Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Guess what these are pictures of.....

Monday, February 27, 2006

Where did the Bible stories happen?

Since we've been reading books to find out about Egypt, Gracie & I were talking about other things we could learn about. She said maybe we could read a book that would tell us if the stories in the Bible really happened. At first, I was a little shocked and scared by such a statement. However, I want her to know that it's okay to have questions and that her daddy & I can be trusted to answer her honestly. I assured her that indeed those stories really did happen and asked her how we know that. She answered, "because God tells us in the Bible" with a big smile on her face. However, even though she was easily persuaded that the stories really did happen, she then wanted to know where they happened. After telling her that they happened in all sorts of different places, she continued with the questions wanting to know if we could really go to those places. I assured her that yes, it would be a long way but yes, we really could. (Of course, as Chris pointed out tonight, some of those places don't exist today as the same city or whatever, but I don't want to get too deep on her. She is only 5.)

I was telling my mom about these questions and then it hit me that Mom had given her a really nice children's atlas awhile back. I pulled it out tonight and she & Chris (because geography isn't my area of expertise at all) sat down on the couch and found out where all sorts of interesting places are: Paris (because that's where Madeline lives!), Germany (because that's where cousin Trey was stationed in the Army), New York (because it's a big city), Egypt (because she likes it), Bethlehem (because that's where Jesus was born), Alabama (because we might go on vacation there this summer), etc. I love seeing her want to learn and then actually do it!
Gracie did the sweetest thing today. We were talking about her day and whether or not anyone had not been sweet at school.....whether anyone had said anything bad, etc. I want to keep open communication about this type of thing so she'll hopefully feel comfortable talking to us and we can help her know how to respond to different situations that will come up. We know she's going to experience things that aren't ideal and we want to teach her how she should act. Anyway, she informed me that "J" (who isn't my favorite classmate of hers for a variety of reasons) had told "C" that her hair was ugly. We talked about what she could say to "C" if that happens again to make her feel happy and what she could do if he ever says that to her, etc. I told her that tonight & tomorrow morning we would pray for "J" and ask that he be sweet and that God would help him to be nice. We were saying our prayer with Katie before bed and Gracie walked in the room. (She usually will say her prayer with Chris in her room.) We finished our prayer with Katie and Gracie reminded me, "What about "J"? So, we bowed again to include "J" in our prayer. I'm so thankful for her sweet heart and faith in God! Oh, to have the faith of a child!
Dear Lord,
Thank you for all of our blessings. Please be with Gracie as she grows up. Help us to give her the roots she needs to always put You first but the wings to fly and grow in You as well! Help her to recognize when things aren't good and to stay away from those things and please let her trust us as her parents to guide her. Thank you for her sweet heart! I pray that You help Chris & I to grow in You as well! Be with our precious Katie Boo also, Lord! She is so full of life and I pray that she'll love You first as well.
In Jesus' Name,

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Yeah, he's my favorite Olympian!

He just seems like a nice guy, he's cute, and he has pretty teeth. Don't worry, I've told my husband that I have a crush on him. He's okay with that because he has a crush on Sasha Cohen. Okay, maybe crush isn't the right word....considering that they're both way younger than either of us and considering the fact that we're married! But, you know what I mean, right? After all, I've seen the way some of you write about Dr. McDreamy or whatever it is you call the doctor on Grey's Anatomy. (He's pretty cute too, by the way!) Of course, here's my disclaimer......"Not as cute as Chris though!"

Anyway, I was really impressed with Apolo's interviews. He genuinely seemed like a good sport. After watching Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick "fight" and be so, in my opinion, immature, it was nice to listen to Apolo talk and see how humble he is and to watch him act with such good sportsmanlike character to his opponents. I had my doubts about him at first because apparently he is best friends with Shani. After seeing Shani's attitude, I figured his best friend would be the same way, but he didn't appear to be. He is also an amazing speedskater, and I enjoyed watching him. If he really isn't a nice guy and you just know something I don't know, do me a favor and don't tell me!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

spaghetti=2 baths for Katie!

Um, what was the point of me giving the girls baths before we ate dinner?!?

What little child doesn't love their Fisher Price school bus?!?!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Is Mexico like New Mexico?

You can click on the picture to see it better.
We've been reading our Egypt books. I got a few more from the library and my friend, Mary Beth, loaned us one on pyramids. (Thank you! I know you read....LOL) It's been quite interesting! Today, Gracie drew a picture and wrote some sentences that told what she learned. She said, "Mommy, this isn't like real school!" I made her write the sentences anyway! (Funny....her teachers act like she never complains about working at school, but with me, it's a whole other story! Yet one more reason I'm not sure full time homeschooling would work for us! LOL)

A funny story about looking at one of the pyramid books today. There were some pictures of pyramids that were in Mexico and I mentioned that to her. She said, "Is that like New Mexico?" (You must remember that her daddy grew up in NM and her grandparents live there now.) I started laughing and told her that no, New Mexico is actually a state in America but Mexico is a whole other country. Concepts like that are so hard for kids to grasp!

