Thursday, January 31, 2008

Doctor, Doctor

I had to take Bella to the doctor this past Saturday and then again on Tuesday for a follow up. She's been snotty and had a little cough but woke up Saturday morning with a serious wheeze and some asthma type breathing. The experience at the doctor's office was noteworthy.

We saw a new doctor and for our purposes we'll just call him Dr. Theraflu. He seemed very young and I got the impression that he graduated from med-school about 30 minutes before our appointment. But let me go back to the very beginning.

It's too crazy to explain but due to Bella's adoption not quite being finalized her name according to her insurance paperwork is "Judi." Most of the ladies in the office know us well and know well enough to call her Bella; but the nurses and doctors are not so in the loop. They're busy and probably could care less. I think they should care. I struggle in vain as you will see.

We started Saturday's appointment with me and the check in nurse staring blankly around the room waiting for "Judi" to appear. oh shoot. That's us. I grabbed our stuff and headed back. (For any grandparents who accidentally read this post -she weighed 20 lbs even.) We did the check in routine -you know, how you tell the nurse everything that's going on so that you are practiced to repeat the exact same information to the doctor in 30 seconds. What are those charts for anyway?

Enter Dr. Theraflu. "Hello Judi." ok, yeah. Not really her name. She's adopted, yada, yada. Her name is Bella. Given that most doctors run you through with a cattle prod, the good thing about Dr. Theraflu was that he thoroughly explained everything he did. The bad thing about Dr. Theraflu was that he thoroughly explained everything he did. But the most annoying thing was when he asked me questions about her current and past health history. He would read the note as he typed it into the computer and the exchange went something like this:

Dr. Theraflu: How's her appetitie, energy level...?

Amie: Good. She's eating well, playful, happy.

Dr. Theraflu: So, I'm going to note that 'per adoptive mom' -she has been playful and has a normal appetite.

Insert Amie with an oooooh-kaaaay expression on her face.

Dr. Theraflu: Do you know if there's a family history of respiratory problems?

Amie: Nope. Don't know.

Dr. Theraflu: Okay, so I'll just put 'per adoptive mom' (insert sideways glance from Amie) -unknown family health history. What about her first year of life, she's been relatively healthy?

Amie: Yeah. An ear infection and a couple of colds but basically healthy.

Dr. Theraflu: So, 'per adoptive mom'...

It doesn't really matter what came after that because I was too distracted by thoughts of taking that stethoscope from around his neck and reintroducing it in a new location. Luckily, that was his last "adoptive mom" reference and everyone exited the room with medical equipment in tact. Now, we just had to follow up with Dr. Theraflu on Tuesday. Joy.

Tuesday morning "Judi" and I made our way to the nurses station. The nurse looked at her and oddly enough said "you know, she doesn't really look like a Judi to me." Because she was so sincere and had a sweet face I fought off the urge to conjur up tears and say "really? Because I named her after my favorite aunt who died last year in a rare elephant stampede. (sobbing gasp)." I'll save that for next time. ;-)

I explained the name situation and I think she cared. I liked her. Then came Dr. Theraflu. Sitting down to listen to her chest he said, "Hey, Judi, Judi, Judi!" Deep, slow breaths. Those were for me not Bella.

Here's the question that begs an answer --- With all the notes he took two days earlier where the heck is the one that reads"PER ADOPTIVE MOM -Her name ain't Judi!!!"?

Per Mom -Bella is fine now. :-)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'm Sorry

For those of you who check this blog expecting to see uh, blogging I am truly sorry. I don't know if I am suffering from blogger's block or if it's just fatigue and routine that have left me absent of creative juices. So, having learned from the Livesay masters; when words don't come -post pictures! Here you go...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Much too Young (to feel this $%#& old)

Is it just me or are you getting older? Ha! There goes my fan base, huh?

While talking to our Pastor about a surgery he has coming up this week, another friend was gently encouraging him to have a realistic view of his recovery time. Now, Richard is not in the camp of the elderly by a long shot but I think she was trying to say (without actually saying) that our bodies just don't bounce back as quickly as they once did. Fair enough.

Every year on my birthday my Dad says the same thing, "You sure are making me old." Well, Daddy, and all the rest of us who can't escape this limited life span we've been given, don't worry, I have a new take on this touchy subject.

