Sunday, December 21, 2008

John Adams

Sometimes I wish I had HBO for series like these.  But luckily, I have Netfix to fill the HBO void.  Thank you, Netflix, for allowing us to watch this incredible and beautiful tribute to the life of our second president of the United States!  

 Andrew and I have been watching The John Adams series for the last few weeks and we just finished it last night, and I must say that it was amazing!  If you love history you should watch it!  Even if you don't love history, I think it sheds a lot of light on the difficult reality that it took to build our nation. 

The story begins with the Boston Massacre, leading to the creation of the Continental Congress and the writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence.  It shows the country's battle for a Revolution and the British surrender.  It leads us through the election of the first president and vice president and the toils of these men to help our nation survive.  It gives us a clear vision of the Adams family and all that they had to endure through the years.  Finally, it ends with the death of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  You couldn't write it any better than that, folks!  It is a story of determination, conviction and patriotism that will just make you thankful for the existence of John Adams and others who fought so furiously to build our country from nothing.  

If you haven't seen it, you must!  There are seven episodes in the series and three dvd's total.  

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas is coming!

It's almost Christmas and I'm so pumped!  I wish I could tell you all that my last day of school is tomorrow, but the sad fact is that we still have to go Monday and Tuesday next week!  Can you believe it?  I have a hard time believing it myself.  

Anyway, we still have not made it to see Santa, hopefully this weekend.  But we have all of our Christmas shopping done and our presents have been wrapped for two weeks now.  I was impressed with how quickly we got things done.  We were totally on the ball!  Go us!  

I can't wait until next week!  There's so much to look forward to!  YAY  

And now, because I don't have the mental capacity to write anymore, I will leave you with these beautiful pictures of my girl with the Christmas tree!  

Friday, December 5, 2008


Lately, I have been... what is the word? ... tired.  Yeah, that's it.  I think it was about the same time last year that I was feeling the burnout of my job.  So, maybe it's just an annual trend, but maybe not.  I just don't know how much longer I can do it.  Ideally I will go to the end of the year and then we can move, but who knows if the moving part will even be possible at this point.  And if it's not, then what?  Do I continue on with this job that I don't really like and never expected to be in for three years? Or do I find another job temporally until we do move?  I don't know. 

 I have been in a dilemma trying to figure out what I want to do next.  It's this waiting game, really.  Waiting on the economy, mostly.  Trying to see when exactly it will turn upwards and allow us to sell our house and move to NC as planned.  Since Andrew and I got married and bought this house, we were determined to move to NC by Summer/Fall of 2009.  Well, that time is quickly approaching and house sales in our neighborhood are at a standstill.  Not only that, but we are increasingly disappointed with the idea of taking a loss on our home in the sale.  It just doesn't seem right.  It's not fair.  It makes me want to cry and scream and kick my legs in a tantrum on the floor!  This is the first time in something like 50 years that the housing market has gone down and not up.  That's just our luck.  We're at the point though that we would really just like to make something.   Ya know?  We just don't want to have to PAY
 anything.  That would be the worst!  

Ultimately, we both are just ready for a change... in career, in location, in lifestyle.  And we hope and pray that that time comes sooner than later.  

I said in my last post that I was thankful for my house, and I am.  It's just a tough pill to swallow when you make such an investment only to possibly lose money.  Especially because we don't have anything else to help us buy our second house. That's the ultimate frustration.  If we make nothing on this house, the question remains of how much longer we would have to rent and save money for the next down payment.  Who knows.  

So, now... all we do is wait and pray.  And wonder what we will do next.  What steps will we take? What jobs will we get? Will we have another child? Will one of us go back to school?  We really don't know.  

For now, we are just taking it one day at a time and trying to keep positive attitudes.  I'm excited for Christmas!  Caroline will get it a lot more this year than last and for me that is thrilling!  We still have some decorating to do and she loves all the lights and stockings!  It's fun!  I put up the tree almost two weeks ago, but I have yet to decorate it. So, I'm going to let C help with it in the morning!  It should be fun!  She loves having a job and helping mommy!  I'll take that while I can! :-)  

Thanksgiving was lovely and it really gave me a good time to reflect on how blessed we really are!  God has provided us with so much and I am so grateful!  It was great to spend time with family and some very old and dear friends!  

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from last weekend!  

C loved playing the piano!  Good thing she's getting her very own keyboard for Christmas! 

C and her great-Granny!  So sweet!

C was THRILLED to be around a little baby.  This is her with Valerie my cousin Bo's 2 month old angel!

This is the gang at dinner before going to see Karla's show!  woo hoo!

And finally, my lovely girls Karla, Darcy and Kim came to see us in the 'noke on Saturday!  Too bad I was feeling feverish and funky thanks to strep throat!  boo!

