When we moved here to our current home, seven years ago this summer, there was a wooden sign hanging out by the road with the name of the people who built this house.  Two homeowners ago.  So we took it down with the intention of buying or making a new sign to hang up...... almost seven years ago.  (remember that thing I said last time about following through on stuff?)  And then over a year ago I found some giant letter F's on sale at the Hobby Lobby.  They were not exactly what you would call "pretty", but they were big and law do I love something from a clearance aisle.  So I snatched them up and promptly piled the ugly things in my garage.  The same place that holds most all my treasures, except, you know, my car of course.  
see? not so coot
     Then my mom was here at some point (see how she really does try with me) and she scrounged up an old plank of wood from a friend that came out of an old home, so it had several bits of chippy paint on it that make me feel good inside.  It wasn't wide enough, so my main squeeze cut it in half for me and put them together side by side with his cool kreg-jig that I got him one year as a gift.  Because if it's the kind of thing that makes him happy and benefits me also, then really...... it's a great gift. (insert my winky face) 

     Well with all this construction going on around here, I'm itching to project.  But since I currently only have concrete and framing with a few shingles, everyone is afraid I'm going to get ahead of myself a bit.  As in, I'm already trying to buy curtains and I don't even know what the flooring is going to be yet.  Occasionally I am a touch over impulsive.  So in an attempt to occupy my mind, the week of Valentines, I decided to finally finish the road sign.  I had to go paint the post by the road bc we have changed trim colors on the house since moving here and I wanted it to match (even if I am the only one who notices).  And then I went into my paint hoard and got out everything I thought would possible work for this zero dollar project   
exhibit A
     I next drug out an old stencil I had from a previous project, and in an attempt to get the largest amount of impact with the least amount of actual work - I opted for spray paint.  Because lets be serious - you just have to spray the paint.  It was messy and the lines aren't exact, but the existing paint was already chippy and no one is going to be looking at this thing at less than 45 miles and hour.  So the details weren't exactly stressing me out.  By the way, I feel like it needs to be said that I did this on both sides.  Because I'm double awesome.  Also because I do not in fact live on a one way street.
Old paint, new paint. It's a glorious mess.
you know what else is a mess? letting the wet stencil get blown face down in the yard. but one must press forward
see? good enough to look at while driving down the highway
     As that paint was drying, I was putting several coats of black on my not-so-coot F's.  
Once the paint on the boards was dry, I had my amazing five-year-old photographer take a few pics of the next step. Mainly because painting and keeping your hands clean enough to take pics with your phone is hard man.  Real hard.  Plus I was just dying for y'all to see some upshot photos of myself in action (definitely not really).  All I did was go over the board with the stenciled paint on it with some of this.  Because it's what I had
because everything weathered gray is my life right now
what a hot tamale!
see how the stain changes the wood but paint still comes through, just more muted?
     The next couple of steps were pretty basic:

  1. polyurethane everything
  2. let it all get dry finally
  3. use liquid nails and a few actual nails to attach the F's on each side
  4. add eye hooks to the top so that it can hang
  5. insist on doing that all without any help from your husband because you want to be able to say you did the whole project by yourself
  6. stand down on the side of the highway wearing the t-shirt you had slept in the night before and leggings as pants while trying to hold your surprisingly heavy road sign between your legs and eyeball measure where the hooks should screw into the post so it will line up and actually hang
  7. drop the drill into an extra scratchy bush
  8. think about how you don't say curse words
  9. finally get it up
  10. take some pictures of it
  11. realize how badly your bushes need trimming
  12. plan to do that "later"
  13. (do it in at least the next seven years)

     Now that that's done, I've got to find something else to project on because if not, I'm going to spend all my time searching for rugs to go in rooms that currently have nothing separating them from where birds and squirrels live. 

                                                                   Love ya' like spray paint, 
     Remember how back in November of 2013 I was planning to start blogging again? Remember that? Yeah, well I didn't follow through.  Because commitments are hard for me.  That's why I'm not skinny.  And I still make no money.  And my kids still don't always brush their teeth at bedtime (even though after every dentist appointment I swear I'm going to hammer down on that).  I'm just not cut out for lots of buckling down.  