I will no longer use the term "aging." From this point on I am --ripening. Like a nice piece of fruit. It starts out firm, fresh, and a little tart; then gradually it sweetens up. Soon, it gets a few soft spots and bruises easily. Then later still, it starts to wrinkle and lose it's original shape until eventually it's just a soft mush with a strange odor.

Here's to "ripening" gracefully and not stressing when certain areas soften faster than others. =)

Friday, January 25, 2008

We are the World

I don't mean we as a collective body. I mean we as in Nathan, Mamoune, and Isaiah. They are the world -apparently.

On our way to visit friends yesterday, the kids persuaded me to drive through our old neighborhood. We moved out not quite a year ago. I laughed at first, when they started silliness like "oh Mom, I remember that tree...that mailbox...that car," etc. Then as we turned a corner, Isaiah says "Look, Goshen Circle -it's still there!"

Goshen Circle, as you may have guessed, is a street. A street with about 10 houses on it. I was like "ok, egomaniac doofuses. They didn't shut down the whole neighborhood just because we left." shrug

My insult was deflected without so much as a dent. We later drove toward the area of the barn that we spent a few months in. They asked "Mom, can we go by. Do you think it's still there?" Uh, no dear children. It's not there. They tore it down and erected a mighty shrine inscribed "the Sexton's once lived here" and people travel from all over the country too see it.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sweet Surrender

Bella has a new trick. I think it started months ago when she would carry her own diaper to the trash can and throw it away. I would throw my hands in the air and say "Yes! Good girl!" She would follow my lead and celebrate her accomplishment with hands over her head. And now it seems that "good girl" is the cue phrase for this little move.

While hanging with the Millenders recently, we all watched as Bella wandered from one temptation to the next -a full mug on the coffee table, the fireplace poker, etc. After hearing a firm "no" we waited curiously each time to see how she would respond. And if she walked away from the forbidden fruit, as it were, she was rewarded by rounds of "good girl, good choice Bella!" UP went the hands and she would circle the area triumphantly. Her face saying something like "Oh yeah, I did it! I overcame my sin nature and I am the victor!" (Maybe it was more like -"oooh, people are staring and smiling at me" but I choose to believe she is a great theologian in the making.)

I couldn't help but think -what if every time I overcame temptation I threw off my inhibitions and celebrated openly with hands up praising Jesus for the victory? I bet I'd have lots more opportunities to share the Gospel (especially with my new friends in the Wake Med Psych Ward). Wouldn't if feel good now and then to just jump up and down and shout "We did it, Jesus! Yes!"? Victory is sweet.

Ah, but so is surrender.

It wasn't until yesterday that Bella's new move (not to be confused with The Emporer's new groove) taught me an even greater lesson. We were eating lunch -a tedious time at our house. Bella fights hard to be picky. I fight hard to discourage her pickiness. So far, the table is our fiercest battle ground. She was supposed to be eating some chicken noodle concoction care of Gerber but wanted to be eating the left over pizza that the other kids were enjoying. She has two teeth so clearly a whole slice of pizza is not yet an option but I decided to strike a compromise: three bites of chicken stuff for one bite of pizza crust. She was cooperating but she wasn't enjoying it.

I would say "open up" and slowly she would open her mouth and in went the spoon before she could change her mind. She cried but she chewed. The kids and I would encourage her and say "you did it, Bella. Good girl!" And with her face contorted by sorrow and great big tears in her eyes, she would lift her little hands over her head.

There it is. Truth revealed by a one year old. Every victory starts with surrender. Surrender of self, surrender of time, energy, wants, feelings, comfort, and on and on. We are more than conquerors through Christ -joyous victory! But only when we daily take up our cross to follow Him -tearful surrender!

And if you need a better example than Bella well, there's always Jesus. He (and by default we) could never have tasted victory over sin and death, if not for His agonizing surrender in the garden.

So, maybe you are like me and you want to experience the joy and thrill of more and greater victories in life. I guess the question now is...what are we willing to surrender?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy

I entered a contest this weekend hosted by Lysa TerKeurst for budding writers with the potential of being published in the Proverbs 31 magazine. I didn't win; didn't even get an honourable mention-boo, hiss. (kidding!) There were many great entries and you can link to the winning articles here.

