First, I have to start this post by telling you that I have had the best sandwich in the world:  The Marlboro Man Sandwich by Pioneer Woman.  You must eat this ASAP!  It is sooo good.  If you don’t know who The Pioneer Woman is, you just have to click on over and find out for yourself.  Oh, and try her Corn Casserole too.  Mmm mmm mmm!  Seriously, this woman is my hero!

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I can go on to write about what I intended to write about in the first place.  My mother-in-law.  

Bean and I spent Labor Day weekend with my mother-in-law while Hubby, the boys, and my father-in-law camped.  You hear so many of those mother-in-law jokes where the mother-in-law is portrayed as stupid or bitchy.  You hear of so many folks who complain about their mother-in-law and the way she treats them badly.  You will never won’t usually hear me complain like that about my mother-in-law.  


Because my mother-in-law (hereby called MIL because I am getting to lazy to keep typing it all out) is a wonderful lady.  She is kind to me and treats me like one of her own children.  She is almost always willing to lend me a helping hand unless it’s when I’ve called her a few times to come and watch my kids so I can go out with my husband for the evening and she won’t do it and I get really angry about it.  She has taught me so much in the eight years that I’ve been married to her son.  She taught me to sew and gave me her beloved sewing machine.  She taught me to can vegetables.  She got me interested in cross stitch and crochet.  She tried to teach me to crochet once but I wasn’t interested at the time.  Now that I’ve taught myself, she shared some of her crochet patterns with me this weekend.  She has taught me to make a number of foods that I would have never tried nor been able to cook correctly if she hadn’t shown me how.  Most of all, my MIL inspires me to be a better mother and wife and homemaker.  

When I look around her home, it is furnished quite nicely but simply.  Many of the things she has in her home have come from estate sales and yard sales and the rest have come from years of hard work to acquire them.  The thing is, she doesn’t have to have new stuff.  She is just as happy to reupholster an old sofa that she’s had for decades than if she went out and bought a new one.  She also has wonderful taste in upholstery fabrics. 

She always has a servant’s attitude toward her family.  No matter how tired she may be, if her husband asks for her to do something for him (say get him a sandwich while he sits on the porch swing), her response is always “Sure, I’d be happy to do that for you.”  Me?  I’d say “Huh?  Get up off your butt and fix your own sandwich.  You’re a big boy and you know how it’s done.  I didn’t take you to raise.”  But not her, no sir.

When she woke up on Sunday morning and Bean was standing in her bed, waiting for me to come and pick her up, MIL picked her up and changed her diaper and took her downstairs and fed her some breakfast and then took her outside to swing in the porch swing so I could sleep in until 9:36.  She was happy to do this for me because she remembers what it was like to have little children who wake up during the night even though she is almost 11 months old and should’ve outgrown this months ago.  

She just flat does not complain or grumble about having to do for her family, even after all these years.  After nearly 40 years of marriage.  After years and years of sewing clothes for her children and driving to scouts and ball games and practice.  After years of making sandwiches and lunches and dinners and cookies for bake sales.  After years of washing sheets and changing beds and dusting furniture.  After moving seventeen times for various job opportunities for her husband.  After all the years of working in the garden and canning vegetables for weeks on end each summer so they have veggies for the winter months.  After all these years, she is still happy to do it.  I just cannot imagine.  Seriously.

“Do all things without complaining and disputing…”  Philippians 2:14

She does it, folks.  And she inspires me to do the same.  I hope one day, I can be like her.  I hope that one day, I can have the servant’s heart that she portrays in everything she does.  See, I often forget that God has given me this privilege to stay at home and nurture my children and my family and my home.  I forget that what I do day in and day out is a blessing.  I forget that this is an opportunity to serve Him by serving others. But not my MIL, she remembers it always.  She is my inspiration today.

Published in: on September 3, 2008 at 2:01 pm  Comments (2)  
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My Summer Vacation Recap….

Wow!  Summer vacation has gone by so quickly!  It’s so hard to believe that the kids are already back in school and the weather is starting to cool down.  I can’t lie, I love fall!  I love everything about it, the smells, the air, the colors, the feeling that fall gives me!  No matter how much I love fall, though, I am still sad to see summer go.  That’s why I was happy to see that We Are That Family is hosting a Sizzlin’ Summer Vacation carnival!  I get one last chance to relive our summer vacation memories….

Every year we head down to the beach for a week of fun and sun with Hubby’s family.  It really is a wonderful time spent with family.  Since he and his parents and sisters are all spread out and we don’t get to visit each other more than a few times a year, and almost never all together at the same time, it is the one time each year that we can all be together until we want to knock each other’s heads off.  Only kidding.  I love my in-laws (honestly and truly).  