Here is what her sentences say (using her spelling~I showed her how to spell Egypt and told her how to spell pyramids.):

I leard about egypt. I leard tate egypt
pepl belt the pyramids. I leard tate wen
pepl dide tay wer put in pyramids.
There was a tornado drill today while I was at the school. I do not like tornadoes and was not aware that today was a day for a drill. All I knew was that I was in the K workroom tearing out workbook pages when the asst. principal (Mr. D) came over the intercom and said something like, "Teachers, we are now under a tornado watch. That means conditions are favorable for a tornado." I'm thinking, "Did you actually have to say the word tornado? The kids are probably freaking out!" There was a substitute aide out in the hall with some children and she asked if I knew what the procedure was...which I didn't! I was thinking of going out to Gracie's classroom (which is a portable) to check on her. (The sub. aide went into one of the K classrooms). After a few minutes, Gracie's aide (Mrs. H) came into the K workroom with the class, followed by Miss S. Gracie was just smiling away.....not freaked out at all! I'm thinking that I'm glad I'm with her but worried about Katie across the street. Apparently, the workroom is their designated spot since they can't stay in a portable. They got all the kids down in the "tornado position"...either up against a wall or under a table. Miss S and Mrs. H are still standing and Mrs. T (the shadow aide) went to the restroom, so I lean over to Mrs. H and ask, "Is this just a drill?" She says, "yes." *whew* I really wasn't looking forward to losing it in front of a bunch of Kindergarteners......who were cool as cucumbers by the way. Seriously, only one child was crying and honestly, that poor little girl cries at the drop of a hat, so it probably had nothing to do with a tornado drill! The kids were sooo good! They were a little wiggly but really, all in all, very well behaved!

Mrs. H and I stood there talking the whole time. She asked me where we went to church because apparently Gracie had told her we were getting a new church building. (Gracie had no recollection of this conversation when I asked her about it, but she's like that.....forgets details like that!) So, Mrs. H and I talked about that for a few minutes and then kept talking about some other things. I really like her alot! I love anytime I can talk about God or church with anyone at the school. It makes me feel good knowing that someone who is with my child during the day attends church and apparently loves God! I also know Mrs. T attends church. (Thanks Mary Beth for that information!) I don't know if Miss S does or not. I love Miss S, but there's just something about Mrs. H that I'm so comfortable with. I'm not sure if it's that she's older and has kids of her own or her calm demeanor or the fact that we have that church connection, but I just feel good knowing that she's with Gracie during the day. I trust her. (Not to take anything away from Miss S. She is soooo wonderful, too.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

May those who come behind us.......

H.A. Fincher
Mark Hale
Roy & Dorothy Jackson (Maw Maw & Grandad)
Lela Fore (Grandma-Chris' grandmother)
Barry Sanders (Chris' cousin)
"May those who come behind us find us faithful." I love that line from ZOE's cd. You know, the one Chris got me for Valentine's Day that I've listened to about a gabillion times?! Chris smugly said, "Yeah, so the cd was a hit, huh?" Yes, honey. It's a hit. I love it. I want more.

Seriously, though, I love the song, "Find us Faithful" and the line that says, "May those who come behind us find us faithful."

The people listed above are people who have left this earth. People who I found to be faithful. I pray that I'll make it onto someone's list when I've left this earth for another.
Please Lord,
Help me to live a life that others will find to be faithful. I struggle and fail so often, so I thank You for your grace & mercy. I thank you for H.A. Fincher's quiet spirit and love for teaching others about You, for Mark Hale's passion in showing You to all he met, for Maw Maw & Grandad's faithfulness to You and desire for their family to know You, for Grandma's love for her family and the way she served others even when she was tired, and for Barry's boldness in telling others about Christianity.
In Jesus' Name, Amen

I just love when my baby feeds her babies! So sweet!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I've got a great husband


I read about Candace on someone else's blog the other day. I've been visiting her site for a week or so now, and it just tears me up to read about what she's going through. You may want to read about her and add her to your prayer list. There's also a prayer calendar you can join which is a neat way to let her family know you're praying for her. Pray for Candace Joy.

I've been thinking about this man still alot lately.

Girl Talk is a site that has some really good things! Some entries are just funny while others take more serious looks at the roles of Christian women.

Matt said something great at the end of this post. It hit me square in the face. ".....I have been blessed that my weaknesses and struggles have not created similar consequences for me, but that’s only because you don’t go to prison for being vain, lustful, inconsiderate, or disrespectful – all of which I tend to be in my worst moments. There but for the grace of God go I…..." ~Matt Elliott

Poor baby Seth is back in the hospital.

Gracie has no school tomorrow and Chris is off, too! The girls & I are getting our hair trimmed. I love the idea of letting Katie's hair grow long & curly, but it's driving me crazy. I have a feeling she'll come home with quite the cute little bob. Gracie already had bangs by this age, so who knows.......

One of my friends said she was going for a pedicure tomorrow and invited me along. Hmmm....not a bad idea!
I feel the need to give my husband a pat on the back. (I know he reads this....he just rarely comments!) He has been incredibly sweet the last couple of days. Granted, he's always sweet but lately even more so. Here are some of the reasons I know I'm blessed:
  • He is the spiritual leader of our family and assumes that responsibility easily and with no nagging from me.
  • He lets me sleep late on Fridays & Saturdays and almost always gets up from the computer when I wake up to let me have my morning computer time.
  • He helps me clean house way more & with much less complaining than other husbands (or to hear my friends talk I think so anyway.)
  • He tells me I'm beautiful all the time even though I know I could probably stand to lose 50 pounds!
  • He encourages me to be healthy but does it in a loving way.
  • He is always willing to spend time with the girls and let me have some "alone time" when I need it. I don't feel like I have to ask him to "babysit." He truly loves being with his girls and I know they will benefit from this as they grow older (and already are benefitting from it.)
  • He is such a balance to me......I worry; he's practical. I'm hesitant; he's more decisive.
  • He has such a good character and is respected for it.
  • People know he can be trusted & get a job done without letting the "little things" distract him.
  • He's not overly sensitive.
  • He takes responsibility for his actions.
  • He is gentle.
  • I have been not feeling great this weekend and he has been very understanding of that. I basically read all day Friday and he never once complained that I should get off the couch and do something. He took care of Katie, picked up Gracie from school and picked up some groceries & dinner. He brought me his prescription Ibuprofen pills when I hurt and offered me the heating pad that is usually for him because of his chronic aches & pains.

