Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to you all!

I heart Charlie Brown.

"Charlie Brown is the one person I identify with. C.B. is such a loser. He wasn't even the star of his own Halloween special." ~Chris Rock

Good Grief!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Visit With Shelly, Sugar, And Spice

Columbus Day was a school and work holiday for most, so Shelly asked me if I would like to visit with her and her girls for the day, and also go have lunch with them and her mom.

And since you all know by now how much I love having lunch with Shelly and her mom, you know that I said, "Yes!" I was also very excited for the opportunity to meet Shelly's sweet girls, Sugar and Spice.

Let me introduce you to them both.

This is Sugar....

And this is Spice......

Of course, depending on the day and the mood they are in, the first one could be Spice and the second one could be Sugar. But, for the sake of continuity, I will call the oldest girl Sugar and the youngest girl Spice. Mmmmmkay? ;)

"A little girl is sugar and spice and everything nice - especially when she's taking a nap." ~Author Unknown

(I, of course, don't know this for certain myself, but I've heard stories.)

Here is a picture of me with Sugar and Spice, as well as Sam. Shelly's girls and dog babies loved me very much. They made me feel "WAY" welcomed in their home.


"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." ~Albert Einstein

Here is a picture of me and my Shelly. (I love her!)

She loves to sit so comfortably in her favoritest brown chair in the whole world, while she reads her favorite blogs.

This is Shelly's favorite spot in the whole house (with the exception being her bed fit for a queen).

She especially seems to love reading this blog while sitting in her favoritest brown chair. *wink*wink*

I don't know if you noticed this in the previous picture of Shelly sitting in her favoritest brown chair, but there is a table beside her favoritest brown chair, and on that table you will notice Shelly's "equipment." These are all the things that she needs to sit comfortably in her favoritest brown chair while she rules the roost. So to speak.

It's almost as if I can hear her saying as she sits in her favoritest brown chair,
"I have the same goal I've had ever since I was a girl. I want to rule the world." ~Madonna ;)

She has everything she needs right at her fingertips. She has her drink, her latest audio book, her remote control, and last but certainly not least, her paddle. (Between you and me, I don't think she ever really uses it on them, because they are both so sweet, but it is to help keep Sugar and Spice acting like everything nice.)

After the overwhelmingly sweet welcome that I received upon entering their house, Sugar and Spice were eager to take me on a tour of their home.

I, of course, had to pay attention to the littlest babies in the house.
Let me introduce them to you all.

This is Sam. Sam and I were thisclose while I was at Shelly's house.

This is Skittles. Can you guess how he got the name Skittles?

And last, but certainly not least, this is Drake. Drake was as excited to see me as Allie was excited to see Shelly when she came out to my house in the woods of Crazyville. But since Drake was so excited, Shelly put him in his kennel. I think he was harboring a little resentment towards me about the whole situation, because when I went to take his picture, he did this.

I'm so sorry, Drake. I hope that we can still be friends.

Well, after being dissed by Drake, Spice took me into her room, and she demanded asked me to take a picture of her with her jack-o-lantern light.
Isn't she cute?

Then Sugar came in the room, and I snapped this sweet picture of her with this ginormous stuffed animal. It was bigger than she was.

Sugar and Spice gave me the grand tour of their home. They were especially excited to show me the "turtle" room. Shelly loves turtles, so she has one entire room devoted to them. Here is just one small section of her turtle collection.

As Sugar and Spice were showing me around the house, Shelly kept saying, "Please don't pay any attention to the dust on everything."

I told her (like she had once told me), "Shelly, I came to see you, not your dust."

I mean, really, I would never notice anything like that. ;)

"Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing." ~Phyllis Diller

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

(Not So ) Wordless Wednesday

One of Daniel's favorite movies to watch when he was younger was The Wizard of Oz. And the Tin Man was his absolute favorite character in the movie.

So, one year for Halloween, he wanted my mother to make him a Tin Man costume. And, of course, she did.

Here is a picture of Daniel dressed up in all of that Tin Man cuteness.


My mom, of course, did not want to leave Matthew out of all of the fun, so she asked him if he would like her to make him a Scarecrow costume, to which he responded, "Yes!"

Only, when she gave them their costumes, Matthew refused to wear his. He would not even try it on, if I remember correctly.

That particular Halloween, my boys were invited to two different Halloween celebrations, that were being held on two different nights. So, when Daniel saw that Matthew was not going to give in and wear the costume, Daniel jumped up and said, "I'll wear it! I'll wear my Tin Man costume to the first party, and I'll wear Matt's Scarecrow costume to the second party."

And he did.

Just look at him in all of that Scarecrow yumminess!

As a matter of fact, he not only wore the Scarecrow costume to that second party, but he also won the prize for having "The Best Boy Costume" of the night.

He won a BIG bag of candy. But not just any candy. He won a bag full of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Matthew's favorite candy to be exact.

