Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I'm a big fan of improvising. I hope you are, too!
This picture is from this morning- end of May- with Christmas muffin holders {they're just going to be thrown away anyway, right?}. This doesn't bother me at all and I find myself doing more goofy things like this all the time.

I have been known to:
- Buy girls shorts {for my boys} in a pinch and tear the ruffle out of them
- Use wet wipes to make hair flat {not mine- or Jason's for that matter}, clean toilets and floors and dust
- Safety pin my pants together for church. {There was a big hole in the seam around my inner thigh. I know the Lord is against fleshly thoughts and this would have been A LOT of flesh... I don't think people would have been able to concentrate on the sermon.}

Funny thing about all this is that there was a time when I was APPALLED when my mother did possibly might have done such things. I clearly remember her scotch taping the hem of her skirt before church one day and I just knew she was crazy and I was mortified.

Oh my. It has come to this. I guess there are much worse things to be in life than what is staring at you in the mirror- your MOTHER.

Love you, Mom! Happy Friday!

What have you improvised with lately?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A question for the cartoon creators

Not a mush brain child. Maybe a bucket {or bowl} head, but not mush brain...

It doesn't bother me at all for you to know that I watched my fair share of TV growing up. I still know the theme song to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air {and have to admit that I loved that the preppy girl's name was Hillary}, I can still name a majority of the Snorks, Care Bears and Smurfs {insert your own Smurfette-only-girl joke here} and I Sooo wanted Angela and Tony to get together on Who's the Boss {but was a little let down when they finally did}. OK, please. Before you go any further, you must click that Who's the Boss link if you ever watched that show at all. The lyrics are in the top right description portion of the youtube video and I GUARANTEE you that you didn't know them! It all makes sense now!

So, since all that infinite wisdom gained from TV has gotten me so far in life {*ahem* yeah right}, I don't mind that my kids watch a little TV. I have to admit that I didn't want Ollie to watch any when he was a baby, because ALL THE BOOKS tell you it will turn their brains to mush, but somehow I could rationalize an hour of Praise Baby or Baby Einstein and be okay with it.
Then the real world started chipping into my beliefs of mush brain-ness and I had to fix dinner once that kid could move. So, he recognized the Barney theme song by 9 months. {Don't click that link or else you will hate me.}
I said it.

Here's the thing that I've started to notice: on all the shows that my kids watch now, the characters talk to them {which is good} and give options for the children to solve a problem.

It goes something like this:
"We have to cross the rocky rock path to save the baby reindeer from being eaten by a coyote. My rescue pack/ mousekatools/ rocket/ backpack/ toolbox can help us!
Should we choose an umbrella?
{much too long pause} Nooooooo.
Should we choose macaroni and cheese? {pause, pause, pause} Noooooooooo.
What about Leeeenda the Llama? Will she take us across the path? YESSS! She will take us!"

I'm all for problem solving, but my children {particularly Ollie who is 3 - almost 4- and is catching on to these things} know that it's ALWAYS the third option! Have you noticed that? A.L.W.A.Y.S.

And the options are never really the best to begin with. I saw Mickey use BLOCKS to get grapes from a tree one day. Really Walt? I know you are an ice cube, but I'm sure you still have creative control. Come on. We are expecting a little more from the mouse.
And grapes grow on VINES, not TREES that are being grown to get away from the giant. Get your facts straight, Disney.

So, does anybody else have an opinion on this? Have you noticed it?
Are they being coddled?
Are they going to answer C for every question on the SATs one day?
Will they fail True/ False quizzes because there is no 3rd option?

I think we might have a new phenomenon called the "Diego Generation" where they stare at you for about 5 seconds before they answer a question. And then they jump and down and sing a song when they solve a problem. Or get to ride a llama- because that happens ALL the time at an office.

I guess I will just letting my kids' brains turn to mush and hope for the best. I think that's what the Seavers, Cosbys or Keatons would do in this situation, so I'll go with that.

For your viewing pleasure, one of my favorite Saturday Night Live TV Funhouses spoofing Dora: Enjoy!

