Wednesday, August 30, 2006

She finally jumped!

I was just on the phone to witness the decision by my stubborn best friend to join the rest of us and develop her own blog.

This is timed as expected since it takes her at least a year to catch up with what's in fashion.

Like boots...colored hose...chunky heels...flared pants....large jewelry.

So, for those of you that want to catch up with is her blog... or click here.

Welcome, Steph! It's about time!

What I discovered when I went home-#5

That all grandparents were created for fun and love!

What I discovered when I went home-#6

You should always plan a trip home around the birth of a baby nephew!

This is little Malachi!

He smells as delicious as he me! I do love a baby!

What I discovered when I went home-#7

That my dad holds a "celebrity-like" status to about 65 elderly and 50+ aged people!

This pic is really dark but it's one of my dad leading his Sunday school class in their annual carnival. Here they are crowing the Gainmore class County Fair queen! It was SO sweet. Sometimes I watch my dad in a crowd and I ask myself, "Who is this man? This is not the father that I was raised with! This is an old person, trying to get into heaven now!!"

What I discovered when I went home-#8

That the tomato juicer actually does look like a tiny toilet and the smusher tool, a small plunger.

I suppose this didn't occur to me earlier because I'm a girl and something that grossly observant could could only come from three boys.

Regardless, the juice was canned and another "H" tradition was fulfilled!

What I discovered when I went home-#9

I found that both my friends (who will remain nameless except to those of you that truly know them. Oh Boy, I will pay for this one!) really do have lovely eyes! I was beginning to wonder?

(May I take a moment to share a beauty tip? In fact, consistent grooming of the eyebrow area can not only promote better visual capabilities but can also double as an instant eyelift! Very..very important ritual!)

(Secondary fact-If one does groom eyebrows will not appear to have gotten a brow beating from attractive yet concerningly "open" waxing expert!)

What I discovered when I went home-#10

...That my friend Sandy deserves to have a pedicure EVERY day of EVERY year for the rest of her life! And, if I had the disposition for allowing my toe cuticles to be ripped apart-I'd be right there beside her!!

I love you, San!

(Missing you far too much, also!)

What I discovered when I went home-#11

My childhood bedroom window is still very much in tact but considerably smaller than I remember!

This will only be meaningful to the small group of you that have a high sentimentality tendency. I loved being a little girl and I sat in bed and gazed out this window a thousand times in 12 years.


What I discovered when I went home-#12

Climbing a tree is matter what age you are!

When Mom is Away

Click here to read the tragic account of what happened to my sweet baby Sam while I was away from home!

I have never once taken Sam into the kitchen with me, handing him a paring knife and encouraging him to cut things but...

A hatchet?



Have you ever asked yourself..."When will life be normal again?".

Sorry for the updating delay. I was home for a day and then had to take another trip to be with a friend. I'm home again and have all the hopes that with a few days of recuperation, I will get things around here back to normal again.

(To my three girls that I left so far away (and don't worry, Steph..this is as personal as I'll get!)...I miss you very much and boarding that plane was the hardest thing that I've had to do in a long time. I love each of you for all NEW reasons and feel extremely blessed that no matter what, I have you all to "get back up with" when life kicks my legs out!)


Let me give the house a good clean and do a school lesson or two and I'll be right back to amuse you all!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What I discovered when I went home-#13

That going to church dressed like your little brother is apparently all the stress that boys are able to handle! Nice pictures are out of the question!

Sam, Jo, Isaiah and Elijah

What I discovered when I went home-#14

That my sister-in-law, Ashley, is beautiful in any hair color!

Miss you, Ash! Have a great birthday!

What I discovered when I went home-#15

Samuel likes Josh Groban!

He requested to listen to him in the car on the way home!


The balance in the home is shifting...I feel it!

What I discovered when I went home-#16

There should, in fact, be a legal limit to how much sweet corn one person can ingest over the course of a week.

Trust me.

There should also be a warning to cob munchers that one should completely cover themselves with protective gear BEFORE they eat corn across the table from Stephanie Tidwell.

(My contacts have never been the same.)

What I discovered when I went home-#17

My parents keep trading in one cat for another much like people would do with their cars.

Except it's their pet.

I'm disturbed by this and yet very thankful that it's not a tactic that they have incorporated with their children.

I feel we are all missing at least some small important part of our emotional well-being but in general, most people love their pets for the existence of their lives until they die and then they bury it in the back yard. Usually, it takes a few months or years for them to replace it even then. Especially cat lovers!

Not my mom and dad.

*Occassion for new pet- When one that is cuter or younger comes along.

