Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Life is like hot chocolate

I didn't write this but wanted to share it especially during this time of year. It was in a Christmas card and I don't know if the person that put it in their Christmas card wrote it or if it is from a forwarded email that everyone gets. No matter who wrote it I found it interesting and thought provoking. Enjoy.

A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups - porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate. When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: "Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups. Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us. God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And enjoy your hot chocolate.


Sunday night there was a terrible accident in our neighborhood. After hearing the story I realized I needed to blog about it so I could get as many people praying for this family as possible. A boy (eighth grade) and his mom was severely burned when a propane tank exploded. They were both airlifted to Augusta burn center. The boy, Connor has extensive burns on 87% of his body. His mom was not burned as bad. To make matters worse the father has been in Iraq since February. Thankfully the father was on his way home for his 2 week R&R so he is able to be with his family at the hospital.

Please pray for this family as it will be a long road to recovery. Pray for healing, strength, comfort, and that the father will be able to stay with the family and not have to go back to Iraq after his 2 week R&R. If you want to read more about this family so you can pray specifically they set up a website -

When things like this happen it makes you realize all the things you have to be thankful for. All too often we complain or think our life is tough when in reality we have so much to be thankful for. I know that the Lord is the great physician and He has the power to do miraculous things for this family. Please take time to lift this family up and take time to thank God for all he has done for you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Stories from Grammy Keeks and Poppy

So once again I fell off the blog wagon and haven't written in awhile. It's not because I don't have anything to write. In fact it's the opposite. We have been so busy and there are so many stories to write about I don't even know where to begin. Monte and I were able to get away for 6 days which was absolutely wonderful (more about that in a different blog entry). A big thanks to my parents for watching the kids. The kids had a great time visiting with Grammy Keeks and Poppy and I think my parents had a good time too. When we got home mom and dad both mentioned that they asked themselves - how did we raise 5 kids? I told them Monte and I ask that all the time. That's why we are stopped at 2 - two and through.

Anyway, the kids had a jam packed week with Grammy and Poppy with lots of Christmas activities and fun. One of the funny stories mom told me was every night Beckham would brush his teeth look in the mirror and say, "I think I'm turning into an elf. Yep! I look like one more and more each day. My ears are starting to point." Mom said it was the funniest thing. Which I imagine it was.

Then there was Ainsley who acted like Santa's best friend when they went to see him at the restaurant up the road. When they pulled up Ainsley said that Santa wasn't there because she didn't see his sleigh. When they walked in and saw Santa Ainsley couldn't contain herself. She was smiling ear to ear, jumping and clapping. She asked Santa where his sleigh was and he said that Rudolph was sick so he couldn't take the sleigh out. Which must have made an impact on Ainsley because at night she prays for Rudolph to get better. The whole time they were eating dinner Ainsley was very concerned that Santa was not eating and asked him if he wanted to eat with them. He kindly declined and said Ms. Claus had made lasagna. Then she told someone to get him a drink because he looked thirsty. As my mom was relaying the story I wondered, was Ainsley really concerned for Santa or did she already figure out how to butter him up in hopes for more or better gifts?

At the dinner table last night both kids called out "get your elbows off the table this is not a horses table". Right when they said it I knew they picked that up from my dad. I remember him saying that when we were young. Ainsley also picked up the saying "Sugar Booger" from Aunt Megan. She thinks she is so funny when she says it.

There were many more stories but I'll have to post those later. I'll have to fill everyone in about our trip to Austin and Dallas.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


We had a wonderful time over Thanksgiving. There is so much to be thankful for I don't know where to begin. Our family has truly been blessed. One thing we are thankful for is living close to family. When we were in Texas we felt a little isolated. Don't get me wrong we LOVED Austin and hope to move back someday but right now we are where we are supposed to be. Not only are we close to my family but Monte's family is in driving distance too. Over Thanksgiving my whole family got together. I can't remember the last time my whole family was together on Thanksgiving - probably not since Adam graduated from the Naval Academy.

Anyways, we had a great time catching up and enjoying mom's great food. Mom is a great cook and you can always count on gaining a few pounds. (we were there less than 24 hours and she had already gotten out 4 different kinds of homemade cookies - Yumm.) The kids had a ball playing and getting to know their cousins a little better. Everyone made sacrifices to make Thanksgiving happen. We are thankful that Adam's family, Amy, David and Katie all braved the traffic and drove down from the DC area. (We're also thankful that Meggo made the long trip upstairs). And mom and dad for opening their home and mom for cooking and doing 11 loads of laundry after we left. We really have enjoyed being able to spend time at "His Way Inn". And are so thankful for the time we spend there. It is always so relaxing and fun.

Here we are:

Amazingly we were able to take a family picture and no one cried! That is a rare occurrence for our family. Every year while taking the Christmas card picture one of us would end up crying (usually me since I hate getting my picture taken and mom and dad would take 3 rolls of film just to get 1 good shot of all 5 of us)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Craft

I've been working on a new craft the past few days. The women's ministry at our church is having a dessert auction and I said I would bring something. When I saw the sign up list everyone was bringing cakes and pies. I wanted to bring something different so I came up with the idea to make a cookie bouquet and put it in a decorated paint bucket (which is another craft I have been making). Never mind the fact that I have never made one. I've made sugar cookies and I've "decorated" cookies so how hard could it be right? I quickly learned that my version of decorating cookies is slapping a bunch of frosting on the cookie and putting sprinkles on it. Usually the kids help so you can see why I use "decorating" loosely. Actually decorating them is a lot harder. It's even hard to make them look nice. So I did my best and they turned out OK. Well, their done nothing fancy and definitely nothing Martha Stewart would be proud of.

