Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Countdown Begins

Actually, we have been counting down for weeks now, but we're in crunch time mode now. I mentioned earlier that my brother is running for Metro Council. Well, the election is next Saturday and the party is at our house!! We are so excited to host the party, but do you know how many things need to be done before 100 people show up Saturday?!? So far, we have re-mulched the flower beds, fertilized the flowers to perk them up, installed landscape lighting, pressure-washed the back porch, re-stained parts of the back porch, replaced the outdoor cabinet doors the hurricane blew off, etc., etc.... Richard has been working for weeks. I have been working, but I'm more of a procrastinator. I'm now going to have a freak-out week getting everything done! It has really been a good thing. After we moved in right before Christmas, we didn't want to look at anything. This has forced us to take care of some of those things we've been putting off.

One project I have been working on are the boys sports pictures I wanted to hang upstairs. I posted a pictures of all the frames stacked up a while back. This process has taken me at least a month. Well, yesterday was the day! They are hung, and I LOVE them!! Of course, I had to show them off:

Now, instead of a blank wall when you walk up the stairs, this is what you see:

I had to take two pictures to show you the whole thing. I couldn't fit it in the frame.

Here's the opposite side:

I couldn't leave out two additions to Cade's room. The first is a set of pictures that shows when he had his Adam Everett glove signed by Adam Everett. It was a VERY exciting day. I think I posted about the boys getting these gloves after the fire. I'll have to go back and look. These pictures are really sweet, and he is so excited to have them hanging on his wall between the picture of his glove and a ball.

This last picture is a poster that Cade drew last week. It is the most hysterical self portrait I've seen. I don't think he's lacking in the self image department. What do you think?

Truth is, he is so much bigger and stronger than all the other 2nd graders that he probably does look like this in comparison!! I have been laughing at it for a week and just couldn't resist framing it.

Hope you all have a great week. I have to go make my to-do list!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Boy Moms Rock!!

Look What I Found!! I am so excited about this t-shirt. I know that most of you have your adorable Chinababys and can't wear this, but it looks like I'll get quite a bit of wear out of it before ours comes. That's ok, boys are cool!

I went with my mom to Tinsels and Treasures today. It's a Junior League holiday show with all kinds of vendors. I only bought a few things and this, by far, was my favorite. This came from the same vendor that I got this one from a year ago. This time, you're in luck, though! They now have a web site and they have the most adorable "mom" t-shirts I've ever seen. I would have bought one of everything if I could have.
I am SO glad it's Friday!! Have a great weekend!

And the Band Plays On...

Last night, the jr. high band played at the football game. This is the first year Bryce has been able to do this because the higher level band is the one that plays. You can't get into that band until you're in 7th grade. It was so much fun! The band is completely unbelievable. Last year, they won "best Jr. High band in the state". He looked like he was having so much fun, and so proud. I bet I looked the same way=)

We were up so late because the game went into triple overtime. I am paying the price with a house full of tired boys right now! Can someone say "early bedtime"? Suits me fine, Grey's Anatomy is on tonight!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What Makes Bryce, Bryce

I have been thinking alot lately about my boys and how unique each of them is. Anyone who has more than one child, I'm sure, has been amazed at how different children who have the same parents and live in the same house can be. I thought I would highlight each of my boys and document what makes each of them a unique, special, gift from God.

Here are some things I love about Bryce:

He LOVES Leg0s.

He loves to play by himself. He still makes different sound effects for cars, planes, star w*rs figures, etc.

He loves Indiana J0nes and Star w*rs. He has about 5 light sabers.

He is almost always kind to his brothers.

He is messy. I don't really love this about him, but it is who he is (and he gets it from me). This is what his room looked like this morning. In all fairness, I should post a picture of my closet - but that's not going to happen =) (I did make him clean it up). Do you see the huge n*rf gun box. He has been saving up his own money to buy this gun. It is the mother of all nerf guns!! He is so proud because now everyone wants to be on his team=)

Messy and leg0s (the two kind of go together if they're trying to keep what they made)

He is really good at the French horn.

He's quiet and calm. (doesn't get that from me!)