Monday, May 25, 2009

We Did It!

Today was a good "God day" for me. You know when you “feel” God helping you in something? I hope you have felt that before.

I finished the Cotton Row Run 10K this morning in 1 hour and 10 minutes. I guess it’s not too terribly shabby since I just started training 2 weeks ago and all. {That’s #1598 of 1838 people- or 97th out of 127 in my gender/ age group if that makes me feel any better}.You know me and prep work just don’t get along.

I was just happy not to need that ambulance {that was calling my name} at mile 4.

Since headphones are “strictly prohibited”, I and almost everyone else there snuck in our contraband under shirts and through under garments. {I just put one headphone in so I could hear the ambulance if it actually DID call my name…}
If you would like to run to some fast paced Christian praise music {don’t think Christian rap is like Vanilla Ice; it’s actually good}, here was my playlist specifically for today:

  • Movin - Group 1 Crew
  • No Ordinary Love - TobyMac
  • Here to Stay - Group 1 Crew
  • No One Like You - Barlowgirl
  • Feelin’ So Fly - TobyMac
  • Get Your Back Off the Wall - Family Force 5
  • Live Out Loud - Group 1 Crew
  • Boomin’ - TobyMac
  • Bring the Party to Life - Group 1 Crew
  • One World - TobyMac
  • Gimme that Funk - Group 1 Crew
  • Grey - Barlowgirl
  • I am God - Kirk Franklin and TobyMac {This is from “Be still and know that I am God.” Just so you know they don’t have the wrong impression here…}
  • Let Go - Barlowgirl

There were a few more in there, but just shoot me an e-mail if you’d like some other suggestions.

It was a great race with people cheering you on the whole time, residents blasting the Rocky theme from HUGE speakers outside their homes, pop ice being handed out, etc. I think there is a great feeling of togetherness whenever you do something with 2,000 of your closest friends. It was much like a football game when your team wins and everyone is euphoric at the end. But here they give away free pizza and ice cream at the end. Can’t get much better, right?

As much as I covet and appreciate your comments and feedback, I’m going to turn off comments today. I have a feeling they’ll be something along the lines of “Great job, Hillary”, etc, and I really want to give that to God, so just say a little prayer thanking God for something awesome He is doing/ has done/ will do in your life.

And Happy Memorial Day. If you need a military family to thank, hope over here to my friend Leanne’s blog. Her hubs is headed to Saudi Arabia for a year in one week. What a great service. We sure do appreciate him and all the others who risk their lives every day so we can enjoy our freedom.

Love y’all!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Would you do me a favor?

Would you please pray for my sweet friend Monica? We met at the Blissdom blog conference in February and sat next to each other the whole time. She had just found out she was expecting then and was thrilled to be pregnant. This was actually her fifth child to be expecting, but she has just one son, Seth.

I got an e-mail this week that they had discovered that her baby's heart had stopped and she delivered him on Tuesday. You can read the whole story here. I hadn't posted it before because I wasn't sure if she was up to sharing information, but she has stories and pictures on her blog. Please visit, comment and say a prayer for God's grace and caring hands to be wrapped around them and for the strength of their family. She is a strong woman of God, but I can't imagine the road she is traveling right now.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Let me, let me upload

Hello blog land!

Happy Friday night before a long weekend. We are doing thrilling and exciting things tonight like replacing a garbage disposal. I hope your evening is just as romantic.