Daniel looked at him when they got home and said in his sweetest little Scarecrow voice, "You should have worn the Scarecrow costume, Matthew, and then you could be eating all of these Reese's Peanut Butter Cups."


Out of the mouths of babes, amen?

"Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold." ~Judith Olney

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blessed To See Him Shine!

"Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain." ~Author Unknown

The last five to six months have been some of the strangest months of my life. Some of the time has been wonderful, and some of the time has been extremely rough. But through all of the ups and downs, my sweet husband has been unwaveringly steady and supportive.

The time that I spent away in the Mediterranean with Melissa was an emotional journey for me and Shannon. I had so much fun with Melissa, and I saw so many amazing things, but my journey was full of many difficult situations. Some I have shared with you all; some I have not. But suffice it to say, I experienced homesickness in a way that I never thought was possible.

The few times that I got to speak to Shannon on the phone while I was gone were fraught with many tears. Which must have been so hard for him to handle, because I was a world away and there was nothing that he could do to help me. But on the phone and via emails, he was so encouraging to me.

When Melissa and I finally landed at the airport in our home town, my heart was just pounding at the thought of seeing Shannon. And once I caught the first glimpse of him, I burst into tears (as did Shannon). I was completely overwhelmed at just the sight of him.

Shannon took care of our boys, Allie, the house, the grocery shopping, running the kid taxi, not to mention his more than full time job, and he did it all by himself. And he did it with a smile on his face, because he was just so happy for me to get the opportunity to travel with Melissa on what was obviously the trip of a lifetime.

Well, once I returned home, we were both very ready for our lives to return to "normal." But if you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, then chances are you already know...that is not what happened.

Three days after returning home, I found myself in the emergency room, feeling more pain than I have ever experienced in my life. Then almost three weeks after that, I found myself having back surgery, followed by what has turned into four months of recovery. And I am still recovering. Although, I can do more now, than I could do two months ago, I am still very limited in what I can do. Shannon has had to carry the heaviest part of the load for over five months now, but he has done it with so much grace and compassion.

I could write for days about all the things that he has done to take care of me and the boys over the last five months, but that is not what I want to share with you today. What I want to share with you is not what he has done for us, but how he has done everything for us.

Shannon has done the job of two parents for quite some time now, and he has done it all with a smile on his face. If I had to pick just one blessing that I have received throughout these difficult months (and there have been many), I would have to say that I have been blessed with the opportunity to see my husband shine! These last five months have been full of so many challenges, and it has been such a blessing to see him rise to the occasion with so much grace, compassion, and caring that I can't even begin to describe it to you.

I have shared with you all before (click here) that God has worked a miracle in our marriage, and the last few months of our lives, He has continued that work.

I love Shannon more now than I ever thought possible, and I can honestly say that I wouldn't change one thing that we have been through these last five months, because I would have missed the blessing of seeing Shannon shine.

I love you so much, Shannon. Thank you for loving and caring for me. My cup runneth over.

"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky." ~Rabindranath Tagore

Monday, October 27, 2008

Grilling Goodness With Tina And Friends~ 4


It's that time again...Time for some more "Grilling Goodness." If you would like to join in all of the fun, just click here. Tina would love to have you all participate!

Now, on with the grilling.....

1. The World Series has you watch it? (And do you care who wins?)

Hmmm, let me see, no and no. I do enjoy a good baseball game, but my sweet hubby does not, so I no longer keep up with baseball. However, when I was a teenager, I loved baseball. I was a Chicago Cubs fan.

Specifically I was a Greg Maddox fan. I appreciated all of his baseball related skills.

Well, okay, who am I kidding here? I thought he was a full blown hottie! There...I admitted it to the tens of you reading this right now. I had a BIG crush on him, but in my defense, he was very good looking at his job.

Just look at all of that talent out on the field.

I'm just saying is all.

2. Is the inside of your car clean or 'garbage dump filthy'?

Neither. But I'll let you decide what you think, but I'm asking that you please, be nice!

The front seats....

The back seats.....

The driver's side floorboard.....

Since I am generally the only one who drives this car, I can't even blame the dirt on any one but myself.


3. Who is the next person in your family to have a birthday?

That would be my brother, John. He will be 27 on November 16th.

Wasn't he the cutest thing?

If it's all the same to you, let's don't mention to John that I showed you all these pictures. Thanks! ;)

4. Do you wear glasses or contacts? (How old were you when it became necessary?)

I have worn both, but mostly, I just wear glasses. I don't remember exactly how old I was when I got them, but I do remember something about having to wear them so that I could clearly see road signs, other cars, and pedestrians, and I think Kenny may have said something about me needing glasses the first time I left the house looking like this. ;)

5. What is your major form of exercise?

I don't completely understand the question. ;)

I'm teasing, of course. But seriously, when I am not busy having back surgery, back pain, nerve damage, and limping, I love to walk. I walk outside when I can, but mostly I walk along to Leslie Sansone's Walking DVDs. Like this one.

