Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's beginning to look like Christmas!

Here are the pictures of the house decorated!
The kids tree upstairs.
The fireplace. Yes, the cat has her own little stocking.

My purple Christmas tree. I know that it is not "traditional" but last year Robert bought me purple ornaments because that is my favorite color and the tree turned out to be the prettiest one!

The table centerpiece with the tree in the background.

The tree in the dining room that Braxton and I decorated together!

The cat must have been worn out after all that decorating!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Decorations

The day before Thanksgiving we put up all 3 of my trees. I took pictures of the kids decorating the one that is upstairs. That one is theirs. I let them decorate it completely by themselves. I give them the ornaments that I use on that tree and let them do their thing. The two downstairs, I am a little more picky with. Braxton and I decorated one of them together and it was soo much fun. He loves telling everyone that we did it! It is one of the first things you see when you walk in my front door and people comment on it a lot! It brings a great big smile to his face and a sense of pride. I will post pictures of it and the rest of the decorations later. For now here are the pictures of the kids decorating their tree.
Devin "fluffing" the tree after we pulled it out of the box.
Braxton hanging ornaments.

The boys and our neighbors little girls hanging ornaments.

Devin did such a good job "fluffing" the tree. Here he is laying under the tree so he could get to the back of the tree!

He's 10

This is what happens when you let a 10 year old a camera!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Unwelcomed guest

As I posted last week Braxton had a stomach bug. He was sick for a day or two and then he was fine. This bug started at his dad's house and everyone there has had it and all been really sick with it. So far we have all been fine though, well, today Devin came home from school and said his stomach felt bad and withing minutes was in the bathroom puking! He has done this about 5 times in the last 4 hours. I am starting to feel kinda yucky, but am not sure if it's the bug or just hearing him! I have to start cooking tomorrow and am trying to finish my Christmas decorations. I pray that I am not sick tomorrow, there is no way I can get everything done on Thursday.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I love the Holiday Season

Don't you just love the Holiday season? Starting at Thanksgiving and ending at the New Year is my favorite time of year. I seem to focus more on the things that I have not on what I don't have and on making everyone else around me happier. Even though we have more things to spend our money on and I have a lot more stuff to do, I am always a little happier. I love to watch little kids and their excitement at this time of the year. I also love watching older people, they are almost as excited as the kids. This time of year so often brings back happy childhood memories. My favorite memories of my mom are around this time of year. I can remember getting up on Thanksgiving and smelling the turkey cooking, and her cooking all day and how much she enjoyed everyone being around and the fellowship. I remember "helping" her decorate the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. She always played Christmas music and we would have cookies and hot chocolate while we were decorating it. I remember Christmas Eve dinners with my mom's best friend, Wanda who had no family in SC, so she had her and her family at our house, this quickly became a tradition. I think that is why I am so happy at this time of the year, I remember the joy it brought my mom and in turn me.

I have tried throuhg the boys childhood to make memories for them that will last their entire lives. We have made the ornaments for the tree on several years. One year we made Ginger Bread People ornments, painted them and decorated them. Devin and I made the dough and cut them out. Storm and I painted them a gingerbread color and decorated them. We then decorated the tree together, Braxton helped to decorate the tree that year, but he was too little to help with the ornaments. I always took several days to bake cookies with them.

What do you do to make memories with your family?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Crazy week!

This has been one crazy week. I have been running all over town trying to get everything I need to get done for school before the deadline. I had the funeral on Monday and then on Wednesday morning, the school called and Braxton was throwing up, so I spent all day Wednesday taking care of and cleaning up after him. Then on Thursday morning Robert had to be at the Airport for his one day trip to Alabama! We got up at 4:00 and I dropped him off at the Airport and then came home, woke Devin up and got him out of the door to the bus. I let Braxton sleep in, I did not want to send him to school until I knew he could hold something on his stomach. He did well, he ate pretzels for breakfast and then grilled cheese for lunch and had no problem with either of those and was acting like he felt fine so I let him go with his semi-weekly visit with his MiMi. I then had to go back to the Airport to pick Robert up. We got back home just in time for the youth group to meet at the house. This morning was another early morning, 4:00 again so poor Robert could drive the 3 hour drive to Atlanta for business for the day, he should be back sometime this afternoon. I then had to go back to the health department to get the 2nd part of my 2 part TB test. I am now back home, just finished cleaning the kitchen, started supper and potato salad for my neighbors birthday party for tomorrow night. Now to fold clothes and clean the house, because tomorrow I will be in school all day with my CPR class.

