Monday, February 28, 2011

1000 Gifts - 141 - 150

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Woot~!! Up to 150 gifts on my thankful list!

141. For the enthusiasm with which my middle child greets life. Always.

142. For a fabulous weekend date with said middle child. We went to Katy, did some shopping at the Katy Mills Mall, ate some yummy food and just had a fabulous time.

143. For saunas. I did not want to get out.

144. For hotel exercise rooms, which revealed to me that an elliptical requires a touch more coordination than I actually have.

145. Again for the middle child, who became my conscience for the weekend. We trekked up the stairs to our fourth floor room just about every time, the aforementioned exercise room - y'all KNOW that idea did not come from me! - and I suppose I am thankful that she convinced me that I didn't need a Coach bag.

146. For Pappasitos. Oh my. Best Mexican food ever.

147. For needing to shop for myself. ;) (catch that word - NEEDING. LOVE that.)

148. For comfortable shoes. Very important because we walked the entire perimeter of that mall three times.

149. For being missed by the rest of my family, and sweet hugs especially from the little one after we came home.

150. For my "Living Beyond Yourself" Bible study which is really speaking to me right now in several ways. Last night it even gave me the exact words to speak a thought that I couldn't articulate. I love how the Lord uses studies like that to meet me exactly where I am and to speak to the various situations I have going on in my life.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wordless ... um ... Thursday

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Okay, so yesterday was a little bit crazy around here and I didn't get anything posted. Today is going to be even crazier, but I have a free minute right now.

(giggle ... I typed that last sentence ten minutes ago. I talked on the phone, helped a child with English, and put a load of laundry in between typing it and now. Maybe I don't have as many free minutes as I though!)

So, the wordless Wednesday I was planning to post yesterday is a video of my daughter singing last Sunday. I had to plead with her to let me post this. She says she's flat in several places and sounds "pitchy."

The things I told her in order to get her to let me post this:
a) She's been watching too much American Idol.

b) She has a really good ear and hears things that the 40+ crowd cannot. ;)

c) This was recorded on a flip video thingie during a church service. Sound quality is not going to be equal to that of a recording studio!

d) My blog, I choose what gets posted. Kids are free. They get used for sermon illustrations by their father and blog fodder by their mother. Drawback of being the child of a Chaplain and a child of this decade. :-P

So all that said ...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Love Shaun Groves.

Pin It I love Shaun Groves. I do. From the first time I heard "Welcome Home" I've been a fan. I've followed his Compassion International blogging trips and I'm incredibly excited about his next CD, "Third World Symphony". His blogging is a constant challenge to me, and then sometimes just plain makes me laugh. I just love him.

This though.

I am DYING. Perhaps it's because I didn't get enough sleep last night every night last week. Or perhaps it's because my stress level is a wee bit high right now. Or perhaps it's just because I am in need of a giggle.

I laughed so hard over this that I cried. I'm STILL laughing. And I want you to have a giggle too, so I'm sharing it with you!

Click over to Shaun Groves's blog and read this entry: Love You Forever. Lock the Windows.

What I really want to know is how my daughter-in-law is going to react when I do that. I mean, um ...

Monday, February 21, 2011

1000 Gifts - 131 - 140

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Have you ever started a thankful list while in a bad mood? It's TOUGH to hold on to a bad mood when listing things for which you are thankful!

131. For a good week of school last week. We started out kind of weird - we knew that it was going to be a busy week and then co-op was canceled so we ended up with some extra time. It all worked out well, and all of our work got done, and mostly all got done with happy hearts. Woot for happy hearts!

132. For absolutely gorgeous weather! This is THE best time of the year in Texas. It's pleasant, nice and breeze with perfect temperatures. I love to open the windows and let the breeze blow through.

133. For an upcoming date with the middle one. We're going to head out Friday morning, just she and I, and go do a little shopping and go to a hotel and just have a great time together. I'm not sure which one of us is more excited!

134. That my mom is back home again after being hospitalized again over the weekend. I guess the best thing to be thankful for is that there are only two chemo treatments left.

