I decided I had to get out of the house today. My sweet dad came over and picked me and the girls up. He was born and raised in Chicago so snow is no biggy to him. He knows how to drive in it. Me on the other hand, would be in a ditch for sure. The snow has turned into ice. It was a little scary getting out of the driveway. We almost slid into a parked car across the street. Thankfully we made it the 15 miles to my sisters house.
The girls are now sipping on their hot cocoa and waiting for the brownies to come out of the oven. Then we'll settle into a mean game of dominoes before the girls have to go to bed. Then the adults can play.
I love winter nights with my family. I just wish Brian were here to share in it with us, but I know he's having fun stuffing himself with pasta as he carboloads before the big race. Did I mention he is also going to the Probowl tomorrow too. Lucky guy. That's ok I get my girl weekend next Friday at Blissdom. Can't wait.
Let me back up and tell you about how this all came about. Sometime around Christmas, I asked Brooklyn one day what she wanted to do that day. I thought she would say, "Go to Target (she loves to go there as much as her mama does), go visit her cousins, do school, etc. Instead she said, "Mommy I want to help sick kids who don't have any food". My eyes filled up with tears. I called Brian at work and told him what she had said. We immediately thought of ideas about how she could go about doing that. Brooklyn loves to draw more than anything, so we decided we would make cards of her drawings and sell them to raise money for kids in another country who need food, clothes, and toys. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. Brian took Brooklyn into our classroom in the basement where we have a huge giant wall map on the wall. He asked her what country she would like to help and she pointed to Haiti and said, "Here daddy", I want to help Haiti". That was 3 days before a massive earthquake struck and killed over 150,000. I marvel at how God works. He put it on Brooklyn's heart to help the people of Haiti before the need was so great.
After Brian's dad passed away, we decided to combine it with a memorial for Steve Lord. It's a great way to honor his life and help continue to help Brooklyn help Haiti. If you would still like to donate you can do so by visiting the website we've set up here. Again, thank you for your prayers and your gifts. On behalf of my family, I thank you again.
They are calling for snow and ice on Friday so I might need to put a couple more blankets in the dryer. Stay warm and safe everyone.
It definitely felt like a Monday today. It was cold and dark and I was tired. I think I am still trying to recover from last weeks events. Some of it is still hard for me to wrap my head around. Anyway, by 2:00 I was needing a break. The girls were a little wired so I didn't even know if the bribe would work. It took about 20 minutes and then they were out. I was able to get some things taken care of for my book and catch up on a few blogs I like to read. I was renewed and refreshed when they woke up.
They couldn't wait to make brownies. I had one box of Ghirardelli brownies left. Phew! If you've never made them before they are delicious. After they come out of the oven you spread chocolate all over the top of them. Heavenly. As you can see the girls love the process of making the brownies, probably even more so than eating them.
I want to say a big thank you to all who prayed for our family. We felt them for sure. I had played all the scenarios in my head of what was going to happen and I can say that it was so much better in real life than in my head. There was a peace and comfort that I knew could only come from the prayers of His people. Thank You!
On Monday night we had the viewing from 4-8. My father-in-law was born and raised in a small town in Indiana his whole life. He never left. He spent 60 years on a farm and in a community of 3,000. He had hundreds show up for his viewing. I was in awe. I got to hear stories from guys who went to high school with him. Only in a small town would you get to experience something like that. I loved being near people that knew him and could tell stories about him. It brought so much comfort to us.
The next morning was the funeral. This was the final goodbye and I knew it would be tough. Brian got up and spoke on behalf of his family. I have never been more proud of my husband than at that moment. I know it was the hardest thing he's ever done in his life, but it meant so much to all of us. I kept telling him how proud and honored I was to be his wife and I meant it from the bottom of my heart. He was amazing last week. He had to mourn the loss of his dad and handle the affairs of the estate. He had alot of responsibility and handled it with class and dignity. I know it would have made his father proud.
We set up a memorial fund in memory of his dad. A few weeks before his death, Brooklyn had come to me wanting to help sick kids and daddy helped her pick out a country on the map where she could help. She has a love of maps just like her daddy and told him that she wanted to help kids in Haiti. This was just 3 days before the earthquake. Coincidence, I think not. God laid it on my daughter's heart even before the need was so great. You can read the story here and if the Lord lays it on your heart to give you can do so as well.
Again thank you for your words of encouragement, emails and prayers. We still have a long road to go, but I feel like the hardest part is behind us.
Brian wrote a tribute to his dad on his blog that brought me to tears. You can read it here.
Thank you for your prayers.
I am so thankful we got to see him at Christmas time. We had such a great visit. For that I am thankful. We even made plans to go up in the summer so the girls could ride around on the farm and go swimming. Now the farm will be so different without him there. My heart aches for Brian and his brothers and sister. Brian will have a lot of responsibility as the oldest son so I would appreciate your prayers that wise decisions would be made and everyone sees eye to eye on what will happen going forward. Please pray for safe travels and that the girls are safe at home.
We will miss you Dad and PeePaw.
