Friday, December 31, 2010

Such love

Tonight is New Year's Eve, and because I'm still recovering from ear infections and Jacin is on call (currently out on a leak), we are ringing in 2011 at home. Oh well, at least I have some time to blog. :)

Every night when I rock Jackson to sleep, I thank God for the amazing blessing of a son. And then my thoughts usually drift to how much I love my JBird. And then I think about God, and how he gave his only son over to death for me. It makes me sick at my stomach to even think about doing that - giving up Jackson and allowing him to suffer and die to save someone else. I sure do love my Bird!

I don't think I'll ever be able to grasp how high, long, wide and deep God's love is, but JBird has given me a bit more understanding than I had before. And, I really don't mind the prospect of spending the rest of my life trying to understand and appreciate God's love for me.

My heart is full of thanks for the many many ways you've blessed me. Words don't come close to thanking you for Jackson and for the new insight you've given me. Thank you, God, that your love for me is unconditional and infinitely bigger and grander than I could ever imagine. Please guide my heart and life, and help me pursue your love and glory always.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas ReCap

So this Christmas was a little crazy for several reasons:
1. I did not have ANY ideas for gifts, so the majority of family members received gift cards. I guess Jacin felt the same way since he didn't have time to buy anything for me. I guess I'll have to settle for  a new dishwasher and microwave. Man, I guess that makes me an adult now.
2. This was our 1st year to do 3 separate Christmas gatherings - the Stovalls' on Christmas Eve, our own Christmas morning, and the Burns' on Christmas evening. It was great to see everyone, but it was a whirlwind. Maybe it will get less stressful in future years (or maybe not).
3. Jacin had just recovered from Strep throat (which he got from JBird). Bird moved on to bigger and better illnesses and was one sick baby - RSV and a double ear infection. Christmas Eve I started developing a knock-down drag-out sinus infection. Isn't it funny how everyone else in a household is taken care of when sick, but Mom doesn't seem to have a second to slow down when she feels like crap?. Welcome to motherhood (but I wouldn't trade it!).
4. It snowed on Christmas Day, and snow always makes things interesting when you live in the South. It sure was beautiful, though!

So, as you might imagine, it was a different Christmas for us, but still fun! In addition to reflecting on God's love for us demonstrated through the birth of Jesus, this Christmas was extra special because I got to see the excitement through the eyes of my child. I know he's still young and doesn't understand much, but he sure does love wrapping paper! Here are some quick photos from the various Christmas events:

The Stovall Clan

Feeling a bit yucky.

Merry White Christmas! 

As the PJs say, it was Jackson's 1st Christmas.

Having fun with wrapping paper.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Cheer

So in the midst of stomach viruses, colds, strep throat, etc, it's been a bit busy. We planned to make Christmas cookies this weekend, but Jacin and Jackson are running fevers. No cookies. I have to admit, I'm behind on shopping, nothing is wrapped, the house is a wreck, we haven't seen any Christmas lights, and I'm tired. Can you tell I'm feeling a bit like a Scrooge? I'm hoping tomorrow we will all feel a bit better and I won't be so grinchy. In the meantime, I've been wanting to post some pics of our Christmas decorations. Better late than never.

This is our den. The garland looks ok, but imagine what I could do if that obnoxious TV weren't there...

This is our Christmas Tree, and yes, it is in front of the front door. We didn't have anywhere else to put it!

This is the tree in mine and Jacin's bedroom. It's my favorite. However, the lights just stopped working. Bummer.

This is the "country" tree in Jackson's room. Mom made the topper and Alexa, Mom, and I made the burlap tree skirt. I really want to be crafty, but it's a work in progress.

This shelf is above the crib in JBird's room. Turned out pretty good.

And THIS is the Bird, helping to decorate. I'm hoping the fever, snot, and cough disappear and we see that smile again soon.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


One of the great things about living in the South is that you can expect people to smile and say things like, "Good morning!" or "Hi, how are you?". Regardless of how you're really feeling, these customary greetings express hospitality and remove yourself from the spotlight, giving you the opportunity to focus on another. I was raised to be NICE to other people. Things such as lack of sleep, long to-do lists, or bad hair days don't change the fact that I need to be NICE. Even if you DON'T think its a "Good morning, " you can at least smile and nod. Unfortunately, some people have completely missed this aspect of Southern manners.

There are one or two ladies at work that seem to think their own personal circumstances exempt them from smiling at others or even acknowledging them. NOT NICE. As much as possible, I hope my kids will smile at others, acknowledge them, speak to them, and help others feel the love of Christ. My kids will be NICE.

