Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Anniversary STEWART!!! 9 Years!!

(I didn't want to be accused of posting about whining and Too Late for Supper, and NOT about my anniversary :)) Much to come - maybe I can even scan a picture - oh the days!!

AND - while I'm scanning, I may just have to find some of the pictures from "the good old days" just to remind some of us what we USED to look (and feel) like!!

Got to run - hubby says no posting on HIS anniversary!

Monday, June 28, 2010


OK - so I'm copying Drea......shoot me!

I am SUCH a whiny baby tonight! I think whatever this MONO bug is caught up with me this weekend. (Either that or it's just over-worked, over-tired Mommy syndrome!!) Either way, life is an endurance right now!

We started the weekend at Mom and Dad's, spend some time Saturday for Abby to spend some birthday money (Oh LORD never give a girl money and unlimited time in Target. I LOVE me some Target, but I have never been more ready to leave!) Of course, somewhere in the middle of the trip is when I could have laid down, face-first on the nasty store floor and not cared. Seriously, if Abby could have driven home I would have let her!!

Sunday was just pure exhaustion! Stewart did blow up the pool Abby got for her birthday and the girls loved splashing around in that (there are pictures, but that would require effort to go get the memory card!)

Today was filled with work, as will tomorrow and Wednesday. I am so not used to this end of the month push!! Whew - at least Thursday and Friday are the beginning of the month, and let's just say they may just need to include some ME time which must include a NAP (any Alfa readers better not rat on me!!)

Tonight we went to Gunter's Mountain. Steadman sent out a special invite to come after church. Let's just say I must REALLY love "Steadmuffin" as Abby says to endure the torture EK put me through!!! We made it, made our appearance and left as soon as socially acceptable! (Drea - only old people and NO Late for Supper!) You know what's sad - we USED to be the ones who really only went to church to go to someone's house after and see and be seen - we are SO OLD!!!!!! I somewhat fondly remember the days of having like 75-100 teenagers bombard my house!!! (Speaking of - I have LOTS of old pictures!! I will have to post them one day just to torture a few bloggers around here!!!)

So - I'm whiny, tired, half-sick, half-mono - whatever!!! Sorry - no inspiration here - just ick!!!!!

Praying for a better - non-whiny - week!!!! Love and perky days to all!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thankful Recap

I NEEDED to catch up! I NEEDED to remember the good things that make my heart thankful every day! It's a vicious cycle - the pointless, time consuming, mindless details of our every day grind seem to take up SO much more memory space than these wonderful, memory making events. Why can't I focus on those times, and being thankful for these times and NOT stress over whether the laundry and dishes are done, if every file on my desk is in order and taken care of, what to where when and what time we'll have to leave to maybe get there on time......that's not to mention bills and all those other lovely things to clutter your day!

I am SO thankful! Thankful for my wonderful husband who is an even more wonderful father to our two beautiful girls. Thankful for my two beautiful, healthy, full-of-themselves daughters who I would do anything for! Thankful for our precious daughter waiting on us to join her in Heaven for the ultimate family reunion. Thankful for our wonderful parents who are always there to support us (Special kudos to my wonderful, rock-solid, ever "wisdomous" Daddy - HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!) Thankful for our jobs, our home..........mostly just for our Heavenly Father for allowing me to experience this long list of "thankfuls".

The "thankfuls" go on and on......I am SO thankful that another healthy baby was born to our friends. They walked the terrible road of losing a child before us, and were there for us when we joined them on the journey. After many years of praying, worrying and wondering, they welcomed a beautiful, healthy baby girl to complete their family. Praise the Lord!

SO thankful for those close to us who have had a transformation that can only come with the saving grace of our Father. What an awesome blessing to see what HE can change in a person's life!

Just Thankful.............I needed that reminder :-)

Happy Birthday Abby! (SO many pictures!)

Abby's birthday always has been, and I guess always will be, a multi-day event!! This year was NO different.
It started before school was out when we celebrated the "summer birthdays"

On her birthday, she woke up to 4 envelopes each leading her on a treasure hunt to find her birthday surprises!

Here we go - off to find the first surprise "Summer is for splishing and splashing. Go where the car lives and find something to hold the water."

We drove around awhile before she finally realized we needed to go back home and look in the garage! :)

Then Surprise #2 - "Stretchy, Sassy, Silly Shapes. Go to Bitty's and see what's great!"

So here we are at Itty Bitty's with Bitty and Brenda getting new Silly Bands!

Bitty even gave her a very special surprise just from her - A BITTY BOX! (This will come in handy for all the random "collections" we now have all over our dresser!)

I'm not sure if the next step had a clue, but who can have a birthday without Peggy Ann's??

The next clue led us straight to Mimi and Chik Fil A for lunch. Come on - chicken nuggets, lemonade AND a playground - what else could a 6 year old need??

