Friday, November 2, 2012


Last Monday (or was it two Mondays ago?? - I can't remember now!) we met Wendy, Zach, Noah, and Madison at the Georgia Aquarium.  We couldn't stay as long as we would have liked to hang out, but we DID get to see most of the aquarium together.  It was really fun.  James had such a great time...he was not so into touching he fish, but he was way into lying down on the floor a lot of times.  His cousins were so fun and even brought him a train for a present! 

So much fun!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

James - a TRUE Gator!


No pictures for this post.  I have been way behind on posting because we have been busy, plus James got croup last week.  Last Wednesday night, Landon had a meeting at church that lasted for a while.  I had a TERRIBLE time getting James to bed.  I got James home from church and tried to put him to bed. The past 3 nights before that had been pretty challenging with bed time. That Wed. night I let him scream for a while, but he’s started hitting himself in the head, hard, if he gets really mad and frustrated, and I could hear that’s what he was doing. Then, he starts screaming, “Oh, my head, my head, my head,” because his head is hurting. Anyway, finally I went in there (probably after 15 min or so). He was upset and wanted to shut his own gate. I told him fine, and I opened it for him, but when I opened it for him so he could shut it, he walked out into the hall and said, “I’ll be right back.” I told him no and pulled him back in his room and he just freaked out and said, no, he wanted to shut the gate. So, I tried again, and again he went out in the hall. Finally, after about an hour or more, I got him to sleep. When Landon got home, I was crying on the couch. It was so upsetting. We talked about how I think he’s just cranked it up a notch in smartness and challenging us, etc., and we just don’t know what to do – something new to figure out. I thought the hardest part was done. I did not know what would happen this morning.

So, I knew his throat would be sore that next morning from his coughing. He woke up Thursday morning at 6:15am and started coughing. Well, it was such a terrible cough – it sounded just like the croup cough (like a seal sort of), and he could not catch his breath. I ran in there and jerked him up out of the bed. You could hear him like wheezing and he was just shaking all over. I ran in our room with him, saying to Landon, “he can’t breathe! he can’t breathe!” We got him calmed down and some juice and water, and he was very upset, but he was okay. I don’t think his throat has ever hurt like that before, and he was like gasping for breath – I swear to you I thought we were about to call 911 and do cpr. seriously. it scared me so bad. bless his heart. but I don’t know what to do about the night before – should I not have let him scream? I have no idea. Landon had already said that he would take him to breakfast this morning. He did take him to breakfast once things got calmed down, but we didn’t send him to school. His voice is raspy and I was afraid to him to get out of breath on the playground. Landon agreed (and if Landon agrees it’s clear I’m not overreacting) that I should keep him home.  Finally, that afternoon, I could see that it truly was a croup cough and just happened to coincide with a bad getting in bed evening the night before.  We took him at 6pm to Kids Time Pediatrics where the dr. there immediately said he had croup.  They gave him the prednisone right there in the office and gave us a prescription for more.  This is the third time James has had croup, but the first time they have given us any kind of inhaler.  They gave us some kind of inhaler prescription.
I had told James that we would go ride the horsies at the mall.  We decided to take his prescription to a different Walgreens than we normally use - one that was in between the dr. office and the mall.  I had the craziest experience at that pharmacy - it was totally bizarre.  Here I am, waiting and waiting for them to fill the prescription - meanwhile my sick baby is out in the car, and I am FREAKING OUT inside wanting them to hurry - and this lady is at the counter, literally cussing out the pharmacist and the tech.  Saying she is getting them fired, and then yelling at me, "Don't ever get government assistance.  It doesn't do a blank blank blank thing."  And on and on and on.  Finally, I was so stressed and nearly in tears that I just asked them to give my prescription back and let me take it somewhere else.  I did not want to listen to that lady anymore, wait any longer for them to start getting our stuff filled, and I was worried that they would make a mistake on my stuff since they were completely stressed back there.  We took it to the Publix at Hamilton Mill.  Have I mentioned that I CRAZY LOVE PUBLIX???  The pharmacist there was FANTASTIC.  He explained how to use this spacer thing, etc., and was so calm and kind and compassionate. 
The next morning (Friday), we had no crazy incidents, but his temperature was 102 by the afternoon, and I could tell he was having some breathing problems during nap time.  I called the nurse line.  They said that it can take a while for the steroid to really make a huge difference, but that by Saturday morning, I should see a MARKED improvement or things still weren't right.  Meanwhile, do you think James wants to use that spacer/breather thing...NO.  He hates is.  Screams and screams, and when I talked to the nurse line, they didn't know why the Dr. gave us that  instead of just giving us a nebulizer. 
So, Friday night was a little rough, and Saturday morning, he had one of those crazy attacks again like he had on Thursday morning.  It was TERRIBLE.  I knew then that we had to go to back to the dr.  They couldn’t get him to take a deep breath (I wonder why... since he’s 2 years old...ha) so it was hard for them to tell if he was/wasn’t wheezing if he breathed deeply. They decided to go ahead and give him a breathing treatment in the office (hallelujah) so that they could see if they thought it helped him. He did freak out, and cried during a lot of it, but he was very still (takes 5-10 min) and didn’t try to move.  They did tell us to break up the steroid Sunday – like instead of doing 1/2 a tsp in the morning, do 1/4 in the morning and 1/4 at night. I remembered Dr. Evans having us do that before, but I had forgotten about it, and the dr. at Kids Time (even though I thought he was good) didn’t tell us to do that...nor did he give us the nebulizer – instead he gave us that spacer. They sent us home with a brand new nebulizer. They have them in the office and then just charge you for it through your insurance. I was thankful because then we have it if we want to use it.  They did talk to us about where to take him to in case we had to go – I was like, um, seriously?  Yeah, this is making me calmer. ha.  We did hook up the nebulizer (which took me and Landon a while to figure out – and then how to put that medicine in, etc.) and do a breathing treatment before he went to bed. He cried through most of it, but he sat really still – let me just say, if you ever need to choose between a spacer and a nebulizer for a two year old – GET THE NEBULIZER. ONLY USE THE NEBULIZER. IT WORKS WAY BETTER. It is pink and purple on the front – which Lan was like, “why did they give us a girl one???” ha. We said he looked like a dinosaur and James wanted to name him Rex. So, Rex is now part of the family – at least for the next few days. Landon and I both tried it. I don’t know what I thought – ha, if I thought I was going to be like a huge breath of fresh air when I did it or what. I guess it probably only helps you if you need help...right?
Fast forward Saturday through today (Thursday).  The croup cough is gone pretty much, although this morning I thought I heard it and it totally freaked me out.  I am so afraid it's going to come back.  Now, he just has a regular end of a cold cough - I think.  I am sure hoping that he is going to get back to normal soon.  Last night was the best night he's had - didn't wake up at all in the middle of the night, just early this morning. 
In conclusion, croup is a rough road.  Especially if you are a neurotic mom, like I am.  This bout with it was worse than the other two bouts with it, but we have learned some new tricks and now have a nebulizer on hand.  So thankful that he is improving and HOPEFULLY on the mend!!!  Yikes!

