Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Grocery Fun

Grocery shopping sometimes becomes a necessary evil for me on the weekends. Lately it has become an outing for us because of Henry's love for the red car. Our Kroger has red, blue and green car carts. He only likes red. My fear of arriving to only blue car carts haunts me, so sometimes I leave him with his Daddy during nap time and champion the shopping trip alone.
Kroger is our place. He begs for Kroger. I took him to Harp's one week recently and they only had green car carts and he refused to get in one and instead laid down in the regular cart on top of the groceries out of protest. We quickly returned to Kroger. It is frustrating and cute.
Last week I ran into a sweet friend and she shared a little cookie and balloon secret. Thanks to her, this past weekend's Kroger trip was an event.

We scored a red car cart, so it started out super. It got even better when we got to the bakery and got Henry's complimentary iced sugar cookie. He was sweet and told the lady "thank you" with his mouth full of cookie. Am I the only one that has taken my child in Kroger 50 gillion times and had no idea he could get a free cookie?! Hello. Score!
The only bad thing about this is my Paleolithic crossfit trainer was in the store with us and witnessed the cookie crumbs on my sweet Henry. I begged him to be nice to be about it. He was...whew. Henry has a way of winning people over...even cavemen! I truly do not shop in Kroger anymore without running into someone from crossfit. It is great accountability, I tell ya!

We approached the back of the store to finish up our shopping and he got a red balloon with a red string from the sweet floral lady. He actually stood up in the car cart and stuck his head out to watch her blow it up for him. He could not get his hands on it fast enough. She even tied a weight to it so it would not float away. He told her "thank you" with a huge smile on his face.

It was like a party...a ride, a cookie and a balloon. The best part is that is cost me nothing. Kroger rocks! I hear other chains do this also. Check out your local grocer and find out if your shopping trips could be made a little easier with your little love. It actually made the dreaded weekly grocery trip a fun time. Henry is now begging for Kroger. Funny boy.

Abby

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wanna Dance...You Betcha!

I was asked to participate in Wanna Dance this year. It is a fundraising event for the Woman's Discovery Center here in Jonesboro. I was asked when I moved to town in 2008 but the job I was in dictated my every move and they would not allow me to represent them in this event, so I had to bow out. I love that I now have my life back and can represent my company in such a fun event for a great cause.
They team up 16 women and 16 men in the community who can potentially raise a good amount of money. The winner is not who dances the best, but who raises the most. As the website and Facebook page gets up and running, I will share the links so you can see what it is all about and donate!
My partner is Barry. He works at our local Chamber. He is a hoot and a half. We are gonna have some serious fun I am afraid!

This is Barry and me together at our planning lunch. We met with our dance instructor Libii. We are going to mimic our dance after the video below. We will of course modify it quite a bit, as I will NOT be doing the upside down splits in the air! We plan on making the routine a secret on facebook since that is where most of our traffic will be....so, hush...hush!



Stay tuned for updates. We meet tonight for our first practice. This should be a hoot!

Abby

Friday, February 24, 2012

Racing Through My Heart

This photo is not the best quality. I took it with my phone. I had to capture the moment and it is what I had at arms reach. My boys love to race dump trucks every night before Henry goes to bed. Henry takes the little one and Daddy takes the big one. They race all through the house, scream and say "Boo Yaw" real loud over and over again. It is fun times. This particular night they found sombreros in the guest room that I have been meaning to return to a friend. They wore them while racing. Henry's kept falling onto his face but he didn't seem to mind. It was so funny to watch.
I try my best to stay out of the way because they will run over mama without flinching. I have sore toes to prove it! It is simple times like these that I try my best to cherish and hide in my mama heart. I know the day will come when he does not want to play with his dump trucks or his daddy. For now he loves begging his daddy to race with him and says "DO GIN, DADDY!", while Randall is laid out on the floor trying to catch his breath, saying "Give me a minute Henry". These little minutes are so precious.

Abby

Thursday, February 23, 2012

He Meets Us Where We Are


I have three prayers I have prayed daily for the last three months. Two of them will be answered continually but one of them could only be answered once and was beyond my control.

