Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tell the truth ...

It's National Honesty Day! I'm not making this up. :)

I'll be honest with you ...

- Some of the shirts that are in style now make teenage girls look pregnant. Of course, I didn't mind this at all last summer when I didn't have to buy any "real" maternity clothes.

- I've never had my eyebrows professionally done and I need to. I really need to.

- my sister sang "Balm in Gilead" tonight and I thought she sounded like an angel.

- I don't care if that last statement made me sound crazy. :)

- I left the Wal-Mart without paying for my soda the other day and felt so bad I confessed it to Jeff when he got home. Then I went back, bought another soda and had them ring it twice. The checker thought I had lost my mind.

- my girls played in the sandbox today and didn't get a bath before bed. Gross! I just washed those sheets!

- Jeff and I have never had an argument about finances. I worry. He doesn't. End of story.

- I found out tonight that Amber Sandlin is a blog stalker. Ha! I outed you! Now you have to comment. :)

It's also Hairstyle Appreciation Day, so I appreciate Hannah's new haircut.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

10 Things Tuesday

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

Tuesdays are great days!

10 Things Tuesday - Mad about Maddie edition!

  1. I'm thankful that she looks kind of like me. After my firstborn came out an exact replica of my husband (okay ... exact replica is stretching it. More like "feminized version"), it was kind of fun when she resembled me just a little. :-)

  2. Every time I put something in the cart today, she said, "Thank you, Mommy!" like I was giving her little presents. She got lots of laughs and no evil glares in the store. Hallelujah!

  3. We enjoyed one of our favorite meals for our weekly lunch date - fritos (with a little chili).

  4. She sings all day long. With every song on the radio in the car. While she plays in the house. I love this, because I love to sing, too. Do you recognize what she's singing in this picture? Here's a hint: think Laurie Berkner*.

  5. She poo-poo-ed in the potty on Sunday! It was a fluke, but you would have thought she'd just won the Super Bowl by the way we were dancing around while Mads was chanting "I did it!" over and over.
  6. Her hair has finally grown out of that awkward hair phase that all little girls go through. It looks really sweet in pigtails now. (Or, "dog-ears" as my dad refers to them.)

  7. She loves her Sunday School teachers. When we get within sight of our church building, she shrieks, "There's my church!" (Yes, I know, "you don't go to church, you are the church". Don't judge her, she's only two.)

  8. She let's me pick out her clothes. She usually has a "shoe opinion", though. Hence the bazillion photos of her wearing those rain boots ...

  9. She's never really suffered from the dreaded separation anxiety. She's not very outgoing, so I'm proud of her for being brave in this area.

  10. Her laugh. It's definitely not a sweet little giggle. It's a big old belly laugh. Hands down the best laugh in the house.
*she was singing, "Maddie has a ball on her head".

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sophie Jane turns 4!

This, folks, is how we ran errands, today.

The crown and the sash both say "birthday girl" so it was, I suppose, appropriate. (Thank you, Lucy!) The highlight for Sophie was waltzing into her daddy's clinic in that get-up. You can bet she got quite a bit of attention and got to hear her favorite word, "princess", thrown around a few times. :-)

The highlight for me, though, had to be Maddie walking behind her alternatively rolling her eyes and getting fake boo-boos. That was pretty hilarious. I do believe she's ready for the Sophie-birthday-circus to leave town. It does feel like we've been partying for weeks!

On a sentimental note, I can't believe I've gotten to be a mother to her for 4 years. I always wanted to be a mother. (I didn't always feel the desire to be a wife. I was a horrible girlfriend. Of course, when I met Jeff, being a girlfriend was easy and being a wife sounded heavenly.) But motherhood is everything I thought it would be. I love my girls so much it makes me lose words. There is no describing how Jeff and I feel being their parents. It's hard and messy and exhausting. And entertaining and sweet and funny. Easily the best four years of my life.

And now ...

Adventures in Carrots.

You'd think by the third one I would be better at this ...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Let's get this party started!

My little birthday girl. So lady like. :-)
*disclaimer - there are no decorations because we intended to be outside. It was a little chilly, so we went in for the first half! Not too pretty!*
It's no secret that I am not a big fan of throwing parties. I don't have a clue how to plan the thing and I'm so absent minded, I always forget to do something. (this year it was leaving the camera and the bingo cards at home. sigh. Thank you, Dad for the camera trip. And Jeff for the bingo card retrieval. sigh.) It just kind of stressed me out. Before hand. Once it started, I realized they are 4 year olds. All they want to do is eat cake and play. So we did. :-)
Here is the fabulous cake made by my super talented amiga - Mrs. Jenny Box. It was better than anything Martha does, in my opinion.

