So Johnny Took That Test

and he's a Border Collie. We compared answers and although I pretty much knew already which ones he'd choose, I just do NOT see him as a Border Collie. The celebrities they had listed as those type doggies were Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, and Martha Stewart to name a few. Hmm, definitely not the kind of man I'm married to. He did say afterwards that he kept wanting to change his answers. He wasn't sure if he was to answer them as he would have 30 years ago or the way he would today. That surprised me. I would've answered mine the same way regardless of the years. Seemed like an easy test to me~

So I Took This Test

that I found on Sweet Home Alabama AND it only confirmed what I've thought for years. If I were to be a dog, my favorite pet next to horses, I know I would be a Golden Retriever. And according to this test, I would be!! It's a cute test and a great website. Check it out and let me know what YOU would be!! Here's my results~

Golden Retriever
The Charmer
Laid-back, sociable and well-groomed, you've got your own hip little pack of groupies who just love to be around you. You have a brain inside that adorable little head of yours, though you use it mostly to organize your hectic social calendar. You never poop out at parties, and since you're popular with ladies and men, as well as children and adults, you dish out your wit, charm and luck to whomever is close enough to bask in it. The top dog likes you and wants to be your best friend, despite the fact that he doesn't really know what the heck you do. No one does, in fact, but everyone loves you all the same. A true foodie, you’ve got your keen ears fine-tuned to make sure you don't miss out on the opening of a trendy new place to nosh. But your youthful days of being able to wolf down food 24-7 are wagging behind you, meaning you've got to watch what you eat so you don’t pull a Brando and outgrow your coats.
FAMOUS GOLDEN RETRIEVERS: Bono, Robert Redford, Joe Montana, Julia Roberts
LIKELY PROFESSIONS: Journalist, Intelligence Agent,

Gatlinburg, Tennessee~

The view from our balcony when we got there Saturday night~
and the one that greeted us early Sunday morning!
John & I have been making trips to Gatlinburg, Tennessee since the fall of 1983 and we fall in love with it all over again each & every trip. Saturday Jenny & I had a huge yard sale and knowing I'd worked hard at getting things together, got up at 4 am to set it all up, Johnny took me to Ruby Tuesdays for a delicious salad and steak about 2:30 that afternoon. The entrees had just been brought to the table when he casually looked at me and asked, "Want to go to Gatlinburg this afternoon?" Did I??!!!! The waitress came by asking if we needed anything and I said, "YES, two to-go boxes, we're going to Gatlinburg!" Within the hour we were packed and halfway to the Clanton exit! Called on the way up to reserve a condo at our favorite place and found, to our excitement, that we were getting two nights for the price of one!! Could it get any better?!
It did! It was cold!! And it began to rain Sunday morning, but the rain was nice and refreshed the greenery. Johnny has said for years that a bad day in Gatlinburg beats a good day elsewhere anytime! The higher we drove into the park, the rainer and foggier it got. We saw so many wet motorcyclists! We met a very nice couple that showed us their rentals, so now we have contacts for two condos that are absolutely beautiful with the decor!! {Think flat screen TV's on the walls!! kind of decor!} We got some serious relaxation in and I got a beautiful silver bracelet with a heart charm added to commemorate our time there.

Sunday afternoon we received word that Johnny's brother-in-law, John Barnes, won his battle with cancer. John was ready to go Home and we rest easier knowing he is with loved ones and a wife he missed dearly. We got home Monday afternoon and as much as we loved our little get-away, it's always good to get home. The family has elected not to have visitation, just a grave side service at a quaint church in the country. We rejoice knowing John walked with the King, is now resting in Paradise, and waiting for the rest of us to get there. Personally, I want to go back to the Garden, walk up to my dad and into a hug. I've missed his hugs and his grin.

