Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Been a Week

And what a difference a week makes!

I am sitting here watching Alaina and Jay play in the bathtub thinking of all of the ways my life has changed in the last seven days. It truly boggles the mind.

First of all, there hasn't been an infant in the house in 6 years. (Jack will be 7 in April). I had forgotten how things revolve around their schedules and feedings and naps. I had also forgotten how much stuff you have to tote around every time you leave the house!

Secondly, there are toddlers in a house that is no longer toddler-proof. We needed cabinet locks, baby gates, toilet locks, outlet covers and all kinds of medicine droppers. We also needed a high chair, sippy cups, cribs, bath toys, and lots of diapers and wipes.

Thirdly, I need eyes in the back of my head! These kids are quick. And they are in to EVERYTHING! Since these are foster kids, you can use your imagination to think of what their home life was like. Sooo, they are very curious about things that they have probably never seen before. I have to watch them every second.

There are more changes, but this is all I have time for. I feel fortunate that I was able to get this much done.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Quick update

Very quick.

We have three new little ones living us right now. Alaina, Jaylen and Brianna arrived yesterday afternoon and will definitely be here through the new year. Alaina is the oldest and is 2 1/2. Needless to say, our house is CRAZY right now. I would love to post some pictures, but that will have to wait. When things settle down, I will post more.

We appreciate all of our friends and family who have helped out the last couple of days and brought stuff over for the little ones. Thanks a bunch, everyone!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Adoption Update, Number 4

I think it's number 4. It might be number 5. I can't remember.

Anyway, our social worker came today for our last visit and to bring us our certificate. We are now officially licenced foster/adoptive parents.

Actually, we got put into the computer yesterday. And, we almost had two little girls yesterday. Our social worker called us around 8:30 yesterday morning and asked if we would be willing to take two sisters that were taken into custody the night before. They were 18 months old and 8 months old. We said yes.

Let me tell you, all heck broke loose over here.

Todd was already at work, so I called in reinforcements in the form of Meme (my mom) and Gran (Todd's mom). I needed to straighten up, pick up all of the very small toys that a baby and toddler can put in their mouths (and believe me, there were ALOT), find the crib, put it together, and countless other things.

AND THEY WERE GOING TO BE HERE AT 10:00 AM!!

Chaos reigned for about an hour and a half.

Then, the social worker called again and said they weren't coming. They had had an emergency hearing and the judge gave custody to the father.

What a letdown! After all of that running around and getting ready and trying to figure out what the next few days were going to be like, it was like someone popped my balloon. Curt was really disappointed as well. Jack didn't seem to be bothered at all, but he is pretty flexible.

But, in spite of the disappointment, we learned some valuable lessons. The first thing we learned is that this could happen pretty quickly. We have decided that it is probably a good idea to set up the crib and just leave it up in case we need it.

Something else we figured out was that we probably need to find some of the baby things and get them washed and ready for a spur of the moment placement. These little girls yesterday didn't even have shoes and socks!!


The most important thing we learned, however, was to be ready and willing to do whatever God would have us do. We don't have any idea what our family will look like in the weeks and months to come, but we do know that God has a plan for our family. And, that plan will ultimately be for good and for His glory if we follow his leading.


Stay tuned!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winter Wonderland

This is what we woke up to this morning:


Todd and I were up at 5:45 this morning. He got up to run, but came back in to tell me that it was snowing. The weather forecast last night called for flurries, but no accumulation.

They were wrong!



I know that this does not look like much snow, but for here in South Louisiana, it is ALOT!
We did wake the boys up to let them play in it. I was afraid that it would all melt as soon as the sun came up, but it actually stuck around until noon. It was so unexpected and fun!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Photo



This is the photo that is on our Christmas card.
If you live close to me, you won't be getting a Christmas card. I see you all of the time, you don't need a picture of me! :)

If I don't have your address, you won't get one either. But, hey, you're looking at it now!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas on the Bayou

This is what I have been doing for the last week and a half.

Our church's annual Christmas program is the first weekend in December. The week before we practice every night from 6:00-8:00. The children's choir also sings in the program, so the boys were at church every night with us. By the time we get home and get jammies on and boys into bed, I am too tired to post.

Last night was our last performance, so here I am.

This year's program was Christmas on the Bayou, the story of the Lonesome Coyote Hunting Club. Todd and I were both in the choir and Curt was in the choir and was a shepherd in the little nativity. Jack declined to participate.

If I can figure out how to post a video, I will post one of Todd's solo. I'm sure he'll love that!

