Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween

Halloween festivities are upon us and the girls are loving it. A weekend or so ago the girls and I carved/decorated pumpkins with Mary Kelley, Catie, and Jesse. We used parts like a Mr. Potato head and Josie's was a dog face and Jolie's was a silly face. I made a cat face. They are proudly displayed outside in the yard. They also made pumpkins at Erica's house, which are also displayed outside. Here are the ones from Erica's house:

Last night Other Mama and I took the girls to Aunt Sheila's and Uncle Quint's "Big Church" (as Josie calls it) for Trunk or Treat and other activities. The girls had a blast. At first Jolie was confused at what to do and then started trying to throw candy through the holes instead of balls or bean bags. She quickly caught on. They both got tons of candy and we saw so many people there. Ms. Erica, her husband Desmond, and her daughter Meredith, Aunt Crystal, Uncle Chris, Elias, Annaleigh, and of course Aunt Sheila, Uncle Quint, and Caden. After getting their candy we went on a hay ride. They were so excited about the tractor. Here are some pictures of Josie the Bat and Jolie the Butterfly:

Are they the cutest bat and butterfly ever. I guess I am partial though.

Here are two more cuties, our nephews Caden and Tanner. These are pictures that their Moms/Dads took. I just want everyone to see how blessed with are with these two little handsome men:



We have Trunk or Treat at our church on Saturday and by then I think the girls should be good and sugared up.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another week, another weekend report.

Friday night we went and bought Jolie a toddler bed. Wal-Mart has sleigh toddler beds for $55.00. We bought the dark cherry so now her bed matches ours, not that that matters, but I was impressed. The plastic character beds were the same price. Joe got it all put together and as I expected bed time was not the easiest. After an hour or so we finally got her to sleep. Joe and Chris left a little after 11:00 or midnight to head to Pensacola for their 14 hour deep sea fishing trip. They had a blast. It was only them and two other guys fishing. Joe really enjoyed himself and both guys came back exhausted. They got home around 9:00 or 10:00 Saturday night. Chris was too exhausted to drive home and ended up staying the night. The girls I cleaned out Jolie's closet and got it organized Saturday and spent the later part of the afternoon with Crystal, Elias, and Annaleigh. Nap time went even worse bedtime the night before. Sunday morning the girls woke up to find Chris still asleep on the couch. They kept looking at him like he was a science experiment. It was too funny. Sunday at church we had our Kirkin of the Tartin service. Presbyterianism was started by a Scottish man named John Calvin, and so this is a service to remember our heritage. Two of members wore their family tartin's (kilt). Every family or clan has its own kilt fabric. It was really need to learn more about our history. We even had a woman that played the bagpipe. Josie watched in amazement. I got goosebumps watching Josie. It was so neat to be able to share this with her. It seems that the Andersons (my maiden name)have their own clan and have their own tartin fabric. When I have free time I will have to research more and maybe next year Joe can work the Anderson family tartin. After church me and the girls went to lunch at Taco Bell with Chris and Crystal while Joe had session. This was the first time I've been back to Taco Bell after they over charged my debit card by like $120.00. They told me Sunday that they bought new machines after the incident with me. Joe didn't get home until about 3:30 p.m. so by the time we got to the fair Dora had left. She was only there from 2-4 on Sunday. Josie only asked for her once but after seeing everything else that was going on quickly forgot. I on the otherhand still felt like a horrible mom because I know better than to even tell her something until I know for absoulte certain it can come true. Jolie got so excited as we pulled up. We watched the racing pigs (which didn't impress my girls. There was too much talking and not enough action). We went through the petting zoo. The girls loved this because they were able to feed the animals carrots. Both girls got to feed the camel some carrot pieces. They both just giggled as he (or she?) ate it out of their hands. We went to the circus which they absolutely loved. Both girls sat still through the whole show excpet to move to a place where they could see better. They both enjoyed the fair food: their own bag of cotton candy, corn dogs, and slush puppies.
The Circus:

Joe helped them both win their own teddy bear by throwing darts at balloons. I will never understand men's need to win cheaply made stuffed animals at fairs, but yet they all seem drawn to it. Most importantly they got to ride a few rides. Next year we will have to save up and buy wristbands for us all. This was the first time Jolie had ever been on an amusement park ride, her face stayed lit up the entire time with a huge grin. She was so excited to be doing it and even when she could not ride the rides that Josie and Elias could, she watched her big sister going round and round and waved to her. It was so sweet.
The Rides:

Yes, both girls are dressed in similar shirts. For those of you who have seen them in a while Josie has pigtails, and Jolie's hair is just pulled up. (I do this when we go to large crowds to help me keep track of them andI don't have to remember who was wearing what should (God forbid) I lose one.) All in all the fair was a great experience and the girls did great and had a blast.

