Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!!!

My daddy, Butch as he is known to almost everyone, is having a birthday today. This is my Daddy and my step-mom at A#1's cookout for graduation. One of the things that my hubby thinks is funny is that I call my dad, Daddy even being as "old" as I am. I have never even considered calling him any thing else. He's my Daddy. I guess it's different for guys, he calls his dad "Dad".

This is Daddy and my brother, Mr Pugsley. He's adopted but we still love him. Even though he is ALOT more spoiled than my sister or I ever have been. That's just a fact people.

My Daddy and A#3 of her 2nd birthday. This is how old I was when my Mom and Daddy divorced. From that time on my Daddy has always been a part of my life. ALWAYS! I can never remember not seeing him for a holiday or a birthday. He would drive up to watch my gymnastics meets or watch me run track or just pick me up and we would go get a chocolate milkshake and play Ms Pacman. Oh there were times I would S-T-O-M-P him in that game but he was always a good sport about it. I can't say the opposite is true because I hate to lose. My Daddy remarried
and they had my little sis and I know there were times that it was a struggle for my step-mom and my sis to have him leave and take away his time from them to come and see me. I try to think about if I were in that place with my marriage and I know it would be hard.

My daddy deserves alot of respect from us all. He served in The United States Army and was actually in Germany when I was born. When he returned home from the service he went to work at our Sheriff's office as a deputy and retired with 28 years behind him. He wore a police uniform for 28 YEARS!!! When he retired he was the Captain of the dept. and the chief over the correctional division. For a long time growing up my daddy watched as his dad, my Popaw, went to work as as West Virginia coal miner and his mom, my Momaw, was a cook. There were tough times for them but they survived as a family. The same year my daddy retired, he started a new career and is still going at it. All those years as an officer has paid off because of the contacts he made and the respect he earned. He now works for a company that services jails and prisons as they stock their canteens etc. He travels all over the east coast to service these prisons so he's on the road alot. Even today he's in Atlanta so we just have to give him a birthday phone call.

Daddy sharing some of his birthday cake a couple of years ago. Daddy I want to say that I love you and I thank you for always being around when you didn't have to. I am proud to be your daughter. Thank you for loving my kids and my hubby the way you do and for being there for them too.

Remember, only real men wear pink!!! And God only made a few perfect heads, the rest of them he put hair on.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I l-o-v-e the Pioneer woman

I won something from Ree!!!!! How cool is that!?! Check it out and tell me what you think.

This is from her blog-
Choreganizer Winners!Aug. 23, 2008
Okay, so it’s no Zune or KitchenAid mixer or Amazon gift card. But it’s fun, lots of fun, and may very well be the thing your chaotic household needs. (Read more about Choreganizers here if you missed the description.) I was trapped under a herd of cattle this morning—I’m sorry I’m just announcing these now. I have scolded the cattle and they have given me their assurance that they will never again get between me and my important work of announcing contest winners.
I told (asked nicely)’s Integer Generator to choose ten numbers between 1 and 3308, the number of entries received by 7:00 pm Pacific Time Friday. Here are the winners it chose:
#555 Shana R.
#278 CeeJay
#511 Rob N. M.
#2508 Diane
#1818 Nic
#222 Amber
#178 Lindey R
.#2670 Madonna Bevan
#2768 Isabella
Congrats, guys—email me at to claim your copy of Choreganizers!
And thanks to everyone who shared their least favorite household chore. Makes me feel slightly better about my laundry pile.

Thanks again Ree! I'm am gonna celebrate while I sit back and put this puppy to good use. Not so sure how my girls are gonna feel about it ;)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Old School- Do you feel the love?

In honor of the I will survive theme, I got to thinkin about all of the old music I used to listen to when I was younger. Do you remember these ? I found several of Donna's songs and thought they would be fun for awhile. Hope you enjoy because I sure do. you young whipper snappers are probably thinking Donna WHO? When I was younger my favorite thing in the world was roller skating. I mean my FAVORITE thing. Even more so than boys! Every weekend my mom would let me roller skate, sometimes friday and saturday. I was able to skate in lots of different skate-a-thons where we would literally skate for 24 hours to raise money. Somewhere I have my trophies that I skated my rear end off for. These songs are a major flashback for me and I hope you will have a smile on your face as you listen like I did. What about you? What is some of your "old school" music like? I would love to listen.

