December 31, 2010

Out With The Old ...

It's the end of another year! What a year this has been ...

-welcomed a new baby
-lived with family for many months
-bought a house
-renovated a house
-moved a couple of times

God has been so very good to us. I am so thankful for all that He has done for us;
for all that He has allowed in our lives;
for sending His precious Son to die for the payment of our sins;
for not only saving us from eternal death but also promising eternal life ... with Him!

I'm grateful for my wonderful husband, our two lovely healthy daughters, our families, our church, our friends, our home and our jobs.

My cup truly runneth over and I'm looking forward to another wonderful year in 2011!

Happy New Year!

December 26, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a White ... Boxing Day?

The snow comes a day late. As far as I'm concerned it could just stay away altogether. We are supposed to get a lot of it -- I've heard anywhere from 8-12 inches to 10-15 inches to 10-20 inches. But praise the Lord My Man does NOT have to get up and go to work tomorrow! I might not have to go either -- we'll see how things look in the morning.

We've had a nice weekend. We had our usual Christmas Eve service at church followed by the traditional after-church food and gift exchange for the family at 52. That went really well -- all of the kids were well-behaved and no one melted down, not even Phebis. Everyone got lots of nice things.

On Christmas morning My Man and his brothers went back to 52 early in the morning to wake up their mom. She was very surprised but loved it! When the Boogie woke up My Man came home and we opened our gifts. For months the Boogie has talked about how much she wanted a barn (UnoMoo) so that's what we got her and she said it was her favorite gift. We all were very spoiled! We went out for breakfast like we always do, and MIL and FIL came over for dinner. They brought the prime rib and all I had to make was a couple of side-dishes. While they were here we had our first Skype conversation with my parents and Vee and Furry! It made my day to get to see my family. I always miss them more during the holidays but this year has been harder than usual, so it really meant a lot to be able to see them while we talked.

This morning we went to church as usual but once the snow started really accumulating in the afternoon it was decided to cancel evening services. Now the governor has declared us to be in a state of emergency! I'm glad to be tucked warm into our little house.

Pictures of our weekend will follow in a later post! I hope each and every one of you had a lovely Christmas.

December 21, 2010


Last night after work I did a little bit of Christmas shopping. As I was leaving I started to pull out of the parking lot onto a busy road but stopped because a car was coming.

The lady behind me didn't stop.

She was watching for oncoming traffic and thought it was clear enough to go and forgot I was in front of her.

She started to accelerate but my car stopped her.

I was leaning forward in order to see the oncoming cars and hit my head on, of all things, my sunglasses stuck in my visor.

For a moment I was dazed and confused. I held my head in my hands for a few seconds because it HURT. Then I wondered if I should pull over, but there was no shoulder. Then the lady was tapping on my window yelling, "Are you hurt? Do I need to call 911?" But I was okay and I turned on my hazards and got out to check my bumper. Just a couple little round circles where her license plate had hit it. The lady apologized over and over. Cars were backing up behind us and starting to honk, so we both got in our cars and left. I was a little shaken for a few minutes and I had a killer headache most of the rest of the night.

But ...

Praise the Lord I was wearing my seatbelt.
Praise the Lord the girls weren't with me. I would have been very upset if they were with me.
Praise the Lord that lady didn't push me out into traffic.
Praise the Lord my car wasn't damaged.

You know, I've almost done the same thing that driver did, started to pull out onto a road not realizing someone was in front of me. Thankfully I haven't hit anyone. It's a good reminder to be extra careful while driving, especially this time of year when so many people are out and about, and it gets dark so early, and weather can be nasty.

My head feels okay today, just a little sore where it hit the glasses. Who knew a pair of cheap sunglasses could give a person such a headache?

Praise the Lord for His protection. He is good! today and always.

December 20, 2010

Tenderhearted Boogie

Tonight Toy Story 2 was on tv and we were watching while we ate our after-church dinner. The Boogie was totally absorbed and had to be reminded several times to keep eating. I finished and picked up Phebis to carry her into the bedroom and as I walked through the living room the Boogie said, "Honey? Why is the cowboy crying? I don't know why he is sad."

Her voice sounded odd which made me stop and look at her. "I don't know why he is crying," she repeated, her little voice quavering, the corners of her mouth tugging down and her eyes filling with tears. Aww, my sweet tenderhearted girl! I've never seen her cry over something she was watching, other than when I turn the tv off when she doesn't want me to. I had to stop what I was doing to give her a big hug. She is growing up so fast, sometimes I can't stand it.

Also she has an admirer at church, one of her friends. He's five and a few weeks ago had his mom write a note to the Boogie expressing his love. Three years old and getting love letters already! Oh dear ...

