Tuesday, July 30, 2013


We enjoyed our little annual summer getaway to Marco Island a couple of weekends back. We pretty much charge our life on a Marriott Visa card and reap the rewards each year with the points we accumulate. It is amazing how these three days/two nights refresh us and feel like we're away for a week. It is a beautiful venue and only a two-hour drive. Sweet.

The kids really enjoyed swimming together this year. Charlie has become quite the water baby, and Madi loves helping him "practice fim" as he says.


The resort has a really fun water slide that the kids love. This year, Charlie really loved it. He must've gone down one hundred times. And yes...he was tall enough:) 

It cracked us up, because it seemed like he was making his way through the line pretty quickly. Then we realized he was probably cutting, so Madi followed him, and yep...guilty. So, big sister took the opportunity for some teaching moments about line etiquette and patience. Charlie happily complied.


The kids enjoyed their first poolside Pina Colada. I know what you're thinking, and yes...they were alcohol free people!  Look at our little diva relaxing in style!

On day two, we rented a water hammock. Charlie's favorite part was pulling the anchor up and then letting it go. All  that anchor haulin' wears a boy out. 


I found myself, again this year, totally addicted to shelling. I don't know what it is about trying to find that one perfect shell. We always end up with a bucket full, and I do love the thrill of the hunt!

We really had a great weekend, and our little monkeys were great travelers.  We can't wait until next summer to return!


Thursday, July 25, 2013


Yesterday, I was reunited with a dear friend who I haven't seen in about fifteen years. She was one of my roommates down here before I met Jimmy, and she was my maid of honor in our wedding twenty years ago! Sherri and I shared some fun, fun times together.

But we totally lost touch, unfortunately, when our lives went in separate directions. Jimmy and I moved to another town eventually, after we were married, and Sherri moved back up north. For years, I've thought about her, and even tried to find her, on occasion, through Facebook. But I always came up empty handed.

And then, this month, she found me on Facebook. Outta nowhere. My jaw dropped when I saw her name. Who says social media's good for nothing?  I could hardly believe we'd found each other again. And on Facebook, no less!

It turned out that she and her family were vacationing here in the area, so we took the opportunity to get together.  The kids and I drove to their vacation rental to swim and meet the families. When I pulled into the resort, and saw her in the parking lot, I literally had to put the van in park and just run to her. I don't think either one of us expected to get so emotional about our reunion. We visited for three hours, which went by like a flash. It was such a blessing.

Sherri's children are beautiful, and her husband seems to be such a nice man. She is still a beautiful soul and her faith is still a number one priority in her life. I always loved that about her.

After all these years, we picked up as if it were just yesterday...the sign of a true friend.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Kids, meet your new teacher...

I never thought that "teacher" would be on my resume in this lifetime. But then again, I never thought "author" would either!

Thanks to my favorite little preschool of all times, I am receiving the opportunity to do something that I have learned to adore over the past several years because of SVF Bible Camp and my Room Mom post...teaching children!

I have been offered a position as one of the Early Literacy Instructors for the three-year-old class at First United Methodist Church Preschool. How could I not accept such a wonderful offer? The class is one morning a week from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., which is a perfect part time job for a stay-at-home mom.

I will have a group of eight to ten little ones, and Charlie will have the chance to join the class, too, though he will not be one of my students. I am not sure he would thrive with me as his teacher, and I am certain the other students would suffer, as well!  I am just thankful that he'll be able to participate. I believe it will be a great experience for him, and I know he'll enjoy it, especially given his love of books.

I am very excited about this new post! I have a feeling it's going to be a really great school year with many blessings in store.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Charlie's Court Date

When our children came home and their precious little feet hit U.S. soil, they automatically became U.S. citizens and received their Certificates of Citizenship.

But authorities also recommend that you readopt your children in your state. This is a legal proceeding that solidifies the adoption further, and gives them a Certificate of Foreign Birth, which is the equivalent of a birth certificate. This is a document they will obviously need throughout their lives. 

We finally met with our attorney and scheduled a date for Charlie's readoption. It took place on Friday!

The kids marched up the courthouse stairs in anticipation of our court hearing at 9 a.m. sharp. We were there a half-hour early for safe measure. We were joined by Grandpa Murphy and Miss Suzanne along with Aunt Sheila (Charlie's Godmother) and cousin Murphy.

Though Charlie knew the whole ordeal was about him, I think he really didn't grasp what was happening, and the "unknown" made him a bit uncomfortable. He was pretty squirmy.

Judge Barkdull was great. You could tell he was a kind family man. He took an instant liking to big sister, Madi. The judge questioned Jimmy and I both, under oath, about our intentions for Charlie and our desire to adopt him officially.

Then he asked Madi to raise her right hand, which she did. Judge Barkdull asked her questions like, "Do you promise to be a good big sister?" and "Do you understand that your little brother might frustrate you at times?" Jimmy and I chuckled knowing that Madi's already well aware of that fact!

Madi, of course, responded favorably to every question and promised to teach Charlie and to be patient with him, too. Madi's facial expression was classic. It's a certain look that Jimmy and I see on occasion, and it's a perfect blend of pure joy and feeling really special.

Then, Judge Barkdull asked Madi if she wanted to go sit in his chair!  What an honor and a treat! Our daughter had the most priceless smile on her face. We took some pictures of her, and then took some group shots with Judge Barkdull and our attorney, Weston.


We were done with the whole proceeding in about fifteen minutes, and most of it was just plain fun. We were thankful for a terrific and memorable experience, and now we have all the necessary paperwork we need to enroll Charlie in preschool this Fall.

One BIG thing to cross off that list:)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A first-the movies!

Last week, I finally felt like it was the right time to take Charlie to see his first movie at the cinema. Monsters University was the only "G" rated movie playing, so that simplified the decision making process for me. I really wasn't sure how he'd do, given his sensitivities to loud noises, and being the squirmy little guy that he is. So I was thankful that we had some of our best buddies, Carmelina and Sophia (and their parents), to make the trip with us, and I knew big sister would be a good helper, too.

Our timing wasn't great, and we found ourselves a bit ahead of schedule. It was pouring rain, so we decided to make a pit stop at Barnes and Noble. Charlie loves the train table, and once again, I forgot just how relaxed my son gets when he's in the presence of this table. This was the third time I've been in this same situation, at the same place, and completely unprepared, again. Yeah...sorry for the T.M.I., but please remind me where to go if I ever tell you that my son's constipated. Okay?  Thanks.

The trip really started out a little bumpy, as you can imagine, but it was all uphill from there...

He did great! The girls shot right up to the highest row possible, which Charlie loved, given his obsession with stairs. I had forgotten what it's like taking a little one to the movies and trying to sit them in those big seats. The seat quickly flipped up and sandwiched him, to which he hollered, "WHOA!" He's such a sport. Luckily, I had his backpack handy, so I used that as a backrest to sufficiently prop him up.

While the previews played, Charlie was very animated and squealed quite a bit, and loudly, I should add. He was totally ready for the occasion. I was a little nervous when the movie started, and the monsters were practicing their "scaring skills." Thankfully, no repercussions so far.

Charlie enjoyed the movie, for the most part, but he did get a little antsy towards the end. Don't we all sometimes, after being held captive for two hours? And that was partially my fault for poor timing smack in the middle of the day when he's the most tired. More than anything, I think he loved the snacks.

Next time, and there will be a next time, I will definitely shoot for an earlier movie, more popcorn, and no stops at Barnes & Noble before the show!