What our week has lacked in the romance department has been made up for in the busy department. I thought I would just upload a little bit of visual love as to what's been going on this week with us.
{I have been trying to get these dang pictures on the blog from using flickr and I'm having a hard time. It seems to be a common problem from what I've read, but if anyone knows any special tips, I would gladly accept them. Thanks!}
Wednesday afternoon, Henry found this awesome ladybug outfit and insisted that I put it on him.
He played and played and was having so much fun; he even added a necklace to the ensemble {found in the dirt}!How could I possibly tell this little man that this is a DOG COSTUME? I couldn't. So, he was happy and played as a lady bug. UNTIL, after dinner we went out for ice cream! {He had to be de-ladybugged for public consumption.}
Ollie had gotten SUCH a good report at pre-school that I promised him a special trip to get ice cream! I have plenty to say about this, but the short version is that Ollie is not such a big fan of school. His favorite things are running, screaming and playing outside. And at pre-school, they want you to learn letters, sit and listen to stories and do art projects. You can see how the two ideas collide.
But Wednesday, Ollie's teacher told him he could read the names off the job chart that day IF he sat still and participated in circle time. AND HE DID IT! This is really a huge accomplishment. {Too bad she only thought of this bribe the last week of the school year.} So, I was so excited to hear a positive report without the mention of jumping, throwing or hitting - and actual OBEYING- that I brought out the big guns.
There are no ice cream pictures because our children can't eat it fast enough {obviously not OUR children} and we were just trying to lick/ wipe ice cream. But, our little Bruster's around the corner does have awesome sidewalk chalk.
Or war paint and guns. You know. Whatever works for you.
Thursday was the big day for this: {I love this shot with the guy's head sticking out like Wilson's from Home Improvement!}
More info to come later, of course, but know that it is going to take a while for the finished product.
Thursday was also haircut day for my poofy-headed child. Here's a good before shot of the big man.
I knew without a shadow of a doubt that we might be a while waiting for the haircut, so I packed a train or two for the wait and we set up shop, well... in the shop.
I loved the lighting in this shot and am going to have to come up with a way to edit it that doesn't make me think of the germs that Henry was acquiring while on the floor there.
The best thing about a hair salon is that it already has it's own built in train tracks. Just FYI- Ollie gets his hair cut the same place I get mine cut {by the same gal} and we love her. I love the way she cuts hair, but she charges $15 for him. Is that too much? I'd like some opinions, please.
{OH MY WORD at the length of this post. I am even getting bored here. You deserve some kind of award for reading this long.}
From there we went to Jason's company picnic at the Huntsville Stars baseball game. Here's a good after haircut shot of the O-man.
One of the baseball players threw Ollie a ball in the warm ups and he had it signed by Homer the Skunk. Or, as he calls him, the "STOOONK". Huge hit! That baseball has been everywhere with him last night and all day today. Why a skunk? Get the whole story here. Henry does not share in the "Stoonk" love. Here he is running away from that darn skunk. One thing they can both agree on is the cotton candy at baseball games. You can't go wrong there! We left after 1 1/2 innings because 1) Henry could care less about the game and he wanted to run and play and 2) it was raining.
So, I'm off to help hubs with the garbage disposal and the faucet installation. Then maybe tomorrow we will tile a back splash! It's almost as much fun as last year's Memorial Day Project.
And don't forget I'm running in a 10K on Monday like a moron. I would- seriously- covet your prayers not to finish the race {which is my only goal}, but to not injure myself! I will be sure to keep you updated on that and kitchen progress as it comes along. We've got a few hurdles with both this weekend!

Monday, May 18, 2009

What's old is new again

Why do we buy our children new toys? I found out today we have perfectly good ones just lying in piles around the house. You might remember that I tried a great toy storage system back in January when I had the energy and wherewithal to believe those sorts of things work. January is good to you like that, you know?

I have gone round and round with different cycles of toys and I think they are just going to have to win. I just can't keep up with them. Those plastic and cardboard trains, cars, puzzles, balls, games, stupid-ball-on-the-end-of-the-paddle-thing that I can't get through the hole and directions to all such paraphernalia have overtaken this home. What we have now is just different piles of toys and those bins are still in the closet and have NOT BEEN TOUCHED. Hmmm... One mama with some sense might just throw them out {or sell them!}...

