Love is in the air! (and so is snow!)

I must start this post with some info about my dad.  He loves the weather…watching the forecasts over and over, calling me to see if we are getting any kind of rough weather if The Weather Channel has called for it, and griping about it when the forecasters are dead wrong.  The love for weather watching extends on out to my older sister, Marcy, and her husband, Jesse.  Their son, Vance, knows the names of the weather anchors on The Weather Channel.  Anyway, back to my dad.  With the anticipation of snow coming our way and in to Augusta Friday night, I knew I needed to get out of town early Friday morning.  I was a little frustrated with my cell phone, the high-tech “razor” phone that it is.  I bought it several years ago.  I think I was pregnant with Mack.  That means Molly was one and Ruby was two, and I was large, among other things.  I purchased a phone charger for the car, but it never worked.  I never took it back because the timing just never was right for lugging two little ones in to get another one.  I know…I should have done it.  I didn’t.  So this weekend I was going to head back to Alpharetta with three kids in a “potential snow blizzard” (not really, but still!) withOUT a working phone.  The battery I had left would have probably gotten me one phone call for help had anything bad happened.  That wasn’t enough for my dad.  He started trying out other battery chargers from around the house to see if they would charge my phone.  They wouldn’t.  He was still working on the phone situation when my mom and I retired for the night.

This morning I woke up, and he showed me this:

He had somehow made my battery fit into his phone and then charged it.  Very innovative.

He used paper towel, electrical tape, and a piece of cardboard.

And I had a fully-charged phone for the ride home.  What a good Daddy.

And Sweetie, my mom, was up to her fun tricks this week!  She hosted a Valentine’s Day party for the grandkids since we were all in town.  The kids had fun.  She had a little craft, lots of candy, and they decorated some cupcakes.  The favorite of the boys was their “Monster Jam Trucks.”  My favorite was a book that Hallmark sells.  You record your voice as you read the book.  I don’t have a picture of the book, but my mom and dad read it AND my grandmother, Meme.  It was so sweet.  I am so glad we have her voice recorded reading for the kids.  Very, very sweet!!!!  I love it.

The table was set so cute!

Renn got started right away on her treat bag.

Ruby made a card for MeMe.  Molly made hers for Uncle Jesse.  Mack made his for whomever I decided, which ended up being MeMe, too.

Mack and Sweetie worked well together.

Kaybeth and Aunt Cacy

Vance couldn’t quite move on until somebody washed his fingers.  A mess he does not like.  He is like his Mama!

Aunt Cacy and Kaybeth, working on her card.

Sweetie and Ruby with her finished product

Molly and her cupcake!

Renn, her belly and her mama

Molly with her ring pop and her lipstick

Kaybeth showing us her pretty lipstick!

Vance eating his cupcake….or maybe devouring it would be a better word.

Cute little Mack and Rennison

Jud and Mack

There were seven little ones at Sweetie and PawPaw’s house….they were very excited!

PawPaw wrestled with them all.  It was funny.  Then, it was time to calm down.  That didn’t go so well…

Vance got in a little trouble.

How cute are they?!?

Two silly boys.  They are just six months apart in age.  I think they would be stinkers if they hung around each other very much!

There was lots of hugging at the Valentine Party!

They were all so cute!  I have more pictures, but I am running out of time!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s weekend!  Ours is starting with snow.  It is steady coming down right now.

OH, let me post one more pic.  PawPaw sent us off with full bellies—bacon, toast and eggs for breakfast!

Maybe we’ll have that for dinner, too!

Thanks, GG and Poppa Mac

The kids each got a card from GG and Poppa Mac today.  They were thrilled….and they got even more giddy when they opened it up and found some money inside!

Thanks for thinking of us!  The kids had fun opening their cards.  We will be down soon to see everyone!

Valentine’s Day Party at School

Today I dropped Ruby off at school, then dropped Molly off at her Art and Music class, then went to Wal- Mart to pick up some fruit and stuff for Ruby’s class party.  After picking Molly up and coming home, I got the car loaded and Josh came home to take care of the two younger ones while I went back to Ruby’s school for her Valentine’s party.(all while it poured down rain…love it!)  We had games, a craft, a book, a pinata, and food!

This just shows that there were lots of other cute, cute Valentine’s boxes!  See the truck?  Very cute.  Gran and Sweetie, you would want to know that it seemed that Ruby had the most “fries” in her name on the bulletin board.  I hope she does that many nice things at school!  I am so proud of her.  She really does seem to be a good listener and to be kind to her friends.  She loves school.