135. The different personalities of my children. From the more serious older one, to the natural exuberance of the middle one, to the charming personality of the little one. They are all three SO different, and I love it.

136. For starfall.com, and how much fun it is to click on the stories with the little one.

137. For Words With Friends! I'm having a great time playing this on my phone. If you have this app and want an easy win, send me a game request. I'm REALLY not great at scrabble, but I've had fun playing over the last week.

138. For mothers in law who come to visit, and for children who are so delighted with this! The kids have had a great time with my mother in law, and I have enjoyed a nice break. haha!

139. For Chick-Fil-A. I know I've spoken of my deep love for Chick-Fil-A before, but this time they have taken it to a whole 'nother level. Monday night from 5-7 at our local CFA (yes, we frequent Chick-Fil-A visitors refer to it as CFA), they will be donating 20% of sales to the adoption fund of my friends, Josh and Jessica. How completely awesome is that?

140. For being able to see my children take the talents they have been given and use them. Maybe I'll upload a video for y'all of this later this week. :)

(And in case you're wondering ... yep, it worked. My bad mood is gone!) ;)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The CSN Winner!!

Pin It Oh y'all! I am so sorry I neglected to post this earlier! You know how sometimes life just gets in the way?

Yeah, that.

Anyway ... back on track now.


And comment #19 is ...


Woohoo Maxime!!

Contacting you shortly with you gift card information!

Thanks for playing, y'all! And a huge thank you to CSN Stores for allowing me to do this giveaway!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Make a {TOTALLY RANDOM} List

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1. I probably do not want to know how toothpaste got on the ceiling in the kids' bathroom. And, if anyone knows where the lid to their toothpaste is, please fill me in.

2. The boy is now named Super Boy due to the half bottle of vitamins he ate the other night. Thankfully there is no iron in them, so it wasn't the medical emergency I feared when I saw the mostly empty bottle. The good news? It took care of the remnants of his leftover flu cough. And he can leap from couch to loveseat in a single bound. Oh wait, he could already do that.

3. Dental appointments are mostly scratched off of the to-do list until August. One child has some more work to do, but the appointments are scheduled and plans are made, so that counts for scratching it off the list, right?

4. This is the first time we've ever had dental insurance and it was NICE to see "total charges" of this awful amount and "your portion" as a much more reasonable number, as opposed to the usual pattern of those numbers being the same.

5. Grammy is coming tonight. I am really looking forward to seeing her, and I'm also excited about having everyone pitch in to get the house clean. Nothing quite like a houseguest to motivate some cleaning!

6. Not going to elaborate here, but I saw a number this morning that I haven't seen in over ten years.

7. I bought a group coupon purchase from eversave.com that saved me I think $30 at shoebuy.com. I used that plus another coupon code and got these shoes, which I think I may never take off. Favorite shoes ever. Need them in more colors!

8. I am limiting myself to three of my Candinas Chocolates per day. This means they will all be gone on Saturday. I am very sad about that.

9. For the first time ever, I have read the story of Cleopatra. Fascinating stuff! Who would ever have imagined that I would enjoy something like that?

10. In the time it took me to write this post, I could have gotten that toothpaste off the bathroom ceiling. Or folded some clothes or swept a floor or something. I should probably close this and get to those things.

**Don't forget to scroll down a post and enter my CSN Stores giveaway! $35 in FREE MONEY!**

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Woot!! CSN Stores Giveaway!!

Pin It Woohoo for CSN Stores! They're allowing me to give away another $35 gift certificate!

Not familiar with CSN Stores?

They have EVERYTHING!!

Seriously.

Home Office Furniture

Carseats. (Had to search this; we will be needing to buy a new one soon.)

Handbags.

Bedding.

And I could go on and on. TONS of stuff.

And they're offering a $35 gift certificate to one of my blog readers.

How do you win?

Just leave a comment on this post! Comments will be open from now until Friday, February 18 at midnight. I will let random.org choose the winner on Saturday morning and will post it at that time. Be sure that I have a way to contact you if you are the winner!

Sending a huge thank you to CSN Stores for allowing this giveaway!

