The main source of my chaos...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How I Know Our Elf On The Shelf is Male....

The girls keep asking why our Elf (KB) hasn’t shown up this year.  We've always had trouble out of this elf.  Remember the year he had an accident at the North Pole and was immobilized for a couple of weeks?  (You can read about it here)

I’ve been thinking he’d show up for several days now… you know, since I’m the Queen of Christmas Spirit this year and got my tree up in NOVEMBER! I was wondering where the little guy was and then I got this email from Santa:

Dear Mama Garnett –

Please let the kids know that their elf, KB, should be arriving soon.  He keeps getting lost and refuses to stop and ask for directions. 

Signed – Santa

Yep, I knew it.  Our elf is definitely male.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

9 Things That Annoy Me....

Willard says I’ve been grumpy for a couple of days so I might as well use my blog to voice some things that annoy me.  These are in no particular order of how much they annoy me, by the way.  Just saying that so if you see yourself in one of the categories, you won’t think I’m any more annoyed by you than I am by anything else.

(1)    People who repost articles on Facebook that are obviously fake (and are outraged because they think it's true).  It’s called satire, folks.  It just means some poor soul who isn’t talented enough to be a real journalist is allowed to write garbage and publish it.  Take a minute and investigate the article before you share it to all of your FB friends.  Really.  It makes you look silly.  If you read something that is so absolutely unbelievably stupid that you just cannot imagine it being true, it’s probably not.  Unless, of course, it’s something dumb Obama has done…. That’s usually always true.

(2)    Ketchup.  Ketchup annoys me.  It’s gross.

(3)    People who update their FB status or upload pictures dozens of times a day.  Nobody wants to see all that.  I know what you’re thinking….  The obvious thing would be to hide those people, right?  Well, I can’t, okay!?! It’s like a train wreck.  I want to look away, but I just can’t.  Now, don’t be texting me and asking if I’m talking about you. If you have any doubt, then I probably am.  If you’re posting more often than you’re going to the bathroom, that’s NOT NORMAL.  Moderation, people, moderation….

(4)    Alabama/Auburn fans.  I am totally a sports fan and I love a good competition, but sometimes this whole rivalry thing gets out of hand. It’s ugly, it’s petty, and it’s immature. I’m a Bama fan (duh!) but I’m talking to both sides.  Can’t we all just get along?

(5)    Mean girls. I blogged about this one time.  I know all us females have the Mean Girl gene (some have a more dominant gene than others), and it usually peaks in middle school.  If you’re over 14 and you still need to feel powerful by playing on the insecurities of others, then you have a problem.  It’s time to grow up.  You’re not cute. 

(6)    I was going to say negative people, but given the subject of today's blog, that’s probably a bit hypocritical of me.  I’m not USUALLY this negative though, so I’ll say it.  If you don’t have anything positive to say… EVER… then you should probably figure out why.  Chances are, the problem is not the circumstances or the people around you… it’s probably YOU.  Stop blaming everybody else and fix yourself.

(7)    Winter.  Annoying.

(8)    Common Core Math. Seriously sooooo annoying.  The majority of the people I know agree with me on this one.  A few of you don’t.  And that’s okay.  I understand the general concept of Common Core, but you will never in a million years convince me that this new way of learning math is a good idea.  Instead of Common Core, how about some common sense?

(9)    Alexander Shunnarah.  You know you agree with this this.  Gah, so annoying.

Did you notice my list is Top 9, as opposed to the typical Top 10? Well, that's in honor of this year's Heisman winner (got to be!!) ... the one and only... #9 Amari Cooper.  Roll Tide! 

Whew. I feel better already.  So, now it’s your turn.  What annoys you?  And please don’t say ME! 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Christmas tree in NOVEMBER???

I woke up yesterday morning (at 4:30… thanks, Aubree) and declared yesterday to be a day of rest. It started out quite nice.  I caught up on some of the stuff I had DVR’d and basically just relaxed.
Then, around 11 a.m., Karlie woke up and walked into the den….

KARLIE:                                 Let’s put up the Christmas tree!
ME:                                        Have you lost your mind? It’s NOVEMBER!

