Thursday, June 30, 2011

Water Balloons

You know with a title like water balloons, there are going to be good pictures. I will try not to disappoint.

It seems that now days, you can buy kits for water balloon fights. When I was a kid, I did not have such a kit. I found a random balloon, filled it with water and went looking for someone to attack. Josh bought one of these little kits and Luke could not wait for a war.

Because I did not want to get wet, I decided to take pictures and remind Luke that water really should not get on the camera. I am a smart woman.

They started getting all of the ammo ready. 

Luke's face in the picture above makes me laugh.  He is serious about the war that is about to happen. 

He is all smiles now.  But will he be later???

I love foreshadowing.
The ammo is ready. 
It was going to be a short war. 
The perch for the red team.  Red is Luke's current favorite color.
Quiz:  Do you know what his first favorite color was? 
In case you were wondering, NO, Josh will not go easy on his son. 
Please note the dry shorts.
And now they are wet. 
The fun has begun.
He is not bothered by the wet clothes.  He must annihilate his Dad. 
Ha ha ha ha ha.
I know the picture above is blurry, but it is my favorite!!  Josh's face, his wet shirt, Luke's arm motion, the strain in Luke's neck...all of it....LOVE IT.  Boys are fun!
Luke was a machine....he kept going at Josh.  Hilarious!
It was a great balloon war.
Still all smiles.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Four Years Ago Today...

My sweet Mother went to heaven.

I have found that with each year that passes, there is something different that sticks out to me on this anniversary.

This year, what stands out to me the most are all the friends and family that were there for me. Over time, there are images of the day that I have worked hard to forget, but the images of my friends and family are ones that I still hold onto and love.

On this day, four years ago, and for several weeks and months later, I felt as though the ground had been ripped out from under me. However, while my ground was gone, God provided a safety net of friends and family who were there to catch me. God always provides.

On this day, four years ago, the lady that kept Luke when he was a baby had picked him up from daycare. When Josh was at her house picking him up, he received the call from my brother regarding my Mother. I will forever be thankful that Josh was not alone. He was at the house of friends. Friends who where there for him, and for Luke. God provided.

When my Dad, Brother, and I returned to my parents’ house that day, I saw Josh standing in front of their home. I noticed he was not alone. A friend ours had drove him over. This friend of ours is younger than us, and his father had passed away a few years earlier. As I looked at him that day, I was reminded that he made it through the loss of a parent and I would too. He was someone I could talk to, someone who understood. God provided.

My best friend was out of town with her family four years ago today. It would be days before I would hear how someone was able to get a hold of her husband in their remote location to inform them of what had happened. It would be years before she told me the crazy story of how she came back to town. But, all I knew at the time was that the next day, my best friend was at the door. She was there to do whatever I needed. I needed a lot. God provided.

I also will never forget receiving a special card in the mail one day. The card was from The Sister….funny thing though….while we were friends at the time, we were not as close as we are now. That unexpected card has never been forgotten. I treasure it. God provided.

Our friends from our Bible study also came over a couple of nights later. These folks were awesome. There to listen, there to pray, there to do whatever we needed. They also explained they were not really casserole kind of people, so instead……Gift Cards --to all kinds of restaurants-- fast food and sit down places that had carryout. Our food was taken care of for WEEKS. God provided.

Also, two days after mother passed away, my in-laws arrived at my house. They do not live close, but several states away. They had just been to visit us two months before. The first words out of my mouth were, “I can’t believe you came all this way.” My mother-in-law’s response, “There is no way we wouldn’t.” I will never forget that. My Mother and my mother-in-law were friends, but I knew at that moment, she was not only there out of respect for my Mother, but for me, her daughter-in-law -- a girl who had just had the floor ripped out from under her. My mother-in-law has been there for me (father-in-law too). There for hugs, there to hold me through tears, there on the phone, listening, praying. God provided.

The night she passed away, my brother and I both stayed in my parents’ house. In the middle of the night I had gone for a drink of water and ended up in a heap on the floor crying. My brother came in there and sat with me, holding me. As we cried, he said we would make it though. I believed him. I was not sure how we would get through it, but I believed we would. God provided.

My Dad -- how this man put aside his on sorrow at times to deal with me is unbelievable. I love him dearly. I once told him, before Mother passed away, I would have never thought we could be closer..…but, somehow, we are. I was honest, I followed up with saying I would give it all back to have life the way it was. He said he understood. I have learned to just be thankful for our new found closeness. My Dad is a much stronger man than I ever thought. My Mother would be proud. God again provided.

And last, but certainly not least, my dear husband. How he put up with me that first day, week, year….is beyond me. I was difficult, depressed, off in my own world, unable to function. He kept our family going. Luke was taken care of, laundry was done, the house was taken care of. He took it all on, never complained. He learned to deal with me when I would just up and leave the house with no explanation or word of when I would return, or even letting him know where I was going. However, what I am most thankful for is the one day he kindly said, “I know you are hurting, but you are going to need to pull it together.” Please know it was MONTHS before he said this. But, honestly, it was what I needed to hear. He was not being mean, but he knew I needed to start living again. God provided!

