The main source of my chaos...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Goodbye 2013!

As 2013 comes to an end, I started to think about a few observations I made over the year.

·        My mom has always said, “Don’t buy me gifts… if y’all are all together, that’s all I want.” I would think… bologna… but it hit me this year that that’s the truth.  Every year could potentially be the last year that my kids all wake up in my house and have Christmas morning together, and that makes me sad.  I just want us all to be together… even if it means kids are piled here and there and everywhere.


·        No matter how often I say, “I HATE WALMART”, I still find myself wandering around in there and complaining about it at least once a week.  I swear they must pump in some kind of hypnotic gas through the vents that makes us forget how much we hate it.


·        Leggings are not pants.  They’re just not, y’all.  The End.


·        Whatever medical disorder makes it impossible to stay awake past 10 p.m. is what I have. 


·        Pretty on the outside does not always mean pretty on the inside.  Some of the ugliest people I know are quite attractive to look at.


·        Magic Erasers are truly magic.  If your children ever write on your wood kitchen table with a SHARPIE (I mean, hypothetically , since my precious angel children would never do that!), a Magic Eraser will take it right off.  Amazing. Hypothetically, that is.


·        The people who claim to “hate drama” seem to always be the ones right in the middle of it.  If you have to profess your hatred for drama, then you probably don’t hate it at all. 


·        With all the non-traditional Christmas meals these days, I didn’t get to eat ham or turkey.  So now I’m wondering if nobody eats ham/turkey anymore, it is still considered traditional? In any event, I need some turkey.  Can someone help me out, please?



·        And finally…. Two statements that I’m trying to make my motto, even though sometimes I think I’m crazy….




I hope you all had a great 2013 and I hope 2014 is even better.

Roll Tide.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How I accidentally became a Lee Greenwood fan...

If you know me, you know I'm a Lee Greenwood fan and I'm soooo excited about his Christmas concert this Friday in Huntsville.  I am about to tell the story of how I accidentally became a fan. 

Back in 1983 or 1984¸ me and my best friend, also named Amy, begrudging went to a concert with her parents…having already decided that it would be full of old, boring people listening to old, boring music.  At the time, I was more into stuff like Michael Jackson.  Look, I was 14 and I needed to be cool... 
I don’t remember who I sat by or what we ate for supper.  I just remember when Lee Greenwood came out…


OMG.  That voice.  I was mesmerized and had never heard a voice quite like his.  For the next several years, I went to every Lee Greenwood concert that I could get to.  I must have seen him in concert at least a dozen times in the next 4 years.  I literally slept on sidewalks outside of concert venues to get front row tickets. (For you young whippersnappers, this was before the internet).  
In June of 1990, three weeks before my wedding, I won a contest on a radio station and got to spend the day at Opryland, including lunch with Lee and a concert afterwards.  I won the contest by writing a letter telling them WHY they should pick me.  I spent hours on it and ended up with an 8-page letter written in 5 different colors of ink.  Looking back, that was probably the first time anyone eluded to the fact that I might be a tad bit obsessed.  Haha.  They had no idea!

I almost didn't post pictures because it's so bad, y'all.  So bad.  No comments on hairstyle, please.  But here I am with Lee in 1990.  

A couple of years later, ON MY BIRTHDAY even, I got to meet him again.  Best birthday present ever.  

Over the next 20 years, I was still a fan but my opportunities to see Lee in concert were limited.  A couple of years ago, he came to Huntsville for some kind of benefit concert and it was hysterical how many people contacted me about tickets.  People were blowing up my phone and my Facebook with "Did you know Lee Greenwood is coming to town??" messages.  I ended up going with my three sister-in-laws and we had a blast.  I added one of his band members on Facebook and he was able to arrange a meeting for me. I got to meet him for a quick picture (which did not save on my phone...thank you, technology).  

I did KINDA get a picture of me and Lee, I guess.  Does this one count? Someone pointed out that he is cutting his eyes down at me like he's thinking, "There's that crazy chick again".  I prefer to think that it's more like, "I love her. She's such a big fan.  I wish all my fans were as great as her".  But you know, whatever.  Choose to believe whatever you want.  

And then last year, I went to Tunica and saw him there.  I was hoping for a another picture opportunity.  Unfortunately, that same band member was apparently a little freaked out by my stalker traits, craziness, intensity (yeah, intensity is a good word) and BLOCKED ME on Facebook.  Oops.  I'm pretty sure if there's a "watch list" for obnoxious Lee fans, then I'm on it.  
So, now I just listen to Lee when I can, watch for any potential upcoming sightings concerts, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.  

