Monday, March 31, 2008

MONDAY MADNESS

This weekend was so emotionally draining. I'm sure that my brother and his wife feel a lot worse than I do. I have been so tired yet I still feel I have so much to do. This week is a crazy one for us.

Today... I had a nail appointment. Then I went and spent some time with my parents. By the time I came home it was time to go pick up the big boys from school. When Hubby got home, I took off for some thrifty grocery shopping. We met a local restaurant and then went to my bro's house to see the new baby. My kids loved her. Here are a couple of pictures from tonight.





Tuesday... MOPS meeting. Then we are going to eat at PF Chang's and go see Styx, Reo Speedwagon, and Def Lepard in concert. An adult night. It will be very nice.

Wednesday... School Spelling Bee at 9am. Awards Ceremony at 1:30pm Church

Thursday... Field trip to Columbia to the State House and the Zoo. We won't return until 5:30. Then hubby has softball that night.

But we start our first day of Spring Break on Friday. YaHoo!

So my schedule this week is too full. I can't wait until next week when we have nothing to do but have fun.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Long Awaited Gift

Today, I was privileged to get to go with my brother, Brent and wife, Marian to get their new baby girl. She is beautiful and this was, by far, (with the exception of the birth of my own children) one of the greatest experiences of my life. We started out this morning at 7:30 and made it to Florence by 11:30. We stopped at Burger King to relax and take a break for a few minutes. We then went to a church where we met the birth mother's counselor. There was lots of papers to sign. Then... the moment we had all been waiting for... the arrival of the baby.
I was the first to see her because I just couldn't wait and I wanted to perfect picture of the reactions of everyone. The baby was turned over to Marian and she started to scream. Everyone tried everything to calm her down and finally after taking her to a nursery, she fell asleep. They came back and a short ceremony with scripture reading and prayer followed. The scripture that was read by the birth mother's counselor was Jeremiah 29:11. I can't really go into why this verse was special but it made perfect sense. Then my brother read Ephesian 1:5 "He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will." And then they said a prayer. This was just an awesome time and now I have a beautiful new niece. And without further delay...


Tess Elizabeth Martin

Isn't she beautiful? I can now officially say, "Welcome to our family, Baby Girl!"

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Getting Tess!

"I prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for." 1 Samuel 1:27 (The Message)

Now let me start from the beginning...
My brother, Brent and his wife Marian have been praying for a child. They have been married 14 years. They have tried everything from temperature to fertility drugs. So last year in January, they decided to apply for a bi-racial adoption. This process has been a difficult one because the case worker was not very efficient (to say the least). Enough said on that topic. Anyway, Marian left on Wednesday morning to go help her mom in Virginia (recovering from knee surgery). On the way (2 hours from her mom's house), she received the call. We have a baby for you. Needless to say, Marian could not even focus on the task at hand because of the excitement and shock that followed. So she really doesn't have a lot of information because the call was like a dream. That being said, they will pick up Baby Tess on Saturday at noon. Please pray for them as they make the 4 hour trip to Florence, SC. They will meet the birth mother (a high schooler) and bring Tess home. Of course, Marian was in on all my births and I will be by her side when she pulls in the driveway Saturday night. We can't wait to welcome this precious baby girl to our family. I talked to Little J about his new baby cousin and how "Aunt and Bubby" are going to get a new baby. He innocently asked me "Where she come from?" This conversation turned out to be a lot less awkward than the normal "where do babies come from conversation" because this time I could honestly say "They are going to pick her up in another town."
Congratulations, Brent and Marian! Can't wait to see your long awaited gift. We love you!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

WFMW at Rocks in My Dryer

Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer host Works For Me Wednesday every week. I decided to participate this week. When freezing meat like hamburger patties, pieces of cubed steak, sausage patties, etc. , I put them on a metal baking sheet and stick them in the freezer. When they are frozen, I pop them off and put them in Ziploc Freezer bags and put them back in the freezer. Then I can use them individually and not have to thaw out the whole bag. That's what works for me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged by Southern Seven. I am supposed to list 10 random things about myself. So...

1. I am adopted. My mom and dad adopted me when I was 2 months old. Until then, I was a ward of the state of SC.

2. I hate being pregnant even though I've been pregnant 4 times and would do it again if my husband would say yes.

3. Hubby and I were married in a wedding chapel in Gatlinburg, TN.

4. I am a PK (preacher's kid, southern baptist).

5. I love Starbuck's coffee (any kind with Caramel or Chocolate)

6. I've only learned about computer and technology in the last year. Before that I could only operate Microsoft Word and check my email. Now I'm blogging.

