Friday, May 28, 2010

Educational Milestones....

Well, today was OFFICIALLY the last day of school! WHOOPEEEEE!!! It is hard to tell who is more excited, me or the kids. :)

I have to say that, after 8 years of homeschooling, I truly enjoyed this year of not being the one with the education load. On the other hand, I also freely admit to missing my kids terribly! I really enjoy spending time with my children. Yes, they do aggrivate the snot out of me (quite often), but we also have pleasant talks, sharing of ideas, and fun together. I have really great people as my children.

As of today, my children are now one year further down the educational road. Morgan is *gasp* a JUNIOR in high school & well on the road to graduation. She is doing a great job! She is also working her first paying job for someone else & enjoying it. Surprise, surprise, it is a babysitting job, but her employer is very happy with her :) *mom beams with pride*. And, let's only briefly mention the whole driver's permit thing. *sigh* It is inevitable, & will probably even be a blessing long-term, but....I'm just so....not ready.

Heather has been tossed into the high school "FISHbowl" as a freshman. She has been looking over her graduation options, and has finally chosen the road that will earn her an "Honors" sash when she wears her cap 'n gown. She isn't one to back down from a healthy challenge. Her rationale: "Everyone else in my class is doing it, and I'm just as smart as they are!" That's right, baby, you definitely are. She is also trying to get a volunteer position at a local dog groomer. She'll do great. Oh, and then there's the piano lessons she will be taking this summer. *WHEW*

Sam is now a 5th grader. He made primarily 100's on all of his work last year (I would say he's a genius, but the jury is still out). He IS very bright & sucks up information like a straw. Trust me, there's NOTHING he doesn't know....just ask him! LOL He is looking forward to a fun summer of swimming, fishing, and being as annoying as a 10 year old boy can be.

Lindsey graduated Wednesday night! Can you believe it??? Our little Lindsey-Lou is now a 1st grader. She was just so stinkin' cute it made me suffer enormous bouts of parental pride. She was one of only 2 girls in her class...and I can see some adjustments are going to need to be made this summer...'nuff said 'bout that! The first thing she did after attaining her new "bigger" status: stay up 'til 10 p.m.! WHOA....

These are our 4 school-aged children from this past year. The upcoming school year will see part of the second half of our children moving up in the learning world. Barrett will officially be school-age. I may end up homeschooling him, and, if I do, I will just bite the bullet & do Adam at the same time. They will be 5 & 6 around that just makes sense, doncha think???

As for the babies of the family...well, they will most likely be hitting milestones of their own. In fact, Anna just accomplished the task of learning how to walk! In Ella's words, "Go baby, go baby, go baby...!" I should be thinking of potty training, but I would rather think about....ummm pretty much ANY thing else!

Thanks for indulging me in a time of prideful parental prose. :)

Have a great Holiday weekend....

Monday, May 24, 2010

Making Memories...

Don't you just love making memories?

We just returned from a weekend in Galveston. We have some wonderfully generous friends who own a fabulous beach house right on the beach. They have let us use it a few times & it is one of our favorite places to go & chillax. Granted, there are probably prettier beaches in the world, but this one is close, and...pretty inexpensive!

You know, making memories isn't even about spending money or finding the most fabulous location to vacation. It is about spending time with each other. Doing things that make each person happy. Doing things out of the ordinary. For instance, when I was picking some things up at the store for our meals, I was thinking all healthy (like a good Weight Watcher), but my kids spotted the waffle ice cream cones. Being a good mom, I put away the healthy snacks, & indulged in ice cream cone fixins. I do not usually purchase these things, but, hey, it was vacation, right? ;)
I also don't like the beach. Oh, don't get me wrong...I really enjoy sitting on the balcony of the condo with my feet propped up feeling the breeze (read: gale-force wind) in my hair & listening to the waves crash on the shore. But, that is as far as my true enjoyment goes. If I'm getting wet, I want to see what's on the bottom of wherever I'm standing! So, we go to the beach. I walk in the sand (mud) & oooh & ahh over the treasures they find ("no honey, that's not a new kind of fish, that is a piece of rubber..."), take lots of pictures & just enjoy watching them experience life.
There are at least 2 kinds of vacations (at least in my family).
1. Relaxing
2. Not Relaxing
Disney World, the beach, day trips, staycations, girls' trips, retreats...these fall into the "Relaxing" category. They are usually low-pressure, no real work involved...only fun. Granted, Mickey's land can sometimes be hectic, but that is really up to you...
Camping, church trips, whirlwind trips, most holidays out of town...these fall into the "Not Relaxing" category. These types of trips require minute planning, lots of stressful days with little sleep...I really try to avoid these kinds :)
I am not sure why I put that last little blurb in there, but I just thought it up & put it down...this IS my blog, after all! :)
So, what I really wanted to say is this, we had a great time on our "Relaxing" trip. We were able to have dinner with some great friends, take some family photos, swim, indulge in seafood, shop, explore, kick back & just enjoy each other.
Ahhh...Have I mentioned lately that I love my life?
I do.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Today is my 18th wedding anniversary!