(Again...there are some fundamental concerns that arise with that philosophy!)

Regardless, this is their new hairless cat, "Baby".

Despite what many of you might think, she is strinkingly beautiful for her breed (a brilliant blue that my camera doesn't do justice to) and she makes me want to get another one of my own.

She loves to get a bath and waits patiently in the sink for my dad to walk and get her a towel.

Watch out, Baby!

What I discovered when I went home-#18

Red Lobster is neither generous or affordable any longer!

The only way it's worth it to go is if your mom is paying, you're not terribly hungry and you have an 8 year old and a grandmother to entertain you!

(My Grandma is fairly verbally opinionated as of late and there was a comment about the fruit in my drink and I WON'T GO ON since this is a family friendly blog! Bad Grandma!)

What I discovered when I went home-#19

Books on CD are good. You can rent them from the library or directly from a gas station. One may be more expensive than the other unless you have run up a $30.00 library fee for not returning magazines.

(Shameful...I know.)

My latest enjoyment-Clive Cussler. He wrote the book that became the movie "Sahara".

I've found that I get a kick out of Cussler's type of adventure.

Something exciting is always happening in places like Siberia and frequently he pens phrases about mysterious, leading men that are "effortlessly kayaking with their tan, brawny arms."

There is always a world catastrophe and some deep sea discovery that is leading to a tsunami created by a terrorist with some magnets...It cracks me up.

My favorite part is that there always a smart, beautiful girl that gets saving and in the end they are sipping Margaritas on some beach...I LOVE IT!

I'm unapologetic about how much I don't like fictional novels but these amuse me and on a long trip-that's all that really matters!

Don't worry, though! Now that I'm on still ground, I'm back to my favorite poets and English authors! AHHH!

What I discovered when I went home-#20

This trip home I discovered that despite the fact that I have traveled happily (well, relatively happily as I hate to be in the car for more than 15 minutes), I now at age 32 get bad car sickness!

I can't figure it out? It's fooled me into thinking it was a number of other things in the past but I feel it's academic now...I get car sickness.

It could be that before two years ago, I never traveled too much and now I periodically do a 12 hour drive but whatever the case, I barely get two hours down the road and I am ready to throw up.

And shut up if you think I can join in with everyone else that is happily passing the time watching a movie! NO WAY! I can try it from the back seat but inevitably, I will finish it sicker than a dog!

Oh the misery!

I did find last night as I was suffering at my wits end and ready to cry, if I put Kelly Clarkson in my CD player and sang loudly to myself one of her many angry songs then it really seemed to help.


A grueling three mile run AND car sickness. Seems our former American Idol is truly worth a vote!


Well..We're back home from our trip..home. That is so confusing?

We had a good trip and got to visit lots of people but as always there were many more that I would have loved to have seen and spent time with.

So, I thought I would do a top twenty list of things I discovered about going home. I hope you all enjoy it! It will take a few days of posting but bear with me. It should be fun.

Thanks to everyone who housed, fed, shopped with and endured me and my family! We really appreciate it!

I can't wait until my annual end of October visit! I can already smell the food at the Covered Bridge Festival!

My charmed boy...

Sam went to an amusement park a year ago and as dark clouds loomed overhead, he made his way in and around the giant roller coaster rides with no lines. He was able to ride each ride in the front car over and over again until he was too dizzy to descend the steps to the next impending thrill!

I remember before we flipped upside down on the last coaster, I leaned over and yelled at him, "Don't ever forget this day, Sam!...It will probably never happen again!"

It was as though they opened the park just for him.

Well, his 8th birthday last week followed right in order as the rain clouds were held at bay and after digging into cake and a bunch of presents, my friend Anne directed us to her neighborhood pool where Sam and his 8 friends (along with some crazy adults) dove into an olympic size pool which was opened to what seemed like just for Sam.

I won't go into the ins and outs of how it all came about but we had a ball, swimming for several hours in a huge pool without law or accountability.

Even I, adorned a suit and snuck onto the diving board.

I was mocked severely afterwards.

(Big Shock)

Here are some pics of the night! If you're not related or friends with Sam yet, you should be! The best stuff happens to him!

Sam and Austin

The big moment

Thanks (I guess) to my sweet brother-in-law..there will now be evidence that I was actually at the party! This picture cracks me up because as some of you know that are closest to me-This is Charity smiling but actually looking quite frantic as she attempts to make everything perfect! Geesh! I am WAY MORE transparent than I even realize!

Half of the pool!

Anne and Josiah...Thanks, Anne! We had a great time!