Just needed to vent.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Best Phone Call EVER

Today during my 5th period class, the front office called my room over the intercom.
"Mrs. Burns? Can you take a phone call?"
My heart stopped. I said yes and sprinted to the work room. The second the phone rang I snatched it up and answered. It was Jackson's Hematology doctor (well, his nurse) calling to say that ALL of Jackson's blood work had come back, and it was all normal. I started crying. I'm sure the poor girl on the other line thought I was super special. I hung up and went back to class, texting my husband and parents on the way.

Yep. That is probably the BEST phone call I've ever received. Normal results on the blood work means the Hematologist could find nothing to indicate a clotting disorder. Therefore, there is no reason to anticipate any future problems with clotting, bleeding, seizures, etc.  :)  (That's a BIG smiley face).

Thank you, Lord. You have blessed us so much already, and yet you continue to lavish your love on us.

"The word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood." Jn 1:14, MSG

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thank God for a hard head

I'm a little late in posting this, but it's been a busy week.
Wednesday morning, Jackson cracked his head on his changing table. He hit it pretty hard. I gave him Tylenol and held an ice pack on it for a few minutes. He seemed fully recovered. When I took him to DayCare, I told the ladies to watch him, just in case. I cried when I left - felt like such a bad Mom leaving my little Bird after such a knock to his noggin!

Three hours later Bird's DayCare teacher called my cell phone. Anytime my cell phone rings at school, my heart stops.
"Hailey? Jackson is vomitting. Kinda a lot. And he's acting funny."
Not what you want to hear after your kid has smacked his head. I called Mom and his pediatrician. Both advised that I take him to the ER just to be safe. I lost it. My Middle Schoolers were absolutely stunned, watching me run around the room grabbing stuff, writing an assignment on the board, and darting out of the room. I'm sure it was a scene.

I was a bit emotional (that's an understatement), so Roxane drove me to pick up Jackson and take him to the Floyd ER. Jacin met us there. Within an hour we were examined and sent home with the diagnosis of severe contusion, but NOT a concussion. Praise God! I stayed home with the Bird for the rest of the day. He cried for about 2 hours straight, and then slept for 3 hours straight. It wasn't exactly a fun day, but I can say this - I am very thankful for hard heads.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quick Catch-Up

Whew! It's been a while since I've had 2 minutes to blog!
Here's a  bit of info & some pics to catch up on the Burns' craziness:

The weekend of the 13th, I worked our school's annual Santa Breakfast. This year I convinced Jacin to pay the $10 for JBird to have his picture with Santa. As you can see by the picture, Bird was absolutely thrilled.

This was the BEST out of several pictures.

Wednesday night through Friday morning of Thanksgiving, we spent time with my family in Gwinnett. JBird wasn't feeling too great. In fact, he couldn't keep any milk down. Poor guy. He spent the majority of the Thanksgiving meal in my lap or sleeping in our room downstairs.
Feeling yucky.

When he wasn't sleeping or crying, JBird was enjoying bouncing in his Hoppy Days Bouncer. Notice the leg-pump action...

It was great to see family! We missed you, Aunt Deb, though I'm sure Thanksgiving was much sweeter in Heaven. And congrats to Eric and Alexa! We're excited for you!
Whites, Rigdons, Briggs, Stovalls, Burns & Hales Families

Friday we came home and celebrated Thanksgiving with Jacin's family. Once again, Bird cried through the entire meal. Jacin and I took turns inhaling our food while the other held Jackson. By the time we got home, I decided that Bird had a stomach virus. Straight Pedialyte for the next few days.

Then... that night... I started with the stomach virus. This is the THIRD time Bird has gotten stomach sick and passed it to me (and other family members). After throwing up and passing out in the waiting room of our local Urgent Care, I finally received some IV fluids and eventually felt better.

Last night, Jacin, Bird, and I were sitting at the kitchen table after dinner. I had pulled out my Veggie Tales nativity characters and was attempting to introduce the Christmas story characters to Jackson. In the middle of my explanation, Jacin started lining the characters up across the table. "This is how the offensive line forms, buddy," he explained as he named each position. "Now, you take this one and play defense. I'll be the quarter back." As if he understood, Jackson grabbed his designated character (I think it was a wise man) and hit Jacin's "defensive line," scattering the characters everywhere. "Yeah! That's my boy! You sacked the quarterback!" Jacin shouted jumping out of his chair. Hmm. Boys.

And speaking of boys, here are my two having fun in the shower.

