Sunday, August 31, 2008

Here It Comes

Well, it has started raining and the wind is starting to pick up. The bad news is that it looks like the worst of the weather is going to happen during the night tonight. I would REALLY rather it be during the light of day, but obviously I don't have a say in any of this. The boys are starting to get a little freaked out and I think two of them will now be in our room. There was a tornado just a few miles from here a little while ago, so that was unsettling. I don't know if we'll be getting much sleep tonight. They are saying that we should it expect it to be worse for us than Katrina was. We have the air conditioner cranked down low trying to cool the house down as much as possible. The inevitable sweat-fest will be starting soon!

I can handle the hurricane, but I am worried about the tornados. Remember, we lost our house right after Katrina in the fire, so we're a little on edge.

Thank you all for your sweet comments. You don't know how much I appreciate them.

Batten Down the Hatches

*I think it's starting to sink in that we really will be without electricity for quite a while. I don't know if I can stand a week without air conditioning!!! It is in the 90's here! If you don't hear from me for a while, pray because you'll know that I am sweating to death!!

What do you think of my new look? We've never had working shutters before, and it's kind of cool. There are no flower pots left out, and no gas lantern hanging over the door.These are the only windows that we can close the shutters on. I'm kind of glad because it is really weird to not be able to see out of those doors. Thank goodness we have lots of windows on the back of the house. I would get very claustrophobic otherwise. The word from the hurricane center is that "this storm could be as bad as it gets". I really don't know if New Orleans will be able to come back from this one. If you are wondering exactly where we are, we are just east of Baton Rouge. I can tell you one thing. You will not see the images you saw after Katrina in New Orleans. This new governor has done so much to make things move smoothly this time. There will still be really bad flooding, but everyone has had plenty of opportunity and time to get out of the city. It's about 24 hours until landfall, so we should start getting a little wind and rain before too long.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cajun Pre-Hurricane Party

So what do a bunch of cajuns do when there's a cat 4 hurricane brewing in the gulf? Why, go to Tiger Stadium, of course!!! LSU moved the game from 4:00 this afternoon to 10:00 this morning. Reason being, all the evacuees moving through the city. Talk about a traffic nightmare! Richard and I brought our three and two extras to the game today. Can I tell you: IT WAS HOT!!! Almost 95 degrees. We left after the half-time show because we were winning and IT WAS HOT!!! We are busy now moving plants into the garage, taking down gas lanterns, etc., etc., etc.... The boys are cleaning their "quarters" upstairs so we are ready for company. If our electricity stays on (please, Lord), we'll have a house full. We'll be as ready as we can, but to say people are nervous is a huge understatement. Here are a few pictures from the morning. Just be glad they're not scratch-n-sniff :)

We had two different sets of tickets. I took these three cuties.

And here's Richard with Bryce and Braden. We were all on the 40 yd. line and they were right above us. Made it nice, because the cell phones were all jammed up. We wouldn't have been able to get out of there early if we couldn't have seen each other! Did I tell you: IT WAS HOT!!!

The Tiger band in the shape of a fleur-dis-lis. I am a fleur-dis-lis freak, so I loved it. One day, I do a post on how many fleur-dis-lis' I have in this house!

Hope you're having a great weekend. Keep us in your prayers!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gustav To-Do List

To say that people around here are getting a little nervous would be a HUGE understatement. We didn't really suffer alot of damage here during Katrina. We lost power for days, but mainly had an enormous influx of people who had evacuated and lost their homes. It changed everything for our community. We do not want to live through that again! The projected path now is a little more west than Katrina was. That is bad news for us here. The worst place to be is right east of the center. Gustav is right on that track. I have compiled a list of things that we are trying to get done here before Gustav arrives.

1. Go back to Walmart and buy MORE supplies. I always do this. Every single time, I get a little more nervous and want to make sure we have plenty for anyone who needs to stay. If I had wanted canned goods or tuna today, I would have been out of luck. Those shelves were completely bare.

2. Cut the grass (Lord know how high it would get before it dries out again)

3. Wash clothes. (After days of no electricity, we will need all the clean clothes we have!)

4. Clear off the back porch: Put barstools and other furniture in the garage, figure out how to protect the outside TVs.

5. Take the gas lanterns down. We have two awesome gas lanterns outside, and they would never survive the winds.

6. Move the big pots off the front porch. I'm not quite sure how we're going to do that, but the iron trellis' would end up through the windows, so we have to move them.