So, there it is.  I'm just a normal (okay, somewhat normal) 43-year-old, married, mom of 6, who has a strange fascination with Lee Greenwood.  

When I heard about the concert this week, I arranged my schedule so that I had nothing going on the day of the pre-sale except getting tickets.  I got online at exactly 10:00 but only managed to get 3rd row.  I guess front row went to sponsors? I know, I know... 3rd row is awesome if you're an average fan.  But when you're THE BIGGEST FAN EVER, only front and center is acceptable.  I'm going to carry a pocket of money and try to buy out front row person for sure.  

Now, I need some reader participation... Can you all send positive thoughts my way? The following two things are very important:

(1) I need all my kids to be healthy on Friday.  If anybody is puking or running a fever, I'm going to be SO MAD.  

(2) I also need a Meet-n-Greet pass so I can get an updated picture of us.  If you've got connections to WDRM or WAAY-TV and can get me a pass, I would be your best friend forever.  


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Play Costume...Gone Terribly Wrong

Yuri and Gigi are in our church Christmas program tonight.  They are supposed to be horses.  The directors of the play told me not to worry too much about a costume... "we are thinking a brown sweatsuit will be fine"... sounds easy enough. 

Um no.  I couldn't find a brown sweatsuit anywhere.  So, I improvised and got black ones.  I mean, there ARE black horses, right? 

Let me take a moment to explain something.  When God handed out talents, he must've skipped me and planned to come back later.  I promise you that I am the LEAST talented person you'll ever encounter.  On a crafty scale of 1 to 10, I'm a minus 4.  For real.  So, when I started thinking about this horse costume, the only thing I could come up with was pinning some yarn to the butt of the pants to make a tail. I went to buy black yarn, but then I realized that if the sweatsuit was solid black and the yarn was black, then the tail wouldn't really show up.  So, I bought this cool yarn that is tri-colored.  It has a mixture of black, gray, and white. 

The result?

You be the judge...



All because of my epic fail in the craft department, my children will forever be remembered as the Christmas SKUNKS.

Soooo.... the program is in 3 hours.  If anyone wants to whip us up two cute horse costumes, that'd be awesome. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Goodbye, Brian...

As I stood at the funeral home last night watching hundreds and hundreds of people waiting hours to pay their last respects, I was simply overwhelmed.  His elementary school teachers were there.  His former high school coaches were there.  His childhood best friends were there.  His hunting buddies were there.  His cousins.  His co-workers.  His aunts and uncles. His parents.  His siblings. His wife. His three sons.  That’s a lot of people. But that’s not all.  His children’s teachers and coaches came.  His son’s best friends came.  People from church came.  His wife’s childhood friends came.  And all her family came.  And her customers came.  And then people came who maybe didn’t even know Brian very well, but they knew his parents.  Their co-workers came.  Maybe some hadn’t seen or spoken with them in years, but they came.  Everybody came because in some way, shape, or form, Brian had an impact on their lives.  When they heard the news, they just came.   

We all have a Brian story.  Here’s mine –

I am 4 years older than Brian.  My family lived on one side of Ma (our grandmother) and Brian’s family lived on the other.  Ma’s house was our childhood playground.  We spent our summers playing in her yard.  Brian was a farmer from birth.  I remember him wearing jean and boots when it was 100 degrees outside. He rarely ever wore shorts, and when he did, he still had his boots on.  I was the oldest of the cousins that lived on County Line Road and I was the bossiest.  I would want to play something like grocery store or insurance office, and Brian would never go along with it.  He always wanted to dig in the dirt.  We used to play “Lang’s Sporting Goods”.  Our cousin, Jamey, was Mr. Lang and I was the Vice President.  I would use the foot pedal on Ma’s sewing machine as my intercom and bark out orders.  Lisa and Brian were thick as thieves and always had to be given the same assignments or they wouldn’t play.  Since they hated playing inside, I would give them “jobs” outside.  They were supposed to pretend they were driving to Decatur to sell uniforms or helmets, but instead I’d find them pushing tractors around the yard.  It was very frustrating, let me tell you.  I was trying to run a business and they never would cooperate.  One summer Ma let us convert an old cotton wagon into our playhouse.  We set up house in there with old furniture and blankets.  She put a tarp on the top to keep everything dry.  I was the mama and I kept the little kids (Cara, Leah, and Marla), while Lisa and Brian went out to “work” in the fields.

