Thursday, September 29, 2005

A Really Awesome Field Trip

I was very blessed to have people who were willing to watch the boys today so that I could go on a great field trip with Shayne. David was at a neighbor's house and Hudson was able to stay with his "girlfriend" at her Nanny's house. I really was able to enjoy my time with the school kids because I knew the boys were being well-taken care of.

So here are some pictures from today's trip. Locals will recognize the destination.




This is what happens when you dump Mentos into a 2 liter Coke. Mmmmm, makes you feel good about eating that junk doesn't it?!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Field Day

Yesterday was Olympic Field Day at the girls' school. Thankfully the girls were on the same team because the "Spartans" were as last place as you could be. They both needed to experience instead of just one of them.

I wish I could say that they had fun anyway but the truth is that the losing started so early in the day that the whole team kinda gave up and just had a so-so attempt (and they didn't win the Sportsmanship Award because of it!) Also, both my girls had some pretty big knee-scrape injuries about halfway through the events. I'm keeping a Mannatech blog where I'm posting pictures of the healing process of Shayne's knee but didn't want to post them here. I'm also not linking the two blogs because I don't want creepos who think my kids are cute to be able to find me through my business contact information that is on the other site. If you're curious about seeing the daily progression of pictures, let me know and I can post them here. They are kinda gross so I wasn't sure if everyone wanted to watch them or not.

I will, however, post pictures from other parts of Olympic Field Day.

HA and Ash in the 3-legged race


HA during the relay race


Shayne's 50 yard dash


HA's 50 yard dash


Hudson 50 yard dash (he thought he should be able to compete in each event and he was able to win over most of the field judges enough to let him try each one when the big kids were done. The most adorable to watch was the egg race (on a spoon! HILARIOUS!) but I didn't have my camera ready :( )


Shayne's Tug of War


HA Tug of War

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Found A Friend ... and he blogs!

Hey Matt! I'm so glad your family isn't needing to evacuate! It was absolutely W O N D E R F U L to speak to your bride tonight, too. You guys are so awesome and I really miss you all.

To everyone else....I found our good friend Matt's phone number and called to check their status in relation to Hurricane Rita. They're safe and staying home to ride out the rain as Rita turns north away from their part of the state.

Turns out we were able to swap blog URLs and are going to be able to keep up with one another!

Goodness....I'm remembering that I used the word "crappy" in a recent post. Oh no. Matt is my preacher friend. His wife is SO Godly and such a Titus 2/Proverbs 31 kind of lady. She'd never use the word 'crappy' in her blog.

I'm glad to be back in touch with this sweet family. I need more women like Emily in my contact sphere. She encourages me.

Gotta close...tomorrow is going to be an E A R L Y day (and y'all know how much I LOVE early days. Sigh...)

Night, night.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Lots Of New Links

See the new bloggers and links I've posted!

Please comment to let me know if this introduced you to a site you particularly liked, OK?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

A Night Out With The Guys

Roll Tide Roll!

Not all of these are great shots (frustrating camera mostly!) but mostly the rush of the crowd and the darkness made this amateur photog scrambling to find a good shot. Please forgive any blurs.


Wallace Gilberry



Tyrone Prothro


Simeon Castille


My nephew, Seth :)


Roman Harper


Mark Anderson



Marcus Carter


Justin Britt


John Parker Wilson


Jimmy Johns


Jeremy Schatz



Jamie Christiansen


DJ Hall


Demeco Ryans


Charlie Peprah





Brodie Croyle


Anthony Madison


Brandon Brooks

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Long, Long Day

Woke up 7 AM.
Whipped up, from scratch mind you, breakfast casserole.
Showered & got ready for day.
Drove into M and saw 2 baby deer, a turtle, and an almost-squished-squirrel on my way (how can people who have the ability to safely avoid a squirrel not try to do so?).
Worked at children's clothing consignment sale from 9-5.
Talked with Donnie & parents and in-laws and children via cell phone throughout day.
Rushed to get girls from their separate locations (1 at Ws and 1 at Gs).
Supper? What supper?
Rushed to Mbk to see my favorite....see below...it was a concert to raise money for Hurricane Relief but it was certainly more of a worship service than anything else.
Came home to see that Hudson was still in big boy undies! YAY!
Returned home at approximately 9PM, threw this onto the blog, and am now preparing to crash.

Friday, September 16, 2005

We made it 24 hours!


