Tuesday, December 28, 2010


What we did on Christmas Eve

We went for our annual Christmas Eve breakfast
at Cracker Barrel and then........

See these books?
They are gifts from the birthday party for the girls in March.
The party where they requested books for presents so
they could give them to charity.

See this bag of books?
This is the same bag of books wrapped up for Christmas
ready to be given to kids at the Children's Hospital.
On Christmas Eve.
They are only 9 months late.
I feel like a lump for not taking them sooner.
Don't judge me.

It wouldn't be that bad but Mike and the girls would ask
periodically when they were going to get delivered and I would
say, "Soon! I'm going to do it this week."
Well, now it's done and we were excited to take them.
See those bags that the girls are holding in the picture above?
They were given a gift for bringing all those gifts.
The lady at the front desk was so sweet.

After we left the hospital we went to the Adventure Science Center.
The people in the photo up there~they make me smile.

We left there and went to the movies.
Then, home to wait for Trev and Jessie.
Wow, I feel better now that I got that off my chest:)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shelby had a holiday piano concert at her teacher's studio.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Friday night was Shelby's choir performance. You can only see a little bit of her because her director is standing right in front of her.
Abby and Shelby did a small part in the reading of the Christmas Story at church. They sang some sweet Christmas carols.
After church we went to Pei Wei with Trevor and Jessie. Abby took these pictures. I'm not sure what Trevor is doing in the background.

Mike's Christmas light necklace was a hit. Everyone wanted to know where he got it. We had some beautiful snow falling all through church and all afternoon. It really was a wintry, nice day.

Shelby looking at the baby Jesus at Walk Thru Bethlehem.

They were trying to catch snowflakes on their tongues.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


We've had lots of good stuff going on this week. The girls and I have went to a piano lesson, choir practice, musical beginnings class, etc.

It's been busy but good. Now I'm ready for things to slow down a little bit. Next week we only have a piano evaluation and a piano recital party. Plus, lessons and the usual stuff that is necessary to keep a household running.

The girls spent the night with my sister last night so Mike and I shopped all day today. I know that sounds exhausting but it really wasn't. We enjoy being together and getting items checked off the list. I am married to a man who isn't afraid to, not only shop with his wife, be really engaged in what we're buying. He has a good handle on what our kids will enjoy and makes great suggestions. One of the many, many reasons I love him so much.

Shelby and Abby are in a little Christmas program tomorrow at church. Then, after lunch, we are planning to go to Walk Thru Bethlehem after church. It is a tradition for us and we really enjoy it. We're excited because Trev is bringing Jessie and we'll get to experience it with her this year.

Tomorrow evening is our MIM class~MIM means "Mothers In Mayhem". I'm speaking on "Volunteering". While gathering facts for my "little talk" I have come across some good information and I am thinking of using some of it as a unit study for the girls.

The weather people keep calling for a wintry mix tonight. I hope we either get A LOT or none at all.

Hope you all have a great day of worship tomorrow.

Deo volente

Sunday, December 5, 2010


The first thing we did to kick off the holiday season was Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland at Jellystone Park. We received a coupon to get in free (Thanks, Misti) and we thought it was so cool. Thankfully, we had the coupon because we thought it was a little pricey if you had to pay the full amount to get in.

Next, we went to Ice! at Opryland. Mike was able to snag a coupon for Buy two tickets, get two free so we were able to go at a reduced rate.

It was cool. I mean, COLD!! They give you parkas to wear and thank goodness for that!!! It was a nice temperature outside so I just wore a pair of slip on shoes~~with no socks. Yeah, by the time we left there my little piggies were freezing. There was a slide made of ice and Mike and the girls braved that. Mike flew down that thing and made me glad I decided to just watch.

Friday night we went to the Nashville Parade. It was cold, not as cold as Ice!, but cold enough to make you want to dance around to get warm. This has been a tradition since we moved here except one year, I think.

They start the night off with the Tree Lighting at the Capitol, then The Rudolph 5k Run/Walk, followed by fireworks and the parade. It really is a fun evening.

We are looking forward to more fun things on the agenda this week.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


O wait a minute.... that was last week!!!

I think I'm behind.