This afternoon, Ollie found 2 huge teddy bears that were gifts from Jason's Aunt Jane {who we love!}... from Christmas 2007. He thought they were the coolest ever! They discussed their bear-hood together and apparently got into a bear argument about which train was the fastest engine on the Island of Sodor. Who knew they were so opinionated? Then Ollie decided to just play with one and take him on a horse ride. (This is in Henry's room.)
They hugged, talked, bonded, etc, and then teddy got the best seat in the house - the most coveted throne that only belongs to he who is the coolest:
He got to ride on Thomas. What a crowning achievement for the poor teddy bear who has been in hiding for- say- 18 months.

Henry wasn't quite as impressed with the duo and promptly threw them off of his train.
Don't worry, he didn't go down the stairs on the train... not today at least.


On the kitchen front, the install guy came today to measure for the new counter tops! We {and "we" here clearly means Jason} had to take all the current counters out, tear out the sink and the cook top and basically disassemble the kitchen in order for the proper measurements to be taken. The worst part is that my junk drawer was in plain view for the world to see and it ain't purdy isn't pretty. Good thing is that my hubs is super duper handy, so we {you know I mean he again, right?} put back all the counters and re-assembled the sink today so I wasn't scraping any more meatloaf down the bathroom sink around the corner. That smell combination just wasn't working for me.

It was a neat process to see the guy {not hubs- we hired someone for the install} build the template for the counters and I'll give you a little hint as to what might be in there very soon {Thursday or Friday!!!}:
I can't wait!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cutie Pies and Yummy Cake

I'm sure you know about my friend Melissa who is a photographer. She and her husband Jamie are in our Sunday School Class and we have known them for years. She did our Christmas card and has taken all of our family/ kids portraits since Ollie has been born. She has a studio at her house and takes beautiful pictures there.

BUT, she also does school pictures and someone {*ahem* ME} got her hooked up with our pre-school 3 years ago because she always makes my kids look good. I figure if she can take some messy, scrappy, screaming boys and make them look cute, then she is a miracle worker and everyone else would love her, too. You can see several other adorable friends of ours in the facebook album, but since I happen to be the proud mama of my own snotty, scrappy, screaming children, I think I'll just go ahead and show you mine here:

Remember- these are their SCHOOL pictures! And there is no blue swirl or Saved by the Bell looking background. No cheesy teddy bear or fake flowers in sight! You've got to love that! I mean- you can frame these suckers in the nice part of your house! School pictures!

Thank you so much for your sweet comments lately about my crazy attempt to run a 10 K next Monday. You know your comments make my day, right? I try to comment back or reply, but can't always get it all done, so please know how much I love y'all! Oh, and my training is going well. I had to buy some new shoes, NOT THESE, but some new ones that wouldn't make my shins scream. Now I'm doing much better!

Since a few of you asked about the Marbled Chocolate Cake I mentioned here, I'll be happy to share the recipe. Just know that this had absolutely no part in my pre-10K diet. There's your warning. All the rest of you enjoy because it's delicious! Perfect for a party, bake sale, graduation shin-dig or celebration of completing a 10K {hint, hint}.
Marbled Chocolate Bundt Cake

Prep: 14 minutes Cook: 45 minutes {That's what Southern Living says, but it always takes me longer to prep things- I don't know about y'all...}

1 (18.25 oz) package devil's food cake mix WITHOUT pudding
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate morsels
Prepare cake mix according to package directions {so you might need more stuff there- make sure you get that, too! Usually egg, water and oil.}; stir in vanilla. Pour batter into a greased and floured 12 cup Bundt pan; set aside.
Hillary's notes- I think all Bundt pans are 12 cup, so just use the one you have and don't stress about it. And the greasing and flouring is really important, so get all messy and have fun with that.

Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed of an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg, beating well; stir in chocolate morsels. Spoon cream cheese mixture into center of batter, leaving a border around outer edge. Gently swirl batter with a knife to create a marbled effect.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan and let cool completely.

Let me know if you try it, but don't tell me until after next Monday. Then you can invite me over to chow down!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

As FAR back as

You know that I love my hubs, right? He's funny, smart (*ahem* he married me!), handy and pretty athletic.
But when he got this e-mail, it did crack me up:

"As you know, this Saturday is the 3rd Annual HGHS Soccer Alumni Game for the guys. I am expecting an excellent turnout with alumni from as far back as 1993..."

