One decade of joy

Our sweet Haley turns 10 this Friday. That's unbelievable to me.
First, because I can't believe I have a ten year old. But more so, I can't believe she's growing up so. Right before my eyes she has become all I could ever ask for in a child.
She has a heart of gold, a sweet and kind heart. Her spirit is gentle. And her sense of humor is to die for.
Haley is so much like her daddy. I love that about her.
And she is a real daddy's girl.
And oh how she loves her brother. They like to pick at each other, but really they are the best of friends.
So on the week of Haley's 10th birthday, here are some pictures of the last few years of Haley's life. I have to scan some older one's of her, but here are some newer ones.
Happy Birthday to my sweet Haley. My only daughter, my first born. The sweetest girl I know.


The Little Things

I haven't felt like posting much lately.
I've had all kinds of crazy ailments, nothing at all serious.
Just enough to make me want to lay around in my free time.
So at some point, I'll come up with a good post.
As for now, here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Our indoor tomato plant produced it's first tomato!
And it was yummy. Haley and I enjoyed it with a little salt and pepper.

Here is a picture of Britton and Evan on Father's Day. The kids gave their dad a hose.
It's what he wanted. But I'm not very good at picking out hoses, so we got the 150 foot one.
It's long enough to drag past our neighbors house. I think I might have picked the wrong size!
And finally, here are my nails. Yes, those are MY nails. They are not acrylic or anything.
Home grown. I have not bitten them in 8 weeks. And I love them.


Good thing we have an emergency fund!

I'm not sure exactly how much money we spent yesterday, but it was a bunch.
And it was all on "unplanned" stuff.
First, our air conditioner at home broke. The parts were covered under warranty, but the very expensive labor was not. I quickly figured out I am in the wrong business and am considering going to our local technical college for a degree in A/C repair. I'm thinking $170 an hour is much better than my current salary. And before you go and tell me about your friend that does A/C repair for much cheaper, we had to use these people for the warranty. So as much as I would like to have spent less, we were trapped. But as soon as our warranty is up, please send me to number of the guy that you know for high school or your great uncle's cousin.

And then our youngest kid decided to break. The poor thing had complained about his tummy hurting Wednesday night and we thought it was gas, constipation, rotten food or the like. And then is continue Thursday morning. Again, we thought it was 24 hours of something. Until my awesome MIL took his temp and it was over 101! So we got a quick appointment with the pediatrician who ran all kinds of tests and suggested we go to the ER at Scottish Rite. Good grief, really, like now?? Yep! So off we all went- MIL and kids in one car. Me in my car from work. And Evan in his truck from Newnan.
We had an amazing experience there and the people were so nice. I think we spent a total of 2 hours maybe there as we were taken right back to a room. Appendicitis was quickly rules out, and the doctor narrowed it down to some kind of bacteria/ parasite/ thing Britton has acquired. We will know more when his test results come in. But right now he can not be treated for anything but his stomach cramping. I will also mention that the medicine he was prescribed could only be found at 1 pharmacy for 100 miles around! Maybe they should take that one off of the list of things to prescribed. But thanks to the best FIL ever, the medicine arrived at our house at 10:00 last night after said FIL sat for a few hours waiting on it.
So the boy is at home resting with the occasional "ouch, my tummy hurts". Hopefully whatever creepy crawly he has will "exit the building" soon.
And finally, I went to the local Urgent Care straight after the ER visit to find out why my insides are killing me. I won't go into it, but basically I need to drink more water. My kidneys hate me.

So 2 office copays, 1 emergency copay, 5 prescriptions and an air conditioner coil later, we were done with Thursday.
And I thank God for giving us the sense enough to save some money so that we do not have to worry about where that money will come from.



Yesterday Evan received a package in the mail.
It was his number for running the Peachtree Road Race.
He didn't get to open the package until late last night, as we had been at a baseball game.
But I was there when he opened it, standing in the kitchen.
And at that moment, when he pulled the number out, I had an overwhelming sense of pride.
You see, it's Evan's first time running the Peachtree.
And it doesn't sound like much to some since 55,000 people run it every year.
But to me, it signifies the strength that my husband has.
He is a true warrior in my book.
He could be sitting around enjoying life without cancer appointments.
But instead he's busting his butt to get himself in shape.
And I love it. It makes me so proud of him and so proud for him.
He's proving every day that he can do anything he wants to do.
And I'm looking forward to July 4th like never before.
I don't care as much about the fireworks and the festivities this year.
I just can't wait to see Evan finish the Peachtree.
It will be a dream come true for a man who's dreams could have been ruined by cancer.
And it will be a dream come true for a wife who thanks God each day for placing Evan into my life.


