Saturday, November 29, 2008

The sweetest words....

This past Sunday morning was a doozey. Starting off with the usual Sunday morning, rush, rush, rush. I get BOTH kids ready plus myself. Lem leisurely watches some ESPN and takes a 25 minute shower. (love you, darling)

I am less than thrilled as the kids and myself wait in the car for about 7 minutes for Lem to get in and drive us to church. My mind is "going there". I am mad, mad, mad, and trying to be patient. He finally gets in the driver's seat and I proceed to let out my best "huff". It was a rather convincing one, if i do say so myself.

We only have about a 6 minute drive to church, and it's pretty quiet for the first 2 minutes, because i am not ready to speak to Lem. Figuring that the silent treatment is probably the best anecdote since we are on our way to church, the kids are in the car, and it is only a short drive. I am still upset that A) we are running late and B) i got no help in the kids dept. with getting them ready. (still love you, darling)

Finally Joseph breaks the silence from the backseat...

Joseph: I know what I want for Christmas, Mommy and Daddy.

Me: (half listening) Okay, baby..what is it?

Joseph: I want to be baptized.

Lem and I look at each other. Tears are puddling my eyes, ready to brim over.

I look back at Joseph and say..

Me: That is so great, Joseph. Do you know what it means to be baptized?

Joseph begins to tell us the meaning and that he is ready to be closer to Jesus.

We talked for the rest of the 4 or so minutes to church about what it meant to be baptized.

My day changed in that instant. I was suddenly grateful and thankful for this day. Despite the rushing and the impatience, God was showing us what is truly important in our lives.

Fast forward to the following day, Monday November 24th at about 5:47 p.m......

The kids and are in the car waiting on Lem to arrive at the gym. Lem and I try to do a spinning class together at least once or twice a week when he gets off of work. It helps us have a little "together" time, albeit sitting and spinning on a bike with about 10 other people. Hey, it's still fun though!
So, here we are, sitting and waiting for Lem to get here, when Joseph says......

Joseph: Mommy, I want to ask Jesus to live in my heart today.

Me: You do? Today? Really??

Joseph: Yes ma'am. Right now.

Me: (stuttering and stammering).. Oh, okay...well, do you want me to pray a prayer with you?

Joseph: No, I want to say the prayer, Mommy.

Me: Sure, darling. When you are ready..go ahead baby.

Joseph begins the sweetest prayer a mommy will ever hear from the lips of her children.

After the prayer, Joseph is quiet for a few seconds. Then he thoughtfully says...

Joseph: Mommy, I feel really safe now.

Me: You do?

Joseph: Yes, i do. And mommy?..............................(he looks at me and then slowly looks out the window)...........I really want to tell everyone I know about Jesus. I want them to love Him like I do. I want them to feel safe like me. Is that okay? Can I just tell people about Him?

Me: (on the verge of being speechless)....Yes, baby. Yes. We all need to tell more people about Jesus. (softly and almost to myself).....Thank you for reminding me, darling.

Once again, God teaches me through my children. Oh, to see the world through a child's eyes. Isn't that the view we are supposed to have, anyway? Not embittered, or tarnished? Just complete purity and innocence?

Seeing the best in all people, and not only seeing the best, but WANTING the best for all people. Wow.....thank you again, ,Lord.
Staying on my toes as a mom, is so difficult at times. I never want to be the culprit of teaching my children bitterness, sarcasm, impatience, or judging others. Although, i know that many times they have seen this practice in me. Just praying for God to change my set ways is quite a challenge in itself.

Once again, I say, and will always say....being a mom is the hardest job in the universe. However, without a shadow of a doubt, I know that God uses this platform to mold me and cut away my many life-long thorns. Being a mom holds the mirror of my soul to my eyes, and shows me things that i may have never seen in the deep and dark places of my heart if not for being a mother. That mirror is hard to look at sometimes, but well worth the acknowledgement, if it causes me to prune away those ugly places, in order for my children to have a sweeter view in their own future soul mirrors.

a life-long pruner,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Needles in Haystacks.....

