Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Blessings

It's Christmas Eve! I can't believe it's finally here. We are all so thrilled. During the holiday season I love to think about all of my many many blessings. This year being so far away from family makes me realize how truly blessed I am. It has brought things into focus. Here is a small list of things I'm most thankful for at this very moment:

*God, and the amazing way he loves me even though I don't deserve it.

*My husband and our wonderful relationship.

*My children. Enough said.

*My family. I have such a big one and for this I'm so thankful.

*My house.

*My car.

*The sunshine shining on the mountains I can see out my window.

*Airplanes that get my little family home to Tennessee.

*Friends. Oh, I have so many wonderful ones.

*The food waiting to be cooked in my refrigerator.

*The good health that we all are in.

*Christmas carols.

*My clean house all decorated for Christmas.

*My bags that are almost packed ready to come home.

Oh, I could go on and on. God has blessed me in so many ways. I hope that all of you are having a wonderful Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tennessee Here We Come!!!

We are packing our bags. We are almost ready. We can't wait!!! Santa is coming. Our stockings are hung. The Christmas Eve dinner is almost complete. We are having the neighbors over for a nice lunch and then we will go to church for a nice Christmas Eve celebration. Then it's off to bed to wait for good ol' saint nick. We will then leave Arizona for Tennessee!

Our plans are made. Our bags are almost packed. We can't wait. Tennessee here we come!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

There's No Place Like Home For the Holidays!

*The Christmas Card that Wasn't*

We are all so excited around here. Christmas is in the air! We are ready for Santa, our bags are almost packed, and the kids are out of school. I don't really have any "big" thing left to do. I have to pick up one last item tomorrow, and that's it. I need to clean my house, and pack. We are ready, ready, ready. We are coming HOME!

I haven't been homesick in quite a while. We've all been so busy with school, soccer, holidays....well life I guess. Don't get my wrong, I'm absolutely ecstatic about visiting the south, but I've been just busy. I thought I was over it. I thought, "Hey, this is easy. Being away from all my friends and family isn't as bad as I thought. With the telephone, facebook,'s practically like I'm still there. Plus I've made all these cool new friends."

Well, let me tell you. I was WRONG...big fat wrong!

It all came to a head today as I was on my way back from the grocery store. Mae and I were singing along to the Christmas carols playing on the radio when "There's No Place Like Home For the Holidays" came on. I cried like a baby. That song is so right. I can't wait to see all my friends, hang out with my family, eat Bar-b-que (I mean REAL bbq...the pork kind), feel the humidity in the air, smell the good ol' southern cookin'....Oh, I could go on and on!!

Oh, Me!!! Ya'll I can't wait!

Only three more days! Can I stand it! Can you!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Humor

OK.... I'm totally stealing this from a blog that I just love, love, love. Even though I only have three children, their proximity in age has elicited many of these comments. I thought this was too funny not to share. Please enjoy this holiday humor!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jingle Bells....Desert Style!!!

Here's a new Christmas song for ya'll! Mae is having a Christmas program at school tomorrow night. She was singing the songs that the kindergartners will be performing for me tonight. This one in particular is so cute I want to share it with ya'll!

Jingle bells!
Lizard tails!
Hot and sunny days!
Santa's here in desert town,
But he cannot stay
Jingle bells!
Lizard tails!
Hot and sunny days!
Santa's here in desert town,
But he cannot stay.
Most towns have white snow
But here we have hot sand
That won't stop old Santa Clause
Four Wheeling is his plan!
Jingle bells!
Lizard tails!
Hot and sunny days!
Santa's here in desert town,
But he cannot stay.
Don't you love it! I can't wait to see the entire program.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Yay! I'm up and running again. Thank you thank you, Rusty's friend Josh from work. I will no longer refer to you as a computer nerd! You are now a genius savior in my book! Yay, yay, and yay!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Farewell My Friend

You wouldn't believe what has happened! I knew it was coming. My dear old friend is sick,deathly sick. She probably can't be revived. My computer has finally bit the bullet. The poor old dusty thing was on her last leg. Although she was missing the letter "x" she was a dear, dear friend of mine. We have been through so much together. So many memories. So many e-mails. So many blogs. So many searches. Oh well.... I guess it was her time. Rusty thinks he can revive her. If he can't he's going to take her into work to the computer nerds to see if they can resesitate her. Who knows? Do I hold out hope? Of course. There's always hope, right?

Well.. He assures me he can retrieve my pictures. (The main thing I want out of her.) I'll pray for at least that. Maybe soon she'll be replaced for a new shinier model. I'll always remember her though. My heart will always have a place for her.

Listen to me.... I speak as if she's already gone. Maybe Rusty will be able to do some magic (or at least the nerds he works with will). Who knows.

In the meantime, I'll have to wait until the evenings when Rusty gets home with his computer and it's high RAM....whatever that means...(show-off) to check my e-mail, look at facebook, and to write my blogs. It will be a sad, sad time.