I remember one time when me and Lisa and Brian decided to strip down to our underwear and cover our bodies with mud.  It was lots and lots of fun until my mom found us and freaked out.  It’s just mud, right?  Yes, that’s true, but when you use well water and the well is DRY… it’s a problem.  Just to prove I’m not exaggerating…

Amy, Lisa, and Brian - 1978(ish)

I tried to find a picture with all the cousins, but I couldn’t. This one has 11 of the 13 pictured. 

Kurt, Tina, Craig, Leah, Brian, Cara, Marla, Tammy, Amy, Lisa, Keith (not pictured: Alan and Jamey)

As far back as I can remember, Brian called me “Ramey Ren”.  Like Amy Lynn, but with the R sound.  I have no idea why.  Maybe it came from Scooby Doo or something– I never really thought about why – but that’s my last memory.  I was coming out of the store and he was walking in.  He gave me his famous grin and said, “Heyyy Ramey Ren” just like he always did. 

I love you, Brian.  I hope they have tractors and dirt in Heaven. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thankful Blog - Day 20 - On Star

I've had On Star on my car for 5 years now and can I just say that there are some things SO worth the money.  I've called them twice THIS WEEK alone.  I think the operators know my secret 4-digit code without even asking me.  On Day 20, I'm thankful for On Star!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thankful Blog - Chippendales...

Ok...I'm really not thankful for Chippendales, but I needed to get your attention somehow. 

It's time to play thankful blog catch up again!

Day 16 -

Yuri and Gigi's biological mom called on Saturday.  I hadn't heard from her several months, and I had received information that she was having a hard time, so it was a relief to hear her voice.  When we were going through the adoption saga, there were lots of times when I never wanted to see her again.  I didn't feel much compassion towards her, and I always felt like the girls were MY babies no matter who gave birth to them.  It took a mission trip to Guatemala to help me understand what she had been through and how hard things must be for her.  She is back in Guatemala now, and lives in poverty to an extent that you and I cannot even imagine.  She will never be back in the U.S. and she will likely never see Yuri and Gigi in person again.  When she calls, they can't really communicate because she doesn't speak English and they don't speak Spanish, but I can hear the love and emotion in her voice.  On Day 16, I am thankful to Madre - the woman who gave life to my beautiful baby girls. 

Day 17 -

I am thankful for my mother-in-law, who has never said a uncomplimentary or negative thing to me.  I've said it before, but she is seriously the best mother-in-law in the world.  I hear people make MIL jokes and I totally can't relate Apparently I'm very lucky!

Day 18 -

I am thankful for my Louisiana family.  I only see them once a year, but it's always a fun time.  We always pick right up where we left off!  There are some REALLY crazy people in Louisiana, in case you didn't know. 

Day 19 -

I am thankful for my sweet foster baby boy.  There has NEVER been a better baby.  He is always happy and never cries.  He has started recognizing me and reaching his little chubby arms up for me.  It. Is. The. Cutest. Thing. Ever.  After Aubree's adoption was final, I wasn't sure we'd have another foster baby in our home but I am sure glad we do.  Everybody should have a happy 6-month-old around to make them smile!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Thankful for Hairy Armpits, Southern angels, and more!

Okay, so I'm obviously stinking up the Thankful Blog this year.  I just can't seem to stay caught up.  Maybe the second half of the month will be better!

Day 10 -

I'm thankful that Hunter got to go the beach with us last weekend.  He was 16 when we got Yuri and Gigi.  They were so young and he was gone so much, and then he moved off to school.  They just really don't remember him living with us, so their bond with him has never been as strong as it is with Haley Rae and Karlie.  They made up for a lot of lost time last weekend.  They told him they wished they had hairy armpits like him, and he told them you could only get hairy armpits if you get tickled A LOT.  So... I had to listen to squealing all weekend because he was trying to help their armpit hair grow.  The fact that he is 21 but acts 12 also kept things loud and chaotic.  What 21-year-old thinks it's hilarious to pretend to wipe boogers on little girls just to hear them gag and scream their heads off??