I was only 19 years old when I married Lloyd. I just THOUGHT I was in love with him! Oh, I loved him like most newlyweds do, with romantic love. Don't get me wrong, romantic love is great, but it's not a deep, sustaining love.

For one thing, I didn't really KNOW him.

How can you really know who someone is after only knowing them for a relatively short time? It is only in living in close proximity, day in & day out in all kinds of situations that you really begin to know who someone is. You learn their character. What are their motivations? Are they giving, kind, selfless-truly...or did they only appear that way to impress & win your heart?

Marriage is a forever-thing. Even if a marriage ends in divorce, there is still a part of you that is connected with that person, you've given some of the deepest parts of your body & soul to them. So many young people today see the wedding as the "marriage". I mean, you can live with someone without being married, right? Marriage is seen as just the ultra-expensive, over- the-top party that celebrates your living arrangement at the moment!

When choosing a spouse, you MUST be ready & willing to have this person as your roommate, buddy, lover, confidant, bestie, partner, & support for the REST of your life! In return, you MUST be willing to be each one of these things for them PLUS all of the things that they need in return. Marriage is about being what is needed as well as learning how to be what you haven't yet achieved. For instance, I never dreamed that I would bear & raise 8 children. How do you do that? I still wonder :). The key to rising to the challenges that your married life brings you is to be willing to grow; willing to change your ideas and expectations for your life. No matter what your expectations were when you said "I DO", the life that God gives you is your reality. How we respond to our reality is directly related to the level of peace, love, joy & contentment in our life. much for not getting on my soapbox! LOL I say these things, not because I am perfect or that I have these things aced in my life, but because I can see that this is the way it MUST be in order to have a harmonious relationship with the love of my life. I am growing a little every day. In so many ways, I have done more growing in the 18 years of my marriage than I did in the 19 years before that (add those two together, and you now know how old I am :). I am grateful each & every day for the life that God has seen fit to give me. Each day, no matter how difficult or frustrating, is a special gift created just for me with a big fat shiny red bow on it!

I have an AMAZING life partner. He is everything a husband is supposed to be. My prayer is that I can continue to grow & be the wife he deserves.

I pray the same thing for you! Go...have a great day! Do something wonderful for your spouse today!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


In order to have friends, you must first show yourself friendly!
Sounds easy enough...I mean, who doesn't want friends? We all like to be liked. I am constantly amazed when I sign on to my FaceBook account & see that I have 200+ "friends". I mean...that's a LOT of people! LOL Surprisingly enough...I actually know ALL of them to one degree or another (except maybe Glenn Beck, and I'm thinking Lloyd hacked my FB & asked him to be my friend...). The great thing is: I can think of a whole bunch more that aren't even on FB!
Am I the only goofball that has had the thought: "I wonder if I die how many people would be at my funeral?" I mean, how many people would be there out of genuine love & bereavement (not counting the people who come for the free know who you are!)LOL. Personally, I HATE funerals. I would much rather grieve in private....but I digress....
Friendship is a form of evolution.
In my life, I have had some great friendships that have served many purposes. Of course, there's the fickle ones of childhood that come & go with the stash of popsicles or goodies in your lunchbox that your willing to share (or not). Those are nice stepping stones to learning how to relate to others.
Then there's the ones in the teen years. Those can really be hard. I don't know how boys do it, but girls can be just plain mean (again, you know who you *were*) ;). Right now, I am watching my girls go through this time in their lives. I can so easily remember the hurts caused by others. It breaks my heart for them. But, since I can't punch these kids (or their moms) in the nose...I just have to counsel my girls to "Love 'Em Like Jesus".
After high school, you find yourself in a new category...maybe college, or work...for me, it was marriage. I had to make a whole new set of friends. Since Lloyd is 8 years older than I, my friends tended to be older than me.
Then there were the "new mom" friends. The ones you discuss poop cycles & sleeping habits with.
I find myself thinking about the friends that I've had at each of these stages & loving each one of them for what they've added to my life (both good & bad). I can see where God has removed some friendships from my life in order to bring me closer to Him. On the other hand, I can see just as plainly the ones that He's added TO my life for the same purpose.
I spent some time today with a dear friend. We haven't always been close, but, through the years, we have formed a great relationship. We are honest with each other & are on the same level in many areas. It is good to have someone like that in your life! Friendships are hard work, though! I mean...anyone who doesn't think like me is a real wierdo, right? LOL doesn't work that way. To have a friend, you must first show yourself friendly & "Love 'Em Like Jesus"....warts & all.
I'm glad you're my friend!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Moments That Made Me Happy Today....

