The main source of my chaos...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Garnett's

I stumbled upon an interesting fact this morning.  Did you know that the poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas...." was first published on THIS day back in 1823.  Yep, December 23, 1823.  In honor of that timeless piece of Christmas tradition, I wrote my own little Christmas poem.  Merry Christmas Y'all!

T’was two days before Christmas, and I’m finished in town

Ready for quiet time, if Yuri and Gigi will settle down

Haley Rae is rocking our new bundle of joy

She’s absolutely precious even though we asked for a boy

Willard is shooting bad guys on the PS3

If we ever get invaded, he’ll know how to save me

Karlie is watching her rambunctious cousins

I’ve got a pecan pie cooking in the oven

Hunter is working, making some dough

I’m about to put red polish on all the girls toes. 

Whether we see you often, or not at all

If we talk via text, Facebook or call

We hope you have a great holiday season

Just remember – JESUS is the reason!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Love letters

I promised that my next blog entry would be about the cool new website I found, but first I want to ask you a favor.  There’s a family in my church/community who has suffered a terrible loss and they need lots of prayers.  Please stop and ask God to heal their hearts and give them peace. 

Earlier this week I was reading some blogs that I follow, and somehow (quite by accident) I found the ABSOLUTE coolest thing ever.  The website is called  There is a two-fold idea/project behind this – both of which I think are SWEET ideas.

First – the webmaster/creator of this project, a 23-year-old named Hannah, sends out the name of a person who is in need of some TLC or some encouragement.  She sends the name to everyone who has signed up to participate in the love letter campaign.  She gives a specific date that you are to mail the letter to HER, and she then bundles them all together and mails them to the recipient.  Can you imagine… being at one of the lowest points of your life, not knowing if anybody cares at all, not really being able to see a glimmer (much less a LIGHT) at the end of the tunnel… and then the mailman appears with dozens of letters from ALL OVER THE WORLD??  All specifically addressed to YOU!?!  Complete strangers telling you that you ARE somebody and you ARE loved.  No doubt about, you’re going to feel something.  I’m sitting on pins and needles waiting for my first email from Hannah giving me the name of the recipient of my first love letter.  Ahhhhhh!  Isn’t that the coolest thing EVER? 

The second part of the project is to leave love letter/post-it notes in random places for strangers to find (public restrooms, fitting rooms, etc). Hannah asks that when you leave a random note, you write on it somewhere so the finder of the note can go to the website and see what it’s all about… and hopefully pay it forward.

Now, before you even start with all the excuses… “I’m not good at writing letters”  “I never know what to say” Hannah even has sample notes and GUIDELINES on the website. 

Join me as I rush out to buy up some cute stationery and wait for my first assignment!! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Feeling chatty this morning...

My brain has been in overdrive.  I’ve had so many things I wanted to blog about, but haven’t had the time to do it.  All the fam is still asleep this morning, so I’m going to blog until somebody stops me.  You might want to grab a snack!

The first weekend in December, the ladies from DBC went over to Atlanta to the Operation Christmas Child processing center.  When I say “Atlanta”, I use that term loosely.  Atlanta, to me, is Six Flags.  This place is about an hour past that.  That’s the only negative thing about the trip.  Otherwise, it was AWESOME.  I signed up for the trip because I enjoyed last year’s weekend getaway with the women, and I didn’t even really realize at first where we were going.  Actually (confession time), when someone said “OCC”, my testosterone-drive self immediately thought of Orange County Choppers.  Lame, yes, I know.  But I’ve been worried about Junior and Senior being at odds with each other for a long time.  Anyway, forget about that. Back to the *real* OCC.  I wish I could remember the exact numbers, but I believe there were approximately 30,000 shoeboxes processed during our shift.  Folks, that’s A LOT of shoeboxes.  In nutshell, the process goes like this:

(1) Remove the postage/donation from inside the box.

(2) Inspect the box for inappropriate items and remove them.  Fill up the box with “filler” items if needed.