Yes, ladies and gentlemen...that nudie pic of the Hud-man encouraged me to work on this potty thing a little more (that and the fact that we've basically run out of Pampers here at home....and I don't want to buy ANY more!) So, we've been in big boy undies for 24 hours now! He slept dry through the night, needing to go tee-tee first thing upon waking. We traveled all over creation today (including 2 trips to the museum, taking & picking up David, and picking up the girls, AND getting lunch from Arby's) and he stayed dry in his little Ninja Turtle undies the whole time! We had a near-miss with poopie once we got home this afternoon but it was certainly not a big deal.

I am so proud of my bubby. We're working on 2 days now...our 2nd night of overnight undies. And yes, he's still sleeping in our bed :)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Great Ending To A...

crappy start of a day.

I burned an hour of time and way too much gas (most of that burned time was spent driving) first thing this morning. Ugh. I don't even want to talk about it.

Tons of little things ended up stressing me out a good bit in the early part of my day so I just wanted to chill by afternoon time. I didn't get on the computer much and took only a couple of phone calls so, unfortunately, things began to pile up.

Donnie took off work early to cut the grass so I was stalled in dinner-planning (I'm so not the Martha Stewart of planning dinner. It's usually a last minute throw-together thing unfortunately.) Shayne stressed me out and got on a restriction of not being able to watch Survivor with us tonight (BIG punishment!)

Things started turning around when I found out that Shayne's terrible attitude today was spurred on by an incident with a friend at school. Said Friend's mother called me tonight to say that Shayne left a very mature phone message on their machine at home wanting to mend things between her and her friend. Many tears and conversations later, I was very impressed with Shayne and her tender heart towards her friends. Turns out that Shayne made her friend mad by befriending a new girl at school. This made the other girl jealous. This deeply hurt Shayne because she would never intentionally leave any one out of the loop. Shayne struggled with how to be friends with more than 1 girl and not hurt the other girls' feelings.

In 4th grade, that's a tough thing to do.

I really was so proud of Shayne and felt bad for worrying that she might have actually had some part in this little dispute (I mean come on, I see the way she treats her sister on a daily basis!) I truly believe Shayne was as kind as she could be and took all the right steps to help mend this relationship.

I really must remain diligent about praying for this sweet daughter of mine. I remember how crazy relationships can be at this age.

Shayne was allowed to watch Survivor after all :)

And our quickly-decided upon Nachos supper (ground turkey with burrito seasoning, salsa, corn, sour cream and corn tortilla chips) was a big hit.

And Survivor was fun! I LOVE SURVIVOR! I'm sure rooting for Bobby Jon...don't know if he'll make it, though.

Oh yeah...and I can conclude with saying that my upturned spirits motivated me to clean out my crazy inbox. I went from 11 pages of mail down to 1!!!! Yes, only 1 page that needs my attention! WHOO HOO :)

And finally, have you ever met our wonderful little gerbils? These noctural creatures are lots of fun and company to me as I work at night. They are incredibly social with me and each other and I really like them (even though they can make TONS of noise while they scurry about their cage in the wee hours of the evening.)



Monday, September 12, 2005

Nothing To See Here

I forgot to take a picture of the fire truck and firemen who searched and cleared our home tonight (everything is fine, folks.....nothing to see here!) but I do have some pictures of the last week that I'd like to share with you.


Shayne, before we smelled smoke.


Harris Anne, the first one to mention smelling smoke. "What's that awful smell?"


Hudson's "I need a new diaper" phase as we almost have this potty training thing finished. A little more diligence on my part and we should be almost done!


Hudson likes to shut me out when he is getting in trouble (i.e. Hudson throws a DVD at his brother as he hears me yelling, "No....don't do that!" The reaction is almost instantaneous as he quickly closes up his ears and throws on a pout-face. And yes, this picture is posed but is a darn good re-enactment!)


This is David on his 2nd day of school (remember...the first day was too rushed for me to get a pic! -- See "Penalty Clock"). He's not upset about going to school, he's just very sensitive to early morning sunlight :)


Million Dollar Drums. A picture I took for David. He wants to be a drummer and I thought a drumming scholarship might be nice!


Donnie & I actually made it to a Bama game TOGETHER without any children! It was a last minute thing and gave me a little guilt feeling because I had to call on friends for babysitting favors at the last minute, but it was SO FUN! ROLL TIDE!


Oops. Someone forgot to take the sprinklers off the timer. The water was sprayed exactly on schedule...10:00 PM.

And finally, a picture I did not take but one I have to post here. The catch of the century...