Note –The earliest I have EVER put up a tree is December 9th.  The latest is December 18th.  It comes down approximately 30 minutes after the last present is opened on Christmas morning. I know, I know… you all hate me now.  I’m a terrible person… blah, blah.

Anyway, I don’t know what happened.  Turkey overload, weak moment, peer pressure…in any event, I agreed. 

We started by rearranging the den furniture, which is always risky.  Willard has serious OCD issues about things getting moved around, you know.  His recliner has been in the same spot for 20 years.  We had just gotten the furniture moved when he turned in the driveway. 

ME:                                        Dad is going to freak.  He’ll be like “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!”
KARLIE:                                 He’ll be fine.

Willard walks in the back door….

KARLIE:                                 Oh my gosh…. That’s exactly what Mom said you’d say!!

He complained and was so unsettled that he couldn’t even eat lunch at home, so he left to get lunch at the store. He never even CONSIDERED the idea that we were moving furniture to make room for a TREE.  He knows me as well as I know him, and the idea of me putting up a Christmas tree on November 28th was ludicrous. 

Well, as ludicrous as it sounded, that’s exactly what happened.  Without too awful much trouble (except when I yelled out something about tree lights being straight from Satan), Karlie and the little girls helped me get the tree up in record time. 

Once it was done, I remembered that I actually enjoy sitting around a lighted tree at night.  

Now, I guess you've noticed, it's not the fanciest tree in the world.  It's not color coordinated and it sure wouldn't win any of those decorating contests that I see on Facebook.  It's a family tree.  Every ornament on it was either given to us, made by one of the kids, or has sentimental value. 

This ornament is from 1988.  Momar got it engraved at Wal-Mart.  It hung on her tree for 2 years and then when we got married, she passed it on to us.  

This is the ornament we got for Hunter on his first Christmas in 1992. 

This is the ornament Karlie made for me in kindergarten. 

This one was given to us by my friend, Angie Blankenship....aka "the ornament lady".  It was our first Yuri/Gigi ornament. 

And here's the family ornament.  We got it in 2011, right after we got Aubree in foster care.  I really struggled with whether to choose an ornament with 5 kids or 6 kids.  At that point, we had no idea if we would have her a few months or forever.  Aubree wasn't her birth name but it was a close variation and we thought we might call her that.  So glad I included her on it.  

DISCLAIMER: You might notice that there are no pictures of Haley Rae's first ornament or any of her homemade ornaments.  That's because when she was about 12 years old, she declared them all "lame" and destroyed them. Hard to imagine, I know.  But true story.  

Am I glad I put our tree up in NOVEMBER and do I vow to make this a new tradition? Now let's don't get carried away.  So far, I'm enjoying it though. 

Roll Tide, y'all.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I'm baaccck!

I’m baaccck!  Sorry for the dry spell.  I had someone ask me last week if I stopped blogging because my life was no longer chaotic.  Uh, no.  That would not be an accurate statement.  It’s a crazy, crazy life – I kid you not – but it’s a different kind of crazy lately.  I'm doing some new stuff in addition to my family and my job.  It's a bit time consuming, but very fulfilling.  I'm going to blog all about it soon.  

But back to the family life - 

For the first time since Hunter was 6 years old, we have gone 5 months without anybody in our family playing an organized sport.  Karlie didn’t play volleyball this year, the little girls didn’t sign up for basketball.  We’ve actually been HOME in the evenings – what a concept!  The downside is that I have to cook every night.  The upside is that I can put kids in the tub at 6:30 and have them in bed by 7:30.  That’s working well for Yuri and Gigi.  We don’t even need to discuss Aubree’s sleeping habits.  There seriously needs to be scientific study done on that child. 

Speaking of Aubree, she is totally addicted to “Peppa Pig”.  It’s a pretty cute cartoon….in moderation.  We basically watch it 24/7, though and it’s becoming unbearable for me.  The fact that Willard is beginning to speak with a British accent, Aubree is ending all her sentences with an “oink”, and calling me “Mommy Pig” tend to make me think we have a problem. 

