Monday, October 31, 2011

We dressed up today.

Well. Mason got off the bus this afternoon and said, "I'm going to be Spiderman today." Okay. Are you sure you don't want to wear the really cool Indian costume? He was sure. And that was that.

Hannah Kate wanted to be Tinkerbell. But there isn't a Tinkerbell outfit in her dress-up trunk so she decided to be Tiana (The Princess and the Frog) instead.

Our sweet friends invited us over for hotdogs and chili, hot chocolate and a hayride. My least favorite day of the year sure was a lot of fun!

This is the day the LORD has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
~Psalm 118:24

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday Favorites (on Saturday)

Yesterday was busy! But it was a great day! Hannah Kate and I enjoyed a Girls' Day Out while Mason was at school, and we ended the night with a lil bit of worship in the music room. But since it was after midnight before I had a chance to sit down at the computer, I figured we'd just talk about Friday Favorites today instead!

Favorite Memory - I will never forget seeing Mason dressed up in his daddy's old Indian costume. This is what he looked like on the way to school yesterday morning:
And the dozen red roses in his hands . . . those were for his teacher. He'd been telling me for a week or so that he wanted to take flowers to Mrs. E so we picked up a bouquet of flowers while Hannah Kate was at dance. All his idea!

Favorite Pin - My favorite pin this week is this DIY Christmas ball decoration. I absolutely love it because it reminds me of the special Connell Christmas ornaments. Grandmother Scott, (my great-grandmother) started making Christmas balls many years ago using those old satin balls. She would take all kinds of beads and pearls and ribbons and lace and pin decorations to the ball until it was absolutely beautiful. Grandmother continued the tradition. Grandmother's attic is full of these beloved treasures, and they decorate her tree every year. Those are the only decorations on her tree. I always thought growing up that Grandmother's tree was the most beautiful, most special of them all! Mama has a good collection of them now, including ten or so that Rob and I made one year. And Grandmother gave me several after Seth and I were married. If I had enough, these would be the only decorations on my tree!Favorite Activity - I REALLY enjoyed Bible study this week! I'm so thankful for God's Word and new friends.

Favorite Meal - It's beginning to feel a little "fallish" around here so last night I made a big pot of baked potato soup. It was perfect. But my favorite part of the meal was turkey and provolone paninies with basil pesto mayo. So good!

Favorite Quote - As usual, there are a couple of these. On Tuesday night I was trying to settle the kids down for Bible and bedtime. I was going through the usual be-quiet-pay-attention-settle-down routine. It took a little corraling, but we were finally there. Just as I opened the Bible to read, Hannah Kate piped up, "Yeah and no burping." Any and all seriousness was lost at that moment as we all busted out laughing. That's a rather fair indication of where we are with our 6-year-old son these days.

One of Mason's spelling words this week was mused. Yes, 1st grade. So I always make up sentences and try to think of funny stories to help Mason remember the meaning of his words. I explained to him that muse means to think about something. So every night at the supper table, Seth and I would ask Mason was he was musing about. Of course, Hannah Kate had to participate, too. When we were on the way to Bible study Wednesday morning, she spoke up from the back seat, "Mama, I'm thinking about going to Pop and Mimi's house. When Connor doesn't come and Daddy doesn't have to go to to work and Mason doesn't have school, then we can go to Pop and Mimi's house. Riiiiggghhhhhtttttt?"

Favorite Verse - I've been studying the book of Acts. This week we were on chapter 13. Paul was speaking in the synagogue in Antioch and quoted one of my favorite verses, Habbakuk 1:5. Look among the nations and watch- be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days whilch you would not believe, though it were told you. I am excited about what God is doing in my life, in the life of my family. I am excited about what God is doing in my community and in my church. Each of the last three Sundays, there has been a profession of faith. SEVEN people have accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior at our church during the last three Sundays. If you would've told me this last month, I wouldn't have believed it. God is at work, and He is calling people to Him. There's nothing more exciting than that!

And today is also a very special day . . . we have a sweet nephew who is celebrating his 9th birthday today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEAU!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Like Father

My least favorite day of the year is quickly approaching. Halloween. I know. I'm the only person who would just rather wake up on November 1 instead. When the children were little, it was easy to ignore Halloween. But as they've gotten older, it's become nearly impossible to ignore Halloween. Especially when my 1st grader is invited to wear a costume to school. Last year was easy. We pulled Spiderman out of the toy box, and he still thought Spiderman was cool. But I had no idea what we were going to do this year.