~Well, all we need is a pitch fork and we have the famous American Gothic portrait featured above. ~

This blog is dedicated to all of us mothers that go through living heck to get the perfect Christmas card photo to send to all of our wonderful friends and family members. You know, the friends and family members who only see our children once a year, by Christmas card. We want to show them how much our little ones have grown, how cute they are, and what expertise we have multi-tasking a camera and our small children. Little do they know the sheer labor of love this undertaking becomes. Sweaty children, due to the velvet dresses and cotton sweaters with a collared shirt underneath, that we stuff them in for these pictures. Panty hose, tight shoes, the perfect ribbons for the girls, the perfectly placed tousle of hair for the boys, the precise location in front of the tree where they must sit...and on and on, and on.

Meanwhile, mommy is in her sweat pants, ponytail, and "no fun intended mood". This is serious business for us mommies. No laughing, no playing, no NOTHING. Just sit, look cute, and smile. And for heaven's sake, smile naturally, and don't squint your eyes!!

No wonder my kids hate this day of the year.

Here's to you, fellow mommies...this laugh is on me.

Christmas 2006

~too blurry, and Joseph is not smiling, not even a hint.
~okay, not making the cut. Joseph, tone down the smile!~

~okay, don't tell me you have never bribed your little ones with a sucker!!~

~I WANT MY SUCKER BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!~

~Okay, a candy cane will do.~

~please HURRY MOMMY!!!

~Mommy, Joseph is TOUCHING ME!!!!~

I have thousands more from this day, but I think you get the "picture". ;)

**Oh, and don't worry, there was one, yes one...that made the cut. I will post that one at a later date.**

Stay tuned for 2007 bloopers and blunders pics!!

desperately seeking a perfect picture,


Friday, November 21, 2008

The Simple Life....

“The simplest things are often the truest.”~Richard Bach

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" ~Leonardo da Vinci

In case my FaceBook friends and Myspace friends were wondering..i have deactivated my accounts. It was fun while it lasted, but i think i will just stick to emailing and blogging.

I know, I know, just get me a horse and buggy and put me on a prairie. My days of high tech, information overload has ended. I am even beginning to despise my cell phone. Maybe I would have been better suited in the 1800's where things were much simpler. Yes, people worked a lot harder, but by golly things were simple!! **On the other hand, i DO love my digital camera and my flat iron!! **

No wonder my all time favorite t.v. show is and always will be Little House on the Prairie. I had the biggest crush on Charles, the father. He was so manly and handsome! And I could always relate to Laura...having a beautiful, older sister and feeling like an ugly duckling compared to her. Buck teeth and all! Then of course, there is Nellie Olson. I always kiddingly tell my sister that I should have named Presley, "Nellie". I know that sounds horrible, but she really does have very "Nellie" days at time.**see yesterday's post ;)**

Maybe since moving out here in the way out yonder, i have adapted some simpler, "little house-ish" philosophies on life?? I began to find the whole social networking arena, a little....ummm...well just a little too much info. It just became kind of information overload. I think some things are better left ambiguous and enigmatic. Ironic, coming from a blogging mom, i guess.

*Please somebody come to my rescue if i start talking homeschooling, or wanting to buy live stock. *

In the meantime, i figured that those who are my friends, not just cyber friends, know where to find me.

learning that less is more,

laura ingalls wilder ;)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One Step Ahead...

daughter Definition
daugh·ter (dôt′ər) Physics an element that results immediately from the disintegration of a radioactive element
I laughed out loud reading this "physics" definition of daughter...i most assuredly feel disintegrated most the time!!

A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life. ~Irish Saying

After having Joseph, I thought that there was no way that I could love a child more than I loved that precious soul. Boy, was I wrong. When I found out 2yrs. and a few months after Joseph was born that I was having another baby I was beyond words. Then in my 2nd trimester, I found out that this baby would be a GIRL!! I couldn't believe that I would get to experience being a mother to a girl. Everything that I bought for that child was pink, and still is today!