What I am excited about is how the paint bucket turned out. I've been making a few decorated paint buckets to give people and I think they turn out pretty neat. Anyway, I wanted to share my creation. Please no comments on the awful cookie decorating job I did. They are supposed to be Christmas trees, angels and bells - in case you couldn't tell.

Close up of the bucket. There is a matching lid (in green) I forgot to put in the picture.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Like Squirrels

Have you ever wondered why your kids do stuff? Sometimes I think I am raising squirrels. You may be asking yourself - squirrels that's a weird thing to call your kids. But, if you knew my kids you might agree. Ever since Beckham was a baby he loved taking stuff and putting it in different places. My friend in Texas used to call it "squirreling" because he was like a squirrel who hides it's nuts. But with Beckham it was my wooden spoon, ruler, shoe, remote, etc. He would hide everything. It was like he was putting stuff away for safe keeping. He still saves everything and puts it away for "later". For instance at Disney he wanted to keep his french fry so he could remember it. Well, Monte said he could keep it thinking he would forget about it. He didn't and he still has the french fry.

Both my kids have always loved (and it drives me absolutely crazy) taking every toy, book, stuffed animal and putting it in small spaces. When Ainsley was younger and still in her crib one night I heard her crying for help. I went check on her and Beckham had put every toy in her crib and she was sitting in a small corner surrounded by stuff. (This happened more than once). Next was the bath tub. For weeks they would get all their toys and pile them in the bath tub. After this happened a few times I gave up and just left them in there for a few days. Then it was Ainsley's bed. But this time it was Ainsley putting her stuff on her bed not Beckham. The worst part about this was she has a gazillion books, animals and a lot of puzzles. She would sleep on her bed with all the "stuff" and would wake up with puzzle prints on her face. It didn't seem to bother her a bit. - drove me crazy. It must be a game that Beckham and Ainsley play. It's either called - Let's see how much stuff we can cram in a small space or let's see if we can drive mom crazy. When I start to hear the pitter patter or their feet going back and forth I know I can look forward to a pile of toys stuck somewhere. So if you ever lose something at my house it's probably hidden away for safe keeping or stuffed somewhere with all the other toys.
I thought I had a picture of them with all their toys in the tub and on Ainsley's bed but all I can find is the one of her crib. I'll keep looking and post the others if I can find them.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Church at Disney?

As we are driving to the store today and this is the conversation between Beckham and I:

B: Mom are there churches at Disney World because I didn't see any?
Me: I don't think there are Beckham.
B: Why not? There should be churches every where
Me: I agree
B: I think they should put one in Downtown Disney because church is important and Disney World should have one. It has everything else.
Me: I agree
B: It should go right next to the Princess store.
Me: Maybe when you are older you can start a church there.
B: OK, or we could move Disney by our house because we have a lot of churches here.
Me: True but that might be hard. Good idea though.

It touched my heart to hear him talk about how important church is and that he even realized there wasn't a church at Disney.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Disney Pictures

Here are a few of the pictures from our trip to Disney. We had a great time. The kids loved seeing all the characters and Beckham LOVED the rides. He went on everything he was tall enough to ride. He even went on the Haunted Mansion twice! For some reason this year Ainsley was scared of most of the rides. I don't know if it is a phase but she didn't go on as many as she did last year. She would rather see the characters. It worked out well for Beckham because he would go on a ride with Monte while we waited in line to see a character. By the time we were in the front of the line Beckham would join us. He got the best of both worlds - seeing the characters, going on rides and not having to wait in line to see the characters!!

When the park opened we ran to Dumbo to ride it first. We did a few more rides and then headed to Toon Town. (Toon Town opens a little after the rest of the park - I guess Mickey has to have time to get ready to see everyone). Anyway, we get there a few minutes before it opens and when they took down the ropes it reminded me of the Running of the Brides when they have that huge bridal gown sale in NY. People were running so fast to get to the character tents. Kids were running out of their shoes and parents were running over kids. It was unreal. We walked at a brisk pace and by the time we got to the princess tent the line for Tinker Bell and the fairies was already 90 min long!! We decided that it wasn't worth the wait to see the fairies and got in the princess line which was much shorter. I guess it was only the 2nd day the fairies had been in the park. Never before have you been able to get your picture with Tink and now that the fairies movie is out they have more fairies. Even when we found that out we still decided it wasn't worth the wait (I know all you Disney Die hards are cringing at our decision and are wondering how we could pass up a chance to meet the fairies). The first time we went to see the princesses (yes, I said first we went twice). Beckham was excited to see them but when we got there he changed his mind and didn't want to get his picture with them. So he stood back with Monte as Ainsley soaked it up. She was in heaven! She loved meeting the princesses and was so cute. Later in the day Beckham regretted his decision and asked to see the princesses. So we waited in line again and this time he met them all and was more than happy to give them each a hug. The rest of the day was spent on rides and in lines to see characters. It seemed like every time we were 2 people from the front of the line to see a character they would have to "go for a walk, go make some pies, go get a drink, or powder their nose". 10 minutes later they would be back. Ainsley loved seeing the characters - I think one day at Animal Kingdom Ainsley saw Goofy three different times. Here are some of the pictures of the kids with some of the characters.

