Trick or Treat, Smell My New Computer!

I am not a huge fan of Halloween. I think that the costumes and all of that are fun and cute, and I certainly enjoy the hoards of candy that are shoveled into the house, but if Halloween was totally removed from the calendar -- I wouldn't shed a tear. But, call it peer pressure, or rather kid pressure, each year the Goodrums make the trek out into the crazy Trick or Treat world.

Because I'm not super crazy about the holiday, I refuse to spend the money and time on extravagant and elaborate costumes. In fact, this year is the most time I have spent any time at all actually making a costume....but don't get excited. It was easy to put together...just how I like it.

Tate and Sawyer were easy. They went to the rack at WalMart and picked out their costumes.

Sawyer was dead set on being a superhero. He didn't really care which one, just had to be a superhero. We made it through the costume fairly quickly, because one he spotted the IronMan costume...he was head-over-heels in costume love. We did try it on before last night, but either he grew this month or I was delusional the first time, because when he put that sucker on last night--it looked like he had been poured into it. I tried and tried to get him to change and put on this really nice SuperMan costume that his grandma had given him for a dress-up gift, but he wasn't having it. He was going to be IronMan...busting out or not. To top off the look, Sawyer wore cowboy boots....I'm telling you, he looked FANTASTIC!

Tate flip-flopped between wanting to be a knight and a pirate. We finally settled on a pirate outfit (which was really my favorite!), and because he looked so cute, went ahead and bought the eye patch, earring, and new sword to go with his costume. Oh, he was so cute, I just wanted to yell, "Swash-buckaling," and eat him up. We ditched the earring, eye patch, and head scarf half-way through the night, but he started out looking just dandy!

And now we get to Keaton. He was determined to have a unique costume. He searched and searched the costume racks, but kept coming up with nothing. Then he spotted this old man/wizard mask. He said, "This looks like Gandalf from Lord of the Rings." And it did. It had the long white hair and everything. Had his daddy not been with us, I might have tried to detour him (since I knew that was going to mean me having to sew something), but no such luck. Dad was gung-ho for Gandalf, so we ended up with one very hairy mask. AND NOTHING ELSE. That means Mama has to rig something. Keaton wanted to be Gandalf the White, so that was good. That meant I didn't have to try to make a hat. Whew! So, I sewed a white robe and a white cape. I got the fabric from the dollar rack, so I can't complain about the $5 I spent on the costume!! Kirk made his staff out of a tree branch. I do have to say....Keaton ended up looking really pretty cute. Definitely unique. People (who have actually watched those movies) recognized him...so he was pumped about that.

We ended up going to a couple of local churches' Trunk or Treats. That was fun. We also hit a couple of houses that we wanted to make sure we stopped at. Our favorite was Pursuing Pineapple's house!! He definitely had the best candy!! :)

On a different note, and because I didn't want to wait until later to post it....I have some MARVELOUS news!! My husband wins the Best Husband of the Year Award! He came home yesterday with a brand-spankin'-new laptop for me!!!! Go ahead, scream with me, "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" I was so excited! I was begging the kids to not go Trick or Treating so that I could stay home and play with my new toy! It is so pretty and shiny! Apparently it is filled up with lots of good stuff, but I don't know much about anything techno. I just wanted it to hold all my thousands of pictures and actually function at a rate that was a smidge faster than snail's pace. Kirk assures me that it will, so I love it so much! It is a really pretty goldish-copper color (he wouldn't get me the pink one!!). Anyway, just wanted to share my news!!!!! SO EXCITED!!


Laundry Woes

I've been behind on my laundry for a few days (okay, fine, weeks) now. I mean seriously behind. Like 9 or 10 loads behind. [I know that I am making my Susie Homemaker friends cringe in horror. Meredith...I need your laundry system!!] Anyway, all this being said....

My dryer decided to quit yesterday.

Nothing knocks the wind out of routine and ambitious plans like a much needed appliance kicking the bucket. So frustrating.

Lucky for me though, I have a handy dandy husband. So last night, in the midst of finishing up Halloween costumes, Kirk finds time to pry to back off of the dryer and assess the damage. Turns out it is totally fixable. Hooray! We got online and tracked down the part that we needed. Relatively cheap...another Hooray! Then we find out that it won't be here until Monday.

Monday? What? And I'm already 10 loads behind? No way.

This afternoon -- because I refuse to wait out the weekend walking knee deep in smelly socks and wet towels -- the boys and I headed to the LAUNDROMAT!

I was moderatly excited about the land of endless washers and dryers. I had a utopian view of this entire undertaking. I was envisioning walking into the building, loading up a long line of washers with all my articles, and then, just as efficiently, moving them to the waiting dryers that would dry my clothing in record speed. We would be washed, dried, folded, and on our way home in less than an hour. All of this while my children cooperated in angel-child fashion.

HA! What a joke!

Quite the opposite...

