Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking back before looking forward...

How does this happen?? I mean, really. It seems like we were just welcoming in 2008. I blinked, and now 2009 is just two days away. My mom always told me that the older you get, the faster time seems to pass. She was right!

Overall, 2008 has been a great year for my family... and for me personally. Of course, it had it's ups and downs...but overall it's been good.

Good things that have happened this year (in no particular order):

- became an aunt/Nanny for the 3rd time!! Yeaaaa for Baby James!! I love him so much!!

- reconnected with my bestest friend,
Dawn !!

- worked really hard on and have gotten better at opening up. Still have a long way to go, but I'm making progress! It's not always easy, but I don't want to spend my life being an ostrich!

- grown stronger in my faith and become more active in our church

- helped with Hurricane Gustav relief efforts

- grown even closer to my wonderful husband!

- in August Mike got a new, better paying job

- made some new friendships (Summer & Carole)

- learned to be more patient with my children, Lane & Ryan. They are the loves of my life and I thank God for both of them.

- the relationship with me & my daughter has grown from parent/child to parent/young adult. She is awesome and I am so proud of her!! We have come a LONG way this year.

- been there for my mom when she needed me. She is an amazingly strong woman and I am blessed that she is my mom!

- been able to spend more time with my sister and her boys (they are like my other 2 sons!) since she isn't working anymore!! Lauren is my other half, seriously, I would be lost without her!

- learned that even when things/situations don't look good ... to have a deep faith that God is in control and that it will work out according to His plan, not mine.

- through a lot of letter writing, a few phone calls, and (so far) one (going again in January) visit, developed a great relationship with my friend, Dawn's, son, JP. He has always had a special place in my heart and I'll always be there for him!

- started blogging and I love it! Made some really good friends in the "blog world!!"

- reconnected with some real life friends:
Chelle, Kim & Joe

- took a "not-so-popular-in-Louisiana" position in the 2008 Presidential Election.

- witnessed and prayed for my friend,
Carole's, amazing journey of faith and determination to adopt and bring home her beautiful son from Africa!! What an experience for her entire family! I can't wait to meet "A"!

- learned to not be a "lazy" friend. Friendships don't just happen by themselves and they are too important to ignore.

- reconnected with some of my friends from high school! (Ack, my 20 year reunion is in a few months!)

- learned to be thankful, really thankful, for the blessings that me & my family have been given. Blessings, no matter how big or small, are all around all of us. We just have to open our eyes and SEE them.

I hope and pray that each of you has a wonderful, safe, Happy New Year!!
2009 is going to be a GREAT year! I just know it!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Recent Developments & Changes

WARNING: This will probably be a long, rambling post. I am mostly venting and trying to not be an ostrich any more!

Ok, I am going through something not-so-great right now and have debated back and forth with myself over whether to blog about it or not. Obviously since I'm typing this and you are now reading it, I've decided to go ahead and blog about it. I do not want to continue my ostrich pattern any longer and hopefully I will get some good advice on how to handle this sticky situation.

This story can be a little confusing and somewhat complicated so just bear with me...

Ok, as most of you know my JOB is babysitting children in my home. The money I make from doing this is in no way "extra" money for us. It is used as actual income and goes towards paying the mortgage and our monthly bills.... just like most anyone's paycheck does. It is money that we count on to make ends meet each and every month.

When this job started almost a year and a half ago... my "friend" & neighbor (Mary) approached me about babysitting her 3 kids. I had started working in November 2006 and it lasted only 6 months because I wasn't making enough money to justify the expenses that we incurred so that I could work, daycare, gas, clothes, lunches, etc. Plus, our youngest son Ryan was not handling daycare well at all - to put it mildly. So, she knew we were struggling financially.

It just so happened that Mary's mother (who happens to live across the street from me) had been babysitting her kids and had recently decided that she was not going to continue to babysit any longer. So, Mary came to me to see if I would be interested in babysitting her kids instead of me trying to find another job outside of my home. I had been praying for an answer to our financial problems, and this seemed to be it!! It seemed to be the perfect solution to both of our problems.

Mary's best friend, Michelle, also happened to need a babysitter for her little girl too. I also happen to know Michelle through Mary. So, Michelle approached me and asked if I would be interested in babysitting her daughter as well. Of course, I accepted the offer.

So, that's how it went for an entire year. It was very hectic and stressful ... but I did everything I was asked to do and then some. I kept the kids when I was sick, when my kids were sick, when the kids I babysat were sick, etc.

This year, right before school started, Mary's mother decided she wanted to babysit Mary's 3 kids again. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Mary's mom...but she isn't always dependable to say the least. There is SO much drama with her, it's unreal...but she has a good heart. Anyway.... when Eric (Mary's husband) found out that his mother-in-law wanted to keep the kids again, he was a bit uneasy about it. He was afraid that she would just decide one day out of the blue that she was done babysitting, or that some "health" issue would come up for either her or the grandpa and that on any given day she wouldn't be available for the day, several days or weeks to babysit. Which would mean that Mary & Eric would be stuck without childcare for their 3 kids, which would be a huge problem for anyone.