If you're planning a trip to Gatlinburg, and I highly recommend it, get in touch with me and I'll give you the number of the condos we stay. They are located right off traffic light #6 and there are one and two bedroom units. Housekeeping is awesome and the kitchens have everything you need, including complimentary coffee, creamer, and sugar. Here's a picture of the opposite side of the building.I'm off to have lunch with Deborah and to play catch up with her! Here's hoping you have a beautiful Tuesday and many, many moments of laughter~

Who, When, but Where?!

Here's the guy~
Here's the girl~
Here's the view from their condo room Saturday night!!
If you think you know where they were,
be the first to say so in a comment
and you'll win a handcrafted surprise!
So log in, leave a guess, and let's see who wins!
Time's up at midnight tonight!
And at that time, I'll tell you about our weekend!!

Don't Wonder! Click!!

Please go, right now, to Melissa Lester's spot and read her note for today. I promise you, you'll be glad you did~Nancy

Shopping & Sleeping~

Women can just wear a man out while shopping ~ even two men! Jenny & I had a couple of places we wanted to visit in Montgomery today, and of course we're going to take the babes! It's such a delight to me just to watch them {you'll know one day when you have grandchildren} and I love watching Jenny interact with them. We tried on dresses, tried on shoes, ate at Chili's, they sat in the car and watched a DVD while I went to counseling, suffice to say we covered a bit of territory in a short period of time!

We probably hadn't been in The Children's Place ten minutes when Ian turned around and said, "Mommy, I want to lay down on the couch." {Ian language for 'I'm tired, mommy'} Jenny stopped, looked at me, and said, "We're outta here." So I wheeled Noah around in the stroller and back to the car we went. We weren't on I-85 good before both boys were sound asleep! That was around 1:20, I guess. When I spoke to Jenny a little after four, Noah was still asleep. Do you think maybe we wore them out?

{PS~I have always wanted to hide in a rack of clothes forever! Jenny used to do it when we were shopping and she would reach out and grab me and I would pretend to be scared. Now it's Ian's turn and he loved hiding from me and Jen. Here's a picture I got before he decided he'd had enough and was ready for his couch and an afternoon rest.}

My Fairy Child~Laughter, Love, and Leaving

As our schoolyear drew to a close, I found myself worrying which 3rd grade teacher would get my fairy child. Would she understand him, love him, and accept the ways that set him apart from other children? Would he be allowed to ask the jillion questions he was capable of wondering? Would she guide him gently into the world of responsiblility and maturity? Would she take the time to laugh and enjoy life with him?
But who was I really worried about? Was it Evan? Or was it me?
Who would understand me? Love and accept my ways with unconditional love? Who would take the time to laugh and enjoy life with me? With Evan gone, who would I have within this classroom I call home for 185 days a year 9 hours a day?
"Mrs. Hood?"
"Yes, Evan?"
"Next year I won't be in your room, will I?"
"No, sweetheart, you won't."
"Will you go to third grade and be my teacher?"
"I can't do that, Evan. I have to stay here."
"Well, you know what?"
"What, my Evan?"
"Every morning I'm going to sneak down here before school and give you a hug. Will that be okay?"
"I'd like that a lot, Evan."
"You know what, Mrs. Hood? I'm never going to forget you. Not even when you're old and wrinkled, and I'm big and have a job."
And then I know it'll be okay. Because no matter where I go or what I do or what tomorrow may bring, for this particular moment in time I have the love of this small child. And I will always have the memories he created for me. For us.
Thank you, my fairy child. Thank you for touching my life in your very special way. I will never forget you. I will always love you.
And you will forever have a part of my heart.

