Monday, March 31, 2008

"I love your [insert random object here] Mama!"

My little boy is just as cute as can be (when he wants to be!) One of my favorite things that he says is "I love your [fill in the blank] mama/daddy" He always picks the most random things that he says he loves. Like today in the car it was "I love your end-shell wipers, Mama" He admired my windshield wipers! Or the other day "I love your spoon Mama". It's not like a butter her up type of compliment either. He says it at random times, and you can tell he's doing it because he wants to say that he loves you, but wants to find different ways to say it.

So next time, if you hear my little man say "I love your tomato" or "I love your socks" or "I love your tooth brush", you'll know he's telling you that he loves you! =)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"My Harris Teeter"

If you have a Harris Teeter in your community, you're probably singing their little song now because of my post's title! But I'm totally excited about my trip to Harris Teeter. Most of the time I despise grocery shopping because it's such a chore with 2 kiddos (I shutter at the thought of my poor friends Elizabeth and Andrea who shop with 3 kids!) but today was a different story.

My goal was to go to HT and shop right after lunch, but was unable to do that (because my mom wasn't feeling well and has FINALLY taken our advice to stop working until after her surgery!) So my trip was post-poned until about 6:30ish. Kenney had a guys night with the guys from our Bible Fellowship group at church, and so I had to take the kiddos. Since there's only 3 days of triple coupons & a limit of 20 coupons per day, I did not want to waste one of those days!

I put Makenna in the sling, and I forced B into the cart with a promise of a ballon IF he behaved. Let me tell you my trip to the store was much more pleasant w/o having to chase him down. *Note to self---always use the sling & put B in the cart while at the grocery store!*

And off we went to the wine section to look for coupons. "Coupons for wine?!" I know what you're wondering but no, they aren't FOR wine, but simply on them. You don't have to purchase wine to use them either! Most people see a coupon on a product & assume you have to purchase the item it came from but not these! They're usually random like 1.50 off of eggs or a bouquet of flowers, etc. So I picked a few up, 2 for 1.50 off of eggs, 1 for a 1.50 off of any trail mix, and several 2.00 off fresh lamb or seafood purchase.

As I made it up to the check out line, I started wondering how much my cart of groceries was going to cost me. I'd read on a shopping board that you had to make sure that the coupons under 99 cents were the first 20, as the register is programmed to only triple the first 20 and doesn't recognize that it can't be tripled, so you waste one of your coupons! I started organizing them to hand to her, first the stack of under 99 cents, then a seperate pile for over 1.00 coupons. I looked at the total and slightly panicked! But then I remembered that I hadn't given her my VIC card or any of my coupons. I handed her my VIC card, and saw that I had saved $27.32 from it. Then I handed her my coupons and was pleased to see my final total: $69.72!! I had saved $72.86 in coupons!! I couldn't wait to get home to see how much I'd saved.

I know I'm a dork, but I love saving money and getting stuff cheap. If you are at all like me, then I hope you will get excited at the following list of deals:

-Colgate Luminous Toothpaste-$3.19, sale price $1.99, $1 off coupon= 99 cents

-Emerald Trail Mix-2/$5 -2.50(BOGO Free) plus 1.50 off coupon= 2/$1

-Bisquick-$2.99 sale price $2.49, 1.10 off coupon=$ 1.39

-Betty Crocker Potatoes-$1.89- .40 off (x3)= 69 cents

-Huggies Wipes- $3.99-.75 off (x 3)= $1.74

-Salad Spritzers- $2.69 sale price 1.34 - $.55 coupon (x 3)= FREE plus overage of 31 cents!

-Deli Creations- 2/ $7, sale price 2.50 - 3.49 coupon= 2/$1.51

-Betty Crocker Cake Mix $1.79- .55 off coupon (x 3) = 14 cents!

-BC Frosting- $1.79- .50 coupon (x3) = 29 cents

-Lady Speed Stick 24/7 - $2.99- .75 off coupon (x 3)= 74 cents!!

My fave finds were the deli creations b/c they were on sale and I just happened to get a coupon in the mail a few weeks ago from HT for a BOGO on them, and they took off the original price off not the sale price! Also the salad spritzers from wish bone. I saw them and they had 55 cent coupons attatched to them for any produce with purchase of the salad spritzers which were already BOGO. They had lots of 99 cent produce, so I figured as long as I purchased two kinds of produce, they'd take off the 1.65 when the coupon was tripled. and since I had two of those coupons from the two salad spritzers I got 3.30 off in coupons and got one of the salad spritzers for free with an overage! And the cake mix & frosting: I had printed out a Betty crocker coupon for 55 cents off when you buy both cake mix & frosting together, but when I went to the store, one of the mixes had a coupon on the box for 50 cents off any one frosting. So I got 1.50 off and 1.65 off too! =)

Are you a thrify shopper too? Have you gone to HT yet? If so, I'd love to hear what deals you got and how much you saved! YAY for triple coupons! In total, I saved $100.18!!!!!!1

Monday, March 24, 2008

forms, forms, and more forms...

