Smile for the Joy of Others

Smile for the Joy of Others

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Small Town Blessings

When growing up in the Madison/Ridgeland area, it was much more of a 'small town' than it is now. While it's certainly not a metropolis, it's more of a suburb that continues to grow in residential and retail markets. Most of the city is new along with its residents. There is not a large population of people who actually grew up in that area from birth to retirement.

So moving to G'ville has shown me a different type of 'small town'. Most of the families here in the Delta have grown up here and so have their parents, grandparents and extended family alike. There are some like us that have transplanted here for either a season or for the rest of their life. A transplant can find it hard to fit in, to find a place in this traditionally rich farming community. Those that have been here all their lives have their place, their friends and their purpose here. And to no one's fault, transplants can feel left out. I, fortunately, haven't struggled with this, partly because I expected it before I came and partly because I've made friends here that are like me..not from here which helps gives some sort of mutual understanding of where the other is coming from, literally.

Well, the other night I experienced a small town blessing at its best. These haven't happened often but God knows just when to send them and through whom to send them.

The boys and I have been battling bronchitis, colds and allergies for the past few weeks. It seems we've been a cesspool of coughing, sneezing, runny noses, sore throats and wheezing. The other night BB had a 'coughing' spell to the point that he couldn't catch his breath and would gag or vomit every time he would cough. I had already given him some left over prescription cough medicine that just wasn't helping. JB had run to the grocery store for milk and a few other necessities. I had tried all I knew to calm his cough...I took him outside hoping the cool air would calm his coughing to no avail. We tried drinking something to no avail.

So I resorted to calling a dear friend that lives down the street. But in God's providence, I've known this dear friend and her husband since MS College and my days at The Baptist Children's Village. Also in God's providence, she is a nurse at the medical clinic we use for our minor medical issues. I called her asking if she could give me someone on call at the clinic since we don't have a pediatrician here. She could hear BB coughing in the background and knew exactly why I needed some medical attention. She came over with her nebulizer and meds to help out. When setting up the nebulizer, we realized that the mask was broken and she didn't have another. I started looking for ours that had yet to be unpacked. I knew I had an extra mask but couldn't find it. (JB is still at the grocery store without his cell phone).

While I'm looking in 4 different storage rooms, BB is still coughing and my dear friend started calling people I didn't even know if they had an extra mask. I had no idea she had walked across the street to ask a fellow neighbor if they had an extra mask. They did not but they, too, ended up playing a vital role in this whole situation. I had no idea how God was gonna provide during this situation. At this time, I was a little nervous but trying not to show it. I was missing home and needed my pediatrician. All I could think about was when BB had his croup attack 3 years ago that sent us to the children's ER in an ambulance; only then I had family to help out and an actual children's ER. My dear friend came and found me outside and told me it was all being taken of... "your neighbor, Lynwood, is going to the ER to get a mask for you." I was like, what, how did he know about this. When he couldn't help by giving me one of their masks...he and my dear friend did some calling and was able to get approved for him to pick up a mask at the ER..all this while I'm out in the storage room in tears asking God to help me find my masks.

I just broke down. I hugged my dear friend and just bawled saying, "it's times like this I miss home, I miss my doctors, my family". And God spoke to me through her, she said with the sweetest most sincere disposition "there are times when it's a blessing to live in a small town." You see, she too, is not from here so she knew exactly how I felt.

I thank God for allowing this situation to happen and for her. No, it wasn't the most urgent medical situation that could be, it wasn't the worst event that has ever happened to me...but it's times like this God reveals himself in some of the biggest ways, through friends who were calling others and those "others" who didn't even know me but worked together for the good of my child that, in turn, showed me a small town blessing.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall Days in the Delta

This fall season has brought about some dusty days in the Delta. It has been dry, dusty and windy. Some of the fields are barren after the crop has been harvested leaving nothing but the dirt and dust. And since it hasn't rained here in weeks almost months, these dry, barren fields mixed with wind produces "dust devils".

Several weeks ago, my dad and I traveled some of the back roads of the Delta when heading to the "hills". The wind was blowing, the farmers were harvesting and the dust devils were whirling. Certainly not what you find anywhere else in my state.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Orange Beach, 2010

A few weeks ago, we took our annual family vacation to Orange Beach. While, we had the week of vacation, we weren't sure if we going to the beach or not due to the oil spill. But we made a last minute decision to go anyway with hopes that the beach would be oil free.

When booking our condo, it was very obvious that both the economy and the recent oil leak had hit the resort areas pretty hard. We stayed 5 nights for less than we stayed 4 nights last year.
We stopped at the USS Alabama Battle ship on our way there. The boys enjoyed it. Me, not so much. The experience gave me a glimpse of appreciation for what those soldiers sacrificed. By a glimpse, I mean...I don't think the appreciation I have is enough based on my own little tour of the battleship. All I know is that I don't know how they lived in such conditions: hot, cramped quarters at sea. Not for me! I am too claustrophobic to be going up and down those ladder steps.