Character Breakfast at Ohana's

Goofy and Pluto

Minnie in her Halloween Costume

Goofy in his Halloween costume. The kids figured out why Goofy is called Goofy because he was goofy.

Ainsley thought Donald Duck was so funny because she had a Mickey Mouse Pen and he would not sign her book with a Mickey Mouse pen. He threw it on the ground and stomped on it. She thought that was hilarious.

Ariel was one of Beckham's favorites

Cinderella (the second time we saw her)

Ainsley and Bell (Beckham would not get in the picture)

Ainsley's favorite princess - Sleeping Beauty
Why is she her favorite? Because she wears pink.

FSU Football Weekend

A few days after getting back from Disney we hopped in the car again and headed to my parents. Monte and I had tickets to the FSU vs. Georgia Tech football game in Atlanta and my parents graciously offered to watch the kids. It's been nice living in an area where we can get to a few FSU games even if it's not at FSU. And even nicer to live close enough to family so we don't have to take the kids!! I'm sure the kids would love going to a game but then we wouldn't get to enjoy it because we would be taking care of them.

On Saturday morning we headed to Atlanta to catch up with some friends and head to the game. We first stopped in at the Varsity and had something to eat and have a frozen O (kind of like and orange cream slush). After filling our bellies with greasy food we went to the FSU Alumni tailgate hosted by the Atlanta chapter. As we walked around looking for our friends Monte and I started to realize how old we are getting. We finally met up with our friends, chatted for awhile and then headed into the game. We got to our seats which were right next to the band. Literally right next to the band. It was so loud. We looked at each other and commented on how loud it was which made us feel even older. I don't think I've ever sat that close to the band.

The game was a lot of fun but the outcome wasn't what we wanted. If you didn't see the game FSU rallied back from behind. With less than a minute left we were on the 3 yard line and were about to score and take the lead. On third down we ran right up the middle and fumbled the ball!!! It happened right in front of us. We saw the ball come out and felt like it was moving in slow motion. GT recovered the ball and we lost the game. Even though we lost we still had a great time. It was nice to spend time together. We both really appreciate mom and dad watching the kids so we could get away. Thanks mom and dad!!

Notice the band right behind us!!

Friday, November 14, 2008


OK, I'm going to try and play catch up this weekend. We have had a busy month but you wouldn't be able to tell from our blog. I have been neglecting to blog and am hoping to catch up soon.

I'll start off with Halloween. We were at my parents for Halloween because they were going to be watching the kids the next day when Monte and I went to Atlanta for the FSU game (another blog about that later). We knew we couldn't trick or treat in my parents neighborhood because 1. it's very hilly and 2. there are only a handful of houses built and it would take forever to walk to each one since they are so spread out. After asking around someone recommended an older neighborhood closer to Clemson. So off we went. The neighborhood was hilly - well, at least the driveways were which we had to go up and down to get to the front doors. And a lot of people weren't home or weren't answering their door. After going to a bunch of houses and only getting candy from about 10 we decided to call it quits. The kids had plenty of candy (especially since it was going to be in the house and I'm trying not to eat candy anymore). We had a lot of fun and the kids were adorable.

Originally Ainsley was going to be Sleeping Beauty which is her favorite princess because she wears pink but since it was a little chilly she decided to be a lion. Luckily I had bought a bunch of costumes after Halloween last year - they were super cheap under $5 each. I originally got them to play dress up. What better time to dress up than Halloween. So Ainsley was a friendly lion. Beckham is into space so he wanted to be a space explorer. Not an astronaut but a space explorer. I'm not exactly sure what the difference is or even what a space explorer is but Beckham corrected me every time I called him an astronaut.

Our Friendly Little Lion and Space Explorer

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Give me a break

Some people in this country have their priorities so screwed up. As people complain about the long lines to vote I shake my head in disbelief. Is it that big of a sacrifice to wait in line to vote? There are men and women over seas away from family and friends for months on end putting their lives in danger so you can have the right to vote. People in line are complaining about the wait to vote all the while they happily wait in line for hours even days to get a wii or see a football game. You can wait in line for something like that but you can't wait in line to vote for our next President!?! Goodness gracious - the priorities in our country are so messed up. Yes, the lines to vote are long and yes it might not be convenient but come on it's not that big of a sacrifice. If that doesn't get you out to the polls maybe this will - if you vote you can get a free coffee at Starbucks, free donut at Krispy Kreme and even a scoop of ice cream at Ben and Jerry's. If that doesn't motivate you I don't know what will (just kidding).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Back from the Sunshine State