Why might that crack me up? He WAS in the class of 1993. And his class started the soccer team at his high school when they were sophomores, but never had anyone older than them play.
So, Jason and his class mates grabbed their walkers and hobbled out to the field to play against the younger alumni who were all about 20.

It was a classic butt-whooping. And it wasn't pretty for the old guys. I think I heard someone asking for oxygen, but that was muffled by the screams for icy hot.
Well, it wasn't THAT bad, but the younger group had the advantage because most of them had played together at some point... within the past decade, you know?

Here's Jason with some of his class of '93 cohorts (Chris, Jason, Aaron and Jeff). This was at half time. We didn't stick around for the whole game because it was late and Ollie was having serious screaming fits a word or two about daddy getting to play soccer and not HIM. You can see that he wasn't even thinking about leaving this picture.

Jason hobbled around the rest of the weekend and then on Monday came home with these.
**Foot hair not included on all models.
What are they? Some sort of fancy running shoe.
I know. They are the UGLIEST things I have ever seen. I do not know what the advantage is and he just keeps telling me that I should read an article about them. If anyone has such an article as to why this hideousness should be allowed in public, please forward to me (e-mail link above there). Thank you.

AND, he wouldn't tell me how much they cost which means they were ridiculously priced. (He was very proud, though, that he used a coupon. At least he's picking up a few things after 10 years...) Why would you pay for your toes to be painfully separated like you're having a pedicure without the foot soaking? I don't know.
I'll let you know if he loves the shoes or not soon. He went to test them out Monday night and came in 5 minutes later hobbling. Apparently, he "popped" (injured) a calf muscle that he said was initially quasi-injured/ worn out in the soccer game. Poor guy has been hobbling, wrapping and icing that leg all week.
I wonder if it occurred to him that the Class of 1993 happens to be in their mid thirties now? Or if he should be try to play around like it's "as far back as" the early 90s? Actually he's pretty in shape, usually, but I think we are more prone to injury the older we get. Or else we just get stupider. I'll let you look at those shoes and decide.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I have lost my ever-lovin' mind

I have never been what one would call "pensive". Sometimes I think about something for a while and stir over it/ pray about it, but most of the time I just go for it. Some might call this ambition.

People who know me might know think I'm just stupid.

Today, I was so proud of myself to get up and run a bit early this morning. I think I ran about 2 miles- and not like anyone was chasing me, either- pretty casually. So, I started to remember fondly my old running days and how much I loved that time in the mornings. I listen to praise music and commune with God and nature while trying to avoid dog poop. Good times.

So, while I was on my nostalgic bandwagon, I decided that I should run every morning. I used to do it, right? I just have to make myself. And what better way to make myself than to sign up for a race.

I just registered for the Cotton Row Run 10K on Memorial Day. Yes. In 2 weeks. I'm sure that's plenty of training time, right? Especially since I've never run 6.2 miles at one time before. That's right. I've NEVER done it. And people train for months. Nope, not me, though. I just jump right in there!

I hope nostalgia and caffeine carry me though. Or else I'm going to have to find a wild bear to chase me. I think the latter might be my best option...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Play by Play

I think I might have mentioned before that I love to keep up with errands, my day, tasks, etc like I’m playing a football game. It’s me versus the to-do list of that day and most of the time I reign supreme.

Who am I kidding?
Most of the time I’m wiping off slobber {my own} by 3:00 pm begging for mercy {or a nap}.

Today was a rough day, but I’ll let you decide who won.