The first 3 days were beautiful! The water was actually the clearest I have ever seen it. 2 of those days were red flags but the water was still beautiful with big waves. We enjoyed all the seafood we could stand...The Hangout, Original Oyster House, Live Bait to name our favorites. We played Putt Putt one night. Congratulations to me...I was the winner.

The 2nd day, 2 sharks came to the shore. They were about 4 feet long. We were actually in the condo and not on the beach at the time. I was reading on the balcony when I heard some commotion on the beach. As you can imagine, what few people were there were screaming to get out of the water. When I looked down, I could see the fins sticking up out of the water. I rushed to get my camera and took the best pics I could get from 8 stories high. They 2 sharks left as quick as they came. Not sure what brought them so close but we suspect it was a man's crab traps full of bait. He removed his traps and we never saw them again.

We also lots of sting rays and crabs. Not the little sand crabs but big crabs. JB had to scurry a few away from the boys.

As always, I hate to for our vacations to come to an end. I always look forward to this time. It allows our family of 4 to be together without any interruptions and creates so many memories.

Growing up, my parents always tried to take us on a vacation of some sort. We hope to continue to do the same for our boys.
To view pics, look at the side bar of the blog under pages. Click Orange Beach 2010. Posting pics this way will keep from the blog taking up so much space.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Summer 2010

August is a few day til being gone. And even though September still carries the summer heat, here in the South we still think of it as the beginning of fall.
Since my blogging has been scarce and sporadic, I thought I would just put into pictures what we did this past summer. We played a little golf with JB, we went swimming at Cypress Hills Tennis Club and caught a few fish along the way. Other than my surgery and the extreme heat, summer was filled with it's typical fun activities. BB finally overcame his fear of going under water and progressed in his swimming.
Not sure if it we hit record heat but it sure has felt like. With several weeks topping in the 100's, it's been one of the hottest here in the South.
Now it's time to look forward to fall activities that always bring fun memories.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Shows of Then

The other day I mentioned on Facebook that "there is just something about having The Andy Griffith Show on TV that makes the world seem right...if only for 30 minutes at a time".

It's the 30 minutes of "all is right" that keeps me watching this show. But it's not just this show that appeals to me for the same reason. It's most of the "retro" shows. Leave it Beaver, I Love Lucy, Little Rascals and so many more. It's these shows that expose the reality of today's culture in that the world is not right.

While the TV shows of then may have been a little over the top with husbands and wives sleeping in separate beds, they did and still do at least entertain with values that I am not afraid of my children watching nor do they make me embarrassed to watch with other adults in the room. I can leave the room with these shows still playing on my TV and not worry about what my children hear or see. Unlike today's shows and even cartoons when I have to cover their eyes and ears and hope their innocence is not ruined by what comes up on the next scene.

And so what if the shows of then depicted husbands and wives sleeping in separate beds even though everyone knew that wasn't reality? I would rather that than what they depict to be actuality these days...same sex genders in the same bed, unwed teenagers and adults in the same bed, married adults in the same bed with someone else's spouse. The shows of then may have depicted a perfection that wasn't always real at least we didn't have to watch the actuality of today's digressing society. A society that glorifies such sinful and hurtful acts as normal and common.

The shows of then depicted men as being honorable and respectful and not some helpless, stupid, raging being with overactive hormones. The women of then were ladies whom acted as such and actually appreciated a man being a gentlemen. Wives of those shows respected and honored their husbands in front of their children and the rest of world. The husbands of that time loved and honored their wives in a way that their wives felt the same and not diminished or dominated.

I know for most of today's younger culture, I am old fashioned along with the shows of then. And I realize that the older I get, more old-fashioned I become...maybe not to the extent of sleeping in separate beds but to the extent of keeping your bedroom activities in the bedroom and not on my TV or movie the extent of honoring my husband and not putting him down at home nor in the extent of appreciating a the extent of feeling secure enough in being a wife and woman that I don't feel dominated nor diminished with my husband leading our household.

The shows of then may have depicted what seemed like a perfect world, I know that even then there were culture battles. There has never been a perfect world since Eve ate that stupid apple and there never will be. But if Hollywood would go back to that perfect world we long for in reality....then maybe just maybe we can enjoy that perfect world more than 30 minutes at a time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

5 Years Ago, Today

Five years ago today, love and chaos entered my world both at the same time, my boys CB and BB. And as they have grown these past 5 years, so has the love and the chaos. But I'll take the chaos that comes with this kind of love.

I've read this so many times and it still touches my heart every time I read it: "The days may be long, but the years are short." Each passing year, this becomes more realistic.

It's true...Time flies when you are having fun! It's been a fun 5 years and look forward to more fun in the years to come.