As I look back, I see not just what God took away from me that day, but all that God gave to me in my time of need. The right people were there, the right words were said. I am still learning to live this new life without my dear, sweet Mother, and I feel I always will. It is hard and it is tough, however, I am not at it alone. Not only do I have my God, but all the sweet friends and family that He has placed in my life. God continues to provide.

Shortly after Mother passed away, I was asked to write a tribute to her. I said yes without really thinking about it. However, as I sat down to write, I began to wonder how I could ever write something that would really convey my thoughts on this wonderful woman. (As is evident in this blog, I am not the greatest writer!) When I read back over it today, I realized it is not the best. But, it was the best I could do at the time.

Sherrie Lynn Petty

July 24, 1949 – June 25, 2007

When I think of my Mother, many things come to my mind. She was my best friend. She was loving, kind, thoughtful, patient, and honest. However, above all, she was a godly woman. She lived a life that honored God in all that she did; and God’s love shined through her. She always had a good word to say to others and was uplifting. She was a true prayer warrior for God.

It was her love for the lord that guided her through life. She was a Sunday School teacher for over 25 years. She enjoyed teaching children at church and had a strong desire to teach them of Jesus’ love. She not only taught children in church, but was a first grade teacher at McWhorter Elementary for 21 years. It was not uncommon for her students to come back to school and visit her for years after they left her class. I was so touched to hear that even after graduation, her students would come to visit with her.

My Father was so blessed to have her as his wife for 39 years. They knew each other since they were children and went to high school together. It was my Mother who took him to a revival where he came to know the Lord as his Savior. She brought out the best in him and has helped him to be the godly man he is today.

My brother and I are also blessed to have her as our Mother. She brought laughter and joy to our lives, but most importantly, taught us of Jesus. She was instrumental in our coming to know the Lord. She had a strong influence on our lives and helped us to be the people we are today.

She loved being a wife, mother, and teacher, but it is not surprising that she was elated to be a grandmother. She was blessed to have five grandchildren who thought the world of her. She was always thinking of them and praying for their futures. Grandma was such a delight for them to be with and laughter and giggles could always be heard when they were together. They will miss her so much as she had a strong impact on them all.

I am honored to have had my mother with me for 29 years. She has taught me so much in a short time. She has taught me love, kindness, thoughtfulness, patience, and honesty, but above all, she taught me of God’s love. I miss her deeply, but I rejoice in knowing where she is today and knowing that I will one day see her again. When I think of her praising her Lord it brings a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. She has been made perfect in heaven where she now walks the streets of gold.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Old Photos from a Phone

I was going through my phone deleting some pictures when I came across this one. 

Please excuse the quality, I still have a flip phone (and I love it).

This was taken about two years ago in February.  Luke had gotten terribly sick in the night and could not stop vomiting.  He became severely dehydrated and we took him to the hospital.  I was pretty sure he just had a bad stomach virus, but of course, I was also scared it might be something else more serious. 

This was by far the most terrified I have ever been in my whole life.  The poor boy was a limp rag.  I completely lost it and had to leave the room when all the I.V.s started going in. 

I remember calling my Dad at about 4a.m. and telling him what was going on.  Once I was on the phone with him, I just started crying. 

Turns out this Immigration Paralegal was correct in her diagnosis of her son--just a terrible stomach virus.  Once he was hydrated, he sprung back to life.

The popsicle did wonders too.

From this experience, two things were established:

1.             Luke will no longer eat shrimp in a creamy white sauce.  He is convinced this is what made him sick.

2.            The line, "Please stop it so we don't have to take a trip to the hospital" no longer works.  Rather than stopping whatever dangerous act he is performing, he says, "Yippy, I can get another one of those great popsicles!!"

That was one expensive popsicle.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Taco Pizza

Okay, so the thought of Taco Pizza has never excited me. In fact, it disgusted me. That is, until I saw Pioneer Woman’s Taco Pizza. Her recipe sounded good and so I decided I was going to make it.

One Saturday after Luke’s t-ball practice we were eating lunch at McDonald’s with one of Luke’s friends and his Mom. I was telling Joshua and Luke’s friend’s Mom about the recipe. As I was explaining to them what was involved with this pizza, this woman comes out of now where and says, “Did you get that recipe from Pioneer Woman? Because if you did, that pizza is GREAT! I made it last night.”

It was at this point I knew two things:

1. I must have been talking a bit loudly. {oops}

and 2. This pizza was going to be good. I mean, if some stranger loved it enough to get up and come talk to another stranger about the pizza, it’s got to be good!  Right?  Right!

The stranger at McDonald's was not kidding, the pizza was GREAT! Loved, loved, LOVED it! I even remembered to take a  picture of the pizza, but I must have accidentally deleted the photos because I can no longer locate them. Oh well.

Here is the link to PW’s recipe and you can easily print it.

