Friday, September 30, 2011

New project!!

So, I decided on Wednesday that I had found a headboard on Pinterest that I absolutely loved!!  Naturally, being the crazy person that I am, I decided that I would make it.  First stop, going to see Mom (the structural draftsman) to help me figure out how much wood and such I was gonna need.  I had decided that I was gonna do it without asking Mr. B for help.  Once we figured out how much wood we needed to make this headboard for a king-size bed, off we went to Lowe's to get the wood.  Luckily for me, since I am a total spaz, Lowe's cut the wood to size for me.  My sister and I started to put it together last night, and of course, Mr. B helped us a little bit.  We got it totally put it together last night, but didn't have time to stain it since it was getting too dark.  I got up this morning, ended up with Prissy B staying home because she is sick, and took Fireboy B to school.  When I got home, I decided to go on and stain it before it got too awful hot outside.  That leads me to an image of the finished headboard.   
I will put a totally finished picture up once we get the headboard attached to the bed.  I am also gonna make a banner/bunting to put on the top.  Just in case you are really liking this headboard, here is what I used. 

4 - 2x4 cut to 6ft.
12 - 1x6x8 cut to 80 inches
1 can special walnut Minwax stain
96 8x2 wood screws
a bunch (and by that I mean at least 20) rags - just by the box at the paint area

Measure your frame on your bed to find out how far apart the outside boards need to be apart.  Lay your four 2x4 boards evenly spaced between the total amount of space between the edges of your frame.

Start screwing your 1x6x8 boards down on your frame of 4 2x4s using 2 screws on each 2x4.  You will have some 2x4 sticking out on the bottom when you are finished. 

Follow the directions on your can of stain (I stained it, let it sit for 20 minutes, then wiped it off).

Once you get all that done and the stain is totally dry, get a couple of really strong people to carry it into your room and screw the bed frame to it.  (You will also need to get whatever screws you feel are necessary to hold your bed frame to the headboard.

Monday, September 26, 2011

How many days until Christmas?!?!?

Yep, it is that time again.  I got on my facebook yesterday and was greeted by all sorts of well meaning friends reminding me that it was 90 days until Christmas.  SERIOUSLY?!?!?  That is enough to make my head start spinning trying to come up with the plan to get everything done.  Unfortunately, I also immediately started comparing to last year and the frantic feelings I had going into Christmas.  See, last year, I was trying to finish my Masters Degree, get adjusted to working again, continue all my church commitments, and be the leader of Prissy B's girl scout troop, all while Mr. B was working lots and lots of hours at the fire hall.  Needless to say, I didn't get my house all Christmas decorated up, didn't even get all my presents wrapped until Christmas Eve when we were leaving the house, and ended up feeling really disappointed with the whole mess. 

This year, we are not gonna work that way.  We have been working on decluttering and cleaning out the house for a couple weeks now, and I am going to continue on that project until October 31st, and then start with the Christmas decorations.  Yes, I really do start that early, we put up 4 Christmas trees normally, and will be adding a 5th one this year.  I also do a Christmas Cookie Swap/Bunco party on the first Friday in December every year, so I can't wait until Thanksgiving to start decorating.  I plan on doing one room a week to get decorated, and being done that first week of December so that I can really enjoy the Christmas season this year and be able to continue the traditions that the kids and I love so much.  This will be the first year that Mr. B is really going to be able to be home enough to enjoy them all, so this has the potential to be our most stellar Christmas ever.  Until then, I am gonna focus a little less on the Christmas countdown and a little more on making plans to enjoy my family and our traditions this year.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm Back!!

So, I have been absent from blogging for a couple of weeks, but it is with good reason.  School started back, church activities started back, my hours got increased at work, and I was finishing my last class for my Masters degree!!  I submitted my last final exam last night at 11:45 pm and I am officially done (pending the rest of the grades being entered).  I feel pretty free at this point, and I am definitely ready to get back to blogging.  I have missed being able to vent on here and missed my readings and communicating with all of you. 

On with the news of the week.  Prissy B is learning how to study and what it is like to put forth some effort on her schoolwork.  She has always been so far ahead that everything came easy, and now it comes easy, but she is having to put forth the effort to slow down and take her time with what she is doing.  She seems to be loving the things that she is involved in right now, though, and I can't wait for the first time she will get to ring handbells in church.  It is hard for me to fathom that she will be starting our youth program at church in just 4 years.  She is getting so big and looking more and more grown up every day.  Fireboy B is having a blast at school.  He loves all that he is getting to do, and has been so excited about getting to start choir at church.  He seems to be enjoying all that he is doing right now, and is coming home worn out everyday.  He came home with a paper where they have been tracing letters at school the other day.  He says his favorite letter is B because it is "his" letter.

Mr. B and I have just kinda been plugging along.  We are getting more and more used to him being home at night, and I have a feeling it is going to be a lot harder when he leaves for trips now.  We are looking at buying some land, and hopefully moving out in the country.  It is definitely a process and will be a continued process for the next few years, but we are really excited about it.

The big excitement of the week actually happens tomorrow.  You see, tomorrow is GAMEDAY!!!  I am a University of Tennessee FANatic, and football season starts tomorrow.  For me this is one of the best weeks of the year.  The anticipation leading up to kickoff at 6:00 pm tomorrow is as big, if not bigger, for me than a kid leading up to opening their Christmas presents.  If you have never been to a UT game, then here is gameday in 5 minutes.