We walk into the building (which smelled like old socks and cheap bleach) and headed to the washers. There were only 5 or 6 working in the whole place...4 of which were already taken by an old lady doing her son's college laundry (I know because she told me, and because I figured the boxer shorts she kept holding up probably weren't hers). After loading a ridiculously small washer with a very small load of clothes, I had nothing else to do but wait. And wait, and wait, and wait...for the boxer lady to finish up, so I could use her washers. Seriously...is it that hard to keep the appliances in an appliance business up-and-running?

I got my first load of clothes into a dryer, and still envisioned a fast exit on that end of things. Surely a silver lining was in the picture somewhere. After boxer lady moved to the dryers, I started filling up those washers with my other clothes. Got those whirring away, and I was beginning to perk up. I could see my clothes just a-tumblin' in the dryer, and I knew that the loads in the washers would be out soon and I could do a big switch-er-oo. The dryer quit -- great anticipation of fluffy warm shirts and jammies turns into agonizing defeat. They were still soaking wet. I could have stayed home and had this much productivity. Gee Whiz. I stuff more coins in the slot, hoping and praying that it was just a freak thing and that the rest of the afternoon wouldn't pan out so horridly.

It did.

I ran out of quarters before washing all my loads because I had to keep stuffing quarters in the dryers. I think it took them about 4 complete cycles to dry a VERY small load of clothes. Madness. And even at that, I still brought home one full laundry basket of still-damp clothing that I had to hang up to air dry.

On top of spending 3 hours in the rat-hole, my kids were FAR from well-behaved. They screamed. They yelled. They ran circles around the washers. But, I let them. What else were they supposed to do for 3 hours? And I figured that there wasn't much they could really tear up in the joint anyway.

I haven't been to the laudnromat in about 10 or so years. Back in college, Kirk and I use to go there on little dates. We would giggle and laugh while we did our laundry together. So my memories of Washer Land have been really fun ones.


Please, please, please, MR. DRYER-MAN, don't break again. Don't make me go back to that awful place....don't make me go! I had enough today to last me a lifetime!! :) One (and only one!) good note -- we all have clean clothes that should last us 'til Monday. Thank the Lord!


Dear Keaton

Dear Keaton,

I wanted to write you a little note to let you know how proud I am to be your mom. I can't believe that it has been eight years. Eight whole years of laughing, giggling, and smiling. It hasn't always been easy, but it has always been great. You are a great kid. I love how passionate you are about anything you put your mind to, whether it is the latest project you are working on or cleaning your room. I love how creative you are and how ginormous your imagination is. There has not been one day that you have been alive that I haven't smiled because of you, and I have laughed with you just about as many of those days. You are amazing in so many ways....I'm so proud of you.

I was very proud of you last week when you stood up for what our family believes. Not all kids would be brave enough to do what you did. But you knew what would make me and Daddy upset, and you were strong enough to let your teacher know about it. I've seen lots of kids who knew what the right thing to do was, but were way too scared to ever say anything. But, not you. You did it! That is amazing! There are going to be so many times in your life that you are going to be faced with choices and decisions that are tough ones. Ones that will force you to choose right or wrong. In already mustering up the courage to stand up for what we believe in now, you are well on your way to being very prepared to handle yourself when you are older. You did a great job, kiddo! So proud of you.

I was very proud of you today when you told me that you wanted to be President of the USA one day. I thought you were just saying that because that is all you hear grown-ups talk about these days, but when you kept talking...I knew it had nothing to do with the Presidential race going on right now. You told me that you wanted to be President so that you could "change the world." Wow! That is big stuff. You told me that you wanted everyone to stop fighting with eachother; that you wanted everyone to stop trashing our planet; and that you wanted a law to be made so that no one would be allowed to use bad words. You've got it all figured out, man. I know that you will change the world one day. If you make it to the White House, you will be the best President this country has ever seen. If you don't make it all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue, that's okay...you will be too busy changing the world in other ways to mess with being Commander and Chief anyways! By the way...I'd vote for you, for sure!

Keaton, there is not a day that goes by that I don't thank God for giving you to me. He could have given you to any other family that He wanted, but He didn't. He chose me and Daddy. I'm so grateful that He did. He knew we needed you. He knew that you would change us forever....for the better.

I love you kiddo. You are my hero.

Love you to the stars and back,


Now I Know My ABC's....

Found this list and it looked like fun. Also, like so many of my blog buddies (LISA!!!), because I love lists so much, I thought I needed to add it on. Plus, I'm having blogger block, so this is good stuff!

A -- Available? Been officially taken for almost 11 years now.

B -- Best Friend? Jesus. If we are talking humans....my husband. If you want an answer past that....I have lots of really great friends. Thing is though, they are all "best" in different areas. Love my friends so much! You know who you are!

C -- Crush? I have a huge crush on this guy named Kirk. I've been trying to get his attention by doing crazy stalkerish stuff like washing his underwear and cleaning his bathroom. :)
(If you want to know...Peyton Manning of the Colts makes me extremely giddy! Not washing his undies though!)

D -- Dad's Name? Jim. Or James. Or Jimmy Dale. Or Poohpa. I happen to call him Dad.

