Friday, January 30, 2009

They are having a BABY!!

I am so excited! My sister-in-law just announced that they are 11 weeks pregnant. During the last few years there has always been at least two sisters pregnant at the same time. (We buy Ozarka water... so beware). And it seems that the pregnancy epidemic trend has not been broken. We thought that Kristen was going to have to be pregnant alone, but Karyn has come to her rescue. (Danna & I have are out of the game).

My Baby Brother

His Beautiful Family

Little Baby Dodson will be my 11th (yes, you read the correctly, eleventh) niece or nephew. The oldest kiddo is 4 years old. I love that they are all so close in age and that we all live so close together. We now have enough cousins to have an official soccer team!!

Not a Word

When I was in school my dad would always send me flowers on my birthday. It made me feel so special (and a bit embarrassed but 100% worth it)! Corey is such a sweet Daddy. It made my heart melt when I realized that he was sending Lauren flowers for her birthday. We were eating lunch at a restaurant and she was playing a game with her brother while I was ordering our lunch. As Don from the flower shop was approaching her, silence came over her. She didn't know what to say or why this guy was handing her 4 beautiful pink roses. She was in awe.

When either of our kids celebrate a birthday it is a bittersweet moment. I am so excited for them and for the new milestones that they reach, but I am sad that it is all happening so fast. It is hard to cherish the moments when they seem to pass us by so quickly. I try to capture each and every moment.

She turned 4 years old this month.

I can honestly say that I did not expect this reaction but the flowers totally rendered her speechless... for nearly ten minutes. That's a record!! She loved her flowers and still sleeps with her new teddy bear. When I ask her about the bear (still unnamed), she explains that's the bear that tells me that Daddy loves me. I have a feeling she will always remember her first flowers and she will cherish this little teddy bear.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Random Things

1. I wouldn’t watch ANY television if I didn’t have TiVo. Before TiVo I rarely even turned my television on. I enjoy watching funny shows. I love to laugh!
2. I love, love, LOVE my babies! Through them God has filled my heart & made me whole.
3. I still have the sense of humor of a 12 year old. I think fake farts are hilarious… I can do without the stink!
4. My husband is asleep in my son’s bed again… I’m beginning to wonder if Corey really wanted to buy the CARS bed for himself. He’s still a big kid.
5. I am a huge romantic.
6. I enjoy the little things… to me the little things ARE the big things.
7. I find myself really respecting people that do things to help others when they don’t think anyone is paying attention. My respect for them grows when they don’t boast about it and make a show of it… it makes me believe that they did it for the right reasons & actually not for themselves.
8. I wouldn’t mind the miracle of having one more child. It would be a HUGE miracle because Corey is officially finished.
9. I love to travel… I feel most alive when visiting a new place and meeting new people.
10. BC (Before children) I was very adventurous. I enjoyed sky diving.
11. Now – AC (After Children) I am so conservative that it scares me. I hardly feel like the same person. I’m still looking for that happy medium.
12. I am looking into taking photography classes. I want to improve what little skills that I have.
13. I haven’t been rock climbing in 9 years but I still get excited when I see a rock wall or go hiking & see a rock built for climbing.
14. I giggle when I hear a comment that wasn’t intended to be dirty but could easily pass as dirty… I know I need to grow up (it’s that 12 y.o. humor thing again).
15. I get extremely frustrated when I see someone taking advantage of another. I always tend to want to take care of that person (the underdog) & make things right.
16. Breakfast is my favorite meal, although I very rarely eat breakfast.
17. I am so thankful to God for the grace that He has had over my life, that I will gladly spend the rest of my life showing Him how thankful I am! I pray that I make the right choices to do His will.
18. I am TERRIBLE about answering emails. I strive to get better… wish me luck.
19. Even the brief sighting of an organized home brings me lots of joy. When it’s in my home… It’s ALMOST as good as foreplay.
20. My sweet son makes me feel more loved than I ever have felt before.
21. My daughter’s loving heart and creativity renews my faith daily.
22. I love clothes but I DON’T enjoy clothes shopping!
23. I love music & going to concerts.
24. I miss going dancing.
25. I would love to protect my kids from ever feeling any kind of hurt. I have to keep reminding myself that God sometimes will use that pain & those moments to mold us & encourage us to grow.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One Day at a Time

For the past few weeks, I've been avoiding "personal posts". Since I am new to this I honestly don't know how much is "too much" and every time I sit down with my laptop all my thoughts go to this "personal" topic. The last thing that I want to do is make anyone feel uncomfortable, but I have to get this out... and since I don't talk about this at home with family & friends, nor do I want to, I will open up to you, Internet.