7. Make sure everyone has books to read. I went to the library to get some for Bryce today. The gameboys will eventually run out of battery!! Which leads me to...

8. Charge up all game boys and cell phones.

9. Get the things needed to celebrate Braden's birthday (Sept. 4) in case things are still crazy.

10. Vaccuum - doesn't really have anything to do with the hurricane, but between my hair and the dog's hair, I'll go crazy without the vaccuum cleaner for a few days!

Some of these things, we have done, and some are still left to do. We're praying for the best but preparing for the worst.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oh, The Joy!

Nothing quite beats the joy I get from pushing my way through a Wal-mart filled with way too many panicked people on a Wed. morning. The only thing that would be worse, would be waiting a couple more days and having to fight with 10X more crazy people. Everybody is out in force collecting this:

Hurricane supplies.

Of course, there's the obligatory water and batteries. I got a few snacks and Capr*s S*ns for the kids. Toilet paper - not because it's a hurricane supply, I just needed some. The real emergency supplies in this whole collection are the c*kes, milk d*ds, ore*s, and tortill* chips! I'm good - bring it on!!

And since we're talking about emergency supplies, I thought I'd show you the latest teacher gift I sent up to school:

Is that not the cutest? I found it at World Market. The package says:
For immediate relief of: chocolate cravings, lovesickness, exam pressure, mild anxiety, and extreme hunger
Directions for use: Tear open the wrapper, break off desired dosage and consume. Alternatively massage into affected area. Repeat dosage as required until finished. If symptoms persist consult your local confectioner.

The teachers got a big kick out of it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hoping For Calm

Well, everything seems to be pretty quiet around here. The boys are settling into the school schedule. I seem to be struggling a little more with the early mornings. Now that the Olympics are over, getting a little more sleep should be a little easier. Of course, with this around

the excitement level could change drastically. Let's hope we won't have to contend with that.

We had a scare here the other night. Alot of you know that we lost our home in a fire almost 3 years ago (5 days after Katrina). You can read about it here and here if you want. I always get a little freaked out as the anniversary rolls around again, but it gets easier and easier. However, a few nights ago, we were woken up by our alarm going off. We, of course, have smoke and heat detectors everywhere and they are all tied into our security system, so the whole house was blaring. Richard and I flew out of bed and smelled smoke. Fortunately, there was no fire, but there WAS smoke. Our doorbell had been buzzing the day before, but had started to smoke in the middle of the night. To say we were freaked out would be a huge understatement! We didn't even have words to say. Richard disconnected the doorbell completely, and turned off the electricity to that part of the house (it is still off). We have to get the electricians over to check it all out. Braden and Cade woke up but were pretty calm. Bryce slept through the whole stinkin' thing! I can't believe it. Now I have to worry about him not even hearing the alarm! How many people live their whole lives with their smoke detectors never going off? Now I have had 2 incidents (in the middle of the night, mind you!). What's up with that?

Well, I'm off to the boys' school. I am in charge of the accelerated reader wall at the school. I'll take a picture - it's huge. I need to work on that for a while.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Piece of Our Story Found

Years ago, when Bryce was about 5, Braden was around 3, and Cade would have been about 6 months old, I heard a Dr. Dobson radio interview with Steven Curtis Champan. They had just adopted Shoaey, and were talking about the orphans in China. I was so moved by that interview that I knew, one day, I would adopt. Richard never heard that interview, but heard me relay it through tears. He agreed - one day we will adopt. Needless to say, with 3 young boys, I had my hands full, so it would be years later when we would start that process. I have always remembered that interview, and have tried in the past to find it on the archives, but that was back in the cassette tape days. I was unable to locate it.

Since the Maria Chapman tragedy, I check in with the SCC blog to see what is coming up and get little tid-bits of info. Guess what it had on there today? This link to that very first interview that stirred my heart so many years ago! They replayed it on Friday's show. I sat at the computer and cried all over again as I listened to Steven talk about those babies. I couldn't order it fast enough. That interview is the first piece of our adoption story. I can't wait to get it! Mon., Tues., and Wed.'s broadcast on Dr. Dobson's show will be a brand new interview with Steven. I went ahead and ordered those too, and I can't wait to get them. I am so sad that these interviews are because of Maria's death, but I know they will touch so many people.