E -- Easiest Person to Talk To? Going to give that one to my friend, Leanne H.

F -- Favorite Band? MercyMe is still my #1 fav.

G -- Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms? Bears....they're cuter.

H -- Hometown? Which one? I usually go with Poplar Bluff, Missouri, when asked this question....but, my REAL hometown would probably be Harrison, Arkansas. I've moved so much...it's hard to keep up.

I -- Instrument? I played the piano and flute when I was younger. Now I play the radio really well.

J -- Job? I get a paycheck by working at a highschool in the Special Ed. department, but I still claim my job as being a mom and wife to my family. That is certainly my priority.

K -- Kids? No brainer if you've kept up with this blog at all. 3 boys + 1 husband = 4 kids

L -- Longest Car Ride? Any car ride that involves one of my kids throwing up in the backseat. Doesn't matter how long the mileage actually is...if there is puke involved....it wins, hands down.

M -- Milk Flavor? White.

N -- Number of Siblings? 1 big sister -- Michele

O -- One Wish? That my children grow up to be respectful, God-fearing, servant-hearted men.

P -- Phobias? Frogs...don't ask. Too disturbing to discuss.

Q -- Favorite Quote? "Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling snow before it stops snowing." -- Phyllis Diller. (This one always makes me feel better!)

R -- Reason to Smile? Because I'm so blessed.

S -- Song You Last Heard? the "Ghostbusters" theme song...thanks to the boys

T -- Time You Woke Up? This morning? 5:00 a.m. (ugh.) From my nap which I had to take because I woke up at 5:00? 5:45 p.m.

U -- Unknown Fact About Me? I have a birthmark in the shape of the Hawaiian islands on my left thigh. Seriously.

V -- Vegetable? Potatoes! (Are they veggies?)

W -- Worst Habits? Not putting the clean laundry away after it has been folded & leaving a load of clothes in the washer too long that I have to go back and rewash them. Why are both of my bad habits about laundry...geez.

X -- X-Rays You've Had? 1. Last year I had my abdomen x-rayed to check for appendicitis....came back clean. 2. CT scan....that is a strange little procedure. 3. Mammograms... {Never had any broken bones, so no x-rays there}

Y -- Your Favorite Food? Today my favorite food is that Bacon Ranch pizza from the Pizza Shack that I ate yesterday...yummy!

Z -- Zoos or Aquariums? Zoos. I like animals with fur and legs.




I love the Fall.

I think I probably say this about every season at some point, but I really do think that Fall is my favorite. I love it when the air becomes crisp and cool. I love how the sky seems bluer (is that a word?) and the air seems fresher. I love being able to wear sweaters and boots. I love how my hair does not fall in the Fall (hee, hee!). I love the reds and oranges of the leaves. I love deer season. I love piling blankets on the bed because it isn't time to turn the heater on yet. I love pumpkins and scarecrows and hay bales. Not so crazy about Halloween...but whatever -- Thanksgiving makes up for it. FALL, FALL, FALL....Love, Love, Love It!

One of the things that I look forward to every Fall is this annual hayride/cookout that we go to. It actually is the function of a nearby church where my very good friend attends. Her family has become family to us, so we always look forward to speeding time with them. We started attending their hayride several years ago, and now, like I said, it is one of those Fall things that I really enjoy.

Tonight was hayride night. Oh, so much fun!

And now....

I am itchy from the hay. I am sneezy from the campfire. My feet are still cold. And my tummy hurts from eating one too many cookies and drinking that non-diet Dr. Pepper.

But, I'm okay with all of that.....because.....

We all had a really, really, really great time!

Did I mention that I love Fall?


Another Day of Randomness

Another here-and-there post...

Parent/Teacher Conferences -- that would be today. All went well. I was rather nervous about this whole deal, because for the first time in my parental life, I have not been totally active in my kids' education. We've either homeschooled (obviously active) or been at the private school (where I was in their rooms talking to their teachers every single day and also knew every time they were put in timeout --uh, active). So this whole "doing their own thing and finding out about it later" thing is new to me. I've tried to keep up with their online grades and all that good stuff, but I still have felt so out-of-it and detached. So, I was pleased to sit down with their teachers today and find out that all our grades are good and they all seem to be adjusting to public school really well. The curriculum changes are a little baffling to me, and I'm still getting used to the whole "teach-the-Benchmark" way of doing things....but I'm coping and learning. Gotta say that I love their teachers and feel so blessed that God led us here.

Closet Cleaning -- It is time for the 'ole switch-er-oo. Time to move out the tank tops and capris and hustle in the sweaters and corduroys (I love my corduroys...I don't care what you people say!). It is also time to clean out the boys' closets. We just got a new load of clothes from my precious, precious friend (thanks, Leann!). I love hand-me-downs so much....without that family, the Goodrum boys would be naked. Seriously. So, our project tonight is try everything in their closets on and see what still fits. If it doesn't, it is either ship it to the younger brother's closet or ship it to the yard sale pile. FUN! Although I can't stand the during of this project; I love the end! I actually enjoy doing laundry if I have neat, tidy closets to put the clothes into!!