Tyrone Prothro turns the game around and BAMA WINS!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Thanks, Max

This game will waste so much of your time. But you'll love it.

Recommended by Max.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Relief Needed in MS

An email from my friend helping to head up some relief work in Mississippi. I can vouch for the legitimacy of the donation collection so please consider donating if you can! If you'd like to use a debit or credit card to send Mannatech products (listed below) let me know and I can have them shipped straight to Dr. Kelley for distribution.

This is Dr. Karen Kelley with a call for help to our Mannatech family for
assisting us in the Katrina Disaster Relief Effort on the Gulf Coast.

We know many of you have donated to the Red Cross, Salvation Army,
churches, and other worthy organizations for this relief effort, however
most of the funds are focusing on the New Orleans area while tens of
thousands of hungry, homeless and the hopeless in neighboring Mississippi
are in desperate need as well.

We are located in Foley, Alabama, 2 hours away from Biloxi, Gulfport and
Waveland, MS where the major part of the destruction hit. I am heading up
a disaster relief group in our area working with Phoenix Disaster Relief,
The Christian Life Church at Orange Beach, AL, the police and fire
departments as well as United Way, Catholic Charities, local churches,
volunteers and the Red Cross Shelter in our area to provide housing and
shelter for the thousands of refugees from the ravaged areas.

The group of volunteers (many are Mannatech Associates) are loading
eighteen wheelers daily with needed supplies and convoying with police
escort into Mississippi to a vacant K-Mart shopping center lot in Waveland
to feed over three thousand people three meals a day at this drop off
point.

FEMA and The Red Cross are not yet in place here and may not be here for
weeks. No showers, no tents, no port-a-potty’s, no gas, no electricity and
often no cell phone reception. Our group and other churches are providing
the majority of the needed support. There is a mobile hospital unit in
place from North Carolina and one on the way from Pensacola. Their first
patient yesterday was a yellow lab puppy.

I am working with the Humane Society in Gulfport, MS who lost all of their
medical supplies, food, some buildings and many animals died. The rest
were evacuated to about 90 other shelters and a huge clean up effort is
underway to repair the facility to receive incoming pets from New Orleans
and Mississippi.

These people have lost everything. There are 15-20 people in many cases
huddled in one home here and there with roofs and walls missing or camped
out on blankets, in cars and tents on the K-Mart parking lot.

Many in New Orleans refuse to leave their homes because shelters do not
allow pets and they will not leave their pets. We need temporary homes for
these people and their pets or at least for their pet, so they can get to
shelters as they become available. Many residents of Foley and other
Alabama cities are offering their homes to the flood of refugees into the
area.

Because the large retail chains like Wal-Mart, Walgreen’s, Winn Dixie, and
ect… have donated at the corporate level, the local stores are unable to
make donations of goods. So our local groups are purchasing the needed
items and delivering them to their church drop off points were they are
loaded into trucks for transport to Mississippi.

I am accompanying many of these trips and coordinating community volunteer
efforts and will continue to do so for the next six months or longer if
needed.

We are requesting for any support from our “Manna-Family” that you are able
to give. Yesterday I purchased every can opener, baby bottle and
bottlebrushes in 10 stores just from donations we received from our family,
friends and volunteers to take to Mississippi.

The stores in our community are re-stocking daily to keep up with the
demand.

We are asking not to send food, clothing or other items for the shipping
costs would be better spent on purchasing these items locally on an as
needed bases, as I receive the calls daily from the relief team as to what
is needed for that day.

I procured today a 49-foot refrigeration truck for use that needs to be
filled with fresh food, ice, water and etc. Anyone who can actually travel
to the area and volunteer their skills contact The Christian Life Church at
251-967-4840. Please be advised that you will have to make arrangements
for housing while not at the relief site. The church will transport you to
our relief site for a three day period for each group(you may stay longer
if you like). We need nurses, teachers, counselors, cooks, food servers
and volunteers just to cut up veggies. We also need folks to unload
trucks, comfort the people and transport them to and from the meal and
relief site, etc.

The products, that would be most helpful are:
Mannabears
Glycobears
Emprizone
Immuno Start
Empact for the volunteers and refugees


Cash donations are desperately needed and of course, send Prayers.

Please send your donations made payable to:

Disaster Assistance Fund

C/O Dr Karen Kelley

10200 County Road 65 South

Foley, AL 36535

Your canceled check will be your tax-deductible receipt.

God Bless You All,
Dr. Karen Kelley

Poor Fellas




Pictures from Greta Van Sustern's Photo Blog www.GretaWire.com

I wonder how much longer these 2 will stay in New Orleans. They are the tough ones who say they'll never leave.

