Saturday, May 17, 2008

Now It's Time To Say Good-Bye.........

Well, today is the Day. My flight leaves a little after lunch.

I'll be back home on June 9th.

I'll miss writing blog posts and stalking reading all of your blog posts as well. When I return home, I will have a lot of blog stalking catching up to do.

I found a quote by Erma Bombeck (I love her), and it made me laugh out loud. And don't be confused.....this will definitely probably happen to me.

"There is nothing more miserable in the world than to arrive in paradise and look like your passport photo."~Erma Bombeck

And speaking of looking like my passport photo, now that I am leaving, I'm a little afraid that I am going to be the biggest hillbilly Europe has ever seen.

I guess we'll see........

Well now its time to say goodbye to Amy and all her kin.
And she would like to thank you folks fer kindly droppin in.
You're all invited back June 9th to this locality
To have a heapin helpin of her hospitality
Hillbilly that is. Set a spell, Take your shoes off.

Y'all come back now,'hear?

Take care and God bless you all!

Isaiah 30:21
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

Friday, May 16, 2008

♥ Happy Anniversary, Shannon! ♥

May 18th is our seventeenth wedding anniversary, and since I will be gone on this special day, I wanted to post this before I leave.

One of my favorite stories that Shannon tells is the story of our wedding day.

Every year at our anniversary I make ask him to tell me this story.

He says when he was standing at the front of the church waiting on me to walk down the aisle, he was so nervous. Then the doors of the sanctuary were opened and he saw me. Sigh
He said I looked so beautiful to him anyway. He was trying to just take the moment in.......
Then everybody in the sanctuary stood up, and he couldn't see me anymore.
He just wanted everybody to sit down so that he could just gaze upon my beauty look at me........Sigh

I love when he tells me that story.

Of course, now he probably sees me way more than he wants to some days. (Just kidding!)

I thank God every day of my life for my marriage and my family.
My cup runneth over.

Happy Anniversary, Shannon!

♥I love you!♥

Song of Solomon 6:3
I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine.

I also want to say that May 18th is my daddy's birthday!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

I love you too!:)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Pedro Daniel!

Since I will be gone on our son Daniel's thirteenth birthday, I wanted to take the opportunity today to tell him "Happy Birthday!"

This will be the first time in his life that I won't be with him on his birthday, so it has made us both a little sad; even though he is turning thirteen, he is still my baby.

Daniel looks just like Shannon. He has dark hair, dark eyes, and an olive complexion. And since the age of ten, he has also had a little bit of dark "facial" hair. After seeing Napoleon Dynamite for the first time(of many), we all got tickled thinking Daniel looked a little bit like Pedro. Daniel would joke that he was the only sixth grader starting to grow a mustache like Pedro.

So that being said, I will share with you a funny thing that happened last week concerning his birthday, and he has given me full permission to share it with you. (As long as he had final approval of the picture that I posted, of course.)

Anyway, we have been receiving a lot of free samples at our house for all types of products lately, thanks to information from Michele at My Blessings from Above. (Thanks, Michele!) We have received everything from garbage bags to shampoo and conditioner samples. So last week when Matthew brought the mail in, we saw that we had received another "sample." But this sample had Daniel's name on it, and it said, "For Your 18th Birthday!" on the box.........But like I told you, Daniel is turning 13.

Daniel got so tickled when he opened the box, because this is what he found inside.

It was a travel size shave gel and razor. Notice the shirt he had on as well.....That was not planned(he was wearing this shirt when the mail came), but it definitely made the razor and shave gel even funnier.

We don't know what or who caused the birthday mistake, but it made for a funny thirteenth birthday memory. I'm glad I was still home to share it with him.

Happy Birthday, Pedro Baby! I love you! :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"More Words Wednesday"

As you know, I always have something to say, so "Wordless Wednesday" just doesn't work here in my life. So, today I am trying a new kind of post called "More Words Wednesday."

Before I tell you all about my amazing "packing abilities," I want to share with you something that God revealed to me.
Yesterday, I showed you a picture of some pink roses that Shannon gave me. Sigh

What I didn't tell you yesterday(because my post was already so long) was where he got these roses. Shannon works in a building that is located beside a flower shop. A lady that he works with noticed that some people working at the flower shop were throwing away a lot of flowers. So, she went to the "flower dumpster" and got a bunch of them for herself, and she asked Shannon if he would like to get some to take home for me, and (of course) he said, "Yes!" Sigh

The people at the flower shop did not care how many flowers they took either, because they were just glad to be getting rid of them.

