Thursday, December 08, 2011

Christmas is in the air!!!

I can't believe it is Christmas! I love this time of year!!! The magic in the air, the excitement of the children, the joy of all the adults! I love the traditions that each family has and I love how those traditions change and grow with the family. I do miss some of our traditions from when Anna was tiny. My favorite use to be her feeding the tree! Such a simple task but such a joy for her. Now she just wants to water it cause it doesn't take as long lol.

I believe my favorite tradition that started for me 3 years ago. Is our elf Twinkle! He is so much fun for both me and Anna. He is a mischievous little guy doing all sorts of things around the house. My Mom and Dad would have had a blast with this if they had had them when I was little. If you don't have an elf on the shelf or have never heard of them check them out. Here are a few pictures of fun things you can do with them!!

Twinkle got bored and colored in Anna's coloring book. When we got home that afternoon he had finished the picture.
He created a zip line in our living room! Crazy elf lol.

He baked cookies when I went to pick Anna up. The oven was still warm when we got home.

He slipped into my purse the night before we were going to the tree farm to get our Christmas tree! He hung out with us all day!

He used makeup to leave a note on our bathroom mirror. He was reminding Anna to send Santa a letter.

He is so much fun. The joy on Anna's face every morning is worth the extra time and effort he takes. Not to mention it is fun for me to create so much mischief.

Other Christmas traditions I love and wait for all year include:

  • Going to the tree farm to find the perfect tree for our family! Anna and I have completely different taste in trees so this year it was more complicated lol. She likes trees that I call Charlie Brown trees simply because they are so small. I like the really big ones that would barely fit in our house lol. We compromised and got one that is probably close to 6 ft tall.

  • I love the nights of watching the old classic cartoons and also new classics like Polar Express. Oh and we can't forget adult movies like White Christmas! Throw in a little hot chocolate and Christmas tree all a glow and I am a happy girl lol.

  • Christmas gatherings both with friends and family are a lot of fun! Our Sunday School class does an ornament dirty Santa game! My family does the white elephant dirty Santa game. I like to steal presents just to add a little excitement lol.

  • Our church does a traditional service the weekend after Thanksgiving. It is the hanging of the green. It is a beautiful service that I truely love being a part of.

  • Singing all of the Christmas songs! Both the festive upbeat to the old hymns that have been around forever! My favorite secular song is Santa Baby and my favorite hymn is What Child is This! Music really is a huge part of Christmas for me!

I could really keep going with things I love to do at Christmas but I will stop at that. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Summertime Blues!

I have had a long hard summer. I lost both of my Grandma's this summer. I can't tell you how much that hurts. Mostly cause I block it out. I am the queen of denial! I don't like pain and suffering therefore I just put it at the back of my mind and forget it. Of course that probably isn't the most healthy way to handle things but it is what it is. I can say that some good came out of this summer. I have reconnected with my family better than I could have ever asked for.

It was fun this summer watching Anna bond with her cousins. She had a blast dragging her smaller cousins around in a wagon, having a water balloon fight, playing in the sand and dirt, playing with chalk, pretending to be mama and who knows what else they got up to lol. She really bonded with my cousin Holly too. She had puppies at her house so Anna wanted to go there ALL the time! Of course sometimes that was just an excuse to go play with her kids. She especially bonded with Katie my cousins 3 year old little girl. Holly also went out and built a volcano out of sand and made it erupt with vinegar and baking soda or whatever it is you use together to make it blow up. The kids loved that!!!

I spent my time with Grandma Annie. I gave her mani pedis and talked and made sure she had food and drink. We watched Murder She Wrote and movies and talked. Grandma likes to talk. Some say I am a lot like my Grandma hmmm. She slept a lot so I did a lot of reading just sitting there with her. She has always lived 4 hours away so we have never been extra close physically but I always knew that Grandma was there if I needed her. I have lost that assurance now and I have to say even though I didn't call as much as I should and I didn't go see her as much as I should I feel a little lost without her. She started getting pretty sick in early July. Her kidneys started shutting down. She already had a bad heart and her body was just getting tired. She was 93 and I have to say up until recently she didn't act her age. I felt terrible in one way that she lingered so long cause she hurt and she was tired and well she was just done! On the other hand I thank God that I had time to spend with her. I had a chance that not many people get and I wouldn't change it.