Pumpkin Party 2012

The Sears had us over for the 2nd year in a row to their awesome cabin to celebrate fall!  We had a hay ride, made crafts, and had a great time!  We had just gotten back from Day Out with Thomas, so we were late but still managed to get in on the fun.  Loved hanging out with some of our favorite families!!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Day Out with Thomas

Whew!  We have been looking forward to Day Out with Thomas for quite a while.  It definitely delivered.  We drove down to Cordele behind the Wakeman's, ate at Cracker Barrel, and checked into our hotel.  A great hotel - a Holiday Inn Express that was super nice.  Thank goodness.  James and Finn were sooooo excited.  We had a great time Saturday.
Here are James and Finn when we first got out of the car....ready to go in!
James and me and Sir Toppham Hat.  James really wanted to see him, but he was REALLY not going up there by himself :)
Ready to ride - our family plus sweet Finn (who can be an honorary Frymire anytime)
The boys minus Jason (who was changing Addie's diaper) before we left the hotel that morning.
We had a great time, although, I was a little disappointed in it.  I'm not sure if it was worth the money/drive down there - but I am glad we went looking back about a week now :)  I knew I would be.  James had a great time!! 

Joshua, Caleb, & a Big Boy

The past week and a half or so has been SO BUSY with our schedules plus sickness...I have got to catch up on here.  Hopefully, I'll be able to over the next few days.  Look at the Joshua and Caleb James made with Aunt Kelli and Ms. Tiffany a couple of Wednesday nights ago.  These crack me up and are so awesome.  I am amazed that James can see he learns about "Abraham" or "Moses" or "the Israelites".  So thankful for Godly young women who are teaching my child.
This was James about a week and a half ago before he left for school one morning.  He is just getting so big. Look how he's holding Percy in his hand.  He cracks me up.  Usually is never without a train!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Roll Recipe

I made this GREAT pumpkin roll last week...or week before...can't remember.  It was fantastic!  I blogged about it already and talked about the tricky towel situation...all in all, it was a huge success.  James is still asking for the pumpkin cake every single day!  Wanted to post the recipe so I could have it to remember later!

Delicious Pumpkin Roll


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • .
  • Filling:
  • 8 ounces Cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons Butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


In large bowl, combine eggs and sugar, beating with an electric mixer until thick and light yellow in color. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, mixing until blended. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add to egg mixture, mixing well. Spread batter into greased and waxed-paper lined 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350 ° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 15 minutes. Place cake on clean tea towel sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. Cool 10 minutes longer. From 10- inch side, roll cake up in towel. Set aside. While cake is cooling in towel, prepare filling. Beat together cream cheese and butter; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth.
Unroll cake. Evenly spread filling over cake. Roll up cake (without the towel). Wrap in plastic wrap. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Slice before serving. Keep leftover slices refrigerated. This pumpkin roll freezes well, and makes about 10 servings.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lung Diseases from Moldy Bathrooms, Anyone?