Sure enough Mason started talking three weeks ago about what he was going to "be" for Halloween. My original plan was to somehow invent a costume out of something we already had or perhaps a piece or two of fabric from Hobby Lobby. Have I mentioned that the window treatments I began sewing for Hannah Kate's room are still laying on my dining room floor unfinished even after the first stitch was sewn what has now been a month ago? So it's not very likely that I'm going to sew anything of a costume. Besides, that isn't going to score me any points with my 1st grader or any of the kids in his class anyway.

Last week was when Mason informed me he wanted to be Captain America. Okay. The good news is that it could be worse. It really could. Besides painting his little body a deep shade of blue, I didn't really know where to start on this do-it-yourself costume. I'm just not that creative or inventive. So when I made my weekly jaunt to Wal-Mart and the grocery store yesterday, I took a stroll through the Halloween costume aisle. They had Superman, IronMan and Batman. But no Captain America. I nearly grabbed the IronMan costume, but I knew it wouldn't suffice. So I walked around to the girls' costumes and found one Captain America costume in the wrong place. It also "just so happened to be" the right size.

So I'm checking it out to be sure everything is there. I notice the big Captain America shield front-and-center on the front of the package. Just between us, I'm pretty sure that's why Mason wanted to be Captain America in the first place. He wanted that shield. But I wasn't born yesterday. I had a sneaky suspicion, and, sure enough, in microscopic letters on the back of the package was written shield not included. Great. The costume itself was $19. And I can't even begin to tell you how that $19 was rubbing me the wrong way. Don't get me wrong. I'm not an extreme couponer by any stretch of the imagination, but I do the best I can. In spite of all that was within me, I threw the costume into my buggy. But I knew it still wouldn't suffice.

I meandered to the toy aisle to look for a birthday present and "just so happened" to find a Captain America shield. It was "on sale" for $15. I just closed my eyes and threw it in the buggy. While I made my way through the store, that extra $35 plus tax was weighing heavily on my mind. I was trying to justify it . . . Mason had such a great report card! He brought his reading score up over 4 points and had all As and Bs on his report card! And he needed to be "rewarded" for his diligence and hard work. Yeah, I'm not buying it either.

So I make my way to one of the registers and get behind another mom who had also purchased Halloween costumes for her children, one of which was a pair of camouflage army fatigues. Now I'm really trying not to be judgmental, but I was thinking, Gosh, it's a shame he doesn't have a pair of camo in his closet that he can wear instead of her having to buy that. And then I had an "aha moment." Mason has all brand new camouflage in his closet waiting on hunting season. And he's been dying to wear it, orange vest and all. So when I got to the cashier, I apologized profusely and left the Captain America costume and shield with her, explaining that I'd changed my mind.

I couldn't wait to tell Mason about my idea. I was sure he would love it! So he gets off the bus, and guess what little 4-year-old blurts out, "Mason, we got you a Captain America costume." She missed the memo. Big time. And, unfortunately, he'd already heard her. So I'm trying to shush her up, but she keeps arguing with me, insisting that we purchased the costume. It goes down something like this:

Me: No, we didn't.
Hannah Kate: Yes, we did.
Me: No, we didn't!
Hannah Kate: Yes, we did!

All of this takes place at the end of our driveway. Finally, Mason looks at me and asks, "Mama, did you really?" No, son, I did not. He hung his head and started walking.

But I wasn't finished with him yet. So I began in my most excited voice ever to tell him my idea about him going to school as a deer hunter and wearing his camouflage, even his orange vest and face mask. Let's just say he wasn't as excited as I was. He reluctantly . . . VERY reluctantly, I might add . . . agreed. And then asked a minute and a half later what he was going to be for Halloween and asked if he could be Captain America. Sigh.

So when Seth got home, I told him my idea. I was sure he would be excited. Well, as excited as Seth Bayham can get. Which isn't very excited. And, of course, he was not excited. NOT excited. Needless to say, I'm not excited anymore either. I'm beginning to think I'm going to have to go back to Wal-Mart and just hope that the one remaining Captain America costume is still there. My chances are probably very slim to none.

But then Seth has an idea . . . Mason can wear the costume that he (SETH) wore to school when he was in 1st grade. I thought he was kidding. He wasn't. In fact, he left right then and went to his mom's house to find the costume. He comes back grinning ear-to-ear. Literally. There's very little that excites him, but obviously an Indian costume that was fashioned by his really cool aunt who lived in Chicago is exciting to Seth Bayham.
I'm wasn't quite sure how Mason felt about this, but he loves his daddy so much, and he wants to be like his daddy. And, of course, we had to listen to the story about how he got to wear it to school, and it was the best costume of anyone in the class. So Mason asked if he "won." And that's when it got ugly. No, he said, he got second place. Mason asked about the first place winner. Through gritted teeth, Seth tells us about the little girl in his class who came dressed as a pumpkin and won the 1st place prize for best costume. Pumpkins are cute. Really, they are precious. But the pumpkin costume was actually one of those plastic numbers from whatever store they had back then because Seth said he didn't remember there being a Wal-Mart. It's also quite obvious that this plastic pumpkin costume has scarred him for life and caused a seed of bitterness to spring up in his heart where pumpkins are concerned.