I guess it could be worse, I could be bored with nothing to do!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Running club and hot cocoa

I am thankful for my warm clothes, coat and mittens and hot chocolate. It is really cold in SC this week. Braxton had a "fun run" yesterday and we had to sit outside in the cold wind! My neighbors daughter, Abita is also in the running club and her mom had to work, so she and her sister came with us. Poor Ritika was freezing! She had to sit in the stands with me, in our school you cannot be in the running club until you are in the 3rd grade and she is only in the 2nd. On the way to the car, I said when we get home we will make some hot cocoa. Both girls said that they had never had it before and then quickly decided that they had tasted some in 1st grade when they had PJ day at school, but that it did not have marshmallows in it. I asked them if they would like me to get some marshmallows and some cocoa mix while we were at the store so they could try some good cocoa and of course they said yes! We came home and drank hot cocoa with marsmallows in it, not the little ones that are already in some mix, we bought the miniature marshmallows. The girls both seemed to enjoy it, but I think Ritika liked it more.

When we got home I started a fire before I made the cocoa, I think they liked that the best. Ritika kept saying, it is so warm! I am glad that it is getting cold, it is helping me to get into the holiday mood.

What things do you do to help keep warm when it is cold outside?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Busy Day

Today was the deadline to pay my deposit to hold my spot in the nursing program. I had to see my case manager at CareerSource in order to get the voucher for the deposit and take it to the school to ensure they got it in time. This normally would only take a few minutes, but of course, today when I was on a time schedule, it took about two hours. It always seems like when you are in a hurry it takes longer to do everything. I finally got that taken care of and then it was time to go to the funeral, so Braxton and I made our way there. I expected that the church part of the funeral would be around and hour, of course I was wrong again, it was an hour and a half. Braxton was good for the first hour, but kept watching the clock because I told him we should be through by 2:00. When it got to be 2:00 he started saying, it should be over soon, it's 2, and then he would whisper, it's after 2, why are they still talking? And then he just laid his little head on my shoulder. It was quite emotional for him, he cried most of the funeral. This is the 2nd person very close to him that he has lost in the last 11 months. His Gammy (his dad's mom) died on New Year's Eve at the age of 59 with a heart attack, and now Myra, who was like a grandmother to him. When the funeral was over, I left him with his MiMi (his dad's step-mom) so that he could go to the burial with them and then I was off to finish my to do list for school.

I then had to go get a drug test done. This is not the normal pee in the cup test, you pee in the cup, but the person administering the test stands in the bathroom with you and watches you go! I am glad that I don't have a shy bladder. After that it was off to the school to register for the CPR class that I have to take. Then it was off to Wal-Mart to pick up my allergy medicine. So finally I was through and able to come home and get in my really soft PJ's I got for my birthday! I am glad to be through for the day, tomorrow I will have to go get my blood drawn and then Friday I should be able to get my last shot and the last step of the TB test. I am exhausted and haven't even started school! What does January have in store for me???

Thankful day 4

I am thanful for my car and that gas has went down enough that I can afford to drive it. I don't think we realize how lucky we are in America that almost every family has 2 cars. I know I often forget that a car is a Luxury item in many countries.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Death and Love

This past week my ex-husbands aunt, whom he was very close to passed away. She had been ill for quiet a few years, but we were still caught off guard by her death. This aunt was like a grandmother to my boys, in fact Braxton called her "Aunt Grandma". She was part of my family and my life for 14 years. She was the one person that always remembered my birthday and made it special for me, she wanted to fill in the empty space my mom had left in the best manner that she could. She knew she would not be my mom, but she tried to fill that void as best she could. I am so glad that she was in my life and miss the role she played in my life. I will never forget the kindness she showed to me and the love she gave my children! The boys are so blessed to have experienced her unconditional love.

I talked to her dauhgter today and she was asking me how old I was when my mom died and we paralelled our experiences somewhat. I told her that I knew her mother loved her dearly and she replied, "I know that she loved me, I just hope that she knew I loved her, and she burst into tears". This shocked me because this girl was always there for her mom and sacrificed so much during the past several years. She then went on to say that she felt bad because in the past 19 months, since she had her son, she had chosen him, her own child over her mom. She actually felt guilty for taking care of her child over her mom. What do you say to that? I told her that I was sure that it made her mom proud that she was such a good mother and that she put her child's needs above everything else. I also asked her, didn't you tell her that you loved her every day? And she replied yes I did. I told her that there was no doubt in my mind that she knew how dearly she loved her.

This just reminds me how important it is to tell the people in your life that you love them, but more importantly go the extra mile to SHOW them how much you love them and acknowledge to them that you know that they love you, so that if tomorrow never comes they will have no doubts that you loved them and that you know they loved you!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thankful day 3

I am thankful for running water. I am thankful that I can go to the bathroom inside my house and flush the toilet and know that everything will be taken away by the runnig water, for the warm bath I take in my own tub, for the water I use to wash my clothes and dishes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pictures of I'm a Stalker Blog Party

Me, Carlos, Heather and Robert

Heather's Nana

Cookie chatting

Stephanie, who organized this wonderful event


And of Course Heather

Shot Day

I have to go today for my shots for school. I have to get 4 shots and my TB test to prove I don't have TB so that I can go into the hospitals for my clinicals. Of course, today I feel like I am going to puke, not because I know I have to get shots, I just feel sick and achy! And of course the shots won't help this at all!!! My sweet husband is going to take me to the Health Department so he can hold my hand like my mom did when I got them the first time when I was 2. I am lucky to have him.