(3) Tape the box.

(4) Scan the barcode (so the sender can track where the box goes)

(5)  Pack at least 14 shoeboxes into one big box (big boxes are separated by gender and age)

Everybody has a job and everybody’s is important.  The people in charge of OCC really have this thing running well.  It’s very organized.  Every two hours on the dot, they stop and talk a little bit about the boxes and where they’re going, and they pray over the boxes.  It’s a very touching thing to witness.  If you have never heard of Operation Christmas Child, please go Google it.  If you know about it but have never been to a facility and processed a box, put it on your bucket list. 

The next thing that I want to talk about is Milestones Recovery Ministries.  It’s a 12-18 month Christian Recovery Program based here in Hartselle.  I didn’t know much about them until our church invited them to share in our Thanksgiving supper.  Now, confession time again, I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life.  Growing up, nobody in my family had any issues with addiction.  Because of that, I guess I really didn’t understand it and, to be honest, I was pretty uncompassionate about the whole idea of addiction.  I just had very little patience for it.  So, when I heard Milestones was coming to DBC, I didn’t really think it would affect me.  Confession time again (good grief, I feel Catholic)… I walked around for a while that night and just avoided eye contact with all of them.  I mean, I didn’t have anything in common with them so what could we possibly talk about?  Then I noticed them all eyeballing my babies and someone told them that the new baby was a foster baby.  Somehow I ended up at the table with them and we talked for a long time.  I especially connected with this one sweet girl who briefly told me her story.  Wow.  I feel like a complete moron.  This girl could be me.  She could be my daughter.  One bad decision, however small, can snowball and lead to a lifetime of them.  I left there that night SO convicted and so touched by these women.  Our entire church stepped up and we purchased gift cards for the children of these women.  I think it worked out to be around 55 cards.  I feel so lucky to have been able to help pass those out to these sweet, gracious ladies.  One of the ladies pulled me aside, and I will keep our conversation private because I don’t know if she would want me to share it with the world, but in the end she gave her card BACK to me.  I’m excited to see what God in store for these women.  They’ve definitely made an impact on me and judging from the Facebook page, they’ve made the same impact on our entire area. 

Little ones are stirring, so I am going to cut it off here.  Stay tuned for my next blog (I’ll shoot for tomorrow).  I found THE absolute coolest website yesterday and it has me so excited.  I can’t wait to blog about it!!! I’m going to challenge all of you to get excited about it too, so just be ready!