Sometimes They Just Won't~

Yesterday I showed you a picture of Ian and his friend Grant. Well, Jenny showed me this picture of Noah and I had to share it with you!! It made me laugh and maybe it'll bring a smile to you, too. Here's Noah at the Biscuits game~

Generations of Friends~

You know my Ian, our daughter Jenny's son. On his right is a good friend of his, Grant Duncan. This friendship within our families goes back three generations. Grant's grandmother, Debra Brock, and I grew up worshipping together at the Lightwood church of Christ. We learned about Jesus at the feet of Miss Mary and played in the yard beside the cotton field. Grew up, married, and soon there were baby showers. At my baby shower, I have a cute picture of Debra's daughter, Angie, handing me a present to open. Our girls grew up worshipping together at Lightwood, and at the feet of the same Miss Mary! Now Angie and Jenny have children and they, too, have fun sharing time together. While not at the feet of Miss Mary, they are learning together here with the Prattville congregation. What comfort, knowing your grandchild has bonded with a Christian family and that through the years this will go on and on, just as it has for the past forty some odd years. Thank you, Lord, for this family, these friends.

Celebrate His Creation~

Be kind to the Earth~
we owe it to our children.

Two Years~

I love pink. I love believing in faieries. I love looking in the mirror and seeing a healthier woman than this time last year. Today is the second anniversary of the accident and it's been a beautiful day. For those of you that don't know me, I'll save that story for another time. Suffice to say, don't take it for granted that routine outpatient procedures will go as planned!

There's only bits and pieces I remember of that first year. First there was the 70 day 'sleep' and then seven more days being weaned off the ventilator. One terrifying night in the rehab center, only to cry my way into our home the next day. Johnny brought me home on our 23rd wedding anniversary.

Then the drug withdrawal and the recovery period. Five weeks of in home physical therapy learning to walk, to climb steps, reteaching myself how to write and care for myself. Doing crossword puzzles to help my brain reconnect with words and sentences. By the middle of October I was out of the adult diapers (ugh!), able to get into the shower without help, both drainage bags had been removed and the wounds beginning to heal. The trach wound was finally closed and I didn't whistle when I talked.

The second year I began gaining back the 40 pounds I lost. Well, okay, so I didn't need to gain alllll of it back. But I'm on the upper upper side of middle age and it does NOT come off easily. {Some would say I'm on the younger side of senior citizenship, but I'm not.} {Really! I'm not.}

Johnny still looks at me at times as if he's afraid I'll vanish. When I don't feel good, or the days when I simply need to sleep, I see the fear in his eyes. My family and friends suffered and it was doubled with the fact that we were in Birmingham and not Montgomery. I slept through it all. There were nightmares, oh horrid nightmares brought on when they weaned me from the paralytic medicine. But mostly I just slept. I remember crying and begging Johnny and Jenny to take me home. That was so traumatic for them. I remember seeing Nelson at the foot of my bed, standing there with his big smile meant just for me. I remember Leslie cupping my face in her hands, getting real close, and repeating, "Nancy, you're going to be alright. You're really going to be alright." And I was. And each day was easier.

There's still problems that may never go away. I forget things, and when a trigger moment brings a rush of feelings, there's what I call 'zinger headaches' that create speech problems, interrupts my thought process, and I become extremely ADD ~ and I used to be so ADHD!! But I'm back with my family and my friends and life is vibrant. It saddens me that others suffered while I slept, but it strengthens me to know that my family is much stronger now because of it. I know they will endure and they will live, prosper, and be happy. And that comforts me.

My Fairy Child~Pizza & Laughter

I had to carefully screen what Evan said, during any time together. One morning, during a Reading lesson, I tried to prevent him from telling us how pizza affected his mother's intestines.
"Mrs. Hood, do you like pizza?"
"I do, but sometimes it makes me burp."
"Me, too! But you know what it does to my mom?"
"Does it make her burp, too?"
"No, ma'am. It makes her po-" as I slap my hand over his mouth. Too late. Someone has already figured it out and now I have 21 little people rolling on the floor around my chair. Evan's wide eyes are looking at me over my hand, which is pressed tightly below his nose!
"Evan P*, I am going to remove my hand and you are NOT to repeat that word. Do you understand?"
"Yishmi'im," he garbled out beneath my fingers.
"I'm serious, Evan. Don't say it."
Removing my hand, I looked at him and cautioned him with my eyes. With all the seriousness of a politician, he said, "I promise, Mrs. Hood, I won't say poot anymore."
Closing my eyes, I listen as my classroom erupts once more in giggles and laughter.
And Evan just sits there quietly at my knees, with dancing eyes - knowing exactly what he's done. And I wonder, once more, what it's like to live with him 24 hours a day.

