Friday, November 28, 2008


I've decided it rains a lot in Mississippi. I don't think it has let up all morning. I am spending my day moving the pump around the tarp on the pool. I know how to enjoy a day off.
The tree has been up less than 24 hours and the cat has already been banished to the laundry room. This is going to be a long month. The cat and/or the tree may not make it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Tree is Done

The tree is finished and the cat is already knocking ornaments off of it. Our angel won't fit on the top. We are thinking we may get a star we can attach to the front. It seems a little naked without something on top.
The kids are asking what we are having for dinner. I can't believe they are actually hungry. I guess I will feed them some leftovers and then we can watch Wall-e. Jacob just told me that God made this a happy thanksgiving by blessing us. He is a smart kid, we are very blessed.

Day of Thanks

It has been a full day. The kids spent the morning doing projects. Since they have spent the majority of their week glued to the TV, we didn't turn it on today. We did rent a movie this afternoon so we will probably watch it in a little while. Jacob made our family and Joshua made the dog and cat. I am not sure why they are shaped like people and wearing glittery clothes.
There was quite a spread for the Thanksgiving meal. Dana and June were laughing at me for taking a picture of the food. I told Dana I was going to put the pictures on my blog and she told me I need to get on Facebook. I just can't bring myself to do that.

We decided to go ahead and put up the tree today. It was too tall to fit in front of the window in the office. So being the traditional family that we are, John just cut it down. It fits nicely now.
John and I married in 1995. That is the year we bought our first personalized ornament. Since then we have bought a personalized ornament each year. When the kids were born we started buying a personalized ornament for them each year. It is a fun tradition. We have not yet bought this years ornaments. We will most likely order them this weekend.
I just love getting out the ornaments and strolling down memory lane. Of course, we have our Ohio State ornament. It was a gift from our small group in Ohio. They gave it to us as a going away present last year. We have lots of ornaments the kids have made. It is so fun to see the kids faces light up when they get to put their ornaments on the tree. I will post pictures of the finished tree later.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Let the Thanks begin

Fall is slowly transitioning to winter. The reds and yellows are turning to brown. Can you believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving? It was weird to leave work today knowing I don't have to be back there until Tuesday. I went by the ATM on the way home so I could pay the babysitter. I am thankful I don't have to do that every week.
I need go to the grocery store tonight. I am sure it will be chaotic. Nothing says Thanksgiving like standing in line at Kroger with all the other procrastinators. John plans to start the fire in the smoker tonight. He will put the hams on about 2 a.m. so they will be ready for lunch tomorrow. I have to make cheesy potatoes, a lime jello salad, and a sopapilla cheesecake. I am one of those odd individuals that loves jello salad. I only get to have it on holidays or at pot lucks. I can hardly wait, and not just for the jello salad. I am really looking forward to a day with some great friends.
Once the festivities end tomorrow, the Christmas season begins. John is planning to work on Friday, but the kids and I will have a fun day at home. I hope to get the house really clean, so we can spend Saturday decorating for Christmas. There is something exciting about decorating a new house, or in our case a house that is really old but new to us. We need to get our picture done for the Christmas cards. That is always fun getting the kids to smile and the dog to look at the camera. I guess we will have to add the cat to the picture this year. What fun.
That is all the rambling I have for now. I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Deed is Done

Apparently, it is very traumatic for Jacob when you start putting his things in a trash bag. He tried to take his roller blades away from me. Silly child, mommy wins. He is in his room throwing quite an impressive fit. Actually, the noise is dying down. He may very well cry himself to sleep. Who knows if this little lesson will make an impression. For the record, I really am throwing everything I picked up away.
Joshua did a good job and got his room and the family room picked up. I think he has a little more fear in him.
I feel like dirt right now, but the kids rooms are clean. Have I mentioned that sometimes being the mommy sucks.

Mean Mom

Yes, that is what I am today. My dear children have just been threatened. I will recount how we got to this point. When I got home from work today the kids were in the family room playing. One of the neighbor kids was here and all was well. The babysitter left, and about an hour later the neighbor kid left. I baked some cookies and left them on the counter to cool. We then went to our neighbor's house so they could show Joshua where they keep the dog food. He is going to be feeding their dog while they are out of town. As soon as we got home I told my dear little angels to clean their rooms and get all their toys out of the family room. This was about two hours ago. I went on about my business. About an hour ago I reminded them that they needed to be cleaning or there would be consequences. I then proceeded to work out. As soon as I finished my workout, I issued an ultimatum. Everything that is not put in its proper place within the next twenty minutes will be thrown away. They are quickly scurrying. I am trying not to be irritated. I am not going to ask, beg or encourage them to get the job done. I probably shouldn't have given them the ultimatum. I should have just thrown things away. Too often, I just give in and wind up picking up just to get it done. While I was working out I was thinking about this habit. So much for relaxing and relieving stress during the workout. Anyway, it is not a good habit to be in. They have just a few minutes left. I may need to get a big trash bag ready.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Who Knew?