**Cade just made me sit down and watch the Back*ardigans with him. He is the only kid here, so he can watch the "baby" shows without anyone saying anything. Of course, he blames it on Chinababy;) He says he has to get used to them again for when Chinababy comes. I really miss those cute little innocent shows. I'm so sick of Ha**ah Mon*ana and Z*ch and C*dy I could scream!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Look Who Came For A Visit!!

Kim, her husband, Dave, and their 3 peanuts happened to drive through my neck of the woods today. I was so excited to have them stop in for a visit! They were only here for about a hour, but I have a feeling we could have talked non-stop for a couple of days - at least! Will, Harry, and Kate were so sweet. I was just sad that my boys weren't here to get to play with them. This blogging community is the most amazing thing. To think that I have been able to meet such amazing people through this blog is unbelievable to me. First the Mississippi group and then the peanuts, all in one week!! Who's next? My door is always open!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Olympics are Killing Me!!

I don't know who decided to start school at the same time as the olympics, but they are not my friend. I have been staying up late every single night because I just can't turn it off! If I could sleep late in the morning we would be good, but I have to get up to get them off to school. So far I have seen this guy get gold 8 times

watched Dara Torres get the silver instead of the gold (so sad), and watched this little cutie finally get her gold metal.

And have you seen this guy run? He is unbelievable!

And oh, the heartbreak. Lolo was supposed to come home with the gold, but got caught on one of the hurdles and didn't metal. She goes to our church, and it was so sad to see her heartbreak. She was so gracious to the other runners, but she was so upset.

I love all the stories of the olympics. My boys have had to miss most of the games because they need to be in bed for school. I hate that. I would love to watch it with them.

It has been amazing, and I have loved it all, but need them to be over soon so I can get some sleep!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Redneck Country Club

I'm telling you - they should have never let us in! We live on a beautiful golf course, but somehow, we don't always fit right in. Here is what my boys (especially the big one) think the upstairs balcony is for:

"So, what are they shooting at?" you might ask. This wonderful-looking thing in the backyard:

You know, bow season is right around the corner... Yipee...Can you hear the excitement in my voice?
Actually, I don't really mind the target practice. I did mind, however, when that fake deer was set up in the middle of the backyard, head and all. I don't really care to see that from the windows of my house, and I don't really want all the golfers to see it either. (We're closet rednecks - at least I am!) Richard, on the other hand, gives new meaning to the phrase, "Country come to town"!

I need to take a picture of Braden shooting his bow. He is so cute. He is the scrawniest thing, but he is trying really hard to get stronger so he can pull the bow back the way he needs to. I walked in my bedroom the other day and found him on the floor using Richard's push up thingys(?) So cute!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Little Entrepreneur

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Right before school started, I brought the boys to the bank to make deposits into their savings accounts. (Don't be impressed, there were checks in that stack from Christmas!!). They were each very excited to see how much they had in their accounts. From the time Braden was very young, he has always been a hoarder, I mean saver. He is always very tight with his money. Sure enough, each boy deposited their money and got their account balance. Bryce and Braden had somewhere around $600 each, but Braden had $930. The teller started talking to Braden and told him that when he got $1000, he should put it in a CD so he could earn more interest. Braden was all about that. She gave him her business card and told him to hang onto it and to call her when he saved $70 more. Since that trip to the bank, Braden was determined to save enough for a CD. Richard hadn't split up the money from the golf ball sales, so Braden hounded him until he did it. Sure enough, Braden's take of the money was $105. He was ecstatic, and made me promise to take him to the bank the next day.

I can't tell you how cute it was to see him walk into that bank so proud of himself. When I told the banker that Braden wanted to get a CD, he looked at me like I was crazy. We sat down, and he started telling us all of our options. Braden chose the 7 year CD because it made the most interest. When he asked Braden how he knew about CDs we told him the story of the teller. He looked at me and asked me if I knew her name. I didn't, but don't you know that little stinker opened up his wallet and handed the man her card. Everyone in the bank was watching him by now, and of course I was beaming with pride. He is now busy saving his second $1000. Which is good because I might need a loan!!

Oh, by the way, I get the "best mom" prize today. I took the boys to see the new Star Wars movie "Clone Wars". Boy was that great! You moms with girls just don't know what you're missing!!!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Margie, You're Almost There!!!

