Thanks for stopping by! We were a family of three, until we added one more (cat, that is), making us a family of four. In 2012, we added four more...one husband, two girls, and a dog. We have a full plate as a party of eight!

Adoption, blended families, pets, school, running...it's all here. Pull up a chair and read a while. After you do, please leave a little comment love! It makes me happy...and y'all know...if Momma is happy, then everyone is happy...at least at our house!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Guess What I Did This Weekend?

 If you guessed...
went to a soccer game in the rain,
shopped at Targ*t,
picked out some ribbons that are the colors I want for my wedding,
ate lunch--two adults and one child for less than $5!
took the overflowing recycling bins and multiple cans of old paint to the recycling center,
bought pine bark and a ceiling fan (OMGoodness...it was a steal!!),
babysat,
went to church,
made my first trip ever to IKEA,
or had breakfast for dinner tonight...

You are right.

But guess what else I did...

Here's a  hint...


Here's another hint...



We went dress shopping.
Not just any dress, though.
Wedding dress shopping.
And I found a dress to which all three of us (Momma, B, and G) all said...

YES!!!




Sunday Snapshot

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Sweet, Sweet Girl

I love my daughter.
I love her spirit and her heart.
I love her kindness and her generosity.

And all of that came through last night.

She informed me at shower time that she wanted to talk after she was ready for bed.

Bedtime came and she got kind of emotional.
I wondered what was going on...did the reality of Momma's engagement hit her?

I guess it did, in a way.
Here is what she had to say...

I am really happy that you are getting married.  And I really want to help with the wedding.  I want to give you my money --it's less than $20--but I want to give it to you to help with the wedding.  I know it's not much, but I know that every penny counts.


Oh. My. Goodness.
Be still my heart!

And then she added...

And Momma?  I don't want you to give me my allowance again until after you get married so you can use that money for the wedding too.



Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Great Sense of Peace

I had so much on my mind this morning as I was leaving to meet my mom and Gloria half way between our house and Camp Maggie-Hada.  My thoughts were scattered, all over the place.

Foremost in my thoughts was telling Gloria the news.  She was out of town, visiting my parents last week because it was her spring break.  I had asked my mom not to tell her.  That was my job.  But I had NO idea how to tell her.  She had struggled with the idea of me dating someone.  I even had to tell her that she did not have a say in this because it was an adult decision that Momma was making.  She had finally come to accept it.  She had even decided that he is an ok guy.  But how was I going to tell her that we are engaged?

Wear the ring?  Or don't wear the ring?
Tell her as soon as we are together?  Or wait until we get home?
Don't tell her directly, but hope she sees the ring, notices the magazines and things I've printed from the internet, and asks about them?  Or just come right out with it?
How will she take the news?  Will she be ok with it?  Or will she be upset?

I never really came to a decision about any of those questions, other than I was going to keep my ring on.  I wasn't going to hide it.  And what ever happened happened.

I prayed a good bit during the first part of my 5 1/2 hour drive to middle Tennessee.  Didn't hear the radio or notice much around me other than the road.  I've made this drive so many times, I know it like I know the back of my hand.

Finally, my thoughts began to calm and I began to relax and notice the scenery passing outside my window.  Mile after mile of dogwood trees, Bradford pear trees, and blankets of wildflowers.




I still didn't have a plan, but I was calm and at peace with that.  I finally arrived at our designated meeting place and left my ring on my finger as I got out of the car.  Gloria and my mom were already there, waiting for me.  As soon as Gloria caught sight of me, she came flying at me, practically tackling me in the parking lot!  I think she was glad to see me.  ;)

We were going to have lunch together before Mom headed back west and we headed back east, so we went inside.  Once we were seated, Gloria was sitting on my left.  I know my mom was dying to talk, but I was taking my cues from Gloria.  After we ordered our lunch, she noticed my hand and grabbed it.

"What's this?!?  What does it mean?  Who is it from?  Are you getting married?!?"
And she was happy.
Really happy.
She kept hugging me and smiling.
And hugging me some more.

And I was so relieved.
So thankful for her reaction.
And she hasn't said one thing to let me know that she might be thinking otherwise.
From a child who almost always speaks her mind, good or bad, this must be good!

She and my mother wanted to know every detail, so we talked for a long time.  2 1/2 hours later, we parted ways, able to talk freely about ideas and thoughts and plans.  What a relief!

On the way home, I noticed lots more of what was around me...


Because this was what was going on in my back seat!

