Monday, December 29, 2008

"HANG-ing" around Savannah

I love a good sale. I’ve always loved a good sale. I’m not the kind of girl that buys it just because it’s on sale, but I am the kind of a girl who if I think I will actually use it, I just can’t pass it up.
For instance when I saw a great sale on Pam cooking spray 4 for a dollar- who could pass that up, and the GIANT flat of cereal for 5 dollars, the case of cran-grape for the price of one bottle?
It’s a good idea to have a keen eye for a sale.

This keen eye that I have mentioned is the same keen eye that my Bat Girl has and that keen eye also saved her from a loogie in her drink the next day so it’s nothing to scoff at- we really shouldn’t bad mouth a keen eye.

Bat Girl and I went to the mall in Savannah. If you know us at all you know that we have gone to just about every mall between here and the west coast- if there is a mall to be gone to, we go! Our plan of attack was simple get to the hotel, get changed, clean up a little from the mega day of walking and GPS the local mall. Done.

While we were at the mall we saw that their Steve and Barry’s was going out of business as so many stores are doing now days. We thought we should take a little look see. When we went in everything was 70-90 percent off. So the t-shirts are a little over a dollar, the sweatshirts about 2 dollars… I was trying really hard because NONE of my kiddlings need clothes right now and Steve and Barry’s shrinks.

We were looking around and finding one thing or another and decided on a sweatshirt for Mr. B. and her little guy and that’s all. As we got to the cash register we saw the sign that changed our lives, or at least the course the evening and the next evening too, and perhaps how the Dillard’s employee’s viewed us. That fantastic life changing sign read-


Now my friends these aren’t your run of the mill wire hangers, or those plastic tube ones. HONEY, these are genuine authentic wooden MALL hangers and we needed them. As Bat Girl read the sign out loud to me I could hardly believe my ears and our luck! She looked back at me and said “I’m gonna have to have me some of those”.

And that was simply that, who could pass up such a deal? Not us! Bat Girl settled on 75 hangers and I told the cashier that she wanted 75 she looked at me in disbelief and said that we would have to bag them ourselves. I was not keen on that idea. You just try to picture 75 hangers in a bag? I was seriously doubting my ability to bag them and certainly doubting my ability to carry them. Then there was the problem of me deciding that I needed at least 100 too. There was no way we could bag almost 200 genuine authentic wooden mall hangers- no way! I found a cart emptied it and we began to count. I settled on 120 and she settled on 100. We got the hangers in a cart and not gracefully I might add. So we got them, paid for them and then strolled through the mall with more hangers than I care to admitt and struggled through Dillard’s small doors with them and as much as I hate to say it- they weren’t nice to us; they definitely felt like we were hanger whores. We tried not to hang our heads in embarrassment as we struggled through the door; hangers catching on clothes, racks and even people all the way to the parking lot. One girl actually asked us what in the world we were going to do with all the hangers and definitely laughed at us. I tried to explain about our closets and how nice they would look- she didn't care. She scoffed and pointed. (I bet our closets are so much better than hers!)

We loaded them up and the went back to the hotel to laugh a little about the hangers and how crazy our men would think we were but also how great our closets would look. We didn't have to work too hard to convince ourselves, we love good hangers AND a good deal. This night was a 2-fer! I mean who doesn’t want a whole closet full of matching hangers? I certainly did…. And this is where more problems started. As we walked beautiful downtown Savannah the second day, fished a loogie out of Bat Girls hot chocolate and marveled at the beauty of the southern charm and simplicity my mind kept wandering back to those darn hangers and how great my closet would look and how if we went back just one more time before we headed home how beautifully organized ALL my closets could be.

Would it be absurd to do it again? Would I seem crazy to buy a WHOLE lot more hangers? Is it possible to have too much of those genuine authentic wooden mall hangers? Could I really be a hanger whore? As the day wore on closer and closer to us going home I couldn’t stand it and I mentioned to Bat Girl how I would love to have just a few more of those great hangers and how would the kids closets look if they just had those hangers? She agreed as I knew she would and we were off. This time we were much more confident and on a genuine authentic wooden mall hanger mission (GAWMHM). This time we were prepared for the laughing, the questions, the staring- we didn’t care at all.

When I got into that store I kid you not I went blind, all I could see was hangers, I felt like I couldn’t get enough of them. I saw baby hangers, pant hangers, coat hangers- it was amazing. Bat Girl got 100 more and I got about 175 more. I got Kid4 the dark GAWMH in small and the rest of us light GAWMH’s and I was thrilled! Yes I had to tell many people in line that I have 4 kids and I am re-doing all their closets, and yes they were still pointing and laughing and NO- I didn’t care at all (maybe a little).

As we again strolled thru Dillards’ and got the stink eye from the same perfume lady but this time I was proud of my find and that I would have clean and organized closets before the New Year and I’m still happy about it. Her closets probably have ugly wire hangers while my clothes hang on wonderful mall hangers!

