Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Don't Song

Okay, I'm really going to get on the Christmas wrapping and laundry that I have awaiting my attention, but I just saw this on another person's blog and thought it was really cute! So I decided to do 2 posts in one week and share this with you. Enjoy!

The Don't Song

Monday, December 15, 2008

8 Things

I have been in serious need of updating this blog. I wasn't even sure about publishing the last post and now it's been on there WAYYYY too long. Just out there. Hanging. But I have been super busy lately and even though I should be doing things like wrapping Christmas presents and laundry, I'm going to take a few minutes and publish a new post. There is a lot to catch you up on, but that will have to wait. Well, actually, I'll use the following to give you one big update on our lives, in case you haven't heard.

8 Things

I was tagged by Ami, a former co-worker at MTW, several weeks ago...and I'm just now getting around to posting my goes!

8 TV shows I love to watch
1. The Office
2. Biggest Loser
3. Law and Order
4. Design on a Dime
5. Ready to Sell
6. The Today Show
7. Deserving Design
8. Extreme Makeover Home Edition

8 Favorite Restaurants
1. Salt Water Grill (Panama City Beach, FL)
2. Athens Pizza Kouzzina
3. Cafe Istanbul
4. El Malecon (Dominican Restaurant in New York City)
5. The Flying Biscuit
6. Another Broken Egg (Tallahassee and Panama City, FL)
7. Phuket (not sure if it's still open)
8. Journey's End

8 Things that Happened Today (I'll do yesterday since my neighbor stopped by this a.m. and even though it is 1:30 p.m., nothing much has happened)
1. Had the opportunity to go grocery shopping without John David
2. Had the oppportunity to go Christmas shopping at Discover Mills sans John David
3. Attended the annual homeowner's meeting for the condo we own in Buckhead
4. Was "color-matched" at Bare Essentials, only to find out I don't really like the way the make-up does on my skin...scratch that off my Christmas/birthay list
5. Went to Toys r' Us in Buckhead
6. Filled my car up with gas (in Buckhead and it was .30 more/gallon than in Grayson)
7. Talked to my friend, Karen, on the phone
8. Put John David to bed

8 Things I Look Forward To
1. The expected arrival of our little one around the end of May/first of it is, the "big" update for you. I'm 15 weeks and feeling great.
2. Getting our defunct tenant out of our rental house
3. Getting our rental house rented again (know anyone who wants to rent a house in Grayson?)
4. John David's first Christmas performance Tuesday night
5. Getting bookshelves for our bonus room
6. Getting our bonus room organized after getting said shelves
7. Decorating the nursury after we find out the sex of the baby in January
8. Learning how to day.

8 Things On My Wish List
1. Bookshelves for the bonus room
2. Traveling back to day
3. Being out of debt
4. A dining room table
5. A community of friends
6. A maid
7. A personal organizer (a real, live person not a notebook)
8. A lawn service for John (just to free up some of his time)

8 People I Have Tagged, please feel no obligation.
1. Denise
2. Heather
3. Heather
4. Candice
5. Melissa
6. Bobbi Jo
7. Diane
8. ?????

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Finding Gratitude in the Midst of Defeat

We had a really fun day yesterday. John David went with me to vote and was a champ standing in line for the 1.5 hours that it took me to vote. I've had fun trying to explain to him in terms a 3 year old would understand what this election bit is all about. Then we met my mom and my nephews at the Yellow River Game Ranch for a fun time seeing all of the animals. It was especially nice for me because John David went in with my mom and nephews and I sat at a picnic table and had a leisurely lunch. It wasn't really planned that way, but it was nice to have a little break to just sit and ponder everything in the woods, with all of the beautiful colors surrounding me. John David is particularly aware of the change of season and I love to hear his enthusiasim when he sees trees that are bursting with color. Anyway, after the game ranch we headed to an indoor water park that was fabulous! I can highly recommend going there if you've never been.

On the way home last night I was listening to some talk radio and thinking about the election. Then I realized that it felt a little like I was listening for updates on a sporting event, wondering if my "team" was going to pull through for a victory. And then it hit me that this is so much more than that. (Just a note, I did realize before that moment that the election is a big deal. It's just in that moment it really hit me.)The outcome of this election is going to change our lives. For better or worse, our lives are going to be changed. I went to bed last night before the election had been called and therefore woke up this morning to the news.