At 5:

BB: Career choice, policeman. Favorite Color, Blue. Favorite Food, chicken nuggets. Favorite Movie, Balto and Toy Story 2. Enjoys guns, swords and maps. Loves his dog, Stuffins Big Birthday gift from Mamma and Daddy, Bike. Current city, Greenville, MS

CB: Career choice, Baseball player. Favorite Color, Red. Favorite Food, chicken nuggets. Favorite Movie, Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquel. Enjoys baseball, Wii, fishing and any sports related show or activity. Loves his dog, Murphy. Big Birthday gift from Mamma and Daddy, Bike. Current City, Greenville, MS

Thursday, July 15, 2010


It's been 2 weeks since my surgery. And I must say it's been a hard 2 weeks. My surgeon was right when he said I would feel like I've been beat with a tire iron. I've only had 2 major surgeries in all my 33 years of life...C-Section and this Cervical Fusion in my neck. If I had to choose between the 2...I'll choose a C-Section.

I was told that I didn't handle the anesthesia very well. I can't attest because I don't remember. I do remember being in pain when I did wake up for a brief moment and quickly finding the Morphine pump and then I remember nothing else.

The following days of recovery have a roller coaster. I one point my head felt like a bowling ball being held up by a wet noodle. And just when I think..ahhh, no more pain, no more stiffness in my neck....I wake up the next day to just the opposite...PAIN and Stiffness! I've been told that is typical of this surgery and it can be this way for about 6 weeks. UGHHH! But the pain free days seem to be more frequent.

I have been so blessed to have family and friends helping during this time. My in-laws were so gracious to keep the boys for 3 nights and my parents allowed the boys and I to take up residence for the week following the surgery. And furthermore, my dad brought the boys and me back to G'ville and stayed 4 more nights. A friend kept the boys which allowed them to play all day with their special bud, SS. My sister came over several days and helped entertain the boys and my sister-in-law took the boys for an afternoon to keep them busy as well. Needless to say, I've been spoiled for the past 2 weeks and I already miss them greatly.

I'm gonna try to slowly start back sewing soon if the pain free days continue to increase. Even though it's part of recovery, I can't stand just laying around the house and doing nothing. But at the same time, I can't over do-it either.

Thank you so much for the prayers, well wishes, and thoughts.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Pain in the Neck

About 5 years ago, I had this pain in the neck and it's been a "pain in the neck" ever since, in more ways than 1.

It's ultimately how I found out I was pregnant. There was literally this severe pain in my neck. I was popping Aleve like candy and as a side note thought I should take a pregnancy test "just in case". Well, the Aleve had to stop because I was pregnant. I called my family physician, described the pain to him through tears. He diagnosed it as a "slipped disc" but only based on symptoms b/c he wasn't going to order an MRI since I was pregnant and especially since I had not seen my OB.

He called in some steroids and anti-inflammatory by hoping it would correct itself. The following week my OB took me off those meds as a precaution and told me to just "wait it out".

The pain did ease up and I had no problems with my neck throughout my pregnancy. The boys were born and 13 months later...there was that "pain in the neck". I was able to have an MRI this time since I wasn't pregnant. The MRI revealed a "protruding disc" on C6 with C7 slightly bulging. I was referred to a conservative neurosurgeon who wanted to treat it with steroids and anti-inflammatory meds. He thought I was too young to do surgery and wanted to hold off as long as possible. He literally stated, "If you can get 4 more good years before loosing 2 joints that's 4 good years."

Off and on for those 4 years, I've dealt with this pain in the neck. It would typically correct itself with Ibuprofen and a little rest.

The past month, this pain in the neck has become more severe and unforgiving. Ibuprofen is not working, prescriptin pain meds are not working, rest is not working despite my active 4 year old twins. Another MRI and Dr. visit with my neurosurgeon revealed that the pain in the neck has worsened to 2 herniated discs filled with bone spurs. And now this "pain in the neck" will be dealt with surgically. So, I have literally gotten the "4 more good years" that he predicted and hoped for.

My surgery is scheduled for July 1st and will take place back home. I'll have to stay with my parents for about a week to recover as I will not feel like riding the 2 1/2 hours to G'ville. My boys will be staying with my in-laws for a few days and then back with me for the rest of the week.

While I am ready to get rid of this "pain in the neck"...I wish he could rid me of a few other "pains in the neck" that obviously can't be dealt with surgically. Hmmm...anyone know a good psychiatrist for these?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Brilla Soccer Camp June 2010

This past week, the boys and I have been camping out back home with my parents. The boys participated in the Brilla Soccer Camp held at our home church. They both enjoyed it and I liked that it gave them some physical activity to do in the mornings. With the heat index reaching above the 100's here in the south...most physical activities are planned in the morning or late evening and sometimes indoors. They were able to do both...with some warm up activities outside and then some learning soccer drills inside the church gym. I liked that the camp integrated both physical activity/growth and spiritual growth.

