Saturday, December 29, 2007

All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth...

In case you missed my last post about Isaiah losing another tooth -NOT TO WORRY- he popped out yet another one today! I repeat my original sentiment regarding this phenomenon...freak!

That makes two in two days and four in one week. Contributions to the Sexton family tooth fairy fund are being accepted now. ;-) If he keeps this up I'm going to have to start chewing his food for him. With luck (and the ability to locate our camera cord) I will have some pic's for you tomorrow.

Played Apples to Apples Bible Edition with my in-laws tonight. Much fun and highly recommended for gamers out there. You can even order it from my father-in-laws website:
www.doublearun.com

More updates soon.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Georgia On My Mind

We are in Atlanta with family and having a great time. I will try to post stories and pictures soon. For now I will leave you with one tidbit:

ISAIAH lost ANOTHER tooth! What is it with that kid? When I sent him to brush his teeth last night he said, "I sorta only have a few left, Mom."

And if you're wondering -the tooth fairy did not travel with us. She's on Christmas vacation and won't be back in the office until after the New Year. Izzy doesn't seem disappointed since there are plenty of new toys to play with anyway. We're off the hook for now. =)

More coming (sooner or later)...

Monday, December 24, 2007


The Sexton Crew wishes you a
Very
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Give Love on Christmas Day

We have spent a lot of time this year (and year's past) emphasizing to our kids the importance of giving at Christmas above receiving. We think they hear us and somewhere in the recesses of their minds just behind the 'it's all about me and my presents' section, they get it. But just in case, God gave us a great opportunity to drive the point home yesterday.

The whole family was heading to WalMart (aka: the black hole). Since I am there every single week, we've gotten to know several of the employees. One of those was a young lady working in the deli. Over the course of our visits, we learned that she had a four month old daughter, which gave us an idea for building the relationship. I went through Bella's box of outgrown winter clothes and pulled out some pieces that were in great shape (she never wore some of them because summer came before she got big enough) and put them in a gift bag to give to our deli-counter friend. (yes, we knew her name but are choosing to leave it out of the story.)

We were excited for a tangible example of loving others for our kids. Well, unfortunately, we found out that she know longer works at WalMart. Bummer. We stuck the gift bag in the bottom of our cart and went on with the shopping trip. I was really disappointed. Here we were trying to do the right thing, trying to set an example for the kids, and nothing came of it. I briefly scanned the store wondering if there was anybody we could give the clothes to but quickly wrote it off and moved along. Then God showed up. He's timely that way.

While stocking up for Bella in the baby food aisle, we turned to see a woman with a baby! AMAZING! Yeah, yeah, that's not really the amazing part. Anyway, another friend from church (who just happened to be there) and I made comments about how cute the baby was and asked the usual questions: how old is she, what's her name, etc. And God said "Now, Amie."

I began with "can I ask you a strange question?" I offered the bag of clothes which were just the right size and she gladly accepted them. Then the grandmother looked at me with a strange expression and asked, "You stay in Wake Forest?" Yep. I proceeded to tell her where we live and didn't even get to finish. She knew who we were. "I thought I recognized you. I just knew it was you. We live right around the corner, just a block away from you." TADA-now, that's the amazing part!!

We went from giving a gift to someone we only saw on occasion (still a good thing, but...) to meeting people in our own neighborhood and having the chance to consistently build a relationship with them. How cool is that?

More about the day's events can be found on Tim's Blog (via Faith Baptist's website). Click here.

Here Comes Santa Claus


I was just reading about my dear friend Tara's FUN-FILLED day searching for an available Santa Claus, you can read it here. And while I hate to rub it in =), I felt especially lucky this year and figured I would share our experience. It does not include driving; there were no malls; and not one encounter with Santa's pesky little helpers.


The kids came running into the house yesterday screaming "Mom! Santa Claus just got out of a car down the street!" Apparently Santa recognizes that few people in the 'hood can manage the mall scene so he comes right to them. The most joyful black Santa I have ever seen made his way up and down the street from door to door, 'ho,ho,ho-ing' and singing in a booming baritone voice, while passing out candy to the kiddos.


Even though we aren't technically part of the government housing area, he made his way to our corner where the crew was waiting anxiously. It may have had something to do with Jayla (one of the neighborhood kids) screaming "HEY SANTA! Come over here!" Not with the tone of pleading excitement you may have read into that sentence but more of a direct order. As in, "I'll pop a cap in your jolly behind if you don't."


So, there you go Tara. Just move to the projects and hire some little thug to terrorize Santa into your yard and you've got it made. Or you could just move to a third world country where it is a non-issue. ;-) Love you!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Stuck on You

Some photos of Bella enjoying (read idolizing) her first "DumDum." The words death grip are not an understatement!






Thursday, December 20, 2007

If...

Here is the list of "if-then" clauses I am currently living by:

If I could finish the laundry then I could get packed for our trip to Atlanta.

If I could sleep through the night then I would have more energy to do laundry.

If I would stop drinking sugar laced coffee and hot chocolate right before bed then I could sleep through the night.

If I wasn't overwhelmed by the task of doing laundry and packing for our trip to Atlanta then I wouldn't turn to the comfort of sugar laced coffee and hot chocolate.

Yes, the pattern is quite clear. And I realize that IF I break the pattern THEN I won't have to whine about it on this blog. But what IF...whining is more fun than actually accomplishing something? Then I better go have some hot chocolate.