Friday, November 28, 2008

5:00 am

That's what time I got up this morning to hit the stores. I can't seem to get up in the mornings to exercise, but to go shopping?!? You betcha!

This is second year Todd and I did the whole Black Friday shopping madness. We had such a good time last year that we decided to go for it again. The boys spent the night at the grandparents' so it was just us.

We got to our first store around 6:00. We hit a few stores, then had some breakfast, then did some more shopping. We called it quits after lunch because the traffic was getting crazy.

We got some pretty good deals and are only missing one gift from our list. Now I can just sit back and enjoy the rest of the Christmas happenings!

(I was going to take pictures to post, but in my sleepiness, I forgot the camera!)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

This year, this is what I am thankful for:

From left to right: (seated) Meme (my mom), Curt, Pa (my dad), Jack, Nanny, and Uncle Ron. (standing) Gran (Todd's mom), Grandad (Todd's dad), Todd and me.

I'm also thankful for my big brother, Greg, who couldn't be here today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Editorial

Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman has written an op-ed piece for his local newspaper, The Tennessean. As you may know, the Chapmans have adopted three daughters from China. They are also very involved in orphan ministry through Shoahannah's Hope. They partner with Focus on the Family and Family Life for the month of November to promote orphan awareness.

Here is the link to the article: Op Ed piece that was written by Steven.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Adoption info.

I got this in an e-mail this week from Focus on the Family.


A half-million kids in our own backyard...
Friends,
From the beginning, God's plan was for children to remain safely in the homes of their families, experiencing His love through nurturing parents.
However, we live in a broken and hurting world.
Currently, more than 500,000 children are living in foster care in the United States. Of those, approximately 127,000 are "legal orphans" and are waiting for forever adoptive families. Where will these precious children grow up? Will they experience God's love, or will they receive little more than basic care, constrained to cope on their own when they reach 18?
For the third straight year, Focus on the Family®, FamilyLife®, Shaohannah's Hope, and others are joining voices to share the good news that God has a plan for the more than 127,000 l egal orphans in foster care and the 130 million orphans living in our world...and His plan is you.
Take a few minutes today and pray for these little ones that God loves so dearly. Pray also that you will be open to God's leading. Now visit CryOfTheOrphan.org--and click on Get Involved to receive a personalized list of resources and ways to help based on your interests. Become a part of God's plan for the orphan today.
Be sure to tune in to a week of very special radio broadcasts on Focus on the Family and FamilyLife the week of November 17-21.
Join the millions of believers whose lives have been transformed by caring for the least of these.
Sincerely,
Jim DalyPresident and CEO

If you have a chance to listen to any of these broadcasts, I know you'll enjoy them.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Today is...

National Adoption Day! All over the country there have been special events marking this very special day.

There were no special events here at our house. We played, baked a cake, made homemade pizza, and had a friend come over. Just an ordinary day.

An ordinary day made possible because two young girls showed bravery beyond what I can comprehend and love that is amazing.

An ordinary day made possible because our hearts were open to God's leading and His will for our lives and for our family.

An ordinary day made possible through God's miracle called adoption.

An ordinary day spent with two extraordinary boys! Mama loves you, boys!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Birthday...

to me!

In the interest of full disclosure (and to make Stephanie happy), I admit that today is my birthday. There will be no pictures because I feel that the ones from Monday are sufficient!

A note to Autumn:
Happy Birthday, girl! It is such fun to share this special day with you. Thanks for all of the ways you bless my life. You are the closest thing I have to a little sister! Give Pepper a hug and kiss from Nanny!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Steffie!

Stephanie is my very best friend and today is her birthday.

We have been friends since the second grade. When we were little girls, we spent the night at each other's homes, went to camp together every summer and went to many a Christian skate night at the local skating rink. (New Orleans World's Fair, 1984. We look like little boys!)
In high school we cheered together, went midnight bowling, double-dated and on our senior trip together.
(Cheerleader Camp, 1986)

In college we roomed together for four years even though everyone said it would ruin our friendship. It didn't---it just made it stronger.

(With Leisl, 1990?)



As grown-ups (and I use the term loosely), we have stood by each other through weddings, graduations, births, adoptions, state-to-state moves, and other life events. (North Carolina, 2003)
Stephanie is the one I turn to when I need advice on everything from marriage, to jeans, to kids, and, of course, my hair. Everyone needs someone they know who will be extremely honest and Stephanie is that for me . She tells me when I need a new perspective on a situation and sets me straight when I am getting off track. She sends me cards in the mail for no reason and Bible verses that remind me that God is in control and that He loves me and has the best in mind for me.