The boys were so excited to have real cleats and shin guards. They thought they were ready for the World Cup despite them never having played soccer before. Just the uniform was enough for them.

The picture below was taken for the local paper. The lead boy in the picture is a cool friend of the boys.

You can see CB in the background on the right. While BB enjoyed the opportunity...he's just not as physical when it comes sports. Given the choice...he would rather be hammering or building something.

Hopefully there will be more opportunities like this involving church recreation and sports to teach our children the importance of both physical and spiritual growth.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Delta Traffic

While I have certainly missed my hometown and the amenities it offers, I haven't missed the traffic there especially during "rush" hours. It wouldn't be uncommon for it take 20 minutes to go only 5 miles. A few times, people here ask me about the traffic back home. Apparently it's something that is highly noticed when they visit the "hills" of my hometown area. I just tell them that it's something you deal with and it just comes with the territory of living there.
Here in the Delta, there is traffic but it is quite different than back home. As you can see in the above pictures...the traffic here is overtaken by farm equipment that resemble the likes of Transformers. I don't know what any of those are except the tractor but they can take up the whole road. They are usually nice enough to pull over and let you pass on by...that, too, is different than where I am from; no pulling over for faster traffic in the city.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

T-Ball and Trophies

Last Tuesday ended our T-Ball season. We lost to a very good team in the "semi-finals" of the tournament. Even though we lost due to a controversial call, if there was a team to loose team, I'm glad it was this team. Their coaches have proven to be fair and honest. It's the umpire's lack of umpiring skills that made for the controversial loss.

Their disappointment was soon replaced with excitement and smiles when they received their trophies and medallions.

Over all we had a really good season and I grew to love the little children on our team. One day, way into the future I will wonder "what ever happened to _____."

We hope to play again next year and Jeremy hopes to coach again. Each year will bring more memories and learning experiences...for both the boys as players and me as an athlete's mom.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

K4 and Beyond

Yesterday was the boys' last day of K4. It was also their last day at First Presbyterian Preschool here in Greenville.

We had a great year thanks to their teacher Ms Cyndi and the other staff, Ms Caroleen, Ms Ashley, and Ms Brittney.

I especially appreciate Ms Cyndi for the care she gave to my boys during their first school year as new students to FPP and Greenville. As a mother, you want to be comfortable with who you leave your children with. Ms Cyndi provided that comfort for me from the first day I dropped them off at an unfamiliar school. She assured me that they were in good hands and proved it for the rest of the year. My boys made great friends as well as improving their learning skills.

One of the advantages of moving to G'ville is that JB only has a 5 t0 10 minute commute to work. And his work hours compliment school hours. I would get up; get the boys ready for school and JB would take them and I picked them up at 11:30.

Their "End of the Year" program was a few weeks ago. Part of their program included each of the 4 year old students telling what they wanted to be when they grow up. They each had a few lines to learn about the profession and had to dress the part.

CB chose to be a baseball player; imagine that. He stood in front of the sanctuary dressed as baseball player in his T-Ball uniform. "Someday I'll be a baseball player, now just you wait and see. I'll swing my bat and catch the ball. You can watch me on TV."

BB chose to be a policeman. He, too, stood in front of the sanctuary dressed as a policeman in a uniform he got for Christmas. "A policeman is what I'll be. So don't be surprised one day. When I give you a ticket and you have to pay."

My mom and dad were able to come for the program and they brought fish to fry! So after the program we all headed back to the house for a fish fry! It was delish.

So next year they will begin K5. Until then...I'm gonna enjoy this summer with them and the blessing it will bring.

Friday, May 14, 2010

How To Provoke Your Child into Anger

How can you provoke your child into anger (Eph. 6:24)? …Here are some easy steps:

1. Spoil him.

2. Give him everything he wants, even more than you can afford. Just charge it so you can get him off your back.

3. When he does wrong, nag him a little but don’t spank him.

4. Foster his dependence on you. Don’t teach him to be independently responsible. Maintain his dependence on you so later drugs and alcohol can replace you when he’s older.

5. Protect him from all those mean teachers who want to discipline him from time to time. And threaten to sue them if they don’t let him alone.

6. Make all of his decisions for him because he might make mistakes and learn from them if you don’t.

7. Criticize his father to him, or his mother, so your son or daughter will lose respect for his parents.

8. Whenever he gets into trouble, bail him out. Besides if he faces any real consequence, it might hurt your reputation.

9. Never let him suffer the consequences of his behavior. Always step in and solve his problems for him so he will depend on you and run to you when the going gets tough and never learn how to solve his problems.

10. If you want to turn your child into a delinquent, let him express himself anyway he feels like it.

11.Don't run his life, let him run yours.

12. Don't bother him with chores. Do everything for him then he can be irresponsible all his life and blame others when things don’t get done right.