I also like to ride my recumbent bike.

(Mainly because I can sit and watch television while I ride it.)

6. What is something you could do to make your spouse's day easier today?

Shannon is a very easy man to please, so he appreciates all of the little things that I do for him each day, but since you asked, I would probably have to say that Shannon would appreciate me being a little less like Roseanne.....

And a little more like June here.....

I'm working on it.


(For the record though, my family looooves the Roseanne show. We heart the Conners. We just wish that our house looked more like the Cleaver's, as opposed to the Conner's.)

7. How much is gas where you are?

When I got gas last week, it was $2.34 a gallon.

I miss the days when it was $1.25 a gallon.


8. What is the furthest away from home that you've ever traveled?

As most of you already know, the furthest that I have traveled is to the Mediterranean (click here).

I try to get over to that part of the world every thirty-eight years or so.;)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thank You, Tracey, Crystal, And Becky!

I want to shout out a BIG thank you to Tracey at the Grace Comes By Hearing blog!

Daniel brought the mail in the other day and handed me another package with a frog on it. (Shiver!) ;)

I opened it up, and this is what was inside the package.....

Isn't Tracey the most thoughtful and sweet lady?...I mean if you don't count the cotton balls. (Shiver.) ;)

Tracey, if you are reading this, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness; I have just been so touched by your kindness to me. You are a very special lady, and I am thankful and blessed to call you friend.

I also want to say, "Thank you, Crystal!" She gave me this beautiful bloggy award that you see here.

Upon receiving this award, I'm supposed to tell you about "Things that make me happy."

But, since I am a very visual person, I will show and tell you what makes me happy, as opposed to "just" telling you.;) (And these are in no particular order, just so you know.)

My family.....

My sweet boys....

My Allie Girl.....

My handsome hubby......

Blogging and all of my "bloggy" friends.....

And of course, all of my "real life" friends, especially Kenny......;)

One more award before I go. This award came from Becky. Isn't it cute?


Thank you, Becky! I love your blog too! (I'm sorry it took me so long to get this posted.)

And instead of trying to just pick a few of my bloggy friends to pass these awards to, I want you all to have them. Every single one of you are unique and have your very own special blogging style, and I love each and every one of your blogs. So, go ahead, take these beautiful awards! You deserve them!;)

"There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound." ~Diana Cortes

Friday, October 24, 2008

Nature Walk With My Hubby And God

"Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow." ~Henry David Thoreau

A couple of Sundays ago, after listening to a very encouraging message from Joel Osteen, I decided to just go for it and take a walk, in spite of the physical pain I was feeling. Joel used God's Words in the Bible to encourage my soul. I realized after listening to him speak, that even though I could not run, jog, or even walk very fast, I could still walk. And even if I walked very slowly and with a slight limp, that was still okay!

"He who limps is still walking." ~Stanislaw J. Lec

So after hearing Joel's encouraging message, my sweet hubby took me for a nature walk at one of our favorite spots in Crazyville. I love the fall weather so much too! It was overcast and breezy, so needless to say, I was in heaven. (I should probably mention that this is the first outdoor walk that I have taken since before I had my back surgery.)


"An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day." ~Henry David Thoreau

So, if you would like to, come and join me, my sweet hubby, and God on our nature walk.

Deuteronomy 5:33
"Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess."

This next picture I took for my bloggy friend, Gina, as we pulled up into the park. She lives in California, and she mentioned to me once that she would love to see the fall colors. In this picture you can see the color changes beginning.

Leviticus 22:31
"So you shall keep My commandments, and do them; I am the LORD."

"Without habitat, there is no wildlife. It's that simple." ~Wildlife Habitat Canada

Psalms 96:12
"Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice."

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

Genesis 1:25
"God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good."

Psalms 42:1
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God."

Isaiah 40:8
"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."

"Birth, life, and death -- each took place on the hidden side of a leaf." ~Toni Morrison

Genesis 1:21
"So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good."

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature." ~Anne Frank

"The world is always in movement." ~V. S. Naipaul

Job 23:11
"My foot has held fast to His path ; I have kept His way and not turned aside."

Psalms 119:32
"I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free."

“You must grow like a tree, not like a mushroom.” ~Janet Erskine Stuart

"A weed is but an unloved flower." ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven." ~Rabindranath Tagore

Genesis 1:14
"And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years..."

Ezekiel 17:9-10
"Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Will it thrive? Will it not be uprooted and stripped of its fruit so that it withers? All its new growth will wither. It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it up by the roots. Even if it is transplanted, will it thrive? Will it not wither completely when the east wind strikes it--wither away in the plot where it grew?' "

Genesis 1:12
"The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good."

Jeremiah 17:8
"For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes ; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit."

Ecclesiastes 10:8
"Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake."

Song of Solomon 6:11
"I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded."

Psalms 85:10
"Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other."

Song of Solomon 1:2
"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine."

Galatians 4:10
"You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!"

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." ~John Muir