Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Workplace Shower

My friends and coworkers were kind enough to give us a shower this past week. They went way out of their way to celebrate Henry with us. It was a fun time to visit after work and open fun baby gifts. The shower was extra special because Jules and Anna came to town for it and spent the night with us. I was so proud she made it to one of my showers. It meant a lot to have Henry's Juju there with me....and Anna too! This was our final shower. We feel so blessed to have all we need to create a nice and fun environment for our baby boy.
The Shower Hosts - These are the great people I work with everyday in the marketing department.

The Cake - They knew I loved this saying and had the cake made to match it. It was as tasty as it was cute.

I had no idea how puffy and swollen I was in these pictures until today. Little did I know I would be in a hospital gown 24 hours later because of it. Mercy.

Henry's Aunt Juju and cousin Anna Kathryn.
We are still the only girls. Yay!

Anna getting a drink out of the duck tub with the help of Melissa. I loved how they used the tub for an ice chest. Anna loved it. She has always loved a rubber duck.
They all guessed the day Henry would be born, his weight, the time, hair color and length.
They winner gets a gift from the marketing department. Too cute.
Anna gave Henry a fork. This fork was from her little play tea set. She wrapped it herself in Christmas paper with lots of tape and a ribbon. She was so proud and I must say, it is one of my favorite gifts, ever.
Wow. What to tackle next?
My friend and coworker, Deania made this scrapbook for me. All I have to do is place pictures in it. I love the time and creativity she put into it.

My marketing coworkers got us the pack n play.
Anna loves that Henry will sleep in it at her house.

Books. Henry will be smart!

Who knew a Diaper Genie could provoke such a smile.

Henry's classic car.
A few of my coworkers and friends bought Henry this fun 3 in 1 activity seat.


Abby

I'm Alive

I am here. I am alive. I am going to make it. No fear.
I am now on modified bedrest. I can go back to work but have to take it extra easy. She will check my bp again next Thursday and see how things are ticking. I am so relieved to have some activity back again. I was about to pull my curls out lying in that bed watching daytime TV. How depressing that is. How do people do that all day? Whew. I would honestly break out in tears of boredom several times a day. I can see how people go crazy and call HSN & QVC all the time. Bless them.
As for my mouth...it is on the mend. I have had a week, I tell ya. I think I am ready to give birth after all the pain and chaos of these past few days. The dentist said he had to think that pulling a tooth with only local anesthetic had to be worse than birthing a baby. We shall just see about that in a few weeks.
Henry is perfect, moving like crazy and I do believe my belly is bigger this weekend. I cannot see my feet! My swelling is pretty much gone for now due to the bed rest. I have not seen my fingers this normal looking in a couple of months. My face is not as puffy and I can see the definition in my feet again. I actually lost 5 pounds yesterday from when I weighed on Tuesday afternoon. Craziness!
Abby

Bloggy Reading

I love to read.

Books, magazines, newspapers, blogs. It really doesn't matter what it is, I just like to read it.

I read 10 or so blogs a day. Some of people I know and some of people I don't know. I don't always comment on blogs. I just kind of stalk them!

I'm a blog stalker.

We also have a blog stalker. I'm thinking we have more than just one, but this is about one in particular! You know who you are!

She also reads blogs, many of the same ones I read. She is all about what is going on in their lives. She even wants to talk about them as if she is personal friends with them even though she isn't. When we see each other we talk about the blogs, but I have never felt like sharing any information about the blogs I read with other people until now!

Over the last few days I have read a couple of blogs and they had such exciting news on them I wanted to tell Stephen. I caught myself a number of times wanting to tell him of this news and of this even bigger news.

I have become a blog stalker! And one of the worst ones. One that links their blogs to mine. UUGGHH!!! What has happened to me?!!

Are you a blog stalker? Do you know too much information about people you don't know? Do you just love it???!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bedrest.....yeah right!

As you know Abby was sent home on Tuesday for bedrest. It seems her blood pressure was high.

She went home Tuesday like a good girl and rested. And then Wednesday happened....

Her tooth hurt. BAD!!!! She has had tooth trouble for quite a while now and has made many visits to the dentists office.

Well, she had to go back to the dentist yesterday for some more dental work so that the tooth wouldn't give her any more pain. She did this all by herself, while she was supposed to be on bedrest. What a girl!

Then last night happened!

She woke up in great pain around 1:00am and called the dentist at home! The call woke him from a deep sleep and he was rude to her and hung up. He called right back, apologized for being rude saying that he had been in a deep sleep and that he would meet her at the office in 10 minutes. ( Don't you just know that his wife heard the phone conversation and let him have it??!! I bet she hit him with the pillow and shoved him out of the bed!) ( I hope she did anyway!!!)