I have cleaning issues.  I just do.  I'm a pretty OCD person, and have had some help with that the last few years, so I've calmed it down a little.  Landon used to help me more in the house when we lived in Woodstock, but now that his job is more difficult and longer hours...and just generally more mentally consuming, he is not as helpful.  Which is fine with me.  Completely understandable, and these are some of the ways I can step up while at home and help our family.  All that being said, I have a tough time with cleaners.  I get mad when cleaners don't work, so usually I just end up pouring bleach all in the shower.  We have a really nice shower - it's all tile - but it gets mold very quickly, which I know is gross, but I'm just keeping it real.  I can only look at the mold so long before I start to freak out - feel I'm being smothered in the shower by the smell of mold and getting some crazy lung disease that is incurable, so I know I need to clean it.  However, I don't have a lot of time.  Or, let me rephrase - I don't make a lot of time to clean the shower.  So, usually, I just pour straight bleach all over the grout in the shower.  Oh, let me tell you, it cleans it right up.  However, you need a gas mask to shower in there for the next 2 days, even with the fan constantly on.  I tried some vinegar a long time ago, and I didn't think it did jack.  So, here we are.  I have a two year old.  At some point we'd like to add to our family.  I am doing all the cleaning - usually with the two year old in tow, and I don't need him getting the same incurable lung disease I am fearful of getting.  So, although I am not an organic-y person, I've got to try something new.  I tried something new today.  I found this recipe on pinterest to clean soap scum, and I'm hoping it might also help with mold.

You heat 1 cup of white vinegar in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Pour it in your spray bottle.  Then add 1 cup of blue color Dawn dish soap.  Shake it up and go to town spraying.  I did this about an hour ago in all the bathrooms.  NOW, wait two hours and it should wipe right up.  I will update on this as soon as I check it out and see if it just "wipes right up". 

UPDATE: (5 hours later)...okay, so like when I was supposed to, after a couple of hours, I went to see what the deal was.  It is true that most of the soap scum on the glass shower door did wipe away.  However, I already had a fix for that by wiping shampoo all over it when I get in the shower and then letting it sit there, and by the time I leave the shower washing it off - and the glass is clean - no soap scum.  But, no mold wiped away.  I mean, once I scrubbed it, some wiped away.  But, as usual, I had to get out the bleach and just pour it on there.  And then, I was back to my usual lung/bathroom/poisoning situation.  So, IF you have a real mold solution out there, I need it.  If you don't but you can relate, I need some support.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, quit lying.  I know you know what I'm talking about.  Maybe I could set the tile on fire twice a month in the shower - like a circus act or something - that would be natural, right????  Clearly, I am no Martha Stewart. 

Chuck E. Cheese

It was a great weekend.  We bought some plants/pansies/trees for our house and worked on planting them this weekend.  Pictures to come soon...but not yet since trees are not planted yet.
On Saturday morning, we went to one of our favorite friend's 4th birthday party.  Finn!  Finn + Chuck E. Cheese are nearly an overwhelming combination of fun, but we made it!  James rode more of the rides than he ever has before.  He did great!

Jeanette always has the cutest ideas/favors, etc.  Here was James' goodie bag with a fire truck in it.
These last two pics are the funniest.  In this one below, James is terrified of the mechanical Chuck E. up on the stage.  You can see that Finn and Hailey are right at home up there, and although James refused to sit up on the stage with his friends, he is still torn and trying to be brave to stand there for the camera.  Bless his heart - what a mean momma that made him stand there to get a picture :)
Okay, so this last picture has caused some confusion in James' mind.  This is his favorite picture, because although he is afraid of Chuck E., he loves Chuck E.  We have looked at this picture for what feels like hours here at home.  He started asking me though why there were two Chuck E.'s in the picture, and I must agree.  When "real" Chuck E. comes out, don't you think they should pull the curtain around "mechanical" Chuck E.????  There are not two Chuck E.'s just like there are not two Santas.  Anyway, James has added Chuck E. to our prayer list at night and now prays, "Thank ee real Chuck E.  Thank ee mechanical Chuck E."  It is REALLY FUNNY.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Today. Was. Good.