;-)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Beauty School Drop Out

In other news tonight... we've learned of a beauty salon in Wake Forest, North Carolina owned and operated by Miss Isabella Sexton, who, in fact, does not have a license to practice cosmetology. Our researchers did some digging into this story and found that Miss Sexton dropped out of beauty school at a very, very early age but has continued managing this boutique illegally for some time. We caught up with the salon owner earlier this afternoon but as you can see, she was unwilling to give us a complete interview. We'll let you decide for yourself. Would you trust this woman with your hair?

Here we found her working with a client.




She seemed very focused on the task. It took a moment before she noticed our crew BUT she did notice us.




"HEY! What's going on? You people got an appointment?"



"Get outta my studio. Right now. You hear me. Get on out."


"I said no cameras up in here. Turn that (censored) camera off!"

;-)

I Keep on Fallin'

Piles of junk on floor + two boys running around like maniacs =



A 1/4 inch in any direction and we would've had serious problems. God is good and goose eggs are better than blindness!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Time Warp

(song title chosen for my Aunt Pam and her Rocky Horror Picture Show days. =))

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Rocky Horror Picture Show (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) maybe you are familiar with another time warp known as WalMart. It's seems like no matter what I do I can't just get in and get out of that place. And yesterday was no exception. I arrived at approximately 11:15 am. I pulled out of the parking lot at 2:15 pm. THREE HOURS! ugh. No, I wasn't fighting or dragging along four children. I was all alone. Please believe me when I tell you that if given the opportunity to actually enjoy three hours of alone time I would never consciously choose to squander it away with the other four billion people at WalMart.

The first forty-five minutes weren't so bad. But another thirty minutes, hour, hour and a half later and I started feeling trapped. It was like one of those dreams where someone/something really scary is after you but your feet feel like lead weights and you can't run no matter how hard you try. My brain was racing on high speed and I knew my legs were moving, but I didn't seem to be getting anywhere. Then after finally getting everything unloaded and rung up I realized that the scary creature wasn't chasing me, it had been waiting for me at the cash register. "Your total comes to _____." AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

With great fear and trepidation, I slayed the beast using my handy debit card. Then the computer has the nerve to ask if I want "cash back." Does this monster really think there's anything left in the account? Or is he just mocking me from the grave? "NO." I hit the enter button with a quick jab -a last little poke to be sure he was dead. Then I collect my scroll, er, receipt and finally make my way out to the parking lot. I am weary, worn, and walk slightly slumped over my cart but I rise from the ashes a victor! My Christmas shopping is done!!!!

"I am the champion, my friend..."

(two songs in one post -consider it a freebie =0))

Friday, December 14, 2007

At Last

Bella has a tooth!

We were starting to wonder if God had forgotten this one little detail. For a kid who has done everything early, it's about stinking time.

Nathan was so happy for her. "Bella, you get to eat pizza now!" This will make her very happy, too. The last time we went to Cici's Pizza the little sneak somehow avoided detection from two moms sitting at the table with her and dove into Tim's plate while he was refilling a drink. Another friend from church just happened to be sitting across the way and noticed the sauce covered child with both hands full of cheesy bread. Anita snapped this shot of her after we had contained most of the damage.




Maybe instead of birthday cake in January we'll just order up a large pepperoni pizza.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Man! I Feel Like a Woman!

I could not resist using this title for this post. You will see why. It has come to my attention that one of my most faithful readers is feeling a little self-conscious. And being given knowledge of this slight vulnerability, there's only one thing to do...take full advantage of it for my personal enjoyment, of course! =)

Ron Millender is one of our closest friends (along with his wife, Chris), one of my most devoted readers, and incidentally the only man who regularly posts comments on this blog. And he may be feeling a bit alone. So, I am asking you all to help me offer him some assurance. Are there any other men who read this???!! If so, will you please identify yourself in the comment section of this post? Please! It's easy. Just read the directions at the bottom of the post. Wait. What am I thinking? Men are not going to read the directions are they?

Or if you are a woman but your husband has been known to read this blog over your shoulder or independently, will you comment on his behalf?



Let's work together to make Ron feel comfortable, after all...







...he clearly has other issues to work through.

To post a comment: click the comments link in the lower right hand corner of this post. Type your comment and then sign in as either a google user or anonymous if you don't have a google account. Hit submit. Your message will not automatically show up. I will get your comment via the blog and publish it asap. Thanks GUYS!

If I Only Had a Brain

My daughter, Mamoune, is a very smart young lady and in some ways mature beyond her years. BUT during this interchange yesterday, well, you be the judge:

The Setting -Mamoune is looking at the computer over her mom's shoulder and mutters something incomprehensible.

Mom: What did you just say?
Mamoune: (swallows and repeats sentence, the content of which is irrelevant to the story)
Mom: What was in your mouth?
Mamoune: (with eyes bulging) Trash.
Mom: (with eyes bulging and mouth agape) Trash from where?
Mamoune: The floor.
Mom: You put trash from the floor in your mouth?
Mamoune: Yes.
Mom: And then you swallowed it?
Mamoune: Yes.

(Mom stares at Mamoune in disbelief. Turns her back to the child and places her head in her hands. Returns to the child and continues to stare in disbelief.)

Mom: Exactly what kind of trash was it?
Mamoune: I don't know.
Mom: You have no idea what it was or what it could have been from?
Mamoune: It was kinda fuzzy.

Just when you thought this family couldn't be any weirder. sigh.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Only the Good Die Young

Appropriate title. Horrible song. Is it true? Clearly not. But here's my question: what does "good" mean?