I think it's important to publicly praise myhusband and I know I don't do it near enough. He is amazing and I'm blessed to have him in my life and in the lives of our girls!


Dear Lord,

Thank you for blessing me with Chris and with my girls. I'm grateful for them and I pray that I'll let them know that I appreciate them. Please be with Candace as she is suffering and with Russell as he is grieving. Please help my girls to grow up secure in the love that You have for them and that Chris & I have for them. Please help them to come to us when they need help and help us to raise them in such a way that makes You smile.

In Jesus' Name,

Saturday, February 18, 2006

#1 songs

It's late, well past midnight, and I should be in bed. However, I'm not. I've been thinking of some kind of more serious stuff to post, but I won't now. Here is a fun thing I found on one of the many blogs I've frequented tonight.

The #1 song the day I was born was "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree" - Dawn. The #1 song on my 18th birthday was "Baby Baby" - Amy Grant. If you want to know yours, click here.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Sadly, I could not ever really get into "Light from Heaven" by Jan Karon. I had enjoyed the Mitford series but just couldn't get into this last one. I checked my library account and, to my dismay, realized it was overdue and I owed $1.00! They wouldn't let me renew it because it had holds (I had waited probably over 2 months for it!) I went to the library to see if there was anyway I could renew it. They said, no, but I could pay $0.20/day until I finished it. I had well over half to go, so I just turned it back in. I'll check it out again later and finish it. (I ended up paying almost $1.50 of overdue fines for that book....ouch!)

I browsed around a bit and picked up a few other books. The first one I started, "SAHM I Am" by Meredith Efken, was so good! I started it last night around 8 and finished it this afternoon. I told Chris I could hardly put it down~good thing he was off today! It was sooo funny and soooo applicable to my life because the characters were stay-at-home Chistian moms who had relationships they had formed online. How appropriate! It was a very easy read and made me laugh out loud. I recommend it!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Egypt, a puppy & yellow dresses

The other day Chris was watching something on t.v. (the news???) about someone finding a new tomb in Egypt. They were showing pyramids & the like, and being the inquisitive 5 1/2 year old that she is, Gracie started asking questions about it.

Now, off topic a little, I read alot of blogs. (surprise, surprise, huh?!!?) Some of them I laugh at, some I roll my eyes at, some of them I cry at, some I quickly exit and others I bookmark to read often. Some of the ones I read are about homeschooling & unschooling. Unschooling, from what I understand, is basically a choice to let your children choose what they want to learn and when they want to learn it. If they're interested in it, they study it. If they're not interested in it, they don't study it. Not exactly my style~for the record. I am not a homeschooler or an unschooler, but I do read blogs about them from time to time. Some of my friends do, or plan to, homeschool and that's fine. I will be respectful of that decision just as I hope they are, and will be, respectful of my decision not to. I will not say that I'll never choose one of these options for my children, because one day I might, but not today. We're very happy with our public school situation. We have seen Gracie blossom in so many ways this year; it is absolutely amazing! We were worried about putting her into a situation where God wouldn't be mentioned often, but she is growing spiritually each & every day despite the fact that she's not directly learning about Him at school. Her thirst for knowledge about God and her desire to keep learning about Him is wonderful. I truly believe it would be ignorant of me to say that I'll never homeschool just as I truly believe it would be ignorant of someone to say that they'll never put their child in a public school. That's probably a whole other post, though! (Right, JB?)

Anyway, even though unschooling is certainly not the option we have chosen for Gracie, for many reasons, I do like the concept of paying attention to what your children are interested in and giving them opportunities to study those things more in depth. Because of this, Gracie & I went to the public library after school, along with Katie of course, and checked out some books on Egypt. It was a little difficult to find ones that I felt were appropriate for her age, but we got 3. (I plan to search the library's site from home and choose some more.) One was a "Ms. Frizzle" book, minus the Magic School Bus. ("Ms. Frizzle's Adventures Ancient Egypt") Ms. Frizzle was on summer vacation and took a trip to Egypt. Gracie has always loved that series so that one was great. (My 2nd graders LOVED the Magic School Bus series, also. I've had to throw many away because they were literally read to pieces!) We also picked out a DK Eyewitness Book named "Ancient Egypt" that has tons of pictures and one called "The Mystery of the Egyptian Mummy." I haven't looked at that one much yet.

I have to say that I'm no expert on Egypt! Her daddy will come in quite handy in learning about this kind of stuff, I'm sure! He used google maps to show her where Egypt is located. Being the GIS Specialist that he is by trade, he used Google Earth to show her a 3D picture of where it is. (Chris said there is a link to that, but you would have to download it.) Very cool! I was very surprised when looking at the Ms. Frizzle book and the Eyewitness book with her, though. I really thought she'd be grossed out or scared when reading about the mummification process. The pictures in the Eyewitness book are quite weird looking. She wasn't at all, though. Of course, I'm sure she doesn't grasp the reality of what it really means to take out the brain and throw it away.....