Whew! So maybe that wasn't too quick. Oh well. Lots has happened in the last week or two. I can't complain, though. I'm blessed beyond measure.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jackson with a side of Joy

So JBird and I saw quite a show while sitting in the pediatrician's waiting room today. A little blond-haired toddler, holding a squeaky cow toy, waddled over to meet a little girl. The little boy held out his cow toy toward the little girl (I guess this was his pick up line?). The little girl grabbed it and threw it across the room. I watched with wide eyes. The little boy looked at the girl for a minute, then suddenly flew into a rage. If toddlers could punch, this one would have. I thought the boy was going to deck the little girl. The parents of each toddler jumped up simultaneously and yelled the name of their child. A Daddy jerked the little blond-haired boy back and said, "Jackson, be nice!" A Mommy stood up and grabbed the little girl and said, "Joy, that's not the way to make friends." After watching that first encounter and then watching the two tear the waiting room apart for the following 20 minutes, I walked away thinking 2 things:

1. I have absolutely NO CLUE how crazy it will be when Jackson (MY Jackson) gets mobile. I'd better buckle up. He's going to be a tornado.

2. Naming a kid Joy is kinda, well... why would you do it? I found it very ironic to hear the Mom in the waiting room repeated yell at Joy, who was definitely bringing the Mom everything EXCEPT joy at the time. I can definitely scratch that name off the list of potential baby names for the future.

Monday, November 15, 2010

1st Hair Cut

Today Mom and I took JBird for his 1st hair cut. I know you're not really supposed to take kids for the 1st cut until they're 1 year old (or at least this is what I'm told), but his hair was getting a bit ridiculous. The comb-over in the front was gradually falling into his eyes. His hair on the sides of his head was growing over the tops of his ears. And the trademark cowlick in the back was starting to look like a duck's tail. So we decided to take the plunge. Here are a few pics (thanks Mom!).

After all is said and done, I'm glad we got it cut. However, I'm not sure I was prepared to see him look like a little boy instead of my sweet baby bird. Where did 7 months go?
I love you, Jackson Bird!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rats and Chocolate

So if you know me well, you know I like chocolate. Ok, that's a lie. I LOVE chocolate. It's somewhat of an obsession. Honestly, if there was a support group for chocolate addicts, I should probably attend.

Let me paint a picture of how bad it is:
I keep a bag of Dove chocolates in the front office - the secretary guards them. I go up there once a day, and she gives me one of my chocolates. Hey - I'm not ashamed! Accountability is a beautiful thing.
Well, one day I brought a new bag of Doves to restock my supply, and the secretary happened to be out sick that day. I had to keep the chocolates in my room until she returned. This was NOT GOOD. By 10am that morning, I had eaten half the bag of chocolates. Not kidding.

Hi, my name is Hailey Burns, and I have a chocolate problem.

So today I'm working out at the gym, reading a magazine while on the eliptical. On one page of the magazine, I spy a sidebar entitled "Chocolate Comfort." Of course I read it. It states: "A study of more than 900 people found that those who were clinically depressed ate, on average, three more servings of chocolate than people who weren't feeling blue" (Archives of Internal Medicine).  For real? Only 3 more servings? They obviously didn't study ME. I would have blown that out of the water! It gets better. Dr. Beatrice Golomb says, "Depression may stimulate chocolate cravings, and rat studies show that chocolate could improve mood." Really? She had to study rats to figure that out? I would love to bring home her salary and make obvious "discoveries" like that. Geez.

PS: You may have wondered how I was able to quote the article since I saw it while at the gym, and I'm obviously not at the gym now. Well, since I'm in a confessing mood - I'll admit it: I tore out the page of the Women's Health magazine and brought it home. I doubt anyone at the gym will notice it's gone - but I needed it. Blogging about my problem is therapeutic. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase lettersOne of my favorite blogs, lowercase letters by Carissa Graham, has weekly Miscellany Mondays with random thoughts and comments. I like the idea, so here it goes...

Fall is great. I love the cool weather, having fires in the fireplace, and drinking cider or hot chocolate. I also love the feeling of anticipation it brings as we look towards Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is by far my favorite time of year.

I shopped at Publix for the first time this weekend. Yes, it's true that I had to drive 30 minutes to Cartersville, but it was completely worth it. I was able to buy almost double what I normally buy at WalMart each week for the same amount of money. Plus, I'm slowly learning how to combine coupons with sales. I saved $57 Saturday at Publix and $47 today at CVS. Now I just need an extra pantry and freezer.

Sometimes love isn't a feeling as much as it is a decision. There are times when you may not feel love for a person, but you've decided to love them; made a commitment to love no matter what. It's through those times that you often get to see God do His best work, changing you and your loved one to be more like Him.