Stephen and I have prayed that our children would find salvation in Jesus Christ at early ages. With our boys that prayer was answered. They were all saved before the age Anna is now.

In the last three months I've seen a marked difference in Anna and prayed fervently that God would draw Himself to her and she would accept His forgiveness and salvation. She has been the most affected spiritually through all of this and I couldn't bear to see her turn from Him, although it is what she seemed to be doing.

Saturday night after I had tucked the kids in for the night (they all were sleeping in the same room for some reason), Anna came into the kitchen where I was. She began talking to me and I realized where the conversation was heading. Stephen had talked to the boys about salvation, this was the first time I was going to be in on the actual "come to Jesus" meeting. I was beyond excited!

We talked about Jesus being God's Son and dying so that our sins would be forgiven. She knew all about the ins and outs of that. She's been in church since she was a week old, she should know it all! HA!

But, more than just having head knowledge she knew it in the deepest part of her soul. She knew she needed the Lord. And I got to be with her when she prayed! Oh, God is so good isn't he?

She received the Lord's forgiveness in a home being lent to us by friends at a time of uncertainty in our lives. (Don't get me wrong, we are certain we are to plant a church, it's just the getting there part thats tough. Stephen doesn't think there is any uncertainty at all. It's just the woman in me!)

God meets us where we are people! I'm thankful that He does!!!

Julie

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Little Big Fun

Henry was tickled to get behind the wheel of his new Power Wheels truck. We purchased it at a seasonal resale a few weeks ago in Memphis. Randall did an overhaul on it (tricked it out...for those of you who know the lingo!) and finally let him drive it. It was more of an attempt to drive it. Henry only pushes the pedal when he feels like it. He sure looks cute in it, moving or not. It has a radio in it so he likes to sit and listen more than anything. Watch out neighbors, Henry Patton is going to be on the go this spring!

The dreaded haircut with Henry. We have been cutting his hair since he was 10 months old. He has some thick and curly hair, just like his mama and daddy. Up to this point I have had to hold him and hold him down, kicking, crying and swatting while the hairdresser cuts his hair. This past weekend he proved what a big boy he is becoming. She set the seat up for him without knowing I hold him. I played dumb and went along with it to see if he would sit down. He did. He then requested his "haircut sucker" in red. She gave him one and he sucked on it the whole time. He never cried or asked for me to hold him. I was such a proud mama. It was sort of bittersweet. At the end when she had to clip behind his ears I had to get up and convince him it was ok, but other than that, he was a sport about it. He thanked Sara for the haircut and bumped knuckles with her. He was proud of himself, as he should have been.

Henry's Grandaddy and Coco came to see us over the weekend. Henry adores his G'daddy because he is goofy and plays the whole time. That is the ticket to winning Henry over...play! They rode the horsey to town until the horsey pooped out and they did their "bumble bee bumble bee" tickle game until Henry was unable to catch his breath from laughter. It is so sweet to see our parents love our baby. Henry is such a loved little buddy.


I had to end the post with a show and tell. I was asked to make a cake or cupcakes for a silent auction. I was intimidated by the request and in order to not get too nervous about a perfect cake or dozen cupcakes I masked the treat with a cute carrier. It was fun to make with my Cricut and it went for $20. It cost me $6! So, it benefited a good cause and gave me some really good gift ideas!

Abby

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Cup Tale


The other day we had used up all of our plastic cups and our regular glasses. I don't know what it is about our family of six, but we can go thru glasses and cups like crazy. I'm pretty picky about my cups.
My favorite cup is a red plastic cup. It reminds me of my local Pizza Inn when I was growing up. I have a history with these cups. When we were first married I accidentally took one from a restaurant in our small town. I was mortified and returned it quickly and quietly to the owner. He, however, didn't let it remain quiet, and reminded me frequently of my accident. He knew I wanted that cup.

We had these same cups at our last church, I took one home and intended to take it back. But since I didn't know my last time there was my last time there I still have it. And I love it!

But, back to the story. I was thirsty, I had no can coke and no plastic cup. (HORRORS!) I was becoming stressed about the situation. My thirst won out over my need to drink from my favorite cup. I went to the cabinet that held our china. We have three china patterns and many crystal glasses that we never use except at holidays and when I'm feeling special. HA!