So, Eric, (who is a lawyer) came over one evening and asked me if I would be the grandma's backup if he committed to me that he would still pay me the same amount each weekly to keep me on "retainer" so to speak. He said that this arrangement would last through the end of the summer of 2009. I felt a little odd about taking money from my friends and not really doing anything... but he assured me that this is what they wanted to do and that it was a small price to pay for security and stability for childcare. So, I accepted their offer. This was right before school started this year.

And, just like Eric thought would happen, there have been several times since school started that the grandma couldn't keep the kids, so I was there to do it. No problem... I held up my end of the deal consistently. In fact, there have been times when their 3 kids just showed up at my front door in the morning without anyone letting me know in advance that I would need to keep them that day.

In the beginning of this arrangement, Mary or Eric would come over and give me a check on time. Lately though, I have had to walk over to their house and ASK for my paycheck. Doing that makes me feel extremely uncomfortable and I've told them that I hate ASKING for it. They have always told me not to feel like that, that they just get busy and forget.

As of Friday, they had not paid me for the past TWO weeks. Finally, I decided to walk over there yesterday and tell them that I need it. Our mortgage payment is due on Jan.1st. So, I get there and Mary is at work. No problem, I'll just talk to Eric. I ask for the check for the two weeks. He says that he doesn't have the checkbook that Mary has it with her at work. (I did eventually get paid for the previous two weeks today - Saturday.) I take a deep breath and ask if everything is ok, and ask if this arrangement is something they want to continue to do because I'm getting a strange feeling about things.

Eric then drops a bombshell.

See, Mary & Eric are planning to take their family to Disney World in February, which I already knew. He then tells me that the law firm he works for has always given their employees a BIG Christmas bonus each year. It turns out that a couple of weeks ago, Mary & Eric had to pay for their trip to get whatever price it was that they were quoted. Well, at that point, Eric had not yet received his bonus. So, he called his mom & stepdad and they agreed to CHARGE their trip to mom & stepdad's credit card. Yes, you heard me. They charged over $3000 to someone else's credit card without having the money to pay them back. Well, guess what happens next?!?! That's right.... turns out that Eric's firm had a change of heart this year and they are not given their employees a bonus at all.

Long story short, Mary & Eric have decided that one place they can cut their monthly expenses is to cut me off. The arrangement that THEY offered to me and that I counted on for income is over. They will use the money they used to pay me to pay his mother back. But wait, it gets even better.

Michelle is also losing her job due to the company that she works for centralizing their sales force to Oklahoma. Her last day of employment is Jan.23rd. Michelle is a single mom with no family in the immediate area. Claire (Michelle's daughter) goes to a private Kindergarten and one of my duties included taking her to and from school. When Michelle found out a few months ago that she was losing her job, she asked if once she finds another job would I please continue to be Claire's babysitter. Of course, I said I would. Problem is now I won't be able to do that since the amount Michelle pays me isn't enough to make ends meet for my family. So, that leaves Michelle up a creek for a babysitter as well. Mary & Eric have agreed to pay me through Jan.23rd.

With all that said...as Jan.23rd...I will no longer be babysitting kids. Unemployed. And, with the kind of "job" I had, I'm not even eligible for unemployment benefits until I can find a new job. This means that I MUST find a job (quickly!) and go back to work outside of the house which means that I may have to put Ryan in daycare and maybe Lane in a before & after school program at a daycare as well.

Needless to say, I am not happy at all. I feel like I was used, betrayed, lied to and taken advantage of. Mike often asks me why I don't have many "girlfriends" that I am really close to...this is a perfect example of why. My close inner circle consists of my sister, my mom, my daughter,my friend Dawn, and my friend Polly (who happens to be Mary's sister!) and that is just fine with me. For years, I considered Mary to be a really good friend of mine. Now, not so much. Lane and Mary's oldest son are best friends, I am close friends with Polly (Mary's sister!), our mothers are friends. Our families are very much intertwined. I am really hurt that they chose to do this.

All of this is happening so that Mary can take her family to Disney World. Eric told me that he asked Mary about cancelling the trip and getting a refund. She told him no that if they did they would lose a $500 deposit and she WANTS to go. Mary was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and I now realize that she wants what she wants when she wants it and will do whatever it takes to make it happen. In my book, this is not how you treat your friends.

So, if anyone in the Baton Rouge/Gonzales/Prairieville area knows of any job openings... please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it.

I fully believe that God has a plan for ALL of us and while I may be surprised by this recent turn of events, He is not. I may not understand His plan, but I have faith in Him and in His plan for me and my family. I have faith that I will find another job and that my family will be ok. Please keep us in your prayers!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!

I hope that each one of you and your families have a wonderful Christmas filled with love, happiness and peace. Enjoy the time you spend with your families and friends. The best gift we can give each other is our time, our love and kindness.

Let's not forget what Christmas is really about. Yes, it is about a gift...but not the gift you can buy at WalMart or at the Mall.

It is about the ultimate gift that God gave to the people He loves SO very much (us)... His one and only Son. He gave us that gift because of who He is... not who we are or because of something that we have done.

