Friday, May 29, 2009

Stink! Stank! Stunk! .... and... Last Day of School!

Oh my! What a month. Please tell me it's over. No? Not yet? I guess even if it was I still haven't gotten any guarantees from God that June will be any better but I'm praying it will be. It just seems like it has been one inconvenience, injury or impossible schedule after another.

Today it is this:

In a very annoying little box that won't go away or when it does it reappears 1 minute later and sometimes is accompanied by his little friend in a talking bubble that says something else about viruses and cautions. The annoying little box says, and I quote,: "Trojan. Wincod - Trojan Found!..... Trojan. Wincod is a Trojan horse that displays message boxes and modifies settings on the compromised computer. ..... (buttons): Block or Ignore." This is all generated by a "program" (and I'm using this term cautiously since it very nearly downloaded itself onto my computer this afternoon) called Personal Antivirus. This particular "program" has hidden itself somewhere in my computer and, try as I might, cannot find the stupid thing to "Uninstall" it!!!!! One or both of these little messages are on the screen at all times and I am very suspicious that THEY are the virus and are currently eating up my hard drive, stealing all passwords and withdrawing the money in my bank account to buy themselves all manner of bits and bytes and such as I sit here typing!!!!

But this also happened today:

Last day of school! First day of Summer Break! Hip! Hip! Hooray!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Favorite Song

This song "Heavenly Day" by Patty Griffin is my current favorite. This is my Wednesday Unwrapped gift. Thanks to Holly for cluing me into this one.

Ho Hum


I feel like I'm really behind today. I didn't post anything over the weekend or even for Tuesdays Unwrapped. Not that any of you are on pins and needles anxiously awaiting a new post or anything. And yesterday I thought of all sorts of cute, witty, little things to say while .... (gosh! now I can't even remember why I actually got dressed!) I was getting ready to go somewhere.... Oh! Wait! Now I remember! ....(I digress) .... but I didn't post it right away and now I can hardly remember even one. Oh well. It's not important, right? Right!

Yesterday, Brian had to take Lady Bug to the doctor to find out what might be wrong with her arm since she fell at the playground Saturday afternoon. We had taken an x-ray at the office and knew she hadn't broken her collarbone again, thank goodness, but she was saying it was still hurting her and not using her right arm even on Monday. I'm glad I didn't have to take her; I don't think I could have held her while she kicked and screamed from the doctor messin' with her arm. Unfortunately, I will be the one that has to take her to a pediatric orthopaedist on Friday to determine if her shoulder is dislocated. Yeah, that sounds like tons of fun.

While they were at the doctor, Baby Bug and I went in search of a dresser or closet "solution". The crib and changing table have officially "left the building!" But that means that I need something better than the laundry basket to put his clothes in. The dresser that matches his bed is currently in the big boys' room so I'm looking for a bigger dresser for them. I asked June Bug on Monday if he would rather have his bed be black, red or blue. "Black." he replied. I then asked Cuddle Bug, with fingers crossed, which color he would prefer (I didn't think it would be fair to let the oldest have the sole decision on how their shared room would look). "Black." Whew! It will be much easier to decorate if they match. So finding a dresser should be easy since I will probably be painting it black to match the beds. Goodwill had a great deal for $22.98 and I'm hoping it will still be there in the morning when I return. Wish me luck! I've never painted furniture before.

So, before heading out the door to Goodwill, Wal-Mart, Target and then Steak 'N Shake, I slapped on my favorite cap, some clean clothes and the minimum requirement of shellac (a.k.a. make-up). I love this hat! It has hidden thousands of bad hair days and days that might have otherwise been good hair days had I actually felt like wrestling with it.

Clearly not a picture from yesterday.
Brian, June Bug, Cuddle Bug and I in Tybee Island in November '04.