Today was such a fun day. I was able to meet a group of fellow adoptive/waiting moms to celebrate Margie's new daughter who will be coming home in a few short weeks! It was so great to finally meet some of the awesome women who's blogs I follow. The short drive to Mississippi was so worth it!! Thanks for letting me crash the party, ladies!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Which Would You Choose?

I know which one I would choose (and have been). Evidently, though, I must buy really yummy children's vitamins. The other night, a neighbor and I had gone for a walk. As I was walking up to the house, I noticed Cade in one of the kitchen windows. I knew immediately he was up to no good. I felt pretty sure he was into the cake. When I made it inside and couldn't find him anywhere, I was absolutely certain he was into something! I confronted him and he finally admitted that he was into the vitamins!!!! Are you kidding me?! I flipped out and found out that both he and Braden both had eaten about 5 extra vitamins that evening. I told them all sorts of crazy mom things like: at least I would know what was wrong with them when they got really sick, and they would be lucky if they didn't destroy their livers, etc. Obviously they were fine, but they knew better and haven't had vitamins for the past few days! In fact, I was about to give them some ice cream that night, so it worked out that they had to call their vitamins dessert. They got to watch Bryce (and I) finish off the cake.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Boys, Boys, Boys...

I know summer has officially ended, and the kids are back in school:)but I just had to document the everyday life of our summer. Between the beach trips and the baseball games, the theme seemed to be: the more the merrier. I think I averaged about 6 boys in this house every day. The favorite activities have been play station, nerf wars (all the time), building forts, and backyard baseball. We spent alot of time at home, so they had to come up with things to keep them busy.

Here they are playing backyard baseball. They play with wiffle balls, and if it's really hot, I'll set the sprinkler up so they can run through on the way to second. I love to watch them do this, but boy are they stinky when they're done.

A group of stinky boys hanging out at the "bar". They get way to stinky to come in for lunch, so this is where they ate alot of days.

Our friends the Bezets came and spent the night one night. They live in Tampa and we haven't seen them in a long time. Amy and I had all our boys within a couple months of each other. She then had a surprise a few years later! Miss Emily was a welcome addition.
The Bezet and Doughty boys

The Capellos came to spend a day with us, too! Their mom Rachel has been my best friend for many, many years. Caitlin breaks the "boy" streak, but she can shoot a nerf gun with the best of them.

Homerun Derby. This has to be done in the front yard because they hit tennis balls. They go flying all over the place.

Here are a couple of neighborhood kids with mine. They each built a fort and then had nerf wars. They can entertain themselves for hours doing this. This is the upstairs kids den, so I don't have to worry about the cushions and the noise. That makes it so nice and is really the only reason I could stand all the boys all summer.

Braden in his fort.
We had such a fun summer. This is the first summer in our new house, and the extra space kept them from being right on top of me the whole time. We really did spend alot of time hanging out at home. I am glad to be back in the routine of the school year, I'll be ready for another crazy summer next year!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thank You Secret Pal

What a fun trip to the mailbox today!! Gotta love a ladybug dress. Thank you so much secret pal!! You're the best!

The Day Came

Friday, the boys started school. Only one of them was really excited (Cade), but I think deep down they were all ready to go;) They were all smiles when they got home, so I think we're good. Braden and Cade got awesome teachers. They are also with alot of their great friends. I have high hopes for this school year. I just can't believe they're in 7th, 4th and 2nd. It just seems impossible. Bryce leaves before the others wake up, so I wasn't able to get a picture of them all together.

Did anyone see the Olympic men's relay race last night? I was sitting up screaming in my bed as the US team came from behind to beat the French team! It was awesome!! The US was not favored to win, and the French had been talking smack so that made the win even sweeter. I love all the Olympic Cinderella stories.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

School Haircut

I told the boys to get dressed and to wear something cute today. (I'm so tired of seeing Ni*e shorts and t-shirts). Braden came down and my response was "ugh". He said, "What, this is cute". I said, "not very". Then he said, "Well, I don't need 'very'". Hard to argue with that. Here is what my precious middle child looks like this morning:

Can you say, "rag-a-muffin"?! Good thing we're on our way to the salon. I decided to get him a "real" haircut with my girl this time. I don't think he's had his hair cut since about April! Lord knows, he needs all the help he can get! I'll share a picture of the "new" Braden when we get back.