To make a long story shorter- we got them home, banded them together ten at a time as we unloaded and I’m elated to say that each kid re-hung their own clothes and cleaned out their closets! They look fantastic. It was all worth it and I would do it again. As a matter of fact I wish I had a few more!
*Happy hanging*

Sunday, December 28, 2008

baby names and pop rocks

Have you ever heard of mommies bringing home their babies from the hospital all named and ready to go and then like a flash they change their minds about the name and re-name the baby? Like the first name never happened, like a mommy might say oh’ yes I would like this beautiful bouncing baby girl to be named Maxine Patricia and then all of a sudden she realizes that this name might be a little too old for a baby or the nick name- Maxie-Pat might be something the other kids would make fun of…. So she changes that sweet baby’s name to Candice Caitlyn?

This is exactly what happened to my girl on Christmas day. As she un-wrapped her twin baby dolls she was thrilled just like a new mommy would be. With one look at those little tiny hands and feet she couldn’t believe that she could be so lucky as to have been blessed with twins. As she looked lovingly into their eyes as she was prying them out of the box we asked her what she would name these beauty’s and she lovingly replied …

“Bruno and Runo”

There really are no words and we were all a little speechless. She has been in a phase for over a year now where she names every single thing Alison. We were all expecting the usual of Alison and much to our HORROR she was out of the “Alison phase”. We tried to over look it; we tried to come to terms with it. It wasn’t like these babies were real; it wasn’t like she is really all that social and she might tell someone else about these horrid names. We tried to just go on and open other presents, hoping to wipe this memory from our minds.

I won’t lie to you; I honestly deeply hoped she would re-name these dolls. I know it shouldn’t matter but it does. So a little later I asked her again hoping she would go back to the usual Alison and Alison2. I was waiting for the answer and with great anticipation; she seemed to have forgotten their names- oh please let her have forgotten their names!

I waited wringing my hands in angst as she announced the new names of the twins and you won’t believe what she chose and has stuck to.

As a proud mother would announce the names of her beautiful children, my girl seemed to have forgotten all together that they DID already have names. I felt like the new names would not, COULD NOT be as bad as “Bruno and Runo”. With much bewilderment I listened to the announcement of these two new babies to her room as she introduced us (again) to-
Rocky and Rock the Pop Rock.

So I’d like to welcome to Kid4’s room and to formally introduce her new twin babies to the Alison’s (every other baby in her room). There it is folks, the imagination or horrible name picking abilities of MY girl now exposed. And three days later she is stickin’ to Rocky and Rock the Pop Rock.

*here’s to hoping she lets ME name her real kids*

P.S. I am slowly coming to terms with the new phase of weird names, I never thought I would say this but- I miss Alison.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I hate to write this story really I do- but it has to be written down so I never forget it and so you will never take a big swig of hot chocolate and burn your mouth again- trust me, it’s for your own good!

I have already told you how wonderful, beautiful and amazing Savannah Georgia is. I have already told you how we loved the shopping, drooled at the store windows, stood in awe at the architecture, and relished in southern delights. It was pure instant love.

We wandered the streets of the most perfect city to find treasure after treasure hidden behind every glass door. We looked longingly at every beautiful wreath adorning each historic home. We found candle scents to die for, ornaments that would make you slap your Christmas tree and linens that could make you NEVER get out of bed!

We were enjoying the sights, sounds, and eye candy of the city but we were cold and sore from all the walking the first day. We just needed a minute to sit and drink hot chocolate and warm up a bit. We looked around the city block and there was a little diner staring back at us, inviting us in. We hesitated a bit but decided to throw caution to the wind and just give it a try. As we entered I’m not even going to tell you about the cashier. We needed a bathroom and something warm to hit the spot. We got seated and ordered hot chocolate. The waitress was very disappointed that we did not order food- I think she feared for her tip. I could just see her adding up 20 percent of 2 dollars… she was not happy. Bat Girl and I both felt a little pressured to order food as we sat there sipping our hot chocolates. We were paroozing the menu when Bat Girl started asking questions about my hot chocolate and this is where the story and morning go bad.

She says to me in a very weak and quiet voice; “does your hot chocolate have (long word searching pause)… chunks in it”?

“CHUNKS? I’m not really sure what to say at this point. “Bat Girl, I doubt that your hot chocolate has actual chunks, I’m sure it’s coagulation of hot chocolate mix in the hot chocolate dispenser, mine has those little pieces too”. I take another sip of mine.

“Okay, well does yours look like this?” and she pulls out a little hot chocolate chunk and spreads it across her napkin with her finger.

I look at it ignoring the clear fact that it really does not look good. I am in total denial here and I like being in total denial. I do total denial about many things, for example I like total denial when it comes to me having allergies, not driving and talking on the phone, stupidly placed stop signs, I could go on and on. If I don’t want to believe something I chose total 100 percent denial. It works, try it.