My "team" didn't win and there is a heaviness about me this morning that I don't like. First and foremost let me say that my hope is in Jesus Christ and not in any election outcome. But what worries me is the way our nation is changing. Maybe I've been living in denial; it's a place I frequent. Sunday night on my way home from a friend's house I was listening to the Alan Hunt show. His question was something to the effect of "What role does your faith play in choosing a candidate for President?" There was a caller that called in to say that his faith and his choice of candidates is irrelevant. He claimed to be a man of Christian faith and said that his support was for Barack Obama because he is just like every American - a little bit of everything. Alan Hunt respectfully disagreed with him in that your faith has everything to do with your choice for President. When you are truly a man or woman of faith and your faith is real, that faith changes your perspective on everything. It's not an accessory that you carry around with you, it's a totally integrated part of you. I agree with Alan Hunt. But the point that got to me is the realization that maybe Barack Obama is a representation of what Americans are today.

I didn't vote for Barack Obama because I don't trust him. I don't think he's a man of his word. I don't trust his judgement of people and events. I think he does things out of an effort to please people and not out of conviction. I think his ideas of "spreading the wealth" sound socialistic to me. I don't think it's the public school teachers' responsibility or right to teach Kindergarten children any form of sex education, whether it's meant to "protect them from predators" or not. I find it hard to respect a man who has no respect for life.

Is that what Americans are today? People who can't be trusted, whose word means nothing, people who are without conviction? Do we want to be as rich as the next person (or as poor?) all in the name of equality? Do we want to put the awesome responsibility of the moral education of our children in the hands of total strangers? Do we want to teach that there aren't consequences to our actions and that any "consequences" that might emerge from our actions can be taken care of by being put to death? Well, America has voted and it looks like that's exactly what we are today and what we favor. Makes me all the more glad that this place is not my home.

If you are still reading this post, you may be fuming in disagreement with me. I may read this post in a day or two and decide to delete it. But I couldn't stand these thoughts swirling around in my head and I have to say that writing it all out has made me feel better. And I'm grateful that we live in a country which allows me to write such things with the only fear being the judgement I may encounter from friends and family. I'm grateful that we live in a country which allows us to vote. I'm grateful for technology that allows us to know the "winner" within hours of the polls closing. And I'm grateful that my hope is not in things of this world, but in a living Savior, whose shed blood covers the debt for my sins and gives me the promise of an eternity in heaven.

I won't attach any pictures to this post although I wish I could've captured John David's expression this morning when I shared with him the news that McCain didn't win but Obama did and he replied "Nobama?!?" with a whine and a wince.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Hallo"wing"!

That's the way John David says Halloween...hallo"wing". Here's the pumpkin we carved. The eyebrows were a special request of John David's. He first wanted mean eyebrows but when I drew several faces out on a piece of paper, he chose the happier looking jack-o-lantern.

Today his school had a little fall festival for the kids and he got to go on a hayride, a pony ride, hear a storyteller tell some stories and pick a pumkin of his very own from the makeshift pumkin patch. It was great and what a great idea to have it all at the school! I just love where he is going to "school" this year. It's a very positive and loving environment and I'm so happy we made the switch. And I learned today that there are 11 boys and 1 girl in his I know how to pray for those teachers!

I planted my garden late in the spring so I've had a late harvest. It's been fun to watch all of the produce in the garden grow and of particular interest was a very tall carrot top. I could see the top of the carrot in the dirt and was expecting something of country-fair-prize-winning-worthiness. I waited as long as I could wait and when I finally did pull it, it looked more like an orange beet! I guess I didn't till the soil deep enough where I planted the carrots. Most of our carrots have been little nubs. Oh well, there's always next year!

Monday, September 29, 2008


I was tagged for the first time ever by my friend over at Denitra's Den .

Here are six random things about myself:

1. I love to do word puzzles of any kind.

2. Many people have mistaken me for being German, especially when I'm in Germany.

3. I've lived in Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Massachusetts, Indiana, Connecticut, New York, Washington, D.C., England and Germany.

4. When we were kids, my brother and I used to make tents in the carport on rainy days.

5. I have 36 first cousins (34 on my Mom's side and 2 on my Dad's.)

6. I'm a perfectionist procrastinator.

I am tagging:

The Simple Life
The Mino Twins

1. Link to the person who tagged you. 2. Post the rules on the blog. 3. Write six random things about yourself. 4. Tag a few people at the end of your post. 5. Let each person know he or she has been tagged.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Three Years Old

This post is long overdue...I should be ashamed! Okay, enough shame, onto the post. On September 3rd, John David turned three years old. I'm still getting used to saying that I have a three year old! He is such a joy and I'm going to tell you all about him. So if you don't want to read my gush, now would be a good time to navigate away from this page.

