, 2008

All about MJ......

~ MJ, William, Joseph and my baby girl Presley (the crying one..i told you she was born with that cry!!)~

~MJ, Presley and baby Ashley~

This post is dedicated to my second mother....Mommy Jane, who also happens to be my mother-in-law. Today was a fabulous day!! Mommy Jane offered to spend the day with us and take the kids shopping for new school clothes, and of course i happily obliged. After finding great bargains at Osh Kosh, Carter's and Gap Kids, we settled down for a quaint lunch at our most beloved little watering hole....CHILI'S!!

As if all of this were not enough, after we finished lunch she took us to Party City to get Joseph's birthday party decorations and goody bags! He chose a Star Wars theme, which came as no surprise. He is a HUGE fan of all things Star Wars, and i do mean ALL things!

Upon leaving Party City, Jane spots a kids hair cuttery, and she casually mentions, "would you like to get Joseph's hair cut before school starts next week?" Would I, Would I, YES!! That very thing was on my grossly overgrown, and ever growing list of things to do before the first day of school next Tuesday, which if i may add is also Joseph's 7th birthday!! Like the first day of school isn't enough without having to add the incredible responsibility of preparing for his grand arrival home ready to celebrate his big day and his first day of school! Would I like his hair cut?? I wanted to jump on top of her and plant a big kiss on her forehead. It's like she had secretly peeked at my to-do list and sweetly checked everything off in one afternoon!

I am delighted to report that the haircut turned out fantastic..not in a "fantastic Sam's" sort of way, but in a fantastic "not too much cut" sort of way! Y'all all know how particular i am about Joseph and his haircuts. He has had one too many butcher jobs for me not to be!!

We were exhausted on the way home and all i needed was a shot of caffeine to get me moving for my next agenda...Joseph's parent orientation at his school. As we arrived at her house, we transferred the newly purchased clothes and party supplies to my car and went on our merry way. And as if she hadn't already been kind enough, she had a cold diet coke in the fridge to hand to me for my drive home!! Now that's LOVE!! Just the bolt of caffeine i needed to survive the next 5 hours!

In short, Mommy Jane was everything that I needed today and then some. My gratefulness and thankfulness is beyond my limited imagination to express. So, I will just say that I love you, and you are an angel sent straight from heaven to me in so many ways. You seem to always fill our needs by your sheer thoughtfulness and generosity before we even realized we had a need at all!

~overflowing with gratitude,


Monday, July 28, 2008

Farewell to the beach........

~Presley and her Daddy havin' a little fun~ ~Joseph and Daddy posing for me~
~Daddy and his princess~

~Jason, Andrea, Graham, and Ashley~
~Graham was way tooooo cool for the beach!~
~Mommy Jane, Joseph and Presley~
~I love this picture!! Just may be in your Christmas card this year!~

~William and Joseph breaking it down!~ ~ This was the cramped conditions my poor children were in coming down in Lem's truck!~

~The heavenly sunrise our first morning~

~The youngest beach bums, Danny and Ashley!!~

The Hill family made our last and final farewell trip to the beach this weekend, and although it was rather short, it was really sweet! We headed out on Friday afternoon, yes Friday, which made for only one day on the beach. Choosing to ride down in Lem's company truck made for a very cramped, yet economical ride! I couldn't help but laugh when i looked back at the kids as they had mountains of luggage and clothes in between them. They couldn't even see each other because of the junk we had sandwiched between them...which was probably a good thing. It actually made for a peaceful ride down.

When we arrived, we had dinner at Jason and Andrea's beach house. Jason is Lem's brother, and Andrea his wife. They have two gorgeous children, Graham, and Ashley. Also there was Lem's twin sister Jessica and husband Rob, and their beautiful boys, William and Danny. Last but certainly not least, the woman who made all of this happen in such short notice...the great, the wonderful, fantastic...........Mommy Jane!!! (Lem's Mom) :)

Jane had so graciously arranged for us to stay at the King and Prince for the weekend, and how grateful we were!! I had truly forgotten how NICE it is to stay on the beach!! Wow!! So with that said, after dinner our family, and Jessica's family headed to the King and Prince for the night.

I rose early the next morning to see the sun rise on the beach...which, by the way, is my absolute favorite sight in the world!! Presley of course, woke up with me to have breakfast on the balcony. As the world lay perfectly still, or at least it seemed that way, we watched a breathtaking sunrise right before our very eyes. My spirit was full of gratefulness and thankfulness as i sat there and watched the glory of God's creation unfold before my very eyes. My quiet time with the Lord that morning was the highlight of my day. As I sat there reveling in God's mercy and blessings in my life, I saw three sea gulls flying in an upside down V shape. I wanted to grab my camera, but the pure divinity of that moment wouldn't allow me to take my eyes off of the birds. In my spirit, I heard the words, Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Thank you Lord, for showing me your love in that very moment. I realized in that moment, that God is always here with me, I just need to remember to take the time to look for him. Instead of getting caught up in the mundane activities of my life, if i will step back, keep my mouth shut and listen, He is there.

