Thursday, April 17, 2008

What are you still doing over here!

What are you still doing over here . . . you're missing great blog fodder over here. Ok, well maybe not great, but get over there anyway!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I've moved . . .

Well, if you're looking for me, I'm here now! So, don't forget to change your favorites or google reader or whatever you use!

See you there!

Updates and more . . .

Well, I've settled on a new name and DCRmom is working on the design. We should have everything up and running here soon. Since it will be a new name and new blog, all of you who use Google Reader or some other program will need to change the feed to the new address.

Other updates, potty training is going well. We've had success if both areas, #1 and #2. We still have random accidents, but for the most part, I can say our little Maddy is potty trained! And in her words, I'll say "YIPPEE!"

I've got so much to write about. But, first things first, I'll need to set up the new blog today so that my wonderful blog designer can showcase her work. Stay tuned, 'cause when I finally do get everything up and running, I'll have to tell you how extremely pleased I am with the work and advice that she has provided to me.

Monday, March 31, 2008

What I've been up to

Well, I've never fancied myself as a "Susie Homemaker" type. In fact, I'd describe myself as the farthest women from that. But, since becoming a stay-at-home-mom, I've had the urge to delve into things that never interested me before. So, while I was in Ohio, with a mother-in-law who is practically an expert at sewing, I knew I needed to take the opportunity to learn a few "skillz"!

So, I picked up two patterns, borrowed one sewing machine and dove right into sewing. And with the much needed help from my mother-in-law, this is the end result:

Isn't she the cutest thing EVER! And I just love this little outfit on her. What's that you ask? Yep! I even made the little ruffles. "Everything from the scratch," as Hubby would say!

So, after I conquered that, I knew Baby Lulu also needed an outfit. And this is what I came up with:

And this little outfit is a little too big for Baby Lulu right now. But I can just picture her wearing it this summer.

After these two outfits, I got to thinking and wanted to make some other little things for Maddy and Baby Lulu. And, I began to wonder, how can I simplify the process and this is what I came up with:

And here's a closer look:

I bought this little knit outfit for $5. And it definitely needed something. So, I found this ribbon and decided to trim the top and bottom with it. Cute, huh? And easy peasy!

So, anyone have any sewing tips, tricks or projects you'd like to share. I know my sis-in-law in Kansas is a sewing genius also -- maybe she'll take this opportunity to comment publicly (hee! hee!)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

An apology to my dear husband

Why is it that the things that we hold most dearly in our hearts are the things that we hold most loosely in our hands? Wouldn't you think we would have learned this lesson by now? You know, to hold on tight and never take anything or anyone for granted?

I think back to yesterday. I was all in a tizzy because I had an appointment to meet with the CPA. I hurriedly dropped my husband off at the airport for his week long trip, gave him a rushed kiss goodbye and an "I love you" he could barely understand, and off I went to the appointment. As I drove there, a million "to do's" ran through my mind. Never once did I think that in the blink of an eye, that rushed kiss could be the last time my lips ever touch my husband's lips. Or that mumbled "I love you" might be the last thing I ever get to say to him.

But, the thought crossed my mind last night . . . and I was sad. And ashamed. Because anyone who knows me knows that losing my husband would be the most devastating thing in the world to me. In fact, it's hard for my little brain to comprehend how I could function and keep living my life without him. I know that my Lord Jesus Christ would somehow carry me through . . . but it just seems impossible. I guess what I'm saying is the goodbye I gave him yesterday (and I ashamed to say several other times) was/is not at all representative of my love for him. And it should be. That kiss should be a kiss that carries him through the whole week and makes him look forward to coming home. And that I love you should ring so clear that it echoes in his heart and mind until he's back with us again.

Hubby, I love you very much and so appreciate all that you do for me and our family. I'm sorry for not giving you the attention that you deserve. I look forward to the day when I can wrap my arms around you again. Ok, if my parents or my in-laws and reading this, close your eyes ---- XXXOOO (I mean, who wants your parents or his to see you kiss right?)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Potty Training Camp: Day 3

Well, only good news to report. All is going well in our big girl potty and panty world. Here are the stats:

#1 in the Potty 5
#2 in the Potty 0
#2 on the floor but actually was the fault of the adult in charge 1
Near misses 0
Times Maddy went Potty by herself 1 (you go girl!)

Maddy, Mamma is soooooo proud of you!

To My Wonderful Friends Over At the Food Network:

(A letter I drafted to the Food Network)

I just wanted to write you a short little note to let you know just how much I (and my hubby) have enjoyed your channel. I've learned so much over the past couple of years. By the way, while I've got your attention, could you tell Paula I said "hey y'all!" Anyway, I was just sitting around thinking today, 'cause that's what we stay-at-home-mom's do you know, sit on the couch and eat bon bon's all day, anyhoo . . . yes, back to thinking, and I came up with this great idea for a new show. Seeing as how I'm never able to complete Rachael's 30-minute meal in just 30 minutes, or Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Meals EVEN.THOUGH.THEY.ARE.SEM-I-HOMEMADE, I thought I'd throw my name in the hat for a new show. Ya know, somethin' to spice things up a bit. And I thought I'd call it Chaos in the Kitchen!Has a nice ring to it! Now you just wait a minute! Before you start jumping to conclusions, let me finish telling you about it. I'd thought I could attempt to make some very family friendly, culinary works of art that are staples in every household (like fried spam and mac-n-cheese) . And just to shake it up a bit, I thought I'd do it all while my two little ones (Maddy age 2.5 and Baby Lulu age 1) were running around the kitchen. 'Cause let's face it, that's real life for ya people! And I might even have to balance the littlest one on my hip while cooking 'cause she's quite the "Mama's Girl" if you know what I mean. But no worries, I'll only have to stop 3 or 4 times to hand the two of them juice, or crackers, or yell for my husband to GET.EVERYONE.OUT.OF.THE.KITCHEN.RIGHT.THIS.MINUTE.BEFORE.I.REALLY.START.HOLLERIN. Oh, and I thought you might want to give me a little more than an hour to fix said culinary work of art because, well, it is a work of art and I will be wrestling two kids. And maybe I could answer a cell phone call or two while I'm at it. You know, just for added excitement. What you think?