Now before we went to see Grandma Annie we were with Grandma Caroline. She got sick fairly suddenly. One day she was ok and the next she was having surgery. Maybe not that quick cause she suffered with the pain before deciding to go to the hospital. She just never recovered from the surgery. She was moved to ICU not long after she went in the hospital and stayed there for somewhere around 2 or 3 weeks. It is all a blur for me. We would go hang out in the waiting room and go visit her during visiting hours. Anna actually enjoyed hanging out at the hospital and she always wanted to go with us. My Daddy and I would kinda take turns giving her a break from the hospital. Grandma Caroline had a brief period when she was awake enough for us to talk to but mostly they kept her sedated. When she was conscious though I managed to make her smile a few times (Well as much as she could with the tubes and all.) She was able to tell us she loved us and hear us tell her.

I will miss both of my Grandma's very much! They were both full of courage and spirit and spunk. They both thought of others before themselves and both loved completely. I am thankful I know they are both in heaven now. Grandma Annie is probably singing and dancing and they are both chatting with all of the people they lost.

Things I learned this summer:

  1. You have 1 family don't waste time being stupid.

  2. It is ok to get dirty! It will wash off (eventually).

  3. Take time to go see the cows. Life will keep on going even if you take a minute to just breathe in the fresh air.

  4. Let the people you love know it because sometimes you don't always have another chance.

  5. Children can handle a lot more than we give them credit for.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thank you plus a challenge!

I was overwhelmed with the love and support after my last post. I wish you could see my facebook responses on here but you can't. Most of us have lost someone special to us at one time or another. I don't intend to keep dwelling on it because that is not how I deal with things. I am the queen of denial. You know forge ahead as if nothing is wrong. If you tell yourself something often enough you will eventually believe it, right?

That really goes both ways. If you tell yourself something bad over and over. "I look terrible" is a good example! Eventually you believe it and if someone says how beautiful you are you don't believe them. I am going to try a little experiment over the next month. I am going to tell myself something positive. The same thing over and over every day and see if I come any closer to believing it! Do you think it will work? My self-esteem is not the best, so this should be fun to see. Maybe I will even try it out on Chris and see how it works if you compliment someone each day with the same thing if they can start to perceive themselves in a different manner.

You are so BEAUTIFUL!!!

Does anyone want to join me in my challenge? If you do please let me know how it goes!!!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Listening to God

A few weeks ago I had this urge to go visit my in-laws. I get along great with my in-laws but it isn't often that I get a whim to go see them. There are 2 very good reasons for that first of all because Anna is not a great traveler (she gets it from me) and second of all because they are here so often we don't have to. It had been Christmas since we had seen them and I just knew we needed to go visit. I told Chris that we needed to and he wasn't so sure lol. He wanted to just chill on our weekend and not worry about it. I convinced him that we needed too and even after I got sick on Wednesday I was determined to go. We left Friday after Anna got out of school. Saturday we went to breakfast and Anna stayed with Yia Yia and Pop most of the day. Her Daddy was in and out too but she was mainly Yia Yia and Pops for the day. They had a blast. Did a little shopping, played legos (Anna's favorite thing to do with Pop!) and colored and who knows what else lol. They just had the perfect day! Anna and I were staying with Aunt Casey and Chris stayed with his Mom and Dad. That is the way we do it when we visit for whatever reason lol. I have always thought of it as trying to give Aunt Casey a little time since Anna is always about Yia Yia and Pop when they are around. We left that night and everything was right in the world. We had no idea that less than 8 hours later our world would turn upside down.
Pop had been having some health issues. His legs were constantly swollen and his body was starting to swell as well, he was on a heart monitor because they wanted to watch it for a while (they did this every year or so.) Around 4:30 am his alarm on the monitor went off. Less than an hour later we lost our beloved Pop! Our family has suffered a great loss! Pop was a large part of the sparkle in our family. He was a fun-loving friend to anyone he met. He could have a fabulous conversation with a brick wall lol. I remember when Casey woke me up and told me my first thoughts were that this was a bad joke. Sure he wasn't the healthiest person around but Pop was larger than life he was going to be around forever. Chris says it best I think - He gave so freely with his big heart that he had nothing left for himself.

