Thursday, June 27, 2013

How Play Dates Roll

So this is how play dates roll. Somewhere between 8:00 and 9:13 the wheels begin falling off the bus and you realize you've got to call in reinforcement.

Ring Ring.  "Hey, you want to get together today?"


"Let me see what I can gather together for lunch and well be there in 30."

You gather an almost empty loaf of bread, 3 nearly empty bags of chips, if it's a lucky day you'll have smoked ham and cheddar you picked up on the way back from vacation, otherwise it's always peanut butter and honey or Ramen all the way around.

You realize you've got to stop at swim lessons first, so you get in touch with the Ziplock saavy within and create a make shift cooler.  Meat and cheese in small Ziplock safely tucked in freezer size Ziplock filled with ice.

You take a glance in the mirror on your way out the door and quickly call your friend.

Don't you dare put on make-up or fix your hair or look cute today.

Don't worry she says.  I haven't bathed since Sunday, we're good.

Speaking of, can I get an Amen for Sunday mornings?  Saturday night is the one sure night we all shampoo our hair and take baths and address the Chia Pet fingernail situation.  (It must be my recent discovery that cereal is the dinner of champions so we have clearly upped our milk and calcium intake.  Yay me.) The rest of the week is up for grabs on the bath front.  Thank heavens for summertime and swimming pools.  They are right up there on my list with Spring Rain Car Washes.

If it is an especially exciting play date one and/or both parties will have "good mail" to bring for browsing.

Usually play dates go off without a hitch.  The shrapnel usually consists of a sticky floor laden with Pop Ice remains and chip crumbs.  Happy Hour runs are made fairly often so the moms can get their caffeine fix.  And $5.51 can almost always be scrounged up for a gourmet pizza lunch from Little Caesar's.  If it has been an especially successful play date we have completely rearranged the furniture in the house, massive armoires and all.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Did you see the moon Sunday evening? It was huge and gorgeous.  We went out to look at it rising and I felt like you would want to know about it.

Everyone else piled back in the house pretty quickly but not me and the 9 year old.  We stayed and snapped pictures with our point and shoot camera together.

We could not get over how slammin' big that thing was.  I kept taking pictures of the exact same thing, it was just awesome to see.

My son took this last picture.  I thought it was really cool looking with the shadow of the crepe myrtle.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Best People

Man, we are surrounded by the best family and friends in the world.  That, wrapped with a detailed God who cares about the little things, can make for some pretty good days if I don't wreck it with a bad attitude.

I have had an issue that I have been DREADING.  It is something that causes me great fear and heaviness of heart.  It is a lonely road I travel every year that greets me like a faithful friend.  You probably have those spaces in your life too.  The ones that pop up that cause the icky feelings on the inside.

And no, I'm not talking about my yearly.  LOL

Sunday, our preacher talked about how God can be trusted.  Nothing new about those words, but when I took the time to think on the reality of them, the words filled with life.

There have been some hard things lately and I have found myself doing something pretty new.

When the hard things have come, I have been finding the Scripture that says who God is. 

And I hold on to those verses white knuckled. 

My prayers are along the lines of, "God, I am choosing to believe this is true about you."

Choosing to claim God's truth about who He says He is, and not finding refuge in my own sea of emotion.  Choosing to take the time to read about who He says He is in the Word, and then repeating the truth back to God over and over.

Do you have praying friends?  If you don't, ask God to surround you with some praying friends.  A good way to start is to become a praying friend to others yourself.

There have been years where I felt friendless.  Those were the crummiest  years.  Seemed everyone else was going to grill out with friends, and I there I sat friendless among the little jibbery people.  And I prayed during those times, asking God to give us good family friends.  And it took time and effort.  It took inviting and inviting and inviting and never being the invited.  But in the midst something happened.

God took our small efforts and cultivated sweet friendships with people.  Yesterday, which generally is a hard day for me, was filled with peace, joy, obedient boys, and we ended the day with some of our very best friends, grilling out of all things!  We ate together on the patio and shared fellowship together.  My good friends made a hard day so much better.

The emails and texts have been non-stop.

"Last night I was working in my garden planting flowers, and I was praying for your family the entire time"

"Prayed for you today"

"How can I be specifically praying for you?"

All day long I could tangibly feel the prayers of the people.  My fear/dread was replaced with joy/peace.

It has re-energized my desire to be a praying woman.  They are not wasted words vanishing into mid-air.  They change the tide.  And I am humbled to serve a God who listens to us and does not leave us alone to live life by ourselves.