7. I am a certified Early Childhood teacher. I taught 4K until this year and I am now a Stay at Home mom for the second round of preschoolers.

8. I am the oldest of 4 and the other 3 are boys (not adopted). Lucky for my mom she decided to adopt.

9. When I married my husband, we ate Ramen noodles (a lot) because I didn't know how to cook. Now I make meals from scratch most every night. (Thanks, Paula Deen!)

10. When I married my husband, I really didn't want any children. I changed my mind at the age of 28.


I tag Windy, Lori, 'Chelle , Monica, and Heather


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Reflections








Happy 1st Birthday, Baby Girl

Happy 1st birthday, my precious baby girl. A year ago today we were in the hospital room looking at you and thinking, "What do we do with a girl?". Now I think, "What would I do without you?" As I watch you grow, I think about what a miracle you are. As you've learned to roll over, sit up, crawl, and walk, everyday has been a blessing that has been given to me. I love you and
you'll always be my precious little miracle. Happy 1st Birthday!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Friday FUN

The bloggy world seems a little slow this week but that doesn't stop me from spending all of my free time cruising the internet for new blogs. My posts seem to have lagged a bit this week too. I know it is Spring Break for some. But not us! We still have 2 more weeks. I don't like it but on the positive side, it may be even warmer than the 67 degrees that we had today. Anyway, being Good Friday, hubby had the day off. We tried to pass off some cub scout requirements. We tried our museum first and it was closed. Then the geological museum was closed. So we settled for the Botanical Gardens at Clemson University. Definitely worth it. The sun was shining. The flowers are starting to bloom. It was a beautiful day. We relaxed by the Duck Pond and I couldn't help snapping some pictures. Here are a few...

Little J took this one. I was quite impressed.



This one was kinda posed but I still thought it was cute.


Gman is the only kid that ever really cooperates. You just have to get lucky if you want one with everyone smiling. Little J has developed a weird "picture" smile. I do not like it but if that's all I can get I guess I have to satisfied.

We tried to see the Easter Bunny too. I have a picture that Walmart made of MC by herself. She is smiling but in the picture of her and the two older boys (Little J refused to see the Easter Bunny) she is crying. I'll try to post those later. Here are the ones I shot with my camera.


Little J refused and so I captured a picture of his daddy trying to pull him from beneath the cart. I need something to embarrass him with when he gets older. Even though he refused the Easter Bunny, we did get this...

a shot of Little J with a inflatable "Easter" Turkey.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thursday Table Talk

It's Thursday ( or it was 36 minutes ago). I'm late posting tonight because we had a really busy day and hubby and I got to go out alone tonight. Anyway, I have a recipe that I wanted to share. This recipe was published in our electric co-op magazine. Since the publish, I have had people stop me in the grocery store (we live in a small town) and ask questions about it. I have also had several people call to tell me how good it is. So here it is for you to try:

Chicken Noodle Soup
4-5 chicken breast shredded or 1-2 cans of chicken breasts
1 bag of wide egg noodles
2 cans of chicken broth
1 can of evaporated milk
1 stick of margarine
1 can of cream of celery soup
1-2 tablespoons of Mortons Nature's Seasons Seasoning Blend
Cook your egg noodles as directed on package. Meanwhile combine all other ingredients except chicken in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Add chicken and noodles(drained) and simmer for about 15 minutes. This can be prepared ahead of time and stored in refrigerator and put in slow cooker the next day. Cook in slow cooker on low for 3-4 hours.

This is not my original recipe. I don't know where it came from. A friend of mine passed it along to me and it has been a big hit with my family. My kids love it and it is so easy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Time Spent

I have spent a lot of time recently trying to get myself organized. We moved from a 3 bedroom, 1 (very small bath) house to a 5 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath house in August of 2006. We moved the first week of school (I was teaching 4K at the time in Public school) and I was pregnant with MC and had lots of morning sickness. We just threw stuff in boxes and tried to get out what we needed. Now you know the background and with that being said...
I am trying to get organized so that we can find things when we need them and we can get rid of some things we don't need to create more storage space. So far, I have my pantry and cabinets organized and my laundry room. Here are a couple of pictures. Unfortunately, I didn't take before pictures. (You can see before pics of the pantry here.) But here is the after pics.