HSM3 -- Yes! High School Musical 3! My friend, Meredith, mentioned this on her blog, too! I'm so glad that I'm not the only adult fan in the world! I love the HSM movies so much. I get super excited if the kids pick one of those DVDs to watch....I'll sing and dance around the living room with my boys! So fun! You can even catch me singing "We're All In This Together" and "Everyday" at the top of my lungs in my car! So, needless to say, I'm super excited about the 3rd one coming out! Kirk thinks I'm nuts, but whatever....

Christmas Shopping -- Can it really be? Is it really time to start shopping already? So hard to believe. It seems like time has flown by remarkably fast this year. Here is what the boys are asking for...Keaton wants an IPod, BB gun, and StarWars guys; Sawyer wants a BB gun and a guitar (okay, first he asked for a CELLO!!! Isn't that hysterical? We convinced him that he probably would enjoy the guitar a little more! I realize that we might have just suppressed his real talent...but, seriously, a cello? He just thinks it looks cool...); and Tate wants "an Indiana Jones house to play StarWars guys in." Not sure where we're going to come up with that, but Santa is sure going to try!

Computer -- I HATE THIS COMPUTER! I want a new one so badly! I'm begging Santa for one, so I hope he hears me!! ;) This one has started freezing up on me a bazillion times a day and I think it is about to die. So aggravating.

Dinner -- We had hot dogs and mac-n-cheese last night...just like I said we would!! I think I might actually cook something tonight! I have to say that I'm so impressed with all you girls that really know how to cook. It is amazing to me that not only can you cook like that, but that you can get your kids to eat all those veggies and sauces and all the other stuff you mix together. The most mixing that I do in my cooking is mixing the sauce with the meat in the spaghetti sauce. You guys amaze me...you really do! Cooking for me is a chore...I hate it. I would much rather bake. I'll make a fancy dessert any day of the week!!!

Trapped Pictures -- I have so many pictures stuck on my camera that I need to get off and post, but I'm so afraid that if I dump my pictures on my computer, it will slow it down even more. I need that new computer...did I mention that?!? Hopefully, I can get my pictures downloaded and posted soon...so many I want to show you.

Enough for now....a million apologies for the rambling!


Right This Second....

Right this second, I'm looking for some wood to knock on. As of this second, none of my boys have gotten sick. Could it be that we have escaped the curse of the household breakout? Oh, let it be so! Like I said...looking for wood.

Right this second, I'm watching ANOTHER political piece on the news. I'm so tired of all this one-sided hogwash. Please, oh, please, let it be over soon. So tired of commercials, commentaries, unscientific polls, and interviews with "uncommitted voters." Don't get me started.

Right this second, I'm thinking about all the laundry that I have to do, but don't want to do.

Right this second, I'm wondering what I'm going to feed the boys for dinner. Kirk isn't home tonight, so that most likely means a meal of mac-n-cheese, hot dogs, or chicken nuggets (or any combo of the above 3).

Right this second, one of you Martha Stewart mamas with your exotic recipe card dishes is gasping in horror.

Right this second, one of you "yes-I-feed-my-kids-cereal-for-dinner" mamas is nodding in agreement with me.

Right this second, I just noticed that there is a cobweb in the corner of my room. Probably will still be there later, because I will forget about it until the next time I look up there.

Right this second, I'm wishing, wishing, wishing for a new computer. Oh, Santa, I've been a very good girl this year!!! Honest!

Right this second, I just heard a loud crash in my living room. Here comes a tattle-tail.......
ahhhhhh.....amazing the effects a football can have on a framed picture on the wall. Nice.

Right this second, I'm remembering what it was like when I didn't have children........

Right this second, I'm thinking about signing off here and getting started on all that laundry and my gourmet meal complete with my friends Kraft and BallPark.

Later! :)




What I hate even more than being sick is being sick with the stomach virus. I think I would take any kind of sick over the stomach bug. Everything about it disgusts me.

Get ready for Too Much Information...

For the past two days I've done nothing but throw up, dry heave, retch, shiver, and sleep. No kidding. Oh wait. I also went through an extremely long period of having every single part of my body hurt and there was not a darn thing I could do about it. I rubbed every kind of manly sports cream that I could find in the medicine cabinet on my body, and nothing worked.

Even my hair hurt. Please tell me, girls, that you have had your hair hurt...Kirk doesn't believe me....but it so happens.

I'm finally better. I'm still weak and feel like I've been run over by a cattle truck, but that is a gazillion times better than yesterday. I'll take cattle truck any day.

Now I'm just hoping that my fellas don't get it. Guaranteed that if one of them does....he is either going to throw up in his bed, in my bed, or on my carpet....lovely.


Nola Mae

So, I'm official. Some of Nola Mae is finally in the hands (or should I say, around the necks) of other people, so I guess I'm ready to unveil them online. Here you go.....sneak peek!