Wondering Around

I'm at a strange place in my life right now.
I don't have a lot going on, it's odd.
I have a few things that demand my attention.
Upcoming birthdays for my kids, vacation and the usual stuff.
But I feel like somehow I need a project.
Something to take on that demands my time and energy.
Something I can look at in the end and say, "Wow! I did that!"
But I have two issues:
1. We have been trying really hard to eliminate debt and not spend money, and
2. I can't decide what project should come first.

I have a long list of small projects I'd like to get done around our house.
But I feel like if I am going to do them right, I need to spend some money.
And spending money prolongs our debt payoff- which I don't want to do.

So I'm stuck wondering what I can do to get the feeling that I have accomplished something.
Maybe I should start sewing again? I'm not very good at it, but I could try.
Or maybe I could cook or make crafts?
I have no clue! And it's killing me. I need a project!

If you have an idea, let me know about it. I'd love to hear what you think I should take on.



I have a special place in my heart for my dad.
The man that has taught me that hard work always pays off.
The man who is not afraid to cry.
The man with the bluest eyes you'll ever see.
The man who would give you the shirt off of his back.
The one who wants to see us happy.
I adore my father.
He lives 8 miles away but I don't see him often enough.
However, I know and he knows that we are as close as ever.
I love my dad more than can ever be expressed.

And I was blessed with a father-in-law who is absolutely awesome.
Caring and giving.
Accepting and loving.
Nurturing and kind.
I could not have asked for more in a father-in-law.

And finally, there is the father of my children.
I cannot say enough how thankful I am to have him in my life.
He is everything a father should be to our kids.
An example of Christ on earth.


Update on the boy in my office

I'm sure you have been dying to know about the date.
The one I blogged about here.
Well, it went really well.
Bill bought some new shoes like I told him to.
He picked up his girl on time. They had a nice dinner and good conversation.
And he took her home (to her parents).
And she called him the next day and wanted to go out again!
At this point, he should probably go ahead and ask her to marry him.
Cause if she enjoyed date #1 enough to ask for another- she has to be special.
I'm just sayin'.
So they went out on the 2nd date to a movie- The A-Team. She picked that.
Again, he probably should marry her.
And afterwards they went out for ice cream. And she ordered a chili-cheese dog.
That's weird. I would have gagged. And doesn't she realize she is asking for gas?
But Bill thought it was quirky and cute. Especially since said girl works out 7 days a week and has a nice figure. A chili cheese dog? Really?
And so he took her home (again to her parents)after that date and they agreed to talk later.
She called him the next day! At this point I think he thinks she might be a little pushy.
Another guy in our office used the word desperate, which also describes Bill so they're perfect.
But they are going out again Friday.
And we have been hounding Bill like crazy.
I told him that it was a shame that Sally our office dog was not here this week so we could teach Bill how to kiss using Sally. That's just wrong- I know.
And we also talked to him about how he might want to find a neighborhood under construction so he can go "parking" with her. That would be better than taking her back to his mom's house don't you think?
And when Bill was stretching his legs this morning in the middle of the office, the other boy said, "Are you trying to limber up for this weekend? You wouldn't want to pull anything!"
We are having the best time at this poor boy's expense.
But in return he is getting all kinds of advice about what to do and what not to do.
So the saga continues.
Again, I hope it works out.
It's really cute seeing a boy that has never kissed a girl hoping he has found the one.
Bless her.


Heaven in Fried Form

This picture does not do this food justice.
What you are seeing is fried green beans. Like the one's they serve at PF Changs.
And I have found the recipe that creates an exact replica of the real thing.
Oh my goodness- prepare yourself if you choose to make these.
They are the yummiest. And did I mention that they are easy to make?
Here's the recipe:

Fried Green Bean Goodness

1 cup of beer (i used Miller Lite)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 lb. fresh green beans (cut the ends off)
Peanut oil- enough to deep fry with in a skillet

Bring the peanut oil to a temperature for deep frying.
Mix the beer, flour, salt and pepper together to make a batter.
Dredge the green beans in the batter to coat and put immediately into the hot oil.
Cook for 1- 2 minutes or until light brown.
Remove from oil and place on a paper towel covered plate.
Salt to taste.