When Presley was born, she looked exactly like I dreamed she would. The blondest hair and the bluest eyes, she was angelic.

Things were different this time around, though. I had a c-section with her, so the healing was not quite as fast as I had thought. Doubled over in pain for the first 2 weeks was exhausting in itself, not to mention taking care of that sweet darlin' newborn baby girl and a bouncy little 3 yr. old boy.

I well remember by week 4 that she was a very different little creature than her big brother had been. It was really unbelievable how contrastive the two of them already seemed to be. This same week, week 4, I purchased for the first time ever the book...The Strong Willed Child, by Dr. James Dobson.

Please understand that I was desperate for some help with this new baby girl that God had placed in my care on that cold December day. I remember telling my mom that she already seemed to be defiant of me. Almost like she was trying to call the shots?? As crazy as it sounds, she was already exerting her strong will and independence on me.
For a couple of weeks, before I really dove deep into the new book that I had purchased, I thought that I was going crazy. Like I had lost every instinct of parenting skills that I once seemed to possess. What is happening to me?? Why do I feel like a bumbling idiot??

I thought I had this parenting thing nipped in the bud...boy was I WRONG!
Have you ever heard the saying..nothing good comes except through hard work? Well, I was about to learn this lesson the good old fashioned experiencing it first hand.

These last almost 4 years of Presley's life have been the most challenging, thought provoking, difficult, testing times of my life. And I mean this in the very best sense!! She has brought me to a whole new level of motherhood. One that requires consistence, persistence, patience beyond my own self...patience that can only come from God's grace.

I love her personality, her strong willed-ness, her competitive little spirit, her never ceasing to ask questions self. She makes me a better mother, because she forces me to stay one step ahead of her. Which I promise you is NOT easy to do!! I cannot ever get lazy with her, because the consequences are not pretty.

After reading this from Dr. Dobson's book, I wanted to jump for joy and shout to the highest mountain...THANK YOU!!!!!! I KNEW IT!!!!!! 39 of The Strong Willed Child..emphasis is his.

I hope I have made the case by now that willfulness is built into the nature of some kids. It is simply part of their emotional and intellectual package brought with them in the world. This aspect of inborn temperament is not something boys and girls learn. It is something they are. Mothers know this instinctively. Virtually every mom with two or more children will affirm that she noticed differences in personality-a different "feel"-the first time she held the. They'll tell you that some of them were tough and some were easy. But each was unique.

Hallelujah!! He finally spelled it out for me and showed me that I wasn't crazy and that maybe she was born with a different personality, not one that had been learned those first 4 weeks! I was free from thinking that I had been doing a terrible job, and started to take it a bit easier on myself.
All this said, I have enjoyed every minute of every day with this angel. She is my girl, my buddy, my side-kick. I would be a boring mess without her.

The idea for this post stems from Presley's last couple of weeks at Preschool. The teacher has been walking her to the car and telling me that she had not been very good at school. What?? Oh no! Her teacher proceeds to tell me that she isn't playing well with the other girls in her class. I am somewhat relieved, I thought she had meant that Presley wasn't minding her. Either way, to the teacher, it does not make for a happy environment.

All week Lem and I talked to her about playing nice, telling her to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", "love your neighbor as yourself", you know..all the good stuff that she needs to know.

Well, that was all last week, so when I picked her up on Monday of this week, I was prepared for some great news. There was just NO way that her teacher was going to deliver more bad news...just not possible.

They reach the car and she opens the door to let Presley in...I am on pins and needles waiting for her to tell me how the day was, so I am trying not to look too anxious. "Hi!! Good afternoon, ladies", I say in a really dorky way. Great, now the teacher thinks I am an idiot!
Mrs. Heather finally speaks..."She was okay, today. She was nice to Micah, but not nice to Sara". My heart sank as I heard her words and saw the teachers face in a less than happy demeanor.