We arrived home last night from out adventures in the sunshine state. After picking up Beckham from school last Thursday we headed to Tampa to visit Grandma and Grandpa Watkins. The kids had a great tie and we packed a lot into our short visit. We went to the Fun Center, a museum, saw some of Monte's high school friends, went to Grandma's school carnival and even made it to the beach. We originally went to look in the tide pools but since it was high tide we couldn't. The kids ended up on the beach. Unfortunately we hadn't planned on them going in the water (no suits, no change of clothes and no towels) but that didn't stop them. They got wet in their clothes but they had a good time. Which is all that matters but that is hard to remember as a parent as you are trying to think of how you are going to get your wet kids home in the car. You should have seen Beckham trying to jump the waves. He had a ball. Ainsley didn't care too much for the waves but enjoyed looking for birds and digging in the sand. There are many other stories from our trip but I don't have time to blog about them now. I'll blog more about Disney and other stories later. In the mean time here are a few pictures from the Tampa portion of our trip.
Pirate Ainsley at the Fun Center


Spider man was at the Campbell Park Carnival.

Grandma and Beckham wading in the waves

Ainsley birdwatching

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Welcome back

A few months ago a friend of mine, the women I had been training with moved. Due to her husband's job she moved back. Yea! On Wednesday I started doing her workouts again and it was a rude awakening. I had been working out the whole time she was gone but I quickly realized it just wasn't the same. After Wednesday's workout I was sore until today! Yep - it took 4 days to be able to walk, go down the stairs, and sit down without pain. I wasn't going to blog about being sore but tonight when I put Ainsley to bed she said, "Mommy my legs are sore from our walk." I guess she got that from me because all weekend all she heard was - ouch, don't touch my legs their sore, don't sit on my lap my legs hurt, ouch my legs (as I walk down the stairs or sit down). Even though it's not fun being sore it makes me happy because it means my friend is back in town and it means progress is being made. Pain is weakness leaving the body right??

Silly Sayings

So I was putting Beckham to bed tonight and he asked - Mom how do I sleep tight? I guess a few nights I said, "Good night, sleep tight." Knowing Beckham he has probably been pondering this for a few days and couldn't figure out how to sleep tight so finally asked. I told him "It was an old saying and to be honest I didn't know where it started or what it means. It's just something people say at night. I probably about having a good night sleep." His reply - "If you don't know look it up on the computer." Smart kid. I guess after I post this blog I'll be doing a little research on what "Good night, Sleep tight" actually means. If you know feel free to post the answer in the comments section because knowing me I'll forget to post the answer and I am sure all of you faithful readers are dying to know the origin of the saying.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In case you were wondering

what 100 pounds of apples looks like...

So cute!

Ainsley had a ball

Grammy Keeks, Poppy and the kiddos

Beckham trying to lift the bucket full of apples. He told me blueberries were easier to pick because they weren't as heavy.

The Kids and I

Monday, October 13, 2008

Down on the Farm

Fall is in the air, well not really considering it was warm enough to wear shorts today but we are trying to get into the fall spirit. The kids and Monte had off today for Columbus Day (bank holidays are so much better now that Monte works for a bank). If you ask Beckham about Columbus Day he'll tell you all about it. He can tell you how Columbus thought the world was flat and discovered it was round, he can tell you the names of the ships, and all about Columbus. Beckham always gets caught up at the end of the story. He'll tell you that when Columbus landed he thought it was India but he really discovered Bank of America. I guess he hears us talk about the bank too much!!

Back to my original post - Since everyone had the day off we decided to go to a pumpkin patch. We really wanted to pick our own pumpkin not just from a field of already picked pumpkins (like last year). I was told about this farm about 30 minutes away that lets you pick your own and they have a hayride. So, we decided to give it a try. When we got there we had a little bit of time to kill until our friends got there so we walked around. This farm was so neat. It really focused on educating the kids (and adults). There were different trails and mazes you could wander through. You stop at different points to answer nature questions or do activities (jump rope, potato sack races, leap frog). The kids really enjoyed it and learned a lot about the animals in North Carolina. The farm had plenty of picture opportunities where you could stick you face through wood cut outs - which we love. There were slides, swings, toy tractors and dump trucks in a sand box (Beckham's favorite), mazes, hay rides, and much more. We had a lot of fun and the kids did too!! Their pumpkins were a little small this year due to the weather but we had a good time. Beckham's favorite maze was the one through the blackberry field. You had to wander around finding all the wood cut outs of animals that eat the farmer's crops (rabbits, snails, deer, etc). We'll go back to the farm again next year. It was very educational and fun!! The only bummer was Ainsley twisted her ankle while climbing on some of the hay bales.

The Fam

The goat, sheep and horse

Crazy scarecrow drives

Jumping on hay having a ball

Slide at the end of one of the mazes

Corn stock tee pee

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

20 pounds down....

...19 to go. Unfortunately I don't mean my weight. I wish I was 20 pounds lighter but no, I am referring to apples.