You know how some days you just feel blessed?  That's how I have felt today.  First, I felt blessed because James slept until 7:45.  That is LATE for him.  He usually is up around 7am if not a little before.  He got right up and wanted to eat his breakfast.  Ate great.  I inhaled the peppermint mocha creamer with a little coffee in it.  Then, James put his clothes on with no was picture day today at his school.  He was excited about going to school - going on a bear hunt.  Here he is before we left.
I worked while he was in school, and actually got to call a client and help him with a log in issue.  That was exciting to me - most of my work is communicating by email, so to get to talk with someone is very exciting.  Ha - I know, I need to get out more.  I also got to talk to Ms. Diane on the phone, and she is so wonderful - always brightens my day when I talk to her. I think she might be an angel disguised as a human.  James and I worked in the playroom, played with the geotrax, and played trains.  I finally laid him down for a nap.  He didn't sleep (I think because he slept a little later this morning), but he did stay in his room for an hour of quiet time, and then I let him out.  He was at his gate saying loudly, "I wake up.  I wake up NOW."  He has been getting a little bossy.  I was pretending to cry about something today - trying to be funny about something he said - and he goes, "NO MOMMY.  You no cry.  You happy.  Stop."  We are having to have some conversations about what is polite to say and what is not.  I noticed, especially today, him having these funny conversations by himself in the playroom - like pretending that I am in there and talking to me, telling me what he's doing, telling me what to do (shock).  Later in the afternoon while I was working on dinner, he wanted a snack and found a Tupperware full of cheerios (that were probably pretty old and stale) in the pantry.  I let him have them.  I didn't put them in a smaller bowl, and I knew this was basically just asking for it.  Well, sure enough, he spilled them.  It was no big deal and he and I sat in the floor and cleaned them up.  He kept eating them straight off the floor - so he kept getting hairs in his mouth.  People, please, do you know how much hair I have??  James, you have a mommy with a lot of hair, so you cannot pick food up off the floor and eat it or you will have HAIR all in your mouth...even if I sweep twice a day! 
I decided to make us a really funny Halloween meal tonight.  I made us mummy hot dogs and jack o lantern french fries.  I sat at the table and - by hand - cut these potatoes.  I explained to James we were having a Halloween meal, to which he kept yelling, "No, Mommy.  No Halloween.  No Halloween."  Hello, Joker, you cannot wear your Thomas costume unless there is a Halloween.  I tried to explain this, but then just gave up and told him not to touch the potatoes.  He kept trying to pick them up and take them to the trash while I was working on them.  Don't know what they've been teaching him at the Baptist preschool (haha), but I believe they may be turning him against Halloween.  HA.  Here's my delicious - and not nutritious - meal.
We then got to work carving our pumpkin.  James chose the design...a spider.  
Here he is posing with his jammies on outside before night night.
 Ya'll, I worked HARD in the playroom today.  I don't know if anyone else is like this, but it's like when Landon's gone, I thrive from choosing the most difficult tasks for a girl to do and doing them.  I decided to move James' train table from the living room into the playroom and then had to move another table upstairs.  I wanted to move our bedroom furniture the other day but the sliders were at the church, and when I told Landon that, he laughed out loud, and told me just go ahead and try.  He says there's no way I can move that bedroom furniture in my room.  Watch me, man.  Just watch me.  But I digress.  So, I worked hard in there.  I got the table to the doorway, and of course, it wouldn't fit in the door.  Of course.  I had to take everything off of it (which is like about 500 small pieces of train tracks, people, houses, etc.), turn it sideways, and slide it through the door.  I think it was biting off a little more than I anticipated.  But, I got it done.  It actually looks like he can play in here now.  Not just walk around like it's a minefield and try not to face plant everywhere.
Alright, finally.  I decided to make a pumpkin roll today.  My in laws visited last fall, and I had made pumpkin muffins.  I remember my FIL saying, "Is it a pumpkin roll???", and I was like, um, no.  So since then, I have been thinking about trying to make a pumpkin roll, because, I, also, am a huge fan of some cream cheese filling.  Okay, well, all I did was look at the ingredients, because for me, if I have the ingredients, I am in, right??????  WRONG.  Learned a lesson, but I made it anyway.  First, it told me to put the thing in a jelly roll pan.  Um, a what?  So, once I just put it in what I had, then I read the next instructions about rolling it up in a tea towel.  I'm sorry - are these directions in English?  I have NEVER made anything (uh, not like I am a huge chef/baker) where you rolled something in a tea towel.  So, I rolled that sucker up in a towel Diane, my co-worker, brought back from another country for me.  It was the thinnest towel I had and doesn't have any fuzz on it.  Ha, I figured that would be a benefit - if you just tasted the pumpkin roll when you took a bit with no fuzz.  People kept saying online that they had trouble with it breaking as they rolled it up.  I also had some difficulty with this, but generally, I was able to roll it up, and trust me, after realizing I had to roll it in a towel, who cares if it breaks some...I'm not a professional with a jelly roll pan and a tea towel. 
Landon and I just ate it and it was pretty good. Moist. Good cream cheese. With cold milk. Yeasssssss. Landon has been tweeting about the debate, whereas, I just FB'd Terri and asked if she could make this crochet hat for me for this thing cute or what???? I think I might should have lived back in the 20's or 40's or something :)

