Monday, December 29, 2008

Once in awhile.....

I take pictures constantly. There's a never ending stream of 'let me get my camera' or 'look at the camera' and my all time favorite,' stop clowning around so I can get a good picture for once!'

And finally it happened. Isaac was upset with Mackenzie over something, so he went into my mother's room, jumped onto her rather high sitting bed and was somewhat pouting. I came in, camera already in hand, and took a picture of his sad face. :( Then Ev snuck in and I started snapping silly pictures. And then, God stretched out his hand and said, "Jess here's something like a gold star.' and ~poof~ a perfectly beautiful picture of Isaac and Evan Grace together.

So stop holding your breath, blink once last time to make sure you're eyes are clear....and wait for it....




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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Opening Toby Mac concert with B. Reith

Family Force 5

Relient K

Toby Mac

Ok this slide show has like 67 pictures but they are ALL worth it.

All Bands

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What my sister and dad do for Christmas Eve.

The one my sister is holding is a 9mm. My dad,...a Rugar 22 automatic that my mom got him for their 1st year wedding anniversary if I remember correctly. All we're missing is Carver. He would have liked to have seen the gun show I'm sure.

Isaac at Gymnastics

He loves his gymnastics class. There are two other girls in his class, though one of them was absent the day I took the photos. :) I'm glad he enjoys it so much.

A taste of Christmas in VA

Just a little taste of the Christmas fun so far!!! Merry Christams to all my blog readers.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Happy Birthday Baby

It's our little Maltiwaagle's birthday today. She's 1 and still as feisty and cute as the day we got her. :) I'd wanted a dog for many many years and after finding a good home for my Collie Corgi, Eve, before moving to AL I was very bittersweet about the whole 'get-another-dog' thing. I'm glad though that we have something small enough to stay indoors and hyper enough to play with all of the kids. She's a stinker a lot of the times and addicted to eating my tubes of chap stick, even the pink shimmer kind. I love her to pieces inspite of that. Especially when she wants to sneak under the covers at night to keep warm as she sleeps. Happy Birthday Daisy!
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Let's Go, GNO!

Yes I really did just quote a Hannah Montanna song. Forgive me!!!! A group of us girls got together Sunday night at Salsarita's and had a great time of fellowship and food for our Girl's Night Out!!! We stayed so late that management was turning off the lights and cleaning up around us. Which we then decided to take our fun time out to the sidewalk in front of the restaurant for another 20 minutes or so. I hope I speak for all when I say we had a great time and look forward to doing it again. There was talk of a movie night for next month and I think that would be great as well. Enjoy the pictures....I just noticed that lovely Shemalya is cropped out of the one in the top right. I'll have to fix that and repost!!!

Oh if you're wondering about the lovely sock in the top left picture...well there's a wonderful storey behind it...and you'll just have to ask Leisha!!!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I've always had dreams about bridges, well, that and large amounts of water that I have to cross. From as far back as I can remember, bridges have jumped up to be a part of my dreams. Reoccurring dreams, new dreams, nightmare's, silly dreams, weird medicine induced dreams. It just doesn't matter.
Last night I had a brand new dream, with a bridge as center stage. I had a friend the first part of this year, pretty much tell me that I was not 'living', 'acting', as she would and that she no longer wanted to be put in the middle of whatever was going on that I was confiding with her about. The situation is complex but that's the jest of it. She never said she was going to stop being my friend, it just kinda happened, she sent an email and I called her out on it and was really surprised by all she had to say, mainly surprised at how she jumped to her own conclusions before talking to the sources first. So needless to say. That was the last time I talked to her.
It bothered me. Of course it did. I really enjoyed hanging out with her and her friendship. But what can I do? When I see her I still say 'Hi' and try to make nice, but it's obvious she doesn't want anything to do with me anymore.
I'm not sure why I dreamt about her last night. We'll call her 'W' to make it easier.
'W' was on something of a bridge. It wasn't over water, but it was obviously the only way to get from point A to point B. Apparently at some kind of check point. Getting permission to cross the other side of the bridge. I was standing with other people that I didn't know, above the bridge, just hanging out watching the activity below. I see 'W' approach the 'permission counter' and state that she's moving. I didn't actually catch the name of the place she'll be living but I knew it was out of state. Way out of state and country.
Then for some reason I jump the little ledge thing I was standing on, and as she was walking away I call her name. She turns around, and it's 'W' but not, she's skinner, her cheeks more pronounced; her hair fuller than it usually is. She's younger.
"You're moving?" I ask.
"Yes, to Cancun.' W replies
Turns out her husband had a new job. She said they are leaving all her house business to her older kids to handle, but that it's not sold and she'll not be back ever, as far as she knows. There's a sadness to her face and voice and I'm torn between saying more than that or just letting her go. The crowd serge's and then she's gone.
I end up going in the direction of her house, and like everytime I've dreamed of her house, there's a corporate business in front of that section of town that you have to go through, physically walk through in order to gain access to her house. I'm in that building when my dream ends.
So why in the world blog about this? I don't know, maybe because I'm getting a cold and feel sorry for myself? Maybe because I don't realize how much I miss 'W' until I let my guard down. Maybe because right now my life is in chaos and I'm connecting the two together? I don't know. All I know is God works through good dreams, he doesn't use fear or sadness, or scarey things to talk to us in our dreams. But I know He's dealing with me on a lot of my issues...and maybe I'm just a little raw.
Bridges and water.....I think I need to look those things up in a Christian dream book.