     But here I am again.  Again.  Feeling determined.  It all happened the other day when I, out of the blue, got an email from someone asking a question about something on the blog.  So I looked back at several old comments and remembered how fun it was to hear from people about how much they like me (and y'all know I love to be loved).  I have yet to respond to the lady leaving the question because I'm basically a useless person in situations like "correspondence".  If you've ever tried to contact me in real life via my cellular device, then you are aware of this issue.  But hopefully I will make myself get around to it sooner rather than later.  So then my mom came to visit and I told her about it.  I told her how I really have fond thoughts of my time blogging and how I think I would like to start again at some point.  And because everyone in my life loves it when they see glimmers of hope that I will one day turn into a successful, contributing member of society (aside from the contribution of raising four awesome kids, three of which can dance just like Beyonce), my mom got online that second  and bought me a new laptop.  She's the bomb like that.  So four days later I'm looking at this super cool computer I haven't the foggiest idea how to use, and I realize, "well, now I'm basically obligated to blog again".  Tricky how that happened.

     I'm still computer illiterate so don't expect too much from me.  And I'm about six years behind the curve trying to turn a blog into a career, so I realize there is no real promise of this becoming money. (even though, how awesome would that be? Money for talking with my fingers, and I never have to put on real pants?!) But I am here.  Aaron made this cute little cartoon family to use on my blog so you might see a few changes later, but maybe not.  Because like I just told you - I can't figure out how to do it.  And I'm almost certain I'll flake out again later.  That's sort of my thing.  But until then, I hope to share with you all about our house.

      We are adding on because I'm going to end up doing physical harm to someone if I don't separate my two big boys' bedroom and closet at some point.  It's like I've got, well, a younger 10 year-old boy version of myself and Monk (you know, from the tv show) living together, and I'm afraid poor little Turnanator is one day just going to snap like a twig.  People just need their space, ya' know?  And while we're at it, I am getting the laundry room I have been dreaming of.  A folding counter with room for six laundry baskets.  Two washers and dryers.  LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN.  Plus Aaron is getting a tiny little walk-in-closet office space and we are adding a bonus type room in the back that opens to the back yard.  Construction has already begun (and of course I have no 'before' pictures of anything), but I'm excited to show you things as they progress.  It's still very very early in constuction.  Plus, this might end up being my own version of blog cabin where I let the people vote on what to do because I'm terrible at decisions and the budget Nazi is making me nervous the whole time.  Pressuring me into things I don't really want because what I want is "too much money" or "ridiculous and you will want to change it in a year".  He's a real downer sometimes, I'm telling you.  (p.s. - I kid.  If it weren't for that hardworking, budget obsessing joker in my life, I would be living out of an old Ford Explorer in a parking lot somewhere).   

      So I hope I stick this out for a while and you want to read it.  But if nothing else, it's a great way for my mom to see what's going on with the house.  

     Gotta run now though.  Just heard, "Maaaamaaaaa!  The baby just peed in the bathtub".  Duty calls.

                                                       Love your guts, 

    So I've always had a thing for writing lists on here.  I don't know why.  I think it's because it's more representative of my life than a coherent blog post.  It's sporadic, like my thoughts, I believe.  Plus, I'm too lazy to remember what I planned to blog about sometimes and it's an easy cop-out.  But anyway.......

1. So many things have happened since I was last blogging hardcore, and amazingly I can't remember any of them well enough to tell you about them.

2. I do know, however, that summer of last year Super G managed to fall off some monkey bars and break both arms at the same time.  He's skilled and graceful a lot like his mother.  Problem was, we were sure that the arm with the hand hanging off sideways was broken - but we weren't even thinking about the other one being broken until days later.  When he got a tiny little punishment (booty swat) for being so incredibly dramatic about his arm hurting.  The next day we went to the doctor.  Turns out we owed him an apology.  Apparently it actually did hurt.

3. It's 12:34 a.m. currently (spooky) and all of a sudden I keep hearing some eerie/squeaky sound over and over.  It could be the wind.  It could be old house.  It could be the fact that my hv/ac filters only get changed when my mother comes to visit. 

4. So for a while, before Cootie Baby got mobile, I would leave him in his bouncy seat somewhere in the house.  And when I would go check on him, neither the baby nor the seat would be there.  Turns out his siblings were dragging him all over the house when I wasn't looking.  I would find him in the bathroom, between the bed and the wall, by the front door - just where ever.  And more times than not, he would have notes on 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper taped to his head/face.  One said "give me cheese dip. now" and another said "quit feeding me milk. for more infermashon go to www . you don't know inething . com". 