She is looking worried and a little pale by now and says “well it’s just that I think mine’s a little green. Can you see that it’s a little green”? She realizes that I am playing the denial card and she really needs me to admit that there may be a really serious green problem in HER hot chocolate. I really very seriously DO NOT want to come to terms with the fact that unfortunately we are both drinking hot chocolate, more than likely from the same machine.

I take a closer look at the napkin and while I’m inspecting it she is drudging through her hot chocolate and pulling more small things out and then she hit the MOTHER LOAD!

As my eyes roll upward to meet hers, I can see that we have a real serious problem here by the look on her face. She has entered sheer panic mode and is trying to make me look into her spoon. I reluctantly look and lo and behold there it is- the grossest thing that I have ever seen in hot chocolate. I think the picture speaks for itself.

Here’s the end of the story and the real honest to goodness picture of it above.

· We propped the spoon with the mystery loogie looking blob in it.
· Took a picture
· Paid the strange cashier
· Ran for our lives while gagging
· After feeling sick we finally laughed
· Later we had Starbucks, but I had coffee instead of hot chocolate
· I’m still not sure I can ever drink hot chocolate again

Moral of this story- strain before ingesting hot chocolate of any kind

Friday, December 26, 2008


I know you must be wondering where the boogers and loogey enter this fantastic vacation that Bat Girl and I enjoyed just a few days ago and the honest truth is I’m just even sure I’m ready to write it all down yet…. It was gross…. A bad experience and I would have to face some very serious facts if I actually admit that it happened.

I’ll try. You may have to pitch in some money for a little therapy later on. I’ll let you know.

Boogies- As we entered the beautiful, old and awe inspiring city of Savannah we marveled at its beauty, at the history that once was here and that time stood still for anyone to feel it in this place. It can be a quiet, calm and relaxing city- but still a city. It’s small city full of southern grace, hospitality, and southern food. It also has something that all other cities have.


If you know me at all you know I am not a big fan of germs. I try not to touch things but I also try not be overly concerned and appear crazed by over-using anti bacterial gel which by the way is not a good thing either because it kills the small germs and THEY say is creating a BIGGER germ…. Arrgghhh! Okay okay…. Breath…. Anyway small, germs, small city, back to the story.

Here I am in this beautiful city among greatness and as Bat Girl and I walked the streets and were drawn in by each window and the wonderful things behind the great glass doors I was touching things that I would not normally touch- walls, door handles, windows. It was weird. We went into the most beautiful store; it was the store that Bat Girl fell in love with a brown down couch that was quite lovely. We were sitting in the chairs and unbeknownst to me I was touching things. It’s unexplainable really- I must have been drunk with southern charm. I ran my hand across the back of the beautiful furniture pieces- the softest couch on earth, the shiny wooden table and the smoothest chair. Here’s the problem with it all-

I touched a booger! I’m sure of it. As my hand was running along the back of the smoothest chair and I was thinking that this place was glorious it all came to a screeching halt as my fingers ran into something sticky- a booger- it could not be anything else…. My mind raced! Could it be price tag residue? PRICE TAG RESIDUE? Was there a price tag on anything else in the whole store- uhhhh- NO. I was totally freaking out! Could it be someone’s left over food? Did ya ever hear about the no food rule? Yeah no food in a fancy shmancy furniture store… it had to be a booger. I was standing there paralyzed when BatGirl realized something was wrong and we got eye contact. I started to try and flick it off- but NO, nope, nada- that sucker was not moving. As I was flicking Bat girl was ducking because she says that I was flicking it toward her. The thing is - I was blinded by this booger fear and I was just trying to get it off of me- I could have been trying to flick it near Brad Pitt and I wouldn’t have noticed. I was having a total booger melt down at this point. When I realized the flicking was going nowhere, I turned and grabbed very expensive curtains and wiped my hand down them with a quick swipe.

Whew! Booger gone-germs still there. Luckily as I was freaking out, speechless and flicking Bat Girl knows me well enough to have dug through her purse and was armed with anti-bac. With a quick squirt and a rub I was feeling much better.

Believe it or not this actually happened to me again that same day. I’ll save you the agony of telling you the story you can picture it I’m sure!

There is a moral to this story and it’s this- DO NOT TOUCH THINGS.

I just simply cannot write the loogey story tonight- it’s grosser trust me!

Paula Deen, southern delightfulness and stinky shoes

I’m sure you’re curious about my trip to Savannah with Bat Girl, the title of my post and Christmas and I’ll do my best to tell the story but you will wish you were here for the fun- I promise you that.