Oh, this picture has nothing to do with today's blog.  I was just looking up recipes and found these cute cupcakes.  Don't they look GOOD?!?! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I would like to tell you a story about a girl named Mary.  Mary has always had a lot of friends and is an outgoing girl.  She cheers and plays sports.  She texts all the time.  She giggles the way teenage girls do.  Well, she did.  She stopped giggling a few months ago.  See, Mary and her BFF had a fight.  Happens all the time, right? Well, this time is different because a lot of time has passed and they still haven’t made up.  Still no big deal?  What makes this a big deal is what happened next.  Ex-BFF decides to pull the mean girl card and start rumors.  Ugly rumors that people hear and run with.  These rumors were untrue, but once the words are spoken, they can never be taken back.  Mary did the only thing she could think of that made her feel better – she starting cutting herself.  She didn’t mean to kill herself, it was just an emotional response to what was happening.  I know.  I don’t understand it either, but it’s a problem with the teens of this generation.  Unfortunately, Mary misjudged where to cut and she cut an artery.  Too scared to call for help, Mary tried to stop the bleeding herself but she couldn’t.  Mary died alone on a cold bathroom floor. 
No, not really.  She didn’t die.  BUT SHE COULD HAVE.  Mary’s mom found out about the cutting and Mary is now learning how to deal with emotional pain without harming herself.  The bad thing is, her ex-BFF and the groupies who follow her around are still harassing Mary on a daily basis.  Even knowing the pain they are causing Mary, these selfish girls just keep twisting the knife.  This makes me sad as a mom, as a female, and as a human being. 
The next part of my story is going to be unbelievable to some of you – at least two teachers, a few parents, and a coach knew that Mary was cutting and nobody said a word.  Let me repeat that.  AT LEAST TWO TEACHERS, A FEW PARENTS, AND A COACH knew that Mary was cutting and nobody said a word.  What the heck?   What happened to looking out for each other’s kids?  What happened to just good common sense?  When Mary’s mom saw the bandages and asked about it, Mary’s excuse about a cheerleading injury seemed very plausible.
When Mary’s mom found out, she talked to the administrators of Mary’s school and was told that this was “normal girl stuff”.  Seriously?  I hope not.  When harming yourself or bullying someone until they feel the need to harm themselves SHOULD NOT be considered normal girl stuff.  Mary’s mom hit a brick wall with the administrators of the school.  They were not willing to intervene in any way. 
With everything on the news these days, it’s apparent that teen bullying is a huge problem.   We have to stop this and it starts at home.  I know kids are mean.  I have kids, remember?  We’ve just got to teach them that there’s a difference in playful and friendly teasing, and being cruel.  We’ve got to teach them that not everybody responds to our words in the same way.  They need to be able to recognize where that line is and they should know not to cross it. 
I believe that teachers have a responsibility to intervene and report bullying.  A huge majority of our teachers are good role models and compassionate people, but I know from personal experience that some teachers ARE the bullies.   If you have ever told a student who had dropped out of school and then decided to come back that they “are wasting their time” and they might as well quit again, then YOU are the bully.  If you have ever had a student named Todd and you called him “Re-Todd”, then YOU are the bully.  It’s not funny, it’s not harmless, and it’s not acceptable.  Let’s stop it, people.  There’s no room for it whether it’s coming from kids or, even worse, adults. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gee... Good morning to you too!

At five-something this morning, I was sleeping sounding and dreaming that Campbell’s was changing the label on Chicken Noodle Soup… don’t ask… I have no idea where that even came from.  When out of the darkness comes a not-so-gentle-nudge and a gruff voice saying “Roll over!!! You sound like you swallowed a walrus!!”  I’m sure he meant that in the very nicest way possible. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Warning: Rant to follow. May not be suitable for small children.

Today I am blogging from my phone because my laptop has a virus. I know it's not my place to judge, but I'm nearly positive that the sick-minded geeks who sit around and create these viruses are destined for a very unpleasant eternity. Why would a person purposely create something with absolutely no positive value? They are obviously smart guys... Why not use that for something good?

So, this is for you, dear person who created the virus that is causing me tremendous stress:
I hope you get stuck in the traffic jam of the century, and then realize you forgot to use the bathroom before you got in the car. I hope you buy new underwear that gives you the mother of all wedgies. I hope your mom makes you sit next to Aunt Gertie at Christmas dinner and I hope you are forced to go out with Aunt Gertie's neighbor's sister's babysitter who smells like kraut and weenies. I hope that little boy standing in line behind you at Best Buy wipes a booger on your back... But you don't know it and you walk around ALL DAY with it stuck there. I hope your neighbor's dog barks all night every night for the next two months. I hope Santa really does know who has been naughty or nice, 'cause you are sooooo screwed.

Merry Christmas Loser!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thankful Blog - Day 30 - Goodbye November

Yes, I know it’s December. I actually started this entry in November, but I kept adding stuff to it. I just couldn’t get it done in time to post, so it’s a few days late. I’m wrapping up the Thankful blog. I’m going to include a whole bunch of people today, so fasten your seat belt!

I am thankful for….