The Front Desk & Mummy Hot Dogs

Well, like I haven't already said this a bazillion times, I sure do love my job.  I am so grateful for the doors that God has continued to open for me - and leave open for me - to continue in different capacities with my company.  Last week, Donna (who happens to be Ms. Iris Andrews' granddaughter - how crazy is that???? We made that connection when she first came to RB&Co. a long time ago :)...anyway, Donna emailed me and asked me if I might like to fill in at the front desk for her for a couple of days.  After thinking about it, and knowing the extra money would really help us, I figured out what I'd do with James and said that, sure, I'd love to help.  So, I awakened before the crack of dawn on Monday and Tuesday morning and drove in to work - just like the old days.  Well, except I wasn't doing the same work that I used to do when I was full time, and I have a baby now, and I didn't sit at the same desk.  So, just sort of like the old days.  Oh, I love my co-workers.  They were so kind to me.  I enjoyed catching up with them, hearing what they'd been up to, serving them and helping out, and getting some of my own stuff done - like notes to all my Bible study ladies, etc.  I missed James, and it's not something I would like to do routinely week after week, because the commute is just too long, and I feel like I am called to be here, but once in a while, I would LOVE to help out!  On Tuesday, Malissa and Bonnie let me go to lunch with their new little lunch bunch.  This is the panoramic picture Kaleb took of all of us at lunch (well, minus himself since he took the picture).  My friends were right - the new lunch bunch was hilarious.  It was a lot of fun being with them.  I even found a new brother!  HA.  I'm supposed to go back and work on Election Day, so I'm really looking forward to that. 

Tonight I am cooking these mummy hot dogs - aren't they funny?  I'm hoping for us to carve our pumpkin with James.  Tomorrow we are going to buy some plants for our yard - YAY!!!!  I can't wait!  I am so excited about planting some pansies and have already bought the tulip bulbs from Costco. 

Over the Weekend

We had a good weekend this past weekend mixed in with some rough stuff.  I have waited long enough to blog that the rough stuff isn't bubbling over the top of my emotional cup, and I can actually recognize good things in life - ha.  Why do we let just a few bad things overshadow so many blessings sometimes?  I struggle with that immensely!  ANYWAY, Friday evening we kept Baby Addelyn, Finn's new sister.  We watched her just for a little while so that the rest of the family could go to one of Anna's football games and watch her in the band at halftime.  We loved having her, and James was so sweet to her.  When she arrived, he began offering her peanut butter pretzels, then he proceeded to shove his foot in her face playing "Foot Monster" with her, and then he wanted to give her some raisins.  He gave her lots of kisses, and for the most part was decently gentle. 
On Sunday night, the men at the church had a cornhole tournament.  So, Lacey had the greatest idea.  Several of our Sun. School class moms and kids got together, and we met a new friend of Lacey's - Heather.  We had fun playing on the playground, running on the field, and eating snacks together while the men were doing their "men" stuff. 
James & Ava :)

Since it had been a pretty rough end of the week, I was worried about our Sunday.  But, as we all know, Father knows exactly how much we can take.  And, He must have known our breaking point was close, because He helped our Sunday go extremely well.  Lacey and Gabe joined our church, and we were beyond excited about this new addition.  Here's James before church.
It sure is hard for me to understand the concept that God gives and takes away.  I'm singing the Newsong song in my head as I type that :)  He gives and takes away, He gives and takes away.  My heart will choose to say, "Lord, blessed be Your name."  Our hearts have definitely been challenged this past week as we've CHOSEN to say blessed is His name.  Yesterday and today have been great, and I'm praying the calmness will stay...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cat Fight

Imagine this with me...all of a sudden, I wake up out of a dead sleep.  I hear literal shrieking.  Something falling.  Immediately, I say to Landon, "Oh no!  I don't know what that was.  James just fell out of his bed!!!!!"  And the shrieking continues.  I click the monitor on and off by the bed but nothing happens.  Not just one "something" shrieking.  Two "something's" shrieking.  Sort of like when something very surreal is happening and time stands still.  Completely still.  And we're trying to shake off sleep enough to figure out if we are dreaming or if something crazy is really happening...meanwhile, the shrieking continues.  Next, I say, "Oh NO, it's the neighbor's children."  Our new neighbors have two little girls, and I was so afraid they had some way sleepwalked or something and gotten out of their house and were screaming in their backyard.  Landon takes off down the hall.  I stand at the set of french doors in our bedroom and watch what is about to unfold...whatever it may be.  And then, I see them.  Two cats - a yellow and a gray - coming toward me, standing by the baby gate that is cracked open enough for cats to get up on our porch.  They stand still for a few moments and act like they are going back toward our patio table.  Then, I move from the shadows inside and they run down the stairs.  However, the shrieking then resumes.  Landon says in a low, creepy voice standing on the back porch in his pajamas...sort of growling..."Get OUT of here." And then stomps on the floor a couple of times.  And, they were gone. 