So there's my post for the day. Random enuf for ya?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lost: 1 brain; Reward for finding: 1 Lifetime of Gratitude

Oh my goodness! I very nearly forgot to go to Cuddle Bug's Kindergarten graduation/luau! At 8:44, while quilting/drinking coffee/watching Dora/totally relaxing thinking I have all day to do as I please, it suddenly dawned on me that I had to be at the school at 9:30! That gave me only 30 minutes to take a shower, get dressed, style my hair, get Baby Bug dressed and find socks and shoes that might pass for matching Lady Bug's outfit! Don't forget 50 plates and 50 forks, the camera, my phone and a diaper and wipes just in case! And do it all successfully without screaming like a woman possessed at my poor little children who are wondering why their mother has jumped up and dashed across the room yelling, "OH! NO! OH! NO! OH! NO!"

*****
Hooray! 3 minutes in the shower, 4 minutes to do makeup, 10 minutes to do hair, 3 minutes to iron and get dressed, 2 minutes to find lavender socks and shoes to match, 3 minutes to change a diaper and dress a two-year old, 28 seconds to brush my teeth, 2 minutes to grab purse/camera/plates and spoons (no forks), 1 minute to buckle in babies and approximately 3 minutes of running around the house in between each thing and we were out the door in 31 minutes!!

Thank goodness I made it or I would have missed out on his hula dancing and "air surfing". Entirely too cute!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May Mania

What a month! I hate to wish my life away but I have to admit that I can hardly wait to make it to June this year. What's worse is that with 4 kids in the house I know the next 14 - 16 years are going to hold the same thing for the manic month of May. It's already been a very busy 3 weeks and in the last 10 days this month we only have:
  • 6 more days of school
  • 2 class parties
  • 2 baby showers
  • 2 Sunday mornings of preschool duty
  • 1 Sunday School "get together"
  • 1 soccer pizza party
  • 1 Ladies' Bible Study and
  • 1 Kindergarten graduation luau left to go!
Then, after all that, maybe we will have more time for some of this:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Before and After

This post is to explain where the girl in my profile picture went:
For three years (2006 - 2009) I've been growing my hair long. The first reason is because I always grow it out while I'm pregnant because I lose so much hair after having a baby and longer hair hides that I've got a receding hairline.

Me in 2007 with Landon and my amazing doc, Dr. Rob Dyar, of No. Cobb Women's Health.
This was already after 9 months of growing it.

The second reason is that this time, since it was already a little longer to start with, I decided I would try to grow it long enough to donate it to Locks of Love or Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program that make wigs for children with Alopecia and women going through chemo. It took me three years to get it long enough to donate! But by then it was in horrible shape. Tons of split ends and very thin. What's very funny to me is that I was getting so many compliments on it even though I thought it looked horrible. But I had gotten so bored with my look (I'm used to doing lots of different styles with it) that I went and got high-lights - Oops! Big No! No! You can't donate high-lighted hair. I just couldn't take it any longer. The sitting on it and getting sticky baby fingers in it and it's about to get hot. This is Atlanta after all! {Have I given enough excuses?} Patience is still one of those fruits of the Spirit that God is growing in me. It may take awhile; I hope I have enough patience to wait for it! ; )

Me before I left to go get it cut. This is the longest it has ever been.

Well, I went last Saturday to the wonderful, talented, pampering Van Michael salon in Buckhead and told them I wanted it short and fun and edgy. Brian got me a gift certificate for Mother's Day because I've been wanting to go there for years; they have an impeccable reputation and it is well-deserved, let me tell you! I took them a picture of what I had in mind and told them to tweak it so that it suited me. I didn't want the color to go this dark (it would have been too harsh on me and awful to grow out) but I did want one section underneath to be a bright color.Juan did my color, Raena is his assistant and DJ (just back from the Miami salon) did my cut. Mwah!!! Big kisses to all of you because I think you did a fabulous job! My only regrets are that it couldn't actually be donated and that I didn't have someone take pictures of the process and the way that DJ had styled it. I was so excited about the way it was turning out that I didn't think to ask someone to do that for me. Oh well. There's always the next time, right? And believe-you-me, there will be a next time!