He is very good in school. He's much more responsible than I thought he would be in Jr. High.

He LOVES science.

He wants to be a special effects person for the movie industry.

He is compasionate.

He is a really good friend. He doesn't have alot of close friends, but everyone seems to know and like him.

He is very silly sometimes.

He doesn't care one thing about how he looks. If I didn't fix his hair, he would go to school with it standing on his head.

He thinks having to wear shorts that actually have a zipper is punishment. He would live in athletic shorts if I let him. Same with a collared shirt.

He will go play with my neighbor's 3 year old to keep him out of her hair (and he really enjoys it).

This same neighbor has a 12 year old girl, and he could care less about impressing her.

He's not interrested in girls yet.

He thinks he's hot stuff having a cell phone even though the only people he talks to are me and his PawPaw.

He still gets happy me*ls for the toys. (even though the others don't)

He doesn't really care for french fries.

He looks just like my brother. Same build and everything.

He LOVES to read, and reads alot. His favorites are spy books or old war stories.

I looked this up here and thought I'd add it.

At 12 years and 1 months:
your child is 94 pounds, and that is at the 57th percentile for weight.
your child is 60.5 inches, and that is at the 69th percentile for height.

The same site predicts that all of my boys will be 5'11". It will be fun to see how close to that they are.

Monday, September 22, 2008

National Stay At Home Week

OK, is it awful that I am secretly thrilled that a new TV season is starting?! One network has declared this week "National Stay at Home Week". I think that is hysterical. Staying at home won't be happening as Braden and Cade have football practice Mon., Wed., and Fri. Bryce plays in the band at a football game Wed. and we have a baseball game on Tues. You can be sure, though, that my DVR is already set to record all my favorite shows!

Have a great week!! I'm starting mine with a trip to my favorite place: W*lmart. Pray for me!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Great Blonde

I took the boys to Chuck E Ch**se today to celebrate their cousin's birthday. (Yes, it was a blast ;) On the way, Richard's cousin was behind me and tried to take a shortcut which ended up being a wrong turn. (I am sure the boys in his car were trying to get him to beat me). I, of course, won and Bryce thought the whole thing was really funny. As I was driving up, I said, "You don't actually think he could beat the Jennifer, do you?". Bryce said, "Yeah, he couldn't beat the great blonde!". How cute is that. I told him thanks and that I had never been called "the great blonde" before! When the boys got out of Bob's truck, one of them said, "I can't believe we got beat by a girl!" No, you got beat by "the great blonde" baby!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One Of Those Weeks

Ever have one of those weeks where you're on top of everything, and you have everything under control?


Thank You

Thank you secret pal for this adorable outfit! I just love it! After going through all the boys' clothes last weekend, this seems SO small. It's perfect!

Ya'll Are Cracking Me Up

I get more questions about a keeping room than anything else which is so funny to me. You wouldn't believe how many people show up on my blog after they've g00gled "keeping room". I guess it really is a southern thing. When we were building the house I did a post explaining what a keeping room is because so many people had asked then. Here's that post. Go check it out!
It truly is my favorite room in the house.

"Wordless" Wednesday (just with words!)

I thought I might try a "wordless" Wednesday, but who am I kidding? I don't do anything "wordless"!! Just ask my hubby. I passed through the keeping room yesterday and this is what I saw out the window. Yes, that is Britney, the family dog, sitting on the patio table. Why? Who the heck knows. She just sat there for the longest time watching golfers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prayer Needed

I do not know this family, but they are with my adoption agency (AWAA). They are in China right now to adopt their sweet girl, however she is in the hospital and things are not very good. They need lots of prayer and support. If you have a minute, I know they would love knowing people all over the world are praying for them.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Yes, it's that time of year again. Time to go through all the closets and see what fits who. For about 9 years now, this has been an annual ritual of passing clothes down to the next brother. It seems like just yesterday when they were little toots, and I was passing down sweet little boy outfits:

None of that now, it's all jeans, cargos, sweatshirts and warm-ups. Their clothes might not be as sweet, but they are just as cute. I love to see my boys in the latest blue jeans and a sweatshirt. It has only been about a year that I've been able to pass pants down at all. Until now, every pair of long pants has had a hole in at least one knee long before the cold weather is over. I was so excited to only find a couple of pants with holes in the knees this year!