I wish everyone had a friend like Steffie. I am so glad and grateful that God gave her to me! (And, after looking at these pictures, I hope she remembers how much I love her.)


I love you, my friend!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month. There are many ministries and organizations that will be having special programs and a special emphasis on ways to help throughout this month. I will try to post links to some of them as I become aware of them.

The one I heard about today is called The Cry of the Orphan. I have posted a link to this organization down below. It is a joint ministry of Focus on the Family, Family Life and Shoahannah's Hope. Check it out and see how you or your church can get involved.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Here in our neck of the woods, high school football is a big deal. A very big deal. Because we are probably the only people NOT a football game right now, the city powers -that- be decided to move Trick or Treat to Thursday night.

So, last night I took the Clone Trooper (or, as Jack would say, the "tormstooper") and the Naval pilot to our church's Harvest Fest. Dad met us there after work and a good time was had by all. I am pretty sure the boys got more candy at church than they would have if we had gone door-to-door. (But, to be perfectly honest, I kind of missed it!)
Tonight, we are staying in and having our own Harvest Fest. We are going to roast some pumpkin seeds and we have rented some classic movies: Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla and Ghostbusters. We also had some Halloween themed food:

In case you can't tell, those are spider web pizzas and a snake shaped sandwich. I got these ideas from a magazine, but the boys thought I was pretty cool anyway! And really, isn't that the whole reason moms do these kinds of things?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

HSM3

I admit it.

I saw High School Musical 3 on opening day.

The first feature of the day.

Curt and I went as a "date". I would like to say that the whole reason I went was because he wanted to see it, but that would be fibbing. I really wanted to see it, too. We both enjoyed it. It was a good movie. It reminded me alot of "Grease" with all of the singing and dancing. Only this movie was clean and you could actually take a kid to it!

Also, (and I know I am dating myself, here) Zac Efron reminded me so much of Kevin Bacon during the "Footloose" years! Ah, fond memories of high school!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One down, one to go

Visit, that is.

Our social worker came today to do the first interview with me and the boys. She will talk to Todd next time, when we can schedule a time for him to be here. The home study interview is basically a telling of your life. You start off giving the names of your extended family and tell about your life from elementary school up to now. I've done this twice now and this one was by far the fastest one. I guess it gets a little easier every time you tell it!

After she and I spent some time talking alone, the boys took her on a tour of the house. Jack did most of the tour-guiding, so of course they started in his room. She's just lucky he didn't show her his Hot Wheels one by one. She would still be here.

All in all, it went very smoothly. We have to have our fingerprints done and get a few more papers together, but we should be fully certified by Christmas.

What a terrific Christmas gift!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's Been Awhile!

It has been a really busy few weeks.

The highlight, of course, was our trip to Oregon. Oregon is absolutely beautiful and I highly reccommend going there if you can. For us, though, the best reason to go to Oregon is to spend time with the Derosier family. These friends of ours moved to Oregon two years ago and we miss them terribly. We had a terrific time with them. All of the kids got along great and the four grown-ups even got to enjoy a date-night! The entire trip was a very relaxing and renewing time. I'll have more posts and pictures later this week.

We also completed our last night adoption class. We still have a Saturday class to complete, but the bulk of it is done. We found out today that the first part of our home study will be Thursday morning. We are super-excited about it, but, Thursday---YIKES!

A home study, for the uninitiated, is when a social worker comes to the home and studies it.

Seriously, the social worker will come and look at our house and interview all of us. I'm not at all concerned about me or Todd, but what the boys will say is always up in the air. Also, she will look for things like where our fire extinguisher is and if we have smoke detectors in all of the bedrooms. This visit will be the first of four. We will also have background checks, be finger-printed, and will need to provide references and medical paperwork.

Adoption is a ton of work, my friends.

But worth every minute!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Adoption Class, Update

Last night, we completed our fourth adoption certification class. We were supposed to be on class number six, but two were re-scheduled because of hurricanes. We will miss the next two classes due to travel plans (Oregon here we come!), but will have a chance to make up the class in November. The classes have seemed long at times, but will be worth it in the end.

We are excited about the prospect of expanding our family and are ready to get on with the work. In the next few weeks, we will be assigned to a home development worker. This worker will complete our home study and personal interviews. Once all of our paperwork is completed and we have finished the classes, we will be eligible for adoption and/or foster care.