Monday, February 14, 2011

1000 Gifts - 121 - 130

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This past week was such a weird week that I didn't keep my list as it went by. I'm winging it, writing it up today!

121. Today, on Valentine's Day, my daughter did a lesson in spelling that revolved around Valentine's Day. I expect that anyone who has homeschooled for a while will appreciate that. If you haven't homeschooled, well, typically the lessons we're doing right now revolve around Christmas. Amazing to be on schedule, for the first time ever.

122. The gorgeous blue jay right outside my window. Of course, he's out there eating the dog's food, but it's really nice to look out there and see a gorgeous bird.

123. 70 degrees. Blue sky. Fluffy clouds. Sunny. Perfection.

124. The excitement my kids have knowing that their Grammy is coming to visit this week.

125. That they are expressing that excitement by cleaning their rooms. Woot!

126. The encouragement of knowing that the various struggles I have are common to man (or woman as the case may be) and the reassurance that valleys don't last forever.

127. For broccoli cheese soup. Yum.

128. For Candinas chocolates.

129. For Valentine crafts.

130.  And for chocolate covered strawberries, and sweet friends to help make them.

What gifts have you received this week? I'm linking up with A Holy Experience today, so click on over and read some more lists. :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

L.E.N.S. Challenge - February

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The LENS Challenge for the week is February.  

The oldest with the crafting urge that I get about once a year.  (Then I lose all interest in crafting and we rock along for another year.  Actually - I lost interest before this was even finished.  The girls finished it.)  Giggle!!


I'm linking up with Home is Where You Start From, so hop on over and see what February looks like for others.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

This is the Stuff

Pin It What a crazy couple of days!

Three children had dental appointments this week.  We went on Tuesday, signed in, and the sweet receptionist gave me "that look" like "um, why are you here?  I do not have appointments for your children today."  She was right.  Oops.  Appointments were not Tuesday, they were Wednesday.  Alrighty.

We show up on again on Wednesday.  We left the appointments with one child just fine, one with two minor cavities, and one with a referral to an oral surgeon.  Faaaaabulous.  If you know my kids, I'm sure you can guess which is which, because that seems to be always the way it works around here.

Is the oral surgeon in our network?  Ha.  Haha.

So I'm forseeing a child who is surprisingly not in pain yet, but soon will be.  I'm also forseeing financial destruction.  Okay, that's a *bit* of an exaggeration.  Our insurance will cover some of it and there are sufficient funds to cover the rest without eating too many servings of beans and rice over the next few weeks.

So today I get out of bed really early feeling kind of yucky.  There's not time for that though!  Need to take the little one to preschool, need to meet with a friend for a little while, need to grab the girls and go to the little one's Valentine's party, and hello?  SOME schoolwork needs to be done.  Oh, and I guess we need to eat and then rush off to consult with the oral surgeon.  My cost estimate was off.  By a lot.  And not in the good way.  We get home just in time to get the girls to dance and oh yeah, they have choir tonight too and you CANNOT see my floor and the sink?  It would probably be easier to just get water out of the bathroom sink if you're thirsty because there are too many dishes to fit a cup under the tap.  And the laundry is piled up?  Again?  Didn't I just do that?  AND WHY, OH HEAVENS WHY, IS THE BATHTUB NOT DRAINING??

May I just have a nap?  Please?

 And through it all?  I found out that I won one of the giveaways on Gussy's blog, something pretty will be coming to my house soon!  My friend said "let me just keep your son for an extra hour or two."  Jim said "hey, let's go out to dinner tonight."  Another friend just plain encouraged my socks off.  The girls are sitting here finishing up schoolwork, and giggling.  And, our tax refund will be here right when we need to pay for the dental work.  I shopped Kohl's clearance sale and bought an $80 jacket for me for $6.99 and it got here today and I LOVE it.

As I was thinking over some of these things in the car this afternoon, this song came on.  So very true.



Can't we all relate to this?  This is the stuff that just drives us crazy and makes us forget how much we're blessed.  It's all just *stuff*.  Not earth shattering.  Just stuff.  