Ok, so starting a business is exciting but a little overwhelming! With a little advice from my Aunt Laura, I've decided what type of business it'll be. Now, here I stand with a stack of papers to fill out: I've got DBA forms, federal & state tax forms, privilege license forms, etc.

But I'm starting to feel like it's coming together. I purchased business cards and they came in the other day. I had one ad in my dad's program for The King & I, and I've got my first big ad in our local paper's "I Do" bridal guide that is coming out this coming Sunday. I'm so excited, and I can't wait to see the response from it.

My amazingly talented sister has created an awesome new website for me, and I'm so thankful! If you know anyone that is getting married, tell them to check me out!

Easter slideshow...


Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Shepherd of love...

Last night, our church presented their Easter production "The Shepherd of Love". It had good music, a pretty impressive set, and a great message. I hope and pray that people will be touched by the sacrafice that Jesus made for each and every one of us.

It was Good Friday, so I fully anticipated getting a little emotional while watching the part where Jesus was crucified. It was not that part that actually got me teary-eyed. It was the part where Jesus was performing miracles that left me fighting back tears. To see men and women healed, to see people who couldn't walk, walk. To see a man raised from the dead. Perhaps it was all to real to me now with Shannon having passed recently. Even typing this, I'm fighting back those same tears. These were real people that Jesus touched. People like you and me who had lives filled with heartache and pain. One touch from Jesus restored their broken hearts and their broken lives.

This same Jesus wants to heal my heart, and your heart, today. He sees your brokenness. He saw you when you were crying at night when you thought no one was there or knew what you were going through. He is waiting right now to take you in His arms and to love you. This is not a guarantee of an easy life, but a life of hope, knowing that although horrible things may happen, we have Jesus to catch us and to heal us and to free us.

"come to me, all ye who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest!"

Friday, March 21, 2008

only in america...


this picture speaks for itself!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hooray!

HOORAY! I finally got my little precious girl who smiles and laughs until I pull out the camera to smile big! Here's some pictures from the past few days! Enjoy!!





Help!!

HELP!!! A friend of mine, Andrea, is moving from Vermont to New Mexico with her family of 5. She's got 3 young children (her youngest was born 5 days before Makenna!) and she is looking for advice from any of you out there who have ever made such a big move. How do you help the kids transition? Any packing advice? Getting settled in?

She's even offering a pound of Vermont Maple Creme coffee to the one who gives her the best advice. I'm not too familiar with moving with kiddos in tow, so I thought perhaps it would be best to put it out there to my friends, family, stalkers, etc. =) Help this poor woman out, already, would ya?!? Go to her blog & leave her some advice!!!

counting the tiny feetprints...

Last night, I started writing a fundraising letter to send out to some business and friends in order to raise money for the March of Dimes' March for Babies. As I began to write the letter, I was struck at all the people I know who have lost babies besides myself. Miscarriage, stillborn, infant death, prematurity, etc. It began to grieve my heart to think of such loss. It seems truly unnatural and awful for a parent to lose his/her own child. I was reminded of Susie's recent post about how it IS indeed unnatural for this to happen. God did not create us to have to be able to say goodbye! We were made to live forever, and not have to deal with this type of heartache!

Odds are you know someone who has lost a child. You may not even know about it because many women and/or couples who have suffered a miscarriage feel that they can't or shouldn't talk about it. Statistics show that 1 out of every 4 women have had or will have a miscarriage! HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!? So the next time you hear about a woman who has experienced a miscarriage, please don't abandon her! This is the time she needs your support and love. If you hear of a couple who has discovered abnormalities on an ultrasound, don't shy away out of fear of what to say. Encourage them to seek a second opinion, and to not take the doctor's word as an absolute rule. God alone is the only one who knows the outcome of each pregnancy.

Sorry for such a somber post this morning, it's just on my heart. If you'd like to join me in the March for Babies by either walking with me on April 19th, 2008 or by donating, feel free to send me an e-mail, leave a comment, or click on the link in the right side bar!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Even at church...

