Thursday, February 26, 2009

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The sun is shining, the heater is working, and the washer is a washin'! I never thought I'd say that I am so happy to stay home and wash laundry! I'm talking about the "mountain-o-laundry" that has accumulated since the washing machine took a vacation. My family was starting to look like a family of clowns with the creative clothing ensembles we were putting together! Oh, I guess that is how we always look!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Winter, Winter Go Away!


What do you do when you have no heat and the temperature outside is in the low 40's??? You turn the oven on and bake cookies!!!!!






I am officially done with winter. Yep, DONE! Before all of you living above the Mason-Dixon line in the land of the Frozen North start giving me a hard time, I have lived in some cold places and have endured some cold times (I'm having flash backs to grad school as I type!). We are having for the first time in a really, really long time cold winter weather. Not so much the snow part, but just the cold part. Anyway, it is usually not this cold here. Often around this time of year, God gives us a taste of spring to help us endure the next few weeks. Not this year! I usually can get by wearing shorts with one or two days of jeans. I haven't seen my legs all winter! Or really, any part of my body as I have been as covered up as I can possibly get. Temps have been in the 20's at night (usually 40's this time of year), and 40's during the day (usually 50-60's).
Late last week I noticed the house seemed colder than usual. Then I noticed the heating unit seemed to be making a sound I wasn't familiar with. Friday night Captain Daddy declared that the heater wasn't working and cut it off. We have a downstairs and upstairs heating units. Everyone moved upstairs to sleep for the night. A service call was made on Saturday and the repairman came out (time and a half). Turns out he couldn't fix it till Monday because he needed a part. Thank goodness we have a fireplace! Except we can't use it during the day as we are in and out too much. The repairman came out yesterday and again, could not fix it because the part wasn't in, and he will try again today.

It has sort of been like camping in your house the past few nights (sleeping bags, hats on your head, etc). The house is so cold that it doesn't even register on the thermostat. I hope the heater gets fixed today, although I expect the weather to turn warmer after it does get fixed:)
With all of my appliance woes the past few weeks I have been doing a lot of thinking of how complicated our life is with "things" and "stuff." It also makes me appreciate these things a lot more as well! I think about how The Princess lived in a very poor and rural area last winter in Jiangxi. They went through one of the worst winters last year. The fact that I can stand in my kitchen and cook a meal without wearing a down parka is a luxury I take for granted.
So I will be thankful for what I have even though at times I may not be comfortable. The appliance issues are minor in comparison to the things that are really important to me, my family and husband.
But I am still done with winter!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Won a Lovey Award!


What a pleasant surprise to login to my blog and read a message from Tricia wishing me a Happy Birthday and giving me a blog Lovey Award! Oh my! I wasn't expecting to win...I didn't even know I was nominated! I apologize that there was no paparazzi present to get a photo of the surprise look on my face as I received the award. Maybe I can get some glam shots (i.e. airbrushed) and edit this post later.

I am still relatively new to "blogging" so I am quite humbled to receive this award. I haven't had much time to prepare an acceptance speech, so please bear with me as I ramble through this! I'd like to first thank my readers (I'm up to 6 now!) for checking in on us down south here. Sometimes it is easy to be missed over as there are so many wonderful blogs out there to follow along with. Thank you for visiting us! Of course this blog wouldn't be possible without the wonderful talent that inspires me on a daily basis: The Queen who keeps me on my toes (and feet) trying to keep up with her "Royalness;" The Princess who aspires to A Queen one day; Godzilla for just being the cutest, funniest thing; and Big Tuna for providing me with the perspective of a young adult. Also, Captain Daddy for just being Captain Daddy.

I have to say that I really enjoy keeping up with all of you. I may not have ever met you in person, but I am here for you. I will cry with you, sing with you, rejoice with, and pray with you. I am thankful for each and every one of you.

Now that I have received this award, it is time for me to pass it along to others to enjoy.

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find friends and be friends.They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships will be propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly- written text into the body of their award."

I'd like top present this Lovey Award to the following 8 bloggers:

1. Vivianne at Life with Kerri. This wonderful woman always has a smile on her blog and a positive twist to whatever comes her way.

2. Linda at Why Do These Kids Keep Calling Me Mom?

3. Charlene at Miracle of The Moment.

4. Kristi at ....and babies make four.

5. Criss at The Keegan Family.

6. Chrystal at The Price Family.

7. Christy at Waiting on Lucy.

8. Bonnie at New Day for Luke.

Again, thank you to my loyal reader(s)! You put a smile on my face today!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to.....ME!