I did find it a little hard to read about the gods & goddesses to her. I kept interrupting myself to remind her that this is what many of them believed & still do, but that it's not right....that we know there's only 1 true God. I tried to explain that they do things differently in Egypt and that sometimes people do things differently and it's wrong but that sometimes people do things differently and it's not wrong.....it's just different. We barely touched on Islam (mainly because I didn't really know what to tell her about it, although she was very interested in what a Muslim was!) I used that opportunity to tell her that sometimes people will believe things that we know are wrong and that we don't have to agree with them but that we shouldn't be hateful to them. If we're nice, maybe we'll have the chance to share about God with them. (We talk about this alot when it comes to classmates, too. There are some who get on "yellow" and "red" alot~which isn't good~and she doesn't have to play with them because they may not be "sweet," but it doesn't mean she should be mean to them.)

I want my children to learn about other cultures and be respectful of them while still maintaining their faith in God! I guess I want to teach tolerance to a degree. Not tolerance in the respect that they accept things that are wrong, but tolerance in the respect that they aren't hateful and that they're willing to learn about other things and decide for themselves, based on the Bible, if something is right or wrong. I'm sure it'll be easier when she's older, and she doesn't really seem confused, she seems to readily accept that they're wrong to believe in those "other gods." I just want to teach her right, you know? Has anyone had experience with teaching your young children about vastly different cultures and not getting them too confused over the differences? I'm having a bit of a brain block!
Shanks family tidbits:

There is a lady at school who picks up her child and almost always has a puppy with her. Katie always says, "a puppy, a puppy." We saw this same lady at the library this afternoon~about an hour after we'd seen her at school~Katie looked at her as we passed by and said, "a puppy." Amazing how smart almost 2 year olds can be. (I still have about 3 weeks until she's 2, and I'm claiming every last day!)
I've decided to stop wearing my contacts for awhile and go back to glasses. I started wearing glasses in 4th grade and contacts in 8th. They were bugging me, so I've gone back to glasses. I'll probably go back & forth. I sooo wish I had perfect eyesight!
Have I mentioned how much we love Miss S? She did something really sweet for Gracie today and it just warms my heart to see the care & attention she gives to the students. We are very blessed to have her & Mrs. H, the teacher's aide, this year. It is amazing the difference a good teacher can make! Also, on a side note, I drove by the school after playgroup today on my way home. I had about a 1/2 hour before I needed to be back at the school to pick up Gracie. I knew she was at recess so I glanced at the playground to see if I could see her. I know that either Miss S or Mrs. H has recess duty each day, and there was Miss S standing directly beside the monkey bars where a large number of children were playing. That may not seem like a big deal, but some teachers you will see clumped together talking and watching from afar, but Miss S was right in there with the kids.
We have Chick Fil A "Spirit Night" tonight. Once a month, they have a night where from 5:30-8:30, a portion of the proceeds goes to the school. It's a great excuse for me to not to have to cook!
I had been looking & looking on Ebay for Easter dresses for the girls. I am a bargain hunter~majorly~so I was refusing to pay big bucks. I knew I could find a bargain! I found one! I got beautiful dresses for $14.99/each. They arrived today, and I love them! I got outbid on a dress I was trying to win for Katie's birthday. That's okay.....I know a bargain can be found!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

Here are some Valentine pictures of the girls + a picture of a little something Chris had delivered to me today. So sweet!

Gracie came home with a *lovely* necklace yesterday and a certificate she had received for 'good behavior.' We're proud of her! I think (once a month?) the teachers of each class nominate a student to get the good citizenship for their class. I think hers was actually from last November! A little late, but that's okay! She had also gotten to be Coach's special helper yesterday! She got to go help him while he taught the 2nd graders. Knowing how much she *loves* Coach, you can imagine her thrill at doing this! The way it was explained to me, the students can receive tickets for certain things and then those tickets are drawn out (once a week?) to see who gets to be his special helper. She was thrilled!

Why is it?

Why is it that I can pick on my husband and complain about things he does, but if anyone else does it, my claws instinctively come out?!?!? He's having to hold me back!!!!!!!

word cloud

Jetty Betty had a link to a page where you can have a word cloud created of the most frequently written words in your blog. Interesting.

By the way: Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

our girls

Just wanted to share a couple of pictures of the girls.

They got a Valentine package today from Grammer & Pappy and tried on their new outfits. Gracie is so excited to wear hers because red is her favorite color! You can't see it all in the picture, but the shirt is red, the skirt is red, the hairband is red and the tights are red! Katie matches except she has pants rather than a skirt.

I love it when they sit together & read.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Our Friday

As usual, Chris took Gracie to school this morning since he doesn't work on Fridays. I am continuing to enjoy his schedule! Gracie has quite the crush on her P.E. coach and Chris told me that Coach talked to her this morning as he (Chris) walked her across the sidewalk. He wanted to know if she had a bow and wanted to see it. This man is so good with the children...such a fun relationship he has with them, which is exactly what a P.E. teacher should be like ! Chris said she just giggled & giggled. My parents tell me that I also had a crush on my first P.E. teacher!
I ran a few errands this afternoon & picked Gracie up from school. Katie was missed by the ladies I usually chat with in the afternoons, but it sure is alot easier not to have to take her up there with me like I usually do. This was "Q" week and she had taken a small quilt for Show & Tell that Mama Taber, her great-great-grandmother had made. She hadn't eaten much of the lunch her daddy had packed her (a little water, 1 piece of cheese & 1 cracker to be specific!) so we had to have a talk about that! Granted, Chris packed her way too much but just because she thought it was too much, does that give her an excuse to eat so little of it? No!