I asked him to go back to his mom's and find a picture of him dressed in the Indian costume. And when he did, he also found a picture of said pumpkin costume. He's right. He was robbed.

Like a good sport, Mason donned the Indian costume. I'm just going to be real honest here. I'm not sure that Mason even really knows what an Indian is! But he has agreed to go to school on Friday as an Indian. Here's my little satchmo in his daddy's 1st grade Indian costume.

Like father like son.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Favorites

Favorite Pin - Again, no time for pinning this week. But my one and only pin . . . definitely my fav!Favorite Activity - I don't necessarily have a favorite activity this week. There were so many fun, spontaneous moments. Everyday moments. I can tell you that sitting in the Louisiana Department of Public Safety Office of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday morning to renew the registration on my Tahoe that EXPIRED in AUGUST (Are you kidding me?!? Something else to keep up with?!? I had no idea until I went to get an inspection sticker - mine expired last month - that my registration had expired because I never received a notice from the OMV and didn't realize it was my responsibility to be "in the know" about that.) for 45 minutes with two screaming toddlers that did not belong to me was not a favorite. PawPaw got us some strawberry plants this week so Mason and Hannah Kate helped him plant those in our strawberry pots. On Tuesday afternoon the temperature dropped from the mid-80s to the mid-40s so I threw open the windows so the crisp, cool air could blow through the house. I can't even begin to tell you how exciting that was! We had a really awesome time of Bible reading and devotion with Mason and Hannah Kate each night this week. I enjoyed going back to BSF on Wednesday. And, if you missed her, Dolly Dingkle came for a visit.

Favorite Delivery - My Christmas tree arrived this week! Woot woot! After last year's Christmas tree disaster, I can not wait! I asked Seth if we can go ahead and put it up. I got the look. But think about it. We'll be in Georgia for Thanksgiving this year. And the following weekend we're back in Louisiana will be Hannah Kate's birthday party. So that means I have to get all of my Christmas decorations up BEFORE we leave to go to Georgia. And October is really nearly over. November is just around the corner. So why not?!

Favorite Meal - Hands down . . . homemade lasagna! I decided this week to go back to the basics, back to our favorites, back to my roots. And this lasagna was one of the best I've ever made. But I did sneak in a new salad recipe - Roasted Red Onion Salad with Garlic Vinaigrette - that's definitely on my list of favorites for fall salads. And I also have to mention the Toffee Apple Dip. Oh. My. Goodness. We had our Women's Fellowship Meeting at church last night, and this was one of the appetizers I took; however, I think it might also fall in the dessert category, too. Cream cheese (8-oz.) brown sugar (3/4 cup), granulated sugar (1/4 cup), vanilla (1 teaspoon) and toffee bits (8-oz package). Enough said. Just mix it all together and dive into it with your favorite apple . . . my personal favorite is Granny Smith . . . or a spoon. You'll thank me later.

Favorite Quote - Mama, sometimes I'm bad to you. I have to admit . . . I had no idea what Mason was talking about when he told me this. It was Tuesday night, and we'd just finished reading Hannah Kate's choice of Bible story and were about to read Mason's. I thought maybe he'd said he was mad at me so I asked him to repeat what he said. And then I still wasn't sure so I asked him to give me an example. That's when he told me that sometimes he does bad things, things he isn't supposed to do or say. So I told him that it's okay. We all do bad things. I do bad things. And that means that sometimes I need to say I'm sorry and ask forgiveness, even from him. Then I had the opportunity to share with him about Jesus' sacrifice for us, for him . . . that's why Jesus died on the cross. Because He knew we'd do bad things, things that would keep us away from God. But now we can ask forgiveness, and it is ours. I've had several opportunities during the past few months to witness to my son about a saving relationship and belief in Jesus Christ. He's getting close; I just know it! And I continue to pray over him, to pray that he will come to a saving knowledge of Christ at a young age, that he will desire nothing else than God's best and God's plan for his life, that he will remain obedient even in the midst of temptation, that he will love God with his all.

There's another one, too.

Since it's cold out here now . . . does that mean it's deer hunting season? Mason asked me this question on Wednesday morning while we were waiting for the bus. He was disappointed when I told him it still wasn't that time yet.

And here's something Hannah Kate told me earlier today as she was browsing the latest American Girl catalog that arrived in the mail yesterday.