Happy Sunday, y'all!


Sunday Snapshot

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hold onto Your Hats!

It's a simple story.

One of boy meets girl, girl meets boy.
They fall in love.
Head over heels, crazy in love.

He asked...Will you marry me?

She I answered...YES!

So now they we are engaged.


I still find myself speechless.
Or dissolving into deliriously happy giggles.

Two words have been repeated:
1.) Really?  
2.) WOW!

But yes, we are really engaged.
And yes, it's a big happy WOW!

WOW!!!!!

Sunday Snapshot

Monday, March 5, 2012

School Choice

I truly believe that one of the most difficult choices I have faced as a parent is school choice.

I agonized over it when Gloria was turning four.  She was already in the TK class at daycare as a three year old because of a numbers problem.  But they felt like she could handle it, so she was one that was moved up a year early.  That put me in the position of not wanting just a second year of the same TK daycare class for her as a four year old.

Enter school choices...
Public Montessori? That would mean either a school bus or a daycare van taking her to and from school because four year olds could not attend the on-site before and after school care program due to state licensing issues.  I wasn't ready to turn over the responsibility of transporting my daughter to and from school to a stranger.  After all...I'm a public school teacher myself and I KNOW what those buses can be like! Plus, I wasn't sure I was ready to commit to Montessori school through fifth grade.

Private Montessori? That would mean about the same amount in tuition as I had been paying for day care thanks to a generous scholarship we were offered.  The time for dropping of in the morning worked in my schedule and she could go to after school care there.  Kindergarten on up through eighth grade would be "traditional."  One school all the way through middle school?  Great opportunity with the scholarship.  Small setting, perfect for Gloria.

When it came down to it, I opted for a small private school.

It has been mostly good.
I've had a few issues.
But I'm a teacher and I tend to see things differently or know a little more than the average parent.
That has made it touchy a few times.
But overall, I've been happy with her school.
More importantly, SHE has been happy with her school.
Despite some bullying problems in the fall and a teacher problem in first grade, it has been a good place for her.

Everyone knows her.
She knows everyone.
And I don't just mean her 10 classmates.
Adults--teachers, administrators, people I don't even know--they all love her.

The music teacher loves her and has kept her in the extra curricular chorus even though I couldn't afford it this time because of "her enthusiasm and joy she brings to singing."

The art teacher has worked with her on several projects.

The STEM teacher stayed after school to work with her on her science fair project at least 7 different afternoons that I know of.

We ran into the computer teacher at the mall one night where they proceeded to have a 20 minute conversation about their pets.  Most teachers say hi, chit chat for a moment, and move on.

And yet I'm pulling her out next year.
And it kills me to do it.
But financially, it is what I have to do.
No tuition payment.
No after school care payment.
My driving will be cut by about 65%.
We will have the same holidays and breaks.
I can be debt free before the end of 2012, other than my house and my car.
And that is a very good thing.

She's going with me next year, to my school.
I love the faculty and staff at my school.
Many of them I would entrust her to in a heartbeat.
I know they will do what's best for her.

It's the students that worry me.
And today was one of those wake up, "what do I really think I am doing" days.

And I hate it.
Oh how I hate it.

I just hope and pray I've made the right decision!
Because tonight?
I'm just not feeling it.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Youth Art Exhibit

Gloria had a piece of art work selected to represent her school in a youth art month exhibit for local independent schools.  The reception was this afternoon.

We found her ballerina, in the style of Degas.

 Up close...
(and I may or may not have tried to imitate the dancer in the parking lot on the way back to the car afterwards...)

 With her art teacher after the certificates were presented

Still all smiles for the camera after receiving her certificate

LOL!  She just walked by and said "Oh my goodness!  That's the same thing I wore for the science fair! Now everyone will think I only have one outfit!"  Silly girl!

This is another one of those things that makes it hard for me to change her school next year.  Science fair, art exhibit, the interest her music teacher has taken in her...so many good reasons to stay put.  But so many reasons to leave too.  Why does school choice have to be so hard?


Sunday Snapshot

Friday, March 2, 2012

Eight Years

Eight years ago yesterday...

Last night



This one is just to offer a little perspective on the dress...
It used to be a below the knee length dress.
As you can see from above...not so much any more!
But it's perfect as a tunic when combined with some leggings!

Eight years seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye!
How have eight years has passed so quickly?

How, how, how???

I've asked that about a lot of things lately, though.
So maybe I need to stop asking how and just relax and enjoy it all instead.