We "piddled around" then went to run a few errands before going to see "Curious George!" It was just going to be Gracie & I but at the last minute, Chris decided to come with Katie also. I had gotten Gracie & mine's tickets earlier, but then Chris ended up waiting forever for his ticket. I had the girls in the theater ready with snacks when he joined us. It was a fantastic movie! As with any movie, I found things that could have been left out or changed, but all in all, it was really great! I laughed out loud more than once and George was as cute as a little baby! Katie did wonderful! I was really worried that she wouldn't pay attention and would be loud (thus the reason we hadn't originally planned to take her) but it kept her attention up until about the last 10 minutes. She moved around some and talked some, but she really did well!
Chris had told me recently not to open any packages that came in the mail because of Valentine's Day. However, when I simply checked the mail yesterday and there was a package with the return address "the ZOE group, Nashville, TN" it's pretty hard to not know what's in there! I have been wanting one of their cd's forever and I finally got one! Chris let me open it early. I've probably listened to it 4 times already at least!
Tonight, Gracie & I played a memory game with Strawberry Shortcake cards and Letter Factory. Katie tried to play with us. You can imagine how that went!
Sunday night, we're passing out treats & Valentine's to the older people who live at the place where we've been having church while our building is being built. (which should be finished soon!) It was fun when we did this activity back at Christmas, so we're doing it again.
Katie has been folding her sweet little hands and bowing her head while we pray. It is so precious! She will say names every now & then when we ask her who she wants to pray for. To hear her say (her version of) "Baby Morgan" is adorable! She has also been sitting on the potty quite a bit this week! Nothing has happened yet, but she sits there well. We usually end up singing lots of Bible Class songs! I'm hoping she'll be "productive" soon!
Malia was talking about something this week. I think it had to do with the TKAM saga. She said that the director of her child's school always says, "Don't prepare the path for your child, but prepare your child for the path." I think that is so wise and something Chris & I strive for. We want our children to have happy lives, and it's tempting to try to make things as easy as they can be....to make their little lives free of all care & trials, but we also want to prepare them to deal with things they will encounter in those lives. We want to teach them how to handle things in a Godly way. We want to teach them how to react to situations while still showing the love of Christ. Thank you Malia for sharing that quote. I think I had heard it before....maybe it was even from you.
Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.
Psalm 127:1a

Lord, Please help Chris & I to raise our daughters to be pleasing to You! Help us to build a home that makes You smile. Keep us away from things that will harm us, either spiritually, physically or emotionally, but give us exposure to things we need in order to learn! Help us to be people who make others happy & bring joy. Thank you for the safe arrival of Morgan this week. Please help Chris & I to make smart decisions in our Spiritual life, in our marriage, in the raising of our children, in our relationships & friendships with others, financially & job-wise. Thank you for all you do for us!

In Jesus' Name,


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Miss Patty Cake is coming!

Miss Patty Cake is coming to town! In our household, we love Miss Patty Cake! When people don't know who I'm talking about, I say that she's like a "Barney for Christians!" She sings the most wonderful songs about Jesus & God and the world God made. They're very catchy songs and I catch myself singing them if we've been listening to them. She is a very positive role model for children.

Miss Patty Cake doesn't have a million different things to buy like other "characters", but she has 2 cd's, some dvd's, a book, a couple of clothing items and a doll. There are probably a few other things as well. We have her 2 cd's, the book, a signed orange t-shirt and the doll. We don't have any of the dvd's but may get a couple
for Katie's birthday. Our library has most of them and we check them out every now & then....especially for the children to watch in their class at Life Group.

Gracie & I went to see her in November 2004 in a nearby town. I kept it a surprise until right before we went in to the show. She was so excited! I have to admit to thinking that her videos were better than seeing her in person, but it was still really neat, especially getting to meet her! Today, I was reading one of the parent newspapers that I'd picked up at Katie's MDO and saw where she was coming back to the area at a different church. The tickets are free so I called to get 4 sent to us! I went ahead & told Gracie about it. May be a mistake since it's not until March 18th, but I recently got a calendar for her room, so I'll mark the day and she can count down!

I am so excited especially since this year, Katie will go and she totally knows who "Miss Pacake" is (as she calls her.)
My brand new niece was born in Nashville this morning! Morgan Elizabeth Jackson, welcome to the family!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

How well do you really know me?

Take this quiz to see how well you've really gotten to know me through blogland!

To Kill a Mockingbird

Have you heard the latest? An anonymous parent of a middle school student in Brentwood, TN is stuffing mailboxes in an attempt to get his petition signed. What is his petition for?

To ban a book on the basis of profanity, obscenity & racism. What book is it?

"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee! I love that book and happen to know that many of my blog readers do as well. With the recent "4 tag" that went around recently, Kristen, Elizabeth, Deana & Matt all proclaimed that they could read this book over & over. Judy Thomas is the one who wrote the post that alerted me to this banning attempt. Being a former children's literature professor, she has strong opinions about this kind of thing. I encourage you to check out what she has to say about it.

I'm interested in hearing what others have to say. Do you think it should be banned because of some of the elements mentioned above? It is a good book, but is it appropriate to be read by students in school?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

new links

May the words of my mouth & the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord my strength & my redeemer!
Psalms 19:14
The above Scripture has always been one of my favorites. I'm not sure if that's exactly the right wording but it's the way I remember it, so it's the way I wrote it. I remember one of the elders' wives at church,where I grew up, teaching our class when I guess I was a teenager and she used this verse. For some reason, it has always stuck with me...the memory of her teaching that class and using that verse.
I'm adding a few people to my links list and I wanted to tell you about them.