Now you wonder what all of this has to do with listening to God? I know without a shadow of doubt that God told me that we needed to go to visit! I know that for a few reasons. Pop loved his Anna more than anything and they needed that day of love for them both. I think I forgot to mention that they also made Valentine's Day cards. They made them for each other and us. We have the one Pop made for our whole family and that is a special gift! Anna now has the sweet memory of the day, doing all the things she loved with her Pop. If I hadn't listened to God she wouldn't have that. If I hadn't listened to God Lynn would have been home alone trying to deal with all of this. Chris would have never been able to forgive himself for not being there through this. If I had not listened to God we would have had a 2.5 hour trip after finding out he was gone. Casey would have been home alone when the call came in. You can sit there and think what you will but I know that my God was telling me to go home! My God loves me enough to put me where I need to be when I am needed.

He loves me enough to talk to me and have a relationship with me. I am not a perfect person. In fact, I have screwed up more than most! However, I am blessed to be loved by a perfect God that is forgiving! I have a long way to go before I can claim the perfect relationship with Him. I don't read my Bible as much as I should, instead I read novels. I pray to Him but I sometimes hold things back. I give things over to Him and then I take them back because well, I think I know how to handle it. I am trying real hard to be the person that He wants me to be and I still fall short most of the time. Through all of that He still talks to me! He still loves me and forgives me each and every time!!!

I thank God for that last day with Pop! I am thankful that I am assured that Pop feels 100% better now. That he is happy and talking the ear off of all of his friends and family that went ahead of him. We will always miss Pop, but I am so glad that I believe in Jesus and I know that one day we will see him again!

Does God talk to you? Have you slowed down to listen to Him lately? I know I need to slow down a lot more than I do! My church has just started a Bible Study Discerning the Voice of God. I am excited about it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I have a kindergartener!!!

We took Anna to her first day of Kindergarten! I can't believe my baby is in kindergarten. Where did the time go? It has apparently been stressing me out! I freaked out last night thinking I had put my phone in the washing machine in a pair of pants. I was seriously about in tears until I had Chris call my cell. It just seems like yesterday when she was coming home from the hospital. Does that mean that the time between now and high school is just a blink? I want to hold onto every moment I can. I try to memorize all the fun and silly things so that I can have it to remember.

For example: The way she loves to play games! Her favorite is eye spy!!! She loves to draw and read. She loves to ride her bike and climb trees. She loves to sing songs and if she doesn't know the words she just makes them up. She has the pretties smile that brightens up her whole face and puts the stars in her eyes. And her laugh is contagious. She has a great laugh!!! It is a lot like mine but even better because hers is well hers. lol We love to swim together. She is a great swimmer. She can do front flips and back flips. She can swim in the deep end without batting an eye. She loves to play ball and "chat". She likes to have picnics and a movie! We try to do it at least once a week.

I can't wait to see how today went for her but for now I need to go clean up my house. It is a mess! I haven't cleaned in a week just so I could soak her up every minute. Now it is back to work! I have to say I am glad though I can't stand living in a mess!!!

Oh one more thing! If anyone has fun lunch box ideas I would love to hear them. I would love to do something fun and interesting at least once a week for her.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

#1 Favorite Christmas Memory

I left a memory out yesterday. It is so special it deserved its own post!!!

The week leading up to Christmas I had Anna and Chris at home with me. Chris was in between jobs and Anna was out on Christmas break. Anna and I bought Chris a little something even though he and I weren't getting each other something. I wanted Anna to get him a little something. Anyway, I was in the floor doing the last of my wrapping including the present for Chris and several other things. Anna said, "Mama, where is your present". I told her that I wasn't wrapping one for myself. She said "OK , wait a minute" with her little mischieveous smile. She went behind the tree, took a present out of a gift bag that I hadn't closed up. She grabbed a Santa from the Polar Express movie that my Mom gave her a year or 2 ago and she put it in the bag. She then came and got the tape and proceeded to tape up the bag! She did it very efficiently going all across the top so that I couldn't peak! lol She then came around the tree and said "I got you a special present Mama." She has no idea that SHE is my special present!!! All I need is her and her Daddy! I didn't need a present but the thoughtfulness of that gesture really touched me. God has blessed me with a very precious little girl!!!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Christmas Memories 2009

What a crazy Christmas holiday we had this year! We discovered how truly blessed we are and what an awesome God we serve!!! These may not be in order. I just wanted to jot them all down so we wouldn't forget.