I chose a beautiful glass, filled it with ice and sweet tea. It was a rather exquisite experience. I laid on my bed, read my Kindle and drank from my beautiful glass.

The next day I walked into my room and looked at my nightstand. There sat a neat stack of books, a beautiful lamp and my beautiful crystal glass. It was then that I realized I truly enjoy the finer things. I think we'll be eating off of those "good' dishes tonight!


Julie

Friday, February 17, 2012

Setting Fire To The Rain In Shame



My Henry knows most all the words to this song. He belts it out in this funny, graspy voice and throws a fit when it is over and begs for me to play it again. Randall played it in the den the other night because he had not witnessed Henry's performance and had to hear it for himself. He was shocked, stunned and tried not to laugh. I did laugh. I wish I had videoed Henry's performance. He was twirling around the room and belting it out. I think our jaws were on the floor watching him.

Santa put the CD in my stocking so I blame it on him. Up to this point we have played Praise Baby and Sunday School Song CDS in my car. Santa made me go secular! Henry knows words to so many hymns and Bible songs it is amazing, but now he knows Adele and that is just plain wrong! I know she won 6 Grammy's but I am not thrilled that my little sponge gets in the car and yells "I want fire rain!" and kicks until I turn it to track 5. Oh me...back to Praise Baby ASAP. Shame on this little Mama!

It does make me think of Julie singing Delta Dawn while standing in the front seat of the car when she was 3 or 4 and makes me feel not so bad. At least he is strapped in!

Abby

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wrong Observation

Do you remember my post from last week about the people at McDonald's? I wrote about the hostess and a man that flirted with her.

Well, there is the rest of the story. ( I said that with Paul Harvey's voice in my head.)

The kids and I went to a local church Sunday night (without Stephen, he had meetings to attend and we chose not to go with him) and I saw a lady that looked familiar. The kids didn't know her and I stood during a couple of songs trying to figure out who she was. Don't you hate it when you do that?

I finally figured it out! She was the hostess at McDonald's. And the man sitting next to her? He was the man from McDonald's! They are married!

I laughed out loud. I thought it was the funniest thing. I told David and he didn't seem to care, I told Samuel and he got it and laughed with me. We were the only people laughing while the congregation was singing Crown Him with Many Crowns. Irreverant? Maybe. Funny? Definintely.

I'm sitting here at McDonald's today trying to get up the nerve to tell them the story. But I just can't do it. I'm really quite shy, and hate to be embarrassed. And this would surely embarrass me!

So, I have learned a lesson. Just because I THINK I know what is going on with the people around me doesn't mean I do. And in this case, and I'm afraid most cases, I'm always wrong!

But I have laughed about this for the last two days. It brings a smile to my face. Today he asked her to go to Red Lobster for a Valentine's dinner. She said no. I laughed to myself. It was just like they were flirting, when actually she just wanted to go home and get in her pajama's.

I love these people. One of these days I'll tell them. Maybe, but probably not.

Julie

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oh, For The Love!

"I mustache you a question?"

"Will you be my Happy Birfday Time?"
(How Henry says "Happy Valentine's Day...so cute!)

His daddy said "yes" and got some love with his coffee.
Cupid showed love to Henry with a Veggie Tales card, a big balloon, a red truck, Cars candy and a Mater teeth sucker.
He was most smitten with the red truck. Red is Henry's best color. He loves it. His teacher said this was Henry's day because it would be ALL red, ALL day. So funny, but true.

We gathered up our love soap for his teachers.

Next, we gathered up our bucket of mustaches for his little friends.

He had lots of mustache questions to ask and certainly scored many "birfday times" with his cute card and tasty, cute mustache cookies. (you must watch the video I posted last night in the previous post!)
I got to his school for the party and the mustache was no longer on his shirt. He had peeled it off. Oh, Henry! He was still a cutie without his 'stache!
Henry loves all his little friends. They are the sweetest little loves.

Speaking of love, Henry had to give a little sugar to his best girl Piper Jo.

