Monday, May 25, 2009

Another Giveaway...

In response to my blog about Tate's graduation, I came across this lovely blog. So Teresa is having a giveway and I like gettin'. Besides that she is leading a prayer brigade for a nine year old young lady named Maggie who's fighting a brain tumor. She has now been added to my prayer list. Hopefully you'll check it out...

Barbeques, Baggo, & Bowling

We had such a fun-filled weekend filled with friends and family. Bobo and Igglers came into town to visit and Mamaw and Papaw stayed through Tate's graduation. Friday night we were going to go to the Lookouts game, but the weather forecast changed our minds and we headed to the bowling alley. Mamaw and Papaw brought out their A game while the kids worked on their skills. Not sure what happened on the other lane but Bobo was bragging about scoring his best game.

Saturday, I ran to Home Depot to pick up some sand. Later that morning, Zach and Allison came over to play with the kids while their mom ran some errands. Can I just say 4 bags of sand for $10 might have been the best investment I've ever made.

Later that night we took advantage of the built-in babysitters (aka Mamaw and Papaw) and we headed down to Chatt town for an anniversary dinner. We had a great dinner at the Terminal and then went to Rio Picante to watch the game.

On Sunday, the boys headed to the golf course while Igglers and I got ready for the barbeque. Can I just say that Igglers may decide to never come visit again. I worked her to death :) We were holding our breath with the weather reports...its never good when you hear 50% and scattered t-storms. Sure enough, just as everyone arrived, the monsoon came. Luckily it eventually cleared out and we were able to complete the Baggo tournament. Unfortunately, a true winner could not be determined because of the 2nd monsoon that came through during the championship round. So...we'll just declare co-champions: Christel and Nate, and Non and RobBob.

Notice the whiteboard behind Robbie and Non...they made their own Baggo Bracket. As you can see from the pics below...we're getting serious now!
Yep...there she is bag lady, MacMama. And below is her lovely partner Kenny (aka Howie Cob) and Non (official stand-in for me as RobBob's partner)...
We had such a great family filled weekend. I had to get this posted this morning since we have a "No computer, cell phone or tv" rule after 4:00 today so RobBob and I can celebrate our anniversary in style...(if this blogs a rockin...) HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY EVERYONE!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sits and Thinks

I remember the feeling that day...I was getting setup for our faculty picnic when I got a phone call from the kids' school. They called to tell me that Tate was not hurt, but was very upset and they couldn't get him settled down. (I now know this is code word for he's in trouble). I quickly left the building to go pick him up.

On the way there, I called my mom and as soon as I heard her voice, I burst into tears. Those of you that know me well, know that crying is not my thing. As a matter of fact, I do everything in my power to avoid it at all costs. Don't ask...that's probably another post. But crying is the only thing I knew to do. End of my you would say. Ya see, Tate had not had the easiest spring. Everyday I would pick him up from school, I would hold my breath for what the teacher was going to say. "Tate had a hard time playing with others today." "Tate had a hard time listening today." "Tate is our best singer, but for some reason, he chooses not to cooperate."

All of this teacherese fell on a deaf ear. I was a pro at it. Tell them the negative student behavior in the most positive way possible...I've done it a million times. I could only imagine how bad it really was. This was probably the root of my emotion. It was really humbling to have to leave my job of "keeping other peoples' kids in line" because I couldn't keep my own in line. THIS IS WHAT I DO...THIS IS WHAT I'M GOOD AT! Why is everything I've ever learned failing me now????

That ten minute drive felt like an eternity while visions of Tate crying in the director's office swirled around in my head. Of course, my mom encouraged me and told me that this was a transition time and he was just adjusting to a new school but I wouldn't hear any of it. This was my fault. I work too much. I'm not consistent. I try to be too much for too many people and let my own fall through the cracks. Yep...I gave myself my own "spanking" all the way there.

I made the "Walk of Shame" into the front office and there he sat.

Red eyes.




I briefly spoke with the director, took his hand, and walked him to the car in silence. I had decided before I arrived that sometimes silence is better. I had pulled all of my tricks out of the bag for the past few months and none of them were working. I had tried all corrective measures and they were expired. So as my favorite childhood character, Eoyore says, "Sometimes I just sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits." Tate and mommy needed to "sits and thinks". And think we did.