Why I love Blogs...

Because from across the miles, I can join with my old friend in remembering a woman who inspired me in amazing ways that I still see played out in my life today.

Happy Birthday, Judy!

I miss you more than I can say. You still remain the coolest mom I've ever met!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Rain, Rain...Go away!

Well...Sam had a great birthday yesterday (thanks for all the cards and calls...they were so sweet) and I will be sure to post pics as soon as I can.

Unfortunately, I'm running around town like a mad woman trying to pull together all the details for his pool party (while a thunder storm looms overhead) and attempting to pack for a trip home.

Birthdays and road trips are oh so much fun for the mom. AH!

The back-up plan for tonight is Anne's-who has a bigger house than mine and the patience of a saint to take on 10 kids and their parents!

Regardless, we will sing and eat and open presents and isn't that really what birthdays are all about?

(Most of you that have been around for one of my gatherings know that I am usually completely stressed trying to attempt perfection for the one I love but I must say..internally, I'm doing the "home dance" all day long! YEAH! I'm almost there, girls! Get ready to party!)

Check the pics out here...they are so sweet!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ready, Set...and Party!

Well, we've officially launched "birthday month".

It is unbelievable how many of our family's birthdays are in the month of August. It's almost as or more expensive than Christmas.

They run as follows:

5th-Dad H

Thanksgiving is apparently the most "loving holiday" for some of us! : )
...or maybe just the most boring!

Regardless, we have just returned from sweet Eve's 3rd birthday party and we'll treat Steve tomorrow night.

BIG PLANS are in the works for Sam's 8th birthday this week! Invitations have been written and we will assemble Friday night for his first friend birthday pool party. Of course, all my friends will be there too because there are buckets of special Aunts and Uncles that love Sam and want to celebrate with him but I know he will be totally focused on his little buddies that are splashing around with him!

It is so strange and sort of sad to think that Sam will actually be turning eight! Where has the time gone? I look in the mirror and I see clear evidence that I could be the mother of an eight year old but in my heart, I still feel like that 24 year old that carried around a little baby boy on her hip.

I can't do that me!

You puzzles me...we can put a man on the moon but we haven't figured out how to keep a boy little! Someone explain that to me!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The BugMan Prophecies

There have been many times since I started blogging that I wished blogger had an easy and successful way to speak a blog instead of having to type one. Sometimes a story can be too wordy for the common person to dredge through and I feel I have a proficiency in "telling" stories that far exceeds my ability to pen one. (Right, Jeannie?) BUT...the funniest thing happened yesterday.

I have been the epitome of stay-at-home mom. Hanging out around the house with my hair in a knot (new zit cream on mysterious breakout that apparently only thirty somethings know about) and attempting to do various projects to distract myself about my aloneness. Our van's air conditioning has broken and so trips about town are out of the question. It has been VERY uneventful and I'm holding on with the excitement that a visit to my family is just around the corner. Yipee!

So..I'm on the couch relaxing (as much as possible with said new zit cream blazing on my face) when in my peripheral vision I notice that something is quickly making its way across my living room floor.

It was this...

We call them Palmetto Bugs here in the South but in fact they are really just an overgrown cockroach! It was easily three inches long and over an inch wide.


Now, when I originally moved to the South, I had a variety of cockroaches ready to greet me in my rental and to my shock and disgust, most people said, "Welcome to the South...they are everywhere!"


But, I have not seen one in my new house and other than a variety of spiders that think they rent my corners (and I don't mind because I have a thousand more ants that they eat!), this has been a bug free, rat free home.

Until yesterday.

Just for your information, I am not typically afraid of bugs. They generally don't bother me in the least. Sometimes I just walk by them and let them live because I know they serve a greater purpose in the circle of life then just grossifying my house. I am not afraid of mice. I know this because I have been with "others" that are extremely afraid of mice (for example my poor mother-in-law who I feel does need psychiatric therapy or Dr. Phil...or SOMETHING) and I do not share the same panic. Snakes are kind of gross but they are fine, also.

I am cool with wildlife. Really.

But, when I saw above shown bug sauntering across my rugs I literally screamed out loud!

The horror...the antennas...THE SIZE!

I needed a plan. Obviously I could not just ignore this bug. Even though he made his way behind my entertainment center, I WAS NOT GOING TO FORGET HE WAS IN THE ROOM WITH ME!

Honestly, I believe that if that thing would have touched me in ANY WAY I would have dropped to floor in a coma!

BUT, I could not step on it.