The kids and I went to my parents this weekend because they didn't have school on Friday. On Friday we decided to go apple picking. I need to preface that before leaving home Monte joke with me about having fun apple picking but not to come home with 40 pounds of apples. He said it thinking - I'm going to give her an outrageous number so she gets my point of not coming home with a ton of apples. On the day of apple picking we got a little carried away. We try and go apple picking every year (except for last year when the orchard was out of apples) and I usually pick too many. In past years the apples have always been small and at the top of the trees. Luckily I'm tall so I could reach the ones everyone else couldn't. The orchard we went to this year had so many apples. They were low enough for the kids to pick. The apples were also huge in comparison to every other orchard I've been to. So we picked and picked and picked. We were having so much fun and the kids were having a ball. Ainsley was so funny she would find an apple and tell everyone "I found the perfect apple". She's pick it and then 2 minutes later she would say "I found the perfect apple". Needless to say we found a lot of perfect apples. Beckham had fun but once he picked a few bags he had more fun making sure we were following the rules. He was very concerned that we did not go beyond the ropes that said - No picking beyond this point. Any time any of us got close to the line he would make sure we knew not to cross it.

After picking a bunch of bags we head to the front to pay. At this orchard you don't pay per pound you pay per bag. The bags were $3.50 a bag. We figured since they were 3.50 a bag the bags were probably held about 5 pounds of apples. We counted up our bags and we had 10 (well, really 11 but that's another story). We made it back to "His Way Inn" (AKA my parents lake house) and unloaded the apples. As we were taking them out we commented that it looked like a lot of apples. Out of curiosity mom weighed one of the bags and it was 9.8 pounds!! That means we picked over 100 pounds of apples!!! Luckily Uncle Kirk and Aunt Jeannie were in town so we gave some to them, we gave some to my dad's sister, some to a friend, and some to mom's women's Bible Study. After splitting the remaining apples with mom I went home with 39 pounds. There was no way I was going to bring home a single ounce over 40 pounds especially after Monte joked about picking too many and not coming home with a crazy amount of apples like 40 pounds.

Since getting home I've made a huge batch of apple sauce, 2 large apple cakes (I used almost twice as many apples as it called for), apple pie, and of course we have all been eating apples for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Luckily these are really good apples. They are very juicy and the kids seem to love them. Good thing because they have to eat another 5 pounds each. I love that they are so big because it means less peeling when cooking with them (luckily I have the Pampered Chef apple peeler, corer, slicer) Even though we will be eating apple for the next few weeks we had a great time. We only wished Monte could be there.

I'll post pictures once mom or dad emails me some (hint, hint). I didn't have my camera but they got a bunch of good pics.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lesson in Faith

I got a big scoop of humble pie from Beckham. I try to always teach the kids that we can pray about anything and that God wants to hear from us and that he can do anything. If he can create the universe he can answer our prayers. It may not always be the answer we want but he knows what is best for us. Monte was in New York this week and was supposed to come home yesterday. Well, he called yesterday morning and said that his flight was canceled and that all the other flights were booked. The soonest they could get him home would be late Saturday afternoon. I told the kids that his flight was canceled and he was stuck in New York until Saturday. Beckham's response to the news was - why don't we pray that dad gets home safe tonight. I didn't want him to get his hopes up and be disappointed so I said - why don't we just pray he gets home safe. Beckham's response - No we should pray he gets home safe tonight. So from the back seat of the car Beckham said a prayer asking for his dad to get home that night and that he would be safe.

Beckham had faith that Monte would get home that night and he wasn't afraid to ask. I was the one that was afraid. Afraid that if we asked and it didn't happen Beckham would wonder why. Here I was trying to protect Beckham in reality he didn't need protecting. It was me that needed to reevaluate and learn a lesson from him. If God can create the heavens and the earth why couldn't he get Monte on a flight? My lack of faith seems silly if you think of it that way. Well, Beckham's prayer was answered. Monte got home last night. He even got home before bedtime (well, a little after but I kept the kids up).

Here's what I learned from Beckham: you need to have faith like a child, fear often holds us back from growing in our faith. I was afraid that if the prayer wasn't answered Beckham would wonder why. I need to get over those fears and ask what is on my heart.

Edited to say - It's not that I didn't think God couldn't get Monte on a flight. I knew He could I just didn't know if He would. I guess that is why it's called faith right? I needed to have more faith like Beckham.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Night Under the Stars

Last Friday night (I know I'm a little slow blogging about it) we went over to our friend's for Movie night. Since the weather was so nice we decided to make it outside movie night. They have a projector and a screen so they hooked their computer up to it and we were able to enjoy Alvin and the Chipmunks under the stars. It was a lot of fun. We did it earlier in the summer but the weather wasn't as nice as this time. I don't know what it is about kids watching movies in different places but our kids seem to love it. We went to the drive in theater a few times this summer and they loved it. The first time we went the kids were a bit confused - where are the seats? where are we going to watch the movie? Um, on the huge white wall in front of us. And the seats are in the car. They thought that was so cool and kept talking about it all summer. It's sad summer is over but it is nice to be able to enjoy the outside without the sweltering heat and bugs.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tender heart

Beckham is the most tenderhearted kids I know. He is always thinking of others and their feelings. Somehow Ainsley caught a bug and was sick this weekend. Beckham was so worried about his sister and just wanted her better. He even made her a card to help her feel better. It is so heart warming to see how compassionate he is. On Sunday he and I went to church while Ainsley and dad stayed home. As we were walking into his class he said - I wish sissy was here. Church is more fun when she is with me. he made sure his Sunday school class prayed for her.