I will survive

Donna Summer would be proud to know that this has become my new theme... I will survive! You see I knew I would but I also didn't anticipate how different our house would be without A#1 home. Sure he has traveled the world and been gone for 3-4 weeks at a time, but there is just something different about him being at college. Something that has caused us all to have a few "moments" where we have just needed to go sit in his room for a few minutes. Then "we" are over it and realize how great and exciting it all is for him and us too. Thank you all for your prayers and support thru this all. We have read all of your comments and are so not worthy. A#1 is doing great and I can can say that I am not surprised. He just knows exactly where he is supposed to be and who has something in store for him. The girls are doing ok and are adjusting to the change as well. We just won't tell A#1 how many times they have played guitar hero in his room or jumped on his bed. I'll clean it up before his first journey home :) I do have some pictures to post of his room etc but I'll have to get to them later. School has started back and there's a little girl in my house that has homework already. Have a blessed day!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Letting go

Well the time is upon us and I am still in complete overload. This is offically the last day that our son will be home with us before he turns into a college student. Where has it gone? You all know that when you're younger your parents tell you that time passes so fast but I never believed it until I became that parent. I can sit here and look back and think of times with my son and it seems like it was just yesterday when he was a baby. As a baby he was the sweetest little red headed thing ever. He has ALWAYS been independent and has always liked being by himself. Remember that he was an only child for 10 years so this worked well for him. I can remember him playing in his bedroom in our little house and he would just sit there for hours as content as an old shoe to just have everything all to himself. He would build things and organize things and put them just so. I would walk in on him and try to sit and play and when he was old enough to speak he would say, "it's otay Mommy, you tan doe away, I otay." That was A#1 talk. His speech was on of the sweetest things about him. Even when we were outside playing on his swingset, he wanted it to be just him and his dog, Chewie. She would sit by the swingset and just watch him, never disturbing. I think that's why he loved her so much, she didn't demand any attention or any of his time. Just as long as she could be right there and she could see him. He knew she was there and she knew he was safe. W.B. was and still is a very hard working man and always wanted me to stay home with A#1. There were times I resented staying home and times that I was sooo grateful that I could. We were so much more broke than any of our family realized. Alot because of bad choices at that time in our lives and alot because we sacrificed so I could be home. When I say he worked hard, I mean he worked hard and ALOT! I can't tell you how many days and night it was just me and A#1. From 6 a.m. until 9 p.m somedays. I always tried to be the best mom I could be but there were times I know I was not. A#1 still has a gentleness about him that he had even at a young age. The two of us loved to go to the movies and he would sit and hold my hand the whole way thru. Always leaving one hand available for popcorn of course. To this day, if we are sitting beside each other or walking next to each other, he will reach for my hand. Some people have actually made fun of this and that breaks my heart. To me it shows a love and gentleness that some boys just don't care to show.

When A#1 started kindergarten it was the most lost feeling I have ever felt in my life. I was young when I had him and had lived away from all of my family for a long time by then. The two of us were inseperable and this reality was just hard to bear. His first day will never be forgotten. Me, hubby, my MIL and one of my sisters came over to watch him step up on that bus for the very first time. He had no hestitation what so ever. He stepped up, just barely because he was a small little booger, sat down and waved good bye. As the bus pulled away there were tears shed and then all of a sudden my MIL said,"let's go! Get in we're following the bus." And so we did. We only lived about one mile from the school. We followed it and pulled over to watch him get off the bus, get his bus tag pinned on and then watched as he disappeared inside. That feeling of "what if" comes over you at that point. What if he spills his milk at lunch? I'm not there to clean him up. What if some bratty kid makes fun of the way he talks? I'm not there to dry his tears or beat the little brat up :) j/k What if his shoe comes untied and he falls on the playground? Who's gonna kiss him to make it all better? What if he wants a hug before he lays down for rest time? What if he watches a movie and there's no hand to hold? I still remember all of these feelings because I am having them all over again. It all comes rushing back and that feeling of being overwhelmed stays in my mind. What if while at college he has to make a "grown up" decision? Have we done what we were supposed to do to help him make the right one? What if he does something he is ashamed of? Does he know that no matter what he does, nothing could ever make us not love him? Have we told him that enough?

My prayer for you A#1 is that as you go into this new journey in your life, you will know this. There is nothing you could EVER do that would make us love you any less. You are such a light to us all and even when we are having a bad day, I am always amazed that you came from me. You are truly a Godly young man and your faith in the Lord shows that. You have never been ashamed of your decision when you were just 8 years old to trust the Lord as your saviour. You have never been ashamed of the fact that neither of your parents have a college education. As a matter of fact I have seen the pride you have for your Dad and his heart and his ability to provide for his family. You have loved your little sisters like I have never seen a brother love before. You are a child of God, the best son in this world, the best bubby there could be, a grandson that is never too grown up to hug your grandparents in front of everyone. You are a loyal friend, an honest companion and you are a Godly example to all of the youth out there. Go forth and spread your wings. The cool thing is that you actually are going to have wings and be able to fly. You are living a dream that most people will never get to make a reality. Fly my little boy, FLY!!!! Your Mommy will always be here to hold your hand.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Add ons

Warning- lots of pictures ahead! One of A#1's leaders sent some pictures today. Thank you so much V. These are events that I have already posted on so I hope you enjoy!