We both go to the bathroom and get back in bed.  I am laughing and laughing.  We've had sort a rough last few days, and that was so crazy bizarro that it just made us laugh.  I said, "Where they really fighting??  Why were they making so much noise??"  Landon then assumes an English accent, and at 3:30 am proceeds to have a conversation with himself as though he is the both of the cats talking to each other...sitting in our porch chairs, having a spot of tea, and then getting in a fight.  This is when I know we don't have enough humor in our lives because it is so hilarious to me.  We both toss and turn for a while, and then finally get back to sleep. 

I don't appreciate any literal cat fights on my porch at 3:30 am, but I must say, that it was VERY funny and Father knew we needed something to laugh about!!  Hopefully no cat fights break out at church this morning...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Gatlinburg - Day 2 - Having a Great Time!

I have GOT to finish what I started with these Gatlinburg posts, but this week has just been wild!  We've been home from Gatlinburg for several days now, and it feels like it must have been weeks ago that we were there.  After the hotel fiasco/nervous breakdown situation, things began running much more smoothly - thank goodness.   The conference was WONDERFUL - well, the parts I heard, anyway, and it was a blessing to spend so much time with the people we went with - well, a great blessing to us, perhaps not to them...ha.  Here's James in our hotel bedroom.  He loved the hotel.  We ate Wendy's on the floor like a picnic and he sat in bed and watching Chuggington - what a life.
Wednesday morning we went to eat pancakes at uh...I can't remember the name because there are a billion pancake places, but I thought it was hilarious that James wanted to put his own syrup on.  What a big boy!
Our group at the pancake place!
Well, minus MeMaw and Papa.  You can see I had to go over and get a picture with them.  When we first went in, and I was the first one to step in, I was the one who gave the count, and guess what, I gave it to them wrong.  So, MeMaw and Papa volunteered to sit by themselves at a table next to us.  I just have to say, that it is so great to be with people who just seem to love you for who you are.  It didn't matter that I gave the wrong number, they didn't mind to sit next to us at another table.  They just go with the flow and I sure do love them.  
Sitting in the rocking chairs outside the pancake restaurant.
View from inside the convention center.
At Bennett's BBQ waiting to place our order. 
Our group...this time someone gave the right number (not me), so we all sat at the same table :)
This is a funny raccoon thing that MeMaw let James play with.  James was obsessed with it, and wanted to take a picture of it, so here is James' picture of Rocky (named by MeMaw), the raccoon.
Ah, and Pastor Johnny.  It was exciting to see him - As always, more thankful than words can even begin to express for the way God has used him in our lives.  I will never, ever forget that terrible weekend when everything had just fallen apart and we were at his house.  I will never forget Landon going downstairs to talk to him and then Pastor sending Landon upstairs to get me.  We were a mess.  He was full of grace.  Always has been for us.  Really, really love him.  Serious business.
A great trip!! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Gatlinburg - Day 1 - I am a WRECK.

Alright, well, I wouldn't say that I am exactly a "wreck".  All in all, the trip has gone really, really well.  We left today to head to Gatlinburg for the Jubilee conference with our senior adults.  We have 11 including Landon, James, and me.  I wanted us to drive ourselves, but MeMaw in her subtle way told me to "Be quiet and just be ready to ride in the van and quit worrying about everything."  So, we rode in the van - because who goes against MeMaw Bramlett??  Not me :)  I love that woman!  James was fantastic on the drive up here.  He watched his little movies and just talked and ATE all the snacks MeMaw brought in her snack bag. 

Here's when things got interesting.  We pull up at the convention center to get registered.  I go in to take care of this.  When I go in, they cannot find our packet.  No problem at all - I have planned events in the past, and I know stuff sometimes just disappears!  They went to find it, came back out, and all was well.  So, I ask about our hotel.  She has to go back in the back again to get the information - again, no problem...she tell sme we are staying down the road at the Super 8.  I feel a little wary about this, but I am totally going with it.  I know we are in a tourist town and that hotel is probably fine.  We get the van going and head on to the Super 8.  Now listen, what I am about to say is just the truth.  It just is.  And, I am going to post it on Trip Advisor, so it's not like I'm talking behind this hotel's back.  They give us our rooms.  Already, I am not thrilled because it is an outside door hotel.  You know what I mean?  All the doors open to the outside?  Reminds me of a chorus trip.  Well, we give MeMaw and Papa the room on the bottom floor.  They open their room up to paint cans all over the floor and crazy looking stuff.  Um, okay.  They have to go request another room.  Then, another couple opens up their room a door down from us, and there are mattresses turned over EVERYWHERE and there is MOLD UP ONE WHOLE WALL.  Oh, no, I am not even joking.  I wish I was, but I am not.  So, we go into our room.  It's decent - but there is mold and mildew all in the bathroom around the baseboard.  Keep in mind we have a 2 year old.  Not cool.  He is already rolling around on all the beds and practically licking the furniture.  This is the first time we have had James in a hotel so this is a new challenge for me - not cool.   I understand that I cannot be completely neurotic, but I mean, please, it was really gross.  I promise.  So, we decide to do something about it.  The conference people send us to a new hotel.  We load our luggage back up in the van and head over to find our new hotel.  I am making this seem like a very simple process, but let me just assure you - it was not.  Our folks sometimes need some help carrying their luggage - and they should have it!  They can carry it themselves, but we want to help them.  And, there's no elevator at the good ole' Super 8.  Jokers.  So, Landon carries the stuff back down the stairs.  All.  the. stuff.  James is wigging out this whole time over wanting to be outside where his daddy is and wanting to go to the stairs and wanting basically anything that wasn't just sitting calmly in a chair and not touching anything. 