This is the pantry. I took out all the pots and cleaned out a cabinet to put them in. I think that alone was an improvement. I used a shelf that I found in one of my kitchen cabinets that wasn't being used for bottles and several baskets and containers for smaller things like cookie cutters, small packets, etc. It is a big improvement even though it may not look like it in the picture.

This is my laundry room. We keep our medicines and cleaning supplies in the cabinet on the wall. This keeps little ones from getting into them. Anyway, everything was just piled in the cabinet with no order and there were lots of stuff on the floor so when everyone put clothes in there you could not walk through. Now I have baskets for my medicine with 4 categories: Pain, stomach, cold/flu/allergy, and prescription. Z needed cough medicine last night and it was so much easier to find. I am working on a first aid basket but it will have to be stored somewhere else because I'm out of room in that cabinet. There are baskets against the wall on the floor that hold extra things like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. I may have to move those somewhere else but for now it is working.

Now for my next project:

I am going to work on converting this small walk-in closet in my upstairs hall into a craft "room" for me. I need some space to call my own that can hide all my many projects. So when I get finished, I will post pictures and see what you think. It has been well worth the time spent to get my organization projects finished. And it makes me feel so much better. I'm off to bake brownies for church tonight. So I'll try to post more tomorrow.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Signs of Spring





Saturday, March 15, 2008

It's Not Over 'Til The Fat Lady Sings...


The fat lady is singing. Zane lost the Pinewood Derby Race this morning.
















Oh Well, he's just glad to have his car back.




Friday, March 14, 2008

Sasquatch Or Just Another Naked 2 Year Old?

My hubby was upstairs taking pictures of the latest developments on the pool and he excitedly took this picture. He thought he had spotted Sasquatch. The picture is a little blurry. Is it Sasquatch?



Right there in the middle of the picture? Do you see it? Yes, that is my baby boy coming through the woods completely naked. "What kind of mother would allow a child to roam the woods with no clothes?" I guess that would be me. Oh well, I've always heard "Pick your battles" and since it was 77 degrees yesterday this wasn't one worth picking. However, I do see how the mix up could occur.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

HAL-LE-LU-JAH!!!

Pretend I'm singing the Hallelujah Chorus!!









EMPTY HAMPERS! Need I say more?

Choices, Choices

My toddlers are playing happily upstairs and I cut myself. I have a choice to make.

Superman or Diego?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Brilliant and Quite Persuasive Children

A couple of months ago Gman and Zman came home from school with this persuasive paragraph.


If you can't read this, it says:

Dog Vs. No Dog
I think we should consider getting a dog for a pet. First, it would help me learn to be responsible. I would have to feed it and take it for a walk everyday. Second, it would keep me company when there is no one else to play with. It would also scare away strangers who are up to no good. So you see, having a dog for a pet would be a good thing for our family.


So in January, what did we do?









Meet Lucy! The newest member of our family. She has grown a lot since we got her but she is still a puppy. She is a good dog. But who is learning responsibility by feeding and walking her? Why, Dad, of course!


But I think Little J loves her the most. She nips at him and pulls his clothes and tries to knock him down on the ground so she can get on him and lick him. But today he was sitting at the window and I asked him what he was looking at. And he said, "Our "punny" (funny) puppy, Mommy!"

J was trying to get Lucy to pose for the picture. She didn't cooperate. Maybe that's why they get along so well. They are just alike.

What's Happening This Wednesday?

I'm not moving too fast this morning. I got my retainers yesterday. In reality, the top one is not a retainer. It is an ESSEX (SP?) It fits over my entire set of top teeth and it is tight. It is making my mouth hurt really bad. But anyway... We are off the the "Mothership" to buy ribbon. I have some orders for Spring baby bows. I'm hoping to find a good selection of ribbon. I went to Wilson's yesterday but it was a little expensive. I do want to make a little bit of money on them. Oh well, I'll post later and let you know what I find. This is my first visit to the new store in Easley.

Monday, March 10, 2008

MONDAY MADNESS

I just sat down with my cup of coffee and of course read my favorite blogs. Now I need to post something new. So many exciting things have been happening at our mansion in the mountains that I don't where to start. So...
Spring Cleaning:
I'm motivated to start my spring cleaning even though it was 32 degrees this morning. Amy over at Mom Advice has some Spring Cleaning printables to get you organized and get you going.
We had a busy Saturday so I didn't get to read my usual blogs so today I'm trying to catch up with everybody plus read some new ones from the Party.

video

G had a fundraiser at Table Rock State Park for the YAMS. It was a lot fun. When it was time to go, I looked and looked for him. Where is he? I asked everyone even his little friends had no idea. I even went outside and called. Finally, one of the older ladies walked up and said, "There he is." He was sitting inside the music circle playing a mandolin with all the older men. Imagine that. Anyway, here is the video from the the performance. Hope you enjoy.

