Thursday, April 28, 2011

Alabama Needs Your Prayers

This state (AL and GA and MS) need your prayers in a mighty way!  Devastation has struck the state due to the tornado's that rips through yesterday. My hearts is heavy for those who have lost friends, families and their homes.  But particularly the students in Tuscaloosa...the parents who are wondering where their children are!  It must be such a helpless situation but even as helpless as we all fell there is HOPE in Christ. Psalm 31:24 - 'Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD'.  He knows every details of this storm and where every person and child is!  I just ask that you lift up these kids who are experiencing this and trying to regroup themselves with loss and destruction all around them!  Tuscaloosa, Cullman, Pleasant Grove and many many more places have been hugely impacted and even flattened.  I just know that our prayers are needed!  The more pictures that I see the heavier my heart gets.

My friend Diedra posted this verse and I thought it was perfect reminder:
Luke 8:21b 'He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

a few notable things...

about our week.  That is Collier's Birthday week!  We get to celebrate on his birthday since it falls on Saturday.  Our family is coming to celebrate and we are just thrilled!!!  I am doing my best to get the house in order and ready for guest....God has faithfully answered my prayers for nice weather as it is SUPPOSED to be very nice on Saturday [which is essential since my house is tiny and we need to have outside space and time for our celebration].  Part of 'getting the house ready' includes finishing up our kitchen.  We were supposed to have our counter tops installed today - but on Monday the guy called and said that he thought it would be Friday. I am fully prepared for him to call today or tomorrow and let me know that he will not have it ready to install before the weekend.  If that is the case we will be putting PLYWOOD down for a temporary counter top!  Beautiful, right?...again my family loves me and they will not judge how my kitchen looks...right?  Justin and my dad had to make some changes [will explain in detail later] to our dishwasher and in moving it the copper pipe started leaking.  So, we have been without a dishwasher this week!  Being without will really make you appreciate!  Thankfully Chris can fix this for us this weekend and we should be back in business.  I am just pray very very hard for the counter tops to be ready and be installed on Friday!  If that works out, then tomorrow night Justin and I will be removing our existing counter tops in preparation for Friday!  Nothing like getting down to the last minute!    Yesterday Collier got his hair cut and I got my bangs trimmed.  We both can now see clearly!  I have three baskets full of clothes to fold, need to vaccume and mop and a few other minor things to straighten up!  Somewhere in between all of this I will make and prepare the food for Saturday and then we'll be ready to P.A.R.T.Y!

This morning we awoke to sirens going off at 5:30..severe weather sweeping through.  I cleared out my closet and woke up Collier just in case we needed to dive in.  Have I mentioned how small our closets are?  They are tiny...our house was built in the 50's and I guess they didn't really think that closets were necessary.  I have no idea where they put their clothes, but regardless our closets are tiny! I am not sure that all 4 [including Brink] could fit in. Thankfully it didn't get it to bad, the wind was just really bad AND all of the reports indicate that there are more and even more HIGH RISK severe weather headed our direction this evening.   I pray that we'll be protected and surrounded in God's safety.
I am also praying for the details of the party and the kitchen [specifically counter tops] and especially the travel and safety of our guest who are coming in on Saturday!  Such a big day to celebrate two amazing, special and really blessed years with our sweet little boy! 

Monday, April 25, 2011


 Our Easter weekend was both fun and busy!  It went by way to fast, but every minute of it was fabulous!  I am thankful with all my being that God loves us enough to have sent His perfect Son to live, die and rise for us.  Amen!  Our church added a 9:00 service this year and I was thrilled and pleasantly surprised that we made it and even better, we arrived extra early which allowed us plenty of time to find a seat!  After church and a quick nap, we headed to my parents house for egg hunt and lunch!  I wasn't sure if Collier would get the whole egg hunt concept.  Boy was I wrong.  I didn't bother dieing eggs because I wasn't sure and even more I was afraid that he would throw them :)  All of our easter books, he would refer to the egg's as 'ball'.  He didn't throw them and he loved finding them all...he would walk around and say 'more egg'.  Way to cute!  He has already done a hunt this morning with Mom...she had them hid when we arrived this morning...what a great Nammie!