The director had told me that Tate had kicked his teacher during rehearsal for the graduation ceremony and that he would not be allowed to perform with his class. Robbie and I both decided that Tate would attend the ceremony and sit in the back with me so he could see what he was missing.

It was not an easy night. I dreaded it. Many of my teachers take their kids to this school so when they saw Tate and I sitting in the back, their first question was "Why?" I just smiled and told them Tate was not able to perform tonight. Again silence. We sat in silence...until his friends walked down the aisle to the stage and then I heard him. He broke the silence. Sniff...sniff...whimpering. Without saying a word, he got it. How much of my silent life lesson he got, who knows? But when he saw all of his friends and they saw him, he understood enough.

That was one year ago.

Immediately following that incident, I had a dear friend of mine give me the best advice of my life, "Love Him." And that's what I've chosen to do. Throw out all my child development studies about behavior expectations and positive reinforcement vs. negative punishment. I was just going to "Love Him" and "Sits and Thinks". And by golly, it worked. He was calm more than upset. He laughed more than he cried. He listened more when he was heard.

And then there was Thursday night. Despite all of the positive progress, you can imagine my anxiety the past few weeks worrying about this year's graduation ceremony where Tate would actually be one of the "graduates". I shouldn't have worried about a thing. When the doors opened, there he was...




Simply loved. It's not really that hard once you think about it.

Congratulations to my preschool grad...Tatum Robert O''re the best!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

He Loves Me!

I have recovered.

I am full.

I have awakened.

And now I want them to come home to me. It was much anticipated. And it was well worth the time, but now that my "free as a bird" weekend is closing down...I am ready. Ready for their return.
How did I manage to get a weekend with no husband? Well it looks something like this...Robbie had a class reunion in Kentucky. Since I had graduation, Robbie loaded up the kids and headed north to his parents'.
I danced.
I dined.
I worked.
I chatted.
I wrote.
I slept.
I slept.
And now...I want them back. I want him back, but I can't. Mean ole flu has knocked RobBob out with a 103 degree temp and so the trip is extended.

And I am waiting.
Thinking about my blessings. The blessings of friends, family, and faith. The blessing of him. A week from tomorrow we will have been married for eight years. And man am I lucky...

Early in our marriage, I heard about the Love Languages survey (click here for more information). Everytime I take this survey, Words of Affirmation has scored as my love language by leaps and bounds. My husband's language is acts of service (hence all the car washes and emptying of the dishwasher!).
Here lately, I have felt loved in a way that I haven't felt loved before. Not because I don't like them and not because I'm selfless, because everyone likes to be given to...but everytime I have taken the survey, Gifts has been the love language that receives the lowest score. I think the last time I took it, it was 2%. NOT ANYMORE! Daddy has been good to me...
It started with this...

A nice handy tool to make my hair look smooth and shiny. I came home from the hairdresser after she had spent some QT drying and straightening my hair...not an easy task, mind you. When I walked in the door, he told me how great my hair looked. When I told him how much time and money it would cost to look like this everyday, he told me to "get one". And so I did. Of course, I can only straighten it once a week, but its still the Bomb Diggity.

Next came birthday weekend...and oh was I a lucky girl...

If you have been around me anytime for the past year, you know this is ALL I've wanted. My Blackberry, otherwise known as my best organ. It is my 2nd brain that has really been a lifestyle changer. And he got it for me! He walked me in the Verizon store, let me pick out the pink one, and set me up with the ultimate data package. Since then, I have been one happy mama (and he's since gotten the Verizon data service as well :)

And now we're to my new favorite thing. I remember my first charm bracelet. It was for my 16th birthday from my mom and dad. It had a bulldog, softball, and Sweet 16 charm. I still have it and love it...almost. It's a little dangly and clanky for my taste. I'm a simple girl and simple jewelry is my style. However, I do love the sentimentality of it. Hence, this gift...