Anyway, I hope y'all had an awesome Thanksgiving.

We did! We ate at Trevor's girlfriend's parent's house. I hope you followed that:) We ate, listened to Jessie and her family play music, sang, and ate.

It was a pretty relaxing day for the most part. Well, except for a few tears. No, not one of the girls. Not Mike. Me. Why? Because I'm a girl~~that's why. I can't even pin point an exact cause. If you had asked me on Thanksgiving it would have been because Mike said something that hurt my feelings but, a week later, I don't think that is what it was. I just think I needed a good cry and when you need a good cry it doesn't wait til a convenient time or day. Does it, ladies?

I'm all better now. Thanks for asking.

Moving on....

Our Christmas tree is up. Trevor and Jessie came over on Sunday afternoon and ate lunch. Then we went and got our tree. After we got it in the stand we watched Polar Express and some of us took naps. Then we decorated the tree and reminisced about the ornaments. I love it.

We have already done some Christmas-y things and there are lots more on the agenda. I'm going to try to blog about a couple. No promises.

Christmas shopping has to be a little more creative this year because Trevor is no longer at home for babysitting. We are doing a little more shopping on line this year.

Shelby had her first mini piano recital on Nov. 22. I call it mini because the whole thing didn't last more than 15 minutes. She has a choir performance on the 10th and a piano Christmas recital on the 16th. She has a lot of practice to get to in the next couple of weeks.

We have been watching family movies the past couple of nights and we've laughed til we cried. Abby was upset the first night because we were watching one that didn't have her in it~~because she wasn't born yet. So last night we watched one with her in it. She was about 9 1/2 months old and was whining a little and Abby got upset that we were just letting her whine. Mike and I cracked up. I told her that just because she was whining a little didn't mean she wanted to be picked up. She may just feel like fussing a little.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Mike flying....literally....down a slide.

Shelby in front of a fake background...not really but it looks like it.

This horse was quite rude. It tried to take her bucket even though she was trying to feed him.

We've been quite busy these past few weeks and it has been so fun. We have been to 2 farms to partake of their fun fall activities. We are visiting our third farm tomorrow unless it rains. They are saying there's a 70% chance....we'll see.

I didn't get pictures of the second farm because I forgot the camera. I hate it when I do that.

Let' see...what else has been going on. We had a wienie and marshmallow roast last Sunday evening. That was fun. Trev, Jessie, Mary, and Noah came and joined us.

Noah was out of school for fall break last week so he got to join us at Noodle Academy. Yes, he did school work right along with the girls. Yes, he enjoyed it. No, I don't feel bad for giving him school work on his break. I said he enjoyed it.

We read outside.
We ate lunch outside.
We went to the park and played.
We played games.
We made popcorn balls.
We listened to music.
We took a drive.
We met new people.
We drew pictures.
We played with legos.
I think Noah is ready to enroll in Noodle Academy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Keys to the Cottage

  • finished up grocery shopping.
  • went to the Farmer's Market. We love the Farmer's Market.
  • made a Pampered Chef sandwich ring that Mike loves.
  • had the privilege of listening to my husband teach Sunday School.
  • went out to eat with Trev and Jessie for Jessie's birthday. We were going to go to Loveless Cafe but there was an hour and a half wait so we ended up at Blue Coast. It was good:)
  • took a GOOOOODD nap on Sunday afternoon. I love Sunday naps.
I know I'm a little late with this but it's better late than never:)

In other news, I made this soup tonight: Roasted Vegetable Minestrone and it was awesome. I absolutely loved it and it was so easy. I had Shel cut the veggies up this morning and put them in the fridge. This afternoon Abby helped me finish it up and it was so quick and simple.

At our house it has turned too cold, too fast. The girls have been wearing 2 sweaters and 2 pairs of socks in the morning. They are miserable until mid-morning when it gets a little warmer. They want us to turn on the heat but we are trying to hold off until it gets colder. It's supposed to get warmer by the end of the week so we just need to wear long sleeves and socks.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


We have been plugging along with school and other things this week. Someone asked me yesterday if I loved homeschooling and I honestly do....except when I don't. Let me explain. I am grateful that I get to stay at home with my girls and homeschool. I am grateful that we spend precious hours together. I am grateful that, at this time, God has allowed all these things to be a part of our lives.