He made special Valentines for his daddy and me. So sweet!
Henry enjoyed the ice cream party and his Shelby. I love how he is always saying "cheese" everytime I take his photo now. So silly!
It was time to see who wanted to be his Valentine. Henry analyzed everything in his sack. He was loved by all his friends, of course!
We went home and I made lasagna, asparagus, garlic bread and red velvet cupcakes for my boys.
Spending Valentine's Day with my sweetie added sparkle to my day. He was being silly with Henry and wearing Mr. Potato Head's Santa beard and I had on a lip sticker. We keep it real and full of love at our house, that is for sure!
Abby

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Happy Birfday Times"

video

Henry wishes you a "Happy Birfday Times!"

(His way of saying Happy Valentine's Day)

Mustache Love

Henry is having a big time today passing these cute cards out with little polka dot mustache cookies by The Cookie Lady, Amy C from the "Wild west town of Fort Smith, Arkansas" (Did anyone else see the Olympics ticket article circulating online...the description of my hometown made me laugh out loud).

Henry better not get rejected today! I think with a mustache as cute as his and with these yummy cookies, he is sure to have a pocket full of Valentines before the day is over!

Abby

Monday, February 13, 2012

UDAMAN

I left this by Randall's coffee pot this morning. He cracked up at the serving size - "U Decide 'Cause U Da Man!" I covered a $1 box of SweetTarts with it instead of chocolate because he is my sweet and my tart! I found this wrapper online and printed it off. A $1 love gift. Can't beat it! Now, I have to come up with something for tomorrow....hmmm?!

Abby

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Love Is In The Air

Henry had his first official babysitter over the weekend while Randall and I drove to Memphis to eat oysters, mussels and other seafood goodness. You just can't eat like that in J'Town so driving a little ways is worth it sometimes.
Our cute little babysitter is one of Henry's afternoon teachers. He loves her and she asked me if she could babysit for us. I think I hugged her! She is the cutest thing. Shelby attends ASU and is good friends with the daughter of one of Julie's good friends. Henry loved playing with Shelby and we loved the little date night we had. She said he showed her everything in the house. I believe it. That is so my Henry!
This morning we were matchy-matchy in celebration of love week so we attempted a family photo before church. Henry was most excited about being permitted to stand on the couch that he skipped out on the "cheese".
So, we tried again. Taking a decent photo with a toddler is near impossible. I love how he is looking at me. That's my boy!
We had extended session at church this week. Lisa, our preschool director gave us a handpainting craft to make with the kids. We had no girls in our class this week. I made Henry participate unwillingly and the other boys cried and refused to do it. Randall got a kick out of the revolt. It is so funny to see the differences in boys and girls even at this young age. Those boys wanted to push trucks and cars around the room and had no time to stop and paint a picture . I must say, Henry's painting is super cute and hanging in my kitchen, like it or not.
These handsome boys make my heart glad. Henry and I got his daddy a little Valentine and plan to make a special supper for him Tuesday night. I love an excuse to be cheesy and mushy. Valentine's Day is fun times. Speaking of cheesy and mushy, this is a "bomb" made out of 3 rolls of Mentos that I left on Randall's desk in his office upstairs. He is my bomb and he loves Mentos! I think you can make this with Rolos also.
Abby

Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm A Working Mama

Today we are linking up to Kelly's Korner again for a working mom post. Let me start by saying that ALL moms are working moms, whether they stay at home or work outside of the home, that is FO SHO! Today she is highlighting working moms and since I am a working mom I wanted to link up and share what little wisdom I have on the subject.



I am a mama to Henry. He is my only child. He was born while I worked a very high stress job in health care marketing. I learned the first day back from maternity leave that it wasn't going to work. I continued to get up and go through my day like a guilty zombie until he was 6 months old. One day I walked out and never looked back. I had no idea what or where I would go for work, but I knew God had a better plan for me, my boy and my husband.

Lesson #1 - no job other than being wife and mother should take priority.