December 16, 2010

Midnight Snack, Midnight Post

It really is past midnight and I really am snacking. Just being real, people.

I think this is a record for all-time low in blogging. The middle of the month and this is only my second post. Where does all the time go? This is not a rhetorical question. I really want to know. What is this time-sucking void that I seem to have fallen into? And more importantly, will I ever get out of it?

Meanwhile the Phebis turned seven months old a few days ago. She has cut toofers #3 and #4 and is working on #5. Yesterday I turned around and she had pulled herself to a standing position on a box. She is crawling everywhere and loves to stuff her face with puffs, like this:

Then she ends up looking something like this:
She has a bit of a temper and will throw herself backward and kick and yell if she is not getting her way or if someone takes something from her. Nice kid my husband has ...

She sucks and sucks on her bottom lip (see picture.) She blows raspberries a lot. She crawls after me crying "Ma ... ma ... ma ..." if she is tired or hungry. That's the part about mobility that I don't like -- you can't just sit them down and walk away. They follow you!

The Boogie is excited about Christmas. We got a tree last week and it sat in our laundry room for a few days, then we put it in the stand in the living room where it stood naked in a corner for a few days. Then one day I found a rubber ducky in the branches and figured it was time to decorate. My Man and I strung the lights then let the Boogie put some ornaments on. "I'm so exciting!" she exclaimed, jumping up and down. "I'm so exciting about ormanems!"

The traditional Christmas penguin tree topper.

 What is with this goofy grin?

The other day in the car she was feeding me lines from A Charlie Brown Christmas.
"Honey, say 'Oh no, we're doomed!'"
"Honey, say 'This is going to be the worst Christmas play ever!'"
And so on. Think we've watched that a few times?

I would like to take this opportunity to show you the newest members of our household.
Aren't they beautiful? I may or may not have hugged and kissed them when they arrived. Someone (you know who you are) found out that we were looking for a used set and offered to pay the difference so we could get brand-new ones! 

I was talking with my Mamaw the other night and she said, "Oh, you are just like your mother and me, new appliances make us so happy!" She is very right.

I really love my washer and dryer. Praise the Lord for providing above and beyond, once again.

My cheese and crackers are gone now and another Christmas gift has been ordered. I must go to bed so I can snuggle with the human furnace known as my husband for a couple of hours before he has to get up and go to work. He never minds my cold feet, bless his heart. He sure is nice to have around in the wintertime.

I would like to take this opportunity, however, to point out the fact that it is not yet officially wintertime so these below-freezing temperatures can just go somewhere else and stay there.

I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that I like having my husband around at any time of the year.

Nine days left 'til Christmas ...

December 2, 2010

Hello, World

I have been MIA but we finally have the interwebz at our house. It is a long story to which I will spare you the details (for now.) Just a word to the wise: if you are a business and want to keep your customers, give them good customer service.

Meanwhile we checked email and Facebook whenever we were at 52; however it is not a substitute for being able to get online whenever you think "Oh no! I need to renew the library movies!" or wonder if something is available to order and get here by Christmas.

The girlies are doing fine and dandy in the new house. Phebis started crawling the week after we moved in (the Boogie started walking the week after we moved into our old apartment; it must be something about needing to explore new surroundings!)

Our living room finally has a couch and some real chairs in it, as opposed to a bunch of boxes stacked everywhere. There are still quite a few boxes left to unpack but we're getting to them, little by little. Other projects are getting finished as well. MIL came over the other day and helped me paint the laundry room, and I've spent a couple of late nights painting my hall closet. Things are coming along! Soon we will get a Christmas tree.

Lastly, here is something cute to start your day off right.

November 25, 2010

So Much To Be Thankful For

God's grace and the salvation He freely gives; my husband; our girls; our families; our new house; our health; our church; and the list could go on indefinitely.

I'm particularly thankful for this new face at the Thanksgiving table this year!
God is good and I am grateful! Happy Thanksgiving!

November 11, 2010

SIX Months Old!

Oh my baby, how can you possibly be six months old already?

I must admit, I like you much better now than I did three months ago. Oh, not that I didn't love you then. I certainly did. But I don't love the new-baby stage.

Now that you are sleeping better and more mobile you are so much happier and in turn so are all the grown-ups in your life.

I love to squish your chubby thighs.

I love to kiss you all over your face.

I love to bury my face in your neck and blow raspberries and make you chuckle.

I love to rub your fuzzy head.

I love to tickle your back and make you squirm.

I love listening to you growl and shriek and squeal.