That is all I have for today.  I won't be on tomorrow, I have to sing with the church choir at the funeral of a longtime choir member, and then head to Knoxville for gameday.  Until then GO VOLS!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Have you ever felt like a total failure?  I thought I had.  Unfortunately, I found out tonight what it really feels like to feel like a total failure.  Be forewarned, if you are looking for cheerfulness and happiness, this is not the night.  You see, I have always told Prissy B that no matter what, always tell me the truth.  I can remember my mom telling me that.  I can also remember the horrible kid I was that had a serious lying problem.  If I had known how bad those stupid little lies I told hurt my Mom, I would have never let them slip out of my mouth.  While Prissy B and I argue some (She is 8, but thinks she is 16 most of the time), i have never faltered in trusting what she is saying to me.  We have always had a special relationship because she and I have been through so much together.  When Mr. B was gone, it was just her and I, when I was so sick trying to get Fireboy B here, it was just her and I for most of the days while I was on bedrest, and I have honestly never felt like she was outright lying to me about anything.  Fast forward to last Friday night.  I have  asked her repeatedly to bring her dirty clothes up to be washed.  I asked her Friday if they were all up here so we could do laundry this weekend.  Her answer:  Yes, Mom, I brought them all up.  I spent most of the weekend in bed because my shoulder has hurt so bad, so tonight, I told her that as soon as Fireboy B was in bed, I would go downstairs and help her pick up her room.  She immediately starts acting funny and tells me she is wanting to go to bed early.  I told her we would just pick some stuff up and then she could head on to bed early.  I get down there and a bomb has gone off in her room.  I very calmly (which was kinda shocking) ask her why she told me all her dirty clothes were upstairs.  To which she looks me in the eye and says "I thought they were all upstairs."  There is not a chance on this earth that she thought they were upstairs, you couldn't even see her carpet.  Am I angry about the room?  I am a little bit, but willing to help her clean it up.  So what has prompted this failure feeling?  She looked me in the eye and lied to me.  Not only did she lie the first time, she continued the lie for about 30 minutes. 

I have never been more hurt in my entire life.  The child that I knew I would butt heads with over clothes and boys and all sorts of other things just looked me in the eye and lied to me.  We have talked about lying.  We have talked about how bad it is and how you should just tell the truth and everything will be okay.  At no point was I prepared for this.  I realize that you may be looking at this thinking that I am being melodramatic, but I can honestly say that I am physically sick over this.  What have I done wrong?  Why am I sitting here crying my eyes out?  Why is it that I feel this overwhelming desire to call my Mom and apologize?  Because I was, and still have problems sometimes being, a liar.  I lied to my mom about the dumbest stuff imaginable.  I never knew how much it hurt though.  I never had any clue how bad it felt.  This isn't the first time I have been lied to.  Just the first time my baby girl looked me in the eye while she did it.  I have failed her as a parent, and I have failed her as a teacher.

To my mother, I am so very sorry for all the hurt that I must have caused you over the past 30 years, to my daughter, I hope you never have to hurt like I am hurting right at this very moment, and to those of you still reading, I hope you don't ever have this same feeling of failure that I have.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Grace, ain't it Amazing?

     Several days, lots of activities, and not a whole lot of sleep since the last blog post and I am still kicking out here.  We had a great time, the kids had a great time, and we are all still worn out.  I have been thinking though, so now I can ponder on another question like the other night. 
     I have been thinking about grace a lot lately, and forgiveness along with it.  It amazes me the amount of grace that God has for our lives.  No matter what we do, he is still loving us and wanting to pull us closer back to Him.  He forgives us and repeatedly asks us to come to him.  Look at when the Israelites were rescued from Egypt.  They rebelled, did wrong, asked forgiveness, and were granted God's divine grace.  Did they deserve it?  Probably not by our standards and ways of thinking.  I know that I can look at my children when they do wrong and forgive them.  God has given us that capability.  What I lack, however, is the grace that he has  in being able to move past the wrongdoing.  You see, I can forgive, but I can't forget.  It has been a joke in my family for years that I have the memory of an elephant.  I don't forget many things, and very rarely forget if I have been wronged by someone.  I forgive them, but it is always right there in my mind, able to be accessed with great ease.  So and so did such and such to me. 
     Some might say that I haven't truly forgiven.  I really have.  When I access the memory, I am not upset at the person for what they did.  In fact, other than giving my family a hard time about things sometime, I don't typically think twice about what the person did to me.  I remember, then move on to something different.  The problem for me is that I think that allows me to continually build walls.  So and so did such and such, so I can't let anybody with this trait get too close.  So and so did such and such, so I will be careful in future dealings with them.  So and so did such and such, so I will guard myself.  So and so did such and such, so I can't just forget about it.  Wait, why can't I?  I am missing the grace. 
     How do you get it?  Where do you find it?  Can you teach me grace?  Am I capable of true grace?  I really don't think we are.  I tend to see humans as more of an emotional, gut-feeling type than God.  I think God has the emotions, but he doesn't need the gut feelings.  He knows.  Is my lack of grace due to a need to know?  Is it just another part of the growth I need to achieve? 
     Grace, to forgive and forget, total absolution and pardon.  Is there a way to achieve this capability on this Earth?  I don't know.  I hope so. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weekend Crazy . . . Bring it On!!