More Garnett family updates to come… so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Regarding My Future...

Me and Willard ate the Asian Buffet this week.  When our fortune cookies came, he opened his and handed it to me to read because he’s old and blind and can’t see the small print. 

His fortune said: A blonde from afar has something interesting for you. 


I opened mine and it was empty.  I said, “Oh, great.  I have NO future and you’re going to hook up with a new blonde.  Hope she likes kids”.

In a miraculous save, without missing a beat, he says… (in his most countrified accent)…

“No, no.  You don’t understand.  You ARE the blond.  You’re so smokin’ hot you MUST’VE come from a far.”


Now, if you’re Southern, you totally got it the first time you read it.  If you didn’t, read his comment out loud in a redneck accent. 
Bless his heart.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Keeping It Real ...

One night last week I asked Gigi to sweep the kitchen floor while I cleaned up supper dishes.  She’s sweeping right along… sweep, sweep, sweep…when she suddenly stops. 

“Mommy! Is that brownie or poop in the floor?”

Do you think I said –

(a)    “I’m sure it’s brownie.  Unless it’s poop.  Either way, it’s got to be cleaned up.”

(b)   “Let me see… sniff…It’s brownie.  Now sweep.”

(c)    “Oh my goodness!! There’s no way there’s POOP in my kitchen floor.  How could you even think such a thing??”

Hint: The answer is not “c”. 

Keeping it real, folks.  Just keeping it real. 


Friday, August 8, 2014

Behind the scenes... Block Party 2014

The 15th Annual Community Block Party at Danville Baptist Church is tomorrow night.  It’s absolutely the most exhausting and most exhilarating weekend of the year for me. 

The basis of the party is GRACE, so everything is free.  Everything.  Hamburgers, hotdogs, snow cones, funnel cakes, cotton candy, popcorn, drinks… all free.  School supplies… free.  A gymnasium cram packed full of every imaginable yard sale item you can think of, enough clothes to clothe a village, furniture… totally free.  Live music, great door prizes, games for kids, fireworks… Yep, free.  All you have to do is show up.  

So, there you go.  You’re invited!  It’s fun and you don’t want to miss it!

Now I want to talk about what goes on behind the scenes. 

This is the single biggest mission/ministry project our church does.  It’s huge and it’s a lot of work.  The sheer size of it sets it apart from anything else we do, but what makes it special for me is what I see happening WITHIN the church during this weekend. 

We are a typical church.  We don’t all get along all the time.  Heck, some of us don’t get along ANY of the time.  If our pastor hasn’t rubbed you the wrong way at least once, then you haven’t been here very long (Hi, Bro. Jack).  We disagree about what kind of services to have…. traditional or contemporary.  We can’t all agree on music… some people think it’s too loud and some think the louder the better.  We can’t agree on Sunday night service… some people love the idea of small groups in home settings and some people think if you’re not physically sitting on a pew, then it’s not church.  You get the picture.  We’re all different and no matter how hard Bro. Jack and the rest of the staff try to please everybody, it simply cannot be done. 

But then Block Party week arrives and something magical happens.  Everybody forgets what they were mad about. It’s like all the excuses and pettiness fall away and everybody just shows up to work.  All the cliques disappear and you find 22-year-olds working side by side with 72-year-olds. There will be 200+ church members decked out in red t-shirts working together to show GRACE to our neighbors.  It is a beautiful, beautiful thing.  I know Block Party is about taking a day to love on others, but without even realizing it, we are loving on each other too. 

Jesus loves the Block Party, and so do I!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Happy Anniversary To Us!!

24 years ago today, I woke up on my mom and dad’s couch.  Now that I think about it, that’s odd because I woke up on a couch today too… the only difference is that 24 years ago it was because we had already moved my furniture out to my new house, and today it was because my 2-year-old is rotten.  But that’s another blog. 

I remember playing in the yard with Reggie (my beloved golden retriever) and feeling so guilty that I was leaving him for a week to go on my honeymoon.  Ha….funny how things change.  Now I leave my kids for a week, and I’m like… SEE YA…MAMA NEEDS A BREAK!  But, that too, is another blog. 