This year, was Bean’s first trip to the beach.  I had a cute little tent for her to play in so she could be out of the sun.  I had a little kiddie pool for her to sit in since I didn’t exactly want to stick her in the ocean at 7 months old.  I bought a couple of teensy weensy adorable bathing suits for her.  She had sun bonnets and sunglasses.  Oh, I had such visions of the cuteness she would be while enjoying her time on the beach.  Guess what?  She hated it!  She hated the sand.  She hated the water.  She hated it all!  Surely this cannot really be my child.



No, she was much more content to stay inside and eat her toes.


Now, Big Al and Smarty love the beach!  They live for the yearly beach trip.  They always have a great time burying each other in the sand, playing in the water, and fishing.  Definitely my kids, those two are.


Hubby would rather go to the mountains, I think.  When we do go to the beach, he just likes to hang out on the beach and fish or play with the kids.  However, this year’s vacation wasn’t much fun at all for poor Hubby.  He was so sick!  He ended up in the ER having chest x-rays to rule out pneumonia.  He ended up on prescription cough medicine and an inhaler.  Needless to say, he spent much of his time in the bed.  He did manage to get in a little bit of fishing time.

The rest of our summer was spent at the park or just doing things around the house.  We did manage to get in a quick trip to the mountains for a little camping, albeit in the rain.  

What did your family do for summer vacation this year?  Jump on over to We Are That Family and link up and share your summer vacation experience!  

Published in: on August 29, 2008 at 8:50 am  Comments (4)  

Eight Years Ago Today….

….my father and my son escorted me down the aisle to the man who could make my heart skip a beat with just one look (and still can).  

My dad and I stood in the foyer of the church, waiting for the doors to swing open and the music to play so I could make my grand entrance.  Dad held Big Al in one arm, with my arm linked in the other.  He kept nervously repeating to himself “Her son, her mother, and I.  Her son, her mother, and I.  Her son, her mother, and I.”  He was so afraid he would mess up.  Bless his heart.

I, on the other hand, was not nervous in the least.  I had not been nervous all day long.  This day had gone just as planned.  I was so relaxed.  I knew that I was destined to spend the rest of my life with Hubby.  I had known it since our first date.  As a matter of fact, when I got home from our first date, I called my best friend and told her that he was the one I would spend the rest of my life with.  And now, here I was ready to walk down the aisle to vow my undying love for him in front of God and family.   

I’ll never forget the look on Hubby’s face when those doors opened.  Our eyes met, and my heart skipped a beat.  He had the biggest smile on his face.  To be quite honest, with the exception of the birth of our children, I don’t think he’s ever smiled a smile so big since then.  

We’ve had our share of ups and downs since August 26, 2000.  We’ve had some really trying times.  We’ve had some wonderfully happy times.  No matter what, though, he is still the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.  Honestly, I love him more now than the day we were married.  


**I wanted so badly to scan some of my wedding pics to share with you (especially of my 21 month old Big Al in his teeny tiny tux) but when I scanned them, they looked awful.  Something must be up with my scanner.  Sorry.

Published in: on August 26, 2008 at 3:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

And So It Begins

With school starting back last week, the boys’ other activities are starting back up too.  In the summertime, I thoroughly enjoy having a mostly clear calendar.  Now that we’re back in the swing of things, my calendar is already filling up.  I’ve gone from having one or two things a month to attend to having one or two days a month that are free.  

Big Al starts football on Monday.  We have to go tonight and pick up his pads.  He couldn’t be more excited.  Let’s just say I am less excited than he is.  I’m not looking forward to dragging Smarty and Bean to football practices and games in the heat (and later, cold) to watch some big kid tackle and possibly injure my sweet little guy.  Yeah, Big Al would just curl up and die if he knew I just referred to him as a “sweet little guy”.  But I’m his mommy, so it will have to be okay.

Practice and games will be held three nights a week.  We attend church two nights a week.  That leaves two other nights a week that we have free.  But, hold on, we haven’t factored in the fact that Big Al and Smarty are in Cub Scouts so those meetings will take up a night a week.  That leaves us with one night a week free. And let’s not forget the homework and supper that have to be done before we head out the door to these activities.  Shoot me now.

I’m glad my children are involved in things and I encourage them but, gosh, it’s just chaotic sometimes.  There have been days I’ve prayed for rain just so we don’t have to go to the ball fields.  Of course, that was baseball and I know they don’t cancel football games for rain so I guess I’m out of luck there.  Oh well.  I will just suck it up and cheer my guys on because I know these moments are fleeting and one day I will wish I had them back.  Just probably not any day really soon…..