I pray that everyone has a safe and Christmas filled with God's grace and love!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday Ryan!!

Yesterday, Dec.22nd, my baby turned 4. Yes, my baby boy is now 4 years old. I can't believe it! Where has the time gone?

It was 4 years ago yesterday that I held him for the first time and looked into his beautiful eyes.

It was 4 years ago yesterday that the image of his precious face was engrained into my memory for the rest of my life.

It was 4 years ago yesterday that I heard his cry for the first time and for the first of many times, I was able to calm him, soothe him and quiet him.

It was 4 years ago yesterday that I totally and completely fell in love with my youngest son, Ryan.

My prayer for you is that you will have a long, HAPPY life covered by God's grace and love for you. I pray that you will always be as sweet, as loving, as smart, as happy and as kind are you are today. My hopes and dreams for you far surpass anything I could ever possibly put into words.


And then.

Happy Birthday Ryan, my baby boy. I love you SO very much!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Today's Encouraging Word

Every day I get an email from the AWESOME Christian Radio Station, KLOVE. Todays was great so I wanted to share it. It just seems to fit right now in this season of, what has so sadly become, so very materialistic for so many people. A lot of people lose sight of what Christmas is all about and get lost in the madness of "Gimme Gimme Gimme."

There are a lot of families that for whatever reasons just CAN'T (or maybe won't) get their kids all of the newest, fanciest, most expensive gifts. I am one of those "can't" parents, and if I am going to be completely honest, I admit that it is something that I do struggle with. I have to remind myself sometimes... ok, OFTEN, that big, fancy, expensive gifts are not what Christmas is all about. The greatest gift we have ever received did not cost a dime, although the ultimate price was paid for it. It is so important that we teach this to our children... and also remind ourselves of this as parents.

"A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones."
Proverbs 14:30 NLT

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is It Just Me???

Or, is anyone else having a panic attack over the fact that there is only one week left until Christmas. Yep, that's right... ONE WEEK!!!

It's crazy. It seriously seems like Thanksgiving was just last week. I mean, I knew Christmas was coming - just like it does every year. But somehow, it is HERE all of a sudden!! How does that happen??

I still have a good bit of stuff to get done before the big day. I spent the better part of yesterday and today shopping, and I'm just about finished. Just 3 people left, I think. God help me to not forget anyone!! Mike's work Christmas party is tomorrow night. And we still have to go see Santa, finish shopping, make goodies, wrap presents, clean the house, go grocery shopping, etc. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!

Plus, Lane is in the Christmas program this weekend at church! They will be performing at all 4 services. And guess what?! Lane was given a small speaking part in the program!! I am SO excited and so very, very proud of him!! He is very excited about it too, and he just loves being part of the Kids Worship Team.

Ok, so I'm going to go try to calm myself down so I don't end up in a total and complete panic. I'm taking a deep breath and counting to about a billion. I'll also be chanting the title of Pastor Dino's current series at church: Simple Christmas. Simple Christmas. Simple Christmas...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

50 Random Things

50 random things about you!

I got this from my friend, Dawn's, blog! If you read this, FILL IT OUT! Learn 50 things about your friends, and let them learn 50 things about you!
It's fun...I promise!

1. Do you like cheese? Yes

2. Have you ever smoked? Only a couple of times trying to be cool- yuck!

3. Do you own a gun? Nope. Guns make me nervous!

4. Do you like listening to Christmas music? Yep.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Only when they make me get on the scale!

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Yummy with chili.

7. Favorite Christmas song? Joy To The World! & What Child Is This?

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? It's a one-two punch. First, coffee then switch to diet coke!

9. Can you do push ups? This is a joke, right?

10. Who is your favorite Grey's Anatomy Character? I don't watch it much...but McDreamy is easy on the eyes.

11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding rings

12. Favorite hobby? Computer Time!

13. Do you eat "exotic" foods? Uhhhh define "exotic!"

14. Do you have A.D.D.? Not officially, but I swear I have "adult onset ADD" if there is such a thing!

15. What one trait do you hate about yourself? Nervousness & my tendency to worry (oops, that was 2!)

16. Middle Name? Marie

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? Need caffiene! My list of things to do today, and this is fun!

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday? Egg Nog for hubby & Ryan, Diet Coke & Bubble bath

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink: Diet Coke, Green Tea & water

