Sunday, August 31, 2008

Beautiful Blushing Bride

I am sure that our family must have set some sort of record - 4 family weddings in one year!! Whew! It has been a whirlwind year, from every perspective, but it has been a good one. We wrapped up all the wedding bliss with Mary Allison's wedding yesterday (Kristi's step-sister) in Brandon. It was absolutely beautiful. I must say that it was probably the most worshipful wedding, with a little humor thrown in, that I have attended.

The reception was held outdoors at a charming old country home. Despite being the end of August, it was very enjoyable. There was good food and dancing. My girls really took to the dancing (that must have been a recessive trait they inherited ;) ). I am not really sure they even noticed the food very much after they found the dance floor. I caught a little bit of their dancing and thought you might enjoy it. They were even able to snag a brief dance with the groom at one point.

Natalie caught the bouquet!!!!!!!

Are you really surprised???

I didn't see it happen but it wouldn't surprise me if she tackled a few other girls to get to it first.

She is already planning her wedding for next weekend.

At the moment we are preparing for Hurricane Gustav as it approaches. Actually, as I type this, the first of the outer bands of the storm are passing over us with some very heavy rain and some ominous looking clouds. I wish I had had time to get some pictures of the clouds as they approached to show you. They were right on top of us before I realized it. I guess I should wrap this up in the event that we lose power. I will post again later.

Monday, August 25, 2008


This is what happens when you let 4 little girls loose to play in the rain, unsupervised!! She is covered in RED CLAY!!! It is also ground in to her hair. Alyson managed to avoid the mud but did thoroughly enjoy the rain. You can see a small glimpse of yet another amazing rainbow we saw today. Here is a better shot, but again, it just doesn't do it justice. It was SO bright and vivid. If you look closely, you can see that it is a double rainbow.

I guess this is more on a serious note but cute at the same time. Never assume that your children are old enough to be left in the bathtub unattended or at least stay within ear shot so you can hear what is going on (if they are older, that is).
I put Alyson in the bathtub while I was cleaning the kitchen after supper ( I can see their bathroom from the kitchen sink). She was very tired and I knew that but what she did completely surprised me. She had been singing and talking then I realized that she had gotten very quiet. I went into the bathroom and this is what I found...

I really thought she was just teasing me but after a good bit of proding, I discovered that she really was sound asleep.
No more leisurely soaks for Alyson when she is this tired.

Rainy Days

If you are ever in need of rain, just call on us to schedule a vacation. It doesn't matter what kind of vacation, short or long, near or far. If we plan it (vacation), it (rain) will come. That seems to be a dark cloud (no pun intended) that follows any Patrick that goes on vacation!

Now, we were watching the forcast very closely and were well aware of what was headed our way. However, this weekend getaway was planned months ago - hotel booked (non-refundable/transferable) and everything. Based on the forcast, we did not feel that we were in danger since we were going to a water park and we felt like we could get a decent day of playing in before the rain got there. Our hopes were not very high though as we left Meridian because is was already raining on us here. Our wheels were turning and we had an alternate plan tucked away, just in case. The closer we got to the coast, though, the better the weather appeared to be. It was very windy but only partly cloudy. We took our chances...............

As you can see from the expressions, the fun didn't last long. We were there for just shy of 2 hours when they announced that they were shutting down the park because of the weather. The girls were disappointed but were big about it. We headed to the hotel to check in and finish our swimming at the indoor pool. I think they found that they liked that just as well as the waterpark. It was an indoor pool and we had it all to ourselves.

You remember the picture of the rainbow over our house the other day? This is a picture of the full rainbow that was in the newspaper the following day. It gives you a much better picture of how pretty it was.

Lastly, we have resolved the silly putty issue - thanks for your input on that. The solution: spray area with WD-40 and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Next pour some rubbing alcohol on the area and rub with an old rag. Repeat until clean. These instructions were on .

Friday, August 22, 2008


The whirlpool tub may quickly become Aly's favorite place to hang out!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our House

Several of you have asked me to post some pictures of our new house. Despite it being a new house, it still needs plenty of work in the yard and on the landscaping. All in due time. I will gladly share these outside pictures. The inside view will have to wait, all except for one very focal shot. With children, it doesn't take things long to get broken in......... Oh well, it had to happen sometime..........