The purpose of THIS blog is to celebrate 24 years of marriage with this hottie…

He's handsome... I don't care who you are!

First of all, can I just say… we were babies and I can’t believe our parents let us get married!!!   Even if I had been able to look into a crystal ball and see my future, I wouldn’t have believed it.  There are a few things in my life that I would change, but walking down the aisle on July 21, 1990, isn’t one of them.  There have been more happy times than sad times, more blessings than tragedies, and NOT ONE SINGLE episode of domestic violence.  BAM. 

We don’t live a perfect life (he’s grumpy and I tend to miss my hormone pills),  but we live a good life with lots and lots of laughter.  Is he my soul mate? Ummm… maybe… he has potential.  I wish he would take me to more NASCAR races, and he wishes stuff that I can’t post in my blog (oops… sorry, kids) but we are a pretty darn good team at controlling the chaos on New Cut Road. 

Happy 24th Anniversary to us!

Amy + Willard

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

10 Ways I Annoy My Teen Daughters....

10 Ways I Annoy My Teen Daughters – (not necessarily in order of level of annoyance)

1.      I don’t clear the microwave.  When I cook something, I open the door before it beeps (so I don’t have to hear it beep), and then I forget to clear it.  When my family tries to see what time it is, they see :01…

2.      I say “Yolo” … They think I do it just to get on their nerves, but I really like the way it sounds.   

3.      I wear my pants pulled up to my belly button.  Maybe it’s an 80s thing or maybe I’m trying to keep the muffin top inside the muffin pan.  Either way, I catch flack.

4.      My jeans are saggy in the butt.  This is a big one for Karlie.  She hates for my jeans to be saggy, but she doesn’t understand how uncomfortable tight jeans are.  I’d rather be a saggy bottom girl than have to surgically remove my underwear from my crack.

5.      My car is gross… This is more than an annoyance, it’s an embarrassment. Disgusting doesn’t even come close to describing the condition of it.  If you’re trying to picture it in your mind, just give up.  You can’t even imagine.

6.      My laugh can be annoying.  When I get really tickled, my laugh resembles that of an asthmatic hyena.  It is annoying, I’ll admit it.  And Karlie shouldn’t be too annoyed, because she laughs just like me.

7.      I have a Twitter.  Haley Rae complains about me tweeting all the time.  She gets mad when her friends follow me or retweet something of mine.  Jealous much?

8.      I’m bad to ask my kids to rate things.  If Haley is on a date with someone new, I’ll text her and say, “On a scale of 1-10, how cute is he?”.  Or after a week of dating, "On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like him?” They get really annoyed.  I don’t understand it. 

9.      Yuri and Gigi know all the words to Lee Greenwood songs.  Karlie rode to Athens with us yesterday and she was totally freaked out that they sing along with Lee Greenwood’s Greatest Hits CD.  She kept saying, “That’s just not NORMAL, Mom…”

10.  I stretch the truth about how long I’ll be gone to the grocery store.  I mean, if I need them to watch the little girls and I say, “I’ve got to go to the grocery store, the pharmacy, the post office, the library, and get my nails done…”, they’d NEVER agree to keep them. I always say, “Hey, I gotta run pick up a couple of things at Kroger.  I’ll be RIGHT back”… Suckers. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bloodshed on Friday Night

Last Friday night, we took the little kids out to eat.  When we got home and the interior light in the car came on, I suddenly heard Yuri and Gigi screaming… “Ahhhh! Blood!!!”  I looked back and saw BLOOD all over Aubree’s face, hands, and clothes.
What followed was several seconds (felt like several MINUTES!) of total chaos, with Gigi yelling, “The vampires got Aubree!”

We quickly discovered that it was a simple nosebleed that caused all the drama, but Aubree was milking it for all it was worth, and had to be carried inside by Yuri.  I guess the blood loss left her too weak to walk?
As I was cleaning Aubree up, Gigi walks in and says, “Well, the good news is that if Aubree doesn’t make it, at least I’ll be the youngest again”.