We get to the new hotel.  It is raining.  Not crazy rain, but normal rain.  Landon sends me on a wild goose chase to where he believes the hotel lobby is for me to check us in.  Guess what....I walk half a mile in the rain to another hotel that I think is our lobby, but it's not.  Oh, and it was down a big hill.  A big hill I then had to walk up.  Meanwhile, Landon is now looking for me.  He also experiences the hill and finds out that is not our hotel lobby.  All the peeps are waiting for us in the van.  Probably, we're not letting the pastor and his family come on anymore trips with us.  We get up to our rooms.  They are nice.  They are very nice.  I am pleased.  But, let me be clear.  This is still a hotel.  Well, the first thing that happens is that there is a big sliding glass door that goes out onto a balcony.  James slams into it.  You know, like a bird slams into your window at home?  He doesn't realize it's a door and thinks it is just open.  Bless that baby's heart.  He did it another time and finally we had to really have a chat about how that is a door and you have to be really careful.  No nap today, you know.  So then, we head to eat at Subway before going into the conference.  The conference time was great - from what I got to see.  James hung in during the music - clapped his hands and did GREAT.  When Pastor Johnny got up to speak though, we had to dip out.  I wanted Landon to be able to hear him, so I followed James around while we looked for all the Monsters Inc. people (like Sully, Mike, and Boo) - why, I don't know, but this is what he wanted to do.  We walked around through all the booths until one lady said, "Um, m'am, you may need to just go on past this one." Or something like that.  So, James and I went down and played jump off the planters 150 times.  When I could hear that Pastor was finished, I texted Landon, who came to rescue me.  He walked us back to the hotel. 

Now then.  I am here.  At the hotel with James.   I HAVE to take a shower because I am a night shower-er.  And, we are dirty.  And, we have been in a gross hotel room.  So, I make him get in the shower with me.  Normally, I never do this because he is getting older, understand what I'm saying.  I knew though that I couldn't leave him in the hotel room alone while I was in the bathroom.  He already proved to us that he could easily open the door and get out alone.  So, we both got a shower.  Already at this point, he has thrown every toy he brought on the floor, wallowed around screaming (because he's so excited that we're here in the room together), and touched every single piece of furniture.  Put his mouth on the mirror.  You name it.  Took his pillow out of his pillowcase and just let it be all over the floor.  Burning that one when I get home.  Yuck.  We get out of the shower, and then I realize it.  I have not prepared well.  I do not have my clothes ready to put on, and I don't have James' clothes ready to put on.  But good night knows I have to get my clothes on as quickly as possible - before I get James' clothes on.  So, James is naked.  I spread one of his blankets out on the floor - trust me, it had already been all over the floor, and I tell him to stay on the blanket.  He keeps getting off the blanket over and over, and finally, I just cannot take it, and I am not a screamer, but my OCD self had enough - I screamed, "GET BACK ON THE BLANKET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  He got back on it.  Oh, and he took his toothbrush out of the bag and then dropped it on the hotel room carpet floor.  Oh my heavens.  Deep breath.  Deep breath.  Could someone get me a paper bag please??

He went to sleep quickly and I worked for a while.  What will tomorrow bring?  More wallowing?  More furniture licking?  Probably.  Whew, being a mom is hard work.  I had no idea a hotel would bring these kinds of challenges, which is clearly naive, but I just didn't think about it!!!  If you know us, pray for us. If you don't know us, pray for us.  Kelli asked me if I was crazy bringing James on this trip, and I didn't think I was....but I am rethinking.  And the thing is, he has been great.  Just a 2 year old thrown into a senior adult trip.  I am looking forward to sleeping tonight and waking up refreshed in the morning.  I have to go now and find my socks and tuck them into my pants and tuck my shirt into my pants.  Nighty-night.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