I didn't realize, until after it was all done, how much I had missed having short hair. This suits my personality so much better!!! I kind of feel now like a little part of me had gotten kind of lost in that long hairstyle (or lack of it). Now, you can "psycho-analyze" me all you want. That I did this just to get attention or something silly like that but, honestly, I feel like I haven't been letting myself have very much fun lately in my life and it was time to "kick things up a notch!" Consider the notch "kicked up!" I love it! Besides, I've been talking about doing something fun with it for about four years now and Andy Andrews puts it brilliantly in his latest book The Noticer:

"Five seagulls are sitting on a dock. One of them decides to fly away.
How many seagulls are left?"
"Well.... four."
"No," Jones responded. "There are still five. Deciding to fly away
and actually flying away are two very different things.
"Listen carefully to me. Despite popular belief to the contrary, there is
absolutely no power in intention. ... "

Of course, I realize cutting my hair is a very small decision in the grand scheme of things but it does reflect how I want to approach my life. I want to stop talking about doing things and start actually doing them! What have you been talking about doing? Isn't it time to actually do it?!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Face photo

This is the photo that got the most votes on facebook and I agree that it's one of the best that I took yesterday. I only wish I had a way to submit one of my 3 all time favorites but those were taken pre-digital days and scanning them is just not "cuttin' the mustard." Whatever that means! I didn't do any editing to this one so I hope it will do "as is".

I love the I Heart Faces blog and hope you'll join in some of their challenges in the future!

"I am submitting this photo into the www.iheartfaces.com Blurb Book photo contest. I am granting I Faces permission to use my photo in a printed version of a book for commercial use and possibly advertising of a photo book on both the Blurb and I Faces web sites."

Silence is Golden.

This was one of my gifts today..... Push the Play button now:
Wait for it.... Wait for it...

video


Do you recognize what that is? No? Are you like me and haven't heard it in awhile? It's called,....(drum roll) ... Are you ready?! I know,... the suspense is killing you isn't it?

It's called "quiet"!!! A whole hour, no less! Big boys were at a neighbor's house instead of the other way 'round like it usually is and the little ones were napping. Aaaahhhh.... how nice.


Check out more Tuesdays Unwrapped moments at Emily's blog chatting at the sky. Just click the button and you're there!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The eyes have it!

I had so much fun watching a friend's children today! I think I took 50 pictures of them! Then I had a blast editing each one tonight. Once I started with cropping in close to one child's eyes I couldn't stop. What a way to focus in on the singular beauty of each of these faces!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What a day!

Webster's definition of bizarre: adj. strikingly out of the ordinary: as a. odd, extravagant, or eccentric in style or model; b: involving sensational contrasts or incongruities.

That's precisely how I would describe Tuesday afternoon. It started out fairly smooth: coffee, reading blogs, facebook, Anna with Brian at work, Landon happily playing/ watching T.V.. Went to lunch, as mentioned yesterday, with a long lost friend - Good Times! Until....