Well, why don't you just pass that idea around the board room for a couple of days. No need to answer my letter immediately. I'll just be waiting here patiently and continuing to watch my favorite shows as always.

The Queen of Chaos in the Kitchen

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Potty Training Camp: Day 2

Ok, today was rough -- not just with potty training but just the day itself. So, this will be short and sweet:

#1 in the Potty: 4.5
#1 near misses: .5
#2 in the Potty: 0
#2 in panties: 1
# of times Maddy said that SHE.DID.NOT.NEED.TO.GO.POTTY 1,234,365,890,907

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to sit in the corner of the bathroom in a fetal position and cry while banging my head against the wall.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Potty Training Camp: Day 1

Well, I got Maddy out of bed this morning and I said,
Maddy, wiped her eyes, smiled at me and said,
"Okay, Mama."
So, we took her diaper off and the child has been running around, mostly bare bottomed for the better part of today.

What are the stats you ask?

Accidents 0
#1 in the potty 5
#2 in the potty 0
Near misses 0
False alarms 3
Bribes 0

Warnings from Mama to Maddy not to "peepee" on anything that is Mama's 1,087,754,467 (okay, maybe not that many!)

Crossing my fingers that Day Two goes just as well!

Wordless Wednesday

Oh no! Someone call the doctor! My child is suffering from "Stickeritis"!

For more Wordless Wednesday, go here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

What am I tackling today? Well, besides two children and a husband (just kidding you guys!), I've got a whole list of other things to accomplish today. It's funny(not really), I had an ongoing list since last week. I just keep adding to it and marking off. Will my list ever be completed? Will I ever look at it and think, "wow, I have nothing to do!" Didn't think so!

Anyway, today's list includes bedroom work:

1) Wash all the sheets in the house;
2) Dust all bedrooms;
3) Vacuum floors of all bedrooms;
4) Dust blinds in the bedrooms;
5) Drop off tax info to accountant;
6) Send out thank you card to friends.

I think that's enough for today 'cause you mamas know that I have to add this list to the normal daily stuff that I need to accomplish (dinner, dishes, laundry, wiping noses, . . .)!

What are you tackling today? To see more Tackle it Tuesday posts, go here

What's the deal with tipping?

Can someone enlighten me, please?

Yesterday, I strolled into Olive Garden to purchase a gift card. And can I just say it smelled sooooo good in there that I almost told the hostess, "yes, seating for one, I'll be dining alone." But, guilt got the best of me and I just asked her where I could purchase a gift card. Darn that guilt, darn it! I then directed to the bar area where I was greeted by the bartender (or is it bartenderess?). We exchanged friendly banter and finally, I got around to asking to purchase the gift card, to which she obliged. One swipe of the gift card and then one swipe of my credit card, and voila, I was ready to be on my way. The only thing left to do was sign the credit card receipt. And there it was! The blank tip line staring me slap dab in the face. What do I do? Oh, I dread these types of situations. I mean, the girl was nice and all, but did she really do anything that warrants a tip? Is it industry standard to tip for ringing up an item? Furthermore, is she expecting a tip? Or is it just that the tip line is there for, you know, those drinking customers and dining in the restaurant and it's not like she could remove it or anything?

You tell me on etiquette experts on the internet --- do you tip in this situation?

By the way, did you know Olive Garden gift cards are also valid at Red Lobster? Yes way! That's what she told me!

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm running out of time . . .

So, without further ado . . . look over there to the right in my sidebar -- or your left if your back is facing the computer (ha! ha!)Hey! Just go with it people ok? Go ahead and make your selection(s). Vote for your favorite(s). The poll will be up until March 31st. Then, I'll select my winner for the $25 gift card.

VOTE NOW . . . please and thank you!

Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Jesus is Alive!

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

Matthew 28: 1-9 NIV

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Don't quit your day job!

Well, my friends, I'm sorry to say that I will not be entering the field of refrigerator repair anytime soon. My diagnosis was completely inaccurate. Instead, we had a bad defrost timer ?!? (BTW, that would have been my second guess wink!wink!) Anywhoo, glad to report that all is cold again in the Striving home. Our milk is cold, our butter is firm, and mamma is happy, again!

Striving for some sanity!

Can I just say, there a three things that a Florida girl never wants to be without:

1) Air Conditioning
2) Water
3) A Refrigerator -- Uggh!