Published in: on August 22, 2008 at 2:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Getting Back To It

I have to confess something.  I haven’t been “cleaning” for a week or so now.  I know.  My house is turning into a rather dusty mess.  Hubby complained last night that the dust is starting to choke him.  Truth be told, it’s choking me too.  

I’ve just been preoccupied with other stuff.  Like playing with the baby.  And video taping the baby doing cute stuff.  And planning the Back-to-School Bash at church (which was a huge success, by the way).  And feeding my internet addiction.  You know, important stuff.  

Anyway, this morning I decided that I’ve got to get back to it.  I’ve got to start using my lists again.  At least this way, I don’t have to stammer around and lie fib stretch the truth when Hubby asks if I used my list this evening.  I just hate when it gets to this point and I really have to bust my butt to get it back in shape.  I mean, really, it’s not that bad but still.  

So, in order to get my cleaning mindset going on, I’ve put on my “cleaning music”.  Granted, right now it’s my “blogging music” because I wanted to go ahead and type up this post while I’m slacking “on break”.  

What is cleaning music, you ask?  

Well, it’s music that you listen to really loudly while cleaning that also motivates you to keep right on boogying, I mean cleaning.  For me, it’s the CD that I had just bought when Hubby and I started dating.  I loved every song on it and I listened to it while cleaning up my house before he came over.  Ya know, since I was destined to be his bride, I couldn’t have him seeing what a slacker I was at house cleaning.  Anyway, back to the music, it’s not even my favorite CD anymore and the only time I listen to it is when I’m cleaning.  It brings back the feelings of pure bliss and anxious anticipation I had over 8 years ago when my sweetheart was coming over to make out on the couch visit.  *Dreamy eyed*  It makes me want to rush out and buy a pair of l.e.i. jeans and a bottle of Curve perfume (they were my staples back in the day).

But that brings me to this:  Shouldn’t I still feel that way that my sweetheart is coming home from work in a few hours?  I mean, shouldn’t I still be all happy and filled with feelings of pure bliss and anxious anticipation at the thought that I will see him in a few hours?  Listening to this CD while I’m cleaning really brings back those feelings and reminds me how much I really do love Hubby – even while I’m scrubbing the toilet.  Pure bliss, I tell ya.  Honestly, I’m a bit upset with myself because I don’t feel this way about Hubby coming home to me each day as I was 8 years ago and he was just coming over to visit for the evening.  I will make a better effort to remember not to take the fact that Hubby is coming home to me at the end of every day for granted anymore, k?

I digress….Where was I?  Oh yeah, cleaning music.  

So, the CD I’m listening to is Chelly Wright: Single White Female.  Do you have cleaning music?  What’s your favorite?  I’d love to know what you listen to while you clean.  



Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 10:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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My Son, The Bug Catcher

Me:  Whatcha doin’?

Smarty:  Catching bugs.  I’m looking for a Red Velvet Ant.

Me:  Smarty, you picked one of those up the other day and it stung you!   Stay away from those things!

Smarty:  Yeah, but I won’t get stung this time.  I’m gonna outsmart ’em.

Me:  Yeah, well, good luck with that one.

Published in: on August 16, 2008 at 9:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Back to School Time & We’re Prepared!

Today is the first day of a new school year for my boys.  It’s so hard to believe that they are already in the 2nd and 4th grades!  Heck, it’s hard for me to believe that either of them is already old enough for school.  Where does time go?  

They were so excited last night they could hardly get to sleep.  They picked out what they were going to wear (right down to their underwear) and laid everything out so it would be ready to go this morning.  Their backpacks were packed up with new notebooks, paper, pencils, and all the other things on their lengthy school supply lists and placed by the door.  

This morning ran so smoothly!  They hopped right out of bed and came to breakfast.  Since their clothes were all ready for them and showers were taken last night, they were able to get dressed without having to search for anything.  They brushed their teeth and combed their hair and were ready for the bus a full ten minutes early!  I even had time to pack hubby’s lunch!

I know this morning was different because it was the first day of school but I want to be this prepared every morning.  This year, I am going to make the boys lay out their clothes at night so we don’t have to disagree about shirts or search for someone’s left shoe again.  Yes, this year we are going to get prepared the night before.  I think the whole family could benefit from a little preparation!

So, tell me, what do you do to be prepared for your morning?  Do you do something special for the first day of school?

Published in: on August 11, 2008 at 1:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I have planned a trip to the fabric store today.  It makes me just giddy to think about it.  I love the fabric store!  I am looking for fabric for a new apron and for some clothes for the kids.  

I have a post from the weekend for you but I need to download the pictures for it on my computer.  I will do this later today.  Promise.  Stay tuned….

Published in: on August 5, 2008 at 12:23 pm  Leave a Comment