I saw a brief interview with a friend of Robert Hawkins' (Omaha shootings) in which he said of Hawkins, "He wasn't a monster...he was a good person." Really? Compared to whom? He just mowed down eight people in a shopping mall two weeks before Christmas! What the heck???



I don't know why this is surprising since the number one answer given for why someone should make it to heaven is "I'm a good person." Again, I have to ask by what standard? So, for the sake of analysis, let's remove the element of faith and just based on a list of people I consider to be really good humans see where someone like me would fall on the "Goodness will get me to heaven" scale.

Good People
Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Oprah Winfrey
How does Amie compare? Never won a Nobel Peace Prize; never led a peaceful revolution; never done humanitarian work in South Africa

Yikes. That doesn't work out so well for me. Maybe I'm coming at it from the wrong angle. Let's try it this way.

Bad People
Adolph Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Ted Bundy
How does Amie compare? Never incited a world war; never orchestrated a terrorist attack; never raped and bludgeoned an unconfirmed number of victims

Yes! I am sooo getting into heaven now. As long as God lets ME choose the standard of good or bad by which I am measured, it shouldn't be a problem. whew. But then I wonder...

Did the guys who flew into the trade center think they were doing something good? If so, does it count as good? Or does the general population's perception that it was bad negate their "good" motivation? Or does my thinking that what they did was bad even though they think it's good make me bad for saying their good is bad? Or are they bad for thinking that what I say is bad is good?

Dang it! If only there was some way to be reconciled to God without having to compare myself to other people!!


"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life."
John 3:16

Wow! That is good news!


(Want to know more about this Son who gives eternal life? Email us at amiefamie@myembarq.com)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hit Me Baby One More Time

I have to preface by assuring my dear friend, Mrs. Livesay, that I don't intentionally go looking for these things. It's just God's gift to me. =)

If you image google "tooth fairy" you get lots of tooth fairies. BUT if you image google "goofy tooth fairy" you get picture number TWO in the line up -Hope and Isaac Livesay!

Tara, are you still in denial? psychotic, goofy? I would never use these words to describe your family.

;-)

You Give Love a Bad Name

Indeed, we do. More specifically, we give the Tooth Fairy a bad name. And if remembering to "tooth fairy" is equated to loving your children -we are up a creek.


(side note: My kids love this song. They are currently walking through the kitchen singing Nathan's interpretation of it --"walk through the hall, but you're still late..." You would think he's been to high school or something. ???)


It all started last night when Isaiah was sent to brush his teeth. After a few seconds he calls out in a sing-song voice, "Come here, Mommy. It's something happy." Since nothing "happy" has been associated with the bathrooms for some time now, I'm up for a treat. I look in to see the sink full of bloody toothpaste (oh joy, more body fluids). Isaiah stands proudly with foaming pink spit dripping down his chin, smiling and pointing in his signature way to a small tooth lying on the corner of the sink.


Let me interrupt the current story to share a brief summation of tooth pulling at our house. There's Mamoune. The ever conflicted stoic drama queen. She pulls her own teeth out without anyone even knowing they were loose. The stoic part. Then she makes a grand entrance with hips swiveling and eyelashes fluttering to announce her conquest. If she were a better speller/reader I have no doubt she would fashion her own "applause" cue cards. It's not about money, it's about fame.


Then there's Nathan. Nathan believes, despite his parents constant reassurance, that every tooth in his head is directly rooted into his brain and pulling the wrong one will result in a horrific and painful death. He wants to be a marine. I could be mistaken but I think there is an unwritten rule in which pulling a tooth without hysterical screaming is prerequisite to taking a bullet for your country. As for money -we could flash a 100 dollar bill in his face and still his mouth would be clamped shut.


And finally, we have Isaiah. His first teeth came out while we were visiting a family in Kentucky. We put the kids down for bed and shortly after Nathan came out and excitedly reported that Isaiah had pulled his tooth. We congratulated Izzy and settled them all back into bed. Five minutes later, the whole gang comes bustling down the hall "Isaiah pulled another tooth!" At this point we're thinking dude, are you just bored? Fortunately he stopped at two that night. Fear of dying? Not an issue. Overpowering drive for recognition? Nope. For Isaiah it's all about the cash. Back to our story:


Me: (with less enthusiasm than a good mom should have) You're tooth fell out.


Izzy: (with more enthusiasm than any person should have) I GET MONEY! YES!!!


He put the tooth in a Ziploc bag and stored it under his pillow. This is where the system breaks down. See, we've never really done the official Tooth Fairy gig. It wasn't so much about deep spiritual convictions as it was about figuring that our reality was grueling enough without having the added pressure of keeping some tooth-stealing pixie under wraps. We had the same theory about the Easter Bunny. (Lazy Parenting 101 sign ups in the comment section) Instead, we made it a game. If Mom (aka Tooth Fairy) can get into your room and slide the money under your pillow without waking you up -you get to keep the money. If you wake up -Mom gets to keep the money.

No, it doesn't make a lot of sense but it works in two important ways: we don't have to keep up the Tinker Bell charade AND I barely have to sneak because even if they did wake up they would never let on. Everybody wins. Unless of course, Mom pops up at 5:45 am and says "craaayup!"

