Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Kicking and Screaming"


Spring break is officially over. I think it's actually harder on me than anyone else in the house because I've been out for almost two weeks! I'm entering the work week kicking and screaming...

I thought I would post some pics of my travels abroad. I've spent the last two days pretty much recovering on the couch or in my bed! It was a great couple of weeks with family.

The first set of pics are from my trek to Springfield to see my sis and her family. My parents and sibling Bill and his family joined us for a couple of days.

I flew back on Monday and we left Tuesday morning on a quick family vacation with the boys to Atlanta. Both trips were a total "blast from the past" as I remembered lots of memories from Springfield including my weekend with the girls and then my OTHER week with the girls in Atlanta. The picture in front of the Coca Cola mural in Atlanta Underground and from on top of Stone Mountain are for them...hope they bring back good times. We all could use that.

(I didn't take any pictures at the mall we shopped at with Matt's aunt but I did go there also.)

We also went to the Atlanta Aquarium which was awesome! A must see if you have kids! I was dying to take the guided tour of the CNN building but that didn't fly with the kids! Matt has promised to take me back alone so I can do it...

We took a chance with and bid on a four star hotel. It was terrifying as you only get to pick the area of a town that you stay in and the rating but not the hotel in particular. We ended up at the Glenn Hotel in downtown Atlanta and it turned out to be really great. It's not especially "family focused" as it's a pretty swanky hotel that's really modern. Definitely 4-star, though. (Click on the hotel name to go to their website. I've included it for my buddy, Di because she would LOVE this hotel! ) We figured that some celebs would be spending the night based on a conversation that we overheard and I was so excited to run into one of my favorite reality tv guys! His name is Jeffrey Chodorow.

Mr. Chowdorow starred on "The Restaurant" as the co-owner of Rocco's in New York. I came to really love him and his savvy business smarts. It was great to see him in action at the bar of our hotel!

Here he is behind me being really important on the phone! He was so stressed out! I was kind of worried about him?! Had he not been screaming at someone about something not being approved, I surely would have sent him a drink! Oh well! :)

We were definitely fish out of water in that kind of hotel. We quietly asked how much to tip the concierge and the valet guys. We were shocked at how much a candy bar costs in the wet bar and I purposely strolled around in the bathrobes...just because they were available! It was the first hotel that I felt completely comfortable laying on the comforter and napping and frankly...that alone was worth every dime we spent. I highly recommend getting your hotel this way and going for nothing less than 4-star! It's a whole new world of vacationing!

(The lined the hotel hallways with plants...very "fung shey"!)

When we got back, Matt's parents were waiting at our house and we have finished the break out with them. That is always tons of fun.'s been great and I'll remember these past few days fondly. I hate being so far away from our families but I do love that time spent with them is always very "quality".


Me with my nieces and nephews

Me and Jeannie

An Elevator shot

Gazing at the Springfield skyline

Dad treated us to a Seafood Buffet.

More elevator shots...the elevator at The Glenn would talk to you!

Atlanta Underground

Jo taking it easy at the hotel!

Atlanta beautiful!

The sharks overhead!

Centennial Park where they have honored the Olympics

Stone Mountain

I can barely do "heights" anymore so I was on all fours here, trying to not roll down the mountain! Not as fun as I remember it when I was 19!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Well,I arrived as expected to my sister's house yesterday.

It was a good flight and Jeannie was waiting for me with plans of shopping and eating during our first afternoon of "sister weekend"!

It was alot of fun and we gorged ourselves in between shops in downtown St.Louis. I, of course, ended the night with a very predictable "Charity move" by totally embarrassing myself in a way that cannot even be blogged about! This brought about bouts of laughter throughout the night and so I guess it was worth it!

Today, my mom and dad and brother Bill and family arrived to spend the next two days with us here. We checked them in to a lovely hotel and spent the evening dining at a seafood buffet. Trust me...they totally lost money on our family! Thanks dad for treating us! :)

Tomorrow, my niece's "love" will arrive so I can meet him and approve and that should be fun!

I'll post lots of pics later when I get home. I'll head that way on Monday night and have plans to leave the next day on a family trip with Matt and the boys.

I'm just very aware of how blessed I am to have this time away to be with my sister and family and am trying to take in every moment with gratitude. Thanks, Matt for freeing me up to invest in my family! I miss my boys so much!

Oh..and for the girls of D-ville: While I have many great memories in Springfield from years past, I will NEVER forget our Senior night here and the time with stupid were we??

Monday, March 17, 2008

Consumer Approval

Alright...I thought I would throw this out to my fellow lady friends as a little food for thought and a recommendation!

You know..I'm getting into my mid-thirties and along with a barrage of other health concerns, my awareness of breast cancer is ever before me. In just a few years I, myself, will venture in for the notorious "squish" and I'm wanting to do whatever I can to protect myself and have a healthy outcome.

So, a friend of mine began to discuss with me about deodorants. I am *embarrassing to admit* a pretty avid sweater. I've been known to double up on the deodorant to start the day off and when I began to realize what I was doing to my body with traditional deodorants...I got a little nervous!

"Nervous" meaning: "I want to plug my ears right now because I love my Secret deodorant and I will hate any other natural alternative!!"

You see, God designed out bodies to sweat and I really do hate to stop something that God purposely put in place! It seems like He might have a good reason for it, right?