Day 11 -

I am thankful for a very special co-worker named Lisa.  A bunch of years ago... I honestly don't know how many.... like 6 or 7 maybe... I was in desperate need for a new transcriptionist.  I had tested several and nobody could cut it.  I was in my car on the way to pick up my kids from school and I literally prayed out loud for God to help me find someone good.  Within minutes, my phone rang and I hear the sweetest Southern voice say, "Hayyyy... are y'all hiring?"  I called her our angel because I honestly believe God dropped her on me that day.

Day 12 -

I am thankful for White Fudge Oreos.  It's beyond me why they only make them around the holidays because I could eat a box a day all year long.

Day 13 -

I am thankful for all the new light bulbs that my husband put up while I was out of town.  It's like one shoots, and then 2 more shoot, and then the next thing you know we need 17 light bulbs!

Day 14 -

I am thankful for the heater in my bathroom.  Winter makes me mad.  I hate being cold.  Thanks to my heater, I never have to a take a shower in a cold bathroom.

Day 15 -

I am thankful that I have lots of family who enjoy tackling Black Friday.  I'm already making a list of things I want but I'm not about to jump into that mess.  I am hoping some of them will volunteer to take my money and get what I need. Ahem... Lacy... Beth...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day 9 - Momar's Lasagna Recipe

Day 9 -

My mom has always made the best lasagna.  We have it several times a year when we get together at her house, and it's our official Christmas Eve meal.  Luckily for me, my children like it and I make it myself at least once a month.  Yesterday I asked the big girls if they wanted to go out and eat seafood (we ARE at the beach after all) and Karlie's friend, Savannah, said, "No! I want your lasagna!"

It's easy, it's yummy, and it's even better heated up for lunch the next day!

Disclaimer: This isn't really a picture of my lasagna.  I didn't take a picture of it because I didn't plan on blogging about it.  This is pretty close to what it looks like though, so let's just go with it... 

Addendum - due to popular demand... here's the recipe!

1 pound ground beef
1 pound sausage
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce
1 small carton cottage cheese (small curd)
1 package shredded mozarella cheese
9 lasagna noodles

While noodles are boiling, brown ground beef and sausage.  Drain.  Add rest of ingredients.  Simmer meat sauce until the cottage cheese is melted and mixed in well.

Drain noodles.  In casserole dish, put 3 layers of noodles alternating with meat sauce.  Top with mozarella cheese and bake on 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

*P.S. This isn't exactly Momar's recipe.  She doesn't know the recipe so I just kinda winged it.

**P.S.S. I usually boil more than 9 noodles in case a couple stick together or something.

***P.S.S.S. I've noticed noodles in the grocery store that you don't have to boil. They're "bake ready".  They might work but I haven't tried them.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thankful Blog - Catching up!

I’m behind on my Thankful Blog so I’m combining 3 days in one… here goes!

Day 6 – My Bed
The other night, I was asleep in my “assigned” spot on the couch (Aubree has one end and I have the other).  My knees hurt when I fall asleep sitting up and so apparently I stretched out in my sleep.  I woke up pushing a pillow out of the way with my feet… only it wasn’t a pillow.  I had my FOOT on top of Aubree’s face and was pushing her out of the way.  Yikes.  Poor baby, but it’s really her fault.  If she would sleep like a normal person, I would have been snoring in my nice, comfy bed instead of kicking her in the face.  On Day 6, I am thankful for my bed.  I don’t get to spend NEARLY enough time in it, but I still love it. 

Day 7 – 5-Hour Energy Drinks and Teenage Girls Who Talk And Talk And Talk... 
Since the kids are out of school on Monday for Veteran’s Day, we planned a long weekend trip to the beach.  At the last minute, Willard backed out because he’s been sick, so I headed out with 8 kids. Well, one is technically an adult but he doesn’t pay his own bills so he’s still a kid to me.  And 3 more were teenagers but they don’t wash their own clothes so they’re kids too.  We headed out after dark, and I knew I’d struggle to stay awake.  When it gets dark, I get sleepy.  Always have and always will.  My foster daughter suggested a 5-Hour Energy Drink and SHA-ZAM!  Between the drink (my first ever) and the fact that she NEVER stops talking, I didn’t get one bit sleepy.  We made excellent time, only stopped once and now we’re nestled in for a beautiful weekend.  So, on Day 7, I’m thankful for artificial energy boosters and my 16-year-old foster daughter’s motor mouth. 