So this weekend promises to be a crazy one around our house.  So far tonight we have dyed tulle and made cupcakes.  Gotta get up in the morning to make a cake, decorate my table at the Festival at church, come back home and turn the cake into a fire truck and decorate the cupcakes, head back to church for Festival of Tables, come home and get everything ready to take with us to church Sunday morning so that when we get out of church, we can immediately start decorating for the parties at 2:30.  Parties will be over at 5, then we gotta get everything from the party out within 30 minutes so that another event can be set up.  Sometime between all of that, before Sunday morning, Mr. B and I have to go get the rest of the kids' birthday presents and I have to write a discussion board post for my very last grad school class.  Once all that is done, gonna get the stuff ready for the school week next week, Fireboy B will be starting back to his church programs on Tuesday, and it is Alyssa's first full week of school.  Looks like we will be running full speed all weekend.  Amazingly enough, this has caused some looking back at fun stuff over the past few years.  Hopefully, I will be back on Monday with a load of pictures and a peek into what our weekend was all about.  Until then . . .

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What a Day

Today has been a day full of firsts for us.  Prissy B went to her first day of 3rd grade.  She had a blast and is super excited about going back tomorrow.  It is so good to see her so excited.  Fireboy B went to anoter day with the lady that is going to keep him for us this year.  He is loving being with her and today was the first day that her kids were all at school and his friends were there with him.  Next week he will start school at our church and another church, the same two schools he went to last year.  He is really looking forward to starting next week.  I am so glad that he is staying with this lady.  She texted me tonight to see if she could take the boys to the pool tomorrow.  On the other side of the coin, Mr. B and I have both been extremely busy at work.  He is still enjoying his new job and I am filling in for another lady that had surgery earlier this week. 

Thanks to those of you who have responded about my just wondering question.  Someone had suggested "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.  I have this on my iPad and have been loving reading it everyday.  It is very short devotionals and by using the electronic version, I am able to take it with me.  I have been reading the devotional at one point during the day, then the verses several times throughout the day.

Have you ever thought about how amazing it is that God leads us to the areas that we need to be reading about?  It seems like every devotion book I open here lately and every Bible study day that I do is speaking to me with exactly what I am needing to hear that day.  I have heard people say that when they redo a Bible study or devotion book, it is like they have never seen it before.  I can understand that because when God is truly leading us to what we need, then what we take from it will be different every time. 

Tonight is definitely a night to be thanking God for all the he has given us, so I will finish this one up with some more towards my 1000 Gifts.

23.  Cooler temperatures

24.  Finding that one thing you need for the birthday party

25.  Finding a babysitter that your kids love

26.  NCIS reruns

27.  Snackwells white fudge drizzled caramel corn (If you haven't had it, just know that it is AMAZING)

28.  Cohesive signage (I am totally OCD about things sometimes)

29.  Vehicles tat run and have air conditioning

30.  The inspiration of friends, family, and neighbors

31.  A boss that shows gratitude and appreciation for my work

Monday, August 8, 2011

Just wondering

     So, tonight was the last night of the Bible study I have been going to for the past 7 weeks.  We did Priscilla Schirer's "Discerning the Voice of God" and it has really been a life-changing experience for me.  So many things have changed in my life in the past 7 weeks, Mr. B got a new job, we had to find a new babysitter for Fireboy B at what I consider last minute, things going on at work,  and scheduling issues with Prissy B and her activities.  Amazingly enough, although things have been hectic, I have been feeling more at peace in the past 7 weeks than I can ever remember feeling.  I am sleeping at night more, I am not fussing at my kids as much, Mr. B and I are getting along better than ever, and I am truly feeling better and more peaceful with the way things are going around here.  With school starting for Prissy B on Thursday, extended hours at work for the next 4-6 weeks, and school starting up for Fireboy B next week, I am calmer than I can ever remember being at this point in the year. 

     Did I mention that we have three big events this weekend?  Every year I participate in our church's Festival of Tables and that happens on Saturday.  This is the first year that Mr. B will be participating by waiting tables at the event, and I am really looking forward to a wonderful time.  I always have crazy, yet fun, tables and this year will be no exception.  My themes in previous years have ranged from "Football Time in Tennessee" to "Cinderella's Ball" and "Wonderful Friend" (A hawaiian theme with place cards written in Hawaiian).  I am super excited about this year's "Candy Land" theme and can't wait to decorate my table on Saturday morning.  I did say three big events and that is just one of them.  The other two go together and will be happening on Sunday afternoon.  You see, Prissy B was born at 12:26 pm on August 14, 2003.  It just so happens that Fireboy B was born at 1:26 pm on August 14, 2008.  We will be having both parties at the church on Sunday afternoon.  Fireboy B is having a firetruck party (surprise surprise), and Prissy B will be having a cupcake party.  So that makes  a grand total of three different events to decorate the same space for in less than 24 hours.  Normally I would be on stress level 45 out of 40 right about now, but amazingly enough, I am sitting here writing a blog post and not making list after list and checking everything three or four times. 