It is NOT a great feeling when a teacher doesn't necessarily find your child as "desirable" as you. :( I pasted on my best smile, and said thank you, Mrs. Heather, we will continue working on her behavior.

Presley was quiet as a church mouse the whole ride home. She knew she was still not "playing nice" and I was out of fresh ideas to help her "get it". I prayed that God would give me fresh insight into how to help her and teach her.

When Lem got home, I sat him down with Presley and told her to tell him about her day. As soon as I said this, she gives me this look that put chills down my spine, a look that is way too mature for a 3 yr. old to give. Almost like I had betrayed her and she wouldn't forget it. Where did she learn to look like that??? She is really something else!!!
Me: Well, tell Daddy about your day, Presley.
P: It was fine.

Me: Fine?? No, Presley, tell daddy about Sara.

P: What about Sara? (she says this non-chalantly and with much coy)
Me: At school today, with Sara, tell Daddy what happened.

P: again, casually she says.."Did i have school today?"

Lem: Answer me, Presley. What happened with Sara, were you nice to her or not?

P: (seeming almost bored with the whole thing) Well, what do you want me to say?? Which answer to you want me to use, Daddy?

Lem: The TRUTH, Presley Jane.

P: I really don't remember...are you sure I had school??

**Lem and I are trying not to look at each other, because we know that we will break out in full on laughter. NOT because it was cute that she was not telling the truth, but that she was going to such imaginative lengths to get around telling the truth.**

Finally, she gave in and spilled her guts. She is always so sorry afterwards, it really makes you want to just pick her up and never let her go...after she gets a little dose of the wooden spoon of course.

I am thankful that she is making me stronger, better, and the minute. ;)

I love you, Presley Jane. You keep being you, and I will keep having many stories to tell, my beloved.

one step ahead..i hope,


A daughter is a little girl who grows up to be a friend. ~Author Unknown

A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life. ~Irish Saying

>And thou shalt in thy daughter see,This picture, once, resembled thee.~Ambrose Philips

>A daughter is a mother's gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self. And mothers are their daughters' role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships. ~Victoria Secunda

Beloved, you are my sister, you are my daughter, you are my face; you are me. ~Toni Morrison

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thankful Thinking.......

~Shannon, Kim, Me and Stacy..Courtney and Thomas 10 yr. anniv. party...Spring 2007~

~Kim, Ang, Me and Erin..1998~

~Me, and Elan..New Years Eve..2007~

~Courtney, Me, Kelly at the annual Mcleod Weenie Roast...Nov, 2008~ ~Me, Michelle and the Princess Madden..:) 2008~

~Jenny and Erin..2008~ ~Bek, Mary, Alice..2008~

~Me and Tracey..2008~

~Jenny, Erin, Kim, Alice, Stacy, Mary, Me, Shannon, Kim..Presley's 3rd b-day party 2007~

~Me and Alice 2007~ ~Kim, Erin, Me...2008~

~Mary (pregnant with sweet Sloane on her 30th b-day)..Aug. 2005~

~Tracey and Me 2003~
~Bek and Me 2005~ ~Collette, Erin, Kelly, Courtney..2007~

~Bek, Kelli, Danielle, and Me...90210 night...2008~

~Shannon, Mary, Courtney, Jenny, Erin, Me...2005~

**These are just a few of the special people...many more that I don't have pics to post of...**

Today was one of those days that just flowed seamlessly. Presley went to Preschool this morning, I went to the gym. At noon, I picked her up from school and headed to a hair appointment in Conyers. Can I get a Hallelujah?? Mary so graciously met me at the salon and picked up Presley with a kiss and a smile.

After my appointment (which was just a gloss and trim today), I headed to Mary's to pick up Presley. As I walk in, I see a full pot of coffee with 2 perfect mugs just waiting to be filled! The girl knows what I like!!! If that weren't enough she sends me home with a new FICTION girlie book to read, and a half a tube of MK foundation to finish off.