When the rest of the family woke up, Jessica and Rob went to the lobby to grab a Starbucks. As they were deciding what to get, they look over next to them and saw.................MORGAN FREEMAN!! They must have been a little star struck, they didn't say a word, but, hey, it's not every day you see a movie star at your hotel!!!

The rest of the day was spent on the beach, enjoying the warm, sunny weather and watching the kids playing in the ocean. Nothing beats going to the beach with people that you love!

Sunday morning we ate breakfast at The Sandcastle, and filled our little bellies to our hearts content. We said our goodbyes, and vowed to stay longer next year with better planning! :)

I am so blessed to be a part of the Hill family, i love you all!!!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tips for summertime sanity....

~Joseph reading a book to Presley~

As we settle back into life at home after our beach trip, we are constantly looking for some excitement and entertainment around the house. I have a few things in my bag of tricks that work on long summer days at home...want to hear them? Here goes...

  • scavenger hunt~make a list of things that you find outside and give each child a paper bag with their names on them. Take them outside and give them 20 minutes to find each item on the list. The first one finished wins! Of course, it helps if one child can read the list. If they cannot read, you can call the items out to them while they are outside looking. Simple game, but hey, it passes time!

  • play dough~ my kids LOVE that sticky gooey stuff, and it makes for atleast 30 minutes of playtime! another bonus....IT'S CHEAP! two thumbs up!

  • outdoor picnics~this is probably my favorite and the kids favorite as well. we just take a big blanket or towel, pack some lunches up and sit in the driveway. granted, it is usually pretty hot, but we usually find a shady spot to land and it works perfectly.

  • jump rope~ good fun and good exercise!!! yay!

  • wash mommy's car~ all kids love to help wash cars, and it is a good way to get cooled off and get a suntan as well!

  • trip to the library~ gets you out of the house and is educational!!

  • older siblings reading to the younger sibling~ just yesterday, joseph read books to presley and was trying to teach her how to read. it was THE MOST precious thing that i have seen them do!! joseph was so patient with her, and she was hanging on his every word. i was so touched, that i video taped it and took pictures from their bathroom so they could not see me. i didn't want to interrupt the sweeteness of that moment.

okay, well that's all i have for now, if anyone has anything to add please feel free! this mommy is always looking for ways to keep the kids away from the t.v and video games that constantly lure their little brains to play them!! of course, when you need a long, peaceful shower, t.v or a good movie for the kids while do the trick, atleast for a few minutes!

Monday, July 21, 2008

St. Simons, good friends, and good times!!

~Presley and Joseph looking for shells~(not really, i just had them pose like they were haha!)

~ Smiling for the 1000th picture!~
~Once again, my favorite thing...toes!!~

~Ahhhhhh, alas a family picture...while Presley has her eyes closed...go figure.~

~ The fantastic four!~

~Riley the Rockstar, and her biggest fan.....Presley!~

~Riley, Presley, Reagan, and Joseph~
~ The mommies!!~

~Darren and Lem chillin in the sun~

~ The Greene's and The Hill's ~
~Joseph lost his second top tooth!! ~
~I love this picture of my boys!! ~
~Me and my sweet girl! ~

What a week!! I have so much to blog about today! We just returned from St. Simons, Ga after a week of fun, sun, rain, a little more rain, food, food, more food and lots of laughter!! A little rain didn't hinder good times for all on this trip, though. Our very good friends Darren and Tracey, and their beautiful girls Riley and Reagan joined us on our trip. My kids are absolutely head over heels in love with Riley and Reagan, and that may be an understatement! Riley is a rockstar in Presley's eyes! You should see how she looks at her, she idolizes Riley! It is the cutest thing that you have ever seen! All four children played more than exceptionally well together, which made for a very relaxing trip for us four adults!!

Darren is Lem's best friend, since like the age of three. They may as well be brothers, because they certainly act like brothers! They punch each other, tease each other, and all the things that boys do when they are together. It was a lot of fun to watch!

A big highlight of our trip was meeting another family at the beach, John and Laurie and their children, Sam and Lily. And lo and behold they live in Alpharetta, Ga.!!! They are such a sweet family, and our kids all got along so well together!! We hope to keep in touch with them, and maybe reunite at the beach again next year!! Laurie, I soon discovered, is a fellow blogger, which ofcourse delighted Tracey and myself! After learning that, we knew we had found a kindred spirit!! :)

Another highlight was Joseph loosing his tooth! He FINALLY lost his other top tooth! He looks so adorable! He was super excited that the tooth fairy was able to find him at the beach!! What a lucky kid!!

Tracey made her famous salsa twice on the trip, and we scarved it down like wild animals! I will post her recipe for all to see, because it is out of this world DELICIOUS!! Did i mention that Tracey is a wonderful cook?? She really needs her own show, she is THAT good!

Well, i could go on for days about this trip, but i guess i will end it here. I have ten tons of laundry beckoning me from the dirty clothes hamper.** **long sigh........violins, please****

Love to all!!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Birthdays Galore!!!