We can't wait!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Music and Soccer

Whew! This has been a busy week!


Jack started piano lessons and violin lessons. This will be his third year in piano and his first in violin. He has really enjoyed the piano lessons (and Mrs. Connie) .
He was very excited about starting violin lessons. His greatest disappointment last week was not getting "the stick" with his violin. I think he thought he would just show up at the lesson and begin to play the violin!


Also this week, Curt had his first soccer game. Which they unfortunately lost 10-1. This is a good game for someone as hyper as Curt because they never stop running. This is his fifth year playing soccer and he has his favorite coach, Mr. Pierre.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Little (Big) Things


In the aftermath of two hurricanes, I have much to be grateful for...

I know exactly where my family is and I don't have to wonder if they are well.

When I look up, I see a ceiling, not blue sky.

The kindness of my neighbors .

The people of Chain Electric of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who left their homes and families to restore electricity to our small community.

When I walk into a room and flip a switch, the lights actually COME ON!(see above)

Lord, I am thankful for the small hardships of Hurricane Gustav, because it has made me realise how much I take for granted and just how spoiled I am in my life. I have everything I need, but still want more. Teach me contentment and how to live a life of simplicity. May the people of South Texas and South Louisiana find comfort and hope in You. Amen.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Here we go again!

As I type this, Hurricane Ike is making his presence known. Ike will come ashore somewhere near Galveston in the wee hours of the morning, but we are getting already feeling the effects here. In case you haven't heard, this storm is massive---it stretches out 275 miles from the center. Right now, the wind is gusty and we are getting some squalls of rain, but nothing major. According to our local weather guy, things will deteriorate overnight and the rain will last all weekend. As a result, we have laid in a supply of movies, snack food, new puzzles, and board games. We plan to spend the weekend holed up in the house hanging out together. All in all, not a bad way to spend a weekend. As long as we don't lose the electricity!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's Official

Hurricane Gustav really IS over (at least for us). We finished our "hurricane puzzle" last night. We started the puzzle last Monday, after the electricity went out. We quickly discovered that it is not easy to put together a 750 piece puzzle by candlelight. Jack was sure that we would never finish it because I am not a "puzzle pro", but we pressed on. If you are not a puzzle person, you won't understand that a puzzle HAS TO BE COMPLETED once it has been started. Todd got called to the hospital last night, so the boys and I settled down at the table and finished it:

(Sorry, I can't figure out how to turn it the right way!) Anyway, the puzzle was lots of fun and we were so proud of ourselves for finishing. Todd was very impressed when he got home. Every now and then I would walk past the table and bask in the glow of our completed puzzle! Aahh!

Then, I woke up this morning and found this:

I would like to know how a cat can take pieces right out of the middle of the puzzle and leave the rest of the puzzle intact! Lucky for that cat, I found all of the pieces and was able to put it back together. I'm not finished basking, yet!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gustav, THE END

The saga of Gustav has finally come to a close for us. We have electricity back, the branches have been picked up and hauled to the road, and all of the plants that were beaten up by the winds have been pruned back. (We decided to leave all of the patio and porch furniture in the shed until Ike makes a decision about which way he will turn. ) What a long week! We are so thankful, though, to have weathered the storm with very little damage and just a little bit of discomfort. It has reminded us to be thankful for the blessings that we have.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gustav, Day 3

A couple of things to do after a hurricane:

Clean out the fridge. I have to say, it is so much easier to thoroughly clean a fridge when it is empty. The bad side of that is that now I will have to restock the whole thing! But, I can't do that until the electricity comes back on and that may be a while.


Watch a video. With three battery operated fans blowing on you. All at the same time. All I can say is, at least they were quiet for a while.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gustav, Day 2

Before Gustav
After Gustav

We made it! Gustav is over and we are all still here. As hurricanes go, this was not as bad as it could have been. At least in my neck of the woods. It is still raining in some places, and there is some concern about flooding, but the bulk of the storm has moved on. We had winds between 90-100 mph, so we have lots of tree branches and "tree thrash" in the yard. We got lots of it picked up today, but it will probably take three or four more days to finish. I took some pictures during the storm, but it is hard to convey that kind of force in a photograph. (I took some video, but I'll have to learn how to put that on here!) We lost a few shingles from the roof, and took in some water in the house, but it was nothing like Hurricane Lily in 2002. We are still without electricity, so the boys and I are spending the night at my parents' home. They have air conditioning and the Internet!