After that Mimi and Abby took off to pick out some new things for her room. We are re-doing it to be a little more "big girl". More pictures of that to come! That evening we went to eat, and of course one more surprise, "Projects and crafts, experiments and facts. Go find Daddy and see what you have!" A science experiment - just right for Abby and Daddy!!

(Let me just say, Moms out there, this little scavenger hunt lasted all day and included some really little surprises along the way. If I had wrapped it all, it wouldn't have been very exciting, but the process and the journey were SUPER exciting! It made my little presents seem like WOW!!)
And then came the party - her FIRST slumber party! We started at Jackie's house to swim (clarify - to wear out :)), went home for cookie cake, and then ended the party the next morning at Spoiled Rockin'!

WHEW - what we do for our girls :-) I can't believe my baby is 6! I am so thankful for all the gifts the Lord has blessed Abby with. She has such a loving heart and is so sensitive when she thinks someone else is hurt or upset. (Don't get me wrong - this sensitivity can also take the form of semi-petted drama at the flip of a switch!) I LOVE that she LOVES to sing, loves to go to church, and LOVES her family and friends, especially her little sister! I don't know what we would do without her - the Lord has used her little heart to speak to us as times that no one else could. She is the main reason I kept trudging on days I would have rather pulled the covers over my head. She's still the one that will look up at me and say, "You're the BEST Mommy EVER! How lucky are you to have me, Olivia, and Ellie Kate??" Abby - there's simply no words to say just how lucky and blessed I am!
I love you my princess!!

18 Months - WHAT?!?

Seriously - Ellie Kate is 18 months old?? Where has time gone? I LOVE this age :) She is changing EVERY minute! She is into everything! She does things that Abby never thought about doing! She is "sassy" and "precious" all at the same time (I've got to figure out how to get a video on here of her saying that!) She can lay the biggest kiss on you one second and throw down, face first on the floor in the most dramatic fit the next!

Here are some EK basics of life:
  • We MUST still have slickie, banket and boppy to go to sleep whether it's a nap or for the night. Yes, I know the bottle should already be gone, but I just can't give in yet. She only has it to go to sleep :o)
  • She can say pretty much anything you want her to! She loves to have "roll call" where she calls off everyone's name she can think of. It's getting pretty long now - Daddy, Mommy, Abby, Mimi, Papaw, Wowwy (Lolly), Bake (Blake), Gammy, Dude, Nana, Aunt Nana, Bit Bit, Juju, Poppy, Nina, Audie, Giffin (her BFF :)), Jak Jak, Bur.......and then there are the dogs - Mmmmmax (she LOVES some "mmmm sounds"), Taywa (Taylor), Jaks, Spenca, Bebba (Bella), Sadeeeee. I'm SURE there's more!
  • She'll tell you if she's sassy or precious at the moment.
  • She LOVES pizza, chicken, peas, strawberries, ma moes (tomatoes), watermelon (I wish I could spell it the way she says it!), and her favorite - pop a pickle (popsicles)!
  • If we hear "OUTSIDE" once, we hear it 50 times a day!
  • She'll finally watch TV! Sorry for you no TV for baby purists, but it is seriously easier to get ready to go since she will focus on Bawney (Barney) or Emo (Elmo) for a few minutes!
  • She now always wants to go to someone's "oowwse" As in Mimi's Ooowwse, Lolly's Oowwse, Juju's Oowwse, etc.
  • She's maybe a TAD better at church, but she's still anti-still, anti-hold, basically no restraints for me to be happy - oh well. This too shall pass!

Here are a few pictures as of late. EK is just NOT the poser that Abby always was - you have to chase her to get a picture!

(Anyone else noticing the WILD hair tendencies?? I knew it was bad when the girl cutting it said, "You know you really need to start training her hair if you want to get it under control." I felt like saying, "Yeah, I'm a little more worried about HER being under control. I'll get to the hair on a better day!!)

So Long Kindergarten - Hello First Grade!!

Here she was in the Fall.....

Here she is now with the Most Awesome Kindergarten Teacher EVER - Ms. Speigle!

Here are some of her besties from this year - Natalie and Ellie.

Oh my goodness - what an AWESOME year!! I will be the first to say that I was SO nervous about Kindergarten. You would think after being in an elementary school for 5 years, this would be a piece of cake, but it was just SO much! You wonder if they're ready, did they learn what they needed to at preschool, are they going to make friends, are they going to follow the rules or be the one moving their bus, are they......, are they........???????

The answer is always YES! It really doesn't matter much - they are all their own sweet, precious little people who come in nervous, excited and everything in between. Some can read, some can't. Some cry, some are tough. At the end of the year, they are a cohesive, sometimes dysfunctional, family who would do anything for each other! Think about it - they spend more awake hours at school with this same group of kids all being led by one person. God bless all educators, but OMG I could NOT be a Kindergarten teacher!! We had THE BEST - bar none!