Over the past 20 months, I've learned that pregnancy and giving birth can wack-out a woman's body - PERMANENTLY. The larger butt and hips, the nice soft band of fat around the waist, the persistent memory loss... and... wait, what else was I going to say? Oh yeah. The hot flashes, the mood swings, the appetite changes, and the totally unpredictable periods. Good grief. BUT - look what I got out of the deal! Yep, he's worth it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Best Squirrel I Ever Had

This week has been rough. I'm teaching my least favorite unit at school, and it's almost killed me. There's only so many times I can explain what a citation is, or how to access articles online, or how to find something in an encyclopedia. I don't mind research IF I'm the one doing it. Teaching research, however, has got to be the 10th circle of Hell. In fact, one of my students asked me this afternoon if the day had been rough. I smiled and asked why. He said that it looked like I had been pulling out my hair. I asked if it really looked that bad. He nodded. I have to admit that there were points today when I felt like some type of sedative was being pumped through the air vents and I was slowly losing consciousness and my sanity. And it seems I wasn't the only one affected. During the (L O N G) three days we've spent in the library, I watched my 7th graders become more and more distracted, bored, and down-right goofy. Here are just 2 examples (the names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent).

#1 Great White Attack!!!
Caleb walks up to me while in the library and informs me that he is researching Great White Sharks. I try to mirror his enthusiasm, but I can't get a word in edgewise. He holds up 3 books and tells me he already knew all the info that was in those 3 books because he goes diving with his Dad. Caleb adds the random fact that sharks are 55 million years older than dinosaurs. He hesitates for a minute before confiding in me with a whisper, "and you know what? I was bitten by a Great White when I was little. Almost took my leg off."
Wow. We've been in this library *WAY* too long!

#2 PopTart
Me: Daniel, remind me what you're researching.
Daniel: Squirrels.
Me: Oh, ok. Have you found much info?
Daniel: Nope. Will you help me?
Me: Sure. Let's grab one of the laptops and look up squirrels online.
Daniel: Ok. I can do that. (Picks up a laptop, turns it on, googles squirrels, chooses a website, and starts reading)
Me: Awesome. That looks like a good website. I'm going to help Johnny and then I'll be back to check on you. (Gradually edging away)
Daniel: No! Wait! I have something to tell you! (waving his arms wildly as if trying to stop traffic)
Me: Yes?
Daniel: Well, Mrs. Burns, have you ever had a pet squirrel?
Me: No. I haven't. Have you? (Falling into his trap...)
Daniel: Yeah! I have!! (getting more and more excited, now moving his feet into the seat of his chair and crouching precariously as if preparing to spring) One day my dad was going to cut down a tree cause he's a tree cutter-downer and he seen that a squirrel nest was in the top so he climbed up and looked and there was 2 baby squirrels in the nest (he continues on without breathing...) and he took it down cause the momma had already done gone. And he brought the babies home to us. I was pumped. And one of the babies died during the night, but the other one lived and you know what we called him?
Me: No, but I have a feeling you're going to tell me.
Daniel: PopTart. Yep. We named him PopTart cause that's what he liked to eat. And I guess PopTart was a good name for him as any cause that's how he died.
Me: What?
Daniel: PopTart died eating PopTarts - and the wrappers and box. We found him belly up in the sink. (drops his eyes to look at his hands folded in his lap.)
Me: (eyes wide, trying to sound sympathetic while imagine a dead squirrel in someone's sink) Wow! I'm so sorry!
Daniel: It's ok but he sure was a good one. In fact, he were the best squirrel I ever had!
Me: How many squirrels have you had?
Daniel: uhhh... one. (facial expression serious as a heart attack).

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Some quick pics of our Halloween weekend. Thanks for visiting, Meme & Big Daddy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Great Pumpkin (Jackson Burns!)

Drumroll please!!! JBird's 1st Pumpkin Carving!!!
First we cut the top out...

Then Jacin scooped out the guts and started carving.

Yay! We're done!!

Now on to the next event...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The God Who Sees

Tonight, I'm reminded of Hagar, the woman in the Bible who had Abraham's son and was then kicked out. She and her son left with nowhere to go. In the middle of the desert, she cried out to God, calling Him "the God Who Sees." Even though everyone else had forsaken her, God still saw her and proved faithful.

I just talked to a dear friend for the 1st time in about 5 years. I have missed her SO MUCH! We spent time together when I was in the ministry at Calvary, and then she and her family moved. Thanks to facebook, we were able to reconnect, exchange phone numbers, and catch up. Though I haven't seen her or her family in a few years, I knew they were going through some difficult things. I wasn't able to get in touch with her through email or phone, so I prayed. At the time, I wondered if I would ever get back in touch with them again, yet they were still heavy on my heart. I prayed and prayed for them. Tonight, I got to hear how God answered my prayers. They have gone through some extremely trying things, but they have come out on the other side praising God.