We are so thankful that we were safe during the storm and escaped major damage. Most of all, I am thankful for the peace of God that flooded my heart and mind throughout the storm. I was truly never afraid. May it be so for you, whatever your storm.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gustav, Day 1


Well, the wind is picking up. We are just now getting the outer bands of wind and a small amount of rain, but the bulk of the storm won't reach us until some time this afternoon. I have electricity for now, so I thought I would post the picture I took this morning. You can see the that the wind is blowing the tall grass over, but it is hard to see the strength of it. I am going to take pictures for as long as I can, so maybe I can post over the next few days.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav is on his way


Well, it looks like we are in the direct path of Gustav. The storm should come ashore early tomorrow morning southeast of our house. We will begin to get tropical storm force winds tomorrow morning and the full force of the hurricane around 2:00 tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, most of it will be done by nightfall. I hate not being able to see what's coming at me!


We have a house full of people here to ride out the storm. At last count, we had 13 adults, 3 children, 4 dogs, and 4 cats. We have enough food here to stock a small grocery store. It's your typical Cajun gathering---I even made gumbo for supper.


This is what the sky looks like right now. You can tell that something is not quite right, even with the storm this far out. I have taken some pictures of the house and yard so I can post some before and after pictures. I have the computer fully charged, but the little tower for the wireless internet will probably fly off of the house sometime tomorrow. Tomorrow should be interesting!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ready and waiting

Well, the Cone of Uncertainty is not as uncertain as it was two days ago. Apparently, Gustav is making tracks for my little corner of Louisiana. We are as ready as we can be at this point. All of the outside furniture and bikes and toys have been put in the shed. Todd even removed the blades of the outside ceiling fans. (During the last hurricane, they became missiles!)

Inside, I cleaned out the downstairs closet and set up pallets up for the boys to sleep on as it will be too dangerous to sleep upstairs during the height of the storm. I have also done mounds of laundry in anticipation of 5-7 days without electricity. I even managed to bake a batch of cookies and a batch of homemade graham crackers. I figure I should use up the butter and eggs while they are still good.

Gustav, GO AWAY!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Living in THE CONE


The Cone of Uncertainty, that is. As you can see in the picture, all of the Louisiana coast in within that infamous cone. That makes for alot of uncertainty, indeed. This storm is still several days away and already stores are out of generators, water, batteries, flashlights and gasoline. Thankfully, I listened to the wise words of my husband and got our supplies early.

Since all of Louisiana seems to be in the path of Gustav, I am preparing for several days without electricity. I can only hope that the water and telephone services will go uninterrupted. At least that way I can take a cool shower and maybe call people to break up the boredom!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Getting ready for Gustav


Anyone that has ever lived along the coast knows what it is like to prepare for a hurricane. In years past, I would make my "hurricane box" at the beginning of hurricane season (June 1st). This year I guess I was just lazy and didn't do it. But, now, with Gustav making his way toward the gulf, it was time to get it in gear. I went to Wal-Mart yesterday to get my supplies. It was a madhouse!!! As fast as the employees could get things out on the shelves, people were taking them off. There were pallets of water, batteries, flashlights, and tarps out in the middle of the aisles. The person stocking the bottled water told me that this was the last of it in the stockroom, then they would be completely out of water. A lady in line behind me told me that several of the Wal-mart stores in other little towns like ours were already out of water.
The fact that they have run out of water is no big surprise. What IS a surprise is that people are getting ready this early. This hurricane is not expected to make landfall in the US until Monday or Tuesday and where it will hit is still speculation. A few years ago, most folks would have waited until two or three days ahead of time to prepare. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita changed all of that. Now, we start to pay attention early on and have a plan in mind in case it heads our way.

As you can see in the picture, I have purchased all of the necessary hurricane supplies-batteries, flashlights, water, canned food, crackers, etc. (I have never bought so much junk food all at one time!) If Gustav turns and does not head our way, I will just pack up the supplies and will be ready for the next time. And, if we are spared this hurricane season, I will unpack the box on November 1 and stock my pantry with poptarts and cookies and spaghetti-os!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Drummer Boy


Curt had his first drum lesson today. He now has his own drumsticks and a pad to practice on. He has been drumming non-stop since then. We don't have a drumset yet, but when we get one, we'll be getting some earplugs, too. (Doesn't he look intent?)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Adoption class

We had our first adoption/foster care class Thursday night. The boys are excited about the prospect of having a little sister. Jack even told Meme that we would get two so that he and Curt could each have one! We will have to see about that.