1 tbsp. mayo
1 tbsp. Szechuan Spicy Stir Fry Sauce (House of Tsang brand at Publix)
Wisk together- add more or less of each to satisfy your taste.


Organ Recipient

We got a new piece of furniture on Saturday.
It's an old organ that our church used to use, but no longer has a need for.
And it was going to be thrown in the dumpster because it was in the way of a new renovation project. And someone had ripped the insides out of it years ago, so it cannot be played.
Evan heard about the demise of this organ and told the folks at church to hold off.
He might know someone that would be interested in giving it a home instead of throwing it in the trash.
And he was right!
I love my new old organ.
It is beautiful. Real wood. Full of history. A work of true craftsmanship.
It now resides in our dining room.
And it brings me joy.
Because it has a past, was moments from the dump, and was saved at the last moment.
Kinda how I feel.


Dating? I don't know nuthin' bout no dating!

There's this boy in my office, we'll call him "Bill".

He's 23 and lives with his mom.

And he's a little on the awkward side. I'm not sure exactly how to explain to you his quirks and do it justice.

He's just an odd bird.

Socially strange.

Kinda nerdy but also likes to do things like drive a Mercedes and eat at expensive restaurants.

So for some nerdy girl who likes the finer things, he would make a good catch.

But in order to find that girl, he would have to have a date or two.

Which I think he never has.

That's right, I'm fairly certain this boy has never been on a date.

So I was SHOCKED Thursday morning when he came in to tell me that he had a date for Friday.

I think I feel out of my chair.

And to quote him, "Hey Lori- Hell froze over. I have a date!"

Poor thing.

SO I began to drill him with questions.

Like how much he had to pay for her. (That's just wrong!)

But anyway, it's a girl that went to the same high school he did. She's a year older than him.

And she's still in college (slow learner maybe?).

He ran into her at Starbucks. Where he "hangs out" often.

They did not know each other but got to talking and he said maybe he would see her around again. So she Facebook messaged him out of the blue and asked when he would be at Starbucks again. And that's where I came in.

He completely froze and had no clue what to do.

So I told him to write her back and say he'd be there in the next few days, but maybe they could go to dinner sometime instead.

And she said YES!

So now I am playing the part of official date advisor.

Here are some of the questions I have answered-

"Do I let her pick where to eat?" Um, yes. Because she might be picky.

"What should I wear?" Blue jeans and a nice collared shirt.

"You mean like a Polo button down long sleeve?" Um, no. Like a Polo golf shirt type shirt.

"What about a Brooks Brothers shirt?" That would work.

"What color- I have pink, yellow, green...." Don't wear pink the first date, wear something subtle like blue or green or white.

"I don't have blue- crap. And my white one is a little dingy." Uh, wear the green one!

"What about shoes, I have a pair of basket weave loafers I just had repaired?" Um, negative. How about tennis shoes?

"Well the only tennis shoes I have are the one's I'm wearing." Those WILL NOT WORK! Sounds like you need to go shopping right after work.

"But what should I buy, like some Sperry boat shoes?" Umm, NO. Buy some nice tennis shoes. But don't buy white. I hate white shoes. Buy gray or black.

"Why do you hate white shoes?" It's not about me Bill, it's about this girl who I am sure doesn't like white shoes.

"How do you know?" Because I've been married 12 YEARS! And the perfect man is wearing nice blue jeans, dark running shoes, a tucked in Polo and drives a truck.

"Ok, ok. I think I got it." Well you better!

"So should I just meet her at the restaurant?" No you big dummy! You tell her you will pick her up.

"But I don't know where she lives." Well maybe you could ask her where she lives?

"Ok, how do I do that?" Oh good grief- tell her you will pick her up at 7:15 at her house and ask for the address.

"But 7:15 won't give me enough time to get ready." Well, I'm just telling you that you need to make it work.

And so he did just what I said. And I know where they are eating.

Boy is he going to be surprised when I show up with my kids and request that we sit near them.

Just Kidding.

But honestly, I hope it works out for him.

He needs a woman.

Someone to take my place in his life.

I'm not sure I can answer many more questions.