20. Current worry right now? My best friend's son, JP, & trying to get everything done before Christmas!

21. Current hate? Hmmmmm...nothing really.

22. Favorite place to be? Home & with family/friends! I love being at HPC too!

23. How did you bring in the New Year? At our neighbor's house for a party and fireworks! Fun!!

24. Where would you like to go? Africa

25. Name three people who will complete this? I have no idea!

26. Do you own flip flops? Well yeah... duhhh!!

27. What shirt are you wearing? Mickey Mouse T-shirt

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Nope

29. Can you whistle? Not so much.

30. Favorite color? Purple & red

31. Would you be a pirate? No way!

32. What songs do you sing in the shower? None, but I sing like crazy in the car!

33. Favorite girl's name? Grace

34. Favorite boy's name? Daniel (Daniel is Lane's first name!) & Ryan

35. What's in your pocket right now? They're empty...other than some fuzzies!

36. Last thing that made you laugh? A letter from JP and my kids!

37. Best bed sheets as a child? White sheets with little pink flowers.

38. Worst injury you've ever had? Broken rib...ouch!

39. Do you love where you live? Yep!!!

40. How many TVs do you have in your house? 3

41. Who is your loudest friend? Mary

42. How many dogs do you have? None. We're cat people!

43. Does someone have a crush on you? I doubt it!

44. Hmmm.. there's not a 44.

45. What is your favorite book? Danielle Steele, John Grisham & Nicholas Sparks. And of course, the Bible.

46. What is your favorite candy? Anything CHOCOLATE! I especially like Reese's, the sweet & salty thing just works for me :-)

47. Do you know all the words to the Fresh Prince theme song? Most, but not all.

48. What song do you want played at your funeral? I Can Only Imagine, Blessed Be Your Name & The Blessing

49. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Snoozing...

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Uggghhhhhhhhhhh it's time to get up already?? I need coffee!

Ok, that was really fun!! Take a minute and fill it out... I can't wait to read yours!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm Baaaacccckkkkkk!

I'm back!!!

After taking a leave of absence from blogging, I am returning to the "Blog World" today. For some reason, I was really "feeling" the blog thing anymore. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe I felt like I didn't really have much to share or much that seemed "important." It seemed like for a while, I was in a funk. I HATE it when that happens.

See, it seems that when I get stressed out, overwhelmed, worried or upset...I act like an ostrich and stick my head in the sand and withdraw from people. I've been that way for most of my adult life. I'm sure it is a result of going through some rough things in life and is some kind of messed up defense mechanism. However, it is something that I truly do not like about myself. So, I am working really hard on changing that.

Thank God my sister, Lauren, and my friend, Dawn, refuse to let me get away with it and they have been known to pull my head out of the sand for me! LOL!!

A couple of weeks ago they (Lauren & Dawn) asked about my blog and said that my last post was about Hurricane Ike approaching and that it looked like (from the blog) that I got washed away by the storm and never came back!! Oops!! Obviously, that did not happen - THANK GOD!

Life is too good, and too short for me to act like an ostrich. Like Pastor Mike says, "I'm too blessed to be depressed!" I have been blessed in so many ways that I can't even count the blessings... it's time that I start acting like it!

So... yes, I am back. Thank you Lauren, Dawn, Summer and Carole for checking on me and for being my FRIENDS!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike and Rattled Nerves!

So, here comes Hurricane Ike.

It is not heading directly towards Louisiana, but we are under a tropical storm warning and are feeling the winds already. It's strange how we know it isn't making a direct hit here, but we are scared none the less.

My nerves are just about shot. My friend Summer blogged about how the people here in South Louisiana are feeling right now. She somehow put my feelings into words. We are all a bit on edge around here today and tonight.

Tonight, I will pray for the people of Texas and southwest Louisiana. I pray that the storm weakens at landfall, and that there are no more lives lost to that monster of a storm. May God keep everyone safe.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pictures from our house... post Gustav!

Anyone for a round of "dot-to-dot" is welcome to come over and play on our roof!
And here is our roof modeling the latest in fashion roofing wear... a beautiful tarp!

This is a leaf on a banana tree. My mom loves to garden and the patio between our houses looks like... or LOOKED like... a small piece of a tropical island. This is what a banana leaf should look like if it doesn't have to withstand 90 mph winds with higher gusts. Notice how large this one leaf is and how it is all in one piece.

This is what our banana trees and their leaves look like now. Notice how the look like they have been run through an industrial sized shredder!!! Yikes!!

Here we have.... shingles. Uggghhhhhhhhh torn up shingles that were strewn all over our yard during Hurrican Gustav. My friend Polly who lives two houses down said she saw shingles from our house flying all the way to her house. Crazy!!! This is just one of the many, many piles of shingles we collected the day after Gustav.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Back to School Post Gustav... and... IKE

Well, today most of the kids in our parish are heading back to school. Lane wasn't excited, lol! It will be their first day at school since Hurricane Gustav blew through our state, leaving a path of destruction behind it.

I'm not sure if things at school will be normal for the kids today or not. Based on our school board's website, I have a couple of concerns. Nothing major, but for example, it seems that lunches provided by the school system (that we PAY for) in the cafeteria will be a bit strange for a while. From the website, "There will be no breakfast available all week and meals ready to eat and water have been ordered for lunch. Parents of students on any type of special diet (i.e. diabetic, milk allergy, nut allergy, etc.) are asked to send lunch with your student to school until further notice." I called school yesterday to try to find out what exactly was meant by 'meals ready to eat' meant. I am wondering if they are referring to the MRE's that are being distributed by that National Guard. I truly believe that our school system is doing the best it can right now. But, is it just me, or does that seem like an odd thing to feed school children for lunch?? However, given all we have had to deal with this past week, that is minor. Guess it's just another part of the adventure that we have been on for over a week now :-)

