Archive for June, 2008

Paint or Furniture

June 25, 2008

So, I am curious – what would you do?  If you were moving into a new house and had a limited budget, would you have the entire house painted OR keep the walls beige (it comes that way) and buy master bedroom furniture?  I am just wondering what you would do if this was your decision to make??

All along I planned to paint the entire house before we move in.  We got a quote today from a guy who can have it all painted in 24 hours (he has a big team of painters) before we move in.  Then Rick asked me if I would rather spend the money on painting or bedroom furniture for us.  Here is our bedroom furniture situation. . . we have a dresser/mirror, chest and one nightstand that I was given in high school from my great aunt (it had been hers) – so it is old.  We have no headboard at all.  The girls both have bed frames and mattresses, no headboards and we only have one chest.  We have been using some “makeshift” cubicles for clothes for a while.  Sounds pitiful, I know. . . but we have made it work.  I have been looking on Craigslist for white furniture for their rooms.  White is hard to come by.  I have a creative idea for a headboard for Addison and a friend who could help me make some little picket fence headboards for Ava Jane’s twin beds, if I want to.

Please give me your opinion on what you would do.  And if you have any great ideas or know of any great deals on some decent furniture, let me know that too.  I am really trying not to spend any more money on cheap furniture. . .  but  I know that the good stuff cost some bucks.  I am happy to have mis-matched pieces in the girl’s rooms, but would prefer a matching bedroom suite for our room.  Thanks for you input!

FABULOUS Weekend Update

June 22, 2008

We had a FABULOUS weekend! Mostly because Rick and I had a date night on Friday night while the kids spent the night with Nonni and Pops! We met my dad and step-mom at Centennial Park for the kid hand-off. My girls were soooo excited to see Nonni and Pops. Here are a few pics at the park


Rick and I had a wonderful dinner at J. Alexanders. I love that restaurant. Especially because you get great service. We laughed as we realized that the reason we probably never get good service is because we eat at places where our bill is usually always less than $20 and we always have some sort of coupon. hahaha! The service was impeccable and our meals were delicious. We ate and talked and laughed and had so much fun. After dinner we went furniture shopping! Yippee! We stopped by the Sprintz Tent Sale – nothing there. Then went to Electronic Express in Green Hills where the nicest older gentleman waited on us. We were looking at refrigerators and washer/dryers. He was so honest and gave us good recommendations that we totally trusted. We didn’t buy anything, but walked out and both said to each other that we would buy just about anything from this man. That’s how great he was. They work off of commission at that store, but he told us not to worry about buying from him. He said he was very blessed and wanted the shopping experience to be best for us. . . so if it was easier to buy from the store in Rivergate that was no problem. Now that is someone looking for for my best interest and not his own.

On our way home we stopped by Haverty’s. For some reason we have never even been in that store before. We were looking for dining room furniture. The one thing I have looked for in a house is a dining room so that we could entertain and have company. We have a dining room (for the first time) in our new house. I am more excited about that room than anything else. I have even prayed about dining room furniture that will be comfortable so that people will linger at the table. . . the conversation around a table is priceless. My sweet husband has told me that he wants to be sure that I get dining room furniture, including a china cabinet. I have beautiful china that I received for wedding gifts some 10 years ago and we have NEVER used it. . . I mean, some of it is still in the Castner Knott boxes (that ages me) that it came it. Can you believe that? We have just never had a place for it. So, anyway. . . Rick really wants me to have a dining room suite. I have looked around a lot and just haven’t seen much that really fits me. Well, I found it at Haverty’s. We looked and looked some more and got some prices and left the store right before they closed. Rick was ready to buy it right then, but I told him we needed to talk about it, pray about it, and sleep on it before making that kind of decision. When we came home I sat down with a calculator and ran some numbers. He laughed cause he knew that was the first thing I was going to do.

We got a great night’s sleep and even slept in on Saturday b/c we had no kids to run wake us up as soon as the sun came up! We lounged around and then got ready and went to have breakfast at Cracker Barrel. We talked some more about the furniture and what other needs we had for the house. After breakfast (which took a while since our service wasn’t up to par, once again) we went to Lowe’s to look at appliances and then to the Sears Outlet. We had a funny experience at the Sears Outlet. . . the young kid who helped us was making recommendations and telling us what he had in his house. . . he was trying so hard to be and sound professional, but he couldn’t have been older than 18! We thanked him for his time decided to come back another day to find a black refrigerator.