5. This past May, Aaron and I both forgot about our anniversary.  The only reason we even remembered was because up in the right hand corner of Facebook it gives reminders of birthdays and events, and I just accidentally noticed that it said today-you have and anniversary with Aaron Foster. 

6. My daughter is totally a drama filled, high maintenance, twirly dress wearing little girl, but she's not exactly so much bad like she used to be.  So really I'm not sure she deserves the name Destruct-o-girl anymore.  We tend to just call her Sister or Tootie a lot now.  I have no idea why on the Tootie thing.  I think because it rhymes with Cootie (like Cootie baby) and it just seemed to stick. But once I got to thinking about it, I'm pretty certain that my mother had a first cousin that went by the name Tootie her whole life.  However, her legal name was DeVern so there's no real mystery there why she would prefer to be know to everyone as Tootie.

7. Tonight, as I sprawled on my gross old den couch listening to Christmas music on Pandora and eating off-brand oreos while watching Aaron lay back in the gross old den recliner and check email on his phone, I heard a great commotion coming from the living room where all the children were. I was very tempted to go check on it until I remembered how hard it is to rise up from the incline position at my age/weight/station in life.  So instead I just yelled, "hey! what are y'all doing in there?". "Nothing!!! nothing! NotHinG!" So I absolutely took that as truth because I was too lazy to do otherwise.  Lucky for me I could later find out because they were actually using my phone to record an entire mini-series wherein my three oldest children trap my 9 month-old baby (who has just started solids) under an overturned laundry basket, sit on top of it, and feed him oreos through the cracks.

Love you enough to not choke you to death on oreos when you were just an infant,
    I haven't written in a very long time.  Over a year actually.  Because for some reason, on a whim (which is how my entire life is navigated) I decided I didn't want to blog any more.  It just got to where it was feeling like a job - that pays no money - and I was over the whole thing.  But recently I've had several people ask my why I never blog any more or tell me that they would like me to start back, and then I remembered something very important.  Blogging makes me feel like a big deal.  And we can all look at me and tell, occasionally I need some self-esteem boosting, big dealness.  It's just a fact.  That's the kind of thing that happens to you when you have veins and dark circles and snot wiped on your shoulder.  You just want to feel like a big deal for a second.  So here I am, with more stories of childhood antics, recipes, remodel photos, parenting woes and triumphs, craft projects, and a healthy dose of "real life, house full of kids, too many pets, overcommited schedule, what's that smell, all you need is love, it wouldn't hurt to have a little extra money either, it's cereal for dinner night again" reality.  And I'm feeling happy to be back for a while.

    Actually, it's funny, because no matter how long it's been since I stopped blogging, I still think about my life in blog posts.  I think, "that could be a hilarious post" or "I don't want to put those pics on facebook because I want to do a blog about it".  It will take me a while to catch up on some back stories but I'm sure there will be plenty going on in the meantime. For now, I feel like I just need to give you a quick little update list on what's been going on since we last spoke.
(warning - this could get long)
So I had another baby.  We fondly call him Cootie Baby.  Because that what your sister calls you when she can't exactly say cutie.  And then it sticks.  He'll probably be 17 and I'll still be calling him Cootie Baby. He's wonderful and perfect and quite possibly the best baby in the history of ever.  He rarely ever cries, he has slept all night since he was a month old, and he just goes with the flow no matter what football, cub scout, dance recital, school field trip situation we have going on.  Getting him here was no easy task for me - as I spent a month in and out of the hospital after his birth and ended up on Home Health for a span, but I'm totally fine now and am happy for the trade off of a little bad health for a wonderful baby!

Not only is he good, but he's super cute too!

And he looks exactly like his two older brothers!  This is a baby pic collage of all three.  Crazy!!

Here is some pictorial evidence of how laid back Cootie Baby is.  While is awesome big brother Turnanator fed him a bottle at the school book fair, only 23 other children looked on and petted.

My very first tiny baby turned 9 recently, which is only one year away from double digits.  So I acted really excited for him then I secretly wailed and gnashed my teeth in anguish over having tiny babies that are turning into big kids. 

My girl has gotten older, and sassier if you can't tell.  How one little being can be so wonderful and so awful all at the same time is nothing but a mystery to me. This was after her dance recital, and she was feeling like really hot stuff apparently.

Then she got a big girl haircut.  I took it really well but her daddy got a little misty about the whole thing......