Sophie amazes me everyday with her creativity. She picked out exactly what colors went where and when she first told me, I thought, ugh. It turned out pretty cool, though. I've got to learn to trust her opinions in this area.

Here are the party favors and the (hand-made) Bingo games. Sophie and I had a ball making them! It was super easy to do with the dots. (I totally channeled my inner elementary teacher.) You can't really tell, but the free space in the middle says, "Happy Birthday!"

Okay, cake - check. Play Sophie's favorite game - check. And now it's time for the old playground. Not the best photo. I blame the camera. :-)

End of story, the girls had fun. It was a party, after all. You know who had the best time? Mads. I'm convinced she thought it was her party. (She was the only one to eat all her cake. We're so proud!)

Then, after a sugar-induced crash right after lunch, we head on over to Eva Grace's party. Barrett totally out-did herself with the favors. Sophie's are already dirty because she had to wear them immediately! Such a cute idea.

Okay, off to bed. We've got a busy day ahead of us. In Sophie's own words, "I'm so gonna be 4 tomorrow!"

Saturday, April 26, 2008


We had a busy day. Lots of parties. Too tired to think about it. Chandra tagged me and this is so much easier! Polka dot details tomorrow. ..

What I was doing 10 years ago:
Finishing up student teaching at Harding Academy. Finding out I was one class short of graduating! (Trying to figure out how I had made it 4 years at Harding without having a "ring ceremony".)

Five things on my to do list for today:
  1. Shave my legs (Didn't happen)
  2. Take a group photo at Sophie's party (didn't happen)
  3. Nap (didn't happen)
  4. Go to Sonic (didn't happen)
  5. Eat lots and lots of cake (oh, it happened)
Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
  1. pay off debt
  2. have a live-in housekeeper
  3. go on more vacations
  4. hire a personal trainer
  5. keep highlights in my hair

Three of my bad habits:
  1. Too much soda
  2. messy, messy, messy
  3. going too long between haircuts
Five places I have lived: (all in AR)
  1. Bald Knob
  2. Paragould
  3. Beech Grove
  4. Searcy
  5. Jonesboro
Five jobs I have had:
  1. Baby sitter
  2. Copy Editor
  3. Waitress (best money I ever made!)
  4. Youth Intern
  5. Teacher (6 years, baby)
Five People I Want to Know More About (you are tagged!):
  1. Rebecca
  2. Polly
  3. Jenny
  4. Jamie
  5. Hannah

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sweet Eliza is 6 months old!


You were our third girl in as many years, but don't think for one second we have ever been disappointed in that fact. Did we mourn the son we'd never have? A little, but as the saying goes, "we'll raise our daughters and get our sons when they are grown." From that very first moment we celebrated you and how blessed you would be to have 2 sisters! It's a unique life experience and you get to live it. :-)

I laugh when people use the term "easy baby". That's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one! (And really, who wants easy? Easy is boring.) But "easy-going"? Well, that describes you to a "T". Already, at 6 months, you have so many special qualities. Great sleeper, huge flirt (especially with Grandpas), perfect audience for Sophie and Maddie's antics. Nobody laughs at them like you do!

We love you so much and can't believe it's already been 6 months! May God continue to bless you ...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

13 Thursday

I have a great idea for a hit reality show. You take all those (mean) women who give young mothers dirty looks in the supermarket and make them go through a series of challenges based on real life experiences. They would be voted off based on the amount of new gray hairs and number of times they snap, "because I said so!" Oh yeah, and of course they would lose points for every dirty look they receive. heh heh
We'll call it Reality Check or Parenthood Refresher or Get Over Yourself This Used to be You. These challenges are designed to give them a little reminder of the fact that it's not always snuggles and laughter. It's 13 Thursday so ...

13 Challenges:
  1. For the first challenge, everywhere they go, someone will touch them on their stomach. Ideally on the fattest day of their entire life. They must smile and act like they enjoy it.
  2. Next, they must write a 10,ooo word essay defending the name they have chosen for their unborn child.
  3. Now the real fun begins. They will be timed on their ability to correctly install, then uninstall, then install again a 5 point harness car seat.
  4. They must cross a busy parking lot with at least one more child than they have hands.
  5. Buy groceries for a family of 5 with 3 kids taking up all the room in the cart.
  6. Stop a public toddler tantrum without using bribery or a muzzle. (There's a twist here. If they spank, someone calls DCFS and they go to jail!)
  7. They must sweep the floor, fold a load of clothes, and cook dinner .... with a baby on their hip.
  8. Navigate a minivan thru an obstacle course all the while reaching back to pass out snacks and retrieve dropped items.
  9. Accomplish 200 random errands (such as getting van estimates all over town) while the kids are in Mother's Day Out. With a very tired baby.
  10. Keep the kids boo-boo free for the two weeks leading up to professional photo appointment.
  11. Take a shower every morning.
  12. Take all 3 children (hypothetically) with them to get well baby shots.
  13. Keep a perfect house.