And then we did it! We went to Haverty’s and ordered the furniture.  I was about to hyperventilate. I HATE to make decisions and I kept second guessing myself and wondering if we really should buy this. . . did I really like it. . . should we spend the money. . . do we need more important things first. . . Rick assured me that this was it. We wrote a check and it was done! I was almost tearful as we left. . . thinking of how selfless my husband is. . . how much he loves me and wanted so badly for me to have this dining room suite. . . how he wants a nice big plasma tv like everyone else has, but how he put my desires first. I just love my husband. He is SO incredibly wonderful. It wasn’t the furniture that made me want to cry. . . but Rick’s wanting me to have it. . . and the fact that we can welcome people into our home and share our lives with them over dinner at the table. Have you ever noticed in the Bible that some of the most intimate conversations Jesus had with others was while they were eating? “Breaking bread” as they often called it back then. I prayed last night for many opportunities to share life with others as we dine together!

Haverty’s was followed by Walmart. hahaha! And then my dad called and said they were coming to meet us with the girls. We met them at Creekside mid-afternoon so that they could see the progress of our house. The girls loved showing them all the rooms. Then we took the girls swimming and grabbed Subway for dinner. The girls went to bed a little early since they had such a busy day. We were so grateful that they were able to spend time with dad and Karen and that we had a great date night and morning! Rick and I watched “The Bucket List” which I really liked. Rick bailed out during the last 30 minutes. . . I watched til the end and cried. I love a movie like that.

Today was church, which was great. My sister, Katie, was in town for a Southern Living at Home Convention, and came by to see us after church. She went with us to see the house and to swim this afternoon. The girls love Aunt Kate. Here they are playing at the pool.

We all came home and the adults took a little nap while the girls watch a movie during rest time. Kate left to go home to East TN, and we made dinner. After dinner, Rick went out to ride is motorcycle while the girls rode the Barbie jeep around the apartment complex. Whoo hoo! It felt great outside tonight. Again, with no naps for the kids, I put them down a little early and they went right to sleep. Rick is home and we are all tucked in here at our apartment, ready to start another week. It has been a fabulous weekend. Rick and I enjoyed our time alone together and the girls loved getting to be with grandparents. We all enjoyed visiting with Kate. I do love weekends. And this one was no exception. Quality time cannot be measured. It is priceless. And I am grateful!


Chalk It Up!

June 22, 2008

On Friday we went to the Goodlettsville Community Center for Chalk It Up!  This was a great free event where the kids all had numbered squares to draw whatever they wanted.  The chalk was provided and we had a great time.  They had some games “chalked” on the parking lot too. . . hopscotch, 4 square and more.  We went with our friends Baker and Cooper.  Here are some pics of the morning.

Ava Jane is drawing her daddy with his graduation cap and Addison is drawing a swimming pool.

Addison and Baker………………………………………All the kids and Ava Jane picking her nose.  Lovely!

All the kids were awarded a personal certificate and Addison even won a prize for “Best Effort”.  After the chalk drawings, we went to lunch at Chic-fil-A with our free coupons from VBS. (Thanks to the Hunley’s!)

It was a great, fun and best of all FREE activity for Friday!

Let’s Play Ball – Girlie Girl Style

June 20, 2008

Oh, you read the title correctly, my girls are playing ball. Well, t-ball that is! We signed them up through the parks department for a short 6 weeks of summer t-ball because it was inexpensive and not a long commitment. We thought this might be a good testing ground for this sport and others before we invest too much time and money. The “league” is for 4-5 year olds, so they both play together on the same team. They have been so excited even though they really don’t know too much about playing ball. Here they are before we left for the first practice.

Yes. . . they have hot pink ball gloves and bows in their hair! You didn’t think I would let them on that field looking like anything other than the girlie girls that they are, did you? But here is the best part (that I had nothing to do with). . .

Oh yes! Ruffle socks. I told the girls to go get some socks to wear with their tennis shoes and they both came out with the little white ruffle socks they wear to church in springtime. Have I trained these kids or what? I laughed so hard and let them keep them on! Now don’t laugh at our shoes. . . in the summer the only shoes we wear are sandals, crocs and flip-flops. Addison’s shoes are from school last year and Ava Jane had to go with the hot pink shoes b/c her white tennis shoes didn’t fit. And yes, these are tennis shoes. . . there is no way I was going out to buy some new shoes that will just be worn for six weeks for ball and will get extremely dirty. So for now, this is what we’ve got!