We then moved the fun to our backyard for lots of golf...aka walking around the yard pushing the golf set.  Every now and then he would take the clubs out and swing at the ball.  He swings both the bat and golf clubs left handed.  This makes Justin crazy!!  He throws and does everything else right handed but swinging is all left handed.  I think it is very funny and for some reason Justin doesn't like it!  I think that he is nervous about how to teach a sport to a lefty... :)
We ended the afternoon with a little train play.  Collier almost wouldn't stop playing with this new track and trains long enough to eat!  Thankfully Pimento Cheese and crackers caught his attention enough to take a short break.

It really was a fun day!  Lots more to look forward to this week...this little man is turning 2!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Rise up!

Happy Good Friday to you!  Here I go again...another song. This is another song that I have enjoyed learning and really like.  It is one that I enjoy singing along to and then suddenly, just this week,  it just it spoke to me differently. I love how God does that...He does it with scripture all the time. His Spirit is quite powerful and what a privilege it is that He dwells in us!  I have consumed myself with a long to-do list for the next week and I realized that I had not even ask God for his guidance and blessings on my details.  I am working to surrender (about ever 10 minutes) to Him all of the details...all of my thoughts, all of my emotions, even my attitude.  Its a work in progress, and I am thankful to have a Savior who loves me so much that He sent His son to die for me...and all of my sinful shortcomings!  I am so undeserving and so thankful for His mercy.   Back to the song, I was singing right along and out came the words 'Christ has risen from the dead, we are one with Him again'....'He's alive, He's alive'. Indeed He is! He lived for us, He died for us, He rose for us and He overcomes all for us. We have this same victory in Him, how awesome is that!

"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your stink?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God!  
He give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.   1 Corinthians 15:50

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is our through Christ, who loved us.
Romans 8:37

I hope that you and your family have an awesome Easter and also share and celebrate in this awesome truth!  Happy Good Friday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I am usually a Sunday grocery shopper, I wish that I wasn't because it is sooo crowded on Sundays, but that seems to be when I get it done.  But this week I was off schedule for some strange reason and didn't go until yesterday.  I have tried really hard with the couponing thing...I want to save money and do better with our grocery bill...Justin is always saying that I spend way to much at the grocery so I really put in a lot of effort and have really been coming up empty handed. The most I seem to be able to save is around $25-$35 each week.  My friend Amy has been doing awesome and had some huge savings, I asked for a few of her tips and the two biggest things that stuck were to put my coupons in a small organizer that I could carry in my purse (have with me all the time) and to actually look at the weekly ad for Publix and circle what I need.  Try and plan my menu's around what is on sale and what I have coupons for.  I have not been good about getting a Sunday paper for the past few weeks, but I get the majority of my coupons online anyway.  Ok let me get to the bottom line. I paid $60.87 yesterday and SAVED $51!! I was so excited I could hardly stand it!  The most I have ever saved is around $38!  Hooray!  Lets see if I can consistently save like this??

I love the longer day light hours and when we got home yesterday, I threw our dinner in the oven and we headed outside to finish up some planting and run out some energy.  Collier was thrilled when I unrolled the water hose - this boy loves playing in the water.  He has a very mischievous and funny personality, much like his Daddy.  He takes the hose and points it straight at me and says 'maamma' with such a coy little grin.  He  actually sprayed me yesterday and I about died....I did my best not to laugh because that only encourages him, causing him to do it more!  Plus I didn't really want to get drenched.  I did manage to catch that coy smile and him spraying into the wind, that first time the wind blew the water back on him he was just tickled.  More, More, More, More!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


ok, when my husband brags about a dinner I know that it must have been good...not just brag to me but to a friend!  It is very unexpected and I was somewhat cautious about serving a SALAD for dinner.  Justin likes healthy but Justin also likes a little more than just a salad.  I printed a Sue Bee Honey coupon and this recipe printed out and I just had to try it and I am so glad that I did.  I believe that the dressing may be the yummiest I have ever tasted!!!!  I just loved it. I made a few changes from the actually recipe and we both were very full.  I didn't know what Justin would think of the dressing but I think that he really liked it too.  He told a friend about it the next day, as they were golfing...I made it to 'golf talk'!!  Yippie.  and he then told my parents how yummy it was.  His actual statement after we ate was 'that was very refreshing'.  I wasn't sure if he was serious or being sarcastic.  Either way, it was really yummy and I am planning to do it again this week with left over Pork Tenderloin!