I love my Kenmore stainless steel refrigerator. It's so sleek & stylish. However, I'd love it more, if I didn't keep having to replace the compressor relay! Last August, I learned a hard lesson. After noticing that everything in my freezer was melting, I attempted to self diagnose fridge. I took everything out -- did the hairdryer thing. You know? Trying to defrost it!?! Why? I'm not sure. There was no ice built up or anything like that. I just remember seeing my parents do something to that effect when I was younger. Well, after I had wasted the day trying everything I could think of, it was far too late to call a repairman. Hubby was out of town and my food was spoiling each minute, as I struggled to call friends and family and ask to borrow coolers to put the food in. Needless to say, the repairman came out the next morning and fixed the problem. But the food? Nope, the food didn't make it. So, not only was I left with a $140 refrigerator repair bill, but a big 'ole grocery bill to boot!

So, last night when I noticed Maddy's milk didn't seem as cold as it should be, I alerted hubby, who quickly went into "refrigerator repairman" mode and grabbed his tool box. He unscrewed, yanked, wiggled, unplugged, reset and voila . . . nope, didn't work! I'm almost positive it is the same deal as last time. Only this time, I think we're going to be able to save the food IF the repairman would GET.HERE.ALREADY! He's 15 minutes late!

I'll let you know how it turns out . . . just thought you might want to know what's going on in our household today . . .

Well, that's not the only thing! We WILL be dying Easter eggs tonight! And I'll have to tell you about our Easter Party we attended yesterday!

What's that? A knock at my door? Aarrggghhh! Just a Baby Lulu! Mr. Refrigerator Repairman . . . WHERE ARE YOU?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

This out of the mouths of babes!

Maddy and Mommy headed home from the store -- only the two of us in the car. Picture this: it's completely dark outside and Maddy has on her pink sunglasses, her diva sequin bag draped on her arm which is securely holding her money (60 whole cents!)

Mommy: "Maddy, you're such a silly turkey!"

Maddy: "Why tank you mudder!"

*Want a $25 giftcard to Well then go here.

Got a favor to ask of you . . .

I know! The nerve of me . . . being gone so long and all and here I just show up and ask for favors. But, in my defense, I REALLY do need your help. Because, well . . . I'm about as creative as . . . well . . . I'M NOT! And I've asked someone to help me redesign my blog. New title, new tag line, new look . . . that's right folks -- I'm sparing no expense to bring a little sunshine to my bloggy audience. But, this is where I run into problems. What in the world am I gonna name the new blog??? And this is where the favor comes into play . . . I know that there are a lot of creative juices packed into my most favorite bloggy readers (ahem . . . that's you!) Can you all atleast just point me into the right direction! Here are some things you might want to know:

1) I'm a stay-at-home mom to two little girls
2) I'm a girly girl -- love polka dots, handbags and shoes
3) I'm married to a wonderful man - who is, unfortunately, absentee ALOT -- which makes for good blog fodder!
4) My name is Summer and I love warm weather, walks on the beach, christian music (oh my . . . this sure sounds like I'm soliciting a mate instead of a blog title!)

Anyhoo . . . I guess you can get started from there. I've actually thought about creating a name centered about my name. You know, somehow incorporating Summer in title or artwork!?!

So, if you don't mind, give it some thoughts and leave me some answers in my comments. Once I receive a few nominations, I'll add a poll some you all can vote. And for the most creative person who submits the winning entry, you'll receive a $25 giftcard. That's right . . . I take care of my peeps!

Ok . . . go forth and be creative!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Hi there! No, I haven't forgotten about all of you. I'm back in Florida and just trying to get caught up. It's our busy rental season for our vacation condo and I'm doing all I can to keep my head about water. BUT . . .

I promise I'll be back with a new design and some blog worthy material . . . soon!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

Did anyone see the lunar eclipse last night? Now, I’ll have to admit, in my younger days (not that I’m very old now, thankyouverymuch) I was not concerned with anything that involved me going outside and looking at the moon for an hour. Hello? A girl had better things to do like paint her toe nails or wash her hair.

But, last night, after I had put the girls into bed, I went outside several times (in 5 degree (f) weather, might I add) to marvel at God’s amazing handy work. Seriously! How perfectly timed – the moon passing in the Earth’s shadow. He planned it all. He knew it before he did it! And these marvels and miracles are the sort of things that I consistently take for granted. I’m busy --- too busy to stop and see God’s wonderful creation.

My Hubby and I have often had the discussion of wondering why God seemed to show himself to the people in the Bible more than us today. Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s still working! Y’all, I believe he’s still performing miracles everyday. But we’ve cluttered our lives so much with outside influences that most times, we can't see or hear him anymore . . . the T.V., cellphones, internet, video games, running here and there. In biblical times, those people dedicated a certain amount of time per day to be with God -- in prayer, listening. They stopped. STOP. And listened. LISTEN. And looked around them. LOOK.

Living here in Grandma’s house, I’ve been forced to slow down. I don’t have ALL the modern conveniences. I wasn’t able to blog as often or check my email as often or surf the internet as often. And you know what happened? I saw things that I’ve never seen before. The beauty of snowfall on the ground. And I heard things. The sound of the wind blowing snow and ice and how it cracks when it hits the ground. I know that those things seem so minor – but in the whole picture of life, those things are God’s creation. And had I stayed at home, I may have never experienced those sights and sounds. Had I not stopped my fast paced life for just a few moments, I would have missed out.

So, I say all of this in an attempt to share with you just a few of the lessons I’ve learned about life in the past two months. Thanks for being a part of my journey.

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

words & music by Carl G. Boberg and R.J. Hughes

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nursing my patience & patients!

Well, I bet you have been wondering where I've been (all two of you who read this blog!) No! What's that you say? Well, I know I don't post consistently but I'm trying to tell you why!

