Tuesday, August 31, 2010


WHAT??? Already??? When did my sweet little boy get so old? He's going to be chasing his sister around in no time. Wait, he already does that. GEEZ ~ I know it sounds trite, but where does the time go? What a life-changing difference your life can make in eight short months. Happy 8 months, big boy!! You've made my world brighter and better just as your big sister has!

Next topic:


Elastic. Quite possibly the best invention known to woman. At least THIS woman, anyway! HA! I really wouldn't survive pregnancy (or postpartum, oh, say 7 or 8 months) without it. The thing about elastic is that it stretches. Think about it....what a miracle invention! :) At the beginning of the year, Chandler and I joined Northcrest Baptist Church here in Meridian. Around the same time, our pastor, Brother Danny, supplied our congregation with blue, elastic bracelets and challenged us to wear them as a reminder that God was going to stretch us individually as well as congregationally throughout the coming year. Let me tell you, that bracelet was a little tight and a tad uncomfortable at first. It reminded me of times when I have been faced with the possibility of change or growth. It's uncomfortable, right? And a bit tight because I think, "There is no way I can possibly fit anymore onto my plate right now." Funny thing happened, though. The more I wore the bracelet, the more it stretched out. Eventually, the thing stretched so much that I had to be careful that it didn't fall off when I was wearing it. Finally, it had stretched so much that it snapped one day. I can't even describe in words how God has stretched me, my family, and my church this year. It's UNREAL! God has been so busy at work in my heart lately and in the hearts of so many around me. I've still got a long way to go (don't we all?), but it is so refreshing and inspiring to see where God has brought me in just 8 short months. I am so incredibly thankful for a church home that is so on-fire, loving, supportive, and "stretchy"! Revival tonight at Northcrest, y'all. The Holy Spirit is sure to be there along with a healthy dose of "Radical Hospitality", as Dr. Dan Lanier would say! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Drum Roll Please.......

We have had a weekend of CELEBRATION!!! Saturday night, a certain little girl tiptoed her way into the bathroom while I was getting her brother to sleep for the night and her daddy was watching tv. Seconds later, out she came and there was a new inhabitant of the local sewer system! HaHa!!! Even though Barrett had just gotten to sleep, I didn't care that I woke him when I began praising Charlee and hugging, kissing, and shouting YAY!! It was a house party, for sure! She immediately ran to the hall closet where I've been keeping her "prize" for her feat of #2 in the potty, a Disney princess ball. "Mommy, please I need my Tinkerbell ball." But of course, my dear princess, and take some M&M's and Sweetarts, too!! The next day, she did have an accident (if you can call it that ~ I'm pretty sure she knows she's about to poop in her panties, so that's probably not really an "accident"). She went to the potty immediately after, though, and went in there some too! I'll take it! Progress! Last night, she again went in the potty. YAAAAAAYYYYY!!! She's such a BIG GIRL!! Ahhhh ~ the light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to shine.

Charlee and her prize

Riding with Daddy

Where did that Puff go?

Now I can move on to my rant.....
Since moving back to Mississippi from the 4th largest city in the country, I've noticed that the cost of living here is greatly higher than Houston. Crazy, I know, but it's true. We now pay state income taxes, grocery taxes, way too high car registration fees.....the list goes on. When we started the house search last year, we also became painstakingly aware that the people of Meridian think pretty highly of their homes. A little TOO highly, if you ask me. All of this, and they don't even have a Target to balance things out. :) My latest realization of the cost to live here came along today in the form of a dry cleaning bill. In Houston, I began taking clothes to the dry cleaners that weren't "dry clean only" simply because they did a far better job at getting wrinkles out and making my clothes look new again than I ever can with a simple iron. I would take 15 - 20 pieces to the dry cleaner almost monthly, and never paid over 20 or 25 dollars. I never asked them how much each piece was. I know that most places advertised laundering shirts at 70 or 80 cents (from what I remember), but I never really paid attention to how much dry cleaning was. After 3 years of taking clothes to Houston dry cleaners, I wasn't quite prepared for what I would encounter here in the large metropolis of Meridian. Small town, surely smaller prices, right? NO! EVERYTHING in Mississippi is more expensive. I think the only exception is daycare costs. I took clothes to the cleaners last week for the first time since being here. First off, I am used to dry cleaning being ready the next day. They told me it would take 4 days. Ok. Fine. I don't really need the clothes in a hurry. They've been sitting in the basket in my closet for, oh, a year or so. I picked them up this morning. You don't know how close I came to saying, "Just keep the clothes ~ SHEESH!" I don't know who to be more mad at, the cleaners or myself. I really should have asked for a price list. Here's my sign, right? I deserve the price I had to pay for not checking beforehand, but honestly, who would think that dry cleaning could cost so much? I was sure to let the lady know how ridiculous I felt the price was. I'm too embarrassed to even tell you how much I paid. Let's just say that $6 for a skirt when you probably only paid $20 for it in the first place is a bit much. Oh Houston....I could probably ship my clothes to any number of cleaners in Houston and have them sent back for cheaper. Needless to say, my blood boiled this morning. Not a good start to the week, I tell you! Things will get better, though. I'm getting my fix of Houston this weekend, along with some much needed time with some of the best friends in the world celebrating the impending arrival of what is sure to be the cutest little boy in the world (aside from Barrett, of course) with what is sure to be the longest legs on record! HaHa! YAY! I can't wait!! Guess I should've just taken my clothes with me this weekend.....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ankle, don't fail me now!