These are just a few of the pieces I've done. Right now, I'm making these style pendants and ribbon chains. I've got a couple of ideas up my sleeve that I also want to try. We'll see!

These pictures seem a little blurry....hopefully you can get an idea of what they look like though.....I'll work on my photography skills!! :)


Boys Everywhere

Kirk and I are used to being asked crazy things like, "Are all these boys are yours?" or "All boys?" And we very politely answer, "Yes, Ma'am," and then sort of snicker to each other over people's look of shock and awe. We still can't figure out why we are such an novelty, but whatever.

Well, this weekend, I entered into the crazy, crazy world of not 3 boys, not 4 boys, not even 5 or 6 boys...but, 7 boys. Yes, I said 7 boys. And the oldest one was 8. HA!

My very good friend and college roommate, Rachel, was in town for Tiger Tunes (a fun, fun show that our almamater, Ouachita, puts on each year at Homecoming). She and her husband were going to the show and needed somewhere for their kids to stay. I gladly agreed to keep the babies for her. Oh, how many does she have? You guessed it....4. All boys. Go figure. What are the odds? Her oldest son, E, is 6. She also has A, who is 4; J, who is 2; and N, who just turned 1. So, mix those with my 3 monkeys, and all that you are left with is a circus sideshow fit to charge an entrance fee to observe.

We met them at TaMolly's last night to eat before Tunes....that was an event in itself! After dinner and after the rigmarole of moving car seats and suitcases, Matt and Rach were off, and Kirk and I were left with all the kiddos to bring home.

The fun started before we even opened the front door, because Ozzie (our 3 legged dog) was so excited to see extra little people, that he went berserk. J and A were rescued, but I think we might have traumatized them for life. Yikes.

We managed to get in the house and then the fun really began. My what-was-clean house was soon a pool of dinosaurs, light sabers, and and dress-up costumes. The Wii was going and footballs were whizzing across the room......nothing but massive fun.

After convincing them (around 10:00) that it really was time for bed, we managed to wrangle jammies on everyone and get everyone's toothies brushed. We laid them all down in the living room in front of a movie (we call those "slumber parties" at my house) -- everyone with their own blankies, pillows, and sleeping bags. We lined all 6 of the bigger boys up like little crayons in a box.....so cute. Darn it, where was my camera? Oh, never mind, I couldn't have taken a picture anyway, because I was wrestling N (the baby). I guess he thought Mrs. Amber's house was way fun, because he was not wanting any part of the slumber party. I finally took him in the other room, shut the lights off, and rocked and sang him to sleep. Bless his heart, I probably scared him to sleep!

The boys were fast asleep by the time Rach and Matt got home from Tunes. Kirk and I were tired, but we had so much fun. I almost felt like I knew what grandparents mean when they say, "We love to have the kids, because we can send them back home!"

I used to be convinced that adding a couple of more kids to the mix was no big deal....what's one more when you already are keeping up with 3. I have new found appreciation for mamas of big families. They have it all the time. And it wasn't that they were bad....completely the opposite....they were amazingly good. It is just so much going on all at once -- CRAZY!!!!!!

I had a blast though....snuggling with J and N, giggling at E and A, and laughing out loud when Tate told me that he now wants us to have a little baby (but only if can be just like N). The joke was us having a baby....not a chance, buddy!

7 boys.......so much fun that I need a nap!!!! :)



So I apparently freaked a few of you out by my post yesterday. I'm better now, but thank you so much for all your sweet comments and notes, emails and calls. I'm good....nothing a good cry couldn't cure.
I'll also give props to my sweet husband for making me feel better. As most of you know, he usually leans way to the side of sarcastic and "toughen-up," but last night, when I was knee deep in the middle of my funk, he came to the rescue. There should be a national holiday set aside for sweet husbands. I'd buy mine something manly....like a power tool.

Anyway....many of you have also asked if I have FINALLY thought of a name for my little business thing I got going on. And the answer is.....drum roll, please.....


Your ideas, I want you to know, were all written down and carefully scrutinized, even Meredith's "Chunky Monkey" went on the list! :) I also got online and searched through lists and lists of names and foreign words. I clicked through endless pages of online dictionaries and thesauruses. And, then it came to me......

I will say, very sadly, that I didn't choose any name that was given to me. I also didn't choose a name that I found online (although I did almost have a word picked out, but after I couldn't remember how to spell it, I decided that it probably wasn't a good choice!).

I was sitting around a couple of days ago, thinking about my grandma (my sweet Nanny who passed away last year) and it hit me. My Nanny loved jewelry. So much. She also loved us and thought that anything her grandkids did was straight from Heaven. I know, without a doubt, that she would have worn my pieces, and that she would have been my #1 PR person. She would have made sure that the entire clan of Edwards' women also owned a piece of my jewelry (you know it is true, Dad and Aunt Jo!). So, this is what I came up with....

Nola Mae

That's my sweet Nanny's name. So, in honor of her and her amazing dedication to her family and everything that we have ever pursued....she gets to be the name of my new little business.

