Monday, February 27, 2006

Our Stay At The Bed and Breakfast

After a week of being apart, I planned a weekend get-a-way at a bed and breakfast for just Toby and I. We hadn't celebrated our anniversary the way we had wanted to (a get-a-way weekend) because Toby was down in Mississippi the weekend after the day of our anniversary. So, we decided to do it this weekend instead and it was so fun.

My sister Britt was here and graciously and patiently watched our kids. I had no need to worry or fear for them and actually had to pinch myself in order to remember to even think of my darling babies. It was so nice not to have to worry about little people for one night. I impressed myself with this ability to actually not worry about Landon and Janae for once.

It was during our first moments here that we learned of the sudden (yet expected) death of my Grandma Gayle. That certainly made it sad but I purposed in my heart to rejoice with the angels in heaven that at last my grandma was safe and sound with the One who has carried her for so long. Just thinking about her being able to breathe and walk again, brought a bittersweet joy to my heart. She is very sadly missed but I do not weep as those who have no hope because I know I will see her again some day.

Following our some pictures of our special weekend. There were so many details too impossible to capture on camera but we did our best to collect as many memories as we could. I hope you all enjoy this selection.

The Rogers House Bed and Breakfast Inn

Our room was the room at the very top of this side of the house.

The covered luggage drop off outside the door.

Coming up to the door.

Over view of the grand stair case. (Sorry it's so dark... the lighting wasn't condusive to pictures.)

Third stair way. (we were on the third floor.)

Area at the top of the last stair way.

Outside view just out our bedroom door.

Area out side our door.

Our door.

Overview of the bed area of the room.



Details of the room.

More details of the room. They still use those old radiators to heat the rooms and boy do they work.

Enjoying breakfast

We were served a delicious breakfast in two courses.

Toby relaxing on the love seat after his breakfast and coffee.

Me enjoying coffee in the morning after breakfast.

Toby checking out the windows. He was trying to find a way to sneak out of there. Or so it looks.

Thankfully, he gave up trying.

He used the stairs instead and took me with him.

What a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

New Pictures!

Our last family picture until Toby comes home. This was taken just minutes before he walked out the door.

Daddy and kids...

Daddy and kids and new puppy...

Toby and I... a tender good bye kiss


Upon hearing the sad tidings that Toby was indeed leaving for a week, my family thoughtfully came and visited me while Toby was gone. They left today but my dear sis Britt (aletheialiberty), has kindly stayed with me in Toby's absence. Just before my family left, we took a bunch of pictures. After they departed, in our attempt to make the day go faster (and thus bring Toby home sooner), we cleaned and rearranged the livingroom. The following are a collection of our day's happenings...

Grandma and Grandpa with all the grand kids...sorry about the shadows around everyone's heads...

Grandpa and his favorite granddaughter (and also his only)...

Grandma and her favorite grandson (her only, as well)...

Zack and Janae

Hannah and Janae

Levi and Janae

Tabby and Janae (poor Tabby was having a hard time leaving and had fallen into her usual dilemma of crying before they leave.... thus the tears)...

Hannah and Landon

Aunty Beemoo (aka, Britt)

Changed and transformed livingroom

(isn't that a pretty bouquet on the piano? that's what happens when you have an anniversary or valentines around here.)

And... my latest project upstairs. Finally got curtains hung a few weeks in the stair way and at last tied together a project that's needed to be done since we moved in 2 years ago. The curtains are a $3 (altogether) bargain from Walmart. Not sure if I dig the green bows (esp. the smashed one! should've fixed that before the picture) but that's all I had for now...

And finally, the grand finale...

Check out that smashed nose. Tha's what happens when you do a nose dive into a hard wood floor.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Sad Tales of a Married Single Woman

This week has been the strangest week I've had since I got married. I feel neither single nor married but I know I have to be one of the two. Especially when I look at my kids and realize that some where out in the broad, mean world, there is a man who is the father of my darling babies.

If only that man would show up and prove to me that I am actually married and not single.

Toby is gone for the week. He left Saturday evening (the 18th) and will return, Lord willing, next Saturday evening (25th). He's down in Mississippi volunteering for Katrina rebuilding. We've never been apart even for a night so to have to take 7 lonely nights in at once, is quite a shock to this married wife.

We talk often on the phone but with cell phone minutes being as pricey as they are, it's hard to stay on the phone when you constantly are thinking about the minutes flying by. For the first part of the week, our phone visits were on average 3-4 minutes long which is quite a contrast from the 4 1/2 hours we spent talking on the phone when we were courting. Marriage sure can do something to you. Makes you see the serious side of life and how dangerous high phone bills can be.

I will admit that we do talk frequently now that we're headed into the middle of the week and our phone chats have improved to a lengthy, well rounded time of talking. But, it's still nothing like having him here! We're both so glad we only have 4 days left and then this heartbreaking separation will be ended.

For one, this whole ordeal with Toby being gone has given me a new fervor to pray for the those southern states when a hurricane is threatening to hit them. I used to just think that if people were dumb enough to live in the middle of hurricane highway, then they should live with the results of that natural disaster. You know, just pick their chin up when their houses blew away and maybe head to a more friendly climate. Like Nebraska.