My Christmas gift to Bat Girl was a two day trip to Savannah Georgia where we could go without kids, shop, eat till we were sick and see beautiful Savannah at its Holiday best.
Savannah was everything any busy mom who needs a break from daily life, loves to shop and enjoys true beauty could hope for. Savannah is one of the most beautiful places in the United States, I’m sure of it. There are old houses that demand your attention; they stand tall wrapped in iron porches and this particular trip they were also wrapped in garland, bows, and wreaths. Downtown Savannah is magical. Every store window dressed in Christmas beauty, modern marvels or timeless classics. Savannah boasts something for everyone and I can promise you that it is true.

We left early Monday morning and headed straight for downtown on a mission. Our mission was Paula Deens, Lady and Sons’ for lunch. Bat Girl and I recently bought a GPS and we were thrilled at not having to drive street after street guessing where it was, going on the feeling of right or left and asking around. We drove straight there and were looking forward to lunch that afternoon. We found a close enough parking garage and parked in anticipation of our day with just us-no kids, and Paula Deens!

Once we found our spot I had to change clothes, if you know me, you know that I drove in something much more comfortable than I was planning on wearing all day. I took my shoes off and changed my clothes but here’s the problem with taking cheap shoes off- the stench was killing me, then bat girl and I feared for my car. Stinky shoes, and a locked car for hours is not a good combo and I could NOT walk in these shoes all day long….. I also could not ask my car to soak up the smell all day either. Our solution- put them on the sun roof outside of the car and write myself a note so I didn’t drive off with them on the roof at the end of the day. I was positive no one would steal these babies and it was really no loss if they did! Clothes changed, smelly shoes taken care of and on the roof, off to kill some time before lunch. Excellent!

We walked around Savannah; saw the most beautiful stores full of vintage clothes, modern decoration and furniture that a girl would kill for. We sat on every chair and couch in a particular furniture store. Bat Girl found her next couch and we dreamed of our houses full of furniture just like this adorning each room.

I don’t have to tell you that we laughed until unfortunately I almost wet my pants- AGAIN! I don’t have to tell you that we probably stood out on the quiet streets of beautiful downtown Savannah with our hee-haw and guffawing, I probably don’t even have to tell you that we stood still while we laughed wherever we were so we didn’t wet ourselves more than I already had! When it comes to Bat Girl and I that’s all a given.

We got into Paula Deens and waited excitedly for the food and it’s just exciting to be there. Once we got sat down we ate marvelous food. I truly don’t believe in a buffet! I think it’s gross, I think it’s a bad idea, they call it a sneeze guard for a reason people! ANYWAY- we ate the buffet at Lady and Sons’ because it’s different, I promise it’s different- trust me! We ate baked and fried chicken, BBQ pork, southern collard greens, mac and cheese to die for- I thought I was gonna lose Bat girl over the mac and cheese- HONESTLY! I live for sweet iced tea and they have sweet iced tea I wanted to have through an IV. We were eating, laughing, and loving life then dessert came- WOW! So Bat Girl got extra Paula Deen cream and we were instantly transported to heaven. I ask you this my friends- Is there anything better than best friends, time away in a beautiful city and Paula Deens’ cream- No WAY!

More stories to come…

Thursday, December 25, 2008

boogers, Paula Deen, and a loogie!

You DON'T want to miss this story- but you'll have to wait because I am getting ready for Christmas in my little home, with my little babies and I'll share the whole thing later!

Until then, here's my favorite picture of the kids when they were little visiting Santa...

I hope your day is fantastic!

Monday, December 22, 2008

heaven on earth?

Spending 2 days with no kids in Savannah with BatGirl? YES it is heaven on earth!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pine cone angels

TOO many collages? NEVER, I say- NEVER!

Friday, December 19, 2008

those boys!

These two crazy kids are going to be reunited once again to run free, be wild, and act crazy! *Cheers* to best friends, brothers and those you can depend on for life!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

dear sugar cookie baby

Dear Sugar cookie baby,

What an honor to make cookies with you this year. I know that I grumbled and dreaded the mess but to be honest I loved every second of it, even the mess. I loved you sitting on the counter, touching the dough and spilling the sprinkles. I loved that you were so excited to see how they rose in the oven covered with all those sprinkles and intoxicating sugar.

Your excitement reminds me that the little things in life are the most important ones. The glimmer in your eye reminded me how important sprinkles are on warm sugar cookies. Your sparkly smile reminds me that Christmas paper and bows really are terribly thrilling. When life gets dull my little Sugar cookie baby I hope to remember to look to you for the example of simplicity and pure happiness in an otherwise complicated and negative world.

Merry Christmas my little christmas cookie- I love you dearly!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sugar cookies

Christmas Sugar cookies

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

re-purposing my wreath

I hated THIS wreath last year... so I borrowed an idea from Bat Girl and glued some pictures of the kids to it. I love it now! It still needs something though and I can't put my finger on what!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let's make-up!

Conversation with Kid4

me-did you get into my make-up?