Day 8 – The Beach
Rain or shine… warm or cold… There’s nowhere in the world I’d rather be.  On Day 8 I’m thankful for the beach and that I get to wake up to this view for the next few days.

P.S. After I wrote this post, one of the bunch started throwing up.  I am not sure if it's a virus or food poisoning, but I'm thankful for Zofran.  :( 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day 5 - Thankful that I'm thankful and want to share it...

Day 5 -

I've been thinking all day about what I wanted to profess my thankfulness for today.  There are dozens of things that pop in my mind... some as significant as Jesus and some as insignificant as these new bobby pins Hope Garner gave me.  Fortunately, I've got a few more days to cover everything.

Today I'm thankful for being able to share what I'm thankful for. I saw a couple of my FB friends making comments about the negative attention that the "thankful" statuses are getting and I thought... nah... surely nobody is complaining about people being THANKFUL.  With all the possible things in this messed up world we could be complaining about, we're going to complain about seeing people publicly post what they're thankful for? Unbelievable.

This is me on my soapbox.  I know, I look skinny - don't I??  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 3 - Massey ... Day 4 - My Home

On Day 3 and Day 4, I'm thankful for Massey, Alabama, and the house that I live in.

When we got married in 1990, Willard's aunt and uncle gave us land as a wedding present.  Land, people! I was 20 years old and honestly did not realize what a gift that was.  I appreciated it then, but even more now.  I have thought many times that there's nowhere I'd rather live than this spot right here. From my "spot" on the couch right I have a perfect view of the sun rising in the east.  When I look to the south, I can see nothing but land and trees.  Well, except for the occasional cow, coyote or deer. 

We built our house in 1994, and then built ON to our house in 2006.  It's not a mansion but it's plenty big for us.  I've never been one to really care about decorating or what kind of counter tops I have or even really if the furniture matches exactly.  It may not be magazine-worthy, but it's full of the things that matter... laughter, love, and laundry. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day 2 - In-laws

I love my in-laws - my family by marriage.  When I met them all on Easter Sunday in 1986, I was a skinny 16-year-old with a mullet.  They immediately loved and accepted me as part of the family, and always take my side over Willard’s.  We have played many, many family softball games in the front yard, played Hide-And-Seek after dark, got slung around Smith Lake together on inner tubes, stayed up all night playing card games, and eaten enough fried fish to feed a small nation. This family plays hard, fights hard, and loves hard.  On Day 2, I am thankful to be able to call them mine.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Day 1 - Free Days

Day 1 –

Today I am thankful for downtime.  Tomorrow (Saturday) will be the first Saturday since August that I haven’t had to be somewhere bright and early.  I’d love to think that I’ll get to sleep late, but since Aubree thinks she part rooster, that likely won’t happen.  At least I can be lazy and watch cartoons all morning.  We won’t have very many free Saturdays in the near future either.  For some reason that is now buried somewhere in my subconscious, I signed Yuri and Gigi up for basketball.  On the night of their first practice, I had to go with Karlie to volleyball so Willard took them to their practice.  When they got home, I started quizzing…

ME:                        How was practice???

GIGI:                      Horrible.  Just horrible. 

ME:                        Why???

GIGI:                      We ran and ran and ran.  My heart was “beeping” so fast.  And it’s still beeping fast.

ME:                        Ahhh. Well, what was your favorite part?

GIGI:                      I liked the outfield. 

ME:                        …

YURI:                     She means defense.  I liked it best too.  My coach says, “When you are on defense, you get that ball!  I don’t care if you have to bite, pinch,or pull hair.  GET THAT BALL!”

This should be interesting… 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ouch! That hurt...

Well, the stomach virus has hit our household.  I’ve been playing nurse since about 8:00 last night.  Hopefully if it’s going to pass through all of us, it comes quickly and leaves quickly.  Ugh.  Aubree and Gigi are both feeling really bad.  Our poor little foster baby boy is getting neglected today because I’m so busy taking care of the girls.  He’s such a good baby and doesn’t seem to mind at all! He is absolutely the best baby I’ve ever seen.

Gigi has been laying on the chaise watching cartoons all morning and she has added quite a few items to her Christmas list.  She picked out something called a Tummy Stuffer.  It looks like a stuffed animal but there’s no stuffing in it.  It has a hole in the mouth and you stuff it yourself with whatever you can cram in there… blankets, shoes, toys, etc.  Gigi pointed out that if her and Yuri got “a bunch” of those for Christmas, it would be really easy to clean their room.  Um, no. 