This transition is not very easy. The most important thing is to do it when the boys are in a relatively good mood. It requires alot of trying on, and they are not always the most agreeable. I start in Cade's room and have him try on all his pants. He only had a couple of pair that will do for this season, all the rest goes in a give-away pile (Deanna, you know what that means!). Same goes for the shirts. We then move to Braden's room. He tries on all his clothes. What fits gets hung back up (a few things), what doesn't goes into the pile for Cade to try on. These two are funny because they are very close to the same size. Cade is a little thicker and a little shorter, but they weigh the same. At one point, I wanted to take a picture of the two of them laying on the floor trying to pull the 27th pair of pants on, but it would have required me to run down stairs and if I had left the room, they would have escaped! We then do the same in Bryce's room. Bryce tries on everything, then Braden tries on what doesn't fit. Nothing from last year fits Bryce this year, thankfully, he received some hand-me-downs himself, so he does have a few things.

It's always fun for me to see how much they've grown in just a year. To see the jeans that looked so cute on them last fall come up to their ankles is amazing (and a little sad).

So we're ready for the fall weather. Too bad we still have a couple more months of steamy temps. down here!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cooking for Christ

When the kids went back to school Tuesday, I decided to help out at our church. We go to the most awesome church, and they have really been a huge part of the recovery here in town. This week, our Cooking for Christ ministry needed help packaging lunches to feed all the national guard who are here in town to help out. Each day, we packaged 2000 home-cooked meals. It ended up being alot of fun, and it felt really good to help. It is amazing how these men (most of them are retired) can cook so many meals in these huge pots and they really taste good! I can hardly manage to cook for my family of five! Here are a couple of pictures from the week. In addition to helping serve, I met some new friends too :)
Yes, we got to eat some of the food after we had finished. It's still Gustav related - doesn't that mean the calories don't count?

One of the days we found ourselves with another job, as well. They asked us to inventory a 18 wheeler! OK, we were game. You can't imagine how excited we were when we realized it was a refrigerated truck!!! It is still really hot down here, and the food job is outside. We were loving the cold truck! This is what the inside looked like. There were alot of fruits and vegetables someone had sent us to help with the recovery.

My heart goes out to all those in the Houston area tonight. The fact that the hurricane is coming in during the night makes is SO much worse. All of Richard's family lives in that area, so we are really anxious to see what it looks like in the morning, and praying for everyone's safety.

Hurricane Survival Guide

Goodness, we woke up to some crazy weather this morning! We haven't paid much attention to Ike since we saw it was going to Texas, but we had some REALLY high winds this morning already.

In the spirit of hurricane season, I am posting something that was passed on to me. It is written by someone who lives here in Baton Rouge. It is really funny, and right on!