In Oct. Chris found out he would be losing his job Dec. 18th. We knew that we would be ok. We both just had a peace about it all. Which I can assure you didn't come from either of us! We did continue life as normal, buckling down in a few areas financially. About a week or 2 before Chris's last day he got a call from a tech school and they wanted to see him that day. He was dressed casually cause they were packing up the school etc. So he ran home and changed and drove out to the interview (a little more than an hour away). Long story short he found out he was getting that job on the same day that he was signing his termination papers. By the way I should add in there he was not "fired" he was laid off cause they were closing the campus that he was working at. They probably knew they would do this when they hired him... That doesn't matter because our God is such a mighty God He had everything planned out perfectly!

Back to Christmas...

Yia Yia & Pop & Aunt Casey:

They all came to spend Wednesday afternoon through Sunday with us. Wednesday night we had a Low Country Boil! My friend Denise and her son Dustin came over and did that for us. Now I know that I am a southern girl and I live on the coast but I do NOT like seafood lol. However, the corn and potatoes were delicious lol. Everyone else raved about the whole thing and we heard about it all weekend!


We had a lazy day. Yia Yia and Pop took Anna shopping so that we could put together the lego table they were giving Anna and also the Princess table from Santa. After we did that we (Chris, Casey and myself) went to grab lunch and to pick up a shrimp platter for the night. (yuck ;0) We came back home & I pulled together some spinach dip and some queso dip and opened the shrimp platter and a chicken nugget platter (from Anna's favorite place, Chick fil a). That was our dinner! It was yummy! We had a few peanut butter balls for dessert. We opened up all our presents and Anna was so funny! The second present she opened was the Cool School computer from a few ladies Chris had worked with. A very wonderful and thoughtful thing for them to do! She saw what it was and she started going " O O O I WANTED ONE OF THOSE FOR MYSELF!!!" She squealed with delight after each gift she opened. I wish I could have captured it on video! We finally got to crash at some point and she was almost instantly asleep!


I was able to find a Princess Jeep online for $75 for Anna from Santa! I was so excited about it and it was barely used! Pretty much perfect!!! Santa had a hard time getting it out of the garage and into the house. lol I didn't realize it was so HUGE. Chris brought it home and put it in our garage so it didn't look so big in there. Santa also brought her a Princess table with a dry erase table top. Oh and we can't forget a Cinderella baby. When she came out of the bedroom she zoned straight in on the baby that was sitting in the car. It took her a few minutes to even register the car! She got in it after that drove straight into the coffee table. She didn't have any room really! She eventually made her way over the the table where Santa had left her a note. He wrote on it "Merry Christmas Anna thank you for the cookies! See you next year. Santa" She loved that!!!


After Santa was enjoyed for a while we ate a biscuit that Pop had bought from Anna's other favorite (Hardees). We also had a cookie cake kinda thing and lit candles and sang happy birthday to Jesus! We then played with some of her other toys until Grandma & Grandpa came in with more presents to open! Anna is definitely lacking for toys! She had a great time playing with them and opening more presents. Her favorite things were trying to run over Grandpa and sitting in the chair with Grandma listening to music. We had a non-traditional lunch of a mexican chicken dish that is super yummy! with mashed potatoes and green beans and a dump cake for dessert! Everything was tasty! That night Yia Yia, Casey, Chris, Anna and I piled into the car to go see Christmas lights at this house that is totally awesome! They blink lights to music they have set on a radio station. I can't even explain to make it as cool as it really is. Anna liked it so much that we had to go see it probably 6 times over about 2 weeks!


One night a few weeks before Christmas we piled into Denise's car with Hannah and Nancy and all of us. We headed about an hour or more away and looked at some very cool lights set on a trail. We walked it and then had dinner at a place called Jasper's Porch. The food was pretty good but we were in there for almost 2 hours! After that we walked the trail again and then headed towards home singing all the way! It was a blast. We had to go by Denise's sisters house (her Mama said we had too lol) Her house was done up very cool including reindeers on the top of the house! Then we went out to the same house we went to on Christmas day! That was our first visit of the year there and I think it was probably the most fun. The group of friends we were with were just THAT much fun!!! We went to McDonalds afterwards and went through the drive thru. I am sure they thought we were drunk even though we hadn't had anything!!!


We went over to Denise's house and had pizza and played cards. We had a great time. laughing and cutting up. It is great to have such good friends! I am truly blessed and honestly they are the only thing that makes me sad to have to move. Hmmm, you think I could convince them to move with me? lol Denise let us spend the night at her house so that we didn't have to go out on the road.