So, the dentist numbed the tooth and told her to come back this morning. The numbing worked for about 3 hours but she was able to get some sleep.

She went back this morning, he sent her to an oral surgeon who PULLED HER TOOTH! Poor girl. They gave her a prescription for medicine but she couldn't take it because she is pregnant, they then prescribed something else but she was allergic to it. They finally found something she can take and sent her on her way.

Poor girl. I can hardly stand to be here when she is there in so much pain and agony. I know Randall will take great care of her though.

Keep her in your prayers!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A man I hardly knew

A man I hardly knew died 13 years ago.

At his own hand. He didn't consult me. He didn't consult anyone.

He had known me since my birth. I had known him since I was 12.

We spent 7 weeks together in the 14 years I new him.

I loved him. I love him. I miss him.

He was my biological father. Because of him I have freckles, bigger hips than I would like, and strange looking feet. Because of him I have a family that I love and desire to be with, I have an insatiable appetite for books and I know about unconditional love. Because of him I grew up in a home full of love. I was taught God's love and I shared the last name of everyone in my home.

He left me devastated. But not nearly as devastated as he left his wife and two other children. Those that saw him daily. Those that talked to him everyday and saw his smiling face.
Their lives were changed forever.

My life was changed forever too.

A part of me is missing and always will be. I know what his thoughts were, I know how he was feeling. I read of his desperation and his feeling of not wanting to go on.

I suffered post-partum depression after I had Anna. It was awful. I didn't want to smile, I didn't want to go anywhere, talk to anyone. I didn't want to be friendly. I didn't want to go on.

I understand feeling like there is no hope. It is a terrible feeling. And one that must be addressed. It cannot be allowed to continue. I HAD to tell Stephen how I was feeling. I didn't think he could help, but I knew deep down that I needed to let him know how I was feeling. And you know what? He did help. And helped a lot!

Another thing that helped so much was this verse: Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ. Colossians 2:8

I can't tell you how that verse changed my life. Not only helping me fight through what was going on with me after I had Anna, but also helping me deal with Barry's death. God doesn't want us defeated. He wants us victorious!

I have lost two men that I loved to suicide. I know the hurt that it brings. I know the depth of pain that it leaves. But I also know that God doesn't want me to live in a cloud of despair and grief. His desire is for me to live victoriously through all life's circumstances. Good or bad.

If you are hurting today because of this kind of pain, please know that I am praying for you today and throughout the next week. My pain is so real today and will be this week. I will cry and I will want to just lay around and do nothing. But I am determined to go on! To live the best life this week!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Boys will be boys

It has been a busy and fast couple of days.

Monday morning Anna and I headed to Jonesboro. Abby's co-workers were hosting a shower in her honor and we wanted to be there.

It was great fun! She got lots of great gifts. Cute, cute, cute things.

The cake was so cute and tasty. Her friends and co-workers were so sweet and kind. There are many pictures to post.

Anna and I had a great time. We got to see Henry's room and it is so much more than the pictures allow. Abby is so good at decorating. I should really take notes!

Abby had a doctors appointment today and her blood pressure was high. HIGH! So they monitored it for a while and sent her home until Friday.

Henry is already causing problems.
Abby has to rest and stay down until Friday!

So, I'm asking that you pray. Pray for Henry that he is safe and healthy. Pray for Randall that he remains strong and has just the right comforting and loving words to say to Abby to calm her fears. And pray for Abby. That she remains healthy, and probably most importantly, that she stay DOWN! You know she is going to be wanting to get in Henry's room and put clothes in the right places, and play with all his toys.

My advice to Abby during this bedrest week is paint your nails!! I remember when I was on bedrest with Samuel. I painted my nails everyday. I figured I wouldn't get the chance to do it once the baby was born.
Do ya'll have any advice for Abby? Any ideas of what she can do while she lays or sits? She isn't a big tv watcher so be creative!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Belly Painting

Randall painted Henry

Henry's first Halloween costume - ha!
Abby

Saturday, October 24, 2009

3 Things That Make Me Smile....and Laugh

The search is over....we found them!
We are handing these out at the hospital. Do you know how rare this candy bar is these days? Well take my word, they are rare. We found 15 at the Country Mart grocery store today after an exhausting search. I wanted 30 but got 15. Some of you will have to share your bar with each other...there are actually 2 in each package...good deal!
I saw this man in the middle on my TV just now. Yes, our Daddy is a HUGE Rebel fan (a Houston fan) and there he was in this pull over, with his pretty silver hair and his sunglasses on my television. I screamed " There's my Daddy!" and Randall about wet himself thinking that something was bad wrong with me. I guess a 33 week pregnant lady should not scream unless it is time. Note to self. This is the second time I have seen my Daddy cheering on the Rebels on my television. It makes me laugh a bit to think of him cheering on the Rebels instead of the Razorbacks. What time can do to a man. Go Daddy!