Gustav's Guide to Hurricane Survival
Lessons Learned During and After the Storm
The hurricane grouch quotient can be calculated by adding the number of children and pets in a home without power, multiplied by the number of days quoted on the Entergy telephone recording, divided by the number of fans or portable air conditioners powered by your home generator, (however if you were last in line at Home Depot and have no generator then multiply by the daily high for that day reported by either Pat Shingleton or Jay Grymes), then add the number of trips to the washateria and the days left until school opens. Discount by the percentage of time spent at neighbors who have power. Recalculate as often as necessary No matter how many times you flick the switch, lights don't work without electricity.
Vienna sausages only appear on the food pyramid during hurricane season.
Gas mileage is recalculated based on miles per fume.
Lovebugs do not disappear in 80mph wind gusts.
Disasters can cancel one LSU football game but there will be even bigger casualties if we cancel two.
Despite protests, kids can re-live their parents' youth when there were only 3 tv channels!
Cats are even more irritating without power.
Baton Rouge without traffic lights resembles Mexico City, Rome, Los Angeles and New York City all rolled into a single snarl.
A 7 lb bag of ice will chill 6-12 oz beers to a drinkable temperature in 11 minutes, and still keep a 14 lb. turkey frozen for 8 more hours.
There are/were a lot of really big trees around here!
Just because you're 18 doesn't mean you can stay out as late as you want. Mayor Holden meant business when he said curfew.
People will get into a line that has already formed without having any idea what the line is for.
Calories consumed during a hurricane or power outage do not count.
Telemarketers function no matter what the weather is doing. New Delhi does not check the weather report in Baton Rouge.
Most popular text message after September 1: do u hve pwr Twenty-seven of your neighbors are fed from a different transformer than you, and they are quick to point that out!
Crickets and cicadas can increase their volume to overcome the sound of 14 generators.
Dirty clothes in an unsupervised hamper multiply at an exponential rate.
Coffee, spaghetti and frozen pizzas can be made on a grill.
He who has the biggest generator wins.
Tree service companies are under-appreciated, except after hurricanes.
Our Lady of the Lake never closes. Really.
Water will fill the Acadian Thruway underpass, even sometimes when it is not raining.
There are a lot more stars in the sky than most people thought.
If you owned a store that sold only ice, chain saws, gas and generators, you would be rich With only a small amount of guilt South Louisiana can collectively pray a second hurricane to landfall in another state or country.
And so to our friends and families, some who are still without power and others who have endured great personal loss, you are in our prayers.
Hang in there, we are making progress. Thank you to all our first responders, healthcare professionals, service technicians, teachers, police officers, small business owners, and more who join with the thousands of individuals sharing their time and talent to help restore our community to wholeness.
The most important lesson of all learned from Gustav in the last week is that the human spirit has an amazing resilience that even a hurricane cannot bend. Through God*s love and amazing grace we can endure all things.

*If you don't know what lovebugs are, consider yourself very blessed! They are the annoying little black bugs that fly through the air attached to each other (hence the name). They don't bite, but they get everywhere! They last for a couple of weeks. I was hoping the hurricane would get rid of them, but no way... I think they're worse!!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Sweet Birthday Boy

It has been very interesting having this little boy who's birthday falls right in the peak of hurricane season! Poor baby, I told him he might have to stop having birthdays if these disasters keep happening on them. Three years ago, our house burned down the night before his birthday - presents all burned. This year, we were at the camp because there was no electricity at home (thanks to Gustav) - no presents with us. Let me tell you, this child is so sweet. I never heard one complaint out of his mouth. Of course, we loved on him and told him how proud we are of him, but you know it's not the same. I am so blessed that God decided to drop Braden into our family. He is a snuggle bug from day one, and always a joy to be around (well, most of the time). He is the spitting image of his father, not only in the way he looks, but his personality, what he loves to do, and his determination. He has such a heart for our Chinababy, and all those who are less fortunate. He blesses my life every single day.

Truth is, Braden did get one of his wishes for his birthday. He LOVES to fish. He would fish from sun-up to sun-down if he could. He is the only one of my boys who is self sufficient out there. He baits the hooks and takes the fish off all by himself. He got to fish both at the camp and in Starkville.
Here he is at the camp. It was raining. Do you think he cared?

In Starkville, there is a wonderful lake right across the street from the house. I remember fishing in that lake when I was little (I wasn't baiting my own hooks, though!) I had told him about the lake, so he was ready. He and Richard made me bring fishing poles tied to the top of the truck! (Since Richard wasn't with us, I had a new experience untying and tying fishing poles to the top of my truck.) We hadn't been there maybe 30 minutes and Braden had found a shovel and was digging for worms. They were tiny, and he tried to use them but they were too small. He talked me into going to Wal-m*rt to buy some. He knew right where they were. Here he is helping Cade (who stayed out there a few minutes).

Happy Late Birthday Braden!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gustav Aftermath

Just thought I'd give you a peek at what our city is dealing with. It is unbelievable to drive around (in such awful traffic) and see all the trees and branches everywhere. I went to our church this morning and helped make plate lunches to send out. Our church feeds about 2000 service people (police, energy workers, etc.) everyday. It was awesome to be able to help a little bit. I am going to go back tomorrow too.
This is what every street looks like as you drive around: piled high with branches down both sides of the road.