My kids the Elves

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Snowmen and Reindeer Puppet

I found these craft kits at Wal-Mart the other day for $4. I love doing crafts with the kids but let's face it, the more pieces I have to track down in order to make a craft the less likely I am to do it. So when I see things like the above kits I'm all over it. (They had a Santa Claus one but since we don't do Santa we skipped over that. The Elf was cute but the kids went for Snowman and Reindeer)

I helped with taking the backing off of the stickers and they did the placement. Ok, ok, I had to do the antler's too and the carrot nose because it folded once you stuck it on. But the rest was all the kids. Aren't they cute?

My favorite thing about them? The bags are a thick almost velvet/felt material and are really sturdy. The dog got hold of the reindeer and aside from a minor antler incident the puppet is still in great shape. Just thought I'd share a little bit of how we're getting into the holidays. I just wish Mackenzie could pull herself away from The Jonas Brother's long enough to have done one herself. LOL.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

We were able to make a trip back home for Thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving we've been together in 5 years I must say. My sister was sick so she wasn't able to make it but her hubby showed up and entertained us with stories as always. It as snowed the day we drove in and was snowing as we left. I hate I didn't think to get a picture of that. I use to not care for the snow but now that I don't get to see it every winter,...I do somewhat miss it.

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Emeril Turtles

My sister purchased some pots and pans by Emeril and opened them up while we were in Virginia for Thanksgiving. Evan Grace and Isaac love boxes so of course they wanted to play with the big box. I didn't give a second thought to the cardboard inserts that put into each pot and pan to protect it from the other cookware as it ships. That is until Evan Grace ran into the room, grab one up and said, "It's turtles Isaac," and ran off to show her older brother her 'turtle.' Here she is holding up the 'turtles' head for the camera. Her imagination amazes me at times. :) I even let her bring some of her 'turtles' home with her.
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Ok, here's the very first picture of Mackenzie's journey of braces. She got them on the Monday before Thanksgiving. The 24th. She had a lot of pain later that night due to the Diasy Chain they put on the front 5 teeth on the top. It started closing the large gap between her two front teeth within the hour as you can see below. The gap is almost gone. Other than that night she's done very well with them. She's eating like she's suppose to and brushing after every meal like a good little trooper. I'm so happy this isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Whew.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

I'm going to be away at my family's house for Thanksgiving so I decided to get a jump on my list of thankfulness so that I don't miss the chance to do it while I'm away. So here goes:

1. I'm thankful that my children have always been extremely healthy.

2. I'm thankful that I've been extremely healthy (aside from a few sinus issues of course and hives!!)

3. I'm thankful that I've finally found someone I can call my best friend and truly mean it and depend on her if I need to. (Erin, you don't know how many years I've spent praying for you :) )

4. I'm thankful that my grandma, though she's no longer here, is in heaven, smiling at me at every turn and is finally dancing with Jesus.