Thankful day 2

I am thankful that I have a home where I can stay warm and dry and will stop complaining that it needs to be cleaned. I will be thankful that I have a house to clean.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful day 1

Starting today through Thanksgiving I will post at least one thing I am thankful for.
In these times of economic hardships it is so easy to complain about what we don't have and not focus on what we do have to be thankful for. So these posts are to help remind me of everything I do have.

I am thankful that I have the opportunity to go back to school and that I was accepted into nursing school and God has provided a way for me to go and not go further into debt.

Sex everyday for 7 days

I was watching the Early Show this morning and they had Ed Young, the Pastor of Fellowship church in Grapevine Texas on the show. I don't know if you have ever heard or watched him, but he is great! In fact, I think that is the church Heather of Whittaker Woman was last week with Carlos. Anyway, Ed has issued a challenge to all married couples in his church starting this Sunday to have sex every day during the week. I am sure that he has some very happy men in his church and probably some very stressed women. He made the point on national TV that GOD invented sex and that we had let culture take it over and it is time to bring the bedroom back into church and God back into the bedroom! WOW! What a powerful statement. I can't wait to see the results of this "sexperiment" as Ed called it. My husband is on board and wants to know why Perry has not tried this one yet!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shots aren't just for kids!

I got the good news on Saturday that I was excepted into the nursing program at Spartanburg Community College, so on Monday I started getting everything together that I need to ensure my spot in the program. I thought that the immunizations would be easy to get so I went to the Health Department, they no longer have my records and suggested that I go to my high school, they should have it in my records. So I drove across town to my high school, they do not have the records on site so they will have to request them from the company that stores them off site and they cannot guarantee me that my immunization records would be in the transcript. Since this would cost $10 and take up to 2 weeks, I decided I would check at the college because they have my high school transcripts. I drive back across town to the college and go to the records department. Guess what? They no longer have them. So I decide that I will call Greenville Tech. to see if they have my high school transcripts and if my immunization records are attached. Of course, they have the transcripts but my immunizations are not a part of them. So now I decide to call my dad to see if by any chance he still has them. He looked where he keeps all of our vital records and found my sisters and my brothers, but not mine. I think he gave them to me before I went to Europe and after living in Germany, Kansas and then back to South Carolina they have been lost. So, I say all of that to say that I now have to get them all done over again on Friday, and this time I won't have my mommy there to make it all better!! I wonder if they'll give me a sucker or at least some stickers if I am good.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My 40th Birthday Party

Yesterday was my 40th birthday so Robert gave me a birthday party at my favorite Mexican Restaurant in Spartanburg. He invited our closest friends and family. Below are some pictures:

My BLACK cake! The black was sprayed on the outside of the white icing.
Daddy and Braxton.

The back of Tracy's (my sister) head, Liz Haynes, Me and Faith Haynes

The Snyder family Alan, Zack, Melissa and Hailey

The Gregory's- Thomas, Robert, Susan and Robbie

The Ghandi's Di, Kiran, Braxton, Ritika and Abita

Me in my birthday hat. My sister is sitting down behind me with her boyfriend "uncle" Mike.

Robert and the Birthday Girl

Di and Me

My daddy has to put icing on my nose every year. He has done it every year that I can remember!

Devin and Shannon.

Great Weekend

This has been a wonderful weekend! My weekend started on Saturday when I got my acceptance letter to nursing school. This has been a dream for 10 years now since I decided to leave school to stay home with the boys after Braxton was born. I am so blessed that God has given me another opportunity to finish my degree. And then Robert and I traveled to Atlanta to the blogger party. We had a wonderful time getting to know so many of the other bloggers. Even though it is not but about a 3 hour drive, we decided that we would stay in Atlanta over night, so we went back to the room and just spent time together! That was nice! Then on Sunday morning we got up and came home to go to church at NewSpring in Greenville. Clayton King is awesome, we are so blessed to have him as our teaching pastor and the back up when Perry needs a break! Then after church we picked up the kids and came home to take a nap! Then we went to my favorite Mexican Restaurant with a group of our closest friends and celbrated my 40th birthday! It was a great weekend! I will post pictures later!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Exciting Weekend

This is going to be a busy and exciting weekend for me. This afternoon we will be traveling to Roswell, GA for a Bloggers Party hosted by Heather Whittaker of Whittaker Woman. I can't wait to meet all of my fellow bloggers that also follow Heather and her wonderfully funny family. Several of these people are members of the NewSpring Florence campus, can't wait to meet my fellow NewSpringers.