On a positive note, I’m scared to eat and that’s good news for the diet.  I’ve been lax about it the last couple of weeks.  Yuri said something that shook me back to reality though…

ME:                        Girls, time to get in the tub.
YURI:                     I’m not taking my clothes off until you leave.
ME:                        Why?
YURI:                     I don’t want you to see me naked. 
(I find this quite odd since she runs around the yard naked and half the community has seen her naked, but whatever…)
ME:                        *rolls my eyes*
YURI:                     Okayyyyy… but don’t laugh.  Remember… I saw you naked before and I didn’t laugh.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Here Comes Aubree Boo Boo...

I've told you before that Aubree has a hard time posing for pictures.  She scrunches up her face and tries to smile, and basically just looks constipated.  Someone pointed out recently that she looks like June Boo Boo (Honey Boo Boo's mom) when she makes that face. 

Well, that's just ridiculous.  

Or is it???


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Garnett Family Update

I just wanted to do a quick update on life around this joint. 

Some of you know, and some of you don’t, but we have two new fosters that we got 2 weeks ago today.  I haven’t posted much about them because of the nature of the case, but I CAN tell you that we are going to have them at least a few months and things are going great. 

Aubree is a huge “help” with the new baby.  It seems like she grew up overnight…such a big girl.  She doesn’t talk, you know.  I can’t remember if I’ve ever blogged about that.  She’s 23 months old and says just a few words… mama, yeah, ow… She’s in speech therapy but so far she’s decided not to talk.  She does, however, communicate VERY clearly as to exactly what she wants and doesn’t want.  She has created signs for lots of things she wants or needs on a daily basis.  She has her dad’s OCD.  Those of you who go to church with us know that he has his own parking space and his spot on a certain pew – and it’s of utmost importance that he not have to park or sit anywhere else.  Well, Aubree is the same way about her chair at the table and her spot on the couch.  Even if she’s not planning to sit there, she STROKES out if anybody else does. 

Yuri and Gigi have made the transition into first grade and kindergarten very well.  I can see huge differences in their approaches to school.  Yuri has very little interest in “boring” things like reading and homework.  She’d much rather socialize.  Gigi seems to love it and walks around with a pencil and paper asking me how to spell certain words.  Gigi’s big problem is getting up in the mornings.  She didn’t sleep her first 3 years of life because she couldn’t breathe.  We got her tonsils and adenoids out and she’s a different child.  She would now be content to sleep until 10 a.m. every day if she could.  Those first few moments when I wake them up at 6:30 are rough on her.

Karlie is a junior.  That’s unbelievable to me.  Shouldn’t she still be like in 3rd grade? She’s playing volleyball (which I love!).  She almost didn’t play this year, but I’m SO glad she did.  Hauling a small army to volleyball games several times a week stinks, but we manage.  I know people in the stands hate to see us coming.  My kids crawl all over whoever is nearby, whether we know them or not. Karlie has a new friend who is a boy… I can’t say “boyfriend” because I don’t know if that’s the politically correct term.  I always get chastised because I use the wrong terms.  Did you know there’s a HUGE difference in whether you are “talking” to a boy, “texting” a boy, or “going out” with a boy??  Those are levels to the relationship that all have very specific meanings but I can’t remember the exact perimeters.  That actually might make a very informative blog if I can get my info straight.  Anyway, he’s cute and I’ve been seeing him hanging around here a lot, so that’s all I know.

Haley Rae is back in school after her semester off to go to Guatemala.  She’s not exactly thrilled, but she’s dealing with it.  She goes to school 3 days a week and works at a daycare after class.  Then she works 2 full days at a different job on her non-school days.  She also plays on a co-ed softball team two nights a week, so we aren’t seeing much of her these days.  She and Willard are leaving this weekend for a week in Guatemala with our church and she’s beyond excited.    

Hunter is in his last semester at Mississippi State.  The plan for his next phase of life is looking like law school, but that’s subject to change.  You just never know what he's going to decide to do.  He is dating a girl who just might end up being my daughter-in-law someday.  She comes from a large family so she is accustomed to a certain level of chaos and fits in well with ours.  He calls me almost every day and he seems happy with life.  I wish I had a crystal ball so I could see where the next 10 years will take him. 