One of them is Alyssa O'Rear. I knew her at ACU as Alyssa Core. I remember her as a sweet girl who I was in social club with. I ran across her blog awhile back and started reading it. I finally posted to her last week to see if she remembered me and she did. I enjoy reading about her family and she has some funny stories! You have to read the closet story!

Another one I'm adding is janjanmom. After the amazing connections we made last week (which still flabbergast me!) I don't see how I can't add her. We spent the weekend commenting & emailing each other. I look forward to learning more about her life!
Gracie had a great time with her friend, "A" this weekend! They really had alot of fun, but I think they're both going to be glad to be back in their own beds tonight! He had slept in her bed while she slept on an air mattress in Katie's room. His parents were very appreciative and bought me the beautiful tablecloth I've been wanting from Williams-Sonoma as a thank you (remember when I talked about hoping Chris was going to buy it for me for Valentine's Day?!?!) He's known she was going to get it for awhile now. Sneaky people! They also offered to watch our girls while we go to Nashville for Nashville Star and to see my new niece. We may just take them up on it. I'll have to think about it a little longer. It seems alot to ask them to take 2 additional children (to their 3) when I only watched 1 of theirs. Good friends to offer! (And I'd love to meet Malia in Nashville!)
I didn't get too much feedback from my post yesterday about looking for a cd. If you think of anything, let me know. I did download one for the kids that I love and Gracie is already picking up on alot of the words. Katie was actually repeating one or two words along with the cd also. The one I got is called "Hide 'em in Your Heart Praise & Worship for Kids" by Steve Green. It's really great with him singing alone, him singing with children and children reading Scripture. I really like it alot! I also think I got a pretty good deal considering the Amazon price is about $10 more than what I downloaded it for.

Praise God for people recognizing their need to repent! I don't say that to sound like "I'm better than them" but there was a very uncomfortable situation in our adult Bible Class last Sunday morning where a man got very insulting to the teacher in his disagreement with him. I know alot of people were upset, and I'd even heard of 1 very sweet woman who didn't want to come back to class. She had even left that morning to sit outside in the foyer. (I had vaguely mentioned this incident last week.) This morning at the beginning of class, this man apologized for his attitude and the way he'd been inappropriate. I really appreciated that and respected him for doing so. I just hate conflict...especially in the church!

Does the fact that I post so often and that I like to make connections with people mean that I have too much time on my hands? My mom says it does. *sigh* I think blogging is just one thing she doesn't understand. Some of the relationships I have made on here are very real & important to me, and I use this as a journal for my life. I love her, but she doesn't understand this aspect of my life.


A funny about Katie: Chris gave her a check to place in the collection plate this morning. Instead of putting it in, she reached in and pulled out some money! The man next to us was laughing about as much as we were! Man, I love this baby girl! (who isn't such a baby anymore!)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Can someone help me?

I'm looking for a cd. I'm not sure what cd. If I were to put a label on myself, I would say that I'm pretty conservative. I like to listen to the "oldies but goodies" worship songs. I also listen to our local Christian radio station that plays more of the newer, contemporary artists like Jars of Clay, Casting Crowns, Mercy Me, etc. & I really enjoy those. I'm looking for a cd that is more along the lines of the "oldies but goodies." I guess because I don't hear those as much anymore and I can listen to the other on the radio pretty much anytime. I also prefer the acappella version. I enjoy the intrumental versions too, but right now I want acappella.

I've gotten a little hooked on iTunes lately and thought I'd found something that I like. However, I don't like the album at all. Unfortunate for me, you can't return things on iTunes, so I have it forever!

I linked to a page the other day from Karen who I think I linked to from JettyBetty. TrueLift is the name of this group and I really like the samples they had. I would love to find something along these lines. I know I could just order a cd from them, but I'm really looking for something I can just download off iTunes. I also think I would like something from Zoe, but again I kind of want something I can just download and have immediately and not have to wait for it to be shipped. I used to listen the group Acappella all the time, but we have tons of their cds and am honestly just wanting something a little different. I've always enjoyed when I catch the Gaithers on tv and would stop to listen to them. The above mentioned cd that I didn't like is one of Bill Gaithers. I'm just really not pleased with it. I'm not sure why because I've always enjoyed listening to them before; maybe because it's just him?!? I'm not sure.

Anyway, anyone have any suggestions for me? I also like to have a children's cd in the car for us to play alot. Katie starts waving her little finger, saying "Shine. No! Shine. No!" (in reference to "This little light of mine.....hide it under a bushel....no!") We have quite a few cds with the typical Bible Class songs, but I ran across one on iTunes called "Worship for Kids" that was more of the contemporary Christian songs sung by children. I think Gracie especially might like that one. Anyone have any suggestions of other cds along those lines?

Thanks in advance!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Paducah....who knew the world was so small!?!?!

In response to all of the Paducah & Reidland comments from my last post, I am freaking out! I've always considered Paducah to be a pretty small place and just where "Maw Maw & Granddad" lived.

Okay, here's the run down on my family. If any of you know any of them, please let me know. This is so fun!