On the way to practice they both informed me that they already knew how to play ball. Interesting, since this is our first ball practice – EVER! So, I gave them the “listen to your coach – do what he says – don’t play in the dirt too much – and have a GREAT time” speech. They promptly replied with, “yes ma’am” in unison. So sweet. I didn’t realize it until after practice, but they neither one wanted to eat the mac and cheese (a favorite) that I fixed them before practice. They both said that their tummy hurt. Now I realize it was butterflies!!! Awww! I remember the first time I had butterflies before swim practice-my babies were nervous. Anyway. . . as we turned on the road to the park Addison said, “Mom, I have two things to say. First, you are going way too fast on this road,” to which Ava Jane chimed in, “and you will WIN a ticket from the policeman if you go to fast, mommy.” Did I hear her say WIN a ticket???   “And the second thing, mom,” Addison continued, “I am REALLY excited about playing ball!” I slowed down and realized that this was going to be a great night.

Notice that the bows have been replaced by hats. That is fine. We will be getting some bows to match our hats and game shirts – they can wear hats with a ponytail and a bow in the back. We will work in the bow somehow!! Here they are listening to Coach Josh.

Here are a couple of shots of the girls in action. Ava Jane is taking a practice swing.

and Addison is running the bases.

This little team is great because we know several of the kids on the team from church. That always making ball more fun. We have other friends on other teams that we will get to play, so it will be a big party on the field each and every week. This is what Ava Jane had the most fun doing. . .

Playing in the dirt! Doesn’t every little girl dream of it? Ava Jane does. She is a mess maker! By the time we left the ball park, her glove and hat were covered in dirt. Good thing I put them in play clothes. I do know that much about playing ball. No need to wear Kelly’s Kids and Chez Ami to the ballpark. Target play clothes work best. Well, it was one fun night for Addison and Ava Jane. We practice twice a week until games start and then we have 3 weeks of games (twice a week). That should be a hoot! You will have to check back – at least to see how cute my kids look on the field!

Writing Reviews

June 17, 2008

I mentioned once before that I am writing reviews for a local website. The purpose of the website is to help people searching for anything in Hendersonville, Goodlettville or Gallatin to be able to find it all in one place. There are new features being added and the shopping and restaurant reviews seem to be a hit. Everyone wants to know about where to shop and eat! Here is my latest shopping review. What I would like to know from YOU (specifically if you are in the Sumner County area) are these things:

1) What stores should I “review”?

2) Would anyone be interested in a comparison review of grocery stores (Kroger, Publix, Walmart) or drug stores (Walgreens, CVS, etc)?

3) If you thought the isurfsumner.com website would have updates on store sales or special deals, would you check it on a regular basis?

Leave your comments here or in the comment section for my current review.

Happy Shopping!

Father’s Day Weekend Wrap Up

June 16, 2008

Well, we have had a busy weekend with lots of swimming! My kids are turning into fish and we are only half-way through June. I love it. Friday afternoon we had Addison a 5 1/2 Birthday Party at the pool at Creekside. Since her bday is in January, she never gets any kind of outdoor party. So this year she decided to hold off until summer for a pool party. I let her pick the menu and it was ice cream sandwiches and Popsicles (she did not want a cake), cheese balls, pretzels and gummy worms. YUM! Wait, yum for the kids – yuck for the moms! It was fun to let her decide what she wanted to have and then just go with it! Very much NOT like me. . . but so much fun. The bummer is that it was raining all morning and just as kids started to arrive it was thundering. . . which meant NO swimming. So, everyone was out of the water. . . it was pouring down rain. . . and the kids are eating the snacks within the first 15 minutes of the party. Not exactly how I had it planned, but what are you going to do? We then opened presents (just to keep everyone occupied) and then we waited. . . and waited. . . and waited. The thunder was NOT letting up! I gave the moms the freedom to go since we still had to wait 30 minutes after the last thunder before we could swim. Several went ahead and left (which I would have too) and so we got out the party favors, which were noodles for the pool. The kids loved them. Then there was an all out noodle fight and they were flying and slapping them around. . . yikes! What had we started. Moms started to intervene and the noodles were eventually put down. Around 2:30 we were allowed back in the pool. Addison had a blast with the few friends remaining. She didn’t let the rain, thunder or anything ruin her party. She had a ball! I wish in so many ways that I could be more childlike.