Candy from the pinata was a big hit!

We had a very fun time.  Ruby slept the whole way  home.  She is so tired from all the festivities!

We are gearing up for some time in Augusta with my family.  More Valentine’s fun!!  Molly asked if we were going to ride the bus.  I told her we just kept that for Christmas time.  She was disappointed.  How funny…..

Trying to play catch-up

Our computer has continued to have some issues, hence the sparse updates.  Let me try to catch up on some things.

The rain and cold temps have stuck around.  There was one day of sun…Sunday.  It was so moving that I opted out of our regular after church nap to do some things around the house.  It is truly amazing how a little sunshine can greatly enhance ones mood and motivation!  BUT, before the sunny Sunday, we had a long, dreary weekend.  We watched lots of LITTLE HOUSE and ate some popcorn.

Mack stayed in this outfit most of the weekend.  While he did change underwear, it was only to go to another pair of Spiderman briefs.  He loves the tank shirt thing.  He cries when forced to remove it from his body.

This picture above it funny to me, mostly because Ruby’s focus remains on the television.  The girl loves her tv.  It truly is a good thing we don’t have cable.

No, we stick to wholesome shows that make me feel like a spoiled, mean, self-centered wife and mother…..gotta love The Ingalls.

Seriously, there is no more wonderful woman than Caroline Ingalls!  She works like a dog with a smile on her face the entire time.  See those blue dresses the girls are wearing?  Caroline bought the material for herself.  She wears a brown dress every time there is a special occasion or a church service.  Then, Laura and Mary had this day at school that all the parents were invited to in order to hear the children read an essay.  Well, ends up, Caroline made the girls new dresses instead!  They loved the dresses.  Laura’s essay was about how her mother is the most wonderful, hard working, compassionate, selfless woman she knows.  I cry every time it plays.  Partly because it is so sweet and partly because I am 1/100.000,000 that kind of woman.  🙂  Oh to be like Caroline Ingalls!

Let me not get too far and away with Caroline that I forget good ‘ol Charles (or as Mack says, “Tallers”).  That man is amazing in his own right.  In the picture above  he has just let an older man win in a wood chopping contest.  He LET him win because the old man’s wife kind of asked him to, so as not to bruise his ego!  And Charles complied.  He could have beat him easily.  Let’s just say I can’t really see Josh doing that….just the same as I can’t see myself being gracious with Harriet Olsen.  Ever.

Ruby loves the show most of all.  She wants to be Laura.  She says, “Oh, I just love her buck teeth and all of her freckles.  I wish I had that many freckles!”  She paused and said, “Sweetie has that many freckles.  She does!  I can say that again.”

Ruby also wouldn’t be as gracious with Nellie Olsen.  Each time she appears in the show Ruby says, “Oh, that Nellie…if I were there, I would punch her in the nose.  I would.”

Hmmm…we have a long way to go with compassion, graciousness and kindness in regards to Nellie and Willie.

It gets good conversations started though.  That show covers jealousy, crushes, patience, hard work, team work, education, generosity, and friendships.

So the Ingalls and the Dorminys all had a calm, relaxing weekend.  I hope you did, too.

Where was Mack?

My mom asked me if Mack was doing alright since she didn’t see any pictures of him on my post about the Valentine’s Box and the organization.  I thought I would include a few pictures so that Sweetie can see that he is doing just fine.  He just wasn’t very interested in the Valentine’s box or mobile….or puppet show or whatever you want to call it….

He even did this when I asked him where the red marker was:

He wasn’t into the Valentine’s Crafts, so he read a little….

And built a few marker towers….

All of this he did in his underwear only.  That is how he likes it these days.  Josh even says that Mack usually tee-tee’s with both feet on the toilet seat, sort of in a squatting position while he faces the back of the toilet!!!!  What in the world?  This boy cracks me up.  He does it the right way when I am around.  I guess he is showing off for his Daddy.  I don’t know.

“Snowman Snuggles with Mama”

This morning I got to go to Ruby’s school with her for what they call, “Snowman Snuggles with Mama.”  It was so sweet.  The teachers spoke some encouragement and shared some funny stories with us, then the kids came in and sang a cute song.  After that, we all ate some breakfast together.  Mrs. Honaker also read some answers that each kid told her about their mom.  I don’t have the booklet yet, but Ruby got my age right.  She said my favorite food was salad, and besides anything chocolate, she gave a good answer.  She said her favorite thing to do with me was “to be with my mom all by myself.”  A rare, but special occasion, for sure!  She said she loved me because “she’s my mom!”  The whole morning was very sweet.

