Monday, August 25, 2008

Cooking Lessons Anyone?

Ok, so since I have already had 2 requests on our blog and several verbal requests, I am considering doing a cooking lesson for anyone interested in learning to "put up" fresh veggies! I actually learned from my grandmothers. When Sam and I first got married (and since he is a "country boy") I called my grandmothers for some advice on how to put up veggies. I actually still use the notes that I took from their lessons and I would be glad to pass along these precious tips that you just can't find in books or cookbooks anywhere - I got them to good ole' fashion way - word of mouth from the experts! Hopefully these are some things I can pass on to my girls when they grow up! My next lesson that I want to learn is how to can things and I will pass this along as well!

If anyone is interested in this, let me know and we can plan a day at my house to do it!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rainy Days

Well, as I write this post, I look out the window at the rain and accept that we must settle in for a weekend full of rain, due to the long-lasting TS Faye! Oh well, at least this was not a bad storm for my family in the Tampa area and Mobile area, so we are thankful for that. I can tell that we have not had one of these rain-filled weekends in a long time because the girls are already stir-crazy and it's only 11:00am. Did I say the girls? I should say WE ALL ARE! But at least our yard is loving this very much needed rain!

I have to brag on myself this morning. All summer I have been gradually buying fresh veggies from our local produce stand and farmer's market and putting up veggies for the winter (for those of you not from the South, this means freezing them for later consumption). This morning I have already made a trip to the farmer's market (in the rain, I might add) and blanched and put up about 10 cups of peas and 6 cups of cut okra. I am so excited about doing this because I am always craving fresh veggies in the winter and unless you already have them put up or you have someone in your family (i.e. my grandmother - who is no longer able to do it) then there's no hope of fresh until next summer! So Yea Leigh! I am prepared this year!

On another note (totally unrelated to the above), there are some amazing things happening this past week that can only be credited to God's Grace and the persistence of His Prayer Warriors! A family in our neighborhood (whose kids I babysat when they were about the same age as my girls) has experienced first hand the power of prayer and God's Amazing Grace! Their middle child, Carter (age 20), was on a camping trip with some of his Sigma Chi pledge brothers from Bham Southern about 10 days ago and fell off a 50 ft cliff into a creek and was unconcious and underwater for about 4-8 minutes before his friends could get down to him. One of the boys is a pre-med major and started performing CPR while still in the water (which his docs say saved his life because his body would likely have gone into shock if pulled out first) and was able to get him breathing again and a pulse back before he was airlifted to the local hospital. Well, here we are more than a week later, and Carter has improved tremendously and his team of docs expect him to make a full recovery! From the time of hearing of the accident, e-mails went out immediately to who-knows how many people all over town and the Prayer Warriors went to work! Wow, you cannot believe the amount of out-pouring of prayers that have taken place in this past week for Carter, all in the name of God! AND, add to the fact of his miraculous recovery, an article was in our local paper this week about Carter, his accident, and how only by the Grace of God is he even alive, much less doing so well! In the article the author actually used religious terms in his writing!!!!! The article stirred up so much talk about Grace, Faith, etc. in our town and it is amazing! If you had told me 15 years ago that this cute little blond haired boy would be used by God in this way, I would have called you a liar!!! Anyway, he is doing amazingly well considering he shouldn't have even survived and if you want to check out his Caring Bridge site for more updates and to hear his parents (who are the sweetest people)profound thoughts, emotions, and feelings every day of his recovery go to Praise GOD - that's all you can say about this!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Days of New

Well, we are finally getting adjusted to our new school schedule (they go all day on Mon/Wed/Fri and only half days on Tues/Thurs). I can't believe how much Anna has grown up in the last 2 weeks. She is becoming much more independent and will actually go play by herself in the playroom! She is also becoming more verbal, which is so nice (and so darned cute!)!

Sam and I had a nice break from the girls last week, even though it was a business trip. I kept telling Sam that I was looking forward to my "vacation", so before we even got to the airport he had asked my 3 times if I was enjoying my vacation yet. We went to Chicago to work one of our shows and I loved it! I think I loved it because it reminded me so much of New York, but cleaner and with a lot more parks and "green" stuff! We were gone for a full 7 days; Mary Mac is finally old enough now that she realized that we were gone for a long time. She kept asking us on the phone (which is unusual because she normally won't talk to us on the phone) when we were coming home - awwwweeee! I'm not sure if she wanted us to come home because she missed us or she was looking forward to her "surprises" we brought! I'll take either option - at least they missed us! They were both so excited to see us when we got home - I think it was a good break for all of us. Of course, they both looked like they had grown a foot in one week!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Mother's Reflections. . .

I'm writing this post more for myself than anyone else's benefit, so just bare with me as I work my way through my thoughts on this post. I have lots of friends (both bloggies and non-bloggies) that are pregnant right now with babies (#1, #2, or #3 children) and those that have just had babies and hearing all of thier stories makes me kind of reflect on my family's lives over the past few years.