I have the best friends and family!  And my little girl, she is seriously the most awesome child I've ever met! :-)  So Thankful!  

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving and the things kids learn...

Well, it's almost Thanksgiving and I can't believe it!  In just a few short days Andrew, Caroline and I will make our way down to Roanoke for a good ol' family Thanksgiving with tons of fattening food and an amazing time of fellowship with family and friends!  I can't wait!  

So, in honor of Thanksgiving here are a few of the things I am thankful for:  

1. I am thankful for my amazing family!  My husband, daughter, parents, in-laws, and all extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins and best friends are just incredible!  I have been so blessed!  

Here is Caroline last Thanksgiving! She was so little!

2. I am thankful for our home!  In this time of financial crisis for many, I am so thankful for the ability to pay for our home.  Though I complain about it regularly, I know that we are blessed to have a place to live and to be able to pay our mortgage every month.  

3. I am thankful for our country!  Though there is a lot that could be better right now, I am thankful to live in a country that is free!  

4. I am thankful for books! I love to read and I am so glad people write new books every day.  

5. I am thankful for a loving and merciful God!  He loves me no matter how much I mess up and He is always there when I call His name!  

Those are just a few... what are you thankful for?  


Today my mouth taught me a lesson...  

I decided to put up our Christmas tree today, because I wanted to have it up, so that we could easily decorate it when we come back from my parent's house next weekend.  

So, last year, for those who don't remember, our cat Scout was obsessed with getting in our tree.  
I was hoping that this year she would grow out of it.  It was funny the first time and then it just got old.  

So, as I set up the tree today and I had it all in place, Scout climbed in like it was her own personal climbing post.  I pulled her out, only for her to get back in again and again.  On our fifth round or so of my battle with the cat, I yelled at her "I hate you" and Caroline's little listening ears heard those harsh words and immediately repeated them.  "I hate you!" she exclaimed at the cat.  My heart sank.  I told her "no, Caroline please don't say those words."  But she repeated them again, "I hate you."  My stomach churned.  I caused this.  I told her, "Caroline, Mommy was wrong.  Those words are ugly and not nice.  Please don't say them again."  

She didn't say them again this evening, but now she knows them.  They are in her mind and on her tongue.  I pray that she doesn't say those words tomorrow to her friends at daycare or to her babysitter.  The thought makes me want to cry, but it definitely taught me something.  I tell my students every day, "you should not say anything at school that a teacher would not say to the class."  I need to heed my own advice.  I should do the same thing at home.  I know that I can't protect Caroline forever from "ugly" words, but I will do my best while I can.  Nothing bothers me more than children learning negative language long before they should know what it means.  I don't want to be that parent who feeds her daughter those kinds of words.  Hopefully next time I will think before I speak and ask myself if my words are something I would want my daughter to repeat.  

Don't worry Scout... Mommy and Caroline both still love you!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Potty training and other random things

There has really been nothing going on this week of consequence.  It's been fairly dull.  Though, I am pretty excited to inform you all that Caroline is really getting close to being ready for full-blown potty training.  wah hoo!  She has been peeing and pooping on the potty and telling her babysitter when she needs to do so.  wow!  I think we're going to work on a sticker chart for going potty this weekend and go to the store to pick out some candy treats for rewards!  so fun!  She's such a big girl!  :-)  Maybe she'll be potty trained by 2 and she can get some big girl undies for her birthday! haha  

Other things on our weekend list include: Christmas shopping and possibly (if I can talk Andrew into it) putting up our Christmas tree!  YAY!  

I am so thrilled it's Thanksgiving next week!  I am in DESPERATE need of a break!  Can't wait to see all of my Lynchburg gals!  

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Be Good, Not Godly" - DC's latest message

I've been wanting to post on this all week, but I have yet to find the time until now.  

First, read this...  "Be Good, Not Godly".   

"Why believe in God?  Just be good for goodness sake."   

Can you believe this?  1st amendment rights... blah blah blah.   I know... but it's my blog, so I'll say what I think and practice my right to freedom of speech too!  

Here's my two cents.  (Because I know all five of my readers want to know.) 

I listen to a Christian radio station pretty regularly, but especially in the morning on my way to school, as I need some kind of inspiration to remind me that what I'm doing is for the greater good, lessening the chance that I will run out of school screaming half-way through my day.  :-)  Anyway, this morning the radio hosts were talking about the above article that I had read earlier in the week and they had a question for parents. "How would you respond if your child read this ad on the bus and then asked why do you believe in God and not just being good?" Or something to that effect.  