Where did you get this beautiful creation? Why here, of course. And it is wonderful. A charm bracelet that is simple and not perfect is that? The blue charm was my Mother's Day gift. A daisy cuz its my favorite flower and blue petals for my favorite color. Isn't he the greatest?

And on Mother's Day, before I got the above gift, I made a trip to Home Depot to pick up some flowers. And what did I find?

The patio furniture I'd been eyeing went on sale bigtime. So I called my best gift giver and told him to come check it out. His original answer? "Maybe sometime this week." To which I replied, "But it says 'While Supplies Last'. What if they run out?" So I came home picked him up and took him to Home Depot. The next night we were borrowing the neighbor's truck and going to pick up my latest "gift". How happy am I? And how wonderfully perfect is he?

So happy that this weekend, I headed out and bought myself a little "gift". Comfy strap, sexy look, can't get much better than that.

So I'll wait...he'll be home soon. And we'll begin celebrating anniversary week in style (minus the gifts, of course :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Graduate Igglers

We headed up to Cookeville yesterday morning to celebrate Sarah "Igglers" graduation from Tech. At some point in the afternoon, I asked Robbie why we weren't staying the night. Since neither of us had a good answer, we spent the night, played Wii, ordered pizza and watched (or slept through) a movie. It was a great time.

Congrats Sarah! Lily says "No Maam!"

Farewell KiKi Dee...

My family and I have been blessed for the past two years by the return of Kendra Dee, otherwise known as KiKi or DeeDee (which explains the abbreviation KiKi Dee). We were blessed to have our own resident family/play/child/massage therapist. With her master's graduation (even though its only her first :), comes a necessary move back home to Tampa, FL. Friday night we spent some time saying goodbye, listening to the cd's she left us with, and dancing...yes dancing on the back deck until the wee hours of the morning. She has become part of the family and will be greatly missed. Robbie's convinced she'll move back soon, so I'm gonna hang on to that. In the meantime, I'll post some pics to remember her by...

Mama Mia

MAMA MIA...A Celebration of Mothers...Wow! I don't exactly know where to start. I guess here...

There she is folks...Paulette Darlene. Isn't she beautiful? The black and white pic does not highlight her greatest physical attribute...that beautiful red hair which is all I can look at in this picture.

And the little girl in that picture...look like anyone else you know?

When I think of my mother, the only thing that I can do is smile. I have heard the stories and can only imagine the horror of teenage girls and their mothers. If my mother were to tell the story, I'm sure she would say it was pure horror, but with the exception of a few instances, my mother has always and will always be my best friend. Now, this is not to say that we're perfect...NO WAY, but we have rarely fought. I think some of those horror stories fell sometime around this picture...

Mi madre, Red, P, Sis, and Mamie are all names you can call her, but the one that sticks with me through all is "Child of God". That mother of mine is one god-fearing, Christ seeking, and prayer stomping lady. Hence, the reason I call her everyday and tell her all my problems. If anyone has a connection with the big guy, its gotta be her. She's also one of the most thoughtful ladies I know and gives the best hugs at just the most perfect times. She has this unique gift of making you do what she wants you to do without knowing its what SHE wanted you to do. Hence, my whipped dad...she says he's spoiled...I beg to differ :) Most girls don't get this have an amazing woman to look up to first as a woman, and then a wife and mother, not to mention servant of our king.

Mind you...she cheated horribly...yep I'm callin' her out. If you think she did this job of "mothering" on her own, you're nuts...plain buck nutty! Nope she relied heavily on her femme posse (pictured below) with some poor pitiful chaps who committed a lifetime to these ladies stubborn and crazy ways...

Pictured above are my aunties and grammies...that is one group of mother lovin' ladies. The lessons are endless, but I'll share a few...

1. Let him wear the pants, just tell him which ones to wear...

2. Get yourself a signature dish and stick with it...Aunt Lynda's is banana pudding...Gramma D is Razzle Dazzle (among many others) and of course, my mama's is infamous Chocolate Chip Cookies.