No, this is not gum - that would be too easy to clean up. This is silly putty, firmly attached silly putty! Any suggestions?

I took one other picture of the house this afternoon after I got home. We were between rain showers and I ran out to check the mail and saw the most beautiful rainbow, a full rainbow that seemed to completely cover our house. The picture just doesn't do it justice.

A few minutes later, another shower passed over and Alyson said, "But the rain is going to wash it (the rainbow) away!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Karaoke Queens and Singing in the Rain

I promise to try to do better than once a week updates! I had the best intentions of updating this past weekend but had a computer glitch which put a hold on things. Fortunately, I am back in the saddle again.

We had a very good week last week with school and made some progress on the house as well. Natalie seems to be adjusting well to school. She really likes her teachers. We had the entire weekend at home so we felt like we were able to make some good progress as well as have a little family fun.

The girls were invited to their first birthday party (in Meridian) Friday night. It was a High School Musical karaoke party so you can just imagine who was in the thick of it! The girls had a great time and it gave Frankie and I a good opportunity to meet some new people, including some of our neighbors. Natalie hung around at the party after we left and came home with a friend. From what I understand from several of the adults that were still there, she made quite an impression with her singing abilities. I wish I could take credit for that but unfortunately, that was not a talent that God chose to bless me with. All I can do is make a joyful noise! I am including a couple of pictures of the girls stage time.

Karaoke Queens!
Saturday proved to be our most fruitful day as I was able to tackle a good bit in the house and Frankie was able to conquer a little bit more of the yard - both a prime example of the analogy of eating an elephant, one bite at a time. The yard is a challenge and has taken a little navigating to get through it. We have noticed that some of early work we have done has been fruitful - we have found grass growing in the areas we have been seeding. We were doubtful that anything was going to grow from that round of seeding because we thought most of it had washed away. The girls spent the day visiting between friends houses - these are big decisions to make these days. I am posting some pictures of them with a couple of their new friends. Anabelle is Alyson's new friend and they enjoy riding in their jeeps together. Lexi (blue shorts) and Rosalie (khaki shorts)are Natalie's friends. Having friends so close by has been such a blessing but we are also having to learn how to manage our time now with so many choices to make each day (homework, playing, eating, sleeping, etc.)! We are so grateful to have those choices to be faced with though. A sign that we are truly blessed.

Alyson & Anabelle * Traveling Tots * Lexi, Natalie & Rosalie

Check out the hat!

Sunday we finally had the opportunity to visit one of the local churches. We visited New Hope Baptist Church and really enjoyed our day there. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming and the service itself was very good as well.

We are almost half way through this week already and we feel like we are finally settling in to some sort of routine. Some days it feels as if we got here yesterday (at least based on the appearance of our house)and some days it feels as if we have always been here which is just another confirmation that we are right where we are supposed to be right now. We enjoyed somewhat of a lazy evening today visiting with some neighbors and watching the girls playing in the rain. Hope you enjoy the pics.

Singing in the rain

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sweet forgotten memories

I received an email today from a church member and friend from Columbus. She and her 2 daughters helped us for several summers (a few summers ago) by babysitting for us while we were at work. Natalie really enjoyed those summers and has many fond memories of being there. Her memory is very good so she will occassionally remind me of something from those summers. Unfortunately, my memory is very poor (which, unfortunately, works to the girls advantage sometimes) so sometimes I have to rely on others to trigger some of the sweetest memories(somehow, the bad ones seem to stick with you.) The email I received today was one of those great triggers. Read below - it makes you realize that every detail really does matter when small children are around. Thanks so much Sandra!

Here are a few that we'll always remember especially.

I was using the water hose to wash off the lint off of the concrete that had built up by the dryer vent. Natalie had just arrived and she rushed over to help, took the hose away and said, "I want to help you water your ground!"

When we had received our "free" pictorial directory picture in the mail, Natalie was pointing to all of us and telling who each person was. "And who is this, Natalie?" Jessica would ask.

"And who is this?"


"Who is this?"

"Mr Dawayne"

"And what about this person?"