Anyway, when he brought them home, I was obviously surprised (and secretly thrilled) that he had so many. There were about two dozen to be exact. He proceeded to tell me the story of how he got them. I was so shocked that anyone would just throw these flowers away. I asked Shannon "what" was wrong with them, and he said the florist said that these roses (and the other flowers) simply had too many "flaws." They could not sell "imperfect" flowers, because no one would want them......

Shannon and I unwrapped them from the plastic they were in, cut the stems, and then placed them in a vase of water. We couldn't save all of them, but for the most part, as you can see.......

they are simply lovely. And they have the most beautiful fragrance too. As we were arranging them in the vase, the whole kitchen was filled with the aroma of roses. Sigh

So, Tuesday morning my boys and I were all admiring the roses. They had opened up quite a bit from the night before and looked even more beautiful than when Shannon first brought them home (to me). Sigh

Matthew looked at me and said, "I can't believe somebody would throw such beautiful flowers in the trash."

I, of course, agreed.

Then I thought about God.

And I thought about all of my flaws.

And I was immediately so thankful that God sees past my imperfections and flaws and loves me anyway.

When others look at me and see only the mistakes I have made, He sees growth, progress, and endless possibilities.

When others look at me and see me as unworthy of His blessings, He looks at me and sees His precious daughter.

When others look at me and see only imperfections and flaws, He sees beauty.

When others in the world see me and despise me, He sees someone that He loves.

As I was thinking about these flowers and the comparison to my own relationship with God, I was led to a verse found in the book of 1 Peter.

1 Peter 2:4
"As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--"

The Bible says we, as believers in Christ, are chosen by Him and precious to Him; He will never "get rid of" us because of our flaws and imperfections. To Him we are precious. Period.

So now, these roses that my sweet husband brought home to me, mean even more than if he had paid "full price" for them.

I love the ways that God reveals Himself to us in this life.....We just need to stop sometimes to listen to Him and to smell the roses........

2 Corinthians 2:15
"For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."

Thank you for letting me share that with you today.

Now on to my packing nonsense.:)

As I told you Monday, I was wondering how I was going to get all of this junk these necessities to fit into my luggage.

Well, I would love to tell you that Mary Poppins dropped in to help......

But that would obviously not be true. But I did find something to help me cram fit all of my junk necessities into my luggage.

And that something is called "Space Bags."

They are awesome!

I love them.

Without the help of these "Space Bags," this would not have been possible.

Everything fit and I didn't even have to sit on the bags hardly any to get them to zip shut.

God is good to me indeed.:)

Now we all just need to pray about one more thing......

Even though everything fit inside my luggage, I still have an area of concern. The large bag that I am carrying definitely might weigh a lot a little more than the allowable fifty pound limit for "checked" luggage.

Necessities are a lot heavier than you would think.

I'm just saying is all.

P.S. Kenny, if you're reading this, do you notice something hanging on the wall in the picture with my luggage? ;)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Griswalds On Vacation

Let me interrupt this post for just a moment to share with you something my sweet husband brought home for me last night.

I love him.

Thank you, Shannon. You have my heart, and I love you.:)

Now on with today's post.

This past week as I was taking care of some last minute details for my trip, I was reminded of a trip we made with the boys several years ago.

As a family, we have been able to take a few vacations over the years. We have been to places like the beach, Rock City, New Orleans, and camping to name a few. But one year sticks out in our son Daniel's mind more than all the rest. As I've said before what a boy remembers from an experience is quite different than what a girl would remember.

In July 2002, we went to visit some friends in Oklahoma. We had a wonderful time hanging out with them . As we were heading home, we decided to stop in Arkansas to spend a day at a popular lake town along our way. But, since it was the July Fourth holiday, there were not many hotel rooms available.

In other words, beggars can't be choosers.

We had to take what we could get. So, we called around until we could find a room. We were thrilled that we found somewhere to stay......then we arrived.

When we pulled up, we were a little alarmed concerned. It wasn't what we had envisioned, but yet it seemed like something on an episode of COPS vaguely familiar. But, since we didn't have a choice, we went ahead to check in........

I'm not sure but I think Cousin Eddie and his family ran the place.