Less than a week before I had my fourth baby, this pitiful looking thing walked up to our back door.  And we felt bad for it.  And we fed it.  And it never left.  So meet pet #2 Rascal Monkey Foster

Then to confirm just how nuts I really am - as of last week, we are now the proud owners of Cleo Lucille Kitten Kitten Foster. The free barn cat that is supposed to do nothing but live outside and murder vermin and pests.  So far that's all she's done is circle around our ankles and jump into our vehicles every time the door is open.  I'm not gonna lie - she may not make it long around here if she jumps in Aaron's car many more times.  My girl loves Lucy Kitty Kitty and the boys seem to like Cleo the Killer Cat, but as a complete animal non-lover, I can do nothing but question my judgement as a person at this point.  However, I justify all of this madness by telling myself, "honestly, when there are already 6 needy, dirty, hungry, pooping little dependents around here, what is 7?".  Then I feed the dogs.  And the cat.  And the children.................................................

I've been trying to save money on groceries lately because for the whole eleven years of my marriage Aaron has been annoyed with me for being terrible with the money.  And because I love him and also have a lot going on, I decided to start the whole freezer meal thing.  I have to say, when I actually do it, it is awesome!  Not too long ago Aaron and I stayed up late to make and freeze 58 twice baked potatoes.  Now it is so handy to just run out there and get what I need for dinner and just pop them in the oven or microwave.  Done it minutes!  Also, they are good in a pinch to put some of my precooked taco meat out of the freezer on and have taco potatoes for supper.  You should try it yourself.  It's quick.  It's easy.  It's delicious.  Ole' (anyone with great freezer meal recipes, please feel free to share!)

If you think it's hard to enough to find halloween costumes for a plump grown up and big-and-tall grown up, try finding halloween costumes for a pregnant plum grown up and a big-and-tall grown up!!  It aint easy, I'll tell 'ya.  But because sometimes I'm just a creative genius (that's what messy people call themselves), last halloween we were the most awesome Dora and Diego you have ever seen.  But seriously..........Look how cute we are.............

And last but not least, earlier this year we went to a party and you'll never guess who showed up.....Slash and Axl Rose.  They were amazing...............

    So I've missed y'all.  And I want to hear from y'all again.  And I'm going to do my best to blog regularly.  I will fail, but that's something none of us are surprised by.  Just rest easy knowing that no matter what's going on in your life - we will be here to make you feel better about yourself.

Love you my friends,

    Hello world.  How 'ya been?  It's been a long time.  I took a blogging hiatus for a while because it was summer and I was lazy.  And because we've been busy.  And because, most of all -

     I was too nauseous.

    Yep.  You heard me right people.  For those of you that aren't my facebook friend and don't already know, I went and got myself knocked up again.  

    My mother keeps telling me that I have to quit saying it was an accident because an accident would imply that we were trying very hard not to have a baby.  And she's right.  The truth is, I haven't been taking birth control for a long time because they make my migraines worse than they already are.  And to avoid giving you too many personal and akward-type details, remember that fantastic tenth anniversary get away that I blogged about back in May?  Well apparently if you lay in the tanning bed and get an actual tan for the first time in ten years, and you go out and buy new underwear that is not pitiful and left over from college (even though your butt is half again the size it was in college), and you leave town without your children for four nights in a row - then apparently you forget how to do math, and your judgement becomes skewed, and you make some not-particularly-wise decisions.  Apparently.  And apparently if you are very fertile as a people (hey, there has to be some kind of bonus from having hips like this) and all the other afore mentioned factors come into play,  then apparently you end up having four children.  Apparently.

    We are excited about a new baby, but I'm not going to lie.  I'm a touch overwhelmed still at the prospect of starting all over yet again and dragging ANOTHER baby around Walmart with a buggy full of stuff, two boys that won't quit touching each other and screaming at the other while begging to buy one of everything they see, and a small girl who can disappear faster than Houdini on speed while shoplifting small objects and gum into her tiny pockets.  So what I'm saying to you is - get ready for lots more entertaining blog posts I'm afraid.

    The reason I couldn't bring myself to write this summer is because most of my summer was spent lying down being very still so I didn't hurl.  I was not in a good place. At.All.  Of all my pregnancies, this has far and away been the roughest so far, and I knew if I were to try to write anything then my complaining, attention loving self would be compelled to talk about it every single time.  And don't you just hate those people that do nothing but gripe their whole pregnancies?  I know I do.  I just want to say to them, "oh, I'm so sorry that it is uncomfortable for you to grow and entire human inside of your body.  That's weird that's it so bad for you because for the rest of us it's all rainbows and sunshine and kittens."  So I just didn't write to save y'all the trouble of rolling your eyes at me. 