But, let's all hold out hope and pray for a miracle as Rusty and his nerd friends to work their magic on my dear old "x" missing friend.

Just in Time!

Today was a very eventful day. We had the big kids birthday party today. We were all so excited because the sun was shining. The rain held off! Well.... as we made our way to the park we noticed how windy it was. John Russel said, "Well, I prayed for no rain, but who prayed for wind?" Tumble weeds were blowing everywhere! When we got to the park the wind was practically whipping the hair off our heads. We could hardly make our way to the playground. I thought Will was going to blow off the play equipment. Literally. Oh No! What in the world were we going to do. The party was going to start in an hour. There was no way we could hang the decorations, much less eat cake off of flying plates! Rusty suggested we move the party to our house. Well, this would sound OK to a man, but as a woman I was thinking of the dust bunnies hiding in all my corners. "No Way!" I quickly replied, as I also thought of my house being torn to shreds by many kindergartners and 1st graders. We both then thought of the brand new McDonald's just down the street! Rusty tried to call, but the number hadn't even been published yet. So he got into the van and headed just down the street to ask the manager of the McDonald's if we could move the party there. The kids and I braved the wind while he was gone. My mind was contemplating all the alternatives the entire time he was away. He made it back shortly and told us the good news that we could move the party there. Thank the Lord! We loaded up and headed to Mickey D's. Rusty stayed at the park to direct the party goers towards our new location. We had a great turn out. Around 2o kids in attendance. They all had a blast playing on the new indoor play equipment. The people at McDonald's were so nice and accommodating.

We all had a good time. I wasn't even that stir crazy. (Well....maybe a little) It was a great day. The kids had fun. We have more toys than we know what to do with. All in all it was a great party.

All I can say is Thank you Lord for opening letting that Micky D's open up just in time!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Uh Oh!

*My little elves*

*Close up view....It says sorry*

*Those silly elves!*

Last night the elves didn't wake up! When I went to get John Russel and Mae up for school, John Russel informed me that they didn't "do" anything! Oh No!! When they got downstairs they found a note from the elves. They explained that they were so tired from running to the store the night before (they brought candy) that they just couldn't get up!

They must have felt pretty bad about it. Today when I went to get the big kids from school, the elves were up to their old antics. Just look what they did!

They must have felt terrible!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mae Mae is Six!!

Today is the day. It's finally here. She's been waiting Oh so long. Today is Mae's birthday! I can't believe it. She is getting so big. I just bought her some new pants and they are almost too short! Her legs are so long. Last night she jumped in her bed, and she said, "Mama, look how high I jumped!" I said, "Yep! And you'll be able to jump even higher tomorrow because you'll be six!" She loved this. She feels so Big Girl!

I can't believe how fast time flies by. It seems like only yesterday when I held my sweet girl in my arms for the first time. I will never forget that precious moment. She looked up at me with those big blue eyes....and that was it. I had just seen the most beautiful girl in the world.

I try to slow down and savor every minute of her life. But, as time goes by I realize my fingers just can't hold onto all those moments that take my breath away. At the same time, I don't want to hold her back either. She continues to grow into the most remarkable person. It's hard to believe that I would find her more beautiful today than I did when I held that sweet infant in my arms. That's just the way with my sweet Mae Mae. She continues to take my breath away every single day.

Happy Birthday, my dear sweet girl!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Christmas Time in the Desert....

*OK...Nothing to do with the post, but isn't this a funny Picture?*

It's Christmas time! The tree is up, the lights are shining, the elves have come.....So what's missing? Well, let's see. I'm as crazy as ever. Birthday party next weekend. Christmas parties coming up. Christmas cards almost finished. Hmmmm? What is it?

I'll tell you what. I'm not at HOME!!

This Christmas season contains all the usual merriness, it's just plain weird having Christmas in the desert! I miss all the usual sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas at home. Making new traditions with my family is great, but being away from all that says Christmas to me is just a little bit different.

Oh well... It's not about me it? The kids are having a blast. That's all that really matters to me.

And as Scarlet Ohara would say....After all, I'm coming home to Tara (I mean Memphis) soon!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Silly Elves!

*Silly elves checking out John Russel's birthday presents*

*Loving the Christmas Nick Nacks*

* OOO! Conner Playing John Russel's new DS*

*Jensen and Irma Lovin' Santa*

Our elves have come.
"Come?" you may ask.

Well, you see every child has their own elf at the north pole. All you have to do is write a letter to Santa and see if your elf is finished with their Christmas chores and they will be allowed to come stay with you until Christmas Eve, when they have to go back to the North Pole with Santa. They come with magic sprinkles that you put on them at night before bedtime. You leave them crackers and water to eat. They like this because crackers sound like crunching snow and the water is melted snow. The sprinkles make them come to life at night. They play around the house often doing naughty things. They sometimes leave small treats. They LOVE Jesus, so they love to remind you that this is the real reason for Christmas.