I think she would be very excited about it, too! I can almost see her on the phone now calling EVERYONE in that little address book of hers just to tell them.

This is my Nanny with me, my sister Michele, and my cousin Richard a couple of years ago. Isn't she sweet?!

So, now that I have a name, and I almost have my pieces ready to "unveil," look for them in the next couple of days.....

I'm excited to share Nola Mae with you!

By the way....I had mentioned that if I chose your name I would send you one of my pieces. Since I didn't choose one of yours, but I still like to give away free stuff.....I came up with a little random draw thing. The winner is....another drum roll, please......Jennifer! (Jenn, I'll get with you by email about the specifics!) Thanks for all your help, again. I appreciate it 100%!


Rough Day

Have you ever had anything that you felt really passionate about and that you can't wait to share or experience with people, and then....


everyone totally blows it off or, even worse, doesn't even recognize it?

Totally happening to me right now.
It makes me tired. It makes me cranky. All I want to do is pull the covers over my head and cry.

So sorry to be such a frowny-face today, but I guess everyday can't be all smiles.

Tomorrow will be better....at least it better be.


Get a CLUE!

I feel like all I do is go 90 to nothing. My hair is in nothing but a clippy anymore (partly because I'm in desperate need of a haircut, but really because I don't have time to fix it!), and my house is "clean enough" (which really means that if someone came over, it would be presentable, but they better not be pokin' around in nooks and crannies).

I wish I had an outstanding reason for all the craziness, but I really don't. It is just STUFF.
We've been crazy busy with sports. Baseball is over now, which is a blessing to the schedule, but other stuff has just popped in and filled its spot.

One thing that we have added to our schedule (that I absolutely adore and will not be sad about) is Family Game Night! It wasn't like we set out to make this a part of our ritual, it just happened that way. But I love it! It all started with Keaton wanting to spend some money that he had saved up. He searched and searched the aisles at WallyWorld, and much to my surprise, could not find a "toy" that he wanted. Shocking. But, he did find a game...


I love Clue. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are of my family sitting around playing games together...and one of our favorites was this amazingly fantastic mystery game. I can remember fussing with my sister over who was going to be Miss Scarlet and joyfully leaping through the secret passage across the board. Loved it!

So you can imagine my absolute joy when my baby boy wanted to spend his money on the game. I would have bought it for him -- I was so excited!

We got it home and cracked open the plastic wrap to find that THEY HAVE CHANGED THE GAME! What? Why mess with perfection? The new stuff isn't bad, I guess...but, seriously....why fix it if it ain't broke?!?

So, now there is a SPA. Yes, a spa. And a GUESTHOUSE. No joke. They've added POISON, an AX, and a DUMBBELL to the weapon list. The dumbbell still makes me giggle a little bit, and the poison is a bit disturbing. They've also eliminated all the Mrs., Mr., etc. in front of the players' names. So instead of Colonel Mustard...it's just Mustard. Weird to me.

Oh well. I don't guess those things are too terribly tragic, but I'm still feeling the pang of nostalgia....and I don't really care what the rules say, she'll always be Miss Scarlet to me!

Back to Family Game Night....because Keaton takes after me and is completely capable of becoming totally and wholly enthralled with something and running it into the ground, we have been subjected to games of Clue every night. I'm not going to pretend that I'm sad...I'm not. I could play that game every day until Jesus comes back and be perfectly happy. But, you see, the bad thing is that when playing with a 3rd grader (who thinks he knows strategy, but really doesn't) and a 1st grader (who thinks he can read well enough to play by himself, but really can't) --- the games run around an hour or so each! AHHHHHH.....

So, although I'm not upset about accusing Mrs. Peacock of murder in the Dining Room with a Rope.....my laundry is kind of suffering. But, this is quality time, right? The laundry can wait...there are important crimes to solve!

Tonight it was Mrs. White in the Spa with the Poison......


Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

Thank you so much for all your amazing ideas for my new little sha-bang I'm working on. I've made a list of all my possibilities and I've been mulling it all over. I'm beginning to narrow it down some, but I'm having a tough time. Choosing a name is big stuff. It feels so final to me, because once I choose something then I'm stuck with it. So, I really want to make it good. Keep sending me ideas though...I'm loving it! (I'm actually more stressed over naming this little business venture than I ever was in naming our children...crazy.)


Need Your Creative Talents....PLEASE!

I need your help.

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I was embarking on a little project adventure. I still don't feel like I'm ready to do a big "reveal," because I really want to have some of the details nailed down before I make a huge presentation.

One of the details that I can't iron out,though, is a name for my new little business that I'm creating. I want something catchy, but I don't want it to involve my name or the names of my kids. And I don't want anything like Designs by Amber, or Amber's Creations. I really want something funky and cute. But, I'm stuck.

So....this is where you come in. Please leave me a comment with an idea. It can be nonsensical, tongue-twister-y, or more sophisticated. Whatever you can come up with....