Kid4- NO!

me- DID YOU get into my make-up?

Kid4- MOM... NO!

me- I'm going to ask you one more time. DID YOU get into my make-up?

Kid4- Mom! I promise I did not get into YOUR make-up!

**at this point in the conversation I can see where I have gone wrong with the questioning**

me- WHO'S make-up did you get into?

Kid4- Sissy's!

Kid4 is VERY literal. She was dead serious about NOT getting into "my" make-up and could not understand why I was grilling her!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

World wide candle lighting

The compassionate friends host a worldwide candle lighting the second Sunday in December every year, which happens to be tonight at 7pm. This rich tradition unites family, friends and strangers around the globe who have lost a child of any age dear to them.

This has special meaning to me because we lost my 13 year old nephew in August of 2004 to a tragic car accident. Every year on his birthday and the day we lost him, my children and I release a balloon in his honor. It seems like it's at least something that we can do to show how we do remember him and how we always will.

This evening my children and I will light a candle for my nephew Keoni and for Riley who just lost his life this past Tuesday.

Happy birthday Batgirl- your one in a million!

My Dear Sweet friend of so many years and many more to come I love you dearly.

On this day you were born and I know God meant for us to be friends- I know it- he told me so.

I can’t believe that another birthday has come for you- it only seems like yesterday that we were going out to see “What Women want” and having coffee at Starbucks- then I left my purse and we were almost late- remember? It’s the first time that I found out you HATE to miss the beginning of a movie, when I discovered you hate coffee and also that you had the same love affair with DOC Martins that I did- I knew we were right for each other, I just knew it.

Shortly after the “birthday movie date” with our husbands, we went Christmas shopping together for our Christmas party at work- you got me little tiny white candles- I loved them, I picked them and they are probably still in your storage somewhere because that’s so us! Remember how we stayed out too late and Mr. B. thought we had been in a horrible accident and how he was not too happy when we came back because he was worried sick- before we had cell phones!

I love us- I have the funniest memories of us, I couldn’t begin to write them all in one post, piece of paper or book. I know people love to see us laugh, accuse of having too much fun and probably wish they understood all our inside jokes but all fun aside I wouldn’t trade you for anyone anytime, anywhere my friend. You are one in a million and I feel lucky everyday to have you.

You’re not a friend like others, you’re not someone to call just to shop with or talk with, and I know you truly understand who I am. I know you accept me for just simply quirky, crazy me and I love you for so many reason here are a few-

When I am thrilled about something you are the first one I want to tell because I know you will be thrilled too and understand why I am so tickled pink, like the time that Kid2 went to her first Father-daughter dance you were there snapping pictures of us getting ready, swooning over how beautiful she looked, you were thrilled for her as much as I was. You are like a mother to her.

When my heart ached to the core and I was too weak to stand alone, you held me up; you made me work and forced me to look at things objectively and real. You held my hand and my heart through it all- walking me slowly through one step at a time. You loved my husband, children and pets just like they were your own and hurt the day we lost Emily too.

When I stood by my Grammie’s side begging God to take her pain away you were there begging too. When you saw her hurt- it hurt you too. You could understand me begging God, you could understand also that I wouldn’t be ready when God actually did take her and when he did you were there to hold me up again, reassuring me that this was the best thing, reminding me that we begged for God to take her pain away and he did.

When I have been sick you have been there to hold my head up, drive me home, and make me soup. I can’t count the hours that you have sat in an Emergency room with me waiting for me or my kid or my family member. When we thought we lost Kid4 that night in the ER, it was you supporting me, you holding my hand, you telling me it was in God’s hands. When we lost my nephew it was you I called and you that cried for my family’s loss. It was you I wanted near me at the end of all those days.

How you stood in anticipation in the ultra sound room with me, waiting until the Dr. said it was a girl, how we squealed with joy and knew that a little girl was just what we ALL needed. And how you were waiting right outside that door when Kid4 was born and how you must have been exhausted from working all day and waiting all night just to see her little precious face. You were as excited and nervous as we were.

How did a girl like me run into a girl like you? How did a girl like me get lucky enough to have a girl like you as a best friend? Some days I wonder as I hear your voice in my ear how this all happened, how you love me too? Then I have to remind myself that the day you were born __years ago was the day that God had a plan for us. He knew that one day you would hold me up through hard times, laugh hysterically till I wet my pants in hilarious times and just be together through other times. I do thank God for you daily but today I am thanking him lots because this was the day that you were born.

I love you Batgirl, there could never be enough time to tell you, but I plan on laughing with you, crying with you and shopping with you until the end of time when you’re safe at home with my kid2 and I’m nestled with all the crazies at the nursing home….
Thank you for being you and for being mine.