Anyway, the person that I talked to at school wasn't sure either...so to be on the safe side, I sent Lane's lunch with him to school today until we can find out what is going on. He was happy about that! He brought a ham sandwich, cool ranch doritos, peanut butter cookies and a gatorade... Lane is a happy boy :-)

By the grace of God, it appears that Louisiana is being spared from Hurricane Ike. We've been watching it for days now, and according to all of the information I can find, it seems that Ike will be heading to either Texas or Northern Mexico. It was hard to know what to pray for regarding Ike. Given the destruction and suffering we have endured here in Louisiana, I wanted to pray that Ike didn't come here. At the same time though, it wasn't fair of me to pray for it to go somewhere else causing pain and suffering for people elsewhere. What I came up with was this: pray for it to dissipate and just go away all together. Crazy sounding, I know. But, I truly believe that there is nothing to big for God to handle :-) Now, my prayers are for the people of where ever this storm goes. Still keeping an eye on it though, just in case ;-)

Anyway, it looks like Louisiana dodged the bullet (Ike) this time. These are stressful months for people who live in the southern parts of southern states or right on the coastlines. This year's hurricane season can not end soon enough!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pictures from Hurricane Gustav

Mike and my brother in law adding a new accessory to our house... a tarp!!! We had some pretty bad roof damage. The insurance accessor came out yesterday and said we will need a whole new roof. Just great.

This is a huge tree that USED to be at the end of my sister's street. Thank God it fell backwards and not frontwards onto the house at the end of the street. Although, that white SUV was in it's path and got crushed. My sister and her family moved to a new house two days before Gustav made landfall.

This is the one that really breaks my heart. That house belongs to some friends of ours. A gigantic tree fell through their house and basically cut it in half. This is about 2 miles from our house. Our friends had a lot of their family from Houma staying with them at the time. A couple of them were injured, but their injuries will heal. Unfortunately, our friends lost EVERYTHING. They worked hard their whole lives and now all that they worked so hard for is gome. My heart breaks for them. Please keep them in your prayers. Thank God they are alive.
This is a convenient store close to our house. The huge covering from the gas pumps was literally blown off in one whole piece. Just look what 90 mile an hour wind can do. We had gusts way higher than that though. Scary!!
After 4 days of no electricity and heat that was almost unbearable, we heard that a Smoothie King nearby had somehow opened for business. I think they were operating off of a massive generator. Of course, we loaded up in the car and headed over there immediately! I swear, this was without a doubt the BEST smoothie I have ever had in my life. Ice cold and so refreshing! THANK YOU SMOOTHIE KING for a brief reprieve from the parched feeling :-)

Now, on a more serious note.... thank you to everyone for your prayers. They helped more than you know. We are still in the recovery phase and so many people are STILL without power, even today, a week after the storm made landfall. The people of this area are amazing... their sheer determination and concern for others is amazing to see.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dear God,

Please... do not let Hurricane Ike head towards Louisiana. We can not handle another hurricane right now. Please.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Post Gustav ...

We made it through Hurricane Gustav, and it was nothing nice.

I'll post more about it later, it's been a really long, hard week and I am just exhausted. We are ok... the power at our house came back on (by the grace of God) late Thursday night. However, we are the minority in our parish and in most surrounding parishes.

Our house has some damage but again, THANK GOD, we didn't end up with a tree IN our house like so many people did.

Thank you everyone for your prayers... it means the world to me. I'll post more tomorrow. Be Blessed...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hurricane Gustav

We are in the cross-hairs of Hurricane Gustav. Within the past 30 minutes or so, we have started to get some rain and some wind. God willing, we will come out of this without too much damage.

If you don't mind ... please, PLEASE say some extra prayers for everyone in South Louisiana. We could use them right about now. I'll update when I'm able to.

To all of my friends that live here... I will be praying for you and for your families. Take all of the necessary precautions and stay safe. I pray too for all of the families that have had to evacuate from their homes, for the officials that are making the decisions that impact our safety, for anyone and everyone involved with this situation in any way at all with this storm.

Pastor Dino prayed this with us this morning at church and I found it very comforting, so I thought I would share it here.

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Is this a little odd??

Our across the street neighbor seems a bit anal about his grass. He pays someone to come out weekly and cut their yard... and the people who cut it do a great job!

So, I noticed yesterday that the grass cutting people were out there cutting our neighbors yard. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Today, as I am sitting here typing, I look out of the window and there is our neighbor...cutting his grass... AGAIN!!!

Now. I know with all the rain we have been having lately the grass is growing pretty fast... but not literally overnight!!!!!!

For some reason that is just cracking me up!! Why pay someone to cut the grass, if you are just going to go outside, sweat like a pig and cut it again the very next day?!?!?!?!? LOL!!!!

Crazy Kid... Part 1

Soooooooooooo what do you think this is???

Give up yet???? You have? Ok then, I'll tell you!

Ryan LOVES his pacifer... or as we call it around here, his "noonie." Lots of kids do, right? Well, Ryan is just a bit different from the average kid. Not only does he have a noonie to suck on... he also has one that he carries around in his hand. He affectionately calls it his "ah-wah noonie." When he was learning to talk, he was trying to say "other" noonie, and it came out sounding like "ah-wah."