5. I'm thankful that I've grown as a person this year, even when I didn't want to.

6. I'm thankful that I've still got the desire and drive to homeschool and that I'm still sticking with it.

7. I'm thankful for my tiny, ugly house. :)

8. I'm thankful for Mackenzie's braces.

9. I'm thankful for a van that runs great and doesn't have a car payment.

10. And as much as a bratty rat that she can be, I'm thankful for the joy I find in my little Maltiwaagle dog, Daisy and 15 lb bruiser of a cat, Skip

11. I'm thankful that I have family always ready to support me and get in my face when needed.

12. I'm thankful for Rob Bell podcasts! So so very much
13. I'm thankful for Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews Music and Toby Mac!!!
There's more to come, but it's almost time for lunch here. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ev the momma

My kids are so very different and at times so very much alike. I think at 3 years of age Evan Grace is already showing signs that she's more than likely going to be a mom and a great caregiver. She spent a lot of time earlier today loving on all her babies. She wanted me to come see them and take a picture. And after I told her what a wonderful job she did and how sweet she was she piped up, 'I'm a good mommy!' I have to agree.

There are 9 babies on her couch...all asleep at the same time. How does she do it?
And she looks beautiful too as she looks at her bear in the play pen and the other baby she has in the baby swing. :) Check out the dog below, I think she's feeling a little left out.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Ok, a few of you have asked for my Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe?? So here it is below. I really recommend this if you have tons of laundry and/or looking for ways to cut back and save some money. Plus, it's easy and makes a TON!!

What you need:

  • 1 bar of soap (your choice, I use Caress, it's a soft orange color and smells great. Keep in mind that whatever bar of soap you use will help scent the detergent and color it)
  • 1 box of washing soda (Arm & Hammer makes this in a box. The box contains enough to be used for 6 batches of homemade detergent. It's in the detergent aisle at Kroger, on the top shelf
  • 1 box of Borax (in the detergent aisle at Kroger on the top shelf usually next to the washing soda.
  • A fall gallon bucket with a lid. (you can get one at WalMart for 5 bucks)
  • Three gallons of tap water

1. Bring 4 cups of water just to a boil in a medium or large sized pot.

2. Using a butcher knife, shave the bar of soap (the smaller the better, it'll melt quicker) and add it to the hot water.

3. Keep the heat to just below a boil and stir until the soap flakes are dissolved. You'll have very soapy water when it's all melted. If you're prone to headaches you might want to get someone else to do this step as the soap mixture smells like really strong perfume at this point.

4. Pour 3 gallons of hot water into the five gallon bucket. (I fill up an empty milk gallon 3x and dump it that way.

5. Mix in the hot soapy water, stir it for awhile.

6. Add 1 cup of the washing soda and stir for 2 minutes.

7. Next add 1/2 cup of borax. Stir for 2-3 minutes. You don't have to use borax, but it really does get the clothes cleaner if you do.

8. Seal the bucket with the lid, and let it sit overnight to cool. When it's done you'll have a great sludge to wash your clothes in.

9. 1 cup of the homemade laundry detergent will easily clean a large load of laundry. If you're like me and only wash super sized loads then I use 1 1/4 cup of the detergent.

All of this for a cost of about $0.03 a load!!!!!!!

If anyone out there tries it and loves it or finds a great smelling soap other than caress then please let me know. I change the bar of soap everytime just to mix it up a little. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My little fashion designer!

Evan Grace got this shirt for her birthday. It came with fabric crayon to use when you draw your own design on the shirt. Afterwards I laid wax paper over it and ironed over it to set the design. Isaac drew a few things and Evan Grace asked if I could draw a heart and her face. The reddish pink face in the top right corner is my handy work. The shirt is big enough that I think she'll be able to wear it next year if not a little longer. She's a slow grower. :) I think she is proud of her handy work.
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My little man

Isn't he handsome? He's funny and smart and I love hanging out with him and hearing what's going to come out of his mouth next. A few months ago he 'married' me, we celebrated with pink and purple donuts and now he doesn't mention it much anymore. I've move from being married to him, to being his best friend and 'you're the best mom ever.' Which is really sweet to hear.