     I don't know that what I am doing is always following God's plan for me, but I do know that because of changes that I have made in my life, I am in a much better place emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  That brings me to my question that prompted this post.  How do you do a daily devotional/Bible study time?  While I have had the book to go with the study, I had a direction to go in and knew where to focus, but until the next study starts, and really during it because it isn't based the same way this one is, I don't really have a direction like I have had.  Do you have any suggestions?  Let me know what you do for your Bible/devotional time daily. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

More Gifts towards my 1000

15. Good friends willing to share recipes

16. Opportunities to reach out to people that I thought were lost

17. Memories of growing up coming back

18. Possibilities of what tomorrow will bring

19. A husband that is willing to eat whatever I put on the table

20. A friend willing to share bobby pins at recitals for our girls

21. Molasses to make caramel corn for movie night with

22. Back to School preparations


Wow. What a day. It has been a definite day of ups and downs. Some times things happen that just make you want to crawl in a hole, and today has been one of those days.  I just finished my devotion for tonight and it was like a splash of water in the face. 


I expect it from my kids, I expect it from my husband some times, from the youth bells at church, from the kids at Bookworms, etc., but do I know how to practice it?  God asks for our obedience.  He shows us ways in which others have changed their lives to be obedient to him, yet am I really being obedient?  Am I ready and willing to follow His direction, no matter what He is asking? I would love to say yes, but I am afraid that would be lying.  I don't think I have the faith and obedience that Abraham had.  I am trying to get there, but I am not there yet.  In the ups and downs of today, I found myself quick to assign blame, quick to anger, and quick to use my tongue to hurt others.  None of it was intentional, but how different would my reaction have been if I had obeyed Him and held my tongue?  How different would the night have gone if I hadn't been so quick to assign blame to someone else?  My obedience is lacking.  How many times do we sit through that show or movie so as not to offend our friends or family, but we know it is offensive to God?  I know that we all have sins.  I have lots of my own, but is my big sin really disobedience as opposed to the other things that I thought it was?  How can I expect my children to obey if I am not setting the example for them? 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Here we go again!

So, here I am again, quite a while from my last post, but still trying to hang in here.  Things got kinda crazy around here the past couple of weeks.  Between Mr. B's new job, Prissy B's T-Ball games and church camps and dance camps (you get the drift), Fireboy B's potty training adventures, and my job and school stuff, it has just been hectic.  I am definitely ready for school to be starting this next week.  I am ready to get into a new routine and have some things settled back down.  Don't get me wrong, I love summer, but when you have to scrape the whole time to get babysitters covered, it makes it a little stressful. 
We got some bad news last week when Fireboy B's babysitter that he had all year last year after his days at school (church programs) where done until I could pick him up texted Mr. B to let him know that she had moved out of state and wouldn't be keeping the kids.  She has had Prissy B and Fireboy B in class at the church programs, watched Fireboy B at least 3 days a week all last school year (along with 2 other boys that he says are his "Bestest Fwends," and really been great for him to get used to me going to work.  She told me last May that she was going to leave her husband, but would be back at the end of summer to watch the boys.  I texted with her over the summer checking on her and seeing if she was okay and if she was still planning on keeping the boys.  She was, up until last Friday.  Did I mention that school starts on Thursday of next week?  Well, this little tidbit should have thrown me into full blown panic mode.  Luckily, I have been doing a wonderful Bible study that has continually been showing and telling me to quit worrying and trying to control everything and give it up to God.  For once, I really did that.  I really managed to stop the panic and pray about it.  By Saturday evening, another sitter had been lined up.  If that isn't an answer to prayers, then I don't know what is. 

Needless to say, that wasn't all that the last two weeks have had in store for us, and I am hoping that the surprises are going to slow down sometime soon, but I really got a life lesson out of this past weekend.  I am really trying to quit controlling everything that involves me.  I am 1.5 weeks into my last 5 week course before being finished with my M.S. in Criminal Justice.  My goal is to have learned to let go by the time I am done. 

We went to get school supplies last week, too.  I was a little sad to look at Prissy B's list and discover that it wasn't anything that she could really get to pick out the fun colors and patterns with, and there wasn't much of it.  Now, I am a self-proclaimed office supply nerd, so to go into Office Max or Staples is a huge exciting deal for me.  I love office supplies.  I love to get new notebooks and pens and desk stuff, you get the picture.  I had been looking forward to real school supply lists (you know, when you get to higher grades and the lists get longer) since Prissy B started school.  I guess I will just keep on looking forward to those lists, because this was not the year. 

We have another busy weekend ahead of us.  I guess it is kinda fitting since it is the last weekend of a pretty hectic summer.  Prissy B has a dance recital/fundraiser for a local missions organization on Friday, we have family movie night at church on Friday after the recital, there are papers to be written on Saturday, and housework to be done all weekend, plus I have to finish getting everything settled for the birthday parties next Sunday, the Festival of Tables at church next Saturday, and I start working more days next week because one of the other ladies is having surgery and I am gonna be doing her stuff as well as mine.  I am hoping to start blogging more regularly, but I have decided that if I am not able to, it is okay.  I WILL get my stress levels under control.  Nobody likes a stressed out me. 