I love how you search for your sister when you hear her voice, and how your face lights up when you see her.

I love your grin!
Happy 6-month birthday, baby girl.

November 10, 2010

Must ... Blog ...

The longer I wait to write, the more I have to write about and the more overwhelmed I feel about it. Blogging is supposed to be fun! Blogging is not a chore.

I haven't been writing about all the funny things the Boogie says.

Yesterday she asked me a question and I answered it. "Honey!" she exclaimed, "you're a genie-yus!"
I was surprised. I didn't know she even knew that word and to use it correctly? (I will not argue about being a genius.) Impressive.
"Do you know what a genie-yus means?" she went on.
Ohhhh, okay. She doesn't know what it means.
"What does genie-yus mean?" I replied.
"Genie-yus means you're bery, bery FUNNY!"
Well, okay, if I'm not exceptionally smart I can at least be exceptionally funny to my 3.5 year old.

When the Phebis wakes up in the morning or from a nap the Boogie looks at her in the crib (which I supposed does look kind of like a cage) and says, "Look, a baby _____!" So far she has been:
-a baby hippo
-a baby seal
-a baby fish
-a baby giraffe
-a baby zebra
-a baby jaguar
and those are just the ones I can remember. It's something different every time.

We do call the baby Phebis and the Boogie calls her that too. But she also has her own names for her: Feeboo and Foobee and my own personal favorite, Fahbis. Phahbis? Phabis? It's hard to spell nonsense words.

She had a 24-hour tummy bug last week. She complained all Wednesday morning that her tummy hurt. She says that all the time and we are mostly immune to it. It is just something she likes to say, the same as "I hurt my leg and I needa go to the hospital with Diego." I kept telling her that her tummy wouldn't hurt if she would eat something. Then she threw up. My bad. Thankfully it was pretty short-lived and almost exactly 24 hours later she starting perking up and pleading for food.

I got the animated Disney version of Peter Pan from the library for her while she was sick. She loves it and watches it almost every day. She gets very excited when Peter Pan shows up at the Darlings' house. She is surprisingly unafraid of the crocodile but doesn't like the Indian chief, Tiger Lily's father.

She is actually kind of wimpy. I was the exact same way when I was little. She is scared to death of people in costume or over-sized versions of something familiar. She is afraid to try something new. On October 30 we had a family fun day at church. There were activities for the kids to do and sheep and goats to feed and play with and a parachute to play games with. She loved the parachute games so much that at one point she was giggling so hysterically that one mom thought she was going to hyperventilate.

There was also an inflatable bounce house. I thought she would be anxious to jump in it but she didn't ask and after a while I realized she hadn't gone in it yet. I went to find her.
"Come on, it's time to go in the bouncy house! Do you want to?"
"No," she said, alarmed," I don't want to."
"Why not? It will be fun! Come on, let's go!"
"No!" she started to cry. "I don't want to! I'm scared!"
"What are you scared of? Look at all the kids in there. It will be fun! You'll have so much fun!"
"Noooooo, I doooon't waaaaaant tooooooo!"
So I did what any responsible parent should do and took off her shoes and shoved her through the little opening into the bouncy house. She sat by the mesh-covered window and wept and pleaded to get out while I stood right outside the window and coaxed her to jump just five times, promising that if she did I would let her come out AND would get her a cookie. After about ten minutes of that she finally noticed that the other kids were actually having a good time and when we got one of her little friends to come hold her hand she decided that she could give it a try.
 After she got going she stayed in there until it was time to take the house down. She jumped for probably about an hour. We put her to bed an hour earlier than normal and she fell asleep almost instantly!

The next morning I told her to put on her jacket so we could leave for church.
"I don't know how," she whined.
"Well, at least just try," I told her. So she did.

She got points for trying! We let her wear it that way to church, along with the shoes she put on the wrong feet. That's my girl.

November 4, 2010

The Little White House: Color and Carpet and Cabinets

I promised these several days ago and my dad called me this morning to remind me to post them! It's so hard to get a true idea of colors so I'm going to write the brand and name of each paint with the website so you can look it up if you so desire. (I tried to copy the colors from the websites but can't figure out how to do that.)

We used Glidden paint in the bedrooms.

Our room is Soothing Green Tea.

The girls' room is Buttercup. It turned out a lot more yellow than I had anticipated! A couple of people have told me that yellows are hard to pick. It is very cheery in there. I was concerned that the light carpet might just reflect the yellow but I think it actually tones it down a little.

The other small bedroom which will be the playroom/office is painted in Celery Stick. No carpet in there yet -- they ran out on Saturday and had to order another piece, so that is supposed to be installed this afternoon. Also since these were taken the closet has been painted.