My picture of my pizza looked just like hers! Promise. And really, no one cares about pictures, they care how it tastes, and it was delish!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Big Summer Surprise

My wonderful father-in-law and sweet sister-in-law will arrive on Saturday. Hooray!

I can remember my mother-in-law visiting alone, but I cannot remember her ever not coming on a visit. I will miss her. I love talking to her in person rather than over the phone and she always makes me laugh. And she does some of our laundry when she visits, I will miss that too. :-)

I bet my father-in-law does not do any of our laundry. But, that’s okay, he is good for other things, like feeding Luke in odd and strange ways. 

Now I know why my boys are crazy, they are related to this man!

Just kidding.

Sort of.

Anyway, this is not just a come-to-see-you-during-the-summer visit. Nope. This visit has a PURPOSE! My father-in-law is driving across half of the continental United States to come and pick up my one and only child and then take him back to their house! When this was seriously discussed last summer, I guess I really never thought the day would come that he would actually go far, far away from me….for over a MONTH!

But, the time has come. He will be leaving me next week. This has been kept a secret from Luke. Joshua told him about it last week and he, Luke, is SUPER excited about this surprise!  Luke can hardly wait and I know he will have a blast, living it up with Grandma, Grandpa, his 16 year old Aunt, and Great Grandparents. But, Luke’s Daddy and Mommy are going to miss him….a ton!

Let me put this into perspective for you -- the longest my boy has been away from us is for 24 hours and he was a mere ten minutes away at my parents’ house! The month of July is going to be a long one. I have a feeling that Josh will be breaking all kinds of speed limits when we drive out to retrieve our son from his Grandparents and Aunt later this summer.

Wish us luck. I have a feeling we, Josh and me…NOT Luke, will need it!

100th Post!

I just realized that THIS is my 100th post!  YAY!

Why is it 100 of anything is a big deal??  One of my most popular posts so far was of Luke's 100 Homework.  And I remember Mother always making a big deal out of 100 day at her school.

Anyway, THANK YOU to all those who read this crazy little blog I started last summer!

Hope you all have a great Tuesday and here is a picture of the crazies I live with to make you laugh!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Adding to the Collection

Joshua’s birthday was earlier this month. Now we are the same age again—thank goodness! Josh loves telling people he is married to an older woman. I love reminding him that he looks years older than me.

Since Luke was about one, we have made sure he is involved in all gift giving occasions and since he was about three or four, he has been on his own picking things out. I love it. You just never know what you will get.

So, a few days before Josh's birthday I reminded Luke that his Daddy’s birthday was coming up and he would need to be thinking of what he wanted to get him.

“I already know”, he said quickly.

“Oh. Well, what do you want to get?”

“I know Daddy likes signed baseballs, so I want to add to his collection.”

PERFECT. I knew Josh would love a new autographed baseball.

“Whose autograph do you want to get?” I asked.


I almost started crying. Nothing could have been more thoughtful.

I love perfect gifts and this was perfect indeed. Josh’s eyes filled with tears when he opened it up. It was sweet.

I think my hubby has a new prized possession.

Happy Birthday, Joshua!  We love you!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mixed Emotions -- Farewell to Kindergarten

I have mixed emotions about the end of Kindergarten. (I hope this is normal for us Moms)

If I was holding on to any little piece of Luke still being "little", I feel it is really all gone now.  He is a grown boy for sure.  This makes me a little sad.  Time goes by so quickly....even if you are doing a pretty good job of making the most of each day! 

However, I also love watching him grow!  I love watching him learn.

It seems like just yesterday I was posting about the first day of school.  I went back and read the post and I could not help but smile as my eyes teared up.  On the first day of school, Luke read Hop on Pop.  On the last day of school, he is in the middle of reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  He's come a long way!  I could not be more proud.

A few tidbits of Luke and what has been going on in the past nine months:

  • He has learned that you do not talk during the first few minutes of lunch.
  • Luke has learned how to deal with people who are different than him.
  • Luke learned that you can take away from zero, and you then have a negative number.
  • Luke can now read chapter books.
  • He had his first solo in his PTA program. 

  • Luke has prayed for his friends at school.
  • Luke has learned how to help others to learn.
  • Luke has expanded his creativity in ways that I could not have imagined.
  • Luke has learned to ignore the bad, and focus on the good, in people.
  • He has learned responsibility.
  • He has learned how to take money to school, not loose it, and purchase books and treats.
I prayed for Luke to have a great teacher this year.  And he not only received a great one, but one much better than I could ever have hoped for.  Luke has loved being in her class so much and I will forever be thankful for her.

Luke received two awards this year -- All A Honor Roll and Most Improved Reading.  Josh and I beamed as we watched our boy receive his awards.

It is so exciting to see him grow and I cannot wait to see what all is in store for him in First Grade. 

However, before he returns to school as a First Grader, he will have a fun summer!  A summer of fun with friends, trips, and some "firsts" for us all. 

Oh, and a summer with a big surprise for him! (more to come on that)