Mama, let's get me a computer for my birthday and then we can get on-line and pick out my doll for Christmas. Oh really? And just what exactly does my 3-year-old know about "getting on-line?"

Favorite Bible Verse - Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shown in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands. ~Acts 12:7 You do not have the situation that God can not change. You do not have the problem that God can not fix. Peter's chains FELL OFF. Not to mention he was also being guarded by no less than SIXTEEN soldiers at the time. What chains do you need the Lord to free you from?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dolly Dingkle

This week was Dolly Dingkle Week at Miss Machita's. It seems that every year about this time, Dolly Dingkle wants to dance. But she prefers to do things her way. This is really just Miss Machita's politically correct way of not celebrating Halloween but still encouraging the ballerinas to "dress up" but not in coustume. So here's my Dolly Dingkle:And here's my Dolly Dingkle with the Dolly Dingklest of them all, Miss Machita:Today was also the day that Miss Machita unveiled the theme, dances and costumes for the recital.I've actually known about this for several weeks, but I kept the information to myself until Miss Machita made the official announcement. There are two recital times each year, and one class of ballerinas from each recital time is chosen to dance with their daddies. Have you figured out yet where this is going?

Yes. It is our year. Hannah Kate will dance her tap routine with her Daddy. On stage. Big lights. In a theater that seats 1,900. If you know my husband, you understand the sheer magnitude of this situation.

Last year Abbie's class was picked for the Daddy Dance so Barry was on stage. My husband proudly proclaimed that they will never get him on that stage. It would've been nice to have a year or two to break him in. But no. It's Hannah Kate's first year. And . . . it just might be her last if her Daddy has anything to do with it.

I finally broke the news to Seth last night. I knew I had to or else he would hear it from someone else. When I first told him, he shook his head no and walked away. Maybe it wasn't necessarily a good idea to bring this up on the same day he received a jury summons in the mail. So later I brought the subject up again to be sure he heard me (which I already knew he did). His response was short and sweet. No. That's what he said. No. This also comes as he's shaking his head violently back and forth. It could've just rolled right off!

So now there's nothing else for me to do . . . what can I do? . . . rent-a-dad, anyone?!? He'll be dancing with the most precious little strawberry blonde ever!
To be continued at a later date. Saturday, May 5. 1:00. Mark your calendars. This is sure to be epic!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How 'bout them apples?

Recently I've called my husband an iphone snob. Yes. Iphone snob.

Company policy requires that he have an iphone so they provide and pay for it while he enjoys the benefits. A couple of months ago, he came home and told me that he was getting a new phone. His phone was a 3. So I asked if he was getting the NEW phone or just a new phone. He got just a new phone, the 4, less than a month before the NEW phone, the 4s, was released. I'm not really sure what the difference is between the 3 and the 4, but let's just say we have now experienced the depth and breadth of the smartphone experience at our house. He comes home nearly everyday with a new "app." I mean, there's even an app that calls deer in the woods, for goodness sakes. He was complaining about something the other day. I don't even remember what it was. But obviously there wasn't an "app for that." There sure is an app for everything else.

Even my 6-year-old is fascinated with the "ipod phone," as he calls it. Between his cousins' ipods and his daddy's iphone, he isn't quite sure what to think. Or what to call it.

As for me . . . I do not have an iphone. So I know what you're thinking. It's nothing more than a case of old fashioned jealousy. Perhaps. But let me just show you my phone. Yes. This is my phone.For me, it is really nothing more than an alarm clock (mine got lost in our last move, and I never bought a new one so I just use my phone). The battery is, more likely than not, usually dead. I encourage people to call me on my home phone and not my cell phone because I, more often than not, don't even answer my cell phone because I don't have it with me or can't hear it. And texting . . . well, don't even go there. Most of the time, I'll just respond with an email instead. Or, better yet, a phone call asking them not to text me anymore because it's just too labor intensive and time consuming to text back! I mean, I have only a numbers pad, and it's just ridiculous trying to type out a text on the thing. Besides, I was due for an "upgrade" two years ago. I've just never done it because I really do not have time for all of that.

One friend in particular thinks this whole thing . . . the saga of me and my cell . . . hilarious. So hilarious, in fact, that she called me last Friday night and asked me to go to the apple store with her so she could get the 4s. The kids were already bathed and ready for bed so I went to the apple store. We had to wait in line only 15 minutes or so before one of the apple team members came to assist us. So my sweet friend is in the process of getting her phone, getting everything transferred from her old phone to her new phone, picking out a case (which, by the way, I picked out for her . . . the cutest ever kate spade black with big white polka dots and hot pink around the edge) . . . and she's also trying to hook me up with a new phone, too.