13. Be sure to give in when he throws a temper tantrum.

14. Believe his lies because it’s too much hassle to try to sort through to get the truth.

15. Criticize others openly; criticize others routinely so that he will continue to realize that he is better than everybody else.

16. Give him a big allowance and don’t make him do anything for it.

17. Praise him for his good looks, never for character.

Credit where it's due: I got this from a customer's blog...

John MacArthur
God’s Pattern for Parents – Part 2, The article originally appeared ( at © 1969-2008. Grace to You.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

T-Ball and Tempers

This year is our first year to play any kind of sport. It starts with T-Ball. So with this being our first year to play a's been my first time to be a "sport mom".
First, let me start off by saying that JB and I are so proud of our boys. Both CB and BB have enjoyed playing and are doing really well. Of course...BB is not quite as passionate as CB but still tries his best. If he continues to show his anxiety like he does...he is definitely my child. We have met some really great people through their team and I have been so pleased with the parental support the team has at each game; the bleachers are full.
JB is an assistant coach and I, along with a few other moms, have had to step in and help. We helping moms are in the "dugout" such as it is...taking care of the batting line up...keeping their equipment ready to go...and crowd control for those waiting to bat. It's been interesting to say the least considering I have never played any type of T-Ball or softball. I am having to learn the rules game by game.
While I am glad to be an involved mom on the's a 2 edged sword. I can't take a lot of pictures and I can't just relax to watch the game. Instead, I tend to get too involved and thus finding myself having to hold my "temper" back. Let me clarify...I don't get upset with our players..they are doing so well and it is really cute to see them play.'s been the opposing team coaches and umpires that I seem to loose it with. (Disclosure: For those that know me best and know how I can "loose it"...I haven't done anything extreme.)
When it comes to rules...I am true believer in following them and I further expect others to obey them with integrity. There have been a few coaches that can make this game too competitive thus loosing some of the fun for the parents and kids. With that competitiveness they tend to loose integrity. And that is when my temper flares. So not to go into further detail... I am trying to remind myself before each game...Who I represent on and off the field; that is Christ and my family.
The boys play a total of 10 games with 3 games a week. There is supposed to be a tournament at some point but we haven't been told when that will be.
The boys have been hitting well with BB hitting a winning hit. He was the last batter for one of the games...his hit brought in 2 players that won the game. CB has also been hitting well. Now for outfield...the story is a little different. Those of you with young ones know what I mean...their attention span seems to leave as soon as they hit the field. But over all...the whole team is doing well. We've lost a few and we've won a few. I just try to keep it all in perspective and make it fun for the kids.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bitter Sweet...

I was in the 6th grade. It was in a cafeteria at a local school. There were hardly any children or youth. There wasn't even a full time pastor or music minister. But what they did have was a vision, a mission, and a love for people that enveloped all those who visited and joined including my family.

It was Ridgecrest Baptist Church, my church family and home for the next 21 years. It was where I made and have kept my best friends, where I rededicated my life to Christ, where I spent my "youth" years, where I graduated high school and later on college, where I was married, where I dedicated my babies, where my children spent their preschool years, where JB and I served along side some of our dearest friends for the 9 years we have been married, where I became apart of a family that will be for eternity. I saw Ridgecrest go from worshipping in a school cafeteria to the sanctuary it uses now and all that came in between.

Today, I had a bittersweet moment, we became the newest members of FBC Greenville.

Bitter because a huge part of me wanted to leave my membership at Ridgecrest. You see, leaving somewhere you have been apart of for over 20 years is hard; leaving somewhere that has had such an impact on your life spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. Leaving a place where those pivotal and milestone moments that I listed above happened. I didn't want to leave behind the life I had there. And somehow holding on to that membership kept apart of my life back home and kept me apart of that life. I didn't want to face another final and official goodbye as I have had so many this past year. Bitter because for me, saying goodbye is harder than saying "hello". I can control and handle the "hello's" a little easier than I can the goodbyes. Bitter most of all because it's the beginning of an end. A time to let go when you don't want to let go but knowing it's the right thing to do.

But there is the Sweet. Sweet from becoming new family members. Sweet because of the blessings God has in store for us. Sweet because of the new friends we have made. And excited about the new ones to come. Sweet because of the service God has for us through FBC.