As if that isn't strange enough, he likes his "ah-wah" to be sticky and yucky, LOL!! The older and more torn up it is... the better he likes it. Gross, I know!!

Anyway, Wednesday we were getting to go out and about ... I was in my room putting on my makeup when all of a sudden Ryan comes tearing in my room, hysterical!! He said he had torn a piece of his "ah-wah noonie" and stuck it up his nose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I kinda freaked out. I looked up his nose, thinking if I could see it at all, I would get my tweezers and pull it out. WRONG!! It was so far up his nose, there was nothing showing at all... not even a little edge of it.

He was so scared and was saying he couldn't breathe!! We were about to head to the doctor's office for help... when I got some tissue and told him to blow his nose as hard as he could. He did as I asked. Nothing. I told him to do it again... but to do it even harder.

He blew and blew... FINALLY the darn thing came out.

We were both so relieved. Once I knew he was ok, I fussed him good!!! I said I was going to throw his "ah-wah" away... which only brought on more hysterics. So, I took it from him and put it high up in a cabinet where he will never be able to get to it.

So, yep you guessed it! That odd looking thing in the above picture is the piece of his "ah-wah" noonie that went nose diving!

Good lord, what was the child thinking?!?!?!! He has never been one to put things in his mouth... much less his nose!! Kids... geeezzzzzzzzzzzzz!! No wonder my hair is turning gray!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Better Late Than Never, Right?!!?

My sweet Lane is now officially a 4th grader!!!!!!! How did that happen?? Where did the past 9 1/2 years go???

Lane went back to school on Aug. 8th!! His first day back at school went really well. Notice the booksack in the picture... it has wheels!! The school board policy states that starting in 4th grade, the kids can use booksacks with wheels, so Lane had to get one! He is pretty excited about it :-) Cute huh?

Lane is going to a new school this year. Thankfully lots of kids from his old school were moved to the new one too, so he knows a lot of kids already. Our parish is busting at the seams so the school board had to have a couple more schools built.

I'm not too sure what I think about the new school... as of now they don't have a playground, they have a library that is still being "worked" on and it has no books in it, they don't have an intercom system or a bell system. Seems to me like they built a big building and stuck a bunch of kids in it!

Anyway... Lane seems to like his teachers. His favorite teacher is Mrs. Teepell, his homeroom teacher and his science teacher, which is awesome because science is his favorite class. She really does seem nice!! This year, since he is in the 4th grade, he has three different teachers and switches classes a couple of times a day. Of course he has homework Monday-Thursday nights but they are nice and don't assign homework to them on Fridays! Thanks teachers :-)

It really doesn't seem possible for Lane to be in 4th grade and it makes me sad. My baby is growing up!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Let's See If This Works For Me!!

WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! It worked!!! I can post pictures!!

My friend, Dawn, came over today to see what was going on with me not being able to post pictures on my blog. Unlike me, she is really good at computer stuff! Apparently, the problem seems to be simple. For some reason, the pictures are just taking wayyyyyy longer than they used to to upload. We think... ok, Dawn thinks, that it would help to resize my pictures before I try to upload them... so I'll try to try that (LOL!) and see if it helps!!

So, for today... the lesson that Dawn taught me was to be patient!! We have been friends for around 12 years or so... I wish she would have taught me patience sooner... LOL!!! Thank you Sista Dawn for your help!! As always, you were a HUGE help!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Ok, as some of you know... I really, REALLY stink when it comes to fixing problems with our computer or trying to figure out and fix what is wrong with a computer program.

So, I am asking... begging... for help. I am STILL not able to post pictures on my blog. It is making me extremely cranky, to say the least. However, when I try to use the "blogger help" thingie to try to get help with this problem... I have no luck, AT ALL. Does anyone know how to report a problem to Blogger? Or to find out if a problem has already been reported and when it should be fixed????

Monday, August 11, 2008

Getting REALLY Cranky ...

I am STILL not able to post pictures. According to "Blogger," this is a known issue and they are working on it. Geeezzzzzzzzzz how long could it possibly take?? I read lots of other peoples blogs and they are posting pictures constantly.

Uggghhhhhhhhhh just my luck...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Problems with Blogger?

I've been trying to post pictures tonight, and it doesn't seem to be working!! Gggrrrrrrrr it's frustrating me.

Anyway, check back tomorrow for pictures and to hear about Lane's first day of school... it was TODAY!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Chapman Family

As some of you know, back on May 21st tragedy struck the family of Christian musician, Steven Curtis Chapman. Maria Chapman, the youngest of their 6 children was killed in a horrible automobile accident. She was a tender 5 years old. What a beautiful little girl and she was such a light in this wonderful family...

Tonight on CNN's Larry King Show... Steven, MaryBeth and their three oldest children (William Franklin, Caleb, and Emily) appreared on the hour long show. They were asked some really tough, heart-wrenching questions during the show. I sat in utter amazement watching the interview unfold. The complete love, honesty, courage, strength and faith of the entire family was amazing to see and hear. There was also intense pain, but the overwhelming feeling you got from watching them was their faith in our Lord and love for each other. Do they understand why this happened to them? Of course not. But they do know that God has been there with them the entire time and that He has held them through every step of this tragedy. And, the three oldest children are wise beyond their years.