You know, I shouldn't be surprised, because we live in Rocky Mount. I've written a few blogs in the past about the racial issues in Rocky Mount and how they impact us as we are a biracial family. Today, Kenney & I went to Braydon's Easter egg hunt and party at his preschool. Kenney helped me take both kiddos out to my car, then he had to head back to work. As he was walking from my car to his own car, he happened to pass a woman sitting in the passenger seat of a car, with a child in the backseat under the awning (sp?) at the back of the church. They were obviously waiting while someone was running in to pick up another child. Kenney walked beside her car, and as Kenney neared the front of the car, the lady quickly locked her car doors. Kenney glanced up when he heard the locking sound, and she just glared at him with a suspicous look! I mean come on lady! Number one, my husband was dressed professionally (not that would-be car jackers couldn't sport a dress shirt & dress pants and nice shoes, but you know what I mean!) and she had seen him as he & I had walked out of preschool together! Ugh! Such ignorance is just crazy to me. I just don't understand it!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The King & I

My dad's high school drama club recently did the musical, "The King & I". It was absolutely wonderful, the vocals were amazing! The costumes, the scenery and the lighting were so rich and just made this show even better! My favorite part was the part were they did the "Small house of Uncle Thomas". It was wonderfully choreographed, and the simplicity of it made it even better!
I got to take some pictures for my dad's portfolio, and I'd like to mention that these were still, posed shots, and were NOT taken during a live performance. I feel the need to say this because of copyright laws. Enjoy!














Monday, March 17, 2008

happy st pattys day from makenna....


Since Braydon REFUSED to wear green and Makenna can't tell me no (yet!) here is a "HAPPY St. PATTY'S DAY!" from our house to yours...


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Inivisible

This was sent to me by a friend of mine who has 4 young children, and it was so neat that I couldn't NOT post it. To all my mommy friends out there: you're work does not go unnoticed!! The author of this is unknown, but bless her heart...

I'm Invisible

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it.I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become." At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there." As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

sneak peak at spring...

Apparently something distracted Braydon...
Kenna loves her daddy!


Butterfly dress Aunt Rachel gave Kenna for Christmas
Just makes you feel like spring, doesn't it?!?

my cool family!

Kenna told us she was done with being outside!

a little something

A lot has been on my mind and on my heart. Friends suffering and dealing with loss, loved ones facing possible life-threatening illnesses. Please know that all of you are loved and thought of often and prayed for.

I never know what exactly to say sometimes. But this just sort of came out of me over the course of a few days, after endless calls reminding me just how fragile human beings are, and how short our spans on this earth can be. So please kiss your spouse and tell them that you love him or her. Stop reading your newspaper and tell your child that you love them. Call your parent up and tell them that you're sorry. We're not promised tomorrow...

"Today"

She didn't know, four years ago
she'd be saying goodbye
to the man that she loved.

God called him home, he left her alone
her arms aching to hold him once more,
to kiss him again.

So I'll hold you a little tighter,
I'll kiss you a little longer
and I'll always tell you "I love you!"

I'll live today, and I'll love today
because that's all that we are promised: today.

She didn't know just 3 months ago
she'd be holding her little baby
fighting for his life.

She knows today, he's going away
her heart's breaking
to see him smiling and laughing again.

So I'll hold you a little tighter,
I'll kiss you a little longer
And I'll always tell you "I love you!"

I'll live today, and I'll love today
because that's all we are promised: today.

He didn't know seven years ago
that the cancer she'd fought and won
would come back again.

This time she's scared, that she won't be spared
kissing her cheek, doesn't need to speak.
She knows that he loves her!

Because he held her a little tighter,
he kissed her a little longer
and always said that "I love you!"

She'll live today,
and she'll love today
because that's all that we are promised: today.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesdays

What is wordless wednesday? Why it's only the coolest part of the week in blogland, silly! You still have time to grab your camera, go around your town/city/neighborhood and take 3-5 pictures, and blog them. Go visit Rachel and use Mr. Linkie and join the contest! You could be the winner of a $10 snapfish gift certificate! Even if you don't win, you still have an excuse to take pictures and blog!! =)
Rocky Mount: "The City on the Rise"






Monday, March 10, 2008

Isn't she lovely....

We think so!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sweet Rewards...

Sometimes you get sick of saying "no" as a parent. And sometimes, you just wish that your child would obey so you won't have to punish them or spank them for the millionth time for the EXACT same offense. I have a child who is stubborn (shocked, aren't you?!? I wonder where he got it from?!?) and is a repeat offender, regadless of consequences. I've been praying about what to do with Braydon. He's got to learn that he cannot make our lives miserable to get what he wants. But at the same time, I want him to have good experiences.