Dec 24, 1950-Jan. 15, 2010
If you're a parent of an elementary school-aged child and live in the Nashville area, we'd invite you to go to Michael Norvell's book signing for 'The Prophets Peril' at Davis-Kidd Booksellers at the Green Hills Mall, tomorrow (Thursday) night. I got a sneak peak at the book last week, and its very good! 'The Prophets Peril' is the story of an elementary school girl who gets transported back to the Old Testament with the help of magic backpack, where she meets Elijah. She learns some valuable lessons from him about dealing with fear and change, and accompanies him on an 'adventure' in confronting King Ahab and his minions. What I like is that it will help kids better imagine what people in the Bible went through, what decisions they made, and how they can learn and use those lessons in their own life. Plus, since the book is relatively short and made for a younger audience, its a great first 'chapter book'. (B)
I like using a pretty tea glass to drink my water. It makes it more fun. I like water, but after a while it gets a little boring. You can also add a little bit of lemon and mint leaves to jazz it up a bit. This is how they serve it when you go to a really nice spa. So grab yourself some ice cold water and enjoy. Your body will thank you. Better go fill up my glass.
My brother in law is putting in a butler's pantry for me between our kitchen and our dining room. I am so excited. It will look like this last picture except for the cabinets will be black with an aged feel. I bookmarked this because I like the hardware they used.
If you like to design your house as much as I do, than this site is for you. Enter at your own risk and have fun.
I LOVE this picture so much. Aren't they such cute flower girls? I know I am a little bias, but what cuties. This was taken at my sister Heather's wedding back in November. What this picture doesn't tell you was how crazy that day was. The girls did a great job walking down the aisle together and throwing their petals, but the fun stopped there. Once Sydney got down the aisle she laid herself out on the runner at the bottom of the steps. She was done. Did I mention the wedding was at 2:00. Yeah, nap time. I knew I was in trouble when I found out what time it was going to be. Sydney is almost 3 and she still takes a nap everyday, for her sake and mine. Well she started to cry so Brian had to come up and get her. She screamed heading out of the sanctuary. Thankfully my sister hadn't come down the aisle yet. Then Sammie decided she was done and wanted to take a nap too. She fell asleep on my dad's lap. So that left Brooklyn and Maiya (the older girls) up on stage with us bridesmaids.
I am dreading watching the video at this point because the whole entire ceremony (45 min) I was trying to keep Brooklyn still next to me in a short dress and 3 inch heels. I was constantly bending over, but not too far as to not give the audience a show, and trying to whisper in her ear to be quiet. It was craziness. I was exhausted by the end of the ceremony and don't ask me what the preacher even said. I have no clue. All I cared about was keeping Brooklyn quiet and still. She's 4, like that's even a possibility. All in all it was a great wedding and my sister is married. I guess that's all that really matters, right?
I got out of the car and peered around my pump to where he was pumping gas into his car and said, "Sir thank you for serving our country". He looked at me with the biggest smile on his face. He was overjoyed. He said, "Ma'am, thank you. You don't know what that means to me. You see I served in Vietnam and there was a time I never heard those words". We had about a 2 minute conversation that day. I went on to tell him that I had just been watching CBN that morning and they had interviewed a war veteran who was homeless and trying to stay warm in this cold weather. He went on to talk a little bit about homeless veterans and about how many of them were forever changed by what they saw and the chemicals they were exposed to. He was one whose life was forever changed and who is dealing with sickness due to his time in Vietnam. My heart just sank. With tears in my eyes I told him thank you again for fighting for me and my girls. He waved as he left the station.
I have been thinking about this encounter for a day now. I owe so much to the men and women who have fought for my freedom. I don't say thank you enough. You know I think all the veterans want are more thank yous. That's it. They just want to know that people care about what they did and what they are doing. I'm convicted as I sit in my nice warm big house, with my girls and my husband by my side, that I often take all of this for granted. There are wives missing their husbands tonight, kids missing their daddy's and mother's grieving the loss of their son or daughter. These young kids decided to put their life in harms way because they love their country. Wow that boggles my mind. I can't say that I could do the same. To be honest, I am almost sickened by the fact that we care and know more about the affairs of Tiger Woods than we do about the young soldiers that have died. To me that's a travesty. I'm talking to myself here because I was one of those that just needed to know what happened to Tiger and his wife. After talking with this man, I am praying that my heart would be changed. That I would truly care and have compassion for our military men and women and for what they have done. So today this blog entry is dedicated to the the men and women who have bravely fought for our country. I can't thank you enough. Thank you to their families that wait for their loved ones to come home and for those that unfortunately, wait no longer. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! May God BLESS you!
Finally, thank you to the man that opened my eyes that frigid afternoon at the gas pump. I know you will never read this, but I thank you for taking the few minutes to talk with me and most importantly thank you for your service. It does not go unnoticed. I pledge to you from now on whenever I see a service man or woman, I will take the time to go up to them and simply say "Thank You."
1 lb ground beef or 3 cooked chicken breasts shredded (if you are in a hurry you can pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store and just pull the chicken off the bone and stick it in the crock pot.)
1 ranch dressing packet
1 taco seasoning packet
1 can of black beans (undrained)
1 can of kidney beans (undrained)
1 can of pinto beans (undrained)
16 oz of Rotel or diced tomatoes
1 can of white corn
1 Cup of water
Let me know if you try it and like it. It also keeps well in the fridge and can be reheated the next day. Here's to keeping warm!
Uncle Eddy with his nieces.
Brooklyn sliding down the ice slide. Her backside must have been frozen.
Isn't this Nativity scene beautiful?