While we miss our dear family and friends back home...I have a feeling and my prayer is that maybe just day I'll be able to post about having the best of both worlds....2 families in 2 different places that I can call home.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Snow Petals

Several weeks ago, this tree outside the window in my sewing room was in full bloom. (I think it's a Japanese Magnolia, but not for certain.)
Not sure why, but all its petals fell to the ground over 1 weekend. The boys and I went home for a couple of days and came back to G'ville to find most of the petals had fallen to the ground. They boys thought it was snow. "Why's that pink snow on our ground, Mamma?"
It was actually really pretty. I thought these petals would have been great to use in a wedding or wedding reception.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Recent Pictures

Looking through my blog the other day, I realized that I haven't posted any recent pictures of the boys.
I don't pay to have their pictures taken professionally. I have several friends that are talented nothing against them. It's just that my boys do not cooperate very well when it comes to taking pictures. Even worse when it's with someone they aren't familiar with.
So I invested in a new camera this past fall and have been trying to teach myself a little bit about digital photography. Not only am I not a great teacher to others...but I'm not that great to myself either. Learning Photoshop and photography terminology is proving to be way over my simple minded brain. It takes more time and patience than I care to give so after about 30 minutes of dealing with it...I have to put it away for awhile. I do feel a little better about myself when a photographer friend of mine confirmed that Photoshop is very hard to learn.
I get excited when I get 10-20 good ones out of about 100 shots compared to the 5-10 I usually get. But still some photo attempts have proven to be just that...mere attempts. The boys hate having their pictures taken. I know this is probably typical of most boys..but I think mine have to hate it exceptionally more. I have to bribe and even at that...we all 3 usually end the session in tears. Session meaning the few attempts of on location photo shoots in an attempt to get decent pictures that are worth framing. Because, again..I can't afford professional photos when the boys do nothing but hide their faces behind their hands.
The pics above are just a few I've recently taken. They aren't necessarily the ones I will be framing but wanted to post a few for the family and friends who keep up with us through this blog.
If you are friends of mine of Facebook, then you've probably seen these. And since this blog feeds into my Facebook will see them there also.
Hope you enjoy looking at these more than my boys enjoyed taking them!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Another Delta Experience

Last night while JB and I were watching Idol, the electricity flickered and then went out for about 15 minutes. It came back on for several minutes and then flickered off again. We took this as a sign to go on to bed as it was late.

JB got to work this morning only to find that half his branch had electricity while the other half didn't. Yes, really...only part of the building had electricity. The power outage at his branch this morning was related to the power outage we had at our home last night.

Several miles south of G'ville, a farmer got his tractor tangled up in some live electrical wires. So Entergy had to "black out" the electricity in order to get his tractor untangled. How our street in the city was effected by this incident several miles south in a field, I just don't get. Anyway....

First, let me acknowledge that the farmer is ok. So glad of that. Above my inconvenience of no electricity, I'm more glad that the farmer was not harmed.

However, I've never experienced a power outage for this reason. Just another affirmation that I'm a city mouse still trying to learn my way of being a field mouse.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Confession Session

As part of our nightly routine to putting the boys to bed, we read a Bible story out of their children's Bible.

Well, this particular night several weeks ago was on the 10 Commandments, AKA, the 10 Commamments to the boys.

JB was reading each commandment when CB stopped him and asked, "What does stealing mean?"

So JB begins to explain, "Well, if Reid (a friend at school) has some colored pencils that you like and you wanted them. While Reid wasn't looking or when he left the room, you took his colored pencils, used them, and then put them in your backpack to bring home without Reid knowing...that would be stealing. When you take something that's not yours without asking or when it hasn't been given to you."

My sweet CB urgently announced with such an anxiety, "I was only borrowing them, Daddy. I didn't have any colored pencils. Reid said I could use them!"

JB and I had to keep our composure and try not to laugh as CB voluntarily and so openly "confessed of his sins" based on a mere example.

Bless his heart...CB turned the 10 Commandments into a night of Confession Session.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Repeat That, Please

As some of you already know, BB started speech therapy this past Wednesday. I had requested that he be evaluated based on some of his (or lack thereof) annunciations of some letters. His teacher and school director were so instrumental is coordinating this and helping get this done. I am so grateful for their cooperation and encouragement.

After his evaluation, it was determined that he did, indeed, need some speech therapy to help him better develop his language and speaking skills. While family and close friends can understand what he is saying...I was fearful that others could not and if something was not done to help him, it would only get worse and he would become the target of jokes.

He has trouble pronouncing several sounds but most prominent are his "L's". He pronounces them as "R's".

Lost = Rost

Love = Rove

Letter = Retter

Yellow = Rerrow

And so on. I had tried to work with him best I could but quickly learned that: 1) I am not a speech therapist 2) I exhibited to much "mommy" instead of teacher and 3) he would get really discouraged when he couldn't please me with the right annunciation. After JB and I discussed it, we thought it best to have him evaluated by a professional.

This past Wednesday, when I picked him up from school I asked him if had he "talked" to Ms Mary today. To which he replied, "Yes, mam...listen Momma....La, la, la, la, la!" "See, I can say it now!".

I was so overwhelmed with happiness for him and so proud of him, I cried the rest of the way home. Just the excitement he had for himself at the progress he had made melted my heart in a way that only a mother can understand. He could actually pronounce "La" instead of "Ra". Now, it wasn't perfect but it was enough for me and enough for him to know he was getting better. However, when I asked him to say "Lost Dog", he still continued to say "Rost Dog". And as usual, he got discouraged. So I had to encourage him and tell him that it will take time and that he was already getting better.