As I alluded in my last post, I don't think I'll be able to run the 5k in September. :( Seems I have an injury. Likely excuse, huh? A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting indian style (or criss cross applesauce for you politically correct folks ~ ha!) on the floor playing with Charlee and Barrett when Charlee stepped on my ankle. It hurt for just a minute, but then the pain went away. That night, I ran on it. Ouch. It started hurting after I ran, but not so much while I was running. It quit hurting later that night, and it didn't bother me to walk on it at all. So, I've continued running on it every other day. It has gotten gradually worse, but still only really hurts while running and especially right after running. I should probably quit training for a week or so, but I know me, and I know that that week will turn into a year and I'll be back on the couch! Ha! So, I run. And then limp back to the house. Seriously, I could barely finish the cool-down walk Wednesday night because it hurt so bad. I did finish my 3rd night of week 6, though, and ran for 25 minutes straight. WooHoo!! I started icing the ankle a couple of times a day, and maybe that will help it heal. We'll see. Regardless, I don't know if I'll be able to hang in the 5k in 2 weeks. Maybe I'll have a resurgence, but I'm definitely not going to preregister for the run! Also, my running buddy, Chandler (who is now on week 3 of his C25k program), will likely not run with me because I'll surely be too slow for him. I just don't know if I'm up for embarrassing myself ALONE yet. :)

By the way, the zucchini has NOT been revived. Boo!

That's all for now....there's a cute little punkin' head asking me to go play in her room, so I think I'll oblige. :) Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

RIP Zucchini Plant......

:( Yep. I'm sad to report that the Zucchini plant bit the dust. Not sure why, but I had been noticing a ton of ants on it. I sprayed it down with insect spray, but I don't think I got it in time. There are still a few green sprouts on it, and a flower bloomed yesterday, so maybe, just maybe all of the rain lately will help it come back. I sure hope so, because I was beginning to enjoy the zucchini! I have gotten lots of okra, jalepeno peppers, and banana peppers, and last night I tried okra and actually liked it, too! I read somewhere at the beginning of this gardening process that it's good to involve kids in gardening because they become excited about eating things they have grown even if it is something they would never touch before. This seems to hold true for adults as well. :) I am quite picky, but have tried, and liked, zucchini and okra. 2 for 2.

We won't talk about the potty training today.....

Not sure if I've mentioned it before or not, but Barrett is quite the eater. He has never protested feedings and would probably eat all day if I let him. He has been getting very mad lately, though, when he sees us (especially Charlee) eat table foods. He could care less about his mush. He wants the good stuff! I was a lot more careful with Charlee when introducing table foods. She never acted interested in food like this kid, though. He tried his first french fry this past weekend. LOVED it. I'm pretty sure the majority of it ended up on the floor, but still. He had ice cream a few weeks ago. LOVED it as well. I only gave him a little bit because I wasn't sure how his little tummy would handle it. He got some kinda mad when I stopped giving it to him! We're gearing up for raising typical boy here. He's gonna eat us out of house and home! He had his baby dedication at church last weekend. It was very sweet! He and a couple of other boys in the church nursery are typical boys and are known as "the linebackers". Ha!