There were a lot of good answers, but one of those answers struck a cord with me and I believe it's true as well.  A dad called in and said "there is no basis for good without God."  The basic idea is that if we as humans are to determine only what is "good" for us personally, everyone would have a different answer.  The world would be chaotic!  (More so than it is already.)  I could ask my students, for example, and they would give a completely different answer than myself or even my mom or my dad or even other students their age in public school.  

To me, this ad begs the question of "why be good?"  If you are not breaking the law, but you are an awful, hateful, selfish person, what difference does it make?  Why would you care?  If you have no reason to believe that helping others and being grateful for life is exemplified first by Jesus, what is the point?  

Now, this is not to say that people who do not believe in God can not be good.  They can.  I've seen it.  I know these people.  Maybe I need to ask them their opinion on this ad.  But, honestly, my main point is that when 92 percent of the American population claim to hold a belief in God, why must we have ads that cater to the other 8 percent on a holiday that's soul purpose is to celebrate the birth of Jesus? Why?  What is the point?  

So, what would I tell my daughter?  Why believe in God and not just being good? 

We believe in God because he gave us the ultimate gift of eternal life through the death, burial and resurrection of His one and only son Jesus Christ!  

We try our best to be good, not to show others our list of accomplishments or to feel that we may boast of our success, but because of the example that was given to us through Jesus that we should have a servant's heart. 

Can I get an Amen?    

or at least your two cents?  

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ugly Betty... by far my favorite show on TV!  If you don't watch it, you should rent all of the DVD's immediately and start watching the season NOW!  Thursday's and Ugly Betty just make me happy!  

I root for Betty and all that she stands for!  You go girl!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rock Omama

I did not stay up last night to watch the elections unfold.  I watched until maybe 9:30, by which time Obama had taken Pennsylvania and Ohio.  I knew, as most of the news reporters told us, that those results predicted Obama to be the next President of the United States.  

I stayed up long enough to make sure that my husband still had a job (and he does, Go Enzi!) and to see that Dole's campaign did not get her very far.  But ultimately, sleep  came and for that rest and comfort, I am grateful.  (Trust me, I needed it today!) 

I went to sleep last night mainly because I was sleepy.  It wasn't that I didn't want to watch this historical election process take place before my eyes, but because I knew deep down that I trust the Lord and with that assurance, my mind was at ease.  

Today, after a crazy day at school (i.e. - a runner, a conversation with a police officer, an attempted fight, supposed blackmail and the regular sleepy, whiney, name-calling junk I deal with on a regular basis) I came home to what was truly daughter, the light of my life.  She has no concept of this historical time she is living in, but I made sure to tell her about it.  I found Obama's victory speech on youtube and today, instead of watching Barney or Little Bear, Caroline sat and watched Obama's speech with me the entire time.  She asked "Who's that?" pointing to the screen of my computer and I told her "Caroline, that's your new president.  His name is Barack Obama. Can you say that?"  And my sweet girl said "Rock Omama."  As I listened to his speech with my daughter, I felt truly inspired.  Inspired that our country will be okay.  Inspired that our country has evolved in such a way to accept this kind of change.  Inspired that I was able to see this part of history, where, for the the first time in the United States a black man will be president.  

Now, I know there are plenty of family and friends who will read this and be angry, but let me just say this... Regardless of who you voted for yesterday, regardless of whether your beliefs are the same or completely different than Obama's, just remember that our country is strong.  We've been through so much and we have always come out on the other side stronger and more united.  Let this be a time to inspire change in us all.  To hold fast to our beliefs and trust the Lord with all our hearts.  And above all to put our differences aside and pray for our new president... that he will lead our country in the right direction.  

Let us trust in the Lord... "blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him."  Jeremiah 17:7  

Be confident, my friends!  :-)  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Did you vote?

Caroline did... 
Twice, actually... 

Hope you had a happy day at the polls and didn't have to wait too long.  

If you haven't seen this yet... you must!  

And now... we wait.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Day after photo shoot!

So, I realized when I was going through our Halloween pictures from last night that I didn't have a single one of just Caroline that was good.  (Side note... I just typed Carl when I was trying to type Caroline and it made me laugh out loud because that was Andrew's long standing joke that if we had a boy instead of a girl we could still use the letters for the nursery wall and call the baby "Carl".  hehe)  ANYWAY... as I was saying, we needed a photo shoot with my girl in her costume, so that those who were unable to be with us on that frightfulisous (umm..what?) candy-eating night, could really get the full effect of Caroline's buzzy bumble-bee cuteness!  :-)  
So... here you go!  Enjoy!  She's definitely the cutest bee I've ever seen.  

Oh... one more thing... Speaking of bees...  Have you seen "The Secret Life of Bees"?