Ian & Me

It was a busy week, but such a fun week. Looking through Jen's pictures I found this one and like it well enough to want to share with you. This is Ian, Brandon and Jenny's oldest. We always have fun together and he never fails to make me laugh. Although he's getting past the stage of wanting to snuggle, he still loves to spend time with me. Without being told "I love you" first, he says it. Now, isn't that the way to any woman's heart?

Love, Life & Loss

The Senior Dinner before Edgewood's Prom was a hit and Kindall was beautiful. She's holding Landon Martin, son of Kelcey and Bryan Martin. Some of you may have known Bryan in school, others will remember him as being the young father and husband that was senselessly shot and killed not too long ago. Apparently two young men from Montgomery had sat in the parking lot outside Millbrook's Walmart and watched, and discounted, others before Bryan drove in. He went in that night to get dog food and diapers and was shot as he got back in his truck. The men were caught the next day, driving the truck and have been sentenced. He left a beautiful wife, Landon, and a small daughter. I know they need your prayers. Landon is the nephew of Chad Driscoll~

My Fairy Child~Classroom Angels

It can make one sad for our children that they have to grow up to be adults, because with that stage comes fear and doubt and hurt. We lose that innocence and trust, the idea that others will help us because we would have helped them.
To love without being loved is something certainly common to a child and very rare with us older beings.
I was always reminded that I was one of those 'older' ones when I got on my knees at the end of each classday to clean up Evan's desk area. It never ceased to amaze me how much paper, color crayons, broken pencils, and just 'stuff!' he could accumulate in a days time. And it only took part of the next morning for it to get right back to where it had been the previous day!
I fussed, threatened, bribed - most anything - to try and have him keep some semblance of order. Then I began to notice he was sitting in a state of organization - and this began to happen on a regular basis. I didn't think I had succeeded in my pleadings, but neither did Evan seem to be putting forth any extra effort.
I did notice, however, that he seemed to have more company around his floor area. It was quiet, and there would be no playing, but someone was always there - on the floor. And on their knees. Scurrying around like squirrels, picking up things and crawling to our trashcan.
So now Evan had help. Upon questioning one of the helpers, I found that they didn't want me fussing at him, so they had individually decided to help. Each one pitching in to aid a friend. What wonderful little people we have. What loving angels in small bodies~

Kindall's Little Sister~

So today I got to get a snapshot with the sister of the beauty I showed you last night! This is Kaylin and I had her in my classroom for maybe two months before I took that 70-day nap. She's almost a fourth grader now and will always be one of my sweethearts. This one's for you KK!!