    And I'll tell you what really did the trick to put it all in perspective.  This spring, we had a missionary come to our church to give an update on the work our congregation supports in Guyana.  As he's showing the slide show, he would tell a little story to explain each picture.  Well he got to a photo of a man and a woman and their baby who looked about 3 or 4 months old, and he told this story -

"(the woman pictured who's name I can't remember) was pregnant and was out working alone one day at their farm, eight miles from their home.  She went into labor and had to deliver the baby alone in the field.  Then she had to walk home with her new baby.  Then she went back out to work the next day."


Say what again, now?

    So as it turns out, being unexpectedly pregnant in a place where I have air conditioning, cell phones, cars, pain medicine, epidurals, hospitals, and maternity leave (from the job that I don't even have, mind you) is really not that big of a deal at all.

    Can someone please remind me of this when in a few months I'm complaining about my swollen feet, inability to sleep, and need to pee every 27 minutes?


I've missed y'all,

  • Number of mouse sightings - 4
  • Locations of mouse sightings - on my foot, in the living room, in the den, jumping out of my car when we opened the door
  • Length of lecture I got from Aaron about the nastiness of my vehicle and embarrassment of having a mouse therein - endless and still ongoing
  • Number of mouse traps in our home (sticky and snap) - 14
  • Cleanliness status of my house - not nearly as bad as I make it sound and you must think it is considering the number of rodents present
  • Number of meals in a row my children have eaten pizza - 3 (including breakfast)
  • Number of loads of laundry waiting to be washed - ~11
  • Number of beach towels laying in a wet nasty pile - all of them (and we have a bunch of beach towels.  a bunch)
  • What time I drove to the gas station last night to buy myself a coke icee - 9:27
  • Number of hours Aaron worked last Thursday - 26 (yes I know there are only 24 hours in a day.  There was a compact, American-made, foreign car crisis of epic proportions.  He went in at 6:30 Thursday morning and left 8:30 Friday morning)
  • Number of hours Aaron slept the next day - 16
  • Number of pairs of shoes that my daughter has lost and I absolutely cannot find - 2 (black strappy sandals and pink crock for playing outside, just in case you see them)
  • Reason my 2-year-old daughter is completely stressed out right now - she can't find her Tinkerbell phone
  • Number of trays on my antique wooden side table with glass drawers in it - 1
  • Number of coasters on my antique wooden side table with glass drawers in it - 3
  • Where Aaron left his big, tall, wet, sweating, glass of iced sweet tea for hours without me noticing -

Directly on the wood

  • Place I wanted to punch Aaron when I found it - in the neck




    Sometimes I am a humongous dufus.   I'm fairly certain that every time I grew a child inside of my body it made me dumber, and apparently I didn't have that much to loose because sometimes I do stuff that is plain ridiculous.  My last post being one of them.  If you saw it, please explain to me why you didn't love me enough to say, "hey dufus, your link's not workin'".  And I would have said, "Oh no!  Just give me a little time and I will plink around on this computer as if I know a hyperlink from a hole in the ground and figure it all out".  Then I would have spent the next hour trying to figure out what I did wrong, only to realize I had the wrong blog address the whole time.   Because I'm a dufus who stays up too late to type and who eats too much processed food and who spends too much time with people under the age of 8.  I'm sure that's why.

    Anyway, hopefully now it is working and those of you who already saw it once and tried to go there but didn't love me enough to tell me I was inept at computery stuff (and reading apparently) when it didn't work, can go back and read it now and cry and snot on your shirt just a little.  It really is fantastic. 

(I need you to know that I just went back and read through those two above paragraphs, and yikes.  There's a lot of run on sentence situations going on up there.  However I am too lazy to fix it all, so just do your best to make sense of it.)

    The next thing I need to tell you is that there is a mouse in my house.  We are pretty sure it is just one at least.  The first time we saw it is when I opened the trash compactor and it jumped out.  On my bare foot.  And I died.  Then I came back to life and screamed  repeatedly while jumping up and down and convulsing violently for some time.  (those of you who are my friends on Facebook have already heard of the horror)   Since then there have been several mouse sightings, including one where said rodent scurried across our living room while we all sat there watching tv.  Apparently we have made it feel welcomed and quite at home.  Good job us.  Now we have got to employ whatever means necessary to get rid of Stuart Little.