This week has left this momma tired! Both girls have been suffering from pink eye in both eyes. So, you know what that means . . . EYE DROPS! Any of you tried to put 2 drops per eye 4 times daily in the eyes of a 2 year old and a 1 year old? Well, let me just tell you, without bribery, IT'S.DARN.NEAR.IMPOSSIBLE. I've began bribing Maddy with her vitamins. Vitamins, you ask? Let me explain. Her vitamins are gummy vitamins. She loves gummy bears, so I bribe her with her vitamins if she'll get her drops done without a big 'ole scene. Hey -- a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do! Her Daddy actually bribed her with a cookie -- so there!

Anyway, it's now actually about two days later from when I actually started this post and the girls are doing sooooooooo much better. Lacy still has a runny nose, icky cough and a hint of pink eye. Maddy is back to her old self with the exception of the icky cough. And Momma . . . well, I'm hanging in there. Got a little sore throat myself but nothing to really complain about.

My wonderful in-laws are entertaining my girls at their house this morning so that I can pack and clean. Yes, I said pack. Can you believe that two months have passed already and it's time for me to head home! My plans were to leave tomorrow with my best girlfriend who lives here. She's going to drive back with me and the girls and then stay for a week and fly back home. However, apparently, no one notified the weather of this, so looks like I probably won't be able to leave tomorrow as most of the first half of the trip would involve driving in icy conditions. Now, I've learned to drive in snow --- but ice -- that's a whole 'nother story! Uh huh, no m'am, NOT.GONNA.DO.IT with my sweet little babies in the car.

So, I'd be so grateful if you all would keep us in your prayers as we'll be making the long drive home in the next day or two.

Oh and FYI - Just assume that my spell check is NEVER.GONNA.WORK.AGAIN.DARN.IT.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Grandma's Scriptures

"The Lord is with you wherever you go."

Joshua 1:9

How fitting seeing as how I'm going home soon.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Road Trip!

Well, I know it's been a while since I posted, but I took a road trip. I went here and saw her and her family -- my lovely sis-n-law. Her children were in a production of Godspell. I got to attend opening night and I.MUST.SAY it was EXCELLENT! I really enjoyed the play itself. And the teens who were in the play were so talented! I especially enjoyed the parts of my neice and nephews. If you've got a moment, head over here and she'll tell you all about our visit and the happenings since then. She tells of me attending the opening night party for the cast -- which was loads of fun. We were sorry to leave but there was a nasty snow storm approaching both her area and ours, so we needed to get back home.

Unforunately, we brought this back with us. Yes, looks like I'll be spending another half day in Urgent Care. Such is my life!

Oh, I forgot to mention, I also had a little time to have dinner with this gal (one of my most favoriate bloggers!) She's 12 weeks pregnant but is not really showing much at all. I so enjoyed sitting and talking with her. I feel like I've known her for quite sometime even though it's all been via the internet. So, Megan, thanks for taking time out of your busy, nauseating (bless your heart) day to get together with a fellow blogger. You're looking great girl!

In other news, my new friend Anna, has given me a blog award. Here is an excerpt from her blog:
"The first thing I noticed about your blog was the plan of Salvation at the top of your page. The only thing I can say about that is...You Go Girl! I've enjoyed cheering you on as you tackle new experiences in your life. You're an inspiration! (Yes, even when your spell check is on the fritz!)"

Awwww . . . thanks Anna. This is my very first blog award and I'll display it proudly!

(And as a side note, my spell check is still not working!!! How frustrating is that! Anyone know what is going on with blogger? I keep getting an error message that says Message (1) failed with response 500 Internal Server Error after 190 ms --- yea, whatever that means!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

News, news, news!

Well, since my homemaking project (the one that I was supposed to reveal but is taking a whee bit longer than expected) is not ready to unvail yet, I thought I'd check in and tie up some loose ends . . . or maybe their not loose ends, but more like new ends?!? Whatever!

1) I ventured out for my first ski trip this past Sunday. I had a great time and NO, I didn't break anything. I'll try to write a longer post about this later 'cause you all KNOW it was funny!

2) I'm leaving this week to visit my sis-in-law on Thursday of this week. I know we'll have such a great time. Her oldest kids are in a production of Godspell and I can't wait to see it! If you haven't visited her blog before -- pop on over there --- it's much more informative than mine!

3) The terrible twos have set in ---- would anyone like my child for the next year? Just kidding!

That's all for now . . . I'll try to be back soon -- real soon!

Update: I apologize for any spelling errors -- spell check seems to be down right now and I'm not proofing! Ok - another update -- seems nothing else is working either -- so I can't italics or bold -- gotta love the blog program!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Just call me the Pioneer Woman!

Temp: Low 12 degrees (f), high 25 degrees (f)
Snow: None
Wind: 5-10 mph
Windchill: 7 degrees (f)

Why is it that I only need wood for the fire when it’s 20 degrees or below? Seriously! It seems that I always run out of wood when it’s the coldest. I stock pile ahead and keep a continuous fire, but it always seems to work out that I don’t need or have room for any fire wood on the warmest days! Go figure!

Today, I bundled up and hauled some fire wood up to the house. Now, when I say I “hauled”, I literally mean that I walked myself and the wheel barrow out to the corn crib (which might I add is about 50-75 yards away from the house) and loaded wood into the wheel barrow (from the farthest side of the corn crib because hubby says it’s the driest), walked myself and the wheel barrow all the way to the front porch of the house (because that door is the closest to the fireplace) and unload the wood inside (whew! I get tired just thinking about it!) -- and did I mention it’s 25 degrees outside and up hill both ways!