And, of course, the gal helping us out was a freshman in college . . . and it was obvious that she just eats and breathes apples. And not the Granny Smiths either. I'm quite certain she's never met anyone like me. Well, maybe she has, but they're probably 20 or so years older than I am. I wish you could've seen the look on her face when I whipped out my phone (it's a miracle I even had it with me!) and showed it to her. I think she was . . . embarrassed! Really, I think she was. It was almost like . . . blasphemy . . . for me to be sporting such a phone in the apple store. This came after our conversation about the ipod, which went a little something like this:

Apple Girl: Are you interested in an ipod?
Me: I already have one.
Apple Girl: Which one do you have?

Me:I don't know.
Apple Girl: What you do mean you don't know?

Me: I don't know. I have no idea. My husband got it for me last Mother's Day . . . 2010 . . . and I took it out of the case to charge it and read the book, but I never did anything else with it. It doesn't even have any music on it.

Apple Girl's jaw drops to the floor. She is speechless. I have to somehow redeem myself. So I say, "But I did create an itunes account and download it to my computer. It just doesn't have any music or anything in it."

After I whipped out my flip phone though, all redeeming qualities were gone. And now that I'm certain I've lost any and all cool points, which weren't very many to begin with, I decided to just let it all hang out. Here's what happened shortly after I blew everyone away with my ancient cell phone.

The Apple Girl begins telling my friend all about Siri. And then it dawned on me . . . it was an "aha moment" for sure. Earlier that day, one of my friends' Facebook status read, "If anyone is able to activate their iphone 4s, could you please ask Siri to activate mine?" I had no clue what he was talking about. As a matter of fact, I thought his auto-correct wasn't working and that he really mean Suri instead of Siri . . . meaning that he was cracking some kind of joke about Suri (you know, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' daughter) getting a new iphone, and maybe it was an article on . . . not that I read or anything. I know. This is sad. So sad.

So an hour later, we finally make our way out of the apple store. And my friend . . . well, she's giddy. Too giddy. Even the security guard at the front of the store makes a comment to me about my "rotary dial" phone. It's obvious I made quite the impression. I couldn't wait to get home though. The first thing I did was ask my husband if he'd met Siri yet. He looked at me like I'd lost my mind. So I told him who Siri is (for those of you not in the know . . . which I'm sure is probably little to no one . . . Siri is a new feature on the iphone 4s that lets you pretty much ask your phone to send a message, schedule a meeting, make a phone call, set reminders . . . and it'll actually do what you say and more. Apple Girl used my friends phone and said, "Siri, will you marry me?" Siri responded, "Marry you? I don't know you."), and he wasn't impressed. As a matter of fact, he thought I was crazier than even Apple Girl did.

So here's my plan. I'm going to wait until the iphone 5 comes out. Because I heard it's coming out really soon, even though Apple Girl couldn't confirm or deny the rumor. And then who's going to be jealous?!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Favorites

To be honest, I really don't have a lot of favorites this week. As a matter of fact, it might be a week I'd rather forget. Or at least move as far away from as possible.

Favorite Pin - I didn't have time to do very much pinning this week. As a matter of fact, I hardly pinned at all. But earlier in the week I was searching for some new recipes to try, and I pinned this one for Spinach and Proscuitto Lasagna:And I absolutely adore this precious fabric rosette headband! Is Hannah Kate too "old" for such cuteness?!Favorite Activity - going to the pumpkin patch with Mason, Hannah Kate and Connor

Favorite Meal - I didn't have a favorite meal this week. I didn't really care for anything I cooked, as a matter of fact. It just wasn't a good culinary week. And, now that I'm thinking about it, I don't know that the spinach and proscuitto lasagna is sounding very yummy right now either.

Favorite Quote - "In the mail," answered Hannah Kate when her Daddy asked her where the dress she was wearing came from. Because every once in a while, Hannah Kate gets a package in the mail with some dresses in it. And this time Cindy sent a cute witch boots appliqued jumper that was perfect for the pumpkin patch. Hannah Kate still has a hard time remembering who Cindy is; but she knows who the mail lady is that sends dresses "in the mail."

Favorite Bible Verse - Galatians 1:13-16a - "For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him . . ." These verses just encouraged my socks off this week. I was reminded to continue praying for those I love who do not have a personal relationship with Christ. No one is too far out of God's reach. God can redeem even what seems to us as the vilest soul, the one who is farthest away from Him. No one is "too hard" for God to save!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday Interrupted

A friend of mine started a blog a few months back. She calls it Wonderful Wednesdays. Wednesday just happens to be the day of the week that she doesn't work, which means she spends all day with her precious toddler exploring the world through his eyes and catching up on various projects around the house. She'll also tell you that pretty much any day of the week can be wonderful with her little one. But most weeks, I think Wednesday is probably one of her favorite days, if not THE favorite.