I'm Straight SKEERD! (That's scared for those of you not from the midwest or the south).

A few weeks ago I have had some health issues arise and right now I am left with lots of questions. I have more doctor appointments scheduled but until then my mind is more than just a little dizzy with all these unanswered questions rolling around.

On the bright side, I have made it a point to embrace each day.

My Princess

My Protector

Friday, January 23, 2009

Embrace Each Day

Due to some Oklahoma Bloggers having a night out (Thank you Dawn's Diversions for organizing it), I have been introduced to some new blogs (new to me anyway) and one that I enjoyed immediately was Having a Ball. She posted a video that seems to have already made it around the Internet and somehow slipped by me.

It seems that God has been knocking at my door (& yelling through it ) lately, trying to encourage me in ever so subtle ways to EMBRACE EACH DAY!! This video was sending the same message and I got the message and I think that I just might be able to retain it for more than 48 hours. (That has been the routine in the past... I get the message, embrace, & slow down for about 2 days then life slowly, but surely, returns to normal).

I really have so much to say on this thought but I think that Lauren said it best as we stepped outside this morning to go visit her cousin.

"Hey Mom, look at this whole pretty world!
(Getting louder)
It's Pretty!! IT'S PERFECT!
(Hands held out high)

I love her excitement and enthusiasm. Her zest for life and for this incredible world that God has put us on encourages me each and every day.

Of course this remarkably profound statement was followed by this one as we were then driving down the street behind a bright yellow van.

"Hey Mom, look at the van in front of us. It's not orange and it's not yellow, It's HOT yellow!!"

What can I say... it works for pink.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In the Future??

I am a huge Apple fan, but still really enjoyed this video. It touched me... or at least my warped sense of humor. I needed a laugh today. :-)

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tackle it Tuesday

I have a million projects to choose from but this one definitely helps clear the clutter and preserve memories at the same time.

Often I have heard mothers ask, "What they should do with their child's artwork?" I hope that some may appreciate this suggestion.

I am the type that has a hard time discarding any of the kids artwork because I can see thier developing stages in all of them. So what I have done rather than keep ALL the artwork is this.

1. Scan the artwork, schoolwork, awards, certificates, and save a few of my favortite pictures of them throughout the year, as well as a picture of their school teacher for that year. I save all these documents in one specific folder so that when it is time I can upload it all at once. (You can also upload it along the way and write about the art and date it was made, including photos... I aspire to do it this way in the future).

2. At the end of the school year (or preschool in my case), I upload the artwork to shutterfly. Using thier photobook product I can create a photobook (or digital scrapbook) of the artwork and pictures of that school year.

3. I do save 10 (ten) pieces of artwork in a SUPER-large manilla envelope and store that in a box. I will have thirteen envelopes when they graduate. I used to keep their artwork in a binder in clear plastic sleeves but as they get older the art seems to get bigger and for me this has been a great way to preserve the art & memories without extra totes and taking up lots of storage space.

Click on either of these two links to get started. In August I will have Lauren's preschool /MDO artwork book completed and will share it with you! I hope this is tip useful to you.

Free shipping on orders $50+ with promo code: SHIP50 - limited time only
Savings of up to 50% on our site wide sale offers - limited time offer
Share and Get Free prints at Shutterfly - expires 2/13/09
Free prints with a share site - expires 2/13/09.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Heart Faces ~ Kids

I love taking photographs and I am hoping that I get better at it. I found a great site that hosts contests for all who enjoy photography at all levels. If you are into photography take a look at their website: This is the picture that I am using to enter the kids contest. Wish me luck.

I absolutely love this picture of Lauren, my bald baby, playing in the bath before church at 10 months old. Just watching her have a blast splashing the water & seeing the joy in her eyes. Such a simple pleasure!!!!


Lauren was having a blast prancing and dancing around the room to one of cable's music stations. I don't remember what she did after this picture was taken (I've probably blocked it from my memory), but yes that is a VERY mischievous grin on her face.


Thank God It's Monday!!

I am exhausted! Throughout the week, life is busy with the kids but then when the weekend hits time seems to go into hyperdrive. I always thought that I was a pretty social person... until I met Corey. Between the two of us & the plans that we both make with our families & friends we are rarely home, just the four of us. I honestly can't remember... definitely more than two weeks, maybe three.

We both enjoy catching up with friends and finding out what is going on in thier lives or just visiting and joking around with family, but I don't think that either of us hold a candle to our little super-socialite daughter. Each day begins with, "Mommy who are we going to see today?" It's not about where we go, or what we do, or the experience because to her it is ALL about the relationship.