The children are so excited. Our elves, Conner (John Russel's elf), Irma (Mae's), and Jensen (Will's) have been with us since Thanksgiving night. They have been very mischievous during their stay this year. They have toilet papered the bathroom, rolled aluminum foil down the stairs making a slide, and they have hidden in the freezer. Last night, however, they stole MY camera and took all kinds of pictures of their shenanigans. How Dare They!!!

The kids were elated. They loved looking at the pictures again and again. Over breakfast Mae asked me if the elves looked the same when they came to life. "Hmmm. I don't know, Mae." I answered. "Well, they look like it in the Pictures," replied my little observant one, a little too forlornly. I then quickly replied, "I bet they only look that way because they were in a picture. I'm sure they turn into 'real live' elves when they are running around." She was happy with this explanation as she nodded her head in agreement.

Now....I wonder what those silly elves will be up to tonight!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Seven Years....

Seven years ago today I became a new person. God gave me this perfect little miraculous gift. He was pink and perfect. It was John Russel. Today is his seventh birthday! Today is his day. All about him. He woke with a perfect smile today as Rusty and I sang Happy Birthday to him. He was elated over the presents he got to open. He skipped giddily into school. Big Big Boy!

But.... I can't help make this day a little bit about me. You see, seven years ago God created a new person along with that precious newborn. He created a Mother. It's just as amazing as that newborn's first breath. It happened just that fast. My life changed forever. Thank you, thank you dear Lord for entrusting me with the awesome responsibility.

Happy Happy Birthday my sweet John Russel!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Favorite Christmas Memories

Christmas is the time for memories, right? Oh, I have so, so many good ones. I can think back to when I was a child and remember the feeling of waiting for Santa to come. I think of the Christmas plays my nieces , nephews, and my own children have played in. Christmas in Kansas City come to mind with more cousins and the Nutcracker. Such good memories fill my mind this time of year.

But then it wouldn't be Christmas without those other memories, too. You know what I'm talking about. Taking the Christmas card photo, dealing with ALL the family at once, screaming over-tired sugar induced children, pictures with Santa......Wait!! Pictures with Santa.....Maybe some of those crazy memories are funnier than I realized.

Get comfortable, grab your cocoa and let me tell you one of my favorite Christmas memories.

Last year we met my sister and her family at a restaurant near her house. We were celebrating Mae's birthday with a birthday dinner. After dinner we all thought it would be so fun to go and see Santa. Why not! It's always fun, right? Well this mall had it's own store sight just for Santa and getting your picture made with him. Mrs. Claus was there as well. My sister and my niece Elizabeth and nephew Joseph joined us for the fun. Even though they were a little to old to sit on dear Santa's knee they wanted to see their cousins tell ol' Saint Nick what they wanted for Christmas. There was a small line that weaved in and out of those silly belt like divider things. Joseph, being 13, got rather bored while watching the kids wait in line. While I was looking over the ridiculous price lists for pictures he proceeded to play with one of the belts. Well, as Mrs. Claus was mingling with all her guests he slipped one of the belts off the pole it was attached to. The belt came reeling back with the speed of lightening making a horrible racket and causing Mrs. Claus to scream in shock! He was then directed by his mother out of the line to stand by the windows in the front of the store. Getting bored again, like any 13 year old would at this point, he decides to do a little drumming on the windows. The girl at the desk taking the million dollars that the pictures cost stated, "Is it raining already?" He was then directed over to the bench by a lovely reindeer made of pine. ( I know it sounds crazy, and I wish I had a picture, but imagine a Christmas tree reindeer complete with lights) We were finished with our Santa pic at this point and as we made our way to the door we thought it would make a wonderful picture to have all the kids sit on the bench with the reindeer tree thing. So as we tried to arrange all the kids on the bench Joseph simply touched one of the lights on our reindeer friend and POOF all of the lights went out! My sister wanted to wring his neck, and Rusty and I could hardly contain our laughter. I'm still laughing about it actually. I can hardly type this post!

Leave it the children in our life to bring us back to reality....and always with laughter!

This is what Christmas is all about!

Miracle Feet!

I wanted to share this wonderful discovery that I've found with all of you. Many of you may have already seen this because my friend Carrie told me about it after seeing it on Oprah.

If you have dry, scaly, crusty heels there is something simple that you can do to solve it! You take an acne pad (you know, the kind that you may have used as a teenager--I use Clearasil) and rub your feet with it. Then you put lotion on your feet like you normally would. The acid in the acne pad is supposed to eat away the dead skin on your feet. I've been trying this simple technique at night or before I go work out. I haven't done it every day. I also still use my pumice stone in the bath.

It's a miracle, y'all! My normally scaly, dry, crusty heels are now smooth!

Try it and let me know what you think!