Let me not forget how much I'm blessed! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

1000 Gifts Giveaway Winner!

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Woohoo Jennifer!!  You are going to LOVE this book! 

I suspect this will be one I want for my Nook, so I may soon have another copy to give away!  :)

(And giggling ... my little one loves cherry limeade - or chewwy wimeade as he says, which I find so stinkin' adorable.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Kids Are So Weird.

Pin It They have had me laughing lately.

The oldest - her sister walked off, leaving the refrigerator door open.  Oldest says "Leaving the door open is the worst mistake anybody can make becaaaaaaaauuuuuse .....???"  Silence.  Then she says "HEY, someone is supposed to finish the quote!"  More silence.  Then she hollers out "It could let in a GIRAFFE!!"

Um, hon?  That would be DRAFT.  Not giraffe.  So now I've been teasing her about letting giraffes in the house when she leaves the door open.

(And yes, I told her that was blog fodder and she's reasonably okay with that.)

The middle one - she and I are going on a mother-daughter date in a couple of weeks.  I did this with the oldest and I'm looking forward to it with the middle one.  I told her that it was a two hour drive from here to where we're going and she said she would bring her DSi in the car.  Then she said "oh wait.  I'll bet you want to talk to me about puberty in the car, so maybe I shouldn't bring it."

I nearly fell over from laughing.

(And yep, she knows I'm posting this too.  She may be less delighted with me posting this story when we're actually on our trip and she finds out what puberty actually means!  haha!)

And then there's the little one.  All five year olds are a riot by nature of being five.  Jim has this plaque thingie he's making to hold his coins that he has from military things.  The little one thinks these are very cool.  Sunday night he was looking at them wistfully and said to Jim, "Someday when you're dead, can I have one of those?"  Completely innocent.  I laughed so hard I cried.

It also cracks me up when he asks which foot his shoe goes on.  I'll tell him, he'll put that shoe on, then will ask me which foot his other shoe goes on.  Ummm ... thinking maybe you could figure that one out on your own, kiddo!  :-P

* hey - don't forget to scroll down one post and enter my giveaway for Ann Voskamp's book!  One Thousand Gifts!  *

Monday, February 7, 2011

1000 Gifts - 111 - 120 PLUS! A giveaway!!

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Comments are now closed for the giveaway!




111. Living in a climate where we have just a couple "cold" days every year. The change of pace is nice, but it's pretty nice knowing that within a day or two, the temperatures will be back to normal.

112. For beautiful days like yesterday and today when the sun is shining, the temperature is exquisite (66 as I type this on Sunday afternoon) and the birds are singing.

113. For this song, which has been continually running through my head since I REALLY heard it for the first time last weekend. (As an aside - if you should ever get a chance to go to a Holy Homes conference with Clay and Renee Crosse, you should do it. Maybe I'll post about it sometime.)


114. I've probably been thankful for this before, but Sonic unsweet tea with raspberry is a definite gift!

115. As is sugar-free mocha latte from Sertino's.

116. For sunflower seeds.

117. For listening to my oldest explain the gospel to my youngest this morning in church. He asked her a question and she answered it perfectly, in terms he could understand.

118. For being able to go on a field trip this week to see and hear a performance geared towards children from our local symphony, and for getting a real appreciation for the love the oldest has of music.

119. For my middle one, who is very excited about having a date with me. We had to postpone it due to the weather this week, and when I told her about rescheduling it and made definite plans, she was so excited. I'm excited too!

120. For Ann Voskamp's book - One Thousand Gifts: A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are. I just started reading it ... and WOW. What a challenge ... and what a blessing.

And with that said -- GIVEAWAY ALERT!!! I want you to experience this book as well, so I bought a copy for you! Well, for one of you, anyway! Just leave a comment on this post to be entered, and make sure I have a way to contact you if you should win. I will close comments Tuesday night and will post the winner Wednesday morning.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

L.E.N.S. Challenge - PE

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The LENS Challenge for the week is PE.  

I know I have posted this picture before; not for a challenge but because it is one of my favorite pictures ever.   I was a little excited to have an excuse to post it again. 