Until next time,

Friday, July 22, 2011

Revolving Door

Well, have you ever felt like life had a revolving door?  Sometimes people go in and out of our lives and sometimes it is just in and out of the house.  Feeling a little of both right now.  Mr. B has been in a conference since Wednesday and is on his way home right now, probably won't get here until really early morning.  Prissy B is leaving tomorrow to go to church camp until Tuesday.  She is super excited, and I am so glad she is getting to go.  Not so glad that I will have to drive 2 hours on Monday to pick her up and bring her back for a Tball game (it's the playoffs and I don't think it is fair to her team to not be there) and then Mr. B will be taking her back right after the game while I go to Bible Study.  Then she will come home with the others on Tuesday afternoon, and has either the Championship Game or the Consolation Game on Tuesday night.  I'm not complaining, just thinking about all that is going on this week.

In other news, after being inspired by another blogger (and real-world neighbor) I have read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  What a deep book.  Gonna start working on my list of 1000 things tonight.  I have also still been doing the Bible Study with the ladies at church, and my own devotions.  It is amazing how much peace and how much more calm life seems to me.  Even though we haven't slowed down, and I have so much on my plate, I am losing the feeling that I need to control every second of every day.  I am starting to sleep a little better, and the headaches that have plagued me for years seem to be slacking off a little bit.  I am also noticing changes around the house that amaze me.  I am managing to keep the house clean (well, as clean as I can with a 2 year old, 7 year old, 32 year old, and a cat) and am enjoying doing it. 

Mr. B has been loving his new job and I am so glad he is happy.  We will see how the next few weeks go, when he actually has to be there all 5 days instead of going off to a conference across the state, and hopefully get our new routine down.  Last week I got to get up and make breakfast for all of us and pack his lunch for the first time, and I truly enjoyed it.  It actually made me head into work with a different feeling. 

I know this is starting to get sappy, and for that I apologize, but if you are still reading, thanks a bunch.  Now, with no further ado, I will start my list.

Sweet hugs shared between siblings

Kind words for her little brother coming out of a nightmare

Mothers who will do even the most simple tasks with you

Video chats with Mr. B when he is gone

Getting some more stuff for the birthday parties out of the way

Amazing ladies that I work with

Giggles over Veggie Tales movies

Being "liked" by Fireboy B today (yesterday I was not so lucky)

Amazing babysitters who really care about my kids

Coca Cola (Yep, gotta have it)

Ice Cream trips with Mimi and Pappy on a hot summer night

Songs about Ravioli that make Fireboy B's eyes light up

Coaches that do not pressure Prissy B to get back for the game

Quiet times at night in my corner


Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Beginnings

Well, this is going to be a week of new beginnings for our family. Mr. B worked his last shift at the fire hall on Saturday, and begins a new job tomorrow. His new job will be a Monday - Friday 8-4:30 job (for the most part). This is a huge source of excitement for us since he hasn't been home at night consistently in 8 years. The kids are super excited and so am I.

Our new program at the church, Bookworms, went really well this week again, so I am very pleased with that. Prissy B is going to be doing another Hip-hop dance camp this week at the dance studio. She loved the one she did earlier this summer, so I am sure she is going to be super-excited about doing it again this week. She is also headed to church camp this weekend. She is super excited, and I am excited, but a little nervous for her. She will be gone for 4 days, the longest she has ever been gone that wasn't with family. I know she will have fun though, and she is growing so much in her faith right now that I think this will just open her eyes even more to the wonderfulness of God's love. Fireboy B will have me and Mr. B all to himself this weekend, so there is no telling what we will end up getting into.

I am amazed at how much the Bible study we are doing is affecting me. I continue to have a new peace surrounding me. It is amazing to me how just 20-30 minutes of dedicated time for me to read and commune with God each day is having such a huge impact on my life. I am finding myself to be easier on the kids, and I feel less irritated all the time. We are still busy, but I don't feel panicky about it anymore, and it seems to be easier to deal with when things pop up. I think I may be, slowly but surely, learning to let go of the control that I have felt that I needed for so long. I don't know how things will end up, but for now, I am loving the new feelings that God is bringing into my life.

Speaking of which, it is late, and I need to do my study and devotional for the night. Goodnight.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hello again!!

So, it has been a while since I last posted. As usual around here, life gets in the way. Between Prissy B and Fireboy B and the activities that Prissy B has been doing, and my work on my Masters Degree in Criminal Justice, it has just been crazy. We have had some great goings on here in the B house.

Mr. B just got a new job!! No more firehall shifts around here. A nice normal job, involving what he loves, just on the education side.

Prissy B has had a busy summer as well. She is playing T-Ball and doing incredibly well this year, has done theatre camp through her dance studio, hip-hop camp through the studio, and is doing summer dance as well. She will also be going to a church camp next weekend for 4 days (her first time doing that!!) and will do a dance camp with the high school the next weekend.

Fireboy B has been busy running back and forth to Prissy B's activities, and enjoying his summer. We are hoping he will be potty-trained soon (he is making pretty good progress on that), and he has loved practicing ball with Prissy.