Reason #1 - mice are disgusting
Reason #2 - I am now having nightmares about the mouse crawling on my face at night and licking my eyeballs all because of an awful show I saw on Hoarders once
Reason #3 - as wonderful and manly as my husband is, he is just as, or even more so, afraid of mice than I am.  we are not brave when it comes to rodents.  A bunch of weenies in fact
Reason #4 - I am allergic to anything mousy.  I can go in an old barn or an attic where mice have obviously been, and withing seconds I can start to feel all itchy, scratchy and raspy.  Then my eyes start swelling and the next thing you know, they are almost swollen shut and they are so fat that the eyelids turn inside out.  It's grotesque.  Horror movie stuff.
Reason #5 - please see reason #1

    We now have traps out and set all over.  Sticky traps placed stragically around the places our visitor seems to frequent.  But so far - nothing.  Apparently the little joker is very smart.  Either that or it has no need to eat peanut butter and cheese off of traps because I have a bunch of little knucklehead children that eat all over the house and drop crumbs every where they go - making this place a mouse heaven.  For instance, yesterday I looked behind the couch in the living room and there were two pepperonis, a pair of camouflage flip flops, a torn up napkin, a pair of pink crocs, a handful of m&m's, a note on a piece of torn notebook paper, some cereal, and two dead bugs.  Really children?  Pepperonis?  Really?  Right now they are eating waffles and syrup in the den.  I have no control.  

    So if you have any fantastic rodent catching advice, we will gladly take it.  Unless it involves cleaning my house up - then I'm not sure that is something I can commit to. 

    On a second, and equally important vermin note - I am originally from a place where there really are no ticks.  There are enormous amounts of mosquitoes (as in, go head to head with Alaska or the frozen tundra of Canada) but there are no ticks.  But now, I live in a place that is apparently having a booming year for ticks.  So last night when I was taking a shower to wash away the fact that we had three baseball games and I sweat like.........something that sweats a lot...............I tried to brush away the tiny spot of dirt on my leg.  And it didn't move except to wiggle it's disgusting little legs!!   A tick had lodged itself right there in my calf, and since it was the first time I have ever had a tick I flipped. 

"Ewwwww, Ewwww, Ewwwww, Aaaaarrrrrrrooooooooonnnnnnn!!!!!" 

    Of course you all know that you can't just pull it off, you have to get the head out.  Problem is, the only way we knew how was to put a hot match on it, and we were too lazy to walk to the den to get my phone charger so we could plug in my dead phone and ask Siri any other way.  Except that we don't have any matches - only those long Bic lighters to light the grill.  So my loving husband tells me to be still and let him know if it hurts.  And I, like an idiot, said ok.  Turns out that holding a lighter right up against your leg isn't hot at all until you move it that one nanometer closer to actually affect the tick.  Then you burn your leg and feel tempted scream a profanity and punch your husband who just gave you a one square inch, third degree burn - in his neck.  But you don't because you don't use profanities and you're too worried about the parasite wedged in your leg to punch anyone in the neck. 

    The tick did burn to death, though, and was successfully removed.  And I believe the moral of all of this is that we are disgusting, vermin and parasite infested people right now, and if you don't want to be our friends any longer, I would understand. 

Disgustingly yours,
kindergarten fun with the teacher!
awards night at the end of first grade!
     This past school year, my boys and I were blessed with fantastic teachers for kindergarten and first grade.  Mrs. Eubank and Mrs. Martin were great to my guys and to me as a disorganized and slightly neurotic mother.  They kept me informed, they were patient with my little weirdos' quirks, and they were just plain out great at imparting all the knowledge that a six and seven year old should know.  Because let me just tell you this - if it were up to me to teach my children how to read, it would be a sad, illiterate day at the unemployment office when the time came for gainful employment.  So we love them now, our Mrs. Eubank and Mrs. Martin. 