Mindless Ramblings

I tell you about my life so that you do not have to wonder.
Because when people wonder they begin to make up things that aren't true or don't make my life seem nearly as exciting as I think it is.
So I am an open book on this blog.
I have been criticized for using my kids names and pictures.
And some people think it is inappropriate to share information about Evan's cancer on the internet.
But you know what, I am at peace with my decision to blog as I do.
Because I want my friends to understand more about who we are as a family.
And many a prayer has been said to God because of information found on this blog.
And to be selfish, this blog keeps me off of the phone retelling stories and updates.
So I will blog openly.
You don't have to read if you don't like the fact that you can watch me like a train wreck.
You've been for forewarned.

And now, onto the show.
1. We picked Haley up from camp yesterday. She had such a great time she spent 4 hours crying about it. Her real reason for crying was because she hasn't slept her usual 10 hours in 4 days and she is exhausted. So if you looked at her the wrong way, she cried- out of pure exhaustion. It was kinda sad but pretty cute too. Because she was worn out from having a great time. I'm hoping she will have caught up on her sleep by the weekend because her emotions will not be cute for long. As a matter of fact, her daddy isn't amused already.
2. I don't have any cancer updates about Evan other than we'll know more in July. But I will update you on the status of his brain. I think he might be a machine or some kind of robot. He's been getting up in the middle of the night (that's what I call anything before 7 AM) and going to the gym. And lifting insane amounts of weights. And he's been running like a crazy man training for the Peachtree. All of this to me is complete craziness. But I am so stinkin' proud of him that I am going to put it on my blog. Because I think he is amazing. And he is doing great things for his health. Unlike his wife who enjoys sleeping in the morning.
3. Speaking of my health- it sucks. And it's all my fault. I am unhealthy. And I don't work at it. But I need to. So I am currently exploring all "healthy lifestyle plans" and I am going to change the way I live. It just might take some easing into. Because I will need detox for candy, Coke and red meat. But I promise you I'm going to change. Because I have too much to be healthy for.

Anything else? Nope, that's about it for now. Another glimpse into our lives.


PCB Bound

We leave for Panama City Beach on July 11th.

There is a good chance oil will have already hit the beaches there by that point.

But you know what, I don't care. We're going anyway.

Because the people of the Gulf Coast need my family to go on vacation there.

They need us to spend money at restaurants and stores.

They need us to support them in their quest to continue living and working on the beautiful beaches and water.

So we might not get to put our feet in the sand. We won't have ocean water in our eyes.

But my kids will see first hand how one irresponsible corporation can alter human history forever. And hopefully they will learn some valuable lessons from our stay there.

Lessons about praying for others and supporting others in times of need.

And in a worldly lesson, I want them to understand that BP has made a mess. And BP needs to take responsibility.

If we can help, I'd love to. But as of right now you can not volunteer unless you are an Emergency Responder. Kinda sad I think, considering there are thousands of people ready to help. But maybe somehow we can pitch in during our stay.

So where am I going with all of this?

1. Changing your reservations for vacation is your choice, but as for me and my family, we're headed to the Gulf.

2. God can fix oil leaks, I'm praying for His help for the situation. I think you should too.


Are there support groups for this?

I am not a gamer. In fact, we do not own any kind of gaming systems or consoles or whatever you call them. If I am out to waste time, I simply read gossip magazines or websites. And I blog.
But recently I have an addiction to the game Build-A-Lot 3. It's like a drug. I can't stop letting it defeat me. So I have to conquer it, one European town after the other.
And I have gotten to the levels where it is kicking my ass. Do I stop in defeat? HECK NO!
I keep going. Because I will prove that you can build a post office, 3 landmarks, 3 public services and 6 landscaped houses, all the while have $5,000,000 in the bank!
If you have not played a game in the Build-A-Lot series, here's why it has got me in it's grasp- it is kinda like real life!
And I figure since I'm not changing the world at my day job, I might as well make sure that I'm doing my best at something. Crazy I know. But it makes me feel better knowing that a virtual world has been improved because of me (haha).
Yes, it's an addiction. But I only play after the kids have gone to bed. And I'm pretty sure Evan finds it amusing that I talk to the laptop screen and feel angst over a stupid computer game.
But hey, we all have to have an outlet right?