But for any of you who are interested, you can read my article entitled "Cinderella Should THANK her Stepmother!" at It is a reposting so, some of you may have already read it. I'm also going to post the second article which was part of a threesome of story book lessons. It's called "You Can't Whistle While You Work if You're Sucking Sour Grapes." Hope you guys enjoy them. Thanks for reading even when there isn't much new to report.

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

For those of you who are local -this is no big news. For my readers to the north -you won't be impressed at all. To our southern contingency -you've already had it so blah. And now that I've established that absolutely nobody gives a rip...

It's snowing, people!

I, for one, am excited. As we drove to the church for an Upward game today I attempted to share my excitement with the world. We passed a young girl on her front porch and I turned toward the window, threw my hands in the air, and screamed "whoohooo! It's snowing!" She looked at me like I had two heads. Tim said I was crazy. Please! I see no reason for shame. If she weren't excited, too, why was she standing on her porch in the freezing cold to talk on the phone? She can act all 13 year old mature if she wants to. I know she was screaming with me on the inside.

I like snow. I don't really care for sledding. Not a big skier. Not particularly interested in making snow angels that reflect my girth. (the hippiest angels you've ever seen) I like snow because it's pretty. The biggest problem with snow is those people who mistakenly think it's meant to be played in. And worse than that are the ones who don't know the "snow rules" which clearly in an unwritten way state -"play in your own snow and stay out of mine because I'm enjoying it's prettiness!" Four, no, make that five of these destroyers live in my house. We will have to work out a compromise IF we get enough to matter.

Here's hoping!

Friday, January 18, 2008

She's a Bad Mamma Jamma

So, Mamoune (aka Mamma Jamma) and I were ribbing and picking on each other in a light-hearted way today. Here is the conversation that followed:

Tim: Are you guys gonna stay this way? When Mamoune grows up will you two still jab and laugh together like friends?

Mamoune: (trying to sound smart) It would be great bondage.

Me: It's bonding you Freudian freak! Bondage is what we are living right now.

She's so much like her Mom and I do agree, we make a great team when we aren't at each other's throats. Btw, she has no idea what Freudian meant but is quite familiar with "freak." And I'm well aware that this is probably #3 on the list of "Things You Should Never Say to Your Children." I haven't read that list. Don't plan to. Please do not mail it to me. ;-)

Son of a Preacher Man

These were Nathan's comments during their breakfast devotional this morning:

"Sometimes it feels like God is telling me to go one way (using his fork to draw a line through his eggs) and Satan is trying to get me to go a different way. And I just wish I could pick the one way and just stay on it. But sometimes it feels like Satan is standing in my way and I just want to kick him!."

I think he's on to something.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


" could be my fault."

Margarita's aren't my thing and I think I have evidence that proves this is for the best. You know how some people tend to be easily addicted to substances like alcohol, nicotine, etc. Yeah, I think I must be one of those.

I love myself. Not in a weird way but in the normal takes care of myself, tries to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle, and avoids bodily harm when possible kinda way. I don't intentionally bring pain and agony into my life but my recent UN-intentional escapades are really getting annoying. You all know about the prune situation. By the end of that episode my colon was so clean it could've been used as IV tubing. I'm such an idiot. What have I done now?

As I said, Margarita's aren't my thing but coffee is. Or at least it started to be. About two weeks ago I made the random decision that real women probably drink coffee every morning. I wanted to be a real woman so I began fixing a cup or two of "Joe" to go along with my breakfast. No problem. I was even learning to cut back on the ridiculous amounts of sugar I think are necessary to make it palatable. I was feeling like a real woman. Oh yeah! And then...

I forgot to buy coffee filters. I used the last one on Tuesday and yes, I know that real coffee drinkers would have found some creative method (paper towel, cheesecloth, oil filter) or just washed the previously used filter and ran it back through but I had not yet achieved that kind of commitment level. So, I did what seemed perfectly natural. I just didn't drink any coffee yesterday. All day. Or this morning. Mistake. H-U-G-E mistake!

I woke up with a mild headache and my sweet husband rubbed my neck and back before heading out to work. It helped for about three minutes. By ten o'clock this morning I was in big trouble. It hurt to move my eyes and I could only manage to say two or three words at a time because my soft pallet would moisten and I would have to breathe deeply to keep my oatmeal down where it belonged. This worked out great for Mamoune who was having a lying issue. I had to let her off so I could run and hover over the toilet. Having your mom vomit all over you seems a bit harsh even for what I consider a serious offense.