It would have been so easy, and completely understandable, for them to hide away from the rest of the world and not speak publicly about what happened to their family. But, they truly feel like that is not what God wanted for their family...they feel like this tragedy is a way to bring more people closer to God. If they pulled the covers over their heads and never spoke about it, we would never have witnessed such faith in the middle of such a deep, dark valley in all of their lives. In the midst of their grief, they are all still holding on strong to the love of God and to their faith in Him.

I pray that if, God forbid, I ever am in such a horrible, devestating valley, I am able to be half as courageous and faithful as they have been. Thank you Chapman family for sharing yourselves with us. You and your story are completely humbling and inspiring. This family and this tragedy have made a huge impact on me and have touched my heart deeply. They will remain in my prayers for a long, long time...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Week!

This week has gotten off to a much better start than the week I had last week... thank goodness!!

This is the last week of summer vacation here. Our kids start back to school this Friday. The school board in all of it's infinite wisdom decided last year to re-district the school zones because of over crowding. Lane has been going to the same school from Kindergarten through 3rd grade. Now this year, thanks to the re-districting, Lane will be attending a brand new school. Which in itself is ok. The only problem I have with it is that his old school was literally, at most, one mile from our house. His new school is at least 5 miles from our house. Not that big of a deal compared to some places, I know. Plus, it's not only Lane that has to go to a new school. Approximately half of the old school's children will be going to the new one, so at least Lane will already have some friends there.

This week has been really nice so far. ALL of the kids that I babysit are on vacations with their families, so it's just me and my boys... which is awesome! Not that we are doing anything really fun or exciting, but its nice for us to be together without the extra kids around. Yesterday we (we= me, Ryan, Lauren, Baby James, and Brandon) went to WalMart to get some last minute things for school and today the same "we" went to the Dollar General for some odds and ends. Lane decided to stay home with his sissy, and Spencer has been at all day band camp at the high school.

Mike is really enjoying his new job. He has been working in the Computer/IT field for over 20 years, so this is WAY different for him... but he seems to really like it!! I've been sitting here tonight making a new bill paying schedule since his paydays will be different now than they were at his old job.

We had a nice weekend... Lane had worship team practice Saturday morning, then we dropped Blondie (aka Jennifer) off at work, then the boys got haircuts, did some stuff around the house, etc. Sunday we got up, went to church (which was awesome!), got home, I put a pot roast on to have for supper, then went shopping with my mom, she was looking for just the right sheets for her bed. I never knew there were so many rules about sheets!! LOL!! We really had fun! Usually she is a basket of nerves in that crazy store, but I managed to keep her laughing and we both had a good time :-)

Hope everyone is having a great week!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008


Yeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! It's FRIDAY!! We made it through another week, lol!!

My wonderful hubby started his new job today! He was a bit nervous but excited at the same time. Turns out, he isn't going to start off making the amount of money he thought he would be. It's still a little more than he was making at his previous job, and better but more affordable insurance. After the first 60 days at the new job there will be a salary increase... and then there are supposed to be two more increases coming within the first year. Sooooo... here we go on another of life's adventures :-) We live in South Louisiana and there are lots and lots of plants in this area, but it is hard - almost impossible- for people without "connections" to get hired at one of them. So, we know this is a HUGE blessing and we will be patient while we follow God's time-table and not our own.

Next up... my frustration. This is a sticky situation and I am going to try to not be mean about anyone in my post. Soooooooooo here goes! As you may know, I babysit a "friend" (her name is Michele) of mines daughter, Claire (plus another friends 3 kids) each day while she works. Anyway....... she gives me a hard time if for some reason I can't "work" on any given day for any reason. Like the time my son had to get a root canal or when my sister had her baby. Uggghhhhhhhhhh don't get me started! Anyway... she usually gets here around 6:45 am each morning. So I get up at around 6:30am, yuck!!! Well, she took off work today to help a friend get ready for a party and supposedly I was still going to babysit her daughter. It's 8:10 am and they STILL haven't gotten here... neither have the other three kids. No phone call... just nothing. The mom of the three kids is the one having the party.

Why is it that someone couldn't have had the decency to tell me yesterday that they would be late getting here so that I wouldn't have gotten up at the crack of dawn?????????? (Sorry about that Sista Dawn, lol) With every minute that ticks by, the more cranky I am getting. I can handle a lot of things, but plain old rudenss isn't one of them. Normally, since we are supposed to be friends, I try really hard to keep my mouth shut and just roll with stuff as it happens. But this is just ridiculous to me. Looks like I may have to speak up this time.

Ok, I'm done venting. Well, for now anyway! Thanks for listening!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

One of "Those" Days

Today has been "one of those days" for me. You know the one I'm talking about... the one when if something can go wrong it will. The one where when it rains it pours. I'll spare you any more cliche's ... surely you get the idea.