I actually missed being home today. This is the first day I have had to work while the kids were home. Usually they are at school while I am at work. Since they are out of school for Thanksgiving we had a babysitter come to the house. It felt so odd to be at work today. I really wanted to be home. That is not like me. John and I always joke that I really don't have much of a maternal gene. Luckily, I was really busy at work today and the day seemed to pass quickly. When I got home Joshua was still in his pajamas. Jacob was dressed, but he didn't have on socks or shoes. I had asked Julie last weekend if she could keep the kids on December 6th while John and I go to my work Christmas party. She told me today that she could and asked if it would be OK if she did it for free. Of course, I'm fine with that. Apparently, she has to complete service hours for cheer leading. I just have to fill out a form so she can get credit. Works for me.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lazy Saturdays

Saturdays with nothing planned are awesome. Today I was up before seven, so I had time to enjoy my coffee and read the paper before anyone else got up. Jacob was up next. He always gets up so happy when he wakes up on his own. During the week, when we make him get up for school it is a different story. Isn't he cute in his PJ's and socks. I woke John up around eight. I don't think he was ready to get up, but Jacob and I were ready for breakfast. We have a Saturday tradition. Daddy makes pancakes. I had to wake him up so as not to deprive him of his Saturday morning ritual. Joshua was the last one up. That is actually pretty typical.
After breakfast, I cleaned the kitchen and then proceeded to mess it up again. I had to brown some round steak to get it in the crock pot so we could have Swiss steak for dinner tonight. We haven't eaten yet, but it smells good. Once that was done, I cleaned the kitchen once again.
We decided to go shopping on our day with nothing to do. First stop, the Magnolia Flea Market located on Hwy 49 south of Florence. We have driven by it a time or two, but have never ventured in. Jacob just kept saying, "Wow. They have lots of nice things." It was too funny. They did have a lot of stuff. We didn't find anything we couldn't live without, but it was fun to look around. We saw lots of things that we thought others would like. There was lots of blue glass, and I saw a couple of pieces of my grandmother's China. We will probably go again.
Next we traveled to Flowood to the Stein Mart. John was looking for a sport coat. He found one he liked for a good price. I had a 20% off coupon so we decided to get it. When we got to the register it much less than we thought. With tax and all it came out to under $50. I was pretty excited. I told John he should get a second one. He said they didn't have the other one he liked in his size. No problem, we headed down the road to the Stein Mart in Jackson. They had the other jacket and I had another coupon. I like shopping days where we find what we are looking for at a great price. When we got home the kids went outside to plant a piece of fruit they pulled off a tree at the El Charro where we had lunch. We have no idea what kind of tree it is.
All in all a pretty good Saturday. Hopefully, the wind will remain calm and we can burn the pile of brush behind the house tomorrow. John and I walked around the edges of our property this afternoon. Luckily, this tree is just over the fence. Our neighbor will have to deal with it. While we were walking we kept hearing gun shots really close. At one point we could see an orange vest through the trees. I am thinking we probably shouldn't walk so close to the fence line during deer season. Our neighbor told us before that he hunts back behind our house. I think he said he owns about 30 acres behind us. I don't think he is a very good shot, because we heard at least ten shots over the course of about an hour.
I don't guess there is much else happening with us. The kids are out of school for the Thanksgiving break. We have a babysitter coming to the house Monday through Wednesday. The kids are really excited about that. Thursday we are going to June and Larry's for Thanksgiving. At the moment next weekend is plan free. I will probably forgo shopping on Friday. I really don't like crowds. I should be off work the Monday after Thanksgiving, so I may try to go shopping while the kids are at school. Who knows, I can't plan that far ahead.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I like Thursday

I am so glad it is Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday are hard because we have cub scouts and church. Thursdays are good because we get to stay home. I really like Thursday. I like Friday even more so I guess the week is only going to get better. At the moment we have nothing planned for the weekend. I am so excited.