"That's Hey Mom"

That was when we realized the girls always prefaced anything they said to me with, "Hey Mom, where is the sunscreen?" "Hey Mom, do we have any more popsicles?"

And the time we were practicing the summer project and listening to the CD throughout the day. Natalie kept requesting we fast forward to the turtle song. We would start a song and she would say, "No, that is not the turtle song," and we would stop at the next one, but "No, that is not the turtle song. "Now Unto the King Eternal" was "Now I Want to Be a Turtle". That will always be the turtle song to me....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sorry for the delay in getting an update posted - you know I have had nothing but free time lately ;). Plus, we and AT&T seem to be having a communication problem regarding our internet and the necessary equipment needed (ironic, isn't it).

Well, I can officially say that we are now Meridianites - we are here, but not quite settled. It doesn't feel like I will be able to say we are settled anytime in the near future but I know that it will eventually come together. Anyone who knows me very well knows that I tend to ramble on at times but if you have a few minutes for some rambling, hang with me I will try to briefly ;) recap our last week or so.

Last Monday (July 28th) began our adventure as we closed on our new house and began the moving process. Frankie and I, with the assistance of his dad brought 3 trucks, each pulling a trailer, to unload after the closing. I think that had to be the toughest day of all. I am convinced that we picked the hottest week of the year to move - temps were hovering just under 100 degrees that day with matching humidity. The day was long and tough but we felt like we made some headway. Thanks to Tom for his help with the the furniture! We could never have done that on our own. We were very fortunate that day to meet many of our new neighbors, many of which were very helpful to us that day. The first of many blessings.

Tuesday was spent in Columbus, Kristi workng at the clinic and Frankie working at the house getting the remainder of our belongings together for the second half of the move on Wednesday. We were off again early Wednesday morning to take the rest of our belongings. This portion of the move was actually easier, despite have more to unload, thanks to all the great help we had. Thank you bunches to Dad, Debbie, Judy Lynn, Jay, David and Mitchell for all your invaluable help. We owe you a big one! We at least managed to get some beds put up and a path cleared to each room so we could sleep that night. While we were working in the house that afternoon, the girls were out riding their bikes ( a new freedom for them since they have only been able to do that without supervision in our driveway in Columbus due to the busy street we lived on). Natalie returned to the house absolutely out of breath with excitement. She had meet a little girl down the street, Rosalie, who was her age and going in to the 3rd grade as well. Not far behind her was her little sister, Annabel, who is the same age as Alyson. You cannot possible imagine what that did for this mama! I was so concerned about Natalie starting school and not knowing anyone in her class. We have also met several other very nice girls in the neighborhood since then who are close to Natalie's age. Kerri took the girls to Tupelo for the weekend so we could get some uninterrupted work done - what a break! Thanks Kerri, Travis, Hailey and Harrison. The girls had a great time. We enjoyed a couple of days earlier this week with Kerri and H2W here in Meridian with us. We actually ventured out to the mall and to eat Wednesday - that was an adventure for all of us as I know next to nothing about the layout of this town right now. Somehow, we found our way back to Hwy 45 and to our house - all in one piece. However, while we were at the mall, we accomplished one major feat. We actually got Natalie to go ahead and get her ears pierced. It took MUCH coaxing and patience, but she finally went through with it. Not before trying to jump out of the chair as they actually did the piercings though. A little traumatic at the time, but she was very proud of herself when it was all said and done. I have posted some pictures but it is hard to tell much in them.

Thursday brought Natalie's first day of school. All went well and she had a very good day.
Rosalie was in her class and Natalie was just a little bit excited about it. Her class rotates this year. Her homeroom teacher, Mrs. Breazeale, teaches the first 5 subjects, then the entire class switches over to Mrs. Carmichaels class for the last 2 subjects. They call this team teaching and it prepares them for switching classes next year in 4th grade. Natalie has felt very comfortable with her teachers so far.

I must add one other thank you to all the local ladies who have brought us the wonderful meals over the last week - Ms. Dianne, Chris, Susan, Laura, Barbie, and Theresa. We have found a truly welcoming community.

I have rambled enough. I will post again soon and hopefully it won't be so lengthy.