**I can’t possibly post a picture of Batgirl- if you knew her you would know that this is totally unacceptable to do to her so here is the closest picture of us I am willing to post- it's her, my Great Grandma and I.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Angry Santa"

"I love that ANGRY Santa!"

said Kid4 as we passed this Santa tonight

Friday, December 12, 2008

my own personal "Brob-caster"

This is Kid4 and she is "brob-casting" from Kid1's room. We had no idea she made this video. We just found it this morning on Kid1's video camera! TOO FUNNY!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

a true Christmas gift...

I love this man!

Around the Holidays I get nostalgic about my true love for so many reasons. I won’t tell you our whole crazy love affair story but I will tell you these things about him and me.

Mr. B. and I met on his birthday and “dated” for awhile- that’s a story for a talk show not THIS blog! Anyway we found out I was pregnant with our first son the day after Thanksgiving, which is also a story for a talk show- BUT around the Holidays I always remember how we met and married and how backwards we did things but how I still love him after all these years.

The day after Thanksgiving I woke my best friend up at 4am while I took a pregnancy test- she had a light up phone in her room and turned off all the ringers in her house so no one would be woken up. She and I waited about 5 seconds for the results that changed the course of my life and his. This was the true beginning of Mr. B. and me.

We got married Christmas day and have been together ever since. On Christmas day while we watch the kids open their gifts and giggle with excitement as they tear into the paper we always smile at each other with a wink and know that this was the day that we said we would spend forever together so long ago.

We don’t give each other gifts for lots of reasons. Long long ago when we could barely afford to buy the kids one thing each we couldn’t afford to buy each other anything and as the years wore on we just never started buying one another gifts. When someone asks me “what did HE get you for Christmas?” I always say- “4 kids and (however many) years”. I love that answer because I would rather have his children and his time than any purse, bottle of perfume or great pair of boots.

Almost 17 years ago we said “I do”, and through thick and thin we are still saying it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

sadness and heartbreak

I just found out that an old baseball buddy of my oldest son was killed last night. He was killed at a friend’s house “horse playing with guns”. He was shot by another teen who thought the gun was not loaded and pointed it at Riley’s head, it was a loaded shotgun. My gut just aches about this for so many reasons. I’m sure you already know them all.

I have told my sons for years that it’s not them I don’t trust with guns, it’s others. I have always said that someone may be playing and unintentionally kill you or someone else. Either one is unacceptable and devastating.

I do believe in the right to bear arms. I just don’t bear them. I almost bought a gun quite a few years ago when my kids were little and I was travelling a lot, but I have one very curious and hands on son. I felt like I would have to keep it locked up in the glove compartment and if I did get car jacked I would have to say to the person taking my car “could you wait one moment please while I get my weapon to defend myself against you”…. This made no sense so I decided against it.

This boy who was killed knew how to use a gun, hunted and I know fully understood gun safety. It’s so senseless. My heart aches for his family. He was being raised by his paternal grandparents who really were such good people and adored him always. His Grandpa coached his baseball team most years from the time he was very little.

I have gone about my day doing the things I normally do but my mind keeps wandering back to his family and then my gut aches and my heart drops again. I keep thinking about how his Grandparents must feel, and how his only brother must feel being left behind. It’s so sad, it’s so horrible.

It reminds me of my nephew and how he died so suddenly and so senselessly. Teenagers do things that are unsafe, un-thought out, and irrational but no one deserves to die for it. I’m sad tonight for Riley’s family and every other family whose kids have lost their lives from senseless accidents. Please pray for Riley’s family tonight, they need it.
**the pictures above is the last picture the cousins took all together

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More decorating

I have a rather eccentric way of decorating I think. I like stuffed full and homey…. Is that eccentric or messy? Doesn’t matter, I like to be surrounded by the things I love. Everything I have has a story to me. It may have been my grandma’s or something I picked up somewhere to remember something or someone. I like to have a house full of memories. I am saying this because I am about to post pictures of some of my decorating and I’m trying to explain all the stuff errrrrr…. junk!

Behind the button trees are my kid’s art work and one of my favorite paintings. When I was a little girl I played a game called masterpiece (an art game). The little girl in this painting I use to pretend was my sister. I loved the painting and bought it a long time ago. Next to the painting I framed my kids art from when they were little. I love it because it’s so personal.

My chandelier is UGLY and I need to replace it. It was here when we moved in- I like it with Christmas decorations on it better!

The lamps Mr. B. and I re-did a few weeks ago. I bought them at a garage sale this summer and they were UGLY but we painted them and got new shades for them and I love them now! Does the decoration on top of the shade look a little like the crown of thorns when Jesus was crucified? YIKES…. I was definitely NOT going for that look!

I’m suppose to bake sugar cookies tomorrow- we’ll see!

The Holiday decorating

The tree and it's sad story.