That’s my girl – her glass is always half full!
P.S. Aubree made it.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Paper or Plastic?

We use a lot of dishes in this house.  As soon as I load the dishwasher, somebody comes through and messes up another plate or glass or fork.  With the kids being home now for summer, I decided to stock up on paper plates and plastic utensils.  This morning, Gigi asked for cereal so I fixed her some Fruit Loops in a Styrofoam bowl and stuck in a plastic spoon.  Well, she was outraged. 

“I am NOT eating out of a FAKE bowl.  I’m only eating out of real dishes”. 

Here’s the “BEFORE” picture of Gigi…


Stay tuned for her “AFTER” picture in August…she’s going to be real skinny. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Puppy Love....

I tend to name our pets based on what I like in real life.  Like, for example, my beloved miniature Chihuahua was named Gus, after my favorite character from my favorite movie “Lonesome Dove”.  Then there was the beautiful gray kitten we had last summer who I named “Lee Greenwood”… for obvious reasons.

We had our first litter of bloodhound puppies last week.  There are six males and one female.  I was thinking that we should give the female a really special name since she’s outnumbered.  So, I decided to name her something very important to me.  Something that pops in my mind first thing every morning.  Something I could not live without. 

Her name is “Fancy Cake”.   #fatamyprobz

Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy Birthday, Karlie

Seventeen years ago today was Good Friday, and we got our very own little Easter surprise.  Well, she wasn't so little.  She was 3 weeks early but she weighed 9 pounds.  She was chubby and beautiful, and we were thrilled.  We had no idea what her name was though.  I found out she was a girl VERY early.  I had a friend do an ultrasound at 13 1/2 weeks, so I had plenty of time to get a name.  But nope.  No name. 

When we first found out we were having a girl, Willard said he liked "Abigail".  He rarely mentioned liking ANY name, so I thought we should probably use that.  I asked him what middle name he liked because I couldn't think of anything that flowed well with Abigail.  He said, "Let's just name her Abba Gail".  Um, no.  Scratch that. 

Then we picked out Chandler, but that was when "Friends" was so popular and there was a male character named Chandler, so everytime I told someone the name, they'd say, "ohhh, I thought you were having a girl..."  Sigh... scratch that.

So I struggled.  For months, I struggled.  The day she was born, I was in a panic on the way to the hospital.  I gave Willard a list of about 10 names and told him to pick his favorite 3, and then I'd choose the winning name.  He narrowed it down to Kendall, Payton, and Karsyn.  Well, I guess you noticed her name isn't any of those. 

Hunter and Haley Rae are named after Willard's side of the family, so I really wanted to name Karlie after my side.  Momar's name is Suzanne, so that seemed like a good middle name.  I had liked the name Karlie before I was pregnant with her, but a friend of my was pregnant and due a few weeks before me and she was planning to name hers Karlie.  Well, her Karlie was actually a Noah and he was born 3 days before my Karlie. 

My dad's name is Charles and my father-in-law's name was Charles, so Hunter had TWO Pap-paw's named the same thing.  He tended to call my dad "Pap-Paw Charlie" except he had a speech problem and it came out "Pap-Paw Karlie".  Wah-lah.  When that finally clicked with me, I knew that had to be her name. 

So, at 1:36 p.m., our sweet Karlie Suzanne was born.  She was chubby and... wait, I already said she was chubby, didn't I... she was precious.  She was my calm after the storm (the storm being Haley Rae, but that's another blog).  She brought joy to so many people.  She wasn't planned.  I mean, I knew I wanted more kids, but Hunter and Haley were so little and I wanted to space them out.  But looking back, she was right on time.  My father-in-law passed away when Karlie was only 2 months old and my mother-in-law has told me time and time again how Karlie saved her. 

Fast forward to present day, and she's still my sweet girl who has a heart as big as the world, especially for old people.  She loves babies too, but she "awwwwws" just as loud when she sees a cute little old person. 

She's not chubby now, but she's still beautiful.  Happy Birthday, Karlie!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Good news for Dale Jr fans...

