Friday, August 10, 2007

Gulf Shores....

We left for Gulf Shores on Thursday 8/2. Without stops it's a 6 hour drive. I'm proud to say that we made it in 6.5 hours! Pretty incredible since we have 4 boys!! We arrived at my aunts (who we stayed with) in time to see my cousin before she left for work. My aunt and her husband arrived a little later, and we all had some yummy pizza for dinner. The boys were tired from having gotten up at 6 and from the ride, so we headed to bed pretty early (around 9 for the boys, 10 for us). Unfortunately not before Max crashed....

We got up the next morning (Friday), ate breakfast, and headed to the beach. We got there about 9:30 and it was perfect!! Only about 10 cars in the parking lot, and we basically had our choice of spots. So we started unloading the car, and putting sunscreen on the kids. Here are the boys waiting on us to finish...


And one of Miles waiting for his turn for sunscreen...

After what seemed like forever, we made our way to the beach. The weather was just beautiful and the water was perfect. Clear, no seaweed, calm. We couldn't have asked for a better day!! The boys all got right to work on some sand castles...


Max stayed in the sand most of the time, and Michael stayed in the water most of the time. I swear that boy is part fish. He loved every minute of it.

Matthew was in and out of the water. He didn't know what he wanted to do. Miles didn't know what to think. He did NOT like the water, and the sand was weird. So he hung out under the umbrella...



We hung out at the beach for a few hours and then we headed back to the van. We drove down the coast over the Florida/Alabama line and back, picked up some lunch and headed back to my aunts for rest time. The 2 younger boys took naps while the 2 older ones watched TV and relaxed. After everyone got home from work we headed into Perdido Key, FL (just over the line) and ate at The Crab Trap. The food was great, and it was right on the beach. We had a blast! After dinner we headed back into Gulf Shores to ride the Ferris Wheel. The boys were nervous, and SO WAS I! I do not like heights at all, and this thing is 108' tall!


Matthew was the most nervous of all and he kept his face buried in his hands the whole ride. Finally he started to enjoy the ride. I won't say that I liked it all that much, but it was ok as long as the gondola didn't start rocking and as long as I didn't look down!

When the ride was over we headed over to Starbucks and got some Strawberries & Cremes and then headed back to the house.
We got up the next morning (Saturday) and headed to Pensacola, Fl to the Naval Aviation Museum. We had a lot of fun here. The boys grew bored after an hour or so, but it was really neat! Lots of stuff to look at. Here's some of my fave pictures from there....



After a few hours, we left and we were STARVING so we headed to Lambert's Cafe. We really love this place. It's a lot of fun, and the food is fantastic!
KJ & Uncle Scotty
Michael, Matthew, Aunt Glenda, Maranda
Max, Miles, and Me (horrible picture, but I was hot and sweaty, ICK!)
After lunch we went back home for some rest. That night after we got Miles in the bed, Maranda babysat the boys and me, KJ, Glenda, and Scotty went out to LuLu's. This place was fantastic! We're taking the boys there the next time we go. The food and atmosphere were just really great.
Sunday we got up and the older 3 boys went to church with Maranda. The rest of us hung out around the house. Around lunch me, KJ, and Miles went to the store to restock our drink and snacks for the trip home the next day. By the time we got back, Maranda was back with the other boys. Everyone rested for a while and then we headed back to the beach for a few hours with Maranda tagging along this time. It was really windy this day, but it felt nice. The water was really choppy and lots of seaweed and a few baby jellyfish so we didn't play in the water as much. After a few hours we headed over to Surf Style to pick us out some T-Shirts. Then it was home to some yummy Sour Cream Enchiladas and then more hanging out and then off to bed.
We got up early Monday and left Glenda's by 6:40. We stopped and got gas and ice and then headed back to Lamberts Cafe to give their breakfast a try. After we were fed and had made our trips to the bathroom, we headed home. 6.5 hours later we were pulling into the driveway.
It was a great vacation, and we can't wait to do it again next year!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Is it really me?

Have you ever been looking in a mirror and caught a glimpse of your "old" self? Kind of like deja vu, but mostly just really seeing yourself. I hope that you are following along...

Every once in a while, when applying makeup or just walking by a mirror I see myself. The real Melissa. The old Melissa. I can see the me from years ago. The young girl who had her whole life ahead of her and had so many plans for the future. I guess this is on my mind more lately because my 10 Year High School Reunion is coming up next month. 10 years!