This has been a busy week, but it has been good. Yesterday at work we had a Thanksgiving lunch. A lady I was sitting with was complaining about how tough the steaks were. I said at least it has a good flavor. She just said, "Girl, you are such a white girl. You know you can't chew that steak. You are too nice saying at least it has a good flavor." She was cracking me up. I do work with a diverse group of people. I am still working way more than I intended when I started this part time job. I think things will slow down a bit after the holidays. For now, working a few extra hours is good. We could certainly use the extra money for Christmas.

The boys are diligently working on their homework.

One quick picture of the beauty that surrounds us. I went out unto the breezeway to get something from the car. I had to stop and admire the Autumn sights. The sun shining through the trees was quite beautiful.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Again

I should be making dinner, but I am in front of the computer. We had a busy weekend and today seemed to go by in a blur. Monday's are always busy at work, but since I keep inheriting more responsibilities, Monday is even crazier. I left several things in limbo today, so that means tomorrow will be crazy as well.
Yesterday, we recovered the pool. The original tarp had a cool hole, so we started over. As you can see, the water still looks pretty clear. It had only been covered for a month, so I guess it shouldn't look too bad. I think the new tarp will be much better. It is a larger tarp and it actually has grommets all around that we can use to tie it down. We put anchors all around the deck, so we didn't have to use as many logs to weigh it down.
That means we now have a decent burn pile. I am sure we will be having a bonfire soon.
I had to include one crazy cat picture. One of the boys forgot to close their bathroom door. Our cat feels the need to attack the toilet paper when she finds it unattended. She used to just pull it off the roll and make a mess. Yesterday, she pulled the entire roll into the floor and proceeded to maul it. I hope she outgrows this habit.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Typical Saturday

Yes, there is smoke coming from the smoker. That must mean it's Saturday. John smoked some ham and sausage for dinner tonight. I know what we will be having for dinner this week. Our friends, Jeff and Tonya, and their daughters Julie and Alex came over for dinner. There son Josh didn't make it because he was hunting. We had a good visit. Julie has agreed to babysit for us the week of Thanksgiving. That is a huge relief for me. I was a bit worried about finding a sitter so I could work that week.
Most of our day was spent cleaning. The boys were enjoying trying to scoop the water off the pool tarp until I saw them and put an end to their fun. Joshua had seen his daddy scooping the water so he was just trying to be helpful and do it too.

Jacob spent quite a bit of time trying to clear the driveway. John just got on the mower and used it to blow the leaves off the drive. In the picture Jacob is running away mad because John ran over his pile of leaves. After John cleared the drive with the mower, he used the blower to clear it off a little better. He also used the blower to clear the leaves out of the flowerbeds. I am sure they will be covered again tomorrow, but they looked better for a few minutes.

I spent a great deal of time inside the house. Since I worked too much this past week, I neglected my house. Jacob had fun playing with the chairs in the office while I was mopping the dining room.
Joshua took a break from clearing leaves from the pool deck to enjoy swinging.
Tomorrow will be another busy day. After church we need to run by the mall and get the boys some new jeans. I am hoping that after this trip we can make it the rest of the year without buying more jeans. Since there are less than two months left in the year we might make it. Also, we have to pick up a new tarp to cover the pool. The one that is over it now got a rip in it. It was here when we bought the house so we don't even know how old it is. We weren't sure it would survive the season, but it was worth a try. We are planning to buy a little heavier tarp in the hope that it will last a few years.

Friday, November 14, 2008


This has been a busy week. My part time job felt a bit like a full time job. I put in just under 40 hours this week. I think next week might be the same. They are making some changes at work and I am slowly taking on more responsibilities. I don't know if it is going to go anywhere, but for now I am still enjoying the work.

Last night when I got in bed my side of the bed fell a little. Apparently, where the side rail meets the headboard is broken. John said he can fix it, but for now the frame is in the office, and our mattress and box springs are on the floor in our room. I am not surprised that it broke. I don't think furniture is supposed to be moved as often as we have moved it. We bought the bed when we were living in Alvord. We have moved four times since then. I guess it has held up pretty well considering all it has been through.

Just in case you are wondering what the trees look like today. I took this picture early this afternoon. Our yard is covered with leaves. I can't believe the trees still have lots to lose. Right now it is pouring down rain. I hope it lets up before John gets home. We are having company for dinner tomorrow, so we have to go to the grocery store and get a ham to put on the smoker. I will spend the day tomorrow cleaning. It shouldn't be too bad. Luckily my wonderful husband cleaned some last night while I was having a girls night out with my prayer group. I am so blessed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Fall

I know I am posting way too many pictures of the leaves, but this is my life.
Today, it rained. That means there is water pooling on the tarp over the pool.
Also, the deck that John cleared off on Saturday is now covered in leaves again. I am not complaining, it is really quite beautiful to be surrounded by trees.