This was the snowman sitting at my seat.  Ruby made it in class.  Isn’t it the cutest thing?  I love it!

This is Ruby with some classmates when they were singing their snowman song for us.  Very cute!

And this is the sweet little face that sat across from me while we ate.  Such a cutie.

Ruby and Mrs. Honaker.  This lady is amazing.  I love, love her!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…..here’s what was going on…..

Molly, Mack and I went and got the oil changed in the car, played at McDonald’s, took back my reader thing, and then picked Ruby up from school.  It was a busy and wet day!  It is supposed to rain most of the weekend, too!  Good thing my Valentine’s Day present came in the mail today—Beth Moore’s new book.  Josh got it for me.  He doesn’t know it yet, but he did!  Hopefully, I will get to sit with coffee and read my new book while it rains and pours this weekend.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  Who knows, I might even get to back-blog on the Dorminy visit and Ruby’s show and tell day.  Stay tuned….

$20 later…

I went by Wolf Camera today to get a cord.  Ended up, I bought a reader because they don’t carry Nikon cords.  It seemed like a good choice until I got home.  It wouldn’t show up on my computer.  Josh came home and tried and even called the number for assistance.  No answer except that it must be a faulty device.  Josh called Nikon, and he realized he could use another cord he already had.  So this whole miserable time the answer has been right here under this roof.  I am just glad it is resolved at this point.  I don’t look forward to having to drive back to the store to return the reader.  Oh well…..

I am breaking Family Fun Night code by being back here on the computer while everyone is watching a movie, BUT I got permission to post a few pictures, considering the circumstances of the last week or so.  🙂

Let’s start with what I did with my time when my computer wasn’t working…amazing what you can do when there are NO emails to read or return, NO way to pay online bills, and NO way to catch up on blogs and such.  I realized that I did myself a great disservice by not taking “before” pictures and “after” pictures.  I just have “after” pictures, which look good to me, but I know what it looked like before the changes.  To an overly OCD person, this may  not seem so great.  To me, a NOT overly OCD person, I am so happy with the little bit of changes that have been made around here.  I bought some of that roll-out rubbery stuff for a few of the drawers in the kitchen.  The knives don’t slide all around now.  The big cooking spoons and spatulas and stuff also stay put where you place them in the drawer.  I like it.

This is under the kitchen sink.  It wasn’t horrible before, but I could see where it was heading.  These cute little “mini laundry baskets” fit perfect under there.  They were only a $1.00 at Target and the Dollar Store.

They work well in the laundry room, too!

I found this stain chart on Martha Stewart’s website.  Very handy!

This cute LAUNDRY bag was found at TJ Maxx.  I keep it in the girl’s bathroom cabinets.  They throw their dirty clothes in there (after I tell them for the 5 millionth time to pick them up off the floor!), and I can just put it on my shoulder when it’s time to take their clothes downstairs.

This is my cosmetics drawer.  I used to have a bag/box thing that I dug through every time I put my make up on.  I love how this keeps things in their place and easy to put my hands on!  The sad thing is that I actually need such a contraption for all the things I have to put on my face.  I remember the days (many years ago) that some lipstick was all it took.  I also got my undergarments all organized, but I wasn’t about to take a picture of that!  The cosmetic drawer is vulnerable enough, don’t you think?!

Now this is switching gears-  Josh’s tool drawer.  Josh isn’t concerned about organization all that much.  I mean, he appreciates it, but he doesn’t spend time thinking about it.  His tool drawer just had a bunch of stuff all thrown in it.  I just used a tub and a container to get things in some kind of order.  I am sure tool BOX would probably work even better, but hey–this works!  All the batteries in one place.  Amazing.  I love it.

Take a look at my little Splenda holder.  I picked this up at The Container Store for a couple of dollars.

I could have used about 12 of these cute baskets with the handle.  Very handy!  This one is holding all of my baking/decorating kind of stuff.  The other ONE that Josh let me buy is holding sugar.  I have powdered sugar, brown sugar and a couple of regular sugar bags.  It keeps them all together.

Every beginning of a month I am always happy that I have my calendar from frillseekers.com.  It is very handy!

This is the most recent change I made.  My shoes.  These racks usually just had one row of shoes on them.  Now that I have these boxes, I can stack the shoes and fit more in the space.  I labeled them, too.  Some friends wondered if I had taken pictures and put them on the outside.  It is a great idea, but I did not do that.  Yet.