Happy Birthday to me! I guess some people probably wouldn't be too excited to turn..., to turn the age of 50! With this being such a milestone birthday I expected this to be a time of reflection on my life (so far), but gee whiz who has time? Being the Mama of a teen to toddlers, there is always something or someone that requires attention. I don't really think of myself in terms of "years." I don't know, but it seems more like a time warp to me. As the great musical philosopher, Jimmy Buffett, once sang, "I'm growing older, but not up." Pretty much sums it up for me.
Here are a few flashback photos of a much, much younger me.

Aw-w-w! Here I am with my precious Mama. I'm guessing I am 1 year or less in the photo. See that big, huge smile? Yep, I still get that same smile on my face when I know I'm about to eat something yummy!


Here I am in Kindergarten. My Mama used to keep my hair cut short as that was the only way to control it. As you can see, there are a few rebellious curls getting ready to spring out!


My Birth Verse:
"And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."
Ephesians 2:22 NIV
A "birth verse" correlates the scripture chapter and verse with month and day. The book of Ephesians was written by the Apostle Paul around 60 A.D. This particular letter was directed to the church in Ephesus as encouragement of their new relationship with Jesus Christ. He helps them to discover how to live in Christ and how to face the struggles of life through Chris's power.

I take much comfort that I am still a "work in progress" and that Christ is still "building" me. He has come a long way with me, but we still have far to go. I pray I have another 50 years to go!!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Odds-n-Ends

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Our life has been pretty busy the past few weeks. This smilebox kind of sums up most of it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Queen's Artwork


The Queen presented me with this sketch, drawn in her own hand of me and her royal self. Besides me looking like a big, fat tick, what else do you see? I see The Queen, and a few marked out blobs of color. When I asked her what she marked out she told me her "sister." Hum. I guess she has tired of The Princess' covalescing period.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sheng Ri Kuai Le, Big Tuna!

Happy 17th Birthday Big Tuna!

I can't believe that my first-born, my baby boy is 17 years old!!! I know I am not THAT old. Someone said to me yesterday that they want their children to stay little. Little is good, but it is rewarding to see your child develop into a young adult. I know being a teenager is hard (BTDT). Everyday I see more into the young man that Big Tuna is becoming, and he is becoming a wonderful young man. I have to give credit to the hand of God, as being first time parents I don't think we did things completely right in our parenting. I pray that he will one day find a woman that appreciates and loves him as he deserves to be loved.
Seventeen years ago I was watching an episode of "Roseanne" that had me laughing so-o hard that I jokingly said that if I didn't stop laughing I would go into labor. I didn't stop laughing and I did go into labor! Smack dab in the middle of tax season, and building our house, Big Tuna came into the world. I experienced for the first time in my life complete, all-consuming, unconditional love when I laid eyes on my son. All Captain Daddy could say was, "he is BEAUTIFUL!" The nurses called him "Spike" because of his unruly head of hair. He was an "only" child for 7 years until Godzilla (finally) came along.
Big Tuna now...

Little, Big Tuna circa 1995 (2 years old).
I have oftened wondered exactly who in the family Big Tuna resembles. He is built like Captain Daddy. Because he is blond, and blue-eyed, everyone says he looks like Captain Daddy and not like his red, curly-haired, green-eyed Mama. We came across a photo of Captain Daddy's father that was taken in his early 20's. The resemblence is uncanny, even down to the quirky smile. What do y'all think?
Happy Birthday my precious son. I love you so very much!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sometimes Life is a Country Song...

Don't y'all ever feel that way? You know, when anything and everything seems to be going not like you planned.

Well, that has kind of been the way it is around here. It is "tax season" and Captain Daddy is very, very busy. I feel like a single parent from mid-January to April 15th. "Twang, twang."

The Princess hit the post-surgery Days 5-7 which are the worst for pain. She is also very tired of her soft foods diet. I must admit that I have induldged myself with several mini ice cream sandwiches so she doesn't feel like the only one having to go through it. Sounds like real motherly sacrifice, huh? I've also had to let The Queen imbibe in the dairy-rich soft foods diet (yougurt, ice cream, pudding, etc.) The effect on The Queen has been a different problem. The Queen has suffered from chronic constipation since we adopted her. The soft foods diet compounded the problem to the point of, well let's just say, something getting stuck. So one can't take real food in, and one can't get it out. "Twang, twang."