The whole family participated in VBS at church earlier in the summer. Mr. B does the slide shows, I do the music, and the kids had a blast. This year, we decided to do the full musical that came with VBS, so that made for a pretty busy week. The kids we had did amazing!!!

I have had a pretty packed summer as well. I am still working at the church and loving it!! I also wrote my Thesis this summer and was insanely excited to get a 100 on it!! I have been working on a new church directory at church and last week started a new Story Hour for the children of our church and community. We have had a great turnout at our story hour, having 31 kids last week and 21 today. We had several new kids today, so next week may be our biggest group yet once some of our families get back from vacation.

Outside of all that, we have been really concentrating on spending more time as a family and I have been concentrating on making a little time each day for myself. I am doing a new Bible Study with some of the ladies at church, and it is really hitting home.

For now, I am going to go spend a little more time with everybody before it is bedtime for them. I leave you today with a special prayer request. Please pray for Aiden Gentry and his family. They have received some very devastating news this week. If you are interested in reading his story, go to

Hope to be back on here more since things are going to be getting a little less hectic.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Family Time and a Review!!

This weekend, we were able to get away as a family for the first time since Fireboy B was born. We had an amazing time!! We managed to go because of a conference that was offered through the military on families. It was so good to be able to spend time together and make new friends for both the kids and I. We went to the aquarium, stayed at a hotel with two water slides that the kids had an amazing time playing on, walked around, and just had a really good time in general. I cannot tell you how much this weekend away meant to us, even if Prissy B and I ran home Saturday morning for her last Upward basketball of the season. She played really well on Saturday morning and then had a great time playing with her new friends in the pool with Mr. B while Fireboy took a nap and I took a statistics test.

Mr. B is friends with the guy behind Trigger's Salsa through the ANG and our kids were able to play together this weekend and his wife and I had a great time talking as well. Since their stuff is so incredible good, and they are wonderful people, I decided to review the salsa on here. I actually started using it a while ago, before Mr. B knew he was the man behind the salsa, and absolutely love it!! I make a dip with the Black Bean and Corn Salsa that is constantly asked for. My youth bell group requests it everytime we get together. I used other salsas when I first started making it, but this one is the absolute best. Mr. B also brought home some of the organic corn chips one day after drill and they are amazing!! They are so light and tasted amazing. I have used them crunched up as a topping for salads, for nachos, and with dips and they hold up well for everything and don't get soggy like some other chips that I have used. A couple of weeks ago, we got the BBQ sauce on a whim when I got a new crock pot and we were craving Barbecue. Another amazing product. It was sweet with a little smoke and just enough heat to it. I truly can't tell you enough about these products, but I can tell you to check out their website. If they aren't available where you are, then they have a store on and they are totally worth ordering on there. The website to go to is so make sure you get on there and order some. If nothing else, I know food, and this is some amazing stuff.

I hope you guys will try this and if you have a product you want me to review, shoot me an email or comment on here and I will get back with you.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tip of the Day

Wow, So I skipped over a week, but I am back now. Things got a little crazy around here, Fireboy B was sick with rotavirus, then the first weekend in a long time that we could just spend together as a family, then Prissy B came down with bacterial pink eye. Anyway, I will post more about what all has gone on, but wanted to get today's tip in. It's a good one, and would fall under cleaning and making life easier.

Use the creamy stainless steel cleaner to clean ceramic stovetops. It will take almost all the gunky buildup off with little to no hard scrubbing involved. I squirt it on, then use a damp sponge to rub it in, then rinse the sponge and use that same sponge to clean the cleaning stuff off of the stovetop. I typically wipe it off with the sponge, then rinse the sponge again, then wipe it off again, then dry it off with paper towels.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tip of the Day

Time for another tip, and today's tip is a time saving/cleaning tip.

  • To keep from losing socks in the wash, give each member of your family one of those zippered mesh laundry bags that people use for lingerie. Put socks in there, then throw all the bags in the washing machine together. This way, everyone's socks stay separated and you won't have the onesies that happen when you start missing socks. If someone happens to have socks that are really nasty or have lots of grass on them, make sure you shake the stuff off of them outside before you put them in the bags and get different sizes of bags (since I assume that everyone in the house doesn't wear the same size sock).

Monday, January 17, 2011

What a weekend!!

So my last post said a little something about my week last week, but that pales in comparison to the weekend around here. I think I mentioned at one point or another that I play in the Alumni Pep Band for UT over Christmas break for the students at the basketball games. We had finished our run of 10 games with the men's game against Memphis and the women's game against Alabama. Last Wednesday, I got an email about the need for an emergency pep band for Saturday's men's game against Vandy. Imagine my excitement, here I am an alumnus and vol fanatic and we were going to get to do the APB for ESPN College Gameday against an in state SEC rival. After switching around a few things, and thanks much to my mom and cousin for helping with the kids, I was off Saturday morning to head to the arena. Needless to say, it was an amazing game and an amazing time with some good friends. To add to that excitement, when I got home, Mr. B was finally home after being gone for 2 weeks. We had a wonderful time that night as well, but we were all really tired.