Dear Dale Jr. Fans -

On Monday morning before last (the Monday BEFORE the Daytona 500), I stopped at the store for gas.  I got gas, got breakfast for me and Aubree, a couple of drinks, a pack of gum… and my total was $88.88.  My first thought –

Yay!  Maybe this is a sign that Dale Jr. will win this week. 

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve undoubtedly heard that Dale Jr. DID INDEED win the Daytona 500.

This past Monday morning (the Monday AFTER the Daytona 500), I dropped  Aubree off at daycare and picked up the receipt that shows my balance or credit at daycare.  Folks, I had a credit of $88 

Let me just put it out there... Dale Jr. WILL win this weekend at Phoenix.

You’re welcome.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I Heart My Community

Back in August, DHR placed a 16-year-old girl and her 4-month-old baby with us.  It was supposed to be for a day, but then it got extended for a week.  After a week, things were going well and we agreed to be their permanent foster home.  Ultimately, they were with us until last Friday, before moving back home. 

(I can’t use their names because of DHR rules, so that’s why I refer to them as “the girl” and “the baby”.  I’m not trying to sound detached, it’s just a rule.)

The girl had not been in school in a couple of years and when DHR told her she had to enroll at Danville, she was NOT excited.  She assumed she’d stand out as the new girl and be shunned because she has a baby.  Well, she was right about part of it.  She stood out, alright.  The teachers all took her under their wings… the kids included her like she had always been there.  She went into school that first day expecting to have to fight anyone who made an ugly comment about her being a teen mom.  Instead, they asked to see baby pictures and couldn’t wait for her to bring him to the school to visit.  She went to volleyball games, football games, basketball games… I remember looking down at her during a volleyball game and seeing her cheering as loud as anybody in the whole gym. 

The first Sunday I told her she had to go to church with us, she wasn’t too happy about that either.  Again, she expected to be looked down upon and she told me right away that she didn’t want to leave her baby in the nursery with strangers.  It didn’t take long for her to see that those strangers treated her baby like a prized possession. She was prayed for more than she can even imagine, and the ladies at church even bought diapers for me to send back home with her so she didn’t have to worry about buying them.

When I told her I needed the baby to go to daycare a couple of days a week with Aubree while I worked, she nearly freaked.  She was adamantly opposed to daycare.  Now, after 5 months, she wishes she could keep him going to Sheila’s Daycare because it’s so obvious how much they love him.  Miss Sheila couldn’t even talk about him leaving foster care and going back home without tearing up. 

I know the past 5 months were not easy for this young girl.  She was forced to adjust to a different way of life.  A lot of teens would have rebelled against all our rules, but not her.  She loves her baby and she knew the best thing she could do for him was make the best of this situation.  It turned out good for her, but a lot of that is because she felt so accepted here.

So, to my friends … to the teachers at Danville… the folks at Danville Baptist… the daycare workers at Sheila’s…. THANK YOU!  You made a difference in the lives of two special people.  You helped make a good experience out of something that could have been really, really bad. What could have been the longest 5 months of their lives (and mine!) resulted in a beautiful thing.  They’re bonded to us now.  They’ll always have a connection to our family and to our community. 

I’ve always been proud to be from my hometown of Danville, Alabama, but never more than now.

Monday, January 6, 2014

My Secret To Staying Warm....

There is no one in the whole world who hates cold weather more than me.  Seriously.  It makes me miserable and angry. 

It is currently 10 degrees outside in ALABAMA and I'm feeling just fine.  I feel like I need to share my secret with you because I know many of you share my hatred of the coldness. 

Here goes...

I haven't had a hormone pill in 4 days.  And ladies, my inner solar source is cranked up.  There is nothing to make you toasty like a good 'ol fashioned hot flash.  Miss 4 pills in a row... it's like perpetual warmth. 

The problem is, the amount of estrogen in my body closely correlates with the amount of niceness in my body. 


My mood? Eh.

My patience level? Relatively low.

My marital status? A little shaky.  He says he's going to melt the pills down and inject me in my sleep.

But I'm warm.  I'm so warm.