I am also excited that his speech therapist goes to the church we have been visiting and already knows BB from keeping his Sunday School class. I had been worried that he wouldn't cooperate with a complete stranger...but God took care of that as He always does. As this is just another reminder that it's not for me to worry about but for me to, instead, have faith that He takes care of such matters.

So, if you think about it...please pray for my BB on Wednesday mornings. While, this may not be the biggest issue we face in rearing him and while his speech issues are not's a big deal to this little 4 year old boy. The little progress he made in the first 30 minute session was one of the biggest accomplishments he had made in his little world and boosted his self confidence to another level.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My No Diet weightloss!

First let me apologize for the lack of blogging lately. I have been really busy with my business. I've been swamped in a "Bunny Patch" lately with all the Easter orders I've had and I'm still not completely through with few last minute orders.

If you recall a post I published a few weeks ago regarding, "Eat This, Not That"...well, I have lost dropped down 1 pants size since following some of their suggestions.

While I would probably loose more and quicker if I would add a routine of exercise such as walking, I am just excited to have lost what I have. I hope to start walking now that the weather will be warming up and days will be longer.

I have enjoyed this "diet", if you will, so much more than any other that I've followed. And while living in G'ville, I am learning so much about myself including my eating habits. I've learned that I am an emotional eater. I've learned that when I am tired, I have the urge to eat more. Not sure why this is...don't know if there is some kind of physical, emotional or medical reason for this....but it has become an eye opener for me. So, for that very reason, I have made sure I get a good night's sleep. And because of my healthier eating habits, I don't feel tired and sluggish throughout the day.

I am learning that what I thought was healthy and "diet worthy" was actually hindering my efforts while the foods that I thought were NOT "diet worthy" are actually contributing to my efforts.

I've also learned that I can't do diets that say "Do NOT Eat _______" (you fill in the blank). I love food, so to tell me I can't have something, is a waste of time and only produces discouraging results for me.

I have literally been eating only 3 meals a day. I don't even have the urge to snack or "nibble" though out the day. Unless, I am I mentioned before...the few days I felt the urge to snack all day...I realized that I was tired because I didn't get much sleep the night before.

I have to eat breakfast and I don't mean cereal, a fruit grain bar or a biscuit. My breakfast has to consist of a meal. For awhile I was drinking a Carnation shake or Slim Fast. While it would fill me up, a few hours later I would be starving. I realized that while they were a good source of Protein, the sugar content cancelled any good the protein was doing for me. I would be "snacking" before lunch and sometimes binging due to my blood sugar being so low and feeling so sluggish. So, no more Carnation shakes or Slimfasts for me...not even with a piece of toast or other breakfast foods. Just too much sugar for my body.

Instead, I have been eating 1 fried egg (cooked in Pam or the like), 1 or 2 pieces of 100% Whole Wheat bread (with whipped butter, not margarine) and a piece of fresh fruit (pears and strawberries have been my choice lately). Now that I've discovered Kroger's Carbmaster yogurts, I will probably add this when fruit is not available. I will also eat Shredded Wheat with a little Splenda, an egg and fruit. Breakfast is must for me. I have learned that I can not compromise. My body just will not let me.

For lunch I have been eating a roast beef sandwich on 100% Whole Wheat bread with tomatoes and mayo made with Olive Oil, a piece of Mozzarella string cheese, and fruit. I will alternate with a salad made of Spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, shredded cheese, and piece of baked chicken that took about 20 minutes to cook.

If occasionally I do feel like a snack...I've eaten Fiber One Bars, Emerald Roasted Almonds Dark Chocolate, or another piece of string cheese. I will also start adding Kroger's Carbmaster yogurt as an alternative. I cut out the 100 calorie pack of snacks. They are the most useless 100 calories. They didn't satisfy my hunger instead filled me up with sugar only to be hungry again within an hour. They have no nutritional value to them. While low in calorie...high in sugar, no protein and no fiber.

For supper, I've been eating alot of baked or grilled meat...pork chops, chicken breasts, turkey sausage and vegetables. I'm not as "strict" about supper as I am about breakfast or lunch. I think because due to my healthier eating habits for breakfast and lunch...I'm just not starving by supper like before.

I've even opted to stay home when JB has suggested to eat out. He and the boys will go while I stay home and eat something healthier. Now this is hard but I have learned, that if I go out to eat, I don't typically use portion control nor will I order the healthier alternatives when I've already had the best. So, it's easier for me to just stay home during this stage of my weight loss efforts. I hope to eventually go without loosing control but until then...avoiding is my best option. I haven't completely stopped eating out...I allow myself that privilege and freedom 1 time per week. So when JB asks if I want to go, I am really just choosing if that particular restaurant is where I want use my 1 time. Although, I am starting to see myself choose healthier options and use better portion control...just not to the extent I feel comfortable to eat out often.