I have a HUGE tree, I'd like to say it's nine feet tall but I doubt that. It's big and obnoxious. I love real trees but Mr. B. finally talked me into a fake one. This year Bat Girl and her family are spending Christmas with us- Thank GOD (seriously, Thank God!) and we really don't have space for the HUGE tree, so Mr. B and I went out shopping for a nice compromise. I liked a tall skinny one, he laughed, the kids would have laughed too. Anyway after looking and looking (at one store) we decided on a little one. It's one that we can put on top of our entertainment center and we won't lose any floor space this year. Without further adieu-

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas list and baking sweetness

I have just not been doing the things I normally do this month! I usually am in the Christmas spirit all month- but so far I've not recovered from my Thanksgiving trip.

I need to do the following things-

*bake cookies for my neighbors (4 families)
*bake pies for a few special neighbors
*cook anything in advance that I can
*GO TO THE POST OFFICE for petes sakes!
*clean my room (there's wrapping paper and bows all over it)
*a million other things I can't remember right now....

Kid4 and I baked cookies together tonight. We had a nice time. While we were baking, I thought of how much more we needed to do things like this. Was she a help? YES! I hate unwrapping the butter!

Merry ALMOST Christmas friends!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Daddy - daughter conversations

Conversation between Daddy and Kid4-

Kid4- Give me my ball!

*Daddy is playing keep away with Kid4 and laughing*

Kid4- *laughing* DADDY! Give me MYYYYY ball!

Daddy- Kid4 you haven’t even said the magic word yet!

Kid4- AaaaBRA- KA- DAaaaaBRA, give me my ball!

*we all ended up laughing*
The End.

Friday, December 5, 2008

finished shopping and cat towels

I am finished shopping for my kids! I'm so excited, I love to finish up- wrap it all up and then thats it! Kid4 is dying to open the presents! She just can't wait! Poor girl- it's a hard thing to wait- good life lesson. Now I just have to get my Dad, brother and sister something.

Sister if your reading this- I'll be sure to send you cat dish towels above..... *wink*

Thursday, December 4, 2008

five....? or two......? like it's up to her!

Kid4 has a major aversion to school. She does not want to have anything to do with anything that might have anything to do with school. She went to preschool for a few months this year and then totally absolutely freaked out and she has not been back. She is a very complex little girl so it was more than just a bad day.

Yesterday she said “Mommy, I am going to be 5 on my next birthday!” (not till June)

I said “Do you know what I am going to do when you turn 5?” --- I made a big cry face at her and pretended to cry.

She said “MOMMY I have to turn 5, that’s how it works”

I said “Well, do you know what else happens when you turn 5?”

She smiled and said “What?”

I said “you have to go to school, that’s what 5 year olds do!”

She said “OK, OK, I’ll turn 2”

I laughed!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

button trees

My girls and I made button trees from my vintage button collection. Kid2 made a white one, I made the red and green one and Kid4 made the small one. Aren't they cute all together? I decorated the house today and I love the way it came out! I love decorating for Christmas.

Thanksgiving trip part2

The Friends

Getting in the car for a long drive to see friends make the trip seem so much shorter and absolutely worth the night of sitting and having a seat belt wrapped around you poking your hip bone. It’s tradition that when we get in the car and Kid4 knows it’s going to be an all night-er she always says “Do we get to see Tia (that’s what she calls Bat girl)?” When I say “yes” she is silent and that means she is fine with the long drive, the uncomfortable car seat, it’s all worth it if Tia’s at the end of it. She knows the good things in life are worth waiting for!

One of my favorite things about travelling happens before we ever leave. The big kids are on their phones making plans with their “Texas friends”, Kid2 is giggling and planning as many sleep over’s as possible in the short time we will be there. She is usually gone every night at this friends or that friends laughing and telling stories all night- oh’ the memories she is creating! (this is especially special because we don’t do spend the nights here. In Texas we have known those people since they were little and we know we can trust them). Kid1 is on the phone planning what movies to go too, what to bring, how far they ride their skateboards in town, and for a 16 year old boy to say he is excited is fantastic! I Love it!

The best thing of course is the meeting between my kid3 and her kid, Dusty. Dusty and my kid3 are best friends, they have been together since they were 2 and 3, and they truly don’t remember time without the other. I love how they run into each other’s arms and knock each other down. They shout and pal around; they sleep on the living room floor, play games until their fingers are stiff and stay up all hours. They are like long lost brothers aching to see the other as much as possible! When we pull into Bat Girls driveway at the end of a long night, the sun has risen, we are weary and here he comes running towards us with enough gusto to knock the wind out of a cloud- I love it- I love him! We share our kids; you probably already know that by now!

As soon as we arrive, the kids start dispersing, calling friends to let them know they are there, making meeting plans, deciding who is going where and when. I love it, I’m tired but I love watching them reunite with their friends. Kid2 has girl friends and I love watching them see each other for the first time in months. She is all smiles as we get closer and then she runs to their door and the door is thrown open to giant waiting girl arms. There are three of Kid2’s friends that I adore and as you know and probably hate I don’t use names on my blog so here I go trying to tell their stories without using their names.