Chicken and Apple Salad
adapted from Sue Bee Honey, Apple & Pecan Salad

Romaine Lettuce, cut up
Hand-full of Mixed Field Green
1 cup Walnuts
1 Fuji Apple, diced
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 Small Red Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Cucumber, peeled and chopped
Cherry Tomatoes, (I cut them in half)
2 Chicken Breast, grilled and chopped

Dressing: following the recipe exactly from Sue Bee
1/2 Cup Sue Bee Honey
2 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds
3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Pepper

Over the weekend, I did a bunch of weeding, and planting.  Got all of our vegetables and herbs planted and a few flowers.  The weeding was the tough part but I am glad to have it done and to have my planter looking so much better.  My back on the other hand is not so great, but a little Advil around the clock should take care of that in another day!  I have made my first draft of my to-do list for the next two weeks to prepare for Collier's birthday!  It is low key, since it is just our families...but it is the cleaning, straightening and organizing our mess of a house is what seems to be stressing me out!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Trial and Error

I have always wanted to bake bread.  I have tried breads of many kinds and in most cases have either failed or wasn't quite satisfied with the outcome.   When I say bread, i mean anything from cinnamon rolls to a loaf of bread to various breakfast breads. So, I am at it again!  I started a sourdough starter in hopes of baking some delicious sourdough bread (one of my favorites).  I visualized myself enjoying pimento cheese and chicken salad sandwiches on this sourdough bread that I planned to make.  First I am praying that the starter will get 'wild' enough to produce the yummy bread that I am dreaming of!

So, now its been a few weeks and I have finally gotten around to making the bread.  I am thrilled to say that it wasn't a disaster!  I wouldn't say that it is the best bread I have ever tasted but it is pretty good. My biggest fears of it either falling in or being really hard and chewy are now cleared.  The part about this bread stuff is that it really isn't hard to do but it is time consuming...fixing, resting, rising, resting, baking!  A few weeks ago I made the bread and it had to rise for 8-12 hours which was perfect for overnight and then I got up and baked it the next morning.  I then cut a slide of that sourdough bread and made myself a sandwich to enjoy for lunch.  Sadly I didn't have either Pimento Cheese or Chicken Salad but that is certainly planned for the very near future.  My sandwich was yummy and I know that just a few more tries and it must get even better. Plus a friend at my bible study makes the MOST delicious sourdough bread I have ever tasted and I checked with her and her recommendation was to add a little more sugar than I did.  I also decided I cut my slices to big and that may have been a much bread!  Does anyone else have any sourdough tips and tricks that you would like to share..I'm all ears!

Before the 12hour rise

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Motherly Confessions

In the past few weeks we have had situations which have prompted me to not allow Collier to cry it out if he wakes up in the middle of the night.  Mostly not wanting to wake others..especially babies....Collier has had a pretty restless few weeks.  I can only assume it is his teeth.  He has either gotten up really early (for me anytime before 6am is too early) or wakes in the middle of the night around 1am.  Let me also state that if you know Justin and I; we do not let Collier sleep in the bed with us.  We like our peacefully and snugly bed to ourselves and from the very beginning just decided that no baby in the bed works for us!  Now, with that being said THAT has actually happened.  In all circumstances it was just me...and Collier has ended up in the bed with me at some point three times in the past two weekend.  I wondered if I was starting a VERY bad habit and then once he was done with squirming and wiggling and playing under the covers [making it like a tent] and after talking [usually about Dadda] he would usually settle in and snuggle up with me and fall asleep.  My worried heart would melt into a puddle and a feeling of total satisfaction set in.  To have him in my arms, quiet and still and peacefully asleep is something that I never have anymore [oh how I miss that baby stage].  And also to be so close to such a beautiful child that God has given to us and to feelmy love overflow and abound for this precious child of heart just oozes with love for him.  One evening last week when Justin was home he ask Collier if he wanted to get in the bed with him before Collier went to his bed.  Of course, Collier said 'desh' and off they went.  I went in to check on them and Collier was settling down on my pillow.  I went and laid down next to him and he put the tag of his lovie [monkey named Maurice]  and rubbed it on my face...this is how he goes to sleep.  He rubs that tag all over he eyes and nose and check.  It was so sweet and Justin just looked over and grinned.  That is one sweet boy...well, actually two!   All of that to say, I loved the moments that were given to rest with my sweet little Collier.  But I will be honest that although he did sleep some, I didn't!  So, this isn't anything that will become a habit because this Momma needs her sleep!  Both nights this weekend he was up at 1am...but last night being at our own home and just me, I could let him cry it out and not worry to wake others.  He only cried about 10 minutes and laid back down.  I am not sure why he is waking up, I did give him Motrin before I put him down.  I wondered if it was bad dreams and when I asked this morning he didn't really understand what I was asking.  I just am praying that he will get back to his normal good sleeping habits soon! 