So here he is, the new and improved Braden! You can see how excited he is about it. Oh well, that's the way it goes. I think he looks adorable, but it is amazing how much it changes his looks. I think he looks so much younger now.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Stars Must Have Alligned...

Every once in a while, it happens. What? you might ask - Complete brotherly harmony. They get along well, as far as brothers go, but they don't often just sit and play together (unless it's a video game). Today, things were mighty quiet, so I went upstairs to see what they were doing. Bryce got alot of new Star Wars L*go sets for his birthday, and they are all enjoying them. They have even built props with Cade's blocks. This is what I found...

Ahhh... music to my ears. The one moment in time when you think, "Yes, I'm doing a good job!" No worries, I have no doubt that the moment I hit "publish" all h*ll will break loose here. But, for now, in this moment, I am enjoying the harmony!! You must, you never know how long it will be before it happens again!!
Gotta love them brothers!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Latest Project

I have had a couple of projects I've been working on this summer (in addition to the kidfest we have had going here this summer). I have added some much needed window treatments, but now I'm onto pictures. Right now, I've just made a big mess. I am trying to gather all the boys sports pictures and put them in frames. I am going to hang them all on a wall upstairs. I have loved going through all the pictures, but it's a little bittersweet. Some of you know that we lost our house in a fire almost 3 years ago. Everytime I go digging for pictures, I get frustrated because some of what I want don't exist anymore. I have found some adorable pictures, though of when the boys were in their t-ball stages. Too cute! And I can't wait to get them all hung, so I can look at them all the time! So for now, I'll show you the mess that has been on my table for about 2 weeks now, and hopefully next week, I'll show you pictures of the adorable "wall of fame".

Here are a couple of pictures of the window treatments we've added this summer. They make a huge difference! We still have bare windows, but we're getting there. If you look close at this fabric, you'll see a resemblance to my blog. This is the fabric Daleea used for inspiration for my blog.

There is one more project we've been working on this summer. We finally painted Cade's bunkbeds. Most of you will think it's pretty obnoxious, but for big Tiger fans, it's just right. Plus it matches the locker room bathroom that has purple and gold tiles!! Those are actual wood baseball bats that were split and attached to the bed!

I also have a confession. I think I'm the worst mom ever! Last night Cade lost a tooth. He was so proud and put it under his pillow. Well, guess who forgot to show!!! That's right, old toothfairy dropped the ball. It was so sad when he came to me this morning and said, "She didn't come". I didn't know what to say, so I told him she must have been super busy last night, and I'll bet she'll come tonight. Looks like the toothfairy is going to have to really put out this time!! It stinks to be the 3rd child sometimes. The toothfairy is tired!! Poor Chinababy!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I Survived!!

Well, I survived the last sleepover of the summer! I think I've had an average of 6 boys at the house most days. It has been fun, for the most part, but I'm getting a little tired of summer! The boys have had more sleepovers than I ever dreamed of. Braden spent the night with some friends Sat. night and they stayed up ALL night. Gee, thanks! He fell asleep in the car on the way home from church and then went to his room to take a long nap. Last night, I let Bryce have a few friends over to celebrate his birthday. He turns 12 on August 7 (the day before school starts). Thank goodness, we designed this house that the boys bedrooms are over the garage - far away from me!! Here are a few pictures from the evening:

So funny! They were playing guitar hero and decided to have a band. They got Cade's drum set and electric guitar and a harmonica. It was pretty hysterical (and very loud)!

The paparazzi.

Trying to fill them up before we hit the bowling alley.

We thought we'd take them bowling to get some of the energy out (yeah, right). Being in the car with all 6 of them about drove me out of my mind!!

Bryce has been so blessed this summer. He has two friends in the neighborhood that fit him very well. Bryce is still a little boy who likes to play with L*gos and light sabers. These two boys are just his speed. This picture if of Bryce and Cameron. We recently found out Cameron and his family are moving back to Mississippi. We are so sad. Cameron is hearing impaired and the most precious boy you could meet. He has taught my boys a little more about being kind to people who might be a little different than you.

I don't know how late they stayed up last night, but they're still sleeping this morning. School starts Friday, so we are now going to be moving towards that schedule. Yikes! I'm not sure I'm ready to start waking up early again! Ready or not...

As I'm typing, Braden is standing over my shoulder planning his birthday party. His is in a month. Looks like he wants a sleepover!!!!! Here we go again;(

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