No?  Oh my gosh!  YOU HAVE TO SEE IT!  I went last weekend. (a two hour movie by myself, first of all... Heaven!) But seriously when it's a good movie, it makes it even better!  I laughed, I cried and I felt completely satisfied at the end of the movie.  It was awesome!  I highly recommend it! But just so you know, it's a total chick flick.  Go with your mom or your sister or your girlfriends.  I have a feeling seeing it with a guy might ruin it.  :-) Just a heads up!  

Today... I think we're going to start our Christmas shopping!  Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Our jack-o-lantern!

Our little bumble bee!

The whole gang!

Caroline trick-or-treating with her big cousins, Sophie and Evelyn!

Overall, a great night!  Caroline was sad the candy eating had to end.  :-)  

Hope you had a happy Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2008

random list...

1.  This weekend I am so excited about STAYING HOME!  No. Seriously.  I am in desperate need of some at-home R & R.  The rain tomorrow will give me a good excuse to stay in and watch TV without feeling guilty about being lazy.  

2.  Halloween is quickly approaching and unfortunately, I was too late in ordering the dragonfly costume and I could not find it at the Target store!  But do not fret, my friends.  A good mommy will never let her girl have no costume!  No, instead, Caroline will now dress up as a bumble bee!  TONS of pictures to come.  I'm sure.  She already tried on the costume this week and pranced around the house in it until it was time for bed.  :-)  

3.  School is exhausting lately.  I'm trying not to let it consume me.  

4.  I'm ready for Christmas break already.  hehe  

5.  Our house is a major disaster area and I have zero desire to clean it up.  This is what happens when we're out of town two weekends in a row and we have to work full time in between.  The only thing motivating me to clean is how unsettled I feel when I lay around looking at a mess.  Luckily my living room (where I sit right now) is the one half-way decent room and I don't feel quite as bad blogging when I should really be cleaning.  There's always tomorrow.  

And now... because I can never leave without a few pictures...  Here are some that our awesome babysitter, Becky, took of the kids at the pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago!  

First we have my girl in the moon bounce! FUN!

Next, I would like to introduce her boyfriend, Fin.  Isn't he the cutest?!

And finally, we have the whole gang.   In the front row we have Fin, Tucker and Matthew.  In the back is Hannah and my Caroline.  

And that's all she wrote.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The weekend in pictures.

Andrew and I had a get-away this past weekend to Connecticut.  

We picked up Evan and Mike along the way.  

Believe it or not, Connecticut has it's redeeming qualities.

But the real reason for the visit was to attend the wedding of our lovely friends Brandon and Megan!  

The wedding was beautiful! 

The locations were breathtaking!  

The food was spectacular!  

The company was a blast!  

Overall, a super-fun weekend!  

Congratulations, Brandon and Meghan!!! Welcome to the club! WOO HOO!  

P.S. - Thanks "Gammy" for staying with C!  Clearly they love each other! :-)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back in time...

This weekend Andrew, Caroline and I went to Williamsburg with Andrew's family.  (Well, they're my family too!) Andrew's brother, Steve and his family came in all the way from Texas!  I have only spent time with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law at our wedding and I had never met their teenage sons.  I was excited, but admittedly a little anxious about the trip, not only because I would be spending lots of time with family I'd never met before, but also because we were stuffing 13 people into a three bedroom condo and Caroline is not always the heaviest sleeper.  But to my pleasant surprise, it turned out to be a great time!  

We left Friday and stayed until today.  The timeshare my brother-in-law rented was beautiful! We visited Colonial Williamsburg, went on a ghost tour, took tons of pictures, went shopping and ate lots of food!  I got tons of rest and relaxation too, which was much needed! Overall, it was a really fun trip!  

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the weekend!  

(These are mostly of the kids, but that's just because they're more fun to take pictures of!  If you want to see everyone else... check out the flickr later when I have time to put them all up. )  Enjoy!

This is definitely my favorite picture!  Lily carrying Caroline!

Caroline and her big cousin, Lily. 

My beautiful girl!  Look at those eyes! WOW

Lily feeding the ducks!
Evelyn on the slide. 
This was before she fell on the way back and scraped up her face! :-( 

Caroline playing on the bed with the "big kids"!

We took a ton of group pictures of all the cousins and these two were the best! 
(Caroline was not in a picture taking mood.)

Caroline and Sophie picking flowers with their pigtails!

Colonial Williamsburg soldiers!

I love them!

Aren't we cute?

Trail at Colonial Williamsburg. 

All in all it was a lovely long weekend.  I'm back to work tomorrow! boo!  But the good news is that I only have to work three days!  My mom comes Thursday afternoon to keep Caroline for the weekend, while Andrew and I make our way up to Connecticut for our friend's Brandon and Meghan's wedding.  Yay!  I can't wait!  :-)