The last 10 years have been pretty good to me (wish the food hadn't been so good to me! lol). 10 years ago I knew that I would marry KJ. I knew that he was the person that I would spend the rest of my life with, and have kids with. 10 years ago I thought that I'd have a college degree and be an elementary school teacher. Those plans didn't come to pass, but I don't regret that. If I had followed through with those plans then our life wouldn't have turned out the way that it has. We have made a nice, happy life for ourselves and our boys. 10 years ago I knew that I'd have kids. I didn't know that it would be 4 boys, though! Which is a good thing or I might have chickened out! (j/k.)

When I do catch a glimpse of the "old" me in the mirror it's a mixture of emotions. Happiness to see how far I've come since then. Sadness at how quickly the time has gone by and how far away my "old" self seems. Excitement for seeing what the future holds. Mostly, it's just nice to see that even though I get lost in all the mommy and wifely duties, that Melissa is still in there.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Seperation....

Seperation Anxiety that is....

Miles has the worst case of it out of any of our kids. Most days I can't even leave him with daddy without him screaming and crying at the gate. Luckily, he will calm down quickly if it's daddy. The poor nursery workers at church try their best to get him to calm down, but it always ends the same.....us having to pick him up in the middle of service. I can't even remember the last time that we got to sit through an entire church service without having to get him and then keep him quiet.

I know that one day he'll be over it. Part of me can't wait! The other part of me knows that when this is over he'll be able to be without me without a second thought. He'll come out of this independent and confident just like his brothers did. He'll also come out of this not so much a baby anymore.

Since he's the last one, I sure wish he wouldn't grow up so quickly! I guess before long it'll be my turn for seperation anxiety as they all grow up and become more and more independent.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Getting it off my chest...

If you actually try and read this, then I'll apologize in advance. It is probably going to be long, rambling, and confusing.

There are things going on. Church things. We love our church. We fell in love with it right away.

Perhaps the honeymoon is over?!? Have we outgrown the church, has the church outgrown us? Is it the right place for us now?

It is a contemporary non-denominational church. It's very welcoming and everyone is friendly. It has fantastic atmosphere, SUPERB children's ministry, and a kickin' band (though I'll admit, not as good as when Rick was with us). Our church's mission is to reach non-believers. To bring in those disconnected from Christ and the church. It's a terrific mission, and it is really what we needed in the beginning (over 3 years ago). We were what you'd consider "baby" christians. We had commited our lives to Christ, but didn't really know where to go from there. We found the church, fell in love, got baptized, and joined all within 4 months time. We started a small group, began volunteering and everything was going beautifully. Really it was! I'd say things were great up until late last year. We (the hubby and I) started wanting something more in depth. More bible teaching and less of the "commit your life to Christ" sermons. More meat and less milk. Are you following?

Anyway, we had grew a little tired of the church's small groups. They were great for fellowship, but we just weren't getting what we needed out of them. Along came some friends (and fellow church members), and they offered us a chance to do a study with them. It was a bible based study, and they ok'd it with the church before even moving forward. We jumped in. It was what we were looking for. More in depth teaching and great fellowship. Fast forward a few months, and we are on our 3rd study. Again, bible-based, more in-depth, church approved. The church calls in the facilitator of our study and tells him that we must stop. Immediately. Their reasoning was because we were doing these studies instead of the church's small group. If we were doing it in addition to, then it would be different. Ok, maybe I can understand this. BUT, does it really matter as long as we are doing something that is doctrinally sound? Should they really discourage one who wants to grow deeper? Maybe it isn't the way that they want you to do it, but to say that it's wrong....is that right?

As a said earlier, our church's mission is to bring people to Christ. But what about once you've accepted Him? They don't have a plan for that. They'll tell you that. They don't plan on offering anything "deeper". I understand that we shouldn't rely on them to take us deeper. I understand that we have a responsibility to do it ourselves. But isn't that what we were doing with our outside studies? The ones that they nixed. Is it really right that they won't offer any "deeper" alternatives, and when you do it your way, not their way, then it's looked down on?

So, now there are doubts. Is our church still the place that we belong? Is it still right for us? Is it time for us to move on? Will we ever be able to get were we want to be at this church? Will we ever be able to attend another service with feeling the "weirdness" that's there now? They know us. They know that we were in the study that they axed. They know that we weren't doing it their way. We know that we can't continue on in studies the way we want without worrying that we'll be chastised, or given the cold shoulder. If we stay is our only alternative to conform, and follow their directions? If we leave, where will we go? Will we be able to find a church that meets all of our needs (great children's program, contemporary, friendly, AND deep)?