A few disadvantages to this "diet" plan. It can be expensive. The cost of healthy food is ridiculously high. It's so frustrating to hear experts talk about the nation being so obese and overweight but they NEVER mention the cost of health food. I am a firm believer that one of the reasons people aren't loosing weight, why diets are working and why people continue to become obese is the cost of food. While this is not the only's got be one of them. We have increased our grocery budget to accommodate for the increase costs of food. It's very frustrating to say the least. For example..the hot dogs that are recommended are, in fact, healthier but they are $4 for a pack of 8, while the cheaper and cheapest ones can be $1 to $2 but have about 14 to 17g of fat per hotdog. RIDICULOUS!!!!! This circumstance stands the same with most of the healthier alternative foods that are recommended. While I try to buy store brands for a less expensive alternative sometimes it's just not offered.

So as it goes...I am still on a track to loosing more weight with a plan that I don't feel like I'm dieting my life away. This plan says "yes, you can have this just a healthier alternative". Don't be fooled though...just because it may be a healthier alternative...doesn't mean you can eat as much of it as often as you desire. You must still practice portion control and healthy eating habits. For example...this book recommends the Egg McMuffin from McDonald's as a healthier breakfast alternative when eating breakfast at McDonalds. But that doesn't mean you can eat as many as you like every day. It just means...if you are gonna eat breakfast at McDonald's, this the healthiest alternative.

Until next time...Eat This: Post Shredded Wheat original; Not That: Multi Bran Chex.

PS: Post Shredded Wheat Original (1 cup): 170 calories, 1g fat, 0 sugars, 6g fiber

Multi Bran Chex (1 cup): 210 calories, 2g fat, 13g sugar, 8g fiber. While this cereal may have more's got as much sugar as 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream. The sugar cancels out any good the fiber has.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

This is just one of several blooming Daffodils in my backyard. I hope this is a sign that Spring is only a few shorts weeks away.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eat This, Not That

A few months ago, I saw on TV someone talking about these books: Eat This, Not That!
I can't recall what show or who it was but soon after their discussion, I researched it on-line and what I read about these books seemed interesting enough to eventually buy. I actually forgot about them over the holidays due to all the chaos that entailed during that time for us.

Last week, I was browsing for some books and saw in my "Wish List" these series of books. I was reminded about buying them. And, so I did. They came in yesterday and I have been reading them since. Even stayed up past my bedtime too intrigued to put them down.

Now, the books claim to be "The No Diet Weight Loss Solution!" While the books are full of information on foods and their nutritional value or sometimes lack-thereof...I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a weight loss solution.

But I will say that the information they provide and reveal can be eye opening. I am learning that some of the foods that I have been eating or feeding my children aren't as healthy as I thought. Or that there might be a better alternative or brand that is even healthier. These books seem to be a great resource of information that you just can't gather yourself unless you park in a grocery isle and read all the nutritional and ingredients labels on every food product. Who has time to do that when you've got children running up and down the isle like they've just been let out of a cage. Or they are constantly fighting with each other so you have to stop what you are doing and referee the WWF match going on in front of spectators. Or they announce like a bull horn they have to go doo-doo even though you just left the restroom because the other child had just done such activity. Anyway, I obviously digress. Back to the books.

While I will attempt to use their recommendations, there is a cost factor when it comes to buying some of the brands they recommend. With groceries costing so much as it's not going to be feasible for us to buy every brand or food they recommend. I will have to choose and prioritize which foods are worth the extra costs and which aren't.

For example...they recommend organic ketchup and rightly so. You will notice that organic ketchup has less calories, sodium and sugar. But it's way more expensive. This is not a product I will splurge on because we just don't use that much ketchup. However, the rice they recommend is healthier than just the plain ol' white rice. I will splurge on this because we like rice and it's one of the few foods I can get my boys to eat.

So if you choose to buy these books and yield to their recommendations, you will most likely have to discern which items best fit your budget and taste. That is, unless, you live on an unlimited amount of grocery money, unlike my family.

I bought 5 of the books, not necessarily because I wanted all 5. Some of them came in a set and it was cheaper to buy the set than to buy certain ones individually. There may be more to the series but these are the ones that interested me. All 5 of these cost me about $70. Shipping was free on Amazon since my total was over $50. At this time, I've mainly skimmed over the books not reading a whole lot of detail. But what I have read has been full of information and most revealing.

Eat This, Not That! 2010 version
Eat This, Not That! The Best and Worst Foods in America
Eat This, Not That! Restaurant Survival Guide
Eat This, Not That! Kitchen Survival Guide
Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide

I welcome any comments from those that have any experience with these books and how they have helped.