There was one saving grace. Nathan and Isaiah had switched bunks last night. Nathan had a fever and fearing the worst, a recurrence of stomach flu, we put Nathan on the bottom for easier bathroom access. Ah, a plan was emerging. My hero, Twinkle Toes Tim, went out to the truck to retrieve some spare change. Put it in a baggy and then penned the following note and placed it on the kitchen table:

"Isaiah,

Where were you? I almost gave your money to Nathan! Since I couldn't find you, I put your $$ in the Christmas tree. Bet you can't find it! (I knew you would come to the table today!)

~T.T. F"

We pulled it off with only one hitch -the stand-in tooth fairy meant to give $1 but somehow only counted out 95 cents. Must be the costs of gas in fairy land. =)

LATE ADDENDUM: We get a chance to redeem ourselves. The boy just popped out another tooth. Freak.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Coming Out of the Dark

Tim was singing this three days ago (a bit prematurely) but NOW I think it's true. We have stepped back into the light of healthy digestive tracts. There are still a few coughing/snotting issues but those seem minor in comparison. Tim is back to work and we are back to the usual daily events. And now for your viewing, er, reading pleasure; I have compiled a list of five things I was taking for granted before last week:

#5 -Not having to taste and see every meal twice! I gotta tell you though, the last think I ate before I ... you know ...was Fruity Pebbles. Which may go down (and back up) as one of the least unpleasant episodes ever. Must be something about all that sugar. Not that I'd do it again for fun but if you know it's coming, I recommend Fruity Pebbles.

#4 -Not having to see every meal that my kids eat twice! I don't know what Isaiah had on his plate at church last Wednesday and normally I have nothing but compliments for our amazing kitchen crew BUT even the legendary Karen Frisbee's cooking leaves something to be desired when revisited.

#3 -Trash cans that are actually used as trash cans! No commentary.

#2 -Kissing and hand holding! When you are trying to keep germs confined these things are not an option. And while I am happy to kiss my husbands sweet, smooth, and feverish head; some lips would be nice. Which brings me to...

#1 -Naturally regulated body temperature! (What did you think I was going to say? Get out of the gutter, people. =)) Seriously, fevers are nasty and unless you are dealing with PMS, menopause, or illness; it's good to have a steady, comfortable, internal temperature.

Have a great Monday everyone!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

He fought a good fight but in the wee hours of morning the enemy overtook him and Tim became the fifth victim of the stomach bug. He held out the longest and was so disappointed. "I thought I had it beat," he said weakly just as I emptied clear evidence that "it" was definitely beating him.

He is resting now and the kids and I are doing some cleaning. I am so thankful for the crazy rise in temperature. It's nice to open the windows and air out after a week like this.

Tim was wondering yesterday, what kind of world we live in where I can write stories about vomit and diarrhea and other people actually read them. It's a good question. I've been pondering it and here's my best guess: it's all about relating to something outside of ourselves. It's the same reason millions of us watched Seinfeld -the show about nothing, and why stand up comics are so entertaining. If we can catch a glimpse of ourselves in someone else's experiences or observations -we feel validated.

When someone whose blog I read is going through stressful times and gets ticked off and blows their cool (totally hypothetical =)) I think to myself, yes, I am not the only freak out there. And as a Christian, blogs offer an amazing connection to the body of Christ. To think that believers across the globe can say "I've been right where you are," or "I see you hurting and I'm praying for you," or even "you are cracking me up" gives new meaning to the admonition in Romans 12:15 to "rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep."

OR I could be way off base and it's really our innate depravity that gives us pleasure in the suffering and misfortune of others.

That being said -to those of you who have endured the recent posts about body function and human waste for whatever reason -THANK YOU!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Country Roads


This was Mema's favorite song (and another fun one for you Mr.Millender). Mema was Tim's maternal grandmother. Yesterday marked the four year anniversary of her passing. She was a special lady in many ways and I want to take the opportunity to just mention a few.

For years we thought Mema was, well, crazy. She was the kind of woman who would take every opportunity to brag on her family and to talk about her Jesus. I mean every opportunity. Church services, weddings, funerals, etc. It didn't matter who was supposed to be the focus of the service, she could turn it to her advantage. It was embarrassing, humiliating, and truly endearing.

It wasn't until Mema was deep in the clutches of Alzheimer's Disease that some of us saw her for what she truly was...a faithful child of God. In those days, she didn't know most of us by name or even face. She was lost in passages of time gone by. But the one thing she never wavered on was her Savior -His sweet name, His saving grace, and the songs that had marked her years of service to Him. She loved to sing and if you were with her for more than, uh, 3 seconds, you were going to hear and do some singing, too.

Being just a granddaughter-in-law, I didn't have the benefit of all the years but Mema and I shared something special. We each had a dimple on one cheek. She would always tell me "I'll kiss your sugar bowl and you can kiss mine." It was our little bonding moment. =)

If you have a moment, say a prayer for Tim's mom -Patsy, and her siblings. That time will continue to heal the hurt while the memories grow sweeter and sweeter.

This is tooooo funny. I was on google images looking for a fun picture that I might add to the previous story about the midnight caroler. I typed in "psychotic caroler" and guess who pops up?

THREE, count them 3 pictures of the Livesay crew! Go ahead, Tara Livesay. Google it yourself.

Ha!! 'Splain dat. oh, it hurts to laugh but this is just rich.

And the Gift Goes On

That title is for Ron Millender. He needed a new song in his head. =)

I don't know what I did wrong. I washed my hands. I took my pro-biotics. All my defenses were in place and yet, I was attacked from the North and the South. (Sorry, that was the least graphic way to put it.) Here's where we stand so far. There are six of us. Four have been taken down. One is living under a cloud of doom. And the other one?