Bless their hearts.

And as the realization of how TRULY SLOW the emergency response to Katrina has been, and by hearing of my own friends who are heading up rescue in Mississippi, I must say that I was wrong to complain about people complaining! Yes, there are some out there who are being ridiculous and unrealistic but it is becoming painfully clear that 9/11 did NOT prepare our country for any other disasters.

Now, I won't buy the "because it's a black New Orleans" stuff as to being the reason for slow response. I think it's just poor planning for anything this catastrophic. Granted, WHO KNEW we'd ever see this? But then again....obviously New Orleans has been warned for decades.

I don't know...it's just sad and seems like a terrible time to complain (unless you're the one stuck on the short end of the stick).

We gotta keep helping and giving, folks. And keep praying!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Penalty Clock

I was penalized today by a clock that was just ticking away too fast.

Today I took David to his first day of Kindergarten. It is a 30 minute drive to school IF I am going the speed limit. Today I was not. I left 10 minutes later than I wanted to leave and barely squeaked into "drop off" at 9:35, which is the very last minute you are supposed to get there. Because of the rush, the teacher scooted him out the door quickly and shuffled him down the sidewalk to his class.

I was yelling out the window, "Bye David! I LOVE YOU! Have a great day, honey!"

My penalty: I didn't get a look back, a wave, a nod, or ANYTHING!

(Sniff)

It's my fault for being late. If I had only left at 9 like I was supposed to, I could have gotten to school at the perfect 9:30 drop off time...and without speeding! I should not have answered that phone call this morning. I should have packed the girls' clothes that I needed to bring with, last night. I should have told Harris Anne to put her piano books in her backpack instead of gathering them myself this morning. I should have packed my own clothes for the day (I had originally hoped to go walking at the park this morning and would need a change of clothes. Instead, that phone call I answered this morning required me to come by Mom's house instead to place an order that couldn't wait until this afternoon.)

So, I'm minutes away from rushing out the door again, getting lunch for the girls, eating it super-fast with them in the parking lot, rushing H.A. back inside for her piano lesson while I rush back to David's school to pick him up at 1:15. Then rush back to get H.A. from piano. Then, after all that rushing, I will have 3 hours to kill before going to church. Hopefully the girls will be able to complete ALL of their homework in that time. Surely they can.

So it is with a commuting family of 3 school-aged children and 1 WAHM with toddler in tow.

Time to wipe away the tears and put sweat beads in their place. This day isn't even halfway over yet!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Calling All Josephs

Anybody out there who can interpret dreams? Sure, it'd be awesome if you were gifted with Prophecy from God but I'd still like to hear from those amateurs who just read a book somewhere...

Recurrent locations of my some dreams:
my childhood home but from a higher altitude (almost as if I am seeing it while flying flat near the ceiling)
a scary, pathetic, nobody-having-fun water park/amusement park
my elementary school
Elevators that don't stay to an up/down pattern (they can travel in all directions like Bugs Bunny's) -- Dreams here are ALWAYS scary or at least anxious (i.e. -- not being able to find the correct floor)

Recurrent 'characters':
Snakes -- specifically black and red/black ones
Frogs
Family Members, Best friends or boyfriends whom I've never seen in my life

Recurrent themes:
Flying (usually a good dream)
Little creatures dying (gerbils, bunnies)
Being stuck in places/areas when I need to be somewhere else in an emergency situation

Quick synopsis of recent dream:
At the scary waterpark, after walking the water slide (it's terrible) I go to the gift shop to pick up our gerbils (I think i dropped them off there while I went to the park). I decided to carry one of our gerbils in my hands and left the other in the cage. I called the gerbil by the wrong name (kinda like I do my own kids -- even though I know the difference). When I put her back in her cage, a snake had been hiding and tried strangling her. I saved her but when I put her in the next cage, another snake killed her. I started noticing snakes were everywhere in the gift shop. I tried to warn everyone else about their danger but no one else was afraid of them and began picking them up and playing with them. I started freaking about that and saying I'd never stay in such a crazy place. Instead, I would go to Donnie's cousin's apartment (a cousin he doesn't have and that I've never seen before -- yet he was right there) but we couldn't get out of the hotel because the elevators wouldn't work.

How's that for a combo of recurrent situations? I think it was the anxiety of the week (I dreamed this last week) that brought much of it to surface.

Looking forward to comments!

Sunday, September 04, 2005