Sunday, August 31, 2008

Joshua's adventures in mowing

When we became parents, we established our roles early on. John is more the fun parent, and I am more the rule maker and enforcer. I also tend to worry and am not always good at letting the kids do things that I see as dangerous and they see as exciting and fun.

Yesterday, as I was trying to organize the study, I looked outside and saw John letting Joshua drive the mower. I did good. I didn't freak out at all.

It was kind of funny. Joshua's not quite big enough to master the mower. He wasn't sitting back far enough, so John was having to hold the seat down to keep the mower from dying.

He finally got it down. Luckily, he is my more cautious child, so he didn't even try to go very fast. He did have a lot of fun. And to be fair, John didn't have the mower blades engaged, so it probably wasn't even too dangerous.

The Forty Year Journey

These are pictures from the kids journey with Moses last night. They set out from Egypt and journeyed on to the promised land. Jacob told me this morning that they didn't really get to go through the wilderness. Our church doesn't have many trees around it, so most of their wandering was in the pasture behind the church.

These are some of the volunteers that helped on the Journey. Tori was Miriam. Tori sometimes babysits for us, and my boys think she is pretty awesome. Next is Moses played by Marshall Stokes. Marshall is our pastor. Next is Joshua played by Caleb and Aaron played by Stan. Stan is Caleb's dad. I am almost certain Caleb is a senior this year. He is the youngest of Stan and Michelle's four kids, so they are about to face an empty nest.

This is the red sea. They were able to part it to go through on dry land. Its a good thing Moses had his friends near to help him out. The man playing Hur is Dr. Lee Cockrill. He is our children's directors father-in-law. He was a pastor for many years and is now retired. He and his wife were married over 60 years. She passed away late last year. Dr. Lee is one of the kindest people I know. He and I were the greeters at church this morning. He always has a smile and is just such a pleasure to be around.
Joshua told me this morning, that he did not really worship the golden calf, because he knows we don't worship anyone but the Lord. They had a great time and really enjoyed the promised land where they had milk and honey. Mrs. Rosa had rolls with honey, and they got to make their own homemade ice cream.
John and I made it back in time to go to the promised land. My ice cream maker was messy and very cold. It was fun though and the individual baggies of homemade ice cream turned out pretty good.
Joshua was also pretty excited because they got to taste quail on the journey. He said it was delicious and he wants me to make it sometime. John asked if I would make it if they shot some, I said "No way, I don't even buy whole chickens." It grosses me out.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

It's Saturday, We must have Fire

We enjoyed a relaxing day today. John tried to burn the big pile of brush behind the house, but it was too wet. He had to settle for burning a small pile in the front yard.
The boys had fun shooting their bb guns and just playing and being boys.

Joshua recently decided he needs to be healthier. He has been running everyday. Once he gets something in his mind that he wants to do, he is pretty determined. We are going on about 4 days now. He runs 4 laps down the drive and around the cul de sac at a time. He really seems to be enjoying it. Jacob tries to run with him on occasion, but he said it makes him too tired. He would rather just swing.

Here is a picture of the study so far. We still need floors, a new mantel, and to get the fireplace uncovered and serviced. I also need to get a curtain made, and then we will start looking for furniture. We are thinking a larger nice desk to the left of the fireplace, and a sitting area in the other corner of the room. We are not rushing all that. We want to take our time and find exactly what we want. Once we decide exactly what we want that will become an easier task.
The boys enjoyed their journey to the promised land at church tonight. John and I enjoyed some time without our conversation being interrupted. All in all it was an ideal Saturday.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Date Night

John and I get to have a date night tomorrow. It has been a while since that has happened. The kids are going on a journey with Moses tomorrow night at church. They are pretty excited. The last kids night at church was in March and John and I stayed and helped with it. This time they already have enough volunteers so we get two precious hours alone. We will most likely get a quick dinner and then wander aimlessly through a furniture store. We do lead an exciting life. Sometime between now and tomorrow night I have to finish the kids herds. On their journey one of them has to keep up with sheep and the other with goats. The children's director had started making them and she gave me a book with directions on how to finish them. It will be easy, I just have to sit still and get it done.
The above picture is from the last kids night. Sorry it is blurry. Joshua has just put the egg in Mrs. Rosa's hands and they are raising back around the circle. I love the way Jacob is cheering his brother on. Those are the happy mommy moments when they are being a team and not irritating one another. We do love our church and Rosa is a wonderful children's director. She encourages me often. It is wonderful to know that our kids are growing up in such a great church family.