That ought to do it. And if it doesn't, we'll have them do it in the rain. :-) (sorry, I guess I'm kind of bitter today ...)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

Alright, here's a little something that works for me. It's just a little thing, but it's so helpful! I am talking about spray sunscreen. The best invention of all time. Seriously. I'm a little paranoid about sunburns( and my girls get slightly pasty over the winter) so this has become my best friend. The girls don't mind it at all. We are out side every day and they have yet to have a sunburn.

Sadly, (cue the violin music) it wasn't until college that I learned that you can get a tan while wearing sunscreen. I am a hot freckley mess. I want better for my children! And that is why spray sunscreen works for me.

Some photos of our playdate with the Box girls:

Playing the classic game, Let's all grab the umbrella.

There were four in the bed, and the little one said ...

Briefly, my girls matched today. I expect pigs to fly at any moment.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

10 Things Tuesday

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

10 Things Tuesday!

I'm thankful for:
  1. Being able to do laundry at my parents', yesterday. I'm totally spoiled now by their front-loading, high-efficiency washer and dryer.

  2. That my own washing machine is fixed. It may not be fancy, but in the words of the great metal band, Cinderella, you "don't know what you got ('til it's gone)."

  3. Diaper booty! (but also glad that at least one child's booty in this house is potty-trained)

  4. All the advice from my buds about my van delimma. No matter how strange the question I ask, someone I know has an answer. Geniuses, all of you.

  5. I'm out of the doghouse for said van delimma!

  6. Cahoots. My older two girls are always in cahoots (usually about ways to not take a nap) but the other day I caught all three working together. I'm pretty sure the plan was to get Eliza out the door onto the deck. This is what happens if, heaven forbid, I try to go to the bathroom. Anyhow, I love how they already work as a unit. I'll probably regret those words! :-) (Doesn't it look like Eliza's directing the action?)
  7. Everyone that Sophie wanted to invite to her birthday party is able to come! Except her cousin, Abby. :-( But we knew that ahead of time.
  8. When I went jeans shopping on Saturday, I discovered that I had gone down a whole size. I know vanity is a sin, but I have never gone down a size in my whole 31 years! It felt crazy good!
  9. Bedtime prayers. Kids want to pray for the sweetest things. It's a nightly lump in your throat.
  10. And finally, I'm thankful for Sandi's honesty in her blog, today. She shared some things that I know I've felt but never felt comfortable letting anyone know. It was very inspiring.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Laundry Blast '08*

Woo hoo! Today was Laundry Blast '08. At an extremely early hour this morning, I gather up my 3 little back-up singers (after one clothing change for me. Maddie decided to take her diaper off in her sleep and so when I hugged her good morning, well, I guess I hugged her too tight and let's just say I'm glad I had one other clean t-shirt. And yes, I know I need to stop giving so much information...).
Then we loaded up about a bazillion bags of laundry into the party van and headed out. To Paragould. Destination: my parents' house. Objective: laundry city! You betcha, I took my laundry to my parents'. (What am I, 18?)

Highlights from the day:

Lunch courtesy of McDonald's (and Mom). Yum, yum! (and as always, slight indigestion afterwords.)

Rest time zoning out to High School Musical 2! (Yes, I caved. For my little almost 4 going on 13...)

Enjoying beautiful views and weather!

Piles and piles of laundry! This was just the first batch of many.

And, for posterity, I need to mention that I somehow scratched the whole side of my van on our brick mailbox. One of these days, when my husband starts talking to me again, we'll laugh about this. Um, not today.

*oh yeah, our washing machine blew up on Sunday.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Goodbye, Asad Family!

What a contradictory day! The sun was out, people were mowing their lawns, birds were going crazy, Soph and Mads spent as much time as possible outside ... but then there was an open house next door to us that ruined my good humor. I'm bummed! The people who lived there have been awesome neighbors to us and their little girl, Kashmala, is beloved by Sophie and Maddie.
The thing is, they've had a rough go here in America:

  • She's a doctor in her native Pakistan, but had to go through the entire testing all over again here (in English);

  • They sent her back to Pakistan when she was expecting K, and wouldn't let her come back until K was 3 months old, which means Asad (the daddy) didn't get to see his daughter until she was 3 months old;

  • They are Muslim, so you can imagine the prejudice they have run into time and again.
Through all that, though, they don't want to go back! There was not a time when they were not smiling and happy to be here. Every time Anjum (the mother) and I talked, she thanked me for praying for them. They felt very blessed here. Now, they are moving on to bigger and better things in Louisiana. I wish I had a picture of them.They will be missed!