It was so big that I knew if I stepped on it, I would throw up. Maybe it was the lack of oxygen getting to my brain from the hyperventilating or the zit cream..I don't know...I just knew that it would feel too close to a homicide for a Friday night.

So, I thought I would get my vacuum and suck it up. It's bagless. I could realistically throw the bug in the trash outside before I could smash it.

But, I couldn't get the attachments to come loose (new vacuum) and so I would have to run over the top of it and thus we would still have the crunching/throwing up issue.

I then faced the fact that I may have to humble myself and call for help. I believed that if I had another adult to advise me on how to capture the thing, I could end this crisis faster than trying to figure it out myself. But, I was aware that if I called most people that lived here...they would never come visit me again after hearing I had large black bug in my living space.

So, I called my husband. He was in Maryland. He was busy. He was impatient. He is, for the record, more afraid of bugs than I am so he could of come up with a little more compassion but I will give him credit that he was trying to move a sleeper sofa at the same time and probably felt a little confused by my panic.

(I really am not usually shaken up by bugs!)

He suggested the shop vac in the garage.


So, I ran suddenly very aware of the scary world I live in and the potential for a run in with Bug's family and I grabbed the shop vac as fast as I could.

I came in. I hooked it up. I got the longest hose available and then I went in.

The bug was gone.

Then I started hopping around the room, afraid that it could be anywhere around me. All the while...talking to the bug.

"Big, grotesque black bug... *in high pitched, singing voice*...Where are you? Don't think that you will get away from me, you freak of nature!"

I decided that I could not face the search alone so I enlisted help from Sam, my seven year old.

He's a boy. Boys like bugs, right? They hide them in their pocket! They pull their wings off! YES...Boys like to torture bugs and I had one that I was ready to destroy!

I went back to get Sam and I leveled with him. I said, "Sam. I love you. I would never put you in direct danger. But, I need a favor. There's a ga-giant bug in our living room and I need you to come out and help me find it. Understand me...I am not asking you for help. You will come and you will help me kill the bug."

He grinned (as if this was the mission that he'd been training for all his life) and said, "Let's go, Momma."

Then he saw the bug.

When the bug was found running out from under my slipper, Sam and Mother were (and unlike usual, I am not exaggerating) screaming at the top of their lungs while running into each other to get away from it.

I had enough presence of mind to turn the shop vac on and then throw the hose into Sam's hand while crying out..."SUCK IT UP!"

He then would spend the next 60 seconds trying to suck up the bug with the tip of the attachment rod at least five feet away from the vicinity of the insect...While he was screaming the entire time.

So, I was screaming at Sam, He was screaming at the bug and the bug appeared to be screaming from the sound of the shop vac in our small room.

It was very loud.

In a moment of desperation and the realization that the bug was going for refuge under my old couch, I lunged at Sam, pushing him towards the bug and both of us used the hose to suck him up.

Whew...victory. I think.

The shop vac got taken back to the laundry room, where I will no longer be able to wash clothes again.

Friday, August 04, 2006

As if it weren't hot enough outside...

A big bunch of "Sonlight" came into our house this morning!

It's time for school...

I was convinced that although the curriculum we used last year for homeschooling was excellent for keeping us on track and placing educational steps in the correct order for was so BORING! Sam and I were dreading school time by the end of the year and while I knew I would have to pay a pretty penny for materials that would be inventive and intriguing, I WAS WILLING!

I reviewed several options and ending up choosing Sonlight. It is an awesome curriculum that places high value on reading. Basically, with some Science and History for fun and some Math (of course), we will read for the next nine months. Sonlight promotes this curriculum for parents of children that love or hate to read. Either it satisfies the enjoyment or brings you along to a place where you begin to have a unique appreciation for books. The books are beautiful and interesting. Though many are written by my favorite long-time authors, there are even more that are brand new to us and just waiting to be opened.

Sam and I can't wait.


And we have a newbie that is right along with us!

If you place high importance on formal testing or lots of seatwork, then you will not be interested in this curriculum. I had to let go of some strong feelings I had about being able to traditionally monitor Sam and his retention of the material, but I agree now that we only formally test in regular school because there are so many children in the classroom and it is impossible for one teacher to question every student in an individually concentrated manner.

It's an adjustment but I think Sam is thrive with this learning environment.

I never thought I would be doing this. Never. I couldn't see it being remotely interesting to me in the least, but I will say is wonderful to have a second chance at school to redeem myself. The time with Sam is priceless and while I have thoughts of sending both he and JoJo to school next year and going to college or back to work, I wonder if I will be able to?

That will be third grade...and third grade is so cool!