I like Wednesdays, too. As a matter of fact, I look forward to Wednesdays. I could even go so far as to say I crave Wednesdays. One of the things I knew I had to do after we moved back to Louisiana was get involved in some kind of mom's fellowship group or Bible study or something. So once we finished building the house, got used to the daily school routine and Connor got a little older, I knew it was time. It was beyond time. So about mid-summer, I began praying about what to do, where to go. I wasn't sure if I wanted more of a fellowship-type group or more Bible study. I wasn't sure if I was looking more for encouragement and support from other moms or . . . Bible study. For some reason, I didn't think it possible or probable to find both. I'd nearly decided to join back up with a mom's organization that I was active in after Mason was born, but when I talked to a friend about it, I knew it wasn't what I was looking for right now. After much prayer, I knew I needed the Word. That was the over-riding longing in my heart. So I joined a Bible Study Fellowship International (BSF) group at a local church in Baton Rouge.

I knew a little about BSF but not much. I knew that if I was looking to be emersed in the Word, BSF would meet that need. And then I found out about their children's program. While mom or grandma is in Bible study, baby, toddler and preschooler are in graded Bible study classes, too. They study the same Bible stories we do so we can later talk with our children about what we are, in actuality, studying together. They also sing Jesus songs and eat snacks and play and have a short quiet time in which they are instructed to sit on their towel and talk to Jesus in their hearts for a few minutes. So while I'm feasting on the Word, Hannah Kate and Connor are, too. And little did I know that I would also make some new friends who have encouraged my socks off in the short time we've been together. Our BSF class meets every Wednesday morning so we are up and out early.

There are two regular teachers in each children's class, and the other BSF members are encouraged to volunteer as a helper every so often. Today was my day. And I was looking forward to it. I wasn't going to be in either Hannah Kate's or Connor's class, but I couldn't wait to see just how they do it with these children. So that was the plan for today.

Last night shortly before supper, Mason was complaining with a stomach ache. I didn't think too much about it. I just thought he was hungry. He ate most of his supper before doubling over and saying he couldn't eat anymore. So he laid on the sofa until bath time. He cried his way through that, but he didn't really have any problem playing the Wii afterwards so I didn't think too much of it. And then it was time for bed. And then the moaning and groaning and curling up in the fetal position ensued. I knew his stomach hurt, but I really didn't know why. And I certainly didn't know what to do for him. So I laid on the floor beside his bed and held his hand until he fell asleep. It didn't take long. And he slept just fine through the night so I figured the stomach ache was a distant memory.

When I woke him up this morning, he immediately began complaining about his stomach again. So now there are two thoughts going through my mind. I'm wondering if there really is something to this (APPENDICITIS, anyone?!?) or if it's another case of boy crying wolf. But the whole appendix thing was really weighing heavily on my mind. I fixed him a bowl of oatmeal and brought him to the table. At that point, we had a little heart-to-heart. I have to be honest and say it wasn't one of my more stellar mothering moments. I pretty much told him that if he didn't go to school, he would be going to the doctor and that something really better be wrong with his stomach. So then he says he wants to go to school. I fix his lunch, and he eats his oatmeal. But yall . . . he is the most pitiful looking thing ever. So we have another heart-to-heart.

I explain to him that it's really okay if he's sick. And it's really okay for him to miss school (even though he has a science test today). And I will certainly take him to the doctor if his stomach is bothering him that badly. At that point, I realize he has a fever. Something is definitely wrong. Now I'm really worrying about the appendix. I call the pediatrician as soon as the office opens, and we are on our way. I even grabbed his social security card and other documents. You know . . . just in case.

I have to be really honest again. I felt so bad (guilty?!) about not being able to fulfill my commitment to volunteer in the children's ministry at BSF this morning. I called the children's volunteer coordinator as early as I felt comfortable to, apologizing profusely. She was so sweet and reminded me how faithful God is in every situation. And here I was just yesterday praying that the Lord would fill me with joy in mothering, in parenting, in this season of my life . . . because sometimes it feels like my children are an interruption to my day, to all of the projects and to-do lists I have. And I needed forgiveness for that. Yet . . . the very next day, I struggled with the interruption that this caused in my Wednesday, the commitment that I was not able to keep. I was more concerned about the obligation I "backed out on" at the last minute than I was the blessing that is my son. Yes, that warranted more time in prayer with my Savior as I drove us to the doctor's office.

So once we are there and checked in and in an exam room, the nurse comes in. She's asking a lot of questions, and I'm recalling the events of the last 16 hours or so. Imagine my surprise when she asks Mason to open his mouth so she can swab his throat for a strep culture. Yes. His THROAT. I mean . . . we were there because of a STOMACH ache. She then explains that strep can manifest itself as a stomach ache in some children. Really?!? I'm not a doctor or a nurse, but really?!?