But....let's get real here. It is hard to be fully engaged and solely responsible for my children's education. I mean it's totally up to my husband and I to make sure they get what they need academically and to be quite honest I am scared sometimes. Especially when they struggle to learn a concept or, in the case of my youngest, refuse to read for a few months.

On the days when the doubt creeps in I have to step back and take a deep breath. I have to readjust my thinking because we CAN'T do it alone. We were not called to homeschool by ourselves. God has called us and He will provide the strength and know how.

Along those same lines, it is our job to make sure we are doing our part. We need to make educated choices in curriculum. Not just use something because it's what we've always used. We need to know our kids and make sure they are being steered toward Jesus and His direction for their lives.

I'll admit sometimes I get so caught up in the craziness of life that I have a meltdown before I ask for help from Jesus. He alone is my strength and I feel weak when I've not asked Him to strengthen me. I'm amazed at what I can accomplish when I put Him in charge. Then I step back and say, "Thank you, Jesus. I couldn't have done it without You."

I love homeschooling.....today.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Keys to the Cottage

  • helped Mike clean the garage. It was a beautiful day and we got a lot accomplished. YAYYY! Now we can walk around in there without going through an obstacle course.
  • went for a drive with the family. It was such a nice Saturday evening we couldn't resist.
  • had a good time of worship at church. BTW, the book of James is very convicting. He wouldn't be a very popular pastor today.
  • watched the first 2 episodes of "Our Mutual Friend". We are addicted to the Charles Dickens mini-series' by BBC. We have watched "Bleak House", "Lil Dorrit", "Great Expectations" and "Wives and Daughters". We also like the Elizabeth Gaskell series "Cranford" and "Return to Cranford".
  • spent time with Trevor and Jessie. We looked through pictures, laughed, and enjoyed the company.
  • enjoyed each day and cherished the normal.
For more This Weekend I... go to Becky's Blog.

Friday, September 24, 2010


The days are getting shorter around here but the heat hasn't abated....yet. I am looking forward to the weekend because, according to the weather man, it's suppose to get 10 degrees cooler.

We have been plugging away at our lessons and digging into some really cool stuff about the American Revolution. We have been playing a presidents game that I got from Dollar Tree and I think that might just be the hit of the month. I love picking up random stuff like that and having it become a fun game to play. Well, also because it's cheap.

We got a new parts of speech game called "Cooking Up Sentences" that we are wanting to play later today. I saw the review on The Pioneer Woman's Blog and we are wanting to hone our parts speech so it has been a good fit.

I guess we are eclectic homeschoolers because people ask me what curriculum I use and I have to name off a bunch of different things. I have a bookshelf full of books and different workbooks. I love to read aloud and the girls really like it too. (thankfully)

I have been thinking about using some Bob Jones or Apologia. I need to make a decision about science curriculum and I am dragging my feet. I guess the library books will have to be our source for science until I make myself come up with a plan.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Keys to the Cottage

  • went grocery shopping with Mike and the girls.
  • ate supper at Chickfila. We saw Trevor, Jessie, and a family from church. Saturday was Jessie's last day working there.
  • watched COPS with Mike.
  • made a blueberry delight for lunch at church on Sunday.
  • cooked BBQ and macaroni and cheese for lunch at church on Sunday.
  • listened to the visiting preacher give a great message.
  • hung out with my people:)
  • laughed.
  • watched an episode of Pushing Daisies, Hoarders, American Pickers, and Pawn Stars on Netflix. (Fyi~Hoarders makes me gag sometimes.)
  • Spent some much needed time with my husband.