Missing "My Haley"

We sent Haley off to Woodland Christian Camp on Sunday. If you don't kow about Woodland, it's amazing. Evan and I had the opportunity to spent countless hours at Woodland when we were with Georgia Tech Christian Campus Fellowship.
And now we have the opportunity to send Haley there every summer to spend time having a blast and growing closer to Jesus.
Haley just loves it at Woodland. So much so that when we took her to her cabin, she gave us a quick hug, told us bye and expected we would be leaving immediately. Part of me was a little sad because she is growing up and doesn't need me as much any more. But I kept telling myself that she has such a good time and is so comfortable there, she is just ready to get the fun started. I can't take it personally because I am so thrilled that she gets to spend 3 days being her own person. No little brother and no worrying about the world around her.
Speaking of little brothers, Britton was a mess last night at bed time. He calls his sister by the name "my Haley" and last night he really missed her alot. The tears were flowing and he was very sad not to have her around. He kept saying "it's just no fun here without my Haley".
This proves she is a great big sister. Something I am grateful for.
I am glad they have a special bond.
So I pray Haley is having a blast. But we will all be ready for her to come home on Wednesday.
Because she is a very special part of our family. We love and miss "my Haley".


Blame it on the rain

I'm beginning to think that the rain we have had here in Georgia for 8 days straight has caused a new strain of bacteria. One that somehow crept into my ear, through my head, down my throat, into my digestive track and has yet to exit.
I feel like crap!
And I have too many symptoms to make any of it make sense.
It's like a sinus infection with a double ear infection and a sore throat with a little food poisoning thrown in. And then there's the low grade fever, chills, flu part.
Strange part is, Evan has some of the same funk. So it seems like it might be something that can spread and be shared.
Any theories out there as to what this might be?
Is there something going around?

PS- If you suggest that I am pregnant, I will punch you in the mouth. And you are wrong.


I know, I've been boring you lately

I haven't had many good posts lately.
That might be a good thing right?
Like maybe things are finally settling down.
But I know it makes for crappy reading to you guys, so I'm going to just blurt our a bunch of junk today to give you something to read and go "wow, she really is strange".
So here goes-
1. I am the only person in the world who could care less that Chick-fil-A is coming out with a spicy chicken sandwich. Why you ask? Because I am not a fan of Chick-fil-A. Ha! there I said it. Some of you are thinking I am headed straight for hell right now. But frankly, I can not make myself consume one more morsel of CFA chicken. If I eat there (because I have to), I get a base salad (that means no meat in CFA language), a fruit cup and a drink. And believe it or not that's like $8.00! Another reason I'm not a huge CFA fan- pricey! I know- shoot me.
2. I have some kind of something that makes me feel like I have the flu. Like a clammy, achy, hot and cold, sweaty something. And I was particularly amused when the boy at work told me that maybe I was pregnant. To which I replied that he better hope not since Evan and I would send the baby to live with him. This is funny only because this boy is 23 and lives with his mom and would not know what to do with a kid. He would just feed it french fries. PS- I'm not pregnant.
3. Evan turns 34 tomorrow. In case I haven't said it a million times, I love him. And I really appreciate the fact that we have no cancer crap going on during his birthday week. Because I want him to just be happy.
4. I totally freaked this lady out on the phone this morning. She was the person that answers the phone at a new dentist I am looking at going to. I had some questions for her and I think one in particular freaked her out. All I asked was if it would be ok for me to drop by and visit them sometime before I started using them as my dentist. I'm not sure she had ever been asked that. Because she didn't know what to say. She kinda stumbled and told me "sure, I don't see why not, but we just won't be able to disturb another patients appointment of course".
Why you ask do I need to visit the dentist office before going to see them?
Well, because our current dentist went to the 7-11 convenience store and hired all of the trashy, rude-mouthed smokers that he could find. And they keep a not-so-clean office and play country music as loud as the boom box on the counter will go. And did I mention he's closed 2 days a week and only takes appointments until 4?
So yeah- I'm totally over my current dentist. Cowboy boots and all (yes, he wears cowboy boots). So I want to visit this new prospect of a dentist to make sure that I do not make another mistake like I did when I picked the last one.
5. We are Dave Ramsey full spend ahead these days. We want to be completely debt free sooner than later so that I can "take it to the house". Yes, I'm ready to leave my prestigious position (ha) to spend more time with my kids.
So brace yourself cause we're going tightwad. But for a good cause.

That's all I've got for now. Enough craziness for one day I think, don't you?