Then tomorrow we will come home and go to church. I can't miss this series, beautiful, this has meant so much to me and my Christian growth. After church I will get my boys and we will celebrate my 40th birthday! I am excited about this birthday, I am not sure why, but it does not bother me! I guess I still feel young because I am challenging myself by going back to school and finally following my dream and passion of becoming a hospice or oncology nurse.

Can't wait!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Turning 40

My birthday is Sunday, November 9th, I will be 40! I am actually pretty excited about it, it means God has allowed me to reach yet another milestone in my life. I am not depressed like some people get at 40. I am however reflecting on my life and especially my mom's life.

A little history, my mom died from breast cancer at the age of 44. She discovered her lump when she was 41 and it had probably been there for 2 years. The closer I get to those ages the more I reflect on her life and all of the moments we shared!

My mom and I were very close up to the very end. We talked about everything, things most girls are afraid to talk to their parents about as teenagers. I know that she didn't always like what I told her, but she always tried her best to understand.

I have tried very hard over my children's life to be the kind of mom I had! There are many times that I feel that I have failed miserably and other times that I rejoice that she would be proud of how I handled the situation.

I started looking for pictures of me and her together and couldn't find many because she did not like pictures being taken of her. I am a lot like her in that way, I don't like pictures being taken of me either. I will be changing this when it comes to pictures of me and my boys, I don't want them to look for pictures of me and them together and not be able to find them because I didn't want anyone to remember how fat I think I am.

Below are the few pictures I found of us together!

My mom and me at my first birthday!
My mom and me at my Jr. prom, she turned 40 that July. (love the 80's hair)

My mom and me at the first prom I attended.

My sister Tracy, my mom and me at mom and dad's 25th wedding anniversary. (again love the 80's hair on Tracy and me!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I am so glad that the election is over! No matter if you are pleased with the results it is now time to get behind the new President and build him up! Now is the time to start praying for him and his family. This is a very difficult time in our country with the wars and the economy, it will not be easy to lead for anyone! Let's pray for all of our leaders, both newly elected and those who have been serving for years! Pray for guidance for them and for the entire country!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


WOW! Robert and I voted this morning. Polls open in SC at 7:00 a.m. so we decided to be there early so we would not have to wait so long! WRONG!!! We were there a little before 6:30 and did not finish until 8:00. That is a good thing! Voter turn out is great! I don't care who you vote for as long as you throw your hat in the ring! It is so important to have your voice be heard and to excercise this huge right and privaledge. Don't forget the men and women that have fought and lost their lives so that we would be free to vote!!!

Praise God for this country and our freedoms!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

November already?

I cannot believe that it is already November! I talked to my sister yesterday and we were making plans for Christmas. I cannot believe it is already that time of year again! I do so love this time of year! Not just the Holidays but the fact that it is cooler outside and I start baking stuff that makes the house smell good and the heat from the kitchen warms the entire house! I baked apples last night! They were so good! It has been 18 years since I had one, I baked them for my mom when she was sick! I also baked her a pumpking pie and forgot to put sugar in it, by the way girls, pumpkin pie must have sweetener of some sort in it or it is bitter!! That is a story for another day! This time of year makes me so sentimental and makes me think of my mom and my childhood a lot, it makes me smile. I hope that when my kids are older they have a special time that they think of their childhood and smile!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

For women only

WOW! This series at church (NewSpring Community Church) has been eye opening. This week Perry was in Australia so they had a guest; Shaunti Feldhahn. She is a bestselling author and is a weekly columnist on women's issues in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She has written a book, for women only what you need to know about the inner lives of men. She has also written similar books for teenage girls and with help from her husband a book for men and teenage boys. The message was wonderful! She has interviewed over 1,000 men to get the information in her book, it is indeed an eye opener! As a gift to every woman that attended Sunday, NewSpring handed out the book. I can barely put it down! I am already 1/4 of a way through it! It has already helped me to understand how to relate to my husband! I can't wait to finish reading it! Girls I highly recommend that you get this book, I assure you it will help your marriage!

Again the book is "for women only-what you need to know about the inner lives of men" by Shaunti Feldhahn. I also would strongly urge you to go to and listen to the current series, Beautiful, it has helped me so much!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat

Braxton went Trick or Treating with his "bestest" friends Rhatika and Abita, our neighbors. They got enough candy to fill Wal-mart! We walked around our neighborhood and the neighborhood beside ours. They had a lot of fun but were tired by the time we got home! It was a lot of fun! Check out Heather Whittakers blog @
Braxton and the girls. Rhatika was a Chinese girl and Abita was an Evil witch.
My evil wizard!