While part of me thinks it is CRAZY to attend a class to learn about something we have already done twice, I understand the difference. Our boys were both adopted as newborns...one 5 days old, and the other 3 days old. The child that we adopt next will come to us because of abuse or neglect or some type of loss. That is alot for a little one to handle. It almost overwhelms me when I think of it, but I can't not do it just because it is hard.

The class will be over at the end of September and hopefully the certification will be completed soon after that. My heart starts to pound when I think that there is a sweet little girl waiting for me somewhere. I love her already.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Adoption

Anyone who knows me knows that adoption is a subject near and dear to my heart. Adoption IS a big part of my heart. My "mama heart" beat for the very first time the day I held Curt in my arms and kissed his sweet face. That beat grew even stronger three years later when we brought Jack home. Six years later, I still think that beat could get even stronger. Thursday night Todd and I will begin classes with our local Dept. of Social Services. These classes will certify us as adoption and foster care parents. I don't know where God is leading with this, I only know that we must follow.

There are millions of children around the world that will go to sleep tonight with no mom or dad to tuck them in and pray over them. If you would like to know more about adoption, click on one of the links to right and check it out. But, be careful...your heart might be missing a few beats, too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back online!

I am SO happy to be back online. The computer was giving us trouble, so we had that fixed, only to have our internet service go down. I didn't think I relied on the computer that much, but I realized that ten days is a long time with no world wide web.

But, we were busy in those ten days. August 4th was our official First Day of School. It is hard for me to believe that this will be our 5th year of homeschooling. I could say that the first week of school was a blissful week of learning and cooperation, but that would be a LIE! The first week is always bumpy, but hopefully we will hit our stride soon and there really will be learning and cooperation, not whining and complaining (and that was just me!).

Later that week, I had my wisdom teeth removed. Not a pleasant experience, but not as bad as I had anticipated, either. I have had lots of ice cream, so that is a plus. There are no pictures of my puffy cheeks, so that is a plus, also!!

And, of course, we have been watching alot of the Olympics. Curt is a big sports fanatic, so he is interested in every event. I usually only like to watch the gymnastics, but this year we have seen water polo, volleyball, swimming, gymnastics, diving, fencing, and basketball. Jack is not very interested in the sports but is loving the fact that the Olympics are in China. He cheers evenly for the Chinese and the Americans!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cats and dogs

This is what happens when it rains ALL DAY LONG and two little boys have to stay inside ALL DAY LONG!!

Our version of a Jack-in-the-box!

Curt's box: St. Landry Parish Sheriff's TANK

The general destruction of the playroom:

And, after all of that, they decided to put on rubber boots, pack some snacks and go exploring. I am not sure the purpose of the rubber boots. As you can see in the picture, the boots disappeared in the water.
I am so thankful for the imagination that God gave my boys and the fact that they are such good friends. Also, a hearty THANK YOU to Mr. Paul, the A/C man who gave us the boxes.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Weekend project



Last weekend, I decided it was time to rip the carpet out of this closet. It was old and stained and it smelled. The plan was to pull the carpet up and replace it with cheap, easy-to-clean linoleum. I even found the peel and stick squares designed to make my life easier. Those plans changed when I pulled up the carpet and pad and found this:


Not the kid, the hardwood floor. (The kid was my helper for this project and he did some good work. ) We suspected there was hardwood under the carpet, but weren't sure about that or what condition it would be in if we did find it. Turns out, it's not too bad. There are paint splotches all over it, but other than that it looks pretty good. I'm not worried about the paint because, hey, it's a closet!

We scraped some of the paint off of the floor, swept and vacuummed, then mopped twice. Then we put everything back in and now it looks like a closet again. Only cleaner and not SO smelly. (There are boy shoes in here, after all!)


While I was working on the closet, I started thinking about the old stuff in my heart that needs to be ripped out. I know there are some things that are old and smelly and stained that need to come out. And when I let God come in to my closets and take out the old and ugly, He will find something better underneath. It may need to be cleaned up a little, but when He is done, it will be something unexpected and beautiful.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men: yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Reality check

Yesterday, my nine year old son asked me a question: "Mom, why do you have those big bags under your eyes?"

For obvious reasons there will be no picture with this post.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cajun Camp 08


Well, I am back from Cajun Camp. We had so much fun! We ate and laughed and talked and ate and hugged and ate and even cried a little.