Okay, so I know I said “quick” update, but it’s hard to be quick when you’re covering this much territory. 

I hope you all have a great Thursday.  And ROLL TIDE!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Whole Shoe Full of Kids...

If you've tried to call me, text me or email me in the last few days, please forgive me if you haven't heard back from me.  I promise I'm alive! I’ve just been a TAD bit busy.

My phone rang shortly after midnight on Wednesday night.  I looked at the caller ID and it said "DHR".  Long story short, there were three children who needed a place to go - at least for the night.  I told them I was on my way, started getting dressed, and then heard Willard's voice...

HIM:                      What are you doing???

Oh crap… I forgot about him.  He’s going to kill me.

ME:                        Umm…I’m going to pick up three kids.

Silence… yep, he’s going to kill me.

HIM:                      Do you want me to go with you?

Look, y’all.  I’m weird.  That’s been established lots of times.  But I gotta tell you – flowers are great, jewelry is awesome, tropical resort vacations are to die for… but those few little words might have been the most romantic thing he’s ever done for me.  I have a heart for foster care, but that wouldn’t matter if my husband didn’t feel the same way.  He tries to act all big and scary – well, okay… he IS big and scary – but his insides are as squishy as mine. 

So, in case you’re counting, that makes 8 kids in the house right this minute.  Hunter came home yesterday and would make 9, but he’s smart and sleeps at Momar’s when he’s home.  

We’re headed to lake today, watching the Bama game tonight, church tomorrow, picnic tomorrow night, and two of the kids have birthdays this weekend so I’m throwing together a couple of birthday parties, but otherwise I’m looking forward to a relaxing holiday weekend.  Haha. 

Signed –

The Old Woman Who Lives In A Shoe

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I heard about Miley Cyrus’ performance on the VMAs.  I was curious at what sparked all the disgust, but I told myself I wasn’t going to watch it.  I mean, her obvious goal was to get attention, right?  She's certainly getting it.  I don't think it's even occurred to her that it's 98% NEGATIVE attention. 
Anyway, I decided not to watch it.  And I didn’t… until this morning when I accidentally clicked on a link.  (I thought it was a link to an interview with Billy Ray and what he thought of performance, but it was actually the performance). I only watched maybe like 30 seconds and then stopped it.  The only thing I really saw was her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth.  My first thought? Oh no, she needs to see a neurologist.  I remember the episode of “ER” when Dr. Green found out he had a brain tumor.  One of the symptoms was that when he stuck his tongue out, it automatically shifted to the corner of his mouth.  Somebody get that girl to a doctor! 
P.S. I am not making light of cancer.  Not at all.  Just trying to add a little humor.  It's kinda like when the pharmacist adds candy flavoring to nasty medicine.  It's still nasty, but at least you get through it without throwing up.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back To School!

Well, the beginning of school year 2013-14 is officially in the books.  I posted this picture on Facebook already this week, but it’s one of my favorites ever, so I’m using it again on today’s post.


Day 1 – Success!  It wasn’t really Gigi’s first day because all she got to do was meet her teacher and leave.  Karlie had a good day.  I can’t believe she’s a Junior!  Yuri was less excited than I hoped she would be.  She’s really not a fan of getting up in the mornings and she is of the opinion that 5 days a week is just ridiculous.  She’d be happy with only going to school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  She is appalled that 1st graders don’t get to nap, and that’s going to be her biggest adjustment.  If you saw us any during the summer at the pool, you know that she would typically pull up a chair about 1:30 and take a siesta.  By the time she got home Monday, her eyes were glazing over.  I told them to ride their bikes and play outside while I got supper going, hoping to keep her awake.  By 5:40, she had pj’s on and was passed out on the couch.


Day 2 – Yuri woke up and muttered, “This is getting old.”  I thought we might be in a for a bad morning, but she snapped out of it and posed for a sassy picture.


Gigi prepared for her first “real” day and seemed very excited.  Her only concern was that someone would mistake her for a Smurf.  I totally get that.  I don’t wear a lot of yellow because of my fear of being confused with a ginormous can of Pledge.


After school, I started quizzing them about what they liked and what they didn’t.   Yuri rolled her eyes and said to Gigi, “Get ready.  She does this every day”… haha

I found out that first grade has “a lot” of rules and that’s about all Yuri would give me.  Note: I found out AFTER I wrote this blog post that Yuri got her apple moved.  That's probably the reason for the tight lips. I guess she's planning to use the 'ol Don't Ask, Don't Tell protocol this year. 