I'm so thankful that we serve the God Who Sees. Even when we are separated from loved ones or helpless in times of difficulty, God Sees. He never turns away, never gets distracted, never sleeps. Praise the God Who Sees.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Writing Skills Meet Local Dialect

So today I'm grading my students' most recent writing assignment. I keep running into this word that I fail to recognize. Multiple students are using it and spelling it the same way, but I don't know the meaning. I'm starting to get paranoid about not knowing a word that my 7th graders know when... it hits me. The word in question is Accorse. If you're like me, you're thinking... huh? Acorns? A course? What the heck!?!? Well, allow me to translate. Accorse = Of course. Also, just to clue you in, fill = feel, wont = want, and becaws = because. Now you're ready to read the writing of 7th grade Northwest Georgian students.  When you tell them to "sound it out" to determine a word's spelling, they take it to heart. They write like they speak - slow as molasses, sweet as sugar, and country as a turnip green. :) And if you've heard ME talk lately, you know it's catching.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thrivin??? More Like Barely Survivin!!

Well, things are getting desperate. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I have VERY FEW outfits that fit right now. Even though I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, apparently my body fluff  has shifted and my butt, hips, and lower belly are bigger now (I didn't even know that was possible...). I tried Weight Watchers and got discouraged. Now I'm back to working out at the gym, which I love. For the DIET part (I detest that word), I am trying Thrive. Many of my friends at school have used it to drop pounds in a 3 month period, so I thought I'd try it. A friend is teaching me the Thrive plan at school for free, so I don't have to pay for the program. Nice.

So the 1st week is supposedly the hardest. The only thing you can have for meals is a meat and green veggie combo. Breakfast and (ONE!!!) snack are the same daily. So this is kinda what the week is shaping up to look like:

BFAST: 1 cup of Special K Protein Cereal with 1 cup Skim Milk (the cereal kinda reminds me of cardboard) And NO COFFEE. Yeah right. The authors of Thrive have obviously never taught Middle School. I'm cheating here - can't do without my coffee.
SNACK: Mini Bag of Fat Free Popcorn (which, again, tastes like cardboard)
DINNER: A meat & a green veggie (See below for the EXCITING menu.)
MON: Grilled chicken & spinach (which was actually very filling and yummy)
TUES: Tilapia and Broccolli (I really do try to like Tilapia, but I just don't.)
WED: Soft Tacos (we can "splurge" and include a Double Fiber tortilla. Yay.)
THURS: Omelettes (Egg Whites, Peppers, White Cheese)
FRI: Steak & Green Beans (I'm missing my baked potato! But I must abide by the Thrive motto, "If it moos or oinks, you can't eat a potato with it." Geez.)

So, as you can probably guess, I'm not having a lot of fun. Chocolate is not on the list, and I'm living on the edge of sanity. I've really considered just going to work naked. Honestly, who needs clothes when you can have chocolate?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sheet Washing Event

So this weekend, JBird had a yucky cough. On Friday night, he hacked and hacked and cried and cried. At about 2am I brought him to our bed, where HE slept much better (while I sat awake all night). We got up Saturday morning to find that he had peed through his diaper and soaked our bed.

Sheet Washing Event #1.

Then, once I had put fresh sheets on our bed, JBird and I napped together Saturday afternoon. When we got up from our nap, I realized he had once again peed through his diaper onto our sheets.

Sheet Washing Event #2.

Saturday night, right before company came over, Rascal threw up on my den carpet. Geez. Then at bed time, JBird gave a repeat performance - coughing, crying, snuggling in our bed, and soaking our sheets. Again.

Sheet Washing Event #3.

This afternoon, I came home with a migraine and tried to get the Bird to nap with me. The only thing I got from my attempts was a large puddle of "twice as nice" on my sheets.

Oh well. I'll just sleep on dirty sheets tonight. My washer and my maid are worn out.
And I'm also considering giving JBird fewer ounces of juice/water during the day. Looks like I've got to choose between 2 evils - constipation or gallons of pee. And just look at that face... not a care in the world!
Sir Pumpkin PeePee, preparing to douse the couch. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday's Tidbits

The last 2 days have been absolutely NON.STOP. Yesterday, I went to work, got a hair cut, worked out at the gym, came home, cooked dinner (new recipe - chicken pot pie!), did dishes, and put Jackson to bed. Then I made lunches and bottles for the next day and went to bed (FINALLY!). Today, I went to work, picked up Jackson from DayCare, went walking with a friend, went to WalMart for my weekly torture trip (and saved $30 with coupons!), picked up dinner (there just wasn't time to cook!!), drove home (with a screaming baby in the back seat), unloaded groceries, fed JBird, and fed Jacin (and inhaled my own dinner so I could soothe a fussy baby). Then Jacin left for small group and JBird and I had some much-needed "MommyBird & BabyBird time." We played, read a book, took a bath, and then he hit the sack. Jacin just walked back in the door, so it's time to get off the computer and be social. :) Washing bottles, making up new bottles for the next day, and packing lunches for the next day is our talk time every evening. I'm so thankful to have a husband who helps out around the house!