RB&Co. Stone Mountain Picnic

It has been a busy weekend so far...and the weekend isn't even over.  I guess I count Fridays as part of our weekend since that's Landon's day off.  Yesterday Landon was busy, and I got to go to spend some time with my work friends for a while.  I did a little bit of actual work while I was there, but I mainly went to be my friend Malissa's registry assistant.  Malissa is expecting her first baby in February (I THINK!! - I keep asking her and then forgetting and then asking and forgetting...).  She just found out she is having a BOY!!  I am so excited for her - I'm not sure how I got the honor of helping her register, but I was thrilled about it!  Malissa is a favorite friend of mine.  I was just telling someone this evening that I love her for many reasons, and that one of them is that she just lays it out there.  Tells the truth.  Doesn't mince words.  In my opinion, she just acts like who she is, and you can take it or leave it.  She doesn't try to be someone she's not - for instance, she says she can read my blog and look at the pictures, but I just write too many words and she can't read it all.  That CRACKS me up - because I do write a lot of words!!  We have some slight differences in our denominations (Methodist/Baptist) - which really are slight - but sometimes since Landon is a pastor people feel like we're judging or feel like if there's any difference in us at all, we cannot be friends.  Again, Malissa has never, ever treated me like I was any different as a pastor's wife.  I knew I wanted to be friends with her when I first came to RB&Co. 5 years ago.  She is someone who likes to get to know you for a while and takes some time to warm up - I am not like this :)  I am a jump right in person.  Anyway, after planning several events together, it was clear we had a lot in common, personality wise, and we have been friends since.  I am thrilled about her first baby, and soon we're doing a shower for her...which is going to be so fun!!  ANYWAY, after eating lunch with Bonnie and Malissa yesterday (oh yeah, and I could do a whole other post on how much I love Bonnie...), Malissa and I got to it.  We spent like 2.5 hours in Babies R Us registering.  I was TIRED and I know she was EXHAUSTED.  Thank goodness for Nanda keeping James yesterday for us.  Once I got back, we took Carolyn to eat at Stevie B's and then headed home. 
James woke up at 6am this morning.  I mean, seriously?  Dude, KILLING ME, man.  I got up with him and stayed up for about an hour with him.  Landon got up after that and took him to breakfast and to run a few errands.  I was going to just go back to bed for an hour and then get up and do some Beth Moore work, but I ended up just sleeping.  Landon left with James about 7:40am, and that's when I went back to bed.  I slept until 9:45am!  Yikes - what an indulgence!  2 extra hours of was heavenly.  Then we all got ready and headed to Stone Mountain.  James continues to want to wear his jammies everywhere, but I convinced him to wear his real clothes...thank goodness.  We bought season passes to Stone Mountain a while back.  This was a great investment for us.  It's about 45 minutes away from our house, and it's just a great getaway for us.  Feels like we are kind of in a different world every time we go.  James loves the choo choo, and today, for the first time, we rode the Skyride to the top!  I just don't think he can handle walking up the mountain yet, so we have not tried that.  It seems like every time we have been since getting the passes, the Skyride has been closed for some reason or another. was OPEN.  James LOVED it.  Going up was a lot easier than going down.  Going down was pretty scary, but he loved it!! 
Cloudy today, but still a view!
 James and Daddy
 Our little family
 My company's picnic was this afternoon.  I can't even begin to talk about what an honor it is to work for Ronald Blue & Co.  I have worked for them 5 years now.  I worked full time until James was born (which was around the time Landon was beginning full time pastoring and we moved to our first church) and then I was able to work about 10 or 15 hours a week from home.  It was completely ideal.  We needed the money, and I was able to be home - not a terrible commute in to the office.  I was devastated when, at the end of last year, I found out that my job in HR was coming to an end.  They needed more help in the office and were cutting my position to bring someone in.  I basically begged for it not to happen - I love it there, love the people, especially love the mission, and I just didn't want it to end.  But, it did.  I was really sad, and I just prayed that God would open another door.  Can you believe that HE DID IT??  Everyday Steward, a division of RB&Co., approached me about doing some part time work for them.  I have been working for them now from home for a little over 6 months, I think, and it has been amazing.  Why don't I ever trust that God has my best in the plan???  I love what I am doing - it is detailed work just like my HR job, and I get to communicate with clients, which I also love.  Just saying I am very thankful.  I hope I will have the opportunity to work for them a long time! 
We had a great time seeing lots of people at the picnic, but mainly, I just chased James around.  Landon and I chased him and chased him.  He was great today, but he is just busy - moving - no way to talk and have in depth conversations with anyone, which I hate, because so many of the people I don't see often at all!  This picture below is James and Isabelle, Mandy and Shannon's little girl.  Mandy and I worked together for several years while I worked in HR, and I really, really, um, I mean it, really love her.  Our personalities really clicked working together - and personally, too - and she has been a great support to me.  We have had some challenges in our friendship the last 6 months or so, but I am really hopeful that God will continue to help us along so that we can continue to grow together.  They are about to welcome a new sweet baby BOY into their family - in 2 weeks!!
That's it!  We drove home - to some chaos - I mean, what can you expect for a 2 year old kid who woke up at 6am and didn't take a nap.  YIKES.  He wanted to watch Barney, then Charlie Brown, then something else....he says something else he doesn't know what else and he wants me to list a bazillion options that he usually says no to all of....Good thing we didn't try to stay for the laser show. 
It has been a great couple of days.  Now, on to see what God is going to do tomorrow.  We have been missing different parts of our Bethabra family the past 2 Sundays - COME BACK!!!!!  We miss you!!!!