Now my father-in-law, has one of these and it sure makes hauling wood so much easier!! I used it last Monday and even had enough energy to take some wood down to his house. I’m so glad that he has this to use because the wood is kept down here and he lives about 150 yards or so away. Man, that would not be fun, hauling wood all the way down there! Guess I should quit my complaining!

And truth be told, I could ask my father-in-law to use this again, but :

1) If I do that, I won’t be able to justify the need for a manicure at my friend’s salon – please huney, I REALLY NEED one! Let’s do inventory of both hands . . . I’ve got 3 scratches, 2 burns, 3 broken nails and a cut (the cut is actually from the potato peeler, and I guess the burns are actually from making this and really the broken nails – well that just comes along with the territory of having two children --- but don’t tell hubby!) Oh darn, he’s reading this! Well, can I have the manicure anyway? Pretty plllllleeeeeeeaaaaaasssssseeee!

2) I won’t be able to use this story later on my children---it would go a little something like this . . . You see kids, Momma knows what REAL work is . . . remember that winter we stayed at Grandma’s when you were little? Well, Momma hauled wood for the fireplace to keep the fire going just to keep you girls warm. My hands were worn and tired, but I kept gathering ‘cause I had you babies to look after. It was so cold – most times I couldn’t feel my nose. It was uphill both ways and I had to make several trips. I love you that much! Now, go clean up your room and just be glad that’s all I’m asking you to do! See, doesn’t that make a good lecture?

All in all, I’m enjoying my time here. I told hubby that I really do feel less stressed. It’s kind of a “vacation” but not. I mean, I still do all of the things that I would have to do at home – only, I’m doing them somewhere else. So, I’ve got this all figured out . . . I can consistently vacation for the next few years if I just keep swapping houses every 2 months or so!

Stayed tuned for my next post . . . which hopefully I’ll be able to get posted in the next day or so --- you’ll hear just how domesticated I’ve really become!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Day 23 Ohio: January 20, 2008

Temp: 7 degrees (f), windchill 10-20 degrees below 0
Snow: None

Can you hear that? No? Well, if you could, it'd be my teeth chattering! Holy cow – it ought to be illegal for the town to function in this frigid weather. People are nuts! Can you believe people are going about their normal lives as if it weren’t cold enough to freeze meat. Really, if you run out of room in your freezer , just put the extras right out there on your back porch. People actually do that, I think!

Heck, in Florida, if there’s even a chance of snow flurry or temperatures below freezing, the entire town shuts down. No kidding! Schools close, roads close, grocery stores are ransacked for the last gallon of milk and the last loaf bread, favorite TV shows are interrupted every five minutes with the latest Storm Tracker weather report. Seriously! If we even think there will be snow or cold weather for that matter, we hunker down and darn near hibernate until spring or until temps rise above 50 degrees (F)! Ok -- maybe I'm exaggerating a teenie bit. But cold weather is not really anything I can relate to. We’ve been known to wear short sleeve shirts and shorts to the family Christmas celebration.

As I sat here, in frigid Ohio, lamenting to my family via cellphone of the ungodly weather bestowed upon us, I was comforted in knowing that it was indeed, cold back home too. Yes siree Bob . . . my brother called and said temps were in the 20’s. And then, of course, we got into a friendly verbal match, each trying to “out do” the other with our tales of weather hardships. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Oh yes, we really shouldn't leave the house. But we ventured out to church anyway. And it takes FOREVER to get both girls bundled up. And then when I finally do, and I get each girl out to the car, I realize that I have to adjust the car seat straps because both have increased in size about 4 inches! All the while, my fingers are about to freeze off as the wind whips through the vehicle. By the way, what does frost bite look like? I may need medical attention. And you know like on the Christmas story, when his tongue sticks to the frozen lamp post – well, that’s what almost happens to my fingers every time I grab the steering wheel without my gloves!”

Brother: “Yeah, well, we had a puddle in the pasture and when we woke up this morning, it was frozen -- FROZEN I tell you! Now, how often does that happen?”

Me: {gasp} “Well, they say that if you stay out in this wind here for more than thirty minutes, you’re sure to get frost bite -- I'm pretty sure I'm suffering from some. I could lose a finger!!!”

Brother: “You know that little frozen puddle I was telling you about . . . well, one of the cows got stuck in it and tipped over and he almost died. We had to go out there in this COLD, COLD weather, pick him up and just about carry him to the other side of the pasture! Man, he was heavy!”

Well folks, how do you top a tripping cow that almost died – you can’t! So, I waved the white flagged and surrendered the argument.

Anyway, we are expecting warmer temperatures within the next couple of days. We may actually top out at 30 degree (F). They’re calling for snow all day tomorrow (Tuesday).

Blockbuster . . . here we come!

I'll leave you again with another picture . . .

When I said that I have to hose down my kids after meals, I wasn't kidding!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lippy the Snowman just doesn't have the same ring to it!

Well, we finally had enough snow to make a snowman. I should confess, though, this is actually our second snowman build. Our first one turned out like this . . .

. . .but the second one really takes the cake. Hubby and Maddy worked very hard on it. And it has a set of lips that would make Julia Roberts and Angelina Jolie jealous. I’m not sure if Hubby injected a little botox in them or what, but man, check out the set on this guy!

I must post this disclaimer: I was not in any way involved in the building of the second snowman (and for those of you who know me, you know I'm telling the truth! He's scary looking, don't 'ya think?) The lips definitely balance out the ears, though.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Congratulations NY Giants -- specifically Lawrence Tynes!