I made it to the couch about the time my friend Gloria stopped by. She's like family and it's a good thing since I lovingly informed her that I could not talk to her nor look at her, but I was perfectly capable of listening if she felt like sharing. We speculated about whether or not I was fighting off a virus and it was during this mostly one-sided discussion that the caffeine withdrawal theory hit me. I made one last attempt at communication by calling Tim to come home from work. Then I sent Gloria to the store to get me a Coke -or anything with caffeine in it. That's right. I needed a fix and she hooked me up. My little enabler. =)

Tim came home. Gloria left for work. I took a few swigs of my new carbonated best friend and slept the rest of the morning and lunch hour away. I did drift out of my dozing long enough to hear Mamoune's lunch time prayer that I would feel better soon. She basically admitted later that it was bologna and that she was hoping I was down for the night so there was no chance she would be retried for previous crimes. I figure lying to me is one thing but if she's gonna lie directly to God, I can let Him handle that one.

I woke up completely recovered! Not even a tinge of a headache remaining. I released Tim to go back to work and spent the rest of the day sipping my Coke and feeling really good. I think I've learned my lesson but I may need to start attending the Celebrate Recovery meeting our church has on Thursday nights.

"Hello. My name is Amie..."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Soldier Boy

It was a sad day for GI Joe. I'd like to make it perfectly understood that the Sexton family supports our troops. On Bella's behalf, we don't think she was trying to make a political statement. We'd like to believe she was just preparing this particular "Joe" for future training with the Navy Seals. Fortunately, we were able to rescue him from potential death by flushing. We were also grateful that she chose OUR bathroom and not the children's bathroom. It's a scary place. The bacteria alone would have done him in. He received a sanitizing shower and was taken back to barracks to dry out.

In other news... my mom license was almost revoked today by my eight year old son. Nathan is going to be a great daddy some day. He seems quite sure that he is a better mom than me. Bella was playing with spoons and bowls this afternoon so I dropped a hand full of river rocks into her bowl to give her something to stir around. I thought it was good for her imagination. Nathan was horrified.

"Mom! Rocks?! Are you watching her?"

Yes. I was watching her. Then just as he walked by she ventured to put a rock in her mouth. I barely had a chance to call her down before he screamed, "MOOOM!" Then he stands there staring at me with this do something look on his face. "Dude, calm down. I got this. Really, I do."

He goes off to his room and Bella follows shortly behind him. Did I realize that she'd carried a rock with her? Admittedly, no. But I found out soon enough. Within seconds he rushes back into the living room with the offending stone in his hand, palm extended so there's no question as to the evidence against me. "Mama" he says in a tone that implies he would be calling me by my full name just then if he knew me by anything other than mama. "I just pulled this rock out of Bella's mouth and it could have been stuck there." The boy is dead serious and I hold back laughter while assuming the appropriate posture of a scolded child.

"Maybe we should put the rocks back in my room, huh?" I offered to make amends for my shortsightedness.

"uh, yeah. (insert unspoken duh)" Then he walks by me and glares at me while shaking his head sadly. I chuckle to myself and he gives me a hug on the way back by. He accepts me as the disgrace to motherhood that I am. What a kid! =)

The whole situation left me wondering two things: 1) Doesn't he realize what a waste it is to use up all his disappointment in me before the teenage years? and 2) How does he think he survived these past eight years without another Nathanite to keep me on the straight and narrow path of good parenting? Maybe he thinks I'm slipping in my old age.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


...singular sensation!
Happy 1st Birthday
Isabella Joelle!