This makes me pee my pants. My cousin Claire (Our cousin Hollye's daughter) thought this was my voice and tried to convince her mother that it was me. She remembered them telling her that I did radio spots and in her little head she had decided I must do Geico commercials too ( I wish! Bring on the money people). When I heard of this I looked up the commercial on You Tube. I ALMOST DIED. Thanks Claire for thinking I talk like a valley girl from the country. Randall played it about 10 times in a row laughing his head off. I think Hollye and Matthew may have done the same. It was funny...but really. How wrong!

I love my simple little life. It makes me smile and laugh a lot. Bliss.

Abby

Friday, October 23, 2009

8 Months

8 months
It is hard to believe I am already 8 months into my pregnancy. Some days it feels like a lifetime and other days it feels like it has been a short while. We are getting anxious to meet our baby boy and see what he looks like. We have ideas in our head on what he looks like, so we are ready to see if we are right or not. We do not have a desire to do a 4d ultrasound, so we will be surprised and I am glad about that. I think a little mystery is good. His room is ready for the most part. A few details are left to complete, but he could be born today and have a working room. That makes me happy. I have one more shower next week at work and my sister is coming into town to attend. I am super excited about Aunt Juju seeing Henry's room and helping me with all his fun stuff.
People tell me I will never make it to my due date because I am so large. My doctor laughs because she says people forget I am short and short waisted. There is no where for Henry to go but out. He may come early, but I doubt as early as some think. I actually had a lady at work tell me he would be here by Halloween. I told her I surely hoped not because I would more than likely have to be at Children's Hospital and that would not be fun for any of us. If you want to see how transparent people are....get pregnant. Everyday I am wowed by something someone says.
1 more monthly picture to go....this has been fun.
Abby

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This week has been one busy week!

I may or may not have made fried apples.

I may or may not have burned the fried apples.

I may or may not have ruined my iron skillet because of that.

We have had soccer games, boy scout meetings, and as cubmaster of our local troop of cub scouts, have had to get all popcorn orders together and submitted, built two dressers, babysat two beautiful girls, and cleaned house because my bestest friend is coming with her two boys to stay with us this weekend! I'm so excited!! Stephen will be gone to be with his mother and dad as she has a procedure that we pray will end the pain she has felt for the last eight(8) years!

Stephen and Samuel backpacked 15 miles last weekend and Samuel will backpack another 15 miles this weekend. Samuel just came in and corrected me. It was 15.5 miles with an eighteen pound backpack. I'm pretty glad I'm working with cub scouts and not boy scouts! Cub scouts don't do hikes!

Hoping your week is as much fun as mine!!

Julie

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Coats and Preachers

The rain has stopped and the sun is out.

The weather is cool and crisp.

It is really wonderful here in south Arkansas.

I have baked and cooked. I have changed all the summer clothes out and put winter clothes in the closets.

And I have failed to get any of the boys coats for this season. It seems that that would be an easy, almost unspoken task. One that I would do every September. But apparently not. It is cold and they have no coats. But as much as they run around when they are outside, I don't even think they notice they need coats! And I'll get them coats soon!

On a more personal note.

I haven't told you lately how much I love my husband.

It has been a difficult year for him and an even worse last couple of months. Through all of the turmoil that we have been living in, we have become closer and have fallen in a deeper love with each other than ever before.

He is an only child and both of his parents have faced medical challenges since this summer. His dad had a heart attack in July, his mother had a brain aneurysm(that thankfully the doctor found) and had it contained soon after. And now she is going in for another procedure next week that will, we are praying, eleviate the pain she has been feeling for 8 years. Nothing is life threatening. It just seems that it hit all at once, and with Stephen being an only child the burden and responsibility is all on him. (I am now an advocate of having more than one child!!!! If only for the future spouses sake!!)

Back in March when I went to see Beth Moore (oh my goodness it was so good!!!) she repeated a comment shared with her by a pastors wife. The comment was "sometimes sheep bite". At the time I thought it poignant, but not applicable to my life. Now, I find it applicable to my life. Pastors are called to be shepherds of Jesus' flock. His church. And sometimes the sheep bite.