I was born in Paducah at Western Baptist Hospital in 1973. (I'm old!) My grandparents were Roy & Dorothy Jackson. (Maw Maw & Granddad) They lived in Paducah on Blair Rd. Granddad had a fish market in downtown Paducah for many years. I wish I'd had more time with him, but he died in 1984. I think he was only 62. Maw Maw was a very special grandmother! She died in 2003, when I was pregnant with Katie and I probably think of her at least once every day.

Maw Maw & Granddad had 3 children, Randall Roy (my dad) & his twin sister, Sandra Joy. (Randy & Sandy) and Nanette. Sandy & her husband Dennis live in Benton but lived in Calvert City for many, many years. I think they've only lived in Benton since 2002 or 2003. They attend Calvert City Church of Christ. My parents now live in Atlanta and Nanette lives in Texas.

We moved from Paducah when I was 4 (?) to Atlanta. We spent lots of time on the road between GA & KY. Well, I say lots of time. Once or twice a year I guess. Usually at least once in the summer and at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I remember jumping in the car at odd hours and sleeping much of the night while we raced there when Granddad was sick. Sometimes he would be in the hospital in Nashville, so that was a little closer. He had cancer in both kidneys at different times of his life. I remember how tired the dialysis would make him and they couldn't visit us much because 2-3 times a week on dialysis is alot for one person to have to endure. In the end, I'm not even sure it was the kidney problems that he died from. Honestly, I'm not sure. I just remember Mom coming into the room at Maw Maw & Granddad's house and waking me up, telling me he had died. At 11 years old, I didn't really ask too many questions about exactly what happened.

I spent many, many services at Reidland Church of Christ. I called my mom and she said Reidland started in 1964 and Granddad was one of the first elders. Do they still have the green leather seats? and the nursery up above the auditorium with the big window? I remember attending many VBS' during the summers. They always had huge cookies and drinks like what you'd get in a restaurant where they'd pull the little lever to make the drink come out. I remember a green Bible and singing the "Booster Booster" song. Maw Maw moved to Calvert in 1994, so that's when she stopped attending at Reidland. She moved to be closer to my aunt.

I remember many, many, many afternoons spent at Noble Park with my cousins, Brent & Andrea (and probably the Fuqua boys were there some, too!) I'd ride the little boats in the water that would just go 'round & 'round and ride the train and maybe even ride the haunted house train! I love those times with my cousins! I was always a little jealous of Andrea living so close to our grandparents!

Let's see if can name people I remember from there to see if any of you know any of them. (I am a sentimental fool, so this is great fun for me!) I remember the names of the Fuqua's (imagine my delight in running across the blog of Brad! I could probably dig up a picture of him when he was 4 or 5 when we went fishing one time. His brother, Clay, was a year older than me and I think Brad was quite a few years younger, but I remember playing at their house. They lived right up the road & around the corner from my grandparents.) I remember "Pinchy Pinchy." This sweet man was named this because he would always pinch me! To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure if I can even remember his real name, to this day I think I'd nudge my mom and say, "There's Pinchy Pinchy!" Gosh, I really can't remember his name, but I think they were real involved with the children's home that was near there. I remember Mr. Jernigan who was the preacher for a long time and Terrell Lee who I think is the preacher now. There are many faces running through my mind but names are escaping me.

I had/have many other family members in the area. Mama Taber was Maw Maw's mother. I remember wanting so bad to push the red button in her little apartment. I knew I couldn't because it was the button for her to push if she needed help, but it was such a temptation! Mammy Jack was Granddad's mother. I remember visiting her in the nursing home. (Her husband was Pappy Jack. We wanted my dad to go by Pappy Jack; it has mostly been shortened to Pappy by my girls, but I think my niece calls him Pappy Jack. Sandy tried to get them to call him Happy Pappy Jack because he is sometimes goofy, but I think that one is going to be too long!)

Cloys & Din Thorne were my great-aunt & uncle. (Cloys was Maw Maw's sister.) They lived over near Lourdes Hospital. I loved them! Bob & Opal Ramage were also a great-aunt & uncle. (Opal was Maw Maw's sister, also). They lived somewhere; I can't remember where. Opal was the shortest, tiniest woman I've ever known and so sweet! I remember being scared to death of Aunt Grace's (Granddad's sister) pigs when we'd go to her farm. She lived around there somewhere, too. I think I most likely have a few "hillbilly" relatives around there, too!

Wow! I have enjoyed this little trip down memory lane! I am sitting here writing with tears sprouting, thinking of these special times and these special people. Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


I was on my way to read in bed. Translation: I was going to lay there with a book beside me for about 5 minutes before I fell asleep. I told Chris and he said, "Come here. You got some emails." So, of course, not being one to resist such temptation, I went to read them and found out I'd been tagged by Matt. So, here I sit completing my mission. I did something similar on email just yesterday, so some of this is just copied & pasted from there.

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Greater Atlanta Christian School bookstore in the summers
2. Seven Oaks Academy daycare worker (in GA)
3. 6th grade & 2nd grade teacher
4. Wife & Mommy

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. You've Got Mail
2. Imitation of Life
3. Finding Nemo
4. Monsters, Inc.
(I'm just really not sure. I don't typically like to watch movies over & over.)

Four books I could read over & over:
As with movies, I don't typically read books over & over. I LOVE to read and do it often but not normally more than once, other than children's books of course! So, I will list children's books that I love to read.
1. Just Like You by Jan Fearnley
2. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
3. Ordinary Baby, Extraordinary Gift by Gloria Gaither
4. pretty much any Patricia Polacco book, although they're really more for me than for the girls right now because the subject matter of some is really suited for more for older children. She is hands down my favorite children's book author! Many of them are very touching & family oriented and teach about other cultures & history and the illustrations are great and she adds a special touch by inserting real photographs into the illustrated picture frames. Her books are just really neat!