I was on the couch the other day, nursing a pretty bad headache and Isaac had been after me to turning on the game cube for him. He's highly addicted to video games and I'm trying to keep it balanced. I think playing the games is fine, but how quickly he gets obsessed and involved in them is the only thing that bothers me. But I digress. I'm on the couch, Isaac has just finished asking me for the 16th time to please turn his game on. I look at him and say, 'Mom doesn't feel good right now. I'll turn it on for you after you take your nap later.' And then, I kid you not, this little guy looks at me and calmly but very assertively says, "Mom, you need to start listening to Jesus and Jesus says for you to turn my game on for me." !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What????!!!!!! I can't help but crack up. He was so serious and I have no idea where he got the idea to use Jesus, I guess he thought it was his last shot at trying to get his way.

I stuck to my guns however, and replied back. "Mommy tries very hard to listen to Jesus, just like Isaac does. But we're not going to be able to turn on the game until after your nap. Jesus would love to hear you talk to him about it though if you're upset."

He's too smart for his own good sometimes. :)
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Orange sludge

So I've been making my own laundry detergent (gel?) here lately and I have to say I love this stuff. The picture makes it look a darker orange than it is, when it's really a light peach color. It's so simple to make and it ends up costing $0.03 per load, instead of $0.30-$0.50 a load with detergent you can get out of the store AND it cleans just as good if not better. I love my orange sludge. :)
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The Gap

WOW. It's only been 2 weeks and Mackenzie's teeth have shifted so much. We went back Monday for a check up and the orthodontist sealed the RPE so that it doesn't turn on it's own as her palate grows in this position. Over the next two weeks her front two teeth are suppose to come back together. We go back the Monday before Thanksgiving and she's going to get her lower braces and a few of the top ones. I'm still so surprised she had hardly any pain whatsoever during this whole Palate Extender process. I can't wait to see that finished product a few years from now.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Saelah stitch

Here's a cross stitch blanket I just finished for a friend of mine in VA that had a baby 4 months ago. I had to stop in the middle due to my tendinitis but I finally finished it and I'm really happy with how it turned out. Anyone that's ever stitched on a adida blanket knows how contrary the squares can be.
It's cute and incredibly soft.

All Fall Down...It won't be too far now

This morning I stepped outside in the rain to grab the green trash pail from the curb and dump the rainwater that had collected in the green chairs Matt and I like to sit in at night and talk. As I did I noticed that a lot of leaves from the neighbors trees were flooding the ground with color. I looked up at the large pecan tree we have in our backyard and watched as a few ugly, brown leaves made their way to a wet welcome below. I paused a moment. Thinking...about everything....about nothing.

Fall has never really been a enjoyable season for me, but more of an expectation of things to come in my life. The weather is a great relief from the heat we've been hit with the summer months, but hard to watch the leaves giving up color before giving up the will to fight.

Our yard, front and back, is inhabited by many squirrels that are constantly picking the pecans out of the trees, crunching through the shells and discarding them on the ground below. At any given time outside you can hear their teeth rapidly make waste of something I would have to get after with a nut cracker. Everyone is preparing for winter. Even the trees are discarding their leaves to turn inward and make it through the next season.

Across the street, a gust of window has brought with it a down pour of bright yellow leaves. I watch them spin crazily across lawns, some get caught on roofs, others make it in to sister trees. The majority find rest on the ground, to either be trampled or racked, once the rain has cleared and things begin to dry.

Fall is messy, the weather is up and down, leaves are making havoc of every one's dwelling. Now that it's rained, they'll be wet crumpled leaves sticking to the kids shoes as they come in and out, just a little piece of Fall trying to make it's way into my living room. No doubt the dog will enjoy playing with the wet vegetation, but she'll be the only one.

Fall is a synonym for Life. Up and down, always to be cleaned up, just so leaves that lasted longer, had more fight in them, can fall on fresh ground before they get swept up. A mess that sticks and clings to you, as you move through season after season.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My gramma

I've been on the search for this picture for over a year. Thank you Uncle Buff for finding it and sending it to me. Here's a little collage I did of my gramma, Dixie.

From Collages

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Evan Grace the Who

I don't much care for the movie The Grinch that Stole Christmas, but when Mackenzie fixed up Evan Grace's hair like the below the first thing that came to mind what the she looked like a 'Who!' How cute is that????

Mackenzie's braces have begun!