Before I go, I have to share 2 of the MANY reasons why I LOVE my job!!!
#1: Today I started a new unit on NonFiction. I started the discussion by asking, "Can anyone explain to me the difference between NonFiction texts and Expository writing?" One of my advanced students promptly raised her hand and responded, "Well, I'm not sure about what it has to do with writing, but isn't an expository something you stick up your butt?" It took me more than a few seconds to recover. "Ummm, well, I'm pretty sure what you're thinking of is a suppository." Needless to say, it took a while for me to regain the class' attention.

#2: While reading a novel aloud in class, I stopped and pointed out an example of a paradox. "Can someone tell me what a paradox is?" One of my gifted students immediately raised his hand and replied with a straight face, "yep. It's what you plow your field with." I just stared at him. "What? Can you repeat that please?" Then, while he was mid-sentence in his repetition, I suddenly understood his pun. And I started laughing. (It's scary how fast a middle-schooler can think.) "Ohhhh, a paradox is a pair of ox, huh? Haha. Very punny," I smiled back. "Punny?" What's that mean?" he quipped. Sigh. Oh well. Moving on...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Well, lets see. Last week was full of doctors appointments. I went to the pediatrician for my 6 month check up and weighed 17 pounds and measured 27 inches long. I also went to Atlanta to have blood work done at the Hematologist. That wasn't too fun. We waited 2 hours, and then 2 mean ladies stuck me 4 times and took lots of my blood. Mom almost passed out, too. We're glad that's over. Then I got to spend 2 days with Meme & Big Daddy. It was great! On Friday night, Mom and Dad came to Gwinnett and we got to see EVERYONE - Meme & Big Daddy, GreatGran & Quinc., Nana & Papa, Uncle Zack & Aunt Aud, and Aunt Laney (well, almost everyone - we didn't get to see Richard). We had fun! Sunday we went to the pumkin patch! I thought the pumpkins were very interesting, so I have on my serious face.
Inspecting the pumpkin
Where are they taking me??
This feels funny!
And now I'm ready for a great week! I must admit that I'm a bit fussy, so I hope the ladies at DayCare are ready to love on me lots tomorrow (but seriously, who could resist?). I think I might be getting in some teeth! Hope YOU have a great week, too!
- JBird

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Even though I'm the Mommy now...

Even though I'm the Mommy now, there are still days when I want my Mom to come take care of me. Today was one of those days. Jacin shared his stomach virus with me. I was up multiple times last night, ran a fever all day today, and endured crazy stomach cramps. When it was time to go home from work (yep, you read that right, I went to work... and probably infected all my 100 middle schoolers), I had a migraine. The thought of picking up JBird and going home to chores had me in tears. I wasn't sure I could do it. I was ready to drop. (This was one of the many times I wished my Mom lived closer. I just needed someone to baby ME!) On top of that, Jacin had to work late and couldn't help out with Jackson. Thankfully, Roxane picked up the Bird from Daycare and took care of him for a while so I could take some headache meds and sleep for an hour or so. I'm still not feeling great, but I'm better. Now if JBird could get rid of his fever (but at least he doesn't have vomiting or diarrhea... yet... I'll count my blessings).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall at the Lake

This weekend we spent a few days at the lake. It was a little warmer than I wanted it to be, but it was still beautiful. The down time with my boys was wonderful, too. We just hung out and did a lot of nothing. It was perfect. Here are a few highlights...
We went to Merciers and bought some applies and pies.

We tried some prunes (but JBird obviously wasn't a fan).

We played A LOT.

We went exploring outside.

And we read lots of books.

It was a great weekend. We feel so blessed to have such a beautiful place to go and relax. So what did you do this weekend?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

This weekend

This weekend Mom and Dad went to a wedding in Dahlonega, and I stayed with Granna and PawPaw.

Then when we all got back home together, I helped Dad cut the grass. It was a little chilly outside, so I didn't help for long.

Then Mom and I went inside for a snack. I LOVE green beans! Yummm.