The kitchen, living room, and hallway are painted with Valspar paint. The kitchen is Copper Hide and is by far my favorite color in the whole house. The cabinet color is Cake Batter and originally I planned to paint all the trim in house that color. However, once I saw it going on the cabinets it was just too pinky/peachy for trim color so I bought Muslin Wrap for that.
 FIL did a fantastic job on the floor! It looks really pretty.
 And he and BIL2 installed the base cabinets the other day! I'm excited about that. Progress!

My Man bought the countertop so will work on installing that and the sink and the dishwasher probably this weekend.

Here is the living room in Ginger Bite. To be honest, it turned out quite a bit more orange-y than I thought. I do like it but it takes some getting used to for a living room color. It is very warm and bright and I think once we get window treatments up and furniture in there it will look fine.

When we went to the house right after the carpet was installed My Man and the Boogie just laid on the floor for a while. I'm sure it is the first time of many -- we love to sit and lay and play on the floor. 

We're getting closer and closer to being able to move in. The bedrooms are pretty much finished, except for window trim and baseboards in the biggest one, so I might start getting some toys and things unpacked in the playroom this weekend. That way I can go over and work on other rooms while the girls play. That's my theory, anyway!

November 3, 2010

Words From The Small One

Hi! I'm the Phebis.

I am smallish and cute.

I have two ears that stick out a little, and two blue eyes, and two teeth.

I like to growl and shriek and squeal.

I say "Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma" and "mum-mum-mum."

When those tall people put me in the walker I can go all over the place. My favorite things are the dishwasher and the trash can. I can't reach the dishes yet but my arms are growing. I like to shake the trash bag and try to get things out of it. I have to be quick, though, because those tall people take it away. Meanies.

Sometimes the tall people give me something small and purple that they call a binkie. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with it but it feels good to chew on. It squeaks.

I love my pink soft blankie with the silky edges. My mama doesn't want me to get attached to it but I think I might anyway. It feels good against my face and I like to hold it while I suck my thumb and go to sleep. My mama tries to give me burpies but they don't feel as good. Maybe if they had soft silky edges ...

Sometimes those tall people put me in the jumperoo and I jump and jump and jump until I'm all worn out! Sometimes my sister stands in front of me and jumps too, and that's even more fun.

Speaking of my sister, here she is. She likes to hold me. I pretend to let her.

She's a pretty good big sister. She gives me the toys I drop off the walker and pushes me around in it and rolls around on the bed with me. She makes me laugh and I make her laugh too!

We're not allowed to play together today because she is sick. But when she gets better I will touch her face and grab a handful of her hair and put it in my mouth. That's what I like to do.

I like to eat puffs. I also like to eat applesauce. Those tall people keep trying to make me eat rice cereal but I'm wise to them. I think they are going to try sweet potatoes but we'll see about that.

I can sit up by myself for a few minutes at a time. I can get up on my hands and knees and rock and rock and rock and lunge. I roll a lot too.

Watch out, world! I'm Phebis and I'm learning and growing more every day!

October 30, 2010

The Little White House: Progress

Here is a sampling of what has been going on at the little white house:

New drywall in living room, hallway, and biggest bedroom

We had a professional do the taping and mudding.

All painting begins with priming!
We were in a major time crunch this week to get all the painting done after the drywall guy finished. MIL and FIL and the Chief all helped a lot!

FIL and My Man painted the living room and hallway

I painted the kitchen

And yesterday FIL installed the kitchen floor! I love it!

It's been an exhausting week. We had to paint everything before the carpet install and we almost succeeded. There are just a couple of wallpapered closets that need to be stripped and painted; some trim needs a second coat; all the interior bedroom and closet doors need to be painted or replaced. The carpet went in today and it makes all the difference in there -- it looks like a real house ready to be lived in. I'm planning to take real pictures tomorrow and I will post those so you can see all the colors of our house. It is very colorful, to be sure!

The last major project is to finish up the kitchen. There are lots of little things to do yet, like install trim, replace outlets and light switches, caulk the old wooden windows, etc. The bathroom and laundry room need good cleanings -- we didn't do a lot in the bathroom and we haven't done anything in the laundry room. Right now it's full of everything that had to be cleared out of the rest of the house in order for the carpet to go in. BUT we finally finally finally feel like we are getting to the end of the major work and we are really looking forward to living there soon!

God has been and continues to be so very good to us.

October 20, 2010

Buying A Stove: An Adventure

Our cute little house came complete with an appliance package: ancient washer, ancient dryer, ancient dishwasher, tiny stove, and decent refrigerator.