She started out a bit timid but as you can see the sugar took over and a monster emerged.
I've shared each child's adoption story on their birthday and Bella's is kinda short and sweet. We signed on with Amazing Grace Adoptions. Then thought God had closed the door. Then got a phone call on a Monday night in January. Hit WalMart on Wednesday. Picked her up on Thursday, January 25th. There have been times when I envied those who get to surprise their loved ones with the news -"Guess what? We're pregnant!" BUT I can't imagine it's any better than emailing a photo that says "just want you to see your new granddaughter!" Such a fun moment.
The past year has FLOWN by. It didn't help that she crawled at five months and walked at nine months. We were talking with friends about how amazing it is that this time last year, we didn't even know she existed. She has been such a delight to all of us and we can't imagine life without this special little surprise from God!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I Shot the Sheriff

Life is always interesting. The kids and I were on our way to church last night. We left 10 minutes earlier than usual (which made us on time instead of late). We will never do that again. It's four miles between our house and the church. Four measly little miles. Not far enough for the kids to need a DVD. Not far enough to worry if the gas gauge is close to empty. Barely far enough for the kids to pick fights with each other. BUT JUST FAR ENOUGH for the Franklin County Sheriff's department to perform a sting-op on innocent drivers.

A license check. I knew I had my licence. No need to panic. But like clockwork my heart rate goes up and my hands get shaky. I get my licence our of my purse and instruct the children to settle down and stop asking a million questions until we get through the check. I rolled down the window and offered my I.D. I knew something was up when he called his companion over and said "you take this one and I'll keep it moving on that side." heh? The second officer took the I.D. and asked for my registration. I reached in the glove compartment and found it crumpled under the owners manual. I quickly uncrumpled and tried to smooth it out in my hands. Then he informed me that my inspection had expired in July 2007 and I would need to pull over while he issued a citation. I didn't shoot him. Though Nathan did point out that in his opinions "their guns are really small." Small guns, big hats. That's how we do it in these here parts, son.

ugh. I don't do car inspections. I buy groceries. That's my domain. And no one gives you a ticket if you forget to buy peanut butter one week. You just go to Plan B. The kind and courteous officer of the law didn't offer me a Plan B. Not even when I batted my eyes and squished my bosom together to give the illusion of cleavage. I think the four kids and the minivan were cramping my sex appeal. (no, I didn't really do that.) So, while I admit to being annoyed for a short time -I gotta say that it's really not fair. Tim's responsibilities carry greater consequence than mine do. I can be a slacker in certain things and the world doesn't fall apart and it doesn't cost us a ridiculous amount of money. If, in the midst of moving twice, getting a new kid, and possibly leaving the country, he forgets to look at the sticker on the van, the hammer falls.

There's the bad news. $145 ticket and a day in court for me. The good news? As of right now, there are three of us from church who will be hanging out in court together. If the number keeps increasing, it's been suggested that we have the praise band come out and hold services for us. =) Anyone else out there who got nabbed last night?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Man in the Mirror

I'm sorry to be such a Debbie Downer but 2008 is kicking the crap out of me. Don't know how else to say it.

I'm looking in the mirror and personal appearance aside (there's work to be done there, too) I'm just ill. I see a big fat hypocrite staring back at me. I sat on the sofa last night working on my list of things that I need to change like "stop watching so much television." I actually wrote that down. Do you know what I was doing when I wrote it? Watching television. Law and Order SVU -that's an hour of uplifting programming. ???? HYP-O-CRITE!

Then I switched over to the news for a minute. Maybe you've been following the story of Meredith Emerson -young woman from Georgia who was missing. She was found dead yesterday. Now they are investigating a possible tie between her killer and other missing/murdered individuals. I prayed for this girl and for her family. I prayed that by some miracle she would be found alive but that she would at least be found so her loved ones could have closure. But I had just spent an hour being entertained by the very story line that was ripping her family's hearts out. HYP-O-CRITE!

I marvel at my kids apparent inability to grasp what seem like elementary principles that we have gone over and over and over again. Then I have to remind myself to do things like "rejoice in the Lord." hypocrite, hypocrite, hypocrite!

I was sharing with a friend yesterday some great ideas I've had recently for books and she said, "that's exciting stuff!" But I had to admit that it wasn't exciting at all because somewhere inside I know that I will never actually accomplish it. I'm full of ideas and absolutely void of follow through. And yet, let one of my kids utter the words "I quit" during a board game or home school and I am the first one to tell them what a horrible character trait that is. hypo-hypo-hypocrite!