2:11 p.m. - Phone call from neighbor, single mom of 6 - 2 grown, 2 in high-school and 2 adopted from China (son, 6 yrs. old and daughter, 5 yrs. old). I ignored the first one because I figured she was calling to say Speech had been cancelled for her kids (both born with cleft palatte) and that her Kindergartner would need to come to my house that afternoon while she picked her daughter up from school. He comes over 3 days a week for a few minutes while she's picking her daughter up from pre-school so this is not unusual. But then it rang again. I went ahead and answered to see what was up.
Me: "Hello! What's up?"
Man's voice on phone: "Mrs. Gregg? This is Deputy "Such and Such" and your neighbor ** has asked me to contact you to come get her daughter from school." He's clearly asking her questions because I can hear her, the neighbor, talking in the background.
I had just pulled into my driveway and told him, "I don't think I could do that because I need to be home when my boys get home from school at 2:30." But he tells me that there is no one else who can come get her, Could I somehow make it? Looking in my rear view mirror, I see that another neighbor is home and told the officer that I could arrange for the boys to go there after they get off the bus and that I would be there shortly. I still have not been told why I need to pick the little girl up. Has there been an accident and my neighbor is hurt? I'm thinking she could not be in critical condition because I hear her talking. And the deputy also asks me to contact her oldest daughter, who works in Atlanta, to come and get the kids from me but doesn't have a number with which to contact her, just the name of the school she works at. ???? What in the world is going on?
2:20p.m.- Drop by neighbor's house to ask her to meet the boys at the bus stop and let them play there until I get back; my boys and neighbor #1's kindergartner, and she graciously asks to watch my little ones while I go get the neighbor's daughter. Landon is asleep in the van but Anna stays with 2nd neighbor.
2:25p.m.- Call 411 to get number for oldest daughter and tell her what's going on... or, at least, that I don't know what's going on but that I'm getting the kids and they'll be with me and where the older high-school kids are and when they'll be home. She, the oldest daughter, says she gets off from work at 3:00 but will come as soon as she gets off.
At this point, I'm not entirely sure where I'm going (just going on directions from deputy) and I'm expecting to pull up to an accident scene when I get there.
When I get close, I see that it is just her car and the police car. No accident. I pull into the driveway of the church/school and got out. Officer is in his car. I point up to the church and he does too. Okay? So, I'm guessing that the 5 yr. old is still there at the school and I need to go in and get her???? Back in van, up to church. Go in, doors unlocked. Lights out, no one around. Where is the daughter?? What is going on? Back in the van, down to the "scene". Deputy walks up to my van and asks to see my license so he knows who he's giving the daughter to. Wrecker pulls up to tow away neighbor's car.
Deputy tells me, "You can go talk to her if you like; they're in my car."
Landon is awake by now and starts crying when I walk away but I didn't want to take him with me; I don't know what I'm walking into. When I get to the car, the neighbor is in handcuffs (!!!) and both she and the little girl are crying hysterically! She's still not offered any explanation; - just that "she's not a bad person and she doesn't know what to do or why this is happening, please take care of my kids, it's all a big mistake, etc., etc.." So, I take the little girl and try to calm them both down and tell her that I'll take care of them until she gets this worked out. By this time, my head is spinning!
The poor, little thing can not be consoled.
On the way home, neighbor #2 calls to inform me that neighbor #1's kindergartner didn't get off the bus. ????
2:45p.m. - Call school. Asked if they have him. Yes! Thank goodness! Tell them I have his sister and the deputy "has" his mom.
Office: "You mean arrested?!"
Me: "I guess so!" Can I come get him since she asked me to get his sister?
No, I'm not on "the list"; they'll have to call someone on the list. Okay. Head home.
Go to neighbor #2's house to pick up my other three kids. Neighbor #1's child is still crying. School calls back to ask where the oldest daughter works since they can't get a hold of her on any other number provided.
3:00p.m. - Finally, get home with 3 out of 6 (my oldest two stayed at neighbor #2's house to play a little longer). Neighbor's daughter quickly stops crying once we're at my house. Whew!! Plays happily with my kids for an hour while we wait to hear what's happening.
4:00p.m - Oldest daughter arrives to pick her up but still offers no explanation. ???

My head is reeling? Is yours?

Turns out,... neighbor got pulled over for speeding but her information is not in the insurance database and got arrested for not having proof of insurance even though she had her insurance card!!! She has insurance but the crazy guy wouldn't call her insurance company to verify this until he hauls her into the station!

Now you tell me... Is this absurd or what? Was all this necessary when it could have been cleared up with one simple phone call?!

Ay yie yie!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lunch with my friend


Weeeellll.... I'm just getting to my "Tuesdays Unwrapped" post because my Tuesday was quite THE event (I'm putting this very mildly, by-the-way). More about this maybe when I can wrap my brain around those events.

Anyhoo, I was able to have lunch with a friend who I haven't seen in a of couple years and had a great time catching up with her a little bit. I love that facebook brought us back together! How else would I have been able to find her? Happy Birthday, Mandy! I love ya, gal! Thanks for putting up with my sleepy-head children.

Anna gathered rocks from off the patio and Landon drove his trucks all over. Neither one of them ate even one bite; oh well, more pizza for me right? (not necessarily a good thing!)