Have I mentioned how busy Collier is?  I am just constantly amazed at this little boy.  HE DOES NOT STOP.  I am not joking.  He will not sit and watch a video, cartoons or basically any TV for longer than maybe 2 minutes.  He used to watch all of the Cedermont Kids video which is 20 minutes but that is no longer an option.  He will color for a few minutes, but not long.  Books...he loves books but likes the back and forth of taking a finished book back to his room and getting another book to bring back to be read more than the actually reading of the book.  He really wont sit there long enough for you to read it anyway, so we have to just discuss the pictures and move on.  If he is awake he is moving and doing something.  Constant motion and movement.  This busy little man is turning two in just two weeks!  I can not belive it one bit, where have the two years gone?

**I don't want to come off the wrong way about kids in the bed with parents.  I don't think that there is anything wrong with it but it just doesn't work for us personally.  It is just our decision.  Nothing bad if it does work for you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Four-Legged Baby

Its been a while since I posted about my four legged baby...Brink Brink.  Everyone always says that when babies come along that animals in the house take a backseat.  It is true, but I still love my Brinkely just as much as I did before CH.  She is a funny and quirky personality...she is the most selfish Golden Retriever I have ever known...most Golden's are people pleaser's but Brinkley just wants things her way and she will push and push until she gets it or until I yell at her enough that she gives up.  She is sooo soo sweet and tolerable with Collier; even when he drives his tractors on her, sits, stands, jumps on her and even steels her sticks...and I am so thankful for that.  She  sleeps at my feet, most nights and she will sit in my lap if I am crying.  She is obsessed to a fault with the tennis ball and she loves to swim!  At times she makes me wonder if she is a dog or a standing on the arm rest of the couch...who does that?  Especially at 80-something pounds? She is Chief-Beggar as long as Collier is in his highchair and will usually partake in anything that Collier will drop to her.  She sleeps under the bed and behind the toilet (strange, I know and she barely fits but has done it since she was a tiny puppy).  Like I said, she has a funny personality.  Regardless, she is a sweet and loving little puppy.

On Thursday of last week, Mom, Collier, Brinkley, Abbey and I loaded up the car and headed south!  There is a lady near our lake house who is a doggy groomer and at a much LOWER price than we can find in Birmingham.  It is worth the trip to get to stay a night at the lake and get our four legged girls all trimmed up!  Brinkley looks awesome and I hope to have a little less hair around my house...oh wait who am I joking!  I will just have shorter hair all around my house!  Oh well.  She has her summer hair cut and looks great.
napping together in the car

These two are really big buddies and the bigger that Collier gets the more that Brinkley is taking to him.  He is still quite rough on her and thankfully she is tough enough to take it.  She is still a momma's girl but I do slowly see her taking to Collier more and more.  When he wakes up from naps and is crying she stands at his door.  When Collier walks in the door she covers him with kisses...he is usually welcoming of the kisses and giggles but there are times that he doesn't want her in his face.  He is quick to tell her no no and feels the need to correct her when she is doing something she shouldn't scratching, itching, trying to take his food, wanting to get out the front door.  Way to sweet!  I am really glad that she is part of our family...strange and quirky or not...she is my sweet girl!

Monday, April 11, 2011


I have shared about the Tri-State Cook-off in Dothan before here. Justin, Chris (my brother) Ryan (my BIL) and my Dad make up the Opossum Trots Team 2011.  Poe...aka Possum is also part of the team but didn't make it this year.  Justin's Dad and a few of his friends also participate as Team USP and the cook off is more about beating team USP than anything else, as it will bring HUGE bragging rights for the rest of the year.  Well, this year the Opossum Trots out did themselves and went and won the whole dang 'Backyard Division'.  They placed 1st in Chicken, 2nd in Brisket and 4th in both Pork Butt and Ribs AND Best overall.  In the four years that they have been cooking in this cook off they have only won to take it away like this was HUGE and it was so fun.  Makes all of the hard work and preparation worth it.  The event this year was also much bigger and included small fair rides for the kids on top of all of the BBQ and cooking.  It was really fun and it was also quite hot.  Thankfully one of the team USP members were generous enough to share their camper which allowed us women and babies a place to cool off as needed! Among the two teams there was also golf carts/gators and Collier would jump on with whoever was driving off...he didn't care who was going but just wanted to be sure to get to ride!  Loves those things!