If you track with us long enough you will notice that through every family illness one name is conspicuously missing from the list of casualties -Mamoune. We can't explain it but we have a theory. Apparently living in a third world country and a crowded and filthy city like Port-au-Prince where she breathed and ingested goodness knows how much dirt creates a ridiculously strong and almost inhuman immune system. And while on the one hand, it's one less scream in the night, one less bucket of muck to clean up after; on the other hand, her inexperience with physical illness has left her with little to no compassion for the rest of us. (ha-the child just gave me a real time example to share with you. She just walked by and said "Mom, you should taste that sausage we ate, it's so good." Sweet and thoughtful for wanting me to enjoy something that she obviously liked? YES! Clueless of how the idea of eating sausage effects my weakened stomach? YES! ) We think it would be a great movement in our bonding process if she would, just once, get sick enough to totally need us. It hasn't happened yet. Super Girl continues to hang tough.

Back to today's report. I do feel better. And on the bright side, it's been one week since I made my 6 pound declaration. I stepped on the scale this morning and YOU'LL NEVER BELIEVE THIS -I've lost 4 pounds!!!! I'm over half way there and I barely even worked out. That chocolate plan is paying off. whoohoo! Okay, okay, I know it doesn't count and as soon as I get back to eating without the involuntary and immediate recycling process, I'll be right back where I was. But for today I'm going to sip my chicken soup, nibble saltines, and put a heating pad on my back while basking in the knowledge that I am four pounds lighter. ;-)

Lest you think that vomiting is the only excitement around these parts, I'll share the other culprits of sleeplessness that haunted us last night. #1-Bella. The girl cried forever! I have a theory about this, too. Wednesday night she slept on the couch with mom. Thursday early, early morning she ended up in the bed with mom. So by Friday night, the old crib was lonely. It took Tim several trips and coaxing to convince her that she wasn't coming to sleep with us. And finally she settled down. In the midst of cry-fest came #2-the trashcan tippers. A couple of guys walking down the street at 1:30 am (yea, that's a good sign) were apparently annoyed by our emptied garbage can that was still out by the street. So, one of them knocked it over. A big, empty can hitting the ground is rather loud and startling and didn't help at all with Bella's crying issue. Oh well, I just hope whichever one shoved it over had the good sense to wash his hands. Or maybe I don't.

And last but by no means least #3 -the caroler. A little after two o'clock in the morning a gentlemen was walking by singing "The Little Drummer Boy" very loudly. I'm serious. Not making this stuff up. A theory? I just happen to have one. =) I'm guessing he was either drunk, nervous (you know those times when you are frightened and start humming any and every hymn you can think of -is that just me?) or he was just truly filled with the Christmas spirit. Whichever the case, despite my nausea, the insane hour, and the bizarreness of it all --it made me smile. What else can you do when a cheerful, soulful voice goes pah-rum-pum-pumming down the street?

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Oh What a Night


6:00 pm Bella has a blow out diaper at church. Amie brings her home early.

8:00 pm Bella goes down for the night (or so we think).

9:00 pm Tim and kids get home from church. Nathan's throat hurts.

9:15 pm Bella has another blow out diaper and refuses to be comforted.

10:00 pm Tim and his coughing, scratchy-throated self takes medicine and goes to bed. Amie and Bella try to sleep on the couch.

11:45 pm Bella's fever goes down and she finally quits fidgeting enough to fall asleep on a pallet
beside the couch.

1:05 am Isaiah throws up twice -in his bed and on the floor. Amie cleans up, changes sheets, and supplies Izzy with a vomit bucket and dose of acidophilus. Amie wakes Tim up and gives him acidophilus. Tim starts coughing. Amie feels bad but still thinks coughing is better than vomiting.

2:00 am Amie returns to the couch and listens for sounds of puking, pooping, and coughing.

4:00 am Isaiah throws up again -in the bucket, thankfully!

4:30 am Amie returns to the couch and Bella begins moaning and passing ridiculous amounts of gas in her sleep.

5:00 am Amie pats Bella and thinks of our friend Cory Thornton (stationed in Japan with the Marines) who is just about 8 hours out of surgery for an elbow that is broken in two places. Amie is very thankful for the dose of perspective and wonders how to say "hurl" in Japanese.

5:45 am Tim takes Amie's place on the couch and sends her to the bedroom. Tim continues coughing. Bella starts crying. Tim tries to get her back to sleep on his chest.

6:00 am Nathan screams for his daddy because he is coughing his head off. Tim carries Bella with him to give Nathan some medicine.

Unbeknownst to them, Tim and Amie share a moment of prayerful relief that the sun will be up soon and this night will end.

9:00 am Everyone is up. No more vomiting so far. Bella is a crab. Amie is a crab. Tim is going to try and put in a couple of hours of work. We are out of Children's Tylenol and Motrin. There is carpet to clean and laundry to do.


Projected for 2:00 pm -FAMILY NAP!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Dose of Reality

This will sound harsh. Even mean. If that bothers you -stop reading now. I have four kids. Mamoune is bossy and has a rebellious heart. Nathan is wimpy and a quitter. Isaiah is lazy and easily influenced. Isabella -too young to tell. If your jaw happens to be laying on the ground now, please pick it up and put it back on your face. I am not a hateful mom. It's not like we have t-shirts printed up with "wimpy," "bossy," and "lazy" on them. I love my kids. And I could make a list ten times as long of the good things I see in them. But I do see the character flaws which have the potential to destroy each of them if not chiseled, smoothed, and brought under the control of the Holy Spirit.