My Fairy Child~His Heart of Gold

I watch him as he works at his desk during our center time. He becomes so engrossed in whatever has captured his attention that time seems to fade and he leaves us for a little while. It may be a picture book or an encyclopedia filled with wonderous photographs or his library book, but it is a flight into another realm of his world. He sits quietly without speaking and hunches close to the book. I study him at times. This little elfin figure that has filled my working days with wonder. So serious. So small.
What is it about him that captures my attention, that makes me seek him out many times during our day together? Is it to see what comical mischief he's into, or to check and make sure he's as happy as we are when we're around him? Is it a more selfish motive? To be noticed by Evan is to be reassured that you matter, that you are special. Whatever the reason, I find myself glancing his way often, looking for him in the room, even looking to see where he's positioned himself at our lunch table.
The lunch room. Another place to yet watch him at work.
Our school hires part-time workers to work certain areas of our campus. One such place is the lunchroom. One day there was a gentleman working the area where plates are emptied. It was the same day Evan slipped his 'gold' rock into his pocket-for safety reasons he told me later.
Unknownst to me, another student had playfully hidden this 'treasure' that Evan had set on his lunch plate. So naturally, when we line up he realizes he must have thrown his rock in the trash along with his food. Knowing he wasn't supposed to have it in the lunchroom in the first place, he decided to handle it on his own. We're busy working on a math lesson when this gentleman comes to my door.
"Mrs. Hood? Would you tell Evan P* that I couldn't find his valuable stone. Ma'am, I looked real good."
"I'm sorry," I replied with what I'm sure is a confused look. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Well, he came up and told me he'd dropped a gold nugget into the trashcan and asked me to find it and return it to him. Said he'd be in your room."
Apparently, this man had donned gloves and gone through a fifty-five gallon trashbin of food scraps looking for a rock that was at the moment sitting on Evan's desk, having been returned during our walk back across campus.
"Evan Mark P*, Junior come here now."
With a look of 'Oh no, think quick!' he managed to say, "Mrs. Hood, wasn't he nice to look for my gold rock for me?"
"Evan, whatever possessed you to ask this man to do that?"
With a serious, and surprised, expression on his face, Evan answered, "Well ... I needed help and I would've helped him."
And Evan would have. Without any hesitation. Or permission.

You Have to Be You~

God is always there, isn't he. In the last week or so I have been deeply troubled by the thoughtlessness of a few family members close to me. Their actions saddened and diasppointed me and I wondered how they could be so heartless. I could find no logical answer for their actions and I wasn't sure how to approach the situation. Should I take a stand and voice my feelings? Should I avoid them all together? Should I put on a mask and pretend? My soul was so troubled that I didn't even give Him a true chance to help me find the way. I kept searching, but refused to take off the cloak of "they hurt me and my family" long enough for Him to show me that His was has been my way.

This morning He did. Although, the last few days I've begun to let go and to move on. And then I had my daily morning devotion and this is what it said,

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. ~James 4:17

THOUGHT: Jesus taught this principle when he healed on the Sabbath (Mark3:1-7) and told the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37). Our Lord made it clear that to neglect to do a good deed for another, even if we had a religious excuse for not doing it, was to do evil. Let's be a people known for doing good deeds and sharing kindness. Let's not let any excuse interfere with our glorious and holy opportunities to serve others in the name of Jesus.
PRAYER: Dear Father, please use me today to bless someone in need so that they may know your grace and so that Jesus, your Son and my Savior, will be glorified. In Jesus' sweet and precious name I pray. Amen.

Thank you, my precious Lord. Sometimes it takes a 2x4 and sometimes it just takes the written word. I shall go forth and be me. It's not my nature to confront, especially when it's with those that hear only their own words. It's not my nature to cause pain, especially when those that would hurt aren't the ones that deserve it. It's my nature to smile, to show love, and to forgive. Thank you again, Father, for reminding me that in all times I just need to be me~

Love, Laughter & Life

Chad & Kindall~such sweethearts, not just to each other but to all that know and love them. Both are graduating from high school this May and heading in different directions geographically, with Kindall going to Auburn and Chad going into the National Guard's Basic Training. We had dinner with them tonight and thoroughly enjoyed our visit {and meal!}. Johnny enjoys spending time with Chad, says he reminds him of himself when he was that age. Personally, I think Johnny was quite a bit cockier and a total football jock but that's just me speaking. I'm sure he'd ~ nah, he'd agree with me. Kindall is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside and I love being with her. Their excitement over the future is contagious; their plans for the future attainable; and their desire to do His work admirable. We wish them all the blessings needed to make those dreams come true! Always dream big, God doesn't know do anything little!

Going to the Zoo!