This is PE for us.  The girls both take dance, and that's pretty much it.  This is from their recital this December.  We do spend some time with Wii Just Dance and riding bikes, and of course the little one spends time jumping off the couch, but dance is the only more formal PE type activity we do.

I'm linking up with Home is Where You Start From, so hop on over and see what others do for PE.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Is it just me?

Pin It Is it just me or does this happen at your homeschool also?

You finish school and find 35 pencils scattered around the house. 

If you put shoes on, your children assume that you are going somewhere.

If you sweep early in the morning, the children ask who is coming over.

You find reading books in the most interesting places.  Hanging on the towel rack, anyone?

If your children are working together on a project, one takes on the "project manager" role and the other just does whatever that one does.  Even if it's wrong. 

In the case above, if you point out that it's wrong, the copier will claim total innocence because she was just doing what her sister told her to do.

School is over for the day, there are the aforementioned 35 pencils scattered around the house, someone calls, and you have to pull up a word document to write down what they say because you can't find a pencil.

You will allow a child to go read in her room and hear much laughter coming from that room.  Said child will try to convince you that it's her Alexander the Great book that is so funny.  You will know better than that and should take the cell phone away. 

You find that some things that bored you TO TEARS in school yourself are actually quite interesting, and you suspect that you may be learning more than the children are.

You tell yourself that that's okay because maybe they'll teach their children some day, and they'll learn it all then.

You look at what one child is doing in math and hope and pray that they don't need help with it.

Home Ec is your very favorite subject to teach.  "Hey kids!  Let's practice those home ec skills today by y'all making dinner!  And cleaning up!"

Science experiments are done, or not, based on how messy they are and how many dishes they will dirty up.  Unless they involve vinegar and baking soda.  Those are always done, preferably over a sink or bathtub ... home ec AND science!  Two birds with one stone!

So ... is it just me? 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

This Horrible Weather

Pin It I know you northern people think y'all have it bad with your weather.

Just thought I'd share how awful it is here. 



Isn't that hilarious?  I saw it on another blog.  It really does crack me up that the entire town shuts down here.  I mean, I know ICE is a big deal.  It's the preparation for potential ice that has me giggling.

(As I say that ... it's been raining and it's 31 degrees.  I tackled a lady at the grocery store earlier for a loaf of bread and stocked up on firewood and hot chocolate.  Of course I used this as an excuse to make chili.  Again.  I'm not immune to the craziness.  Neither are my kids.  They've been going from window to window just in case a flurry of snow should fall.  They certainly wouldn't want to miss that!  I'm also QUITE glad that there is no reason for me to leave the house tomorrow!)

Go ahead you northerners.  Laugh at us.  I don't blame you, and it's okay, we're laughing at ourselves too.

And the Shabby Shae WINNER is ...

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Congratulations Lyndsey! 

I'll see if I can find an email address for you; if you don't have an email from me, please send me one at itsmelanie@gmail.com.

Thanks so much for playing everyone!! 

And as a bit of a teaser ... I have another giveaway ready to go; probably first part of next week, and then I'll have another one shortly after that! 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - the freezing butt cold edition

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Okay, freely admitting my weeniness.  (Yes that is a word.  Look it up.)



This?  This is wrong on so many levels. I know it's like spring to you northern people. For us southern people, this is shut down the town weather.

(Take a moment to appreciate the stellar photography, the artistic blurriness.  I'll wait.)

Oh good, you're back.  :-P

Yesterday we had a storm come through, followed by a cold front.  I was driving to Houston and could literally SEE the front blowing in.  I tried to capture it and pretty much failed miserably, but at least I know what it was.  And since I told you what was going on, you know too.


And then today? Y'all, I live in Texas. This is not something that is seen in this area. Ever.

My kids are fascinated! Ice everywhere. Ditches frozen, dog water dish frozen, and ICICLES!

I'm actually enjoying the cold weather too. I don't mind it for a day or two, then I'm over it.

Don't forget - you can still enter the giveaway from Shabby Shae until midnight tonight! Scroll down one post for details!