There are more things we need to talk about like the sale at Bath and Body Works that is causing me great angst, my new ministry purse (don't ask), and the cool moon pics we snapped Sunday night, but I have to talk the little guy to swim lessons and try to squeeze in one more cup of coffee, so peace out!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

I Am A Hoarder

I think deep down I have hoarder tendencies.  Sure, we have yard sales and my house stays fairly tidy, but Mylanta you should've seen the stuff we unloaded today.

Last night when we were on our way home from a dinner, we were keeping our fingers crossed that a nearby neighbor would be having a sale today as well, and we could piggy back off their signage.

We hit the mother load.  At both entrances of the hood, two store bought signs were strategically placed.  High fives all around!  Score!  Same street and everything, cha-ching.  The not so cha-chingy part...their sale was starting at 6am.  We are strict 8am starters.  Except for when our neighbors put up high end signage and hey Jack, you're not going to hear any complaining here.

This could very well be the most drastic sale we've done.  After reading the book Seven, I'll be honest.  I was physically sick to my stomach at all the junk we had stored up in the attic.  30+ empty tubs and trash bags later we have drastically thinned down our stuff.  And the attic?  Only has Christmas, Fall, seasonal clothes and a couple keepsake boxes.

We staged our house when we put it on the market.  Emptied out closets and drawers.  And guess what?  I LOVED the thinned down house.  So I sold all sorts of things.  Linens, towels, table cloths, tons of decorating stuff.  And now I have empty spaces in my house and it feels like I can breathe easier.

Parking both cars in the garage helps too.

And you probably figured this, but blowing out the garage when it's all clean is high on my love language list.  Right up there near bacon.

Speaking of.

PBB.  That's right baby.  I tried the Peanut Butter Bacon shake.  Had to.  What if I lived my whole life wandering what might have been.  It was surprising.  The most surprising part was the super crispy bacon pieces that came up through the straw every time I took a sip.  Crazy stuff man.  Get the mini and try it just to say you did.  I actually think if I ever got it again I would get a Peanut Butter Fudge Bacon.  But my all time favorite is still Pineapple.  Oy Vay.  Come to Mama.

As you know, crazy things happen to the innards of your house when you've spent the last hours unpacking your attic and garage.  All the laundry is caught up and now I am off to restore order and shine some floors.  Right before I take some Advil.  This chick is running on 3 hours of sloop.  Um, I mean sleep.

Friday, June 14, 2013


We are having a big yard sale Saturday from 7am until noon.
We have home d├ęcor, furniture, Abeka curriculum, boys clothes, and more...
Great stuff, you should come shop :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Big Reveal

So all afternoon Shane was texting us clues for the big night.  When we got home from a play date this was on the counter.  Three ziplocks, numbered, with coins and money in them.

Stop one: The video store to play Pacman, Galaga and Ms. Pacman.  And you can see who the biggest kid of them all is...I gave him my extra round because I love him.  Have you ever experienced the game store?  You see all kinds at the video game store.  Grown men in Superman t-shirts.  Men in black.  Young kids sipping energy drinks.  My son told me him and his friends are "Christian Gamers."

The next stop was dinner at a Kids Eat Free place in town.  Then the we went to a card shop and the boys each got to pick out a new pack of collecting cards.  Another interesting stop.  Here is a glimpse of the pre-game talk at the card shop.  "Boys, we may see some interesting people in this store.  DO NOT say ANYTHING until we get back in the bus."  It was a fairly uneventful trip inside.  A man in an Angry Birds t-shirt was about the wildest thing we saw. 

The third and final stop.  A trip to the new gas station.  Boy have we been talking this up around our house.  During March Madness each member of our family got $1 to put into the family pot.  I told them that if I won (which I did, I think?) that when the new gas station opened I would take them to get any drink their little hearts desired.

Last night was the night.  Clean cement on the outside.  Freshly mulched beds.  The inside smells like a new house.  And the drink choices lived up to every expectation I ever imagined.  I got a Dr. Pepper Icee.

Be careful with adding flavor to your Cokes though.  In the words of my husband, "Two pumps of cherry will make your drink taste like Robitussin."

We filled 'er up with unleaded and headed home.

Family Adventure Night was a huge score wrapped up nicely with Couch Bed Night. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Why I fake tanned today

Do you want to know why I shaved my legs, fake tanned, and painted my toes Lapazitively Hot?  Because Shane called this morning.  He had the boys hold my hand and lead me to the armoire.  He told me to open it.  This is the note he left hidden behind the door.

"Adventure awaits the whole family tonight.  Be Ready!  Dad"

I started hootin' and hollerin!  That is the coolest surprise ever.  I sent him a text saying, "We could be going to the elementary school walking track up the road for all I care, I'm just excited about a surprise."

But just in case it is something different than going up to the school ball court I threw on a summer dress, painted my toes, and put some jewelry on.