We turned on the dryer and it started. We don't know yet if it actually will dry anything.

We have not tried the washer. It isn't even hooked up yet. Hope it works!

The dishwasher is going to be scrapped. Its replacement (now sitting in the garage) is also used but not nearly as old.

We will use the refrigerator.

As for the stove, well, I had hopes of replacing it but decided that if necessary I could make it work. MIL has been searching Craigslist and found a regular-sized stove not too far away for a very decent price. We emailed the seller and I arranged to meet him at 11:00 on Monday morning. MIL offered to take the Boogie shopping with her and FIL said I could use his truck. Perfect.

I entered the address in the GPS, strapped the Phebis into her car seat and away we went. I gave myself 45 minutes to make the thirty-minute drive including a stop at the bank on the way.

At the bank I decided to go through the drive-through and cash a check instead of getting the Phebis out of the truck and going inside to use the ATM. I figured it might take a couple of minutes longer but would be easier.

When I pulled up there was a car in front of me. I sat for a few minutes while waiting for them to finish. No big deal. I would be next and it doesn't take long to cash a check. I was a bank teller for almost 3 years. I know it's a simple transaction.

I sent my check and ID and waited ... and waited ... and waited. Finally, after about five minutes, the teller finished up and sent the canister out with my cash and ID. I know that five minutes doesn't really seem like a long time, but it is a bit on the lengthy side for cashing a small check, especially when the check is drawn on that bank and the funds are obviously available and it isn't a weird amount and the customer isn't asking for complicated denominations. And I was the only person in the drive-through at that point, so it wasn't like she was waiting on several customers at once. But okay, it was Monday morning. I know how Monday mornings can be at a bank. It can get kind of crazy. Sometimes computer systems get overloaded and slow down. I can give the benefit of the doubt.

By then I'd been sitting in the drive-through for about ten minutes altogether. A little longer than I'd planned on but no big deal, I was still on track to meet the seller on time.

I opened the envelope and counted my cash. I always count my cash.

It was twenty dollars short.

Are you kidding me? ARGH! I counted it a couple more times just to make sure there weren't a couple of sticky bills or something. No luck.

I sent it back and told the teller it was short. I knew what she was going to say ...

"I'm going to have to count my drawer."

There was nothing I could do. Getting frustrated wouldn't help. I called the seller and told him I was going to be a few minutes late and would that be okay? He said it was fine. I told him I should be there shortly after eleven.

Ten minutes later the teller finished counting her drawer. TEN MINUTES. It took her TEN MINUTES to count her drawer.

Okay, really. I know Monday mornings are notoriously crazy and busy at a bank. But ten minutes to count a drawer? It should have taken her 2 or 3 or at the most maybe 5, but ten?

Of course she was off. She apologized up and down. She sent me the cash (which I counted again) and I left.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I sat in that drive-through for twenty minutes. Twenty minutes.TWENTY MINUTES!

I must calm down. I'm not supposed to get excited. My blood pressure. (That's for you, Pops. What movie, what movie?)

My blood pressure is actually very good. But I'm pretty sure it was elevated by that point.

*Deep breath, deep breath.*

I got on the road and followed the GPS directions to my destination. When I got to the neighborhood I started going around in circles. For some reason the GPS wasn't able to get me to the right road. So finally I stopped at an intersection and called the seller again. "I can't seem to find your street," I said. I gave him the street names of the intersection I was stopped at. There was a long pause.

"Are you in Marlton?" he asked.

I was not in Marlton. I was in Medford.

I had gone to the wrong town.

Oh, sooooo embarrassing. When I started entering the street address into the GPS a couple of suggestions popped up and instead of choosing the one in Marlton I sent myself to a similar address in Medford.

Have I mentioned that it was Monday morning?

Thankfully the towns are fairly close together; the seller was not in a hurry and kindly waited for me; and once I put the correct address into the GPS I got there with no more trouble.

The stove was nice and because I was so late and it was such a good price I did not haggle at all. The seller helped me load it into the back of the truck and the Phebis and I drove to the little white house and FIL met me and helped me unload it into the garage.

And hereafter I will always carefully double-check any address I enter into the GPS.

October 16, 2010

New Things

A new pay rate for My Man, effective Monday. :)

A new floor in our bathroom.

A new pair of shoes for me ... because all of mine, with the exception of flip-flops, sandals, and walking shoes, are somewhere in a box in a storage unit.

A new tooth! Oh yes, teething stage, here we come.

A new-to-Phebis fun jumperoo.

A new week ahead, ready to be filled with praises to a wonderful Heavenly Father!