It’s a catch-up post!

First off, it’s Amanda’s last week of classes! Then finals and then she’ll be home for at least 3 weeks! I’m so thankful that even though college in Florida wasn’t even on our radar until a month before classes started, she has thrived and I’m truly blown away by the doors that God has opened for her. My kid has always, always wanted to be in movies. Always. It’s a scary thing for me because of everything that comes with that. But I was given some very wise advice just before she left for school and that was to “never parent out of fear.” As I’ve watched Amanda this semester (thank God for Facebook!), I’ve watched her star in short films and get a part on the campus talk show and God has really validated her dreams…at least to me but I think to her too. I’ve never discouraged her wanting to be in media. Ever. We have prayed and listened for what God’s plan for her is. And we’ll keep doing that very thing. We’re taking it all one semester at a time. When she visited here over fall break she told me, “Mom, I love it here (in Franklin) and it’s where I want to be but I know it’s not where I’m supposed to be right now. I’m thankful that my daughter prays and listens for God’s will too. I am very blessed.

I’m thankful for my husband who, upon hearing me groaning in pain (my darn back) yesterday morning, decided to stay home with me and our sick girls and crazy dog. He ran all the errands, including grocery shopping and Target run, did the dishes, folded clothes and washed laundry. Then got up at 5am to be at an early meeting this morning. Yesterday would have been incredibly difficult if he hadn’t been so unselfish.

Shane and Angie and their 3 beautiful kids came here from Florida to spend Thanksgiving with us. It was crowded. It was loud. There was lots of laughing. And we loved every second of it. Sure, we had to time our showers. And yes, “I’m getting in the shower, does anybody need to use the bathroom?” was said several times a day. But the weather was (mostly) nice and it was even warm enough for the kids to eat Thanksgiving dinner outside. And I’m very happy that I took the time to refinish my patio chairs.

We had two fires in my fire pit (besides, Daisy, it’s the best birthday present ever!). We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows- with little kids roasted marshmallows can easily turn into flaming, gooey, sticks of death- and we talked an laughed into the night. We saw the Opryland Hotel, the first time for us since the Flood. And it brought back memories for, Angie, who grew up in Tennessee and went to many a youth convention there (do any A/G people remember Thanksgiving Youth Conventions?). The lights were fantastic, as always, and I plan on going back at least once more before the end of the season.

We visited mutual friends (that I’ve mentioned a million times), Kris and Mary at their house in Mt. Juliet. We ate the most wonderful food and my sweet friend took the time and went through the trouble of making a lot of things gluten free. I brought some gluten free bread, figuring I could eat a turkey sandwich, but I could eat almost everything there. Including a PEANUT BUTTER PIE!!! With a gf, oreo (type) cookie crust! It was absolutely incredible. And I honestly don’t remember the last time I had pie. (Oh wait, it was for Trav’s birthday…gluten free apple blueberry that tasted like sand paper 🙂 ) I never expect friends or family to go through the trouble of cooking for me but it means so much to me when they do.

We also hiked and told stories from our Lakeland days. Then Shane and Angie bid our group adieu, to start the trek home. I know it wasn’t an easy trip for them but I’m thankful they came.

Travis and I stayed at the Kelso house, talking and laughing. I love making new friends but friendships that are old, the ones that have weathered many a storm with you, are the ones that feel like a pair of favorite jeans. Comfy and warm and familiar. There’s no worrying about saying the right thing, or whether or not you’ll say something dumb. It’s almost a given that somebody will say something dumb. Then we’ll riff on it for a while, have a good laugh and move on. It was a great day.

There are a lot more things that are good that are happening around here. Physically, I feel so much better. I’ve noticed lately that my strength has returned. I actually ran, no, sprinted a couple of days when Shane and Angie were here (chasing the dog and then chasing kids). Those of you that have walked through this saga with me know what a big deal that is. And we sold my exercise bike. I loved that bike. But after having it for 5 years it was time. I have to step up my workouts in order to really lose weight and Travis really wanted to do an annual membership to the local Rec. Center. We sold the bike for the exact amount we needed to cover a year at the gym (which was a nice profit over what I paid for it 5 years ago. Craig’s List score!) and not only can I workout, Travis can too and the girls can swim for the whole summer. We’ll see how this goes. In general, I’m not a fan of having to drive to workout. But I was willing to do that for all the Rec. Center offers and for a really reasonable price. It’s *way* less than the Y and the facilities are great.All-in-all I think it will work well for us.

That’s all for now…



A Bunch of Stuff

I was just uploading a bunch of photos to my computer and realized that I’d taken a lot of pictures that I intended to blog about. Overwhelming people with pictures is sort of a specialty of mine so I figure I’ll just stop typing once I get overwhelmed by the pictures.

Dance camp…seriously fun! We had to be at church by 9 every morning which was really good practice for getting Chloe to school by around 8:30 since it’s at the same place. I never actually made it on time. It’s difficult in the morning since Travis and I both have to get in the shower and so if either of us takes our time at all it really messes things up. We just need to practice. It’s not like when I used to take Chloe to school and I just wore my pj’s. There was no way I was walking into church like that.