Lawrence Tynes, kicker for the New York Giants

Can you believe that I'm from the same little town as Lawrence Tynes? Who is Lawrence Tynes you ask? Well, if you watched last night's game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants, then you already know that this young man is responsible for the field goal kick that won the game for the New York Giants.

Can I tell you alittle bit about what I remember of this now well known player in the football world!

Lawrence Tynes graduated from our hometown high school just one year after me. He was skinny and lanky . . . the guy who was doing flips in the hallway. Seriously! He was the class clown who always had something funny to say or do. He always had a small crowd of people who followed him and clapped over his antics. He played soccer and football and was so good at both. He was humble, though. I never saw even a hint of arrogance. He was such a cute little guy - someone that anyone could love.

So, to you Lawrence, I just want to tell you that we are so proud of you! And I'm happy for you . . . what an amazing feeling you must have right now. I'd like to wish you luck in the Super Bowl, the Patriots are tough. Keep your eyes where they need to be and always remember to give thanks to the Lord above.

Martin Luther King Jr - I have a dream speech - Aug 28 1963

Thank you Mr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, we honor you and your accomplishments!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Day 17 Ohio: January 14, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008
Temp: 30 degrees F
Snow: Light dusting

Well, we’re here and doing pretty well. I’m managing on my own. Building fires, gathering wood – hubby is away, obviously!

This past Friday night, my friend, Annette, came over with Chinese food in hand and a good chick flick. I’ve talked about Annette before, I think? I met her at Hubby’s class reunion and we’ve been friends ever since. Whenever I’m in Ohio, I always try to get together with her. She owns a wonderful Salon/Spa here in town. Anyway, as I was saying, she stopped by on Friday night and we had such a great time. She was kind enough to bring her scissors and she trimmed Maddy’s hair for me. In fact, I guess this was Maddy’s “first haircut”. I’ll have to post pictures as soon as I’m able to find a faster connection to the internet.

Saturday was wonderful weather. Maddy and I got outside and played for a while. We walked, picked up sticks and chased the dog. For those of you who know Maddy, she absolutely loves being outdoors. She’s so curious. We played a little game. She’d point out things and I would tell her what it was. We had a good time and were thankful for the opportunity to get out of the house.

Sunday we attended the local First Baptist Church. It’s a small church with a big heart. I’ve been enjoying the services there.

Hubby will be home on Wednesday. We are sooooo looking forward to his return.

This is what I wake up to . . .

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

In great need of encouragement

Well, I'm in a lull today -- actually the past couple of days. This big 'ole house is lonely. Hubby has been gone almost a week. I'm stuck in the routine/schedule of two little girls and I can't get out. Internet access is almost impossible. My cell phone is dead and I'm without a charger. I feel like I'm losing my connection to the outside world. It's 26 degrees (f) here today. And too windy to get the girls out. Maddy is breaking out -- I'm sure from something she has eaten -- what? is the mystery. Having food allergies to peanuts, eggs and milk, it's impossible to shield her from all of those. So, which one is the culprit this time? Who knows?

I'm feel unorganized. I need to get online and pay bills, but it takes so long for the pages to load. And then, when they do, the payment never processes. I feel so scattered. I don't have all I need here -- my files, my systems. Anyone who knows me knows that I work best in a routine. I work best in my own environment. Change really stresses me out. And I'm someone who needs support and lots of encouragement. And unfortunately, two little girls aren't able to give me support OR encouragement.

I also feel like I'm running in circles . . . changing diapers, vacuuming, mopping the kitchen floor, fixing a meal and then cleaning up a meal . . . it's never ending. I'm wondering when I'm going to get to stand back, look at my accomplishments and feel good --- feel like something has been done. Most days I feel like I'm just chasing my tail. Seriously! And I know I'm not alone. I've read the other blogs from other mothers -- And I'm a smart girl -- I know I shouldn't be looking to you all for encouragement. Instead, I should be opening God's word because I know he has a lot to say to me.

So I'm asking you for prayer. I know the lull will be short lived and I know this is just an adjustment. But please, please pray that God will help me "get it together."

Oh, and I promise I'll be back with a post. I've started one and I just need to get it posted. Because of my internet connection, I have to type it in Word and then take about 10 to 15 minutes to get online and attempt to post. So, wish me luck -- hopefully it will be posted today!

Oh and if you feel led to, please feel free to leave me a comment. I may not be able to respond, but I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Why is it . . .

Why is it . . . that it takes me 5 minutes, 33 seconds to pick up all the toys and it only takes my girls 45 seconds to dump them all out into a pile on the floor?

Why is it . . . that the minute I sit down with Baby Lulu to play, Maddy decides that we have the exact toy that SHE wanted to play with?

Why is it . . . that both my girls need to be hosed down after each meal? Heck, for that matter, the whole kitchen needs to be hosed down!

Why is it . . . that there are fifty trillion toys in our home and my girls only want to play with Mama’s purse?

Why is it . . . that I can change a diaper and in less than five minutes, the fresh new diaper is already soiled? It’s like they’re waiting . . . “Ah ha! Mom’s gonna change my diaper, so I’ll just hold it until I have that new diaper on – it’ll drive her crazy!”

Why is it . . . that today my children love oranges – in fact, would eat one at every meal if I’d let them and tomorrow they won’t even taste an orange?

Why is it . . . that I have to say, “Don’t step on your sister!”?