At preschool, they use a "stop sign" as a their choice of behavior modification. If you listen, do what you're told, are nice to your fellow classmates, you stay on green. If you are struggling with obeying teachers, or anything like I've just mentioned, after several warnings, you're moved to yellow. And if they continue to have to warn you about the same things, you're moved to red. For many weeks, I'd come home frustrated with Braydon, and with myself, because of him being on red constantly. I racked my brain trying to figure where I'd gone wrong.

Anyways, I figured this week we'd try to find some positive reinforcements for good behavior at school (they already have it at preschool: if they stay on green all week, they get a candy on Friday. If they stay on green for a whole month, they get to pick from the treasure chesst.) But somehow this wasn't incentive enough. I told B that if he stayed on green all week, I'd take him to get a donut on Saturday morning, just the two of us. Now, I've offered this before, (the donut thing) but I think what worked was the fact that it was going to be only him and me. Daddy & Makenna would stay at home while we went out to celebrate his good behavior.

He sure enough was on green the whole week, even when his friends were on yellow and red (which is a BIG thing for B, because he usually follows the crowd...) So this morning, Mommy & Braydon went to Krispy Kreme and got a donut, then went to Harris Teeter to get him a balloon (they give them out free to all the kids). We're very proud of him, and we made a big deal out of it. I want to make sure that Braydon knows that I still have time to spend with him alone even though Makenna is here.

Here are some pictures of us when we got home after our "date" morning!



B got to watch Bibleman Jr. and loved it!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Consider Collecting Change for a Cause!

As I have mentioned before, I am participating in the 2008 March of Dimes March for Babies. My goal is $500, which is a lot, but I'm going to be doing some fundraisers to help reach this goal. The first one that I'm asking my friends and family to help out with is called "Collecting Change for a Cause" What this entails is that you get a jar or cup or envelope or anything else that will hold change and set it on your dresser. In the evening, when you empty your pockets, I'm asking that you put any loose change into the jar. If you see a quarter laying around, add it to the jar. Even if you see a penny laying on the ground, can you pick it up and put it the jar? At the end of March, I'm going to ask you to count the change in your jar, and visit my page (there is a link on my sidebar) and pledge that amount to my walk, (even if it's only 2 or 3 dollars)! Every little bit helps me reach my goal and help support research for the goal of having all babies be healthy babies! If you want you can paypal it to me, or send a check to me or use the online tool to donate by credit card. these donations are tax deductible! Thanks for your help guys!!!

educating the educated

I wouldn't consider myself very bright regarding medicine. If you were my guidance counselor, you would recommend I avoid anything regarding the sciences. But aside from all of this, today I managed to present Makenna's pedi with information that she was not very familiar in: vaccinations.

Yes, she went to medical school, and knows a bazillion more things about babies and children that I will never know. But today when I went in for Makenna's 2 month check up, & I requested some information regarding the "5 in one" shot they routinely give children in their practice. At first, she tried to tell me that everyone she's ever given the shots to have never had a problem and that if I chose not to vaccinate my child, she was not welcome in her practice. After being a little intimidated at first, I made sure that I explained where I stood: I agreed with the concept of vaccinations. They are extremely important, and I fully intend of giving Makenna the shots she needs. When I began to explain to her my concerns regarding the combo shots, she said she was unfamiliar with the data that I was talking about.

Out pops my reference material:

I was able to show her some information she had never seen before, and I intriuged her so much, she asked to borrow the book over the weekend so she could read the whole thing. We agreed to not give Makenna any shots until we had time to research it further. On Monday, I'm gonna go up there and talk with her, after shes read the book and had time to talk with some fellow doctors, and we'll decide where we'll go from there.

It's nice to not simply take everything the doctor says as truth. I mean, yes they went to medical school, but how often do they research the "common practices"? I mean this shot the 5-in-1 pediarix has 850 micrograms of aluminium in it and the FDA recommends that a 12 lb 2 month old should not exceed 30 micrograms. Does anyone else see this as a problem?!? It was so nice to be able to advocate for my child and to feel like I was actually listened to!

On a side note, Makenna's tests came back normal, thank God!! And she is 22.5 inches long and 9 lbs 15.4 oz!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Senior Moment in progress!


Well, since my sister stole the AARP thing (for real! i had the idea first! it's just that she's ahead of us because shes in a diff. time zone! dang it!) But Happy Birthday dad! Didn't you know that it's a bad sign when you forget it's your own birthday? We still love you, even with those "SENIOR MOMENTS!"