Here's the first step in getting Mackenzie her braces. She had a palette extender put in Monday at 2. We have to crank it twice a day for two weeks. Go back for a check up and then keep cranking it. They kept calling it a metal spider and now I see why....but ewwww...what a horrible name. So far so good. She's had very little pain and is being a great trooper.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Friends can say so much about who you are. I'm
just worried about what my friend below screams about me and my husband!!!

Really? He's a fun loving guy with wonderful kids! He's just maybe a little too in love with the Disney Princesses and dangle earrings!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I've been tagged!

Ok, so here goes.

1. I'm attracted to people who smoke, but secretly wish they would stop.

2. I attract and heap guilt on myself.....who knows why

3. I find identity in tattoos

4. I've broken the little toe on my right foot 4 times. Three of which were all in the same year.

5. I had a novel picked up for publishing
and turned it down

6. I second guess everything

7. I'm a freak about my pillows, who touches
them, how often I replace them, seriously
it could be some kind of disorder!

The 7 people I've tagged are: (I could only find 6!)

Lisa W
Lisa B

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fun in the Park

The kids loved playing in the park this past Saturday with friends Austin, and Faith. I was surprised at how much time Evan Grace and Faith spent in the swings. They are such two peas in a pod!!!

From Recently Updated

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Huntsville Botanical Gardens

WE took a trip with our other homeschooling friends (I'm so glad I can call you that now, very proud of you!) to the Botanical Gardens. We all had fun. Here are some moments captured for your enjoyment!

Mary Kay and Mackenzie

A friend of mine from church has started selling Mary Kay. I use to do that as well and wanting to help her out I had her come over and practice her stuff on me and Mackenzie this past Wed. Mackenzie had a blast and is now extremely, anxiously awaiting the day she can wear make up. Matt and I are thinking somewhere around her 25th birthday, maybe later after looking at this picture. She so does not look 12 does she?????!!!!!

Ev's 3rd Birthday

October 11, we celebrated Evan Grace's 3rd birthday. Even though her real birthday was the 12th. Here's some pictures of the fun she had.

I made a barbie cake for Mackenzie when she was 3 or 4 so I thought I'd do the same for Evan Grace. She loved it.

The red flower in front of the cake was the candle. The petals started out closed and once you lit it, it the flame shot up like it was a 4th of July sparkler and made the petals open. If you notice the blue gun to the bottom left of the picture? That's Noah, shooting the candle.

Gifts for Evan Grace

More gifts

This is Evan Grace hanging out with 'W'. They were together a lot that night. Isn't it cute?

The rest of the kids. Except for Kenzie. She took a lot of the photos that night. Especially of the gift opening.

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The Aquarium

We took off to the TN Aquarium last week with friend of ours and had a blast. Here are some pictures. It was a gorgeous day and we had a lot of fun.

Mackenzie took this picture. It's a good one.
Sea Dragons. How cool are they?
They had a few of these pod things inside of the tanks that you could crawl under and stand up in the water with the fish. I hate that my flash kept messing up the picture. Everyone loved these tanks.
Evan Grace loved the Sturgeons (sp?) She kept asked the lady 'why' questions. Why do the fish look angry? Why do they need the water? Why do they close their eyes? Why do they like cold water. That poor lady was so sweet and she answered every question until I told her that Evan Grace could go on all day at this rate. I didn't know that these fish, Sturgeons are where we get caviar from.
This was Ev's favorite place. She's always liked the penguins.

Checking out one of the fish/shark tanks.
Ms. Erin, always the teacher. I can always count on her to make every trip educational. Lord knows I slack off on that part. :)
Why Mackenzie and Samantha are hugging in the shark tank I have no idea. Is it fear? Or just 12 year old girl stuff? :)
Ok, I know I wasn't supposed to take pictures of the jelly fish, but how gorgeous are they? This tank was large and full of these things. TN Aquarium jellyfish please forgive me for hurting your eyes with the flash.

We spent a lot of time at the petting tank. It had some sting rays, a shark and some Dorey fish (from Nemo) inside. The kids really liked it.

This was a shark/fish petting pool. Austin was all about it and Isaac, not so much.
Ev tried to pet the Dorey fish but couldn't reach!
Yes, they are real sting rays. Aren't they gorgeous?
We tried to get a group picture but you know how that goes with kids.