The things boys do

Yesterday I went into the kids bathroom to put something away. When I opened the cabinet, this is what I saw. Apparently, one of my boys had tied dental floss to the drawer handle and the cabinet knob. I spend a lot of my days just wandering what makes them decide to do things.After they finished homework yesterday, they went out to swim for a little while. I sat out on the patio and read. Can you guess what they are doing? I don't know why they enjoy peeing through the fence, but they do. The door just to their left opens into the master bath. It's not like there isn't a handy bathroom. It is good that none of our neighbors are very close.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


My mother-in-law informed me this past weekend that she had tried to leave a comment, but realized that you had to have an account to do so. I changed the settings, so now you can leave a comment without an account. Just wanted to let you know.

Kids Camera

Joshua wanted me to share this picture. According to the Internet, this is a type of wasp. The females don't have wings and so we are guessing this one is female. They are commonly called cow killers because of their powerful sting. Who knew our blog could teach you so much?

The next picture is one that Jacob took of himself. And of course we have an obligatory picture of Oscar.

He doesn't know what to think when he gets put outside like a dog.

Its a Crazy World

I decided that I should join the fun and made a quick trip to Walmart. The gas lines weren't too bad, I was only three cars back when I pulled in. Gas was $3.29 on my way into town and $3.46 as I was coming home. The consequences of an economy based more on fear than reality? Of course, I waited until I was coming home to fill up. That wasn't smart. The truck in front of me had to fill the generator and both gas cans in the back of the truck. John called me from Sam's this morning to let me know they had generators in stock. Luckily, he decided that $1,000 was a little much and we could probably survive without one. He is a smart man. While in town I exchanged the propane tank and filled the extra gas can. I probably looked odd wearing a skirt and hoisting a gas can, but oh well. I also decided I should at least act like I'm preparing for a storm so I picked up a few cans of soup, a jar a peanut butter, and some crackers.
It felt good to come back home and get away from the craziness. I can just feel myself relax as I turn down our road. Our neighborhood is so pretty. Our house is at the end of this road. I just love trees.
Now for a kid picture. Jacob caught a baby lizard yesterday. Actually, he catches lizards on a daily basis, but I got a picture of the one he caught yesterday. Did I mention I love being in the country?

Can we say Chaos

Let the panic begin. In case you haven't heard, Gustav might become a hurricane and hit the gulf coast. John called me yesterday to say that several people at work were buying generators. Apparently, when Katrina hit they were without power for more than a week in parts of the Jackson metro area. So we dutifully head to the store last night to prepare a disaster kit. We stocked up on water and Sam Adams Light just to be safe. They were sold out of generators, oil lamps, and gas cans. The lines at the gas stations were horrendous. I need to go fill my truck up this morning. John left about 20 minutes earlier than usual this morning so he could fill his car up on the way to work. It is crazy here. You would think the world was coming to an end. We are a good 3 hours in from the coast, and hotels in Jackson are filling quickly with people evacuating the coastal areas.

I guess I will venture to the store this morning. I need to exchange our extra propane tank so we will at least be able to use the grill if the power fails. We have plenty of wood for the smoker. I should probably pick up extra batteries for the flashlights and radios. Maybe I will even pick up some canned goods.

I should probably be a bit more concerned, but right now I am just amazed at the frenzy of activity. John said they are shipping water like crazy at work. The military is one of their larger clients and apparently they are stocking up. I guess it only makes sense to be prepared, but some of it seems a bit excessive to me. But then again, I lived in North Texas during Katrina. The biggest effect I saw was that gas prices jumped hourly.

I guess I will keep you posted as long as we have power and cable. We live in one of those progressive areas that hasn't been introduced to DSL. Cable modem or dial up are our only options. Having had DSL for many years I couldn't revert to dial up, so we now have a cable modem. Here's hoping it all goes well.