    But this year was special.  Not only because we had great teachers, but because Super-G got to be in Mrs. Martin's class when one of the most exciting and important events of her life occurred.  It was no secret that Mrs. Martin and her husband had been going through fertility treatments for several years, and it was no secret that they very much wanted to be parents.  And pretty much everyone that knows them wanted the very same thing for them, because they would make a fantastic mommy and daddy to some lucky child.  Well, one fateful Thursday night in April they got a call that there was a baby in the NICU who needed parents to love her.  And in what was a whirlwind of a few days, they went from a feeling of despair and longing to a feeling of overwhelming joy that most of us will probably never know.  It's not that I didn't feel joy when my kids were born, because I was thrilled, it's just that having babies came so easily for us that I'm not certain I appreciated it for the miracle it was like the Martins did when their long awaited baby came into their lives.  She was tiny and had lots of growing to do, but she has been a little fighter and she has been thriving.  She has met every milestone as a preemie early, and in fact, is now home with her mommy and daddy and doing great. 

    Everyone that knows the Martins is thrilled for them, and we have all been following their story on their blog.  Which is why I wrote this today.  All of you that are "locals" already follow her blog, and many of you who are my friends on facebook have seen where I have shared some of her posts.  But there are many of you who read the blog who haven't had the privilege of getting to know about this wonderful family and amazing story yet.  So here you go!  Below I have given a link, and I highly recommend you click and read if you are in the market for some warm fuzzies and happy tears.  Warning - there will be lots of happy tears.  In fact, there have only been two posts so far that I have not had some level of snot running down my face.  And there are only thirteen posts so far.  So if you have the time, click back and start at the beginning.  It's just better that way.  Hope you enjoy!

    Dear bloggy friends, I've missed you.  I really have.  But I've been unavailable lately to write.  Because I've been asleep.  Or eating something.   It's a hard life I live, I tell ya'. 

    Actually, I've been away on a fantastic little tenth anniversary get away and was either too stressed out trying to get everything ready to leave, or was too busy doing nothing while I was there, or was too distracted with our first days of summer to write for the past two weeks.  But did you see the last post on here?  From Aaron?  Isn't he just the best?  My brother-in-law that reads my blog because he knows fine entertainment when he sees it, says that I talk about Aaron nice on here all the time and it just can't be real.  Well it's true, sometimes Aaron gets grouchy and bossy and I want to punch him in the neck.  That really does happen.  But honestly, I have to say that he is fantastic.  For ten years I have been married to a fella who makes me feel loved.  All the time.  Even when we are fighting and I am screaming like a nut.  Or when the house is lookin' a hot mess and I haven't had a bath in days and am lookin' a fright and I forget that I am snack mom at the baseball game and I forget to pay the power bill on time and when I "accidentally" use a dentist who is out of network and we have to pay three times what we would have in network.  Even during all of that, he makes me feel loved. (even though just reminding him about the dentist thing is going to stress him out all over again)

    And on Mother's Day morning I woke up to a surprise post by him, talking about me being a great mother.  He's a great guy, but "lovey dovey" he is not.  So the fact that he wrote and shared all of that with you just solidifies it - he really is fantastic.  He always knows just what I want the most.

    Now that's enough on the sappy sweet stuff.  I'm about to gross myself out. 

    On a completely different note, schoooooooooooool's out.for.SUMMER.  Sing it with me now schoooooooooooool's out.for.SUMMER.  So we have spent our first week of summer bliss doing just what  was intended.  Nothing.  And that got me thinking, what else is going to change now that the kids are out of school?  So I made a list (because we all know I love making lists)

1.  The swimming pool now counts as a bath.  Six days a week.  We will only use soap for Sunday church.

2.  I won't check the mail again until August because the boys always get it for me when we drive up the driveway from school.

3.  The laundry will never be caught up.

4.  There will always be wet towels piled around the house.

5.   M&M's count as breakfast.  And lunch.

6.  My house doesn't stand a chance of being clean between now and August

7.  I will be awake at ridiculous hours of the night every night, watching reruns of Friends, That 70's Show, Swamp People, Duck Dynasty, The Nanny, and The Office. 

8.  We will sleep until at least 9 am every morning.

9.  I will feel guilty about the fact that Aaron has to get up for work so early every morning and work so many hours at such a long, stressful job while we just spend every day chillin.

10.  I'll probably be feeling that guilt from beside the pool.

Dear Summer, thanks for existing

Love you like M&M's as a meal,


I want to tell you a story.  No, this story will not be as good as the ones you normally read on this blog; but none-the-less, it's Mother's Day and I feel compelled to share.  Next week is Cassie's and my anniversary (10 years).  She asked me a couple of weeks ago if for our anniversary I would write on her blog.  I reluctantly said yes.  You heard me.  Unfortunately for you, there is potential for me to write again.  However, this week I thought it would be good for me to "practice" on Mother's Day.  This one is a surprise.  If you could read this while I was typing - I would ask you to wish me luck.  All 20 of your who read this blog make me slightly nervous.  Not really.  But. . . . .