My family

It took me a year to find the right job for my family. That year long journey taught me a lot. I am a different"worker" now and so much better for it. It was an interesting year with lots of highs and lows, but one I will oddly enough cherish in my heart forever. I turned down a few jobs because I knew they would not fit my family. Learning to chose a job that fits into my family life and honors God had become my priority. Money was not my motive. It was tough at times to agree to that, but today I can type this with a smile because I did just that...I waited and now work a job that fits and honors...and I feel I am compensated well.
Lesson #2 - Money does not buy happiness (It is cliche, but true!)

Celebrating my birthday before work and school last fall

Learning to open up, ask questions and be honest with Julie, Hollye and my friends Sara, Melissa and Lisa helped me become the working mother I am today. Hearing from a stay at home mom's perspective and the perspective of a mom who works outside of the home made me realize we are all the same...we all love our kids just the same. We have to make sure we do it right though. Refer back to Lesson #1! Most of all I gained trust and wisdom from these girls and on days I feel like I cannot do it all I remember that I have an army of women who I can count on to lift me up and reassure me it is just a day.
Lesson #3 - Don't wear a mask - be honest!

Our first family trip to the beach last summer

Some days are for the birds and some are worth recording. That is just life, working or not working. Choosing to make the best of it is up to us. There are so many days I am too tired to remember my last name when the whistle blows at 5:00 and knowing all the activity that comes with it almost sends me into a coma. Yet, when I start my 5:00 mission and see that baby boy run toward me at the door of his daycare room and yell with excitement "MY MAMA!" I get a boost of energy and feel alive and forget that it all seemed like a chore, because it isn't. It is my life...and I LOVE IT!
Lesson #4 - Cherishing the routine is a choice - choose it!

Henry's Halloween party at school

In the interview process of the job I have now I was open and honest with my boss about my family priorities and he respects them. If it is 3:30, a pretty day and I am finished with things for the day, I will leave and go get Henry so he can play outside at home or at the park. I don't feel guilty about it. I love not feeling guilty...I think no mother should feel guilty. Go home if you do! In my line of work we are generally salary employees but I have chosen to be hourly. It cancels out any guilt and has made a HUGE difference. Punching a time clock is actually fun. I refuse to feel guilty (that is the overall theme of this post I think!).
Lesson #5 - Do what works best for you so you can be the best mother!


There is always a day they are sick and you have an important meeting. It happens. It stinks, but it happens. The truth is...we are all human and we all have families. Hopefully you work for someone who has had or has children and realizes this. Do what works best...work a half day and have your hubs work a half day. You are woman....roar! Nothing is more important than that child. Once you embrace that, you will soar in your work and at home.
Lesson #6 - SMILE because that child is watching you! God gave you the ability or desire to juggle a job outside of the home while being a mama...you ROCK!!!

This is my sweet boy playing on the playground at school last fall

I want to end with this little bit of honesty (Lesson #3) - I love daycare! I tell people I work so Henry can go to school. Some of you stay at home mamas are reading this and gasping for air, I am sure. We are blessed to be in an accredited and curriculum based Christian daycare. Henry knows how to count to 15, knows all his shapes and colors. He can sing his alphabet, pray and sing countless songs. I could never have the patience needed to teach him all this. It is an honor to use my God-given professional skills each day so Henry can go to school! :) So, if you are a working mama that feels guilty about daycare...stop it!

Abby

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Still Miss Her

Wilma and her girls - our last picture with her. About 6 weeks before she died.


10 years ago this morning my Meemaw (Julie's "Grandmother") met Jesus face to face. What a rejoicing that must have been for she, my Peepaw (Julie's "Granddaddy") and our Healer. We called them different names, but they were the same people to us...loving, Godly grandparents who helped mold us into the women we are today.

There are so many things I wish she was here to see. She never met Anna or Henry. She would adore Anna's love for all things girly and Henry's curly hair and knee socks. She loved Samuel, Claire, David and Daniel and bragged on them every week at the beauty shop and at church. Meemaw loved family and because of that we are still the same, strong family she left 10 years ago. As I get older I find myself appreciating my maternal and paternal families so much more. Julie and I were SO fournate to end up in this life together with all these people.