We walked into the check in area and were greeted by a pig.....No, I do not mean a sloppy, heavy person.

I mean a pig. An actual oinking pig.

Cousin Eddie's wife The nice lady behind the counter and her pig gave us the keys to our "room". She said to let her know if we needed anything. At this point I was tempted to ask her for an escape route, but being the polite Southern girl that I am, I held my tongue.

When we entered our shoebox room, the first thing Daniel said was, "This room is tiny!" He then starts giggling (uncontrollably). Once he composed himself, he noticed there was no bathtub, only a shower stall. This was very upsetting to him, because he was accustomed to lengthy bath times. You know so he could play with his ducks and boats and such.

However, the devastation of not having a bathtub was soon replaced by his interest in what he saw hanging on the shoebox wall.

A fly-swatter!......

Now, you may have the same question as we did. "What do you need a fly-swatter in a shoebox your hotel room for?"....

We soon found out.

It was for swatting flies.

Lots of them.

Daniel thought this was the funniest thing he had ever seen in his life. We couldn't even unpack for killing swatting at flies.

Lots of them.

Due to the enormous amount of insect activity in our room, we decided to hang out at the pool.....

It was fun laying out in the sun on the freshly mowed astro-turf. The kids had a great time. It was so nice for Shannon and me to get a break from all the fly-swatting. (We felt like we had just been through batting practice during spring training with the Chicago Cubs.)

Here's a couple of shots of the kids enjoying themselves at the pool.

Notice that we have the pool to ourselves. I guess all the other guests were worn out from killing flies too, or they had asked for the escape route.

After all the time spent playing outside, we were exhausted. So we went back to our shoebox room to try to get some sleep. Luckily, it was later in the evening, so all the flies had either left or been killed successfully swatted earlier in the day.

There was only one bed for Shannon and me, and a fold out bed for the boys. In a normal size shoebox room this would have been fine. Unfortunately for us, when we opened up the kid's bed, there was no floor space left to walk on. After we got the boys tucked in, Shannon remembered something he needed to get out of the car. So, he had to step over the boy's bed and try not to smash their heads as he made his way out the door.

The next morning we were up and out of there before the flies returned at daybreak. We gave our key back to Cousin Eddie and his wife the people (and pig) at the desk and hit the road. We were glad to be headed back to Crazyville.

Six years later, that trip is still one of Daniel's favorite memories.(Like me, he doesn't get out much.) I guess it's not often in a boy's life that he can say he stayed in a shoebox at a hotel with a pig and a fly-swatter.:)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Things I Wonder About......

I wonder, as I look at this creepy, little disgusting thing, if he's depressed........

I wonder if this creepy, little disgusting thing thinks I can't see him here........

I wonder if Allie is comfortable...... And I wonder if she feels like she has enough room on the couch.........

I wonder if she knows that I think her ears are so cute that I just want to kiss them when they stand up like this.........

I wonder if she gets tired of me taking her picture so many times while she's obviously just trying to rest..........

I wonder if this is the same frog that I peed used the bathroom on......And I wonder if he is trying to find another way to get into my bathroom toilet........

I wonder if I will ever be able to paint just my toenails and not all over my toes........

I wonder if this ginormous zit will still be on my chin when I get to Europe.......

But right now, I mostly wonder if I will be able to cram fit all of this junk these necessities into this suitcase by Saturday...........

I wonder where Mary Poppins is when you need her.......

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"Happy Mother's Day, Mom!"

"A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take." ~Cardinal Mermillod

One day after school, many years ago, I was watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie. I was probably about fifteen or sixteen years old. Anyway, at this particular time in my life, I had to go home with my friend Michelle each day after school and wait there until one of my parents could pick me up.

Michelle had a job after school, so many afternoons, I would wait by myself, and watch television until my parents arrived. I would work on my homework too, of course, but this day that I am telling you about, I was watching Little House on the Prairie.

The episode that I was watching was called "Country Girls," and it was (and still is) my very favorite episode of this show. I also love the episodes which are about Laura and Almanzo (Manly) falling in love.:)

Anyway, as I was watching this episode of Little House on the Prairie, I started sobbing. It made me think of all the sacrifices my mom had made for my brother(John) and me. So I called her at work, and I was bawling! She was afraid something bad had happened to me.......She asked me what was wrong, and I told her (while sobbing) that I was watching Little House on the Prairie, and I wanted her to know how much I loved her.