This was just a normal day. Crazy, full of things to do. I had moments of sheer exhaustion, and moments of joy. Moments of chaos & moments of peace.

I went to bed last night not feeling too good, and wasn't any better when I woke up, so I slept a bit later than usual. I really HATE to do that! I like order & LOVE a schedule. I like to know what to expect in my days. However, I know when to relax, too. So, after a quick shower, I joined my little ones at the breakfast table. They were fussy...not a good start to the day! So, I just took a moment to cuddle with them. I took Ella Grace (2 years) into my lap & helped her eat her eggs & just loved & kissed on her.

Anna is cutting some teeth...she is a tad grumpy. Nary a smile in sight. I took a moment to kiss on her & give her some comfort.

I took a moment to sit & drink some coffee & gaze out the window at our gorgeous property.

There are just plain ole too many times when "stuff" gets in the way of life! As much as I love a clean house, an organized day & time for children won't remember that nearly as much as the time I spend with them.

For the first time in 8 years, my school-aged children went to school outside our home for the entire school year. Believe it or not, I have missed them! I am looking forward to them being home in the summer. Don't get me wrong, I have thoroughly enjoyed having the time with my little ones, as well as the burden of homeschooling off my shoulders. There is every possibility that we'll go that route again someday, but for now, this works. Back to the kids: I miss our daily interraction. Our conversations, laughs & pokes. I love them!

Have you taken the time to just enjoy your family? Have you put your plans, wants & responsibilities on the back burner & just sat down & relaxed with them? Have you sent the kids outside & had a one-on-one conversation with your husband? Where is your focus?

Now....get off here & go hug someone important to you!!! :) Then, come back later & post a comment about it!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The first post

I have been thinking for quite a while that I would like to start a blog. However, I was (and still am) afraid that it would become quite addicting! Judging by the amount of time I have spent trying to get this goofy thing up & running...I was right!

What is a blog?

What is the purpose of me doing this?

Well, part of it is selfish, I suppose. I love to brag on my family. What better outlet than a captive audience who chooses to read what I put on here & to look at my pictures. I will tell you that there will be plenty of both!

Because my life tends to be full to the brim with stuff I want to do, need to do, MUST do...things like this should have a semblance of purpose. I have, for quite some time now, had a burden that the Lord has given me. I feel very strongly that He allows us to experience life so that we may be better able to help others along the way. After 18 years of marriage, 16 years of motherhood, 8 children & numerous experiences...I feel that God has given me a few things to share with others.
Do I feel that I have answers? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!
But, what I do have is experiences. I have made PLENTY of mistakes. I would love to share those...maybe you'll be wiser than I! I have had some successes, too. I would like to share those as well.
I must say right up front, I have NO original ideas. I have very few original thoughts. I have taken the time to do some research in the areas of homeschooling, child training, infant care, marriage.....etc. I would like to pass on some of the things I've learned from others.
This is not to say that I am going to use this forum as a soapbox. Nope, not gonna do it! I want to just chat about the funny things that my kids do & say. Brag on my honey. Gush about the goodness of God. And, periodically, pass on something that God lays on my heart.
I hope that my efforts are a blessing to you. Please know that I have gleaned from some of your blogs & I would like to return the favor!
I am now officially.....a blogger! :o)