Right now, there is a lot of praying going on. Praying for His guidance in this situation. Taking the hurt feelings and emotions out of it, and listening to Him. It's hard. But I know that He has a plan for us, and a church home for us. Perhaps, it is our church. I'd love to move past this and discover that we already are home. That like all families, we had problems, but we got past it. Perhaps it is somewhere else. A church that is waiting for us with open arms, and will fit better than we ever imagined.

HE knows. I'm just ready for us to know too!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

My very first TAG!

And it happened twice on the same day! Thanks Traci and Karen, for making me feel special. :P

THE RULES:
Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs the 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog.You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

THE FACTS:

1) I pierced my own belly button when I was a sophmore in high school. My mom has no idea, even to this day!

2) I was the in the Miss Teen USA Georgia pageant when I was 16. My roommate won, and went on to the Miss Teen USA pageant.

3) I'm a big time procrastinator.

4) I met best friend (IRL), online at babycenter.com . we discovered we lived in the same town and had kids the same age (her dd is 1 month older than Michael). we met up and have been BFF since!

5) Since we went to a digital camera, I'm horrible about getting hard copies of my pictures. I don't have any hard copies after 2004! I really *need* to get those printed!!!

6) I've only "been with" one person. Obviously, that is KJ. lol.

7) When I was younger I would talk super fast, and ALL THE TIME. Who am I kidding? I still do!


I'm not going to be tagging anyone, because everyone that I could tag, has already been tagged! I'm breaking the rules! OOPS!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Uncertain...

I hate being "not sure" about things in my life. I'd much prefer to have it all figured out. It's just easier that way. There are 3 things going on in my life that I'm uncertain about.

1) To Homeschool or Not To Homeschool, that is the question....
I'm 95% sure that I've made my decision, but that tiny 5% still creeps in all the time.

2) Are We Done Yet?
We've been saying for a year now, that one of us was gonna go get "fixed". Still hasn't happened. I've made appointments and it never felt right so we never did it. 6 months ago, I was 100% sure we were done. Now, I don't know what to think. I mean HELLO we have 4 boys!! Our life is chaos, how can I even be thinking of adding another mouth to feed/butt to change/soul to nurture. And if we did go for it, there'd be all the "hoping this one is a girl/tried for the girl, huh" (no we aren't/no we didn't, we'd prefer another boy anyway!). Not to mention all the "ARE YOU NUTS?!?!" (If not yet, we soon will be!). Then there are the plans that would have to be put on hold, etc, if we went for it. I'm 100% happy with my family now, and if we choose not to have another baby, then I'll still be 100% happy. I'm just not sure......

3) There's been some stuff happen lately regarding our church. I LOVE our church, and can't imagine ever leaving it and finding another "home" where we feel so welcome and loved. But with that being said, I'm not sure if our future is in the church.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Harry Hand Peter Pan


This is the name that Max gave his little toy puppy. He bought this puppy at a yard sale for 25 cents. It's a small little brown puppy, about the size of his foot. First his name was just Harry Hand. I'm not sure where he came up with this name. A few nights ago, he informed me that Harry Hand's last name was Peter Pan. I'm not sure how he came up with this either, but that's what his name. Harry Hand Peter Pan.

Max is quite the comic. He really says the funniest things. The other day he was helping me to pick out his clothes, and I asked him about a shirt, and with the most serious voice he said, "WHAT?!?! Is that a girl shirt or somethin'?" Now imagine this is the cutest 3 year old voice you've ever heard. KJ and I were seriously ROFLOL.

Then today we were at Home Depot. Matthew picked up a rose bush clipping and the thorns stuck him. He started whining about it. Max picked it up and got stuck, and said to Matthew, "I didn't cry, because I'm a man!" KJ and I burst out laughing. After Home Depot, we went to the lake and had a picnic. Afterwards, we let the boys play in the lake. When we were leaving they put their crocs back on, and Max got into the water with them on. I didn't see him do this. Matthew asked if he could get in the water with his crocs and I said no. Max then said, "Yeah only a real man can." What a nut!!

I don't know where this boy gets this stuff from, but he is a total jokester.