Oh, some stuff I found interesting -
  • They saw each other for the first time on day 2 of their 3 day wedding. The first day, she wore a veil.
  • The bride's family doesn't smile in the wedding pictures, that symbolizes the sadness they feel at losing a daughter.
  • in their culture they take on their husband's first name. We would be the Jeff family and my name would be Danna Jeff. How about that?

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I'm so proud of my hubby, today! He ran his first 8K (his first K period) and had a pretty good time. I'd post his time, but he's a little, sigh, competitive, and I'm not sure he wants that info out there. Anyways, I'm so very proud of him.

Here's the thing about fellas, though - I've been "in training" for 7 weeks to run an itty bitty 5K. What does he do to train for his race? Nada. Oh, wait, I think he might have jogged on the treadmill at the gym a couple of times. Still doesn't count. Oh well, he says that this was his last race anyhow. So, I'm done with the fussing.

This is the only photo I took before my camera died. The funny expression is due to the fact that he was chatting and fiddling with his borrowed ipod. (It belonged to the wife of a friend. I asked him if he got to listen to Air Supply and Celine Dion for the whole 5 miles. Haha , I'm hilarious.) The runner next to him is Alan Bigham and the chick in the white cap and light blue shirt is Kim Shumpert, who ended up beating them both. :-)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thirteen Thursday (Friday)

Thirteen Thursday on Friday!

I've been thinking about how fast parenthood seems to go. I look at my babies, (and my oldest turns 4 on the 28th, I've got to stop calling her my baby) and there are certain things I want for them in this world.

I hope ...
  1. That they will learn from me about God's love, but at some point they will find it on their own.
  2. Their baptisms are a symbol of their commitment to Christ and not a reaction to peer pressure (however positive it may be).

  3. They will be kind, not just nice. True kindness is never insincere.

  4. That they will be well liked for the right reasons.

  5. They will play sports. Any kind. I was in junior high before I realized I was not an athlete. That means I had at least 6 or 7 years prior to that of playing simply for the joy of it. I hope they have even more!

  6. They will be tall! But, that's kind of superficial. :-)

  7. They go to Harding. I'm just being honest, here.

  8. They find something they love to do for a living.

  9. They find something they love to do just for funsies.

  10. They will always be the best of friends.

  11. They are never afraid to talk to me or their Daddy. And that we will always be a source of comfort for them in this world.

  12. They marry someone who lets them be who they are.

  13. They become mothers. And then they will understand.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Some thoughts

I apologize that my posts have been so scattered lately. But, really, how many stay at home moms have cohesive thoughts? That being said, here are my reflections on today:

Congratulations to all the pregos out there! (And also to the ones going through the adoption process again!) Marti Jo, Gina, Anne, Amy G., Sandi, Ashleigh, and Jenny. Wow, sometimes it seems like everyone's expecting. (Except myself, and hallelujah for that!)

Speaking of my bff Jenny, what fun it was to make bows along with Jamie, today! Bow-making is an addiction, folks. And yes, sorry to say, there was gossip.

I'm feeling better, thank you, but threw up on the track this morning. Tmi? Sorry.

So proud of Barrett! She's doing Jonesboro Bootcamp and plans to wear a bikini on the local news by the end of May. :-) My reasons for not doing Bootcamp yet are two-fold: I don't want to pay for it and ... I'm a fraidy cat!

No, my girls do not live in black and white. I only publish the photos that way because they never (and I mean never) match. In black and white your really can't tell. Now if I could just find a way to disguise their messy hair ...

And now ... may I present:
Tagged By Jenn

Mention the person who tagged you, and create a link back to them.
Copy and paste the traits for all the twelve months, OR feel free to use the link provided
Pick your month of birth.
Highlight the traits that apply to you.
Tag 12 people, and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving them a comment.***
Let the person who tagged you know when your post is available to view!

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

Mostly I just highlighted the things that I would like to be. :-) Well, except for moody and easily hurt. That's just the unfortunate reality of things.

Okay, I'm tagging everyone on my blog list. Have fun!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The crud

Can you develop allergies in your 30's? Whatever it is, I'm not feeling my best. The girls keep calling it "booger nose". (As in - you got booger nose, Mommy?) I was tagged by dear Jenn, but I'm going to put that off until I feel better. In the meantime, here are some photos of the girls "playing beach", today.

Indulge me one more story:

Today, my daughter (the very literal one), came up to me so excited.

"I've got a joke! Knock, knock."

"Who's there?"

"I am!"

"I am who?"

Blank stare.

