First and foremost, I need to start out this post with a big, huge shout-out to my dear friend Jenn, who texted me a few weeks ago and said, "can I redo your blog for you?".  Ummmm.......yeah!  Redoing the look of my blog and adding some buttons and things to make me look all cool and professional and awesome, is something I've been wanting to do for a while now.  I had actually talked to another friend about doing it at some point and even started a Pinterest board about it.  So when she just called me up about it, I knew I couldn't resist her skills and cute ideas.  Plus she and I have a special kind of friendship and love that I can't really describe, but we can go from eating dinner together five nights a week to moving far apart and never talking to two hour phone conversations with ease.  That's love.  And I know she loves me and gets me because when I told her I wanted it to look "southernish, but not country, with some cute and a touch of modern, with colors that just go", she came up with this new look.  And I love it!  So shout out to Jenn for being awesome. She has always got projects and things going on, and now she has a wedding blog that has really taken off like a shot that I would love to talk more about on here some time.  But I'm going to save that for another day when I have time to figure out things like "inserting links" and other such immensely difficult computer functions.  Seriously.  Sad is the only way to describe me. 

    I also wanted to let you know that I now have buttons for you to follow me on pinterest (the "p" button on the right if you have a pinterest account) and I am finally coming around to the twitter world.  I'm brand new and I have two followers and I follow 3 people so I am not exactly blowing it up or anything yet.  But if you want to follow me through the painful process of me figuring out yet another form of social media, then please feel free to click the "t" button over there on the right.  I'm sure most of you already knew what those buttons were - before I did - but you have to remember that my mother reads this and she is no more technically advanced than her oldest daughter.  Finally, I finally have a badge.  Feel free to grab it and put it on your blog to say that you follow me, and I would love to do the same for you.  Just as soon as someone explains to me how.  And by the way, there are several of you that have signed up to receive emails whenever I post a new blog, but some of you never did verify it in your email so I don't believe you are getting them.  If you are one of those people and you actually want to get the email, please just leave a comment or shoot me a message and we'll work it out.  If this does not apply to you or you don't want to get the email any more, I can't really say that I blame you most days.  I'm just going to come to terms with the fact that you don't need me in your life at that level and I'm going to move on after I have one medium sized cry about it.  It's really ok, I just like to have your info so I can stalk you better.  It's something that makes me feel good about myself.

    Since today's post is pretty much all about the new look of the blog and technical type stuff, I thought I would throw in just a quick story for entertainment and to make you feel good the next time you and your family go out of town for the weekend.

    There once was a family that went out of town for the weekend to a large church convention in a big city at a nice hotel.  This family checked into their hotel room and had been in it for approximately twenty minutes when a security guard knocked on the door to inform the family that there had been a noise complaint about them.  Later that evening, the second oldest child in the family locked the door to the bathroom in their hotel room and shut it.  From the outside.  The mother tried to unlock the door with a metal fingernail file, but to no avail.  Men from the maintenance department had to come up to unlock the bathroom door.  The next morning, the oldest child in the family locked the bathroom door in the hotel room and shut it.  From the outside.   Men from the maintenance department had to come up to unlock the bathroom door.  Again.  The mother then informed everyone in the family, in a rather forceful tone of voice, that the next person who touched the lock on the bathroom door was going to have a very unpleasant conversation with the wooden spoon in her purse.  Then over the span of two days, the mother of the family lost three separate room keys on three separate occasions.  Then the small daughter of the family waited until they were all out to eat at a restaurant far away from the hotel, with no diaper bag whatsoever, to remove her diaper and throw it on the floor and walk around the dining area of said restaurant with her jeans pulled to her ankles and her bare bottom shining because that was the day she decided she wanted to use the potty like a big girl.  That didn't exactly work out for the girl and her parents as well as it could have.  The family still had a nice time over the weekend, though.  And mainly what all of this proves is just that ..............................................

We don't get out much. 
 
    Sorry I've been gone so long. (It makes me feel better to think that ya'll actually missed me)  Our family had a seriously great holiday weekend away, but we were definitely ready to come back to the crib today.  We spent our weekend in Memphis at the annual Lads to Leaders convention where many of the children from church participated in events like, speech, song leading, art, puppets, debate, and many more.  And it literally brought tears to my eyes the whole weekend (as it always does) to see those kiddos of all ages do stuff that most adults are to nervous to do.  And the Bartimaeus participants (those with special needs who lead singing or deliver speeches)....fahgetaboutit.  Waterworks.  It is literally so moving in a humbling way.  Even my own small offspring, Super G, led "I'll Fly Away" (a gold standard for him) and gave a little 15 second speech with bright orange notecards with pictures drawn on them to remind him what to say. He was totally chickening out of the speech for months until last Thursday - when I brought home the suit.  The grey pinstripe suit that makes him look just like his daddy.  One look at it and he declared, "Well I'm gonna look just like a preacher so I guess I better preach".  Love him. It was adorable, and I loved it, and I died of emotional overload.  The end.

    Anyhoo, while we were busy with the over 2,100 folks in Memphis, there were additional conventions going on in Indianappolis, Atlanta, Dallas, and the "big one" in Nashville.  In the neighborhood of 20,000 people strong.  It's such a warm, fuzzy feeling I get inside every time I think about that.  I'm just saying. 

    But no four day, action packed, people overloaded, late night going, get away with my children ever goes as smoothly as I dream it will.  There are most certainly some "issues" along the way.  And by issues I mean destruct-o-girl learning how to open the hotel room door and darting for the elevators before anyone realizes she is gone ((um....yeah. true story. twice)), the Turnanator terminating his brothers face with the bottom of his easter shoes multiple times before his father broke it up, and the aftermath which sounded a bit like a scene from the just released horror flick 'Scream 5'.  But to make our insane family feel better about ourselves, a dear, sweet, 3 year-old friend of mine decided to pull the fire alarm of the Cook Convention Center while all 2,100 people were gathered for the awards banquet.  It fo' sho' helped me forget the face stomping and subsequent beating that happened in my room 20 minutes prior (thanks Anderson!).

    I could go on forever, but I'm pretty sure you are tired of hearing about it and I am so sleepy my face could fall off. (did that even make any sense?) Prolly no, but I'm too tired to push backspace that many times and erase it.  So I am going to leave you with this, stay tuned for more stories of hijinx (sp?) fun and embarrassment from the clan as the week goes on.  Let me just say this about about an upcoming post - Spray. Tan.  

    Sorry if this whole post sounds crazy and disjointed and non-flowy (that is a word I just created).  It is 1 a.m. and I am so sleepy I could drop.  The neurons are firing at random at this point.  I just love you all so much (and my ego needs that boost it gets when I know you are reading) that I felt morally obligated to blither on.  So one more thing...MY PUPPET TEAM WON FIRST PLACE!!!!! (SQUEAL, SCREAM, JUMP, SQUEAL) and please let me know how all of your offspring did if you were at one of the other conventions.  There are a lot of you that I love that were doing it up L to L style this weekend too.  (ok that was two things - whateva')

Thanks for loving the real me,
Cas.......zzzzzzzzz