Okay, for those of you still with me here goes. John David is one of the sweetest, most thoughtful 3-year olds that I know. When I come in from a meeting or from playing tennis he asks how it went - without prompting. The other day when I answered him saying that my tennis match went well he said "Mommy, tell me more about it." He still loves to cuddle and gives plenty of hugs and kisses. He cares deeply. He will often remind us of people we need to pray for at night when saying our prayers. And he's even been known to ask if we could stop what we were doing to pray for someone. He loves books and is often able to recount the story after hearing it one time. And after we've read it a couple of times he can recite words that we leave out. Among his favorites are "The Little Hero of Holland" (from the Children's Book of Virtues), "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas", the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho (from the Jesus Storybook Bible), any books about fire trucks, fire stations, fire fighters, etc, and any books about holidays.

He's also one of most imaginative little boys I know. He loves to play with his "Little People" figurines and his Main Street Fire Station. It's so much fun to watch him play and to listen to everything he dreams up that goes on in the little town that he has imagined. He often gets a story line from a t.v. show that he has watched and will play for hours based on the story line. His absolute favorite shows of all time is "Fireman Sam", a British cartoon on PBS Sprout On Demand. Admittedly, he watches much more television than I ever imagined I would allow. But there are some great shows on these days! We've done several of the projects together that we saw on Noggin'. And about 9 months ago he started asking me what words started with after watching Super WHY on PBS. He has learned so much and his vocabulary is unbelievable. Since he is such a little sponge we of course monitor VERY closely what he watches. John and I feel that it is our God-given responsibility to do so.

According to John David, we live in a fire station, I drive a fire truck and I'm lovingly referred to as the "Fire Lady" of our fire station. John is either "Fireman Elvis" (one of the characters on Fireman Sam) or "The Other Fireman" (that would be the other fire man that lives in our house besides John David). About 5 months ago he started to introduce himself as "Fireman Alex", which is a character in one of his favorite fire books, "Fantastic Firetruck". The first time he did this was when we went to visit a new school for him and we met the Preschool Director. I couldn't believe what had come out of his mouth and she wanted to know how she heard "Alex" out of John David. We both thought it was hilarious. When we went for the "Meet & Greet" at his new school in August she greeted him as Fireman Alex and he just beamed.

Given his fascination (I think obsession is a better description) with everything surrounding fire fighting, it was no question what the theme of his 3rd birthday party would be. We invited our family and some of his little buddies and played fire training games in our back yard. The kids used sidewalk chalk to draw flames on a house that was drawn on a parking pad in our yard.

They then used water balloons to put the fire out.

Then they filled up their water hoses and "put out the fire" in the bushes around the yard.

And those who wanted to participated in an obstacle course to save a kitty in a "tree". I made a cake in the shape of a fire truck, and after a lunch of "Three-alarm" chili, "hot" dogs, and "fire hoses" and cheese sauce (mac and cheese), we headed to the real fire station. We had so much fun and John David is still talking about it.

John David is very articulate and most of the time knows what he wants...and what he doesn't. He is definitely trying to develop his will and independence but for the most part is so very easy going. He goes to sleep between 9 - 10 p.m. and usually gets up between 8 -9 a.m. It still takes him a long time to settle down (at least when anyone besides Grandma is putting him to bed) and he wakes up once during the night and comes in to our room. He gave up his nap in the early spring and for the most part, that's a good thing, since he is going to bed easier and earlier since giving up his nap.

If you are still reading, the last thing I'll reiterate is what a total blessing he is to us and so many people. We thank God for him all the time and pray that one day he will know the love of a sibling. For now, we are living a life far better than we deserve and far more fulfilling than I could've ever imagined. We love our little guy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fun With Cousins...and with Trouble

We went to Nashville this weekend to visit some dear friends, Bill and Donna. John's brother and his family went too and John David was so happy to be "on vacation" with his cousins. Bill and Donna's pride and joy is Trouble, a beautiful, sweet, black lab.
Fun in the pool with daddy
Taking a ride to the creek on Bill's "Little Boy"
Wagon fun
Sweet Trouble! Although John David's not too sure...
Kara gets cozy with Trouble
Enjoying dessert after a long day of fun

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Things I'm Lovin' Right Now

There are some things about my life right now that I'm just not lovin' so much. But then again, there are also lots of things that I am lovin'! So I decided to do a post on the things that are making me happy these days:

John and life with him.

Spending days at home with John David, being able to experience everyday things everyday with him. This particular day we were bringing to life one of his favorite bedtime stories, The Little Hero of Holland, with the homemade play dough we made together this winter.

The discovery of Molly's Blog and how she inspires me. Still loving Soule Mama's Blog and Five Sweet Peas too. Don't personally know any of these women but I love their outlooks on life.

Summer suppers and the tip from the lady doing the demonstrations in Publix: put aluminum foil on the G. Foreman Grill before cooking and clean-up is a snap!