This is how I like to remember her

I miss you, Meemaw. I still sometimes cry when I talk about you. I sometimes get tears when I am washing Henry with his bar of Dove soap. I have been known to get weepy when I see a turquoise dress in a store. I always cry at Easter and I always cry when I have to go buy my own clothes! You would have quit buying for me by now though...you always said when I got a man to take care of me you would stop. I am so glad God saw fit to get me "Ronald" just in time. (She met Randall 3 times and thought that was his name) I really, really miss laughing with you. See, that would have made you laugh.

Man, I miss that laugh of yours and your witty, southern comments. I miss calling you at the end of the day and telling you all about (what was then boys...boys, boys, boys!) life and teaching you the latest, hip sayings. You always cracked me up using them on Emma and Babs. The time you called me at school and when I answered and you said "Who let the dogs out" will play in my memory until we meet again....I loved it! I would always get the ole "Abby, You just won't do!" I miss hearing you say that to me. Daddy and Babs still say it to me, but it isn't the same. I miss eating fat free saltines with you before bed and eating peaches with you in the summer. Peaches make me cry. Peeling a peach brings tears most times.

I was really glad Macy's bought Goldsmith's because I couldn't stand going in that store without you. Oak Court Goldsmith's was our place. The sales ladies knew us. I could go in alone to pick up something you wanted me to have (you wanted me to have everything. Randall has no idea why I want the way I do. I tell him it is your fault!) and the sales lady would always ask, "How is your grandmother? We have some new Alfred Dunner things she will love." You loved Alfred. Every time I see that label in a store I almost cry. It is not my favorite look, so I don't usually cry...just being honest, Meems!

Every time I am at Babs' and Uncle Joe's house I wonder if you can see the fridge from heaven. It fit! You were so worried about it and you never got to see the newly remodeled kitchen. I can see you looking back at the kitchen from Babs' "easy" chair, looking at me, and then whispering "I hate to tell Joe this, but that new fridge is not going to fit in the pantry." It worried you so much. We were all there to witness it go in and We laughed for you and cried because you weren't there to see it. By the way, are you sitting down....Babs and UJ own a dog. Its name is Boots and he took over the sun porch. If you weren't already dead, you would be now! :)

Man, I miss you! I can't wait to get to heaven so I can touch you, hear you say, "There's my pretty girl", and smile at me with that look of adoration you always offered me. Part of me died with you. I can't wait to get it back some day. I still love you like crazy, Meemaw!


Your Girl

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

9 Years Of Grins

9 years ago today I said "I do" to my Randall. I always loved this picture. It is in a little frame on my bedside table. It was taken in the brides room after the ceremony. I remember Mama and Mawmaw being afraid we might run off into a broom closet before the reception! We were so excited to finally be married, if you know what I mean! ha. I really like the Aqua Net can in the background the best. All good southern girls use Aqua Net for their 'dos.

This is possibly the most priceless photo I have in my album. Because I share this blog with my favorite sister, I thought it was finally time to show this little snapshot of us. I was taking my photos before the ceremony and feared I forgot my deodorant so like any good sister, Jules applied for me. There are too many reasons why I love this girl, just sayin! Wasn't she beautiful in that dress. I loved my wedding. It was perfect.

This was our first Christmas card photo. If you are familiar with our annual card, you know each year we have a photo card. This is what started the card tradition in 2003. I loved my cake and the arch over it. We looked so young and I looked so little. I want to be that little by my 10 year anniversary next year.

Next year we plan to celebrate 10 years in Hawaii. We celebrated our honeymoon in Branson. It was a bomb. Don't go on your honeymoon to Branson, and especially in February. We were suppose to go to a cottage in Eureka Springs. It had snowed in the night after our wedding. We got there despite the snow. We drove up on it and it was not at all as it appeared online. I was so sad. I cried and said "I can't stay here". So, we were totally naughty and we called them from the truck and told them the snow was too bad and we couldn't get up the mountain. They were nice enough to cancel our reservation and we kept driving until we got to Branson. We laugh about it now, but it was a sad subject for a while. This picture was taken at Landry's in Branson. We were all grins despite the situation. I like to think we are still all grins. I love this man of mine and I am so glad he made me his bride 9 years ago!

I found the one whom my soul loves.
Song of Solomon 3:4 (our wedding verse)



Abby