I am just very proud of these guys.  They work and plan all year for this and to be rewarded like this was great to see.  They were you can see as they ran up on stage and really showed out.  We (as in thew wives of these men and Team USP) now have a year ahead of us where all that we will hear about is this victory.  Justin felt the need to ask all of us does it feel to sleep with a champion?  Gesh!

This also gave us the opportunity to be with our sweet nieces....we got to have some sweet time with Eve and Emory and as you can see in the pictures CH and Ash had a big time.  Hayden keeps getting bigger and bigger and with that her smiles get better and better.  I have never seen a child smile and laugh like she does! Oh so sweet!
CH trying to get Emory to hold his hand...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weekend Ending

The remainder of our weekend was good...Justin went to Atlanta to go to Wrestle-mania...yes he watches wrestling.  It is totally silly but he has a good friend who works for a publishing company who publishes wrestling/WWE books (did you get that) and he invited Justin to attend with some of the perks [box seats] he gets through his company.  And so he did!  I am sure that he is going to KILL me for posting this picture...but it is REALLY a joke.  He said that people were walking around with these belts on, as in wearing them for-real.  He asked some random guy if he could get a picture with it.  That sort of makes me laugh too!

While Justin was off with the guys, Collier and I headed out to Stadiumfest with Mom and Dad to listen to Casting Crowns.  It was so much fun.  It was an outside event that was packed and we got to hear some great music.  Collier wouldn't sit still [probably didn't help that he hadn't taken an afternoon nap] and Dad followed him all around, I think that Collier enjoyed the freedom.  When we got back into the car, Collier was asleep before we were out of the parking lot!  One tired little munchkin.  But, it was fun and something different to do.  
Sunday, I decided to make some homemade hamburger buns...YUMMMM!!!! and Mom and Dad came over and we cooked turkey burgers.  It was delicious and I really liked the buns.  I know it sounds strange to make hamburger buns, but it makes me crazy to buy a package of 8 buns that we NEVER finish and to have FRESH is way better.  Plus it was fun.  I plan to make another batch and then freeze them in packs of 4 so when we need them it is quick and easy.  I even made a chicken sandwich last night with the left over buns and it was yummy as well.  I love any kind of fresh bread.

Collier also banged up his knee AGAIN!  He will never have clean and clear knees, I've just come to accept it.  But it was bleeding and I was trying to get out the door so I cleaned it up and stuck a band aid on it.  He started crying when I un-peeled the band aid but once I got it on him he was ok and kept telling everyone that he had a boo boo.  He has never been a fan of band aids, which is strange to me...I thought all kids loved band aids.  Anyway, I may have converted him now although I am really not 100% sure.  He did tell Mom that he needed one on the other day.  
I hope that the sun is shinning wherever you are!!!
  so that you can wear your sunglasses...UPSIDE DOWN!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


We have really been blessed with how well Collier has been. And by 'well' I mean he really hasn't been sick all that much. I hope that I am not jinxing myself. I don't really believe in that because I know that God is in control of all things and there is no jinxing God....He has a plan! So with that being said, We have only had 2 sick visits to the doctor with Collier. Anytime that he runs a fever, runny noise and/or is more fussy than normal I go straight to the teeth. I immediately assume it is his teeth. I have no idea what I am going to blame once all of his teeth are in! So far I have been right, except the one time he had a few allergy issues which is one of the two sick visits mentioned above. So, Wednesday he started with a runny nose and for the past week the boy has been gnawing on his fingers. The nose and drool are constant for the past several days.  The fingers still remain the the mouth at all is basically a miracle that he has any fingers left at all!

I am just praying that these little teeth will break through and he will not be hurting any more.  He is so tolerable of the pain...I know it must hurt and for the  most doesn't act like they are too bad.  I am so thankful for that. 

Yesterday I spent part of the day in the kitchen...having a blast.  I made homemade ice cream that turned out pretty good...I needed to let it churn a little longer than I did but other than that it was delicious.  I have made note of that and plan to make it again. I also made pizza dough for us to have a Chicago deep dish pizza last night with friends over to enjoy.  Great ending to a fun day for us!