So several minutes later, Dr. K comes in the exam room and exclaims, "Mason, you have strep throat!" At that point, I look at him and ask him if his throat hurts. He looked at me with those big eyes . . . and didn't know what to say! I mean, I'd already chastised him earlier, telling him that he better be sick if we end up at the doctor's office. And he's sick. But it's not the body part that actually hurts that's the problem! A body part that isn't hurting is the problem! He was so confused. Dr. K also said he should not go to school tomorrow. And since Friday is a staff development day for teacher's, he won't have school on Friday either. Now I'll be honest. Besides the fact that my son has strep throat (this is our first experience with strep . . . and you'll be relieved to know that WebMD also confirmed the diagnosis and stomach ache as a symptom of strep), I'm doing a happy dance because we can all use a little break from school (except for the fact that he missed a test today and will miss three tests tomorrow). Because 1st grade in intense.

And then came the shot. He howled like I've never heard him howl before . . . I don't think he realized what was going on, what was about to happen and I didn't really want to tell him. And then Hannah Kate gets upset and starts crying, too! Poor Connor is just looking at all of us like he's stuck in the nut house. We have to stick around for 15 more minutes for observation. And then we go to Target to purchase new toothbrushes and an arsenal of Clorox products to hopefully contain and kill the germs and prevent the rest of us from getting sick.

As we were walking through the parking lot, Mason looked at me and said, "Mama, I promise I was telling the truth about my stomach. I promise." That sweet boy.

Later this afternoon as I was preparing supper, I was thinking. The moment we arrived at the doctor's office, I forgot all about the interruption to my Wednesday and what plans I originally had. None of that mattered in comparison to taking care of my boy. I also felt immediate gratitude towards my Savior . . . who didn't see me as an interruption to His life . . . but welcomed the interruption I was to His life . . . and gave up everything . . . life itself . . . for me. And you.

" . . . Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross . . . " ~Hebrews 12:2a

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." ~Philippians 2:5-8

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Waiting on Fall

Happy Fall, Yall!

Now if only he would hurry up and bring us some cooler weather!

Monday, October 10, 2011


Look what we did last Saturday . . .

We hadn't been to a game in Tiger Stadium since Georgia came to town in 2003. My friends from Georgia drove over and went to the game with us. Let's just say it didn't end well . . . and not because Georgia lost. I promised I'd never go to another LSU game again. Seth promised I'd never wear anything but purple and gold to another LSU game. And we'll leave it at that. But I have to say . . . even though there were very few Florida fans in town (we really didn't see any tailgating, and I'd guess there were less than 1,000 in that stadium of over 93,000) . . . we heard not the first "tiger bait" tongue lashing from raucous, inebriated LSU fans (I was imagining the worst . . . a war of the words between tiger bait and gator bait) . . . and LSU seemed almost . . . respectable. Or maybe that's just because I was wearing the right color shirt this time.

I felt like an impostor though . . . like my body really didn't belong in this shirt. I had originally planned to wear black (because let's just say purple and gold are not common colors in my wardrobe . . . except for the bordeaux-colored (that's close enough to purple, don't you think?) shirt I bought a few weeks ago that's still hanging in my closet because it's too hot to wear a 3/4 sleeve shirt . . . longing for sweater weather!), but Seth bought this shirt for me Friday night.

It was super fun (even though the game really was boring . . . LSU was up 14 points after five minutes and eventually sent the Gators back to the swamp after a 41-11 beating . . . I just prefer games to be a little closer . . . it's way more exciting . . . yes, I realize I am the only person who feels that way!).

I had a near catastrophe Saturday morning though. I didn't sleep good, and it felt like the skin just below my right eye was on fire during the night. When I woke up and looked in the mirror, my upper right cheek was incredibly swollen all the way up to my bottom eyelid. No, Seth did not hit me. But I really had no idea what was going on. And my husband, being the kind, sympathetic, gentle man that he is said, "Don't worry about it. You'll be wearing your sunglasses all day anyway, and no one will see it." So I did until I couldn't take it anymore. By the time we took this picture, the swelling had gone down for the most part. I probably should have left the glasses on!

Oh, and I forgot to mention . . . we were AT THE GAME. So guess what game my husband DVR'd for us to watch later . . . oh, no, not the Georgia game that I missed the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters of . . . the LSU game . . . and what did we do later after Mason and Hannah Kate were in bed? We watched the LSU game. Again. Enough said.


Friday, October 07, 2011

Friday Favorites

So I've decided that I'm going to celebrate some of my favorites of the week on Fridays, hence Friday Favorites. These are mostly memories that I need to write down so they won't be forgotten.