It is not my intention to gain sympathy or to fish for comments of "you're not as bad as you think." (my closest friends are if!) Nor do I mean to be preachy. I am self-sermonizing, if anything. It's just to let you know that this is the funk I am in. I'm closing this one out with a song I wrote a while back (it always loses something without the actual melody but still...) I think it is exactly what I need to do. Thanks for lending me your eyes. :)

Words and Music by Amie "hypocrite" Sexton
Copyright 2005
Lord, let me live in the shadow of Your wing.
Let me rest when I have nothing else to bring You.
Just abide and listen to Your heartbeat.
Father, hold me closely to Your side
And I will abide.
I am the branch and You are the vine.
You want my heart and not my useless trying.
My greatest deeds melt like wax before Your sight,
But just being with me brings Your heart delight.
Lord, let me live in the shadow of Your wing.
Let me rest. 'Cause there is nothing I can bring You.
Just abide and listen to Your heartbeat.
Father, hold me closely to Your side
And I will abide.

Monday, January 7, 2008

This is the Day

This is the day (this is the day)
That the Lord has made (that the Lord has made)
We will rejoice (we will rejoice)
And be glad in it (and be glad in it)...

How old were you when you learned that song? I would guess that I was in elementary school the first time I heard it. But God strongly impressed upon me this morning that I need to relearn it. The verse more than the song but you get what I'm saying.

My day didn't start quite the way I wanted it to. I didn't sleep that great during the night. I think my system was recalibrating itself after the prune fiasco. Then finally this morning after Tim got up and I could stretch across both sides of the bed, I was totally in the honk-shoo zone (but not actually snoring like some people). It was the best sleep of the night hands down when suddenly a dark shadow crossed my eyes and I popped up with a start to find Nathan (aka the stealth bomber) standing over me.

"Don't do that, Nathan!" I whisper shouted.

"But you were awake" he responds.

Really? Exactly which part of my rapid eye movement-mouth agape-draw a
chalk line around me position indicated consciousness to you?!

(through clenched teeth) "Get back in your bed and stay there until someone opens your door."

With fight or flight adrenaline pumping through me, going back to sleep was not happening. I was annoyed. Tim left for work shortly after and I got up and headed to the living room. I sat on the sofa and asked God for help. Wisdom for the day, patience with the kids, energy to do the chores and home school, and that's when it hit me. Hard. What I needed more than any of those things was enthusiasm. I needed to be excited about a new day. And truly, truly I tell you that I CANNOT remember the last time I woke up with enthusiasm about the day ahead. Dread, worry, anxiety, fatigue, apathy, distractions -those are all familiar but "rejoicing?"--uh uh.

It makes me sad and disappointed with myself. Jesus said he wanted me to have life more abundantly but too, too often I find my attitude is survival. Forget growth, forget challenge, forget blessing. Lord, just help me get through this day. I know that there are hardships and tragedies and days that "getting through" really is the best you can do. But everyday? Clearly that's not what He had in mind. So, anyone out there need to join me back in elementary school? Class is now in session and our verse for the week (or as long as it takes to get it through my thick skull) is "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bad Medicine

It's Sunday morning and I would normally be at church with my family right now. I'm not. I have one word for you...prunes. They are the devil's handiwork. Tasty little treats disguised in plump, soft, sweetness only to destroy you from the inside out. Wolves in sheep's clothing to be sure.

My digestive tract has an occasional need for encouragement. I'm not ashamed to admit it and since my readership increases exponentially when I discuss body function, I'll assume that you (equally strange people) are not offended by the topic. I blame it on my mother. I recall as kids she would at times service us with a laxative. Not because we were constipated but because it's just good sense to "clean things out" now and then. As I think on it, I remember this cleansing coincided with our annual spring cleaning of the house. That's cleanliness to the extreme. Anyway, I suppose my body became dependent on the yearly maintenance and now it happens once in awhile that a person needs a little Drano to get the pipes running smoothly.

I bought a box of prunes. Great Value Dried Pitted Prunes. I want you to recognize the little demons when you see them. Like many of you, I had always heard of the association between prunes and, uh, plumbing and being an advocate of natural remedies decided to give it a try. What no one told me was that prunes are really good. They really are. Okay, if you don't like raisins or other dried fruits then you won't like them but for the rest of us, they ain't half bad. I bought them on Friday morning. By last night, I'd eaten half the box.

Now, I realize that this reveals more than just a prune problem but says something regarding my lack of self-discipline in eating habits, but that's not the point of this post and we can return to that issue some other day. Half a box of prunes later, and here I am missing church. But I'm not alone. The kids wanted to taste the prunes and Nathan loved them and ate 3 maybe 4 himself. I'm no mathematician but based on a height/weight comparison -that's probably equivalent to half a box.