Yesterday I was off and so I kept the girls home with me. We cleaned out Josie's closet and so now I have bags and bags of clothes and other stuff all over my house. Some bags for Sheila & Ansleigh, some bags for Annaleigh, a bag for my friend Ashley, and I even found some stuff for Tanner. I was able to teach the girls how to play twister yesterday which they thought was quite funny. Josie caught me off guard with two statements yesterday (1) she informed that Ansleigh (Quint & Sheila's daughter that is still inhabiting Sheila's tummy) does not have any hair (I think Josie was considering sending her some hairbows to go with the clothes and then changed her mind); and (2) she asked if we could go to Daddy's work and bring him home. I guess after a weekend of it mainly being me and the girls they were ready for some Daddy time. Hopefully they can get some soon.

This morning I got up Lol to get her ready and when I took off her diaper I realized it was completely dry so I took her straight to the toilet and she pottied. She kept saying I did it, I did it.

I think that is about everything. I did find out this morning that me and the girls get to go to Ansleigh's 4-D ultrasound. The girls will be so excited. They love all their cousins so much and we are so blessed that they can all grow up to be close to one another.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Jolie's Two New Firsts

I have often referred to myself as feeling like a single parent (and when I do this I am not attempting to take away anything from those of you that actually are single parents, I'm just letting you know I feel your pain), and in feeling that way, there are some things that are a lot more difficult than when you have two parents to help. For instance, shopping with a child that is potty trained and one that is not. It never fails when it is just the three of us, Josie has to go potty and so now we have to squeeze into a bathroom with our buggy and me keep Lol occupied while Josie does what she has to do or leave the buggy outside and hope no one takes our stuff; or going into places that does not have buggies, you have four hands touching things and you only have two. Well last night I got really brave. I have been needing a hair cut as have the girls. Of course, Joe was not home and wasn't going to be home for some time (continue your prayers that he finds a job with regular hours closer to home before I go insane!) and I decided we were doing it. I stopped by the house to change clothes, got cheese-its, juice cups, and huge suckers. We got there and they both touched a display shampoo bottle and sat like perfect angels. Now, granted we only had to sit there for like 3 minutes, but they were perfect for those three minutes. So I had written down Josie's name first so back all three of us go. I get Lol situated with her cheese-its and juice in a heater seat and get Josie up in the chair.

Well I just assumed that the same woman would do all three of us. This assumption was wrong. Shortly after Josie got started a girl came to get Lol. So I got Lol set up and stood in between the two.
This was Jolie's first hair cut. She took it very seriously as you can tell from the picture.

Jolie just got a slight trim because I don't want her to lose any of her curls. However, the woman was fascinated that the tips of her hair were dark brown and her roots were blond. I then explained that both of my girls had been born dark headed with blond highlights and that both of their hair has just gotten lighter and lighter. Lol did great. She was only in the chair for maybe 2-3 minutes. She never budged. She got down and I gave her her huge sucker. Josie was in the chair a little longer and the kept moving her head to see what was going on with Jolie so hers took a little longer. Okay, this was the easy part, the hard part was when it was my turn to sit in the chair and trust that they would behave. Hence, the huge suckers. I sat down and they both had their huge suckers and juice. One woman was kind enough to give them hand towels to use as bibs because Lol had purple slober running all down her face. They did good up until the last 2-3 minutes of my hair cut. They got more adventerous and made enough friends that they were watching other people get their hair done. They were esepcially fascinated by a woman who was having her hair highlighted and had the funny cap on. Here is a picture of the end product. You can not tell any difference with Lol, but Josie got a good couple of inches off.