We went to the Montgomery Zoo!! and had hotdogs and cokes!! and saw an alligator! and the baby hippo!! and the elephants!! {and two elephants were chasing each other and the one in the back was trying to get on the other one!} and we saw a man exercising an eagle! and saw the monkey island! and the snakes! and the bathrooms!! and we even got to buy a tshirt and a stuffed aminal {no, I did NOT misspell that} in 'that store place'.

Jenny asked if I wanted to ride with her and the boys to the zoo this morning and it's been so long since I've been there. And then it was on a field trip with over a hundred second graders! There were still students there today, but I only had two to help watch and we didn't have to ride a schoolbus!!! I had a blast!

It was such fun and you can click on my Flickr site to see additional pictures. Jenny took more than me and is a better photographer so I'm eager to see what she has! And yay to Teale and Chad! They're having a baby and found out today that it is a girl! So it's pink items for them! {Ah Chad, I just knew this was a boy! Next time, maybe?!}

It was too hard getting both boys to look at a camera! There was too much other fun things to look at!
See what I mean?!
and we even got to ride the Zoo Express! How cool was that!!!
Yeah, so Noah usually was looking through the bars and not over them~

My Fairy Child~I Love You, Frankie . . .

Evan loved life, and he loved us. He took special interest in everything. He made no enemies, because he could always find something nice to say about all of us. There were times when he would hunger for someone to say something nice about him, and it was at those times that I found it hard to separate him from my leg.
Evan not only needed to love, but he needed to be loved. Above all, to know that he was loved. It did not, however, dim his enthusiasm for someone to brush him off. If anything, it served only to make him try harder to love that person.
As free and open as he was with his love, and belongings, no one in our class ever (to my knowledge) took advantage of him. It was as if they recognized his innocence and wanted to protect it.
"Hey, Frankie. You know what?"
"What, Evan? Why do you always say 'You know what'?"
"Because I'm asking you something. People say that when they ask a question. Don't they say that, Frankie?"
"I guess so, Evan. What'd you want?"
"I love you, Frankie."
"I love you too, Evan, but you didn't ask me anything."
"Well, that's okay, isn't it?"
As Frankie stands there looking totally confused, Evan Mark P*, Junior grins as he hugs Friankie tight, turns and skips off.
Our Evan.

My Fairy Child~the Field Trip

Once on a field trip to Montgomery he asked if we could share a seat. Anxious for a smile or two, I agreed. After several miles of chitchat and hugs he pulled my face real close to his and looking deep into my eyes, he just stared for a long time.
"I love you so much, Mrs. Hood."
"Oh, Evan. I needed to hear someone say that today. Thank you."
"Do you know what else, Mrs. Hood?"
"What, Evan?"
Reaching out to lightly touch the lines on the sides of my eyes, the very lines that just that morning had made me feel old, real old, he brought his nose to mine and said, "I love these lines beside your eyes. I only see them when you smile. Did you know that?"
"No, Evan, I didn't."
And that literally made my day.
How many times do we get so wrapped up in trying to make a living, provide a home and all the other zillion things that cause us to rush through life, that we overlook the little things that come our way every day? Little things that maybe no one has told us in a long time, or, maybe we just never took the time to see. Little things, little people like Evan. My fairy child.

My Fairy Child~His name was . . .

His name was Evan Mark P*, Junior, and he was as short as his name was long. Large brown eyes in a small tiny face. I called him my fairy child, and he enchanted me from the very first day.
Evan loved to maintain a serious expression. There was, however, a perpetual grin behind the eyes. It was difficult to stay somber, and very easy to smile, when he was near.
Having a discussion with him was an experience all in its' own. I never knew where it might lead.
"Mrs. Hood, is this good writing?"
"Well, Evan, it's better."
"But it's good, right?"
"I can't say that, Evan. Compared to what you have been turning in, yes it's good, but it's not the best you can do. Right?"
"No, ma'am, but it's good for today, isn't it?"
"Mrs. Hood?"
"What, Evan?"
"Do you like the name P*?"
"Yes, I do."
"Some people laugh at my last name. Does it make you feel like laughing?"
"No, darling," I reply smiling. "I think it's a good last name."
"Well, it makes me think of pickles. I wish I had one right now. Do you like pickles, Mrs. Hood?"
I never knew once we started where we were going to end up. It was that way with him. With Evan. My fairy child.