The first friend I always think of when we head to Texas is H. She is so dear to my heart. She and Kid2 have been friends since third grade and they love each other dearly. She is pure hearted, sweet as sugar and I love her dearly. They have spent too many hours to count together, telling stories, giggling like girls do and growing up together. The second friend I think of is T. She and Kid2 became really close friends as we were moving and we spent the summer enjoying every moment we could with sweet T. She is funny, confident and full of life. The third friend I think of is E. Her and Kid2 had the funniest meeting in third grade and she has been near to my heart ever since. When we moved to Texas E was in a bully phase, although she is not a good bully because she is too sweet. One day Kid2 called me crying and saying “I’m going to hit her, I really am”! I said “sit right there and I will come and get you, don’t touch her!” Come to find out E had sat on my kid2’s head and kid2 had finally had enough. We all met and poor E was so embarrassed, my heart went out to her because she truly felt bad. Since we have been travelling back to Texas kid2 and E have developed a wonderful friendship that is truly a delight to witness. They enjoy each other and have such fun together and their story is too funny not to tell. Sometimes the friendships that develop come from someone bullying the other. Ask my friend Melissa, that’s how we became good friends- I may have bullied her a little- I couldn’t say though! I think E and Kid2 will have a special kind of forever friendship.

Is there any better feeling than watching two friends run into each other’s arms holding each other tight trying to make up for all the hugs they missed out on? Is there anything better than the cackling of two girls who have too many things to catch up to sleep a wink? Is there anything better than seeing two boys running, laughing and knocking each other down like pups? There can’t be… there just can’t be- I love friends reuniting.

thanksgiving trip part 1

My trip was full of so many wonderful things and I will try to break it down one by one.

The driving-
There are few things better than loading up everyone in the car and watching the kids get all cuddled in, wrapped in blankets, snuggled into car seats, and nestling in for the a long night of driving.

I always say that we drive at night for two reasons: it’s quiet and it’s cheap. There is very little talking from 4 sleeping mouths and also no one is hungry at night so we don’t spend 60 dollars a meal to eat out. But the truth is that I love to get the kids in the car and watch them snuggle together, decide on a movie and nestle in for the long drive. I love to look into the rear view and see their sweet faces sound asleep. I love to hear the silence but have them all so near me.

There is nothing better than watching the sun set in one state and rise in another. Watching the Georgia sun set over the tall trees and orange sky is indescribable. I said to Mr. B. “if this was a painting, it would look fake”. Watching the sun rise in New Mexico in the desert was AMAZING! The desert mountains, the cactus, the HUGE sky… too much describe! The desert sky is like the ocean; it goes on and on as far as the eye can see.

It was a privilege to be a witness to one of the most beautiful, natural sights. By the time we had gotten to New Mexico, we were tired, it was 7 degrees outside and we were low on gas, but I truly felt lucky to be there. To be in a beautiful place at the very moment a breathtaking sunrise is occurring was an honor. It occurred to me as we watched the sunrise, the children slept and we crept along that cold highway; so many others were in bustling airports, gathering bags, pushing through crowds and standing in lines. Did they know what they were missing out on? Do they know that the sun was rising over the silent desert at that moment? By rushing through the holidays, flying to make things quicker there are things you miss out on- the sun rising over Carrizozo New Mexico, the excitement that a long drive brings as you see your family waiting anxiously on their porch for your arrival, climbing out of the car over siblings just to get the first hug from your Mama-G and Grandpa Red, bringing handmade gifts because you had the space to pack them and knowing that they were waiting just especially for you! All that and the most beautiful desert sunrise too. There is nothing better, I assure you!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

an unknown christmas list

tonight I am listening to Michael Buble's song grown up Christmas list (scroll to the end of this page to see and hear it)and I am thinking about my nephew. It's something that I have not blogged about yet. I knew that someday I would want to write about it but I wasn't sure when.

My sweet and mischievious nephew was killed four years ago on August 16th at age 13. He was hit by a car on Farrington Hwy in Hawaii. I have so many thoughts about him of course so many of them I chose not to share, they are way to personal.

This season my mind keeps wandering back to him wondering what he would have been like today, look like and how his laugh would sound. I wonder how much less broken my brothers heart would be if he had this little boy to share his days with.

As our children grow old and change, their Christmas lists change with them. They want a fire truck one year and then before we can blink an eye they want a cell phone. Time flies by so fast it's like life is rushing by trying to beat us to the punch line.

As I am trying to keep up with life, running with all my might trying to not miss a moment .....

I wonder what his Christmas list would have been like this year?

BAD tooth....

Im sorry for the delay about my trip. There is so much to write and share but I have a broken back tooth and I think it's trying to kill me! I am hoping to get it fixed tomorrow and I will write more soon I promise!