My selfish thoughts of thinking people were dumb to live down there, have once and for all ended. I'm going to pray hard for those poor folks.

I'll admit that 99% of my reason for these prayers is because the last thing I want to have to go through again is to have my husband run off to such a state and put people's roofs back over their heads while I sit alone at home, 20 hours away. If hurricanes keep hitting the southern coast, he could easily make it a yearly tradition of volunteering every winter for a week at a time. If only I would've prayed for those hurricanes to stay away last year, I wouldn't be nursing a lonely, broken heart in a cold, dark bed every night this week.

In all truth, this ordeal has broadened my perspective of what life is like for many people that live outside of the four walls of my cozy life. Toby has told me about the poverty down there and the drastic change in culture that is so unlike our own comfortable world that to even imagine their lifestyle, would take more imagination than most of us our capable of. And then to realize that that's LIFE for those folks, would make it hard to comprehend that our own imagination is their actualy definite reality.

I'm thankful Toby has this opportunity to go down there and help out in ways he can and I've spent the majority of my week praying faithfully for him. It's like I can't breath without whispering a prayer. I think of him constantly too.

How much I have to be thankful for is another thing I think about all the time. It's like a never ending pulse going through my head that seems to get stronger everyday: you didn't realize what you had, until it was taken away. Even things like Toby's time he'd spend with computers and books, have all become things I cherish: I can't wait to see him sitting in the office reading a book or sitting at the computer. I'm beside myself with anticipation just to have him near.

So, my faithful readers and friends, I would be indebted to you if you would but pray for Toby until he gets back. I'm such a bad worry wart but that's nothing I'm ashamed of: without a little worry in ones life, there would be no intercessory prayer. At least for me that's true. God has to dangle over a cliff something I hold dear and it never fails to push me right to my knees.

Today I was thinking that even if Toby isn't with me, God always is. It was as if God impressed that on my heart and opened my eyes to the circumstance I'm in and made me realize that I have more to be thankful for than I could even try to realize.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Joys of Motherhood

At most any given time lately, I'm partially covered with snot, poop or puke. And if I'm not covered with it, I can smell it or see it; depending on it's odor function. The kids have colds right now so I'm always being smeared on, sneezed on and wiped on. I feel so motherly lately.

The other day, I went to give Toby a kiss but was immediately repulsed by this unfriendly odor coming from his neck. Then I remembered that Janae had gone for a piggy back ride on her daddy with Landon and unbeknownst to us, she was gracefully filling her pants. Here's the picture:

This evening, Landon tried a new type of thing to smear: Carmex. He found it in a purse somewhere and promptly smeared the entire contents in Janae's hair. Here's some snap shots from that event...

As if that wasn't enough, he sneezed a few times just a moment ago on my recently showered arm and somehow managed to spit up along with it. Now that fragrance is blending rather well with the Carmex and the recently filled diaper he did. At least I had a shower and my hair is clean. If only I could say that for my kids right now.

About 5 minutes ago, a centipede made it's way across the room and fell to certain death (Toby flicked it with the back of this finger nail). I then bravely removed the body with a well used tissue and disposed of it into the convenient little garbage can under my desk. Shortly later, Janae decided to play with the condemned tissue but thankfully did not disturb the insect too much from it's final rest. I was so not wanting to pick that bug up again.

Speaking of Toby, he's been quite the dad lately. The last two times he's had to watch the kids during their naps, Landon has shared the fun of what a poopy diaper does on walls, beds, floors and blankets. Twice I've received the call on my cell phone that Landon took off his poopy diaper and smeared it.

The ironic thing is, I put him to bed all the time when Toby's gone and I haven't had to have the fun of cleaning up poop finger painted on the walls and new carpet for a long time. I will stress that I've had many chances of finding his art work but surprisingly, lately he's only shared this joy with his loving father.

The other evening, Landon did a first: he dug out a handful of dirt from a plant and shared some with his sister downstairs. I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner.

A few steps on the stairway and most of the landing was adequately peppered with fresh, black dirt. And so was my little girl. She had her first taste of dirt and I wish now we could've gotten a picture. I was in such a hurry to get that mess cleaned up, for some reason I never thought once about a camera.

Here is a picture to give you an idea of how these two little pranksters usually are: rarely is one seen without the other.

For example, with that cord temporarily strewn across the doorway in the above picture, if Landon touches it, Janae will. If Janae touches it, Landon will. Even if the one is told not to and has their hand smacked, the other will reach out and grab it. They both know full well that it's a "no touch" but they seem to forget that when the other "gets" to touch it.

I'm so enjoying a mom. Being a busy, bustling mom of 2 kids has had so many fun times. Even in the somewhat hard and inconvenient things, I find so much joy. I don't even have to look for joy either; it's so obviously there for me to enjoy and cherish.

Just like the messy diapers that faithfully come without me pursuing or looking for, that joy remains my stay. Always abounding and always increasing.

Speaking of messy diaper, I'd better get my little guy's taken care of before I end up smelling these smells in other places.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

what my kids like best

Janae loves to crawl. She'll just march around on her little fat hands and knees and plow around all over.

Landon loves to talk on the phone and eat apples. You can also see another thing in the picture that he loves to do as well: make messes.