Our delegation ready to leave for D.C.
Our leaders and bus drivers.

Finally arrived in Heathrow.

What a great bunch of kids!

Beautiful stained glass in one of the cathedrals.

A "bath" in Bath.


One of the first places in Ireland they visited was Waterford Crystal. You should see the GORGEOUS crystal necklace A#1 gave me! It is a Celtic Cross. He brought one home for all of the special women in his life. Me, his 3 grandmothers and his great grandmother. We all love them.

Not sure why A#1 doesn't have any pictures of this because it was one of his faves. Hurling! A#1 is not your typical american boy as in that he is not a football fan. Rugby and hurling are a completley different story however.

Here are the rest of the Irish drummers. I think this is a cool picture!

Here's Ms. V's shot of the clover. Beautiful!

And her pics of the mud bog. There he is again climbing out just so he can jump back in.

Look at their faces. Every single one of them!!!!

Isreal wore the perfect shirt for this event! Sorry but we are Hokie fans in this house!

There he goes getting ready to jump!

Thanks again for the new pics. The journey will continue later on!

Down on the farm

Playing the drums is something A#1 is proud of. While on the farm in Ireland they inroduced him to the Irish drums. He said it was very cool and people were impressed that he could actually play.
Poor old goat!

So technically as an American, when you travel overseas you are not suppossed to pet any livestock. Oh well! I guess when it's an educational trip your allowed, as long as you don't get caught ;)

I love this picture. The clover really is everywhere. Can you spot the four leaf?
I know, I know. I looked for it too and never did see it :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Here's mud in your eye!

They are riding in an Irish wagon on their way to a bunch of fun.
On the way thru the woods on the farm. Looks like an Irish forest.

And this is the treasure they are seeking. MUD!!!! IRISH MUD! The mud bogs are what they are looking for.

And they have arrived. Oh my gosh! They have gone all the way to Ireland to play in the mud. This stuff is actually worth money. Lots of spas in Ireland use this mud for their treatments due to how "clean" it is. Who knew? It is the "cleanest" kind of mud there is. The story goes that there is no air in the mud so therefore no bacteria can grow in it. The deeper you go, the cleaner the mud!

Oh my stinking heck! Up to their waists. That's one big ole mud pie!

I love the look on Ian and Isreal's face in this picture. This has got to be so much fun. Boys playing in the mud and their mom's are not there to tell them not to.

Moving around and getting out is the hardest part. A#1 said at one point you actually have to reach down and pull your legs up to move. And even sometimes crawl.

If you know A#1 then you know his pockets are ALWAYS full. I think this is the coolest picture of him because he will probably never have them full like this again.

Yeah, so this kinda freaked me out at first. Until he told me that he was sitting down, not standing up. Whew! Look at his face would ya?!!!

This looks like trouble! It was a contest to see who could go farther. Not sure who won but my money is on A#1.

There they go!! Ian is in ready position.

Dear goodness look at that dirty boy! By the way, look at all of those chickens in the background. Sorry girls but jump in!!! :)



Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Kissing the Blarney Stone

This is Blarney Castle in Ireland. The first stop for A#1 was to kiss the Blarney Stone and explore the castle. The castle sits empty except for signs with all of the info about what things used to be like.
This is looking out from the top of the castle. A#1 thought it was neat how the plants and flowers are growing out of the stones.

How cool would this be to look around in. My luck I would get lost and someone would have to find me. He thought this was so awesome to see. He said the view was great. Just look at all of the green would ya!

More from the top.

Inside there was lots of ruins. Including this fireplace. By the way, do you notice there is no floor below that fireplace? Yep, that's an old castle. I'll bet hubby could fix the floors for them! ;)

See the ladder looking thing? Up there is the Blarney Stone. I have a picture of A#1 kissing it but I have to scan it to put it in. You are actually on the other side of that wall hanging upside down when you kiss it. I was scared to death at first because I thought he was hanging upside down on this side, which by the way he would do! He has definitley recieved the gift of GAB since kissing the stone. I guess we have seen the legend come true.

That's how high up that darn stone is.

Just driving thru Ireland taking in the scenery. Lots more if Ireland to come. You DO NOT want to miss the farm and the mud bog pictures!!!


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