Now for updates on those sweet kids of mine. This morning when I was combing Joshua's hair he told me that he knew how to stop a hurricane. I said really, how? He said we should just pray. I certainly can't argue with him on that one. I am praying that it will not be as bad as predicted. Yesterday morning Jacob was going to get the paper from the end of the drive. It was still dark out and he didn't get far before he got scared and ran back in the house. Joshua volunteered to go and then Jacob said he would go with him. He told me that he didn't have to be scared because the Lord would protect him. I am sure having his brother helped his confidence a little as well. They are so fun. The picture above is old, but I like it. Can you tell they have a fondness for the Mario Brothers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Picture for Grandma

Aren't they cute. I thought I should post a picture for the grandparents since my Mom called last night to say how much she was enjoying the blog. She says it makes her feel like we aren't so far away. It's only about an eight hour drive to visit, hope to see you soon.
They both need haircuts. Maybe we will do that this week. They are both still getting up pretty easily in the mornings. This morning I saw them pushing each other before they got on the bus. I just hope they got it out of their systems before the bus driver had to deal with them. They can be so sweet to each other and then turn around and just be mean. I guess that is the nature of siblings.
I am trying to get motivated so that I can get some things accomplished today. I have to psych myself up to clean the family room. The room is huge and it takes forever to mop the floor. Mainly the floor needs a good waxing and buffing. John said he is going to get an estimate and get it scheduled. Once we get it waxed I am hoping it will actually look clean after I mop. Right now it just annoys me because I can never seem to make it look like I want it too. Someday we will take out the linoleum and put down ceramic, but since the room is around 1000 square feet, it isn't going to happen for a while.
Another item on our to do list is to get the squirrels out of the attic and find a way to keep them out. John thinks he knows where they are getting in. I can hear them running around up there right now. They are loud.
Hopefully, by this weekend we will have most of the study done. We decided study sounds better than office/living room. John hopes to have all the shelves back up by tomorrow night. The current plan is to buy furniture for Christmas this year. We are wanting to get a nice desk and some chairs to complete the study. We hope to get the floors done around November. We are having to space out the projects so that we can pay for them all.
I need to go get busy cleaning. In addition to the family room, I need to get the ironing done. I keep saying I am going to take all John's clothes to the cleaners, but when I realize how much it costs I get the iron out. It would be cool if no iron shirts really didn't have to be ironed. I think Jos A Banks is lying to me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

School Days

When we decided to start this blog, the kids were already in school for the year. Reading Danielle's blog made me reminisce about meet the teacher night and the first day of school. We moved over the summer, so the boys started a new school this year. Joshua is in third grade and Jacob is in first. I am hoping this will be the last school change. Joshua started kindergarten in Keller, Texas. We moved to Grove City, Ohio before he finished kindergarten. He completed first grade and started second and Jacob started kindergarten before we moved to Madison, Mississippi. They finished the year in Madison, and we moved to Florence over the summer. I never dreamed we would live such a nomadic lifestyle. Anyway, we are confident that this is where we will be long term. Unless of course, God leads us down a new path. I am praying that we stay put though. I want my kids to have the sense of community that can only be found when you stay long enough to put down roots and make it a home.

Anyway, back to this year. Meet the teacher night was a bit chaotic. The school has very limited parking and it was packed. Luckily we arrived early and left as quick as we could. The boys are in different schools this year, but luckily the schools are right next to one another. Meet the teacher was on a Thursday night and school started the next morning. I really don't understand having the first day on a Friday, but no one asked for my opinion.

The boys are riding the bus to and from school this year. The picture above is my view from the front porch as they are getting on the bus. The neighbors dog sometimes hangs out with them as they wait. He is in the picture as well. On the first day I took them to school. They didn't want me to walk them to class, so I just dropped them off. I held back the tears until they were both out of the car. I can't believe they are so big. Anyway, I sat at the end of the drive that afternoon and waited for the bus. I had so much anxiety that first day. I couldn't wait for them to get home so I could hear all about their day. I could feel my heart jump within me when the bus pulled up and my boys were smiling so big as they exited the bus. The first day was a success and three weeks in things are still going great. I joined the PTO and we ordered shirts with the schools logo. This Friday we may go to the first high school football game of the season. I am looking forward to all the memories we will make as we settle in and make this house and community our home. Who knew God wanted us in Mississippi. I certainly didn't, but I feel so blessed to be where we are.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Holding on to Summer

The kids are starting their third full week at school. We are trying to still act like it is summer. The kids enjoyed getting to show off their swimming skills for Meemaw and Peepaw this past weekend. Today I am just getting laundry done. It has been raining quite a bit since Saturday evening. I am ready for it to be done. Anyway, here are some pictures of the boys showing off before the rain arrived.