• My family by marriage. I have the greatest in-laws in the world. My sister-in-laws are my friends. We don’t do things together because we have to, we do it because we want to. Beth has been a lifesaver with me when it comes to babysitting. Y and G love to go to Mimi’s! Tammy is my confidante. We had some intense conversations/counseling sessions when we were walking at sunrise every morning. I miss those days, Tammy! Nett practically raised me. When me and Willard starting dating, we spent nearly every weekend at Mike and Nett’s… eating their food and playing cards half the night. Some of my best memories are vacation time with them. I can’t forget to mention the nieces, Danna and Lacy. Danna is one of my favorite people in the whole world. She’s probably the one person that I can totally be myself and say whatever I want to without worrying about what she thinks. It’s really odd, but we think A LOT alike. Joseph says we feed off each other… somehow I think he means that in a negative way, but whatever! Lacy was my first baby. I met Willard when Lacy was just a baby and I fell madly in love. She used to spend the night with me all the time when I still lived at home with my mom and dad. She was the first person to ever call me “Mamie” and she was flower girl in my wedding. I am also thankful for the wonderful girls who married into the family like me - Keightley and the two Emily’s. I don’t see Keightley much because they live in Auburn, but I follow her blog. She is like a mini-Martha Stewart, I swear! Emily G is mom to Maggie and soon-to-be born, Mabry. I love conversations with Emily because she makes me feel like she values my opinion, especially on raising kids. Emily A is family, as well as my neighbor. I I love all the Garnett women.

• My parents. I hope they know how thankful I am for the way they raised me. We’re not a very openly affectionate family, but I love them very much. They probably should have told me no a few more times in my life, but I think I turned out okay.

• My babysitter network. I have a handful of go-to people that help me soooo much with Yuri and Gigi. It’s hard to take babies or pre-schoolers to all day volleyball tournaments or softball games when it’s 30 degrees outside. In addition to Beth, I rely on Haley Hensley, Ginny Shaneyfelt, Marla, and Lacey James for times like this. Haley (oops… her last name is Terry now… I keep forgetting) is very maternal with my kids and I don’t worry at all when she has them. I know they’re having fun, but being disciplined too. Haley and Dustin will be staying at my house in January for several days when me and Willard to go Jamaica. Poor girl is excited even. She has no clue what she’s in for. Ginny has really been a big help in the last several months. She always makes things fun for the girls. She brings silly string or brownies or sidewalk chalk when she comes, and they love it. Lacey James is awesome. I have no idea what kind of spell she has cast over Y and G, but she’s probably their favorite person in the whole world. Anytime they get in trouble, they start crying for her. “I want Laaaaaaccccey Jamessssss”. For the longest, they couldn’t say her name and they called her “Stacey Jane”. Bahaha. We love us some Lacey James! Marla, aka Rah-Rah, is the second mommy. The word no isn’t in her vocabulary so I know anytime I need her, she’s available. Even if she isn’t available, she’s available. Does that make sense? She’s the kind of person that will sacrifice whatever she’s doing to accommodate what someone else needs.

• My oldest friend, Pam Shelton. And by oldest, I don’t mean she’s old. I’ve just been friends with her longer than anyone else. We met in Mrs. Livingston’s first grade class and we’ve been friends ever since. We have months where we talk/text several times every day and then we go a few weeks and barely talk at all. It’s not because we are mad at each other or anything like. We are close enough friends that we don’t HAVE to be joined at the hip all the time. If I need her, I know where to find her. And vice versa. She knows all my deepest secrets and my most embarrassing moments, and she’s STILL my friend!

• My Louisiana family. I’ve got aunts and uncles and cousins in Louisiana that I see once a year, if I’m lucky. I always look forward for to the weekend of the Cantley reunion. If we all lived closer together, I know we’d all be friends and our kids would be friends. The #1 reason I love Facebook is because it allows me to stay in close touch with my LA family. Other than being obnoxious LSU fans, I can’t think of anything negative to say about them. (But I predict they’ll settle down around January 10th)

As I’m writing this, I can think of so many more things/people that I didn’t mention in the November blogs. I’ve got so much to be thankful for that I couldn’t possibly fit it all into 30 days. Look for me to sneak in a thankful blog every few weeks from here on out.