Monday, April 20, 2009

The Trip

We got back from our trip back home around 11:30 p.m. on Good Friday. It was a long, tough trip and we were happy to be back. Lawrence was especially happy. The poor guy, everytime we got in the car he asked if we were going back to Sylva, and would get upset everytime we said no.

The week before we left was crazy. Lance's mom was in the hospital and we weren't sure what was going on or if we should change our plans. We went ahead and drove to Alabama to spend the night with Nathan and his family. Lawrence loved playing with their little girl, Emma Kate, and it was good to see Nathan and Heidi. They have a huge house outside of Auburn and Heidi has done a great job with it. Poor Nathan is still living in Eupora and driving in on the weekends. That's got to be hard. We got up early the next morning. Nathan filled the kids full of sugar and we headed out on a 6 hour scream fest to Thibadoux, LA to see Joe and Tricia. We stopped in Mobile for lunch at Chick-fil-a. The parking lot was full of seagulls. Lawrence had never seen them before so that was fun. By this time, the news about Lance's mom was not good, so we knew we would have to leave a day early from Thibadoux and go straight to Tupelo. We had fun while we were there, though. Lawrence loves being with his Parrain and it was nice to see our extended family. The drive to Tupelo was probably the worst of the entire trip. We had to stop a lot for the kids and Annabelle expressed her dislike of the carseat very loudly. Of course, things got worse when we got there.

Seeing his mom in the hospital made everything so real for Lance. He knew this would be the last time he would see her. We got his dad to go home for a couple of days where he did get a little sleep and we were able to take care of a few things for them. The rest of the time we stayed in Oxford with our friends Shawn and Lena while Lance drove to Tupelo everyday. I want to take a minute to express my gratitude for the Snows. They took such great care of us during that very sad and stressful time. Their boys, who are 10, 11 and 12, were very sweet and patient with Lawrence and played with him a lot. Lawrence loved being around the big boys and it was so good seeing them playing together. This time in our lives would have been a lot worse without them. We even got to go out by ourselves to watch a baseball game. It was wonderful cuddling up with my man while watching Ole Miss baseball. It felt like old times.

While we were there his mom's situation got worse. Lance's heart is breaking, but it helped him to be able to be of use to his dad. The day we left his sister and uncles were there. He had to say goodbye to his mom and leave knowing it would be the last time he would ever see or talk to her. Since we left, she has stopped eating and talking all together. On Thursday the dr. said she wouldn't make it through the night. She did, but it is still just a matter of time. So now we just carry on with our lives and wait.

The week we got back was tough, but we knew it would be. The kids were re-adjusting to our normal routine. Annabelle had slept in the bed with me for two weeks and she hated going back to her crib. The worst is over, I think. Easter was nice. Lawrence went to our neighbors to hunt eggs. He found a lot, but gave most of them to a little girl who was also there! Annabelle couldn't have cared less about hunting eggs, but she looked pretty in her dress. I was able to take the kids to my mom's for a day and she and my sister made their Easter baskets for me and provided an abunance of candy and plastic eggs. I was grateful for that; there was no way I could have gotten everything together for Easter morning.

The 15th marked 10 years since the first time Lance and I went for coffee. We celebrated with dinner at Huddle House, which was where we went 10 years ago. Today is the anniversary of the first time saying the "L" word. Taking the kids out for dinner is a horrible experience these days, so we are celebrating with take out bbq! We might use the fancy plates, though. Kids change everything!

So, that's what's going on with us. Good times are definately being parralled with bad, but that's life. Please keep us in your prayers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tough times ahead

Lance's mom was admitted to the hospital in Tupelo yesterday and will likely have surgery today. She has been having severe neck pain and the drs. in Eupora did an MRI. They sent her to Tupelo without telling her what was wrong. Apparently the radiation from her cancer treatments caused some sort of bone leakage. We don't know much about it, but hopefully we will know more today. This will likely change our travel plans. We will probably postpone our visit with Joe and Tricia in La. and spend more time in Eupora to help Lance's dad. I have a bad feeling about all of this. God bless her. She is still so weak from her fight with cancer plus she was just diagnosed with emphysema. This past year has been really hard on Lance's dad. They have been married for 50 years and he hasn't had to take care of himself much in that time. But since she's been sick he has really stepped up to the plate. I'm proud of him, but I know he is tired and scared, as is my own sweet husband. He has never lost anyone he was close to before. Whatever the outcome, this time coming up will be hard for Lance's family. Please keep them in your prayers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I think I must have sounded pretty bratty in my last post. Both our parents are getting older and are experiencing different health problems, so I shouldn't complain so much about us being the ones who always have to travel. Becky says I should try to find positive things about the trip and she's right. So, the positives are:

1. Good BBQ and catfish. What passes for each of these in North Carolina is pretty sad, so I'm looking forward to catfish at Mitchell's in Eupora and hopefully Corky's in Memphis.