I made up RAOGL cards yesterday! They are business card size and I printed them on bright colored card stock. I also counted and rolled all of the change from our laundry room stash. I rolled $101.50, and left about $13 that wouldn't roll in the jar! Wow! Rolling coins is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I don't know why, but I love getting my hands filthy and guessing what the grand total will be. It's like therapy. $50 worth of quarters were in there, so I'll use that for my baggies that I'm going to put on vending machines. I assembled a handful of baggies today, so I'll let you know how it goes when I put them out.

iPhones are the bomb, in case you didn't know. If you don't have one, you are definitely missing out! I lost mine at the beginning of the summer for a few days and realized what a big part it played in my life. Sounds sad, but seriously, there are so many things I use it for that I don't think I could make it without it. Probably not a good thing to rely so much on a piece of technology, but oh well. I have over 1000 pictures on there now. That is what I was most sad about losing because I rarely backed my phone up to iTunes before I lost it. This has since changed. :) I really don't know how I ever got through middle of the night feedings with Charlee since I didn't have an iPhone. There's an app for EVERYTHING you can imagine. I have a Total Baby app that keeps up with all of Barrett's feedings ~ time, length of time, last side nursed, average feeding time per day, etc. You can also use it to track diaper changes, baths, and sleep, but I don't use it for that anymore. I also have the C25k app that is training me for my first 5k. (We also won't talk about that in this post! Let's just say I may not be running my first 5k in September.) There is a Run Keeper app that tracks how far I run, tells me my speed, etc. I check email on my phone, facebook, and blogs. The internet on an iPhone is identical to internet on your computer, with the exception of mobile websites. Another app I have is Words with Friends. It's a game similar to scrabble that you can play against friends who have an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. I'm addicted to it, and pretty good if I say so myself. ;) The iPhone...It is pretty awesome, in case you didn't know. :)

I say all of this to lead you into my Radical Experiment plans. Let's be real. I'm a mother of two small children who is pretty frequently on my own since my husband travels a good bit. How on Earth would I have the time to devote to the Radical Experiment? The iPhone has been my answer. One of the 5 components to the Experiment is to read through the entire Bible in a year. I have a Bible app on my phone that allows me to choose whichever translation I would like. Through this app, I have set up a reading plan (I'm going through it chronologically, the order in which it happened) and the app tells me what verses to read each day and I can read them straight from the phone. Another of the 5 components is to pray for the world. The book tells about a specific website, operationworld.com, that tells you about a different country each day and its specific prayer and mission needs. I have this website bookmarked on my phone and look it up every day to read about the country I need to pray for that day.

There are a million other capabilities of an iPhone, but I think the point I'm trying to make is that it's pretty awesome and it is a very important aid in my Radical Experiment. I've also got the Big Brother spoiler network bookmarked so I can check and see what's happening inside the house each day. I have no patience and hate waiting for the next episode to find out what's going on. Ha!!!

Pray for the Zucchini..... :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Random Acts of God's Love

This kid is chasing toys all over this hardwood floor! I've always been so worried about having a baby learn to crawl on wood floors, but it hasn't bothered him one bit. I have a big quilt I lay down, but he always goes straight for the bare floor. I guess the quilt just gets in his way. He is such a little stinker! Good thing I bought some new running shoes because I have a feeling I'll be chasing him from here on out! He hasn't quit moving his legs since he was born, so once he figures out how to use those little (okay, chunky) legs to get somewhere, LOOK OUT!

Charlee Bug started her second year of preschool today. She is so happy to be back! There are a few of the same friends from last year in her class, and a new set as well. My letting her run around naked the other day didn't pan out so well. :( She went into the bathroom (progress, right?) and did her business.....on the floor. Not nice. Do kids just finally decide that they want to go in the potty? I mean, #1 hasn't been an issue AT ALL. She transitioned with barely any accidents. I can't seem to motivate her with anything for #2, though. I know it will happen eventually. I mean, surely I won't be cleaning up poopy panties when she's 14, huh? Ha!

I had a revelation today. I was thinking of ideas for making up cards to include with my RAOKs (thanks for the suggestions, Erin and Michelle!). I know I don't want to just make it about acts of "kindness". I really want to incorporate God's love into them somehow. Sooooooo, I decided that I will change the name to Random Acts of God's Love! (I'm pretty sure I am probably not the original creator of that phrase, but I'm going to use it anyway. Shhhh! Don't tell them! Ha!) My next project is to tape a baggy with quarters and a RAOGL :) card to vending machines and inside laundry mats. We have a jar in the laundry room that has been collecting coins from pockets for years, so I now have a use for all of that change. And it's not like I'll miss the money since it's been sitting for so long. Chandler obviously doesn't miss it since he doesn't ever bother to check his pockets before putting pants in the washer. That's another story, though. ;)