He kept asking me when she was going to be better so he could play with her. And today when we drove to school he said, I'm sad sissy isn't coming. I love the fact that he loves and cares for his little sister. Don't get me wrong he has his moments with her but it's nice to know deep down inside he really cares for her.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What's red, white & 8 feet tall

Lil' Red of course!! Friday I was at Tuesday Morning trying to find some cheap games for the kids (connect four, operation, battle ship - which by the way are harder to find then you would think) and in the clearance section I saw a box that had a bunch of college mascots on it. Out of curiosity I picked it up to see what it was and it was a University of Nebraska blow up yard decoration. My first thought was - mom would love this! My second thought - I could never buy that for her because I always make fun of people that fill their yard with that kind of stuff. Then I thought - but she would love it. She is such a huge Corn Husker fan - she loves everything Nebraska. My next thought - my dad would kill me if I got this for her. So what did I do? I called Monte and got his opinion. We came to the conclusion it was such a great deal. It was 75% off the original price. I figured if mom didn't want it we could return it. So I put it in my cart and proceeded to check out. While checking out I thought - should I really be getting this and feeding her Husker obsession? I thought, I can show it to her and let her decide. If it's too much my feelings wouldn't be hurt. (If mom is reading this she is probably thinking - is there such a thing as too much Nebraska? Dad is probably thinking - there is definitely a thing as too much Nebraska especially when it is 8 feet tall! When we took it out of the box and blew it up we were amazed at how tall 8 feet is!! When I bought it I didn't realize it would blow up to 8 feet. The only way it will end up in their yard is over my dad's dead body but since their great room has such high ceilings maybe mom could put it there on game days. Megan and dad I know I shouldn't encourage her. Even if they don't ever use it it was worth getting a good laugh when we blew it up and saw how big it was. And seeing dad's reaction! Priceless! He wouldn't even touch the box or carry it to the car because he wanted nothing to do with it.

My parents visit was short. They stopped in on their way back from the Navy vs. Duke football game. We had lunch and cake for my dad's birthday. The kids did a great job on his cake. Beckham came up with how we should decorate it all by himself. He thought it should have army men, a jet and American flags since Poppy was in the Navy. He wanted to put his helicopter on it but couldn't find it so we had to settle for the jet. Beckham was funny when we were decorating it he said "mom, Poppy isn't going to take my toys is he? How about he gets the flags and I keep the toys." We had a fun making and decorating the cake for such a special dad and poppy.

Friday, September 5, 2008

First Week of School

Summer's over and it's back to routine. Which by the way we are all welcoming. Summer was great but the last two weeks of summer the kids and I have needed some routine back in our lives. Both kids officially started school this week. Beckham is in a transitional Kindergarten class and goes 5 mornings a week and Ainsley is in the 3 yr old program that goes 3 times a week.

I think this is going to be a great year for both of them. Ainsley is going to love the social aspect of being around more kids her age and will continue to grow academically (she already knows almost all her letters). Beckham's class is going to be just what he needs. We didn't think he was ready for kindergarten and the preschool he has been going to started a transitional Kindergarten for kids that aren't quite ready for school yet. He only has 7 kids in his class including him and there are 2 teachers so the kids get lots of attention. The only issue we are going to have with school is Ainsley gets upset on Tuesdays and Thursdays when she doesn't go. She wants to go everyday which is a great problem to have.

They both LOVE school and their teachers. Beckham even asked me today why a kid in his class cries for his mom every morning. I told him - well, maybe he misses his mom. And his response was - I don't miss you. I was a little sad at that response but happy in a way that he likes school so much he doesn't mind I'm gone. It also shows me that he is becoming more independent and is growing up.

Lastly for the first week of school we made a pencil cake to celebrate the start of school.

Beckham and Ainsley's first day of school together

The pencil cake we made

Friday, August 22, 2008


This summer Beckham got to the age where he doesn't need a nap everyday. There are some days that by the time 6:00 rolls around he is exhausted and both of us wished he had taken a nap. Unfortunately Ainsley is already starting to drop her nap too. I blame her dropping her naps on the paci fairy. She was always a great napper until she gave her paci to the paci fairy. When she doesn't nap I wish the paci fairy would bring it back so she would nap and I could get some stuff done. I guess I was lucky Beckham lasted this long with naps. Don't these kids realize naps are the best. When they're older they'll be wishing for naps.

Even if they don't take naps the kids have "quiet time" for an hour everyday. It's time for them to play and relax in their room so I can get things done around the house. On numerous occasions I have gone in to tell them quiet time is over and when I open the door they'll be asleep with toys in their hands. They must fall asleep in the middle of playing. The other day Beckham had put all his toys and animals (Ainsley's too) on his train table. When I walked in I saw him asleep ON the train table laying on all the toys. From the look of his room he had been playing hard. I think he played with every toy or at least he moved every piece from it's original place of origin.
When we were at my parents house Monte went to check on Ainsley and she was asleep on top of a bunch of puzzle pieces. To top it off she was naked. I guess she had gone to the bathroom and didn't put her underwear on. We got a picture but for privacy reason's I won't post it. I did get a picture of Beckham asleep on the train table. It just goes to show you that if they are tired they will sleep anywhere.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Great Imagination