I have asked before, but if you have a pastor. If he is your friend or you only see him when he stands in the pulpit. If you are in a church of 30, 130, or 1300. If you have a pastor, love on him. He is a man called of God. His job isn't easy. It may look easy. A couple of sermons a week, golf with a church member,etc... But it isn't easy. And sometimes the sheep bite.

Love on him this month. Even if it is a card, a pat on the back telling him you love him, a note to his wife(this is my favorite idea!HA!), or a loaf of bread (thank you Mrs. Ava!). Let him know you love him and then pray for him. Pray for protection from the enemy. He loves you and prays for you!

I hope this is a glorious weekend for you!
Julie

Friday, October 16, 2009

Are you Ready...

to gag? I know my sister is gagging and even Santa is in shock. My Christmas cards are designed and delivered and I have 3 more people to buy Christmas presents for and I am finished! Yes...I am a sick woman, I know. This will make Julie gag a little more...I even have everything wrapped that has been purchased!
This weekend I hope to finish it all up and then start thinking about decorating the house in the next few weeks. Henry is on my brain and the fear of him coming early without my Christmas taken care of adds a whole other level of panic. You know how I adore me some Christmas and this year will be extra special with our new little one. I want it all to be pleasant and as right as it can be. Oh, I have to go see Santa about Henry's gift pretty soon too. I think he has been a good boy and should be on his list! Fun times, for sure. Now back to your regular fall time broadcast!
Abby

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

J'Town Shower

My dear friends Stacee and Melissa hosted this shower

My sweet Aunt in-law and cousins-in-law came to celebrate Henry. Diana (Aunt) made the cute diaper cake in the corner

Lindsey was sweet to stay for my shower and help me get all of Henry's gifts back to the house


Henry's Marmie (my Mama) sent this handsome outfit

What a fabulous cake and spread. I love a monogram!

Gifts Galore

This is a precious little set

Caden was such a sweet helper. He is Henry's soon to be BFF. They are "kin folk" but they will be friends too.
What a fun bathtime gift.
She made cotton look like bubbles and filled the tub.

Melissa made our hospital door wreath and I LOVE IT!
Mama's door will be fancy. Melissa knew it needed to be since Mama works at the hospital and all.

Abby

Monday, October 12, 2009

Maternity Shots










Lindsey took all these fun shots for us this past weekend. She is such a dear and talented friend. Thank you Lindsey for being such a sweet friend. Henry will love having his "Aunt Z" taking pictures of him!
Abby

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Samuel

Today Samuel is 12.

Samuel,

Today you are 12, your last year as a kid.

You are a 6th grader and at the top of your class! (a little homeschool humor there!)

You are such a good big brother. I know it isn't what you want to be and I know it isn't easy. But when you love on your brothers and sister it makes a world of difference to them and me.

You have a love for the Lord that gets stronger each day. You are curious, funny, smart, silly, loving, and of course, smiley.

All of your coaches have called you Smilin' Sam. You have a smile that can light up a room or a baseball field. You were on the all-star team again this year, playing catcher. I remember you telling me back when you were 4 or 5 (before you were even playing on a team) that you wanted to play catcher so that you would get to hold the ball a lot! And here you are.

I love you so much. You are the one that made me a mother and I am so proud of you. You make my heart fill up with love so much I think it will pop!

I thank God for you. I can't wait to see the young man you become!

Love,
Mom

Friday, October 9, 2009

So sorry Mom

Last night was a first!

I made chicken & dumplings. From scratch.

I have made chicken and dumplings before. But with biscuits, or the frozen dumplings from Walmart. My friend Tommie Lou (who my dear husband refers lovingly to as "Johnny Lou") told me about the frozen ones and swears by them. But I'm pretty sure she can get anything to taste great! I could not get them to taste right. Stephen was never impressed when we had them.

So, last night chicken enchiladas were on the menu. Then I realized that I had used the flour tortillas for the taco salads the night before. And being the unsocial person that I am, I didn't want to go to the store.

So, I decided to make chicken and dumplings. And used my mother-in-laws recipe. I made the dumplings with flour, eggs, and baking powder. From scratch! Impressed? Well, you should be! I don't make anything from scratch!

To prove my point here is a story. The recipe called for shortening. No problem, I went to the pantry and got the shortening. I opened the lid and thought it smelled a little like salt, and it didn't look like what I thought shortening looked like. So, I looked for the expiration date on the can. It was there.

091306.

Yes, September 13 2006. 3 years ago!

The real kicker isn't that I haven't used shortening in over 3 years but that we moved to our current house in October of 2006.