I finished Radical a few nights ago. It's a book by David Platt, a megachurch pastor in Birmingham, Alabama. I don't know if I would call it awesome, only because that seems like a word to describe a "feel good" book. It really makes you question your cush American life and the materialism that envelops it. It's definitely not a "feel good" book, but it is probably one of the most inspirational, challenging, throw-it-in-your-face books I've ever read. The beginning of the book had me feeling completely incompetent as a Christian. I felt like I had completely and utterly gotten everything in my life wrong and was leading myself in the wrong direction. I mean, who ever thought of the American Dream as being bad? I threw in a little prayer now and then, and may have done a devotional when I could find the time. I even did nice things for people. I counted my blessings and tithed. None of it seemed like enough or seemed like I was worthy enough to be called a Christian when I started reading this book. I have always been a sinner and my actions will always fall short of the Glory of God, but an AMAZING redeemer saved my soul from the fiery depths of HELL! And I've been sitting around barely finding the time to obey him. I tell you, I was DEPRESSED and MAD at myself the first few days of the book. Luckily, I have a pretty awesome Sunday School teacher (yes, they call it plain, old fashioned Sunday School here in Mississippi ;) ) who reminded me of Romans 5:19 in class the next Sunday after I began the book.

For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19

Oh yeah. I almost forgot! Jesus made me righteous! No matter what I do, no matter what I don't do. How amazing is that? Pretty amazing, I'd say. I REALLY needed to be reminded of that on that particular Sunday. What did I get from it? Sit back and go back to living my cush lifestyle and chase the American dream once again since I've already been saved? OH NO! I know that one day I will stand before God and he will ask me what I did to build his kingdom. He will also ask me what I did with the abundance of blessings he bestowed upon me. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect to EVER be able to answer either of those questions with my head held high. Jesus has filled my heart, though, and His spirit leads me to WANT to do all I can to listen to and obey His will for my life. Please don't judge me when I mess up, though. :) I'm bound to do that, you know. (Thanks a lot, Adam and Eve!!) Ha!

I've got lots more to say about Radical and my year-long commitment to the Radical Experiment, so stay tuned!

Monday, August 9, 2010


This post will be shorter than previous ones, mainly because I have LOTS to do today. Sure, Jamie, you're a stay-at-home mom. What can you POSSIBLY be busy with. :) Okay, okay, so it's a lot for me, as a stay-at-home mom. Ha! Trust me, I don't forget the busyness that comes with mothering AND working full-time. I don't miss it much, either! Anyway, I've got a naked jaybird running around today (new approach to getting Charlee to poo poo in the potty), so I'm busy shadowing her every movement to make sure we don't have a pile hidden in the corner somewhere. :P Next, I've got literally hundreds of boxes to go through (okay, maybe not LITERALLY) to get stuff ready for a garage sale this weekend. I also have a sick baby boy who is not very happy with the stuff stopping him up and coming out of his nose today. :( On top of all of this, my house is a wreck, which seems to put me in an icky mood. SOOOOOO, I have LOTS to do today. :) Blogging is my break while Barrett is sleeping and Charlee is watching Dora (in HER chair covered in a thick blanket).

Charlee has always been a great sleeper. She slept through the night at 8 weeks and would only wake up in the middle of the night if she was going through a growth spurt or if she was sick. Even then she usually only woke up once a night. At least, that's how I remember it for the most part. Lucky I was, I know! I realize that now that I have a little boy who likes to hang out with his momma in the middle of the night. We were doing good, but he's back to waking up a couple of times this past week or so. Back to Charlee, though. Right before Barrett came along, we decided we would use Charlee's crib for him and buy her a big-girl bed. We bought a full-size mattress and box springs and put up a side rail. She did great with the transition, but we had to stay in the bed with her until she fell asleep for the first few weeks. Finally, she was a BIG GIRL and let us read to her, pray with her, and sing a few songs, then leave her to fall asleep on her own with the door closed. A couple of months later, she started opening doors. She loved doing this so she would come out of her room several times at night before finally giving in and falling asleep. Then, she started wanting her door to stay open, so we would leave it open until she fell asleep then close it so that her brother didn't wake her up while he was wailing in the middle of the night. Soon, though, she got upset about us closing the door and would get up to reopen it at night. Now, she makes us promise we won't close it. The last couple of weeks, we've regressed even further. She started wanting one of us to lay down with her, read, pray, sing, then she would summon the other of us (if Chandler was in town) to come in and lay down with her. One night I went in after Chandler had gone through the nightly routine. I sang a couple of songs with her and then told her I was going in the other room and she needed to go to sleep. What was her response? "Mommy, I wanna play with your hair." Okay, I feel it necessary to explain that one of my absolute favorite things is for someone to play with or fix my hair. LOVE IT! I always try to get Charlee to play with my hair, brush it, put it in clippies, whatever. She is NEVER interested. Now, all of the sudden, when it's time for me to leave her at night, she is begging to brush it. So, I did what any of you would. I let her sleep habits regress a little more. I get to lay down with the sweetest little girl in the world and have her lull me to sleep every night now. :) At the young age of 2 1/2, she's already got her momma figured out. SCARY!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Heat Wave......More like TSUNAMI!