It started last night, when due to some disappointing news we received during the day, I could not go to sleep. Normally this is NOT a problem for me. However, last night was an entirely different story. Once I laid down, my mind wouldn't turn off and I lay there dwelling on the disappointing news we received during the day. It was after 1:00 am when I finally drifted off to sleep, or maybe I just passed out from exhaustion... who knows. It seemed like 5 minutes and then Mike was there waking me up at 6:35am. I was not amused, to put it mildly. On a good day, me and mornings are not the best of friends. Off to the coffee pot I go...

My sister had to go to the high school today. It was prep day for my oldest nephew, Spencer. He is a freshman this year... I can't even believe it. Anyway, they had to be at school for 7:30am. She had asked me yesterday if I would babysit Baby James while she took Spencer to school. Of course I said yes! He was really good...he only spit up on me twice and then went to sleep! He loves his Nanny!

While they were gone, Lane got stung by either a wasp or a yellow jacket. So, I had to take care of that with some creme and Benedryl.

Once Lauren got back, I decided to go on a wasp hunt. There was a small wasp nest under the edge of the roof by the back door and a HUGE nest under some leaves on a bush by the front door. Now, I am one of those people who doesn't always think that less is better. Especially when it comes to Wasp Spray or Ant Poison!! Soooooooooo I grabbed the wasp spray and headed outside. Of course I started spraying like a mad woman. No kidding, I used no less than half of a new can!!! Well, being the brilliant person that I am... I didn't think to see which way the wind was blowing. And of course I was standing down-wind from the spray. As I was spraying, the wind was blowing it right back on me!!! Yikes!!!!! I ran in the house and jumped in the shower.

Next my sister had to take my other nephew, Brandon, to the middle school for his prep day... which meant that Baby James would be hanging out with me again... cool... no problem. Well, almost no problem. While she was gone, he decided to make a present for me in his diaper. A BIG present which exploded out of the diaper and onto my hand!!!! Ugggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Yet another crisis!!! LOL!!!

Next... the kids were playing at a neighbors house when I noticed that the weather was looking really dark and scary outside. Sooooo, off I go to get the kids to come home. I was about 1 minute too late. As I was literally running (which I never do, lol) home the bottom fell out and I was drenched in the down-pour!!

Shortly after that, Lane's cat Bandit comes in and the kids notice that he has some kind of sore in between his shoulder blades on the top of his back. 6 kids melting down all begging me to "do something." Great. I really, truly love Bandit. He is the sweetest, most loving, patient cat ever. I look at it and decide that I should clean it. I get the alcohol and neosporin and go to work. That sweet kitty just sat there and let me tend to his bo-bo. No meowing, no trying to get away, no growling... nothing. I think he will be fine. The fur is gone and you can see his skin. To me it seems like the equivalent to a skinned knee on a human. If it's not better in a day or two, I'm going to take him to the vet.

I come out of the bathroom from taking care of Bandit to find that the little boy I babysit had decided to spray milk out of his sippy cup all over the living room floor... on purpose!!! Let me just say that summer can not be over soon enough.

So, that was my day. I was spit up on, sprayed with wasp poison, pooped on, rained on, played cat vet, and had milk all over my living room floor... all on very little sleep from the night before. Is it bed time yet?????

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My FIRST Blogging Award!!!

Yes, you read that right... I have been awarded the "Brillante Weblog Award" by my friend Dawn!! This is the first award I have received since I started blogging so I am really excited!! Blogging is an awesome way for me to share my life with everyone and at the same time, it serves as a journal/scrapbook of my family's lives for me to have forever. Thank you Dawn for giving me this award!!

So here are the rules...
1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Add links to these blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.
The 7 blogs that I am going to recognize are:

1. Carole over at The Wardrobe and The White Tree. Her blog is awesome and she is actually the one who inspired me to start a blog of my own! She has an amazing heart and I really admire her.

2. Summer over at HerstoryGirl. She is a really kind person with a huge heart! She is a wonderful mom, wife and online friend! One day we will actually meet in person, LOL!!

3. Aimee' at Adopted As His Own. I actually went to high school with Aimee' and her brother. We ran into each other at church a couple of years ago. She is an amazing woman... she and her husband have EIGHT (yes, you heard me right EIGHT) beautiful children! Check out her blog for their story!!

4. Nate at Confessions of a CF Husband. You really need to check out his blog. It is just amazing. It's a story of TRUE love, family and faith!

5. Jennifer at The Maggio Family. A f un blog about the in's and out's of day to day family life. Like me, she is a bargain shopper!

6. Oceans5 at {Crazy Life of Mine}. I love this blog! How she manages to be so organized and neat with 3 small kids is amazing to me! Lots of fun and real life!

7. Cindy R. at Me, Myself and MaryKay. Her blog is so friendly and so is she! A great example of how to juggle, and juggle WELL, family life and volunteer work!!

LOL!! You would not believe how long it took me to get this post completed!! I squeezed it in while also babysitting mucho kiddos!! No need to worry, they are all happy, safe and fed!

Thanks again to my friend and "sista," Dawn!! I wanted to put you on my list of winners, but then I didn't think you would want to do the whole thing again on the same day! :-)