Believe it or not, Anna took this picture of Mandy and I!
I think she's going to turn out to be an excellent photographer.
What do you think Coleen?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Mom,

My card to you today said that words can not adequately describe what I feel inside but sometimes it is necessary to try. So I'll try...

Thank you! For who you were when I was a little girl, for who you are now and for who you are becoming. You are my example of an open heart. You give sacrificially and without reserve; especially to me. I'm so spoiled by you! You are an example to me about when and where to set priorities and boundaries and goals. You have been a rock - faithful and dependable and consistent. You can be Jell-O too, though! Fun and flexible! You have been a shoulder to cry on and a friend to laugh with.

I love you so much!
Happy Mother's Day!



Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

Spring is my absolute favorite season! I am so thrilled when it warms up enough to roll the windows down in the car. Why is this probably my favorite thing about spring? Beats me! But it is the first thing I look forward to starting in February.

This is how yesterday looked... Rain! Rain! go away...
(how much more until we can officially call the drought over?)
So I went back in the house and did some pouring of my own...


And now today looks like this...
And this...
And here is someone else who is loving this beeeautiful day!


And without the rain we wouldn't have this...


So I'm very happy for the rain. And I'm nearly giddy to have met one of our new tenants... She's not exactly thrilled to have met me, though.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesdays Unwrapped

This is my gift for today: the honeysuckle in the backyard next to the playset. I only wish I could send that aroma via the internet! So much better than the very nasty sour smell that was in the van all weekend. Halelujah! Brian finally discovered where it was coming from - one of Anna's cups of chocolate milk was hiding somewhere. I've looked like a crazed bloodhound on my hands and knees with my nose to the floorboard searching for the culprit for several days. Unfortunately, it means the smell has now travelled to the kitchen sink.

Hmmmm... maybe I'll go swing for awhile...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Update on My Weekend Retreat


Well, I'm finally going to post about my weekend retreat I went on two weekends ago. K.D. says she has been waiting for it so here goes. Though, I'm not promising any coherence in this post since I woke up feeling a bit dizzy and had some very strange dreams and, of course, now there is a child in the office with me playing with a LeapPad toy so, if there are random comments like, "Touch the green GO circle..." or "McQueen was in a hurry to get to California for the tie-breaking race." then just ignore them.

I have been to youth camps all my life and really didn't want this experience to be like that. Of course, that will be entirely up to me. I did NOT come home and throw away all my cassette tapes of Madonna and Journey so we're off to a good start! ; )

I think what I learned most was what "service" really looks like. And it was eye-opening! It really is about giving and giving and not expecting anything in return, including credit or recognition. Just giving to someone and loving them because we should. Because that is exactly what my Savior has done for me and does for me every day. He gave Himself to me. Not because I was deserving or because I could do anything to pay Him back but because of who He is! He is so good!

We ate such yummy food and so much of it! I'm sure I put on 3 pounds while I was there but I don't want to confirm it by getting on the scale.

There were some sweet times of praise and I met some WONDERFUL women and can hardly wait to see them again and to meet their families! We were supposed to get together this past weekend but that was put on hold because of our sickies. Hopefully, we will get to see each other very soon.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Perspective

We have had kind of a bumpy week. Monday Landon was ill, Tuesday was Anna's turn and last night Cameron woke up with a fever. He is feeling much better this morning but is obviously tuckered out... or just bored. I don't let them play video games on sick days - don't want them enjoying a day off school too much. ; ) I'm so thankful that each of them has recovered within or less than 24 hours and that they are rarely sick.

Although it hasn't been the easiest week I've ever had it helps to remember that my life is extremely blessed and some of those reminders have come in the form of blogs posted by a team from Compassion International in India this week.
- The LPM Blog
- Bring the Rain

Another reminder is from Stacy Cochran who, with God's strength, has been coping with her baby girl's Mitochondrial disease and now, this past week, with her older son being in pain from a virus in his bones.
-Megan's CarePage

Please join me in praying for each of these people.

Thank you, Father, for a clear perspective.