2. Lawrence will get to run the bases at Swayze! Some of my favorite memories of Ole Miss, and of Lance, are watching baseball at Swayze field. Lawrence is old enough this year to run the bases after the Sunday game. I'm tearing up thinking about it. So special.

3. I'll get to see the Barry's, whom I haven't seen in about 5 years. I hope to get to see Sheryl, too.

4. There will be lots of extra pairs of ears around. I might get a break from my sweet Lawrence's need to be constantly talking!

5. Although we don't feel like either of our folks could handle our two wild ones on their own for long, my sister will be in FC, so Lance and I might at least get a lunch alone together!

I'm sure there are many more things I could list. Thank you, Becky, for your prayers.

Monday, March 2, 2009


We will be traveling at the end of the month. For nearly two weeks we will be on the road to Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. Ugh. I am not looking forward to the trip for so many reasons. It will be fun to go to Thibadoux for the first time. Lawrence is going to love visiting his Parrain, but the rest of the trip is going to suck. I hate being in Eupora and Forrest City! Both places are so depressing. Nothing ever changes. Both places will be dark and dirty and missing all the love we feel in our own home. My mother will be happy to see the kids, but all her conversations with me will be about me being fat, Margie being too skinny and how Karen never calls. Lance's parents will go on and on about everything his sister is doing wrong and how life is so hard, blah, blah, blah. We always feel so bad when we are back there. But, since we are the only ones willing to travel, we have to endure it as best we can. Now that Lance's mom is doing better, it is probable that this will be our only trip this year.

We love our home here in Sylva. It took me a little while to appreciate it, mostly because I was so miserable when we first moved here. I was 7 months pregnant and nothing was going to make me happy. Once Annabelle got here and we made it through the first couple of months, we began to settle in and enjoy our blessings. Our house is small, but it is affordable, which is a very big deal to us. It was only a few years ago that I would have been willing to pay a lot more for my "dream home." I now know that my dream home is wherever Lance and the kids are. Our little house is set on top of a hill with the best view in the world. We can look out our windows at any time of the year and see God in all the beauty he created in these mountains. I am always happy to share it when people come visit and am especially excited that Paula is coming soon. The only thing that would make it better is having friends. We have met a lot of people, and heaven knows Lawrence has made lots of friends, but we don't feel really close to anyone, yet. There's nothing like the friends you've had forever. The ones that are in your blood, like Paula, Sheryl, Jason and Mark and Becky. But, I've never been good at making friends, so that will probably always be missing.

It is Lent and I am trying to be more diligent in my reading. For anyone out there with a Catholic Bible, try to read from Sirach this season. It is used a lot in the liturgy during Lent and, like Proverbs and Wisdom, it has a lot of useful lessons for daily living. Chapter 29 deals with debt, which has been on my mind a lot lately. Thankfully we have been able to avoid bad debt so far, but that is not the case for so much of the country. One of the best things I ever did for my marriage was change my spending habits. I look at our finances now very prudently and wish our government would do the same. But, I will save the speech about our government's recklessness for another day! Take care all!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Got this one from Becky

Pay it Forward
here are the details/rules:

1. Be one of the first THREE bloggers to leave a comment on this post, which then entitles you to a handmade item from me - something crafty or yummy, who knows?!

2. Winners must post this challenge on their own blog, meaning that you will Pay It Forward, creating a handmade gift -anything!- for the first THREE bloggers who leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway!

3. The gift that you send to your 3 Friends can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped your gifts. And, remember: It’s the Spirit and the Thought That Count!