We walked all over New Orleans and did all of the things that good tourists are supposed to do. We saw Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, French Market, the Mississippi River, and even Bourbon Street. We rode the streetcar down St. Charles St. and walked over to Magazine St. to do a little shopping.
Did I mention that we ate? Oh man, did we have some good food!! We had brunch at The Court of Two Sisters, beignets at Cafe' du Monde and dinner at Brennan's. We had pralines and pecan pie and cafe' au lait. Melissa even tried turtle soup and ate her first boiled crawfish.

We talked ALOT. About our kids (9 of them between the three of us!), our husbands, our selves, our walk with the Lord, and anything and everything else. We had not been together for 3 years, and there was so much to catch up on. It is wonderful to be able to get together and have the years just melt away.

We were so sorry to see it end. Plans are already underway for the next Cajun Camp. Patty and Melissa: Thanks for being my buds and being the friends and moms and wives that God has called you to be. Thanks for standing strong in your faith and in what you believe in and for holding me to the same standard. I love you both.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Today's the day!

Cajun Camp here we come! I leave today (in just a little while, in fact) for three fabulous days with my fellow Daisies! We don't have any real big plans, just being with each other is good enough.

Today is also significant for another reason. One year ago today, I had a hysterectomy. It was a very hard decision for me to have the surgery, but I am glad I did. Aside from the physical benefits, I have learned much about myself and my God. I have learned that He is sufficient in all things and that His plan is much bigger and larger than my own. I have learned to let go of things that I cannot change. I have learned to be more thankful for the blessings in my life. I have learned to trust God more and to embrace the quiet and listen for His voice. He has been my comfort and sustainer. I also would not have made it this year without Todd. Words cannot express how much his support and care of me have meant. He is all I could have wanted in this life and I am grateful beyond measure for what God has done for me.

I am a different person than I was a year ago, and I am so thankful.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Good friends




Today was such a good day that I feel like it should be Gratiwednesday! Our very good friends, the DeRosiers are visiting from Oregon. We had so much fun spending time with them! When they moved to Oregon two years ago, we had a hard time saying goodbye. Our kids miss each other terribly and we miss spending grown-up time with Mike and Shannon. Today was a good time of playing and laughing and catching up with the details of each other's lives. It was such a sweet time that it was hard to say goodbye again.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gratitude


I found this at Heavenly Homemakers and loved the idea. I have so many things to be thankful for!

The upstairs air conditioning is getting fixed today!!! Hurray! Actually, it is not getting fixed, it is getting replaced. You might not think having to replace an entire a/c unit would be cause for celebration, but there have been some nuggets of thankfulness to be found: 1.) It could have been worse---it could have been downstairs and I would have to COOK in this heat. 2.) The boys have had alot of fun sleeping in their tents (which have gotten larger and more elaborate as the days wore on).
I am also thankful that in three days Cajun Camp 08 will commence! I haven't seen Patty and Melissa in 3 years and now it will only be three more DAYS! And, I'm thankful for my husband who is encouraging me to go and doing whatever he can, to make sure I have a good time.

Yes, indeedy, much to be thankful for!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Introducing...

MYSTERY MAN!!! Or, CAPTAIN FLUTE, depending on who he wants to be at the time. Jack has more imagination than any other kid I have ever met. He can play just as well by himself as he can with a group of kids. It's hard to see in this picture, but the orange spot on his shirt is a hand-made logo with a question mark in the middle. He is holding his weapons that he drew on paper. One is a lightsaber (this is Todd's child) and the other is a flute that has explosive capabilities (I don't really know where he got that). He is so funny and so originial! I love that about him. His special verse is Zephaniah 3:17 which says, in part, that God takes great delight in us. It is hard to imagine not delighting in Jack!

The weapons!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Back from camp (again)


This is what happens when you spend 4 days at an all-boys camp. You come back EXHAUSTED! Curt had a great time at this camp. It was all about boy stuff---archery, shooting, basketball, football, swimming, and a ropes course. There was also worship time, Bible study, and patriotism. Of course, we are having our usual "re-entry" issues: after spending so many days with boys, we have to go over the noises, jokes, and words that are not appropriate, especially in front of Mom. Many, many thanks to David and Lenny for bring our boys to camp and helping them grow up a little bit more.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tent City

This is what happens when the upstairs air conditioner breaks down. It is tough to sleep in south Louisiana without a/c, especially upstairs. It is currently 84 degrees up there (it is 9:24 pm), so the boys are camping out downstairs. One is in the living room and the other one is in the "playroom". I have strategically placed the blankets so that they cannot see each other. Hopefully, sleep will arrive soon!