Driving home, I reflected on sweet thoughts of such fulfillment in the friendship department. I am not sure why God has put the greatest and most Godly women in my life, probably because He knew that I needed them so!! Today was just another day of God showing me His blessings in the people that surround me.

I don't consider myself very thoughtful at times or very friendship worthy. However, the people that I am so blessed to call as my friends seem to look past these flaws and love me anyway. They seem to accept me for who I am, ditziness and all. I know that I am oblivious to most things, most of the time. But somehow, they don't hold this against me. They still are constantly there for me, loving me, encouraging me, cheering me on, despite my obvious weaknesses.

Today, especially, I am thankful for all of you, my friends. You take the time to read my blog, boring as it is most days, you call me when I have crawled into one of my secluded caves, you send me sweet notes in the mail just to say hi, and most of all you are just here for me.

Shoulder to shoulder we stand as we clean up messes, change dirty diapers, fold laundry, pick up toys, cook our dinners, and perform all the duties that make up our days. We talk our few minutes on the phone, but usually revert to texting and emailing because we can't seem to find a quiet moment to make a phone call. I cherish each and every call, text, email, all of it. I know that your days are busy and your time is few. So, thank you for any time that you have given me just to let me know you care.

I am grateful for you today and everyday. Thank you for being exactly what I need, ALL of the time.

with a thankful heart,


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Friday Night Lights.....

~Jordan and Amberlee...circa 1997...~

~Mom and Me showing our Titan spirit!~

~Amberlee, Angela, Jordan and Lee after a game~ ~Dad congratulating Jordan after the game~

~Dad, Mom and Lem~

~That's our boy..Number 67!!!~

This past Friday night, my nephew, Jordan, made history by playing in his high school's first ever football playoff game!! Jordan is a senior at North Oconee High School. He plays offensive line, and is a superb player! Biased, I am not. Just honest. :)

Anyway, they won this first play off game and will play Buford High School next Friday night!! Buford is ranked number one..and a really good team. They are picked to win, because Buford is a private school and has a pretty stacked team.

After Jordan's win on Friday, his coach gave an amazing speech about David and Goliath. Referring of course to the game against Buford next week. We (meaning parents and friends) were all privy to hear this speech because we were on the field surrounding the players after the game. The coach then proceeded to give the players a little knapsack with a small stone tied inside of it. It had the verses from the Bible regarding David and Goliath. It was like something out of the "Facing the Giants" movie. I had shivers up and down my spine listening to this Christian coach speaking encouragement from God's Word at a public high school football game!

To really put the proverbial cherry on top of all of this, after the speech, the WHOLE team bowed their sweet heads and prayed the Lord's Prayer. I stood in awe and wonderment of this beautiful sight. Young men, sweaty and tired from playing their hearts out on the field, coming together for prayer and thanksgiving. It was truly unforgettable.

I am so proud of my nephew and the young man he has become. My eyes sting with tears thinking of watching him grow up so quickly. Lem and I would be overjoyed if our children turn out as respectful, loving and God-fearing as he has matured to be. My sister and brother-in-law have done an excellent job rearing him. Bravo to them!!

Meanwhile, Friday night cannot get here fast enough!!

GOOOOOO TITANS!!!!!! May God be with your team and protect all of you the remainder of your season.

sporting a sore throat from the excitement,


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


as i look in the mirror, i see the places on my face.
age spots, wrinkles, is this aging with grace??
how can i be seeing these things that weren't there last night,
if i say so myself, it just isn't right!

before i have time to fret, in walks presley and she is soaking wet.
what?? where?? what happened, i say..
oh, mommy i turned the hose on outside and it gave me a big spray.
let's change your clothes, NO, NOW..NOW...LET'S GO!
as i walk out i catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror again,
is that a bulge above my jeans..OH NO!!

as we change her clothes and get her dry,
i have forgotten all my flaws in the blink of an eye.
is she okay? hope she doesn't catch a cold..does she need a bath?
i need to get the house cleaned..or atleast make a path!