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today we set out from our home in Ohio to make a new life in Mississippi. It was not a planned move. In September, we were informed that John's job had been eliminated. We had never been through a downsizing, and we were a little uneasy about what lay ahead. Within a month, John had been offered a new job in Mississippi. It was nothing short of amazing the way things worked out. We put our house on the market and had an offer in less than a week. It was really a pretty easy move.
In addition, John's job has been great. Before we moved he traveled every week. He would fly out on Monday and home on Friday. It was getting old, and he really wasn't happy with the job. I was tired of feeling like a single parent. The lay off was really a blessing in disguise. Now he is home before six most evenings. He rarely gets calls at night to deal with problems and he works with some great people. I never dreamed that God would send us to Mississippi, but I am thankful he did. We are blessed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hair Cuts

We don't have much to report tonight. The boys got hair cuts today, and we went to cub scouts tonight. Fall has definitely arrived. It was overcast all day. The forecast calls for rain and cool temperatures most of the week. I have broken out the sweaters and jackets. I like this time of year. I think I may have to give up on keeping the leaves out of the flower beds. We have too many other projects to keep us busy. We finally got all the water off the pool tarp this past weekend. John put all our rafts in the pool to try to keep the tarp raised in the middle so the water won't pool as bad. I am almost certain that dealing with the tarp will be an ongoing project. I just hope the pool doesn't look too bad when we uncover it in the spring.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Recap

Last night when we went to the grocery store, I picked up a bag of powdered donuts for breakfast. I have a weakness for powdered donuts. This is what I found on the counter this morning. Apparently Socks thought they were for her. She has pretty much decided that it is okay to get on the counters. I spend quite a bit of time putting her back on the floor.

John went to the church men's breakfast this morning. After that he went to the planning meeting so he didn't get home until close to noon. While he was gone I got the bathrooms cleaned and did some laundry. The kids dressed up in their ninja costumes and battled. Once John got home, he put the ribs and roast on the smoker. After that he and the kids went to Harbor Freight and got a submersible pump to use on the pool tarp.

As you can see we really need to get the water off the tarp.

While the pump was working John tried to clear some of the leaves off of the deck. It is sort of like sweeping things under the carpet only he is blowing leaves under the decking.

The boys spent some time trying to clear the leaves from the breezeway. They spent most of their time complaining about the wind blowing the leaves. Once they were finished with this project they played with the neighbors grandson who was visiting. They played football for a while and then they rode the golf cart. I think they had fun.

We got to enjoy the ribs for dinner tonight. John cooked two slabs so we will have plenty left for lunch tomorrow. Since he also made pulled pork, I shouldn't have to cook for a few days. That sounds great to me.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday at Last

This has been such an odd week. I am ready for a weekend. Today I took Oscar to the vet for his annual checkup. He loves getting to go. He doesn't even mind all the icky things the vet does to him. He is just so happy that someone is paying attention to him. Look at that smile.
I had to take a picture of our deck this morning. It looks like we are preparing for a harvest party or something. I think we may have to clear all the leaves this weekend. Also, it rained last night and water is pooling on the tarp over the pool. We are going to have to get the water off of it before it pulls the tarp into the pool. This whole house in the country thing seems to require a lot more work than I imagined.

After John got home tonight we went to dinner and then by the grocery store. John is going to smoke some ribs and pork roast tomorrow. He has never attempted pulled pork, so he thought he would throw a roast on the smoker and try his hand at it. We got about two miles down the road tonight and realized that we had left both our phones at home. We didn't even turn around to go get them. Amazingly we survived.

I guess there is not much else to report in our world. John has a churchmen's breakfast in the morning. After that he has a planning meeting at church. Hopefully, it won't take too long. It is my intention to spend the morning doing some detailed cleaning. We will see how that plays out. I need to clean out the kids closets. I know they could both use some winter clothes, but I need to go through what they have to know for sure what they need. It is an exciting life.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Beauty is All Around

We moved to Mississippi in November of last year. I don't remember it being so pretty. The trees are all so beautiful right now. Even the leaves piled up all over the ground have an undeniable beauty about them. Since the time change, it is actually daylight when I drive to work. Every morning it seems like the trees are a little brighter. Taking in all the splendor is a wonderful way to start the day.
I returned to work today. It went well. I am a bit shocked at how tired I am tonight. I think I may have done too much yesterday. I am sure I will feel back to normal soon enough. Tomorrow shouldn't be too bad, and I am looking forward to having a relaxing weekend. We don't have anything planned for Saturday. I can hardly wait.