She still teases me about that to this day, and I still cry every time I see this episode. I found this clip from "Country Girls" on You Tube. I especially love the part where Laura reads her essay to the whole crowd of students and parents, and Ma and Pa's faces speak a thousand words of love.

"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother." ~Abraham Lincoln

A little girl, asked where her home was, replied, "where mother is." ~Keith L. Brooks

"Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing." ~Toni Morrison

"There's nothing like a mama-hug." ~Adabella Radici

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you!
Thank you for always loving me.:)

Ephesians 6:2-3
"Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise--"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I've Been Awarded And Tagged!

Several online friends, Tracey, Kysha, and Mia tagged me for this meme.

But before I show you the rules and let you read about more of the craziness in my life, I wanted to tell you about an award I was given by my very special blogging buddy, Mia.

I have never received a blogging award before, so I'm not exactly sure how to act or what to do. I definitely feel under dressed sitting here at the computer in my pajamas though, so let me get dressed up and fix my hair. Then I will be ready to receive my award.

I'll be right back.......

That's better!

As some of you reading this may remember, Mia was my first guest on Inside The Actor's Blogger's Studio. She is so special to me, so the fact that she wanted to honor me with this award has truly touched me.

Even though I have stalked her repeatedly, and at times she was probably thisclose to filing a restraining order against me, she still became my friend.

So Mia, thank you for this blogging award, my friend! My cup runneth over. :)

Now, I obviously can't do the rest of this post all dressed up, so just let me change back into my teaching casual clothes, and we will get this lesson meme started.

I'll be right back......

That's better!

Now class my fellow bloggers, here are the rules of the game (post these first).

(1) Each player answers questions about themselves.

(2) At the end of the post, tag 5 people by posting their names.

(3) Go to their site/blog and leave a comment telling them that they have been Tagged. Invite them to your site/blog so they can read the Tagged post.

(4) Let the person who tagged you know when you have completed your Tagged post.


1. What were you doing 10 years ago?

I don't even remember what we had for dinner last night, so this should be interesting.....

Let me think.....

Oh, that's right, I was a stay at home, homeschooling mom of two boys.

What a difference ten years makes, huh?

2. What are 5 things on your "To Do" list?

a. Pack for my trip.
b. Clean my house.
c. Finish up the school year with the boys.
d. Prepare Shannon for twenty-four fun filled days of single parenting.
e. Love up my family before I leave.

3. What are 5 snacks you enjoy?

a. Chocolate Chip Cookies
b. Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins
c. Pomegranates (Thank you, Wanda, for showing me how to eat them.)
d. Cheese Dip and Chips
e. Meatballs (Don't judge, meatballs are considered a snack in Crazyville.)

4. Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire.

I would obviously immediately hire live-in help and send the children off soap opera style to a boarding school in Switzerland......

I'm just kidding; I wouldn't need live-in help if the children were off at a boarding school.

I have NO idea how to answer that question. After the year that we have had (financially speaking), my mind cannot comprehend numbers that contain more than two zeros at the end....

I guess I would just go with Forrest Gump's idea and mow yards for free.
~ "And cause I was a gazillionaire, and I liked doin' it so much, I cut that grass for free."

5. Name some places where you have lived.

I have only lived in two places: Memphis, Tennessee and (now) Crazyville.:)

6. Name some bad habits you have.

This question does not apply to me...I have no bad habits, just ask Shannon and he will tell you...I am perfect.


I am.

Well, maybe I have seven a few flaws.

a. I am easily distracted.
b. I don't clean my house as often as Shannon would like I should.
c. I am very clumsy.
d. I am very messy; if there's a spill in the house, I probably spilled it.
e. I tend to not be very organized at all.
f. I squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle much to Shannon's horror.
g. I pick at my split-ends a lot.

7. Name some jobs you have had.

Before becoming a glamorous stay at home wife and mother of two, I had a few odd jobs.

a. I worked at a grocery store (where I got in trouble for not knowing what asparagus was).

b. I worked at a daycare and took care of one and two year olds (I loved them).

c. I was a babysitter for absolutely every single child born in Memphis in the late 1980's.

d. I worked for a mortgage company for about fifteen minutes a couple of months. (Basically I called and interrupted families, while they were eating their dinner, to inform them that they needed to pay their mortgage on time. Needless to say, they all looooved hearing from me. I just seem to have a way with people like that.)

e.And last but definitely not least I worked for a group of internal medicine doctors. I was a phlebotomist, or as some of the patients lovingly referred to me- a "blood-sucker". I was also a lab assistant at this same internal medicine group, dealing mainly with pee and poop disgusting materials. (Working with all of the blood and pee and poop disgusting materials at this job was terrific training for motherhood.)