Joshua wanted to be sure I included the last picture since he made such a big splash. You can see our cool brush pile in the background. This was one of the few weekends that we didn't burn something. Hopefully, we will get it done next weekend.

Jacob has no fear of jumping. He scares me on a regular basis. He mostly does cannonballs. Every time he tries to dive, he changes his mind at the last second and jumps. Hopefully, the temperature will rebound and the rain will stop this week. I am not ready for summer to come to an end.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Busy Day

It has been a very busy day. John spent several hours mowing, and he still has to weed eat and edge tomorrow. We made a trip to Lowes, a trip to Home Depot, and a trip to Wal-Mart. We replaced a ceiling fan in the dining room, moved the fan from the master to Jacob's room and put a new fan in the master. We put a new light fixture in the entry. We got furniture back in the office for now. The room is still not done, but it is close. We had to get to a stopping place for a few days. John's parents will be here tomorrow. The kids are so excited. Everyday this week they have asked how long until Meemaw and Peepaw get here. I am hoping it doesn't rain tomorrow. I know the kids want to show off their swimming skills.

We still have many things to get done. John is planning to smoke a brisket and some beef ribs for dinner tomorrow night. That means he will be up around 2 starting the smoker. I don't think I am going to get up for that. He will have to be up for at least a few hours until the temperature stabilizes and he is sure things are going well. He said he is going to do some touch up painting outside and work on the wiring for the entertainment system in the family room. I am going to sleep.

Tonight at Wal-Mart we ran into a guy we went to church with in Ohio. I had heard through a mutual friend that he had accepted a job here and would be moving. It is amazing how small the world can seem sometimes. Both our families lived in Grove City, OH and now we both live in Florence, MS. He works at a bible college here in Florence. It was nice to visit for a minute and I am sure we will see him and his family again.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fungus among us

John is making fun of me for the title. He said I am a nerd. He knew that when he married me. Anyway, the kids and I went mushroom hunting when they got home from school. I have included a few pictures. The red mushrooms are growing in my front flowerbed. I think they are sorta pretty. The others are scattered throughout the yard.
We finished painting the office/living room tonight. Right now John is changing out all the outlets and light switches. He took tomorrow off so we can get everything finished. We need to put the shelves and the crown moulding back up. We are also going to build a new mantel, but that is not an immediate project. Oh I guess we need to put the doors back on the lower shelving units as well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Another day is nearly done

This picture is the view from the road as you turn into our driveway. We really haven't done much to the outside yet. I did trim all the shrubs in the flower beds, but we didn't add anything. I am sure that next Spring the front of the house will get lots of attention.

I tried to get a picture of the cardinals playing on the deck around the bird feeder this morning. My camera doesn't have a good zoom and the birds wouldn't play if I was too close. Anyway, they are fun to watch. Our good friends Marshall and Sissie gave us the bird feeder for a housewarming gift. We are definitely enjoying it.
We are slowly making progress on the front living room/office. The walls are primed and we are about to begin painting. John has gotten the shelves for either side of the fireplace sanded and stained. We plan to get one coat of paint on tonight with the second coat tomorrow night. Hopefully on Friday we can get all the crown moulding back up and be done for now. We are still debating on the floor. We had planned to go with carpet, but we are thinking ceramic tile might be a better choice.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Kids Camera

Not long after we moved we gave the kids our old digital camera. They are having a blast with it. The only problem is they are constantly wanting to download their pictures to the computer. Anyway, I wanted to include a few of their pictures.

The first picture is The Mario Brothers made out of legos. Even at 6 and 8 they still love to play with legos. Joshua is the artist behind this creation.

The next picture is of Oscar. There are LOTS of pictures of Oscar on the kids camera. You can tell he is pretty excited about having his picture taken again.

I am not sure what they were trying to take a picture of here. Since Joshua is in the picture, I can assume that Jacob took this one. For the most part Joshua is our picture taker, but on occasion Jacob finds the camera idle and gets to use it.