Either her sense of humor is extremely dry, or we've got some work to do.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

10 Things Tuesday

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday
This is the day that the Lord has made! Here's my thankful list:

  1. I'm thankful that my husband stays so active and fit. It's a great motivator for me and the right example for our girls.

  2. Caffeine. Oh, beautiful caffeine, how I have missed you the last few years!

  3. That no matter how many times Sophie changes her mind about her birthday cake, Jenny says, "Oh, that would be so cute!"

  4. My local friends are so very tolerant of my absent-mindedness and obsessions.

  5. Sophie says she's not afraid of bugs anymore. Great! That makes one of us.

  6. That we picked "Enchanted" for our family night movie, Friday. The girls and I have danced all over singing "That's how you know, that's how you know". I'm quite positive our lone male is getting annoyed, though.

  7. Eliza's a great sleeper. I'm hearing some horror stories out there, so I had better be grateful for that blessing.

  8. I have a full tank of gas.

  9. Maddie got up before her sisters and climbed into bed with me. *sigh* She's so cuddly. :-)

  10. All my friends who are making thankful lists this week. You don't know what a blessing it is to me to read about all that God's given you!

Something I want to write down before I forget:

Today, Ms. Kelly told us to ask our kids about milking a cow. So, I said, "Sophie, did you milk a cow?"

"Yes!" she said.

"How do you do that?" I ask.

"Well ...... you grab it's hot dogs ......."

Monday, April 14, 2008

I'm it!

First, a big thank you for all the ideas and feedback, today. It's helped more than you know!

Now, I've been tagged by my dear Danielle and my kindred list maniac, X box wife. I am supposed to name 7 random things.

If these things aren't random, I don't know what is.

  1. I tend to overstuff my washing machine.

  2. Love, love, love shopping for my children. Hate, hate, hate shopping for myself. I get overwhelmed and never buy anything.

  3. My eyes are deep enough set that I don't need sunglasses most of the time.

  4. I was in homecoming at Harding and the dork in me will probably always be somewhat proud of that. (sheepish grin)

  5. If you can't tell by now, I struggle a little with obsessive compulsive disorder. (Hello?! Who blogs daily?) And it's not like you think it is.

  6. I was once bitten by a snake in front of my students.

  7. I cannot wink.

Here are the rules:

  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Post the rules in your blog entry.
  3. Share 7 random, or weird, facts about yourself.
  4. Tag 7 random people at the end of the post, linking to them.
  5. Leave a comment on their blog so that they know they’ve been tagged.

Here are the taggees:

  1. Alissa
  2. Amy Baker
  3. Amy Barrett
  4. Amy Griffin
  5. Amy Shumate
  6. Andria
  7. Carrie
  8. Deborah
  9. Elizabeth

I just tagged the first 7 in my blog list. (Except Ash, whom (who?) was already tagged.) Anyone else who wants to play, please do so!

*I just added two more, because two had already been tagged! :-)

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I have some things that I need advice on:

Okay, numero uno: I (we) need a new camera. Suggestions? I've heard Nikon is good. We're not millionaires, here. I'd like a good camera that takes decent close up shots. Our current camera is on it's last legs and is basically, for lack of a better word, a little piece of doodoo. Right, to recap - not super expensive, takes good close-ups.

Second thing: I have some beautiful baby dresses that have old spit-up stains on the collars. You know the phantom stains that show up many months after the fact? I've got some Oxy Clean to try, but I didn't know if maybe someone had something that was proven to work.

Last, .... and I don't really know how to word this, because I really don't know what I want. I'd like to make a little money on the side but I have zero business sense. Strike that, I have negative business sense. I tend to give things away. Anyhoo, how do you begin something like that? And, (this is where it gets really fuzzy) what should I do? Any ideas? I like all kinds of crafty stuff, but I'm not super talented at any one thing. I apologize if this is not appropriate blog conversation. I don't really like "talking shop", period.

Alright, in honor of show it off Sat. (I know it's Sunday!), here are the sandals we got at children's place! Didn't have time to make anything this week. :-) These sandals were 10 bucks. 10 bucks! We will definitely wear them 10 times. So, there you go. Dollar's worth!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

job security?

Maybe I should go back to work.

I had a grant writing training for the non-profit board I am on today. (Yeah, I know. Don't ask. I'm not sure what I am doing on there, either.) It lasted about 6 hours, which meant that Jeff was Mr. Mom for the day.

Usually, when I am out of the house, it's dinner - bath - bedtime. Busy, busy. However, today Jeff had them during the middle of the day, or the "peak hours" as we like to call them. I expected them to have lots of fun, eat lots of junk, and reek lots of havoc.

What I got was this: a clean house. 3 girls who got their naps. Outside play. A nutritious lunch. (well, okay, it was hot dogs. But at least it wasn't ice cream!)
Hmmm .... where's the chaos? the havoc? the crayon on the walls? the naptime meltdowns?!?!?!