After an afternoon of junk food we decided to eat some more unhealthy stuff and went to Arbys for dinner (yes, I had a coupon)! The kids were exhausted and were in bed asleep by 8:10. Yippee! Of course it wasn’t too long after that we were asleep too.

Saturday was great because it was raining and yucky and we stayed in bed and laid around forever! We NEVER do that and I loved it. I was stunned as I flipped the channels to see that Tim Russert of NBC news had died on Friday of a heart attack. I felt like I knew this man. I loved to watch Meet the Press on Sundays before church (when it came on that early). That show was a great connection for me with my secret political interest. I was just so sad that he had died. And the tributes that people were paying were incredible. So, I was a little glued to the tv for a while on Saturday morning. Once I got up and moving, I left to go do two mystery shops. Just another way I try to bring a little cash into the household! We had a neighborhood party at Creekside at noon and it was such fun. Centex (the builders) bought pizza and drinks and rented a huge bouncy slide and of course there was the pool. Even though the weather was not pretty, it was decent and we didn’t even get rained on. I love these neighborhood gatherings because we just keep meeting more neighbors. It is so exciting to me that we will live in a great neighborhood with oodles of kids and families. Thank you Jesus! Oh, and speaking of our house. . . we have been given a tentative closing date of August 1st. Please pray that we get in by that date if not earlier!

We took home some of the leftover pizza for dinner, had bathtime and put everyone to bed early. Again, it took no time to get everyone to sleep. I sat down and flipped on the tv. . . and there was one of my favorite movies – The Notebook. I watched it and cried for 30 minutes. Why do I do that to myself? Oh, I just love it. Such a sweet story with a great ending. Then off to bed with puffy eyes and a stuffy nose from crying. Oh well.

Sunday was DadFest at church where we celebrated dads! It was great. Rick’s dad came with us to church and Rick was thrilled.  After church, Rick went for a long motorcycle ride.  Kinda part of his father’s day gift.  He loves to ride, and although it scares me to death, it’s one of his favorite things.  The girls and I had lunch and played and napped.  Then we all headed to Old Hickory to cookout with some family friends, the Baskins.  We swam and played and the girls had a great time.  Don and Bev grilled steaks (yummy) and we enjoyed dinner with the family.  The Baskins were like my 2nd family growing up.  I babysat for them every Saturday for two years in high school.  I went on vacation with them every year to the beach and continued to babysit for them through some of my time in college.  Now their kids are all grown up (24, 23 and the twins are 19).  I have lots of memories at their house and it was fun to be there again.  They love our kids just like I love theirs!

That pretty much sums up our weekend.  Lots of swimming, huh?  Let me take just a minute to say Happy Father’s Day to my dad.  He is such a wonderful dad.  He is handsome and godly and kind and loves me so well.  He prays for me daily and for my husband and for my kids.  He calls and leaves messages singing silly songs for my girls.  He is always so encouraging both to me and to Rick.  I love you dad.  Happy Father’s Day!  And I can’t say Happy Father’s Day without saying it to my sweet husband too!  Rick is an unbelievable daddy.  Addison and Ava Jane love him “to the moon and the stars and the sun and back” as they like to say.  I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband and father to my kids.  I love you, babe.

Til next time. . .

You Only Get White Rice To Eat!!

June 12, 2008

So, my youngest daughter has decided she never likes what I cook for dinner. Often she will say, “Eww, gross” or “Yuck mommy.” While it is not acceptable for her to make comments like that about, sending her away from the table seems to be a treat and not a consequence. I have decided that she will be eating plain white rice three meals a day for a while. You see, we have an “adopted sponsor child” through World Vision. Hawo is the little girl we sponsor monthly and she lives in a country deep in Africa. The main staple in her diet is white rice. The girls pray for Hawo daily and we often talk about what her life is like compared to the lives of my girls. They are really coming to understand that we have soooo incredibly much to be thankful for. Often when we sit down to eat, one of the girls will say, “Mom do you think Hawo would like to eat this hotdog and cheetos for lunch?” or “Does Hawo get brocoli and carrots for dinner?” Sadly we explain that Hawo usually eats plain white rice and that she would LOVE to get to eat some of the foods that we eat every day.