In fact, they are particularly easy to recognize because most days they are little mirror images of their mother. I am fully capable of being all the horrible things I've attributed to them. What's worse, I have ample experience being a lazy, rebel-hearted quitter all in the same two seconds.

This is where I find myself in parenting right now. It's not just about random or childish acts of disobedience. It's realizing that their choices seem to be consistently defined by these character traits. This is not what I want for them. I want to see Mamoune's bossiness become true biblical leadership and her heart to be full of tender mercies and service. I want wimpy Nathan to become a man of deep compassion who is willing to go the distance to see justice done. I want to see Isaiah become driven to influence others toward Godliness.

I believe my kids are well-behaved. (you may have evidence to the contrary -shrug) The older ladies in our neighborhood are always telling us that they are "mannerly children". It makes me smile. But I know that having kids who chew with their mouths closed, say yes ma'am, no ma'am, please, and thank you is not enough. It's a start and it's necessary but it isn't the end goal. I believe it was Michael Pearl (No Greater Joy Ministries) who said, "figure out what you want your children to be and then be that 10 times over." ugh. I've got my work cut out for me. Thankfully, God has provided a Paraclete (one of those fancy seminary words that Tim taught me) to come along side and advocate for me and the kids as we work through our flaws together.

Paraclete (Holy Spirit) not to be confused with parakeet (loud obnoxious bird) -although that could be fun, too. "Sqaaaawk, stop being lazy, sqaaaawk"

Monday, December 3, 2007

Photos

The Youngsville Christmas Parade:



Isaiah walking with the Upward Basketball group.


Post-parade snacks.



Other random photos:





Friday, November 30, 2007

Mission Impossible


Go ahead take a second and hum the theme song in your head...


(dum, dum, dum-dum, dum, dum...)


You can't help it, can you? Funny, but not the point of this post. The actual point? I have decided to do the impossible! Well, to try to do the impossible. In the season of sweets, treats, and gluttony in the name of Christmas cheer I, Amie Sexton, being of feeble mind and somewhat disproportionate body, do hereby and not withstanding solemnly make known my intentions by means of declaration to be administered on this 30th day of November 2007; thus and such and so forth, yadda, yadda...to lose 6 pounds by Christmas Day.


Yeah, yeah, I see you rolling your eyes and scoffing my efforts but I will not be deterred. Here are my reasons for insanity.


1. The mirror. 'Nuf said.


2. The Biggest Loser -I LOVE this show! Tim and I watch it every week and it inspires me. It inspires Tim, too, in his own special way. He can't seem to watch it without suddenly craving a bedtime snack. Bizarre, I know. He's watched an entire episode while downing Hershey kisses that are lovingly tucked inside marshmallows. Gives new meaning to the show title. =)


So why 6 pounds? Hmmmm. Because five seemed blase and 10 seemed unrealistic. But six feels just right. The Biggest Loser people are dropping 6 lbs in a week -never mind the 24 hour gym access and personal trainers. I won't be discouraged by reality. Speaking of reality, a big shout out to Michelle Woolverton. I wasn't expecting to bump into my conscience in the WalMart aisle but there it was, embodied by Miss "state the obvious". I had just reached up and grabbed two (yes two) 1/2 pound bars of Hershey's milk chocolate. I tried to explain: "I know myself well enough to know that I need an out, of sorts. Just a little treat to keep me from over indulging." With eyebrow raised, Michelle said "and that's why you need two of them?"


Just between us, I never really liked those Woolverton's. ;-)


I give you all permission to hold me accountable for the next four weeks. You can ask me the hard questions (i.e. Did you exercise today? Have you already eaten the entire Hershey bar? etc.). And I will try to keep you posted on my progress.


My starting weight is ... 125 lbs! You didn't really expect me to give you my REAL weight, did you? Heck no! But this pretend weight will do for our purposes. Wish me luck and supernatural self-control. Say it with me: sweet potato pie is of the devil...pumpkin pie is bad...cheesecake is...is...I'm gonna have to pray about that one.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Revisiting the barn

You may recall from our barn-dwelling days, the vast amount of wildlife we got to endure, er, enjoy. You may also remember this post regarding our mystery creature. We took the guesses of our reading audience and in the end awarded Mrs. Bobbey Sakoman the crown for recognizing a woodchuck and Leslie for being a rodent behind expert. Ladies I hate to tell you this. We were wrong. All this time later it took public television reruns of Marty Stouffer's Wild America to set us straight.



It turns out that we had a Fisher (sometimes known as an American Marten). Good ol' Marty and his wife took in two orphaned fishers and we got to enjoy watching them grow and learn to hunt and all the time I was thinking, that looks so familiar. So, we do regret to tell Bobbey and Leslie that your title must be revoked. We hope you've enjoyed your 7 month reign and all the perks that went with it. Please return your tiara's and sashes back to us within the week.
;-)



And now, a new queen must be crowned! Drum roll, please.



Congratulations Kris Meadows!

How foolish we were to doubt you when you even included a photo link in your comment. You are wicked smart and we offer our deepest apologies and highest regard for your wildlife prowess!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

What a day! I don't know about you guys but I'm beat and I don't think the crash point from WAY too much sugar and carbs has even hit yet. We had such a great time enjoying food and fellowship with friends and neighbors. We had about 10 adults and 14 children for lunch plus 4 adults and 4 additional children who just came for short visits. Yet somehow ye old double wide is still a-standin'. Here are some pic's and commentary on the days fun.