My less than a year old, BUT still under warranty washing machine malfunctioned during a load of washing. Last spring we purchased the front-loading, pedastal type wahser and dryer. So while the washer kept beeping and flashing code "OE" I couldn't find the manual with the troubleshooting guide. I thought I had left it on top of the washer so it would be handy. As my washer continued to fill with water non-stop, I grabbed a ladder, climbed on top of the washer, and there on the floor behind the washer laid the manual. Did you know that you can't reach behind those darn things? I finally had to grab the vacuum cleaner, hoist it on top of the washer with me and suction the manual so I could move it from behind the washer. Of course all of this was going on while I was cooking supper. I turn to the troubleshooting guide and the code "OE" meant that the water level sensor wasn't working and to call for service. I had to get back on top of the washer to manual cut the water off at the valve because it continued to fill even after I turned the washer off. Now I had a very wet, soapy load of unwashed clothes to deal with. "Twang, twang."

We won't even get into all that is going on in this country and the economy and the havoc it is having on all of us. "Twang, twang."

But today is a new day! The sun is shining, the temps will be in the 70's, the washer repairmen will be out this afternoon, I don't have any where that I have to be today, I am working on an awesome Bible study "Ester," and The Queen goes to her first soccer practice! Tomorrow is Big Tuna's birthday and we have lots of baking to do. God is never far away. Even when He seems silent, He is there. We just have to seek Him and trust in Him. "Strum-m-m-m."
UPDATE - My washing machine won't be fixed until some time late NEXT week at the EARLIEST! Gee wiz. Do y'all know how much laundry a family of 6 can make in one day? I washed 4 loads of laundry at the laundromat yesterday. I had to drive 20 miles there, 20 miles back, and it cost $10! I hope my washer will be fixed soon!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Princess' Tonsillectomy

On Tuesday The Princess had her tonsils and adnoids removed. She had such HUGE tonsils and adnoids that she struggled at night to breathe and snored ever so LOUDLY. The doctor was quite impressed with the size of the tonsils/adnoids. The Doctor said that the size of tonsils were rated on a scale of 1-4, with 4 being the highest. He gave The Princess' tonsils a "4" because there wasn't a higher number to assign them to. He said that if she were to get any swelling of her throat from an infection, etc. that it would most likely close her throat. So with all those things in mind we decided to move forward with the operation. Everything went well and the outpatient surgery center was awesome.

The Princess and Captain Daddy recouperating.
The Princess is doing really well. She has been eating and drinking without much discomfort. However, my carniverous Princess doesn't think much of her liquid/soft foods diet! She really wants to eat something more substantial like a piece of fried chicken with french fries! She is loving all of the extra attention she is getting and milking it for all she can. She will be out of preschool for the next week. She likes having Mama and the house to herself while the others are at school.
When the cat (The Queen) is away, the mouse (The Princess) will play (sit on The Queen's throne)!

Sh-h-h! Don't tell The Queen!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Godzilla!

Happy 10th Birthday Godzilla!
It has been very busy at our home for the past few days. Let me start with wishing my son a Happy Birthday! Ten years ago, on Superbowl Sunday, during a blue moon, my precious baby boy was born. While I can't remember who was in the Superbowl game, I do remember the miracle of becoming a family of four. It is hard to believe that my baby boy is 10 years old.

Godzilla now.

Baby Godzilla circa 1999.

This past weekend was all about Godzilla, but in a fragmented sort of way. Captain Daddy and Godzilla had plans on attending a "Men at the Cross" conference out of town. It was also the Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby race. And it was his birthday.
Captain Daddy, Godzilla, and men/sons of our church left on Friday to attend the conference. It is a wonderful thing to have a Husband with a heart for the Lord. He and Godzilla had a very special time this weekend. While the men were out of town, Big Tuna raced Godzilla's car for him at the Pinewood Derby. Talk about brotherly love!

This year Godzilla asked me to make him a skateboard cake for his birthday. Here is my feeble attempt to make a "Flaming" skateboard! Maybe I should take a cake decorating class sometime!




Now it's really FLAMING! Make a wish Godzilla!



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

MIA

Sorry for being MIA the last few days, but it has been SUPER busy in this family! I'll try to post more later, but just to give you an idea: we had the Pinewood Derby, Men at the Cross, Godzilla's 10th birthday, and The Princess had a tonsillectomy/adnoidectomy (sp?). Anyway, give me a few days to catch my breath and I will catch y'all up!