4. When you receive your gift, please feel free to blog about it, sharing appropriate Linky Love! If you are not one of the Top Three Commenters on this post, you can still play along. Go ahead and start your own Pay It Forward chain, and encourage your blogging friends to do the same!SO, REMEMBER... Pay it forward

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Alright, well, Becky just asked me for my blog link, so I guess I should update it. We have had some beautiful Spring like weather lately and it has made me want to do some more things with the house. In particular, I want patio furniture and a new kitchen countertop. Our deck is our favorite room in the house. I want to find something nice that we can eat on, but fold up and put away when not in use. Any suggestions? As far as the countertop goes, I can't decide if it would be worth it to replace them just because I don't like the color. I chose the paint color in the eating area based on the idea that I would replace the counters, so right now they don't match. One of them will have to be changed. Decisions, decisions.

Last week, Lance's sister sent the kids some gifts. Lawrence got an Armour of God playset. He put it all on (a painful process) and said he was a Knight of Columbus, a Catholic men's organization. He saw them in full regalia at church once and thought they were really cool. They had swords and looked like pirates, so of course they were cool! Lance took the day off last Tuesday so I took the oportunity to crawl in bed with a glass of wine and a book for some quiet time when Annabelle went down for a nap. I was barely under the covers when Lawrence came in and said"Hey, Mrs. Knight of Columbus, do you want to serve God with me?". When your kid says that, your quiet time is over!

The mushroom lasagnas turned out good! I used chicken broth, sherry and evaporated skim milk in the sauce, so it was pretty low in fat. I need to tweek it a bit more, then I will post the recipe. I made lettuce wraps this week that were also really good and low fat. I cooked ground chicken, garlic, carrots, Chinese 5 spice, and hoisin sause together and served it in Romaine leaves. Good, good, good. As best as I could calculate, it was about 5 WW points for two stuffed leaves, so Becky, you should try it!

We have a very busy weekend coming up. Lance and Annabelle are going to their first Daddy-Daughter Dance on Friday. Lawrence is going to have a playdate with a little boy whose sister is also going to the dance. Saterday Lance and the kids are going on a train ride while I get a facial and a scalp massage. Then I'll be making chicken parm for Lance for dinner. I'm jealous of all of you out there who will get to be alone with your husbands Saturday, or any day for that matter!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 2, 2009

So, last week was pretty good. I seemed to have more energy, probably because I have been eating better. The kids and I played a lot. Miss Annabelle's personality is growing by leaps and bounds. She is becoming so playful. She has all sorts of games that she plays with each of us. I love the year between 1 and 2. It is like Mother Nature is giving you a break between the overwhelming trials of the first year and the terrible twos. She is talking a lot more, too. At lunch the other day she pointed to herself and said "Belle." I got so excited, but, of course, she still hasn't said it around Lance. She is such a girl. She LOVES clothes and shoes! Lance's mom sent her some footed pjs and she was so happy and tried to put them on.

Lawrence started a new semester of Kindermusik on Tuesday. This class is different than his last two. Lance doesn't go in with him this time except for the last 15 minutes. The kids are expected to sit still and listen and they even have homework. This is definately a mixed blessing. I have been struggling with whether or not to put Lawrence in preschool. Lance is so against it that we just shelved the idea for now, even though I think it would be good for him to be in a different learning environment. Well, one of the points of this semester of Kindermusik is to help prepare the kids for school! It is more structured than previous semesters and the kids are expected to act like big kids. Of course, of the first night of class, Lawrence gets put in time-out! I think he will be better next time because now he knows what to expect. I happy with this new structure, but I'm sad for Lance. Kindermusik was always a special time for them to spend together. They still go for pizza afterward, so that's good, at least.

I didn't do much reading last week. I did come across an interesting passage while I was researching prudence. In Amos 5:4-23, God is angry with Isreal and is calling for them to repent. These passages, I believe, mirror what is going on in our country right now. If you read these passages, do so with Obama and Pelosi and there massive spending package, abortion, and the far left wing attacks on traditional family in mind. I think you'll see what I'm talking about.

This week will be somewhat busy. Lance is taking Annabelle to campus on Tuesday to be observed in a Psy. class. He and Lawrence are going to a production of "Rave On" on Friday--Lawrence loves Buddy Holly. On the menu this week--individual mushroon lasagnas with salad and Italian style zucchini, Lance friendly Jambalya, mac and cheese with Italian sausage and tomatoes (in half of it), BBQ chicken with potato salad and baked beans, and stuffed cabbage. The lasagnas and jambalaya are first tries, hopefully everything will taste ok.

I now have to put up clothes--yipee!