Comfort from the Saviour

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
~Philippians 4:13

O God, without you my strength would fade and my confidence would fail. Thankfully I will never have to worry about this because your grace, your Spirit, and your Son will strengthen me and help me weather any storm. Thank you, in Jesus' name. Amen.

And thank you, my Savior and King, for words of comfort that come at a time when they are most needed~


Saturday. The day of the week that invoked such happiness when I was in grade school. In junior high, Friday was the day of the week I loved! Spend the night parties abounded, no homework!! Then came high school and Friday nights held the promise of football games, cheerleader parties, and dates! I couldn't wait to grow up, get married, and every night would be a Friday night! That was the only night I was allowed to stay up as late as I wanted!

I grew up, I got married and guess what? Friday night, Saturdays, they were just like Sunday through Thursday. It wasn't the same after the wedding. Until I began working full time, because I had a husband who thought I should work while he finished school! Then Saturdays became sacred days of bliss.

When our daughters were older I turned Saturdays into days they'd probably like to forget. Saturdays became the day we had to get up, get dressed, get those sheets OFF the bed and in the washer by 8:30, clean the house, buy the groceries, weed the flower beds, and so on and so on. Bless their hearts, I've since made my apologies to them and now they sleep until they have to get up and they don't weed flower beds!

Once Johnny and I became empty nesters, I realized that not cleaning on Saturdays or changing the bed linens didn't cause the sun to fall out of the sky! Wow, look what I'd been missing! You could actually sleep past 8 am and no one cared! Well, okay, it did take my family time to get used to the new me. And since the accident, there are times when I literally fall in and out of bed all. day. long. Johnny will wander in every hour or so to make sure I'm still breathing.

I like to think my body is making up for those nights I just didn't go to bed. Grading papers, cleaning the house, rearranging the house, decorating for a holiday, you name it, I stayed up for it. It all had to be perfect. The girls and I have spent time remembering some of those times and how we do/or don't do those things anymore. I am so blessed to have daughters that know my faults, forgive my mistakes, and love me dearly for being an imperfect but loving parent.

Saturdays are days where I especially remember my girls and pray that they are having fun, that they are NOT cleaning house, that they are enjoying their families, and sleeping on sheets that will get washed another day. Stacey, Leslie, and Jenny~I love you so much. Happy Saturday~
PS~Can ANYONE tell me why there is spacing in the first paragraph and NOT in the others!! I've edited and re-edited and it's driving me crazy!! And advice would be much appreciated!

The Lavender Hippo!

Brandon and Jenny have a new home-based business! The Lavender Hippo is a place to find all kinds of luggage tags, diaper bag tags, you name it they'll tag it for you. Jenny is really excited about this and I've seen some finished tags. I'm impressed.

Here's some ideas Jenny may not have thought of! **I'm pretty sure this isn't your bag.** or what about **Nothing worth stealing in here.** and from the camper coming home **Dirty clothes inside!** or to get right to the point **This is my bag! This is not your suitcase!** Wow, I'm having fun with this!! What about having tags personalized for house guests and give as keepsakes to hang on backpacks, sports bags, or overnight bags?

Until I began helping Jen look for clip art, etc. I had no idea the various ways a tag could be used. Tags can be used on water bottles, ice chests, senior citizen items, and as teacher gifts! She and Brandon have put alot of effort into making sure there are many, many different patterns and fonts, and she's still adding to the list. Now, alongside Teale and Dawn of The Feathered Nest, there's another place we can go to make our lives easier and prettier!