Mamoune and Jayla helped me make pecan pies and cheese cookies the day before. They were pretty good helpers and were kind enough not to eat all the ingredients before we could get them cooked. And they took great pride in wearing the evidence of their hard work. Jayla's grandmother lives across the street and when they aren't fighting like sisters these two are great friends.





Isaiah was much more interested in playing outside with Nathan and the other boys while the work was being done. Yet somehow he showed up just in time to lick the bowl. He has a sixth sense about these things. Don't even try to unwrap a piece of candy within a 100 miles of this kid. He will come outta nowhere with ears cocked at alert and ask (as if he doesn't already know) "are you eating something?"









You've heard the expression "barking up the wrong tree"? Well, this is what happens if you do that at our friend Roger's house. It was a beautiful morning to skitter around, gathering nuts and acorns for the winter months to come until... BAM! (and I don't meant that Emeril Lagasse style) Don't tell me we're the only ones to boast of our traditional Thanksgiving squirrel?
Just so ya know, I took a bite. A tiny bite. But having just been listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks singing "All I want for Christmas is my tooth front teeth" (which in and of itself is ironic given their propensity toward large incisors) I couldn't shake the image of this little guy scurrying about the yard with his fur still on. shrug.



Here's the adult portion of the crew (adultness based on chronology not maturity =)) plus Elijah. Bella was napping and the rest of the entourage of younguns was outside playing and we were not stupid enough to call them in for the picture. Thus the smiling faces.









And here we have evidence of a startling discovered made today. Apparently, overeating promotes hair growth. Just two more pieces of pie and Tim could've busted out his best Cher impersonation. If only he could turn back time. ;-)






Lastly, Bella and I were missing from the photos today because I tend to be behind the camera and she tends to nap. So, here's a day before shot of us.


Only a truly sweet baby girl could manage a smile while a nose is being driven through her eye socket and penetrating her cerebral cortex.
I do want to say on a serious note how incredibly thankful we are for our families and friends and for our Amazing God who blesses us beyond anything we deserve. And lastly, you've heard mention of my grandmother (Mamabel) several times if you read this site. She is a very precious lady to me. Thanksgiving is a bittersweet time for both her and my father and uncle because my grandfather passed away on Thanksgiving Day just a few years ago. After his death, I compiled some of the stories they had shared with us over the years (my Papaw was quite a story teller) and created a short book in their honor. I am going to download it chapter by chapter on my "literary dumping ground" site for anyone who might be interested. You can click here or use the link to the right. Also, I will try to download it in the correct order so that you won't have to scroll and read from the bottom up. Hopefully that will work. It's a great story (the real one not so much my writing of it) and I hope you will say a prayer for Mamabel during this season of sweet and sad memories.
We love and are thankful for each of you!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Filler

A little trick I learned from the master blogger Livesays. When you don't have time to write something clever -fill in with pictures.

Preparing for her breakout session at next year's Women of Faith conference.


Stashing her liquor (that she doesn't want the Women of Faith people to know about)


"It's apple juice, people. Really."

What do ya mean "walk a straight line"?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Our friend Gloria and her 11 month old, Elijah, have been staying with us for a couple of weeks. Elijah is one of three children that I have had the pleasure of seeing come into the world. The first was my nephew, Jordan. The second was TJ, the son of really good seminary friends. And then came Elijah last December. It's so cool that I've gotten to see this miracle so many times without ever having to personally hoist my knees behind my earlobes. ;-) God is good.
Elijah and Bella are buddies. And despite waking each other at crazy hours, occasional hair pulling, and pacifier snatching, they have been enjoying each others company. Elijah greets Bella in the mornings with his signature "uuuuuuhhhhhhhh!!!!" Which I assume translates into something really sweet like "good morning, sweetheart." Then, when I lay her on the floor for her bottle, he will crawl over, gently kiss her on the head, and then rip the bottle from her hands and try to guzzle it down before the adults come to her rescue. It's a love/hate relationship.
And while we don't normally promote pre-marital coed bathing, here are some fun pictures of them getting cleaned up for church.





Wednesday, November 7, 2007

For you, Heather!

My friend Heather, who is in France (cryingoniontears.blogspot.com) has ever so subtly asked me to update the blog. =) I guess you all have been looking at Nanny McPhee for quite a while, huh?

Things have been hectic around here. Lots of needs, lots of opportunities to serve others. Oh, and lots of completely selfish thoughts like -if you have a question, need help, need encouragement, need prayer, or just need a sympathetic ear -TOUGH! I'm all tapped out so back off. Yep, real Christ-like ain't it? Well, clearly I haven't said this to anyone and on most days am not quite ready to peel my skin off my own body but it remains true that serving is hard. It requires a certain level of sacrifice, and sacrifice requires a certain level of selflessness, and well, selflessness doesn't leave much time for self. And that is where it all comes down, doesn't it? I'm a loser.

But I'm fighting my loserness and I suppose that's worth something. I will be teaching/sharing at a class tonight at church and am rather nervous. You can say a prayer for me if you think of it.