Sheesh! I don't think I have to tell anyone anywhere remotely close to Meridian what I'm talking about.

I feel like every cast member of "A Time to Kill". You've seen it, right? Perfect adaptation of Mississippi life. Ridiculous southern drawls and sweat dripping from foreheads (and shirtless Matthew McConaughey) at all times of day and night. Did John Grisham forget to tell them we had air conditioners here? No ~ they probably were filming during a heat wave like the current one and everyone's air conditioner couldn't keep up, like ours at the present time. If you know me, you know what a terrible tragedy that is! Ha! Anything above 74 and I'm sweating. YUCK! Please, Fall, hurry up!

Along with Mississippi Summers come Mississippi critters. I've been scared to step out of my house for a week since seeing a HUGE snake in my driveway. I opened the garage, and POOF ~ there he went. Slithered away into the grass where he was never to be seen again. You may think that's wonderful, but not me. I'd much rather have him in my sight then not know where he's gonna pop up next! From my description, "It's BIG and BLACK and FAST!", Chandler informed me that it was probably a black runner. He then proceeded to tell me that they will chase you if you get close to them. LOVELY. I seriously hope he was kidding, but I'm too scared to find out otherwise. Ha! This snake was obviously the solution to my, "There are way too many lizards around my doors," problem. Haven't seen too many of those lately... What I have seen are two creepy looking caterpillar-esque things in my house. They are furry and have granddaddy long-leg type legs. I welcomed the Terminix man with open arms on Monday.

Even with all the "fun" I've experienced lately, I must tell you that I've been feeling really blessed to be back in Mississippi. A year ago, you would NOT have heard me say that. I was gung-ho Colorado bound when we ended up here, and I was not looking forward to being back. I'm finally (a year later) starting to come around and I've realized that God has put my family and me here for a purpose. That purpose just doesn't seem to involve living close to a Target, Lupe Tortilla, or Panera Bread right now. :) I pray that I can recognize God's will for me here and that I will, more importantly, OBEY His will. Isn't that the difficult part? I am so quick to say, "No, that CAN'T be what He wants me to do. I'll do THIS instead." Afterall, if we're doing something labeled "good" by society and our world, isn't that enough? Hmmmm ~ not so much, Jamie. God doesn't call us to do "good" things to feel happy with ourselves. And the world approving of ANYTHING we do should be questionable since we are not to be OF the world. I'm trying really hard not to find satisfaction and glory in myself for my RAOKs. Loving others shouldn't be meant to build ourselves up, but to build GOD up. It's ALL about HIM, not us. May all the glory be to HE who deserves it. Lord knows I don't deserve anything but punishment and persecution. What a wonderful feeling to know that someone took that punishment and persecution in my place..... I'll NEVER be able to do enough "good" to repay Him. That's not what it's about. I should, however, completely embrace His will for me and obey Him. He told me to love, so by golly, I'm gonna love! (Or try my best to, anyway.)

I had a WONDERFUL visit with a sweet friend today, and I am so glad I got to have a great conversation with her about the radical idea of pursuing the Gospel and not the American dream. I'll talk more about this and my thoughts on the book I'm finishing up, Radical, later. It was so wonderful to talk with someone who has the same guilts and struggles as me. I'll never be a perfect Christian. I'm going to screw up EVERY day, and I know that. The Love of Jesus Christ is in my life, though, and I want to try every day to show that love to everyone around me. Some days are more difficult than others. Particularly, really HOT days. Ha!

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:3,4

WOW. That's all I've got to say about that. :)

Pooh Pie and BoBo are living up to their nicknames this week. Charlee, who we used to always call Pooh Pie, decided to go poo poo in her panties at our friends' house. Nice. BoBo scratched his little booger nose again. Guess it's time to cut the fingernails. I mean, it's been all of 4 days since I cut them last! Sheesh! Little stinkers. Love them, though! Isn't it so wonderful that God put people on this earth that are SO EASY for us to love! I think our children are gifts for us to practice God's love on. Hopefully it'll create the domino effect to help us love those who are a little more difficult to serve. ;)