Beckham has the best imagination. I have come to the conclusion that he doesn't need any toys. He has always been happy with playing with everyday objects and turning them into what ever his little mind can think of. Monte got an office chair for Father's Day and Beckham turned the box into a rocket. It has all the buttons, rocket boosters, door and more. He has literally played in his rocket almost everyday since making it in June. The other week we went to my parents lake house and he found an old moving box and turned it into a boat ferry. If you went into his room you might think we were moving since he has two big boxes (his rocket and his ferry). The other week he was busy playing in his room and came down stairs asking for water. Water? What do you need water for was my response. For my garden mom - come see. So I went to his room and he opened his "secret hiding place" in his bed and showed me his garden. He has drawn pictures of flowers and vegetables and put them in rows to make a garden. He took care of his garden by watering it with pretend water for a week before turning his secret hiding place into something else. I love his imagination and think that from now on we'll just give the boy boxes because he truly plays with them more than toys. Here's a picture of his garden - it doesn't do it justice. It was really cute and imaginative. Each paper has a flower or vegetable and the ones leaning agaist the wall and side were the ones that had already grown.


I am quickly learning the importance of memorizing and quoting scripture aloud. I have always known it was important but never really did it. I used my poor memory as my excuse for not doing it. We'll I've been trying to work memorizing scripture and have enlisted Beckham to help. I wish I had his memory. I can say a verse a few times and he typically remembers it the rest of the week when we say it.

I've tried to tell him it's important to know scripture so when you are in a situation where you need guidance or peace you can recall it and feel better. Well, the other morning we had a big thunder storm roll through our neighborhood (which is rare because it never rains here). Beckham came in and woke me up and said, "mom, the thunder was scaring me so I said - 'The Lord is with me' and I wasn't scared anymore." How awesome is that!! Not only is he remembering scripture and the stuff we talk about but he is using it and living it. I just pray he continues to grow in his faith and dependence on God.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fun in the Kitchen

The kids and I had a lot of fun yesterday making Silly Sam (or Spikey Sam). I think he looks cool and am proud of him. The weather has been really hot here so we decided to stay inside and have a craft day. After going to the store to get supplies we made Sam and a few other crafts. Watching the kids made me remember how hard it is to wait and be patient when you are 5 and 3 (actually it still is). Once the batter was made they wanted to decorate it right away. I had to explain that it needed to cook first. When the kitchen timer finally went off they were so excited to decorate it only to be met with disappointing news that they had to wait even longer for it to cool. Luckily it was lunch and nap time. Time goes by faster when your asleep. After nap time you would have thought it was Christmas Ainsley popped out of bed (which is unusual because she tends to take a little while to get going after a nap) and asked "is it cold now - can we decorate the cake?" The kids did a nice job and were very good about not eating the Hershey kisses. They both only ate one the whole time decorating. When I was that age I don't think many of the Hershey kisses would have made it onto the cake. Anyways, it was a fun day in the kitchen.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I'll Play - Tag

The Rules: Answer the questions using only one word.Then tag four others.

1. Where is your cell phone? pocket
2. Your significant other? Monte
3. Your hair? long
4. Your mother? Godly
5. Your father? leader
6. Your favorite thing? music
7. Your dream last night? forget
8. Your favorite drink? water
9. Your dream/goal? success
10. The room you’re in? office
11. Your hobby? workout
12. Your fear? failing
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Austin
14. What you’re not? touchy
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. One of your wish list items? health
17. Where you grew up? NOVA
18. The last thing you did? dishwasher
19. What are you wearing? clothes
20. Favorite gadget? none
21. Your pets? none
22. Your computer? slow
23. Your mood? exhausted
24. Missing someone? yes
25. Your car? works
26. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
27. Favorite store? Target
28. Like someone? Husband
29. Your favorite color? yellow
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? awhile

That was hard. Some answers would have been different but I couldn't think of how to make it one word. If anyone else wants to give it a try be my guest.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wilderness Adventure

What do King Kong, Marshmallows, and smurfs all have in common? The camping trip that Beckham and I took. Let me explain. A few weeks ago I got an email from a good friend in Chicago. He was bringing a group of guys from the HS youth group I used to work with down to the Smokies to do some camping. Beckham has been asking to sleep in a tent for months (although Julie had thought maybe the playroom or the backyard was a good place to start). So Beckham and I made a trip to Target to buy a sleeping bag, camp food, bug spray and the next thing you know we are in the car heading for Tennessee. Four short hours (roughly 2.3 DVDs in kid time) we arrived in historic Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg can best be described as a red neck's Vegas. All of the velvet - just no Elvis. I had been when I was about Beckham's age so we had to park and see what had changed in 20 years. Not much - its still a blur of candy stores, t-shirt shops, those bears carved out of huge logs, and the Ripley's Believe it or not (yeah - believe it or not you just paid $17 to see a plastic replica of the bearded lady). Beckham of course was very impressed with the glitz. He was especially taken with the 30 foot King Kong in front of the wax museum. He had never seen King Kong so when I told him the story he said - "that is a very sad story - lets take pictures". Maybe he is heading for a career in journalism.