Jolie's next first happened this morning. Jolie still sleeps in her crib. She has always been one to be put down and she needs to be left alone. When we brought her home her crib was set up in our room and then when we moved she moved in the room with Josie and then got her own room, but she has always slept in her crib. Well when I get ready in the mornings I get Lol out after Josie and I are ready. Lol likes to get into stuff more and it is just easier (again, b/c I'm the only one there getting them both ready) for me to leave her in their until I'm ready for her. Well I was brushing Josie's hair this morning and I heard a door open. I about jumped out of my skin because I knew that Joe was not there. He leaves for work at 5:00 a.m. Then out comes Lol saying "I did it, I did it." She was so proud that she had gotten out of her crib, opened her door, and came to my room to get ready. I of course was not as excited because this now means we have to make her crib into a toddler bed and hope she stays in it when we lay her down at night. So we shall see how this transition goes. As you all know, it did not go well with Josie and we still have problems getting her to bed at night.

This weekend will be busy. Joe is getting to go on a deep sea fishing trip with Chris and two guys that Crystal works with. We won't even get into the conversations that went along with that. So I guess me and the girls will spend Saturday with Crystal, Elias, and Annaleigh. It was originally planned that all of us be together for a day of fun, but plans change, right. Sunday we have a special Scottish service at church, Joe has session, and then we take the girls to the fair. Dora will be there and I am excited that the girls will get to meet her.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Proverbs 31 Woman

For the past several months now God has placed a certain Bible passage on my heart, the Proverbs 31 woman. I read it one night to the SOS ladies in tribute to them and the work that they do not only for their families but for the church and the community. A couple weeks later the Proverbs passage was part of the scripture reading for a Sunday morning service. Ever since then, I can not get it off my mind.

10A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 13She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from far away. 15She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls. 16She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong. 18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19She puts her hands to the distaff,and her hands hold the spindle.
20She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. 21She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all her household are clothed in crimson. 22She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the city gates, taking his seat among the elders of the land. 24She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchant with sashes. 25Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her: 29‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’ 30Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates.
(New Revised Standard Version)

I often wonder if God chose to rewrite this, how it would read. Obviously a lot of the literal language does not apply anymore (like making your own clothes or planting your own food), but the meaning is still the same, she takes care of her family making sure that they are fed and clothed. She is her husband's help-mate and builds him up so that he is respected. She likewise is respected and loved by her family. And not only does it talk about her commitment to her family but also to all of God's people, her light never goes out meaning that anyone could stop at her house at anytime for food or shelter, she opens her hand to the poor and reaches out to the needy. It almost makes it sound like the woman never slept. It is a very high standard to have to live up to. I strive for this, but I know I fall very short. The second to last verse though sums it all up, "a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." She does these things not only because she loves her family and fellow mankind but because she loves God, and when you love God, you do as he he commanded. God commanded that we love one another and that we look after each other.

I assume what has me thinking on this verse again this week was that this Sunday's sermon was on marriage. Marriage like everything else can be easy one day and hard the next. Anytime you put two people together to do a task they will not always agree on everything. Marriage is made up of several tasks: raising the children, supporting the family financially, doing chores, etc. As I sat and listened to the sermon I wondered about my own marriage. Am I being the wife I agreed to be seven and a half years ago. I promised to love Joe, to cherish him, and to foresake all else for him. Yes, I love him, but no I do not cherish him every day. Do I forsake all else for him, no, I must admit a lot of times I put the girls before Joe. Granted none of them are neglected, but I do not always get the connecting time with him that I know I should. I try my hardest to always build him up, but there are days that I am not the best at it. Does he think I'm a capable wife far more precious than jewels? I would like to think he feels that way. On the way home from church the very first song that came on the radio was the Trace Atkins song, "All I ask for anymore:"

it was a home run when the game was tied
a pick up truck when I could drive
one pink line when katie said I'm late
it was a passing grade, a pretty girl
all the money in the world
what mattered then kept changing every day

but when I bow my head tonight
there'll be no me myself and I
just watch my wife and kids please lord
that's all I ask for any more

now a days it's crazy how
a passing storm, a siren sound
can make me drop it all and pick up the phone
to hear her say that all's okay is all I need to know these days
can't wait to see their faces when I get home

and when I bow my head tonight
there'll be no me myself and I
just watch my wife and kids please lord
that's all I ask for any more