~Presley and Anna-Joy in their Hannah Montana shirts~

~The birthday kids with their build a bears!~

~Anna-Joy sitting in the chair before getting her ears pierced....with support from Cali Rose (left) and her other friend Cali (right)~

~The cake!~

Happy Birthday to Granny, Anna-Joy, Cali Rose, and Alice!!!!!!!!!

This has been the wonderful week of birthdays!!!! First of all, Granny Hill's was Tuesday the 8th, my beautiful niece Anna-Joy's was yesterday the 9th, Cali Rose's (my friend Kim's little girl)is today, as well as my friend Alice's birthday!! Happy Birthday to all of you!!! Four very, very, very special people!!

Anna-Joy celebrated her b-day at Build a Bear at the mall of georgia! The children made their own bears and then we went to Claire's and had her little ears pierced! She was SUCH a big girl! She had a HUGE smile on her face, and was such a brave girl fighting back tears when they put the earrings in her sweet ears. We all cheered her and were so proud of her!!

I tried to get Presley to have hers done, but she wasn't having any of that. I bribed and begged and even had the other girls try some peer pressure...still didn't work. The girl is strong willed to the core!!! Maybe one day it will end up being a good thing!! :)

As I was busy coercing Presley into some beautiful diamond studs, Joseph was telling me to NOT let her get them pierced. He said it would hurt her too bad...what a protective big brother!!!

After the mall, we went back to Anna-Joy's house and ate pizza and Hannah Montana b-day cake! Yum!

Above are some pics from Anna-Joy's party...all of the girls wore matching Hannah Montana shirts that Anna-Joy had given them in their goody bags...they all looked ADORABLE!!!!

90th Birthday Celebration!!!

On Tuesday we celebrated Granny Hill's 90th birthday!!!! She was in a very good mood and she thought the kids were so funny. We sang happy birthday to her, which made her smile! Granny Hill is the epitome of sweetness. I have NEVER known a more selfless and content woman in my whole life. Granny never complains about anything, and always has a soft smile on her face. Lem and I used to eat lunch at her home every sunday before we had children. We would call her when church was out, and she would have a full spread on the table in about 10 minutes. She is one amazing woman. We are so blessed that our children have gotten to know Granny and how special she is.

Here is the video of us singing Happy Birthday! We love you Granny!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Pimento Cheese Recipe

Summer time is great for yummy and easy meals for lunch time! Here is one recipe that makes for a perfect sandwich for you and the kiddies. My friend Kim made these at the beach this past weekend and they were delicious!!!!! I didn't know pimento cheese could taste so good!

Kim's Pimento Cheese

1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese (i use sharp and the thicker shreds)
Mayonnaise to your liking
1 jar of pimentos
a shake or two of worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to your liking
1/4 finely chopped onion (optional)
1 small finely chopped jalepeno (optional)

Pour chese into bowl, add mayo, salt/pepper-stir, then add in jar of pimentos (do not drain) and stir then add onion and jalapeno, overnight for better flavor.

These sandwiches taste the best on white wheat bread......YUM! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Humble Pie

Notice to all: If you really want to know the truth about something.....ask a child.

I learn this the hard way every time. Well, actually, most of the time, I am not even "asking"...but invariably I get the cold hard truth anyway. My children love to tell me things that they notice about me which aren't always the loveliest and kindest observations. As much as I want them to see me through rose colored glasses, I usually end up under their scrutinizing microscopes.

For example.....two days ago, I am getting dressed in my bathroom and Presley walks in. "Hey, darling", I sweetly say. As I look at her in the mirror she is staring at my bottom. I had just gotten out of the shower, so i had on my panties which were (close your ears little ones)...thongs. Yikes! A few seconds later, my precious daughter asks me "mommy, why do you have so many bruises on your bottom?" "Bruises, I ask?...silly girl, mommy doesn't have bruises on her bottom." She proceeds to say..."No, mommy not bruises, but dents. Why do you have all of those dents on your bottom?" She is serious as a heart attack, and I am melting in my "thongs".

My voice shaking with humiliation, I tell her that when girls become mommies they get those dents on their bottom. And so if she doesn't want dents, then she needs to wait a very long time before becoming a mommy.

My dear son ,Joseph, also has an unfiltered opinion of things. He is quick to tell me when my hair is too dark at the bottom and that it doesn't match the ends of my hair. He loves telling people that his mommy loves to get her hair done so it will "match" again. Ughh...

One more story regarding my now 17 year old nephew Jordan...When he was about 9 years old, we showed him a picture of my mom and dad on their wedding day. We said "Do you know who these people are, Jordan?" He looked closely at the picture, and said, " Yes, their pilgrims!" My mom was so happy to hear that she was compared to a pilgrim in her wedding gown.

And who says that honesty is a good thing??? As for me, i will go on pretending that my bottom is just fine, and be happy that my dark roots aren't grey....yet.

So, there is my big helping of humble pie for the week. "Yum Yum" I say as I choke it down. Water, please?