8. Name those whom you are tagging.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Just A Simple Observation........

Trying to prepare for my upcoming trip, Shannon's work related travel, various doctor's appointments, and trying to finish up school with my boys has left me a little overwhelmed this week, so I do not have a Bible study post to share with you today. When I return from my journey, I will post again about what I am learning through my studies of the women in the Bible. So today, instead of a devotional post, I will share with you something that I observed around my home.

I hope you enjoy it.
God Bless, Amy:)

We always have a lot of these gorgeous butterflies around our home.

They fly away.......

and then they come back......

with more of their butterfly buddies.

What is interesting to me, is what attracts them to our yard. You probably can't tell by just looking at the pictures, but it is not the beautiful surroundings. What attracts them to our yard is our dog Allie's pee and poop waste.

I remember thinking one day, as I watched a lot of them flying all around her pee and poop waste, how odd it is that these beautiful, delicate creatures spend all their time in search of such disgusting things. I mean with all of the beautiful greenery around our country home, they want to sit and feed on Allie's pee and poop waste.

Then God pointed out to me how hypocritical and judgmental I was being towards these beautiful creatures......It was almost as if I heard Him say, "Amy, isn't that exactly what you do sometimes?.....I created you in My image, but look what some of your time is spent doing....gossiping, watching inappropriate television programs, worrying, not helping out at church as much as you should, reading romance novels instead of reading My Word........"

Proverbs 15:14
The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

Then I thought about how the butterfly leaves the pee and poop waste, only to come back with more buddies to enjoy it with.

As Christians, don't we do this same thing?......Sometimes we drag our friends and family members into things that are "wasteful" activities, because we don't want to be alone in them. And sometimes we follow our friends and family members into these same types of "wasteful" activities, because we don't want to feel left out, or seem different than anybody else.

Proverbs 13:20
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

I looked up the definition of waste on Wikipedia.
Waste is an unwanted or undesired material or substance. It is also referred to as rubbish, trash, garbage, or junk depending upon the type of material and the regional terminology. In living organisms, waste relates to unwanted substances or toxins that are expelled from them.

So much time in our lives is wasted on waste.

Humbling, isn't it?

There is so much to learn about life from just a simple observation........

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Here's How It Happened, Part Four.........

After talking to God about my fear and hesitation of going on this trip without Shannon, I opened up my Journey devotional book for women.

The title of the devotional that I read for that day was "Step Out of the Boat." The verse that this day's message was based on was from the book of Matthew.

"You of little faith, why did you doubt?" ~Matthew 14:31

Here's what the author said at the end of the passage:
"If you want to grow, there will be times when God will ask you to exercise extreme faith, and step out of your comfort zone, and trust Him completely. And the only way He can do that is to call you to a fearful place--a place where it's just you and God, and you have to step out of the boat."

God used this verse and message to encourage me and calm my fears about going without Shannon. There is a reason that He wants me to go alone on this journey. My only prayer is that I honor Him on this journey. I pray that I would say and do only the things that He wants me to do. I pray that I fulfill whatever purpose He has for me on this unbelievable blessing of a trip.

Needless, to say, I am very excited.
My family and friends are excited for me as well.......My family is a little concerned about me being gone for twenty-four days in a row......Mainly because that is twenty-four days of cooking, laundry, dog wiping, and housekeeping that I won't be around to take care of.:)

I am looking forward to spending so much time with Melissa as well......We are both very curious to see what God has in store for us throughout this journey.

Shannon is a little concerned that I will go through serious "blogging withdrawals," since I will not be able to post or read blogs for twenty-four days in a row. (Sigh)

Well, there is so much more that I could tell you, but after four back to back posts, I'm sure you have had enough.........But there's a few things that I didn't mention, that I probably should. I leave on May 17th and I will return home on June 9th. When I leave for this trip, it will be my first time to ever ride in a cab, be on a cruise ship, or ride on a train.

As a matter of fact, it will be my first time to ever fly in a plane.......The End!:)