Geez, Louise. I guess I'll be looking for a job...

Friday, April 11, 2008

A mess of random

I'm trying to forget the naptime trauma and the spanking(s) that occured, so let's focus on some positive aspects of this (mostly) relaxing day.

The females in the family slept until 7:30. SEVEN THIRTY!!!!!

I had another lesson in the differences between myself and my eldest today. I take roughly a million years before I get to the point. Sophie is direct (some would call it blunt) just like her father. She wanted Lucy's play dress today, so she says , "Miss Jenny, can you get that dress off Lucy and put it on me, please." I had to let you know that she said please, so she doesn't seem completely rude.

(Oh, and for whatever record, I found Jeff's directness refreshing and attractive (okay, and just a wee disconcerting) when we began dating. He's the only person I ever dated who didn't play games!)

Sophie and Eliza bonding.
Jenny (Parrott) Box has a blog. Hooray for Jenny!

I got out all the stuff for spaghetti tonight and realized we didn't have any, um, spaghetti. So... we had bacon and eggs. Yum!

Breakfast for supper + all 5 on the couch (in jammies) + Enchanted = Happiness (aka Family Night)

There. What was I trying to forget?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thirteen Thursday

Usually, I am not a "brand girl". I can do Great Value and Equate and Parent's Choice with the best of them. However, there are a few compromises that I try not to make.
13 Brands I love:
  1. Crystal Light. I do not like the generic version of this. Yuck. And what a shame, because the generic version is so much cheaper.
  2. Coke and any other soda. Don't give me no cola or Dr. Thunder (if I had to cho-ose ... haha inside joke) or Twist Up. (And yes, mom, I know my grammar is atrocious.)
  3. Swiss Miss hot chocolate. I love gourmet hot chocolate, but I drink hot chocolate year round so this is the best of the cheaper stuff.
  4. Gain detergent. It smells good. I used to be a Tide girl.
  5. Aussie hair products. If my hair looks bad, blame the Suave.
  6. Magic Eraser! I go through these weekly.
  7. Disney Store nightgowns. The frilliest, gauziest, twirlliest gowns out there. No compromising here. For my girls, people.
  8. Oscar Mayer hot dogs. All hot dogs are nasty, but these are a staple of my children's diet. Unfortunately.
  9. New Balance tennis shoes. I'm flat footed. These make my feet ache the least.
  10. Gap Long and Lean jeans. Did you see the name? I am neither long nor lean, but these make me feel that way. (a little) I've worn out all my pairs right now and am wearing some generic Target jeans. Hate them. Hate them. I never feel long and lean in my Target jeans.
  11. Jiffy cornbread mix. Crazy tasty. And versatile! Try it as a coating for fish.
  12. Clorox toilet bowl cleaner. It has lots of bleach in it, but doesn't smell as bad as generic.
  13. Bath and Body Works pump handsoap. It just smells the best. And they have sales on it all the time. And they have colors to match any room. Okay, I'm done with the justifying.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


*Update* The test I took is right here.

Jeff and I are totally sucked into High School Reunion. (the t.v. show) Have you seen it? It's the reality show where they meet up in Hawaii 20 years after graduation and they all have labels. You know, like, the jock and the bully and the lesbian. When I say sucked in, I mean we haven't missed an episode. It's so awesome.

Anyhoo ... we're always trying to figure out what our labels probably were. Well. Okay, I'm trying to figure out what we were. Jeff just looks at me and says that he was "the man".

Whatevs. I took a quiz trying to find out my label (maybe on can't remember) and it came back class clown. What?!?!?! I wasn't the class clown! I'd like to think I was the ... um ... I don't know. I know I wasn't the homecoming queen. I don't really remember being a nerd. This is so silly, I know. But, I want a label! Wouldn't you like to know how you were perceived in high school? Or, am I the only one who's interested in this? (Or, the only one who admits it!)

The greatest thing about the show is how everyone is kind of redeemed. The pipsqueak gets the popular girl. The geek and the bully become good friends. It makes me think that anything is possible. Who knows, maybe at our 20 year reunion I can come back as ... the 5k runner. We can hope!
C'mon, who were you in high school? Be honest ...

Oh, and after you've thought about high school for a while, check out Andria's list of great 80's movies. Too fun!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

10 Things Tuesday

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

Hooray! It's that time again! If you aren't blogging about this by now, I hope you are doing it in your mind each day. It's such a mood lifter!

Today I am thankful for:

  1. High thread count sheets. I'm exhausted and my bed is extremely comfortable.

  2. Bouncies. If they hadn't been invented, how would I have gotten a shower for the past 4 years? (Ours is about to be retired. It has served us well. RIP bouncy seat ...)