when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Proverbs 3:24

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New addition


This is Daisy. She arrived Monday evening. People who know me will not be surprised that I picked Daisy up on the side of the road. They will, however, be surprised when I say that I have NEVER done that before Daisy. I passed her up on my way home Monday evening as she was walking along the highway. I had gone about a half mile before I turned around and went back for her. She was so skittish that she wouldn't come to me. I left her there and went home to the two dogs that we already have. As I unloaded the dishwasher, I could not stop thinking about her. So, I put some dog food in a ziptop bag and went back out on the highway. The lure of the food was too strong for her to resist. When she got close enough to me, I scooped her up, put her in the van and drove home. My plan was to find her a home other than my own. That plan just didn't happen---I decided to keep her. (Joni and Susan, you are off the hook for this one!) I think she will turn out to be a great lap dog (she's smaller than the cat) and has helped to even out the boy to girl ratio. AND, she fits the black and white color scheme. I'll have to explain that in future posts!


Friday, June 27, 2008

Pretzels


Today Curt came home from camp and wanted to do something fun. Sooo, we tried a new recipe and made pretzels. Of course, by the time we waited for the dough to rise and it was time to shape the pretzels, he was no longer interested. One batch of dough made 3 DOZEN pretzels. But, it was alot of fun.


By the way, I got this recipe from Lara at http://www.heavenlyhomemakers.com/.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Girls' Getaway!

I am so excited!!! My tattoo girlfriends, Patty and Melissa, are going to be able to meet me for a weekend getaway in New Orleans. We met when we were all living in Augusta, GA. Our friendship was cemented through several years of Bible study together. Melissa and I have since moved away from Augusta, but the friendship remains strong. We have not seen each other since the last Cajun Camp in 2005, so we are tickled that this seems to be working out. It is a miracle that we all are able to get away from home on the same weekend. Melissa has three little ones and Patty has four, so to be able to scoot out for some fun is a BIG DEAL!! There is nothing better than being able to spend the weekend with friends who know you and love you despite all of your flaws.

A friend loves at all times...Proverbs 17:17

Monday, June 23, 2008

Camp and Cookies

Today Curt left for camp. He is 9 years old and this is his third summer to spend a week at camp. (Fortunately, he goes to camp about 10 miles from the house, so if there is a problem, we can be there in a flash.) He looks forward to this week all summer and it is the highlight of his summer. I think he was more excited about camp than he was about California! There was a group of 55 children and adults from our church going this week. The camp, Acadia Baptist Center, is the same camp that I went to when I was a girl. I have many fond memories of Bible study, the pool and the canteen and canoeing on the pond. And, of course, my friends, Dawn and Stephanie, and our counselor, Angie.

While Curt is at camp, it is a good opportunity for Jack to have some one on one time with mom and dad. Jack is 6 and won't be old enough for camp until next summer. He has been making a "yist" of things to do while big brother is gone. The first on the agenda was to make some cookies. He had a great time measuring the ingredients, starting the mixer, and scooping the dough. The best part of the baking, though, was eating a nice big chocolate chip cookie still warm from the oven!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday

We don't have many days that we spend just hanging out together, so today was great! Todd went to the gym early this morning and when he got back home, Curt and I went for a bike ride together. ( Jack declined to do any exercise.) After our VERY HOT bike ride, we cooled off in the pool together. Then, we went inside to bake a cake for Meme and Pa to celebrate their birthdays. After lunch, we all went to see Kung Fu Panda in Lafayette. What a fun movie!! Jack especially liked it because it was set in China. It was so nice to just be together, enjoying each other and the time that we have together. I love all three of my boys, and spending the day with them is as good as it gets.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Friends


Last night, three of my friends came over and we started a new Bible study together. We are using a book by Kelly Minter called No Other Gods. The study is about how we let other, less important things, crowd out the place that God is supposed to have. It seems like it will be a good study. I hope to learn alot.

The girls and I have been studying together for almost two years and I HAVE learned alot. One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is the importance of friendship and how God brings us together before we know we will need each other. In the last two years we have gone through the diagnosis of two chronic illnesses, two pregnancies, two new jobs, a college graduation, three new houses, struggles with children (and spouses) and the ups and downs of every day life. We have prayed for each other, loved each other, supported each other, held each other accountable, helped each other and spurred one another on to better things. Only God could have known the value of having true friends through these challenging seasons of life. I thank Him daily for "the girls" and am blessed beyond measure for having them in my life.
By the way, this picture is from Christmas. Autumn, me, Arien, Mio, and Joni. We miss you, Mio!