3. Don't'll never run out of food...and if you do they'll leave earlier anyway.

4. Your hairdresser is your best friend. You must change your hair color/style keeps things interesting.

5. Love is can pitch fits, throw temper tantrums and kick and scream, but the LOVE never goes away.

On the close of this Mother's Day, I must say thank you. Thanks for loving me and showing me love. Thanks for spending time with me so that I may spend time with others. Thanks for praying on your knees for my soul so that I may pray for those in need. But most importantly, thank you for showing me the essence of Women...STRONG, BEAUTIFUL, NURTURING, FAITHFUL...These are all words that I live and strive by daily.

Today when Robbie asked me what I wanted to do for Mother's Day, I said "Nothing". And although it was more than "nothing", it was definitely a day doing just want mommy wanted.

We Gardened

We Completed Mommy's To Do List :)

We Played Mommy

We Even Drew Mommy

And with that, I spent the afternoon with my two little "best friends" doing what mom's do best: repeating instructions, cleaning up messes, and breaking up arguments...all with a little love and patience thrown in.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Apple That Rolled From the Tree

I'm simply amazed. I have to say that it takes quite a bit to simply knock my socks off, but he does it. Many of you know our story, but some do not. started like this...Boy meets girl...girl marries boy...

(This is where I insert the unexpected twist)

Most people think the next line in the story is always...BOY AND GIRL HAVE A BABY. But not Robbie and I. It was never in the plan. I know you're all yelling, WHAT????? but it's true. We were just two people who had made an adult decision not to have kids and we were both rather content with that decision...

And then came May of 2003...antibiotics, late night auction at Winthrop and viola! We're having a baby. To say we were shocked is an understatement.

It took us quite a few months to get in the "baby groove", but once we moved into our house and got the nursery decorated (about a month before he arrived), we started to realize that "ready or he comes!"

We decorated his nursery in Yankees and Kentucky basketball (just to be fair to both sides of the family). Of course, an athletic room for two athletes first born...a son nonetheless...oh did we dare to dream?

Fast forward five years...

I noticed it about two years ago. Of course, I knew he was quite clumsy, but I thought that was part of the three year old thing...and then came Miss Lily. A ball dribbling, golf watching, bike racing tomboy who is as agile as they come. And then there's Tate...god love him...he tries his best, but he's not the most coordinated guy on the playground. So what is he you ask? Well here comes my amazing sense of WONDER!!!
Our son, the firstborn, is an incredible artist. And when I say incredible, I don't mean "hang it on the refrigerator" good. I mean buy some mattes and frames and make some pretty meaningful (and not too expensive) gifts.

And you, my dear blogging buds...are so fortunate to attend his first virtual exhibit. Hope you enjoy...

Here we have a picture drawn for my friend Michael

Obviously, Michael is a banker and a special note...that's Michael's car parked in front and the "bank van" parked on the side.

Now on to his favorite movie characters, CARS...

Notice the detail on his Lightning McQueen (excuse the blurriness and backwards "9"...we're working on it :)

Another favorite character...WALL-E

This one was pretty shocking to me. I couldn't believe how much it looked like the real thing.

Another favorite character, Thomas the train.

Notice the front of the blue train and its smiling face...just like our trusty locomotion, Thomas.

This next one is in honor of my Grandpa Ike, a retired firefighter...

Notice the ladder and the three firemen (and of course the flames coming out of the top of the house).

This next picture he drew on the car ride through Kentucky.

I think he liked the cows...what do you think?

This is one with a little less detail...

When I asked him why it was only a picture of him, he told me "Sometimes I just like to sit". Understandable....

This last one cracks me up...

This is a picture of our family last Halloween. Tate was a pirate, Lily was a fall princess, and apparently, Robbie and I were Human Giraffes...check out those necks! This is much better than the third "leg" he drew on Robbie one time or the "lungs" he put on Jesus (it was actually a bowtie which I thought was hilarious).

And here is our gift for Sarah's graduation to be hung in her future classroom...

That's pretty great stuff...Huh!

I have to say that although Tate has recently taken to swinging a golf club, I am so excited to have such artistic ability flowing through the household. Not quite sure where he gets it from...must be his Uncle Adam, but makes me one proud mama (not to mention "the lady with the most covered refrigerator").