  3. General Foods International Coffee. Specifically - Cafe Vienna. Yum, yum.

  4. While we are on the food theme, I am thankful for leftovers. Leftovers= no cooking. We can all rejoice!

  5. Maddie did not cry for Sophie during her nap today!

  6. About five minutes after this fit (see photo), my oldest crawled into my lap and said, "Sorry, mommy." I am thankful for that.

7. I'm also thankful for her generous nature. Last summer, she wanted to make dresses for all her friends. Now, she is really into making bows. She wants to have a big box of bows that "friends can pick from!"

8. I used the phrase, "now that I'm a runner" in conversation, today. I'm thankful that my friend didn't laugh. :-)

9. Sirius radio! It gives me my 80's on the way to run, my blue grass when I'm feeling my roots, and Kidsongs the rest of the time.

10. Hearing my girls singing from the back seat. Raise your hand if you think at least one of the heavenly angel choirs will be made up entirely of toddler voices!

I encourage you to do this in your own life. It's a blessing in itself. Then go to x-box wife, so we can all share in it!

Monday, April 7, 2008


Bill and Dan, doing the required cheek to cheek pose.

Today, the girls and I traveled to Rector to see my best friend, Billie Jean. She lives in Georgia, now, but was in Ark. for a visit. I love her so much.

It's funny, we are so very different. She's a fashionista; I can barely get dressed. She's super athletic; have I mentioned I am the slowest in my running class? She's outgoing; I am shy ... ish. Shall I go on?

Of course, we aren't polar opposites. We have an identical sense of humor. We both love our stay-at-home-mom lives. We both have bunches of girls. :-) But overall, you'd probably look at us and say how did they even get to be friends? The answer is: our mom's were pregnant friends. We were born 12 days apart. We celebrated birthdays together. Our parents were around each other all our lives, therefore we were.

But there's more to it. Something made us stay close when our paths diverged. Different colleges. Different states. (Oddly enough, she's the one who didn't go to Harding, but she was the one who married a Harding grad.) There's something about her that feels like family. You don't have to be similar to family to love them. It's just comfortable. Eden (her oldest) always asks, "are they our cousins?" We laugh, and tell her that we kind of are.

Here are Eden, Sophie, and Lily when we first arrived. The Brister girls make the Ramsey girls look like albinos. With brown hair.

For some reason, Maddie wanted Eden to carry her around everywhere. Fortunately, Eden wanted to carry Maddie. Win, win.

Safe travels. Hope to see you soon!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I've been thinking a lot about my mom's health struggles today. For those of you who don't know, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer (that had already spread all over) . There is no cure for her kind of cancer and the doctor was not optimistic, saying, "don't make plans for Christmas." That was almost 2 years ago. Her cancer will never go away, but it's dormant. She's thriving, she looks great, she has a fantastic wig.

My Grandpa (my dad's dad) woke up in the middle of the night , and drove to tell her that God said it was going to be okay. This was right after her diagnosis. You have to know my grandpa, his faith is very "charismatic" and emotional. He has a special dialog with the Lord that I envy. And if he says God came and told him everything was going to be alright, than we believe him. And it was.

I say that because we believe that her healing was a miracle. Her own doctor says her healing was a miracle. And now I am struggling with the grief I feel for another family that I never met. Their prayers were answered in a different way this weekend. What the Powell family has gone through could happen to any of us, and they have been such an example of faith to so very many.

Tonight I pray for God's love and comfort for the family of Ethan Powell.

Hug your babies. . . pray over them...

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Things I want to remember from today:

Sophie this morning, so adamant that the perfect birthday gift for her friend was muffins. We settled on a soccer ball. (Because we have decided if you can't do hand-made, do active.)

Jeff and I trying to convince her that what she was wearing ( a shirt and a dress and some jeans) was perfectly fine to wear to the party and please don't go change again. The clincher? Daddy saying that he would absolutely wear that outfit to a party.

While Daddy and Sophie were at the party, Mommy, Maddie and Eliza played outside. Mads was so sweet swinging and singing with her dirty little feet. I have no idea where her shoes were.

Maddie running up to me and saying, "Mothebugeatpopart!"

"Say again?" I say.

"There. Was. A. Bug. Eating. A. Pop-tart!" she hollers.

Oh, there was a bug alright. I think it was a fly. I have no idea why she thought it was eating a breakfast pastry.

The girls riding their "bikes" in the cove. (at 7:30! I love spring.)

I think this day may have been perfect.

Friday, April 4, 2008


In my enthusiasm last night, 2 things escaped my attention. First, it was 13 Thursday and I forgot. Two, I didn't even thank the friend who taught me bow-making! So, I'm going to use my 13 to say thanks to some people.