Heather/Cammie -I know this wasn't much but hopefully it will hold you over for a day or two. =) Love you.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Fun

There are lots of different opinions about Halloween out there and I have no desire to debate the issue on this blog. Let's just say it falls under Romans 14 and we will "let each be firmly convinced in his own mind." That said:




What do you think? Not bad for last minute thrown together stuff from the Goodwill. The hat (which I had to spray paint) wasn't quite black enough; my moles were backwards; and my tooth was a bit longer than necessary but you gotta give me credit...I was working that uni-brow. =) Nanny McPhee is one of my heroes. I love the movie and HIGHLY recommend it. It's like a parenting 101 class. This is what I love about her:

-She expects children to behave
-She uses very few words
-She carries a very big stick
What's not to like?
Last year, I dressed up as another of my heroes --the wife of our Pastor of Counseling, Louise Thornton.




Fun, fun. I think I enjoy this holiday even more now than I did as a kid. I have no pictures of the kids in their costumes. Loser mom. Sorry. Partly because they had stripped out of them (they were clothed underneath) within 5 minutes of getting to our church carnival. You can't slide down big blow up things while wearing capes and light sabers. shrug. It was quite a night though. There were 2 adults and 5 kids in my van. And two adults and eight children in the church van that Tim drove. Here are some random pictures of the crew as best I could keep up with them:


Angela -the bee keeper



Nathan on the mechanical bull.




Javon on the bull.



Princess Gloria

Spider-Elijah and Yoda in the background.

Tim went dressed as a Pastor. Original. Oh wait, he wore his Panthers hat. So, that made him a pastor/Panther's fan. He goes all out for these things. =)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mobility

video

Walking at nine months. ptooey. We've considered hobbling her but that doesn't seem like the loving parent thing to do. Sorry grandfolk -it looks like the "baby" will be an accomplished toddler by Christmas.

In addition to thinking this baby stage has gone by WAY too fast, I had to hold back tears in Walmart last night. We were picking up winter wardrobes for the crew and something about 10 slims put a huge lump in my throat. I looked at Tim and said "we've never had to buy pants this big. I'm going to cry." He laughed and decided to help the situation by pointing out how Isaiah's head comes only a few inches below his (Tim's) shoulder. Tim is not short, he is average. (in height -in everything else he is far above average ;-)) Isaiah is six and a beast.

My babies are growing up. That's kinda the point, isn't it? In many ways I can't wait for them to go. Just thinking of all the time Tim and I will have together for uninterrupted conversations, ahem, among other things =) makes me very excited about the way God worked this family thing out. In other ways, well...swallowing lumps. Gotta go.

Side note to Tara -jeans are nothing compared to college. Loving you and feeling your pain in small ways!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Weighing in...

After such loving and supportive comments on my last post =) I decided I better get something new up and fast.




Tim and I have been working for a couple of months (well, for years actually but I'm talking consistently) on developing healthier and perhaps somewhat thinner versions of ourselves. Better food choices, discipline in portioning, and exercise are the basics of our plan. I don't count calories, I don't add up fat grams, and most of all I don't like the scale. It's all about the numbers. In fact, we haven't owned a scale for many, many years because I know my weakness. I have a tendency to obsess. The number on the scale becomes all-powerful and that's just an annoying way to live. Despite this, I caved to the request of my husband to purchase a scale. I've weighed myself five times in the five days we've owned it. For those of you who aren't math-minded -that's once a day. Not bad. Not obsessing. Still more than really necessary but I feel good that I have made my peace with the scale. Tim, on the other hand...

weighs himself constantly. Not so much because he cares what it says but because he is so fascinated by the fluctuation of the number through out the day. He wakes up, he weighs. He runs, he weighs. He showers, he weighs. He eats, he weighs. He poops, he weighs.

(Tim would like for me to point out that he has never weighed himself post-poop. This is just an example of his wife exaggerating the truth for the sake of humor. However, he does admit that his curiosity is now peaked, so there's that.)

A few mornings ago he came into the bedroom and said, "I gained six pounds with breakfast and shoes." I shook my head and said, "maybe you should stop eating shoes for breakfast." ;-)

If I'd known how much fun he would have with this new "toy" I would've waited and given it to him for Christmas. Who knew?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Five Second Rule

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"The five-second rule is a popular urban legend, and common rule among many people today, regarding the eating of food that has been dropped on the ground. The origins of the tale are unknown. It claims that if food falls on the ground, it may be safely eaten as long as it is picked up within 5 seconds.
There are many local variations on the rule. In many areas the time limit is modified so that it is known variously as the three-second rule, seven-second rule, eight-second rule, or ten-second rule. In some variations, the person picking up the food arbitrarily extends the time limit based on the actual amount of time required to retrieve the food."

Like many of you, we have our own family variation of this rule. It goes something like this: If you can reconstitute it with your own saliva -have at it. Come on, freeze dried -- floor dried? Is there really that big a difference? (For those of you speed dialing social services...it's a joke! Please, put the phone down.)

But let's ponder this for a moment, shall we? Why? Because I have nothing else to blog about that's why. Work with me, people.
Why is it that only certain foods are given the benefit of this rule? Cookies, candy, gum...the fun foods. They are just naturally ushered under the protective umbrella of retrievable, rule-worthy foods. But what of the sad green bean? The lowly brussel sprout? The lima? (I realize many people don't eat these even when they aren't on the ground but that's not the point.) Are they not worthy of redemption? Have they no value in our eyes? Am I truly this desperate for blog material?! ugh.

Okay, in an effort to salvage the senseless ramblings of someone who probably just needs to sweep her floor instead of pondering the depths of discarded food, I will say this: I think that there are times that I must look to God like a steamed squash that's been dropped on, kicked across, and smushed into the carpet of Golden Corral. eeeewwww. I'm glad He is willing to scoop me up and knock the dirt off.

End of silliness. Have a great day!