I have to say I'm sure that this is one of those times that God is pinching me saying "See, see... she gets it". So often I get so consumed with my LISTS (I love them) and tackling projects so that I can make our lives easier, cleaner, and more organized, that I forget what life is all about!

I have to stop and remind myself, "Self, if you were going to have a conversation with God is He going to ask you did you keep a clean house? ... NO

Is He going to ask me, "Did you get your house organized & make it a HOME?"... NO

Is He going to ask me, "Is your house decorated and aesthetically pleasing?"... Unfortunately NO.

I know that He is going to ask, if I loved others, if I cared for others (and not from a distance), if I took the time to listen and be there for them, and more than likely if he is going to ask about anything at all, it will be about the individual relationships in my life and about the time that I invested in each of them. What I did, and how I could make them better.

I know deep down that God could care less about my sock drawer and whether or not it is organized, even if it does make life easier when it's time to do laundry... if organizing the drawer is taking time away from the time that I should be investing into a relationship whether it be with my kids, my husband, my family, or friends. I know that I should pick up the phone and reach out more than I do and I guess I should thank my daughter for bringing that to my attention. God definitely knows there are times when I would rather just relax and read a book. While organization, cleaning, and reading are wonderful I probably shouldn't be doing them at the expence of a realtionship. I wonder if there is really time for everything?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Don't Want You to Miss A Thing!!!

Evan is so sweet & thoughtful. He is so tender that sometimes it seems surreal.

Today he just finished with his snacks & was heading upstairs and began yelling, "Hey Mom, I Wuv You!"

To which of course I replied, " I LOVE you too"

But it didn't stop there" HEY MOOOOM, I WUUUUUV YOU, Come and See"

I walked around the corner beaming and expecting one of his huge bear hugs. I was met with lots of laughter and this...

Evan (Laughing): See my food mommy, do you see it?

And instead of the hug I was pinched.... :-)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This post comes with a warning label

WARNING: for those of you that have a weak stomach, here is your warning to pull up the trash can.

Corey thinks it's absolutely funny & is almost in tears every time he relays the story, but his stomach is made of steel.

Due to our ever-changing Oklahoma weather Corey's sinuses have been terrible for the last two months. He has tried everything and unfortunately did not receive any relief. Until about two weeks ago a patient walked in his door and told him about Mucinex nasal spray. I don't know who this patient is, but I envision them with a hallow and wings. If that kind patient is a reader, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Anyway, while the spray has not removed his allergies it definitely has helped him to breath. The next morning, Corey was using the nasal spray and after carefully studying him Lauren asked, "Daddy what are you doing?"

Daddy: I am using this so I can breath better.

(After seeing visions of Lauren putting things up her or Evan's nose so they can breath better, I felt the need to make sure that she understood that this was special medicine).

Mom: Daddy's nose is stuffed up and he uses this special medicine to get the boogies out so he can breath.

Lauren took a brief second to process this then she turned to us & said,"You mean, so he doesn't have to use his finger?"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Category 5 Tornado

Yeah, it is bad... very bad. The category 5 tornado has touched down in our home then rolled around and thrashed & rolled some more. Before anyone starts checking the weather channel I need to be perfectly clear that it was NOT an actual tornado. We are in the middle of rotating our house. And I say this with my eyes completely loaded with tears of sadness (not that my house is in shambles but having to use the word "rotating".

It's funny how songs, places, and even words are associated with different times in our lives. I can't hear the song "Jesse's Girl" without smiling and thinking of my awesome friends & memories that I cherish. I can't drive by a boat-filled lake without thinking of wonderful summers spent with my friends & family that were filled with laughter. And I can't hear the word "rotating" without thinking of countless hours spent in my dad's garage trying to clean the garage, but there was a catch; we had received STRICT orders to NOT throw anything away. Due to the rules attached to cleaning the garage, my brothers, sisters, & myself renamed the dreaded chore to "rotating the garage". Does anyone know how hard it is to actually clean something if you are not allowed to throw away 20 years of accumulated trash? If you can't throw things away & actually clean then the chore NEVER ends. In looking back at the other parenting methods that my dad implemented, I realize now that he probably did this on purpose. He probably had us forever cleaning a space that could never really be cleaned to keep us busy. (Yes Dad, if you are reading this be forewarned the waterline story will be blogged someday. And I love you).