Favorite Pin (Speaking of pinning, do yall pin? Ya know, Pinterest? 'Cause if you don't, you need to! Unless you have an addictive personality. And then it becomes an obsession. I'm not quite there. Yet. But only because my internet connection is about as fast as dial-up.) Actually, I have more than one favorite pin this week.This is a table tutu! How cute for Hannah Kate's room!

And this is my inspiration for the family room . . . a finished fireplace! Because ours still isn't. And I just don't like "unfinished." Kind of like the fabric on my sewing machine table that's been there since February that will eventually be the roman shades for the French doors in Hannah Kate's room. Anyway, except for the decor on the mantle . . . this will be my fireplace.

Favorite Activity - Planting pansies and the fall vegetable garden with Hannah Kate and Connor.

Favorite Meal - Well, that would have to be date night tonight at P.F. Chang's! This was the first week that Seth has been home in its entirety (definitely the best part of my week!) since July. So all of the suppers I prepared were more for him than they were for me. The spaghetti would normally be one of my favorites, but I just don't care for the whole wheat pasta noodles. But we do the low carb, whole grain thing around here. I did make white beans one day. Yes. I realize the irony of that. Low carb thing. They were the perfect consistency (according to my husband), but they were lacking in flavor. I know what I'm going to do differently next time.

Favorite Quote - "So what does my swing say, Mama? BIG Tike?" spoken by Hannah Kate after she informed me that Connor's swing had Little Tikes written on it.

Favorite Bible Verse - Acts 4:13, 19-20 - Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus . . . But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Jules: from our journey

I don't know about yall, but I think Franchesca did a fabulous job on my blog makeover! She was so sweet to work with.

Now if only I could have a makeover! I did finally get my hair trimmed last week. But it's at that VERY awkward stage of growing out so I'm afraid it didn't do very much for me. Besides, I think 1st grade is getting the best of me; I probably won't even have any hair left to worry about come next May because I'm ready to PULL IT ALL OUT.

Right now I am less than enthusiastic (that would be one of our vocabulary words this week. yes. enthusiastic. did I mention we're in 1st grade?!?) about anything to do with school, especially concessions and the sticker machine. I mean . . . who has a sticker machine at school?!? Because, let me tell you . . . my son thinks that's the greatest thing ever since McDonald's chicken nuggets. And yall know how I feel about Mc(nasty)Donalds. I heard tale of this machine a few weeks ago, but I thought I'd finally ignored it enough that it went away. But no. It was only broken. And now it's fixed. Lovely. That was the best part of Mason's day yesterday. He wanted "five" so he could get a sticker. Five what? Five monies. Five WHAT? Cents? Dollars? 'Cause I sure ain't gonna pay five dollars or even one dollar for a sticker. Five cents is a nickel. So all of a sudden when he woke up this morning, he had an epiphany. "A nickel, Mama. That's it. That's how much the stickers are." So I gave him a nickel, and he stuck it in his pocket. I was pretty sure a nickel wasn't going to get him a sticker, but who am I to argue?

The first thing I hear when he gets off the bus this afternoon (not I missed you or I love you or how are you) was, "I was wrong, Mama. It's two quarters. I need two quarters for the sticker machine. I was wrong. I made a mistake." That sweet boy. There's no way I'm not going to give him two quarters for that sticker machine tomorrow.

And don't even get me started on concessions. I really think concessions should be for sporting events and not for 1st graders who sit beside the kid that brings $4.00 to school and gets a pickel, two drinks AND a Milky Way. Because my child get $1.00 every Monday that is specifically to be used as popcorn money, and he chose to get beef jerky instead. He didn't even like the beef jerky! And the following week his "popcorn money" purchased a giant Milky Way. Yall know the only thing I saw of that was the wrapper. And then this week two jugs of some sort of calorie-laden, red number 5, sugar-and-all-the-other-stuff-I-can't-even-pronounce fruit punch. So I do NOT want to talk about concessions.

So there's really no purpose to this post other than to give a big "thank you" to Franchesca! And just one more thing . . .

I spent several days jotting down catchy phrases to title my blog. But I changed my mind about that and just added a subtitle. Jules. That would be what my closest peeps call me. So my blog is all about sharing life and love from my journey as a mother, a wife, a friend, a child of God. It's really a tribute to my family, my children . . . and a way for me to journal the things I later want to remember to tell Mason and Hannah Kate. And Jules is jewels, too . . . funny stories, anecdotes, maybe a small bit of wisdom here and there somewhere, something that might one day encourage someone else on their journey . . . so jewels from our journey.

Yes, this post is obviously full of such jewels. But don't give up on me just yet. I'm just getting started!