The rain is headed our way this evening and I can't wait!!! I do so love a good thunderstorm. Hope you have a beautiful day today, a nice rainy weekend of staying inside with those you love, and a blessed time with fellow Christians Sunday~talk to you soon!

I have found, thanks to Dawn at The Feathered Nest!, a site with beautiful, gorgeous old French pictures to upload and use! Grenouille Plus is just the beginning to the number of images there are ! I clicked on one and was taken to the Flicker site where you can find literally hundreds of items! I can see these being used not only in a crafty project, but transferred and framed! If you're just the slightest bit curious, check it out and see for yourself what fascinating pictures these are. I don't know anything about the French language, so do not begin to ask me what they say. I hope they are nice words~

I found this snapshot on Southern Living's site! It is very similiar to the way I used the mantle I have for sale! I never put a covered piece in the opening and wish now that I had. I have a mantle for sale should anyone need a whole new look for a bedroom! It's only $50 and that's a cheap, and unpredictable, headboard!

On a different note, what were they thinking using those pillows! I might could live with the gold covering, even the brown pillows, but the orange one?! That one would have to find it's way into a Goodwill pile.

A Rainy, Rainy Day~

It's still raining and I am loving it!! Give me a thunderstorm any day, and if you can't give me that give me the slow steady rain like I have today, and if you can't give me that give me a wintry cold day in the Smokies, and if you can't give me that, ah you get the picture.

I am so glad Jenny called yesterday before she bought the yard sale permit. The sirens began going off in Prattville and she just wasn't sure the weather was going to cooperate. Great idea, Jen, we all went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast instead! Then, out to Jenny's home to let Leslie see it and to gather Austin's things. The boys had such a great time together and they both pouted when goodbyes were said. Although I really think Noah will like just having one brother now. The regular 'boy noise' was a bit much for him and he spent much of his time running for an adult to pull him up off the floor! Here's some pictures from this morning!

Noah was looking at his drinkcup on the table and probably wondering when Nan was going to let him go!

The boys got a bit impatient waiting for the drinks and food. ha ha Men! Always thinking about their stomachs!! Hurry back to see us, Austin Brett!!

I had a friend to email saying she'd like to add some items to our yard sale since she wasn't able to get them to me beforehand. SO! there will be more, more, more now!!!

Buddies & Pals

Leslie came in this afternoon bringing Austin with her! He loves his Aunt Leslie and enjoyed his view from the backseat of her new car!! (He loves cars, too!) Leslie came over to pick up Miss Marley and Austin came to see his Nan and Pa and spend tonight with Ian. When Jenny dropped Noah off this morning, Ian asked several times when Austin was coming and as soon as he came in from Day School Austin was the first person he wanted to see! They are less than four months apart in age and have always loved the company of each other. And this is the first time he's been here without mommy!! It will be a short visit, but with the yard sale being cancelled because of weather, we'll have much more time to laugh and go get a good breakfast together!!

Here's some pictures I took right after Ian got here this afternoon. I'm hoping Jenny has taken some tonight while the boys are camped out in her living room!

Austin allowed Noah to wear his hat this afternoon and it was so cute watching Noah trying to keep it straight. Can you tell I am so in love with these three little men?!
Leslie was glad to see her pup, although I'd just soon MarleyDog become an Alabama resident~
We haven't gotten the thunderstorms that were predicted and that others seem to have gotten. Leslie's mom called and said a tornado has swept through the subdivision, but Leslie's had a neighbor check on her house and it's okay. Thank you, Father! We've heard the sirens here in Prattville and seen the coverage on Channel 12 but all we've had here was a nice steady rain. Since we weren't sure what the early morning would be like, we're holding off on the yard sale. Jenny has a Pampered Chef show next Saturday, so I'll have to let you know when we're having it. Have a restful weekend and enjoy the cool breezes and the rain~

~ from The Letter Writer ~

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