My Mom got this dress at the Sam's Club for $16.  It is so comfy.  JCPenny also sells these little summer dresses.  They are called flip flop dresses are are usually under $20.  Every summer I try to add another to my collection.  They are soft cotton and so comfy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Backyard Oasis

Last week we worked and worked on our backyard. We had five huge flowerbeds.  Two of them spanned the entire right and left sides of our yard.  If you've ever tried to keep beds that size weeded and mulched, then you know what a headache they are.

With the hardworking help of family, neighbors and friends, we got a ton knocked out last week.   Trees trimmed, beds reshaped and remulched, bushes moved around, new trees planted.  Shane has gotten good at growing maple trees and new crepe myrtles from seeds that drop into our yard.  We planted nine crepe myrtles along the fence line, all home grown from seed.

In one smaller-ish flower bed we planted two camellias.  They have beautiful foliage on them and pink flowers.

Along the back fence line we planted three loropetalum, my new favorite purple bush.  It grows 6-8 feet tall and is a gorgeous purple.  You can shape them or let them go free form.

And last but not least, my white hydrangea bed.  Two oak leaf hydrangea bushes (above) and one Annabelle snowball hydrangea (below).  This is the bed that makes me want to cry with happiness.  

Yesterday morning before church I just sat and enjoyed for nearly two hours.  It was so nice I did it again this morning.  Both mornings I saw a bird chasing a squirrel.  Phil and Kay would have been in an uproar.

So this has been a semi-lazy, semi-productive morning around these parts.  I'm still in my bathrobe and it's 11am.  I'm on my third load of laundry.  Have the cream cheese softening and am about to make a chocolate peanut butter pie for the new neighbors.  Other than that a trip to the store is on the agenda and one more trip to the grass farm for a final pallet of sod. 

After we get the last bit of sod laid, hopefully this evening, I'll post pics.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Morning People

I just read an article on, "Why God wants us to be morning people."

Pish posh.

After 36 years I have come to grips with the fact that I'm a grunter when I wake up and I hate the morning time. 

I come from a long line of grunters and haters.

The morning is tough times for me.  As are Mondays.  Every other time of the day/week we are golden.

But man, don't go spiritualizing the morning.  I love Jesus a lot.  Just don't like the morning time. 

Our littlest guy got a nasty 2nd degree burn on his arm Sunday evening.  It has been the most heart wrenching thing, as he has had to get it cleaned at the doctor.  We are hoping in a few more days he'll be in the clear.

Last week we lost a huge tree branch in the storm.  That has led to trimming all the trees which is leading to sprucing up the backyard.  My style of yard is orderly, low maintenance, perennials.  We have this and that growing in the back.  This morning as we were sitting on the patio Shane looked at me and said, "Man, our plants look junked up."  And I wholeheartedly agreed.

We have some massive flower beds that we are about to downsize.  I could take some before and after pictures if you want.

My main dilemma is trying to decide what kind of privacy hedge we want to plant along the back fence.  We need something that grows at least 8 feet.  Any advice would be appreciated. 

We are probably going to have some crepe myrtles up for grabs...if anyone local wants them you are welcome to them.  We'll also be digging up some monkey grass, mums, and other plants.  Let me know if you'd like any of it!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hair Update

I love my friends.

The morning after my last post I got a text, and I quote, "Don't you dare break down and wash your hair. It is a baseball game.  Wear a hat." 

It was just the motivational text I needed to keep me going.  With that said, I made it a full 5 days last week without one single shampoo.  I went from being an every single day washer, to going 5 days for the hair experiment.  The thing that kept me going was wearing my hair up on days 3, 4 and 5.  Pony tail messy bun and one of those elastic head band thingy's.  And big earrings.  And baseball caps.

Sunday morning it felt so good to finally shampoo.  When you go 5 days without shampooing, your hair gets nas-tay.  I mean, it is going to look and feel horrible.  But beauty can be painful.  This is where Nike helps, Just Do It. 

My hair was felt fluffy, shiny and healthy after I blow dried it.  Something has happened to my ends though.  They are looking like straw.  So dead and frizzy looking on the ends.  Some may say that is a result of over processing but I don't think so.  If you see me sometime in the future with brown hair, you'll know I have come out of denial.

Here's another interesting thing.  Today I did not wash my hair and it looks and feels so-so.  Good enough that I am wearing it down.  Does not feel as gross as it did last week.

Hopefully less shampooing really will work and cause my hair to grow faster and look healthier.

You know what I thought of though?  The pool.  I'll have to do some research to see how to handle that without shampoo.  Cause nappy hair is one thing.  Nappy green hair is another thing entirely.