Besides being constipated, it was a great weekend! I love weekends with my Mommy and Daddy!
- JBird

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Never Again...

Friday, I thought through our weekend and realized we had A LOT to do on Saturday. I had to clean the house, do laundry, pack Jackson's overnight bag, and leave for an out-of-town wedding by 1pm. I usually go to WalMart on Saturdays, but due to the business of the upcoming day, I decided to go Friday night. NEVER AGAIN. Half the items on my list were out of stock. The place was even busier than normal, which I didn't think was possible. My toes were stepped on, a box of cereal was dropped on my head, and my buggy was rammed more times than I can count. I waited in line for at least 20 minutes (not sure quite how long it actually was - I fell asleep). Apparently, WalMart is the place to hang out on Friday nights in Calhoun (kinda like Ingles in BlueRidge). Geez. Now I know to stick to my Saturday morning trip time. So, now that all the groceries are bought and I've (barely) survived another WalMart trip, here's my menu for this week:

SUNDAY: Homemade Pizzas (Canadian Bacon/Pineapple for me; Pepperoni for Jacin)
MONDAY: Grilled Chicken Strip Salads
TUESDAY: Steaks, Sweet Potatoes, and veggies
WEDNESDAY: Soup & Grilled Cheese
THURSDAY: Chicken Pot Pie (trying something new!)
FRIDAY - MONDAY: At the lake!!! Who knows what we'll eat! Definitely some apples and fried pies.

What are YOU having this week?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

You just never know...

I love teaching, and I love middle schoolers. Combing the two, however, yields potentially hazardous results. No, I'm really exaggerating, but teaching middle schoolers IS an adventure, to say the least. You just never know what you're going to get from day to day. Some days are great - the kids pay attention, are respectful, and work hard. Other days, I'm doing good to keep them awake. With some kids, it's an accomplishment if they remember their own name.

 Yesterday was tough. Two of my class periods had significant difficulty with the activity we did in class. This might have been understandable if we were diagramming sentences, doing calculus problems or researching word etymologies. In reality, we were reading picture books (which were on a 3rd grade reading level). Several times I seriously contemplated banging my head on the white board. If it would have helped relieve my anguish or motivate the kids, I would have done it. Really. I came home discouraged about my ability (or lack thereof) to teach and worried about the kids' performance. Today, on the other hand, was different.

I suspect that offering Jolly Ranchers for good behavior and correct answers played a role, but nevertheless, the kids paid attention and actually tried today. Granted, some tried and failed, but at least they put forth some effort. Today was a good day, but I never know what tomorrow will bring...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mommy Appreciation Day

I had no idea it was coming. It wasn't on my calendar, and I hadn't planned for it. Surprises are AWESOME!! Monday afternoon, Jacin walked in carrying JBird. JBird was carrying a jewelry box (or rather chewing on the box). "It's Mommy Appreciation Day!" Jacin announced. "The Bird and I got you a gift just because you're a great Mommy." MeMe (my Mom) happened to be there, so she snapped a picture.
You can't really tell from the picture, but the box was a bit slobbery. :) I opened it up and found a beautiful silver necklace with a bird-shaped charm. On it was hand-hammered "J Bird." I LOVE it! I of course wore it today and showed if off to everyone. Love my Birds!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Magic of Antibiotics

Fever + coughing + lots of snot + crying + up all night = an ear and upper respiratory infection. Yuck. Poor JBird. It has been NO FUN watching my Bird be sick. Tonight, though, after just one dose of antibiotics, he seems to be feeling better. Plus MeMe is here to cuddle him, so he'll be alright. Maybe he will sleep through the night so I can feel better, too!
Mid-Roll. Playing on the floor 6 hours after starting antibiotics. Magical!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday's Tidbits

Today was a busy but fun day. This week is Gordon Central's Homecoming week, so we're having spirit days at school. Today was pajama day, and I must say it felt extremely strange to wear pajama pants and a t-shirt to work. When Jacin got home, we whipped up some tacos. Every night when I make dinner, JBird sits with Daddy Bird in the recliner. JBird watches me through the pass-thru and laughs and laughs. It's fun. Then I worked the Spirit Night fundraiser at Brusters from 7 to 8pm. JBird tagged along, too. It was a great day!
Jackson Bird watching me cook.

My birds playing in the yard after dinner
Hanging out at Brusters.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekly Menu

When Jacin and I were newly married, planning and cooking meals each night was a fun challenge. I kinda enjoyed it. Now that I'm a wife AND mother, planning and cooking meals is a bit harder. I would much rather spend my time with Jacin and JBird than spend it cooking in the kitchen. Often, however, the "quick fix" dinners are more expensive and not so good for you. Have I mentioned that I cannot fit into any of my dress pants? Not good. 