Friday, September 17, 2010


  1. I can't believe summer is over.
  2. I guess we better start school.
  3. I'm sure I should clean the house.
  4. I guess doing laundry should be on my list of things to do.
  5. I need to make a grocery list.
  6. I should wash these pesky dishes.
  7. I may need to make some dinner.
  8. I have to do a menu plan.
  9. I really should be reading a book to my girls.
  10. I must spend some quality time with my husband.
  11. I have to go through all these winter clothes.
  12. I may need to clean out the fridge
  13. I most assuredly need to dust the TV.
  14. I could be organizing a closet.
  15. I'm not doing any of these things at the moment.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


We had a great trip to Oklahoma! My girls were thrilled with the suite we had. They thought the decor was fabulous and the bathroom was "the coolest ever". I think Abby said awesome a hundred times and Shelby couldn't get over the round pillows on the bed. She called them "bumpers" because they looked like the bumpers at a bowling alley.

Mike, Shelby, and Abby taking a break and lounging on the couch in our room.

We drove on Route 66. We ate at Pops where they have over 500 kinds of soda to choose from. The picture above is only the bottles above our table.
The Round Barn is a cool barn that they have restored. We met Mr. Sam, the man keeping this cool attraction open. It was 200 degrees outside and he was wearing a flannel shirt, jeans, big belt buckle, and a cowboy hat. He had to be in his late 70's, early 80's and he was a character. I loved hearing him talk and I wish I could have stuck around all day but it was hot.

Friday, July 16, 2010


In the good old summertime, in the good old summertime.
Strolling through the shady lanes with your baby mine.
You hold her hand, and she holds yours,
and that's a very good sign.
That she's your tootsie-wootsie,
in the good old summertime.

Here's what's going on today:
  1. The girls are done with Music Camp and they're sad. We went to see their "Art Gallery" and "Choir Performance" yesterday. Mike only got about 4 hours of sleep~blah.
  2. I can't get use to Abby's two top teeth being gone or part of her eyebrow. When she came home from camp last Wednesday (7/7/10) she just pulled them both out. I think there was a little peer pressure for her to do it since I have been telling her she needed to pull them and she flat out refused.
  3. We are preparing to leave on Sunday for Oklahoma City. Shelby is competing on Tuesday at our national convention. She is singing "Gentle Healer" by Selah
  4. Westboro Baptist is protesting at our National Convention. This should be interesting. (don't click on the WBC link unless you want to be repulsed)
  5. I have decided to hang out all my clothes this summer to try to help cut some of the electric bill. I hope I last longer than a day. Cause it's hot.
  6. It's hot.
  7. Did I mention it's hot and I wilt in heat?
  8. I have a lot to do today so I should just end this and get moving.
  9. But I can't because I have to make it to 10.
  10. Have super, mellifluous, happy day!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


It's been a good summer around here and we have had a good share of fun.

The girls are at Music/Arts camp today. They've enjoyed it and so have I. No, I didn't go to camp but I have enjoyed them being at camp from 9am-3pm...ahem. Moving along.

This is probably totally random and off the wall but it's my blog~ so here goes.

I try to write out a to do list everyday, well, most days. Err, on days I want to feel productive.

Anyway, I write out my to do list and at the very top I write, "Devotion" *side note: I am an over thinker but bear with me you may get my point.

When I write that on my to do list I get a little pang in my heart because sometimes I feel like I just write it down to cross it off. Like it's just another chore on the list of a hundred other things.

I don't want it to be just another "thing" that I do to get brownie points with God. I want it to be something I thirst and hunger for. I was reading the blog of a friend and her husband last night and they told a story of real thirst. One that was literally the difference between life and death. Their post started me thinking about how often I thirst after God and His Word. I mean really getting to the point that if I don't get a "cup of it" I will die.

I want to have time to devote to having a strong relationship with Christ and so I HAVE to make sure I start my day out with Him or all the other things take over and I lose that special time with Him.

The image I get in my head is being in a huge crowd and being pushed forward by it. You try to go against the flow and get back to the person you came with but unless you perpetually keep moving and fighting to get back to where you were you'll be taken along with the crowd and end up in some place you don't want to be.

Questioning myself about where I am in my relationship with Christ and being TOTALLY honest about it is something I need to do daily.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Not much happening around here today. Trevor spent the night at Green Hills Mall to get the new iPhone 4 and I got about 4 hrs sleep. There is an Apple store there and he was around 40 people in front of him and LOTS more people behind him.

There were 2 lines one for people who reserved the iPhone and one for people who didn't. He was in the line that didn't have a reservation. For every 10 people they took from the reserved line, they took 1 from the non-reserved line.