So that shows you some of the steps I have taken to get more organized around here.  We have more to do!  More containers to buy, more bins to label!  We can’t stop.  We must press on…..  Just a little dramatic….just a little.

Here is the picture of Ruby’s superhero drawing.  The one that I said looked a little busty, but they are intended to be wings.

Today we made Ruby’s Valentine’s box for school.  The party is on Tuesday.

Josh said, “It’s kind of big, isn’t it?”  I said, “Mrs. Honaker said to make a Valentine’s BOX.”  He said, “Yeah, a box–not a Valentine’s Puppet show.”

I thought it turned out really cute!

Molly and I made a Valentine’s Mobile after we finished with Ruby’s box.  It is for Sweetie and PawPaw when we go visit them next week.

It has Sweetie and PawPaw at the top.  All seven grandkid names are underneath.  Molly wrote their names and drew a little picture of them on the other side.  It turned out cute.

OK, my time here is really done.  I am glad to have pictures on my blog again!  And I hope to have more after tomorrow morning…I get to go to Ruby’s school for “Snowman Snuggles with Mama.”  I can’t wait!

Still no cord

OK, I would love to blog about the past few days with Gran and PawPaw here, but it is hard for me to blog without being able to post the pictures.  Maybe this weekend we will get the issue solved.

Ruby had show and tell on Tuesday and took in all of her picture books that have her name in the title.  There are some really cute ones.  Right now I would post pictures of each book and tell you about them.  It would actually make the post much better, so I am going to stop now and just wait until another day.

Please don’t give up on me.  Please keep checking in….I will be back with pictures.  I promise.

And I’m back……

Mikey V saved the day with a few little tweaks to the computer/router/modem….or something like that.  Thanks a ton!!!!!!!

A couple of people said that they have missed posts.  And when I say a couple, I mean a couple, like one-two….namely, Sweetie and Gran.

So I am so excited to be back on-line and am ready to blog and show you what I have been doing with all my extra time.  Then, I realize that though I am back on-line, I still have a chewed-up, non-working Nikon camera cord thing.  Thanks, Mack.

I did confront him on the issue.  He started with denial.  So predictable.  Then, he went into “I say sorry.”  Again, predictable little booger.

I will tell you that I made a trip to THE CONTAINER STORE, and I love that place!!!  I loaded up our cart, scaring Josh the whole time.  He stopped me and told me something about “maybe we should warm up to this place and then see what else we need.”  Whatever that means.  So a measly $59.00 later, he confessed that he really thought it was going to be over $100 and that was why he stopped me.  “You gotta admit,” he said, “we were 10 feet in the store and you had picked up a couple of each item we passed.”  I am taking it drawer by drawer and cabinet by cabinet, and I love the results.  There will be a post coming entitled, “PLASTIC BINS CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE.”  My friend, Mary, laughed at that title and said that in the twenties a good pair of jeans was what could change your life.  In our thirties it’s plastic organizing bins.  Aren’t we so much fun????  Seriously though, the bins can change your life.

I do have a funny story on Ruby.  I actually had several on the kids, but I can’t remember them now, which is why I am so glad that I am keeping up with this blog.  I love, love, love some of the memories that would be long-gone from my mind, but they aren’t now because I have blogged about them.  Very neat.

OK.  So Ruby and the other two were waiting with me in the car.  She was asking me what certain things spelled.  One, in particular, stumped me.  “Mama, what does R-I-T-A-puffersee-S spell?”  HUH?  She said it again.  I looked around and then saw that she was spelling “Rita’s” and evidently a “puffersee” is an apostrophe.  Too funny!

Tomorrow she is doing her show and tell at school.  She wanted to take her books that have her name in the title.  It worked out that Gran and PawPaw would be visiting this week, so Gran is going to go in and read aloud a couple of the books.  I think it will be really fun.  (Sweetie, you’re the only one who hasn’t made an appearance at Ruby’s school.  I have already figured out that maybe you can come and bring Spike and Julie for Molly’s show and tell or for “Pet Week.”  I have you covered!!!)

I spent one night this weekend with a very bad headache, which resulted in little sleep.  The next night I had some stomach ish-as (issues) that also resulted in only one hour of sleep.  Today the Dorminy’s came to town, so I am glad the kids had some one else to play with and talk to.  It has helped.  For now, I am going to go relax and try to do nothing while we wait for Josh to get home.

Happy February 1st!