When you hear about the "blue tarp roofs" this is what that means. There are houses everywhere that have these tarps covering holes in their roofs.
This is a cul de sac. It is completely piled up with debris.

A neighborhood park.

Go State?!?!?!

Here's something Richard NEVER thought he'd see. His three "fightin' tigers" dressed in Mississippi State colors! I sent him an email picture of this and he replied "traitors".

We went to Starkville from the camp to visit my great uncle/godfather and my great aunt. I haven't been there in years, and it was really nice to be back. They were so wonderful to us and seemed to really enjoy getting to know the boys. Uncle Rodney wanted to take the boys to get them some MS State clothes since we were going to the game. At first, they wanted no part of it, but soon they agreed. I had packed so light that we had LSU hats for them, but no clothes :( Uncle Rodney took them by himself to pick out the clothes! I tried to talk him into letting me come with them, but he wouldn't have it. Three boys can be quite a handful if you're not used to them. (What am I saying? They're a handful even if you ARE used to them!) You can't see in this picture, but they have the shorts too! They loved their clothes until we started walking around before the game. Braden said, "We should be in our LSU clothes". I felt it too, we were traitors!! It didn't matter. We had a great time at the game, and got to experience another college's traditions and spirit. Here are a few pictures from the game.

Our seats were separated, so Cade and I sat by ourselves.

Me and Uncle Rodney
Uncle Rodney, Aunt Ros and the boys.
Bryce's band assignment before the hurricane was to watch the Tiger band and look at how they carry their instruments. Bryce got to see the Tigers and the Bulldogs. That's pretty cool!

I have more pictures to share from Starkville, but I'm running short on time. We go back to school today after having a week off for the hurricane. Things here are BAD! There are still neighborhoods behind us having to use generators. I can't even imagine! Half the traffic signals are not working. (You should see the traffic around LSU). Alot of the restaurants aren't open yet, and if they are, it's very limited (and crowded). There are huge oak trees down everywhere. It is so sad. These trees are HUGE! Alot of them fell onto houses. There are "blue roofs" everywhere because they are having to use tarps to cover damage. I am thankful that things weren't worse for our house. And I'm VERY thankful that the boys are going back to school! We were just getting into the groove of school in the first place, now we're back to square one. Oh well, I need to go get dressed so I don't embarrass my kids! I'll add more pictures from our trip later. Have a great day!

Oh by the way, there is one more subtle indication that a hurricane has been here: the extra behind I seem to be carrying around!!! All those Milk D*ds came back to haunt me!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Wrath Of Gustav

We started the day, Monday at the house watching the news, but soon lost power. Richard and Cade cooked a great breakfast outside because we didn't want to make heat the house with the gas cooktop inside. It was blowing the rain on them, so Cade had to get his robe. He was so cute.

He stayed outside with Richard for quite a while sweeping off the porch and drawing on the windows. I love the pictures of him drawing.

Can you see the drawing on the top left pane? It is of clouds and a bolt of lightning hitting a person!! That's encouraging...

Braden decided he wanted PawPaw to teach him to play chess. (It was still really cold because we had cranked the air down low the night before)

And they all played the game of Life. I'm glad Maw Maw and Paw Paw were there - I hate that game.

By 10:00, they had done everything they could think of. Thankfully, one of our good friends in the neighborhood has a big generator (they also own a restaurant) invited us over for lunch, so we took off. They have four kids, so the kids had a blast. In the middle of the storm, we let the kids play football in the rain. I know, not the smartest thing to do, but they were already stir crazy and thought it was so funny to try to walk against the wind and rain. Here are a few pictures of that:

The wind was blowing the rain so hard that they had to cover their faces because it hurt so bad. We didn't know it, but this was when the weather was really getting bad. Sustained winds of 90 mph.