Reading books again and finding some that are thought provoking, namely, "Dumbing Us Down; The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Education" and "Omnivore's Dilemma". I didn't get to finish the second one before it was due back at the library and I couldn't renew it because it was on request for another card holder. Library card, that is. I'm looking forward to reading a book at the beach this weekend that shouldn't be nearly so thought-provoking as these. I'll be reading "Mademoiselle Boleyn ". I'll be reading a book this weekend because I'm going on a girl's trip to the beach with two friends and we are leaving the men and children at home! I'll miss John and John David but I'm also looking forward to the time with old friends.

The thought of pumpkins this fall and John David's excitement about them.

The serenity that a little time working in the garden gives me.

Cooking summer suppers from our garden - this was the first squash of the season (got the seeds in a little late) and it was yummy!

The new perspective I have and the new friends too, after my first project with The Friendship Force came to fruition. Twenty English Teachers from The Friendship Force of Jakarta, Indonesia spent three weeks in the U.S. participating in a Professional Development Program that included time at Anderson University and home hosting with The Friendship Force of Lake Hartwell, GA and The Friendship Force of Charlotte, NC. I work part-time (10-15 hours/week from home) as an Educational Project Coordinator for The Friendship Force. I probably need to devote a full post to my job and the experience with the Indonesians but not tonight! They were all so friendly and appreciative of the opportunity - and dear, dear people!

To God be the glory for all these blessings in my life.

Happy 60th Birthday Grandma!

Grandma (Karen) had a birthday on June 22nd - I'm a little late getting this post up - sorry! We had fun surprising her with a small party at our house on Saturday and then treating her to a really nice lunch at Maggiano's on Sunday. Karen - we love you and celebrate wonderful YOU!

John David, our little social bug, was so happy that there was a whole weekend of celebrating with so many people!

Travis (Johns' brother), Karen and John

Friday, June 20, 2008

Two Things

I heard a sermon a couple of months ago and something that the Pastor said stuck with me: "Are you like the rooster who thinks his crowing causes the sun to rise?"

Just found a blog named "Does This Font Make Me Look Fat?". Now that's a good one!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Summer Fun

We've been having so much fun this summer that I've made very little time to blog. But here's a very long, very overdue update with LOTS of pictures!

We went strawberry picking with Debbie
And with Grandma...

And now we're sad that the season is over! I didn't even get that last 2 gallons that I had planned to freeze for "milkshakes".
We planted a garden...

And we are watching it grow!

We baked our first loaf of homemade "WHO" bread from this recipe...

And enjoyed the bread immensely! I moved to the computer to check something after I got John David started with a piece of the freshly baked bread only to look over and find him sampling the whole loaf! We have since tried the "acoustic"version of the recipe, without the bread machine and I much prefer both the shape and texture of bread made by hand. I'm having fun experimenting with different organic flours that I've found at the new health food store by us - so excited to have this new store less than 5 miles from our home!

We've also been to the pool, to our local library and to the Jimmy Carter Library for a pre-school "story time and garden safari/scavenger hunt". The last sounded like so much fun from the description in the paper but was a huge disappointment. It was a fun outing at any rate since we were with my Aunt Cheryl and her 4 grandsons. We had a great time with them at the library and at a park afterwards.

In addition to fun times going places and doing projects, we've had a lot of fun just being at home. The other night after dinner John David was playing with all of his Fisher Price Little People as he does quite often. He insisted that he put all of them to bed before heading upstairs for his own bath and bedtime. I agreed to let him do that and went about my business, cleaning up the supper dishes. I just couldn't resist capturing the following for you:

Notice how all of them are lying face down...

And the animals are sleeping "out in the pasture", except for the dog, who's keeping a watch out while everyone else sleeps.
At the last moment he grabbed the rocket ship and placed it carefully near the fire station..."in case they need to escape during the night". I just love watching his little imagination blossom!

Hope you are enjoying your summer!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Going to the Beach?

My parents own a condo in Panama City Beach, Florida, and would love for you to consider renting it for your next vacation. It's on the 7th floor of a 15 story building and all rooms are oceanview. It is a 2 bed/2 bath condo with a full kitchen, washer/dryer, dining area, and roomy living room. It will sleep 6-8 as there is a king bed in the master bedroom, 2 queen beds in the 2nd bedroom and a queen-sized pull out couch in the living room. It would be great for two families to share. It is very conveniently located on Front Beach Road, where Thomas Drive intersects with Front Beach Road.

Check out the pictures below or click here for more pictures and rental information. They are offering great summer specials so I hope you will soon be vacationing at my parents' condo in Panama City Beach, Florida! And by the way, the weather at the beach stays warm until about mid October, so you may even want to consider it for your fall get-away destination. I'm sure they will be offering some specials then so if a trip in the summer doesn't fit into your plans, ask about the fall specials.