let 'em outlive me by a hundred years
let their laughter dry up all their tears
let 'em love and be loved back like I have been

when I bow my head tonight
there'll be no me myself and I
just watch my wife and kids please lord
that's all I ask for any more

that's all that matters anymore

I really think God is trying to send me a message. I in no way think that God wants me not to be me so that I can do everything for Joe and the girls, but I do think that he is wanting me to stop and look at my life. Am I being the very best wife, am I being the very mother, and I am being the very best servant of Christ? Am I being the very best role model for my two girls on how to be mother and wife. The Bible says that we are to train our children, and that one day they will leave to be joined with the person God has chosen for them. Am I doing the best job that I can to teach them to look after their household, to teach their children about God, and raise their children continuing this heritage. This is what being the Proverbs 31 woman is about. Have I achieved it yet, no. But I strive towards this every day because that is what God called me to do when he joined Joe and I and when he blessed us with our beautiful daughters.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Another Great Weekend

October is going to be busy busy for us. It started this weekend. Someone at church gave us a certificate for a free photo from where they had donated to their local fire department. We went and had the picture taken Friday afternoon. I have a feeling they are going to turn out great, but they are always so expensive. I don't know what I'll do. I guess I have to see them first, they may not turn out as good as I think they did. Both girls cooperated greatly, and this was the best photographer we've ever had to work with the girls. He had them both laughing the entire time. After pictures Josie and I spent some quality time together and Joe and Lol spent quality time together. Josie and I did some shopping (actually it wasn't shopping, we went to some stores, but we didn't buy much), but while we were at Wal-Mart heading to buy some milk we passed the baby section. She saw an outfit and said, "Oh, can we get that for Tanner. Oh, and that one, can we get that for Ansleigh." It was so sweet. She was thinking of her cousins totally unprompted from me. I had to tell her we would have to do it another time, but it so sweet of her. That girl knows how to push my buttons but at the same time she is constantly amazing me. Saturday I had the girls to Quint and Sheila a little after 9:00 a.m. and headed to Corn Creek Park to be part of an awesome event, Coosa River Challenge VII. It is "3-6 hours of mountain biking, trail running, river paddling with lots of special tests throughout." My church women's group, SOS (Sisters of Service) sponsored the "special tests" at Corn Creek. By the time they get to us it is close to the end of the race. They physically drained but have to run a trail through the woods. They have to stop at each station and do a simple tasks, one was a shape sorter, Mary Kelley's and my station was stacking the rings from largest to smallest, and the last stop with the SOS was putting the cards in order 2-King. They are so tired and shaking that these simple tasks can be quite difficult. It was so awesome to meet all these people. Some people raced as individuals and some in teams. There were a lot of father-daughter teams. All the teams were so encouraging of one another. I already can't wait to participate again next year. I love trying new things. We left there around 4:00 p.m. Sheila said my girls were perfect angels, and actually Joe told me Josie cried when they had to leave. It always makes a mom feel better to know that her kids behave when you leave them with someone else. We are so blessed to have family that help us out with this. Later that evening Mary Kelley and her family came over for dinner and watching football. Yesterday me and the girls went to church and then played and rested the rest of the day. This coming weekend we will spend almost the whole weekend with Chris and Crystal and will take the girls to see Dora at the fair. She does not know this yet, but I can not wait to see her face when she sees her. The 24th we will do the Pumpkin Patch in Clanton. We will do Halloween at Mt. Hebron on the 28th and our church on the 31st. We also have a ton going on at church this month. I think almost every Sunday there is something special going on. Then on November 8th we have Sheila's baby shower and we will go down to Mom's the weekend before Thanksgiving, and then we'll have Christmas and Ansleigh. Wow the new year will be here before we know it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm Mad