Today at the grocery store, Ava Jane picked up a bag of plain white rice and asked if that is what Hawo eats. I couldn’t believe that she was actually getting it! So tonight when I sat her plate on the table and she furrowed her brow and said, “eewww, groooossss” I informed her that if she does not begin to eat her dinner she will be eating plain white rice for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Maybe then she will be grateful for the food she eats. Will it work? I would love to know what you think. . .

Meet Macy Li Kemp

June 10, 2008

Check out my friend Rhonda’s blog about the baby girl they are adopting from China.  They just received their referral and saw her picture for the first time.

Have you ever thought of adopting?  If so, are you thinking domestic (American) or international?  If international, what country would you want to adopt from?

Happy Birthday Rick!

June 10, 2008

Today is my husband’s 35th Birthday!  In honor of the occasion, here are 35 things I love about Rick :

1)  He is incredibly handsome.

2)  He works so hard (without complaining) to provide for our family.

3)  He wants me at home with our girls.

4)  He doesn’t care if I don’t cook dinner.

5)  If he sees that laundry needs to be folded, he does it.

6)  He irons his own clothes. (This is a lesson he learned from his high school job working in the Men’s Department at Uptons.  He had to wear dress pants and a tie to work everyday.)

7)  He washes my car for me and changes the oil.

8)  He supported me while I poured my life into MOPS for three years.

9)  He is super adventurous.

10)  He loves Addison and Ava Jane insanely!

11)  He kisses me when he walks in the door before he kisses the girls.

12)  If I go out to run errands, when I come home he has usually cleaned up around the house just so I can relax and not have to do it!

13)  He still asks me out and plans date nights for us.

14)  He remembers our first date.

15)  He leads our family spiritually.

16)  He loves Jesus and is so grateful for God’s saving grace in his life.  (He has a great testimony. . . you should ask him about it.)

17)  He handles girl drama very well.

18)  He loves my mom.

19)  He loves his mom.

20)  He speaks kindly to me and doesn’t ever raise his voice.

21)  He is a risk taker.

22)  He isn’t into all the “typical” guy things like golf or playing church basketball and softball, instead he loves to ride motorcycles and dirt-bikes, wake-board, snowboard and watch UFC fights!

23)  He doesn’t care what people think.

24)  He has a fantastic personality!

25)  He loves people.

26)  He thinks before he speaks.

27)  He knows how to include people and make them feel special.

28)  He talks to God in a most sincere way.

29)  He keeps the past in the past and never uses it against me.

30)  He encourages me to take risks.

31)  He is very genuine and real.

32)  He prays for me about things I haven’t even asked him to pray for.

33)  He compliments me.

34)  He will let me buy anything I want at anytime!  (Good thing I am the saver in the family, huh?)

35)  He always tell me and the girls how much he loves us.  And his actions prove his words right!

Babe, I love you more than you know.  You are a fabulous husband and an extraordinary dad.  I hope you have a terrific birthday!

How do you make clay?

June 9, 2008

My kids have spent quite a bit of time today on our patio “making clay.”  They claim their friend gave them a recipe of chalk dust, water and sugar.  Okay.  I refused to give any sugar this morning.  But after they were covered in chalk dust this afternoon and had spent lots of time grinding down the chalk with their little fingers on the concrete and mixing it with water – I gave in and gave them about 1/3 cup sugar.  Oh, they were thrilled.  They each had their own concoction going on.   Addison put hers in the fridge and Ava Jane asked to use the microwave.  Hold on, sister.  No one is cooking chalk dust in my microwave.  Here are some pics of them on the apartment patio in action.

And here is a picture of what our patio looks like from the back of the apartment building.  Can you say REDNECK??  The kids can hardly fit out there with the bikes, scooters and barbie jeep . . . not to mention the lovely beach towels hanging out to dry.  If there was a clothes line outside, I might be tempted to hang my undies out to dry too!  Just kidding.

Oh, the joys of summer!  Do you have a REAL recipe for clay?  I am planning to make edible play dough later this week with equal parts honey, peanut butter and dry milk.  Maybe they will like that!