I will give you a couple of hints, because I know it is hard to name something when you don't even know what you're naming. My creations are jewelry related, but I don't want to limit my name to jewelry (in case I ever want to branch out). Also, my style is a good mix of trendy, shabby, and classy. So...there you go.

What's in it for you? Well, you'll be helping me out!!! :) And, if I happen to choose your idea, I'll send you free stuff!!! :) Deal?

Can't wait to hear from you.


Just Skunky...Part 2

If you read my previous post....then you will appreciate this update:

Mama Skunk has been sent to the great big Skunkdom in the sky...thanks to Kirk and his manly self.

Now....wonder if Papa and Mama had babies.....hmmmmmmmmmmmm.....


Just Skunky

For those of you who don't know our family personally, let me start off by saying that Kirk is a true man at heart. He has totally subscribed to that whole hunter-gatherer mentality, and testosterone seeps from his every pore. If he didn't have a tiniest inkling of a sweet streak, I swear, he'd be dragging me around by my hair and looking for fire. He is all man. He knows everything there is to know about car parts and mechanic-ing, can fix anything that goes wrong with your house, can build furniture like a master carpenter, loves all kinds of sports and gets insanely loud and obnoxious about them, and he thinks the only kind of cooking a man should do must either involve an outdoor grill or some type of wild game. But the thing that Kirk loves to do the most (besides spending time with his amazing wife and precious children!) has to be hunting. He sleeps, eats, and breathes hunting. He obtained a lifetime hunting/fishing license some time back so that there would never be a time that he couldn't go shoot something if he wanted to! Because of this passion, we have accumulated quite a collection of guns. He's doing much better now, but about a year or so ago, it seemed like he was always coming home with some new weapon. (Now before you freak out...yes, we teach our children gun safety, and all the guns are properly locked away.)

So, saying all of this, it wasn't much of a shock for me to see Kirk head down the hall Saturday night with a gun in hand. What jolted me out of my chair and caused me to bolt across the room,however, was what I saw when I turned around. There....on the back deck....just ten or twelve feet from where I was sitting at the table were two nasty, nasty creatures....Papa and Mama Skunk.

Now, there was a sliding glass door separating the skunks and me, but my chief concern at that moment was them being spooked and thus spraying their lovely aroma all over my house...and my dog and cat (who were also on the deck, but were sleeping through the whole incident).

The skunks were in the dog food, having a late night snack. They would greedily munch for awhile and then they would saunter over to the water dish, take a drink, and then stroll back over to the doggie dish. Mrs. Skunk even left us a nice gift on the step into Kirk's shop....must have eaten too much Purina.

Kirk's manly protect-the-homestead instinct kicked in, and he was out of the house with his gun in no time. By this time the boys were highly interested in the activity outside and were being annoyingly loud about the happenings. I kept shushing them; so afraid that one high-pitched squeal would send the skunks over the stinky edge.

We waited and we waited. The skunks kept eating and eating. I knew Kirk couldn't take a shot unless they got off the deck, but he sure wasn't about to go scare them off. It seemed like hours, but finally the skunks began to mosey towards the edge of the deck. I saw them slip off the side and waited for the gunshot. Nothing. Ten minutes later, Kirk comes storming in the front door.

It was too dark. The skunks sneakily slid off into the shadows, instead of into the slivers of light that were coming from the house. Kirk watched their black bodies slither up underneath our shed. I asked why he didn't just shoot, since he always hits his mark. He told me that he wasn't shooting at random, since there was a chance he'd hit them in the stinker. Good move.

So after listening to him fume over having missed the skunks, we went on with the evening.

Aside from the smell of skunk around the house on Sunday, we didn't think much about the little critters. But, Sunday evening, when we got home from church, the smell of skunk was definitely elevated. We went straight to the back door and peered out. Sure enough...Papa Skunk was back having a snack. Mama wasn't anywhere around, but we figured she must be close.

Kirk went directly to get his gun and made his way to his sniper position. It only took about 5 minutes this time for the StinkPot to make his way off the deck. BOOM! The boys and I heard it and knew Kirk had got him. I looked out the door and, sure enough, a little ball of black and white fur was sprawled out on the grass.

Although he didn't hit the stinker-spot, that sucker reeked. So, after very carefully shoveling up the little guy and disposing of him, Kirk came in smelling like something fierce. So gross. I sent him straight to the shower, but he was still pretty smelly. I can't imagine what it would be like if he had gotten sprayed. Yuck. I'm shuddering right now just remembering the stench.

Kirk was fast promoted from "cool hero dude" to "awesome cool hero dude" around our house. The boys were thrilled at their daddy's skunk hunting, and I was thrilled to have one of the boogers down. Just one more to go.....we're hoping Mama will pack up and leave since Papa isn't around anymore.

Please don't call PETA or anybody else who would care that Kirk killed a skunk...please. And so sorry if your family doesn't do things like our family tends to.....didn't mean to offend you. What would have been offensive to me though would be being sprayed by that skunk!