Gigi was full of information.  She is amazed at how smart her teacher is.  Apparently Mrs. Stinson knows where EVERY bathroom in the whole building is.  Gigi was also pumped about lunch.  She had some “yummy taco salad with green beans and bacon in it”.  Well, yum.  Sounds just scrumptious.  Why didn’t I ever think to add green beans and bacon to MY taco salad?!

Karlie had a volleyball game after school and when we got there, I realized we were ALL dressed in blue.  I guess Gigi isn’t the only Smurf in the family!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Put some clothes on!

I can't put my hands on it right now, but I'm pretty sure it's there.  Isn't there a verse in the Bible that says something like "If thou art old enough to ride thou bike without training wheels, thou art too old to be in the front yard in thou panties"...??

Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's Adoption Day!!

Adoption Day is finally here!  After 21 months of referring to our sweet baby girl as “Baby A”, I can finally show her off to the whole world.

I’d like you to officially meet Aubree Makenna Garnett. 


When the nurse handed me a tiny little baby girl who was barely 48 hours old in October 2011, I thought we would only have her for a short time.  The nurse snapped a picture of me holding her and I had actually forgotten about it until I started gathering pictures for this blog post.  I never imagined that she had captured the moment that I held my DAUGHTER for the first time, but I will forever treasure this image.

I brought her home to our crazy, chaotic life and thought she'd adjust fine to whatever we threw at her.  I mean, she was a BABY.  It wasn't like she made the rules.  Uh, wrong.  This little chick took it easy on us for the first couple of know, sucked us in good... and then the real Aubree emerged.  This child... THIS one... is the one that will always keep us on our toes.  She knows what she wants, how she wants it, and who she wants to give it to her.  She doesn't talk, but expresses her wishes quite clearly.  When we were talking about what we wanted to change her name to, Yuri suggested "Squealy Butt" and I have to say it would have fit her perfectly.  She's rotten.  She's got us all so wrapped that she rarely receives any disicipline because there's always somebody there to "save" her.  She has the complete and undivided attention of entire family pretty much all the time, and that's exactly how she wants it.  She has captured a piece of our hearts that we didn't even know existed, and every member of our family - HER family - would fight to the death for her. 
Okay, no mushy stuff, I have waited forever to share pictures of her. It's like the big reveal!  Some of your see her all the time, but some of you have never seen her at all.  Enjoy!
Here she is the day she came home from the hospital -
This! This is why I can't shake baby fever.  Could you not just die?!?
You know how Haley Rae and Karlie felt about a new baby in the house...

It's funny because Haley Rae takes a billion pictures of herself with the little ones.  Yuri and Gigi always cheesed it up right along with her, but Aubree has always been like GET OFF ME.
And not much has changed....
 Unlike a lot of adoptive families, especially those who adopt through foster care, we were able to witness all of Aubree's "firsts". 

Her first Halloween...

Her first Christmas...
Her first Easter...

Her first family vacation...

I just want to smooch those chubby cheeks!

Aubree isn't a very outgoing child.  She doesn't like new things or to get out of her comfort zone.  Yuri and Gigi have never met a stranger, and don't have a shy or introverted bone in their body, but Aubree isn't that way.  She has to get to know someone well before her personality comes through.  I love these pictures because you can see her happy side. 

Someone is constantly snapping a picture at our house.  It's usually a selfie with an iPhone, but there are a lot of pictures of the littles ones too.  Ever since Aubree was tiny, Haley Rae and Karlie will start to take her picture and tell her to "say".  She tries.... really, she does...but she hasn't quite mastered it.

When Aubree loves something, she REALLY loves it. Like obsessively.  Which is why I need a nerve pill this week - I'm her addiction this week.  She has been physically glued to me 24/7.

She also loves her daddy.  If he leaves before she gets up in the mornings, she looks all over the house for him.
A prerequisite to being my kid is that you must love water.  I was really getting worried about Aubree.  Her first few trips to the beach were not pleasant but she suddenly loves everything water-related. Whew.  Glad she came around!


If that dress looks familiar to some of you, it's because it is the dress Yuri or Gigi wore on their adoption day.
Here's the whole family - along with Judge Cain.  There were 20 family members in court to witness our special day.  You can't see it in this picture, but Yuri and Gigi's shirts say "BIG SISTER".