Why is it . . . that prior to having children, I could cook, clean and work a full time job but now, as a stay-at-home-mom with two children, can barely keep my head above water sometimes?

Why is it . . . that prior to having children while I was working a “full time job”, if the laundry wasn’t completed, I let myself off the hook because I worked a “full time job”?

Why is it . . . that raising two children, cooking, cleaning and paying bills isn’t considered to be a “full time job”?

Why is it . . . that the Lord God above chose me . . .‘lil ‘ole me, to be the mother of two beautiful little girls?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Grandma's Scriptures

I’ve decided to add a new element to my Ohio Diary. Grandma W. (the owner of the home we are staying in right now) is a wonderful Christian lady. I’ve only had the pleasure of knowing her for a few years now, but anyone who has crossed her path knows of her love of Christ. If you were to walk through her house, you would notice her collection of angels. Some are glass, some are plastic and some have a wonderful sentimental story. What you’d also notice, though, is that bible scripture is posted in so many places around this house. Now, I’ve been in this house several times, but only now have I noticed just how many scriptures fill this home. As I look at them, I think, how appropriate. And as I read so many of them, I begin to wonder what that scripture meant to her. What was going on in her life when these scriptures really spoke to her? Did a loving friend know of some trial going on in her life and give her the scripture plaque as a form of encouragement? Or was it her loving daughter that saw this scripture and thought back to some time that she and her mom had a conversation and this scripture helped in her time of need? Or maybe her son gave her this beautiful plaque? Or even one of her four grandchildren or maybe even one of her eleven grandchildren?

There are several of these different scripture plaques placed throughout the house. And though we’ve all probably heard these scriptures before, I wanted to share one with you ever now and then --- in honor of Grandma W.

This verse is posted just above the fireplace on a nice little plaque.
“My grace is sufficient for thee.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Oh, how true! And I can’t help but wonder how this verse took Grandma through some tough times, and probably even carried her through some good times. Posted there on the fireplace, it is an ever present reminder that the Lord’s grace is ALL we need.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Day 3 Ohio: January 4, 2008

Temp: 19
Wind: Gosh, 12-15 mph
Snow: 2-3 inches on the ground

Today, I shoveled snow for the first time. Boy, was this comical! I know, some of you would have paid money to see this little event. I’ll attempt to tell you about it . . .

This morning, I took a glance outside and saw lots of snow on the steps. Thinking like an Ohioan (is that what they’re called?), I decided that the steps needed to be cleared. So, I bundled up – cap, check; scarf, check; coat, check; boots, oops, still haven't bought those yet. I picked up the shovel from the back porch and threw it over my shoulder with confidence. And I must admit, I headed outdoors, nose in the air, in a cocky, sort of fashion. “Shoveling snow . . . how hard can this be? This stuff actually reminds me of Splenda. So light and fluffy. Oh yes, this will be easy peasy.”

So, I picked up the shovel and dug into the fluffy stuff. So, neat – I had a big heaping shovel full. And then it occurred to me . . . now that I have the snow on the shovel, where do I put it? Seriously? If I sling it to my left, the wind will just pick it up and blow it right back. If I sling it to my right, they’ll be a huge pile of snow right there against the house.

Now, unbeknownst to me, shoveling snow is apparently a fine tuned skill. And in my run down of “things to know”, Hubby and I never covered the “shoveling snow” section.

So, I stood there, contemplating my plan. Where do I put the snow? Where do I put the snow? To the right, yes definitely to the right. And so I did. And I even shoveled the front steps. I stood back, gazing proudly at my accomplishment.

Fast forward about an hour later. My father-in-law, knocked on the door. Glad to see a familiar face, I invited him in. But, he declined and said he had just come down to bring a couple of items and to shovel the snow. And I thought to myself . . . "Can't he see that I just did that? I mean, I know I'm a newbie, but surely what I did will suffice, right?" Now, let me tell you about my father-in-law. He’s an older man of age, but with the body and energy of a teenager. Seriously . . . he can run circles around most people my age. So, he went to shoveling and man was I impressed! He had a shovel and this huge broom. Now when it comes to shoveling snow, my father-in-law has “skills!” By the time that he had finished, he had the whole patio and steps clean as a whistle. He even did the sidewalks. Not a drop of snow remained! Wow!

So, I guess I write all of this to tell you that this Florida girl shoveled snow for the first time. Oh, and I guess to say “thanks” Dad W for taking care of me and my girls.

And now . . . I'll leave you with this picture:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Day 1 Ohio: January 2, 2008

Temp: 14 degrees F, -15 windchill
About 2 inches of snow

Well, this is my first day without Robert here. Maddy had a bad night last night. Let me back up and give you some history here. At home, Maddy and Baby Lulu share a room. They both still sleep in a crib – Maddy’s crib is white and Baby Lulu’s is oak/natural wood. When we set off on our journey to Ohio, we decided not to load up the Pack-n-Play because we really did not have the room in the car. I knew Hubby’s parents still had a white crib that we could borrow and I assumed that Maddy could just sleep in a twin bed that was there in the room that she would be sharing with Baby Lulu. So, fast forward . . . we arrive at Grandma’s house. Dad W had already set up the crib for Baby Lulu and we were ready for the girls to get a nap. So, we promptly put them to bed after we arrived. We explained to Madison that the twin bed is a “big girl” bed. And that since she is a “big girl” now, she’ll be sleeping in the “big girl” bed. Her response: “I not a big girl. No bed Mama.”