For the past couple of years my life has been an emotional roller coaster. One day I'm fine with Joe working late and not being there to help with the girls because on those days I realize that he is doing what he has to do to support his family. Then there are days that I am just plain mad about the entire situation and get very upset that I have to tell my girls several times why Daddy isn't home. Of course those days are usually the days that the girls aren't on their best behavior, I'm not feeling well, or it has been several days since he has been home at a decent time. Well last night was one of those nights that I was just plain mad. I had a migraine from being up with Josie most of the night the night before. I called him and asked him to please be home by the time we got home because it is hard to deal with two little girls when you have a migraine. Well I called him again 4:30 to see if he had left yet. He was having car trouble, it would not stay running. Now I know he has no control over his vehicle and if it runs or not, but I was just mad. I didn't feel good, Josie wasn't behaving, and he had spent last Thursady in Greenville. As the night wore on it was obvious that he was spending another night in Greenville. I finally got Josie to stay in her bed and go to sleep around 8:30 after much fighting with her. This roller coaster is very on me and what makes it worse is that I see the girls affected by it. They don't get the mommy they should be getting because I'm having to do the work of two people plus take care of them. They don't get the Daddy time they need, and some nights they don't even see him at all. I just don't understand God's plan and some days I don't know who I'm more mad at God or Joe. I know we will get through this, and that this too shall pass. I know that God loves us and that this God's way of taking care of our family. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

To make matters worse, I walked right out of the house without my keys this morning. We have no spare around the house. I've always been scared to do that because I know every place I could think to put a key a burgler or murder has thought of as well. I finally found a truck key in my purse. Then I called Keith to make sure he would be here to let me into work. I guess I will figure out the house key thing later.

Today is Lol's appointment with the ENT. Please everyone pray that if he says she does need surgery that he goes ahead and does it. Her last surgery was rough on her and my thinking is that Lol will be a year younger that Josie when this was done and hopefully handle it a little better. No parent wants to see their child thrashing around as they come out of anesthesia, in pain refusing to eat or drink, or having to forcibly hold them down to make them take their medicine. (We had to do all of this with Josie, at some points it took three of us to hold Josie as she came out of hte anesthesia.) I will keep you updated.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


This past week and a half three years ago hold very special memories for me that I like to reflect on these two years following. On Thursday, September 21, 2006, after work I headed up to Alabaster for Ashley's, my best friend from high school, bachelorette party. Josie was only six and a half months old. This was the first time I had ever left her. She had spent the night away before once or twice but she was always 10-15 miles away. Grammy and Emmie had come up to help Joe since his works hours are always so crazy. We had a blast at the party. Friday we got up bright and early and headed to the church. We worked almost all day on the church. About half way through the day I broke down sobbing missing my baby girl. I felt like a horrible mom for leaving her. Daniel, the groom, tried to comfort me telling me that he was sure that Josie was missing me as much as I missed her (which of course made me feel worse, but I wasn't about to tell him that, he was trying his best to comfort a sobbing hormonal woman). That evening Joe and Ashley's dad came up so that they could be with us for the rehersal dinner. This was the first time Joe and I had tried Indian food. After the dinner we had to do some last minute shopping and preparations for the wedding. Saturday again we got up bright and early and headed to get our hair done. Joe tagged along with us and was such a great sport being in a hair salon with 5 girls. After getting our hair fixed we headed to the church. Joe was awesome. Whenever someone needed something he was there to get it done. He was also having to calm me down because I was getting nervous about doing some readings. I was excited though because this was the first time I had been to a Catholic wedding. Shortly before the wedding started, I started not feeling well. We made it through the ceremony, which was absolutely beautiful, and headed for the reception hall. I started having major chills and was burning up at the same time. Joe and I made it through the reception and stayed to help clean up. As soon as we could we headed home. I was ready to see my baby. I felt so bad though I slept almost the whole way home. As soon as I got home I checked my temp, it was 103. I immediately started crying. All I wanted to do was hold my sweet precious girl, but I didn't want to get her sick. My mom finally told me to hold her without breathing on her. I washed as best I could and I just held her and cried. I think I slept the rest of the weekend. The next Saturday we had another wedding, my cousin Robert and his now wife Bethany. It was on Lake Martin. It was goregous. The little chapel was perfect and the wedding was in the afternoon so the sun was setting on the lake, oh, it would give you chills. Of all the weddings I have been to, these two stick out the most in my mind, well except for the Scottish wedding we attended in August. Weddings are such a magical thing. Two people in love and little churches decorated so beautifully. Other couples holding hands and people crying remembering when themselves took those vows. Happy Anniversary Ashley & Daniel and Robert & Bethany. I wish you many many years of joy, happiness, and love.