  1. Jamie - thanks for being so generous with your time and supplies. We all had fun!
  2. Gina - thanks for encouraging me to blog in the first place. Funny, I didn't think I would like it.
  3. Danny, my little (29, gulp) bro - thanks for calling me out of the blue today. That's always a special treat.
  4. Renee' - thanks for getting up and instructing our beginning running class. There's no glory in that job.
  5. My daughters' Sunday school teachers - thanks for doing whatever you do. My girls want to go to church every day.
  6. Our shepherds at church - thanks for making some hard decisions and consistently praying for our congregation.
  7. The Ramseys - thank you for making me feel like family from day one.
  8. My dad - thanks for still giving me Big Hugs.
  9. My mom - thanks for the example of how moms are supposed to act.
  10. Dustyn - thanks for being a baby-sitter that I feel total confidence in.
  11. Jenny - thanks for the inspiration. You are very talented.
  12. Girlfriends - thanks for the fun times once a month. What are we doing next month? (Although, nothing will top the bows!)
  13. My babies - thanks for the daily smiles and for making me feel so loved.
  14. Jeff - thanks for being a true partner to me. I love our life.

Thank you Lord, for blessing my life with these people!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Skill

Hey, do I look different? BECAUSE I AM A CHANGED WOMAN!!!!!!!
I am now a bow-maker. A maker of bows. For you boy moms out there, it's like if you had just learned how to make cars. Or dinosaurs. Think of all the money you would save if you could just make those things.
Woo to the Hoo! I am pumped. And caffeinated.

Here they are:

They are going to be the party favors for Sophie's birthday party this year. Can you guess the theme? It's polka dots! Jenny is doing the cake, favors are made and now I am stuck. Any ideas for activities? If the weather is nice we are going up to the church playground. But what if it rains?!?!?! Party planning is so not my element.

But, hey, I can make bows! My life will never be the same.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Name Game

Check the new blog background! Doesn't it remind you of a shirt you might have had in elementary school? It's in honor of Sophie's b-day this month. It was either this or Barbie. There is enough Barbie in my life already. So, we went with mini cupcakes and floating strawberries and rainbow stars. (Somebody was tripping over at the!)

I am obsessed with discussing baby names. This is a shared sickness. There are many a gal (and a few dudes!) out there who obsess like I do. I know this because I run into baby name discussions everywhere I go. And I am done with the naming! Yet still I obsess ...

The thing is, have you ever looked up the first impression your child's name gives? We did this before we had Sophie. Supposedly, people think of a dog (thanks, Oprah) or a large African American lady (again, thanks, Oprah). That was 4 years ago. Now, it is more commonly used for children who have been adopted from over seas. Interesting stuff.

Madeline's wasn't good. People think of that mean atheist lady, Madalyn Murray O'Hare. So, I looked up the correct spelling, different pronunciation and got feisty, fearless, orphan a la the Madeline in Paris books. I'll take it.

Eliza was also seen as feisty. (odd. Jeff and I are so ... what's the word? ... unfeisty.) She was also thought of as uneducated. Good grief! What burdens have we saddled our children with?

If we had gone with Tessa, my first choice long ago, the perception is sweet, unassuming. However, to my husband the name Tessa will always prompt him to say - Tubby Tessa. Don't know why. Obviously, this factored into our naming decision.

Overheard while walking out into the pre-school parking lot today:
Sophie - "Hold my hand, Mads. We might get some car on us."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

10 Things Tuesday

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

It's thankful Tuesday! Yea!! (The more I do these, the easier they have become. I now have to edit my list down to 10. This is helping me become a lot more grateful for my blessings.)
  1. I'm thankful that my husband is not in the military. He gets to come home from work every day.

  2. Talked to my sister-in-law, Anne, today. Oh, that girl makes me laugh! I am so thankful for our friendship.

  3. Popsicles. When all is lost and we are bored to (literal) tears, it's popsicles to the rescue!

  4. Ashleigh, my running buddy. Who would have thought that I don't dread our 5:30 runs?
  5. Online banking!

  6. Sophie dressing herself each morning. It may be a crazy concoction, but it's one less outfit I have to mess with.

  7. Yeah, I know everyone says it, but Happy Hour at Sonic is one of my best friends.
  8. Time with all 3 of my babies together. Usually coloring or lego-ing in the floor. I'm glad I've got all of them home with me for another year.

  9. I found the scale! I thought maybe Jeff had hidden it. I get a little obsessive...

  10. Blogging! I believe it's helping me to find the joy, the funny, the sweet, the significant in each day. And the comment section is a whole blessing in itself! Wouldn't you agree?