Yes, they're crazy (and entertaining)
We didn't leave until it was bedtime because there was nothing to do at our house. The house wasn't terribly hot, but it isn't fun sleeping in a completely dark house. All the boys slept on mattresses in our bedroom so they wouldn't have to be upstairs.
I'll have pictures of our adventures through the backwoods of Mississippi next.
I also owe Braden a birthday post. His birthday is Sept. 4th. He hasn't had a celebration yet, and we're waiting to see what Ike does before we plan anything. Poor baby, he was so sweet and didn't complain at all about not having anything special for his birthday. I told him he might have to stop having birthdays. Three years ago, on his birthday, is when our house burned down! He's my hurricane boy (but he's actually the calmest boy I have :)

On The Road Again...

I think this might be my first "road trip" without Richard. I am exhausted. The boys have been good, but they are boys and I have asked alot of them during this trip. We have really enjoyed Starkville, and I am so glad that our path brought us here. I have lots of pictures to upload when we get home. We'll be heading home in about an hour. I got word that our lights were restored yesterday :) Just in time for Ike!!

I'll post pictures from our adventure tomorrow.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hi Everyone!

Well, I finally made it to a computer! In Starkville, MS of all places. We lost power right after my last post and still have not gotten it back. They are saying it could be 3-4 weeks before we get it back. I just can't even tell you how hot and miserable it is. We left town Tuesday and headed for our camp in Mississippi. Thankfully, it had power and satellite tv. Who knew that camp would ever be a luxury!! I had all I could take of the camp and my mom, the kids and I headed to Starkville to visit my mom's uncle and aunt. This house has alot of memories from my childhood, so it's really neat to be back and let my kids experience some of the same things. We will spend one or two nights here and then head back to town. The kids are supposed to go back to school Monday, but who knows. I am itching to get back home, but everyone who is there is completely miserable. If you have seen any pictures of Baton Rouge, you have seen more than I have. I haven't been able to catch anything on the news about it because we have been in Mississippi. My brother's family and my dad sound completely miserable and tell us to stay away as long as we can. We are just hoping that one of us gets electricity soon. Richard's office doesn't even have electricity so they haven't been able to get any work done. I did clean out the freezers and refrigerators before I left, so I won't come home to that stink. I also won't come home to any food either. Oh well, we are thankful that we are all safe. I am also thankful for all of my blogger friends. You don't know the thrill I would get when I would check my email and I would see a comment from you. Richard and my mom have made fun of me, but I don't care. You have been my only lifeline to the outside world! Thanks for all the prayers and comments. I can't wait to have enough time to check in on all of you. As soon as we get settled I will come and see what all of you have been up to.

I have pictures from our adventure, but have to get to my computer first.

Denise, thanks for posting an update for me. I appreciate you!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Checking in~

This is Denise, one of Jennifer's many blog friends. I offered to post for her since she has no electricity.

They are fine, but don't know how long it will be until the lights come back on...they have been told anywhere from 3-4 weeks. Yikes!!

Anyway, she told me that she can see her blog (just can't sign in) so comment away as she is very bored! (she is reading them on her phone)

She wanted to thank each of you for your sweet comments and prayers. Please continue to pray for everyone who has been affected by this storm...and that the others coming would drift on out to sea~

Monday, September 1, 2008

We're Still Here

Well, our lights went out at 7:45 this morning, but they just came back on for a minute. I would upload pictures but I don't know if I have enough time before the lights go out again. It hasn't really been bad. Lots of rain and wind. We heard a tree fall in a ditch back behind the house, but so far, not too bad.

I have to hurry, I've had the lights blink on me and lost everything a couple of times. Thanks for all the prayers.

A Good Night

We have officially made it through the night. I'm hoping to go back to bed and get a little more sleep, but wanted to check the weather. Thank the Lord, Gustav did not make landfall last night and things were very calm. The couple of times I got up the trees were totally still. I can see now that the winds are definitely picking up, and they are saying we should start feeling some major winds in the next hour or so. I'll feel much better when the sun is up and we can see what's happening. I'm freezing sitting at this computer because we have the air conditioners turned down so low. I guess we're trying to soak it all in : ) I'll post some pictures in the morning if my electricity stays on.
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