Some of their favorite picture subjects are bugs and lizards. The beetle above was pretty cool looking. He was just hanging out in our driveway.

This lizard was at the base of the house just outside the kitchen window. I really need to get the extra bricks out of the planter box.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another week begins

Another week has begun and we are making progress. This morning I primed two walls in the office/living room. I would have done more, but I ran out of primer. John said he would pick some up when he goes to the store today. He needs to pick up some other things for the project anyway, so I didn't see the need to make a special trip just for more primer. Since I ran out of primer, that means I can work on all the regular things that have to be done, like laundry and various other mundane household tasks. I should probably vaccuum the pool, but that may not happen. We swam for a bit on Saturday, but the water was down right cool. It rained some the end of last week and the high temperatures here have only been in the eighties the last few days. It should get back up around ninety by the end of the week, so hopefully the pool will warm back up.

My dear boys started their second full week of school this week. That first week just seemed to fly by. Joshua has been accepted into the gifted program. They call it Ventures. He gets to go to a special class for several hours two days a week. I think it will be really good for him. His teacher told me last week that he is really smart and that his answers in class just blow her away. Jacob is loving school and making lots of friends. His teacher told me he is sweet and he has a vivid imagination. I think they are adjusting well to being in a new school.

The picture above is from yesterday. The man we bought our house from gave John some hickory wood for his smoker. It was cut but needed split. John split the wood and the boys stacked it for him. Jacob told me that it was Sunday and we shouldn't be doing work, because the Lord says we should rest on the Sabbath. I told him he has to mind his parents and that it is OK to do a good work on the Sabbath. Helping his daddy is a good work. The wood to the left of the tree is what they were stacking yesterday. The wood to the right of the tree is red oak from a tree that John cut down behind our house. I never imagined we would live somewhere like this, but it is so much fun being "country folk".

Sunday, August 17, 2008

No more paneling

John is busy tonight working on the living room/office. We aren't sure what the room will eventually be, but for now it is serving as the office. When we moved in it had dark paneling and parquet wood floors. John pulled out all the paneling this past week, patched the holes, replaced the Sheetrock in a few places and got everything sanded and ready for texture. Tonight he is applying the texture and hopefully I will get the primer on it tomorrow. Getting the paneling down made a huge difference in the room. It is already so much brighter. The floors are remaining as they are for now. We are waiting until we are done with the walls in all the rooms so we can do all the floors at once. While pulling down paneling, we had to remove the shelving units from either side of the fire place. In so doing we discovered that the room has not always had a tray ceiling. At one time the room had a vaulted ceiling. It is pretty fun to discover the secrets of the house. Luckily we like the tray ceiling, so we are not going to try to restore it to its original state.

The picture above was taken during the demolition stage. I so wish we had taken a picture before we started since there is such a contrast between the paneling and the Sheetrock walls. I will post pictures of the progress being made shortly. We are hoping to have this room done by the end of the week.
Hey everyone. I just wanted to post a few pictures and give an update. We are slowly getting settled into our new/old house. It is amazing how much has happened in the past few months. Moving to Mississippi was not in our plans, but God has done some amazing things. We initially leased a house while we waited to close on the sale of our home in Ohio. It was a wonderful thing in that it allowed us to get familiar with the area and take our time shopping for a house. The home we finally settled on is everything we hoped it would be. It is on three acres and it has a pool. The house itself is older, we are working nonstop, but it is fun. We really enjoy doing things around the house, and we don't have to ever worry about being bored.

This picture was taken at our rental house the beginning of the summer. The kids enjoyed the little pool, but they couldn't wait to get to the new house so they could play in the big pool.

Since moving in, John has taken on many projects. The above picture is our hall. John took out the one small light in the middle of the hall. He installed a pull down staircase to make attic access easier and put up two lights. It made a huge difference. One of our next projects will be to remove the lovely wallpaper and paneling from the walls and paint.

This picture was of the first dead tree John had to cut down. As soon as we moved in he had to buy a chain saw. He has definitely gotten lots of use out of it. The house in the background is across the street from us. I just love the neighborhood we are in. It has lots of character. None of the houses look the same and all the trees make it feel like you are in a park. We are really looking forward to many years here.