As tired as I was, Saturday was not a night of good and restful sleep for me. You see, I am a worrier. Always have been, and although I am working on it, probably always will be to a point. I was up several times Saturday night worrying about what I was going to say on Sunday morning at church. You see, Sunday morning I was being ordained at our church and our pastor had asked me to prepare something about why I wanted to be a deacon. Fast forward to Sunday morning and you find me standing at the pulpit, so nervous I am shaking, and starting to talk only to end up in a mass of tears. (Not what I feel was my finest moment) Then came the laying on of hands, I had quite honestly never been to an ordination service, so I had no clue what to expect. Let me just say it was one of the most moving moments of my life. To experience the love, support, and blessings that were bestowed on me was nothing short of amazing.

This brings me to our readings for the past week or so. After experiencing my ordination yesterday, I felt led to go back and reread when God put Aaron in charge of all the sacrifices and holy accoutrements. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have experienced what must have been like an ordination and laying on of hands from God. What an amazing experience. I also have been thinking about all of the talk of idols. While we don't tend to have calves made of gold that we worship, there are so many things in our lives that can be seen as idols. Our schedules, activities that we take part in, our family, sports, celebrities, etc. can all be idolized to the point that we become a slave to them. Don't get me wrong, I am guilty of these things as well, but I got to thinking about what made things turn into idols for us? By my understanding of the readings and really just my understanding of things in general, something becomes idol like for us when we let them scoot God out of our mind. This doesn't mean that we can't enjoy things like sports and we can't do activities or even that we can't look up to people. To me, this just simply means that we must be aware at all times of how important things are becoming in our life and what our priorities are. I guess what I have really gotten over the past week is that we really need to constantly be evaluating how we are keeping God in the forefront of our lives and if we are showing that love that he has given us to others.

I guess this was a really long post and I may have been rambling a little, but just know the intent is there. In other good news, the snow is almost all gone and unless something happens tonight, my children will be back in school tomorrow!! If nothing else, Mr. B will be home tomorrow and I will be able to finally return to work at the church.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday's Musings

Well, what has been a long two weeks is coming to an end shortly. Tomorrow, Mr. B will be home after what has seemed like the longest two weeks ever. It started out okay, He left on Sunday, the 2nd, and the kids were to go back to school on Thursday, the 6th. I had a pep band game on Wednesday, the 5th, and drove in some crazy snow to the game. That snow got school out of session on Thursday and was supposed to get a lot worse on Friday. Now, before any of you living up North start cracking on the South, we don't have snow plows and such because we don't get a lot of snow and ice. Yes, you would have gone to school in our weather, but it got us out on Thursday. Keep in mind, my children have been out of school since December 17th, and they only went one day that week and two days the week before, so we are all a little stir crazy. Thursday, everything melted and it was looking okay, but they were calling for all sorts of ugliness on Friday. Schools got called off for Friday because of what was supposed to hit. (This is the only day that I will fuss about, because it didn't hit and it just rained all day) At this point, I hadn't been to work on Thursday, but worked a few hours on Friday because my Dad watched the kids for me. Then comes a weekend with the kids, followed by not 1, not 2, but 5 more days out of school because of the weather. That gets you to today.
Talked to Mr. B today and he got out of class early and was heading to the airport to try and get home tonight on standby seating instead of late tomorrow. I get excited, have my other dad come out and help me fix the garbage disposal, clean on the house some, etc., only to find out the flight he got on for tonight got cancelled due to mechanical issues. I am ok with that since I don't want him dead in the Tennessee River, and now he flies the first leg tonight, then staying at the USO in Chicago, then the second half tomorrow. Tomorrow is gonna be a big day and it will be great that he gets home early. Prissy B has a basketball game in the morning and team pictures, but I am not going to be there because I am playing for another basketball game, so he is hoping to be able to get to her game before it is over. My Mom and Dad are wonderful enough to take her to the game for me in the morning and drop her back off and my cousin is going to babysit Fireboy B and then Prissy B when she gets home if Mr. B isn't home yet. That pretty much sums up the past two weeks. Throw in a night out with some family, my oldest cousin turning 18, a few papers for grad school, and having to take off work all week this week and you have my life for the past couple weeks. It seems kinda crazy around here, but we make it okay. Looking forward to kids getting back in school and some kind of routine getting back to normal next week. Tomorrow I play for a doubleheader that is on ESPN, then on Sunday I have papers due and I am being ordained as a deacon at our church. Next week will hold lots of promise, I hope, and my arrival into middle age as well as keeping up on my reading for Bible in 90 Days. I will just be glad to be back to normal and have Mr. B home again. I will try to get some pics up tomorrow of the fun at UT, but if not, just know that it will be a Go Vols kinda day.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tip of the Day

In an effort to become a fun blog to read, I decided to start giving out some tips on Thursdays. These will just be some tips about things like how to be happier, easier ways to do things, cooking tips, etc. that I find or have that I think might help people. If you have a tip you want to be included, send it to me or leave it in a comment on the blog. On to our first Tip of the Day:

Today's tip is an easier life tip

Use a color coding system, and have one calendar for all events, with different colors for each person to be able to easily identify who has activities when.

An easy way to keep track of your calendar and be able to access it from any computer with internet is to use Google Calendars. We use this at our house and it is great because you can invite people to events, have different colors for each person on the calendar, make notes about the activity, have additional people able to add events or view events, and sync it with computers and phones as well as being able to look it up from any computer that can go to Google.