Random Catch-up....Time Flies

Wow. I just noticed that I haven't posted since Wednesday. Golly. I didn't know I had been away that long.

Let me fill you in on what's been going on around these parts...everything is pretty random, so I'm apologizing ahead of time for all my subject-hopping and rabbit-chasing.

Baseball is over. I'm so sad. I think that other people on the team were anxiously anticipating the end of the fall season, but not me. I love everything about it. I even love the busy evenings that baseball brings. So, on Thursday night, when all the other parents were giggling to themselves about no more baseball, I was quietly wiping away the tears. Not really, but I was still bummed out. What is my family supposed to do now? Good thing we have the batting cage...

Here is our baseball team (Keaton and Sawyer are the ones with the eye patches...very professional aren't they?!?!)

Soccer games got rained out Saturday morning. As thrilling as that sounds, I was already dragged out of bed and to the field before finding out. So, if I'm already there, then I want the kids to play. Oh well. Just felt like the morning was wasted. I'm not nearly as enthralled with soccer as I am baseball, but I still like to watch the kiddos play...kinda bummed about that, too.

Now that I'm coming across as a crazy sports fanatic bleacher mom...time to move on...

Since soccer was done for because of the weather, and we were already dressed...we headed to Hot Springs. We spent 2 HOURS in Lowe's. Ugh. I get as excited about home improvement as the next guy, but 2 hours was a bit much. Kirk had a list as long as Christmas, and we went up and down every aisle (no kidding!) checking stuff off the list and pitching stuff in the buggy. He had decided that it was time to work on all the little odd jobs around the house now that we are free from baseball (I'm still sad). $200 later, we were able to leave. I'm not complaining though, because now all the bathroom faucets have been replaced, the leaky faucet in the shower is fixed, we have new locks on our doors, and I have a new light in my bathroom. I love that Kirk is handy...I'm not sure what people do when their husband is not.

After dragging me through Lowe's for half the morning, Kirk did let me go to Hobby Lobby. I have a new project that I'm working on and I needed to pick up some "stuff." I'll be filling you in much more on my new "thing" in some later posts. I'm still trying to figure out all the ins and outs of starting up a tiny home-based business, but when I do...I'll let you know!! :)

Sunday was a great day of worship and fellowship. We love our church so much. We moved churches about a year ago after feeling the Lord's leading to do so, and we are so happy. It was my turn to cook for our small group last night, so all yesterday afternoon I stirred chili and baked cornbread (the cornbread didn't take all afternoon, but you know what I mean!). Yummy!
And now to today...I got all the way to school this morning only to discover that Tate was sick. I swear he seemed fine when we left the house! He and I turned around and came back home. So, although I've got a sick one, I can't say that I'm too sad about the day at home to play catch-up on housework. I'm so behind on all of it, that I know most of my day is going to be spent scrubbing, dusting, vacuuming, and washing. I need to change the sheets, too. Yuck. That has to be my least favorite chore. I don't know why I hate it so much. I'd rather scrub toilets than change sheets. Weird.

Better get going...

Oh No! I just remembered that I forgot to tell you about the skunk! That one deserves a whole post all to itself...look for it! Kirk is now known as the Mighty Skunk Hunter around our house!


Lazy and Lovin' It

There is nothing going on tonight. Unbelievable. We don't have any sports' practices or church activities and we have already finished our homework. We picked up pizza for dinner tonight and the laundry is almost done. All adding up to a lazy evening...a rare occasion around these parts.

Here's what's going down...

Tate is dressed up as Spiderman. I've had to put his mask back on him at least a dozen times. He's jumping on my bed, looking at himself in the mirror, and flashing spidey-hands at whatever comes his way. Insanely adorable. Oh, wait, it just got better. He just stuffed his mask up the sleeve of his costume and is telling his daddy that now he has "a beeg hooj muchel" (big huge muscle). Could he be any cuter?

Keaton the Benefactor is hard at work. Today at Wal-Mart he pleaded for a bag of Jolly Ranchers and DumDums. Right now he is meticulously writing all the names of his classmates on little tags that he is hooking onto the candy. All so that he can give a gift to his friends. What a sweetie. If I were in 3rd grade, I'd be lucky to have Keaton as a friend...and I'm not just saying that. By the way, he came home the other day and said that a little girl in his class had "asked him out." Oh my...this is starting way too early! I asked him what he told her -- he said that he already had a girlfriend...his mama! :) My heart smiled.

Sawyer is playing baseball in the living room. Well, I say "playing baseball"...it is really more like air-ball. He is swinging a bat at an imaginary ball and then switching to the "mound" (a.k.a. the throw pillow) so that he can pitch that same imaginary ball. I tell ya, my Sawyer eats, sleeps, and breathes baseball. He is so bummed out that his last game is tomorrow night. Me, too. I can't get enough of watching my boys on the diamond!

Kirk is stretched out watching TV (very rare occurrence) and I'm stretched out checking up on all of you people!

It doesn't get much better than this. I'll take a night like this any day!