Since then, she has continually climbed out of the bed and into Baby Lulu’s crib. So, I've resolved to put Maddy in the white crib and Baby Lulu in the natural/oak colored play pen. I think this will work better as Maddy relates to the white crib as being her crib from home.

Today, there is snow, snow and more snow. Pretty chilly outside, but quite warm inside. Thank you Lord for heat! I think we are expecting to have some warm weather soon.

Monday, January 7, 2008

No, I'm not pregnant, but . . .

So, I'm finally here with my announcement. And I must confess, the announcement really isn't that "big". Sorry to trick you . . . but it didn't even cross my mind that everyone would jump to the conclusion once I said I had a big announcement. Ok, maybe it crossed my mind twenty times once.

So, for the announcement . . . well, there are several. So, I'll just make a list:

1) I'll be spending the next two months of my life in the lovely cold, snowy state of Ohio in my hubby's hometown, right smack dab next door to my mother/father in law.

2) I'll be living in a farmhouse that was built in the 1860's. It is located on the family farm.

3) In reference to #2, I'll be living without some of the modern conveniences of my home, i.e. wireless internet. Yes, I'm dealing with dial up, gasp! The microwave is quite old and slow. It has a turn dial to adjust the cooking time. Heck, I'm even percolating my own coffee -- no Mr. Coffee here!

So, with all that being said, I'm turning my blog into sort of a diary, for the following reasons (I'm in a list it mood today):

1) It's a neat, easy way to keep family back home informed of our happenings.

2) Don't you think it will be interesting to hear about a Florida, city girl transplanted to Ohio in a town with population of about 12,000, living in an old house without some of the modern conveniences? Well . . . ok, so maybe it's not that interesting . . . but will you vow to read it anyway?

3) I've never lived away from my hometown or my family. This will be a journey . . . one with good days and one with bad days. I may need YOU. Yes, you! I may need some encouragement. I may need a friend. So . . . won't you be a pal and keep coming back!

Well, I guess that's about it. I do sincerely ask for your patience -- I am dealing with dial up and other electrical global verbal technical difficulties.

Update on the girls:

Both were put on antibiotics by the Urgent Care doctor for ear infection and such. Both seem to be doing much, much better.



Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Big Announcement

Well, I'd love to post the "big" annoucement, but I'm off to the Urgent Care Center here in Ohio. Both girls are sick. I've been giving Maddy breathing treatments every 4 to 6 hours again. Her congestion is back and her nose is running yellow/green. Baby Lulu has a fever of about 102.8, along with congestion and also the nasty nose. So . . . such is life, I guess. It's about time we checked out this Urgent Care anyway.

I'll be back tonight with the announcement . . .

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Yes, I said it! The Florida girl has been transplanted right smack dab in the middle of Ohio and I think I just might freeze to death! Seriously! I've been here less than a week and I can't feel my toes - EVER. The high today was 22 degrees (F). I've decided to hibernate. It should be illegal to have to go anywhere when temps are below 50. Yes, 50 is about the coldest I can take.

To my loyal readers (if there are any of you) I'm so sorry I've been gone for so long. Guess you can say I was on a "bloggy break." Christmas was a blur. We spent most of the time juggling around Hubby's schedule and then rushing to pack and leave to visit family in Ohio. So, to catch you all up . . .

Christmas -- what a blessed time. I got so many neat things. Hubby and I put ourselves on a budget this year, thereby, forcing each other to be creative with our Christmas gifts. And I was not disappointed - not by any means. My hubby stepped up to the plate and delivered. I won't get into telling you about every gift but I'll mention one of my favorites. Two years ago, after the birth of our first child, my hubby gave me a charm bracelet. It's beautiful, two tone and very feminine. On that bracelet is a charm representing each of our girls. From time to time on different occasions, hubby will add a charm to the bracelet (so will my BFF Teena -- I'd say she's probably given me half of the charms on the bracelet). Well, this Christmas, he gave me a silver set of wings engraved with the word "pilot". I've always wanted some sort of airplane/pilot charm to represent my hubby (for those of you who don't know, hubby flies airplanes). This charm was so much cuter than I could have ever imagined that he would have picked out. So, to me, the bracelet feels complete . . . I have my two girls and my hubby close to me all the time. And notice that I said the bracelet feels complete -- not full, so hubby . . . and Teena, keep those charms coming!!!

The girls had a great time. Maddy is now at the age where she understood Christmas a little this year. Fortunately for us, though, she didn't understand the timing. So, we were able to have Christmas around hubby's work schedule.

All in all, I'd have to say we had a wonderful Christmas. We were with friends and family . . . laughing, hugging, sharing -- what more can a girl ask for!


Moving on to New Year's . . . we spent a wonderful New Year's Eve with my brother-in-law and his wife and her family. Great food . . . great company! We rang in the New Year together watching the ball drop in Times Square (on TV, of course). It's been a while since the four of us were able to just get away and talk. So, I'm glad we did. And we should really do it more often. And I want to say a quick "thank you" to them --- we really did have a wonderful time.

As far as New Year resolutions, I don't make 'em. Each year, I just try to resolve to take things one day at a time. And to learn . . . and be better . . . a better wife, a better mother, a better sister, a better friend, a better daughter, a better cousin and most of all, a better reflection of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So, there you have it folks ---


In other news . . .

I've got a big announcement, but you'll have to come back on Saturday and read it here!

Hmmmmmm . . . I can just see the wheels turning now . . .

See ya on Saturday!