joseph walks in looking up from his book.....
oh no! what has presley done now?? he sums it up with just one look.
i love you mommy i hear him say,
as if he is trying to take my burdens away.

he saw it, the tears in my eyes, the tenseness in my tone,
i am fine, joseph..go on, leave mommy alone.
get back to your book, i will be fine...don't worry about me, i will be alright..
he says okay, and leaves the site.

presley is all dry, the house is picked up clean,
i remember again...the new wrinkles that i had seen.
back to me comes the fret of growing old,
the shiver down my spine, like a wrenching cold.

dinner is in the oven,
lem comes home and starts his sweet lovin'.
kisses all around..daddy is home!
mommy is a mess, her hair has not seen a comb.

embarrassed by my appearance, i say..
"hey, was your day?"

he looks at me with eyes that seem to see something that is not there..
'honey, you are so beautiful ..i can't help but stare."
i laugh and say, are you feeling okay?
he nods and says it's been a great day!

poor fellow...he is blind and cannot see, he may need glasses,
off to the doctor for he!

the kids are now in bed, and i finally lay down my weary head.
a kiss on the cheek from my precious beau,
and off to dreamland i finally go.

i dream of a nip here and a tuck there, and what about my graying hair??

the kids come in my bed and pounce on me, it's early..but i don't mind...
it's time for breakfast, mommy....get up..get up..get to the grind!

as the day wears on, i think back to my face, the lines and the age spots....
creams cannot erase.

i smile as i remember what my love had told me at dinner...
he loves me anyway..whether fatter or thinner.

i take the scissors and give joseph's bangs a little nip....

meanwhile presley's hair falls into her eyes as she is standing near..
i take my free hand and gently tuck it behind her ear.
this is my life..the ups and the downs...
my nips and tucks will never cease to abound.

the life of a mom, i would never trade..
even for these dreadful lines to fade.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My unspoken hero....

~Tybee Island..2007~
~Anna-Joy, Royce, Dad and Presley Spring 2007~

~Father's Day 2008~ ~Easter 2007~
~Easter 2006~


~Mom and Dad's wedding Day...February 15, 1969~

Thank you, Dad for so bravely serving our country. I can't imagine being drafted for service at the tender age of 19. You make us so very proud! May we never take the sacrifices of our veteran's for granted. God bless America.

Happy Veteran's Day, Daddy!!

smiling with pride,


Monday, November 10, 2008

The Best of Friends...

~Girls Trip 2008~ ~Girls Dinner 2008~

~May 2008~

~LOV party 2007~

~A happy smiling couple..Chris and Erin 2007~

~Kim and Erin ..Joseph's 5yr. old bowling party..2006~
~St. Simon's 2007..The Moreaus, The Hills, and The Hicks~
~My wedding..1998~

~December 2007~

~May 2005~

~A friend loves at all times..Prov. 17:17~

This post is dedicated to my longest and dearest friend....Erin Nevers Moreau.......

Erin and I met our freshman year at HHS in a Spanish class. We hit it off immediately, and we became the best of friends! Many heartaches, heartbreaks, joyful tears, marriages, births, ups and downs, we have seen them all together!

I am so grateful to have a friend like Erin. She is always there when I need her, more like a sister than a friend. My family always expects her to be at every birthday party, every gathering, because she truly is part of the family.

When I could barely get out of bed a few years back due to some pretty heavy physical and mental issues that I was dealing with, she arrived at my door. I will never forget as she walked in with a big ice-cold strawberry smoothie in hand, she said..."I thought you could use this." She understood that I didn't want to have to call someone and tell them that i needed them...she is beyond that kind of friend. She was there without "asking" me if she could come. She was just "there". This is the kind of friend that I hope to be in return. She has taught me that it's not about the right words, or always saying the perfect thing, but just "being there" usually the best thing. It's so easy to sound like a good friend, but it's much harder to be a good friend. And she is, and always will be.

Thank you, Erin!! You are the bestest and truest friend a girl could ever have!!