The day of Anna's birth and those days that followed are still a bit of a blur, but there are a few things that really stand out in my mind of the emotions and feelings I had (I know, Sam, you remember my weeping very clearly I'm sure!). These emotions were very raw and real and I am so thankful that I had a husband and family that allowed me to express them and deal with them. I think my mom was really worried that I ws suffering from Post-Partum, but I am very confident that that was not the case at all!

So, you're wondering, what emotions and feelings were you dealing with? Well, the biggest one was the idea that somehow I was "losing" Mary Mac as my baby - I mean, up to that point, she WAS my baby and in a matter of a few hours, she WASN'T - she was my Big Girl/Big Sister. I felt so guilty for taking her baby-hood away from her so young and forcing her into this world of being a Big Girl at the ripe old age of 2 1/2. i mean, Sam and I made this choice for her and never consulted her on it. How selfish could we have been? We wanted another child, not Mary Mac - she was happy and content being the only child. I vividly remember seeing her for the first time after having Anna and immediately I noticed (whether in reality or just in my head - dunno?) that she had grown like a foot and had these enormous hands and feet, that is, compared to this new miracle that we had been waiting on for almost 9 months, who was so tiny and fragile.

Another major emotion was my fear of how I was going to be able to raise not just 1 fearless and confident female, but 2! Mary Mac was already growing into this confident, yet sweet little girl and, for the life of me, when Anna was born, my brain just went blank as to what I thought "we" (Sam and I) did to get her to this stage of life! How on earth can I repeat this? The answer I have realized is that "we" did not do anything - the "we" in this equation was not just Sam and I, but also our faith in God as our guide to raise these little earthly beings! The other answer is that as Anna is getting older and developing her own little personality, I realize that I shouldn't have wanted to make a "clone" of Mary Mac or try and repeat her! Anna is her own, sweet, funny, loving little person - all by herself - curls and all! And Mary Mac is her own wild, fearless, confident, loving little girl, too! Wow, what a blessing we have in these 2 miracle babies!

Looking back, I can't believe I really had those crazy feelings and emotions, but I don't think I am the only mom that goes through this! I'm just going to chalk it up to being totally normal with just a little hormonal influence added to the mix! So, for those of you who are thinking that I am writing this because I have baby-fever? WRONG! No fever here! I think, for now at least, I will just enjoy everyone else's babies and live vicariously through you all. The thought of going back to All Things Baby world is sooooo not appealing to me! so if you find me smelling your sweet baby's head (yes, Molli, you were right - that smell is distinct and wonderful!), don't worry, just consider it my "fever medicine"! I'll get over it really quick - like, as soon as they start crying!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A New "Big Girl" Room for Mary Mac

We had not planned on doing anything anytime soon with Mary Mac or Anna's bedroom furniture - that is, until we realized that the furniture we REALLY wanted for Mary Mac was going on sale, but only through the end of July. So, not knowing if it would go on sale again anytime soon, we decided to go ahead get it for her and really give her a room with personality (Mary Mac's personality=horses). So within a week's time, we bought the furniture, ordered the bedding, matched the paint to the bedding, and painted the walls accordingly (or should I say, I painted the walls since Sam was out of town). It's not totally finished yet, but I am so proud of it I wanted to go ahead and post pictures of it. I meant to take a "before" picture, but forgot! So, for those of you who didn't know what it looked like before - she had hot pink upholstered twin headboards with bright colored striped bedding and the walls were just a khaki color because I knew we would be changing it in the near future (just didn't imagine it being this near). For now, her old stuff is now located in our other guest bedroom (which was being used only for storage), so we have plenty of sleeping room for any guests! Mary Mac is so proud of her Big Girl room that she likes to just go up there by herself and read or play by herself on her "horsey" bed! The plan to finish out the room is to have a girl that Sam's family knows paint a fence on the bottom half and maybe a horse on one of the walls - hence, the idea of the bottom walls being green (i.e. grass) and the top being blue (! Hope you enjoy! By the way, this is it for furniture for Mary Mac's room - she will have this furniture until she can afford to buy her own!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

First Day of School

Well yesterday was the first day of school for the girls for this next year. We had a week off last week and now they got to move into their new classes yesterday! Anna (just as I suspected) was not very excited about her move -she is definitely our child of habit! Mary Mac, after a little hesitancy, warmed right up to her new class after she realized that all of her friends were still in the class with her. Ms. Patty said that Anna had a great day and actually fell right to sleep on her nap mat on the floor - for that I am floored! I was really worried about my sweet little angel, but she was so glad to see me when I picked her up! We actually had a great night last night after getting home from school. Sam and I decided that she was so happy to be home with us that she was not going going to whine or fuss or hang on my leg - just full of gratefullness!!!!

On a side note, Anna has decided that she really loves this one baby doll that someone gave Mary Mac when she was a baby (Mary Mac was never "into" dolls - only animals!). She loves it and carries it all over the house with her, calling it "BaaDaa" which is her word for baby doll I guess! It's so cute! At least one of our girls is a "girly girl"! Sam doesn't know what to think about this!