Okay, enough of the intro.  Let me get to my story.  There are times that I feel you need to hear the "rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say.  My story starts approximately 10 years ago. 

This is where is all began.  Ten years ago - May 2002.  Many important decisions were made in our lives at this point (give or take a few months).  We had a plan.  Cassie was to finish college; we would work for 5 years, and then we would have 4 children.  We had all the other important decisions covered.  Our hope was once we had kids, she would be able to stay home.  So...the plan was set.  However, as you know from this blog - Cassie doesn't know how to spell p-l-a-n.  The only "plan" Cassie had was to bath 2x per week, not wear shoes (unless a sign says she must), not keep a check book nor care about any $$$ that she would spend.  FYI - these were things that she decided after this picture.  Still love her.   

This is graduation day.  This is the next step of the story.  This is actually about 2 years later - May 2004.  In the fall of '03, I was trying to help my wonderful wife with our plan.  She was going to graduate in a matter of months.  I was encouraging her to start job hunting and interviewing.  But this, my friends, would force her take a bath more frequently, dress up and wear shoes.  I messed up and made the following statement, "Darlin', the plan is for you to work until we have kids."  Literally, I believe that were my exact words!  Major mistake.  What you can't see in this picture is that my beautiful wife is pregnant.  Yeah, she showed me.  What do you mean "5 year plan" and "job hunting"?  All of you know that Cassie is a "domestic goddess", but maybe you don't know that she is also a master manipulator.  Not really on the manipulator, but it makes me feel better to act as if I didn't cave so easily.  So now it starts. . . . .

#1 - Super G - '04
#2 - Turnanator - '06
#3 - Destruct-o-girl - '09
I know - all women everywhere want their "I just had a baby in the hospital" picture posted on the world wide web, but again. . .this is my story.  True as it is.  And I tell you this story because Cassie has been able to do what the good Lord wants her to be from the beginning - An Absolutely Amazing Mother.  How many times does the "5 year plan" actually work?  You know what I mean.  It didn't work for most of you either; and just like most of you, I wouldn't change anything for the world - especially choosing Cassie as my Baby Momma.  The picture below says 1000 words - maybe not to you, but to me.
Now, for Mother's Day, I have decided to share with you some of my favorite Notes to our domestic goddess.  I hope this brings memories to those of you reading this blog.  I'm going to share just one from each child.
This is not a Mother's Day card, but couldn't pass it up. Super G drew these pics a couple of years ago while Cassie was sick. Just awesome! Apparently Cassie has better hair when she feels well.
I don't have a clue what the "brown snake" is below Mommy above. Maybe her belly was hurting. Either which way, Gibson made sure she knew when to take her medicine.
Card from Turnanator. Apparently, he didn't like the amazing pic on the left side; he "x" it out.
I always like Turnanator's stick figures. And apparently Cassie needed to learn how to spell a few words.
Destruct-o-girl's red little hand.
Just focus on the red hand below.  It took me some time to get Davis to stick her hand in red paint and not ruin everything in the house.  We made it through it.  Oh. . .destruct-o-girl.  I don't know what I was thinking when I tried this one.   
This was our Mother's Day card many years ago when the boys were little bitty. The boys did the best they could. This was probably one of the first cards the boys and I did together.
To all of you loving Mother's, from my family to you - thanks for being who you are.  Thanks for being awesome.  Thanks for loving your children and making this world a better place because of it.  The Lord makes it very clear in the Bible how important you are to the church, your family, and this world.  Happy Mother's Day to you; I hope your day is special because you deserve it.

To my mom, Sandra, and to Cassie's mom, Candy, you know how awesome we think you are.  A man once said that "a child is trained 100 years before he or she is born."  Thanks for molding our (your children's) families to what they are today.  You both are amazing - We love you so much.    
But to MY Baby Momma, I want to say exactly what was on the back of the same card above written many years ago. 
If you can't read it; I'm sorry. It basically says, "Your awesome and I love you." You know the routine.
Cassie, from your loving Hubby, Super G, Turnanator and Destruct-o-girl - Happy Mother's Day!  We love you "big much" - all the way to the "cheese cake factory and back"!