Needless to say my memories of sweating like a pig while rotating the garage in the hot June -August summers isn't one of my fondest memories (Yes Dad, I can hear you laughing from HERE). So when I think of rotating my own house, I can feel chills down my spine & my eyes swell with tears. When we first moved into our house only two years ago, our kids were not old enough or capable (although they would have tried) to use the stairs so I moved them into bedrooms downstairs like any other paranoid over-protective parent would. I do realize that MANY homes only have one bedroom downstairs and all the youth bedrooms are upstairs. I also realize that all the children in those homes grew to be happy healthy adults but at the time I couldn't do it. What I found humorous is that when I stated that it was time to make the transition, it was my husband who didn't want them to move upstairs NOW. Now they are totally capable, but he was concerned. It felt really odd being the one who was positive that everything would be fine and and watch him be over-protective. Usually it's him saying "oh, the kids are in the street... it's OK honey, they are fast, they can dodge that car". And me: SUCKING ALL THE OXYGEN out of the two mile radius surrounding me as I gasp when I see anything that could potentially hurt them. (I am over-exaggerating a bit here... well about Corey anyway). I am getting better about this due to Corey, however this definitely proves to me that God does put the people you NEED in your life to become the person that He wants you to be. (No, I don't think that God wants me to constantly look for ALL the DANGERS, I do believe that He wants me to have a little more faith that He will take care of things... despite things from my past).

This is a big move... for us as parents, we have to admit that our babies are growing up and our children are ecstatic about the change; they think they are so BIG now. We have experienced a little attitude from our Evan, who is 2. All it takes is a soft whisper about his new room and he begins to strut around the house and talk about his big boy room. It does bring me joy (and laughter) when someone who is soliciting comes to the door and the kids talk their ear off about their new rooms. I have to draw the line when they want to invite them in so that they can show them. Usually the sales person is grateful for the exit at this point so they don't push for any sales.

We actually began the transition on Christmas eve. Yea we are those parents, we incorporated moving them into their big kid beds with Christmas gifts. Well for all that we put into it... it was a HUGE gift. We didn't exactly throw a mattress down and say Merry Christmas, I built & decorated and my husband drove HOURS to pick up our bargain purchases. So for the BIG DAY we moved everything around as much as possible so that at least two of the rooms were completed.

Now as for the rest of the house, well let's just say it is a work in progress. Let me tell you what the transition (I refuse to call it rotating) actually includes; we moved two bedrooms and the kids bathroom, and playroom upstairs. Then we moved a guest bedroom, bathroom, his office, scrapbook room (15 years worth of supplies), and family room (Corey's video game room) downstairs. The only rooms that remained as they were would be the kitchen, our bedroom, and our bedroom and MY OFFICE was the catch-all room. Sadly, it reminded me of what the garage used to look like, but with prettier walls of course. I couldn't even get to my laptop. However, this did provide motivation. It motivated me to work, clean & organize faster so that I could catch up with all that was happening in your lives. I have missed my blogging friends.

We have definitely made headway in most of the rooms. We still have to paint the guest room, do some work in the closets, move a few more pieces into the attic, CLEAN my office (I need more than just a path, and with each day it is all improving. Consequently, I can say I will not ever rotate my house again. It honestly felt like moving without the boxes, but I am glad that an end is in sight.

On the bright side, I will have two years worth of Tackle-It Tuesday's blogs if I break down each project & take pictures of the progress.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Farewell 2008

I am still a baby blogger ( I have only been blogging for a month and a half ) so I don't have many posts to choose from, but Lauren & Evan helped me choose a few favorites this morning. Looking back at some of these has reminded me just how lucky I am to have these two amazing kids that keep me laughing everyday.

The Pregnancy Epidemic
"About six months ago... It's a question that every parent fears. "Where do babies come from?" For me, when the question arose it felt like something out of a horror movie. My heart began to pound like the hooves of a racehorse ..."

What A Day
"Every day is definitely an adventure with my little ones. I never know what to expect next, but I can always count on being amused by them. Today was a typical ..."

Aquaphor, The Cure All (Another Funny)
"As always when we go anywhere, it seems we found a line. Lauren doesn't mind this, she enjoys meeting new people and looks at these lines as a great opportunity. I was proud... they were actually behaving in line today. After a few minutes, the man standing in front of me ..."

We Are Not Worthy
"A few nights ago, the moon was so breathtaking and bright that the night sky was a beautiful blue. The roads were busy with people traveling home from work but ..."

Our Football Fans
"However, every time a touchdown was scored Daddy (Grandpa) jumped up, scooped up Lauren & babies, and did his victory dance. After the fourth touchdown in the first third of the game she has given up on "house" and broke out the mardigras beads..."

Let's Make A Deal
"Don't get me wrong, this IS an everyday occurance but today her reasoning and excuses are catching me off guard and making me laugh more than normal. I have ..."