Halle didn’t actually “get” most of the dance moves but she had such a great time. During the performance the teenage girls that were helping would quickly drag her to wherever she was supposed to be. I had to laugh.

This is the best shot I could get of her face since my camera isn’t really made for action shots. The instructors at church are offering very reasonably priced dance lessons for the fall semester and I really hope that we’re able to let her do it. I’d love for her to be able to learn technique because I think that would really help her.

Chloe and I had while Halle was dancing. She really ate up the one-on-one time with me. We went to Michaels, which I hadn’t been to in forever. And she and I *loved* it. There were so many art supplies and cake decorating supplies and other things that she and I are interested in. We both liked it better than Joann. But it’s probably because I’m not a big fan of sewing. Then we went to Rooms to Go…because it was next door and we had time to kill. Then Home Depot…because it was next door and we had time to kill. I realize that we don’t live that far away and I could have gone home but there are so many places that I think I’d like to go to and we never actually end up going there.

Friday. Wow! Travis and I tried to prepare for Amanda moving back in but we couldn’t have imagined how.much.stuff. she has. She had even sold the majority of her furniture. And since we don’t have a garage, there was just no place to put everything. Halle was kicked out of her room and she’s sleeping in a sleeping bag on Chloe’s floor. Overall, the girls have been really sweet about it all but Halle wasn’t really happy about the new sleeping arrangement. So I promised her a first-ever trip to Krispy Kreme to help make up for it.

We went out Saturday and we wanted to watch the sunset from a lookout point that we visited before we ever moved to Franklin. And it had changed…a lot.

There was graffiti and broken beer bottles and obscenities painted onto the walls and curb. Yes, in Franklin. It was really disappointing. So we left and took the girls to Krispy Kreme instead.

The loved it, of course. And I couldn’t eat anything (which is a *really* good thing, I think) but it was nice for us to sit and talk and watch them make doughnuts.

And I think that’s enough for today. Now, I’m going to research and (hopefully) purchase the girls homeschool books. Is it that time again already?


It’s Melting, Melting!

That’s a little Wizard of Oz humor. Although if I have to explain it then it’s probably not that funny. But yes, the snow is melting…even though it’s 24 degrees outside. A little sunshine makes all the difference.

And some housekeeping. A new someone commented on one of my posts and I approved it and replied to it but it’s not showing up with the comments. So, if you commented and don’t see it, I promise I’ve tried about 10 different ways to get it to show up and it won’t. I can’t figure out why. I’m sorry.

My brain is a wee bit tired today. I don’t feel like writing all that much but the best way to get through writer’s block is to just write. Home-school today helped too. I didn’t feel like doing school but when my 6 year old shows up in the kitchen with gloves and huge sunglasses and says in a movie star like voice “Hello everybody, did I miss anything?”, it just brightens my day. Mostly because it’s completely ridiculous.

In other news, Amanda has decided to not move back in. I have to say that I’m relieved but only because it would have been such a squish to get her in here. It would have been great to see her more often but I’m really proud of the way she’s been determined to stay in her apartment. The roommate thing has been difficult but she loves where she’s at and she loves the life she’s made and she’ll figure it out.

Soooo, paint samples will be gathered tomorrow. The playroom will be Chloe’s room and she wants to paint it um, purple. It’s not my favorite shade. But it’s also not my room so I guess it will be okay. I’m still hoping to talk her into yellow since I already have yellow paint. I realize that the decision is mine, it’s just that this is a big deal for her. She’s never had her own room and to move into Amanda’s old room makes her feel like she’s much more grown up.

And my humorous Daisy anecdote for the day:

She got off her tether. I don’t know how since her collar isn’t broken and the latch on the tether isn’t either. I just looked outside and saw her standing at the end of the driveway. I was still wearing my pajamas, capri sweat pants and so I slid on some loafers (I can’t believe I’m telling you this) and Trav’s Florida Gator jacket. Please pause to get the full picture. Capri sweat pants and loafers. Sigh. In my defense, I didn’t have time for any other shoes. In the ice and snow though, those are the worst shoes possible. It quickly became a game and she ran to several neighbors yards and across the street. Then one of my neighbors drove by and said hi. And I was wearing…you know. Awesome. Chloe and Halle were sobbing. Chloe was outside and Halle was inside but had opened the window so we could hear her wailing. So Chloe and I said a prayer that went something like this:

Dear God, I pray that you would please help us to get Daisy back quickly…so I can put her in her crate for the rest of her life. Amen

I won’t tell you which one of us was praying. So we decided we were going to have to ignore her. She realized it and ran by us, hoping to get the game started again. When out of the blue, who should come to our rescue but Bo. I called to him and since he doesn’t get a lot of attention, he came running over to be petted. Which we did. And since Daisy can’t get enough of Bo, I was able to grab her. I told Chloe to give Bo a treat but in typical good guy fashion, he ran off before he could claim his reward.

Oh, and I didn’t actually put Daisy in her crate for the rest of her life.

She is getting a bath though…she hates baths. I win.