8:30 am - got to school {showered with makeup!} and was present for Ollie’s Mother’s Day Brunch. +1 point
9:30 am – Went to Sam’s and only forgot one thing {barrels of juice}. 0 points.
Did score enormous {surely riddled with hormones} rotisserie chicken right out of the oven that was delicious-o {as Dora’s backpack would say} + 1 point

10:15 am – Hit mall supposedly just for returns of picture day clothes my kids didn’t wear. And maybe one item that was worn for picture day with the tag tucked in the back. Oh yes. I’ll take that stuff back. Mama doesn’t pay full price for Polo. That’s what TJ Maxx and consignment sales are for. + 1 point
10:20 am - Huge wait/ snafu returning this tie at Dillard’s. {I'm a firm believer that boys shouldn't wear a tie unless you have all your original hair in. I just bought it because it was complimentary to Ollie's that he was going to to wear and thought it might work in a pinch, etc, but he didn't end up wearing it.} Debit card wouldn’t work to accept the money returned- but it apparently WOULD run just FINE to pay for it 2 days ago. *ahem* - 1 point
11:00 am – Happen to find stores for me {who would have thought?} and find something that fits and I like for Mother’s Day AND is on 60% off rack! {Clouds open up and angels are singing!} + 5 points

11:45 am – Forget that blueberry bagels and rotisserie chicken are in the car while I’m in the mall. Car smells like Blueberry Muffin {Strawberry Shortcake’s friend} just ate 4 chickens. – 1 point

12:00 pm – Work, work, work + 1 point because I get a lot done

1:30 pm – Pick up children from pre-school without major wailing of scene leaving AND Ollie gives me a Mother’s Day Card and tells me that he loves me +5 points

2:30 pm – Henry screaming and not napping, but I rock him back to sleep {one of my favorite things to do} + 1 point because he goes back to sleep until 4:30!!

4:30 pm – Snack. I’m feeling generous and fun and so we have popcorn and M&Ms. + 1point

5:00 pm- M&Ms not such a great idea because they are beginning to come back and bite me with children who are jumping off the wall. – 1 point

5:15 pm – start to sort 7 loads of laundry - 1 point

5:30 pm - Find Henry on top of breakfast room table EATING those things that you drop in water and grow into dinosaurs. – 2 points for me {+1 point for DHR}

5:32 pm - Retrieve and account for all puffy tablets that make dinosaurs. + ½ point

5:34 pm – Walk up stairs to find these sunglasses
that were being played with earlier destroyed by ninjas {my brown spare pair, at least}– 1 point

5:36 pm – Find Ollie in bathroom “skating” in his own pee-pee since he couldn’t get his shorts down in time at the potty. His exact words, “Look, Mommy! I get to skate in pee-pee!” as he’s sliding around the bathroom. Nice clean up there. – 5 points

6:00 pm – Jason volunteers to go to Target to get a dozen things for me + 1 point

6:45 pm – He brings me back a bottle of wine that was not on the list. + 5 points and he earns MVP for today

7:30 pm - Start baking for Mother’s Day Bake Sale at church. I’m baking Jeannie’s Shingles, Gooey Turtle Bars, Ultimate Carrot cake and Marbled Chocolate Bundt Cake. {Let me know which recipe you’d like and I’ll post it for you.} I am Queen of the Kitchen with my new Apron that I WON!! My friend Deanna, who re-did this here blog, also has a site called the Apronista. I entered to win this fab-o Apron and I WON!! It’s from Sassy Smox and I feel like such a domestic diva! + 2 points

8:15 pm – Jason has to go to Publix to get a few more things for baking. + 1 point since I’m not doing the errand- running

8:45 pm – Jason gets home and forgot one thing, so he goes back to the store. – 1 point. I’m starting to feel bad for my hubs on his 3rd trip to the grocery tonight.

9:15 pm – Onto 2nd glass of wine while Bundt cake is baking and have 4 loads of laundry either done or in a machine, so I’m doing great! Just have to cook carrot cake and package it all, so hopefully I’ll be to bed before midnight! It’s the packaging that takes so long, you know… + 1 point for getting close to having it all baked!

So, do you think I won today? I’m not sure since I haven’t added up those points, but at least I know that I lived to blog about it! And I learned to never, no never, give children M&Ms by the handful at snack time. Lest ninjas come to destroy my home- or more importantly- my sunglasses.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mama of the Week

This week's (okay, we all know I don't get to this every week, but just in case I miraculously do at some point) Mama of the Week is my good friend Alana at Gray Matters.