After we pryed ourselves away from the lights of Gatlinburg it was time to go to the Great Smokie National Park to set up camp for the night. We checked in with the park rangers and found our friends camp site. I had borrowed a 2 man tent from a friend at work. I remember thinking when I picked it up that it seemed really light - tent technology has come a long way. When we unrolled it I discovered that 2 man tent really should be more like a 2 smurf size tent. I think when they size tents they still must be using dimensions from the 1700s when the average height was 5 ft. Even Beckham felt a little cramped in there.

After setting up the 2 smurf size tent we met up with our friends and looked around for animals. We spotted a huge woodpecker and some deer. Then it was time for a traditional camp dinner. Beckham had selected a hot dog main course, fritos on the side, and a Smore for dessert. While he enjoyed the Smore - he quickly became impatient with the process and said "Dad can we just eat the marshmallows out of the bag - this takes too long". Then it was time for stories around the camp fire. And of course that night he insisted that we both sleep at the feet end because that was where the screen was an we could watch for falling stars and bears. We were wedged in there cheek-to-cheek for hours. I had forgotten that feeling the next morning after sleeping on the ground then getting the first waft of bacon on an open fire. It really is a great way to wake up.

In the morning there was a deer walking through our campsite and Beckham was looking to feed him poptarts but the deer didn't seem interested. Then it was time to pack up and do a few little park hikes on the way out. We saw some rapids and few waterfalls. It really is a very scenic park. Beckham especially loved the waterfalls. Although he quickly decided that instead of the ranger hike at 11 - he preferred to go see King Kong again and a McDonalds happy meal. So with that we were off for some fast food and then the four hour trip home for a much needed shower.

Bag of Marshmallows - $1.19
New sleeping bag - $30
2 tanks of gas - $86
Spending two days with Beckham on his first camping trip - priceless

Sunday, July 20, 2008

R&R at "His Way Inn"

This weekend we went to my parents lake house for the weekend. We got there on Thursday night after Monte got off work. Monte's job allows him to work from anywhere there is a phone line, Internet, and cell phone reception. So we have taken advantage of that by going to my parents on Thursday nights to get a jump on the weekend. The kids and I play in the pool on Friday while Monte works and then we still have 2 more days to enjoy the Lake house. It is so peaceful and relaxing there. I love to work out on their back deck over looking the trees and lake. what a great and peaceful way to start the morning.

On Friday we went blueberry picking. There is a farm a mile down the road from my parents. It was a lot of fun and the kids had a ball picking them. According to Beckham there was a contest to see who could pick the most. (you can tell he has a lot of Scott in him). We picked blueberries for a little over an hour. We were having so much fun we would have picked longer but we already had picked 8 pounds!! I'm trying to figure out what to do with all of them. The rest of the day was spent in the pool.

Saturday was an adventure for our memory bank. We headed out to the Jockey Lot (AKA a flea market) hoping to find treasures. Once we got there (1 hour and 45 minutes later) we were a little disappointed at all the junk. Monte kept saying shopping on the streets in Mexico would have been a step up and he was probably right. By the way, it typically doesn't take almost 2 hours to get there but the Internet had the wrong address which we put in our GPS. We were driving along and all the sudden "Emma" (that's what we call our GPS voice) said, "you have reached your destination" we all looked around, looked at each other and busted out laughing. We were in the middle of no where. There was nothing for miles. We decided to drive down the road where "emma" said was our destination only to come across a sign that said "end of county maintenance" and led to a gravel road. After calling the number for the Jockey Lot we realized the Internet said South 29 and it was supposed to be north 29. North and South make a big difference. Keep in mind the kids are hungry, Ainsley is crying and we had no clue where we were or where we were going. But we got there and did find a golf bag for Monte and some "junk" (I mean treasures) for the kids. The rest of the day was spent in the pool and on the lake.

Sunday was a bit of the same - church, boating, pool then we packed up and headed home. Letting the kids swim for a few hours before leaving is the way to go. They were so exhausted they fell asleep before leaving my parents neighborhood.

We had a great time and I'll post pics if Meggo emails me some (or you can check out her blog and see pics from the weekend.).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Picture Time

I downloaded my pictures and realized it had been awhile since I had downloaded them which meant the blog doesn't have many recent pics. Here are a few from the past few months.

Beckham's birthday (see I told you it's been awhile)

Beckham and his friends at the baseball game

Air Museum while we were in DC for Amy's wedding

At the School Bus Races

Monday, July 14, 2008

Growing up

The day has finally come - Ainsley got her first hair cut. In the past month my little girl has grown up right before my eyes. It has been a month of monumental events for her. First, she got rid of her paci. We sent it to the paci fairy for another baby to have. In exchange for the paci the "paci fairy" left a white dog that fits in a little pink purse (not a real dog for those of you wondering). Ainsley decided to name the dog "Monkey" - don't ask me why. Her next big step was Potty training. Which went better than I expected. She is definitely strong willed but after a day or two she realized we weren't giving up so she might as well give in and get as many starburst as she could. It's still a work in progress but after the first accident (2 minutes into the training) she has only had one accident at nap time.

Lastly she finally got her first haircut. Many of you know that Ainsley was our little baldie. She was bald until she was 2. Since she never had any I was letting it grow but it finally got to the point of looking almost mullet like so I took her in. I didn't know how it would go but she did great. She was very happy they didn't use the "machine" also known as clippers. Because according to her "that's scary". So our little girl is growing up and she is loving every minute of it.