Sooooo, my boy was in line for 12 hours. 12 hours. Did you hear me? 12 hours for a phone.

Maybe he got that from his parents. When he was 6 we were in line for over 17 hours to see Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

Yeah, we did. Did I mention that it was cold and it came a monsoon in the middle of the night?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Man, oh man! Is is hot or what? We have been hunkered down with the shades pulled and the air conditioner running nonstop. I can't wait to see what the power bill will be in July. We ventured out from our summer hibernation last night to go to the library, Publix, and Costco.

I know, exciting, right?

It doesn't take much to excite me these days as long as it involves a/c and something cold to eat.

We received a 30 day free trial to Costco and we decided to venture in there to have a looky lou and see what they have~compared to Sam's Club.

We were members of Costco back in Va. but here in Tn Sam's Club was right down the street so we have been a member there for 7 years. When the Costco opened up a couple of years back we just continued at SC because we are creatures of habit. Why fix it if it ain't broke? After last night I think the grass has been greener on the other side because while SC has stuff that we are use to buying, Costco has new and exciting stuff.

One thing in particular that I fell in love with is the ice cream bar dipped in chocolate THEN rolled in nuts that they sell at the snack bar. OH SWEET NUTTY GOODNESS!!!! And get this~it cost $1.50~one hundred and fifty pennies. That big hunk of ice creamy, chocolate, nutty deliciousness made me want to slap myself.

If you've never had one~I'm so, so sorry. I really am.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I didn't know what I was choosing at 17.
I wasn't looking this far ahead.
Now almost 19 years later,
I am so glad that I chose this man to be the father of my children.
He sacrifices daily for us.
He is patient. He is kind. He is funny. He is mine.
I love you, Michael.
Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Today Mike, the girls, and I went to see Toy Story*3.

And I boo~hooed.

Like a big baby.

At the beginning.

And the end.

Why? You ask.

Because it hit just a little close to home.

When I say I cried, let me just say that my shirt was wet when I left the theater.

Get the picture?

It didn't help that all I saw when I looked at the screen is a certain little boy that was only 5 when the first one came out.

And I remembered the Woody costume that a certain little boy wore that Halloween back in '95.

I also saw a Mom letting go of her boy.

Letting him go.

Letting him fly.

See, tears~again!

We loved the movie.

It just hit a little too close to where I am right now.

And I cried.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shelby~getting some practice.

Abby and Mulan
(Shelby thought she was too old to get in the picture~whatever~pshh)

I have had a lot of "stuff" rumbling around in my head lately. Some of it good. Some of it typical. Some of it downright scary and ugly.

I think I have done pretty well with Trevor's flight from the nest. I mean, really, I haven't bombarded his phone with calls. I haven't shown up at his apartment crying my eyes out. I haven't stayed in bed, curled up in the fetal position~AT ALL. I am adjusting. When I pick up my toothbrush from the cup where his toothbrush use to be I get a ping in my heart. My toothbrush looks so lonesome just sitting there by itself.

Moving on.

The girls and I are filling our summer days with the pool, reading, chores, VBS, camp, etc.. (The VBS and camp are filling their days not mine~my days are quiet then) They have been to church camp already and Music day camp is in July.

We read about the Gettysburg Address today after a trip to the pool. Abby keeps asking when school will be over and while "school" is technically over for us we still do a little bit of Math and we read, read, read. We have joined the reading programs at the library, Barnes and Noble, and Borders.

I am reading "Little Britches" by Ralph Moody to Shelby and "George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends" by James Marshall to Abby. I love reading books aloud to the girls. I hope they never get tired of it. Shelby reads her own books and Abby reads, too. There is just something about us sharing a book aloud that really is special.

I can't join the Borders or Barnes and Noble reading programs but the library has one for adults and I have been reading up a storm. I have read some historical fiction, listened to a book on CD that my friend Misti recommended, and a book about a yarn store. Have I mentioned I love to read?

Hopefully, I'll do better over the summer~~nahhh not even going to go there.

I'll see ya when I see ya!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


A Graduation!

A trip to Disney!

Cocoa Beach for the Space Shuttle launch