I MOVED EXPIRED SHORTENING!

It was Walmart shortening too. You know I had to have had it a while before we moved, because you can never buy anything at Walmart that is anywhere remotely close to the expiration date.

I didn't know what to do, so I googled " substitute for shortening?" And received many entries on how butter can be substituted. So, I did and they were good.

Darn good!!

Stephen said so!

I would have taken a picture of them, but me posting pictures two days in a row? Really, you would have thought someone had kidnapped me and blogged in my name!

After the chicken & dumplings miracle I went to a meeting with some of my homeschool mom friends. Can I tell you what a wonderful evening I had? It was wonderful! Wonderful, I tell you!

And it was just Thursday! Not even the weekend. Oh the hopes I have for the weekend.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Samuel: Before and After



The first picture was taken in July.

The last picture was taken this morning. His eye isn't closed on purpose, it is swollen shut!

He ran into the wall last night and bled and bled and bled!

It isn't stich worthy, but I thought it was blog worthy!

Poor guy, he tried to get out of school work today, but being homeschooled means school every day!!

Yes, I am a tyrant!

Julie

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Munchkin Fun

I love this!



Abby

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The fair!

I can't believe I've not told you this yet.

What kind of mother am I?

Our county fair was last weekend. Yes, just the weekend.

Samuel had entered a couple of things in the fair a few years ago when we lived in a different county and did really good. Did you know you win money at the fair? I didn't, but I remember Samuel being so excited about winning MONEY and ribbons. What more could a super-competitive boy need?

So, this year I told the kids to find something they had made and we would take them and enter them in the fair. I thought I was being such a good mom.
David only entered one item, a baseball card collection. He put them all in a notebook in his own order and made a cover for the notebook.
Daniel entered 3 pictures he had made while taking art last year.
Samuel entered his derby car from cub scouts, a bookmark he made at Bible School and a loaf of bread made in the bread machine. (Can you believe that is a category? Bread machine bread) Anna entered a paper flower she made in Sunday School.

We took all of our crafts to the fairgrounds to enter them, me still thinking I'm the best mom ever for thinking of doing this, and are met with a gazillion crafts made by just a few people. There were moms of my kids friends entering their kids crafts. They had boxes of things to enter. The shelves were full and we were there just an hour after it had opened!

I no longer felt like the best mom ever. I felt like the worst mom ever. I told the kids of the thoughts running through my head and they assured me that they didn't think that at all. They were glad I hadn't brought a box of their crafts! Thank heavens for that! I don't know if it was the truth or not. But if they were lying they won't get in trouble for it.

So now you want to know how they did don't you? Of course you do!
Anna won 1st place and $3.75 for her paper flower.
David won 1st place and $3.75 for his baseball card collection
Daniel won 2nd place for each of his pictures and $7.00
Samuel won 1st place for his bread, and his derby car and 2nd for his bookmark and $10.00.

I'm thinking they will be taking ME to Mcdonalds this week!

We have already begun being crafty for next year. I'm thinking a refrigerator box may be needed to carry all the wonderful artistic renderings of my children next year!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oh, what a beautiful morning...

Did you just sing that in your head?

I only know that one line, oh what a beautiful morning! oh what a beautiful day! I don't even know what the song is from.

I don't have much culture do I? I should know that bit of trivia. I homeschool my children. These tidbits of information should flow freely from my mind. But, alas, they don't! And apparently I'm not too ashamed to admit that to the ten of you that are reading this!

But anyway.

October is here and it is beautiful! The morning air is brisk. (Or so I'm told, I try not to get up at the time when the air is brisk.) The smell of defoliant is in the air, and believe it or not the leaves are beginning to change colors. I love it!

This morning Stephen and I went yard-saleing(that is not a word that spell check recognizes). I'm not sure why Stephen thinks he needs extra points with me that made him go with me, but it will be worth it I know. We bought some shirts for the boys and believe it or not a cub scout uniform complete with neckerchief! I cannot tell you of my excitement! Those babys cost $30.00 and we have to buy 2 this year. So, the $3 that I paid was well spent!
And then we bought doughnuts at the bakery. I love the bakery, you know that right? I don't care that one of my friends doesn't. I do, and thats all that really matters! HA!HA!

Have I told you that I am cubmaster of the cub scout troop here in my town? Have I also told you that I have a problem noticing when I may have too many things on my plate and should say no? Well, consider yourself told!

I'm making an October resolution. I'm sure you will be happy to know it. Here it is: I'm going to blog more!

So, lets see if this resolution sticks!

Have a great day ya'll. Go ASU!! Go HOGS GO!!!