You can also accomplish this on a paper calendar by using different color pens for each person or highlighting each person's activities with a different colored highlighter.

Life becomes much easier when everything is on a central location.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Week 1 done

Well, I didn't make my goal of posting twice last week, but I am still on track with my reading for the Bible in 90 Days. I find myself looking forward to doing the readings every night, even though I haven't necessarily enjoyed the portions where it lists the lineage of people. I have to admit to skimming those parts a little bit. So far we have read all of Genesis and Exodus and the things that have really been standing out to me so far are just the realizations that we are not the first to doubt and that God is the only one who truly see us. It is amazing to me to think about how much faith the Israelites had to leave Egypt with Moses, only to turn around and start questioning how they were going to make it. Even Moses didn't want to do what God was telling him to do because he didn't have the faith that God would help him talk to the Pharaoh. That is very comforting to me. To think that these people who were seeing these amazing things happening through God were still doubtful at times makes me feel a little closer to them. I guess I have always thought of Moses in a way that doesn't idolize him, but does place him a little higher (and holier) than I have ever been. This makes him more human to me.

I am gonna post a family update while I am on here real quick as well just in case I don't make it back this week. Mr. B is still in Missouri, but is supposed to be back on Saturday. Prissy B is enjoying all these snow days, but I think she really is ready to go back. I am definitely ready for schools to go back. Prissy B had her first Upward game of the year this past Saturday and did really well. I was very proud of her efforts. Fireboy B is just same little crazy kid. He is absolutely obsessed with all things Fire (Truck, Fighter, Station, Helmet, Extinguisher, etc.), and spends most of his day playing with the firetrucks he got for Christmas. He does stop to eat (a lot), play Club Penguin on my computer, and read. He loves to have books read to him and we have been reading 4 or 5 books a day, multiple times each. He is totally in love with football as well (makes a Mama proud, LOL) and anything UT. He has been running around singing lately and likes to switch from The First Noel to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to Rocky Top. I have to say, I love to hear him sing, but my favorite is that he is insisting on saying prayers when we sit down to eat. He doesn't want Prissy B to say them, so if she does, then he has to say his after hers. It is so sweet to hear him. As for me, grad school classes started back last Monday, and it has been kinda hard trying to fit all those readings in with everything else going on. I am getting readjusted to it though, and am looking forward to just having school over and done with. I am very excited to be having a girls night out this Wednesday with my mom, aunt, cousins, and Prissy B. I wish my sister and grandmother were coming with us, but I love to go out and do things with my family.

I think I have bored you with enough details for tonight, but I will try to get on again later this week when things have hopefully leveled out a little around here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 2

Yesterday was Day 1 of the Bible in 90 Days. I read last night while my daughter chatted with her Daddy on the computer and was so very proud for not being too tired to get it in. Today has been a little different. It has been a long day and I just now finished my readings for today. It seems like whenever I manage to make the time to sit down and read the Bible, something will stick out to me. Yesterday, I was reminded that God is the one who sees me. No matter what anyone else thinks, God is the one that I need to please.
Today I was actually struck by two things. The first was Genesis 22 when God tells Abraham to take his son that he had waited for and prayed for so long and offer him as a sacrifice. Abraham does exactly as God tells him to do. I can't help but wonder if I would do the same. I have two children and I can't imagine living without either of them. What faith Abraham must have had.
The second thing I was struck by was when Jacob dressed as his brother to fool their father and take his blessing. While I have heard this story all my life, I don't know that I have ever stopped to really think about it. Most of the time when we hear this story, we focus on Jacob's trickery or Esau's outrage, but I was struck by the sadness of Isaac. How he must have hurt to know that his youngest son and wife had schemed against him.
Both of these are instances in which Isaac could have chosen to become very angry with God. I certainly think I would have been angry if my parents had tied me up and been ready to sacrifice me. I definitely would be angry at the deception by those closest to me. And I certainly would be questioning why these things were happening to me when I had been a faithful servant. There are things that have happened in my life in the past few years that have definitely made me feel as though I am being punished for something, but I am going to try to keep in mind that I just need to strive for the faith of Abraham and Isaac. If they were able to keep their faith through these things that were asked of them and happened to them and not question God, then what right do I have to question the plan. Just because I like to be in control doesn't mean it is always the way things are going to happen.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Beginnings

Lots of people make New Year's Resolutions. Even I have done so in the past. This year, I am starting with a new beginning. Starting tomorrow, I am going to start a program to read the Bible in 90 days. I know that I can't manage to keep a resolution for a year, but can normally manage to keep it for around 3 months. This is my first quarter goal. I am going to attempt to blog at least twice a week, once about what is going on in my life and once about how my 3 month challenge is going. We will see how this holds out for me. To start out, a little about me. I am almost 30 years old, married with 2 kids, working part-time at our church and running my own graphic design business. I have a BA in Sociology and will be finishing my MS in Criminal Justice this coming September. I am very involved in our church and I am probably a little more than obsessed with University of Tennessee Athletics. I am a huge Vols fan and one of the thrills of my year is playing in the Alumni Pep Band for Basketball games over the students' Christmas Break. I stay really busy with my kids, church activities, and work but I love to joke around and really hope that this will help me become more centered in my faith.