We've started a new project in our backyard. Can you guess what it is? (Monica, you already know so don't cheat!)




















And I think I miss my braces. When we were going to Table Rock on Saturday, Gman told me that I looked older without my braces. On Sunday, I was telling Jim and my mom that he said that. And he made his point by saying, "You do! You look like you're in your 50's." Boy, I must look really ancient now. Remember when you were a kid and you thought a 30 year old looked old. So what must I look like without braces?

Now for my Monday Madness:
It has taken me all day to write this post because in between uploading pictures, I was cleaning up messes. First mess: The guy working in our yard came to the door to get a check from me and tell me they were finished for today. While I was in the carport, MC took a dish towel out of the cabinet and proceeded to take it to the toilet in my bathroom. She then dipped it in and "washed the floor". Even the carpet in my bedroom. I came back in the house oblivious to what was going on. I stepped in water. I asked Little J what was on the floor and he said "Don't know". I then found big puddles of water in my bathroom floor, all the way from the bedroom to the kitchen. So I took a break to clean that up.
Second Mess: Little J is potty training. We are now in underwear during the day and pull-ups at night. He has only had 2 accidents since he decided to go to the "big boy potty". He says, "Mommy, go poop!" Which also means pee pee. So I told him to go. I waited a couple of minutes before following (you know the independent, "NO ME!" kind of thing). When I went in , he was sitting on the potty with poop all over his hand. (I'm not sure I even want to know how it got there, but I have a good idea. Again with the independent thing.) So we get that cleaned while MC is the ever curious observer.
Third Mess: I mentioned that I am beginning to Spring Clean and I'm following Amy's schedule at Mom Advice. So today was to tackle the refrigerator. To make a long story short, I finished and pulled the door to shut it and one of the shelves fell out. It just happened to be holding a gallon of milk, a bottle of wine, and a bottle of Pina Colada Mix. Thank God the wine and the mixer didn't break but the top of the milk popped off. Just imagine! You know what? You don't have to...

I know it could have been a lot worse.

Anyway, here is the end result of the refrigerator cleaning.


Now I'm off to mop the floor. And pray for no more messes.


Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday FUN: Let's Get This Party Started!

Finally, I'm getting a minute to sit down at my computer and post for the party over at 5 Minutes for Mom. I am so excited about this blog party that I included one of my very favorite "party-themed" songs. (This song is really going to show my age.) Click on the link for Party Train on the side bar and enjoy! I have many more favorite party songs but I really like this one. By the way, I'm Tami. I have 4 awesome children and a wonderful husband. We live in the upstate mountains of South Carolina. I'm fairly new to blogging but I am loving every minute of it. I blog because it is a way for me to have a little adult human contact everyday and be with people who have days just like me. Also blogging is a journal of sorts for me. It helps me keep up with the little everyday things that happen in my family. These are the things that are easily forgotten but I can always come back and read my archives. My blog is just about our everyday life. So come in and look around. I hope you like what you see and decide to stick around for a while. There always seems to be new material popping up in our household.

There are many things that I love. Here are just a few. I guess I have to say my number one is reading. I love to read. I also like to scrapbook and organize. I am addicted to Food Network and American Idol. My favorite shows (that I am desperately missing right now) are Gray's Anatomy, Private Practice, and Desperate Housewives. I also love to go shopping and I can't pass up a good bargain.

Here are pictures of our family. We had a hard time trying to get everyone to cooperate for one big one so we did 2. These were on our 2007 Christmas Cards.
So I guess that's about it for now.
Introduce yourself and tell me some things about you. And DO come back and visit often. Another thing I love is having new blogger friends.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My Mom Came Over for Coffee and A Recipe


She just wanted her picture on the world wide web.

Thursday Table Talk


I've been making these little pizzas since my first child was a toddler and they all still love them. It is a great way to get toddlers in the kitchen. I use English muffins, a jar of pizza sauce, and cheese. You could add whatever your child likes (pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers,etc.) Here are some pics of J making his own.

(That candle is not near as close to him as it looks in the picture.)

Share your favorite kid friendly snacks and meals with me. I would love to get some different stuff. Little J loves to "help".