Four places you have lived:
1. Paducah, KY
2. Lilburn, GA
3. Abilene, TX
4. SC
(and a couple more!)

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. The Apprentice
2. The Amazing Race
3. American Idol
4. Little House on the Prairie

Four places you have been on vacation:

1. San Diego, CA
2. Outer Banks (NC)
3. Ft. Myers, FL
4. New Mexico (whoo hoo!)

Four web sites I visit daily: (daily might be stretching it)
1. Ebay
2. a discussion board for other moms who have children near the ages of mine
3. other peoples' blogs
4. Uvalde, TX online newspaper (about twice a week)

Four of my favorite foods:
1. cheese!
2. petit fours (we just had a shower, so they're on my mind!)
3. salmon
4. shrimp

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. New England (especially if it was Fall!)
2. on the couch watching t.v.
3. reading on my parents' screened in porch
4. if it was next week, in Nashville meeting my brand new niece who will be born on the 8th!

Four friends I am tagging:
I know some people have already done this tag, so I won't tag anyone specifically. Play along if you'd like and let me know if you do. Thanks Matt for tagging me!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Kindergarten sin

I'm not sure what to write, but I'm having a bit of "blogger withdrawal" so I'm going to come up with something. Also, JanJanMom requested that I post something. That made me feel good that someone actually wanted to read the stuff I write. She requested I do one of the "100 things about me" posts, but I don't think I'll do that right now. I kind of thought I'd already done that, but I couldn't find it when I went to my archives. Anyway........
*I committed a 'Kindergarten sin' this morning during my tutoring time at Gracie's school. I had just completed my time with Gracie & "M," the friend she chose to come work with her. We were about to leave to go back to the classroom, and I noticed that her mouth was so dirty! You know, left over breakfast & toothpaste. So embarrassing that I'd forgotten to wash her face before we left for school. So, what do I do? You can probably guess. I licked my finger and went to work on that face. She was not happy! She hates that! Thankfully, "M" made it a little better because she talked about how she didn't like it when her mom does that to her. I think hearing that it sometimes happens to "M," made it a little more bearable!

*"K" is a little boy in Gracie's class who is so sweet! We were walking to the library and when we got to the double doors, we both reached out to open one of them. I let him open it and then hesitated thinking he would walk in. He paused and stepped back to let me walk in first! I could tell he was deliberately holding it for me and letting me go first. Such polite manners for a little boy! Ever since I've been working with him, I could tell that this kid has someone at home teaching him something right. There's just something about him that I really like!

*Another little boy, "H," said the cutest thing today. He was looking at a book with clocks in it. He mentioned that it was 8:00 on the clock in the book and asked if Gracie knew how to tell time yet. I told him that no, she didn't. He said he had a book about it. I commented that that was neat. He thought for a minute and said, "I could have a yard sale and sell that book and you could come buy it and then she could learn how to tell time." I laughed & laughed! Mainly because I'm friends with his mom and couldn't wait to call her & tell her what he'd said....which I did while walking out to my van when I was finished. He didn't offer to let her borrow it, or offer to give it to her, but he'll sell it to her! I assured him that she did have a book already. He, too, is a sweetie!

*Gracie will have a fun weekend with her friend, "A." His parents are going out of town for a birthday/anniversary celebration, so he's staying with us. I know Gracie & "A" will enjoy spending lots of time together playing!

*My cousin, Andrea, mentioned that she's been reading some of my blog and that my "JettyBetty lady" seems neat. I agree with her!

*My new niece should be born 1 week from today...if not sooner!

*I read things sometimes about different people being upset at each other over doctrinal differences (& sometimes non-doctrinal differences). In my humble opinion, if both sides are being tacky about it by cutting each other down and being sarcastic about the other and "fueling the fire" to get other people to be tacky, is either side acting Christ like? What happened to 'turning the other cheek?'

*It's okay to disagree with each other in Bible Class or church or work or school or family. Correct? Why do people get so heated about it that it turns personal & mean? (This could be applied to the above statement but could also apply to a totally different situation.)

*I am so into the Norah Jones "Come Away With Me" cd that I downloaded from iTunes. I can listen to it over & over & over! I also bought a Michael Buble cd from Hallmark the other day. You know, one of those where you can get it at a special price if you buy 3 cards. He's pretty good, too. Tony Bennett is also one I love! I think it's pretty obvious what kind of music I like.

*I got an email from my cousin, Angela yesterday. She is busy planning her wedding for this summer. I am so happy for her. It seems like just yesterday that she was just a little girl. I am so thankful & happy that we're getting closer thanks to the easy communication of the Internet!

*I'm currently reading Jan Karon's "Light from Heaven." The last in the Mitford series. Sadly, I'm not getting into it as much as I thought I would. I think I was on the wait list at the library for over 2 months. I will finish it!

*Ebay. I've been buying & selling for quite some time now. Sometimes I make good money & sometimes not. Some friends are getting into the selling aspect now, too. They are so excited! I hope they sell good stuff and make good money. It's easy to get excited and get ahead of yourself and end up spending more on fees than what you make because stuff doesn't sell. Hopefully, they'll have good fortune with it. It is fun!

*Remember to be happy and count your blessings. 5 of mine:
God's love, faithfulness & grace
church family
Those may be general, but they are blessings, so why not mention them?!? What are yours for today?