We go WAY back. I mean WAAAAY back 30 years because she was my next door neighbor growing up. Her brother, Josh, was my age and in my grade so we hung out often and even beat Zelda together one summer, but Alana was MUCH cooler and older and always fun to be around. We even have the same birthday, so I knew she was special at a very early age.

I mentioned in this post that I have a fond memory of Alana bleaching her jeans outside in between our houses on a 1980s sunny day to the tune of "Red, Red, Wine" being blasted from her silver boom box. What I didn't find out until later (in her comment) is that she had to leave school the next day because freshly bleached jeans + skin= no good news.
I'll choose to just remember the bleach bottle whipping back and forth in rhythm to UB40 and not the bleached skin, okay? You are still cool in my book.

Now, Alana lives in Maryland and is super crafty, smart and funny. She keeps up with a husband and 3 kids and even has time to QUILT?? What? I know! How do you people do it? Her blog is all about great green living tips, crafts, her family, her journey, etc. It's great.

Alana also has an amazing journey of faith with God that she shares on her blog. She tragically lost 2 daughters in a car wreck almost (I think) 5 years ago. Please read her posts about that on the sidebar under posts that matter. She sheds wonderful and impacting stories about God's grace in those posts and I know you will be touched, like I continue to be.

Please go visit Alana and tell her hi! She is an awesome and deserving Mama of the Week- especially this week for Mother's Day! Love ya', my friend!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

So, here's the truth

I have been working on this post for-e-VAH! I came in here to tell you all about our great time with Thomas the Tank Engine on Saturday and my computer was typing backwards! I couldn't log into blogger because I knew there was a fix for this and I couldn't just type in my username and password backwards or go to another computer {because I'm stubborn like that}.

And it wasn't typing backwards everywhere, just there. I could research it on google, but nothing that I found was helping me. TIGGNAD! I just knew that the kids had punched something into this hoopty laptop, but I never found out what happened.

Then I just re-started the computer and now it's fine. Jason would be so proud of me. Did you know he's a computer guy? He has a better title, but he's one of those computer people. He always tells me to "reboot" my "machine" before I even call anyone to help me {since I have to call my IT Dept. in Ohio with my work stuff}. I actually like it when he's right- most of the time. Particularly, this time.

Anyway, I'm tired, so the short version is that we had a good time with Thomas. We are getting very close to the age when it's actually pleasant to travel with our children. {Note that I didn't say that we're there, but that we are getting close.}

We braved the swine flu, the possible threat of any germ, {really- with all those kids touching the trains? Germ Central!}, and the floods to get over to Chattanooga to see that big blue engine.
We were running extremely late {slowed down by one dirty diaper once we were all strapped in and a TIME CHANGE? HELLO? Why don't the tickets mention this??}, but we ran- literally- onto our train ride with Thomas at 11:00. Whew!! Close one!
We waited in a short line to get our pictures made with Thomas after the train ride, but he backed away for the next passengers as our kids were getting their turn! That's okay, though. We got another picture as a family in front of Thomas {Henry calls him "Tommy"}, but ended up not buying it. I mean, where do you put that? Your kitchen? I think not...
Hmmm. Now that I think about it, maybe the kids room? Wish I would have thought of that on Saturday. My brain was apparently flooded like the ground.
Then the boys got to play with the trains, of course.And then we got to see animals. Ollie was so excited! He just kept jumping up and down. This picture is really goofy, but this is what he was doing. Hilarious.
Henry felt the same way about his up close encounter with a turkey. Then they got to get on some real trains.
I would recommend Chattanooga over Nashville for the Thomas experience for the vast array of trains they have already running and the amount that you get to "play" on. The food was better in Nashville, but that was it.
I've got to get to sleep now. Two little boys I know will be up "CHOO CHOO"ing bright and early. The swine flu has been somewhat under wraps here in Huntsville, so all schools are back open tomorrow! CHOO CHOO here we come!!!

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