(How does this philosophy play into me shaving my legs??..yeah, I don't know, either!)

So, God made us to sweat out some of the toxins in our body through the pits and when we consistently stop that from happening with traditional deodorants containing aluminum and such, then those toxins escape into our "underarm" lymph nodes and makes us vulnerable to the risk of breast cancer.

My husband has used a natural, aluminum-free deodorant in the past and as much as he has tried to get me to use it also, I couldn't get past the part that I would sweat! Ick!

BUT, after a lump scare a few months ago, I decided it was time. I had two regular deodorant sticks left and I vowed to go completely natural after using those up! (I mean..waste is wrong also, right?!) Boy...did I take my time using those deodorants up!

But, to my surprise, I'm really liking the natural rock deodorant. I don't sweat nearly as much as I thought and it contains *something* that kills the bacteria that makes you smell. So, while I may have sweated a tiny bit less with the traditional deodorant, I also had that kinda sweaty/smelly smell at the end of the day.

Totally gone. I know longer stink at all!

Another advantage...the Crystal Rock lasts f..o..r..e..v..e..r! I'm going to save money along with my lovely female assets and that leaves for a happy husband!

So, I encourage you, my sisters, to purchase the Crystal Rock. It has this consumer's approval!

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Be With God"

Last night my sweet JoJo got up out of bed and came to ask us again if he could get saved.

He started asking questions about salvation even before Sam but we have put him off because he was still confused about some parts of true salvation and he was always content to put it off when we suggested waiting.

Last night Josiah put his foot down!

He answered every concern with flying colors and said that he DID NOT want to wait any more. In his words..."I'm little. I don't want to forget and I might forget. I want to get saved tonight so I can go be with God."

I loved that reason.

I've heard so many motivations throughout my years and various relationships and all of them are appropriate and right but very seldom is the primary focus on the desire to be able to go and "be with God".

Isn't that what we were truly created for? Not to be husbands or wives or even parents but to join into a fulfilling romance with our Creator. Ultimately, we were formed and sent to earth so that we could set our eyes and ambitions on returning to be with our God.

Of course, Jo called his grandparents and today on the playground he ran up to give me a hug and whispered in my ear.."Remember, Mama-I'm saved now!"

Like a mother could ever forget that...

So, I'm posting the words to one of my favorite Rich Mullins songs because Josiah's repentance reminded me of my first love. I join Jo in his quest to be with God.

Praise God, He has drawn both of my sons into His glorious faith and now we are truly all "family".

Can I Be With You?

Everybody each and all
We're gonna die eventually
It's no more or less our faults
Than it is our destiny

So now Lord I come to you
Asking only for Your grace
You know what I've put myself through
All those empty dreams I chased

And when my body lies in the ruins
Of the lies that nearly ruined me

Will You pick up the pieces
That were pure and true
And breathe Your life into them
And set them free?

And when You start this world over
Again from scratch
Will You make me anew
Out of the stuff that lasts?

Stuff that's purer than gold is
And clearer than glass could ever be

Can I be with You?
Can I be with You?

And everybody all and each
From the day that we are born
We have to learn to walk beneath
Those mercies by which we're drawn

And now we wrestle in the dark
With these angels that we can't see
We will move on although with scars
Oh Lord, move inside of me

And when my body lies in the ruins
Of the lies that nearly runied me

Will You pick up the pieces
That were pure and true
And breathe Your life into them
And set them free?

And when You blast this cosmos
To kingdom come
When those jagged-edged mountains
I love are gone

When the sky is crossed with the tears
Of a thousand falling suns
As they crash into the sea

Can I be with you?
Can I be with you?

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Living History Museum

I'm so behind on getting pics up from this day! I couldn't help but miss my best friend Steph when I toured this at our school. She is a history teacher on sabbatical but I know she would have loved this!

Our school is really pretty cool. They present history in a classical way and are taught it each year in order or eras. They try to apply the era they are in in other they learn about the music and instruments of that time in music class and they learn about the art of that time in art class. Bible also coincides with it. By the time they graduate, they have a very well rounded knowledge of each point in history.

I so wish I would have been taught this way...but, oh well. *sigh*

So, each year they host a living history museum. The children are given a character from the point of history they are studying and they do a big research project about them. They have to prepare an oral presentation and costume. Then they are assembled all over school in their particular time period. As you tour, you go up to the character and touch their hand and they do their short oral presentation, describing themselves.

I had NO idea what a big deal this all was. The kids did awesome and went all out with their costumes. It was so much fun and frankly, educational.

Sam was Jacob. He did a great job and got a well deserved 100% for his work.

Here are some highlights:

Sam and his buddy Taylor being King Ramses

Sam as Jacob. Notice the hairy arm?? He also made and baked the clay bowl and glass beside him. It held the "red stew" that Jacob tricked with.

Joni Erickson Tada

Nancy Reagan

Queen Isabella-I loved her dress!

My friend Theresa's son Noah as Ben Franklin...SO CUTE!

Pate as Samuel Clemmons (aka: Mark Twain)

My all time favorite costume of the day! This is Priscilla playing "Eve". She walked by me and I had to do a double-take with the whole nude suit she had on! My administrator reassured me that she got special permission to debut. I will say...this would NEVER have been okay had she been a high schooler! :)