This week, we're having the same old standby staple meals - quick, easy, and inexpensive - because we have something going on EVERY night after work. So here's what's on tap for this week:

Sunday: Waffles and Bacon (they were SO very yummy!)
Monday: Jayla's Bday! Dinner at the Burns'. (Spaghetti and Salad!)
Tuesday: Steak Salad (Thanks for the steaks, Aunt Deb!)
Wednesday: Tacos (Thanks for the Taco Kit, Mom!)
Thursday: Grilled Chicken & Veggies
Friday: Quesadillas (or "Dillas" as I call them)
Saturday: Out to Eat! The location depends on the coupons I can dig up...

And Saturday morning it will start all over again with menu planning and grocery shopping for next week. If you have any exciting ideas for yummy yet low fat meals, let me know!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Some Sundays...

Okay, I'll admit, there are some Sundays when I would much rather stay in bed and snuggle with my 2 birds than get up and go to church. When I get to church, though, I'm always glad to be there. However, sometimes serving and participating in ministry can get in the way of worship. I think we often try to do too much at church. The picture of church painted in the New Testament is pretty simple. There weren't special events every other weekend and 10 different ministries operating at once. Sometimes I feel like we're catering to consumerism at church, offering so many different things in order to appeal to the most people. We often forget that while it is possible to do many things, it's impossible to do them all well. We get stretched in so many directions that no one aspect gets our full attention, energy, or effort. On top of that, the 20/80 rule exhausts our core volunteers. I'm willing to be one of the 20% that do 80% of the work, but I will NOT do that at the expense of my family. I work 5 days a week and usually only get 3 hours every night with JBird. Saturdays and Sundays are our family time. Being a wife and mother is my foremost calling, and while serving at church is good, it may not always be the best way for me to honor God. 

It sounds like I hate church. I don't. In fact I love church - gathering with believers and praising God. I am SO thankful for the body of believers we worship with. Lately, though, it's felt like church is slowly taking over my cherished spare time with Jacin & JBird. I sat in a 3 hour staff meeting today. We talked about ministry - exciting stuff, but lots of details. On the way home, I felt so overwhelmed I cried. God STRONGLY confirmed that my primary ministry is now at home and at school. I am to spend my time and energy serving my family, discipling my son, and sharing Jesus' love with my 7th graders. At this point in my life, God has NOT called me to organize, direct, or even participate in 10 different ministries and tons of special events on the weekends. Part of me wonders if I'm being selfish. It's not that I'm unwilling to use my gifts - on the contrary - I'm more than willing to write curriculum, sing, keep childcare, organize small groups, whatever!! But I can't do it all at once with excellence. And I refuse to feel guilty about prioritizing my ministry to my family. If I mess up this motherhood calling, there's no re-do button. I can't go back and fix it if I screw it up. Sometimes saying "Yes" to God requires you to say "No" in other areas.  What's good is not always best, and following Jesus isn't about how many things you do or participate in. 

Note to Self: one woman can't do everything, so don't try. Trust God - only He knows where He wants to use you. Don't let others guilt-trip you. Live simply - less is more! Honor Him with the ministries He's put in front of you.  Now go get the sleeping JBird out of his crib and let him snuggle down with you in the big bed. There's nothing a little birdy lovin can't fix.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday's Errands

So I haven't had much to blog about lately. Things have been busy, but routine. Yesterday evening and all day today, JBird and I were on our own since Daddy was hanging out the guys. Yesterday I went Krogering and tried the coupon thing. I saved $13! I'm going to keep trying it and see if the effort is worth the money I save. Today, I got the grocery shopping done at WalMart and took JBird to see our Lady Warriors play softball. We only stayed for 2 innings because it was HOT and I couldn't find any shade for us. Then we played at home and did some cleaning and took a naparoo! Tonight, Roxane and Jerry took us to dinner (Mexican!). Now I'm ready to make bottles, fold laundry, and go to bed! Not very exciting, but sometimes it's those mundane, routine days that are the best. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy 5 Months!

Monday of this week (September 13, 2010) marked Jackson's 5 month birthday (he's 22 weeks old). Here are some fun pics of the JBird (and his AWESOME hair!) over the last few months - the best months of my life so far!!!
4 Weeks Old - Thanks for the pics, Nickel!

10 Weeks Old, Hilton Head Island
14 Weeks Old, Lake Blue Ridge
19 weeks old, watching TV with PawPaw
I can't even explain how much I love being a Mom. I feel like it's what I was made for. Amazing so far, and I can't wait for every day to come! Thanks, God!