So, as Abby leaves Kindergarten at HCES, she leaves reading every book she can get her hands on, loving math and science (her Daddy loves that :)), knowing what it means to act as a class and follow a barrage of instructions and routines that mothers everywhere would love to implement in our own homes with such precision! She leaves confidant and ready for 1st grade! 1st grade and a whole new, exciting experience of being the inaugural class to open GSES! We are SUPER excited!

Remember our "We're Going to Kindergarten" Party? We had a "We Finished Kindergarten" Party!! So fun. Love us some cousins :) Check out the trophies - really moms - BIG bang for little bucks :0) My kind of treat!

Oh Me!!

I'm pretty sure there's already a post with this title, but I just don't know what else to say!! Remember how I thought I would never catch up, so busy, etc........Well - let's just say NEVER SAY YOU'RE BUSY because God will show you BUSY!!!

Whew! We just finished a whole week of Abby Birthday (see next post), went right into a busy Father's Day Weekend at Scottsboro (which consisted of LOTS of church), and then Monday was one of those days when you stand around and say, "Really, could anything else happen?" The house was chaos, work was chaos, and I was in a whirlwind trying to get loose ends tied up to come back to Montgomery for 3 days (LAST trip - WHOO HOO!)

Then I get a text...."Abby's not feeling good. She didn't want to go swimming. She just wants to lay on the couch." What?!? Is this MY child?? This has been an ongoing thing for 2 weeks. She would have a little fever one day, throat hurt one day, tummy hurt one day, and then FINE one day. Finally, I decided I would go pay my $20 copay and just let Dr. Laue tell me it was viral - she's fine. I'd feel better leaving her if I knew, right??

Diagnosis - MONO!!! Yep, you read it - mono! Let's compound it now. Ellie Kate had that same fever, throat thing (again, I thought just a virus). After some questions, Doc said he was 99% sure she had it too. Then I said, "Ummm.....Stewart went to the doc in the box this weekend with a fever and sore throat..." A few more questions later, and I was on the phone telling Stew to get back to the doctor to have the mono test.......his results aren't back yet, but probably positive! Somehow, it appears I show markers that I've already been exposed at some point in my life and shouldn't get quite the case as everyone else, but I have some mild symptoms. GOOD NEWS (especially if you are reading this thinking - great we were just around them this weekend!) - Mono doesn't seem to be the big, bad ugly it used to be. Sure, it's bad for some age groups, but luckily we don't fall into any of those. He actually said it was better for the kids to get it young so they wouldn't get it again when it could really make them sick. Basically it's just feeling bad for a few days (fever, throat, rash) and then on and off feeling generally yucky for a few weeks. He actually said we were probably already past the worst of it!

SO -here I sit in Montgomery after getting up at 3:30 this morning to drive down (since it was just TOO crazy to leave last night) while Stewart is home with the girls. From what I've heard, it must be an OK day, because his exact words were that they were WILD - Praise the Lord!!

If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans :-)

Here comes LOTS of catch up posts - GET READY!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'll NEVER Catch Up - Graduation!

Oh me - I haven't posted in FOREVER!! I have SO much to catch up on, I decided the only way to tackle it was in brief spurts. So - watch out for the short, seemingly random posts!!


So how weird is it that I'm married to a High School Principal??? VERY! You've seen the prom pictures, now check this out!

Straight out of the Huntsville Times -isn't he handsome?? (Ever wonder where EK gets the crooked grin?) This is a shot of Stewart handing out diplomas at his school's graduation ceremonies. Abby and I went to watch the big festivities at the VBC. Abby was super excited that her Daddy got to announce them "graduated" - almost liked announcing someone husband and wife - HA!

Anyway, it was a great day for New Century Technology High School, and a day I was very proud to say Stewart is my hubby (not that I don't feel that way every day :)) Looking at the platform with him seated with the Board, Superintendent, and other system dignitaries made me look up and thank the good Lord for working out our lives in ways we NEVER thought possible!

Believe me - coming from a high school band director to a displaced educator caught in the middle of politics and budget cuts who was forced (but thankful) to work at Staples for a year to this - all in less than 8 years. Impossible to man - POSSIBLE to God!! I promise if you had told either of us eight years ago that THIS would be the picture today, neither of us would have believed you!

I know neither of us will forget that summer that the jobs just weren't there, and it was obvious that there was another plan for us - whether we wanted it or not. We had been married one year, had a healthy mortgage payment (although I sure would like to have that small payment now :)), and NO education jobs in sight! I remember that desperate look in Stewart's eyes that first week of August when I started back to school, and we still weren't sure what was happening with his position. God stepped in - NOT in the way we thought we wanted. Stewart took a year off from education, worked retail for a year, and out of the blue came the perfect teaching position for him in another system. From there, he went straight to administration in Huntsville and the rest is history. Seriously - repeat that to anyone who knows the politics and the unpredictable job placements of school systems, and they will not believe it! God is faithful!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

I know there are many in this economy struggling with jobs and which way to go next. Stand still and know that God will provide - just maybe not the way you thought :)