Tim did some research this morning and found one person who said of prunes, "two isn't enough and three is too many." And another lady who, like me, downed almost a whole box and said that they "roto-rootered her system." I hear ya sister!

Nathan and I are recovering nicely. The other two partakers have been unaffected thus far. And for future reference, I recommend balancing half a box of prunes with a nice block of cheddar cheese. That should be healthy. ;-)

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Today is Tim's birthday! And had there been any fear that I would forget -the kids had my back. I don't know when they planned it or how they timed it so well, but the minute he sat up in bed this morning (at about 7:30) there they were singing "happy birthday." I have no idea how long they'd been standing there waiting for signs of life but they did not miss their cue and it was a very sweet surprise.

Not much else is happening. The kids each have their first Upward basketball game today so that is entertaining to say the least.

There was one billboard that we saw on the way home that was unforgettable. I WISH I had gotten a picture of it but I wasn't quick enough. (and Tim isn't very keen on tracking backwards for photo ops when we are still several hours from home.) But just imagine this...

A billboard with a man in a police uniform plastered across it. His name in HUGE letters
SHERIFF Joe Peabody
-his name wasn't really Joe Peabody. We can't remember his actual name. Lucky for him. But it's what was under his name that gave us pause followed by raucous laughter. In bold block letters dear Sheriff Peabody let us know that he (like Jackson County) means business...
Violations Will Be Enforced
Gonna let you roll that over in your head for a second.
And now it's hitting you. That's right people, there is a town out there between Raleigh, NC and Atlanta, Georgia where you will commit a violation whether you like it or not! What do you mean you don't want to rob the First National Bank of Peabodyville? You'll rob it, boy, or I'll throw you in the county slammer. These people elected me as Sheriff of this town 'cause they expect me to enforce them violations and by God or my night stick, that's what I intend to do.
We didn't want to find ourselves on the wrong side of the law so... we ran three red lights, did an illegal u-turn, and drove off without paying for our gas. It felt good to support the local authorities.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Christmas Morning

Star Wars was a big favorite for the boys.

Followed by the guns and cowboy gear.

Mamoune got an abundance of wigs.

A pirate queen.

In Helen, GA

I told them to pretend to lick the suckers. Notice the trasheater in the family -the one who actually put her tongue on the lollipop. Bizarro. Maybe this explains her super human immune system.

In Atlanta
Mom decided we all needed to spice up our marriages. Here we have Ronny the jailbird, Tim aka Prince Charming, and Jeremy the sugar daddy. Just what I've always fantasized about -my husband wearing a costume provided by MY MOM! :-/

Mabell and 10 great-grandchildren.

Random and occasionally interesting pictures Amie and Tim took while doing 85, er uh, 65 down the interstate. We are goofy and we know it!

Coming into Atlanta

Not sure what they mean business about but I feel better just knowing they do, in fact, mean business. Don't you?

We've appreciated your cooking for years but didn't realize you had branched out. Congratulations Daddy!

I think Tim should sell this one to Al Gore for the Global Warming Campaign. =)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Change the World

I can't change the world but I can change the blog. A new year, a new look. Actually, it's an old look that millions of other bloggers use but it's new for us and frankly, I was tired of the green.

Happy New Year everyone. We are safely home and anxious to get this Christmas tree out of the living room and get back to the grind. Not the same old grind but the new "we resolve to ...blahbady blah..." grind. We are very excited about what this next year holds but want to go into it with our heads screwed on relatively straight and our priorities, well, prioritized.

The last night of our trip, my mom and dad kept the kids while Tim and I went out for dinner and coffee. It was during our meal that I let myself really recap the years events and started crying. I felt stupid weeping over my plate of clam strips but the reality was so overwhelming and the contrast of where we are today to where we were (emotionally, mentally, and physically) one year ago was overwhelming. Here's the abridged version:

May -fought off bees, snakes, and unidentified creatures
June -trip to the emergency room/ forgot our anniversary/ looked for a new house

I'm sure it was no more or less insane than anyone else's year if they took the time to write it all out. But there you have it. I think a few tears in my cocktail sauce was an appropriate response. =)

Pictures from Christmas and our trip home in the next post.